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S Y L V A:
DIVERS COPIES OF VERSES,
MADE UPON SUNDRY OCCASIONS.
DE FELICI PARTU REGIVE MARIE.?
UM more antiquo jejunia festa coluntur,
Et populum pascit religiosa fames,
Pere iterum nobis, læte December, ades.
Et risuin vitis lacryma rubra movet.
Ipsa dies novit vix sibi verba dari.
Cur perle vel tellus trita frequente sonet ?
Sint mea pro tanto sobria vota viro.
Quæ fiunt pompa gaudia vera sua.
Cedit de sexu Carolus ipse suo.
A te sic vinci magnus quàm gan leat ille!
Vix hostes tanti vel superâsse fuit.
Regis, et in methodo te peperisse juvat,
O sancta hæc inter jurgia vetus amor!
Da veniam, hîc animos quòd satiare nequis.
In carrum ascendas læta per astra tuum,'
Abrahamus Cowley, T'[rin). Coll},
? From the EYN2011, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium Consentus et Congratulatio, ad serenissimum Britanniarum Regem Carolum, de quinta sua sobole [Princess Anne), clarissiina Principe, sibi nuper felicissimmè nata. Cantabrigiæ, 1637. I doubt not but it will prove a pleasing amusement to the curious reader, to trace the first dawnings of genins in some of our first-rate poetic characters; and to compare them with the eminence they afterwards attained to, and the rank they at last held among their brethren of the laurel. Some early speciinens of Dryden's genius may be seen in the first volume of his poems. Those of Cowley, here printed, abound with strokes of wit, some true, but the far greater part false; which thoroughly characterise the writer, and may be justly pronounced to point out his genius and manner, in miniature. K.--This species of entertainment the kind attention of Mr. Kynaston (the friend to whom I owe these remarks) enables me considerably to extend, by furnishing the earliest poetical productions of some writers who are now universally looked up to as excellent; none of which are to be found in any edition of their respective works. In such juvenile performances, it is well observed by an admirable critic, “the absurd conceits and extravagant fancies are the true seeds and germs, which afterwards ripen, by proper culture, into the inost luxuriant harvests." See Annual Register, 1779, p. 180. J. N.
IN FELICISSIMAM REGINE MARIE, / Leave off then, London, to accuse the starreg FERTILITATEM8.
For adding a worse terrour to the warres ;
Nor quarrel with the Heavens, 'cause they beginne Naturæ facies renovatur qnolibet anno,
To send the worst effect and scorge of sinne, Et sese mirùm fextilis ipsa parit.
That dreadfull plague, which wheresoe're't abide, Sic quoque Naturæ exemplar Regina, decusque, Devours both man and each disease beside. In fætu toties se videt ipsa novam,
For every life which from great Charles does flow, Penè omnem signas tam sæpè puerpera mensem, And 's female self, weighs down a crowd of low Et cupit à partu nomen habere tuo.
And vulgar souls : Fate rids of them the Earth, Quæque tuos toties audit Lucina labores,
To make more room for a great prince's birth. Vix ipsa in proprio sæpiùs Orbe tumet.
So when the Sunne, after his watrie rest, Fæcundam semper spectabis Jane, Mariam, Comes dancing from bis chamber of the east, Sive hâc sive illâ fronte videre voles.
A thousand pettie lamps, spread ore the skie, Discite, subjecti, officium : Regina Marito Shrink in their doubtfull beams, then wink, and die: Annua jam toties ipsa tributa dedit.
Yet no man grieres; the very birds arise, Dum redit à sanctis non fessus Carolus acis,
And sing glad notes in stead of elegies : Principis occurit nuntia fama novi.
The leares and painted flowers, which did erewhile Non mirum, existat cùm proximus ipse Tonanti,
Tremble with mournfull drops, beginne to smile. Vicinum attingunt quòd cito vota Déum.
The losse of many why should they bensone, Non mirum, cùm sit tam sanctâ mente precatus,
Who for them more than many have in one ? Quòd precibus merces tam properata tenit.
How blest must thou thy self, bright Mary, be, Factura ô longùm nobis jejunia festum !
W}) by thy wombe can'st blesse our miserie? O mamas epulas exhibitura fames !
May 't still be fruitful! May your offspring too En fundunt gemitum et lacrymarum flumina; tur- Spreal largely, as your fame and virtues do !
Fill Cum Reginâ ipsam parturiisse putes.
erery season thus: Time, which devours Credibile est puerum populi sensisse dolores;
It's own sonnes, will be glad and proud of yours. Edidit hinc mæstos flebilis ipse sonos.
So will the year (though sure it weari'd be
With often revolutions) when 't shall see
Joy to return into it self again.
A. Cowley, A. B. T[rin). C[oll}, UPON THE HAPPIE BIRTH OF THE
LORD CARLETON, VISCOUNT DORCHESTER, LATE
Of all the fiends, to the black Stygian hall; That countrey learu'd a new and better way, The dire Tartarian monsters, hating light, Which did this myall prince for tribute pay. Begot by dismal Erebus and Night, Who shall henceforth be with such rage possest, Where'er dispers'd abroad, hearing the fame To rouse our English lion from his rest?
Of their accursed meeting, thither came. When a new sonne doth his blest stock adorn, Revenge, whose greedy mind no blood can fill, Then to great Charles is a new armie born.
And Envy, never satisfy'd with ill : In private births hopes challenge the first place: Thither blind Boldness, and impatient Rage, There's certaintie at first in the king's race; Resorted, with Death's neighbour, envious Age. And we may say, Such will his glories be,
These, to oppress the Earth, the Furies sent": Such bis great acts, and, yet not prophesie. The council thus dissolv'd, an angry Fever, I see in him his father's boundlesse sprite,
Whose quenchless thirst by blood was sated never, Powerfullas fame, yet gentle as the light.
Envying the riches, honour, greatness, love, I see him through an adverse battle thrust,
And virtue (load-stone, that all these did move) Bedeck'd with noble sweat and comely dust. Of noble Carleton, him she took away, I see the pietie of the day appeare,
And, like a greedy vulture, seiz'd her prey. Joyn'd with the heate and valour of the yeare, Weep with me, each who either reads or hears, Which happie Fate did to this birth allow : And know his loss deserves his country's tears ! I see all this; for sure 'tis present now.
The Muses lost a patron by his fate,
Virtue a husband, and a prop the State. & From the Voces Votivæ ab Academicis Can- Sol's chorus weeps, and, to adorn his hearse, tabrigiensibus pro novissimo Caroli et Mariæ Prin- Calliope would sing a tragic verse. sipe Filio, emissæ. Cantabrigiæ, 1640.
And, had there been before no spring of theirs, 9 Henry, who was declared by his father duke of They would have made a Helicon with tears. Gloucester in 1641, but not so created till May 13,
ABR. COWLEY. 1659. He died September 13, 1660.-The Verses are taken from the Voces Votivæ, &c. 1640. Something is here wanting, as appears from J. N.
the want both of rhyme and connection. J. N.
ON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE DUDLEY
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF STATE.
Distilling honey; here doth nectar pass,
With copious current, through the verdant grass : ON THE DEATH OF MY LOVING FRIEND
Here Hyacinth, his fate writ in his looks,
Once lovely boys! and Acis, now a flower,
Are nourish'd with that rarer herb, whose power It was decreed by stedfast Destiny
Created thee, War's potent god ! here grows (The world from chausturn'd!) that all should die, The spotless lily and the blushing rose; He who durst feariess pass black Acheron,
And all those divers ornaments abound, And dangers of th' internal region,
That variously inay paint the gaudy ground. Leading Hell's triple porter captivate,
No willow, Sorrow's garland, there hath room, Was overcome himself by conquering Pate.
Nor cypress, sad attendant of a tomb. The Roman Tully's pleasing eloquence,
None but Apollo's tree, and th’ivy twine Which in the ears did lock up every sense
Embracing the stout oak, the fruitful vine, Of the rapt hearer; his mellituous breath
And trees with golden apples loaded down,
On whose fair tops sweet Philomel alone,
Tunes with her voice a ravishing harmony;
Whilst all the murmuring brooks that glide along. And would have ended in that fire his fame;
Make up a burthen to her pleasing song. Burning those lofty lines, which now shall be No screech-owl, sad companion of the night; Time's conquerors, and out-last eternity.
No hideous raven with prodigions flight, Even so lov'd Clarke from death no’scape could find, Presaging future ill; nor, Progne, thee, Though arm'd with great Alcides' valiant mind. Yet spotted with young Itis' tragedy, He was adorn'd, in years though far more young,
Those sacred bowers receive. There's nothing thera With learn'd Cicero's, or a sweeter tongue.
That is not pure; all innocent and rare. And, could dead Virgil hear his lofty strain,
Turning my greedy sight another way, He would condemn his own to fire again.
Under a row of storm contemning bay, His youth a Solon's wisdom did presage,
I saw the Thracian singer with his lyre Had envious Time but giv'n him Solon's age.
Teach the deaf stones to hear him and admire. Who would not therefore now, if Learning's friend, Him the whole poets' chorus compass'd round, Bewail his fatal and untimely end ?
All whom the oak, all whom the laurel crown'd. Who hath such hard, such unrelenting eyes,
There banish'd Ovid had a lasting home, As not to weep when so much virtue dies ?
Better than thou could'st give, ungrateful Rome! The god of poets doth in darkness shrowd
And Lucan (spite of Nero) in each vein Jlis glorious face, and weeps behind a cloud.
Had every drop of his spilt blood again: The doleful Muses thinking now to write
Homer, Sol's first-born, was not poor or blind, Sad elegies, their tears confound their sight: But saw as well in body as in mind. But him t' Elysium's lasting joys they bring,
Tolly, grave Cato, Solon, and the rest
Of Greece's admir'd wise-men, here possest
By these the valiant heroes take their place;
All who stern Death and perils did embrace
For Virtue's cause. Great Alexander there PHEdus, expell’d by the approaching night, Laughs at the Earth's small empire, and did wear Blush'd, and for shame clos'd in his bashful light, A nobler crown than the whole world could give: While I, with Icaden Morpheus overcome,
There did Horatius, Cocles, Scera, live, The Muse whom I adore enter'd the room :
And valiant Decius; who now freely cease Her hair with looser curiosity
From war, and purchase an eternal peace. Did on her comcly back dishevell’d lie:
Next them, beneath a myrtle bower, where doves Her eyes with such attractive beauty shone, And gall-less pigeons build their nests, all Love's As might have wak'd sleeping Endymion.
True faithful servants, with an amorous kiss She bade me rise, and promis'd I should see And soft embrace, enjoy their greediest wish. Those fields, those mansions of felicity,
Leander with his beauteous Hero plays, We mortals so admire at: speaking thus,
Nor are they parted with dividing seas: She lifts me up upon wing'd Pegasus,
Porcia enjoys her Brutus ; Death no more On whom I rid; knowing, wherever she
Can now divorce their wedding, as before: Did go, that place must needs a temple be.
Thisbe her Pyramus kiss'd, his Thisbe he No sooner was my flying courser come
Embrac'd, each bless'd with t'other's company: To the blest dwellings of Elysium,
And every couple, always dancing, sing When strait a thousand unknown joys resort, Eternal pleasures to Elysium's king. And hemm'd me round , chaste Love's innocuous | But see how soon these pleasures fade away! sport!
How near to evening is Delight's short day! A thousapd sweets, hought with no following gall, The watching bird, true nuncius of the light, Joys, not like ours, short, but perpetua).
Strait crowd; and all these vanish'd from my sight: How many objects charm my wandering eye, My very Muse herself forsook me too. And bid my soul gaze there eternally!
Me grief and wonder wak'd : what should I do? Here in full streams, Bacchus, thy liquor flows, Oh ! let me follow thee (said I) and go Nor knows to ebb; here Jove's broad tree bestows From life, that I may dream for ever so.
With that my flying Muse I thonght to clasp Yet he retums, and with his ligắt
Espels what he hath caus'd--the night,
Yet his new-birth will soon restore
What its departure took before.
What though we miss'd our absent king
Awhile? great Charles is come again;
And with his presence makes us know
The gratitude to Heaven we owe.
So doth a cruel storm impart Must have a breathing time our king :-stay there;
And teach us Palinurus' art : Speak by degrees ; let the inquisitive ear
So from salt foods, wept by our eyes,
A joyful Venus doth arise.
I durst not but in secret murmurs pray ; From the three Sisters' weeping bark a tear :
To whisper in Jove's ear Let spotted lynxes their sharp talons fill
How much I wish that funeral, With crystal, fetch'd from the Promethean hill:
Or gape at such a great one's fall; Let Cytherea's birds fresh wreaths compose,
This let all ages hear, Knitting the pale-fac'd lily with the rose:
And future times in my soul's picture see
What I abhor, what I desire to be.
Can preach two hours, and yet his sermon be
But half a quarter long; Each wall, each pillar, gratulations bear: Though, from his old mechanic trade, And yet, let no man invocate a Muse;
By vision he's a pastor made, The very matter will itself infuse
His faith was grown so strong; A sacrel fury: let the merry bells
Nay, though he think to gain salvation (For unknown joys work unknown miracles) By calling th' pope the Whore of Babylon. Ring without help of sexton, and presage
I would not be a school-master, though he A new-made holy-day for future age!
His rods no less than fasces deems to be; And, if the ancients us'l to dedicate
Though he in many a place A golden teinple to propitious Fate,
Turns Lilly oftener than his gowns, At the return of any noble men,
Till at the last he make the nouns Of heroes, or of emperors, we must then
Fight with the verbs apace; Raise up a double trophy; for their fame
Nay, though he can, in a poetic heat,
Figures, born since, out of poor Virgil beat.
I would not be justice of peace, though he
And stakes with his clerk draw;
Nay, though he sits upon the place Tully's own garland, Pride to him creeps in. Of judgment, with a learned face On whom (like Atlas' shoulders) the propt state
Intricate as the law; (As he were primum mobile of Fate)
And, whilst he mulets enormities demurely, Solely relies; him blind Ambition moves ;
Breaks Priscian's head with sentences securely. His tyranny the bridled subject proves.
I would not be a courtier, though he But all those virtues which they all possest Makes bis whole life the truest comedy, Divided, are collected in thy breast,
Although he be a man Great Charles ! Let Cæsar boast Pharsalia's fight, In whom the taylor's forming art, Honorius praise the Parthian's unfeign'd flight: And nimble barber, claim more part Let Alexander call himself Jove's peer,
Than Nature herself can;
Though, as he uses men, 'tis his intent
From lawyer's tongues, though they can spin with
"The shortest cause into a paraphrase ; Who is most near, most like, the Deity,
[case From usurers' conscience
(For swallowing up young heirs so fast, SONG,
Without all doubt, they'll choak at last)
Make me all innocence, HENCE, clouded looks; hence, briny tears,
Good Heaven ! and from thy eyes, O Justice! keep; Hence eye that Sorrow's livery wears !
For though they be not blind, they're oft asleep. What though awhile Apollo please
From singing-mens' religion, who are To visit the Antipodes?
Always at church, just like the crows, 'cause there
ON THE SAME.
TO THE DUTCHESS OP
They build themselves.a nest :
To strike me: doubtless there had been a fray, Prom too much poetry, which shines
Had not I providently skipp'd away
Without replying; for to scold is ill,
And can out-sound Homer's Gradivus ; so
I Aung (the darts of wounding poetry)
Be by his father in his study took
At Shakespeare's plays, instead of my lord Coke! (For though it want an R, it has
May he (though all his writings grow as soon
As Butter's out of estimation)
Get him a poet's name, and so ne'er come
Into a serjeant's or dead judge's room! Or from the stomach of the guard defend me.
May he become some poor physician's prey,
As he his client doth, till his health be
As far-fetcht as a Greek noun's pedigree !
Nay, for all that, may the disease be gone
Never but in the long vocation!
May neighbours use all quarrels to decide ;
Unless he come in forma pauperis !
Grant this, ye gods that favour poetry!
That all these never-ceasing tongues may be
Brought into reformation, and not dare For all my uze, no luxury.
To quarrel with a thread-bare black: but spare My garden painted o'er
Them who bear scholars' names, lest some one take
If I should say, that in your face were seen
Nature's best picture of the Cyprian queen;
If I should swear, under Minerva's name,
Poets (who prophets are) foretold your fame; To morrow let my Sun his beams display,
The future age would think it flattery; Or in clouds hide them; I have liv'd to day? But to the present, which can witness be,
"Twould seem beneath your high deserts, as far
above the rest of women are.
When Manners' name with Villiers' join'd I see, WESTMINSTER-hall a friend and I agreed
How do I reverence your nobility!
(Envy'd in your dead lord, admir'd in you) To the next court; for though I could not know I half adore them; for what woman can, Much what they meant, yet I might see and hear Besides yourself (nay, I might say what man) (As most spectators do at theatre)
But sex, and birth, and fate, and years excel Things very strange: Fortune did seem to grace In mind, in fame, in worth, in living well ? My coming there, and helpt me to a place.
Oh, how had this begot idolatry, But, being newly settled at the sport,
If you had liv'd in the world's infancy, A semi-gentleman of the inus of court,
When man's too much religion made the best In a satin suit, redeem'd but yesterday,
Or deities, or semi-gods at least !
But we, forbidden this by piety,
Will make our hearts an altar, and there pray Besides a serjeant, thrust me from my seat :
Not to, but for, you; nor that England may At which I 'gan to quarrel, till a neat
Enjoy your equal, when you once are gone, Man in a ruff (whom therefore I did take
But, what's more possible, t'enjoy you long. For barrister) opend his mouth and spake; “ Boy, get you gone, this is no school.” “Oh no;
TO HIS VERY MUCH HONOURED
GODFATHER, MR. A. B.
I love (for that upon the wings of Fame
Shall perhaps mock Death or Time's darts) my Aforesaid, in the satin suit, began
I love it more, because 'twas given by you ; * The three concluding stanzas of this poem are I love it most, because 'twas your name too ; introduced by Mr. Cowley in his Essays in Verse For if I chance to slip, a conscious shame and Prose. N.
Pluchs me, and bids me not defile your name.