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“ LOVE IS THE BLOSSOM.”
BY GILES FLETCHER.
[Giles FLETCHER. The time and place of his birth are unknown ; but it is recorded that he was educated at Cambridge, and that he became a clergyman. He died, most probably, about the year 1625.
Fletcher, himself no mean poet, was the son and brother of poets, and the cousin of the great dramatist. He wrote little more than “Christ's Victory and Triumph,” but this has gained him immortality. His productions are not, however, without faults; thus he mixes up heathen mythology with the most venerable events and dogmas of Christianity. But his style is lofty and energetic ; his verse is graceful and harmonious.]
Love is the blossome where there blowes
Every thing that lives or growes :
Onely bend thy knee to me,
See, see the flowers that belowe,
In my chambers to attend me.
And ten thousand more, are mine.
Onely bend thy knee to me,
“WHEN PHOEBUS LIFTS HIS HEAD.”
THE POLYOLBION,” BY MICHAEL DRAYTON.
[MICHAEL DRAYTON was born at Harsull in Warwickshire, in 1563. After having spent some time at the University of Oxford, he entered the army; but he soon turned his attention to poetry, for which he had shown the most extraordinary predilection from his earliest years, and was made Poet Laureate. Though he served James I. in the intrigues which preceded his accession, he was treated by him not only with neglect, but indignity. He died in 1631, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Drayton, though in many respects a pleasing writer, often tires by the monotony of his measures, and the sameness of his personifications. His productions reach to 100,000 verses, most of which were published before he was thirty years of age. His most famous poem is the “Polyolbion,” a topographical description of England. ]
WHEN Phoebus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,
No sooner doth the earth her flowery bosom brave,
The throstle, with shrill sharps; as purposely he song
Upon his dulcet pipe the merle doth only play.
(The more to use their ears,) their voices sure would spare, That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare, As man to set in parts at first had learn'd of her.
To Philomel the next, the linnet we prefer ; And by that warbling bird, the wood-lark place we then, The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the wren. The yellow-pate ; which though she hurt the blooming tree, Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she. And of these chaunting fowls, the goldfinch not behind, That hath so many sorts descending from her kind. The tydy for her notes as delicate as they, The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay. The softer with the shrill (some hid among the leaves, Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves) Thus sing away the morn, until the mounting sun, Through thick exhaled fogs his golden head hath run, And through the twisted tops of our close covert creeps To kiss the gentle shade, this while that sweetly sleeps.
And near to these our thicks, the wild and frightful herds, Not hearing other noise but this of chattering birds, Feed fairly on the lawns; both sorts of seasoned deer : Here walk the stately red, the freckled fallow there : The bucks and lusty stags amongst the rascals strew'd, As sometime gallant spirits amongst the multitude.
Of all the beasts which we for our venerial name, The hart among the rest, the hunter's noblest game: Of which most princely chase sith none did e'er report, Or by description touch, t express that wondrous sport (Yet might have well beseem'd the ancients' nobler songs)