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And that the floures of many divers hewe,
Upon hir stalkès gon for to sprede,
And for to splaye out hir leves in brede
Againe the sunne, gold-burned in his spere,
That doune to hem cast his beamès clere.

Here is that most charming of descriptions and pictures, Emelie in the Garden :

Thus passeth yere by yere, and day by day,
Till it felle onės in a morwe of May,
That Emelie, that fayrer was to sene
Than is the lilie

upon
his stalke

grene,
And fresher thiau the May with fourès newe,
For with the rose-colour strof hir hewe:
I n'oz which was the finer of hem two.
Ere it was day, as she was wont to do,
She was arisen, and alle redy dight,
for May will have no sluggardy a-nigi:: .
The seson pricketh every gentle herte
And maketh him out of his sleede to start,
And sayth, Anse! and do thine observance.

The great charm of Chaucer consists in his simplicity of detail, combined with dramatic effect, and his love of rural sights and sounds. We find the following estimate of his genius in the British Quarterly Review : “He is, perhaps, the most picturesque poet we possess : his paintings are fresh, glittering and off-hand, done to the life. His love of nature resembles an intoxication of spirit : his sketches are bright with perpetual sunshine,—his Aowers are always in bloom, fragrant with odoriferous perfumes, and gemmea with sparkling dew-drops. From mere narrative and playful humor, up to the heights of imaginative and impassioned song, his genius has exercised itself in nearly all styles of poetry, and won imperishable laurels in all.” Need we wonder, then, that Coleridge, like many others in the line of the Muses' priesthood, took such especial delight in poring over his beautiful living pictures and vivid sketches of character? We might, indeed, rather marvel, with another noted poet, that the bard should have seen so distinctly in that gray, misty morning of literature, and that his landscapes should still look green in the very dews of Spring. Tennyson beautifully styles him

The first warbler, whose sweet breath

Preluded those melodious bursts, that fill
The spacious times of great

Elizabeth
With sounds that echo still.

Campbell, with all a poet's appreciation, has thus beautifully expressed our obligations to the great pioneer poet :

Chaucer ! our Helicon's first fountain-stream,

Our morning Star of song, that led the way
To welcome the long-after coming beam

Of Spenser's lights and Shakspeare's perfect day.

Old England's fathers live in Chaucer's lay,
As if they ne'er had died : he grouped and drew

Their likeness with a spirit of life so gay,
That still they live and breathe in fancy's view,
Fresh beings fraught with truth's imperishable hue

The evils of the protracted civil war in England, prevented not only the progress of literature, but even prostrated its very existence for upwards of a century after the death of Chaucer. With the exceptions of Gower, Wyatt, Raleigh, and Surrey, we meet with no great poet till the age of Spenser. The brilliant character of the EARL OF SURREY,-both as to his military career and scholastic attainments, as well as his sad end, -alike endear him to memory. His celebrated poem, written during his unjust imprisonment at Windsor, is universally admired; and some of his sonnets are no less beautiful. Here is one :

The soote seson, that bud and bloom forth brings,

With green hath clad the bill, und eke the vale ;
The nightingale with feathers new she sings ;

The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs ;

The hart hath hung his old head on the pale ;

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The buck in brake his winter coat lie Rings ;

The fishes Aete, with new repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she Aings;

The swift swallow pursueth the Aies smale ;
The busy bee her honey now she mings ;

Winter is worn that was the Aowers' bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

Of Sir Philip SIDNEY, it has been said, that his literary renown rests more upon his prose than his verse ; Cowper indeed refers to him as “ warbler of poetic prose;" —yet he has his eminent place

among the

poets, and here is an effusion of his muse: it is styled Wooing Stuffe :

Faint amorist,—what, dost thou think
To taste love's honey, and not drink
One drachm of gall ;-

-or to devour
A world of swete, and taste no sour?
Dost thou e'er think to enter
Th’ Elysian fields, that durst not venture
In Charon's barge? A lover's mind
Must use to sail with

every

wind.
He that loves, and fears to try,
Learns his mistress to deny.
Doth she chide thee? 'Tis to show it,
That thy coldness makes her doe it :
Is she silent-is she mute ?
Silence fully grants thy suit :
Doth she

pout,

and leave the room?
Then she goes to bid thee come :
Is she sicke? Why, then, be sure
She invites thee to the cure :
Doth she cross thy sute with no ?
Tush-she loves to hear thee woo :
Doth she call the faith of man
Into question ? Nay, forsooth, she loves thee than:
He that after ten denials,
Dares attempt no further tryals,
Hath no warrant to acquire
The dainties of his chast desire.

Sidney's Defence of Poesie has long been a favorite with scholars. Professor Marsh characterizes it as “the best secular specimen of prose yet written in England:” and adds, that “it is destined to maintain its high place in æs...etical literature.” The Arcadia is the other prose production by which he is most known, although it is now but seldom read. Recently was exhibited before the Archæological Society at Salisbury, a copy of this production, between the leaves of which was found wrapped up a lock of Queen Elizabeth's hair, and some complimentary lines addressed by Sidney, when very young, to the maiden queen. The hair was soft and bright, of a light-brown color, inclining to red, and on the paper enclosing it was written :-“This lock of Queen Elizabeth's own hair was presented to Sir Philip Sidney by her majesty's owne faire hands, on which he made these

and
give

them to the queen on his bended knee, A. D. 1573.” And pinned to this was another paper on which was written, in a different hand-said to be Sidney's own—these lines :

verses,

Her inward worth all ourward show transcends,
Envy her merits with regret commends;
Like sparkling gems her virtues draw the sight,
And in her conduct she is alwaies bright.
When she imparts her thoughts, her words have force,
And sense and wisdom flow in sweet discourse.

The gentle Sidney was one of the especial favorites of the queen, whom she styled “her Jewel of the times,” for the noble virtues he illustrated by his heroic life. Every one remembers his brave words, when, fallen on the battle-field, and suffering from thirst caused by loss of blood, as he ordered the cup presented to him to be given to the wounded soldier, saying, “Thy necessity is yet greater than mine." All England mourned his loss, for

every one revered and loved him. Hear Shakspeare's tribute to his memory :

His honour stuck upon him as the sun
In the gray vault of heaven, -and by his light
Did all the chivalry of England more
To do brave acts!

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