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So many spots, like næves on Venus' soil,
One jewel set off with so many a foil;

Blisters with pride swelled, which through's flesh did sprout

Like rose-buds, stuck i'the lily-skin about.
Each little pimple had a tear in it,

To wail the fault its rising did commit;
Which, rebel-like, with its own lord at strife,
Thus made an insurrection 'gainst his life.
Or were these gems sent to adorn his skin,
The cabinet of a richer soul within?
No comet need foretel his change drew on,
Whose corpse might seem a constellation.
O had he died of old, how great a strife

Had been, who from his death should draw their life;
Who should, by one rich draught, become whate'er
Seneca, Cato, Numa, Cæsar, were!

Learned, virtuous, pious, great; and have by this
An universal metempsychosis.

Must all these aged sires in one funeral
Expire all die in one so young, so small?
Who, had he lived his life out, his great fame
Had swoln 'bove any Greek or Roman name.
But hasty winter, with one blast, hath brought
The hopes of autumn, summer, spring, to nought.
Thus fades the oak i̇the sprig, i'the blade the corn;
Thus without young, this Phoenix dies, new-born.
Must then old three-legged grey-beards with their

Catarrhs, rheums, aches, live three ages out?
Time's offals, only fit for the hospital!
Or to hang antiquaries rooms withal!

Must drunkards, lechers, spent with sinning, live
With such helps as broths, possets, physic give?
None live, but such as should die? shall we meet
With none but ghostly fathers in the street?
Grief makes me rail, sorrow will force its way,
And showers of tears tempestuous sighs best lay.

The tongue may fail; but overflowing eyes
Will weep out lasting streams of elegies.
But thou, O virgin-widow, left alone,
Now thy beloved, heaven-ravished spouse is gone,
Whose skilful sire in vain strove to apply
Med'cines, when thy balm was no remedy;
With greater than Platonic love, O wed
His soul, though not his body, to thy bed:
Let that make thee a mother; bring thou forth
The ideas of his virtue, knowledge, worth;
Transcribe the original in new copies; give
Hastings o'the better part: so shall he live
In's nobler half; and the great grandsire be
Of an heroic divine progeny:

An issue which to eternity shall last,
Yet but the irradiations which he cast,
Erect no mausoleums; for his best
Monument is his spouse's marble breast.

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JOHN OLDHAM, who, from the keenness of his satirical poetry, justly acquired the title of the English Juvenal, was born at Shipton, in Gloucestershire, where his father was a clergyman, on 9th August, 1653. About 1678, he was an usher in the free school of Croydon; but having already distinguished himself by several pieces of poetry, and particularly by four severe satirical invectives against the order of Jesuits, then obnoxious on account of the Popish Plot, he quitted that mean situation, to become tutor to the family of Sir Edward Theveland, and afterwards to a son of Sir William Hickes. Shortly after he seems to have resigned all employment except the unthrifty trade of poetry. When Oldham entered upon this career, he settled of course in the metropolis, where his genius recommended him to the company of the first wits, and to the friendship of Dryden. He did not long enjoy the pleasures of such a life, nor did he live to experience the uncertainties, and disappointment, and reverses, with which, above all others, it abounds. Being seized with the small-pox, while visiting at the seat of his patron, William Earl of Kingston, he died of that disease on the 9th December, 1683, in the 30th year of his age. His " Remains," in verse and prose, were soon afterwards published, with elegies and recommendatory verses prefixed by Tate, Flatman, Durfey, Gould, Andrews, and others. But the applause of Dryden, expressed in the following lines, was worth all the tame panegyrics of other contemporary bards. It appears, among the others, in "Oldham's Remains," London, 1683.






FAREWELL, too little, and too lately known,
Whom I began to think, and call my own:
For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
Cast in the same poetic mould with mine.
One common note on either lyre did strike,
And knaves and fools we both abhorred alike.
To the same goal did both our studies drive;
The last set out, the soonest did arrive.
Thus Nisus fell upon the slippery place,
Whilst his young friend performed and won the race.
O early ripe! to thy abundant store

What could advancing age have added more!
It might (what nature never gives the young)
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.
But satire needs not those, and wit will shine
Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line. *

Dryden's opinion concerning the harshness of Oldham's numbers, was not unanimously subscribed to by contemporary authors.

A noble error, and but seldom made,
When poets are by too much force betrayed.
Thy generous fruits, though gathered ere their

Still shewed a quickness; and maturing time
But mellows what we write, to the dull sweets of


In the "Historical Dictionary,” 1694, Oldham is termed, "a pithy, sententious, elegant, and smooth writer:" and Winstanley says, that none can read his works without admiration; so pithy his strains, so sententious his expression, so elegant his oratory, so swimming his language, so smooth his lines." Tom Brown goes the length to impute our author's qualification of his praise of Oldham to the malignant spirit of envy : ""Tis your own way, Mr Bayes, as you may remember in your verses upon Mr Oldham, where you tell the world that he was a very fine, ingenious gentleman, but still did not understand the cadence of the English tongue.”—Reasons for Mr Bayès' changing his Religion, Part II.

p. 33.

But this only proves, that Tom Brown and Mr Winstanley were deficient in poetical ear; for Oldham's satires, though full of vehemence and impressive expression, are, in diction, not much more harmonious than those of Hall or of Donne. The reader may take the following celebrated passage on the life of a nobleman's chaplain, as illustrating both the merits and defects of his poetry:

Some think themselves exalted to the sky,

If they light in some noble family;
Diet, a horse, and thirty pounds a year,
Besides the advantage of his Lordship's ear;

The credit of the business, and the state,

Are things that in a youngster's sense sound great.

Little the unexperienced wretch doth know

What slavery he oft must undergo;

Who, though in silken scarf and cassock dressed,

Wears but a gayer livery at best

When dinner calls, the implement must wait,
With holy words, to consecrate the meat;
But hold it for a favour seldom known,
If he be deigned the honour to sit down:
Soon as the tarts appear, Sir Crape withdraw;
These dainties are not for a spiritual maw.
Observe your distance, and be sure to stand
Hard by the cistern, with your cup in hand;

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