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Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?

Indeed, man's whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:

He did not heaven and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,

May both the work and workman show : Then by a sunne-beam I will climbe to thee.

THE FLOWER.

How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! ev'n as the flow'rs in spring;

To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.

Grief melts away like snow in May;
As if there were no such cold thing.

Who would have thought my shriveld heart Could have recover'd greennesse? It was gone

Quite under ground, as flow'rs depart To see their mother-root, when they have blown;

Where they, together, all the hard weather, Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

These are thy wonders, Lord of power! Killing, and quick’ning, bringing down to hell,

And up to heaven, in an houre; Making a chiming of a passing-bell. We

say amisse “ This, or that, is ;" Thy word is all; if we could spell.

Oh, that I once past changing were; Fast in thy Paradise, where no flow'r can wither!

Many a spring I shoot up fair, Off'ring at heav'n, growing and groaning thither:

Nor doth my flower want a spring-showre; My sins and I joyning together.

But, while I grow in a straight line, Still upwards bent, as if heav'n were mine own,

Thy anger comes, and I decline. What frost to that? What pole is not the zone

Where all things burn, when thou dost turn, And the least frown of thine is shown?

And now in age I bud again :
After so many deaths I live and write:

I once more smell the dew and rain,
And relish versing. O my onely light,

It cannot be that I am he,
On whom thy tempests fell all night!

These are thy wonders, Lord of love!
To make us see we are but flow’rs that glide :

Which when we once can find and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us where to bide;

Who would be more, swelling through store, Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.

VIRTUE.

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridail of the earth and skie,
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night ;

For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hew angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,

And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet dayes and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,
Thy musick shows ye have your closes,

And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,

Then chiefly lives.

D D

wanversou juunivusiy characterises one of the best of our dramatic writers :--the author of thirty-nine plays; the greater number of which were to the highest degree popular in his own time, although they have long since ceased to retain possession of the stage.

In 1646, Shirley published a volume of poems, from which three of our extracts have been made. They are little known; and, we believe, have never been reprinted. From one of his plays we have selected the most perfect of his shorter compositions" Death's Final Conquest;" that, entitled " Victorious Men of Earth,” is taken from “Cupid and Death," a masque printed in 1653.

His poems consist exclusively of short pieces, with the exception of one which records the Story of Narcissus. They are not of a high order ; but among them may be found many of considerable beauty. He wrote in an easy and graceful style; but his lyrics seem to be the produce of hours devoted to amusement and relaxation rather than to serious thought. The poet enjoyed the esteem of his contemporaries, and appears to have led a blameless life. The productions of his pen, indeed, carry with them ample proof that his principles were enlisted on the side of virtue ; and although he occasionally dwells upon themes unworthy of the Muse, he is rarely coarse, and never indecent: from the vice of his age he was, at least, comparatively free. His dramatic works have been within the last few years, collected and republished with notes, by Mr. Gifford and the Rev. Alexander Dyce.

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The glories of our birth and state

Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hands on kings.

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked scythe and spade. Some men with swords may reap the field,

And plant fresh laurels where they kill ; But their strong nerves at last must yield;

JAMES SHIRLEY was born in London in September 1594, and received his early education at Merchant Taylors' School. He was entered at St. John's, Oxford, but subsequently removed to Cambridge—in consequence, it is said, of Dr. William Laud, the President of St. John's, objecting to his taking orders, because of a large mole upon his cheek, which much disfigured him, and gave him a forbidding aspect. His academical studies being finished, he was ordained and appointed to a living in Hertfordshire, either at or in the neighbourhood of St. Alban's. He held this but for a short time, when he declared himself a convert to the Church of Rome. Subsequently he became a teacher in the Grammar School of St. Alban's; and for two years occupied himself in the drudgery of tuition ; " which employment also," says Wood, " finding uneasy to him, he retired to the metropolis, lived in Gray's Inn, and set up for a play maker." During the civil wars, he took the side of the Crown, and followed to the field his patron, the Earl of Newcastle.

He was twice married, and had several children. " Love Tricks, or the School of ('ompliment," was his earliest dramatic production. He states in the Prologue

" This play is
The first-fruits of a Muse, that before this,

Never saluted audience." But so little had he looked into futurity, or anticipated his own destiny, that he added-he did not

mean To swear himself a factor for the scene." It was performed in 1624-5, and printed in 1631. Shirley continued to write for the stage until 1642, when the first ordinance of both Houses of Parliament for the suppression of stage plays was issued; then, unable to live by his talents as a dramatist, he resumed his former occupation as a teacher; and " not only gained a comfortable subsistence, but educated many ingenious youths, who afterwards proved most eminent in divers faculties."

In this capacity, he was also a writer: "for the greater benefit and delight of young beginners,” he published several elementary works. “At length," according to Wood, "he, with his second wife, Frances, were driven by the dismal conflagration that happened in London in 1666, from their habitation near to Fleet-street, into the parish of St. Giles's in the fields, in Middlesex ; where, being in a manner overcome with atfrightments, disconsolations, and other miseries, occasioned by that fire, and their losses, they both died within the compass of a natural day." Garrick, in a Prologue to one of Shirley's Plays, says

" He painted English manners, English men,

And formed his taste on Shakespeare and old Ben." And this brief criticism judiciously characterises one of the best of our dramatic writers :-the author of thirty-nine plays; the greater number of which were to the highest degree popular in his own time, although they have long since ceased to retain possession of the stage.

In 1616, Shirley published a volume of poems, from which three of our extracts have been made. They are little known; and, we believe, have never been reprinted. From one of his plays we have selected the most perfect of his shorter compositions" Death's Final Conquest ;" that, entitled Victorious Men of Earth," is taken from "Cupid and Death," a masque printed in 1653.

His poems consist exclusively of short pieces, with the exception of one which records the Story of Narcissus. They are not of a high order; but among them may be found many of considerable beauty. He wrote in an easy and graceful style; but his lyrics seem to be the produce of hours devoted to amusement and relaxation rather than to serious thought. The poet enjoyed the esteem of his contemporaries, and appears to have led a blameless life. The productions of his pen, indeed, carry with them ample proof that his principles were enlisted on the side of virtue; and although he occasionally dwells upon themes unworthy of the Muse, he is rarely coarse, and never indecent : from the vice of his age he was, at least, comparatively free. His dramatic works have been within the last few years, collected and republished with notes, by Mr. Gifford and the Rev. Alexander Dyce.

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