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elevated and permanent forms. And if this be true of even mediocre poetry, for how much more are we indebted to the best! Like the fabled fountain of the Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this Art can confer on each period of life its appropriate blessing : on early years Experience, on maturity Calm, on age Youthfulness. Poetry gives treasures “more golden than gold," leading us in higher and healthier ways than those of the world, and interpreting to us the lessons of Nature. But she speaks best for herself. Her true accents, if the plan has been executed with success, may be heard throughout the following pages :—wherever the Poets of England are honoured, wherever the dominant language of the world is spoken, it is hoped that they will find fit audience.
F. T. PALGRAVE.
The Golden Treasury.
THE Elizabethan Poetry, as it is rather vaguely termed, forms the substance of this Book, which contains pieces from Wyat under Henry VIII. to Shakespeare midway through the reign of James I., and Drummond who carried on the early manner to a still later period. There is here a wide range of style ;—from simplicity expressed in a language hardly yet broken in to verse, -through the pastoral fancies and Italian conceits of the strictly Elizabethan time,-to the passionate reality of Shakespeare: yet a general uniformity of tone prevails. Few readers can fail to observe the natural sweetness of the verse, the single-hearted straightforwardness of the thoughts :—nor less, the limitation of subject to the many phases of one passion, which then characterised our lyrical poetry,-unless when, as with Drummond and Shakespeare, the “purple light of Love" is tempered by a spirit of sterner reflection.
It should be observed that this and the following Summaries apply in the main to the Collection here presented, in which (besides its restriction to Lyrical Poetry) a strictly representative or historical Anthology has not been aimed at. Great Excellence, in human art as in human character, has from the beginning of things been even more uniform than Mediocrity, by virtue of the closeness of its approach to Nature :and so far as the standard of Excellence kept in view has been attained in this volume, a comparative absence of extreme or temporary phases in style, a similarity of tone and
manner, will be found throughout :-something neither modern nor ancient, but true in all ages, and like the works of Creation, perfect as on the first day.
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king ; Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo !
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo !
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
2. SUMMONS TO LOVE.
Phoebus, arise !
And emperor-like decore
-This is that happy morn, That day, long-wished day Of all my life so dark, (If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn And fates my hopes betray), Which, purely white, deserves An everlasting diamond should it mark. This is the morn should bring unto this grove My Love, to hear and recompense my love. Fair King, who all preserves, But show thy blushing beams, And thou two sweeter eyes Shalt see than those which by Penéus' streams Did once thy heart surprize. Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise : If that ye winds would hear A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre, Your furious chiding stay; Let Zephyr only breathe, And with her tresses play. -The winds all silent are, And Phoebus in his chair Ensaffroning sea and air Makes vanish every star : Night like a drunkard reels Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels : The fields with flowers are deck'd in every hue, The clouds with orient gold spangle their blue; Here is the pleasant placeAnd nothing wanting is, save She, alas !
W. DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN.
3. TIME AND LOVE.
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Love away :
-This thought is as a death, which cannot choose But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
O how shall summer's honey breath hold out
O fearful meditation ! where, alack !