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When linnet-like, confined I
With shriller note shall sing
20 When I shall voyce aloud how good
He is, how great should be,-
Know no such libertie.
That for an hermitage;
And in my soule am free,-
Swell, curled waves, high as Jove's roof;
That innocence is tempest-proof;
That which the world miscalls a jail,
A private closet is to me:
10 Locks, bars, and solitude, together met, Make me no prisoner but an anchoret.
I, whilst I wish'd to be retired,
Into this private room was turn'd,
The salamander should be burn'd:
The cynic loves his poverty;
The pelican her wilderness;
Naked on frozen Caucasus:
These manacles upon my arm
I, as my mistress' favours, wear;
I have some iron shackles there :
I'm in the cabinet lock'd up,
Like some high-prized margarite,
Am cloyster'd up from public sight: 1
Here sin for want of food must starve,
Where tempting objects are not seen;
To keep vice out, and keep me in:
So he that struck at Jason's life,
Thinking to have made his purpose sure,
When once my prince affliction hath,
50 And to make smooth so rough a path,
I can learn patience from him:
That renders what I have not, mine My king from me what adamant can part, Whom I do wear engraven on my heart ? 60
Have you not seen the nightingale,
A prisoner like, coopt in a cage;
In that her narrow hermitage !
65 That all her bars are trees, her cage a grove.
I am that bird, whom they combine
Thus to deprive of liberty;
Yet, maugre hate, my soul is free: 70 And though immured, yet can I chirp, and sing Disgrace to rebels, glory to my king !
My soul is free as ambient air,
Although my baser part 's immew'd,
To accompany my solitude:
Attributed to L'ESTRANGE.
DEATH'S FINAL CONQUEST.
THE glories of our birth and state
Are shadows, not substantial things :
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
10 But their strong nerves at last must yield; They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds :
See, where the victor-victim bleeds! 20
All heads must come
To the cold tomb :
lie Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
Some honour I would have,
grave; Acquaintance I would have, but when't depends Not on the number, but the choice of friends. Books should, not business, entertain the light, And sleep, as undisturb’d as death, the night. 10
My house a cottage more Than palace, and should fitting be For all my use, no luxury.
My garden painted o'er With Nature's hand, not Art's; can pleasures yield, Horace might envy in his Sabine field.
16 Thus would I double my life's fading space; For he that runs it well, twice runs his race.
And in this true delight,
20 I would not fear, nor wish my fate:
But boldly say each night,