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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 ; [feet.
A crown was on her head, and wings were on her

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,
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.

THE COMPLAINT*.

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."]

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 : Long work, perhaps, may spoil thy colours quite,
Plenty he sow'd below, and cast about him light. But never will reduce the native white.
But then, alas ! to thee alone

To all the ports of honour and of gain
One of old Gideon's miracles was shown,

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,
And upon all the quicken'd ground

By making them so oft to be
The fruitful seed of heaven did brooding lie, The tinkling strings of thy loose minstrelsy.
And nothing but the Muse's fleece was dry. Whoever this world's happiness would see
It did all other threats surpass,

Must as entirely cast off thee,
When God to his own people said,

As they who only heaven desire
(The men whom thro’ long wanderings he had led,) | Do from the world retire.
That he would give them even a heaven of brass : This was my error, this my gross mistake,
They look'd up to that heaven in vain,

Myself a demi-votary to make.
That bounteous heaven! which God did not restrain Thus with Sapphira and her husband's fate,
Upon the most unjust to shine and rain.

(A fault which 1, like them, am taught too late,)

For all that I gave up I nothing gain,
The Rachel, for which twice seven years and more,
Thou didst with faith and labour serve,

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
Of fairer and of richer wives before,

Makest me sit still and sing when I should plough.
And not a Leah left, thy recompense to be. When I but think how many a tedious year
Go on, twice seven years more, thy fortune try,

Our patient sovereign did attend
Twice seven years more God in his bounty may
Give thee to fling away

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,
That seem'd at once to pity and revile :

And that, too, after death!”
And to her thus, raising his thoughtful head,
The melancholy Cowley said :
“Ah, wanton foe! dost thou upbraid

FROM FRIENDSHIP IN ABSENCE.
The ills which thou thyself hast made ?
When in the cradle innocent I lay,

A THOUSAND pretty ways we'll think upon
Thou, wicked spirit! stolest me away,

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,
And ever since I strive in vain

But knocks against the breast to get away.
My ravish'd freedom to regain ;
Still I rebel, still thou dost reign ;

And when no art affords me help or ease,
Lo, still in verse, against thee I complain.

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,
No useful plant can keep alive :

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

THE DESPAIR.
When my new mind had no infusion known,

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,

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HONOUR.

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 ;
lö, 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 ?

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 foods 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?

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.

OF WIT.

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Tell me, 0 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.

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The 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.

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

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 'tis not to adorn and gild each part ;

Yet the dead timber prize.
That shows more cost than art.
Jewels at nose and lips but ill appear ;

Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
Rather than all things wit, let none be there*. Hear the soft winds above me flying,
Several lights will not be seen,

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,
In an’grams and acrostics poetry.

And hear how prettily they talk.
Much less can that have any place
At which a virgin hides her face;

Ah ! wretched, and too solitary he,
Such dross the fire must purge away; 'tis just

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,
And force some odd similitude.

The serpent made up three.
What is it then, which, like the Power Divine,
We only can by negatives define ?

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
As in the ark, join'd without force or strife,

Sprang from the trunk of one ;
All creatures dwelt, all creatures that had life.
Or as the primitive forms of all,

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,
In that strange mirror of the Deity.

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,
OF SOLITUDE.

Dost multiply the feeble heat,
And fortify the strength, till thou dost bright

And noble fires beget.
Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good !
Hail, ye plebeian underwood !

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,
And fragrant breast—they'd dry again to the root,

As with the blasting of the mid-day's ray ;
And this soft wind, which both perfumes and cools,
Pass like the unregarded breath of fools.

[* 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.]

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