« ForrigeFortsæt »
that he was knighted, and employed in several important negotiations for the king's service. When made a prisoner he owed his life to the intercession of Milton, to whom, after the Restoration, he returned a similar service. His principal work, besides his numerous dramas, is Gondibert, which was at least intended for an heroic poem. Davenant died patentee of Duke's theatre,-a grant obtained for loyal services.
ON THE QUEEN VISITING LADY
Fair as unshaded light, or as the day
here? Here, where the Summer is so little seen, That leaves (her cheapest wealth) scarce reach at
green, You come, as if the silver planet were Misled a while from her much-injur'd sphere, And t' ease the travails of her beams to-night, In this small lanthorn would contract her light.
BORN 1608—DIED 1667.
This amiable man and distinguished poet was involved in
the troubles of the times of Charles I., and, after the Restoration, lived to experience the ingratitude of princes, and to learn that retirement and leisure are among the best blessings of life. Cowley was a voluminous writer, distinguished for great wit and learning, perverted or misapplied by the false taste of his age. His entire works are now seldom opened save by students of poetry, if there be any such ; but a few of his smaller pieces will ever be admired, and, above them all, THE CHRONICLE, a gay and happy trifle, which defies or disarms criticism.
THE CHRONICLE; A BALLAD.
Margarita, first of all ;
Martha took the flying ball.
Martha soon did it resign
Beauteous Catharine gave place
To Eliza's conquering face.
Eliza till this hour might reign,
Fundamental laws she broke,
And cast away her yoke.
Mary then, and gentle Ann,
Alternately they sway'd :
And sometimes both I obey'd.
Another Mary then arose,
A mighty tyrant she !
Had not Rebecca set me free.
When fair Rebecca set me free,
But soon those pleasures fled ;
And Judith reigned in her stead.
One month, three days, and half an hour, Judith held the sovereign power,
Wondrous beautiful her face ; But so weak and small her wit, That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.
But when Isabella came,
And th' artillery of her eye ;
She beat out Susan by the bye.
But in her place I then obey'd
To whom ensued a vacancy : Thousand worse passions then possess'd The interregnum of my breast;
Bless me from such an anarchy !
Gentle Henrietta then,
Then Joan, and Jane, and Andria ;
And then a long et cætera.
But should I now to you relate
The powder, patches, and the pins,
That make up all their magazines.
If I should tell the politic arts
The letters, embassies, and spies, The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries, The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
(Numberless, nameless, mysteries,)
And all the little lime-twigs laid
I more voluminous should grow (Chiefly if I, like them, should tell All change of weather that befel)
Than Holinshed or Stow.
But I will briefer with them be,
An higher and a nobler strain
Whom God grant long to reign.
SHE loves, and she confesses too;
What's this, ye gods! what can it be ?
Noisy nothing ! stalking shade!