Page images
PDF
EPUB

There are two circumstances, not a little remarkable, of this Publication. It was, as my friend Mr. Chalmers informs me, the first book printed at Aberdeen; and perhaps no printer or publisher, before or since, has assumed so strange and singular a title as Mr. Raban, who scruples not to stile himself LAIRD OF LETTERS.

P. 9.

I looked up into that castle faire,
Glistryng lyke gold, and shyning silver bright.
The statelie tour did mount above the ayre,
They blinded mee, they cast so great a light;
Mine heart was glad to see that joyfull sight;
My voyage then I thought was not in vayn,
I him besought to guyde mee there aright,
With manie vowes, never to tyre agayn.
Though thou bee near, the way is verie hard,
Sayd hee agayn, thereforr thou must bee stout,
Faynt not for fear. For cowards are debard,
That have no heart to their voyage out.
Pluck up thyne heart, and grype mee fast about,
Out through the trance, together must weć go,
The way is low, reinember for to lout,
If this were past, wee have not manic mo.

I held him fast, as hee did give command ;
And throgh the traunce, together then wee went.
Where in the midst great pricks of yron did stand 7
Wherewith my feet were all betorn and rent.
Take courage now, sayd hee, and bee content
To suffer this. The pleasure comes at last.
I answered not, but ran incontinent
Out through the fyre, and so the payn was past.

When

When this was done, myne heart did daunce for joy,
I was so near, I thought my voyage ended;
I ran before, and sought not his convoy;
Nor askt the way, because I thought I kend it.
On statelie steps, most stoutly I ascended;
Without his help, I thought to enter there;
Hee followed fast, and was right sore offended,
And hastilie did draw me down the staire.

What haste, said hee? Why runnst thou so before?
Without myne help, thinkst thou to climb so hie?
Come down again; thou yet must suffer more,
If thou desyre that dwelling place to see.
This statelie staire, it was not made for thee.
Holdst thou that comes, thou shalt be thrust aback.
Alace, sayd I! Long wandring wearjes mee,
Which makes mee run the nearest way to take.
Then hee began to comfort mee agayn,
And sayd, my friend, thou must not enter heere;
Lift up thyne heart : thou yet must suffer payn ;
The last assault of force must needs bee saite,
This goodlie way, although it seem so faire,
It is too high ; thou canst not climb, $o stay,
But look below, beneath this statelie stayre,
And thou shalt see another kind of way.
I looked down, and saw a pit most black;
Most foull of smoke, and flaming fyre so fell.
Tltat uglie sight made mee to start aback;
I feard to hear so manie shouts and yell,
I him besought that heo the trueth would tell.
Is this, sayd I, the Papists purging place ?
Where they affirm that siltie souls do dwell,

To purge their sinnes before they rest in peace?
VOD. 11.

H

This

This Poem has been reprinted by Pinkerton.

Pinkerton says the Authoress was not the Mother of Colvill the Poet. Ritson makes it clear, that she was from Douglases Peerage. p. 146.

The first edition was printed at Edinburgh, 1603,

JOHN DAVIES.

AS this personage has been frequently confounded with Sir John Davies, and the works of the one crroneously ascribed to the other, I mention him here, and give a place to the following work of his, which I have no where

seen.

The period at which it was written, and the scarcity of the tract, seem to justify a specific account and extract.

Humours Heavn on Earth,

With
The Civili Warres of Death and Fortune,

As also
The Triumph of Death,

or

The Picture of the Plague, according to the Life, as it was in Anno Domini 1603.

By John Davies, of Hereford.

'tis a sacred kind of excellence
That hides a rich truth in a tales pretence.

Printed at London, by A. T.

1605." The Poem is dedicated “ To thie Right Noble Algernon, Lord Percy, Sonne and Heire Apparen. to the Right Honorable Henry, Earle of Northumberland.”

The author was a Writing Master, who calls The Ladie Dorothie and Ladie Lucy Percies, hiş pupils, The following short extract may

suffice.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Epithymus the wanton on his crowne
A crowne of roses wore lasciviously,
A falling band of cutworke richly sowne,
Did his broad shoulders quite ore-canopy ;
A waste-coate wrought with floures as they had growne,
10 coloured silke lay open to the eie ;
And as hiş bosome was uņbuttoned quite,

3 So were his points untrusst for ends too light.

His doublet was carnation cut with greene
Rich taffetae quite through in ample cuttes
That so his wastcoate might ech where be seene,
When lusty dames should eie this lusty guttes,
And many favours hung the cuttes betweene,
And many more more light in them he shuttes :
So that a vacant place was hardly found,
About this fancy so well favourd round.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

plan or execution, in the spirit or harmony of versification, should not be entirely forgotten, I am happy in this opportunity of contributing to its preservation.

The following Poem is in the Eritish Museum.

“ The HISTORIE OF EDWARD THE SECOND), SURNAMED CARNARVON, one of our English Kings, together with the Fatall Down-fall of his two unfortunate Favorites, Gaveston and Spencer. Now published by the Author thereof, according to the true originall Copie, and purged from those foule Errors and Corruptions wherewith that spurious and surreptitious Peece which lately came forth, under the same sytle, was too much defiled and deformed.

With the Addition of some other Obseryations, both of Use and Ornament. By F. H. Knight.

London. Printed by B. A. and T. F. for L. Chapman, and are to be sold at the upper end of Chancery Lane. 1629.”

Prefixed is a head of the unfortunate Edward; and the Poem is dedicated to the Authors “

very loving Brother, Mr. Richard Hubert."

This Poem must have been of some notoriety in its day, for the Author complains that a surreptitious copy had been industriously circulated. The dedication to the author's brother thus concludes:

“And so humbly desiring the Almighty to blesse you, both in soule, body and estate, I rest not

your

« PreviousContinue »