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poems bore strong internal evidence of Raleigh's genius. “A. W.,” he remarks, “almost always begins his poems well, so as to make his initial lines striking and full of interest by their animation and harmony;" and this was surely one of Raleigh's chief characteristics. Indeed he often begins much better than he ends. Among other instances, Brydges mentions "Smooth are thy lookes; so is the deepest streame" -a line which at once reminds us of the commencement of a poem which we may safely regard as Raleigh's.* Another instance of resemblance is not a little singular. Puttenham, when giving examples of " Anaphora, or the Figure of Report," quotes "this written by Sir Walter Raleigh of his greatest mistresse in most excellent verses :
'In vayne mine eyes, in vaine you wast your teares;
Compare the following fragment, the first line of which occurs in the Catalogue of A. W.'s Poems:
See this vol. III. ix. p. 132. The same thought occurs in other poems by A. W.; as in the "Inuectiue against Loue," which has been already mentioned-"The deepest streames aboue doe calmest flow"-(Dav. p. 124, ed. 1621=ii. 31, Lee Pr. ed.). Again,-"The deepest streames do flow full calme to sight"—(ib. p. 186=i. 100). Also in a poem which A. W. answered," Where riuers smoothest run, deepe are the fords"-(ib. p. 134
ii. 56. This last piece is in Mr. Collier's volume of Lyrical Poems, p. 71). + Arte of English Poesie, p. 165, repr. Another fragment quoted by Puttenham has been identified. See above, p. xxxvi. The following is also preserved by him (p. 167);—" that of Sir Walter Raleighs very sweet:
With wisdomes eyes had but blind fortune seene,
A few other fragments of Raleigh's are still in existence; such as the line "Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall," which, according to Fuller, he wrote on a window, where Queen Elizabeth might see it; and which she was pleased to answer. (Worthies of Devon. p. 261.)- Mr. Tytler has called attention to the short metrical translations which occur in his History of the World. Life of Raleigh, pp. 298-300.-There are also some lines which he is said to have addressed to Queen Anne shortly before his execution. His poems were used in the Garden of the Muses, a compilation of single lines and couplets, 1600 and 1610; but his property cannot be distinguished from he rest.
"In vaine I liue, such sorrow lines in me;
And hurts himselfe in vaine, and helpes his foe." *
Another very similar stanza is printed in Cens. Lit. (ii. 101, ed. 1815) from Este's Madrigales, &c. 1604 :
"In vaine, my tongue, thou begst to ease my care;
In vaine, my thoughts, you thinke what hath beene said;
As the poems of A. W. have been so much mixed up with those of Raleigh, I will annex a brief specimen of them, from Davison's Collection,-the only publication in which any of them are known to have been originally printed :—
"Eternall Time, that wastest without wast,
How can I iustly praise thee or dispraise?
Darke are thy nights, but bright and cleare thy daies.
"Both free and scarce, thon giu'st and takʼst againe;
Constant, inconstant; mouing, standing still;
"I lose thee, while I seek to find thee out;
All things by thee are measured, thou by none;
(p. 137, ed. 1621=ii. 62, L. P. ed.)
* In the later eds. of Davison (p. 148, ed. 1621) these lines were printed as if they formed the conclusion of the poem beginning "Now what is loue, pray thee tell"— '—(see above, on No. x); and as that was obviously a blunder, Sir H. Nicolas, who printed from the third ed., 1611, threw them into a note (p. 297). But in ed. 1608, from which the Lee Priory reprint was taken, they appear to have been properly marked as a separate Poem (see that repr. i. 114, and ref. p. 27, ii. 70). Brydges reads, in the first line, sith sorrow.'
It is now time to sum up the evidence which has been brought together, by making it the basis of a new classification of Raleigh's reputed poems. I have hitherto examined them in the order presented by his editors: and any attempt to make a better arrangement must necessarily be defective, as I cannot suppose that all the evidence has been exhausted. But the enquiry has been already pursued to a much greater extent than I intended; and it would therefore be improper to stop short of its legitimate conclusion. Moreover, a revision of the subject will give me the opportunity of furnishing complete copies of several poems, which have been only alluded to elsewhere.
In the case of any man but Raleigh, this would be, in the main, a question of degrees of evidence,-whether it were more or less conclusive in each particular instance. But the Collection published by Sir Egerton Brydges was made in such a predatory spirit, that we must be content, in Raleigh's case, with a ruder mode of classification; and must ask only, whether there be any positive evidence for him, or any positive evidence against him, or simply no evidence at all. The poems, then, will fall into three classes, answering to these, though in a slightly different order. In the first, we must place all those pieces which can be assigned to Raleigh with any kind of probability, even if it often falls far short of certainty. The second may include those which are altogether uncertain, of which we know nothing at all, either one way or the other. To the third will belong those poems which we know for certain that Raleigh did not write, chiefly because we can shew that others have a better-founded claim to them.
Of the whole number of forty-four poems, we may perhaps arrange twenty-three in the first class, which will leave -thirteen for the second, and eight for the third. But each class may be a little enlarged by the addition of scattered poems and fragments, which have been mentioned without being included in the list.
I. Of the twenty-three poems placed in the first class, nine are found in the Lee Priory edition; nine among the Additional Poems in the Oxford edition; and five in the concluding numbers of the list, which have never been collected by the editors of Raleigh.
1. The nine in the Lee Priory edition are, Nos. iii, vi, xii, xvi, xx, xxi, xxii, xxvii, and xxviii. Seven of these having been reprinted elsewhere in this volume, it is only necessary to add the other two, viz. Nos, xvi and xxii.
No. xvi is the piece in commendation of George Gascoigne's Steele-Glass, 1576 :—†
"WALTER RAWELY OF THE MIDDLE-TEMPLE
"Swete were the sauce would please ech kind of tast:
For who so reapes renowne aboue the rest,
From prince to poore, from high estate to lowe.
No. xxii is the second poem on Spenser's Faery Queen (see p. 116). As it is tolerably certain, both from the initials appended to these verses, and from their position in the original edition of Spenser, that they were really written by Sir Walter Raleigh, they may be used as an additional argument to corroborate his claim to the lines on Gascoigne.
See the references on p. xxvi, note *.
+ The controversy on this poem has been stated above, pp. xxvi-xxvii. -The piece is here printed from ed. 1587.
For though internal evidence, as we have seen, is but a doubtful guide, when we are dealing with such scanty materials, it can scarcely be denied, that the commendation of the Steele-Glass, which has just been quoted, and this second commendation of the Faery Queen, bear a very close resemblance to each other, in the quaint judicial gravity with which the writer in each case sums up the merits of the work before him, and then delivers his " censure" according to the law he has laid down:—*
"ANOTHER OF THE SAME.
"The prayse of meaner wits this worke like profit brings,
Of me no lines are lou'd, nor letters are of price,
Of all which speak our English tongue, but those of thy denice.
2. The following are the nine pieces admitted to this class from the Oxford edition :-Nos. xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxxii, xxxiv, Xxxv, xxxvii, xxxviii, and xxxix. They have been much
The lines on Gorges' Lucan (above, p. xxxviii) are of a similar character; but they are less quaint, and are written in a graver spirit, with a still more pointed application.—It should be remembered, that the name and initials, by which these Commendatory poems are recognized as Raleigh's, receive strong confirmation from his intercourse with the persons so commended. Oldys, at least, thought that he had found "the links, if not the perfect chain, of some acquaintance" between Raleigh and Gascoigne :of his friendship with Spenser, there are ample records:-and Sir Arthur Gorges was Raleigh's kinsman; had been captain of Raleigh's own ship in the Island voyage, when he was wounded by his side in the landing at Fayall; and has left a history of that expedition, which is of material importance in the Biography of Raleigh. (See Oldys's Life of Raleigh, pp. 267-306; and for a further account of Gorges, see Malone's Shakesp. by Bosw. ii. pp. 245-248; Mitford's Life of Spenser, p. xxviii, note.)