Page images

High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life
Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
Passed underneath ingulphed; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden-mould high raised
Upon the rapid current, which, through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst updrawn
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Watered the garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And now, divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account;
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,

How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art
In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon
Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierced shade
Imbrowned the noon-tide bowers: thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various view;

Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,
Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind,


Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste :
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed,
Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose:
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall
Down the slope hills, disperst, or, in a lake
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
Led on th' eternal Spring.

To Mary.


THE twentieth year is well nigh past,
Since first our sky was overcast;
Ah would that this might be the last!

My Mary!



Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow;—
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,

Thy needles, once a shining store,
For my sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disused, and shine no more,

For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
The same kind office for me still,
Thy sight now seconds not thy will,

My Mary!

Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,

My Mary!

But well thou playdest the housewife's part,
And all thy threads with magic art
Have wound themselves about this heart,

For could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me,

My Mary!

Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language uttered in a dream;
Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,

My Mary!

My Mary!

My Mary!

My Mary!


Partakers of thy sad decline,
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet gently prest, press gently mine,

Such feebleness of limbs thou provest,
That now, at every step, thou movest
Upheld by two, yet still thou lovest,

And still to love, though prest with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,

My Mary!

But ah! by constant heed I know,
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,

And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last,

My Mary!

My Mary!

My Mary!

My Mary!

On the Death of his Mistress.



SITH gone is my delight and only pleasure,
The last of all my hopes, the cheerful sun

That cleared my life's dark sphere, nature's sweet treasure,

More dear to me than all beneath the moon,

What resteth now,
but that upon this mountain
I weep, till heaven transform me to a fountain?

Fresh, fair, delicious, crystal, pearly fountain,
On whose smooth face to look she oft took pleasure,
Tell me (so may thy streams long cheer this mountain
So serpent ne'er thee stain, nor scorch thee sun,
So may with watery beams thee kiss the moon,)
Dost thou not mourn to want so fair a treasure?

While she here gazed on thee, rich Tagus' treasure
Thou needest not envy, nor yet the fountain
In which the hunter saw that naked moon,

Absence hath robbed thee of thy wealth and pleasure, And I remain like marigold, of sun

Deprived, that dies by shadow of some mountain.

Nymphs of the forests, nymphs who on this mountain
Are wont to dance, showing your beauty's treasure
To goat-feet Sylvans and the wondering sun,
When as you gather flowers about this fountain,
Bid her farewell, who placed here her pleasure,
And sing her praises to the stars and moon.

Among the lesser lights as is the moon,
Blushing through muffling clouds on Latmos' mountain,
Or when she views her silver locks for pleasure,
In Thetis' streams, proud of so gay a treasure,
Such was my fair when she sat by this fountain,
With other nymphs to shun the amorous sun.

As is our earth in absence of the sun,
Or when of sun deprived is the moon,

« PreviousContinue »