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O, LAY thy hand in mine, dear!

We're growing old;
But Time hath brought no sign, dear,

That hearts grow cold.
'Tis long, long since our new love

Made life divine;
But age enricheth true love,

Like noble wine.

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And lay thy cheek to mine, dear,

And take thy rest;
Mine arms around thee twine, dear,

And make thy nest.
A many cares are pressing

On this dear head;
But Sorrow's hands in blessing

Are surely laid.

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0, lean thy life on mine, dear!

'Twill shelter thee.
Thou wert a winsome vine, dear,

On my young tree:
And so, till boughs are leafless,

And songbirds flown,
We'll twine, then lay us, griefless,
Together down.

Gerald Massey (1828-1907]

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WIFE, CHILDREN, AND FRIENDS When the black-lettered list to the gods was presented

(The list of what Fate for each mortal intends), At the long string of ills a kind goddess relented, And slipped in three blessings,--wife, children, and


Wife, Children, and Friends


In vain surly Pluto maintained he was cheated,

For justice divine could not compass its ends;
The scheme of man's penance he swore was defeated,

For carth becomes heaven with-wife, children, and friends.

If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hands vested,

The fund, ill secured, oft in bankruptcy ends;
But the heart issues bills which are never protested,

When drawn on the firm of-wife, children, and friends.

Though valor still glows in his life's dying embers,

The death-wounded tar, who his colors defends, Drops a tear of regret as he dying remembers How blessed was his home with-wife, children, and


The soldier, whose deeds live immortal in story,

Whom duty to far distant latitudes sends, With transport would barter whole ages of glory

For one happy day with-wife, children, and friends.

Though spice-breathing gales on his caravan hover,

Though for him all Arabia's fragrance ascends,
The merchant still thinks of the woodbines that cover

The bower where he sat with-wife, children, and friends.

The dayspring of youth, still unclouded by sorrow,

Alone on itself for enjoyment depends; But drear is the twilight of age, if it borrow

No warmth from the smile of-wife, children, and friends.

Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish

The laurel which o'er the dead favorite bends; O’er me wave the willow, and long may it flourish,

Bedewed with the tears of-wife, children, and friends.

Let us drink, for my song, growing graver and graver,

To subjects too solemn insensibly tends; Let us drink, pledge me high, love and virtue shall flavor The glass which I fill to--wife, children, and friends.

William Robert Spencer (1769–1834]

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The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised!
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base thing I can no more endure to view:
But, looking still on her, I stand amazed
At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stoppèd is with thought's astonishment;
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravished is with fancy's wonderment:

Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot indite.


More than most fair, full of the living fire
Kindled above unto the Maker near;
No eyes but joys, in which all powers conspire
That to the world naught else be counted dear;
Through your bright beams doth not the blinded guest
Shoot out his darts to base affections wound;
But angels come to lead frail minds to rest
In chaste desires, on heavenly beauty bound.
You frame my thoughts, and fashion me within;
You stop my tongue, and teach my heart to speak;
You calm the storm that passion did begin,
Strong through your cause, but by your virtue wcak.

Dark is the world, where your light shinèd never;
Well is he born that may behold you ever.

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When I behold that beauty's wonderment,
And rare perfection of each goodly part,
Of Nature's still the only complement,
I honor and admire the Maker's art.
But when I feel the bitter baleful smart
Which her fair eyes un’wares do work in me,
That death out of their shiny beams do dart,
I think that I a new Pandora see,
Whom all the gods in council did agree
Into this sinful world from heaven to send,
That she to wicked men a scourge should be,
For all their faults with which they did offend.

But since ye are my scourge, I will entreat
That for my faults ye will me gently beat.


Like as a ship, that through the ocean wide,
By conduct of some star doth make her way,
Whenas a storm hath dimmed her trusty guide,
Out of her course doth wander far astray;
So I, whose star, that wont with her bright ray
Me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
Do wander now, in darkness and dismay,
Through hidden perils round about me placed;
Yet hope I well that, when this storm is past,
My Helicè, the lodestar of my life,
Will shine again, and look on me at last,
With lovely light to clear my cloudy grief:

Till then I wander care-full, comfortless,
In secret sorrow, and sad pensiveness.


So oft as I her beauty do behold,
And therewith do her cruelty compare,
I marvel of what substance was the mould,
The which her made at once so cruel fair;
Not earth, for her high thoughts more heavenly are;
Not water, for her love doth burn like fire;

Not air, for she is not so light or rare;
Not fire, for she doth freeze with faint desire.
Then needs another element inquire
Whereof she might be made—that is, the sky;
For to the heaven her haughty looks aspire,
And eke her mind is pure immortal high.

Then, since to heaven ye likened are the best,
Be like in mercy as in all the rest.


Most glorious Lord of Life! that on this day
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin,
And, having harrowed hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win,
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin,
May live forever in felicity;
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again,
And for thy sake, that all 'like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain!

So let us love, dear Love, like as we ought:
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.


Fresh Spring, the herald of love's mighty king,
In whose coat-armor richly are displayed
All sorts of flowers the which on earth do spring
In goodly colors gloriously arrayed;
Go to my love, where she is careless laid,
Yet in her winter's bower not well awake;
Tell her the joyous time will not be stayed,
Unless she do him by the forclock take;
Bid her therefore herself soon ready make
To wait on Love amongst his lovely crew;
Where everyone that misseth then her mate
Shall be by him amerced with penance due.

Make haste, therefore, sweet love, whilst it is prime;
For none can call again the passed time.

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