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There is a lanthorn which the Jews,
It weighs my weight downright:
And then 'twas very light.
His elbow and his thumb.
And so away did come.
'Tis Europe's greatest town.
That walk it up and down. There many strange things are to see, The palace and great gallery,
The Place Royal doth excel :
The steeple bears the bell.
The house the Queen did build.
And there the King was killed :
The arsenal no toy.
O, 'tis a hopeful boy.*
Nor must you think it much :
O never king made such !
Witness those rings and roundelays
Of theirs, which yet remain, Were footed in Queen Mary's days
On many a grassy plain; But since of late Elizabeth,
And later, James camne in, They never danc'd on any heath
As when the time hath been. By which we note the fairies
Were of the old profession, Their songs were Ave-Maries,
Their dances were procession : But now, alas ! they all are dead,
Or gone beyond the seas ; Or farther for religion filed,
Or else they take their ease. A tell-tale in their company
They never could endure, And whoso kept not secretly
Their mirth, was punish'd sure ; It was a just and Christian deed,
To pinch such black and blue : O how the commonwealth doth need
Such justices as you !
SIR JOHN BEAUMONT-DR HENRY KING. Among the numerous minor poets who flourished, or rather composed, in the reign of James, were SIR JOHN BEAUMONT (1582-1628) and DR HENRY KING, bishop of Chichester (1591-1669). The former was the elder brother of the celebrated dramatist. Enjoying the
family estate of Grace Dieu, in Leicestershire, Sir John dedicated part of his leisure hours to the service of the Muses. He wrote a poem on Bosworth Field in the heroic couplet, which, though generally cold and unimpassioned, exhibits correct and forcible versification. As a specimen, we subjoin Richard's animated address to his troops on the eve of the decisive battle:
My fellow soldiers ! though your swords
Sir John Beaumont wrote the heroic couplet with great ease and correctness. In a poem to the memory of Ferdinando Pulton, Esq., are the following excellent versés :
Why should vain sorrow follow him with tears,
Farewell to the Fairies. Farewell rewards and fairies,
Good housewives now may say, For now foul sluts in dairies
Do fare as well as they. And though they sweep their hearths no less
Than maids were wont to do, Yet who of late, for cleanliness,
Finds sixpence in her shoe?
The fairies lost command;
But some have changed your land;
Are now grown Puritans;
For love of your domains.
You merry were and glad,
These pretty ladies had ;
Or Cis to milking rose,
• Louis XIII.
Whose thread exceeds the usual bounds of life, The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
The spring entomb’d in autumn lies;
The dew dries up, the star is shot;
The flight is past—and man forgot.
What is the existence of man's life, Than every little moment whence it springs ;
But open war, or slumber'd strife; Unless employ'd in works deserving praise,
Where sickness to his sense presents Must wear out many years and live few days.
The combat of the elements;
Till Death's cold hand signs his release !
It is a storm-where the hot blood
Outvies in rage the boiling flood; No realms, no worlds, can purchase it again :
And each loose passion of the mind Remembrance only makes the footsteps last,
Is like a furious gust of wind,
Which beats his bark with many a wave, When winged time, which fixed the prints, is past.
Till he casts anchor in the grave. Sir John also wrote an epitaph on his brother, the
It is a flower—which buds, and grows, dramatist, but it is inferior to the following:
And withers as the leaves disclose;
Whose spring and fall faint seasons keep,
Like fits of waking before sleep;
Then shrinks into that fatal mould The songs of death, forget my sweetest child,
Where its first being was enroll’d. Which like a flow'r crush'd with a blast, is dead, It is a dream-whose seeming truth And ere full time hangs down his smiling head, Is moralis'd in age and youth; Expecting with clear hope to live anew,
Where all the comforts he can share, Among the angels fed with heavenly dew?
As wandering as his fancies are; We have this sign of joy, that many days,
Till in a mist of dark decay, While on the earth his struggling spirit stays,
The dreamer vanish quite away. The name of Jesus in his mouth contains
It is a dial—which points out His only food, his sleep, his ease from pains.
The sun-set, as it moves about; O may that sound be rooted in my mind,
And shadows out in lines of night Of which in him such strong effect I find !
The subtle stages of Time's flight; Dear Lord, receive my son, whose winning love
Till all-obscuring earth hath laid
His body in perpetual shade.
It is a weary interlude-
Which doth short joys, long woes, include; In that frail body, which was part of me
The world the stage, the prologue tears, Remain my pledge in heaven, as sent to show
The acts vain hopes and varied fears; How to this port at every step I go.
The scene shuts up with loss of breath,
And leaves no epilogue but death. Dr Henry King, who was chaplain to James I., and did honour to the church preferment which was
FRANCIS BEAUMONT bestowed upon him, was best known as a religious poet. His language and imagery are chaste and refined. Of his lighter verse, the following song most conspicuous as a dramatist, in union with that
FRANCIS BEAUMONT (1585-1616), whose name is may suffice :
of Fletcher, wrote a small number of miscellaneous
pieces, which his brother published after his death. Song.
Some of these youthful effusions are witty and Dry those fair, those crystal eyes,
amusing; others possess a lyrical sweetness ; and Which, like growing fountains, rise,
a few are grave and moralising. The most celeTo drown their banks : grief's sullen brooks brated is the letter to Ben Jonson, which was oriWould better flow in furrow'd looks;
ginally published at the end of the play.Nice Thy lovely face was never meant
Valour,'' with the following title : Mr Francis To be the shore of discontent.
Beaumont's letter to Ben Jonson, written before he
and Master Fletcher came to London, with two of Then clear those waterish stars again,
the precedent comedies then not finished, which deWhich else portend a lasting rain ;
ferred their merry meetings at the Mermaid.' NotLest the clouds which settle there,
withstanding the admiration of Beaumont for · Rare Prolong my winter all the year,
Ben,' he copied Shakspeare in the style of his dramas. And thy example others make
Fletcher, however, was still more Shakspearian than In love with sorrow for thy sake.
his associate. Hazlitt says finely of the premature
death of Beaumont and his more poetical friends Sic Vita.
“The bees were said to have come and built their Like to the falling of a star,
hive in the mouth of Plato when a child ; and the Or as the flights of eagles are ;
fable might be transferred to the sweeter accents of Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Beaumont and Fletcher. Beaumont died at the age Or silver drops of morning dew;
of five-and-twenty [thirty). One of these writers Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
makes Bellario, the page, say to Philaster, who Or bubbles which on water stood :
threatens to take his lifeEv'n such is man, whose borrow'd light
"l'is not a life, Is straight callid in, and paid to-night.
'Tis but a piece of childhood chrown away.
But here was youth, genius, aspiring hope, growing Scarce please you ; we want subtilty to do
Strike when you wink, and then lament the blow;
I needs must cry ;
I see my days of ballading grow nigh;
I can already riddle, and can sing repine at fortune, and almost at nature, that seem Myself to speak the hardest words I find
Catches, sell bargains, and I fear shall bring to set so little store by their greatest favourites. Over as oft as any with one wind, The life of poets is, or ought to be (judging of it That takes no medicines, but thought of thee from the light it lends to ours), a golden dream, full Makes me remember all these things to be of brightness and sweetness, lapt in Elysium; and The wit of our young men, fellows that show it gives one a reluctant pang to see the splendid No part of good, yet utter all they know, vision, by which they are attended in their path of who, like trees of the garden, have growing souls. glory, fade like a vapour, and their sacred heads Only' strong Destiny, which all controls, laid low in ashes, before the sand of common mortals I hope hath left a better fate in store has run out. Fletcher, too, was prematurely cut For me, thy friend, than to live ever poor. off by the plague.'*
Banish'd unto this home : Fate once again
Bring me to thee, who canst make smooth and plain [Letter to Ben Jonson.]
The way of knowledge for me ; and then I,
Who have no good but in thy company, The sun (which doth the greatest comfort bring
Protest it will my greatest comfort be, To absent friends, because the self-same thing
To acknowledge all I have to flow from thee, They know, they see, however absent) is
Ben ; when these scenes are perfect, we'll taste wine;
On the Tombs in Westininster.
Mortality, behold and fear,
What a charge of flesh is here ! With fustian metaphors to stuff the brain,
Think how many royal bones So mixed, that, given to the thirstiest one,
Sleep within these heap of stones : 'Twill not prove alms, unless he have the stone.
Here they lie, had realms and lands, I think, with one draught man's invention fades :
Who now want strength to stir their hands; Two cups had quite spoil'd Homer's Iliades.
Where, from their pulpits seald with dust, 'Tis liquor that will find out Sutcliff's wit,
They preach-in greatness is no trust.
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin : It is a potion sent us down to drink,
Here the bones of birth have cried, By special Providence, keeps us from fights,
Though gods they were, as men they died : Makes us not laugh when we make legs to knights. Here are wands, ignoble things, Tis this that keeps our minds fit for our states,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings. A medicine to obey our magistrates :
Here's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.
Here she lies, whose spotless fame
Invites a stone to learn her name : And gravest men will with his main house-jest
The rigid Spartan that denied * Lectures on the Age of Elizabeth, &c., p. 227.
An epitaph to all that diod,
Unless for war, in charity
in tasteless conceits, even on grave elegiac subjects. In his epitaph on the daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth, he says
And here the precious dust is laid,
Song. Ask me no more where Jove bestows, When June is past, the fading rose ; For in your beauties, orient deep, These flowers, as in their causes, sleep. Ask me no more whither do stray The golden atoms of the day; For in pure love heaven did prepare Those powders to enrich your hair. Ask me no more whither doth haste The nightingale when May is past ; For in your sweet dividing throat She winters, and keeps warm her note. Ask me no more if east or west The Phønix builds her spicy nest ; For unto you at last she flies, And in your fragrant bosom dies !
THOMAS CAREW (1589-1639) was the precursor and representative of a numerous class of poets-courtiers of a gay and gallant school, who to personal accomplishments, rank, and education, united a taste and talent for the conventional poetry then most popular and cultivated. Their influence may be seen even in Cowley and Dryden: Carew and Waller were perhaps the best of the class : Rochester was undoubtedly the most debased. Their visions of fame were in general bounded by the circle of the court and the nobility. To live in future generations, or to sound the depths of the human heart, seems not to have entered into their contemplations. A loyal panegyric was the epic strain of their ambition; a * rosy cheek or coral lip' formed their ordinary theme. The court applauded; the lady was flattered or appeased by the compliment; and the poet was praised for his wit and gallantry; while all the time the heart had as little to do with the poetical homage thus tendered and accepted, as with the cold abstractions and 'rare poesies' on wax or ivory. A foul taint of immorality and irreligion often lurked under the flowery surface, and insidiously made itself known and felt. Carew sometimes went beyond this strain of heartless frivolity, and is graceful in sentiment as well as style-piling up stones of lustre from the brook ;' but he was capable of far higher things; and in him, as in Suckling and Sedley, we see only glimpses of a genius which might have been ripened into permanent and beneficial excellence. Carew was descended from an ancient Gloucestershire family. He was educated at Oxford, then travelled abroad, and on his return, obtained the notice and patronage of Charles I. He was appointed gentleman of the privy chamber, and sewer in ordinary to the king. His after life was that of a courtierwitty, affable, and accomplished without reflection; and in a strain of loose revelry which, according to Clarendon, the poet deeply repented in his latter days. “He died,' says the state historian, with the greatest remorse for that license, and with the greatest manifestation of Christianity, that his best friends could desire.'
The poems of Carew are short and occasional. His longest is a masque, written by command of the king, entitled Cælum Britannicum. It is partly in prose; and the lyrical pieces were set to music by Dr Henry Lawes, the poetical musician of that age.* The short amatory pieces and songs of Carew were exceedingly popular, and are now the only productions of bis which are read. They are often indelicate, but rich in expression. Thirty or forty years later, he would have fallen into the frigid style of the court poets after the Restoration ; but at the time he wrote, the passionate and imaginative vein of the Elizabethan period was not wholly exhausted. The
genial and warm tints' of the elder muse still coloured the landscape, and were reflected back in some measure by Carew. He abounded, however,
* of the peculiar composition called the masque, ap nooount is given in the sequel
The Compliment. I do not love thee for that fair Rich fan of thy most curious hair ; Though the wires thereof be drawn Finer than the threads of lawn, And are softer than the leaves On which the subtle spider weaves. I do not love thee for those flowers Growing on thy cheeks (love's bowers); Though such cunning them hath spread, None can paint them white and red: Love's golden arrows thence are shot, Yet for them I love thee not. I do not love thee for those soft Red coral lips I've kiss'd so oft ; Nor teeth of pearl, the double guard To speech, whence music still is heard; Though from those lips a kiss being taken, Might tyrants melt, and death awaken. I do not love thee, oh ! my fairest, For that richest, for that rarest Silver pillar, which stands under Thy sound head, that globe of wonder ; Tho' that neck be whiter far Than towers of polish'd ivory are.
Song. Would you know what's soft! I dare Not bring you to the down or air ; Nor to stars to show what's bright, Nor to snow to teach you white. Nor, if you would music hear, Call the orbs to take your car ; Nor to please your sense bring forth Bruised nard or what's more worth. Or on food were your thoughts plac'd, Bring you nectar, for a taste : Would you have all these in one, Name my mistress, and 'tis done.
Most fleeting when it is most dear ;
'Tis gone while we but say 'tis here,
These curious locks, so aptly twin'd, Skep. This mossy bank they pressid. Nymph. That
Whose every hair a soul doth bind, aged oak
Will change their auburn hue, and grow
White and cold as winter's snow.
That eye, which now is Cupid's nest,
Will prove his grave, and all the rest
Will follow ; in the cheek, chin, nose, Till the day breaking, their embraces broke.
Nor lily shall be found, nor rose ; Shep. See, love, the blushes of the morn appear, And what will then become of all And now she hangs her pearly store,
Those whom now you servants call I (Robb's from the eastern shore,)
Like swallows, when your summer's done, I'th' cowslip's bell, and rose's ear:
They'll fly, and seek some warmer sun. Sweet, I must stay no longer here.
Then wisely choose one to your friend Nymph. Those streaks of doubtful light usher not day,
Whose love may (when your beauties end) But show my sun must set; no morn
Remain still firm; be provident, Shall shine till thou return;
And think, before the summer's spent, The yellow planets, and the gray
of following winter ; like the ant, Dawn, shall attend thee on thy way.
In plenty hoard for time of scant.
For when the storms of Time have moved Skep. If thine eyes gild my paths, they may forbear
Waves on that cheek which was beloved ; Their useless shine. Nymph. My tears will quite
When a fair lady's face is pined, Extinguish their faint light.
And yellow spread where red once shin'd; Shep. Those drops will make their beams more clear,
When beauty, youth, and all sweets leave her, Love's flames will shine in ev'ry tear.
Love may return, but lovers never: Cho. They kiss'd and wept; and from their lips and eyes, And old folks say there are no pains In a mix'd dew of briny sweet,
Like itch of love in aged veins. Their joys and sorrows meet ;
O love me then, and now begin it, But she cries out. Nymph. Shepherd, arise,
Let us not lose this present minute ; The sun betrays us else to spies.
For time and age will work that wrack Cho. The winged hours fly fast, whilst we embrace;
Which time or age shall ne'er call back.
The snake each year fresh skin resumes, But when we want their help to meet,
And eagles change their aged plumes ; They move with leaden feet.
The faded rose, each spring, receives Nymph. Then let us pinion time, and chase
A fresh red tincture on her leaves : The day for ever from this place.
But if your beauties once decay, Shep. Hark! Nymph. Ay, me, stay! Shep. For ever. You never know a second May. Nymph. No, arire,
Oh, then, be wise, and whilst your season We must be gone. Shep. My nest of spice. Affords you days for sport, do reason ; Nymph. My soul. Shep. My paradise.
Spend not in vain your life's short hour, Cho. Neither could say farewell, but through their eyes But crop in time your beauties' flower, Grief interrupted speech with tears' supplies.
Which will away, and doth together
Both bud and fade, both blow and wither.
He that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires, The temperate affords me none;
Or from star-like eyes doth seek Either extreme of love or hate
Fuel to maintain his fires ; Is sweeter than a calm estate.
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.
But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts and calm desires ; Disdain, that torrent will devour
Hearts with equal love combined, My culture hopes; and he's possess'd
Kindle never-dying fires. of heaven that's but from hell releas'd;
Where these are not, I despise Then crown my joys or cure my pain ;
Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes ! Give me more love or more disdain.
No tears, Celia, now shall win
My resolv'd heart to return;
I have search'd thy soul within,
And find nought but pride and scorn ;
I have learn'd thy arts, and now Y'are fresh as April, sweet as May,
Can disdain as much as thou. Bright as is the morning star,
Some power, in my revenge, convey
That love to her I cast away.
[Approach of Spring.)
Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost Beauty's sweet, but beauty's frail !
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost 'Tis sooner past, 'tis sooner done,
Candies the grass, or calls an icy cream Than summer's rain or winter's sun ;
Upon the silver lake, or crystal stream ;