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Sir John died suddenly on the 7th of December, 1626, in the fifty-seventh year of his age.

10. DAVORS, JOHN. Of this poet little more is known, than that he published, in 1613, the following work; "The Secrets of Angling; teaching the choicest Tooles, Baits, and Seasons, for the taking of any Fish, in Pond or River: practised and familiarly opened in three Bookes." 12mo.

Upon a subject so technical and didactic, few opportunities for poetical imagery might naturally be expected; but Davors has most happily availed himself of those which occurred, and has rendered his poem, in many places, highly interesting by beauty of sentiment and warmth of description. A lovely specimen of his powers may be found in the "Complete Angler" of Isaac Walton, and the following invocation, from the opening of the First Book, shall be given as a further proof of the genuineness of his inspiration, and with this additional remark, that his versification is throughout singularly harmonious:—

You Nimphs that in the springs and waters sweet, | And thou, sweet Boyd, that with thy wat'ry sway
Your dwelling have, of every hill and dale,
And oft amidst the meadows green do meet
To sport and play, and hear the nightingale,
And in the rivers fresh do wash you feet,

While Progne's sister tels her wofull tale:
Such ayd and power unto my verses lend,
As may suffice this little worke to end.

Dost wash the Cliffes of Deignton and of Week,
And through their rocks with crooked winding way,
Thy mother Avon runnest soft to seek;

In whose fair streams, the speckled trout doth play,
The roch, the dace, the gudgin, and the bleike
Teach me the skill with slender line and book
To take each fish of river, pond, and brook.”

A second edition of "The Secrets of Angling," "augmented with many ap proved experiments," by W. Lawson, was printed in 1652, and a third would be acceptable even in the present day.

11. DONNE, JOHN, D.D. The greater part of the poetry of this prelate, though not published, was written, according to Ben Jonson, before he was twenty-five years of age; and as he was born in London in 1573, he must consequently be ranked as a bard of the sixteenth century. His poems consist of elegies, satires, letters, epigrams, divine poems, and miscellaneous pieces, and procured for him. among his contemporaries, through private circulation and with the public when printed, during the greater part of the seventeenth century, an extraordinary share of reputation. A more refined age, however, and a more chastised taste, have very justly consigned his poetical labours to the shelf of the philologer. A total want of harmony in versification, and a total want of simplicity both in thought and expression, are the vital defects of Donne. Wit he has in abundance, and even erudition, but they are miserably misplaced; and even his amatory pieces exhibit little else than cold conceits and metaphysical subtleties. He may be con sidered as one of the principal establishers of a school of poetry founded on the worst Italian model, commencing towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, continued to the decease of Charles the Second, and including among its most brilliant cultivators the once popular names of Crashaw, Cleveland, Cowley, and Sprat. Dr. Donne died in March, 1631, and the first edition of his poems was published by his son two years after that event.

12. DRAYTON, MICHAEL, of an ancient family in Leicestershire, was born in the village of Harshul, in the parish of Atherston, in Warwickshire, in 1563 This voluminous and once highly-popular poet has gradually sunk into a state of undeserved oblivion, from which he can alone be extricated by a judicious selection from his numerous works. These may be classed under the heads of historical, topographical, epistolary, pastoral, and miscellaneous poetry. The first includes his "Barons Warres," first published in 1596 under the title of "Mortimeriades: the lamentable Civil Warres of Edward the Second, and the Barons ;" his "Legends," written before 1598 and printed in an octavo edition of his poems in 1613, and his 66 Battle of Agincourt." It cannot be denied that in these pieces there are occasional gleams of imagination, many just reflections, and many laboured descriptions, delivered in perspicuous language, and generally in smooth versi cation; but they do not interest the heart or elevate the fancy; they are tediously

and minutely historical, void of passion, and, for the most part, languid and prosaic. The second department exhibits the work on which he rested his hopes of immortality, the elaborate and highly-finished "Poly-olbion," of which the first eighteen songs made their appearance in 1612, accompanied by the very erudite notes of Selden, and the whole was completed in thirty parts in 1622. The chief defect in this singular poem results from its plan; to describe the woods, mountains, vallies, and rivers of a country, with all their associations, traditionary, historical, and antiquarian, forms a task which no genius, however exalted, could mould into an interesting whole, and the attempt to enliven it by continued personification has only proved an expedient which still further taxes the patience of the reader. It possesses, however, many beauties which are poetically great; numerous delineations which are graphically correct, and a fidelity with regard to its materials so unquestioned, as to have merited the reference of Hearne and Wood, and the praise of Gough, who tells us that the Poly-olbion has preserved many circumstances which even Camden has omitted. It is a poem, in short, which will always be consulted rather for the information that it conveys, than for the pleasure that it produces.

To "England's Heroical Epistles," which constitute the third class, not much praise can now be allotted, notwithstanding they were once the most admired of the author's works. Occasional passages may, it is true, be selected, which merit approbation for novelty of imagery and beauty of expression; but nothing can atone for their wanting what, from the nature of the subjects chosen, should have been their leading characteristic-pathos.

Itischiefly as a pastoral poet that Drayton will live in the memory of his countrymen. The shepherd's reed was an early favourite; for in 1593 he published his "Idea: the Shepherd's Garland, fashioned in nine Eglogs: and Rowland's Sacrifice to the nine Muses," which were reprinted under the title of Pastorals, and with the addition of a tenth eclogue. His attachment to rural imagery was nearly as durable as his existence; for the year previous to his death he brought forward another collection of pastorals, under the title of "The Muses Elisium." Of these publications, the first is in every respect superior, and gives the author a very high rank among rural bards; his descriptions are evidently drawn from nature; they often possess a decided originality, and are couched in language pure and unaffected, and of the most captivating simplicity.

The miscellaneous productions of Drayton include a vast variety of pieces; odes, elegies, sonnets, religious effusions, etc. etc. To specify the individual merit of these would be useless; but among them are two which, from their peculiar value, call for appropriate notice. A most playful and luxuriant imagination is displayed to much advantage in the "Nymphidia, or The Court of Fairy," and an equal degree of judgment, together with a large share of interest, in the poem addressed to his loved friend Henry Reynolds," On Poets and Poesy." These, with the first collection of pastorals, part of the second, and some well-chosen extracts from his bulkier works, would form a most fascinating little volume. Drayton died on December 23, 1631, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. DRUMMOND, WILLIAM. The birth of this truly elegant poet is placed at Hawthornden in Scotland, on the 13th of December, 1585, and the publication of the first portion of his Sonnets, in 1616, entitles him to due notice among these critical sketches.

A disappointment of the most afflictive nature, for death snatched from him the object of his affection almost immediately after she had consented to be his, has given a peculiar and very pathetic interest to the greater part of his poetical compositions, which are endeared to the reader of sensibility by the charm resulting from a sincere and never-dying regret for the memory of his earliest love.

His poetry, which has never yet been properly arranged, consists principally of poems of a lyrical cast, including sonnets, madrigals, epigrams, epitaphs, misrellanies, and divine poems.

Of these classes, the first and second exhibit numerous instances of a versification decidedly more polished and elegant than that of any of his contemporaries, and to this technical merit is frequently to be added the still more rare and valuable distinctions of beauty of expression, simplicity of thought, delicacy of sentiment, and tenderness of feeling. Where he has failed, his faults are to be attributed to the then prevailing taste for Italian concetti; to the study of Marino, and his French imitators, Bellay and Du Barta. These deviations from correct taste are, however, neither frequent nor flagrant,, and are richly atoned for by strains of native genius, and the felicities of unaffected diction.

Drummond was the intimate friend of Drayton, the Earl of Stirling, and Ben Jonson; the latter holding him in such estimation as to undertake a journey to Scotland on foot, solely for the purpose of enjoying his company and conversation. How far this meeting contributed to enhance their mutual regard, is doubtful; no two characters could be more opposed, the roughness and asperity of Jonson ill according with the elegant manners of the Scottish poet, whose manuscript memoranda relative to this interview plainly intimate his disapprobation of the disposition and habits of his celebrated guest; but unfor tunately, at the same time, display a breach of confidence, and a fastidiousness of temper, which throw a shade over the integrity of his own friendship, and the rectitude of his own feelings.

This accomplished bard died on the 4th of December, 1649, aged sixty-three. and though his poems were republished by Phillips, the nephew of Milton, in 1656, with a high encomium on his genius, he continued so obscure, that in 1675, when the Theatrum Poetarum of the same critic appeared, he is said to be "utterly disregarded and laid aside;" a fate which, strange as it may seem, has, until these few years, almost completely veiled the merit of one of the first poets of the sister kingdom.

14. FAIREFAX, EDWARD. The singular beauty of this gentleman's translation of Tasso, and its influence on English versification, demand a greater share of notice than is due to any poetical version preceding that of Pope. He was the son of Sir Thomas Fairefax, of Denton in Yorkshire, and early cultivating the enjoyment of rural and domestic life, retired with the object of his affections to Newhall, in the parish of Fuyistone, in Knaresborough forest, where he usefuliy occupied his time in the education of his children, and the indulgence of literary pursuits. His "Godfrey of Bulloigne," the work which has immortalized his name, was written whilst he was very young, was published in 1600, and dedicated to Queen Elizabeth.

This masterly version, which for the last half century has been most unde servedly neglected, has not hitherto been superseded by any posterior attempt. Though rendered line by line, and in the octava stanza of the Italians, it possesses an uncommon share of elegance, vigour, and spirit, and very frequently exhibits the facility and raciness of original composition. That it contributed essentially towards the improvement of our versification, may be proved from the testimony of Dryden and Waller, the former declaring him superior in harmony event Spenser, and the latter confessing that he owed the melody of his numbers to a studious imitation of his metrical skill. *

It is greatly to be regretted that the original poetry of Fairefax, with the exception of one piece, has been suffered to perish. It consisted of a poetical history of the Black Prince, and twelve Eclogues, of which the fourth is preserved by Mrs. Cooper in her Muses' Library. This lady informs us that the eclogues

* Dr. Johnson was of opinion that the translation of Mr. Hoole would entirely supersede the labours o Fairefax. With no discriminating judge of poetry, however, will this ever be the case; there a tameness and mediocrity in the version of Mr. Hoole, which must always place it far beneath th spirited copy of the elder bard. Had Mr. Brookes completed the Jerusalem with the same harmony as Vigour which he had exhibited in the first three books, a desideratum in English literature had been supp and the immortal poem of Tasso had appeared clothed in diction and numbers worthy of the most pos era of our poetry.


were all written after the accession of King James to the throne of England; that they were occupied by "important subjects relating to the manners, characters, and incidents of the times he lived in; that they were pointed with many fine strokes of satire; dignified with wholesome lessons of morality, and policy, to those of the highest rank; and some modest hints even to Majesty itself; and that the learning they contained was " so various and extensive, that, according to the evidence of his son (who has written large Annotations on each), no man's reading, beside his own, was sufficient to explain his references effectually.' Fairefax died about the year 1632; and, beside his poetical works, was the author of several controversial pieces, and of a learned essay on Demonology. 15. FITZGEFFREY, CHARLES, was a native of Cornwall, of a genteel family, and was entered a commoner of Broadgate's hall, Oxford, in 1592. Having taken his degrees in arts, and assumed the clerical profession, he finally became rector of St. Dominic in his own county. In 1596, he published a poem to the memory of Sir Francis Drake, entitled "Sir Francis Drake his honorable Life's commendation; and his tragicall Deathe's lamentation;" 12mo. This poem, which possesses no small portion of merit, is dedicated, in a sonnet, " to the beauteous and vertuous Lady Elizabeth, late wife unto the highlie renowned Sir Francis Drake, deceased," and is highly spoken of by Browne and Meres; the former declaring that he unfolded

"The tragedie of Drake in leaves of gold ; "+


and the latter asserting that "as C. Plinius wrote the life of Pomponius Secundus, so yong Cha. Fitz-Geffray, that high-touring falcon, hath most gloriously penned the honourable life and death of worthy Sir Francis Drake." ‡

As the poetry of Fitzgeffrey is very little known, we shall give the Sonnet to Lady Drake as a pleasing specimen of his genius:

'Divorc'd by Death, but wedded still by Love,
For Love by Death can never be divorc'd;
Loe! England's dragon, thy true turtle dove,
To seeke his make is now againe enforc'd.
Like as the sparrow from the kestrel's ire,
Made his asylum in the wise man's fist :
So, he and I, his tongues-man, do require
Thy sanctuary, envie to resist.

So may heroique Drake, whose worth gave wings
Unto my Muse, that nere before could fly,

And taught her tune these harsh discordant strings

A note above her rurall minstrelsy,

Live in himselfe, and I in him may live;
Thine eyes to both vitality shall give."§

Beside his volume on Drake, Fitzgeffrey was the author of a collection of Latin epigrams, in three books, under the title of "Affaniæ," printed in 8vo, 1601, and of a religious poem, called "The Blessed Birth-day," 1634, 4to. He lived highly respected both as a poet and divine, and died at his parsonage

house in 1636-7.

16. Fletcher, GILES, the elder brother of Phineas Fletcher, was born in 1588, took the degree of bachelor of divinity at Oxford, and died at his rectory of Alderton, in Suffolk, in 1623. The production which has given him. a poet's fame, was published in 1610, under the title of "Christ's Victory and Triumph in Heaven and Earth over and after Death," Cambridge, 4to. It is written in stanzas of eight lines, and divided into four parts, under the appellations of Christ's Victory in Heaven, his Triumph on Earth, his Triumph. over Death, and his Triumph after Death."

This is a poem which exhibits strong powers of description, and a great com

* Muses' Library, 1741, p. 363.

Censura Literaria, vol. ix. p. 53.

+Chalmers's English Poets, vol, vi. p. 295. § British Bibliographer, No. VII. p. 118.

mand of language; it is, however, occasionally sullied by conceits, and by a frequent play upon words, of which the initial stanza is a striking proof. Our author was an ardent admirer of Spenser, and has in many instances successfully imitated his picturesque mode of delineation, though he has avoided following him in the use of the prosopopeia.

17. FLETCHER, PHINEAS, who surpassed his brother in poetical genius, took his bachelor's degree at King's College, Cambridge, in 1604, and his master' degree in 1608. Though his poems were not published until 1633, there is convincing proof that they were written before 1610; for Giles, at the close of his "Christ's Victory," printed in this year, thus beautifully alludes not only to his brother's Purple Island, but to his eclogues, as previous compositions:

But let the Kentish lad, that lately taught
His oaten reed the trumpets silver sound,
Young Thyrsilis; and for his music brought

The willing spheres from Heav'n, to lead around

The dancing nymphs and swains, that sung, and crown'd
Eclectas Hymen with ten thousand flowers

Of choicest praise, and hung her heav'nly bow'rs
With saffron garlands, dress'd for nuptial paramours;

Let his shrill trumpet, with her silver blast
Of fair Eclecta, and her spousal bed,
Be the sweet pipe, and smooth encomiast:
But my green Muse, hiding her younger head,
Under old Camus's flaggy banks, that spread
Their willow locks abroad, and all the day
With their own wa'try shadows wanton play:

Dares not those high amours, and love-sick songs assay.'

It is, indeed, highly probable, that they were composed even before he took his bachelor's degree; for, in the dedication of his " Purple Island to his learned friend, Edward Benlowes, Esq., he terms them "raw essays of my very unripe years, and almost childhood."†

The "Purple Island," is an allegorical description, in twelve cantos, of the corporeal and intellectual functions of man. Its interest and effect have been greatly injured by a too minute investigation of anatomical facts; the first five cantos being little else than a lecture in rhyme, and productive more of disgust than any other sensation. In the residue of the poem, the bard bursts forth with unshackled splendour, and the passions and mental powers are personified with great brilliancy of imagination, and great warmth of colouring. Like his brother, however, he is defective in taste; the great charm of composition, simplicity, is too often lost amid the mazes of quaint conception and meretricious ornament. Yet are there passages interspersed through this allegory, of exqui site tenderness and sweetness, alike simple and correct in diction, chaste in creative power, and melodious in versification.



"The Piscatory Eclogues," to novelty of scenery add many passages genuine and delightful poetry, and the music of the verse is often highly gratifying to the ear; but many of the same faults are discernible in these pieces, which we remarked in the "Purple Island;" pedantry and forced conceits occasionally intrude, and, though the poet has not injured the effect of his delineations by coarseness, or rusticity of expression, he has sometimes forgotten the simple elegance which should designate the pastoral muse.

Our author was presented to the living of Hilgay, in Norfolk, in 1621, and died there about the year 1650.

18. Gascoigne, GEORGE, the son of Sir John Gascoigne, was descended from an ancient family in Essex, and after a private education under the care of Stephen Nevinson, L.L.D., he was sent to Cambridge, and from thence to Gray's

• Chalmers's English Poets, vol. vi. p. 79.

† Ibid. vol. vi. p. 81.

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