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EARLY EXTRACTS ON RALEIGH'S POETRY
1. THE CRITICS.
1. OR ditty and amorous ode, I find Sir Walter
Raleigh's vein most lofty, insolent, and passionate.” - Puttenham's “ Art of English Poesy,” 1589, p. 51.
2. Francis Meres mentions Sir Walter Ra. leigh as one of “ the most passionate among us to bewail and bemoan the perplexities of love.” .6 Palladis Tamia," 1598, p. 154, repr.
3. Edmund Bolton speaks of his prose works, “ Guiana, and bis prefatory epistle before his mighty undertaking in the History of the World,” as “full of proper, clear, and courtly graces of speech ;” and couples his English poems with those of Donne, Holland, and Lord Brooke as not easily to be mended.”—“Hypercritica,” circ. 1610, pp. 249, 251, repr.
4. Gabriel Harvey is said, in some MS. notes on Chaucer, to have called Raleigh's “ Cynthia” a fine and sweet invention.”—Malone's "Shakespeare," by Boswell, ii. 579.
5. “He who writeth the Art of English Poesy praiseth much Raleigh and Dyer ; but their works are so few that are come to my hands, I cannot well say anything of them.” — Drummond of Hawthornden, “Works,” i711, p. 226.
6. “ Sir Walter Raleigh, a person both sufficiently known in history, and by his ‘History of the World,' seems also by the character given him by the author of the 'Art of English Poetry'[Puttenham, as above), to have expressed
bimself more a poet than the little we have extant of his poetry seems to inport.”—Edward Phillips,
« Theatrum Poetarum," 1675, ii. 233.
EDMUND SPENSER. 1. “ Considering she beareth two persons, the one of a most royal Queen or Empress, the other of a most virtuous and beautiful Lady, this latter part in some places I do express in Belphæbe, fashioning her name according to your own excellent conceit of Cynthia, Phoebe and Cynthia being both names of Diana.”—Letter of the Author's (of the “Faery Queen") to Sir Walter Raleigh, 1590; Spenser's “Works,” by Collier, i. 149.
2. “ To thee, that art the summer's nightingale,
Thy sovereign Goddess's most dear delight, Why do I send this rustic madrigal,
That may thy tuneful ear unseason quite ?
Thou only fit this argument to write,
And dainty love learned sweetly to indite.
Flow from thy fruitful head, of thy love's praise ;
When so thee list thy lofty Muse to raise : Yet, till that thou thy poem wilt make known, Let thy fair Cynthia's praises be thus rudely shewn.” (Sonnet to Sir Walter Raleigh, printed with the first three books of the Faery Queen," in 1590; ib. i. 164.)
3. “But if in living colours and right hue
Thyself thou covet to see pictured, Who can it do more lively or more true
Than that sweet verse, with nectar sprinkled,
In which a gracious servant pictured
That with his melting sweetness ravished,
A little leave unto a rustic Muse
To sing his mistress' praise; and let him mend,
If ought amiss her liking may abuse:
Ne let his fairest Cynthia refuse
But either Gloriana let her choose,
(Introduction to the third book of the
Faery Queen,” ib. ii. 336.)
4. « One day,' quoth he, “I sat, as was my trade,
Under the foot of Mole, that mountain hoar, Keeping my sheep amongst the coolly shade
Of the green alders by the Mulla's shore: There a strange shepherd chanced to find me out,
Whether allured with my pipe's delight, Whose pleasing sound yshrilled far about,
Or thither led by chance, I know not right: Whom when I asked from what place he came,
And how he hight, himself he did ycleepe The Shepherd of the Oceän by name,
And said he came far from the main-sea deep. He, sitting me beside in that same shade,
Provoked me to play some pleasant fit; And, when he heard the music which I made,
He found himself full greatly pleased at it:
My pipe, before that æmuled of many,
Himself as skilful in that art as any.
By change of turns each making other merry';
So piped we, until we both were weary.”
“ His song was all a lamentable lay
Of great unkindness and of usage hard, Of Cynthia, the Lady of the Sea,
Which from her presence faultless him debarred. And ever and anon, with singulfs rife,
He cried out, to make his undersong, • Ah, my love's Queen, and Goddess of my life!
Who shall me pity, when thou dost me wrong?"
“And there that Shepherd of the Ocean is,
That spends his wit in love's consuming smart; Full sweetly tempered is that Muse of his,
That can empierce a prince's mighty heart." (“Colin Clout's come home again,” 1591; ib. v. 33, 37, 47.) III. SPECIMENS OF LAMPOONS ON RALEIGH.
And hope to live for aye;
In Him make steadfast stay ;
Within an atheist's head,
When that the body's dead.
Of him that thought to climb full high ;-
&c. &c. &c. (The first eight lines printed in four as Raleigh's own composition, in the Oxford edition of his works, viii. 732, with the title “ Moral Advice.” They were taken from MS. Ashm. 781, p. 163, where they are signed “Sr. Wa. Raleigh." Also printed with a continuation, of which the above specimen will be sufficient, among Mr. Halliwell's “ Poetical Miscellanies” from MSS. ; Percy Society, vol. xv. p. 14. The Oxford editors failed to observe the pun on Raleigh's name, to which James I. also condescended on a famous occasion.)
&c. &c. &c.
Immortal Cynthia's sometime dear delight,
Should like an owl go wanderer in the night,
Quoted from Spenser's “Sonnet," above, p. xxii. The phrase was also adopted by Drayton; see Collier's “ Bibl. Cat.” i. 224-5; and note on Spenser.
Hated of all, but pitied of none,
Though swanlike now he makes his dying moan.” (Extracted from a long piece in Mr. Halliwell's “ Poetical Miscellanies," as above, pp. 15, 16. The last line is im. portant, as proving that Raleigh was believed to have written verses shortly before his death.)
No company keep he can;
He feareth the look of man:
And doth shun no place;
And stare you in the face.” (Extracted from a piece published from Gough's MSS. in the “ Camden Society's Miscellany,” iii. 22; and interpreted of the quarrel between Raleigh and Essex in Collier's “ Life of Spenser,” p. lxix.)
To move some pity of my wretched state?
Yet pity would my grief extenuate :
Nor ask for pardon for my wretched deeds ;
Esteeming them of no more worth than weeds:
[From] which most vile conceits these woes proceeds ; For now I find, and, finding, fear to rue,
There is a God who is both just and true,” &c. (From “ The despairing Complaint of wretched Raleigh for his treacheries wrought against the worthy Essex;" MS. Ashm. 36, p. 11. The piece contains forty-one stanzas, each of seven lines except the first.)
Who are possessed, through their Prince's grace,