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Proceeded on with no less art,
When this did nothing, I brought down
A thousand thousand to the town,
I then resolv'd to starve the place,
To draw her out, and from her strength,
And brought myself to lie at length,
When I had done what man could do,
And smil'd at all was done.
I sent to know from whence, and where,
A spy inform'd, Honour was there,
March, march (quoth I;) the word straight give,
That giant upon air will live,
To such a place our camp remove
As will no siege abide ;
I hate a fool that starves for love
We shall now give a considerable part of his best piece. Nothing can be more airy and pleasant, and sometimes picturesque and poetical. The little feet (like mice) peeping from beneath the petticoats, is delightful; so are several others of the descriptive parts; and the parentheses are the best examples we are acquainted with of the use of that figure.
Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
(The side that's next the sun.) Her lips were red; and one was thin, Compar'd to that was next her chin;
(Some bee had stung it newly.)
Her mouth so small, when she does speak,
Just in the nick the cook knock'd thrice,
His summons did obey;
When all the meat was on the table,
And this the very reason was,
The bus'ness of the kitchen's great,
Now hats fly off, and youths carouse;
O'th' suddain up they rise and dance;
By this time all were stol'n aside
But yet 'twas thought he guest her mind,
Above an hour or so.
We shall next give two or three of his delightful love songs -if such they can be called, when they are all written on the anti-romantic theory. The first is well known, and is the perfection of that kind of "easy writing," which is also "easy reading."
Unless the admirers of our delightful modern lyrist should insist that Suckling was imitating him in the following, we shall insist that he has imitated Suckling. To relish it fully, the reader should understand the nature of the old sport of Barleybreak, on which it turns. He may find this described by some of the commentators of Shakspeare.
"Love, Reason, Hate, did once bespeak
Love, Folly took; and Reason, Fancy;
That love and folly were in hell.
They break, and Love would Reason meet,
The rest do break again, and Pride
There is a fine reflective character about the following, unmixed with anything in the shape of contemptuousness or flippancy. The truth is, Suckling had a really philosophical mind, that would search after the truth: and perhaps the secret of his easy and happy disposition (which we so seldom find allied to minds of this cast)--is, that he permitted it to pursue this search without constraint, and then made the best of things as he found them; instead of endeavouring (as such minds usually do) to blink the matter themselves, and, not being able to do that effectually, kick against the pricks.-The style, too, of this little piece is the perfection of natural writing. There is not an inversion of any kind—not an ornament—not an epithet; there is not a word or a whole phrase that might not be used in the plainest prose, or even in common familiar conversation. And yet it is as musical as words can be, and would completely baffle the modern trick of printing it as prose, in order to depreciate its merits as verse. Who, after reading this and others we have now given, will listen, on the one hand, to those who pretend to see any necessary distinction between the language of prose and the language of verse; and, on the other hand, to those who pretend that the use of one and the same language for both is a modern invention?
"Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
That red and white works now no more on me,