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Not WILKES, our freedom's holy martyr, more;
For this in Norwood's patrimonial groves,
Far other cares that wandering mother wait,
But, ah! ye maids, beware the Gypfey's lures!
Where, in the darkling fhed, the moon's dim rays
Twice were thofe hands withdrawn from either fide,
To prove their prophet true, tho' to their coft,
Thefe foes to youth, that feek with dang`rous art,
Thefe mifcreants from thy harmless village drive,
Here we are forry to find ourselves at the end of this first part of the intended poem; but we cannot take leave of the unknown Author, without heartily thanking him for the pleafure he has given us in the perufal of this little though, beautiful production; nor without expreffing our hope that he will proceed in his laudable defign, and compleatly finish the portrait of his worthy and amiable Country Justice.
ART. XI. Warton's Hiftory of English Poetry, Vol. 1. concluded. See onr laft Month's Review.
UR Readers have already been prefented with an account of the two preliminary differtations which form a part of this work. We now proceed to the hiftory itself, a fummary view of which will conclude this article.
This hiftory commences from the Conqueft, when the Saxon language underwent a third revolution, and after having been originally impregnated with the British, and afterwards with the Danish, was now adulterated by the Norman.
Accordingly the first poem, of which any notable specimen is here exhibited, appears under that mixed form of language, and feems to have been written foon after the Conqueft. It is a fatire on the monaftic profeffion, and the Poet begins with defcribing the land of Indolence and Luxury.
• Fur in fee, bi weft Spaynge,
What is ther in paradis
But grafs, and fleur, and greneris ?
Ther nis halle, bure, no bench;
But watir manis thurft to quench, &c.
In the following lines there in a vein of fatirical imagination and fome talent at defcription. The luxury of the monks is reprefented under the idea of a monaftery constructed of various kinds of delicious and coftly viands.
Merry, chearful. "Although Paradife is chearful and bright, Cokayne is a mach more beautiful place,"
Rev. July, 177+•
Buttery. • Ther
Ther is a wel fair abbei
Of white monkes and of grei,
The rote is gingeur and galingale,
The rind canel of fwete odure:
Of baume and eke piement §,
Ther beth birddes mani and fale
Throftill, thruiffe, and nigtingale,
And othir briddes without tale,
Shingles." The tiles, or covering of the houfe, are of rich cakes."
+ The pinnacles.
This word will be explained at large hereafter.
H Running. Sax.
tt The Arabian philofophy imported into Europe, was full of the doctrine of precious ftones.
11 Our old poets are never fo happy as when they can get into a catalogue of things or names, Sce Obfervat, on the Fairy Queen, i. p. 140,
Yite I do yow mo to witte,
The gees iroftid on the spittee,
Fleey to that abbai, god hit wot,
And gredith, gees al hote al hote, &c.
Our Author then makes a pertinent tranfition to a convent of nons; which he fuppofes to be very commodiously fituated at no great diftance, and in the fame fortunate region of indolence, ease, and affluence.
An other abbai is ther bi
And techith the nonnes an oreifun
This poem was defigned to be fung at public feftivals **: a practice, of which many inftances occur in this work; and concerning which it may be fufficient to remark at prefent, that a JOCULATOR or bard, was an officer belonging to the court of William the Conqueror ++.'
Mr. Warton has, in the first section of his history, prefented us with a great variety of extracts from the Norman-Saxon poetry, in which we may trace the origin and structure of many modern ftanzas and modes of verfification; but of the rude and inartificial ftyle of that primary fchool of our poetry, we need give no other fpecimen.
After a review of the ftate and condition of the English mufe, from the conqueft to the close of the twelfth century, during
+ Quick, quickly. Gallo-Franc.
**As appears from this line.
Lafcivious motions. Gambols. Fr. Gambiller.
Lordinges gode and hende, &c.
It is in MSS. More, Cantabrig. 784, f. 1.
tt His lands are cited in Doomsday Book. "GLOUCESTERSCIRE. Berdic, Joculator Regis, habet ili, villas et ibi v, car, nil redd." See Anftis, Or, Gart, ii. 304.
which time fhe feems to have made but flow progrefs in im provement, the Hiftorian proceeds to a period when our language began vifibly to lofe its antient barbarifm and obscurity, and to approach more nearly to the dialect of modern times.
Proceeding hiftorically he fays, I must not pass over the reign of Henry the Third, who died in the year 1272, without obferving, that this monarch entertained in his court a poet with a certain falary, whofe name was Henry de Avranches *. And although this poet was a Frenchman, and most probably wrote in French, yet this first inftance of an officer who was afterwards, yet with fufficient impropriety, denominated a poet laureate in the English court, deservedly claims particular notice in the course of these annals. He is called Mafter Henry the Verfifier : which appellation perhaps implies a different character from the royal A intrel or foculator. The King's treasurers are ordered to pay this Mafter Henry one hundred fhillings, which I suppose to have been a year's ftipend, in the year 1251 I. And again the fame precept occurs under the year 1249 §. Our master Henry, it seems, had in fome of his verfes reflected on the rufticity of the Cornish men. This infult was refented in a Latin fatire now remaining, written by Michael Blaunpayne, a native of Cornwall, and recited by the author in the prefence of Hugh Abbot of Westminster, Hugh de Mortimer official of the Archbishop of Can. terbury, the Bishop elect of Winchester, and the Bishop of Rochefter .
See Carew's Surv. Cornw. p. 58. edit. 1602.
+ Henry of Huntingdon fays, that Walo Verfificator wrote a panegyric on Henry the Firft. And that the fame Walo Verfificator, wrote a poem on the park which that King made at Woodstock. Apud Leland's Collectan. vol. ii. 303. i. 197, edit. 1770. Perhaps he was in the department of Henry mentioned in the text. Gualo, a Latin poet, who flourished about this time, is mentioned by Bale, iii. 5. and Pitts, p. 233 He is commended in the POLICRATICON. A copy of his Latin hexametrical fatire on the monks is printed by Mathias Flacius, among mifcellaneous Latin poems De corrupto Ecclefiæ ftaru, p. 489. Bafil. 1557. oct.
"Magiftro Henrico Verfificatori" See Madox, Hift. Excheq. p. 268.
Ibid. p. 74. In MSS. Digb Bib! Bodl. I find, in John of Hovenden's Salutationes quinquaginta Mariæ, “Mag. Henricus, VERSIFICATOR MAGNUS, de B. Virgine, &c.'
MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Arch. Bodl. 29 in pergam. 4to. viz. "Verfus magiftri Michaelis Cornubienfis contra Mag. Henricum Abricenfem coram dom. Hugone abbate Weftmon. et aliis." fol. 81. b. Princ. "ARCHIPOETA vide quod non fit cura tibi de." See alfo fol. 83. b. Again, fol. 85.
Pendo poeta prius te diximus ARCHIPOETAM,
Quam pro poftico nunc dicimus effe poetam,,
Arcbipoeta means here the king's chief poet.
In another place our Cornish fatirift thus attacks mafter Henry's perfon.
Eft tibi gamba capri, crus pafferis, et latus apri;
Os leporis, catuli nafus, dens et gena muli:
Frons vetulæ, tauri caput, et color undique mauri.
In a blank page of the Bodleian manufcript, from which thefe extracts are made, is written, "Ife liber conftat ffratri Johanni de Wallis monacho Ramefeye." The elegantly enriched, with a device. This manufcript contains, among other things, Planctus de Excidio Troja, by Hugo Prior de Montacuto, in rhyming hex ameters and pentameters, viz. fol. 89. Camden cites other Latin verfes of Michael. Blaunpain, whom he calls "Merry Michael the Cornish poet." Rem. p. 10. See alfo p. 489. edit. 1674. He wrote many other Latin pieces, both in profe and verse.