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DAVID MURRAY. The following specimen is to be found in his “ Cælia, con
taining certaine Sonets” annexed to “The Tragicall Death of Sophonisba," 12mo, 1611, London. Concerning this author we have no particulars to add, except that he signs himself “ Scoto-Brittaine,” and that complimentary verses are inscribed to him, under the title of " loving cousin,” by John Murray; of“ kind friend,” by M. Drayton; and of" dear friend,” by Simon Graham. As the two first sonnets, however, in the volume are addressed to Henry prince of Wales, it appears not improbable that he may have been Sir David Murray, gentleman of the bed. chamber, and afterwards groom of the stole to that prince.
PALE sad Aurora, leave thy showers to rain,
(Of pearl-like chrystal tears thou daily sheds,)
In tender bosoms of the flowery meads, Wailing his death who at Ilion's siege was slain ! Oh, let thy soul appeas'd with this remain,
That those thy tears pleads pity by their sight,
And more, the great bright pattern of the light To quench his drought, carouses them again, Cease then to weep, and leave me still to mourn;
Complaining best becomes my mirthless state, Who in quenchless flames of luckless love does burn! Thy Memmon's loss requires no more regret.
And, since my own cannot procure but scorn,
Ponder thy cares, and sum them all in one,
Get the account of all thy heart's disease ;
Reckon the torments do thy mind displease, Write up each sigh, each plaint, each tear, each
groan: Remember on thy grief conceiv'd by day,
And call to mind thy night's disturbed rest :
Think on those visions did thy soul molest, While as thy wearied corpse a-sleeping lay: And when all those thou hast enroll'd aright
Into the 'count-book of thy daily care,
With them of Ainty Cælia, the fair,
The first productions of this author gave proof of genuine
poetical talents, till his headstrong and restless disposition forced him out of the path of the Muses into the busy and turbulent scene of puritanical politics. After which, his almost innumerable works, though marked with strong original sense and ardent party zeal, began, necessarily from the subject, to degenerate in their style and tone, and to lose that playful fancy, pure taste, and artless delicacy of sentiment, which distinguish the poetry of his
early youth. The history of his education and first sentrance into life is
told by himself in his “ Abuses stript and whipt.” It appears that he was born in Manydowne, in Hampshire, 1588, and in 1604 entered at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he had no sooner acquired the means of relishing academical learning, than he was sent for home, much against his will, before he could take a first degree, in order to be bred either a farmer or mechanic; but finding that mere country business was not his calling, he went to London and fixed himself at one of the inns of court, when, in consequence of being “ too busy and satyrical” in the work above mentioned, he was committed prisoner for several months to the Marshalsea. He was now “ cried up,” says Wood, “ by the puritanical party, for « his profuse pouring forth of English rhyme, and more " afterwards by the vulgar sort of people for his prophe“ tical poetry.” In 1639, he served under lord Arundel against the Scots, in whose regiment he was captain and quarter-master general. But afterwards siding with the. presbyterians, he raised a troop for the Parliament, became a major, and, though taken prisoner by the cavaliers, was appointed"by the Long Parliament justice of peace for Hampshire, &c. and by Oliver major-general of the forces in the county of Surrey. On the Restoration he lost all the royalists' lands which he had bought or obtained, and was committed prisoner to Newgate for a libel, and afterwards close prisoner in the Tower, where he remained three years. “ At length,” says Wood,“ af“ ter this our author—had lived to the age of 79 years, “mostly spent in a rambling and unsettled condition, he
« concluded this life-in 1667.” A list of Wither's pieces is given in Wood's account of bis
life (Ath. Vol. II. p. 391), and at the end of a small pamphlet called “ Extracts fromJuvenilia,” &c. selected by Mr Dalrymple, 1785; but a more complete catalogue may be found annexed to his “ Fides Anglicana,” 1662.
(The following Extracts, except the last but one, are all to
be found in bis “ Mistresse of Phil’arete,” 1622 ; though in the first and seventh pieces the text of the pirated edi. tion (1620) has been sometimes preferred. The rejected readings, however, of the authorized copy are subjoined for the satisfaction of the reader.]
SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Be she fairer than the day,
If she be not so to me,
Shall my foolish heart be pin'd,
If she be not so to me,
Shall a woman's virtues move
If she be not such to me,
'Cause her fortune seems too high, Shall I play the fool and die?
16 Should my heart be griev'd or." 2 6 well-deserving,"