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Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
tiousness of the cavaliers. That Lovelace knew how And take the harmless folly of the time.
to appreciate true taste and nature, may be seen from We shall grow old apace, and die
his lines on Lely's portrait of Charles I :-
See, what an humble bravery doth shine,
And grief triumphant breaking through each line, And as a vapour, or a drop of rain
How it commands the face! So sweet a scorn Once lost, can ne'er be found again ;
Never did happy misery adorn!
So sacred a contempt that others show
To this (o' the height of all the wheel) below;
That mightiest monarchs by this shaded book Lies drown'd with us in endless night.
May copy out their proudest, richest look. Then, while time serves, and we are but decaying, Lord Byron has been censured for a line in his Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a Maying. Bride of Abydos, in which he says of his heroine
The mind, the music breathing from her face. RICHARD LOVELACE.
The noble poet vindicates the expression on the Of the same class as Herrick, less buoyant or broad ground of its truth and appositeness. He vigorous in natural power, and much less fortunate does not seem to have been aware (as was pointed in his destiny, was RICHARD LOVELACE (1618–1658) out by Sir Egerton Brydges) that Lovelace first emThis cavalier poet was well descended, being the son ployed the same illustration, in a song of Orpheus, of Sir William Lovelace, knight. He was educated lamenting the death of his wife :at Oxford, and afterwards presented at court. An
Oh, could you view the melody thony Wood describes him at the age of sixteen, as
Of every grace, the most amiable and beautiful person that eye ever
And music of her face, beheld ; a person also of innate modesty, virtue, and
You'd drop a tear ; courtly deportment, which made him then, but espe
Seeing more harmony cially after, when he retired to the great city, much
In her bright eye admired and adored by the female sex.' Thus per
Than now you hear. sonally distinguished, and a royalist in principle, Lovelace was chosen by the county of Kent to deliver
Song. a petition to the House of Commons, praying that the king might be restored to his rights, and the govern- Why should you swear I am forswom, ment settled. The Long Parliament was then in the Since thine I vow'd to be ? ascendant, and Lovelace was thrown into prison for
Lady, it is already morn, his boldness. He was liberated on heavy bail, but And 'twas last night I swore to thee spent his fortune in fruitless efforts to succour the
That fond impossibility. royal cause. He afterwards served in the French Have I not lov'd thee much and long, army, and was wounded at Dunkirk. Returning in A tedious twelve hours' space ? 1648, he was again imprisoned. To beguile the time I must all other beauties wrong, of his confinement, he collected his poems, and And rob thee of a new embrace, published them in 1649, under the title of Lucasta : Could I still dote upon thy face. Odes, Sonnets, Songs, &c. &c. The general title was given them on account of the ‘lady of his love,' Miss
Not but all joy in thy brown hair Lucy Sacheverell, whom he usually called Lux Casta.
By others may be found;
But I must search the black and fair, This was an unfortunate attachment; for the lady,
Like skilful mineralists that sound hearing that Lovelace died of his wounds at Dunkirk, married another person. From this time the
For treasure in unplough’d-up ground. course of the poet was downward. The ascendant Then, if when I have lov'd my round, party did, indeed, release his person, when the death Thou prov'st the pleasant she ; of the king had left them the less to fear from their With spoils of meaner beauties crown'd, opponents; but Lovelace was now penniless, and the I laden will return to thee, reputation of a broken cavalier was no passport to Even sated with variety. better circumstances. It appears that, oppressed with want and melancholy, the gallant Lovelace fell into a
The Rose. 'consumption. Wood relates that he became very poor in body and purse, was the object of charity,
Sweet, serene, sky-like flower,
Haste to adorn her bower : went in ragged clothes, and mostly lodged in obscure and dirty places,' in one of which, situated in a miser
From thy long cloudy bed able alley near Shoe Lane, he died in 1658. What a
Shoot forth thy damask head. contrast to the gay and splendid scenes of his youth!
Vermilion ball that's given Aubrey confirms the statement of Wood as to From lip to lip in heaven ; the reverse of fortune; but recent inquiries have
Love's couch's coverlid; rather tended to throw discredit on those pictures of Haste, haste, to make her bed. the extreme misery of the poet. Destitute, however,
See ! rosy is her bower, he no doubt was, fallen from his high estate;' Her floor is all thy flower ; though not perhaps so low as to die an example of Her bed a rosy nest, abject poverty and misery. The poetry of Love
By a bed of roses prest. lace, like his life, was very unequal. There is a spirit and nobleness in some of his verses and sentiments,
Song. that charms the reader, as much as his gallant bearing and fine person captivated the fair. In general, Amarantha, sweet and fair, however, they are affected, obscure, and harsh. His Oh, braid no more that shining hair ! taste was perverted by the fashion of the day-the Let it fly, as unconfin'd, affected wit, ridiculous gallantry, and boasted licen- As its calm ravisher, the wind ;
Who hath left his darling, th' east,
but Randolph fell into intemperate habits, and the To wanton o'er that spicy nest.
fine promise of his genius was destroyed by his death Every tress must be confest, But neatly tangled, at the best ; Like a clue of golden thread Most excellently ravelled. Do not, then, wind up that light In ribands, and o'ercloud in night, Like the sun's in early ray ; But shake your head, and scatter day !
To Lucasta, on going to the Wars. Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
To war and arms I fly.
The first foe in the field ;
A sword, a horse, a shield.
As you, too, shall adore ; I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Lord I not honour more.
Birthplace of Randolph. at the age of twenty-nine. A monument was erected to his memory by Sir Christopher Hatton.
To My Picture. When age hath made me what I am not now, And every wrinkle tells me where the plough Of Time hath furrow'd, when an ice shall flow Through every vein, and all my head be snow; When Death displays his coldness in my cheek, And I, myself, in my own picture seek, Not finding what I am, but what I was; In doubt which to believe, this or my glass ; Yet though I alter, this remains the same As it was drawn, retains the primitive frame, And first complexion; here will still be seen, Blood on the cheek, and down upon the chin : Here the smooth brow will stay, the lively eye, The ruddy lip, and hair of youthful dye. Behold what frailty we in man may see, Whose shadow is less given to change than he.
To Althea, from Prison. When love with unconfined wings
Hovers within my gates, And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at my grates ;
And fetter'd with her eye,
Know no such liberty.
With no allaying Thames, Our careless heads with roses crown'd,
Our hearts with loyal flames ; When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
When healths and draughts go free, Fishes that tipple in the deep,
Know no such liberty. When, linnet-like confined, I
With shriller note shall sing
And glories of my king ;
He is, how great should be,
Know no such liberty.
Nor iron bars a cage ;
That for an hermitage :
And in my soul am free ;
Enjoy such liberty.
To a Lady admiring herself in a Looking-glass.
Fair lady, when you see the grace
THOMAS RANDOLPH. Thomas RANDOLPH (1605-1634) published a collection of miscellaneous poems, in addition to five dramatic pieces. He was born at Newnham, near Daventry, in Northamptonshire, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was early distinguished for his talents, which procured him the friendship of Ben Jonson, and the other wits of the day. Ben enrolled him among his adopted sons;
Now you have what to love, you'll say, he distinguished himself so much in the cause of
the royalists, that he was knighted for his skill and My face, sweet heart, if it please thee; bravery. On the decline of the king's affairs, he That which you can, I cannot see :
returned to France, and wrote part of his Gondibert. So either love shall gain his due,
His next step was to sail for Virginia as a colonial Yours, sweet, in me, and mine in you. projector; but the vessel was captured by one of the
parliamentary ships of war, and Davenant was lodged
in prison at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight. In 1650, SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT.
he was removed to the Tower, Preparatory to his SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT, whose life occupies an being tried by the High Commission Court. His important space in the history of the stage, preced-life was considered in danger, but he was released ing and after the Restoration, wrote a heroic poem after two years' imprisonment. Milton is said to entitled Gondibert, and some copies of miscellaneous have interposed in his behalf; and as Davenant is verses. Davenant was born in 1605, and was the reported to have interfered in favour of Milton when
the royalists were again in the ascendant, after the Restoration, we would gladly believe the statement to be true. Such incidents give a peculiar grace and relief to the sternness and bitterness of party conAlicts. •At Talavera, the English and French troops for a moment suspended their conflict, to drink of a stream which flowed between them. The shells were passed across, from enemy to enemy, without apprehension or molestation. We, in the same manner, would rather assist political adversaries to drink of that fountain of intellectual pleasure, which should be the common refreshment of both parties, than disturb and pollute it with the havoc of unseasonable hostilities.'* Milton and Davenant must have felt in this manner, when they waived their political differences in honour of genius and poesy. When the author of Gondibert obtained his enlarge-ment, he set about establishing a theatre, and, to the surprise of all, succeeded in the attempt. After the Restoration, he again basked in royal favour, and continued to write and superintend the performance of plays till his death, April 7, 1668.
The poem of Gondibert, though regarded by Davenant's friends and admirers (Cowley and Waller
being of the number) as a great and durable monuSir William Davenant.
ment of genius, is now almost utterly forgotten. The
plot is romantic, but defective in interest; and its son of a vintner at Oxford. There is a scandalous extreme length (about six thousand lines), and the story, that he was the natural son of Shakspeare, description of versification in which it is written (the who was in the habit of stopping at the Crown long four-lined stanza, with alternate rhymes, copied Tavern (kept by the elder Davenant) on his jour. by Dryden in his Annus Mirabilis), render the poem neys between London and Stratford. This story languid and tedious. The critics have been strangely was related to Pope by Betterton the player; but it at variance with each other as to its merits, but to seems to rest on no authority but idle tradition. general readers the poem may be said to be unknown. Young Davenant must, however, have had a strong Davenant prefixed a long and elaborate preface to and precocious admiration of Shakspeare ; for, when his poem, which is highly creditable to him for judgonly ten years of age, he penned an ode, In Remem- ment, taste, and feeling, and may be considered the brance of Master William Shakspeare, which opens precursor of Dryden's admirable critical introducin the following strain :
tions to his plays. His worship of Shakspeare continued unabated to the last, though he was mainly
instrumental, by his masques and scenery, in driving Beware, delighted poets, when you sing, the elder bard from the stage. Dryden, in his preTo welcome nature in the early spring, face to the Tempest, states, that he did not set any Your numerous feet not tread
value on what he had written in that play, but out The banks of Avon, for each flower
of gratitude to the memory of Sir William Davenant, (As it ne'er knew a sun or shower)
· who,' he adds, did me the honour to join me with Hangs there the peusive head.
him in the alteration of it. It was originally Shaks.
peare's-a poet for whom he had particularly a high It is to be regretted (for the sake of Davenant, as veneration, and whom he first taught me to admire.' well as of the world) that the great dramatist did not live to guide the taste and foster the genius of his youthful admirer, whose life presented some
To the Queen, strange adventures. About the year 1628, Davenant began to write for the stage, and in 1638, on the
Entertained at night by the Countess of Anglesey. death of Ben Jonson, he was appointed laureate. He was afterwards manager of Drury Lane, but, entering Fair as unshaded light, or as the day into the commotions and intrigues of the civil war,] In its first birth, when all the year was May ; he was apprehended and confined in the Tower. He Sweet as the altar's smoke, or as the new arterwards escaped to France. When the queen sent Unfolded bud, swell’d by the early dew; over to the Earl of Newcastle a quantity of military stores, Davenant resolved to return to England, and
* Edinburgh Review, vol. 47.
Sinooth as the face of waters first appear'd,
She fashions him she loved of angels' kind;
Such as in holy story were employ'd
To the first fathers from the Eternal Mind,
And in short vision only are enjoy'd.
Of wild impossibles soon weary grow;
Feeling their bodies find no rest so high,
And therefore perch on earthly things below;
So now she yields ; him she an angel deem'd
Shall be a man, the name which virgins fear ;
That ever yet that fatal name did bear.
Soon her opinion of his hurtless heart,
Affection turns to faith ; and then love's fire
To heaven, though bashfully, she does impart,
And to her mother in the heavenly quire.
'If I do love,' said she, that love, O Heaven ! And to implore your light, he sings,
Your own disciple, Nature, bred in me; Awake, awake, the moon will never rise,
Why should I hide the passion you have given, Till she can dress her beauty at your eyes.
Or blush to show effects which you decree ? The merchant bows unto the seaman's star,
* And you, my alter'd mother, grown above The ploughman from the sun his season takes;
Great Nature, which you read and reverenc'd here, But still the lover wonders what they are,
Chide not such kindness as you once call'd love, Who look for day before his mistress wakes : When you as mortal as my father were.' Awake, awake, break through your veils of lawn ! This said, her soul into her breast retires ; Then draw your curtains and begin the dawn.
With love's vain diligence of heart she dreams Herself into possession of desires,
And trusts unanchor'd hopes in fleeting streams. [Description of the Virgin Birtha.]
She thinks of Eden-life ; and no rough wind [From Gondibert.)
In their pacific sea shall wrinkles make ;
That still her lowliness shall keep him kind,
Her ears keep him asleep, her voice awake.
Such chance her tears shall calm, as showers allay Her beauty princes durst not hope to use,
The accidental rage of winds and seas.
With untaught looks, and an unpractised heart ; spicuous for political loyalty and poetical conceit, Her nets, the most prepar'd could never shun, and he carried both to the utmost verge. Cleve
For nature spread them in the scorn of art. land's father was rector of a parish in Leicestershire, She never had in busy cities been,
After completing his studies at Cambridge, the poet Ne'er warm'd with hopes, nor ere allay'd with fears; officiated as a college tutor, but joined the royal Not seeing punishment, could guess no sin ;
army when the civil war broke out. He was the And sin not seeing, ne'er had use of tears.
loudest and most strenuous poet of the cause, and
distinguished himself by a fierce satire on the Scots But here her father's precepts gave her skill, in 1647. Two lines of this truculent party tirade
Which with incessant business fill'd the hours ; present a conceit at which our countrymen may
Had Cain been Scot, God would have changed his And as kind nature, with calm diligence,
doom ; Her own free virtue silently employs,
Not forced him wander, but confined him home. Whilst she unheard, does ripening growth dispense, So were her virtues busy without noise.
In 1655, the poet was seized at Norwich, and put Whilst her great mistress, Nature, thus she tends,
in prison, being a person of great abilities, and so The busy household waits no less on her ;
able to do the greater disservice.' Cleveland petiBy secret law, each to her beauty bends,
tioned the Protector, stating that he was induced to
believe that, next to his adherence to the royal Though all her lowly mind to that prefer.
party, the cause of his confinement was the narrowGracious and free she breaks upon them all
ness of his estate; for none stood committed whose With morning looks ; and they, when she does rise, estate could bail them. 'I ain the only prisoner,' Devoutly at her dawn in homage fall,
he says, 'who have no acres to be my hostage;' and And droop like flowers when evening shuts her eyes. he ingeniously argues that poverty, if it is a fault, is
its own punishment. Cromwell released the poor Beneath a myrtle covert she does spend,
poet, who died three years afterwards in London. In maid's weak wishes, her whole stock of thought ; Independently of his strong and biting satires, which Fond maids ! who love with mind's fino stuff would were the cause of his popularity while living, and mend,
which Butler partly imitated in Hudibras, CleveWhich nature purposely of bodies wrought. land wrote some love verses containing morsels of genuine poetry, amidst a mass of affected metaphors and fancies. He carried gallantry to an extent
Death's Final Conquest. bordering on the ludicrous, making all nature sun The glories of our birth and state, and shade-do homage to his mistress.
Are shadows, not substantial things ;
There is no armour against fate :
Death lays his icy hands on kings; Z
Sceptre and crown, The sluggish morn as yet undress’d,
Must tumble down, My Phillis brake from out her rest,
And in the dust be equal made As if she'd made a match to run
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. With Venus, usher to the sun.
Some men with swords may reap the field, The trees (like yeomen of her guard
And plant fresh laurels where they kill; Serving more for pomp than ward,
But their strong nerves at last must yield, Rank'd on each side with loyal duty),
They tame but one another still ; Wave branches to enclose her beauty.
Early or late, The plants, whose luxury was lopp'd,
They stoop to fate, Or age with crutches underpropp'd,
And must give up their murmuring breath, Whose wooden carcasses are grown
When they, pale captives, creep to death.
The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds ; The winged choristers began
Upon Death's purple altar, now, To chirp their matins ; and the fan
See where the victor victim bleeds : Of whistling winds, like organs play'd
All heads must come Unto their voluntaries, made
To the cold tomb, The waken'd earth in odours rise
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
Upon his Mistress Sad.
Melancholy, hence, and get
Some piece of earth to be thy seat, Between her York and Lancaster.
Here the air and nimble fire The marigold, whose courtier's face.
Would shoot up to meet desire : Echoes the sun, and doth unlace
Sullen humour leave her blood, Her at his rise, at his full stop
Mix not with the purer flood, Packs and shuts up her gaudy shop,
But let pleasures swelling here, Mistakes her cue, and doth display ;
Make a spring-tide all the year. Thus Phillis antedates the day.
1 These miracles had cramp'd the sun,
Love a thousand sweets distilling,
And with pleasure bosoms filling, Who, thinking that his kingdom's won,
Charm all eyes that none may find us, Powders with light his frizzled locks,
Be above, before, behind us ; To see what saint his lustre mocks.
And while we thy raptures taste, The trembling leaves through which he play'd,
Compel time itself to stay, Dappling the walk with light and shade,
Or by forelock hold him fast,
1 (Like lattice windows), give the spy
Lest occasion slip away.
Echo and Narcissus.
(From Narcissus. ] To force us a new-fashion'd day.
Fair Echo, rise ! sick-thoughted nymph, awake, But what new-fashioned palsy's this,
Leave thy green couch, and canopy of trees ! Which makes the boughs divest their bliss ? Long since the choristers of the wood did shake And that they might her footsteps straw,
Their wings, and sing to the bright sun's uprise : Drop their leaves with shivering awe ;
Day hath wept o'er thy couch, and, progressed, Phillis perceives, and (lest her stay
Blusheth to see fair Echo still in bed. Should wed October unto May,
If not the birds, who 'bout the coverts fly, And as her beauty caus'd a spring,
And with their warbles charın the neighbouring air ; Devotion might an autumn bring),
If not the sun, whose new embroidery Withdrew her beams, yet made no night,
Makes rich the leaves that in thy arbours are, But left the sun her curate light.
Can make thee rise ; yet, love-sick nymph, away,
The young Narcissus is abroad to-day.
Pursue him, timorous maid : he moves apace ; JAMES SHIRLEY, distinguished for his talents as Favonius waits to play with thy loose hair, a dramatist, published, in 1646, a volume of mis- | And help thy flight ; see how the drooping grass cellaneous poems, which, without exhibiting any
Courts thy soft tread, thou child of sound and air ; strongly-marked features or commanding intellect, Attempt, and overtake him ; though he be are elegant and fanciful. His muse was not de- | Coy to all other nymphs, he'll stoop to thee. based by the licentiousness of the age. The finest if thy face move not, let thy eyes express production of Shirley, Death's Final Conquest, oc- Some rhetoric of thy tears to make him stay; curs in one of his dramas. This piece is said to He must be a rock that will not melt at these, have been greatly admired by Charles II. The Dropping these native diamonds in his way; thoughts are elevated, and the expression highly Mistaken he may stoop at them, and this, poetical
Who knows how soon I may help thee to a kiss.