Imatges de pÓgina


Beholding one in shining armes appeare,
The seelie man and his were sore dismaid;
But sweet Erminia comforted their feare,
Her ventall vp, her visage open laid;
You happy folke, of heau'n beloued deare,
Work on (quoth she) upon your harmlesse traid,

These dreadfull armes I beare no warfare bring
To your sweet toile, nor those sweet tunes you sing.


But, father, since this land, these townes, and towres,
Destroied are with sword, with fire and spoile,
How may it be, unhurt, that you and yours
In safetie, thus applie your harmlesse toile?
My sonne, (quoth he,) this pore estate of ours
Is euer safe from storm of warlike broile;

This wildernesse doth vs in saftie keepe,

No thundring drum, no trumpet breakes our sleepe.

Haply iust Heau'n's defence and shield of right,
Doth loue the innocence of simple swains,
The thunder-bolts on highest mountains light,
And seld or neuer strike the lower plaines :
So kings have cause to feare Bellonae's might,
Not they whose sweat and toile their dinner gaines,
Nor euer greedie soldier was entised
By pouertie, neglected and despised.


O Pouertie, chefe of the heau'nly brood,
Dearer to me than wealth or kingly crowne!
No wish for honour, thirst of others good,
Can moue my heart, contented with mine owne:
We quench our thirst with water of this flood,
Nor fear we poison should therein be throwne:

These little flocks of sheepe and tender goates
Giue milke for food, and wool to make us coates.


We little wish, we need but little wealth,
From cold and hunger vs to cloath and feed;
These are my sonnes, their care preserues from stealth
Their father's flocks, nor servants moe I need:

Amid these groues I walke oft for my health, And to the fishes, birds, and beastes giue heed How they are fed, in forrest, spring, and lake And their contentment for ensample take.


Time was (for each one hath his doting time,
These siluer locks were golden tresses than)
That countrie life I hated as a crime,
And from the forrest's sweet contentment ran;
To Memphis' stately pallace would I clime,
And there became the mightie caliphe's man;
And though I but a simple gardner weare,
Yet could I marke abuses, see, and heare.


Entised on with hope of future gaine,

I suffred long what did my soule displease;
But when my youth was spent, my hope was vaine,
I felt my native strength at last decrease;

I gan my losse of lustie yeeres complaine,
And wisht I had enjoy'd the countrie's peace;
I bod the court farewell, and, with content,
My later age here have I quiet spent.


While thus he spake, Erminia, husht and still,
His wise discourses heard, with great attention,
His speeches graue those idle fancies kill

Which in her troubled soule bred such dissention;
After much thought, reformed was her will,
Within those woods to dwell was her intention,
Till fortune should occasion new afford
To turne her home to her desired lord.


She said therefore, O shepherd fortunate!
That troubles some didst whilom feele and proue,
Yet liuest now in this contented state,
Let my mishap thy thoughts to pitie moue,
To entertaine me as a willing mate
In shepherds' life, which I admire and loue;

Within these pleasant groues perchance my hart Of her discomforts may vnload some part.


If gold or wealth, of most esteemed deare,
If iewels rich, thou diddest hold in prise,
Such store thereof, such plentie have I seen,
As to a greedie minde might well suffice:
With that downe trickled many a siluer teare,
Two christall streames fell from her watrie eies;
Part of her sad misfortunes than she told,
And wept, and with her wept that shepherd old


With speeches kinde, he gan the virgin deare
Towards his cottage gently home to guide ;
His aged wife there made her homely cheare,
Yet welcomde her, and plast her by her side.
The princesse dond a poore pastorae's geare,
A kerchief course vpon her head she tide ;

But yet her gestures and her lookes (I gesse)
Were such as ill beseem'd a shepherdesse.


Not those rude garments could obscure and hide
The heau'nly beautie of her angel's face,
Nor was her princely ofspring damnifide,
Or onght disparag'de, by those labours bace;
Her little flocks to pasture would she guide,
And milk her goates, and in their folds them place,

Both cheese and butter could she make, and frame
Her selfe to please the shepherd and his dame.


OF MR. JOHN POMFRET nothing is known, but from a slight and confused account prefixed to his poems by a nameless friend; who relates, that he was the son of the rev. mr. Pomfret, rector of Luton, in Bedfordshire; that he was bred at Cambridge; entered into orders, and was rector of Malden in Bedfordshire, and might have risen in the church; but that, when he applied to dr. Compton, bishop of London, for institution to a living of considerable value, to which he had been presented, he found a troublesome obstruction, raised by a malicious interpretation of some passage in his Choice; from which it was inferred, that he considered happiness as more likely to be found in the company of a mistress than of a wife.

This reproach was easily obliterated: for it had happened to Pomfret, as to almost all other men who plan schemes of life;―he had departed from his purpose, and was then married.

The malice of his enemies had, however, a very fatal consequence: the delay constrained his attendance in London, where he caught the smallpox, and died, in 1703, in the thirty-sixth year of his age.

He published his poems in 1699; and has been always the favourite of that class of readers, who, without vanity or criticism, seek only their own amusement.

His Choice exhibits a system of life adapted to common notions, and equal to common expectations; such a state as affords plenty and tranquillity, without exclusion of intellectual pleasures. Perhaps no composition in our language has been oftener perused than Pomfret's Choice.

In his other poems, there is an easy volubility; the pleasure of smooth metre is afforded to the ear; and the mind is not oppressed with ponderous, or entangled with intricate, sentiment. He pleases many; and he who pleases many must have some species of merit.


OF THE EARL OF DORSET, the character has been drawn so largely and so elegantly by Prior, to whom he was familiarly known, that nothing can be added by a casual hand; and, as its author is so generally read, it would be useless officiousness to transcribe it.

CHARLES SACKVILLE was born January 24, 1637. Having been educated under a private tutor, he travelled into Italy, and returned a little before the restoration. He was chosen into the first parliament that was called, for East Grinstead in Sussex, and soon became a favourite of Charles the second; but undertook no public employment, being too eager of the riotous and licentious pleasures which young men of high rank, who aspired to be thought wits, at that time imagined themselves entitled to indulge.

One of these frolics has, by the industry of Wood, come down to posterity. Sackville, who was then lord Buckhurst, with sir Charles Sedley and sir Thomas Ogle, got drunk at the Cock in Bow-street, by Covent-garden, and, going into the balcony, exposed themselves to the populace in very indecent postures. At last, as they grew warmer, Sedley stood forth naked, and harangued the populace in such profane language, that the public indignation was awakened: the crowd attempted to force the door, and, being repulsed, drove in the performers with stones, and broke the windows of the house.

For this misdemeanour they were indicted, and Sedley was fined five hundred pounds: what was the sentence of the others is not known. Sedley employed Killigrew and another to procure a remission from the king; but (mark the friendship of the dissolute!) they begged the fine for themselves, and exacted it to the last groat.

In 1665, lord Buckhurst attended the duke of York as a volunteer in the Dutch war; and was in the battle of

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