1651 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Cartwright

Henry Vaughan, "Upon the Poems and Plaies of the ever Memorable Mr. Will. Cartwright" Cartwright, Comedies, Tragi-Comedies, with other Poems (1651) no sig.



I did but see thee! and how vain it is
To vex thee for it with Remonstrances
Though things in fashion, let those judge, who sit
Their twelve-pence out, to clap their hands at Wit;
I fear to sin thus near thee; for (great Saint!)
'Tis known, true beauty hath no need of paint.

Yet since a Labell fixt to thy fair Hearse
Is all the mode, and Tears put into Verse
Can teach Posterity our present grief,
And their own loss, but never give relief;
I'll tell them (and a truth which needs no Pass)
That Wit in CARTWRIGHT at her Zenith was.
Arts, Fancy, Language, all conven'd in thee,
With those grand miracles which deifie
The old Worlds Writings, kept yet from the Fire
Because they force these worst times to admire.
Thy matchless Genius, in all thou didst write,
Like the Sun, wrought with such stayd heat, and light,
That not a line (to the most Critick he)
Offends with flashes, or obscurity.

When thou the wild of humors track'st, thy Pen
So Imitates that Motley stock in men,
As if thou hadst in all their bosomes been,
And seen those Leopards that lurke within.
The am'rous Youth steales from thy Courtly page
His vow'd Address, the Souldier his brave rage;
And those soft beautious Readers whose looks can
Make some men Poets, and make any man
A Lover, when thy Slave but seemes to dye,
Turn all his Mourners, and melt at the Eye.
Thus, thou thy Thoughts hast drest in such a strain
As doth not only speak, but rule and reign;
Nor are those bodies they assum'd, dark Clouds,
Or a thick bark, but clear, transparent shrowds,
Which who looks on, the Rayes so strongly beat
They'd brush, and warm him with a quickening heat,
So Souls shine at the Eyes, and Pearls display
Through the loose-Crystall-streams a glaunce of day.
But what's all this unto a Royall Test?
Thou art the Man, whom great CHARLES so exprest!
Then let the Crowd refraine their needless humme,
When Thunder speaks, then squibs and winds are dumb.
HENRY VAUGHAN. Silurist.