« AnteriorContinuar »
to have weakened bis constitution, and rendered him an easy victim to what was called the camp-fever, then prevalent in Oxford. He died December 23, 1643, aged thirty-two. The King, then in Oxford, went into mourning for him. His works were published in 1651, and to them were prefixed fifty copies of encomiastic verses from the wits and poets of the time. They scarcely justify the praises they have received, being somewhat crude and harsh, and all of them occasional. His private character, his eloquence as a preacher, and his zeal as a Royalist, seem to have supplemented his claims as a poet. He enjoyed, too, in his earlier life, the friendship of Ben Jonson, who used to say of him, 'My son Cartwright writes all like a man;' and such a sentence from such an authority was at that time fame.
1 Where is that learned wretch that knows
Whether the sparrow's plumes, or dove's,
Quicken or dull the head:
2 Fond that I am to ask ! whoe'er
Did yet see thought? or silence hear?
The flights of angels part
So hopeless I must now endure,
3 A sudden fire of blushes shed
To dye white paths with hasty red;
A subtle taking smile
Of motion, limbs, and face;
4 But as the feathers in the wing
Unblemish'd are, and no wounds bring,
So lights of flowing graces
Till that we make them darts;
5 Beauty's our grief, but in the ore,
We mint, and stamp, and then adore:
Those graces all were meant
We turn those lights to fires,
And out of cures do poisons make.
ON THE DEATH OF SIR BEVIL GRENVILLE.
Not to be wrought by malice, gain, or pride,
When now the incensed legions proudly came Down like a torrent without bank or dam: When undeserved success urged on their force ; That thunder must come down to stop their course, Or Grenville must step in; then Grenville stood, And with himself opposed and check'd the flood. Conquest or death was all his thought. So fire Either o'ercomes, or doth itself expire : His courage work'd like flames, cast heat about, Here, there, on this, on that side, none gave out; Not any pike on that renowned stand, But took new force from his inspiring hand : Soldier encouraged soldier, man urged man, And he urged all; so much example can; Hurt upon hurt, wound upon wound did call, He was the butt, the mark, the aim of all: His soul this while retired from cell to cell, At last flew up from all, and then he fell. But the devoted stand enrayèd more From that his fate, plied hotter than before, And proud to fall with him, sworn not to yield, Each sought an honour'd grave, so gain’d the field.
Thus he being fallen, his action fought anew :
This was not nature's courage, not that thing
And thou (blest soul) whose clear compacted fame, As amber bodies keeps, preserves thy name, Whose life affords what doth content both eyes, Glory for people, substance for the wise, Go laden up with spoils, possess that seat To which the valiant, when they've done, retreat: And when thou seest an happy period sent To these distractions, and the storm quite spent, Look down and say, I have my share in all, Much good grew from my life, much from my fall.
WILLIAM BROWNE. This pastoral poet was born, in 1590, at Tavistock, in Devonshire, a lovely part of a lovely county. He was educated at Oxford, and went thence to the Inner Temple. He was at one time tutor to the Earl of Carnarvon, and afterwards, when that nobleman perished in the battle of Newbury, in 1643, he was patronised by the Earl of Pembroke, in whose house he resided, and is even said to have become so rich that he purchased an estate. In 1645 he died, at Ottery St Mary, the parish where, in 1772, Coleridge was born.