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faculty of wittily associating the most widely discordant images, and presenting ideas under the most remote and fanciful aspects.
His prose writings consist chiefly of sermons, which, though they have some of the faults of his poetry, are full of rich, condensed, and vigorous thought, and, what is far better, show the author to be an eminently holy man. preacher, old Izaak Walton says of him, “he is, in earnest, weeping sometimes for his audience, sometimes with em; always pread to himself, like an angel from a cloud, but in none; carrying some, as St. Paul was, to heaven, in holy raptures, and enticing others by a sacred art and courtship to amend their lives; here picturing a vice so as to make it ugly to those that practised it; and a virtue so as to make it beloved by those that loved it not; and all this with a most particular grace, and an inexpressible addition of comeliness.” 1
The following presents a very fair specimen of his poetry: indeed, it is more simple and natural than the greater part of it. The simile of the compasses, whatever may be thought of its beauty or fitness, is certainly original.
1 Read-Johnson's “Life of Cowley;" also, an article in the "Retrospective Review,” viii. 31, which gives to his poetry higher praise than we think it deserves; also, some remarks in “Drake's Shakspeare," i. 615; and above all, Izaak Walton's "Life.” A selection from his prose works was published at Oxford, 1840, in one small volume.
And though it in the centre sit,
But we turn with more pleasure to his prose :
The Psalms are the manna of the church. As manna tasted to every man like that he liked best, so do the Psalms minister instruction and satisfaction to every man, in every emergency and occasion. David was not only a clear prophet of Christ himself, but a prophet of every particular Christian; he foretells what I, what
any shall do, and suffer, and say. And as the whole Book of Psalms is (as the spouse speaks of the name of Christ) an ointment poured out upon all sorts of sores, a cerecloth that supples all bruises, a balm that searches all wounds; so are there some certain Psalms that are imperial Psalms, that command over all affections, and spread themselves over all occasions, catholic, universal Psalms, that apply themselves to all necessities.
ALL CHRISTIANS ARE TO PREACH BY EXAMPLE.
If you be a holy people, you are also a royal priesthood ; if you be all God's saints, you are all God's priests; and if you be his priests, it is your office to preach too; as we by words, you by your holy works; as we by contemplation, you by conversation ; as we by our doctrine, so you by your lives, are appointed by God to preach to one another: and therefore every particular man must wash his own feet, look that he have speciosos pedes, that his example may preach to others, for this is truly a regal priesthood, not to work upon others by words, but by actions. If we love one another as Christ loved us, we must wash one another's feet, as he commanded his apostles; there is a priestly duty lies upon every man, brotherly to reprehend a brother whom he sees trampling in foul ways, wallowing in foul sins.
GOD MAY BE WORSHIPPED ANYWHERE.
It is true, God may be devoutly worshipped anywhere; in all places of his dominion, my soul shall praise the Lord, says David. It is not only a concurring of men, a meeting of so many bodies that makes a church; if thy soul and body be met together, an
1 Pure feet.
humble preparation of the mind, and a reverent disposition of the body; if thy knees be bent to the earth, thy hands and eyes lifted up to heaven; if thy tongue pray, and praise, and thine ears hearken to his answer; if all thy senses, and powers, and faculties be met with one unanime purpose to worship thy God, thou art, to this intendment, a church, thou art a congregation;
here two or three met together in his name, and he is in the midst of them, though thou be alone in thy chamber. The church of God should be built upon a rock, and yet Job had his church upon a dunghill; the church is to be placed upon the top of a hill, and yet the prophet Jeremy had his church in a miry dungeon; constancy and settledness belong to the church, and yet Jonah had his church in the whale's belly; the lion that roars, and seeks whom he may devour, is an enemy to this church, and yet Daniel had his church in the lion's den ; the waters of rest in the Psalm were a figure of the church, and yet the three children had their church in the fiery furnace; liberty and life appertain to the church, and yet Peter and Paul had their church in prison, and the thief had his church upon the cross. Every particular man is himself a temple of the Holy Ghost; yea, destroy this body by death and corruption in the grave, and yet there shall be a renewing, a re-edifying of all those temples, in the general resurrection: when we shall rise again, not only as so many Christians, but as so many Christian churches, to glorify the apostle and high-priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, in that eternal Sabbath. Every person, every place is fit to glorify God in.
THE GREATEST CROSS IS TO HAVE NO CROSS. There cannot be so great a cross as to have none.
I lack one loaf of that daily bread that I pray for, if I have no cross ; for afflictions are our spiritual nourishment: I lack one limb of that body I must grow into, which is the body of Christ Jesus, if I have no crosses; for, my conformity to Christ (and that is my being made up into his body) must be accomplished in my fulfilling his sufferings in his flesh.
Anger is not always a defect, nor an inordinateness in man; Be angry, and sin not: anger is not utterly to be rooted out of our ground and cast away, but transplanted; a gardener does well to grub up thorns in his garden; there they would hinder good herbs from growing: but he does well to plant those thorns in his hedges; there they keep bad neighbors from entering In many cases, where there is no anger, there is not much zeal
MICHAEL DRAYTON. 1563-1631.
This very voluminous and once popular writer has sunk into an oblivion which he does not deserve. His poems are mostly of an historical and topographical character. Such is his great work, his “Poly-Olbion,”:1 a work of stupendous labor and accurate information, on which he rested his hopes of immortality. It is a very singular poem, and certainly entirely original in its plan, describing the woods, mountains, valleys, and rivers of England, with all their associations, traditional, historical, and antiquarian. That “it possesses many beauties which are poetically great, and is full of delineations which are graphically correct," is no doubt true; but, after all, it is a poem that will always be consulted rather for the information it conveys, than for the pleasure it produces. His other historical poems are his « Barons Warres,” being an account of “ The lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second and the Barons;" his “ Legends;" his.“ Battle of Agincourt;" and " England's Heroical Epistles.”
But it is for his pastoral and miscellaneous poems that Drayton will continue to be known and valued. Some of these possess beauties of the highest order. Such, for instance, is the fairy poem called Nymphidia, than which a more exquisite creation of the fancy can hardly be found; and it has been well remarked, that “ had he written nothing else he would deserve immortality." His “ Shepherd's Garland” is a pastoral poem, first published under this title, but afterwards revised and reprinted under the name of Eclogues. His other miscellaneous poems consist of odes, elegies, sonnets, religious effusions, &c. Drayton died December 23, 1631, and was buried in Westminster Abbey:2
CHORUS OF THE BIRDS.
When Phæbus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,
1 From the Greek tolla (polla), “ many things;" that is, many things about Albion, or England.
2 Read-a notice of Drayton in Drake's “Shakspeare and his Times ;" another, in the third volumo of D'Israeli's “Amenities of Literature;" and another, in Sir Egerton Brydges's “Imaginative Biography.”
For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant May:
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
And when we meet at any time again,
That we one jot of former love retain.
When his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.
This palace standeth in the air,
Which way soe'er it blow it:
Pass to the earth below it.
It curiously that builded;
With moonshine that are gilded.