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N all my wanderings round this world of care, In all my griefs-and God has given my shareI still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And, as a hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
[OLIVER GOLDSMITH was born at Pallas, in the county of Longford, in Ireland, in 1728; studied at Dublin and Edinburgh; got into disgrace with the authorities; travelled over part of Europe in most poetic indigence, and at length established himself in London, as a contributor to various magazines, and a stock writer for the booksellers. His first poem, "The Traveller," took the town by
There, as I pass'd with careless steps and slow,
The playful children just let loose from school;
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
surprise; and "The Deserted Village" established his reputation as the first poet of his day. The charm of his style, both in poetry and prose, has obtained for his works an appreciation which will last as long as the language in which they were written. He died, in embarrassed circumstances, in 1774.]
FROM AN ELEGY ON COWLEY.
In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill,
For e'en though vanquish'd, he could argue still;
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
From an Elegy on Cowley.
LD mother Wit and Nature gave
Shakespeare and Fletcher all they have ;
Of slower nature got the start;
But both in him so equal are,
None knows which bears the happiest share :
To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own;
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.
SIR JOHN DENHAM.
[SIR JOHN DENHAM, a brave and right loyal cavalier, and an unflinching supporter of the Stuarts, was born in Dublin, in 1615. His father was the Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland. During the troubles of Charles the First's reign he was made governor of Fareham Castle, which fortress he held for the king. He subsequently performed many good offices for the royal family in their adversity. It was he who took the young prince James to France. After the Restoration, he was appointed Surveyor of the King's Buildings. His chief works are "Cooper's Hill," "The Sophy," and "The Progress of Learning." He died in 1668, and was buried by Cowley's side.]
O longer mourn for me when I am dead,
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell;
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
[The works of this transcendent genius are too well known to require a word of comment. SHAKESPEARE was born at Stratford-on-Avon, in 1564; came to London, where he gained a moderate competency and undying fame; and ended his days in peace in his native town, dying on his birthday, April 23rd, 1616.]