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Summary of Book First 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 carly 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 characterized 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.


NO. 1 II Rouse Memnon's mother : Awaken the Dawn from the

dark Earth and the clouds where she is resting. Aurora in the old mythology is mother of Memnon (the East), and wife of Tithonus (the appearances of Earth and Sky during the last hours of Night). She leaves him every morning in renewed youth, to prepare the way for Phoebus (the Sun), whilst Tithonus re

mains in perpetual old age and grayness. 2 1..23 by Peñeus' stream : Phoebus loved the Nymph

Daphne whom he met by the river Peneus in the vale of
Tempe. This legend expressed the attachment of the
Laurel (Daphne) to the Sun, under whose heat the
tree both fades and flourishes.
It has been thought worth while to explain these
allusions, because they illustrate the character of the


Grecian Mythology, which arose in the Personification of natural phenomena, and was totally free from those debasing and ludicrous ideas with which, through Roman and later misunderstanding or perversion, it

has been associated. 2 II 1. 27 Amphion's lyre: He was said to have built the

walls of Thebes to the sound of his music.
1. 35 Night like a drunkard reels : Compare Romeo and
Juliet, Act II, Scene 3: The gray-eyed morn smiles'
&c.-It should be added that three lines, which ap-
peared hopelessly misprinted, have been omitted in

this Poem. 3 TV Time's chest: in which he is figuratively supposed to

lay up past treasures. So in Troilus, Act III, Scene 3,

• Time hath a wallet at his back' &c. 4 v A fine example of the highwrought and conventional

Elizabethan Pastoralism, which it would be ludicrous to criticize on the ground of the unshepherdlike or unreal character of some images suggested. Stanza 6

was probably inserted by Izaak Walton. 6 IX

This Poem, with xxv and xciv, is taken from Davison's
Rhapsody,' first published in 1602. One stanza has
been here omitted, in accordance with the principle
noticed in the Preface. Similar omissions occur in
The more serious abbreviation by which it has been
attempted to bring Crashaw's Wishes' and Shelley's
* Euganean Hills' within the limits of lyrical unity, is
commended with much diffidence to the judgment of
readers acquainted with the original pieces.
Presence in line 12 is here conjecturally printed for
present. A very few similar corrections of (it is
presumed) misprints have been made :-as thy for my,
XXII, 9: men for me, XLI, 3: viol for idol, ccLII, 43 : and
one for our, 90: locks for looks, CCLXXI, 5 : dome for doom,

CCLxxv, 25 :—with two or three more less important.
S XV This charming little poem, truly 'old and plain, and

dallying with the innocence of love’like that spoken of in Twelfth Night, is taken, with v, XVII, XX, xxxiv, and XL, from the most characteristic collection of Eliza

beth's reign, ‘England's Helicon,'first published in 1600. 10 Xvi Readers who have visited Italy will be reminded of

more than one picture by this gorgeous Vision of
Beauty, equally sublime and pure in its Paradisaical
naturalness. Lodge wrote it on a voyage to the
Islands of Terceras and the Canaries;' and he seems
to have caught, in those southern seas, no small
portion of the qualities which marked the almost
contemporary Art of Venice,-the glory and the glov
of Veronese, or Titian, or Tintoret, when he most
resembles Titian, and all but surpasses him.
The clear (1. 1) is the crystalline or outermost heaven
of the old cosmography. For resembling (1. 7) other

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coples give refining: the correct reading is perhaps revealing. For a fair there's fairer none : If you desire a Beauty, there is none more beautiful than

Rosaline. 12 xviii that fair thou owest : that beauty thou ownest. 15 xxiii the star Whose worth's unknown, although his height

be taken : apparently, Whose stellar influence is uncalculated, although his angular altitude from the plane of the astrolabe or artificial horizon used by

astrologers has been determined. 17 xxvII keel: skim. 18 XXIX

expense: waste. -XXX Nativity once in the main of light : when a star has

risen and entered on the full stream of light ;-an-
other of the astrological phrases no longer famili:
Crooked eclipses : as 'coming athwarti the Sun's
apparent course.
Wordsworth, thinking probably of the Venus' and
the ‘Lucrece,' said finely of Shakespeare: 'Shakes-
peare could not have written an Epic; he would
have died of plethora of thought.' This prodigality
of nature is exemplified equally in his Sonnets. The
copious selection here given, (which from the wealth
of the material, required greater consideration than
any other portion of the Editor's task),-contains
many that will not be fully felt and understood with-
out some earnestness of thought on the reader's part.

But he is not likely to regret the labour. 19 XXXI upon misprision growing: either, granted in error, or,

on the growth of contempt. XXXII With the tone of this Sonnet compare Hamlet's

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'Give me that man That is not passion's slave' &c. Shăkespeare's writings show the deepest sensitiveness to passion :-hence the attraction he felt in

the contrasting effects of apathy. 20 xxxili grame : sorrow. It was long before English Poetry

returned to the charming simplicity of this and a

few other poems by Wyat. 21 xxxiv Pandion in the ancient fable was father to Philomela. 23 XXXVIII ramage : confused noise. 23 xxxix censures : judges. 24 XL

By its style this beautiful example of old simplicity and feeling may be referred to the early years of Elizabeth. Late forgot: lately.

haggards: the least tameable hawks. 26 XLIV cypres or cyprus,-used by the old writers for crape;

whether from the French crespe or from the Island whence it was imported. Its accidental similarity in spelling to cypress has, here and in Milton's

Penseroso, probably confused readers. 28 XLVI, XLVII 'I never saw anything like this funeral dirge,'

says Charles Lamb, 'except the ditty which reminds Ferdinand of his drowned father in the Teinpesto

25 XLI

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As that is of the water, watery; so this is of the
earth, earthy. Both have that intenseness of feeling
which seems to resolve itself into the element which
it contemplates.'
crystal : fairness.
This 'Spousal Verse' was written in hononr of the
Ladies Elizabeth and Katherine Somerset. Although
beautiful, it is inferior to the 'Epithalamion' on
Spenser's own marriage, -omitted with great reluct-
ance as not in harmony with modern manners.
1. 2 feateously: elegantly.
1. 15 shend : put out. L. 39 a noble peer: Robert
Devereux, second Lord Essex, then at the height
of his brief triumph after taking Cadiz: hence the
allusion following to the Pillars of Hercules, placed
near Gades by ancient legend.
1. 11 Eliza : Elizabeth. L. 27 twins of Jove: the
stars Castor and Pollux: baldric, belt; the zodiac.
A fine example of a peculiar class of Poetry ;-
that written by thoughtful men who practised this
Art but little. Wotton's, LXXII, is another.. Jeremy
Taylor, Bishop Berkeley; Dr. Johnson, Lord Macau.
lay, have left similar specimens.



Summary of Book Second This division, embracing the latter eighty years of the seventeenth century, contains the close of our Early poetical style and the commencement of the Modern. In Dryden we see the first master of the new : in Milton, whose genius dominates here as Shakespeare's in the former book,-the crown and consummation of the early period. Their splendid Odes are far in advance of any prior attempts Spenser's excepted: they exhibit the wider and grander range which years and experience and the struggles of the time conferred on Poetry. Our Muses now give expression to political feeling, to religious thought, to a high philosophic statesmanship in writers such as Marvell, Herbert, and Wotton: whilst in Marvell and Milton, again, we find the first noble attempts at pure description of nature, destined in our own ages to be continued and equalled. Meanwhile the poetry of simple passion, although before 1660 often deformed by verbal fancies and conceits of thought, and afterward by levity and an artificial tone,-produced in Herrick and Waller some charming pieces of more finished art than the Elizabethan: until in the courtly compliments of Sedley it seems to exhaust itself, and lie almost dormant for the hundred years between the days of Wither and Suckling and the days of Burns and Cowper.—That the change from our early style to the modern brought with it at first a loss of nature and simplicity is undeniable: yet the far bolder and wider scope which Poetry took between 1620 and 1700, and the successful efforts then made to gain greater clearness in expression, in their results have been

no slight compensation.

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PAGE NO. 43 LXII 1. S whist, hushed. L. 33 Pan : used here for the Lord

of all. 46 1. 21 Lars and Lemures : household gods and spirits

of relations dead. Flamens (1. 24) Roman priests.
That twice-batter'd god (1. 29) Dagon.
1. 6 Osiris, the Egyptian god of Agriculture (here,
perhaps by confusion with Apis, figured as a Bull),
was torn to pieces by Typho and embalmed after
death in a sacred chest. This mythe, reproduced in
Syria and Greece in the legends of Thammuz, Adonis,
and perhaps Absyrtus, represents the annual death of
the Sun or the Year under the influences of the winter
darkness. Horus, the son of Osiris, as the New
Year, in his turn overcomes Typho.- It suited the
genius of Milton's time to regard this primaeval
poetry and philosophy of the seasons, which has a
further reference to the contest of Good and Evil in
Creation, as a malignant idolatry. Shelley's Chorus
in Hellas, ‘Worlds on worlds,'treats the subject in
a larger and sweeter spirit. L. 8 unshower'd grass:

as watered by the Nile only. 49 LXIV The Late Massacre: the Vaudois persecution, carried

on in 1655 by the Duke of Saroy. This 'collect in verse,' as it has been justly named, is the most mighty Sonnet in any language known to the Editor. Readers should observe that, unlike our sonnets of the sixteenth century, it is constructed on the original Italian or Provençal model,-unquestionably far superior to the imperfect form employed by

Shakespeare and Drummond.
50 LXV Cromwell returned from Ireland in 1650. Hence the

prophecies, not strictly fulfilled, of his deference to
the Parliament, in stanzas 21-24.
This Ode, beyond doubt one of the finest in our
language, and more in Milton's style than has been
reached by any other poet, is occasionally obseure
from imitation of the condensed Latin syntax. The
meaning of st. 5 is ‘rivalry or hostility are the same
to a lofty spirit, and limitation more hateful than
opposition. The allusion in st. 11 is to the old
physical doctrines of the nonexistence of a vacuum
and the impenetrability of matter :-in st. 17 to the
omen traditionally connected with the foundation of
the Capitol at Rome. The ancient belief that certain
years in life complete natural periods and are hence
peculiarly exposed to death, is introduced in st. 20 by

the word climacteric.
Lycidas. The person lamented is Milton's college

friend Edward King, drowned in 1637 whilst crossing
from Chester to Ireland.
Strict Pastoral Poetry was first written or perfected
by the Dorian Greeks settled in Sicily: but the con-

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