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the shares of his brothers, and made him his own property. He sent him to feed his hogs on Slieu Mis.1

It was here he perfected himself in the Irish language; the wonderful providence of God visibly appearing in this instance of his captivity; that he should have the opportunity in his tender years of becoming well acquainted with the language, manners, and dispositions of that people to whom he was intended as a future apostle. Possibly the ignorance in these particulars of his predecessor Paladius might have been the cause of his failure in the like attempt.

A.D. 395. He continued six whole years in servitude, and in the seventh was released. There seems to have been a law in Ireland for this purpose, agreeable to the institution of Moses, that a servant should be released the seventh year.

The writers who deal in the marvellous tell you that the angel Victor appeared to him, and bid him observe one of his hogs, who should root out of the ground a mass of money sufficient to pay his ransom; but St. Patrick saith no such thing; he only informs us that he was "warned in a dream" to prepare for his return home, and that he arose and be took himself to flight, and left the man with whom he had been six years.

He continued abroad thirty-five years pursuing his studies, for the most part under the direction of his mother's uncle, St. Martin, bishop of Tours, who had ordained him deacon; and after his death partly with St. German, bishop of Auxirre (who ordained him a priest and called his name Magonius, which was the third name he was known by), partly among a colony of hermits and monks

| in some islands of the Tuscan Sea, and he spent a good part of the time in the city of Rome among the canons regular of the Lateran Church.

[Sir John Denham, the first Irish poet of repute that wrote in English, was born in Dublin in the year 1615. His father, at that time chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland, and also one of the lords commissioners for

He was in his sixtieth year when he landed in Ireland in 432; Alfred, Cressy, and other writers, following the authority of William of Malmesbury and of John the Monk of Glastonbury, place his arrival in Ireland in 425, but this plainly contradicts the more early writers. He happily began his ministry by the conversion and baptism of Sinell, a great man in that country, the grandson of Finchad, who ought to be remembered, as he was the first-fruits of St. Patrick's mission in Ireland, or the first of the Irish converted by him. He was the eighth in lineal descent from Cormac, king of Leinster, and afterwards came to be enumerated among the saints of Ireland. Nathi, the son of Garchon, and king of that district, who the year before had frightened away Palladius, in vain attempted to terrify Patrick by opposing and contradicting his doctrine.

1 Mis, a mountain in county Antrim.

All the early Irish writers affirm that St. Patrick was buried at Down, in Ireland, and it is from such authorities that the truth must be drawn. . . . From these and many more early authorities we may safely conclude to give Down the honour of containing his remains, with which several of the English writers also agree; and Cambrensis affirms that the bodies of St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columb were not only buried at Down, but were also there taken up and translated into shrines by John de Courcy, conqueror of Ulidia, about the year 1185, and to this purpose gives us these verses :-


"In Down three saints one grave do fill, Brigid, Patrick, and Columbkille."

BORN 1615-DIED 1669.

that kingdom, was of Little Horseley in Essex. His mother was Eleanor, daughter of Sir Garrett More, baron of Mellefont in Ireland. When the poet was only two years of age, his father, being appointed one of the barons of exchequer in England,removed to that country, carrying with him his family. In 1631 the

youth was entered a gentleman commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, where it seems he was "looked upon as a slow and dreaming young man by his seniors and contemporaries, and given more to cards and dice than his study; they could never then in the least imagine that he would ever enrich the world with his fancy or issue of his brain, as he afterwards did." At the end of three years he underwent his B.A. examination, and was sent to Lincoln's Inn to study law, which he did so far as his vice of gaming would allow him. After having been plundered by gamesters and severely reproved by his parents he acquired a sudden abhorrence of the evil practice, and wrote an essay against it, which he presented to his father. He also about this time added the study of poetry to that of laws, and produced a translation of the second book of Virgil's Æneid. In 1638 his father died, and immediately after Denham gave himself up to his old vice, and lost the money-several thousand pounds-that had been left him.

In 1641, like a lightning flash out of a clear sky, appeared his tragedy called The Sophy, which was at once admired by the best judges, and gave him fast hold of the public attention. Speaking of the poet in connection with this piece, Waller said that "he broke out like the Irish rebellion, threescore thousand strong, when nobody was aware or in the least suspected it." Soon after this he was made highsheriff of Surrey and governor of Farnham Castle for the king, but not caring for, or not being skilled in military affairs, he quitted the post before long and retired to Oxford, where, in 1643, he published Cooper's Hill, a poem of some three hundred lines, on which his fame chiefly rests. Of this work Dryden says it is "a poem which for majesty of style is, and ever will be, the standard of good writing." An attempt was made to rob Denham of his laurels by what Johnson calls "the common artifice by which envy degrades excellence." In the "Session of the Poets," in some lumbering verses, it is said that the work was not his own, but was bought of a vicar for forty pounds.

1 It has been supposed that this poem was directly inspired by his residence at Egham. The writer of the additions to Camden's Britannia says, in speaking of Egham, "Here lived Sir John Denham the poet, who has immortalized Cooper's Hill adjoining."

a widower, and old enough to be her father. . . . She was then about to be appointed lady of honour to the Duchess of York. The matter was still in discussion when Lady Denham was seized with a sudden indisposition, of which, after languishing some days, she expired, January 17, 1667, in the first bloom of her youth and

2 An anonymous poem which appeared in Dryden's beauty, and before she had completed her twenty-first Miscellanies. year. It was believed at the time that she had been poisoned in a cup of chocolate. In notes to the English edition of Grammont's Memoirs of 1809-notes partly written, it is said, by the late Sir Walter Scott-we read, 'The slander of the times imputed her death to the jealousy of the Duchess of York.'"

The facts relating to Lady Denham's death are thus given in Notes and Queries, Sept. 28, 1872:-"Lady Denham had attracted the notice of the Duke of York; but in the midst of this liaison she was married, by the interposition of her friends, at the age of eighteen to Sir John Denham,

"The same attempt," says Johnson, "was made to rob Addison of his Cato, and Pope of his Essay on Man."

In 1647 Denham began to mix in political matters, and in 1648 he conveyed James, Duke of York, into France, or at least so says Johnson and others, though Clarendon affirms that the duke went off with Colonel Bamfield only, who contrived his escape. Certain it is, anyhow, that Denham went to France, from whence he and Lord Crofts were sent ambassadors to Poland from Charles II. In that kingdom they found many Scotchmen wandering about as traders, and from these they obtained £10,000 as a contribution to the king. About 1652 he returned to England, where he was entertained by Lord Pembroke, with whom, having no home of his own, he lived for about a year. At the Restoration he was appointed to the office of surveyor-general of the king's buildings, and at the coronation received the order of the Bath.

After his appointment he gave over his poetical works to a great extent, and "made it his business," as he himself says, "to draw such others as might be more serviceable to his majesty, and, he hoped, more lasting." Soon after this, when in the height of his reputation for poetry and genius, he entered into a second marriage, in which he was so unhappy that for a time he became a lunatic. For this misfortune he was cruelly and ungenerously lampooned by Butler, but fortunately it did not last long, and he was again restored to his full health and vigour of mind.3 A few months after he wrote one of his best poems, that on the death of Cowley. This was his last work, for on March 19, 1669, he died at his office in Whitehall, and was laid in Westminster Abbey by the side of the poet he had just panegyrized.

Dr. Johnson says that "Denham is justly considered as one of the fathers of English poetry. . . . He is one of the writers that improved our taste and advanced our language, and whom we ought, therefore, to read with

much to do." Dryden, speaking of Waller's,
Cowley's, and Denham's translations of Virgil,
declares that "it is the utmost of his ambition
to be thought their equal, or not much inferior
to them." Prior places Denham and Waller
side by side as improvers of our versification,
which was perfected by Dryden. Pope in his
Essay on Criticism speaks of

gratitude, though, having done much, he left | That lies between, and first salutes the place
Crowned with that sacred pile, so vast, so high,
That whether 'tis a part of earth or sky
Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud
Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud.
Under his proud survey the city lies,
And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise;
Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd,

Seem at this distance but a darker cloud:
And is, to him who rightly things esteems,
No other in effect than what it seems:
Where, with like haste, through several ways
they run,

"the easy vigour of a line Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join ;"

and in his Windsor Forest, within the compass of a few lines, he calls Denham "lofty" and "majestic," and, talking of Cooper's Hill, he prophesies

"On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow,
While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall

There can be little doubt that Cooper's Hill is an almost perfect model of its kind, notwithstanding the fact that Johnson, characteristically enough, declares that "if it be maliciously inspected it will not be found without its faults."

Denham's works have been several times reprinted in one volume under the title of Poems and Translations, with the Sophy, a Tragedy. In addition to what appears in this collection there are other things attributed to him. The most important of these is a New Version of the Book of Psalms, which is now little known. A panegyric on General Monk, printed in 1659, is generally ascribed to him, and his name appears on the poem "The True Presbyterian without Disguise," as well as two pieces called "Clarendon's House Warming," and "His Epitaph." These last are, however, believed to be by Marvell, and are printed in the late American edition of that author's works. Strange to say, Denham has been rather overlooked and forgotten of late years, and his name does not appear in any of the later popular editions of the poets.]


Through untraced ways and airy paths I fly,
More boundless in my fancy than my eye:
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space

1 This and the three following extracts are from the work entitled Poems and Translations, with the Sophy, a Tragedy.

Some to undo, and some to be undone.

My eye, descending from the Hill, surveys
Where Thames among the wanton valleys strays;
Thames! the most loved of all the Ocean's sons
By his old sire, to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.

Though with those streams he no remembrance

Whose foam is amber and their gravel gold;
His genuine and less guilty wealth to explore,
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore,
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for the ensuing spring,
And then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers who their infants overlay;
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the ploughman's toil,
But godlike his unwearied bounty flows;
First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined,

But free and common as the sea or wind,
When he, to boast or to disperse her stores,
Full of the tribute of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours:
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,
Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants;
So that to us no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's Exchange.
O, could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not

Strong without rage; without o'erflowing full!
Heaven her Eridanus no more shall boast;
Whose fame in thine, like lesser current, 's lost. . . .
The stream is so transparent, pure, and clear,
That had the self-enamour'd youth gaz'd here,
So fatally deceived he had not been,
While he the bottom, not his face had seen.
But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Among the clouds; his shoulders and his sides

2 St. Paul's, as seen from Cooper's Hill.

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A shady mantle clothes; his curled brows
Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows,
While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat:
The common fate of all that's high or great.
Low at his foot a spacious plain is plac'd,
Between the mountain and the stream embrac'd,
Which shade and shelter from the Hill derives,
While the kind river wealth and beauty gives,
And in the mixture of all these appears
Variety, which all the rest endears.
This scene had some bold Greek or Roman bard
Beheld of old, what stories had we heard
Of fairies, satyrs, and the nymphs, their dames,
Their feasts, their revels, and their amorous flames!
'Tis still the same, altho' their airy shape
All but a quick poetic sight escape.

There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts,
And thither all the horned host resorts
To graze the ranker mead; that noble herd
On whose sublime and shady fronts is rear'd
Nature's great masterpiece, to show how soon
Great things are made, but sooner are undone.
Here have I seen the king, when great affairs
Gave leave to slacken and unbend his cares,
Attended to the chase by all the flower
Of youth, whose hopes a nobler prey devour;
Pleasure with praise and danger they would buy,
And wish a foe that would not only fly.
The stag, now conscious of his fatal growth,
At once indulgent to his fear and sloth,
To some dark covert his retreat had made,
Where nor man's eye nor heaven's should invade
His soft repose, when th' unexpected sound
Of dogs and men his wakeful ear does wound.
Roused with the noise, he scarce believes his ear,
Willing to think the illusions of his fear

Had given this false alarm, but straight his view
Confirms, that more than all he fears is true.
Betray'd in all his strengths, the wood beset,
All instruments, all arts of ruin met;
He calls to mind his strength, and then his speed,
His winged heels, and then his armed head;
With these t' avoid, with that his fate to meet;
But fear prevails and bids him trust his feet.
So fast he flies that his reviewing eye
Has lost the chasers, and his ear the cry;
Exulting till he finds their nobler sense
Their disproportioned speed doth recompense;
Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent
Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent:
Then tries his friends; among the baser herd,
Where he so lately was obeyed and feared,
His safety seeks. The herd, unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence, or from him flies;
Like a declining statesman, left forlorn
To his friends' pity and pursuers' scorn,
With shame remembers, while himself was one
Of the same herd, himself the same had done.

Then to the stream, when neither friends nor force,

Nor speed nor art avail, he shapes his course,
Thinks not their rage so desperate to essay
An element more merciless than they.
But fearless they pursue, nor can the flood
Quench their dire thirst; alas! they thirst for blood.
So tow'rds a ship the oar-finn'd galleys ply,
Which, wanting sea to ride, or wind to fly,
Stands but to fall revenged on those that dare
Tempt the last fury of extreme despair.

So fares the stag; among the enraged hounds
Repels their force, and wounds returns for wounds:
And as a hero whom his baser foes

In troops surround, now these assails, now those,
Though prodigal of life, disdains to die
By common hands; but if he can descry
Some nobler foe approach, to him he calls
And begs his fate, and then contented falls.
So when the king a mortal shaft lets fly
From his unerring hand, then, glad to die,
Proud of the wound, to it resigns his blood,
And stains the crystal with a purple flood.
This a more innocent and happy chase
Than when of old, but in the self-same place,1
Fair Liberty, pursu'd, and meant a prey
To lawless power, here turn'd and stood at bay.


These to his sons (as Xenophon records) Of the great Cyrus were the dying words: "Fear not when I depart (nor therefore mourn) I shall be no where, or to nothing turn; That soul, which gave me life, was seen by none, Yet by the actions it design'd was known; And though its flight no mortal eye shall see, Yet know, for ever it the same shall be. That soul which can immortal glory give To her own virtues must for ever live. Can you believe that man's all-knowing mind Can to a mortal body be confin'd? Though a foul foolish prison her immure On earth, she (when escap'd) is wise and pure. Man's body, when dissolv'd, is but the same With beast's, and must return from whence it came; But whence into our bodies reason flows None sees it, when it comes, or when it goes. Nothing resembles death as much as sleep, Yet then our minds themselves from slumbers keep;

When from their fleshly bondage they are free, Then what divine and future things they see! Which makes it most apparent whence they are, And what they shall hereafter be declare."

This noble speech the dying Cyrus made. Me, Scipio, shall no argument persuade Thy grandsire, and his brother, to whom fame

1 Runnymede, where the Magna Charta was first sealed.

Gave, from two conquer'd parts o' th' world their name, 1

Nor thy great grandsire, nor thy father Paul,
Who fell at Cannæ against Hannibal,
Nor I (for 'tis permitted to the ag'd
To boast their actions) had so oft engag'd
In battles, and in pleadings, had we thought
That only fame our virtuous actions brought;
"Twere better in soft pleasure and repose
Ingloriously our peaceful eyes to close:
Some high assurance hath possest my mind,
After my death a happier life to find.
Unless our souls from the Immortal came,
What end have we to seek immortal fame?
All virtuous spirits some such hope attends,
Therefore the wise his days with pleasure ends.
The foolish and short-sighted die with fear
That they go no where, or they know not where;
The wise and virtuous soul, with clearer eyes,
Before she parts, some happy port descries.
My friends, your fathers I shall surely see,
Nor only those I lov'd, or who lov'd me;
But such as before ours did end their days,
Of whom we hear, and read, and write their praise.
This I believe: for were I on my way

None should persuade me to return, or stay:
Should some god tell me, that I should be born,
And cry again, his offer I would scorn;
Asham'd, when I have ended well my race,
To be led back to my first starting-place.
Hence from an inn, not from my home I pass,
Since nature meant us here no dwelling-place.
Happy when I, from this turmoil set free,
That peaceful and divine assembly see. .
Then cease to wonder that I feel no grief
From age, which is of my delights the chief.
My hopes, if this assurance hath deceiv'd
(That I man's soul immortal have believ'd),
And if I err no power shall dispossess
My thoughts of that expected happiness:
Though some minute philosophers pretend,
That with our days our pains and pleasures end.
If it be so I hold the safer side,

For none of them my error shall deride;
And if hereafter no rewards appear,
Yet virtue hath itself rewarded here.


Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate. But what in them is want of art or vice, In thee is either modesty or choice. . . That servile path thou nobly dost decline Of tracing word by word, and line by line; These are the labour'd birth of slavish brains,

1 Scipio Africanus and Scipio Asiaticus.

Not the effect of poetry, but pains;
Cheap vulgar arts, whose narrowness affords
No flight for thoughts, but poorly sticks at words.
A new and nobler way thou dost pursue,
To make translations and translators too:
They but preserve the ashes, thou the flame,
True to his sense, but truer to his fame.
Fording his current, where thou find'st it low,
Let'st in thine own to make it rise and flow,
Wisely restoring whatsoever grace

It lost by change of times, or tongue, or place.
Nor fetter'd to his numbers and his times,
Betray'st his music to unhappy rhymes;
Nor are the nerves of his compacted strength
Stretch'd and dissolv'd into unsinew'd length:
Yet after all (lest we should think it thine),
Thy spirit to his circle does confine.


Old Chaucer, like the morning star,
To us discovers day from far;

His light those mists and clouds dissolv'd
Which our dark nation long involv'd:
But he descending to the shades,
Darkness again the age invades.
Next (like Aurora) Spenser rose,
Whose purple blush the day foreshows;
The other three with his own fires
Phoebus, the poet's god, inspires;
By Shakspere's, Jonson's, Fletcher's lines,
Our stage's lustre Rome's outshines:
These poets near our princes sleep,
And in one grave their mansion keep.
They liv'd to see so many days,
Till time had blasted all their bays:
But cursed be the fatal hour

That pluck'd the fairest, sweetest flower That in the Muses' garden grew,

And amongst wither'd laurels threw.
Time, which made them their fame outlive,
To Cowley scarce did ripeness give.
Old mother-wit and nature gave
Shakspere and Fletcher all they have;
In Spenser, and in Jonson, art
Of slower nature got the start;
But both in him so equal are,

None knows which bears the happier share:
To him no author was unknown,

Yet what he wrote was all his own;
He melted not the ancient gold,
Nor, with Ben Jonson, did make bold
To plunder all the Roman stores
Of poets and of orators:
Horace's wit and Virgil's state
He did not steal, but emulate!

And when he would like them appear,

Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear. . . .

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