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SIR JOHN DENHAM,
Bom in Dublin, 1615, entered, in 1631, gentleman-commoner
at Trinity College, Oxford, where it is said he was chiefly addicted to gaming, and exhibited no signs of genius, and that his tragedy “the Sophy," which he wrote in 1641, and his beautiful poem on
Cooper's Hill,” composed soon after, were received by the world with astonishment. Waller said “ He broke out like the Irish Rebellion, threescore thousand strong, when no body was aware or in the least suspected it.” Though but an indifferent soldier, his address and knowledge of mankind were often of service to Charles I. and after the restoration he was much admired by Charles II. who is said to have frequently suggested the subjects of his poetry. He died in 1668.
[Out of an Epigram of Martial.]'
Prithee, die and set me free,
To the grave, to the grave,
*Tis not cheeks, nor lips, nor eyes,
Prithee, why the room so dark ?
And to see, and to see
Why so many bolts and locks,
SOMNUS, the humble god that dwells
Nature, alas ! why art thou so
Appears to have been one of the city poets, and was the
author of four plays; of “ Fancy's Theatre," a volume of poems, printed in 1640; and of “ Ostella, or the Faction “ of Love and Beauty reconciled,” London, 1650, 4to. a very scarce volume, though not otherwise valuable. The following specimen, taken from the latter collection, is very near being elegant.
Mark, Ostella, when the spring
Then, oh then, to us will come,
least need the same: