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Ne'er settled equally, but high or low :
O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem, That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud ;
For that sweet odour which oth in it live. Bud and be blasted in a breathing while;
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye The bottom poison, and the top o'erstrawed
As the perfumed tincture of the roses, With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile.
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly The strongest body shall it make most weak,
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses; Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.
But, for their virtue only is their show, It shall be sparing, and too full of riot,
They live unwooed, and unrespected fade; Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so; The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made; Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures ;
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, It shall be raging mad, and silly mild,
When that shall fade, my verse distils your truth. Make the young old, the old become a child.
From you have I been absent in the spring, It shall suspect, where is no cause of fear;
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, It shall not fear, where it should most mistrust; Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing, It shall be merciful, and too severe,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him. And most deceiving when it seems most just :
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Perverse it shall be, when it seems most toward,
Of different flowers in odour and in hue, Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: It shall be cause of war and dire events,
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white, And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire :
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose ; Subject and servile to all discontents,
They were but sweet, but figures of delight, As dry combustious matter is to fire.
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. Sith in his prime, death doth my love destroy,
Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there,
Which alters when it alteration finds, And made myself a motley to the view,
Or bends with the remover to remove : Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most
O no ! it is an ever-fixed mark, dear,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; Made old offences of affections new.
It is the star to every wandering bark, Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Askance and strangely : but, by all above,
Love 's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks These blenches gave my heart another youth,
Within his bending sickle's compass come; And worst essays proved thee my best of love.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, Now all is done, save what shall have no end :
But bears it out e'en to the edge of doom. Mine appetite I never more will grind
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Selections from Shakspeare's Songs.
From As You Like It.
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind Than public means, which public manners breeds.
As man's ingratitude ! Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
Thy tooth is not so keen, And almost thence my nature is subdued
Because thou art not seen, To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
Although thy breath be rude. Pity me then, and wish I were renewed ;
Heigh ho! sing, heigh ho! unto the green holly: Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly. Potions of eysell,i 'gainst my strong infection;
Then, heigh ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot ! When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
Though thou the waters warp, I summon up remembrance of things past,
Thy sting is not so sharp I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
As friend remembered not.
Heigh ho ! &c.
At the end of Love's Labour's Lost,
When icicles hang by the wall, And moan the expense of many a vanished sight.
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And Tom bears logs into the hall, And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
And milk comes frozen home in pail ; The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul, Which I new pay as if not paid before :
Then nightly sings the staring owl, But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
Tu-whit! tu-whoo! a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
SIR JOHN DAVIES.
SIR JOHN DAVIES (1570-1626), an English barWhen roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
rister, at one time Speaker of the Irish House of Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Commons, was the author of a long philosophical Tu-whoo!
poem, On the Soul of Man and the Immortality Tu-whit! tu-whoo! a merry note,
thereof, supposed to have been written in 1598, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
and one of the earliest poems of that kind in our
language. Davies is a profound thinker and close In Much Ado about Nothing.
reasoner : 'in the happier parts of his poem,' says Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more ;
Campbell, 'we come to logical truths so well Men were deceivers ever ;
illustrated by ingenious similes, that we know not One foot in sea, and one on shore ;
whether to call the thoughts more poetically or To one thing constant never :
philosophically just. The judgment and fancy are Then sigh not so,
reconciled, and the imagery of the poem seems to But let them go,
start more vividly from the surrounding shades of And be you blithe and bonny ;
abstraction. The versification of the poem (long Converting all your sounds of woe
quatrains) was afterwards copied by Davenant and Into, Hey nonny, nonny.
Dryden. In another production, entitled Orchestra, Sing no more ditties, sing no moe
or a Poem of Dancing, in a Dialogue between Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Penelope and one of her Wooers, he is much more The fraud of men was ever so,
fanciful. He there represents Penelope as declinSince summer first was leavy.
ing to dance with Antinous, and the latter as Then sigh not so, &c.
proceeding to lecture her upon the antiquity of that elegant exercise, the merits of which he
describes in verses partaking, as has been justly In Cymbeline.
remarked, of the flexibility and grace of the subFear no more the heat o'the sun,
ject. The following is one of the most imaginative Nor the furious winter's rages;
The Dancing of the Air.
And now behold your tender nurse, the Air,
And common neighbour, that aye runs around, Fear no more the frown o' the great,
How many pictures and impressions fair Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Within her empty regions are there found, Care no more to clothe and eat,
Which to your senses dancing do propound; To thee the reed is as the oak.
For what are breath, speech, echoes, music, winds, The sceptre, learning, physic, must
But dancings of the air in sundry kinds ? All follow this, and come to dust.
For when you breathe, the air in order moves, Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Now in, now out, in time and measure true; Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
And when you speak, so well she dancing loves, Fear not slander, censure rash;
That doubling oft, and oft redoubling new, Thou hast finished joy and moan.
With thousand forms she doth herself endue: All lovers young, all lovers must
For all the words that from your lips repair, Consign to thee, and come to dust.
Are nought but tricks and turnings of the air.
Hence is her prattling daughter, Echo, born, No exorciser harm thee!
That dances to all voices she can hear :
There is no sound so harsh that she doth scorn,
Nor any time wherein she will forbear
The airy pavement with her feet to wear :
And yet her hearing sense is nothing quick,
For after time she endeth every trick.
And thou, sweet Music, dancing's only life,
The ear's sole happiness, the air's best speech,
Loadstone of fellowship, charming rod of strife, Who loves to lie with me,
The soft mind's paradise, the sick mind's leech, And tune his merry note
With thine own tongue thou trees and stones can Unto the sweet bird's throat,
teach, Come hither, come hither, come hither;
That when the air doth dance her finest measure, Here shall he see
Then art thou born, the gods' and men's sweet No enemy
pleasure. But winter and rough weather.
Lastly, where keep the Winds their revelry, Who doth ambition shun,
Their violent turnings, and wild whirling hays, And loves to live i' the sun,
But in the air's translucent gallery? Seeking the food he eats,
Where she herself is turned a hundred ways, And pleased with what he gets,
While with those maskers wantonly she plays: Come hither, come hither, come hither ;
Yet in this misrule, they such rule embrace,
As two at once encumber not the place.
Afterwards, the poet alludes to the tidal influence
of the moon, and the passage is highly poetical in Then, as a bee which among weeds doth fall, expression :
Which seem sweet flowers, with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all, For lo, the sea that fleets about the land,
But, pleased with none, doth rise and soar away. And like a girdle clips her solid waist, Music and measure both doth understand :
So, when the soul finds here no true content, For his great crystal eye is always cast
And, like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take, Up to the moon, and on her fixed fast :
She doth return from whence she first was sent,
And flies to him that first her wings did make.
EDWARD VERE, EARL OF OXFORD.
This nobleman, so highly popular in the court Which when they have with many kisses wet,
of Elizabeth (15402-1604), and conspicuous on They ebb away in order as before ; And to make known his courtly love the more,
many memorable occasions—as in the trial of He oft doth lay aside his three-forked mace,
Mary Queen of Scots-is now known only for And with his arms the timorous earth embrace.
some verses in the miscellany entitled the Para
dise of Dainty Devices. He was famed in his The poem on dancing is said to have been own day for comedies, or courtly entertainments, written in fifteen days. It was published in 1596.
one of which has been preserved. Stow states The Nosce Teipsum, or Poem on the Immortality that this nobleman was the first that brought to of the Soul, was first published in 1599, and four England from Italy embroidered gloves and perother editions appeared in the author's lifetime-fumes, which Elizabeth no doubt approved of as namely, in 1602, 1608, 1619, and 1622. This work highly as his sonnets or madrigals. gained the favour of James I. who made Davies successively solicitor-general and attorney-general
Fancy and Desire. for Ireland. He was also a judge of assize, and Come hither, shepherd swain ! was knighted by the king in 1607. The first
Sir, what do you require ? Reports of Law Cases published in Ireland were I pray thee shew to me thy name! made by this able and accomplished man, and his
My name is Fond Desire. preface to the volume is considered 'the best that
When wert thou born, Desire ? was ever prefixed to a law-book.'
In pomp and prime of May.
By fond Conceit, men say.
Tell me who was thy nurse?
Fresh youth, in sugared joy, So earth falls down, and fire doth mount above,
What was thy meat and daily food ? Till both their proper elements do touch.
Sad sighs with great annoy.
What hadst thou then to drink? And as the moisture which the thirsty earth
Unseigned lovers' tears. Sucks from the sea to fill her empty veins,
What cradle wert thou rocked in? From out her womb at last doth take a birth,
In hope devoid of fears. And runs a lymph along the grassy plains;
What lulled thee then asleep? Long doth she stay, as loath to leave the land,
Sweet speech, which likes me best. From whose soft side she first did issue make;
Tell me where is thy dwelling-place? She tastes all places, turns to every hand,
In gentle hearts I rest. Her flowery banks unwilling to forsake.
What thing doth please thee most? Yet nature so her streams doth lead and carry
To gaze on beauty still. As that her course doth make no final stay,
Whom dost thou think to be thy foe? Till she herself unto the sea doth marry,
Disdain of my good will. Within whose watery bosom first she lay.
Doth company displease? E'en so the ul, which, in this earthly mould,
Yes, surely, many one. The Spirit of God doth secretly infuse,
Where doth Desire delight to live? Because at first she doth the earth behold,
He loves to live alone. And only this material world she views.
Doth either time or age At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,
Bring him into decay ? And doth embrace the world and worldly things;
No, no! Desire both lives and dies She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,
A thousand times a day. And mounts not up with her celestial wings :
Then, Fond Desire, farewell !
Thou art no mate for me ; Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught
I should be loath, methinks, to dwell
With such a one as thee.
SIR EDWARD DYER.
Another courtly poet, SIR EDWARD DYER (circa Who ever ceased to wish, when he had health, 1540-1607), is author of several copies of verses, Or, having wisdom, was not vexed in mind ?
including the following popular piece :
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, Such present joys therein I find,
Make us sea-marks where they their ships do runThat it excels all other bliss
E'en they that had by us their treasure won.
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 ; No wily wit to salve a sore,
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 I see how plenty surfeits oft,
of Christchurch, Oxford, in 1587, took his degree And hasty climbers soon do fall;
of M.A. in 1594, and besides his poetical biography I see that those which are aloft,
of Wolsey, was author of some pastoral airs and Mishap doth threaten most of all ;
madrigals collected in England's Helicon. Storer These get with toil, they keep with fear :
died in 1604.
JOHN DONNE was born in London in 1573, of Look, what I lack my mind supplies :
a Catholic family ; through his mother, he was Lo! thus I triumph like a king,
related to Sir Thomas More and Heywood the Content with that my mind doth bring.
epigrammatist. He was educated partly at Oxford Some have too much, yet still do crave;
and partly at Cambridge, and was designed for I little have and seek no more.
the law, but relinquished the study in his nineThey are but poor, though much they have, teenth year. About this period of his life, having And I am rich with little store :
carefully considered the controversies between the They poor, I rich; they beg, I give ;
Catholics and Protestants, he became a member They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.
of the established church. The great abilities and I laugh not at another's loss;
amiable character of Donne were early appreI grudge not at another's gain ;
ciated. The Earl of Essex, the Lord Chancellor No worldly waves my mind can toss ;
Ellesmere, and Sir Robert Drury, successively My state at one doth still remain :
befriended and employed him; and it was a I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;
saying of Lord Ellesmere's, that Donne was fitter I loathe not life, nor dread my end.
to serve a king than a subject. Having been Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,
appointed to the office of secretary to the lord Their wisdom by their rage of will;
chancellor, Donne gained the affections of his Their treasure is their only trust;
lordship's niece, daughter of Sir George Moore, A cloaked craft their store of skill :
lord-lieutenant of the Tower, and a private marBut all the pleasure that I find,
riage was the result. Sir George was so indignant Is to maintain a quiet mind.
that he induced Lord Ellesmere to dismiss Donne My wealth is health and perfect ease :
from his service, and the unfortunate bridegroom My conscience clear my chief defence ;
was also for a time confined in prison. All parties, I neither seek by bribes to please,
however, were afterwards reconciled. At the age Nor by deceit to breed offence :
of forty-two, Donne was ordained, and became so Thus do I live; thus will I die ;
celebrated as a preacher, that he is said to have Would all did so as well as I!
had the offer of fourteen different livings in the
first year of his ministry. In 1621, King James THOMAS STORER.
appointed him Dean of St Paul's. Izaak Walton
describes his friend the dean as 'a preacher in The Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey, 1594, earnest; weeping sometimes for his auditory, is deserving of notice as illustrating the tendency sometimes with them ; always preaching to himto adopt historical events as materials for poetry, self like an angel from a cloud, but in none. He and because this work probably, in conjunction died in 1631, and was honourably interred in Old with Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, incited Shak- St Paul's. speare to the composition of his Henry VIII. In The works of Donne consist of satires, elegies, some parts the dramatist has followed Cavendish's religious poems, complimentary verses, and epinarrative even in the language ; and the following grams : they were collected and published after lines from Storer's poem seem also to have been his death, in 1650, by his son. An earlier but present to his memory :
imperfect collection was printed in 1633. His Look how the God of Wisdom marbled stands
reputation as a poet, great in his own day, low Bestowing laurel-wreaths of dignity
during the latter part of the seventeenth and the In Delphos isle, at whose impartial hands
whole of the eighteenth centuries, has latterly Hung antique scrolls of gentle heraldry,
revived. In its days of abasement, critics spoke And at his feet ensigns and trophies lie :
of his harsh and rugged versification, and his Such was my state when every man did follow leaving nature for conceit. It seems to be now A living image of the great Apollo !
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 So let us melt, and make no noise, imbued to saturation with the learning of his age,'
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; endowed with a most active and piercing intellect 'Twere profanation of our joys -an imagination, if not grasping and comprehen- To tell the laity our love. sive, most subtile and far-darting-a fancy, rich,
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, vivid, and picturesque--a mode of expression terse,
Men reckon what it did, and meant ; simple, and condensed-and a wit admirable, as
But trepidation of the spheres, well for its caustic severity, as for its playful quick- Though greater far, is innocent. ness—and as only wanting sufficient sensibility and taste to preserve him from the vices of style Dull, sublunary lovers' lovewhich seem to have beset him.' To give an idea Whose soul is sense-cannot admit of these conceits : Donne writes a poem on a Absence, because it doth remove broken heart. He does not advert to the miseries Those things which alimented it. or distractions which are presumed to be the causes of the calamity, but runs off into a play on
But we're by love so much refined, the expression 'broken heart.' He entered a
That ourselves know not what it is;
Inter-assured of the mind, room, he says, where his mistress was present,
Careless eyes, lips, and hands to miss. and Love, alas !
Our two souls, therefore-which are oneAt one first blow did shiver it [his heart] as glass.
Though I must go, endure not yet Then, forcing on his mind to discover by what
A breach, but an expansion, means the idea of a heart broken to pieces, like
Like gold to airy thinness beat. glass, can be turned to account in making out
If they be two, they are two so something that will strike the reader's imagination,
As stiff twin compasses are two; he adds :
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 : There is here, certainly, analogy, but then it is an
Thy firmness makes my circles just, analogy which altogether fails to please or move :
And makes me end where I begun. it is a mere conceit. This peculiarity, however, does not characterise the bulk of the writings of
The Will. Donne and his followers. They are often direct, natural, and truly poetical—abounding in rich
Before I sigh my last gasp, let me breathe, thought and melody. Donne is usually con
Great Love, some legacies : I here bequeath sidered as the first writer of satire, in rhyming
Mine eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see ;
If they be blind, then, Love, I give them thee; couplets, such as Dryden, Young, and Pope
My tongue to Fame; to ambassadors mine ears; carried to perfection. A copy of his first three
To women, or the sea, my tears; satires is in the British Museum, among the
Thou, Love, hast taught me heretofore, Harleian manuscripts, and bears date 1593. The
By making me serve her who had twenty more, fourth was transcribed by Drummond in 1994, That I should give to none but such as had too much three years before the appearance of Hall's satires. before. Acting upon a hint thrown out by Dryden, Pope modernised some of Donne's satires.
My constancy I to the planets give ;
My truth to them who at the court do live ; Address to Bishop Valentine, on the Day of the Marriage
Mine ingenuity and openness of the Elector Palatine to the Princess Elizabeth.
To Jesuits ; to buffoons my pensiveness ;
My silence to any who abroad have been ; Hail, Bishop Valentine ! whose day this is;
My money to a Capuchin. All the air is thy diocese,
Thou, Love, taught'st me, by appointing me And all the chirping choristers
To love there, where no love received can be,
Only to give to such as have no good capacity.
My faith I give to Roman Catholics ;
All my good works unto the schismatics The household bird with his red stomacher;
Of Amsterdam ; my best civility Thou mak'st the blackbird speed as soon
And courtship to an university; As doth the goldfinch or the halcyon ;
My modesty I give to soldiers bare ; This day more cheerfully than ever shine ;
My patience let gamesters share ;
Love her that holds my love disparity,
Only to give to those that count my gifts indignity.
I give my reputation to those
Which were my friends : mine industry to foes;
To schoolmen í bequeath my doubtfulness;
My sickness to physicians, or excess ;