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EARL OF SURREY.
correctness of style, and purity of expression; he Far, far passing
was the first to introduce the sonnet and blank verse That I can indite,
into English poetry. The gentle and melancholy Or suffice to write,
pathos of his style is well exemplified in the verses Of merry Margaret,
which he wrote during his captivity in Windsor As midsimmer flower,
Castle, when about to yield his life a sacrifice to
tyrannical caprice :-
Prisoner in Windsor, he recounteth his Pleasure there
So cruel prison how could betide, alas !
As proud Windsor ? where I, in lust and joy,
With a king's son, my childish years did pass,
In greater feast than Priam's son of Troy:
Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour !
The large green courts where we were wont to hove,
With eyes cast up into the Maiden Tower,
And easy sighs such as folk draw in love.
The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue;
The dances short, long tales of great delight,
With words and looks that tigers could but rue,
Where each of us did plead the other's right.
The palm-play, where, despoiled for the game; From Chaucer, or at least from James I., the Have missed the ball and got sight of our dame,
With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love, writers of verse in England had displayed little of the grace and elevation of true poetry. At length
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above. a worthy successor of those poets appeared in the gravel ground, with sleeves tied on the helm Thomas Howard, eldest son of the Duke of Norfolk, Of foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts; and usually denominated the EARL OF SURREY. With cheer, as though one should another whelm, This nobleman was born in 1516. He was educated Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts; at Windsor, in company with a natural son of the With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length:
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise,
What hope of speed what dread of long delays:
With reins availed 3 and swift ybreathed horse; With cry of hounds and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.
Wherewith, alas, reviveth in my breast,
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest :
The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
Wherewith we passed the winter night away.
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue,
The which, as soon as sobbing sighs, alas, king, and in early life became accomplished, not only Upsupped have, thus I my plaint renew: in the learning of the time, but in all kinds of courtly place of bliss ! renewer of my woes, and chivalrous exercises. Having travelled into Italy, he became a devoted student of the poets of whom in thy walls thou dost each night enclose 3
Give me accounts, where is my noble fere ;4 that country-Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Ari
To other leef,5 but unto me most dear: osto--and formed his own poetical style upon theirs. His poetry is chiefly amorous, and, notwithstanding Echo, alas! that doth my sorrow rue, his having been married in early life, much of it con Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint. sists of the praises of a lady whom he names Geral. Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew, dipe, supposed to have been a daughter of the Earl In prison pine with bondage and restraint, of Kildare. Surrey was a gallant soldier as well as a poet, and conducted an important expedition, in And with remembrance of the greater grief 1542, for the devastation of the Scottish borders. To banish the less, I find my chief relief. He finally fell under the displeasure of Henry VIII., 1 Hover; loiter. and was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1547. The 2 A lover tied the sleeve of his mistress on the head of hla poetry of Surrey is remarkable for a flowing melody, horse. 3 Reins droppod. * Companion. 8 Agreeable.
Whereat I sighed, and said,
Farewell my wonted joy,
To every little boy ;
Their time most happy is,
The Means to attain Happy Life.
The happy life, be these, I find, The riches left, not got with pain ;
The fruitful ground, the quiet mind, The equal frend; no grudge, no strife ;
No charge of rule, nor governance ; Without disease, the healthful life;
The household of continuance: The mean diet, no delicate fare ;
True wisedom joined with simpleness ; The night discharged of all care ;
Where wine the wit may not oppress. The faithful wife, without debate;
Such sleeps as may beguile the night; Contented with thine Jwn estate,
Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.
Description and Praise of his Love Geraldine. From Tuscan' came my lady's worthy race;
Fair Florence was some time their ancient seat; The western isle, whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Camber's cliffs, did give her lively heat: Fostered she was with milk of Irish breast;
Her sire, an earl; her dame of princes' blood : From tender years, in Britain she doth rest
With king's child, where she tasteth costly food. Hunsdon did first present her to mine een:
Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight: Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine:
And Windsor, alas, doth chase me from her sight. Her beauty of kind, her virtues from above; Happy is he that can obtain her love !
How no age is content with his own estate, and how the age of children is the happiest, if they had skill to understand it.
Laid in my quiet bed,
In study as I were,
A heap of thoughts appear.
So lively in mine eyes,
As cause of thoughts did rise.
In thought how oft that he
A tall young man to be.
His bones with pains opprest,
To live and lie at rest :
His end draw on so sore,
To live so much the more.
To see how all these three,
Would chop and change degree:
The case is very strange,
Doth ever seek to change.
I saw my withered skin,
The flesh was worn so thin;
Do thus unto me say :
The messengers of age,
That this life doth assuage;
Them hanging on my chin.
The third now ning in.
Of thy young wanton time;
The happiest life define:
SIR THOMAS WYATT. In amorous poetry, which may be said to have taken rise in this age, Surrey had a fellow-labourer in Sir Thomas WYATT (1503-1541), another distinguished figure in the court of Henry VIIL Wyatt was a man highly educated for his age, a great traveller, and generally accomplished. He died of a fever caught by riding too fast on a hot day from Falmouth, while engaged on a mission to conduct the ambassador of the emperor, Charles V., to court. The songs and sonnets of this author, in praise of his mistress, and expressive of the various feelings he experienced while under the influence of the tender passion, though conceited, are not without refinement, and some share of poetical feeling. The lover's lute cannot be blamed, though it sing
of his lady's unkindness.
Of this or that as liketh me;
To give much tunes as pleaseth me;
Blame not my Lute !
Though that per force he must agree
To sing to them that heareth me;
Blame not my Lute !
But as I strike they must obey ;
But wreak thyself some other way,
Blame not my Lute !
And falsed faith, must needs be known ;
Of right it must abroad be blown :
Blame not my Lute !
Blame but thyself that hast misdono,
And well deserved to have blame; Change thou thy way, so evil begone,
And then my Lute shall sound that same ; But if till then my fingers play, By thy desert their wonted way,
Blame not my Lute ! Farewell ! unknown ; for though thou break
My strings in spite with great disdain,
Strings for to string my Lute again :
Blame not my Lute.
The Courtier's Life.
Of sugared meats feeling the sweet repast, The life in banquets and sundry kinds of play ;
Amid the press the worldly looks to waste;
Hath with it joined oft times such bitter taste, That whoso joys such kind of life to hold, In prison joys, fettered with chains of gold.
Of the Mean and Sure Estate. Stand whoso lists upon the slipper' wheel,
Of high estate, and let me here rejoice, And use my life in quietness each deal,
Unknown in court that hath the wanton joya In hidden place my time shall slowly pass,
And when my years be passed without annoy, Let me die old after the common trace,
For grips of death do he too hardly pass
The re-cured Lover exulteth in his Freedom, and
voweth to remain free until Death. I am as I am, and so will I be ; But how that I am none knoweth truly. Be it ill, be it well, be I bond, be I free, I am as I am, and so will I be. I lead my life indifferently; I mean nothing but honesty ; And though folks judge full diversely, I am as I am, and so will I die. I do not rejoice, nor yet complain, Both mirth and sadness I do refrain, And use the means since folks will feign ; Yet I am as I am, be it pleasant or pain. Divers do judge as they do trow, Some of pleasure and some of woe, Yet for all that nothing they know; But I am as I am, wheresoever I go. But since judgers do thus decay, Let every man his judgment say ; I will it take in sport and play, For I am as I am, whosoever say nay. Who judgeth well, well God them send ; Who judgeth evil, God them amend ; To judge the best therefore intend, For I am as I am, and so will I end. Yet some there be that take delight, To judge folk's thought for envy and spite ; But whether they judge me wrong or right, I am as I am, and so do I write. Praying you all that this do read, To trust it as you do your creed ; And not to think I change my weed, For I am as I am, however I speed. But how that is I leave to you ; Judge as ye list, false or true, Ye know no more than afore ye knew, Yet I am as I am, whatever ensue. And from this mind I will not flee, But to you all that misjudge me, I do.protest, as ye may see, That I am as I am, and so will be.
Amongst the poets dating towards the conclusion of the present period, may be ranked THOMAS TusSER, author of the first didactic poem in the language. He was born about 1523, of an ancient family: had a good education; and commenced life at court, under the patronage of Lord Paget. Afterwards he practised farming successively at Ratwood in Sussex, Ipswich, Fairsted in Essex, Norwich, and other places; but not succeeding in that walk, he betook himself to other occupations, amongst which were those of a chorister, and, it is said, a fiddler. As might be expected of one so inconstant, he did not prosper in the world, but died poor in London, in 1580.
Tusser's poem, entitled a Hondreth Good Points of Ilusbandrie, which was first published in 1557, is a series of practical directions for farming, expressed in simple and inelegant, but not always dull verse. It was afterwards expanded by other writers, and published under the title of Five Hundreth Points of Good Husbandrie : the last of a considerable number of editions appeared in 1710.
[Directions for Cultivating a Hop-Garden.] Whom fancy persuadeth, among other crops, To have for his spending sufficient of hops, Must willingly follow, of choices to choose, Such lessons approved, as skilful do use, Ground gravelly, sandy, and mixed with clay, Is naughty for hops, any manner of way. Or if it be mingled with rubbish and stone, For dryness and barrenness let it alone. Choose soil for the hop of the rottenest mould, Well dunged and wrought, as a garden-plot should ; Not far from the water, but not overflown, This lesson, well noted, is meet to be known. The sun in the south, or else southly and west, Is joy to the hop, as a welcomed guest; But wind in the north, or else northerly east, To the hop is as ill as a fay in a feast. Meet plot for a hop-yard once found as is told, Make thereof account, as of jewel of gold ; Now dig it, and leave it, the sun for to burn, And afterwards fence it, to serve for that turn. The hop for his profit I thus do exalt, It strengtheneth drink, and it favoureth malt; And being well brewed, long kept it will last, And drawing abide-if ye draw not too fast.
That Pleasure is mixed with every Pain. Venomous thorns that are so sharp and keen
Bear flowers, we see, full fresh and fair of hue, Poison is also put in medicine,
And unto man his health doth oft renew. The fire that all things eke consumeth clean,
May hurt and heal : then if that this be true, I trust some time my harm may be my health, Since every woe is joined with some wealth.
fell far short of those effected in the literature of [Housewifely Physic.)
their southern neighbours. The most eminent of Good huswife provides, ere a sickness do come, these writers was Sir DAVID LYNDSAY, born about Of sundry good things in her house to have some. 1490, who, after serving King James V., when that Good aqua composita, and vinegar tart,
monarch was a boy, as sewer, carver, cup-bearer, Rose-water, and treacle, to comfort thine heart. purse-master, chief cubicular; in short, everything Cold herbs in her garden, for agues that burn, -bearing him as an infant upon his back, and That over-strong heat to good temper may turn. dancing antics for his amusement as a boy-was White endive, and succory, with spinach enow; appointed to the important office of Lord Lyon King All such with good pot-herbs, should follow the at Arms, and died about the year 1555. He chiefly plough.
shone as a satirical and humorous writer, and his great Get water of fumitory, liver to cool,
fault is an entire absence of that spirit of refinement And others the like, or else lie like a fool.
which graced the contemporary literature of EngConserves of barbary, quinces, and such,
land. The principal objects of Lyndsay's vituperaWith sirops, that easeth the sickly so much.
tions were the clergy, whose habits at this period Ask Medicus' counsel, ere medicine ye take,
(just before the Reformation) were such as to atford And honour that man for necessity's sake.
unusually ample scope for the pen of the satirist. Though thousands hate physic, because of the cost, Our poet, also, although a state officer, and long a Yet thousands it helpeth, that else should be lost. servant to the king, uses little delicacy in exposing Good broth, and good keeping, do much now and than: the abuses of the court. His chief poems are placed Good diet, with wisdom, best comforteth man. in the following succession by his editor, Mr George In health, to be stirring shall profit thee best; Chalmers :- The Dreme, written about 1528; The In sickness, hate trouble; seek quiet and rest. Complaynt, 1529; The Complaynt of the King's Remember thy soul ; let no fancy prevail ;
Papingo (Peacock), 1530; The Play (or Satire) of Make ready to God-ward ; let faith never quail: the Three Estates, 1535 ; Kitteis Confession, 1541; The sooner thyself thou submittest to God,
The History of Squire Meldrum, 1550; The MoThe sooner he ceaseth to scourge with his rod. narchie, 1553. The three first of these poems are
moralisings upon the state and government of the [Moral Reflections, on the Wind.]
kingdom, during two of its dismal minorities. The
Play is an extraordinary performance, a satire upon Though winds do rage, as winds were wood, the wliole of the three political orders-monarch, And cause spring-tides to raise great flood; barons, and clergy-full of humour and grossness, And lofty ships leave anchor in mud,
and curiously illustrative of the taste of the times. Bereaving many of life and of blood;
Notwithstanding its satiric pungency, and, what is Yet, true it is, as cow chews cud,
apt to be now more surprising, notwithstanding the And trees, at spring, doth yield forth bud, introduction of indecencies not fit to be described, Except wind stands as never it stood,
the Satire of the Three Estates was acted in preIt is an ill wind turns none to good.
sence of the court, both at Cupar and Edinburgh,
the stage being in the open air. Kitteis Confession SIR DAVID LYNDSAY.
is a satire on one of the practices of Roman Catho
lics. By his various burlesques of that party, he is While Surrey and Wyatt were imparting fresh said to have largely contributed to the progress of beauties to English poetry, Dunbar and his contem- the Reformation in Scotland. The History of Squire
Meldrum is perhaps the most pleasing of all this author's works. It is considered the last poem that in any degree partakes of the character of the metrical romance.
Of the dexterity with which Lyndsay could point a satirical remark on an error of state policy, we may judge from the following very brief passage of his Complaynt, which relates to the too early committal of the government to James V. It is given in the original spelling.
Imprudently, like witles fules,
I give them to
Quhilk first devisit that counsell ;
I will nocht say that it was tressoun, poraries were succeeded in Scotland by several poets
But I dar sweir it was na ressoun. of considerable talent, whose improvements, however,
I pray God lat me never see ring
Of tails I will no more indite, [A Carman's Account of a Law-suit.]
For dreaıl some dudulron' me despite . Marry, I lent my gossip my mare, to fetch haine coals, Notwithstanding, I will conclude, And he her drounit into the quarry holes ;
That of side tails can come nae gude, And I ran to the consistory, for to pleinyie,
Sider nor may their ankles hide, And there I happenit amang ane greedie meinyie. The remanent proceeds of pride, They gave me first ane thing they call citandum; And pride proceeds of the devil, Within aucht days I gat but libellanulum;
Thus alway they proceed of evil. Within ane month I gat ad opponendum;
Ane other fault, Sir, may be seen, In half ane year 1 gat inter-loquendum,
They hide their face all bot the een ; And syne I gat-how call ye it?-a replicandum;
When gentlemen bid them gude day, Bot I could never ane word yet understand him : Without reverence they slide away. And then they gart me cast out raony placks, Without their faults be soon amended, And gart me pay for four-and-twenty acts.
My flyting,2 Sir, shall never be ended ; Bot or they came half gate to concludendum,
But wald your grace my counsel tak, The fiend ane plack was left for to defend him.
Ane proclamation ye should mak, Thus they postponed me twa year with their train,
Baith through the land and burrowstouns, Syne, hodie ad octo, bade me come again :
To shaw their face and cut their gowns. And then thir rooks they rowpit wonder fast
Women will say, this is nae bourds, 3 For sentence, silver, they cryit at the last.
To write sic vile and filthy words ; Of pronunciandum they made me wonder fain,
But wald they clenge their filthy tails, Bot I gat never my gude grey mare again.
Whilk over the inires and middings trails,
Then should my writing clengit be,
Quoth Lindsay, in contempt of the side tails,
That duddrous and duntibours through the dubs trails. Whilk through the dust and dubs trails, Three quarters lang behind their heels,
[The Building of the Tower of Babel, and Express again' all commonweals.
Confusion of Tongues. ] Though bishops, in their pontificals,
(From the Monarchie.) Have men for to bear up their tails, For dignity of their office;
Their great fortress then did they found, Richt so ane queen or ane emprice ;
And cast till they gat sure ground. Howbeit they use sic gravity,
All fell to work both man and child, Conforinand to their majesty,
Some howkit clay, some burnt the tyld. Though their robe-royals be upborne,
Nimron, that curious champion, I think it is ane very scorn,
Deviser was of that dungeon. That every lady of the land
Nathing they spared their labours, Should have her tail so side trailand ;
Like busy bees upon the flowers, Howbeit they been of high estate,
Or emmets travelling into June; The queen they should not counterfeit.
Some under wrocht, and some aboon,
With strang ingenious masonry, Wherever they go it may be seen
Upward their wark did fortify; How kirk and causay they soop clean.
The land about was fair and plain, The images into the kirk
And it rase like ane heich montane. May think of their side tails irk ; 4
Those fulish people did intend,
That till the heaven it should ascend:
Sae great ane strength was never seen
Into the warld with men's een. Gif they could speak, they waid them wary.
The wallis of that wark they made, But I have maist into despite
Twa and fifty fathom braid: Poor clagrocks5 clad in Raploch white,
Ane fathom then, as some men says, Whilk has scant twa merks for their fees,
Micht been twa fathom in our days; Will have twa ells beneath their knees.
Ane man was then of mair stature
Nor twa be now, of this be sure.
The translator of Orosius
Intil his chronicle writes thus; In burghs, wanton burgess wives
That when the sun is at the hicht, Wha may have sidest tails strives,
At noon, when it doth shine maist brichty Weel bordered with velvet fine,
The shadow of that hideous strength But followand them it is ane pyne :
Sax mile and mair it is of length: In summer, when the streets dries,
Thus may ye judge into your thocht, They raise the dust aboon the skies ;
Gif Babylon be heich, or nocht. Nane inay gae near them at their ease,
Then the great God omnipotent, Without they cover mouth and neese.
To whom all things been present, I think maist pane after ane rain,
He seeand the ambition, To see them tuckit up again ;
And the prideful presumption, Then when they step furth through the street,
How thir proud people did pretend, Their fauldings flaps about their feet ;
Up through the heavens till ascend, They waste inair claith, within few years,
Sic languages on them he laid, Nor wald cleid fifty score of freirs.
That nane wist what ane other said;
Where was but ane language afore, 1 Company & The over-long skirts of the ladies' dresses
God send them languages three score; of those days.
% Complain. * May feel annoyed. • Draggle-tails