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In vain this state a freedom call;
Since I have Love, and Love is all: Sot that I am, who think it fit to brag That I have no disease besides the plague !
So in a zeal the sons of Israel
Sometimes upon their idols fell,
And they depos'd the powers of hell;
Baal and Astarte down they threw,
And Acharon and Moloch too:
All this imperfect piety did no good,
Whilst yet, alas ! the calf of Bethel stood.
Fondly I boast, that I have drest my vine
With painful art, and that the wine
Is of a taste rich and divine;
Since Love, by mixing poison there,
Has made it worse than vinegar.
Love ev'n the taste of nectar changes so,
That Gods choose rather water here below.
Fear, Anger, Hope, all passions else that be,
Drive this one tyrant out of me, *
And practise all your tyranny! *
The change of ills some good will do:
Th' oppressed wretched Indians so,
Being slaves by the great Spanish monarch made,
Call in the States of Holland to their aid.
*TIS mighty wise that you would now be thought,
With your grave rules from musty morals brought;
Through which some streaks too of divinity ran,
Partly of Monk and partly Puritan;
With tedious repetitions too you’ave ta'en
Often the name of vanity in vain:
Things which, I take it, friend, you'd ne'er recite,
Should she I love but say t'you, “Come at night.”
The wisest king refus'd all pleasures quite,
Till Wisdom from above did him enlight;
But, when that gift his ignorance did remove,
Pleasures he chose, and plac'd them all in love.
And, if by’ event the counsels may be seen,
This Wisdom 't was that brought the southern
She came not, like a good old wife, to know
The wholesome nature of all plants that grow;
Nor did so far from her own country roam,
To cure scald-heads and broken-shins at home:
"She came for that, which more befits all wives,
The art of giving, not of saving, lives.
BENEATH this gloomy shade, By Nature only for my sorrows made, I'll spend this voice in cries; In tears I’ll waste these eyes, By Love so vainly fed; So Lust, of old, the Deluge punished. “Ah, wretched youth !” said I; “Ah, wretched youth !” twice did I sadly cry; “Ah, wretched youth !” the fields and floods reply.
When thoughts of Love I entertain,
Jomeet no words but “Never,” and “In vain.”
“Never,” alas ! that dreadful name
Which fuels the internal flame:
“Never” my time to come must waste;
“In vain” torments the present and the past.
“In vain, in vain,” said I;
“In vain, in vain?” twice did I sadly cry;
“In vain, in vain P’ the fields and floods reply.
No more shall fields or floods do so;
For I to shades more dark and silent go :
All this world's noise appears to me
A dull, ill-acted comedy:
No comfort to my wounded sight,
In the sun's busy and impertinent light.
Then down I laid my head,
Down on cold earth; and for a while was dead,
And my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled.
“Ah, sottish Soul P said I, When back to its cage again I saw it fly; “Fool, to resume her broken chain, “And row her galley here again! “Fool, to that body to return “Where it condemn’d and destin’d is to burn 1 “Once dead, how can it be, “Death should a thing so pleasant seem to thee, “That thou shouldst cometolive it o'er again in me?”
WELL then; I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joy
Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buz, and murmurings,
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th’ grave,
May I a small house and large garden have
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too !
And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian-angels are,
Only belov'd, and loving me !
Oh, fountains! when in you shall I Myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy Oh fields! oh woods ! when, when shall I be made The happy tenant of your shade Here's the spring-head of pleasure's flood; Where all the riches lie, that she Has coin’d and stamp'd for good.
Pride and ambition here, Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear; Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter, And nought but echo flatter. The Gods, when they descended, hither From heaven did always choose their way; And therefore we may boldly say, That’t is the way too thither.
How happy here should I,
And one dear She, live, and embracing die!
She, who is all the world, and can exclude
In deserts solitude.
I should have then this only fear—
Lest men, when they my pleasures see,
Should hither throng to live like me,
And so make a city here.