Imatges de pÓgina
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MATTHEW ROYDON.

EDMUND SPENSER.

7

Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest | Did never muse inspire beneath

bed;

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A poet's brain with finer store.

He wrote of love with high conceit
And beauty reared above her height.

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Such self-assurance need not fear the | The pledge of all your band?

spite

Of grudging foes, ne favor seek of friends; But in the stay of her own steadfast might, Neither to one herself or other bends. Most happy she that most assured doth rest,

But he most happy who such one loves

best.

FROM THE EPITHALAMIUM.

OPEN the temple-gates unto my love. Open them wide that she may enter in, And all the posts adorn as doth behove, And all the pillars deck with garlands trim,

For to receive this saint with honor due, That cometh in to you.

With trembling steps and humble rev

erence

She cometh in before the Almighty's view: Of her, ye virgins! learn obedience, When so ye come into these holy places, To humble your proud faces.

Bring her up to the high altar, that she

may

The sacred ceremonies there partake, The which do endless matrimony make; And let the roaring organs loudly play The praises of the Lord, in lively notes, The whiles with hollow throats

The choristers the joyous anthems sing, That all the woods may answer, and their echo ring.

Behold whiles she before the altar stands,
Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks,
And blesses her with his two happy hands,
How red the roses flush up in her cheeks!
And the pure snow, with goodly vermeil
stain,

Like crimson dyed in grain,
That even the angels, which continually
About the sacred altar do remain,

Forget their service, and about her fly, Oft peeping in her face, that seems more fair

The more they on it stare;

But her sad eyes, still fastened on the ground,

Are governed with goodly modesty,
That suffers not one look to glance awry,
Which may let in a little thought un-
sound.

Why blush ye, Love! to give to me your hand,

Sing, ye sweet angels! Alleluia sing, That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring.

UNA AND THE LION.

ONE day, nigh weary of the irksome way,
From her unhasty beast she did alight;
And on the grass her dainty limbs did lay
In secret shadow, far from all men's sight;
From her fair head her fillet she undight,
And laid her stole aside: her angel's face,
As the great eye of heaven, shined bright,
And made a sunshine in a shady place;
Did never mortal eye behold such heav-
enly grace.

It fortunéd, out of the thickest wood,
A ramping lion rushéd suddenly,
Hunting full greedy after savage blood;
Soon as the royal virgin he did spy,
With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,
To have at once devoured her tender corse;
But to the prey when as he drew more
nigh,

His bloody rage assuaged with remorse, And, with the sight amazed, forgot his furious force.

Instead thereof he kissed her weary feet, And licked her lily hands with fawning

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EDMUND SPENSER.

THE HOUSE OF RICHES.

THAT house's form within was rude and strong,

Like an huge cave hewn out of rocky clift, From whose rough vault the ragged breaches hung

Embossed with massy gold of glorious gift,

And with rich metal loaded every rift, That heavy ruin they did seem to threat; And over them Arachne high did lift Her cunning web, and spread her subtle net,

Enwrapped in foul smoke and clouds more black than jet.

Both roof, and floor, and walls, were all of gold,

But overgrown with dust and old de

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ROBERT SOUTHWELL.

[1560-1595.]

CONTENT AND RICH.

I DWELL in grace's courts,
Enriched with virtue's rights;

Faith guides my wit, love leads my will,
Hope all my mind delights.

In lowly vales I mount

To pleasure's highest pitch,
My simple dress sure honor brings,
My poor estate is rich.

My conscience is my crown,
Contented thoughts my rest;
My heart is happy in itself;
My bliss is in my breast.

Enough, I reckon wealth;
A mean, the surest lot,

That lies too high for base contempt,
Too low for envy's shot.

My wishes are but few,
All easy to fulfil;

I make the limits of my power
The bounds unto my will.

I have no hopes but one, Which is of heavenly reign: Effects attained, or not desired, All lower hopes refrain.

I feel no care of coin,

Well-doing is my wealth:
My mind to me an empire is,
While grace affordeth health.

I clip high-climbing thoughts,
The wings of swelling pride:

Their fate is worst, that from the height
Of greater honor slide.

Silk sails of largest size

The storm doth soonest tear : I bear so low and small a sail As freeth me from fear.

I wrestle not with rage

While fury's flame doth burn; It is in vain to stop the stream Until the tide doth turn.

But when the flame is out, And ebbing wrath doth end,

I turn a late-enragéd foe
Into a quiet friend;

And, taught with often proof,
A tempered calm I find
To be most solace to itself,
Best cure for angry mind.

Spare diet is my fare,

My clothes more fit than fine; I know I feed and clothe a foe That, pampered, would repine.

I envy not their hap

Whom favor doth advance: I take no pleasure in their pain That have less happy chance.

To rise by others' fall

I deem a losing gain: All states with others' ruins built To ruins run amain.

No change of fortune's calms

Can cast my comforts down: When fortune smiles, I smile to think How quickly she will frown;

And when, in froward mood,

She proved an angry foe, Small gain I found to let her come, Less loss to let her go.

ALEXANDER HUME.

[About 1599.]

A SUMMER'S DAY.

THE time so tranquil is and clear,
That nowhere shall ye find,
Save on a high and barren hill,
An air of passing wind.

All trees and simples, great and small,
That balmy leaf do bear,
Than they were painted on a wall,
No more they move or stir.

The ships becalmed upon the seas,
Hang up their sails to dry;
The herds, beneath the leafy trees,
Among the flowers they lie.

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