Imatges de pàgina
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On reading the following lines, the reader may perhaps cry out-Confusion worse confounded!

Here lies a she sun, and a he moon here;

She gives the best light to his sphere;

Or each is both, and all ; and so
They unto one another nothing owe.

DONNE.

Who but Donne would have thought that a good man is a telescope?

Though God be our true glass, through which we see
All, since the being of all things is he,
Yet are the trunks which do to us derive
Things in proportion fit, by perspective,
Deeds of good men ; for, by their living here,

Virtues, indeed remote, seem to be near. Who would imagine it possible, that, in a very few lines, so many remote ideas could be brought together?

Since 'tis my doom, love's underskrieve,

Why this reprieve?
Why doth my she advowson fly

Incumbency?
To sell thyself, dost thou intend,

By candles end,
And hold the contrast, thus in doubt,

Life's taper out?
Think but how soon the market fails ;
Your sex lives faster than the males ;
And if, to measure age's span,
The sober Julian were th' account of man,
Whilst you live by the fleet Gregorian.

CLEIVELAND.

Of enormous and disgusting hyperboles, these may be examples:

By every wind that comes this way,

Send me at least a sigh or two:
Such and so many I'll repay
As shall themselves make winds to get to you.

COWLEY.

In tears I'll waste these eyes,

By love so vainly fed ;
So lust of old the deluge punishie.

('OWLEY.

All arm’d in brass, the richest dress of war,
(A dismal glorious sight!) he shone afar.
'The sun himself started with sudden fright,
To see his beams return so dismal bright.

COWLEY.

An universal consternation:

His bloody eyes he hurls round, his sharp paws
Tear up the ground; then runs he wild about,
Lashing his angry tail, and roaring out.
Beasts creep into their dens, and tremble there;
Trees, though no wind is stirring, shake with fear;
Silence and horror fill the place around ;
Echo itself dares scarce repeat the sound.

COWLEY.

Their fictions were often violent and unnatural.

Of his mistress bathing.
The fish around her crowded, as they do
To the false light that treacherous fishers shew,
And all with as niuch ease might taken be,

As she at first took me;
For ne'er did light so clear

Amorg the waves appear,
Though every night the sun himself set there.

COWLEY.

The poetical effect of a lover's name upon glass:

My name, engrav'd herein,
Doth contribute my firmness to this glass;

Which, ever since that charm, hath been
As hard as that which gray'd it was.

DONNE.

Their conceits were sentiments slight and trifling.

Ou an inconstant woman.
He enjoys the calmy sunshine now,

And no breath stirring hears;
In the clear heaven of thy brow

No smallest cloud appears.
He sees thee gentle, fair, and gay,
And trusts the faithless April of thy May.

COWLEY.

Upon a paper written with the juice of lemon, and read by the fire :

Nothing yet in thee is seen;
But, when a genial heat warms thee within,
A new-born wood of various lines there grows:

Here buds an L, and there a B,

Here sprouts a V, and there a T,
And all the flourishing letters stand in rows.

COWLEY.

As they sought only for novelty, they did not much inquire whether their allusions were to things high or low, elegant or gross; whether they compared the little to the great, or the great to the little.

Physic and chirurgery for a lover.
Gently, ah gently, madam, touch
The wound which you yourself have made;

That pain must needs be very much,
Which makes me of your hand afraid ;

Cordials of pity give me now,
For I too weak of purgings grow.

COWLEY.

The world and a clock.

Mahol th' inferior world's fantastic face,
Thro' all the turns of matter's maze, did trace;
Great nature's well-set clock in pieces took ;
On all the springs and smallest wheels did look

Of life and motion ; and, with equal art,
Made up the whole again of every part.

COWLEY.

A coal-pit has not often found its poet; but, that it may not want its due honour, Cleiveland has paralleled it with

the sun.

The moderate value of our guiltless ore
Makes no man atheist, and no woman whore;
Yet, why should hallow'd vestal's sacred shrine
Deserve more honour than a flaming mine?
These pregnant wombs of heat would fitter be,
Than a few embers, for a deity.
Had he our pits, the Persian would admire
No
sun,

but warm's devotion at our fire:
He'd leave the trotting whipster, and prefer
Our profound Vulcan 'bove that waggoner.
For, wants he heat, or light? or would have store
Of both? 'tis here: and what can suns give more?
Nay, what's the sun, but, in a different name,
A coal-pit rampant, or a mine on flame?
Then, let this truth reciprocally run,
The sun's heaven's coalery, and coals our sun.

Death, a voyage.

No family
E’er rigged a soul for heaven's discovery,
With whom more venturers might boldly dare
Venture their stakes, with him in joy to share.

DONNE.

Their thoughts and expressions were sometimes grossly absurd, and such as no figures or licence can reconcile to the understanding.

A lover neither dead nor alive:
Then, down I laid my head,
Down on cold earth; and, for a while, was dead;
And my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled.

Ah, sottish soul! said I,
(When back to its cage again I saw it fly),
Fool, to resume her broken chain,

And row her galley here again!

Fool, to that body to return,
Where it condemn'd and destin'd is to burn !
Once dead, how can it be,
Death should a thing so pleasant seem to thee,
That thou should'st come to live it o'er again in me?

COWLEY.

A lover's heart, a hand grenado:
Wo to her stubborn heart, if once mine come

Into the self-same room;

'Twill tear and blow up all within,
Like a grenado shot into a magazin.
Then shall love keep the ashes, and torn parts,

Of both our broken hearts :

Shall, out of both, one new one make;
From hers th’allay, from mine the metal take.

COWLEY.

The poetical propagation of light:
The prince's favour is diffus’d o'er all,
From which all fortunes, names, and uatures fall :
Then from those wombs of stars, the bride's bright eyes,

At every glance a constellation flies,
And sowes the court with stars, and doth prevent,

In light and power, the all-ey'd firmament:
First, her eye kindles other ladies eyes ;

Then, from their beams, their jewels' lustres rise :
And, from their jewels, torches do take fire ;
And all is warmth, and light, and good desire.

DONNE.

They were in very little care to clothe their notions with elegance of dress; and therefore miss the notice, and the praise, which are often gained by those who think less, but are more diligent to adorn their thoughts.

That a mistress beloved is fairer in idea than in reality, is by Cowley thus expressed :

Thou in my fancy dost much higher stand,
Than woman can be plac'd by nature's hand;
And I must needs, I'm sure, a loser be,
To change thee, as thou 'rt there, for very ghee.

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