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What doth it serve to see the sun's bright face,
And skies enamelld with the Indian gold ?
Or the moon in a fierce chariot rollid,
And all the glory of that starry place?
What doth it serve earth's beauty to behold,
The mountain's pride, the meadow's flow'ry grace,
The stately comeliness of forests old,
The sport of floods which would themselves embrace ?
What doth it serve to hear the sylvans' songs,
The cheerful thrush, the nightingale's sad strains,
Which in dark shades seem to deplore my wrongs?
For what doth serve all that this world contains,
Since she for whom those once to me were dear,
Can have no part of them now with me here?
WILLIAM DRUMMOND, 1585-1649
Now Time throws off his cloak again
Of ermined frost, and cold, and rain,
And clothes him in the embroidery
Of glittering sun, and clear, blue sky.
With beast and bird the forest rings,
Each in his jargon cries or sings;
And Time throws off his cloak again
Of ermined frost, and cold, and rain.
River and fount, and tinkling brook,
Wear in their dainty livery
Drops of silver jewelry ;
In new-made suit they merry look ;
And Time throws off his cloak again
Of ermined frost, and cold, and rain.
CHA ES, DUKE OF ORLEANS, 189:
FROM "CHRIST'S TRIUMPH AND VICTORY."
But now the second morning from her bower,
Began to glister in her beams; and now
The roses of the day began to flower
In the Eastern garden; for heaven's smiling brow,
Half insolent for joy, began to show :
The early sun came dancing lively out,
And the lambs ran nto about,
That heaven and earth might seem in triumph both to ghout.
The engladdened Spring, forgetful now to weep,
Began to eblazon from her leafy bed;
The waking swallow broke her half-year's sleep,
And every bush lay deeply purpured
With violets; the woods' late wintry head
Wide flaming primroses set all on fire,
And his bald trees put on their green attire,
Among whose infant leaves the joyous birds conspire.
And now the taller sons, whom Titan warms,
Of unshorn mountains, blown with easy winds,
Dandled the morning's childhood in their arms;
And, if they chanced to slip the prouder pines,
The under corylass* did catch the shines,
To gild their leaves : saw ne'er happier year
Such triumph and triumphant cheer,
As though the aged world anew created were.
Say, Earth, why hast thou got thee new attire,
And stick'st thy habit full of daisies red?
Seems that thou dost to some high thought aspire,
And some new-found-out bridegroom mean'st to wed :
Tell me, ye trees, so fresh apparelled-
So never let the spiteful canker waste you,
So never let the heavens with lightning blast you !
Why go you now so trimly drest, or whither haste you?
Answer me, Jordan, why thy crooked tide
So often wanders from his nearest way,
As though some other way thy streams would slide,
And join salute the place where something lay?
And you, sweet birds, that, shaded from the ray,
Sit carolling, and piping grief away,
The while the lambs to hear you dance and play-
Tell me, sweet birds, what is it you so fain would say ?
And thou, fair spouse of Earth, that every year
Gett'st such a numerous issue of thy bride,
How chance thou hotter shin'st, and draw'st more near ?
Sure thou somewhere some worthy sight hast spied,
That in one place for joy thou canst not bide:
And you, dead swallows, that so lively now,
Through the slit air your winged passage row;
Ilow could new life into your frozen ashes flow?
Ye primroses and purple violets,
Tell me, why blaze ye from your leafy bed,
And woo men's hands to rent you from your sets,
As though you would somewhere be carried,
With fresh perfumes and velvets garnished ?
But ah! I need not ask; 'tis surely so;
You all would to your Saviour's triumph go :
There would you all await, and humble homage do.
There should the Earth herself, with garlands new,
And lovely flowers embellish'd adore:
Such roses never in her garland grew;
Such lilies never in her breast she wore;
Like beauty never yet did shine before.
There should the Sun another Sun behold,
From whence himself borrows his locks of gold,
That kindle Heaven and Earth with beauties manifold.
There might the violet and primrose sweet,
Beams of more lively and more lovely grace,
Arising from their beds of incense, meet;
There should the swallow see new life ambrace
Dead ashes, and the grave unvail his face,
To let the living from his bowels creep,
Unable longer his own dead to keep;
There Heaven and Earth should see their Lord awake from sleep.
“ Toss up your heads, ye everlasting gates,
And let the Prince of Glory enter in !
At whose brave volley of sidereal states,
The sun to blush, and stars grow pale, were seen;
When leaping first from earth, he did begin
To climb his angel wings: then open hang
Your crystal doors !” so all the chorus sang
Of heavenly birds, as to the stars they nimbly sprang.
Hark! how the floods clap their applauding hands,
The pleasant valleys singing for delight;
The wanton mountains dance about the lands,
The while the fields, struck with the heavenly light,
Set all their flowers a smiling at the sight;
The trees laugh with their blossoms, and the sound
Of the triumphant shout of praise, that crown'd
The flaming Limb, breaking through heaven, hath passage found.
Gues FLKT nre, 1599-1629.
THE AIRS OF SPRING.
Sweetly breathing, vernal air,
That with kind warmth doth repair
Winter's ruins; from whose breast
All the gums and spice of th' East
Borrow their perfumes; whose eye
Gilds the morn, and clears the sky;
Whose disheveled tresses shed
Pearls upon the violet bed;
On whose brow, with calm smiles drest,
The halcyon sits and builds her nest;
Beauty, youth, and endless spring,
Dwell upon thy rosy wing!
Thou, if stormy Boreas throws
Down whole forests when he blows,
With a pregnant, flowery birth,
Canst refresh the teeming earth.
If he nip the early bud;
If he blast what's fair or good;
If he scatter our choice flowers;
If he shake our halls or bowers ;
If his rude breath threaten us,
Thou canst stroke great Æolus,
And from him the grace obtain,
To bind him in an iron chain.
Thomas Carew, 1600.
God shield ye, heralds of the spring,
Ye faithful swallows, fleet of wing,
Houps, cuckoos, nightingales,
Turtles, and every wilder bird,
That make your hundred chirpings heard
Through the green woods and dales.
God shield ye, Easter daisies all,
Fair roses, buds, and blossoms small,
And he whom erst the gore
Of Ajax and Narciss did print,
Ye wild thyme, anise, balm, and mint,
I welcome ye once more.
God shield ye, bright embroider'd train
Of butterflies, that on the plain,
Of each sweet herblet sip;
And ye, new swarms of bees, that go
Where the pink flowers and yellow grow
To kiss them with your lip.
A hundred thousand times I call-
A hearty welcome on ye all:
This season how I love!
This merry din on every shore,
For winds and storms, whose sullen roar
Forbade my steps rove.
Pierre RONSARD, 1524-1556.
Sweet daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child-delightful Spring!
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd;
From the green islands of eternal youth,
Crown'd with fresh blooms and ever-springing shade,
Turn, thither turn thy step,
O thou whose powerful voice,
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can soothe the madding wind,
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thine own tender calm.
Thee, best beloved! the virgin train await
With songs, and festal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and dewy lawns,
With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweets
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow
Of him, the favored youth,
That prompts their whispered sigh.
Unlock thy copious stores—those tender showers
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds;
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,