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“ Her golden lair o'erspread her face, Or snow-white threads in nets of crimson silk,
Her careless arms abroad were cast, Or gorgeous clouds apon the sur's decline.
“ Her lips are roses over-washed with dew,
Or like the purple of Narcissus' flower He approaches softly, steals her arrows, “ Her crystal chin like to the purest mould, and puts his own in their place. She Enchased with dainty daisies soft and white, hears a noise at last, raises her reclining Where fancy's fair pavilion once is pight,
Whereas embraced his beauties be doth hold. bead, and sees a shepherd approachng. She flees; he pursues.
“Her neck like to an ivory shining tower, pends her bow, and shoots her arrows
Where through with azure veins sweet nectar
runs, at him.
He only becomes more ar- or like the down of swans where Sencone dent, and is on the point of seizing her. woons, In despair, she takes an arrow, and bur- or like delight that doth itself devour. ies it in her lovely body. Lol she is paps are like fair apples in the prima changed, she stops, smiles, loves, draws As round as orient pearls, as soft as down ; near him.
They never vail their fair through winter's
frown, Though mountains meet not, lovers may.
But from their sweets love sucked his summor What other lovers do, did they.
time." * The god of Love sat on a tree, And laught that pleasant sight to see." +
“ What need compare, where sweet exceeds
compare ? A drop of archness falls into the med
Who draws his thoughts of love from sense
less things, ley of artlessness and voluptuous
Their pomp and greatest glories doth impair, charm ; it was so in Longus, and in And mounts love's heaven with overladen all that delicious nosegay called the wings.”+ Anthology. Not the dry mocking of I can well believe that things had no Voltaire, of folks who possessed only more beauty then than now; but I am wit, and always lived in a drawing- sure that men found them more beauroom; but the raillery of artists, lovers tiful. whose brain is full of color and form, who, when they recount a bit of roguish is so great, it is natural that they
When the power of embellishment ness, imagine a stooping neck, lowered should paint the sentiment which eyes, the blushing of vermilion cheeks. unites all joys, whither all dreams con. One of these fair ones says the fol- verge,-ideal love, and in particular, lowing verses, simpering, and we can artless and happy love. Of all sentieven see now the pouting of her lips : ments, there is none for which we have "Love in my bosom like a bee
more sympathy. It is of all the most Doth suck his sweet.
simple and sweet. It is the first moNow with his wings he plays wito ne, tion of the heart, and the first word
Now with his feet.
of nature. It is made up of innoHis bed amid
cence and self-abandonment. It is My kisses are his daily feast.
clear of reflection and effort. It And yet he robs me of my rest.
extricates us from complicated pas. Ah! wanton, will ye!” I
sion, contempt, regret, hate, violent de What relieves these sportive pieces is sires. It penetrates us, and we breathe their splendor of imagination. There it as the fresh breath of the morning are effects and flashes which we hardly wind, which has swept over flowery dare quote, dazzling and maddening, meads. The nights of this perilous w in the Song of Songs :
court inhaled it, and were enraptured,
and so rested in the contrast from their fair
eyes, like to the purest lights Chat animate the sun, or chrzer the day;
actions and their dangers. The most In whom the shining sunbeams brightly play, severe and tragic of their poets turned Whiles fancy doth on them divine delights. aside to meet it, Shakspeare among “ Her cheeks like ripened lilies steeped in the evergreen oaks of the forest of Arwine,
den, † Ben Jonson in the woods of Sher. Of fair pomegranate kernels washed in milk,
* Green's Poems, ed. R. Bell, Monaphon's Cupid's Pastime, unknown a athor, ab. Eclogue, p. 41.
Tibid. Melicertuo Eclogue, p. 43. 1 Rosalind's Maarigah
wa r eyes,
As you like it.
wood, * amid the wide shady glades, / were not minute imitators, students do the shining leaves and the moist flow- manners: they created; the country ers, trembling on the margin of lonely for them was but a setting, anc. the springs. Marlowe himself, the terrible complete picture came from their fanpainter of the agony of Edward II., the cies and their hearts. Ronant:c it impressive and powerful poet, who may have been, even impossible but wrote Faustus, Tamerlane, and the Jew it was on this account the more charmof Malta, leaves his sanguinary dramas, ing. Is there a greater charm than his high-sounding verse, his images of putting on one side this actual world fury, and nothing can be n.ore musical which fetters or oppresses us, to ficat and sweet than his song. A shepherd, vaguely and easily in the azure and the to gain his lady-love, says to her: light, on the summit of the cloud 4. Come live with me and be my Love,
capped land of fairies, to arrange thing: And we will all the pleasures prove
according to the pleasure of the mo That hills and valleys, dale and field, ment, no longer feeling the oppressive And all the craggy mountains yield.
laws, the harsh and resisting frame There we will sit upon the rocks, And see the shepherds feed their Bocks,
work of life, adorning and varying By shallow rivers, to whose falls
every thing after the caprice and there Melodious birds sing madrigals.
finements of fancy? That is what is There will I make thee beds of roses
done in these little poems.
Usually And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
the events are such as happen nowhere Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle. or happen in the land where kings turr. A gown made of the finest wool,
shepherds and marry shepherdesses Which from our pretty lambs we pull, Fair linéd slippers for the cold,
The beautiful Argentile * is detained With buckles of the purest gold.
at the court of her uncle, who wishes A belt of straw and ivy buds,
to deprive her of her kingdom, and With coral clasps and amber studs :
commands her to marry Curan, a boor And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me and be my Love.
in his service; she flees, and Curan in The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
despair goes and lives two years among For thy delight each May-morning: the shepherds. One day he meets a If these delights thy mind may move, beautiful country-woman, and loves Then live with me and be my Love" |
her; gradually, while speaking to her, The unpolished gentlemen of the he thinks of Argentile, and weeps ; he period, returning from hawking, were describes her sweet face, her lithe fig. more than once arrested by such rustic ure, her blue-veined delicate wrists, and pictures; such as they were, that's to suddenly sees that the peasant girl is say, imaginative and 'not very citizen- weeping. She falls into his arms, and like, they had dreamed of figuring in says, “I am Argentile.” Now Curan them on their own account. But while was a king's son, who had disguised entering into, they reconstructed them ; himself thus for love of Argentile. He they reconstructed them in their parks, resumes his armor, and defeats the
There never prepared for Queen Elizabeth's en- wicked king. trance, with a profusion of costumes braver knight; and they both reigned and devices, not troubling themselves long, in Northumberland.
From a to copy rough nature exactly. Im- hundred such tales, tales of the spring probability did not disturb them; they time, the reader will perhaps bear wit
me while I pick out one more, gay ano * The Şad Shepherd. See also Beaumont simple as a May morning. The Prin and Fletcher, The Faithful Shepherdess.
cess Dowsabel came down one morn | This poem was, and still is, frequently attributed to Shakspeare. It appears as his in ing into her father's garden; she gilthKnight's edition, published a few years ago. ers honeysuckles, primroses, violets, Isaac Walton, however, writing about fifty and daisies ; then, behind a hedge, she years after Marlowe's death, attributes it to heard a shepherd singing, and that so him. In Palgrave's Golden Treasury it is also Ascribed to the same author. As a confirma-finely that she loved him at once. Не tion, let us state that Ithainore, in Marlowe's promises to be faithful, and asks for a few of Malta, says to the courtesan (Act iv.
* Chalmers' English Poets, William War * Thou in those groves, by Dis above, ner, Fourth Brok of Alion's England he
Sbali live with me, and be my love."-TR. xx. p. 551.
kiss. Her cheeks became as crimson | my hangings. My tradesmen will let y yu have 23 a rose :
their bills; don't fail to put them in. I shal
be glad to read in your works, all fally and “ With that she bent her snow white knee, naturally set forth, about iny father's shop, Down by the shepherd kneeled she,
who, like iu real gentleman, sold cloth to obligo And him she sweetly kiss'd.
his friends ; my maid Nicolle's kitchen, the With that the shepherd whoop'd for joy; genteel behavior of Brusquet, the little dog of Quoth he: 'There's never shepherd's boy my neighbor M. Dimanche. You might al30 That ever was so blest.'”*
explain my domestic affairs : there is nothing
more interesting to the public than to hear how Nothing more ; is it not enough? It a miilion may be scraped together. Tell them is but a moment’s fancy; but they had also that my daughter Lucile has not married such fancies every moment. Think that little rascal Cléonte, ut M. Sarnuel Ber
nard, who made his fortune as a fermier
gém what poetry was likely to spring from éral, keeps his carriage and is going to be a them, how superior to common events, minister of state. For this I will pay. you how free from literal imitation, how liberally, half-a-louis for a yard of writing. smitten with ideal beauty, how capable Come back in a month, and let me see what
ideas have suggested to you." of creating a world beyond our sad world. In fact, among all these poems
We are the descendants of M. Jourthere is one truly divine, so divine that dain, and this is how we have been the reasoners of succeeding ages have talking to the men of genius from the found it wearisome, that even now but beginning of the century, and the men few understand it-Spenser's Faèrie of genius have listened to us. Hence Qucene.
arise our shoppy and realistic novels One day Monsieur Jourdain, having I pray the reader to forget them, tú turned Mamamouchi't and learned forget himself, to become for a while i orthography, sent for the most illustri- poet, a gentleman, a man of the six ous writers of the age. He settled teenth century: Unless we bury the himself in his arm-chair, pointed with M. Jourdain who survives in us, we his finger at several folding-stools for shall never understand Spenser. them to sit down, and said:
VI. “ I have read your little productions, gentle- Spenser belonged to an ancient men. They have afforded me much pleasure. I wish to give you some work to do. I have family, allied to great houses; was a given some lately to little Lulli, 1 your fellow friend of Sidney and Raleigh, the two laborer. It was at my command that he intro- most accomplished knights of the age duced the sea-shell at his concerts,-a melodious instrument, which no one thought of be
-a knight himself, at least in heart, fore, and which has such a pleasing effect. I who had found in his connections, his insist that you will work out my ideas as he has friendships, his studies, his life, every worked them out, and I give you an order for thing calculated to lead him to ideal a soem in prose. What is not prose, you know, poetry. We find him at Cambridge, is verse; and what is not verse, is proses where he imbues himself with the no. When I say, “Nicolle, bring me my slippers and give me my nightcap,' I speak prose. Take blest ancient philosophies; in a north. this sentence as your model. This style is ern country, where he passes though much more pleasing than the jargon of unfinished lines which you call verse.
a deep and unfortunate passion ; at
As for the subject, let it be myself. You will describe Penshurst, in the castle and in the my Aowered dressing-gown which I have put society where the Arcadia was proun to receive you in, and this little green duced; with Sidney, in whom survived velvet undress which I wear underneath, to do my morring exercise in. You will set down entire the romantic poetry and heroic hai this chintz costs a louis an ell. The de generosity of the feudal spirit; auto cription, if well worked out, will furnish some court, where all the splendors of a ery pretty paragraphs, and will enlighten the disciplined and gorgeous chivalry were public as to the cost of things. I desire also gathered about the throne; finally, a:
you should speak of my mirrors, my carpets, Kilcolman, on the borders of a beaut.
Chalmers' English Poets, M. Drayton's ful lake, in a lonely castle, from which Fourth Eclogue, iv. p. 436.
the view embraced an amphitheatre † Mons. Jourdain is the hero of Molière's of mountains, and he half of Irecomedy, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, the type sf a vulgar and successful upstart; Mama- land. Poor in the other hand,* not nouchi is a mock title.-Tr.
* It is very do:abtful whether Spenser was no 1 Lulli, a celebrated Italian composer of the poor as he is generally believed to have been.-. ime of Molière.-TR.
fit för court, and though favored by man insults them, he calls to their aid the queen, unable to obtain from his nature and the gods. Never does he patrons any thing but inferior employ- bring them on his stage without adorn ment ; in the end, wearied of solicita- ing their name with splendid eulogy tions, and banished to his dangerous He has an adoration for beauty worthy property in Ireland, whence a rebeli on of Dante and Plotinus. And this, be expelled him, after his house and child cause he never considers it a mere har had been burned; he died three mony of color and form, but an emana months later, of misery and a broken tion of unique, heavenly, imperishable aear.* Expectations and rebuffs, many beauty, which no mortal eye can see, and sorrows and many dreams, some few which is the masterpiece of the great joys, and a sudden and frightful calam- Author of the worlds.*
Bodies only ity, a small fortune and a premature render it visible ; it does not live in end ; this indeed was a poet's life. them ; charm and attraction are not in But the heart within was the true poet things but in the immortal idea which - from it all proceeded ; circumstances shines through them: furnished the subject only; he trans
“ For that same goodly hew of white and red, formed them more than they him ; he With which the cheekes are sprinckled, shala received less than he gave. Philosophy decay, and landscapes, ceremonies and orna.
And those sweete rosy leaves, so fairly spred
Upon the lips, shall fade and fall away ments, splendors of the country and
To that they were, even to corrupted clay: the court, on all which he painted or That golden wyre, those sparckling stare so thought, he impressed his inward no- bright, bleness. Above all, his was a soul cap
Shall turne to dust, and lose their goodly
light. tivated by sublime and chaste beauty,
But that faire lampe, from whose celestiall eminently platonic ; one of these lofty and refined souls most charming of
That light proceedes, which kindleth lovers all, who, born in the lap of nature,
Shall never be extinguisht nor decay ; draw thence their sustenance, but But, when the vitall spirits doe expyre, soar higher, enter the regions of mys- Upon her native planet shall retyre; ticism, and mount instinctively in or
For it is heavenly borne, and cannot die,
Being a parcell of the purest skie.” 1 der to expand on the confines of a lof. tier world. Spenser leads us to Milton, In presence of this ideal of beauty, love and thence to Puritanism, as Plato to is transformed : Virgil, and thence to Christianity: "For Love is lord of Truth and Loialtie, Sensuous beauty is perfect in both, Lifting himself out of the lowly dust, but their main worship is for moral On golden plumes up to the purest skie, beauty. He appeals to the Muses : Above the reach of loathly sinfull lust,
Whose base affect through cowardly distrust
Of his weake wings dare not to heaven fly,. * Revele to me the sacred noursery
But like a moldwarpe in the earth doth ly.” Of vertue, which with you doth there remaine,
Love such as this contains all that is Where it in silver bowre does hidden lv From view of men and wicked worlde dis good, and fine, and noble. It is the daine!”
prime source of life, and the eterna!
soul of things. It is this love which He encourages his knight when he pacifying the primitive discord, has yoes himi droop. He is wroth when he created the harmony of the spheres, Bees him attacked. He rejoices in his and maintains this glorious universe justice, cemperance, courtesy. He in- It dwells in God, and is God Himself troduces in the beginning of a song, come down in bodily form to regenerato long stanzas in honor of friendship the tottering world and save the humab and justice. He pauses, after relating a race; around and within animated be .ovely instance of chastity, to exhortlings, when our eyes can pierce outward women to modesty. He pours out the appearances, we behold it as a living wealth of his respect and tenderness at light, penetrating and embracing every the feet of his heroines. If any coarse * Hymns of Love and Beauty; of heavenis
Love and Beauty. “He died for want of bread, in King † A Hymne in Honour of Beautie, .. 93-105 Street." Ben Jonson, quoted by Drummond. I A Hymne in Honour of Love, L 106-da.
creature. We touch here the sublime of that time, Shakspeare at their head, sharp sunimit where the world of mind act thus. Spenser remains calm in and the world of sense unite ; where the fervor of invention. The visions man, gathering with both hands the which would be fever to another, leave loveliest flowers of either, feels himself him at peace. They come and unfold at the same time a pagan and a Chris- themselves before him, easily, entire, dian.
uninterrupted, without starts. He is So much, as a testimony to his heart. epic, that is, a narrator, not a singer But he was also a poet, that is, pre- like an ode-writer, nor a mimic like a eminently a creator and a dreamer, play-writer. No modern is more like and that most naturally, instinctively, Homer. Like Homer and the grei i Inceasingly. We might go on for- epic-writers, he only presents consecu ever describing this inward condition tive and noble, almost classical images, of all great artists; there would still so nearly ideas, that the mind seizes remain much to be described. It is a them unaided and unawares. Like sort of mental growth with them ; at Homer, he is always simple and clear: every instant a bud shoots forth, and on he makes no leaps, he omits no arguthis another, and stil! another; each ment, he robs no word of its primitive producing, increasing, blooming of it. and ordinary meaning, he preserves the self, so that after a few moments we natural sequence of ideas. Like Hofind first a green plant crop up, then a mer, again, he is redundant, ingenuous, thicket, then a forest. A character even childish. He says every thing, he appears to them, then an action, then a puts down reflections which we have landscape, then a succession of actions, made beforehand; he repeats without characters, landscapes, producing, com- limit his grand ornamental epithets. pleting, arranging themselves by in- We can see that he beholds objects ir. stinctive development, as when 'in a a beautiful uniform light, with infinite dream we behold a train of figures detail ; that he wishes to show all this which, without any outward compul- detail, never fearing to see his happy sion, display and group themselves be- dream change or disappear; that he fore our eyes.
This fount of living traces its outline with a regular move. and changing forms is inexhaustible ment, never hurrying or slackening. in Spenser; he is always imaging ; it He is even a little prolix, too unmindis his specialty. He has but to close ful of the public, too ready to lose his eyes, and apparitions arise; they himself and dream about the things he abound in him, crowd, overflow ; in beholds. His thought expands in vast vain he pours them forth; they con- repeated comparisons, like those of the tinually float up, more copious and more old Ionic poet. If a wounded giant dense. Many times, following the in- falls, he finds him exhaustible stream, I have thought of
“ As an aged tree, the vapors which rise incessantly from High growing on the top of rocky clift, the sea, ascend, sparkle,commingle their whose hart-strings witli keene steele nigh hew golden and snowy scrolls, while under- The mightie trunck halfe rent with ragged rift,
en be, neath them new mists arise, and others Doth roll adowne the rocks, and fall with feariagain beneath, and the splendid pro
full drift. cession never grows dim or ceases. Or as a castle, reared high and round,
But what distinguishes him from all By subtile engins and malitious slight others is the mode of his imagination. And her foundation forst, and feebled qurgmi
Is undermined from the lowest grouna, Generally with a poet his mind fer. At last downe falles; and vith her heaper ments vehemently and by fits and hight starts; his ideas gather, jostle each Her hastie ruine does more neavie make,
And yields it selfe unto the victours might: other, suddenly appear in masses and Such was this Gyaunt's fall, that seemd to heaps, and burst forth in sharp, piercing, concentrative words; it seems The stedfast globe of earth, as it for feare did that they need these sudden accumulations to imitate the unity and life.like He develops all the ideas which he energy of the objects which they re- handles. All his phrases become pe produce ; at least almost all the nnets * The Fajrie Queene, i. c. 8, st. 22, 23.