« PreviousContinue »
TO WILLIAM CAMDEN.
2. I have been gathering wolves' hairs,
The mad-dogs' foam, and the adders' ears ; CAMDEN, most reverend head, to whom I owe
The spurgings of a dead-man's eyes,
And all since the evening-star did rise.
O' the ground, to hear the mandrake groan; What name, what skill, what faith hast thou in And pluck'd him up, though he grew full low ; things!
And, as I had done, the cock did crow.
From private grots, and public pits,
And frighted a sexton out of his wits.
5. Under a cradle I did creep, But for their powers, accept my piety.
By day; and, when the child was asleep,
STILL to be neat, still to be drest,
Yes, I have brought (to help our vows)
ON THE COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE, SISTER TO
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
1. I HAVE been, all day, looking after
FROM THE SHEPHERD'S HOLIDAY.
All envious and profane, away,
ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. This moming, timely rapt with holy fire,
I thought to form unto my zealous Muse,
To bonor, serve, and love; as poets use.
Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great; I Deant the day-star should not brighter rise,
Vor lend like influence from his lucent seat. I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride; I beant each softest virtue there should meet,
Fit in that softer bosom to reside. Only a learned, and a manly soul
I purpos'd her; that should, with even pow'rs, The rock, the spindle, and the shears control
Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours. Such when I meant to feign, and wish'd to see,
My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was she.
Strew, strew, the glad and smiling ground,
The garden-star, the queen of May,
Drop, drop, you violets, change your hues,
That from your odor all may say
LOVE, A LITTLE BOY
MASQUE ON LORD HADDINGTON'S MARRIAGE
Kiss me, sweet: the wary lover
BEAUTIES, have ye seen this toy,
SECOND GRACE. She, that will but now discover Where the winged wag doth hover, Shall, 10-night, receive a kiss, How, or where herself would wish : But, who brings him to his mother, Shall have that kiss, and another.
TO THE SAME.
THIRD GRACE. He hath of marks about him plenty: You shall know him among twenty. All his body is a fire, And his breath a flame entire, That being shot, like lightning, in, Wounds the heart, but not the skin.
DRINK to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
And I'll not look for wine.
Doth ask a drink divine:
I would not change for thine.
Not so much honoring thee,
It could not wither'd be.
And sent'st it back to me:
Not of itself, but thee.
FIRST GRACE. At his sight, the Sun hath turned, Neptune in the waters burned ; Hell hath felt a greater heat: Jove himself forsook his seat: From the centre, to the sky, Are his trophies reared high.
Wings he hath, which though ye clip, He will leap from lip to lip,
ABRAHAM COWLEY, a poet of considerable dis-virtue of a degree which he obtained, by mandamus tinction, was born at London, in 1618. His father, from Oxford, in December, 1657. who was a grocer by trade, died before his birth; After the death of Cromwell, Cowley returned but his mother, through the interest of her friends, to France, and resumed his station as an agent in procured his admission into Westminster school, the royal cause, the hopes of which now began to as a king's scholar. He has represented himself as revive. The Restoration reinstated him, with other so deficient in memory, as to have been unable to royalists, in his own country; and he naturally exretain the common rules of grammar: it is, how-pected a reward for his long services. He had ever, certain that, by some process, he became an been promised, both by Charles I. and Charles II., elegant and correct classical scholar. He early the Mastership of the Savoy, but was unsuccessful imbibed a taste for poetry; and so soon did it germi- in both his applications. He had also the misfortune nate in his youthful mind, that, while yet at school, of displeasing his party, by his revived comedy of in his fifteenth or sixteenth year, he published a "The Cutter of Coleman-street," which was concollection of verses, under the appropriate title of strued as a satire on the cavaliers. At length Poetical Blossoms. through the interest of the Duke of Buckingham In 1636 he was elected a scholar of Trinity col- and the Earl of St. Alban's, he obtained a lease of lege, Cambridge. In this favorable situation he ob- a farm at Chertsey, held under the queen, by which tained much praise for his academical exercises; his income was raised to about 300l. per annum. and he again appeared as an author, in a pastoral From early youth a country retirement had been comedy, called Love's Riddle, and a Latin comedy, a real or imaginary object of his wishes; and, entitled, Naufragium Joculare; the last of which though a late eminent critic and moralist, who had was acted before the university, by the members himself no sensibility to rural pleasures, treats this of Trinity college. He continued to reside at Cam- taste with severity and ridicule, thore seems little bridge till 1643, and was a Master of Arts when reason to decry a propensity, nourished by the fahe was ejected from the university by the puritani-vorite strains of poets, and natural to a mind long cal visitors. He thence removed to Oxford, and tossed by the anxieties of business, and the vicissifixed himself in St. John's college. It was here tudes of an unsettled condition. that he engaged actively in the royal cause, and was present in several of the king's journeys and expeditions, but in what quality, does not appear. He ingratiated himself, however, with the principal persons about the court, and was particularly honored with the friendship of Lord Falkland.
Cowley took up his abode first at Barn-elms, on the banks of the Thames; but this place not agreeing with his health, he removed to Chertsey. Here his life was soon brought to a close. According to his biographer, Dr. Sprat, the fatal disease was an affection of the lungs, the consequence of staying When the events of the war obliged the queen- too late in the fields among his laborers. Dr. mother to quit the kingdom, Cowley accompanied Warton, however, from the authority of Mr. Spence, her to France, and obtained a settlement at Paris, gives a different account of the matter. He says, in the family of the earl of St. Alban's. During an that Cowley, with his friend Sprat, paid a visit on absence of nearly ten years from his native coun- foot to a gentleman in the neighborhood of Cherttry, he took various journeys into Jersey, Scotland, sey, which they prolonged, in free conviviality, till Holland, and Flanders; and it was principally midnight; and that missing their way on their rethrough his instrumentality that a correspondence turn, they were obliged to pass the night under a was maintained between the king and his consort. hedge, which gave to the poet a severe cold and The business of ciphering and deciphering their fever, which terminated in his death. He died on letters, was intrusted to his care, and often occu- July 28, 1667, and was interred, with a most honpied his nights, as well as his days. It is no won-orable attendance of persons of distinction, in Westder that, after the Restoration, he long complained minster-abbey, near the remains of Chaucer and of the neglect with which he was treated. In Spenser. King Charles II. pronounced his eulogy, 1656, having no longer any affairs to transact by declaring, "that Mr. Cowley had not left a abroad, he returned to England; still, it is sup- better man behind him in England." posed, engaged in the service of his party, as a me- At the time of his death, Cowley certainly ranked dium of secret intelligence. Soon after his arrival, as the first poet in England; for Milton lay under he published an edition of his poems, containing a cloud, nor was the age qualified to taste him. most of those which now appear in his works. In And although a large portion of Cowley's celebrity a search for another person, he was apprehended by has since vanished, there still remains enough to the messengers of the ruling powers, and committed raise him to a considerable rank among the British to custody; from which he was liberated, by that poets. It may be proper here to add, that as a generous and learned physician, Dr. Scarborough, prose writer, particularly in the department of who bailed him in the sum of a thousand pounds. essays, there are few who can compare with him This, however, was possibly the sum at which he in elegant simplicity.
was rated as a physician, a character he assumed by
Noisy nothing! stalking shade!
By what witchcraft wert thou made ?
Empty cause of solid harms!
But I shall find out counter-charms And make the age to come my own
Thy airy devilship to remove 1 shall, like beasts or common people, die,
From this circle here of love.
Sure I shall rid myself of thee
By the night's obscurity, In this scale gold, in th’ other fame does lie,
And obscurer secrecy! The weight of that mounts this so high.
Unlike to every other sprite,
Thou attempt'st not men to fright,
Out of myselt it must be strook.
This only grant me, that my means may lie
Too low for envy, for contempt too high. Unpast Alps stop me; but I'll cut them all,
Some honor I would have, And march, the Muses' Hannibal.
Not from great deeds, but good alone; Hence, all the flattering vanities that lay Th' unknown are better than ill known: Nets of roses in the way!
Rumor can ope the grave. Hence, the desire of honors or estate,
Acquaintance I would have, but when't depends And all that is not above Fate!
Not on the number, but the choice, of friends. Hence, Love himself, that tyrant of my days!
Which intercepts my coming praise. Books should, not business, entertain the light, Come, my best friends, my books ! and lead me on; And sleep, as undisturb'd as death, the night. "Tis time that I were gone.
My house a cottage more Welcome, great Stagyrite! and teach me now Than palace; and should fitting be All I was born to know:
For all my use, no luxury. Thy scholar's victories thou dost far outdo;
My garden painted o'er He conquer'd th' earth, the whole world you. With Nature's hand, not Art's; and pleasures yield, Welcome, learn'd Cicero! whose blest tongue and Horace might envy in his Sabine field.
wit Preserves Rome's greatness yet:
Thus would I double my life's fading space ; Thou art the first of orators; only he
For he, that runs it well, twice runs his race. Who best can praise thee, next must be.
And in this true delight,
Whose verse walks highest, but not flies; I would not fear, nor wish, my fate;
And made that art which was a rage. To-morrow let my sun his beams display,
Or in clouds hide them; I have liv'd to-day.
On the calm flourishing head of it,
MARGARITA first possest,
If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita first of all ;
Martha took the Aying ball.
What's this, ye gods! what can it be?
Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place (Though loth and angry she to part With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.
Had she not evil counsels ta'en.