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As a poetical narrator of fiction, Chalkhill
A BODE OF THE WITCH ORANI is rather tedious; but he atones for the slow progress of his narrative by many touches of Her cell was hewn out in the marble roc!
By more than human art. She need not I rich and romantic description.
The door stood always open, large and wie
Grown o'er with woolly moss on either sic FROM "THEALMA AND CLEARCHUS."
And interwove with ivy's flattering twine DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIESTESS OF DIANA.
Through which the carbuncle and diamo Within a little silent grove hard by,
Not set by art, but there by Nature sown Upon a small ascent, he might espy
At the world's birth; so starlike bright ti A stately chapel, richly gilt without,
They served instead of tapers, to give ligh
* To the dark entry.
* Beset with shady sycamores about ;
* And ever and anon he might well hear
In they wen A sound of music steal in at his ear,
The ground was strewn with flowers, who As the wind gave it being. So sweet an air
Mixt with the choice perfumes from Indi Would strike a siren mute, and ravish her.
Intoxicates his brains, and quickly caugh He sees no creature that might cause the same,
His credulous sense. The walls were gilt But he was sure that from the grove it came,
With precious stones, and all the roof was And to the grove he goes to satisfy
With a gold vine, whose straggling branc The curiosity of ear and eye.
O'er all the arch-the swelling grapes wer Thorough the thick-leaved boughs he makes a way,
This art had made of rubies, cluster'd so, Nor could the scratching brambles make him stay,
To the quickest eye they more than seem But on he rushes, and climbs up a hill,
About the walls lascivious pictures bung, Thorough a glade. He saw and heard his fill
Such as whereof loose Ovid sometimes sur A hundred virgins there he might espy,
On either side a crew of dwarfish elves Prostrate before a marble deity,
Held waxen tapers taller than themselves Which, by its portraiture, appear'd to be
Yet so well shaped unto their little statur The image of Diana. On their knee
So angel-like in face, so sweet in feature, They tended their devotions with sweet airs,
Their rich attire so differing, yet so well Offering the incense of their praise and prayers,
Becoming her that wore it, none could tel Their garments all alike.
Which was the fairest.
After a low salute they all 'gan sing, *
* And cross their snowy silken robes they wore
And circle in the stranger in a ring; An azure scarf, with stars embroider'd o'er ;
Orandra to her charms was stept aside, Their hair in curious tresses was knot up,
Leaving her guest half won, and wanton e: Crown'd with a silver crescent on the top;
He had forgot his herb-cunning delight A silver bow their left hand held, their right,
Had so bewitch'd his ears, and blear'd his
That he was not himself. * *
* Unto his view Under their vestments, something short before,
She represents a banquet, usher'd in White buskins, laced with ribbanding, they wore ;
By such a shape as she was sure would wil It was a catching sight to a young eye,
His appetite to taste—so like she was That Love had fix'd before. He might espy
To his Clarinda both in shape and face, One whom the rest had, sphere-like, circled round,
So voiced, so habited—of the same gait
* Whose head was with a golden chaplet crown'd:
* * He could not see her face, only his ear
Hardly did he refrair Was blest with the sweet words that came from her.
From sucking in destruction at her lip;
And with a frown she chides his backward THE IMAGE OF JEALOUSY IN THE CHAPEL OF DIANA.
Have you (said she) sweet prince, so soon f * *
Your own beloved Clarinda? Are you not Might see some relics of a piece of art
The same you were, that you so slightly se That Psyche made, when Love first fired her heart; By her that once you made the cabinet It was the story of her thoughts, that she
Of your choice counsel ? Hath some worth Curiously wrought in lively imagery;
Stole your affections? What is it should i Among the rest she thought of Jealousy,
You to dislike so soon? Must I still taste Time left untouch'd to grace antiquity,
No other dish but sorrow? When we last She was decypher'd by a tim'rous dame,
Emptied our souls into each other's breast Wrapt in a yellow mantle lined with flame;
It was not so. *
* Her looks were pale, contracted with a frown,
* * With that she wept af: Her eyes suspicious, wandering up and down;
* She seem'd to fall into a swoi Behind her Fear attended, big with child,
And stooping down to raise her from the gr Able to fright Presumption if she smiled;
He puts his herb into his mouth, whose tas After her flew a sigh between two springs
Soon changed his mind: he lifts her-but i Of briny waters. On her dove-like wings
His hands fell off, and she fell down again: She bore a letter seal'd with a half moon,
With that she lent him such a frown as we And superscribed this from Suspicion.
Have kill'da common lover, and made cold
EN KID II.
Even lust itself, *
able-although, to save myself farther impe* The lights went out,
diment in the text, I must subjoin it in a And darkness hung the chamber round about: A yelling, hellish noise was each where heard.
note*. In classical translation Phaer and Golding
* ENEAS'S NARRATIVE AFTER THE DEATH OF PRIAM. were the earliest successors of Lord Surrey. Than first the cruel fear me caught, and sore my sprites Phaer published his “ Virgil" in 1562, and appalla, Golding his “Ovid” three years later *. Both
And on my father dear I thought, his face to mind I callid,
Whan slain with grisly wound our king, him like of age of these translators, considering the state of in sight, the language, have considerable merit. Like Lay gasping dead, and of my wife Creuse bethought the
plight. them, Chapman, who came later, employed in
Alone, forsake, my house despoil'd, my child what chaunce his version of the “Iliad” the fourteen-syllable
had take, rhyme, which was then in favourite use. Of I looked, and about me view'd what strength I might me
make. the three translators, Phaer is the most faithful
All men had me forsake for paynes, and down their bodies and simple, Golding the most musical, and
To ground they leapt, and some for woe themselves in fires Chapman the most spirited; though Chapman
they threw. is prone to the turgid, and often false to the And now alone was left but I whan Vesta's Temple stair sense of Homer. Phaer's Æneid has been To keep and secretly to lurk all crouching close in chair,
Dame Helen I might see to sit; bright burnings gave me praised by a modern writert, in the “Lives of
light, the Nephews of Milton,” with absurd exagger
Wherever I went, the ways I pass'd, all thing was set in
sight. ation. I have no wish to disparage the fair
She fearing her the Trojans wrath, for Troy destroy'd to value of the old translator ; but when the bio
Greek's torments and her husband's force, whose wedlock grapher of Milton's nephews declares, “ that
she did break, nothing in language or conception can exceed
The plague of Troy and of her country, monster most the style in which Phaer treats of the last day
There sat she with her hated head, by the altars hid for of the existence of Troy," I know of no answer
shame. to this assertion but to give the reader the Straight in my breast I felt a fire, deep wrath my heart
did strain, very passage which is pronounced so inimit
My country's fall to wreak, and bring that cursed wretch (* The seven first books of Phaer's Virgil were first
to pain. printed in 1558, the eighth, ninth, and the fragment of the
What! shall she into her country soil of Sparta and high tenth in 1562. Twyne's continuation was first printed in
All safe shall she return, and there on Troy triumph as 1573.
queen ? In 1565 Golding published the four first books of Ovid's
Her husband, children, country, kynne, her house, her Metamorphoses, and in 1567 a translation of the whole.
parents old, We have had the good fortune to fall in with a notice of
With Trojan wives, and Trojan lords, her slaves shall she Arthur Golding in a Museum MS. of orders made on peti
behold? tions to the Privy Council from 1605 to 1616.
Was Priam slain with sword for this? Troy burnt with ticulars," says Mr.Collier, “of the life of Golding have been
fire so wood ? recovered. He does not appear to have written anything Is it herefore that Dardan strondes so often hath sweat after 1590, but the year of his death is uncertain."-Bridge.
with blood ? Cat. p. 130.
Not so, for though it be no praise on woman kind to Hatfield, the xxvth of July, 1605.
wreak, Arthure Golding His Matee is graciouslie pleased that
And honour none there lieth in this, nor name for men to to hare the sole the lord Archbyshopp of Canterburie
speak; printing of some his Grace and his Mats Atturney
Yet quench I shall this poison here, and due deserts to
dight, books translated Geri all shall advisedlie consider of
Men shall commend my zeal, and ease my mind I shall by himself. this sut, and for such of the books as
outright: they shall think meete for the benefitt
This much for all my peoples' bones and country's Alaine of the church and commonweale to be
to quite. solie printed by this peticon' and
These things within myself I tost, and fierce with force wherby noe enormious monopolies may ensue, his Mats Atturney is to Whan to my face my mother great, so brim no time till drawe a book ready for his Mats sig
than, nature, contayning a graunt hereof to Appearing shew'd herself in sight, all shining pure by the peticoner, leaving a blank for the night, number of yeires to be inserted at his Right goddess-like appearing, such as heavens beholds her Mats pleasure.
bright. Lans. MSS. No. 266, Folio 61.)
So great with majesty she stood, and me by right-hand take,
She stay'd, and red as rose, with mouth these words to me [t William Godwin.)
« No par
The harmony of Fairfax is justly celebrated *. | took up the subject with a very dif Joshua Sylvester's version of the “ Divine Mr.Todd, the learned editor of Spe: Weeks and Works” of the French poet Du- in a number of the Gentleman's bartas was among the most popular of our the probability of Milton's early a early translations; and the obligations which with the translation of Dubartas's Milton is alleged to have owed to it, have Mr. Dunster has since, in his “ Esse revived Sylvester's name with some interest early reading,” supported the opini in modern criticism. Sylvester was a puritan, same work contains the prima stam and so was the publisher of his work, Hum dise Lost, and laid the first founda phrey Lownes, who lived in the same street monumentum ære perennius.” TH with Milton's father; and from the congeniality expressions there certainly are in N of their opinions, it is not improbable that they leave his acquaintance with Sylv might be acquainted. It is easily to be con questionable; although some of the ceived that Milton often repaired to the shop quoted by Mr. Dunster, which are of Lownes, and there first met with the pious them both, may be traced back to didactic poem. Lauder was the earliest to older than Sylvester. The entire trace Milton's particular thoughts and expres- his obligations, as Mr. Dunster ju sions to Sylvester; and, as might be expected, cannot detract from our opinion of maliciously exaggerated them. Later writers Sylvester ever stood high in his fa
have been when he was very yo My son, what sore outrage so wild thy wrathful mind upstares ?
beauties which occur so strangely Why frettest thou, or where alway from us thy care with with bathos and flatness in Sylve
drawn appears? Nor first unto thy father see'st, whom, feeble in all this might have caught the youthful a woe,
and long dwelt in the memory, Thou hast forsake, nor if thy wife doth live thou knowist
poet. But he must have perused Nor young Ascanius, thy child, whom throngs of Greeks gust at Sylvester's general manner about
his epithets and happy phrases Doth swarming run, and, were not my relief, withouten doubt
worthy of Milton ; but by far the By this time flames had by devoured, or swords of en’mies 1 portion of his thoughts and express kill'd.
quaintness and flatness more worth It is not Helen's fate of Greece this town, my son, hath spilla,
and Wither. Nor Paris is to blame for this, but Gods, with grace un
The following lines may serve kind, This wealth hath overthrown, a Troy from top to ground favourable specimens of his transla outwind.
bartas's poem. Behold! for now away the cloud and dim fog will I take, That over mortal eyes doth hang, and blind thy sight doth
PROBABILITY OF THE CELESTIAL ORBS make;
INHABITED. Thou to thy parents haste, take heed (dread not) my mind I not believe that the great architect obey.
With all these fires the heavenly arches dec) In yonder place, where stones from stones, and buildings Only for show, and with these glistering shi huge to sway,
Tamaze poor shepherds, watching in the fi Thou seest, and mixt in dust and smoke, thick streams
I not believe that the least flower which pra of richness rise,
Our garden borders, or our common banks, Himself the God Neptune that side doth turn in wonders wise,
And the least stone, that in her warming la With fork three-tined the walls uproots, foundations all
Our mother earth doth covetously wrap, too shakes,
Hath some peculiar virtue of its own, And quite from under soil the town with ground-works And that the glorious stars of Heaven have
all uprakes. On yonder side, with furies mixt, Dame Juno fiercely
† For November, 1796. stands,
[+ I remember, when I was a boy, I thoug The gates she keeps, and from their ships the Greeks, her Spenser a mean poet in comparison of Sylvest friendly bands,
and was rapt into ecstacy when I read these In armour girt, she calls.
Now, when the Winter's keener breath (* Many besides myself have heard our famous Waller To crystallize the Baltic ocean ; own that he derived the harmony of his numbers from the To glaze the lakes, to bridle up the flooc Godfrey of Bulloigne, which was turned into English by And periwig with wool the bald-pate wa Mr. Fairfax.-DRYDEN, Malone, vol. iv. p. 592. See Note I am much deceived if this be not abomina A at the end of this volume.]
THE SERPENT'S ADDRESS TO EVE WHEN HE TEMPTED
HER IN EDKN.
however, between Davies and the commonly
styled metaphysical poets, that he argues like As a false lover, that thick snares hath laid
a hard thinker, and they, for the most part, T' entrap the honour of a fair young maid,
like madmen. If we conquer the drier parts If she (though little) list'ning ear affords To his sweet-courting, deep-affecting words,
of Davies's poem, and bestow a little attention Feels some assuaging of his ardent flame,
on thoughts which were meant, not to gratify And sooths himself with hopes to win his game,
the indolence, but to challenge the activity of While, wrapt with joy, he on his point persists, That parleying city never long resists
the mind, we shall find in the entire essay Even so the serpent.
fresh beauties at every perusal : for in the Perceiving Eve his flattering gloze digest,
happier parts we come to logical truths so He prosecutes, and jocund doth not rest. No, Fair (quoth he), believe not that the care
well illustrated by ingenious similes, that we God hath from spoiling Death mankind to spare
know not whether to call the thoughts more Makes him forbid you, on such strict condition,
poetically or philosophically just. The judgHis purest, rarest, fairest fruit's fruition.
ment and fancy are reconciled, and the imagery Begin thy bliss, and do not fear the threat
of the poem seems to start more vividly from Of an uncertain Godhead, only great
the surrounding shades of abstraction. Through self-awed zeal-put on the glist’ning pall
Such were some of the first and inferior Of immortality.
luminaries of that brilliant era of our poetry, Arise betimes, while th'opal-colour'd morn
which, perhaps, in general terms, may be said In golden pomp doth May-day's door adorn.
to cover about the last quarter of the sixThe “opal-colour'd morn” is a beautiful teenth, and the first quarter of the seventeenth expression, that I do not remember any other century; and which, though commonly called poet to have ever used.
the age of Elizabeth, comprehends many The school of poets which is commonly writers belonging to the reign of her successor. called the metaphysical, began in the reign of The romantic spirit, the generally unshackled Elizabeth with Donne ; but the term of meta- style, and the fresh and fertile genius of that physical poetry would apply with much more period, are not to be called in question. On justice to the quatrains of Sir John Davies, the other hand, there are defects in the poetiand those of Sir Fulke Greville, writers who, cal character of the age, which, though they at a later period, found imitators in Sir Thomas may disappear or be of little account amidst Overbury and Sir William Davenant*. Da
the excellencies of its greatest writers, are vies's poem on the Immortality of the Soul, glaringly conspicuous in the works of their entitled “ Nosce teipsum,” will convey a much
minor contemporaries. In prolonged narramore favourable idea of metaphysical poetry tive and description the writers of that age are than the wittiest effusions of Donne and his peculiarly deficient in that charm, which is followers. Davies carried abstract reasoning analogous to “ keeping” in pictures. Their into verse with an acuteness and felicity which
warm and cold colours are generally without have seldom been equalled. He reasons, un
the gradations which should make them hardoubtedly, with too much labour, formality, monize. They fall precipitately from good to and subtlety, to afford uniform poetical plea- bad thoughts, from strength to imbecility. sure. The generality of his stanzas exhibit Certainly they are profuse in the detail of hard arguments interwoven with the pliant natural circumstances, and in the utterance materials of fancy so closely, that we may
of natural feelings. For this we love them, compare them to a texture of cloth and me
and we should love them still more if they tallic threads, which is cold and stiff, while it knew where to stop in description and sentiis splendidly curious. There is this difference,
ment. But they give out the dregs of their
mind without reserve, till their fairest concep(* This has been re-echoed by Mr. Hallam in his History. Johnson has been unjustly blamed for the name applied
tions are overwhelmed by a rabble of mean to Donne and his followers of metaphysical poets, but it
associations. At no period is the mass of was given to this school before Johnson wrote, by Dryden vulgar mediocrity in poetry marked by more and by Pope. However, as Mr. Southey has said, “ If it
formal gallantry, by grosser adulation, or by were easy to find a better name, so much deference is due to Johnson, that his should be still adhered to.")
Our amatory strains in the
time of Charles the Second may be more disso course it becomes a lamentable re lute, but those of Elizabeth's age often abound so valuable an old poet should ha in studious and prolix licentiousness. Norgotten. When the reader howeve are examples of this solemn and sedate impu- him, he finds that there are only rity to be found only in the minor poets : our grains of gold in all the sands of th reverence for Shakspeare himself need not Pactolus. But the display of negle make it necessary to disguise that he willingly has not been even confined to adopted that style in his youth, when he wrote beauties; it has been extended to his Venus and Adonis*.
ing of large and heavy masses The fashion of the present day is to solicit Most wretched works have beer public esteem not only for the best and better, this enthusiasm for the obsolete but for the humblest and meanest writers of dullest works of the meanest con the age
of Elizabeth. It is a bad book which the “ Mirror for Magistrates t.” has not something good in it; and even some be taken for granted, that the in of the worst writers of that period have their the good old times descended t twinkling beauties. In one point of view, the lowest dregs of its versifiers ; whe research among such obscure authors is un writers of Elizabeth's age are onl doubtedly useful. It tends to throw inci- and artificial than those of the pre dental lights on the great old poets, and on the more prolix than those of the suc manners, biography, and language of the riod. country. So far all is well-but as a matter Yet there are men, who, to all of taste, it is apt to produce illusion and dis- would wish to revive such autho appointment. Men like to make the most of the mere use of the antiquary, to the slightest beauty which they can discover volume may be useful, but as s in an obsolete versifier; and they quote per manner, and objects of general haps the solitary good thought which is to be Books, it is said, take up little roo found in such a writer, omitting any mention library this may be the case ; bu of the dreary passages which surround it. Of in the minds and time of those
them. Happily indeed, the task (* Shakspeare's sonnets are addressed to a youth of both sexes, to some hermaphrodite or Stella of his own fancy, and
indifferent authors on the public Barnfeild is guilty of eulogising a youth in the language of a fruitless one. They may be d love in its most womanly signification. Had Shakspeare oblivion, but life cannot be put ir published these now over-rated productions of his muse (of which no one throughout is positively excellent), this un. putations. “ Can these bones live natural association had never existed, but several of his will have her course, and dull bo sugared sonnets among his private friends, when copy
forgotten, in spite of bibliographier rights were not acknowledged or made the subject of law, falling into the hands of T. T. a bookseller, the said T. T., or That by mere initials. Mr. W. H. wa! whose name was Thomas Thorpe, printed them with a known in his own day; what is enigmatica hieroglyphical inscription, that is the puzzle of com. obscurity then. T. T. had not dared to ad mentator, critic and reader. It deserves transcription : of Pembroke as Mr. W. H. To the
The same Mr. W. H. is said to have be Only begetter of these ensuing Sonnets,
begetter of these ensuing Sonnets ;" but in Mr. W. H.
tion is the word used ? An instance is given all Happiness
where its purport is to procure. Was Mr. and that Eternity
curer--the person by whose means T. T. ha promised by our ever-living Poet
print them?-a character akin to the mystei wisheth the
brought the letter of Pope to the piratical ( well-wishing Adventurer
the individual to whom they are addresses in setting forth. T.T.
conjecture; one thing however is evident,
meant that Mr. W. H. was addressed thro Who was Mr. W. H.? A host of learned and unlearned, poet, he had never read the Sonnets, for th with Mr. Hallam of their number, would have us to be. eight are to a woman.) lieve William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke ; which we shall [+ The Mirror for Magistrates was one o credit when an instance is adduced of a peer of nine years' reprints—a heavy man, with no kind or d standing described, dodicated to, or shadowed as Mr. This taste.]