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Like the fabled fountain of the Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this Art can confer on each period of life' its appropriate blessing: on early years Experience, on maturity Calm, on age, Youthfulness. Poetry gives treasures ‘more golden than gold, leading us in higher and healthier ways than those of the world, and interpreting to us the lessons of Nature. But she speaks best for herself. Her true accents, if the plan has been executed with success, may be heard throughout the following pages:—wherever the Poets of England are honoured, wherever the dominant language of the world is spoken, it is hoped that they will find fit audience.
Some poems, especially in Book I, have been added:either on better acquaintance;-in deference to critical suggestions;--or unknown to the Editor when first gathering his harvest. For aid in these after-gleanings he is specially indebted to the excellent reprints of rare early verse given us by Dr. Hannah, Dr. Grosart, Mr. Arber, Mr. Bullen, and others, — and (in regard to the additions of 1883) to the advice of that distinguished Friend, by whom the final choice has been so largely guided. The text has also been carefully revised from authoritative sources.
It has still seemed best, for many reasons, to retain the original limit by which the selection was confined to those then no longer living. But the Editor hopes that, so far as in him lies, a complete and definitive collection of our best Lyrics, to the central year of this fast-closing century, is now offered.
The Golden Treasury
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king; Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! 5 The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day. And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet, 10 Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit, In every street these tunes our ears do greet, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! Spring! the sweet Spring!
Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
On the bat's back I do fly 5 After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
And then take hands:
The wild waves whist,
Hark, hark! I hear
SUMMONS TO LOVE
That she may thy career with roses spread:
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead; 5 Spread forth thy golden hair
In larger locks than thou wast wont before,
Chase hence the ugly night 10 Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.
— This is that happy morn, That day, long-wished day Of all my life so dark,
(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn 15 And fates my hopes betray),
Which, purely white, deserves
My Love, to hear and recompense my love. 20 Fair King, who all preserves,
But show thy blushing beams,
Did once thy heart surprize.
If that ye winds would hear
Let Zephyr only breathe 30 And with her tresses play.
_The winds all silent are, And Phoebus in his chair Ensaffroning sea and air
Makes vanish every star: 35 Night like a drunkard reels
Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels: The fields with flowers are deck'd in every hue, The clouds with orient gold spangle their blue;
Here is the pleasant place40 And nothing wanting is, save She, alas!
W. Drummond of llauthornden
TIJE AND LOVE
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
When I have seen such interchange of state, 10 Or state it self confounded to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate-
--This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
O fearful meditation! where, alack!
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
O! none, unless this miracle have might,