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Under how hard a law are mortals born!
Whom now we envy, we anon must mourn;
What Heaven sets highest, and seems most to prize,
Is soon removed from our wond'ring eyes!
But since the Sisters 1 did so soon untwine
So fair a thread, I 'll strive to piece the line.
Vouchsafe, sad nymph! to let me know the dame,
And to the Muses I'll commend her name;
Make the wide country echo to your moan,
The list’ning trees and savage mountains groan.
What rock 's not moved when the death is sung
Of one so good, so lovely, and so young?
'Twas Hamilton!—whom I had named before, But naming her, grief lets me say no more.
ON MY LADY DOROTHY SIDNEY'S PICTURE.2
SUCH was Philoclea, and such Dorus' flame!
The matchless Sidney, that immortal frame
Of perfect beauty on two pillars placed,
Not his high fancy could one pattern, graced
With such extremes of excellence, compose;
Wonders so distant in one face disclose!
Such cheerful modesty, such humble state,
Moves certain love, but with as doubtful fate
1 Sisters': Parcæ -_2 • Dorothy Sidney’: see Life for an account of Saccharissa.'
As when, beyond our greedy reach, we see
Inviting fruit on too sublime a tree.
All the rich flowers through his Arcadia found,
Amazed we see in this one garland bound.
Had but this copy (which the artist took
From the fair picture of that noble book)
Stood at Kalander's, the brave friends had jarr'd,
And, rivals made, th' ensuing story marr’d.
Just nature, first instructed by his thought,
In his own house thus practised what he taught;
This glorious piece transcends what he could think,
So much his blood is nobler than his ink! 1
Had Dorothea lived when mortals made
Choice of their deities, this sacred shade
Had held an altar to her power, that
The peace and glory which these alleys have;
Embroider'd so with flowers where she stood,
That it became a garden of a wood.
Her presence has such more than human grace,
That it can civilise the rudest place;
And beauty too, and order, can impart,
Where nature ne'er intended it, nor art.
The plants acknowledge this, and her admire,
No less than those of old did Orpheus' lyre;
If she sit down, with tops all tow'rds her bow'd,
They round about her into arbours crowd;
Or if she walk, in even ranks they stand,
Like some well-marshall’d and obsequious band.
Amphion so made stones and timber leap
Into fair figures from a confused heap;
And in the symmetry of her parts is found
A power like that of harmony in sound.
Ye lofty beeches, tell this matchless dame,
That if together ye fed all one flame,
It could not equalise the hundredth part
Of what her eyes have kindled in my heart!
Go, boy, and carve this passion on the bark
Of yonder tree, which stands the sacred mark
Of noble Sidney's birth; when such benign,
Such more than mortal-making stars did shine,
That there they cannot but for ever prove
The monument and pledge of humble love;
His humble love whose hope shall ne'er rise higher,
Than for a pardon that he dares admire.
OF THE LADY WHO CAN SLEEP WHEN SHE
No wonder sleep from careful lovers flies,
To bathe himself in Saccharissa's eyes.
As fair Astræa once from earth to heaven,
By strife and loud impiety was driven;
So with our plaints offended, and our tears,
Wise Somnus to that paradise repairs ;
Waits on her will, and wretches does forsake,
To court the nymph for whom those wretches wake.
She is said to have been like Dudu-
More proud than Phæbus of his throne of gold
Is the soft god those softer limbs to hold;
Nor would exchange with Jove, to hide the skies
In dark’ning clouds, the power to close her eyes;
Eyes which so far all other lights control,
They warm our mortal parts, but these our soul!
Let her free spirit, whose unconquer'd breast
Holds such deep quiet and untroubled rest,
Know that though Venus and her son should spare
Her rebel heart, and never teach her care,
Yet Hymen may in force his vigils keep,
And for another's joy suspend her sleep.
OF THE MISREPORT OF HER BEING PAINTED.
As when a sort of wolves infest the night
With their wild howlings at fair Cynthia's light,
The noise may chase sweet slumber from our eyes,
But never reach the mistress of the skies;
So with the news of Saccharissa's wrongs,
Her vexed servants blame those envious tongues;
Call Love to witness that no painted fire
Can scorch men so, or kindle such desire;
While, unconcern'd, she seems moved no more
With this new malice than our loves before;
But from the height of her great mind looks down
On both our passions without smile or frown.
So little care of what is done below
Hath the bright dame whom Heaven affecteth so!
Paints her, 'tis true, with the same hand which spreads
Like glorious colours through the flow'ry meads,
When lavish Nature, with her best attire,
Clothes the gay spring, the season of desire ;
Paints her, 'tis true, and does her cheek adorn
With the same art wherewith she paints the morn;
With the same art wherewith she gildeth so
Those painted clouds which form Thaumantias' bow.
OF HER PASSING THROUGH A CROWD OF
As in old chaos (heaven with earth confused,
And stars with rocks together crush'd and bruised)
The sun his light no further could extend
Than the next hill, which on bis shoulders lean’d;
So in this throng bright Saccharissa fared,
Oppress’d by those who strove to be her guard;
As ships, though never so obsequious, fall
Foul in a tempest on their admiral.
A greater favour this disorder brought
Unto her servants than their awful thought
Durst entertain, when thus compelld they press’d
The yielding marble of her snowy breast.
While love insults, disguised in the cloud,
And welcome force, of that unruly crowd.
So th' am'rous tree, while yet the air is calm,
Just distance keeps from his desired palm ;2
But when the wind her ravish'd branches throws
Into his arms, and mingles all their boughs,