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A scarcely less interesting character is that of the gallant Sir Walter RALEIGH, who, after having brought a new world to light, wrote the history of the old in a prison. In his wonderful versatility of genius, and in all departments of his remarkable life, it may truly be said, he was equally illustrious. “He was honored by England's greatest queen, and was sacrificed to the caprice of the meanest of her kings.” Probably the last words ever traced by his pen were the following, written in his Bible on the evening preceding his execution :

E’en such is time, that takes on trust

Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust ;

Who in the dark and silent grave-
When we have wandered all our ways-
Shuts up the story of our days :
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust !

That “ bold and spirited poem,” as Campbell styles the “ Souls Errand,is now generally admitted to be from the pen of Raleigh, since it has been traced in manuscript to the year 1593; and two answers to it, written in his lifetime, ascribe its authorship to Sir Walter. It was originally designated thus :—“Sir Walter Raleigh, his Lie.Campbell tells us that its perusal always deeply affected him; and he adds,—“ It places the last and inexpressibly awful hour of existence before my view, and sounds like a sentence of vanity on the things of this world, pronounced by a dying man, whose eye glares on eternity, and whose voice is raised by strength from another world.”

Listen to a few of the strong stanzas :

Goe, soule, the bodies guest, upon a thanklesse arrant ;
Feare not to touch the best ;—the truth shall be thy warrant :

Goe, since I needs must dye,
And give the world the lye.

Say to the Court, it glowes, and shines like rotten wood;
Say to the Church, it shewes what's good, and doth no good;

If Church and Court reply,
Then give them both the lye.

Tell Zeale it wants devotion ; tell Love it is but lust;
Tell Time it is but motion; tell Flesh it is but dust;

And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lye.

Tell Age it daily wasteth ; tell Honour how it alters;
Tell Beauty how she blasteth; tell Fauour how it falters:

And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lye.

*

Tell Fortune of her blindnesse ; tell Nature of decay ;
Tell Friendship of unkindnesse ; tell Justice of delay ;

And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

*

So when thou hast, as I commanded thee, done blabbing ;
Although to give the lie deserves no less than stabbing ;

Yet stabb at thee who will,
No stabb the soul can kill.

The author of one of the most romantic poems in the English language, EDMUND SPENSER, was born near the Tower of London, in 1553. To affirm that his Faerie Queene is replete with brilliant and luxurious imagery, enriched with wondrous sweetness of versification, is but to echo the universal verdict of critics. Campbell styles Spenser the “Rubens of English poetry,” while Charles Lamb refers to him as “the Poets' poet ;” and such, indeed, he is : for not only was he the special favourite of Milton, Dryden, Pope, and Gray, but there has scarcely been any eminent poet since his day who has not delighted to peruse, if not to pilfer from, his prolific productions. Leigh Hunt considers him, in the imaginative faculty, superior even to Milton ; his grand characteristic is poetic luxury. Another of our noted bards speaks of him as “steeped in romance ;” and as “the prince of magicians.” Glance at his group of the Seasons ; how daintily bis allegorical impersonations are decked with flowers, and redolent with perfume :

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So forth issew'd the seasons of the yeare :

First, lusty Spring all dight in leaves of Aowres
That freshly budded and new bloosmes did beare,

In which a thousand birds had built their bowres

That sweetly sung to call forth paramours;
And in his hand a iavelin he did beare,

And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)
A guilt engraven morion he did weare ;
That as some did him love, so others did him feare.

Then came the folly Sommer, being dight

In a thin silken cassock colored greene,
That was unlyned all, to be more light :

And on his head a girlond well beseene
He wore, from which as he had chauffed been

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The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore

A bowe and shaftes, as he in forrest greene Had hunted late the libbard or the bore, And now would bathe his limbes with labor heated sore.

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Then came the Autumne all in yellow clad,

As though he ioyed in his plentious store,

Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad

That he had banisht hunger, which to-fore

Had by the belly oft him pinchèd sore: Upon his head a wreath, that was enrold

With eares of corne of every sort, he bore ; And in his hand a sickle he did holde, To reape the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold.

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Lastly came Winter cloathed all in frize,

Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill; Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freese,

And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill

As from a limbeck did adown distil : In his right hand a tipped staffe he held,

With which his feeble steps he stayed still ; For he was faint with cold, and weak with eld, That scarce his loosèd limbes he able was to weld.

In these glowing lines, Spenser pays beautiful tribute to the Aoral month of May :

Then came faire May, the fairest maid on ground,

Deck'd all with dainties of her season's pride, And throwing flowres out of her lap around;

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