Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.

10 To a goodly fat sow’s baby,
   O John! thou hadst a malice;
     The old driver of swine
     That day sure was thine,
   Or thou hadst not quitted Calais.

[1] ‘Fill of carting’:  we three riding in a cart from Dunkirk to Calais,
    with a fat Dutch woman.


1 What gives us that fantastic fit,
  That all our judgment and our wit
  To vulgar custom we submit?

2 Treason, theft, murder, and all the rest
  Of that foul legion we so detest,
  Are in their proper names express’d.

3 Why is it then thought sin or shame
  Those necessary parts to name,
  From whence we went, and whence we came?

4 Nature, whate’er she wants, requires;
  With love inflaming our desires,
  Finds engines fit to quench those fires.

5 Death she abhors; yet when men die
  We are present; but no stander by
  Looks on when we that loss supply.

6 Forbidden wares sell twice as dear;
  Even sack, prohibited last year,
  A most abominable rate did bear.

7 ’Tis plain our eyes and ears are nice,
  Only to raise, by that device,
  Of those commodities the price.

8 Thus reason’s shadows us betray,
  By tropes and figures led astray,
  From Nature, both her guide and way.


Thus to Glaucus spake
Divine Sarpedon, since he did not find
Others, as great in place, as great in mind:—­
Above the rest why is our pomp, our power? 
Our flocks, our herds, and our possessions more? 
Why all the tributes land and sea affords
Heap’d in great chargers, load our sumptuous boards? 
Our cheerful guests carouse the sparkling tears
Of the rich grape, while music charms their ears? 
Why, as we pass, do those on Xanthus’ shore, 10
As gods behold us, and as gods adore? 
But that, as well in danger as degree,
We stand the first; that when our Licians see
Our brave examples, they admiring say,
Behold our gallant leaders!  These are they
Deserve the greatness, and unenvied stand,
Since what they act transcends what they command. 
Could the declining of this fate (O friend!)
Our date to immortality extend? 
Or if death sought not them who seek not death, 20
Would I advance? or should my vainer breath
With such a glorious folly thee inspire? 
But since with Fortune Nature doth conspire,
Since age, disease, or some less noble end,
Though not less certain, does our days attend;
Since ’tis decreed, and to this period lead
A thousand ways, the noblest path we’ll tread,
And bravely on, till they, or we, or all,
A common sacrifice to honour fall.


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Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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