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SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT

1606-1668

309                                                   Aubade

   THE lark now leaves his watry nest,
   And climbing shakes his dewy wings.
He takes this window for the East,
   And to implore your light he sings
Awake, awake! the morn will never rise
Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes.
The merchant bows unto the seamans star,
   The ploughman from the sun his season takes;
But still the lover wonders what they are
   Who look for day before his mistress wakes.
Awake, awake! break thro your veils of lawn!
Then draw your curtains, and begin the dawn!

310                                        To a Mistress Dying

          Lover.   YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh
                            As eastern summers are,
                       Must now, forsaking time and flesh,
                            Add light to some small star.
Philosopher.   Whilst she yet lives, were stars decayd,
                            Their light by hers relief might find;
                       But Death will lead her to a shade
                             Where Love is cold and Beauty blind.
          Lover.   Lovers, whose priests all poets are,
                            Think every mistress, when she dies,
                       Is changed at least into a star:
                       And who dares doubt the poets wise?
Philosopher.   But ask not bodies doomd to die
                            To what abode they go;
                       Since Knowledge is but Sorrows spy.
                             It is not safe to know.

311                                      Praise and Prayer

PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds,
   The diffring worlds agreeing sacrifice;
Where Heaven divided faiths united finds:
   But Prayer in various discord upward flies.
For Prayer the ocean is where diversely
   Men steer their course, each to a sevral coast;
Where all our interests so discordant be
   That half beg winds by which the rest are lost.

By Penitence when we ourselves forsake,
   Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven;
In Praise we nobly give what God may take,
   And are, without a beggars blush, forgiven.

 

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