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Mess. Inevitable cause,
Man, 0 lastly over-strong against thyself!
Mess. Occasions drew me early to this city; And, as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise, The morning trumpets festival proclaim'd Through each high street: little I had despatch'd, When all abroad was rumour'd that this day Samson should be brought forth, to show the people Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games; I sorrow'd at his captive state, but minded Not to be absent at that spectacle. The building was a spacious theatre Half-round, on two main pillars vaulted high, With seats where all the lords, and each degree Of sort, might sit in order to behold! The other side was open, where the throng On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand; I among these aloof obscurely stood. The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice [wine, Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high cheer, and When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately Was Samson as a public servant brought, In their state livery clad; before him pipes, And timbrels, on each side went armed guards, Both horse and foot, before him and behind Archers, and slingers, cataphracts and spears. At sight of him the people with a shout Rifled the air, clamouring their God with praise, Who had made their dreadful enemy their thrall. He patient, but undaunted, where they led him, Came to the place; and what was set before him, Which without help of eye might be assay’d, To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform'd All with incredible, stupendous force; None daring to appear antagonist. At length for intermission's sake they led him Between the pillars; he his guide requested (For so from such as nearer stood we heard) As over-tir'd to let him lean a while With both his arms on those two massy pillars, That to the arched roof gave main support. He, unsuspicious, led him; which when Samson Felt in his arms, with head a while inclin'd, And eyes fast fix’d he stood, as one who pray'd, Or some great matter in his mind revolv’d: At last with head erect thus cried aloud, * Hitherto, lords, what your commands impos'd I have perform'd, as reason was, obeying, Not without wonder or delight beheld: Now of my own accord such other trial I mean to show you of my strength, yet greater, As with amaze shall strike all who behold.” This utter'd, straining all his nerves he bow’d, As with the force of winds and waters pent, When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars With horrible convulsion to and fro He tugg'd, he shook, till down they came and drew The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Upon the heads of all who sat beneath, Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests, Their choice nobility and flower, not only Of this but each Philistian city round,
Met from all parts to solemnize this feast.
Soak'd in his enemies' blood; and from the stream
It was the winter wild,
Only with speeches fair
But he, her fears to cease,
No war, or battle's sound, Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high up hung, The hooked chariot stood Unstain'd with hostile blood;
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng; And kings sat still with aweful eye, As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by
But peaceful was the night,
The stars, with deep amaze,
And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame
He saw a greater Sun appear [bear.
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, could
The shepherds on the lawn,
Ore'er the point of dawn,
Full little thought they then,
That the mighty Pan
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.
When such music sweet
Nature that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round
Now was almost won
To think her part was done,
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union.
At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light, [array'd : That with long beams the shamefac'd nigh
The helmed Cherubim,
And sworded Seraphim,
Harping in loud and solemn quire, [Heir
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born
~ Enwest WALLER, born at Coleshill, Hertfordshire, in March, 1605, was the son of Robert Waller, Esq. a gentleman of an ancient family and good fortune, who married a sister of the celebrated John Hampden. The death of his father during his infancy left him heir to an estate of 3500l. a year, at that period an ample fortune. He was educated first at Eton, whence he was removed to King's College in Cambridge. His election to parliament was as early as between his sixteenth or seventeenth year; and it was not much later that he made his appearance as a poet: and it is remarkable that a copy of verses which he addressed to Prince Charles, in his eighteenth year, exhibits a style and character of versification as perfectly formed as those of his maturest productions. He again served in parliament before he was of age; and he continued his services to a later period. Not insensible of the value of wealth, he augmented his paternal fortune by marriage with a rich city heiress. In the long intermissions of parliament which occurred after 1628, he retired to his mansion of Beaconsfield, where he continued his classical studies, under the direction of his kinsman Morley, afterwards bishop of Winchester; and he obtained admission to a society of able men and polite scholars, of whom Lord Falkland was the connecting medium. Waller became a widower at the age of twentyfive; he did not, however, spend much time in mourning, but declared himself the suitor of Lady Dorothea Sydney, eldest daughter of the Earl of Leicester, whom he has immortalized under the poetical name of Saccharissa. She is described by him as a majestic and scornful beauty; and he seems to delight more in her contrast, the gentler Amoret, who is supposed to have been a Lady Sophia Murray. Neither of these ladies, however, was won by his poetic strains; and, like another man, he consoled himself in a second marriage. When the king's necessities compelled him, in 1640, once more to apply to the representatives of the people, Waller, who was returned for Agmondesham, decidedly took part with the members who thought that the redress of grievances should precede a vote for supplies ; and he made an energetic speech on the occasion. He continued during three years to vote in general with the Opposition in the Long Parliament, but did not enter into all their measures. In particular, he employed much cool argument against the proposal for the abolition of Episcopacy; and he spoke with freedom and severity against some other plans of the House. In fact, he was at length become a zealous loyalist in his inclinations; and his conduct under the difficulties into which this attachment involved him became a source of his indelible disgrace. A short narrative will suffice for the elucidation of this matter.
Waller had a brother-in-law, named Tomkyns, who was clerk of the queen's council, and possessed great influence in the city among the warm loyalists. On consulting together, they thought it would be possible to raise a powerful party, which might oblige the parliament to adopt pacific measures, by resisting the payment of the taxes levied for the support of the war. About this time Sir Nicholas Crispe formed a design of more dangerous import, which was that of exciting the king's friends in the city to an open resistance of the authority of parliament; and for that purpose he obtained a commission of array from his misjesty. This plan appears to have been originally unconnected with the other; yet the commission was made known to Waller and Tomkyns, and the whole was compounded into a horrid and dreadful plot. Waller and Tomkyns were apprehended. when the pusillanimity of the former disclosed the whole secret. “He was so confounded with fear," (says Lord Clarendon,) “that he confessed whatever he had heard, said, thought, or seen, all that he knew of himself, and all that he suspected of others, without concealing any person, of what degree or quality soever, or any discourse which be had ever upon any occasion entertained with them." The conclusion of this business was, that Tomkyns, and Chaloner, another conspirator, were hanged, and that Waller was expelled the House, tried, and condemned; but after a year's imprisonment, and a fine of ten thousand pounds, was suffered to go into exile. He chose Rouen for his first place of foreign exile, where he lived with his wife till his removal to Paris. In that capital he maintained the appearance of a man of fortune, and entertained hospitably, supporting this style of living chiefly by the sale of his wife's jewels. At length, after the lapse of ten years, being reduced to what he called his rump jewel, he thought it time to apply for permission to return to his own country. He obtained this licence, and was also restored to his estate, though now diminished to half its former rental. Here he fixed his abode, at a house built by himself, at Beaconsfield; and he renewed his courtly strains by adulation to Cromwell, now Protector, to whom his mother was related. To this usurper the noblest tribute of his muse was paid.
When Charles II. was restored to the crown, and past character was lightly regarded, the stains of that of Waller were forgotten, and his wit and poetry procured him notice at court, and admission to the highest circles. He had also sufficient interest to obtain a seat in the House of Commons, in all the parliaments of that reign. The king's gracious manners emboldened him to ask for the vacant place of provost of Eton college, which was
granted him; but Lord Clarendon, then Lord Chancellor, refused to set the seal to the grant, alledging that by the statutes laymen were excluded from that provostship. This was thought the reason why Waller joined the Duke of Buckingham, in his hostility against Clarendon. On the accession of James II., Waller, then in his 80th year, was chosen representative for Saltash. Having now considerably passed the usual limit of human life, he turned his thoughts to devotion, and composed some divine poems, the usual task in
F.I. that you may truly know,
which men of gaiety terminate their career. He died at Beaconsfield in October, 1687, the 83d year of his age. He left several children by his second wife, of whom, the inheritor of his estate, Edmund, after representing Agmondesham in parliament, became a convert to quakerism. Waller was one of the earliest poets who obtained reputation by the sweetness and sonorousness of his strains; and there are perhaps few masters at the present day who surpass him in this particular.
Unto that adored dame:
AMoRrt, the Milky Way,
By that snowy neck alone,
ANGER, in hasty words, or blows,