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Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
Is lovely yet ;
MUSIC, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory -
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
P. B. Shelley
Summary of Book First T!
HE Elizabethan Poetry, as it is rather vaguely termed, forms
the substance of this Book, which contains pieces from Wyat under Henry VIII to Shakespeare midway through the reign of James I, and Drummond who carried on the early manner to a still later period. There is here a wide range of style ; from simplicity expressed in a language hardly yet broken in to verse, — through the pastoral fancies and Italian conceits of the strictly Elizabethan time, - to the passionate reality of Shakespeare : yet a general uniformity of tone prevails. Few readers can fail to observe the natural sweetness of the verse, the single-hearted straightforwardness of the thoughts : - nor less, the limitation of subject to the many phases of one passion, which then characterized our lyrical poetry, - unless when, as with Drummond and Shakespeare, the 'purple light of Love'is tempered by a spirit of sterner reflection.
It should be observed that this and the following Summaries apply in the main to the Collection here presented, in which (besides its restriction to Lyrical Poetry) a strictly representative or historical Anthology has not been aimed at. Great Excellence, in human art as in human character, has from the beginning of things been even more uniform than Mediocrity, by virtue of the closeness of its approach to Nature :- and so far as the standard of Excellence kept in view has been attained in this volume, a comparative absence of extreme or temporary phases in style, a similarity of tone and manner, will be found throughout :- something neither modern nor ancient, but true . in all ages, and like the works of Creation, perfect as on the first day.
dark Earth and the clouds where she is resting. Au-
ciated. 3 II 1. 1 Amphion's lyre : He was said to have built the
walls of Thebes to the sound of his music.
Poem. 4 IV Time's chest: in which he is figuratively supposed to
lay up past treasures. So in Troilus, Act III. Scene 3,
"Time hath a wallet at his back' &c. v A fine example of the highwrought and conventional
Elizabethan Pastoralism, which it would be ludicrous to criticise on the ground of the unshepherdlike or unreal character of some images suggested. Stanza 6 was
probably inserted by Izaak Walton. 8 IX This Poem, with xxv and xciv, is taken from Davison's
‘Rhapsody,' first published in 1602. · One stanza has been here omitted, in accordance with the principle noticed in the Preface. Similar omissions occur in XLV, LXXXVII, C, CXXVIII, CLXV, CCXXVII, CCXXXV. The more serious abbreviation by which it has been attempted to bring Crashaw's Wishes' and Shelley's
‘Euganean Hills' within the limits of lyrical unity, is commended with much diffidence to the judgment of readers acquainted with the original pieces. Presence in line 12 is here conjecturally printed for present. A very few similar corrections of (it is presumed) misprints have been made :-as thy for my, XXII, 9: men for me, XLI, 3: viol for idol, ccLII, 43 : and one for our, 90 : locks for looks, CCLXXI, 5: dome for doom, ccLXXV, 23:- with two or three more less
important. XV This charming little poem, truly “old and plain, and
dallying with the innocence of love 'like that spoken of in Twelfth Night, is taken, with V, XVII, XX, XXXIV, and xl, from the most characteristic collection of Elizabeth's reign, 'England's Helicon,' first
published in 1600.
more than one picture by this gorgeous Vision of
Rosaline. 15* XVIII
that fair thou owest: that beauty thou ownest. 19 XXIII
the star Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken : apparently, Whose stellar influen calculated, although his angular altitude from the plane of the astrolabe or artificial horizon used by
astrologers has been determined. 21 XXVII keel: skim. 22 XXIX expense : waste. 23 Xxx Nativity once in the main of light: when a star has
risen and entered on the full stream of light; - an