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 Song of Tavy
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
Book II. Song 3.

AS careful merchants do expecting stand
  (After long time and merry gales of wind)
Upon the place where their brave ship must land,
  So wait I for the vessel of my mind.
 
Upon a great adventure is it bound        5
  Whose safe return will valued be at more
Than all the wealthy prizes which have crowned
  The golden wishes of an age before.
 
Out of the East jewels of wealth she brings.
  Th’ unvalu’d diamond of her sparkling eye        10
Wants in the treasure of all Europe’s kings;
  And were it mine they nor their crowns should buy.
 
The sapphires ringed on her panting breast
  Run as rich veins of ore about the mould,
And are in sickness with a pale possest        15
  So true, for them I should disvalue gold.
 
The melting rubies on her cherry lip
  Are of such power to hold; that as one day
Cupid flew thirsty by, he stooped to sip,
  And fastened there could never get away.        20
 
The sweets of Candie are no sweets to me,
  When hers I taste; nor the perfumes of price,
Robb’d from the happy shrubs of Araby,
  As her sweet breath, so powerful to entice.
 
Oh hasten then, and if thou be not gone        25
  Unto that wished traffic through the main,
My powerful sighs shall quickly drive thee on,
  And then begin to draw thee back again.
 
If in the mean rude waves have it opprest
It shall suffice, I ventured at the best.        30
 
 
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