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Ne'er settled equally, but high or low:
That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.

It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud;
Bud and be blasted in a breathing while;
The bottom poison, and the top o'erstrawed
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile.
The strongest body shall it make most weak,
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.

It shall be sparing, and too full of riot,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures;
It shall be raging mad, and silly mild,
Make the young old, the old become a child.

It shall suspect, where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear, where it should most mistrust;
It shall be merciful, and too severe,

And most deceiving when it seems most just : Perverse it shall be, when it seems most toward, Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.

It shall be cause of war and dire events,
And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire:
Subject and servile to all discontents,
As dry combustious matter is to fire.
Sith in his prime, death doth my love destroy,
They that love best, their love shall not enjoy.

Selections from Shakspeare's Sonnets.

Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there,

And made myself a motley to the view,

Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most


Made old offences of affections new.

Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely: but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worst essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, save what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
E'en to thy pure and most, most loving breast.

O for my sake do thou with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide,
Than public means, which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
Pity me then, and wish I were renewed;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eysell, 'gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
E'en that your pity is enough to cure me.

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before :
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.
1 Vinegar.

O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses ;
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwooed, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made;
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall fade, my verse distils your truth.

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SIR JOHN DAVIES (1570-1626), an English barrister, at one time Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, was the author of a long philosophical poem, On the Soul of Man and the Immortality thereof, supposed to have been written in 1598, and one of the earliest poems of that kind in our language. Davies is a profound thinker and close reasoner in the happier parts of his poem,' says Campbell, we come to logical truths so well illustrated by ingenious similes, that we know not whether to call the thoughts more poetically or philosophically just. The judgment and fancy are reconciled, and the imagery of the poem seems to start more vividly from the surrounding shades of abstraction.' The versification of the poem (long quatrains) was afterwards copied by Davenant and Dryden. In another production, entitled Orchestra, or a Poem of Dancing, in a Dialogue between Penelope and one of her Wooers, he is much more fanciful. He there represents Penelope as declining to dance with Antinous, and the latter as proceeding to lecture her upon the antiquity of that elegant exercise, the merits of which he describes in verses partaking, as has been justly remarked, of the flexibility and grace of the subject. The following is one of the most imaginative passages:

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Afterwards, the poet alludes to the tidal influence

of the moon, and the passage is highly poetical in expression:

For lo, the sea that fleets about the land,

And like a girdle clips her solid waist, Music and measure both doth understand: For his great crystal eye is always cast Up to the moon, and on her fixed fast : And as she danceth in her pallid sphere So danceth he about the centre here.

Sometimes his proud green waves in order set,
One after other flow into the shore,
Which when they have with many kisses wet,
They ebb away in order as before;
And to make known his courtly love the more,
He oft doth lay aside his three-forked mace,
And with his arms the timorous earth embrace.

The poem on dancing is said to have been written in fifteen days. It was published in 1596. The Nosce Teipsum, or Poem on the Immortality of the Soul, was first published in 1599, and four other editions appeared in the author's lifetime namely, in 1602, 1608, 1619, and 1622. This work gained the favour of James I. who made Davies successively solicitor-general and attorney-general for Ireland. He was also a judge of assize, and was knighted by the king in 1607. The first Reports of Law Cases published in Ireland were made by this able and accomplished man, and his preface to the volume is considered 'the best that was ever prefixed to a law-book.'

Reasons for the Soul's Immortality.

All moving things to other things do move
Of the same kind, which shews their nature such;
So earth falls down, and fire doth mount above,
Till both their proper elements do touch.

And as the moisture which the thirsty earth Sucks from the sea to fill her empty veins, From out her womb at last doth take a birth, And runs a lymph along the grassy plains;

Long doth she stay, as loath to leave the land,
From whose soft side she first did issue make;
She tastes all places, turns to every hand,
Her flowery banks unwilling to forsake.

Yet nature so her streams doth lead and carry As that her course doth make no final stay, Till she herself unto the sea doth marry, Within whose watery bosom first she lay.

E'en so the soul, which, in this earthly mould, The Spirit of God doth secretly infuse, Because at first she doth the earth behold, And only this material world she views.

At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,
And doth embrace the world and worldly things;
She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,
And mounts not up with her celestial wings :

Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught That with her heavenly nature doth agree; She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought, She cannot in this world contented be.

Then, as a bee which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet flowers, with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But, pleased with none, doth rise and soar away.

For who did ever yet, in honour, wealth,
Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find?
Who ever ceased to wish, when he had health,
Or, having wisdom, was not vexed in mind?

So, when the soul finds here no true content, And, like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take, She doth return from whence she first was sent, And flies to him that first her wings did make.


This nobleman, so highly popular in the court of Elizabeth (1540?-1604), and conspicuous on many memorable occasions-as in the trial of Mary Queen of Scots-is now known only for some verses in the miscellany entitled the Paradise of Dainty Devices. He was famed in his own day for comedies, or courtly entertainments, that this nobleman was the first that brought to none of which has been preserved. Stow states England from Italy embroidered gloves and perfumes, which Elizabeth no doubt approved of as highly as his sonnets or madrigals.

Fancy and Desire.

Come hither, shepherd swain!
Sir, what do you require?
I pray thee shew to me thy name!
My name is Fond Desire.

When wert thou born, Desire?
In pomp and prime of May.
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot?
By fond Conceit, men say.

Tell me who was thy nurse?

Fresh youth, in sugared joy, What was thy meat and daily food? Sad sighs with great annoy.

What hadst thou then to drink?
Unfeigned lovers' tears.
What cradle wert thou rocked in?
In hope devoid of fears.

What lulled thee then asleep?

Sweet speech, which likes me best. Tell me where is thy dwelling-place? In gentle hearts I rest.

What thing doth please thee most?
To gaze on beauty still.
Whom dost thou think to be thy foe?
Disdain of my good will.

Doth company displease?
Yes, surely, many one.
Where doth Desire delight to live?
He loves to live alone.

Doth either time or age

Bring him into decay?

No, no! Desire both lives and dies A thousand times a day.

Then, Fond Desire, farewell! Thou art no mate for me;

I should be loath, methinks, to dwell With such a one as thee.


Another courtly poet, SIR EDWARD DYER (circa 1540-1607), is author of several copies of verses, including the following popular piece :

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My Mind to me a Kingdom is.

My mind to me a kingdom is,

Such present joys therein I find, That it excels all other bliss

That earth affords or grows by kind: Though much I want which most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
Nor force to win the victory;
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to feed a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall,
For why, my mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty surfeits oft,

And hasty climbers soon do fall; I see that those which are aloft,

Mishap doth threaten most of all; These get with toil, they keep with fear: Such cares my mind could never bear.

Content to live, this is my stay ;

I seek no more than may suffice; I press to bear no haughty sway;

Look, what I lack my mind supplies:
Lo! thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.
Some have too much, yet still do crave;
I little have and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store :

They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another's loss;

I grudge not at another's gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss ;
My state at one doth still remain :

I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;
I loathe not life, nor dread my end.
Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,
Their wisdom by their rage of will;
Their treasure is their only trust;

A cloaked craft their store of skill:
But all the pleasure that I find,
Is to maintain a quiet mind.

My wealth is health and perfect ease: My conscience clear my chief defence; I neither seek by bribes to please,

Nor by deceit to breed offence: Thus do I live; thus will I die Would all did so as well as I!



The Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey, 1594, is deserving of notice as illustrating the tendency to adopt historical events as materials for poetry, and because this work probably, in conjunction with Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, incited Shakspeare to the composition of his Henry VIII. In some parts the dramatist has followed Cavendish's narrative even in the language; and the following lines from Storer's poem seem also to have been present to his memory:

Look how the God of Wisdom marbled stands
Bestowing laurel-wreaths of dignity
In Delphos isle, at whose impartial hands
Hung antique scrolls of gentle heraldry,
And at his feet ensigns and trophies lie :
Such was my state when every man did follow
A living image of the great Apollo !

If once we fall, we fall Colossus like,
We fall at once like pillars of the sun;
They that between our stride their sails did strike,
Make us sea-marks where they their ships do run-
E'en they that had by us their treasure won.

Perchance the tenor of my mourning verse
May lead some pilgrim to my tombless grave,
Where neither marble monument, nor hearse,
The passenger's attentive view may crave,
Which honours now the meanest persons have;
But well is me where'er my ashes lie,

If one tear drop from some religious eye.

Storer was a native of London; he was entered of Christchurch, Oxford, in 1587, took his degree of M.A. in 1594, and besides his poetical biography of Wolsey, was author of some pastoral airs and madrigals collected in England's Helicon. Storer died in 1604.


JOHN DONNE was born in London in 1573, of a Catholic family; through his mother, he was related to Sir Thomas More and Heywood the epigrammatist. He was educated partly at Oxford and partly at Cambridge, and was designed for the law, but relinquished the study in his nineteenth year. About this period of his life, having carefully considered the controversies between the Catholics and Protestants, he became a member of the established church. The great abilities and amiable character of Donne were early appreciated. The Earl of Essex, the Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, and Sir Robert Drury, successively befriended and employed him; and it was a saying of Lord Ellesmere's, that Donne was fitter to serve a king than a subject. Having been appointed to the office of secretary to the lord chancellor, Donne gained the affections of his lordship's niece, daughter of Sir George Moore, lord-lieutenant of the Tower, and a private marriage was the result. Sir George was so indignant that he induced Lord Ellesmere to dismiss Donne from his service, and the unfortunate bridegroom was also for a time confined in prison. All parties, however, were afterwards reconciled. At the age of forty-two, Donne was ordained, and became so celebrated as a preacher, that he is said to have had the offer of fourteen different livings in the first year of his ministry. In 1621, King James appointed him Dean of St Paul's. Izaak Walton describes his friend the dean as 'a preacher in earnest; weeping sometimes for his auditory, sometimes with them; always preaching to himself like an angel from a cloud, but in none.' He died in 1631, and was honourably interred in Old St Paul's.

The works of Donne consist of satires, elegies, religious poems, complimentary verses, and epigrams: they were collected and published after his death, in 1650, by his son. An earlier but imperfect collection was printed in 1633. His reputation as a poet, great in his own day, low during the latter part of the seventeenth and the whole of the eighteenth centuries, has latterly revived. In its days of abasement, critics spoke of his harsh and rugged versification, and his leaving nature for conceit. It seems to be now acknowledged that, amidst much bad taste, there is much real poetry, and that of a high order,

in Donne. He is described by a recent critic as 'imbued to saturation with the learning of his age,' endowed 'with a most active and piercing intellect -an imagination, if not grasping and comprehensive, most subtile and far-darting-a fancy, rich, vivid, and picturesque-a mode of expression terse, simple, and condensed-and a wit admirable, as well for its caustic severity, as for its playful quickness and as only wanting sufficient sensibility and taste to preserve him from the vices of style which seem to have beset him.' To give an idea of these conceits: Donne writes a poem on a broken heart. He does not advert to the miseries or distractions which are presumed to be the causes of the calamity, but runs off into a play on the expression 'broken heart.' He entered a room, he says, where his mistress was present, and

Love, alas!

At one first blow did shiver it [his heart] as glass.

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There is here, certainly, analogy, but then it is an analogy which altogether fails to please or move : it is a mere conceit. This peculiarity, however, does not characterise the bulk of the writings of Donne and his followers. They are often direct, natural, and truly poetical-abounding in rich thought and melody. Donne is usually considered as the first writer of satire, in rhyming couplets, such as Dryden, Young, and Pope carried to perfection. A copy of his first three satires is in the British Museum, among the Harleian manuscripts, and bears date 1593. The fourth was transcribed by Drummond in I 1594, three years before the appearance of Hall's satires. Acting upon a hint thrown out by Dryden, Pope modernised some of Donne's satires.

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So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull, sublunary lovers' loveWhose soul is sense-cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which alimented it.

But we 're by love so much refined, That ourselves know not what it is; Inter-assured of the mind,

Careless eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls, therefore-which are one-
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like th' other foot, obliquely run: Thy firmness makes my circles just, And makes me end where I begun.

The Will.

Before I sigh my last gasp, let me breathe,
Great Love, some legacies: I here bequeath
Mine eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see;
If they be blind, then, Love, I give them thee;
My tongue to Fame; to ambassadors mine ears;
To women, or the sea, my tears;
Thou, Love, hast taught me heretofore,
By making me serve her who had twenty more,
That I should give to none but such as had too much

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