« AnteriorContinuar »
The days of Wotton were by no means the most evil on which a man of mark and likelihood could fall. The manufacture and the worship of the hero were extensive branches respectively of industry and culture. If a man of parts were not altogether miserable and beggarly-if his genius were not starved into sterility, like that of the lone and unfostered Hagthorpe, of whom presently-he was pretty sure at least to enter upon the next world with considerable prestige. We are tempted to append a pleasant hyperbole "writ by Mr. Abraham Cowley" as an elegy upon Sir Henry Wotton :
“ What shall we say since silent now is he Who when he spoke all things would silent be! Who had so many languages in store That only fame shall speak of him in more. Whom England now no more returned must see He'a
gone to heaven on his fourth embassy. On earth he travelled often, not to say He'd been abroad to pass loose time away; For in whatever land he chanced to come, He read the men and manners; bringing home Their wisdom, learning, and their piety; As if he went to conquer, not to see. So well he understood the most and best Of tongues that Babel sent into the West; Spoke them so truly, that he bad, you'd swear, Not only lived, but been born everywhere. Justly each nation's speech to him was known; Who for the world was made, not us alone. Nor ought the language of that man be less, Who in his breast had all things to express : We say that learning's endless, and blame fate For not allowing life a longer date. He did the utmost bounds of knowledge find, And found them not so large as was bis mind ; But, like the brave Pellean youth, did moan Because that art had no more worlds than one. And when he saw that he through all had past, He died, lest he should idle grow at last."
THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE.
How happy is he born and taught,
A TRANSLATION OF THE CIV. PSALM TO THE
O Lord my God, how boundless is thy might ! Whose throne of state is clothed with glorious rays, And round about hast robed thyself with light:
Who like a curtain hast the heavens displayed,
Whose chariots are the thickened clouds above,
Who walk'st upon the winged winds below;
Who on this base the earth didst firmly found,
And mad'st the deep to circumvest it round. The waves that rise would drown the highest hill,
But at thy check they fly; and when they hear Thy thundering voice, they post to do thy will, Ånd bound their furies in their proper sphere;
Where surging floods and valing ebbs can tell
That none beyond thy marks must sink or swell. Who hath disposed, but Thou, the winding way,
Where springs down from their steepy crags do beat, At which both fostered beasts their thirsts allay, And the wild asses come to quench their heat;
Where birds resort, and, in their kind, thy praise
Among the branches chant in warbling lays? The mounts are watered from thy dwelling place,
The barns and meads are filled for man and beast; Wine glads the heart, and oil adorns the face, And bread the staff whereon our strength doth rest;
Nor shrubs alone feel thy sufficing hand,
But even the cedars that so proudly stand.
The ranging stork in stately beeches dwells;
Nor can the heavenly lights their course forget,
The moon her turns, or sun his times to set.
Then savage beasts creep from the silent wood,
Who when at morn they all recouch again,
Then toiling man till eve pursues his pain. O Lord, when on thy various works we look,
How richly furnished is the earth we tread!
Nor earth alone, but lo! the sea so wide,
There go the ships that furrow out their way;
Yea, there of whales enormous sights we see,
And in due season dost dispense thy good.
Their stores abound, if Thou thy hand enlarge; Confused they are when Thou thy beams dost hide; In dust resolved, if Thou their breath discharge:
Again, when Thou of life renew'st the seeds,
The withered fields revest their cheerful weeds. Be ever gloried here thy sovereign name,
That Thou may’st smile on all which Thou hast made; Whose frown alone can shake this earthly frame, And at whose touch the hills in smoke shall vade!
For me may (while I breathe) both harp and voice
In sweet indictment of thy hymns rejoice!
A HYMN TO MY GOD IN A NIGHT OF MY LATE
Oh, Thou great Power ! in whom I move,
And cleanse my sordid soul within,
By thy Christ's blood, the bath of sin.
O precious ransom! which once paid,
That consummatum est was said;
Be to me now, on Thee I call,
(ABOUT 1570-1626.) SIR JOHN DAVIES was born at Chisgrove, in the parish of Tysbury, Wiltshire. His father, a wealthy tanner, who is elsewhere spoken of as “late of Gray's Inn,” had probably spent some time in the study or the practice of the law. Davies was admitted a commoner of Queen's College, Oxford, in Michaelmas term, 1585. After taking a degree in arts, he entered the Middle Temple, studied the common law, and was called to the bar in July, 1595.
In 1596, he published “Orchestra; or, a Poem expressing the antiquity and excellency of Dancing, in a dialogue between Penelope and one of her Wooers;" to which he prefixed a dedicatory sonnet "To his very friend, Master Richard Martin.” The next public record of the relation between these two “very friends ” is certainly not suggestive of unbroken, if it is not exclusive of the idea of enthusiastic, amity. For Davies, “ being,” as Wood says, “a high-spirited young man, did upon some little provocation or punctilio, bastinado Richard Martin (afterwards Recorder of London) in the common hall of the Middle Temple, while he was at dinner. For which act being forthwith (February, 1597-8) expelled, he retired for a time in private, lived in Oxon, in the condition of a sojourner, and followed his studies, although he wore a cloak. However, among his serious thoughts, making reflections upon his own condition, which sometimes was an affliction to him, he composed that excellent, philosophical, and divine poem, which he entitled “Nosce