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TO THE FAIR, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME.

GATHER ye rose-buds, while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles to-day,

To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,

The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best, which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer; But, being spent, the worse, and worst

Times still succeed the former.

ROBERT HERRICK.

Then be not coy, but use your time,

And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,

You may for ever tarry.

TO ANTHEA, WHO MAY COMMAND HIM ANYTHING.

Bid me to live, and I will live

Thy Protestant to be;
Or bid me love, and I will give

A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,

A heart as sound and free,
As in the whole world thou canst find,

That heart I'll give to thee.

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,

To honour thy decree;
Or bid it languish quite away,

And 't shall do so for thec.

Bid me to weep, and I will weep,

While I have eyes to see;
And having none, yet will I keep

A heart to weep for thee.

Bid me despair, and I'll despair,

Under the cypress tree;
Or bid me die, and I will dare

E'en death, to die for thee.

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,

The very eyes of me;
And hast command of every part,

To live and die for thee.

OPENING OF A NUPTIAL SONG.

OPENING OF A NUPTIAL SONG.

What's that we see from far? the spring of the day
Bloomed out from the east, or fair enjewelled May

Blown out of April; or some new
Star filled with glory to our view,

Reaching at Heaven,
To add a nobler planet to the seven?

Say, or do we not descry
Some goddess, in a cloud of tiffany

To move, or rather the
Emergent Venus from the sea?

'Tis she! 'tis she! or else some more divine
Enlightened substance; mark how from the shrine

Of holy saints she paces on,
Treading upon vermilion

And amber; spice-
Ing the chafed air with fumes of Paradise.

Then come on, come on, and yield
A savour like unto a blessèd field,

When the bedabbled morn
Washes the golden ears of corn.

See where she comes, and smell how all the street
Breathes vineyards and pomegranates; O how sweet!

As a fired altar is each stone,
Perspiring pounded cinnamon.

The phenix nest,
Built up of odours, burneth in her breast.

Who therein would not consume
His soul to ash-heaps in the rich perfume?

Bestroking fate the while
He burns to embers on the pile.

GEORGE HERBERT.

1593–1632.

VIRTUE.

SWEET day! so cool, so calm, so bright!
The bridal of the earth and sky:
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,--

For thou must die.

Sweet rose! whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
Thy root is ever in the grave,--

And thou must die.

Sweet spring! full of sweet days and roses;
A box where sweets comparted lie:
My music shows you have your closes -

And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like seasoned timber, never gives,
But, though the whole world turns to coal,

Then chiefly lives.

CONVERSATION.

IF thou be master-gunner, spend not all
That thou canst speak at once; but husband it,
And give men turns of speech. Do not forestall, ,
By lavishness, thine own and other's wit,

As if thou mad'st thy will. A civil guest
Will no more talk all, than eat all, the feast.

JORDAN,

Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
Why should I feel another man's mistakes,
More than his sicknesses or poverty?

In love I should; but anger is not love,
Nor wisdom neither: therefore, gently move.

Calmness is great advantage. He that lets
Another chafe, may warm him at his fire,
Mark all his wanderings, and enjoy his frets,
As cunning fencers suffer heat to tire.

Truth dwells not in the clouds; the bow that's there
Doth often aim at, never hit the sphere.

JORDAN.

Who says that fictions only and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in Truth no beauty?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines pass, except they do their duty,

Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it not verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow coarse-spun lines?
Must purling streams refresh a lover's loves?
Must all be veiled, while he that reads divines,

Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people—let them sing;
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime;
I envy no man's nightingale, or spring-
Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme,
Who only plainly say, “My God, my king!”

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