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When setting to their lips their little beugles shrill Suiting to these he wore a shepherd's scrip,
Cast with themselves what such a thing should mean; To which under their arms their sheafs were buckled Some seeing him so wonderously fair fast,
(As in their eyes he stood beyond compare),
Said they had sent him for a sacrifice.
Yet was he well proportioned and strong,
As he might easily reach him with his spear.
That thus art come to beat me with a wand : The loose gave such a twang, as might be heard a mile. The kites and ravens are not far away, And of these archers brave, there was not any one, Nor beasts of ravine, that shall make a prey But he could kill a deer his swiftest speed upon, Of a poor corpse, which they from me shall have, Which they did boil and roast, in many a mighty And their foul bowels shall be all thy grave.' wood,
• Uncircumcised slave,' quoth David then, Sharp hunger the fine sauce to their more kingly food. That for thy shape, the monster art of men; Then taking them to rest, his merry men and he Thou thus in brass comest arm'd into the field, Slept many a summer's night under the greenwood And thy huge spear of brass, of brass thy shield: tree.
I in the name of Israel's God alone, From wealthy abbots' chests, and churls' abundant That more than mighty, that eternal One, store,
Am come to meet thee, who bids not to fear, What oftentimes he took, he shared amongst the poor : Nor once respect the arms that thou dost bear, No lordly bishop came in lusty Robin's way,
Slave, mark the earth whereon thou now dost stand, To him before he went, but for his pass must pay : I'll make thy length to measure so much land, The widow in distress he graciously relieved, As thou liest grov'ling, and within this hour And remedied the wrongs of many a virgin grieved : The birds and beasts thy carcase shall derour.' He from the husband's bed no married woman wan, In meantime David looking in his face, But to his mistress dear, his loved Marian,
Between his temples, saw how large a space Was ever constant known, which wheresoe'er she He was to hit, steps back a yard or two : came,
The giant wond'ring what the youth would do:
At which the giant openly doth jeer,
Which gives young David much content to see,
And have at all Philistia at a cast.'
Then with such sleight the shot away be sent,
That from his sling as 't had been lightning went; And now before young David could come in,
And him so full upon the forehead smit, The host of Israel somewhat doth begin
Which gave a crack, when his thick scalp it hit, To rouse itself ; some climb the ncarest tree,
As't had been thrown against some rock or post, And some the tops of tents, whence they might see That the shrill clap was heard through either host. How this unarmed youth himself would bear Staggering awhile upon his spear he leant, Against the all-armed giant (which they fear) : Till on a sudden he began to faint; Some get up to the fronts of easy hills ;
When down he came, like an old o'ergrown oak, That by their motion a vast murmur fills
His huge root hewn up by the labourers' stroke, The neighbouring valleys, that the enemy thoug'it That with his very weight he shook the ground; Something would by the Israelites be wrought His brazen armour gave a jarring sound They had not heard of, and they longed to see Like a crack'd bell, or vessel chanced to fall What strange and warlike stratagem, 't should be. From some high place, which did like death appal
When soon they saw a goodly youth descend, The proud Philistines (hopeless that remain), Himself alone, none after to attend,
To see their champion, great Goliah, slain : That at his need with arms might him supply, When such a shout the host of Israel gave, As merely careless of his enemy:
As cleft the clouds; and like to men that rave His head uncovered, and his locks of hair
(O'ercome with comfort) cry, 'The boy, the boy ! As he came on being played with by the air, O the brave David, Israel's only joy ! Tossed to and fro, did with such pleasure move, God's chosen champion ! O most wondrous thing! As they had been provocatives for love:
The great Goliah slain with a poor sling! His sleeves stript up above his elbows were,
Themselves encompass, nor can they contain ; And in his hand a stiff short staff did bear,
Now are they silent, then they shout again, Which by the leather to it, and the string,
Of which no notice David seems to take, They easily might discem to be a sling.
But towards the body of the dead doth make,
With a fair comely gait ; nor doth he run,
The jolly peacock spreads not half so fair As though he gloried in what he had done;
The eyed feathers of his pompous train ; But treading on the uncircumcised dead,
Nor golden Iris so bends in the air With his foot strikes the helmet from his head ; Her twenty-coloured bow, through clouds of rain : Which with the sword ta'en from the giant's side, Yet all her ornaments, strange, rich, and rare, He from the body quickly doth divide.
Her girdle did in price and beauty stain ; Now the Philistines, at this fearful sight,
Not that, with scorn, which Tuscan Guilla lost, Leaving their arms, betake themselves to flight, Nor Venus' cestus could match this for cost. Quitting their tents, nor dare a minute, stay;
Of mild denays, of tender scorns, of sweet Time wants to carry any thing away,
Repulses, war, peace, hope, despair, joy, fear ; Being strongly routed with a general fear;
Of smiles, jests, mirth, woe, grief, and sad regret ; Yet in pursuit Saul's army strikes the rear
Sighs, sorrows, tears, embracements, kisses dear, To Ekron walls, and blew them as they filed,
That, mixed first, by weight and measures meet; That Sharan's plains lay cover'd with the dead :
Then, at an easy fire, attempered were ; And having put the Philistines to foil,
This wondrous girdle did Armida frame,
And, when she would be loved, wore the same.
(Rinaldo at Mount Olivet and the Enchanted Wood.] For valiant David, that incontinent
It was the time, when 'gainst the breaking day, He should repair to court; at whose command
Rebellious night yet strove, and still repined, He comes along, and beareth in his hand
For in the east appear'd the morning grey, The giant's head, by the long hair of his crown,
And yet some lamps in Jove's high palace shined,
And saw, as round about his eyes he twined,
Night's shadows hence, from thence the morning's shine,
This bright, that dark; that earthly, this divine. And other some the valiant Bethlemite. With congees all salute him as he past,
Thus to himself he thought : how many bright And upon him their gracious glances cast :
And 'splendent lamps shine in heaven's temple high! He was thought base of him that did not boast,
Day hath his golden sun, her moon the night, Nothing but David, David, through the host.
Her fix'd and wand'ring stars the azure sky; The virgins to their timbrels frame their lays
So framed all by their Creator's might, of him; till Saul grew jealous of his praise.
That still they live and shine, and ne'er will die,
They burn, and with them burn sca, air, and land.
Thus as he mused, to the top he went, The celebrated translation of Tasso's Jerusalem, And there kneeld down with reverence and fear; by Edward Fairfax, was made in the reign of His eyes upon heaven's eastern face he bent; Queen Elizabeth, and dedicated to that princess, His thoughts above all heavens uplifted were who was proud of patronising learning, but not very The sins and errors which I now repent, lavish in its support. The poetical beauty and free of iny unbridled youth, O Father dear, dom of Fairfax's version has been the theme of Remember not, but let thy mercy fall almost universal praise. Dryden ranked him with And purge my faults and my offences all. Spenser as a master of our language, and Waller Thus prayed he ; with purple wings up-flew, said he derived from him the harmony of his num- In golden weed, the morning's lusty queen, bers. Collins has finely alluded to his poetical and Begilding with the radiant beams she threw, imaginative genius
His helm, the harness, and the mountain green : Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind
Upon his breast and forehead gently blew Believed the magic wonders which he sung !
The air, that balm and nardus breath'd unseen ;
And o'er his head, let down from clearest skies, The date of Fairfax's birth is unknown. He was A cloud of pure and precious dew there flies. the natural son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, in the heavenly dew was on his garments spread, Yorkshire, and spent his life at Fuystone, in the To which compar’d, his clothes pale ashes seem, forest of Knaresborough, in the enjoyment of many And sprinkled so that all that paleness fled, blessings which rarely befall the poetical race-comof the means of study. He wrote a work on Demon- With the sweet comfort of the morning beam ; petence, ease, rural scenes, and an ample command And thence of purest white bright rays outstream :
So cheered are the flowers, late withered,
Resolr'd, as such adventures great required :
Of that strange desert's sight, the first retired ; [Description of Armida and her Enchanted Girdle.)
But not to him fearful or loathsome made
He heard a sound, that strange, sweet, pleasing was ; And looser locks in silken laces rollid;
There rollid a crystal brook with gentle roar, Her curls, garland-wise, she did up dress,
There sigh'd the winds, as through the leaves they pass ; Wherein, like rich enamel laid on gold,
There sang the swan, and singing died, alas ! The twisted flow'rets smild, and her white breast There lute, harp, cittern, human voice he heard, The lilies there that spring with roses drest.
And all these sounds one sound right well declared.
A dreadful thunder-clap at last he heard,
And brought three yards of velvet and three quarters, The aged trees and plants well nigh, that rent, To make Venetians down below the garters. Yet heard the nymphs and syrens afterward, He, that precisely knew what was enough, Birds, winds, and waters sing with sweet consent ; Soon slipt aside three quarters of the stuff ; Whereat amazed, he stay'd and well prepar'd His man, espying it, said in derision, For his defence, heedful and slow forth-went, Master, remember how you saw the vision ! Nor his way his passage ought withstood,
Peace, knave ! quoth he, I did not see one rag Except a quiet, still, transparent flood :
Of such a colour'd silk in all the flag. On the green banks, which that fair stream inbound,
SIR HENRY WOTTON. Flowers and odours sweetly smild and sinellid, Which reaching out his stretched arms around, SIR HENRY WOTTON, less famed as a poet than as All the large desert in his bosom held,
a political character in the reigns of Elizabeth and And through the grove one channel passage found ; James I., was born at Bocton Hall, the seat of his This in the wood, that in the forest dwellid :
ancestors, in Kent, in 1568. After receiving his Trees clad the streams, streams green those trees aye education at Winchester and Oxford, and travelling made,
for some years on the continent, he attached himself And so exchang'd their moisture and their shade.
SIR JOHN HARRINGTON.
The first translator of Ariosto into English was SIR John HARRINGTON, a courtier of the reign of Elizabeth, and also god-son of the queen. He was the son of John Harrington, Esq., the poet already noticed. Sir John wrote a collection of epigrams, and a Brief View of the Church, in which he reprobates the marriage of bishops. He is supposed to have died about the year 1612. The translation from Ariosto is poor and prosaic, but some of his epigrams are pointed.
Against Writers that carp at other Men's Books.
Of a Precise Tailor.
charge, That if the stuff
, allowance being large,
Sir Henry Wotton.
To his Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia.
That poorly satisfy our eyes
You common people of the skies !
What are you, when the sun shall rise !
That warble forth dame Nature's lays,
By your weak accents ! what's your praise
You violets that first appear,
Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. 'I know not,' By your pure purple mantles known,
says the modest poet, in his first dedication, 'how Like the proud virgins of the year,
I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to As if the spring were all your own!
your lordship, nor how the world will censure me What are you, when the rose is blown? for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a So, when my mistress shall be seen
burthen ; only, if your honour seem but pleased, I In form and beauty of her mind;
account myself highly praised, and vow to take adBy virtue first, then choice, a Queen!
vantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you Tell me, if she were not design'd
with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my Th' eclipse and glory of her kind !
invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so
noble a godfather, and never after ear (till] so A Farewell to the Vanities of the World.
barren a land. The allusion to idle hours' seems Farewell, ye gilded follies, pleasing troubles ; to point to the author's profession of an actor, in Farewell, ye honour'd rags, ye glorious bubbles ! which capacity he had probably attracted the attenFame's but a hollow echo; gold pure clay;
tion of the Earl of Southampton; but it is not so Honour the darling but of one short day;
easy to understand how the Venus and Adonis was Beauty, th' eye's idol, but a damask'd skin;
the first heir of his invention,' unless we believe State but a golden prison to live in,
that it had been written in early life, or that his And torture free-born minds; embroider'd trains dramatic labours had then been confined to the
Merely but pageants for proud swelling veins ; adaptation of old plays, not the writing of new ones, And blood allied to greatness, is alone
for the stage. There is a tradition, that the Earl of Inherited, not purchased, nor our own:
Southampton on one occasion presented Shakspeare Fame, honour, beauty, state, train, blood, and birth, with L. 1000, to complete a purchase which he Are but the fading blossoms of the earth.
wished to make. The gift was munificent, but the
sum has probably been exaggerated. The Venus Welcome, pure thoughts, welcome, ye silent groves, and Adonis is a glowing and essentially dramatic These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly loves: version of the well-known mythological story, full Now the wing'd people of the sky shall sing
of fine descriptive passages, but objectionable on the My cheerful anthems to the gladsome spring : score of licentiousness. Warton has shown that it A prayer-book now shall be my looking-glass, gave offence, at the time of its publication, on acIn which I will adore sweet Virtue's face.
count of the excessive warmth of its colouring. The Here dwell no hateful looks, no palace cares,
Rape of Lucrece is less animated, and is perhaps an No broken vows dwell here, nor pale-faced fears : inferior poem, though, from the boldness of its figu. Then here I'll sigh, and sigh my hot love's folly, rative expressions, and its tone of dignified pathos And learn t'affect an holy melancholy ;.
and reflection, it is more like the hasty sketch of a And if Contentment be a stranger then,
great poet. I'll ne'er look for it, but in heaven again.
The sonnets of Shakspeare were first printed in The Character of a Happy Life.
1609, by Thomas Thorpe, a bookseller and publisher
of the day, who prefixed to the volume the following How happy is he born and taught,
enigmatical dedication : To the only begetter of That serveth not another's will;
these ensuing sonnets, Mr W. H., all happiness and Whose armour is his honest thought,
that eternity promised by our ever-living poet, And simple truth his utmost skill !
wisheth the well-wishing adventurer in setting Whose passions not his masters are,
forth, T. T.' The sonnets are 154 in number. They Whose soul is still prepared for death,
are, with the exception of twenty-eight, addressed Untied unto the worldly care
to some male object, whom the poet addresses in a of public fame, or private breath ;
style of affection, love, and idolatry, remarkable, even Who envies none that chance doth raise, in the reign of Elizabeth, for its extravagant and Or vice ; who never understood
enthusiastic character. Though printed continu| How deepest wounds are given by praise ; ously, it is obvious that the sonnets were written at Nor rules of state, but rules of good :
different times, with long intervals between the Who hath his life from rumours freed,
dates of composition ; and we know that, previous to Whose conscience is his strong retreat ;
1598, Shakspeare had tried this species of composiWhose state can neither flatterers feed,
tion, for Meres in that year alludes to his “sugared Nor ruin make oppressors great ;
sonnets among his private friends. We almost wish,
with Mr Hallam, that Shakspeare had not written Who God doth late and early pray,
these sonnets, beautiful as many of them are in More of his grace than gifts to lend ;
language and imagery. They represent him in a And entertains the harmless day
character foreign to that in which we love to regard With a religious book or friend;
| him, as modest, virtuous, self-confiding, and indeThis man is freed from servile bands
pendent. His excessive and elaborate praise of Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
youthful beauty in a man seems derogatory to his Lord of himself, though not of lands;
genius, and savours of adulation; and when we find And having nothing, yet hath all.
him excuse this friend for robbing him of his mis
tress-a married female--and subjecting his noble SHAKSPEARE.
spirit to all the pangs of jealousy, of guilty love, and
blind misplaced attachment, it is painful and diffi. SHAKSPEARE, as a writer of miscellaneous poetry, cult to believe that all this weakness and folly can claims now to be noticed, and, with the exception of be associated with the name of Shakspeare, and still the Faery Queen, there are no poems of the reign more, that he should record it in verse which he beof Elizabeth equal to those productions to which lieved would descend to future agesthe great dramatist affixed his name. In 1593, Not marble, not the gilded monuments when the poet was in his twenty-ninth year, ap- Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme. peared his Venus and Adonis, and in the following some of the sonnets may be written in a feigned year his Rape of Lucrece, both dedicated to Henry character, and merely dramatic in expression; but
in others, the poet alludes to his profession of an For through his mane and tail the high wind sings, actor, and all bear the impress of strong passion and Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather's wings. deep sincerity. A feeling of premature age seems to have crept on Shakspeare
[Venus's Prophecy after the Death of Adonis.] That time of year thou may'st in me behold
Since thou art dead, lo ! here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend ;
Ne'er settled equally, but high or low :
That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud, In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
* Bud and be blasted in a breathing while, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
· The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile. Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
The strongest body shall it make most weak, This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak. To love that well which thou must leave ere long. It shall be sparing, and too full of riot, He laments his errors with deep and penitential Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures ; sorrow, summoning up things past to the sessions The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet, of sweet silent thought, and exhibiting the depths It shall be raging mad, and silly mild,
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treures ; of a spirit "solitary in the very vastness of its sym- Make the young old, the old become a child. pathies.' The •W. H.' alluded to by Thorpe, the publisher, has been recently conjectured to be It shall suspect, where is no cause of fear ; William Herbert, afterwards Earl of Pembroke, who It shall not fear, where it should most mistrust; (as appears from the dedication of the first folio of It shall be merciful, and too severe, 1623) was one of Shakspeare's patrons. This con
And most deceiving when it seems most just : jecture has received the assent of Mr IIallam and Perverse it shall be, when it seems most toward, others; and the author of an ingenious work on the Put fear to valour, courage to the coward. sonnets, Mr C. Armitage Brown, has supported It shall be cause of war, and dire events, it with much plausibility. Herbert was in his And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire : eighteenth year, when Meres first notices the son- Subject and servile to all discontents, nets in 1598; he was learned, of literary taste, and As dry combustious matter is to fire. gallant character, but of licentious life. The son- Sith in his prime, death doth my love destroy, nets convey the idea that the person to whom they They that love best, their love shall not enjoy. were addressed was of high rank, as well as personal beauty and accomplishments. We know of only one objection to this theory—the improbability that the
[Selections from Shakspeare's Sonnets.] publisher would address William Herbert, then Earl When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, of Pembroke, and a Knight of the Garter, as Mr I all alone beweep my outcast state, W. H.' Herbert succeeded his father in the earl. And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, dom in 1601, while the sonnets, as published by And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Thorpe, bear the date, as already stated, of 1609. Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
The composition of these mysterious productions Featur'd like him, like him with friends possessid, evinces Shakspeare's great facility in versification Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, of a difficult order, and they display more intense With what I most enjoy contented least ; feeling and passion than either of his classical Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, poems. They have the conceits and quaint turns of Haply I think on thee--and then my state expression, then common, particularly in the sonnet; (Like to the lark at break of day arising but they rise to far higher flights of genuine poetry From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate ; than will be found in any other poet of the day, and for thy sweet love remember’d, such wealth brings they contain inany traces of his philosophical and That then I scorn to change my state with kings. reflective spirit.
Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there, [The Horse of Adonis.)
And made myself a motley to the view,
Gored inine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear, Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
Made old offences of affections new. In limning out a well-proportion'd steed,
Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth His art with Nature's workmanship at strife,
Askance and strangely; but, by all above, As if the dead the living should exceed :
These blenches gave my heart another youth, So did this horse excel a common one
And worst essays prov'd thee my best of love. In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.
Now all is done, save what shall have no end : Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, Mine appetite I never more will grind Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide, On newer proof, to try an older friend, High crest, short ears, strait legs, and passing strong, A God in love, to whom I am confined. Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide: Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best, Look what a horse should have, he did not lack, E'en to thy pure and most most loving breast. Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
O for my sake do thou with fortune chide, Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares ; The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds, Anon he starts at stirring of a feather.
That did not better for my life provide, To bid the wind a basel he now prepares,
Than public means, which public manners breeds. And whe'r he run, or fly, they know not whether. Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, 1 To bid the wind a base: i.e. to challenge the wind to con
And almost thence my nature is subdued tend with him in spred: base-prison-base, or prison-bars, was To what it works in, like the dyer's hand. A rustic game, consisting chiefly in running.
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd;