On A Very Old Glass At Market-Hill

Frail glass! thou mortal art as well as I;
Though none can tell which of us first shall die.

by Jonathan Swift.

Ever eating, never cloying,
All-devouring, all-destroying,
Never finding full repast,
Till I eat the world at last.

by Jonathan Swift.

Upon Time And Eternity

Eternity is like unto a Ring.
Time, like to Measure, doth it self extend;
Measure commences, is a finite thing.
The Ring has no beginning, middle, end.

by John Bunyan.

To One Married To An Old Man

Since thou wouldst needs,
Bewitched with some ill charms,
Be buried in those monumental arms,
All we can wish is, may that earth lie light
Upon thy tender limbs, and so goodnight.

by Edmund Waller.

Upon The Hour Glass

This glass, when made, was, by the workman's skill,
The sum of sixty minutes to fulfil.
Time, more nor less, by it will out be spun,
But just an hour, and then the glass is run.
Man's life we will compare unto this glass,
The number of his months he cannot pass;
But when he has accomplished his day,
He, like a vapour, vanisheth away.

by John Bunyan.

Occasioned By Some Verses Of His Grace The Duke Of Buckingham

Muse, 'tis enough: at length thy labour ends,
And thou shalt live, for Buckingham commends.
Let Crowds and Critics now my verse assail,
Let Dennis write, and nameless numbers rail:
This more than pays whole years of thankless pain;
Time, health, and fortune are not lost in vain.
Sheffield approves, consenting Phoebus bends,
And I and Malice from this hour are friends.

by Alexander Pope.

Three Airs For The Beggar's Opera, Air Xxii

Youth's the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty;
She alone who that employs,
Well deserves her beauty.
Let's be gay,
While we may,
Beauty's a flower despis'd in decay.

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not tomorrow.
Love with youth flies swift away,
Age is nought but sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time's on the wing,
Life never knows the return of spring.

by John Gay.

It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour -- when lover's vows
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word;
And gentle winds and waters near,
Make music to the lonely ear.
Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
And in the sky the stars are met,
And on the wave is deeper blue,
And on the leaf a browner hue,
And in the Heaven that clear obscure
So softly dark, and darkly pure,
That follows the decline of day
As twilight melts beneath the moon away.

by George Gordon Byron.

The Old Man's Funeral

Ye sigh not when the sun, his course fulfilled,
His glorious course, rejoicing earth and sky,
In the soft evening, when the winds are stilled,
Sinks where his islands of departure spread
O'er the warm-colored heaven and ruddy mountain head.

Why weep ye then for him, who, having won
The bound of man's appointed years, at last.
Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done,
Serenely to his final rest has passed;
While the soft memory of his virtues yet
Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set?

by William Cullen Bryant.

The seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

by Edmund Waller.

Senec. Traged. Ex Thyeste Chor.2

Translated.

Senec. Traged. ex Thyeste Chor.2.
Stet quicunque volet potens
Aulae culmine lubrico &c.

Climb at Court for me that will
Tottering favors Pinacle;
All I seek is to lye still.
Settled in some secret Nest
In calm Leisure let me rest;
And far of the publick Stage
Pass away my silent Age.
Thus when without noise, unknown,
I have liv'd out all my span,
I shall dye, without a groan,
An old honest Country man.
Who expos'd to others Ey's,
Into his own Heart ne'r pry's,
Death to him's a Strange surprise

by Andrew Marvell.

The New-Old Opposition

It is said, the Great Men, who are seized with the pouts,
At their suddenly alter'd condition;
Who so late were the Ins, and so soon were the Outs,
Have decreed a severe Opposition.


Nor will it be wonder'd at, greatly, if those
Who're deprived of unmerited treasures,
As of old, should determine the Men to oppose,
Though their consciences sanction the Measures.


Such threats are, by Britons, too well understood
To create any just apprehensions;
Nor can they, who, in power, accomplish no good,
Now appal us by evil intentions.

by George Canning.

Earth's Eternity

Man, Earth's poor shadow! talks of Earth's decay:
But hath it nothing of eternal kin?
No majesty that shall not pass away?
No soul of greatness springing up within?
Thought marks without hoar shadows of sublime,
Pictures of power, which if not doomed to win
Eternity, stand laughing at old Time
For ages: in the grand ancestral line
Of things eternal, mounting to divine,
I read Magnificence where ages pay
Worship like conquered foes to the Apennine,
Because they could not conquer. There sits Day
Too high for Night to come at--mountains shine,
Outpeering Time, too lofty for decay.

by John Clare.

Home furthest off grows dearer from the way;
And when the army in the Indias lay
Friends' letters coming from his native place
Were like old neighbours with their country face.
And every opportunity that came
Opened the sheet to gaze upon the name
Of that loved village where he left his sheep
For more contented peaceful folk to keep;
And friendly faces absent many a year
Would from such letters in his mind appear.
And when his pockets, chafing through the case,
Wore it quite out ere others took the place,
Right loath to be of company bereft
He kept the fragments while a bit was left.

by John Clare.

Ploughman Singing

Here morning in the ploughman's songs is met
Ere yet one footstep shows in all the sky,
And twilight in the east, a doubt as yet,
Shows not her sleeve of grey to know her bye.
Woke early, I arose and thought that first
In winter time of all the world was I.
The old owls might have hallooed if they durst,
But joy just then was up and whistled bye
A merry tune which I had known full long,
But could not to my memory wake it back,
Until the ploughman changed it to the song.
O happiness, how simple is thy track.
--Tinged like the willow shoots, the east's young brow
Glows red and finds thee singing at the plough.

by John Clare.

Sonnet Vii: How Soon Hath Time, The Subtle Thief Of Youth

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stoln on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on wtih full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu'th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven;
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye.

by John Milton.

Pleasures Of Fancy

A path, old tree, goes by thee crooking on,
And through this little gate that claps and bangs
Against thy rifted trunk, what steps hath gone?
Though but a lonely way, yet mystery hangs
Oer crowds of pastoral scenes recordless here.
The boy might climb the nest in thy young boughs
That's slept half an eternity; in fear
The herdsman may have left his startled cows
For shelter when heaven's thunder voice was near;
Here too the woodman on his wallet laid
For pillow may have slept an hour away;
And poet pastoral, lover of the shade,
Here sat and mused half some long summer day
While some old shepherd listened to the lay.

by John Clare.

Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, 'mid bowers and brooks
And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.

by William Cullen Bryant.

He waits all day beside his little flock
And asks the passing stranger what's o'clock,
But those who often pass his daily tasks
Look at their watch and tell before he asks.
He mutters stories to himself and lies
Where the thick hedge the warmest house supplies,
And when he hears the hunters far and wide
He climbs the highest tree to see them ride--
He climbs till all the fields are blea and bare
And makes the old crow's nest an easy chair.
And soon his sheep are got in other grounds--
He hastens down and fears his master come,
He stops the gap and keeps them all in bounds
And tends them closely till it's time for home.

by John Clare.

To A Virtuous Young Lady

Lady! that in the prime of earliest youth
Wisely hast shunned the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,
That labour up the Hill of Heavenly Truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth
Chosen thou hast, and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixed, and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous Lamp with deeds of light.
And Hope that reaps not shame; therefore be sure,
Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gained thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

by John Milton.

XXI

Cyriac, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounced and in his volumes taught our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;
Today deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intends, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

by John Milton.

To Cyriack Skinner

Cyriack, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench,
To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intend, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

by John Milton.

To A Very Young Lady

Why came I so untimely forth
Into a world which, wanting thee,
Could entertain us with no worth
Or shadow of felicity?
That time should me so far remove
From that which I was born to love.

Yet, fairest blossom, do not slight
That age which you may know so soon;
The rosy morn resigns her light,
And milder glory to the noon:
And then what wonder shall you do,
When dawning beauty warns us so?

Hope waits upon the flowery prime,
And summer, though it be less gay,
Yet is not looked on as a time
Of declination and decay.
For with a full hand that does bring
All that was promised by the spring.

by Edmund Waller.

Enough; and leave the rest to Fame!
'Tis to commend her, but to name.
Courtship which, living, she declined,
When dead, to offer were unkind:
Nor can the truest wit, or friend,
Without detracting, her commend.

To say--she lived a virgin chaste
In this age loose and all unlaced;
Nor was, when vice is so allowed,
Of virtue or ashamed or proud;
That her soul was on Heaven so bent,
No minute but it came and went;
That, ready her last debt to pay,
She summ'd her life up every day;
Modest as morn, as mid-day bright,
Gentle as evening, cool as night:
--'Tis true; but all too weakly said.
'Twas more significant, she's dead.

by Andrew Marvell.

XVIII

Cyriack, whose Grandsire on the Royal Bench
Of Brittish Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounc't and in his volumes taught our Lawes,
Which others at their Barr so often wrench:
To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting drawes;
Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intend, and what the French.
To measure life, learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

by John Milton.

On Stella's Birth-Day, 1719

Stella this Day is thirty four,
(We shan't dispute a Year or more)
However Stella, be not troubled,
Although thy Size and Years are doubled,
Since first I saw Thee at Sixteen
The brightest Virgin on the Green,
So little is thy Form declin'd
Made up so largely in thy Mind.
Oh, woud it please the Gods to split
Thy Beauty, Size, and Years, and Wit,
No Age could furnish out a Pair
Of Nymphs so graceful, Wise and fair
With half the Lustre of your Eyes,
With half your Wit, your Years and Size:
And then before it grew too late,
How should I beg of gentle Fate,
(That either Nymph might have her Swain,)
To split my Worship too in twain.

by Jonathan Swift.

IX

Lady that in the prime of earliest youth,
Wisely hath shun'd the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,
That labour up the Hill of heav'nly Truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth,
Chosen thou hast, and they that overween,
And at thy growing vertues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixt and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous Lamp with deeds of light,
And Hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastfull friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

Note: 5 with Ruth] the Ruth 1645.

by John Milton.

Cyriack, Whose Grandsire

Cyriack, whose grandsire on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause,
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench,
Today deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intend, and what the French.
To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,
And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

by John Milton.

The painful hour too fast is nearing
When I must leave the scenes of old,
And lose all friendship's joys endearing,
Without which life is drear and cold ;
But often when I'm far away,
To them and you my thoughts will fly,
For long elsewhere they could not stay :
Good bye, old friends, good bye !

I leave youth's haunts with sad emotion y
And never while on earth I dwell.
My heart shall lose its deep devotion
For hill-top high and leafy dell ;
And those I lov'd in early youth
Enshrin'd within my heart shall lie,
And claim old age's steadfast truth :
Good bye, old friends, good bye ;
And claim old age's stedfast truth ;
Good bye, old friends, good bye !

by John Bradford.

Phyllis! why should we delay
Pleasures shorter than the day?
Can 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 has wings, and will away.
Love has swifter wings than Time;
Change in love to heaven doth climb.
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,
What we shall hereafter do;
For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.

by Edmund Waller.

One Happy Moment

NO, no, poor suff'ring Heart, no Change endeavour,
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;
My ravish'd eyes behold such charms about her,
I can die with her, but not live without her:
One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past anguish:
Beware, O cruel Fair, how you smile on me,
'Twas a kind look of yours that has undone me.

Love has in store for me one happy minute,
And She will end my pain who did begin it;
Then no day void of bliss, or pleasure leaving,
Ages shall slide away without perceiving:
Cupid shall guard the door the more to please us,
And keep out Time and Death, when they would seize us:
Time and Death shall depart, and say in flying,
Love has found out a way to live, by dying.

by John Dryden.

Songs From The Beggar’s Opera: Air Iv-Cotillion

Act II, Scene iv, Air IV—Cotillion

Youth’s the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty:
She alone who that employs,
Well deserves her beauty.
Let’s be gay
While we may,
Beauty’s a flower despised in decay.

Chorus. Youth’s the season, etc.

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not to-morrow:
Love with youth flies swift away,
Age is naught but sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time’s on the wing,
Life never knows the return the spring.

Chorus. Let us drink, etc.

by John Gay.

To The Fringed Gentian

Thou blossom bright with autumn dew,
And colored with the heaven's own blue,
That openest when the quiet light
Succeeds the keen and frosty night.

Thou comest not when violets lean
O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
Or columbines, in purple dressed,
Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late and com'st alone,
When woods are bare and birds are flown,
And frosts and shortening days portend
The aged year is near his end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue--blue--as if that sky let fall
A flower from its cerulean wall.

I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.

by William Cullen Bryant.

Of The Last Verses In The Book

When we for age could neither read nor write,
The subject made us able to indite.
The soul, with nobler resolutions deckt,
The body stooping, does herself erect:
No mortal parts are requisite to raise
Her, that unbodied can her Maker praise.

The seas are quiet, when the winds give o'er,
So calm are we, when passions are no more:
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness, which age descries.

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made;
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home:
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

by Edmund Waller.

To Mr. Murray (Strahan, Tonson Lintot Of The Times)

Strahan, Tonson Lintot of the times,
Patron and publisher of rhymes,
For thee the bard up Pindus climbs,
My Murray.

To thee, with hope and terror dumb,
The unedged MS. authors come;
Thou printest all - and sellest some--
My Murray.

Upon thy table's baize so green
The last new Quarterly is seen,--
But where is thy new Magazine,
My Murray?

Along thy sprucest bookshelves shine
The works thou deemest most divine-
The 'Art of Cookery,' and mine,
My Murray.

Tours, Travels, Essays, too, I wist,
And Sermons, to thy mill bring grist;
And then thou hast the 'Navy List,'
My Murray.

And Heaven forbid I should conclude
Without 'the Board of Longitude,'
Although this narrow paper would,
My Murray.

Venice, March 25, 1818.

by George Gordon Byron.

A Song To Amoret

If I were dead, and, in my place,
Some fresher youth designed
To warm thee, with new fires; and grace
Those arms I left behind:

Were he as faithful as the Sun,
That's wedded to the Sphere;
His blood as chaste and temperate run,
As April's mildest tear;

Or were he rich; and, with his heap
And spacious share of earth,
Could make divine affection cheap,
And court his golden birth;

For all these arts, I'd not believe
(No! though he should be thine!),
The mighty Amorist could give
So rich a heart as mine!

Fortune and beauty thou might'st find,
And greater men than I;
But my true resolved mind
They never shall come nigh.

For I not for an hour did love,
Or for a day desire,
But with my soul had from above
This endless holy fire.

by Henry Vaughan.

THE sun in mists his glory shrouds,
The fields delight no more;
November's brow is dark with clouds,
The year's gay youth is o'er.
Lost is the verdure of the meads,
No tuneful warblings flow;
A long and dreary night succeeds
To noon's pale, transient glow.
Yet why lament the gloomy day,
Or Nature's long repose?
Again shall Spring's awakening ray
More beauteous tints disclose.
The vernal morn again shall gleam,
The drooping world to cheer;
The sun, with vivifying beam,
Renew th' empurpled year.
But if revolving Spring no more
Should bless our mortal eyes,
The soul that fears her God shall soar
Where suns more glorious rise.
Where night no more the veil of death
O'er day's bright scenes shall fling,
Nor Winter's rude, unwelcome breath,
E'er blast the charms of Spring.

by Elizabeth Bentley.

On The University Carrier Who Sickn'D In The Time Of His Vacancy, Being Forbid To Go To London, By Reason Of The Plague

Here lies old Hobson, Death hath broke his girt,
And here alas, hath laid him in the dirt,
Or els the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down;
For he had any time this ten yeers full,
Dodg'd with him, betwixt Cambridge and the Bull.
And surely, Death could never have prevail'd,
Had not his weekly cours of carriage fail'd;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journeys end was come,
And that he had tane up his latest Inne,
In the kind office of a Chamberlin
Shew'd him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pull'd off his Boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be sed,
Hobson has supt, and 's newly gon to bed.

by John Milton.

The Tears Of Amynta, For The Death Of Damon. A Song

1.
On a bank, beside a willow,
Heaven her covering, earth her pillow,
Sad Amynta sigh'd alone:
From the cheerless dawn of morning
Till the dews of night returning,
Singing thus she made her moan:
Hope is banish'd,
Joys are vanish'd,
Damon, my beloved, is gone!

2.
Time, I dare thee to discover
Such a youth and such a lover;
Oh, so true, so kind was he!
Damon was the pride of nature,
Charming in his every feature;
Damon lived alone for me;
Melting kisses,
Murmuring blisses:
Who so lived and loved as we?

3.
Never shall we curse the morning.
Never bless the night returning,
Sweet embraces to restore:
Never shall we both lie dying,
Nature failing, Love supplying
All the joys he drain'd before:

Death come end me,
To befriend me:
Love and Damon are no more

by John Dryden.

When wise Ulysses, from his native coast
Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss'd,
Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone,
To all his friends, and ev'n his Queen unknown,
Changed as he was, with age, and toils, and cares,
Furrow'd his rev'rend face, and white his hairs,
In his own palace forc'd to ask his bread,
Scorn'd by those slaves his former bounty fed,
Forgot of all his own domestic crew,
The faithful Dog alone his rightful master knew!

Unfed, unhous'd, neglected, on the clay
Like an old servant now cashier'd, he lay;
Touch'd with resentment of ungrateful man,
And longing to behold his ancient lord again.
Him when he saw he rose, and crawl'd to meet,
('Twas all he could) and fawn'd and kiss'd his feet,
Seiz'd with dumb joy; then falling by his side,
Own'd his returning lord, look'd up, and died!

by Alexander Pope.