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But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame;
And th' artillery of her eye,
Whilst she proudly march'd about,
Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the bye.

But in her place I then obey'd
Black-eyed Bess, her viceroy maid,
To whom ensued a vacancy.
Thousand worst passions then possess'd
The interregnum of my breast.
Bless me from such an anarchy !

Gentle Henrietta then,

And a third Mary, next began:
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria;
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catharine,
And then a long et cætera.

But should I now to you relate

The strength and riches of their state,
The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribands, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines:

If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts,
The letters, embassies and spies,
The frowns, the smiles and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears and perjuries,
Numberless, nameless mysteries!
And all the litttle lime-twigs laid
By Mach'avel the waiting-maid;
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I like them should tell
All change of weathers that befel)
Than Holinshed or Stow.

But I will briefer with them be,

Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a nobler strain
My present Emperess does claim,
Heleonora ! first o' the name,
Whom God grant long to reign.


In a deep vision's intellectual scene,
Beneath a bower for sorrow made,
Th' uncomfortable shade

Of the black yew's unlucky green,
Mix'd with the mourning willow's careful gray,
Where rev'rend Cam cuts out his famous way,

[* Written on the rigid censures passed upon his comedy called 'Cutter of Coleman-street.'"He'published his pretensions and his discontent," says Johnson, “in an Ode called The Complaint;' in which he styles himself the melancholy Cowley. This met with the usual fortune of complaints, and seems to have excited more contempt than pity."]

The melancholy Cowley lay;

And, lo! a Muse appear'd to his closed sight
(The Muses oft in lands of vision play,)
Bodied, array'd, and seen by an internal light :
A golden harp with silver strings she bore,
A wondrous hieroglyphic robe she wore,
In which all colours and all figures were
That Nature or that Fancy can create,
That Art can never imitate,

And with loose pride it wanton'd in the air.
In such a dress, in such a well-clothed dream,
She used of old near fair Ismenus' stream
Pindar, her Theban favourite, to meet ;


A crown was on her head, and wings were on her

She touch'd him with her harp and raised him from

the ground;

The shaken strings melodiously resound.
"Art thou return'd at last," said she,
"To this forsaken place and me?
Thou prodigal! who didst so loosely waste
Of all thy youthful years the good estate;
Art thou return'd, here to repent too late?
And gather husks of learning up at last,
Now the rich harvest-time of life is past,
And winter marches on so fast?

But when I meant t' adopt thee for my son,
And did as learn'd a portion assign
As ever any of the mighty nine

Had to their dearest children done;
When I resolved t' exalt thy anointed name
Among the spiritual lords of peaceful fame;
Thou changeling! thou, bewitch'd with noise and
Wouldst into courts and cities from me go; [show,
Wouldst see the world abroad, and have a share
In all the follies and the tumults there;
Thou wouldst, forsooth, be something in a state,
And business thou wouldst find, and wouldst create:
Business! the frivolous pretence

Of human lusts, to shake off innocence;
Business! the grave impertinence ;

Business! the thing which I of all things hate,
Business! the contradiction of thy fate.

Go, renegado! cast up thy account,
And see to what amount

Thy foolish gains by quitting me :

The sale of knowledge, fame, and liberty,

The fruits of thy unlearn'd apostasy.

Thou thoughtst, if once the public storm were past,
All thy remaining life should sunshine be :
Behold the public storm is spent at last,
The sovereign is toss'd at sea no more,
And thou, with all the noble company,
Art got at last to shore:

But whilst thy fellow-voyagers I see,
All march'd up to possess the promised land,
Thou still alone, alas! dost gaping stand,
Upon the naked beach, upon the barren sand.
As a fair morning of the blessed spring,
After a tedious stormy night,,

Such was the glorious entry of our king;

Enriching moisture dropp'd on every thing:
Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light.
But then, alas! to thee alone

One of old Gideon's miracles was shown,
For ev'ry tree, and ev'ry hand around,
With pearly dew was crown'd,

And upon all the quicken'd ground

The fruitful seed of heaven did brooding lie,
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry.
It did all other threats surpass,
When God to his own people said,

(The men whom thro' long wanderings he had led,) That he would give them even a heaven of brass : They look'd up to that heaven in vain,

That bounteous heaven! which God did not restrain
Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.

The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more,
Thou didst with faith and labour serve,
And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,
Though she contracted was to thee,
Given to another, thou didst see,
Given to another, who had store

Of fairer and of richer wives before,

And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be.
Go on, twice seven years more, thy fortune try,
Twice seven years more God in his bounty may
Give thee to fling away

Into the court's deceitful lottery:
But think how likely 'tis that thou,
With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough,
Shouldst in a hard and barren season thrive,
Shouldst even able be to live ;

Thou to whose share so little bread did fall
In the miraculous year, when manna rain'd on all."

Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
That seem'd at once to pity and revile :
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,
The melancholy Cowley said:

"Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid

The ills which thou thyself hast made?

When in the cradle innocent I lay,

Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away,
And my abused soul didst bear

Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where,
Thy golden Indies in the air;

And ever since I strive in vain

My ravish'd freedom to regain;
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign;
Lo, still in verse, against thee I complain.
There is a sort of stubborn weeds,

Which, if the earth but once it ever breeds,
No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
No useful plant can keep alive :

The foolish sports I did on thee bestow
Make all my art and labour fruitless now; [grow.
Where once such fairies dance, no grass doth ever

When my new mind had no infusion known, Thou gavest so deep a tincture of thine own, That ever since I vainly try

To wash away th' inherent dye :

Long work, perhaps, may spoil thy colours quite, But never will reduce the native white.

To all the ports of honour and of gain

I often steer my course in vain ;

Thy gale comes cross, and drives me back again. Thou slacken'st all my nerves of industry,

By making them so oft to be

The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy.
Whoever this world's happiness would see
Must as entirely cast off thee,

As they who only heaven desire
Do from the world retire.

This was my error, this my gross mistake,
Myself a demi-votary to make.

Thus with Sapphira and her husband's fate,
(A fault which I, like them, am taught too late,)
For all that I gave up I nothing gain,
And perish for the part which I retain.
Teach me not then, O thou fallacious Muse !
The court and better king t' accuse;
The heaven under which I live is fair,

The fertile soil will a full harvest bear :

Thine, thine is all the barrenness, if thou

Makest me sit still and sing when I should plough.
When I but think how many a tedious year
Our patient sovereign did attend

His long misfortune's fatal end;

How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear,
On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend,

I ought to be accursed if I refuse

To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse!
Kings have long hands, they say, and though I be
So distant, they may reach at length to me.
However, of all princes thou


Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or Thou! who rewardest but with pop'lar breath, And that, too, after death!"


A THOUSAND pretty ways we'll think upon
To mock our separation.

Alas! ten thousand will not do;
My heart will thus no longer stay,
No longer 'twill be kept from you,

But knocks against the breast to get away.

And when no art affords me help or ease,
I seek with verse my griefs t' appease:
Just as a bird that flies about,
And beats itself against the cage,
Finding at last no passage out,

It sits and sings, and so o'ercomes its rage.


BENEATH this gloomy shade,

By Nature only for my sorrows made,
I'll spend this voice in cries,
In tears I'll waste these eyes,

By love so vainly fed ;

So lust of old the deluge punished.

Ah, wretched youth, said I ;

Ah, wretched youth! twice did I sadly cry;
Ah, wretched youth! the fields and floods reply.

When thoughts of love I entertain,

I meet no words but Never, and, In vain :
Never, alas! that dreadful name
Which fuels the infernal flame :
Never! my time to come must waste;

In vain! torments the present and the past:
In vain, in vain! said I,

In vain, in vain! twice did I sadly cry;
In vain, in vain! the fields and floods reply.

No more shall fields or floods do so,
For I to shades more dark and silent go:

All this world's noise appears to me

A dull ill-acted comedy:

No comfort to my wounded sight,

In the sun's busy and impert'nent light.

Then down I laid my head,

Down on cold earth, and for awhile was dead,

And my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled.

Ah, sottish soul! said I,

When back to its cage again I saw it fly:
Fool! to resume her broken chain,
And row her galley here again!
Fool! to that body to return,

Where it condemn'd and destined is to burn!
Once dead, how can it be

Death should a thing so pleasant seem to thee,
That thou shouldst come to live it o'er again in me?


THY maid! Ah! find some nobler theme
Whereon thy doubts to place,
Nor by a low suspect blaspheme
The glories of thy face.

Alas! she makes thee shine so fair,
So exquisitely bright,

That her dim lamp must disappear
Before thy potent light.

Three hours each morn in dressing thee

Maliciously are spent,

And make that beauty tyranny,
That's else a civil government.

Th' adorning thee with so much art
Is but a barb'rous skill;

'Tis like the pois'ning of a dart,
Too apt before to kill.

The min'st'ring angels none can see ;
'Tis not their beauty or their face,
For which by men they worshipp'd be,
But their high office and their place.
Thou art my goddess, my saint she;

I pray to her only to pray to thee.


SHE loves, and she confesses too;
There's then, at last, no more to do:
The happy work 's entirely done;
Enter the town which thou hast won;
The fruits of conquest now begin;
Iö, triumph; enter in.

What is this, ye gods! what can it be?
Remains there still an enemy?
Bold Honour stands up in the gate,
And would yet capitulate;
Have I o'ercome all real foes,
And shall this phantom me oppose?

Noisy nothing! stalking shade!
By what witchcraft wert thou made?
Empty cause of solid harms!
But I shall find out counter-charms
Thy airy devilship to remove
From this circle here of love.

Sure I shall rid myself of thee
By the night's obscurity,
And obscurer secrecy :
Unlike to ev'ry other sprite,
Thou attempt'st not men t' affright,
Nor appear'st but in the light.


TELL me, O tell! what kind of thing is Wit,
Thou who master art of it:

For the first matter loves variety less;
Less women love it, either in love or dress:
A thousand diff'rent shapes it bears,
Comely in thousand shapes appears :
Yonder we saw it plain, and here 'tis now,
Like spirits, in a place, we know not how.

London, that vends of false ware so much store,
In no ware deceives us more:

For men, led by the colour and the shape,
Like Zeuxis' birds, fly to the painted grape.
Some things do through our judgment pass,
As through a multiplying-glass;

And sometimes, if the object be too far,
We take a falling meteor for a star.

Hence 'tis a wit, that greatest word of fame,
Grows such a common name;
And wits by our creation they become,
Just so as tit'lar bishops made at Rome
'Tis not a tale, 'tis not a jest,
Admired with laughter at a feast,
Nor florid talk, which can that title gain;
The proofs of wit for ever must remain.

'Tis not to force some lifeless verses meet
With their five gouty feet:

All ev'rywhere, like man's, must be the soul,
And reason the inferior powers control.
Such were the numbers which could call
The stones into the Theban wall.

Such miracles are ceased; and now we see
No towns or houses raised by poetry.

Yet 'tis not to adorn and gild each part;
That shows more cost than art.
Jewels at nose and lips but ill appear;
Rather than all things wit, let none be there*.
Several lights will not be seen,

If there be nothing else between.

Hail the poor Muse's richest manor-seat !

Ye country houses and retreat,
Which all the happy gods so love,

That for you oft they quit their bright and great
Metropolis above.

Here Nature does a house for me erect,
Nature! the fairest architect,

Who those fond artists does despise
That can the fair and living trees neglect,
Yet the dead timber prize.

Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
Hear the soft winds above me flying,
With all their wanton boughs dispute,
And the more tuneful birds to both replying,

Men doubt, because they stand so thick i' th' sky, Nor be myself, too, mute.
If those be stars which paint the galaxy.

"Tis not when two like words make up one noise,
Jests for Dutch men and English boys;

In which who finds out wit, the same may see
In an'grams and acrostics poetry.
Much less can that have any place
At which a virgin hides her face;

Such dross the fire must purge away; 'tis just
The author blush there where the reader must.

'Tis not such lines as almost crack the stage,
When Bajazet begins to rage:
Nor a tall met'phor in the bombast way,
Nor the dry chips of short-lung'd Seneca :
Nor upon all things to obtrude

And force some odd similitude.

What is it then, which, like the Power Divine,
We only can by negatives define?

In a true piece of wit all things must be,
Yet all things there agree:

As in the ark, join'd without force or strife,
All creatures dwelt, all creatures that had life.
Or as the primitive forms of all,

(If we compare great things with small,)
Which without discord or confusion lie,
In that strange mirror of the Deity.


HAIL, old patrician trees, so great and good!
Hail, ye plebeian underwood!
Where the poetic birds rejoice,

And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
Pay with their grateful voice.

[* This is Cowley's very fault: wit to an excess :-
He more had pleased us had he pleased us less.'
He never knew when he had said enough, but ran him-
self and his reader both out of breath. In a better age
Cowley had been a great poet-he is now sunk from his
first reputation: for, as Lord Rochester said, though some-
what profanely, Not being of God, he could not stand.]

A silver stream shall roll his waters near,
Gilt with the sunbeams here and there,
On whose enamell'd bank I'll walk,
And see how prettily they smile,
And hear how prettily they talk.

Ah! wretched, and too solitary he,
Who loves not his own company!
He'll feel the weight of it many a day,
Unless he calls in sin or vanity
To help to bear it away.

Oh, Solitude! first state of humankind!
Which bless'd remain'd till man did find
Even his own helper's company:

As soon as two, alas! together join'd,
The serpent made up three.

Though God himself, through countless ages, thee
His sole companion chose to be,

Thee, sacred Solitude! alone,

Before the branchy head of number's tree
Sprang from the trunk of one;

Thou (though men think thine an unactive part)
Dost break and tame th' unruly heart,

Which else would know no settled pace,

Making it move, well managed by thy art,
With swiftness and with grace.

Thou the faint beams of reason's scatter'd light

Dost, like a burning glass, unite,

Dost multiply the feeble heat,

And fortify the strength, till thou dost bright
And noble fires beget.

Whilst this hard truth I teach, methinks I see
The monster London laugh at me;

I should at thee, too, foolish city!
If it were fit to laugh at misery;
But thy estate I pity.

Let but thy wicked men from out thee go,
And all the fools that crowd thee so,
Even thou, who dost thy millions boast,
A village less than Islington wilt grow,
A solitude almost.

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DAVENANT's personal history is sufficiently curious without attaching importance to the insinuation of Wood, so gravely taken up by Mr. Malone, that he was the son of Shakspeare. He was the son of a vintner at Oxford, at whose house the immortal poet is said to have frequently lodgedt. Having risen to notice by his tragedy of Albovine, he wrote masques for the court of Charles I. and was made governor of the king and queen's company of actors in Drury-lane. In the civil wars we find the theatric manager quickly transmuted into a lieutenant-general of Ordnance, knighted for his services at the siege of Gloucester, and afterwards negotiating between the king and his advisers at Paris. There he began his poem of Gondibert, which he laid aside for a time for the scheme of carrying a colony from France to Virginia; but his vessel was seized by one of the parliament ships, he was thrown into prison, and owed his life to friendly interference, it is said to that of Milton, whose friendship he returned in kind. On being liberated, his ardent activity was shown in attempting to restore theatrical amusements in the very teeth of bigotry and puritanism, and he actually succeeded so far as to open a theatre in the Charter[ There is other testimony to what Malone took up too gravely besides Wood's insinuation-there is the Betterton belief preserved in Spence from Pope's relation.]

house Yard. At the Restoration he received the patent of the Duke's Theatre in Lincoln's Inn, which he held till his death.

Gondibert has divided the critics. It is undeniable, on the one hand, that he showed a high and independent conception of epic poetry, in wishing to emancipate it from the slavery of ancient authority, and to establish its interest in the dignity of human nature, without incredible and stale machinery. His subject was well chosen from modern romantic story, and he strove to give it the close and compact symmetry of the drama. Ingenious and witty images, and majestic sentiments, are thickly scattered over the poem. But Gondibert, who is so formally described, has certainly more of the cold and abstract air of an historical, than of a poetical portrait, and, unfortunately, the beauties of the poem are those of elegy and epigram, more than of heroic fiction. It wants the charm of free and forcible narration; the life-pulse of interest is incessantly stopt by solemn pauses of reflection, and the story works its way through an intricacy of superfluous fancies, some beautiful and others conceited, but all, as they are united, tending to divert the interest, like a multitude of weeds upon a stream, that entangle its course while they seem to adorn it.

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