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Here's no fantastic mask or dance,
Nor wars are seen,
green Two harmless lambs are butting one another, Which done both bleating run, each to his mother:
And wounds are never found,
Here are no false entrapping baits,
Unless it be
The fond credulity
The birds, for prize of their sweet song
Go, let the diving negro seek
We all pearls scorn,
Save what the dewy morn
And gold ne'er here appears,
Blest silent groves!-0 may ye be
May pure contents
ever pitch their tents, Upon these downs, these meads, these rocks, these
And peace still slumber by these purling fountains;
Which we may every year
be doubted whether this be a poem of Sir Henry Wotton's, or not, it is rather in a higher mood” than most of his strains, and has not the usual signature,
the initials of his name.Walton arranges it with “ Poems found among the papers of Sir Henry Wotton,”-some of which certainly were by other hands; at the same time it
be remarked, that he himself addressed one of his compositions to his friend Dinely, as the work-authoris incerti.—Another poem, with the same signature of “ Ignoto,” is decidedly in Wotton's style.
Man's life's a Tragedy: his mother's womb
IGNOTO. To the rarely accomplished, and worthy of best employment, Mr. HowELL, upon his VOCAL FOREST.
Believe it, sir, you happily have hit,
That far transcends the vulgar; for each line
The whimsical book of that voluminous writer, James Howell, to wbich these lines are appended, bears the title of “ Dodona's Grove, or the Vocal Forest.” It was popular in its day, and passed through many editions, being a political allegory, in which the great personages of the time are characterised by the several trees of the forest.
BORN ABOUT 1584.-DIED
“ Grare Father of this Muse thou deem'st ton light
To wear thy name, 'cuuse of thy youthful brain
Thy witty childhood, not thy graver strain,
Which now esteems these works of fancy vain ;
For thou art Poet born, who know thee, know it,
-If these dull times
The former of the above extracts is taken from a copy of commendatory verses prefixed to the "Purple Island," the principal poem of Phineas Fletcher, and inscribed “ to the learned author, son and brother to two judicious poets, himself the third-not second to either ;* the latter from another address “ to the ingenious composer, the Spenser of his age,” from his contemporary, the quaint author of the “ Emblems,” the romance of "Argalus and Parthenia,” &c.—and his own brother,
Giles Fletcher, (of whose taste and judgment we shall hereafter give ample proof, at the conclusion of his “Christ's Victory and Triumph,” hails him as
_“ the KENTISH LAD, that lately taught
The willing spheres from Heav'n, to lead around
To this we may add, that he made Spenser his model,-and, Milton was his debtor.
The principal poems of Phineas Fletcher were republished in Dr. Anderson's “complete edition of the works of the Poets of Great Britain, 1793;” and from the biographical and critical preface, the following few particulars of his personal history are chiefly derived; including also a general notice of his family, as explanatory of the compliment paid to him by his partial friend in the first of the foregoing extracts.
He is said to have been born at Brenchley, near Penshurst; and it appears from some passages in his writings, that he resided there during a part of his earlier life.
His father Giles Fletcher, was also born in this county, bred at Eton, and elected scholar of Benet College, Cambridge, in 1565, where he took the degree of Doctor of Laws, in 1581. Wood says, “ he was a learned man, and an excellent poet.* The abilities of Dr. Fletcher recommending him to Queen Elizabeth, he was employed by her as a commissioner
* It is to be regretted that no proofs of the poetical talent of the father of the Fletchers, appear to have come down to us.