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When I lie tangled in her hair, And fetter'd with her eye,
When flowing cups run swiftly round,
With no allaying Thames,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When healths and draughts go free,
Know no such liberty.
When linnet-like confined, I With shriller note shall sing
He, is, how great should be,
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
That for an hermitage;
And in my soul am free,
Enjoy such liberty.
TO LUCASTA, ON GOING TO THE WARS.
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I choose,
The first foe in the field;
A sword, a horse, a shield,
Yet this inconstancy is such
As you, too, shall adore:
Loved I not honor more.
ON LELY'S PORTRAIT OF CHARLES THE FIRST.
See what an humble bravery doth shine,
And grief triumphant breaking through each line,
How it commands the face! So sweet a scorn
Never did happy misery adorn!
So sacred a contempt that others show
To this (o' the height of all the wheel) below;
That mightiest monarchs by this shaded book
May copy out their proudest, richest look.
An elegant and accurate critic, Sir Egerton Brydges, has pointed out a singular coincidence between an illustration employed by Lovelace and a line for which Lord Byron has been, as it seems to me, unjustly censured in the " Bride of Abydos." The noble poet says of his heroine—
"The mind, the music breathing from her face;"
and he vindicated the expression on the obvious ground of its clearness and truth. Lovelace, in a Song of Orpheus, lamenting the death of his wife, uses the same words in nearly the same sense. Lord Byron had probably never seen the poem, or, if he had, the illustration had perhaps remained in his mind to be unconsciously reproduced by that strange process of amalgamation which so often combines memory with invention. These are the lines sung by Orpheus, who works out the idea too far:—
Oh, could you view the melody
Of every grace,
And music of her face,
Than now you hear.
The poem of "Loyalty Confined" is supposed to have been written by Sir Roger L'Estrange, while imprisoned on account of his adherence to Charles the First. On a first reading, these terse and vigorous stanzas seem too much like a paraphrase of Lovelace's fine address " To Althea from Prison;" but there is so much that is original, both in thought and expression, that we can not but admit that the apparent imitation is the result of sim
ilarity of sentiment in a similar situation. These imprisoned cavaliers think and feel alike, and must needs speak the same language.
Beat on, proud billows. Boreas, blow;
Swell-curled waves, high as Jove's roof;
That which the world miscalls a jail,
A private closet is to me;
And innocence my liberty;
I, while I wished to be retired,
Tnto this private room was turned,
The Salamander should be burned;
The cynic loves his poverty,
The pelican her wilderness,
Naked on frozen Caucasus:
These manacles upon my arm I, as my mistress' favors, wear;And for to keep my ankles warm
I have some iron shackles there;
I'm in the cabinet locked up
Like some high-priced Marguerite; Or, like the Great Mogul or Pope,
Retiredness is a piece of majesty, And thus, proud Sultan, I'm as great as thee.
Here sin, for want of food, must starve
And these strong walls do only serve
So he that struck at Jason's life, Thinking to have made his purpose sure,
By a malicious friendly knife
Malice, I see, wants wit j for what is meant
Mischief, ofttimes proves favor by the event.
When once my Prince affliction hath,
Prosperity doth treason seem;
Sweet patience I can learn from him.
What though I can not see my King,
Neither in person nor in coin,
That renders what I have not, mine.
Have you not seen the nightingale
A prisoner-like cooped in a cage;
In that her narrow hermitage 1
I am that bird whom they contrive
Thus to deprive of liberty;
Yet, maugre hate, my soul is free.
My soul is free as ambient air, Although my baser part's immew'd;
The following lines were written by the Marquis of Montrose upon the execution of Charles the First. He shut himself up for three days, and when Dr. Wishart, his chaplain, and the elegant historian of his wars, was admitted to him, he found these verses, which probably were intended as a sort of vow, on his table. We all know how that vow was redeemed.
Great, good, and just! could I but rate
My grief to thy too rigid fate,
I'd weep the world to such a strain
As it should deluge once again;
But since thy loud-tongued blood demands supplies
More from Briareus' hands than Argus' eyes,
I'll sing thy obsequies with trumpet sounds,
And write thy epitaph with blood and wounds.
LOVE VERSES, BY THE MARQUIS OF MONTROSE.
Sometimes the jargon of the different governments of the day, and sometimes the technical phrases of warfare, are made strange use of in these verses; yet some of the lines are so noble, and many so original, that we forgive this soldierly mode of wooing in favor of its frankness. It is to be presumed the lady did the same.
My dear and only love, I pray
This noble world of thee,
Than purest monarchy.
Which virtuous souls abhor,
I'll never love thee more. Like Alexander I will reign,
And I will reign alone;
A rival on my throne.
Or his desert's too small,
But I must rule and govern still,
And always give the law,
And all to stand in awe.
Thou shunn'st the prize to bore,
I'll never love thee more.