Last update: June 14, 1999.
Extra texts for the History of English Literature

See also: Suplementary Texts

                             I Have a Yong Suster

                        I have a yong suster
                        Fer biyonde the see;
                        Manye be the druries
                        That she sente me.

                        She sente me the cherye
                        Withouten any stoon,
                        And so she dide the dove
                        Withouten any boon.

                        She sente me the brere
                        Withouten any rinde;
                        She bad me love my lemman
                        Withoute longinge.

                        How sholde any cherye
                        Be withoute stoon?
                        And how sholde any dove
                        Be withoute boon?

                        How sholde any brere
                        Be withoute rinde?
                        How sholde I love my lemman
                        Withoute longinge?

                        Whan the cherye was a flowr,
                        Thanne hadde it no stoon;
                        Whan the dove was an ey,
                        Thanne hadde it no boon.

                        Whan the brere was unbred,
                        Thanne hadde it no rinde;
                        Whan the maiden hath that she loveth,
                        She is withoute longinge.


Lord Randall

                    "O where ha you been, Lord Randal, my son?
                  And where ha you been, my handsome young man?"
                "I ha been at the greenwood; mother, mak my bed soon,
                  For I'm wearied wi hunting, and fain wad lie down."

                    "An wha met ye there, Lord Randal, my son?
                  And wha met ye there, my handsome young man?"
                 "O I met wi my true-love; mother, mak my bed soon,
                  For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fain wad lie down."

                  "And what did she give you, Lord Randal, My son?
                 And wha did she give you, my handsome young man?"
                    "Eels fried in a pan; mother, mak my bed soon,
                  For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fein wad lie down."

                   "And what gat your leavins, Lord Randal my son?
                 And wha gat your leavins, my handsome young man?"
                 "My hawks and my hounds; mother, mak my bed soon,
                  For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fein wad lie down."

                   "And what becam of them, Lord Randal, my son?
                 And what becam of them, my handsome young man?
             "They stretched their legs out and died; mother mak my bed soon,
                  For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fain wad lie down."

                   "O I fear you are poisoned, Lord Randal, my son!
                  I fear you are poisoned, my handsome young man!"
                  "O yes, I am poisoned; mother, mak my bed soon,
                   For I'm sick at the heart, and fain wad lie down."

                "What d'ye leave to your mother, Lord Randal, my son?
               What d'ye leave to your mother, my handsome young man?"
                 "Four and twenty milk kye; mother, mak my bed soon,
                   For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie down."

                 "What d'ye leave to your sister, Lord Randal, my son?
               What d'ye leave to your sister, my handsome young man?"
                  "My gold and my silver; mother mak my bed soon,
                   For I'm sick at the heart, an I fain wad lie down."

                "What d'ye leave to your brother, Lord Randal, my son?
               What d'ye leave to your brother, my handsome young man?"
                 "My houses and my lands; mother, mak my bed soon,
                   For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie down."

                "What d'ye leave to your true-love, Lord Randal, my son?
              What d'ye leave to your true-love, my handsome young man?"
                  "I leave her hell and fire; mother mak my bed soon,
                   For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie down."

The Three Ravens

                       There were three ravens sat on a tree,
                      Downe a downe, hay downe, hay downe
                       There were three ravens sat on a tree,
                                With a downe
                       There were three ravens sat on a tree,
                       They were as blacke as they might be.
                  With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe

                         The one of them said to his mate,
                        "Where shall we our bradefast take?

                          "Downe in yonder greene field,
                      There lies a knight slain under his shield.

                       "His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
                        So well they can their master keepe.

                          "His haukes they flie so eagerly,
                      There's no fowle dare him to come nie."

                         Downe there come a fallow doe,
                       As great with young as she might goe.

                            She lift up his boudy hed,
                       And kist his wounds that were so red.

                         She got him up upon her backe,
                         And carried him to earthen lake.

                         She buried him before the prime,
                     She was dead herselfe ere even-song time.

                           God send every gentleman,
                    Such haukes, such hounds, and such a leman.

From: Sidney's Astrophel and Stella

Sonnet 1.

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That the Dear She might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe:
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn'd brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my trewand pen, beating myself for spite--
'Fool,' said my Muse to me, 'look in thy heart and write.'

Sonnet 47

What, have I thus betrayed my liberty?
Can those black beams such burning marks engrave
In my free side? or am I born a slave,
Whose neck becomes such yoke of tyranny?
Or want I sense to feel my misery?
Or sprite, disdain of such disdain to have?
Who for long faith, though daily help I crave,
May get no alms but scorn of beggary.
Virtue, awake! Beauty but beauty is.
I may, I must, I can, I will, I do
Leave following that which it is gain to miss.
Let her go! Soft! But here she comes! Go to:
'Unkind, I love you not!' O me! That eye
Doth make my heart give to my tongue the lie.

Second Song

Have I caught my heav'nly jewel
Teaching sleep most fair to be?
Now will I teach her that she,
When she wakes, is too too cruel.

Since sweet sleep her eyes hath charmed,
The two only darts of Love:
Now will I with that boy prove
Some play, while he is disarmed.

Her tongue waking still refuseth,
Giving frankly niggard No:
Now will I attempt to know,
What No her tongue sleeping useth.

See the hand which waking guardeth,
Sleeping, grants a free resort:
Now will I invade the fort;
Cowards Love with loss rewardeth.

But o fool, think of the danger,
Of her just and high disdain:
Now will I alas refrain,
Love fears nothing else but anger.

Yet those lips so sweetly swelling,
Do invite a stealing kiss:
Now will I but venture this,
Who will read must first learn spelling.

Oh sweet kiss, but ah she is waking,
Lowring beauty chastens me:
Now will I away hence flee:
Fool, more fool, for no more taking.

From Edmund Spenser: Amoretti

Sonnet 34

          LYKE as a ship, that through the Ocean wyde,
            by conduct of some star doth make her way,
            whenas a storme hath dimd her trusty guyde,
            out of her course doth wander far astray.
          So I whose star, that wont with her bright ray,
            me to direct, with cloudes is ouer-cast,
            doe wander now, in darknesse and dismay,
            through hidden perils round about me plast.
          Yet hope I well, that when this storme is past,
            My Helice the lodestar of my lyfe
            will shine again, and looke on me at last,
            with louely light to cleare my cloudy grief.
          Till then I wander carefull comfortlesse,
            in secret sorrow and sad pensiuenesse.

Sonnet 37

          WHAT guyle is this, that those her golden tresses,
            She doth attyre vnder a net of gold:
            and with sly skill so cunningly them dresses,
            that which is gold or heare, may scarse be told?
          Is it that mens frayle eyes, which gaze too bold,
            she may entangle in that golden snare:
            and being caught may craftily enfold,
            theyr weaker harts, which are not wel aware?
          Take heed therefore, myne eyes, how ye doe stare
            henceforth too rashly on that guilefull net,
            in which if euer ye entrapped are,
            out of her bands ye by no meanes shall get.
          Fondnesse it were for any being free,
            to couet fetters, though they golden bee.

Sonnet 54

          OF this worlds Theatre in which we stay,
            My loue lyke the Spectator ydly sits
            beholding me that all the pageants play,
            disguysing diuersly my troubled wits.
          Sometimes I ioy when glad occasion fits,
            and mask in myrth lyke to a Comedy:
            soone after when my ioy to sorrow flits,
            I waile and make my woes a Tragedy.
          Yet she beholding me with constant eye,
            delights not in my merth no[r] rues my smart:
            but when I laugh she mocks, and when I cry
            she laughes, and hardens euermore her hart.
          What then can moue her? if nor merth, nor mone,
            she is no woman, but a sencelesse stone.

Shakespeare: Songs from the plays and Sonnets

Song From Love's Labours Lost

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

  When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring-owl,
Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who--a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who--a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Sonnet 29.

When in disgrace with Fortune and mens eyes,
I all alone beweepe my out-cast state,
And trouble deaf heauen with my bootless cries,
And look upon my selfe and curse my fate.
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possesed,
Desiring this mans art,and that mans scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Happly I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the Lark at break of day arising)
 From sullen earth sings hymns at Heavens gate,
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
   This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to move:
O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his highth be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


 Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still,
The better angel is a man right fair:
The worser spirit a woman collour'd ill.
To win me soon to hell my female euill,
Tempteth my better angel from my sight,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil:
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn'd find,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell,
But being both from me both to each friend,
I guess one angel in anothers hell.
   Yet this shall I ne'r know but live in doubt,
   Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

Sir Walter Ralegh :   The Lie

     Go, Soul, the body's guest,
     Upon a thankless errand;
     Fear not to touch the best;
     The truth shall be thy warrant:
     Go, since I needs must die,
     And give the world the lie.

     Say to the court, it glows
     And shines like rotten wood;
     Say to the church, it shows
     What's good, and doth no good:
     If church and court reply,
     Then give them both the lie.

     Tell potentates, they live
     Acting by others' action;
     Not loved unless they give,
     Not strong but by a faction.
     If potentates reply,
     Give potentates the lie.

     Tell men of high condition,
     That manage the estate,
     Their purpose is ambition,
     Their practice only hate:
     And if they once reply,
     Then give them all the lie.

     Tell them that brave it most,
     They beg for more by spending,
     Who, in their greatest cost,
     Seek nothing but commending.
     And if they make reply,
     Then give them all the lie.

     Tell zeal it wants devotion;
     Tell love it is but lust;
     Tell time it is but motion;
     Tell flesh it is but dust:
     And wish them not reply,
     For thou must give the lie.

     Tell age it daily wasteth;
     Tell honour how it alters;
     Tell beauty how she blasteth;
     Tell favour how it falters:
     And as they shall reply,
     Give every one the lie.

     Tell wit how much it wrangles
     In tickle points of niceness;
     Tell wisdom she entangles
     Herself in overwiseness:
     And when they do reply,
     Straight give them both the lie.

     Tell physic of her boldness;
     Tell skill it is pretension;
     Tell charity of coldness;
     Tell law it is contention:
     And as they do reply,
     So give them still the lie.

     Tell fortune of her blindness;
     Tell nature of decay;
     Tell friendship of unkindness;
     Tell justice of delay:
     And if they will reply,
     Then give them all the lie.

     Tell arts they have no soundness,
     But vary by esteeming;
     Tell schools they want profoundness,
     And stand too much on seeming:
     If arts and schools reply,
     Give arts and schools the lie.

     Tell faith it's fled the city;
     Tell how the country erreth;
     Tell manhood shakes off pity
     And virtue least preferreth:
     And if they do reply,
     Spare not to give the lie.

     So when thou hast, as I
     Commanded thee, done blabbing--
     Although to give the lie
     Deserves no less than stabbing--
     Stab at thee he that will,
     No stab the soul can kill

Thomas Campion : There is a Garden in her face

There is a Garden in her face,
 Where Roses and white Lilies grow.
 A heav'ly paradice is that place,
 Wherein all pleasant fruits doe flow.
 There Cherries grow which none may buy,
 Till Cherry ripe themselves doe cry.

 Those Cherries fayrely doe enclose
 Of Orient Pearle a double row,
 Which when her lovely laughter showes,
 They looke like Rose-buds fill'd with snowe.
 Yet them nor Peere, nor Prince can buy,
 Till Cherry ripe themselves doe cry.

 Her Eyes like Angels watch them still;
 Her Browes like bended bowes doe stand,
 Threatning with piercing frownes to kill
 All that attempt with eye or hand
 Those sacred Cherries to come nigh,
 Till Cherry ripe themselves doe cry.

Thomas Campion : Rose-cheeked Laura

   Rose-cheek'd Laura, come,
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty's
Silent music, either other
   Sweetly gracing.

  Lovely forms do flow
From concent divinely framed;
Heav'n is music, and thy beauty's
    Birth is heavenly.

  These dull notes we sing
Discords need for helps to grace them;
Only beauty purely loving
     Knows no discord,

  But still moves delight,
Like clear springs renew'd by flowing,
Ever perfect, ever in them-
     Selves eternal.

John Donne: Selected poems


     I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
     Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then?
     But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly?
     Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?
     T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee.
     If ever any beauty I did see,
     Which I desir'd, and got, t'was but a dreame of thee.

     And now good morrow to our waking soules,
     Which watch not one another out of feare;
     For love, all love of other sights controules,
     And makes one little roome, an every where.
     Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
     Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
     Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one.

     My face is thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
     And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
     Where can we finde two better hemispheares
     Without sharpe North, without declining West?
     What ever dyes, was not mixt equally;
     If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
     Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.


Go and catch a falling star,
    Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
   Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
      And find
      What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,
   Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
   Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
     And swear,
       No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,
   Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
   Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
      Yet she
      Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.


             Busy old foole, unruly Sunne,
             Why dost thou thus
     Through windowes, and through curtaines call on us?
     Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?
             Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide
             Late schoole boyes, and sowre prentices,
         Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride,
         Call countrey ants to harvest offices;
     Love, all alike, no season knowes, nor clyme,
     Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time.

             Thy beames, so reverend, and strong
             Why shouldst thou thinke?
     I could eclipse and cloud them-with a winke,
     But that I would not lose her sight so long:
             If her eyes have not blinded thine,
             Looke, and to morrow late, tell mee,
         Whether both the'India's of spice and Myne
         Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with mee.
     Aske for those Kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
     And thou shalt heare, All here in one bed lay.

             She'is all States, and all Princes, I,
             Nothing else is.
     Princes doe but play us; compar'd to this,
     All honor's mimique; All wealth alchimie.
             Thou sunne art halfe as happy'as wee,
             In that the world's contracted thus;
         Thine age askes ease, and since thy duties bee
         To warme the world, that's done in warming us.
     Shine here to us, and thou art every where;
     This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare.


     For Godsake hold your tongue, and let me love,
         Or chide my palsie, or my gout,
     My five gray haires, or ruin'd fortune flout,
         With wealth your state, your minde with Arts improve,
             Take you a course, get you a place,
             Observe his honour, or his grace,
     Or the Kings reall, or his stamped face
         Contemplate, what you will, approve,
         So you will let me love.

     Alas, alas, who's injur'd by my love?
         What merchants ships have my sighs drown'd?
     Who saies my teares have overflow'd his ground?
         When did my colds a forward spring remove?
             When did the heats which my veines fill
             Adde one more to the plaguie Bill?
     Soldiers finde warres, and Lawyers finde out still
         Litigious men, which quarrels move,
         Though she and I do love.

     Call us what you will, wee are made such by love;
         Call her one, mee another flye,
     We'are Tapers too, and at our owne cost die,
         And wee in us finde the'Eagle and the Dove.
             The Phoenix ridle hath more wit
             By us, we two being one, are it.
     So to one neutrall thing both sexes fit,
         Wee dye and rise the same, and prove
         Mysterious by this love.

     Wee can dye by it, if not live by love,
         And if unfit for tombes and hearse
     Our legend bee, it will be fit for verse;
         And if no peece of Chronicle wee prove,
             We'll build in sonnets pretty roomes;
             As well a well wrought urne becomes
     The greatest ashes, as halfe-acre tombes.
         And by these hymnes, all Shall approve
        Us Canoniz'd for Love:

     And thus invoke us; You whom reverend love
         Made one anothers hermitage;
     You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
         Who did the whole worlds soule contract, and drove
             Into the glasses of your eyes
             (So made such mirrors, and such spies,
     That they did all to you epitomize,)
         Countries, Townes, Courts: Beg from above
         A patterne of your love!


     Mark but this flea, and marke in this,
     How little that which thou deny'st me is;
     It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
     And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee;
     Thou know'st that this cannot be said
     A sinne, nor shame, nor losse of maidenhead,
         Yet this enjoyes before it wooe,
         And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two,
         And this, alas, is more than wee would doe.

     Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
     Where wee almost, yea more than maryed are.
     This flea is you and I, and this
     Our mariage bed, and mariage temple is
     Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
     And cloysterd in these living walls of Jet.
         Though use make you apt to kill mee,
         Let not to that, selfe murder added bee,
         And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.

     Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since
     Purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?
     Wherein could this flea guilty bee,
     Except in that drop which it suckt from thee?
     Yet thou triumph'st, and saist that thou
     Find'st not thy selfe, nor mee the weaker now;
         'Tis true, then learne how false, feares bee;
         Just so much honor, when thou yeeld'st to mee,
     Will wast, as this flea's death tooke life from thee.


     Where, like a pillow on a bed,
         A Pregnant banke swel'd up, to rest
     The violets reclining head,
         Sat we two, one anothers best.
     Our hands were firmely cimented
         With a fast balme, which thence did spring,
     Our eye-beames twisted, and did thred
         Our eyes, upon one double string;
     So to'entergraft our hands, as yet
         Was all the meanes to make us one,
     And pictures in our eyes to get
         Was all our propagation.
     As 'twixt two equall Armies, Fate
         Suspends uncertaine victorie,
     Our soules, (which to advance their state,
         Were gone out,) hung'twixt her, and mee.
     And whil'st our soules negotiate there,
         Wee like sepulchrall statues lay;
     All day, the same our postures were,
         And wee said nothing, all the day.
     If any, so by love refin'd,
         That he soules language understood,
     And by good love were growen all minde,
         Within convenient distance stood,
     He (though he knew not which soul spake,
         Because both meant, both spake the same)
     Might thence a new concoction take,
         And part farre purer than he came.
     This Extasie doth unperplex
         (We said) and tell us what we love,
     Wee see by this, it was not sexe,
         Wee see, we saw not what did move:
     But as all severall soules containe
         Mixture of things, they know not what,
     Love, these mixt soules, doth mixe againe,
         And makes both one, each this and that.
     A single violet transplant,
         The strength, the colour, and the size,
     (All which before was poore, and scant,)
         Redoubles still, and multiplies.
     When love, with one another so
         Interinanimates two soules,
     That abler soule, which thence doth flow,
         Defects of lonelinesse controules.
     Wee then, who are this new soule, know,
         Of what we are compos'd, and made,
     For, th'Atomies of which we grow,
         Are soules, whom no change can invade.
     But O alas, so long, so farre
         Our bodies why doe wee forbeare?
     They are ours, though they are not wee, Wee are
         The intelligences, they the spheares.
     We owe them thankes, because they thus,
         Did us, to us, at first convay,
     Yeelded their forces, sense, to us,
         Nor are drosse to us, but allay.
     On man heavens influence workes not so,
         But that it first imprints the ayre,
     Soe soule into the soule may flow,
         Though it to body first repaire.
     As our blood labours to beget
         Spirits, as like soules as it can,
     Because such fingers need to knit
         That subtile knot, which makes us man:
     So must pure lovers soules descend
         T'affections, and to faculties,
     Which sense may reach and apprehend,
         Else a great Prince in prison lies.
     To'our bodies turne wee then, that so
         Weake men on love reveal'd may looke;
     Loves mysteries in soules doe grow,
         But yet the body is his booke.
     And if some lover, such as wee,
         Have heard this dialogue of one,
     Let him still marke us, he shall see
         Small change, when we'are to bodies gone.

John Donne: "Batter My Heart,  Three-Person'd God"

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Ben Jonson : On My First Daughter

Here lies, to each her parents' ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven's gifts being heaven's due,
It makes the father less to rue.
At six months' end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven's queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother's tears,
Hath placed amongst her virgin-train:
Where, while that severed doth remain,
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!

Ben Jonson : On My First Son

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy:
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy Fate, on the just day.
O could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy,
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, 'Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.'
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.

Ben Jonson :   Song. To Celia

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not wither'd be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!

Robert Herrick : To The Virgins to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
     Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today
     Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
     The higher he's a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
     And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
     When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
     Times, still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;
     And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
     You may forever tarry.



      When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
  "Let us," said he, "pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
       Contract into a span."

       So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure;
   When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure,
      Rest in the bottom lay.

       "For if I should," said he,
"Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
   He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
       So both should losers be.

       "Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
     Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
        May toss him to my breast."

The Altar.

A  broken   A L T A R,  Lord,  thy  servant  reares,
Made  of  a  heart,  and  cemented  with   teares:
Whose  parts  are as  thy  hand did frame;
No workmans tool hath touch'd the same.
A    H E A R T   alone
Is     such    a   stone,
As     nothing      but
Thy  pow'r doth  cut.
Wherefore each part
Of   my   hard   heart
Meets  in  this  frame,
To  praise thy  Name;
That,   if   I   chance   to   hold   my   peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O  let  thy   blessed   S A C  R  I  F  I C E   be  mine,
And    sanctifie   this   A  L  T  A  R   to   be   thine.

Easter Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
Though foolishly he lost the same,
Decaying more and more
Till he became
Most poor:
With thee
O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did begin:
And still with sicknesses and shame
Thou didst so punish sin,
That I became
Most thin.
With thee
Let me combine,
And feel this day thy victory;
For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

Love (3)

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
     Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
     From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
     If I lack'd anything.

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
     Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
     I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
     Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
     Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
     My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
     So I did sit and eat.

John Milton: On the morning of CHRISTS Nativity. Compos'd 1629.


This is the Month, and this the happy morn
     Wherein the Son of Heav'ns eternal King,
     Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
  That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.

That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty,
Wherwith he wont at Heav'ns high Councel-Table,
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside; and here with us to be,
   Forsook the Courts of everlasting Day,
And chose with us a darksom House of mortal Clay.

Say Heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no vers, no hymn, or solemn strein,
To welcom him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heav'n by the Suns team untrod,
   Hath took no print of the approching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?

See how from far upon the Eastern rode
The Star-led Wisards haste with odors sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;*
Have thou the honour first, thy Lord to greet,
   And joyn thy voice unto the Angel Quire,
From out his secret Altar toucht with hallow'd fire.


                          The Hymn

It was the Winter wilde,
While the Heav'n-born-childe,
   All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in aw to him
Had doff't her gawdy trim,
   With her great Master so to sympathize:*
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun her lusty Paramour.

Onely with speeches fair
She woo's the gentle Air
   To hide her guilty front with innocent Snow,
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinfull blame,
   The Saintly Vail of Maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Makers eyes
Should look so neer upon her foul deformities.

But he her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyd Peace,
   She crown'd with Olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphear,
His ready Harbinger,
   With Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing,
And waving wide her mirtle wand,
She strikes a universall Peace through Sea and Land.

No War, or Battails sound
Was heard the World around:
   The idle spear and shield were high uphung;
The hooked Chariot stood
Unstain'd with hostile blood,
   The Trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And Kings sate still with awfull eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.

But peacefull was the night
Wherein the Prince of light
   His raign of peace upon the earth began:
The Windes, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kist,
   Whispering new joyes to the milde Ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.

The Stars with deep amaze
Stand fixt in stedfast gaze,
   Bending one way their pretious influence,
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,
   Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence;
But in their glimmering Orbs did glow,
Untill their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
   The Sun himself with-held his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferiour flame,
   The new-enlightn'd world no more should need;
He saw a greater Sun appear
Then his bright Throne, or burning Axletree could bear.*

The Shepherds on the Lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,
   Sate simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than,
That the mighty Pan
   Was kindly com to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or els their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busie keep.

When such musick sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
   As never was by mortall finger stroock,
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,
   As all their souls in blissfull rapture took:
The Air such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echo's still prolongs each heav'nly close.

Nature that heard such sound
Beneath the hollow round
   Of Cynthia's seat, the Airy region thrilling,
Now was almost won
To think her part was don,
   And that her raign had here its last fulfilling;
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all Heav'n and Earth in happier union.

At last surrounds their sight
A Globe of circular light,
   That with long beams the shame-fac't night array'd,
The helmed Cherubim
And sworded Seraphim
   Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes to Heav'ns new-born Heir.

Such Musick (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,
   But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator Great
His constellations set,
   And the well-balanc't world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.

Ring out ye Crystall sphears,
Once bless our human ears,
   (If ye have power to touch our senses so)*
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
   And let the Base of Heav'ns deep Organ blow,
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to th'Angelic symphony.

For if such holy Song
Enwrap our fancy long,
   Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold,
And speckl'd vanity
Will sicken soon and die,
   And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould,
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

Yea Truth, and Justice then
Will down return to men,
   Th'enameld Arras of the Rainbow wearing,
And Mercy set between,
Thron'd in Celestiall sheen,
   With radiant feet the tissued clouds down stearing,
And Heav'n as at som festivall,
Will open wide the Gates of her high Palace Hall.

But wisest Fate sayes no,
This must not yet be so,
   The Babe lies yet in smiling Infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss;
   So both himself and us to glorifie:
Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakefull trump of doom must thunder through the deep,

With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang
   While the red fire, and smouldring clouds out brake:
The aged Earth agast
With terrour of that blast,
   Shall from the surface to the center shake,
When at the worlds last session,
The dreadfull Judge in middle Air shall spread his throne.

And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
   But now begins; for from this happy day
Th'old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,
   Not half so far casts his usurped sway,
And wrath to see his Kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly Horrour of his foulded tail.

The Oracles are dumm,
No voice or hideous humm
   Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
   With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspire's the pale-ey'd Priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o're,
And the resounding shore,
   A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale
Edg'd with poplar pale,
   The parting Genius is with sighing sent,
With flowre inwov'n tresses torn
The Nimphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.


In consecrated Earth,
And on the holy Hearth,
   The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight plaint,
In Urns, and Altars round,
A drear, and dying sound
   Affrights the Flamins at their service quaint;
And the chill Marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat.

Peor, and Baalim,
Forsake their Temples dim,
   With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine,
And mooned Ashtaroth,
Heav'ns Queen and Mother both,
   Now sits not girt with Tapers holy shine,
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian Maids their wounded Thamuz mourn.

And sullen Moloch fled,
Hath left in shadows dred.
   His burning Idol all of blackest hue,
In vain with Cymbals ring,
They call the grisly king,
   In dismall dance about the furnace blue;
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the Dog Anubis hast.*

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian Grove, or Green,
   Trampling the unshowr'd Grasse with lowings loud:
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest,
   Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud:
In vain with Timbrel'd Anthems dark
The sable-stoled Sorcerers bear his worshipt Ark.

He feels from Juda's land
The dreded Infants hand,
   The rayes of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside,
Longer dare abide,
   Nor Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to shew his Godhead true,
Can in his swadling bands controul the damned crew.*

So when the Sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red,
   Pillows his chin upon an Orient wave.
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to th'infernall jail,
   Each fetter'd Ghost slips to his severall grave,
And the yellow-skirted Fayes
Fly after the Night-steeds, leaving their Moon-lov'd maze.

But see the Virgin blest,
Hath laid her Babe to rest.
   Time is our tedious Song should here have ending,
Heav'ns youngest-teemed Star
Hath fixt her polisht Car,
   Her sleeping Lord with Handmaid Lamp attending.
And all about the Courtly Stable,
Bright-harnest Angels sit in order serviceable.