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mixed in this part of the poem, which,

som.

A goldfinch leaps from bough in as much as it also introduces wholly to bough, eating buds and blossoms ideal personages, would, if the key to his fill, and then sings most passthe enigma has been truly found, very ing sweetly,' and is answered by an fully exemplify the allegorizing ge- unseen nightingale, in a note 80 nius of the old poetry.

merry' that all the wood rang again. Certainly, many of the old poems, Whilst the lady adventuress sits upon unless they are interpreted to allude, the turfed seat listening, a new burst, in this manner, to particular persons as if of angelical voices, is heard. The and occurrences, appear to want due harmony proceeds from “a world of meaning, such as this Complaint of ladies," who march out from a neighthe nameless Black Knight, this bouring grove, clad in richly-jewelled Wooing of the Three Tercels, and surcoats of white velvet, each wearing the faithless Hawk whom Canace on her head a chaplet of green leaves, hears. We may often feel ourselves laurel, or woodbine, or Agnus Castus. justified in presuming an allusion, al. They dance and sing soberly, surthough in regard to the true import rounding one who wears on her head of the allusion it may be that Time a crown of gold, has a branch of Aghas first locked the door, and then nus Castus in her hand, excels them thrown the key over the wall.

all in beauty, appears to be their Of one Poem, to which we have queen, and sings a roundel having hitherto but alluded, we feel ourselves some allusion to the Green Leaf, and now called on to give an analysis, advance, dancing and singing, into a both for sake of its own exquisite meadow fronting the arbour. The beauty and surpassing loveliness, and song is not given — its name is in for sake of Dryden's immortal para- half unintelligible French. Now a phrase — THE FLOURE AND THE thundering of trumpets is heard : and LEAF.

innumerable “ men of arms" issue There is in the plan of " The Floure from the grove from which the ladies and the Leaf,” a peculiarity which is came. Trumpets, kings-of-arms, hernot easily accounted for. In the other alds, and pursuivants clad in white, poems of Chaucer, which are thrown and wearing chaplets of leaves, ride into the form of an adventure or oc- foremost. Then follow Nine Knights currence personal to the relater, he magnificently armed, excepting that relates in person his own experience. on their unhelmed heads are set Here the parts of experiencing, and crowns of laurel. Upon each three of relating an adventure, are both henchmen attend, clad in white, with transferred to an unknown person of green chaplets, and severally carrythe other sex. It is also remarkable ing the casque, the shield, and the that this difference in the personality lance of him they serve. Last, of the relater does not appear until issue a great rout of knights, wellthe very close of the poem, and then mounted, wearing chaplets, and bearincidentally, one of the imaginary ing boughs of oak, laurel, hawthorn, persons addressing the relater as woodbine, and other kinds. They “Daughter.” In the adventure, which joust gallantly for an hour or more: is simply the witnessing a Vision, the laurel-wearers overbearing all opthere is nothing that might not as position. At last, the whole comwell have happened to Chaucer him- pany dismount, and move by two and self as to dame or damsel.

two towards the ladies, who, at their In a sweet season of spring, a lady approach, break off song and dance, who, for some cause unknown to her- and go to meet them. Every lady self, cannot sleep, rises at the peep of takes a knight by the hand, and in day, and wanders out into a lofty and this fashion they pace towards a fair pleasant grove, where a slender unworn laurel, of such prodigious amplitude path, not easily seen, leads her to a as that a hundred persons might rest fair arbour of elaborate workman- at ease under the shadow of its difship, and so framed as that the sitter fused branches. All incline with obeiwithin sees, unseen, whatsoever passes sance to the tree; and then sing and without ; adjoining which is a singu- dance around it; ever a lady and a larly beautiful medlar-tree in full blos- knight going together. All these are,

arboVier de SE

remaini sili te la unseen, mie mi nita ad away. Oniy mest

Shes alone uter fe is ? comes out, mi a's

Tindering shor es

given with courte s imports in sum

rear chaplets of Agus Tirgins; the laurel wearers

who were never conqueret: es listinguished knights

See Morthies; with whom ees of Charlemagte.

schtes olde" of the these me wear woodbine

Be sueh as never were se word, thoghte, ne

Women, Queen Annelida and False Arcita, the Complaint of the Blacke Knight. We grant them for human and real, notwithstanding that most of the persons are of a very romanti and apocryphal stamp-because the are not presented in dreams or visiuti, and are not allegorical creations of beings out of the air, Impersonatin. of Ideas. They are offered as 1". and women, downright flesh blood, and so are to be underst... Nevertheless even here, when (}. cer is nearest home, taking his sli! in his own day, and putting hifriend and patron in verse, then trick of the riddling faculty, sil!" Blacke Knight lodging, during the month of May, in the greenwon bemoaning all day long his hai, hap, represents, it is prestii stout John of Gaunt in los might utter his passion, unes requital, “ In groans that thunder lu,

of fire; but who, most assuredly, build himself a forest bu annually retire from court to spend there a lovesick 1

Of absolutely fanciful ei as we bave seen, the "A Foules," and the “Compl. and Venus,” which the pos a fowl singing on St Vale ere sunrise. “Of the Nightingale:"the poet, bei and sleeping, hears the and the bird of music u and for love. When ti takes leave of him, he : Court of Love." The of eighteen, is sumn cury to do his obeisan of Love, "a lite befor, Citheree,” called furthe He is, on this occasior all, but dreams away! poet, with his eyes daylight.

In Chaucer thus we of possible allegory. thoroughly creative . thoughts are turned impersonated abstra, deities, and as atteli. This is the unsubwhich has, it must l. ent meaning to dift...

er the Leaf, because the The Last lasts. But the

es the Flower are “those swived idleness and not delite of

besinesse, but for to hunte and wwke and pley in medes, and many ther such idle dedes." They wear > perishable Flower accordingly.

mormant ends with enquiring of randiness, whether she will, for

to come, serve the Leaf or presswer vows her

se Leaf The deep SE Scient mythology EN EZT, here again

appears the lady

de Diana; the * Sus Purs in person.

I remarkably well si red carried through. J ' the world into those de rose and those who

m2 delight, is a good vesical view, and the lems happily chosen for

The heat smpes which orerwhelm the aries and are harmless

thy, express the true

e even for th 10 st our will Lindness of t

whom they es might alm if the reo

hose w

[graphic]

-- with beings brought somewhat concerned at finding an ? Of imagination, is boldly unwilling word of the judicious TyrHere is no Dream. She whitt's, which owns to å doubt on the

from her own house into authorship of the most beautiful minor nd the vision comes and poem, admitted into the volume of i the strength of true flesh Chaucer. 1. The solitariness of her Dryden felt the effusion of beauty, • out from a sleepless bed, and has rendered and enhanced it. 1 the springing of the day, long One may question the fitness of a

brighte sonne uprisen was”- material alteration which he has vensre, whilst common mankind tured upon. The allegory of the old I tried in sleep-is all the saving Poem is pure. Dryden has changed sition that the poet has deigned the Knights and Ladies, collectively, twiat the coarse and harsh Real into Fairies ; for any thing that apIn the splendid Unreal. As for the pears, indeed, of good human stature. antical working-out-the descriptive The thought came to him apparently datdative-it is elaborate and full of as making the beauty more beautiful, 14 duty. The natural scene is painted and possibly as obtaining, to an other...ill exquisite sensibility to the in- wise indefinite sort of imaginary

nces of nature, and with such de- beings, a known character and a re· Iminate strokes as show a conver- cognized hold upon poetical--sucant eye. For example, the mixed ceeding to popular--belief

. A contraand illuminated spring-foliage, the diction is-that the company of the

Leaf have, in emphatic and chosen

“ levis new terms, been described as INNUMERThat sprongin out agen the ABLE. The laurel is of such enorshene :

mous diffusion, that A HUNDRED Some very rede, and some a glad light persons might repose under it. Yet grene,"

IT SHELTERS THEM ALL FROM THE would seem fresh and vivid from the

It is also singular to us, that the hand of Coleridge or Tennyson—and Margarete or Daisy should suffer the

any slight from Chaucer, seeing the “ path of litil brede,

reverence with which he elsewhere --that gretly had not usid be, regards it. It is here, too, no doubt For it forgrowin was with gras and raised into reverence' by the obserwede,"

vance of the Flower party ; but then

it suffers disparagement inasmuch as -- which beguiles the foot of the they are disparaged. vision-favoured away from the usual Truly does the amiable Godwin beat of men, leading her into the say—“In a word, the Poem of Dryunvisited sequestration due to the den, regarded merely as the exhibihaunting of an einbodied Allegory-- tion of a soothing and delicious luxumight, in its old simplicity, pass for riance of fancy, may be classed with well invented by whichsoever Priest the most successful productions of huof Imagination in our day can the best man genius. No man can read it read, in the Sensible, the symbolized without astonishment, perhaps not Spiritual and Invisible.

without envy, at the cheerful, wellYou wonder withal, if Chaucer was harmonized, and vigorous state of the poet, how the spectator was turn- mind in which the author must have ed into a spectatress ; and you are been at the time he wrote it."

sonne

STORM.

“Now turning from the wintry signs, the sun

(ourse exalted through the Ram had run,
mood whirling up the skies, his chariot drove
rough Taurus, and the lightsome realms of love,
jere Venus from her orb descends in showers
glad the ground, and paint the fields with flowers;
a first the tender blades of grass appear,

CCCLV.

21

and many

(but as is only afterwards at the close fast by the arbour, where our specmade known to the spectatress of tatress has remained all the while these occurrences,) as you may easi- seeing and unseen, ladies and knights ly surmise, the homagers of the Leaf. ride along and away. Only one lady Now the homagers of the Flower in white rides alone after the rest. enter upon the stage. From the To her she comes out, and enquires depth of the wide champaign there what the wandering show means. come roaming in a great company, The answer, given with courteous ladies and knights, and ever a knight explicitness, imports in sum that and a lady hand in hand. They those who wear chaplets of Agnus are all richly clad in green, and wear Castus are virgins; the laurel wearers, chaplets of Howers; green-robed min- knights who were never conquered; strels, with instruments of all sorts, the Nine most distinguished knights and wearing variegated chaplets of being the Nine Worthies; with whom flowers precede. They dance up to a are the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne, great tuft of flowers in the midst of the

“knightes olde” of the mead ; about which they incline re- Garter. Those who wear woodbine verently, and one sings the praise of

“ Be such as never were the " Margarete" or Daisy, the others

To love untrewe in word, thoghte, ne answering in chorus; meanwhile the

dede," hour grows to noon; the sun waxes hot; the unsheltered flowers wither; They wear the Leaf, because the the ladies and the knights of the beauty of the Leaf lasts. But the Flower are scorched with his rays; followers of the Flower are “those then the wind rises, and furiously that loved idlenesse and not delite of blows down all the flowers; then no besinesse, but for to hunte and comes on a terrible storm of mixed hawke and pley in medes, and many hail and rain; wets the knights and other such idle dedes." They wear ladies of the Flower to the skin, and the perishable Flower accordingly, at last blows over. But the white- The informant ends with enquiring of habited servants of the Leaf have her auditress, whether she will, for stood under their laurel, shaded from the years to come, serve the Leaf or the fiery noon beams, and shrouded the Flower; who in answer vows her from the tempest; and now, moved observance to the Leaf.

The deep with ruth and pity, come forwards to implication of the ancient mythology tender their aid. The Queen of the in the reviving poetry, here again Leaf greets, with loving sisterly com- discovers itself. It appears the lady passion, the Queen of the Flower. The of the Leaf is the goddess Diana ; the party of the Leaf proceed to more ef- lady of the Flower, Flora in person. fectual relief than soothing words, The invention is remarkably well hewing down boughs and trees to purposed, and well carried through. make "stately fires” for drying their The division of the world into those wet clothes, and searching the plain who follow virtue and those who for virtuous herbs to make for the pursue their own delight, is a good blistered and drouthy sufferers salves general poetico-ethical view, and the and salads. She of the Leaf now in- delicate emblems happily chosen for vites Her of the Flower to supper, who expressing the contrast. The heat accepts as courteously. The Leaf and the tempest which overwhelm the company, at the bidding of their mis- dainty voluptuaries, and are harmless tress, provide horses for the Flower to the deed-worthy, express the true company. At this juncture the Night wisdom of virtue, even for this world, ingale, who all day long, sitting hidden which moves not at our will; and the in the laurel, sang “the service longing gentle healing kindness of the wiser to May,” flies to the hand of the Leaf- to the less wise, whom they equalize queen, and sings on as diligently as be- with themselves, might almost seem fore-theGoldfinch, whom the heat had profoundly to signify the recovery to forced from his blossom of " medle- the better wisdom of those who had tree" into the cool bushes, betakes set out with choosing amiss—a gracious himself in like manner to his Flowers hidden Christian lesson of charity and queen's hand, and sings there; and penitence. The contact of the simply

human spectatress with beings brought somewhat concerned at finding an from the world of imagination, is boldly unwilling word of the judicious Tyrdesigned. Here is no Dream. She whitt's, which owns to a doubt on the walks down from her own house into authorship of the most beautiful minor the wood, and the vision comes and poem, admitted into the volume of goes, in all the strength of true flesh

Chaucer. and blood. The solitariness of her Dryden felt the effusion of beauty, stealing out from a sleepless bed, and has rendered and enhanced it. " about the springing of the day, long One may question the fitness of a or the brighte sonne uprisen was”. material alteration which he has ventherefore, whilst common mankind tured upon. The allegory of the old lie buried in sleep—is all the saving Poem is pure. Dryden has changed partition that the poet has deigned the Knights and Ladies, collectively, betwixt the coarse and harsh Real into Fairies ; for any thing that apand the splendid Unreal. As for the pears, indeed, of good human stature. poetical working-out-the descriptive The thought came to him apparently narrative—it is elaborate and full of as making the beauty more beautiful, beauty. The natural scene is painted and possibly as obtaining, to an otherwith exquisite sensibility to the in- wise indefinite sort of imaginary fluences of nature, and with such de- beings, a known character and a reterminate strokes as show a conver- cognized hold upon poetical--sucsant eye. For example, the mixed ceeding to popular--belief. A contraand illuminated spring-foliage, the diction is—that the company of the

Leaf have, in emphatic and chosen

“ levis new terms, been described as INNUMERThat sprongin out agen the

ABLE. The laurel is of such enorshene :

mous diffusion, that A Some very rede, and some a glad light persons might repose under it. Yet grene,"

IT SHELTERS THEM ALL FROM THE

STORM. would seem fresh and vivid from the hand of Coleridge or Tennyson—and Margarete or Daisy should suffer

It is also singular to us, that the the

any slight from Chaucer, seeing the “path of litil brede, reverence with which he elsewhere that gretly had not usid be, regards it. It is here, too, no doubt For it forgrowin was with gras and raised into reverence by the obserwede,"

vance of the Flower party ; but then

it suffers disparagement inasmuch as – which beguiles the foot of the they are disparaged. vision-favoured away from the usual Truly does the amiable Godwin beat of men, leading her into the say—“ In a word, the Poem of Dryunvisited sequestration due to the den, regarded merely as the exhibihaunting of an einbodied Allegory-- tion of a soothing and delicious luxumight, in its old simplicity, pass for riance of fancy, may be classed with well invented by whichsoever Priest the most successful productions of huof Imagination in our day can the best man genius. No man can read it read, in the Sensible, the symbolized without astonishment, perhaps not Spiritual and Invisible.

without envy, at the cheerful, wellYou wonder withal, if Chaucer was harmonized, and vigorous state of the poet, how the spectator was turn- mind in which the author must have ed into a spectatress ; and you are been at the time he wrote it."

sonne

HUNDRED

“Now turning from the wintry signs, the sun
His course exalted through the Ram had run,
And whirling up the skies, his chariot drove
Through Taurus, and the lightsome realms of love,
Where Venus from her orb descends in showers
To glad the ground, and paint the fields with flowers ;

When first the tender blades of grass appear,
VOL. LVII. NO. CCCLV.

2 T

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