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ladies who have from time to time held sway over his affecThe piece is full of liveliness and go:


Margarita first possessed,

If I remember well, my breast,

Margarita first of all;

But when awhile the wanton maid
With my restless heart had played,
Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catherine;

Beauteous Catherine gave place
(Tho' loth and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.
Eliza to this hour might reign
Had she not evil counsels ta'en:
Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favourites she chose,
in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.


Mary then, and gentle Anne,
Both to reign at once began;

Alternately they swayed;

And sometimes Mary was the fair,

And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,

And sometimes both I obeyed.

At last-after another Mary, and a Rebecca, and a Judith, and a Susanna, and an Isabella, and a Susan, and a Bess, and half-a-dozen others have been named-the poet comes to his present emperess:'

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Heleonora, first o' the name,
Whom God grant long to reign!

O si sic omnes! This and two or three other lyrics, equally familiar, are really all of Cowley's poetical performances

* A living poet has done very much the same thing in one of his productions. See Mr. Austin Dobson's Pot-Pourri' (Vignettes in Rhyme).

which can now be read with pleasure-that is to say, without effort and without boredom.

We have a very different caterer in Robert HerrickHerrick, the Anacreon of England-who, with all his quaintness, is but rarely obscure, and is very often as clear and limpid as the most cherished of the moderns. His wit and humour are chiefly in the form of epigrams, though occasionally he ventures on a longer flight. Take, for example, these lines, in description of one of those mean hosts on whom the older epigrammatists delighted to pour the vitriol of their scorn. It is called 'The Invitation :'

To sup with thee thou didst me home invite,
And mad'st a promise that mine appetite
Should meet and tire on such lautitious meat,
The like not Heliogàbalus did eat;

And richer wine wouldst give to me, thy guest,
Than Roman Sylla poured out at his feast.
I came, 'tis true, and looked for fowl of price,
The bustard, phoenix, bird of paradise;
And for no less than aromatic wine

Of maiden's-blush commixed with jessamine.
Clean was the hearth, the mantel larded jet,
Which, wanting Lar and smoke, hung weeping wet.
At last, i' the noon of winter, did appear

A ragg'd soused neat's-foot with sick vinegar,
And in a burnished flagonet stood by
Beer small as comfort, dead as charity.

At which amazed, and pondering on the food-
How cold it was, and how it chilled my blood-
I cursed the master and I damned the souce,
And swore I'd got the ague of the house.
Well, when to eat thou dost me next desire,
I'll bring a fever, since thou keep'st no fire.

Herrick's epigrams are chiefly in the direction of personal characterisation. Here, for example, is his quatrain on a hunting parson :

* Born 1591, died 1674. The Noble Numbers appeared in 1647, the Hesperides in 1648.

Old Parson Beans hunts six days of the week,
And on the seventh he has his notes to seek;
Six days he halloas so much breath away

That on the seventh he can nor preach nor pray.

Here is his description of a stingy fellow, under the heading

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of The Gout in the Hand:'

Urles had the gout, so that he could not stand;

Then from his feet it shifted to his hand.

When it was in his feet his charity was small,
Now it is in his hand he gives no alms at all.

A hundred years after Herrick a portrait like this would have been expanded into a satire; nowadays it would be extended into a long-winded essay. Herrick was contented to produce his lines and leave them to be handed to posterity.



The first great English Satirist-John Dryden—' Absalom and Achitophel'-' Mackflecknoe'-Epigrams-Samuel Butler-Hudibras'-Lines on Holland-Andrew Marvell-Lines on Holland-John Phillips-The Splendid Shilling'-Edmund Waller-Epigrams-William Walsh -The Despairing Lover'-Epigram-Earl of Rochester -Epigrams-Earl of Dorset Lines Written at Sea' -Duke of Buckinghamshire-Epigrams-Sir Charles Sedley-Epigram.

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