Изображения страниц


Born at Hayes Farm in Devonshire, 1552, and beheaded in

Palace-yard, Westminster, 1618. This astonishing man, in whom almost every variety of talent,

and all the acquirements of science, were united with heroic courage, and the most ardent spiritof enterprise, is classed by Puttenham among those poets “ who have writ excellently “ well, if their doings could be found out and made pub. “ lic.” These doings, however, have not been collected; and it must be confessed that the authority on which some of the following specimens are assigned to this author, is not quite satisfactory. Isaac Walton has informed us, that the reply to Marlowe's

“Passionate Shepherd,” was “ made by Sir Walter Raleigh " in his younger days:" and, as far as this poem is concerned, such testimony is certainly sufficient. But Mr. Warton observes, that this “ Reply,” which is found in “ England's Helicon," is there subscribed “ Ignoto, Raleigh's constant signature;" and this latter assertion is denied by another very able critic, who contends that this signature was affixed by the publisher, who meant to ex. press by it his own ignorance of the author's name. Mr. Warton, however, had perhaps good reasons for his opi. nion, though he neglected to adduce them; and it is to be observed that in Mr. Steevens's copy of the first edition of the Helicon, the original signature was W. R.; the second subscription of Ignoto (which has been followed in the subsequent editions) being, rather aukwardly, pasted over it. That the fantastic denominations of Ignoto, Immerito, &c.

were, like the devices of knights errant, inviolably preserved to the original occupant, is extremely doubtful; but it seems scarcely worth while to reject even this slight designation of property, in cases where no other claim is brought forward.

The Shepherd to the Flowers.

[From “ England's Helicon.”]

Sweet violets, Love's Paradise, that spread Your gracious odours, which you couched bear

Within your paly faces, Upon the gentle wing of some calm-breathing wind,

That plays amidst the plain!

If, by the favour of propitious stars, you gain Suci grace, as in my lady's bosom place you find,

Be proud to touch those places : And when her warmth your moisture forth doth

wear, Whereby her dainty parts are sweetly fed, You, honours of the flowery meads, I pray,

You pretty daughters of the Earth and Sun, With mild and seemly breathing straight display | My bitter sighs, that have my heart undone!

[ocr errors]

A Defiance to Disdainful Love.

[From the same Collection.]

Now have I learn'd with much ado, at last,

By true disdain to kill Desire;
This was the mark at which I shot so fast;

Unto this height I did aspire.
Proud Love, now do thy worst ! and spare not;
For thee, and all thy shafts, I care not!

What hast thou left wherewith to move my mind?

What life to quicken dead Desire ?
I count thy words and oaths as light as wind,

I feel no heat in all thy.fire.
Go! change thy bow, and get a stronger :
Go! break thy shafts, and buy thee longer !

In vain thou bait'st thy hooks with beauty's blaze,

In vain thy wanton eyes allure : These are but toys for them that love to gaze:

I know what harm thy looks procure. Some strange conceit must be devised, Or thou, and all thy arts, despised.

An Heroical Poem.

[From the same Collection.) My wanton Muse, that whilom us'd to sing

Fair Beauty's praise, and Venus' sweet delight, Of late had chang'd the tenor of her string

To higher tunes than serve for Cupid's fight: Shrill trumpets' sound, sharp swords, and lances

strong, War, blood, and death, were matter of my song.

The god of Love by chance had heard thereof,

That I was prov'd a rebel to his crown. “ Fit words for war!" quoth he, in angry scoff,

“A likely man to write of Mars's frown ! “ Well are they sped, whose praises he shall write, « Whose wanton pen can nought but love indite !"

[ocr errors]

This said, he whisk'd his party-colour'd wings,
And down to earth he comes, more swift than

thought :
Then to my heart in angry haste he flings,
To see what change these news of war had

wrought. He pries, he looks, he ransacks every vein, Yet finds he nought, save love, and lover's pain.

Then I, that now perceiv'd his needless fear,

With heavy smile began to plead my cause. " In vain," quoth I, “ this endless grief I bear,

“ In vain I strive to keep thy grievous laws, “ If after proof, so often trusty found, “ Unjust suspect condemn me as unsound. -

“ My Muse, indeed, to war inclines her mind;

“ The famous acts of worthy Brute to write ; “ To whom the gods this island's rule assign'd, “ Which long he sought by seas, through Nep

tune's spite. “ With such conceits my busy head doth swell, “ But in my heart nought else but love can dwell.

And in this war thy part is not the least;

“Here shall my muse Brute's noble love declare; “ Here shalt thou see thy double love increas'd

“ Of fairest twins that ever lady bare.' « Let Mars triumph in armour shining bright, “ His conquer'd arms shall be thy triumph's light.

“ As he the world, so thou shalt him subdue ;

“ And I thy glory through the world will ring; “ So, by my pains, thou wilt consent to rue, “And kill despair.” With that he whisk'd his wing,

* For ?

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »