Obrázky na stránke




Did wiser nature draw thee back,

From out the horror of that sack; Where shame, faith, honour, and regard of right, Lay trampled on? the deeds of death and night,

Urged, hurried forth, and hurl'd

Upon th' affrighted world ;
Fire, famine, and fell fury met,

And all on utmost ruin set:
As, could they but life's miseries foresee,
No doubt all infants would return like thee.




For what is life, if measur'd by the space,

Not by the act ?
Or masked man, if valued by his face,

Above his fact?
Here's one outliv'd his peers,
And told forth fourscore years :

? Here's one outlio'd his peers,

And told forth fourscore years.] Perhaps this, and what fol. lows in the next stanza, was intended as a character of Car,

He vexed time, and busied the whole state;

Troubled both foes and friends;

But ever to no ends :
What did this stirrer but die late ?
How well at twenty had he fallen or stood !
For three of his foarscore he did no good.





He enter'd well by virtuous parts, Got up, and thriv'd with honest arts ;

, He purchased friends, and fame, and honours

then, And had his noble name advanced with men :

But weary of that flight,

He stoop'd in all men's sight
To sordid flatteries, acts of strife,

And sunk in that dead sea of life,
So deep, as he did then death's waters sup,
But that the cork of title buoy'd him up.

who, taken into favour by James I. was at length advanced to the earldom of Somerset. The particulars of his history are well known. WHAL.

This does not apply to Carr, who could not have told forth much above forty years, when the Ode was written. It seems to refer rather to the old earl of Northampton: but, perhaps, no particular person was meant, though the poetical character might be strengthened and illustrated by traits incidentally drawn from real life.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Alas! but Morison fell young:

He never fell,—thou fallist, my tongue.
He stood a soldier to the last right end,
A perfect patriot, and a noble friend;

But most, a virtuous son.

All offices were done
By him, so ample, full, and round,

In weight, in measure, number, sound,
As, though his age imperfect might appear,
His life was of humanity the sphere.



Go now, and tell our days summ'd up with fears,

And make them years ;
Produce thy mass of miseries on the stage,

To swell thine age :
Repeat of things a throng,

To shew thou hast been long,
Not liv’d; for life doth her great actions spell,

By what was done and wrought

In season, and so brought
To light: her measures are, how well

3 Alas! but Morison fell young :) There was then ano- . ther conformity between the destinies of the noble pair, which, however, Jonson did not live to witness ; for Lucius himself had scarcely attained his thirty-third year, when he also fell, glo. riously fell, in the field of honour, and in the cause of his sovereign and his country, at the battle of Newbury.

Each syllabe answer'd, and was form’d, how


These make the lines of life, and that's her air !





It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make men better be ;"
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, ,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear :

A lily of a day,

Is fairer far, in May,
Although it fall and die that night;

It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures, life may perfect be.

It is not growing like a tree, &c.] “ The qualities of vivid perception and happy expression" (it is said in the Life of John Dryden) unite in many passages of Shakspeare; but such Jonson—poor Ben's unarmed head is made a quintain upon all occasions" but such Jonson was unequal to produce, and he substituted strange, forced, and most unnatural analogies.” p. xi. For the proof of this we are referred to the present ode, which, with the rest of Jonson's “ Pindarics” (where are they to be found ?) is treated with the most sovereign contempt. " In reading Jonson (it is added) we have often to marvel how his conceptions could have occurred to any human being. Shakspeare is like an ancient statue, the beauty of which, &c. Jonson is the representation of a monster, which is at first only surprising, and ludicrous and disgusting ever after." p. xii.




Call, noble LUCIUS, then for wine,

And let thy looks with gladness shine : Accept this Garland, plant it on thy head, And think, nay know, thy Morison's not dead.

He leap'd the present age,

Possest with holy rage,
To see that bright eternal day;

Of which we priests and poets say
Such truths, as we expect for happy men:
And there, he lives with memory, and Ben




Jonson, who sung this of him, ere he went,

Himself, to rest,
Or taste a part of that full joy he meant

To have exprest,
In this bright asterism !

Where it were friendship’s schism,
Were not his Lucius long with us to tarry,

To separate these twi

Lights, the Dioscuri; And keep the one half from his Harry. But fate doth so alternate the design, Whilst that in heaven, this light on earth must


« PredošláPokračovať »