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But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And th' artillery of her eye ;
Whilst she proudly march'd about
Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the bye.
But in her place I then obey'd
Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy maid,
To whom ensued a vacancy : Thousand worse passions then possess'd The interregnum of my breast;
Bless me from such an anarchy!
Gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary next began ;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Andria ;
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catharine,
And then a long et cætera.
But should I now to you relate
The strength and riches of their state,
The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines.
If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts ;
The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
(Numberless, nameless, mysteries,)
And all the little lime-twigs laid
By Machiavel, the waiting maid,
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I, like them, should tell
All change of weather that befel)
Than Holinshed or Stow.
But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me :
An higher and a nobler strain
My present emperess does claim,
Eleonora, first o'th' name,
Whom God grant long to reign.
HONOUR. SHE loves, and she confesses too ; There's then, at last, no more to do : The happy work's entirely done ; Enter the town which thou hast won ; The fruits of conquest now begin ; Iö, triumph ; enter in. What's this, ye gods! what can it be ? Remains there still an enemy? Bold Honour stands up in the gate, And would yet capitulate ; Have I o'ercome all real foes, And shall this phantom me oppose ?
Noisy nothing ! stalking shade !
By what witchcraft wert thou made ?
Empty cause of solid harms !
But I shall find out counter-charms
Thy airy devilship to remove
From this circle here of love.
Sure I shall rid myself of thee
By the night's obscurity,
And obscurer secrecy :
Unlike to ev'ry other sprite,
Thou attempt'st not men t affright,
Nor appear'st but in the light.
Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good !
Hail, ye plebeian underwood !
Where the poetic birds rejoice,
And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
Pay with their grateful voice.
Hail, the poor Muse's richest manor-seat !
Ye country houses and retreat,
Which all the happy gods so love,
That for you oft they quit their bright and great
Here Nature does a house for me erect,
Nature ! the wisest architect,
Who those fond artists does despise
That can the fair and living trees neglect,
Yet the dead timber prize.
Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
Hear the soft winds above me flying,
With all their wanton boughs dispute,
And the more tuneful birds to both replying,
Nor be myself, too, mute.
A silver stream shall roll his waters neår,
Gilt with the sunbeams here and there,
On whose enamell'd bank I'll walk,
And see how prettily they smile,
And hear how prettily they talk.
Ah! wretched, and too solitary he,
Who loves not his own company!
He'll feel the weight of 't many a day,
Unless he call in sin or vanity
To help to bear 't away.
So many specimens of this illustrious poet are given in the
former volume, and his shorter pieces have been so much diffused, that the following extracts from poems not so generally read, are rather offered as an apology for the absence of specimens from this great classic, than as a selection from his works.
Now the bright Morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire ;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
The star, that bids the shepherd fold,
Now the top of heaven doth hold ;
And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantic stream ;
And the slope Sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing towards the other goal
Of his chamber in the east.
Meanwhile, welcome Joy, and Feast,
Midnight Shout, and Revelry,
Tipsy Dance, and Jollity!
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.