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I calmly beg. But by thy father's wrath,
By all pains, which want and divorcement hath,
I conjure thee ; and all the oaths, which I
And thou have sworn to seal joint constancy,
I here unswear, and overswear them thus ;
Thou shalt not love by means so dangerous.
Temper, O fair love! love's impetuous rage,
Be my true mistress, not my feigned page;
I'll go, and, by thy kind leave, leave behind
Thee, only worthy to nurse in my mind
Thirst to come back ; 0, if thou die before,
My soul from other lands to thee shall soar ;
Thy (else almighty) beauty cannot move
Rage from the seas, nor thy love teach them love,
Nor tame wild Boreas' harshness; thou hast read
How roughly he in pieces shivered
Fair Orithea, whom he swore he lov'd.
Fall ill or good, 'tis madness to have prov'd
Dangers unurg'd : feed on this flattery,
That absent lovers one in th' other be.
Dissemble nothing, not a boy, nor change
Thy body's habit, nor mind ; be not strange
To thyself only. All will spy in thy face
A blushing womanly discovering grace.
Richly cloth'd apes are call'd apes ; and as soon
Eclips’d, as bright we call the Moon, the Moon,
Men of France, changeable chameleons,
Spittles of diseases, shops of fashions,
Love's fuelers, and th’ rightest company
Of players, which upon the world's stage be,
Will too too quickly know thee.
0, stay here ; for, for thee
England is only a worthy gallery,
To walk in expectation, till from thence
Our greatest king call thee to his presence.
When I am gone, dream me some happiness,
Nor let thy looks our long-hid love confess ;
Nor praise, nor dispraise me; nor bless, nor curse
Openly love's force ; nor in bed fright thy nurse
With midnight's startings, crying out, “ Oh ! oh!
Nurse, O! my love is slain ; I saw him go
O'er the white Alps alone ; I saw him, I,
Assail'd, taken, fight, stabb’d, bleed, fall, and die.”
Augur me better chance, except dread Jove
Think it enough for me t have had thy love.
This voluminous writer has found less favour among the
critics than his poetical talents and rude integrity entitle him to claim. Withers was a native of Hampshire, studied at Oxford, and entered Lincoln's Inn. The publication of poetical libels on what he conceived public abuses, obtained for him the distinction of prosecution and imprisonment, and converted a thoughtless forward young man into a confirmed and rancorous puritan. The fever which lurked in his blood from this date broke furiously out in the civil wars. He raised a troop of horse for the Parliament; and on the Restoration had his property confiscated in face of the declaration issued by the King before his accession. Withers was again arrested for li. bels on the government, and, after suffering a long imprisonment, he died in the Tower. He seems to have been
a thorough partisan, a man of more zeal than discretion, and to have enjoyed a broil on very disinterested principles.
THE CONSOLATIONS OF THE MUSE.
SHE doth tell me where to borrow
Comfort in the midst of sorrow;
Makes the desolatest place
To her presence be a grace,
And the blackest discontents
Be her fairest ornaments.
In my former days of bliss,
His divine skill taught me this,
That from every thing I saw,
I could some invention draw;
And raise pleasure to her height
Through the meanest object's sight :
By the murmur of a spring,
Or the least bough's rustling ;
By a daisy, whose leaves spread,
Shut when Titan goes to bed ;
Or a shady bush or tree,
She could more infuse in me,
Than all Nature's beauties can,
In some other wiser man.
By her help I also now
Make this churlish place allow
Some things that may sweeten gladness
In the very gall of sadness :
The dull loneness, the black shade
That these hanging vaults have made,
The strange music of the waves,
Beating on these hollow caves,
This black den, which rocks emboss,
Overgrown with eldest moss :
The rude portals, that give light
More to terror than delight,
This my chamber of neglect,
Wall'd about with disrespect,
From all these, and this dull air,
A fit object for despair,
She hath taught me by her might
To draw comfort and delight.
Therefore then, best earthly bliss,
I will cherish thee for this !
Poesy, thou sweet’st content
That e'er Heav'n to mortals lent;
Though they as a trifle leave thee,
Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive thee,
Though thou be to them a scorn,
That to dought but earth are born ;
Let my life no longer be,
Than I am in love with thee !
Though our wise ones call it madness,
Let me never taste of gladness
If I love not thy maddest fits
Above all their greatest wits !
And though some, too seeming holy,
Do account thy raptures folly,
Thou dost teach me to contemn,
What makes knaves and fools of them!
THE SHEPHERD'S RESOLUTION.
SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman's fair ?
Or make pale my cheeks with care,
'Cause another's rosy are ?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May;
If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be ?
Shall my foolish heart be pin'd,
'Cause I see a woman kind ?
Or a well-disposed nature
Joined with a lovely feature ?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
The turtle-dove or pelican ;
If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be ?
Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love ?
Or, her well-deservings known,
Make me quite forget mine own ?
Be she with that goodness blest,
Which may merit name of best ;
If she be not such to me,
What care I how good she be ?