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WITH A COPY OF HERRICK

FRESH with all airs of woodland brooks

And scents of showers,
Take to your haunt of holy books

This saint of flowers.

When meadows burn with budding May,

And heaven is blue,
Before his shrine our prayers we say, -

Saint Robin true.

Love crowned with thorns is on his staff,

Thorns of sweet-brier; His benediction is a laugh,

Birds are his choir.

His sacred robe of white and red

Unction distils;
He hath a nimbus round his head
Of daffodils.

EDMUND GOSSE

ON MALVERN HILL

A wind is brushing down the clover,

It sweeps the tossing branches bare, Blowing the poising kestrel over

The crumbling ramparts of the Caer.

It whirls the scattered leaves before us

Along the dusty road to home,

TO HIS DEAR GOD

185

Once it awakened into chorus

The heart-strings in the ranks of Rome.

There by the gusty coppice border

The shrilling trumpets broke the halt, The Roman line, the Roman order,

Swayed forwards to the blind assault.

Spearman and charioteer and bowman

Charged and were scattered into spray, Savage and taciturn the Roman

Hewed upwards in the Roman way.

There — in the twilight - where the cattle

Are lowing home across the fields, The beaten warriors left the battle

Dead on the clansmen's wicker shields.

The leaves whirl in the wind's riot

Beneath the Beacon's jutting spur, Quiet are clan and chief, and quiet Centurion and signifer.

John MASEFIELD

TO HIS DEAR GOD

I'll hope no more
For things that will not come:
And, if they do, they prove but cumbersome;

Wealth brings much woe:
And, since it fortunes so,

"T is better to be poor,

Than so abound,

As to be drowned,
Or overwhelmed with store.

Pale care, avaunt!
I'll learn to be content
With that small stock Thy Bounty gave or lent.

What may conduce
To my most healthful use,
Almighty God, me grant;

But that, or this,

That hurtful is,
Deny thy suppliant.

ROBERT HERRICK

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BY THE SEA

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;

The holy time is quiet as a Nun

Breathless with adoration; the broad sun Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea:

Listen! the mighty Being is awake,

And doth with his eternal motion make A sound like thunder - everlastingly.

Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here, If thou appear untouch'd by solemn thought

Thy nature is not therefore less divine:

PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE 187

Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,

And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine, God being with thee when we know it not.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

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Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

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A belt of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs:

And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE

TO HIS LOVE

When in the chronicle of wasted time

I see descriptions of the fairest wights, And beauty making beautiful old rhyme

In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;

Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best

Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have exprest

Ev'n such a beauty as you master now.

So all their praises are but prophecies

Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,

They had not skill enough your worth to sing:

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