Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

255

Thy Lord shall never die, the whiles this verse Shall live, and surely it shall live for ever: For ever it shall live, and shall rehearse His worthie praise, and vertues dying never, Though death his foule doo from his bodie fever; And thou thy felfe herein shalt also live; Such grace

the heavens doo to my verses give.

260

“ Ne shall bis Sister, ne thy Father die,
Thy Father, that good Earle of rare renowne,
And noble Patrone of weake povertie;
Whose great good deeds in countrey, and in

towne,

Have purchast him in heaven an happie crowne: Where he now liveth in eternall blis, 265 And left his sonne t' ensue those steps of his,

“ He, noble Bud, his Grandfires livelie hayre,
Under the shadow of thy countenaunce
Now ginnes to shoote up fast, and flourish fayre
In learned artes, and goodlie gouvernaunce, 270
That him to highest honour shall advaunce.
Brave Impe of Bedford, grow apace in bountie,
And count of wifedome more than of thy countie!

Ver. 260.

his Sister,] Lady Mary Sidney. OLDYS. Ver. 261.

that goud Earle &c.] This Earl of Bedford died in 1585. TODD.

Ver. 267. He, noble Bud, &c.] Edward Lord Ruffel, grandson of Francis Earl of Bedford, succeeded in the Earldom; his father Francis having been lain by the Scots. OLDYS.

“ Ne may I let thy husbands Sister die,
That goodly Ladie, fith The eke did spring 275
Out of his stocke and famous familie,
Whose praises I to future age

doo fing;
And foorth out of her happie womb did bring
The sacred brood of learning and all honour;
In whom the heavens powrde all their gifts

upon her.

280

“ Moft gentle spirite breathed from above,
Out of the bosome of the Makers blis,
In whom all bountie and all vertuous love
Appeared in their native propertis,
And did enrich that noble breast of his
With treasure passing all this worldës worth,
Worthie of heaven it felfe, which brought it forth.

285

“ His blessed fpirite, full of power divine
And influence of all celestiall grace,
Loathing this linfull earth and earthlie Nime, 290
Fled backe too soone unto his native place;
Too foone for all that did his love embrace,
Too soone for all this wretched world, whom he
Robd of all right and true nobilitie.

Ver. 275. That goodly Ladie, &c.] Lady Mary Sidney, mother of Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke.

OLDYS. Ver. 285.

that noble breast of his] Sir Philip Sidney. OLDYS.

Yet, ere his happie foule to heaven went 295
Out of this fleshlie gaole, he did devise
Unto his heavenlie Maker to present
His bodie, as a spotles facrifife;
And chose, that guiltie hands of enemies
Should powre forth th' offring of his guiltles

blood :
So life exchanging for his countries good.

1

1

300

[ocr errors]

“O noble spirite, live there ever blessed,
The worlds late wonder, and the heavens new

ioy;
Live ever there, and leave me here distressed
With mortall cares and cumbrous worlds

anoy

!
But, where thou dost that happines enioy, 306
Bid me, O bid me quicklie come to thee,
That happie there I maie thee alwaies see !

310

“ Yet, whileft the Fates affoord me vitall breath,
I will it spend in speaking of thy praise,
And sing to thee, untill that timelie death
By heavens doome doo ende

my

earthlie daies :
Thereto doo thou my humble spirite raise,
And into me that sacred breath inspire,
Which thou there breathest perfect and entire.

Ver. 297. Unto his heavenlie Maker to present

His bodie as a Spotles facriffe;] Taken from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, xii. 1. TODD.

56 Then will I fing; but who can better sing 316
Than thine owne Sister, peerles Lady bright,
Which to thee sings with deep harts forrowing,
Sorrowing tempered with deare delight,
That her to heare I feele

my

feeble spright 320 Robbed of sense, and ravished with ioy, O sad ioy made of mourning and anoy !

“ Yet will I sing; but who can better sing Than thou thy felfe, thine owne felfes valiance, That, whilst thou livedst, madest the forrests ring,

Ver. 316.

but who can better fing, Than thine owne Sister, &c.] Mary, Countess of Pembroke. She translated, from the French, Philip Mornay's Discourse of Life and Death; and also The Tragedie of Antonie. But her greatest work, says Granger, (Biog. Hift. James I. Class IX.) was a Translation of the Psalms, which is said to be preserved in manuscript in the library at Wilton, and in which she is supposed to have been aflifted by Dr. Babington, afterwards bishop of Worcester, who was chaplain in her family, A. Wood's account of this Translation is different ; for he afcribes it to Sir P. Sidney. However, she was addressed on this subject by a profesed poet, such as he was, of her own time: the following work being dedicated to her : “ The Counteffe of Pembrokes Emanuel. Conteining the Natiuity, Paffion, Buriall, and Resurrection of Christ: togeather with certaine Psalmes of Dauid. All in English Hexameters. By Abraham Fravnce. Impr. at London, &c. 1591." The same versifier has dedicated other compositions to this Countefs.

TODD. but who can better png Than thou thy felfe, &c.] Sidney is undoubtedly often elegauit, lively, and impreslive as a poet. His romance, entitled The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, which is alluded to in the latter part of this Itanza, had been lately published, (the first edition having been printed in 1590,) and had been received with uncommon satisfaction. I have seen the fourteenth edition of this voluminous romance; into which indeed

Ver. 323.

And fields resownd, and flockes to leap and daunce,

326 And shepheards leave their lambs unto mif

chaunce, To runne thy shrill Arcadian Pipe to heare: O happie were those dayes, thrice happie were !

332

“ But now more happie thou, and wretched wee,
Which want the wonted sweetnes of thy voice,
Whiles thou now in Elysian fields fo free,
With Orpheus, and with Linus, and the choice
Of all that ever did in rimes reioyce,
Conversest, and dooft heare their heavenlie

layes,
And they heare thine, and thine doo better

praise.

335

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

340

56 So there thou livest, singing evermore,
And here thou livest, being ever song
Of us, which living loved thee afore,
And now thee worship mongst that blessed

throng
Of heavenlie Poets and Heroës strong.
So thou both here and there immortall art,
And everie where through excellent defart.
he who looks with attention will find many pleasing descriptions
of pastoral life, many rich descriptions of higher mood," and
many fagacious observations; yet I cannot deny that a reader
of The Arcadia will have to wade through much that is un-
interesting and much that is repulsive. TODD.

« AnteriorContinuar »