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3. Sitting : 'as I was sitting.

4. grove : so in the original and in the Passionate Pilgrim ; England's Helicon has 'group.'

9. She, poor bird : there was till recently a general conspiracy among poets to treat the nightingale as feminine ; though in point of fact it is the cock-bird only that sings. Modern poets, however, eig. Mr. Bridges, are more accurate on this point.

10. up-till : ‘up to'; till' is still used in Scotland for “to'; England's Helicon has against,' which Palgrave read in his first edition, substituting' up-till ' in the second. There was an old superstition that a nightingale could sing only under the stimulus of pain, self-inflicted if obtained in no other way.

12. That is the conjunction,=' so that.' 17. lively : 'vividly.'

23. King Pandion: In Greek legend he was king of Athens and father of two beautiful girls, Procne and Philomela ; the former of whom he gave in marriage to Tereus, king of a Thracian tribe living in Daulis, a town of Phocis near Delphi. After a son, İtys, was born to them, Tereus wearied of his wife, and, inviting Philomela to come to his court, he ravished her and cut out her tongue. Philomela however, wove the story of her wrong into a robe and gave it to Procne, who thereupon slew her son Itys and served him up as food to her husband. She and her sister then fled, pursued by Tereus with an axe, and, as he was on the point of catching them, the gods transformed all three to birds, Tereus becoming a hoopoe, Procne a swallow, and Philomela a nightingale. Pandion died on hearing the story.

24. lapp'd in lead : enclosed in leaden coffins.

27. This and the next line are from England's Helicon. The other two versions substitute thirty-two other, and distinctly inferior, lines.


SAMUEL DANIEL (1562–1619) was in succession a private tutor, a groom of the privy chamber to Queen Elizabeth, and the head of a company of young players. This sonnet is No. Li in his Sonnets to Delia (1592).

3. languish as a noun does not seem to have been used for over a century.

restore the light : i.e. of unconsciousness ; the waking world had grown so dark to him that to leave it in sleep would be a return to light.

5. let the day be time enough, etc. : i.e. let not my sleep. be but a continuation of my waking sorrows with all the added exaggerations of dreamland.

7. their scorn : the scorn in which they see I am held.'

9, 10. ' And you dreams, which do but re-echo my waking thoughts, come not to anticipate the suffering that I shall encounter next day.'

11. Never let rising Sun approve you liars : do not paint things worse than they will prove to be when the next day comes.'

13. embracing clouds : 'dreaming in a world of pure fancy.'

IV. i.

36 Sung by a boy to Mariana in Measure for Measure,

4. Lights that do mislead the morn : i.e. her eyes are so bright that the morn takes them for the Šun-a common conceit of the period.


MICHAEL DRAYTON (1563–1631) is chiefly known for his work called Polyolờion, a topographical description of England in thirty parts, enriched by many early legends. The present sonnet is No. LXI in Idea, the Shepherd's Garland (1593).

4. cleanly : 'entirely.'

38 First appearing in the 1616 edition of Drummond's Poems. The text given is that of the 1656 and 1711 editions, which have several variants from the original.

1. lute : a stringed instrument resembling a guitar, which from the 14th to the 17th centuries was the

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favourite instrument for chamber music throughout Europe.

4. Tamage : the song of birds, from the French ramage, with the same meaning.

6. wont, now used only as an adjective, was formerly the past tense of won, or wone, meaning to dwell, to be accustomed. The 1616 edition has used.'

9. be, for 'are,' was common to the end of the 17th century. It is still used in the phrase “ the powers that be.'

11. Each stroke a sigh: each touch of the strings [draws forth] a sigh.'

14. turtle : turtle-dove.' still : continually.' her loss : the loss of her,' i.e. the owner of the dear Voice.'

39 Sonnet No. CXLVIII.

4. censures : estimates'-without the modern idea of blaming.

40 From a collection of part-songs appearing in 1589 called Songs of Sundry Natures, the music of which was written by William Byrd, the composer of the earliest English madrigals. The song is printed also in England's Helicon, see note to No. 5.

3. late forgot : lately deserted by his mistress. 28. passing glad : 'surpassingly glad.' 32. your : so Englands Helicon ; Byrd has ‘my.'

41 EDWARD VERE (1550—1604), seventeenth Earl of Oxford, was son-in-law to Burghley, who ‘found his perverse humour a source of grave embarrassment.' He was continually losing and regaining Elizabeth's favour. Most of his verse appeared first in various anthologies. All that is extant was printed by Grosart in his Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies Library (1872). This poem was first printed in the Introduction to Sir S. E. Brydges's edition (1812) of_England's Helicon, where it is said to be taken from a Bodleian MS.

1. fond : foolish.' See note to No. 17, 1. 12.

2. Or that : 'if that' is often found for 'if'; see above, note to No. 22, 1. 10. If the subordinate sentence contains two clauses, the second is often introduced by that 'alone.

3. bond : an adjective (=bound), as in 1 Corinthians, xii. 13, whether we be bond or free.'

8. Phoebus, the Sun-god, was the ideal of male beauty.

Pan, the Greek rural deity, had the head and trunk of a man, but the horns, ears, and lower limbs of a goat.

9. haggards : wild hawks.? As no haggards, were tame, 'wild haggards? is tautology, unless wild ' is to be taken with the verb range.'

11. from the fist : where the hawk was carried in the mediaeval sport of hawking.

13. disport : "sport.'

15. lure: another hawking metaphor; a lure was a bunch of feathers used to recall the bird to the falconer.

16. ourselves we ease : we relieve ourselves of them.'

17. when we their fancy try : when we make trial of their love." Cf. below, No. 50, 1. 1.


.42 Sung by Amiens in As You Like It, 11. vii.

2. unkind : unnatural.'. One of the first meanings of the substantive ‘ kind’ is nature.

7. Heigh-ho is generally used to express weariness, but in Midsummer Night's Dream (iv. i. 209), it is a shout to some one at a distance, and here it can hardly be anything but a cheerful cry.

12. That dost : Palgrave in both editions has, ' Thou dost.'

bite so nigh : so deeply. Cf. the phrase ' to shave close.'

14. warp : now meaning to bend, had originally the idea of changing or turning ; the effect of the wind is to change the appearance of the water either by ruffling its surface or by, freezing it.

16. friend remember'd not : the forgetting of one friend by another.'


43 From the Poems of 1616." For Madrigal, see note to No. 5, 1. 8.

4. to bring : in order that I may bring.' 5. prince which: Cf. above, No. 14, 1. 8, and note.

monarchize : the only entirely independent sovereign in the world is Death. 7. caitiffs : .caitiff,' in its original form the same word

captive,' came to imply a mixture of wickedness and misery.

blest : fortunate, happy!


Sung by the Clown in Twelfth Night (11. iv).

2. sad cypres : (or cypress) this may either refer to the tree or the fabric. If the former it may mean (1) the coffin of cypress wood, or (2) boughs of the tree, which were often strewn or carried as a sign of mourning. The fabric, more commonly called cypress lawn,' was a light transparent material resembling crape; when black it was often used for mourning, but here the shroud was white (1. 5), so that one of the former explanations seems preferable.

10. black : i.e. covered with a black pall. *15. never find : this is subjunctive, = may never find.'

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45. Sung by Guiderius and Arviragus in Cymbeline (iv. ii). There is a fourth stanza in a different metre which Palgrave has omitted.

5. Golden : resembling gold, either in beauty or value.' Cf. the Golden Age, the Golden Legend, the Golden Treasury, etc.

10. the reed is as the oak : i.e. all earthly things, whether strong or weak, are equally unimportant.

14. thunder-stone : “ thunderbolt.

18. Consign to thee: Steevens explains, 'seal the same contract with thee," and N.E.D. adopts the explanation without quoting a parallel.

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