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This celebrated poet was born in 1592, at Stewards, near Romford, in Essex, and after receiving a degree at Cambridge, in 1608, he went to Lincoln's Inn, where he “studied the laws of England, not so much,” says his widow,“ out of desire to benefit himself thereby, as his friends and neighbors, and to compose suits and differences between them.” He was introduced at court, and obtained the place of Cupbearer to the Queen of Bohemia, after quitting whose service he went to Ireland, as Secretary to Archbishop Usher. On the breaking out of the rebellion he was obliged to fly to England for safety. He had already been pensioned by Charles, and made Chronologer to the city of London, but in the general ruin of the royal cause his property was confiscated, and his books and manuscripts, which he valued more, were plundered. His misfortunes are supposed to have hastened his death, which occurred in 1644.

Mr. Montgomery says, “ There is not in English Literature a name more wronged than that of Quarles,—wronged, too, by those who ought best to have discerned, and most generously acknowledged his merits, in contradistinction to his defects.” Quarles certainly was a writer of great learning, lively fancy, and profound piety. His writings are deformed by quaint conceits, but his beauties abundantly atone for his defects. His chief works are “ Argalus and Parthenia,” “ The Quintessence of Meditation,” “ Sion's Elegies,” “ Emblems,” “ Hieroglyphics,"

," “ The Enchiridon," " Divine Fancies,” and “ The Shepherd's Oracles."


Thou Alpha and Omega, before whom
Things past, and present, and things yet to come,
Are all alike ; O prosper my designs,
And let thy spirit enrich my feeble lines.
Revive my passion ; let mine eye behold
Those sorrows present, which were wept of old ;
Strike sad my soul, and give my pen the art
To move, and me an understanding heart.
0, let the accent of each word make known,
I mix the tears of Sion with my own!

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She is empty: hark! she sounds: there's nothing there;

But noise to fill thy ear ;
Thy vain inquiry can at length but find

A blast of murmuring wind ;
It is a cask that seems as full as fair,

But merely tunned with air.
Fond youth, go build thy hopes on better grounds;

The soul that vainly founds
Her joys upon this world, but feeds on empty sounds.

She is empty: hark ! she sounds: there's nothing in't ;

The spark-engendering flint
Shall sooner melt, and hardest raunce' shall first

Dissolve and quench the thirst,
Ere this false world shall still thy stormy breast

With smooth-faced alms of rest.
Thou mayst as well expect meridian light

From shades of black-mouthed Night, As in this empty world to find a full delight.

She is empty : hark ! she sounds : 'tis void and vast;

What if some flattering blast
Of flatuous honor should perchance be there,

And whisper in thine ear?
It is but wind, and blows but where it list,

And vanisheth like mist.
Poor honor earth can give! What generous

mind Would be so base to bind Her heaven-bred soul, a slave to serve a blast of wind ?

She is empty : hark ! she sounds : 'tis but a ball

For fools to play withal ;
The painted film but of a stronger bubble,

That's lined with silken trouble.

* A dry crust.

It is a world whose work and recreation

Is vanity and vexation;
A hag, repaired with vice-complexioned paint,

A quest-house of complaint.
It is a saint, a fiend ; worse fiend when most a saint.

She is empty: hark! she sounds : 'tis vain and void.

What's here to be enjoyed,
But grief and sickness, and large bills of sorrow,

Drawn now and crossed to-morrow ?
Or, what are men but puffs of dying breath,

Revived with living death ?
Fond youth, O build thy hopes on surer grounds

Than what dull flesh propounds :
Trust not this hollow world ; she is empty: hark! she






Can nothing settle my uncertain breast,

And fix my rambling love? Can my

affections find out nothing best,

But still and still remove ?
Has earth no mercy ? Will no ark of rest

Receive my restless dove ?
Is there no good than which there's nothing higher
To bless


full desire, With joys that never change; with joys that ne'er expire ?

I wanted wealth, and at my dear request,

Earth lent a quick supply;
I wanted mirth to charm my sullen breast;

And who more brisk than I ?
I wanted fame to glorify the rest ;

My fame flew eagle-high ;
My joy not fully ripe, but all decayed,

Wealth vanished like a shade ;
My mirth began to flag, my fame began to fade.

My trust is in the Cross; there lies my rest,

My fast, my sole delight.
Let cold-mouthed Boreas, or the hot-mouthed east,

Blow till they burst with spite :
Let earth and hell conspire their worst, their best,

And join their twisted might;
Let showers of thunderbolts dart round and wound me,

And troops of fiends surround me : All this


well confront; all this shall ne'er confound me.


False world, thou liest: thou canst not lend

The least delight:
Thy favors cannot gain a friend,

They are so slight:
Thy morning pleasures make an end

To please at night.
Poor are the wants that thou suppliest ;
And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou viest
With heaven ; fond earth, thou boast'st; false world,

thou liest.

Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales

Of endless treasure ;
Thy bounty offers easy sales

Of lasting pleasure.
Thou ask'st the conscience what she ails,

And swear'st to ease her.
There's none can want where thou suppliest,
There's none can give where thou deniest.
Alas! fond world, thou boast'st; false world, thou liest.

What well-advised ear regards

What earth can say ?
Thy words are gold, but thy rewards

Are painted clay;
Thy cunning can but pack the cards,

Thou canst not play.

Thy game at weakest, still thou viest
If seen, and then revied, deniest-
Thou art not what thou seem'st; false world, thou liest.

Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint

Of new-coined treasure, A paradise that has no stint,

No change, no measure ; A painted cask, but nothing in't,

Nor wealth, nor pleasure. Vain earth! that falsely thus compliest With man; vain man! that thou reliest On earth; vain man, thou dot'st; vain earth, thou liest.

What mean dull souls, in this high measure,

To haberdash
In earth's base wares, whose greatest treasure

Is dross and trash ?
The height of whose enchanting pleasure

Is but a flash ?
Are these the goods that thou suppliest
Us mortals with ? Are these the highest ?
Can these bring cordial peace? False world, thou liest.


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 fruits refresh

My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me ; Her shrill-mouthed choirs sustain 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 with Thee ?

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