Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO HIS DEAR FRIEND MR. JOHN EMELY, by WILLIAM BOSWORTH



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TO HIS DEAR FRIEND MR. JOHN EMELY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Have other nations got that tempting art?
Last Line: And to thee my dejected life confine.
Alternate Author Name(s): William Boxworth
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips


HAVE other nations got that tempting art?
Or seas? (O thou, the second of my heart!)
To steal thee from us? shall thy presence plant
Those goods elsewhere, which country thine doth want?
And chiefly me, who every wind abjure
That loudly roars, to make thy passage sure,
As much I blame the calms, for secret fear,
Though without cause, in all things will appear.
And now methinks the great Cantabrician flood,
With open jaws grows thirsty for thy blood,
Which if great Coleum's offspring doth appal
The calm, I fear, sits smiling at thy fall.
Or if Sicilian seas thou furrowest o'er,
Thy danger by Charybdis I deplore,
And Scilla's rock, whose bloody mouth doth lie
For thee, if more towards the North you fly.
If to Eoum, or to Indus' arm,
Paropanisian rocks will do thee harm.
If on Propontis, or Tanais flood,
Tanais and Hellespont are stain'd with blood.
What pleasure then allures thee to their coast?
In safest beds pleasure resideth most.
Nor country can, nor other nations give
More sweet content, than where thy parents live.
What will it boot to view the snowy hills
Of Alpine high, whose fleecy moisture fills
The humble dales? or what will it prevail,
To hear th' exub'rance of a foreign tale?
What joy can it produce to hear the swains
Leading their flocks along the Scythian plains,
T' accord their voices to the slender reeds
Of Amarillis' praise? or what exceeds
With sweeter pleasure, and more bright doth shine
In other countries, than it doth in thine?
Now to Olympian hills thou tak'st thy way,
Far happier wouldst thou in our valleys stay,
And see thy country heroes sports prepare,
More pleasant than Olympian pleasures are.
No service we to Nereus' altar vow,
Nor dread we Neptune, nor to Neptune bow,
But free from fear, in blushing mornings walk
Through shady groves, to hear woods' chanters talk
Ruddy Aurora's praise, and with free moan,
To Echo's only sigh our loves alone.
In summer time we walk the flow'ry meads,
Where Flora o'er her spotted carpet leads
Our eyes, and gluts us with discolour'd shows
Of flowers, which on her am'rous bosom grows.
Then Zephyrus, with fair Nepenthe scents,
Comes stealing o'er the flowers, and presents
Sweets odours to us, while by silver brook
We sit, and cheat the fishes with a hook.
And when the meadows are disburthened
Of grass, and with their withered cocks are spread,
Then with our nymphs and ladies we resort
Unto those cocks, and on, and o'er them sport:
So frisking kids their pleasures will display,
And with their loves in smiling evenings play.
When going forwards, with sweet tunes receiv'd,
Our fingers in each other's interweav'd,
We chat of love, and all the way we walk
We make the boy the subject of our talk;
So sport we o'er the meads, till Hesper come,
Allur'd by our delights to light us home.
The night we pass in contemplations sweet,
(Contented thoughts makes sable night more fleet)
And in the morning (morning beautified
With glorious Sol, who decks it with his pride)
We ride about the fields to recreate
Our o'erjoy'd minds, minds never stain'd with hate,
Where fearful hares before our greyhounds fly,
Awhile they run, and run awhile they die.
Then cast we off our nimble-winged hawk,
Whose speedy flight all baser preys doth baulk,
And up, his envying strength doth manage well,
'Gainst him, who from Minerva turrets fell.
Now to her altar we, whose golden hairs
Presents our corn, whole handfuls of our ears
Do bear, who smiling on her altar, takes
Our off'rings, and next fruitful harvest makes,
When you Carpathian and Aegaean seas
With odours stain, their flatt'red God to please.
If palsy Hyems with his frozen head
Doth hide fair Ceres in his icy bed,
With gins we snatch the silly birds; and snare
With our deceitful toils the fearful hare.
And now Cydonian boars with angry pace,
Through thick Stymphalian woods our hounds do chase;
Who o'er our steepy hills their way do fly,
Where country swains their speedy flight descry:
And with a hollow of rejoicing sounds
Blown up, encourage our pursuing hounds.
Retiring home, we praise, or discommend
Their long-maintained race, or hasty end.
When logs of wood, in spacious chimneys laid,
Of a consuming fire, a fire are made,
And we with our beloved wives declare,
Those sweet contents in country pleasures are.
O might I taste those marriage joys, and tell
What pure delight in upright love doth dwell.
And now to feast lov'd Christmas with delight,
Our neighbours to our suppers we invite;
Which past, and stools before the fire set,
All former wrath and wranglings we forget,
And while the apples in the fire roast,
Of kindness we, and country friendship boast,
Till with a wassel, which our wives impart
With sug'red hands, we close the night, and part.
These things thy nation yields us, and would prove
More blest, wouldst thou adorn her with thy love.
For if thou still depriv'st us of that light
Thy presence gives, and that entire delight
By which thy country smiles, she will decay
In fame, and her renown will fade away,
And I pursue thee o'er Bononian rhyne,
And to thee my dejected life confine.




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