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And whan he was from every mannis sight
With softé voice he of his lady dere,
That absent was, gan sing as ye may hear:

This song, when he thus songin had, ful soon He fell agen into his sighis olde: And every night, as was his wonte to done, He stodė the bright moonè to beholde And all his sorrowe to the moone he tolde, And said: I wis, whan thou art hornid newe, I shall be glad, if al the world be trewe!

Another exquisite master of this species of style, where the scholar and the poet supplies the material, but the perfect well-bred gentleman the expressions and the arrangement, is George Herbert. As from the nature of the subject, and the too frequent quaintness of the thoughts, his Temple, or Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations are comparatively but little known, I shall extract two poems. The first is a sonnet, equally admirable for the weight, number, and expression of the thoughts, and for the simple dignity of the language. (Unless, indeed, a fastidious taste should object to the latter half of the sixth line.) The second is a poem of greater length, which I have chosen not only for the present purpose, but likewise as a striking example and illustration of an assertion hazarded in a former page of these sketches: namely, that the characteristic fault of our elder poets is the reverse of that, which distinguishes too many of our more recent versifiers; the one conveying the most fantastic thoughts in the most correct and natural language; the other in the most fantastic language conveying the most trivial thoughts. The latter is a riddle of words; the former an enigma of thoughts. The one reminds me of an odd passage in Drayton's Ideas :

SONNET IX.
As other men, so I myself do muse,
Why in this sort I wrest invention so;
And why these giddy metaphors I use,
Leaving the path the greater part do go ;

I will resolve you : I am lunatic !
The other recalls a still odder passage in The
Synagogue, or The Shadow of the Temple, a con-
nected series of poems in imitation of Herbert's
Temple, and, in some editions, annexed to it.

O how my mind
Is gravellid!

Not a thought,
That I can find,
But's ravell’d

All to nought !
Short ends of threds,
And narrow shreds

Of lists,
Knots, snarled ruffs,
Loose broken tufts

Of twists,
Are my torn meditation's ragged clothing,
Which, wound and woven, shape a suit for nothing:
One while I think, and then I am in pain
To think how to unthink that thought again !

Immediately after these burlesque passages I cannot proceed to the extracts promised, without changing the ludicrous tone of feeling by the interposition of the three following stanzas of Herbert's :

VIRTUE.

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

For thou must dye.
Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye:
Thy root is ever in its grave,

And thou must dye.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A nest, where sweets compacted lie:
My musick shows, ye have your closes,

And all must dye.

The Bosom Sin:

A SONNET BY GEORGE HERBERT. Lord, with what care hast thou begirt us round, Parents first season us; then schoolmasters Deliver us to laws; they send us bound

To rules of reason, holy messengers, Pulpits and Sundays, sorrow dogging sin,

Afflictions sorted, anguish of all sizes,

Fine nets and stratagems to catch us in, Bibles laid open, millions of surprizes ; Blessings beforehand, ties of gratefulness,

The sound of glory ringing in our ears :

Without, our shame; within, our consciences; Angels and grace, eternal hopes and fears !

Yet all these fences and their whole array
One cunning BOSOM-sin blows quite away.

LOVE UNKNOWN. Dear friend, sit down, the tale is long and sad : And in my faintings, I presume, your love Will more comply than help. A Lord I had, And have, of whom some grounds, which may improve, I hold for two lives, and both lives in me. To him I brought a dish of fruit one day, And in the middle placed my HEART. But he

(I sigh to say) Look’t on a servant, who did know his eye, Better than you knew me, or (which is one) Than I myself. The servant instantly, Quitting the fruit, seiz'd on my heart alone, And threw it in a font, wherein did fall A stream of blood, which issued from the side Of a great rock: I well remember all, And have good cause: there it was dipt and dyed, And washt, and wrung : the very wringing yet Enforceth tears. “Your heart was foul, I fear.' Indeed 'tis true. I did and do commit Many a fault, more than my lease will bear; Yet still ask'd pardon, and was not deny’d. But you shall hear. After my heart was well, And clean and fair, as I one eventide

(I sigh to tell) Walk'd by myself abroad, I saw a large And spacious furnace flaming, and thereon A boiling cauldron, round about whose verge Was in great letters set AFFLICTION. The greatness shew'd the owner. So I went To fetch a sacrifice out of my fold, Thinking with that, which I did thus present, To warm his love, which, I did fear, grew cold. But as my heart did tender it, the man. Who was to take it from me, slipt his hand,

And threw my heart into the scalding pan;
My heart that brought it (do you understand ?)
The offerer's heart. Your heart was hard, I fear.'
Indeed 'tis true. I found a callous matter
Began to spread and to expatiate there:
But with a richer drug than scalding water
I bath'd it often, ev'n with holy blood,
Which at a board, while many drank bare wine,
A friend did steal into my cup for good,
Ev'n taken inwardly, and most divine
To supple hardnesses. But at the length
Out of the caldron getting, soon I fled
Unto my house, where to repair the strength
Which I had lost, I hasted to my bed :
But when I thought to sleep out all these faults,

(I sigh to speak)
I found that some had stuffed the bed with thoughts,
I would say thorns. Dear, could my heart not break,
When with my pleasures ev'n my rest was gone ?
Full well I understood who had been there :
For I had given the key to none but one:
It must be he. Your heart was dull, I fear.'
Indeed a slack and sleepy state of mind
Did oft possess me; so that when I pray'd,
Though my lips went, my heart did stay behind.
But all my scores were by another paid,
Who took my guilt upon him. "Truly, Friend,
For aught I hear, your Master shews to you
More favor than you wot of. Mark the end !
The font did only what was old renew :
The caldron suppled what was grown too hard :
The thorns did quicken what was grown too dull:
All did but strive to mend what you had marr’d.
Wherefore be cheer’d, and praise him to the full
Each day, each hour, each moment of the week
Who fain would have you be new, tender, quick!'

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