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Resound in jubilees
The great Jehovah's praise.
Him serve alone ;

In triumph bring

Your gifts, and sing
Before his throne.

• Man drew from man his birth,

But God his noble frame
Built of the ruddy earth,
Fillid with celestial flame.
His sons we are ;

Sheep by him led,

Preserv'd and fed
With tender care.
O to his portals press

In your divine resorts :
With thanks his power profess,
And praise him in his courts.
How good! How pure !

His mercies last :

His promise past
For ever sure.'

Amongst the sacred poets of the seventeenth century, the brothers, Phineas and Giles Fletcher, occupy a high rank. Their father, Dr. Giles Fletcher, was himself an aspirant to poetical fame; and their cousin John, the dramatist, was the associate of Beaumont. The Purple Island, a poem in twelve cantos, by Phineas, well known to students of our early literature, is an allegorical poem, descriptive of the human body and soul. Though this production, as a whole, would not please the more correct and refined taste of the present times, it is the work of a genuine poet, and abounds in fine passages. The following stanzas on the marriage of Christ and his church are from the close of the poem.

• The fair Eclecta, who with widow'd brow,

Her absent Lord long mourn’d in sad array,
Now silken linen cloth'd like frozen snow,
Whose silver spanglets sparkle 'gainst the day ;

This shining robe her Lord himself had wrought,

While he her loss with hundred presents sought,
And it with many a wound, and many a torment bought !
And thus array'd, her heavenly beauties shin’d

(Drawing their beams from his most glorious face)
Like to a precious jasper, pure, refin’d,

Which with a crystal mix'd, much mends his grace:

Mercy concerning lost man; in the second, Christ's victory on not to have signally failed in such an attempt. This, Fletcher

The golden stars a garland fair did frame

To crown her locks; the sun lay hid for shame,
And yielded all his beams to her more glorious flame.
* Run now, you shepherd-swains ; ah! run you thither,

Where this fair bridegroom leads the blessed way:
And haste, you lovely maids, haste you together
With this sweet bride, while yet the sunshine day

Guides your blind steps ; while yet loud summons call

That every wood and hill resounds withal,
Come, Hymen, Hymen come, drest in thy golden pall.
• The sounding echo back the music flung,

While heavenly spheres unto the voices play'd.
But lo! the day is ended with my song,
And sporting bathes with that fair ocean maid :

Stoop now thy wing, my muse, now stoop thee low :

Hence may'st thou freely play, and rest thee now,
While here I hang my pipe upon the willow bough!
This is true poetry: and so is the exquisite gem that follows.

HYMN.
Drop, drop, slow tears,

And bathe those beauteous feet,
Which brought from heaven

The news and Prince of Peace.
Cease not, wet eyes,

His mercies to entreat,
To
cry

for vengeance
Sin doth never cease.
In yon deep flood

Drown all my faults and fears ;
Nor let his eye

See sin, but through my tears.'
Mr. Cattermole's first volume is enriched with the whole of
Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victory and Triumph,'' with the ex-
'ception of a very few unimportant stanzas.'

This beautiful poem is divided into four parts : in the first of which, Christ's victory in heaven, we have the solemn consultation

of Justice and earth, his temptation by Satan ; in the third, Christ's triumph over death, a description of circumstances connected with his passion ; in the fourth, Christ's triumph after death, his resurrection, ascension, and glory in heaven. It will be seen that here is ample room for the genius of a Milton; and it is great praise has not done. "His poem is full of beauties; but it is disfigured

by many of the vices of his age, by forced antitheses, unnatural conceits, and by a most absurd mixture of pagan mythology with the solemn truths of revelation. But from the last mentioned blemish the Paradise Lost is not free. The Fletchers evidently took the Faery Queene as their model.

There is true poetic grandeur in the picture of Justice.

· She was a virgin of austere regard,
Not as the world esteems her, deaf and blind,
But as the eagle, that hath oft compar'd
Her eye with heaven's, so, and more brightly shin'd
Her lamping sight; for she the same could wind

Into the solid heart, and with her ears

The silence of the thought loud speaking hears,
And in one hand a pair of even scales she wears.

• No riot of affection revel kept
Within her breast, but a still apathy
Possessed all her soul, which softly slept,
Securely, without tempest; no sad cry
Awakes her pity, but wrong'd Poverty,

Sending her eyes to heaven swimming in tears :

And hideous clamors ever struck her ears,
Whetting the blazing sword that in her hand she bears.

• The winged lightning is her Mercury,
And round about her mighty thunders sound;
Impatient of himself lies pining by
Pale Sickness, with his kercher'd head up wound,
And thousand noisome plagues attend her round:

But if her cloudy brow but once grow foul,

The flints do melt, the rocks to water roll,
And airy mountains shake, and frighted shadows howl.'

The interposition of mercy is also well conceived, and beautifully painted; but it is too long for extraction, and abridgment would spoil it..

A few stanzas from the fourth part of this poem will be sufficient, we hope, to inspire our readers with a desire to make themselves familiar with the whole. The author treats of the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

• But now the second morning, from her bower,
Began to glisten in her beams; and now
The roses of the day began to flower
In the eastern garden ; for heaven's smiling brow
Half insolent for joy began to show :

The early sun came lively dancing out,

And the brag lambs ran wantoning about,
That heaven and earth might seem in triumph both to shout.

*

Say, Earth, why hast thou got thee new attire,
And stick'st thy habit full of daisies red ?
Seems that thou dost to some high thought aspire,
And some new-found-out bridegroom mean'st to wed :
Tell me, ye trees, so fresh apparalled,

So never let the spiteful canker waste you,

So never let the heavens with lightning blast you, Why go you now so trimly drest, or whither haste you?

Ye primroses and purple violets,
Tell me, why blaze ye from your leafy bed,
And woo men's hands to rent you from your sets,
As though you would somewhere be carried,
With fresh perfumes and velvets garnished ?

But ah! I need not ask, 'tis surely so,

You all would to your Saviour's triumph go : There would you all await, and humble homage do.

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• There might the violet and primrose sweet,
Beams of more lively, and more lovely grace,
Arising from their beds of incense, meet ;
There should the swallow see new life embrace
Dead ashes, and the grave unveil his face,

To let the living form his bowels creep,

Unable longer his own dead to keep ; There heaven and earth should see their Lord awake from sleep.

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• Toss up your heads, ye everlasting gates,
And let the Prince of glory enter in !
At whose brave volley of siderial states,
The sun to blush and stars grow pale, were seen ;
When leaping first from earth, he did begin

To climb his angel wings : then open hang

Your crystal doors !' so all the chorus sang
Of heavenly birds, as to the stars they nimbly sprang.

• Hark! how the floods clap their applauding hands,
The pleasant valleys singing for delight;
The wanton mountains dance about the lands,
The while the fields, struck with the heavenly light,
Set all their flowers a smiling at the sight;

The trees laugh with their blossoms, and the sound

Of the triumphant shout of praise, that crown'd The flaming Lamb, breaking through heaven hath passage found.

Out leap the antique patriarchs, all in haste, To see the powers of hell in triumph led, And with small stars a garland interchas'd Of olive-leaves they bore to crown his head,

That was before with thorns degloried :

After these flew the prophets, brightly stol'd

In shining lawn, and wimpled manifold,
Striking their ivory harps, strung all in cords of gold.

To which the saints victorious carols sung,
Ten thousand saints at once, that with the sound
The hollow vaults of heaven for triumph rung :
The cherubim their clamours did confound
With all the rest, and clapt their wings around:

Down from their thrones the dominations flow,

And at his feet their crowns and sceptres throw,
And all the princely souls fell on their faces low.'

That both the Fletchers owed much to the study of Spenser is evident to an attentive reader of their works. The author of the Faery Queene has had a commanding influence on many of the poets of after times. Nor were these brothers unworthy of so great a master; and even excelled him in devoting their genius to nobler, because more useful, subjects.

Christ's Victory and Triumph will suffer but little by a comparison with the Paradise Regained. If it wants the majestic conception and the lofty diction of Milton, it is in many places equal in melody and beauty of illustration, while it is superior in variety of incident. To us the whole poem is more fall of interest: for the Paradise Regained disappoints the reader, by concluding with Christ's victory over Satan, instead of carrying us through the eventful and awful scenes of the Saviour's life and death. But Fletcher brings his poem to its natural close by accompanying the crucified and triumphant Redeemer to heaven.

The principal and characteristic merit of this poem, however, is not its grandeur as a whole, though in that it is not deficient; but the sweetness of detached passages, the music of its language, and the delicate beauty of its illustrations. Yet these are found, like

gems in the mine, in near connexion with much that is rough and unshapely. The glittering spar and the native gold occur amidst masses of dull and unattractive ore; but the sparkling passages of the poet, like the diamonds and the gold, amply repay the seeker's labor. Some of these beauties we have presented to our readers; and will close our notice of Giles Fletcher with the lovely stanzas which open the third book; and which, though sometimes obscure in meaning, yet delight the ear with their music.

So down the silver streams of Eridan,
On either side bank'd with a lily wall,
Whiter than both rides the triumphant swan,
And sings his dirge, and prophesies his fall,

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