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WILLIAM DRUMMOND, OF HAWTHORNDEN

1585-1649

232                                                  Invocation

     PHÆBUS, arise!
     And paint the sable skies
With azure, white, and red;
Rouse Memnon’s mother from her Tithon’s bed,
That she thy càareer may with roses spread;
The nightingales thy coming each-where sing;
Make an eternal spring!
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead;
Spread forth thy golden hair
In larger locks than thou wast wont before,
And emperor-like decore
With diadem of pearl thy temples fair:
Chase hence the ugly night
Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.
This is that happy morn,
That day, long wishàed day
Of all my life so dark
(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn
And fates not hope betray),
Which, only white, deserves
A diamond for ever should it mark:
This is the morn should bring into this grove
My Love, to hear and recompense my love.
Fair King, who all preserves,
But show thy blushing beams,
And thou two sweeter eyes
Shalt see than those which by Penàeus’ streams
Did once thy heart surprise:
Nay, suns, which shine as clear
As thou when two thou did to Rome appear.
Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise:
If that ye, winds, would hear
A voice surpassing far Amphion’s lyre,
Your stormy chiding stay;
Let zephyr only breathe
And with her tresses play,
Kissing sometimes these purple ports of death.
The winds all silent are;
And Phbus in his chair
Ensaffroning sea and air
Makes vanish every star:
Night like a drunkard reels
Beyond the hills to shun his flaming wheels:
The fields with flowers are deck’d in every hue,
The clouds bespangle with bright gold their blue:
Here is the pleasant place—
And everything, save Her, who all should grace.

233                                                    Madrigal

       LIKE the Idalian queen,
       Her hair about her eyne,
With neck and breast’s ripe apples to be seen,
     At first glance of the morn
In Cyprus’ gardens gathering those fair flow’rs
     Which of her blood were born,
I saw, but fainting saw, my paramours.1
The Graces naked danced about the place,
     The winds and trees amazed
     With silence on her gazed,
The flowers did smile, like those upon her face;
And as their aspen stalks those fingers band,2
     That she might read my case,
A hyacinth I wish’d me in her hand.

1 paramours: = sing. paramour.

2 band: bound.

234                                            Spring Bereaved 1

     THAT zephyr every year
     So soon was heard to sigh in forests here,
It was for her: that wrapp’d in gowns of green
     Meads were so early seen,
That in the saddest months oft sung the merles,
It was for her; for her trees dropp’d forth pearls.
     That proud and stately courts
Did envy those our shades and calm resorts,
It was for her; and she is gone, O woe!
     Woods cut again do grow,
Bud doth the rose and daisy, winter done;
But we, once dead, no more do see the sun.

235                                             Spring Bereaved 2

SWEET Spring, thou turn’st with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flow’rs.
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their show’rs.
Thou turn’st, sweet youth, but ah! my pleasant hours
And happy days with thee come not again;
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee turn, which turn my sweets in sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wast before,
Delicious, wanton, amiable, fair;
But she, whose breath embalm’d thy wholesome air,
Is gone—nor gold nor gems her can restore.
   Neglected virtue, seasons go and come,
   While thine forgot lie closàed in a tomb.

236                                             Spring Bereaved 3

ALEXIS, here she stay’d; among these pines,
Sweet hermitress, she did alone repair;
Here did she spread the treasure of her hair,
More rich than that brought from the Colchian mines.
She set her by these muskàed eglantines,
—The happy place the print seems yet to bear:
Her voice did sweeten here thy sugar’d lines,
To which winds, trees, beasts, birds, did lend their ear.
Me here she first perceived, and here a morn
Of bright carnations did o’erspread her face;
Here did she sigh, here first my hopes were born,
And I first got a pledge of promised grace:
   But ah! what served it to be happy so?
   Sith passàed pleasures double but new woe?

237                                                 Her Passing

    THE beauty and the life
    Of life’s and beauty’s fairest paragon
—O tears! O grief!—hung at a feeble thread
To which pale Atropos had set her knife;
    The soul with many a groan
    Had left each outward part,
And now did take his last leave of the heart:
Naught else did want, save death, ev’n to be dead;
When the afflicted band about her bed,
Seeing so fair him come in lips, cheeks, eyes,
Cried, ‘Ah! and can Death enter Paradise?’

238                                                  Inexorable

     MY thoughts hold mortal strife;
     I do detest my life,
     And with lamenting cries
     Peace to my soul to bring
Oft call that prince which here doth monarchise:
   —But he, grim-grinning King,
Who caitiffs scorns, and doth the blest surprise,
Late having deck’d with beauty’s rose his tomb,
Disdains to crop a weed, and will not come.

239                                   Change should breed Change

    NEW doth the sun appear,
    The mountains’ snows decay,
Crown’d with frail flowers forth comes the baby year.
    My soul, time posts away;
    And thou yet in that frost
    Which flower and fruit hath lost,
As if all here immortal were, dost stay.
   For shame! thy powers awake,
Look to that Heaven which never night makes black,
And there at that immortal sun’s bright rays,
Deck thee with flowers which fear not rage of days!

240                                            Saint John Baptist

THE last and greatest Herald of Heaven’s King,
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he than man more harmless found and mild.
His food was locusts, and what young doth spring
With honey that from virgin hives distill’d;
Parch’d body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled.
There burst he forth: ‘All ye, whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn!’
—Who listen’d to his voice, obey’d his cry?
   Only the echoes, which he made relent,
   Rung from their marble caves ‘Repent! Repent!

 

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