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harmony. Indeed, a late celebrated writer of sacred poetry, only by rescinding' or adding a few words in some stanzas, has demonstrated the metrical eminence of several poems of HE'RBERT, which are not the least meritorious in that writer's excellent collection.
In fine. While virtue has power to charm ; while christianity is felt in its living evidence; and while found sense shall have influence on the human mind;. THE POEMS OF HERBERT WILL CLAIM TRONAGE IN THE BOSOM OF EVERY GOOD MAN.
THE Rev. GEORGE HERBERT was born in 1593, in the possession of the family of the Herberts. His father was Richard Herbert; great-grandson of the famous Sir Richard Herbert, of Colebrook, in the county of Monmouth, Knight Banneret, who was the youngest brother of the memorable William Herbert Earl of Pembroke, who lived in the reign of Edward the Fourth. His mother was Magdalen, the youngest daughter of Sir Richard Newport, of the county of Salop, Knight ; a woman of personal excellence, mental accomplishments, and genuine piety. She was the mother of seven fons and three daughters; the eldest was Edward, who was made Knight of the Bath by James the First, and was afterward sent by him as Ambassador to the Court of Lewis XIII. He was by Clarles I. created Baron of (aftle-Island, and soon after of Cherbery, in the county of Salop. He is well known as an Author, and his book, de Veritate, and his History of the Reign of Henry VIII. and several other Tracts, shew him to have been a man of learning
GEORGB was the fifth son. The early part of his education, and that of two of his brothers, was directed by a private tutor under the eye of his mother, who had become a widow when he was four years old.
When he was about the age of twelve years, he was commended through Dr. Neale, then Dean of Westminster, to the care of Mr. Ireland, Chief Master of that School, where his behaviour, good-parts, and early piety were equally conspicuous. In this School he obtained a perfect knowledge of the learned languages, especially the Greek, in which he after proved an excellent critic.
About the age of fifteen, being a King's Scholar, he was elected for Trinity College, Cambridge, to which place he was transplanted about the year 1608. His prudent mother well knowing that he might easily lose, or lessen, that Virtue and Innocence which her advice and example had planted in his mind, procured the generous and liberal Dr. Nevil, who was then Dean of Canterbury and Master of that College, to take him into his particular care, and provide him a Tutor; which, he gladly undertook, for he knew the excellencies of his mother, and how to value such a friendship.
Soon after this she was married to an amiable gentleman, the brother and heir of the Earl of Danby, who highly valued both her person and the excellent endowments of her mind. During her widowhood, these accomplishments were the subject of panegyric. The muse of Dr. Donne decked them with a poetic wreath.
No Spring nor Summer-Beauty has such grace ;
As I have seen in an Autumnal face, Of the latter he says,
In all her words to every hearer fit,
You may at Revels, or at Councils fit. Her character indeed he has fully delineated in “ The Autumnal Beauty," an Elegy in his printed works. Her acquaintance was solicited by most men of worth and learning while she resided at Oxford, which the did a considerable time on purpose to be near her fons
at College. Sensible of the advantages derived from the affable attentions of a mother, attentions equally distant from acerbity and the weakness of maternal indulgence, the endeared her children to her own company, which they justly estimated. For it was a maxim of her's, that as the body takes a nourishment suitable to the meat on which it feeds, so the soul does insensibly take in Vice by the example and conversation of wicked company. And that ignorance of vice was the best preservation of Virtue, the mere knowledge of wickedness being as tinder to inflame and kindle fin, and to keep it burning.
She died, 1627, and Dr. Donne preached her funeral fermon in Chelsea Church, where she was buried.
Our Author early devoted his poetical talents to divine subjects, as appears by the following letter and Ode sent by him to his mother the first year he was at Cambridge.
- “ But I fear the heat of my late ague hath dried up those springs, by which scholars say, the Muses use to take up their habitations. However I need not their help, to reprove the vanity of those many Love-Poems, that are daily writ and consecrated to Venus; nor to bewail that so few are writ, that look towards God and heaven. For my own part, my meaning (dear mother) is in these Sonnets, to declare my resolution to be, that my poor abilities Poetry, shall be all, and ever consecrated to God's glory, and". MY God, where is that ancient heat tow'rds thee,
Wherewith whole shoals of Martyrs once did burn,
Besides their other flames ? Doth Poetry Wear Venus livery? only serve her turn? Why are not Sonnets made of thee? and lays
Upon thine altar burnt ? Cannot thy love
Height a spirit to found out thy praise As well as any lhe ? Cannot thy Dove
Out-ftrip their Cupid easily in flight ?
Or, since thy ways are deep, and still the fame,
Will not a verse run smooth that bears thy name? Why doth that fire, which by thy power and might,
Each breast does feel, no braver fuel choose
Than that, which one day, Worms may chance refuse? Sure Lord, there is enough in thee to dry
Oceans of Ink; for, as the deluge did
Cover the earth, so doth thy Majesty : Each cloud distils thy praise, and doth forbid Poets to turn it to another use.
Rofes and Lillies speak thee; and to make
A pair of cheeks of them, is thy abuse. Why should I women's eyes for chryftal take? Such poor invention burns in their low mind
Whose fire is wild, and doth not upward go
To praise, and on thee, Lord, some Ink bestow.
In the best face but filth; when Lord, in thee
G. H. He was an indefatigable student; but his affiduity was not more ardently and strenuously directed towards the acquisition of learning, than of the more important attainments of piety and virtue. And having a tafte for music, he occasionally relieved his studies by yielding himself to the fascinating powers of harmony, by which, to use his own words, his fpirits, fatigued by application to study, were relieved, his distracted thoughts composed, and his soul raised so far above the earth, as apparently to reliín the pleasures of heaven.
From his first entrance into the College, so intense was his application to learning, so becoming his beha. viour, and so excellent his mental endowments, that Dr. Nevil was altogether charmed by him, and in the Doctor he found a discerning friend, who kindly exci. red his excellencies to still greater perfections, and ingenuously cautioned him against every impropriety