« AnteriorContinuar »
To Nature all that I in rhyme have writ!
And to my company my wit :
All foreigners, my English tongue :
Than a sun-dial in a grave. Thou, Love, taught'st me, by making me Love her who doth neglect both me and thee, To invent and practise this one way to annihilate all
Character of a Bore.
From Donne's Satires.
Towards me did run A thing more strange than on Nile's slime the sun E'er bred, or all which into Noah's ark came; A thing which would have posed Adam to name. Stranger than seven antiquaries' studies— Than Afric's monsters-Guiana's raritiesStranger than strangers. One who for a Dane In the Danes' massacre had sure been slain, If he had lived then; and without help dies When next the 'prentices 'gainst strangers rise. One whom the watch at noon scarce lets go by ; One to whom th' examining justice sure would cry: “Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are?' His clothes were strange, though coarse--and black,
though bare ; Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been Velvet, but 'twas now-so much ground was seenBecome tuff-taffety; and our children shall See it plain rash awhile, then nought at all. The thing hath travelled, and saith, speaks all tongues ; And only knoweth what to all states belongs. Made of the accents and best phrase of all these, He speaks one language. If strange meats displease, Art can deceive, or hunger force my taste ; But pedants' motley tongue, soldiers' bombast, Mountebanks' drug tongue, nor the terms of law, Are strong enough preparatives to draw Me to bear this. Yet I must be content With his tongue, in his tongue called compliment. ... He names me, and comes to me. I whisper, God ! How have I sinned, that thy wrath's furious rod (This fellow) chooseth me?' He saith : “Sir, I love your judgment--whom do you prefer For the best linguist?' And I sillily Said, that I thought, Calepine's Dictionary. 'Nay, but of men, most sweet sir?'—Beza then, Some Jesuits, and two reverend men Of our two academies, I named. Here He stopt me, and said : ‘Nay, your apostles were Pretty good linguists, and so Panurge was; Yet a poor gentleman all these may pass By travel.' Then, as if he would have sold His tongue, he praised it, and such wonders told, That I was fain to say: 'If you had lived, sir, Time enough to have been interpreter To Babel's bricklayers, sure the tower had stood.' He adds : 'If of court-life you knew the good,
You would leave loneness.' I said : 'Not alone
One of the earliest poetic allusions to the Copernican system occurs in Donne :
As new Philosophy arrests the sun,
And bids the passive earth about it run. The following is a simile often copied by later poets :
When goodly, like a ship in her full trim,
Low things it scorned. In 1839, a complete edition of the works of Donne, including sermons, devotions, poems, letters, &c. was published in six volumés, edited by the Rev. Henry Alford, afterwards Dean of Canterbury
JOSEPH HALL. JOSEPH HALL, born at Bristow Park, in Leicestershire, in 1574, and who rose through various church preferments to be bishop of Norwich, is distinguished as a satirical poet, whose works have been commended by Pope and Warton, and often reprinted. His satires, which were published under the title of Virgidemiarum, in 1597-8, refer
to general objects, and present some just pictures His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings, of the more remarkable anomalies in human As if he meant to fly with linen wings. character : they are also written in a style of
But when I look, and cast mine eyes below,
What monster meets mine eyes in human show? greater vigour and volubility than most of the compositions of this age. His chief defect is
So slender waist with such an abbot's loin,
Did never sober nature sure conjoin. obscurity, arising from remote allusions and ellip
Lik'st a strawn scarecrow in the new-sown field, tical expression. Bishop Hall died in 1656, at the
Reared on some stick, the tender com to shield, age of eighty-two.
Or, if that semblance suit not every deal,
Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.
MARSTON-CHURCHYARD-TUBERVILLEInto his house some trencher-chapelain :
Nearly contemporary with Hall's satires were First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
those of JOHN MARSTON, the dramatist, known While his young master lieth o'er his head. for his subsequent rivalry and quarrel with Ben Second, that he do, on no default,
Jonson. Marston, in 1598, published a small Ever presume to sit above the salt.
volume, Certayne Satires, and in 1599 The Scourge Third, that he never change his trencher twice. of Villany, &c. He survived till 1634. Little is Fourth, that he use all common courtesies; known of this ' English Aretine,' but all his works Sit bare at meals, and one half rise and wait.
are coarse and licentious. Ben Jonson boasted to Last, that he never his young master beat,
Drummond that he had beaten Marston and taken But he must ask his mother to define
his pistol from him. If he had sometimes taken How many jerks he would his breech should line.
his pen, he would have better served society. All these observed, he could contented be To give five marks and winter livery.
Among the swarm of poets ranking with the
earlier authors of this period, we may note the Seest thou how gaily my young master goes," following as conspicuous in their own times. Vaunting himself upon his rising toes ;
THOMAS CHURCHYARD (1520–1604) wrote about And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side ; seventy volumes in prose and verse. He served And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide?
in the army, 'trailed a pike' in the reigns of 'Tis Řuffio : Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?
Henry VIII., Mary, and Elizabeth, and received In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humphrey. from Elizabeth——whom he had propitiated by Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer, Keeps he for every straggling cavalier;
complimentary addresses—a pension of eighteenAn open house, haunted with great resort;
pence a day, not paid regularly. Churchyard is Long service mixt with musical disport.t
supposed to be the Palamon of Spenser's Colin Many fair younker with a feathered crest,
That sang so long until quite hoarse he grew.
-GEORGE TUBERVILLE (circa 1530-1594) was Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say secretary to Randolph, Queen Elizabeth's ambasHe touched no meat of all this livelong day; sador at the court of Russia. So early as 1568, For sure methought, yet that was but a guess, he had published songs and sonnets; but some of His eyes seemed sunk for very hollowness, his works—as his Essays and Book of FalconryBut could he have-as I did it mistake
were not published till after his death.—THOMAS So little in his purse, so much upon his back ?
WATSON (circa 1557-1592) was author of HecaSo nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt That his gaunt gut no too much stuffing felt.
tompathia, or Passionate Century of Love (1582), Seest thou how side it hangs beneath his hip?
a series of sonnets of superior elegance and merit; Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
also Amyntas, 1585, &c.—HENRY CONSTABLE Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by,
(circa 1560-1612) was author of a great number All trapped in the new-found bravery.
of sonnets, partly published in 1592 under the The nuns of new-won Calais his bonnet lent, title of Diana. Almost every writer of this time In lieu of their so kind a conquerment.
ventured on a sonnet or translation. Some What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain, settled down into dramatists, and as such will His grandame could have lent with lesser pain ? be noticed hereafter ; others became best known Though he perhaps ne'er passed the English shore, Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.
as prose writers. Dr Drake calculates that there
were about two hundred poets in the reign of His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head, Elizabeth! This is no exaggeration ; but it is to One lock Amazon-like dishevelled, As if he meant to wear a native cord,
the last decade of the century that we must look If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
for its brightest names. All British bare upon the bristled skin, Close notched is his beard, both lip and chin ;
Sonnets by Thomas Watson. His linen collar labyrinthian set,
When May is in his prime, and youthful Spring Whose thousand double turnings never met:
Doth clothe the tree with leaves and ground with
flowers, * This is the portrait of a poor gallant of the days of Elizabeth. And time of year reviveth every thing, In St Paul's Cathedral, then an open public place, there was a And lovely Nature smiles and nothing lowers ; tomb, erroneously supposed to be that of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, which was the resort of gentlemen upon town in that
Then Philomela most doth strain her breast day who had occasion to look out for a dinner.
With night-complaints, and sits in little rest. cessful in getting an invitation, they were said to dine with Duke This bird's estate I may compare with mine, Humphrey
To whom fond Love doth work such wrongs by day, | An allusion to the church-service to be heard near Duke Humphrey's tomb.
That in the night my heart must needs repine, i Long, or low.
And storm with sighs to ease me as I may ;
Whilst others are becalmed or lie them still,
Time wasteth years, and months, and hours ;
From · Farewell to Town.' Thou gallant court, to thee, farewell ! For froward fortune me denies
Now longer near to thee to dwell. I must go live, I wot not where, Nor how to live when I come there. And next, adieu, you gallant dames,
The chief of noble youth's delight!
That I am banished from your sight,
My lads that oft have cheered my heart ! My grief of mind no tongue can tell,
To think that I must from you part.
NICHOLAS BRETON. NICHOLAS BRETON (1558-1624) was a prolific and often happy writer, pastoral, satirical, and humorous. His Works of a Young Wit appeared in 1577; and a succession of small volumes proceeded from his pen ; eight pieces with his name are in England's Helicon-a valuable poetical miscellany published in 1600, including contributions from Sidney, Spenser, Raleigh, Lodge, Marlowe, Watson, Greene, &c. Of Breton, little personally is known, but he is supposed to have been the son of a Captain Nicholas Breton of Tamworth, in Staffordshire, who had an estate at Norton, in Northamptonshire.
A Pastoral.- From · England's Helicon.' On a hill there grows a flower,
Fair befall the dainty sweet ! By that flower there is a bower,
Where the heavenly Muses meet. In that bower there is a chair,
Fringed all about with gold, Where doth sit the fairest fair
That ever eye did yet behold. It is Phillis, fair and bright,
She that is the shepherds' joy, She that Venus did despite,
And did blind her little boy. Who would not this face admire ?
Who would not this saint adore ? Who would not this sight desire,
Though he thought to see no more? O fair eyes, yet let me see
One good look, and I am gone :
The poor silly Corydon.
Look upon thy silly swain;
And now, farewell, thou gallant lute,
With instruments of music's sounds! Recorder, cittern, harp, and flute,
And heavenly descants on sweet grounds. I now must leave you all, indeed, And make some music on a reed ! And now, you stately stamping steeds,
And gallant geldings fair, adieu !
To think that I must part with you ;
Caliver, pistol, arquebuss;
To think that I must leave you thus;
Primero and Imperial,
To pass away the time withál:
With sundry sorts of sugared wine !
To please this dainty mouth of mine ! I now, alas, must leave all these, And make good cheer with bread and cheese ! And now, all orders due, farewell !
My table laid when it was noon;
My dainty dinners all are done :
With jewels rich, of rare device !
I must go range in woodman's wise ;
To every dream of sweet delight.
In dungeon deep of foul despite, I must, ah me! wretch as I may, Go sing the song of wellaway!
Beauty. Like to the clear in highest sphere,
Where all imperial glory shines, Of self-same colour is her hair,
.Whether unfolded or in twines :
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
Refining heaven by every wink;
And I do tremble when I think.
That beautifies Aurora's face ;
That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace. Her lips are like two budded roses,
Whom ranks of lilies neighbour nigh; Within which bounds she balm incloses,
Apt to entice a deity.
Where Love himself imprisoned lies,
From her divine and sacred eyes. With orient pearl, with ruby red,
With marble white, with sapphire blue, Her body everywhere is fed,
Yet soft in touch, and sweet in view. Nature herself her shape admires ;
The gods are wounded in her sight; And Love forsakes his heavenly fires,
And at her eyes his brand doth light.
THOMAS LODGE, one of the most graceful and correct of the minor poets and imaginative writers of this period, appeared as an author in 1580. He then published a Defence of Stage Plays in Three Divisions, to which Stephen Gosson replied by a work quaintly styled Plays Confuted in Five Actions. “Gosson speaks of Lodge as 'a vagrant person visited by the heavy hand of God.' Of the nature of this visitation we are not informed, but Lodge seems to have had a very varied life. He was of a respectable family in Lincolnshire, where he was born about 1556, and entered Trinity College, Oxford, as a servitor, under Sir Edward Hobby, in 1573. After leaving college, he is supposed to have been on the stage. But he afterwards joined in the expeditions of Captains Clarke and Cavendish, and wrote his Rosalynde to beguile the time during his voyage to the Canaries. He next appears as a law-student. In his Glaucus and Scilla (1589), Catharos Diogenes (1591), and A Fig for Comus (1595), he styles himself of Lincoln's Inn, Gent. His next work, A Margarite of America (1596), was written, he says, 'in those straits christened by Magellan, in which place to the southward, many wondrous isles, many strange fishes, many monstrous Patagons, withdrew my senses. From the law, Lodge turned to physic. He studied medicine, Wood says, at Avignon, and he practised in London, being much patronised by Roman Catholic families, till his death by the plague in 1625. Lodge wrote several pastoral tales, sonnets, and light satires, besides two dramas; one of them in conjunction with Greene. His poetry is easy and polished, though abounding in conceits and gaudy ornament. His Rosalynde : Euphues Golden Legacie, contains passages of fine description and delicate sentiment, with copies of verses interspersed. From this romantic little tale Shakspeare took the incidents of his As You Like It, following Lodge with remarkable closeness. The great dramatist has been censured for some anachronisms in his exquisite comedy-such as introducing a lioness and palm-tree into his forest of Arden; but he merely copied Lodge, who has the lion, the myrrh-tree, the fig, the citron, and pomegranate. In these romantic and pastoral tales, consistency and credibility were utterly disregarded.
RICHARD BARNFIELD (born about 1570), resembled Lodge in the character of his writings and in the smoothness and elegance of his verse. He was also a graduate of Oxford. His works are - Cynthia, with Certain Sonnets, and the Legend of Cassandra (1595); the Affectionate Shepherd, &c. (1596); the Encomium of Lady Pecunia (1598), &c. But Barnfield is chiefly known from the circumstance, that some of his pieces were ascribed to Shakspeare, in a volume entitled ' The Passionate Pilgrim, by W. Shakespeare' (1599). The use of Shakspeare's name was a trick of the bookseller. The small volume contains two of Shakspeare's Sonnets, some verses taken from his Love's Labour's Losť (published the year before), some pieces known to be by Marlowe and Raleigh, and others taken from Barnfield's Encomium of Lady Pecunia.
The following three extracts are from Lodge :
Rosalind's Madrigal. Love in my bosom, like a bee,
Doth suck his sweet ;
Now with his feet.
Ah, wanton, will ye?
With pretty flight,
The livelong night.
Whist, wanton, still ye. Else I with roses every day
Will whip you hence, And bind you, when you long to play,
For your offence;
If he gainsay me?
With many a rod ?
Because a god.
Spare not, but play thee.
MARLOWE-SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
The whole of the pieces in The Passionate PilLove then in every flower is found;
grim were, as we have said, ascribed to ShakSearch I the shade to fly my pain,
speare. Among them was the fine poem, The PasLove meets me in the shade again ;
sionate Shepherd to his Love, with the answer, Want I to walk in secret grove,
sometimes called The Nymph's Reply. The first E'en there I meet with sacred love;
is assigned to CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, in the If so I bathe me in the spring,
poetical miscellany, England's Helicon; and the E'en on the brink I hear him sing ;
second appears in the same volume with the signaIf so I meditate alone,
ture of Ignoto,' used in other instances to intimate He will be partner of my moan ;
that the author was unknown.
To one copy, If so I mourn, he weeps with me;
however, the initials of Sir Walter Raleigh are And where I am, there will he be !
attached ; and we have the explicit statement of The following two short poems—often printed written long before it was printed—that the pieces
Izaak Walton in his Complete Angler (1653)—but as one-exhibit Barnfield's tone of sentiment and
were really by Marlowe and Raleigh. versification : As it fell upon a day,
The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.—By Marlowe. In the merry month of May, Sitting in a pleasant shade,
Come live with me, and be my love, Which a grove of myrtles made;
And we will all the pleasures prove Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
That valleys, groves, and hills and fields, Trees did grow, and plants did spring ;
Woods or steepy mountains yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies ;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle :
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull ;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold :
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs :
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing,
For thy delight, each May-morning :
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
The Nymph's Reply.-By Raleigh.
If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.
But Time drives flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold ;
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complain of cares to come.
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue-a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.
Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs ;
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee, and be thy love.