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Eh! righteous Job would give up skin for skin,
John Curzon, pull him up. What, life then? go and build the scaffold, John.
Lambert, I hope that never on this earth We meet again; that you'll turn out a monk, And mend the life I give you, so, farewell, I'm sorry you're a rascal. John, despatch.
THE EARTHLY PARADISE.
F Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing,
Or make quick-coming death a little thing,
But rather, when aweary of your mirth, From full hearts still unsatisfied ye sigh, And, feeling kindly unto all the earth, Grudge every minute as it passes by, Made the more mindful that the sweet days die-Remember me a little then, I pray, The idle singer of an empty day.
The heavy trouble, the bewildering care That weighs us down who live and earn our bread, These idle verses have no power to bear; So let me sing of names remembered, Because they, living not, can ne'er be dead, Or long time take their memory quite away From us poor singers of an empty day.
Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time, Why should I strive to set the crooked straight? Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme Beats with light wing against the ivory gate, Telling a tale not too importunate To those who in the sleepy region stay, Lulled by the singer of an empty day.
Folk say, a wizard to a northern king
At Christmas-tide such wondrous things did show,
So with this Earthly Paradise it is,
Where tossed about all hearts of men must be ; Whose ravening monsters mighty men shall slay, Not the poor singer of an empty day.
Atalanta, daughter of King Schoneus, not willing to lose her virgin's estate, made it a law to all suitors that they should run a race with her in the public place, and if they failed to overcome her should die unrevenged; and thus many brave men perished. At last came Milanion, the son of Amphidamas, who, outrunning her with the help of Venus, gained the virgin and wedded her.
HROUGH thick Arcadian woods a hunter went, Following the beasts up, on a fresh spring day; But since his horn-tipped bow but seldom bent, Now at the noontide nought had happed to slay, Within a vale he called his hounds away, Hearkening the echoes of his lone voice cling About the cliffs and through the beech-trees ring.
But when they ended, still awhile he stood,
Then smiling did he turn to leave the place, But with his first step some new fleeting thought A shadow cast across his sun-burnt face; I think the golden net that April brought
From some warm world his wavering soul had caught; For, sunk in vague sweet longing, did he go Betwixt the trees with doubtful steps and slow.
Yet howsoever slow he went, at last The trees grew sparser, and the wood was done; Whereon one farewell backward look he cast, Then, turning round to see what place was won, With shaded eyes looked underneath the sun, And o'er green meads and new-turned furrows brown Beheld the gleaming of King Schoneus' town.
So thitherward he turned, and on each side The folk were busy on the teeming land, And man and maid from the brown furrows cried, Or midst the newly-blossomed vines did stand, And as the rustic weapon pressed the hand Thought of the nodding of the well-filled ear, Or how the knife the heavy bunch should shear.
Merry it was: about him sung the birds, The spring flowers bloomed along the firm dry road, The sleek-skinned mothers of the sharp-horned herds Now for the barefoot milking-maidens lowed; While from the freshness of his blue abode, Glad his death-bearing arrows to forget, The broad sun blazed, nor scattered plagues as yet.
Through such fair things unto the gates he came, And found them open, as though peace were there; Where through, unquestioned of his race or name, He entered, and along the streets 'gan fare, Which at the first of folk were well-nigh bare; But pressing on, and going more hastily, Men hurrying too he 'gan at last to see.