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dress to his native country: premising, that it is far from having been in our power to select, as we at first intended, every good passage from these poems, to which we must refer our reader if he is pleased with what we have already presented to him. We fairly give him notice, that he must arm himself with no ordinary share of patience; and in his search after mere poetical imagery or expression, expect not the way to be beguiled with one particle of interest arising from the subject or story. William Browne lived immediately after the reign of Elizabeth, and thus speaks patriotically:

"Haile thou, my native soile! thou blessed plot,
Whose equall all the world affordeth not!
Shew me who can? so many christall rils,
Such sweet-cloath'd vallies, or aspiring hills,

Such wood-ground, pastures, quarries, wealthy mynes,
Such rockes in whom the diamond fairely shines:
And if the earth can shew the like agen;
Yet will she faile in her sea-ruling men.
Time never can produce men to ore-take
The fames of Greenvil, Davies, Gilbert, Drake,
Or worthy Hawkins, or a thousand more
That by their powre made the Devonian shore
Mocke the proud Tagus; for whose richest spoyle
The boasting Spaniard left the Indian soyle
Banckrupt of store, knowing it would quit cost
By winning this though all the rest were lost."

The third of these volumes contains the Shepherd's Pipe and the Inner Temple Masque, with other smaller poems of Browne, and some complimentary eclogues by his friends Brooke and Davies, addressed to him on the publication of the Shepherd's Pipe. The whole of this latter poem is written in a puling and "waterish vein," except a few passages, which may claim the merit of musical versification, and nearly the whole of the fourth eclogue, which is of a higher mood. This is the author's elegy on the death of his friend, Mr. Thomas Manwood, whom he terms Philarete; from which it is supposed that Milton conceived the idea of celebrating the memory of Mr. Edward King, in a pastoral form, under the name of Lycidas. The action, if it may be so called, of the two poems, is not unlike, and there are one or two similar sentiments: farther than this it would be absurd to push the comparison. The poem of Milton is the production of a mighty genius, such as "sage poets, taught by the heavenly muse, story'd of old in high immortal verse:" while all the merit the Philarete can claim is, that it is composed in a strain of natural sorrow, expressed in a

gentle and equable flow of melodious verse. Some of the stan zas are tame and weak, and others disfigured by conceit―but, in nearly all those we shall quote, he may have been supposed to have begun, "wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy, to meditate his rural minstrelsy."

"Under an aged oke was Willy laid,

Willy, the lad who whilome made the rockes

To ring with joy, whilst on his pipe he plaid,

And from their masters woo'd his neighb'ring flocks:

But now o're-come with dolors deepe

That nie his heart-strings rent:

Ne car'd he for his silly sheepe,

Ne car'd for merriment.

But chang'd his wonted walkes

For uncouth paths unknowne,

Where nought but trees might hear his plaints,
And eccho rue his mone.

Autumne it was, when droopt the sweetest floures,
And rivers, swolne with pride, ore-look'd the banks,
Poore grew the day of Summer's golden houres,
And void of sap stood Ida's cedar rankes.

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Yet fell their leaves not half so fast
As did the shepheard's tears.

As was his seate, so was his gentle heart,

Meeke and dejected, but his thoughts as hie
As those aye-wand'ring lights, who both impart
Their beames on us, and heaven still beautifie.
Sad was his looke.

Broke was his tuneful pipe

That charm'd the christall floods.
And thus his griefe took airie wings
And flew about the woods.

*

O what is left can make me leave to mone!
Or what remains but doth increase it more?
Looke on his sheepe: alas! their master's gone.
Looke on the place where we two heretofore
With locked armes have vow'd our love.

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It solitarie seemes.

Behold our flowrie beds;

Their beauties fade, and violets
For sorrow hang their heads.

'Tis not a cypresse bough, a count'nance sad,
A mourning garment, wailing elegie,

A standing herse in sable vesture clad,
A toombe built to his name's eternitie,
Although the shepheards all should strive
By yearly obsequies,

And vow to keepe thy fame alive
In spight of destinies,

That can suppresse my griefe:
All these and more may be,
Yet all in vaine to recompence
My greatest losse of thee.

Cypresse may fade, the countenance be changed,
A garment rot, an elegie forgotten,
A herse 'mongst irreligious rites be ranged,

A tombe pluckt down, or els through age be rotten.
All things th' unpartial hand of fate

Can rase out with a thought:

These have a sev'ral fixed date,

Which ended, turne to nought.

Yet shall all my truest cause

Of sorrow firmly stay,

When these effects the wings of time

Shall fanne and sweepe away.

Looke as a sweet rose fairely budding forth

Bewrayes her beauties to th' enamour'd morne, Untill some keene blast from the envious north Killes the sweet bud that was but newly borne, Or else her rarest smels delighting

Make her herselfe betray,

Some white and curious hand inviting
To plucke her thence away.

So stands my mournfull case,

For had he been lesse good,

He yet (uncorrupt) had kept the stocke
Whereon he fairely stood.

In deepest passions of my griefe-swolne breast
(Sweet soule!) this onely comfort seizeth me,

*

That so few yeeres should make thee so much blest,
And give such wings to reach eternitie.

Is this to die? No: as a ship

Well built, with easie wind

A lazy hulke doth farre out-strip,
'And soonest harbour find:

So Philarete fled,

Quicke was his passage given,
When others must have longer time
To make them fit for heaven.

Then not for thee these briny tears are spent,
But as the nightingale against the breere,
"Tis for myselfe I moane, and doe lament,
Not that thou left'st the world, but left'st me here:
Here, where without thee all delights

Faile of their pleasing powre;

All glorious daies seem ugly nights,
Methinkes no Aprill showre

Embroider should the earth,

But briny teares distill,

Since Flora's beauties shall no more

Be honour'd by thy quill.

This said, he sigh'd, and with o'er-drowned eyes

Gaz'd on the heavens for what he mist on earth;

Then from the earth full sadly gan arise

As farre from future hope, as present mirth,
Unto his cote with heavy pace

As ever sorrow trode,

He went, with mind no more to trace
Where mirthful swaines abode," &c.

The Inner Temple Masque has also been thought to have suggested the Comus of Milton. Here, again, it is true that there are some touches which remind the reader of Milton, and the subjects are very similar-being the tempting of Ulysses by Circe, who uses similar inducements and incantations with her son Comus, followed by similar effects. But, as in the case of the Lycidas, the Masque of Comus is, perhaps, the finest poem, of its length, in this or any language; while that of Browne is a meagre sketch, containing but a few lines of poetic beauty. The Syren's song, which they sing to induce Ulysses and his companions to come on shore, has been much commended by Warton.

It has been observed by Mr. Chalmers, that this masque must have been represented when Milton was only twelve years of age, and it was not printed till many years after his death; so that the chance of his having seen it, is even less than the chance of his having imitated it. Inquiries of this nature are, however, otherwise of no importance than as they indicate the steps which a great poet took to nourish and educate his own genius. For let all be traced to its source which Milton owed to all the books he ever studied, (and there are frequent marks of Browne having been a considerable favourite,) his glory would not be diminished a scruple.

We can, however, afford no more space to the task which we have been attempting, of restoring William Browne to the possession of the bays which flourished brightly on his brow during his life-time, but quickly withered and have never since revived. We have extracted a sufficient portion from his works to enable all to form their own judgements of his merits. We have claimed no very lofty praise for him; but some share of the attention of the lovers of English poetry, and of those interested in the history of our noble language, we are sure he deserves. He is merely a descriptive poet, and has not attempted to reach the higher walks of poetry. There is no passion of any kind in his productions, nor is there either pathos or humour. His invention, which is esteemed the soul of poetry, gives birth to but a tame and languid progeny of characters and incidents. Yet, with all this, he is a pleasing and amiable poet in his way, and his faults and vices are chiefly attributable to the want of taste, judgement, and knowledge of mankind, incident to the very early age at which he wrote. He seems to have observed the face of nature with the quick eye of a lover, and the scenes and incidents which he could draw from actual experience he has developed with a natural and lively pen. Had he trusted to nature more confidently, and more implicitly followed the bent of his own genius, strengthened by time, he would have excelled in the ethical cast of poetry in which Cowper is so eminent a master, and would, like him, have made his rural observations the ornaments and not the staple of his poetry.-On the contrary, we have a bald and spiritless imitation of the descriptive and allegorical parts of Spenser-and what Spenser, with all the richness and vigour of his genius, failed to render an animated creation, Browne could only be expected to produce lifeless and naked. In the commencement of this article, we observed that he had not succeeded in preserving the character of a shepherd, and it is true so far that the real poet is constantly appearing, and that he is put to most awkward expedients to describe the persons and habits of those he introduces, frequently his contemporaries, as guardians of their flocks; but the

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