Imágenes de páginas

First think, my soul, if I have foes

That take a pleasure in my care, And to procure these outward woes, Have thus enwrapt me unaware,

Thou should'st by much more careful be,

Since greater foes lay wait for thee. Then when mewed up in grates of steel,

Minding those joys mine eyes do miss, Thou find'st no torment thou dost feel So grievous as privation is ; Muse how the damned in flames that glo17

Pine in the loss of bliss they know. Thou seest there's given so great might

To some that are but clay as I, Their very anger can affright; Which if in any thou espy,

Thus think: if mortal frowns strike fear',

How dreadful will God's wrath appear!
By my late hopes, that now are crost,

Consider those that firmer be;
And make the freedom I have lost
A means that may remember thee;

Had Christ not thy redeemer been,

What horrid thrall thou had'st been in! These iron chains, the bolts of steel,

Which other poor offenders grind,
The wants and cares which they do feel
May bring some greater thing to mind;

For by their grief thou shalt do well

To think upon the pains of hell.
Or when through me thou seest a man

Condemned unto a mortal death,
How sad he looks, how pale, how wan,
Drawing with fear his panting breath;

Think if in that such grief thou see,

How sad will, “Go, ye cursed !” be.
Again, when he that feared to die,

Past hope, doth see his pardon brought,
Read but the joy that's in his eye,
And then convey it to thy thought;

There think betwixt my heart and thee,
How sweet will, “Come, ye blessed !” be.


Thus if thou do, though closed here,

My bondage I shall deem the less;
I neither shall have cause to fear,
Nor yet bewail my sad distress:

For whether live, or pine, or die,
We shall have bliss eternally.


(1592-1644.) FRANCIS QUARLES, the son of James Quarles, Purveyor of the Navy to Queen Elizabeth, was born in 1592, at Stewards, in Romford Town Ward, Essex.

From a school in the neighbourhood, at which he distinguished himself by his talent and assiduity, he was sent to Christ's College, Cambridge, where, in 1608, he took his bachelor's degree. He afterwards studied at Lincoln's Inn, not so much with a view to practise at the bar, as with the benevolent idea of turning his legal knowledge to account in the stifling of suits and the adjustment of differences amongst his friends and neighbours. For a period probably of about four years he filled the office of cup-bearer to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, the amiable and accomplished daughter of James I. In 1621, near the commencement of a protracted stay in Ireland, he published his "Argalus and Parthenia," having previously written the “Feast of Worms; or, the History of Jonah,” which, from his calling it his “Morning Muse,” it has been inferred was his earliest production. His other principal poems are his "Quintessence of Meditation;" "Job Militant;" "The History of Queen Esther;" “ Sion's Elegies,” a paraphrase of Jeremiah ; “The School of the Heart;" "Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man;" and “Divine Emblems.” The “Emblems," from which two of the following extracts are taken, were first published about the year 1635, and were addressed to his " beloved friend, Edward Benlowes." In 1641, he published his “Enchiridion,” a collection of short essays on miscellaneous subjects.

Quarles was sometime secretary to the pious and learned Archbishop Usher; and on the 4th of February, 1639, was appointed chronologer to the City of London, which situation he held till his death in 1644.

We quote the following from Mr. Headley, who pub. lished, in 1787, “ Select Beauties of Ancient English Poetry, with Remarks, etc.," and who is the same genial and in the main, judicious critic, from whom we before adopted a somewhat lengthy estimate of the “Purple Island” of Phineas Fletcher.

"It is the fate of many to receive from posterity that commendation which, though deserved, they missed of during their lives; others, on the contrary, take their full complement of praise from their contemporaries, and gain nothing from their successors; a double payment is rarely the lot of any one. every nation few indeed are they who, allied, as it were, to immortality, can boast of a reputation sufficiently bulky and well-founded, to catch and to detain the eye of each succeeding generation as it rises. The revolutions of opinions, gradual improvements, and new discoveries, will shake, if not demolish, the fairest fabrics of the human intellect. Fame, like virtue, is seldom stationary; if it ceases to advance, it inevitably goes backward, and speedy are the steps of its receding when compared with those of its advances. Writers who do not belong to the first class, yet are of distinguished merit, should rest content with the scanty


praise of the few for the present, and trust with confidence to posterity. He who writes well leaves a ktsua és åer behind him: the partial and veering gales of favour, though silent perhaps for one century, are sure to rise in the next. Truth, however tardy, is infallibly progressive, and with her walks Justice. Let this console deserted genius; those honours which, through envy or accident, are withheld in one age, are sure to be repaid with interest by taste and gratitude in another. These reflections were more immediately suggested by the memory of Quarles, which has been branded with more than common abuse, and who seems often to have been censured merely from the want of being read. If his poetry failed to gain him friends and readers, his piety should at least have secured him peace and goodwill. He too often, no doubt, mistook the enthusiasm of devotion for the inspiration of fancy; to mix the waters of Jordan and Helicon in the same cup was reserved for the hand of Milton, and for him, and him only, to find the bays of Mount Olivet equally verdant with those of Parnassus. Yet, as the effusions of a real poetical mind, however thwarted by untowardness of subject, will be seldom rendered totally abortive, we find in Quarles original imagery, striking sentiment, fertility of expression, and happy combinations, together with a compression of style that merits the observation of the writers of verse His 'Enchiridion,' consisting of select brief observations, moral and poetical, deserves republication, together with the best parts of his other works. Had this little piece been written at Athens or at Rome, its author would have been classed with the wise men of the century.”


So, now the soul's sublimed; her sour desires
Are recalcined in heav'n's well tempered fires;
The heart restored and purged from drossy naturo
Now finds the freedom of a new-born creature:
It lives another life, it breathes new breath;
It neither fears nor feels the sting of death:
Like as the idle vagrant (having none)
That boldly 'dopts each house he views, his own;
Makes every purse his chequer; and at pleasure
Walks forth and taxes all the world, like Cæsar:
At length by virtue of a just command,
His sides are lent to a severer hand;
Whereon his pass, not fully understood,
Is taxéd in a manuscript of blood;
Thus past from town to town; until he como
A sore repentant to his native home;
E'en so the rambling heart, that idly roves
From crimes to sin, and uncontrolled removes
From lust to lust, when wanton flesh invites
From old worn pleasures to new choice delights;
At length corrected by the filial rod
Of his offended, but his gracious God,
And lashed from sins to sighs; and by degrees,
From sighs to vows, from vows to bended knees;
From bended knees to a true pensive breast;
From thence to torments not by tongue exprest,
Returns; and (from his sinful self exiled)
Finds a glad Father, He a welcome child;
O then it lives; O then it lives involved
In secret raptures; pants to be dissolved;
The royal offspring of a second birth,
Sets ope' to Heaven, and shuts the door to earth:
If love-sick Jove commanded clouds should hap
To rain such showers as quickened Danæ's lap;
Or dogs (far kinder than their purple master),
Should lick his sores, he laughs, nor weeps the faster,
If earth (heav'n's rival) dart her idle ray;
To heav'n ’tis wax, and to the world 'tis clay:
If earth present delights, it scorns to draw,
But like the jet unrubbed disdains that straw.
No hope deceives it, and no doubt divides it;
No grief disturbs it, and no error guides it

« AnteriorContinuar »