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Thy liarvest home, thy wassail bowl,18
To these,23 thou hast thy times to go
O happy life! if that their good
18 wassail-bowl, cup for drinking healths.
Wassail means health to you. 19 Fox i'th'hole, a game in which
boys or men strove with each
other while hopping. 30 mummories, a Christmas sport,
in which the players wore mon
strous masks of men and beasts. 21 twelfth-tide, the twelfth day
after Christmas-Epiphany. Plays were performed to commemorate and act the visit of the Wise Men
of the East to the infant Christ.
THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD.-Born 1593; Died 1641.
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, was, at first, one of the leaders of the popular party in the House of Commons, in the time of Charles I., but went over to the Court side, was made a peer; and also “ President of the North,” and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was tried by both Houses for illegally levying taxes, by command of the King, and beheaded in 1641. These verses were written by him a little before his death, and printed on a broad-sheet, London, 1641.
A LAST FAREWELL. FAREWELL, vain world ! farewell, my fleeting joys, Whose drop of music's but an echo's noise ; And all the lustre of your painted light, But as dull dreams and phantoms of the night. Empty your pleasures, too, nor can they last Longer than air-blown bubbles, or a blast. Farewell, you fading honours, which do blind By your false mists the sharpest-sighted mind; And having raised him to his height of cares, Tumble him headlong down the slippery stairs. How shall I praise or prize your glorious ills, Which are but poison put in golden pills ? Farewell, my blustering titles ;' ne'er come back; You've swelled my sails until my mastings crack, And made my vessel reel against the rocks Of gaping ruin, whose destructive knocks Hath helpless left me, sinking, here to lie; The cause ? I raised my maintop sails too high.
1 President of the North, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Earl of Strafford.
Farewell, ambition, since we needs must part,
Farewell, the treasures of my tempting store, 3
2 ignis fatuus, misleading light; the light that rises from marshes by phosphoric exhalations.
3 tempting store, his money
'Mongst which I can't believe but some there be
Let them besmear me by the chattering notes,
J. SHIRLEY.–Born, 1594; Died, 1666. James Shirley was a dramatic writer. He wrote thirty-nine plays, and some poems. He and his wife died the same day, of fright, caused by the great Fire of London, in 1666.
DEATH'S FINAL CONQUEST.
Are shadows, not substantial things;
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
4 wooed, won.
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill ; But their strong nerves at last must yield, They tame but one another still ;
Early or late,
They stoop to fate,
The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds ;
All heads must come
To the cold tomb;
T. HEYWOOD.-Date of Birth unknown, Died 1643.
Thomas Heywood was a native of Lincolnshire, and a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He joined the players, and was a young man while writing for them in 1596. He lived on into the reign of James I. as one of the most prolific playwrights of the day.
A MORNING SONG.
Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day;
With night we banish sorrow;
To give my Love good-morrow!