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النشر الإلكتروني

On the fore-finger of an alderman,

Drawn with a team of little atomies,
Athwart men's noses, as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinner's legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's watery beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small gray-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round, little worm,
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers;
And in this state, she gallops, night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers' knees, that dream on courtsies straight;
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she, with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling a parson's nose, as a' lies asleep -
Then dreams he of another benefice!
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elf-locks in foul, sluttish hairs,
Which once entangled, much misfortune bodes.





Wotton was less famed as a poet than as a political character. He was for a time in the service of the Earl of Essex, and was afterwards employed by James I. as ambassador to Venice. He finally took orders, and became Provost of Eton. A memoir of his curious life was written by Izaak Walton.


FAREWELL, ye gilded follies, pleasing troubles;
Farewell, ye honored sages, ye gilded bubbles!
Fame 's but a hollow echo-gold, pure clay;
Honor, the darling but of one short day;

Beauty — the eye's idol — but a damasked skin;
State, but a golden prison to live in,

And torture freeborn minds; embroidered trains,
Merely but pageants for proud-swelling veins ;
And blood allied to greatness is alone
Inherited, not purchased, not our own.
Fame, honor, beauty, state, train, blood, and birth,
Are but the fading blossoms of the earth!

Welcome, pure thoughts! welcome, ye silent groves!
These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly loves.
Now, the winged people of the sky shall sing
My cheerful anthems to the gladsome spring;
A prayer-book now shall be my looking-glass,
In which I will adore sweet virtue's face.
Here dwell no hateful looks, no palace cares;
No broken vows dwell here, nor pale-faced fears.
Then here I'll sigh, and sigh my hot love's folly,
And learn t' affect an holy melancholy;
And if contentment be a stranger, then,
I'll ne'er look for it, but in heaven, again.

SIR JOHN DAVIES. 1570-1626.

The principal poetical works of this author are a philosophical poem On the Soul of Man and the Immortality thereof; and a poem entitled, Orchestra, or a Poem of Dancing; in a Dialogue between Penelope and

one of her Wooers. The fame of these introduced him to James I., who made him solicitor-general and attorney-general for Ireland. The following is from Antinous to Penelope, on her declining to dance with him.


AND now behold

your tender nurse, the air,
And common neighbor that aye runs around,
How many pictures and impressions fair

Within her empty regions are there found,
Which to your senses dancing do propound;
For what are breath, speech, echoes, music, winds,
But dancings in the air, in sundry kinds?

For when you breathe, the air in order moves,
Now in, now out, in time and measure true;
And when you speak, so well she dancing loves,
That doubling oft, and oft redoubling new,
With thousand forms she doth herself endue;
For all the words that from your lips repair
Are nought but tricks and turnings of the air.

And then, sweet music, dancing's only life,

The ear's sole happiness, the air's best speech, Loadstone of fellowship, charming rod of strife, The soft mind's paradise, the sick mind's leech,

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With thine own tongue thou trees and stones can teach,

That when the air doth dance her finest measure,

Then art thou born, the gods' and men's sweet pleasure.

Lastly, where keep the Winds their revelry,

Their violent turnings, their wild whistling lays,

But in the air's translucent gallery?

Where she herself is turned a hundred ways,
While with those masters wantonly she plays;
Yet, in this misrule, they such rule embrace,
As two at once encumber not the place.


AGAIN, how can she but immortal be,

When, with the motions of both will and wit,

She still aspireth to eternity,

And never rests till she attain to it?

All moving things to other things do move

Of the same kind, which shows their nature such; So earth falls down, and fire doth mount above, Till both their proper elements do touch.

And as the moisture which the thirsty earth

Sucks from the sea to fill her empty veins, From out her womb at last doth take a birth,

And runs, a lymph, along the grassy plains,

Long doth she stay, as loth to leave the land
From whose soft side she first did issue make;
She tastes all places, turns to every hand,
Her flowery banks unwilling to forsake.

Yet nature so her streams doth lead and carry
As that her course doth make no final stay,
Till she herself unto the sea doth marry,

Within whose watery bosom first she lay.

E'en so the soul, which, in this earthly mould,
The spirit of God doth secretly infuse,
Because, at first, she doth the earth behold,
And only this material world she views,

At first, her mother earth she holdeth dear,

And doth embrace the world and worldly things;
She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,
And mounts not up, with her celestial wings;

Yet, under heaven, she cannot light on aught
That with her heavenly nature doth agree;
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
She cannot in this world contented be.

For who did ever yet, in honor, wealth,

Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find?
Who ever ceased to wish, when he had health?
Or, having wisdom, was not vexed in mind?

Then, as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,

Which seem sweet flowers with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,

But, pleased with none, doth rise and soar away
So, when the soul finds here no true content,

And, like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take,
She doth return from whence she first was sent,
And flies to him that first her wings did make.

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Ben Jonson has generally been considered second to Shakspeare, (of whom he was ten years the junior,) in the dramatic literature of their time. The first part of his life was full of hardship and vicissitude. At an early age, he was taken from school, and put to the employment of brick-laying. He afterwards enlisted as a soldier, and was distinguished for his bravery. After this, for a very short period, he was a member of college. About the age of twenty, he is found married, and an actor, in London; but, as an actor, he completely failed. He quarrelled with another performer, killed him in a duel, in which he himself was severely wounded, was committed to prison on a charge of murder, but was released without trial. On regaining his liberty, he began writing for the stage. Some passages in a comedy entitled Eastward Hoe, written conjointly by Jonson and two others, and reflecting on the Scottish nation, caused James I. to throw the authors into prison, and to threaten them with the loss of their ears and noses; but they were soon set at liberty, without trial. He was afterwards appointed poet laureate, with a pension; was, with Shakspeare, Beaumont, and Fletcher, one of Raleigh's Mermaid Club, at which the guests "exercised themselves with wit combats' more bright and genial than their wine." He died, after being a long time confined to his house by attacks of palsy, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, the words, "O RARE BEN JONSON," being inscribed upon the stone which marked the spot.

[From the "New Inn."]


Lovel. There is no life on earth but being in love!

There are no studies, no delights, no business,

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