Page images
PDF
EPUB

As a

faculty of wittily associating the most widely discordant images, and presenting ideas under the most remote and fanciful aspects.

His prose writings consist chiefly of sermons, which, though they have some of the faults of his poetry, are full of rich, condensed, and vigorous though and, what is far better, show the author to be an eminently holy man. preacher, old Izaak Walton says of him, “hie is, in earnest, weeping some. times for his audience, sometimes with them; always preaching to himself, like an angel from a cloud, but in none; carrying some, as St. Paul was, to heaven, in holy raptures, and enticing others by a sacred art and courtship to aluend their lives; here picturing a vice so as to make it ugly to those that practised it; and a virtue so as to make it beloved by those that loved it not; and all this with a most particular grace, and an inexpressilde addition of comeliness."

The following presents a very fair specimen of his poetry: indeed, it is more simple and natural than the greater part of it. The simile of the compasses, whatever may be thought of its bea aty or fitness, is certainly original

THE FAREWELL.
As virtuous men pass inildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go;
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
The breath goes now-and some say, no;
So let us meli, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
T'were profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings larms and fears,
Men reckon what it did, and meant:
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull, sublunary lovers' love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which alimented it.
But we're by love ‘so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is;
Inter-assured of the mind,
Careless eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls, therefore, (which are one,)
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

I Read-Johnson's "Life of Cowley;" also, an article in the "Retrospective Review," vil'. 81 hich gives to his poetry higher praise than we think it deserves; also, some remarks in “Drike Nhunkspeare," I. 615. and above all, Izaak Walton's "Life." A selection from his prose work, ne published at Ox.oris 1840, in one small volunie.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must
Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circles just,
And makes me end where I begun.

Bat we turn with more pleasure to his prose :

THE PSALMS.

The Psalms are the manna of the church. As manna tasted to every man like that he liked best, so do the Psalms minister instruction and satisfaction to every man, in every emergency and occasion. David was not only a clear prophet of Christ himself, but a prophet of every particular Christian; he foretells what I, what any shall do, and suffer, and say. And as the whole Book of Psalms is (as the spouse speaks of the name of Christ) an ointment poured out upon all sorts of sores, a cerecloth that supples all bruises, a balm that searches all wounds; so are there some certain Psalms that are imperial Psalms, that command over all affections, and spread themselves over all occasions, catholic, universal Psalms, that apply themselves to all necessities.

ALL CHRISTIANS ARE TO PP.EACH BY EXAMPLE.

If you be a holy people, you are also a royal priesthood; if you be all God's saints, you are all God's priests; and if you

be his priests, it is your office to preach too; as we by words, you by your holy works; as we by contemplation, you by conversation ; as we by our doctrine, so you by your lives, are appointed by God w preach to one another: and therefore every particular man must wash his own feet, look that he have speciosos pedes,' that bis example may preach to others, for this is truly a regal priesthood, not to work upon others by words, but by actions. If we love one another as Christ loved us, we must wash one another's feet, as he commanded his apostles; there is a priestly duty lies upon every inan, brotherly to reprehend a brother whom he sees trampling in foul ways, wallowing in foul sins.

GOD MAY BE WORSHIPPED ANYWHERE. It is true God may be devoutly worshipped anywhere ; in all places of his dominion, my soul shall praise the Lord, says

David. It is not only a concurring of men, a meeting of so many bodies that makes a church; if thy soul and body be met together, an huinble preparation of the mind, and a reverent disposition of the body; if thy knees be bent to the earth, thy hands and eyes lifted up to heaven; if thy tongue pray, and praise, and thine ears hearken to his answer; if all thy senses, and powers, and facul.

1 Pure feet.

ties be met with one unanime purpose to worship thy God, thou · art, to this intendment, a church, thou art a congregation; here are

two or three met together in his name, and he is in the midst of them, though thou be alone in thy chamber. The church of God should be built upon a rock, and yet Job had his church upon a dunghill; the church is to be placed upon the top of a hill, and yet the prophet Jeremy had his church in a miry dungeon; constancy and settledness belong to the church, and yet Jonah had his church in the whale's belly; the lion that roars, and seeks whom he may devour, is an enemy to this church, and yet Daniei had his church in the lion's den ; the waters of rest in the Psalın were a figure of the church, and yet the three children had their church in the fiery furnace; liberty and life appertain to the church, and yet Peter and Paul had their church in prison, and the thief had his church upon the cross. Every particular man is himself a temple of the Holy Ghost; yea, destroy this body by death and corruption in the grave, and yet there shall be a renewing, a re-edifying of all those temples, in the general resurrection: when we shall rise again, not only as so many Christians, but as so many Christian churches, to glorify the apostle and high-priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, in that eternal Sabbath. Every person, every place is fit to glorify God in.

THE GREATEST CROSS IS TO HAVE NO CROSS.

There cannot be so great a cross as to have none.

I lack one loaf of that daily bread that I pray for, if I have no cross; for afflictions are our spiritual nourishment: I lack one limb of that body I must grow into, which is the body of Christ Jesus, if I have no crosses ; for, my conformity to Christ (and that is my being made up into his body) must be accomplished in my

ful6il. ling his sufferings in his flesh.

ANGER.

Anger is not always a defeci, nor an inordinateness in mani Be angry, and sin not: anger is not utterly to be rooted out of our ground and cast away, but transplanted; a gardener does well to grub up thorns in his garden ; there they would hinder good herbs from growing: but he does well to plant those thorns in his hedges ; there they keep bad neighbors from entering. In many cases, where there is no anger, there is not much zesi.

MICHAEL DRAYTON. 1563—1631. Tais very voluminous and once popular writer has sunk into an oblivion wliich he does not deserve. His poems are mostly of an historical and topo graphical character. Such is his great work, his - Poly-Olbion," a work of stupendous labor and accurate inforınation, on which he rested his hopes oj immortality. It is a very singular poem, and certainly entirely original in its plan, describing the woods, mountains, valleys, and rivers of England, with all their associations, traditional, historical, and antiquarian. That “ ir possesses many beauties which are poetically great, and is full of delineations which are graphically correct," is no doubt true; but, after all, it is a piem that will always be consulted rather for the information it conveys, than for the pleasure it produces. His other historical poems are his « Barons Warres." being an account of * The lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second and me Barons;" his " Legends;" his « Battle of Agincourt;" and " England's Heroicai Epistles."

But it is for his pastoral and miscellaneous poems that Drayton will continue to be known and valued. Some of these possess beauties of the highest order. Sirch, for instance, is the fairy poem called Nymphidia, than which a more exquisite creation of the fancy can hardly be found; and it has been well remarked, that had he written nothing else he would deserve immortality." His - Shepherd's Garland" is a pastoral poem, first published under this title, but afterwards revised and reprinted under the name of Eclogues. His other miscellaneous poems consist of odes, elegies, sonnets, religious effusions, &c Drayton died December 23, 1631, and was buried in Westminster Abbey

CHORUS OF THE BIRDS.

When Phæbus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,
No sooner does the earth her flowery bosom brave,
At such time as the year brings on the pleasant spring,
But "hunt's-up" to the morn the feather'd sylvans sing:
And in the lower grove, as on the rising knoll,
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole
Those quiristers are perched, with many a speckled breast.
Then from her burnish'd gate the goodly glittering East
Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night
Bespangled had with pearl to please the morning's sight:
On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open throats,
Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes,
That hills and valleys ring, and even the echoing air
Seems all composed of sounds, about them everywhere.
The throstle, with shrill sharps; as purposely he song
T'awake the lustless sun; or chiding that so long
He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill;
The woosel near at hand, that hath a golden bill;
As nature him had markt of purpose to let see
That from all other birds his tunes should ditlerent be,

1 From the Greek rolla (polles), “ niany things;" that 18, many things about Albion, or England

Read-a notice of Drayton In Drake's "Shakspeare and his Times;" another, in the third volume of D'Israeli', " Amenities of Literature;" and another, in sir Egerton Brydges's “Imaginative Biography"

For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant May:
Upon his dulcet pipe the merle dotlı only play;
When, in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by
In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply,
As though the other birds she to her tunes would draw.
To Philomel, the next the linnet we prefer;
And by that warbling bird the wood-lark place we then,
The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the wren.
The yellow pate; which, though she hurt the blooming tree,
Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe thar she.
And of these chanting fowls, the goldfinch not behind,
That hath so many sorts descending from her kind.
The tydy from her notes as delicate as they,
The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay;
The softer with the shrill, (some lid among the leaves,
Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves,)
Thus sing away the morn, until the mounting sun
Through thick exhaled fogs his golden head hath rir,
And through the twisted tops of our close covert creare
To kiss the gentle shade, this while that sweetly sleeps.

Poly-Olbion.
THE PARTING.
Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and parı;

Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart

That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows;

And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows

That we one jot of forner love retain.-
Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,

When his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,

And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
Now if thon wouldst, when all have given him over,

From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.
PALACE OF THE FAIRIES: QUEEN MAB's CHARIOT AND JOURNEY.

This paluce standeth in the air,
By necromancy placed there,
That it no tempest needs to fear,

Which way soe'er it blow it:
And somewhat southward toward the noon.
Whence lies a way up to the moon,
And thence the Fairy can as soon

Pass to the earth below it.
The walls of spiders' legs are made,
Well morticed and finely laid,
He was the master of his trade

It curiously that builded;
The windows of the eyes of cats,
And for the roof, instead of slats,
Is cover'd with the skins of bats,

With moonshine that are gilded.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »