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On a Bank as I sate a Fishing.

A Description of the Spring.

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 lie,
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 smild.
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 Palatinate. This Queen Sir Henry always called “his Dear and Royal Mistress,” and treated her with the highest admiration, as the following tender and exquisite stanzas will prove:

On his Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia.

You meaner beauties of the night,

That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number, then your light,

You common people of the skies;
What are you when the moon doth rise?

You curious chanters of the wood,

That warble forth Dame Nature's lays,
Thinking your voices understood

By your weak accents; what's your praise
When Philomel her voice shall raise ?

You violets, that first appear,

By your pure purple mantles known,
Like the proud virgins of the year,

As if the Spring were all your own;
What are you when the rose is blown?

So, when my mistress shall be seen

In form and beauty of her mind,
By Virtue first, then choice a Queen,

Tell me, if she were not design'd
Th' eclipse and glory of her kind ? a

The rise and fall of that favourite and minion of King James, Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, are

a See this poem, with variations and additions, from a MS. in the British Museum, inserted in “ The Topographer," vol. i. p. 421.

too well known to be repeated. The following elegant, moral, and pathetic lines on the subject must delight every reader of taste:

l'pon the sudden Restraint of the EARL OF SOMERSET,

then falling from Farour.
Dazled thus with height of place,
Whilst our hopes our wits beguile,
No man marks the narrow space
Twixt a prison and a smile.

Then since Fortune's favours fade,
You that in her arms do sleep,
Learn to swim and not to wade;
For the hearts of kings are deep.

But if greatness be so blind,
As to trust in towers of air,
Let it be with goodness lin'd,
That at least the fall be fair.

Then though darkened, you shall say,
When friends fail and princes frown,
Virtue is the roughest way,
But proves at night a bed of down.

Of Sir Henry's piety, his biographer has given the most ample testimony. Indeed, it appears in every trait of his character, and almost in every part of his writings, and every record of his conversations, which have been handed down to us. The ensuing translation from the Psalms, a task which it is always difficult to perform with success, is another proof of 3 it, as well as of his powers of versification.


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