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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
To do the like; our bodies but forerun
The spirit's duty : true hearts spread and leave
Unto their God, as flowers do to the sun :
Give Him thy first thoughts then, so shalt thou keep
Him company all day, and in Him sleep.
Yet never sleep the sun up; prayer should
Dawn with the day : there are set awful hours
'Twixt heaven and us ; the manna was not good
After sun-rising ; far day sullies flowers :
Rise to prevent the sun ; sleep doth sins glut,
And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.
Walk with thy fellow-creatures ; note the hush
And whisperings amongst them. Not a spring

Or leaf but hath his morning hymn ; each bush And oak doth know I AM. Canst thou not sing?

[graphic]

O leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,
And thou art sure to prosper all the day.
Serve God before the world ; let Him not go
Until thou hast a blessing ; then resign

The whole unto Him, and remember who
Prevaild by wrestling ere the sun did shine;
Pour oil upon the stones, weep for thy sin,
Then journey on, and have an eye to heav'n.
Mornings are mysteries ; the first, the world's youth,
Man's resurrection, and the future's bud,
Shroud in their births; the crown of life, light, truth,
Is styled their star; the stone and hidden food :
Three blessings wait upon them, one of which
Should move—they make us holy, happy, rich.
When the world's up, and every swarm abroad,
Keep well thy temper, mix not with each clay;
Despatch necessities ; life hath a load
Which must be carried on, and safely may;
Yet keep those cares without thee; let the heart
Be God's alone, and choose the better part.

ALEXANDER'S FEAST.

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,
Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound;

So should desert in arms be crown'd.
The lovely Thaïs by his side
Sat, like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.

Happy, happy, happy pair ;

None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserve the fair.

Timotheus, placed on high

Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre :
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above,
Such is the power of mighty Love!
A dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant spheres he rode,

When he to fair Olympia press'd ;
And while he sought her snowy breast,

Then round her slender waist he curld,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sov’reign of the world.

The list’ning crowd admire the lofty sound ;

A present deity, they shout around ;
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound :

With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,

Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young :

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