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spirit and freedom of Dryden's versification is nobly exemplified in his expansion of the elder poet's address to May, where he has converted the two lines of his original into a picture of the most exquisite grace and beauty. I need not crave a pardon for the introduction of such a copy by such an artist :

The morning-lark, the messenger of day,
Saluted with her song the morning gray;
And soon the sun arose with beams so bright,
That all the horizon laugh'd to see the joyous sight.
He with his tepid rays the rose renews,
And licks the dropping leaves, and dries the dews;
When Arcite left his bed, resolv'd to pay
Observance to the month of merry May:
Forth on his fiery steed betimes he rode,
That scarcely prints the turf on which he trod :
At ease he seem'd, and prancing o'er the plains,
Turn'd only to the grove his horse's reins,
The grove I nam'd before; and lighting there,
A woodbine garland sought to crown his hair;
Then turn'd his face against the rising day,
And rais’d his voice to welcome in the May.

For thee, sweet month, the groves green liv’ries wear :
If not the first, the fairest of the year :
For thee the Graces lead the dancing Hours,
And Nature's ready pencil paints the flow'rs:
When thy short reign is past, the fev'rish sun
The sultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on.

So may thy tender blossoms fear no blite,
Nor goats with venom'd teeth thy tendrils bite,
As thou shalt guide my wand'ring feet to find ,
The fragrant greens I seek, my brows to bind.

It would appear a difficult and a dangerous task to enter into competition with passages such as I have now given; yet, rich and appropriate as these Chaucerian pictures must be esteemed, they are rivalled, if not surpassed, by the Mornings in Spring of Dunbar. Both the “Golden Terge,” and the “ Thistle and the Rose," open with the most glowing and delicious representations of the dawning of a vernal day. In the first of these the poet is described as leaving his bed with the morning star, and watching for the rising of the sun, the effects of which on the landscape he has painted with a warmth and fidelity worthy of the pencil of Titian :

Right as the starre of day began to shyne,
When gone to bed was Vesper and Lucyne,

I raise, and by a rosier* did me rest :
Upsprang the golden candle matutine,
With clear depurit + bemis chrystalline,

Gladding the mirry fowlis in their nest,

Or Phoebus was in purple cape revest I. Upsprang the lark, the heaven's menstrel synes,

In May intill a morrow mirthfullest.

* Rose tree.

+ Purified.

* Dressed.

§ Then.


Full angel-like'thir birdis sang their hours
Within their curtains green, within their bowers,

Apparell’d, white and red, with bloomis sweet:
Enamel'd was the field with all colours :
The pearled drops shook as in silver showers,

While all in balm did branch and levis fleit * :

Depart fra Phoebus did Aurora greite : Her chrystal tears I saw hang on the flowers,

Which he, for love, all drank up with his heit.

For mirth of May, with skippis and with hoppis,
The birdis sang upon the tender croppis *

With curious notes, as Venus chapel-clarks:
The roses red, now spreading of their knoppis ş,
Were powder'd bright with heavenly beryl-droppis,

Through bemis red lemyng || as ruby sparks ;

The skyis rang with shouting of the larks; The purple heaven owre skald in silver sloppis,

Owre gilt the treis, branches, leaves, and barks.

Down through the rys | ane river ran with stremis
So lustily upon the lykand ** lemis

That all the lake as lamp did leme of light,
Which shadowed all about with twinkling glemis ;
The bewis it baithit were in second bemis

Through the reflex of Phæbus visage bright;

every side the ege || raise on hicht;
The bank was green, the sun was full of bemis,

The streamers clear as starres in frosty night.

* Float. + Weep

Branches. $ Buds. ll Shining

1 Trees.

** Pleasant. ++ Boughs.

** High-raised edges or banks.

The crystal air, the saphire firmament,
The ruby skyies of the red orient,

Kest* beryl beams on em'rald bewis green:
The rosy garth + depaynt and redolent,
With purple, azure, gold and gowlis 1 gent,

Array'd was by Dame Flora the Queen,

So nobilly, that joy was for to sene; The rock against the river resplendent

As low illuminate all the levis schene g.

What through the merry fowlis harmony,
And through the river's sound that ran me by,

On Flora's mantle I sleeped where I lay;
Where soon, unto my dreamis phantasy,
I saw approach, against the orient sky,

Ane sail, as blossom white upon the spray,

With mast of gold, bright as the star of day, Which tended to the land full lustily

With swiftest motion through a crystal bay.

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After a vision of considerable length, and incomparably rich in allegorical imagery, the poet is thus awakened from his slumber :

And as I did awake of this swowning ||,
The joyful fowlis merrily did sing


For mirth of Phoebus tender bemis schene :

* Cast. + Garden. Gules, the heraldic term for red.

$ The rock resplendent from the reflection of the river, illuminated, as with low or flame, all the bright leaves.

|| Dream.

Sweet was the vapours, soft the morrowing,
Wholesome the vale, depaint with flowers ying,

The air intemperate, sober and amene ;

In white and red was all the earth besene, Through Nature's noble fresh enameling

In mirthful May, of every moneth Queen. If we now turn to the initiatory stanzas of the Thistle and the Rose, in which the bard fancies himself addressed in a dream by May, who urges him to write something in her honour, and to welcome the return of Spring, we shall find a picture of not less consummate elegance and beauty, and perhaps of still greater animation:

When March was with varying windis past,

And April had with her silver showers Tane leave at Nature with ane orient blast,

And lusty May, that mother is of flowers,

Had made the birdis to begin their hours
Amang the tender odours red and white,
Whose harmony to hear it was delight;
In bed at morrow sleeping as I lay,

Methought Aurora with her crystal ene
In at the window looked by the day,

And halsit t me with visage pale and green;

On whose hand a lark sang, fro the spleen I, “ Awake, Lovers, out of your slumbering, See how the lusty morrow doth upspring !"

* Orisons,

+ Hailed.

# With good will.

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