Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Nor under every bank and every tree,
Speak rymes unto my oten minstralsie :
Nor caroll out so pleasing lively laies,
As mought the Graces move my mirth to praise.
Trumpet, and reeds, and socks, and buskins fine",
I them bequeath : whose statues wand'ring twine
Of yvy, mixt with bayes, circlen around;
Their living temples likewise laurell-bound.
Rather had I, albee in carelesse rymes,
Check the mis-ord'red world, and lawlesse tymes.
Nor need I crave the Muse's mid-wifry,
To bring to light so worth-lesse poetry:
Or, if we list, what baser Muse can bide,
To sit and sing by Grantae's naked side?
They haunt the tyded Thames and salt Medway,
Ere since the fame of their late bridall day to.
Nought have we here but willow-shaded shore",
To tell our Grant his banks are left forlore".

SATIRE II".

WHILOME " the Sisters Nine were vestall maides,
And held their temple in the secret shades

Trumpet, and reeds, and socks, and buskins fine,

I them bequeath: whose statues wandring twine
Of yoy, mixt with bayes, circlen around

Their living temples likewise laurell-bound.
A beautiful imitation of the Prologue to Persius's Satires

Heliconidasque pallidamque Pyrenen
IUis remitto, quorum imagines lumbunt

Hedera sequaces. E. I them bequeathThe Oxford Editor refers this to the Earl of Surrey, Wyat, Sid. ney, Dyer, &c.

Whose statues wandring twine &c.

Whose statues thwand'ring twine &c. W. circlen encircle. 10 They haunt the tyded Thames and salt Medway,

Ere since the fame.of their late bridall day : Alluding to Spenser's beautiful episode, in the Fairy Queen, B. iv. Canto 11, on the marriage of the Thames and Medway. E.

-Willow-shaded shore. Willows, the types of desertion. W. See the close of Sat. 1. of this Book. 11 — forlore—forlorn. 13 In this Satire our author poetically laments that the Nine Muses are no longer Vestal Virgins. W.

* Whilome-formerly.

Of faire Parnassus, that two-headed bill,
Whose auncient fame the southern world did fill:
And, in the steed of their eternall flame,
Was the coole streame, that tooke his endles name,
From out the fertile hoofe of winged steed.
There did they sit, and do their holy deed,
That pleas'd both heav'n and earth; til that of late
Whom should I fault"s? or the most righteous fate,
Or heav'n or men, or fiend, or ought beside,
That ever made that foule mischance betide ?
Some of the Sisters in securer shades
Defloured were:
And, ever since, disdaining sacred shame,
Done ought that might their heav'nly stock defame
Now is Pernassus turned to a stewes,
And on bay-stocks the wanton myrtle grewes ;
Cythêron hill's become a brothel-bed,
And Pyrene sweet turnd to a poison'd head
Of cole-black puddle, whose infectuous staine
Corrupteth all the lowly fruitfull plaine ;
Their modest stole", to garish looser weed,
Deck’t with love-favors, their late whordom's meed:
And, where they wont sip of the simple flood,
Now tosse they bowles of Bacchus' boyling blood
I marvell'd much, with doubtfull jealousie,
Whence came such litturs of new poetrie:
Mee thought I fear'd, least the hors-boofed well
His native banks did proudly over-swell
In some late discontent, thence to ensue
Such wondrous rablements of rim-sters new :
But, since, I saw it painted on Fame's wings,
The Muses to be woren' Wantonings.
Each bush, each bank, and ech base apple-squire"
Can serve to sate their beastly lewd desire.
Ye bastard poets, see your pedigree,
From common trulls and loathsom brothelry!

SATIRE III.
WITH some pot-fury, ravisht from their wit,
They sit and muse on some no-vulgar writ.

[ocr errors]

18

-fault-blame. 16 Pyrene-Two syllables. E.

-stole- garment.

-woxen-become.

--apple-squire.--A cant term, formerly in use to denote a pimp. “Of her gentlemanrusher I became her Apple-Squire, to hold the door, and keep centinel at taverns." Nabbe's Microcosmus, quoted by Mason in his Supplement to Johnson.

19

As frozen dung-hils in a winter's morne,
That voyd of vapours seemed all before",
Soone as the sun sends out his piercing beames,
Exhale out filthie smoke and stinking steames:
So doth the base, and the fore-barren" braine,
Soone as the raging wine begins to raigne.
One higher pitch'd doth set his soaring thought
On crowned kings, that fortune hath low brought;
Or some upreared, high-aspiring swaine,
As it might be the Turkish Tamberlaine” :
Then weeneth he his base drink-drowned spright,
Rapt to the threefold loft of heaven's hight,
When he conceives upon his fained stage
The stalking steps of his great personage:
Graced with huf-cap termes * and thundring threats,
That his poore hearers' hayre quite upright

sets.
Such soone, as some brave-minded hungry youth
Sees fitly frame to his wide-strained mouth,
He vaunts his voyce upon a hyred stage,
With high-set steps and princely carriage:
Now, soouping* in side robes of royalty,
That earst did skrubs in lowsie brokery;
There, if he can with termes Italianates,
Big-sounding sentences, and words of state,
Faire patch me up his pure lambick verse,
He ravishes the gazing scaffolders *):

[ocr errors]

24

25

beforne-before.

- fore-barren-barren before. ** As it might be the Turkish Tamberlaine. See Malone's Shakespeare.-Ed. 1790. pp. 115, 116. E.

huf-cap termes-blustering, swaggering terms.

soouping—Aaunting proudly: alluding, perhaps, to the swooping or descent of a bird of prey on his quarry.

-skrub-look mean and filthy: taken, probably, from scrub, a short and dirty fellow. See Reed's Shakespeare, vol. vii. p. 383.

24 There if he can with termes ITALIANATE. Alluding to the prevailing custom of innovating on our native tongue from the Italian. See also, in B. v. Sat, 2.

When Mavio's first page nf his poesy,
Naild to a hundred postes for novelty,
With his big title an ITALIAN MOT,

Layes siege unto the backward buyer's groat.
So Marston, in his Satires, 1598

I cannot quote A MOTTE ITALIANATE

Or brand my Satires with a SPANISH TERME. E. 37 He ravishes the gazing scaffolders : Those who sat on the Scaffold; a part of the Play-House, which answered to the Upper Gallery. So, again, B. iv. Sat. 2.

When a craz'D SCAFFOLD, and a rotten stage,

Was all rich Nænius his heritage. See the conformation of an old English Theatre accurately investigated in the Suf plement to Shakespeare: I. 9. seq. W.

[ocr errors]

Then, certes, was the famous Corduban
Never but halfe so high Tragedian.
Now, least such frightfull showes of Fortune's fall,
And bloudy tyrant's rage, should chance appall
The dead stroke audience, mids the silent rout,
Comes leaping in a selfe-misformed lout;
And laughes, and grins, and frames his mimik face,
And justles straight into the prince's place:
Then doth 'the Theatre eccho all aloud,
With gladsome noyse of that applauding croud.
A goodly hoch-poch! when vile Russettings 30
Are match't with monarchs, and with mighty kings.
A goodly grace to sober Tragick Muse
When each base clown his clumbsie fist doth bruise",
And show his teeth in double rotten row,
For laughter at his selfe-resembled show.
Meane while our poets, in high parliament,
Sit watching every word and gesturement";
Like curious censors of some doughtie geare",
Whispering their verdit in their fellowes' eare.
Wo to the word, whose margent, in their scrole,
Is noted with a blacke condemning cole!
But, if each periode might the synode please,
Ho! -bring the ivy boughs, and bands of bayes.
Now, when they part and leave the naked stage,
Gins the bare hearer, in a guiltie rage,
To curse and ban, and blame his likerous eye,
That thus hath lavisht his late halfe.peny.
Shame that the Muses should be bought and sold,
For every peasant's brasse, on each scaffold.

SATIRE IV.

Too popular is Tragicke Poesie,
Strayning his tip-toes for a farthing fee,

28

The famous Corduban. Seneca. 19 Now, least such frightfull showes of Fortune's

fall, &c. &c. But, adds the critical Satirist, that the minds of the astonished audience may not be too powerfully impressed with the terrors of tragic solemnity, a VICE, or Buffoon, is suddenly, and most seasonably introduced. W.

See Malone's Shakespeare. Ed. 1790. pp. 115, 116. 30 Russettings—a coarse kind of stuff.

31 When each base clown his clumbsie fist doth bruise. In striking the benches to express approbation. W.

gesturcment-gesture.

geare-a general word for things or matters. See Reed's Shakespeare :

vol. vii. 240. xiii. 261.

And doth besides on Rimelesse numbers tread,
Unbid lambicks flow from carelesse head 34.
Some braver braine in high Heroick rimes
Compileth worm-eate stories of olde times :
And he, like some imperious Maronist,
Conjures the Muses that they him assist.
Then strives he to bumbast his feeble lines
With farre-fetcht phrase;
And maketh up his hard-betaken tale
With straunge enchantments, fetcht from darksom vale,
Of some Melissa, that, by magicke doome,
To Tuscans' soyle transporteth Merlin's Toombe 35.
Painters and Poets hold your auncient right:
Write what you wil, and write not what you might :
Their limits be their List; their reason, will.
But if some painter, in presuming skill,
Should paint the stars in center of the earth,
Could ye forbeare some smiles, and taunting mirth?
But let no rebell Satyre dare traduce
Th' eternall Legends of thy Faery Muse,
Renowmed Spencer: whom no earthly wight
Dares once to emulate, much lesse dares despight.
Salust of France 36, and Tuscan Ariost,
Yeeld up the Lawrell Girlond ye have lost :
And let all others willow weare with mee,
Or let their undeserving Temples bared bee.

SATIRE V 7.
ANOTHER, whose more heavie hearted Saint
Delights in nought but notes of rufull plaint,

* From these lines Warton supposes Hall was no friend to blank verse. And he soon after condemns such licentious fictions as occur in Orlando Furioso. E. Yet, in his Postscript, he speaks pretty decisively against rhyme, at least as applicable to satire : -" the fettering together the series of the verses, with the bonds of like cadence or desinence of rhyme, which if it be unusually abrupt, and not dependent in sense upon so near affinity of words, I know not what a loathsome kind of harshness and discordance it breedeth to any judicial ear &c.” 3 And maketh up his hard-betuken tale With straunge enchantments, fetcht from darksom vale, Of some Melissa, that, by mugicke doome,

To Tuscans' soyle transporteth Merlin's Toombe. Referring to the beginning of the Third Book of Orlando Furioso; where the Tomb of Merlin is transferred by the poet from Wales to France. Compare Warton's Observations on the Fairy Queen. 1. 37. E.

36 Salust of FranceGuillaume Salluste, Seigneur du Bartas, the translation of whose “ Semaines" was once popular, and to which Hall prefixed Commendatory Verses. E.

» The Book, to which this Satire alludes, is the “Mirrour of Magistrates :" in which poem many of the most eminent characters in English History are intro

« AnteriorContinuar »