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Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs :
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.
Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning :
If these delights thy mind may move,
Come live with me and be my Love.
THE KITTEN AND FALLING LEAVES
See the Kitten on the wall,
Sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves-one -two-and three-
From the lofty elder tree!
Through the calm and frosty air
Of this morning bright and fair,
Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly: one might think
From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf conveyed
Sylph or Fairy hither tending,
To this lower world descending,
Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.
-But the Kitten, how she starts,
Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts !
First at one, and then its fellow,
Just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now-now one-
Now they stop and there are none :
What intenseness of desire
In her upward eye of fire !
With a tiger-leap half-way
Now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then
Has it in her power again :
Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian conjuror ;
Quick as he in feats of art,
Far beyond in joy of heart.
Were her antics played in the eye
Of a thousand standers-by,
Clapping hands with shouts and stare,
What would little Tabby care
For the plaudits of the crowd ?
Over happy to be proud,
Over wealthy in the treasure
Of her own exceeding pleasure !
THE FERRYMAN, VENUS, AND CUPID
As I a fare had lately past,
And thought that side to ply,
I heard one, as it were, in haste,
A boat! a boat ! to cry ;
Which as I was about to bring,
And came to view my fraught,
Thought I, what more than heavenly thing
Hath fortune hither brought?
She, seeing mine eyes still on her were,
Soon, smilingly, quoth she,
Sirrah, look to your rudder there,
Why look'st thou thus at me ?
And nimbly stepp'd into my boat
With her a little lad,
Naked and blind, yet did I note
That bow and shafts he had,
And two wings to his shoulders fixt,
Which stood like little sails,
With far more various colours mixt
Than be your peacocks' tails !
I seeing this little dapper elf
Such arms as these to bear,
Quoth I, thus softly to myself,
What strange things have we here ?
I never saw the like, thought I,
'Tis more than strange to me,
To have a child have wings to fly,
And yet want eyes to see.
Sure this is some devised toy,
Or it transform'd hath been,
For such a thing, half bird, half boy,
I think was never seen.
And in my boat I turn'd about,
And wistly view'd the lad,
And clearly I saw his eyes were out,
Though bow and shafts he had.
As wistly she did me behold,
How lik’st thou him ? quoth she.
Why, well, quoth I, the better should,
Had he but eyes to see.
How say'st thou, honest friend, quoth she,
Wilt thou a 'prentice take?
I think, in time, though blind he be,
A ferryman he'll make.
To guide my passage-boat, quoth I,
His fine hands were not made;
He hath been bred too wantonly
To undertake my trade.
Why, help him to a master, then,
Quoth she, such youths be scant;
It cannot be but there be men
That such a boy do want.
Quoth I, when you your best have done,
No better way you'll find,
Than to a harper bind your son,
Since most of them are blind.
The lovely mother and the boy
Laugh'd heartily thereat,
As at some nimble jest or toy,
To hear my homely chat.
Quoth I, I pray you let me know,
Came he thus first to light,
Or by some sickness, hurt, or blow,
Deprived of his sight?
Nay, sure, quoth she, he thus was born.
'Tis strange, born blind ! quoth I;
I fear you put this as a scorn
On my simplicity.
Quoth she, thus blind I did him bear.
Quoth I, if’t be no lie,
Then he's the first blind man, I'll swear,
E'er practis'd archery.
A man! quoth she, nay, there you miss,
He's still a boy as now,
Nor to be elder than he is
The gods will him allow.
To be no elder than he is !
Then sure he is some sprite,
I straight reply'd. Again at this
The goddess laugh'd outright.