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GEORGE WITHER-A.D. 1588-1667.
FROM THE FOURTH ECLOGUE OF THE SHEPHERD'S HUNTING. Roget (G. Wither) exhorts his friend Willy (William Browne, author of Britannia's Pastorals) not to give
over writing verses on account of some partial detraction which he had met with ; describes the comfort which he himself derives from the Muse. The scene is in the Marshalsea, where Wither was imprisoned for his Satires, and where Browne is supposed to visit him. Willy. For a song I do not pass
With Detraction's breath on thee. 'Mongst my friends, but what, alas!
It shall never rise so high Should I have to do with them,
As to stain thy poesy. That my music do contemn?
As that sun doth oft exhale Roget. What's the wrong?
Vapours from each rotten vale, Willy. A slight offence,
Poesy so sometime drains Wherewithal I can dispense ;
Gross conceits from muddy brains, But hereafter, for their sake,
Mists of envy, fogs of spite, To myself I'll music make.
'Twixt men's judgments and her light.
But so much her power may do, Roget. What, because some clown offends,
That she can dissolve them too. Wilt thou punish all thy friends ?
If thy verse do bravely tower, Willy. Honest Roget, understand me,
As she makes wing, she gets power: Those that love me may command me;
Yet the higher she doth soar, But thou know'st I am but young,
She's affronted still the more, And the pastoral I sung
Till she to the high’st hath past, Is by some supposed to be
Then she rests with fame at last. (By a strain) too high for me ;
Let nought therefore thee affright, So they kindly let me gain
But make forward in thy flight. Not my labour for my pain.
For, if I could match thy rhyme, Trust me, I do wonder why
To the very stars I'd climb; They should me my own deny.
There begin again, and fly, Though I'm young, I scorn to flit
Till I reach'd eternity. On the wings of borrow'd wit.
But alas! my Muse is slow, I'll make my own feathers rear me
For thy place she flags too low; Whither others' cannot bear me.
Yea, the more's her hapless fate, Yet I'll keep my skill in store,
Her short wings were clipt of late; Till I've seen some winters more.
And poor I, her fortune ruing, Roget. But in earnest mean'st thou so?
Am myself put up a muing. Then thou art not wise, I trow.
But, if I my cage can rid, That's the ready way to blot
I'll fly where I never did. All the credit thou hast got.
And, though for her sake I'm crost, Rather in thy age's prime
Though my best hopes I have lost, Get another start of time;
And knew she would make my trouble And make those that so fond be,
Ten times more than ten times double ; Spite of their own dullness, see,
I should love and keep her too, That the sacred Muses can
Spite of all the world could do. Make a child in years a man.
For, though banish'd from my flocks, Envy makes their tongues now run,
And confined within these rocks, More than doubt of what is done.
Here I waste away the light, See'st thou not in clearest days,
And consume the sullen night, Oft thick fogs cloud heav'n's rays;
She doth for my comfort stay, And the vapours that do breathe
And keeps many cares away. From the earth's gross womb beneath,
Though I miss the flowery fields, Seem they not with their black streams
With those sweets the spring-tide yields ; To pollute the sun's bright beams;
Though I may not see those groves, And yet vanish into air,
Where the shepherds chaunt their loves, Leaving it unblemish'd, fair?
And the lasses more excel So, my Willy, shall it be
Than the sweet-voiced philomel ;
Though of all those pleasures past
The dull loneness, the black shade, Nothing now remains at last
That these hanging vaults have made; But remembrance (poor relief)
The strange music of the waves, That more makes than mends my grief;
Beating on these hollow caves; She's my mind's companion still,
This black den which rocks emboss, Maugre envy's evil will;
Overgrown with eldest moss ; Whence she should be driven too,
The rude portals, which give light Were't in mortals' power to do.
More to terror than delight; She doth tell me where to borrow
This my chamber of Neglect, Comfort in the midst of sorrow;
Wall'd about with Disrespect : Makes the desolatest place
From all these, and this dull air, To her presence be a grace ;
A fit object for despair, And the blackest discontents
She hath taught me by her might Be her fairest ornaments.
To draw comfort and delight. In my former days of bliss
Therefore, thou best earthly bliss, Her divine skill taught me this,
I will cherish thee for this; That from every thing I saw
Poesy, thou sweet's content I could some invention draw,
That e'er heaven to mortals lent, And raise pleasure to her height
Though they as a trifle leave thee, Through the meanest object's sight.
Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive thee; By the murmur of a spring,
Though thou be to them a scorn, Or the least bough's rustling,
Who to nought but earth are born; By a daisy whose leaves spread
Let my life no longer be Shut when Titan goes to bed,
Than I am in love with thee. Or a shady bush or tree,
Though our wise ones call it madness, She could more infuse in me
Let me never taste of sadness, Than all Nature's beauties can
If I love not thy madd'st fits In some other wiser man.
Above all their greatest wits. By her help I also now
And though some too seeming holy Make this churlish place allow
Do account thy raptures folly, Some things that may sweeten gladness
Thou dost teach me to contemn In the very gall of sadness.
What make knaves and fools of them.
WALLER—A. D. 1605-87.
ON MY LADY D. SYDNEY'S PICTURE.
PHEBUS AND DAPHNE.
wua now approaching near,
Ye lofty beeches! tell this matchless dame,
Unwisely we the wiser East
All to one female idol bend,
ON THE While her high pride does scarce descend
DEATH OF THE LORD PROTECTOR. To mark their follies, he would swear That these her guard of eunuchs were,
We must resign! Heav'n his great soul does claim And that a more majestic queen,
In storms, as loud as his immortal fame : Or humbler slaves, he had not seen.
His dying groans, his last breath, shakes our isle, All this with indignation spoke,
And trees uncut fall for his fun'ral pile; In vain I struggled with the yoke
About his palace their broad roots are tost Of mighty Love: that conqu’ring look,
Into the air.—So Romulus was lost! When next beheld, like lightning strook
New Rome in such a tempest miss'd her king, My blasted soul, and made me bow
And from obeying fell to worshipping. Lower than those I pity'd now.
On Oeta's top thus Hercules lay dead, So the tall stag, upon the brink
With ruin'd oaks and pines about him spread. Of some smooth stream about to drink,
The poplar, too, whose bough he wont to wear
On his victorious head, lay prostrate there.
Those his last fury from the mountain rent:
Our dying hero from the continente spaniards reft, The combat next; but if their cry
Ravish'd whole townsritain left.
As his last legs Invades again his trembling ear,
Which so long our hopes confin’d, He strait resumos leis wuuucu caiu,
uu limits to his vaster mind; Leaves the untasted spring behind,
Our bounds' enlargement was his latest toil,
Nor hath he left us pris'ners to our isle:
From civil broils he did us disengage,
Found nobler objects for our martial rage;
And, with wise conduct, to his country shew'd Design or Chance makes others wive,
The ancient way of conquering abroad. But Nature did this match contrive:
Ungrateful then! if we no tears allow Eve might as well have Adam fled,
To him that gave us peace and empire too. As she deny'd her little bed
Princes that fear'd him grieve, concern'd to see To him, for whom Heav'n seem'd to frame
No pitch of glory from the grave is free. And measure out this only dame.
Nature herself took notice of his death, Thrice happy is that humble pair,
And, sighing, swell’d the sea with such a breath, Beneath the level of all care!
That to remotest shores her billows rollid, Over whose heads those arrows fly
Th’approaching fate of their great ruler told.
Fair! that you may truly know
What you unto Thyrsis owe, Iues this Galatea seem :
I will tell you how I do Ayu may presume her faith to prove;
Sacharissa love and you.
Joy salutes me when I set
My blest eyes on Amoret;
But with wonder I am strook,
While I on the other look.
If sweet Amoret complains,
Do not only grieve, but die.
All that of myself is mine, Twice twenty slender virgin-fingers twine
Lovely Amoret! is thine ; This curioue web, where all their fancies shine.
Sacharissa's captive fain
Would untie his iron chain,
And those scorching beams to shun,
To thy gentle shadow run.
If the soul had free election He woos the female to his painted beds
To dispose of her affection, No, not the bow, which so adorns the skies,
I would not thus long have borne bus glorious in, or boasta so many dyes,
Haughty Sacharissa's scorn:
But 'tis sure some pow'r above,
Who already have of me Which controls our wills in love!
All that's not idolatry; If not love, a strong desire
Which, though not so fierce a flame, To create and spread that fire
Is longer like to be the same. In my breast, solicits me,
Then smile on me, and I will prove Beauteous Amoret! for thee.
Wonder is shorter liv'd than love.
TO A LADY IN RETIREMENT. Yet they so benignly shine,
Sees not my love how time resumes I would turn my dazzled sight
The glory which he lent these flow'rs; To behold their milder light:
Though none should taste of their perfumes, But as hard 'tis to destroy
Yet must they live but some few hours. That high flame as to enjoy;
Time what we forbear devours!
Had Helen, or the Egyptian Queen,
Been ne'er so thrifty of their graces, As the most delicious food,
Those beauties must at length have been Which but tasted does impart
The spoil of age, which finds out faces Life and gladness to the heart.
In the most retired places.
Should some malignant planet bring
A barren drought or ceaseless show'r That is mortal can sustain.
Upon the autumn or the spring, Scarce can I to heav'n excuse
And spare us neither fruit nor flow'r,
Winter would not stay an hour.
Could the resolve of love's neglect
Preserve you from the violation So that if it could take end,
Of coming years, then more respoçt "Twould to Heav'n itself be due,
Were due to so divine a fashion, To succeed her and not you;
Nor would I indulge my passion.