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Over her hung a canopy of state,
High over all, Panglorie's blazing throne, Not of rich tissue nor of spangled gold,
In her bright turret, all of crystal wrought, But of a substance, though not animate,
Like Phæbus' lamp, in midst of heaven, shone: Yet of a heavenly and spiritual mould,
Whose starry top, with pride infernal fraught, That only eyes of spirits might behold :
Self-arching columns to uphold were taught,
In which her image still reflected was
A silver wand the sorceress did sway, [The Sorceress of Vain Delight.]
And, for a crown of gold, her hair she wore;
Only a garland of rose-buds did play (From the same.)
About her locks, and in her hand she bore
A hollow globe of glass, that long before The garden like a lady fair was cut,
She full of emptiness had bladdered, That lay as if she slumber'd in delight,
And all the world therein depictured :
Whose colours, like the rainbow, ever vanished.
The swimming world, which tenderly they row
But if they chance but roughly once aspire,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall.
And sung this wooing song to welcome him withal :
Love is the blossom where there blows
Everything that lives or grows : Then up again her yellow locks she wound,
Love doth make the heavens to move, And with green fillets in their pretty cauls them bound.
And the sun doth burn in love ; What should I here depaint her lily hand,
Like the strong and weak doth yoke, Her veins of violets, her ermine breast,
And makes the ivy climb the oak ; Which there in orient colours living stand :
Under whose shadows lions wild Or how her gown with silken leaves is drest,
Soften'd by love grow tame and mild:
Lore no medicine can appease, Or how her watchman, arm'd with boughy crest,
He burns the fishes in the seas; A wall of prim hid in his bushes bears
Not all the skill his wounds can stench, Shaking at every wind their leafy spears,
Not all the sea his fire can quench ; While she supinely sleeps, nor to be waked fears.
Love did make the bloody spear Over the hedge depends the graping elm,
Once a leafy coat to wear, Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine,
While in his leaves there shrouded lay Seemed to wonder at his bloody helm,
Sweet birds, for love, that sing and play : And half suspect the bunches of the vine,
And of all love's joyful flame Lest they, perhaps, his wit should undermine ;
I the bud and blossom am. For well he knew such fruit he never bore :
Only bend thy knee to me, But her weak arms embraced him the more,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be. And she with ruby grapes laugh'd at her paramour.
"See, see, the Rowers that below
Now as fresh as morning blow,
That as bright Aurora shows :
Like unto a suinmer shade,
But now born and now they fade. Their stony nightingales had taught to call,
Everything doth pass away, When Zephyr breath'd into their watery interall. There is danger in delay;
Come, come, gather then the rose, And all about, embayed in soft sleep,
Gather it, or it you lose. A herd of charmed beasts aground were spread,
All the sands of Tagus' shore Which the fair witch in golden chains did keep,
Into my bosomn casts his ore : And them in willing bondage fettered :
All the valleys' swimming corn Once men they liv’d, but now the men were dead,
To my house is yearly borne ; And turn'd to beasts ; so fabled Homer old,
Every grape of every vine That Circe with her potion, charm'd in gold,
Is gladly bruis'd to make me wine; Used manly souls in beastly bodies to immould.
While ten thousand kings as proud
To carry up my train have bow'd, Through this false Eden, to his leman's bower,
And a world of ladies send me (Whom thousand souls devoutly idolise)
In my chambers to attend me; Our first destroyer led our Saviour;
All the stars in heaven that shine, There, in the lower room, in solemn wise,
And ten thousand more are mine : They danc'd a round and pour'd their sacrifice
Only bend thy knee to me,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be.'
Thus sought the dire enchantress in his inind
thrown into prison. He published various treatises, Her guileful bait to have embosomed :
satires, and poems, during this period, though he was But he her charms dispersed into wind,
treated with great rigour. He was released, under And her of insolence admonished,
bond for good behaviour, in 1663, and survived And all her optic glasses shattered.
nearly four years afterwards, dying in London on So with her sire to hell she took her flight
the 2d of May 1667. (The starting air flew from the damned sprite), Wither's fame as a poet is derived chiefly from his Where deeply both aggriev'd plunged themselves in early productions, written before he had imbibed the night.
sectarian gloom of the Puritans, or become emBut to their Lord, now musing in his thought, broiled in the struggles of the civil war. A colA heavenly volley of light angels flew,
lection of his poems was published by himself in And from his father him a banquet brought
1622, with the title, Mistress of Philarete ; his ShepThrough the fine element, for well they knew, herds' Hunting, being certain Eclogues written After his Lenten fast, he hungry grew :
during the time of the author's imprisonment in the And as he fed, the holy choirs combine
Marshalsea, appeared in 1633. His Collection of To sing a hymn of the celestial Trine;
Emblems, ancient and modern, Quickened with Me. All thought to pass, and each was past all thought trical Illustrations, made their appearance in 1635. divine.
His satirical and controversial works were nume
rous, but are now forgotten. Some authors of our The birds' sweet notes, to sonnet out their joys,
own day (Mr Southey in particular) have helped Attemper'd to the lays angelical ; And to the birds the winds attune their noise ;
to popularise Wither, by frequent quotation and And to the winds the waters hoarsely call,
eulogy; but Mr Ellis, in his Specimens of Early EngAnd echo back again revoiced all ;
lish Poets, was the first to point out that playful That the whole valley rung with victory.
fancy, pure taste, and artless delicacy of sentiment,
which distinguish the poetry of his early youth.' But now our Lord to rest doth homewards fly : See how the night comes stealing from the mountains His poem on Christmas affords a lively picture of high.
the manners of the times. His Address to Poetry, the sole yet cheering companion of his prison solitude, is worthy of the theme, and superior to most
of the effusions of that period. The pleasure with GEORGE WITHER (1588_1667) was a voluminous which he recounts the various charms and the author, in the midst of disasters and sufferings that divine skill’of his Muse, that had derived nourishwould have damped the spirit of any but the most ment and delight from the meanest objects' of exadventurous and untiring enthusiast. Some of his ternal nature--a daisy, a bush, or a tree; and which, happiest strains were composed in prison: his when these picturesque and beloved scenes of the limbs were incarcerated within stone walls and iron country were denied him, could gladden even the bars, but his fancy was among the hills and plains, vaults and shades of a prison, is one of the richest with shepherds hunting, or loitering with Poesy, by offerings that has yet been made to the pure and rustling bouglis and murmuring springs. There is hallowed shrine of poesy. The superiority of in a freshness and natural vivacity in the poetry of tellectual pursuits over the gratifications of sense, Wither, that render his early works a 'perpetual and all the malice of fortune, has never been more feast.' We cannot say that it is a feast where no touchingly or finely illustrated. crude surfeit reigns' for he is often harsh, obscure, and affected; but he has an endless diversity of style and subjects, and true poetical feeling and ex
[The Companionship of the Muse.] pression. Wither was a native of Hampshire, and received his education at Magdalen College,
[From the Shepherds' Hunting.] Oxford. He first appeared as an author in the year See'st thou not, in clearest days, 1613, when he published a satire, entitled Abuses
Oft thick fogs cloud heaven's rays; Stript and Whipt. For this he was thrown into the
And the vapours that do breathe Marshalsea, where he composed his fine poem, The From the earth's gross womb beneath, Shepherds' Hunting. When the abuses satirised by
Seem they not with their black steamg the poet had accumulated and brought on the civil
To pollute the sun's bright beams, war, Wither took the popular side, and sold his
And yet vanish into air, paternal estate to raise a troop of horse for the par.
Leaving it, unblemish'd, fair ? liament. He rose to the rank of a major, and in
So, my Willy, shall it be 1642 was made governor of Farnham Castle, after
With Detraction's breath and thee: wards held by Denham. Wither was accused of
It shall never rise so high, deserting his appointment, and the castle was ceded
As to stain thy poesy. the same year to Sir William Waller. During the
As that sun doth oft exhale struggles of that period, the poet was made prisoner Vapours from each rotten vale; by the royalists, and stood in danger of capital
Poesy so sometime drains punishment, when Denham interfered for his brother Gross conceits from muddy brains; bard, alleging, that as long as Wither lived, he (Den- Mists of envy, fogs of spite, ham) would not be considered the worst poet in 'Twixt men's judgments and her light: England. The joke was a good one, if it saved But so much her power may do, Wither's life; but George was not frightened from That she can dissolve them too. the perilous contentions of the times. He was after- If thy verse do bravely tower, wards one of Cromwell's majors general, and kept As she makes wing she gets power ; watch and ward over the royalists of Surrey. From Yet the higher she doth soar, the sequestrated estates of these gentlemen, Wither She's affronted still the more: obtained a considerable fortune; but the Restoration Till she to the high’st hath past, came, and he was stript of all his possessions. He Then she rests with fame at last; remonstrated loudly and angrily; his remonstrances Let nought therefore thee attright, were voted libels, and the unlucky poet was again But make forward in thy flight;
Therefore, thou best earthly bliss,
Sonnet upon a Stolen Kiss. Now gentle sleep hath 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,
For, if I could match thy rhyme, To the very stars I'd climb; There begin again, and fly Till I reach'd eternity. But, alas ! my muse is slow; For thy page she flags too low: Yea, the more's her hapless fate, Her short wings were clipt of late: And poor I, her fortune rueing, Am myself put up a mewing: But if I my cage can rid, I'll fly where I never did : And though for her sake I'm crost, Though my best hopes I have lost, And knew she would make my trouble Ten times more than ten times double : I should love and keep her too, Spite of all the world could do. For, though banish'd from my flocks, And confin'd within these rocks, Here I waste away the light, And consume the sullen night, She doth for my comfort stay, And keeps many cares away. Though I miss the flowery fields, With those sweets the springtide yields, Though I may not see those groves, Where the shepherds chant their loves, And the lasses more excel Than the sweet-voiced Philomel. Though of all those pleasures past, Nothing now remains at last, But Remembrance, poor relief, That more makes than mends my grief : She's my mind's companion still, Maugre Envy's evil will. (Whence she would be driven, too, Were't in mortal's power to do.) She doth tell me where to borrow Comfort in the midst of sorrow : Makes the desolatest place To her presence be a grace ; And the blackest discontents Be her fairest ornaments. In my former days of bliss, Her divine skill taught me this, That from everything I saw, I could some invention draw: And raise pleasure to her height, Through the meanest object's sight, By the murmur of a spring, Or the least bough's rustlöing. By a daisy, whose leaves spread, Shut when Titan goes to bed ; Or a shady bush or tree, She could more infuse in me, Than all Nature's beauties can In some other wiser man. By her help I also now Make this churlish place allow Some things that may sweeten gladness, In the very gall of sadness. The dull loneness, the black shade, That these hanging vaults have made; The strange music of the waves, Beating on these hollow caves ; This black den which rocks emboss, Overgrown with eldest moss : The rude portals that give light More to terror than delight: This my chamber of neglect, Wall'd about with disrespect. From all these, and this dull air, A fit object for despair, She bath taught me by her might To draw comfort and delight.
The Stedfast Shepherd. Hence away, thou Syren, leave me,
Pish! unclasp these wanton arms; Sugar'd words can ne'er deceive me, (Though thou prove a thousand chorms).
Fie, fie, forbear;
No common spare
Thy painted baits,
And poor deceits,
Neither shall that snowy breast,
Go, go, display
Thy beauty's ray
Those common wiles,
Of sighs and smiles,
Turn away thy tempting eye:
My spirit loathes
Where gaudy clothes
I love her so
Whose look swears no,
Which on every breast are worn ;
I can go rest
That is the pride of Cynthia's train ;
Then stay thy tongue ;
Thy mermaid song
Where each peasant mates with him : Shall I haunt the thronged valleys, Whilst there's noble hills to climb ?
No, no, though clowns
Are scar'd with frowns,
And those I'll prove,
So will thy love
Where each lustful lad may woo ;
She, she, it is
Affords that bliss,
But such as you,
Fond fools, adieu, You seek to captive me in vain. Leave me, then, thou Syren, leave me;
Seek no more to work my harins ; Crafty wiles cannot deceive me, Who am proof against your charms :
You labour may
To lead astray The heart, that constant shall remain ;
And I the while
Will sit and smile
Madrigal. Amaryllis I did woo, And I courted Phillis too; Daphne for her love I chose, Chloris, for that damask rose In her cheek, I held so dear, Yea, a thousand lik'd well near ; And, in love with all together, Feared the enjoying either : 'Cause to be of one possess'd, Barr'd the hope of all the rest.
Rank misers now do sparing shun;
Their hall of music soundeth ; And dogs thence with whole shoulders run,
So all things there aboundeth. The country folks, themselves advance, With crowdy-muttons out of France; And Jack shall pipe and Gill shall dance,
And all the town be merry.
And all his best apparel ;
With dropping of the barrel.
And all the day be merry.
With capons make their errants ; And if they hap to fail of these,
They plague them with their warrants : But now they feed them with good cheer, And what they want they take in beer, For Christmas comes but once a year,
And then they shall be merry.
The poor, that else were undone ;
On lust and pride at London.
And therefore let's be merry. The client now his suit forbears,
The prisoner's heart is eased ;
And for the time is pleased.
And therefore let's be merry.
Each other forth to rambling;
For nuts and apples scrambling.
And there they will be merry.
About the streets are singing;
The wild mare in is bringing.
And here they will be merry.
And mate with every body ;
And wise men play the noddy.
Because they will be merry.
Should we, I pray, be duller ?
To make our mirth the fuller : And, while we thus inspired sing, Let all the streets with echoes ring; Woods and hills, and everything, Bear witness we are merry.
Let every man be jolly ;
And every post with holly.
And let us all be merry. Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning; Their ovens they with baked meat choke,
And all their spits are turning.
And evermore be merry.
And no man minds his labour;
A bagpipe and a tabor ; Young men and maids, and girls and boys, Give life to one another's joys; And you anon shall by their noise
Perceive that they are merry.
name of Philarete in a pastoral poem; and Milton is
supposed to have copied his plan in Lycidas. There WILLIAM BROWNE (1590-1645) was a pastoral is also a faint similarity in some of the sentiments and descriptive poet, who, like Phineas and Giles and images. Browne has a very fine illustration of a Fletcher, adopted Spenser for his model. He was a native of Tavistock, in Devonshire, and the beautiful scenery of his native county seems to have inspired
Look, as a sweet rose fairly budding forth his early strains. His descriptions are vivid and
Betrays her beauties to th' enamour'd morn, true to nature. Browne was tutor to the Earl of
Until some keen blast from the envious north Carnarvon, and on the death of the latter at the
Kills the sweet bud that was but newly born ; battle of Newbury in 1643, he received the patron
Or else her rarest smells, delighting, age and lived in the family of the Earl of Pembroke.
Make herself betray In this situation he realised a competency, and,
Some white and curious hand, inviting
To pluck her thence away. according to Wood, purchased an estate. He died at Ottery-St-Mary (the birth-place of Coleridge) in 1645. Browne's works consist of Britannia's Pastorals, the first part of which was published in 1613,
(A Descriptive Sketch.] the second part in 1616. He wrote, also, a pastoral o what a rapture have I gotten now! poem of inferior merit, entitled, The Shepherd's Pipe. That age of gold, this of the lovely brow, In 1620, a masque by Browne was produced at
Have drawn me from my song! I onward run court, called The Inner Temple Masque; but it was not printed till a hundred and twenty years after (Clean from the end to which I first begun), the author's death, transcribed from a manuscript In whom the virtues and the graces rest,
ye, the heavenly creatures of the West, in the Bodleian Library. As all the poems of Pardon ! that I have run astray so long, Browne were produced before he was thirty years of And grow so tedious in so rude a song. age, and the best when he was little more than If you yourselves should come to add one grace twenty, we need not be surprised at their containing Unto a pleasant grove or such like place, marks of juvenility, and frequent traces of resem- Where, here, the curious cutting of a hedge, blance to previous poets, especially Spenser, whom There in a pond, the trimming of the sedge ; he warmly admired. His pastorals obtained the Here the fine setting of well-shaded trees, approbation of Selden, Drayton, Wither, and Ben The walks there mounting up by small degrees, Jonson. Britannia's Pastorals are written in the The gravel and the green so equal lie, heroic couplet, and contain much beautiful descrip- It, with the rest, draws on your ling’ring eye: tive poetry. Browne had great facility of expression, Here the sweet smells that do perfume the air, and an intimate acquaintance with the phenomena Arising from the infinite repair of inanimate nature, and the characteristic features Of odoriferous buds, and herbs of price, of the English landscape. Why he has failed in (As if it were another paradise), maintaining his ground among his contemporaries, so please the smelling sense, that must be attributed to the want of vigour and con- Where last you walk'd to turn and walk again. densation in his works, and the almost total absence There the small birds with their harmonious notes of human interest. Ilis shepherds and shepherdesses Sing to a spring that smileth as she floats : have nearly as little character as the silly sheep' For in her face a many dimples show, they tend ; whilst pure description, that takes the And often skips as it did dancing go: place of sense, can never permanently interest any Here further down an over-arched alley sarge number of readers. So completely had some That from a hill goes winding in a valley, of the poems of Browne vanished from the public You spy at end thereof a standing lake, view and recollection, that, had it not been for a Where some ingenious artist strives to make single copy of them possessed by the Rev. Thomas The water (brought in turning pipes of lead Warton, and which that poetical student and anti-Through birds of earth most lively fashioned) quary lent to be transcribed, it is supposed there To counterfeit and mock the sylvans all would have remained little of those works which In singing well their own set madrigal. their author fondly hoped would
This with no small delight retains your ear,
And makes you think none blest but who live there Keep his name enroll'd past his that shines
Then in another place the fruits that be In gilded marble, or in brazen leaves.
In gallant clusters decking each good tree, Warton cites the following lines of Browne, as con
Invite your hand to crop them from the stem, taining an assemblage of the same images as the And liking one, taste every sort of them : morning picture in the L'Allegro of Milton :
Then to the arbours walk, then to the bowers,
Thence to the walks again, thence to the flowers, By this had chanticleer, the viilage cock,
Then to the birds, and to the clear spring thence,
I oft have sat on Thames' sweet bank, to hear
My friend with his sweet touch to charın mine car: Began to leap and catch the drowned fly,
When he hath play'd (as well he can) some strain, I rose froin rest, not infelicity.
That likes me, straight I ask the same again,
And he, as gladly granting, strikes it o'er Browne celebrated the death of a friend under the l With some sweet relish was forgot before :
you are fain