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The poetical propagation of light:
The prince’s favour is diffus’d o'er all,
At every glance a constellation flies
In light and power, the all-ey’d firmament:
Then from their beams their jewels lustres rise; And from their jewels torches do take fire, And all is warmth, and light, and good desire.
T H E Y were in very little care to clothe their notions with elegance of dress, and therefore miss the notice and the praise which are often gained by those, who think less, but are more diligent to adorn their thoughts.
That a mistress beloved is fairer in idea than in reality, is by Cowley thus expressed:
Thou in my fancy dost much higher stand,
That prayer and labour should co-operate, are thus taught by Donne :
In none but us, are such mixt engines found,
By the same author, a common topick, the danger of procrastination, is thus illustrated :
That which I should have begun In my youth's morning, now late must be done; And I, as giddy travellers must do, Which stray or sleep all day, and having lost Light and strength, dark and tir’d, must then ride post.
All that man has to do is to live and die; the sum of humanity is comprehended by Donne in the following lines:
Think in how poor a prison thou didst lie;
Think, that a rusty piece discharg'd is flown
T H E Y were sometimes indelicate and disgusting. Cowley thus apostrophises Beauty:
— Thou tyrant, which leav'st no man free Thou subtle thief, from whom nought safe can be Thou murtherer, which hast kill’d, and devil, which wouldst damn me.
Thus he addresses his mistress:
Thou who, in many a propriety,
Thus he represents the meditations of a lover:
Though in thy thoughts scarce any tracts have been
The true taste of tears :
Hither with crystal vials, lovers, come,
This is yet more indelicate:
As the sweet sweat of roses in a still,
T H E 1 R expressions sometimes raise horror, when they intend perhaps to be pathetic:
As men in hell are from diseases free,
T H E Y were not always strictly curious, whether the opinions from which they drew their illustrations were true; it was enough that they were popular. Bacon remarks, that some falsehoods are continued by tradition, because they supply commodious allusions.
It gave a piteous groan, and so it broke;
IN forming descriptions, they looked out not for images, but for conceits. Night has been a common subject, which poets have contended to adorn. Dryden's Night is well known; Donne's is as follows:
Thou seest me here at midnight, now all rest: