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.

Now will I wander through the air,
Mount, make a stoop at every fair;
And, with a fancy unconfined
(As lawless as the sea or wind),
Pursue you wheresoe’er you fly,
And with your various thoughts comply. 20

The formal stars do travel so,
As we their names and courses know;
And he that on their changes looks,
Would think them govern’d by our books;
But never were the clouds reduced
To any art; the motions used
By those free vapours are so light,
So frequent, that the conquer’d sight
Despairs to find the rules that guide
Those gilded shadows as they slide; 30
And therefore of the spacious air,
Jove’s royal consort had the care;
And by that power did once escape,
Declining bold Ixion’s rape;
She with her own resemblance graced
A shining cloud, which he embraced.

Such was that image, so it smiled
With seeming kindness which beguiled
Your Thyrsis lately, when he thought
He had his fleeting Caelia caught. 40
’Twas shaped like her, but, for the fair,
He fill’d his arms with yielding air.

A fate for which he grieves the less,
Because the gods had like success;
For in their story one, we see,
Pursues a nymph, and takes a tree;
A second, with a lover’s haste,
Soon overtakes whom he had chased,
But she that did a virgin seem,
Possess’d, appears a wand’ring stream; 50
For his supposed love, a third
Lays greedy hold upon a bird,
And stands amazed to find his dear
A wild inhabitant of the air.

To these old tales such nymphs as you
Give credit, and still make them new;
The am’rous now like wonders find
In the swift changes of your mind.

But, Caelia, if you apprehend
The Muse of your incensed friend, 60
Nor would that he record your blame,
And make it live, repeat the same;
Again deceive him, and again,
And then he swears he’ll not complain;
For still to be deluded so,
Is all the pleasure lovers know;
Who, like good falc’ners, take delight,
Not in the quarry, but the flight.


1 Madam! intending to have tried
    The silver favour which you gave,
  In ink the shining point I dyed,
    And drench’d it in the sable wave;
  When, grieved to be so foully stain’d,
  On you it thus to me complain’d.

2 ’Suppose you had deserved to take
    From her fair hand so fair a boon,
  Yet how deserved I to make
    So ill a change, who ever won
  Immortal praise for what I wrote,
  Instructed by her noble thought?

3 ’I, that expressed her commands
    To mighty lords, and princely dames,
  Always most welcome to their hands,
    Proud that I would record their names,
  Must now be taught an humble style,
  Some meaner beauty to beguile!’

Project Gutenberg
Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook