Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Love Inconcealable. Who can hide fire? If't be uncover'd, light; If cover'd, smoke betrays it to the sight: Love is that fire, which still some sign affords; If hid, they are sighs; if open, they are words.

A Valediction.
Bid me not go where neither guns nor showers

Do make or cherish;
Where discontented things in sadness lie,

And nature grieves as I;
When I am parted from those eyes
From which my better day doth rise.

Though some propitious power

Should plant me in a bower,
Where, amongst happy lovers, I might see

How showers and sunbeams bring

One everlasting spring; Nor would those fall, nor these shine forth to me.

Nature herself to him is lost,

Who loseth her he honours most.
Then, fairest, to my parting view display

Your graces all in one full day;
Whose blessed shapes I'll snatch and keep, till

when
I do return and view again :
So by this art, fancy shals fortune cross,
And lovers live by thinking on their loss.

To Cupid. Thou, who didst never see the light, Nor know'st the pleasure of the sight, But always blinded, canst not say, Now it is night, or now 'tis day; So captivate her sense, so blind her eye, That still she love me, yet she ne'er know why. Thou who dost wound us with such art, We see no blood drop from the heart, And, subt’ly cruel, leav'st no sign To tell the blow or hand was thine; O gently, gently wound my fair, that she May thence believe the wound did come from

thee!

ROBERT HERRICK.

One of the most exquisite of our early lyrical poets was ROBERT HERRICK, born in Cheapside, London, in 1591. He studied at Cambridge, and having entered into holy orders, was presented by Charles L.,

To Chloe,
Who wished herself young enough for me.
Chloe, why wish you that your years

Would backwards run, till they met mine? That perfect likeness, which endears

Things unto things, might us combine.
Our ages so in date agree,
That twins do differ more than we.
There are two births; the one when light

First strikes the new awakened sense ;
The other when two souls unite ;

And we must count our life from thence : When you lov'd me, and I lov'd you, Then both of us were born anew. Love then to us did new souls give,

And in those souls did plant new pow'rs: Since when another life we live,

The breath we breathe is his, not ours; Love makes those young whom age doth chill, And whom he finds young keeps young still. Love, like that angel that shall call

Our bodies from the silent grave,
Unto one age doth raise us all ;

None too much, none too little have;
Nay, that the difference may be none,
He makes two not alike, but one.
And now since you and I are such,

Tell me what's yours, and what is mine?
Our eyes, our ears, our taste, smell, touch,

Do, like our souls, in one combine ;
So, by this, I as well may be
Too old for you, as you for me.

[graphic][merged small]

The Dream.

I dream'd I saw myself lie dead,

And that my bed my coffin grew, Silence and sleep this strange sight bred,

But, waked, I found I liv'd anew. Looking next morn on your bright face,

Mine eyes bequeath'd mine heart fresh pain ; A dart rush'd in with every grace,

And so I kill'd myself again:
O eyes, what shall distressed lovers do,
If open you can kill, if shut you view i

in 1629, to the vicarage of Dean Prior in Devonshire. After about twenty years' residence in this rural parish, Herrick was ejected from his living by the storms of the civil war, which, as Jeremy Taylor says, dashed the vessel of the church and state all in pieces.' Whatever regret the poet may have felt on being turned adrift on the world, he could have experienced little on parting with his parishioners, for he describes them in much the same way as Crabbe portrayed the natives of Suffolk, among whom he was cast in early life, as a 'wild amphibious race,' rude almost as salvages,' and churlish

as the seas.' Herrick gives us a glimpse of his own Forgive me, God, and blot each line character

Out of my book that is not thine ;

But if, 'mongst all thou findest one
Born I was to meet with age,

Worthy thy benediction,
And to walk life's pilgrimage :

That one of all the rest shall be
Much, I know, of time is spent ;

The glory of my work and me.
Tell I can't what's resident.
Howsoever, cares adieu !

The poet should better have evinced the sincerity
I'll have nought to say to you;

and depth of his contrition, by blotting out the un. But I'll spend my coming hours

baptised rhymes himself, or not reprinting them; Drinking wine and crown'd with flowers. but the vanity of the author probably triumphed

over the penitence of the Christian. Gaiety was the This light and genial temperament would enable the dess fair and free, that did not move happily in

natural element of Herrick. His muse was a godpoet to ride out the storm in composure. About the time that he lost his vicarage, Herrick appears to serious numbers. The time of the poet's death has

not been ascertained, but he must have arrived at a have published his works. His Noble Numbers, or

ripe old age. Pious Pieces, are dated 1647 ; his Hesperides, or the

The poetical works of Herrick lay neglected for “Works both Humane and Divine of Robert Herrick, Esquire,' in 1648. The clerical prefix to his name many years after his death. They are now again in seems now to have been abandoned by the poet, have been set to music, and are sung and quoted by

esteem, especially his shorter lyrics, some of which and there are certainly many pieces in his second all lovers of song. His verses, Cherry Ripe, and volume which would not become one ministering at Gather the Rose-buds while ye may (though the sentithe altar, or belonging to the sacred profession. Herrick lived in Westminster, and was supported ment and many of the expressions of the latter are or assisted by the wealthy royalists. He associated taken from Spenser), possess a delicious mixture of with the jovial spirits of the age. He .quaffed the playful fancy and natural feeling. Those To Blosmighty bowl with Ben Jonson, but could not, he soms, To Daffodils, and To Primroses, have a tinge tells us, thrive in frenzy,' like rare Ben, who seems abound, like all Herrick's poems, in lively imagery

of pathos that wins its way to the heart. They to have excelled all his fellow-compotators in sallies and conceits; but the pensive moral feeling predoof wild wit and high imaginations. The recollec- minates, and we feel that the poet's smiles might as tion of these “brave translunary scenes of the well be tears. Shakspeare and Jonson had scattered poets inspired the muse of Herrick in the following such delicate fancies and snatches of lyrical melody strain :

among their plays and masques-Milton's Comus

and the Arcades had also been published-Carew Ah Ben!

and Suckling were before him-Herrick was, thereSay how or when

fore, not without models of the highest excellence in Shall we, thy guests,

this species of composition. There is, however, in Meet at those lyric feasts

his songs and anacreontics, an unforced gaiety and Made at the Sun,

natural tenderness, that show he wrote chiefly from The Dog, the Triple Tun;

the impulses of his own cheerful and happy nature. Where we such clusters had

The select beauty and picturesqueness of Herrick's As made us nobly wild, not mad !

language, when he is in his happiest vein, is worthy And yet each verse of thine

of his fine conceptions; and his versification is har. Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine.

mony itself. His verses bound and flow like some My Ben !

exquisite lively melody, that echoes nature, by wood Or came again,

and dell, and presents new beauties at every turn Or send to us

and winding. The strain is short, and sometimes Thy wit's great overplus,

fantastic; but the notes long linger in the mind, and But teach us yet

take their place for ever in the memory. One or Wisely to husband it;

two words, such as 'gather the rose-buds,' call up Lest we that talent spend ;

a summer landscape, with youth, beauty, flowers, And having once brought to an end

and music. This is, and ever must be, true poetry. That precious stock, the store Of such a wit, the world should have no more.

To Blossoms.

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree, After the Restoration, Herrick was replaced in his

Why do you fall so fast i Devonshire vicarage. How he was received by the

Your date is not so past, rude salvages' of Dean Prior, or how he felt on

But you may stay yet here a while, quitting the gaieties of the metropolis, to resume his

To blush and gently smile, clerical duties and seclusion, is not recorded. He

And go at last. was now about seventy years of age, and was probably tired of canary sack and tavern jollities. He

What I were ye born to be had an undoubted taste for the pleasures of a country

An hour or half's delight, life, if we may judge from his works, and the fond

And so to bid good-night! ness with which he dwells on old English festivals

'Tis pity nature brought ye forth and rural customs. Though his rhymes were some

Merely to show your worth, times wild, he says his life was chaste, and he re

And lose you quite. pented of his errors :

But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have
For these my unbaptised rhymes,

Their end, though ne'er so brave :
Writ in my wild unhallowed times,

And after they have shown their pride,
For every sentence, clause, and word,

Like you a while, they glide
That's not inlaid with thec, O Lord !

Into the grave.

To Daffodils.
Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon ;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon :

Stay, stay,
Until the hast’ning day

Has run
But to the even-song;
And having pray'd together, we

Will go with you along!
We have short time to stay as you ;
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you or anything :

We die,
As your hours do ; and dry

Away
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning dew

Ne'er to be found again.

Twelfth Night, or King and Queen.
Now, now the mirth comes,

With the cake full of plums,
Where bean's the king of the sport here;

Beside, we must know,

The pea also
Must revel as queen in the court here.

Begin then to choose,

This night, as ye use, Who shall for the present delight here;

Be a king by the lot,

And who shall not Be Twelfth-day queen for the night here.

Which known, let us make

Joy-sops with the cake ;
And let not a man then be scen here,

Who unurged will not drink,

To the base from the brink,
A health to the king and the queen

here. Next crown the bowl full

With gentle lamb's-wool;? Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,

With store of ale, too ;

And thus ye must do
To make the wassail a swinger.

Give them to the king

And queen wassailing;
And though with ale ye be wet here ;

Yet part ye from hence,

As free from offence,
As when ye innocent met here.

[ocr errors]

The Kiss-a Dialogue. 1. Among thy fancies tell me this:

What is the thing we call a kiss | 2. I shall resolve ye what it is :

It is a creature born, and bred
Between the lips, all cherry red;
By love and warm desires fed ;

Chor.-And makes more soft the bridal bed : 2. It is an active flame, that flies

First to the babies of the eyes,
And charms them there with lullabies;

Chor.-And stills the bride too when she cries : 2. Then to the chin, the cheek, the ear,

It frisks, and flies : now here, now there; 'Tis now far off, and then 'tis near;

Chor.And here, and there, and everywhere. 1. Has it a speaking virtue ?—2. Yes. 1. How speaks it, say !-2. Do you but this, Part your join'd lips, then speaks your kiss ;

Chor.–And this love's sweetest language is. 1. Has it a body ?-2. Ay, and wings,

With thousand rare encolourings ;
And as it flies, it gently sings,

Chor.-Love honey yields, but never stings.

The Country Life. Sweet country life, to such unknown, Whose lives are others', not their own! But, serving courts and cities, be Less happy, less enjoying thee. Thou nerer plough'd the ocean's foam, To seek and bring rough pepper home ; Nor to the eastern Ind dost rove, To bring from thence the scorched clove ; Nor, with the loss of thy lov'd rest, Bring'st home the ingot from the west. No; thy ambition's master-piece Flies no thought higher than a fleece ; Or how to pay thy hinds,3 and, clear All scores, and so to end the year ; But walk'st about thy own dear grounds, Not craving others' larger bounds ; For well thou know'st 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life, but sweet content. When now the cock, the ploughman's horn, Calls for the lily-wristed morn, Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go, Which, though well soil’d, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet and hands. There, at the plough, thou find’st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them; And cheer'st them up by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough. This done, then to th' enamelled meads Thou go'st; and, as thy foot there treads, Thou seest a present godlike power Imprinted in each herb and flower; 1 Amongst the sports proper to Twelfth Night in England was the partition of a cake with a bean and pea in it: the individuals who got the bean and pea were respectively king and queen for the evening.

% A drink of warm ale, with roasted apples and spices in its The term is a corruption from the Celtic. 3 Farm labourers. The term is still used in Scotland.

To the Virgins, to make much of their Time. Gather the rose-buds, while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying, And this same flower that smiles to-day,

To-morrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,

The higher he's a getting,
The sooner will his race be run,

And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,

When youth and blood are warmer ; But, being spent, the worse, and worst

Time shall succeed the former.
Then he not coy, but use your time,

And while ye may, go marry ;
For, having lost but once your prime,

You may for ever tarry.

And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine,
Sweet as the blossoms of the vine.
Here thou behold'st thy large, sleek neat,1
Unto the dewlaps up in meat ;
And, as thou look'st, the wanton steer,
The heifer, cow, and ox, draw near,
To make a pleasing pastime there.
These seen, thou go'st to view thy flocks
Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox ;
And find’st their bellies there as full
Of short sweet grass, as backs with wool;
And leav'st them, as they feed and fill,
A shepherd piping on the hill.
For sports, for pageantry, and plays,
Thou hast thy eves and holy-days,
On which the young men and maids meet
To exercise their dancing feet ;
Tripping the comely country round,
With datfodils and daisies crowned.
Thy wakes, thy quintels, here thou hast,
Thy May-poles, too, with garland's graced ;
Thy morris-dance, thy Whitsun ale,
Thy shearing feast, which never fail;
Thy harvest-home, thy wassail-bowl,
That's tost up after fox i' th' hole;
Thy mummeries, thy twelfth-night kings
And queens, thy Christmas revellings;
Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit,
And no man pays too dear for it.
To these thou hast thy time to go,
And trace the hare in the treacherous snow :
Thy witty wiles to draw, and get
The lark into the trammel net ;
Thou hast thy cock rood, and thy glade,
To take the precious pheasant made ;
Thy lime-twigs, snares, and pitfalls, then,
To catch the pilfering birds, not men.
O happy life, if that their good
The husbandmen but understood !
Who all the day themselves do please,
And younglings, with such sports as these ;
And, lying down, have nought t'affright
Sweet sleep, that makes more short the night.

Julia.
Some asked me where the rubies grew,

And nothing did I say,
But with my finger pointed to

The lips of Julia.
Some asked how pearls did grow, and where,

Then spake I to my girl,
To part her lips, and show me there

The quarelets of pearl.
One ask'd me where the roses grew,

I bade him not go seek ;
But forthwith bade my Julia show

A bud in either cheek.

The Bag of the Bee.
About the sweet bag of a bee,

Two Cupids fell at odds;
And whose the pretty prize should be,

They vowed to ask the gods.
Which Venus hearing, thither came,

And for their bolduess stript them ; And taking thence from each his flame,

With rods of myrtle whipt them. Which done, to still their wanton cries,

When quiet grown sh' ad seen them, She kiss'd and wiped their dove-like eyes,

And gave the bag between them.

Upon a Child that Died.
Here she lies, a pretty bud,
Lately made of flesh and blood,
Who as soon fell fast asleep,
As her little eyes did peep.
Give her strewings, but not stir
The earth that lightly covers her!

Epitaph upon a Child.
Virgins promis'd, when I died,
That they would, each primrose-tide,
Duly morn and evening come,
And with flowers dress my tomb :
Having promis'd, pay your debts,
Maids, and here strew violets.

À Thanksgiving for his House.
Lord, Thou hast given me a cell,

Wherein to dwell;
A little house, whose humble roof

Is weatherproof;
Under the spars of which I lie

Both soft and dry.
Where Thou, my chamber for to ward,

Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep

Me while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate,

Both void of state ;
And yet the threshold of my door

Is worn by the poor,
Who hither come, and freely get

Good words or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall,

And kitchen small;
A little buttery, and therein

A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread

Unchipt, unflead.
Some brittle sticks of thorn or brier

Make me a fire,
Close by whose living coal I sit,

And glow like it.
Lord, I confess, too,

when I dine,
The pulse is Thine,
And all those other bits that be

There placed by Thee.
The worts, the purslain, and the mess

Of water cress,
Which of Thy kindness Thou hast sent :

And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,

To be more sweet.
Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth

With guiltless mirth ;
And givist me wassail bowls to drink,
Spiced to the brink.

[blocks in formation]

Lord, 'tis thy plenty-dropping hand
That sows my land :

Cherry Ripe.
All this, and better, dost Thou send

Cherry ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,
Me for this end :

Full and fair ones—come and buy;
That I should render for my part

If so be you ask me where
A thankful heart,

They do grow?-I answer, There,
Which, fir'd with incense, I resign

Where my Julia's lips do smile
As wholly thine :

There's the land, or cherry-isle;
But the acceptance that must be,

Whose plantations fully show
O Lord, by Thee.

All the year where cherries grow.
Po Primroses, filled with Morning Dew.

To Corinna, to go a Maying.
Why do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears
Speak grief in you,

Get up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
Who were but born

Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
Just as the modest morn

See how Aurora throws her fair Teem'd her refreshing dew!

Fresh-quilted colours through the air ;
Alas ! you have not known that shower

Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
That mars a flower,

The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Nor felt the unkind

Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east, Breath of a blasting wind ;

Above an hour since, yet you are not drest,
Nor are ye worn with years,

Nay, not so much as out of bed ;
Or warp'd as we,

When all the birds have matins said,
Who think it strange to see

And sung their thankful hymns: 'tis sin, Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,

Nay, profanation, to keep in, Speaking by tears before ye have a tongue.

When as a thousand virgins on this day,

Spring sooner than the lark to fetch in May.
Speak, whimp'ring younglings, and make known
The reason why

Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seen
Ye droop and weep ;

To come forth, like the spring time, fresh and green, Is it for want of sleep,

And sweet as Flora. Take no care Or childish lullaby?

For jewels for your gown or hair ;
Or that ye have not seen as yet

Fear not, the leaves will strew
The violet ?

Gems in abundance upon you ;.
Or brought a kiss

Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
From that sweet heart to this !

Against you come, some orient pearls unwept.
No, no ; this sorrow shown

Come, and receive them while the light
By your tears shed,

Hangs on the dew-locks of the night :
Would have this lecture read

And Titan on the eastern hill That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,

Retires himself, or else stands still
Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.' Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying ;

Few beads are best, when once we go a Maying.
Delight in Disorder.

Come, my Corinna, come ; and, coming, mark
A sweet disorder in the dress,

How each field turns a street, each street a park [A happy kind of carelessness ;]

Made green, and trimm'd with trees ; see how A lawn about the shoulders thrown

Devotion gives each house a bough, Into a fine distraction ;

Or branch ; each porch, each door, ere this, An erring lace, which here and there

An ark, a tabernacle is, Enthralls the crimson stomacher ;

Made up of white thorn neatly interwove ; A cuff neglectful, and thereby

As if here were those cooler shades of love. Ribands that flow confusedly ;

Can such delights be in the street, A winning wave, deserving note

And open fields, and we not see't ? In the tempestuous petticoat ;

Come, we'll abroad, and let's obey A careless shoe-string, in whose tie

The proclamation made for May: I see a wild civility;

And sin no more, as we have done, by staying, Do more bewitch me, than when art

But, my Corinna, come, let's go a Maying.
Is too precise in every part.

There's not a budding boy or girl, this day,
To find God.

But is got up, and gone to bring in May.

A deal of youth, ere this, is come Weigh me the fire ; or canst thou find

Back, and with white thorn laden home. A way to measure out the wind;

Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream Distinguish all those floods that are

Before that we have left to dream ; Mixt in that watery theatre,

And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth, And taste thou them as saltless there,

And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth : As in their channel first they were.

Many a green gown has been given ; Tell me the people that do keep

Many a kiss, both odd and even ; Within the kingdoms of the deep ;

Many a glance, too, has been sent Or fetch me back that cloud again,

From out the eye, love's firmament ; Beshiver'd into seeds of rain.

Many a jest told of the key's betraying Tell me the motes, dusts, sands, and spears This night, and locks pick'd ; yet ware not a Maying. Of com, when summer shakes his ears ; Show me that world of stars, and whence

1 Herrick here alludes to the multitudes which were to be They noiseless spill their influence :

seen roaming in the fields on May morning; he afterwards reThis if thou canst, then show me Him

fers to the appearance of the towns and villages bedecked with That rides the glorious cherubim.

evergreens

« ZurückWeiter »