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embraced those pursuits from which it had long been restrained; and society soon obtained that state of general improvement, and conceived that regard for intellectual life, which have never ceased to be cherished since.

Surrey was one of the first writers of love-verses in the language, and is esteemed the first classical poet. The lover and the scholar are united in him: his eyes are as often

-“ Cast up into the maiden's tower,” as into the book of knowledge, and he as often speaks in praise of his love as of his learning.

He wrote but little, yet he had a great influence upon the literature of his country. “Surrey,” says Mr. Southey, “was the first English poet who wrote metrically; and the first who used blank verse,—that verse which, for its peculiar and excellent adaptation to the English language, ought to be called the English measure. He wrote also the first English sonnets; and he used the ternal rhyme of Dante,-a meter, by its solemn continuity, so suited to grave subjects, that some poet will surely one day make for himself a lasting reputation by worthily employing it.”


Give place ye lovers, here before
That spent your boasts and brags in vaine ;
My ladie's beauty passeth more
The best of yours, I dare will sayne,
Than doth the sun the candle light,
Or brightest day the darkest night.

And thereto hath a troth as just
As had Penolope the fair :
For what she saith, ye may it trust
As it by writing sealed were:
And virtues had she many more
Than I with pen have skill to show.


I could rehearse, if that I would
The whole effect of Nature's plaint,
When she had lost the perfect mould,
The like to whom she could not paint.
With wringing hands how she did cry!
And what she said, I know it, I.

I know she swore with raging mind,
Her kingdom only set apart,
There was no loss, by law of kind
That could have gone so near her heart:
And this was chiefly all her pain,
She could not make the like again.

He broke the bondage of rhyme, and gave the first example of English blank verse. He clothed a part of the Æneid in an English dress, and with great fidelity to the sense, preserved much of the beauty of Virgil,—the description of Dido's passion, and of the city, revive an association of school-boy days.

And when they were all gone,
And the dim moon doth oft withhold the light;
And sliding stars provoking unto sleep,
Alone she mourns within her palace void,
And sits her down on her forsaken bed;
And absent him, she hears when he is gone,
And seeth eke. Oft in her lap she holds
Ascanius, trapt by his father's form.

So to beguile the love cannot be told !
The turrets now arise not, erst before :
Neither the youth well armed, nor they advance
The gates, nor other mete defence for war.
Broken there hang the works, and mighty frames
Of walls high raised threatening the sky.


Brittle beauty, that nature made so frail,
These of the gift is small, and short the season;
Flowering to-day, to-morrow apt to fail :
Fickle treasure, abhorred of reason:
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail ;
Costly in keeping, past not worth two peason ;
Slippery and sliding as is an eel's tail:
Hard to attain, once gotten, not geason:
I ween of jeopardy that peril doth assail ;
False and untrue, enticed oft to treason;
Enemy to youth, that most may, I bewail:
Ah, bitter sweet, infecting as the poison.

Thou fairest as fruit that with the frost is taken,

To-day rudely ripe, to-morrow all to shaken. Nature, even in the most savage ages, teaches elegance to the lover; but Surrey has given to his muse a classic grace, and has contributed something to the advancement of learning in his justness of thought, his purity of diction, and correctness of style.

Gascoigne was one of the earliest English dramatic writers and possessed much versatility of talent. He wrote a variety of versification.


You that have spent the silent night,
In sleep and quiet rest,

And joy to see the cheersul light
That riseth in the east;
Now clear your voice, now cheer your heart,
Come help me now to sing ;
Each willing wight come bear a part
To praise the heavenly King.

And you, whom care in prison keeps,
Or sickness doth suppress,
Or secret sorrow breaks your sleeps,
Or dolorous do distress :
Yet bear a part in doleful wise,
Yea think it good accord,
And acceptable sacrifice,
Each sprite to praise the Lord.

The dreadful night with darksomeness Had overspread the light, And sluggish sleep with drowsiness Had overspread our might: A glass wherein you may behold, Each storm that stops our breath, Our bed the grave, our clothes like mould, And sleep like dreadful death.

Yet as this deadly night did last But for a little space, And heavenly day, now night is past Doth shew his pleasant face, So must we hope to see God's face At last in heaven on high, Where we have changed this mortal place For immortality.

And of such hopes and heavenly joys,
As then we hope to hold,
All earthly sights and worldly toys

Are tokens to behold.
The day is like the day of doom,
The sun, the Son of man,
The skies, the heavens, the earth, the tomb,
Wherein we rest till then.

The rainbow bending in the sky
Bedecked with sundry hues,
Is like the seat of God on high,
And seems to tell these news;
That as thereby he promised
To drown the world no more,
So by the blood that Christ hath shed,
He will our health restore.

The misty clouds that fall sometime
And overcast the skies,
Are like to troubles of our time
Which do but dim our eyes :
But as such dews are dried up quite
When Phæbus shews his face,
So are such fancies put to flight
Where God doth guide by gracc.

The little birds which sing so sweet
Are like the angels' voice,
Which render God his praises meet,
And teach us to rejoice:
And as they more esteem that mirth
Than dread the night's annoy,
So much we deem our days on earth
But hell to heavenly joy.


The heavens on high perpetually do more ;
By minutes meal the hour doth steal away,

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