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With day unmask'd my night shall be;
O Father of all lights, to thee *.
To enter into any comment on the beauty and sublimity of this translation, and more particularly of the closing stanza, would be utterly superfluous, for they cannot but be deeply felt and admired by all who read it.
Multiplied instances, indeed, of the great merits of this version of the Sidneys might readily be furnished, were such required; but what has already been given will be fully adequate to prove with what a fervid feeling of devotion, with what a spirit of genuine poetry, it was prosecuted and completed.
There is, in truth, something inexpressibly pleasing and interesting in picturing to ourselves this accomplished brother and sister, the beautiful, the brave, thus conjointly employed in the service of their God, thus emulously endeavouring to do justice to the imperishable strains of divine inspiration. We see them, as they proceed, kindling into warmer piety, and glowing with more exalted enthusiasm ; for, as one of the best of men and of Christians
Sidney Psalms, pp. 266, 267.
has remarked in reference to the Psalms, whilst "the fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy, these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets are extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellencies will desire to taste them yet again; and he who tastes them oftenest will relish them best *."
Nor can we avoid thinking that the words which the great and good bishop has spoken of himself on concluding his admirable Commentary, may, with only a slight alteration, be applied to these affectionate relatives whilst engaged on their Version : "The employment detached them from the bustle and hurry of life, the din of politics, and the noise of folly; vanity and vexation flew away for a season, care and disquietude came not near their dwelling. They arose, fresh as the morning, to their task; the silence of the night invited them to pursue it; and they could truly say, that food and
* Horne's Commentary on the Psalms, vol. i. Preface, p. lxiv.
rest were not preferred before it. Every psalm improved infinitely upon their acquaintance with it, and no one gave them uneasiness but the last; for then they grieved that their work was done. Happier hours than those which they spent in these translations of the Songs of Sion, they never expected to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass, and moved smoothly and swiftly along; for when thus engaged, they counted no time. They are gone, but their products have left a relish and a fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance of them is sweet *."
* Horne's Commentary on the Psalms, vol. i. Preface, p. lxv.
Not in wars did he delight,
This Clifford wished for worthier might;
Of Barden's humble quietness.
It was almost immediately on the re-ascendancy of the house of Lancaster that the following petition for the restitution of the Clifford estates in the counties of Westmoreland and York, together with their rank and honours, was presented and granted in the first year of Henry the Seventh.
"In most humble and lowly wise beseecheth yo'r highness yo'r true subject and faithfull liegman Henry Clifford, eldest sonne to John late lord Clifford, that when the same John, amongst other persons, for the true service and faithful legiance w'ch he did and owed to king Henry the Sixt, yo'r uncle, in the parliament at Westmynster, the fourth day of November, in the first year of king Edward
the Fourth, was attainted and convicted of higs treason; and by the same act yt was ordained, that the said John, late lord, and his heires, from thenceforth should be disabled to have, hould, inherite, or enjoy, any name of dignity, estate, or preheminence, within the realmes of England, Ireland, Wales, Calice, or the Marches thereof, and should forfaite all his castles, manors, landes, &c., he desireth to be restored. To the w'ch petition the king, in the same parliament, subscribeth,
'Soit faite come est desier.'
Thus, in the thirty-second year of his age, after having led for twenty-five years the life of a shepherd and an outlaw, and latterly either in Cumberland or on the borders of Scotland, was Henry lord Clifford restored to the wealth and dignities of his forefathers. There is reason to conclude that it was in Westmoreland, from the vicinity of that county to the district in which he had usually wandered as a banished man, that he first assumed the honours of his family. The Cliffords, indeed, possessed not less than four castles in Westmoreland, namely, Pendragon, Brough, Appleby, and Brougham; and the last, being towards the northern boundary of the county, must have been the first