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10

The present moment 's all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,

Phyllis, is only thine.
Then talk not of inconstancy,

False hearts, and broken vows;
If I by miracle can be
This live-long minute true to thee,

'T is all that Heaven allows.

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1680.

5

A SONG
Absent from thee, I languish still;

Then ask me not when I return?
The straying fool 't will plainly kill

To wish all day, all night to mourn.
Dear, from thine arms then let me fly,

That my fantastic mind may prove
The torments it deserves to try,

That tears my fixed heart from my love.
When, wearied with a world of woe,

To thy safe bosom I retire,
Where love, and peace, and truth does flow,

May I, contented, there expire;
Lest, once more wandering from that heaven,

I fall on some base heart unblest,
Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven,
And lose my everlasting rest.

1680.

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JOHN OLDHAM

FROM

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TO THE MEMORY OF MR. CHARLES MORWENT

Thy soul within such silent pomp did keep
As if humanity were lulled asleep;
So gentle was thy pilgrimage beneath,

Time's unheard feet scarce make less noise,
Or the soft journey which a planet goes :

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Life seemed all calm as its last breath,
A still tranquillity so hushed thy breast,

As if some halcyon were its guest,

And there had built her nest;
It hardly now enjoys a greater rest.
As that smooth sea which wears the name of Peace

Still with one even face appears,
And feels no tides to change it from its place,
No waves to alter the fair form it bears;

As that unspotted sky
Where Nile does want of rain supply
Is free from clouds, from storm is ever free;
So thy unvaried mind was always one,

And with such clear serenity still shone,
And caused thy little world to seem all temp'rate zone.

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1710.

WILLIAM CONGREVE

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5

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AMORET
Fair Amoret is gone astray:

Pursue and seek her, ev'ry lover!
I'll tell the signs by which you may

The wand'ring shepherdess discover.
Coquet and coy at once her air,

Both studied though both seem neglected;
Careless she is, with artful care,

Affecting to seem unaffected.
With skill her eyes dart ev'ry glance,

Yet change so soon you'd ne'er suspect 'em;
For she'd persuade they wound by chance,

Though certain aim and art direct 'em.
She likes herself, yet others hates

For that which in herself she prizes;
And while she laughs at them, forgets

She is the thing that she despises.
Before 1700.

1710.

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JOHN DRYDEN

FROM

HEROIC STANZAS

CONSECRATED TO THE MEMORY OF HIS HIGHNESS, OLIVER, LATE LORD

PROTECTOR OF THIS COMMONWEALTH

His grandeur he derived from Heav'n alone,

For he was great ere Fortune made him so;
And wars, like mists that rise against the sun,

Made him but greater seem, not greater grow.

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No borrowed bays his temples did adorn,

But to our crown he did fresh jewels bring;
Nor was his virtue poisoned, soon as born,

With the too early thoughts of being king.

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Fortune, that easy mistress of the young,

But to her ancient servants coy and hard,
Him at that age her favourites ranked among

When she her best-loved Pompey did discard.

He, private, marked the faults of others' sway,

And set as sea-marks for himself to shun;
Not like rash monarchs, who their youth betray

By acts their age too late would wish undone.

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And yet dominion was not his design;

We owe that blessing not to him but Heav'n,
Which to fair acts unsought rewards did join,

Rewards that less to him than us were giv'n.

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Our former chiefs, like sticklers of the war,

First sought t inflame the parties, then to poise;
The quarrel loved, but did the cause abhor,

And did not strike to hurt but make a noise.

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War, our consumption, was their gainful trade;

We inward bled, whilst they prolonged our pain:
He fought to end our fighting, and assayed

To stanch the blood by breathing of the vein.

30

Swift and resistless through the land he passed,

Like that bold Greek who did the East subdue,
And made to battles such heroic haste

As if on wings of victory he flew.

He fought, secure of fortune as of fame,

Till by new maps the island might be shown
Of conquests, which he strewed where'er he came,

Thick as the galaxy with stars is sown.
1758.

1759.

35

FROM

ASTREA REDUX

A POEM ON THE HAPPY RESTORATION AND RETURN OF HIS

SACRED

MAJESTY CHARLES THE SECOND

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For his long absence Church and State did groan;
Madness the pulpit, faction seized the throne.
Experienced age in deep despair was lost,
To see the rebel thrive, the loyal crossed:
Youth, that with joys had unacquainted been,
Envied gray hairs that once good days had seen;
We thought our sires, not with their own content,
Had, ere we came to age, our portion spent.
Nor could our nobles hope their bold attempt,
Who ruined crowns, would coronets exempt:
For when, by their designing leaders taught
To strike at pow'r which for themselves they sought,
The vulgar, gulled into rebellion, armed,
Their blood to action by the prize was warmed;
The sacred purple then and scarlet gown,
Like sanguine dye to elephants, was shown.
Thus when the bold Typhæus scaled the sky,
And forced great Jove from his own heav'n to fly
(What king, what crown, from treason's reach is free,
If Jove and heav'n can violated be?),
The lesser gods, that shared his prosp'rous state,
All suffered in the exiled Thund'rer's fate.
The rabble now such freedom did enjoy
As winds at sea, that use it to destroy:

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Blind as the Cyclops, and as wild as he,
They owned a lawless, savage liberty,
Like that our painted ancestors so prized
Ere empire's arts their breasts had civilised.
How great were then our Charles his woes, who thus
Was forced to suffer for himself and us!
He, tossed by fate, and hurried up and down,
Heir to his father's sorrows with his crown,
Could taste no sweets of youth's desired age,
But found his life too true a pilgrimage.
Unconquered yet in that forlorn estate,
His manly courage overcame his fate.
His wounds he took, like Romans, on his breast,
Which by his virtue were with laurels drest.
As souls reach heav'n while yet in bodies pent,
So did he live above his banishment.

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1660.

1660.

INCANTATION

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You twice ten hundred deities,
To whom we daily sacrifice;
You powers that dwell with Fate below,
And see what men are doomed to do,
Where elements in discord dwell;
Thou god of sleep, arise and tell
Great Zempoalla what strange fate
Must on her dismal vision wait!
By the croaking of the toad,
In their caves that make abode,
Earthy, dun, that pants for breath,
With her swelled sides full of death;
By the crested adders' pride,
That along the clifts do glide;
By thy visage fierce and black;
By the death's head on thy back;
By the twisted serpents placed
For a girdle round thy waist;
By the hearts of gold that deck
Thy breast, thy shoulders, and thy neck;

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