Page images

Being asked the Occasion of his White Head, he

answered thus.

[From the same.]

[ocr errors]

WHERE seething sighs, and sower*sobs

Hath slain the slips that Nature set ; And scalding showers, with stony throbs,

The kindly sap from them hath fet ; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be?

Where Thought hath thrill'd and thrown his spears,

To hurt the heart that harm'd him not;
And groaning Grief hath ground forth tears,
eyne to stain, my

face to spot; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be?

Where pinching Pain himself hath plac'd,

There Peace with Pleasures were possess'd; And walls of wealth are fall’n to waste,

And Poverty in them is prest; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be?

1 Ed. 1580, “ sorrow.”

Where wretched Woe doth weave her web,

Where Care the clue can catch and cast; And floods of joy are fall’n to ebb,

So low, that life may not long last; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be?

These hairs of Age are messengers,

Which bid me fast, repent, and pray :
They be of Death the harbingers,
That do

and dress the way. Wherefore I joy that you may see Upon my head such hairs to be.

They be the lines that lead the length,

How far my race was for to run :
They say my youth is fled, with strength,

And how old age is well begun.
The which I feel : and you may
Upon my head such lines to be.

They be the strings, of sober sound,

Whose music is harmonical: Their tunes declare time from ground

I came and how thereto I shall ! Wherefore I joy that you may see Upon my head such strings to be.

God grant to those that white hairs have,

No worse them take than I have meant:
That after they be laid in grave,

Their souls may joy, their lives well spent.
God grant likewise that you may see
Upon your head such hairs to be.

[In ed. 1577 and 1580, this piece is attributed, I believe

falsely, to W. Hunnis. ]

' So the sense seems to require. The original has 6 my."


[ocr errors]

Among the uncertain authors, whose works are subjoined

to Lord Surrey's Poems, are to be classed (says Mr Warton) SiR. FRANCIS BRIAN, and LORD ROCHFORD. * THOMAS CHURCHYARD also may be added to the list of contributors. In the catalogue of his numerous productions prefixed to his “ Challenge," he says, “ Many things “ in the book of songs and sonnets, in Queen Mary's “ reign, were of my making.” See an account of this

author and his works in Ritson’s Bibliographia. Sir Francis Brian (nephew to Bourchier lord Berners, the translator of Froissart), was the friend of Sir Thomas Wyatt, and knighted by Thomas, earl of Surrey, during the expedition to Brittany. His wit and accomplishments procured him the post of gentleman of the privy chamber to Henry VIII., and he was afterwards promoted to more important employments, and died chief-jus

ticiary of Ireland, 1548. George Boleyn, viscount Rochfort, brother to Queen Anne

Boleyn, with whom he was most unjustly accused of a criminal intimacy, was beheaded on this suspicion in May, 1536. He was the idol of the ladies at Henry's court, and wrote several songs and sonnets. The first of the following, which, by the editor of lord Surrey's Poems, is placed among the works of Sir Thomas Wyatt, is, in the Nuga Antiqua, ascribed to lord Rochford.

* Sir F. Brian, indeed, is pointed out by Drayton as a contributor to Tottel's miscellany.

“ Amongst our poets Bryan had a share
“ With the two † former, which accompted are

+ Surrey and Wyatt.

The Lover complaineth the Unkindness of his Love.

My lute awake, perform the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,

And end that I have now begun !
And when this song is sung and past,

My lute be still, for I have done!


The rocks do not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,

As she my suit and affection :
So that I am past remedy ;

Whereby my lute and I have done.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts through Love's shot,

By whom (unkind!) thou hast them won,
Think not he hath his bow forgot,

Although my lute and I have done.

" That time's best makers, and the authors were
“ Of those small poems, which the title bear
“ Of songs and sonnets, wherein oft they hit
“ On many dainty passages of wit,”

[Epist. to Hen. Reynolds, Esq.] And Richard Smith says, in a copy of verses before Gascoigne's Works,

“ Old Ruchfort clamb the stately throne “ Which Muses hold in Helicon,"

« PreviousContinue »