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A VISION UPON THE FAERIE QUEENE.1
Methought I saw the grave, where Laura2 lay,
Within that temple, where the vestal flamo
To see that buried dust of living fame,
All suddenly I saw the Faerie Queene;
And, from thenceforth, those Graces were not seen;
Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse:
And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.3
Go, Soul, the Body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
The truth shall be thy warrant.
Go, tell the Court it glows,
And shines like painted wood;
What's good, but does no good.
Tell Potentates, they live
Acting, but oh! their actions
Nor strong, but by their factions.
1 "A higher strain of compliment cannot well be conceived than this, which raises your idea even of that which it disparages in comparison, and makes you feel that nothing could have torn tho writer from his idolatrous enthusiasm for Petrarch and his Laura's tomb, but Spenser's magic verse an.1 diviner Faerie Queene—the one lifted above mortality, the other brought from the skies."—Huztitt.
"I have been always singularly struck and delighted with the tone, imagery, and expression of this extraordinary sonnet. The author must at this time have been deeply rend in works of pocUcal fancy, and highly imbued with their spirit. MUton had deeply studied this sonnet; for in his compositions of the same class, he has evldenUy, more than once, the very rhythm and construction, as well as cast of thought, of this noble, though brief composlUon."—Sir Egerton Biydget.
'The lady to whom Petrarch addressed so much of his beautiful poetry.
s This poem appeared anonymously In "Davison's Poetical llbapsody," in 1608, and has been ascribed to Sir Walter Halelgh. I have therefore given it a place here with his poems, although there Is no certainty abont It. Sir Egerton Brydges, always good authority In every quesUon of English Literature, places it at the end of his edition of Raleigh's poems, and says :—" 1 know no author so capable of wriUng It as Raleigh; but, whoever was the author, It Is a poem of uncommon beauty and merit, and glowing with all that moral pathos, which is one of the first charms in the compositions of genius." it is here printed as in Sir E. Brydgcs's edition.
Tell men of high condition,
Their purpose is ambition;
And if they do reply,
Then give them all die lie.
Tell those that brave it most,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending.
And if diey make reply,
Spare not to give the lie.
Tell Zeal it lacks devotion;
Tell Love it is but lust; Tell Time it is but motion;
Tell Flesh it is but dust: And wish them not reply, For thou must give the lie.
Tell Age it daily wasteth;
Tell Honor how it alters;
Tell Favor that she falters:
Tell Wit how much it wrangles
In fickle points of niceness;
Herself in over-wiseness:
Tell Skill it is pretension;
Tell Law it is contention:
Tell Nature of decay;
Tell Justice of delay:
Tell Arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming; Tell Schools they lack profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming. If Arts and Schools reply, Give Arts and Schools the lie. Tell Faith it's fled the city;
Tell how the Country erreth; Tell Manhood, shakes off pity;
Tell Virtue, least preferred!.
And if they do reply,
So, when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing;
Deserves no less than stabbing;
The following most affectionate and touching letter, written by Raleigh to his wife, after his condemnation, cannot be omitted :—
You shall receive, my dear wife, my last words in these my last lines; my love I send you, that you may keep when I am dead, and my counsel, that you may remember it when I am no more. I would not with my will present you sorrows, dear Bess; let them go to the grave with me, and be buried in the dust. And seeing that it is not the will of God that I shall see you any more, bear my destruction patiently, and with an heart like yourself.
First, I send you all the thanks which my heart can conceive, or my words express, for your many travails and cares for me; which though they have not taken effect as you wished, yet my debt to you is not the less; but pay it I never shall in this world.
Secondly, I beseech you, for the love you bare me living, that you do not hide yourself many days, but by your travails seek to help the miserable fortunes and the right of your poor child. Your mourning cannot avail me that am but dust.
Thirdly, you shall understand, that my lands were conveyed bona fidt to my child; the writings were drawn at midsummer was twelve months, as divers can witness; and I trust my blood will quench their malice who desired my slaughter, that they will not seek also to kill you and yours with extreme poverty. To what friend to direct you I know not, for all mine have left me in the true time of trial. Most sorry am I, that, being thus surprised by death, I can leave you no better estate; God hath prevented all my determinations,—that great God which worketh all in all; and if you can live free from want, care for no more, for the rest is but a vanity: love God, and begin betimes—in him you shall find true, everlasting, and endless comfort; when you have travailed and wearied yourself with all sorts of worldly cogitations, you shall sit down by sorrow in the end. Teach your son also to serve and fear God whilst he is young, that the fear of God may grow up in him; then will God be an husband to you, and a father to him—an husband and a father that can never be taken from you.
Baylie oweth me a thousand pounds, and Aryan six hundred; in Jemesey also I have much owing me. Dear wife, I beseech you, for my soul's sake, pay all poor men. When I am dead, no doubt you shall be much sought unto, for the world thinks I was very rich: have a care to the fair pretences of men, for no greater misery can befall you in this life, than to become a prey unto the world, and after to be despised. I speak (God knows) not to dissuade you from marriage, for it will be best for you, both in respect . of God and the world. As for me, I am no more yours, nor you mine; death hath cut us asunder, and God hath divided me from the world, and you from me. Remember your poor child for his father's sake, who loved you in his happiest estate. I sued for my life, but God knows it was for you and yours that I desired it: for know it, my dear wife, your child is the child of a true man, who in his own respect despiseth death and his misshapen and ugly forms. I cannot write much; God knows how hardly I steal this time when all sleep; and it is also time for me to separate my thoughts from the world. Beg my dead body, which living was denied you, and either lay it in Sherbourne, or Exeter church by my father and mother. I can say no more; time and death call me away. The everlasting God, powerful, infinite, and inscrutable God Almighty, who is goodness itself, the true light and life, keep you and yours, and have mercy upon me, and forgive my persecutors and false accusers, and send us to meet in his glorious kingdom. My dear wife, farewell; bless my boy, pray for me, and let my true God hold you both in his arms.
Yours that was, but now not mine own,
LADY ELIZABETH CAREY.'
Of the history of this lady, nothing satisfactory can be obtained. She wrote n tragedy, entitled "Mariam, the fair Queen of Jewry," written by that learned, virtuous, and truly noble lady, "E. C. 1613." It is written in alternate verse, and with a chorus after tho manner of the Greek tragedians. She died probably some time in the reign of James tho First. The following is the chorus in Act IV. of Mariam:—
ON FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES.
The fairest action of our human life
If we a worthy enemy do find,
To yield to worth it must be nobly done;
1 Generally spcllod Carcw, but lncorrccUy.
But if of baser metal be his mind,
In base revenge there is no honor won.
We say our hearts are great and cannot yield;
Because they cannot yield, it proves them poor;
A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn,
To scorn to owe a duty overlong;
But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have,
Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind;
And let our hate prevail against our mind?
Had Mariam scorn'd to leave a due unpaid,
She would to Herod then have paid her love;
SAMUEL DANIEL. 1562—1619.
We know but little of the personal history of Samuel Daniel. He was the son of a music master, and was born near Taunton, in Somersetshire, in 1502. In 1579 he entered Oxford, and left it at the end of three years without taking his degree. Towards the close of his life ho retired to a farm in his native county, and died in 1619.
His most elaborate work is " The History of the Civil Wars between tho Houses of York and Lancaster," which is rather an uninteresting work, for the reason that you see in it more of the correctness of the annalist than tho fancy of the ]>oct. Sound morality, prudential wisdom, and occasional touches of the pathetic, delivered in a style of gTeat perspicuity, will be recognised throughout his work; but neither warmth, passion, nor sublimity, nor the most distant trace of enthusiasm, can be found to animate the mass. But some of his minor poems, especially his moral epistles, have great merit, abounding in original thought, expressed in clear, simple, and vigorous language. A very discriminating and candid critic says, " We find both in his poetry and prose such a legitimate and rational flow of language, as approaches nearer tho style of the eighteenth than the sixtoenth century, and