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No cure to care; farewell all joy;
Retire poor soul, and die!
That thou may'st mount the sky :
That Pluto he might go
For this will cure thy wo!
Care's Cure, or a Fig for Care.* [From “ Panedone, or Health from Helicon," 1621, 8vo.]
HAPPY is that state of his,
Should I ought dejected be,
* Much of this poem seems to be an imitation of Wither's celebrated ode, inserted p. 83.
Or repine such should inherit
Should I weep, when I do try
Should I spend the morn in tears,
Should I sigh, because I see
Or so many schisms and sects,
No, there's nought on earth I fear
Thus to love, and thus to live, Thus to take, and thus to give, Thus to laugh, and thus to sing, Thus to mount on pleasure's wing, Thus to sport, and thus to speed, Thus to flourish, nourish, feed, Thus to spend, and thus to spare, Is to bid a fig for care.
Seems to have been born about 1500 at Tavistock, ip Devon
shire, where he was instructed in grammatical learning. Having passed some time at Exeter College, Oxford, he quitted the University without a degree, entered into the Society of the Middle Temple, and published in 1613 the first part of bis“ Britannia's Pastorals,” fol. In 1614 was published bis“ Shepherd's Pipe,” 8vo. (contained also in the pirated edition of Wither, 1620), and in 1616 the second part of the Pastorals, fol, Both parts were reprinted in 1625, 8vo. In 1624 he returned to Exeter College, and became tutor to Robert Dormer, afterwards earl of Carnarvon. During his stay he was created A. M., being styled in the public register“ Vir ompi hum anâ literatura “ et bonarum artium cognitione instructus." He then went into the family of the earl of Pembroke, obtained wealth, and purchased an estate, and is supposed to have died in 1645. See Wood (Ath. Ox. I. 491), who says, “ that as he had a little body, so a great mind.". A peat edition of his works, which were become scarce, was published in 1772, in three small volumes, by Mr Thomas
Davies, the laudable reviver of several forgotten poets. We are indebted to Browne for having preserved in his
“ Shepherd's Pipe” a curious poem by Occleve. Mr Warton conceives his works to “ have been well known 6 to Milton," and refers to “ Britannia's Pastorals” for the same assemblage of circumstances in a morning landscape as were brought together more than thirty years afterwards by Milton, in a passage of L'Allegro, which has been supposed to serve as a repository of imagery on that subject for all succeeding poets. Warton's Milton, 2d ed. p. 51.
[In “ Britannia's Pastorals."
Book II. Song 2.]
SHALL I tell you whom I love ?
Hearken then a while to me:
As I now shall versifie,
Nature did her so much right,
As she scorns the help of art ; In as many virtues dight
As e'er yet embrac'd a heart; So much good, so truly tried, Some for less were deified.
Wit she hath, without desire
To make known how much she hath ;
Than may fitly sweeten wrath ;
Reason masters every sense,
And her virtues grace her birth ;