Page images
PDF
EPUB

that by the statutes laymen were excluded from that provostship. This was thought the reason why Waller joined the Duke of Buckingham, in his hostility against Clarendon.

died at Beaconsfield in October, 1687, the 83d year of his age. He left several children by his second wife, of whom, the inheritor of his estate, Edmund, after representing Agmondesham in parliament, became a convert to Quakerism.

On the accession of James II., Waller, then in his 80th year, was chosen representative for Saltash. Waller was one of the earliest poets, who obHaving now considerably passed the usual limit of tained reputation by the sweetness and sonorousness human life, he turned his thoughts to devotion, and of his strains; and there are perhaps few masters composed some divine poems, the usual task in at the present day who surpass him in this parwhich men of gaiety terminate their career. He ticular.

TO AMORET.

FAIR! that you may truly know,
What you unto Thyrsis owe;
I will tell you how I do
Sacharissa love, and you.

Joy salutes me, when I set
My blest eyes on Amoret:
But with wonder I am strook,
While I on the other look.

If sweet Amoret complains,
I have sense of all her pains:
But for Sacharissa I

Do not only grieve, but die.

All that of myself is mine,
Lovely Amoret! is thine,
Sacharissa's captive fain
Would untie his iron chain;

And, those scorching beams to shun,
To thy gentle shadow run.

If the soul had free election
To dispose of her affection;

I would not thus long have borne
Haughty Sacharissa's scorn:
But 'tis sure some power above,
Which controls our wills in love!
If not a love, a strong desire
To create and spread that fire
In my breast, solicits me,
Beauteous Amoret! for thee.

"Tis amazement more than love,
Which her radiant eyes do move :
If less splendor wait on thine,
Yet they so benignly shine,
I would turn my dazzled sight
To behold their milder light.
But as hard 'tis to destroy
That high flame, as to enjoy:
Which how eas'ly I may do,
Heaven (as eas'ly scal'd) does know!

Amoret! as sweet and good
As the most delicious food,
Which, but tasted, does impart
Life and gladness to the heart.

Sacharissa's beauty's wine,
Which to madness doth incline:
Such a liquor, as no brain
That is mortal can sustain.
Scarce can I to Heaven excuse
The devotion, which I use

Unto that adored dame :

For 'tis not unlike the same,
Which I thither ought to send.
So that if it could take end,
"Twould to Heaven itself be due,
To succeed her, and not you:
Who already have of me
All that's not idolatry:

Which, though not so fierce a flame,

Is longer like to be the same.

Then smile on me, and I will prove
Wonder is shorter-liv'd than love.

TO AMORET.

AMORET, the Milky Way,

Fram'd of many nameless stars!

The smooth stream, where none can say,
He this drop to that prefers!

Amoret, my lovely foe!

Tell me where thy strength does lie?
Where the power that charms us so?

In thy soul, or in thy eye?

By that snowy neck alone,

Or thy grace in motion seen,
No such wonders could be done;

Yet thy waist is straight, and clean,
As Cupid's shaft, or Hermes' rod:
And powerful too, as either god.

OF LOVE.

ANGER, in hasty words, or blows,
Itself discharges on our foes;
And sorrow too finds some relief
In tears, which wait upon our grief:
So every passion but fond love,
Unto its own redress does move:
But that alone the wretch inclines
To what prevents his own designs;
Makes him lament, and sigh, and weep,
Disorder'd, tremble, fawn, and creep;
Postures which render him despis'd,
Where he endeavors to be priz'd:

For women, born to be controll'd,
Stoop to the forward and the bold;
Affect the haughty and the proud,
The gay, the frolic, and the loud.
Who first the generous steed opprest,
Not kneeling did salute the beast;
But with high courage, life, and force,
Approaching, tam'd th' unruly horse.
Unwisely we the wiser East
Pity, supposing them opprest
With tyrants' force, whose law is will,
By which they govern, spoil, and kill:
Each nymph, but moderately fair,
Commands with no less rigor here.
Should some brave Turk, that walks among
His twenty lasses, bright and young,
And beckons to the willing dame,
Preferr'd to quench his present flame,
Behold as many gallants here,
With modest guise, and silent fear,
All to one female idol bend,

While her high pride does scarce descend
To mark their follies, he would swear.
That these her guard of eunuchs were;
And that a more majestic queen,
Or humbler slaves, he had not seen.
All this with indignation spoke,
In vain I struggled with the yoke
Of mighty love: that conquering look,
When next beheld, like lightning strook
My blasted soul, and made me bow
Lower than those I pitied now.

So the tall stag, upon the brink
Of some smooth stream, about to drink,
Surveying there his armed head,
With shame rememb'ring that he fled
The scorned dogs, resolves to try
The combat next: but, if their cry
Invades again his trembling ear,
He strait resumes his wonted care;
Leaves the untasted spring behind,
And, wing'd with fear, outflies the wind.

OF THE

MARRIAGE OF THE DWARFS. DESIGN or Chance make others wive, But Nature did this match contrive: Eve might as well have Adam fled, As she deny'd her little bed

To him, for whom Heav'n seem'd to frame,
And measure out this only dame.

Thrice happy is that humble pair,
Beneath the level of all care!
Over whose heads those arrows fly
Of sad distrust and jealousy:
Secured in as high extreme,
As if the world held none but them.

To him the fairest nymphs do show
Like moving mountains topp'd with snow;
And every man a Polypheme
Does to his Galatea seem:
None may presume her faith to prove;
He proffers death, that proffers love.

Ah! Chloris! that kind Nature thus
From all the world had sever'd us:
Creating for ourselves us two,
As Love has me for only you!

A PANEGYRIC

TO MY LORD PROTECTOR,

Of the Present Greatness, and Joint Interest, of las
Highness and this Nation.

WHILE with a strong, and yet a gentle, hand,
You bridle faction, and our hearts command,
Protect us from ourselves, and from the foe,
Make us unite, and make us conquer too;

Let partial spirits, still aloud complain,
Think themselves injur'd that they cannot reign,
And own no liberty, but where they may
Without control upon their fellows prey.

Above the waves as Neptune show'd his face,
To chide the winds, and save the Trojan raco,
So has your highness, rais'd above the rest,
Storms of ambition, tossing us, represt.

Your drooping country, torn with civil hate,
Restor❜d by you, is made a glorious state;
The seat of empire, where the Irish come,
And the unwilling Scots, to fetch their door
The sea's our own: and now, all nations great,
With bending sails, each vessel of our fleet:
Your power extends as far as winds can blow,
Or swelling sails upon the globe may go.

Heaven (that hath plac'd this island to give law,
To balance Europe, and her states to awe,)
In this conjunction doth on Britain smile,
The greatest leader, and the greatest isle!

Whether this portion of the world were rent,
By the rude ocean, from the continent,
Or thus created; it was sure design'd
To be the sacred refuge of mankind.

[ocr errors]

Hither th' oppressed shall henceforth resort,
Justice to crave, and succor, at your court;
And then your highness, not for ours alone,
But for the world's protector shall be known.

Fame, swifter than your winged navy, flies
Through every land, that near the ocean lies;
Sounding your name, and telling dreadful news
To all that piracy and rapine use.

With such a chief the meanest nation blest,
Might hope to lift her head above the rest:
What may be thought impossible to do
By us, embraced by the sea and you?

Lords of the world's great waste, the ocean, we
Whole forests send to reign upon the sea;
And every coast may trouble, or relieve:
But none can visit us without your leave.

Angels and we have this prerogative,
That none can at our happy seats arrive;
While we descend at pleasure, to invade
The bad with vengeance, and the good to aid.

Our little world, the image of the great,
Like that, amidst the boundless ocean set,
Of her own growth hath all that nature craves,
And all that's rare, as tribute from the waves.

[blocks in formation]

So, when a lion shakes his dreadful mane,
And angry grows, if he that first took pain
To tame his youth, approach the haughty beast,
He bends to him, but frights away the rest.

As the vex'd world, to find repose, at last
Itself into Augustus' arms did cast;
So England now does, with like toil opprest,
Her weary head upon your bosom rest.

Then let the Muses, with such notes as these,
Instruct us what belongs unto our peace!
Your battles they hereafter shall indite,
And draw the image of our Mars in fight;

Tell of towns storm'd, of armies over-run,
And mighty kingdoms by your conduct won;
How, while you thunder'd, clouds of dust did choke
Contending troops, and seas lay hid in smoke.

Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,
And every conqueror creates a Muse:
Here in low strains your milder deeds we sing :
But there, my lord! we'll bays and olive bring

To crown your head, while you in triumph ride
O'er vanquish'd nations, and the sea beside;
While all your neighbor princes unto you,
Like Joseph's sheaves, pay reverence and bow.

Verse, thus design'd, has no ill fate,
If it arrive but at the date
Of fading beauty, if it prove
But as long-liv'd as present love.

THE STORY OF

PHOEBUS AND DAPHNE

APPLIED.

THYRSIS, a youth of the inspired train,
Fair Sacharissa lov'd, but lov'd in vain:
Like Phoebus sung the no less amorous boy;
Like Daphne she, as lovely, and as coy!
With numbers he the flying nymph pursues;
With numbers, such as Phoebus' self might use!
Such is the chase, when Love and Fancy leads,
O'er craggy mountains, and through flowery meads;
Invok'd to testify the lover's care,

Or form some image of his cruel fair.
Urg'd with his fury, like a wounded deer,
O'er these he fled; and now, approaching near,
Had reach'd the nymph with his harmonious lay,
Whom all his charms could not incline to stay.
Yet, what he sung in his immortal strain,
Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain:
All, but the nymph that should redress his wrong,
Attend his passion, and approve his song.
Like Phoebus thus, acquiring unsought praise,
He catch'd at love, and fill'd his arms with bays.

[blocks in formation]

Beauty like a shadow flies,
And our youth before us dies.
Or, would youth and beauty stay,
Love hath wings, and will away.
Love hath swifter wings than Time;
Change in love to Heaven does climb:
Gods, that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.

Phyllis! to this truth we owe
All the love betwixt us two:
Let not you and I inquire,
What has been our past desire;

On what shepherd-you have smil'd,
Or what nymphs I have beguil'd:
Leave it to the planets too,
What we shall hereafter do:

For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.

ON A GIRDLE.

THAT, which her slender waist confin'd,
Shall now my joyful temples bind :
No monarch but would give his crown,
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my Heaven's extremest sphere, The pale which held that lovely deer: My joy, my grief, my hope, my love, Did all within this circle move!

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that's good, and all that's fair:
Give me but what this ribbon bound,
Take all the rest the Sun goes round.

TO ZELINDA.

FAIREST piece of well-form'd earth!
Urge not thus your haughty birth;
The power which you have o'er us, lies
Not in your race, but in your eyes.
None but a prince!-Alas! that voice
Confines you to a narrow choice.
Should you no honey vow to taste,
But what the master-bees have plac'd
In compass of their cells, how small
A portion to your share would fall!

Nor all appear, among those few,
Worthy the stock from whence they grew:
The sap, which at the root is bred,
In trees, through all the boughs is spread:
But virtues, which in parent shine,
Make not like progress through the line.
"Tis not from whom, but where, we live :
The place does oft those graces give.
Great Julius, on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps, or herd, had led;
He,* that the world subdued, had been
But the best wrestler on the green.

"Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth The hidden seeds of native worth:

They blow those sparks, and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.
To the old heroes hence was given

A pedigree, which reach'd to heaven:
Of mortal seed they were not held,
Which other mortals so excell'd.
And beauty too, in such excess
As yours, Zelinda! claims no less.
Smile but on me, and you shall scorn,
Henceforth, to be of princes born.

I can describe the shady grove,

Where your lov'd mother slept with Jove,
And yet excuse the faultless dame,
Caught with her spouse's shape and name :
Thy matchless form will credit bring
To all the wonders I shall sing.

TO A LADY,

SINGING A SONG OF HIS COMPOSING.

CHLORIS, yourself you so excel,

When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought, That, like a spirit, with this spell

Of my own teaching, I am caught.

That eagle's fate and mine are one,

Which, on the shaft that made him die, Espy'd a feather of his own,

Wherewith he wont to soar so high.

Had Echo with so sweet a grace Narcissus' loud complaints return'd, Not for reflection of his face,

But of his voice, the boy had burn'd.

* Alexander.

« EelmineJätka »