It fell about the Lammas tide, When the muir-men win their hay, The doughty Douglas bound him to ride Into England, to drive a prey.
Fair laughs the morn and soft the zephyr blows, While proudly riding o'er the azure realm In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
So on this windy sea of land, the Fiend Walked up and down alone bent on his prey.
Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
You think that you are Ann's suitor; that you are the pursuer and she the pursued Fool: it is you who are pursued, the marked down quarry, the destined prey.
Sun-girt city, thou hast been Ocean's child, and then his queen; Now is come a darker day, And thou soon must be his prey.
One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washe' d it away; Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. 'Vain man,'said she,'that doest in vain assay A mortal thing so to immortalise, For I my self shall like to this decay, And eke my name be wipe' d out likewise.' 'Not so,'quod I,'let baser things devise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternise, And in the heavens write your glorious name. Where when as death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.'
So, naturalists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas on him prey; And these have smaller fleas to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet, in his kind, Is bit by him that comes behind.
Freedom is only the distance between the hunter and his prey.
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