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brate that one day when Christ was borne unto us on *th, and we (a happy change) unto God in heaven" ; Thrice honoured Bartas, and our (I know no other name * glorious than his own) Mr. Edmund Spenser (two blessed souls) not thinking ten years enough, laying out ** whole lives upon this one study.”
The following eloquent passage may be compared with Sidney's Defence of Poesies—
“To the second sort, therefore, that eliminate poets out of their city gates as though they were now grown so bad, as they could neither grow worse nor better, though " * somewhat hard for those to be the only men should want cities, that were the only causers of the building of them, and somewhat inhuman to thrust them.
into the woods, who were the first that called men out of the woods.
“I would gladly learn what kind of professions these men would be intreated to entertain that so deride and disaffect poesy. Would they admit of philosophers, that after they have burnt out the whole candle of their life in the circular study of sciences, cry out at length, se nihil prorsus scire 2 or should musicians be welcome * them that Dant sine mente sonum, bring delight with them indeed, could they as well express with their instruments a voice, as they can a sound. Or would they most approve of soldiers, that defend the life of their countrymen, either by the death of themselves or their enemies? “If philosophers please them, who is it that knows not that all the lights of example to clear their precepts are borrowed by philosophers from poets; that without Homer's examples, Aristotle would be as blind as Homer. If they retain musicians, who ever doubted but that poets infused the very soul into the inarticulate sounds of music—that without Pindar and Horace, the Lyrics had been silenced for ever? If they must needs entertain soldiers, who can but confess that poets restore that life again to soldiers, which they before lost for the safety of their country; that without Virgil, AEneas had never been so much as heard of. How can they, for shame, deny common-wealths to them, who were the first authors of them; how can they deny the blind philosopher that teaches them, his light; the empty musician that delights them, his soul; the dying soldier that defends their life, immortality after his own death. Let philosophy, let ethics, let all the arts bestow on us this gift, that we be not thought dead men whilst we remain among the living; it is only poetry can make us be thought living men when we lie among the dead. And, therefore, I think it unequal to thrust them out of our cities, that call us out of our graves, to think so hardly of them that make us to be so well thought of, to demy them to live awhile among us, that make us live for ever among our posterity." If Fletcher's sermons were composed in this style, their loss deserves to be lamented. The poem is divided into four cantos, and opens with a stanza so antithetically constructed as, in some measure, to impair the solemnity of the subject; " Fletcher soon rises into a nobler strain when he thin” of those
tu. * I conclude that Fletcher alludes to Sannawat's wo o: W.o l. irginis, which obtained for the author the title of the ‘....". find ye pardon the poor improper selection of a subjeo, i. regard to little to blamein the execution. But Fletcher is in •o i. it occuthe time employed in the composition of the poem. | e ou.d to an Pled Sannaar twenty years. The MS. was regularly * re-wrote the *ged critic, Poderico, to satisfy whom the to.". ubor, has *me verse ten times. It has been remarked that o work. kt may Rot communicated any appearance of constrain! :o f the celebrated to added, that this poem obtained the warm o "on of Pagan ope Leo the Tenth. Its great defect consists in ". ore carefully foli. with Christian truths; had Sannara","
- his gross oved his not. Froiu, he would not have fall" into this gr *olecism of taste.
Sacred writings, in whose antique leaves
Milton's invocation to the Holy Spirit in * Paradise Regained is considered by Mr. Dunster “ supremely beau. tiful;" it does not surpass the solemn ano enraptured piety of Fletcher:—
O thou that didst this holy fire infuse,
In the first canto, Christ's Victorie in Heaven, the poet
with every “star of excellence," she is represented lift- i i
- - aion of 1610. The • My W. are made from the original edition."
orthography only is modernized. !
No riot of affection revel kept
The winged lightning is her Mercury,
Famine and bloodless Care, and bloody War,
Before this cursed throng goes Ignorance,
And round about amazed Horror flies. And over all, Shame veils his guilty “Y” And underneath Hell's hungry throat still yawning lies. Justice is portrayed leaning her bosom upon" “two stone tables spread before her;" and the Po in order toimpress more deeply the fearful horror of that “scroll" on the mind, makes the terror and darkness of the Appearance upon Mount Sinai to rush upon our memory, when the affrighted children of Israel, like A wood of shaking leaves became T The grandeur and dignity of Justice “” expressed by the hush and stillness of the entire unive” waiting in awe for the opening of her lips". In this silence of ho ven and earth, Justice proceeds to **** and convict man of wickedness and ingratitude. But in this part of the poem Fletcher forgot the sublimity of the occasion; he amuses himself with a sort of metaphysical ingenuity, as when speaking of Adam's covering of leaves he asks, — for who ever saw A man of leaves a reasonable tree? And in some of the verses he sems “” have studied that epigrammatic brevity and rapidity of interrogation, which so delighted his brother's eccentrio friend, Quarles; but though the author of the Enchiridion might hang a garland at “the door of those fantas” chambers," every to love of metalers poetry will “"“” see him lingering within their threshold. I must not, however, omit the 28th stanza T What, should I tell how barro" Earth is grow" Au for to starve her children? Did'st not thou water with heavenly shower”" womb unsow."