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COMMENDATORY VERSES

ON SPENSER,

IF

music and sweet poetry agree,

As they must needs, the sister and the brother, THE ENGLISH SHEPHERDS ROUND THE THRONE Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,

OF THETIS:
Because thou lov'st the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch

all their pipes were still; Upon the Inte doth ravish human sense ; And Colin Clout began to tune his quill Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such,

With such deepe art, that every one was given As, pass ng all conceit, needs no defence. To thinke Apollo (newly slid from Heaven) Thou lov'st to hear tbe sweet melodious sound Had tane a humane shape to win his love,

That Phoebus' lute, the queen of music, makes ; Or with the westerne swaines for g'ory strove. And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd,

He sung th' heroicke knights or fa'ery land Whenas himself to singing he betakes.

In lines so elegant, of such command, One god is god of both as poets feign;

That had the Thracian plaid but halfe so well One knight loves both, and both in thee remain. He had not left Furydice in Hell.

From Shakspeare's Passionate Pilgrim, first But, ere he ended his melodious song,
published in 1599.

An host of angels flew the clouds among,
And rapt the swap from his attentive mates,
To make him one of their associates (praise
In Heaveu's faire quire; where now he sings the

Of him that is the first and last of dayes.
Live, Spenser! ever, in thy Fairy Queene;

Divinest Spencer! heav'n-bred, happy Muse! Whose like (for deep conceit) was never seene.

Would any power into my braine i: fuse Crown'd mayst thou be, unto thy more renowne,

Thy worth, or a'l that poets had before, As king of poets, with a lawrell crowne !

I could not prai e till thou deservist no more.
From a
Remembrance of some English

From Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, 1616.
Poets," at the end of R. Barnfield's
Lady Pecunia, 4to. Lond. 1605.

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OF EDMOND SPENCER.

Our Spencer was a prodigie of wit,

Who hath the Fairy Queen so stately writ. AD EDM. SPENCER, HOMERUM BRITANNICUM. Yield, Grecian poets, to his nobler style;

And, anc ent Rome, submit unto our ile. Si nos Troiani, nova nobis Troia sit : Ipse

You, modern wits, of all the four-fold Earth, (Ut Græcis suus est) noster Homerus eris.

From loannis Stradlingi tpigrammat. Libb. (Whom princes have made laureates for your
iv, 12mo. Lond. 1607. Lib. i. p. 21.

Give our great Spencer place, who hath out-song
Phæbus hiinself with all his learned throng.

From sir Aston Cukain's Poems, 1658.

AD SPENCER ET DANIEL, CELEBERRIMOS

POETAS.

Dividitis primas inter vos, atque secundas:
Tertius à vobis quisquis erit, sat habet.

Ibid. Lib. iv. p. 165.

Though daring Milton sits sublime,

In Spencer native Muses play;
Not yet shall Waller yield to time,
Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay.

From Pope's Imitations of Horace.

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Next I assay the quill of Mantua's swain Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget,

Of bolder pote, and of more courtly grace: The gentle Spenser, Fancy's pleasing son,

Ah, foolish emulation! They disdain Who like a copious river, pour'd his song

My awkward skill, and push me from the place. O'er all the mazes of enchanted ground;

Yet boast not, thou of Greece, nor thou of Rome; Nor thee, his ancient master, laughing sage, My sweeter Colin Clout outpipes you both at home. Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verse,

By the same, ibid. p. 98.
Well moraliz'd shines through the gothic cloud
Of time and language o'er thy genius thrown.
From Thomson's Summer.

Here Chaucer first bis comic vein display'd,
And merry tales in homely guise convey'd ;
Unpolish'd beauties grac'd the artless song;

Though rude the diction, yet the sense was strong.
ON THE CANTOS OF SPENSER'S FAIRY QUEEN, To smoother strains, chastising tuneless prose,
LOST IN THE PASSAGE FROM IRELAND.

In plain magnificence great Spencer rose: Wo worth the man, who in ill hour assay'd

In forms distinct, in each creating line, To tempt that western frith with ventrous keel;

The virtues, vices, and the passions shine: And seek what Heaven, regardful of our weal,

Subservient Nature aids the poet's rage, Had hid in fogs and night's eternal shade:

And with herself inspires each nervous page. Ill-starr'd Hibernia! well art thou appaid

From The Progress of Poetry, in Fawke's For all the woes which Britain made thee feel

and Woty's Poetical Calendar, vol. ü. By Henry's wrath, and Pembroke's conquering steel,

p. 22. edit. 1763.
Who saok'd thy towns, and castles disarray'd:
No longer now, with idle sorrow, mourn
Thy plunder'd wealth or liberties restrain'd,
Nor deem their victories thy loss or shame;

Through Pope's soft song though all the graces Severe revenge on Britain in thy turn,

breathe, And ample spoils thy treacherous waves obtain'd,

And happiest art adorn his Attic page;
Which sunk one half of Spenser's deathless fame.

Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow,
From the Sonnets of Tho. Edwards, esq. 1758. As, at the root of mossy trunk reclin'd,

In magic Spenser's wildly.warbled song
I see deserted Una wander wide

Through wasteful solitudes, and lurid heaths,
GARDEN INSCRIPTIONS.

Weary, forlorn; than when the fated fair"

Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames
ON SPENSER'S FAERIE QUEENE.

Lanches in all the lustre of brocade,

Amid the splendours of the laughing Sun: Lo! here the place for contemplation made,

The gay description palls upon the sense, For sacred musing, and for solemn song!

And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss. Hence, ye profane! nor violate the shade:

From the Rev. T. Warton's Pleasures of Come, Spenser's awful genius, come along;

Melancholy.
Mix with the music of the aërial throng!

Oh! breathe a pensive stillness through my breast,
Wbile balmy breezes pant the leaves among,
And sweetly sooth my passions into rest.

Though join'd by magic skill, with many a rime, Hint purest thoughts, in purest colours drest;

The Druid frame, unhonour'd, falls a prey Even such as angels prompt, in golden dreams,

To the slow vengeance of the wisard Time, To holy hermit, high in raptures blest,

And fade the British characters away ; His bosom burning with celestial beams :

Yet Spenser's page, that chants in verse sublime Ne less the raptures of my summer day,

Those chiefs, shall live, unconscious of decay! If Spenser deign with me to moralize the lay.

From the Rev. T. Warton's Sonnet on King
By the Rev. William Thompson, M. A. late

Arthur's Round Table at Winchester.
Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford. From
Fawke's and Woty's Poetical Calendar,
vol, viii. p. 97. edit. 1763.

OVE, SENT TO MR. UPTON, ON HIS EDITION OF

THE FAERIE QUEENE.

As oft, reclin'd on Cherwell's shelving shore, ON SPENSER'S SHEPHERD'S CALENDAR.

I trac'd romantic Spenser's moral page,

And sooth'd my sorrows with the dulcet lore Ar large beneath this floating foliage laid

Which Fancy fabled in her elfin age; Of circling green, the crystal running by, Much would t grieve, that envious Time so soon (How soft the murmur, and how cool the shade!) O'er the lov'd strain had cast his dim disguise;

While gentle-whispering winds their breath apply As lowering clouds, in April's brightest noon,
To 'swage the fever of the sultry sky;

Mar the pure splendours of the purple skies.
Smit with the sweet Sicilian's simple strain,
I try the rural reed, but fondly try
To match his pastoral airs and happy vein:

· Pope's Belinda, Rape of the Lock.

Sage Upton came, from every mystic tale The loves of shepherds, and their harmless cheer

To chase the gloom that hung o'er fairy ground : In every month that decks the varied year. His wisard hand unlocks each guarded vale, Now on the fute with equal grace he play'd,

And opes each flowery forest's magic bound. And his soft numbers died along the shade; Thus, never knight with mortal arms essay'd The skilful dancers to his accents mov'd, The castle of proud Busyrane to quell,

And every voice his easy tune approv'd; Till Britomart her beamy shield display'd,

Ev'n Hyla, blooming maid, admir'd the strain, And broke with golden spear the mighty spell: While through her bosom shot a pleasing ain. The dauntless maid with hardy step explor'd Now all was hush'd: no rival durst arise ;

Each room, array'd in glistering imagery; Pale were their cheeks, and full of tears their eyes: And through the enchanted chamber, richly stor’d, Menalcas, rising from his flowery seat,

Saw Cupid's stately maske come sweeping by.— Thus, with a voice majestically sweet, At this, where'er, in distant regions sheen, [bough, Address'd th' attentive throng; “ Arcadians, hear!

She roves, embower'd with many a spangled | The sky grows dark, and beamy stars appear: Mild Una, lifting her majestic mien,

Haste to the vale; the bridal bowers prepare, Braids with a brighter wreath her radiant brow. And hail with joy Menalcas'tuneful heir. At this, in hopeless sorrow drooping long,

Thou, Tityrus, of swains the pride and grace, Her painted wings Imagination plumes ;

Shalt clasp soft Daphne in thy fond embrace:
Pleas'd that her laureate votary's rescued song And thou, young Colin, in thy willing arms
Its native charm and genuine grace resumes. Shalt fold my Hyla, fair in dative charms:
By the Rev. T. Warton. O'er these sweet plains divided empire hold,

And to your latest race transmit an age of gold.
What splendid visions rise before my sight,

And fill my aged bosom with delight!
THE CONTEST OF THE SHEPHERDS FOR THE

Henceforth of wars and conquest shall you sing, DAUGHTERS OF MENALCAS,

Arms and the man in every clime shall ring: He (Tityrus) ended; and, as rolling billows loud, Thy Muse, bold Maro, Tityrus no more, His praise resounded from the circling crowd. Shall tell of chiefs that left the Phrygian shore, The clamorous tumult softly to compose,

Sad Dido's love, and Venus' wandering son, High in the midst the plaintive Colin rose, The Latians vanquish’d, and Lavinia won. Born on the lilied banks of royal Thame,

And thou, O Colin, Heaven-defended youth, Which oft had rung with Rosalinda's name; Shalt hide in fiction's veil the charms of truth; Fair, yet neglected; neat, yet unadorn'd;

Thy notes the sting of sorrow shall beguile, The pride of dress, and flowers of art, he scorn'd: And smooth the brow of anguish till it smile; And, like the nymph who fir'd his youthful breast, Notes, that a sweet Elysian dream can raise, Green were bis buskins, green his simple vest : And lead th' enchanted soul through fancy's With careless ease his rustic lays he sung,

maze; And melody flow'd smoothly from his tongue: Thy verse shall shine with Gloriana's name, Of June's gay fruits, and August's corn he told, And fill the world with Britain's endless fame.” The bloom of April, and December's cold;

From sir William Jones's Arcadia.

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