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That she may thy career 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,
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 the morn should bring unto this grove
My love, to hear, and recompence my love!
Fair king, who all preserves,
But shew thy blushing beams;
And thou two sweeter eyes
Shalt see, than those which by Penéus' streams
Did once thy heart surprise.
Now Flora deck thyself in fairest guise,
If that ye, winds, would hear
A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre,
Your furious chiding stay;
Let zephyr only breathe,
And with her tresses play.
The winds all silent are,
And Phæbus 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 flowers are deck'd in every hue,
The clouds with orient gold spangle their blue;
Here is the pleasant place,
And nothing wanting is, save she, alas!
THrice happy he, who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live, his
Though solitary, who is not alone,
But doth converse with that eternal love.
O how more sweet is birds' harmonious moan,
Or the hoarse sobbings of the widow'd dove,
Than those smooth whisperings near a prince's
throne, Which good make doubtful, do the ill approve ! O how more sweet is zephyr's wholesome breath, And sighs embalm’d, which new-born flow'rs unfold,
Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams to poison drunk in gold !
The world is full of horrors, troubles, slights;
Woods' harmless shades have only true delights.
Sweet spring, thou turn’st, with all thy goodly
train, Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with
Aow'rs; The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain, The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their
show'rs. Thou turn'st, sweet youth! but ah ! my pleasant
And happy days, with thee come not again!
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee turn, which turn my sweets to sours !
Thou art the same which still thou wast before;
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair,
But she whose breath embalm'd thy wholesome air
Is gone, nor gold nor gems her can restore.
Neglected virtue! seasons go and come,
While thine, forgot, lie closed in a tomb.
SONNET TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
Sweet bird, that sing’st away the early hours,
Of winters past, or coming, void of care,
Well pleased with delights which present are;
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flow'rs:
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leavy bow'rs
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare ;
A stain to human sense in sin that low'rs.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs
(Attir'd in sweetness) sweetly is not driv'n
Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heav'n?
Sweet artless songster,
thou my mind dost raise To airs of spheres, yes, and to angel's lays.
This world a hunting is,
The prey poor man; the Nimrod fierce is Death;
His speedy greyhounds are
Lust, sickness, envy, care,
Strife, that ne'er falls amiss,
With all those ills that haunt us while we breathe.
Now, if by chance we fly
Of these the eager chase,
Old age, with stealing pace,
Casts on his nets, and there we panting die.