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(From the same)

I struck the board, and cry'd, 'No more;
I will abroad.'

What, shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free; free as the road,
Loose as the winde, as large as store.
Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me bloud and not restore
What I have lost with cordiall fruit?
Sure there was wine,

Before my sighs did drie it; there was corn
Before my tears did drown it;
Is the yeare onely lost to me?
Have I no bayes to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? all blasted,
All wasted?

Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
And thou hast hands.

Recover all thy sigh-blown age

On double pleasures; leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not; forsake thy cage,
Thy rope of sands

Which pettie thoughts have made; and made to thee Good cable, to enforce and draw,

And be thy law,

While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
Away! take heed;
I will abroad.

Call in thy death's-head there, tie up thy fears;
He that forbears

To suit and serve his need

Deserves his load.


But as I raved and grew more fierce and wilde
At every word,

Methought I heard one calling, 'Childe';
And I reply'd, 'My Lord.'

Benry Dangban


(From Silex Scintillans, Part I., 1650)

Happy those early dayes, when I
Shin'd in my Angell-infancy!
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy ought
But a white, celestiall thought;
When yet I had not walkt above
A mile or two from my first Love,
And looking back, at that short space,
Could see a glimpse of his bright face;
When on some gilded Cloud or Flowre
My gazing soul would dwell an houre,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity;
Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinfull sound,
Or had the black art to dispence
A sev'rall sinne to ev'ry sense,
But felt through all this fleshly dresse
Bright shootes of everlastingnesse.

O how I long to travell back,
And tread again that ancient track!
That I might once more reach that plaine,
Where first I left my glorious traine;

From whence th' inlightened spirit sees
That shady City of Palme trees.
But ah! my soul with too much stay
Is drunk, and staggers in the way!
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move;
And, when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.


(From Silex Scintillans, Part II., 1655)

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit ling'ring here!
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy brest
Like stars upon some gloomy grove,

Or those faint beams in which this hill is dres
After the Sun's remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory

Whose light doth trample on my days;

My days, which are at best but dull and hoary, Meer glimmerings and decays.

O holy Hope! and high Humility!

High as the Heavens above;

These are your walks, and you have shew'd them


To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death; the Jewel of the Just! Shining nowhere but in the dark;

What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledg'd bird's nest may know

At first sight if the bird be flown;
But what fair dell or grove he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.

And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when man doth sleep,

So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted

And into glory peep.

If a star were confin'd into a tomb,

Her captive flames must needs burn there; But when the hand that lockt her up gives room, She'll shine through all the sphere.

O Father of eternal life, and all
Created glories under thee!
Resume thy spirit from this world of thrall
Into true liberty!

Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
My perspective still as they pass;

Or else remove me hence unto that hill
Where I shall need no glass.

George Wither



(From Fidelia, 1615)

Shall I, wasting in despaire
Dye, because a woman's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
Cause anothers Rosie are?


Be she fairer than the Day
Or the flowry Meads in May,
If she thinke not well of me,
What care I how faire she be?

Shall my seely heart be pin'd
Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well disposed Nature
Joyned with a lovely feature?
Be she Meeker, Kinder than
Turtle-dove or Pellican:
If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?

Shall a woman's Vertues move
Me to perish for her Love?
Or her wel deservings knowne
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?

Cause her Fortune seems too high
Shall I play the fool and die?
She that beares a Noble mind,
If not outward helpes she find,
Thinks what with them he wold do,
That without them dares her woe.
And unlesse that Minde I see
What care I how great she be?

Great, or Good, or Kind, or Faire
I will ne're the more despaire:
If she love me (this beleeve)
I will Die ere she shall grieve.

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