« AnteriorContinua »
Beholding one in shining armes appeare,
These dreadfull armes I beare no warfare bring
But, father, since this land, these townes, and towres,
This wildernesse doth vs in saftie keepe,
No thundring drum, no trumpet breakes our sleepe.
O Pouertie, chefe of the heau'nly brood,
These little flocks of sheepe and tender goates
We little wish, we need but little wealth,
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,
Entised on with hope of future gaine,
I suffred long what did my soule displease;
I gan my losse of lustie yeeres complaine,
While thus he spake, Erminia, husht and still,
Which in her troubled soule bred such dissention;
She said therefore, O shepherd fortunate!
Within these pleasant groues perchance my hart Of her discomforts may vnload some part.
If gold or wealth, of most esteemed deare,
With speeches kinde, he gan the virgin deare
But yet her gestures and her lookes (I gesse)
Not those rude garments could obscure and hide
Both cheese and butter could she make, and frame
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