« AnteriorContinuar »
overlays and encumbers his finely-constructed but heavy and un. wieldy plays. We of this age, a little too careless perhaps of learned labor, would give a whole wilderness of Catilines and Poetasters, and even of Alchemists and Volpones, for another score of the exquisite lyrics which are scattered carelessly through the plays and masques which-strange contrast with the rugged verse in which they are imbedded—seem to have burst into being at a stroke, just as the evening primrose flings open her fair petals at the close of the day. Lovelier songs were never written than these wild and irregular ditties. Here are some of them.
HYMN TO DIANA, IN “CYNTHIA'S REVELS."
Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Bless us then with wished sight,
Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal shining quiver;
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
SONG, FROM THE SAME.
Yet slower, yet, 0 faintly, gentle springs !
Droop herbs and flowers,
0 I could still
Drop, drop, drop, drop,
SONG OF NIGHT, IN THE MASQUE OF "THE VISION OF
Break, Phantasie, from thy cave of cloud,
And spread thy purple wings ;
And various shapes of things.
To all the senses here,
Or music in their ear.
CHORUS, FROM THE SAME.
In curious knots and mazes so,
And thus did Venus learn to lead
The Idalian brawls, and so to tread
SONG, IN “THE MASQUE OF BEAUTY.”
So Beauty on the waters stood
SONG, FROM "THE SILENT WOMAN.”
(A lesson, dear ladies.)
Give me a look, give me a face
FROM A CELEBRATION OF CHARIS.
See the chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my lady rideth;
And well the car Love guideth.
Unto her beauty, And enamored do wish that they might
But enjoy such a sight, That they still were to run by her side Thorough swords, thorough seas wheresoerer she would ride.
Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that love's world compriseth!
As love's star, when it riseth!
Than words that soothe her!
Sheds itself through the face,
Have you seen but a bright lily grow
Before rude hands have touched it? Have you marked but the fall o' the snow
Before the soil hath smutched it? Ha' you felt the wool of the beaver,
Or swan's down ever?
Or the hand in the fire ?
Oh! do not worship with those eyes,
Lest I be sick with seeing!
Lest shame destroy their being.
Oh! be not angry with those fires,
For then their threats will kill me;
For then my hopes will spill me.
Far so will sorrow slay me;
Mine own enough betray me.
SONG TO CELIA.
I should hardly perhaps have thought of inserting a song so familiar to every ear as the following, had I not, in turning over Jonson's huge volume, been reminded of a circumstance connected with it which greatly startled me at the moment. Milton talks of airs “married to immortal verse ;” but it should seem that there is no marriage without an occasional divorce; for the last time I heard the well-known melody which belongs to this fine Anacreontic, as indissolubly as its own peculiar perfume to a flower, was in an Independent chapel, where widely different words--the words of a hymn-were adapted to the air. It was John Wesley, I believe, who said that he saw no reason why Satan should have all the best tunes; and I should not lightly impugn the wisdom of any axiom of John Wesley, who understood human nature as well as most men. But in this instance, such is the force of association, that I can scarcely say how strongly I felt the discrepancy, all the more for the impressive plainness and simplicity of the Presbyterian mode of worship, and the earnest eloquence of the white-haired preacher. The sermon was half over before I had recovered the tone of feeling proper to the place and the occasion.
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
And I'll not look for wine.
Must surely be divine;
I would not change for wine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
It could not withered be
But thou thereon didst only breathe
And sent’st it back to me.
Not of itself, but thee.
FIRST SPEECH IN “THE SAD SHEPHERD.”
Just where those daisies, pinks, and violets grow:
This delightful pastoral on the story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian is unhappily unfinished. Scarcely half is written, and even that wants the author's last touches.
SPEECH OF MAIA, IN “THE PENATES.”
If every pleasure were distilled