Зображення сторінки


‘Poets,' he says, “are scarce thought freemen of their Above the subtle foldings of the sky,
company, without paying some duties, and obliging Above the well-set orbs' soft harmony;
themselves to be true to love ;' and it is evident that Above those petty lamps that gild the night,
he himself composed his · Mistress' as a sort of task. There is a place o'erflown with hallowed light;
work. There is so much of this wit-writing in Cow- Where Heaven, as if it left itself behind,
ley's poetry, that the reader is generally glad to Is stretched out far, nor its own bounds can find :
escape from it into his prose, where he has good Here peaceful flames swell up the sacred place,
sense and right feeling, instead of cold though glitter- Nor can the glory contain itself in th' endless space.
ing conceits, forced analogies, and counterfeited pas- For there no twilight of the sun's dull ray
sion. His anacreontic pieces are the happiest of his Glimmers upon the pure and native day.
poems; in them he is easy, lively, and full of spirit. No pale-faced moon does in stolen beams appear,
They are redolent of joy and youth, and of images Or with dim tapers scatter darkness there.
of natural and poetic beauty, that touch the feelings On no smooth sphere the restless seasons slide,
as well as the fancy. His “Pindaric Odes,' though No circling motion doth swift time divide;
deformed by inetaphysical conceits, though they do Nothing is there to come, and nothing past,
not roll the full flood of Pindar's unnavigable song, But an eternal now does always last.
though we admit that even the art of Gray was
higher, yet contain some noble lines and illustrations. Beneath the silent chambers of the earth,
The best pieces of his ‘Miscellanies,' next to the 'Ana- Where the sun's fruitful beams give metals birth,
creontics,' are his lines on the death of his college where he the growth of fatal gold does see
companion, Harvey, and his elegy on the religious Gold which above more influence has than he-
poet, Crashaw, which are tender and imaginative. Beneath the dens where unfledg’d tempests lie,
The ‘Davideis' is tedious and unfinished, but we have And infant winds their tender voices try;
extracted a specimen to show how well Cowley could Beneath the mighty ocean's wealthy cares;
sometimes write in the heroic couplet. It is evident Beneath the eternal fountain of the waves,
that Milton had read this neglected poem.

Where their vast court the mother-waters keep,
And, undisturb’d by moons, in silence sleep,

There is a place, deep, wondrous deep below,
On the Death of Mr Crashau.

Which genuine Night and Horror does o'erflow:
Poet and Saint! To thee alone are given

No bound controls the unwearied space but hell,
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven ; Endless as those dire pains that in it dwell.
The hard and rarest union which can be,

Here no dear glimpse of the sun's lovely face
Next that of Godhead, with humanity.

Strikes through the solid darkness of the place; Long did the Muses banish'd slaves abide,

No dawning morn does her kind red display;
And built vain pyramids to mortal pride ;

One slight weak beam would here be thought the day;
Like Moses thou (though spells and charms withstand) No gentle stars, with their fair gems of light,
Hast brought them nobly home, back to their holy land. Offend the tyrannous and unquestion'd night.

Here Lucifer, the mighty captive, reigns,
How well, blest swan, did Fate contrive thy death, Proud ʼmidst his woes, and tyrant in his chains,
And made thee render up thy tuneful breath

Once general of a gilded host of sprites,
In thy great mistress' arms !* Thou most divine Like Hesper leading forth the spangled nights;
And richest offering of Loretto's shrine,

But down like lightning which him struck he came,
Where, like some holy sacrifice t'expire,

And roar'd at his first plunge into the flame.
A fever burns thee, and Love lights the fire.

Myriads of spirits fell wounded round him there;
Angele, they say, brought the famed chapel there, With dropping lights thick shone the singed air.
And bore the sacred load in triumph through the air.
'Tis surer much they brought thee there, and they A dreadful silence fill'd the hollow place,
And thou, their charge, went singing all the way. Doubling the native terror of hell's face;
Pardon, my mother church, if I consent

Rivers of flaming brimstone, which before
That angels led him when from thee he went; So loudly raged, crept softly by the shore;
For even in error sure no danger is,

No hiss of snakes, no clank of chains was known,
When join'd with so much piety as his.

The souls amidst their tortures durst not groan.
Ah, mighty God, with shame I speak’t and grief ;
Ah, that our greatest faults were in belief !
And our weak reason were ev'n weaker yet,

To Pyrrha.
Rather than thus our wills too strong for it.
His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might

In imitation of Horace's Ode, Lib. i. Od. 5.
Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right;

To whom now, Pyrrha, art thou kind ! And I myself a Catholic will be,

To what heart-ravish'd lover So far, at least, great saint, to pray to thee.

Dost thou thy golden lock unbind, Hail bard triumphant, and some care bestow

Thy hidden sweets discover, On us the poets militant below,

And, with large bounty, open set
Oppos’d by our old enemy, adverse chance,

All the bright stores of thy rich cabinet ?
Attack'd by envy and by ignorance,
Enchain's by beauty, tortured by desires,

Ah, simple youth ! how oft will he
Expos’d by tyrant love to savage beasts and fires ;

Of thy chang'd faith complain ! Thou from low earth in nobler flames didst rise,

And his own fortunes find to be And, like Elijah, mount alive the skies !

So airy and so vain;

Of so cameleon-like a hue,
Heaven and Hell.

That still their colour changes with it too!
[From the Davideis.']

How oft, alas ! will he admire Sleep on! Rest, quiet as thy conscience, take,

The blackness of the skies; For though thou sleep'st thyself, thy God's awake.

Trembling to hear the winds sound higher,

And see the billows rise ! * Mr Crashaw died of a fever at Loretto, being newly chosen

Poor unexperienc'd he, canon of that church.

Who ne'er, alas, had been before at sea !

[ocr errors]

H' enjoys thy calmy sunshine now,

And no breath stirring hears; In the clear heaven of thy brow

No smallest cloud appears.

He sees thee gentle, fair, and gay, And trusts the faithless April of thy May. Unhappy! thrice unhappy he,

T' whom thou untried dost shine! But there's no danger now for me,

Since o'er Loretto's shrine,

In witness of the shipwreck past, My consecrated vessel hangs at last.

Anacreontics. Or some copies of yerses translated paraphrastically out of


The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
The plants suck in the earth, and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair.
The sea itself, which one would think
Should have but little need of drink,
Drinks ten thousand rivers up,
So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup.
The busy sun (and one would guess
By's drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the sea, and when he has done,
The moon and stars drink up the sun.
They drink and dance by their own light;
They drink and revel all the night.
Nothing in nature's sober found,
But an eternal health goes round.
Fill up the bowl then, fill it high,
Fill all the glasses there, for why
Should every creature drink but I,
Why, men of morals, tell me why?

Oft am I by the women told,
Poor Anacreon, thou grow'st old !
Look how thy hairs are falling all;
Poor Anacreon, how they fall!
Whether I grow old or no,
By th' effects I do not know.
This I know, without being told,
'Tis time to live if I grow old.
'Tis time short pleasures now to take,
Of little life the best to make,
And manage wisely the last stake.

A mighty pain to love it is,
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss,
But of all pain the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain.
Virtue now nor noble blood,
Nor wit, by love is understood.
Gold alone does passion move;
Gold monopolises love!
A curse on her and on the man
Who this traffic first began !
A curse on him who found the ore !
A curse on him who digg'd the store !
A curse on him who did refine it!
A curse on him who first did coin it!
A curse all curses else above
On him who us'd it first in love!
Gold begets in brethren hate;
Gold, in families debate;
Gold does friendship separate;
Gold does civil wars create.
These the smallest harms of it;
Gold, alas I does love beget.

The Epicure.
Fill the bowl with rosy wine,
Around our temples roses twine,
And let us cheerfully a while,
Like the wine and roses smile.
Crown'd with roses, we contemn
Gyges' wealthy diadem.
To-day is ours; what do we fear?
To-day is ours; we have it here.
Let's treat it kindly, that it may
Wish at least with us to stay.
Let's banish business, banish sorrow;
To the gods belongs to-morrow.

The Grasshopper.
Happy insect, what can be
In happiness compared to thee?
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy morning's gentle wine!
Nature waits upon thee still,
And thy verdant cup does fill;
'Tis fill'd wherever thou dost tread,
Nature self 's thy Ganymede.
Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king!
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee;
All that summer hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice.
Man for thee does sow and plough;
Farmer he, and landlord thou !
Thou dost innocently enjoy ;
Nor does thy luxury destroy.
The shepherd gladly heareth thee,
More harmonious than he.
Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
Prophet of the ripen’d year!
Thee Phæbus loves, and does inspire ;
Phoebus is himself thy sire.
To thee, of all things upon earth,
Life is no longer than thy mirth.
Happy insect! happy thou,
Dost neither age nor winter know.
But when thou'st drunk, and danc'd, and sung
Thy fill, the flowery leaves among,
(Voluptuous and wise withal,
Epicurean animal !)
Satiated with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'at to endless rest.

The Resurrection. Begin the song, and strike the living lyre ! Lo, how the years to come, a numerous and well-fitted

quire, All hand in hand do decently advance, And to my song with smooth and equal measures

dance !
While the dance lasts, how long soe'er it be,
My music's voice shall bear it company.
Till all gentle notes be drown'd
In the last trumpet's dreadful sound,
That to the spheres themselves shall silence bring,
Untune the universal string;
Then all the wide-extended sky,
And all the harmonious worlds on high,
And Virgil's sacred work shall die;
And he himself shall see in one fire shine
Rich Nature's ancient Troy, though built by hands

Whom thunder's dismal noise,
And all that prophets and apostles louder spake,
And all the creatures' plain conspiring voice
Could not whilst they lived awake,
This mightier sound shall make


The wise example of the heav'nly lark,
Thy fellow-poet, Cowley! mark;
Above the clouds let thy proud music sound;
Thy humble nest build on the ground.

When dead to arise,
And open tombs, and open eyes,
To the long sluggards of five thousand years.
This mightier sound shall wake its hearers' ears;
Then shall the scattered atoms crowding come
Back to their ancient home;
Some from birds, from fishes some,
Some from earth, and some from seas,
Some from beasts, and some from trees,
Some descend from clouds on high,
Some from metals upwards fly;
And, when the attending soul naked and shivering

Meet, salute, and join their hands,
As dispersed soldiers, at the trumpet's call,
Haste to their colours all.
Unhappy most, like tortured men,
Their joints new set to be new rack'd again.
To mountains they for shelter pray;
The mountains shake, and run about no less confused

than they

The Shortness of Life and Uncertainty of Riches.
Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must quit,
Or, what is worse, be left by it!
Why dost thou load thyself when thou’rt to fly,
Oh, man! ordain'd to die?
Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high,
Thou who art under ground to lie?
Thou sow'st and plantest, but no fruit must see,
For Death, alas! is reaping thee.
Suppose thou Fortune couldst to tameness bring,
And clip or pinion her wing;
Suppose thou couldst on Fate so far prevail,
As not to cut off thy entail ;
Yet Death at all that subtlety will laugh ;
Death will that foolish gard'ner mock,
Who does a slight and annual plant ingraff
Upon a lasting stock.
Thou dost thyself wise and industrious deem;
A mighty husband thou wouldst seem;
Fond man! like a bought slave, thou all the while
Dost but for others sweat and toil.
Officious fool! that needs must meddling be
In bus'ness that concerns not thee;
For when to future years thou extend'st thy cares,
Thou deal'st in other men's affairs.
Ev'n aged men, as if they truly were
Children again, for age prepare ;
Provisions for long travel they design,
In the last point of their short line.
Wisely the ant against poor winter hoards
The stock which summer's wealth affords;
In grasshoppers, that must at autumn die,
Ilow vain were such an industry !
Of power and honour the deceitful light
Might half excuse our cheated sight,
If it of life the whole small time would stay,
And be our sunshine all the day.
Like lightning that, begot but in a cloud,
(Though shining bright, and speaking loud),
Whilst it begins, concludes its violent race,
And where it gilds, it wounds the place.
Oh, scene of fortune ! which dost fair appear
Only to men that stand not near:
Proud Poverty, that tinsel brav'ry wears,
And, like a rainbow, painted tears !
Be prudent, and the shore in prospect keep!
In a weak boat trust not the deep;
Plac'd beneath envy-above envying rise ;
Pity great men--great things despise.

The Wish.
Well, then, I now do plainly see
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joy

Does of all meats the soonest cloy.

And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings

Of this great hive, the city.

Ah! yet ere I descend to th’ grave,
May I a small house and large garden have,
And a few friends, and many books both true,

Both wise, and both delightful too!

And since love ne'er will from me flec,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian angels are,

Only belov’d, and loving me!

Oh fountains : when in you shall I
Myself, eas'd of unpeaceful thoughts, espy?
Oh fields! oh woods! when, when shall I be made

The happy tenant of your shade?

Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood, Where all the riches lie, that she

Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.

Pride and ambition here
Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear ;
Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,

And nought but Echo flatter.

The gods, when they descended hither
From heav'n, did always choose their way;
And therefore we may boldly say,

That 'tis the way too thither.

How happy here should I,
And one dear She live, and embracing die?
She who is all the world, and can exclude

In deserts solitude.

I should have then this only fear,
Lest men, when they my pleasures see,
Should hither throng to live like me,

And so make a city here.

The Chronicle.

Margarita first possest,

If I remember well, my breast.

Margarita first of all;
But when a while the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,

Martha took the flying ball.
Martha soon did it resign

To the beauteous Catherine.

Beauteous Catherine gave place
(Though loath and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)

To Eliza's conquering face.
Eliza till this hour might reign,

Had she not evil counsels ta’en;

Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favourites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,

And cast away her yoke.
Mary then, and gentle Anne,

Both to reign at once began :

Alternately they sway'd;
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,
And sometimes both I obey'd.

Another Mary then arose,

And did rigorous laws impose ;

A mighty tyrant she !
Long, alas ! should I have been
Under that iron-scepter'd queen,

Had not Rebecca set me free.
When fair Rebecca set me free,

'Twas then a golden time with me.

But soon those pleasures fled;
For the gracious princess died
In her youth and beauty's pride,

And Judith reigned in her stead.
One month, three days, and half an hour,

Judith held the sovereign power.

Wondrous beautiful her face; But so weak and small her wit, That she to govern was unfit,

And so Susanna took her place. But when Isabella came,

Arm'd with a resistless flame,

And th' artillery of her eye, Whilst she proudly march'd about, Grcater conquests to find out,

She beat out Susan by the bye. But in her place I then obey'd

Black-eyed Bess, her viceroy maid,

To whom ensued a vacancy. Thousand worse passions then possest The interregnum of my breast :

Bless me from such an anarchy! Gentle Henrietta then,

And a third Mary next began,

Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria,
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catherine,

And then a long 'et cetera.'
But should I now to you relate

The strength and riches of their state,

The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things

That make up all their magazines :
If I should tell the politic arts

To take and keep men's hearts;

The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,

Numberless, nameless mysteries; And all the little lime-twigs laid

By Machiavel, the waiting-maid;

I more voluminous should grow (Chiefly if I like them should tell All change of weathers that befell)

Than Holinshed or Stow. But I will briefer with them be,

Since few of them were long with me.

A higher and a nobler strain My present emperess does claim, Heleonora, first o'th' name,

Whom God grant long to reign!

Did on the very border stand
Of the blest promis'd land,
And from the mountain's top of his exalted wit,
Saw it himself, and show'd us it.
But life did never to one man allow
Time to discover worlds and conquer too;
Nor can so short a line sufficient be,
To fathom the vast depths of nature's sca:
The work he did we ought t'admire,
And we're unjust if we should more require
From his few years, divided 'twixt the excess
Of low affliction and high happiness;
For who on things remote can fix his sight,
That's always in a triumph or a fight?

Ode on the Death of Mr William Harvey.
It was a dismal and a fearful night,
Scarce could the morn drive on th' unwilling light,
When sleep, death’s image, left my troubled breast,

By something liker death possest. My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,

And on my soul hung the dull weight

Of some intolerable fate. What bell was that? Ah me! too much I know. My sweet companion, and my gentle peer, Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here, Thy end for ever, and my life to moan?

O thou hast left me all alone! Thy soul and body, when death's agony

Besieged around thy noble heart,

Did not with more reluctance part Than I, my dearest friend, do part from thee. My dearest friend, would I had died for thee! Life and this world henceforth will tedious be. Nor shall I know hereafter what to do,

If once ny griefs prove tedious too. Silent and sad I walk about all day,

As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by

Where their hid treasures lie;
Alas, my treasure's gone! why do I stay?
He was my friend, the truest friend on earth;
A strong and mighty influence join'd our birth.
Nor did we envy the most sounding name

By friendship given of old to fame.
None but his brethren he, and sisters, knew,

Whom the kind youth preferred to me;

And ev’n in that we did agree,
For much above myself I loved them too.
Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights,
How oft unwearied have we spent the nights?
Till the Ledæan stars, so fam'd for love,

Wonder'd at us from above.
We spent them not in toys, in lusts, or wine,

But search of deep philosophy,

Wit, eloquence, and poetry; Arts which I lov’d, for they, my friend, were thine. Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say, Have ye not seen us walking every day? Was there a tree about, which did not know

The love betwixt us two? Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade;

Or your sad branches thicker join,

And into darksome shades combine; Dark as the grave wherein my friend is laid.

[Lord Bacon.) [From · Ode to the Royal Society.'] From these and all long errors of the way, In which our wandering predecessors went, And like th' old Hebrews many years did stray In deserts but of small extent, Bacon, like Moses, led us forth at last; The barren wilderness he pass'd

[merged small][ocr errors]

His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit, Thus health and strength he to a third age enjoys,
Yet never did his God or friends forget;

And sees a long posterity of boys.
And, when deep talk and wisdom caine in view, About the spacious world let others roam :
Retir’d and gave to them their due.

The voyage, life, is longest made at home.
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own scarching mind before

Was so with notions written o'er,
As if wise nature had made that her book.

HENRY VAUGHAN (1614–1695) published in 1651

a volume of miscellaneous poems, evincing considerWith as much zeal, devotion, piety,

able strength and originality of thought and copious He always liv'd as other saints do die;

imagery, though tinged with a gloomy sectarianism Still with his soul severe account he kept,

and marred by crabbed rhymes. Mr Campbell Weeping all debts out ere he slept.

scarcely does justice to Vaughan, in styling him Then down in peace and innocence he lay,

one of the harshest even of the inferior order of the Like the sun's laborious light,

school of conceit,' though he admits that he has Which still in water sets at night,

some few scattered thoughts that meet our eye Unsullied with his journey of the day.

amidst his harsh pages, like wild flowers on a barren

heath. As a sacred poet, Vaughan has an intenWondrous young man, why wert thou made so good, sity of feeling only inferior to Crashaw. He was a To be snatcht hence ere better understood ?

Welslıman (born in Brecknockshire), and had a dash Snatcht before half enough of thee was seen !

of Celtic enthusiasm. He first followed the profesThou ripe, and yet thy life but green! sion of the law, but afterwards adopted that of a Nor could thy friends take their last sad farewell, physician. He does not seem to have attained to a But danger and infectious death,

competence in either, for he complains much of the Maliciously seized on that breath

proverbial poverty and suffering of poetsWhere life, spirit, pleasure, always used to dwell.

As they were merely thrown upon the stage,

The mirth of fools, and legends of the age.
Epitaph on the Living Author.

In his latter days Vaughan grew deeply serious and Here, stranger, in this humble nest,

devout, and published a volume of religious poetry, Here Cowley sleeps; here lies,

containing his happiest effusions. The poet was not Scaped all the toils that life molest,

without hopes of renown, and he wished the river of And its superfluous joys.

his native vale to share in the distinctionHere, in no sordid poverty,

When I am laid to rest hard by thy streams, And no inglorious ease,

And my sun sets where first it sprang in beams, He braves the world, and can defy

I'll leave behind me such a large kind light
Its frowns and flatteries.

As shall redeem thee from oblivious night,
The little earth, he asks, survey :

And in these vows which (living yet) I pay,
Is he not dead, indeed ?

Shed such a precious and enduring ray, *Light lie that earth,' good stranger, pray,

As shall from age to age thy fair name lead
"Nor thorn upon it breed !'

Till rivers leave to run, and men to read !
With flowers, fit emblem of his fame,
Compass your poet round;

Early Rising and Prayer.
With flowers of every fragrant name,

[From 'Silex Scintillans, or Sacred Poems. ] Be his warm ashes crown'd !

When first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave

To do the like; our bodies but forerun
Claudian's Old Man of Verona.

The spirit's duty : true hearts spread and heave

Unto their God, as flowers do to the sun : Happy the man who his whole time doth bound

Give him thy first thoughts then, so shalt thou keep Within the enclosure of his little ground.

Him company all day, and in him sleep. Happy the man whom the same humble place (The hereditary cottage of his race)

Yet never sleep the sun up; prayer should From his first rising infancy has known,

Dawn with the day: there are set awful hours And by degrees sees gently bending down,

'Twixt heaven and us; the manna was not good With natural propension, to that earth

After sun-rising ; far day sullies flowers : Which both preserv'd his life, and gave him birth. Rise to prevent the sun ; sleep doth sins glut, Him no false distant lights, by fortune set,

And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut. Could ever into foolish wanderings get.

Walk with thy fellow-creatures; note the hush He never dangers either saw or fear'd :

And whisperings amongst them. Not a spring The dreadful storms at sea he never heard.

Or leaf but hath his morning hymn; each bush He never heard the shrill alarms of war,

And oak doth know I AM. Canst thou not sing! Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.

O leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,
No change of consuls mark to him the year;

And thou art sure to prosper all the day.
The change of seasons is his calendar.
The cold and heat winter and summer shows;

Serve God before the world ; let him not go
Autumn by fruits, and spring by flowers he knows.

Until thou hast a blessing ; then resign He measures time by land-marks, and has found

The whole unto him, and remember who For the whole day the dial of his ground.

Prevail'd by wrestling ere the sun did shine; A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees,

Pour oil upon the stones, weep for thy sin, And loves his old contemporary trees.

Then journey on, and have an eye to heav'n. He has only heard of near Verona's name,

Mornings are mysteries ; the first, the world's youth, And knows it, like the Indies, but by fame;

Man's resurrection, and the future's bud, Does with a like concernment notice take

Shroud in their births; the crown of life, light, truth, Of the Red Sea, and of Benacus' lake.

Is styled their star; the stone and hidden food :

« НазадПродовжити »