網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night
He makes the figs our mouths to meet;
And throws tile melons at our feet.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound his name.
Oh! let our voice his praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault j
Which then, perhaps, rebounding, may
Echo beyond the Mexique Bay!

Thus sung they in the English boat
A holy and a cheerful note,
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the rime.

THE NYMPH COMPLAINING FOR THE DEATH OF HER FAWN.

The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! they cannot thrive
Who kill'd thee. Thou ne'er didst alive
Them any harm; alas! nor could
Thy death yet do them any good.
I'm sure I never wish'd them ill;
Nor do I for all this; nor will:
But, if my simple prayers may yet
Prevail with heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears,
Rather than fail. But, 0 my fears 1
It cannot die so. Heaven's king
Keeps register of every thing,
And nothing may we use in vain:
E'en beasts must be with justice slain.
• « * * •

But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better than
The love of false and cruel man.
With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at my own fingers nursed;
And as it grew, so every day
It wax'd more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a breath! And oft
I blush'd to see its foot more soft
And white, shall I say than my hand 1
Nay, any lady's of the land.
It is a wondrous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And when't had left me far away,
Twould stay, and run again, and stay,

For it was nimbler much than hinds,

Anil trcxl ns if on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,

But so with roses overgrown,

And lilies, that you would it guess

To be a little wilderness,

And all the spring-time of the year

It only loved to be there.

Among the beds of lilies I

Have sought it oft where it should lie;

Yet could not, till itself would rise,

Find it, although before mine eyes;

For in the flaxen lilies' shade

It like a bank of lilies laid.

Upon the roses it would feed

Until its lips e'en seem'd to bleed;

And then to me 'twould boldly trip,

And print those roses on my lip.

But all its chief delight was still

On roses thus itself to fill;

And its pure virgin limbs to fold

In whitest sheets of lilies cold.

Had it lived long, it would have been

Lilies without, roses within.

OWEN FELLTHAM. Died 1C78.

Of the personal history of Owen Fclltham we know but very little. Even the accomplished editor of his works,1 after many years of unwearied search, was not able to find any tiling satisfactory relative to his life. He remarks: "There are few English writers, perhaps none, who enjoyed any considerable celebrity in the ages in which they lived, of whom less is known, than of the author of the 'Resolves;' and what is particularly remarkable, though litis production of his pen has passed through no less than twelve editions, 1 do not find the name of Owen Felltham to have been made the subject of an artielo in any of our printed biographical collections."

The chief work of Felltham is, his "Resolves, Divine, Moral, and Politi cal," consisting of two "Centuries,"' as he calls them, that is, of two parts containing each one hundred Essays or "Resolves." They consist of a series of essays on subjects corrected with religion, morality, and the conduct of life; and they appear to have been termed "Resolves," because, at the con elusion of each essay, the author generally forms resolutions for his own eon duct drawn from his own precepts. In this direct, personal application, they differ from the "Essays" of Lord Bacon, to which they otherwise bear a frequent resemblance in manner, and still more in matter. The style of Felltham is not always equal; but is generally strong, harmonious, and well

1 "Resolves, Divine, Moral, and Poliucal." A new edition, fcc., by James Cummtng, Esq. London, 1806. Bvo. Hsad, also, an excellent article in the RetrospecUvc Review, x. 343, the writer of which conclude* with these remarks: "We lay aside the * Resolves,' as we part from our dearest friends. In the hope of frequently returning to them. Ve recommend the whole of them to the perusal of our renders. They will find therein more solid maxims, as much piety, and far better w riling, thau In mo*t of the pulnii Ktturea now current among us."

adapted to the subjects of which he treats. He is prodigal of metaphor and quotation, and on that account has been accused of pedantry; but his figures are always beautifully illustrative of his subject, and his quotations generally appropriate. As to his sentiments, they are remarkable for their sound, good sense, as well as for their great purity of moral and religious principle.

WE ARE HAPPY OR MISERABLE BY COMPARISON.

There is not in this world either perfect misery or perfec happiness. Comparison, more than reality, makes men happy and can make them wretched. What should we account miserable, if we did not lay it in the balance with something that hath more felicity? If we saw not some men vaulting in the gay trim of honor and greatness, we should never think a poor estate so lamentable. Were all the world ugly, deformity would be no monster. It is, without doubt, our eyes gazing at others above, casts us into a shade, which, before that time, we met not with. It is envy and ambition that makes us far more miserable than the constitution which our liberal nature hath allotted us. Many never find themselves in want, till they have discovered the abundance of some others. It was comparison that first kindled the fire, to burn Troy withal. Give it to the fairest, was it, which jarred the Goddesses. Paris might have given the ball with less offence, had it not been so inscribed. Surely Juno was content with her beauty, till the Trojan youth cast her, by advancing Venus. While we spy no joys above our own, we in quiet count them blessings. We see even a few companions can lighten our miseries: by which we may guess the effect of a generality. Blackness, a flat nose, thick lips, and goggled eyes, are beauties, where nor shapes nor colors differ. He is much impatient, that refuseth the general lot. For myself, I will reckon that misery, which I find hurts me in myself; not that which, coming from another, I may avoid, if I will. Let me examine whether that I enjoy, be not enough to felicitate me, if I stay at home. If it be, I would not have another's better fortune put me out of conceit with my own. In outward things, I will look to those that are beneath me; that if I must build myself out of others, I may rather raise content than murmur. But for accomplishments of the mind, I will ever fix on those above me; that I may, out of an honest emulation, mend myself by continual striving to imitate their nobleness.

OF PRAYER.

It is a hard thing among men of inferior rank to speak to an earthly prince: no king keeps a court so open as to give admittance to all comers: and though they have, they are not sure to speed; albeit there be nothing that should make their petitiotm not grantable. Oh how happy, how privileged then is a Christian! who though he often lives here in a slight esteem, yet can he freely confer with the King of Heaven; who not only hears his entreaties, but delights in his requests; invites him to come, and promiseth a happy welcome; which he shows in fulfilling his desires, or better, fitter for him: in respect of whom, the greatest monarch is more base than the basest vassal in regard of the most mighty and puissant emperor. Man cannot so much exceed a beast, as God doth him: what if I be not known to the Nimrods of the world, and the peers of the earth 1 I can speak to their better, to their Master; and by prayer be familiar with him. Importunity does not anger him; neither can any thing but our sins make us go away empty. My comfort is, my access to heaven is as free as the prince's; my departure from earth not so grievous: for while the world smiles on him, I am sure I have less reason to love it than he. God's favor I will chiefly seek for; man's, but as it falls in the way to it: when it proves a hinderance, I hate to be loved.

OF FAITH AND WORKS.

Works without Faith are like a salamander without fire, or a fish without water: in which, though there may seem to be some quick actions of life, and symptoms of agility, yet they are, indeed, but forerunners of their end, and the very presages of death. Faith again without Works is like a bird without wings: who, though she may hop with her companions here upon earth, yet if she live till the world ends, she will never fly to heaven. But when both are joined together, then doth the soul mount up to the hill of eternal rest: these can bravely raise her to her first height: yea carry her beyond it; taking away both the will that did betray her, and the possibility that might. The former without the latter is self-cozenage; the last without the former is mere hypocrisy; together, the excellency of religion. Faith is the rock, while every good action is as a stone laid; one the foundation, the other the structure. The foundation without the walls is of slender value: the building without a basis cannot stand. They are so inseparable, as their conjunction makes them good. Chiefly will I labor for a sure foundation, saving Faith; and equally I will seek for strong walls, good Works. For as man judgeth the house by the edifice, more than by the foundation: 80, not according to his Faith, but according to his Works, shall God judge man.

SEDULITY AND DILIGENCE.

There is no such prevalent workman as sedulity, and diligence. A man would wonder at the mighty things which have been done by degrees and gentle augmentations. Diligence and moderation are the best steps, whereby to climb to any excellency. Nay, it is rare if there be any other way. The heavens send not down their rain in floods, but by drops and dewy distillations. A man is neither good, nor wise, nor rich, at once: yet softly creeping up these hills, he shall every day better his prospect; till at last he gains the top. Now he learns a virtue, and then he damns' a vice. An hour in a day may much profit a man in his study, when he makes it stint and custom. Every year something laid up, may in time make a stock great. Nay, if a man does but save, he shall increase; and though when the grains are scattered, they be next to nothing, yet together tbey will swell the heap. He that has the patience to attend small profits, may quickly grow to thrive and purchase: they be easier to accomplish, and come thicker. So, he that from every thing collects somewhat, shall in time get a treasury of wisdom. And when all is done, for man, this is the best way. It is for God, and for Omnipotency, to do mighty things in a moment: but, degreeingly to grow to greatness, is the course that he hath left for man.

CONTENT MAKES RICH.

Every man either is rich, or may be so; though not all in one and the same wealth. Some have abundance, and rejoice in it; some a competency, and are content; some having nothing, have a mind desiring nothing. He that hath most, wants something; he that hath least, is in something supplied; wherein the mind which maketh rich, may well possess him with the thought of store. Who whistles out more content than the low-fortuned ploughman, or .sings more merrily than the abject cobbler that sits under the stall? Content dwells with those that are out of the eye of the world, whom she hath never trained with her gauds, her toils, her lures. Wealth is like learning, wherein our greater knowledge is only a larger sight of our wants. Desires fulfilled, teach us to desire more; so we that at first were pleased, by removing from that, are now grown insatiable. Wishes have neither end; nor end. So, in the midst of affluency, we complain of penury, which, not finding, we make. For to possess the whole world with a grumbling mind, is but a little more specious poverty. If I be not outwardly rich, I will labor to be poor in craving desires; but in the virtues of the mind, (the best riches,) I would not hav^ a man exceed me. He that hath a mind contentedly good, eujoyeth in it boundless possessions. If I be pleased in myself, who can add to my happiness? as no man lives so happy.

l Uied In the Latin sense of damno, to condemn, to renounce.

« 上一頁繼續 »