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poems, which are written in a low style of Latin versification, is prefixed an edict from the lords of privy council, figned, among others, by Cowper bishop of Lincoln, Lord Warwick, Lord Leicester, fir Francis Knollys, fir Christopher Hatton, and fir Francis Walsingham, and directed to the queen's ecclefiaftical commissioners, containing the following passage. “ For“ asmuche as the subject or matter of this booke is such, as is " worthie to be read of all men, and especially in common “ fchooles, where divers HEATHEN Poets are ordinarily read
and taught, from which the youth of the realme doth rather " receiue infection in manners, than aduancement in uertue : “ in place of some of which poets, we thinke this Booke fit to “ read and taught in the grammar schooles : we haue therefore
thought, as wel for the encouraging the said Ocklande and 6 others that are learned, to bestowe their trauell and stu“ dies to so good purposes, as also for the benefit of the
youth and the removing of such lasciuious poets as are com“ monly read and taught in the faide grammar-schooles (the “ matter of this booke being heroicall and of good instruction) “ to praye and require you vpon the fight hereof, as by our “ special order, to write your letters vnto al the Bishops through“ out this realme, requiring them to giue commaundement, “ that in al the gramer and free schooles within their feuerall " diocesses, the said Booke de ANGLORUM PRÆLIIS, and
“fimo Angliæ fatu, imperante Elizabetha,
compendiosa Narratio. Authore CHRIS“ TOPHORO OCLANDO, prímo Scholæ “ Southwarkiensis prope Londinum, dein “ Cheltennamensis, quæ sunt a serenissi. “ ma fua majeftate fundatæ, moderatore. “ Hæc duo poemata, tam ob argumenti gra“ uitatem, quam carminis facilitatem, nobis “ liffimi regiæ majestatis confiliarii in omnibus
regni fcholispralegenda pueris prafcripferunt. Hijs Alexandri Neuilli Kettum, tum propter argumenti fimilitudinem, tum propter orationis elegantiam, adiunxi
mus. Londini, &c.” Prefixed to the Ana GLORUM PRÆlia is a Latin elegiac copy
by Thomas Newton of Cheshire: to the ELIZABETHA, which is dedicated by the author to the learned lady Mildred Burleigh, two more ; one by Richard Mulcafter the celebrated master of Merchanttaylor's school, the other by Thomas Watson an elegant writer of sonnets. Our author was a very old man, as appears by the last of these copies. Whence, says bishop Hall, Sat. iii. B. iv.
Or cite olde Ocland's verse, how they did.
wield The wars, in Turwin or in Turney field.
peaceable Gouernment of hir majestic, [the ELIZABETHA,] may
be in place of some of the heathen poets receyued, and publiquely read and taught by the scholemasters .” With such abundant circumspection and folemnity, did these profound and pious politicians, not suspecting that they were acting in opposition to their own principles and intentions, exert their endeavours to bring back barbarism, and to obstruct the progress of truth and good sense o.
Hollingshead mentions Lucas Shepherd of Colchester, as an eminent
of queen Mary's reign'. I do not pretend to any great talents for decyphering; but I presume, that this is the fame person who is called by Bale, from a most injudicious affectation of Latinity, Lucas Opilio. Bale affirms, that his cotemporary, Opilio, was a very facetious poet : and means to pay him a still higher compliment in pronouncing him not inferior even to Skelton for his rhimes ?. It is unlucky, that Bale, by disguising his name, should have contributed to conceal this writer so long from the notice of posterity, and even to counteract his own partiality. Lucas Shepherd, however, appears to have been nothing more than a petty pamphleteer in the cause of Calvinism, and to have acquired the character of a poet from a metrical translation of some of David's Pfalms about the
year 1554. Bale's narrow prejudices are well known. The puritans never suspected that they were greater bigots than the papists. I believe one or two of Shepherd's pieces in prose are among bishop Tanner's books at Oxford,
Bale also mentions metrical English versions of ECCLESIASTES, of the histories of ESTHER, SUSANNAH, JUDITH, and of the TESTAMENT OF THE Twelve PATRIARCHS, printed and written about this period, by John Pullaine, one of the original students of Christ-church at Oxford, and at length archdeacon of Colchester. He was chaplain to the duchess of
n Signat. A. ij. Then follows an order from the ecclefiaftical commillioners to all the bishops for this purpose.
• See fupr. vol. ii. 461.
Suffolk ; and, either by choice or compulfion, imbibed ideas of reformation at Geneva". I have seen the name of John Pullayne, affixed in manuscript to a copy of an anonymous version of Solomon's Song, or “ Salomon's balads in metre," abovementioned', in which is this stanza.
She is so young in Christes truth,
she hath no teates ;
With found and perfect mcates'.
There were numerous versions of Solomon's Song before the year 1600 : and perhaps no portion of scripture was selected with more propriety to be cloathed in verse. Beside those I have mentioned, there is, “ The SONG OF SONGS, that is the most “ excellent Song which was Solomon's, translated out of the “ Hebrue into Englishe meater with as little libertie in depart
ing from the wordes as anie plaine translation in prose can vse, " and interpreted by a short commentarie.” For Richard Schilders, printer to the states of Zealand, I suppose at Middleburgh, 1587, in duodecimo. Nor have I yet mentioned Solomon's Song, translated from English prose into English verse by Robert Fletcher, a native of Warwickshire, and a member of Merton college, printed at London, with notes, in 1586'. The CANTICLES in English verse are among
verse are among the loft poems of Spenser". Bishop Hall, in his nervous and elegant satires
9 Bale ix. 83. Wood, ATH. Oxon. i.
“ Imprinted at London by William “ Baldwine servaunt with Edwarde Whit“ church.” Nor date, nor place. Cum privileg. 4to.
This WILLIAM BALDwine is perhaps Baldwin the poet; the contributor to the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES. At least that the poet Baldwin was connected with Whitchu ch the printer, appears from a book printed by Whitchurch, quoted above, " A treatise of mo.
“ ral philosophie contaygning the Sayings “ of the Wise, gathered and Engly shed “ by Wylliam Baldwyn, 20 of January,
MDXLVII.” Compofitors at this time often were learned men : and Baldwin was perhaps occasionally employed by Whitchurch, both as a compositor and an author." • SIGNAT. m. iij.
In duodecimo. " A metrical commentary was written on the Canticles by one Dudley fen
printed in 1597, meaning to ridicule and expose the spiritual poetry with which his age was overwhelmed, has an allusion to a metrical English version of Solomon's Song". Having mentioned Saint Peter's COMPLAINT, written by Robert Southwell, and printed in 1595, with some other religious effusions of that author, he adds,
Yea, and the prophet of the heavenly lyre,
It is not to any of the versions of the Canticles which I have hitherto mentioned, that Hall here alludes. His censure is levelled at “ The Poem of Poems, or Sion's Muse. Con
taynyng the diuine Song of King Salomon deuided into eight
ner, a puritan, who retired to Midile. burgh to enjoy the privilege and felicity of preaching endless sermons without moleftation. Middleb. 1557. 8vo.
w B, i. Sat. viii. But for this abuse of the divine sonnetters, Marston not inelegantly retorts against Hall. CERTAYNE SATYRES, Lond. for E. Matts, 1598. 12mo. Sat. iv. Come daunce, ye stumbling Satyres, by
his fide, If he lift once the SYON Muse deride. Ye Granta's white Nymphs come, and
with you bring
At Sacred Sonnets, o daring hardiment !
tongue, &c. Origen and Jerom say, that the youth of the Jews were not permitted to read SOLOMON's Song till they were thirty years
age, for fear they should inflamę their passions by drawing the spiritual allegory into a carnal sense. Orig. Homil. in Cantic. Cant, apud Hieronymi Opp. Tom. viii. p. 122. And Opp. Origen. ii. fol. 68. Hieron. Proem. in Ezech. iv. p.
a Du Bartas's Divine Weeks,
Eclogues. Bramo affai, poco spero, nulla chieggio. At London, “ printed by James Roberts for Mathew Lownes, and are to “ be solde at his shop in saint Dunstones church-yarde, 1596o." The author figns his dedication, which is addressed to the sacred virgin, diuine mistress Elizabeth Sydney, sole daughter of the euer admired fir Philip Sydney, with the initials J. M. These initials, which are subscribed to many pieces in ENGLAND'S Helicon, fignify Jarvis, or Iarvis, Markham”.
Although the translation of the scriptures into English rhyme was for the most part an exercise of the enlightened puritans, the recent publication of Sternhold's psalms taught that mode of writing to many of the papists, after the sudden revival of the mass under queen Mary. One Richard Beearde, parson of faint Mary-hill in London, celebrated the accession of that queen in a godly psalm printed in 1553 *:
Much about the same time, George Marshall wrote A compendious treatise in metre, declaring the firft original of sacrifice and of building churches and aultars, and of the first receiving the cristen faith here in England, dedicated to George Wharton esquire, and printed at London in 1554.
In 1556, Miles Hoggard, a famous butt of the protestants, published “ a shorte treatise in meter vpon the cxxix praline of “ David called De profundis. Compiled and set forth by Miles
Huggarde servante to the quenes maiestie." Of the opposite or heretical persuasion was Peter Moone, who wrote a metrical tract on the abuses of the mass, printed by John Olwen at
* Some of the prefatory Sonnets to Jarvis Markham's poem, entitled, “ The most “ honorable Tragedie of fir Richard Grin« uile knight,” (At London, printed by J. Roberts for Richard Smith, 1595.16mo.) are figned J. M. But the dedication, to Charles lord Montioy, has his name at length.
In duodecimo, viz.
A godly psalm of Mary queen, which
brought us comfort all, Thro God whom we of deuty praise that
give her foes a fall. With psalm-tunes in four parts. See Strype's Eliz. p. 202. Newc. Rep. i. 451. See what is said above of Miles Hoggard.
* In quarto. Bl. Lett.
? In quarto. Bl. Lett. for R. Caley. Jan. 4. with Grafton's copartment, S s