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as the seas.' Herrick gives us a glimpse of his own Forgive me, God, and blot cach 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 unBut I'll spend my coming hours
baptised rhymes himself, or not reprinting them; Drinking wine and crown'd with flowers. but the vanity of the author probably triumphed
over the penitence of the Christian. Gaiety was the
natural element of Herrick. His muse was a godThis light and genial temperament would enable the
dess fair and free, that did not move happily in poet 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,
| many years after his death. They are now again in Esquire,' in 1648. The clerical prefix to his name seems now to have been abandoned by the poet,
esteem, especially his shorter lyrics, some of which
have been set to music, and are sung and quoted by 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 llerrick lived in Westminster, and was supported
taken from Spenser), possess a delicious mixture of or assisted by the wealthy royalists. He associated
| playful fancy and natural feeling. Those To Bloswith the jovial spirits of the age. He .quaffed the
soms, To Daffodils, and To Primroses, have a tinge mighty bowl with Ben Jonson, but could not, he
of pathos that wins its way to the lieart. They tells us, thrive in frenzy,' like rare Ben, who seems
abound, like all Herrick's poems, in lively imagery to liave 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 trauslunary 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 Den !
and Suckling were before him-Herrick was, thereSay how or when
fore, not without models of the highest excellence in Shall we, thy guests,
tliis 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 harOutdid 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, Ilerrick was replaced in his
Why do you fall so fast ? Devonshire vicarage. How he was received by the
Your date is 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 ! 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 bravo :
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, Where bean's the king of the sport here;
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 qucen herc.
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 Kis3-a Dialogue. 1. Among thy fancies tell me this:
What is the thing we call a kiss ? | 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:
Chor.-And here, and there, and everywhere. 1. Has it a speaking virtue ?—2. Ycs. 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; And as it flies, it gently sings,
Chor.-Love honey yields, but never stings.
The Country Life. Sweet country life, to such unknown, Whose lives are others', not their own ! But, serving courts and cities, be Less happy, less enjoying thee. Thou never plough'd the ocean's foam, To seek and bring rough pepper home; Nor to the eastern Ind dost rove, To bring from thence the scorched clore; Nor, with the loss of thy lov'd rest, Bring'st home the ingot from the west. No; thy ambition's master-piece Flies no thought higher than a ficece; Or how to pay thy hinds,3 and clear All scores, and so to end the year ; But walk'st about thy own dear grounds, Not craving others' larger bounds; For well thou know'st 'tis not th' extent Of land makes life, but sweet content. When now the cock, the ploughman's horn, Calls for the lily-wristed morn, Then to thy corn-fields thou dost go, Which, though well soil'd, yet thou dost know That the best compost for the lands Is the wise master's feet and hands. There, at the plough, thou find’st thy team, With a hind whistling there to them ; And chcer'st them up by singing how The kingdom's portion is the plough. This done, then to th' enamelled meads Thou go'st; and, as thy foot there treads, Thou seest a present godlike power Imprinted in each herb and flower;
To the Virgins, to make much of their Time.
Gather the rose-buds, while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying, And this same flower that smiles to-day,
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 individuals who got the bean and pea were respectively king and queen for the evening.
2 A drink of warm ale, with roasted apples and spices in it. The term is a corruption from the Celtic.
3 Farm labourers. The terın is still used in Scotland.
The Bag of the Bee.
Two Cupids fell at odds ;
They vowed to ask the gods.
And for their boldness stript them; And taking thence from each his flame,
With rods of myrtle whipt them. Which done, to still their wanton cries,
When quiet grown sh' ad seen them, She kiss'd and wiped their dove-like eyes,
And gave the bag between them.
And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine,
Upon a Child that Died. Here she lies, a pretty bud, Lately made of Aesh and blood, Who as soon fell fast asleep, As her little eyes did peep. Give her strewings, but not stir The earth that lightly covers her!
Epitaph upon a Child. Virgins promis'd, when I died, That they would, each primrose-tide, Duly morn and evening come, And with flowers dress my tomb : Having promis’d, pay your debts, Maids, and here strew violets.
Some asked me where the rubics grew,
And nothing did I say, But with my finger pointed to
The lips of Julia.
Then spake I to my girl,
The quarelets of pearl.
I bade him not go seek ;
A bud in either cheek.
A Thanksgiving for his Horse.
Wherein to dwell;
Both soft and dry.
Hast set a guard
Me while I sleep.
Both void of state;
Is worn by the poor,
Good words or meat.
And kitchen small;
A little bin,
Make me a fire,
And glow like it.
The pulse is Thine,
There placed by Thee.
Of water cress,
And my content
To be more sweet. 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth;
Upon Julia's Recovery. Droop, droop no more, or hang the head, Ye roses almost withered ; New strength and newer purple get Each here declining violet ; Oh ! primroses, let this day be A resurrection unto ye ; And to all flowers ally'd in blood, Or sworn to that sweet sisterhood. For health on Julia's cheek hath shed Claret and cream commingled ; And these her lips do now appear As beams of coral, but more clear. i Cattlo.
2 A kind of dance.
Lord, 't is thy plenty-dropping hand
That sows my land :
Dle for this end :
A thankful heart,
As wholly thine :
O Lord, by Thee.
To Primroses, filled with Morning Dew.
To Corinna, to go a Maying.
Get up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair Teem'd her refreshing dew?
Fresh-quilted colours through the air ;
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east, Breath of a blasting wind;
Above an hour since, yet you are not drest,
Nay, not so much as out of bed ;
When all the birds have matins said,
And sung their thankful hymns : 'tis sin, Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,
Nay, profanation, to keep in, Speaking by tears before ye have a tongue.
When as a thousand virgins on this day,
Spring sooner than the lark to fetch in May.
Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring time, fresh and green, Is it for want of sleep,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care Or childish lullaby?
For jewels for your gown or hair ;
Fear not, the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you;
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept.
Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:
And Titan on the eastern hill "That things of greatest. so of meanest worth,
Retires himself, or else stands still
Few beads are best, when once we go a Maying.
Come, my Corinna, come ; and, coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park (A happy kind of carelessness ;]
Made green, and trimm'd with trees; see how A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Devotion gives each house a bough, Into a fine distraction ;
Or branch ; each porch, each door, ere this, An erring erring lace, which here and there
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white thorn neatly interwove ;
As if here were those cooler shades of love. Ribands that flow confusedly ;
Can such delights be in the street, A sinn ng wave, deserving note
And open fields, and we not see't ? em pestuous petticoat ;
Come, we'll abroad, and let's obey ess shoe-string, in whose tie
The proclamation made for May:
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying, bewitch me, than when art
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a Maying. is too precise in every part.
There's not a budding boy or girl, this day,
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth, ere this, is come le the fire ; or canst thou find
Back, and with white thorn laden home. o m easure out the wind;
Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream ish all those floods that are
Before that we have left to dream; that watery theatre,
And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth, e thou them as saltless there,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth : eir channel first they were.
Many a green gown has been given ; be people that do keep
Many a kiss, both odd and even ;
Many a glance, too, has been sent
From out the eye, love's firmament ;
Many a jest told of the key's betraying the motes, dusts, sands, and spears This night, and locks pickd ; yet ware not a Maying. > When summer shakes his ears; that world of stars, and whence
1 Herrick here alludes to the multitudes which were to be Iseless spill their influence :
seen roaming in the fields on May morning; he afterwards rehou canst, then show me Him
fers to the appearance of the towns and villages bedecked with es the glorious cherubim. evergreens.
In the te
Weigh me the fire ;
Within the linedoms of the deep ;
Or fetch me back
into seeds of
Tell me the moto
That rides the glorious C
Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
tiousness of the cavaliers. That Lovelace knew how And take the harmless folly of the time.
to appreciate true taste and nature, may be seen from We shall grow old apace, and die
his lines on Lely's portrait of Charles I:-
See, what an humble bravery doth shine,
And grief triumphant breaking through each line,
How it commands the face! So sweet a scorn And as a vapour, or a drop of rain Ouce lost, can ne'er be found again ;
Never did happy misery adorn!
So sacred a contempt that others show
To this (o' the height of all the wheel) below;
That mightiest monarchs by this shaded book
May copy out their proudest, richest look.
Bride of Abydos, in which he says of his heroine
The mind, the music breathing from her face.
The noble poet vindicates the expression on the Of the same class as Herrick, less buoyant or
broad ground of its truth and appositeness. Ho vigorous in natural power, and much less fortunate
does not seem to have been aware (as was pointed in his destiny, was RICHARD LOVELACE (1618-1658).
out by Sir Egerton Brydges) that Lovelace first emThis cavalier poet was well descended, being the son
ployed the same illustration, in a song of Orpheus, of Sir William Lovelace, knight. He was educated
lamenting the death of his wife :-at Oxford, and afterwards presented at court. An
Oh, could you view the melody thony Wood describes him at the age of sixteen, 'as
Of every grace, the most amiable and beautiful person that ere ever
And music of her face, beheld; a person also of innate modesty, virtue, and
You'd drop a tear ; courtly deportment, which made him then, but espe
Seeing more harmony cially after, when he retired to the great city, much
In her bright eye admired and adored by the female sex.' Thus per
Than now you hear. sonally distinguished, and a royalist in principle, Lovelace was chosen by the county of Kent to deliver
Song. a petition to the House of Commons, praying that the king might be restored to his rights, and the govern Why should you swear I am forsworn, ment settled. The Long Parliament was then in the Since thine I vow'd to be ? ascendant, and Lovelace was thrown into prison for Lady, it is already morn, his boldness. He was liberated on heavy bail, but
And 'twas last night I swore to thce srent his fortune in fruitless efforts to succour the
That fond impossibility. riyal cause. He afterwards served in the French Have I not lor'd thee much and long, acmy, and was wounded at Dunkirk. Returning in
A tedious twelve hours' space ? 1648, he was again imprisoned. To beguile the time I must all other beauties wrong, of his confinement, he collected his poems, and
And rob thee of a new embrace, published them in 1649, under the title of Lucasla : Could I still dote upon thy face. Odes, Sonnets, Songs, &c. &c. The general title was
Not but all joy in thy brown hair given them on account of the ‘lady of his love,' Miss
By others may be found ; Lucy Sacheverell, whom he usually called Lux Casta.
But I must search the black and fair, This was an unfortunate attachment; for the lady,
Like skilful mineralists that sound licaring that Lovelace died of his wounds at Dunkirk, married another person. From this time the
For treasure in unplough'd-up ground. course of the poet was downward. The ascendant Then, if when I have lov'd my round, party did, indeed, release his person, when the death
Thou prov’st the pleasant she; of the king had left them the less to fear from their With spoils of meaner beauties crown’d, opponents; but Lovelace was now penniless, and the I laden will return to thee, reputation of a broken cavalier was no passport to
Even sated with variety. better circumstances. It appears that, oppressed with want and melancholy, the gallant Lovelace fell into a
The Rose. consumption. Wood relates that he became 'very
Sweet, serene, sky-like flower, poor in body and purse, was the object of charity,
Haste to adorn her bower : went in ragged clothes, and mostly lodged in obscure
From thy long cloudy bed and dirty places,' in one of which, situated in a miser
Shoot forth thy damask hcad. able alley near Shoe Lane, he died in 1658. What a contrast to the gay and splendid scenes of his youth!
Vermilion ball that's given Aubrey confirms the statement of Wood as to From lip to lip in heaven ; the reverse of fortune; but recent inquiries have
Love's couch's coverlid ; rather tended to throw discredit on those pictures of
Haste, haste, to make her bed. the extreme misery of the poet. Destitute, however,
See ! rosy is her bower, he no doubt was, •fallen from his high estate;' Her floor is all thy flower ; though not perhaps so low as to die an example of
Her bed a rosy nest, ahject poverty and misery. The poetry of Love
By a bed of roses prest. lace, like his life, was very unequal. There is a spirit and nobleness in some of his verses and sentiments, that charms the reader, as much as luis gallant bear
Song. ing and fine person captivated the fair. In general, Amarantha, sweet and fair, however, they are affected, obscure, and harsh. Ilis Oh, braid no more that shining hair! taste was perverted by the fashion of the day--the Let it fly, as unconfin'd, affected wit, ridiculous gallantry, and boasted licen
As its calm ravisher, the wind;