Page images
PDF
EPUB

A VALEDICTION.

Bid me not go where neither suns nor showers
Do make or cherish flowers ;
Where discontented things in sadness lie,
And Nature grieves as I.
When I am parted from those eyes,
From which my better day doth rise,
Though some propitious power
Should plant me in a bower,
Where amongst happy lovers I might see
How showers and sunbeams bring

One everlasting spring,
Nor would those fall, nor these shine forth to me ;
Nature herself to him is lost,
Who loseth her he honours most.
Then, fairest, to my parting view display
Your graces all in one full day ;
Whose blessed shapes I'll snatch and keep till

when
I do return and view again :
So by this art fancy shall fortune cross,
And lovers live by thinking on their loss.

GEORGE SANDYS.

[Born, 1577. Died, 1643.)

GEORGE SANDys, to whose translations Pope of Ovid, and a Paraphrase of the Psalms of declared that English poetry owed much of its David. He translated also the Christus Patiens beauty, was the youngest son of the Archbishop of Grotius. Few incidents of his life are recorded. of York. After leaving the university, he set For the most part of his latter days he lived with out upon an extensive tour, comprehending Sir Francis Wenman, of Caswell, near Witney, Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land, which is in Oxfordshire ; a situation near to Burford, the described in his well-known and well-written retirement of his intimate friend Lucius Lord book of Travels. After his return to England Falkland, who has addressed several poems to he published a translation of the Metamorphoses him.

FROM A PARAPHRASE OF “THE PSALMS.”

PSALM LXVIII.

Where his own flocks in safety fed,
The needy unto plenty led.
By him we conquer.–Virgins sing
Our victories, and timbrels ring :
He kings with their vast armies foils,
While women share their wealthy spoils.

LET God, the God of battle, rise,
And scatter his proud enemies :
O let them flee before his face,
Like smoke which driving tempests chase ;
As wax dissolves with scorching fire,
So perish in his burning ire.
But let the just with joy abound;
In joyful songs his praise resound,
Who, riding on the rolling spheres,
The name of great Jehovah bears.
Before his face your joys express,
A father to the fatherless;
He wipes the tears from widows' eyes,
The single plants in families ;
Enlarging those who late were bound,
While rebels starve on thirsty ground.
When he our numerous army led,
And march'd through deserts full of dread,
Heav'n melted, and earth's centre shook,
With his majestic presence struck.
When Israel's God in clouds came down,
High Sinai bow'd his trembling crown ;
He, in th' approach of meagre dearth,
With showers refresh'd the fainting earth.

When he the kings had overthrown,
Our land like snowy Salmon shone.
God's mountain Bashan's mount transcends,
Though he his many heads extends.
Why boast ye so, ye meaner hills ?
God with his glory Zion fills,
This his beloved residence,
Nor ever will depart from hence.
His chariots twenty thousand were,
Which myriads of angels bear,
He in the midst, as when he crown'd
High Sinai's sanctified ground.
Lord, thou hast raised thyself on high,
And captive led captivity.

O praised be the God of Gods,
Who with his daily blessings loads ;
The God of our salvation,
On whom our hopes depend alone;

The controverse of life and death
Is arbitrated by his breath.
Thus spoke Jehovah : Jacob's seed
I will from Bashan bring again,
And through the bottom of the main,
That dogs may lap their enemies' blood,
And they wade through a crimson flood.
We, in thy sanctuary late,
My God, my King, beheld thy state ;
The sacred singers march'd before,
Who instruments of music bore,
In order follow'd-every maid
Upon her pleasant timbrel play'd.
His praise in your assemblies sing,
You who from Israel's fountain spring,
Nor little Benjamin alone,
But Judah, from his mountain-throne ;
The far-removed Zebulon,
And Napthali, that borders on
Old Jordan, where his stream dilates,
Join'd all their powers and potentates. ·
For us his winged soldiers fought;
Lord, strengthen what thy hand hath wrought!
He that supports a diadem
To thee, divine Jerusalem !
Shall in devotion treasure bring,
To build the temple of his King.

Far off from sun-burnt Meroë, From falling Nilus, from the sea Which beats on the Egyptian shore, Shall princes come, and here adore. Ye kingdoms through the world renown'd, Sing to the Lord, his praise resound ; He who heaven's upper heaven bestrides, And on her aged shoulders rides ; Whose voice the clouds asunder rends, In thunder terrible descends. O praise his strength, whose majesty In Israel shines-his power on high ! He from his sanctuary throws A trembling horror on his foes, While us his power and strength invest; O Israel, praise the ever-blest* ! {* Mr. Campbell's extract, selected to show the strength of Sandys, gives no idea of his greatest merit, the effect his taste and knowledge of our language bad in harmonising the numbers of our couplet verse. Dryden, who allows him but slender talents as a translator, calls him, however, “the ingenious and learned Sandys, the best versifier of the former age.” His versification is his chief excellence; he studied the well-placing of words for the sweetness of pronunciation, and gave us Ovid in smoothsliding verse:

With so much sweetness and unusual grace, that if he does not deserve the whole eulogy of Drayton, he merits his epithet of dainty, which, when said of his heroic verse, is not only poetical but appropriate.)

[blocks in formation]

FRANCIS QUARLES.

(Born, 1592. Died, 1644.)

Tuis voluminous saint was bred at Cambridge done justice to Quarles, in contrasting his merits and Lincoln’s-inn, and was appointed cup-bearer with his acknowledged deformities. That his to Elizabeth, Electress of Bohemia, after quitting perfect specimens of the bathos should have been whose service he went to Ireland, and was secre- laughed at in the age of Pope, is not surprising'. tary to Archbishop Usher. On the breaking out His “ Emblems,” whimsical as they are, have of the rebellion in that kingdom he was a consi not the merit of originality, being imitated from derable sufferer, and was obliged to fly, for safety, Herman Hugo. A considerable resemblance to to England. He had already been pensioned by Young may be traced in the blended strength Charles, and made Chronologer to the city of and extravagance, and ill-assorted wit and devoLondon ; but in the general ruin of the royal tion of Quarles. Like Young, he wrote vigorous cause his property was confiscated, and his books prose-witness his Enchiridion. In the parallel, and manuscripts, which he valued more, were however, it is due to the purity of Young to acplundered. This reverse of fortune is supposed knowledge, that he never was guilty of such to have accelerated his death.

indecency as that which disgraces the “ Argalus The charitable criticism of the present age has and Parthenia" of our pious author.

[ocr errors]

FAITH.

[ocr errors]

Tre proudest pitch of that victorious spirit His bow for ever bent ; the disposition
Was but to win the world, whereby t' inherit Of noblest spirit doth, by opposition,
The airy purchase of a transitory

Exasperate the more : a gloomy night
And glozing title of an age's glory ;

Whets on the morning to return more bright ; Would'st thou by conquest win more fame than he, Brave minds, oppress’d, should in despite of Fate, Subdue thyself ! thyself's a world to thee. Look greatest, like the sun, in lowest state. Earth’s but a ball, that heaven hath quilted o'er But, ah! shall God thus strive with flesh and blood ? With Wealth and Honour, banded on the floor Receives he glory from, or reaps he good Of fickle Fortune's false and slippery court,

In mortals' ruin, that he leaves man so Sent for a toy, to make us children sport,

To be o’erwhelm'd by this unequal foe? Man’s satiate spirits with fresh delights supplying, May not a potter, that, from out the ground, To still the fondlings of the world from crying ;

Hath framed a vessel, search if it be sound ? And he, whose merit mounts to such a joy,

Or if, by furbishing, he take more pain Gains but the honour of a mighty toy.

To make it fairer, shall the pot complain ? But would'st thou conquer, have thy conquest | Mortal, thou art but clay ; then shall not he, crown'd

That framed thee for his service, season thee ! By hands of Seraphims, triumph'd with the sound Man, close thy lips; be thou no undertaker Of heaven's loud trumpet, warbled by the shrill Of God's designs : dispute not with thy Maker. Celestial choir, recorded with a quill

* Of his absurdity one example may suffice from his Pluck'd from the pinion of an angel's wing,

“ Emblems." Confirm'd with joy by heaven's eternal King ;

Man is a tennis-court, his flesh the wall, Conquer thyself, thy rebel thoughts repel,

The gamesters God and Satan,-the heart is the ball; And chase those false affections that rebel. ,

The higher and the lower hazards are

Too bold presumption and too base despair : Hath heaven despoild what his full hand hath

The rackets which our restless balls make fiy,
given thee?

Adversity and sweet prosperity.
Nipp'd thy succeeding blossoms? or bereaven thee The angels keep the court, and mark the place
Of thy dear latest hope, thy bosom friend ?

Where the ball falls, and chalk out every chase.

The line's a civil life we often cross,
Doth sad Despair deny these griefs an end? O'er which the ball, not flying, makes a loss.
Despair’s a whisp’ring rebel, that within thee, Detractors are like standers-by, and bet
Bribes all thy field, and sets thyself again' thee:

With charitable men, our life's the set.
Make keen thy faith, and with thy force let flee,

Lord, in these conflicts, in these fierce assaults,

Laborious Satan makes a world of faults. If thou not conquer him, he'll conquer thee :

Forgive them, Lord, although he ne'er implore Advance thy shield of Patience to thy head,

For fuvour, they'll be set upon our score. And when Grief strikes,'twillstrike the striker dead.

O take the ball before it come to the ground, In adverse fortunes, be thou strong and stout,

For this base court has many a false rebound;
And bravely win thyself, heaven holds not ont

Strike, and strike hard, and strike above the line,
Strike where thou please, so as the set be thine.

EMBLEM I. BOOK III.

SONG.

To the tune of-Cuckolds all a-row.

My soul hath desired thee in the night.-ISAIAH, xxvi. 6.

Know then, my brethren, heaven is clear,

And all the clouds are gone ;
The righteous now shall flourish, and

Good days are coming on :
Come then, my brethren, and be glad,

And eke rejoice with me ;
Lawn sleeves and rochets shall go down,

And hey! then up go we !

We'll break the windows which the Whore

Of Babylon hath painted,
And when the popish saints are down,

Then Barrow shall be sainted.
There's neither cross nor crucifix

Shall stand for men to see ; Rome's trash and trumperies shall go down,

And hey! then up go we !

We'll down with all the 'Varsities,

Where learning is profest,
Because they practise and maintain

The language of the beast.
We'll drive the doctors out of doors,

And arts, whate'er they be ;
We'll cry both arts and learning down,

And hey! then up go we !

Good God! what horrid darkness doth surround;
My groping soul ! how are my senses bound
In utter shades ; and muffled from the light,
Lurk in the bosom of eternal night !
The bold-faced lamp of heaven can set and rise,
And with his morning glory fill the eyes
Of gazing mortals ; his victorious ray
Can chase the shadows and restore the day :
Night's bashful empress, though she often wane,
As oft repents her darkness, primes again ;
And with her circling horns doth re-embrace
Her brother's wealth, and orbs her silver face.
But, ah! my sun, deep swallow'd in his fall,
Is set, and cannot shine, nor rise at all :
My bankrupt wain can beg nor borrow light;
Alas ! my darkness is perpetual night.
Falls have their risings; wanings have their primes,
And desperate sorrows wait their better times :
Ebbs have their floods; and autumns have their

springs ;
All states have changes, hurried with the swings
Of chance and time, still riding to and fro :
Terrestrial bodies, and celestial too.
How often have I vainly groped about,
With lengthen'd arms, to find a passage out,
That I might catch those beams mine eye desires,
And bathe my soul in these celestial fires !
Like as the haggard, cloistered in her mew,
To scour her downy robes, and to renew
Her broken flags, preparing t' overlook
The timorous mallard at the sliding brook,
Jets oft from perch to perch; from stock to ground,
From ground to window, thus surveying round
Her dove-befeather'd prison, till at length
Calling her noble birth to mind, and strength
Whereto her wing was born, her ragged beak
Nips off her jangling jesses, strives to break
Her jingling fetters, and begins to bate
At every glimpse, and darts at every grate :
E'en so my weary soul, that long has been
An inmate in this tenement of sin,
Lock'd up by cloud-brow'd error, which invites
My cloister'd thoughts to feed on black delights,
Now suns her shadows, and begins to dart
Her wing'd desires at thee, that only art
The sun she seeks, whose rising beams can fright
These dusky clouds that make so dark a night :
Shine forth, great glory, shine ; that I may see,
Both how to loathe myself, and honour thee :
But if my weakness force thee to deny
Thy flames, yet lend the twilight of thine eye!
If I must want those beams I wish, yet grant
That I at least may wish those beams I want.

If once that Antichristian crew

Be crush'd and overthrown,
We'll teach the nobles how to crouch,

And keep the gentry down.
Good manners have an ill report,

And turn to pride, we see ;
We'll therefore cry good manners down,

And hey! then up go we !
The name of lord shall be abhorr'd,

For every man's a brother ;
No reason why, in church or state,

One man should rule another.
But when the change of government

Shall set our fingers free,
We'll make the wanton sisters stoop,

And hey! then up go we !
Our cobblers shall translate their souls

From caves obscure and shady ;
We'll make Tom T. * as good as my lord,

And Joan as good as my lady.
We'll crush and fling the marriage ring

Into the Roman see ;
We'll ask no bands, but e'en clap hands,

And hey! then up go we !

WILLIAM BROWNE.

(Born, 1590. Died, 1645.) William BROWNE was the son of a gentleman He seems to have taken his leave of the Muses of Tavistock, in Devonshire. He was educated about the prime of his life, and returned to Oxat Oxford, and went from thence to the Inner ford, in the capacity of tutor to Robert Dormer, Temple, but devoted himself chiefly to poetry. Earl of Caernarvon, who fell in the battle of In his twenty-third year he published the first Newbury, 1643. After leaving the university part of his Britannia's Pastorals, prefaced by with that nobleman, he found a liberal patron in poetical eulogies, which evince his having been, William, Earl of Pembroke, whose character, at that early period of life, the friend and favourite like that of Caernarvon, still lives among the of Selden and Drayton. To these testimonies he warmly coloured and minutely touched portraits afterwards added that of Ben Jonson. In the of Lord Clarendon. The poet lived in Lord following year he published the Shepherd's Pipe, Pembroke's family ; and, according to Wood, of which the fourth eclogue is often said to have grew rich in his employment. But the particubeen the precursor of Milton's Lycidas. A single lars of his history are very imperfectly known, simile about a rose constitutes all the resem and his verses deal too little with the business of blance! In 1616 he published the second part life to throw much light upon his circumstances. of his Britannia's Pastorals. His Masque of the His poetry is not without beauty ; but it is the Inner Temple was never printed, till Dr. Farmer beauty of mere landscape and allegory, without transcribed it from a MS. of the Bodleian library, the manners and passions that constitute human for Thomas Davies's edition of Browne's works, interest. more than 120 years after the author's death.

SONG,

GENTLE nymphs, be not refusing,
Love's neglect is time's abusing,

They and beauty are but lent you ;
Take the one, and keep the other :
Love keeps fresh what age doth smother,

Beauty gone, you will repent you.

'Twill be said, when ye have proved, Never swains more truly loved :

0, then fly all nice behaviour ! Pity fain would (as her duty) Be attending still on Beauty,

Let her not be out of favour.

Wit she hath, without desire

To make known how much she hath ;
And her anger flames no higher

Than may fitly sweeten wrath.
Full of pity as may be,
Though perhaps not so to me.
Reason masters every sense,

And her virtues grace her birth :
Lovely as all excellence,

Modest her most of mirth :
Likelihood enough to prove
Only worth could kindle love.
Such she is : and if you know

Such a one as I have sung ;
Be she brown, or fair, or so,

That she be but somewhile young ;
Be assured, 'tis she, or none,
That I love, and love alone.

SONG.

POWER OF GENIUS OVER ENVY.

Shall I tell you whom I love?

Hearken then a while to me,
And if such a woman move

As I now shall versify ;
Be assured, 'tis she, or none,
That I love, and love alone.

Nature did her so much right,

As she scorns the help of art. In as many virtues dight

As e'er yet embraced a heart. So much good so truly tried, Some for less were deified.

'Tis not the rancour of a canker'd heart
That can debase the excellence of art,
Nor great in titles makes our worth obey,
Since we have lines far more esteem'd than they.
For there is hidden in a poet's name
A spell that can command the wings of Fame,
And maugre all oblivion's hated birth
Begin their immortality on earth,
When he that 'gainst a muse with hate combines
May raise his tomb in vain to reach our lines.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »