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Now do the huntsmen fill the air with noise,
And their shrill horns chafe her delighted ear, Which, with loud accents, give the woods a voice Proclaiming parley to the fearful deer: She hears the jolly tunes ; but every strain, As high and musical, she returns again.
Rous'd is the game; pursuit doth put on wings;
The sun doth shine, and gild them out their way;
The deer into an o'ergrown thicket springs,
Through which he quaintly steals his shine away;
The hunters scatter; but the boy, o'erthrown
In a dark part of the wood, complains alone.
Him, Echo, led by her affections, found,
Joy'd, you may guess, to reach him with her eye;
But more, to see him rise without a wound-
Who yet obscures herself behind some tree; He, vexed, exclaims, and asking, Where am I?' The unseen virgin answers,' Here am I !' 'Some guide from hence! Will no man hear?' he cries: She answers, in her passion, 'Oh man, hear!' 'I die, I die,' say both; and thus she tries,
With frequent answers, to entice his ear And person to her court, more fit for love; He tracks the sound, and finds her odorous grove. The way he trod was paved with violets, Whose azure leaves do warm their naked stalks; In their white double ruffs the daisies jet,
And primroses are scattered in the walks, Whose pretty mixture in the ground declares Another galaxy embossed with stars.
Two rows of elms ran with proportioned grace,
Like nature's arras, to adorn the sides;
The friendly vines their loved barks embrace,
While folding-tops the chequered ground-work hides;
Here oft the tired sun himself would rest,
Riding his glorious circuit to the west.
From hence delight conveys him unawares
Into a spacious green, whose either side
A hill did guard, whilst with his trees, like hairs,
The clouds were busy binding up his head;
The flowers here smile upon him as he treads,
And, but when he looks up, hang down their heads.
Not far from hence, near an harmonious brook,
Within an arbour of conspiring trees,
Whose wilder boughs into the stream did look,
A place more suitable to her distress,
Echo, suspecting that her love was gone,
Herself had in a careless posture thrown.
But Time upon his wings had brought the boy
To see this lodging of the airy queen,
Whom the dejected nymph espies with joy
Through a small window of eglantine;
And that she might be worthy his embrace,
Forgets not to new-dress her blubber'd face.
With confidence she sometimes would go out,
And boldly meet Narcissus in the way;
But then her fears present her with new doubt,
And chide her over-rash resolve away.
Her heart with overcharge of love must break;
Great Juno will not let poor Echo speak.
RICHARD CRASHAW, a religious poet, whose devotional strains and lyric raptures' evince the highest genius, was the son of a preacher at the Temple church, London. The date of his birth is not known, but in 1644 he was a fellow of Peterhouse college, Cambridge. Crashaw was, at all periods of his life, of an enthusiastic disposition. He lived for the greater part of several years in St Mary's church, near Peterhouse, engaged chiefly in religious offices and writing devotional poetry; and, as the preface to his works informs us, like a primitive saint, offering more prayers by night, than others usually offer in the day.' He is said to have been an eloquent and powerful preacher. Being ejected from his fellowship for non-compliance with the rules of the parliamentary army, he removed to France, and became a proselyte to the Roman Catholic faith. Through the friendship of Cowley, Crashaw obtained the notice of Henrietta Maria, then at Paris, and was recommended by her majesty to the dignitaries of the church in Italy. He became secretary to one of the cardinals, and a canon. of the church of Loretto. In this situation, Crashaw died about the year 1650. Cowley honoured his memory with
The meed of a melodious tear.
The poet was an accomplished scholar, and his translations from the Latin and Italian possess great freedom, force, and beauty. He translated part of the Sospetto d'Herode, from the Italian of Marino; and passages of Crashaw's version are not unworthy of Milton, who had evidently seen the work. He thus describes the abode of Satan:
Below the bottom of the great abyss,
There, where one centre reconciles all things,
The world's profound heart pants; there placed is
Mischief's old master; close about him clings
A curl'd knot of embracing snakes, that kiss
His corresponding cheeks: these loathsome strings
Hold the perverse prince in eternal ties
Fast bound, since first he forfeited the skies.
Fain would he have forgot what fatal strings Eternally bind each rebellious limb;
He shook himself, and spread his spacious wings,
Which like two bosom'd sails, embrace the dim
Air with a dismal shade, but all in vain;
Of sturdy adamant is his strong chain.
While thus Heaven's highest counsels, by the low
Footsteps of their effects, he trac'd too well,
He toss'd his troubled eyes-embers that glow
Now with new rage, and wax too hot for hell;
With his foul claws he fenc'd his furrow'd brow,
And gave a ghastly shriek, whose horrid yell
Ran trembling through the hollow vault of night.
While resident in Cambridge, Crashaw published a volume of Latin poems and epigrams, in one of which occurs the well-known conceit relative to the sacred miracle of water being turned into wine
The conscious water saw its God and blush'd.
In 1646 appeared his English poems, Steps to the Temple, The Delights of the Muses, and Carmen Deo Nostro. greater part of the volume consists of religious poetry, in which Crashaw occasionally addresses the Saviour, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalen, with all the passionate earnestness and fer
vour of a lover. He had an extravagant admiration of the mystic writings of St Theresa, founder of the Carmelites, which seems to have had a bad effect on his own taste, naturally prone, from his enthusiastic temperament, to carry any favourite object, feeling, or passion, to excess. In these flights into the third heavens, with all his garlands and singing robes about him,' Crashaw luxuriates among
An hundred thousand loves and graces,
And many a mystic thing
Which the divine embraces
Of the dear Spouse of Spirits with them will bring;
For which it is no shame
That dull mortality must not know a name.
Such seem to have been his daily contemplations, the heavenly manna on which his young spirit fed with delight. This mystical style of thought and fancy naturally led to exaggeration and to conceits. The latter pervaded all the poetry of the time, and Crashaw could hardly escape the infection, even if there had not been in his peculiar case strong predisposing causes. But, amidst all his abstractions, metaphors, and apostrophes, Crashaw is seldom tedious. His imagination was copious and various. He had, as Coleridge has remarked, a power and opulence of invention,' and his versification is sometimes highly musical. With more taste and judgment (which riper years might have produced), Crashaw would have outstripped most of his contemporaries, even Cowley. No poet of his day is so rich in barbaric pearl and gold,' the genuine ore of poetry. It is deeply to be regretted that his life had not been longer, more calm and fortunate-realising his own exquisite lines
A happy soul, that all the way
To heaven, hath a summer's day.
Of sweet discourse, whose powers
Can crown old winter's head with flowers.
Now westward Sol had spent the richest beams
Of noon's high glory, when, hard by the streams
Of Tiber, on the scene of a green plat,
Under protection of an oak, there sat
A sweet lute's-master; in whose gentle airs
He lost the day's heat, and his own hot cares.
Close in the covert of the leaves there stood
A nightingale, come from the neighbouring wood
(The sweet inhabitant of each glad tree,
Their muse, their syren, harmless syren she):
There stood she list'ning, and did entertain
The music's soft report: and mould the same
In her own murmurs; that whatever mood
His curious fingers lent, her voice made good:
The man perceiv'd his rival, and her art,
Dispos'd to give the light-foot lady sport,
Awakes his lute, and 'gainst the fight to come
Informs it in a sweet præludium
Of closer strains, and e'er the war begin,
He lightly skirmishes on every string
Charged with a flying touch; and straightway she
Carves out her dainty voice as readily,
Into a thousand sweet distinguish'd tones,
And reckons up in soft divisions
Amidst his visions of angels ascending and des-
cending, Crashaw had little time or relish for earthly
love. He has, however, left a copy of verses en-
titled, Wishes to a Supposed Mistress, in which are
some fine thoughts. Ile desires his fair one to pos-Quick volumes of wild notes, to let him know,
By that shrill taste, she could do something too.
His nimble hand's instinct then taught each string
A cap'ring cheerfulness, and made them sing
To their own dance; now negligently rash
He throws his arm, and with a long-drawn dash
Blends all together; then distinctly trips
From this to that, then quick returning, skips
And snatches this again, and pauses there.
She measures every measure, everywhere
Meets art with art; sometimes, as if in doubt
Not perfect yet, and fearing to be out,
Trails her plain ditty in one long-spun note,
Through the sleek passage of her open throat,
A clear unwrinkled song; then doth she point it
W tender accents, and severely joint it
By short diminutives, that, being rear'd
In controverting warbles, evenly shar'd,
With her sweet self she wrangles; he amaz'd,
That from so small a channel should be rais'd
The torrent of a voice, whose melody
Could melt into such sweet variety,
Strains higher yet, that, tickled with rare art,
The tattling strings, each breathing in his part,
Most kindly do fall out; the grumbling base
In surly groans disdains the treble's grace;
The high-perch't treble chirps at this, and chides,
Until his finger (moderator) hides
And closes the sweet quarrel, rousing all
Hoarse, shrill at once; as when the trumpets call
Hot Mars to th' harvest of death's field, and woo
Men's hearts into their hands: this lesson too
Soft silken hours,
Open suns, shady bowers;
'Bove all, nothing within that lowers.
Can make day's forehead bright,
Or give down to the wings of night.
We are tempted also to quote two similes, the first reminding us of a passage in Jeremy Taylor's Holy Dying, and the second of one of Shakspeare's best sonnets:-
I've seen, indeed, the hopeful bud
Of a ruddy rose, that stood,
Blushing to behold the ray
Of the new-saluted day;
His tender top not fully spread;
The sweet dash of a shower new shed,
Invited him no more to hide
Within himself the purple pride
Of his forward flower, when lo,
While he sweetly 'gan to show
His swelling glories, Auster spied him;
Cruel Auster thither hied him,
And with the rush of one rude blast
Sham'd not spitefully to waste
All his leaves so fresh and sweet,
And lay them trembling at his feet.
I've seen the morning's lovely ray
Hover o'er the new-born day,
With rosy wings, so richly bright,
As if he scorn'd to think of night,
When a ruddy storm, whose scowl
Made Heaven's radiant face look foul,
Call'd for an untimely night
To blot the newly-blossom'd light.
The felicity and copiousness of Crashaw's language are, however, best seen from his translations; and we subjoin, entire, his version of Music's Duel, from the Latin of Strada. It is seldom that so sweet and luxurious a strain of pure description and sentiment greets us in our poetical pilgrimage:
She gives them back: her supple breast thrills out
Sharp airs, and staggers in a warbling doubt
Of dallying sweetness, hovers o'er her skill,
And folds in wav'd notes, with a trembling bill,
The pliant series of her slippery song;
Then starts she suddenly into a throng
Of short thick sobs, whose thund'ring volleys
And roll themselves over her lubric throat
In panting murmurs, still'd out of her breast;
That ever-bubbling spring, the sugar'd nest
Of her delicious soul, that there does lie
Bathing in streams of liquid melody;
Music's best seed-plot; when in ripen'd airs
A golden-headed harvest fairly rears
His honey-dropping tops, plough'd by her breath
Which there reciprocally laboureth.
In that sweet soil it seems a holy quire,
Sounded to th' name of great Apollo's lyre;
Whose silver roof rings with the sprightly notes
Of sweet-lipp'd angel-imps, that swill their throats
In cream of morning Helicon, and then
Prefer soft anthems to the ears of men,
To woo them from their beds, still murmuring
That men can sleep while they their matins sing
(Most divine service): whose so early lay
Prevents the eyelids of the blushing day.
There might you hear her kindle her soft voice,
In the close murmur of a sparkling noise;
And lay the ground-work of her hopeful song,
Still keeping in the forward stream so long,
Till a sweet whirlwind (striving to get out)
Heaves her soft bosom, wanders round about,
And makes a pretty earthquake in her breast,
Till the fledg'd notes at length forsake their nest,
Fluttering in wanton shoals, and to the sky,
Wing'd with their own wild echoes, prattling fly.
She opes the flood-gate, and lets loose a tide
Of streaming sweetness, which in state doth ride
On the way'd back of every swelling strain,
Rising and falling in a pompous train,
And while she thus discharges a shrill peal
Of flashing airs, she qualifies their zeal
With the cool epode of a graver note;
Thus high, thus low, as if her silver throat
Would reach the brazen voice of war's hoarse bird;
Her little soul is ravish'd, and so pour'd
Into loose ecstacies, that she is plac'd
Above herself, music's enthusiast.
Shame now and anger mix'd a double stain
In the musician's face: yet, once again,
Mistress, I come: now reach a strain, my lute,
Above her mock, or be for ever mute.
Or tune a song of victory to me,
Or to thyself sing thine own obsequy.'
So said, his hands sprightly as fire he flings,
And with a quavering coyness tastes the strings:
The sweet-lipp'd sisters musically frighted,
Singing their fears, are fearfully delighted:
Trembling as when Apollo's golden hairs
Are fann'd and frizzled in the wanton airs
Of his own breath, which, married to his lyre,
Doth tune the spheres, and make heaven's self look
From this to that, from that to this he flies,
Feels music's pulse in all her arteries;
Caught in a net which there Apollo spreads,
His fingers struggle with the vocal threads,
Following those little rills, he sinks into
A sea of Helicon; his hand does go
Those parts of sweetness which with nectar drop,
Softer than that which pants in Hebe's cup:
The humorous strings expound his learned touch
By various glosses; now they seem to grutch,
And murmur in a buzzing din, then gingle
In shrill-tongued accents, striving to be single;
Every smooth turn, every delicious stroke
Gives life to some new grace; thus doth he invoke
Sweetness by all her names: thus, bravely thus
(Fraught with a fury so harmonious)
The lute's light genius now does proudly rise,
Heav'd on the surges of swoll'n rhapsodies;
Whose flourish (meteor-like) doth curl the air
With flash of high-born fancies, here and there
Dancing in lofty measures, and anon
Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone,
Whose trembling murmurs, melting in wild airs,
Run to and fro, complaining his sweet cares;
Because those precious mysteries that dwell
In music's ravish'd soul he dare not tell,
But whisper to the world: thus do they vary,
Each string his note, as if they meant to carry
Their master's blest soul (snatch'd out at his ears
By a strong ecstacy) through all the spheres
Of music's heaven; and seat it there on high,
In th' empyreum of pure harmony.
At length (after so long, so loud a strife
Of all the strings, still breathing the best life
Of blest variety, attending on
His fingers' fairest revolution,
In many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall)
A full-mouth'd diapason swallows all.
This done, he lists what she would say to this; And she, although her breath's late exercise Had dealt too roughly with her tender throat, Yet summons all her sweet powers for a note. Alas! in vain! for while (sweet soul) she tries To measure all those wild diversities
Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one
Poor simple voice, raised in a natural tone;
She fails, and failing grieves, and grieving dies:
She dies, and leaves her life the victor's prize,
Falling upon his lute: Oh fit to have
(That lived so sweetly) dead, so sweet a grave!
Temperance, or the Cheap Physician.
Go, now, and with some daring drug
Bait thy disease; and, whilst they tug,
Thou, to maintain their precious strife,
Spend the dear treasures of thy life.
Go, take physic, dote upon
Some big-named composition,
The oraculous doctors' mystic bills-
Certain hard words made into pills;
And what at last shalt gain by these!
Only a costlier disease.
That which makes us have no need
Of physic, that's physic indeed.
Hark, hither, reader! wilt thou see
Nature her own physician be?
Wilt see a man, all his own wealth,
His own music, his own health;
A man whose sober soul can tell
How to wear her garments well;
Her garments, that upon her sit,
As garments should do, close and fit;
A well-cloth'd soul that's not oppress'd
Nor chok'd with what she should be dress'd;
A soul sheath'd in a crystal shrine,
Through which all her bright features shine;
As when a piece of wanton lawn,
A thin aërial veil, is drawn
O'er beauty's face, seeming to hide,
More sweetly shows the blushing bride;
A soul, whose intellectual beams
No mists do mask, no lazy steams-
A happy soul, that all the way
To heaven, hath a summer's day?
Would'st see a man, whose well-warm'd blood
Bathes him in a genuine flood?
Of nimble art, and traverse round
The airy shop of soul-appeasing sound:
And beat a summons in the same
To warn each several kind
And shape of sweetness-be they such
As sigh with supple wind
Or answer artful touch-
Come, lovely name! life of our hope!
Lo, we hold our hearts wide ope!
Unlock thy cabinet of day,
Dearest sweet, and come away.
The attending world, to wait thy rise,
First turn'd to eyes;
And then, not knowing what to do,
Turn'd them to tears, and spent them too.
Come, royal name! and pay the expense
Of all this precious patience:
Oh, come away
And kill the death of this delay.
Oh see, so many worlds of barren years
Melted and measur'd out in seas of tears!
Oh, see the weary lids of wakeful hope
(Love's eastern windows) all wide ope
With curtains drawn,
Lo, how the thirsty lands
Gasp for thy golden show'rs, with long-stretch'd hands!
Lo, how the labouring earth,
That hopes to be
All heaven by thee,
Leaps at thy birth !
Home, and lodge them in his heart.
Oh, that it were as it was wont to be,
When thy old friends, on fire all full of thee,
That they convene and come away
To wait at the love-crowned doors of that illustrious Fought against frowns with smiles; gave glorious chase
To persecutions; and against the face
Of death and fiercest dangers, durst with brave
And sober pace march on to meet a grave.
On their bold breasts about the world they bore thee,
And to the teeth of hell stood up to teach thee;
In centre of their inmost souls they wore thee,
Where racks and torments striv'd in vain to reach
Little, alas! thought they
Who tore the fair breasts of thy friends,
Their fury but made way
For thee, and serv'd them in thy glorious ends.