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Her sleep in sin doth end in wrath,
Remorse rings her awake;
Despairs her upshot make.
Plough not the seas, sow not the sands,
Leave off your idle pain ;
Love's service is in vain.
DESCRIPTION OF SPRING,
WHEREIN EACH THING RENEWS, SAVE ONLY THE LOVER,
The soote season that bud and bloom forth brings
hath clad the hill, and eke the vale;
EARL OF SURREY.
BY QUEEN ELIZABETH.
I Grieve, and dare not show my discontent,
I am, and not, I freeze, and yet am burn'd,
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Some gentler passions slide into my mind,
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Signed, “ Finis, Eliza. Regina, upon
Moun-s departure,” Ashmol. Mus.
* If these lines are genuine, they are extremely curious, as presenting us with a lively picture of the workings of a great mind on an interesting occasion ; and they serve to ascertain a fact which does not appear to have been much noticed by historians, that an habitual in
tercourse of three months was not without its effect, and that the Queen felt strong emotions of regret for that denial, which she was perhaps under the necessity of giving, in order to satisfy her subjects. From a manuscript in the Ashmolean Museum the lines are transcribed ; whether they have previously appeared in print, I know not: I am willing to believe them original, from internal evidence, yet I cannot perfectly divest myself of suspicion. Unfortunately the most material word in the MS. is illegible; for after the signature of Eliza Regina, the following words, informing us of the subject on which the verses were written, occur: “Upon Moun—s departure," the word Moun-s being half obliterated. On my first inspection of them, I had conceived they might have been composed on Elizabeth's quarrel with Essex, who, of all her favourites, attracted most of her personal affection, perhaps on his departure for his command in Ireland: but upon looking over Stow's account of the Duke of Alençon's visit to England, I have had reason to alter my opinion; as I think I have discovered the real origin of the verses, and believe the obliterated word in the MS, to be Mounsieur.
Stow's account is as follows: “ These Lords (the Ambassadors from France), after divers secret conferences amongst themselves, and returne of sundry letters into France, signifying the Queenes declination from marriage, and the peoples unwillingness to match that way, held it most convenient that the Duke should come in proper person, whose presence they thought in such affaires might prevaile more than all their oratory: and thereupon, the first of November, the sayd Prince came over in person, very princely accompanied and attended, though not in such glorious manner, as were the above-named commissioners, whose entertainment, in all respects, was equivalent unto his
You, in a trice and moment's space,
J. Howell's Poems, Edit. 1664.
estate and dignity. By this time his picture, state, and titles were advanced in every stationer's shop, and many other publique places, by the name of Frauncis of Valois, Duke of Alanson, heire apparent of France, and brother to the French King: but he was better knowne by the name of Monsieur, unto all sorts of people, than by all his other titles. During his abode in England, he used all princely meanes to prefer his suite, and in his carriage demean d himselfe like a true borne prince, and the heir of Fraunce: and when hee had well obs 'rved the Queene's full determination to continue a single life, hee pacified himselfe, admiring her rare vertues and high perfections.
* * * * * * * * * *. The Queene in all respects showed as great kindness unto the Duke, and all his retinew, at their departure, as at any time before, and for period of her princely favours, in that behalfe, shee, with great state, accompanied the Duke in person to Canterburie: where she f asted him and all his traine very royally, and then returned. The next day being the sixt of February, the Duke, with bis French Lords and others, imbarked at Sandwich," &c. Annales, p. 690, Edit. 1631.
Their marriage articles were drawn up, as may be seen in Camden's Annals, p. 372, Hearne's edit. The same writer also mentions a very close intimacy as subsisting between them. • Vis pudici amoris inter amatoria colloquia eò provexerit, ut annulum suo digito detractum Andini (Anjou, one of his titles) im posuerit, certis quibusdam legibus inter ipsos adhibitis." p. 575. As dead queens rank but with meaner mortals, we may assert, without much fear of contradiction, that little else can now be gratified by the perusal of Elizabeth's poetry than mere curiosity. Her pretensions to notice on this head are pretty much on a par with her pretensions to beauty. Yet in both these subjects, slender as they were, the poets and the courtiers of her age found sources for panegyric the most inexhaustible.
Spenser concludes his Tears of the Muses with a compliment to her in her poetical character, where he calls her a peerless poetess. And in his Colin Clout he says of her,
Whose grace was great, and bounty most rewardful,
Besides her peerless skill in making well. Another poet of her age has hazarded a very singular compliment in the following lines :
She with the seed of Jove, the Muses nine,
Not stayed state, but feeble stay,
From the Paradise of Dainty Devyses,
Fol. 1, 3, signed M. Yloop.
To quell proud love, if love at any time
England's Eliza, by R. Niccols, Edit. 1610. If we may credit an old sinner of antiquity on this subject, the poets are the very last teachers of abstinence; bear Ovid, who may be fairly supposed to have had some little experience in these matters :
Eloquar invitus : teneros ne tange Poetas,
Submoveo dotes impius ipse meas. Rem. Amor. 727.