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As midsummer flower,
Steadfast of thought,
EARL OF SURREY. HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY, was the grandson of the Duke of Norfolk who, for his services in the battle of Flodden, regained the title of Duke, lost by his father at Bosworth, where 'Dickon, his master, was bought and sold.' Great obscurity hangs over the personal history of the accomplished Surrey, and the few known facts have been blended with a mass of fable. He was born about the year 1517; in 1526 was made cup-bearer to the king; in 1532 accompanied Henry on his famous visit to Boulogne; and the same year was contracted in marriage to Lady Francis Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford. On-account of the youth of Surrey, the marriage, however, did not take place till 1535. In March 1536 his son Thomas was born. In 1512 he accompanied his father, commander of the English forces, to Scotland, and assisted in the campaign which deVistated the Scottish Borders. Surrey was present at the burning of Kelso. In the libsequent war with France, Surrey was again distinguished; but the army he commaxled was overpowered by numbers near St. Etienne in January 1545-6, and shortly aftewards he was virtually recalled. The enmity of Lord Hertford is supposed to have aggravated the royal displeasure towards Surrey. In December 1546 he was committed to the Tower; lie was tried on 13th January 1545-6, and executed on the 21st. Henry VIII. died a week afterwares, on the 28th. The charge against Surrey was that he had assumed the royal arms-the arms of Edward the Confessor. When he did so Henry was on his deathbed, and the assumprion was part ofi scheme to claim the regency for tlie Howards instead of the Seymours. The poems of this chivalrous and unfortunate nobleman were not printed until ten years after his death. They were published in a volume entitled 'Tuttel's Miscellany,'1557, the first collection of English poetry by different writers, and which ran through six editions in seven years. The love-strains of Surrey, addressed to some unknown Geraldine, were adopted by Nash, the well-known dramatic poet and miscellaneous writer, as the basis of a series of romantic fictions, in which the noble poet was represented as travelling in Italy, proclaiming the beauty of his Geraldine, and defending her matchless charms in tilt and tournament. At the court of the emperor, Surrey was said to have met with the famous magician, Cornelius Agrippa, who shewed him, in a necromantic mirror, his Geraldine languishing on a couch reading one of his sonnets! The whole of this knightly legend was a fabrication by Nash, but it long held possession of the popular mind. All that is known of the poet's Geraldine is contained in this sonnet:
From Tuscane came my lady's worthy race;
Happy is he that can obtain her love! The description is here so minute and specific, that, if actually real, the lady must bave been known to many of the readers of Surrey's manuscript verses. Horace Walpole endeavoured to prove that the Geraldine of the poet was Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald; but Lady Elizabeth was only twelve or thirteen years old when Surrey 18 supposed to have fallen in love with her. Mr. Hallam has said that Surrey did much for his own country and his native language, but that his taste is more striking than his genius. His poetry is certainly remarkable for correctness of style and purity of expression. He was among the first, if not the very first, to introduce blank verse into our poetry, and to reject the pedantry which overdows in the pages of his predecessors. Prisoner in Windsor, he recounteth his Pleasure there passed.
So crrel prison how could betide, alas!
As prud Windsor ? where I, in lust and joy,
In greater feast than Priam's son of Troy:
The arge green courts where we were wont to love, (1)
And easy sighs such as folk draw in love
The dances short, long tales of great delight,
Where each of us did plead the other's right.
With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
Of foaming horse, (2) with swords and friendly hearts;
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts;
I Horor, loiter.
2 A lover tied tho sleove of his mistress on the head of his borso. 1 Reins dropped.
With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of niinbleness and strength,
Our tender limbs that yet shot up iu length:
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise.
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays:
With reins availed (1) and swift y breathed horse;
Where we did chase the fearful hart cf force.
Wherewith, alas, reviveth in my breast,
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest;
The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
Wherewith we passed the winter uights away.
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue,
Upsupped have, thus I my plaint renew :
Give me accounts, where is iny noble fere; (2)
To other leaf, ) but unto me most dear :
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
In prisou pine with bondage and restraint,
Hou no Age is content with his Own Estate, and how the Age of Chil
dren is the happiest, if they had skill to understand it.
Biro live in
Laid in my quiet bed,
In study as it were,
A heap of thoughts appear.
So lively in mine eyes,
As cause of thoughts did rise.
In thought how oft that he
A tall young man to be.
The young man eke that feels
ilis bones with pains opprest,
To live and lie at rest :
His end draw on so sore,
To live so much the more !
To see how all these three,
Would chop and change degree:
And musivo thus. think
* Bids thee lay hand, and feel The case is very strange.
Them hanging on my chin.
The third now cominy i
Hang up, therefore, the bit
Of thy young wanton time;
The happiest life detine.'
Whereat I sighed, and said: The gates of my right way,
'Farewell, my wonted joy, That opes and shuts as I do speak,
Truss up thy pack, and trudge from Do thus unto me say:
To every little boy ; "The white and hoarish hairs,
. And tell them thus for me, The messengers of age,
Their time must happy is, Thai show, j lines of true belief,
If to their time they reason had,
To know the truth of this.'
The mean diet, nu delicate fare;
True wisdom joined with simpleness; The riches Lift, not got with pain;
The night discharged of all cie The fruitful ground, the quiet mind, Where wine the wit may not oppress. The equai friend, no grudge, no strife; The faithful wife, without debate; No charge of rule, nor governance;
Such sleeps as may beguile the ni:-ht; Without disease, the healthful life;
Contented with thine own estate, The household of continuance:
Ne wish for Death, ne fear his might. We add a few lines of Surrey's blank verse, from his translation of the Second Book of the. Æneid':
It was the time when, granted from the gods,
BIR THOMAS WYATT. In · Tottel's Miscellany' were also first printer the poems of SIR THOMAS WYATT (1503-1542), a distinguished courtier and man of wit, who was fortunate enough to escape the capricious tyranny of Henry VIII., and who may be said to have died in the king's service. While travelling on a mission to France, and riding fast in the heat of summer, he was attacked with a fever that proved mortal. Wyatt enter.
1 The participle of the Saxon verb to bolge, which gives the derivation of bulge. – Tyrwhitt's Chaucer,
tained a secret passion for Anne Boleyn, whom he has commemorated in his verse. His satires are more spirited than Surrey's, and one of his lighter pieces, his ‘Ode to a Lute,' is a fine amatory effusion. He was, however, inferior to his noble friend in general poetical power.
The Lover's Lute cannot be blamed, though it sing of his Lady's Un
Blame not my Lute! for he must sound
Of this or that as liketh me;
To give such tunes as pleaseth me;
Blame not my Lute !
My Lute, alas ! does not offend,
Though that perforce he must agree
To sing to them that heareth me;
Blame not my Lute!
My Lute and strings may not deny,
But as I strike they must obey;
But wreak thyself some other way :
Blame not my late!
Spite asketh spite, and changing change,
And falsed faith must needs be known;
Of right it must abroad be blown;
Blame not my Lute!
Blame but thyself that hast misdone,
And well deserved to have blame:
And then my Lute shall sound that same;
Blame not my Lute!
Farewell ! anknown ; for though thou break
My strings in spite with great disdain,
Strings for to string my Lute again :
Blame not my Luta!