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entrance of St. Benedict's chapel near the earl of Middlesex's monument, in the collegiate church of St. Peter Westminster, without any inscription.
The first edition of his poems appeared in 1640, quarto, and the second in 1653, but neither so correct as could be wished. The editor of both was the bookseller Lawrence Blaiklock, whom Antony Wood characterises as a "presbyterian bookbinder near Temple Bar, afterwards an informer to the Committee of Sequestration at Haberdashers and Goldsmiths' Hall, and a beggar defunct in prison.” Whoever he was, he put together what he could find in circulation, without much discernmeni or inquiry, and has mixed, with Beaumont's, several pieces that belong to other authors. Some of these are pointed out in the present edition. The only poem printed in Beaumont's life time was Salmacis and Hermaphroditus from Ovid, which he published in 1602, when he was only sixteen years of age, a circumstance not necessary to prove it the production of a very young nian.
His original poems give him very superior claims to a place in this collection. Although we find some of the metaphysical conceits so common in his day, particularly in the elegy on lady Markham, he is in general more free from them than his contemporaries. His sentiments are elegant and refined and his versification is unusually harmonious. Where have we more lively imagery or in such profusion, as in the sonnet, “ Like a ring without a finger?” His amatory poems are sprightly and original, and some of his lyrics rise to the empassioned spirit of Shakspeare and Milton. Mr. Brydges is of opinion that the third song in the play of Nice Valour afforded the first hint of the Il Penseroso.
IN LAUDEM AUTHORIS. RIGHT WORSHIPFUL, THE WORTHILY HONOURED, Like to the weake estate of a poore friend, ROBERT PARKHURST, ES2.
To whom sweet fortune hath been ever slow,
Which daily doth that happy houre attend, Were these but worthless poems, or light rimes, When his poore state may his affection show: Writ by some common scribler of the times,
So fares my love, not able as the rest, Without your leave I durst not then engage
To chant thy praises in a lofty vaine; You to ennoble 'em by your patronage;
Yet my pooro Muse, doth vow to do her best, But these though orphans, and left fatherlesse, And wanting wings, she'll tread an humble straine ; Their rich endowments show they do possess e
I thought at first her homely steps to raise, A father's blessing; whom the Pates thought fit
And for some blazing epethites to look: To make a master of a mine of wit:
But then I feard that by such wond'rous praise, Whose ravishing conceits do towre so high,
Some men would grow suspitious of thy book: As if bis quill had dropt from Mercury:
For he that dotbi thy due deserts rebearse, But when his fancy chanc'd of love to sing,
Derives that glory from thy worthy verse.
W. B. You'd sweare his pen were plum'd from Cupid's He doth an amorous passion so discover, [wing; As if (save Beaumont) none had ere been lover;
TO THE AUTHOR. - Some praise a manly bounty, some incline More to applaud the vertues feminine;
EITHER the goddesse draws her troops of loves Some severall graces in both sexes hid,
From Paphos, where she erst was held Jevine, But only Beaumont's, he alone that did
And doth unyoke her tender necked doves, By a rare stratagem of wit connex
Placing her seat on this small pap'ry shrine ; What's choice and excellent in either sex. (straine,
Or the sweet Graces through th’ Idalian grove, Then cherish (sir) these saplings, whose each
Led the best author in their danced rings; Speakes them the issue of brave Beaumont's braine;
Or wanton nymphs in watry bowers have wove, Which made me thus daro to prefix your name,
With faire Mylesian threads, the verse he sings; Which will, if ought can, adde unto their fame.
Or curious Pallas once againe doth strive
With proud Arachne, for illustrious glory,
Spinning in silver twists a lasting story:
If none of these then Venus chose bis sight,
J. B. TO THE TRUE PATRONESSE OF ALL POETRY,
TO THE AUTHOR.
The matchlesse lust of a faire poesie,
Which was exst buried in old Rome's decaies; That for his lines none should a patron choose, Now 'gins with heat of rising majesty, By wealth or poverty, by lesse or more,
Her dust wrapt head from rotten tombe to raise, But who the same is able to peruse:
And with fresh splendour gilds her fearelesse Nor ought a man his labour dedicate,
crest, Without a true and sensible desert,
Rearing her pallace in our poet's breast. To any power of such a mighty state :
The wanton Ovid, whose intising rimes But such a wise defendresse as thou art;
Have with attractive wonder forc'd attention Thou great and powerfull Muse, then pardon me, No more shall be admir'd at: for these tinies That I presume thy maiden cheek to staine,
Produce a poet, whose more rare invention, In dedicating such a worke to thee,
Will teare the love-sick mirtle from his brows, Sprung from the issue of an idle braine;
T' adorne his temple with deserved boughs. I use thee as a woman ought to be,
The strongest marble feares the smallest rain, I consecrate my idle hours to thee. F. B. The rusting canker eates the purest gold;
Honour's best dye dreads envy's blackest stain, Lawrence Blajklock, the bookseller.
The crimson badge of beauty must wax old:
But this faire issue of thy fruitfull braine, Whether one did contrive, the other write,
J. P. Whether one found the matter, th' other dresse,
Or th' one disposed what the other did expresse;
Where e're your parts between your selves THE AUTHOR TO THE READER.
lo all things which you did, but one thread sce, I sing the fortune of a lucklesse paire,
So evenly drawn out, so gently spun, Whose spotlesse soules now in one body be;
That art with nature ne're did smoother run. For beauty still is Prodromus to care,
Where shall I fixe my praise then! or what part Crost by the sad stars of nativity:
Of all your numerous labours hath desert And of the strange inchantment of a well,
More to be fram'd than other? shall I say,
I've met a lover so drawn in your play,
So passionately written, so inflam'd,
That I in reading have the person seen,
And your pen hath part stage, and actor been ?
To clap, when I a captaine do meet there;
So lively in his own vaine humour drest,
So braggingly, and like himselfe exprest, (THEN LIVING.)
That moderne cowards, when they saw him plaid,
Saw, blusht, departed guilty, and betraid? How I do love thee Beaumont, and thy Muse,
You wrote all parts right ; whatsoe're the stage That unto me do'st such religion use!
Had from you, was seen there as in the age, How I do feare my selfe, that am not worth
And bad their equall life: vices which were The least indulgent thought thy pen drops forth!
Manners abroad, did grow corrected there: At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak'st;
They who possess'd a box, and halfe crown spent And giving largely to me, inore thou tak’st.
To learne obscenenes, return'd innocent; (scene What fate is mine, that so it sclfe bereaves ?
And thank'd you for this coz'nage, whose chast What art is thine, that so thy friend deceives?
Taught loves so noble, so reform’d, so cleane; When even there where most thou praisest me,
That they who brought foule fires, and thither came For writing better, I must envy thee.
To bargaine, went thence with a holy fame.
Be't to your praise too, that your stock and eine
No buskiu show'd more solid, no qwill gave
Such feeling objects to draw teare's from eyes, APOLLO sings, his barpe resounds; give roome, Spectators sate part in your tragedies. For now behold the golden pompe is come,
And where you listed to be low, and free, Thy pompe of playes which thousands come to see, Mirth turu'd the whole house into comedy ; With admiration botb of them and thee.
So piercing (where you pleas'l) bituing a fault, O volume worthy leafe, by leafe and cover That buniours from your pen issued all salt. To be with juice of cedar washt all over;
Nor were you thus in works and poenis knit, Here's words with lines, and lines with scenes con As to be but two halfes, and make one wit; sent,
But as some things we see hare double cacse, To raise an act to full astonishment;
And yet the effect it selfe, from both whole drars : Here melting numbers, words of power to move So though you were thus twisted and combiu'd Young men to swoone, and maids to dye for love. As two bodies, to have bui one faire mind; Love lies a bleeding bere, Evadne there
Yet if we praise you rightly, we must say Swels with brave rage, yet comly every where: Both joyn'd, and both did wholly make the play: Here's a mad lover, there that high designe For that you could write sigly, we may guesse Of King and no King, (and the rare plot thine) By the divided peeces, which the presse So that when e're we circumvolve our eyes; Hath severally set forth ; nor were goue so Such rich, such fresh, such sweet varieties, (Like some our moderne alii hors) made to go Ravish our spirits, that entranc't we see
On meerely by the help of th' other, who None writes love's passion in the world like thee. To purchase fame do corne forth one of two ;
Rob. HERRICK. Nor wrote you so, that one's part was to lick
The nther into shape, nor did one stick
As serv'd like spice, to make them quick aud fit ; MEMORY OF THE INCOMPARABLE PAIRE OF AUTHORS, Nor out of mutuall want, or emptinesse, BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
Did you conspire to go still twins to th' presse :
But what thus joyned you wrote, inight have eome Great paire of authors, whom, one equall star
forth Begot so like ip genius, that you are
As good from each, and stor'd with the same worth In fame, as well as writings, both so knit,
That thus united them, you did joyne sense; That no man koows where to divide your wit, In you 'twas league, in others impotence; Much lesse your praise; you, who had equall fire, | And the presse which both thus amongst us sends, And did each other mutually inspire;
Seuds us one poet iu a paire of friends
ON THE HAPPY COLLECTION OF
Thou alwaies best; if ought seem'd to decline,
'Twas the unjudging rout's mistake, vot thine: BEAUMONT'S AND FLETCHER'S WORKS. Thus thy faire Shepheardesse, which the bold heap
(False to themselves and thee) did prize so cheape, FLETCHER, arise, usurpen share thy bayes,
Was found (when understood) fit to be crown'd, They canton thy vast wit to build small playes :
At worst 'twas worth two hundred thousand pound. He comes ! his volume breaks through clouds and
Some blast thy works, lest we should track their Down, little wits, ye must refund, ye must. [Cust,
(talke ; Nor comes be private, here's great Beaumont
Where they steale all those few good things they How could one single world encompasse two? (too, Wit-burglary must chide those it feeds on, For these co-heires bad equall power to teach
For plunder'd folkes ought to be rail'd upon ; All that all wits both can and cannot reach.
But (as stolu goods go off at halfe their worth) Shakespeare was early up and went so drest,
Thy strong sence palls when they purloine it As for those dawning houres he knew was best;
(read But when the Sun shone forth, you two thought fit
When did'st thou borrow? Where's the man e're To weare just robes, and leave off trunk-hose wit.
Ought begy'd by thee from those alive or dead? Now, now 'twas perfect; none must looke for new,
Or from dry goddesses, as some who when Manners and scenes may alter, but not you; For yours are not meere humours, gilded strains ; | They stuffe their page with gods, write worse than
[odds, 'The fashion lost, your massy sense remaines.
Thou wast thine own Muse, and hadst such rast Some thinke your wit's of two complexions
Thou out-writt'st him whose verse made all those fram'd,
gods: That one the sock, th other the buskin claim'd;
Surpassing those our dwarfish age upreares, That should the stage embattajle all its force,
As much as Greeks or Latines thee in yeares: Fletcher would lead the foot, Beaumont the horse.
The ocean fancy knew nor bankes nor damns, But, you were both for both ; not semi-wils,
We ebbe down dry to pebble-anagrams;
Lost to behold this great relapse of wit: [fierce) He th' understanding, thou the quick free will;
What strength remaines, is like that (wild and But, as two voices in one song einbrace,
Till Johnson made good poets and right verse. (Fletcher's keen trebble, and deep Beaumont's base)
Such boyst'rous trifies thy Muse would not 'Two, full, congeniall soules ; still both prevailid;
brooke, His Muse and thine were quarter'd, pot impal'd :
Save when she'd show how scurvily they looke; Both brought your ingots, both toyld at the mint, No savage metaphors (things rudely great) Beat, melted, sifted, till no drosse stuck in't ;
Thou dost display, not butcher a conceit; Then in each other's scales weigh'd every graine; Thy nerves have beauty, which invades and Then smooth'd and burnish'd, then weigh'd all
charmes; againe ;
Looks like a princesse harness'd in bright arnes. Stampt both your names upon't at one bold hit,
Nor art thou loud and cloudy; those that do Then, then 'twas coyne, as well as bullion-wit.
Thunder so much, do't without lightning too; Thus twinns : but as when Pate one eye deprives, Tearing themselves, and almost split their braine That other strives to double which survives : To render harsh what thou speak'st free and cleane; So Beaumont dy'd: yet left in legacy
Snch gloomy sense may passe for high and proud, His rules, and standard-wit (Fletcher) to thee.
But true-born wit still flies above the cloud; Still the same planet, though not fill'd so soon,
Thou knew'st 'twas impotence what they call A two-born'd crescent then, now one full-moon.
(light. Joynt love before, now honour doth provoke;
Who blusters strong i'th' rke, but creeps i'th' So the old twin-giants forcing a huge oake,
And as thy thoughts were cleare, 80, innocent; One slipp'd his footing, th' other sees him fall, Thy phancy gave no unswept language vent; Grasp'd the whole tree, and single held up all.
Slaunder'st not laws, prophan'st no holy page, Japeriall Fletcher! here begins thy raign,
(As if thy father's crosier aw'd the stage;) Scenes frow like sun-beames from thy glorious
High crimnes were still arraiga'd, though they
made shift Thy swift dispatching sonle no more doth stay, To prosper out foure acts, were plagu'd i'th' fift: Than be that built two cities in one day;
All's safe and wise; no stiff-affected scene, Erer brim-full, and sometimes running o're, Nor swoln, nor flat, a true full naturall veine; To feed poore languid wits that waite at dovre; Thy sence (like well-drest ladies) cloath'd as Who creep, and creep, yet ne're above-ground
[blood) Not all unlac'd, nor city-startcht and pinn'd; (For creatures have most feet which have least Thou hadst no sloath, no rage, no sullen fit, But thou art still that Bird of Paradise
But strength and mirth, Fletcher's a sanguin wit, Which hath no feet, and ever nobly flies :
Thus, two great consul-poets all things sway'd, Rich, lusty sence, such as the poet ought; Till all was English borne, or English made: For poems, if not excellent, are naught;
Miter and coyfe here into one piece spun, Low wit in scenes, in state a peasant goes ; Beaumont a judge's, this a prelat's son. If meane and fat, let it foot yeoman prose, What strange production is at last displaid, That such may spell as are not readers grown, (Got by two fathers, without female aide) To wbom he that writes wit, shows he hath none. Behold, two masculines espous'd each other,
Brave Shakespeare flow'd, yet had his ebbings Wit and the world were born without a mother. Often above himselfe, sometimes below; (too,