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Alexis, here she stay'd; among these pines,
Sweet hermitress, she did alone repair;
Here did she spread the treasure of her hair,
More rich than that brought from the Colchian mines. She sate her by these musked eglantines,
The happy place the print seems yet to bear;
Her voice did sweeten here thy sugar'd lines,
To which winds, trees, beasts, birds, did lend their ear.
Me here she first perceiv'd, and here a morn
Of bright carnations did o'erspread her face ;
Here did she sigh, here first my hopes were born,
And I first got a pledge of promis'd grace:
But, ah! what serv'd it to be happy so,
Sith passed pleasures double but new woe?
The heaven doth not contain so many stars,
So many leaves not prostrate lie in woods,
When autumn's old, and Boreas sounds his wars,
So many waves have not the ocean floods,
As my rent mind hath torments all the night,
And heart spends sighs, when Phœbus brings the light.
Why should I been a partner of the light,
Who, crost in birth by bad aspects of stars,
Have never since had happy day nor night?
Why was not I a liver in the woods,
Or citizen of Thetis' crystal floods,
Than made a man, for love and fortune's wars?
I look each day when death should end the wars,
Uncivil wars, 'twixt sense and reason's light;
My pains I count to mountains, meads, and floods,
And of my sorrow partners make the stars ;
All desolate I haunt the fearful woods,
When I should give myself to rest at night.
With watchful eyes I ne'er behold the night,
Mother of peace, but ah! to me of wars,
And Cynthia queen-like shining through the woods,
When straight those lamps come in my thought, whose light
My judgment dazzled, passing brightest stars,
And then mine eyes en-isle themselves with floods.
Turn to their springs again first shall the floods,
Clear shall the sun the sad and gloomy night,
To dance about the pole cease shall the stars,
The elements renew their ancient wars
Shall first, and be depriv'd of place and light,
Ere I find rest in city, fields, or woods.
End these my days, indwellers of the woods,
Take this my life, ye deep and raging floods;
Sun, never rise to clear me with thy light,
Horror and darkness, keep a lasting night;
Consume me, care, with thy intestine wars,
And stay your influence o'er me, bright stars!
In vain the stars, indwellers of the woods,
Care, horror, wars, I call, and raging floods,
For all have sworn no night shall dim my sight.
And paint the sable skies
With azure, white, and red;
Rouse Memnon's mother from her Tithon's bed,
That she thy cáreer1 may with roses spread;
The nightingales thy coming each where sing;
Make an eternal spring,
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead;
Spread forth thy golden hair
In larger locks than thou wast wont before,
' Printed careere in the Bodleian copy. Elsewhere cariere or carrier.
And, emperor like, decore
With diadem of pearl thy temples fair:
Chase hence the ugly night,
Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.
This is that happy morn
That day, long-wished day,
Of all my life so dark
(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn, And fates not hope betray),
Which, only white, deserves
A diamond for ever should it mark:
This is the morn should bring unto this grove
My love, to hear and recompense my love.
Fair king, who all preserves,
But show thy blushing beams,
And thou two sweeter eyes
Shalt see, than those which by Peneus' streams Did once thy heart surprise ;
Nay, suns, which shine as clear
As thou when two thou did to Rome appear.
Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise;
If that ye, winds, would hear
A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre,
Your stormy chiding stay;
Let zephyr only breathe,
And with her tresses play,
Kissing sometimes these purple ports of death.
The winds all silent are,
And Phoebus in his chair,
Ensaffroning sea and air,
Makes vanish every star:
Night like a drunkard reels
Beyond the hills to shun his flaming wheels;
The fields with flow'rs are deck'd in every hue,
The clouds bespangle with bright gold their blue: Here is the pleasant place,
And every thing, save her, who all should grace.
[From Madrigals and Epigrams.]
See, Chloris, how the clouds
And how with Stygian mists
Each horned hill his giant forehead shrouds ;
Jove thund'reth in the air,
The air, grown great with rain,
Now seems to bring Deucalion's days again.
I see thee quake; come, let us home repair.
Come hide thee in mine arms,
If not for love, yet to shun greater harms.
SONNET TO SIR W. ALEXANDER.
The love Alexis did to Damon bear
Shall witness'd be to all the woods and plains
As singular, renown'd by neighbouring swains,
That to our relics time may trophies rear :
Those madrigals we sung amidst our flocks,
With garlands guarded from Apollo's beams,
On Ochills whiles, whiles near Bodotria's streams,
Are registrate by echos in the rocks.
Of foreign shepherds bent to try the states,
Though I, world's guest, a vagabond do stray,
Thou mayst that store which I esteem survey,
As best acquainted with my soul's conceits:
Whatever fate heavens have for me designed,
I trust thee with the treasure of my mind.
Look how the flower which ling'ringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoil'd of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head:
Right so my life, contentments being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,
And, blasted, scarce now shows what it hath been.
And doth the pilgrim therefore, whom the night
By darkness would imprison on his way,
Think on thy home, my soul, and think aright
Of what yet rests thee of life's wasting day?
Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born.
The last and greatest herald of heaven's King,
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he than man more harmless found and mild:
His food was locusts, and what young doth spring,
With honey that from virgin hives distill'd;
Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear long since from earth exil'd.
There burst he forth: 'All ye, whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn.'
Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry?
Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their marble caves, 'Repent, repent!'