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Much less could'st have it from the purer fire ; The plot is complicated and obscure, and the charac-
like the Faery Queen, for its romantic descriptions, Our mutual love itself did recompense.
and its occasional felicity of language. The versiThou hast no correspondence had in heaven,
fication is that of the heroic couplet, varied, like And th' elemental world, thou see'st, is free.
Milton's Lycidas, by breaks and pauses in the middle
[The Witch's Cave.]
Her cell was hewn out of the marble rock,
By more than human art; she need not knock ;
Grown o'er with woolly moss on either side,
And interwove with ivy's flattering twines,
Through which the carbuncle and diamond shines,
Not set by Art, but there by Nature sown
At the world's birth, so star-like bright they shone.
acquaintant and friend' of Spenser. Spenser died and captivated all his senses so,
, in- That he was not himself: nor did he know
Next unto his view
Had a more wanton eye, that here and there
falls his hands to kiss,
Whether she was the same she did appear,
Or whether some fantastic form it were,
His lov'd Clarinda, that his fancy strove,
Even with her shadow, to express his love.
ing his education at Oxford, Cartwright entered [The Priestess of Diana.]
into holy orders. He was a zealous royalist, and Within a little silent grove hard by,
was imprisoned by the parliamentary forces when
they arrived in Oxford in 1642. In 1643, he was Upon a small ascent he might espy
chosen junior proctor of the university, and was also A stately chapel, richly gilt without, Beset with shady sycamores about:
reader in metaphysics. At this time, the poet is
said to have studied sixteen hours a day! Towards And ever and anon he might well hear A sound of music steal in at his ear
the close of the same year, Cartwright caught As the wind gave it being :-90 sweet an air
malignant fever, called the camp disease, then pre Would strike a syren mute.
valent at Oxford, and died December 23, 1643. The
king, who was then at Oxford, went into mourning A hundred virgins there he might espy
for Cartwright's death ; and when his works were Prostrate before a marble deity,
published in 1651, no less than fifty copies of enWhich, by its portraiture, appear'd to be
comiastic verses were prefixed to them by the wits The image of Diana :-on their knee
and scholars of the time. It is difficult to conceive, They tender'd their devotions: with sweet airs, from the perusal of Cartwright's poems, why he Offring the incense of their praise and prayers.
should have obtained such extraordinary applause Their garments all alike; beneath their paps and reputation. His pieces are mostly short, occaBuckled together with a silver claps;
sional productions, addresses to ladies and noblemen, And cross their snowy silken robes, they wore or to his brother poets, Fletcher and Jonson, or An azure scarf, with stars embroider'd o'er.
slight amatory effusions not distinguished for eleTheir hair in curious tresses was knit up,
gance or fancy. His youthful virtues, his learning, Crown'd with a silver crescent on the top.
loyalty, and admiration of genius, seem to have A silver bow their left hand held ; their right, mainly contributed to his popularity, and his premaFor their defence, held a sharp-headed flight, ture death would renew and deepen the impression Drawn from their 'broider'd quiver, neatly tied of his worth and talents. Cartwright must have In silken cords, and fasten'd to their side.
cultivated poetry in his youth: he was only twentyUnder their vestments, something short before, six when Ben Jonson died, and the compliment White buskins, lac'd with ribanding, they wore. quoted above seems to prove that he had then It was a catching sight for a young eye,
been busy with his pen. He mourned the loss of That love had fir'd before :-he might espy
his poetical father in one of his best effusions, in One, whom the rest had sphere-like circled round, which he thus eulogises Jonson's dramatic powers :Whose head was with a golden chaplet crown'd. He could not see her face, only his ear
But thou still puts true passion on ; dost write Was blest with the sweet words that came from her. With the same courage that tried captains fight;
Giv'st the right blush and colour unto things;
Low without creeping, high without loss of wings; (The Votaress of Diana.]
Smooth yet not weak, and, by a thorough care,
Big without swelling, without painting fair.
To a Lady Veiled.
From the dark chaos, he first shed the day;
The half seen, half hid glory of the rose,
As you do through your veils; and I may swear, And fashion’d to the life, one would have thought Viewing you so, that beauty doth bide there. They had been real. Underneath she wore
So Truth lay under fables, that the eye A coat of silver tinsel, short before,
Might reverence the mystery, not descry; And fring'd about with gold : white buskins hide Light being so proportion'd, that no more The naked of her leg; they were loose tied
Was seen, but what might cause men to adore : With azure ribands, on whose knots were seen
Thus is your dress so order'd, so contrived, Most costly gems, fit only for a queen.
As 'tis but only poetry revived. Her hair bound up like to a coronet,
Such doubtful light had sacred groves, where rods With diamonds, rubies, and rich sapphires set;
And twigs at last did shoot up into gods ; And on the top a silver crescent plac'd.
Where, then, a shade darkeneth the beauteous face, And all the lustre by such beauty grac'd,
May I not pay a reverence to the place? As her reflection made them scein more fair ;
So, under water, glimmering stars appear, One would have thought Diana's self were there;
As those (but nearer stars) your eyes do here; For in her hand a silver bow she held,
So deities darkened sit, that we may find And at her back there hung a quiver fill'd
A better way to see them in our mind.
No bold Ixion, then, be here allow'd,
Methinks the first age comes again, and we
See a retrieval of simplicity.
Thus looks the country virgin, whose brown hue WILLIAM CARTWRIGHT (1611-1643) was one of Hoods her, and makes her show even veil'd as you. Ben Jonson's adopted sons of the muses, and of his Blest mean, that checks our hope, and spurs our fear, works Jonson remarked—“My son Cartwright writes Whiles all doth not lie hid, nor all appear : all like a man.' Cartwright was a favourite with O fear ye no assaults from bolder men; his contemporaries, who loved him living, and when they assail, be this your armour then. deplored his early death. This poet was the son of A silken helmet may defend those parts, an innkeeper at Cirencester, who had squandered Where softer kisses are the only darts ! away a patrimonial estate. In 1638, after complet
Do make or cherish;
And nature grieves as I;
Though some propitious power
How showers and sunbeams bring
One everlasting spring;
Nature herself to him is lost,
Who loseth her he honours most.
Your graces all in one full day;
Thou, who didst never see the light,
V 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 I.,
Would backwards run, till they met mine?
Things unto things, might us combine.
First strikes the new awakened sense ;
And we must count our life from thence :
And in those souls did plant new pow'rs:
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,
None too much, none too little have;
Tell me what's yours, and what is mine?
Do, like our souls, in one combine ;
in 1629, to the vicarage of Dean Prior in Devonshire.
After about twenty years' residence in this rural I dream'd I saw myself lie dead,
parish, Herrick was ejected from his living by the And that my bed my coffin grew,
storms of the civil war, which, as Jeremy Taylor Silence and sleep this strange sight bred, says, “dashed the vessel of the church and state all/ But, waked, I found I liv'd anew.
in pieces.' Whatever regret the poet may have felt Looking next morn on your bright face,
on being turned adrift on the world, he could have Mine eyes bequeath'd mine heart fresh pain ; experienced little on parting with his parishioners, A dart rush'd in with every grace,
for he describes them in much the same way as And so I kill'd myself again :
Crabbe portrayed the natives of Suffolk, among O eyes, what shall distressed lovers do,
whom he was cast in early life, as a 'wild amphiIf open you can kill, if shut you view i
bious 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
Worthy thy benediction,
That one of all the rest shall be
The glory of my work and me.
The poet should better have evinced the sincerity
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's 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 serious numbers. The time of the poet's death has time that he lost his vicarage, Herrick appears to 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, ment and many of the expressions of the latter are Herrick lived in Westminster, and was supported 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
of pathos that wins its way to the heart. They tells us, thrive in frenzy, like rare Ben, who seems abound, like all Herrick's poems, in lively imagery 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 come 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.
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree, After the Restoration, Herrick was replaced in his
Why do you fall so fast 1 Devonshire vicarage. How he was received by the
Your date 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 pro. bably 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
Their end, though ne'er so brave :
And after they have shown their pride,
Like you a while, they glide
Into the grave.
Will go with you along !
Ne'er to be found again.
Twelfth Night, or King and Queen.
With the cake full of plums,
Beside, we must know,
The pea also
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 ;
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;2 Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of ale, too ;
And thus ye must do
Give them to the king
And queen wassailing;
Yet part ye from hence,
As free from offence,
The Kiss—a Dialogue. 1. Among thy fancies tell me this:
What is the thing we call a kiss k 2. I shall resolve ye what it is :
It is a creature born, and bred
Chor.-And makes more soft the bridal bed : 2. It is an active flame, that flies
First to the babies of the eyes,
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;
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;
Chor.-Love honey yields, but never stings.
The Country Life.
To the Virgins, to make much of their Time.
Gather the rose-buds, while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying,
To-morrow will be dying.
The higher he's a getting,
And nearer he's to setting.
When youth and blood are warmer ; But, being spent, the worse, and worst
Time shall succeed the former.
And while ye may, go marry;
You may for ever tarry.
1 Amongst the sports proper to Twelfth Night in England was the partition of a cake with a bean and pea in it: the in. dividuals 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 it The term is a corruption from the Celtic. a Farm-labourers. The term is still used in Sootland.