Imágenes de páginas


Ask not to know this man.

If fame should speak His name in any metal, it would break. Two letters were enough the plague to tear Out of his grave, and poison every ear. A parcel of court-dirt, a heap, and mass Of all vice hurled together, there he was, Proud, false, and treacherous, vindictive, all That thought can add, unthankful, the lay-stall" Of putrid flesh alive! of blood, the sink! And so I leave to stir him, lest he stink.


Though beauty be the mark of praise,
And yours, of whom I sing, be such
As not the world can praise too much,
Yet is't your virtue now I raise.

A virtue, like allay, so gone

Throughout your form, as though that move, And draw, and conquer all men's love,

This subjects you to love of one,

Wherein you triumph yet: because

'Tis of yourself, and that you use The noblest freedom, not to choose Against or faith or honor's laws.

26 This too is in the style of Donne. It was evidently designed to be a pendant of the former; whoever wrote that

[blocks in formation]

But who could less expect from you,
In whom alone Love lives again?
By whom he is restored to men ;

And kept, and bred, and brought up true?

His falling temples you have reared,
The withered garlands ta'en away;
His altars kept from the decay
That envy wished, and Nature feared;

And on them burns so chaste a flame,
With so much loyalty's expense,
As Love, t' acquit such excellence,


gone himself into your name.

And you are he: the deity

To whom all lovers are designed, That would their better objects find; Among which faithful troop am I;

Who, as an offspring 28 at your shrine, Have sung this hymn, and here entreat One spark of your diviner heat

To light upon a love of mine;

Which, if it kindle not, but scant
Appear, and that to shortest view,
Yet give me leave t'adore in you
What I, in her, am grieved to want.

28 Whalley makes the obvious correction to "offering."


Where dost thou careless lie

Buried in ease and sloth?

Knowledge, that sleeps, doth die;
And this security,

It is the common moth,


That eats on wits and arts, and [so] destroys

them both.

Are all the Aonian springs

Dried up? lies Thespia waste? Doth Clarius' harp want strings, That not a nymph now sings? Or droop they as disgraced, To see their seats and bowers by chattering pies defaced?

If hence thy silence be,

As 'tis too just a cause,
Let this thought quicken thee:
Minds that are great and free

Should not on fortune pause;

'Tis crown enough to virtue still, her own applause.

What though the greedy fry

Be taken with false baits

29 The deficient syllable is supplied by Gifford. Whalley had inserted the word "quite." "The reader," says Gifford, "may, perhaps, stumble upon a better substitute than either." - B.

Of worded balladry,

And think it poesy?

They die with their conceits,

And only piteous scorn upon their folly waits.

Then take in hand thy lyre,
Strike in thy proper strain,
With Japhet's line, aspire
Sol's chariot for new fire,

To give the world again :

Who aided him, will thee, the issue of Jove's brain.

And since our dainty age,
Cannot endure reproof,
Make not thyself a page,

To that strumpèt the stage,

But sing high and aloof,

Safe from the wolf's black jaw, and the dull ass's



From death and dark oblivion, near the same, The mistress of man's life, grave History,


80 A part of the concluding stanza is to be found at the conclusion of the Poetaster; and the whole might be written about the period of the appearance of that drama. Jonson's dislike to the stage here breaks out :- but, in truth, this is not the only passage from which we are authorized to collect that necessity alone led him to write for the theatre. — G.

31 These lines are prefixed to Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World, 1614: they are descriptive of the ornamental

Raising the world to good and evil fame,

Doth vindicate it to eternity.

Wise Providence would so; that nor the good

Might be defrauded, nor the great secured, But both might know their ways were understood, When vice alike in time with virtue dured: Which makes that, lighted by the beamy hand Of Truth, that searcheth the most springs, And, guided by Experience, whose straight wand Doth mete, whose line doth sound the depth of things,

She cheerfully supporteth what she rears,
Assisted by no strengths but are her own;
Some note of which each varied pillar bears,
By which, as proper titles, she is known.
Time's witness, herald of Antiquity,

The light of Truth, and life of Memory.


Where art thou, Genius? I should use
Thy present aid: arise, Invention,

figures in the serious frontispiece to that volume, and can scarcely be understood without a reference to the plate itself.-G.

82 The Earl of Desmond, to whom these lines were addressed, was the son of Gerald Fitzgerald, the sixteenth Earl, who, after maintaining for ten years a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth's Government in Ireland, was made prisoner and executed in 1582. The Earl of Ormonde transmitted his


« AnteriorContinuar »