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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
Since, by the spring near yonder hill,

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,
Was making, as he fed his sheep,

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,
I met a smirking bonny lass,

They call her Daffodil,
Whose presence, as along she went,

The pretty flowers did greet
As though their heads they downward bent,

With homage to her feet;
And all the shepherds that were nigh

From top of every hill,
Unto the vallies loud did cry,

There goes sweet Daffodil !

Batte. Aye, gentle shepherd, now with joy

Thou all my flocks dost fill;
That she's alone, kind shepherd's boy,

Let us to Daffodil.



This while we are abroad,

Shall we not touch our lyre?
Shall we not sing an Ode?

Shall that holy fire,
In us that strongly glow'd

In this cold air expire ?

Long since the summer laid

Her lusty brav'ry down
The autumn half is way'd,

And Boreas 'gins to frown,
Since now I did behold,

Great Brute's first builded town.

Though in the utmost Peak

Awhile we do remain,
Amongst the mountains bleak,

Exposed to sleet and rain,
No sport our hours shall break

To exercise our vein.

What though bright Phæbus' beams

Refresh the Southern ground,
And though the princely Thames

With beauteous nymphs abound,
And by old Camber's streams,

Be many wonders found:

Yet many rivers clear,

Here glide in silver swathes,

And what of all most dear,

Buxton's delicious baths,
Strong ale and noble cheer,

T'assuage breem winter's scathes.

Those grim and horrid caves

Whose looks affright the day,
Wherein nice Nature saves

What she would not bewray,
Our better leisure craves,

And doth invite our lay.

In places far or near,

Or famous, or obscure,
Where wholesome is the air,

Or where the most impure,
All times, and everywhere
The Muse is still in ure.

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,
Drum now to drum did groan,

To hear was wonder;
That with the cries they make,
The very earth did shake,
Trumpet to trumpet spake,

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."

“ Con


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
Seem most alone in greatest company;
With dearth of words, or answers quite awry,

To them that would make speech of speech arise ;

They deem, and of their doom the rumor flies
That poison foul of bubbling pride doth lie,
So in my swelling breast, that only I

Fawn on myself, and others do despise.
Yet pride, I think, doth not my soul possess,

Which looks too oft in his unflatt’ring glass;
But one worse fault, ambition, I confess,

That makes me oft my best friends overpass,
Unseen, unheard, while thought to highest place
Bends all his power, even unto Stella's grace.


In a grove most rich of shade,
Where birds wanton music made,

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