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in tasteless conceits, even on grave elegiac subino
And here the precious dast is laid,
THOMAS CAREW (1589-1639) was the precursor and representative of a numerous class of poetscourtiers of a gay and gallant school, who to personal accomplishments, rank, and education, united a taste and talent for the conventional poetry then most popular and cultivated. Their influence may be seen even in Cowley and Dryden: Carew and Waller were perhaps the best of the class : Rochester was undoubtedly the most debased. Their visions of fame were in general bounded by the circle of the court and the nobility. To live in future generations, or to sound the depths of the human heart, seems not to have entered into their contemplations. A loyal panegyric was the epic strain of their ambition; a * rosy check or coral lip' formed their ordinary theme. The court applauded; the lady was flattered or appeased by the compliment; and the poet was praised for his wit and gallantry; while all the time the heart had as little to do with the poetical homage thus tendered and accepted, as with the cold abstractions and rare pocsies' on wax or ivory. A foul taint of immorality and irreligion often lurked under the flowery surface, and insidiously made itself known and felt. Carew sometimes went beyond this strain of heartless frivolity, and is graceful in sentiment as well as style-' piling up stones of lustre from the brook ;' but he was capable of far higher things; and in him, as in Suckling and Sedley, we see only glimpses of a genius which might have been ripened into permanent and beneficial excellence. Carew was descended from an ancient Gloucestershire family. He was educated at Oxford, then travelled abroad, and on his return, obtained the notice and patronage of Charles I. He was appointed gentleman of the privy chamber, and sewer in ordinary to the king. His after life was that of a courtierwitty, affable, and accomplished-without reflection; and in a strain of loose revelry which, according to Clarendon, the poet deeply repented in his latter days. He died,' says the state historian, with the greatest remorse for that license, and with the greatest manifestation of Christianity, that his best friends could desire.
The poems of Carew are short and occasional. His longest is a masque, written by command of the king, entitled Cælum Britannicum. It is partly in prose; and the lyrical pieces were set to music by Dr Henry Lawes, the poetical musician of that age.* The short amatory pieces and songs of Carew were exceedingly popular, and are now the only productions of his which are read. They are often indelicate, but rich in expression. Thirty or forty years later, he would have fallen into the frigid style of the court poets after the Restoration ; but at the time he wrote, the passionate and imaginative vein of the Elizabethan period was not wholly exhausted. The
genial and warm tints' of the elder muse still coloured the landscape, and were reflected back in some measure by Carew. He abounded, however,
* of the peculiar composition called the masque, an account is given in the sequel.
A Pastoral Dialogue.
Shepherd, Nymph, Chorus.
All night from the damp air.
And now she hangs her pearly store,
(Robb'd from the eastern shore,) l' th cowslip's bell, and rose's ear: Sweet, I must stay no longer here. Nymph. Those streaks of doubtful light usher not day,
But show my sun must set; no morn
Shall shine till thou return; The yellow planets, and the gray Dawn, shall attend thee on thy way. Shep. If thine eyes gild my paths, they may forbear
Their useless shine. Nymph. My tears will quite ? Extinguish their faint light.
Shep. Those drops will make their beams more clear,
In a mix'd dew of briny sweet,
Their joys and sorrows meet ; But she cries out. Nymph. Shepherd, arise, The sun betrays us else to spies. Chs. The winged hours fly fast, whilst we embrace;
But when we want their help to meet,
They move with leaden feet.
Nymph. No, arise,
Nymph. My soul. Shep. My paradise.
Most fleeting when it is most dear ; 'Tis gone while we but say—'tis here. These curious locks, so aptly twin'd, Whose every hair a soul doth bind, Will change their auburn hue, and grow White and cold as winter's snow. That eye, which now is Cupid's nest, Will prove his grave, and all the rest Will follow ; in the cheek, chin, nose, Nor lily shall be found, nor rose ; And what will then become of all Those whom now you servants call ? Like swallows, when your summer's donc, They'll fly, and seek some warmer sun. Then wisely choose one to your friend Whose love may (when your beauties end) Remain still firm ; be provident, And think, before the summer's spent, Of following winter ; like the ant, In plenty hoard for time of scant. For when the storms of Time have moved Waves on that cheek which was beloved ; When a fair lady's face is pined, And yellow spread where red once shin'd; When beauty, youth, and all sweets leave her, Love may return, but lovers never : And old folks say there are no pains Like itch of love in aged veins. O love me then, and now begin it, Let us not lose this present minute ; For time and age will work that wrack Which time or age shall ne'er call back. The snake each year fresh skin resumes, And eagles change their aged plumes ; The faded rose, each spring, receives A fresh red tincture on her leaves : But if your beauties once decay, You never know a second May. Oh, then, be wise, and whilst your season Affords you days for sport, do reason ; Spend not in rain your life's short hour, But crop in time your beauties' flower, Which will away, and doth together. Both bud and fade, both blow and wither.
Mediocrity in Love Rejected. Give me more love, or more disdain ;
The torrid or the frozen zone
The temperate affords me none;
Like Danae in that golden shower,
Disdain, that torrent will devour My vulture hopes ; and he's possess'd Of heaven that's but from hell releas’d; Then crown my joys or cure my pain ; Gire me more love or more disdain.
Or a coral lip admires,
Fuel to maintain his fires ;
Gentle thoughts and calm desires ;
Kindle never-dying fires.
My resolv'd heart to return;
And find nought but pride and scorn ;
Persuasions to Lore. Think not, 'cause men flatt'ring say, Yare fresh as April, sweet as May, Bright as is the morning star, That you are 80 ; or, though you are, Be not therefore proud, and deem All men unworthy your esteem ; Nor let brittle beauty make You your wiser thoughts forsake : For that lovely face will fail ; Beanty's sweet, but beauty's frail ! Tis sooner past, 'tig sooner done, Than summer's rain or winter's sun ;
[Approach of Spring.) Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or calls an icy cream | Upon the silver lake, or crystal stream;
grass, or calls ano more the frost
| Upon the
But the warm sun thaws the benumb'd earth,
deserving of much praise; they were endowed with And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
minds eminently poetical, and not inferior in imagiTo the dead swallow ; wakes in hollow tree
nation to any of their contemporaries. But an inThe drowsy cuckoo, and the humble bee ;
judicious taste, and an excessive fondness for a style Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
which the public was rapidly abandoning, that of In triumph to the world the youthful spring.
allegorical personification, prevented their powers The valleys, hills, and woods, in rich array,
from being effectively displayed.' Mr Campbell Welcome the coming of the long'd for May.
remarks, . They were both the disciples of Spenser, Now all things smile.
and, with his diction gently modernised, retained much of his melody and luxuriant expression. Giles,
inferior as he is to Spenser and Milton, might be PHINEAS AND CILES FLETCHER.
figured, in his happiest moments, as a link of con
nexion in our poetry between these congenial spirits, These brother poets were sons of Dr Giles Fletcher, for he reminds us of both, and evidently gave hints and cousins of Fletcher the dramatist; both were to the latter in a poem on the same subject with clergymen, whose lives afforded but little variety of Paradise Regained. These hints are indeed very incident. Phineas was born in 1584, educated at plain and obvious. The appearance of Satan as an Eton and Cambridge, and became rector of Hilgay, aged sire slowly footing' in the silent wilderness, in Norfolk, where he died in 1650. Giles was younger the temptation of our Saviour in the goodly garden,' than his brother, but the date of his birth has not and in the Bower of Vain Delight, are outlines been ascertained. He was rector of Alderton, in which Milton adopted and filled up in his second Suffolk, where he died, it is supposed, some years epic, with a classic grace and force of style unbefore his brother.
known to the Fletchers. To the latter, however, The works of PHINEAS FLETCHER consist of the belong the merit of original invention, copiousness Purple Island, or the Isle of Man, Piscatory Eclogues, of fancy, melodious numbers, and language at times and miscellaneous poems. The Purple Island was
rich, ornate, and highly poetical. If Spenser had published in 1633, but written much earlier, as ap- not previously written his Bower of Bliss, Giles pears from some allusions in it to the Earl of Essex. Fletcher's Bower of Vain Delight would have been The name of the poem conjures up images of poeti- l unequalled in the poetry of that day; but probably, cal and romantic beauty, such as we may suppose a l like his master Spenser, he copied from Tasso. youthful admirer and follower of Spenser to have drawn. A perusal of the work, however, dispels this illusion. The Purple Island of Fletcher is no
Happiness of the Shepherds Lije. sunny spot 'amid the melancholy main,' but is an elaborate and anatomical description of the body and
[From the Purple Island.] mind of man. He begins with the veins, arteries, | Thrice, oh thrice happy, shepherd's life and state ! bones, and muscles of the human frame, picturing | When courts are happiness' unhappy pawns ! them as hills, dales, streams, and rivers, and describ- Ilis cottage low and safely humble gate ing with great minuteness their different meander- Shuts out proud Fortune with her scorns and fawns : ings, elevations, and appearances. It is admitted No feared treason breaks his quiet sleep, that the poet was well skilled in anatomy, and the Singing all day, his flocks he learns to keep : first part of his work is a sort of lecture fitted for Himself as innocent as are his simple sheep. the dissecting room. Having in five cantos exhausted his physical phenomena, Fletcher proceeds No Syrian worms he knows, that with their thread to describe the complex nature and operations of the Draw out their silken lives : nor silken pride : mind. Intellect is the prince of the Isle of Man, and His lambs' warm fleece well fits his little need, he is furnished with eight counsellors, Fancy, Me- Xot in that proud Sidonian tincture dyed : mory, the Common Sense, and five external senses. No empty hopes, no courtly fears him fright; The Human Fortress, thus garrisoned, is assailed by Nor begging wants his middle fortune bite : the Vices, and a fierce contest ensues for the posses- | But sweet content exiles both misery and spite. sion of the human soul. At length an angel interposes, and insures victory to the Virtues, the angel | Instead of music, and base flattering tongues, being King James I., on whom the poet condescended / Which wait to first salute my lord's uprise ; to heap this fulsome adulation. From this sketch | The cheerful lark wakes him with early songs, of Fletcher's poem, it will be apparent that its worth | And birds sweet whistling notes unlock his eyes : must rest, not upon plot, but upon isolated passages
In country plays is all the strife he uses; and particular descriptions. Some of his stanzas
Or sing, or dance unto the rural Muses ; have all the easy flow and mellifluous sweetness of
And but in music's sports all difference refuses. Spenser's Faery Queen; but others are marred by
" Ilis certain life, that nerer can deceive him, atlectation and quaintness, and by the tediousness
SIs full of thousand sweets, and rich content: inseparable from long-protracted allegory. His fancy
The smooth-leared beeches in the field receive him was luxuriant, and, it better disciplined by taste and
With coolest shades, till noon-tide rage is spent ; judgment, might have rivalled the softer scenes of His life is neither toss'd in boist'rous seas Spenser.
Of troublous world, nor lost in slothful ease : Gues FLETCHER published only one poetical | Pleas'd and full blest he lives, when he his God can || production of any length-& sacred poem, entitled
please. Christ's Victory and Triumph. It appeared at Cambridge in 1610, and met with such indifferent suc- His bed of wool vields safe and quiet sleeps, cess, that a second edition was not called for till While by his side his faithful spouse hath place; twenty years afterwards. There is a massive gran. His little son into his bosom creeps, deur and earnestness about Christ's Victory' which The lirely picture of his father's face : strikes the imagination. The materials of the poem Xerer his humble house por state torment him : are better fused together, and more harmoniously Less he could like, if less his God had sent him; linked in connexion, than those of the Purple Island. And when he dies, green turfs, with grassy tomb, con• Both of these brothers,' says Mr Hallan, .are tent him,
Choice nymph! the crown of chaste Diana's train, [Decay of Human Greatness.]
Thou beauty's lily, set in heavenly earth; (From the same.)
Thy fairs, unpattern’d, all perfection stain : Fond man, that looks on earth for happiness,
Sure Heaven with curious pencil at thy birth And here long seeks what here is never found ! In thy rare face her own full picture drew : For all our good we hold from heav'n by lease, It is a strong verse here to write, but true, With many forfeits and conditions bound;
Hyperboles in others are but half thy due. Nor can we pay the fine, and rentage due :
Upon her forehead Love his trophies fits, Though now but writ, and seal'd, and giv'n anew,
A thousand spoils in silver arch displaying : į Yet daily we it break, then daily must renew. And in the midst himself full proudly sits, | Why shouldst thou here look for perpetual good, | Himself in awful majesty arraying : At ev'ry loss 'gainst heaven's face repining!
Upon her brown lies his bent ebon bow, Do but behold where glorious cities stood,
And ready shafts ; deadly those weapons show; With gilded tops and silver turrets shining;
Yet sweet the death appear’d, lovely that deadly blow. There now the hart fearless of greyhound feeds, And loving pelican in fancy breeds :
A bed of lilies flow'r upon her cheek,
Whose sweet aspéct would force Narcissus seek
But all in vain : for who can hope t' aspire
To such a fair, which none attain, but all admire ? Through all the world with nimble pinions far'd,
Her ruby lips lock up from gazing sight And to his greedy whelps his conquer'd kingdoms A troop of pearls, which march in goodly row : shared.
But when she deigns those precious bones undight, Hardly the place of such antiquity,
Soon heavenly notes from those divisions flow, Or note of these great monarchies we find :
And with rare music charm the ravish'd ears, 1. Only a fading verbal memory,
Daunting bold thoughts, but cheering modest fears: And empty name in writ is left behind :
The spheres so only sing, so only charm the spheres. But when this second life and glory fades,
Yet all these stars which deck this beauteous sky And sinks at length in time's obscurer shades,
By force of th' inward sun both shine and move ; A second fall succeeds, and double death invades.
Thron'd in her heart sits love's high majesty;
The sparkling crystal burns in glittering flame,
[The Rainbow.] Back'd, bridled by a monk, with seven heads yoked stands.
(From the 'Temptation and Victory of Christ.' By Glles And that black vulture, which with deathful wing
Fletcher.) O'ershadows half the earth, whose dismal sight
| High in the airy element there hung Frighten'd the Muses from their native spring, | Another cloudy sea, that did disdain, Already stoops, and flags with weary flight:
As though his purer waves from heaven sprung, Who then shall look for happiness beneath ?
To crawl on earth, as doth the sluggish main : Where each new day proclaims chance, change, and
| But it the earth would water with his rain, death,
That ebb'd and flow'd as wind and season would ; And life itself 's as flit as is the air we breathe.
And oft the sun would cleave the limber mould
To alabaster rocks, that in the liquid rollid, [Description of Parthenia, or Chastity.] Beneath those sunny banks a darker cloud, With her, her sister went, a warlike maid,
Dropping with thicker dew, did melt apace, Parthenia, all in steel and gilded arms;
And bent itself into a hollow shroud, In needle's stead, a mighty spear she sway'd,
| On which, if Mercy did but cast her face, With which in bloody fields and fierce alarms,
| A thousand colours did the bow enchase, The boldest champion she down would bear,
That wonder was to see the silk distain's And like a thunderbolt wide passage tear,
With the resplendence from her beauty gain'd, Flinging all to the earth with her enchanted spear.
And Iris paint her locks with beams so lively feign'd. Her goodly armour seern'd a garden green,
About her head a cypress heaven she wore, Where thousand spotless lilies freshly blew;
Spread like a veil, upheld with silver wire, And on her shield the lone bird might be seen,
In which the stars so burnt in golden ore, Th’ Arabian bird, shining in colours new ;
As seem'd the azure web was all on fire : Itself unto itself was only mate;
But hastily, to quench their sparkling ire, Ever the same, but new in newer date :
A flood of milk came rolling up the shore, And underneath was writ ‘Such is chaste single state.'
That on his curded wave swift Argus wore,
And the immortal swan, that did her life deplore. Thus hid in arms she seem'd a goodly knight, And fit for any warlike exercise :
Yet strange it was so many stars to see, But when she list lay down her armour bright,
Without a sun to give their tapers light; And back resume her peaceful maiden's guise;
Yet strange it was not that it so should be ; The fairest maid she was, that ever yet
For, where the sun centres himself by right, Prison'd her locks within a golden net,
Her face and locks did flame, that at the sight Or let them waving bang, with roses fair beset.
The heavenly veil, that else should nimbly move,
Forgot his flight, and all incensed with love, 1 Places. 9 The Turk. | With wonder and amazement, did her beauty prove.
Over her hung a canopy of state,
High over all, Panglorie's blazing throne,
A silver wand the sorceress did sway, [The Sorceress of Vain Delight.)
And, for a crown of gold, her hair she wore;
Only a garland of rose-buds did play (From the same.)
About her locks, and in her hand she bore
A hollow globe of glass, that long before The garden like a lady fair was cut,
She full of emptiness had bladdered, That lay as if she slumber'd in delight,
And all the world therein depictured: And to the open skies her eyes did shut;
Whose colours, like the rainbow, ever vanished. The azure fields of Heaven were 'sembled right In a large round, set with the flowers of light: Such watery orbicles young boys do blow The flowers-de-luce, and the round sparks of dew Out from their soapy 'shells, and much admire That hung upon their azure leares, did shew
| The swimming world, which tenucrly they row Like twinkling stars, that sparkle in the evening blue. With easy breath till it be raised higher;
But if they chance but roughly once aspire, Upon a hilly bank her head she cast,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall. On which the bower of Vain Delight was built. Here when she came she 'gan for music call, White and red roses for her face were plac'd,
And sung this wooing song to welcome him withal : And for her tresses marigolds were spilt: Them broadly she display'd, like flaming gilt,
'Love is the blossom where there blows Till in the ocean the glad day was drown'd:
Everything that lives or grows : Then up again her yellow locks she wound,
Love doth make the heavens to more, And with green fillets in their pretty cauls them bound.
And the sun doth burn in love; What should I here depaint her lily hand,
Like the strong and weak doth yoke, Her veins of violets, her erinine breast,
And makes the ivy climb the oak ;
Under whose shadows lions wild
Soften’d by lore grow tame and mild :
Love no medicine can appease, A wall of prim hid in his bushes bears
He burns the fishes in the seas;
Not all the skill his wounds can stench, Shaking at every wind their leafy spears,
Not all the sea his fire can quench: While she supinely sleeps, nor to be waked fears.
Love did make the bloody spear Over the hedge depends the graping elm,
Once a leafy coat to wear, Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine,
While in his leaves there shrouded lay Seemed to wonder at his bloody helm,
Sweet birds, for love, that sing and play:
And of all love's joyful flame
I the bud and blossom am.
Only bend thy knee to me, But her weak arms embraced him the more,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be. And she with ruby grapes laugh'd at her paramour.
"See, see, the flowers that below
Now as fresh as morning blow,
That as bright Aurora shows :
Like unto a summer shade,
But now born and now they fade. Their stony nightingales had taught to call,
Everything doth pass away, When Zephyr breath'd into their watery interall.
There is danger in delay ;
Come, come, gather then the rose, And all about, embayed in soft sleep,
Gather it, or it you lose. A herd of charmed beasts aground were spread,
All the sands of Tagus' shore Which the fair witch in golden chains did keep,
Into my bosom casts his ore : And them in willing bondage fettered :
All the valleys' swimming corn Once men they liv‘d, but now the men were dead,
To my house is yearly borne; And turn'd to beasts ; so fabled Homer old,
Every grape of every vine That Circe with her potion, charm'd in gold,
Is gladly bruis'd to make me wine ; L'sed manly souls in beastly bodies to immould.
While ten thousand kings as proud
To carry up my train have bow'd, Through this false Eden, to his leman's bower,
And a world of ladies send me (Whom thousand souls devoutly idolise)
In my chambers to attend me; Our first destroyer led our Saviour ;
All the stars in heaven that shine, There, in the lower room, in solemn wise,
And ten thousand more are mine : They danc'd a round and pour'd their sacrifice
Only bend thy knee to me,
Thy wooing shall thy winning be.'