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Swift dragon-flies, with their gauzy wings,
Flit glistening to and fro,

And murmuring hosts of moving things
O'er the waters glance and glow.

There are spots where nestle wild flowers small With many a mingling gleam;

Where the broad flag waves, and the bulrush tall Nods still to the thrusting stream.

The Forget-me-not on the water's edge
Reveals her lovely hue,

Where the broken bank, between the sedge,
Is embroidered with her blue.

And in bays where matted foliage weaves

A shadowy arch on high,

Serene on broad and bronze-like leaves,

The virgin lilies lie.

Fair fall those bonny flowers! O how
I love their petals bright!
Smoother than Ariel's moonlit brow!
The Water-Nymph's delight!

Those milk-white cups with a golden core,
Like marble lamps, that throw
So soft a light on the bordering shore,
And the waves that round them flow!

Steadily, steadily, speeds our bark,

O'er the silvery whirls she springs; While merry as lay of morning lark The watery carol rings.

Lo! a sailing swan, with a little fleet

Of cygnets by her side,

Pushing her snowy bosom sweet
Against the bubbling tide!

And see was ever a lovelier sight?

One little bird afloat

On its mother's back, 'neath her wing so white,-
A beauteous living boat!

The threatful male, as he sails ahead,
Like a champion proud and brave,
Makes, with his ruffling wings outspread,
Fierce jerks along the wave.

He tramples the stream, as we pass him by,
In wrath from its surface springs,

And after our boat begins to fly,
With loudly-flapping wings.

Gracefully, gracefully glides our bark,
And the curling current stems,
Where the willows cast their shadows dark,
And the ripples gleam like gems;

Oh, there's many a charming scene to mark
From the bosom of Father Thames

The following powerful lines are better known, and serve to show the variety of Mr. Noel's talent.


There's a grim one-horse hearse in a jolly round trot;
To the churchyard a pauper is going, I wot;

The road it is rough, and the hearse has no springs,
And hark to the dirge that the sad driver sings:-
Rattle his bones over the stones;

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.


Oh, where are the mourners? Alas there are none;
He has left not a gap in the world now he's gone;'.
Not a tear in the eye of child, woman, or man :-
grave with his carcase as fast as you can.
Rattle his bones over the stones;

To the

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.

What a jolting and creaking and splashing and din!
The whip how it cracks, and the wheels how they spin!
How the dirt right and left o'er the hedges is hurled!
The pauper at length makes a noise in the world.
Rattle his bones over the stones;

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.

Poor pauper defunct! he has made some approach
To gentility, now that he's stretched in a coach;
He's taking a drive in his carriage at last,
But it will not be long if he goes on so fast!
Rattle his bones over the stones;

He's only a pauper, whom nobody owns.

The author tells me that this incident was taken from the life. He witnessed such a funeral :-a coffin in a cart driven at full speed.

But a trace to this strain! for my soul it is sad

To think that a heart in humanity clad

Should make, like the brutes, such a desolate end,

And depart from the light without leaving a friend.
Bear softly his bones over the stones,

Though a pauper, he's one whom his Maker yet owns.




As in the case of Ben Jonson, posterity.values his writings for very different qualities from those which obtained his high reputation amongst his contemporaries, so it has happened to Cowley.

Praised in his day as a great poet, the head of the school of poets called metaphysical, he is now chiefly known by those prose essays, all too short and all too few, which, whether for thought or for expression, have rarely been excelled by any writer in any language. They are eminently distinguished for the grace, the finish, and the clearness which his verse too often wants. That there is one cry which pervades them-vanity of vanities! all is vanity!that there is an almost ostentatious longing for obscurity and retirement, may be accounted for by

the fact that at an early age Cowley was thrown amongst the cavaliers of the civil wars, sharing the exile and the return of the Stuarts, and doubtless disgusted, as so pure a writer was pretty sure to be, by a dissolute Court, with whom he would find it easier to sympathize in its misery than in its triumph. Buckinghain, with the fellow-feeling of talent for talent, appears to have been kind to him; and when he fled from the world (not very far, he found his beloved solitude at Chertsey), it is satisfactory to know that he so far escaped the proverbial ingratitude of the Restoration, to carry with hin an income sufficient for his moderate wants. He did not long survive a retirement which, Sprat says, in a curious life prefixed to the edition of his works in 1719, "agreed better with his mind than his body."

It is difficult to select from a volume so abundant in riches; but I will begin by his opinion of theatrical audiences contained in "The Preface to the Cutter of Coleman Street:"

"There is no writer but may fail sometimes in point of wit; and it is no less frequent for the auditors to fail in point of judgment. I perceive plainly by daily experience that Fortune is mistress of the theatre, as Tully says it is of all popular assemblies. No man can tell sometimes from whence the invisible winds rise that move them. There are a multitude of people who are truly and only

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