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The re-cured Lover exulteth in his Freedom, and voweth to remain free until Death.
I am as I am, and so will I be ;
I lead my life indifferently;
And though folks judge full diversely,
I do not rejoice, nor yet complain,
Divers do judge as they do trow,
But since judgers do thus decay,
Yet some there be that take delight,
Praying you all that this do read,
And from this mind I will not flee,
That Pleasure is mixed with every Pain. Venomous thorns that are so sharp and keen Bear flowers, we see, full fresh and fair of hue, Poison is also put in medicine,
And unto man his health doth oft renew. The fire that all things eke consumeth clean,
May hurt and heal: then if that this be true, I trust some time my harm may be my health, Since every woe is joined with some wealth.
The Courtier's Life.
In court to serve decked with fresh array,
Of the Mean and Sure Estate.
Stand whoso lists upon the slipper' wheel,
For grips of death do he too hardly pass That known is to all, but to himself, alas! He dieth unknown, dased with dreadful face.
Amongst the poets dating towards the conclusion of the present period, may be ranked THOMAS TUSSER, author of the first didactic poem in the language. He was born about 1523, of an ancient family had a good education; and commenced life at court, under the patronage of Lord Paget. Afterwards he practised farming successively at Ratwood in Sussex, Ipswich, Fairsted in Essex, Norwich, and other places; but not succeeding in that walk, he betook himself to other occupations, amongst which were those of a chorister, and, it is said, a fiddler. As might be expected of one so inconstant, he did not prosper in the world, but died poor in London, in 1580.
Tusser's poem, entitled a Hondreth Good Points of Husbandrie, which was first published in 1557, is a series of practical directions for farming, expressed in simple and inelegant, but not always dull verse. It was afterwards expanded by other writers, and published under the title of Five Hundreth Points of Good Husbandrie: the last of a considerable number of editions appeared in 1710.
[Directions for Cultivating a Hop-Garden.] Whom fancy persuadeth, among other crops, To have for his spending sufficient of hops, Must willingly follow, of choices to choose, Such lessons approved, as skilful do use. Ground gravelly, sandy, and mixed with clay, Is naughty for hops, any manner of way. Or if it be mingled with rubbish and stone, For dryness and barrenness let it alone. Choose soil for the hop of the rottenest mould, Well dunged and wrought, as a garden-plot should; Not far from the water, but not overflown, This lesson, well noted, is meet to be known. The sun in the south, or else southly and west, Is joy to the hop, as a welcomed guest; But wind in the north, or else northerly east, To the hop is as ill as a fay in a feast. Meet plot for a hop-yard once found as is told, Make thereof account, as of jewel of gold; Now dig it, and leave it, the sun for to burn, And afterwards fence it, to serve for that turn. The hop for his profit I thus do exalt, It strengtheneth drink, and it favoureth malt; And being well brewed, long kept it will last, And drawing abide-if ye draw not too fast.
Good huswife provides, ere a sickness do come,
Get water of fumitory, liver to cool,
And others the like, or else lie like a fool.
[Moral Reflections, on the Wind.]
Though winds do rage, as winds were wood,1
SIR DAVID LYNDSAY.
While Surrey and Wyatt were imparting fresh beauties to English poetry, Dunbar and his contem
Sir David Lyndsay. poraries were succeeded in Scotland by several poets of considerable talent, whose improvements, however,
fell far short of those effected in the literature of their southern neighbours. The most eminent of these writers was SIR DAVID LYNDSAY, born about 1490, who, after serving King James V., when that monarch was a boy, as sewer, carver, cup-bearer, purse-master, chief cubicular; in short, everything -bearing him as an infant upon his back, and dancing antics for his amusement as a boy-was appointed to the important office of Lord Lyon King at Arms, and died about the year 1555. He chiefly shone as a satirical and humorous writer, and his great fault is an entire absence of that spirit of refinement which graced the contemporary literature of England. The principal objects of Lyndsay's vituperations were the clergy, whose habits at this period (just before the Reformation) were such as to afford unusually ample scope for the pen of the satirist. Our poet, also, although a state officer, and long a servant to the king, uses little delicacy in exposing the abuses of the court. His chief poems are placed in the following succession by his editor, Mr George Chalmers:-The Dreme, written about 1528; The Complaynt, 1529; The Complaynt of the King's Papingo (Peacock), 1530; The Play (or Satire) of the Three Estates, 1535; Kitteis Confession, 1541; The History of Squire Meldrum, 1550; The Monarchie, 1553. The three first of these poems are moralisings upon the state and government of the kingdom, during two of its dismal minorities. The Play is an extraordinary performance, a satire upon the whole of the three political orders-monarch, barons, and clergy-full of humour and grossness, and curiously illustrative of the taste of the times. Notwithstanding its satiric pungency, and, what is apt to be now more surprising, notwithstanding the introduction of indecencies not fit to be described, the Satire of the Three Estates was acted in presence of the court, both at Cupar and Edinburgh, the stage being in the open air. Kitteis Confession is a satire on one of the practices of Roman Catholics. By his various burlesques of that party, he is said to have largely contributed to the progress of the Reformation in Scotland. The History of Squire Meldrum is perhaps the most pleasing of all this author's works. It is considered the last poem that in any degree partakes of the character of the metrical romance.
Of the dexterity with which Lyndsay could point a satirical remark on an error of state policy, we may judge from the following very brief passage of his Complaynt, which relates to the too early committal of the government to James V. It is given in the original spelling.
Imprudently, like witles fules,
Thay tuke the young prince from the scules,
Was learnand vertew and science,
And hastilie pat in his hand
The governance of all Scotland:
Quhilk first devisit that counsell;
I pray God lat me never see ring
[A Carman's Account of a Law-suit.]
Of tails I will no more indite,
Marry, I lent my gossip my mare, to fetch hame coals, Notwithstanding, I will conclude,
And he her drounit into the quarry holes ;
And there I happenit amang ane greedie meinyie.1
And syne I gat-how call ye it ?-ad replicandum;
Supplication in Contemption of Side Tails.2
Sovereign, I mean3 of thir side tails,
Should have her tail so side trailand;
May think of their side tails irk; 4
Gif they could speak, they wald them wary.
Poor claggocks clad in Raploch white,
Then when they step furth through the street,
That of side tails can come nae gude,
Quoth Lindsay, in contempt of the side tails,
[The Building of the Tower of Babel, and Confusion of Tongues.]
(From the Monarchie.)
Their great fortress then did they found,
The translator of Orosius
Intil his chronicle writes thus;
At noon, when it doth shine maist bricht,
Sax mile and mair it is of length:
Then the great God omnipotent,
And the prideful presumption,
Up through the heavens till ascend, **
Afore that time all spak Hebrew,
Then brocht they to them stocks and stanes;
But never ane word they understood. *
Constrained were they for till depart,
A Praise of his (the Poet's) Lady.
Excels the precious stone:
I wish to have none other books
In each of her two crystal eyes
It would you all in heart suffice
I think Nature hath lost the mould,
Or else I doubt if Nature could
She may be well compared
Unto the phoenix kind,
Whose like was never seen nor leard,
In life she is Diana chaste,
In word and eke in deed steadfast:
Her roseal colour comes and goes
At Bacchus' feast none shall her meet,
The modest mirth that she doth use
O Lord, it is a world to see
As doth the gilly flower a weed,
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.'
Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to write,
In register for to remain of such a worthy wight.
And proved plain, there was no beast, nor creature. bearing life,
Could well be known to live in love without discòrd and strife:
Then kissed she her little babe, and sware by God above,
'The falling out of faithful friends renewing is or love.'
[Characteristic of an Englishman.]
[By Andrew Bourd, physician to Henry VIII. The lines form an inscription under the picture of an Englishman, naked, with a roll of cloth in one hand, and a pair of scissors in the other.]
I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here, Musing in my mind what garment I shall wear, For now I will wear this, and now I will wear that, Now I will wear I cannot tell what:
All new fashions be pleasant to me,
I will have them whether I thrive or thee:
I will have a garment reach to my tail.
Then I am a minion, for I wear the new guise,
I overcome my adversaries by land and by sea:
No man shall let me, but I will have my mind,
The Nut-Brown Maid.
[Regarding the date and author of this piece no certainty exists. Prior, who founded his Henry and Emma upon it, fixes its date about 1400; but others, judging from the comparatively modern language of it, suppose it to have been composed subsequently to the time of Surrey. The poem opens with a declaration of the author, that the faith of woman is stronger than is generally alleged, in proof of which he proposes to relate the trial to which the Not-Browne Mayde' was exposed by her lover. What follows consists of a dialogue between the pair.]
HE. It standeth so; a deed is do',
My destiny is for to die
A shameful death, I trow;
Or else to flee: the one must be,
But to withdraw as an outlaw,
Wherefore adieu, my own heart true!
SHE. O Lord, what is this world's bliss,
That changeth as the moon!
My summer's day in lusty May
I hear you say, Farewell: Nay, nay,
Why say ye so? whither will ye go?
HE.-I can believe, it shall you grieve,
But afterward, your paines hard
Shall soon aslake; and ye shall take
Why should ye ought, for to make thought?
And thus I do, and pray to you,
As heartily as I can ;
For I must to the green wood go,
SHE. Now sith that ye have showed to me
I shall be plain to you again,
Like as ye shall me find. Sith it is so that ye will go,
I will not live behind;
Shall never be said, the Nut-Brown Maid
For in my mind, of all mankind
HE.-I counsel you, remember how
To wood with an outlaw;
For ye must there in your hand bear
A bow, ready to draw;
And as a thief, thus must you live,
Whereby to you great harm might grow:
That I had to the green wood go,
SHE. I think not nay, but, as ye say,
But love may make me for your sake,
To come on foot, to hunt and shoot
May have, I ask no more:
For, in my mind, of all mankind
HE.-Yet take good heed, for ever I dread
The thorny ways, the deep valleys,
The snow, the frost, the rain,
The cold, the heat; for, dry or weet,
We must lodge on the plain;
And us above, none other roof
But a brake bush or twain:
That I had to the greenwood go,
SHE. Sith I have here been partinèr
I must also part of your wo
Yet I am sure of one pleasure,
That, where ye be, me seemeth, pardie,
Without more speech, I you beseech
HE. If ye go thither, ye must consider,
There shall no meat be for you gete,
Made of thread and twine;
None other house but leaves and boughs,
To cover your head and mine.
Oh mine heart sweet, this evil diet,