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His beastes he kept upon the hyll
to tell his tale.
Unhappiest under funne!
By love was first begunne !
“ For thou wentst first by sute to seke
" As easy it were to convert
“ Corin he liveth carèleffe,
My beastes, awhile your foode refraine,
“ O happy be ye, beaftes wilde,
“ The hart he fedeth by the hinde,
» Labour. Pains.
Pierce through. So fol. 113. infr,
His entrails with a lance through-girded
quite. * Mates.
“ But, welaway, that nature wrought,
Thy beauty all too deare! &c?'
The illustrations in the two following stanzas, of the restlefrness of a lover's mind, deserve to be cited for their simple beauty, and native force of expression.
The owle with feble sight
But wo to me, alace!
My burden to unlade ". Nor can I omit to notice the sentimental and expressive metaphor contained in a single line.
Walking the path of pensive thought".
Perhaps there is more pathos and feeling in the Ode, in which The Lover in despaire lamenteth his Cafe, than in any other piece of the whole collection.
Adieu desert, how art thou spent !
1 Fol. 55: m Fol. 71.
Fol. 87. • Favour.
As easy tis the stony rocke
Thus mayst thou fafely say and sweare,
poore hart, thus hast thou spent
And where thou sekes a quiet port,
That thy true hart should cause thy wo'.
This miscellany affords the first pointed English epigram that I remember; and which deserves to be admitted into the modern collections of that popular species of poetry. Sir Thomas More
P Love, 9 Pity. VOL. III.
s Fol, 109.
was one of the best jokers of that age: and there is some probability, that this might have fallen from his pen. It is on a scholar, who was pursuing his studies successfully, but in the midst of his literary career, married unfortunately.
A student, at his boke so plast',
That welth he might have wonne,
From welth to wo to run.
Now, who hath plaid a feater cast,
Since jugling first begonne ?
Himself he hath undonne",
But the humour does not arise from the circumstances of the character. It is a general joke on an unhappy match.
These two lines are said to have been written by Mary queen of Scots with a diamond on a window in Fotheringay castle, during her imprisonment there, and to have been of her composition.
From the toppe of all my trust
Mishap hath throwen me in the dust". But they belong to an elegant little ode of ten stanzas in the collection before us, in which a lover complains that he is caught by the snare which he once defied*. The unfortunate queen only quoted a distich applicable to her situation, which she remembered in a fashionable sett of poems, perhaps the amusement of her youth.
The ode, which is the comparison of the author's faithful and painful passion with that of Troilus ", is founded on Chaucer's
w See Ballard's Learn. LAD. p. 161..
. So pursuing his studies. Plaji, so spel. led for the rhyme, is placed.
* Fol. 64.
* Fol. 53.
y Fol. 81..
poem, or Boccace's, on the same subject. This was the most favorite love-story of our old poetry, and from its popularity was wrought into a drama by Shakespeare. Troilus's sufferings for Cressida were a common topic for a lover's fidelity and affiduity. Shakespeare, in his Merchant of Venice, compares a night favorable to the stratagems or the meditation of a lover, to such a night as Troilus might have chosen, for stealing a view of the Grecian camp from the ramparts of Troy.
And figh'd his soul towards the Grecian tents
Among these poems is a short fragment of a translation into Alexandrines of Ovid's epistle from Penelope to Ulysses'. This is the first attempt at a metrical translation of any part of Ovid into English, for Caxton's Ovid is a loose paraphrase in prose. Nor were the heroic epistles of Ovid translated into verse till the year 1582, by George Tuberville. It is a proof that the classics were studied, when they began to be translated.
It would be tedious and intricate to trace the particular imitations of the Italian poets, with which these anonymous poems abound. Two of the sonnets are panegyrics on Petrarch and Laura, names at that time familiar to every polite reader, and the patterns of poetry and beauty. The sonnet on The diverse and contrarie pasions of the lover', is formed on one of Petrarch's sonnets, and which, as I have remarked before, was translated by fir Thomas Wyat". So many of the nobility, and principal persons about the court, writing sonnets in the Italian style, is a circumstance which must have greatly sontributed to circulate this mode of composition, and to encourage the study of the Italian poets. Beside lord Surrey, fir Thomas Wyat, lord Boleyn, lord Vaux, and Gr Francis Bryan, already mentioned, Ed
2 At V. Sc. i,
• Fol. 89.
c Fol. 107.
Supr. p. 31,