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Though what


said had not been true, If spoke by any else but you ;

Your speech will govern destiny, And Fate will change rather than you should lye.' 'Tis true, if human Reason were the guide,

Reason, methinks, was on my fide;
But that 's a guide, alas ! we must resign,

When th' authority 's divine.
She said, the said herself it would be fo;
And I, bold unbeliever! answer'd no:

Never so justly, sure, before,
Error the name of blindness bore;

For, whatsoe'er the question be,
There 's no man that has eyes would bet for me.
If Truth itself (as other angels do

When they descend to human view)
In a material form would deign to shine,

'Twould imitate or borrow thine :
So dazzling bright, yet so transparent clear,
So well-proportion'd, would the parts appear!

Happy the eye which Truth could see
Cloath'd in a shape like thee ;

But happier far the eye
Which could thy shape naked like Truth espy!
Yet this lost wager costs me nothing more

Than what I ow'd to thee before :
Who would not venture for that debt to play,
Which he were bound howe'er to pay?

If Nature gave me power to write in verse,
She gave it me thy praises to rehearse :

Thy wondrous beauty and thy wit

Has such a sovereign right to it,
That no man's Muse for public vent is free,
Till she has paid her customs first to thee.



THE fith around her crowded, as they do

To the false light that treacherous fishers shew,,.. And all with as much ease might taken be,

As she at first took me ;
For ne'er did light so clear.

Among the waves appear,
Though every night the sun himself set there.
Why to mute fish should'st thou thyself discover,
And not to me, thy no less filent lover ?
As some from men their buried gold:commit

To ghosts, that have no use of it;
Half their rich treasures fo

Maids bury; and, for aught we know,
(Poor ignorants !) they ’re mermaids all. below..
The amorous waves would fain about her stay,
But still new amorous waves drive them away,
And with swift current to those joys they haste; .

That do as swiftly waste :
I laugh'd the wanton play to view ;

But 'tis, alas! at land so too,
And still old lovers yield the place to new.

Kiss her, and as you part, you amorous waves
(My happier rivals, and my fellow-slaves)
Point to your flowery banks, and to her shew

The good your bounties do ;
Then tell her what your pride doth cost,

And how your use and beauty 's loft,
When rigorous winter binds you up with frost.
Tell her, her beauties and her youth, like thee,
Haste without stop to a devouring sea ;
Where they will mix'd and undistinguish'd lie
With all the meanest things that die;

As in the ocean thou

No privilege dost know
Above th' impurest streams that thither flow..
Tell her, kind flood! when this has made her sad,
Tell her there is yet one remedy to be had :
Shew her how thou, though long since past, doft find.

Thyfelf yet still behind :
Marriage (say to her) will bring

About the self-same thing.
But lae, fond maid,

Thuts and seals-up the spring.



O V E R..


T is enough ; enough of time and pain

Hast thou consum'd in vain ;
Leave, wretched Cowley ! leave

Thyself with shadows to deceive ;
Think that already lost which thou must never gain..


Three: Three of thy lustiest and thy freshest years

(Toss'd in forms of hopes and fears)
Like helpless ships that be

Set on fire i' th' midit o' the fea,
Have all been burnt in love, and all been drown'd in


Resolve then on it, and by force or art

Free thy unlucky heart;
Since Fate does disapprove

Th'ambition of thy love,
And not one star in heaven offers to take thy part.
If e'er I clear my heart from this desire,

If e'er it home to its breast retire,
It ne'er shall wander more about,

Though thousand beauties call it out :
A lover burnt like me for ever dreads the fire.
The pox, the plague, and every small disease,

May come as oft as ill-fate please ;
But death and love are never found

To give a second wound,
We 're by those ferpents bit, bat we ’re devour'd by


Alas! what comfort is 't that I am grown

Secure of being again o'erthrown?
Since such an enemy needs not fear

Lest any else should quarter there, Who has not only fack'd, but quite burnt down, the town.


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THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER. 3679. Meeting accidentally with this poem in manu.

script, and being informed that it was a piece of the incomparable Mr. A. C's, I thought it unjust to hide such a treasure from the world. I remembered that our author, in his preface to his works to makes mention of some poems written by him on the late. civil war, of which the following copy is questionably a part. In his most imperfect and unfinished pieces, you will discover the hand of so great a master. And (whatever his own modesty might have advised to the contrary) there is not one careless stroke of his but what should be kept sacred to posterity. He could write nothing that was not worth the preserving, being habitually a poet, and always inspired. In this piece the judicious reader will find the turn of the verse to be his; the same copious and lively imagery of fancy, the same warmth of passion and delicacy of wit, that sparkles in all his writings. And certainly

This and the two following Poems are not given with certainty as Cowley's. They have been afcribed to him; are possibly genuine; and therefore are preserved in this collection. N.

See p. 16 of this Volume.

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