Lapas attēli

The teeming earth, and that forget to bear; Sooner that rivers would run back, or Thames

With ribs of ice in June would bind his streams;

Or Nature, by whose strength the world endures,

Would change her course before you alter yours.

But O, that treacherous breast! to whom weak you

Did trust our counsels, and we both may


Having his falsehood found too late! 'twas


That made me cast you guilty, and you me; Whilst he, black wretch, betrayed each simple word

We spake, unto the sunning of a third ! Curst may he be that so our love hath slain,

And wander wretched on the earth as

Wretched as he, and not deserve least pity!
In plaguing him let misery be witty.
Let all eyes shun hinı, and he shun each

Till he be noisome as his infamy;
May he without remorse deny God thrice,
And not be trusted more on his soul's price;
And after all self-torment, when he dies,
May wolves tear out his heart, vultures his

Swine eat his bowels, and his falser tongue,
That uttered all, be to some raven flung;
And let his carrion corse be a longer feast
To the King's dogs than any other beast!
Now I have curst, let us our love revive;
In me the flame was never more alive.
I could begin again to court and praise,
And in that pleasure lengthen the short

Of my life's lease; like painters that do take

Delight, not in made works, but whilst they make.

I could renew those times when first I saw Love in your eyes, that gave my tongue the law

To like what you liked, and at masques or plays

Commend the self-same actors the same ways;

1 Is fixed upon one leg, &c.] Jonson, like Donne, seems fond of drawing illustrations from this familiar implement. In his verses to Selden, p. 301 a, he has done it very gracefully: "You that have been

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

That love's a bitter sweet I ne'er conceive,
Till the sour minute comes of taking leave,
And then I taste it: but as men drink up
In haste the bottom of a med'cined cup,
And take some sirup after; so do I,
To put all relish from my memory
Of parting, drown it, in the hope to meet
Shortly again, and make our absence sweet.
This makes me, mistress, that sometime by

Under another name, I take your health,
And turn the ceremonies of those Nights
I give, or owe my friends, into your Rites :
But ever without blazon, or least shade
Of vows so sacred, and in silence made:
For though Love thrive and may grow up
with cheer,

And free society, he's born elsewhere,
And must be bred so to conceal his birth,
As neither wine do rack it out, or mirth.
Yet should the lover still be airy and light
In all his actions, rarified to spright:
Not like a Midas, shut up in himself,
And turning all he toucheth into pelf,
Keep in reserved in his dark-lantern face,
As if that excellent dulness were love's grace.

No, mistress, no, the open, merry man Moves like a sprightly river, and yet can Keep secret in his channels what he breeds, 'Bove all your standing waters choked with weeds.

They look at best like cream-bowls, and you soon

Shall find their depth; they are sounded with a spoon.

They may say grace, and for Love's chap

lains pass,

But the grave lover ever was an ass;
Is fixed upon one leg,1 and dares not come
Out with the other, for he's still at home:

Ever at home, yet have all countries seen;
And, like a compass, keeping one foot still
Upon your center, do
your circle fill
Of general knowledge.'

Donne is yet more fanciful and ingenious He

[ocr errors]

Like the dull wearied crane that, come on


Doth while he keeps his watch, betray his stand;

Where he that knows will like a lapwing fly
Far from the nest, and so himself belie
To others, as he will deserve the trust
Due to that one that doth believe him just.
And such your servant is, who vows to keep
The jewel of your name as close as sleep
Can lock the sense up, or the heart a

And never be by time or folly brought,
Weakness of brain, or any charm of wine,
The sin of boast, or other countermine,
Made to blow up love's secrets, to discover
That article may not become your lover:
Which in assurance to your breast I tell,
If I had writ no word but, Dear, farewell!



Since you must go, and I must bid farewell,
Hear, mistress, your departing servant tell
What it is like: and do not think they can
Be idle words, though of a parting man.
It is as if a night should shade noon-day,
Or that the sun was here, but forced away;
And we were left under that hemisphere
Where we must feel it dark for half a year.
What fate is this, to change men's days and

To shift their seasons and destroy their powers!

Alas! I have lost my heat, my blood, my prime,

Winter is come a quarter ere his time. My health will leave me: and when you depart,

How shall I do, sweet mistress, for my heart?

You would restore it! no; that's worth a fear,

As if it were not worthy to be there :
O keep it still; for it had rather be
Your sacrifice, than here remain with me.
And so I spare it: come what can become
Of me, I'll softly tread unto my tomb;
Or, like a ghost, walk silent amongst men,
Till I may see both it and you agen.

says to a wife who remains at home while her husband is abroad;

"Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth it th' other do:
And though it in the center sit,

Yet, when the other far doth roam,



Let me be what I am: as Virgil cold,
As Horace fat, or as Anacreon old;
No poet's verses yet did ever move,
Whose readers did not think he was in love.
Who shall forbid me then in rhyme to be
As light and active as the youngest he
That from the Muses' fountains doth en-

His lines, and hourly sits the poet's horse?
Put on my ivy garland, let me see
Who frowns, who jealous is, who taxeth


Fathers and husbands, I do claim a right
In all that is called lovely; take my sight,
Sooner than my affection from the fair.
No face, no hand, proportion, line or air
Of beauty, but the muse hath interest in :
There is not worn that lace, purl, knot, or

But is the poet's matter; and he must,
When he is furious, love, although not lust.
Be then content, your daughters and your

If they be fair and worth it, have their lives Made longer by our praises; or, if not, Wish you had foul ones and deformed got, Curst in their cradles, or there changed by elves,

So to be sure you do enjoy, yourselves. Yet keep those up in sackcloth too, or leather,

For silk will draw some sneaking songster thither.

It is a rhyming age, and verses swarm
At every stall; the City cap's a charm.

But I who live, and have lived twenty year,

Where I may handle silk as free, and near,
As any mercer, or the whalebone man,
That quilts those bodies I have leave to

Have eaten with the beauties, and the wits,
And braveries of Court, and felt their fits
Of love and hate; and came so nigh to know
Whether their faces were their own or no:
It is not likely I should now look down
Upon a velvet petticoat, or a gown,
Whose like I have known the tailor's wife
put on,1

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect as that comes home."

1 Whose like I have known the tailor's wife put on, &c.] Whether this be the original sketch of the Countess Pinnacia Stuffe in the New Inn, or be itself taken from that unfor

[ocr errors]

To do her husband's rites in, ere 'twere gone

Home to the customer: his letchery
Being the best clothes still to preoccupy.
Put a coach-mare in tissue, must I horse
Her presently? or leap thy wife, of force,
When by thy sordid bounty she hath on
A gown of that was the caparison?
So I might doat upon thy chairs and stools,
That are like clothed: must I be of those

Of race accounted, that no passion have, But when thy wife, as thou conceiv'st, is brave?

Then ope thy wardrobe, think me that poor groom

That, from the footman, when he was be


An officer there, did make most solemn love To every petticoat he brushed, and glove He did lay up; and would adore the shoe Or slipper was left off, and kiss it too; Court every hanging gown, and after that Lift up some one, and do-I tell not what. Thou didst tell me, and wert o'erjoyed to peep

In at a hole, and see these actions creep From the poor wretch, which though he played in prose,

He would have done in verse, with any of those

Wrung on the withers by Lord Love's despite,

Had he the faculty to read and write ! Such songsters there are store of; witness


That chanced the lace laid on a smock to


And straightway spent a sonnet; with that other

That, in pure madrigal, unto his mother Commended the French hood and scarlet >2 gown

tunate play, as the lines are not dated, cannot be told; the resemblance, however, is perfect: "Master Stuffe,

When he makes any fine garment that will suit me,

any rich thing that he thinks of price,
Then must I put it on," &c,

Unto the Spittle sermon.] The Spittle sermons were preached at that time, in a pulpit erected for the purpose, in what is now called Spittle Square. They lasted through the Easter week.

2 In smiling l'envoy.] i. e., in a kind of supercilious close. For l'envoy, see vol. i.

[blocks in formation]

The lady may'ress passed in through the town,

Unto the Spittle sermon.1 O what strange
Variety of silks were on the Exchange !
Or in Moor-fields, this other night, sings
one !

Another answers, 'las! those silks are none,
In smiling l'envoy, as he would deride
Any comparison had with his Cheapside;
And vouches both the pageant and the day,
When not the shops but windows do display
The stuffs, the velvets, plushes, fringes, lace,
And all the original riots of the place.
Let the poor fools enjoy their follies, love
A goat in velvet; or some block could move
Under that cover, an old midwife's hat!
Or a close-stool so cased; or any fat
Bawd in a velvet scabbard ! I envý
None of their pleasures! nor will ask thee

Thou art jealous of thy wife's or daughter's


More than of either's manners, wit, or face!


AN EXECRATION UPON VULCAN. And why to me this? thou lame Lord of

Fire 13

What had I done that might call on thine ire?

Or urge thy greedy flame thus to devour
So many my years' labours in an hour?
I ne'er attempted Vulcan 'gainst thy life;
Nor made least line of love to thy loose

Or in remembrance of thy affront and scorn, With clowns and tradesmen kept thee closed in horn.4

'Twas Jupiter that hurled thee headlong down,

And Mars that gave thee a lanthorn for a


date affixed to it: it was printed in 4to, and 12m0, 1640, and again in the folio of that year; the present text has been formed from a careful collation of all the copies.

There is a degree of wit and vivacity in these verses which does no little credit to the equanimity of the poet, who speaks of a loss so irreparable to him, not only with forbearance, but with pleasantry and good humour. The lame lord is from Catullus:

Scripta tardipedi deo daturum
Infelicibus ustulanda flammis.

4 With clowns and tradesmen kept thee' closed in horn.] This is a joke of very ancient standing: Heus tu, qui Vulcanum conclusum in cornu geris! Plaut. Amphytr.-WHAL

Was it because thou wert of old denied,
By Jove, to have Minerva for thy bride;
That since, thou tak'st all envious care and

To ruin every issue of the brain?

Or, if thou needs wouldst trench upon her

Thou might'st have yet enjoyed thy cruelty
With some more thrift, and more variety:
Thou might'st have had me perish piece by

Had I wrote treason there, or heresy, Imposture, witchcraft, charms, or blas-To phemy;

I had deserved then thy consuming looks,
Perhaps to have been burned with my books.
But, on thy malice, tell me didst thou spy
Any least loose or scurril paper lie
Concealed or kept there, that was fit to be,
By thy own vote, a sacrifice to thee?
Did I there wound the honours of the crown,
Or tax the glories of the church and gown?
Itch to defame the state, or brand the times,
And myself most, in lewd self-boasting

If none of these, then why this fire? Or find
A cause before, or leave me one behind.

Had I compiled from Amadis de Gaul, The Esplandians, Arthurs, Palmerins, and all

The learned library of Don Quixote,

And so some goodlier monster had begot;
Or spun out riddles, or weaved fifty tomes
Of Logographes, or curious Palindromes,
Or pumped for those hard trifles, Anagrams,
Or Eteostics, or those finer flams

Of eggs and halberds, cradles, and a herse,
A pair of scisars, and a comb in verse;
Acrostichs, and telestichs on jump names,1
Thou then hadst had some colour for thy

On such my serious follies: but thou'lt say
There were some pieces of as base allay,
And as false stamp there; parcels of a play,
Fitter to see the fire-light than the day;
Adulterate monies, such as would not go:-
Thou shouldst have stayed till public Fame
said so ;

She is the judge, thou executioner :


Acrostichs, and telestichs, &c.] All these fooleries in verse were practised ages ago, by writers who atoned for want of genius by the labour of their compositions. This is Whalley's remark, and it was undoubtedly so; but the folly was again become epidemic, in quence of the publication of Puttenham's Arte of English Poetrie, in which "these prettie conceits, eggs, altars, wings, lozenges, rondels, and piramids" are recommended to the poet's imitation. At the beginning (he says) they will seeme nothing pleasant to the English eare; but time and usage will make them acceptable inough." [The word jump is here used as in Hamlet, "jump at this dead hour."-F. C.]

The MS. of this piece in the British Museum reads, with more variety,

light tobacco, or save roasted geese, Singe capons, or crisp pigs, dropping their

eyes ;

Condemned me to the ovens with the pies ;?
And so have kept me dying a whole age,
Not ravished all hence in a minute's rage.-
But that's a mark whereof thy rites do boast,
To make consumption ever where thou

Had I foreknown of this thy least desire
To have held a triumph, or a feast of fire,
Especially in paper; that that steam
Had tickled thy large nostrils; many aream,
To redeem mine, I had sent in: ENOUGH!
Thou shouldst have cried, and all been pro-
per stuff.

The Talmud and the Alcoran had come,
With pieces of the Legend ;3 the whole sum
Of errant knighthood, with the dames and
dwarfs ;

The charmed boats, and the inchanted

The Tristrams, Lancelots, Turpins, and the

All the mad Rolands and sweet Olivers ;
To Merlin's marvels, and his Cabal's loss,
With the chimera of the Rosie-cross,
Their seals, their characters, hermetic rings,
Their gem of riches, and bright stone that

Invisibility, and strength, and tongues;
The art of kindling the true coal by

With Nicolas' Pasquils, Meddle with your

And the strong lines that do the times so catch;

"Clothe spices, or guard sweetmeats from the flies."

[The condemnation to the "ovens with the pies," seems prophetic of the doings of Mr. Warburton and his cook.-F. C.]

3 With pieces of the Legend.] The Lives of the Saints: these are well coupled with the Jewish and Mahomedan dreams.

The art of kindling the true coal by Lungs, &c.] Lungs (see vol. ii. p. 19 a) were the unhappy drudges kept by the alchemists to blow their true (i. e., their beechen) coal: for bellows were not used by them.

Nicolas is probably Nic Breton, a voluminous publisher, who has many little pieces under the name of Pasquil: such as Pasquil's Passion,

Or Captain Pamphlet's horse and foot, that sally

Upon the Exchange still, out of Pope'shead alley;

The weekly Courants, with Pauls seal ;' and all

The admired discourses of the prophet Ball. These, hadst thou pleased either to dine or sup,

Had made a meal for Vulcan to lick up." But in my desk what was there to accite So ravenous and vast an appetite?

I dare not say a body, but some parts There were of search, and mastery in the arts.

All the old Venusine, in poetry,

And lighted by the Stagerite, could spy, Was there made English; with a grammar too,

To teach some that their nurses could not do,3

The purity of Language; and, among The rest, my journey into Scotland sung, With all the adventures: three books, not


To speak the fate of the Sicilian maid,
To our own ladies; and in story there
Of our fifth Henry, eight of his nine year ;
Wherein was oil, beside the succours spent,
Which noble Carew, Cotton, Selden lent:
And twice twelve years stored up humanity,
With humble gleanings in divinity;
After the fathers, and those wiser guides
Whom faction had not drawn to study

How in these ruins, Vulcan, thou dost

All soot and embers! odious as thy work!

I now begin to doubt if ever Grace, Or goddess, could be patient of thy face. Thou woo Minerva ! or to wit aspire ! 'Cause thou canst halt with us in arts and fire !

Son of the Wind! for so thy mother, gone With lust, conceived thee; father thou hadst none.

When thou wert born, and that thou look'dst at best,

She durst not kiss, but flung thee from her breast;

And so did Jove, who ne'er meant thee his cup.

No mar'le the clowns of Lemnos took thee


For none but smiths would have made thee a god.

Some alchemist there may be yet, or odd
'Squire of the squibs, against the pageant-

May to thy name a VULCANALE say;
And for it lose his eyes with gunpowder,
As th' other may his brains with quick-

Well fare the wise men yet, on the Bankside,

My friends the watermen! they could pro vide

Against thy fury, when to serve their needs, They made a Vulcan of a sheaf of reeds, Whom they durst handle in their holiday coats,

And safely trust to dress, not burn their boats.

But O those reeds! thy mere disdain of them

Made thee beget that cruel stratagem,

likewise to be met with in the Discoveries: the Grammar is also preserved, and printed.WHAL.

Pasquil's Mad-cap, &c. In the pointing this line, the MS. in the British Museum has been followed. The strong lines, &c., are the political satires which were now dispersed in great numbers, and caught the times but too suc-struction of the Art of Poetry, illustrated, as it Literature sustained no little loss by the decessfully.

The weekly courants, with Pauls seal, &c.] A sarcastical allusion to the stories fabricated by the idle walkers in St. Paul's, and weekly detailed by Butter and others as authentic intelligence. For the prophet Ball, see vol. ii.

P. 307 a.

A meal for Vulcan to lick up.] Thus Pope:

"From shelf to shelf see greedy Vulcan roll, And lick up all the physic of the soul." All the old Venusine, &c.] He alludes to his translation of Horace's Art of Poetry, illustrated with notes from Aristotle's Poetics. The translation is preserved: and much of what seemed to have been intended for the notes is VOL. III.

What we

appears to have been, by a perpetual commenveries were appended as notes to the translation, tary from Aristotle. If any part of the Discoit could not be very considerable. have now forms, 1 believe, but a small part of the original matter; consisting of occasional recollections only, set down as they occurred, and several of them evidently of a late date. The translation itself, perhaps, is not what it was at first; for the two copies of it which have reached us, and which may be only transcripts of tran scripts, differ from each other in numberless instances. Whalley is evidently wrong also in what he says of the Grammar. The perfect copy was destroyed; and all that is come down to us are mere fragments; parts, indeed, of the original materials, but dislocated and imperfect.


« iepriekšējāTurpināt »