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Cineri, gloria sera venit.-Mart.

UNDERWOODS.] From the second folio, 1641. The poems collected under this head (with the exception of a small number taken from published volumes) were found amongst Jonson's papers. Whether he designed them all for the press cannot now be known it is reasonable to suppose, from the imperfect state in which many of them appear, that he did not. No selection, however, was made, though there appears some rude attempt to arrange them with a reference to dates; but the disposition of them, in general, is very incomplete, and marks of carelessness and ignorance are visible in every page. Much is misplaced or mutilated, and more, perhaps, is lost. It is singular that no notice or memorandum of any kind should hand down to us the name or condition of the editor or printer of this unfortunate volume, unless, as there is some reason to suspect, the whole was put to the press surreptitiously.


With the same leave the ancients called that kind of body Sylva, or "Yan, in which there were works of divers nature and matter congested; as the multitude call timber-trees promiscuously growing, a Wood or Forest; so am I bold to entitle these lesser poems of later growth, by this of UNDERWOOD, out of the analogy they hold to the Forest in my former book, and no otherwise.


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For, sin's so sweet,
As minds ill bent
Rarely repent,
Until they meet
Their punishment.
Who more can crave
Than Thou hast done?
That gav'st a Son
To free a slave:

First made of nought;
With all since bought.
Sin, death, and hell
His glorious name
Quite overcame;
Yet I rebel,

And slight the same.
But, I'll come in,
Before my loss
Me farther toss,
As sure to win
Under His cross.




I sing the birth was born to-night,
The author both of life and light;

The angels so did sound it. And like the ravished shepherds said, Who saw the light, and were afraid,

Yet searched, and true they found it. The Son of God, the Eternal King, That did us all salvation bring,

And freed the soul from danger; He whom the whole world could not take,' The Word, which heaven and earth did make,

Was now laid in a manger.

The Father's wisdom willed it so,
The Son's obedience knew no No,
Both wills were in one stature;
And as that wisdom had decreed,
The Word was now made Flesh indeed,
And took on Him our nature.

What comfort by Him do we win,
Who made Himself the price of sin,
To make us heirs of glory!
To see this Babe, all innocence
A martyr born in our defence;
Can man forget this story?

1 He whom the whole world could not take.] Le., contain, a Latinism, Quem non capit.

A Celebration of Charis:



HIS EXCUSE FOR LOVING. Let it not your wonder move, Less your laughter, that I love. Though I now write fifty years,1 I have had, and have my peers; Poets, though divine, are men: Some have loved as old again. And it is not always face, Clothes or fortune, gives the grace; Or the feature, or the youth: But the language, and the truth, With the ardour and the passion, Gives the lover weight and fashion. If you then will read the story, First prepare you to be sorry, That you never knew till now, Either whom to love, or how: But be glad as soon with me, When you know that this is she, Of whose beauty it was sung, She shall make the old man young, Keep the middle age at stay, And let nothing high decay; Till she be the reason why, All the world for love may die.



I beheld her on a day, When her look outflourished May: And her dressing did outbrave All the pride the fields then have: Far I was from being stupid, For I ran and called on Cupid ;—

1 Though I now write fifty years.] This fixes the date of this little collection to 1624, the last year of health, perhaps, which the poet ever enjoyed.

There is a considerable degree of ease and elegance in these effusions; and indeed it may be observed in general of our poet's lyrics, that a vein of sprightliness and fancy runs through them which a reader of his epistles, &c., is scarcely prepared to expect. In the latter,

LOVE, if thou wilt ever see
Mark of glory, come with me;
Where's thy quiver? bend thy bow;
Here's a shaft,-thou art too slow !
And, withal, I did untie
Every cloud about his eye;
But he had not gained his sight
Sooner than he lost his might,
Or his courage; for away
Straight he ran, and durst not stay,
Letting bow and arrow fall:
Not for any threat or call,

Could be brought once back to look.
I foolhardy, there up took
Both the arrow he had quit,
And the bow, with thought to hit
This my


as I drew, At my face that took my sight, And my motion from me quite ; So that there I stood a stone, Mocked a all, and called of one (Which with grief and wrath I heard), Cupid's statue with a beard; Or else one that played his ape, In a Hercules his shape.

Such a no he threw



After many scorns like these, Which the prouder beauties plea e; She contest was to restore Eyes and mbs, to hurt me mor And woul on conditions, be Reconcile to Love and me. First, that I must kneeling yield Both theow and shaft I held

Jonson, like serral other poets of his age, or rather of his schol, who also succeeded is lyrics, sedulously reins the imagination, and contents himself with str gth of sentiment and thought, in simple but virous language and unambitious rhyme. His CRIS has all the vivid colouring of the best ages antiquity; and it is truly delightful to mark the grace and ease with which this great poet Iys with the boundless ass of his literary acquitions.

Unto her; which Love might take
At her hand, with oath to make
Me the scope of his next draft,
Aimed with that self-same shaft.
He no sooner heard the law,
But the arrow home did draw,
And to gain her by his art,
Left it sticking in my heart:
Which when she beheld to bleed,
She repented of the deed,

And would fain have changed the fate,
But the pity comes too late.
Loser-like, now all my wreak
Is, that I have leave to speak;
And in either prose or song,
To revenge me with my tongue;
Which how dexterously I do,
Hear and make example too.



See the chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my Lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth.
As she goes, all hearts do duty

Unto her beauty;

And enamoured do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she
would ride.

Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright
As Love's star when it riseth!
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother

Than words that soothe her:
And from her arched brows, such a grace
Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good of the elements'

Have you seen but a bright lily grow,

Before rude hands have touched it? Have you marked but the fall o' the snow Before the soil hath smutched it? Have you felt the wool of bever?

Or swan's down ever?

Or have smelt o' the bud o' the brier?
Or the nard in the fire?

Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white! O so soft! O so sweet is she !!

1 The two last stanzas of the "Triumph" are given in The Devil's an Ass, so that the opening one alone can bear the stamp of "fifty years."


HIS DISCOURSE WITH CUPID. Noblest CHARIS, you that are Both my fortune and my star, And do govern more my blood, Than the various Moon the flood, Hear, what late discourse of you, LOVE and I have had ; and true. 'Mongst my Muses finding me, Where he chanced your name to see Set, and to this softer strain ; Sure, said he, if I have brain, This, here sung, can be no other, By description, but my Mother! So hath Homer praised her hair; So Anacreon drawn the air Of her face, and made to rise Just about her sparkling eyes, Both her brows bent like my bow. By her looks I do her know, Which you call my shafts. And see! Such my Mother's blushes be, As the bath your verse discloses In her cheeks, of milk and roses; Such as oft I wanton in : And, above her even chin, Have you placed the bank of kisses, Where, you say, men gather blisses, Ripened with a breath more sweet, Than when flowers and west winds meet. Nay, her white and polished neck, With the lace that doth it deck, Is my Mother's: hearts of slain Lovers, made into a chain ! And between each rising breast, Lies the valley called my nest, Where I sit and proyne my wings After flight; and put new stings To my shafts: her very name With my Mother's is the same. I confess all, I replied, And the glass hangs by her side, And the girdle 'bout her waist, All is Venus, save unchaste. But alas, thou seest the least Of her good, who is the best Of her sex but couldst thou, Love, Call to mind the forms that strove For the apple, and those three Make in one, the same were she. For this beauty yet doth hide Something more than thou hast spied. Outward grace weak love beguiles: She is Venus when she smiles;2

2 She is Venus when she smiles, &c.] From Angerianus:

Tres quondam nudas vidit Priameius heros

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