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Spenser's “Faery Queen" was begun in 1582, and published in 1590. The Dedication to Sir Walter Raleigh is dated 23 January, 1589 (i. e., 1590.) Raleigh in return praised the poem in two Sonnets. These, together with five other versified encomiums by “Hobynoll” (Gabriel Harvey,) “R. S.,” “H. B.,” “W. L.,” and “Ignoto,” are prefixed to Spenser's work. In 1599 “The Passionate Pilgrim,” a collection of twenty-one sonnets, songs, etc., was published with the name of W. Shakspere on the title page. The authorship of several of the pieces is disputed. In regard to No. xviii, “My flocks feed not,” Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps, says: “There is a somewhat brief version of this song in the collection of Madrigals, etc., by Thomas Weelkes 1597, this person being the composer of the music, but not necessarily the author of the words. A copy of it as it is seen in the Passionate Pilgrim also occurs in England's Helicon, 1600, entitled ‘The Unknowne Sheepheards Complaint,’ and is there subscribed Ignoto.” Again, in regard to No. XX, “Live with me and be my love,” the same author, says: “The first of these very pretty songs is incomplete, and the second, called ‘Love's answer,” still more so. In England's Helicon, 1600, the former is given to Marlowe, the latter to Ig
moto; and there is good reason to believe that Christopher Mar29
lowe wrote the song, and Sir Walter Raleigh the nymph's reply; for so we are positively assured by Isaac Walton, who has inserted them both in his Complete Angler under the character of ‘that smooth song which was made by Kit Marlowe, now at least fifty years ago; and an answer to it which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days:–old fashioned poetry but choicely good.” Both these songs were exceedingly popular and are afterwards found in the street ballads. The first is quoted in the Merry Wives of Windsor.” Again, in regard to No. xxi, “As it fell upon a day,” Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps, says: “This charming idyl occurs, with the absence of two lines, amongst the Poems in Divers Humours appended to Barnfield's Encomion of Lady Pecunia, in 1598, and the first twenty-six lines with the addition of two new ones are found in England's Helicon, 1600. This latter version follows in that work No. xviii of this list, [“My flocks feed not,”] is also subscribed Ignoto, and is headed : ‘Another of the same. Sheepheards.' The probability is that the copies of these little poems, as given in the Helicon, were taken from a Common Place book in which the names of the authors were not recorded ; the two supplementary lines just noticed having the appearance of being an unauthorized couplet improvised for the sake of giving a neater finish to the abridgment.” We will now reproduce the aforesaid poems from “England's Helicon,” second edition, 1614. A brief version of the first song, No. xviii of “The Passionate Pilgrim,” says Halliwell-Phillipps, appeared in 1597. The unknown. Shepherd's Complaint. My flocks feed not, my eves breed not, My rams speed not, all is amiss : Love is denying, Faith is defying : Hearts rense)ging, causer of this. All my merry jigs are quite forgot, And my lady's love is lost, God wot: Where her faith was firmly fixed in love, There a nay is placed without remove.
One silly cross wrought all my loss;
In black mourn I, all fears scorn I,
The variations from the version of 1599 are few, the only important one being “ren[e]ging” for “renying.” The latter has no meaning ; the former is used twice in the plays.
The only question in regard to the authorship of this poem is, whether Shakspere or “Ignoto” wrote it.
The next poem printed in the “Helicon" is a part of No. xxi of the “Passionate Pilgrim.”
Another of the Same Shepherds.
As it fell upon a day
The last two lines, Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps says, are new ones added to the first twenty-six in “The Passionate Pilgrim.” Our own edition of the latter has those two lines, and the only variation is in the tenth line—“up-till” for “against.” There are thirty lines more in our edition. But we have another version of the whole, omitting the aforesaid two lines and a subsequent couplet. This version, curiously enough, is headed “Address to the Nightingale,” and is credited to Richard Barnfield, “about 1610.” (Encyc. of Poetry, No. 121.) In 1598 it is said that the first twenty-six lines of this idyl appeared in an appendix to Barnfield’s “Encomium;” in 1599 it reappeared enlarged to twice the length and was credited to Shakspere ; in 1600 the first twenty-eight lines were republished in “England's Helicon" and subscribed “Ignoto.” We now transcribe from the “Helicon,” No. xx of “The Passionate Pilgrim" much amended and enlarged: The Passionate Shepherd to his love. Come live with me, and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, [and] hills and fields, Woods, or steepie mountains yields.” And we will sit upon the rocks, Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
*The grammar of this verse is shocking both here and in the version of 1599. And there are considerable variations in the two versions. In that of 1599 the first word “Come " is omitted, without which the song could hardly be sung. Other slight defects of measure appear in both. But the editor of Marlowe's Works has carefully corrected the grammar and the measure.