Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

From the Library of Rev, S. LONGFELLOW, 83

LONDON:

PRINTED BY O. WHITTINGHAM, TOOKS COURT.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

The Poetical Works of George Herbert are here given to the public in a more complete edition than bas hitherto appeared. They consist of the “Temple,” which, together with the “ Church Militant,” was first published at Cambridge, A. D. 16:33, with a preface by Nicholas Ferrar, who was usually called “ The Protestant Saint Nicholas, and the pious Mr. Herbert's brother,” and certain Latin and Greek poems, which, being written on subjects of temporary interest, are now alınost unknown. Of the former work, the Temple, it has been remarked by the Rev. Barnabas Oley in the life prefixed to Herbert's Remains,“ He that reads Mr. Herbert's poems attendingly, shall finde, not only the excellencies of Scripture Divinitie, and choice passages of the Fathers bound up in meetre; but the doctrine of Rome also finely and strongly confuted; as in

• To Saints and Angels,' The British Church,' • The Church Militant,'" &c.

A high panegyric is passed on the poems of Herbert by Baxter, who, in the preface to his Poetical Fragments (Lond. 1681) speaks thus :-“ Next to the Scripture Poems, there are none so savoury to me as Mr. George Herbert's and Mr. George Sandys's. I know that Cowley and others far excel Herbert in wit and accurate composure; But (as Seneca takes

the poems

with me above all his contemporaries, because he speaketh things by words, feelingly and seriously, like a man that is past jest, so) Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in this world is most with God. Heart-work and Heaven-work make up his books.”

Walton states that Herbert, on his death-bed, delivered the Temple to Mr. Edmond Duncon, his executor, with the following injunction : “Sir, I pray deliver this little book to my dear brother Ferrar, and tell him, he shall find in it a picture of the many spiritual conflicts that have passed betwixt God and my soul, before I could subject mine to the will of Jesus my master, in whose service I have now found perfect freedom; desire him to read it, and then if he can think it may turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul, let it be made public; if not, let him burn it, for I and it are less than the least of God's mercies.' Thus meanly did this humble man think of this excellent book, which now bears the name of The Temple, or Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations; of which Mr. Ferrar would say, there was the picture of a Divine Soul in every page; and that the whole book was such a harmony of holy passions, as would enrich the world with pleasure and piety.

And it appears to have done so, for there have been ten thousand of them sold since the first impression."*

* Izaak Walton published his life of Herbert in 1670. In the fourth edition, 1674, Walton says, that there have been more than twenty thousand of them sold since the first impression.' The Temple was first printed at Cambridge, 1633; the second edition the same year; third edition in 1634; fourth edit. 1635; fifth edit. 1638; sixth edit. 1641 ; seventh edit. 1656; eighth edit. 1660; ninth edit. 1667; tenth edit. 1674; eleventh edit. 1678; twelfth edit. 1703 ; thirteenth

In the life of Dr. Donne, Walton says:

And in this enumeration of his friends, though many must be omitted ; yet that man of primitive piety, Mr. George Herbert, may not: I mean that George Herbert, who was the author of "The Temple, or Sacred Poems and Ejaculations,a book, in which, by declaring his own spiritual conflicts, he hath comforted and raised many a dejected and discomposed soul, and charmed them into sweet and quiet thoughts ; a book, by the frequent reading whereof, and the assistance of that spirit that seemed to inspire the author, the reader may attain habits of peace and piety, and all the gifts of the Holy Ghost and Heaven, and may by still reading still keep those sacred fires burning upon the altar of so pure a heart, as shall free it from the anxieties of the world, and keep it fixed upon things that are above. Betwixt this George Herbert and Dr. Donne there was a long and dear friendship, made up by such a sympathy of inclinations, that they coveted and joyed to be in each other's company; and this

edit. 1709; fourteenth edit. Bristol, 1799; fifteenth edit. Lond. 1805. In the Bodleian Library is a MS. formerly be. longing to Abp. Sancroft, and then to Bp. Tanner, entitled, “ The original of Mr. George Herbert's Temple, as it was at first Licensed for the Presse. W. Sancroft;" beautifully written in folio, the punctuation altered by Sancroft. Dr. Bliss says, that the poems are the same with those ed. 1656, on a slight collation, there does not appear to be any various readings, and but one transposition. On the title is the poetical dedication, and at the bottom, original autographs.B. Lany Procan. Tho. Bainbrigg. M. Wren. William Beale. Tho. Freman.

There is also in the same library the following in MS.“Mr. Herbert's Temple and Church Militant, explained and improved by a discourse upon each

poem,

critical and practical, by Geo. Ryley, 1715.”

« ForrigeFortsett »