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elevated and permanent forms. And if this be true of even mediocre poetry, for how much more are we indebted to the best! Like the fabled fountain of the Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this Art can confer on each period of life its appropriate blessing: on early years Experience, on maturity Calm, on age Youthfulness. Poetry gives treasures "more golden than gold," leading us in higher and healthier ways than those of the world, and interpreting to us the lessons of Nature. But she speaks best for herself. Her true accents, if the plan has been executed with success, may be heard throughout the following pages :—wherever the Poets of England are honoured, wherever the dominant language of the world is spoken, it is hoped that they will find fit audience.
F. T. PALGRAVE.
The Golden Treasury.
THE Elizabethan Poetry, as it is rather vaguely termed, forms the substance of this Book, which contains pieces from Wyat under Henry VIII. to Shakespeare midway through the reign of James I., and Drummond who carried on the early manner to a still later period. There is here a wide range of style ;-from simplicity expressed in a language hardly yet broken in to verse, -through the pastoral fancies and Italian conceits of the strictly Elizabethan time,-to the passionate reality of Shakespeare: yet a general uniformity of tone prevails. Few readers can fail to observe the natural sweetness of the verse, the single-hearted straightforwardness of the thoughts :-nor less, the limitation of subject to the many phases of one passion, which then characterised our lyrical poetry,-unless when, as with Drummond and Shakespeare, the "purple light of Love" is tempered by a spirit of sterner reflection.
It should be observed that this and the following Summaries apply in the main to the Collection here presented, in which (besides its restriction to Lyrical Poetry) a strictly representative or historical Anthology has not been aimed at. Great Excellence, in human art as in human character, has from the beginning of things been even more uniform than Mediocrity, by virtue of the closeness of its approach to Nature:-and so far as the standard of Excellence kept in view has been attained in this volume, a comparative absence of extreme or temporary phases in style, a similarity of tone and
manner, will be found throughout :-something neither modern nor ancient, but true in all ages, and like the works of Creation, perfect as on the first day.
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
The palm and may make country houses gay,
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Spring! the sweet Spring!
2. SUMMONS TO LOVE.
And paint the sable skies
With azure, white, and red:
Rouse Memnon's mother from her Tithon's bed
The nightingales thy coming eachwhere sing:
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead;
In larger locks than thou wast wont before,
And emperor-like decore
With diadem of pearl thy temples fair :
Chase hence the ugly night
Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.
-This is that happy morn,
That day, long-wished day
(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn
And fates my hopes betray),
Which, purely white, deserves
An everlasting diamond should it mark.
My Love, to hear and recompense my love.
But show thy blushing beams,
And thou two sweeter eyes
Shalt see than those which by Penéus' streams
Did once thy heart surprize.
Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise:
A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre,
Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels:
And nothing wanting is, save She, alas!
W. DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN.
3. TIME AND LOVE.
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate—
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose But weep to have that which it fears to lose. W. SHAKESPEARE.
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
O how shall summer's honey breath hold out
O fearful meditation! where, alack!
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?