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Merlin laughs out aloud, instead of crying ;

His mother chides him for that childish fashion, SONNET

Says men must mourn the dead, themselves are

dying ;

Good manners doth make answer unto passion. Merlin, they say, an English prophet born,

The child (for children see what should be When he was young, and govern'd by his mother, Replies unto his mother by and by : [hidden) Took great delight to laugh such fools to scorn,

Mother, if you did know, and were forbidden,
As thought by nature we might know a brother.

Yet you would laugh as heartily as I.
His mother chid him oft, till on a day

This man no part hath in the child he sorrows,
They stood and saw a corpse to burial carried : His father was the monk, that sings before him :
The father tears his beard, doth weep and pray, See then how nature of adoption borrows,
The mother was the woman he had married. Truth covets in me that I should restore him.


(Born, 1582, Died, 1628.]

Sir John BEAUMONT, brother of the celebrated which no copy is known to be extant ; Bosworth dramatic poet, was born at Grace Dieu, the seat Field ; and a variety of small original and transof the family in Leicestershire. He studied at lated pieces. Bosworth Field may be compared Oxford, and at the inns of court ; but, forsaking with Addison's Campaign, without a high complithe law, married and retired to his native seat. ment to either. Sir John has no fancy, but there Two years before his death he was knighted by is force and dignity in some of his passages; and Charles the First.

he deserves notice as one of the earliest polishers He wrote the Crown of Thorns, a poem, of of what is called the heroic couplet *.


The duke's stout presence, and courageous looks,
Were to the king as falls of sliding brooks ;
Which bring a gentle and delightful rest
To weary eyes, with grievous care opprest.
He bids that Norfolk, and his hopeful son,
Whose rising fame in arms this day begun,
Should lead the vanguard_for so great command
He dares not trust in any other hand-
The rest he to his own advice refers,
And as the spirit in that body stirs.
Then, putting on his crown, a fatal sign!
So offer'd beasts near death in garlands shine
He rides about the ranks, and strives t' inspire
Each breast with part of his unwearied fire.

“ My fellow soldiers ! though your
Are sharp, and need not whetting by my words,
Yet call to mind the many glorious days
In which we treasured up immortal praise.

, when I served, I ever fled from foe,
Fly ye from mine let me be punish'd so !
But if my father, when at first he tried
How all his sons could shining blades abide,
Found me an eagle whose undazzled eyes
Affront the beams that from the steel arise,

And if I now in action teach the same, [name.
Know then, ye have but changed your general's
Be still yourselves! Ye fight against the dross
Of those who oft have run from you with loss.
How many Somersets (dissension's brands)
Have felt the force of our revengeful hands ?-
From whom this youth, as from a princely flood,
Derives his best, but not untainted blood-
Have our assaults made Lancaster to droop ?
And shall this Welshman, with his ragged troop,
Subdue the Norman and the Saxon line,
That only Merlin may be thought divine ? -
See what a guide these fugitives have chose !
Who, bred among the French, our ancient foes,
Forgets the English language and the ground,
And knows not what our drums and trumpets

sound !"
[* “ The commendation of improving the rhythm of
the couplet is due also to Sir John Beaumont, author of a
short poem on the Battle of Bosworth Field. In other
respects it has no pretensions to a high rank."-IIALLAM'S
Lit. Hist., vol. iii. p. 499.

The poem, though a posthumous publication, was not without its prefatory commendations:

This book will live; it hath a genius; this
Above his reader, or his praiser, is.--Ben Jonson.]


(Born, 1570? Died, 1631.)

MICHAEL DRAYTON was born in the parish of exhibit the most fantastic views of nature, sparkle Atherston, in Warwickshire. His family was with elegant imagery. The Nymphidia is in his ancient, but it is not probable that his parents happiest characteristic manner of airy and sporwere opulent, for he was educated chiefly at the

tive pageantry. In some historic sketches of expense of Sir Godfrey Godere. In his child the Barons' Wars he reaches a manner beyond hood, which displayed remarkable proficiency, himself — the pictures of Mortimer and the he was anxious to know what strange kind of Queen, and of Edward's entrance to the castle. beings poets were, and on his coming to college are splendid and spirited. In his Poly-olbion, or he importuned his tutor, if possible, to make description of Great Britain, he has treated the him a poet. Either from this ambition, or from subject with such topographical and minute necessity, he seems to have adopted no profes detail as to chain his poetry to the map ; and he sion, and to have generally owed his subsistence has unfortunately chosen a form of verse which, to the munificence of friends. An allusion which though agreeable when interspersed with other he makes, in the poem of “ Moses's Birth and measures, is fatiguing in long continuance by Miracles,” to the destruction of the Spanish itself: still it is impossible to read the poem Armada, has been continually alleged as a without admiring the richness of his local assoground for supposing that he witnessed that ciations, and the beauty and variety of the fabuspectacle in a military capacity ; but the lines, in lous allusions which he scatters around him. fact, are far from proving that he witnessed it at Such indeed is the profusion of romantic recolall. On the accession of King James the First, lections in the Poly-olbion, that a poet of taste he paid his court to the new sovereign, with all and selection might there find subjects of happy that a poet could offer, his congratulatory verses. description, to which the author who suggested James, however, received him but coldly, and them had not the power of doing justice ; for though he was patronised by Lord Buckhurst Drayton started so many remembrances, that lie and the Earl of Dorset , he obtained no situation lost his inspiration in the effort of memory. In of independence, but continued to publish his the Barons' Wars, excepting the passages already voluminous poetry amidst severe irritations with noticed, where the his booksellers t. Popular as Drayton once was Purpureus latè qui splendeat unus et alter, in comparison of the present neglect of him, it is Assuitur pannus, difficult to conceive that his works were ever so

we unhappily exchange only the geographer for profitable as to allow the bookseller much room

the chronicler. On a general survey, the mass for peculation. He was known as a poet many

of his poetry has no strength or sustaining spirit years before the death of Queen Elizabeth. His adequate to its bulk. There is a perpetual play Poly-olbion, which the learned Selden honoured

of fancy on its surface ; but the impulses of with notes, did not appear till 1613. In 1626 we

passion, and the guidance of judgment, give it find him styled poet laureate; but the title at that

no strong movements nor consistent course. In time was often a mere compliment, and implied

scenery or in history he cannot command selected neither royal appointment nor butt of canary. views, but meets them by chance as he travels The Countess of Bedford supported him for many over the track of detail. His great subjects years. At the close of his life we find him in

have no interesting centre, no shade for uninthe family of the Earl of Dorset, to whose mag- teresting things. Not to speak of his dull passages, nanimous countess the Aubrey MSS. ascribe the

his description is generally lost in a flutter of poet's monument over his grave in Westminster whimsical touches. His muse had certainly no Abbey.

strength for extensive flights, though she sports in The language of Drayton is free and perspi- happy moments on a brilliant and graceful wing*. With less depth of feeling than that

[* “ Drayton's Poly-olbion is a poem of about 30,000 lines which occasionally bursts from Cowley, he is a in length, written in Alexandrine couplets, a measure, less excruciating hunter of conceits, and in har from its monotony, and perhaps from its frequency in mony of expression is quite a contrast to Donne. doggrel ballads, not at all pleasing to the ear.

tains a topographical description of England, illustrated A tinge of grace and romance pervades much

with a prodigality of historical and legendary erudition. of his poetry : and even his pastorals, which Such a poem is essentially designed to instruct, and

speaks to the understanding more than to the fancy. (* Lord Buckhurst and the Earl of Dorset,--the poet The powers displayed in it are, however, of a high cast. and lord high treasurer,--are one and the same person.] Yet perhaps no English poem, known as well by nanie,

[t He received a yearly pension of ten pounds from is so little known beyond its name."-HALLAN, Lit. Hist., Prince Henry, to whom he dedicated his Poly-olbion.] vol. iii. p. 496-7.

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Within the castle hath the queen devised
A chamber with choice rarities so fraught,
As in the same she bad imparadised
Almost what man by industry hath sought ;
Where with the curious pencil was comprised
What could with colours by the art be wrought,
In the most sure place of the castle there,
Which she had named the Tower of Mortimer.

Swift Mercury, like to a shepherd's boy,
Sporting with Hebe by a fountain brim,
With many a sweet glance, many an am'rous toy,
He sprinkling drops at her, and she at him ;
Wherein the painter so explain’d their joy,
As though his skill the perfect life could limn,

Upon whose brows the water hung so clear,
As through the drops the fair skin might appear.

An orbal form with pillars small composed, And ciffy Cynthus with a thousand birds,
Which to the top like parallels do bear,

Whose freckled plumes adorn his bushy crown,
Arching the compass where they were inclosed, Under whose shadow graze the straggling herds,
Fashioning the fair roof like the hemisphere, Out of whose top the fresh springs trembling down,
In whose partitions by the lines disposed, Dropping like fine pearl through his shaggy beards,
All the clear northern asterisms were

With moss and climbing ivy over-grown ;
In their corporeal shapes with stars inchased, The rock so lively done in every part,

As by th' old poets they in heaven were placed. As Nature could be patterned by Art.
About which lodgings, tow'rds the upper face,

The naked nymphs, some up and down descending,
Ran a fine bordure circularly led,

Small scatt'ring flowers at one another flung, As equal ’twist the high’st point and the base,

With nimble turns their limber bodies bending, That as a zone the waist ingirdled,

Cropping the blooming branches lately sprung, That lends the sight a breathing, or a space,

(Upon the briars their colour'd mantles rending) 'Twixt things near view and those far over head,

Which on the rocks grew here and there among ; Under the which the painter's curious skill Some comb their hair, some making garlands by, In lively forms the goodly room did fill.

As with delight might satisfy the eye. Here Phæbus clipping Hyacinthus stood, There comes proud Phaeton tumbling through the Whose life's last drops his snowy breast imbrue, clouds, The one's tears mixed with the other's blood, Cast by his palfreys that their reins had broke, That should 't be blood or tears no sight could And setting fire upon the welked shrouds, view,

Now through the heaven run madding from the yoke, So mix'd together in a little flood;

The elements together thrust in crowds,
Yet here and there they sev'rally withdrew, Both land and sea hid in a reeking smoke ;
The pretty wood-nymphs chafing him with balm, Drawn with such life, as some did much desire

To bring the sweet boy from his deadly qualm. To warm themselves, some frighted with the fire.
With the god's lyre, his quiver, and his bow, The river Po, that him receiving burn'd,
His golden mantle cast upon the ground,

His seven sisters standing in degrees,

express whose grief Art ev’n her best did show, Trees into women seeming to be turn'd, The sledge so shadow'd still seem’d to rebound, As the gods turn'd the women into trees, To counterfeit the vigour of the blow,

Both which at once so mutually that mourn'd, new anguish to the wound;

Drops from their boughs, or tears fell from their
The purple flower sprung from the blood that run, The fire seem'd to be water, water flame, [eyes;

That op'neth since and closeth with the sun. Such excellence in showing of the same.
By which the heifer lo, Jove's fair rape,

And to this lodging did the light invent,
Gazing her new-ta'en figure in a brook,

That it should first a lateral course reflect, The water shadow'd to observe the shape Through a short room into the window sent,

In the same form that she on it doth look. Whence it should come expressively direct, | So cunningly to cloud the wanton 'scape, Holding just distance to the lineament,

That gazing eyes the portraiture mistook, And should the beams proportionably project,
By perspective devised beholding now,

And being thereby condensated and grave,
This way a maiden, that way 't seem'd a cow. To every figure a sure colour gave.

As still to give

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Old Chaucer doth of Topas tell,
Mad Rab’lais of Pantagruel,
A later third of Dowsabel,

With such poor trifles playing :
Others the like have labour'd at,
Some of this thing, and some of that,
And many of they know not what,

But that they must be saying.
Another sort there be, that will
Be talking of the Fairies still,
Nor never can they have their fill,

As they were wedded to them :
No tales of them their thirst can slake,
So much delight therein they take,
And some strange thing they fain would make,

Knew they the way to do them.
Then since no muse hath been so bold,
Or of the later or the old,
Those elvish secrets to unfold,

Which lie from others' reading ;
My active muse to light shall bring
The court of that proud Fairy King,
And tell there of the revelling :

Jove prosper my proceeding.
And thou Nymphidia, gentle Fay,
Which meeting me upon the way,
These secrets didst to me bewray,

Which now I am in telling :
My pretty light fantastic maid,
I here invoke thee to my aid,
That I may speak what thou hast said,

In numbers smoothly swelling.

" Phưebus (she said) was over-forced by art;
Nor could she find how that embrace could be.”
But Mortimer then took the painter's part : [he:)
" Why thus, bright empress, thus and thus, (quoth
That hand doth hold his back, and this his heart ;
Thus their arms twine, and thus their lips, you see:

Now are you Phoebus, Hyacinthus I ;
It were a life, thus every hour to die.”

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