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She appears more fair to me Than all creatures else that be.
“ Whilst most lovers pining sit,
Robbed of liberty and wit,
“ Yea, while most are most untoward,
Peevish, vain, inconstant, froward ;
“ Her true beauty leaves behind
Apprehensions in my mind
“ By her actions, I can see
That her passions so agree Unto reason, that they err Seldom to distemper her.
“ Love she can, and doth, but so
As she will not overthrow
“I no skill in numbers had
Then follow characters of a virtuous mind, until the poem is again interrupted by a group of songs. Philarete pauses to hear the music of a swain who comes day by day to sing and play in the groves, where he is praising his mistress Fair-Virtue to the shepherds. For the swain, who has entered an arbour,
“ He so bashful is, that mute
And still the praise runs on in a strain of pleasant music, until it represents all outward charm that has been dwelt upon as but
“ An incomparable shrine
Of a beauty more divine;".
They are all silent, therefore, and draw quietly near to listen to the singing.
After the songs, the praise of Fair-Virtue runs on ; for the swain espied the listeners, who were ill-hidden by the trees, and fled the place. Philarete says then to the shepherds :
and sings the praises of the mind of Fair-Virtue :
“ To entreat him back again
“Let no critic cavil then
Only of her worth and glory.
Happy the woman who shall be thought one with Fair-Virtue :
“ Yet, that I her servant am,
It shall more be to my fame
Than to own these woods and downs,
nymphs, so that Wither's little volume was rich in the grace of lyric verse with wisdom in its underthought. The last of the songs before the rustic company broke up, after Philarete had separated, was :
A NYMPH'S SONG
And in love still prosper thou !
Tho' thou lie neglected now:
Happy are these woody mountains,
In whose shadow thou dost hide ; And as happy are those fountains,
By whose murmurs thou dost bide : For contents are here excelling, More than in a prince's dwelling.
These thy flocks do clothing bring thee,
And thy food out of the fields ; Pretty songs the birds do sing thee;
Sweet perfumes the meadow yields : And what more is worth the seeing, Heaven and earth thy prospect being ?
“ And though now this age's pride
None comes hither who denies thee
Thy contentments for despite; Neither any that envies thee
That wherein thou dost delight: But all happy things are meant thee, And whatever may content thee.
Thy affection reason measures,
And distempers none it feeds; Still so harmless are thy pleasures,
That no other's grief it breeds : And if night beget thee sorrow, Seldom stays it till the morrow.
Why do foolish men so vainly
Seek contentment in their store, Since they may perceive so plainly,
Thou art rich in being poor : And that they are vex'd about it, Whilst thou merry art without it?
Why are idle brains devising,
How high titles may be gain'd, Since by those poor toys despising,
Thou hast higher things obtained ? For the man who scorns to crave them, Greater is than they that have them.
Ther. (From the Portrait prefixed to his “ Emblems," 1635.)
If all men could taste that sweetness.
Thou dost in thy meanness know, Kings would be to seek where greatness
And their honours to bestow, For if such content would breed them. As they would not think they need them.
When the strain was at last ended, still there was dance and song among the shepherds and the
All their riches, honours, pleasures,
Poor unworthy trifles seem,
And do merit no esteem : .
William Drummond of Hawthornden was about three years older than George Wither, and Drummond's “ Flowers of Zion" appeared in the same year as Wither's “Faire Virtue," 1623. In this collection (of which the poems have no headings given to them by their author) there is also
Whether thralled or exiléd,
Whether poor or rich thou be, Whether praised or reviléd,
Not a rush it is to thee : This nor that thy rest doth win thee, But the mind which is within thee.
Then, oh why, so madly dote we
On those things that us o'erload ? Why no more their vainness note we,
But still make of them a god ? For alas! they still deceive us, And in greatest need they leave us.
A NYMPH's song
Of the true Happiness.
Of Jordan's sacred streams,
With grave and stately grace a Nymph arose.
Of amaranths a crown;
Eyes sparkled joy, more bright than star of day. The flood a throne her reared
Of waves, most like that heaven
Therefore have the fates provided
Well, thou happy swain, for thee, That may'st here so far divided
From the world's distractions be: Thee distemper let them never, But in peace continue ever.
In these lonely groyes enjoy thou
That contentment here begun;
Till the latest glass be run:
“ World-wand'ring sorry wights,
Whom nothing can content
Come learn,” said she, “what is your choicest bliss : From toil and pressing cares
How ye may respite find,
Much good do't them with their glories,
Who in courts of princes dwell; We have read in antique stories,
How some rose and how they fell : And 'tis worthy well the heeding, There's like end, where's like proceeding.
Be thou still in thy affection
To thy noble mistress true ; Let her never-match'd perfection
Be the same unto thy view :
“ Not happy is that life
Which you as happy hold;
“ Who such a life doth live
You happy even may call
Huge treasures to enjoy,
Of all her gems spoil Ind,
To rest upon, or deck your purple bed ;
And, wanton Sybarites,
Hid Nature's depths to know,
From Tanais to Nile, from Nile to Gange.
To free the mind from fears,
“ Swift is your mortal race,
And glassy is the field ;
This when the nymph had said,
She dived within the flood,
After a recovery from severe illness Drummond sent these lines
TO SIR WILLIAM ALEXANDER.
With the Author's Epitaph. Though I have twice been at the doors of death, And twice found shut those gates which ever mourn, This but a light'ning is, truce ta'en to breathe, For late-born sorrows augur fleet return.
Amidst thy sacred cares, and courtly toils,
If thou e'er held me dear, by all our love,
Here Damon lies, whose songs did sometime grace The inurmuring Esk :--may roses shade the place.
“ No, but blest life is this:
With chaste and pure desire
Possessing Him to be by Him posscst;
Sun doth his light impart,
Him cheerfully to praise, and to Him pray;
As ever in his sight,
Never to do what may repentance bring;
Nor mov'd at glory's breath,
As to do good to those that work your harm;
Or gold or land to gain,
Than what is good to have no higher skill ;
Yet loving still a Love transcendent all,
The soul with fairest beams,
Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, born in 1580, was about five years older than Drummond. He also was a poet, and had been in favour with James VI. before he became James I. of England. In 1621 he received a grant of Nova Scotia, which he was to colonise at his own expense. He lived until 1640, was made Secretary of State for Scotland, and otherwise honoured. As poet, he is, perhaps, best known for his four Monarchic Tragedies, but he published at Edinburgh, in 1614, a long poem in octave rhyme, entitled “Doomsday, or the Great Day of the Lord's Judgment,” of which there was a London edition in 1637. It is divided into Twelve Hours, and was perhaps inspired by the poem of Du Bartas on the Seven Days of creation ; one poet tells of the beginning of the world, the other of its end. The first hour of Doomsday declares God proved in His works, tells of the sin of man and of temporal plagues and judgments that have been as figures of
Thus helpful alms, the offering most esteemed,
But would the poor with plenty oft supply,
the last. The second hour tells of signs and wonders before the sounding of the last trumpet call. The theme of the third hour is the descent of Christ to judgment and the end of the world. In the fourth hour the trumpet sounds and the dead rise. In the fifth hour trial of souls begins, and in this hour and the sixth and seventh the heathen, the creature worshippers, those whom ambition led through blood, those who lived sensually, the false judges and the learned, above all the Churchmen, who abused their gifts, are accused. With the eighth hour begins the record of the souls who stand in triumph. First come the patriarchs, priests, and prophets, faithful to God, though knowing Christ only in types and figures. Then in the ninth hour come the evangelists, apostles, and those who knew Christ in the flesh; then the first martyrs and early Fathers of the
Church. In the tenth hour there is the parting of • the evil from the good :-
Those who, affecting vain ambition's end,
Still pamp’ring flesh with all that th' earth can give,
TREASURES IN HEAVEN.
Those if not gorgeous who do garments scorn,
And, curious gluttons, even of vileness vaunt,
That happy squadron is not question'd now,
But absolutely doth absolve them all,
The world's chief idol, nurse of fretting cares,
The general jewel, of all things the price,
“ You whom my Father blessed, no more dismayed, Come, and enjoy that boundless kingdom now, Which, ere the world's foundations first were laid, By heaven's decree hath been prepar'd for you; With rays more bright than are the sun's array'd, Before the throne you shall with reverence bow:
The height of pleasure which you should possess, No tongue of man is able to express.
The fool that is unfortunately rich,
The prodigal God's creatures doth abuse,
“ When pressed by famine you me friendly fed,
Your treasures, kept in heaven, for int’rest gain
With spiritual joy each one transported sings,
Those roving thoughts which did at random soar,
Such minds whom envy hath fill'd up with grudge,
" That which was given, as now I do reveal,
Best magazines for wealth the poor did prove,
Ah! who of those can well express the grief,
Thus pleasures past, what anguish now doth even?
The eleventh hour of “Doomsday” displays the suffering of those who are condemned ; and the