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“Ask me no more where those stars light
That downwards fall in dead of night,
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixëd because as in their sphere.

“Ask me no more if east or west
The phoenix builds her spicy nest,
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies."

There is, perhaps, not a more nearly perfect poem of its kind in the whole range of English literature. Its perfection, moreover, is largely determined by the fact that the lyric maintains to the end the same elegance and force of language with which it begins. There is no falling off or padding here. Indeed, the poem constantly increases in interest and in beauty of expression. If there is a weak stanza anywhere, it is the first, as Mr. Saintsbury well remarks.

Perhaps a better illustration of Carew's sustaining power is the song, Would you know what's soft? Here the complete thought is not expressed until the last line is reached; the whole poem, moreover, depends on this line for its meaning. To appreciate this it is necessary to read the poem, which we quote in full:

"Would you know what's soft? I dare
Not bring to you the down, or air,
Nor to stars to show what's bright,
Nor to snow to teach you white;

"Nor, if you could music hear,
Call the orbs to take your ear;
Nor, to please your sense, bring forth
Bruised nard, or what's more worth;

"Or on food were your thoughts placed,
Bring you a nectar for a taste;
Would you have all these in one,
Name thy mistress, and 'tis done!”

Similar to the above is A Divine. Mistress. In this beautiful lyric the poet, after describing his mistress in the most glowing terms and bemoaning the fact that she has too much divinity for him, reserves for the last line the prayer:

"Ye gods! teach her some more humanity.”

'Saintsbury's History of Elizabethan Literature, page 362.

This order, which for the lack of a better name we call the periodic, occurs frequently in Carew. A slight variation from the above is illustrated in A Cruel Mis

Here the most important thought is reserved for the last two lines. The suitor, who consecrates a "never-dying flame” to his mistress, and who, in return, receives nothing but frowns, reaches the conclusion:

"Of such a goddess no times leave record,
That burnt the temple when she was adored.”

Another illustration is the well-known song, Give me more love:

“Give me

more love or more disdain;
The torrid or the frozen zone
Bring equal ease unto my pain,
The temperate affords me none:
Either extreme of love or hate,
Is sweeter than a calm estate.

“Give me a storm; if it be love,
Like Danaë in that golden shower,
I swim in pleasure; if it prove
Disdain, that torrent will devour
My vulture-hopes; and he's possess'd
Of heaven, that's but from hell released.

Then crown my joys or cure my pains :
Give me more love or more disdain.”

This poem is one of the most beautiful in English literature. As a work of art it is almost perfect. Indeed, it seems as though no line or part of a line could by any possibility be improved. Its sustaining power, moreover, is greatly helped by the last two lines, which form, as we see, not a part of the last stanza, but a conclusion to the whole poem.

A still further variation is the practice of using the last three lines-instead of the last two-in bringing together the leading thought at the end of a poem. This, however, does not occur often in Carew. Perhaps the best illustration of its use is found in A Deposition from Love. Here the last three lines, though constituting the highest point of interest in the stanza, constitute, also, the most important thought in the poem. On account of its length, only the last stanza is given here:

"Hard fate! to have been once possessid

As victor of a heart,
Achieved with labour and unrest,

And then forced to depart;
If the stout foe will not resign

When I besiege a town,
I lose but what was never mine;

But he that is cast down
From enjoy'd beauty feels a woe

Only deposed kings can know.”

Sometimes, instead of reserving the important thought for the last line, or for the last two or three lines, of a poem, Carew observes what we have called the periodic order in each of the stanzas of a poem. This is well illustrated in The Protestation. Notice, in the two stanzas which are quoted, how the thought is held in suspense until the last line is reached :

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Another example is the song, When, Celia, I intend to flatter you. Here, however, not only is the periodic order observed in each stanza, but a happy turn is given to the last, by which it is made the most effective in the poem:

“Yet grow not proud by such Hyperboles :
Were you as excellent as these,

While I

Before you lie,
They might be had with ease.”

Occasionally the last stanza is used as a summary of the preceding stanzas. This is well illustrated in The Complement:

“I love thee not for eyes nor hair,
Nor cheeks, nor lips, nor teeth so rare,
Nor for thy neck, nor for thy breast,

Nor for thy hand, nor foot so small:
But would'st thou know, dear sweet, for all.”

The illustrations so far have been taken from Carew's amatory poems. But his ability to sustain his flight may be seen in almost all the poems which make up the other groups. Among his epitaphs we have two very good illustrations in To Maria Wentworth and in the Epitaph on the Lady Mary Villiers. The first of these poems is made up of seven tetrameter iambic tercets, the three lines of each tercet rhyming. The poem itself possesses little merit, because it is marred by the use of conceits. Its flight, however, is sustained to the end. In the last stanza, which is the best, the writer gives the moral of the poem:

"Learn from hence, Reader, what small trust
We owe this world, where virtue must,
Frail as our flesh, crumble to dust."

The Epitaph on the Lady Mary Villiers is a much better poem. Its characteristic qualities are simplicity and pathos. If we compare the epitaph with the two others that Carew wrote, we may see how much the poet must have worked on this one. The reader will hardly fail to notice the genuine appeal to the emotions in the last six lines:

"The Lady Mary Villiers lies
Under this stone; with weeping eyes
The parents that first gave her birth,
And the sad friends, laid her in earth.
If any of them, Reader, were
Known unto thee, shed a tear;

Or if thyself possess a gem
As dear to thee, as his to them,
Though a stranger to this place,
Bewail in theirs thine own hard case :
For thou, perhaps, at thy return
May'st find thy darling in an urn."

In the two pastoral dialogues, in the three marriage hymns, and in all the elegies, we have further illustrations of the poet's unusual art of sustaining his flight to the end. The quality is found even in his longest poems. The Rapture, one of his longest, holds the attention of the reader-if he can stand the coarseness of the poem-until the last line is reached. But the best illustration among his longer poems is the Elegy upon the Death of Dr. Donne. Carew, like many of the other poets of the age, had profound respect and reverence for Donne, and he expresses in this poem his intense grief at the loss of the poet. It is the last four lines that are so well known; and it would be difficult to find lines that are more sententious:

"Here lies a King who ruled as he saw fit,
The universal monarchy of wit;
Here lies two flamens, and both those the best:
Apollo's first, at last the true God's priest.”

But it is unnecessary to discuss this characteristic further.

Another way in which Carew shows his artistic powers is seen in the grace and felicity with which he pays a compliment in verse. This quality also is illustrated in the beautiful lyric, Ask me no more, quoted above. The perfection of this poem consists not only in its sustained power, but in the charming manner in which the thought itself is expressed by the poet. The extravagance of the compliment affects in no way its artistic qualities. Indeed, the poet is not thinking of the lovely woman or of his feelings, as he writes the poem, but of the accomplishment of describing the lovely woman and his feelings toward her. He who could do this most gracefully was regarded as the best poet. That a courtly compliment could not be better expressed, need hardly be stated. Its peculiar artistic quality, moreover, is seen in the fact that the compliment constantly borders on the verge of the ridiculous, and yet never quite reaches that point. Another stanza would have ruined the entire poem; yet there is not a single stanza or line that we should be willing to give up. The peculiar charm which is found in this poem is characteristic of a large proportion of Carew's courtly amorous verses. Among the best illustrations may be mentioned A Divine Mistress, Celia Singing, The Complement, To His Mistress Confined, Conquest by Flight, and A Beautiful Mistress. The last poem we shall quote:

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