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THE FUNERAL

WHOEVER Comes to shroud me, do not harm
Nor question much

That subtle wreath of hair about mine arm;
The mystery, the sign, you must not touch,
For 'tis my outward soul,

Viceroy to that which, unto heaven being gone,
Will leave this to control

And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.

But if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall
Through every part,

Can tie those parts and make me one of all;
The hairs, which upward grew, and strength and art
Have from a better brain,

Can better do't; except she meant that I

By this should know my pain,

As prisoners are manacled when they 're condemned to die.

Whate'er she meant by 't, bury it with me;

For since I am

Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry
If into others' hands these relics came.
As 'twas humility

To afford to it all that a soul can do,

So 'twas some bravery

That since you would have none of me, I bury some of

you.

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RICHARD BARNEFIELD

1574 (?) —(?)

THE NIGHTINGALE

As it fell upon a day

In the merry month of May,

Sitting in a pleasant shade

Which a grove of myrtles made,

Beasts did leap and birds did sing,

Trees did grow and plants did spring;
Everything did banish moan

Save the Nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Leaned her breast up-till a thorn,

And there sung the dolefull'st ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;

Teru, teru, by and by:

That to hear her so complain

Scarce I could from tears refrain ;

For her griefs so lively shown

Made me think upon mine own.

-Ah, thought I, thou mournʼst in vain, None takes pity on thy pain:

Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee, Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;

King Pandion, he is dead,

All thy friends are lapped in lead:

All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing:
Even so, poor bird, like thee
None alive will pity me.

BEN JONSON

1574-1637

CHARIS' TRIUMPH

SEE the chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my lady rideth!

Each that draws is a swan or a dove,

And well the car Love guideth.

As she goes all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;

And enamoured do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,

That they still were to run by her side,

Through swords, through seas, whither she would

ride.

Do but look on her eyes, they do light

All that love's world compriseth!

Do but look on her, she is bright

As love's star when it riseth!

Do but mark, her forehead's smoother
Than words that soothe her!

And from her arched brows, such a grace
Sheds itself through the face,

As alone there triumphs to the life

All the gain, all the good of the elements' strife.

Have you seen but a bright lily grow

Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall of the snow
Before the soil hath smutched it?

Have you felt the wool of the beaver,
Or swan's down ever?

Or have smelled o' the bud o' the brier?

Or the nard in the fire?

Or have tasted the bag of the bee?

O so white! O so soft! O so sweet is she!

JEALOUSY

WRETCHED and foolish jealousy,
How cam'st thou thus to enter me?
I ne'er was of thy kind:

Nor have I yet the narrow mind

To vent that poor desire,

That others should not warm them at my fire: I wish the sun should shine

On all men's fruits and flowers as well as mine.

But under the disguise of love,

Thou say'st thou only cam'st to prove
What my affections were.

Think'st thou that love is helped by fear?
Go, get thee quickly forth,

Love's sickness and his noted want of worth,
Seek doubting men to please.

I ne'er will owe my health to a disease.

EPITAPH ON ELIZABETH L. H.

WOULDST thou hear what many say
In a little ?-reader, stay.

Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.

If at all she had a fault,

Leave it buried in this vault.

One name was Elizabeth,

The other, let it sleep with death:

Fitter where it died to tell

Than that it lived at all. Farewell!

HYMN TO DIANA

QUEEN and Huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair

State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright!

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to clear when day did close:
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright!

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal-shining quiver;

Give unto the flying hart

Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright!

ON MY FIRST DAUGHTER

HERE lies to each her parent's ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth:

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