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In wilderness the Baptist shin'd more clear;
In life's night starry souls appear:
They who themselves eclipse are to heaven's court more dear.
The low-built fortune harbours peace, when as
Ambitious high-roofed Babels pass
Through storms: content with thankfulness each blessing has.
So fragrant violets, blushing strawberries,
Close-shrouded lurk from lofty eyes,
The emblem of sweet bliss, which low and hidden lies.
Though in rough shells our bodies kernell'd are,
Banish'd are noisome vapours to the pent-up air.
No subtle poison in our cup we fear-
No palace-furies haunt, O rich content! thy cheer.
When early Phosphor lights from eastern bed
The grey-ey'd morn, with blushes red;
When opal colours prank the orient tulip's head:
Then walk we forth, where twinkling spangles shew,
Entinselling like stars the dew;
Where buds like pearls, and where we leaves like em'ralds view.
Birds by grovets in feather'd garments sing
New ditties to the non-ag'd spring:
Oh! how those traceless minstrels cheer up everything!
While teeming earth flower'd satin wears, emboss'd
The branching standards of the chirping grove,
In murm'ring rage, seem Nature's concert tun'd by love.
Ourselves, here steal we from ourselves, by qualms
When skies are blue, earth green, and meadows flow with balms.
We there, on grassy tufted tapestries,
In guiltless shades, by full-hair'd trees,
Leaning unpillow'd heads view Nature's ants and bees:
Justly admiring more those agile ants,
More than at tusks of boars we wonder at
Then on bees we musing sate:
How colonies, realms' hope, they breed, proclaim
Thinking-which some deem idleness-to me
It seems life's heaven on earth to be; By observation God is seen in all we see.
Our books are heav'n above us, air and sea
Around, earth under; faith's our stay,
And grace our guide, the Word our light, and Christ our way.
Friend, view that rock, and think from rock's green wound How thirst-expelling streams did bound;
View streams, and think how Jordan did become dry ground.
View seas, and think how waves, like walls of glass,
Stood fix'd, while Hebrew troops did pass;
But clos'd the Pharian host in one confused mass.
These flow'rs we see to-day, like beauty brave,
At ev'n will be shut up, and have
Next week their death, then buried soon in stalks, their grave.
Beauty's a flower, fame puff, high state a gaze,
Pleasure a dance, and gold a blaze;
Greatness a load.
These soon are lost in time's short maze.
Thoughts, dwell on this. Let's be our own death's head.
The glorious martyr lives though dead,
Sweet rose, in his own fadeless leaves enveloped.
DR JOSEPH BEAUMONT.
Time in eternity's immense book is
But as a short parenthesis ;
Man's life a point, God's day is never-setting bliss.
Such mental buds we from each object take,
And for Christ's spouse of them we make
Spiritual wreaths; nor do we her own words forsake:
"Arise, O north, and thou, O south wind blow;
That the Beloved may into His garden go:"
Whose beauty flow'rs, whose height made lofty trees,
DR JOSEPH BEAUMONT.
Dr Joseph Beaumont* was an alumnus of Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he became a Fellow, and continued to prosecute his favourite studies until he was twenty-eight. By that time the Parliamentary war had broken out, and Beaumont, being a Royalist, was deprived of his fellowship, and was obliged to leave the University. His early patron, Bishop Wren of Ely, still befriended him, and in 1650 he married the Bishop's step-daughter. The Restoration obtained for him an immediate appointment as one of his Majesty's chaplains, besides the restitution of his former livings; and in 1663 he was promoted to the mastership of Peterhouse. To this, in 1670, was added the professorship of divinity. The duties of his several offices he appears to have discharged with spirit and efficiency, and he was seized with his last illness on November 5, 1699-the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot-after the exertion of preaching in his turn before the University in the eightyfourth year of his age. This good old age he seems to have
* Born at Hadleigh, Suffolk, March 13, 1615; died at Cambridge, Nov. 23, 1699.
attained without the advantage of a robust constitution: for in 1662, we find him obtaining from the Vice-Chancellor a dispensation to eat flesh during the season of Lent, alleging, like Erasmus, that fish did not agree with him.
During the Parliamentary wars he resided at his native Hadleigh, and here he beguiled a year of leisure with the composition of a poem longer than the "Fairy Queen." In April 1647, he began, and in the following March he finished, "Psyche, or Love's Mystery: displaying the Intercourse betwixt Christ and the Soul." The first edition appeared in the same year, 1648; and the second, enlarged by four additional cantos, and published in 1702, extends to 370 folio pages of double columns, or nearly 40,000 lines. The nine cantos devoted to the life of our Lord are the most interesting portion; but if any one has read the whole poem, it cannot have been the attraction of the story or the charm of the style which allured him to proceed: for few works of genius convey such a sense of prolixity, or try so severely the patience of a fastidious reader. But any devotee, who can pardon the intermingling of scriptural fact with heroic fable, and the frequent recurrence of wild hyperboles and provoking conceits amidst genuine pathos and sublimity, will be rewarded for his diligence. Its value was known to that most judicious of pilferers, Pope, who found in it "a great many flowers worth gathering," and said that "a man who has the art of stealing wisely will find his account in reading it."
As characteristic of the age, as well as of our bard, we may mention one or two of those exaggerations which they mistook for poetry. For instance, describing the Advent, and the effect which the angels' song produced on the "jolly birds" and "merry wolves," which joined the lambs and lions in “ friendly galliard,” he adds—
"The stones look'd up, and seem'd to wish for feet;
The trees were angry that they stood so fast."
DR JOSEPH BEAUMONT.
In the same way, when the wise men presented their offering at the manger of Bethlehem
"The pious incense smelled the sweeter child,
And chang'd its usual path, with Him to meet:
It soar'd not up, but to the door inclin❜d,
To heav'n the shortest passage so to find."
His fine account of the Transfiguration ends in the departure of Moses and Elias. The prophet is made to leap into his chariot of fire, whilst, in the absence of such accommodation, แ "Moses, spreading out his ready veil,
Homeward to Abraham's blessed port set sail;"
And a highly-wrought description of the storm on the Lake of Galilee, is spoiled by the disciples exclaiming—
"How is His promise wash'd away! since we,
To fishes now a booty must be made!"
But Beaumont's greatest fault is diffuseness. Every bit of gold he beats into foil, and on his brighter and more beautiful thoughts he dwells, till all but himself are weary. So inveterate is this tendency to make the most of everything, that he constantly spreads out in prosaic platitudes, or spins into long catalogues, the allusion or the name, which a more skilful master of the lyre would have been fain to skip over lightly. Thus, a banquet becomes a bill of fare—
"The smelt, the perch, the ruff, the roach, the dare,
The turbot, cuttle, flounder, mackerel,
Had left their troubled deeps to swim in dishes.”
And the other courses are described with equal minuteness. As if to eclipse the second book of Homer, he occasionally