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THE PHENIX NEST “ Built up with the most rare and refined works of Noblemen, Worthy Knights, Gallant Gentlemen, Masters of Arts, and brave schollers,— full of varietie, excellent monition, and singular delight: never before published. Set forth by R. S. of the Inner Temple, Gentleman, 1593." The first poem in it is Roydon's noble elegy on Sidney. Peele, Watson, Lodge, and others, were contributors. Reprinted in Park's Heliconia. P. 176 THE ANATOMY OF LOVE. In the Phænix Nest it is A Description of Love: my title is that given in Davison's Poetical Rhapsody, 1602. It is anonymous in both : though ascribed to Raleigh in a MS. list of Davison's. In England's Helicon, 1600, it had appeared, the signature obliterated, as The Shepherd's Description of Love : in a dialogue between Melibæus and Faustus: beginning Shepherd ! what's love? 1
pray thee tell. But the occasional shepherd is the chief difference. Hannah gives for the last line —
And shepherd ! this is love, I trow. While Nicolas has it
And this is some sweet friend, I trow. Sain is said. The sauncing, sacring, or saints' bell is a small bell used in the Romish Church to call attention to the more solemn parts of the service of the Mass, as at the conclusion when the priest repeats the words Sancte sancte sancte, Deus Sabaoth! Also at the elevation of the Host. P. 177 — To Night. In Park's Heliconia, 1815, pleasures ends both first and third lines. Campbell, in his Specimens, 1841, has pleasure and treasure :
There's none but only thou can guide me to my treasure : contradicting the later line
Let them that miss the way be guided by thy light! The second stanza Campbell omits. Both he and Park have
Hold in thy horns for shining.
DOWLAND'S SONG BOOKS John Dowland, Bachelor in Musick and Lutenist to the King of Denmark, born about 1562, published between 1596 and 1603 three Books of Songs, Airs in four parts with tableture for the lute. P. 179 – THE LOVER'S DESPAIR. Flowers of spine — thorn flowers. So in Fletcher
Roses, their sharp spines being gone. Collier in his Lyrical Poems prints
Alas like flowers of Spain
Thy graces rorie be: with a note, suggesting spine for Spain : seeing why flowers of Spain should be more dewy than those of other countries.” But, are flowers of spine more dewy than others? And what are dewy graces? He took rorie for granted : and it will be found in the dictionaries, “from the Latin ros roris, the dew.” As authority, Webster cites Fairfax :
And shook his wings with rory may-dews wet. Dewy dews? The dew on the pink-edged May-bloom would be rosy. Rorie, or rory, looks like a misprint in each of the above instances. Are there any more? Did the dictionarymaker, dropping on the word, discover an etymology to suit ? P. 181, 1. 2 LOVE AND SORROW. Collier would here alter hurt to heart; but the context shows hurt to be right. P. 181 - SERENADE. In England's Helicon also, “taken
. out of Maister John Dowland's Tableture for the Lute.” P. 183 — To CYNTHIA. Also in the Helicon, from Dowland, with “ the Author's name not there set downe.” On support of a copy “signed W. S.” having been found at Hamburg, in an English common-place book, it has been supposed that it was written by Shakspere. It has rather the trick of Raleigh, and is more worthy of him than most of the poems called his. R, the second stroke faint or defaced, might be taken for S.
P. 184— WEEP YOU NO MORE! And whose this loveliest of songs ? Worth especial notice is the beautiful close of each stanza (too easily spoiled by wrong punctuation) –
That now lies sleeping softly,
Now softly lies,
Quitting faith with foul disgrace.
Should reward their friends as foemen.
First to love, then leave forlorn.
Makes our fraile pleasures eternall and in sweetness prove;
Ten thousand beauties, yet in us one should be. Surely, if dependence upon old texts can give us such results, we had better discharge our Dryasdust, be he printer's reader or editor, and trust the likelihood of common sense: it seems not altogether lacking in these early writers, in even the most careless of them. How pertinent here Collier's own remark: “ Literal errors in the words to songs have been frequent from the earliest to the latest times ;” and “woeful blunders transmitted to us in many of the productions of the poets.” P. 189— THE HERMIT'S SONG. Two lines close each stanza: ' conveyed” by Dowland from a song in Sidney's Arcadia.
O sweet woods: the delight of solitariness:
O how much do I love your solitariness! Clearly they do not belong to the subject nor accord with the “ sad groves” and “ place of mourning;” but may have been
appropriated to fit a lively change in the music? May we not regard it as a sample of the liberties taken by our musicians ?
Wanstead House, near London, was a seat of the Earl of Leicester. . Here Sidney wrote his masque, The Lady of the May, on occasion of a visit of Queen Elizabeth, in 1578. Was Raleigh retired there during some season of her displeasure ? There is a look of him about this song, not unlike the lines to Cynthia; and what mistress but Majesty should appoint his place of retirement ?
Wanstead ! my Mistress saith this is the doom. “ The mention of Wanstead," writes Collier, “shows that the piece, whatever it might be, whether play, masque, or other entertainment of a dramatic kind, was performed there.” But the lines give no indication of their being part of anything. P. 190 — LOVE AND FORTUNE. I place this with the Songs from Dowland's Books, first finding it there; a more correct copy appears (quite out of place) in Newman's 4to edition of Sidney. Collier reprints both : the Dowland version in 1844, in his Lyrical Poems; and the Newman version in 1865, in a note, in his Bibliographical Catalogue of early English Literature, introducing it with these words -" We are not sure whether the sprightly lines here imputed to the Earl of Oxford have ever been reprinted in modern times.” Dowland omits the second stanza, and gives the third as here follows.
Fortune sweares weakest harts,
Turne with hir wheele.
Aske them that feele. [Collier's Lyrical Poems, printed for the Percy Society, p. 82; Bibl. Cat., vol. I, pp. 45–6.]
Venter — the belly. Fortune is speaking sneeringly. She may mean that mere condition of body is sometimes occasion
of love, irrespective of any diviner incitement.
Such seems to be also the sense in Dowland: but both the texts are obscure, and both most probably corrupt. P. 194— THE PEDLAR'S SONG. Collier, following Dowland, has pinnes points, laces and gloves. I think the pedlar was selling, not pins' points, but pins and points. A point, in my time even, in country places, was the name of a small tool for making holes in cloth, linen, &c., "eyes” for hooks to catch in.
MADRIGALS P. 195. DEFIANCE TO LOVE is suspected to be by Drayton. I so gave it among my Golden Apples. Not finding it in his collected works, I place it here under the Uncertain Authors. MY DAINTY DARLING and other words with Morley's music may be his also. Morley was the first Englishman to produce a “Book of Balletts” (mistaken by Collier to mean Ballads). Ballets were songs set to music to be danced to. Fear is old usage for frighten, as in Shakspere
For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all. P. 196 — FALSE CLARINDA. Relying, or leaning; persèver, an old form of persevere. Very unsatisfactory the text (I do not attempt to mend it) of the second stanza, a stanza not in the Helicon copy. P. 197— FALSE DORUs. In England's Helicon as “ Lycoris the nymph, her sad song.” In last line of DAPHNE fire is a dissyllable, as in Sidney. Oliphant praises John Wilbye as the best of the madrigal composers. P. 198— THE JEWEL. Surely this is fragmentary: odd lines chosen for the air. Probably many of our old madrigals are no more : what suited the composer, or altered to suit. P. 199— LOVE ME NOT FOR COMELY GRACE. Ellis has itLove not me. In line 8 I have well for still. Our poets were not scant of words, and even unmusical copyists are careless.