Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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AS lately I on Silver Thames did ride,
Sad Galatea on the Bank I spy'd:
Such was her look as sorrow taught to shine;
And thus she grac'd me with a voice Divine.
You that can tune your sounding strings so well
Of Ladies Beauties, and of Love to tell;
Once change your Note, and let your Lute report
The justest grief that ever toucht the Court.
Fair Nymph, I have in your Delights no share▪
Nor ought to be concerned in your care:
Yet would I sing, if I your sorrows knew,
And to my aid invoke no Muse but you.
Hear then, and let your Song augment ou• grief▪
Which is so great, as not to wish relief:
She that had all which Nature gives or Chance,
Whom Fortune joyn'd with Virtue to advance,
To all the joys this Island could afford,
The greatest Mistriss, and the kindest Lord:
Who with the Royal mixt her Noble bloud,
And in high Grace with Gloriana stood;
Her Bounty, Sweetness, Beauty, Goodness, such,
That none e're thought her happiness too much:
So well inclin'd her favours to confer,
And kind to all, as Heaven had been to her.
The Virgins part, the Mother, and the Wife,
So well she acted in this span of life,
That though few years (too few alas!) she told,
She seem'd in all things, but in Beauty, old.
As unripe Fruit, whose verdant stalks do cleave
Close to the Tree, which grieves no less to leave
Page 57 The smiling pendant which adorns her so,
And until Autumn, on the Bough should grow:
So seem'd her youthful soul not easily forc't,
Or from so fair, so sweet a seat divorc't.
Her fate at once did hasty seem and slow,
At once too cruel, and unwilling too.
Under how hard a Law are Mortals borr
Whom now we envy, we anon must mourn:
What Heaven sets highest, and seems most to prize,
Is soon removed from our wondring eyes.
But since the Sisters did so soon untwine
So fair a Thread, I'll strive to piece the line.
Vouchsafe sad Nymph to let me know the Dame,
And to the Muses I'll commend her name,
Make the wide Countrey eccho to your moan,
The listning Trees and savage Mountains groan:
What Rocks not moved when the death is sung
Of one so good, so lovely, and so young?
'Twas Hamilton, whom I had nam'd before;
But naming her, Grief lets me say no more.