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"O see, Constantia! my short race is run;
See how my blood the thirsty ground doth dye;
But live thou happier than thy love hath done,
And when I'm dead, think sometime upon me!
More my short time permits me not to tell,
For now Death seizeth me; my dear, fare-
As soon as he had spoke these words, life fled
From his piere'd body, whilst Constantia, she
Kisses his cheeks, that lose their lively red,
And become pale and wan; and now each eye,
Which was so bright, is like, when life was
A star that's fall'n, or an eclipsed sun.
Thither Philocrates was driven by Fate,
And saw his friend lie bleeding on the earth;
Near his pale corpse his weeping sister sate,
Her eyes shed tears, her heart to sighs gave
Philocrates, when he saw this, did cry,
"Friend, I'll revenge, or bear thee company! "Just Jove hath sent me to revenge his fate; Nay, stay, Guisardo, think not Heaven in jest: 'Tis vain to hope flight can secure thy state." Then thrust his sword into the villain's breast.
"Here," said Philocrates, "thy life I send
A sacrifice, t' appease my slaughter'd friend."
But, as he fell, "Take this reward," said he,
For thy new victory." With that he flung
His darted rapier at his enemy,
Which hit his head, and in his brain-pan hung.
* With that he falls, but, lifting up his eyes,
"Farewell, Constantia!" that word said, he
What shall she do? She to her brother runs,
His cold and lifeless body does embrace;
She calls to him that cannot hear her moans,
And with her kisses warms his clammy face.
"My dear Philocrates!" she, weeping, cries,
"Speak to thy sister!" but no voice replies.
Then running to her love, with many a tear,
Thus her mind's fervent passion she exprest;
"O stay, biest soul, stay but a little here,
And take me with you to a lasting rest.
Then to Elysium's mansions both shall fly,
Be married there, and never more to die."
But, seeing them both dead, she cry'd, "Ah me!
Ah, my Philetus! for thy sake will I
Make up a full and perfect tragedy:
THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF
PYRAMUS AND THISBE.
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL, MY VERY LOVING MASTER
MR. LAMBERT OSBOLSTON,
CHIEF SCHOOL-MASTER OF WESTMINSTER SCHOOL.
My childish Muse is in her spring, and yet
Can only show some budding of her wit.
One frown upon her work, learn'd sir, from you,
Like some unkinder storm shot from your brow,
Would turn her spring to withering autumn's time,
And make her blossoms perish ere their prime.
But if you smile, if in your gracious eye
She an auspicious alpha can descry,
How soon will they grow fruit! how fresh appear!
That had such beams their infancy to chear!
Which being sprung to ripeness, expect then
The earliest offering of her grateful pen."
Your most dutiful scholar,
PYRAMUS AND THISBE.
WHEN Babylon's high walls erected were
By mighty Ninus wife, two houses join'd:
One Thisbe liy'd in, Pyramus the fair
In the other: Earth ne'er boasted such a pair!
The very senseless walls themselves combin'd,
And grew in one, just like their master's nind.
Thisbe all other women did excel,
The queen of love less lovely was than she:
And Pyramus more sweet than tongue can tell;
Nature grew proud in framing them so well.
But Venus, envying they so fair should be,
Bids her son Cupid show his cruelty.
The all-subduing god his bow doth bend,
Whets and prepares his most remorseless dart,
Which he unseen unto their hearts did send,
And so was Love the cause of Beauty's end.
But could he see, he had not wrought their smarts
For pity sure would have o'ercome his heart.
Like as a bird, which in a net is ta'en,
By struggling more entangles in the gin;
Since 'twas for me, dear love, that thou didst So they, who in Love's labyrinth remain,
I'll follow thee, and not thy loss deplore;
These eyes, that saw thee kill'd, shall see no
"It shall not sure be said that thou didst die,
And thy Constantia live when thou wast slain:
No, no, dear soul! I will not stay from thee;
That will reflect upon my valued fame."
Then piercing her sad breast, "I come!" she
And Death for ever clo'd her weeping eyes.
Her soul being fled to its eternal rest,
Her father comes, and, seeing this, he falls
To th' earth, with grief too great to be exprest:
Whose doleful words my tired Muse me calls
To o'erpass; which I most gladly do, for fear
That I should toil too much the reader's ear.
With striving never can a freedom gain.
The way to enter's broad; but, being in,
No art, no labour can an exit win.
These lovers, though their parents did reprove
Their fires, and watched their deeds with jealousy;
Though in these storms no comfort could remove
The various doubts and fears that cool hot love;
Though he nor her's, nor she his face could see,
Yet this could not abolish Love's decree ;
For age had crack'd the wall which did them part;
This the unanimous couple soon did spy,
And here their inward sorrows did impart,
Unlading the sad burthen of their heart.
Though Love be blind, this shows he can descry
A way to lessen his own misery.
Oft to the friendly cranny they resort,
And feed themselves with the celestial air
Of odoriferous breath; no other sport
They could enjoys yet think the time but short,
And wish that it again renewed were,
To suck each other's breath for ever there.
Sometimes they did exclaim against their fate,
And sometimes they accus'd imperial Jove;
Sometimes repent their flames; but all too late;
The arrow could not be recall'd: their state
Was first ordain'd by Jupiter above,
And Cupid had appointed they should love.
They curst the wall that did their kisses part,
And to the stones their mournful words they sent,
As if they saw the sorrow of their heart,
And by their tears could understand their smart:
But it was hard and knew not what they meant,
Nor with their sighs, alas! would it relent.
This in effect they said; "Curs'd Wall! O Why
Wilt thou our bodies sever, whose true love
Breaks thorough all thy flinty cruelty!
For both our souls so closely joined lie,
That nought but angry Death can them re-
And though he part them, yet they'll meet
Abortive tears from their fair eyes out-flow'd,
And damm'd the lovely splendour of their sight,
Which seem'd like Titan, whilst some watery cloud
O'erspreads his face, and his bright beams doth
Till Vesper chas'd away the conquer'd light,
And forced them (though loth) to bid
But ere Aurora, usher to the day,
Began with welcome lustre to appear,
The lovers rise, and at that cranny they
Thus to each other their thoughts open lay,
So she, who fetcheth lustre from their sight,
Doth purpose to destroy their glorious light.
Unto the mulberry-tree fair Thisbe came;
Where having rested long, at last she 'gan
Against her Pyramus for to exclaim,
Whilst various thoughts turmoil her troubled brain
And, imitating thus the silver swan,
A little while before her death, she sang:
COME, love! why stayest thou? the night
Will vanish ere we taste delight:
The Moon obscures herself from sight,
Thou absent, whose eyes give her light
Come quickly, dear! be brief as Time,
Or we by Morn shall be o’erta'en;
Love's joy's thine own as well as mine;
Spend not therefore the time in vain.
HERE doubtful thoughts broke off her pleasant
And for her lover's stay sent many a sigh;
Her Pyramus, she thought, did tarry long,
And that his absence did her too much wrong.
Then, betwixt longing hope and jealousy,
She fears, yet's loth to tax, his loyalty.
Sometimes she thinks that he hath her forsaken;
Sometimes, that danger hath befallen him:
good-She fears that he another love hath taken;
Which, being but imagin'd, soon doth waken
Numberless thoughts, which on her heart did
Fears, that her future fate too truly sing. [fling
While she thus musing sat, ran from the wood
An angry lion to the crystal springs,
Near to that place; who coming from his food,
His chaps were all besmear'd with crimson blood:
Swifter than thought, sweet Thisbe strait begins
To fly from him; fear gave her swallows' wings.
As she avoids the lion, her desire
Bids her to stay, lest Pyrainus should come,
And be devour'd by the stern lion's ire,
So she for ever burn in unquench'd fire:
With many a sigh and many a speaking tea;
Whose grief the pitying Morning blusht to hear.
"Dear love!" said Pyramus, "how long shall we,
Like fairest flowers not gather'd in their prime,
Waste precious youth, and let advantage flee,
Till we bewail (at last) our cruelty
Upon ourselves? for beauty, though it shine
Like day, will quickly find an evening-time.
"Therefore, sweet Thisbe, let us meet this night
At Ninus' tomb, without the city wall,
Under the mulberry-tree, with berries white
Abounding, there t' enjoy our wish'd delight.
For mounting love, stopt in its course, doth fall,
And long d-for, yet untasted, joy kills all.
"What though our cruel parents angry be?
What though our friends, alas! are too unkind,
Time, that now offers, quickly may deny,
And soon hold back fit opportunity.
Who lets slip Fortune, her shall never find;
Occasion, once pass'd by, is bald behind."
She soon agreed to that which he requir'd,
For little wooing needs, where both consent;
What he so long had pleaded, she desir'd:
Which Venus seeing, with blind Chance conspir'd,
And many a charming accent to her sent,
That she (at last) would frustrate their intent.
Thus Beauty is by Beauty's means undone,
Striving to close those eyes that make her bright;
Just like the Moon, which seeks t' eclipse the Sun,
Whence all her splendor, all her beams, do come:
But fear expels all reasons; she doth run
Into a darksome cave, ne'er seen by sun.
With haste she let her looser mantle fall:
Which, when th' enraged lion did espy,
With bloody teeth he tore in pieces small;
While Thisbe ran, and look'd not back at all;
For, could the senseless beast her face descry,
It had not done her such an injury.
The night half wasted, Pyramus did come;
Who, seeing printed in the yielding sand
The lion's paw, and by the fountain some
Of Thisbe's garment, sorrow struck him dumb;
Just like a marble statue did he stand,
Cut by some skilful graver's artful hand.
Recovering breath, at Fate he did exclaim,
Washing with tears the torn and bloody weed:
"I may," said he," myself for her death blame;
Therefore my blood shall wash away that shame :
Since she is dead, whose beauty doth exceed
All that frail man can either hear or read.”
This spoke, he drew his fatal sword, and said,
"Receive my crimson blood, as a due debt
Unto thy constant love, to which 'tis paid:
I strait will meet thee in the pleasant shade
Of cool Elysium; where we, being met,
Shall taste those joys that here we could not get."
Then through his breast thrusting his sword, life hies
From him, and he makes haste to seek his fair:
And as upon the colour'd ground he lies,
His blood had dropt upon the mulberries;
With which th' unspotted berries stained were,
And ever since with red they colour'd are.
At last fair Thisbe left the den, for fear
Of disappointing Pyramus, since she
Was bound by promise for to meet him there :
But when she saw the berries changed were
From white to black, she knew not certainly
It was the place where they agreed to be.
With what delight from the dark cave she came,
Thinking to tell how she escap'd the beast!
But, when she saw her Pyramus lie slain,
Ah! how perplex'd did her sad soul remain !
She tears her golden hair, and beats her breast,
And every sign of raging grief exprest.
She blames all-powerful Jove; and strives to take
His bleeding body from the moisten'd ground.
She kisses his pale face, till she doth make
It red with kissing, and then seeks to wake
His parting soul with mournful words; his wound Washes with tears, that her sweet speech confound.
But afterwards, recovering breath, said she,
"Alas! what chance hath parted thee and I?
O tell what evil hath befall'n to thee,
That of thy death I may a partner be:
Tell Thisbe what hath caus'd this tragedy!"
He, hearing Thisbe's name, lifts up his eye;
And on his love he rais'd his dying head:
Where, striving long for breath, at last, said he,
"O Thisbe, I am hasting to the dead,
And cannot heal that wound my fear hath bred:
Farewell, sweet Thisbe! we must parted be,
For angry Death will force me soon from thee."
Life did from him, he from his mistress, part,
Leaving his love to languish here in woe.
What shall she do? How shall she ease her heart?
Or with what language speak her inward smart?
Usurping passion reason doth o'erflow,
She vows that with her Pyramus she'll go :
Then takes the sword wherewith her love was slain,
With Pyramus's crimson blood warm still;
And said, "Oh stay, blest soul, awhile refrain,
That we may go together, and remain
In endless joys, and never fear the ill
Of grudging friends!"-Then she herself did kill. To tell what grief their parents did sustain, Were more than my rude quill can overcome; Much did they weep and grieve, but all in vain, For weeping calls not back the dead again.
Both in one grave were laid, when life was done;
And these few words were writ upon the tomb:
UNDERNEATH this marble stone,
Lie two beauties join'd in one.
Two, whose loves deaths could not sever;
For both liv'd, both dy'd together.
Two, whose souls, being too divine
For earth, in their own sphere now shine,
Who have left their loves to fame,
And their earth to earth again.
? From the TNQAIA, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium Consentus et Congratulatio, ad serenissimum Britaniarum Regem Carolum, de quinta sua sobole [Princess Anne], clarissima Principe, sibi nuper felicissimmè nata. Cantabrigiæ, 1637. I doubt not but it will prove a pleasing amusement to the curious reader, to trace the first dawnings of genins in some of our first-rate poetic characters; and to compare them with the eminence they afterwards attained to, and the rank they at last held among their brethren of the laurel. Some early specimens of Dryden's genius inay be seen in the first volume of his poems. Those of Cowley, here printed, abound with strokes of wit, some true, but the far greater part false; which thoroughly characterise the writer, and may be justly pronounced to point out his genius and manner, in miniature. K.-This species of entertainment the kind attention of Mr. Kynaston (the friend to whom I owe these remarks) enables me considerably to extend, by furnishing the earliest poetical productions of some writers who are now universally looked up to as excellent; none of which are to be found in any edition of their respective works. In such juvenile performances, it is well observed by an admirable critic, "the absurd conceits and extravagant fancies are the true seeds and germs, which afterwards ripen, by proper culture, into the most luxuriant harvests." See Annual Register, 1779, p. 180. J. N.
A. COWLEY, A. B. T[rin]. C[oll.] The honour by such births it doth attain,
Joy to return into it self again.
UPON THE HAPPIE BIRTH OF THE
WHILST the rude North Charles his slow wrath
Whilst warre is fear'd, and conquest hop'd by all,
The severall shires their various forces lend,
And some do men, some gallant horses send,
Some steel, and some (the stronger weapon) gold:
These warlike contributions are but old.
That countrey learn'd a new and better way,
Which did this royall prince for tribute pay.
Who shall henceforth be with such rage possest,
To rouse our English lion from his rest?
When a new sonne doth his blest stock adorn,
Then to great Charles is a new armie born.
In private births hopes challenge the first place:
There's certaintie at first in the king's race;
And we may say, Such will his glories be,
Such his great acts, and, yet not prophesie,
I see in him his father's boundlesse sprite,
Powerfull as flame, yet gentle as the light.
I see him through an adverse battle thrust,
Bedeck'd with noble sweat and comely dust.
I see the pietie of the day appeare,
Joyn'd with the heate and valour of the yeare,
Which happie Fate did to this birth allow :
I see all this; for sure 'tis present now.
From the Voces Votivæ ab Academicis Cantabrigiensibus pro novissimo Caroli et Mariæ Principe Filio, emissæ. Cantabrigiæ, 1640.
Leave off then, London, to accuse the starres
For adding a worse terrour to the warres;
Nor quarrel with the Heavens, 'cause they beginne
To send the worst effect and scorge of sinne,
That dreadfull plague, which wheresoe're 't abide,
Devours both man and each disease beside.
For every life which from great Charles does flow,
And 's female self, weighs down a crowd of low
And vulgar souls: Fate rids of them the Earth,
To make more room for a great prince's birth.
So when the Sunne, after his watrie rest,
Comes dancing from his chamber of the east,
A thousand pettie lamps, spread ore the skie,
Shrink in their doubtfull beams, then wink, and die:
Yet no man grieves; the very birds arise,
And sing glad notes in stead of elegies:
The leaves and painted flowers, which did erewhile
Tremble with mournfull drops, beginne to smile.
The losse of many why should they bemone,
Who for them more than many have in one?
How blest must thou thy self, bright Mary, be,
Who by thy wombe can'st blesse our miserie?
May 't still be fruitful! May your offspring too
Spread largely, as your fame and virtues do!
Fill every season thus: Time, which devours
It's own sonnes, will be glad and proud of yours.
So will the year (though sure it weari'd be
With often revolutions) when 't shall see
9 Henry, who was declared by his father duke of Gloucester in 1641, but not so created till May 13, 1659. He died September 13, 1660,-The Verses are taken from the Voces Votivæ, &c. 1640. J. N.
A. COWLEY, A. B. T[rin]. C[oll],
ON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE DUDLEY LORD CARLETON, VISCOUNT DORCHESTER, LATE PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF STATE.
TH' infernal sisters did a council call
Of all the fiends, to the black Stygian hall; The dire Tartarian monsters, hating light, Begot by dismal Erebus and Night, Where'er dispers'd abroad, bearing the fame Of their accursed meeting, thither came. Revenge, whose greedy mind no blood can fill, And Envy, never satisfy'd with ill: Thither blind Boldness, and impatient Rage, Resorted, with Death's neighbour, envious Age. These, to oppress the Earth, the Furies sent': The council thus dissolv'd, an angry Fever, Whose quenchless thirst by blood was sated never, Envying the riches, honour, greatness, love, And virtue (load-stone, that all these did move) Of noble Carleton, him she took away, And, like a greedy vulture, seiz'd her prey. Weep with me, each who either reads or hears, And know his loss deserves his country's tears! The Muses lost a patron by his fate, Virtue a husband, and a prop the State. Sol's chorus weeps, and, to adorn his hearse, Calliope would sing a tragic verse. And, had there been before no spring of theirs, They would have made a Helicon with tears.
Something is here wanting, as appears from the want both of rhyme and connection. J. N,