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His first volume of poems appeared about the year 1647 with the title of Noble Numbers, or Pious Pieces. Some of his most popular lyrics, Cherry Ripe, Gather the Rosebuds while ye may, To Daffodils, To Blossoms, have been set to music. Following, as has been pointed out, after the earlier poets, Suckling, Carew, Jonson, &c., the Comus and Arcades of Milton, he enjoyed the advantage of having the best models in that species of composition : yet he owes quite as much to his own natural genius. Herrick, or the Rev. Robert Herrick, to give him his full title, was the friend and boon companion of Ben Jonson, with whom he seems to have been accustomed to hold high revel; and his productions, if not quite so libertine as Carew's for example, are scarcely such as might be expected from one of the clerical profession. It may be remarked too that these Anacreontics were published by him at the ripe age of some fifty-five years. Ejected from his Devonshire incumbency by the Republicans, he was reinstated at the Restoration, and was living so late as the year 1670.
TO THE VIRGINS.
"O dass sie ewig grünen bliebe
GATIIER the rosebuds, while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying,
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a getting,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer : But being spent, the worse, and worst
Time shall succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry: For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry. .
First half of the Seventeenth Century (?).
The pastoral romance of Thealma and Clearchus, published by Isaak Walton in 1683, was, until comparatively recent times, ascribed to the author of the Complete Angler himself. Amongst other reasons against Walton's authorship the most conclusive seems to be, that the muse of that redoubted angler was scarcely equal to such a performance. • We have no doubt, therefore,' says the writer in Chambers's Cyclopedia of English Literature, “that Thealma is a genuine poem of the days of Charles I., or James I. The scene of the pastoral is laid in Arcadia, and the author, like the ancient poets, describes the golden age and all its charms, which were succeeded by an age of iron, on the introduction of ambition, avarice, and tyranny. The plot is complicated and obscure, and the characters are deficient in individuality. It must be read, like the Faery Queen, for its romantic descriptions, and its occasional felicity of language. The versification is that of the heroic couplet, varied, like Milton's Lycidas, by breaks and pauses in the middle of the line.'
THE VOTARESSES OF DIANA.
WITHIN a little silent grove hard by,
A hundred virgins there he might espy
They tendered their devotions : with sweet airs
Clarinda came at last With all her train, who, as along she passed Through the inward court, did make a lane, Opening their ranks, and closing them again As she went forward, with obsequious gesture Doing their reverence. Her upward vesture Was of blue silk glistering with stars of gold, Girt to her waist by serpents, that enfold And wrap themselves together, so well wrought And fashioned to the life, one would have thought They had been real.* Underneath she wore
* See the fascinating picture of the heroine in the Greek romance of Ileliodorus.-- Theagenes cind Charicleu,
A coat of silver tinsel, short before,
Thealma and Clearchus.
THE POET OF POETS.
A SWEETER swan than ever sung in Po: