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he published, seems to have been more resolute than his defence of the fortress. In the course of the civil war, he was made prisoner by the royalists, and when some of them were desirous of making an example of him, Denham, the poet, is said to have pleaded with his majesty that he would not hang him, for as long as Wither lived he (Denham) could not be accounted the worst poet in England. Wood informs us that he was afterwards constituted by Cromwell majorgeneral of all the horse and foot in the county of Surrey. In his addresses to Cromwell there is, mixed with his usual garrulity of advice and solemnity of warning, a considerable degree of adulation. His admonitions probably exposed him to little hazard; they were the croakings of the raven on the right hand. It should be mentioned however, to the honour of his declared principles, that in the "National Remembrancer" he sketched the plan of an annual and freely elected parliament, which differed altogether from the shadow of representation afforded by the government of the usurper. On the demise of Cromwell he hailed the accession of Richard with
SEE'ST thou not, in clearest days,
With Detraction's breath and thee:
It shall never rise so high
As to stain thy poesy.
As that sun doth oft exhale
FROM "THE SHEPHERD'S HUNTING."
joyful gratulation. He never but once in his life foreboded good, and in that prophecy he was mistaken.
Vapours from each rotten vale;
Gross conceits from muddy brains;
At the Restoration, the estates, which he had either acquired or purchased during the interregnum, were taken from him. But the event which crushed his fortunes could not silence his pen, and he was committed first to Newgate and afterwards to The Tower, for remonstrances, which were deemed a libel on the new government. From the multitude of his writings, during a three years' imprisonment, it may be clearly gathered, that he was treated not only with rigour, but injustice; for the confiscation of his property was made by forcible entry, and besides being illegal in form, was directly contrary to the declaration that had been issued by Charles the Second before his accession. That he died in prison may be inferred from the accounts, though not clear from the dates of his biographers; but his last days must have been spent in wretchedness and obscurity*. He was buried between the east door and the south end of the Savoy church, in the Strand.
Yes, the more's her hapless fate,
But if I my cage can rid,
And though for her sake I'm crost,
That more makes than mends my grief:
[* He was released from prison on the 27th July 1663, on his bond to the Lieutenant of the Tower for his good behaviour; and died, though not in prison, on the 2nd of May 1667.-See Willmott's Lives of the Sacred Poets, vol. i.]
Whence she should be driven to,
By her help I also now
Make this churlish place allow
In the very gall of sadness:
The dull loneness, the black shade
She hath taught me by her might
Let my life no longer be
Than I am in love with thee!
Thou dost teach me to contemn
[* The praises of poetry have been often sung in ancient and modern times; strange powers have been ascribed to it of influence over animate and inanimate auditors; its force over fascinated crowds has been acknowledged;
THE SHEPHERD'S RESOLUTION.
SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May; If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be ?
Shall my foolish heart be pined,
If she be not so to me,
Shall a woman's virtues move
And, unless that mind I see,
Great or good, or kind or fair,
If she be not fit for me,
THE STEDFAST SHEPHERD. HENCE away, thou Siren, leave me,
Pish! unclasp these wanton arms; Sugar'd words can ne'er deceive me, (Though thou prove a thousand charms). Fie, fie, forbear;
No common snare
Can ever my affection chain :
Thy painted baits,
And poor deceits,
Are all bestow'd on me in vain.
but before Wither, no one had celebrated its power at home; the wealth and the strength which this divine gift confers upon its possessor.—LAMB,]
DRY those fair, those crystal eyes,
Then clear those waterish stars again,
He's a fool that basely dallies,
Where each peasant mates with him :
I know the best can but disdain ;
Be all bestow'd on me in vain.
His "Poems, Elegies, Paradoxes and Sonnets" (8vo. 1657) have a neatness, elegance and even a tenderness, which entitle them to more attention than they now obtain.]
DR. HENRY KING.
[Born, 1592. Died, 1669.]
DR. HENRY KING was chaplain to James the First, and Bishop of Chichester *.
The heart, that constant shall remain ;
And I the while
Will sit and smile
To see you spend your time in vain.
LIKE to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are ;
The wind blows out, the bubble dies; The spring entomb'd in autumn lies; The dew dries up, the star is shot : The flight is past-and man forgot.
In a melancholy study,
Methought my Muse grew muddy;
And costly breeding,
I felt, but could find no pelf.
Into learned rags
I have rent my plush and satin,
And now am fit to beg
In Hebrew, Greek, and Latin :
Instead of Aristotle,
Would I had got a patten.
Alas, poor scholar, whither wilt thou go;
It is a dream-whose seeming truth
A COMPLAINT OF A LEARNED DIVINE IN PURITAN TIMES.
At great preferment I aim'd,
But now my hopes are maim'd.
To live most stately,
It is a dial-which points out
To please our English Pope;
I find that I am falling,
The northern winds do shake me.
For bowing now will break me.
It is a weary interlude-
was author of a poem, entitled "Iter Boreale,” and "The Benefice," a comedy.
And have a dairy of bell-rope's milk;
Myself I must flatter,
Bigamy of steeples is a laughing matter;
Each man must have but one,
And curates will grow fatter.
SIR JOHN MENNIS was born in 1598. He was successively a military and naval commander; a vice-admiral in the latter service, governor of Dover Castle, and chief comptroller of the navy.
In Scotland, shall I thither?
SIR JOHN MENNIS AND JAMES SMITH.
FROM "MUSAKUM DELICIE, OR THE MUSES' RECREATION."
ARE these the strings that poets feign
And make it speak? oh then think what
Hath been committed by my cat!
Who, in the silence of the night,
And Finch, to see if either
Do want a priest to shrieve them?
O no, 'tis blustering weather.
Ho, ho, ho, I have hit it:
Be bound at a venture
An apprentice to a free-school;
Leaving such relics as may be
Puss, I will curse thee! may'st thou dwell
UPON LUTE-STRINGS CAT-EATEN.
He composed the well-known ballad on Sir John Suckling's defeat.-SMITH was born about 1604 was a military and naval chaplain, canon of Exeter cathedral, and doctor in divinity.
Taking a fall that may untie
What, was there ne'er a rat nor mouse,
Hath gnawn these cords, and marr'd them quite, Thy paunch, and draw thy glaring eyes?
Did not thy conscious stomach find