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Ah, mighty God with shame I speak’t, and grief,
Ah, that our greatest faults were in belief!
And our weak reason were ev'n weaker yet,
Rather than thus our wills too strong for it !
His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might
Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right;
And I myself a Catholick will be,
So far at least, great Saint! to pray to thee.
Hail, bard triumphant! and some care bestow
On us, the poets militant below!
Oppos'd by our old enemy, adverse Chance,
Attack'd by Envy and by Ignorance;
Enchain'd by Beauty, tortur'd by Desires,
Expos'd by Tyrant-Love to savage beasts and fires.
Thou from low earth in nobler flames didst rise,
And, like Elijah, mount alive the skies.
Elisha-like (but with a wish much less,
More fit thy greatness and my littleness)
Lo! here I beg (I, whom thou once didst prove
So humble to esteem, so good to love)
Not that thy spirit might on me double be,
I ask but half thy mighty spirit for me:
And, when my Muse soars with so strong a wing,
'T will learn of things divine, and first of thee, to





I'LL sing of heroes and of kings,
In mighty numbers, mighty things. }
Begin, my Muse! but lo! the strings
To my great song rebellious prove;
The strings will sound of nought but love.
I broke them all, and put on new;
"T is this or nothing sure will do.
These sure (said I) will me obey;
These, sure, heroick notes will play.
Strait I began with thundering Jove,
And all th’immortal powers; but Love,
Love smil'd, and from my’ enfeebled lyre
Came gentle airs, such as inspire }
Melting love and soft desire.
Farewell then, heroes! farewell, kings'
And mighty numbers, mighty things! }
Love tunes my heart just to my strings.


THE thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
The plants suck-in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair;
The sea itself (which one would think
Should have but little need of drink)
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,
So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup.
The busy sun (and one would guess
By's drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the sea, and, when he 'as done,
The moon and stars drink up the sun :
They drink and dance by their own light;
They drink and revel all the night.
Nothing in nature’s sober found,
But an eternal health goes round.
Fill up the bowl then, fill it high,
Fill all the glasses there; for why
Should every creature drink but I ;
Why, man of morals, tell me why


LIBERAL Nature did dispense
To all things arms for their defence;
And some she arms with sinewy force,
And some with swiftness in the course;
Some with hard hoofs or forked claws,
And some with horns or tusked jaws:
And some with scales, and some with wings,
And some with teeth, and some with stings.
Wisdom to man she did afford,
Wisdom for shield, and wit for sword.
What to beauteous womankind,
What arms, what armour, has she’ assign'd?
Beauty is both; for with the fair
What arms, what armour, can compare
What steel, what gold, or diamond, -
More impassible is found
And yet what flame, what lightning, e'er
So great an active force did bear
They are all weapon, and they dart
Like porcupines from every part.
Who can, alas! their strength express,
Arm'd, when they themselves undress,
Cap-a-pie with nakedness

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YES, I will love then, I will love;
I will not now Love's rebel prove,
Though I was once his enemy;
Though ill-advis'd and stubborn I,
Did to the combat him defy.
An helmet, spear, and mighty shield,
Like some new Ajax, I did wield.
Love in one hand his bow did take,
In th' other hand a dart did shake;
But yet in vain the dart did throw,
In vain he often drew the bow;
So well my armour did resist,
So oft by flight the blow I mist:
But, when I thought all danger past,
His quiver empty’d quite at last,
Instead of arrow or of dart
He shot himself into my heart.
The living and the killing arrow
Ran through the skin, the flesh, the blood,
And broke the bones, and scorch'd the marrow,
No trench or work of life withstood.
In vain I now the walls maintain ;
I set out guards and scouts in vain;
Since th' enemy does within remain.

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