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That lockes nor loseth, (nor] holdeth me in prison.
And my delight is causer of this strife.
* That which locks, i. e, a key. Love will not let me live, nor let me dye, • Fol. 21, 22.
Nor locks me fast, nor suffers me to (This Sonnet will be found with some
scape, variations in Nugæ Antiquæ, vol. i. edit. I want both eyes and tongue, yetere I cry, 1769. Davison at a little later period I wish for death, yet after helpe I gape. thus turned the same sonnet in his Poe. I hate myself, yet love another wight, tical Rhapsody, first printed in 1602. And feed on reefe, in lieu of sweete edit. 1621. p. 108.
At the selfe time I both lament and joy, I joy not peace, where yet no war is I stil am pleas’d and yet displeased still;
found, I fear and hope, I burn yet freeze with- Love sometimes seemes a god, some
times a boy, all,
Sometimes I sinke, sometimes I swim I mount to heaven, yet lye I stil on the
at will ; ground,
Twixt death and life small difference I I nothing hold, yet I compasse all.
make, I live her bond, which neither is my
All this (deere dame) endure I for your foe,
sake. Nor friend, nor holds me fast, nor lets
P Fol. 22.
4 Fol. 25. i Fol. 25.
• Fol. 29.
times it is like a prodigious mountain, which is perpetually weeping in copious fountains, and sending forth sighs from its forests: which bears more leaves than fruits : which breeds wild-beasts, the proper emblems of rage, and harbours birds that are always singing. In another of his sonnets, he says, that all nature sympathises with his passion. The woods resound his elegies, the rivers stop their course to hear him complain, and the grass weeps in dew. These thoughts are common and fantastic. But he adds an image which is new, and has much nature and sentiment, although not well expressed.
The hugy okes have rored in the winde,
Fche thing, methought, complayning in theyr kinde. This is a touch of the pensive. And the apostrophe which follows is natural and simple.
O stony hart, who hath thus framed thee
So cruel, that art cloked with beauty!" And there is much strength in these lines of the lover to his bed.
The place of slepe, wherein I do but wake,
Besprent with teares, my bed, I thee forsake ! u But such passages as these are not the general characteristics of Wyat's poetry. They strike us but seldom, amidst an impracticable mass of forced reflections, hyperbolical metaphors, and complaints that move no compassion.
But Wyat appears a much more pleasing writer, when he moralises on the felicities of retirement, and attacks the vanities and vices of a court, with the honest indignation of an independent philosopher, and the freedom and pleasantry of Horace. Three of his poetical epistles are professedly written in this strain, two to John Poines, and the other to sir Francis Bryan: and we must regret, that he has not left more pieces in a style of composition for which he seems to have been eminently qua
See Life of Sir ThoHe seems to have been a person mas Pope, p. 46.
• Fol. 36.
· Fol. 24.
u Fol. 25.
about the court.
lified. In one of the epistles to Poines on the life of a courtier, are these spirited and manly reflections.
Myne owne John Poins, since ye delite to know
To cloke the truth, &c. In pursuit of this argument, he declares his indisposition and inability to disguise the truth, and to flatter, by a variety of instances. Among others, he protests he cannot prefer Chaucer's Tale of sir THOPAS to his PALAMON AND ARCITE.
Praise sır Topas for a noble tale,
I mention this circumstance about Chaucer, to shew the esteem in which the KNIGHT'S TALE, that noble epic poem of the dark ages, was held in the reign of Henry the Eighth, by men of taste.
The poet's execration of flatterers and courtiers is contrasted with the following entertaining picture of his own private life and rural enjoyments at Allingham-castle in Kent.
This is the cause that I could never yet
Thou shalt be judge how do I spende my time.d In another epistle to John Poines, on the security and happiness of a moderate fortune, he versifies the fable of the City and Country Mouse with much humour.
My mother's maides, when they do sowe and spinne,
They sing a song made of the feldishe mouse, &c. In large fields, over fruitful grounds. Thy turfy mountains, where live nib(Rather " in pleasant meads," says Rit bling sheep,
But this emendation is disputed And flat meads thatched with stover, &c. by a writer in the Gent. Mag. for Dec.
Tempest, Act 4. — Park.] 1782, p. 574, who cites the following • Probably he alludes to some office passage from Shakspeare, to evince that which he still held at court; and which leas and meads were distinct.
sometimes recalled him, but not too freThy rich leas quently, from the country. Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats and . Fol. 47.
pease ; VOL. III.
This fable appositely suggests a train of sensible and pointed observations on the weakness of human conduct, and the delusive plans of life.
Alas, my Poins, how men do seke the best,
: no warre, no peace, no strife:
For thou shalt feele it sticking in thy mynde.-
i passions. • halbert. A parade of guards, &c. assigned. The classical allusion is obvious.
+ [Nec te quæsiveris extra. -Ashby. ]