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.

Then smile on me, and I will prove
Wonder is shorter-liv’d than love. 60

[1] ‘Amoret’:  see ‘Life.’


Brave Holland leads, and with him Falkland goes: 
Who hears this told, and does not straight suppose
We send the Graces and the Muses forth
To civilise and to instruct the north? 
Not that these ornaments make swords less sharp;
Apollo bears as well his bow as harp;[2]
And though he be the patron of that spring,
Where, in calm peace, the sacred virgins sing,
He courage had to guard th’invaded throne 9
Of Jove, and cast th’ambitious giants down.

Ah, noble friend! with what impatience all
That know thy worth, and know how prodigal
Of thy great soul thou art (longing to twist
Bays with that ivy which so early kiss’d
Thy youthful temples), with what horror we
Think on the blind events of war and thee! 
To fate exposing that all-knowing breast
Among the throng, as cheaply as the rest;
Where oaks and brambles (if the copse be burn’d)
Confounded lie, to the same ashes turn’d. 20

Some happy wind over the ocean blow
This tempest yet, which frights our island so! 
Guarded with ships, and all the sea our own,
From heaven this mischief on our heads is thrown.

In a late dream, the genius of this land,
Amazed, I saw, like the fair Hebrew, stand,
When first she felt the twins begin to jar,[3]
And found her womb the seat of civil war. 
Inclined to whose relief, and with presage
Of better fortune for the present age, 30
Heaven sends, quoth I, this discord for our good,
To warm, perhaps, but not to waste our blood;
To raise our drooping spirits, grown the scorn
Of our proud neighbours, who ere long shall mourn
(Though now they joy in our expected harms)
We had occasion to resume our arms.

A lion so with self-provoking smart
(His rebel tail scourging his nobler part)
Calls up his courage; then begins to roar,
And charge his foes, who thought him mad before. 40

[1] ‘Lord of Falkland’:  referring to the unsuccessful expedition of
    Charles I. against Scotland in 1639, frustrated by the cowardice or
    treachery of Lord Holland.
[2] ‘Bow as harp’:  Horace, Ode iv., lib. 3.
[3] ‘Twins begin to jar’:  Gen. xxv. 22.


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