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His lyrical work has frequently a pronounced epigrammatic flavour. We admire the compactness of thought and the aptness of expression; we exclaim “Euge, euge !” and are ready to affirm that Martial at his smartest cannot compare with rare Ben Jonson. Yet somehow the wayward inspiration of poets who have no claim to be Jonson's peers is more powerfully attractive.

Ben's antagonist, Dekker, had a genuine lyrical gift. His life was one constant strenuous struggle with poverty, and all his work was done in haste and hurry. He was not unfrequently lodged in the Counter (a prison in the Poultry for debtors), where it was difficult to write with any comfort. But in the dusk and gloom his cheeriness never forsook him ; his songs—too few, alas !—are blithe as the lark's tirra-lirra and wholesome as the breath of June.

Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher were lyrists of the first rank. In his Inner Temple Masque Beaumont gave ample proof of his ability for songwriting. What a rapture is in this call to the masquers to begin the dance !

“Shake off your heavy trance !
And leap into a dance
Such as no mortals use to tread :

Fit only for Apollo
To play to, for the moon to lead,

And all the stars to follow !”

Of rare beauty are the glowing and tender bridal songs in this masque; and I would certainly ascribe to Beaumont the bridal songs in The Maids Tragedy. That admirable burlesque, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, is now regarded as mainly the work of Beaumont, and we may be fairly confident that it was he who wrote the whimsical song of Ralph the May-lord, “ London, to thee I do present” (pp. 98-100). But the largest contributor to our anthology is Beaumont's coadjutor, John Fletcher. I have drawn copiously from The Faithful Shepherdess, the best of English pastoral plays. It is deeply to be regretted that Fletcher by the introduction of offensive matter smirched the fair features of a poem that would otherwise be at all points delightful. The rhymed trochaics glide as lightly as the satyr who bore the sleeping Alexis to Clorin's bower. At its original representation The Faithful Shepherdess failed to please ; but it came from the press crowned with the praises of Beaumont, Ben Jonson, Nat. Field, and Chapman. The finest compliment was paid by Chapman, who declared that the poem

“Renews the golden world, and holds through all
The holy laws of homely pastoral,
Where flowers and founts, and nymphs and semi-gods,

And all the Graces find their old abodes.” Milton's Comus 'owes not a little to Fletcher's pastoral; and Il Penseroso is under obligations to that fine song in Nice Valour, “Hence, all you vain delights !” Some of the best of Fletcher's songs are in Valentinian, where we have the rousing address to “God Lyæus, ever young" (worthy to stand beside Shakespeare's “Come, thou monarch of the vine "), and that softest of invocations to “Care-charming Sleep."

Massinger had little lyrical power-in fact, none at all—for his few attempts at a song are flat and insipid. Ford's songs are of small account, and Marston was no song-bird. Webster has three lyrical passages of deep impressiveness—the dirge in The White Devil (“Call for the robinredbreast and the wren”), the passing-song in The Duchess of Malfi ("Hark, now everything is still "), and the memento mori in The Devil's Law-case ("All the flowers of the spring").

Thomas Heywood' wrote some very pleasant

? Some of the songs in Heywood's plays are by other hands. For instance, in The Rape of Lucrece he introduces two stanzas of Sir Walter Raleigh's little poem,“ Now what is love? I pray thee tell.” In Edward IV. we have one stanza from an old ballad of Agincourt :

Agincourt, Agincourt ! know ye not Agincourt,
Where the English slew and hurt

All the French foemen ?
With our guns and bills brown,
O, the French were beaten down,

Morris-pikes and bowmen.”
The complete ballad, in eleven stanzas, may be seen in J. P.
Collier's privately-printed collection of Broadside Black-letter
Ballads, 1868.

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songs, notably the fresh matin-song “Pack, clouds, away, and welcome, day !” (which Sir Henry Bishop set to music), and the tuneful lovegreeting to Phyllis, “Ye little birds that sit and sing." The hymns to Dian and Ceres in The Golden Age and Silver Age, and the address to Phoebus in Love's Mistress, are graceful and melodious. I have not included Heywood's jocular songs; some are amusing, but others are not strictly decorous.

William Rowley, whose blank verse is so awkward, could gambol nimbly in rhyme. The rollicking songs in The Spanish Gipsy I take to be by Rowley rather than by his collaborateur Middleton. In More Dissemblers besides Women we have some gipsy songs, evidently from the hand that contributed the songs to The Spanish Gipsy. More Dissemblers is ascribed in the old edition (posthumously published in 1657) solely to Middleton, but I have no doubt that Rowley had a hand in it. Middleton's best lyrical work, highly fantastic and picturesque, is seen in The Witch.

Shirley's songs remind us sometimes of Fletcher, sometimes of Ben Jonson. He was of an imitative turn, and followed his models closely; but in his most famous song, " The glories of our blood and state," and in those equally memorable stanzas, “Victorious men of earth, no more," he struck an original note, deep-toned and solemn.

Suckling's gaiety is very enlivening. His “Why so pale and wan, fond lover?” is a triumph of playful raillery; and hardly inferior is the toast,“ Here's a health to the nutbrown lass !” which Sheridan imitated in " Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen.” Occasionally, in his more serious moods, Suckling follows the lead of Donne, and elaborates subtle conceits. “No, no, fair heretic, it needs must be,” might readily pass as the work of Donne, who exercised a potent influence on his younger contemporaries.

Randolph's plays yield only some bacchanalian snatches; Cartwright wrote a few good songs, but the best are too free for our anthology ; Habington, whose poems to Castara are often so painfully modest as to become insipid, has one capital song in The Queen of Arragon—a fouting address to a proud mistress; Peter Hausted's Rival Friends has several good songs; Aurelian Townshend, "the poor poet of the Barbican,” contributes some smooth verses from his masque, Albion's Triumph ; and Francis Quarles, famed for his Emblems, has a little song (wrongfully claimed for Richard Brome) in praise of solitude. That witty divine, Jasper Mayne, who suffered at the hands of Cromwell, but became Canon of Christ Church and Archdeacon of Chichester at the Restoration, wrote two very readable comedies.

In one of them, The Amorous War, is found the song, "Time is the

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