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13 Works of George Wither

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A Rocking Hymn

Story type: Poetry

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Sweet baby, sleep; what ails my dear? What ails my darling thus to cry? Be still, my child, and lend thine ear To hear me sing thy lullaby. My pretty lamb, forbear to weep; Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep. Thou blessed soul, what canst thou fear? What things to thee can mischief do? […]

So, now is come our joyful’st feast, Let every man be jolly; Each room with ivy-leaves is drest, And every post with holly. Though some churls at our mirth repine, Round your foreheads garlands twine; Drown sorrow in a cup of wine, And let us all be merry. Now all our neighbors’ chimneys smoke, And […]

Did I not know a great man’s power and mightIn spite of innocence can smother right,Colour his villainies to get esteem,And make the honest man the villain seem?I know it, and the world doth know ’tis true,Yet I protest if such a man I knew,That might my country prejudice or theeWere he the greatest or […]

Her Beauty

Story type: Poetry

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Her true beauty leaves behindApprehensions in my mindOf more sweetness than all artOr inventions can impart;Thoughts too deep to be expressed,And too strong to be suppressed….… What pearls, what rubies canSeem so lovely fair to man,As her lips whom he doth loveWhen in sweet discourse they move:Or her lovelier teeth, the whileShe doth bless him […]

Lordly gallants! tell me this(Though my safe content you weigh not),In your greatness, what one blissHave you gained, that I enjoy not?You have honours, you have wealth;I have peace, and I have health:All the day I merry make,And at night no care I take. Bound to none my fortunes be,This or that man’s fall I […]

Rhomboidal Dirge

Story type: Poetry

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Ah me!Am I the swainThat late from sorrow freeDid all the cares on earth disdain?And still untouched, as at some safer games,Played with the burning coals of love, and beauty’s flames?Was’t I could dive, and sound each passion’s secret depth at will?And from those huge o’erwhelmings rise, by help of reason still?And am I now, […]

Amarillis I did woo,And I courted Phillis too;Daphne, for her love, I chose;Cloris, for that damask roseIn her cheek, I held as dear;Yea, a thousand liked well near.And, in love with all together,Feared the enjoying either;‘Cause to be of one possest,Barred the hope of all the rest.

Shall I, wasting in despair,Die, because a woman’s fair?Or make pale my cheeks with care‘Cause another’s rosy are?Be she fairer than the day,Or the flow’ry meads in May;If she be not so to me,What care I how fair she be. Should my heart be grieved or pined‘Cause I see a woman kind?Or a well-disposed natureJoined […]

The Marigold

Story type: Poetry

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When with a serious musing I beholdThe grateful and obsequious marigold,How duly every morning she displaysHer open breast, when Titan spreads his rays;How she observes him in his daily walk,Still bending towards him her small slender stalk;How when he down declines, she droops and mourns,Bedewed, as ’twere with tears, till he returns;And how she veils […]

Now gentle sleep hath closed up those eyes,Which waking kept my boldest thoughts in awe,And free access unto that sweet lip liesFrom whence I long the rosy breath to draw.Methinks no wrong it were if I should steal,From those two melting rubies, one poor kiss.None sees the theft that would the thief reveal,Nor rob I […]

Methought his royal person did foretellA kingly stateliness, from all pride clear;His look majestic seemed to compelAll men to love him, rather than to fear.And yet though he were every good man’s joy,And the alonely comfort of his own,His very name with terror did annoyHis foreign foes so far as he was known.Hell drooped for […]

Seest thou not, in clearest days,Oft thick fogs cloud Heaven’s rays?And that vapours which do breatheFrom the Earth’s gross womb beneath,Seem unto us with black steamsTo pollute the Sun’s bright beams,And yet vanish into air,Leaving it unblemished fair?So, my Willy, shall it beWith Detraction’s breath on thee:It shall never rise so highAs to stain thy […]

A Poet’s Home

Story type: Poetry

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Two pretty rills do meet, and meeting makeWithin one valley a large silver lake:About whose banks the fertile mountains stoodIn ages passed bravely crowned with wood,Which lending cold-sweet shadows gave it graceTo be accounted Cynthia’s bathing-place;And from her father Neptune’s brackish court,Fair Thetis thither often would resort,Attended by the fishes of the sea,Which in those […]