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“ Love in hart, and tears in eyes ;
“ All thy beauties sting my heart ;
“ N'oseres vous, mon bel amy?" &c. I have not been able to ascertain who it was that first gave so extraordinary a turn to this celebrated fable, but I suspect it to have proceeded from some of the Italian poets. The late Mr. Warton, whom I consulted on this subject, was not more successful than myself in investigating this point.
The poem already quoted, which I imagine was written by Henry Constable, being only found in a very scarce miscellany, entitled England's Helicon, quarto 1600, I shall subjoin it. Henry Constable was the author of some sonnets prefixed to Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesie, and is “worthily joined (says A. Wood,) with Sir Edward Dyer," some of whose verses are preserved in the Paradise of Daintie Devises, 1580.-Constable likewise wrote some sonnets printed in 1594, and some of his verses are cited in a miscellaneous collection entitled England's Parnassus, 1600. He was of St. John's College, in Cambridge, and took the degree of bachelor of arts in 1579. Edmund Bolton in his Hypercritica, (which appears to have been written after the year 1616, and remained in manuscript till 1722, when it was printed by Hall at the end of Triveti Annales) has taken a view of some of our old English poets, and classes Constable with Gascoigne, Dyer, Warner, and Thomas Sackville, earl of Dorset. -“ Noble Henry Constable (says he,) was a great master of English tongue, nor had any gentleman of our nation a more pure, quick, or higher delivery of conceit: witness among all other, that sonnet of his before his majesty's Lepanto. I have not seen much of Sir Edward's Dver's Poetry. Among the lesser late poets George Gascoigne's works may be endured. But the best of those times, (if Albion's England be not preferred,) is The Mirrour of Magistrates, and in that Mirrour, Sackville's Induction."
The first eight lines of each stanza of the following poem ought rather perhaps to be printed in four, as the rhymes are in the present mode not so obvious; but I have followed the arrangement of the old copy, which probably was made by the author. Malone.
The miscellany from which the following song was extracted is no longer so scarce as when Mr. Malone described it as such. It has within these few years been reprinted. Yet as an illustration of our author's poem, I have not thought I was justified in reinov• ing it from its place. Boswell.
THE SHEEPHEARD'S SONG
VENUS AND ADONIS.
VENUS faire did ride,
siluer doues they drew her, By the pleasant lawnds,
ere the sunne did rise : Vestaes beautie rich
open'd wide to view her; Philomel records
Paphos' goddesse they salute :
For her sonne had made her mute.
When her eyes beheld a boy ;
Yet he now is Venus' joy.
Him alone she met,
ready bound for hunting ; Him she kindly greets,
and his journey stayes : Him she seekes to kisse,
no deuises wanting ;
him her tongue still prayes,
Not a kisse can he afford;
Speake, shee said, thou fairest,
See mee, I am pale and wan:
Christall teares with that downe ran.
Him heerewith shee forc'd.
To come sit downe by her; Shee his necke embracde,
gazing in his face: Hee, like one transform'd,
stir'd no looke to eye her. Euery hearbe did wooe him,
growing in that place,
. In behalfe of beauties queene;
Yet no liking could be seene.
Speake, I pray thee, my delight:
To bestow on her a sight,
I am now too young
to be wonne by beauty ; Tender are my yeeres ;
I am yet a bud : Fayre thou art, shee said;
then it is thy dutie, Wert thou but a blossome,
to effect my good.
Byrds and beasts my lawes effect;
Did my louely hests respect.
Every Nimph on thee shall tend;
Loue himselfe shall be thy freenda
Wend thee from mee, Venus, ; ? !
I am not disposed; Thou wringest mee too hard ;
pre-thee, let me goe :, Fie! what a paine it is
,' thus to be enclosed ? If loue begin with labour,
it will end in woe.
A short kiss I doe it find :
Breathe once more thy balmie wind :
Neuer was perfume so sweet.' '
And theyr naked bosoms meet.
Now, hee sayd, let's goe;
harke, the hounds are crying; ?" Grieslie boare is vp, :
huntsmen follow fast, At the name of boare
Venus seemed dying:. . .;.', . Deadly-coloured pale
roses ouer cast.
Thou unfit for such a chase: .
If thou wilt yeeld Venus grace. .
Herein he vow'd to please her minde:
Forth he went as swift as winde.
Thetis Phæbus' steedes
in the west retained ; Hunting sport was past,
Loue her loue did seeke : Sight of him too soone
gentle Queene shee gained ; On the ground he lay,
blood had left his cheeke:
For an orped swine
Deadly wound his death did bring :
And, awakte, her hands did wring.
Eccho euery cry exprest:
*- in her CREAST.] I suspect this is a misprint, and that the poet wrote breast,
The word orped, which occurs in this stanza, and of which I know not the derivation, is used by Golding, (as an anonymous writer has observed,) in his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, 1587, b. viii.:
“ - Yet should this hand of mine,
“ – the orped giant Polypheme."
Terribilem Polyphemum. Again, in A Herrings Tale: containing a poetical fiction of diverse matters worthy the reading, quarto, 1598:
“ Straight as two launces coucht by orped knights at rest." Gower uses the word in like manner in his Confessio Amantis, 1554, b. i. fol. 22:
“ That thei woll gette of their accord
“ Some orped knight to sle this lord.”
“ And how orpit and proudly ruschis he
Marte ruat. Orped seems to have signified, proud, swelling; and to have included largeness of size, as well as haughtiness and fierceness of demeanour. Skinner idly enough conjectures that it is derived from oripeau, Fr. leaf-brass, or tinsel ; in consequence of which in Cole's and Kersey's Dictionaries the word has been absurdly interpreted gilded. Malone.