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That Moreland's barren earth me first to light did The flounder smooth and flat, in other rivers caught, bring,
Perhaps in greater store, yet better are not thought : Which though she be but brown, my clear complexion's The dainty gudgeon, loche, the minnow, and the spring
bleak, Gain'd with the nymphs such grace, that when I first Since they but little are, I little need to speak did rise,
Of them, nor doth it fit me much of those to reck, The Naiads on my brim danc'd wanton hydagies, Which everywhere are found in every little beck; And on her spacious breast (with heaths that doth Nor of the crayfish here, which creeps amongst my abound)
stones, Encircled my fair fount with many a lưsty round : From all the rest alone, whose shell is all his bones : And of the British floods, though but the third I be, For carp, the tench, and bream, my other store Yet Thames and Severn both in this come short of me, among, For that I am the mere of England, that divides To lakes and standing pools that chiefly do belong, The north part from the south, on my so either sides, Here scouring in my fords, feed in my waters clear, That reckoning how these tracts in compass be extent, Are muddy fish in ponds to that which they are Men bound them on the north, or on the south of here.' Trent;
From Nottingham, near which this river first begun Their banks are barren sands, if but compar'd with This song, she the meanwhile, by Newark having run, mine,
Receiving little Synte, from Bever's bat’ning grounds, Through my perspicuous breast, the pearly pebbles At Gainsborough goes out, where the Lincolnian shine:
bounds. I throw my crystal arms along the flow'ry valleys, Yet Sherwood all this while, not satisfied to show Which lying sleek and smooth as any garden alleys, Her love to princely Trent, as downward she doth Do give me leave to play, whilst they do court my flow, stream,
Her Meden and her Man, she down from Mansfield And crown my winding banks with many an anadem ; sends My silver-scaled sculls about my streams do sweep, To Iddle for her aid, by whom she recommends Now in the shallow fords, now in the falling deep : Her love to that brave queen of waters, her to mee, so that of every kind, the new spawnd numerous fry When she tow'rds Humber comes, do humbly kiss her Seem in me as the sands that on my shore do lie.
feet, The barbel, than which fish a braver doth not swim, And clip her till she grace great Humber with her Nor greater for the ford within my spacious brim,
fall. Nor (newly taken) more the curious taste doth please ; When Sherwood somewhat back the forward Muse The grayling, whose great spawn is big as any pease ;
doth call ; The perch with pricking fins, against the pike pre- | For she was let to know, that Soare had in her song pard,
So chanted Charnwood's worth, the rivers that along, As nature had thereon bestow'd this stronger guard, Amongst the neighbouring nymphs there was no other His daintiness to keep (each curious palate's proof) lays, From his vile ravenous foe : next him I naine the But those which seem'd to sound of Charnwood, and ruff,
her praise : His very near ally, and both for scale and fin, Which Sherwood took to heart, and very much disIn taste, and for his bait (indeed) his next of kin,
dain'd, The pretty slender dare, of many call’d the dace, (As one that had both long, and worthily maintain'd Within my liquid glass, when Phæbus looks his face, The title of the great'st and bravest of her kind) Oft swiftly as he swims, his silver belly shows, To fall so far below one wretchedly Infined But with such nimble flight, that ere ye can disclose Within a furlong's space, to her large skirts comHis shape, out of your sight like lightning he is shot ; pared : The trout by nature mark'd with many a crimson spot, Wherefore she, as a nymph that neither fear'd nor As though she curious were in him above the rest, cared And of fresh-water fish, did note him for the best ; For ought to her might chance, by others love or The roach whose common kind to every flood doth fall; hate, The chub (whose neater name which some a chevin With resolution arm’d against the power of fate, call)
All self-praise set apart, determineth to sing Food to the tyrant pike (most being in his power), That lusty Robin Hood, who long time like a king Who for their numerous store he most doth them Within her compass lived, and when he list to range devour;
For some rich booty set, or else his air to change, The lusty salmon then, from Neptune's wat’ry realm, To Sherwood still retired, his only standing court, When as his season serves, stemming my tideful Whose praise the Forest thus doth pleasantly report : stream,
"The merry pranks he play'd, would ask an age to tell, Then being in his kind, in me his pleasure takes, And the adventures strange that Robin Hood befel, (For whom the fisher then all other game forsakes) When Mansfield many a time for Robin hath been Which hending of himself to th' fashion of a ring, laid, Above the forced wears, himself doth nimbly fling, Ilow he hath cousen'd them, that him would have And often when the net hath drag'd him safe to land, betray'd ; Is seen by natural force to 'scape his murderer’s hand; How often he hath come to Nottingham disguised, Whose grain doth rise in flakes, with fatness inter- And cunningly escaped, being set to be surprised. larded,
In this our spacious isle, I think there is not one, Of many a liquorish lip, that highly is regarded. But he hath heard some talk of him and Little John ; And Humber, to whose waste I pay my wat’ry store, And to the end of time, the tales shall ne'er be done, Me of her sturgeons sends, that I thereby the more Of Scarlock, George-a-Green, and Much the miller's son, Should have my beauties grac'd with something from Of Tuck the merry friar, which many a sermon made him sent ;
In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and their trade. Not Ancum': silver'd eel excelleth that of Trent ; An hundred valiant men had this brave Robin Hood, Though the sweet smelling smelt be more in Thames Still ready at his call, that bowman were right good,
All clad in Lincoln green, with caps of red and blue, The lamprey, and his lesse, in Severn general be ; His fellow's winded horn, not one of them but knew,
When setting to their lips their little beugles shrill Suiting to these he wore a shepherd's scrip,
Cast with themselves what such a thing should mean ; To which under their arms their sheafs were buckled Some seeing him so wonderously fair fast,
(As in their eyes he stood beyond compare), A short sword at their belt, a buckler scarce a span, Their verdict gave that they had sent him sure Who struck below the knee, not counted then a man : As a choice bait their champion to allure ; All made of Spanish yew, their bows were wond'rous Others again, of judgment more precise, strong;
Said they had sent him for a sacrifice.
Yet was he well proportioned and strong,
As he might easily reach him with his spear.
That thus art come to beat me with a wand : The loose gave such a twang, as might be heard a mile. The kites and ravens are not far away, And of these archers brave, there was not any one, Nor beasts of ravine, that shall make a prey But he could kill a deer his swiftest speed upon, Of a poor corpse, which they from me shall have, Which they did boil and roast, in many a mighty And their foul bowels shall be all thy grave.' wood,
• Uncircumcised slave,' quoth David then, Sharp hunger the fine sauce to their more kingly food. That for thy shape, the monster art of men; Then taking them to rest, his merry men and he Thou thus in brass comest arm'd into the field, Slept many a summer's night under the greenwood And thy huge spear of brass, of brass thy shield : tree.
I in the name of Israel's God alone, From ealthy abbots' chests, and churls' abundant That more than mighty, that eternal One, store,
Am come to meet thee, who bids not to fear,
As thou liest grov'ling, and within this hour
Between his temples, saw how large a space Was ever constant known, which wheresoe'er she He was to hit, steps back a yard or two : came,
The giant wond'ring what the youth would do:
At which the giant openly doth jeer,
Which gives young David much content to see,
And to himself thus secretly saith he:
And have at all Philistia at a cast.'
Then with such sleight the shot away be sent,
That from his sling as 't had been lightning went ; And now before young David could come in,
And him so full upon the forehead smit, The host of Israel somewhat doth begin
Which gave a crack, when his thick scalp it hit, To rouse itself ; some climb the nearest tree,
As't had been thrown against some rock or post, And some the tops of tents, whence they might see That the shrill clap was heard through either host. How this unarmed youth himself would bear Staggering awhile upon
spear he leant, Against the all-armed giant (which they fear) : Till on a sudden he began to faint ; Some get up to the fronts of easy hills ;
When down he came, like an old o'ergrown oak, That by their motion a vast murmur fills
His huge root hewn up by the labourers' stroke, The neighbouring valleys, that the enemy thoug't That with his very weight he shook the ground; Something would by the Israelites be wrought His brazen armour gave a jarring sound They had not heard of, and they longed to see Like a crack'd bell,
or vessel chanced to fall What strange and warlike stratagem, 't should be. From some high place, which did like death appal
When soon they saw a goodly youth descend, The proud Philistines (hopeless that remain), Ilimself alone, none after to attend,
To see their champion, great Goliah, slain : That at his need with arms might him supply, When such a shout the host of Israel gave, As merely careless of his enemy :
As cleft the clouds; and like to men that rave His head uncovered, and his locks of hair
(O’ercome with comfort) cry, 'The boy, the boy! As he came on being played with by the air,
O the brave David, Israel's only joy ! Tossed to and fro, did with such pleasure move, God's chosen champion ! O most wondrous thing! As they had been provocatives for love:
The great Goliah slain with a poor sling !' His sleeves stript up above his elbows were,
Themselves encompass, nor can they contain ; And in his band a stiff short staff did bear,
Now are they silent, then they shout again. Which by the leather to it, and the string,
Of which no notice David seems to take, They easily might discern to be a sling.
But towards the body of the dead doth make,
With a fair comely gait ; nor doth he run,
The jolly peacock spreads not half so fair As though he gloried in what he had done;
The eyed feathers of his pompous train ; But treading on the uncircumcised dead,
Nor golden Iris so bends in the air With his foot strikes the helmet from his head ; Her twenty-coloured bow, through clouds of rain : Which with the sword ta'en from the giant's side, Yet all her ornaments, strange, rich, and rare, He from the body quickly doth divide.
Her girdle did in price and beauty stain ; Now the Philistines, at this fearful sight,
Not that, with scorn, which 'Tuscan Guilla lost, Leaving their arms, betake themselves to flight, Nor Venus' cestus could match this for cost. Quitting their tents, nor dare a minute stay ;
Of mild denays, of tender scorns, of sweet Time wants to carry any thing away,
Repulses, war, peace, hope, despair, joy, fear; Being strongly routed with a general fear;
Of smiles, jests, mirth, woe, grief, and sad regret, Yet in pursuit Saul's army strikes the rear
Sighs, sorrows, tears, embracements, kisses dear, To Ekron walls, and slew them as they fled,
That, mixed first, by weight and measures meet; That Sharam's plains lay cover'd with the dead :
Then, at an easy fire, attempered were ; And having put the Philistines to foil,
This wondrous girdle did Armida frame,
And, when she would be loved, wore the same.
[Rinaldo at Mount Olivet and the Enchanted Wood.] For valiant David, that incontinent
It was the time, when 'gainst the breaking day, He should repair to court; at whose command
Rebellious night yet strove, and still repined, He comes along, and beareth in his hand
For in the east appear’d the morning grey, The giant's head, by the long hair of his crown,
And yet some lamps in Jove's high palace shined, Which by his active knee hung dangling down. When to Mount Olivet he took his way, And through the army as he comes along,
And saw, as round about his eyes he twined, To gaze upon him the glad soldiers throng:
Night's shadows hence, from thence the morning's shine, Some do instyle him Israel's only light,
This bright, that dark; that earthly, this divine. And other some the valiant Bethlemite. With congees all salute him as he past,
Thus to himself he thought : how many bright And upon him their gracious glances cast :
And 'splendent lamps shine in heaven's temple high ! He was thought base of him that did not boast,
Day hath his golden sun, her moon the night, Nothing but David, David, through the host.
Her fix'd and wand'ring stars the azure sky;
So framed all by their Creator's might,
That still they live and shine, and ne'er will die,
Thus as he mused, to the top he went, The celebrated translation of Tasso's Jerusalem, and there kneeld down with reverence and fear; by EDWARD FAIRFAX, was made in the reign of His eyes upon heaven's castern face he bent; Queen Elizabeth, and dedicated to that princess, His thoughts above all heavens uplifted were who was proud of patronising learning, but not very The sins and errors which I now repent, lavish in its support. The poetical beauty and free of my unbridled youth, O Father dear, dom of Fairfax's version has been the theme of Remember not, but let thy mercy fall almost universal praise. Dryden ranked him with And purge my faults and my offences all. Spenser as a master of our language, and Waller Thus prayed he ; with purple wings up-flew, said lie derived from him the harmony of his num In golden weed, the morning's lusty queen, bers. Collins has finely alluded to liis poetical and Regilding with the radiant beams she threw, imaginative genius
Ilis helm, the harness, and the mountain green : Prerailing poet, whose undoubting mind
Upon his breast and forehead gently blew
The air, that balm and nardus breath'd unseen ; Believed the magic wonders which he sung!
And o'er his head, let down from clearest skies, The date of Fairfax's birth is unknown. He was A cloud of pure and precious dew there flies. the natural son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, in the heavenly dew was on his garments spread, Yorkshire, and spent his life at Fuystone, in the To which compar’d, his clothes pale ashes seem, forest of Knaresborough, in the enjoyment of many And sprinkled so that all that paleness fled, blessings which rarely befall the poetical race-competence, ease, rural scenes, and an ample command So cheered are the flowers, late withered,
And thence of purest white bright rays outstream : of the means of study. He wrote a work on Demon. With the sweet comfort of the morning beam ; ology, which is still in manuscript, and in the pre- And so return’d to youth, a serpent old face to it he states, that in religion he was neither Adorns herself in new and native gold. a fantastic Puritan, nor a superstitious Papist.' He also wrote a series of eclogues, one of which was The lovely whiteness of his changed weed published in 1741, in Cooper's Muses' Library, but it The prince perceived well and long admired ; is puerile and absurd. Fairfax was living in 1631, Toward the forest march'd he on with speed, but the time of his death has not been recorded.
Resolv'd, as such adventures great required :
Of that strange desert's sight, the first retired; [Description of Armida and her Enchanted Girdle.]
But not to him fearful or loathsome made
That forest was, but sweet with pleasant shade.
He heard a sound, that strange, sweet, pleasing was ; And looser locks in silken laces rollid;
There roll'd a crystal brook with gentle roar, Her curls, garland-wise, she did up dress,
There sigh’d the winds, as through the leaves they pass , Wherein, like rich enamel laid on gold,
There sang the swan, and singing died, alas ! The twisted flow'rets sinil'd, and her white breast There lute, harp, cittern, human voice he heard, The lilies there that spring with roses drest.
And all these sounds one sound right well declared.
A dreadful thunder-clap at last he heard,
And brought three yards of velvet and three quarters, The aged trees and plants well nigh, that rent, To make Venetians down below the garters. Yet heard the nymphs and syrens afterward, He, that precisely knew what was enough, Birds, winds, and waters sing with sweet consent ; Soon slipt aside three quarters of the stuff ; Whereat amazed, he stay'd and well prepard His man, espying it, said in derision, For his defence, heedful and slow forth-went, Master, remember how you saw the vision ! Nor in his way his passage ought withstood,
Peace, knave ! quoth he, I did not see one rag Except a quiet, still, transparent flood :
Of such a colour'd silk in all the flag.
SIR HENRY WOTTON.
SIR HENRY Wotton, less famed as a poet than as All the large desert in his bosom held,
a political character in the reigns of Elizabeth and And through the grove one channel passage found ; James I., was born at Bocton Hall, the seat of his This in the wood, that in the forest dwellid :
ancestors, in Kent, in 1568. After receiving his Trees clad the streams, streams green those trees aye education at Winchester and Oxford, and travelling made,
for some years on the continent, he attached himself And so exchang’d their moisture and their shade.
SIR JOHN HARRINGTON.
The first translator of Ariosto into English was SIR JOHN HARRINGTON, a courtier of the reign of Elizabeth, and also god-son of the queen. He was the son of John Harrington, Esq., the poet already noticed. Sir John wrote a collection of epigrams, and a Brief View of the Church, in which he reprobates the marriage of bishops. He is supposed to have died about the year 1612. The translation from Ariosto is poor and prosaic, but some of his epigrams are pointed.
Against Writers that carp at other Men's Books.
Of a Precise Tailor.
Sir Henry Wotton.
To his Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia.
That poorly satisfy our eyes
You common people of the skies !
What are you, when the sun shall rise !
That warble forth dame Nature's lays,
By your weak accents ! what's your praise
You violets that first appear,
Wriothiesley, Earl of Southampton. 'I know not,' By your pure purple mantles known,
says the modest poet, in his first dedication, 'how Like the proud virgins of the year,
I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to As if the spring were all your own!
your lordship, nor how the world will censure me What are you, when the rose is blown? for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a So, when my mistress shall be seen
burthen; only, if your honour seem but pleased, I In form and beauty of her mind;
account myself highly praised, and vow to take adBy virtue first, then choice, a Queen !
vantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you Tell me, if she were not design'd
with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my Th' eclipse and glory of her kind ?
invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so
noble a godfather, and never after ear (till] so A Farewell to the Vanities of the World. barren a land.' The allusion to idle hours' seems Farewell, ye gilded follies, pleasing troubles ; to point to the author's profession of an actor, in Farewell, ye honour'd rags, ye glorious bubbles ! which capacity he had probably attracted the attenFame's but a hollow echo; gold pure clay;
tion of the Earl of Southampton; but it is not so Honour the darling but of one short day;
easy to understand how the Venus and Adonis was Beauty, th' eye's idol, but a damask'd skin;
the first heir of his invention,' unless we believe State but a golden prison to live in,
that it had been written in early life, or that his And torture free-born minds; embroider'd trains dramatic labours had then been confined to the Merely but pageants for proud swelling veins ; adaptation of old plays, not the writing of new ones, And blood allied to greatness, is alone
for the stage. There is a tradition, that the Earl of Inherited, not purchased, nor our own:
Southampton on one occasion presented Shakspeare Fame, honour, beauty, state, train, blood, and birth, with L.1000, to complete a purchase which he Are but the fading blossoms of the earth.
wished to make. The gift was munificent, but the
sum has probably been exaggerated. The Venus Welcome, pure thoughts, welcome, ye silent groves, and Adonis is a glowing and essentially dramatic These guests, these courts, my soul most dearly loves: version of the well-known mythological story, full Now the wing'd people of the sky shall sing
of fine descriptive passages, but objectionable on the My cheerful anthems to the gladsome spring: score of licentiousness. Warton has shown that it A prayer-book now shall be my looking-glass, gave offence, at the time of its publication, on acIn which I will adore sweet Virtue's face.
count of the excessive warmth of its colouring. The Here dwell no hateful looks, no palace cares,
Rape of Lucrece is less animated, and is perhaps an No broken vows dwell here, nor pale-faced fears : inferior poem, though, from the boldness of its figuThen here I'll sigh, and sigh my hot love's folly, rative expressions, and its tone of dignified pathos And learn t' affect an holy melancholy ;
and reflection, it is more like the hasty sketch of a And if Contentment be a stranger then,
great poet. I'll ne'er look for it, but in heaven again.
The sonnets of Shakspeare were first printed in The Character of a Happy Life.
1609, by Thomas Thorpe, a bookseller and publisher
of the day, who prefixed to the volume the following How happy is he born and taught,
enigmatical dedication :-- To the only begetter of That serveth not another's will;
these ensuing sonnets, Mr W. H., all happiness and Whose armour is his honest thought,
that eternity promised by our ever-living poet, And simple truth his utmost skill !
wisheth the well-wishing adventurer in setting Whose passions not his masters are,
forth, T. T.' The sonnets are 154 in number. They Whose soul is still prepared for death,
are, with the exception of twenty-eight, addressed Untied unto the worldly care
to some male object, whom the poet addresses in a Of public fame, or private breath ;
style of affection, love, and idolatry, remarkable, even Who envies none that chance doth raise,
in the reign of Elizabeth, for its extravagant and Or vice ; who never understood
enthusiastic character. Though printed continuHow deepest wounds are given by praise ;
ously, it is obvious that the sonnets were written at Nor rules of state, but rules of good :
different times, with long intervals between the Who hath his life from rumours freed,
dates of composition; and we know that, previous to Whose conscience is his strong retreat ;
1598, Shakspeare had tried this species of composi.
tion, for Meres in that year alludes to his 'sugared Whose state can neither flatterers feed, Nor ruin make oppressors great ;
sonnets among his private friends. We almost wish,
with Mr Hallam, that Shakspeare had not written Who God doth late and early pray,
these sonnets, beautiful as many of them are in More of his grace than gifts to lend;
language and imagery. They represent him in a And entertains the harmless day
character foreign to that in which we love to regard With a religious book or friend;
him, as modest, virtuous, self-confiding, and indeThis man is freed from servile bands
pendent. His excessive and elaborate praise of Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
youthful beauty in a man seems derogatory to his Lord of himself, though not of lands;
genius, and savours of adulation; and when we find And having nothing, yet hath all.
him excuse this friend for robbing him of his mis
tress—a married female—and subjecting his noble SHAKSPEARE.
spirit to all the pangs of jealousy, of guilty love, and
blind misplaced attachment, it is painful and diffiSHAKSPEARE, as a writer of miscellaneous poetry, cult to believe that all this weakness and folly can claims now to be noticed, and, with the exception of be associated with the name of Shakspeare, and still the Faery Queen, there are no poems of the reign more, that he should record it in verse which he beof Elizabeth equal to those productions to which lieved would descend to future agesthe great dramatist affixed his name.
Not marble, not the gilded monuments when the poet was in his twenty-ninth year, ap Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme. peared his Venus and Adonis, and in the following some of the sonnets may be written in a feigned year his Rape of Lucrece, both dedicated to Henry character, and merely dramatic in expression; but