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Envie could touch for vertuous life and skill
Curteous, valiant, and liberall.
Behold the sacred 63 Pales, where with haire
Untrust she sitts, in shade of yonder hill;
And her faire face, bent sadly downe, doth send
A floud of teares to bathe the earth; and there
Doth call the heav'ns despightfull, envious,
Cruell his fate, that made so short an end
Of that same life, well worthie to have bene
Prolonged with many yeares, happie and famous.
The 64 Nymphs and Oreades her round about
Do sit lamenting on the grassie grene;
And with shrill cries, beating their whitest brests,
Accuse the direfull dart that death sent out
To give the fatall stroke. The starres they blame
That deafe or carelesse seeme at their request.
The pleasant shade of stately groves they shun;
They leave their cristall springs, where they wont frame 70
Sweet bowres of myrtel twigs and lawrel faire,
To sport themselves free from the scorching sun.
And now the hollow caves where horror darke
Doth dwell, whence banisht is the gladsome aire,
They seeke; and there in mourning spend their time
With wailfull tunes, whiles 65 wolves do howl and barke,
And seem to beare a bourdon to their plaint.
Phillisides is dead ! O dolefull ryme!
Why should by toong expresse thee? Who is left
Now to uphold thy hopes, when they do faint,
Lycon unfortunate! What spitefull fate,
66 What lucklesse destinie, hath thee bereft
Of thy chief comfort -- of thy onely stay!
Where is become thy wonted happie state,
(Alas !) wherein through many a hill and dale,
Through pleasant woods, and many an unknown way
Along the bankes of many silver streames
Thou with him yodest; and with him didst scale
The craggie rocks of th' Alpes and Appenine !
90 Still with the Muses sporting, while those beames
Of vertue kindled in his noble brest,
Which after did so gloriouslly forth shine!
But (woe is me!) they now yquenched are
All suddeinly, and death hath them opprest.
· Loe 67 father Neptune, with sad countenance,
How he sits mourning on the strond now bare,
Yonder, where th' Ocean with his rolling waves
The white feete washeth (wailing this mischance)
Of Dover cliffes. His sacred skirt about, ,
100 The sea-gods all are set; from their moist caves
All for his comfort gathered there they be.
The 68 Thamis rich, the Humber rough and stout,
The fruitfull Severne, with the rest are come
To helpe their lord to mourne, and eke to see
The dolefull sight, and sad pomp funerall,
Of the dead corps passing through his kingdome.
And all the heads, with 69 cypres gyrlonds crown'd
With wofull shrikes salute him great and small,
Eke wailfull Echo, forgetting her deare
110 Narcissus, their last accents doth resownd.
Phillisides is dead! O lucklesse age;
O widow world; 70 O brookes and fountains cleere;
O hills, O dales, O woods, that oft have rong
With his sweet caroling, which could asswage
The fiercest wrath of tygre or of beare:
Ye Silvans, Fawnes, and 71 Satyres, that emong
These thickets oft have daunst after his pipe;
Ye Nymphs and Nayades with golden heare,
That oft have left your purest cristall springs
To hearken to his layes, that coulden wipe
Away all griefe and sorrow from your harts:
Alas! who now is left that like him sings?
When shall you heare againe like harmonie ?
So sweet a sownd who to you now imparts ?
Loe where engraved by his hand yet lives
The name of Stella in yonder 72 bay tree.
Happie name! happie tree! faire may you grow,
And spred your sacred branch, which honor gives
To famous Emperours, and Poets crowne.
73 Unhappie flock that wander scattred now,
What marvell if through grief ye woxen leane,
Forsake your food, and hang your heads adowne!
For such a shepheard never shall you guide,
Whose parting hath of weale bereft you cleane.
Lycon sings again.
Phillisides is dead! O happie sprite,
That now in heav'n with blessed soules doest bide :
Looke down awhile from where thou 74 sitst above,
And see how busie shepheards be to endite
Sad songs of grief, their sorrowes to declare,
And gratefull memory of their kynd love.
Behold my selfe with Colin, gentle swaine,
(Whose lerned Muse thou cherisht most whyleare,)
Where we, thy name recording, sceke to ease
The inward torment and tormenting paine,
That thy departure to us both hath bred;
Ne can each others sorrow yet appease.
Behold the fountains now left desolate,
And withred grasse with cypres boughes he spred;
Behold these 75 floures which on thy grave we strew; 150 Which, faded, shew the givers faded state,
(Though eke they shew their fervent zeale and pure,)
Whose onely comfort on thy welfare grew.
Whose praiers importune shall the heav'ns for ay,
That, to thy ashes, rest they may assure :
That learned shepheards honor may thy name
With yeerly praises, and the Nymphs alway
Thy tomb may deck with fresh and sweetest flowres;
And that forever may endure thy fame.
Colin. 76 The sun (lo!) hastned hath his face to steep 160 In western waves; and th' aire with stormy showres
Warnes us to drive homewards our silly sheep :
Lycon, lett's rise, and take of them good keep.
Virtute summa ; cætera fortuna.
I. Edmund Spenser was born in London about the year 1552. In 1569 he entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, where in due course of time he received the degree of M.A. It was probably at college that he became acquainted with Sir Philip Sidney, by whom he was afterwards introduced to the queen's favorite, the Earl of Leicester. In 1579 he published his Shepheards Calender, which placed him at once in the front rank of English poets. In 1580, as secretary to Lord Grey de Wilton, he went to Ireland where, with the exception of two visits to England, he
remained during the rest of his life. The first three books of the Faerie Queene were published in 1590, and the second three in 1596. In 1598 an insurrection occurred in Ireland, and Kilcolman Castle, Spenser's residence, was burned by the rebels, he himself with his family escaping with great difficulty. Early in the following year, broken-hearted and in great distress, he died in King Street, Westminster.
• Spenser was not only a great poet himself, but in a singular degree was the cause that is, the immediate cause - of poetry in others.” Hales.
“Of all poets, Spenser is the most poetical.” - Hazlitt.
II. Ludovick Brysket, the author of the Pastorall Aeglogue, was Spenser's predecessor in the service of the Council of Munster, Ireland, and an intimate friend not only of the poet, but doubtless of Sir Philip Sidney also. It is from a pamphlet written by him, entitled A Discourse of Civil Life and published in 1606, that we have the first trustworthy account of the composition of the Faerie Queene. Of his poetical works we have only the two pieces included in the tribute to Sidney mentioned below.
THE INTRODUCTION. For the Introduction I am indebted largely to Biloplaitws, the biographer of Sir Philip Sidney, whose quaint sketch of the life of his friend forms the preface to the latter's Arcadia in the edition of 1674.
The elegy entitled Astrophel is Spenser's contribution to a collection of memorial poems on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, written probably in 1587, but not published until 1595. It is made to serve, in fact, as an introduction to a poetical " handfull of flowers that decked the mournfull herse of Sidney”; for, after Spenser,
" full many other moe,
As everie one in order loved him best,
Gan dight themselves t'expresse their inward woe,
With dolefull lays unto the time addrest.
The which I here in order will rehearse." This collection included The Dolefull Lay of Clorinda, probably by Sidney's sister Mary, the Countess of Pembroke; The Mourning Muse of Thestylis, and A Pastorall Aeglogue, by Ludovick Brysket, “a swaine of gentle wit and daintie sweet device, whom Astrophel full deare did entertaine ”; An Elegie, or Friends Passion for his Astrophel, by Matthew