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One while, a scorching indignation burns
For as to relish joys he sorrow sends,
Book II. EMBLEM XX,
The Emblem of Love is lively, ingenious, and delightful.
have wooers, which be they, That worthiest are to bear your hearts away.
As is the boy, which here you pictured see,
faithful lover may be so. Each word he speaks, will presently appear To be melodious raptures in your ear; Each gesture of his body, when he moves, Will seem to play, or sing a song of loves : The very looks, and motions of his eyes Will touch your heart-strings with sweet harmonies; And if the name of him be but exprest, 'Twill cause a thousand quaverings in your
breast. Nay, ev'n those discords, which occasion’d are, Will make
music much the sweeter far. And, such a moving diapason strike, As none but Love, can ever play the like.
Book IV. EMBLEM I.
From the next extract, the reader will see the peculiar tone in which Wither frequently concludes his illustrations.
When, with a serious musing, I behold
But, oh my God! though grovelling 1 appear
That imitating him in what I may,
The most popular of our books of Emblems is that written by Francis Quarles, the darling, as Phillips calls him, of our plebeian judgements, and, we may add, the scorn of our refined wits. The contempt with which he has been treated is, however, at a much greater distance from a just appreciation of his works than the vulgar preference. In his poetical compositions, which are chiefly of a religious cast, there is a passionate earnestness well calculated to please the common sort of people, and a want of taste and propriety in his application of the terms and feelings of earthly to divine love, likely enough to disgust the man of cultivated mind. Perhaps nothing more readily captivates the unlearned than quaint and antithetical phraseology, which has frequently the appearance without the reality of pithiness. Quarles is particularly distinguished by this quality of style, with which, however, he combines a great variety of new and poetical turns of expression. This character applies to his other works as well as to his Emblems, which alone demand our attention at this time; but as they still enjoy a considerable portion of public favour, we shall on that account appropriate a much less space to them than we should otherwise have done. They consist of five books, the prints and mottoes of the two last of which are exactly copied from the Pia Desideria of Herman Hugo, the title of whose work stands amongst those placed at the head of this article. The subject being the same, Quarles has frequently taken ideas from his prototype; but he has so added to and improved them, that the imitation detracts little from his originality. The few extracts we shall make are the best, according to our judgement, to be found in the volume.
Book I. EMBLEM XIV,
Will't ne'er be morning? Will that promis'd light
How long ! How long shall these benighted eyes
Let those have night, that slily love to immure
Let those, whose eyes, like owls, abhor the light,
The world's a hive,
From whence thou cans't derive
But case thou meet
Some pretty-pretty sweet,
Why dost thou make
These murm’ring troops forsake
Their hive contains
No sweet that's worth thy pains ;
For trash and toys,
And grief-engend'ring joys,
What bitter pills,
Compos'd of real ills,
The dainties here,
Are least what they appear;
The fruit that's yellow
Is found not always mellow;
Fond youth, give o'er,
And vex thy soul no more,
Alas! thy gains
Are only present pains
What's earth? or in it,
That longer than a minute
O who would droil,
Or delve in such a soil,
Book V. EMBLEM VI.
I love (and have some cause to love) the earth;
She is my Maker's creature; therefore good :
She is my tender nurse; she gives me food :