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How soon
Our new-born light

Attains to full-aged noon!
And this—how soon to gray-haired night!
We spring, we bud, we blossom, and we blast :-
Ere we can count our days—our days they fee so fast !

And what's a life? A weary pilgrimage,
Whose glory in the day doth fill the stage-
With childhood, manhood, and decrepid age.
And what's a life? The Aourishing array
Of the proud summer-meadow, which to-day-
Wears her green plush—and is to-morrow_hay!

False world, thou ly’st : thou canst not lend

The least delight :
Thy favours cannot gain a friend,

They are so slight!
Thy morning's pleasures make an end

To please at night :
Poor are the wants that thou supply’st,

And yet thou vaunt’st, and yet thou vy’st
With heaven! Fond earth, thou boast’st—false world, thou ly’st !

Here are some of his lines, gilded with a little more sunshine :

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 arm, and that she lists to wear
Upon the borders of her curious hair ;
At length, a rose-bud (passing all the rest)
She plucks, and bosoms in her lily breast.

WALLER, whose life has been thought to possess more romance than his poetry, is, however, the author of these striking stanzas, among the last he wrote :

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The seas are quiet when the winds give o'er ;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of Aeeting things so certain to be lost.

Clouds of affection from our younger eyes Conceal that emptiness which age descries :

The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made.

Stronger by weakness, wiser, men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home:
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

For harmony and elegance of fancy, these verses, by AYTON, have rarely been surpassed :

I loved thee once, I'll love no more,

Thine be the grief, as is the blame ;
Thou art not what thou wast before,

What reason I should be the same?
He that can love, unloved again,
Hath better store of love than brain.

God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away.

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown

If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remained thy own,

I might, perchance, have yet been thine ;
But thou thy freedom didst recall,
That if thou might'st elsewhere inthral,

And then, how could I but disdain
A captive's captive to remain ?

The“ melancholy Cowley,” as that poet styles himself, was yet the writer of this paraphrastic version of one of Anacreon's sparkling lyrics :

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 filled that they o'erflow the cup.
The busy sun—and one would guess,
By his drunken, fiery face, no less-
Drinks up the sea ; and when he's 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:
Should every creature drink but I-
Why—men of morals, tell me why?

Cowley's deep love of rural retirement is exhibited in the subjoined lines :

Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good!
Hail, ye plebeian underwood!

Where the poetic birds rejoice,
And for their quiet nests and plenteous food

Pay with their grateful voice.

Here nature does a house for me erect-
Nature ! the wisest architect,

Who those fond artists does despise,
That can the fair and living trees neglect,

Yet the dead timber prize

If, in the verse of Chaucer, the muse lisped her early numbers with the artless simplicity and grace of infancy, she may be said to have attained to her full-voiced maturity and glory in the august and

matchless creations of Shakspeare, and the “magnificent sphereharmonies” of Milton. The latter, indeed, as it has been beautifully expressed, like the nightingale, sang his sublime song in the night: for not only was he deprived of the glad light of day, but the dark clouds of sorrow cast their added shadows on his pathway. Yet this noble man stood erect in his integrity and exemplary in his patience, amidst all adverse circumstances. Beautifully has he been likened to the bird of Paradise, which, Aying against the wind, best displays the splendour of its golden plumage ; so the bard of Paradise, in his sublime excursions amid the beings of light, bursts upon us with a more supernal grandeur, as he emerges from the darkness with which he was environed. Gray thus refers to him,

as one

Who rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of ecstasy ;

The Secret of the abyss to spy
Who passed the flaming bounds of space and time,-

The living throne, the sapphire's blaze,

Where angels tremble while they gaze!
He saw : but, blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.

Milton did not commence the composition of his grand epic until he was forty-seven years of age ; although he had matured its plan in his mind several years before. When he visited the Continent, he met Galileo, then a prisoner of the Inquisition : he also became acquainted with Hugo Grotius. It is a curious fact, that Grotius had then written a tragedy of which the leading subject was the Fall of Man; and Milton's epic was formed out of the first draught of a tragedy to which he had given the title of Adam Unparadised. No evidence has been adduced, however, to prove that Milton borrowed his design from Grotius; or from Du Bartas' Divine Weekes, as has been by some persons supposed. One of his earliest compositions, the Hymn to the Nativity, was written when he was but

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