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defends them from vulgar approach. It became vulgar
as well as absurd, and so died a sudden and natural death. That Lylly could write a natural and easy style is shewn by the following specimens of his verse.
• FROM ALEXANDER AND CAMPASPE.
O love! has she done this to thee ?
Brave prick song! who is't now we hear ?
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat,
BORN ABOUT 1553-DIED 1599.
“ AÑONG the numerous poets,” says Mr Campbell, “belong
ing exclusively to Elizabeth's reign, Spenser stands without a class and without a rival." He might have extended this affirmation to the reign of George IV. No one has attempted to class the most purely poetical of all poets ; nor has he, in his own chosen field, ever been rivalled. “In Spenser," says that modern critic who beyond all others, has caught the fire, and formed himself on the catholic taste of our elder poets, “ we wander in another world among ideal beings. The poet takes us and lays us in the lap of a lovelier nature, by the sound of softer streams, among greener hills and fairer valleys. He paints nature, not as we find it, but as we expected to find it, and fulfils the delightful promise of our youth. He waves his wand of enchantment, and at once embodies airy beings, and throws a delicious veil over all actual objects. The two worlds of reality and fiction are poized on the wings of his imagination. His ideas seem more distinct than his perceptions.” With equal felicity another of his modern critics has said,-“ Much of his ex. pression has now become antiquated, though it is beautiful in its antiquity, and, like the moss and ivy on some majestic building, covers the fabric of his language with romantic and venerable associations."
The structure, the music of Spenser's peculiar verse, is not less admirable. It combines the stately suspense and sweeping magnificence of blank verse with the melody, the sweetness, and varied cadences of rhyme. His stanza is that which the greatest among the modern poets have talked of as monotonous and cumbrous, and adopted when they would excel themselves. It is the very air, the native melody to which his thoughts and fancies should be set.
DESCRIPTION OF BELPHEBE.
[From the Faerie Queene.]
In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame,
Her yvorie forhead, full of bountie brave,
Upon her eyelids many Graces sate,
So faire, and thousand thousand times more faire,
And in her hand a sharpe bore-speare she held,
Her yellow lockes, crisped like golden wyre,
And, when the winde emongst them did inspyre,
Such as Diana by the sandy shore
THE BOWER OF BLISS.
[From the Faerie Queene.] EFTSOONES they heard a most melodious sound, Of all that mote delight a daintie eare, Such as attonce might not on living ground, Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere : Right hard it was for wight which did it heare, To read what manner musicke that mote bee ; For all that pleasing is to living eare Was there consorted in one harmonee ; Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all