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Thus sought the dire enchantress in his mind thrown into prison. He published various treatises, Her guileful bait to have embosomed :
satires, and poems, during this period, though he was But he her charms dispersed into wind,
treated with great rigour. He was released, under And her of insolence admonished,
bond for good behaviour, in 1663, and survived And all her optic glasses shattered.
nearly four years afterwards, dying in London on So with her sire to hell she took her flight
the 2d of May 1667. (The starting air flew from the damned sprite),
Wither’s fame as a poet is derived chiefly from his Where deeply both aggriev'd plunged themselves in early productions, written before he had imbibed the night.
sectarian gloom of the Puritans, or become emBut to their Lord, now musing in his thought, broiled in the struggles of the civil war. A colA heavenly volley of light angels flew,
lection of his poems was published by himself in And from his father him a banquet brought
1622, with the title, Mistress of Philarete ; his ShepThrough the fine element, for well they knew, herds' Hunting, being certain Eclogues written After his Lenten fast, he hungry grew :
during the time of the author's imprisonment in the And as he fed, the holy choirs combine
Marshalsea, appeared in 1633. His Collection of To sing a hymn of the celestial Trine ;
Emblems, ancient and modern, Quickened with Me. All thought to pass, and each was past all thought trical Illustrations, made their appearance in 1635. divine.
His satirical and controversial works were numeThe birds' sweet notes, to sonnet out their joys,
rous, but are now forgotten. Some authors of our Attemper'd to the lays angelical ;
own day (Mr Southey in particular) have helped And to the birds the winds attune their noise ;
to popularise Wither, by frequent quotation and And to the winds the waters hoarsely call,
eulogy ; but Mr Ellis, in his Specimens of Early EngAnd echo back again revoiced all ;
lish Poets, was the first to point out that playful That the whole valley rung with victory.
fancy, pure taste, and artless delicacy of sentiment, But now our Lord to rest doth homewards fly :
which distinguish the poetry of his early youth.' See how the night comes stealing from the mountains
His poem on Christmas affords a lively picture of high.
the manners of the times. His Address to Poetry, the sole yet cheering companion of his prison soli
tude, is worthy of the theme, and superior to most GEORGE WITHER.
of the effusions of that period. The pleasure with GEORGE WITHER (1588-1667) was a voluminous which he recounts the various charms and the author, in the midst of disasters and sufferings that divine skill of his Muse, that had derived nourishwould have damped the spirit of any but the mostment and delight from the meanest objects of exadventurous and untiring enthusiast. Some of his ternal nature-a daisy, a bush, or a tree; and which, happiest strains were composed in prison: his when these picturesque and beloved scenes of the limbs were incarcerated within stone walls and iron country were denied him, could gladden even the bars, but his fancy was among the hills and plains, vaults and shades of a prison, is one of the richest with shepherds hunting, or loitering with Poesy, by offerings that has yet been made to the pure and rustling boughs and murmuring springs. There is hallowed shrine of poesy. The superiority of in. a freshness and natural vivacity in the poetry of tellectual pursuits over the gratifications of sense, ! Wither, that render his early works a 'perpetual and all the malice of fortune, has never been more
feast.' We cannot say that it is a feast where no touchingly or finely illustrated.
[The Companionship of the Muse.]
(From the Shepherds Hunting.) Oxford. He first appeared as an author in the year Sec'st thou not, in clearest days, 1613, when he published a satire, entitled Abuses
Oft thick fogs cloud heaven's rays; Stript and Whipt. For this he was thrown into the
And the vapours that do breathe Marsbalsea, where he composed his fine poem, The
From the earth's gross womb beneath, Shepherds Hunting. When the abuses satirised by
Seem they not with their black steams the poet had accumulated and brought on the civil
To pollute the sun's bright beams, war, Wither took the popular side, and sold his
And yet vanish into air, paternal estate to raise a troop of horse for the par
Leaving it, unblemish'd, fair? liament. He rose to the rank of a major, and in
So, my Willy, shall it be 1642 was made governor of Farnham Castle, after
With Detraction's breath and thee: wards held by Denham. Wither was accused of
It shall never rise so high, deserting his appointment, and the castle was ceded
As to stain thy poesy. the same year to Sir William Waller. During the
As that sun doth oft exhale struggles of that period, the poet was made prisoner
Vapours from each rotten vale; by the royalists, and stood in danger of capital
Poesy so sometime drains punishment, when Denham interfered for his brother
Gross conceits from muddy brains; bard, alleging, that as long as Wither lived, he (Den
Mists of envy, fogs of spite,
That she can dissolve them too. the perilous contentions of the times. He was after
If thy verse do bravely tower, wards one of Cromwell's majors general, and kept As she makes wing she gets power; watch and ward over the royalists of Surrey. From
Yet the higher she doth soar, the sequestrated estates of these gentlemen, Wither
She's affronted still the more: obtained a considerable fortune; but the Restoration Till she to the high’st hath past, came, and he was stript of all his possessions. He Then she rests with fame at last : remonstrated loudly and angrily ; his remonstrances Let nought therefore thee affright, were voted libels, and the unlucky poet was again But make forward in thy flight;
Therefore, thou best earthly bliss,
Sonnet upon a Stolen K'iss. Now gentle sleep hath closed up those eyes Which, waking, kept my boldest thoughts in awe; And free access unto that sweet lip lies, From whence I long the rosy breath to draw, Methinks no wrong it were, if I should steal From those two melting rubies, one poor kiss; None sees the theft that would the theft reveal, Nor rob I her of ought what she can miss : Nay should I twenty kisses take away, There would be little sign I would do so ; Why then should I this robbery delay! Oh! she may wake, and therewith angry grow! Well, if she do, I'll back restore that one, And twenty hundred thousand more for loan.
For, if I could match thy rhyme, To the very stars I'd climb; There begin a rain, and fly Till I reach'd eternity. But, alas ! my muse is slow : For thy page she flags too low : Yea, the more's her hapless fate, Her short wings were clipt of late : And poor I, her fortune rueing, Am myself put up a-mewing: But if I my cage can rid, I'll fly where I never did: And though for her sake I'm crost, Though my best hopes I have lost, And knew she would make my trouble Ten times more than ten times double : I should love and keep her too, Spite of all the world could do. For, though banish'd from my flocks, And contin'd within these rocks, Here I waste away the light, And consume the sullen night, She doth for my comfort stay, And keeps many cares away. Though I miss the flowery fields, With those sweets the springtide yields, Though I may not see those grores, Where the shepherds chant their loves, And the lasses more excel Than the sweet-voiced Philomel. Though of all those pleasures past, Nothing now remains at last, But Remembrance, poor relief, That more makes than mends my grief : She's my mind's companion still, Maugre Envy's evil will. (Whence she would be driven, too, Were't in mortal's power to do.) She doth tell me where to borrow Comfort in the midst of sorrow : Makes the desolatest place To her presence be a grace ; And the blackest discontents Be her fairest ornaments. In my former days of bliss, Her divine skill taught me this, That from everything I saw, I could some invention draw: And raise pleasure to her height, Through the meanest object's sight, By the murmur of a spring, Or the least bough's rustlëing. By a daisy, whose leaves spread, Shut when Titan goes to bed ; Or a shady bush or tree, She could more infuse in me, Than all Nature's beauties can In some other wiser man. By her help I also now Make this churlish place allow Some things that may sweeten gladness, In the very gall of sadness. The dull loneness, the black shade, That these hanging vaults have made; The strange music of the wares, Beating on these hollow cares ; This black den which rocks emboss, Orergrown with eldest moss : The rude portals that give light More to terror than delight: This my chamber of neglect, Wall'd about with disrespect. From all these, and this dull air, A fit object for despair, She hath taught me hy her might To draw comfort and delight.
The Steadfast Shepherd. Hence away, thou Syren, leave me,
Pish! unclasp these wanton arms; Sugar'd words can ne'er deceive me, (Though thou prove a thousand charins).
Fie, fie, forbear;
No common snare
Thy painted baits,
And poor deceits
Neither shall that snowy breast,
Go, go, display
Thy beauty's ray
Those common wiles,
Of sighs and smiles,
Turn away thy tempting eye:
My spirit loathes
Where gaudy clothes
I love her so
Whose look swears no,
Which on every breast are worn ;
I can go rest
That is the pride of Cynthia's train;
Then stay thy tongue ;
Thy mermaid song
Where each peasant mates with him : Shall I haunt the thronged vallies, Whilst there's noble hills to elimb ?
No, no, though clowns
Are scar'd with frowns,
And those I'll prove,
So will thy love
Where each lustful lad may woo;
She, she, it is
Affords that bliss,
But such as you,
Fond fools, adieu, You seek to captive me in vain. Leave me, then, thou Syren, leave me;
Seek no more to work my harms ;' Crafty wiles cannot deceive me, Who am proof against your charms :
You labour may
To lead astray The heart, that constant shall remain ;
And I the while
Will sit and smile
Madrigal. Amaryllis I did woo, And I courted Phillis too ; Daphne for her love I chose, Chloris, for that damask rose In her cheek, I held so dear, Y ea, a thousand lik'd well near ; And, in love with all together, Feared the enjoying either : 'Cause to be of one possess'd, Barr'd the hope of all the rest.
Rank misers now do sparing shun;
Their hall of music soundeth ; And dogs thence with whole shoulders run,
So all things there aboundeth. The country folks, themselves advance, With crowdy-muttons out of France; And Jack shall pipe and Gill shall dance,
And all the town be merry.
And all his best apparel;
With dropping of the barrel.
And all the day be merry.
With capons make their errants ; And if they hap to fail of these,
They plague them with their warrants: But now they feed them with good cheer, And what they want they take in beer, For Christmas comes but once a year,
And then they shall be merry. Good farmers in the country nurse
The poor, that else were undone ; Some landlords spend their money worse,
On lust and pride at London. There the roysters they do play, Drab and dice their lands away, Which may be ours another day,
And therefore let's be merry. The client now his suit forbears,
The prisoner's heart is eased;
And for the time is pleased.
And therefore let's be merry.
Each other forth to rambling;
For nuts and apples scrambling.
And there they will be merry.
About the streets are singing ;
The wild mare in is bringing.
And here they will be merry.
And mate with every body ;
And wise men play the noddy.
Because they will be merry.
Should we, I pray, be duller ?
To make our mirth the fuller : And, while we thus inspired sing, Let all the streets with echoes ring; Woods and hills, and everything, Bear witness we are merry
Barr'to be of Ying ei 2gether.
Let every man be jolly;
And every post with holly.
And let us all be merry.
And Christmas blocks are burning;
And all their spits are turning.
And evermore be merry.
And no man minds his labour ;
A bagpipe and a tabor ; Young men and maids, and girls and boys, Give life to one another's joys; And you anon shall by their noise
Perceive that they are merry.
name of Philarete in a pastoral poem; and Milton is WILLIAM BROWNE.
supposed to have copied his plan in Lycidas. There WILLIAM BROWNE (1590-1645) was a pastoral
is also a faint similarity in some of the sentiments and descriptive poet, who, like Phineas and Giles
and images. Browne has a very fine illustration of a Fletcher, adopted Spenser for his model. He was a
rose : native of Tavistock, in Devonshire, and the beautiful scenery of his native county seems to have inspired
Look, as a sweet rose fairly budding forth his early strains. His descriptions are vivid and
Betrays her beauties to th' enamour'd morn, true to nature. Browne was tutor to the Earl of
L'ntil some keen blast from the envious north
Kills the sweet bud that was but newly born; Carnarvon, and on the death of the latter at the
Or else her rarest smells, delighting, battle of Newbury in 1643, he received the patron
Make herself betray age and lived in the family of the Earl of Pembroke.
Some white and curious hand, inviting In this situation he realised a competency, and,
To pluck her thence away. according to Wood, purchased an estate. He died at Ottery-St-Mary (the birth-place of Coleridge) in 1645. Browne's works consist of Britannia's Pastorals, the first part of which was published in 1613,
(A Descriptive Sketch..] the second part in 1616. He wrote, also, a pastoral
( what a rapture have I gotten now! poem of inferior merit, entitled, The Shepherd's Pipe. İn 1620, a masque by Browne was produced at
That age of gold, this of the lovely brow,
| Have drawn me from my song! I onward run court, called The Inner Temple Masque; but it was
que; but it was (Clean from the end to which I first begun), not printed till a hundred and twenty years after Buty the author's death, transcribed from a manuscript in whom the virtues and the graces rest.
| But ye, the heavenly creatures of the West, in the Bodleian Library. As all the poems of
Pardon ! that I have run astray so long, Browne were produced before he was thirty years of
Was mirty years or And grow so tedious in so rude a song. age, and the best when he was little more than life
| If you yourselves should come to add one grace twenty, we need not be surprised at their containing | Unto a pleasant grove or such like place, marks of juvenility, and frequent traces of resem- | Where, here, the curious cutting of a hedge, blance to previous poets, especially Spenser, whom | There in a pond, the trimming of the sedge ; he warmly admired. His pastorals obtained the Here the fine setting of well-shaded trees, approbation of Selden, Drayton, Wither, and Ben The walks there mounting up by small degrees, Jonson. Britannia's Pastorals are written in the | The gravel and the green so equal lie, heroic couplet, and contain much beautiful descrip- | It, with the rest, draws on your ling’ring eye: tive poetry. Browne had great facility of expression, Here the sweet smells that do perfume the air,
intimate acquaintance with the phenomena Arising from the infinite repair of inanimate nature, and the characteristic features Of odoriferous buds, and herbs of price, of the English landscape. Why he has failed in (As if it were another paradise), maintaining his ground among his contemporaries, So please the smelling sense, that you are fain must be attributed to the want of vigour and con- Where last you walk'd to turn and walk again. densation in his works, and the almost total absence There the small birds with their harmonious notes of human interest. His shepherds and shepherdesses Sing to a spring that smileth as she floats : have nearly as little character as the “silly sheep'| For in her face a many dimples show, they tend; whilst pure description, that takes the And often skips as it did dancing go: place of sense,' can never permanently interest any Here further down an over-arched alley large number of readers. So completely had some That from a hill goes winding in a valley, of the poems of Browne vanished from the public | You spy at end thereof a standing lake, view and recollection, that, had it not been for a Where some ingenious artist strives to make single copy of them possessed by the Rev. Thomas The water (brought in turning pipes of lead Warton, and which that poetical student and anti- | Through birds of earth most lively fashioned) quary lent to be transcribed, it is supposed there | To counterfeit and mock the sylvans all would have remained little of those works which In singing well their own set madrigal. their author fondly hoped would
This with no small delight retains your ear,
And makes you think none blest but who live there. Keep his name enroll d past his that shines
Then in another place the fruits that be In gilded marble, or in brazen leaves.
In gallant clusters decking each good tree Warton cites the following lines of Browne, as con Invite your hand to crop them from the stem,
And liking one, taste every sort of them : taining an assemblage of the same images as the morning picture in the L'Allegro of Milton :
Then to the arbours walk, then to the bowers,
Thence to the walks again, thence to the flowers, By this had chanticleer, the viilage cock,
Then to the birds, and to the clear spring thence, Bidden the goodwife for her maids to knock ;
Now pleasing one, and then another sense :
I oft have sat on Thames sweet bank, to hear
My friend with his sweet touch to charm mine ear: Began to leap and catch the drowned fly,
When he hath play'd (as well he can) some strain, I rose from rest, not infelicity.
That likes me, straight I ask the same again,
And he, as gladly granting, strikes it o'er Brownc celebrated the death of a friend under the / With some sweet relish was forgot before :
I would have been content if he would play,
|| The sable mantle of the silent night
Shut from the world the ever-joysome light.
FRANCIS QUARLES. The writings of FRANCIS QUARLES (1592-1644) are more like those of a divine, or contemplative recluse, than of a busy man of the world, who held various public situations, and died at the age of fifty-two. Quarles was a native of Essex, educated at Cambridge, and afterwards a student of Lincoln's Inn. He was successively cup-bearer to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, secretary to Archbishop Usher, and chronologer to the city of London. He espoused the cause of Charles I., and was so harassed by the opposite party, who injured his property, and plundered him of his books and rare manuscripts, that his death was attributed to the affliction and ill health caused by these disasters. Notwithstanding his loyalty, the works of Quarles have a tinge of Puritanism and ascetic picty that might have mollified the rage of his persecutors. His poems consist of various pieces -—Job Militant, Sion's Elegies, The History of Queen Esther, Argalus and Parthenia, The Morning Muse, The Feast of Worms, and The Divine Emblems. The latter were published in 1645, and were so popular, that Phillips, Milton's nephew, styles Quarles the darling of our plebeian judgments. The eulogium still holds good to some extent, for the Divine Emblems, with their quaint and grotesque illustrations, are still found in the cottages of our peasants. After the Restoration, when everything sacred and serious was either neglected or made the subject of ribald jests, Quarles seems to have been entirely lost to the public. Even Pope, who, had he read him, must have relished his lively fancy and poetical expression, notices only his bathos and absurdity. The better and more tolerant taste of modern times has admitted the divine emblemist into the 'laurelled fraternity of poets,' where, if he does not occupy a conspicuous place, he is at least sure of his due measure of homage and attention. Emblems, or the union of the graphic and poetic arts, to inculcate lessons of morality and re. ligion, had been tried with success by Peacham and Wither. Quarles, however, made Herman Hugo, a Jesuit, his model, and from the ‘Pia Desideria' of this author, copied a great part of his prints and mottoes. His style is that of his age---studded with conceits, often extravagant in conception, and presenting the most outré and ridiculous combinations. There is strength, however, amidst his contortions, and true wit mixed up with the false. His cpigrammatic point, uniting wit and devotion, has been considered the precursor of Young's Night Thoughts.
But since her stay was long: for fear the sun
That, for his lass, sought fruits, most sweet, most ripe. !! Here (from the rest), a lovely shepherd's boy | Sits piping on a hill, as if his joy | Would still endure, or else that age's frost | Should never make him think what he had lost,
Yonder a shepherdess knits by the springs,
[The Syren's Sony:]
All beaten mariners,
A prey to passengers ;
Fear not your ships,
But come on shore,
Where never storms arise,
For stars, gaze on our eyes.
We will not miss
Stanzas. As when a lady, walking Flora's bower, Picks here a pink, and there a gilly-flower, Now plucks a violet from her purple bed, And then a primrose, the year's maidenhead, There nips the brier, here the lover's pansy, Shifting her dainty pleasures with her fancy, This on her arms, and that she lists to wear Upon the border3 of her curious hair ; At length a rose-bud (passing all the rest) She plucks, and bosoms in her lily breast.
The Shortness of Life. And what's a life?- weary pilgrimage, Whose glory in one day doth fill the stave With childhood, manhood, and decrepit age. And what's a life ?—the flourishing array Of the proud summer meadow, which to-day | Wears her green plush, and is to-morrow hay.