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ABRAHAM COWLEY (1618-1667)

THE SWALLOW

Foolish Prater, what do'st thou
So early at my window do

With thy tuneless serenade?

Well 't had been had Tereus made

Thee as dumb as Philomel:

There his knife had done but well.
In thy undiscovered nest

Thou dost all the winter rest,

And dreamest o'er thy summer joys,
Free from the stormy season's noise: 10
Free from th' ill thou'st done to me;
Who disturbs, or seeks out thee?

Had'st thou all the charming notes
Of the wood's poetic throats,
All thy art could never pay
What thou'st ta'en from me away;
Cruel bird, thou'st ta'en away

A dream out of my arms to-day,
A dream that ne'er must equaled be
By all that waking eyes may see.
Thou this damage to repair,

Nothing half so sweet or fair,

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Nothing half so good can'st bring, Though men say, Thou bring'st the spring?'

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TO HIS COY MISTRESS

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime,
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,

And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.

Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:

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Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white, celestial thought;
When yet I had not walked above
A mile or two from my first love,
And looking back, at that short space,
Could see a glimpse of his bright face; 10
When on some gilded cloud or flower

My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity;

Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense,
A several sin to every sense,
But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.

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O, how I long to travel back, And tread again that ancient track, That I might once more reach that plain, Where first I left my glorious train; From whence the enlightened spirit sees 25 That shady city of palm trees.

But ah! my soul with too much stay

Is drunk, and staggers in the way!
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.

THE WORLD

I saw Eternity the other night,

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Like a great ring of pure and endless light, All calm, as it was bright;

And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years, Driv'n by the spheres

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Like a vast shadow moved; in which the

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