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In eche of her two cristall
eyes Smileth a naked boye : It would
all in hart suffice To se that lampe of joye.
I thinke Nature hath lost the moulde
In life she is Diana chaste,
If all the worlde were fought so farre,
At Bacchus feaste none shall her mete,
The modest mirth that she doth use
O lord, it is a world to see
Howe might I do to get a graffe
• See this thought in Surrey, supr. citat. p. 16.
For all the rest are plaine but chaffe,
Of the fame fort is the following stanza on Beauty.
Then Beauty stept before the barre,
We are to recollect, that these compliments were penned at a time, when the graces of conversation between the sexes were unknown, and the dialogue of courtship was indelicate ; when the monarch of England, in a style, which the meanest gentleman would now be ashamed to use, pleaded the warmth of his affection, by drawing a coarse allusion from a present of venison, which he calls fleih, in a love-letter to his future queen, Anne Boleyn, a lady of distinguished breeding, beauty, and modesty".
In lord Vaux's AssAULT OF Cupide, abovementioned, these are the most remarkable stanzas.
When Cupide scaled first the fort,
There sawe I Love upon the wall
The armes the which that Cupid bare,
Fol. 67. 9 Fol, 84.
? See Hearne's AVESBURY, Append. p. 354.
And even with the trumpettes sowne
Then firit Desire began to scale,
Puttenham speaks more highly of the contrivance of the allegory of this piece, than I can allow. “ In this figure [counter“ fait action) the lord Nicholas' Vaux, a noble gentleman, and “ much delighted in vulgar making", and a man otherwise of “ no great learning, but having herein a marvelous facilitie, “ made a dittie representing the Battayle and Affault of Cupid “ so excellently well, as for the gallant and propre aplication of “ his fiction in every part, I cannot choose but set downe the
greatest part of his ditty, for in truth it cannot be amended: “ When Cupid scaled, &c W.” And in another part of the fame book. “ The lord Vaux his commendation lyeth chiefly in the “ facilitie of his meetre, and the aptnesse of his descriptions, “ suche as he taketh upon him to make, namely in fundry of « his songes, wherein he sheweth the couNTERFAIT ACTION
very lively and pleasantly *.” By counterfait action the critic means fictitious action, the action of imaginary heings expresfive of fact and reality. There is more poetry in some of the old pageants described by Hollingshed, than in this allegory of Cupid. Vaux seems to have had his eye on Sir David Lyndsey's GOLDEN TERGEY.
In the following little ode, much pretty description and imagination is built on the circumstance of a lady being named Bayes. So much good poetry could hardly be expected from
71, 72, i For Thomas. u English poctry.
w Pag. 200.
See fupr. Vol. ii. p. 270.
In Bayes I boast, whose braunch I beare:
In heat, in cold, both night and day,
Her berries feede the birdes ful oft,
The birdes do throwd them from the cold
From the same collection, the following is perhaps the first example in our language now remaining, of the pure and unmixed pastoral: and in the erotic species, for, ease of numbers, elegance of rural allusion, and simplicity of imagery, excels every thing of the kind in Spenser, who is erroneously ranked as our earliest English bucolic. I therefore hope to be pardoned for the length of the quotation.
Phyllida was a faire mayde,
Harpalus and eke Corin
2 Fol. 109.
But Phyllida was all too coy
How often would the flowers twine ?
But Corin he had hawkes to lure,
Harpalus prevailed nought,
he loved her most.
His beard it had not long be shave,
His eyes were red, and all forewatched,
His clothes were blacke and also bare,
A wreath of wyllow tree. + Loved her not in the least.
f Uncombed. • More engaged in field-sports.
& Over-watched. That is, her eyes were Deceived. Had once been in love. always awake, never closed by fleep. Clod.