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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,
Vassalling themselves with shame
To some proud imperious dame;
Or in songs their fate bewailing,
Shew the world their faithless failing,
I, enwreath'd with boughs of myrtle,
Fare like the beloved turtle.

“ Yea, while most are most untoward,

Peevish, vain, inconstant, froward ;
While their best contentments bring
Nought but after-sorrowing;
She, those childish humours slighting,
Hath conditions so delighting,
And doth so my bliss endeavour,
As my joy increaseth ever.

“ Her true beauty leaves behind

Apprehensions in my mind
Of more sweetness than all art
Or inventions can impart ;
Thoughts too deep to be expressid,
And too strong to be suppress'd;
Which oft raiseth my conceits
To such unbelieved heights,
That I fear some shallow brain
Thinks my Muses do but feign.
Sure he wrongs them if he do :
For could I have reached to
So like strains as these you see
Had there been no such as she,
Is it possible that I,
Who scarce heard of poesy,
Should a mere idea raise
To as true a pitch of praise
As the learned poets could
Now, or in the times of old, .
All those real beauties bring,
Honour'd by their sonneting ;
Having arts and favours too,
More t'encourage what they do?
No, if I had never seen
Such a beauty, I had been
Piping in the country shades
To the homely dairy-maids,
For a country fiddler's fees,
Clouted cream, and bread and cheese.

“ 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
Love's content by any folly,
Or by deeds that are unholy.
Doatingly she ne'er affects,
Neither willingly neglects
Her honest love, but means doth find
With discretion to be kind.
'Tis not thund'ring phrase nor oaths,
Honours, wealth, nor painted clothes,
That can her good-liking gain,
If no other worth remain."

“I no skill in numbers had
More than every shepherd's lad,
Till she taught me strains that were
Pleasing to her gentle ear.
Her fair splendour and her worth
From obscureness drew me forth ;
And because I had no Muse,
She herself deigned to infuse
All the skill by which I climb
To these praises in my rhyme.”

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
Will his tongue be and his lute
Should he happen to espy
This unlooked-for company."

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
Would be labour spent in vain.
You may therefore now betake ye
To the music I can make ye.”

“Let no critic cavil then
Jf I dare affirm again
That her mind's perfections are
Fairer than her body's far;
And I need not prove it by
Axioms of Philosophy,
Since no proof can better be
Than their rare effects in me;
For, whilst other men complaining
Tell their mistresses' disdaining,
Free from care I write a story

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,
Or be lord of fifty towns;
And my mistress to be deem'd
Shall more honour be esteem'd,
Than those titles to acquire
Which most women most desire.
Yea, when you a woman shall
Countess or a duchess call,
That respect it shall not move,
Neither gain her half such love,
As to say, lo! this is she,
That supposed is to be
Mistress to Phil'areté.
And that lovely nymph, which he,
In a pastoral poem famed,
And Fair Virtue, there hath named.
Yea, some ladies (ten to one)
If not many, now unknown,
Will be very well apaid,
When by chance, she hears it said, -
She that fair one is whom I
Here have praised concealedly.

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 :

In praise of the Lover of Virtue.
Gentle swain, good speed befall thee;

And in love still prosper thou !
Future times shall happy call thee,

Tho' thou lie neglected now:
Virtue's lovers shall commend thee,
And perpetual fame attend thee.

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
May so brave a hope deride ;
Yet, when all their glories pass
As the thing that never was,
And on monuments appear,
That they e'er had breathing here
Who envý it; she shall thrive
In her fame, and honour'd live,
Whilst Great Britain's shepherds sing
English in their sonneting.
And whoe'er in future days,
Shall bestow the utmost praise
On his love, that any man
Attribute to creature can;
'Twill be this, that he hath dared
His and mine to have compared."

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?

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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

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All their riches, honours, pleasures,

Poor unworthy trifles seem,
If compared with thy treasures,

And do merit no esteem : .
For they true contents provide thee,
But from them can none divide thee.

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.
Amidst the azure clear

Of Jordan's sacred streams,
Jordan, of Lebanon the offspring dear,
When zephyrs flow'rs unclose,
And sun shines with new beams,

With grave and stately grace a Nymph arose.
Upon her head she ware

Of amaranths a crown;
Her left hand palms, her right a torch did bear;
Unveiled skin's whiteness lay;
Gold hairs in curls hung down;

Eyes sparkled joy, more bright than star of day. The flood a throne her reared

Of waves, most like that heaven
Where beaming stars in glory turn ensphered.
The air stood calm and clear,
No sigh by winds was given,
Birds left to sing, herds feed,-her voice to hear:

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;
And thy hours so pleas'd employ thou,

Till the latest glass be run:
From a fortune so assuréd,
By no temptings be alluréd.

“ World-wand'ring sorry wights,

Whom nothing can content
Within these varying lists of days and nights;
Whose life, ere known amiss,
In glitt’ring griefs is spent ;

Come learn,” said she, “what is your choicest bliss : From toil and pressing cares

How ye may respite find,
A sanctuary from soul-thralling snares;
A port to harbour sure,
In spite of waves and wind,
Which shall, when time's swift glass is run, endure.

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;
No, but a sea of fears, a field of strife;
Charg'd on a throne to sit
With diadems of gold,
Preserv'd by force, and still observ'd by wit ;

“ Who such a life doth live

You happy even may call
Ere ruthless Death a wished end him give;
And after then when given,
More happy by his fall,
For humanes' earth, enjoying angels' heaven.

Huge treasures to enjoy,

Of all her gems spoil Ind,
All Seres' silk in garments to employ,
Deliciously to feed,
The phenix' plumes to find

To rest upon, or deck your purple bed ;
Frail beauty to abuse,

And, wanton Sybarites,
On past or present touch of sense to muse;
.Never to hear of noise
But what the ear delights,
Sweet music's charms, or charming flatterer's voice.
Nor can it bliss you bring,

Hid Nature's depths to know,
Why matter changeth, whence each form doth spring;
Nor that your fame should range,
And after-worlds it blow

From Tanais to Nile, from Nile to Gange.
All these have not the power

To free the mind from fears,
Nor hideous horror can allay one hour,
When death in stealth doth glance,
In sickness lurks or years,
And wakes the soul from out her mortal trance.

“ Swift is your mortal race,

And glassy is the field ;
Vast are desires not limited by grace:
Life a weak taper is ;
Then while it light doth yield,
Leave flying joys, embrace this lasting bliss.”

This when the nymph had said,

She dived within the flood,
Whose face with smiling curls long after staid;
Then sighs did zephyrs press,
Birds sang from every wood,
And echoes rang, “ This was true Happiness."

After a recovery from severe illness Drummond sent these lines


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,
Alexis, when thou shalt hear wandering fame
Tell, Death hath triumph'd o'er my mortal spoils,
And that on earth I am but a sad name;

If thou e'er held me dear, by all our love,
By all that bliss, those joys heaven here us gave,
I conjure thee, and by the maids of Jove,
To grave this short remembrance on my grave:

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
To turn unto the load-star of all bliss,
On God the mind to rest,
Burnt up with sacred fire,

Possessing Him to be by Him posscst;
When to the balmy east

Sun doth his light impart,
Or when he diveth in the lowly west
And ravisheth the day,
With spotless hand and heart

Him cheerfully to praise, and to Him pray;
To heed each action so

As ever in his sight,
More fearing doing ill than passive woe;
Not to seem other thing
Than what ye are aright;

Never to do what may repentance bring;
Not to be blown with pride,

Nor mov'd at glory's breath,
Which shadow-like on wings of time doth glide ;
So malice to disarm
And conquer hasty wrath,

As to do good to those that work your harm;
To hatch no base desires

Or gold or land to gain,
Well pleas'd with that which virtue fair acquires ;
To have the wit and will
Consorting in one strain,

Than what is good to have no higher skill ;
Never on neighbour's goods
With cockatrice's eye
To look, nor make another's heaven your hell;
Nor to be beauty's thrall,
All fruitless love to fly,

Yet loving still a Love transcendent all,
A Love which, while it burns

The soul with fairest beams,
To that increate sun the soul it turns,
And makes such beauty prove,
That, if sense saw her gleams
All lookers on would pine and die for Love.

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,
Doth men on th' earth, the Lord in heaven content,
How many are, if time might be redeemed,
Who wish they thus their revenues had spent ?
If this on th' earth so profitable seemed,
What usurer would for others' gains be bent?

But would the poor with plenty oft supply,
Though they themselves for want were like to die.

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,
To gain opinion muster all in show;
And, prodigal, superfluously spend
All what they have, or able are to owe,
For pleasures frail, whilst straying fancies tend,
As Paradise could yet be found below:

Still pamp’ring flesh with all that th' earth can give,
No happiness more seek but here to live;


Those if not gorgeous who do garments scorn,
And not in warmness but for cost exceed,
Though as of worms they have the entrails worn,
Worms shall at last upon their entrails feed;
Those dainty tastes who, as for eating born,
That they may feast strive appetite to breed,

And, curious gluttons, even of vileness vaunt,
Whilst surfeiting when thousands starve for want.

That happy squadron is not question'd now,
What ill they did, what good they did neglect,
No circumstance is urg'd, when, where, nor how,
They oft had fail'd, in what God did direct;
He trusts, not tries, not counts, but doth allow;
The Lord in Israel will no fault detect,

But absolutely doth absolve them all,
And from their bondage to a kingdom call.

The world's chief idol, nurse of fretting cares,
Dumb trafficker, yet understood o'er all,
State's chain, life's maintenance, load-star of affairs,
Which makes all nations voluntar'ly thrall,
A subtle sorcerer, always laying snares;
How many, Money, hast thou made to fall !

The general jewel, of all things the price,
To virtue sparing, lavish unto vice.

“ 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,
His goods perchance doth from the poor extort,
Yet leaves his brother dying in a ditch,
Whom one excess, if spar'd, would well support;
And, whilst the love of gold doth him bewitch,
This miser's misery gives others sport:

The prodigal God's creatures doth abuse,
And them, the wretch, not necessarily use.

“ When pressed by famine you me friendly fed,
And did with drink my scorching thirst allay;
You with your garments me, when naked, clad,
Whose kindly visits sickness could not stay;
No, even in prison, they me comfort bred,
Thus charity extended every way:

Your treasures, kept in heaven, for int’rest gain
That you enrich'd eternally remain."

With spiritual joy each one transported sings,
And, lifted up, to heaven in haste would fly,
But yet this speech so great amazement brings,
That modestly they, as with doubt, reply:
“ Unbounded Lord, when didst thou lack such things,
That there was cause our willingness to try?
Who nothing had but what Thou gav'st to us ;
How couldst Thou need, or we afford it thus ? "

Those roving thoughts which did at random soar,
And, though they had conveniently to live,
Would never look behind, but far before,
And, scorning goodness, to be great did strive;
For, still projecting how to purchase more,
Thus, bent to get, they could not dream to give :

Such minds whom envy hath fill'd up with grudge,
Have left no room, where eharity may lodg.

" That which was given, as now I do reveal,
Unto the least of those whom I held dear,"
Saith Christ, “deep grav'd with an eternal seal
As due by me, I do acknowledge here;
Those were the objects prompted for your zeal,
By which your goodness only could appear:

Best magazines for wealth the poor did prove,
Where, when laid up, no thief could it remove."

Ah! who of those can well express the grief,
Whom once this earth did for most happy hold ?
Of all their neighbours still esteom'd the chief,
Whilst stray'd opinion balanc'd worth by gold :
That which to thousands might have given relief,
Wrong spent or spar'd, is for their ruin told:

Thus pleasures past, what anguish now doth even?
We see how hardly rich men go to heaven.

The eleventh hour of “Doomsday” displays the suffering of those who are condemned ; and the

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