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THE HAPPY-MAKING SIGHT.
Lo, there thy Saviour dear, in glory dight, dressed.
That hand that held the scornful reed
That back and side that ran with bloody streams
Those lips, once drenched with gall, do make
Behold those joys thou never canst behold;
And when thou seest this state divine,
See there the happy troops of purest sprites
And now beforehand help to sing
Polished as these are in comparison to those of Dr. Donne, and fine, too, as they are intrinsically, there are single phrases in his that are worth them all-except, indeed, that one splendid line,
Trample on Death and Hell in glorious glee.
George Sandys, the son of an archbishop of York, and born in 1577, is better known by his travels in the east than by his poetry. But his version of the Psalms is in good and various verse, not unfrequently graceful, sometimes fine. The following is not only in a popular rhythm, but is neat and melodious as well.
Thou who art enthroned above,
Bless the Lord. His praise be sung
A FEW OF THE ELIZABETHAN DRAMATISTS.
FROM the nature of their adopted mode, we cannot look for much poetry of a devotional kind from the dramatists. That mode admitting of no utterance personal to the author, and requiring the scope of a play to bring out the intended truth, it is no wonder that, even in the dramas of Shakspere, profound as is the teaching they contain, we should find nothing immediately suitable to our purpose; while neither has he left anything in other form approaching in kind what we seek. Ben Jonson, however, born in 1574, who may be regarded as the sole representative of learning in the class, has left, amongst a large number of small pieces, three Poems of Devotion, whose merit may not indeed be great, but whose feeling is, I think, genuine. Whatever were his faults, and they were not few, hypocrisy was not one of them. His nature was fierce and honest.
He might boast, but he could not pretend. His oscillation between the reformed and the Romish church can hardly have had other cause than a vacillating conviction. It could not have served any prudential