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.

To this great loss a sea of tears is due;
But the whole debt not to be paid by you. 
Charge not yourself with all, nor render vain
Those show’rs the eyes of us your servants rain. 
Shall grief contract the largeness of that heart,
In which nor fear, nor anger, has a part? 
Virtue would blush if time should boast (which dries,
Her sole child dead, the tender mother’s eyes)
Your mind’s relief, where reason triumphs so
Over all passions, that they ne’er could grow 10
Beyond their limits in your noble breast,
To harm another, or impeach your rest. 
This we observed, delighting to obey
One who did never from his great self stray;
Whose mild example seemed to engage
Th’ obsequious seas, and teach them not to rage.

The brave Aemilius, his great charge laid down
(The force of Rome, and fate of Macedon),
In his lost sons did feel the cruel stroke
Of changing fortune, and thus highly spoke 20
Before Rome’s people:  ’We did oft implore,
That if the heavens had any bad in store
For your Aemilius, they would pour that ill
On his own house, and let you flourish still.’ 
You on the barren seas, my lord, have spent
Whole springs and summers to the public lent;
Suspended all the pleasures of your life,
And shorten’d the short joy of such a wife;
For which your country’s more obliged than 29
For many lives of old less happy men. 
You, that have sacrificed so great a part
Of youth, and private bliss, ought to impart
Your sorrow too, and give your friends a right
As well in your affliction as delight. 
Then with Aemilian courage bear this cross,
Since public persons only public loss
Ought to affect.  And though her form and youth,
Her application to your will, and truth,
That noble sweetness, and that humble state
(All snatch’d away by such a hasty fate!) 40
Might give excuse to any common breast,
With the huge weight of so just grief oppress’d;
Yet let no portion of your life be stain’d
With passion, but your character maintain’d
To the last act.  It is enough her stone
May honour’d be with superscription
Of the sole lady who had power to move
The great Northumberland to grieve, and love.

[1] ‘His lady’:  the Lady Anne Cecil, daughter of the Earl of Salisbury. 
    See a previous note.


With joy like ours the Thracian youth invades
Orpheus, returning from th’Elysian shades;
Embrace the hero, and his stay implore;
Make it their public suit he would no more
Desert them so, and for his spouse’s sake,
His vanish’d love, tempt the Lethean lake. 
The ladies, too, the brightest of that time
(Ambitious all his lofty bed to climb),

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