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What did their weapons, but with wider pores
That impatient fire
The heart that hides thee hardly covers!
Each wound of theirs was thy new morning,
With blush of thine own blood thy day adorning :
Of wrath, and made the way through all these wounds. Welcome, dear, all-adored name!
For sure there is no knee
That knows not thee;
Or if there be such sons of shame,
When stubborn rocks shall bow,
And hills hang down their heav'n-saluting heads
Of dust, where, in the bashful shades of night,
And couch before the dazzling light of thy dread
They that by love's mild dictate now
Will not adore thee,
Shall then, with just confusion, bow
SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE.
SIR RICHARD FANSHAWE, knight, brother of Thomas Lord Fanshawe, was born in 1607. He joined the royalists, and was secretary at war to Prince Rupert. After the Restoration, he was appointed ambassador to Spain and Portugal, in which character he died at Madrid in 1666. Fanshawe translated the Lusiad of Camoens, and the Pastor Fido of Guarini. With the latter production, published in 1648, he gave to the world some miscellaneous poems, from which the following are selected :
Thou blushing rose, within whose virgin leaves
Know, then, the thing that swells thee is thy bane;
Some clown's coarse lungs will poison thy sweet flower,
A Rich Fool.
Thee, senseless stock, because thou'rt richly gilt,
Sabean incense in a fragrant cloud
SONG.-The Saint's Encouragement.
Fight on, brave soldiers, for the cause;
Their threat'nings are as senseless, as
'Tis you must perfect this great work,
By robbing churches, plundering men,
Down with the orthodoxal train,
All loyal subjects slay;
When these are gone, we shall be blest,
When Charles we've bankrupt made like us,
Of crown and power bereft him,
And all his loyal subjects slain,
And none but rebels left him. When we've beggar'd all the land,
And sent our trunks away,
We'll make him then a glorious prince,
That we against him fight,
Our declarations say,
Who fight for us, fight for the king
At Keynton, Branford, Plymouth, York,
What victories we saints obtain'd,
The clean contrary way.
Not known to one of twenty;
Their lawful sovereign; and all these
By prisonments and plunder,
He sees we stand for peace and truth,
The public faith shall save our souls,
But when our faith and works fall down,
Our acts will bear us up to heaven,
[Written in 1646.]
Come, pass about the bowl to me;
A health to our distressed king!
When we are ships and sack 's the sea.
Nor drink a glass the less of wine; In vain they'll think their plagues are spent, When once they see we don't repine.
We do not suffer here alone,
Though we are beggar'd, so's the king; "Tis sin t' have wealth, when he has none; Tush! poverty's a royal thing! When we are larded well with drink,
Our heads shall turn as round as theirs, Our feet shall rise, our bodies sink
Clean down the wind, like cavaliers. Fill this unnatural quart with sack, Nature all vacuums doth decline, Ourselves will be a zodiac,
And every month shall be a sign.
Are circular like Plato's year,
LADY ELIZABETH CAREW.
LADY ELIZABETH CAREW is believed to be the author of the tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Jewry, 1613. Though wanting in dramatic interest and spirit, there is a vein of fine sentiment and feeling in this forgotten drama. The following chorus, in Act the Fourth, possesses a generous and noble simplicity:
[Revenge of Injuries.]
The fairest action of our human life
If we a worthy enemy do find,
To yield to worth it must be nobly done;
In base revenge there is no honour won.
We say our hearts are great, and cannot yield;
A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn. To scorn to owe a duty overlong; To scorn to be for benefits forborne ; To scorn to lie, to scorn to do a wrong. To scorn to bear an injury in mind; To scorn a free-born heart slave-like to bind.
But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have, Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind; Do we his body from our fury save,
And let our hate prevail against our mind? What can 'gainst him a greater vengeance be, Than make his foe more worthy far than he ?
Had Mariam scorn'd to leave a due unpaid, She would to Herod then have paid her love, And not have been by sullen passion sway'd. To fix her thoughts all injury above Is virtuous pride. Had Mariam thus been proud, Long famous life to her had been allow'd.
While Sidney, Spenser, Marlow, and other poets, were illustrating the reign of Elizabeth, the muses were not wholly neglected in Scotland. There was, however, so little intercourse between the two nations, that the works of the English bards seem to have been comparatively unknown in the north, and to have had no Scottish imitators. The country was then in a rude and barbarous state, tyrannised over by the nobles, and torn by feuds and dissensions. In England, the Reformation had proceeded from the throne, and was accomplished with little violence or disorder. In Scotland, it uprooted the whole form of society, and was marked by fierce contentions and lawless turbulence. The absorbing influence of this ecclesiastical struggle was unfavourable to the cultivation of poetry. It shed a gloomy spirit over the nation, and almost proscribed the study of romantic literature. The drama, which in England was the nurse of so many fine thoughts, so much stirring passion, and beautiful imagery, was shunned as a leprosy, fatal to religion and morality. The very songs in Scotland partook of this religious chathat ALEXANDER SCOT, in his New Year Gift to the racter; and so widely was the polemical spirit diffused, Queen, in 1562, says-—
That limmer lads and little lasses, lo,
Will argue baith with bishop, priest, and friar. Scot wrote several short satires, and some miscellaneous poems, the prevailing amatory character of which has caused him to be called the Scottish Anacreon, though there are many points wanting to complete his resemblance to the Teian bard. As specimens of his talents, the two following pieces are presented :
Rondel of Love.
Lo what it is to luve, Learn ye that list to pruve, By me, I say, that no ways may, The grund of greif remuve. But still decay, both nicht and day; Lo what it is to luve !
Luve is ane fervent fire, Kendillit without desire, Short plesour, lang displesour; Repentance is the hire;
Ane pure tressour, without messour; Luve is ane fervent fire.
Some wifis of the borowstoun
And of fine silk their furrit clokis,
Their wilicoats maun weel be hewit,
I trow wha wald the matter speir,
Their woven hose of silk are shawin,
Their collars, carcats, and hause beidis 14
Their shoon of velvet, and their muilis !
And some will spend mair, I hear say,
Leave, burgess men, or all be lost,
ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY was known as a poet in 1568; but his principal work, The Cherry and the Slae, was not published before 1597. The Cherry and the Slae is an allegorical poem, representing virtue and vice. The allegory is poorly managed; but some of Montgomery's descriptions are lively and vigorous; and the style of verse adopted in this poem was afterwards copied by Burns. Divested of some of the antique spelling, parts of the poem seem as modern, and as smoothly versified, as the Scottish poetry of a century and a-half later.
The cushat crouds, the corbie cries,
To geck there they begin ;
They deave't me with their din.
Can on his May-cock call;
The turtle wails on wither'd trees,
Repeating, with greeting,
His shadow in the well.
I saw the hurcheon and the hare
The bearded buck clamb up the brae
Some feeding, some dreading
Had trinkled mony a tear;
Wherewith their heavy heads declined
Some knoping, some dropping
Of balmy liquor sweet,
Excelling and smelling
Through Phoebus' wholesome heat.
1 Cry till their eyes become red.
* Burns, in describing the opening scene of his Holy Fair,
'The hares were hirpling down the furs.'
ALEXANDER HUME, who died, minister of Logie, in 1609, published a volume of Hymns or Sacred Songs, in the year 1599. He was of the Humes of Polwarth,
and, previous to turning clergyman, had studied the law, and frequented the court; but in his latter years he was a stern and even gloomy Puritan. The most finished of his productions is a description of a summer's day, which he calls the Day Estival. The various objects of external nature, characteristic of a Scottish landscape, are painted with truth and clearness, and a calm devotional feeling is spread over the poem. It opens as follows:
O perfect light, which shed away
Thy glory, when the day forth flies,
The shadow of the earth anon
Whilk soon perceive the little larks,
The lapwing and the snipe;
And tune their song like Nature's clerks,
The summer day of the poet is one of unclouded splendour.
The time so tranquil is and clear,
Save on a high and barren hill,
An air of passing wind.
All trees and simples, great and small,
Than they were painted on a wall,
The rivers fresh, the caller streams
The condition of the Scottish labourer would seem to have been then more comfortable than at present, and the climate of the country warmer, for Hume describes those working in the fields as stopping at mid-day, 'noon meat and sleep to take,' and refreshing themselves with 'caller wine' in a cave, and 'sallads steep'd in oil.' As the poet lived four years in France previous to his settling in Scotland, in mature life, we suspect he must have been drawing on his continental recollections for some of the features in this picture. At length 'the gloaming comes, the day is spent,' and the poet concludes in a strain of pious gratitude and delight:
What pleasure, then, to walk and see
The perfect form of every tree
The salmon out of cruives and creels,
The bells and circles on the weills
O sure it were a seemly thing,
While all is still and calm,
All labourers draw hame at even,
Thanks to the gracious God of heaven,