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THOMAS FLATMAN was born in 1633. He has been honored by Wood with the title of an eminent poet; and though his writings may not entitle him to such a distinction, there is still sufficient beauty in his pieces to show that the censure bestowed on him by some recent critics is wholly undeserved. He died in 1688. Addison borrowed the first of his minor poems from Flatman's “ Thought of Death.”
HYMN FOR THE MORNING.
AWAKE, my soul! awake, mine eyes!
and see the unwearied sun,
My life unblameable and pure ; That when the last of all my days is come, Cheerful and fearless I may
FOR THE EVENING.
SLEEP! downy sleep! come close mine eyes,
On your soft bosom will I lie,
A THOUGHT OF DEATH.
When on my sickbed I languish,
Panting, groaning, speechless, dying,
Oh tell me, you
What shall I do! What shall I think, when cruel death appears, That may extenuate my
fears! Methinks I hear some gentle spirit say,
Be not fearful, come away! Think with thyself that now thou shalt be free, And find thy long-expected liberty ; Better thou mayst, but worse thou canst not be Than in this vale of tears and misery. Like Cæsar, with assurance then come on, And unamazed attempt the laurel crown That lies on th' other side death's rubicon.
REV. JOHN NORRIS.
John Norris, author of numerous theological works, and of “A Collection of Miscellanies, consisting of Poems, Essays, Discourses, and Letters,” was born in 1657. It has been justly said, that“ in the union of learning and logical argument with sublime piety, few have equalled Norris of Bemerton.” In his poem “ Transient Delight,” is the line,
Like angels' visits, short and bright, the original of the passage in Blair's “ Grave”.
Like angels' visits, few and far between.
FAREWELL fruition, thou grand, cruel chcat,
Thou mystery of fallacies.
So to the unthinking boy the distant sky
And yet 'twas long ere I could throughly see
But now he shall no more with shows deceive,
I care not, though it be
We poets can a license show
For every thing we do :
If now thy happy mind,
To attend to any thing so low,
As what I say or do,
Let not the blessed above
Fain would I thy sweet image see,
And sit and talk with thee,
Ah! what delight 'twould be
How should I thy sweet commune prize,
And other joys despise ;
I would not long detain
Nor should thy fellow-saints e'er know
Of thy escape below; ;
Sure heaven must needs thy love
Come, then, and recreate my sight
With rays of thy pure light; 'Twill cheer my eyes more than the lamps above.
But if fate's so severe,
(And by thy absence I shall know
Whether thy state be so,)