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Till each to raz'd oblivion yield his
Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.
That poor retention could not so much hold',
Nor need I tallies, thy dear love to score;
Therefore to give thein from me was I bold,
To trust those tables that receive thee more:

To keep an adjunct to remember thee,
Were to import forgetfulness in me.

CXXIII.
No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change :
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing. strange;
They are but dressings of a former fight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foift upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our defire,
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wondering at the present nor the past;
For thy records and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by thy continual hafte :

This I do vow, and this Thall ever be,
I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.

CXXIV. If my dear love were but the child of state, It might for fortune's bastard be unfather'd, As subject to time's love, or to time's hate, Weeds among weds, or flowers with flowers ga

ther'd. No, it was builded far from accident; li fuffers not in siniling pomp, nor falls.

:3 That poor retention could not so much hold,) That poor reten. tion is the table-book given to him by his friend, incapable of refaining, or rather of containing, so much as the tablet of the brain.

MALONE.

Under

X X 4

Under the blow of thralled difcontent,
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls :
It fears not policy, that heretick,
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours,
But all alone stands hugely politick ,
That it not grows with heat", nor drowns with

showers.
To this I witness call the fools of time,
Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime'.

CXXV.
Were it aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward honouring”,
Or lay'd great bases for eternity,
Which prove more short than wafte or ruining?

* But all alone stands hugely politick,] This line brings to mind Dr. Akinfide's noble description of the Pantheon :

“ Mark how the dread Pantheon ftands,
“6 Amid the domes of modern hands!
" Amid the toys of idle state,

“ How fimply, how feverely great!" STEEVENS.
s That it not grows with béat, nor drowns with showers.]
Though a building may be drown'd, i. e, deluged by rain, it can
hardly grow under
the influence of beat, I would read-glows.

STEEVENS. Though the poet had compared his affection to a building, he seems to have deserted that thought; and here, perhaps, meant to allude to the progress of vegetation, and the accidents that retard it. So, in the 15th Sonnet:

" When I perceive that every thing that grows,
“ Holds in perfection but a little moment-
" When I perceive that men as plants increase,
" Cbeared and check'd even by the self-Came Sky &c."

MALONE.
tbe fools of time,
Which die for goodness, who bave liv'd for crime.] Per-
haps this is a stroke at fome of Fox's Martyrs. STEVENS.

With my extern the outward bonouring,] Thus, in Orbello;

of When my outward action doth demonstrate
• The native act and figure of my heart
“ In compliment extern" STEEVENS.

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Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour
Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent,
For compound sweet foregoing simple favour,
Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent ?
No;- let me be obsequious in thy heart,
And take thou my oblation, poor but free,
Which is not mix'd with feconds, knows no art
But mutual render, only me for thee.

Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true soul,
When moft impeach'd, stands least in thy control,

CXXVI. O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power Doft hold time's fickle glass, his fickle, hour; Who haft by waning grown, and therein show'st Thy lovers withering, as thy sweet self grow'st; If nature, fovereign mistress over wrack, As thou goeft onwards, still will pluck thee back, She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill May time disgrace, and wretched minutes kill. Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure; She may detain, but not still keep her treasure : Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be, And her quietus is to render thee.

8 Which is not mix'd wtth seconds,- -] I am just informed by an old lady, that feconds is a provincial term for the second kind of flour, which is collected after the smaller bran is fifted. That our author's oblation was pure, unmixed with baser matter, is all that he meant to say. Steevens.

* O tbou, my lovely boy,-) This Sonnet differs from all the others in the present collection, not being written in alternate shimes. MALONE. , And ber quietus] So, in Hamlet:

might his quietus make “ With a bare bodkin " See note on that passage, edit. 1778. Vol. X. p. 277. This Sonnet confits of only twelve lines. STEEVENS.

CXXVII.

CXXVII.
In the old age' black was not counted fair ,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name ;

But

'In the old age &c.] The reader will find almost all that is said here on the subject of complexion, is repeated in Love's Labour's Loft :

+66 0, who can give an oath? where is a book :

" That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack, " If that she learn not of her eye to look ?

“ No face is fair that is not full so black.

uo, if in black my lady's brow be deck'd,

is It mourns, that painting and usarping hair
66 Should ravish doters with a false afpect;
66 And therefore is the born to make black fair."

STEEVENS.
. In the old age &c.] All the remaining Sonnets are addresse:
to a female. MALONE.

A Sonnet was surely the contrivance of some literary Procruftes. The single thought of which it is to confit, however luxuriant, inuit be cramped within fourteen verses, or, however scanty, mult be spun out into the fame number. On a chain of certain links the existence of this metrical whim deperds; and its reception is secure as soon as the admirers of it have count. ed their expected and statutable proportion of rhimes. The gratification of head or heart, is no object of the writer's ambition. That a few of these trifles deserving a better character may be found, I shall not venture to deny ; for chance co-operatiog with art and genius, will occasionally produce wonders.

Of the Sonnets before us, one hundred and rwenty-fix are in. fcribed (as Mr. Malone obferves) to a friend: the remaining twenty-eight (a small proportion out of so many) are devoted to a mistress. Yet if our author's Ferdinand and Romeo had not expressed themselves in terms more familiar to human underitanding, I believe few readers would have rejoiced in the happiness of the one, or sympathized with the forrows of the other. Perhaps, indeed, quaintness, obfcurity, and tautology, are to be regarded as the conitituent parts of this exotick species of compofition. But, in whatever the excellence of it may confitt, 1 protels I am pne of those who should have wished it to have expired in the country where it was born, had it not fortunately provoked the ridicule of Lope de Vega, which, being faintly imitated by Voiture, was at

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But now is black beauty's fucceffive heir,
And beauty flander'd with a baftard fhame.

For

last transfused into English by Mr. Roderick, and exhibited as follows, in the second volume of Dodiley's Collection.

A Sonnet.
« Capricious Wray a sonnet needs must have ;

I ne'er was so put to't before :---a sonnet!

“ Why, fourteen verses must be spent upon it : 'Tis good, howe'er, to have conquer'd the first stave. " Yet I shall ne'er find rhymes enough by half,

“ Said I, and found myself i' the midst o' the second.

" If twice four verses were bur fairly reckonid,
" I should turn back on th' hardest part, and laugh..

“ Thus far, with good success, I think I've fcribled,

" And of the twice feven lines have clean got o'er ten. Courage ! another'll finish the first triplet.

" Thanks to thee, Mufe, my work begins to shorten, • There's thirteen lines got through, driblet by driblet. 'Tis done. Count how you will, I warr’nt there's

fourteen.” Let those who might conceive this sonnet to be unpoetical, if compared with others by more eminent writers, peruse the next, being the eleventh in the collection of Milton. " A book was writ of late callid Tetrachordon,

“ And woven close, both matter, form and style ;
“ The subject new : it walk'd the town a while,
“ Numb'ring good intellects ; now seldom por’d on.

" Cries the stall-reader, Bless us ! what a word on

“ A little page is this! and some in file
“ Stand spelling false, while one might walk to Mile-

“ End Green. Why is it harder Sirs than Gordon, “ Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Gallasp?

“ Those rugged names to our like mouths grow fleek,

" That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp. " Thy age, like ours, O soul of vir John Cheek,

• Hated not learning worse than toad or alp,
" When thou taughi'i Cambridge, and king Edward
Greek,”

Thc

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