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GRIEF decreases when it can swell no higher.
YET still he wasted as the snow congeal'd
When the bright sunne his beams thereon did beat.
Faëry Queen, Book III., Canto 5.
WHEN sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.
Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips ?
To give maiden blushes
To the white rose bushes ?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips ?
Why dost borrow
The lustrous passion from a falcon-eye
To give the glow-worm light?
Or, on a moonless night,
To tinge, on syren shores, the salt sea-spray?
Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue ?
To give at evening pale
Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among ?
I bade good-morrow,
And thought to leave her far away behind :
But cheerly, cheerly,
She loves me dearly ;
She is so constant to me, and so kind :
I would deceive her,
And so leave her,
But ah ! she is so constant and so kind.
Beneath the palm-trees, by the river side,
I sat a weeping; in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept
And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears,
Cold as my fears.
Young Stranger !
I've been a ranger
In search of pleasure throughout every clime;
Alas! 'tis not for me :
Bewitch'd I sure must be,
To lose in grieving all my maiden prime.
Come then, sorrow,
Like an own babe I nurse thee on my breast:
I thought to leave thee,
And deceive thee,
But now of all the world I love thee best.
There is not one,
No no, not one
But thee to comfort a poor lonely maid;
Thou art her mother,
And her brother,
Her playmate, and her wooer in the shade.
KEATS. Endymion, Book IV.
WEEP no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that's gone :
Violets pluck'd, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again;
Trim thy locks, look cheerfully;
Fates' hidden ends eyes cannot see:
Joys as winged dreams fly fast,
Why should sadness longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe :
Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no mo.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
IN Venice Tasso's echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier ;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And music meets not always now the ear:
Those days are gone, but Beauty still is here.
States fall, arts fade—but nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The reyel of the earth, the masque of Italy!
Childe Harold, Canto IV.
On the Extinction of the Republic.
ONCE did She hold the gorgeous East in fee,
And was the safeguard of the West; the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest child of liberty.
She was a maiden city, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And when she took unto herself a mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay,
Yet shall some tribute of respect be paid
When her long life hath reach'd its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade
Of that which once was great has pass'd away.
THE current, that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But, when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with th' enamel'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage:
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport to the wild ocean.
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II.
THIS river does not see the naked sky
Till it begins to progress silverly
Around the western border of the wood;
Whence from a certain spot, its winding flood
Seems at the distance like a crescent moon :
And in that nook the very pride of June,
I had been used to pass my weary eves ;
The rather for the sun unwilling leaves
So dear a picture of his sovereign power,
And I could witness his most kingly hour,
When he doth tighten up the golden reins,
And paces leisurely down amber plains
His snorting four.
KEATS. Endymion, Book I.
OUR indiscretion sometimes serves us well,
When our deep plots do pall; and that should teach us,
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
Hamlet, Act V.
YET cease the ways of Providence to blame
And human faults with human grief confess;
'Tis thou art changed, while Heaven is still the same:
From thy ill councils date thy ill success.
PERVERSE mankind! whose wills, created free,
Charge all their woes on absolute decree;
All to the dooming Gods their guilt translate,
And follies are miscall’d the crimes of fate.
POPE. Odyssey, Book I.
Theseus. MORE strange than true. I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping phantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
* In ev'ry way, in ev'ry sense,
Man is the care of Providence;
And whensoc'er he goeth wrong,
The errors to himself belong.
Dr. Syntax's Tour, Canto VIII.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination ;
That, if we would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear. *
Midsummer Nighľs Dream, Açt V.
EVER let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet pleasure melteth.t
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's cage door, .
She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy ! let her loose ;
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
* Imaginary evils soon become real ones by indulging our reflections on them; as he who in a melancholy fancy sees something like a face on the wall or wainscot, can, by two or three touches with a lead pencil, make it look visible, and agreeing with what he fancied.
SWIFT. + But pleasures are like poppies spread,
We seize the flower, its bloom is shed; .
Or like the snowfall on the river,
A moment white,-then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race
That flit e'er you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.
BURNS. Tam OʻShanter.