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“WHEN FIRST THY EYES."
BY HENRY VAUGHAN.
[HENRY VAUGHAN was born at Newton, in Brecknockshire, in 1614. He studied at Oxford, and first became a lawyer, then a physician ; but in neither capacity does he seem to have obtained a competency. In the latter part of his life, he became very serious and devout. He died in 1695.
Vaughan's poetry exhibits great strength and originality of thought, and abounds in imagery ; but his ideas are gloomy and sectarian, and his rhymes are not pleasing. ]
When first thy eyes unveil, give thy soul leave
Or leaf but hath his morning hymn ; each bush And oak doth know I AM. Canst thou not sing?
O leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,
The whole unto Him, and remember who
AN ODE TO ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
BY JOHN DRYDEN.
(JOHN DRYDEN, the son of Erasmus Dryden, of Tichmersh, was born at Aldwinkle, in Northamptonshire, in the year 1632. He was educated at Westminster School under the celebrated Dr. Busby, and was elected to one of the Cambridge scholarships. He entered Trinity College in 1650, and, in four years, took his B. A. degree. At the same time, upon the death of his father, he came into possession of property worth about 6ol. a year. He soon afterwards began to write poetry and dramatic compositions, and, in 1665, married the Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the first Earl of Berkshire. For many years he supported himself solely by his writings; these were principally for the stage, or satires of men of the day, or translations of the classic authors. His poems “Absalom and Achitophel ” and “The Hind and the Panther” gained him great reputation, and he was made Poet Laureate. In his later days he wrote “Alexander's Feast : an Ode to St. Cecilia's Day,” the finest lyric poem in the English language, and his “ Fables.” Dryden died in poverty on the ist of May, 1700, at a small house in Gerrard Street, Soho. He had a public funeral, and was buried with great honour in Westminster Abbey.]
'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won,
By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne :
His valiant peers were placed around,
So should desert in arms be crown'd.
Happy, happy, happy pair ;
None but the brave,
Timotheus, placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
And heavenly joys inspire.
When he to fair Olympia press'd ;
Then round her slender waist he curld,
The list’ning crowd admire the lofty sound ;
A present deity, they shout around ;
With ravish'd ears
Affects to nod,
The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young :