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'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.

"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.

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.

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 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.

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.

[* 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 himself 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 somewhat profanely, Not being of God, he could not stand.]

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,

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 lodged+. 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.]

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.


[Born, 1605. Died, 1668.]

[* His life by his widow is one of the most agreeable additions to literary history made within the last fiveand-twenty years.]

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.


The Father of Rhodalind offering her to Duke Gondibert, and the Duke's subsequent interview with Birtha, to whom he is attached.

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Such was the duke's reply; which did produce
Thoughts of a diverse shape through sev'ral ears:
His jealous rivals mourn at his excuse;

But Astragon it cures of all his fears.

Birtha his praise of Rhodalind bewails;

And now her hope a weak physician seems; For hope, the common comforter, prevails

Like common med'cines, slowly in extremes.

The king (secure in offer'd empire) takes

This forced excuse as troubled bashfulness,
And a disguise which sudden passion makes,
To hide more joy than prudence should express.

And Rhodalind (who never loved before,

Nor could suspect his love was giv'n away) Thought not the treasure of his breast so poor, But that it might his debts of honour pay.

To hasten the rewards of his desert,

The king does to Verona him command; And, kindness so imposed, not all his art Can now instruct his duty to withstand.

Yet whilst the king does now his time dispose
In seeing wonders, in this palace shown,
He would a parting kindness pay to those

Who of their wounds are yet not perfect grown.

And by this fair pretence, whilst on the king

Lord Astragon through all the house attends, Young Orgo does the duke to Birtha bring,

Who thus her sorrows to his bosom sends :

Destroying wholly virtue's race in one ; So by the first to my unlucky sex,

All in a single ruin were undone.

Make heav'nly Rhodalind your bride! whilst I,
Your once loved maid, excuse you, since I know
That virtuous men forsake so willingly

Long cherish'd life, because to heav'n they go.

Let me her servant be: a dignity,

Which if your pity in my fall procures, I still shall value the advancement high,

Not as the crown is hers, but she is yours.

Ere this high sorrow up to dying grew,

The duke the casket open'd, and from thence (Form'd like a heart) a cheerful em'rald drew; Cheerful, as if the lively stone had sense.

The thirtieth carract it had doubled twice ;
Not ta'en from the Attic silver mine,
Nor from the brass, though such (of nobler price)
Did on the necks of Parthian ladies shine:

Nor yet of those which make the Ethiop proud;
Nor taken from those rocks where Bactrians
But from the Scythian, and without a cloud; [climb:
Not sick at fire, nor languishing with time.

Then thus he spake : "This, Birtha, from my
Progenitors, was to the loyal she
On whose kind heart they did in love prevail,
The nuptial pledge, and this I give to thee:

Seven centuries have pass'd, since it from bride

To bride did first succeed; and though 'tis known From ancient lore, that gems much virtue hide, And that the em'rald is the bridal stone :

Why should my storm your life's calm voyage vex? Her joys (too vast to be contain'd in speech)

Thus she a little spake : "Why stoop you down,
My plighted lord, to lowly Birtha's reach,
Since Rhodalind would lift you to a crown?

Though much renown'd because it chastens loves,
And will, when worn by the neglected wife,
Show when her absent lord disloyal proves,
By faintness, and a pale decay of life.

Though em'ralds serve as spies to jealous brides,
Yet each compared to this does counsel keep;
Like a false stone, the husband's falsehood hides,
Or seems born blind, or feigns a dying sleep.

With this take Orgo, as a better spy,

Who may in all your kinder fears be sent To watch at court, if I deserve to die

By making this to fade, and you lament."

Had now an artful pencil Birtha drawn,

(With grief all dark, then straight with joy all He must have fancied first, in early dawn, [light) A sudden break of beauty out of night.

Or first he must have mark'd what paleness fear,
Like nipping frost, did to her visage bring;
Then think he sees, in a cold backward year,
A rosy morn begin a sudden spring.

Or why do I, when I this plight embrace,
Boldly aspire to take what you have given ?
But that your virtue has with angels place,

And 'tis a virtue to aspire to heav'n.

And as tow'rds heav'n all travel on their knees,
So I tow'rds you, though love aspire, will move :
And were you crown'd, what could you better
Than awed obedience led by bolder love? [please

If I forget the depth from whence I rise,

Far from your bosom banish'd be my heart; Or claim a right by beauty to your eyes;

Or proudly think my chastity desert.

But thus ascending from your humble maid

To be your plighted bride, and then your wife, Will be a debt that shall be hourly paid,

Till time my duty cancel with my life.

And fruitfully if heav'n e'er make me bring,

Your image to the world, you then my pride No more shall blame, than you can tax the spring For boasting of those flowers she cannot hide.


Orgo I so receive as I am taught

By duty to esteem whate'er you love;
And hope the joy he in this jewel brought
Will luckier than his former triumphs prove.

For though but twice he has approach'd my sight,
He twice made haste to drown me in my tears:
But now I am above his planet's spite,

And as for sin beg pardon for my fears."

Thus spake she: and with fix'd continued sight,
The duke did all her bashful beauties view;
Then they with kisses seal'd their sacred plight,
Like flowers, still sweeter as they thicker grew.
Yet must these pleasures feel, though innocent,

The sickness of extremes, and cannot last;
For pow'r (love's shunn'd impediment) has sent
To tell the duke, his monarch is in haste:

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And calls him to that triumph which he fears
So as a saint forgiven (whose breast does all
Heaven's joys contain) wisely loved pomp forbears,
Lest tempted nature should from blessings fall.

He often takes his leave, with love's delay,

And bids her hope he with the king shall find, By now appearing forward to obey,

A means to serve him less in Rhodalind.

SURE there are poets which did never dream
Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream
Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose
Those made not poets, but the poets those,
And as courts make not kings, but kings the court,
So where the Muses and their train resort,
Parnassus stands; if I can be to thee
A poet, thou Parnassus art to me.
Nor wonder if (advantaged in my flight,
By taking wing from thy auspicious height)
Through untraced ways and airy paths I fly,
More boundless in my fancy than my eye;
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
That lies between, and first salutes the place

She weeping to her closet window hies,

Where she with tears doth Rhodalind survey; As dying men, who grieve that they have eyes, When they through curtains spy the rising day*.


[Born, 1615. Died, 1668.]

SIR JOHN DENHAM was born in Dublin, where | tame a production would not perhaps have been his father was chief-baron of the Irish Exchequer. On his father's accession to the same office in the English Exchequer, our poet was brought to London, and there received the elements of his learning. At Oxford he was accounted a slow, dreaming young man, and chiefly noted for his attachment to cards and dice. The same propensity followed him to Lincoln's Inn, to such a degree, that his father threatened to disinherit him. To avert this, he wrote a penitentiary Essay on Gaming; but after the death of his father he returned to the vice that most easily beset him, and irrecoverably injured his patrimony. In 1641, when his tragedy of The Sophy appeared, it was regarded as a burst of unpromised genius. In the better and bygone days of the drama, so

regarded as astonishing, even from a dreaming young man. He was soon after appointed highsheriff of Surrey, and made governor of Farnham Castle for the king: but being unskilled in military affairs, he resigned his command, and joined his majesty at Oxford, where he published his Cooper's Hill*. In the civil wars he served the royal family, by conveying their correspondence; but was at length obliged to quit the kingdom, and was sent as ambassador, by Charles II. in his exile, to the king of Poland. At the Restoration he was made surveyor of the king's buildings, and knighted, with the order of the Bath; but his latter days were embittered by a second marriage, that led to a temporary derangement of mind.

[* Sir William Davenant's Gondibert is not a good poem, if you take it on the whole; but there are a great many good things in it.-POPE to Spence.]


Crown'd with that sacred pile, so vast, so high,
That whether 'tis a part of earth or sky

[* The earliest edition known was printed at London in 1642.]

[t Denham has been frequently imitated in this kind of local poetry as Johnson calls it, and since Cooper's Hill appeared we have had Waller's St. James's Park; Pope's Windsor Forest; Garth's Claremont; Tickell's Kensington Garden; Dyer's Grongar Hill; Jago's Edge-Hill: Scott's Amwell; Michael Bruce's Lochleven, and Kirke White's Clifton Grove. There are others, but these alone merit notice. Beaumont's Bosworth Field, though prior in date to Cooper's Hill, is local more in its title than its treatment. Drayton's panoramic plan in his Poly-olbion would have included Cooper's Hill and indeed every corner of the island.]

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