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Of the poet's numerous family, John is alone remembered. He was born in Essex, and afterwards became, Wood says, a member of Exeter College, Oxford, where he bore arms for the King in the garrison of the town; but it is not clear that he ever belonged to the University. We find, from his own relation, that he was indebted for his education to Archbishop Usher, in whose house he appears to have resided.
That little education I dare own
Upon the decease of this prelate, to whom he was sincerely attached, he composed an elegy beginning with these beautiful lines:—
Then weep no more; see how his peaceful breast,
The feet of Sion's watchman must have been weary, and his eyes heavy with sleep! While the royal cause offered any hopes of a prosperous issue, John Quarles continued an active and faithful servant of the king, in whose army he obtained the rank of captain; but when the strength of the loyalists was exhausted by the repeated victories of the Parliament, he " retired to London in »
Francisci Quarlesii Opera, qui mihi turn erat ah Epistolis (vir ob wfratiorem poesin apvd Anglos &uos ■non incelebris) cum illo conferendum curavi ad annum DCCCC. Dionysianum a quo quatenus prius missus initium duxit."
* An Elegie on the most Reverend and learned James Usher, L. Archbishop of Armagh, 1656.
mean condition," and about 1649 bade farewell to England, and went abroad, but in what capacity Wood was ignorant. Upon his return he supported himself by his pen, until he was swept away in the plague of 1665. The place of his burial is unknown. His compositions were very numerous, and by some he was " esteemed a good poet," though deficient in the power and originality of his father. But if he had less energy, he had more grace. The following Hymn may be admired for its harmonious elegance, happy expression, and fervid piety.
Great God, whose sceptre rules the earth,
Distil thy fear into my heart,
I may proclaim how good thou art:
Great God, thy garden is defaced,
The weeds thrive there, thy flowers decay;
O call to mind thy promise past,
Till then let not the weeds have power
To starve or stint the poorest flower.
In all extremes, Lord, thou art still
0 make my soul detest all ill,
Because so much abhorred by Thee:
Lord, let thy gracious trials show
That I am just, or make me so.
Shall mountain, desert, beast, and tree
And shall that voice not startle me,
Nor stir this stone,—this heart of mine?
No, Lord, till Thou new-bore mine ear,
Thy voice is lost, I cannot hear.
Fountain of light, and living breath,
Fill me with light that hath no shade;
Lord, God of gods, before whose throne
Return to heaven, that is our own,
We have no offering to impart,
But praises, and a wounded heart.
0 Thou that sitt'st in heaven, and see'st My deeds without, my thoughts within,
Be Thou my prince, be Thou my priest,—
Command my soul, and cure my sin: How bitter my afflictions be
1 care not, so I rise to Thee.
What I possess, or what I crave,
If what I would, or what I have
What I enjoy, oh, make it mine,
In making me—that have it—Thine.
When winter-fortunes cloud the brows
Of summer-friends,—when eyes grow strange,—
When plighted faith forgets its vows,—
0 Lord, thy mercies fail me never,—
When once Thou lov'st, Thou lov'st for ever.
Great God, whose kingdom hath no end,
Into whose secrets none can dive,
Whose justice none can feel—and live,