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An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford 1603
The waves are broken precious stones,
Sapphire and amethyst,
Washed from celestial basement walls
Out through the utmost gates of space,
Here sit I, as a little child:
The threshold of God's door
In height or depth, to me;
Glad, when is opened unto my need
Some sea-like glimpse of thee.
Lucy Larcom [1824-1893]
AN ODE TO MASTER ANTHONY STAFFORD
TO HASTEN HIM INTO THE COUNTRY
COME, spur away,
I have no patience for a longer stay,
But must go down
And leave the chargeable noise of this great town:
I will the country see,
Though hid in gray,
Doth look more gay
Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad.
Farewell, you city wits, that are
Almost at civil war
'Tis time that I grow wise, when all the world grows mad.
More of my days
I will not spend to gain an idiot's praise;
For some slight Puisne of the Inns of Court.
How shall we spend the day?
Shorten the nights?
When from this tumult we are got secure,
Where mirth with all her freedom goes,
Yet shall no finger lose;
Where every word is thought, and every thought is pure?
There from the tree
We'll cherries pluck, and pick the strawberry;
Go see the wholesome country girls make hay,
Than any painted face
That I do know
Hyde Park can show:
Where I had rather gain a kiss than meet
(Though some of them in greater state
Might court my love with plate)
The beauties of the Cheap, and wives of Lombard Street.
But think upon
Some other pleasures: these to me are none.
Why do I prate
Of women, that are things against my fate!
I never mean to wed
That torture to my bed:
My Muse is she
My love shall be.
Let clowns get wealth and heirs: when I am gone
Shall take this idle breath,
If I a poem leave, that poem is my son.
Of this no more!
We'll rather taste the bright Pomona's store.
An Ode to Master Anthony Stafford 1605
No fruit shall 'scape
Our palates, from the damson to the grape.
And hear what music's made;
Her tale doth tell,
And how the other birds do fill the choir;
The thrush and blackbird lend their throats,
We will all sports enjoy which others but desire.
Ours is the sky,
Where at what fowl we please our hawk shall fly:
To hunt the crafty fox or timorous hare;
In any ground they'll choose;
The buck shall fall,
The stag, and all.
Our pleasures must from their own warrants be,
I'm sure all game is free:
Heaven, earth, are all but parts of her great royalty.
And when we mean
To taste of Bacchus' blessings now and then,
A cup or two to noble Barkley's health,
I'll take my pipe and try
Which he that hears,
Lets through his ears
A madness to distemper all the brain:
Then I another pipe will take
And Doric music make,
To civilize with graver notes our wits again.
Thomas Randolph [1605-1635]
"THE MIDGES DANCE ABOON THE BURN"
THE midges dance aboon the burn;
The dews begin to fa';
The paitricks doun the rushy holm
Set up their e'ening ca'.
Now loud and clear the blackbird's sang
Rings through the briery shaw,
Around the castle wa'.
Beneath the golden gloamin' sky
The redbreast pours his sweetest strains
The merry wren, frae den to den,
The roses fauld their silken leaves,
Spread fragrance through the dell.—
Let others crowd the giddy court
Of mirth and revelry,
The simple joys that Nature yields
Are dearer far to me.
Robert Tannahill [1774-1810]
ABOVE yon somber swell of land
Thou seest the dawn's grave orange hue,
With one pale streak like yellow sand,
The air is cold above the woods;
The blackbird holds a colloquy.
"To One Long in City Pent" 1607
Over the broad hill creeps a beam,
Like hope that gilds a good man's brow;
Of stalwart horses come to plow.
Ye rigid plowmen, bear in mind
Your labor is for future hours!
Plow deep and straight with all your powers.
THE USEFUL PLOW
A COUNTRY life is sweet!
In moderate cold and heat,
To walk in the air how pleasant and fair!
In every field of wheat,
The fairest of flowers adorning the bowers,
And every meadow's brow;
So that I say, no courtier may
Compare with them who clothe in gray,
And follow the useful plow.
They rise with the morning lark,
And labor till almost dark,
Then, folding their sheep, they hasten to sleep
While every pleasant park
Next morning is ringing with birds that are singing
On each green, tender bough.
With what content and merriment
Their days are spent, whose minds are bent
To follow the useful plow.
"TO ONE WHO HAS BEEN LONG IN CITY
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.