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Love, banish'd heaven, in earth was held in scorn,
Wand'ring abroad in need and beggary,
And wanting friends; though of a goddess born,
Yet crav'd the alms of such as passed by.
I, like a man devout and charitable,
Clothed the naked, lodg'd this wand'ring guest;
With sighs and tears still furnishing his table
With what might make the miserable bless’d,
But this ungrateful, for my good desert,
Entic'd my thoughts against me to conspire,
gave consent to steal away my heart, And set my breast, his lodging, on a fire;
Well, well, my friends, when beggars grow thus bold,
No marvel then though charity grow cold.
Drayton, Son. 23.
What doth it serve, to see sun's burning face?
And skies enamelld with both Indies' gold?
Or moon at night in jetty chariot rolld *?
And all the glory of that starry place?
What doth it serve, earth's beauty to behold?
'The mountain's pride, the meadow's flowery grace;
The stately comeliness of forests old,
The sport of floods which would themselves embrace?
* Or moon at night in jetty chariot rolld?] Browne represents Night as drawn in a carriage of the same materials :
All-drowsy Night, who in a car of jet
By steeds of iron-gray drawn through the sky.
Brit. Past. B. II, Son, i. p. 35.
What doth it serve, to hear the sylvans songs,
The wanton mearle, the nightingale's sad strains,
Which in dark shades seem to deplore my wrongs?
For what doth serve all that this world contains,
Sith she for whom those once to me were dear,
No part of them can have now with me here.
Why should I sing in verse, why should I frame
These sad neglected notes for her dear sake?
Why should I offer up unto her name
The sweetest sacrifice my youth can make?
Why should I strive to make her live for ever,
That never deigns to give me joy to live?
my afflicted muse so much endeavour
Such honour unto cruelty to give?
If her defects have purchas'd her this fame,
What should her virtues do, her smiles, her love?
If this her worst, how should her best inflame?
What passions would her milder favours move?
Favours, I think, would sense quite overcome,
And that makes happy lovers ever dumb.
Daniel, Son. 17.
Ip cross'd with all mishaps be my poor life,
If one short day I never spent in mirth,
If my spirit with itself holds lasting strife,
If sorrow's death is but new sorrow's birth;
If this vain world be but a sable stage
Where slave-born man plays to the scoffing stars *,
If youth be toss'd with love, with weakness age,
If Knowledge serve to hold our thoughts in wars;
If time can close the hundred mouths of Fame,
And make what's long since past, like that to be,
If Virtue only be an idle name,
If I when I was born was born to die;
Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days?
The fairest rose in shortest time decays.
* Where slave-born man plays to the scoffing stars.] This language of desperation may be compared with these lines of Drayton:
Which doth inforce me partly to prefer
The opinion of that mad philosopher,
Who taught, that those all-framing powers above
(As 'tis supposed) made man not out of love
To him at all, but only as a thing
To make them sport with, which they use to bring
As men do monkies, puppets, and such tools.
Drayton to W. Browne. In contradiction to this absurd and uncomfortable doctrine, let us hear what one of the wisest and greatest men this country has produced says:
“ But that nature should implant in man such a strong propension to religion, which is the reverence of a Deity, there being neither God nor angel nor spirit in the world, is such a slur committed by her, as there can be in no wise excogitated any excuse for. If there were a higher species of things to laugh at, as we do at the ape, it might seem wore tolerable." Dr. H. More's Antidote against
TO THE SPRING*.
Sweet spring, thou turn'st + with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flow'rs,
The Zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their show'rs.
Thou turn'st (sweet youth); but ah, my pleasant hours
And happy days with thee come not again,
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee turn, which turn my sweets in sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wast before,
Delicious, wanton, amiable, fair;
But she, whose breath embalm’d thy wholesome air,
Is gone: nor gold nor gems her can restore.
Neglected Virtue, seasons go and
While thine forgot lie closed in a tomb.
Atheism, p. 152, Edit. 1655. The concluding idea in this extract somewhat reminds us of a line in Pope's Essay on Man :
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
* The best of Spenser's Sonnets is addressed to the Spring, Vol. V. p. 73, Hughes's Edit.
+ Turn'st is here used for return'st.
Look how the flower, which ling'ringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoild of that juice, which kept it fresh and
As high as it did raise, bows low the head;
Right so my life (contentments being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen)
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,
And (blasted) scarce now shows what it hath been.
As doth the pilgrim therefore whom the night
By darkness would imprison on his way,
Think on thy home, (my soul) and think aright,
Of what yet rests thee of life's wasting day:
Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born*.
Drummond, Flowers of Sion,
* And twice it is not given thee to be born.] A mere reference might disappoint the classical reader ; as such, I shall make no scruple to quote at length the well-known beautiful lines of Moschus on this subject :
Αι, Αι, ται μαλάχαι μεν έπαν καλά κάπον όλωνται,
H τα χλωρά σέλινα, το τ' ευθαλές ελον άνηθος,
Υστερον αυ ζωονλι και εις έ7ος άλλο φύονλι:
Aμμες δ' οι μεγάλοι και κυρίεροί ή σοφοί άνδρες,
Οππότε πρωτα θανωμες, ανάκοοι έν χθονί κοιλα
Ευδομες ευ μάλα μακρόν ατέρμονα νήγγείον ύπνον. I never saw the spirit of these verses better transfused, than in the following extract from the very early production of a friend, whose poetry is among the least of his many elegant attainments :
Yet mark the violet, how it loads with sweets
The pregnant gale, spreading its purple leaves;
The painted pink too, with the rose-bud's bloom,
And fair narcissus catch th' enchanted eye.
When winter's frost arrests the rushing stream,