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But clouds of toys untried do cloak aspiring minds, Which turn to rain of late repent, by course of changed winds.
The top of hope suppos'd the root of ruth will be, And fruitless all their graffed guiles, as shortly ye
Then dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,
Shall be unseal'd by worthy wights, whose foresight falsehood finds.
The daughter of debate, that eke discòrd doth sow, Shall reap no gain where former rule hath taught still peace to grow.
No foreign banish'd wight shall anchor in this port, Our realm it brooks no strangers' force, let them elsewhere resort.
Our rusty sword with rest shall first his edge employ
To poll their tops that seek such change, and gape
WEBSTER, ALIAS GEORGE PUTTENHAM,
Published "The Arte of English Poesie, contrived into "three Books," 1589, 4to. This writer has given us many specimens of his own poetry, with a view of exemplifying the rules he inculcates. Puttenham speaks of himself as having been a scholar in Oxford; though whether he was bred there, Wood says he could not tell. He recites an anecdote which he remembered in the first year of Queen Mary's reign, and he quotes a passage from an eclogue entitled " Elpine," which he made at the age of 18, addressed to King Edward VI. This places the date of his birth before 1535. He was author of two interludes, " Lustie London," and "The Woer," and a copious composer of Triumphals, &c. in honour of Queen Elizabeth; to whom he was a gentleman-pensioner. His "Arte of Poesie" is commended by Bolton, in his Hypercritica, as "elegant, witty, and artificial." The following short ditty is, perhaps, the best that can be selected as an example of his talents.
CRUEL you be, who can say nay;
For that I have honour'd you so:
My service, and to let me die.
JOHN HARINGTON, ESQ.
Father of Sir John Harington, to whom the following production was inadvertently ascribed in the former edition of these Specimens. He was imprisoned in the reign of Queen Mary for having espoused the cause of Elizabeth, who rewarded his attachment by the reversion of a grant of lands at Kelston near Bath. He died in 1582; and, if the poem here selected be rightly attributed to him by the Harington papers, he cannot be denied the singular merit of having united an elegance of taste with an artifice of style which far exceeded his contemporaries,
Made on Isabella Markham, when I first thought her fair, as she stood at the Princess's Window in goodly Attire, and talked to divers in the Courtyard.
[From a MS. dated 1564. Vide Nugæ Antiquæ.]
HENCE comes my love?—Oh, heart, disclose! 'Twas from cheeks that shame the rose; From lips that spoil the ruby's praise; From eyes that mock the diamond's blaze: Whence comes my woe, as freely own ;— Ah me! 'twas from a heart like stone.
The blushing cheek speaks modest mind,
Why thus, my love, so kind bespeak
O Venus! take thy gifts again.
Make nought so fair to cause our moan,
EARL OF OXFORD.
Edward Vere, Earl of Oxford, the seventeenth of his surname and family, was a pensioner, says Wood, of St John's College, Cambridge, and distinguished in his youth for wit, valour, and patriotism. He succeeded his father in his title and honours in 1562, and died an old man in 1604. It is, therefore, probable that he was not born later than 1534.
His poetical talents were much admired, or at least much extolled, by his contemporaries: and such of his sonnets as are preserved in the Paradise of Dainty Devices are certainly not among the worst, although they are by no means the best, in that collection. One only (the Judgment of Desire) can be said to rise a little above mediocrity.
[From Lord Orford's works, vol. I. p. 552.]
HEN I was fair and young, then favour graced
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be; But I did scorn them all, and answer'd them there. fore,
Go, go!-go, seek some other-where, importune me no more!
How many weeping eyes I made to pine in wo, How many sighing hearts, I have not skill to show.