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Then lively doth he look," and salueth me again,
And saith, " My dear, how is it now, that you have all this
The anguish of my former woe" beginneth more extreme;
Some hidden place wherein to slake" the gnawing of my mind.'
In the lines which are supposed to have produced the bitter retort from his mistress, is a good description of coquetry, mixed at the same time with a very tender and touching air of regret.
In silence though I keep " such secrets to myself,
Yet do I see how she sometime" doth yield a look by stealth, As though it seem'd, I wis, "" I will not lose thee so;
When in her heart so sweet a thought " did never truly grow.' The epitaph on Clere, which was formerly in Lambeth church, is a pleasing specimen of Surrey's tenderness and compression. Clere was a young gentleman who followed him in the wars, both as friend and attendant; and is supposed to have received some mortal injury in saving the Earl's life.
Norfolk sprung thee, Lambeth holds thee dead,
And saw'st thy cousin * crowned in thy sight. * Anne Boleyn.
(Aye, me! while life did last, that league was tender)
Tracing whose steps thou sawest Kelsal blaze,
Landrecy burnt, and battered Boulogne render.
At Montreuil gates, hopeless of all recure,
Thine Earl, half dead, gave in thy hand his will;
Ere summers four times seven thou couldst fulfil.
But the best specimens of the pith and dignity of his grave style, are to be found in the pieces on his friend Wyatt. The following are the best passages of the longest of them. The illustration of that subtle and contemplative spirit's tendency to continual thinking, is exceedingly lively and forcible.
Wyatt esteth here, that quick could never rest,
And virtue sank the deeper in his breast;
Such profit he of envy could obtain:
A head, where wisdom mysteries did frame,
Was daily wrought, to turn to Britain's gain :
A mark, the which (unperfected for time)
Some may approach, but never none shall hit;
With virtue fraught, reposed, void of guile :
A valiant corpse, where force and beauty met.'
But of all the authenticated poems of Surrey, the most pleas ing and perfect is that which he wrote during one of his imprisonments in Windsor Castle. As it consists of recollections of his early youth, it has all the graces of his chivalrous spirit without the pride. It combines the three best features of his character, personal and poetical; his tender spirit of friendship, his taste for knightly gallantry, and his powers of description. We give
So cruel prison how could betide, alas!
As proud Windsor, where I in lust and joy
The large green courts, where we were wont to hove, t
And easy sighs, such as folks draw in love;
The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue,
The dances short, long tales of great delight,
With chear as though one should another whelm,
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
With rains availed, and swift y-breathed horse
The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
Give me account, where is my noble fere ?
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
In prison pine with bondage and restraint;
The only point in which this poem is inferior to the other principal ones of the Noble author is, that the style is not so clear and concise; but, like their masters the Italians, the poets of that and the subsequent age, paid much more attention to versification than is apt to be supposed; stretching it, indeed, into all its artifices, good and bad; and it is possible that Surrey may have intended, by the lax and tangled nature of some of these stanzas, to give the whole an air of careless
* Game of force is game which is run down.
desolation.' We must not forget to notice, that in this, as in most of his other pieces, the Earl has taken some delicate expressions from his predecessors, and the reader has seen that he copies whole sonnets out of Petrarch; yet it does not appear that he made any acknowledgement in so doing. At the same time, the charge is by no means exclusively applicable to him. It may be brought against all the poets, before and after, till, we suppose, reading became too common to leave them undetected. Chaucer is the only one we are aware of, who makes any references to his originals; and, what is curious enough, this seems to have been owing to a contrary custom, which often affected originals where none existed; so that perhaps an acknowledgement, when well founded, was to very doubtful purpose. The delightful romancers of Italy pretended they got all their materials out of the fabulous history of Archbishop Turpin. Cervantes, in mimicking them as well as their heroes, refers, with the same gravity, to that illustrious unknown, the Cid Hamet Benengeli. Yet it was but the other day that some of the largest and best pieces of Chaucer were discovered to be borrowed; one of them, the Palamon and Arcite, being taken from a poem of Boccaccio's, almost unknown even in Italy. Spenser and Milton borrow from the same country without any remorse; and, though it is pleasant to know that all three improved upon what they borrowed, and though the prevalence of the custom relieves them from the worst part of the charge of plagiarism, yet it is a proceeding, we confess, we do not well understand. The musicians and painters are still greater poachers; and, what alone would give us a high idea of the intellectual riches of the nation whom they plunder, their booty is almost all from the same place. The musicians have no more excuse than the poets for not making their acknowledgement. The painters, unluckily, have their apology; for we cannot well call upon them to quote a leg,—to hitch a note on a lady's bosom,-or put the turn of a countenance between inverted
There remains one poem to notice, which Dr Nott thinks himself authorized in pronouncing to be Surrey's, and which, if it were really his, might dispute the palm with any we have extracted. But we are not of the Doctor's opinion. We do not mean to pronounce the reverse; but it does not strike us that the style is like Surrey, as he asserts; and his chief reason for adjudging it to the Noble poet appears far from conclusive. It is here given,' he says, to Surrey, on the authority of Turberville, who, quoting a passage from it, attributes it' (that is to say, the passage) expressly to the Noble Surrey,'
Though Noble Surrey said that "chance wonders frame, And make things out of sight forgot, and thereof takes his name.' The line referred to by Turberville is,
'Chance, my friend, works wonders oft.' I. 169.
Nothing, we conceive, can be more inconclusive than thisespecially when it is considered that, in several of the miscellanies of those days, pieces taken from Tottel's Songs and Sonnets bear the name of Surrey, as if he were the author of them, when in reality nothing more was intended than a general reference to the volume in which the pieces cited were to be found. Our reasons for holding the poem not to be Surrey's, are, that it has a finer flow of various music than any of his authentic pieces ;-that it is much longer, and written in a more patient spirit of mental enjoyment;-that it consists of nothing but regular eight-syllable couplets, which is a measure he never appears to have used;-and, lastly, that with a more modern air of versification, it nevertheless has a closer eye to Chaucer. We will just quote a passage or two in fairness, and because they are well worth extracting. The poem is upon the Restless State of a Lover; and opens thus
The Sun, when he hath spread his rays,
The mountains high, and how they stand;