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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

As Careful Merchants Do Expecting Stand

By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)

From ‘Britannia’s Pastorals’

AS careful merchants do expecting stand,

After long time and merry gales of wind,

Upon the place where their brave ships must land,

So wait I for the vessel of my mind.

Upon a great adventure is it bound,

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 worth she brings;

The unvalued diamond of her sparkling eye

Wants in the treasures of all Europe’s kings;

And were it mine, they nor their crowns should buy.

The sapphires ringèd on her panting breast

Run as rich veins of ore about the mold,

And are in sickness with a pale possessed;

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.

The sweets of Candy are no sweets to me

Where hers I taste: nor the perfumes of price,

Robbed from the happy shrubs of Araby,

As her sweet breath so powerful to entice.

O hasten then! and if thou be not gone

Unto that wicked traffic through the main,

My powerful sigh 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.