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And so doth the fantastic boy,
The god of the ill-managed flames,
To lover, nor to loving dames.
EDWARD LORD HERBERT
This noble author is little known as an English poet, and it must be confessed that his younger son, Henry Herbert, who collected and published his poetry, shewed niore piety than taste by that publication. Its title is “ Occasional “ Verses of Edward lord Herbert, baron of Cherbury and “ Castle-island, deceased in August, 1648. London, printed
“ by T. R. &c. 1665.” 95 pages, 1:2mo. The following, selected from an Ode of 35 stanzas, are the
most tolerable verses in this little volume.
An Ode upon a question moved, whether Love should
continue for ever?
Having interr'd her infant birth,
The watery ground that late did mourn,
Was strew'd with flowers, for the return Of the wish'd bridegroom of the earth.
The well-accorded birds did sing
Their hymns unto the pleasant time;
And, in a sweet consorted chime, Did welcome in the cheerful spring.
To which, soft whistles of the wind,
And warbling murmurs of a brook,
And varied notes of leaves that shook, And harmony of parts did bind.
When, with a love none can express,
That mutually happy pair,
Melander and Celinda fair
Walking thus tow'rds a pleasant grove,
Which did, it seem'd, in new delight
The pleasures of the time unite, To give a triumph to their love;
They staid at last, and on the grass
Reposed so, as o'er his breast
She bow'd her gracious head to rest, Such a weight as no burthen was.
Long their fix'd eyes to heaven bent,
Unchanged, they did never move,
As if so great and pure a love No glass but it could represent.
When with a sweet and troubled look,
She first brake silence, saying, “ Dear friend,
" O that our love might take no end “ Or never had beginning took !
" I speak not this with a false heart,
“ (Wherewith his hand she gently strain'd)
“ Or that would change a love maintain'd " With so much love on either part.
“ Nay, I protest, though death with his
Worst counsel should divide us here,
“ Only, if love's fire with the breath
« Of life be kindled, I doubt, “ With our last air 'twill be breath'd out, And quenched with the cold of death."
Then, with a look, it seem'd, denied
All earthly power but hers, yet so
As if to her breath he did owe This borrow'd life, he thus replied:
" And shall our love, so far beyond
« That low and dying appetite,
" And which so chaste desires unite, “ Not hold in an eternal bond ?
" O no, beloved ! I am most sure
“ Those virtuous habits we acquire,
“ As being with the soul entire, “ Must with it evermore endure.
« Else should our souls in vain elect;
« And vainer yet were heaven's laws,
“ When to an everlasting cause “ They gave a perishing effect.
" Nor here on earth then, nor above,
“ Our good affection can impair:
" For where God doth admit the fair, “ Think you that he excludeth love?
“ These eyes again thine eyes
" And hands again these hands enfold;
“ And all chaste pleasures can be told “ Shall with us everlasting be.
4 For if no use of sense remain
" When bodies once this life forsake,
“ Or they could no delight partake, “ Why should they ever rise again?
“ Let then no doubt, Celinda, touch,
“ Much less your fairest mind invade :
“ Were not our souls immortal made, “ Our equal loves can make them such."