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O THOU that swing'st upon the waving hair

Of some well-filled oaten beard, Drunk every night with a delicious tear, Dropp'd thee from heav'n, where now thou’rt


The joys of earth and air are thine entire,

That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly ; And, when thy poppy works, thou dost retire

To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.

But ah, the sickle! golden ears are cropp'd;

Ceres and Bacchus bid good night; Sharp frosty fingers all your flow'rs have topp'd,

And what scythes spared, winds shave off quite.

Poor verdant fool! and now, green ice ; thy joys

Large and as lasting as thy perch of grass, Bid us lay in 'gainst winter, rain, and poize

Their foods with an o'erflowing glass.


Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,

That from the nunnery

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind

To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,

The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace

A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such

As you too shall adore,
I could not love thee, dear, so much,

Lov'd I not honour more.



CRASHAW, a Catholic priest, is chiefly distinguished as a

sacred poet. He is perhaps the most purely poetical of all the devotional lyrists, and the more his writings are perused the more they will be relished. (a)

(a) The mere merits of this neglected and beautiful writer will be better appreciated from the specimens given of his poetry in the volume of Specimens of Sacred and Serious Poetry, than from the following extracts.

What bright soft thing is this?
Sweet Mary, thy fair eyes' expense ?

A moist spark it is,

A wat'ry diamond ; from whence The very term, I think, was found The water of a diamond.

Such a pearl as this is, (Slipt from Aurora's dewy breast)

The rose-bud's sweet lip kisses :

And such the rose itself, when vext With ungențle flames, does shed, Sweating in too warm a bed.

Such the maiden gem
By the wanton spring put on,

Peeps from her parent stem,

And blushes on the wat'ry Sun : This wat'ry blossom of thy eyne, Ripe, will make the richer wine.


COME, and let us live, my dear,
Let us love, and never fear
What the sourest fathers say:
Brightest Sol, that dies to-day,

Lives again as blithe to-morrow;
But if we, dark sons of sorrow,
Set, O! then how long a night
Shuts the eyes of our short light!
Then let amorous kisses dwell
On our lips, begin and tell
A thousand and a hundred score,
An hundred and a thousand more,
Till another thousand smother
That, and that wipe off another.
Thus, at last, when we have number'd
Many a thousand, many a hundred,
We'll confound the reckoning quite,
And lose ourselves in wild delight :
While our joys so multiply,
As shall mock the envious eye.


Hall, sister springs,
Parents of silver-forded rills !

Ever bubbling things !

Thawing crystal ! snowy hills ! Still spending, never spent ; I mean Thy fair eyes, sweet Magdalen.

Heavens thy fair eyes be,
Heavens of ever-falling stars,

'Tis seed-time still with thee,

And stars thou sow'st, whose harvest dares Promise the Earth to countershine Whatever makes Heaven's fore-head fine.

The dew no more will weep,
The primrose's pale cheek to deck,

The dew no more will sleep,

Nuzzled in the lily's neck.
Much rather would it tremble here,
And leave them both to be thy tear.

Not the soft gold, which
Steals from the amber-weeping tree,

Makes sorrow half so rich,

As the drops distill’d from thee.
Sorrow's best jewels lie in these
Caskets, of which Heaven keep the keys.

Not in the evening's eyes,
When they red with weeping are,

For the Sun that dies,

Sits sorrow with a face so fair;
No where but here did ever meet
Sweetness so sad, sadness so sweet.


BORN 1664-DIED 1721.

There are some doubts about the parentage of Prior. At

an early age he appears to have lost his father, and it is certain that, while living with his uncle, who kept a tavern near Charing Cross, in which he officiated as clerk or drawer, his classical attainments became known to the

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