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[The Sorceress of Vain Delight.]
[From the same.]

The garden like a lady fair was cut,
That lay as if she slumber'd in delight,
And to the open skies her eyes did shut :

The azure fields of Heaven were 'sembled right
In a large round, set with the flowers of light:
The flowers-de-luce, and the round sparks of dew
That hung upon their azure leaves, did shew
Like twinkling stars, that sparkle in the evening blue.
Upon a hilly bank her head she cast,

On which the bower of Vain Delight was built.
White and red roses for her face were plac'd,
And for her tresses marigolds were spilt:
Them broadly she display'd, like flaming gilt,
Till in the ocean the glad day was drown'd:
Then up again her yellow locks she wound,

And with green fillets in their pretty cauls them bound.

What should I here depaint her lily hand,
Her veins of violets, her ermine breast,
Which there in orient colours living stand:
Or how her gown with silken leaves is drest,
Or how her watchman, arm'd with boughy crest,
A wall of prim hid in his bushes bears
Shaking at every wind their leafy spears,
While she supinely sleeps, nor to be waked fears.

Over the hedge depends the graping elm,
Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine,
Seemed to wonder at his bloody helm,
And half suspect the bunches of the vine,
Lest they, perhaps, his wit should undermine;
For well he knew such fruit he never bore:
But her weak arms embraced him the more,
And she with ruby grapes laugh'd at her paramour.

The roof thick clouds did paint, from which three boys,
Three gaping mermaids with their ew'rs did feed,
Whose breasts let fall the stream, with sleepy noise,
To lions' mouths, from whence it leap'd with speed;
And in the rosy laver seem'd to bleed;
The naked boys unto the water's fall
Their stony nightingales had taught to call,
When Zephyr breath'd into their watery interall.

And all about, embayed in soft sleep,

A herd of charmed beasts aground were spread,
Which the fair witch in golden chains did keep,
And them in willing bondage fettered:

Once men they liv'd, but now the men were dead,
And turn'd to beasts; so fabled Homer old,
That Circe with her potion, charm'd in gold,
Used manly souls in beastly bodies to immould.

Through this false Eden, to his leman's bower,
(Whom thousand souls devoutly idolise)
Our first destroyer led our Saviour;
There, in the lower room, in solemn wise,
They danc'd a round and pour'd their sacrifice
To plump Lyæus, and among the rest,
The jolly priest, in ivy garlands drest,
Chanted wild orgials, in honour of the feast.

High over all, Panglorie's blazing throne,
In her bright turret, all of crystal wrought,
Like Phoebus' lamp, in midst of heaven, shone:
Whose starry top, with pride infernal fraught,
Self-arching columns to uphold were taught,
In which her image still reflected was
By the smooth crystal, that, most like her glass
In beauty and in frailty did all others pass.

A silver wand the sorceress did sway,
And, for a crown of gold, her hair she wore;
Only a garland of rose-buds did play
About her locks, and in her hand she bore
A hollow globe of glass, that long before
She full of emptiness had bladdered,
And all the world therein depictured:
Whose colours, like the rainbow, ever vanished.

Such watery orbicles young boys do blow
Out from their soapy shells, and much admire
The swimming world, which tenderly they row
With easy breath till it be raised higher;
But if they chance but roughly once aspire,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall.
Here when she came she 'gan for music call,
And sung this wooing song to welcome him withal :

'Love is the blossom where there blows
Everything that lives or grows:
Love doth make the heavens to move,
And the sun doth burn in love;
Like the strong and weak doth yoke,
And makes the ivy climb the oak;
Under whose shadows lions wild
Soften'd by love grow tame and mild:
Love no medicine can appease,

He burns the fishes in the seas;

Not all the skill his wounds can stench,1 Not all the sea his fire can quench; Love did make the bloody spear

Once a leafy coat to wear,

While in his leaves there shrouded lay

Sweet birds, for love, that sing and play: And of all love's joyful flame

I the bud and blossom am.

Only bend thy knee to me,

Thy wooing shall thy winning be.

'See, see, the flowers that below
Now as fresh as morning blow,
And of all the virgin rose,
That as bright Aurora shows:
How they all unleaved lie
Losing their virginity;
Like unto a summer shade,
But now born and now they fade.
Everything doth pass away,
There is danger in delay;
Come, come, gather then the rose,
Gather it, or it you lose.
All the sands of Tagus' shore
Into my bosom casts his ore:
All the valleys' swimming corn
To my house is yearly borne;
Every grape of every vine

Is gladly bruis'd to make me wine;
While ten thousand kings as proud
To carry up my train have bow'd,
And a world of ladies send me
In my chambers to attend me;
All the stars in heaven that shine,
And ten thousand more are mine:
Only bend thy knee to me,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be.’

1 Staunch.

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(The starting air flew from the damned sprite),

thrown into prison. He published various treatises, satires, and poems, during this period, though he was treated with great rigour. He was released, under bond for good behaviour, in 1663, and survived nearly four years afterwards, dying in London on the 2d of May 1667.

Wither's fame as a poet is derived chiefly from his

Where deeply both aggriev'd plunged themselves in early productions, written before he had imbibed the

night.

But to their Lord, now musing in his thought,

A heavenly volley of light angels flew,
And from his father him a banquet brought
Through the fine element, for well they knew,
After his Lenten fast, he hungry grew:
And as he fed, the holy choirs combine
To sing a hymn of the celestial Trine;

sectarian gloom of the Puritans, or become embroiled in the struggles of the civil war. A collection of his poems was published by himself in 1622, with the title, Mistress of Philarete; his Shepherds' Hunting, being certain Eclogues written during the time of the author's imprisonment in the Marshalsea, appeared in 1633. His Collection of Emblems, ancient and modern, Quickened with Me

All thought to pass, and each was past all thought trical Illustrations, made their appearance in 1635.

divine.

The birds' sweet notes, to sonnet out their joys,
Attemper'd to the lays angelical;

And to the birds the winds attune their noise;
And to the winds the waters hoarsely call,
And echo back again revoiced all;
That the whole valley rung with victory.
But now our Lord to rest doth homewards fly:
See how the night comes stealing from the mountains
high.

GEORGE WITHER.

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GEORGE WITHER (1588-1667) was a voluminous author, in the midst of disasters and sufferings that would have damped the spirit of any but the most adventurous and untiring enthusiast. Some of his happiest strains were composed in prison: his limbs were incarcerated within stone walls and iron bars, but his fancy was among the hills and plains, with shepherds hunting, or loitering with Poesy, by rustling boughs and murmuring springs. There is a freshness and natural vivacity in the poetry of Wither, that render his early works a perpetual feast.' We cannot say that it is a feast where no crude surfeit reigns,' for he is often harsh, obscure, and affected; but he has an endless diversity of style and subjects, and true poetical feeling and expression. Wither was a native of Hampshire, and received his education at Magdalen College, Oxford. He first appeared as an author in the year 1613, when he published a satire, entitled Abuses Stript and Whipt. For this he was thrown into the Marshalsea, where he composed his fine poem, The Shepherds' Hunting. When the abuses satirised by the poet had accumulated and brought on the civil war, Wither took the popular side, and sold his paternal estate to raise a troop of horse for the parliament. He rose to the rank of a major, and in 1642 was made governor of Farnham Castle, afterwards held by Denham. Wither was accused of deserting his appointment, and the castle was ceded the same year to Sir William Waller. During the struggles of that period, the poet was made prisoner by the royalists, and stood in danger of capital punishment, when Denham interfered for his brother bard, alleging, that as long as Wither lived, he (Denham) would not be considered the worst poet in England. The joke was a good one, if it saved Wither's life; but George was not frightened from the perilous contentions of the times. He was afterwards one of Cromwell's majors general, and kept watch and ward over the royalists of Surrey. From the sequestrated estates of these gentlemen, Wither obtained a considerable fortune; but the Restoration came, and he was stript of all his possessions. He remonstrated loudly and angrily; his remonstrances were voted libels, and the unlucky poet was again

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His satirical and controversial works were numerous, but are now forgotten. Some authors of our own day (Mr Southey in particular) have helped to popularise Wither, by frequent quotation and eulogy; but Mr Ellis, in his Specimens of Early English Poets, was the first to point out that playful fancy, pure taste, and artless delicacy of sentiment, which distinguish the poetry of his early youth.' His poem on Christmas affords a lively picture of the manners of the times. His Address to Poetry, the sole yet cheering companion of his prison solitude, is worthy of the theme, and superior to most of the effusions of that period. The pleasure with which he recounts the various charms and the divine skill' of his Muse, that had derived nourishment and delight from the meanest objects' of external nature-a daisy, a bush, or a tree; and which, when these picturesque and beloved scenes of the country were denied him, could gladden even the vaults and shades of a prison, is one of the richest offerings that has yet been made to the pure and hallowed shrine of poesy. The superiority of in tellectual pursuits over the gratifications of sense, and all the malice of fortune, has never been more touchingly or finely illustrated.

[The Companionship of the Muse.]

[From the Shepherds' Hunting.]
See'st thou not, in clearest days,
Oft thick fogs cloud heaven's rays;
And the vapours that do breathe
From the earth's gross womb beneath,
Seem they not with their black steams
To pollute the sun's bright beams,
And yet vanish into air,
Leaving it, unblemish'd, fair?
So, my Willy, shall it be

With Detraction's breath and thee:
It shall never rise so high,

As to stain thy poesy.

As that sun doth oft exhale
Vapours from each rotten vale;
Poesy so sometime drains
Gross conceits from muddy brains;
Mists of envy, fogs of spite,
Twixt men's judgments and her light:
But so much her power may do,
That she can dissolve them too.
If thy verse do bravely tower,
As she makes wing she gets power;
Yet the higher she doth soar,
She's affronted still the more:
Till she to the high'st hath past,
Then she rests with fame at last:
Let nought therefore thee affright,
But make forward in thy flight;

For, if I could match thy rhyme,
To the very stars I'd climb;
There begin again, and fly
Till I reach'd eternity.
But, alas! my muse is slow;
For thy page she flags too low:
Yea, the more's her hapless fate,
Her short wings were clipt of late:
And poor I, her fortune rueing,
Am myself put up a mewing:
But if I my cage can rid,
I'll fly where I never did:

And though for her sake I'm crost,
Though my best hopes I have lost,
And knew she would make my trouble
Ten times more than ten times double:
I should love and keep her too,
Spite of all the world could do.
For, though banish'd from my flocks,
And confin'd within these rocks,
Here I waste away the light,
And consume the sullen night,
She doth for my comfort stay,
And keeps many cares away.
Though I miss the flowery fields,
With those sweets the springtide yields,
Though I may not see those groves,
Where the shepherds chant their loves,
And the lasses more excel
Than the sweet-voiced Philomel.
Though of all those pleasures past,
Nothing now remains at last,
But Remembrance, poor relief,

That more makes than mends my grief:
She's my mind's companion still,
Maugre Envy's evil will.

(Whence she would be driven, too,
Were't in mortal's power to do.)
She doth tell me where to borrow
Comfort in the midst of sorrow:
Makes the desolatest place
To her presence be a grace;
And the blackest discontents
Be her fairest ornaments.
In my former days of bliss,
Her divine skill taught me this,
That from everything I saw,
I could some invention draw:
And raise pleasure to her height,
Through the meanest object's sight,
By the murmur of a spring,
Or the least bough's rustleing.
By a daisy, whose leaves spread,
Shut when Titan goes to bed;

Or a shady bush or tree,

She could more infuse in me,

Than all Nature's beauties can

In some other wiser man.

By her help I also now

Make this churlish place allow

Some things that may sweeten gladness,
In the very gall of sadness.

The dull loneness, the black shade,
That these hanging vaults have made;
The strange music of the waves,
Beating on these hollow caves;
This black den which rocks emboss,
Overgrown with eldest moss:
The rude portals that give light
More to terror than delight:
This my chamber of neglect,
Wall'd about with disrespect.
From all these, and this dull air,
A fit object for despair,

She bath taught me by her might
To draw comfort and delight.

Therefore, thou best earthly bliss,
I will cherish thee for this.
Poesy, thou sweet'st content
That e'er heaven to mortals lent:
Though they as a trifle leave thee,
Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive thee,
Though thou be to them a scorn,

That to nought but earth are born,

Let my life no longer be

Than I am in love with thee,

Though our wise ones call thee madness,

Let me never taste of gladness,

If I love not thy madd'st fits
Above all their greatest wits.

And though some, too seeming holy,

Do account thy raptures folly,

Thou dost teach me to contemn

What make knaves and fools of them.

Sonnet upon a Stolen Kiss.

Now gentle sleep hath closed up those eyes
Which, waking, kept my boldest thoughts in awe ;
And free access unto that sweet lip lies,
From whence I long the rosy breath to draw.
Methinks no wrong it were, if I should steal
From those two melting rubies, one poor kiss;
None sees the theft that would the theft reveal,
Nor rob I her of ought what she can miss:
Nay should I twenty kisses take away,
There would be little sign I would do so;
Why then should I this robbery delay?

Oh! she may wake, and therewith angry grow!
Well, if she do, I'll back restore that one,
And twenty hundred thousand more for loan.

The Stedfast Shepherd.

Hence away, thou Syren, leave me,

Pish! unclasp these wanton arms; Sugar'd words can ne'er deceive me, (Though thou prove a thousand charms). Fie, fie, forbear;

No common snare

Can ever my affection chain :
Thy painted baits,
And poor deceits,

Are all bestowed on me in vain.
I'm no slave to such as you be;
Neither shall that snowy breast,
Rolling eye, and lip of ruby,
Ever rob me of my rest;

Go, go, display

Thy beauty's ray

To some more-soon enamour'd swain: Those common wiles,

Of sighs and smiles,

Are all bestowed on me in vain.

I have elsewhere vow'd a duty;
Turn away thy tempting eye:
Show not me a painted beauty,
These impostures I defy :
My spirit loathes

Where gaudy clothes
And feigned oaths may love obtain :
I love her so

Whose look swears no,
That all your labours will be vain.
Can he prize the tainted posies,

Which on every breast are worn ; That may pluck the virgin roses From their never-touched thorn } I can go rest

On her sweet breast,

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So now is come our joyful'st feast;
Let every man be jolly;
Each room with ivy leaves is drest,
And every post with holly.
Though some churls at our mirth repine,
Round your foreheads garlands twine,
Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,

And let us all be merry.

Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meat choke,
And all their spits are turning.
Without the door let sorrow lie;
And if for cold it hap to die,
We'll bury't in a Christmas pie,
And evermore be merry.

Now every lad is wond'rous trim,
And no man minds his labour;
Our lasses have provided them
A bagpipe and a tabor;

Young men and maids, and girls and boys,
Give life to one another's joys;

And you anon shall by their noise

Perceive that they are merry.

Rank misers now do sparing shun;
Their hall of music soundeth ;
And dogs thence with whole shoulders run,
So all things there aboundeth.
The country folks, themselves advance,
With crowdy-muttons out of France;
And Jack shall pipe and Gill shall dance,
And all the town be merry.

Ned Squash hath fetcht his bands from pawn,
And all his best apparel;

Brisk Nell hath bought a ruff of lawn

With dropping of the barrel.
And those that hardly all the year
Had bread to eat, or rags to wear,
Will have both clothes and dainty fare,
And all the day be merry.

Now poor men to the justices

With capons make their errants;
And if they hap to fail of these,

They plague them with their warrants:
But now they feed them with good cheer,
And what they want they take in beer,
For Christmas comes but once a year,
And then they shall be merry.
Good farmers in the country nurse

The poor, that else were undone ;
Some landlords spend their money worse,
On lust and pride at London.
There the roysters they do play,
Drab and dice their lands away,
Which may be ours another day,
And therefore let's be merry.
The client now his suit forbears,
The prisoner's heart is eased;
The debtor drinks away his cares,
And for the time is pleased.
Though others' purses be more fat,
Why should we pine, or grieve at that?
Hang sorrow! care will kill a cat,
And therefore let's be merry.
Hark! now the wags abroad do call,
Each other forth to rambling;
Anon you'll see them in the hall,

For nuts and apples scrambling.
Hark! how the roofs with laughter sound,
Anon they'll think the house goes round,
For they the cellar's depth have found,
And there they will be merry.

The wenches with their wassail bowls
About the streets are singing;
The boys are come to catch the owls,
The wild mare in is bringing.

Our kitchen boy hath broke his box,
And to the dealing of the ox,
Our honest neighbours come by flocks,
And here they will be merry.

Now kings and queens poor sheepcotes have,
And mate with every body;

The honest now may play the knave,
And wise men play the noddy.
Some youths will now a mumming go,
Some others play at Rowland-bo,
And twenty other game boys mo,
Because they will be merry.
Then, wherefore, in these merry days,
Should we, I pray, be duller?
No, let us sing some roundelays,
To make our mirth the fuller:
And, while we thus inspired sing,
Let all the streets with echoes ring;
Woods and hills, and everything,

Bear witness we are merry.

WILLIAM BROWNE.

name of Philarete in a pastoral poem; and Milton is supposed to have copied his plan in Lycidas. There is also a faint similarity in some of the sentiments and images. Browne has a very fine illustration of a

rose:

Look, as a sweet rose fairly budding forth

Betrays her beauties to th' enamour'd morn,
Until some keen blast from the envious north
Kills the sweet bud that was but newly born;
Or else her rarest smells, delighting,
Make herself betray

Some white and curious hand, inviting
To pluck her thence away.

[A Descriptive Sketch.]

WILLIAM BROWNE (1590-1645) was a pastoral and descriptive pcet, who, like Phineas and Giles Fletcher, adopted Spenser for his model. He was a native of Tavistock, in Devonshire, and the beautiful scenery of his native county seems to have inspired his early strains. His descriptions are vivid and true to nature. Browne was tutor to the Earl of Carnarvon, and on the death of the latter at the battle of Newbury in 1643, he received the patronage and lived in the family of the Earl of Pembroke. In this situation he realised a competency, and, according to Wood, purchased an estate. He died at Ottery-St-Mary (the birth-place of Coleridge) in 1645. Browne's works consist of Britannia's Pastorals, the first part of which was published in 1613, the second part in 1616. He wrote, also, a pastoral O what a rapture have I gotten now! poem of inferior merit, entitled, The Shepherd's Pipe. That age of gold, this of the lovely brow, In 1620, a masque by Browne was produced at Have drawn me from my song! I onward run court, called The Inner Temple Masque; but it was not printed till a hundred and twenty years after (Clean from the end to which I first begun), the author's death, transcribed from a manuscript In whom the virtues and the graces rest, But ye, the heavenly creatures of the West, in the Bodleian Library. As all the poems of Pardon ! that I have run astray so long, Browne were produced before he was thirty years of And grow so tedious in so rude a song. age, and the best when he was little more than If you yourselves should come to add one grace twenty, we need not be surprised at their containing Unto a pleasant grove or such like place, marks of juvenility, and frequent traces of resem- Where, here, the curious cutting of a hedge, blance to previous poets, especially Spenser, whom There in a pond, the trimming of the sedge; he warmly admired. His pastorals obtained the Here the fine setting of well-shaded trees, approbation of Selden, Drayton, Wither, and Ben The walks there mounting up by small degrees, Jonson. Britannia's Pastorals are written in the The gravel and the green so equal lie, heroic couplet, and contain much beautiful descrip- It, with the rest, draws on your ling'ring eye: tive poetry. Browne had great facility of expression, Here the sweet smells that do perfume the air, and an intimate acquaintance with the phenomena Arising from the infinite repair of inanimate nature, and the characteristic features Of odoriferous buds, and herbs of price, of the English landscape. Why he has failed in (As if it were another paradise), maintaining his ground among his contemporaries, So please the smelling sense, that you are fain must be attributed to the want of vigour and con- Where last you walk'd to turn and walk again. densation in his works, and the almost total absence There the small birds with their harmonious notes of human interest. His shepherds and shepherdesses Sing to a spring that smileth as she floats: have nearly as little character as the silly sheep' For in her face a many dimples show, they tend; whilst pure description, that takes the And often skips as it did dancing go: place of sense,' can never permanently interest any Here further down an over-arched alley large number of readers. So completely had some That from a hill goes winding in a valley, of the poems of Browne vanished from the public You spy at end thereof a standing lake, view and recollection, that, had it not been for a Where some ingenious artist strives to make single copy of them possessed by the Rev. Thomas The water (brought in turning pipes of lead Warton, and which that poetical student and anti-Through birds of earth most lively fashioned) quary lent to be transcribed, it is supposed there would have remained little of those works which their author fondly hoped would

Keep his name enroll'd past his that shines
In gilded marble, or in brazen leaves.

Warton cites the following lines of Browne, as con-
taining an assemblage of the same images as the
morning picture in the L'Allegro of Milton :-

By this had chanticleer, the viilage cock,
Bidden the goodwife for her maids to knock ;
And the swart ploughman for his breakfast stayed,
That he might till those lands were fallow laid;
The hills and valleys here and there resound
With the re-echoes of the deep-mouth'd hound;
Each shepherd's daughter with her cleanly pail
Was come a-field to milk the morning's meal;
And ere the sun had climb'd the eastern hills,
To gild the muttering bourns and pretty rills,
Before the labouring bee had left the hive,
And nimble fishes, which in rivers dive,
Began to leap and catch the drowned fly,
I rose from rest, not infelicity.

To counterfeit and mock the sylvans all
In singing well their own set madrigal.
This with no small delight retains your ear,
And makes you think none blest but who live there.
Then in another place the fruits that be
In gallant clusters decking each good tree,
Invite your hand to crop them from the stem,
And liking one, taste every sort of them :
Then to the arbours walk, then to the bowers,
Thence to the walks again, thence to the flowers,
Then to the birds, and to the clear spring thence,
Now pleasing one, and then another sense:
Here one walks oft, and yet anew begin❜th,
As if it were some hidden labyrinth.

[Evening.]

As in an evening, when the gentle air
Breathes to the sullen night a soft repair,

I oft have sat on Thames' sweet bank, to hear
My friend with his sweet touch to charm mine ear:
When he hath play'd (as well he can) some strain,
That likes me, straight I ask the same again,
And he, as gladly granting, strikes it o'er

Browne celebrated the death of a friend under the ❘ With some sweet relish was forgot before:

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