« הקודםהמשך »
fingular dedication contains, not only anecdotes of the author and his work, but of his majesty's eminent attention to the study of the scripture, and of his skill in playing on the lute, I need not apologise for transcribing a few dull stanzas ; especially as they will also serve as a specimen of the poet's native style and manner, unconfined by the fetters of translation.
* Strype says, that “ Sternhold com- “man of the privy-chamber, was much
“ posed several psalms at first for his own “delighted with them. Which occasioned “solace. For he set and sung them to his “his publication and dedication of them “organ. Which music king Edward vi. “ to the said king.” Eccles, MeMoR. “sometime hearing, for he was a Gentle- B. i. ch. 2, p. 86.
Vol. III. B. b Have
Have thought it good now to recyte
Even of the Twelve, as Luke doth wryte,
Unto the text I do not ad,
My callynge is another waye,
My notes set forth to synge or playe,
And though they be not curious",
Ye shall them fynde harmonious,
A young monarch singing the Acts of THE Apostles in verse to his lute, is a royal charaćter of which we have seldom heard. But he proceeds,
From this sample of his original vein, my reader will not perhaps hastily predetermine, that our author has communicated any considerable decorations to his Acts of The AposTLEs in English verse. There is as much elegance and animation in the two following initial stanzas of the fourteenth chapter, as in any of the whole performance, which I shall therefore exhibit.
It chaunced in Iconium,
Together they into did come
Where they did preache and only seke
That so they speke to Jue and Greke
Dočtor Tye's Acts of the Apost LEs were sung for a time in the royal chapel of Edward the fixth. But they never became popular. The impropriety of the design, and the impotency of the execution, seem to have been perceived even by his own prejudiced and undiscerning age. This circumstance, however, had probably the fortunate and seasonable effect, of
the chara&ter and effeót of both. But in surveying the general course of a species of literature, absurdities as well as excellencies, the weakness and the vigour of the human mind, must have their historian. Nor is it unpleasing to trace and to contemplate those strange incongruities, and false ideas of perfeótion, which at various times, either affectation, or caprice, or fashion, or opinion, or prejudice, or ignorance, or enthusiasm, present to the conceptions of men, in the shape of truth. I must not, however, forget, that king Edward the fixth is to be ranked among the religious poets of his own reign. Fox has published his metrical instructions concerning the eucharist, addressed to fir Antony Saint Leger. Bale also mentions his comedy called the Who Re of BABY LoN, which Holland the heroologist, who perhaps had never seen it, and knew not whether it was a play or a ballad, in verse or prose, pronounces to be a most elegant performance'. Its elegance, with some, will not perhaps apologise or atone for its subjećt: and it may seem strange, that controversial ribaldry should have been suffered to enter into the education of a great monarch. But the genius, habits, and situation, of his age should be confidered. The reformation was the great political topic of Edward's court. Intricate discussions in divinity were no longer confined to the schools or the clergy. The new religion, from its novelty, as well as importance, interested every mind, and was almost the sole objećt of the general attention. Men emancipated from the severities of a spiritual tyranny, reflected with horror on the slavery they had so long suffered, and with exultation on the triumph they had obtained. These feelings were often expressed in a strain of enthusiasm. The spirit of innovation, which had seized the times, often transgressed the bounds of truth. Every change of religion is attended with those ebullitions, which growing more moderate by degrees, afterwards appear eccentricand ridiculous.
* Herooloo, p. 27.