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.

[1] ‘Sea-born niece’:  Venus. [2] ‘Majesty’s picture’:  Henrietta, daughter of Henry IV., married by
    proxy to Charles I. in Paris, 1st May 1625.  Marriages made in May
    are said to be unlucky—­this certainly was.
[3] ‘Great brother’:  Louis XIII., King of France. [4] ‘Graces shroud’:  ‘Achates,’ the Duke of Buckingham.


1 Amoret! the Milky Way
    Framed of many nameless stars! 
  The smooth stream where none can say
    He this drop to that prefers!

2 Amoret! my lovely foe! 
    Tell me where thy strength does lie? 
  Where the pow’r that charms us so? 
    In thy soul, or in thy eye?

3 By that snowy neck alone,
    Or thy grace in motion seen,
  No such wonders could he done;
    Yet thy waist is straight and clean
  As Cupid’s shaft, or Hermes’ rod,
  And pow’rful, too, as either god.


Phyllis! why should we delay
Pleasures shorter than the day? 
Could we (which we never can!)
Stretch our lives beyond their span,
Beauty like a shadow flies,
And our youth before us dies. 
Or would youth and beauty stay,
Love hath wings, and will away. 
Love hath swifter wings than Time,
Change in love to heaven does climb. 10
Gods, that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.

Phyllis! to this truth we owe
All the love betwixt us two. 
Let not you and I inquire
What has been our past desire;
On what shepherds you have smiled,
Or what nymphs I have beguiled;
Leave it to the planets too, 19
What we shall hereafter do;
For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.


Thus the wise nightingale that leaves her home,
Her native wood, when storms and winter come,
Pursuing constantly the cheerful spring,
To foreign groves does her old music bring.

The drooping Hebrews’ banish’d harps, unstrung,
At Babylon upon the willows hung;
Yours sounds aloud, and tells us you excel
No less in courage, than in singing well;
While, unconcern’d, you let your country know
They have impoverish’d themselves, not you; 10
Who, with the Muses’ help, can mock those fates
Which threaten kingdoms, and disorder states. 
So Ovid, when from Caesar’s rage he fled,
The Roman Muse to Pontus with him led;
Where he so sung, that we, through pity’s glass,
See Nero milder than Augustus was. 
Hereafter such, in thy behalf, shall be
Th’ indulgent censure of posterity. 
To banish those who with such art can sing,
Is a rude crime, which its own curse doth bring; 20
Ages to come shall ne’er know how they fought,
Nor how to love, their present youth be taught.

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