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Extract from a Chorus in “ Julius Cæsar."
This life of ours is like a rose,
Which, whilst it beauties rare array, Doth then enjoy the least repose; When, virgin-like, it blush we see,
Then is’t of every hand the prey,
And by each wind is blown away; Yea, though from violence 'scaped free,
Yet doth it languish and decay.
So, whilst the courage hottest boils, And that our life seems best to be,
It is with danger compast still,
Of which, though none it chance to kill,
As nature fails, the body falls.
Since, as a ship amidst the deeps,
Or as an eagle through the air,
This breath, of which we take such care,
That it may hence with haste remove-
Whose steps behind no trace do leave.
Why should heav'n-banish'd souls thus love
The cause and bounds of their exile, Where they as restless strangers stray?
And with such pain why should they reave
That which they have no right to have, Which, with themselves, within short while, As summer's beauties, must decay,
And can give nought except the grave ?
(From the Aurora.)
O WOULD to God a way were found,
That by some secret sympathy unknown,
Then blest, most blest were I,
I were the happiest wight;
And mend me if they might.
The deepest rivers make least din,
The silent soul doth most abound in care,
Might silence shew my mind,
Or looks my woes relate:
Would soon discern my state.
Oft those that do deserve disdain,
For forging fancies get the best reward ;
Behold, by proof we see,
His fancies doth extend;
Rein'd with respects, stands dumb,
Still fearing to offend.
Then since in vain I plaints impart
To scornful ears, in a contemned scroll,
Henceforth I'll hide my losses,
That do my joys o'erthrow;
I shall them only show.
Ah! unaffected lines,
The power of passion, more than art.
EARL OF PEMBROKE.
The character of this nobleman is (as lord Orford has already
observed) most admirably drawn by lord Clarendon. (Hist. Rebellion, Vol. I. p. 57.) A collection of poems, partly written by him, partly by Sir Benjamin Ruddier, and partly (as it should seem) transcribed from other writers, was published in 1660, in one volume 8vo. If the following poem be really his, it is highly creditable to his taste.
So glides along the wanton brook,
With gentle pace into the main, Courting the banks with amorous look
He never means to see again.
And so does fortune use to smile
Upon the short-lived fav'rite's face, Whose swelling hopes she does beguile,
And always casts him in the race.