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preserved for us a selection of the very volumes that he read; English poetry and prose, including works of Bacon and Selden, of Drayton and Donne, of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare ; Latin, French, Italian volumes in great numbers. Moreover, among the excerpta from his papers which Mr. Laing printed we find exact lists of the books that he read from period to period, the year's task sometimes extending to forty or fifty separate writers, some of them of the dimensions of Knox’s History of the Reformation, and Sidney's Arcadia, and Lyly's Euphues, and Rabelais, and Amadis de Gaule. Like every other cultivated man of his day, he had read Marini ; and his copy of Montaigne is extant. His favourite forms of verse are the sonnet, of the Shakespearian rather than the true Italian type, and a short song or madrigal, combining the sixsyllabled and the ten-syllabled lines in a very happy way; but he also uses other metres, such as the heroic couplet, and now and then ventures upon a difficult foreign experiment, as in his two Sextains and his one attempt in terza rima. The matter of his verse is described by himself on the title-page of his first miscellaneous volume of Poems—'Amorous, Funerall, Divine, Pastorall' —the Pastoral being of little account, and the Funeral neither better nor worse than the average of their class. What are really interesting in the poetry that he published during his life are the sonnets and songs directly inspired by Mary Cunningham-sonnets and songs that ring true, and contrast with the cold conventionality of such poems as the Aurora of Drummond's friend Lord Stirling—and the grave Flowers of Sion. Among the posthumous poems also are some that are noticeable ; one or two genuine cries of anguish at what the author thought to be the evil of the times, and a few hymns (such as the “hymns for the week,' following the order of the days of Creation) fit to rank with many of those that have become classical.

Good as are some of the love-sonnets and madrigals, Drummond is best where he is most serious. His deepest interests are metaphysical and religious; he is for ever taking refuge from the ills of the present

meditations on Death, Eternity, the Christian Doctrine. The Universe, “this All’ as he calls it,—that conception of the earth with its concentric spheres which belonged to the older astronomy-is an idea on which he dwells in almost monotonous fashion. The finest of all his writings, the prose tract called The Cypresse Grove, is a discourse upon Death, reminding us, as Mr. Masson well says, of the best work of Sir Thomas Browne;


the most striking of his poems are certainly those where, as in the sonnet 'For the Baptist,' he presents in his own rich language the severer portions of the Christian history, or the inexhaustible theme of the shortness and the mystery of life. What saves him from becoming wearisome is partly the nobility of his verse at its best, its stateliness and sonorous music; partly his evident sincerity, and his emancipation, speaking generally, from the evil influences that were creeping in to corrupt English poetry at that time. His conceits, where he indulges in them, are bad indeed ; the sun to him is

Goldsmith of all the stars, with silver bright

Who moon enamels, Apelles of the flowers '; the waves that toss the boat that holds his love have their ready explanation :

* And yet huge waves arise; the cause is this,

That ocean strives with Forth the boat to kiss.' But these are the accidents of his poetry, and his theory and practice are better learnt from such words as those he sent at an uncertain date to Dr. Arthur Johnston, a writer of Latin verse well known in his day. “Poesy,' he says, “subsisteth by herself, and after one demeanour and continuance her beauty appeareth to all ages. In vain have some men of late, transformers of everything, consulted upon her reformation, and endeavoured to abstract her to metaphysical ideas and scholastical quiddities, denuding her of her own habits, and those ornaments with which she hath amused the world some thousand years. Poesy is not a thing that is yet in the finding and search, or which may be otherwise found out. Such is the mature view of Drummond ; the

1 view of a man who has read the best that the poets of all ages have made, has enjoyed it, has assimilated it, and will not allow himself to be drawn away from the main current by the fashion of the day. It is difficult to withhold admiration from a poet who in the first half of the seventeenth century had studied Marini and yet kept himself for the most part free from conceits; and, if we turn from his poetry to his life, it is difficult to withhold sympathy from a man whose private happiness was ruined by a fatal blow, and whose public hopes were wasted in witnessing the steady upward progress of a cause which he regarded with abhorrence.



[From the Poems.]

In my first years, and prime yet not at height,
When sweet conceits my wits did entertain,
Ere beauty's force I knew, or false delight,
Or to what oar she did her captives chain,
Led by a sacred troop of Phæbus' train,
I first began to read, then lov'd to write,
And so to praise a perfect red and white,
But, God wot, wist not what was in my brain :
Love smild to see in what an awful guise
I turn'd those antiques of the age of gold,
And, that I might more mysteries behold,
He set so fair a volume to mine eyes,

That I (quires clos'd which dead, dead sighs but breathe)
Joy on this living book to read my death.

Then is she gone? O fool and coward I !
O good occasion lost, ne'er to be found !
What fatal chains have my dull senses bound,
When best they may, that they not fortune try?
Here is the flow'ry bed where she did lie,
With roses here she stellified the ground,
She fix'd her eyes on this yet smiling pond,
Nor time, nor courteous place, seem'd ought deny.
Too long, too long, Respect, I do embrace
Your counsel, full of threats and sharp disdain ;
Disdain in her sweet heart can have no place,
And though come there, must straight retire again :

Henceforth, Respect, farewell, I oft hear told
Who lives in love can never be too bold.

If crost with all mishaps be my poor life,
If one short day I never spent in mirth,
If my spright with itself holds lasting strife,
If sorrow's death is but new sorrow's birth;
If this vain world be but a sable stage
Where slave-born man plays to the scoffing stars ;
If youth be toss'd with love, with weakness age,
If knowledge serve to hold our thoughts in wars ;
If time can close the hundred mouths of fame,
And make, what long since past, like that to be ;
If virtue only be an idle name,
If I, when I was born, was born to die ;

Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days ?
The fairest rose in shortest time decays.

Thou window, once which served for a sphere
To that dear planet of my heart, whose light
Made often blush the glorious queen of night,
While she in thee more beauteous did appear,
What mourning weeds, alas ! now dost thou wear?
How loathsome to mine eyes is thy sad sight?
How poorly look'st thou, with what heavy cheer,
Since that sun set, which made thee shine so bright?
Unhappy now thee close, for as of late
To wond’ring eyes thou wast a paradise,
Bereft of her who made thee fortunate,
A gulf thou art, whence clouds of sighs arise ;

But unto none so noisome as to me,
Who hourly see my murderd joys in thee.

Alexis, here she stay’d; among these pines,
Sweet hermitress, she did alone repair ;
Here did she spread the treasure of her hair,
More rich than that brought from the Colchian mines.
She sate her by these musked eglantines,
The happy place the print seems yet to bear ;
Her voice did sweeten here thy sugar'd lines,
To which winds, trees, beasts, birds, did lend their ear.
Me here she first perceiv'd, and here a morn
Of bright carnations did o'erspread her face ;
Here did she sigh, here first my hopes were born,
And I first got a pledge of promis'd grace :

But, ah! what serv'd it to be happy so,
Sith passed pleasures double but new woe?


The heaven doth not contain so many stars,
So many leaves not prostrate lie in woods,
When autumn's old, and Boreas sounds his wars,
So many waves have not the ocean floods,
As my rent mind hath torments all the night,
And heart spends sighs, when Phoebus brings the light.
Why should I been a partner of the light,
Who, crost in birth by bad aspects of stars,
Have never since had happy day nor night ?
Why was not I a liver in the woods,
Or citizen of Thetis' crystal floods,
Than made a man, for love and fortune's wars?

I look each day when death should end the wars,
Uncivil wars, 'twixt sense and reason's light ;
My pains I count to mountains, meads, and floods,
And of my sorrow partners make the stars ;
All desolate I haunt the fearful woods,
When I should give myself to rest at night.

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