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FROM THE SHEPHERD'S HOLIDAY.
All envious and profane, away,
ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. This morning, timely rapt with holy fire,
I thought to form unto my zealous Muse,
To honor, serve, and love; as poets use.
Of greatest blood, and yet more good thap great; I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,
Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat. I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride; I meant each softest virtue there should meet,
Fit in that softer bosom to reside. Only a learned, and a manly soul
I purpos'd her; that should, with even pow'rs, The rock, the spindle, and the shears control
Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours.
My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was she.
Strew, strew, the glad and smiling ground,
The garden-star, the queen of May,
That from your odor all may say,
LOVE, A LITTLE BOY.
FROM THE MASQUE ON LORD HADDINGTON'S MARRIAGE
Kiss me, sweet: the wary lover
FIRST GRACE. BEAUTIES, have ye seen this toy, Called Love, a litle boy, Almost naked, wanton, blind, Cruel now; and then as kind ? If he be amongst ye, say ; He is Venus' run-away.
SECOND GRACE. She, that will but now discover Where the winged wag doth hover, Shall, to-night, receive a kiss, How, or where herself would wish : But, who brings him to his mother, Shall have that kiss, and another.
He hath of marks about him plenty:
TO THE SAME.
And I will pledge with mine;
And I'll not look for wine.
Doth ask a drink divine :
I would not change for thine.
Not so much honoring thee,
It could not wither'd be.
And sent'st it back to me:
Not of itself, but thee.
FIRST GRACE. At his sight, the Sun hath turned, Neptune in the waters burned ; Hell hath felt a greater heat: Jove himself forsook his seat: From the centre, to the sky, Are his trophies reared high.
SECOND GRACE. Wings he hath, which though ye clip, He will leap from lip to lip,
ABRAHAM Cowley, a poet of considerable dis- virtue of a degree which he obtained, by mandamus, tinction, was born at London, in 1618. His father, from Oxford, in December, 1657. who was a grocer by trade, died before his birth ; After the death of Cromwell, Cowley returned but his mother, through the interest of her friends, to France, and resumed his station as an agent in procured his admission into Westminster school, the royal cause, the hopes of which now began to as a king's scholar. He has represented himself as revive. The Restoration reinstated him, with other so deficient in memory, as to have been unable to royalists, in his own country; and he naturally exretain the common rules of grammar: it is, how- pected a reward for his long services. He had ever, certain that, by some process, he became an been promised, both by Charles I. and Charles II., elegant and correct classical scholar. He early the Mastership of the Savoy, but was unsuccessful imbibed a taste for poetry; and so soon did it germi- in both his applications. He had also the misfortune nate in his youthful mind, that, while yet at school, of displeasing his party, by his revived comedy of in his fifteenth or sixteenth year, he published a " The Cutter of Coleman-street,” which was concollection of verses, under the appropriate title of strued as a satire on the cavaliers. At length, Pactical Blossoms.
through the interest of the Duke of Buckingham In 1636 he was elected a scholar of Trinity col. and the Earl of St. Alban's, he obtained a lease of lege, Cambridge. In this favorable situation he ob- a farm at Chertsey, held under the queen, by which tained much praise for his academical exercises ; his income was raised to about 300l. per annum. and he again appeared as an author, in a pastoral From early youth a country retirement had been comedy, called Love's Riddle, and a Latin comedy, a real or imaginary object of his wishes; and, entitled, Naufragium Joculare; the last of which though a late eminent critic and moralist, who had was acted before the university, by the members himself no sensibility to rural pleasures, treats this of Trinity college. He continued to reside at Cam- taste with severity and ridicule, there seems little bridge till 1643, and was a Master of Arts when reason to decry a propensity, nourished by the fahe was ejected from the university by the puritani- vorite strains of poets, and natural to a mind long cal visitors. He thence removed to Oxford, and tossed by the anxieties of business, and the vicissi. fred himself in St. John's college. It was here tudes of an unsettled condition. that he engaged actively in the royal cause, and Cowley took up his abode first at Barn-elms, on was present in several of the king's journeys and the banks of the Thames ; but this place not agreeexpeditions, but in what quality, does not appear. ing with his health, he removed to Chertsey. Here He ingratiated himself, however, with the principal his life was soon brought to a close. According to persons about the court, and was particularly hon- his biographer, Dr. Sprat, the fatal disease was an ored with the friendship of Lord Falkland. affection of the lungs, the consequence of staying
When the events of the war obliged the queen- too late in the fields among his laborers. Dr. mother to quit the kingdom, Cowley accompanied Warton, however, from the authority of Mr. Spence, her to France, and obtained a settlement at Paris, gives a different account of the matter. He says, in the family of the earl of St. Alban's. During an that Cowley, with his friend Sprat, paid a visit on absence of nearly ten years from his native coun- foot to a gentleman in the neighborhood of Cherttry, he took various journeys into Jersey, Scotland, sey, which they prolonged, in free conviviality, till Holland, and Flanders; and it was principally midnight; and that missing their way on their rethrough his instrumentality that a correspondence turn, they were obliged to pass the night under a was maintained between the king and his consort. hedge, which gave to the poet a severe cold and The business of ciphering and deciphering their fever, which terminated in his death. He died on letters, was intrusted to his care, and often occu- July 28, 1667, and was interred, with a most honpied his nights, as well as his days. It is no won-orable attendance of persons of distinction, in Westder that, after the Restoration, he long complained minster-abbey, near the remains of Chaucer and of the neglect with which he was treated. In Spenser. King Charles II. pronounced his eulogy, 1656, having no longer any affairs to transact by declaring, “that Mr. Cowley had not left a abroad, he returned to England; still, it is sup- better man behind him in England." pood, engaged in the service of his party, as a me- At the time of his death, Cowley certainly ranked dium of secret intelligence. Soon after his arrival, as the first poet in England; for Milton lay under be published an edition of his poems, containing a cloud, nor was the age qualified to taste him. moet of those which now appear in his works. In And although a large portion of Cowley's celebrity a search for another person, he was apprehended by has since vanished, there still remains enough to the messengers of the ruling powers, and committed raise him to a considerable rank among the British to custody; from which he was liberated, by that poets. It may be proper here to add, that as a generous and learned physician, Dr. Scarborough, prose writer, particularly in the department of who bailed him in the sum of a thousand pounds. essays, there are few who can compare with him This, however, was possibly the sum at which he in elegant simplicity. was rated as a physician, a character he assumed by
Noisy nothing! stalking shade!
By what witchcraft wert thou made ?
Empty cause of solid harms!
But I shall find out counter-charms And make the age to come my own
Thy airy devilship to remove
From this circle here of love.
Sure I shall rid myself of thee
By the night's obscurity, In this scale gold, in th' other fame does lie,
And obscurer secrecy! The weight of that mounts this so high.
Unlike to every other sprite, These men are Fortune's jewels, moulded bright; Thou attempt'st not men to fright,
Brought forth with their own fire and light: Nor appear'st but in the light.
Out of myself it must be strook.
Tuis only grant me, that my means may lie Raise up the buried man.
Too low for envy, for contempt too high. Unpast Alps stop me; but I'll cut them all,
Some honor I would have, And march, the Muses' Hannibal.
Not from great deeds, but good alone; Hence, all the flattering vanities that lay
Th' unknown are better than ill known: Nets of roses in the way!
Rumor can ope
grave. Hence, the desire of honors or estate,
Acquaintance I would have, but when't depends And all that is not above Fate!
Not on the number, but the choice, of friends. Hence, Love himself, that tyrant of my days!
Which intercepts my coming praise. Books should, not business, entertain the light, Come, my best friends, my books! and lead me on; And sleep, as undisturb'd as death, the night. "Tis time that I were gone.
My house a cottage more Welcome, great Stagyrite! and teach me now Than palace; and should fitting be All I was born to know:
For all my use, no luxury. Thy scholar's victories thou dost far outdo;
My garden painted o'er
Thus would I double my life's fading space; Thou art the first of orators; only he
For he, that runs it well, twice runs his race.
And in this true delight,
Whose verse walks highest, but not flies; I would not fear, nor wish, my fate;
But boldly say each night,
To be like one of you?
On the calm flourishing head of it,
MARGARITA first possest,
If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita first of all ;
Martha took the flying ball.
Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place (Though loth and angry she to part With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.
What's this, ye gods! what can it be?
Eliza till this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsels ta'en.
When fair Rebecca set me free,
'Twas then a golden time with me:
But soon those pleasures fled;
And Judith reigned in her stead.
One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the sovereign power :
Wondrous beautiful her face!
And so Susanna took her place.
I'll sing of heroes and of kings,
But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And th' artillery of her eye; Whilst she proudly march'd about, Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan by the by.
But in her place I then obey'd
Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy-maid ;
To whom ensued a vacancy : Thousand worse passions then possest The interregnum of my breast ;
Bless me from such an anarchy!
Gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary, next began;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria ; And then a pretty Thomasine, And then another Catharine,
And then a long et cætera.
The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
But should I now to you relate
The strength and riches of their state;
The powder, patches, and the pins,
That make up all their magazines ;
If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts ;
The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
(Numberless, nameless, mysteries !)
LIBERAL Nature did dispense
And all the little lime-twigs laid,
By Machiavel the waiting.maid ;