Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 232 pages of information about Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham.

4 So I, the wronged pen to please,
    Make it my humble thanks express
  Unto your ladyship, in these: 
    And now ’tis forced to confess
  That your great self did ne’er indite,
  Nor that, to one more noble, write.

TO CHLORIS.

Chloris! since first our calm of peace
  Was frighted hence, this good we find,
Your favours with your fears increase,
  And growing mischiefs make you kind.

So the fair tree, which still preserves
  Her fruit and state while no wind blows,
In storms from that uprightness swerves,
  And the glad earth about her strows
  With treasure, from her yielding boughs.

TO A LADY IN RETIREMENT.

1 Sees not my love how time resumes
    The glory which he lent these flowers? 
  Though none should taste of their perfumes,
    Yet must they live but some few hours: 
    Time what we forbear devours!

2 Had Helen, or the Egyptian Queen,[1]
    Been ne’er so thrifty of their graces,
  Those beauties must at length have been
    The spoil of age, which finds out faces
    In the most retired places.

3 Should some malignant planet bring
    A barren drought, or ceaseless shower,
  Upon the autumn or the spring,
    And spare us neither fruit nor flower;
    Winter would not stay an hour.

4 Could the resolve of love’s neglect
    Preserve you from the violation
  Of coming years, then more respect
    Were due to so divine a fashion,
    Nor would I indulge my passion.

[1] ‘Egyptian Queen’:  Cleopatra.

TO MR GEORGE SANDYS,[1] ON HIS TRANSLATION OF SOME PARTS OF THE BIBLE.

1 How bold a work attempts that pen,
    Which would enrich our vulgar tongue
  With the high raptures of those men
    Who, here, with the same spirit sung
  Wherewith they now assist the choir
  Of angels, who their songs admire!

2 Whatever those inspired souls
    Were urged to express, did shake
  The aged deep and both the poles;
    Their num’rous thunder could awake
  Dull earth, which does with Heaven consent
  To all they wrote, and all they meant.

3 Say, sacred bard! what could bestow
    Courage on thee to soar so high? 
  Tell me, brave friend! what help’d thee so
    To shake off all mortality? 
  To light this torch, thou hast climb’d higher
  Than he who stole celestial fire.[2]

[1] ‘Sandys,’ besides his ‘Ovid,’ which Pope read and relished in his
    boyhood, versified some of the poetical parts of the Bible.
[2] ‘Celestial fire’:  Prometheus.

TO THE KING, UPON HIS MAJESTY’S HAPPY RETURN.

The rising sun complies with our weak sight,
First gilds the clouds, then shows his globe of light
At such a distance from our eyes, as though
He knew what harm his hasty beams would do.

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