STORIES and POETRY
Man Stands at the Crossroad and Contemplates Humankind Making
its Way Beyond the Cosmic Machine. Cecilia Bustamante
Literary works by leading poets and thinkers of the English world
Edmund Spenser, born in London, 1552, died there, 1599.
Most glorious Lord of Life! that, on this day,
William Shakespeare, born at Stratford-on-Avon, 1564, died there in 1616.
Loe in the Orient when the gracious light,
(Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth)
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Ben Jonson, born at Westminster, London 1572, died 1637.
AGAINST JEALOUSY Wretched and foolish Jealousy, How cam'st thou thus to enter me? I ne'er was of thy kind: Nor have I yet the narrow mind To vent that poor desire, That others should not warm them at my fire: I wish the sun should shine On all men's fruit, and flowers, as well as mine. But under the disguise of love, Thou say'st, thou only cam'st to prove What my affections were. Think'st thou that love is help'd by fear? Go, get thee quickly forth, Love's sickness, and his noted want of worth. Seek doubting men to please; I ne'er will owe my health to a disease.
John Donne, born in London, 1573, died there, 1631
DEATH BE NOT PROUD Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so: For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow, Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy picture be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow; And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones and souls' delivery. Thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell; And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then? One short sleep past, we make eternally, And Death shall be no more: Death thou shalt die!
George Herbert, born in Montgomery Castle, Wales, 1593, died at Bemerton, Wilts, 1633.
THE PULLEY When God at first made man, Having a glass of blessings standing by, "Let us," said He, "pour on him all we can; Let the world´s riches, which dispersed lie, Contract into a span." So strength first made a way; Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure, When almost all was out, God made a stay, Perceiving that, alone of all His treasure, Rest in the bottom lay. "For if I should," said He, "Bestow this jewel also on My creature, He would adore my gifts instead of Me, And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature; So both should losers be. "Yet let him keep the rest, But keep them with repining restlessness: Let him be rich and weary, that at least, If goodness lead him not, yet weariness May toss him to My breast."
John Milton, born in London, 1608, died there, 1674.
I DID BUT PROMPT I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs By the known rules of ancient liberty, When straight a barbarous noise environs me Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs; As when those hinds that were transformed to frogs Railed at Letona's twin-born progeny, Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee. But this is got by casting pearls to hogs, That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood, And still revolt when Truth would set them free. License they mean when they cry liberty; For who loves that, must first be wise and good; But from that mark how far they rove we see, For all this waste of wealth, and loss of blood.
ON HIS BLINDNESS When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest He returning chide; "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait."
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