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THE EARL OF DORSET'S DEATH,
no profane ignoble foot tread here,
Poems, by Dr. Corbet, Bp. of Norwich,
p. 51, Edit. 1647.
DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY.
Fond wight, who dream’st of greatness, glory, state,
One it enshrineth sprung of ancient stem,
A beauty here it holds, alas, too fast!
It holds her who in Wit's ascendant far
Fair Mirth, sweet Conversation, Modesty,
honours to 'devise.] The Edinb. edit. reads more properly,“ honours dost devise.”
The exclamation in the last line of this piece is particularly in Drurhmond's best manner.
of this grave.
By Muses nine, and Graces more than three,
Thus Death all earthly glories doth confound,
Drummond's Poems, p. 198,
Edit. 1656, 8vo.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF PHILARETE,
MR. THOMAS MANWOOD, THE AUTHOR'S FRIEND, AND
SON OF SIR PETER MANWOOD, KNT.
NDER an aged oak was Willy laid,
But now, o'ercome with dolors deep
That nigh his heart-strings rent,
Ne car'd for merriment.
For uncouth paths unknown,
And echo rue his moan.
* Sylvester inscribes a Hymn “ to the worthy friend of worthiness, Sir Peter Manwood, Knight of the Honourable Order of the Bath." The father probably of Browne's friend. P.561, fol. edit.
Autumn it was, when droop'd the sweetest flowers,
The pleasant meadows sadly lay
In chill and cooling sweats,
Fear'd winter's wasteful threats..,
Each wind in fury bears;
As did the shepherd's tears *. * Against the broad-spread oak
Each wind in fury bears ;
As did the shepherd's tears.] In mere unimpassioned description, similes which are derived from foreign and remote objects are frequently used with success ; for at the same time that they afford the writer an opportunity of showing his knowledge, they enrich and add a variety to poetry, that it might not have attained by any other means. Yet in pathetic situations, when they immediately arise from the subject itself, or some collateral branch of it, they convey the most direct and unequivocal illustration, with a conciseness and expression truly admirable. But how frequent is the practice, even with our best writers, in situations the most pathetic, and in narratives the most urgent and interesting, coolly to take leave of their subject, for the sake of introducing a comparison of perhaps ten or twelve lines ! The consequence is, that our former sympathy is thoroughly destroyed, and after toiling through the lines in question, we are left to recal our attention, associate our distracted ideas, and recover the lost tone of our feelings at our leisure, which is by this time, most probably, totally out of our power. In such cases, a simile taken from the ground of the piece (if I may be allowed the expression), by confining our attention wholly to the subject, and by giving us what we want, without obliging us to wander in quest of it, would, in three words, almost have completely answered the end of the poet. I will subjoin an instance or two of this comprehensive kind of illustration. Mallet thus describes the father of Edwin :
The father too, a sordid man,
Who love nor pity knew,
From whence his riches grew. Edw. and Emma.
As was his seat so was his gentle heart,
Sad was his look (O heavy fate!
That swain should be so sad,
With greatest pleasure clad)
That charm’d the crystal floods * :
And flew about the woods.
Day, thou art too officious in thy place,
Great Phæbus! Daphne is not here,
Nor Hyacinthus fair;
Hath long since cleft the air.
Above all others, perhaps Collins affords one of the most beautiful specimens, in lines that few have read without emotion. Zara exclaims :
• Farewell the youth whom sighs could not detain,
Eclogue II. * Broke was his tuneful pipe
That charm’d the crystal floods.] Thus Milton, in the finest vein of poetry:
Thyrsis! whose artful strains have oft delay'd