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George Wither

I wonder how so insupportable a thing as a bookseller was ever permitted to grow up in the Commonwealth. Many of our modern booksellers are but needless excrements, or rather vermin.

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Amarillis I Did Woo

Amarillis I did woo,
And I courted Phillis too;
Daphne, for her love, I chose;
Cloris, for that damask rose
In her cheek, I held as dear;
Yea, a thousand liked well near.
And, in love with all together,
Fearèd the enjoying either;
'Cause to be of one possest,
Barred the hope of all the rest.

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The Lord Is King

The Lord is King, and weareth
A robe of glory bright:
He clothed with strength appeareth,
And girt with powerful might.

The earth He hath so grounded
That moved it cannot be;
His throne long since was founded,
More old than time is He.

The waters highly flowed,
And raised their voice, O Lord;
The seas their fury showed,
And loud their billows roar'd.

But God in strength excelleth
Strong seas and powerful deeps;
With Him all pureness dwelleth,
And firm His truth He keeps.

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Veil, lord, mine eyes till she be past

Veil, Lord, mine eyes till she be past,
When Folly tempts my sight;
Keep Thou my palate and my taste
From gluttonous delight.
Stop Thou mine ear from sirens’ songs,
My tongue from lies restrain;
Withhold my hands from doing wrongs,
My feet from courses vain.

Teach, likewise, ev’ry other sense
To act an honest part,
But chiefly settle innocence
And pureness in my heart;
So naught without me or within,
Shall work an ill effect,
By tempting me to act a sin,
Or virtues to neglect.

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Lilies Without, Lilies Within

Can I think the Guide of Heaven
Hath so beautifully given
Outward features, 'cause He meant
To have made less excellent
Your divine part? Or suppose
Beauty, goodness doth oppose;
Like those fools, who do despair
To find any, good and fair?
Rather there I seek a mind
Most excelling, where I find
God hath to the body lent
Most-beseeming ornament,
And I do believe it true,
That, as we the body view
Nearer to perfection grow;
So, the soul herself doth show:
Other more and more excelling
In her powers; as in her dwelling.

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Change

The voice which I did more esteem
Than music in her sweetest key,
Those eyes which unto me did seem
More comfortable than the day,
These now by me as they have been
Shall never more be heard or seen,
But what I once enjoyed in them
Shall seem hereafter as a dream.

All earthly comforts vanish thus,
So little hold of them have we;
That we from them, or they from us,
May in a moment vanished be:
Yet we are neither just nor wise,
If present mercies we despise;
Or mind not how there may be made
A thankful use of what we had.

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From A Satire Written To King James I

Did I not know a great man's power and might
In spite of innocence can smother right,
Colour his villainies to get esteem,
And make the honest man the villain seem?
I know it, and the world doth know 'tis true,
Yet I protest if such a man I knew,
That might my country prejudice or thee
Were he the greatest or the proudest he,
That breathes this day; if so it might be found
That any good to either might redound,
I unappalled, dare in such a case
Rip up his foulest crimes before his face,
Though for my labour I were sure to drop
Into the mouth of ruin without hope.

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Sonnet: On The Death Of Prince Henry

Methought his royal person did foretell
A kingly stateliness, from all pride clear;
His look majestic seemèd to compel
All men to love him, rather than to fear.
And yet though he were every good man's joy,
And the alonely comfort of his own,
His very name with terror did annoy
His foreign foes so far as he was known.
Hell drooped for fear; the Turkey moon looked pale;
Spain trembled; and the most tempestuous sea,
(Where Behemoth, the Babylonish whale,
Keeps all his bloody and imperious plea)
Was swoln with rage, for fear he'd stop the tide
Of her o'er-daring and insulting pride.

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A Sonnet Upon a Stolen Kiss

Now gentle sleep hath clos'd up those eyes
Which waking kept my boldest thoughts in awe,
And free access unto that sweet lip lies,
From whence I long the rosy breath to draw;
Methinks no wrong it were if I should steal
From those two melting rubies one poor kiss;
None sees the theft that would the thief reveal,
Nor rob I her of aught which she can miss;
Nay, should I twenty kisses take away,
There would be little sign I had done so;
Why then should I this robbery delay?
Oh! she may wake and therewith angry grow.
Well, if she do, I'll back restore that one,
And twenty hundred thousand more for loan.

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Sonnet: On A Stolen Kiss

Now gentle sleep hath closèd up those eyes,
Which waking kept my boldest thoughts in awe,
And free access unto that sweet lip lies
From whence I long the rosy breath to draw.
Methinks no wrong it were if I should steal,
From those two melting rubies, one poor kiss.
None sees the theft that would the thief reveal,
Nor rob I her of aught which she can miss.
Nay, should I twenty kisses take away,
There would be little sign I had done so.
Why then should I this robbery delay?
Oh, she may wake, and therewith angry grow.
Well, if she do, I'll back restore that one,
And twenty hundred thousand more for loan.

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