James Shirley was an English dramatist.
He belonged to the great period of English dramatic literature, but, in Lamb's words, he "claims a place among the worthies of this period, not so much for any transcendent genius in himself, as that he was the last of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly the same language and had a set of moral feelings and notions in common." His career of play writing extended from 1625 to the suppression of stage plays by Parliament in 1642.
Hark, how chimes the passing bell!
There's no music to a knell;
All the other sounds we hear,
Flatter, and but cheat our ear.
This doth put us still in mind
That our flesh must be resigned,
And, a general silence made,
The world be muffled in a shade.
[Orpheus' lute, as poets tell,
Was but moral of this bell,
And the captive soul was she,
Which they called Eurydice,
Rescued by our holy groan,
A loud echo to this tone.]