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With holy cares will keep it by us ;

We to the last

Will hold it fast,
And no assumption shall deny us.
All sweetest showers
Of fairest flowers
We'll strew upon
Though our sweetness cannot make
It sweeter, they may take
Themselves new sweetness from it.

it :

a

Maria, men and angels sing,
Maria, mother of our King.
Live, rarest princess, and may the bright
Crown of a most incomparable light
Embrace thy radiant brows! O, may the best
Of everlasting joys bathe thy white breast !
Live our chaste love, the holy mirth
Of heaven, and humble pride of earth :
Live crown of women, queen of men :
Live mistress of our song; and when
Our weak desires have done their best,
Sweet angels come, and sing the rest !

A HYMN ON THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR

LORD.

ISE, thou best and brightest morning,

Rosy with a double red;

With thine own blush thy cheeks adorning, And the dear drops this day were shed.

All the purple pride of laces,

The crimson curtains of thy bed ;
Gild thee not with so sweet graces,

Nor set thee in so rich a red.
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Of all the fair-cheek'd flowers that fill thee,

None so fair thy bosom strews,
As this modest maiden lily

Our sins have shamed into a rose.

Bid the golden god, the sun,

Burnish'd in his best beams rise,
Put all his red-eyed rubies on,-

These rubies shall put out his eyes.

Let him make poor the purple East,

Search what the world's close cabinets keep, Rob the rich births of each bright nest

That flaming in their fair beds sleep.

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Let him embrace his own bright tresses

With a new morning made of gems;
And wear, in those his wealthy dresses, ,

Another day of diadems.

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When he hath done all he

may,
To make himself rich in his rise,
All will be darkness to the day

That breaks from one of these bright eyes.

And soon this sweet truth shall appear,

Dear babe, ere many days be done :

:

The morn shall come to meet thee here,

And leave the long-adored sun.

Here are beauties shall bereave him

Of all his eastern paramours :
His Persian lovers all shall leave him,

And swear faith to thy sweeter powers.

Nor while they leave him shall they lose the sun,
But in thy fairest eyes find two for one.

ON HOPE. By way of Question and Answer, between A. Cowley

and R. Crashaw.

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:

COWLEY.
OPE, whose weak being ruin'd is,
Alike, if it succeed and if it miss :

Whom ill and good doth equally confound, And both the horns of fate's dilemma wound:

Vain shadow! that doth vanish quite
Both at full noon and perfect night:
The Fates have not a possibility

Of blessing thee.
If things, then, from their ends we happy call,
'Tis Hope is the most hopeless thing of all.

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CRASHAW.
Dear Hope! earth's dowry, and heaven's debt,
The entity of things that are not yet :

. These two lines are not in the version of the Paris edition of 1652.

G

:

Subtlest, but surest being! Thou by whom
Our nothing hath a definition :

Fair cloud of fire ! both shade and light,
Our life in death, our day in night:
Fates cannot find out a capacity

Of hurting thee.
From thee their thin dilemma with blunt horn
Shrinks, like the sick moon at the wholesome morn.

COWLEY.
Hope, thou bold taster of delight,
Who, stead of doing so, devour'st it quite;
Thou bring’st us an estate, yet leav'st us poor
By clogging it with legacies before.

The joys which we entire should wed
Come deflower'd virgins to our bed :
Good fortunes without gain imported be,

So mighty custom's paid to thee !
For joy, like wine kept close, doth better taste,
If it take air before its spirits waste.

CRASHAW.
Thou art love's legacy under lock
Of faith: the steward of our growing stock:
Our crown-lands lie above, yet each meal brings
A seemly portion for the sons of kings.

Nor will the virgin-joys we wed
Come less unbroken to our bed,
Because that from the bridal cheek of bliss

Thou thus steal'st down a distant kiss ;
Hope's chaste kiss wrongs no more joy's maidenhead,
Than spousal rites prejudge the marriage-bed.

COWLEY.
Hope, Fortune's cheating lottery,
Where for one prize an hundred blanks there be :
Fond archer, Hope, who tak’st thine aim so far,
That still or short or wide thine arrows are:

Thine empty cloud the eye itself deceives
With shapes that our own fancy gives :
A cloud which gilt and painted now appears,

But must drop presently in tears.
When thy false beams o'er reason's light prevail,
By ignes fatui, not North stars, we sail.

CRASHAW.
Fair Hope ! our earlier heaven, by thee
Young Time is taster to Eternity.
The
generous wine with

age grows strong, not sour; Nor need we kill thy fruit to smell thy flower.

Thy golden head never hangs down,
Till in the lap of love's full noon
It falls and dies. O, no, it melts away

As doth the dawn into the day:
As lumps of sugar lose themselves, and twine
Their subtle essence with the soul of wine.

CoWLEY.
Brother of Fear! more gaily clad,
The merrier fool o'th' two, yet quite as mad:
Sire of repentance ! shield of fond desire,
That blows the chymic's and the lover's fire,

Still leading them insensibly on,
With the strange witchcraft of Anon!

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