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Than roses richer to behold
That dress up lovers' bowers, The pansy and the marigold
Through Phebus' paramours.
Gorbo. Thou well describ'st the Daffodil :
It is not full an hour
I saw that lovely flower.
Batle. Yet my fair thou didst not meet,
Nor news of her didst bring, And yet my Daffodil's more sweet
Than that by yonder spring.
Gorbo. I saw a shepherd that doth keep
In yonder field of lilies,
A wreath of daffodillies.
Batte. Yet, Gorbo, thou delud'st me still,
My flower thou did'st not see, For know my pretty Daffodil
Is worn of none but me,
Gorbo. Through yonder vale as I did pass
Descending from the hill,
They call her Daffodil,
The pretty flowers did greet
With homage to her feet;
From top of every hill,
There goes sweet Daffodil !
Batte. Aye, gentle shepherd, now with joy
Thou all my flocks dost fill;
Let us to Daffodil.
WRITTEN IN THE PEAK.
This while we are abroad,
Shall we not touch our lyre?
Shall that holy fire,
In this cold air expire ?
Long since the summer laid
Her lusty brav'ry down
And Boreas 'gins to frown,
Great Brute's first builded town.
Though in the utmost Peak
Awhile we do remain,
Exposed to sleet and rain,
To exercise our vein.
What though bright Phæbus' beams
Refresh the Southern ground,
With beauteous nymphs abound,
Be many wonders found:
Yet many rivers clear,
Here glide in silver swathes,
And what of all most dear,
Buxton's delicious baths,
T'assuage breem winter's scathes.
Those grim and horrid caves
Whose looks affright the day,
What she would not bewray,
And doth invite our lay.
In places far or near,
Or famous, or obscure,
Or where the most impure,
The ballad of Agincourt has some fine passages : the attack between the English and French is thus portrayed :
They now to fight are gone,
Armor on armor shone,
To hear was wonder;
Thunder to thunder.
Sir Philip Sydney's fondness for conceit destroyed the chasteness and simplicity of his style : but this was the effect of habit; he possesses a poetic temperament, and, although he was “smitten with the love of antithesis and conceit,” he possesses “ great power of thought and description.” Cowper calls him
“ The warbler of poetic prose.”
Sir W. Temple says that he was "the greatest poet and the noblest genius of any that have left writings behind them, or published in ours or any other language.” Raleigh styles him the English Petrarch, and Dr. Johnson seems to think that he is the English model of poetic expression: “ If the language of theology were extracted from Hooker and the translation of the Bible; the terms of natural knowledge from Bacon ; the phrases of policy, war, and navigation from Raleigh; the dialect of poetry and fiction from Spenser and Sydny; and the diction of common life from Shakspeare, few ideas would be lost to mankind, for want of English words in which they might be expressed." sidered as a poet," says Mr. Ellis, "he was certainly affected with that fondness for conceit and antithesis which the example of the Italian writers had rendered fashionable ; but this fault in him was evidently the effect of imitation, not of character; and is often compensated by real wit, and elegance, and facility. His amatory poems are not whining lamentations about the perfection and cruelty of an ideal paragon, but are lively, dramatic, and descriptive of real passion."
ASTROPHEL AND STELLA.
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show
That she, dear she! might take some pleasure of my pain ; Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain; I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain : Oft turning over leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burnt brain. But words came ha!ting forth, wanting invention's stay:
Invention, nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blous, And others' feet still seem'd but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite, Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.
Because I oft, in dark abstracted guise
To them that would make speech of speech arise ;
They deem, and of their doom the rumor flies
Fawn on myself, and others do despise.
Which looks too oft in his unflatt’ring glass;
That makes me oft my best friends overpass,
In a grove most rich of shade,