Графични страници
PDF файл

purpose: 'I have, in my passage to the grave, met with most of those joys of which a discoursive soul is capable; and, being entertained with more inferior pleasures than the sons of men are usually made partakers of, nevertheless, in this voyage I have not always floated on the calm sea of content; but have often met with cross winds and storms, and with many troubles of mind and temptations to evil. And yet, though I have often been, and am a man compassed about with human frailties, Almighty God hath by his grace prevented me from making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience; the thought of which is now the joy of my heart; and I most humbly praise him for it: and I humbly acknowledge that it was not myself, but he that hath kept me to this great age; and let him take the glory of his great mercy. And, my dear friend, I now see that I draw near my harbour of death; that harbour, that will secure me from all the future storms and waves of this restless world: and I praise God that I am willing to leave it, and expect a better; that world, wherein dwelleth rigJiteousness.n

The following simple poem is another happy illustration of Sir Henry's character:

The Character of a happy Life.

"How happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another's will?
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill?

[ocr errors]

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepar'd for death;
Unty'd unto the world by care
Of public fame, or private breath.

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice hath ever understood:
How deepest wounds are giv'n by praise,
Nor rules of state, but rules of good.

Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat:
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great.

Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace than gifts to lend:
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book, or friend.

This man is freed from servile bands,
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall:
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.

The poem which I shall next insert is not of equal merit: yet, as it gives a picture of the calmness of a rural occupation, in lines not altogether inelegant, though somewhat mixed with images of prosaic familiarity, it exhibits a memorial of Sir Henry's character, which I am willing to preserve, out of the few verses which he has handed down to posterity. A sensibility to the scenery of Nature appears to me seldom or ever to exist in a polluted heart.

[graphic][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][graphic]

And now all Nature seem'd in love;

The lusty sap began to move;

New juice did stir th' embracing vines,

And birds had drawn their valentines:

The jealous trout, that low did he,

Rose at a well-dissembled flie:

There stood my friend, with patient skill

Attending of his trembling quill.

Already were the eves possest

With the swift pilgrim's daubed nest:

The groves already did rejoice

In Philomel's triumphing voice.

The showers were short, the weather mild,

The morning fresh, the evening smil'd.

Joan takes, her neat-rub'd pale, and now

She trips to milk the sand-red cow;

Where for some sturdy foot-ball swain,

Joan strokes a syllabub or twain.

The fields and gardens were beset

With tulip, crocus, violet:

And now, though late, the modest rose

Did more than half a blush disclose.

Thus all look'd gay, all full of cheer,

To welcome the new-livery'd year.

Among other embassies of Sir Henry, he was sent to the Emperor Ferdinand the Second, and several other German Princes, to incline them to equitable conditions for the restoration of the Queen of Bohemia, (daughter of King James I.) and her descendants, to their patrimonial inheritance of the


« ПредишнаНапред »