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The Squire relates his adventures in France ; and then,
This squyer and the ladie gent
They drank, and syne went to repose.
The Squire and the Lady have of course fallen deeply in love. She overhears him lamenting his captivity, and at once takes her kind resolution :
This was the mirrie tyme of May,
Kirtill alone, withoutin clok,
Sir David Lyndsay was long popular in Scotland ; and even yet, when a countryman would express unbounded and unqualified admiration of any literary performance, the phrase is,—“ Ye'll find words there that's no in a' Davie Lindsay !" The Lord Lyon died at the Mount, near Cupar, in 1553. His credit at court decreased after the death of his royal master ; but he was still occasionally employed in public affairs.
(c) Hanging (f) Happen A Scottish poem or romance of this date, or perhaps earlier, which has been entitled “ The Mourning Maiden,” possesses more refinement of sentiment and truth of feeling than we are prepared to expect. And it was a considerable time before this, that the “ Clerk of Tranent” had written the “ Ro. mance of Sir Yawine, or Gawin," one of three ro. mances, of which Sir Gawin forms the hero. At as early a period, another of the “ Northern Makers,” “Gude Maister Robert Henrysoune,” a schoolmaster of Dunfermline, has, in Robine and Makyne, left us one of the most sprightly dramatic pastorals in the language : It was also the first. Some of the finest of the old Scottish ballads must have been written anterior to this date. “Tak’ your auld cloak about ye" is quoted by Shakspeare, and was probably of long standing then. But this most interesting portion of ancient national literature is foreign to the design of this limited work, and cannot here be investigated.
(a) Feigningly. (d) Throat.
Original genius of the very highest order is more rare than the return of those “ wandering lights” which, after travelling for centuries through the wide and boundless dominions of air, revisit the earth for an instant, and again disappear ; unlike in this, that the certain reappearance of genius can neither be calculated nor foretold. Those masterspirits, who, more like incarnations of pure imagination than mortals of ordinary capacity, have, at different periods, arisen in opposite quarters of the globe, to prove the immeasurable distance that may exist between human intellects, have been “ few and far between,” as if Nature, possessing but a scanty store of such precious material, wished to be impartial in its distribution, and chary of its use.
Ages elapsed ere Homer's lamp appeared,
It is not surprising that no great genius should have arisen in England between Chaucer and the reign of Elizabeth. We may at once say, that none was born ; for there was nothing in the condi. tion of society in that interval that could have checked, much less have extinguished, the genius of Spenser or of Shakspeare. They were of that robust constitution which must have flourished in vigour under the most adverse circumstances like the chance-blown seed, which, fastening on some Gothic ruin, will grow into a flower of beauty surpassing its kind, dally with the wind, and mock the storm, and, with the slightest root in earth, draw nourishment from the air, the dews, and the sunshine. Genius is an essence far too subtle to be subjected to known laws. It has thriven in dungeons, and refused to strike root in palaces, been copious of production amid the fa. tigue and bustle of camps and cities, and languished in the retreats of learned leisure. This, indeed, applies to genius of that rare and predomin. ating kind, which has so seldom been manifested in any circumstances, and which surmounts all bonds existing in the great poet wherever he may be cast, more as a part of him than his--acted upon by all external influences, yet not only drawing its choicest materials from its own bosom, but even fabricating the tools with which it is to give harmony, and grace of proportion, and richness of colouring, to its productions ; for even the Art of poetry, as it is called all that gives smoothness, grace, and finish, depends less on external cir. cumstances than may be supposed. We have no English more choicely idiomatic than that of Chaucer-no poetic language more flowing, luxuriant, sweet, and delicate, than that of Spenser ; yet they possessed neither English books of any worth, dictionaries, nor Arts of Poetry, from which they could derive either a refined or a copious phraseology. The exquisite tenderness, and de. lightful simplicity of expression, of those old ballads, which seem to breathe the feelings of poetry in the glow of its first love, have never again been equalled ; and even in frolic grace,