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The Dream

In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

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Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:

Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.


Then die-that she
The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair! 20

Thomas Waller,



Dear love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream;

It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for fantasy.
Therefore thou waked'st me wisely; yet
My dream thou brok'st not, but continued'st it.
Thou art so true that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths and fables histories;
Enter these arms, for since thou thought'st it best
Not to dream all my dream, let 's act the rest.


As lightning, or a taper's light,
Thine eyes, and not thy noise, waked me;

Yet I thought thee-
For thou lov'st truth-an angel, at first sight;
But when I saw thou saw'st my heart,
And knew'st my thoughts beyond an angel's art,
When thou knew'st what I dreamt, when thou

knew'st when Excess of joy would wake me, and cam’st then, I must confess it could not choose but be Profane to think thee anything but thee.


Coming and staying show'd thee thee,
But rising makes me doubt that now

That art not thou.
That Love is weak where Fear 's as strong as he;
'T is not all spirit ire and brave
If mixture it of Fear, Shame, Honour have.
Perchance as torches, which must ready be,
Men light and put out, so thou deal'st with me.
Thou cam'st to kindle, go'st to come: then I
Will dream that hope again, but else would die. 30

John Donne.


From The Mulberry Garden

An, Chloris ! that I now could sit

As unconcerned as when
Your infant beauty could beget
No pleasure, nor no pain.


To Chloris

When I the dawn used to admire,

And praised the coming day, I little thought the growing fire

Must take my rest away.


Your charms in harmless childhood lay,

Like metals in the mine;
Age from no face took more away,

Than youth concealed in thine.


But as your charms insensibly

To their perfection prest,
Fond Love as unperceived did ily,

And in my bosom rest.


My passion with your beauty grew,

And Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favored you,

Threw a new flaming dart.


Each gloried in their wanton part:

To make a lover, he
Employed the utmost of his art;

To make a Beauty, she.


Though now I slowly bend to love

Uncertain of my fate,
If your fair self my chains approve,

I shall my freedom hate.


Lovers, like dying men, may well

At first disordered be,
Since none alive can truly tell

What fortune they must see. 1668.

Sir Charles Sedley.



From Tyrannic Love

Az, how sweet it is to love!

Ah, how gay is young desire!
And what pleasing pains we prove

When we first approach love's fire!
Pains of love be sweeter far
Than all other pleasures are.

Sighs which are from lovers blown

Do but gently heave the heart:
Even the tears they shed alone

Cure, like trickling balm, their smart.
Lovers, when they lose their breath,
Bleed away in easy death.


Love and Time with reverence use,

Treat them like a parting friend;
Nor the golden gifts refuse

Which in youth sincere they send :
For each year their price is more,
And they less simple than before.


Love, like spring-tides full and high,

Swells in every youthful vein;
But each tide does less supply,

Till they quite shrink in again. If a flow in age appear,

'T is but rain, and runs not clear. 1670.

John Dryden.



From Abdelazar

Love in fantastic triumph sate,

Whilst bleeding hearts around him flow'd, For whom fresh pains he did create,

And strange tyrannic power he show'd: From thy bright eyes he took his fires,

Which round about in sport he hurl'd; But 't was from mine he took desires

Enough t undo the amorous world.


From me he took his sighs and tears,

From thee his pride and cruelty ; From me his languishments and fears,

And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the god have arm'd

And set him up a deity;
But my poor heart alone is harm'd,

Whilst thine the victor is, and free! 16 1677.

Aphra Behn.

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