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From those high towers this noble lord issuing,


Like radiant Hesper when his golden hayre
In th' ocean billows he hath bathèd fayre,
Descended to the rivers open vewing,
With a great traine ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to bee seene
Two gentle knights of lovely face and

Beseeming well the bower of anie queene,
With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature:

That like the twins of Jove they seem'd in sight,

Which decke the bauldricke of the heavens bright.

They two, forth pacing to the rivers side, Received those two faire brides, their loves


Which, at th' appointed tyde,

Each one did make his bryde,


Against their brydale day, which is not

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As a whole, the brilliant lyrical effluence of the Elizabethan period may fairly be regarded as the product of English courtly life, and particularly, in its beginning, the product of the Renaissance court of Henry VIII. Wyatt and Surrey were conspicuous courtiers, and scarcely one of the contributors to Tottel's Miscellany (1557) was free from court influence. An inevitable result of courtliness in literature is convention, a too conscious refinement, and, often, a baffling veil of literary pretence. These qualities are salient and inherent in the Elizabethan sonnet. After its introduction into English literature by Sir Thomas Wyatt, and after its chastening in the hands of Surrey and others, this poetical form was first used in masterly fashion by Sir Philip Sidney in his Astrophel and Stella, the earliest sonnet sequence in English, composed a good while before its publication in 1591. During the decade 15901600, the sonnet was, apparently, the prevailing literary fashion, a fashion to which Shakspere submitted without restraint. Of the total number of these sonnets,- which far exceeds two thousand,' the larger proportion are found in sonnet collections, or sonnet sequences, of which the most important, after those of Shakspere and Sidney, are the following: Delia (1592), by Samuel Daniel; Idea (1594), by Michael Drayton; and Amoretti (1595), by Edmund Spenser. With few exceptions, these sonnets, like those of Wyatt and Surrey, are imitations of Continental models.

But since lyric is essentially the expression of personal emotion, the lyrist inevitably breaks out, at times, into a frank, intimate, and spontaneous utterance which is of all sorts of expression the most immediately pleasurable. Free, fresh, and various are the lyrics found in the series of miscellanies which began with Tottel's Miscellany, and continued with The Paradise of Dainty Devices (1576), A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions (1578), A Handful of Pleasant Delights (1584), The Phoenix' Nest (1593), The Passionate Pilgrim (1599), England's Helicon (1600), and Francis Davison's Poctical Rhapsody (1602). In one or other of these collections are represented the chief lyrical writers of the Elizabethan period.

In a group apart from the lyrical miscellanies, though not conspicuously different from some of them in content, may be reckoned the Elizabethan song books. William Byrd's Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness and Piety (1587) and Songs of Sundry Natures (1589) were followed, during the next decade or two, by some scores of similar collections, such as John Dowland's The First Book of Songs or Airs (1597), and Thomas Campion's A Book of Airs (1601). Along with the songs in song books should be mentioned those that delightfully enliven many of the plays of the period, eminently those of Lyly and of Shakspere.

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Some have too much, yet still do crave; 25
I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store:
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another's loss;

I grudge not at another's pain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
My state at one doth still remain:

I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;



I loathe not life, nor dread my end.


Wrong not, sweet empress of my heart,
The merit of true passion,

With thinking that he feels no smart,
That sues for no compassion.

Silence in love bewrays more woe

Than words, though ne'er so witty: A beggar that is dumb, you know, May challenge double pity.

Then wrong not, dearest to my heart,
My true, though secret passion;
He smarteth most that hides his smart,
And sues for no compassion.


Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of salvation,

My gown of glory, hope's true gauge; And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.




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Blood must be my body's balmer;

No other balm will there be given; Whilst my soul, like a quiet palmer,

Traveleth towards the land of heaven, 10 Over the silver mountains,

Where spring the nectar fountains.
There will I kiss

The bowl of bliss;

And drink mine everlasting fill
Upon every milken hill.

My soul will be a-dry before;
But, after, it will thirst no more.
Then by that happy blissful day

More peaceful pilgrims I shall see,
That have cast off their rags of clay,
And walk appareled fresh like me.
I'll take them first,
To quench their thirst

And taste of nectar suckets,
At those clear wells

Where sweetness dwells,

Drawn up by saints in crystal buckets.

And when our bottles and all we
Are filled with immortality,
Then the blessed paths we 'll travel,
Strowed with rubies thick as gravel;
Ceilings of diamonds, sapphire floors,
High walls of coral, and pearly bowers.

From thence to heaven's bribeless hall,
Where no corrupted voices brawl;
No conscience molten into gold;
No forged accuser bought or sold;
No cause deferred, no vain-spent journey,
For there Christ is the King's attorney,
Who pleads for all, without degrees,
And he hath angels but no fees.





And when the grand twelve million jury Of our sins, with direful fury, Against our souls black verdicts give, Christ pleads his death; and then we live.

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CENONE. Fair and fair, and twice so fair, As fair as any may be;

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