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A nicer touch to the stretched canvas give,
Or teach their animated rocks to live:
'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate,
And hold in balance each contending state,
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war,
And answer her afflicted neighbours' prayer.
The Dane and Swede roused up by fierce alarms,
Bless the wise conduct of her pious arms:
Soon as her fleets appear their terrow cease,
And all the northern world lies hushed in peace.
Paraphrase On Psalm Xxiii.
THE Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye;
My noon-day walks he shall attend,
And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty mountain pant;
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary wandering steps he leads;
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.
Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill,
For Thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.
Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds I stray,
Thy bounty shall my wants beguile:
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens, and herbage crowned,
And streams shall murmur all around.
THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth.
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball,
What though no real voice nor sound
Amid their radiant orbs be found;
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice;
For ever singing, as they shine,
'The Hand that made us is divine'.
IT is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make men better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere.
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauty see,
And in just measures life may perfect be.
Epode From 'the Forest.'
NOT to know vice at all, and keep true state,
Is virtue and not fate;
Next to that virtue, is to know vice well,
And her black spite expel.
Which to effect (since no breast is so sure
Or safe, but she 'll procure
Some way of entrance) we must plant a guard
Of thoughts to watch and ward
As the eye and ear, the ports unto the mind,
That no strange or unkind
Object arrive there, but the heart, our spy,
Give knowledge instantly
To wakeful reason, our affection's king:
Who, in th' examining,
Will quickly taste the treason, and commit
Close the close cause of it.
"Tis the securest policy we have
To make our sense our slave.
But this true course is not embraced by many—
]!y many? scarce by any.
For either our affections do rebel,
Or else the sentinel,
That should ring larum to the heart, doth sleep;
Or some great thought doth keep
Back the intelligence, and falsely swears
They are base and idle fears
Whereof the loyal conscience so complains.
Thus, by these subtle trains
Do several passions invade the mind,
And strike our reason blind.
Epitaph On The Countess Of Pembroke.
UNDERNEATH this marble hearse,
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learned, and fair, and good as she,
Time shall throw his dart at thee!
Epitaph On A Lady.
UNDERNEATH this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die:
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.
If at all she had a fault,
Leave it buried in this vault.
IF crost with all mishaps be my poor life,
If one short day I never spent in mirth,
If my spright with myself holds lasting strife,
If sorrow's death is but new sorrow's birth;
If this vain world be but a sable stage
Where slave-born man plays to the scoffing stars;
If youth be tossed with love, with weakness age,
If knowledge serve to hold our thoughts in wars;
If time can close the hundred mouths of fame,
And make, what long since past, like that to be;
If virtue only be an idle name,
If .I, when I was born, was born to die;
Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days?
The fairest rose in shortest time decays.
Tears On The Death Of Mceliades1.
REST, blessed soul, rest satiate with the sight
Of him whose beams (though dazzling) do delight;
Life of all lives, cause of each other cause;
The sphere and centre where the mind doth pause;
Rest, happy soul, and wonder in that glass
Where seen is all that shall be, is, or was,
While shall be, is, or was, do pass away,
And nothing be but an eternal day.
1 Prince Henry, eldest son of James I. The name is an anagram of 'Miles a Deo.'