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Mr. KEATS is also dead. He gave the greatest promise of genius of any poet of his day. He displayed extreme tenderness, beauty, originality and delicacy of fancy; all he wanted was manly strength and fortitude to reject the temptations of singularity in sentiment and expression. Some of his shorter and later pieces are, however, as free from faults as they are full of beauties.
Mr. MILMAN is a writer of classical taste and attainments rather than of original genius. Poeta nascitur-non fit.
Of BOWLES'S Sonnets it is recommendation enough to say, that they were the favourites of Mr. Coleridge's youthful mind.
It only remains to speak of Mr. BARRY CORNWALL, who, both in the Drama, and in his other poems, has shewn brilliancy and tenderness of fancy, and a fidelity to truth and nature, in conceiving the finer movements of the mind equal to the felicity of his execution in express
Some additions have been made in the Miscellaneous part of the volume, from the Lyrical effusions of the elder Dramatists, whose beauty, it is presumed, can never decay, whose sweetness can never cloy!
PROLOGUE to the CANTERBURY TALES.
Befelle, that, in that seson, on a day,
And shortly, whan the sonne was gon to reste,
But, natheles, while I have time and space,
A Knight ther was, and that a worthy man;
At Alisandre was he whan it was wonne,
This ilke worthy Knight hadde ben also,
But, for to tellen you of his araie,-
With him, ther was his sone, a yonge Squier,
Embrouded was he, as it were a mede
Curteis he was, lowly, and servisable; And carf before his fader at the table.
A Yeman hadde he; and servantes no mo At that time; for him luste to ride so:
And he was cladde in cote and hode of grene; A Monk ther was, a fayre for the maistrie,
An out-rider, that loved venerie;
manly man, to ben an abbot able. Wel coude he dresse his takel yemanly:
Ful many a deinte hors hadde he in stable; His arwes drouped not with fetheres lowe,
And when he rode, men mighte his bridel here
Gingeling, in a whistling wind, as clere
Ther as this lord was keper of the celle.
The reule of Seint Maure and of Seiut Beneit, And by his side, a swerd and a bokeler;
Because that it was olde and somdele streit, And on that other side, a gaie daggere,
This ilke monk lette olde thinges pace Harneised wel, and sharpe as point of spere:
And held after the newe world the trace. A Cristofre on his brest of silver shene.
He yave not of the text a pulled hen, An horne he bare, the baudrik was of grene.
That saith that hunters ben not holy men ; A forster was he, sothely, as I gesse.
Ne that a monk, whan he is rekkeles,
Is like to a fish that is waterles;
This ilke text he held not worth an oistre.
And I say, his opinion was good: Ful wel she sange the service divine,
What! shulde he studie, and make himselven wood, Entuned in hire nose ful swetely;
Upon a book in cloistre alway to pore,
As Austin bit; how shal the world be served ?
Let Austin have his swink to him reserved. At mete was she wel ytaughte withalle;
Therfore he was a prickasoure a right: She lette no morsel from hire lippes falle;
Greihoundes he hadde as swift as foul of Aight: Ne wette hire fingres in hire sauce depe.
Of pricking, and of hunting for the hare Wel coude she carie a morsel, and wel kepe,
Was all his lust; for no cost wolde he spare. That no drope ne fell upon hire brest,
I saw his sleves purfiled at the hond In curtesie was sette, ful moche, hire lest:
With gris, and that the finest of the lond, Hire over lippe wiped she so clene,
And, for to fasten his hood, under his chinne
He hadde, of gold ywrought, a curious pinne,-
His hed was balled, and shone as any glas,
And eke his face, as it hadde ben anoint. And ful pleasant and amiable of port;
He was a lord ful fat and in good point. And peined hire, to contrefeten chere
His eyen stepe, and rolling in his hed, Of court, and ben estatelich of manere,
That stemed as a furneis of a led; And to ben holden digne of reverence.
His bootes souple, his hors in gret estat; But for to speken of hire conscience,
Now certainly he was a fayre prelat. She was so charitable and so pitous,
He was not pale as a forpined gost. She wolde wepe if that she saw a mous
A fat swan loved he best of any rost. Caughte in a trappe, if it were ded or bledde. His palfrey was as broune as is a bery. Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fedde
A Frere there was, a wanton and a mery, With rosted flesh, and milk, and wastel-brede;
A limitour, a ful solempne man, But sore wept she if on of hem were dede,
In all the ordres foure, is non that can Or if men smote it with a yerde smert:
So moche of daliance and fayre langage. And all was conscience and tendre herte.
He hadde ymade ful many a mariage Ful semely hire wimple ypiuched was;
Of yonge wimmen, at his owen cost; Hire nose tretis; hire eyen grey as glas;
Until his ordre he was a noble post. Ilire mouth ful smale, and therto soft and red; Ful wel beloved, and familier was he But, sikerly, she hadde a faire forehed,
With frankeleins, over all, in his contree; It was almost a spanne brode I trowe;
And, eke, with worthy wimmen of the toun; For hardily she was not undergrowe.
For he had power of confession, Ful fetise was hire cloke, as I was ware.
As saide himselfe, more than a curat, Of smale corall, about hire arm, she bare
For of his ordre he was a licentiat. A pair of bedes gauded all with grene;
Ful swetely herde he confession, And theron heng a broche of gold, ful shene, And plesant was his absolution. On whiche was first ywritten a crouned A,
He was an esy man to give penance, And after Amor vincit omnia.
Ther as he wiste to han a good pitance; Another Nonne also with hire hadde she
For unto a poure ordre for to give, That was hire chapelleine, and Preestes thre. Is signe that a man is wel yshrive;
For if he gave,—he dorste make avant,
As lene was his hors as is a rake,
And he was not right fat, I undertake;
But looked holwe, and therto soberly.
For he hadde getcn him yet no benefice,
He was nought worldly to have an office.
For him was lever han, at his beddes hed,
Twenty bokes, clothed in black or red,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie,
Than robes riche; or fidel; or sautrie:
But all be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But all that he might of his frendes hente,
On bokes and on lerning he it spente;
And besily gan for the soules praie
Of hem that yave him wherwith to scolaie.
Of studie toke he most cure and hede.
Not a word spake he more than was nede;
And that was said in forme and reverence, It is not honest, it may not avance;
And short and quike, and full of high sentence :
Souning in moral vertue was his speche;
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.
A Sergeant of the Lawe ware and wise,
That often hadde ben at the parvis,
Ther was also; ful riche of excellence.
Discrete he was, and of gret reverence;
He semed swiche; his wordes were so wise:
Justice he was full often in assise,
By patent, and by pleine commissioun;
For his science, and for his high renoun.
Of fees and robes had he many on.
So grete a pourchaser was no wher non:
All was fee simple to him in effect,
His pourchasing might not ben in suspect.
No wher so besy a man as he ther n'as,
And yet he semed besier than he was.
In termes had he cas and domes alle
That fro the time of King Will. weren falle:
Therto, he coude endite and make a thing; Somwhat he lisped for his wantonnesse,
Ther coude no wight pinche at his writing. swete upon his tonge ;
And every statute coude he plaine hy rote.
He rode but homely,-in a medlee cote,
Girt with a seint of silk, with barres smale.
Of his array tell I no lenger tale.
A Frankelein was in this compagnie;
White was his berd as is the dayesie.
Of his complexion he was sanguin.
Wel loved he by the morwe a sop in win.
To liven in delit was ever his wone.
For he was Epicures owen sone,
That beld opinion, that plein delit
Was veraily felicite parfite.
An housholder, and that a grete was he;
Seint Julian he was in his contree.
His brede, his ale, was alway after on ;
A better envyned man was no wher non. Ther wiste no wight that he was in dette,
Withouten bake mete never was his hous,
Of fish and Resh, and that so plenteous,
It snewed in his hous of mete and drinke,
Of alle deintees that men coud of thinke.
After the sondry sesons of the yere,
So changed he his mete and his soupere,
To make his English