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Furth of his palace royal ishit Phoebus,
Stude painted, every fane, phiol, and stage,7 Upon the plain ground by their awn umbrage. Of Eolus' north blasts havand no dreid,
The soil spread her braid bosom on-breid;
Thir galyard gardens and each green herbere
1 Ocean. Battlements. 8 Earth. 13 Young.
Pickand his meat in alleys where he went,
His wivis Toppa and Partolet him by
A bird all-time that hauntis bigamy.
Meadow. 13 The cock.
3 Uncommon. 6 Cupola.
10 Cool vapours. 14 The peacock.
So dusty powder upstours in every street,
By rinnand strandis, Nymphis and Naiadis,
In gersy graves3 wanderand by spring wells;
Of bloomed branches and flowers white and red,
For amorous lays does all the rockis ring.
Howard, Earl of Surrey.
king, and in early life became accomplished, not only
in the learning of the time, but in all kinds of courtly and chivalrous exercises. Having travelled into Italy, he became a devoted student of the poets of that country-Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Ariosto-and formed his own poetical style upon theirs. His poetry is chiefly amorous, and, notwithstanding his having been married in early life, much of it consists of the praises of a lady whom he names Geraldine, supposed to have been a daughter of the Earl of Kildare. Surrey was a gallant soldier as well as a poet, and conducted an important expedition, in 1542, for the devastation of the Scottish borders. He finally fell under the displeasure of Henry VIII., and was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1547. The poetry of Surrey is remarkable for a flowing melody,
correctness of style, and purity of expression; he was the first to introduce the sonnet and blank verse into English poetry. The gentle and melancholy pathos of his style is well exemplified in the verses which he wrote during his captivity in Windsor Castle, when about to yield his life a sacrifice to tyrannical caprice :
Prisoner in Windsor, he recounteth his Pleasure there passed.
So cruel prison how could betide, alas !
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,
Of foaming horse,2 with swords and friendly hearts; With cheer, as though one should another whelm,
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts; With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of nimbleness and strength, Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth, Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length:
The secret groves which oft we made resound,
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise, Recording oft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed what dread of long delays: The wild forest, the clothed holts with green,
With reins availed3 and swift ybreathed horse; With cry of hounds and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.
The wide vales, eke, that harboured us each night,
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest:
The secret thoughts imparted with such trust,
The wanton talk, the divers change of play, The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just; Wherewith we passed the winter night away.
And with this thought, the blood forsakes the face,
Whom in thy walls thou dost each night enclose;
To other leef,5 but unto me most dear: Echo, alas! that doth my sorrow rue,
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint. Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine with bondage and restraint, And with remembrance of the greater grief To banish the less, I find my chief relief.
1 Hover; loiter.
2 A lover tied the sleeve of his mistress on the head of his horse. 3 Reins droppod. * Companion. 5 Agreeable.
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,
I saw within my troubled head,
A heap of thoughts appear.
And every thought did show
So lively in mine eyes, That now I sighed, and then I smiled, As cause of thoughts did rise.
I saw the little boy,
In thought how oft that he Did wish of God, to scape the rod, A tall young man to be.
The young man eke that feels
His bones with pains opprest, How he would be a rich old man, To live and lie at rest:
The rich old man that sees
To see how all these three,
And musing thus, I think,
The case is very strange, That man from wealth, to live in woe, Doth ever seek to change.
Thus thoughtful as I lay,
I saw my withered skin, How it doth show my dented thws, The flesh was worn so thin; And eke my toothless chaps,
The gates of my right way, That opes and shuts as I do speak, Do thus unto me say:
The white and hoarish hairs,
Bids thee lay hand, and feel
Them hanging on my chin. The which do write two ages past, The third now coming in.
Hang up, therefore, the bit
Of thy young wanton time; And thou that therein beaten art, The happiest life define:
The Means to attain Happy Life. Martial, the things that do attain
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 own estate,
Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.
SIR THOMAS WYATT.
In amorous poetry, which may be said to have taken its 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.
Blame but thyself that hast misdone,
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
Strings for to string my Lute again : And if perchance this silly rhyme, Do make thee blush at any time, Blame not my Lute.
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 ;
I do not rejoice, nor yet complain,
Divers do judge as they do trow,
Yet some there be that take delight,
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;
And from this mind I will not flee,
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.
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 Husbandrie, 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,