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Th' angelical soft trembling voices made
The while, some one did chant this lovely lay;
So presseth, in the passing of a day,
To the preceding extracts from the 'Fairy Queen,' which we have given in a modernized spelling, we shall add the following highly poetical description, in the poet's own orthography.
DESCRIPTION OF BELPHEBE.
In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame,
Upon her eyelids many Graces sate,
Working belgardes and amorous retrate ;
And in her hand a sharpe bore-speare she held,
Besides the important productions that we have noticed, Spenser was the author of some beautiful minor poems, the principal of which are The Tears of the Muses, Daphnaida, Amoretti, and the Elegy of Astrophel, the last of which was occasioned by the death of his lamented friend and early patron, Sir Philip Sidney.
Lecture the Eighth.
ROBERT SOUTHWELL-SAMUEL DANIEL-MICHAEL DRAYTON-EDWARD FAIRFAX -JOHN HARRINGTON-HENRY WOTTON-JOHN DAVIES-JOHN DONNE-ROBERT CORBET.
HE bitter and acrimonious spirit of religious intolerance and oppression which pervaded the entire administration of the House of Tudor, unfortunately did not cease, even after Protestantism had gained a fixed and permanent ascendency under Elizabeth. The mild and amiable Southwell suffered as unjustly for conscience' sake, in her reign, as either Latimer or Tyndale had in that of her rigorous father, Henry the Eighth.
ROBERT SOUTHWELL was of Roman Catholic parentage, and was born at St. Farths, in 1560. His parents being anxious to have him carefully educated, sent him, when very young, to the English College at Douay, in Flanders, where he advanced in his studies with unusual rapidity, and at the early age of sixteen he left Douay for Rome, and immediately entered the society of Jesuits. In 1584, having completed his studies, and taken priest's orders, he returned to England as a missionary of the society to which he belonged, and during eight successive years administered, unostentatiously, but zealously, to the scattered adherents of his creed, without, as far as has ever been ascertained, doing any thing to disturb the peace of society, or the faith of the established church. In 1592, he was apprehended in a gentleman's house at Uxenden in Middlesex, and committed to a dungeon in the Tower, so filthy, that when he was brought out for examination, his clothes, even, were noisomely offensive. When his father, who was a man of good family, beheld his situation, he presented a petition to the queen, requesting that, if his son had committed any thing for which, by the laws, he deserved death, he might suffer death; if not, as he was a gentleman, he hoped her majesty would be pleased to order him to be treated as a gentleman.' Southwell was afterward somewhat better lodged, but an imprisonment of three years, with ten inflictions of the rack, at length wore out his patience, and he entreated to be brought to trial. Being found guilty of heresy, on his own confession that he was a Romish priest, he was
and the pre
condemned to death, and executed at Tyburn accordingly, in 1595, in the thirty-sixth year of his age. Throughout all the scenes of suffering to which he was exposed, Southwell conducted himself with a mildness and fortitude which nothing but a well-regulated mind and a satisfied conscience could have induced.
The life of Southwell, though short, was full of sorrow; vailing tone of his poetry is, therefore, that of religious resignation under grief. His two principal poems, St. Peter's Complaint, and Mary Magdalene's Farewell Tears, were, like many other works of which the world has had reason to be proud, written in prison; and it is remarkable that, though composed while suffering under the most unfeeling persecution, no trace of anger against any human being or any human institution, occurs throughout either work. The general tone and quality of the author's writings may be gathered from the following pieces
THE IMAGE OF DEATH.
Before my face the picture hangs,
That daily should put me in mind
That shortly I am like to find;
I often look upon a face
Most ugly, grisly, bare and thin;
Where eyes and nose had sometime been;
I read the label underneath,
That telleth me whereto I must;
• Remember, man, thou art but dust.'
A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell
Though now I feel myself full well ;
The gown which I am used to wear,
The knife wherewith I cut my meat;
Which is my only usual seat;
And many of my mates are gone;