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FAIR pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,

But you may stay yet here awhile,
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last.

What were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave;
And after they have shown their pride,
Like you, awhile, they glide
Into the grave.


Is this a fast, to keep

The larder lean,

And clean

From fat of veals and sheep?

Is it to quit the dish

Of flesh, yet still
To fill

The platter high with fish?

Is it to fast an hour,

Or rag'd to go,

Or show

A downcast look, and sour?


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Who would have thought my shrivelled heart

Could have recovered greenness? It was gone

Quite under ground; as flowers depart To see their mother-root, when they have blown ;

Where they together,

All the hard weather,

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So strength first made a way;

Dead to the world, keep house un- Then beauty flowed; then wisdom, honor,


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When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that alone, of all his treasure, Rest in the bottom lay.

"For if I should," said he, "Bestow this jewel also on my creature, He would adore my gifts instead of me, And rest in nature, not the God of nature; So both should losers be.

"Yet let him keep the rest, But keep them with repining restlessness: Let him be rich and weary, that at least, If goodness lead him not, yet weariness May toss him to my breast."




HITHER thou com'st. The busy wind all night

Blew through thy lodging, where thy own warm wing Thy pillow was. Many a sullen storm, For which coarse man seems much the fitter born,

Rained on thy bed
And harmless head;

And now, as fresh and cheerful as the light,

Thy little heart in early hymns doth sing Unto that Providence whose unseen arm Curbed them, and clothed thee well and


All things that be praise Him; and had Their lesson taught them when first


So hills and valleys into singing break; And though poor stones have neither speech nor tongue,

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While active winds and streams both run | These are your walks, and you have

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I see them walking in an air of glory, Whose light doth trample on my days; My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,

Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy hope and high humility, -
High as the heavens above!

showed them me

To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous death, the jewel of the



Shining nowhere but in the dark! What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust, Could man outlook that mark!

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For sure if others knew me such,
Such as myself I know,

I should have been dispraised as much
As I am praised now.

The praise, therefore, which I have heard,
Delights not so my mind,
As those things make my heart afeard,
Which in myself I find:
And I had rather to be blamed,

So I were blameless made,
Than for much virtue to be famed,
When I no virtues had.

Though slanders to an innocent
Sometimes do bitter grow,
Their bitterness procures content,
If clear himself he know.

And when a virtuous man hath erred,
If praised himself he hear,
It makes him grieve, and more afeard,
Than if he slandered were.

Lord! therefore make my heart upright,
Whate'er my deeds do seem;
And righteous rather in thy sight,
Than in the world's esteem.
And if aught good appear to be
In any act of mine,

Let thankfulness be found in me,
And all the praise be thine.

By her help I also now

Make this churlish place allow
Some things that may sweeten glad-


In the very gall of sadness.
The dull loneness, the black shade,
That these hanging vauits have made;
The strange music of the waves,
Beating on these hollow caves;
This black den which rocks emboss,
Overgrown with eldest moss;
The rude portals that give light
More to terror than delight;
This my chamber of neglect,
Walled about with disrespect, -
From all these, and this dull air,
A fit object for despair,
She hath taught me by her might
To draw comfort and delight.
Therefore, thou best earthly bliss,
I will cherish thee for this.
Poesy, thou sweet'st content
That e'er heaven to mortals lent:
Though they as a trifle leave thee,
Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive


Though thou be to them a scorn, That to naught but earth are born, – Let my life no longer be

Than I am in love with thee!


SHE doth tell me where to borrow
Comfort in the midst of sorrow;
Makes the desolatest place
To her presence be a grace,
And the blackest discontents
Be her fairest ornaments.
In my former days of bliss,
Her divine skill taught me this,
That from everything I saw
I could some invention draw,
And raise pleasure to her height,
Through the meanest object's sight,
By the murmur of a spring,
Or the least bough's rustling.
By a daisy, whose leaves spread,
Shut when Titan goes to bed;
Or a shady bush or tree,
She could more infuse in me,
Than all nature's beauties can
In some other wiser man.




How vainly men themselves amaze,
To win the palm, the oak, or bays:
And their incessant labors see
Crowned from some single herb or


Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade Does prudently their toils upbraid; While all the flowers and trees do close,

To weave the garlands of repose.

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men.
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among these plants will grow.

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