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(ABOUT 1615–ABOUT 1640.) THOMAS BEEDOME is the name of a poet who died young shortly before 1641, or possibly in the early part of that year; in which was published a posthumous volume of “Poems Divine and Humane, by Thomas Beedome, 1641.” If the fame of Beedome, which at present is probably as near zero as possible, was never universal, it was certainly intense and enthusiastic within a circle more or less limited. Half a score sets of complimentary verses usher in the productions of the author, amongst which is one by Henry Glapthorne, himself a poet, who also appears to have acted as editor, and who furnishes the preface. It is sufficiently amusing to quote. Admiration for Beedome, and the duty of a knowledge of his works is not a matter of taste or opinion but of fact; not to know and not to appreciate convict the offender of hopeless stupidity. The arrogant partiality of the friend, however, should not turn aside from Thomas Beedome the more measured praise which his merits deserve.
“To the Reader,-Books are the pictures of men's lives delineated first by fancy, and by judgment drawn to the life. Such is this piece, the living Idea of him that writ it, who though now dead, has a living monument to his worth: His Booke, which despight of fire, can never convert to ashes. 'Tis Lentum Ilium, slow Troy, that will not bee easily consumed; he shall live in Paper, which shall make him live in's Marble. And in this, good Reader, his worth shall be emergent, he has done many things well, and nothing ill. Therefore receive him as an absolute testimony of wit and fancy, or else deceive thyselfe, since his workes are as excellent as singular.
COME LORD: COME QUICKLY.. Why wouldst thou live, fond soul, dost thou not know From whence thou cam’st, and whither thou must go ? Can walls of clay so much thy sense delight As to debar thee from that glorious flight Which thou shouldst covet ? Canst thou idly prize The mire that loads thy wings unfit to rise ? Shouldst thou still live, it were but still to see Some new scene acted of thy tragedy: Thou couldst but do to-morrow, as this day, Commit fresh sin, sleep, eat, or drink, and play. No matter then how soon thou die : then come Prepare thyself to wait thy Judge's doom. Thou camest from heaven; then labour to draw near Thy quiet centre; if thou once rest there, Thy walls of clay, the mire that loads thy wings, Shall be a mansion for the King of kings. Thy tragedy shall end, thy sin shall cease, And thou rest ever in an endless peace; Be't when Thou please, good God, at morn or noon; So I die well, no matter, Lord, how soon.
To that long home, where it shall see
(1621–1695.) HENRY VAUGHAN, called the Silurist, was born at Newton St. Bridget, situated on the river Usk, in Brecknockshire, South Wales. He spent six years under the tuition of Matthew Herbert, a schoolmaster of considerable local celebrity; and entered of Jesus College, Oxford, in Michaelmas Term, 1638. After a residence of about two years, during which he attained some proficiency "in logicals, under a noted tutor, he was,” says Anthony à Wood,“ taken thence and designed by his father for the obtaining of some knowledge in the municipal laws at London. But soon after the civil war beginning, to the horror of all good men, he was sent for home, followed the pleasant paths of poetry and philology, became noted for his ingenuity, and published several specimens thereof, of which his ‘Olor Iscanus' was most valued. Afterwards, applying his mind to the study of physic, became at length eminent in his own country for the practice thereof, and was esteemed by scholars an ingenious person, but proud and humourous. He died in the latter end of April (about the 29th day) in 1695, and was buried in the parish church of Llans-aufried, about two miles distant from Brecknock in Brecknockshire."
The poems quoted are selected from the “Silex Scintillans; or, the Bleeding Heart: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations in Two Books." * Rules and Lessons ” is a poem of that directly didactic order to which belong the “Perirrhanterium” of George Herbert, of whom Vaughan was a compatriot and ardent admirer, and the “Patrikon Doron" of Henry Delaune, first published in 1651, as “a legacy to his sons, being a miscellany of precepts, theological, moral, political, and economical, digested into seven centuries of quadrins.”
Mr. Campbell, with considerably less than his usually safe perception of excellence, has stigmatized Vaughan
one of the harshest even of the inferior order of the school of conceit.” It would be satisfactory to regard this verdict as one of à priori indifference. Later and more genial critics have remarked the “originality and picturesque grace" of his sacred productions; the masterly hand with which he occasionally swept the lyre; and the intensity of feeling which he manifested in a degree only inferior to the rapt and saintly Crashaw.
RULES AND LESSONS.
When first thy eyes unveil give thy soul leave
Give Him thy first thoughts then, so shalt thou keep
Him company all day, and in Him sleep.
Rise to prevent the sun; sleep doth sins glut,
Walk with thy fellow creatures; note the hush
Oh leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,
And thou art sure to prosper all the day.
Pour oil upon the stones, weep for thy sin,
Then journey on, and have an eye to heaven.
Three blessings wait upon them, one of which
When the world's up, and every swarm abroad,
Yet keep those cares without thee; let the heart