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And love, his mother, and the graces kept
Strong watch and warde, while this faire Ladie
The birds awakte her with their morning song, Their warbling musicke pearst her tender care, The murmuring brookes and whistling windes
among The ratling boughes, and leaues, their parts did
beare; Her eies vnclos'd beheld the groues along, Of swaines and shepherd groomes that dwellings
weare; And that sweet noise, birds, winds, and waters
sent, Prouokt again the virgin to lament.
Her plaints were interrupted with a sound,
That seem'd from thickest bushes to proceed,
Some iolly shepherd sung a lustie round,
And to his voice had tun'd his oaten reed;
Thither she went, an old man there she found
(Atwhose right hand his little flock did feed)
Sat making baskets, his three sonnes among
That learn'd their father's art, and learn'd his
Beholding one in shining armes appeare
The seelie man and his were sore dismaid;
But sweet Erminia comforted their feare,
Her ventall vp, her visage open laid,
You happy folke, of heau'n beloued deare,
Work on (quoth she) upon your harmlesse traid,
These dreadfull armes I beare no warfare bring
To your sweet toile, nor those sweet tunes you
But father, since this land, these townes and towres,
Destroied are with sword, with fire and spoile,
How may it be, unhurt that you and yours
In safetie thus, applie your harmlesse toile?
My sonne (quoth he) this pore estate of ours
Is euer safe from storm of warlike broile;
This wildernesse doth vs in saftie keepe,
No thundering drum, no trumpet breakes our
Haply iust heau’ns defence and shield of right,
Doth loue the innocence of simple swains.
The thunderbolts on highest mountains light,
And seld or neuer strike the lower plaines :
So kings have cause to feare Bellonaes might,
Not they whose sweat and toile their dinner gaines,
Nor ever greedie soldier was entised
By pouertie, neglected and despised.
O Pouertie, chefe of the heau'nly brood,
Dearer to me than wealth or kingly crowne!
No wish for honour, thirst of others good,
Can moue my heart, contented with my owne:
We quench our thirst with water of this flood,
Nor fear we poison should therein be throwne:
These little flocks of sheepe and tender goates Giue milke for food, and wool to make us coates.
We little wish, we need but little wealth,
From cold and hunger vs to cloath and feed;
These are my sonnes, their care preserues from
Their fathers flocks, nor servants moe I need :
Amid these groues I walke oft for my health,
And to the fishes, birds, and beastes giue heed,
How they are fed, in forrest, spring and lake,
And their contentment for ensample take.
Time was (for each one hath his doating time,
These siluer locks were golden tresses than)
That countrie life I hated as a crime,
And from the forrests sweet contentment ran,
To'Memphis' stately pallace would I clime,
And there became the mightie Caliphes man,
And though I but a simple gardner weare,
Yet could I marke abuses, see and heare.
Entised on with hope of future gaine,
I suffred long what did my soule displease ;
But when my youth was spent, my hope was vaine,
I felt my native strength at last decrease;
I gan my losse of lustie yeeres complaine,
And wisht I had enjoy'd the countries peace;
I bod the court farewell, and with content
My later age here have I quiet spent.
While thus he spake, Erminia husht and still
His wise discourses heard, with great attention,
His speeches graue those idle fancies kill,
Which in her troubled soule bred such dissention;
After much thought reformed was her will,
Within those woods to dwell was her intention,
Till fortune should occasion new afford,
To turne her home to her desired Lord.
She said therefore, O shepherd fortunate!
That troubles some didst whilom feele and proue,
Yet liuest now in this contented state,
Let my mishap thy thoughts to pitie moue,
To entertaine me as a willing mate
In shepherds life, which I admire and loue;
Within these pleasant groues perchance my hart,
Of her discomforts, may vnload some part.
If gold or wealth of most esteemed deare,
If iewels rich, thou diddest hold in prise,
Such store thereof, such plentie haue I seen,
As to a greedie minde might well suffice: ',
With that downe trickled many a siluer teare,
Two christall streames fell from her watrie eies;
Part of her sad misfortunes than she told,
And wept, and with her wept that shepherd old.
With speeches kinde, he gan the virgin deare
Towards his cottage gently home to guide;
His aged wife there made her homely cheare,
Yet welcomde her, and plast her by her side.
The Princesse dond a poore pastoraes geare,
A kerchiefe course vpon her head she tide;
But yet her gestures and her lookes (I gesse)
Were such, as ill bešeem'd a shepherdesse.
Not those rude garments could obscure, and hide
The heau'nly beautie of her angels face,
Nor was her princely ofspring damnifide,
Or ought disparag'de, by those labours bace ;
Her little flocks to pasture would she guide,
And milk her goates, and in their folds them place,
Both cheese and butter could she make, and
selfe to please the shepherd and his dame.
Mr. John POMFRET nothing is known but
from a slight and confused account prefixed to his poems by a nameless friend; who relates, that he was the son of the Rev. Mr. Pomfret, rector of Luton, in Bedfordshire; that he was bred at Cambridge ;* entered into orders, and was rector of Malden, in Bedfordshire, and might have risen in the church; but that, when he applied to Dr. Compton, bishop of London, for institution to a living of considerable value, to which he had been presented, he found a troublesome obstruction raised by a malicious interpretation of some passage in his “ Choice;" from which it was inferred, that he considered happiness as more likely to be found in the company of a mistress than of a wife,
This reproach was easily obliterated; for it had happened to Pomfret as to almost all other men who plan schemes of life; he had departed from his purpose, and was then married.
The malice of his enemies had however a very fatal consequence; the delay constrained his at. tendance in London, where he caught the smallpox, and died in 1703, in the thirty-sixth year of
He published his poems in 1699; and has been always the favourite of that class of readers, who, without vanity or criticism, seek only their own amusement.
* He was of Queen's College there, and, by the University-register, appears to have taken bis bachelor's degree in 1684, and his master's 1698. H.-His father was of Trinity.-C.