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VERSES LOST UPON A WAGER. As soon hereafter will I wagers lay

'Gainst what an oracle shall say ; Fool that I was, to venture to deny

A tongue so used to victory !
A tongue so bless’d by nature and by art,
That never yet it spoke but gain’d an heart:

Though what you said had not been true,
If spoke by any else but you;

Your speech will govern destiny, And Fate will change rather than you should lie. 'Tis true, if human Reason were the guide,

Reason, methinks, was on my side;
But that's a guide, alas! we must resign,

When the authority's divine.
She said, she said herself it would be so;
And I, bold unbeliever! answer'd no:

Never so justly, sure, before,
Error the name of blindness bore;

For, whatsoe'er the question be,
There's no man that has eyes would bet for me.
If Truth itself (as other angels do

When they descend to human view) In a material form would deign to shine,

"Twould imitate or borrow thine:
So dazzling bright, yet so transparent clear,
So well-proportion'd, would the parts appear!

Happy the eye which Truth could see
Cloth'd in a sbape like thee;

But happier far the eye
Which could thy shape naked like Truth

espy

!

Yet this lost wager costs me nothing more

Than what I owed to thee before: Who would not venture for that debt to play,

Which he were bound howe'er to pay ? If Nature gave me power to write in verse, She gave it me thy praises to rehearse :

Thy wondrous beauty and thy wit

Has such a sovereign right to it,
That no man's Muse for public vent is free,
Till she has paid her customs first to thee.

BATHING IN THE RIVER.

The fish around her crowded, as they do
To the false light that treacherous fishers show,
And all with as much ease might taken be,

As she at first took me ;
For ne'er did light so clear

Among the waves appear,
Though every night the sun himself set there.

Why to mute fish shouldst thou thyself discover
And not to me, thy no less silent lover?
As some from men their buried gold commit

To ghosts, that have no use of it;
Half their rich treasures so

Maids bury; and, for aught we know, (Poor ignorants !) they're mermaids all below.

The amorous waves would fain about her stay, But still new amorous waves drive them away, And with swift current to those joys they haste

That do as swiftly waste;

I laugh’d the wanton play to view ;

But ’tis, alas! at land so too,
And still old lovers yield the place to new.
Kiss her, and as you part, you amorous waves
(My happier rivals, and my fellow-slaves)
Point to your flowery banks, and to her show

The good your bounties do;
Then tell her what your pride doth cost,

And how your use and beauty's lost,
When rigorous winter binds you up

with frost. Tell her, her beauties and her youth, like thee, Haste without stop to a devouring sea; Where they will mix'd and undistinguish'd lie With all the meanest things that die ;

As in the ocean thou

No privilege dost know
Above the' impurest streams that thither flow.
Tell her, kind flood! when this has made her sad,
Tell her there's yet one remedy to be had ;
Show her how thou, though long since past, dost find

Thyself yet still behind:
Marriage (say to her) will bring

About the self-same thing.
But she, fond maid, shuts and seals-up the spring.

LOVE GIVEN OVER.
It is enough ; enough of time and pain

Hast thou consumed in vain;
Leave, wretched Cowley ! leave

Thyself with shadows to deceive;
Think that already lost which thou must never gain.

Three of thy lustiest and thy freshest years

(Toss'd in storms of hopes and fears) Like helpless ships that be

Set on fire i’ the midst o' the sea, Have all been burn'd in love, and all been drown'd

in tears.

Resolve then on it, and by force or art

Free thy unlucky heart;
Since Fate does disapprove

The' ambition of thy love,
And not one star in heaven offers to take thy part.
If e'er I clear my heart from this desire,

If e'er it home to its breast retire,
It ne'er shall wander more about,

Though thousand beauties call it out;
A lover burnt like me for ever dreads the fire.

The pox, the plague, and every small disease,

May come as oft as ill-fate please ;
But death and love are never found

To give a second wound,
We're by those serpents bit, but we're devour'd

by these.

Alas! what comfort is 't that I am grown

Secure of being again o'erthrown?
Since such an enemy needs not fear

Lest any else should quarter there,
Who has not only sack'd, but quite burnt down,

the town.

THE FORCE OF LOVÉ.

PRESERVED FROM AN OLD MANUSCRIPT.

Throw an apple up a hill,
Down the apple tumbles still ;
Roll it down, it never stops
Till within the vale it drops:
So are all things prone to Love,
All below, and all above.

Down the mountain flows the stream,
Up ascends the lambent flame;
Smoke and vapour mount the skies;
All preserve their unities :
Nought below, and nought above,
Seems averse, but prone to Love.

Stop the meteor in its flight,
Or the orient

rays

of light; Bid Dan Phæbus not to shine, Bid the planets not incline : "Tis as vain, below, above, To impede the course of Love.

Salamanders live in fire,
Eagles to the skies aspire,
Diamonds in their quarries lie,
Rivers do the sea supply:
Thus appears, below, above,
A propensity to Love.
Metals

grow

within the mine, Luscious grapes upon the vine;

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