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Good Life, Long Life.
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make man better be,
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
Is fairer far, in May,
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light!
Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke.
Underneath this sable hearse
Epitaph on Elizabeth, L. H.
Would'st thou hear what man say
If at all she had a fault,
The other let it sleep with death:
On my First Daughter.
Here lies to each her parents ruth,
At six months' end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven's queen (whose name she bears)
In comfort of her mother's tears,
Hath placed among her virgin train:
[From The Forest."]
Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show
* Penshurst is situated in Kent, near Tunbridge, in a wide and rich valley. The grey walls and turrets of the old mansion; its high-peaked and red roofs, and the new buildings of fresh stone, mingled with the ancient fabric, present a very striking and venerable aspect. It is a fitting abode for the noble Sidneys. The park contains trees of enormous growth, and others to which past events and characters have given an everlasting interest; as Sir Philip Sidney's Oak, Saccharissa's Walk. Gamage's Bower, &c. The ancient massy oak tables remain; and from Jonson's description of the hospitality of the family, they must often have groaned with the weight of the feast. Mr William Howitt has given an interesting account of Penshurst in his Visits to Remarkable Places, 1840.
There, in the writhed bark, are cut the names
Thy sheep, thy bullocks, kine, and calves do feed:
Some nuts, some apples; some that think they make
The better cheeses, bring them, or else send
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers, But what can this (inore than express their love) And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine, Add to thy free provisions, far above
Or sporting Kyd or Marlowe's mighty line. The need of such? whose liberal board doth flow And though thou had small Latin and less Greek, With all that hospitality doth know !
Froin thence to honour thee I will not seek Where comes no guest but is allow'd to eat
For nantes ; but call forth thund'ring Eschylus, Without his fear, and of thy lord's own meat: Euripides, and Sophocles to us, Where the same beer, and bread, and self-same wine Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead, That is his lordship's shall be also mine.
To live again, to hear thy buskin tread, And I not fain to sit (as some this day
And shake a stage : or when thy socks were on, At great men’s tables) and yet dine away.
Leave thee alone for the comparison
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show, He knows below he shall find plenty of meat ; To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. Thy tables hoard not up for the next day,
He was not of an age, but for all time! Nor, when I take my lodging, need I pray
And all the Muscs still were in their prime, For fire, or lights, or livery; all is there,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ;
My gentle Shakspeare, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter nature be, The just reward of her high housewifery ;
His art doth give the fashion ; and, that he To have her linen, plate, and all things nigh,
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat When she was far; and not a room but drest
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat As if it had expected such a guest !
Upon the Muses' anvil ; turn the same,
Or for the laurel, he may gain a scorn ;
For a good poet's made as well as born. have been taught religion ; thence And such wert thou ! Look how the father's face Their gentler spirits have suck'd innocence.
Lives in his issue, even so the race Each inorn and even they are taught to pray, Of Shakspeare's mind and manners brightly shines With the whole household, and may, every day, In his well turned and true filed lines : Read, in their virtuous paren is' noble parts,
In each of which he seems to shake a lance, The mysteries of manners, arms, and arts.
As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance. Now, Penshurst, they that will proportion thee Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were With other edifices, when they see
To see thee in our water yet appear,
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage,
Or influence, chide, or cheer the drooping stage, To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy name,
Which since thy flight from hence hath mourned liko Am I thus ample to thy book and fame ;
night, While I confess thy writings to be such
And despairs day, but for thy volume's light!
On the Portrait of Shakspeare.
(Under the frontispiece to the first edition of his works: 1023] Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;
This figure that thou here seest put, Or blind atfection, which doth ne'er advance
It was for gentle Shakspeare cut, The truth, but gropes, and urges all by chance ;
Wherein the graver bad a strife Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
With nature, to outdo the life : And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise.
O could he but have drawn his wit, But thou art proof against them, and, indeed,
As well in brass, as he hath hit Above the ill fortune of them, or the need.
His face; the print would then surpass I therefore will begin : Soul of the age !
All that was ever writ in brass : The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage !
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture but his book.*
Thin attestation of Ben Jonson to the first engraved por Thou art a monument without a tomb,
trait of Shakspeare, seems to prove its fidelity as a likenes.. And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
The portrait corresponds with the monumental effigy at StratAnd we have wits to read, and praise to give
forrl, but both represent a heavy and somewbat inelegant
There is a lanthorn which the Jews,
It weighs my weight downright:
And then 'twas very light.
His elbow and his thumb.
And so away did come.
'Tis Europe's greatest town.
That walk it up and down.
The Place Royal doth excel :
The steeple bears the bell.
The house the Queen did build.
And there the King was killed :
The arsenal nu toy.
0, 'tis a hopeful boy.*
Nor must you think it much : For he with little switch doth play, And make fine dirty pies of clay,
O never king made suck :
Witness those rings and roundelays
Of theirs, which yet remain, Were footed in Queen Mary's' days
On many a grassy plain ; But since of late Elizabeth,
And later, James came in, They never danc'd on any heath
As when the time hath been. By which we note the fairies
'Were of the old profession, Their songs were Ave-Maries,
Their dances were procession : But now, alas ! they all are dead,
Or gone beyond the seas; Or farther for religion fled,
Or else they take their ease. A tell-tale in their company
They never could endure, And whoso kept not secretly
Their mirth, was punish'd sure ; It was a just and Christian deed,
To pinch such black and blue : O how the commonwealth doth need
Such justices as you !
SIR JOHN BEAUMONT-DR HENRY KING. Among the numerous minor poets who flourished, or rather composed, in the reign of James, were SIR John BEAUMONT (1582-1628) and Dr HENRY KING, bishop of Chichester (1591-1669). The former was the elder brother of the celebrated dramatist. Enjoying the family estate of Grace Dieu, in Leicester. shire, Sir John dedicated part of his leisure hours to the service of the Muses. He wrote a poem on Bosworth Field in the heroic couplet, which, though generally cold and unimpassioned, exhibits correct and forcible versification. As a specimen, we subjoin Richard's animated address to his troops on the eve of the decisive battle:
My fellow soldiers ! though your swords
Sir John Beaumont wrote the heroic couplet with great ease and correctness. In a poem to the me. mory of Ferdinando Pulton, Esq., are the following excellent verses :
Why should vain sorrow follow him with tears,
Farewell to the Fairies. Farewell rewards and fairies,
Good housewives now may say, For now foul sluts in dairies
Do fare as well as they. And though they sweep their hearths no less
Than maids were wont to do, Yet who of late, for cleanliness,
Finds sixpence in her shoe ?
The fairies lost command ;
But some have changed your land;
Are now grown Puritans ;
For love of your domains.
You merry were and glad,
These pretty ladies had ;
Or Cis to milking rose,
And nimbly went their toes.
* Louis XIII.
Whose thread exceeds the usual bounds of life, The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
The spring entomb'd in autumn lies;
The dew dries up, the star is shot;
The flight is past—and man forgot.
What is the existence of man's life, Than every little moment whence it springs;
But open war, or slumber'd strife; Unless employ'd in works deserving praise,
Where sickness to his sense presents Must wear out many years and live few days.
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 Let it but slide into the eternal main,
Outvies in rage the boiling flood; No realms, no worlds, can purchase it again :
And each loose passion of the mind Remembrance only niakes the footsteps last,
Is like a furious gust of wind, When winged time, which fixed the prints, is past.
Which beats his bark with many a ware,
Till he casts anchor in the grave. Sir John also wrote an epitaph on his brother, the
It is a flower—which buds, and grows, dramatist, but it is inferior to the following:
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.
Where all the comforts he can share, Among the angels fed with heavenly dew!
As wandering as his fancies are ; We have this sign of joy, that many days,
Till in a mist of dark decay, While on the earth his struggling spirit stays,
The dreamer vanish quite away. The name of Jesus in his mouth contains
It is a dial—which points out His only food, his sleep, his ease from pains.
The sun-set, as it moves about; O may that sound be rooted in my mind,
And shadows out in lines of night Of which in him such strong effect I find !
The subtle stages of Time's flight; Dear Lord, receive my son, whose winning love
Till all-obscuring earth hath laid
His body in perpetual shade.
It is a weary interlude-
Which doth short joys, long woes, include ; In that frail body, which was part of me
The world the stage, the prologue tears, Remain my pledge in heaven, as sent to show
The acts vain hopes and varied fears ; How to this port at every step I go.
The scene shuts up with loss of breath,
And leaves no epilogue but death. Dr Henry King, who was chaplain to James I., and did honour to the church preferment which was
FRANCIS BEAUMONT. bestowed upon him, was best known as a religious poet. His language and imagery are chaste and refined. Of his lighter verse, the following song most conspicuous as a dramatist, in union with that
FRANCIS BEAUMONT (1585-1616), whose name is may suffice :
of Fletcher, wrote a small number of miscellaneous
pieces, which his brother published after his death. Song.
Some of these youthful effusions are witty and Dry those fair, those crystal eyes,
amusing; others possess a lyrical sweetness; and Which, like growing fountains, rise,
a few are grave and moralising. The most celeTo drown their banks: grief's sullen brooks brated is the letter to Ben Jonson, which was oriWould better flow in furrow'd looks;
ginally published at the end of the play “Nice Thy lovely face was never meant
Valour,' with the following title : Mr Francis To be the shore of discontent.
Beaumont's letter to Ben Jonson, written before he
and Master Fletcher came to London, with two of Then clear those waterish stars again,
the precedent comedies then not finished, which deWhich else portend a lasting rain ; Lest the clouds which settle there,
ferred their merry meetings at the Mermaid.' Not
withstanding the admiration of Beaumont for · Rare Prolong my winter all the year,
Ben,' he copied Shakspeare in the style of his dramas. And thy example others make
Fletcher, however, was still more Shakspearian than In love with sorrow for thy sake.
his associate. Hazlitt says finely of the premature
death of Beaumont and his more poetical friendSic Vita.
• The bees were said to have come and built their Like to the falling of a star,
hive in the mouth of Plato when a child ; and the Or as the flights of eagles are ;
fable might be transferred to the sweeter accents of Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Beaumont and Fletcher. Beaumont died at the age Or silver drops of morning dew;
of five-and-twenty (thirty). One of these writers Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
makes Bellario, the page, say to Philaster, who Or bubbles which on water stood :
threatens to take his life Ev'n such is man, whose borrow'd light
"Tis not a life, Is straight callid in, and paid to-night.
'Tis but a piece of childhood thrown away.