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well, the offering of his gratitude to the Protector for the permission granted to him of returning to England after ten years' exile, is one of the most graceful pieces of adulation ever offered by poetry to power; and the poet is here probably more sincere than in most of his effusions, for the occasion was one on which he was likely to be moved to more than usual earnestness of feeling. A few years after he welcomed Charles II. on his restoration to the throne of his ancestors in another poem, which has been generally considered a much less spirited composition: Fenton accounts for the falling off by the author's advance in the meanwhile from his fortyninth to his fifty-fifth year—“from which time,” he observes, “his genius began to decline apace from its meridian ;” but the poet himself assigned another reason:— when Charles frankly told him that he thought his own panegyric much inferior to Cromwell's, “Sir,” replied Waller, “we poets never succeed so well in writing truth as in fiction.” Perhaps the true reason, after all, might be that his majesty's return to England was not quite so exciting a subject to Mr. Waller's muse as his own return had been. One thing must be admitted in regard to Waller's poetry; it is free from all mere verbiage and empty sound; if he rarely or never strikes a very powerful note, there is at least always something for the fancy or the understanding, as well as for the ear, in what he writes. He abounds also in ingenious thoughts, which he dresses to the best advantage, and exhibits with great transparency of style. Eminent, however, as he is in his class, he must be reckoned among that subordinate class of poets who think and express themselves chiefly in similitudes, not among those who conceive and

write passionately and metaphorically. He had a decorative and illuminating, but not a transforming imagination.

MARVEL.

The chief writer of verse on the popular side after the Restoration was Andrew Marvel, the noble-minded member for Hull, the friend of Milton, and, in that age of brilliant profligacy, renowned alike as the first of patriots and of wits. Marvel, the son of the Rev. Andrew Marvel, master of the grammar school of Hull, was born there in 1620, and died in 1678. His poetical genius has scarcely had justice done to it. He is the author of a number of satires in verse, in which a rich vein of vigorous, though often coarse, humour runs through a careless, extemporaneous style, and which did prodigious execution in the party warfare of the day; but some of his other poetry, mostly perhaps written in the earlier part of his life, is eminent both for the delicate bloom of the sentiment and for grace of form. His Song of the Exiles, beginning “Where the remote Bermudas ride,” is a gem of melody, picturesqueness, and sentiment, nearly without a flaw, and is familiar to every lover of poetry. Not of such purity of execution throughout are the lines entitled ‘To his Coy Mistress,’ but still there are few short poems in the language so remarkable for the union of grace and force, and the easy and flowing transition from a light and playful tone to solemnity, passion, and grandeur. How elegant, and even deferential, is the gay extravagance of the commencement:—

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.

We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Should'st rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Waster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest:
An age at least to every part;
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state;
Nor would I love at lower rate.

And then how skilfully managed is the rise from this badinage of courtesy and compliment to the strain almost of the ode or the hymn; and how harmonious, notwithstanding its suddenness, is the contrast between the sparkling levity of the prelude and the solemn pathos that follows:—

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor in thy marble vault shall sound
My echoing song. . . . .

Till, at the end, the pent-up accumulation of passion bursts its floodgates in the noble lines:—

Let us roll all our strength, and all
Qur sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.

The following verses, which are less known, are exquisitely elegant and tuneful. They are entitled ‘The Picture of T. C. in a Prospect of Flowers:’—

See with what simplicity
This nymph begins her golden days l
In the green grass she loves to lie,
And there with her fair aspect tames
The wilder flowers, and gives them names;
But only with the roses plays,
And them does tell
What colour best becomes them, and what smell.

Who can foretell for what high cause
This darling of the gods was born ?
See this is she whose chaster laws
The wanton Love shall one day fear,
And, under her command severe,
See his bow broke and ensigns torn.
Happy who can
Appease this virtuous enemy of man'

O then let me in time compound,
And parley with those conquering eyes;
Ere they have tried their force to wound,
Ere with their glancing wheels they drive
In triumph over hearts that strive,
And them that yield but more despise.
Let me be laid . -
Where I may see the glory from some shade.

Meantime, whilst every verdant thing
Itself does at thy beauty charm,
Reform the errors of the spring:
Make that the tulips may have share
Of sweetness, seeing they are fair;
And roses of their thorns disarm :
But most procure
Thy violets may a longer age endure.

But oh, young beauty of the woods,
Whom nature courts with fruits and flowers,

Gather the flowers, but spare the buds;*
Lest Flora, angry at thy crime
To kill her infants in their prime,
Should quickly make the example yours;
And, ere we see,
Nip in the blossom all our hopes in thee.

Certainly neither Carew, nor Waller, nor any other court poet of that day, has produced anything in the same style finer than these lines. But Marvel's more elaborate poetry is not confined to love songs and other such light exercises of an ingenious and elegant fancy. Witness his verses on Milton's Paradise Lost—“When I behold the poet blind, yet bold"—which have throughout almost the dignity, and in parts more than the strength, of Waller. But, instead of transcribing these, which are printed in most editions of Milton, we will give as a specimen of his more serious vein a portion of his longer poem on the Death of the Lord Protector:— That Providence, which had so long the care Of Cromwell's head, and numbered every hair, Now in itself, the glass where all appears, Had seen the period of his golden years;

And thenceforth only did intend to trace
What death might least so fair a life deface.

To love and grief the fatal writ was signed
Those nobler weaknesses of human kind,
rom which those powers that issued the decree,

Although immortal, found they were not free);

* This may remind the reader of Wordsworth of that poet's

“Here are Daisies, take your fill;
Pansies, and the Cuckow-flower:
Of the lofty Daffodil
Make your bed, and make your bower;
Fill your lap, and fill your bosom;
Only spare the Strawberry-blossom.”

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