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William Browne ward 1590 zu Tavistock, in Devonshire geboren, machte seine Studien in Oxford und widmete sich dann der Rechtswissenschaft in London, doch zog er die Beschäftigung mit den Musen den strengen Forderungen der Themis vor und der erste Band seiner Hirtengedichte, Britannia's Pastorals erschien bereits 1613 in London, dem drei Jahre später der zweite nachfolgte. Während der Zwischenzeit gab er noch sieben Eklogen, unter dem Titel, the Shepherds Pipe, sowie the Inner Temple Masque heraus. Später wurde er Erzieher des Earl von Caernarvon und kam dann zu dem Grafen von Pembroke, wo es ihm sehr wohl ging. Gegen das Ende seines Lebens kehrte er in seine heimathliche Provinz zurück und beschloss sein irdisches Dasein 1645 zu Ottery St. Mary.

Nach seinem Tode geriethen seine früher so gefeierten Schriften bald in Vergessenheit, doch wurde das Andenken an dieselben durch eine 1779 zu London veranstaltete Auflage wieder erneut, auch finden sie sich in Anderson's British poets Vol. IV. abgedruckt. Brown ist der bedeutendste unter den ältern bukolischen Dichtern der Engländer, reich an Phantasie, tiefem Gefühl, Natürlichkeit, Wahrheit und Gedanken; seine Sprache erscheint edel und correct, aber die Nachahmung des Italiener Marino führt ihn zu oft irre, und sein Bemühen Neues eigenthümlich und neu zu sagen macht ihn gesucht, geschwätzig und gekünstelt, besonders da, wo er allegorisirt, was ihm stets am Wenigsten gelingt.

From Britannia's Pastorals. Each man that lives (according to his powre)

On what he loves bestowes an idle howre; Now as an angler melancholy standing, Upon a greene bancke yeelding roome for Instead of hounds that make the wooded hils


Talke in a hundred voyces to the rils, A wrigling yealow worme thrust on his hooke,

I like the pleasing cadence of a line Now in the midst be throwes, then in a nooke:

Strucke by the concert of the sacred Nine. Here pulls his line, there throws it in againe,

In lieu of hawkes, the raptures of my soule Mending his croke and baite, but all in vaine,

Transcend their pitch and baser earth's conHe long stands viewing of the curled streame;

troule. At last a hungry pike, or well - growne breame,

For running horses, contemplation flyes Snatch at the worme, and hasting fast away

With quickest speed to winne the greatest prize. He, knowing it a fish of stubborne sway,

For courtly dancing I can take more pleasure Puls up his rod, but soft; (as having skill)

To heare a verse keepe time and equall measure. Wherewith the hooke fast holds the fishe's gill. For winning riches, seeke the best directions

How I may well subdue mine owne affections.
For raysing stately pyles for heyres to come,
Here in this poem I erect my tombe.

And time may be so kinde, in these weake lines My free - borne Muse will not, like Danae, be, To keepe my name enrollid, past his, that Wonne with base drosse to clip with slavery;

shines Nor lend her choiser balme to worthless men, In gilded marble, or in brazen leaves : Whose names would die but for some hired pen; Since verse preserves when stone and brasse No: if I praise, vertue shall draw me to it,

deceives. And not a base procurement make me doe it Or if (as worthlesse) time not lets it live What now I sing is but to passe away

To those full dayes which others' Muses give, A tedious houre, as some musitians play;

Yet I am sure I shall be heard and sung Or make another my owne griefes bemone;

Of most severest eld and kinder young Or to be least alone when most alone.

Beyond my dayes, and maugre Envye's strife In this can I, as oft as I will choose,

Adde to my name some houres beyond my life. Hug sweet content by my retyred Muse,

Such of the Muses are the able powres, And in a study finde as much to please And, since with them I spent my vacant houres, As others in the greatest pallaces.

I find nor hawke, nor hound, nor other thing,

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Robert Herrick, der Sohn eines Goldschmiedes ward 1591 in London geboren, studirte zu Cambridge und widmete sich erst der Jurisprudenz, dann der Theologie. 1629 erhielt er die Pfründe zu Dean Prior in Devonshire, ward aber durch die Revolution von dort vertrieben, worauf er als Privatmann in Westminster lebte und erst durch die Thronbesteigung Karls II. wieder eingesetzt. Er erreichte ein hohes Alter; sein Todesjahr ist jedoch nicht ermittelt.

Seine Poesieen sind nur lyrischer Gattung und erschienen in zwei Sammlungen, von denen die erstere unter dem Titel Hesperides (London 1618) weltliche, die zweite aber unter dem Titel Noble Numbers (London 1620) nur geistliche Gedichte enthält; diese letzteren stehen den ersteren init wenigen Ausnahmen weit im Werthe nach. Warmes Gefühl, Anmuth und seltener Wohllaut sind llerrick eigen, aber er schwächt diese rühmlichen Eigenschaften durch den falschen Geschmack seiner Zeit, der ihn zu Künstelei und Gesuchtheit verleitete, so dass sich nur wenige Leistungen von ihm in Andenken der Nachwelt erhalten haben.

The Night Piece. - To Julia.
Her eyes the glowworme lend thee,
The shooting starres attend thee;

And the elves also,

Whose little eyes glow,
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee!

No will-o'-th’-wispe mislight thee;
Nor snake nor slowworine bite thee;

But on, on thy way,

Not making a stay,
Since ghost there's none to affright thee!

Let not the darke thee cumber;
What though the moon does slumber,

The starres of the night

Will lend thee their light, Like tapers cleare without number.

We die,
As your hours doe; and drie


Like to the summer's raine. Or as the pearles of morning dew,

Ne'r to be found again.

Then, Julia, let me wooe thee, Thus, thus, to come unto me;

And when I shall meet

Thy silv'ry feet, My soule I'll poure into thee!

To Blossoms. Faire pledges of a fruitfull tree,

Why do yee fall so fast?

Your date is not so past: But you may stay yet here awhile

To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.

What, were yee borne to be

An houre or half's delight,

And so to bid good night? 'Twas pitie nature brought yee forth

Meerly to shew your worth,

And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne’r so brave: And after they have shown their pride,

Like you, awhile, they glide

Into the grave.

Corinna going a Maying.
Get up, get up for shame; the blooming morne
Upon her wings presents the God unshorne:

See how Aurora throwes her faire
Fresh-quilted colours through the aire:
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see

The dew bespangling herbe and tree:
Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east,
Above an houre since: yet you are not drest;

Nay, not so much as out of bed;
When all the birds have mattens said,
And sung their thankfull hymnes; 'tis sin,

Nay, profanation, to keep in;
When as a thousand virgins on this day,
Spring sooner than the lark, to fetch in May!
Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seene
To come forth like the spring time, fresh and

And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gowne, or haire :
Feare not, the leaves will strew

Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearl unwept:

Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night :
And Titan on the eastern hill

Retires himselfe, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dresse, be briefe in

Few beads are best, when once we goe a Maying!
Come, my Corinna, come, and, comming marke
How each field turns a street, each street a parke

Made green, and trimm'd with trees, see how
Devotion gives each house a bough,
Or branch; each porch, each doore, ere this

An ark, a tabernacle is
Made up of whitethorn neatly interwove,
As if here were those cooler shades of love.

Can such delights be in the street
And open fields, and we not see't?
Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey

The proclamation made for May,
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let's goe a Maying!

To D a ffa dils.

Faire daffadills, we weep to see
You haste away so soone;
As yet the early-rising sun

Has not attain'd his noone:

Stay, stay,
Untill the hast’ning day

Has run

But to the even-song; And, having pray'd together, we

Will goe with you along !

We have short time to stay, as you;
We have as short a spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay,

As you, or any thing:

There's not a budding boy or girle this day

Or warp't, as we, But is got up, and gone to bring in May:

Who think it strange to see A deale of youth, ere this, is come

Such pretty flow'rs, (like to orphans young)
Back, and with whitethorn laden home: To speak by teares before ye have a tongue.
Some have dispatch't their cakes and creame,

Before that we have left to dreame;
And some have wept, and woo'd and plighted Speak, whimp’ring younglings; and make known

The reason why

Ye droop, and weep. And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:

Is it for want of sleep; Many a green gown has been given;

Or childish lullabie? Many a kisse, both odde and even:

Or, that ye have not seen as yet Many a glance too has been sent

The violet? From out the eye, love's firmament;

Or brought a kisse Many a jest told of the keyes betraying

From that sweetheart to this?
This night, and locks pick't; yet w'are not a

No, no; this sorrow, shown

By your teares shed

Wo'd have this lecture read, Come, let us goe, while we are in our prime,

“That things of greatest, so of meanest worth, And take the harmlesse follie of the time:

Conceiv'd with grief are, and with teares brought We shall grow old apace, and die

forth.” Before we know our liberty: Our life is short, and our dayes run

As fast away as do's the sunne
And, as a vapour, or a drop of raine
Once lost, can ne'r be found againe,
So when or you, or I, are made

A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight

Gather ye rose - buds while ye may,
Lies drown'd with us in endlesse night.

Old Time is still a flying; Then, while time serves, and we are but de

And this same flower that smiles to-day, caying,

To-morrow will be dying. Come, my Corinna, come, let's goe a Maying!

The glorious lamp of heav'n, the sun,

The higher he's a getting,

The sooner will his race be run,
To Primroses, filled with Morning-Dew.

And neerer he's to setting.
Why doe ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears
Speak griefe in you,

The age is best which is the first,
Who were but borne

When youth and blood are warmer;
Just as the modest morne

But being spent, the worse and worst
Teem'd her refreshing dew?

Times still succeed the former.
Alas! you have not known that shower
That marres a flower;

Then be not coy, but use your time,
Nor felt th' unkind

And while ye may, goe marry ;
Breath of a blasting wind;

For having lost but once your prime, Nor are ye worne with yeares :

You may for ever tarry.


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