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For sure if others knew me such,
Such as myself l know,
I should have been dispraised as much
As I am praised now.
The praise, therefore, which I have heard,
Delights not so my mind,
As those things make my heart afeard,
Which in myself I find:
And I had rather to be blamed,
So I were blameless made,
Than for much virtue to be famed,
When I no virtues had.
Though slanders to an innocent
Sometimes do bitter grow,
Their bitterness procures content,
If clear himself he know.
And when a virtuous man hath erred,
If praised himself he hear,
It makes him grieve, and more afeard,
Than if he slandered were.
Lord! therefore make my heart upright,
Whate'er my deeds do seem :
And righteous rather in thy sight,
Than in the world's esteem.
And if aught good appear to be
In any act of mine,
Let thankfulness be found in me,
And all the praise be thine.
COMPANIONSHIP OF THE MUSE.
SHE doth tell me where to borrow
Comfort in the midst of sorrow;
Makes the desolatest place
To her presence be a grace,
And the blackest discontents
Be her fairest ornaments.
In my former days of bliss,
Her divine skill taught me this,
That from everything I saw
I could some invention draw,
And raise pleasure to her height,
Through the meanest object's sight,
By the murmur of a spring,
Or the least bough's rustleing.
By a daisy, whose leaves spread,
Shut when Titan goes to bed;
Or a shady bush or tree,
She could more infuse in me,
Than all nature's beauties can
In some other wiser man.
By her help I also now
Make this churlish place allow
Some things that may sweeten glad-
ness, In the very gall of sadness. The dull loneness, the black shade, That these hanging vaults have made; The strange music of the waves, Beating on these hollow caves; This black den which rocks emboss, Overgrown with eldest moss; The rude portals that give light More to terror than delight; This my chamber of neglect, Walled about with disrespect, — From all these, and this \. air, A fit object for despair, She hath taught me by her might To draw comfort and delight. Therefore, thou best earthly bliss, I will cherish thee for this. Poesy, thou sweet'st content That e'er heaven to mortals lent: Though they as a trifle leave thee, Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive thee; Though thou be to them a scorn, That to naught but earth are born, – Let my life no longer be Than I am in love with thee!
ANDREW MARVELL. [1620–1678.] THOUGHTS IN A GARDEN.
How vainly men themselves amaze,
To win the palm, the oak, or bays:
And their incessant labors see
Crowned from some single herb or
Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do
To weave the garlands of repose.
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men.
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among these plants will grow.
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.
No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name.
Little, alas, they know or heed,
How far these beauties her exceed!
Fair trees' where'er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.
What wondrous life is this I lead
Ripe apples drop about my head.
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine.
The nectarine, and curious peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach.
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness, –
The mind, that ocean where each kind
I}oes straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates transcending these,
Far other worlds and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
Such was the happy garden state,
While man there walked without a
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But 't was bevoid a mortal's share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises are in one,
To live in paradise alone.
How well the skilful gardener drew of flowers and herbs this dial new Where, from above, the milder sun I}oes through a fragrant zodiac run : And, as it works, the industrious bee Computes its time as well as we.
WHERE the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean's bosom unespied,
From a small boat that rowed along,
The listening winds received this song:
“What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze
Where he the huge sea monsters racks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storins and prelates' rage.
He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the poinegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.
He makes the figs our mouths to meet,
And throws the melons at our feet,
With apples, plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear then twice.
With cedars, chosen by his hand,
From Lebanon he stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas that roar,
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound his name.
(), let our voice his praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault,
Which then perhaps rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexic bay.”
Thus sang they in the English boat
A holy and a cheerful note:
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.
JOHN MILTON. [1608–1674.] HYMN ON THE NATIVITY.
How could such sweet and wholesome While the heaven-born child
hours Be reckoned, but with herbs and flowers?
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; Nature, in awe of him,
And sworded seraphim, Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displayed, Harping in loud and solemn quire, With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born heir.
Such music as "t is said Before was never made, But when of old the sons of morning sung, While the Creator great His constellations set, And the well-balanced world on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears,
If ye have power to touch our senses so;
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
And let the bass of Heaven's deep organ
And, with your ninefold harmony,
Make up full concert to the angelic sym-
For, if such holy song Enwrap our fancy long, Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; And speckled Vanity Will sicken soon and die, And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould ; And Hell itself will pass away, And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.
Yea, Truth and Justice thon Will down return to men, Orbed in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, Mercy will sit between, Throned in celestial sheen, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering; And Heaven, as at some festival, Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so;
The babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss,
So both himself and us to glorify:
Yet first, to those yehained in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder
through the deep,
With such a horrid clang As on Mount Sinai rang, While the red fire and smouldering clouds outbrake; The aged earth aghast, With terror of that blast, Shall from the surface to the centre shake; When, at the world's last session, The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his throne.
And then at last our bliss,
Full and perfect is,
But now begins; for, from this happy
al * The old *m. underground, In straiter limits bound, Not half so far casts his usurpéd sway; And, wroth to see his kingdom fail, Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
The oracles are dumb:
No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the archéd roof in words
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos
No nightly trance, or breathéd spell,
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud
From haunted spring and dale,
Edged with poplar pale,
The parting Genius is with sighingsent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled
In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,
The Lars and Lemures mourn with mid-
In urns and altars round,
Troop to the infernal jail,
Each fettered ghost slips to his several
And the yellow-skirted says
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved maze.
But see, the Virgin blest Hath laid her babe to rest; Time is our tedious song should here have ending: Heaven's youngest-teeméd star Hath fixed her polished car, Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending; And all about the courtly stable Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.
ON ARRIVING AT The AGE OF TWENTYTHREE.
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year! My hasting days sly on with full career, But my late spring no bud or blossom showeth. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, That I to manhood am arrived so near, And inward ripeness doth much less appear, That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th. Yet, be it less or more, or soon or slow, It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven; All is, if I have grace to use it so, As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent, Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, And that one talent, which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present