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And smell'st the breath of great-eyed kine,
Sweet as the blossoms of the vine.
Here thou behold’st thy large sleek neat
Unto the dewlaps up in meat;
And, as thou look’st, the wanton steer,
The heifer, cow, and ox, draw near,
To make a pleasing pastime there.
These seen, thou go'st to view thy flocks
Of sheep, safe from the wolf and fox;
And find'st their bellies there as full
Of short sweet grass, as backs with wool;
And leav'st them as they feed and fill;
A shepherd piping on a hill.
For sports, for pageantry, and plays,
Thou hast thy eves and holidays;
On which the young men and maids meet,
To exercise their dancing feet;
Tripping the comely country round,
With daffodils and daisies crown'd.
Thy wakes, thy quintels, here thou hast;
Thy May-poles too, with garlands graced;
Thy morris-dance, thy Whitsun-ale,
Thy shearing feast, which never fail;
Thy harvest-home, thy wassail-bowl,
That's toss'd up after fox i' the hole;
Thy mummeries, thy Twelfth-night kings
And queens, thy Christmas revellings;
Thy nut-brown mirth, thy russet wit;
And no man pays too dear for it.
To these thou hast thy times to go,
And trace the hare in the treacherous snow;
Thy witty wiles to draw, and get
The lark into the trammel net;

Thou hast thy cockrood, and thy glade

To take the precious pheasant made;
Thy lime-twigs, snares, and pitfalls, then,
To catch the pilfering birds, not men.

O happy life, if that their good
The husbandmen but understood!
Who all the day themselves do please,
And younglings, with such sports as these;
And, lying down, have nought to affright
Sweet sleep, that makes more short the night.


This gallant knight was son to Sir Henry Fanshawe, who was Remembrancer to the Irish Exchequer, and brother to Thomas Lord Fanshawe. He was born at Ware, in Hertfordshire, in 1607–8. He became a vehement Royalist, and acted for some time as Secretary to Prince Rupert, and was, in truth, a kindred spirit, worthy of recording the orders of that fiery spirit—the Murat of the Royal cause—to whom the dust of the mêlée of battle was the very breath of life. After the Restoration, Fanshawe was appointed ambassador to Spain and Portugal. He acted in this capacity at Madrid in 1666. He had issued translations of the 'Lusiad' of Camoens, and the Pastor Fido' of Guarini. Along with the latter, which appeared in 1648, he published some original poems of considerable merit. He holds altogether a respectable, if not a very high place among our early translators and minor poets.



Those whiter lilies which the early morn

Seems to have newly woven of sleaved silk,
To which, on banks of wealthy Tagus born,
Gold was their cradle, liquid pearl their milk.

These blushing roses, with whose virgin leaves

The wanton wind to sport himself presumes, Whilst from their rifled wardrobe he receives

For his wings purple, for his breath perfumes.

Both those and these my Celia's pretty foot

Trod up; but if she should her face display, And fragrant breast, they'd dry again to the root,

As with the blasting of the mid-day's ray; And this soft wind, which both perfumes and cools, Pass like the unregarded breath of fools.


THE melancholy' and musical Cowley was born in London in the year 1618. He was the posthumous son of a worthy grocer, who lived in Fleet Street, near the end of Chancery Lane, and who is supposed, from the omission of his name in the register of St Dunstan's parish, to have been a Dissenter. His mother was left poor, but had a strong desire for her son's education, and influence to get him admitted as a king's scholar into Westminster. His mind was almost preternaturally precocious, and received early a strong and peculiar stimulus. A copy

of Spenser lay in the window of his mother's apartment, and in it he delighted to read, and became the devoted slave of poetry ever after. When only ten he wrote The Tragical History of Pyramus and Thisbe,' and at twelve Constantia and Philetus.' Pope wrote a lampoon about the same age as Cowley these romantic narratives; and we have seen a pretty good copy of verses on Napoleon, written at the age of seven, by one of the most distinguished rising poets of our own day. When fifteen (Johnson calls it thirteen, but he and some other biographers were misled by the portrait of the poet being, by mistake, marked thirteen) Cowley published some of his early effusions, under the title of Poetical Blossoms.' While at school he


produced a comedy of a pastoral kind, entitled, 'Love's Riddle,' but it was not published till he went to Cambridge. To that university he proceeded in 1636, and two years after, there appeared the above-mentioned comedy, with a poetical dedication to Sir Kenelm Digby, one of the marvellous men of that age; and also · Naufragium Joculare,' a comedy in Latin, inscribed to Dr Comber, master of the college. When the Prince of Wales afterwards visited Cambridge, the fertile Cowley got up the rough draft of another comedy, called 'The Guardian,' which was repeated to His Royal Highness by the scholars. This was afterwards, to the poet's great annoyance, printed during his absence from the country. In 1643 he took his degree of A.M., and was, the same year, through the prevailing influence of the Parliament, ejected, with many others, from Cambridge. He took refuge in St John's College, Oxford, where he published a satire, entitled

The Puritan and Papist,' and where, by his loyalty and genius, he gained the favour of such distinguished courtiers as Lord Falkland. During this agitated period he resided a good deal in the family of the Lord St Albans; and when Oxford fell into the hands of the Parliament he followed the Queen to Paris, and there acted as Secretary to the same noble. lord. He remained abroad about ten years, and during that period made various journeys in the furtherance of the Royal cause, visiting Flanders, Holland, Jersey, Scotland, &c. His chief employment, however, was carrying on a correspondence in cipher between the King and the Queen. Sprat says, 'he ciphered and deciphered with his own hand the greatest part of the letters that passed between their Majesties, and managed a vast intelligence in other parts, which, for some years together, took up all his days and two or three nights every week.' This does not seem employment very suitable to a man of genius. He seems, however, to have found time for more congenial avocations; and, in 1647, he published his ‘Mistress,' a work which seems to glow with amorous fire, although Barnes relates of the author that he was never in love but once, and then had not resolution to reveal his passion. And yet he wrote “The Chronicle, from which we might infer that his heart was completely tinder, and that his series of love attachments had been an infinite one!

In 1556, being of no more use in Paris, Cowley was sent back to England, that under pretence of privacy and retirement he might take occasion of giving notice of the posture of things in this nation. For some time he lay concealed in London, but was at length seized by mistake for another gentleman of the Royal party; and being thus discovered, he was continued in confinement, was several times examined, and ultimately succeeded, although with some difficulty, in obtaining his liberation, Dr Scarborough becoming his bail for a thousand pounds. In the same year he published a collection of his poems, with a querulous preface, in which he expresses a strong desire to retire to some of the American plantations, and to forsake the world for ever.' Meanwhile he gave himself out as a physician till the death of Cromwell, when he returned to France, resumed his former occupation, and remained till the Restoration. In 1657 he was created Doctor of Medicine at Oxford. Having studied botany to qualify himself for his physician's degree, he was induced to publish in Latin some books on plants, flowers, and trees.

The Restoration brought him less advantage than he had anticipated. Probably he expected too much, and had expressed his sanguine hopes in a song of triumph on the occasion. He had been promised, both by Charles I. and Charles II., the Mastership of the Savoy, (a forgotten sinecure office ;) but lost it, says Wood, 'by certain persons, enemies to the Muses.' He brought on the stage at this time his old comedy of The Guardian, under the title of Cutter of Coleman Street;' but it was thought a satire on the debauchery of the King's party, and was received with coldness. Cowley, according to Dryden, 'received the news of his ill success not with so much firmness as might have been expected from so great a man. There are few who, like Dr Johnson, have been able to declare, after the rejection of a play or poem, that they felt like the Monument.' Cowley not only entertained, but printed his dissatisfaction, in the form of a poem called “The Complaint,' which, like all selfish complaints, attracted little sympathy or attention. In this he calls himself the melancholy Cowley,' an epithet which has stuck to his memory.

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