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SIR WILLIAM D'AVENANT,

who

Was born in 1605, and terminated a life of the most astonish

ing activity in 1668, in the 64th year of his age. For the history of this ingenious and singular man, was by

turns a soldier, a projector, a manager, an envoy, and a “ wit;" whose careless intrepidity no dangers could disturb; who began an epic poem in exile, interrupted it for the purpose of settling a colony in Virginia, and then calmly continued it in prison, and under condemnation; and who, while still under proscription by the fanatics, undertook the conduct of a theatre in the centre of fanaticism, the reader is referred to Mr. Headley's Biographical Sketches; and Dr. Anderson's account, prefixed to a selection from his works, in “ the Poets of Great Britain." His life is also written very much at large in the Biographia Dramatica, where it is followed by a list of his dramatic pieces, 25 in number, which were published between 1629 and 1674. His works, consisting of “ Gondibert,” “ Mada

gascar," several small poems, and 16 plays, were printed in 1678, in a large volume folio.

THE DREAM.

[Abridged from 26 stanzas.] No victor, when in battle spent,

When he at night asleep doth lic Rich in a conquer'd monarch's tent,

E’er had so vain a dream as I.

Methought I saw the earliest shade,

And sweetest that the spring can spread, Of jasmin, briar, and woodbine made;

And there I saw Clorinda dead.

Though dead she lay, yet could I see

No cypress, nor no mourning yew, Nor yet the injured lover's tree;

No willow near her coffin grew :

But all show'd unconcern'd to be,

As if just nature there did strive To seem as pitiless as she

Was to her lover when alive.

And now, methought I lost all care

In losing her; and was as free As birds let loose into the air,

Or rivers that are got to sea.

Yet soon, now from my princess free,

I rather frantic grew than glad; For subjects, getting liberty,

Get but a licence to be mad.

Birds that are long in cages aw'd,

If they get out, a while will roam;

But straight want skill to live abroad,

Then pinė, and hover near their home.

And to the ocean rivers run,

From being pent in banks of flowers ; Not knowing that thexhaling sun

Will send them back in weeping showers.

Soon thus, for pride of liberty,

I low desires of bondage found; And vanity of being free

Bred the discretion to be bound.

But as dull subjects see too late

Their safety in monarchal reign; Finding their freedom in a state

Is but proud strutting in a chain:

Then, growing wiser, when undone,

In winter's nights sad stories sing,
In praise of monarchs long since gone,

To whom their bells they yearly ring.

So now I mourn'd that she was dead

Whose single power did govern me; And quickly was by reason led

To find the harm of liberty.

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My soul, in sleep's soft fetters bound,

Did now for vital freedom strive; And straight, by horror wak’d, I found

The fair Clorinda still alive.

Yet she's to me but such a light

As are the stars to those who know We can at most but guess their height,

And hope they mind us here below.

THE MISTRESS.

When nature heard men thought her old,

Her skill in beauteous forms decay'd, Her eyes grown dim, and fingers cold;

Then to her poet thus she said:

« Catch, as it falls, the Scythian snow,

“ Bring blushing roses steep'd in milk; “ From early meadows scent and show,

" And from the Persian worm her silk.

“ Fetch from the east the morning's breath, “ And from the phænix gums and spice,

M M

VOL. III,

“ Such as she culls, when at her death

“ The world does smell her sacrifice."

Nature of these a mistress made;

But would have form'd a lover too; And such as might this nymph persuade

To all that love for love should do.

This second work she well began,

With leisure, and by slow degrees; But found it hard to make a man,

That could so choice a beauty please.

She wrought, and wrought, and then gave o'er:

Then did another model try; But, less contented than before,

She laid the work for ever by.

I ask'd the cause ; and straight she said,

«« 'Tis very possible, I find, " To match the body which I made;

But I can never fit her mind.

« For that still various seems and strange;

« And since all lovers various be, " And apt as mistresses to change,

“ I cannot make my work agree.

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