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The melancholy Cowley lay;
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.
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.
But I will briefer with them be,
In a deep vision's intellectual scene,
(* 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."]
Go, renegado ! cast up thy account,
Enriching moisture dropp'd on every thing : Long work, perhaps, may spoil thy colours quite,
To all the ports of honour and of gain
I often steer my course in vain ; For ev'ry tree, and ev'ry hand around,
Thy gale comes cross, and drives me back again. With pearly dew was crown'd,
Thou slacken’st all my nerves of industry,
By making them so oft to be
Must as entirely cast off thee,
As they who only heaven desire
Myself a demi-votary to make.
(A fault which 1, 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! And didst (if faith and labour can) deserve,
The court and better king t'accuse ; Though she contracted was to thee,
The heaven under which I live is fair, Given to another, thou didst see,
The fertile soil will a full harvest bear : Given to another, who had store
Thine, thine is all the barrenness, if thou
Makest me sit still and sing when I should plough.
Our patient sovereign did attend
His long misfortune's fatal end ;
How cheerfully, and how exempt from fear, Into the court's deceitful lottery :
On the Great Sovereign's will he did depend, But think how likely 'tis that thou,
I ought to be accursed if I refuse With the dull work of thy unwieldy plough,
To wait on his, 0 thou fallacious Muse! Shouldst in a hard and barren season thrive,
Kings have long hands, they say, and though I be Shouldst even able be to live ;
So distant, they may reach at length to me. Thou ! to whose share so little bread did fall
However, of all princes thou
(slow; In the miraculous year, when manna rain'd on all.”
Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or Thus spake the Muse, and spake it with a smile,
Thou ! who rewardest but with pop'lar breath,
And that, too, after death!”
FROM FRIENDSHIP IN ABSENCE.
A THOUSAND pretty ways we'll think upon
To mock our separation. And my abused soul didst bear
Alas! ten thousand will not do ; Into thy new-found worlds, I know not where, My heart will thus no longer stay, Thy golden Indies in the air ;
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 : There is a sort of stubborn weeds,
Just as a bird that flies about, Which, if the earth but once it ever breeds,
And beats itself against the cage, No wholesome herb can near them thrive,
Finding at last no passage out,
It sits and sings, and so o'ercomes its rage.
Beneath this gloomy shade, Thou gavest so deep a tincture of thine own,
By Nature only for my sorrows made, That ever since I vainly try
I'll spend this voice in cries, To wash away th’ inherent dye :
In tears I'll waste these eyes,
She loves, and she confesses too ;
What is this, ye gods ! what can it be?
By love so vainly fed ;
Noisy nothing ! stalking shade !
Sure I shall rid myself of thee
Tell me, 0 tell ! what kind of thing is Wit,
The maid! Ah ! find some nobler theme
Whereon thy doubts to place,
The glories of thy face.
So exquisitely bright,
Before thy potent light.
Maliciously are spent,
That's else a civil government.
Is but a barb'rous skill;
Too apt before to kill.
'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.
London, that vends of false ware so much store,
Hence 'tis a wit, that greatest word of fame,
'Tis not to force some lifeless verses meet
Hail the poor Muse's richest manor-seat ! With their five gouty feet :
Ye country houses and retreat, All ev'rywhere, like man's, must be the soul, Which all the happy gods so love, And reason the inferior powers control.
That for you oft they quit their bright and great Such were the numbers which could call
Metropolis above. The stones into the Theban wall.
Here Nature does a house for me erect, Such miracles are ceased ; and now we see
Nature ! the fairest architect, No towns or houses raised by poetry.
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,
With all their wanton boughs dispute, If there be nothing else between.
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.
A silver stream shall roll his waters near, 'Tis not when two like words make up one noise, Gilt with the sunbeams here and there, Jests for Dutch men and English boys ;
On whose enamellid bank I'll walk, In which who finds out wit, the same may see
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, The author blush there where the reader must.
Unless he calls in sin or vanity 'Tis not such lines as almost crack the stage,
To help to bear it away. When Bajazet begins to rage :
Oh, Solitude ! first state of humankind ! Nor a tall met’phor in the bombast way,
Which bless'd remain'd till man did find Nor the dry chips of short-lung'd Seneca :
Even his own helper's company: Nor upon all things to obtrude
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, In a true piece of wit all things must be,
Thee, sacred Solitude ! alone, Yet all things there agree :
Before the branchy head of number's tree
Sprang from the trunk of one ;
Thou (though men think thine an unactive part) (If we compare great things with small,)
Dost break and tame th' unruly heart, Which without discord or confusion lie,
Which else would know no settled pace,
Making it move, well managed by thy art,
Dost, like a burning glass, unite,
Dost multiply the feeble heat,
And noble fires beget.
Whilst this hard truth I teach, methinks I see Where the poetic birds rejoice,
The monster London laugh at me ; And for their quiet nests and plenteous food I should at thee, too, foolish city! Pay with their grateful voice.
If it were fit to laugh at misery ; [* This is Cowley's very fault: wit to an excess :
But thy estate I pity. • He more had pleased us had he pleased us less.' Let but thy wicked men from out thee go, He never knew when he had said enough, but ran him And all the fools that crowd thee so, self and his reader both out of breath. In a better age
Even thou, who dost thy millions boast, Cowley had been a great poet-he is now sunk from his first reputation: for, as Lord Rochester said, though some
A village less than Islington wilt grow, what profanely, Not being of God, he could not stand.]
A solitude almost.
SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE.
[Born, 1608. Died, 1666.)
Sir RICHARD FANSHAWE, the son of Sir Henry some of its earliest and most important translaFanshawe,remembrancerof the Irish Exchequer, tions from modern literature, and acted a distinwas born at Ware, in Hertfordshire, in 1608. guished part under the Charleses, in the political An accomplished traveller, he gave our language and diplomatic history of England*.
THE SPRING, A SONNET.-FROM THE SPANISH.
Those whiter Lilies which the early morn
Seems to have newly woven of sleaved silk, To which, on banks of wealthy Tagus born,
Gold was their cradle, liquid pearl their milk.
Both those and these my Cælia's pretty foot
Trod up—but if she should her face display,
As with the blasting of the mid-day's ray ;
[* His life by his widow is one of the most agreeable additions to literary history made within the last fiveand-twenty years. )
These blushing Roses, with whose virgin leaves
The wanton wind to sport himself presumes, Whilst from their rifled wardrobe he receives
For his wings purple, for his breath perfumes.
SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT.
(Born, 1605. Died, 1668.] Davenant's personal history is sufficiently house Yard. At the Restoration he received the curious without attaching importance to the in- patent of the Duke's Theatre in Lincoln's Inn, sinuation of Wood, so gravely taken up by Mr. which he held till his death. Malone, that he was the son of Shakspeare. He Gondibert has divided the critics. It is undewas the son of a vintner at Oxford, at whose house niable, on the one hand, that he showed a high the immortal poet is said to have frequently and independent conception of epic poetry, in lodgedt. Having to notice by his tragedy wishing emancipate it from the slavery of of Albovine, he wrote masques for the court of ancient authority, and to establish its interest in Charles I. and was made governor of the king and the dignity of human nature, without incredible queen's company of actors in Drury-lane. In the and stale machinery. His subject was well chosen civil wars we find the theatric manager quickly from modern romantic story, and he strove to transmuted into a lieutenant-general of Ord- give it the close and compact symmetry of the nance, knighted for his services at the siege of drama. Ingenious and witty images, and Gloucester, and afterwards negotiating between majestic sentiments, are thickly scattered over the king and his advisers at Paris. There he the poem. But Gondibert, who is so formally began his poem of Gondibert, which he laid aside described, has certainly more of the cold and for a time for the scheme of carrying a colony abstract air of an historical, than of a poetical from France to Virginia ; but his vessel was portrait, and, unfortunately, the beauties of the seized by one of the parliament ships, he was poem are those of elegy and epigram, more than thrown into prison, and owed his life to friendly of heroic fiction. It wants the charm of free and interference, it is said to that of Milton, whose forcible narration ; the life-pulse of interest is friendship he returned in kind. On being liberated, incessantly stopt by solemn pauses of reflection, his ardent activity was shown in attempting to and the story works its way through an intricacy restore theatrical amusements in the very teeth of superfluous fancies, some beautiful and others of bigotry and puritanism, and he actually suc conceited, but all, as they are united, tending to ceeded so far as to open a theatre in the Charter- divert the interest, like a multitude of weeds upon ( There is other testimony to what Malone took up too
a stream, that entanglę its course while they seem gravely besides Wood's insinuation--there is the Better
to adorn it. ton belief preserved in Spence from Pope's relation.]