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To the first edition of the author's poems, printed in 1645, was prefixed the following advertisement of
THE STATIONER TO THE READER.
It is not any private respect of gain, gentle Reader, for the slightest pamphlet is now-a-days more vendible than the works of learnedest men; but it is the love I have to our own language, that hath made me diligent to collect and set forth such pieces both in prose and verse, as may renew the wonted honour and esteem of our English tongue: and it is the worth of these both English and Latin poems, not the flourish of any prefixed encomiums that can invite thee to buy them, though these are not without the highest commendations and applause of the learnedest Academics, both domestic and foreign; and amongst those of our own country, the unparalleled attestation of that renowned Provost of Eton, Sir Henry Wotton. I know not thy palate how it relishes such dainties, nor how harmonious thy soul is; perhaps more trivial airs may please thee better. But howsoever thy opinion is spent upon these, that encouragement I have already received from the most ingenious men in their clear and courteous entertainment of Mr. Waller's late choice pieces, hath once more made me adventure into the world, presenting it with these ever-green, and not to be blasted laurels. The Author's more peculiar excellency in these studies was too well known to conceal his papers, or to keep me from attempting to solicit them from him. Let the event guide itself which way it will, I shall deserve of the age, by bringing into the light as true a birth, as the Muses have brought forth since our famous Spenser wrote; whose poems in these English ones are as rarely imitated as sweetly excelled. Reader, if thou art eagle-eyed to censure their worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exactest perusal.
I. Anno ætatis 17. On the death of a fair infant, dying
of a cough.
5 That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.
This elegy was not inserted in shews plainly that the child was the first edition of the author's not a nephew, but a niece, and poems printed in 1645, but was consequently a daughter of his added in the second edition sister Philips, and probably her printed in 1673. It was com- first child. posed in the year 1625, that 5. For he being amorous on being the seventeenth year of that lovely dye &c.] In Romeo Milton's age. In some editions and Juliet, Afliction and Death the title runs thus, On the death turn paramours. T. Warton. of a fair infant, a nephew of his, 6. -- thought to kiss, dying of a cough: but the sequel But kill'd, alas, &c.]
th’ Athenian damsel got,
Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld, Which’mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was held.
Copied probably from this verse of Pluto, as reported by Clauin Shakespeare's Venus and Ado- dian. De Rapt. Pros. i. 32. nis,
Dux Erebi quondam tumidas exarsit He thought to kiss him, and hath
in iras kill'd him so.
Prælia moturus superis, quod solus
egeret 8. For since grim Aquilo &c.]
Connubii, sterilesque diu consumeret Boreas or Aquilo carried off by force Orithyia daughter of Erec- Impatiens nescire torum, nullasque theus king of Athens, Ovid,
mariti Met. vi. fab. 9. as she crossed
Ilfecebras, nec dulce patris cognos. over the river Ilissus, (as Apollodorus says, lib. 3.) that is, she
15. So mounting up in icywas drowned in a high wind pearled car] We should rather crossing that river. Richardson. read ice-ypearled. And so in 12. —th' infámous blot
the Mask, v. 890. rush-yfringed. Of long-uncoupled bed, and Otherwise we have two epithets childless eld, &c.]
instead of one, with a weaker The author probably pronounced sense. Milton himself affords an infamous with the middle syllable instance in the Ode on The Nalong as it is in Latin. 'Eld is tivity, v. 155. old age, a word used in innume- Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep. rable places of Spenser and our Of the prefixture of y, in a conold writers. And in saying that catenated epithet there is an exlong-uncoupled bed and childless ample in the Epitaph on Shakeeld was held a reproach among speare, v. 4. the wanton Gods, the poet seems Under a star-ypointing pyramid. to allude particularly to the case
T, Warton. 20
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care.
But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.
25 Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;
But then transform'd him to a purple flower; Alack that so to change thee Winter had no power.
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
Oh no! for something in thy face did shine
VI. Resolve me then, oh Soul most surely blest, (If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear,)
23. For so Apollo, &c.] Apollo And in Spenser's Astrophel, st. slew Hyacinthus by accident 48. playing at quoits, and afterwards
Ah no! it is not dead, ne can it die, changed him into a flower of the But lives for aye in blissful Paradise, same name. See Ovid, Met. x.
&c, fab. 6.
The fine periphrasis for grave 29. Yet can I not persuade me in v. 31. is from Shakespeare, thou art dead,] So in Lycidas, Mids. N. Dr. a. ii. s. ult. v. 165.
Already to their wormy beds are gone. Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more
T. Warton. For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead.