[Page 74]

Strephon's Complaint on quitting his Retirement.

1 BUsiness! Oh stay till I recover Breath,
2 Th'astonishing Word puts my maz'd Spirits to Flight;
3 Business to me sounds terrible as Death,
4 As Death to Lovers on their Bridal Night.
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5 Free as Air, but more Serene,
6 The Series of my Life has been;
7 But I uncustom'd to the yoak, must now
8 In stubborn Harness toil at the dull Plow.
9 Then farewell Happiness, Repose farewell!
10 You come not where poor Strephon must Reside '
11 For you like Halcyons on calm Waters dwell,
12 But Business is a rough and troubled Tide.
13 Few Suns have ris'n since I was Blest,
14 Of God like Liberty possest;
15 But Slave t'Employment now without Repose
16 I'm (Ghost-like) hurry'd where my Daemon goes.
17 But Business to Preferment will direct,
18 And 'tis ev'n necessary to be Great.
19 Ah have I then no more than this t'expect?
20 My stinted Hopes will starve on such thin meat.
21 Impertinents! Content I crave,
22 And wildly you of Grandieur Rave!
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23 If Life's at best a tedious rugged Road,
24 What must it be with Grandieur's cumbring Load?
25 Condemn'd to th' Town-Noise and Impertinence,
26 Where Mode and Ceremony I must view!
27 Yet were the sight all Strephon cou'd dispense,
28 But He must there be Ceremonious too.
29 I fear my rural Soul's too plain
30 To Learn the Towns dissembling strein;
31 For whilst I practize the slie Courtiers Art,
32 I shall forget my self, and speak my Heart.
33 When first th' unwelcome Tidings I receiv'd,
34 Summon'd to bid my peaceful shades Adieu;
35 Scarce was I by my Fellow-Swains believ'd,
36 'Till streaming Tears prov'd my sad story True.
37 Then pensive they my Doom resent,
38 As 'twere to Death or Banishment;
39 But oh my Panalthaea's passionate moan
40 Surpast her Sexes kindness, and her own.
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41 Thus spake She with a forc't frown on her Brow,
42 Will you be gone? false Strephon, will you go?
43 Then go thy way; go, for I Hate thee now!
44 But tell me, are you serious Swain, or no?
45 This is some new-found wile to prove
46 (Ridiculous Jealousie!) my Love:
47 But whilst of mine this feign'd suspect is shown,
48 You wou'd suggest that you've renounc'd your Own.
49 Thy Love chast Nymph deep in my Breast I laid,
50 When first the precious Pledge I did receive,
51 Nor have I thence the sacred store convey'd,
52 Here, force the Cabinet ope and you'l believe!
53 You'l see with what a bleeding Heart,
54 From these dear Shades and thee I part;
55 But rig'rous Fate then on her Virgin Breast
56 I lean'd my drooping Head, and wept the Rest.
57 Oh Floods and Groves, beneath whose sacred shade
58 I've sat as Happy as first Mortals were;
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59 For when Distractions did my breast invade,
60 Some rapt'rous Shepheard's Song redrest my Care.
61 But 'bove the Flights of other Swains
62 I priz'd my Astragon's soft streins;
63 For (Turtle-like) my pensive Astragon
64 Is sweetly Sad and charming in his Moan.


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Title (in Source Edition): Strephon's Complaint on quitting his Retirement.
Author: Nahum Tate

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Tate, Nahum, c. 1652-1715. Poems by N. Tate. London: Printed by T.M. for Benj. Tooke ..., 1677, pp. 74-78. [15],133p. (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 2953].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Nahum Tate