Изображения страниц

11. still is the adjective, going with 'stand.'

13, 14. Posterity is addressed collectively, in the former line, individually in the latter, where you '= any of you.

15 HENRY CONSTABLE (1562–1613) was a Cambridge graduate and á Roman Catholic; he lived most of his life in Paris where he was chiefly occupied in political matters and in endeavouring to spread the religion he held. This song is taken from England's Helicon (see note to No. 5), where it is entitled Damelus' Song to his Diaphenia. Palgrave omitted it from his second edition.

1. daffadowndilly : the N.E.D. says this is a playful expansion of daffadilly'; it is found in Spenser's Shepherd's_Calendar, and daffadilly in Milton's Lycidas. They are both poetic forms of daffodil, which is itself derived from • asphodel’ through the form .affodill," now obsolete.

8. encloses in strict grammar should be enclosest,' but see note on No. 2, 1. 24.

12. For dead : i.e. For, were I dead.

17. the bees: the habits of bees were probably less known in the sixteenth century than they are to-day. Bees have no king; the only males among them are the drones, and when these have accomplished their only task, that of fertilizing the queen, the bees show their love by stinging them to death.

[ocr errors]

16 THOMAS LODGE (1558 ?-1625) was in turn a lawstudent, a corsair, a writer of stories, poems, and plays—in one of which a whale appears on the stage and casts, up Jonah—and finally a physician. This poem is from his Rosalynde, Euphues Golden Legacy (1590), a tale in prose with songs interspersed ; its chief title to fame is that it gave Shakespeare the plot and many of the details of As You Like It. Palgrave throughout changed the name from Rosalynde, or Rosalind, as it appears in all the early editions, to Rosaline, presumably to get a rime for mine. If



editors are to allow themselves this licence, the corruption of texts will indeed go on apace.

1. the clear : the brightness.'

3. colour : so the first edition ; in the others it is • colours.'

7. Resembling : for this, the reading of all the other editions, the first has Refining,' i.e. even the heavens become clearer when she looks at them.

8. Whenas they glow : when her eyes sparkle.'

13. shroud : covering '; in this sense it is obsolete, though we still use the expression. shrouded in mystery:

16. Her lips so the first edition ; the others, with a uniformity of absurdity, sufficiently remarkable, read 'Her eyes.'

17. Whom : who' in the sixteenth century was not restricted to persons. Cf. 2 Hen. IV, III. i. 'The winds who take ... Cf. note on No. 14, 1. 8.

21. is like : so all editions except the first, which has Her neck like to. The picture of Love imprisoned in Rosalynde's neck and trying to catch a glance of her eye suggests impossible contortions.

25. for : in the first edition fair, as in the other stanzas.

27. breasts : the first edition has "paps? in both lines ; but it is the only authority for, orbs '; all the others have robes.'

28. Nature moulds the dew of light, etc.; two exceedingly difficult lines. : I can only conjecture that Rosalynde's breast is conceived as giving out a soft radiance ('the dew of light '), which goes to complete the sum of her perfections.

31. orient, from meaning eastern,' came, as applied to pearls, to mean “ brilliant, the pearls of the Indian seas being superior to those of the mussels of Europe.

43. for a fair there's fairer nonė : the earliest editions have for her fair there is fairer none,' where 'fair' beauty,' ' considering her beauty'; cf. Comedy of Errors, 11. i. 98, “My decayéd fair A sunny look of his would soon repair; and cf. clear' for ' clearness' 1. l, above. The 1614 and later editions have for a fair there is a fairer none,' where à fair? may mean 'a fair lady

44. so divine : i.e. is there any one so divine.


From England's Helicon, where there are other pieces by "Shepherd Tony,' whose identity Mr. Bullen in his reprint of that work declares to be unascertainable. He emphatically pronounces against its being a pseudonym of Anthony Munday, as Sir S. E. Brydges had conjectured. Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch however, in the Oxford Book of English Verse, has assigned the song to Munday.

1. by a spring : so reads Brydges, but Mr. Bullen prints in a spring,'

12. fond : from foolish,' its original meaning, this word came to mean “ foolishly affectionate,' and thenits only modern meaning-" tender,' 'loving,' without any idea of disparagement.

14. her fashion : her shape.'

17. this while : this time. The word is still used as a noun in the phrase ' a long while,' etc.

18 Sonnet No. XVIII.

7. from fair : from fairness,' as above, No. 16, 1. 43. So also below, 1. 10.

8. untrimm'd: the prefix un- is either negative, as in unmoved, or privative, signifying the reversal of an action, as in unfold. Here it has the latter force ; to trim is to make neat, so to untrim is to disarrange.

10. owest : this was originally the same word as to 'own' and meant to have'; it is so found commonly in Shakespeare ; the latest instance given in N.E.D. of its use in this sense is from Pepys's Diary (1694).

12. to time : i.e. to all time.


Sonnet No. CVI. 1. wasted : not misused, but simply past.'


[ocr errors]

2. wights : persons,' almost obsolete except in a few phrases like “luckless wight.'

5. blazon : description,' properly a description of armorial bearings. 8. you master :

have as your own.' 11. but with divining eyes : i.e. not having seen you, they could but guess at your beauty.

12. skill; the Quarto reads still.'Tyrwhitt is responsible for the correction.


This is Dumain's ' ode’ in Love's Labour's Lost, iv. iii. 97 sqq.; the play being written about 1591 and printed in 1598. The song was reprinted with several variations in the Passionate Pilgrim (1599) and England's Helicon (1600). Palgrave says he has taken the song from the last of these, but his readings follow Love's Labour's Lost.

3. passing fair : 'surpassingly beautiful." 4. wanton : sportive.'

6. 'gan : i.e. began. But the Quartos and Folios as well as numerous editors read can. Pass. Pilg. and Eng. Hel. have 'gan.'

In Elizabethan English, besides the verb can (to be able) there was another verb can which, originally a variant of gan, the past tense of gin (to begin), soon lost its definite meaning, and was used before an infinitive without to as a simple past tense, like the modern did ; so can find means simply · found.

9. He addresses his lady : The air may touch thy cheeks--would that I might do the same !!

16. To be forsworn is to break an oath. Dumain with the other lords had sworn to see no woman for three years, but he finds it beyond his power to keep bis promise.

17. whom: not seeing that this word could be given the time of a disyllable, Rowe (1714) read, 'for whom e'en Jove'; Palgrave followed him in his first edition, but restored the true reading in the second.

18. Ethiope : a blackamoor.' 19. deny himself for Jove : assert that he was Jove no longer.'


SIR THOMAS WYATT (1503 ?-1542), called the elder to distinguish him from his son of the same name who was executed in Mary's reign, was a courtier and diplomatist under Henry VIII, and was dispatched on various foreign missions. His poems were first published with those of the Earl of Surrey and others in Totteľs Miscellany (1557); but neither this poem nor No. 33—also by him—is given there or in the collection of 1585. They were both first printed in 1815, in Dr. Nott's edition from a MS. in the Duke of Devonshire's library.

1. the tried intent, etc, : 'the proved purpose of tne devotion which I have endeavoured to show.'

3. travail : toil.?

6, 7. since whan The suit : for how long I have been your suitor.',. whan is an earlier form of when.'

7. the service: i.e. [and] the service (which] none can tell.

9. assays : trials,' to which you have subjected me.

14, 15. 1.e. Remember how long I have been wishing you well, as I do now.

17. thine own approved : 'one whom you have tested.'

[ocr errors]


WILLIAM ALEXANDER (1567 ?–1640) was for some time Secretary of State for Scotland ; he was knighted by James I and raised to the peerage by Charles I with the title first of Viscount, then of Earl of, Stirling, -of which Sterline is an earlier spelling. This sonnet is No. XXXIII. in his Aurora (1604).

2. prejudge thy bliss : decide what will make for your happiness without having tried it.'

7. transform'd in me : assuming a different form by entering my body'; i.e. handing over thy heart and soul to me.

9. all my thoughts should in thy visage shine : the 1604 edition and all others which I could find have

all thy thoughts should in my visage'; but Palgrave is probably right in his emendation, for the consequence

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »