Imatges de pÓgina
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thought in England which regarded love-poetry, or poetry at all, with strong disapproval.

As I said in my volume on Spenser's Works, it is round the Court of Elizabeth that the solution for the allegories of the Faerie Queene must be sought.

The foregoing interpretation of “Timias " finds ample justification in the introductory sonnet to the Earl of Essex written in connection with the publication of the first three books in 1590. The writer there clearly indicates that the Earl is in the Poem, though under a form unworthy of him, and promises on a later occasion to “make more famous memory of thine Heroiche parts.” This promise was redeemed in the "Legend of Arthegal," which forms the theme of Book V. of the second part.

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(See references at Chapter VI., pp. 102, 109, and

Chapter IX., p. 152)

The following is the text of the supposed “continuation of the lost poem, Cynthia,” by Sir Walter Ralegh, which I have discussed in Chapter VI. I have taken it from Dr. Hannah's “Poems of Sir Walter Raleigh, Wotton," etc., where the spelling has been modernised. In Dr. Hannah's book it is preceded by two short poems, found in the same MS. but on a separate sheet, which he supposes to be part of the same subject. He numbers them I., II. and III., and places the above heading over the three, but, as I have explained in the text, there is no authority in the MS. for either the numbers or the heading, and, in my opinion, they have no connection with each other. No. I. is a commonplace trifle, and must have been written in the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth. No. II. has all the appearance of a sincere personal utterance, and was presumably written by Ralegh in prison in the reign of James I. “No. III.” the long poem, is headed in the MS. “The 21st and last book of the Ocean to Cynthia.” It is followed, as will be seen, by a short fragment headed “the beginning of the 22nd book, entreating of Sorrow.” We shall be wise to regard the existence, at any time, of the twenty preceding books with scepticism. For my part, I regard these headings as a ruse to suggest the constant occupation of the writer in celebrating his love for his royal mistress. THE 21st AND LAST BOOK OF THE OCEAN, TO CYNTHIA.

Sufficeth it to you, my joys interred,

In simple words that I my woes complain ;
You that then died when first my fancy erred,
Joys under dust that never live again ?

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If to the living were my muse addressed,

Or did my mind her own spirit still inhold, Were not my living passion so repressed

As to the dead the dead did these unfold, Some sweeter words, some more becoming verse

Should witness my mishap in higher kind ;
But my love's wounds, my fancy in the hearse,

The idea but resting of a wasted mind,
The blossoms fallen, the sap gone from the tree,

The broken monuments of my great desires, -
From these so lost what may the affections be ?

What heat in cinders of extinguished fir ?

Lost in the mud of those high-flowing streams,

Which through more fairer fields their courses bend, Slain with self-thoughts, amazed in fearful dreams,

Woes without date, discomforts without end :

From fruit[less] trees I gather withered leaves,

And glean the broken ears with miser's hand, Who sometime did enjoy the weighty sheaves ;

I seek fair flowers amid the burnish sand.

All in the shade, even in the fair sun days,

Under those healthless trees I sit alone, Where joyful birds sing neither lovely lays,

Nor Philomel recounts her direful moan.

No feeding flocks, no shepherd's company,

That might renew my dolorous conceit, While happy then, while love and fantasy

Confined my thoughts on that fair flock to wait ;

No pleasing streams fast to the ocean wending,

The messengers sometimes of my great woe; But all on earth, as from the cold storms bending,

Shrink from my thoughts in high heavens or below.

Oh, hopeful love, my object and intention,

Oh, true desire, the spur of my conceit, Oh, worthiest spirit, my mind's impulsion,

Oh, eyes transpersant, my affection's bait;

Oh, princely form, my fancy's adamant,

Divine conceit, my pain's acceptance,
Oh, allow me! oh, heaven on earth transparent,

The seat of joys and love's abundance !

Out of that mass of miracles, my muse

Gathered those flowers to her pure senses pleasing ; Out of her eyes, the store of joys, did choose

Equal delights, my sorrow's counterpoising.

Her regal looks my vigorous sighs suppressed ; ,

Small drops of joys sweetened great worlds of woes; One gladsome day a thousand cares redressed ;

Whom love defends, what fortune overthrows ?

When she did well, what did there else amiss ?

When she did ill, what empires would have pleased ? No other power affecting woe or bliss,

She gave, she took, she wounded, she appeased.

The honour of her love, love still devising,

Wounding my mind with contrary conceit, Transferred itself sometime to her aspiring,

Sometime the trumpet of her thoughts retreat.

To seek new world for gold, for praise, for glory,

To try desire, to try love severed far, When I was gone, she sent her memory,

More strong than were ten thousand ships of war ;

To call me back, to leave great honour's wrought,

To leave my friends, my fortune, my attempt; To leave the purpose I so long had sought,

To hold both cares and comforts in contempt.

Such heat in ice, such fire in frost remained,

Such trust in doubt, such comfort in despair, Which, like the gentle lamb, though lately weaned,

Plays with the dug, though finds no comfort there.

But as a body, violently slain,

Retaineth warmth although the spirit be gone, And by a power in nature moves again

Till it be laid below the fatal stone;

Or as the earth, even in cold winter days,

Left for a time by her life-giving sun, Doth by the power remaining of his rays

Produce some green, though not as it hath done ;


Or as a wheel, forced by the falling stream,

Although the course be turned some other way,

Doth for a time go round upon the beam,

Till, wanting strength to move, it stands at stay ;

So my forsaken heart, my withered mind,

Widow of all the joys it once possessed, My hopes clean out of sight with forced wind,

To kingdoms strange, to lands far-off addressed,

Alone, forsaken, friendless, on the shore

With many wounds, with death's cold pangs embraced, Writes in the dust, as one that could no more,

Whom love, and time, and fortune, had defaced ;

Of things so great, so long, so manifold,

With means so weak, the soul even then depicting, The weal, the woe, the passages of old,

And worlds of thoughts described by one last sighing.

As if, when after Phoebus is descended,

And leaves a light much like the past day's dawning. And, every toil and labour wholly ended

Each living creature draweth to his resting,

We should begin by such a parting light

To write the story of all ages past
And end the same before the approaching night.

Such is again the labour of my mind

Whose shroud by sorrow woven now to end Hath seen that ever shining sun declined

So many years that so could not descend

But that the eyes of my mind held her beams

In every part transferred by love's swift thought; Far off or near, in waking or in dreams,

Imagination strong their lustre brought.

Such force her angelic appearance had

To master distance, time, or cruelty ; Such art to grieve, and after to make glad ;

Such fear in love, such love in majesty.

My weary lines her memory embalmed ;

My darkest ways her eyes make clear as day.
What storms so great but Cynthia's beams appeased ?

What rage so fierce, that love could not allay?

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