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John Marston

Wink and shut their apprehensions up.

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Through danger safety comes - through trouble rest.

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O Love, How Strangely Sweet

O LOVE, how strangely sweet
Are thy weak passions,
That Love and Joy should meet
In self-same fashions!
Oh, who can tell
The cause why this should move?
But only this:
No reason ask of Love.

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The Nut-Brown Ale

THE nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts down all drink when it is stale!
The toast, the nutmeg, and the ginger
Will make a sighing man a singer.
Ale gives a buffet in the head,
But ginger under-props the brain;
When ale would strike a strong man dead
Then nutmeg tempers it again.
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts down all drink when it is stale!

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Delicious Beauty That Doth Lie

DELICIOUS Beauty, that doth lie
Wrapped in a skin of ivory,
Lie still, lie still upon thy back,
And, Fancy, let no sweet dreams lack
To tickle her, to tickle her with pleasing thoughts.

But if thy eyes are open full,
Then deign to view an honest gull
That stands, that stands expecting still
When that thy casement open will;
And bless his eyes, and bless his eyes with one kind glance.

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If love be holy, if that mystery

If love be holy, if that mystery
O co-united hearts be sacrament;
If the unbounded goodness have infused
A sacred ardour of a mutual love
Into our species; if those amorous joys,
Those sweets of life, those comforts even in death,
Spring from a cause above our reason's reach;
If that clear flame deduce its heat from heaven,
'Tis, like its cause, eternal; always one,
As in th' instiller of divinest love,
Unchanged by time, immortal, maugre death.
But, oh! 'tis grown a figment; love, a jest:
A comic poesy: the soul of man is rotten,
Even to the core, no sound affection.
Our love is hollow, vaulted, stands on props
Of circumstance, profit, or ambitious passes.

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To Everlasting Oblivion

THOU mighty gulf, insatiate cormorant,
Deride me not, though I seem petulant
To fall into thy chops. Let others pray
Forever their fair poems flourish may.
But as for me, hungry Oblivion,
Devour me quick. Accept my orison,
My earnest prayers which do importune thee,
With gloomy shade of thy still empery
To veil both me and my rude poesy.
Far worthier lines in silence of thy state
Do sleep securely, free from love or hate,
From which this, living, ne'er can be exempt,
But whilst it breathes will hate and fury tempt.
Then close his eyes with thy all-dimming hand
Which not right glorious actions can withstand.
Peace, hateful tongues! I now in silence pace
Unless some hound do wake me from my place.
I with this sharp yet well-meant poesy
Will sleep secure, right free from injury
Of canker'd hate or rankest villany.

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The Scourge of Villainy

In serious jest, and jesting seriousness,
I strive to scourge polluting beastliness;
I invocate no Delian deity,
No sacred offspring of Mnemosyne;
I pray in aid of no Castalian Muse,
No nymph, no female angel, to infuse
A sprightly wit to raise my flagging wings,
And teach me tune these harsh discordant strings.
I crave no sirens of our halcyon times,
To grace the accents of my rough-hew'd rhymes;
But grim Reproof, stern Hate of Villainy,
Inspire and guide a Satire's poesy.
Fair Detestation of foul odious sin,
In which our swinish times lie wallowing,
Be thou my conduct and my Genius,
My wits-inciting sweet-breath'd Zephyrus.
O that a Satire's hand had force to pluck
Some floodgate up, to purge the world from muck!
Would God I could turn Alpheus river in,
To purge this Augean oxstall from foul sin!

[...] Read more

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