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MEDIOCRITY IN LOVE REJECTED.
Give me more love, or more disdain,
The torrid or the frozen zone
The temperate affords me none :
Give me a storm ; if it be love,
Like Danae in that golden shower,
Disdain, that torrent will devour
This poet was descended of a Catholic family. He studied at St Omer's, and, by his knowledge and accomplishments, procured the favour of Charles the First, which was seldom bestowed on the undeserving. Habington passed his life in retirement, dividing his time between the pursuits of a country gentleman and the study of polite letters.
His poems published under the title of CASTARA had considerable celebrity, though he would, in this riper age, only have ranked as one of the multitude of gentlemen who write with ease. The lady he celebrated under the name of Castara was a daughter of Lord Powis, and afterwards became the wife of the poet. At that time it appeared to be indispensable that every clever man who was in love should tell it in smooth verse to the public. Besides these poems, Habington wrote the QUEEN OF ARRAGON, a Tragedy, and the History of Edward the Fourth.
Fine young folly, though you were
Yet you ne'er could touch my heart;
You're not worth the serious part.
When I sigh and kiss your hand,
Holding parley with your eye,
All is but a handsome lie.
When I eye your curl or lace,
Straight some murder doth commit;
When I talk to shew my wit.
Therefore, madam, wear no cloud,
For, in sooth, I much do doubt
And your clothes that set you out.
Yet though truth has this confess'd,
When I next begin to court,
Bedlam ! this is pretty sport.
The statue of this elegant rhymist seems to be gradually mouldering away in that niche in the Temple of Fame which it long occupied,-not from any sudden accident, but by the mere effects of time on its brittle and worthless, though finely-wrought materials. The works of Waller are, however, still embodied in the voluminous editions of the poets; and Johnson, who has passed over Chaucer, Spenser, Surrey, Hall, Sydney, and Shak. speare, has written his life. Waller was by birth a gentleman. He went into parliament very young, wrote many verses celebrating the beauty, or deprecating the severity, of “the adorable Sacharissa,” vulgarly the Lady Dorothea Sydney, and at twenty-three married a rich city heiress, whom he soon buried. “The adorable
Sacharissa” married the Earl of Sunderland, and Waller, the widower, celebrated Amonet, otherwise Lady Sophia Murray; but, as he sings, “ catched at love, and filled his arms with bays." He then married a lady named Bresse, by whom he had a very large family. If not the greatest among the poets, Waller was one of the most prudent of the fraternity. In the beginning of the civil wars he was a royalist, but afterwards composed a poetical panegyric on Cromwell, and was recalled from exile. At the Restoration he became a favourite with Charles II., maintained his favour with James II., and, it is said, counselled his heir to join the Prince of Orange at the RevoJution. « With all this thrift he throve not." He lost the esteem of good men of all parties ; his fortune diminished; he now saw life in a light in which till then it had never presented itself; he began to write sacred poetry, and to think earnestly of death.
ANGER, in hasty words or blows,
Affect the haughty and the proud,
Unwisely we the wiser East Pity, supposing them oppress'd With tyrants' force, whose law is will, By which they govern, spoil, and kill : Each nymph, but moderately fair, Commands with no less rigour here. Should some brave Turk, that walks among His twenty lasses, bright and young, And beckons to the willing dame, Preferr'd to quench his present flame, Behold as many gallants here, With modest guise and silent fear, All to one female idol bend, Whilst her high pride does scarce descend To mark their follies, he would swear That these her guard of eunuchs were, And that a more majestic queen, Or humbler slaves, he had not seen.
All this with indignation spoke,
So the tall stag, upon the brink