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Edward Herbert

To his Watch, When He Could Not Sleep

Uncessant Minutes, whil'st you move
 you tell
The time that tells our life,  which
 though it run
Never so fast or farr,  you'r new
 begun
Short steps shall overtake;  for though life well

May scape his own Account, it shall not yours,
You are Death's Auditors, that both divide
And summ what ere that life inspir'd endures
Past a beginning, and through you we bide

The doom of Fate, whose unrecall'd Decree
You date, bring, execute; making what's new,
Ill and good, old, for as we die in you,
You die in Time, Time in Eternity.

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To Her face

Fatal Aspect ! that hast an Influence
    More powerful far than those Immortal Fires
That but incline the Will and move the Sense,
    Which thou alone contrain'st, kindling Desires
    Of such an holy force, as more inspires
The Soul with Knowledge, than Experience
    Or Revelation can do with all
Their borrow'd helps : Sacred Astonishment
    Sits on thy Brow, threatning a sudden fall
To all those Thoughts that are not lowly sent,
In wonder and amaze, dazling that Eye
    Which on those Mysteries doth rudely gaze,
Vow'd only unto Love's Divinity:
    Sure Adam sinn'd not in that spotless Face.

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Tears, flow no more

TEARS, flow no more, or if you needs must flow,
Fall yet more slow,
Do not the world invade,
From smaller springs than yours rivers have grown,
And they again a Sea have made,
Brackish like you, and which like you hath flown.

Ebb to my heart, and on the burning fires
Of my desires,
O let your torrents fall,
From smaller heate than theirs such sparks arise
As into flame converting all,
This world might be but my love's sacrifice.

Yet if the tempests of my sighs so blow
You both must flow,
And my desires still burn,
Since that in vain all help my love requires,
Why may not yet their rages turn
To dry those tears, and to blow out those fires ?

[...] Read more

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Elegy over a Tomb

Must I then see, alas, eternal night
Sitting upon those fairest eyes,
And closing all those beams, which once did rise
So radiant and bright
That light and heat in them to us did prove
Knowledge and love?

Oh, if you did delight no more to stay
Upon this low and earthly stage,
But rather chose an endless heritage,
Tell us at least, we pray,
Where all the beauties that those ashes ow'd
Are now bestow'd.

Doth the sun now his light with yours renew?
Have waves the curling of your hair?
Did you restore unto the sky and air
The red, and white, and blue?
Have you vouchsaf'd to flowers since your death
That sweetest breath?

[...] Read more

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