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But, by occafion hereof, many other Adventures are intermedled; but rather as accidents then in.. tendments: as the Love of Britomart, the Overthrow of Marinell, the Misery of Florimell
, the Vertuousnes of Belphoebe, the Lasciviousnes of Hellenora; and
many the like.
Thus much, Sir, I have briefly overronne to direct your understanding to the wel-head of the Hiftory; that, from thence gathering the whole intention of the conceit, ye may as in a handful gripe al the discourse, which otherwise may happily seem tedious and confused. So, humbly craving the continuance of your honourable favour towards me, and th' eternall establishment of your happines, I humbly take leave.
23. Ianuary 1589.
Yours most humbly affectionate,
ADDRESSED TO THE AUTHOR.
A Vifon upon this conceipt of the Faery Queene. ME thought I saw the grave where Laura lay, Within that Temple where the vestall flame
* The two Sonnets figned W. R. are understood to be written by Sir Walter Raleigh, who was certainly a poet of no mean fame : The Verses figned Hobynoll are the very elegant production of Gabriel Harvey, by which fignature he is described in the Shepherd's Calendar : The Poem figned R. S. may be at. tributed to Robert Southwell, or Richard Stanyhurst, or Richard Smith, or Richard Stapleton, who were poetical writers contemporary with Spenser; and, of whom, Stapleton and Smith are known as authors of other commendatory verses; yet Mr. Upton would aflign this little Poem to Robert Sackville, eldest son of Lord Buckhurst, the Sackvilles (he says) being not only patrons of learned men, but learned themselves : I am at a loss to whom to ascribe the Poem signed H. B., and can offer no other opinion in respect to the author of the next, fubfcribed W. L., than what the compiler of the Bibliographia Poetica has given, that it might be William Lille, the poetical translator of part of Du Bartas, and (which the compiler of the Bib. Poet. appears not to have known) of part of Heliodorus : The last Poem bears a signature assumed by several writers in the age of Elizabeth; and I am unable to fix on the author. TODD.
Ver. 1. Me thought I Saw &c.] Mr. Warton has noticed Milton's possible obligation to this elegant Sonnet of Sir Walter Raleigh, in his Sonnet on his deceased wife:
“ Methought I saw my late espoused saint &c.” But it has escaped Mr. Warton's obfervation, that there is a pleasing Sonnet, among others, prefixed to Drayton's Matilda, edit. 1594, entitled The visón of Matilda, and signed H. G. Esquire, which obviously requires to be mentioned:
“ Methought I faw vpon Matildas tombe
Was wont to burne; and passing by that way
Where Homers spright did tremble all for griefe,
Another of the same. THE prayse of meaner wits this Worke like profit
brings, As doth the Cuckoes fong delight when Philumena
fings. If thou hast formed right true Vertues face herein, Vertue herselfe can best discerne to whom they
written bin. If thou hast Beauty prayfd, let Her fole lookes
divine Judge if ought therein be amis, and mend it by Her
Ver. 10. Oblivion laid him down &c.] We are apt at first to refer “ him down” to Petrarke, “ Oblivion laid Petrarke down;" while the meaning is, “ Oblivion laid himself down." There is a particular beauty in the allegorical turn of this little composition in praise of the Faerie Queene, as it imitates the manner of the author whom it compliments. T. WARTON.
If Chastitie want ought, or Temperaunce her dew, Behold Her Princely mind aright, and write thy
Queene anew. Meane while She shall perceive, how far Her ver
tues fore Above the reach of all that live, or such as wrote
of yore: And thereby will excuse and favour thy good will ; Whose vertue can not be exprest but by an Angels
quill. Of me no lines are lov'd, nor letters are of price, (Of all which speak our English tongue,) but those of thy device.
To the learned Shepheard.
COLLYN, I see, by thy new taken taske,
Some sacred fury hath enricht thy braynes, That leades thy Muse in haughty verse to maske,
And loath the layes that longs to lowly swaynes; That liftes thy notes from Shepheardes unto Kinges: So like the lively Larke that mounting finges.
Thy lovely Rosalinde seemes now forlorne;
And all thy gentle flockes forgotten quight: Thy chaunged hart now holdes thy pypes in scorne,
Those prety pypes that did thy mates delight; Those trufty mates, that loved thee so well; Whom thou gav'st mirth, as they gave thee the bell.
Yet, as thou earst with thy sweete roundelayes
Didft ftirre to glee our laddes in homely bowers So moughtst thou now in these refyned layes
Delight the daintie eares of higher powers. And so mought they, in their deepe skanning skill, Alow and grace our Collyns flowing quill.
And faire befall that Faery Queene of thine !
Such high conceites into thy humble wittes,
So mought thy Redcrose Knight with happy hand
Victorious be in that faire Ilạnds right, (Which thou dost vayle in type of Faery land,)
Elizas bleffed field, that Albion hight: That shieldes her friendes, and warres her mightie
foes, Yet still with people, peace, and plentie, flowes.
But, iolly shepheard, though with pleasing stile
Thou feast the humour of the courtly trayne; Let not conceipt thy settled fence beguile,
Ne daunted be through envy or disdaine. Subiect thy doome to Her empyring spright, From whence thy Muse, and all the world, takes light.