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amples, and I have therefore collected instances of the modes of writing by which this species of poets, for poets they were called by themselves and their admirers, was eminently distinguished.

As the authors of this race were perhaps more desirous of 65 being admired than understood they sometimes drew their conceits from recesses of learning not very much frequented by common readers of poetry. Thus Cowley on Knowledge:

The sacred tree midst the fair orchard grew;

The phoenix Truth did on it rest,

And built his perfum'd nest,

That right Porphyrian tree which did true logick shew.
Each leaf did learned notions give,

And th' apples were demonstrative:

So clear their colour and divine,

The very shade they cast did other lights outshine'.'

On Anacreon continuing a lover in his old age:

'Love was with thy life entwin'd,
Close as heat with fire is join'd;
A powerful brand prescrib'd the date
Of thine, like Meleager's fate.

Th' antiperistasis of age

More enflam'd thy amorous rage'.'


In the following verses we have an allusion to a Rabbinical 67 opinion concerning Manna:

'Variety I ask not: give me one

To live perpetually upon.

The person Love does to us fit,

Like manna, has the taste of all in it3.'

Thus Donne shews his medicinal knowledge in some encomias- 68 tick verses:


'In every thing there naturally grows
A balsamum to keep it fresh and new,
If 'twere not injur'd by extrinsique blows;
Your youth [birth] and

Eng. Poets, vii. 144.

beauty are this balm in you.

Ib. vii. 197. This hard word [antiperistasis] only means compression. The word is used by naturalists to express the power which one quality has by pressing on all sides to augment its contrary; as here the cold with which old age is surrounded increases heat. He expresses this

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But you, of learning and religion,

And virtue and such ingredients, have made

A mithridate, whose operation

Keeps off or cures what can be done or said '.'

69 Though the following lines of Donne, on the last night of the year, have something in them too scholastick, they are not inelegant :



'This twilight of two years, not past nor next,
Some emblem is of me, or I of this,
Who, meteor-like, of stuff and form perplext,
Whose what and where in disputation is,
If I should call me any thing, should miss.
I sum the years and me, and find me not
Debtor to th' old nor creditor to th' new;
That cannot say my thanks I have forgot,

Nor trust I this with hopes; and yet scarce true
This bravery is, since these times shew'd me you


Yet more abstruse and profound is Donne's reflection upon Man as a Microcosm :

'If men be worlds, there is in every one
Something to answer in some proportion

All the world's riches: and in good men this
Virtue, our form's form, and our soul's soul is 3,"

Of thoughts so far-fetched as to be not only unexpected but unnatural, all their books are full.

To a lady, who wrote [made] poesies for rings:

'They, who above do various circles find,

Say, like a ring th' æquator heaven does bind.
When heaven shall be adorn'd by thee

(Which then more heaven than 'tis, will be),
'Tis thou must write the poesy there,

For it wanteth one as yet,

Though the sun_pass_through 't twice a year,

The sun, which [who] is esteem'd the god of wit.'


72 The difficulties which have been raised about identity in philosophy are by Cowley with still more perplexity applied to Love:

'Five years ago (says story) I
For which you call me most

* Grosart's Donne, ii. 30.

2 Ib. ii. 42.

lov'd you,
inconstant now;

3 Ib. ii. 79.
4 Eng. Poets, vii. 127.

Pardon me, madam, you mistake the man;
For I am not the same that I was then;
No flesh is now the same 'twas then in me,
And that my mind is chang'd yourself may see.
The same thoughts to retain still, and intents,
Were more inconstant far; for accidents

Must of all things most strangely inconstant prove,

If from one subject they t'another move:

My members then, the father members were

From whence these take their birth, which now are here.
If then this body love what th' other did,

'Twere incest, which by nature is forbid ','

The love of different women is, in geographical poetry, compared 73 to travels through different countries:

'Hast thou not found, each woman's breast

(The land [lands] where thou hast travelled)

Either by savages possest,

Or wild, and uninhabited?

What joy could'st take, or what repose,

In countries so uncivilis'd as those?

Lust, the scorching dog star, here
Rages with immoderate heat;
Whilst Pride, the rugged Northern Bear,
In others makes the cold too great.
And where these are temperate known,

The soil's all barren sand, or rocky stone.'


A lover burnt up by his affection is compared to Egypt:

The fate of Egypt I sustain,

And never feel the dew of rain,

From clouds which in the head appear;

But all my too much moisture owe

To overflowings of the heart below.'-COWLEY 3.


The lover supposes his lady acquainted with the ancient laws 75

of augury and rites of sacrifice:

'And yet this death of mine, I fear,

Will ominous to her appear:

When found in every other part,

Her sacrifice is found without an heart,

For the last tempest of my death

Shall sigh out that too, with my breath".'

Eng. Poets, viii. 13.

27b. viii. 48. In the edition of Cowley's Poems, 1674, the last line runs :—

'The soyls are,' &c.

3 lb. viii. 61.

• Ib. viii. 66.

76 That the chaos was harmonised has been recited of old '; but whence the different sounds arose remained for a modern to discover:



'Th' ungovern'd parts no correspondent knew,
An artless war from thwarting motions grew;
Till they to number and fixt rules were brought
[By the Eternal Mind's poetick thought].
Water and air he for the tenor chose,

Earth made the base, the treble flame arose.'

The tears of lovers are always of great poetical account, but Donne has extended them into worlds. If the lines are not easily understood they may be read again.

'On a round ball

A workman, that hath copies by, can lay

An Europe, Afric, and an Asia,

And quickly make that, which was nothing, all.

So doth each tear,

Which thee doth wear,

A globe, yea world, by that impression grow,
Till thy tears mixt with mine do overflow

This world, by waters sent from thee my [by] heaven dissolved so 3.'

On reading the following lines the reader may perhaps cry out, 'Confusion worse confounded"."

'Here lies a she sun, and a he moon here,

She gives the best light to his sphere,

Or each is both, and all, and so

They unto one another nothing owe".


Who but Donne would have thought that a good man is a telescope?

'Though God be our true glass, through which we see
All, since the being of all things is he,

Yet are the trunks, which do to us derive
Things in proportion fit by perspective,

By Plato in Politicus, 273 c, d, and in Timaeus, 69c; by Ovid in Metamor. bk. 1.

'From harmony, from heavenly har-

This universal frame began.'
DRYDEN, St. Cecilia, 1. 1.


Eng. Poets, viii. 194. 'Cowley appears by these lines to have been but little skilled in music.' HAWKINS, Johnson's Works, 1787, ii. 30. 3 Grosart's Donne, ii. 198. 4 Paradise Lost, ii. 996. 5 Grosart's Donne, i. 258.

Deeds of good men; for by their living [being] here,
Virtues, indeed remote, seem to be near1?

Who would imagine it possible that in a very few lines so many 79 remote ideas could be brought together?

'Since 'tis my doom, Love's undershrieve,

Why this reprieve?

Why doth my She Advowson fly

Incumbency 2?

To sell thyself dost thou intend
By candle's end,

And hold the contrast [contract] thus in doubt,
Life's taper out?

Think but how soon the market fails,

Your sex lives faster than the males;

As if to measure age's span,

The sober Julian were th' acount of man,

Whilst you live by the fleet Gregorian.'


Of enormous and disgusting hyberboles these may be ex- 80


'By every wind, that comes this way,

Send me at least a sigh or two,

Such and so many I'll repay

As shall themselves make winds to get to you.'

'In tears I'll waste these eyes,

By Love so vainly fed;


So lust of old the Deluge punished.'-COWLEY 5.

'All arm'd in brass the richest dress of war
(A dismal glorious sight) he shone afar.
The sun himself started with sudden fright,
To see his beams return so dismal bright.'

1 Grosart's Donne, ii. 115.

* Here follow five lines omitted by Johnson.

3 Works, ed. 1687, p. 6. On the titlepage the name is printed Cleveland, but underneath his portrait which faces it-Cleaveland. Johnson gives a third spelling. Another variety is Clevland. Cleveland's executors in their Epistle Dedicatory aim at rivalling his wit. 'Whilst Randolph and Cowley,' they write, 'lie embalmed in their own


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