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THOMAS SACKVILLE: 15 3 6–1608. Thomas Sackville, while a student of law in the Inner Temple, composed the

play of Gorboduc, the earliest known specimen of tragedy in the language. He is said to have planned The Mirrour for Magistrates, a series of

nds, in which all the great in Englishi history were to pass in review before the reader, each telling his own story as a warning or mirror to rulers. Sackville's contributions to it, however, were confined to The Induction and The Complaint of the Duke of Buckingham, the former of which is characterised by a strength of description and a power of drawing allegorical characters scarcely inferior to Spenser. Sackville ultimately became Lord Buckhurst, Earl of Dorset, and Lord High Treasurer of England.

SLEEP. From The Induction to the Mirrour for Magistrates.

a

care

By him lay heavy Sleep, the cousin of Death,
Flat on the ground, and still as any stone,
A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath ;
Small keep took he, whom Fortune frowned on,
Or whom she lifted up into the throne
Of high renown, but, as a living death,
So dead-alive, of life he drew the breath :
The body's rest, the quiet of the heart,
The travel's ease, the still night's fere was he,
And of our life in earth the better part ;
Reaver of sight, and yet in whom we see
Things oft that tyde, and oft that never be ;
Without respect, esteeming equally
King Cræsus'1

pomp

and Irus’a poverty.

companion

bereaver

betide

1 A king of Lydia, noted for his riches.
? A beggar in the house of Ulysses at Ithaca.

A

OLD AGE. From the same.

the Fates

And next in order sad, Old Age we found :
His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind ;
With drooping cheer still poring on the ground,
As on the place where nature him assigned
To rest, when that the Sisters had untwined
His vital thread, and ended with their knife
The fleeting course of fast declining life :
There heard we him with broke and hollow plaint
Rue with himself his end approaching fast,
And all for nought his wretched mind torment
With sweet remembrance of his pleasures past,
And fresh delights of lusty youth forewaste;
Recounting which, how would he sob and shriek,
And to be young again of Jove beseek !
But, an the cruel fates so fixed be
That time forepast cannot return again,
This one request of Jove yet prayed he-
That, in such withered plight, and wretched pain,
As Elde, accompanied with her loathsome train,
Had brought on him, all were it woe and grief
He might a while yet linger forth his life,

wasted away

if

old age

And not so soon descend into the pit ;
Where death, when he the mortal corpse hath slain,
With reckless hand in grave doth cover it:
Thereafter never to enjoy again
The gladsome light, but, in the ground ylain,

laid
In depth of darkness waste and wear to nought,
As he had ne'er into the world been brought :
Crook-backed he was, tooth-shaken, and blear-eyed ;
Went on three feet, and sometime crept on four ;
With old lame bones, that rattled by his side ;
His scalp all piled, and he with elde forelore, deprived of hair
His withered fist still knocking at death's door;
Fumbling, and driveling, as he draws his breath ;
For brief, the shape and messenger of Death,

EDMUND SPENSER: 1553-1598.

Spenser, a native of London, was educated at Cambridge, and entered life

under the patronage of Sir Philip Sidney and the Earl of Leicester. To the former he dedicated his Shepherd's Calendar, a pastoral poem, in twelve eclogues, one for each month. Spenser accompanied Lord Grey, the Lord-deputy of Ireland, in the capacity of secretary, and soon afterwards received from Queen Elizabeth a grant of the estate of Kilcolman, near Cork. Here he wrote The Faerie Queene, an elaborate allegorical poem, designed to celebrate the principal virtues. These are personified by knights, whose characters and adventures are also made to represent historical personages and events. Besides The Faerie Queene, which is regarded as one of the greatest compositions in English poetry, Spenser wrote several other poems, and a political treatise on The State of Ireland. In consequence of Tyrone's rebellion, Spenser was forced to fly from his estate, and seek refuge in London, where he died a few months after, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Among English poets, Spenser is excelled only by Shakspeare, Chaucer, and Milton.

THE OPENING STANZAS OF THE FIRST BOOK OF

THE FAERIE QUEENE, Contayning the Legend of the Knight of the Red Crosse or of Holinesse. A gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine,

riding Y cladd in mightie armes and silver shielde, Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did remaine, The cruel markes of many a bloody fielde ; Yet armes till that time did he never wield : His angry

steede did chide his foming bitt,
As much disdayning to the curbe to yield :

Full iolly knight he seemed, and faire did sitt,
As one for knightly giusts and fierce encounters fitt. jousts

And on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore,
The deare remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he wore,
And dead, as living ever, him adored :
Upon his shield the like was also scored,
For soveraine hope, which in his helpe he had.
Right, faithfull, true he was in deede and word ;

But of his cheere did seeme too solemne sad ;
Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.

feared 1 The earth's.

Upon a great adventure he was bond,
That greatest Gloriana to him gave
(That greatest glorious queene of Faery lond),
To winne him worshippe, and her grace to have,
Which of all earthly thinges he most did crave :
And ever, as he rode, his hart did earne
To

prove his puissance in battell brave Upon his foe, and his new force to learne ; Upon his foe, a Dragon horrible and stearne.

A lovely Ladie rode him faire beside,
Upon a lowly asse more white then snow;

than
Yet she much whiter ; but the same did hide
Under a vele, that wimpled was full low ; drawn down
And over all a blacke stole shee did throw :
As one that inly mournd, so was she sad,
And heavie sate upon her palfrey slow;

Seemed in heart some hidden care she had ; And by her in a line a milke-white lambe she lad.

a

a

So pure and innocent, as that same lambe,
She was in life and every vertuous lore ;
And by descent from royall lynage came
Of ancient kinges and queenes, that had of yore
Their scepters stretcht from east to westerne shore,
And all the world in their subjection held ;
Till that infernal Feend with foule uprore

Forwasted all their land, and them expeld;
Whom to avenge, she had this Knight from far compeld.

Behind her farre away a Dwarfe did lag,
That lasie seemd, in being ever last,
Or wearied with bearing of her bag
Of needments at his backe. Thus as they past,
The day with cloudes was suddeine overcast,
And angry Iove an hideous storme of raine
Did poure into his lemans 1 lap so fast,

sweetheart's That everie wight to shrowd it did constrain ; And this faire couple eke to shroud themselves were fain. also

Enforst to seeke some covert nigh at hand,
A shadie grove not farr away they spide,
That promist ayde the tempest to withstand ;
Whose loftie trees, yclad with sommer's pride,
Did spred so broad, that Heavens light did hide,
Not perceable with power

of

any starr:
And all within were pathes and alleies wide,

With footing worne, and leading inward farr :
Faire harbour that them seems ; so in they entred ar.

And foorth they passe, with pleasure forward led,
Ioying to heare the birdes sweete harmony,
Which, therein shrouded from the tempest dred,
Seemd in their song to scorne the cruell sky.
Much can they praise the trees so straight and hy,
The sayling pine ; the cedar proud and tall ;
The vine-propp elme ; the poplar never dry ;

The builder oake, sole king of forrests all ;
The aspine good for staves; the

; cypresse

funerall ;

high

The laurell, meed of mighty conquerours
And poets sage; the firre that weepeth still ;
The willow, worne of forlorne paramours ;
The eugh, obedient to the benders will ;

yew
The birch for shaftes ; the sallow for the mill;
The mirrhe sweete-bleeding in the bitter wound;
The warlike beech ; the ash for nothing ill ;

The fruitful olive ; and the platane round; plane-tree The carver holme ; the maple seeldom inward sound.

Led with delight, they thus beguile the way,
Untill the blustring storme is overblowne ;
When, weening to returne whence they did stray,
They cannot finde that path, which first was showne,
But wander too and fro in waies unknowne,
Furthest from end then, when they neerest weene,
That makes them doubt their wits be not their owne :

So many pathes, so many turnings seene,
That, which of them to take, in diverse doubt they been.

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