Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: The Scented Grove
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
Book I. Song 2.

THEN walked they to a grove but near at hand,
Where fiery Titan had but small command,
Because the leaves conspiring kept his beams,
For fear of hurting, when he ’s in extremes,
The under-flowers, which did enrich the ground        5
With sweeter scents than in Arabia found.
The earth doth yield, which they through pores exhale,
Earth’s best of odours, th’ aromatical:
Like to that smell which oft our sense descries
Within a field which long unplowed lies,        10
Somewhat before the setting of the sun;
And where the rainbow in the horizon
Doth pitch her tips: or as when in the prime,
The earth being troubled with a drought long time,
The hand of heaven his spongy clouds doth strain,        15
And throws into her lap a shower of rain;
She sendeth up, conceived from the sun,
A sweet perfume and exhalation.
Not all the ointments brought from Delos isle;
Nor from the confines of seven-headed Nile;        20
Nor that brought whence Phenicians have abodes,
Nor Cyprus’ wild vine-flowers, nor that of Rhodes,
Nor roses’ oil from Naples, Capua,
Saffron confected in Cilicia;
Nor that of quinces nor of marjoram        25
That ever from the isle of Coos came.
Nor these, nor any else, though ne’er so rare,
Could with this place for sweetest smells compare.
 
 
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