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And some delight to me the while,

Though nature now does weep in rain, To think that I have seen her smile, And haply may I do again. If the all-ruling Power please We live to see another May," We'll recompense an age of these

Foul days in one fine fishing day. We then shall have a day or two,

Perhaps a week, wherein to try What the best master's hand can do With the most deadly killing fly. A day with not too bright a beam; A warm, but not a scorching sun; A southern gale to curl the stream;

And, master, half our work is done. Then, whilst behind some bush we wait The scaly people to betray, We'll prove it just, with treacherous bait, To make the preying trout our prey; And think ourselves, in such an hour, Happier than those, though not so high, Who, like leviathans, devour

Of meaner men the smaller fry. This, my best friend, at my poor home, Shall be our pastime and our theme; But then-should you not deign to come, You make all this a flattering dream.

[A Welsh Guide.]

[From A Voyage to Ireland."]

The sun in the morning disclosed his light,
With complexion as ruddy as mine over night;
And o'er th' eastern mountains peeping up's head,
The casement being open, espied me in bed;
With his rays he so tickled my lids, I awaked,
And was half asham'd, for I found myself naked;
But up I soon start, and was dress'd in a trice,
And call'd for a draught of ale, sugar, and spice;
Which having turn'd off, I then call to pay,
And packing my nawls, whipt to horse, and away.
A guide I had got who demanded great vails,
For conducting me over the mountains of Wales:
Twenty good shillings, which sure very large is;
Yet that would not serve, but I must bear his charges;
And yet for all that, rode astride on a beast,
The worst that e'er went on three legs, I protest;
It certainly was the most ugly of jades;
His hips and his rump made a right ace of spades;
His sides were two ladders, well spur-gall'd withal;
His neck was a helve, and his head was a mall;
For his colour, my pains and your trouble I'll spare,
For the creature was wholly denuded of hair;
And, except for two things, as bare as my nail,
A tuft of a mane, and a sprig of a tail;

Now, such as the beast was, even such was the rider,
With a head like a nutmeg, and legs like a spider;
A voice like a cricket, a look like a rat,

The brains of a goose, and the heart of a cat;

Good God! how sweet are all things here!
How beautiful the fields appear!

How cleanly do we feed and lie!
Lord! what good hours do we keep!
How quietly we sleep!

What peace, what unanimity!
How innocent from the lewd fashion,
Is all our business, all our recreation!

Oh, how happy here's our leisure !
Oh, how innocent our pleasure!
O ye valleys! O ye mountains!
O ye groves, and crystal fountains!
How I love, at liberty,

By turns to come and visit ye!

Dear Solitude, the soul's best friend, That man acquainted with himself dost make, And all his Maker's wonders to intend, With thee I here converse at will, And would be glad to do so still,

For it is thou alone that keep'st the soul awake. How calm and quiet a delight

Is it, alone,

To read, and meditate, and write,

By none offended, and offending none!
To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one's own ease,
And, pleasing a man's self, none other to displease.
O my beloved nymph, fair Dove,
Princess of rivers, how I love

Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a summer's beam!
And in it all thy wanton fry,
Playing at liberty;

And with my angle, upon them
The all of treachery

I ever learn'd, industriously to try!

Such streams Rome's yellow Tiber cannot show ;
The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po,

The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine,
Are puddle water all compared with thine;
And Loire's pure streams yet too polluted are
With thine, much purer to compare ;
The rapid Garonne and the winding Seine
Are both too mean,
Beloved Dove, with thee

To vie priority;

Nay, Tame and Isis, when conjoin'd, submit,
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.

O my beloved rocks, that rise
To awe the earth and brave the skies,
From some aspiring mountain's crown,
How dearly do I love,

Giddy with pleasure, to look down;
And, from the vales, to view the noble heights above!
O my beloved caves! from dog-star's heat,
And all anxieties, my safe retreat;

What safety, privacy, what true delight,
In the artificial night,

Your gloomy entrails make,
Have I taken, do I take!

Ev'n such was my guide and his beast; let them pass, How oft, when grief has made me fly, The one for a horse, and the other an ass.

The Retirement.

Stanzas Irreguliers, to Mr Izaak Walton. Farewell, thou busy world, and may We never meet again; Here I can eat, and sleep, and pray, And do more good in one short day Than he who his whole age out-wears Upon the most conspicuous theatres, Where nought but vanity and vice appears.

To hide me from society,

E'en of my dearest friends, have I,

In your recesses' friendly shade,
All my sorrows open laid,

And my most secret woes intrusted to your privacy!
Lord! would men let me alone,
What an over-happy one

Should I think myself to be;

Might I in this desert place
(Which most men in discourse disgrace)
Live but undisturb'd and free!


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In all Charles's days

Roscommon only boasts unspotted bays.

The EARL OF ROSCOMMON (1633-1684) was the
nephew and godson of the celebrated Earl of Straf-
ford. He travelled abroad during the civil war, and
returned at the time of the Restoration, when he
was made captain of the band of pensioners, and
subsequently master of the horse to the Duchess of
York. Roscommon, like Denham, was addicted to
gambling; but he cultivated his taste for literature,
and produced a poetical Essay on Translated Verse,
a translation of Horace's Art of Poetry,' and some
other minor pieces. He planned, in conjunction with
Dryden, a scheme for refining our language and
fixing its standard; but, while meditating on this
and similar topics connected with literature, the
arbitrary measures of James II. caused public alarm
and commotion. Roscommon, dreading the result,
prepared to retire to Rome, saying 'It was best to
sit near the chimney when the chamber smoked.'
An attack of gout prevented the poet's departure,
and he died in 1684. At the moment in which he
expired,' says Johnson, he uttered, with an energy
of voice that expressed the most fervent devotion,
two lines of his own version of " Dies Iræ"-

My God, my Father, and my Friend,
Do not forsake me in my end.'


Immodest words admit of no defence,
For want of decency is want of sense.

What moderate fop would rake the park or stews,
Who among troops of faultless nymphs may choose?
Variety of such, then, is to be found;
Take then a subject proper to expound,
But moral, great, and worth a poet's voice,
For men of sense despise a trivial choice:
And such applause it must expect to meet,
As would some painter busy in a street
To copy bulls and bears, and every sign
That calls the staring sots to nasty wine.

Yet 'tis not all to have a subject good;
It must delight us when 'tis understood.
He that brings fulsome objects to my view
(As many old have done, and many new),
With nauseous images my fancy fills,
And all goes down like oxymel of squills.
Instruct the listening world how Maro sings
Of useful subjects and of lofty things.
These will such true, such bright ideas raise,
As merit gratitude, as well as praise.
But foul descriptions are offensive still,
Either for being like or being ill.
For who without a qualm hath ever look'd
On holy garbage, though by Homer cook'd?
Whose railing heroes, and whose wounded gods,
Make some suspect he snores as well as nods.
But I offend-Virgil begins to frown,
And Horace looks with indignation down :
My blushing Muse, with conscious fear retires,
And whom they like implicitly admires.

[Caution against False Pride.]

On sure foundations let your fabric rise, And with attractive majesty surprise; Not by affected meretricious arts, But strict harmonious symmetry of parts; Which through the whole insensibly must pass With vital heat, to animate the mass. A pure, an active, an auspicious flame, And bright as heaven, from whence the blessing came. But few-O few! souls pre-ordain'd by fate, The race of gods have reach'd that envied height. No rebel Titan's sacrilegious crime, The only work of Roscommon's which may be said By heaping hills on hills, can hither climb: to elevate him above mediocrity, is his Essay on The grisly ferryman of hell denied Translated Verse,' in which he inculcates in didactic Eneas entrance, till he knew his guide. poetry the rational principles of translation pre-How justly then will impious mortals fall, viously laid down by Cowley and Denham. It was published in 1681; and it is worthy of remark, that Roscommon notices the sixth book of Paradise Lost' (published only four years before) for its sublimity. Dryden has heaped on Roscommon the most lavish praise, and Pope has said that 'every author's merit was his own.' Posterity has not confirmed these judgments. Roscommon stands on the same ground with Denham-elegant and sensible, but cold and unimpassioned. We shall subjoin a few passages from his 'Essay on Translated Verse:'

[The Modest Muse.]

With how much ease is a young maid betray'd-
How nice the reputation of the maid!
Your early kind paternal care appears
By chaste instruction of her tender years.
The first impression in her infant breast
Will be the deepest, and should be the best.
Let not austerity breed servile fear;
No wanton sound offend her virgin ear.
Secure from foolish pride's affected state,
And specious flattery's more pernicious bait;
Habitual innocence adorns her thoughts;
But your neglect must answer for her faults.

Whose pride would soar to heaven without a call.
Pride (of all others the most dangerous fault)
Proceeds from want of sense, or want of thought.
The men who labour and digest things most,
Will be much apter to despond than boast;
For if your author be profoundly good,
"Twill cost you dear before he's understood.
How many ages since has Virgil writ!
How few are they who understand him yet!
Approach his altars with religious fear;
No vulgar deity inhabits there.
Heaven shakes not more at Jove's imperial nod
Than poets should before their Mantuan god.
Hail mighty Maro! may that sacred name
Kindle my breast with thy celestial flame,
Sublime ideas and apt words infuse;

The Muse instructs my voice, and thou inspire the

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Let no vain hope your easy mind seduce,
For rich ill poets are without excuse;
'Tis very dangerous tampering with the Muse;
The profit's small, and you have much to lose;
For though true wit adorns your birth or place,
Degenerate lines degrade the attainted race.

No poet any passion can excite,

But what they feel transport them when they write.
Have you been led through the Cumaan cave,
And heard th' impatient maid divinely rave?
I hear her now; I see her rolling eyes;
And panting, Lo, the god, the god! she cries:
With words not hers, and more than human sound,
She makes th' obedient ghosts peep trembling through
the ground.

But though we must obey when heaven commands,
And man in vain the sacred call withstands,
Beware what spirit rages in your breast;
For ten inspir'd, ten thousand are possess'd:
Thus make the proper use of each extreme,
And write with fury, but correct with phlegm.
As when the cheerful hours too freely pass,
And sparkling wine smiles in the tempting glass,
Your pulse advises, and begins to beat
Through every swelling vein a loud retreat:
So when a Muse propitiously invites,
Improve her favours, and indulge her flights;
But when you find that vigorous heat abate,
Leave off, and for another summons wait.
Before the radiant sun, a glimmering lamp,
Adulterate measures to the sterling stamp
Appear not meaner than mere human lines,
Compar'd with those whose inspiration shines:
These nervous, bold; those languid and remiss;
There, cold salutes; but here, a lover's kiss.
Thus have I seen a rapid headlong tide,
With foaming waves the passive Saone divide,
Whose lazy waters without motion lay,

While he with eager force urg'd his impetuous way!

On the Day of Judgment.

[Version of the 'Dies Ira.']

That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
Shall the whole world in ashes lay,
As David and the Sibyls say.

What horror will invade the mind,
When the strict Judge, who would be kind,
Shall have few venial faults to find!

The last loud trumpet's wondrous sound,
Shall through the rending tombs rebound,
And wake the nations under ground.
Nature and Death shall, with surprise,
Behold the pale offender rise,

And view the Judge with conscious eyes.

Then shall, with universal dread,
The sacred mystic book be read,
To try the living and the dead.

The Judge ascends his awful throne;
He makes each secret sin be known,
And all with shame confess their own.

O then, what interest shall I make
To save my last important stake,
When the most just have cause to quake?

Thou mighty formidable King,
Thou mercy's unexhausted spring,
Some comfortable pity bring!

Forget not what my ransom cost,
Nor let my dear-bought soul be lost
In storms of guilty terror tost.


Prostrate my contrite heart I rend, My God, my Father, and my Friend, Do not forsake me in my end!

Well may they curse their second breath,
Who rise to a reviving death.
Thou great Creator of mankind,
Let guilty man compassion find!


JOHN WILMOT, EARL OF ROCHESTER (1647-1680), is known principally from his having (to use the figurative language of Johnson) blazed out his youth and his health in lavish voluptuousness,' and died from physical exhaustion and decay at the age of thirty-three. Like most of the courtiers of the day, Rochester travelled in France and Italy. He was at sea with the Earl of Sandwich and Sir Edward Spragge, and distinguished himself for bravery. In the heat of an engagement, he went to carry a message in an open boat amidst a storm of shot. This manliness of character forsook Rochester in England, for he was accused of betraying cowardice in street quarrels, and he refused to fight with the Duke of Buckingham. In the profligate court of Charles, Rochester was the most profligate; his intrigues, his low amours and disguises, his erecting a stage and playing the mountebank on Tower-hill, and his having been five years in a state of inebriety, are circumstances well-known and partly admitted by himself. It is remarkable, however, that his domestic letters, which were published a few years ago, show him in a totally different light- tender, playful, and alive to all the affections of a husband, a father, and a son.' His repentance itself says something for the natural character of the unfortunate profligate. To judge from the memoir left by Dr Burnet, who was his lordship's spiritual guide on his deathbed, it was sincere and unreserved. We may, therefore, with some confidence, set down Rochester as one of those whose vices are less the effect of an inborn tendency, than of external corrupting circumstances. It may fairly be said of him, Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it.' His poems consist of slight effusions, thrown off without labour. Many of them are so very licentious as to be unfit for publication; but in one of these, he has given in one line a happy character of Charles II.

A merry monarch, scandalous, and poor. His songs are sweet and musical. Rochester wrote a poem Upon Nothing, which is merely a string of puns and conceits. It opens, however, with a fine image

Nothing! thou elder brother ev'n to shade,
That hadst a being ere the world was made,
And, well fix'd, art alone of ending not afraid.


While on those lovely looks I gaze,

To see a wretch pursuing,

In raptures of a bless'd amaze,
His pleasing happy ruin;
Tis not for pity that I move;
His fate is too aspiring,

Whose heart, broke with a load of love,
Dies wishing and admiring.
But if this murder you'd forego,

Your slave from death removing,
Let me your art of charming know,
Or learn you mine of loving.
But whether life or death betide,
In love 'tis equal measure;
The victor lives with empty pride,
The vanquish'd die with pleasure.

[Constancy a Song.]

I cannot change as others do, Though you unjustly scorn;

Since that poor swain that sighs for you,
For you alone was born.

No, Phillis, no; your heart to move
A surer way I'll try;

And, to revenge my slighted love,

Will still love on, will still love on, and die.

When kill'd with grief Amyntas lies,

And you to mind shall call

The sighs that now unpitied rise,

The tears that vainly fall;

That welcome hour that ends this smart
Will then begin your pain,

For such a faithful tender heart

Can never break, can never break in vain.


Too late, alas! I must confess,

You need not arts to move me; Such charms by nature you possess, "Twere madness not to love you. Then spare a heart you may surprise, And give my tongue the glory To boast, though my unfaithful eyes Betray a tender story.


My dear mistress has a heart

Soft as those kind looks she gave me,
When, with love's resistless art,

And her eyes, she did enslave me.
But her constancy's so weak,

She's so wild and apt to wander,
That my jealous heart would break,
Should we live one day asunder.
Melting joys about her move,

Killing pleasures, wounding blisses;
She can dress her eyes in love,

And her lips can warm with kisses.
Angels listen when she speaks;

She's my delight, all mankind's wonder;
But my jealous heart would break,

Should we live one day asunder.

A few specimens of Rochester's letters to his wife and son are subjoined :

I am very glad to hear news from you, and I think it very good when I hear you are well; pray be pleased to send me word what you are apt to be pleased with, that I may show you how good a husband I can be; I would not have you so formal as to judge of the kindness of a letter by the length of it, but believe of everything that it is as you would have it.

"Tis not an easy thing to be entirely happy; but to be kind is very easy, and that is the greatest measure of happiness. I say not this to put you in mind of being kind to me; you have practised that so long, that I have a joyful confidence you will never forget it; but to show that I myself have a sense of what the methods of my life seemed so utterly to contradict, I must not be too wise about my own follies, or else this letter had been a book dedicated to you, and published to the world. It will be more pertinent to tell you, that very shortly the king goes to Newmarket, and then I shall wait on you at Adderbury; in the mean time, think of anything you would have me do, and I shall thank you for the occasion of pleasing you.

Mr Morgan I have sent in this errand, because he plays the rogue here in town so extremely, that he is not to be endured; pray, if he behaves himself so at

Adderbury, send me word, and let him stay till I send for him. Pray, let Ned come up to town; I have a little business with him, and he shall be back in a week.

Wonder not that I have not written to you all this while, for it was hard for me to know what to write upon several accounts; but in this I will only desire you not to be too much amazed at the thoughts my mother I has of you, since, being mere imaginations, they will as easily vanish, as they were groundlessly erected; for my own part, I will make it my endeavour they may. What you desired of me in your other letter, shall punctually have performed. You must, I think, obey my mother in her commands to wait on her at Aylesbury, as I told you in my last letter. I am very dull at this time, and therefore think it pity in this humour to testify myself to you any farther; only, dear wife, I am your humble servant-ROCHESTER.

Run away like a rascal, without taking leave, dear wife; it is an unpolite way of proceeding, which a modest man ought to be ashamed of. I have left you a prey to your own imaginations, amongst my relations the worst of damnations; but there will come an hour of deliverance, till when, may my mother be merciful to you; so I commit you to what shall ensue, woman to woman, wife to mother, in hopes of a future appearance in glory. The small share I could spare you out of my pocket, I have sent as a debt to Mrs Rowse. Within a week or ten days I will return you' more: pray write as often as you have leisure to your ROCHESTER.

Remember me to Nan and my Lord Wilmot. You must present my service to my cousins. I intend to be at the wedding of my niece Ellen, if I hear of it. Excuse my ill paper, and very ill manners to my mother; they are both the best the place and age could afford.

MY WIFE-The difficulties of pleasing your lady. ship do increase so fast upon me, and are grown so numerous, that, to a man less resolved than myself never to give it over, it would appear a madness ever to attempt it more; but through your frailties mine ought not to multiply; you may, therefore, secure yourself that it will not be easy for you to put me out of my constant resolutions to satisfy you in all I can. I confess there is nothing will so much contribute to my assistance in this as your dealing freely with me; for since you have thought it a wise thing to trust me less and have reserves, it has been out of my power I intended them. At a distance, I am likeliest to learn to make the best of my proceedings effectual to what your mind, for you have not a very obliging way of delivering it by word of mouth; if, therefore, you will let me know the particulars in which I may be useful to you, I will show my readiness as to my own part; and if I fail of the success I wish, it shall not be the fault of-Your humble servant, ROCHESTER.

I intend to be at Adderbury sometime next week.

I hope, Charles, when you receive this, and know that I have sent this gentleman to be your tutor, you will be very glad to see I take such care of you, and be very grateful, which is best shown in being obedient and diligent. You are now grown big enough to be a man, and you can be wise enough; for the way to be truly wise is to serve God, learn your book, and observe the instructions of your parents first, and next your tutor, to whom I have entirely resigned you for this seven years, and according as you employ that time, you are to be happy or unhappy for ever; but I have so good an opinion of you, that I am glad to think you will never deceive me; dear child, learn your book and be obedient, and you shall see what a father I will be to you. You shall want no pleasure while you are good, and that you may be so are my constant prayers. ROCHESTER.

Charles, I take it very kindly that you write me (though seldom), and wish heartily you would behave yourself so as that I might show how much I love you without being ashamed. Obedience to your grandmother, and those who instruct you in good things, is the way to make you happy here and for ever. Avoid idleness, scorn lying, and God will bless you. ROCHESTER.


SIR CHARLES SEDLEY (1639-1701) was one of the brightest satellites of the court of Charles II.—as witty and gallant as Rochester, as fine a poet, and a better man. He was the son of a Kentish baronet, Sir John Sedley of Aylesford. The Restoration drew him to London, and he became such a favourite for his taste and accomplishments, that Charles is said to have asked him if he had not obtained from Nature a patent to be Apollo's viceroy. His estate, his time, and morals, were squandered away at court; but latterly the poet redeemed himself, became a constant attender of parliament, in which he had a seat, opposed the arbitrary measures of James II., and assisted to bring about the Revolution. James had seduced Sedley's daughter, and created her Countess of Dorchester-a circumstance which probably quickened the poet's zeal against the court. I hate ingratitude,' said the witty Sedley; and as the king has made my daughter a countess, I will endeavour to make his daughter a queen'-alluding to the Princess Mary, married to the Prince of Orange. Sir Charles wrote plays and poems, which were extravagantly praised by his contemporaries. Buckingham eulogised the witchcraft of Sedley, and Rochester spoke of his gentle prevailing art.' His songs are light and graceful, with a more studied and felicitous diction than is seen in most of the court poets. One of the finest, Ah! Chloris, could I now but sit,' has been often printed as the composition of the Scottish patriot, Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord President of the court of session: the verses occur in Sedley's play, The Mulberry Garden. Sedley's conversation was highly prized, and he lived on, delighting all his friends, till past his sixtieth year. As he says of one of his own heroines, he

Bloom'd in the winter of his days,
Like Glastonbury thorn.


Ah, Chloris! could I now but sit
As unconcern'd as when
Your infant beauty could beget
No happiness or pain.
When I this dawning did admire,
And praised the coming day,
I little thought the rising fire

Would take my rest away.
Your charms in harmless childhood lay
Like metals in a mine;

Age from no face takes more away,
Than youth conceal'd in thine.
But as your charms insensibly

To their perfection prest,

So love as unperceiv'd did fly,
And center'd in my breast.
My passion with your beauty grew,
While Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favour'd you,
Threw a new flaming dart.
Each gloried in their wanton part;
To make a lover, he
Employ'd the utmost of his art-
To make a beauty, she.


Love still has something of the sea,
From whence his mother rose;
No time his slaves from doubt can free,
Nor give their thoughts repose.
They are becalm'd in clearest days,
And in rough weather toss'd;
They wither under cold delays,

Or are in tempests lost.

One while they seem to touch the port,
Then straight into the main
Some angry wind, in cruel sport,
The vessel drives again.

At first disdain and pride they fear,
Which, if they chance to 'scape,
Rivals and falsehood soon appear
In a more cruel shape.

By such decrees to joy they come,
And are so long withstood;
So slowly they receive the sun,

It hardly does them good.
"Tis cruel to prolong a pain ;
And to defer a joy,
Believe me, gentle Celemene,
Offends the winged boy.

A hundred thousand oaths your fears
Perhaps would not remove;
And if I gaz'd a thousand years,
I could not deeper love.


Phillis, men say that all my vows
Are to thy fortune paid;
Alas! my heart he little knows,

Who thinks my love a trade.
Were I of all these woods the lord,
One berry from thy hand
More real pleasure would afford
Than all my large command.

My humble love has learn'd to live
On what the nicest maid,
Without a conscious blush, may give
Beneath the myrtle shade.


MARGARET, DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE, who died in 1673, was distinguished for her faithful attachment to her lord in his long exile during the time of the commonwealth, and for her indefatigable pursuit of literature. She was the daughter of Sir Charles Lucas, and one of the maids of honour to Henrietta Maria. Having accompanied the queen to France, she met with the Marquis of Newcastle, and was married to him at Paris in 1645. The marquis took up his residence at Antwerp, till the troubles were over, and there his lady wrote and published (1653) a volume, entitled Poems and Fancies. The marquis assisted her in her compositions, a circumstance which Horace Walpole has ridiculed in his Royal and Noble Authors;' and so indefatigable were the noble pair, that they filled nearly twelve volumes, folio, with plays, poems, orations, philosophical discourses, &c. On the restoration of Charles II., the marquis and his lady returned to England. The picture of domestic happiness and devoted loyalty presented by the life of these personages, creates a strong prepossession in favour of the poetry of the duchess. She had invention, knowledge, and imagination, but wanted energy and taste. The Pastime and Recreation of the Queen of Fairies in Fairy Land is her

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