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So slender waist with such an abbot's loin,
Did never sober nature sure conjoin.

Lik'st a straw scare-crow in the new-sown field,
Rear'd on some stick, the tender corn to shield.
Or if that semblance suit not every deal,

Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.


53. Robert Southwell. 1560-1595. (Manual, p. 86.)


The lopped tree in time may grow again,

Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower; The sorriest wight may find release of pain,

The driest soil suck in some moistening shower: Time goes by turns, and chances change by course, From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.

The sea of fortune doth not ever flow,

She draws her favors to the lowest ebb: Her tides have equal times to come and go;

Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web:
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.

Not always fall of leaf, nor ever spring;
Not endless night, yet not eternal day:
The saddest birds a season find to sing,

The roughest storm a calm may soon allay.
Thus, with succeeding turns, God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall.

A chance may win that by mischance was lost;
That net that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are cross'd ;
Few all they need, but none have all they wish.
Unmingled joys here to no man befall;

Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all.

54. Giles Fletcher. (Manual, p. 87.)

[From Christ's Victory in Heaven.]


Upon two stony tables, spread before her,
She leant her bosom, more than stony hard;
There slept th' impartial judge and strict restorer
Of wrong or right, with pain or with reward;
There hung the score of all our debts-the card
Where good, and bad, and life, and death, were painted:
Was never heart of mortal so untainted,

But, when that scroll was read, with thousand terrors fainted.

Witness the thunder that Mount Sinai heard,
When all the hill with fiery clouds did flame,
And wand'ring Israel, with the sight afear'd,
Blinded with seeing, durst not touch the same,
But like a wood of shaking leaves became.
On this dead Justice, she, the living law,
Bowing herself with a majestic awe,

All heaven, to hear her speech, did into silence draw.

55. William Drummond. 1585-1649. (Manual, p. 88.)


Sleep, Silence' child, sweet father of soft rest,
Prince, whose approach peace to all mortals brings,
Indifferent host to shepherds and to kings,
Sole comforter of minds with grief oppress'd;
Lo, by thy charming rod, all breathing things
Lie slumbering, with forgetfulness possess'd,
And yet o'er me to spread thy drowsy wings
Thou sparʼst, alas! who cannot be thy guest.

Since I am thine, O come, but with that face
To inward light, which thou art wont to show,
With feigned solace ease a true-felt woe;

Or if, deaf god, thou do deny that grace,
Come as thou wilt, and what thou wilt bequeath;
I long to kiss the image of my death.



56. Sir Philip Sydney, 1554-1586. (Manual, p. 78.)
[For his Poetry, see page 49.]

From the Defence of Poesy.


Now therein (that is to say, the power of at once teaching and enticing to do well)—now therein, of all sciences-I speak still of human and according to human conceit—is our poet the monarch. For he doth not only show the way, but giveth so sweet a prospect into the way, as will entice any man to enter into it. Nay, he doth, as if your journey should lie through a fair vineyard, at the very first give you a cluster of grapes, that, full of that taste, you may long to pass further. He beginneth not with obscure definitions, which must blur the margent with interpretations, and load the memory with doubtfulness; but he cometh to you with words set in delightful proportion, either accompanied with, or prepared for, the well-enchanting skill of music; and with a tale, forsooth, he cometh unto you with a tale which holdeth children from play, and old men from the chimney-corner; and pretending no more, doth intend the winning of the mind from wickedness to virtue, even as the child is often brought to take most wholesome things, by hiding them in such other as have a pleasant taste. For even those hardhearted evil men, who think virtue a school name, and know no other good but indulgere genio, and therefore despise the austere admonitions of the philosopher, and feel not the inward reason they stand upon, yet will be content to be delighted; which is all the good-fellow poet seems to promise; and so steal to see the form of goodness-which, seen, they cannot but love ere themselves be aware, as if they had taken a medicine of cherries. By these, therefore, examples and reasons, I think it may be manifest that the poet, with that same hand of delight, doth draw the mind more effectually than any other art doth. And so a conclusion not unfitly ensues, that as virtue is the most excellent resting-place for all worldly

learning to make an end of, so poetry, being the most familiar to teach it, and most princely to move towards i, in the most excellent work is the most excellent workman.

Since, then, poetry is of all human learning the most ancient, and of most fatherly antiquity, as from whence other learnings have taken their beginnings;—Since it is so universal that no learned nation doth despise it, no barbarous nation is without it;-Since both Roman and Greek gave such divine names unto it, the one of prophesying, the other of making; and that, indeed, that name of making is fit for it, considering that whereas all other arts retain themselves within their subject, and receive, as it were, their being from it,―the poet, only, bringeth his own stuff, and doth not learn a conceit out of the matter, but maketh matter for a conceit;-Since, neither his description nor end containing any evil, the thing described cannot be evil;-Since his effects be so good as to teach goodness and delight the learners of it;-Since therein (namely, in moral doctrine, the chief of all knowledge) he doth not only far pass the historian, but, for instructing, is well nigh comparable to the philosopher, and for moving, leaveth him behind ;-Since the Holy Scripture (wherein there is no uncleanness) hath whole parts in it poetical, and that even our Saviour Christ vouchsafed to use the flowers of it;-Since all its kinds are not only in their united forms, but in their severed dissections fully commendable :-I think-(and I think I think rightly)—the laurel crown appointed for triumphant captains, doth worthily, of all other learnings, honor the poet's triumph.

57. Sir Walter Raleigh, 1552-1618. (Manual, p. 90.)

[For his Poetry, see page 50.]

From the History of the World.



If we seek a reason of the succession and continuance of boundless ambition in mortal men, we may add, that the kings and princes of the world have always laid before them the actions, but not the ends of those great ones which preceded them. They are always transported with the glory of the one, but they never mind the misery of the other, till they find the experience in themselves. They neglect the advice of God while they enjoy life, or hope it, but they follow the counsel of death upon his first approach. It is he that puts into man all the wisdom of the world without speaking a word, which God, with all the words of his law, promises, or threats, doth not infuse. Death, which hateth and destroyeth man, is believed; God, which hath

made him and loves him, is always deferred. "I have considered," saith Solomon, "all the works that are under the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit;" but who believes it, till death tells it us? It was death, which, opening the conscience of Charles V., made him enjoin his son Philip to restore Navarre, and King Francis I. of France to command that justice should be done upon the murderers of the protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres, which till then he neglected. It is therefore death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant, makes them cry, complain, and repent, yea, even to hate their forepassed happiness. He takes the account of the rich, and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest in nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness, and they acknowledge it.

O eloquent, just, and mighty death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised; thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, hic jacet!

58. Richard Hooker, 1553-1598. (Manual, p. 92.)

From the Ecclesiastical Polity.


The stateliness of houses, the goodliness of trees, when we behold them, delighteth the eye; but that foundation which beareth up the one, that root which ministreth unto the other nourishment and life, is in the bosom of the earth concealed; and if there be occasion at any time to search into it, such labor is then more necessary than pleasant, both to them which undertake it, and for the lookers on. In like manner, the use and benefit of good laws all that live under them may enjoy with delight and comfort, albeit the grounds and first original causes from whence they have sprung be unknown, as to the greatest part of men they are.

Since the time that God did first proclaim the edicts of his law upon the world, heaven and earth have hearkened unto his voice, and their labor hath been to do his will. He made a law for the rain; he gave his decree unto the sea, that the waters should not pass his commandment. Now, if nature should intèrmit her course, and leave altogether, though it were for a while, the observation of her

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