Saturday, June 22, 2013


When Youth, and Love, and Spring, and Golden Joys are Gone

Isaac Watts (1674-1748), "To Mr. William Blackbourn," in his Horae Lyricae, 2nd ed. (London: Printed by J. Humfreys, for N. Cliff, 1709), pp. 187-188:
Casimir. Lib. 2. Od. 2. imitated.
Quae tegit Canas modo Bruma valles, &c.

Mark how it snows! how fast the Valley fills!
And the sweet Groves the hoary Garment wear;
Yet the warm Sun-beams bounding from the Hills
Shall melt the Vail away, and the young Green appear.

But when old Age has on your Temples shed
Her Silver-Frost, there's no returning Sun;
Swift flies our Autumn, swift our Summer's fled,
When Youth, and Love, and Spring, and golden Joys are gone.

Then Cold and Winter, and your aged Snow
Stick fast upon you; not the rich Array,
Not the green Garland, nor the rosy Bough
Shall cancel or conceal the melancholy Grey.

The Chase of Pleasure is not worth the Pains,
While the bright Sands of Health run wasting down;
And Honour calls you from the softer Scenes
To sell the gaudy Hour for Ages of Renown.

'Tis but one Youth and short that Mortals have,
And one old Age dissolves our feeble Frame;
But there's a heavenly Art t' elude the Grave,
And with the Hero-Race immortal Kindred claim.

The Man that has his Countries sacred Tears
Bedewing his cold Herse, has liv'd his Day:
Thus, BLACKBOURN, we should leave our Names our Heirs;
Old Time and waning Moons sweep all the rest away.
Matthias Casimirus Sarbievius (1585-1640), "Ad Publium Memmium. Vitae humanae breuitatem benefactis extendendam esse," in his Lyricorum Libri V ... (Dijon: Pierre Palliot, 1647). pp. 55-56:
Quae tegit canas modò bruma valleis,
Sole vicinos iaculante monteis
Deteget rursum, tibi cùm niuosae
                        Bruma senectae

In caput seris cecidit pruinis,
Decidet nunquam, cita fugit Aestas,
Fugit Autumnus, fugient propinqui
                        Tempora Veris:

At tibi frigus, capitique cani
Semper haerebunt, neque multa nardus,
Nec parùm gratum repetita dement
                        Serta colorem,

Vna quem nobis dederat iuuentus,
Vna te nobis rapiet senectus:
Sed potes, PVBLI, geminare magnâ
                        Secula famâ.

Quem sui raptum gemuêre ciues,
Hic diu vixit, sibi quisque Famam
Scribat haeredem. Rapiunt auarae
                        Caetera Lunae.

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