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Or for the laurel, he may gain a scorn;
the banks of
mourned like night, And despairs day, but for thy volume's light.
ON THE HONORED POEMS
FRIEND, SIR JOIN BEAUMONT, BARONET. 12 This book will live ; it hath a Genius; this Above his reader, or his praiser, is. Hence, then, profane! here needs no words' ex
pense 12 The elder brother of the dramatist, and himself a poet. He died in 1628, at the age of forty-eight. The verses are prefixed to the volume of poems.
In bulwarks, ravelines, ramparts for defence :
TO MR. JOHN FLETCHER, UPON HIS FAITHFUL
SHEPHERDESS." 13 The wise and many-headed bench, that sits Upon the life and death of plays and wits, (Composed of gamester, captain, knight, knight's
man, Lady or pucelle, that wears mask or fan,
13 Taken hy Whalley from Seward's edition of Beaumont and Fletcher. The Faithful Shepherdess was brought out about 1610.
Velvet or taffeta cap, ranked in the dark
spark That may judge for his sixpence) had, before They saw it half, damned thy whole play, and
more; Their motives were, since it had not to do With vices, which they looked for, and came to. I, that am glad thy innocence was thy guilt, And wish that all the Muses' blood were spilt In such a martyrdom, to vex their eyes, Do’crown thy murdered poem : which shall rise A glorified work to time, when fire, Or moths shall eat what all these fools admire.
EPITAPH ON THE COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE. 14
Underneath this sable hearse
14 The accomplished sister of Sir Philip Sidney, who dedicated to her his Arcadia. The Countess of Pembroke wrote some graceful poems, translated the tragedy of Antony from the French, and joined her brother in a translation of the Psalms, which was first published in 1823. Spenser speaks of her as
"Most resembling, both in shape and spirit, Her brother dear." She died in 1621.
The above epitaph was first introduced into the collected works of Ben Jonson by Whalley, on the ground that it was 'universally assigned to him.' Jonson's claim to it, however, is by no means certain. In a manuscript collection of Browne's poems, preserved amongst the Lansdowne Mss. in
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother:
the British Museum, the epitaph is ascribed to Browne, with the following additional stanza :
" Marble piles let no nian raise
To her name for after days,
Osborne published this stanza under the impression that the whole piece was written by Jonson ; and Gifford, who calls these lines a 'paltry addition, and condemns them upon a groundless charge of inconsistency, says that the critics ought to have known that they were copied from the poems of the Earl of Pembroke, 'to whose pen they are assigned by the prefix of his usual initials.' Now Gifford himself ought to have known that the prefix of his lordship's initials cannot be admitted as proof of the authorship, it being notorious to all readers familiar with the literature of the period, that the Earl of Pembroke, to use the language of a writer entitled to be heard on the subject, ‘had the fame of a poet, but that his right to the poems ascribed to him has been questioned as standing on no adequate authority.' That no part of this epitaph was written by the Earl of Pembroke is established by the MS. in the Museum, which contains, together with other pieces, a song by Lord Pembroke. This latter circumstance collaterally supports the evidence, for had his Lordship also written the epitaph, it is only reasonable to assume that it would have been also ascribed to him. The question of the authorship, dismissing Penibroke's pre. tensions to any share in it, may thus be fairly stated : that while Jonson's claim rests upon no more definite authority than that of tradition, Browne's is directly asserted in an
A VISION ON THE MUSES OF HIS FRIEND
MICHAEL DRAYTON. 15 It hath been questioned, Michael, if I be A friend at all; or, if at all, to thee : Because, who make the question, have not seen Those ambling visits pass in verse, between Thy muse and mine, as they expect; 'tis true, You have not writ to me, nor I to you. And though I now begin, 'tis not to rub Haunch against haunch, or raise a rhyming
authentic MS. undoubtedly comprising a large collection of his poems which had long been supposed to have been lost. A further presumption in favor of Browne may be raised upon the intimate relations which existed between him and Pembroke. That he should have furnished an epitaph for the tomb of an arlmirable woman, whose death was deeply deplored by bis friend and patron, is, at least, extremely probable; and this probability is strengthened by the elegy which some years afterwards he dedicated to her memory. - B.
15 Whalley observes that these lines contain “an enumeration of Drayton's poems, with our author's testimony to their merits." It is scarcely necessary to point out that the "enumeration” does not include the “Odles,' Pastorals," "The Muses' Elysium," and many other pieces, some of which were of a later date than the eilition of Drayton's works to which this panegyric was prefixed Jonson was one of Drayton's most intimate friends ; yet in his loose conversations with Drummonil he spoke slightingly of him, saying that Drayton “feared him, and that he esteemed not of him." Drayton died in 1631. -- B. The lines are prefixed to the second volume of Drayton's works, which came out, in folio, in 1627. --G.