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in perfection. He knew and practised “ She sobre was, simple, and wise withall, fully the secret of his lordship’s wit, The best inorished, eke, that might be; which amounts simply to this: when And godely of hire speche in generall, he is at a loss for a rhyme, be he ever Charitable, estately, Iusty, and fre, rather than remould the line. The But truely I can nat tell hire age." so serious, to go into the comic for it, Ne never more ne lacked hire pite,
Tendrehearted and sliding of corage; Canterbury Tales aboundin specimens,
The reputation of Chaucer has sufas of the Frere.
fered much from having his Canter“ Curteis he was, and lowly of servise,
bury Tales pat forward, lauded, and Ther n'as no man nowher so vertuous; edited singly, to the prejudice of his He was the best begger in all his hous.” other works. They may be allowed to:
be the wittiest body of poetry in our And in the fine and spirited descrip- language-unrivalled in comic description of the Temple of Mars, so much tion, observation, and life, but they admired by Warton and other critics, are greatly deficient in sentiment and he could not resist being carried away feeling. In spite of the array of critics by his love of the ludicrous :
against us, from Warton to Godwin, “ Ther saw I first the derke imagining
we will maintain that the love-quara Of felonie, and all the compassing ;
rels of Palamon and Arcite are childThe cruel ire, red as any glede,
ish and frigid in the extreme-its The pikepurse, and eke the pale drede, pathetic “ well-a-waies" more ludiThe smiler, with the knife under the cloke, crous than affecting and the tale ito, The sleper, brenning with the blacke smoke, self the very antidote to any thing like The treson of the mordring in the bedde, The open warre, with woundes all bebledde," with the exception of a few passages,
sympathy. The far-famed Griseldis, The sleer of himself yet saw I there,
we cannot help thinking a most pointHis herte-blood hath bathed all his hair, The naile ydriven in the shode anyght,
less and unnatural story; and we reThe colde-deth, with mouth gaping upright, joice, in the very teeth of Warton's laYet saw I brent the shippe's hoppesterres, mentation, that Canace and her magic The hunt ystrangled with the wilde beres, ring were cut off in the flower of their The sow freting, the child right in the commencement. The poet wrote them, cradle,
it is said, in “ his green old age," and The coke yscalled for all his long ladel.” we could have conjectured as much.
Wein vain seek in them for the natural Some of these sudden quirks and and warm feelings which abound in his changes terribly afflict the grave spirit earlier works, particularly in the Troiof Mr Godwin, who laments most pi- lus and Creseide, while we have in their teously that the poet should use such place nothing but pedantry confirm-, an expression as the following to the ed-cold paraphrases from Boethius, delicate Creseide,
and Seneca, and bombastic descriptions 6 But whether that she children had or
from Statius and Ovid. In the Knightes
Tale, he describes his personages as a none, I rede it nat, therefore I let it gone."
dwarf would a giant, or as a cringing
herald would his feudal lord,-at a Through all his works, indeed, this distance, and in due humility-stiff in; melodramatic feeling prevails, but es- dialogue, and frigid in soliloquy. In pecially in the Troilus and Creseide, a his Troilus, on the contrary, the poet Poem, which, in its good and its bad is at his ease, and enters into the depth qualities, very much resembles Don and minuteness of feeling, as if he was Juan, besides being nearly in the same at liberty to choose his heroes from stanza. Of its resemblance with re- among his fellow mortals, and treat spect to the quality we speak of, take them as such. Troilus's first sight of the following random specimens: Creseide, “in habite blacke," going
to the temple, “ This Diomed, as bokes us declare, Was in his nedes prest and corageous,
“ N'as never sene thing to be praised so With stern voice, and mighty limmes Vor under cloude blacke so bright a sterre."
derre, square, Hardy and testife, strong and chevalrous,
And his first entertaining the passion Of dedes, like his father Tvdeus.
for her is highly characteristic, and And some men sain he was of tonge large; quite in the easy penetrating style of And hcire hc was of Calydon and Argc." the Italian octave rhymers :
The Cumin lets not home
To tell a bloodless tale;
The flower of Teviotdale ;
The voice of war the shepherd hears;
Are thrice ten thousand spears,
May morning smiles through tears.
Their snowy tops on high ;
Its Lions to the sky.
Blithe carols hail the matin light;
Are watching, in despite,
close in night!
Baffled, and backward borne,
Is England's foremost war:-
Remounts his dragon-car:
• And at the corner in the yonder house obtain a sight of the Scottish ContinuHerde I mine alderleuest lady dere ation of the Troilus, by Henrysoun. So womanly, with voice melodious
All we do know of itthe incident of Singen so well, so godely and so clere,
the faithless Creseide, afflicted by leThat in my soul, yet methinks I hear The blissful sound : and in that yonder former lover, is beautifully imagined.
prosy and want, asking alms of her place
It would be an endless affair to disMy lady first me took into her grace.' Then thought he thus, . O blissful Lorde cuss the controversy concerning the Cupide !
origin of this tale. Godwin, we think, When I the processe have in memorie,
has sufficiently disproved Tyrwhitt's How thou me hast weried on every side, supposed discovery of its having been Men might a book make of it, like a sto. borrowed from the Philostrato of Bocrie,' &c.
caccio. All the commentators seem to “ And, after this, he to the gates went,
lay too much stress on the poet's own Ther as Creseide out rode, a full gode declaration of its being taken from Lo
lius. It was a common custom with paas ; And up and down then made he many a the old romancers to give an air of ve wente,
risimilitude to their legend, by referAnd to himself ful oft he said, “Alas ! ring to the authority of some classic Fro henner rode my bliss and my solas ; name, real or pretended. The grave As woulde blissful God, now for his joie,
excuses made by the poet in his CanI might her sene ayen come to Troie !
terbury Tales, that his fictitious per“And to the yonder hill I gan hir guide ; sonages so said, and consequently that Alas! and there I took of her my leave ; he must so relate, might have shewn And yonde, I saw hire to her father ride, to the critics tbe true value of his dea For sorow of whiche mine herte shal to claration about Lolius or Lollius, who, cleave,
if there ever was such a person, must And hither home I came when it was eve, have been some such paraphraser as And here I dwel outcast from alle joie, And shall, till I may sene her efter in Dictys or Dares, from whom the poet Troie !'"
gathered merely the names and local
knowledge necessary for his story. We regret never having been able to
But yesterday, and we were one;
Heart seemed to heart so firm united;
prospect blighted !
What truth would fain reveal to smother;
To share thy bosom with another !
And little did I think, to see
A dream so soft to grief awaken;
So fast forgot, so soon forsaken.
With every passing wind it wavers :
When link'd to bliss—by woman's favours.
A third time warlike cheers are raised
Beneath the noon's unclouded sun:
Saw thrice their laurels won,
As erst o'er Ajalon!
Blue Esk, with murmuring stream,
Romantic, journies by
To woo the summer sky,
And bloomy wild shrubs, fresh and fair;
Its locks of silver hair
Its image pictured there.
Three hosts subdued by one!
Beneath one summer sun.
Of rocky streams, and leafy trees,
Would ever dream of these ?
Save birds, and humming bees?
Survives the wrecks of Time;
With pinnacles sublime:
And, like a vision, leave the scene,
On sculptured base shall lean
Of glories that have been !
THE SILENT GRAVE.
A Sonnet. 'Twas when mid forests dark the night winds raged,
Tossing their branches with an awful voice;
When clouds lower'd heavy, and the dull drear noise
Most thoughtful, and in solitary guise,
(For deep truths flash on contemplation's eyes,) To where the churchyard gloom'd in rayless shade:Impressive was the loneliness-in sooth,
My thoughts through pathless labyrinths did run ;
I sate, in darkness, on the grave of one
And there I mused, till from the turf mine eye
Till from the turf he rose before mine eye,