All that I sung still to her praise did tend;
Still she was first, still she my songs did end;
Yet she my love and music both doth fly,
The music that her echo is and beauty’s sympathy:
Then let my notes pursue her scornful flight!
It shall suffice that they were breathed and died for her delight.

182   Vobiscum est Iope

WHEN thou must home to shades of underground,
And there arrived, a new admiràed guest,
The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round,
White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest,
To hear the stories of thy finish’d love
From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move;

Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights,
Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make,
Of tourneys and great challenges of knights,
And all these triumphs for thy beauty’s sake:
When thou hast told these honours done to thee,
Then tell, O tell, how thou didst murder me!

183   A Hymn in Praise of Neptune

OF Neptune’s empire let us sing,
At whose command the waves obey;
To whom the rivers tribute pay,
Down the high mountains sliding:
To whom the scaly nation yields
Homage for the crystal fields
       Wherein they dwell:
And every sea-god pays a gem
Yearly out of his wat’ry cell
To deck great Neptune’s diadem.

The Tritons dancing in a ring
Before his palace gates do make
The water with their echoes quake,
Like the great thunder sounding:
The sea-nymphs chant their accents shrill,
And the sirens, taught to kill
       With their sweet voice,
Make ev’ry echoing rock reply
Unto their gentle murmuring noise
The praise of Neptune’s empery.

184   Winter Nights

  NOW winter nights enlarge
      The number of their hours,
  And clouds their storms discharge
      Upon the airy towers.
  Let now the chimneys blaze
      And cups o’erflow with wine;
  Let well-tuned words amaze
      With harmony divine.
  Now yellow waxen lights
      Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
    Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

  This time doth well dispense
    With lovers’ long discourse;
  Much speech hath some defence,
    Though beauty no remorse.
  All do not all things well;
    Some measures comely tread,
  Some knotted riddles tell,
    Some poems smoothly read.
  The summer hath his joys,
    And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
  They shorten tedious nights.

185   Integer Vitae

THE man of life upright,
    Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
    Or thought of vanity

The man whose silent days
    In harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude,
    Nor sorrow discontent;

That man needs neither towers
    Nor armour for defence,
Nor secret vaults to fly
    From thunder’s violence:

He only can behold
    With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
    And terrors of the skies.

Thus, scorning all the cares
    That fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book,
    His wisdom heavenly things;

Good thoughts his only friends,
    His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
    And quiet pilgrimage.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.