« AnteriorContinuar »
And in ber hand a sharpe bore-speare she held, Greatly aghast with this piteous plea,
Him rested the good man on the lea,
With painted words then gan this proud weed Knit with a golden bauldricke which forelay
(As most usen ambitious folk) Athwart her snowy brest, and did divide
His colour'd crime with craft to cloke.
Thou placer of plants both humble and tall,
To be the primrose of all thy land,
With flow'ring blossoms to furnish the prime,
And scarlet berries in sommer-tiine ?
How falls it then that this faded Oak,
Whose body is sere, whose branches broke,
Whose naked arms stretch unto the fire, As through the flouring forrest rash she fied,
Unto such tyranny doth aspire, In her rude heares sweet flowres themselves did lap,
Hindring with his shade my lovely light, And flourishing fresh leaves and blossomes did enwrap. So beat his old boughs my tender side,
And robbing me of the sweet sun's sight? [Fable of the Oak and the Briar.]
That oft the blood springeth from wounds wide,
Untimely my flowers forced to fall, There grew an aged tree on the green,
That been the honour of your coronal; A goodly Oak sometime had it been,
And oft he lets his canker-worms light With arms full strong and largely display'd, Upon my branches, to work me more spight; But of their leaves they were disaray'd :
And of his hoary locks down doth cast, The body big and mightily pight,
Wherewith my fresh flowrets been defást : Throughly rooted, and of wondrous height;
For this, and many more such outrage, Whilom had been the king of the field,
Craving your godlyhead to assuage And mochel mast to the husband did yield,
The rancorous rigour of his might; And with his nuts larded many swine,
Nought ask I but only to hold my right, But now the gray moss marted his rine,
Submitting me to your good sufferance, His bared boughs were beaten with storms,
And praying to be guarded from grievance. His top was bald, and wasted with worms,
To this this Oak cast him to reply His honour decay'd, his branches sere.
Well as he couth; but his enemy Hard by his side grew a bragging Briere,
Had kindled such coals of displeasure, Which proudly thrust into th' element,
That the good man nould stay his leisure, And seemed to threat the firmament :
But home him hasted with furious heat, It was embellisht with blossoms fair,
Encreasing his wrath with many a threat ; And thereto aye wonted to repair
His harmful hatchet he hent in hand, The shepherd's daughters to gather flowres,
(Alas ! that it so ready should stand!) To paint their garlands with his colowres,
And to the field alone he speedeth, And in his small bushes used to shroud,
(Aye little help to harm there needeth) The sweet nightingale singing so loud,
Anger nould let him speak to the tree, Which made this foolish Briere wex so bold,
Enaunter his rage might cooled be, That on a time he cast him to scold,
But to the root bent his sturdy stroke,
And made many wounds in the waste Oak.
Seemed the senseless iron did fear,
Or to wrong holy eld did forbear; With leaves engrained in lusty green,
For it had been an ancient tree, Colours meet to cloath a maiden queen ?
Sacred with many a mystery, Thy waste bigness but cumbers the ground,
And often crost with the priests' crew, And dirks the beauty of my blossomis round: And often hallowed with holy-water dew; The mouldy moss, which thee accloyeth,
But like fancies weren foolery, My cinnamon smell too much annoyeth :
And broughten this Oak to this misery; Wherefore soon I rede thee hence remove,
For nought might they quitten him from decay, Lest thou the price of my displeasure prove.
For fiercely the good man at him did lay. So spake this bold Briere with great disdain, The block oft groaned under his blow, Little him answer'd the Oak again,
And sighed to see his near overthrow. But yielded, with shame and grief adaw'd,
In fine, the steel had pierced his pith, That of a weed he was over-craw'd.
Then down to the ground he fell forthwith. It chanced after upon a day,
His wondrous weight made the ground to quake, The husband-man's self to come that way,
Th' earth shrunk under him, and seem'd to shake; Of custom to surview his ground,
There lieth the Oak pitied of nonc. And his trees of state in compass round :
Now stands the Briere like a lord alone, Him when the spiteful Briere had espyed,
Puft”d up with pride and vain pleasance ; Causeless complained, and loudly cryed
But all this glee had no continuance: Unto his lord, stirring up stern strife :
For eftsoons winter 'gan to approach, O my liege Lord ! the god of my life,
The blustering Boreas did encroach, Please you ponder your suppliant's plaint,
And beat upon the solitary Briere, Caused of wrong and cruel constraint,
For now no succour was seen him near. Which I your poor vassal daily endure ;
Now 'gan he repent his pride too late, And but your goodness the same recure,
For naked left and disconsolate, And like for desperate dole to die,
The biting frost nipt his stalk dead, Through felonous force of mine enemy.
The watry wet weighed down his head,
And heap'd snow burdned him so sore,
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold That now upright he can stand no more;
So many gazers as on her do stare, And being down is trod in the dirt
Upon the lowly ground affixed are; Of cattle, and brouzed, and sorely hurt.
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, Such was th' end of this ambitious Briere,
But blush to hear her praises sung so loud, For scorning eld.'
So far from being proud.
Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing, [From the Epithalamion.]
That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring. Wake now, my love, awake ; for it is time;
Tell me, ye merchants' daughters, did ye see The rosy morn long since left Tithon's bed,
So fair a creature in your town before ! All ready to her silver coach to climb;
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, And Phæbus 'gins to show his glorious head.
Adorned with beauty's grace, and virtue's store ; Hark! now the cheerful birds do chant their lays, Her goodly eyes like sapphires shining bright, And carol of Love's praise.
Her forehead ivory white, The merry lark her matins sings aloft ;
Her cheeks like apples which the sun hath rudded, The thrush replies; the mavis descant plays; Her lips like cherries charming men to bite, The ouzel shrills; the ruddock' warbles soft;
Her breast like to a bowl of cream uncrudded. So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,
Why stand ye still, ye virgins in amaze, To this day's merriment.
Upon her so to gaze, Ah! my dear love, why do you sleep thus long, Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing, When meeter were that you should now awake, To which the woods did answer, and your echo ring ! T await the coming of your joyous make, And hearken to the birds' love-learned song,
But if ye saw that which no eyes can see, The dewy leaves among !
The inward beauty of her lively sp’rit, For they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
Garnished with heavenly gifts of high degree, That all the woods them answer and their echo ring.
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonished like to those which read My love is now awake out of her dream,
Medusa's mazeful head. And her fair eyes, like stars that dimmed were There dwells sweet Love, and constant Chastity, With darksome cloud, now show their goodly beams Unspotted Faith, and comely Womanhood, More bright than Hesperus his head doth rear. Regard of Honour, and mild Modesty ; Come now, ye damsels, daughters of delight,
There Virtue reigns as queen in royal throne,
And giveth laws alone,
And yield their services unto her will ;
Ne thought of things uncomely ever may And all, that ever in this world is fair,
Thereto approach to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seen these her celestial treasures,
Then would ye wonder and her praises sing,
That all the woods would answer, and your echo ring And, as ye her array, still throw between Some graces to be seen ;
Open the temple gates unto my love, And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing,
Open them wide that she may enter in, The whiles the woods shall answer, and your echo ring. And all the posts adorn as doth behove,
And all the pillars deck with garlands trim, Now is my love all ready forth to come :
For to receive this saint with honour due,
That cometh in to you.
Of her, ye virgins, learn obedience,
When so ye come into those holy places, The joyfull'st day that ever sun did see.
To humble your proud faces : Fair Sun! show forth thy favourable ray,
Bring her up to the high altar, that she may And let thy lifeful heat not fervent be,
The sacred ceremonies there partake, For fear of burning her sunshiny face,
The which do endless matrimony make; Her beauty to disgrace.
And let the roaring organs loudly play O fairest Phæbus į father of the Muse!
The praises of the Lord in lively notes; If ever I did honour thee aright,
The whiles, with hollow throats, Or sing the thing that might
thy mind delight, The choristers the joyous anthem sing, Do not thy servant's simple boon refuse,
That all the woods may answer, and their echo ring But let this day, let this one day be mine ; Let all the rest be thine.
Behold, while she before the altar stands, Then I thy sovereign praises loud will sing,
Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks, That all the woods shall answer,
and their echo ring. And blesseth her with his two happy hando,
How the red roses flush up in her cheeks,
Like crimson dyed in grain ;
That even the angels, which continually Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best.
About the sacred altar do remain, So well it her beseems, that ye would ween
Forget their service and about her fly,
Oft peeping in her face, that seems more fair,
Are governed with goodly modesty,
That suffers not a look to glance awry, Seem like some maiden queen.
Which may let in a little thought unsound.
Why blush you, love, to give to me your hand,
I often look upon a face The pledge of all our band !
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin ; Sing, ye sweet angels, alleluya sing,
I often view the hollow place That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring. Where eyes and nose had sometime been ;
I see the bones across that lie,
Yet little think that I must die.
I read the label underneath,
That telleth me whereto I must; SOUTHWELL, who is also remarkable as a victim of
I see the sentence too, that saith, the religious contentions of the period. He was born
• Remember, man, thou art but duet.' in 1560, at St Faiths, Norfolk, of Roman Catholic
But yet, alas ! how seldom I
Do think, indeed, that I must die ! parents, who sent him, when very young, to be educated at the English college at Douay, in Flan- Continually at my bed's head 'ders, and from thence to Rome, where, at sixteen A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell years of age, he entered the society of the Jesuits. That I ere morning may be dead, În 1584, he returned to his native country, as a mis- Though now I feel myself full well ; sionary, notwithstanding a law which threatened all But yet, alas ! for all this, I members of his profession found in England with Have little mind that I must die ! death. For eight years he appears to have ministered secretly but zealously to the scattered adhe
The gown which I am used to wear, rents of his creed, without, as far as is known, doing
The knife wherewith I cut my meat ;
And eke that old and ancient chair, anything to disturb the peace of society, when, in 1592, he was apprehended in a gentleman's house at
Which is my only usual seat; Uxenden in Middlesex, and committed to a dungeon
All these do tell me I must die, in the Tower, so noisome and filthy, that, when he
And yet my life amend not I. was brought out for examination, his clothes were
My ancestors are turn’d to clay, covered with vermin. Upon this his father, a man And many of my mates are gone; of good family, presented a petition to Queen Eliza- My youngers daily drop away, beth, begging, that if his son had committed any- And can I think to 'scape alone ? thing for which, by the laws, he had deserved No, no ; I know that I must die, death, he might suffer death; if not, as he was a And yet my life amend not I. gentleman, he hoped her majesty would be pleased to order him to be treated as a gentleman. South
If none can ’scape Death's dreadful dart; well was, after this, somewhat better lodged, but
If rich and poor his beck obey ; an imprisonment of three years, with ten inftic
If strong, if wise, if all do smart, tions of the rack, wore out his patience, and he Then I to 'scape shall have no way : intreated to be brought to trial. Cecil is said to Then grant me grace, O God ! that I have made the brutal remark, that if he was in My life may mend, since I must die. so much haste to be hanged, he should quickly have his desire.' Being at this trial found guilty, upon his own confession, of being a Romish priest,
Times go by Twins. he was condemned to death, and executed at The lopped tree in time may grow again, Tyburn accordingly, with all the horrible circumstances dictated by the old treason laws of Eng; The sorriest wight may find release of pain,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower ; land. Throughout all these scenes, he behaved with a mild fortitude which nothing but a highly Time goes by turns, and chances change by course,
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower : regulated mind and satisfied conscience could have From foul to fair, from better hap to worse. prompted.
The life of Southwell, though short, was full of the sea of Fortune doth not ever flow; grief. The prevailing tone of his poetry is therefore She draws her favours to the lowest ebb: that of a religious resignation to severe evils. His Her tides have equal times to come and go; two longest poems, St Peter's Complaint, and Mary Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web: Magdalene's Funeral Tears, were, like many other No joy so great but runneth to an end, works of which the world has been proud, written No hap so hard but may in fine amend. in prison. It is remarkable that, though composed Not always fall of leaf, nor ever spring, while suffering under persecution, no trace of angry feeling against any human being or any human insti- The saddest birds a season find to sing,
Not endless night, yet not eternal day : tution, occurs in these poems. After experiencing great popularity in their own time, insomuch that Thus, with succeeding turns, God tempereth all,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay. eleven editions were printed between 1593 and 1600, That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall. the poems of Southwell fell, like most of the other productions of that age, into a long-enduring neglect. A chance may win that by mischance was lost; Their merits having been again acknowledged in That net that holds no great, takes little fish; our own day, a complete reprint of them appeared in some things all, in all things none are cross'd ; in 1818, under the editorial care of Mr W. Joseph Few all they need, but none have all they wish. Walter.
Unmingled joys here to no man befall;
Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all.
Love's Servile Lot.
She shroudeth vice in virtue's veil,
Pretending good in ill;
She oftereth joy, but bringeth grief ; Do think hereon, that I must die.
A kiss-where she doth kill.
A honey shower rains from her lips,
shire, and seems to have been educated under the Sweet lights shine in her face ;
patronage of the Pembroke family. In 1579, he was She hath the blush of virgin mind,
entered a commoner of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, The mind of viper's race.
where he chiefly devoted himself to the study of
poetry and history; at the end of three years, he She makes thee seek, yet fear to find ; To find, but nought enjoy ;
quitted the university, without taking a degree, and
was appointed tutor to Anne Clifford, daughter of the In many frowns, some passing smiles
Earl of Cumberland. After the death of Spenser, She yields to more annoy.
Daniel became what Mr Campbell calls . voluntary She letteth fall some luring baits,
laureate' to the court, but he was soon superseded For fools to gather up;
by Ben Jonson. In the reign of James (1603), he Now sweet, now sour, for every taste
was appointed Master of the Queen's Revel's, and She tempereth her cup.
inspector of the plays to be represented by the
juvenile performers. He was also preferred to be a Her watery eyes have burning force,
Gentleman-Extraordinary and Groom of the ChamHer floods and flames conspire ;
ber to Queen Anne. Towards the close of his life, Tears kindle sparks-sobs fuel are,
he retired to a farm at Beckington, in Somersetshire, And sighs but fan the fire.
where he died in October 1619. May never was the month of love,
The works of Daniel fill two considerable volumes ; For May is full of flowers;
but most of them are extremely dull. Of this nature But rather April, wet by kind,
is, in particular, his History of the Civil War (beFor love is full of showers.
tween the houses of York and Lancaster), which
occupied him for several years, but is not in the With soothing words enthralled souls least superior to the most sober of prose narratives. She chains in servile bands;
His Complaint of Rosamond is, in like manner, rather Her eye, in silence, hath a speech
a piece of versified history than a poem. His two Which eye best understands.
tragedies, Cleopatra and Philotas, and two pastoral Her little sweet hath many sours;
tragi-comedies, Hymen's Triumph and The Queen's Short hap immortal harms;
Arcadia, are not less deficient in poetical effect. In Her loving looks are murdering darts,
all of these productions, the historical taste of the
author seems to have altogether suppressed the poetHer songs, bewitching charms.
ical. It is only by virtue of his minor pieces and Like winter rose and summer ice,
sonnets, that Daniel continues to maintain his place Her joys are still untimely ;
amongst the English poets. His Epistle to the Coun. Before her hope, behind remorse,
tess of Cumberland is a fine effusion of meditative Fair first-in fine unkindly.
[From the Epistle to the Countess of Cumberland.]
He that of such a height hath built his mind,
As neither hope nor fear can shake the frame
Of his resolved powers; nor all the wind
His settled peace, or to disturb the sime: The feebler part puts up enforced wrong,
What a fair seat hath he, from whence he may And silent sees, that speech could not amend :
The boundless wastes and wilds of man survey ! Yet higher powers must think, though they repine,
And with how free an eye doth he look down When sun is set the little stars will shine.
Upon these lower regions of turmoil, While pike doth range, the silly tench doth fly,
Where all the storms of passions mainly beat And crouch in privy creeks with smaller fish;
On flesh and blood! where honour, power, renown, Yet pikes are caught when little fish go by,
Are only gay afflictions, golden toil;
As frailty doth; and only great doth scem
To little minds who do it so esteem. The merlin cannot ever soar on high,
He looks upon the mightiest monarch's war, Nor greedy greyhound still pursue the chase ;
But only as on stately robberies ; The tender lark will find a time to fly,
Where evermore the fortune that prevails And fearful bare to run a quiet race.
Must be the right : the ill-succeeding mars He that high growth on cedars did bestow,
The fairest and the best-fac'd enterprise. Gare also lowly mushrooms leave to grow.
Great pirate Pompey lesser pirates quails :
Justice he sees, as if reduced, still In Haman's pomp poor Mardocheus wept,
Conspires with power, whose cause must not be ill.
As are the passions of uncertain man ;
He sees that, let deceit work what it can,
Plot and contrive base ways to high desires ;
That the all-guiding Providence doth yet
[Richard II., the Morning before his Murder in
Pomfret Castle.] Whether the soul receives intelligence, By her near genius, of the body's end, And so imparts a sadness to the sense, Foregoing ruin whereto it doth tend ; Or whether nature else hath conference With profound sleep, and so doth warning send, By prophetising dreams, what hurt is near, And gives the heavy careful heart to fear : However, so it is, the now sad king, Toss'd here and there his quiet to confound, Feels a strange weight of sorrows gathering Upon his trembling heart, and sees no ground; Feels sudden terror bring cold shivering ; Lists not to eat, still muses, sleeps unsound; His senses droop, his steady eyes unquick, And much he ails, and yet he is not sick. The morning of that day which was his last, After a weary rest, rising to pain, Out at a little grate his eyes he cast Upon those bordering hills and open plain, Where other's liberty make him complain The more his own, and grieves his soul the more, Conferring captive crowns with freedom poor. O happy man, saith he, that lo I see, Grazing his cattle in those pleasant fields, If he but knew his good. How blessed he That feels not what affliction greatness yields ! Other than what he is he would not be, Nor change his state with him that sceptre wields. Thine, thine is that true life : that is to lire, To rest secure, and not rise up to grieve. Thou sitt'st at home safe by thy quiet fire, And hear'st of other's harms, but fearest none : And there thou tellist of kings, and who aspire, Who fall, who rise, who triumph, who do moan. Perhaps thou talk'st of me, and dost enquire Of my restraint, why here I live alone, And pitiest this my miserable fall ; For pity must have part-envy not all. Thrice happy you that look as from the shore, And have no venture in the wreck you see ; No interest, no occasion to deplore Other men's travels, while yourselves sit free. How much doth your sweet rest make us the more To see our misery and what we be : Whose blinded greatness, ever in turmoil, Still seeking happy life, makes life a toil.
[Selections from Daniel's Sonnets.] I must not grieve, my love, whose eyes would read Lines of delight, whereon her youth might smile ; Flowers have time before they come to seed, And she is young, and now must sport the while. And sport, sweet maid, in scason of these years, And learn to gather flowers before they wither; And where the sweetest blossom first appears, Let love and youth conduct thy pleasures thither, Lighten forth smiles to clear the clouded air, And calm the tempest which my sighs do raise : Pity and smiles do best become the fair ; Pity and smiles must only yield thee praise. Make me to say, when all my griefs are gone, Happy the heart that sigh’d for such a one. Fair is my love, and cruel as she's fair ; Her brow shades frown, altho' her eyes are sunny ; Her smiles are lightning, though her pride despair ; And her disdains are gall, her favours boney. A modest maid, deck'd with a blush of honour, Whose feet do tread green paths of youth and love; The wonder of all eyes that look upon her : Sacred on earth ; design'd a saint above ; Chastity and Beauty, which are deadly foes, Live reconciled friends within her brow; And had she Pity to conjoin with those, Then who had heard the plaints I utter now ! For had she not been fair, and thus unkind, My muse had slept, and none had known my mind.
Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
[Early Love.] Ah, I remember well (and how can I But evermore remember well) when first Our flame began, when scarce we knew what was The flame we felt ; when as we sat and sigh'd And look'd upon each other, and conceiv'd Not what we aild, yet soniething we did ail, And yet were well, and yet we were not well, And what was our disease we could not tell. Then would we kiss, then sigh, then look : and thus In that first garden of our simpleness We spent our childhood. But when years began To reap the fruit of knowledge ; ah, how then Would she with sterner looks, with graver brow, Check iny presumption and my forwardness! Yet still would give me flowers, still would show What she would have me, yet not have me know.
MICHAEL DRAYTON, born, it is supposed, at Atherston, in Warwickshire, about the year 1563, and the son of a butcher, discovered in his earliest years such proofs of a superior mind, that, at the age of ten, he was made page to a person of qualitysituation which was not in that age thought too humble for the sons of gentlemen. He is said, upon dubious authority, to have been for some time a student at Oxford. It is certain that, in early life, he was highly esteemed and strongly patronised by several persons of consequence ; particularly by Sir Henry Goodere, Sir Walter Aston, and the Countess of Bedford: to the first he was indebted for great part of his education, and for recommending him to the countess ; the second supported him for several years. In 1533, Drayton published a collection of his pastorals, and soon after gave to the world his more elaborate poems of The Baron's Wars and England's Heroical Epistles. In these latter productions, as in the History of the Civil War by Daniel, we see symptoms of that taste for poetised history (as it may be called) which marked the age ---which is first seen in Sackville's design of the Mirrour for Magistrates, and was now developing itself strongly in the historical plays of Shakspeare, Marlow, and others. On the accession of James L.