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"PASSIONS ARE LIKENED BEST TO
FLOUDS AND STREAMES."
[BY SIR WALTER RALEIGH.]
[RALEIGH's claim to this Poem is supported by so many independent testimonies, that we need not hesitate to regard him as the Author.* Yet there are at least three other
1. There is an imperfect copy among LORD PEMBROKE'S
1. The copy in the Oxford ed. (viii. 716) is improved from one of the Rawl. MSS. where the piece is entitled "Sir Walter Ralegh to Queene Elizabeth." (Another instance, by the way, where a right name is coupled with a wrong legend; for they are scarcely such as Raleigh would address to the Queen.)-2. Raleigh's name is said to be appended to a copy in the MS. from which Brydges published some of W. Browne's Poems. See his Pref. p. 6.-3. The initials "Sr W: R:" are subjoined in the MS. followed in the text.-A former possessor of that MS. refers in the margin to Wit's Interpreter, and a "scarce octo. Edit. of R.'s Works." There are two copies in Wit's Interp. ed. 1671; viz. on p. 146, a very incorrect one, headed, "To his Mistress, by Sir Walter Raleigh;" and on p. 173, a copy without the first stanza, and without a name. The readings of the second copy are better than those of the first.-See also Oldys's Life of Ral. pp. Ellis and Campbell reprint it as Raleigh's.
Poems (p. 35). But that volume, as I have had to remark several times before, is of no authority, whenever we possess any positive evidence against it. Yet the piece has been sometimes given as a specimen of Pembroke's poetry.*
2. Mr. P. Cunningham, in his notes to Campbell's Specimens (p. 77), mentions that “it has been ascribed with great probability to SIR ROBERT AYTON in a MS. and contemporary volume of Ayton's poems once in Mr. Heber's hands." But we have already had too many instances of the errors committed in these old MS. Collections to be satisfied with the authority of one against several, unless it is more definitely authenticated. Even had the volume been in Ayton's own writing (and the contrary is implied), it might have been a mere table-book,-such as it was then very customary to compile.
3. In MS. Ashm. 781 (p. 143), a part of it (without either the first or the last stanza) is signed "Lo: WALDEN;" and in the Index to the volume, the piece is duly entered as "Lo: Waldens Verses." On this authority, Ritson entered the name of Lord Walden (afterwards Earl of Suffolk) in his Bibl. Poet. (p. 383) though he had previously asserted that Raleigh wrote " the Silent Lover,"—the title by which this Poem is commonly described (p. 307). Park, who had not seen the MS. and could not obtain a copy of the verses, implicitly followed Ritson's guidance, and therefore devoted an Article to this nobleman in his edit. of Walpole's Royal
* E.g. in Park's Walpole, ii. 267. Bliss's Wood, A. O. ii. 486. Mr. Lodge (Port. of Illustr. Pers. under Pembroke) assumes, like Mr. Hallam, that the volume was edited by Dr. Donne himself, and says, "His [Pembroke's] editor, Donne, must have blushed for the miserable homeliness of his own muse when he copied such lines as these-Wrong not, dear Empress of my heart,' (&c.) or the following, addressed to a lady weeping— 'Dry those fair, those crystal eyes,'" &c. Now Donne no more edited the poems than Pembroke wrote them; and the first is Raleigh's, the second, Bp. Henry King's.-Donne's son, the true editor, was not given to blushing, either for his father's doings or his own.-See the Introduction to this volume, pp. lxi-lxiii.
and Noble Authors (ii. 222). Here, again, we have one MS. against several,—with the additional objection, that a transcriber, who could not procure a more genuine text, was likely to be equally unsuccessful in discovering the writer's
The copy here printed is taken from Mr. Pickering's MS. (fol. 112, vo.) with the correction of a few errors which were probably due to the transcriber.*. It contains nearly all the improvements given in the Oxford edition; and the rest (A) are mentioned among the Variations. B= the Lee Priory text, which is the same that had been printed by Birch (ii. 394), and Cayley (i. 140). It also corresponds with that in the Muse's Library (1737, p. 273). C= the copy in Pembroke. The Variations in the Ashm. MS. and in Wit's Interpreter are very numerous; but they are scarcely worth preserving.]
ASSIONS are likened best to flouds and
The shallow murmur, but the deepe are dumbe:
Soe, when affections yeild discourse, it seemes The bottome is but shallowe whence they come.  They that are rich in wordes, in wordes discouer That they are poore in that which makes a Louer.
For the sake of exactness, these alterations are mentioned here; for the copy (like that followed in No. II.) is not authoritative enough to require the distinction of brackets.-In line 3, then, the MS. has ' yeilds'—; in 9, Which thinking'—; in 11,' plainte'—; in 12, ‘hir beautie'—; in 20, repelling'—; in 26,' Distraction'—; in 35, 'to my' is omitted, and the line left imperfect. (As to the first of these, yeilds'—I see no reason why we may not amend the inaccuracy where we can; but in many cases, it may be better to leave it, unless a piece is modernized altogether. Thus in line 8 of the last poem, I have retained the old form, because in line 10, where it occurs again, we cannot mend it without either destroying the rhyme, as Percy does, or making still further alterations.)
Wronge not, sweet Empress of my hearte!
The merrit of true passion,
With thinking that he feeles noe smart,
Since, if my aintes serue not to approue
It comes not from defect of Loue,
 Ffor, knoweing that I sue to serue
I rather choose to wante releife,
Thus those desires that Ayme too high
 When reason cannot make them dye,
Yet, when discretion doth bereaue
Sylence in Loue bewrayes more woe
Then wordes, though nere soe witty;
A Beggar that is dumb, you knowe,
 Then wronge not, dearest to my heart!
ST W: R:
[VARIATIONS. The first stanza is omitted in C.-5. 'must needs discover'-A B.-6. They are but poor'—A B.-7. ‘ mistress'—A B. 'dear Empress'-C.-8. ‘merits'—C.-10. 'Who' -A B.-11. 'plaints serve not to prove'—A. 'were not t'approve -B. 'seem not to prove'-C.-13. 'They come not'—A.—14. 'But fear t'exceed my duty'-B.-17. As all Divine'—C.-22. disdains the healing'-B. ' destroyes'-C.-23. 'that boil so high' -B. 'climb too high'-C.-24. In any’—B.-26. 'Discretion them must cover'-B.-28. ' that I should utter'-B. 'which I' -C.-29. 'Then your'—A B.-31. In some modern copies, 'betrays' is substituted for 'bewrays'-but the latter is said to be a more specific word than the former, and to be incapable of the bad sense which 'to betray' often bears.t-33.' The beggar'—C. -34. 'Deserveth double'-A.-35. 'Then misconceive not, dearest heart'-A. 'dear heart of my heart'-C.-36. 'My love for secret passion'-B.]
"This stanza was, by some strange anachronism, current about fifty years ago among the circles of fashion, as the production of the late celebrated Earl of Chesterfield."-BRYDGES. ("and it is even suspected, he himself was willing to take the credit of" it.-ID. Note on Phillips, p. 316.) Cf. Nott's Surrey, p. 295; Halliwell's ed. of the old 3 Hen. vi. p. 210.