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Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all the adulteries of art:
They strike mine eyes but not my heart.

The Silent Woman.


Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,' &c.

Kiss me, sweet, the wary lover
Can your favours keep and cover,
When the common courting jay
All your bounties will betray.
Kiss again, no creature comes :
Kiss and score up wealthy sums
On my lips, thus hardly sundered
While you breathe. First give a hundred,
Then a thousand, then another
Hundred, then unto the other
Add a thousand, and so more,
Till you equal with the store,
All the grass that Romney yields,
Or the sands in Chelsea fields,
Or the drops in silver Thames,
Or the stars that gild his streams
In the silent summer nights,
When youths ply their stolen delights:
That the curious may not know
How to tell them as they flow,
And the envious, when they find
What their number is, be pined.*

The Forest.

* An imitation of the Ode of Catullus :

Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus,' &c.



PRINCIPAL WORKS: The Maid's Tragedy (written conjointly with his friend Beaumont); a fine tragedy characterised by the fashionable licence of thought and diction.— The Faithful Shepherdess, a pastoral drama, besides its own intrinsic beauties, interesting as the model, in some measure, of the Comus of Milton. Beaumont and Fletcher are names almost inseparably linked together in the history of literature. Between them they produced fifty-two dramatic pieces. Of all the dramatists succeeding Shakespeare, they approach nearest to him in richness of fancy and picturesque description. More irregular than Jonson's, their style possesses more of the luxuriance of 'Fancy's child.' Their title to be ranked amongst the few great names who have contributed to form the English language, and in the number of English classics, Dryden has pointed out in asserting that the English language in them arrived to its highest perfection. What words have since been taken in are rather superfluous than ornamental. And he states that in his time, the latter half of the seventeenth century, so great was the popularity of Beaumont and Fletcher, that two of their plays were put upon the stage for one of Shakespeare's or Jonson’s. A partiality which, considering the character of the age and the literary productions chiefly patronised, may perhaps be more justly attributed to the voluptuous painting than to the more solid merits of the authors of The Maid's Tragedy.


(Satyr sings.)
THROUGH yon same bending plain
That flings his arms down to the main,
And through these thick woods have I run,
Whose bottom never kissed the sun.
Since the lusty spring began,
All to please my master Pan,

Have I trotted without rest, To get him fruit: for at a feast He entertains, this coming night, His paramour the Syrinx brightBut behold a fairer sight! By that heavenly form of thine, Brightest fair, thou art divine, Sprung from great immortal race Of the gods, for in thy face Shines more awful majesty Than dull weak mortality Dare with misty eyes behold, And live: therefore on this mould Lowly do I bend my knee In worship of thy deity. Deign it, goddess, from my hand To receive whate'er this land From her fertile womb doth send Of her choice fruits; and but lend Belief to that the Satyr tells. Fairer by the famous wells To this present day ne'er grew, Never better, nor more true. Here be grapes whose lusty blood Is the learned poet's good, Sweeter yet did never crown The head of Bacchus; nuts more brown Than the squirrel whose teeth crack them: Deign, O fairest fair, to take them : For these, black-eyed Dryope Hath oftentimes commanded me With my clasped knee to climb. See how well the lusty time Hath decked their rising cheeks in red,

Such as on your lips is spread.
Here be berries for a queen,
Some be red, some be green ;
These are of that luscious meat
The great god Pan himself doth eat:
All these, and what the woods can yield,
The hanging mountain or the field,
I freely offer, and ere long
Will bring you more, more sweet and strong:
Till when, humbly leave I take,
Lest the great Pan do awake,
That sleeping lies in a deep glade,
Under a broad beech's shade.
I must go, I must run
Swifter than the fiery sun.

(Clorinda loq.) And all my fears go with thee. What greatness, or what private hidden power, Is there in me to draw submission From this rude man and beast ?-sure I am mortal, The daughter of a shepherd; he was mortal, And she that bore me mortal : prick my hand And it will bleed; a fever shakes me,

and The self-same wind that makes the young lambs shrink Makes me a-cold : my fear

I am mortal.
Yet I have heard (my mother told it me)
And now I do believe it, if I keep
My virgin flower uncropt, pure, chaste, and fair,
No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf, or fiend,
Satyr, or other power that haunts the groves,
Shall hurt my body, or by vain illusion
Draw me to wander after idle fires,
Or voices calling me in dead of night


To make me follow, and so tole me on
Through mire and standing pools, to find my ruin.
Else why should this rough thing, who never knew
Manners nor smooth humanity, whose heats
Are rougher than himself, and more misshapen,
Thus mildly kneel to me? Sure there's a power
In that great name of Virgin, that binds fast
All rude uncivil bloods, all appetites
That break their confines. Then, strong Chastity,
Be thou my strongest guard; for here I'll dwell
In opposition against fate and hell.

The Faithful Shepherdess.



(Amoret loq.)
SHEPHERD, so far as maiden's modesty
May give assurance, I am once more thine.
Once more I give my hand : be ever free
From that great foe to faith, foul jealousy.

(Perigot loq.)
I take it as my best good; and desire,
For stronger confirmation of our love,
To meet this happy night in that fair grove,
Where all true shepherds have rewarded been
For their long service.

to that holy wood is consecrate
A Virtuous Well, about whose flowery banks
The nimble-footed fairies dance their rounds
By the pale moonshine, dipping oftentimes

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