Drummond resided at Hawthornden near Edinburgh. He was intimate

with Ben Jonson and Drayton, the former of whom made a pedestrian pilgrimage to Scotland in order to see him. His works consist of sonnets and madrigals; some sacred poems; a few complimentary odes to Kings James I. and Charles I. ; and a variety of epigrammatic and humorous pieces. His sonnets are considered among the finest in the language.


Sweet spring, thou com’st with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flowers,
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their showers.
Sweet Spring, thou com’st—but ah! my pleasant hours,
And happy days, with thee come not again,
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee come, which turn my sweet to sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wert before,
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair,
But she whose breath embalmed thy wholesome air
Is gone; nor gold, nor gems, can her restore.

Neglected virtue, seasons go and come,
While thine forgot lie closed in a tomb.


Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours,
Of winters past, or coming, void of care,
Well pleased with delights which present are,
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers :
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers,
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare,
A stain to human sense in sin that lowers.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs
(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven
Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven ?

Sweet, artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yea, and to angels' lays.


THOMAS CAREW: 1589-1639.

Carew was gentleman of the privy-chamber and sewer in ordinary to

King Charles I. He is one of the best representatives of a numerous class of poets-courtiers of a gay and gallant school, whose visions of fame were bounded by the circle of the court and the nobility. Carew's poems are short and occasional, with the exception of the masque, Cælum Britannicum, written by command of the king.


Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauties orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more, whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day ;
For, in pure love, heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your


Ask me no more, whither doth haste
The nightingale, when May is past ;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.

Ask me no more, where those stars light,
That downwards fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixed become, as in their sphere.

Ask me no more, if east or west,
The phenix builds her spicy nest ;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.

FRANCIS QUARLES: 1592-1644. Quarles was successively cup-bearer to Elizabeth, the queen of Bohemia,

secretary to Archbishop Usher, and chronologer to the city of London. He is the quaintest of all the metaphysical poets. The Divine Emblems is his principal work.

I love-and have some cause to love the earth :
She is my Maker's creature; therefore good :
She is my mother, for she gave me birth ;
She is my tender nurse-she gives me food;

But what's a creature, Lord, compared with thee?

Or what's my mother or my nurse to me?
I love the air: her dainty sweets refresh
My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me ;
Her shrill-mouthed quire sustains me with their flesh,
And with their polyphonian notes delight me:

But what's the air or all the sweets that she

Can bless my soul withal, compared to thee?
I love the sea : she is my fellow-creature,
My careful purveyor ; she provides me store :
She walls me round; she makes my diet greater ;
She wafts my treasure from a foreign shore:

But, Lord of oceans, when compared with thee,
What is the ocean or her wealth to me?

[ocr errors]

To heaven's high city I direct my journey,
Whose spangled suburbs entertain mine eye ;
Mine eye, by contemplation's great attorney,
Transcends the crystal pavement of the sky:

But what is heaven, great God, compared to thee ?

Without thy presence heaven's no heaven to me.
Without thy presence earth gives no refection ;
Without thy presence sea affords no treasure ;
Without thy presence air 's a rank infection;
Without thy presence heaven itself no pleasure :

If not possessed, if not enjoyed in thee,
What's earth, or sea, or air, or heaven to me?


GEORGE HERBERT: 1593–1632.

Herbert was of noble birth, being brother of the celebrated Lord

Herbert of Cherbury; but he is chiefly known as a pious country clergyman, who earned the name of ‘Holy George Herbert.' His principal production is The Temple, or Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations. Its beauties are marred by the ridiculous conceits and coarse similes of the metaphysical school.


Sweet day! so cool, so calm, so bright
The bridal of the earth and sky;
The dews shall weep thy fall to-night ;

For thou must die,

Sweet rose! whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye;
Thy root is ever in its grave;

And thou must die.

Sweet spring ! full of sweet days and roses ;
A box where sweets compacted lie ;
Thy music shews


closes ;
And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like seasoned timber never gives ;
But, though the whole world turn to coal,

Then chiefly lives.

[blocks in formation]

This is the famous stone

That turneth all to gold,
For that which God doth touch and own,

Cannot for less be told.



Suckling, a zealous partisan of Charles I. during the Civil War, is a delightful

writer of 'occasional poems.' He wrote four plays, but is now known only by a few short


Her finger was so small, the ring
Would not stay on which they did bring ;

It was too wide a peck :
And, to say truth-for out it must-
It looked like the great collar-just-

About our young colt's neck.

Her feet beneath her petticoat,
Like little mice, stole in and out,

As if they feared the light :
But oh! she dances such a way!
No sun upon an Easter-day

Is half so fine a sight.

Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
No daisy makes comparison ;.

Who sees them is undone ;
For streaks of red were mingled there,
Such as are on a Cath'rine pear,

The side that's next the sun.

Her lips were red; and one was thin,
Compared to that was next her chin,

Some bee had stung it newly ;
But, Dick, her eyes so guard her face,
I durst no more upon


gaze, Than on the sun in July.

Her mouth so small, when she does speak,
Thou ’dst swear her teeth her words did break,

That they might passage get:
But she so handled still the matter,
They came as good as ours, or better,

and are not spent a whit.

« VorigeDoorgaan »