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THE

LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.

The public interest has been of late years so strongly manifested in favour of the poets of the seventeenth century, that little apology appears necessary for the republication of the following Poems. It would, however, be equally vain and foolish in the editor to claim for the author a place among the higher class of poets, or to exalt bis due praise by depreciating the merits of his contemporaries.Claiming only for Cæsar what to Cæsar is due, it may without arrogance be presumed that these pages will not be found inferior to the poems of others which have been fortunately

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republished, or familiarised to the generality of readers through the popular medium of selections.

The author of the following poems. (an

account of whose life may be considered as a necessary appendage to these pages) is said to have descended from the antient family of the Corbets in Shropshire. It were too laborious and pedantic in a work of this nature to trace his pedigree, but I should be pleased to find any proofs of their attacliment to him: yet as the bishop did not usually “conceal his love,” I suspect he received no mark of their regard, at least till his elevation conferred rather than received obligation by acknowledgment.

Richard Corbet, successively bishop of Oxford and Norwich, was born at the village of

Ewell in Surrey, in the year 1582: he was the only son of Bennet, or Benedicta, and Vincent Corbet, who, from causes which I have not discovered, assumed the name of Poynter. His father, a man of some eminence for his skill in gardening, and who is celebrated by Ben Jonson in an elegy alike

* An EPITAPH on Master VINCENT CORBET.

I have my piety too, which, could
It vent itself-but as it would,
Would say as much as both have done
Before me here, the friend and son :
For I both lost a friend and father,
Of him whose bones this grave doth gather :
Dear Vincent Corbet, who so long
Had wrestled with diseases strong,
That though they did possess each limb,
Yet he broke them, ere they could him,
With the just canon of his life;
A life that knew nor noise nor strife:
But was by sweetning so his will,
All order and

composure

still. His mind as pure, and neatly kept As were his nourseries, and swept

honourable to the subject, the poet, and the friend, for his many amiable virtues, resided:

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So of uncleanness or offence,
That never came ill odour thence !
And add his actions unto these,
They were as specious as his trees.
'T is true, he could not reprehend,
His very manners taught t'amend,
They were so even, grave, and holy;
No stubbornness so stiff, nor folly
To licence ever was so light,
As twice to trespass in his sight;
His looks would so correct it, when
It chid the vice, yet not the men.
Much from him, I profess, I won,
And more, much more, I should have done,
But that I understood him scant:
Now I conceive him by my want ;
And pray, who shall my sorrows read,
That they for me their tears will shed :
For truly, since he left to be,

I feel I'm rather dead than he.
Reader, whose life and name did e'er become
An epitaph, deserv'd a tomb :
Nor wants it here through penury or sloth,
Who makes the one, so it be first, makes both.

JONSON's Underwoods.

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