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Of his forward flower; when lo!
The ripe endowments of his mind
The following verses are in a different strain. They are from a short poem on Mr. Stanihurst's death."
Come then youth, beauty, blood, all ye soft powers,
Hyperbolized nothing, know thy span ;
here put on
Through all your painting, shows you your own face.
O Death, all eloquent! you only prove
And Juvenal had said long before
Mors sola fatetur
The whole invocation quoted from Crashaw may, perhaps, remind one of a passage in Pope's 'Epistle to Mr. Jervas', where after speaking of the power of painting to represent
An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes: he proceeds:
Muse! at that name, thy sacred sorrows shed,
The following verses may show how much of good sense was mingled with Crashaw's somewhat erroneous and perverted feelings of religion.
ON A TREATISE OF CHARITY.
Rise then immortal maid! Religion, rise!
Put on thyself in thine own looks: t' our eyes
Be what thy beauties, not our blots, have made thee;
Heaven set thee down new drest; when thy bright birth
These learned leaves shall vindicate to thee
This shall from henceforth be the masculine theme
A similar character appears in his epitaph on Mr. Ashton. There is great felicity and point in some of its simple turns of expression.
The modest front of this small door,
Than many a braver marble can':
His life still kept alive by thee.
This modest stone, what few vain marbles can;
May truly say ; bere lies an honest man.
Rise! heir of fresh eternity!
From thy virgin tomb.
Thy tomb the universal East,
Thy tomb, fair immortality's perfumed nest. But the peculiar genius of Crashaw is most richly displayed in two poems, from which I shall now give some passages. They are glowing with the dazzling conceptions of mystic
devotion. There is, in some parts, a continued play of brilliant coruscations. The first is on a prayer-book sent to Mrs. B.'
But if the noble Bridegroom, when he comes,
Leaving her chaste abode
To gad abroad
Will get the start,
And stepping in before,
Of hidden sweets, and holy joys,
Yet doth not stay
A thousand unknown rites
Of joys, and rarified delights,
And many a mystic thing,
For which it is no shame,
That dull mortality must not know a name. In these selections, I have kept out of view, as much as might be, the allegory running through the piece, under which our Saviour is conceived of as a bridegroom or spouse. Though it is managed with delicacy by Crashaw, it is intrinsically unfit for poetry. It is associated, however, with some beautiful expres. sions in the following lines.
O fair! O fortunate! O rich ! O dear!
O happy and thrice happy she !
Dear silver-breasted dove! * The name Beelzebul, (the final letter in the original being properly l not b,) has been derived from two Hebrew words, according to which it would denote god of fies.?
The other poem before referred to, is similar in its character to the last quoted. It is in honour of St. Teresa. She, while a child, is said to have had a passionate desire for martyrdom; and to have plotted means for its accomplishment, But she died without attaining this glory.
Since 'tis not to be had at home,
She offers them her dearest breath,
With Christ's name in't, in change for death:
She'll bargain with them, and will give
For him she 'll teach them how to die.*
"There taught us how to live; and oh! too high