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d all fair days much fairer are; But few, ah wondrous few there be, Who do not Gold prefer, O goddess, ev'n to thee. XXIV. Thro' the soft ways of Heav'n, and air, and sea, Which open all their pores to thee, Like a clear river thou dost glide, And with thy living stream through the close channels slide. XXV. But where firm bodies thy free course oppose, Gently thy source the land overflows; Takes there possession, and does make, Of colours mingled light, a thick and standing lake. XXVI. But the vast ocean of unbounded day In th'Empyraean heav'n does stay; Thy rivers, lakes, and springs below, From thence took first their rise, thither at last must flow. Footnotes: 1. Wood's Fasti Oxon, vol. ii. col. 120. 2. Essay on himself. 3. Sprat's Account of Cowley. * * * * * Sir WILLIAM DAVENANT. Few poets have been subjected to more various turns of fortune, than the gentleman whose memoirs we are now about to relate. He was amongst the first who refined our poetry, and did more for the interest of the drama, than any who ever wrote for the stage. He lived in times of general confusion, and was no unactive member of the state, when its necessities demanded his assistance; and when, with the restoration, politeness and genius began to revive, he applied himself to the promotion of these rational pleasures, which are fit to entertain a cultivated people. This great man was son of one Mr. John Davenant, a citizen of Oxford, and was born in the month of February, 1605; all the biographers of our poet have observed, that his father was a man of a grave disposition, and a gloomy turn of mind, which his son did not inherit from him, for he was as remarkably volatile, as his father was saturnine. The same biographers have celebrated our author's mother as very handsome, whose charms had the power of attracting the admiration of Shakespear, the highest compliment which ever was paid to beauty. As Mr. Davenant, our poet's father, kept a tavern, Shakespear, in his journies to Warwickshire, spent some time there, influenced, as many believe, by the engaging qualities of the handsome landlady. This circumstance has given rise to a conjecture, that Davenant was really the son of Shakespear, a
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