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Who from the busy World retires,
To be more useful to it still,
And to no greater good aspires,
But only the eschewing ill.


Who, with his angle, and his books,
Can think the longest day well spent,
And praises God when back he looks,
And finds that all was innocent.


This man is happier far than he
Whom public business oft betrays,
Through labyrinths of policy,

To crooked and forbidden ways.


The world is full of beaten roads,
But yet so slippery withal,

That where one walks secure, 'tis odds
A hundred and a hundred fall.


Untrodden paths are then the best,
Where the frequented are unsure,
And he comes soonest to his rest,

Whose journey has been most secure.


It is Content alone that makes

Our pilgrimage a pleasure here, And who buys sorrow cheapest, takes An ill commodity too dear.

But he has Fortune's worst withstood,
And happiness can never miss,
Can covet nought, but where he stood,
And thinks him happy where he is.

De Vita Beata

Paraphrased from the Latin

COME, y'are deceiv'd, and what you do
Esteem a happy life's not so;
He is not happy that excels
I' th' Lapidary's bagatelles; 27

Nor he, that when he sleeps doth lie

Under a stately canopy;

Nor he, that still supinely hides,
In easy down, his lazy sides;
Nor he, that purple wears, and sups
Luxurious draughts in golden cups;
Nor he, that loads with princely fare,
His bowing tables, whilst they'll bear;
Nor he, that has each spacious vault
With deluges of plenty fraught,
Cull'd from the fruitful Libyan fields,
When autumn his best harvest yields;
But he whom no mischance affrights,
Nor popular applause delights,
That can unmov'd, and undismay'd,
Confront a ruffian's threatening blade:
Who can do this; that man alone
Has power Fortune to disthrone.

"Lapidary's bagatelles = (presumably) the precious stones of the Jeweller.




Thyrsis, whilst our flocks did bite
The smiling salads in our sight,
Thou then wer't wont to sing thy state

In love, and Chloe celebrate;

But where are now the love-sick lays
Whilom so sung in Chloe's praise ?


'Las! who can sing ? Since our Pan died
Each shepherd's pipe is laid aside :
Our flocks they feed on parched ground,
Shelter, nor water's for them found:
And all our sports are cast away,

Save when thou sing'st thy Cælia.


Cælia, I do confess alone

My object is of passion,

My star, my bright magnetic pole,

And only guidress of my soul.


Let Cælia be thy cynosure,

Chloe's my pole too, though th' obscure:

For, though her self's all glorious,
My earth 'twixt us does interpose.


Obscure indeed, since she's but one
To mine a constellation:

Her lights throughout so glorious are,
That every part's a perfect star.


Then Cælia's perfections

Are scattered; Chloe's like the sun's
United light, compacted lie,

Whence all that feel their force, must die.


Cælia's beauties are too bright
To be contracted in one light;
Nor does my Fair, her rays dispense,
With such a stabbing influence,
Since 'tis her less imperious will
To save her lovers, and not kill.


Each beam of her united light

Is, than the greatest star more bright;
And, if she stay, it is from hence,
She darts too sweet an influence,

We surfeit with't: weak eyes most shun
The dazzling glories of the sun.
Perhaps, if Cælia do not kill,

'Tis want of power, not of will.



I now perceive, thy Chloe's eyes
To be no stars, but prodigies:
Comets, such as blazing stand
To threaten ruin to a land:
Beacons of sulph'rous flame they are,
Symptoms not of peace, but war,
And thou I guess, by singing thus,
Thence stol'st thine Ignis fatuus.


As th' vulgar are amaz'd at th' sun,
When tripled by reflection;


28 See Note

Chloe's self, and glorious eyes

To thee seem comets in the skies.
And true, they may portend some wars
Such as 'twixt Venus, and her Mars,
But chaste whose captivating bands
Would people, and not ruin lands.
With such a going fire I'll stray,
For who with it can lose his way ?


The vulgar may perhaps be won
By thee to think her sun, and moon,
And so would I, but that my more
Convincing Cælia I adore.

Would we had both, that Chloe thine,
And my dear Calia might be mine.
But if we should thus mix with ray,
In Heav'n would be no night, but day:
For we should people all the skies
With planet-girls, and starry-boys,
Chloe's a going-fire, we see,

Pray Pan, she do not go from thee.



Thanks, Damon, but she does, I fear,
The shadows now so long appear:
Yet if she do, we'll both find day
I' th' sunshine of thy Cælia.

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Come live with me, and be my love,
And thou shalt all the pleasures prove,
The mountains' towring tops can show
Inhabiting the vales below.

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