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As Willmott said (Lives of Sacred Poets, ed. 1834, p. 320), “It is idle to seek in the Latin text for the vigour, the fancy, and the grandeur of these lines. These remain with Crashaw, of whose obligations to Strada we may say, as Hayley remarked of Pope's debt to Crashaw, that if he borrowed anything from him in this article, it was only as the sun borrows from the earth, when drawing from thence a mere vapour, he makes it the delight of every eye, by giving it all the tender and gorgeous colouring of heaven. How true and felicitous are the following epithets :"A capering cheerfulness. (1. 28.)
P. 52. "The tattling strings." (1. 48.)
"the grumbling base In surly groans." (ll. 49, 50.)
P. 51, 1. 22. Cf. David Gray (Poems, 1874, p. 24)—
P. 52, 1. 39. Cf. again David Gray (Poems, 1874, p. 133)—
P. 53, 1. 82. Prevents: anticipates. This word in seventeenth century literature almost invariably has this signification. Vaughan, the Silurist, in Rules and Lessons (Vaughan's Works, ed. by Grosart, Vol. i. p. 96), uses this same word in same sense :
"Rise to prevent the sun."
It is also used in this sense in the authorised version of the Bible.
P. 56. WISHES. "Wishes to his (supposed) Mistress' has things in it vivid and subtle as anything in Shelley at his best."—Dr Grosart, in Essay on the Life and Poetry of Crashaw.
P. 61. To the Morning. One of the finest and most imaginative of the Poet's secular pieces. Let the reader especially note lines 21-29, in which their author (unconsciously) portrayed the character of his own Poetic genius. Anent this poem and the one following (On a foul_morning,) Dr Grosart (Essay on Life and Poetry of Crashaw, p. lxv.) says: "In these there are penetrative looks that Wordsworth never has surpassed, and a richness almost Shakesperean. Milton must have studied them keenly."
Willmott (Lives of Sacred Poets, ed. 1834, P. 321) remarks as follows respecting the way in which Crashaw deals with nature:-" He is not descriptive, but picturesque; we look in vain for images of rural simplicity, and touches of domestic feeling. He contemplates nature, as it were, through a painted window, from which every object takes its particular hue. Thus the rose he describes is not the rose of our gardens, or our hedges; his flowers have never cheered our eyes in the field-paths; they are natives of a land visited only by the poet's imagination.'
P. 61, 1. 11. illustrious: lustrous, or radiant.
P. 63. On a foul morning. "The opening lines of this poem seem to be adapted from remembrance of the Friar's in Romeo and Juliet:
"The grey-eyed Morn smiles on the frowning Night
And flecked Darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth Day's path and Titan's burning wheels." (ii. 3.)
P. 63, 1. 9. instile: instill.
See note to previous poem for critical comment.
P. 64. In Praise of Lessius's Rule of Health. "Leonard Lessius was a learned Jesuit, born 1st October 1554, and died 15th January 1623-4. He was professor of Theology in the University of Louvaine. His Hygiasticon, seu vera ratio valetudinis bonæ et vitæ is still readable and quick."Dr Grosart.
P. 66. Upon the Death of the most desired Mr Herrys. This "Mr Herrys" was William Herrys, a college friend of Crashaw's, who died in 1631. The poet mourned the fate of his friend in five Epitaphs.
P. 67, 11. 31-59. See (in notes To,the Morning) Willmott's criticism on the Poet's manner of dealing with Nature.
P. 68, 11. 71, 72. These two lines were first printed in Dr Grosart's complete edition of Crashaw's works.
P. 68. Epitaph on Mr Ashton, Il. 1-4. Cf. ll. 1, 2. of Pope's Epitaph on Elijah Fenton:
"This modest stone, what few vain marbles can,
P. 69. Death's Lecture, 11. 22, 23. Cf. Shakespeare (Hamlet, Act v. Sc. 1):"Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come.'
P. 70. An Epitaph upon a young married couple. This has frequently been given in Anthologies, but minus lines 11-14, which appear in the eds. of 1648 and 1652, but not in those of 1646, 1648, and 1670.
P. 72. Upon Ford's Two Tragedies, 1. 1. This was John Ford, one of the Elizabethan dramatists. With Crashaw's Music's Duel the reader may compare Ford's version (in Lover's Melancholy, Act i. Sc. 1) of the same subject.
I will conclude these notes by the insertion of a few note-worthy passages from poems not given in my selection..
From Verse letter to the Countess of Denbigh :
Say, lingering Fair, why comes the birth
So when the Year takes cold we see
From The Hymn, O Gloriosa Domina :-
Hail, most high, most humble one!
Let hearts and lips speak loud; and say
From In the Glorious Epiphany of our Lord God:
To Thee and Thine auspicious ray (Dread Sweet!) lo thus
At last by us,
The delegated eye of Day
Does first his sceptre, then himself, in solemn tribute pay.
Thus he undresses
His sacred unshorn tresses;
At thy adored feet, thus he lays down
His gorgeous tire
Of flame and fire,
His glittering robe. 3 King. His sparkling crown;
For being show'd by this Day's light, how far
He is from sun enough to make Thy star,
Translation of "In S. Columbam ad Christi caput sedentem," by Rev. R.
Aris Willmott. From Lives of Sacred Poets, ed. 1834, p. 323-4 :
To the Sacred Dove alighting on the Head of Christ.
Within Thy hair's sweet shade it seeks a nest.
A melody unlike all earthly sound :
I. EPIGRAMMATUM SACRORUM LIBER. celeberrimæ typographeo. 1634.
Cantabrigiæ, Ex Academiæ
II. STEPS TO THE TEMPLE. Sacred Poems, with other Delights of the Muses. By RICHARD CRASHAW, sometimes of Pembroke Hall, and late Fellow of S. Peters Coll. in Cambridge. LONDON, Printed by T. W. for Humphrey Moseley, and are to be sold at his shop at Princes Arms in St Pauls Churchyard. 1646.
III. THE DElights of thE MUSES; or, Other Poems written on severall occasions. By RICHARD CRASHAW, sometimes of Pembroke Hall, and late Fellow of St Peters Colledge in Cambridge. London, Printed by T. W. for H. Moseley, at the Princes Arms in S. Pauls Churchyard, 1646.
IV. STEPS TO THE TEMPLE, Sacred Poems. With the Delights of the Muses. By RICHARD CRASHAW, sometimes of Pembroke Hall, and late Fellow of S. Peters Coll. in Cambridge. The second Edition wherein are added divers pieces not before extant. London, Printed for Humphrey Moseley, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Princes Arms in St Pauls Churchyard, 1648.
V. CARMEN DEO NOSTRO, Te Decet Hymnus, Sacred POEMS, collected, corrected, Augmented, most humbly Presented. To My Lady the Countesse of Denbigh By Her most devoted Servant. R. C. In heaty (sic) acknowledgment of his immortall obligation to her Goodnes & Charity. AT PARIS By PETER TARGA, Printer to the Archbishope ef (sic) Paris, in S. Victors streete at the golden sunne, M. DC. LII.
VI. A letter from MR. CRASHAW to the Countess of Denbigh. Against Irresolution and Delay in matters of Religion. London (n.d., but copy in British Museum is marked 1653).
VII. STEPS TO THE TEMPLE, The Delights Of The Muses, and Carmen Deo Nostro. By Ric. Crashaw, sometimes Fellow of Pembroke Hall, and late Fellow of St. Peters Colledge in Cambridge. The 2d Edition. In the Savoy, Printed by T. N. for Henry Herringman at the Blew Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange. 1670.
(This Edition of "Steps" erroneously designated "2d Edition" is the 4th Edition.)
VIII. RICHARDI CRASHAWI POEMATA et EPIGRAMMATA, Quæ scripsit Latina & Græca, Dum Aula Pemb. Alumnus fuit, Et Collegii Petrensis Socius. Editio Secunda, Auctior & emendatior. Cantabrigiæ, Ex Officina Joan. Hayes, Celeberrima Academiæ Typographi. 1670.
IX. POETRY, by RICHARD CRASHAW, who was a Canon in the Chapel of Loretto, and died there in the year 1650. With some Account of the Author; and an Introductory Address to the Reader, by PEREGRINE PHILLIPS, Attorney at Law, &c. LONDON: Printed by Rickaby, for the Editor, And to be had, at Bell's British Library, in the Strand. MDCCLXXXV.
X. The Poetical Works of Richard Crashaw, etc. (Anderson's Poets of Great Britain, Vol. iv.). Edinburgh, 1793.
XI. The Poems of Richard Crashaw (Chalmers' Works of the English Poets, Vol. vi.). London, 1810.
XII. The Suspicion of Herod, being the first book of the Murder of the Innocents. Translated from the Italian by Richard Crashaw. Printed by Bournes Jun. brothers, Church Street, Kensington, MDCCCXXXIV.
XIII. THE POETICAL WORKS OF RICHARD CRASHAW, with memoir and Critical dissertation by Rev. Geo. Gilfillan. EDINBURGH James Nichol, 104 High Street, &c. M. DCCC. LVII.
(One of the vols. of Gilfillan's British Poets. Quarles' "Emblems are included in same volume.)
XIV. THE COMPLETE WORKS OF RICHARD CRASHAW, Canon of Loretto. Edited by WILLIAM B. TURNBULL, ESQ. of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister at Law. LONDON: John Russell Smith, Soho Square. 1858.
XV. The Fuller Worthies' Library. The Complete Works of RICHARD CRASHAW, for the first time collected and collated with the original and early Editions, and much enlarged, with—
I. Hitherto unprinted and inedited Poems from Archbishop Sancroft's
II. Translation of the whole of the Poemata et Epigrammata.
Edited by the REV. ALEXANDER B. GROSART, St. George's, Blackburn, Lancashire. In two volumes. Printed for private circulation. 1872.
Turnbull & Spears, Printers, Edinburgh.