Edmund Waller


    Biographical information

  1. Go, Lovely Rose
  2. Of The Last Verses In The Book
  3. On A Girdle
  4. The Self Banished
  5. The Story Of Phœbus And Daphne, Applied
  6. To The King On His Navy

    Biographical information
      Name: Edmund Waller
      Place and date of birth: Coleshill, Hertfordshire (England); 3 March 1606
      Place and date of death: Coleshill, Hertfordshire (England); 21 October 1687 (aged 81)

      Go, Lovely Rose
        Go, lovely rose,
        Tell her that wastes her time and me,
        That now she knows,
        When I resemble her to thee,
        How sweet and fair she seems to be.
        Tell her that's young,
        And shuns to have her graces spied,
        That hadst thou sprung
        In deserts, where no men abide,
        Thou must have uncommended died.
        Small is the worth
        Of beauty from the light retir'd:
        Bid her come forth,
        Suffer herself to be desir'd,
        And not blush so to be admir'd.
        Then die, that she
        The common fate of all things rare
        May read in thee;
        How small a part of time they share
        That are so wondrous sweet and fair.

      Of The Last Verses In The Book
        When we for age could neither read nor write,
        The subject made us able to indite.
        The soul, with nobler resolutions deckt,
        The body stooping, does herself erect:
        No mortal parts are requisite to raise
        Her, that unbodied can her Maker praise.
        The seas are quiet, when the winds give o'er,
        So calm are we, when passions are no more:
        For then we know how vain it was to boast
        Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
        Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
        Conceal that emptiness, which age descries.
        The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
        Lets in new light through chinks that time has made;
        Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
        As they draw near to their eternal home:
        Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
        That stand upon the threshold of the new.

      On A Girdle
        That which her slender waist confin'd,
        Shall now my joyful temples bind;
        No monarch but would give his crown,
        His arms might do what this has done.
        It was my heaven's extremest sphere,
        The pale which held that lovely deer,
        My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
        Did all within this circle move.
        A narrow compass, and yet there
        Dwelt all that's good, and all that's fair;
        Give me but what this ribbon bound,
        Take all the rest the sun goes round.

      The Self Banished
        It is not that I love you less
        Than when before your feet I lay,
        But to prevent the sad increase
        Of hopeless love, I keep away.
        In vain (alas!) for everything
        Which I have known belong to you,
        Your form does to my fancy bring,
        And makes my old wounds bleed anew.
        Who in the spring from the new sun
        Already has a fever got,
        Too late begins those shafts to shun,
        Which Phœbus through his veins has shot.
        Too late he would the pain assuage,
        And to thick shadows does retire;
        About with him he bears the rage,
        And in his tainted blood the fire.
        But vow'd I have, and never must
        Your banish'd servant trouble you;
        For if I break, you may distrust
        The vow I made to love you, too.

      The Story Of Phœbus And Daphne, Applied
        Thyrsis, a youth of the inspired train,
        Fair Sacharissa lov'd, but lov'd in vain;
        Like Phœbus sung the no less amorous boy;
        Like Daphne she, as lovely, and as coy;
        With numbers he the flying nymph pursues,
        With numbers such as Phœbus' self might use;
        Such is the chase when Love and Fancy leads,
        O'er craggy mountains, and through flow'ry meads;
        Invok'd to testify the lover's care,
        Or form some image of his cruel fair:
        Urg'd with his fury, like a wounded deer,
        O'er these he fled; and now approaching near,
        Had reach'd the nymph with his harmonious lay,
        Whom all his charms could not incline to stay.
        Yet what he sung in his immortal strain,
        Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain;
        All but the nymph that should redress his wrong,
        Attend his passion, and approve his song.
        Like Phœbus thus, acquiring unsought praise,
        He catch'd at love, and fill'd his arm with bays.

      To The King On His Navy
        Where'er thy navy spreads her canvas wings,
        Homage to thee, and peace to all, she brings:
        The French and Spaniard, when thy flags appear,
        Forget their hatred, and consent to fear.
        So Jove from Ida did both hosts survey,
        And when he pleas'd to thunder, part the fray.
        Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped,
        The mightiest still upon the smallest fed:
        Thou on the deep imposest nobler laws,
        And by that justice hast remov'd the cause
        Of those rude tempests, which, for rapine sent,
        Too oft, alas, involv'd the innocent.
        Now shall the ocean, as thy Thames, be free
        From both those fates, of storms and piracy.
        But we most happy, who can fear no force
        But winged troops, or Pegasean horse:
        'Tis not so hard for greedy foes to spoil
        Another nation, as to touch our soil.
        Should Nature's self invade the world again,
        And o'er the centre spread the liquid main,
        Thy power were safe; and her destructive hand
        Would but enlarge the bounds of thy command:
        Thy dreadful fleet would style thee lord of all,
        And ride in triumph o'er the drowned ball:
        Those towers of oak o'er fertile plains might go,
        And visit mountains, where they once did grow.
        The world's restorer once could not endure,
        That finish'd Babel should those men secure,
        Whose pride design'd that fabric to have stood
        Above the reach of any second flood:
        To thee His chosen, more indulgent, He
        Dares trust such power with so much piety.