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That lockes nor loseth, (nor] holdeth me in prison.
And holdes me not, yet can I scape no wise ;
Nor lettes me live, nor dye, at my devise,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
Without eye I se, without tong I playne:
I wish to perish, yet I aske for helth ;
I love another, and I hate myselfe;
I fede me in sorow, and laugh in all my paine.
Lo thus displeaseth me both death and life,

And my delight is causer of this strife.
It was from the capricious and over-strained invention of
the Italian poets, that Wyat was taught to torture the passion
of love by prolix and intricate comparisons, and unnatural al-
lusions. At one time his love is a galley steered by cruelty
through stormy seas and dangerous rocks; the sails torn by
the blast of tempestuous sighs, and the cordage consumed by
incessant showers of tears: a cloud of grief envelops the stars,
reason is drowned, and the haven is at a distance P. At another 9,
it is a spring trickling from the summit of the Alps, which
gathering force in its fall, at length overflows all the plain be-
neath'. Sometimes it is a gun, which being overcharged,
expands the flame within itself, and bursts in pieces. Some-


* 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.

me goe.

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
The causes why that homeward I me draw,
And flee the prease w of courtes, where so they go *;
Rather than to live thrall under the awe
Of lordly lokes, wrapped within my cloke;
To will and lust learning to set a law:
It is not that, because I scorne or mocke
The power of them, whom Fortune here hath lent
Charge over us, of Righty to strike the stroke:
But true it is, that I have always ment
Lesse to esteme them, (than the common sort)
Of outward thinges that judge, in their entent,
Without regarde what inward doth resort.
I graunt sometime of glory that the fire
Doth touch my heart. Me list not to report 2
Blame by honour, nor honour to desire.
But how may I this honour now attaine,
That cannot dye the colour blacke a liar?
My Poins, I cannot frame my tune a to fain,

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,
And scorne the STORY that the KNIGHT tolde;
Praise him for counsell that is dronke of ale:
Grinne when he laughes, that beareth all the sway;
Frowne when he frownes, and grone when he is pale:
On others lust to hang both night and day, &c.

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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
Hang on their sleeves, that weigh, as thou maist se,
A chippe of chance more than a pounde of wit:
This maketh me at home to hunt and hawke,
And in foule wether at my booke to sit;
In frost and snow then with my bow to stalke;
No man doth marke whereso I ride or go:
In lusty least at libertie I walke:
And of these newes I fele nor weale nor woe :
Save that a clogge doth hang yet at my heeleo;
No force for that, for it is ordred so,
That I may leape both hedge and dyke ful wele.
I am not now in Fraunce, to judge the wyne,

But I am here in Kent and Christendome,
Among the Muses, where I reade and ryme;
Where if thou list, mine owne John Poins, to come,

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,
And finde the worse by errour as they stray:
And no marvell, when sight is so opprest,
And blindes the guyde: anone out of the way
Goeth guyde and all, in seking quiet lyfe.
O wretched mindes! There is no golde that may
Graunt that you


: no warre, no peace, no strife:
No, no, although thy head were hoopt with golde:
Sergeaunt with mace *, with hawbart, sword, nor knife,
Cannot repulse the care that folow should.
Ech kinde of lyfe hath with him his disease:
Live in delites, even as thy lust would,
And thou shalt finde, when lust doth most thee please,
It irketh straght, and by itselfe doth fade.
A small thing is it, that may thy minde appease ?
None of you al there is that is so madde,
To seke for grapes on brambles or on breeres8 ;
Nor none, I trow, that hath a witte so badde,
To set his haye for coneyes over rivères.
Nor ye set not a dragge net for a hare:
And yet the thing that most is your desire
You do misseke, with more travell and care.
Make plaine thine hart, that it be not knotted
With hope or dreade: and see thy will be bare h
From all affectes', whom vyce hath never spotted.
Thyselfe content with that is thee assindek;
And use it wel that is to the alotted.
Then seke no more out of thyself to fyndet,
The thing that thou hast sought so long before,

For thou shalt feele it sticking in thy mynde.-
(From Horace; Submovet lictor. & So read, instead of bryars.
Ashby. ]

i passions. • halbert. A parade of guards, &c. assigned. The classical allusion is obvious.

+ [Nec te quæsiveris extra. -Ashby. ]

h free.

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