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Prince, whose approach peace to all mortals brings,
Indifferent host to shepherds and to kings,
Lo, by thy charming rod, all breathing things
And yet o'er me to spread thy drowsy wings
Since I am thine, O come, but with that face
Or if, deaf god, thou do deny that grace,
I long to kiss the image of my death. The lady to whom he was engaged to be married was suddenly snatched away by death, and the sonnets which dwell on his own afflictions are as full of true feeling as poetic merit.
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
And happy days, with thee come not again;
The sad memorials only of my pain
Thou art the same which still thou wast before,
Is gone; nor gold nor gems her can restore.
What doth it serve to see sun's burning face?
And all the glory of that starry place?
The mountain's pride, the meadow's flowery grace;
The sport of floods which would themselves embrace?
The wanton merle, the nightingale's sad strains,
For wliat doth serve all that this world contains,
TO HIS LUTE.
With thy green mother in some shady grove,
1 - Turn'st" is here used for
When immelodious winds but made thee move,
Sith that dear voice which did thy sounds approve,
Is reft from earth to tune those spheres above,
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
Be therefore silent as in woods before:
TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers
A stain to human sense in sin that lowers.
(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven
And lift a reverent eye and thought to heaven?
RICHARD CRASHAW. Died 1650.1 RICHARD CRASHAW, a religious poet, an accomplished scholar, and a power ful and popular preacher, was born in London, but the date of his birth is unknown. His father was an author, and a preacher of the Temple church, London. He took his degree at Cambridge, where he published his sacred poems of “Steps to the Temple.” In the year 1644 he was ejected from his living on refusing to subscribe to the Covenant, and soon afterwards he professed his faith in the Roman Church. Through the influence of his friend Cowley, the poet, he was introduced to the exiled Queen Henrietta, who obtained for him a small office at Rome, where he died about the year 1650.
The poems of Crashaw are not much known, but they " display delicate fancy, great tenderness, and singular beauty of diction.” “He has," says Headley, “originality in many parts, and as a translator is entitled to the highest praise. To his attainments, which were numerous and elegant, all his biographers have borne witness." The lines on a prayer-book, Coleridge considers one of the best poems in our language.
1 Poet and Saint I to thee alone are given
The two most sacred names of earth and heaven.-COWLEY Pope, in his “Eloisa to Abelard, has borrowed largely from this poet.
LINES ON A PRAYER-BOOK SENT TO MRS. R. Lo! here a little volume, but large book,
(Fear it not, sweet,
It is no hypocrite,)
You'll find it yields
More swords and shields
Only be sure
The hands be pure
Those of turtles, chaste and true,
Here is a friend shall fight for you.
Dear soul, be strong,
Mercy will come ere long, And bring her bosom full of blessings
Flowers of never-fading graces,
For worthy souls whose wise embraces
Leaving her chaste abode
To gad abroad
To take her pleasure and to play,
Of all this hidden store
Doubtless he will unload
And pour abroad
O! happy, and thrice happy she,
Whoc'er she be,
To improve that precious hour;
Dropping with a balmy shower,
At once ten thousand paradises:
What joy, what bliss,
How many heavens at once it is
Come now all ye terrors, sally,
PHINEAS FLETCHER. 1584-1650. Paineas FLETCHER was the brother of Giles Fletcher, and born about the year 1584. He took his degree at Cambrilge, and after completing liis studies for the ministry, was presented with the living of Hilgiy, in Norfolk, in 1621, which he held for twenty-nine years; and it is supposed that he died there in 1650.
His chief poem is entitled “The Purple Island,” which title, on being first heard, would suggest ideas totally ditferent from what is its real subject. The truth is, it is a sort of anatomical poem, the “ Purple Island” being nothing less than the human body, the veins and arteries of which are filled with the purple fluid coursing up and down; so that the first part of the poem, which is anatomically descriptive, is not a little dry and uninteresting. But after describing the body, he proceeds to personify the passions and intellectual faculties. “Here,” says Headley, “ fatigued attention is not merely relieved, but fascinated and enraptured; there is a boldness of outline, a majesty of manner, a brilliancy of coloring, and an air of life, that we look for in vain in modern productions, and that rival, if not surpass, what we meet with of the kind even in Spenser, from whom our author caught his inspiration.” This is rather extravagant, and yet a few passages can be selected from Phineas Fletcher, that, for beauty, are scarcely exceeded by any poetry in the language.
THE SHEPHERD'S LIFE.1
Thrice, oh thrice happy, shepherd's life and state,
No feared treason breaks his quiet sleep:
Singing all day, his flocks he learns to keep;
No empty hopes, no courtly fears him fright;
Nor begging wants his middle fortune bite :
In country plays is all the strife be uses,
Or sing, or dance unto the rural Muses;
I These beautiful lines seem to have suggested the plan of that most exquisite little piece called TR Hesale by Thomas Warton, which contains a selection of beautiful rural images, such as perhaps no other poem of equal length in our language presents us with. See it in the selections from Warton,