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["That his (Raleigh's] faith was no less steadfast in the hopes of a resurrection,* we are as convincingly assured by those verses, which, this last night of his life, he probably wrote also here, in the Gatehouse,—they being found there in his Bible; and, according to the most ancient copies I can meet with, penned in these words;" &c. OLDYS.“Having finished this (viz. ' An Answer to some things at my Death'] he seems to have drawn up a few additional notes of remembrance, containing heads of the different subjects upon which, if permitted to speak on the scaffold, he meant to address the people; and taking his Bible, he wrote on a blank leaf these few lines ....... It may appear singu
• He had just been speaking of Raleigh's Poem called his “ Pilgrimage." See Part III, No. ii. in this vol.
lar to some that we find him so employed at such a moment, but from bis early youth Raleigh had been accustomed to throw his feelings into numbers. His last thoughts are solemn and full of immortality; and their poetical dress indicates a rare tranquillity of mind." Tytler.*
It is satisfactory to meet with at least one poem, though a very short one, which can be ascribed to Raleigh without much danger of mistake; but this is the only piece in Rel. Wotton, of which so mạch can be said with safety. The tradition which assigns it to the night before his execution may in this case be correct. Perhaps it is equally true with regard to the following couplet, which is printed in the various Collections of his Minor writings. ON THE SNUFF OF A CANDLE, THE NIGHT BEFORE HE DIED.
Cowards (may] fear to die; but Courage stout,
Rather than live in Snuff, will be put out." The story of his “Dying Meditation,” which is appended to so many other Poems,--some of which he never wrote at all,--seems to have been carelessly transferred to them from one or other of these two short fragments.
The variations are given from three copies, to which many others might have been added ; viz.—A=Dr. Birch's copy, Raleigh's Minor Works, ii. 400. (It appears to have been taken from Raleigh's Remains, where the title is, “Sir Walter Raleigh's Verses, Found in his Bible in the Gate-house at Westminster,” p. 258, ed. 1661.)—B=Oldys's copy, as above.-C=Chetham MS. 8012, p. 162.]
• Oldys's Life of Ral. p. 556, Oxf. ed. cf. p. 424. Tytler, p. 357, ed. 1840. Tyuler found a copy in the state-paper office. p. 356, note.-Brydges mentions one in a Lansd. MS. entitled, “ De seipso." Pref. to Browne's Poems, Lee Priory ed. p. 6.- See also D'Israeli's Cur, of Lit. p. 419, ed. 1839. Cayley, ii. 167. Ellis, ii. 224. Raleigh's Works, viii. 729, Oxford ed.- A copy was printed on the last leaf of his Prerog. of Parl. 1628, with the title, “ The Authours Epitaph, made by himselfe;" but I believe the lines bad been published at a still earlier date.- Another copy is in Winstanley's Worthies, p. 305, 1684.
VEN such is time, that takes on trust
Our youth, our joyes, our all we have,
Who, in the dark and silent Grave,  (When we have wandred all our ways,)
Shuts up the story of our days:
(Variations.—1. which'-A.“who'-B.‘in trust-A BC.2.. our age-C. and all'-A B C.-3. ' with Age and Dust -Rel. Wotton. 'nought but Age'-A. 'with earth and dust-B C. The reading age' is found also in several of the copies mentioned in the note on the preceding page; but the seventh line clearly proves that it is erroneous.-4.* Which in'-A. “Who in the silence of the graue’-C.-6. Shut vp the glory'-C.-7. * And from which Grave and Earth and Dust-A. “But from that earth, that grave, and dust'-B. “And from that earth, graue, and dust-C. “The Lord shall’-A BC. So Oxford edit., Winstanley, Prerog. Parl., &c. ' The Lord will — Tytler.]
[In the first edit. of Rel. Wotton., these lines were signed Ignoto, which was altered in ed. 1654 to Fra. L' Bacon,the signature retained in ed. 1672. There can be no reasonable doubt that Bacon wrote them; but his claim cannot have been generally known, since his name is usually an after-insertion in the MS. copies, as well as in Rel. Wotton.* The most conclusive evidence is that of Thomas Farnaby, who printed them in bis Florilegium, in 1629, (pp. 8—10) with a Greek translation, immediately after a well-known Epigram that is usually ascribed to Posidippus; and introduced them thus ;—“Huc elegantem V. CL. Domini Verulamij wapyðiav adjicere adlubuit.”+ They were repeated
• Thus in MS. Rawl. Poet. 117, fol. 161, they were first entitled “The Bubble, by R. W." (those seem to be the letters) and the words,“by ye Ld Bacon," were added afterwards. — In MS. Ashm. 38, p. 2, the first title was, “On Mans Mortalitie, by Doctor Donn," altered to “Sr Fran, Bacon.”-In Mr. Pickering's MS. fol. 87. they have the signatore, “ Henry Harrington," but the name of " Ld Verulam viscoun[t] St Albans," is added in a later hand. Title, “ Vppon ye miserie of Man."
+ Mr. Dyce, with less accuracy than usual, says, “ The celebrated copy of verses beginning. The world's a bubble' has been attributed by Farna by and others to Wotton,—on what anthority, does not appear," &c. (Preface in the same form in the edit. of 1650. To this copy reference is made by Aubrey, who calls them “excellent verses of his Lops.'
That Bacon's occasional recreations in Poetry were not overlooked in the succeeding age, may be gathered from a letter of Waller's, which was prefixed to the first edit. of his Poems (1645), and which was probably genuine, though the publication was unauthorized ;—“ Not but that I may defend the attempt I have made upon Poetrie, by the examples (not to trouble you with Historie) of many wise and worthie persons of our own times; as Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Fra. Bacon," &c. His metrical version of a few Psalms, which he published in 1625, with a dedication to George Herbert, may be found among his works. Park has printed a short poem (partly in imitation of Horace) which he found among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum, with the title, “Verses made by Mr. Fra. Bacon;" † and in the long letter addressed to the Earl of Devonshire, in which Bacon defends bis conduct towards Lord Essex, he says that (“though I profess not to be a Poet,”) he had“ prepared a Sonnet, directly tending to draw on Her Majesty's reconcilement to
The last line of this piece, as it stands in all the copies but that of Rel. Wotton. occurs in precisely the same words among the Poems of Bp. Henry King (p. 23, ed. 1843);
to Wotton's Poems.) Zonch mentions that it is printed as Wotton's in Cibber's Lives of the Poets (ed. of Walton, p. 510, 1796); but he quotes Farnaby correctly. Park says that it is reprinted in Fawkes and Wory; -and in the New Foundling Hosp. for Wit.
• Letters from the Bodleian, ii. 224. Farnaby's text was reprinted in the “ Poematia" of H. Birchedus (Birkhead) in 1656, with the title, “ An Ode against Mans Life.” He added “A Parode in praise of Humane Life," and subjoined Latin, as well as Greek, translations of both,--taking the Greek version of Bacon's lines from Farnaby, who had been his leacher (pp. 86-94).
+ Edit. of Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, ii. 217. There is another copy of them in Chetham MS. (Manchester) 8012, p. 79.