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William Henry Drummond

A Lament

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 monarchize:
But he, grim grinning King,
Who caitiffs scorns, and doth the blest surprise,
Late having decked with beauty's rose his tomb,
Disdains to crop a weed, and will not come.

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Inexorable

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.

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This Life Which Seems So Fair

This Life, which seems so fair,
Is like a bubble blown up in the air
By sporting children's breath,
Who chase it everywhere
And strive who can most motion it bequeath.
And though it sometimes seem of its own might
Like to an eye of gold to be fixed there,
And firm to hover in that empty height,
That only is because it is so light.
But in that pomp it doth not long appear;
For when 'tis most admired, in a thought,
Because it erst was nought, it turns to nought.

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Her Passing

THE beauty and the life
   Of life's and beauty's fairest paragon
--O tears! O grief!--hung at a feeble thread
To which pale Atropos had set her knife;
   The soul with many a groan
   Had left each outward part,
And now did take his last leave of the heart:
Naught else did want, save death, ev'n to be dead;
When the afflicted band about her bed,
Seeing so fair him come in lips, cheeks, eyes,
Cried, 'Ah! and can Death enter Paradise?'

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Change should breed Change

NEW doth the sun appear,
   The mountains' snows decay,
Crown'd with frail flowers forth comes the baby year.
   My soul, time posts away;
   And thou yet in that frost
   Which flower and fruit hath lost,
As if all here immortal were, dost stay.
   For shame! thy powers awake,
Look to that Heaven which never night makes black,
And there at that immortal sun's bright rays,
Deck thee with flowers which fear not rage of days!

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Spring Bereaved 1

THAT zephyr every year
   So soon was heard to sigh in forests here,
It was for her: that wrapp'd in gowns of green
   Meads were so early seen,
That in the saddest months oft sung the merles,
It was for her; for her trees dropp'd forth pearls.
   That proud and stately courts
Did envy those our shades and calm resorts,
It was for her; and she is gone, O woe!
   Woods cut again do grow,
Bud doth the rose and daisy, winter done;
But we, once dead, no more do see the sun.

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Madrigal

LIKE the Idalian queen,
   Her hair about her eyne,
With neck and breast's ripe apples to be seen,
   At first glance of the morn
In Cyprus' gardens gathering those fair flow'rs
   Which of her blood were born,
I saw, but fainting saw, my paramours.
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 wish'd me in her hand.

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To His Lute

My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow
With thy green mother in some shady grove,
When immelodious winds but made thee move,
And birds their ramage did on thee bestow.
Since that dear Voice which did thy sounds approve,
Which wont in such harmonious strains to flow,
Is reft from Earth to tune those spheres above,
What art thou but a harbinger of woe?
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
But orphans' wailings to the fainting ear;
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear;
For which be silent as in woods before:
Or if that any hand to touch thee deign,
Like widowed turtle, still her loss complain.

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Doth Then The World Go Thus?

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!

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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.

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