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Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill, Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill. Together both, ere the high lawns appear’d Under the opening eyelids of the Morn, We drove afield, and both together heard What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Oft till the star that rose at evening bright, Toward Heaven's descent had sloped his westering
wheel. Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, Temper'd to the oaten Aute; Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven
heel From the glad sound would not be absent long; And old Damætas loved to hear our song.
But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return ! Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes mourn : The willows, and the hazel copses green, Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
BORN 1611-DIED 1643.
LESBIA ON HER SPARROW. TELL me not of joy! there's none Now my little sparrow's gone ;
He, just as you,
Would sigh and woo,
He would hang the wing a while,
Till at length he saw me smile, Lord ! how sullen he would be !
He would catch a crumb, and then
He from my lip
Would moisture sip,
Then would hop, and then would run,
And cry philip when he'd done ; Oh! whose heart can choose but bleed ?
Oh! how eager would he fight,
No morn did pass,
But on my glass
What I did ; now ruffle all
His feathers o'er, now let them fall, And then straightway sleek them too.
Whence will Cupid get his darts
A wound he may,
Not love, convey,
Oh! let mournful turtles join
With loving redbreasts, and combine To sing dirges o'er his stone.
BORN 1612-DIED 1680.
TAE witty and learned author of Hudibras was the son of a
small farmer in Worcestershire. Butler attended Cambridge for a short time. He afterwards appears to have earned a precarious living, first as clerk to a country justice, and afterwards in the family of the Countess of Kent, where he was occasionally employed by the learned Selden, her ladyship’s steward. He afterwards went into the employment of Sir Samuel Luke, a commonwealth's man, where he saw so much of the worst side of the character of the Puritans, that it is presumed Hudibras may be dated from this residence. The first part of this remarkable poem was published after the Restoration ; the other parts at long intervals. It was quoted, recited, and constantly perused at court; but admiration was the poet's sole reward, though he was from time to time buoyed up with expectation. Butler died in Lon.
don, and was buried at the expense of a friend. As a poem, Hudibras is unique in European literature. It
possesses an excess of wit, rhymes the most original and ingenious, and the most apt and burlesque metaphors, couched in an easy, gossiping, colloquial metre; yet it would be as impossible to read Hudibras to an end at once as to dine on cayenne or pickles. It administers no food to the higher and more permanent feelings of the human mind. The moral comes to be felt to be without dignity-the wit without gaiety or relief-the story lagging and fat. Even the rhymes, amusing as they are, become, after a time, like the repetitions of a mimic, tiresome and stale. Dryden regrets that Hudibras was not written in the heroic measure, instead of the slipshod rhymes adopted. It is amusing to conceive of a Hudibras thus stilted; but the metre might perhaps have been occasionally varied with good effect, and certainly with welcome relief to the reader.
DRESS AND ARMOUR OF SIR HUDIBRAS.
His doublet was of sturdy buff,
His breeches were of rugged woollen,
His puissant sword unto his side,