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Spite drave me into Boreas' raigne“,
Where hory frostes the frutes do bite ;
When hilles were spred and every plaine
With stormy winter's mantle white.w In an Elegy on the elder sir Thomas Wyat's death, his character is delineated in the following nervous and manly quatraines.
A visage, sterne and milde; where both did growe,
Vice to contemne, in vertue to rejoyce;
Amid great stormes, whom grace assured so,
To live upright, and smile at fortune's choyce.-
A toung that serv'd in forein realmes his king,
Whose courteous talke to vertue did enflame
Eche noble harte ; a worthy guide to bring
Our English youth by travail unto fame.
An eye, whose judgment none affect* could blind,
Frendes to allure, and foes to reconcyle:
Whose persing looke did represent a mynde
With vertue fraught, reposed, voyde of gile.
A hart, where dreade was never so imprest
To hide the thought that might the troth avance ;
In neither fortune lost, nor yet represt,
To swell in welth, or yeld unto mischance. :-
The following lines on the same subject are remarkable.
Divers thy death do diversly bemone:
Some that in presence of thy livelyhede
Lurked, whose brestes envy with hate had swolne,
Yeld Cesar's teares upon Pompeius' head. a
There is great dignity and propriety in the following Sonnet on
The great Macedon, that out of Persie chased
Darius, of whose huge power all Asia rong,
In the riche ark b Dan Homer's rimes he placed,
Who fained gestes of heathen princes song,
What holy grave, what worthy sepulchrec,
To Wiattes Psalmes should Christians then purchase ?
Where he doth paint the lyvely faith and pure;
The stedfast hope, the sweete returne to grace
Of just David by perfite penitence.
Where rulers may see in a mirrour clere
The bitter frute of false concupiscence:
How Jewry bought Uria's deth ful dere.
"Her anger drove me into a colder climate.
In princes hartes God's scourge imprinted depe
Ought them awake out of their sinful slepe. Probably the last lines may contain an oblique allusion to some of the king's amours.
Some passages in his Description of the restlesse state of a Lover, are pictures of the heart, and touched with delicacy.
I wish for night, more covertly to plaine,
And me withdraw from every haunted place;
Lest by my chere my chaunce appeare too plaine.
And in my minde I measure, pace by pace,
To seke the place where I myself had lost,
That day, when I was tangled in the lace,
In seming slack that knitteth ever most.
Lo, if I seke, how I do finde my sore!
And if I flee, I carry with me still
The venom'd shaft, which doth its force restore
By haste of flight. And I may plaine my fill
Unto myself, unlesse this carefull song
Print in your hart some parcel of my tenef.
For I, alas, in silence all too long,
Of mine old hurt yet fele the wound but grene.s Surrey's talents, which are commonly supposed to have been confined to sentiment and amorous lamentation, were adapted to descriptive poetry and the representations of rural imagery. A writer only that viewed the beauties of nature with poetic eyes, could have selected the vernal objects which compose the following exquisite ode.h
The soote season, that bud and blome forth brings,
With grene hath clad the hill, and eke the vale ;
The nightingale with fethers new she sings;
The turtle to her mate hath tolde her tale:
Somer is come, for every spray now springs.
The hart hath hong his old hed on the pale*:
The buck in brake his winter coate he fings:
The fishes flete with new repayred scale;
The adder all her slough away she slings :
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale:
The busy bee her hony now she mings.
Winter is worne that was the flowers bale'.
I do not recollect a more faithful and finished version of Martial's HAPPY Life than the following.
MARTIAL, the thinges that do attain
The happy life, be these I finde.
The richesse left, not got with pain,
The frutefull ground, the quiet minde.
The eqall frend, no grudge, no strife,
No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life :
The houshold of continuance.
The meanek diet, no delicate fare,
Trewe wisedom joynde with simplenesse:
The night discharged of all care,
Where wine the wit may not oppresse.
The faithful wife without debate,
Such slepes as may begile the night :
Contented with thine own estate,
Ne wish for death, ne feare his might. But Surrey was not merely the poet of idleness and gallantry. He was fitted, both from nature and study, for the more solid and laborious parts of literature. He translated the second and fourth books of Virgil into blank versem: and it seems probable, that his active situations of life prevented him from completing a design of translating the whole Eneid.
This is the first composition in blank verse, extant in the English language. Nor has it merely the relative and accidental merit of being a curiosity. It is executed with great fidelity, yet not with a prosaic servility. The diction is often poetical, and the versification varied with proper pauses. This is the description of Dido and Eneas going to the field, in the fourth book.
At the threshold of her chaumber-dore,
The Carthage lords did on the Quene attend :
The trampling steede, with gold and purple trapt,
Chawing the fome bit there fercely stood.
Then issued she, awayted with great train,
Clad in a cloke of Tyre embradred riche.
Her quyver hung behinde her back, her tresse
Knotted in gold, her purple vesture eke
Butned with gold. The Troyans of her train
Before her go, with gladsom Iulus.
Aeneas eke, the goodliest of the route,
Makes one of them, and joyneth close the throng.
Like when Apollo leaveth Lycia,
His wintring place, and Xanthus' food likewise,
To viset Delos, his mother's mansion,
Repairing eft and furnishing her quire:
The Candians, and folkes of Driopes,
With painted Agathyrsies, shoute and crye,
Environing the altars round about ;
When that he walks upon mount Cynthus' top,
His sparkled tresse represt with garlandes soft
Of tender leaves, and trussed up in gold:
His quivering" dartes clattering behind his back.
So fresh and lustie did Aeneas seme.
But to the hils and wilde holtes when they came,
From the rocks top the driven savage rose.
Loe from the hill above, on thother side,
Through the wyde lawnds they gan to take their course.
The harts likewise, in troupes taking their fight,
Raysing the dust, the mountain-fast forsake.
The childe Iulus, blithe of his swift steedep
Amids the plain, now pricks by them, now these ;
And to encounter, wisheth oft in minde,
The foming bore, in steede of ferefull beasts,
Or lion brown, might from the hill descend.
The first stages of Dido's passion, with its effects on the rising city, are thus rendered.
And when they were al gone,
And the dimme moone doth eft withold the light ;
And sliding' starres provoked unto sleepe;
Alone she mournes within her palace voide,
And sits her down on her forsaken bed:
And absent him she heares, when he is gone,
And seeth eke. Oft in her lappe she holdes
Ascanius, trapt by his father's forme.
So to begile the love cannot be told"!
The turrettes now arise not, erst begonne :
Neither the youth weldes armes, nor they avaunce
The portes, nor other mete defence for warr.
Broken there hang the workes, and mighty frames
Of walles high raised, threatening the skie. The introduction of the wooden horse into Troy, in the same book, is thus described.
We cleft the walles, and closures of the towne,
Whereto all helpe: and underset the feet
With sliding rolles, and bound his neck with ropes.
This fatall gin thus overclambe our walles,
Stuft with armd men: about the which there ran
Children and maides”, that holy carolles sang.
And well were they whoes hands might touch the cordes !
With thretning chere, thus slided through our town
The subtil tree, to Pallas temple-ward.
O native land, Ilion, and of the goddes
The mansion place! O warlik walles of Troy!
Fowr times it stopt in thentrie of our gate,
Fowr times the harnesse clattred in the womb.
The shade of Hector, in the same book, thus appears.
Ah me! What ne? That Hector how unlike,
Which erst returnd, clad with Achilles spoiles !
Or when he threw into the Grekish shippes
The Trojan flame! So was his beard defiled,
His crisped lockes al clustred with his blood :
With all such wounds as many he received,
About the walls of that his native town!
Whome franckly thus, methought, I spake unto,
With bitter teres, and dolefull deadly voice.
“O Troyan light! O only hope of thine !
What lettes so long thee staid? Or from what costes,
Our most desired Hector, doest thou come?
Whom, after slaughter of thy many frends,
And travail of the people, and thy towne,
Alweried, (lord !) how gladly we behold!
What sory chaunce hath staind thy lively face?
Or why see I these woundes, alas so wide?"
He answeard nought, nor in my vain demaundes
Abode: but from the bottom of his brest
Sighing he sayd: “Flee, fee, O goddesse son !
And save thee from the furie of this fame!”
This was a noble attempt to break the bondage of rhyme. But blank
verse was now growing fashionable in the Italian poetry, the school of
Surrey. Felice Figlinei, a Sanese *, and Surrey's cotemporary, in his