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There filling maunds * with cówslips, you
What have the meads to do with thee,
Or with thy youthful hours !
The Queen of men, not fowers.
Let country wenches make them fine
With posies, since its fitter
And like the stars to glitter.
Amarill. You set too high a rate upon
A Shepherdess so homely ;
I'th' court that's half so comely.
I prithee stay. (Amar.) I must
Numerous short poems and votive hymns are to be found in this Collection, and which, in their structure and style, bear a
* Maund is a word used by Shakspeare, and means a basket.
striking resemblance to the ancient Greek epigram. They are, like it, devoid of point and satire, and either delineate rural scenery, or are addressed to some Nymph, God or Goddess, with votive offerings. Among a vast variety of these dedicated to Venus, Bacchus, Cupid, Apollo and Neptune, to Meadows, Sycamores, Fountains, &c. &c. I have selected the following “Short Hymnn to Venus” as a specimen of the manner in which they are executed. The second line of this little morsel possesses much terseness and felicity of expression, and the whole, with many similar poems of equal merit, prove that our author had cultivated a taste for the peculiar graces of Antiquity, for the cliaste and simple beauties of the Greek Anthologia.
Goddess I do love a Girl
For sweetness of versification, purity of diction, and amorous tenderness of senti
ment, there is no piece in the volume of Herrick which exceeds “ His Covenant or Protestation to Julia.” The lines I have distinguished by Italics are in the poets best manner, and breathe the most delicate spirit of endearment.
Why dost thou wound, and break my heart,
A Naïveté and playfulness of a very fascinating kind, at once elegant and apposite, distinguish the poem called “The Bracelet,” and evince the powers of the writer in depicting the gaieties of love.
Why I tie about thy wrist,
The voluptuous pathos of the following little poem addresseed “ To Julia,” is perfectly in the style of Tibullus, and, though consisting but of four lines, more powerfully impresses the heart than many pages of modern amatory poetry.,
JULIA, when thy Herrick dies,
The spirit of this closing couplet has been caught by Pope in his Eloisa. She is repre
sented calling on Abelard to pay her the last sad offices, and exclaims, with enthusiastic fondness,
Suck my last breath, and catch my Aying soul.
Of the succeeding production, which will close our specimens of the poet in this province of his muse, though many more might with propriety be adduced, there cannot, I should imagine, be any difference of opinion. It is, though in its plan an imitation of the Passionate Shepherd of Marlowe, without servility or plagiarism, either in sentiment or description. In the latter respect it is, without doubt, superior to its prototype, and the couplets distinguished by the Italic letter de"mand particular approbation.
Live, live with me and thou shalt see