« הקודםהמשך »
In court to serve, decked with freshe
That whoso joyes such kind of life to hold,
Wyat may justly be deemed the first polished English satirist. I am of opinion, that he mistook his talents when, in compliance with the mode, he became a sonnetteer ; and, if we may judge from a few instances, that he was likely to have treated any other subject with more success than that of love. His abilities were seduced and misapplied in fabricating fine speeches to an obdurate mistress. In the following little ode, or rather epigram, on a very different occasion, there is great fimplicity and propriety, together with a strain of poetic allusion. It is on his return from Spain into England.
Tagus farewel, that westward with thy stremes
up the graines of gold al redy tride o !
Like bended moone' that leanes her lusty' fide
Among Wyat's poems is an unfinished translation, in Alexandrine verse, of the Song of Iopas in the first book of Virgils · Eneid'. Wyat’s and Surrey's versions from Virgil are the first
regular translations in English of an antient classic poet: and they are fymptoms of the restoration of the study of the Roman writers, and of the revival of elegant literature. A version of David's Psalms by Wyat is highly extolled by lord Surrey and Leland. But Wyat's version of the PenitENTIAL PSALMS seems to be a separate work from his translation of the whole Psaltery, and probably that which is praised by Surrey, in an ode above quoted, and entitled, Praise of certain Psalmes of David, translated by Sir T. Wyat the elder". They were printed with this title, in 1549.
" Certaine Psalmes chosen out of the “ Psalmes of David commonly called vij penytentiall Psalmes, “ drawen into Englishe meter by fir Thomas Wyat knyght, “ whereunto is added a prolog of the aucthore before every “ Pfalme very pleasant and profettable to the godly reader.
Imprinted at London in Paules Churchyarde at the sygne of " the starre by Thomas Raynald and John Harryngton, cum
previlegio ad imprimendum folum, MDxLix.” Leland seems to speak of the larger version.
Transtulit in nostram Davidis carmina linguam,
Et numeros magna reddidit arte pares.
But this version, with that of Surrey mentioned above, is now loft': and the pious Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins are the only immortal translators of David's Psalms.
A fimilarity, or rather sameness of studies, as it is a proof, so perhaps it was the chief cement, of that inviolable friendship which is said to have subsisted between Wyat and Surrey. The principal subject of their poetry was the same: and they both treated the passion of love in the spirit of the Italian poets,
w Fol. 16. (See fupr. p. 18.] * NÆn, ut fupr.
y See Hollinih. CHRON, üi. p. 978. col. 2. F
and as professed disciples of Petrarch. They were alike devoted to the melioration of their native tongue, and an attainment of the elegancies of composition. They were both engaged in tranNating Virgil, and in rendering select portions of Scripture into English metre.
O the poems of Surrey and Wyat are annexed, as I have
before hinted, in Tottell's editions, those of uncertain authors". This latter collection forms the first printed poetical miscellany in the English language: although very early manuscript miscellanies of that kind are not uncommon. Many of these pieces are much in the manner of Surrey and Wyat, which was the fashion of the times. They are all anonymous; but probably, fir Francis Bryan, George Boleyn earl of Roch-' ford, and lord Vaulx, all professed rhymers and fonnet-writers, were large contributors.
Drayton, in his elegy, To his dearly loved friend Henry REY-
They with the Muses who conversed, were
many dainty passages of wit 6.
· They begin at fol. 50.
Sir Francis Bryan was the friend of Wyat, as we have seen and served as a commander under Thomas earl of Surrey in an expedition into Brittany, by whom he was knighted for his bravery. Henca he probably became connected with lord Surrey the poet. But Bryan was one of the brilliant ornaments of the court of king Henry the eighth, which at least affected to be polite: and from his popular accomplishments as a wit and a poet, he was made a gentleman of the privy-chamber to that monarch, who loved to be entertained by his domestics Yet he enjoyed much more important appointments in that reign, and in the first year of Edward the sixth ; and died chief justiciary of Ireland, at Waterford, in the year 1548; On the principle of an unbiassed attachment to the king, he wrote epistles on Henry's divorce, never published; and translated into English from the French, Antonio de Guevara's Spanish Differtation on the life of a courtier, printed at London in the year last mentioned. He was nephew to John Bourchier, lord Berners, the translator of Froissart; who, at his desire, tranflated at Calais from French into English, the GOLDEN BOKE, or Life of Marcus Aurelius, about 1533 %. Which are Bryan's pieces I cannot ascertain.
George Boleyn, viscount Rochford, was son of fir Thomas Boleyn, afterwards earl of Wiltshire and Ormond; and at Oxford discovered an early propenfity to polite letters and poetry. He was appointed to feveral dignities and offices by king Henry the eighth, and subscribed the famous declaration fent to Pope Clement the seventh. He was brother to queen Anne Boleyn, with whom he was suspected of a criminal familiarity. The chief accusation against him seems to have been, that he was seen to whisper with the queen one morning while she was in
• Dugd. Bar. ii, 273. a.
e Hollinsh. Chron. i. 61. And Ibid. Hooker's Contin. tom. ii. P. ii. pag. 110. See also Fox, MARTYR. p. 991.
* Cod. Impreff. A. Wood, Muf. Afhmol, Oxon.
& See the COLOPHon. It was printed by Thomas Berthelett, in 1536, quarto. Often afterwards. Lord Berners was, de puty-general of Calais, and its Marches.