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[EDWARD HERBERT, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, elder brother of the poet George Herbert, was born in 1581, and closed a life full of incident and interest in Queen Street, London, August 20, 1648.]

The world has long done justice to Lord Herbert's famous treatise De Veritate, to his admirable Life of Henry VIII, to his singularly interesting Autobiography; but no one has yet been found to vindicate his claim to a place among English poets. His poems first appeared in a little volume which was published in 1665, nearly eighteen years after his death; and, as we gather from the preface, were collected by Henry Herbert, uncle to the second Lord Herbert of Cherbury, to whom they are dedicated. They consist of Sonnets, Epitaphs, Satires, Madrigals, and Odes in various measures. Herbert is, like his more distinguished brother, a disciple of the Metaphysical School, though his poems, unlike those of George, are not of a religious character. With much of that extravagance which deforms the lyric poetry of his contemporaries, Lord Herbert has in a large measure grace, sweetness, and originality. He never lacks vigour and freshness. His place is, with all his faults, beside Donne and Cowley. His versification is indeed as a rule far superior to theirs. It is uniformly musical, and his music is often at once delicate and subtle. Though he did not invent the metre, he certainly discovered the melody of that stanza with which Tennyson's great poem has familiarised us, and he has as certainly anticipated some of its most beautiful effects. He is never likely to hold the same place among English poets as his brother, but we do not hesitate to say that no collection of representative English poets should be considered complete which does not contain the poetical works of Lord Herbert of Cherbury.



Having interr'd her Infant-birth

The watery ground that late did mourn
Was strew'd with flowers for the return
Of the wish'd bridegroom of the earth.

The well-accorded birds did sing

Their hymns unto the pleasant time,
And in a sweet consorted chime
Did welcome in the cheerful spring.

To which, soft whistles of the wind,
And warbling murmurs of a brook,
And varied notes of leaves that shook,
An harmony of parts did bind.

When with a love none can express
That mutually happy pair,

Melander and Celinda fair,

The season with their loves did bless.

Long their fix'd eyes to Heaven bent
Unchanged, they did never move;
As if so great and pure a love
No glass but it could represent.

When with a sweet though troubled look
She first brake silence, saying, 'Dear friend,
O that our love might take no end,
Or never had beginning took.'

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'O no, Belov'd, I am most sure
These vertuous habits we acquire
As being with the soul entire
Must with it evermore endure.

Else should our souls in vain elect,
And vainer yet were Heaven's laws,
When to an everlasting cause
They give a perishing effect.

Nor here on earth then, nor above,
One good affection can impair;
For where God doth admit the fair,
Think you that He excludeth Love?

These eyes again thine eyes shall see,
These hands again thine hand enfold,
And all chaste blessings can be told
Shall with us everlasting be.

For if no use of sense remain

When bodies once this life forsake, Or they could no delight partake, Why should they ever rise again?

And if every imperfect mind

Make love the end of knowledge here, How perfect will our love be where All imperfection is refin'd.

Let then no doubt, Celinda, touch,
Much less your fairest mind invade ;
Were not our souls immortal made,
Our equal loves can make them such.

So when from hence we shall be gone,
And be no more, nor you, nor I;
As one another's mystery

Each shall be both, yet both but one.


Breaking from under that thy cloudy veil,

Open and shine yet more, shine out more clear Thou glorious, golden beam of darling hair, Even till my wonder-stricken senses fail.

Shine out in light, and shine those rays on far,

Thou much more fair than is the Queen of Love When she doth comb her on her sphere above, And from a planet turns a blazing star.

Nay, thou art greater too, more destiny

Depends on thee, than on her influence; No hair thy fatal hand doth now dispense But to some one a thread of life must be.

While gracious unto me, thou both dost sunder

Those glories which, if they united were,

Might have amazed sense, and shew'st each hair Which if alone had been too great a wonder.

But stay, methinks new beauties do arise

While she withdraws these glories which were spread; Wonder of beauties, set thy radiant head,

And strike out day from thy yet fairer eyes.



[GEORGE SANDYS, son of Archbishop Sandys, was born 1577, and died 1643. Set out for the East 1616. Published translation of Ovid 1626; the Psalms 1636; other paraphrases 1638 and 1641.]

[GEORGE HERBERT, born 1592-3, died 1634. He was Public Orator at Cambridge from 1619 to 1627, and was Rector of Bemerton in Wiltshire in 1631. His poems were first published 1633.]

[RICHARD CRASHAW, born 1615 (?); expelled from Cambridge 1644; became a Roman Catholic. Published Steps to the Altar 1646, and died canon of Loretto 1650.]

[HENRY VAUGHAN, born 1621-2, died 1695. Published Secular Poems 1646; Olor Iscanus 1651; Silex Scintillans, part 1, 1650, part 2, 1656; Thalia Rediviva 1678.]

Poets are never independent of circumstances: Sandys, the only one of the four whose names stand at the head of this section. who escaped the epidemic of conceits which ran its course in the first half of the seventeenth century, was the only one who had a full and successful life. He too was the only one who could write smooth, clear and vigorous verse, an accomplishment which requires perfect self-possession, or overmastering inspiration, or good models. Sandys wrote before Waller and Denham as well as the average versifiers who came after Dryden. His classical translations are not equal to his scriptural paraphrases, and if he、 had finished the Æneid Dryden would have left it alone. Like Dryden he did his best work late: he was fifty-nine when he published the Psalms. It does not do to compare Sandys with the authorised version of the Bible. Wherever the original is peculiarly striking he is disappointing: he gives his reader no

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