Изображения страниц

Thou art the same which still thou wert before,
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair ;
But she whose breath embalm'd thy wholesome air
Is gone; nor gold, nor gems can her restore.

Neglected virtue, seasons go and come,
When thine forgot lie closed in a tomb.

Too long I followed have my fond desire,
And too long panted on the ocean streams;
Too long refreshment sought amidst the fire,

those joys which to my soul are blames.
Ah, when I had what most I did admire,
And seen of life's delights the last extremes,
I found all but a rose hedg'd with a brier,
A naught, a thought, a masquerade of dreams.
Henceforth on thee, my only good, I'll think,
For only thou canst grant what I do crave :
Thy nail my pen shall be; thy blood mine ivk;
Thy winding-sheet my paper; study, grave :

And till my soul forth of this body flee,
No hope I'll have, but only, only thee.


(From Flowers of Sion.]
Look, how the flower which ling’ringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoil'd of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head :
Right so the pleasures of my life being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,
And (blasted) scarce now shows what it hath been.
As doth the pilgrim, therefore, whom the night
By darkness would imprison on his way,
Think on thy home (my soul) and think aright,
Of what's yet left thee of life's wasting day ;

Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn,
And twice it is not given thee to be born.

The weary mariner so fast not flies
A howling tempest, harbour to attain ;
Nor shepherd hastes (when frays of wolves arise)
So fast to fold, to save his bleating train,

As I (wing'd with contempt and just disdain)
Now ły the world, and what it most doth prize,
And sanctuary seek, free to remain
From wounds of abject times and envy's eyes.
To me this world did once seem sweet and fair,
While senses’ light mind's perspective kept blind ;
Now, like imagined landscape in the air,
And weeping rainbows, her best joys I find :

Or if aught here is had that praise should have,
It is a life obscure, and silent grave.

The last and greatest herald of heaven's king,
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts mild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he more harmless found than man, and mild;
His food was locusts, and what there doth spring,
With honey that from virgin hives distill’d;
Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled

There burst he forth; all ye whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn,
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn !
Who listen'd to his voice, obey'd his cry?

Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their finty caves, Repent, repent !

Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours
Of winters past or coming, void of care,
Well-pleased with delights which present are,
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers :
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers,
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee He did not spare,
A stain to human sense in sin that lowers.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs
(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven
Quite to forget earth’s turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to Heaven ?

Sweet, artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yes, and to angels' lays.

As when it happeneth that some lovely town
Unto a barbarous besieger falls,
Who both by sword and flame himself instals,
And, shameless, it in tears and blood doth drown,

Her beauty spoild, her citizens made thralls,
His spite yet cannot so her all throw down,
But that some statue, pillar of renown,
Yet lurks unmaim’d within her weeping walls :
So, after all the spoil, disgrace, and wreck,
That time, the world, and death, could bring combined,
Amidst that mass of ruins they did make,
Safe and all scarless yet remains my mind :

From this so high transcending rapture springs,
That I, all else defaced, not envy kings.

A good that never satisfies the mind,
A beauty fading like the April show'rs,
A sweet with floods of gall that runs combin'd,
A pleasure passing ere in thought made ours,
A honour that more fickle is than wind,
A glory at opinion's frown that low'rs,
A treasury which bankrupt time devours,
A knowledge than grave ignorance more blind,
A vain delight our equals to command,
A style of greatness, in effect a dream,
A swelling

thought of holding sea and land, A servile lot, deck'd with a pompous name :

Are the strange ends we toil for here below,
Till wisest death make us our errors know.

Thrice happy he who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own,
Though solitary, who is not alone,
But doth converse with that eternal love.
0, how more sweet is birds’ harmonious moan,
Or the hoarse sobbings of the widow'd dove,
Than those smooth whisp’rings near a prince's thronc,
Which good make doubtful, do the evil approve !
0, how more sweet is zephyrs' wholesome breath,
And sighs embalm'd, which new-born flow'rs unfold,
Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams to poison drank in gold !

The world is full of horrors, troubles, slights:
Woods' harmless shades have only trúe delights.



RICHARD CRAShaw was the son of a preacher at the Temple church in London. He was born, as is supposed, A.D. 1615, and educated, first at the Charter House, and subsequently at Cam. bridge, where he became a Fellow, and where he published his Latin poems. Refusing subscription to the covenant, in 1644, he was ejected from the university, and reduced to abject poverty. He had previously acquired a high reputation as a preacher. Shortly afterwards he renounced all future hopes of preferment by making his submission to the Catholic Church. He went to Italy, and was appointed a canon of the cathedral of Loretto. He died A.D. 1650.

Crashaw has been much neglected, notwithstanding the encomiums on him pronounced by Pope, and reiterated in later times by Coleridge. His religion was doubtless one cause of this neglect; and another may be found in the occasional quaintness and conceits which he shared with Herbert, and which were increased by his admiration for the writings of the Italian poet Marino.

In spite, however, of a redundant fancy, and the dulcia vitia into which it betrayed him, there is an exquisite beauty, richness, and tenderness in the poetry of Crashaw, as well as a noble devotional fervour, and an occasional sublimity. In his translation from Marino's “Sospetto di Herode," a peculiar vigour, as well as exuberance of language, is displayed, in which he anticipates a modern poet of a very different school, - the unhappy Shelley. Crashaw was skilled in music and drawing, as well as in poetry. The high estimate in which he was held by the more discerning of his contem. poraries may be inferred from the lines on his death by Cowley.

Go, now, and with some daring drug
Bait thy disease; and, whilst they tug,
Thou, to maintain their precious strife,
Spend the dear treasures of thy life.
Go, take physic, dote upon
Some big-named composition,
The oraculous doctors' mystic bills-
Certain hard words made into pills;
And what at last shalt gain by these?
Only a costlier disease.
That which makes us have no need
Of physic, that's physic indeed.
Hark, hither, reader! wilt thou see
Nature her own physician be!

Wilt see a man, all his own wealth,
His own music, his own health ;
A man whose sober soul can telí
How to wear her garments well;
Her garments, that upon her sit,
As garments should do, close and fit;
A well-cloth'd soul, that's not oppress'd
Nor chok'd with what she should be dress'd;
A soul sheath'd in a crystal shrine,
Through which all her bright features shine;
As when a piece of wanton lawn,
A thin aerial veil, is drawn
O’er beauty's face, seeming to hide,
More sweetly shows the blushing bride;
A soul, whose intellectual beams
No mists do mask, no lazy steams-
A happy soul, that all the way
To heaven hath a summer's day?
Wouldst see a man whose well-warm'd blood
Bathes him in a genuine flood;
A man whose tuned humours be
A seat of rarest harmony?
Wouldst see blithe looks, fresh cheeks, beguile
Age? Wouldst see December smile?
Wouldst see nests of new roses grow
In a bed of reverend snow?
Warm thoughts, free spirits flattering
Winter's self into a spring?
In sum, wouldst see a man that can
Live to be old, and still a man?
Whose latest and most leaden hours
Fall with soft wings, stuck with soft flowers;
And when life's sweet fable ends,
Soul and body part like friends;
No quarrels, murmurs, no delay;
A kiss, a sigh, and so away
This rare one, reader, wouldst thou see?
Hark, hither, and thyself be he.



[ocr errors]

I sing the Name which none can say,
But touch'd with an interior ray, -
The name of our new peace; our good;
Our bliss, and supernatural blood;


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »