페이지 이미지

pathies. The execution of Charles I broke his spirit, and he spent ten unhappy years in ill-health and poverty, ragged, and lodged like a beggar.

Henry Vaughan (1622-1695) was a Welshman, who after studying at Oxford and later qualifying as a physician, returned to Wales and spent his unostentatious life in the good works of a country physician and in writing poetry and prose in a vein of religious mysticism. He was essentially a pantheist. His poetry attracted little notice in his own day, but Wordsworth's employment of "the Retreat" in his famous Ode on the Intimations of Immortality, called attention to Vaughan in a more sympathetic period, and such poems as They are all gone into the world of light and The Retreat now rank among the finest of English lyrics.

Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) was a juvenile prodigy. He began composing poetry at twelve, and before his entrance to Cambridge at sixteen had published two volumes. The civil wars played havoc with him, however, for though he had no taste for affairs, he was forced to take sides and threw in his lot with the royal family.

Henceforth political events robbed him of his leisure and largely frustrated his literary ambition, yet before he died he was the most popular living poet, revered equally for his verse and for his pure character. He was buried beside Chaucer and Spenser in Westminster Abbey.

The affectations, subtleties, and Pindaric pomp of most of Cowley's verse have robbed it of permanence, but he wrote a little that is lasting because simple and genuine.

John Dryden (1631-1700) was the forerunner of the eighteenth century poets. He firmly established the heroic couplet as the proper verse form, encouraged the taste for didactic and satiric poetry, and made polish and precision the stylistic desiderata. In his political and religious professions Dryden appears decidedly shifty. He was brought up a Puritan and his earliest poem of distinction was prompted by the death of Cromwell. With the return of the monarchy, however, he forthwith became a royalist, wrote fulsome poems of welcome to Charles II and for twenty years, though decent in his own life, supplied the stage with the corrupt plays which the court society required. Then in 1682 he published Religio Laici (The Religion of a Layman), defending the Established Church, and in 1685 when James II came to the throne, wrote The Hind and the Panther in support of Roman Catholicism. He did not again change front, however, and refused allegiance to William and Mary. It is therefore a question to what extent his earlier movements were governed by policy.

Dryden enjoyed great vogue, was virtually the literary dictator, received the laureateship and, like Cowley, was buried near Chaucer and Spenser in the Abbey. His finest ode, Alexander's Feast, was written when he was sixty-seven.


CORINNA'S GOING A-MAYING GET up, get up for shame! The blooming morn

Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air:
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree!
Each flower has wept and bow'd toward
the east

Above an hour since, yet you not drest;

Nay! not so much as out of bed?
When all the birds have matins said

And sung their thankful hymns, 'tis sin,
Nay, profanation, to keep in,

Whereas a thousand virgins on this day
Spring sooner than the lark, to fetch
in May.

Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh
and green,

And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair:
Fear not; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has

Against you come, some orient pearls


Come, and receive them while the light Hangs on the dew-locks of the night: And Titan on the eastern hill Retires himself, or else stands still Till you come forth! Wash, dress, be brief in praying:

Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.

Come, my Corinna, come; and coming, mark

How each field turns a street, each street a park,

Made green and trimm'd with trees!
see how

Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch! each porch, each door,
ere this,

An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove,
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street
And open fields, and we not see't?
Come, we'll abroad: and let's obey
The proclamation made for May,
And sin no more, as we have done, by

But, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

There's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth ere this is come

Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatch'd their cakes and

Before that we have left to dream: And some have wept and woo'd, and plighted troth,

And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:

Many a green-gown has been given, Many a kiss, both odd and even : Many a glance, too, has been sent From out the eye, love's firmament: Many a jest told of the keys betraying This night, and locks pick'd: yet we're not a-Maying!

Come, let us go, while we are in our prime, And take the harmless folly of the time!

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

And with doubts discomforted,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the house doth sigh and weep, And the world is drown'd in sleep, Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the passing bell doth toll,
And the Furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the priest his last hath pray'd,
And I nod to what is said,
'Cause my speech is now decay'd,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When, God knows, I'm toss'd about
Either with despair or doubt;
Yet before the glass be out,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the flames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears and fright mine eyes,
And all terrors me surprise,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

When the Judgment is reveal'd, And that open'd which was seal'd, When to Thee I have appeal'd,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!


OUT upon it, I have loved
Three whole days together!
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.

Time shall moult away his wings
Ere he shall discover

[blocks in formation]

Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.



I SAW Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright:

And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years,

Driven by the spheres,

Like a vast shadow moved; in which the World

And all her train were hurl'd.


THEY are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit ling'ring here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,

And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast, Like stars upon some gloomy grove,

Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest

After the sun's remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory,

Whose light doth trample on my days: My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,

Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy Hope! and high Humility,
High as the heavens above!

These are your walks, and you have show'd them me,

To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the just,

Shining nowhere, but in the dark; What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust, Could man outlook that mark!

[blocks in formation]

HAPPY those early days, when I
Shined in my Angel-infancy!
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white celestial thought:
When yet I had not walk'd above
A mile or two from my first Love,
And looking back at that short space
Could see a glimpse of His bright face:
When on some gilded cloud, or flow'r,
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity:
Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense
A several sin to ev'ry sense,

« 이전계속 »