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She shew'd till now! When, having won his way,
How full of wonder he breaks out again,
And sheds his virtuous beams! Excellent angel!
(For no less can that heav'nly mind proclaim thee,)
Honour of all thy sex! let it be lawful
(And like a pilgrim thus I kneel to beg it,
Not with profane lips now, nor burnt affections,
But, reconcil'd to faith, with holy wishes,)
To kiss that virgin hand!

Cel. Take your desire, sir,
And in a nobler way, for I dare trust you ;
No other fruit my love must ever yield you,
I fear, no more !-Yet, your most constant memory
(So much I'm wedded to that worthiness)
Shall ever be my friend, companion, husband!
Farewell ! and fairly govern your affections;
Stand, and deceive me not !-Oh, noble young

man! I love thee with my soul, but dare not say

it! Once more, farewell, and prosper

!

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SIR JOHN DAVIES.

BORN 1570.-DIED 1626,

Sir John Davies wrote, at twenty-five years of age, a poem on the immortality of the soul; and at fifty-two, when he was a judge and a statesman, another on the art of dancing." Well might the teacher of that noble accomplishment, in Moliere's comedy, exclaim, La philosophie est quelque chose mais la danse!

Sir John was the son of a practising lawyer at "Tisbury, in Wiltshire. He was expelled from the Temple for beating Richard Martyn', who was afterwards recorder of London ; but his talents redeemed the disgrace. He was restored to the Temple, and elected to parliament, where, although he had flattered Queen Elizabeth in his poetry, he distinguished himself by supporting the privileges of the house, and by opposing royal monopolies. On the accession of King James he went to Scotland with Lord Hunsdon, and was received by the new sovereign with flattering cordiality, as author of the poem Nosce teipsum. In Ireland he was successively nominated

1 A respectable man, to whom Ben Jonson dedicated his Poetaster,

solicitor and attorney-general, was knighted, and chosen speaker of the Irish House of Commons, in opposition to the Catholic interest. Two works which he published as the fruits of his observation in that kingdom, have attached considerable importance to his name in the legal and political history of Ireland'. On his return to England he sat in parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyne, and had assurances of being appointed chief justice of England, when his death was suddenly occasioned by apoplexy. He married, while in Ireland, Eleanor, a daughter of Lord Audley, by whom he had a daughter, who was married to Ferdinand Lord Hastings, afterwards Earl of Huntingdon. Sir John's widow turned out an enthusiast and a prophetess. A volume of her ravings was published in 1649, for which the revolutionary government sent her to the Tower, and to Bethlehem hospital.

THE VANITY OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. FROM NOSCE TEIPSUM, OR A POEM ON THE IMMORTALITY OF

THE SOUL.

Why did my parents send me to the schools,
That I with knowledge might enrich my mind?
Since the desire to know first made men fools,
And did corrupt the root of all mankind.

*

· The works are, “A discovery of the causes why Ireland was never subdued till the beginning of his majesty's reign," and * Reports of cases adjudged in the king's courts in Ireland.”

What is this knowledge but the sky-stol'n fire,
For which the thief' still chain'd in ice dóth sit?
And which the poor rude satyr did admire,
And needs would kiss, but burnt his lips with it,

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In fine, what is it but the fiery coach
Which the youth sought, and sought his death

withal, Or the boy's wings' which, when he did approach The sun's hot beams, did melt and let him fall?

And yet, alas! when all our lamps are burn'd,
Our bodies wasted and our spirits spent;
When we have all the learned volumes turn'd,
Which yield men's wits both strength and ornament,

What can we know, or what can we discern,
When error chokes the windows of the mind ?
The divers forms of things how can we learn,
That have been ever from our birth-day blind?

When reason's lamp, that, like the sun in sky,
Throughout man's little world her beams did spread,
Is now become a sparkle, which doth lie
Under the ashes, half extinct and dead.

How can we hope, that through the eye and ear,
This dying sparkle, in this cloudy space,
Can recollect these beams of knowledge clear,
Which were infus'd in the first minds by grace?

i Prometheus. Phaeton. Icarus.

So might the heir whose father hath in play
Wasted a thousand pounds of ancient rent,
By painful earning of one groat a day
Hope to restore the patrimony spent.

The wits that div'd most deep and soar'd most high, Seeking man's powers, have found his weakness

such; Skill comes so slow, and time so fast doth fly, We learn so little and forget so much.

For this the wisest of all moral men
Said, “ he knew nought but that he did not know.”
And the great mocking master mock'd not then,
When he said truth was buried deep below.

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As spiders, touch'd, seek their web's inmost part;
As bees, in storms, back to their hives return;
As blood in danger gathers to the heart;
As men seek towns when foes the country burn :

If aught can teach us aught, affliction's looks
(Making us pry into ourselves so near),
Teach us to know ourselves beyond all books,
Or all the learned schools that ever were.

She within lists my ranging mind hath brought,
That now beyond myself I will not go:
Myself am centre of my circling thought :
Only myself I study, learn, and know.

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