Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

Her fair eye piercing,
My poor heart bleeding,
And I abiding,

In hope of mede; 1 A term of endearment, used by Chaucer, Skelton, &c., probably the origin of the modern word pickaninny. It is spelled piggesnie in Tyrwhitt's edition of Chaucer. The poet, describing the Carpenter's wife in the Miller's Tale, says, “ She was a primesole - piggesnie;" primesole, signifies a primrose. “The Romans," says Tyrwhitt

, "used oculus as a term of endearment, and perhaps piggesnie, in vulgar language, only means ocellus ; the eyes of that animal being remarkably small."— Note on Chaucer's Cant. Tales, v. 3268. Todd (Johnson's Dict. in v. Pigsney) has shown that the word was occasionally written pigs eie. The derivation, however, seems more likely to be from the old Saxon word, piga, a girl.

But thus have I long,
Entuning this song,
With pains full strong,

And cannot speed.

Alas will not she,
Now show her pity,
But this will take me,

In such disdain ;
Methinketh I was
Unkind that she is,
That bindeth me thus,

In such hard pain.

Though she me bind,
Yet shall she not find,
My poor heart unkind,

Do what she can ;
For I will her pray,
While I live a day,
Me to take for aye,

For her own man.

THE SORROWS OF TRUE LOVERS' PARTING.

SIR THOMAS Wyatt, born 1503, died 1554
THERE was never nothing more me pain’d,

Nor more my pity mov'd
As when my sweetheart her complain'd
That ever she me lov'd,

Alas! the while !

With piteous look she said, and sigh’d,

“ Alas! what aileth me?
To love and set my wealth so light,
On him that loveth not me;

Alas the while !

" Was I not well void of all pain,

When that nothing me griev'd ?
And now with sorrows I must complain,
And cannot be reliev'd,

Alas! the while !

“My restful nights, and joyful days,

Since I began to love
Be take from me; all thing decays
Yet can I not remove,

Alas! the while!”
She wept and wrung her hands withal,

The tears fell on my neck ;
She turned her face, and let them fall,
And scarce therewith could speak :

Alas! the while !

Her pains tormented me so sore

That comfort I had none,
But cursed my fortune more and more
To see her sob and groan,

Alas! the while !

THE DECEIVED LOVER SUETH ONLY FOR LIBERTY.

SIR THOMAS Wyatt.

If chance assign'd,
Were to my mind,
By every

kind

Of destiny ;
Yet would I crave
Nought else to have,

But (dearest?) life and liberty.
Then were I sure,
I might endure
The displeasure

Of cruelty;
Where now I plain
Alas! in vain,

Lacking my life for liberty.

For without th' one,
Th’ other is gone,
And there can none

It remedy ;

1 In the ordinary version this line is printed " But life and liberty,"—as, however, the line is thus shorter by two feet than the corresponding lines of the other stanzas, the word “dearest" is suggested as the proper word to supply the omission.

If the one be past,
Th' other doth waste

And all for lack of liberty.

And so I drive,
As yet alive,
Although I strive

With misery';
Drawing my breath,
Looking for death,

And loss of life for liberty.

But thou that still,
May'st at thy will,
Turn all this ill

Adversity ;
For the repair,
Of my welfare,

Grant me but life and liberty.

And if not so,
Then let all go
To wretched woe,

And let me die;
For th' one or th' other,
There is none other;

My death, or life with liberty.

THE LOVER COMFORTETH HIMSELF WITH THE

WORTHINESS OF HIS LOVE.

THE EARL OF SURREY, born 1616, died 1647.

WHEN raging love with extreme pain

Most cruelly distrains my heart;
When that my tears, as floods of rain,

Bear witness of my woful smart ;
When sighs have wasted so my breath.
That I lie at the point of death :

I call to mind the navy great

That the Greeks brought to Troy town: And how the boisterous winds did beat

Their ships, and rent their sails adown; Till Agamemnon's daughter's blood Appeas'd the gods that them withstood, And how that in those ten years war

Full many bloody deed was done ; And many a lord that came full far,

There caught his bane, alas! too soon; And many

å good night overrun, Before the Greeks had Helen won, Then think I thus: “Sith such repair,

So long time war of valiant men, Was all to win a lady fair,

Shall I not learn to suffer, then ? And think my life well spent to be Serving a worthier wight than she ? Therefore I never will repent,

But pains contented still endure ; For like as when, rough winter spent,

The pleasing spring straight draweth in ure ;1 So after raging storms of care, Joyful at length may be my fare.

GIVE PLACE, YE LOVERS.

THE EARL OF SURREY. Give place, ye lovers, here before

That spent your boasts and brags in vain; My lady's beauty passeth more

The best of yours I dare well sayen,
Than doth the sun the candle light,
Or brightest day the darkest night
And thereto hath a troth as just,

As had Penelope the fair ;
For what she saith, ye may it trust,

As it by writing sealed were :
And virtues hath she

mo' Than I with pen have skill to show.

many

i Ure-fortune-destiny ;-a word used by Chaucer and other early writers.

« AnteriorContinuar »