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We write no chronicle; this pile
Wears only sorrow's face and stile,
Which ev'n the envy, that did wait
Upon his flourishing estate,
Turn'd to soft pity of his death,
Now pays his hearse; but that cheap breath
Shall not blow here, nor th' unpure brine
Puddle those streams that bathe this shrine.
These are the pious obsequies
Dropp'd from his chaste wife's pregnant eyes
In frequent showers, and were alone
By her congealing sighs made stone,
On which the carver did bestow
These forms and characters of woe:
So he the fashion only lent,
Whilst she wept all this monument'.
SISTE, HOSPES, sive indigenA, SIVE ADVENA: VICISSITUDINIS RERUM MEMOR, PAUCA PERLege.
READER, when these dumb stones have told
In borrowed speech what guest they hold,
Thou shalt confess the vain pursuit
Of human glory yields no fruit;
But an untimely grave. If Fate
Could constant happiness create,
Her ministers, Fortune and Worth,
Had here that miracle brought forth:
They fix'd this child of honour where
No room was left for hope or fear,
Of more or less: so high, so great
His growth was, yet so safe his seat:
Safe in the circle of his friends;
Safe in his loyal heart and ends;
Safe in his native valiant spirit;
By favour safe, and safe by merit;
Safe by the stamp of Nature, which
Did strength with shape and grace enrich ;
Safe in the cheerful courtesies
Of flowing gestures, speech, and eyes;
Safe in his bounties, which were more
Proportion'd to his mind than store:
Yet though for virtue he becomes
Involv'd himself in borrow'd sums,
Safe in his care, he leaves betray'd
No friend, engag'd no debt unpaid.
For the sense, not fed, denies
Nourishment unto the mind,
Which with expectation pin'd,
Love of a consumption dies.
INCOMMUNICABILITY OF LOVE.
By what power was love confin'd
To one object? who can bind,
Or fix a limit to the free-born mind?
Nature; for as bodies may
Move at once but in one way,
So nor can minds to more than one love stray.
This alludes to the ancient ordeal by fire, a method by which accused persons undertook to prove their innocence, by walking blind-fold and barefoot over nine red-hot ploughshares or pieces of iron, placed at unequal distances. This barbarous custom began before the conquest, and continued till the time of Henry III.
Yet I feel double smart;
Love's twinn'd flame, his forked dart.
ANS. Then hath wild lust, not love possest thy heart.
Whence springs love? ANs. From beauty. Quest. [Why Should the effect not multiply
As fast in the heart as doth the cause in th' eye?
When two beauties equal are,
Sense preferring neither fair,
Desire stands still, distracted 'twixt the pair.
So in equal distance lay
Two fair limbs in the wolf's way,
The hungry beast will starve ere choose his prey.
But where one is chief, the rest
Cease and that's alone possest.
Without a rival monarch of the breast.
SONGS IN THE PLAY.
A LOVER, IN The disguise oF AN AMAZON, IS DEARLY
BELOVED OF HIS MISTRESS.
CEASE, thou afflicted soul, to mourn,
Whose love and faith are paid with scorn;
For I am starv'd that feel the blisses,
Of dear embraces, smiles and kisses,
From my soul's idol, yet complain
Of equal love more than disdain.
Cease, beauty's exile, to lament
The frozen shades of banishment,
For I in that fair bosom dwell,
That is my Paradise and Hell;
Banish'd at home, at once at ease
In the safe port, and tost on seas.
Cease in cold jealous fears to pine,
Sad wretch, whom rivals undermine;
For though I had lock'd in mine arms
My life's sole joy, a traitor's charms
Prevail; whilst I may only blame
Myself, that mine own rival am.
A LADY RESCUED FROM DEATH BY A KNIGHT, WHO IN THE INSTANT LEAVES HER, COMPLAINS THUS.
On whither is my fair sun fled,
Bearing his light not heat away? If thou repose in the moist bed
Of the sea-queen, bring back the day To our dark clime, and thou shalt lie Bath'd in the sea-flows from mine eye.
Upon what whirlwind didst thou ride
Hence, remain fixt in my heart, From me, and to me; fled, and ty'd? Dark riddles of the amorous art; Love lent thee wings to fly; so he Unfeather'd now must rest with me.
Help, help, brave youth! I burn, I bleed! The cruel god with bow and brand Pursues the life thy valour freed;
Disarm him with thy conquering hand; And that thou may'st the wild boy tame, Give me his dart, keep thou his flame.
TO BEN. JONSON,
UPON OCCASION OF HIS ODE OF DEFIANCE ANNEXED TO HIS PLAY OF THE NEW INN'.
"Tis true (dear Ben.) thy just chastising hand
Hath fix'd upon the sotted age a brand,
To their swoln pride and empty scribbling due:
It can nor judge, nor write; and yet, 'tis true,
Thy comic Muse from the exalted line
Touch'd by the alchymist, doth since decline
From that her zenith, and foretels a red
And blushing evening, when she goes to bed;
Yet such as shall out-shine the glimmering light
With which all stars shall gild the following night.
Nor think it much (since all thy eaglets may
Endure the sunny trial) if we say
This hath the stronger wing, or that doth shine
Trick'd up in fairer plumes, since all are thine.
Who hath his flock of cackling geese compar'd
With thy tun'd quire of swans? or else who dar'd
To call thy births deform'd? But if thou bind,
By city custom, or by gavel kind,
In equal shares thy love on all thy race,
We may distinguish of their sex, and place;
Though one hand form them, and through one brain
Souls into all, they are not all alike. [strike
Why should the follies then of this dull age
Draw from thy pen such an immodest rage
1 This was the last of Ben. Jonson's dramatic productions, and it bore every mark of departing genius. The New-Inn gave him more vexation than all his former pieces had done. It was exhibited at the theatre without any success: but a great poet is never tired of fame; he appealed from the stage to the closet, and published his comedy, having prefixed to it an ode addressed to himself, in which he complimented his own abilities, and set the critics at defiance. To this ode our poet here alludes.
As seems to blast thy (else immortal) bays,
When thine own tongue proclaims thy itch of
Such thirst will argue drought. No; let be burl'd
Upon thy works, by the detracting world,
What malice can suggest; let the rout say,
The running sands, that (ere thou make a play)
Count the slow minutes, might a Goodwin frame,
To swallow, when th' hast done, thy shipwreck'd
Let them the dear expense of oil upbraid,
Suck'd by thy watchful lamp, that hath betray'd
To theft the blood of martyr'd authors, spilt
Into thy ink, whilst thou grow'st pale with guilt:
Repine not at the taper's thrifty waste,
That sleeks thy terser poems; nor is haste
Praise, but excuse; and if thou overcome
A knotty writer, bring the booty home;
Nor think it theft, if the rich spoils, so torn
From conquer'd authors, be as trophies worn.
Let others glut on thee th' extorted praise
Of vulgar breath, trust thou to after-days:
Thy labour'd works shall live, when time devours
Th' abortive off-spring of their hasty hours:
Thou art not of their rank; the quarrel lies
Within thine own verge; then let this suffice,
The wiser world doth greater thee confess
Than all men else, than thyself only less.
BRIDE. Thy bosom then I'll make my nest,
Since there my willing soul doth perch. GROOM. And for my heart in thy chaste breast I'll make an everlasting search. CHORUS. Oh blest disunion, &c.
OBSEQUIES TO THE LADY ANNE HAY1.
I HEARD the virgins sigh; I saw the sleek
And polish'd courtier channel his fresh cheek
With real tears; the new betrothed maid
Smil'd not that day; the graver senate laid
Their business by; of all the courtly throng
Grief seal'd the heart, and silence bound the tongue:
I that ne'er more of private sorrow knew
Than from my pen some froward mistress drew,
And for the public woe had my dull sense
So sear'd with ever-adverse influence,
As the invader's sword might have, unfelt,
Pierc'd my dead bosom, yet began to melt;
Grief's strong instinct did to my blood suggest
In th' unknown loss peculiar interest.
But when I heard the noble Carlisle's gem,
The fairest branch of Denny's ancient stem,
Was from that casket stolen, from this trunk torn,
1 found just cause why they, why I should mourn.
But who shall guide my artless pen, to draw
Those blooming beauties which I never saw?
How shall posterity believe my story,
If I her crowded graces, and the glory
Due to her riper virtues, shall relate
Without the knowledge of her mortal state?
Shall I, as once Appelles, here a feature,
There steal a grace; and rifling so whole nature
Of all the sweets a learned eye can see,
Figure one Venus, and say, "Such was she?"
Shall I her legend fill with what of old
Hath of the worthies of her sex been told;
And what all pens and times to all dispense,
Restrain to her by a prophetic sense?
Or shall I, to the moral and divine
Exactest laws, shape by an even line
A life so straight, as it should shame the square
Left in the rules of Katherine or Clare,
And call it hers? Say, "So did she begin;
And, had she liv'd, such had her progress been?"
These are dull ways, by which base pens, for hire,
Daub glorious Vice, and from Apollo's quire
Steal holy ditties, which profanely they
Upon the hearse of every strumpet lay.
We will not bathe thy corpse with a forc'd tear,
Nor shall thy train borrow the blacks they wear;
Such vulgar spice and gums embalm not thee;
Thou art the theme of truth, not poetry.
Thou shalt endure a trial by thy peers;
Virgins of equal birth, of equal years,
Whose virtues held with thine an emulous strife,
Shall draw thy picture, and record thy life:
One shall ensphere thine eyes, another shall
Impearl thy teeth, a third thy white and small
Hand shall besnow, a fourth incarnadine
Thy rosy cheek; until each beauteous line,
Drawn by her hand in whom that part excels,
Meet in one centre, where all beauty dwells.
She was the daughter of James Hay, first earl of Carlisle. VOL V.
Others, in task, shall thy choice virtues share;
Some shall their birth, some their ripe growth declare,
Though niggardTime left much unhatch'd by deeds:
They shall relate how thou hadst all the seeds
Of every virtue, which in the pursuit
Of time must have brought forth admired fruit;
Thus shalt thou from the mouth of Envy raise
A glorious journal of thy thrifty days,
In a continued line of flames we trace.
Like a bright star shot from his sphere, whose race
This, if survey'd, shall to thy view impart
How little more than late thou wert, thou art:
This shall gain credit with succeeding times,
When nor by bribed pens, nor partial rhimes
Of engag'd kindred, but the sacred truth
Their breath shall saint thee, and be this thy pride,
Is storied by the partners of thy youth;
Thus ev'n by rivals to be deify'd.
TO THE COUNTESS OF ANGLESEA1,
UPON THE IMMODERATELY BY HER LAMENTED DEATH OF HER HUSBAND.
MADAM, men say you keep with dropping eyes
Your sorrows fresh, wat'ring the rose that lies
Fall'n from your cheeks upon your dear lord's hearse,
Alas! those odours now no more can pierce
His cold, pale nostril, nor the crimson dye
Present a graceful blush to his dark eye.
Think you that flood of pearly moisture hath
The virtue fabled of old Eson's bath?
You may your beauties and your youth consume Over his urn, and with your sighs perfume The solitary vault, which, as you groan, In hollow echoes shall repeat your moan: There you may wither, and an autumn bring Upon your self, but not call back his spring. Forbear your fruitless grief then; and let those Whose love was doubted, gain belief with shows To their suspected faith; you whose whole life In every act crown'd you a constant wife, May spare the practice of that vulgar trade, Which superstitious custom only made : Rather, a widow now of wisdom prove The pattern, as a wife you were of love. Yet since you surfeit on your grief, 'tis fit I tell the world upon what cares you sit Glutting your sorrows; and at once include His story, your excuse, my gratitude.
Those ashes with her tears, lest, as she spends You, that behold how yon sad lady blends Her tributary sighs, the frequent gust Might scatter up and down the noble dust; Know, when that heap of atoms was with blood Kneaded to solid flesh, and firmly stood On stately pillars, the rare form might move The froward Ino's, or chaste Cynthia's love, In motion, active grace; in rest, a calm; Attractive sweetness brought both wound and baln To every heart; he was compos'd of all The wishes of ripe virgins, when they call For Hymen's rites, and in their fancies wed A shape of studied beauties to their bed.
'This was Elizabeth, the wife of the renowned Arthur Annesley, first earl of Anglesey, and daugh ter of sir James Altham.
Within this curious palace dwelt a soul
Gave lustre to each part, and to the whole :
Dry as the sand that measures it, might lay
Upon the ashes on the funeral day?
This drest his face in courteous smiles; and so
From comely gestures sweeter manners flow.
This courage join'd to strength; so the hand, bent,'T is a sad truth. The pulpit may her plain
Have we not tune, nor voice? Didst thou dispense
Through all our language both the words and sense?
And sober christian precepts still retain;
Doctrines it may, and wholsome uses, frame,
Grave homilies, and lectures; but the flame
Of thy brave soul (that shot such heat and light
As burnt our Earth, and made our darkness bright,
Committed holy rapes upon the will,
Was Valour's; open'd, Bounty's instrument;
Which did the scale and sword of Justice hold,
Knew how to brandish steel and scatter gold.
This taught him not t' engage bis modest tongue
In suits of private gain, though public wrong;
Nor misemploy (as is the great man's use)
His credit with his master, to traduce,
Deprave, malign, and ruin Innocence,
In proud revenge of some mis-judg'd offence:
But all his actions had the noble end
To advance desert, or grace some worthy friend.
He chose not in the active stream to swim,
Nor hunted Honour, which yet hunted him;
But like a quiet eddy that bath found
Some hollow creek, there turns his waters round,
And in continual circles dances, free
From the impetuous torrent; so did he
Give others leave to turn the wheel of state,
(Whose steerless motion spins the subject's fate)
Whilst he, retir'd from the tumultuous noise
Of court, and suitors' press, apart enjoys
Freedom, and mirth, himself, his time, and friends,
And with sweet relish tastes each hour he spends.
I could remember how his noble heart
First kindled at your beauties; with what art
He chas'd his game through all opposing fears,
When I his sighs to you, and back your tears
Convey'd to him; how loyal then, and how
Constant he prov'd since to his marriage vow,
So as his wandring eyes never drew in
One lustful thought to tempt his soul to sin;
But that I fear such mention rather may
Kindle new grief, than blow the old away.
Then let him rest, join'd to great Buckingham,
And with his brother's mingle his bright flame.
Look up, and meet their beams, and you from thence
May chance derive a cheerful influence.
Seek him no more in dust, but call again
Your scatter'd beauties home; and so the pen,
Which now I take from this sad elegy,
Shall sing the trophies of your conqu'ring eye.
THE DEATH of doctor donNE',
DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S,
CAN we not force from widow'd Poetry,
Now thou art dead, great Donne, one elegy
To crown thy hearse? Why yet did we not crust,
Though with unkneaded, dough-bak'd prose, thy
Such as th' uncizar'd lect'rer from the flow'r
Of fading rhetoric, short-liv'd as his hour,
This excellent poet is better known in our age by his Satires, which were modernised and versified by Mr. Pope, than by his other works, which are scarce. If he was not the greatest poet, he was at least the greatest wit, of James the First's reign. Carew seems to have thought still more highly o
Did through the eye the melting bearts distil,
And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach
As sense might judge what fancy could not reach)
Must be desir'd for ever. So the fire
That fills with spirit and heat the Delphic quire,
Which, kindled first by the Promethean breath,
Glow'd here a while, lies quench'd now in thy death.
The Muses' garden, with pedantic weeds
O'erspread, was purg'd by thee; the lazy seeds
Of servile imitation thrown away,
And fresh invention planted. Thou didst pay
The debts of our penurious bankrupt age:
Licentious thefts, that make poetic rage
A mimic fury, when our souls must be
Possest or with Anacreon's ecstasy
Or Pindar's, not their own; the subtle cheat
Of sly exchanges, and the juggling feat
Of two-edg'd swords; or whatsoever wrong
By ours was done the Greek or Latin tongue,
Thou hast redeem'd; and open'd us a mine
Of rich and pregnant fancy; drawn a line
Of masculine expression, which had good
Old Orpheus seen, or all the ancient brood
Our superstitious fools admire, and hold
Their lead more precious than thy burnish'd gold,
Thou hadst been their exchequer, and no more
They each in other's dung had search'd for ore.
Thou shalt yield no precedence, but of time,
And the blind fate of language, whose tun'd chime
More charms the outward sense: yet thou may'st
From so great disadvange greater fame, [claim
Since to the awe of thy imperious wit
Our troublesome language bends, made only fit
With her tough thick-rib'd hoops to gird about
Thy giant fancy, which had prov'd too stout
For their soft, melting phrases. As in time
They had the start, so did they cull the prime
Buds of invention many a hundred year,
And left the rifled fields, besides the fear
To touch their harvest; yet from those bare lands
Of what was only thine, thy only hands
(And that their smallest work) have gleaned more
Thau all those times and tongues could reap before.
But thou art gone, and thy strict laws will be
Too hard for libertines in poetry;
They will recall the goodly, exil'd train
Of gods and goddesses, which in thy just reign
Was banish'd noble poems. Now, with these,
The silenc'd tales i' th' Metamorphoses
Shall stuff their lines, and swell the windy page;
Till verse, refin'd by thee, in this last age
Turn ballad-rhime, or those old idols be
Ador'd again with new apostacy.
him; for in another place he exalts him above all the other bards, ancient and modern:
- Donne, worth all that went before. He died in the year 1631.