To The Nightingale

Exert thy Voice, sweet Harbinger of Spring!
This Moment is thy Time to sing,
This Moment I attend to Praise,
And set my Numbers to thy Layes.
Free as thine shall be my Song;
As thy Musick, short, or long.

Poets, wild as thee, were born,
Pleasing best when unconfin'd,
When to Please is least design'd,
Soothing but their Cares to rest;
Cares do still their Thoughts molest,
And still th' unhappy Poet's Breast,
Like thine, when best he sings, is plac'd against a Thorn.


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,


To The Grasshopper

Happy art thou, darling insect,
Who, upon the trees' tall branches,
By a modest draught inspired,
Singing, like a monarch livest!
Thou possessest as thy portion
All that on the plains thou seest,
All that by the hours is brought thee
'Mongst the husbandmen thou livest,
As a friend, uninjured by them,
Thou whom mortals love to honour,
Herald sweet of sweet Spring's advent!
Yes, thou'rt loved by all the Muses,

Phoebus' self, too, needs must love thee;
They their silver voices gave thee,


To Tan-Ch'iu

My friend is lodging high in the Eastern Range,
Dearly loving the beauty of valleys and hills.
At green Spring he lies in the empty woods,
And is still asleep when the sun shines on igh.
A pine-tree wind dusts his sleeves and coat;
A peebly stream cleans his heart and ears.
I envy you, who far from strife and talk
Are high-propped on a pillow of blue cloud.

Li Po
tr. Waley


To Songs At the Marriage Of The Lord Fauconberg And The Lady Mary Cromwell

song Fauc1

First.

[Chorus. Endymion. Luna.]

Chorus.
Th' Astrologers own Eyes are set,
And even Wolves the Sheep forget;
Only this Shepherd, late and soon,
Upon this Hill outwakes the Moon.
Heark how he sings, with sad delight,
Thorough the clear and silent Night.

Endymion
Cynthia, O Cynthia, turn thine Ear,
nor scorn Endymions plaints to hear.
As we our Flocks, so you command
The fleecy Clouds with silver wand.

Cynthia


To S. M. A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works

TO show the lab'ring bosom's deep intent,
And thought in living characters to paint,
When first thy pencil did those beauties give,
And breathing figures learnt from thee to live,
How did those prospects give my soul delight,
A new creation rushing on my sight?
Still, wond'rous youth! each noble path pursue,
On deathless glories fix thine ardent view:
Still may the painter's and the poet's fire
To aid thy pencil, and thy verse conspire!
And may the charms of each seraphic theme
Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame!


You Gote-heard Gods

Strephon.

You Gote-heard Gods, that loue the grassie mountaines,
You Nimphes that haunt the springs in pleasant vallies,
You Satyrs ioyde with free and quiet forests,
Vouchsafe your silent eares to playning musique,
Which to my woes giues still an early morning;
And drawes the dolor on till wery euening.

Klaius.

O Mercurie, foregoer to the euening,
O heauenlie huntresse of the sauage mountaines,
O louelie starre, entitled of the morning,
While that my voice doth fill these wofull vallies,


Your Laughter

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest


Young Laughters, and My Music

Young laughters, and my music! Aye till now
The voice can reach no blending minors near;
'Tis the bird's trill because the spring is here
And spring means trilling on a blossomy bough;
'Tis the spring joy that has no why or how,
But sees the sun and hopes not nor can fear--
Spring is so sweet and spring seems all the year.
Dear voice, the first-come birds but trill as thou.

Oh music of my heart, be thus for long:
Too soon the spring bird learns the later song;
Too soon a sadder sweetness slays content


You Meaner Beauties of the Night

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light;
You common people of the skies,
What are you when the sun shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,
That warble forth Dame Nature's lays,
Thinking your voices understood
By your weak accents; what's your praise
When Philomel her voice shall raise?

You violets that first appear,
By your pure purple mantles known,
Like the proud virgins of the year,
As if the spring were all your own;


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