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THE SOUL'S ERRAND.

If Potentates reply, Give Potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition

That rule affairs of state,
Their purpose is ambition,

Their practice,-only hate.
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,

They beg for more by spending, Who, in their greatest cost,

Seek nothing but commending. And if they make reply, Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal—it lacks devotion;

Tell Love-it is but lust;
Tell Time-it is but motion ;

Tell Flesh-it is but dust.
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell Age-it daily wasteth;

Tell Honour-how it alters ;
Tell Beauty-how she blasteth;

Tell Favour how she falters.
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell Wit-how much it wrangles

In tickle points of niceness ; Tell Wisdom—she entangles

Herself in over-wiseness. And when they do reply, Straight give them both the lie.

Tell Physic-of her boldness;

Tell Skill—it is pretension ;
Tell Charity-of coldness ;

Tell Law-it is contention.
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell Fortune-of her blindness;

Tell Nature-of decay;
Tell Friendship-of unkindness;

Tell Justice-of delay.

And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell Arts—they have no soundness,

But vary by esteeming;
Tell Schools—they want profoundness,

And stand too much on seeming.
If Arts and Schools reply,
Give Arts and Schools the lie.

Tell Faith-it's fled the City;

Tell-how the Country erreth ;
Tell-Manhood shakes off pity;

Tell—Virtue least preferreth.
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I

Commanded thee, done blabbing,
Although to give the lie

Deserves no less than stabbing,
Yet stab at thee who will,
No stab the Soul can kill.

MICHAEL DRAYTON.

(1563–1631.)

DRAYTON was born of comparatively humble parentage in the parish of Atherstone in Warwickshire. In the capacity of page he obtained the patronage of the great. From his earliest years he displayed a warm enthusiasm to become a poet. He is one of the most voluminous of “the rhyming tribe ;" his works extend to above 100,000 verses. His “ Baron's Wars," a poetical narrative of the civil wars of Edward 11.'s reign, were a tribute to the prevailing taste for poetized history. The work on which Drayton's fame rests is the Polyolbion, a minute chorographical description of England, county by county, stream by stream, and hill by hill, in 30 books of Alexandrine metres. Part of the poem is illustrated with notes by the antiquary Selden. He has left also “ England's Heroical Epistles," and some smaller pieces. Drayton is a pleasing and sparkling writer ; but with no remarkable elevation of fancy or depth of feeling. His great poem tires by the monotony of the measure, and the sameness of its fantastic personi. fications. It is full, however, of fine descriptive passages. Though esteemed to have been of service to James in the intrigues which preceded his accession to the English throne, he was neglected by the king. The facility of Drayton's muse was singular; most of his principal pieces were published before he was thirty years of age.

RT OF FAIRY.
FROM NYMPHIDIA; THE COURT OF FAIRY.

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FROM "NYMPHIDIA; THE COURT OF FAIRY."

PIGWIGGEN'S EQUIPMENT. 1
He quickly arms him for the field,
A little cockle shell his shield,
Which he could very bravely wield,

Yet could it not be pierced ;
His spear a bent both? stiff and strong,
And well near of two inches long,
The pills was of a horse-fly's tongue,

Whose sharpness nought reversed.

And puts him on a coat of mail,
Which was of a fish's scale,
That, when his foe should him assail,

No point should be prevailing ;
His rapier was a hornet's sting,
It was a very dangerous thing,
For if he chanced to hurt the king,

It would be long in healing.

His helmet was a beetle's head,
So horrible and full of dread,
That able was to strike one dead,

Yet it did well become him;
And for a plume a horse's hair,
Which being tossed by the air,
Had force to strike his foe with fear,

And turn his weapon from him.

Himself he on an earwig set,
Yet scarce he on his back could get,
So oft and high he did curvet,

Ere he himself could settle :
He made him turn and stop and bound,
To gallop and to trot the round,
He scarce could stand on any ground,

He was so full of mettle.

FROM " THE POLYOLBION."
PERSONIFICATION OF THE RIVER SEVERN.

Fifth Song.
Now Sabrine,+ as a queen, miraculously fair,
Is absolutely plac'd in her imperial chair
Of crystal richly wrought, that gloriously did shine,
Her grace becoming well, a creature so divine:

1 For a combat with King Oberon.

? A kind of grass ; a rush. Point. frorn Lat pilum, a javelin. • English poetry frequently personifies rivers as feminine. Shakespeare has Severn masculine, 1. Henry IV. Act 1. Sc. 3. ; bu Tyber feminine, Julius Cæsar, Act I. Sc. I.

And as her god-like self, so glorious was her throne,
In which himself to sit great Neptune had been known;
Whereon there were engraved those nymphs the god had wooed,
And every several shape wherein for love he sued;
Each daughter, her estate and beauty, every son;
What nations he had ruled, what countries he had won.
No fish in this wide waste, but with exceeding cost
Was there in antique work most curiously embossed.
She, in a watchet? weed, with many a curious wave,
Which as a princely gift great Amphitrite gave;
Whose skirts were to the knee, with coral fringed below,
To grace her goodly steps. And where she meant to go,
The path was strewed with pearl : which though they orient were,
Yet scarce known from her feet, they were so wondrous clear ;
To whom the mermaids hold her glass, that she may see
Before all other floods how far her beauties be:

THE STAG HUNT.

Thirteenth Song.

Now when the hart doth hear The often bellowing hounds to vent his secret leir, 3 He rousing rusheth out, and through the brakes doth drive, As though up by the roots the bushes he would rive. And, through the cumbrous thicks,4 as fearfully he makes, He with his branchéd head the tender saplings shakes, That sprinkling their moist pearl, do seem for him to weep; When after goes the cry, with yellings loud and deep, That all the forest rings, and every neighbouring place ; And there is not a hound but falleth to the chase. Rechatings with his horn, which then the hunter cheers, Whilst still the lusty stag his high-palmed head up-bears, His body showing state, with unbent knees upright, Expressing, (from all beasts) his courage in his flight. But when, the approaching foes still following, be perceives That he his speed must trust, his usual walk he leaves, And o'er the champain flies : which when the assembly find, Each follows, as his horse were footed with the wind. But being then imbost, the noble stately deer When he hath gotten ground (the kennel cast arrear) Doth beat the brooks and ponds for sweet refreshing soil : That serving not, then proves if he his scent can foil, And makes amongst the herds, and flocks of shag wool'd sheep, Them frighting from the guard of those who had their keep.

| Azure; said to be derived from the name of a blue cloth manufactured at Watchet in Worcestershire. 2 Neptune's queen.

& Lair.

4 Thickets. 3 One of the measures in winding the horn.

" A deer is imbost when it throws forth bosses or bubbles of foam, or when it swells at the knees with hard hunting. As a dismayed deer in chase embost.' Spencer, F. Queen III. 12."-Richardson.

SHAKESPEARE.

But, when as all his shifts his safety still denies,
Put quite out of his walk, the ways and fallows tries.
Whom when the ploughman meets, his team he letteth stand
T assail him with his goad; so with his hook in hand,
The shepherd him pursues, and to his dog doth hollo :
When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and huntsmen follow;
Until the noble deer, through toil bereaved of strength,
His long and sinewy legs then failing him at length,
The villages attempts, enraged, not giving way
To anything he meets now at his sad decay.
The cruel ravenous hounds and bloody hunters near,
This noblest beast of chase, that vainly doth but fear,
Some bank or quickset finds: to which his haunch opposed,
He turns upon his foes, that soon have him enclosed,
The churlish-throated hounds then holding him at bay;
And as their cruel fangs on his harsh skin they lay,
With his sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly wounds.

The hunter, coming in to help his wearied hounds,
He desperately assails; until, opprest by force,
He who the mourner is to his own dying corse,
Upon the ruthless earth his precious tears lets fall.1

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

(1564-1616.) The neglect of Shakespeare by his countrymen, immediately after his own age, has left to the anxious curiosity of modern admiration slight materials for the construction of his biography. Official documents, tradition, and scattered notices in various writers have been carefully gleaned to procure a few meagre facts from which we may trace the great poet's living career. He was born at Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire, in April 1564. His father, a wool-comber in that village, though not opulent, seems to have been in good circumstances, since, notwithstanding the burden of a numerous family, he possessed property both in land and houses, and held the highest official dignities of the place. It is alleged that a short course in the Stratford grammar school was all the regular education Shakespeare ever received. The necessity of assistance in his business forced his father to withdraw him early from school. The traditionary anecdotes of his youth indicate anything but the earnest student anxiously expanding the rudimentary acquirements received from a village pedagogue ; and yet the question of his learning has employed the elaborate, and often sarcastic and angry erudition of hostile critics. But Shakespeare's “ wit" was made of Atalanta's heels :" an hour of a mind like his could extract the honey, the acquisition of which employed the days and nights of less vigorous intellects. If we cannot believe, in all its circumstances, the traditionary tale of the deer-stealing in Charlecote Park, the angry vengeance of Sir Thomas Lucy, and the forced flight of the poet from his native place; we can yet discern in the compelled hurry of

1 "The hart weepeth at his dying: his tears are held to be precious in medicine." - Com. pare Shakesp. “As you like it," Act II. Sc. I.

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