Imatges de pÓgina

Though thou be to them a scorn,
That to nought but earth are born,
Let my life no longer be

Than I am in love with thee:

Though our wise ones call thee madness,
Let me never taste of gladness,

If I love not thy madd'st fits

Above all their greatest wits.

And though some too seeming holy,

Do account thy raptures folly,

Thou dost teach me to contemn

What makes knaves and fools of them.

The poem on Christmas is another fine and graphic sketch, and affords a lively picture of the manners of the times. We have not, however, space to introduce it, and shall, therefore, close our remarks upon this writer with the following witty sonnet:


Now gentle sleep has closed up those eyes

Which, waking, kept my boldest thoughts in awe;
And free access unto that sweet lip lies,
From whence I long the rosy breath to draw.
Methinks no wrong it were, if I should steal
From those two melting rubies, one poor kiss;
None sees the theft that would the theft reveal,
Nor rob I her of ought what she can miss:
Nay should I twenty kisses take away,
There would be little sign I would do so;
Why then should I this robbery delay?
Oh! she may wake, and therewith angry grow!
Well, if she do, I'll back restore that one,

And twenty hundred thousand more for loan.

WILLIAM BROWNE was a pastoral and descriptive poet, and adopted Spenser as his model. He was born at Tavistock in Devonshire, in 1590, but where, and under what circumstances he received his education, is unknown. He was for a short time connected with the Inner Temple as a student of law, but seems never to have followed the legal profession. For a number of years he held the place of tutor to the Earl of Carnarvon, and after the death of that nobleman, who was killed at the battle of Newbury, in 1643, Browne received the patronage, and lived in the family of the Earl of Pembroke. In this situation he realized a competency, and purchased an estate, upon which he died in 1645.

Browne's works consist of Britannia's Pastorals, The Shepherd's Pipe, and a masque called The Inner Temple Masque. As all these poems were produced before the writer was thirty years of age, and 'Britannia's Pastorals,' which are by far the best, when he was little more than twenty, we should not be surprised that they contain marks of juvenility, and frequent traces of resemblance to the performances of previous poets, especially Spenser,

whom he warmly admired. 'Britannia's Pastorals' are written in the heroic couplet, and contain much beautiful descriptive poetry. The author had great facility of expression, and an intimate acquaintance with the phenomena of inanimate nature, and the characteristic features of the English landscape. His own beautiful Devonshire seems to have inspired his strains. The following lines contain an assemblage of the same images that are found in the morning picture of Milton's 'L'Allegro' :

By this had chanticleer, the village cock,
Bidden the goodwife for her maids to knock;

And the swart ploughman for his breakfast stayed,
That he might till those lands where fallow laid;
The hills and valleys here and there resound
With the re-echoes of the deep-mouth'd hound;
Each shepherd's daughter with her cleanly pail
Was come a-field to milk the morning meal;
And ere the sun had climb'd the eastern hills,
To gild the muttering bourns and pretty rills,
Before the labouring bee had left the hive,
And nimble fishes, which in rivers dive,
Began to leap and catch the drowned fly,
I rose from rest, not infelicity.

In one of Browne's pastorals he celebrates the death Milton is supposed to have copied his plan in Lycidas. faint similarity in some of the sentiments and images. following very fine illustration of a rose:

Look, as a sweet rose fairly budding forth
Betrays her beauty to th' enamour'd morn,
Until some keen blast from the envious north
Kills the sweet bud that was but newly born;

Or else her rarest smells, delighting,

Make herself betray

Some white and curious hand, inviting

To pluck her thence away.

of a friend, and There is also a Browne has the

The following beautiful sketches are from the 'Britannia's Pastorals :'—


As in an evening, when the gentle air
Breathes to the sullen night a soft repair,

I oft have sat on Thames' sweet bank, to hear
My friend with his sweet touch to charm mine ear:
When he hath play'd (as well he can) some strain,
That likes me, straight I ask the same again,
And he, as gladly granting, strikes it o'er
With some sweet relish was forgot before:
I would have been content if he would play,
In that one strain, to pass the night away;
But, fearing much to do his patience wrong,
Unwillingly have ask'd some other song:

So, in this diff'ring key, though I could well
A many hours, but as few minutes tell,
Yet, lest mine own delight might injure you,
(Though loath so soon) I take my song anew.


The sable mantle of the silent night

Shut from the world the ever-joysome light,
Care fled away, and softest slumbers please
To leave the court for lowly cottages.

Wild beasts forsook their dens on woody hills,

And sleightful otters left the purling rills;

Rooks to their nests in high woods now were flung
And with their spread wings shield their naked young.
When thieves from thickets to the cross-ways stir,

And terror frights the lonely passenger;

When nought was heard but now and then the howl

Of some vile cur, or whooping of the owl.

HENRY KING, better known as a divine than as a poet, was the son of Doctor John King, chaplain to Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards bishop of London. He was born at Wornall in January 1591, and after preparing for the university at Westminster school, was elected student of Christ's Church College, Oxford. Having taken his degrees, and entered into orders, he became chaplain to James the First, soon after which he was made archdeacon of Colchester. In 1625, he received the degree of doctor of divinity, and became chaplain to Charles the First; and though strongly suspected of inclining to the Puritanical party, he remained in that relation to the king for many years. In 1641, doctor King, as a conciliatory step toward the Puritans, was raised to the see of Chichester; but no sooner had the civil war broken out, and the dissolution of Episcopacy taken place, than he was treated by the very party whom he had been elevated to conciliate, with the utmost severity. At the Restoration, however, he was restored to his bishopric, and Wood informs us that, 'he was esteemed by his diocese and neighborhood, the epitome of all honors, virtues, and generous nobleness, and a person never to be forgotten by his tenants and the poor. He died on the first of October 1669, in his seventy-ninth year.

Bishop King was emphatically a religious poet, and besides composing many sacred songs, elegies, and sonnets, in all of which his language and imagery are chaste and refined, he turned the Psalms of David also into metre. His poems afford little variety, however, as literary performances, and the following specimen will, therefore, be sufficient to exhibit his style and manner:


What is the existence of man's life,
But open war or slumber'd strife;
Where sickness to his sense presents

The combat of the elements;

And never feels a perfect peace

Till Death's cold hand signs his release.

It is a storm-where the hot blood
Outvies in rage the boiling flood;
And each loose passion of the mind
Is like a furious gust of wind,

Which beats his bark with many a wave,
Till he casts anchor in the grave.

It is a flower-which buds, and grows,
And withers as the leaves disclose;
Whose spring and fall faint seasons keep,,
Like fits of waking before sleep;
Then shrinks into that fatal mould
Where its first being was enroll'd.

It is a dream-whose seeming truth
Is moraliz'd in age and youth;
Where all the comforts he can share,
As wandering as his fancies are:
Till in a mist of dark decay,
The dreamer vanish quite away.

It is a dial-which points out
The sunset, as it moves about;
And shadows out in lines of night
The subtle stages of Time's flight;
Till all-obscuring earth hath laid
His body in perpetual shade.

It is a weary interlude

Which doth short joys, long woes, include;
The world the stage, the prologue tears,
The acts vain hopes and varied fears;
The scene shuts up with loss of breath,
And leaves no epilogue but death.

FRANCIS QUARLES was born at Stewards, in Essex, in 1592. His father was clerk of the green-cloth, and purveyor to Queen Elizabeth, and as the son was early designed for a court life, he was educated with reference to that object. He entered Christ's College, Cambridge, but seems to have left the university without a degree, soon after which he became a member of Lincoln's Inn, London. He was afterward cup-bearer to Eliza beth, daughter of James the First, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia; but upon the ruin of the elector's affairs, he quitted the queen's service, and went to Ireland, where he became secretary to Archbishop Usher. In this situation he remained until the breaking out of the Irish rebellion of 1641, when, after having suffered very severe pecuniary losses, he was obliged to fly for safety into England. In England, however, he did not realize the repose he had anticipated, for one of his productions, the Royal Convert, having given offense to the prevailing party, they stripped him of what remained of his possessions, and even seized his books and some valuable manuscripts, which he had prepared for the press. This last blow was more than his mental strength was sufficient to bear, and he died of a broken heart, in September, 1644.

The writings of Quarles are more like those of a divine, or contemplative recluse, than of a busy man of the world, who held various public situations, and died at the age of fifty-two. His principal poems are Job Militant, Sion's Elegies, The History of Queen Esther, The Morning Muse, The Feast of Worms, and The Divine Emblems. The latter was published the year after the writer's death, and was so popular, that Phillips, Milton's nephew, styles Quarles the darling of our plebeian judgments.' The eulogium, to some extent, is still appropriate, for the 'Divine Emblems,' with their quaint and grotesque illustrations, may be found, even at the present day, in the cottages of many of the English peasantry.

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Quarles' style is that of his age-studded with conceits, often extravagant in conception, and presenting frequently the most ridiculous combinations. There is strength, however, amidst his contortions, and true wit intermingled with the false. His epigrammatic point, uniting wit and devotion, has been considered the precursor of Young's 'Night Thoughts.' The following pieces sufficiently exhibit all the peculiarities of this author's manner, to which we have alluded :



And what's a life ?-a weary pilgrimage,
Whose glory in one day doth fill the stage
With childhood, manhood, and decrepit age.
And what's a life ?-the flourishing array
Of the proud summer-meadow, which to-day
Wears her green plush, and is to-morrow hay.
Read on this dial, how the shades devour
My short-lived winter's day! hour eats up hour;
Alas! the total's but from eight to four.

Behold these lilies, which thy hands have made,
Fair copies of my life, and open laid

To view, how soon they droop, how soon they fade!

Shade not that dial, night will blind too soon;

My non-aged day already points to noon;
How simple is my suit!-how small my boon!

Nor do I beg this slender inch to wile

My time away, or falsely to beguile

My thoughts with joy: here's nothing worth a smile.


False world, thou ly'st: thou canst not lend
The least delight:

Thy favours can not gain a friend,

They are so slight:

Thy morning pleasures make an end

To please at night:

Poor are the wants that thou supply'st,

And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou vy'st

With heaven; fond earth, thou boasts; false world, thou ly'st.

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