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❝ Open, oh! open wide the fountains of thine eyes,
Their stock of moisture forth where-e'er it lies,
'Twould all, alas! too little be,
Though thy falt tears came from a sea.”
Cowley being early difgufted with the perplexities and vanities of a court life, had a ftrong defire to enjoy the milder pleasures of folitude and retirement; he therefore escaped from the tumults of London to a little house at Wandsworth; but finding that place too near the metropolis, he left it for Richmond, and at last settled at Chertsey. He feems to have thought that the swains of Surry had the innocence of thofe of Sydney's Arcadia ; but the perverseness and debauchery of his own workmen foon undeceived him, with whom, it is said, he was fometimes fo provoked, as even to be betrayed into an oath. His income was about three hundred pounds a year. Towards the latter part of his life he shewed an aversion to the company of women, and would often leave the room if any happened to enter it whilst he was prefent, but ftill retained a fincere affection for Leonora. His death was occafioned by a fingular accident; he paid a vifit on foot with his friend Sprat to a gentleman in the neighbourhood of Chertsey, which they prolonged, and feafted too much, till midnight. On their return home they mistook their way, and were obliged to pass the whole night expofed under a hedge, where Cowley caught a fevere cold, attended with a fever, that terminated in his death. All these particulars were communicated to me by Mr. Spence from his Anecdotes, who affured me he received them from Mr. Pope's own mouth. WARTON.
FAIN my Mufe the flow'ry Treasures fing,
And humble glories of the youthful Spring ; Where op'ning Roses breathing sweets diffuse, And foft Carnations show'r their balmy dews; Where Lilies fmile in virgin robes of white, The thin Undrefs of fuperficial Light, And vary'd Tulips fhow fo dazzling gay, Blushing in bright diverfities of day. Each painted flowret in the lake below Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow; And pale Narciffus on the bank, in vain Transformed, gazes on himself again. Here aged trees Cathedral Walks compofe, And mount the Hill in venerable rows: There the green Infants in their beds are laid, The Garden's Hope, and its expected fhade. Here Orange-trees with blooms and pendants shine, And vernal honours to their autumn join, Exceed their promise in the ripen'd store, Yet in the rifing bloffom promise more. There in bright drops the crystal Fountains play, By Laurels fhielded from the piercing day:
Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,
Still turns her beauties from th' invading beam, 25
THIS, with the exception of the Imitation of Waller, is by far the best of Pope's Imitations. What he has written as defcriptive of the characteristic style of Chaucer and Spenser, is as unlike, except in the metre, as it is offenfive and disgusting: the turn of expreffions, the laboured elegance, the ornamented con. ceits, and the general caft of Cowley's poetical embellishments, are here moft admirably hit off; but in this Imitation, poffibly it was fo intended, Pope confounds the feafons, I think, with injuf tice to Cowley, if it was intended; and if not, with his general want of correctness, where he speaks of trees and flowers, &c. He calls foft Carnations the humble glories of the youthful "Spring;" but most probably the gaudy inaccuracy of flow'ry description, was what Pope had in view.
The Sun, next those the fairest light,
These filver drops, like morning dew,
The Baby in that funny Sphere
That Heav'n, the threaten'd World to spare,
VER. 13. The Baby in that funny Sphere] The expreffion of the "Baby on eyes," is fo common among our early writers of profe and verse, that perhaps it need not be pointed out. curs very often in Burton's Anatomy.
EXACTLY in the tafte of Lopes de Vega, who, speaking of a fhepherdefs weeping near the fea-fide, fays, "The ocean advances to collect her tears, and enclosing them in shells, converts them into pearls.” WARTON.
In Churchill's collection of Voyages, there are fome lines written by one of the poor people who were left to perish on the coast of Greenland, in which the idea of their tears being preserved by the froft to the laft day, is introduced. The idea is too fanciful; but fome of the lines are beautiful, and many of the thoughts very natural and affecting.