« ZurückWeiter »
EDMUND WALLER, born at Coleshill, Hertford Waller had a brother-in-law, named Tomkyns, shire, in March, 1605, was the son of Robert Wal- who was clerk of the queen's council, and possess. ler, Esq., a gentleman of an ancient family and good ed great influence in the city among the warm fortune, who married a sister of the celebrated John loyalists. On consulting together, they thought it Hampden. The death of his father during his infancy would be possible to raise a powerful party, which left him heir to an estate of 35001. a year, at that might oblige the parliament to adopt pacific measperiod an ample fortune. He was educated first at ures, by resisting the payment of the taxes levied Eton, whence he was removed to King's College for the support of the war. About this time Sir in Cambridge. His election to parliament was as Nicholas Crispe formed a design of more dangerous early as between his sixteenth or seventeenth year; import, which was that of exciting the king's and it was not much later that he made his appear- friends in the city to an open resistance of the auance as a poet: and it is remarkable that a copy of thority of parliament; and for that purpose he obverses which he addressed to Prince Charles, in his tained a commission of array from his majesty. eighteenth year, exhibits a style and character of This plan appears to have been originally unconversification as perfectly formed as those of his nected with the other; yet the commission was maturest productions. He again served in parlia- made known to Waller and Tomkyns, and the whole ment before he was of age; and he continued his was compounded into a horrid and dreadful plot. services to a later period. Not insensible of the Waller and Tomkyns were apprehended, when the value of wealth, he augmented his paternal fortune pusillanimity of the former disclosed the whole by marriage with a rich city heiress. In the long secret. “Ilo was so confounded with fear,” (says intermissions of parliament which occurred after Lord Clarendon,) “that he confessed whatever he 1628, he retired to his mansion of Bea onsfield, had heard, said, thought, or seen, all that he knew where he continued his classical studies, under the of himself, and all that he suspected of others, with. direction of his kinsman Morley, afterwards bishop out concealing any person, of what degree or quali. of Winchester; and he obtained admission to a ty soever, or any discourse which he had ever upon society of able men and polite scholars, of whom any occasion entertained with them.” The conclu. Lord Falkland was the connecting medium. sion of this business was, that Tomkyns, and Cha
Waller became a widower at the age of twenty- loner, another conspirator, were hanged, and that five: he did not, however, spend much time in Waller was expelled the House, tried, and conmourning, but declared himself the suitor of Lady demned; but after a year's imprisonment, and a fine Dorothea Sydney, eldest daughter of the Earl of of ten thousand pounds, was suffered to go into Leicester, whom he has immortalized under the exile. He chose Rouen for his first place of foreign poetical name of Saccharissa. She is described by exile, where he lived with his wife till his removal him as a majestic and scornful beauty; and he to Paris. In that capital he maintained the appear. seems to delight more in her contrast, the gentler ance of a man of fortune, and entertained hospitaAmoret, who is supposed to have been a Lady So-bly, supporting this style of living chiefly by the phia Murray. Neither of these ladies, however, sale of his wife's jewels. At length, after the lapse was won by his poetic strains; and, like another of ten years, being reduced to what he called his man, he consoled himself in a second marriage. rump jewel, he thought it time to apply for per
When the king's necessities compelled him, in mission to return to his own country. He obtained 1640, once more to apply to the representatives this license, and was also restored to his estate, of the people, Waller, who was returned for Ag- though now diminished to half its former rental. mondesham, decidedly took part with the members Here he fixed his abode, at a house built by himwho thought that the redress of grievances should self, at Beaconsfield ; and he renewed his courtly precede a vote for supplies; and he made an ener- strains by adulation to Cromwell, now Protector, getic speech on the occasion. He continued during to whom his mother was related. To this usurper three years to vote in general with the Opposition the noblest tribute of his muse was paid. in the Long Parliament, but did not enter into all When Charles II. was restored to the crown, their measures. In particular, he employed much and past character was lightly regarded, the stains cool argument against the proposal for the abolition of that of Waller were forgotten, and his wit and of Episcopacy; and he spoke with freedom and poetry procured him notice at court, and admission severity against some other plans of the House. to the highest circles. He had also sufficient in. In fact, he was at length become a zealous loyalist terest to obtain a seat in the House of Commons, in his inclinations; and his conduct under the dif- in all the parliaments of that reign. The king's ficulties into which this attachment involved him gracious manners emboldened him to ask for the became a source of his indelible disgrace. A short vacant place of provost of Eton college, which was narrative will suffice for the elucidation of this granted him; but Lord Clarendon, then Lord Chan. matter.
cellor, refused to set the seal to the grant, alleging
that by the statutes laymen were excluded from died at Beaconsfield in October, 1687, the 83d year that provostship. This was thought the reason why of his age. He left several children by his second Waller joined the Duke of Buckingham, in his wife, of whom, the inheritor of his estate, Edmund, hostility against Clarendon.
after representing Agmondesham in parliament, On the accession of James II., Waller, then in became a convert to Quakerism. his 80th year, was chosen representative for Saltash. Waller was one of the earliest poets, who obHaving now considerably passed the usual limit of tained reputation by the sweetness and sonorousness human life, he turned his thoughts to devotion, and of his strains; and there are perhaps few masters composed some divine poems, the usual task in at the present day who surpass him in this parwhich men of gaiety terminate their career. Heticular.
Unto that adored dame :
Then smile on me, and I will prove
Fair! that you may truly know,
Joy salutes me, when I set
If sweet Amoret complains,
All that of myself is mine,
If ibe soul had free election
If not a love, a strong desire
"Tis amazement more than love,
Amoret! as sweet and good
Sacharissa's beauty's wine,
Scarce can I to Heaven excuse
AMORET, the Milky Way,
Fram'd of many nameless stars!
He this drop to that prefers !
Tell me where thy strength does lie?
In thy soul, or in thy eye?
Or thy grace in motion seen,
Yet thy waist is straight, and clean,
Unto its own redress does move :
TO MY LORD PROTECTOR, Of the Present Greatness, and Joint Interest, of Les
Highness and this Nation.
WHILE with a strong, and yet a gentle, hand, You bridle faction, and our hearts command, Protect us from ourselves, and from the foe, Make us unite, and make us conquer too ;
Let partial spirits, still aloud complain,
For women, born to be controllid,
All this with indignation spoke,
So the tall stag, upon the brink
Above the waves as Neptune show'd his face, To chide the winds, and save the Trojan race, So has your highness, rais'd above the rest, Storms of ambition, tossing us, represt. Your drooping country, torn with civil lato, Restor'd by you, is made a glorious state ; The seat of empire, where the Irish come, And the unwilling Scots, to fetch their doom The sea's our own : and now, all nations greet, With bending sails, each vessel of our fleet: Your power extends as far as winds can blow, Or swelling sails upon the globe may go. Heaven (that hath plac'd this island to give law, To balance Europe, and her states to awe,) In this conjunction doth on Britain smile, The greatest leader, and the greatest isle ! Whether this portion of the world were rent, By the rude ocean, from the continent, Or thus created; it was sure design'd To be the sacred refuge of mankind.
Hither th' oppressed shall henceforth resort, Justice to crave, and succor, at your court;
And then your highness, not for ours alone, But for the world's protector shall be known.
MARRIAGE OF THE DWARFS.
Thrice happy is that humble pair,
To him the fairest nymphs do show
Ah! Chloris! that kind Nature thus
Fame, swifter than your winged navy, flies
And every coast may trouble, or relieve :
Angels and we have this prerogative,
Our little world, the image of the great,
As Egypt does not on the clouds rely,
Your never failing sword made war to cease, But to the Nile owes more than to the sky; And now you heal us with the acts of peace; So, what our Earth, and what our Heaven, denies, Our minds with bounty and with awe engage, Our ever-constant friend, the sea, supplies. Invite affection, and restrain our rage.
The taste of hot Arabia's spice we know,
Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won,
To dig for wealth, we weary not our limbs ;
To pardon, willing, and to punish, loth,
You strike with one hand, but you heal with both;
Things of the noblest kind our own soil breeds; When Fate or error had our age misled,
Here the third Edward, and the Black Prince too, One! whose extraction from an ancient line
The noblest rest secured in your blood.
Whom the old Roman wall, so ill confin'd, Still, as you rise, the state, exalted too,
Finds no distemper while 'tis changed by you; Here foreign gold no more shall make them come; Chang'd like the world's great scene ! when withou Our English iron holds them fast at home.
The rising sun night's vulgar lights destroys. They, that henceforth must be content to know No warmer region than their hills of snow, Had you, some ages past, this race of glory May blame the sun; but must extol your grace,
Run, with amazement we should read your story: Which in our senate hath allow'd them place.
But living virtue, all achievements past,
Meets envy still, to grapple with at last.
This Cæsar found ; and that ungrateful age,
With losing him, went back to blood and rage;
Mistaken Brutus thought to break their yoke, Their vanquish'd foes free citizens of Rome.
But cut the bond of union with that stroke. Like favor find the Irish, with like fate
That sun once set, a thousand meaner stars Advanc'd to be a portion of our state ;
Gave a dim light to violence and wars ; While by your valor, and your bounteous mind,
To such a tempest as now threatens all, Nations divided by the sea are join'd.
Did not your mighty arm prevent the fall. Holland, to gain your friendship, is content If Rome's great senate could not wield that sword To be our out-guard on the continent:
Which of the conquer'd world had made them lord ; She from her fellow-provinces would go,
What hope had ours, while yet their power was new, Rather than hazard to have you her foe.
To rule victorious armies, but by you? In our late fight, when cannons did diffuse, You! that had taught them to subdue their foes, Preventing posts, the terror and the news, Could order teach, and their high spirits compose . Our neighbor princes trembled at their roar : To every duty could their minds engage, But our conjunction makes them tremble more. Provoke their courage, and command their rage.
So, when a lion shakes his dreadful mane,
Verse, thus design'd, has no ill fate,
As the vex'd world, to find repose, at last
THE STORY OF
Then let the Muses, with such notes as these,
PH@BUS AND DAPHNE
Thyrsis, a youth of the inspired train,
Fair Sacharissa lov'd, but lov'd in vain :
Like Phoebus sung the no less amorous boy ;
With numbers, such as Phæbus' self might use!
Such is the chase, when Love and Fancy leads, Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,
O'er craggy mountains, and through flowery meads; And every conqueror creates a Muse:
Invok'd to testify the lover's care, Here in low strains your milder deeds we sing : Or form some image of his cruel fair. But there, my lord! we'll bays and olive bring
Urg'd with his fury, like a wounded deer,
O'er these he fled ; and now, approaching near,
Had reach'd the nymph with his harmonious lay,
Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain :
He catch'd at love, and fill’d his arms with bays.