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EDMUND WALLER, born at Coleshill, Hertford- Waller had a brother-in-law, named Tomkyns, shire, in March, 1605, was the son of Robert Wal- who was clerk of the queen's council, and possess ler, Esq., a gentleman of an ancient family and good ed great influence in the city among the warm fortune, who married a sister of the celebrated John loyalists. On consulting together, they thought it Hampden. The death of his father during his infancy would be possible to raise a powerful party, which left him heir to an estate of 3500l. a year, at that might oblige the parliament to adopt pacific measperiod an ample fortune. He was educated first at ures, by resisting the payment of the taxes levied Eton, whence he was removed to King's College for the support of the war. About this time Sir in Cambridge. His election to parliament was as Nicholas Crispe formed a design of more dangerous early as between his sixteenth or seventeenth year; import, which was that of exciting the king's and it was not much later that he made his appear-friends in the city to an open resistance of the auance as a poet and it is remarkable that a copy of thority of parliament; and for that purpose he obverses which he addressed to Prince Charles, in his tained a commission of array from his majesty. eighteenth year, exhibits a style and character of This plan appears to have been originally unconversification as perfectly formed as those of his nected with the other; yet the commission was maturest productions. He again served in parlia- made known to Waller and Tomkyns, and the whole ment before he was of age; and he continued his was compounded into a horrid and dreadful plot. services to a later period. Not insensible of the Waller and Tomkyns were apprehended, when the value of wealth, he augmented his paternal fortune pusillanimity of the former disclosed the whole by marriage with a rich city heiress. In the long secret. "He was so confounded with fear," (says intermissions of parliament which occurred after Lord Clarendon,) "that he confessed whatever he 1628, he retired to his mansion of Beaconsfield, had heard, said, thought, or seen, all that he knew where he continued his classical studies, under the of himself, and all that he suspected of others, withdirection of his kinsman Morley, afterwards bishop out concealing any person, of what degree or qualiof Winchester; and he obtained admission to a ty soever, or any discourse which he had ever upon society of able men and polite scholars, of whom any occasion entertained with them." The concluLord Falkland was the connecting medium. sion of this business was, that Tomkyns, and ChaWaller became a widower at the age of twenty-loner, another conspirator, were hanged, and that five: he did not, however, spend much time in Waller was expelled the House, tried, and conmourning, but declared himself the suitor of Lady demned; but after a year's imprisonment, and a fine Dorothea Sydney, eldest daughter of the Earl of of ten thousand pounds, was suffered to go into Leicester, whom he has immortalized under the exile. He chose Rouen for his first place of foreign poetical name of Saccharissa. She is described by exile, where he lived with his wife till his removal him as a majestic and scornful beauty; and he to Paris. In that capital he maintained the appearseems to delight more in her contrast, the gentler ance of a man of fortune, and entertained hospitaAmoret, who is supposed to have been a Lady So-bly, supporting this style of living chiefly by the phia Murray. Neither of these ladies, however, sale of his wife's jewels. At length, after the lapse was won by his poetic strains; and, like another of ten years, being reduced to what he called his man, he consoled himself in a second marriage. rump jewel, he thought it time to apply for per
When the king's necessities compelled him, in mission to return to his own country. He obtained 1640, once more to apply to the representatives this license, and was also restored to his estate, of the people, Waller, who was returned for Ag-though now diminished to half its former rental. mondesham, decidedly took part with the members Here he fixed his abode, at a house built by himwho thought that the redress of grievances should self, at Beaconsfield; and he renewed his courtly precede a vote for supplies; and he made an ener-strains by adulation to Cromwell, now Protector, getic speech on the occasion. He continued during to whom his mother was related. To this usurper three years to vote in general with the Opposition the noblest tribute of his muse was paid. in the Long Parliament, but did not enter into all When Charles II. was restored to the crown, their measures. In particular, he employed much and past character was lightly regarded, the stains cool argument against the proposal for the abolition of that of Waller were forgotten, and his wit and of Episcopacy; and he spoke with freedom and poetry procured him notice at court, and admission severity against some other plans of the House. to the highest circles. He had also sufficient inIn fact, he was at length become a zealous loyalist terest to obtain a seat in the House of Commons, in his inclinations; and his conduct under the dif- in all the parliaments of that reign. The king's ficulties into which this attachment involved him gracious manners emboldened him to ask for the became a source of his indelible disgrace. A short vacant place of provost of Eton college, which was narrative will suffice for the elucidation of this granted him; but Lord Clarendon, then Lord Chancellor, refused to set the seal to the grant, alleging
that by the statutes laymen were excluded from that provostship. This was thought the reason why Waller joined the Duke of Buckingham, in his hostility against Clarendon,
died at Beaconsfield in October, 1687, the 83d year of his age. He left several children by his second wife, of whom, the inheritor of his estate, Edmund, after representing Agmondesham in parliament, became a convert to Quakerism.
On the accession of James II., Waller, then in his 80th year, was chosen representative for Saltash. Waller was one of the earliest poets, who obHaving now considerably passed the usual limit of tained reputation by the sweetness and sonorousness human life, he turned his thoughts to devotion, and of his strains; and there are perhaps few masters composed some divine poems, the usual task in at the present day who surpass him in this parwhich men of gaiety terminate their career. He ticular.
FAIR! that you may truly know,
Joy salutes me, when I set
If sweet Amoret complains, I have sense of all her pains: But for Sacharissa I
Do not only grieve, but die.
All that of myself is mine,
And, those scorching beams to shun,
If the soul had free election
I would not thus long have borne
If not a love, a strong desire
'Tis amazement more than love,
Heaven (as eas'ly scal'd) does know!
Unto that adored dame:
For 'tis not unlike the same,
Which, though not so fierce a flame,
Then smile on me, and I will prove
AMORET, the Milky Way,
Fram'd of many nameless stars!
The smooth stream, where none can say,
Amoret, my lovely foe!
Tell me where thy strength does lie?
By that snowy neck alone,
Or thy grace in motion seen,
Yet thy waist is straight, and clean,
ANGER, in hasty words, or blows,
For women, born to be controll'd,
With tyrants' force, whose law is will,
While her high pride does scarce descend
So the tall stag, upon the brink
MARRIAGE OF THE DWARFS.
DESIGN or Chance make others wive,
To him, for whom Heav'n seem'd to frame,
Thrice happy is that humble pair,
To him the fairest nymphs do show
Ah! Chloris! that kind Nature thus
TO MY LORD PROTECTOR,
Of the Present Greatness, and Joint Interest, of his Highness and this Nation.
WHILE with a strong, and yet a gentle, hand,
Let partial spirits, still aloud complain,
Above the waves as Neptune show'd his face,
Your drooping country, torn with civil hate,
The sea's our own: and now, all nations greet,
Heaven (that hath plac'd this island to give law,
Hither th' oppressed shall henceforth resort,
Fame, swifter than your winged navy, flies
With such a chief the meanest nation blest,
Lords of the world's great waste, the ocean, wo
Angels and we have this prerogative,
Our little world, the image of the great,
As Egypt does not on the clouds rely,
The taste of hot Arabia's spice we know,
To dig for wealth, we weary not our limbs; Gold, though the heaviest metal, hither swims. Ours is the harvest where the Indians mow, We plow the deep, and reap what others sow.
Things of the noblest kind our own soil breeds; Stout are our men, and warlike are our steeds: Rome, though her eagle through the world had flown, Could never make this island all her own.
Here the third Edward, and the Black Prince too,
When for more worlds the Macedonian cried,
He safely might old troops to battle lead, Against th' unwarlike Persian and the Mede, Whose hasty flight did, from a bloodless field, More spoils than honor to the victor yield.
A race unconquer'd, by their clime made bold,
Whom the old Roman wall, so ill confin'd,
With a new chain of garrisons you bind :
Your never-failing sword made war to cease, And now you heal us with the acts of peace; Our minds with bounty and with awe engage, Invite affection, and restrain our rage.
Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won,
To pardon, willing, and to punish, loth,
When Fate or error had our age misled,
One! whose extraction from an ancient line
Oft have we wonder'd, how you hid in peace A mind proportion'd to such things as these; How such a ruling spirit you could restrain, And practise first over yourself to reign.
Your private life did a just pattern give,
But when your troubled country call'd you forth,
Still, as you rise, the state, exalted too,
Here foreign gold no more shall make them come; Chang'd like the world's great scene! when withou Our English iron holds them fast at home.
They, that henceforth must be content to know
Preferr'd by conquest, happily o'erthrown,
Like favor find the Irish, with like fate
Holland, to gain your friendship, is content
In our late fight, when cannons did diffuse,
The rising sun night's vulgar lights destroys.
Had you, some ages past, this race of glory
This Cæsar found; and that ungrateful age,
That sun once set, a thousand meaner stars
If Rome's great senate could not wield that sword
You! that had taught them to subdue their foes,
So, when a lion shakes his dreadful mane,
As the vex'd world, to find repose, at last Itself into Augustus' arms did cast;
So England now does, with like toil opprest, Her weary head upon your bosom rest.
Then let the Muses, with such notes as these,
Tell of towns storm'd, of armies over-run,
Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,
To crown your head, while you in triumph ride
OF ENGLISH VERSE.
POETS may boast, as safely vain,
Their works shall with the world remain :
But who can hope his line should long Last, in a daily-changing tongue? While they are new, envy prevails; And as that dies, our language fails.
When architects have done their part,
Poets, that lasting marble seek,
Chaucer his sense can only boast,
The beauties, which adorn'd that age, The shining subjects of his rage, Hoping they should immortal prove, Rewarded with success his love.
This was the gen'rous poet's scope; And all an English pen can hope; To make the fair approve his flame, That can so far extend their fame.
Verse, thus design'd, has no ill fate,
THE STORY OF
PHOEBUS AND DAPHNE
THYRSIS, a youth of the inspired train,
Or form some image of his cruel fair.
Go, lovely Rose!
Tell her, that wastes her time and me, That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet, and fair, she seems to be.
Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
In deserts, where no men abide,
Small is the worth
Of beauty, from the light retir'd:
Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
How small a part of time they share,
PHYLLIS! why should we delay Pleasures shorter than the day? Could we (which we never can!) Stretch our lives beyond their span,