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But ah! no more; this must not be foretold:
The next is in a nobler spirit.
"And yet I cannot reprehend the flight,
Or blame th' attempt presuming so to soar;
The mounting venture for a high delight,
Did make the honour of the fall the more.
Danger hath honour; great designs their fame:
Glory doth follow; courage goes before.
And tho' th' event oft answers not the same,
Suffice that high attempts have never shame.
Lives without honour, dies without a name,
And in eternal darkness ever sleeps.
Nothing can be more delicately tender than the sentiment in the following sonnet, which is also exquisitely mellifluous.
"I must not grieve, my love, whose eyes would read
Lines of delight, whereon her youth might smile;
Flowers have time before they come to seed,
And she is young, and now must sport the while.
And learn to gather flow'rs before they wither;
And where the sweetest blossom first appears,
Let love and youth conduct thy pleasures thither.
And calm the tempest which my sighs do raise:
Pity and smiles do best become the fair;
Pity and smiles must only yield thee praise.
We should be guilty of an injustice to Daniel, if, after what we have said, we should omit to give an extract from his Civil War; and we shall select a favorable one—one which is characterized by an earnestness of feeling not very usual with him. It occurs in the part which relates to the civil wars in the reign of Richard the Second, and is the deprecation of the " grave religious fathers" against these broils.
"And O! what do you now prepare, said they;
Another conquest, by these fatal ways?
What, must your own hands'make yourselves a prey
To desolation, which these tumults raise?
What Dane, what Norman, shall prepare his way,
To triumph on the spoil of your decays?
That which nor France, nor all the world could do,
In union, shall your discord bring you to?
Conspire against us, neighbour-nations all,
Calm these tempestuous spirits, mighty Lord;
Thus they in zeal, whose humbl'd thoughts were good,
Our next extracts will be from The Complaint of Rosamond, whose ghost appears to the poet, and giving him to understand that Charon denies her a passage to the Elysian fields, "Till lovers' sighs on earth shall it deliver," prevails upon him to write the sto.y of her wrongs and the ruin of her youth, in order to propitiate the surly boatman. This he has done in the form of a complaint. Beauty, the springe which caught the king, and caused Rosamond's ruin, is thus apostrophized:
"Ah Beauty! Syren, fair enchanting good,
Still, harmony, whose diapason lies
What might I then not do, whose power is such 1
What cannot women do that know their power?
What women know it not (I fear too much)
How bliss or bale lies in their laugh or lour?
Whilst they enjoy their happy blooming flower,
Such once was I,—my beauty was mine own;
Seeing that time our fading must detect,
Thus with defect to cover our defect.
Far was that sin from us, whose age was pure,
When simple beauty was accounted best;
The time when women had no other lure
But modesty, pure cheeks, a virtuous breast,
This was the pomp wherewith my youth was blest:
Daniel has shewn more judgement in the management of his pathetic powers in the following extract, than perhaps in any of his poems. The king meets the funeral procession of the fair Rosamond, whom his jealous queen had poisoned.
"Judge those whom chance deprives of sweetest treasure,
What 'tis to lose a thing we hold so dear?
The best delight wherein our soul takes pleasure,
The sweet of life, that penetrates so near.
What passions feels that heart, inforc'd to bear
Amaz'd he stands, nor voice nor body stirs;
Striving to tell his woes, words would not come;
For light cares speak, when mighty griefs are dumb.
At length extremity breaks out a way,
Thro' which, th' imprison'd voice with tears attended,
Wails out a sound that sorrows do bewray;
With arms across, and eyes to heaven bended,
Vapouring out sighs that to the skies ascended;
Sighs (the poor ease calamity affords)
Which serve for speech, when sorrow wanteth words.
O heavens! (quoth he) why do mine eyes behold
What saw my life wherein my soul might joy?
What had my days, whom troubles still afflicted,
But only this, to counterpoise annoy?
This joy, this hope, which death hath interdicted;
This sweet, whose loss hath all distress inflicted;
Vex'd still at home with broils, abroad in strife;
Dissension in my blood, jars in my bed;
Distrust at board, suspecting still my life,
Spending the night in horror, days in dread;
(Such life hath tyrants, and this life I led.)
Thus, as these passions do him overwhelm,
Pitiful mouth (saith he) that living gavest
Ah! how, methinks I see death dallying seeks,
To entertain itself in Love's sweet place;
Decayed roses of discoloured cheeks,
Do yet retain dear notes of former grace:
And ugly death sits fair within her face;
This passage from Hymen's Triumph, descriptive of early love, is worth a place here:
"Ah, I remember well (and bow can I
And there is something of passion in the answer which Thirsis returns to Palaemon's consolatory advice, that it is a shame to waste his youth in mourning his lost Silvia, when there are other nymphs as fair as she, from whom he may make his choice.
"As fair and sweet as she? Palaemon, peace: