William Drummond, fully Sir William Drummond of Hawthornden
Thrice happy he, who by some shady grove, Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own Though solitary, who is not alone, But doth converse with that eternal love.
Doth then the world go thus? Doth all thus move? Is this the justice which on earth we find? Is this that firm decree which all doth bind? Are these your influences, powers above? Those souls, which vice's moody mists most blind, blind fortune, blindly, most their friend doth prove; and they who thee, poor idol virtue! Love, ply like a feather tossed by storm and wind. Ah! If a providence doth sway this all, why should best minds groan under most distress? Or why should pride humility make thrall, and injuries the innocent oppress? Heavens! Hinder, stop this fate; or grant a time when good may have, as well as bad, their prime!
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.
To The Nightingale - sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours of winters past or coming, void of care, well pleased with delights which present are, (fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers) to rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers thou thy creator's goodness dost declare, and what dear gifts on thee he did not spare: a stain to human sense in sin that lours, what soul can be so sick which by thy songs (attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs, and lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven? Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise to airs of spheres, yes, and to angels' lays.
For me starting the day without a pot of tea would be a day forever out of kilter.
O cruel beauty, meekness inhumane, That night and day contend with my desire, And seek my hope to kill, not quench my fire, by death, not balm, to ease my pleasant pain; though ye my thoughts tread down which would aspire, And bound my bliss, do not, alas! Disdain that I your matchless worth and grace admire, And for their cause these torments sharp sustain. Let great Empedocles vaunt of his death, Found in the midst of those Sicilian flames, and Phaëthon, that heaven him reft of breath, And Dædal's son, he nam'd the Samian streams: Their haps I envy not; my praise shall be, the fairest she that liv'd gave death to me.
Trust not, sweet soul, those curled waves of gold, with gentle tides which on your temples flow, nor temples spread with flakes of virgin snow, nor snow of cheeks with Tyrian grain enroll'd; trust not those shining lights which wrought my woe, when first I did their burning rays behold, nor voice, whose sounds more strange effects do show than of the Thracian harper have been told. Look to this dying lily, fading rose, dark hyacinth, of late whose blushing beams made all the neighboring herbs and grass rejoice, and think how little is 'twixt life's extremes: the cruel tyrant that did kill those flow'rs, shall once, ay me! Not spare that spring of yours. That I so slenderly set forth my mind, writing I wot not what in ragged rhymes, and charg'd with brass into these golden times, when others tower so high, am left behind; I crave not Phoebus leave his sacred cell to bind my brows with fresh aonian bays; let them have that who tuning sweetest lays by tempe sit, or Aganippe's well; nor yet to venus' tree do I aspire, sith she for whom I might affect that praise, my best attempts with cruel words gainsays, and I seek not that others me admire. Of weeping myrrh the crown is which I crave, with a sad cypress to adorn my grave.
For what doth serve all that this world contains, sith she for whom those once to me were dear, no part of them can have now with me here?
O fate! Conspir'd to pour your worst on me, o rigorous rigour, which doth all confound! With cruel hands ye have cut down the tree, and fruit and flower dispersed on the ground. A little space of earth my love doth bound; that beauty which did raise it to the sky, turn'd in neglected dust, now low doth lie, deaf to my plaints, and senseless of my wound. Ah! Did i live for this? Ah! Did I love? For this and was it she did so excel? That ere she well life's sweet-sour joys did prove, she should, too dear a guest, with horror dwell? Weak influence of heaven! What fair ye frame, falls in the prime, and passeth like a dream. O woful life! Life? No, but living death, frail boat of crystal in a rocky sea, a sport expos'd to fortune's stormy breath, which kept with pain, with terror doth decay: the false delights, true woes thou dost bequeath, mine all-appalled mind do so affray, that i those envy who are laid in earth, and pity them that run thy dreadful way. When did mine eyes behold one cheerful morn? When had my tossed soul one night of rest? When did not hateful stars my projects scorn? O! Now I find for mortals what is best; even, sith our voyage shameful is, and short, soon to strike sail, and perish in the port.
What doth it serve to see sun's burning face, and skies enamelled with both the indies' gold? Or moon at night in jetty chariot roll'd, and all the glory of that starry place?
God never had a church but there, men say, the devil a chapel hath raised by some wyles. I doubted of this saw, till on a day I westward spied great edinburgh’s saint gyles.
O sacred blush, impurpling cheeks' pure skies with crimson wings which spread thee like the morn; o bashful look, sent from those shining eyes, which, though cast down on earth, couldst heaven adorn; o tongue, in which most luscious nectar lies, that can at once both bless and make forlorn; dear coral lip, which beauty beautifies, that trembling stood ere that her words were born; and you her words, words, no, but golden chains, which did captive mine ears, ensnare my soul, wise image of her mind, mind that contains a power, all power of senses to control; ye all from love dissuade so sweetly me, that i love more, if more my love could be.
What sweet delight a quiet life affords.
He lives who dies to win a lasting name.
Of mortal glory, o soon darken'd ray! O posting joys of man, more swift than wind! O fond desires, which wing'd with fancies stray! O trait'rous hopes, which do our judgments blind! Lo! In a flash that light is gone away, which dazzle did each eye, delight each mind, and with that sun, from whence it came, combin'd, now makes more radiant heaven's eternal day. Let beauty now bedew her cheeks with tears, let widow'd music only roar and plain; poor virtue, get thee wings, and mount the spheres, and let thine only name on earth remain. Death hath thy temple raz'd, love's empire foil'd, the world of honour, worth, and sweetness spoil'd. Those eyes, those sparkling sapphires of delight, which thousand thousand hearts did set on fire, which made that eye of heaven that brings the light, oft jealous, stay amaz'd them to admire; that living snow, those crimson roses bright, those pearls, those rubies, which did breed desire, those locks of gold, that purple fair of tyre, are wrapt, ay me! Up in eternal night. What hast thou more to vaunt of, wretched world, sith she, who cursed thee made blest, is gone? Thine ever-burning lamps, rounds ever whirl'd, can unto thee not model such a one: for if they would such beauty bring on earth, they should be forc'd again to make her breath.
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,
That she might read my case,
A hyacinth I wished me in her hand.
No, no; if the fairest features of the landscape are to
be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men
alone. Let our lakes receive as true names at least as the Icarian
Sea, where “still the shore” a “brave attempt resounds.