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Was born, perhaps, about 1550, and died in 1592. He is
said to have been equally famous for his wit and profligacy; and his life forms a melancholy epocha in the history of our literature, if it be true, as the well-informed authors of the Biographia Dramatica have asserted, that he was the first English poet who wrote for bread. Not less than 35 different pamphlets, in most of which are interspersed small pieces of poetry, are ascribed to Green; and he was the undoubted author of five plays. The best account of his life was compiled by the late Mr. Steevens, from the MS. notes of Oldys; and is to be found in Berkenhout's “ Bio"graphia Literaria.”
[From his “ Farewell to Folly," 1617.]
Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content;
The quiet mind is richer than a crown: Sweet are the nights in quiet slumber spent;
The poor estate scorns fortune's angry frown. Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such
bliss, Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss.
The homely house, that harbours quiet rest,
The cottage that affords no pride nor care, The mean, that 'grees with country musick best,
The sweet consort of mirth and musick's fare. Obscured life sets down a type of bliss ; A mind content, both crown and kingdom is.
MELICERTUS'S DESCRIPTION OF HIS MISTRESS,
[From his “ Arcadia," 1589.)
Tune on my pipe the praises of my love,
And, midst thy oaten harmony, recount
How fair she is that makes thy musick mount, And every string of thy heart's harp to move.
Shall I compare her form unto the sphere Whence sun-bright Venus vaunts her silver
shine? Oh, more than that, by just compare is thine, Whose chrystal looks the cloudy heavens do clear.
How oft have I descending Titan seen,
His burning looks couch in the sea-queen's lap;
And beauteous Thetis his red body wrap, In watry robes, as he her lord had been ?
When as my nymph, impatient of the night,
Bade bright Atreus with his train give place,
While she led forth the day with her fair face, And lent each star a more than Delian light.
Not Jove, or nature (should they both agree
To make a woman of the firmament
Of his mix'd purity) could not invent A sky-born form so beautiful as she.
THE PENITENT PALMER'S ODE.
(From “ Never too Late," in two parts, 1000.)
WHILOM, in the winter's rage,
“ I thought my mistress' hairs were gold,
All her looks for love were meet;
[From the Orpharion, 1599, 4to.]
Cupid abroad was 'lated in the night,
His wings were wet with ranging in the rain: Harbour he sought: to me he took his flight,
To dry his plumes : I heard the boy complain, I oped the door, and granted his desire; I rose myself, and made the wag a fire. VOL. II,
Looking more narrow, by the fire's flame
I spied his quiver hanging by his back; Doubting the boy might my misfortune frame,
I would have gone, for fear of farther crack, But what I drad, did me poor wretch betideFor forth he drew an arrow from his side.
He pierced the quick, and I began to start;
A pleasing wound, but that it was too high ; His shaft procured a sharp, yet sugar'd smart;
Away he flew: for why, his wings were dry: But left the arrow sticking in my breast, That sore I grieved, I harbour'd such a guest.
[From the Philomela, 1615.]
SITTING by a river's side,
think how some men deem Gold their God: and some esteem Honour is the chief content, That to man in life is lent. And some others do contend, Quiet none like to a friend.