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a metrical version of the Psalms of David. In this attempt he has failed; but, in facred poetry, who has succeeded ?
It might be hoped that the favour of his master and esteem of the publick would now make him happy. But human felicity is short and uncertain : a second marriage brought upon him so much disquiet, as for a time disordered his understanding; and Butler lampooned him for his lunacy. I know not whether the malignant lines were then made publick, nor what provocation incited Butler to do that which no provocation can excuse.
His frenzy lasted not long; and he seems to have regained his full force of nind; for he wrote afterwards his.ex., ellent poem upon the death of Cowley, whom he was not long to survive; for on the 19th of March, 1668, he was buried by his fide.
DENHAM is deservedly confidered as one of the fathers of English poetry.
" Denham and Waller," saysPrior, « improved our versification, “ and Dryden perfected it.” He has given specimens of various composition, descriptive, ludicrous, didactick, and sublime.
He appears to have had, in common with almost all mankind, the ambitions of being upon proper occasions a merry fellow, and in common with most of them to have been by nature, or by early habits, debarred from it. Nothing is less exhilarating than the ludicrouf: nefs of Denham. He does not fail for want of efforts : he is familiar, he is gross; but he is never merry, unless the
Speech against peace in the close “ Committee," be' excepted. For grave burlesque, however, his imitation of Davenant shews him to have been well: qualified.
Of his more elevated occasional poems there is perhaps none that does not deferve commendation. In the verses to
Fletcher, we have an image that has fince been often adopted : “ But whither am I stray'd ? I need
56 not raise “ Trophies to thee from other mens
dispraise ; “ Nor is thy fame on lefser ruins built, “ Nor need thy juster title the foul
.66 Of eastern kings, who, to secure
«« their reign, " Must have their brothers, sons, and
“ kindred flain."
After Denham, Orrery, in one of his prologues, “ Poets are fultans, if they had their will; “For every author would his brother - kill."
“ Should such a man, too fond to rule
« Bear like the Turk no brother near
" the throne.”
But this is not the best of his little pieces : it is excelled by his poem to · Fanshaw, and his elegy on Cowley.
His praise of Fanshaw's version of Guarini, contains a very spritely and
judicious character of a good translator:
“ That servile path thou nobly dost
“6 decline, “ Of tracing word by word, and line •“ by line.