Page images
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]






The Sabbath...
God's Omnipresent Agency
Rousseau and Cowper
The Cure of Melancholy
Live for Eternity







This poet, who was born in 1540, is very justly placed among the worthies of early English poetical literature. He was bred to the law, but quitted it, and served with distinction against the Spaniards. His principal work is “ The Fruits of War,” which relates to the adventures of his voyage. In his youth he was a profligate, but he lived to amend his ways, and became a wise and good man. He died in a religious, calm, and happy frame of mind, in 1577. The writings of Gascoigne are more the result of observation than of creative genius. For the age in which he lived, the verse is uncommonly smooth, flowing, and unaffected.

[blocks in formation]

From depth of dole, wherein my soul doth dwell,

From heavy heart, which harbors in my breast,

From troubled sprite, which seldom taketh rest,
From hope of heaven, from dread of darksome hell,
O gracious God, to thee I cry and yell :

My God, my Lord, my lovely Lord, alone

To thee I call, to thee I make my moan.
And thou, good God, vouchsafe in grace to take

This woful plaint

Wherein. I faint;
Oh! hear me, then, for thy great mercy's sake.

[ocr errors]

Oh! bend thine ears attentively to hear,

Oh! turn thine eyes, behold me how I wail!

Oh! hearken, Lord, give ear for mine avail, Oh! mark in mind the burdens that I bear; See how I sink in sorrows everywhere.

Behold and see what dolors I endure,

Give ear and mark what plaints I put in ure ;' Bend willing ears; and pity therewithal

My willing voice,

Which hath no choice
But evermore upon thy name to call.

If thou, good Lord, shouldst take thy rod in hand,

If thou regard what sins are daily done,

If thou take hold where we our works begun, If thou decree in judgment for to stand, And be extreme to see our 'scuses’ scanned ;

If thou take note of every thing amiss,

And write in rolls how frail our nature is, O glorious God, O King, O Prince of power!

What mortal wight

May thus have light
To feel thy power, if thou have list to lower ?

But thou art good, and hast of mercy store,

Thou not delight'st to see a sinner fall,

Thou hearkenest first, before we come to call, Thine ears are set wide open evermore, Before we knock thou comest to the door ;

Thou art more prest to hear a sinner cry

Than he is quick to climb to thee on high. Thy mighty name be praised then alway,

Let faith and fear

True witness bear,
How fast they stand which on thy mercy stay.

» Excuses.

1 Use.


I look for thee, my lovely Lord, therefore

For thee I wait, for thee I tarry still,

Mine eyes do long to gaze on thee my fill,
For thee I watch, for thee I and pore,
My soul for thee attendeth evermore.

My soul doth thirst to take of thee a taste,

My soul desires with thee for to be placed.
And to thy words, which can no man deceive,

Mine only trust,

My love and lust,
In confidence continually shall cleave.

Before the break or dawning of the day,

Before the light be seen in lofty skies,

Before the sun appear in pleasant wise,
Before the watch, (before the watch, I say,)
Before the ward that waits therefore alway,

My soul, my sense, my secret thought, my sprite,

My will, my wish, my joy, and my delight,
Unto the Lord, that sits in heaven on high,

With hasty wing

From me doth fling,
And striveth still unto the Lord to fly.


O Israel! O household of the Lord !

O Abraham's sons! O brood of blessed seed!

O chosen sheep, that love the Lord indeed !
O hungry hearts ! feed still upon his word,

put your trust in Him with one accord.
For He hath mercy evermore at hand,

His fountains flow, his springs do never stand ;
And plenteously He loveth to redeem

Such sinners all

As on Him call,
faithfully his mercies most esteem.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

He will redeem our deadly, drooping state,

He will bring home the sheep that go astray,

He will help them that hope in Him alway,
He will appease our discord and debate,
He will soon save, though we repent us late.

He will be ours, if we continue his,

He will bring bale' to joy and perfect bliss;
He will redeem the flock of his elect

From all that is

Or was amiss
Since Abraham's heirs did first his laws reject.


EDMUND SPENSER was born in London about 1553. He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. He has been styled, by way of . pre-eminence, the Divine Poet of England. This may, perhaps, be somewhat incorrect; his writings have, however, a pure, elevating, and beautiful spirit of humanity; and his “ Divine Hymns,” it has been well remarked, are indeed divine. Spenser was made Secretary of Ireland, and he obtained a grant of lands forfeited in the county of Cork. On the breaking out of Tyrone's rebellion, he was obliged to abandon his home so abruptly, that one of his children perished in the flames which consumed his dwelling. He died shortly after, it is said of a broken heart, in 1599; and was buried, by his own desire, near the tomb of Chaucer, in Westminster Abbey. Spenser himself describes his great poem, “The Fairy Queen,” in a letter to Sir Walter Raleigh, as a continual allegory, or dark conceit; the aim of “all the book” being “to fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.” An edition of all the works of Spenser has recently been published in Boston, edited with great taste and judgment by Mr. George Hillard of that city. There is a discriminating article upon Spenser in the thirty-second volume of The Quarterly Review, by the author of “ The Christian Year.”


« PreviousContinue »