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John Cleveland

I am no Poet here; my pen's the spout where the rain water of my eyes run out.

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Love melts the rigor which the rocks have bred; a flint will break upon a feather bed.

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Had Cain been Scot, God would have changed his doom nor forced him wander, but confine him home.

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My tears will keep no channel, know no laws to guide their streams, but like the waves, their cause, run with disturbance till they swallow me as a description of his misery.

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Fuscara, or the Bee Errant ( excerpt)

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"But oh! what waspe was't that could prove
Ravilliack to my Queen of Love?
The King of Bees now's jealous grown
Lest her beams should melt his throne…

Live-Hony all, the Envyous Elfe
Stung her, cause sweeter than himself.
Sweetness and she are so ally'd
The Bee committed parricide."


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An Elegy On Ben Jonson

WHO first reform'd our Stage with justest Lawes,
And was the first best Judge in his owne Cause?
Who (when his Actors trembled for Applause)

Could (with a noble Confidence) preferre
His owne, by right, to a whole Theater;
From Principles which he knew could not erre.

Who to his FABLE did his Persons fitt,
With all the Properties of Art and Witt,
And above all (that could bee Acted) writt.

Who publique Follies did to covert drive,
Which hee againe could cunningly retrive,
Leaving them no ground to rest on, and thrive.

Heere IONSON lies, whom had I nam'd before
In that one word alone, I had paid more
Then can be now, when plentie makes me poore.

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Mark Antony

Whenas the nightingale chanted her vespers,
And the wild forester couched on the ground,
Venus invited me in th' evening whispers
Unto a fragrant field with roses crowned,
Where she before had sent
My wishes' complement;
Unto my heart's content
Played with me on the green.
Never Mark Antony
Dallied more wantonly
With the fair Egyptian Queen.

First on her cherry cheeks I mine eyes feasted,
Thence fear surfeiting made me retire;
Next on her warmer lips, which when I tasted
My duller spirits made active as fire.
Then we began to dart
Each at another's heart,
Arrows that knew no smart,
Sweet lips and smiles between.

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Upon Phillis Walking In A Morning Before Sun-rising

THE sluggish morne as yet undrest,
My Phillis brake from out her East;
As if shee'd made a match to run
With Venus, Usher to the sun.
The Trees like yeomen of her guard,
Serving more for pomp then ward,
Rankt on each side with loyall duty,
Weave branches to enclose her beauty.
The Plants whose luxury was lopt,
Or age with crutches underpropt;
Whose wooden carkases are growne
To be but coffins of their owne;
Revive, and at her generall dole
Each receives his ancient soule:
The winged Choristers began
To chirp their Mattins: and the Fan
Of whistling winds like Organs plai'd,
Untill their Voluntaries made
The wakened earth in Odours rise
To be her morning Sacrifice.

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On the Memory of Mr. Edward King, Drown'd in the Irish Seas

I like not tears in tune, nor do I prize
His artificial grief that scans his eyes;
Mine weep down pious beads, but why should I
Confine them to the Muses' rosary?
I am no poet here; my pen's the spout
Where the rain-water of my eyes runs out,
In pity of that name, whose fate we see
Thus copied out in grief's hydrography.
The Muses are not mermaids, though upon
His death the ocean might turn Helicon.
The sea's too rough for verse; who rhymes upon 't
With Xerxes strives to fetter th' Hellespont.
My tears will keep no channel, know no laws
To guide their streams, but like the waves, their cause,
Run with disturbance till they swallow me
As a description of his misery.
But can his spacious virtue find a grave
Within th' imposthum'd bubble of a wave?
Whose learning if we sound, we must confess
The sea but shallow, and him bottomless.

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The Scots Apostasie

Is't come to this? What shall the cheeks of fame
Stretch'd with the breath of learned Loudon's name,
Be flogg'd again? And that great piece of sense,
As rich in loyalty and eloquence,
Brought to the test be found a trick of state,
Like chemist's tinctures, proved adulterate;
The devil sure such language did achieve,
To cheat our unforewarned grand-dam Eve,
As this imposture found out to be sot
The experienced English to believe a Scot,
Who reconciled the Covenant's doubtful sense,
The Commons argument, or the City's pence?
Or did you doubt persistence in one good,
Would spoil the fabric of your brotherhood,
Projected first in such a forge of sin,
Was fit for the grand devil's hammering?
Or was't ambition that this damned fact
Should tell the world you know the sins you act?
The infamy this super-treason brings.
Blasts more than murders of your sixty kings;

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