Page images
PDF
EPUB

The aged oak, that doth resist the force of blustring

blast; The pleasant herb, that every where a pleasant smell

doth cast;

The lion's force, whose courage stout declares a

prince-like might; The eagle, that for worthiness is born of kings in

fight.

Then these, I say, and thousands more, by tract of

time decay, And, like to time, do quite consume, and fade from

form to clay ; But my true heart and service vow'd shall last time

out of mind, And still remain as thine by doom, as Cupid hath

assigned ; . My faith, lo here! I vow to thee, my troth thou

know'st too well ; My goods, my friends, my life, is thine; what need

I more to tell ? I am not mine, but thine; I vow thy hests I will

obey, And serve thee as a servant ought, in pleasing if I

may ; And sith I have no flying wings, to serve thee as I

wish, Ne fins to cut the silver streams, as doth the gliding

[ocr errors]

fish;

Wherefore leave now forgetfulness, and send again

to me, And strain thy azure veins to write, that I may

greeting see. And thus farewell! more dear to me than chiefest

friend I have, Whose love in heart I mind to shrine, till Death his

fee do crave.

WILLIAM HUNNIS

Was a gentleman of Edward the Sixth's chapel, and afterwards master of the boys of Queen Elizabeth's chapel. He translated the Psalms, and was author of a " Hive of Honey, a Handful of Honeysuckle," and other godly works. He died in 1568.

THE LOVE THAT IS REQUITED WITH DISDAIN.

In search of things that secret are my mated muse

began, What it might be molested most the head and mind

of man ;

1

The bending brow of prince's face, to wrath that

doth attend, Or want of parents, wife, or child, or loss of faithful

friend; The roaring of the cannon shot, that makes the

piece to shake, Or terror, such as mighty Jove from heaven above

can make : All these, in fine, may not compare, experience so

doth prove,

Unto the torments, sharp and strange, of such as be

in love. Love looks aloft, and laughs to scorn all such as

griefs annoy, The more extreme their passions be, the greater is

his joy;

Thus Love, as victor of the field, triùmphs above

the rest,

And joys to see his subjects lie with living death in

breast; But dire Disdain lets drive a shaft, and galls this

bragging fool, He plucks his plumes, unbends his bow, and sets

him new to school; Whereby this boy that bragged late, as conqueror

over all, Now yields himself unto Disdain, his vassal and his

thrall,

THOMAS SACKVILLE,

LORD BUCKHURST, AND EARL OF DORSET,

Was the son of Sir Richard Sackville, and was born at Withyam, in Sussex, in 1527. He was educated at both universities, and enjoyed an early reputation in Latin as well as in English poetry.

While a student of the Inner Temple, he wrote his tragedy of Gorboduc, which was played by the young students, as a part of a Christmas entertainment, and afterwards before Queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, in 1561. In a subsequent edition of this piece it was entitled the tragedy of Ferrex and Porrex. He is said to have been assisted in the composition of it by Thomas Norton; but to what extent does not appear. T. Warton disputes the fact of his being at all indebted to Norton. The merit of the piece does not render the question of much importance. This tragedy and his contribution of the Induction and legend of the Duke of Buckingham to the “ Mirror for Magistrates'," compose the poetical history of Sackville's life. The rest of it was political. He had been elected to parliament at the age of thirty. Six years afterwards, in the same year that his Induction and legend of Buckingham were published, he went abroad on his travels, and was, for some reason that is not mentioned, confined, for a time, as a prisoner at Rome; but he returned home, on the death of his father, in 1566, and was soon after promoted to the title of Lord Buckhurst. Having entered at first with rather too much prodigality on the enjoyment of his patrimony, he is said to have been reclaimed by the indignity of being kept in waiting by an alderman, from whom he was borrowing money,

1 The “ Mirror for Magistrates” was intended to celebrate the chief unfortunate personages in English history, in a series of poetical legends spoken by the characters themselves, with epilogues interspersed to connect the stories, in imitation of Boccaccio's Fall of Princes, which had been translated by Lydgate. The historian of English poetry ascribes the plan of this work to Sack

ville, and seems to have supposed that his Induction and legend of Henry Duke of Buckingham, appeared in the first edition : bud Sir E. Brydges has shewn that it was not until the second edition of the Mirror for Magistrates, that Sackville's contribution was published, viz. in 1563. Baldwin and Ferrers were the authors of the first edition, in 1559. Higgins, Phayer, Churchyard, and a crowd of inferior versifiers, contributed successive legends, not confining themselves to English history, but treating the reader with the lamentations of Geta and Caracalla, Brennus, &c. &c. till the improvement of the drama superseded those dreary monologues, by giving heroic history a more engaging air. Sackville's contribution to “ The Mirror for Magistrates,” is the only part of it that is tolerable. It is observable that lis plan differs materially from that of the other contributors. He lays the scene, like Dante, in Hell, and makes his characters relate their history at the gates of Elysium, under the guidance of Sorrow, while the authors of the other leger are generally contented with simply dreaming of the unfortunate personages, and by going to sleep, offer a powerful inducement to follow their example.

« PreviousContinue »