Lapas attēli

Scarce the hill again doth flourish,
Scarce the world a wit doth nourish,
To restore

Phoebus to his crown again:
And the Muses to their brain;
As before.

Vulgar languages that want
Words, and sweetness, and be scant
Of true measure,

Tyrant rhyme hath so abused,
That they long since have refused
Other cesure.

He that first invented thee,
May his joints tormented be,
Cramped for ever;

Still may syllabes1 jar with time,
Still may reason war with rhyme,
Resting never!

May his sense when it would meet
The cold tumour in his feet,
Grow unsounder;

And his title be long fool,
That in rearing such a school
Was the founder !




If thou wouldst know the virtues of mankind,

Read here in one what thou in all canst find,

And go no further: let this circle be
Thy universe, though his epitome.
CECIL, the grave, the wise, the great, the

What is there more that can ennoble blood? The orphan's pillar, the true subject's shield,

But stood unshaken in his deeds and name, And laboured in the work; not with the fame:

That still was good for goodness' sake, nor thought

Upon reward, till the reward him sought.
Whose offices and honours did surprise,
Rather than meet him: and before his eyes
Closed to their peace, he saw his branches

And in the noblest families took root,
Of all the land. Who now at such a rate
Of divine blessing, would not serve a state?


TO THOMAS, LORD ELSMERE, THE LAST TERM HE SAT CHANCELLOR. So, justest lord, may all your judgments be Laws; and no change e'er come to one de


So may the king proclaim your conscience is
Law to his law: and think your enemies his:
So from all sickness may you rise to health,
The care and wish still of the public wealth:
So may the gentler Muses and good fame
Still fly about the odour of your name;
As, with the safety' and honour of the laws,
You favour truth, and me, in this man's
cause !



The judge his favour timely then extends, When a good cause is destitute of friends, Without the pomp of counsel; or more aid Than to make falsehood blush and fraud afraid:

When those good few that her defenders be,

Are there for charity and not for fee. The poor's full store-house, and just ser-Such shall you hear to-day, and find great

vant's field.

The only faithful watchman for the realm, That in all tempests never quit the helm,

1 Still may syllabes.] Whalley reads syllables here and in the preceding page, but injuriously in both places. Jonson uses syllabe almost invariably; for which he is commended by Horne Tooke.

2 An epigram, &c.] "Presented (the fol. says) upon a plate of gold to his son Robert, Earl of Salisbury, when he was also Treasurer.' Lord Burleigh died in August, 1598. There are no means of ascertaining the date of this epigram: if it was written on the same occasion as that noble one, p. 237 a, it was produced in 1608. But whatever might be the period of its appearance, it was equally worthy of the poet


Both armed with wealth and slander to oppose,

and the patron, who must have been highly gratified with the judicious and characteristic applause bestowed on the great statesman to whose honours he succeeded.

3 For this excellent person see p. 239. He held the seals, in compliance with the reiterated intreaties of James, till the 3rd of March, 1617, when, as Camden tells us, the king re ceived them from him with tears of gratitude.

This Epigram (Jonson says) was written for a poor man, who had a suit depending before Lord Elsmere. Its date may be referred to Michaelmas Term, 1616.

For the same poor man.

[blocks in formation]

Thou hast the brave scorn to put back the fee !

But in a business that will bide the touch, What use, what strength of reason, and how much

Of books, of precedents hast thou at hand! As if the general store thou didst command Of argument, still drawing forth the best, And not being borrowed by thee, but possest.

So com'st thou like a chief into the court
Armed at all pieces, as to keep a fort
Against a multitude; and, with thy style
So brightly brandished, wound'st, defend'st!
the while

Thy adversaries fall, as not a word
They had, but were a reed unto thy sword.
Then com'st thou off with victory and palm,
Thy hearers' nectar and thy clients' balm,

TO THE COUNSELLOR THAT PLEADED, The court's just honour and thy judge's


That I hereafter do not think the bar,
The seat made of a more than civil war,1
Or the great hall at Westminster, the field
Where mutual frauds are fought, and no
side yield,

That henceforth I believe nor books nor

[blocks in formation]

But when I read or hear the names so rife, Of hirelings, wranglers, stitchers-to of strife,

Hook-handed harpies, gowned vultures, put

Upon the reverend pleaders; do now shut All mouths that dare entitle them, from hence,

To the wolves' study, or dogs' eloquence; Thou art my Cause: whose manners since I knew,

Have made me to conceive a lawyer new. So dost thou study matter, men, and times, Mak'st it religion to grow rich by crimes; Dar'st not abuse thy wisdom in the laws, Or skill to carry out an evil cause:

But first dost vex and search it! if not sound,

Thou prov'st the gentler ways to cleanse the wound,

And make the scar fair; if that will not be,

[blocks in formation]


And (which doth all achievements get above) Thy sincere practice breeds not thee a fame Alone, but all thy rank a reverend name.




Envious and foul disease, could there not be One beauty in an age, and free from thee? What did she worth thy spite? were there

not store

Of those that set by their false faces more Than this did by her true? she never sought Quarrel with nature, or in balance brought Art her false servant; nor, for Sir Hugh Plat, 3

Was drawn to practise other hue than that Her own blood gave her: she ne'er had, nor hath

Any belief in Madam Bawdbee's bath,
Or Turner's oil of talc: nor ever got
Spanish receipt to make her teeth to rot.
What was the cause then? thought'st thou,
in disgrace

Of beauty, so to nullify a face,
That heaven should make no more; or
should amiss

Make all hereafter, hadst thou ruined this?

of the preceding verse. From these particulars, it is probable the person here meant was Anthony Benn, who succeeded the solicitor Coventry in the recordership of London.-WHAL.

3 Sir Hugh Plat.] He was a compiler of recipes for making cosmetics, oils, ointments, &c. &c.; one of his books is entitled, "Delights for ladies to adorne their persons, &c. 1628.

Ay, that thy aim was; but her fate prevailed:

And, scorned, thou'st shown thy malice, but hast failed!



What beauty would have lovely styled,
What manners pretty, nature mild,
What wonder perfect, all were filed
Upon record, in this blest child.

And till the coming of the soul

To fetch the flesh, we keep the roll.




Come, let us here enjoy the shade,
For love in shadow best is made.
Though Envy oft his shadow be,
None brooks the sun-light worse than he.

Where love doth shine, there needs no sun,
All lights into his one do run;
Without which all the world were dark;
Yet he himself is but a spark.


A spark to set whole world a-fire,
Who, more they burn, they more desire,
And have their being their waste to see;
And waste still that they still might be.


Not like your country neighbours that

Their vice of loving for a Christmas-fit;
Which is indeed but friendship of the spit:

But, as a friend, which name yourself
And which you (being the worthier) gave
me leave

In letters, that mix spirits, thus to weave.

Which, how most sacred I will ever keep, So may the fruitful vine my temples steep. And fame wake for me when I yield to sleep!

Though you sometimes proclaim me too


Rigid, and harsh, which is a drug austere
In friendship, I confess: but, dear friend,

Little know they, that profess amity,
And seek to scant her comely liberty,
How much they lame her in her property.

And less they know, who being free to


That friendship which no chance but love did choose,

Will unto licence that fair leave abuse.

It is an act of tyranny, not love,
In practised friendship wholly to reprove,
As flattery, with friends' humours still to


From each of which I labour to be free,
Yet if with either's vice I tainted be,
Forgive it, as my frailty, and not me.
For no man lives so out of passion's sway

Such are his powers, whom time hath But shall sometimes be tempted to obey styled,

Now swift, now slow, now tame, now wild;
Now hot, now cold, now fierce, now mild;
The eldest god, yet still a child.




Sir, I am thankful, first to heaven for you;

Next to yourself, for making your love true:

Then to your love and gift. And all's but due.

You have unto my store added a book, On which with profit I shall never look, But must confess from whom that gift took.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Nothing is vile that is a part of you.
Error and folly in me may have crost
Your just commands; yet those, not I, be

I am regenerate now, become the child
Of your compassion; parents should be

There is no father that for one demerit,
Or two, or three, a son will disinherit;
That as the last of punishments is meant;
No man inflicts that pain till hope be

An ill-affected limb, whate'er it ail,
We cut not off till all cures else do fail;
And then with pause; for severed once,

that's gone,

Would live his glory that could keep it on. Do not despair my mending; to distrust Before you prove a medicine, is unjust: You may so place me, and in such an air,

As not alone the cure, but scar be fair.
That is, if still your favours you apply,
And not the bounties you have done deny.
Could you demand the gifts you gave

Why was't? did e'er the clouds ask back their rain?

The sun his heat and light? the air his dew?

Or winds the spirit by which the flower so grew?

That were to wither all, and make a grave Of that wise nature would a cradle have. Her order is to cherish and preserve; Consumption's, nature to destroy and


But to exact again what once is given,
Is nature's mere obliquity; as heaven
Should ask the blood and spirits he hath

In man, because man hath the flesh abused.

O may your wisdom take example hence, God lightens not at man's each frail offence: He pardons slips, goes by a world of ills, And then his thunder frights more than it kills.

He cannot angry be but all must quake; It shakes e'en him that all things else doth shake,

And how more fair and lovely looks the world

In a calm sky, than when the heaven is hurled

About in clouds and wrapt in raging weather,

As all with storm and tempest ran together! O imitate that sweet serenity

That makes us live, not that which calls to die.

In dark and sullen morns do we not say,
This looketh like an execution-day?
And with the vulgar doth it not obtain
The name of cruel weather, storm and
rain ?

Be not affected with these marks too much
Of cruelty, lest they do make you such;
But view the mildness of your Maker's

As I the penitent's here emulate.
He, when he sees a sorrow such as this,
Straight puts off all his anger, and doth

The contrite soul who hath no thought to win

Upon the hope to have another sin Forgiven him: and in that line stand I, Rather than once displease you more, to die,

To suffer tortures, scorn, and infamy,

What fools, and all their parasites can apply;

The wit of ale, and genius of the malt
Can pump for, or a libel without salt
Produce; though threat'ning with a coal
or chalk,

On every wall, and sung where-e'er I walk.
I number these, as being of the chore
Of contumely, and urge a good man more
Than sword, or fire, or what is of the race
To carry noble danger in the face:
There is not any punishment or pain

A man should fly from, as he would disdain.

Then, mistress, here, here let your rigour end, And let your mercy make me ashamed t' offend ;

I will no more abuse my vows to you,
Than I will study falsehood to be true.

O that you could but by dissection see How much you are the better part of me ; How all my fibres by your spirit do move, And that there is no life in me but love! You would be then most confident, that though

Public affairs command me now to go
Out of your eyes, and be awhile away,
Absence or distance shall not breed decay.
Your form shines here, here fixed in my

I may dilate myself, but not depart.
Others by common stars their courses run,
When I see you then I do see my Sun:
Till then 'tis all but darkness that I have;
Rather than want your light, I wish a grave.



To make the doubt clear, that no woman's true,

Was it my fate to prove it full in you?l

To make the doubt clear, that, &c.] There is a collection of Dr. Donne's poems in 8vo, 1669, amongst which is this elegy: how it came there I know not, for there is no doubt but it is Jonson's.-WHAL.

Whalley appears not to have known that the elegy was printed in a 4to edition of Donne's Poems, which came out in 1633. I have already observed that there was a mutual communication of MSS. between the two poets, and the verses before us might be found among the doctor's papers (for he was now dead), and published by his son, or by those who collected them, as his own.

The preceding poem, in which the poet so ingenuously confessed his fault, and so earnestly sued for pardon, appears to have had its effect, and reconciled the lovers. They were still, however, imprudent: the lady in her turn

Thought I but one had breathed the purer air,

And must she needs be false because she's fair?

Is it your beauty's mark, or of your youth,
Or your perfection, not to study truth?
Or think you heaven is deaf, or hath no

Or those it hath wink at your perjuries?
Are vows so cheap with women? or the


Whereof they are made, that they are writ in water,

And blown away with wind? or doth their breath,

Both hot and cold at once, threat life and death?

Who could have thought so many accents sweet

Tuned to our words, so many sighs should


Blown from our hearts, so many oaths and


Sprinkled among, all sweeter by our fears, And the divine impression of stol'n kisses, That sealed the rest, could now prove empty blisses?

Did you draw bonds to forfeit? sign to break?

Or must we read you quite from what you speak,

And find the truth out the wrong way? or


He first desire you false, would wish you just?

O, I profane! though most of women be The common monster, Love shall except thee,2

My dearest love, though froward jealousy With circumstance might urge the contrary. Sooner I'll think the sun would cease to cheer

trusted a false friend, who abused her confidence, and traduced the parties to each other, till he had stirred up a mutual jealousy, and finally separated them. On the discovery of this treachery, Jonson writes the second elegy, which, like the first, led to a reconciliation.

I have no knowledge of the person to whom these Elegies were addressed. I once thought them to be scholastic exercises like the desperate love verses of Donne and Cowley; but they now strike me as too earnest for anything but a real intrigue.

The text of the folio (the blunders of which I am weary of noticing) has been much improved by a collation with the copy in Donne's works. [In Donne's Works this line stands,

This kind of beast, my thoughts shall except thee.-F. C.]

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »