Page images
PDF
EPUB

ON

BY MR. MAYNE OF CHRIST-CHURCH IN OXFORD.

And as he was a twofold priest; in youth, That kingdom, the philosophers believ'd
Apollo's; afterwards the voice of truth;

To excell Alexander's, nor were griev'd
God's conduit-pipe for grace, who chose him for By fear of loss (that being such a prey
His extraordinary ambassador:

No stronger than one's self can force away) So let bis liegers with the poets join:

The kingdom of one's self, this he enjoy'd, Both having shares, both must in grief combine: And his authority so well employ'd, Whilst Jonson forceth with his elegy

That never any could before become
Tears from a grief-unknowing Scythian's eye, So great a monarch in so small a room.
(Like Moses, at whose stroke the waters gush'd He conquer'd rebel passions, rul'd them so,
From forth the rock, and like a torrent rush’d.) As ander-spheres by the first mover go;
Let Laud his funeral sermon preach, and show Banish'd so far their working, that we can
Those virtues, dull eyes were not apt to know ; But know he had some; for we knew him man.
Nor leave that piercing theme, till it appears Then let his last excuse his first extremes:
To be Good Friday by the church's tears: His age saw visions, though his youth dream'd
Yet make not grief too long oppress our powers,

dreams.
Lest that his funeral sermon should prove ours.
Nor yet forget that heavenly eloquence,
With which he did the bread of life dispense;
Preacher and orator discharg'd both parts,
With pleasure for our sense, health for our hearts:
And the first such (though a long study'd art

DR. DONNE'S DEATH;
Tell us, our soul is all in every part)
None was so marble, but, whilst him he hears,
His soul so long dwelt only in his ears;
And from thence (with the fierceness of a flood Who shall presume to mourn thee, Donne, unless
Bearing down vice) victuall'd with that bless'd food He could his tears in thy expressions dress,
Their hearts : his seed in none could fail to grow, And teach his grief that reverence of thy hearse,
Fertile he fonnd them all, or made them so: To weep lines learned, as thy anniverse;
No druggist of the soul bestow'd on all

A poem of that worth, whose every tear So catholicly a curing cordial.

Deserves the title of a several year? Nor only in the pulpit dwelt his store,

Indeed so far above its reader good, His words work'd much, but his example more; That we are thought wits, when 't is understood. That preach'd on worky-days his poetry,

There that bless'd maid to die who now should Itself was oftentimes divinity ;

After thy sorrow, 't were her loss to live ; [grieve ! Those anthems (almost second psalms) he writ, And her fair virtues in another's line To make us know the cross, and value it,

Would faintly dawn, which are made saints in thine. (Although we owe that reverence to that name, Hadst thou been shallower, and not writ so high, We should not need warmth from an under-Bame.) Or left some new way for our pen or eye Creates a fire in us so near extreme,

To shed a funeral tear, perchance thy tomb That we would die for, and upon this theme. Had not been speechless, or our Muses dumb; Next, his so pious Litany, which none can

But now we dare not write, but must conceal But count divine, except a puritan ;

Thy epitaph, lest we be thought to steal. And that, but for the name, nor this, nor those

For who hath read thee, and discerns thy worth, Want any thing of sermons, but the prose.

That will not say, thy careless hours brought forth Experience makes us see that many a one

Fancies beyond our studies, and thy play Owes to his country his religion;

Was happier than our serious time of day? And in another would as strongly grow,

So learned was thy chance; thy haste had wit, Had bat his nurse and mother taught him so: And matter from thy pen flow'd rashly fit. Not he the ballast on his judgment hung ; What was thy recreation, turns our brain; Nor did his pre-conceit do either wrong.

Our rack and paleness is thy weakest strain : He labour*d to exclude whatever sin,

And when we most come near thee, 't is our bliss By time or carelessness had enter'd in;

To imitate thee, where thou dost amiss. Winnow'd the chaff from wheat, but yet was loath Here light your Muse, you, that do only think, A too hot zeal should force him, burn them both; And write, and are just poets, as you drink; Nor would allow of that so ignorant gall,

In whose weak fancies wit dath ebb and flow, Which, to save blotting, often would blot all; Just as your reckonings rise, that we may know Nor did those barbarous opinions own,

In your whole carriage of your work, that here To think the organs sin, and faction none.

This flash you wrote in wine, and that in beer: Nor was there expectation to gain grace

This is to tap your Muse, which, running long, Prom forth his sermons only, but his face;

Writes flat, and takes our ear not half so strong; - So primitive a look, such gravity

Poor suburb wits, who, if you want your cup, With humbleness, and both with piety.

Or if a lord recover, are blown up.

(need So mild was Moses' count'oance, when he pray'd Could you but reach this height, you should not For them, whose satanism his power gainsay'd; To make each meal a project, ere you feed; And such his gravity, when all God's band

Nor walk in relic's clothes, so old and bare, Receird his word (through him) at secoud hand; As if left off to you from Ennius were ; Which, join'd, did flames of more devotion move,

Nor should your love in verse call mistress those, Than ever Argive Helen's could of love.

Who are mine hostess, or your whores, in prose. Now, to conclude, I must my reason bring,

From this Muse learn to court, whose power could Wherefore I call'd him in his title king;

A cloister'd coldness, or a vestal love; [move

BY ENDY. PORTER.

And would convey such errands to their ear, The sea-nymphs, that the watry caverns keep, That ladies knew no odds to grant and hear. Have sent their pearls and rubies from the deep, But I do wrong thee, Donne, and this low praise To deck thy love ; and plac'd by thee they drew Is written only for thy younger days.

More lustre to them, than where first they grew. I am not grown up for thy riper parts,

[arts,

Ali minerals (that Earth's full womb doth bold Then should I praise thee through the tongues and Promiscuously) ihou could'st convert to gold ; And have that deep divinity to know,

And with thy flaming raptures so refine, What mysteries did from thy preaching flow; That it was much more pure than in the mine. Who with thy words could charm thy audience, The lights, that gild the night, if thou didst say, That at thy sermons ear was all our sense. They look like eyes, those did out-shine the day ; Yet I have seen thee in the pulpis stand,

For there would be more virtue in such spells, Where we might take notes from thy look and hand; Than in meridians or cross parallels. And from thy speaking action bear away

Whatever was of worth in this great frame, More sermon, than some teachers use to say. That art could comprehend, or wit could name, Such was thy carriage, and thy gesture such, Is was thy theme for beauty; thou didst see As could divide the heart, and conscience touch. Woman was this fair world's epitome. Thy motion did confute, and we might see Thy nimble Satires too, and every strain, An errour vanquish'd by delivery:

(With vervy strength) that issued from thy brain, Not like our sons of zeal, who, to reform

Will lose the glory of their own clear bays, Their hearers, fiercely at the pulpit storm,

If they admit of any other's praise. And beat the cushion into worse estate,

But thy diviner poems (whose clear fire Than if they did conclude it reprobate ;

Purges all dross away) shall by a choir Who can out-pray the glass, then lay about, Of cherubims with heavenly notes be set, Tili ali predestination be run out;

(Where flesh and blood could ne'er attain to yet) And from the point such tedious uses draw, There purest spirits sing such sacred lays, Their repetitions would make gospel law.

In panegyric hallelujas. No, in such temper would thy sermons flow,

ARCH. WILSON,
So well did doctrine and thy language show;
And had that holy fear, as, hearing thee,
The court would mend, and a good Christian be.

EPITAPII UPON DR. DONNE,
And ladies, though unhandsome, out of grace,
Would hear thee in their unbought looks and face.
More I could write, but let this crown thine urn;

Tuis decent urn a sad inscription wears,
We cannot hope the like, till thou return.

Of Donne's departure from us to the spheres ;
And the dumb stone with silence seems to tell
The changes of this life, wherein is well
Express'd a cause to make all joy to cease,
And never let our sorrows more take ease:

For now it is impossible to find
MR. J. DONNE AND HIS POEMS.

One fraught with virtues to enrich a mind.

But why should Death with a promiscuous hand Who dares say thou art dead, when he doth see

At one rude stroke impoverish a land? (Unburied yet) this living part of thee;

Thou strict attorney 'unto stricter Fate, This part, that to thy being gives fresh flame,

Didst thou confiscate his life out of hate And, though thou 'rt Donne, yet will preserve thy | To his rate parts ? Or didst thon throw thy dart name?

With envious hand at some plebeian heart; Thy flesh (whose channels left their crimson hue,

And he with pious virtue stept between And whey-like ran at last in a pale blue)

To save that stroke, and so was kill'd unseen May show thee, morta!, a dead palsy may

By thee? O't was his goodness so to do, Seize on 't, and quickly turn it into clay;

Which human kinduess never reach'd unto. Which, like the Indian earth, shall rise refin'd: Thus the hard laws of death were satisfi'd, But this great spirit thou bast left behind,

And he left us like orphan friends and dy'd. This soul of verse in its first puré estate

Now from the pulpit to the people's ears Shall live, for all the world to imitate;

Whose speech sball send repentant sighs and tears? But not come near: for in thy fancy's flight Or tell me, if a purer virgin die, Thou dost not stoop unto the vulgar sight,

Who shall hereafter write her elegy? But hovering highly in the air of wit

Poets, be silent, let your numbers sleep; Hold'st such a pitch, that few can follow it;

For he is gone, that did all fancy keep; Admire they may. Each objert, that the spring Time hath no soul, but his exalted verse; (Or a niore piercing influence) doth bring

Which with amazements we may now rehearse. T'adorn Earth's face, thou sweetly didst contrive To beauty's elements, and thence derive Unspotted lily's white; which thou didst set Hand in hand with the vein-like violet,

IN MEMORY OF DR. DONNE,
Making thein soft and warm, and by thy power
Could'st give both life and sense unto a flower.
The cherries, thou hast made to speak, will be Donne dead ! 't is here reported true, though I
Sweeter into the taste than from the tree;

Ne'er yet so much desir'd to hear a lie;
And (spite of winter storms) amidst the snow 'T is too true, for so we find it still,
Thou oft hast made the blushing rose to grow. Good news are often false, but seldom ill,

UPON

BY MR. R. B.

But must poor fame tell us his fatal day,

Once of each sex.) If these suffice not, I And shall we know his death the cominon way? Ten Decem tales have of standers by; Methinks some comet bright should have foretold All which for Donne would such a verdict give, The death of such a man; for though of old As can belong to none, that now doth live. 'Tis hield, that comets princes' deaths foretell, But what do I? A diminution 't is Why should not his have needed one as well; To speak of him in verse, so short of his, Who was the prince of wits, 'mongst whom he Whereof he was the master; all indeed, reign'd

Compar'd with him, pip'd on an oaten reed. High as a'prince, and as great state maintain'd? O that you had but one, 'mongst all your brothers, Yet wants he not his sign, for we have seen Could write for him, as he hath done for others ! A dearth, the like to which hath never been (Poets I speak to:) When I see 't, I'll say, Treading on harvest heels; which doth presage My eye-sight betters, as my years decay. The dearth of wit and learning, which this age Mean time a quarrel I shall ever have Shall find, now he is gone; for though there be Against these doughty keepers from the grave, Much grain in show, none brought it forth as he. Who use, it seems, their old authority, Or men are misers, or, if true want raises

“ When verses men immortal make,” they cry: The dearth, then more that dearth Donne's plenty which had it been a recipe true try'd, praises.

Probatum esset, Donne had never dy'd. Of learning, languages, of eloquence,

For me, if e'er I had least spark at all And poesy, (past ravishing of sense)

Of that, which they poetic fire do call, He had a magazine, wherein such store

Here I confess it fetched from his hearth; Was laid up, as might hundreds serve of poor. Which is gone out, now he is gone to earth. But he is gone.! O how will his desire

This only a poor fash, a lightning is Torture all those, that warm'd them by his fire? Before my Muse's death, as after his. Methinks I see him in the pulpit standing,

Farewell (fair soul) and deign receive from me Nor ears or eyes, but all men's hearts commanding, This type of that devotion I owe thee, Where we, that heard him, to ourselves did feign, From whom (while living) as by voice and pen Golden Chrysostome was yet alive again ;

I learned more, than from a thousand men ;
And never were we wearied, till we saw

So by thy death am of one doubt releas'd,
His hour (and but an hour) to end did draw. And now believe that miracles are ceas'd.
How did he shame the doctrine-men, and use,
With helps to boot, for men to bear th' abuse
Of their tir'd patience, and endure th' expense
Of time, O spent in heark’ning to nonsense ;
With marks also enough, whereby to know,

EPITAPIT.
The speaker is a zealous dunce, or so!
'T is true, they quitted him to their poor pow'r, Here lies dean Donne: enough; those words alone
They humm'd against bim; and with face most sow'r

Show him as fully, as if all the stone, Callid him a strong-lin'd man, a macaroon, Hischurch of Paul's contains,were through inscribd; And no way fit to speak to clouted shoon.

Or all the walkers there, to speak him, brib'd. As fine words, truly, as you would desire,

None can mistake him, for one such as he, Bul, verily, but a bad edifier.

Donne, dean, or man, more none sball ever see. Thus did these beetles slight in him that good

Not man? No, though unto a Sun each eye They could not see, and much less understood.

Were turn'd, the whole Earth so to over-spy.
But we may say, when we compare the stuff A bold brave word; yet such brave spirits as knew
Both wrought, he was a candle, they the snuff.

His spirit, will say, it is less bold than true,
Well, wisdom's of her children justifi'd,
Let therefore these poor fellows stand aside;
Nor, though of learning he deserv'd so highly,
Would I his book should save him; rather slily
I should advise his clergy not to pray;
Though of the learned'st sort, methinks that they
Of the same trade are judges not so fit;

LUCY COUNTESS OF BEDFORD,
There's no such emulation as of wit.
Of such the envy might as much perchance

WITH MR. DONNE's satires.
Wrong him, and more, than th'other's ignorance.
It was his fate, I know 't, to be envy'd

Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are As much by clerks, as laymen magnifi'd.

Life of the Muse's day, their morning star, And why? but 'cause he came late in the day, If works (not th' author's) their own grace should And yet bis penuy earn'd, and had as they.

look, No more of this, lest some should say that I Whose poems would not wish to be your book? Am stray'd to satire, meaning elegy.

But these, desir'd by you, the maker's ends No, no, bad Donne need to be judg'd or try'd,

Crown with their own. Rare poems ask rare A jury I would summon on his side,

friends.
That had no sides, nor factions, past the touch Yet satires, since the most of mankind be
Of all exceptions, freed from passion, such Their unavoided subject, fewest see:
As not to fear, nor flatter, e'er were bred;

For none e'er took that pleasure in siu's sense; These would I bring, though called from the dead: But, when they heard it tax'd, took more offence, Southampton, Hamilton, Pembroke, Dorset's earls, They then, that living where the matter 's bred, Huntington, Bedford's countesses (the pearls Dare for these poems yet both ask and read,

ΤΟ

And like them too, must needfully, though few, That so alone canst judge, so alone make:
Be of the best: and 'mongst those best are you, And in thy censures evenly dust take
Lucy, you brightness of our sphere, who are As free simplicity to disavow,
The Mase's evening, as their morning star. As thou hast best authority t' allow.

Read all I send : and, if I find but one
BEN JONSON.

Mark'd by thy hand, and with the better stone,
My title's seal'd. Those, that for claps do write,

Let puny's, porter's, player's praise delight,
TO JOHN DONNE.

And, till they burst, their backs like asses load:

A man should seek great glory, and not broad. Who shall doubt, Donne, where I a poet be,

BEN JONSON. When I dare send my epigrams to thee?

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »