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“O see, Constantia ! my short race is run;
THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF
PYRAMUS AND THISBE.
More my short time permits me not to tell,
TO INE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL, MY VERY LOVING MASTER well !”
MR. LAMBERT OSBOLSTON,
CHIEP SCHOOL-MASTER OP WESTMINSTER SCHOOL.
SIR, Which was so bright, 'is like, when life was My childish Muse is in her spring, and yet done,
Can only show some budding of her wit. A star that's fall’n, or an eclipsed sun.
Onc frown upon her work, !earn'd sir, from you, Thither Philocrates was driven by Fate,
Like some unkinder storm shot from your brow, And saw his friend lie bleeding on the carth;
Would turn her spring to withering autumn's time, Near bis pale corpse his weeping sister sate,
And make her blossoms perish ere their priine. Her eyes shed tears, her heart to sighs gave
But if you smile, if in your gracious eye birth.
She an auspicious alpha can descry, Philocrates, when he saw this, did cry,
How soon will they grow fruit ! how fresh appear! “ Friend, I'll revenge, or bear thee company!
That had such beams their infancy to chear!
Which being sprung to ripeness, expect then « Just Jove hath sent me to revenge bis fate;
The earliest offering of her grateful pen. Nay, stay, Guisardo, think not Heaven in jest:
Your most dutiful scholar, 'Tis vain to hope flight can secure thy state." Then thrust his sword into the villain's breast.
ABR. COWLEY. “Here,” said Philocrates, “ thy life I send
A sacrifice, t appease my slaughter'd friend.” But, as he fell, “ Take this reward,” said he,
PYRAMUS AND THISBE. “ For thy new victory.” With that he flung
Wien Babylon's high walls erected were
By mighty Ninus' wife, two houses join'd:
One Thisbe liv'd in, Pyramus the fair With that he falls, but, lifting up his eyes, “ Farewell , Constantia!” that word 'said, he In the other: Earth ne'er boasted such a pair!
The very senseless walls themselves combin'd, dies.
And grew in one, just like their master's inind. What shall she do ? She to her brother runs, His cold and lifeless body does embrace;
Thisbe all other women did excel, She calls to him that cannot hear her moans,
The queen of lore less lovely was than she: And with her kisses warms his clammy face.
And Pyramus more sweet than tongue can tell; “ My dear Philocrates !” she, weeping, cries,
Nature grew proud in framing them so well. “Speak to thy sister !” but no voice replies.
But Venus, envying they so fair should be,
Bids her son Cupid show his cruelty.
The all-subduing god his bow doth bend, “ O stay, blest soul, stay but a little here,
Whets and prepares his most remorseless dart, And take ine with you to a lasting rest.
Which he unseen unto their hearts did send, Then to Elysium's mansions both shall ny,
And so was Love the cause of Beauty's end. Be married there, and never more to die.”
But could he see, he bad not wrought their smart;
For pity sure would have o'crcome his heart. But, seeing them both deal, she cry'd, “ Ah me! Ah, my Philetus ! for thy sake will i
Like as a bird, which in a net is ta’en, Make up a full and perfect tragedy :
By struggling more entangles in the gin; Since 'twas for me, dear love, that thou didst So they, who in Love's labyrinth remain, die,
With striving never can a freedom gain. PH follow thee, and not thy loss deplore;
The way to enter's broad; but, being in, These eyes, that saw thee kill'd, shall see no
No art, no labour can an exit win.
These lovers, though their parents did reprore “ It shall not sure he said that thou didst die,
Their fires, and watched their deeds with jealousy; And thy Constantia live when thou wast slain :
Though in these storms no comfort could remove No, no, dear soul! I will not stay from thee;
The various doubts and fears that cool hot love; That will reflect upon my valued fame."
Though he nor her's, nor she his face could see, Then piercing her sad breast,“ I come !" she
Yet this could not abolish Love's decree; cries,
Por age had crack'd the wall which did them part; And Death for ever clos'd her weeping eyes. This the unanimous couple soon did spy, Her soul being fed to its eternal rest,
And here their inward sorrows did impart, Her father coines, and, secing this, he falls
Unlading the sad burthen of their heart. To th' earth, with grief too great to be exprest :
Though Love be blind, this shows he can descry Whose doletul worus my tired Muse me calls
A way to lessen his own misery.
Of odoriferous breath ; no other sport
So she, who fetcheth lustre from their sight, They could enjoy ; yet think the time but short, Doth purpose to destroy their glorious light. And wish that it again renewed were,
Unto the mulberry-tree fairThisbe came; To suck each other's breath for ever there.
Where having rested long, at last she 'gan
A little while before her death, she sang :
Come, lore! why stayest thou ? the night And by their tears could understand their smart: Will vanish ere we taste delight:
But it was hand and knew not what they meant, The Moon obscures herself from sight,
Thou absent, whose eyes give her light.
Or we by Morn shall be o'erta'en ; Breaks thorough all thy flinty cruelty !
Love's joy's thine own as well as mine; For both our souls so closely joined lie,
Spend not therefore the time in vain. That nought but angry Death can them re
HERE doubtful thoughts broke off her pleasant move; And though he part them, yet they'll meet
And for her lover's stay sent many a sigh;
Her Pyramus, she thought, did tarry long, Abortive tears from their fair eyes out-flow'd,
And that his absence did her too much wrong. And damm'd the lovely splendour of their sight,
Then, betwixt longing hope and jealousy, Which seem'd like Titan,wh Ist some watery cloud
She fears, yet's loth to tax, his loyalty. O'erspreads his face, and bis bright beams duth shroud;
Sometimes she thinks that he hath her forsaken; Till V'esper chas'd away the conquer'd light, Sometimes, that danger hath befallen him : And forced thein (though loth) to bid good- She fears that he another love hath taken; night.
Which, being but imagin'd, soon doth waken
Numberless thoughts, which on her heart did But ere Aurora, usher to the day,
Fears, that her future fate too truly sing. [Aing Began with welcome lustre to appear, The lorers rise, and at that cranny they
While she thus musing sat, ran frons the wood Thus to each other their thoughts open lay,
An angry lion to the crystal springs, With many a sigh and many a speaking tear ;
Near to that place; who coming from his food, Whose grief the pitying Morning blusht to hear. His chaps were all besmear'd with crimson blood :
Swifter thay thought, sweet Thisbe strait begins “Dear love!” said Pyramus, “how long shall we,
To fly from him; fear gave her swallows' wings, Like fairest flowers not gather'd in their prime, W'aste precious youth, and let advantage flee,
As she avoids the lion, her desire Till we bewail (at last) our cruelty
Bids her to stay, lest Pyramus should come, Upon ourselves ? for beauty, though it shine
And be devour'd by the stern lion's ire, Like day, will quickly find an evening-time.
So sbe for ever burn in unquench'd fire :
But fear expels all reasons; she doth run “ Therefore, sweet Thisbe, let us meet this night
Into a darksome cave, ne'er seen by sun.
For mounting love, stopt in its course, doth fall, With bloody teeth he tore in pieces small;
For, could the senseless beast her face descry, “ What though our cruel parents angry be?
It had not done her such an injury.
The night half wasted, Pyramus did come;
Who, seeing printed in the yielding sand Who lets slip Fortune, her shall never find ; The lion's paw, and by the founta n some Occasion, once pass'd by, is bald behind.” Of Thisbe's garment, sorrow struck him durnb;
Just like a marble statue did he stand,
Cut by some skilsul graver's artful hand.
Recovering breath, at Fate he did exclaim, Which Venus seeing, with blind Chance conspir'd, Washing with tears the torn and bloody weed :
And many a charming accent to her sent, “ I may,” said he, “ myself for her death blame; That she (at last) would frustrate their intent. Therefore my blood shall wash away that shame:
Since she is dead, whose beauty doth exceed Thus Beauty is by Beauty's means undone,
All that frail man can either bear or read." Striving to close those eyes that make her bright; Just like the Moon, which seeks t'ec'ipse the Sun, This spoke, he drew his fatal sword, and said, Wbence all ber splendor, all her beams, do come: “ Receive my crimson blood, as a due debt
Unto thy constant love, to which ’tis paid:
And on his love he rais'd his dying head: I strait will meet thee in the pleasant shade
Where, striving long for breath, at last, said he, Of cool Elysium ; where we, being met,
“ () Thisbe, I am hasting to the dead, Shall taste those joys that here we could not get.” | And cannot heal that wound my fear hath bred: Then through his breast thrusting his sword, life hies
Farewell, sweet Thishe! we must parted be, From him, and he makes haste to seek his fair:
For angry Death will force me soon from thee." And as upon the colour'd ground he lies,
Life did from him, he from his mistress, part, His blood had dropt upon the mulberries;
Leaving his love to languish here in woe. With which th’unspotted berries stained were, What shall she do? How shall she ease her heart? And ever since with red they colour'd are,
Or with what language speak her inward smart? At last fair Thisbe left the den, for fear
Usurping passion reason doth o'erflow, Of disappointing Pyramus, since she
She vows that with her Pyramus she'll go: Was bound by promise for to meet him there : Then takes the sword wberewith her love was slain, But when she saw the berries changed were
With Pyramus's crimson blood warm still; From white to black, she knew not certainly And said, “Oh stay, blest soul, awhile refrain, It was the place where they agreed to be.
That xe may go together, and remain With what delight from the dark cave she came,
In endless joys, and never fear the ill Thinking to tell how she escap'd the beast!
Of grudying friends !”—Then she herself did kill. But, when she saw her Pyramus lie slain,
To tell what grief their parents did sustain, Ah ! how perplex'd did her sad soul remain ! Were more than my rude quill can overcome;
She tears her golden hair, and beats her breast, Much did they weep and grieve, but all in vain, And every sign of raging grief exprest.
For weeping calls not back the dead again. She blames all-powerful Jove ; and strives to take
Both in one grave were laid, when life was done ; His bleeding body from the moisten’d ground.
And these few words were writ upon the tomb: She kisses his pale face, till she doth make It red with kissing, and then seeks to wake
EPITAPH. His parting soul with mournful words; his found
UNDERNEATH this marble stone, Washes with tears, that her sweet speech con
Lie two beauties join'd in one. found.
Two, whose loves deaths could not sever; But afterwards, recovering breath, said she,
For both liv'd, both dy'd together. , “ Alas! what chance hath parted thee and I? O tell what evil hath befall’n to thee,
Two, whose souls, being too divine
For earth, in their own sphere now shine.
S Y L V A:
DIVERS COPIES OF VERSES,
MADE UPON SUNDRY OCCASIONS.
DE FELICI PARTU REGLVE MARIÆ.? ¡A te sic vinci magnus quàm gaulezt ille!
Vix hostes tanti vel superâsse fuit.
Jam tua plus vivit pictura; at proxima fiet
Regis, et in methodo te peperisse juvat.
O bona conjugii concors discordia vestri! Pere iterum nobis, late December, ades.
( sancta hæc inter jurgia vetus amor! Ite, quibus lusum Bacchusque Ceresque ministrant,
Non Caroli puro respirans vultus in auro Et risum vitis lacryma rubra movet.
Tam populo (et notuin est quàm placet ille) Nos sine lætitiæ strepitu, sine murmure læti:
placet. Ipsa dies norit vix sibi verba dari.
Da veniam, hîc omnes nimium quòd simus avari; Cum corda arcanâ saltant festiva chorea, Cur perle vel tellus trita frequente sonet ?
Da veniam, hic animos quod satiare nequis.
Cúmque (sed ô nostris fiat lux serior annis) Quidve bibat Regi, quam perdit turba, salutem ?
In currum ascendas læta per astra tuum, Sint mea pro tanto sobria vota viro.
Natorum in facie tua viva et mollis imago Crede mihi, non sunt, non sunt ea gaudia vera,
Non minus in terris, quàm tua sculpta, regat. Quæ fiunt pompa gaudia vera sua. VICISTI tandem, vicisti, casta Maria;
Abrahamus Cowley, T[rin). C[oll]. Cedit de sexu Carolus ipse suo.
? From the ETNNAIA, sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium Consentus et Congratulatio, ad serenissimum Britanniarum Regem Carolum, de quinta sua sobole [Princess Ame), clarissima Principe, sibi nuper felicissimmè nata. Cantabrigiæ, 1637. I doubt not but it will prove a pleasing amusement to the curious reader, to trace the first dawnings of genins in some of our first-rate poetic characters; and to compare them with the eminence they afterwards attained to, and the rank they at last held among their brethren of the laurel. Some early speciinens of Dryden's genius may be seen in the first volume of his poems. Those of Cowley, here printed, abound with strokes of wit, some true, but the far greater part false ; which thoroughly characterise the writer, and may be justly pronounced to point out his genius and manner, in miniature. K.--This species of entertaininent the kind attention of Mr. Kynaston (the friend to whom I owe these remarks) enables me considerably to extend, by furnishing the earliest poetical productions of some writers who are now universally looked up to as excellent; none of which are to be found in any edition of their respective works. In such juvenile performances, it is well observed by an admirable critic, “the absurd conceits and extravagant fancies are the truc seeds and germs, which afterwards ripen, by proper culture, into the most luxuriant harvests.” See Annual Register, 1779, p. 180. J. N.
IN FELICISSIMAM REGINE MARIÆ, / Leave off then, London, to accuse the starres
For adding a worse terrour to the warres ;
Nor quarrel with the Ileavens, 'cause they beginne Naturæ facies renovatur quolibet anno,
To send the worst effect and scorge of sinne, Et sese mirùm fertilis ipsa parit.
That dreadfull plague, which wheresoe're't abide, Sic quoque Naturæ exemplar Regina, decusque, Devours both man and each disease beside. In foetu toties se videt ipsa novam,
For every life which from great Charles does flow, Penè omnem signas tam sæpè puerpera mensem, And 's female self, weighs down a crowd of low Et cupit à partu nomen habere tuo.
And vulgar souls : Fate rids of them the Earth, Quæque tuos toties audit Lucina laborcs,
To make more room for a great prince's birth. Vix ipsa in proprio sæpiùs Orbe tumet.
So when the Sunne, after his watrie rest, Fæcundam semper spectabis Jane, Mariam, Comes dancing from his chamber of the east, Sive hâc sive illâ fronte videre voles.
A thousand pettie lamps, spread ore the skie, Discite, subjecti, officium: Regina Marito Shrink in their doubtfull beams, then wink, and die: Annua jam toties ipsa tributa dedit.
Yet no man grieres; the very birds arise, Dum redit à sanctis non fessus Carolus aris,
And sing glad notes in stead of elegies : Principis occurit numtia fama novi.
The leaves and painted Mowers, which did crewhile Non mirum, existat cùm proximus ipse Tonanti,
Tremble with mournfull drops, beginne to smile. Vicinum attingunt quòd cito vuta Deum.
The losse of many why should they bemone, Non mirum, cùm sit tam sanctâ mente precatus,
Who for them more than many have in one? Quòd precibus merces tam properata venit.
How blest must thou thy self, bright Mary, be, Factura ô longùm nobis jejunia festum !
Who by thy wombe can'st blesse our miserie? O magnas epulas exhibitura fames !
May 't still be fruitful! May your offspring too En fundunt gemitum et lacrymarum flumina ; tur- Spread largely, as your fame and virtues do !
Fill Cum Reginâ ipsa'm parturiisse putes. [bam
every season thus : Time, which devours Credibile est puerum populi sensisse dolores;
It's own sonnes, will be glad and proud of yours. Edidit hinc mastos flebilis ipse sonos.
So will the year (though sure it weari'd be
With often revulutions) when 't shall see
Joy to return into it self again.
A. Cowley, A. B. T[rin). Coll) UPON THE HAPPIE BIRTH OF THE
AN ELEGY doth call,
ON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE DUDLEY Whilst warre is fear'd, and conquest hop'd by all,
LORD CARLETON, VISCOUNT DORCHESTER, LATE The severall shires their various forces lend,
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF STATE.
Of all the fiends, to the black Stygian hall;
Of their accursed meeting, thither came. When a new sonne doth his blest stock adorn, Revenge, whose greedy mind no blood can fill, Then to great Charles is a new armje born.
And Envy, never satisfy'd with ill: In private births hopes challenge the first place: Thither blind Boldness, and impatient Rage, There's certaintie at first in the king's race; Resorted, with Death's neighbour, envious Age. And we may say, Such will his glories be,
These, to oppress the Earth, the Furies sents: Such his great acts, and, yet not prophesie. The council thus dissolv'd, an angry Fever, I see in bim his father's boundlesse sprite,
Whose quenchless thirst by blood was sated never, Powerfullas fame, yet gentle as the light. Envying the riches, honour, greatness, love, I see him through an adverse battle thrust,
And virtue (load-stone, that all these did move) Bedeck'd with noble sweat and comely dust. Of noble Carleton, him she took away, I see the pietie of the day appeare,
And, like a greedy vulture, seiz'd her prey. Joyn'd with the heate and valour of the yeare, Weep with me, each who either reads or hears, Which happie Fate did to this birth allow : And know his loss deserves his country's tears! I see all this; for sure 'tis present now.
The Muses lost a patron by his fate,
Virtue a husband, and a prop the State. . From the Voces Votivæ ab Academicis Can-Sol's chorus weeps, and, to adorn his hearse, tabrigiensibus pro novissimo Caroli et Mariæ Prin- Calliope would sing a tragic verse. cipe Filio, emissæ. Cantabrigiæ, 1640.
And, had there been before no spring of theirs, 9 Henry, who was declared by his father duke of They would have made a Helicon with tears. Gloucester in 1641, but not so created till May 13,
ABR. COWLEY. 1659. He died September 13, 1660.-The Verses are taken from the Voces Votivæ, &c. 1640. 1 Something is here wanting, as appears from J. N.
the want both of rhyme and connection. J. N.