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Thy murder, I will join my tears,
Inconstant Sylvio, when yet I had not found him counterfeit, One morning (I remember well), Tied in this silver chain and bell, Gave it to me: nay, and I know What he said then : I'm sure I do. Said he: “Look how your huntsman here Hath taught a fawn to hunt his deer." But Sylvio soon had me beguiled. This waxed tame while he grew wild, And, quite regardless of my smart, Left me his fawn, but took his heart. Thenceforth I set myself to play My solitary time away With this, and very well content Could so my idle life have spent; For it was full of sport, and light Of foot and heart ; and did invite Me to its game; it seem'd to bless Itself in me. How could I less Than love it? O, I cannot be Unkind t'a beast that loveth me. Had it lived long, I do not know Whether it too might have done so As Sylvio did ; his gifts might be Perhaps as false, or more, than he. But I am sure, for aught that I Could in so short a time espy, Thy love was far more better than The love of false and cruel man. With sweetest milk and sugar first I it at my own fingers nursed; And as it grew, so every day It wax'd more white and sweet than they : It had so sweet a breath. And oft I blush'd to see its foot more soft And white, shall I say than my hand ? Nay, any lady's of the land.
It is a wondrous thing how fleet
EDMUND WALLER was born A.D. 1605, and died A.D. 1687. His political life was not one of integrity. Having composed a poem in honour of Cromwell, he showed, after the Restoration, an equal willingness to celebrate the return of Charles II. The King asked him, on his presentation at court, how it chanced that his poem addressed to Cromwell was superior to that in honour of his legitimate sovereign? Waller replied : “Sire, it is well known that poets succeed best in fiction." His poetry has smoothness and grace; but no criticism was ever more false than that which affirmed that Waller had been the first to harmonise the English language.
GO, LOVELY ROSE.
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
When I resemble her to thee,
Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
In deserts where no men abide,
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired :
Suffer herself to be desired,
Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
How small a part of time they share
OLD AGE AND DEATH.
The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
HENRY VAUGHAN, descended from a Welsh family, was born in Brecknockshire A.D. 1621. He was educated for the law, but abandoned that profession to become a physician. He died A.D. 1695. His poetry has much analogy with that of George Herbert, both in its vigour of condensed thought, and in its quaintness, although it is much less known.
EARLY RISING AND PRAYER.
[From Silex Scintillans, or Sacred Poems.]
When the world's up and every swarm abroad,
John DRYDEN was born at the parsonage of his father A.D. 1631. He was educated at Westminster and Cambridge. His career was a long and stormy one; for no literary man of his age took a more ardent part in its controversies, political and polemical. During his later years he enjoyed without dispute the reputation of the chief living poet; but his controversial abilities had arrayed against him innumerable enemies; and he was seldom at rest. He died A.D. 1700.
The chief event in the life of Dryden was his conversion to the Catholic Church. Unworthy imputations as to his sincerity have indeed been thrown out; but they are refuted by the facts of the case, as is clearly shown by Sir Walter Scott, who, besides referring to the unshaken allegiance which Dryden maintained towards the Catholic Church during the long years when his interests pointed in the opposite direction, remarks also that the principles upon which, so early as 1682, Dryden had, in his Religio Laici, defended the Church of England from the sectaries, nay, the principles upon which be based his belief in revealed religion itself, could not fail to be carried out by a logical mind as they were actually carried out by Dryden. “ This is made more clear," Sir Walter Scott remarks,“ by his own words; from which it appears, that having once admitted the mysterious doctrines of the Trinity and of Redemption, so incomprehensible to human reason, Dryden felt no right to make any further appeal to that fallible guide."
The poetry of Dryden unites, in an extraordinary degree, three different sorts of merits; those which belong to narrative, to lyrical, and to argumentative poetry. His Odes “On St. Cecilia's Day,” “ On Music,” and “On the Death of Mrs. Anne Killigrew," place him in the very highest class of lyrical poets; and he has been frequently said to stand almost alone in his powers of reasoning in verse. As a satirist he has no equal in English poetry. On the other hand, his deficiency in pathos, refinement, and sense of beauty, becomes at once apparent on a comparison of his imitations of Chaucer with the originals. Dryden's dramatic efforts were, for the most part, failures; and he had but too much cause for the repentance which he expresses with reference to the license (the contagion of a corrupt age) with which they are defiled. In vigour