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Here is some degree of spirit, and a choice of phraseology. But on the whole, and especially for this species of stanza, Parker will be found to want facility, and in general to have been unpračtised in writing English verses. His abilities were destined to other studies, and adapted to employments of a more
archiepiscopal nature. The industrious Strype, Parker's biographer, after a diligent search never could gain a fight of this translation: nor is it even mentioned by Ames, the inquisitive colle&tor of our typographical antiquities. In the late Mr. West's library there was a superb copy, once belonging to bishop Kennet, who has remarked in a blank page, that the archbishop perinitted his wife dame Margaret to present the book to some of the nobility. It is certainly at this time extremely scarce, and would be deservedly deemed a fortunate acquisition to those capricious students who labour only to colle&t a library of rarities. Yet it is net generally known, that there are two copies in the Bodleian library of this anonymous version, which have hitherto been given to an obscure poet by the name of John Keeper. One of them, in 1643, appears to have been the property of bishop Barlow ; and on the opposite side of the title, in somewhat of an antient hand, is this manuscript insertion. “ The “ auctor of this booke is one John Keeper, who was brought “ upp in the close of Wells.” Perhaps Antony Wood had no better authority than this slender unauthenticated note, for saying, that John Keeper, a native of Somersetshire, and a graduate at Oxford in the year 1564, and who afterwards studied music and poetry at Wells, “translated The whole Psalter into English “ metre which containeth 150 psalms, etc. printed at London by “ jobn Day living over Aldersgate, about 1570, in quarto: and “added thereunto The Gloria Patri, Te Deum, The Song of “ the three Children, Quicunque vult, Benedićtus, &c. all in “ metre. At the end of which, are musical notes set in four “ parts to several psalms. What other things, he adds, of “ poetry, music, or other faculties, he has published, I know “ not ;.
“ not, nor any thing more ; yet I suppose he had some dignity “ in the church of Wells ".” If this version should really be the work of Keeper, I fear we are still to seek for archbishop Parker's psalms, with Strype and Ames ". A confiderable contributor to the metrical theology was Robert Crowley, educated in Magdalene college at Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship in 1542. In the reign of Edward the sixth, he commenced printer and preacher in London. He lived in Ely-rents in Holborn : “where, says Wood, he “ sold books, and at leisure times exercised the gift of preach“ing in the great city and elsewhere".” In 1550 he printed the first edition of PIE Rce Plow MAN's Vision, but with the ideas of a controversialist, and with the view of helping forward the reformation by the revival of a book, which exposed the absurdities of popery in strong satire, and which at present is only valuable or useful, as it serves to gratify the harmless researches of those peaceable philosophers who study the progression of antient literature. His pulpit and his press, those two prolific sources of faction, happily cooperated in propagating his principles of predestination : and his shop and his sermons were alike frequented. Possessed of those talents which qualified him for captivating the attention and moving the passions of the multitude, under queen Elisabeth he held many dignities in a church, whose doćtrines and polity his undiscerning zeal had a tendency to destroy. He translated into popular rhyme, not only the psalter, but the litany, with hymns, all which he printed together in 1549. In the same year, and in the same measure, he published The Voice of the last Trumpet blown by the seventh angel. This piece contains twelve several lessons, for the instruction or amendment of those who seemed at that time chiefly to need advice; and among whom he enumerates lewd priests, scholars, physicians, beggars, yeomen, gen
tlemen, magistrates, and women. He also attacked the abuses of his age in thirty-one EPIGRAMs, first printed in 1551. The subjećts are placed alphabetically. In his first alphabet are Abhayes, Alehouses, Alleys, and Almeshouses. The second, Bailiff, Bawds, Beggars, Bear-bayting, and Brawlers. They display, but without spirit or humour, the reprehensible practices and licentious manners which then prevailed. He published in 1551, a kind of metrical sermon on Pleasure and Pain, Heaven and Hell. Many of these, to say nothing of his almost innumerable controversial trađs in prose, had repeated editions, and from his own press. But one of his treatises, to prove that Lent is a human invention and a superstitious institution, deserves notice for its plan: it is a Dialogue between Lent and Liberty. The personification of Lent is a bold and a perfedtly new prosopopeia. In an old poem of this age against the papists, written by one doćtor William Turner a physician, but afterwards dean of Wells, the Mass, or mistress Miss A, is personified, who, arrayed in all her meretricious trappings, must at least have been a more theatrical figure'. Crowley likewise wrote, and printed in 1588, a rhyming manual, The School of Vertue and Book of good Nurture. This is a translation into metre, of many of the less exceptionable Latin hymns antiently used by the catholics, and still continuing to retain among the protestants a degree of popularity. One of these begins, jam Lucis orto sydere. At the end are prayers and graces in rhyme. This book, which in Wood's time had been degraded to the stall of the ballad-finger, and is now only to be found on the shelf of the antiquary, was intended to supersede or abolish the original Latin hymns, which were only offensive because they were in Latin, and which were the recreation of scholars in our univerfities after dinner on festival days. At an archiepiscopal visitation of Merton college in Oxford, in the year 1562, it was a matter of enquiry, whether the supersitious hymns appointed to
be sung in the Hall on holidays, were changed for the psalms in metre: and one of the fellows is accused of having attempted to prevent the finging of the metrical Te Deum in the refectory on All-saints day'. - It will not be foreign to our purpose to remark here, that when doćtor Cofins, prebendary of Durham, afterwards bishop, was cited before the parliament in 1640, for reviving or supporting papistic usages in his cathedral, it was alledged against him, that he had worn an embroidered cope, had repaired some ruinous cherubims, had used a consecrated knife for dividing the sacramental bread, had renovated the blue cap and golden beard of a little image of Christ on bishop Hatfield's tomb, had placed two lighted tapers on the altar which was decorated with emblematic sculpture, and had forbidden the psalms of Sternhold and Hopkins to be sung in the choir ".
* Strype's Parker, B. 1 1. Ch. ii. pag. * Neale's Hist. Purit. vol. ii. ch. vii. 1 16, 117. Compare Life of siR Tho- pag. 387. edit. 1733. Nalson's CollecMas Pope, 2d edit. p. 354. tions, vol. i. pag. 789.
UT among the theological versifiers of these times, the most notable is Christopher Tye, a doćtor of music at Cambridge in 1545, and musical preceptor to prince Edward, and probably to his fisters the princesses Mary and Elisabeth. In the reign of Elisabeth he was organist of the royal chapel, in which he had been educated. To his profession of music, he joined some knowledge of English literature: and having been taught to believe that rhyme and edification were closely conneéted, and being persuaded that every part of the Scripture would be more instructive and better received if reduced into verse, he projećted a translation of the Acts of THE AposTLEs into familiar metre. It appears that the Book of KING's had before been versified, which for many reasons was more Capable of shining under the hands of a translator. But the most splendid historical book, I mean the most susceptible of poetic ornament, in the Old or New Testament, would have become ridiculous when clothed in the fashionable ecclesiastical stanza. Perhaps the plan of setting a narrative of this kind to music, was still more preposterous and exceptionable. However, he completed only the first fourteen chapters: and they were printed in 1553, by William Serres, with the following title, which by the reader, who is not acquainted with the peculiar complexion of this period, will hardly be suspected to be serious. “The Actes of THE Apostles translated into “Englyshe metre, and dedicated to the kinges most excellent “ maiestye by Cristofer Tye, doćtor in musyke, and one of the “Gentylmen