Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Samuel Daniel, Poems and A Defence of Ryme

Samuel Daniel, Poems and A Defence of Ryme, Ed. Arthur Colby Sprague, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1972.

Like to the curious builder who this yeare
Pulse downe, and alters what he did the last
As if the thing in doing were more deere
Then being done, & nothing likes thats past
(To the Reader, 3)

I may pull downe, raise, and reedifie
It is the building of my life the fee
Of nature, all th’inheritance that i
Shal leaue to those which must come after me
And all the care I haue is but to see
These lodgings of m’affections neatly drest (3)

I know no work from man yet euer came
But had his marke, and by some error shewd
That it was his, and yet what in the same
Was rare, an worthy, euermore allowd
Safe couoy for the rest: the good thats sow’d
Thogh rarely paies our cost, & who so looks
T’haue all thinges in perfection, & in frame
In mens inuentions, neuer must read books. (3)

But as the Peacock, seeing himselfe to weake
Confest the Eagle fairer farre to be
And yet not in his feathers but his beake. (4)

But vntouch’d harts, with vnaffected eye,
Approch not to behold so great distresse:
Cleer-sighted you, soone note what is awry,
Whilst blinded ones mine errours neuer gesse.
You blinded soules whom youth and errours lead,
You outcast Eglets, dazzled with your sunne:
Ah you, and none but you my sorrowes read,
You best can iudge the wrongs that she hath dunne.
(To Delia, Sonnet III)

And her disdaines are gall; her fauours hunny. (VI)

And still I toile, to chaunge the marble brest
Of her, whose sweetest grace I doe adore:
Yet cannot finde her breathe vnto my rest,
Hard is her hart and woe is me therefore.
O happie he that ioy’d his stone and arte,
Vnhappy I to loue a stony harte. (XIII)

Those amber locks, are those same nets my deere,
Wherewith my libertie thou didst surprize: (XIIII)

And list not seeke to breake, to quench, to heale,
The bonde, the flame, the wound that festreth so;
By knife, by liquor, or by salue to deale:
So much I please to perish in my wo. (XIIII)

Happie in sleep, waking content to languish,

All things I loath saue her and mine own anguish, (XVI)

Restore thy tresses to the golden Ore,
Yeelde Cithereas sonne those Arkes of loue;
Bequeath the heauens the starres that I adore,
And to th’Orient do thy Pearles remoue.
Yeelde thy hands pride vnto th’yuory whight,
T’Arabian odors giue thy breathing sweete:
Restore thy bluch vnto Aurora bright,
To Thetis giue the honour of thy feete.
Let Venus haue thy graces, her resign’d,
And thy sweete voice giue backe vnto the Spheares:
But yet restore thy fearce and cruell minde,
To Hyrcan Tygers, and to ruthles Beares.
Yeelde to the Marble thy hard hart againe;
So shalt thou cease to plague, and I to paine. (XVIII)

These sorrowing sighes, the smoakes of mine annoy;
These teares, which heate of sacred flame distils;
Are these due tributes that my faith dooth pay
Vnto the tyrant; whose vnkindes kils. (XXI)

Raysing my hopes on hills of high desire,
Thinking to skale the heauen of her hart:
My slender meanes presum’d too high a part;
Her thunder of disdaine forst me retire. (XXVIII)

When golden haires shall chaunge to siluer wyre: (XXX)

No Aprill can reuiue thy withred flowers,
Whose blooming grace adornes thy glorie now:

O let not then such riches waste in vaine;
But loue whilst that thou maist be lou’d againe. (XXXI)

And whilst thou spread’st vnto the rysing sunne,
The fairest flower that euer sawe the light:
Now ioye thy time before thy sweete be dunne,
And Delia, thinke thy morning must haue night. (XXXII)

And that thy brightnes sets at length to west:
When thou wilt close vp that which now thou showest:
And thinke the same becomes thy fading best,
Which then shall hide it most, and couer lowest. (XXXII)

Thinke now sweete Delia, this shall be thy shame,
My Muse should lieu, the glory of whose name,
Shall rest in yce, when thine is grau’d in Marble. (XXXVI)

Faire and louely maide, looke from the shore,
See thy Leander striuing in these waues:

And wafte him to thee with those louely eyes,
A happy conuoy to a holy lande:

Stretch out the fairest hand a pledge of peace,

Ile not reuenge olde wrongs, my wrath shall cease;
For that which gaue me woundes, Ile giue it kisses. (XXXVIII)

Who whilst I burne, she singes at my soules wrack,
Looking a loft from Turret of her pride:
There my soules tyrant ioyes her, in the sack
Of her owne seate, whereof I made her guide.
There doe these smoakes that from affliction ryse,
Serue as an incense to a cruell Dame: (XXXIX)

When shall her troubled browe charg’d with disdaine,
Reueale the treasure which her smyles impart: (XLI)

When tyme hath made a passport for thy feares,
Dated in age the Kalends of our death. (XLII)

Care-charmer sleepe, sonne of the Sable night,
Brother to death, in silent darknes borne:
Relieue my languish, and restore the light,
With darke forgetting of my cares returne.
And let the day be time enough to morne,
The shipwrack of my ill-aduentred youth:
Let waking eyes suffice to wayle theyr scorne,
Without the torment of the nights vntruth.
Cease dreames, thy’ymagery of our day desires,
To modell foorth the passions of the morrow:
Neuer let rysing Sunne approue you lyers,
To adde more griefe to aggrauat my sorrow.
Still let me sleepe, imbracing clowdes in vaine;
And neuer wake, to feele the dayes disdayne. (XLV)

Like as the Lute that ioyes or els dislikes,
As is his arte that playes vpon the same:
So sounds my Muse according as she strikes,
On my hart strings high turn’d vnto her fame.
Her touch doth cause the warble of the sound,
Which here I yeeld in lamentable wise,
A wailing descant on the sweetest ground,
Whose due reports giue honor to her eyes.
Els harsh my style, vntunable my Muse,
Hoarce sounds the voice that prayseth not her name:
If any pleasing realish here I vse,
Then iudge the world her beautie giues the same.
O happie ground that makes the musique such,
And blessed hand that giues so sweete a tuch. (XLVII)

What though my selfe no honor get thereby,
Each byrd sings t’herselfe, and so will I. (XLIX)

My body found a graue where to containe it,
A sheete could hide my face, but not my sin,
(The Complaint of Rosamond, lines 5-6)

Happie liu’d I whilst Parents eye did guide,
The indiscretion of my feeble wayes:
And Country home kept me from being eyed,
Where best vnknowne I spent my sweetest dayes;
Till that my frindes mine honour sought to rayse,
To higher place, which greater credite yeeldes,
Deeming such beauty was vnfit for feeldes.
From Country then to Court I was preferr’d, (85-92)

Yet well perceiu’d how Fortune made me then,
The enuy of my sexe, and wonder vnto men. (111-12)

Doost thou not see how that thy King thy Iove,
Lightens foorth glory of thy darke estate:
And showres downe golde and treasure from aboue,
Whilst thou doost shutte thy lappe against thy fate: (232-5)

The mightie who can with such sinnes dispence,
In steed of shame doe honors great bestow:
A worthie author doth redeeme th’offence,
And makes the scarelet sinne as white as snow.
The Maiestie that doth descend so low,
Is not defiled, but pure remaines therein:
And being sacred, sanctifies the sin. (288-94)

So well the golden balles cast downe before me,
Could entertaine my course, hinder my way: (358-9)

For that must hap decreed by heauenly powers,
Who worke our fall, yet make the fault still ours. (412-3)

And now I come to tell the worst of ilnes,
Now drawes the date of mine affliction neere:
Now when the darke had wrapt vp all in stilnes,
And dreadfull blacke, had dispossess’d the cleere:
Com’d was the night, mother of sleepe and feare,
Who with her sable mantle friendly couers,
The sweet-stolne sports, of ioyfull meeting Louers. (428-34)

What greater torment euer could haue beene,
Then to inforce the fayre to lieu retired?
For what is Beautie if it be not seene, (505-8)

Nature created Beautie for the view,
Like as the fire for heate, the Sunne for light:
The Faire doe holde this priuiledge as due,
By auncient Charter, to lieu most in sight, (512-15)

Fond man Musophilus, that thus dost spend
In an vngainefull arte thy deerest daies,
(opening, Mvsophilus)

Be it that my vnseasonable song
Come out of time, that fault is in the time,
And I must do vertue so much wrong
As loue her ought the worse for others crime; (21-4)

For these lines are the vaines, the Arteries,
And vndecaying life-strings of those harts
That still shall pant, and still shall exercise
The motion spirits and nature both imparts, (183-6)

And let th’vnnaturall and wayward race
Borne of one wombe with vs, but to our shame,
That neuer read t’obserue but to disgrace,
Raise all the tempest of their power to blame;
That puffe of follie neuer can deface,
The worke a happy Genius tooke to frame. (201-6)

Sacred Religion, mother of forme and feare,
How gorgeously somtimes dost thou sit deckt?
What pompous vestures do we make thee weare? (295-7)

Is this the walke of all your wide renowne,
This little point, this scarce discerned Ile, (426-7)

And for that happier tongues haue woon so much,
Think you to make your barbarous language such? (432-3)

For when to these rare dainties time admits,
All comers, all Complexions, all that will,
Where none should be let in, but choisest wits,
Whose milde discretion could comport with skill,
For when the place their humor neither fits,
Nor they the place: who can expect but ill? (474-79)

And though irresolution and a selfe distrust be the most apparent faults of my nature, and that the least checke of reprehension, if it sauour of reason, will as easily shake my resolution as any mans liuing: yet in this case I know not how I am growne more resolued, and before I sinke, willing to examine what those powers of iudgement are, that must beare me downe, and beat me off from the station of my profession, which by the law of nature I am set to defend. (A Defence of Ryme, page 130)

SO that if his charitie had equally drawne with his learning hee would haue forborne to procure the enuie of so powerfull a number vupon him, from whom he cannot but expect the returne of a like measure of blame, and onely haue made way to his owne grace, by the proofe of his abilitie, without the disparaging of vs, who would haue bin glad to haue stood quietly by him, & perhaps commended his aduenture, … (131)

All verse is but a frame of wordes confide within certaine measure; differing from the ordinarie speech, and introduced, the better to expresse mens conceipts, both for delight and memorie. (131)

For as Greeke and Latine verse consists of the number and quantitie of syllables, so doth the English verse of measure and accent. And though it doth not strictly obserue long and short syllables, yet it most religiously respects the accent: and as the short and the long make number so the Acute and graue accent yeelde harmonie: And harmonie is likewise number, so that the English verse then hath number, measure and harmonie in the best proportion of Musike. (132)

Me thinkes it is a strange imperfection, that men should thus ouer-runne the estimation of good things with so violent a censure, as though it must please none else, because it likes not them. (134)

For be the verse neuer so good, neuer so full, it seemes not to satisfie nor breede that delight as when it is met and combined with a like sounding accent. Which seems as the iointure without which it hangs loose, and cannot susbsist, but runnes wildely on, like a tedious fancie without a close: (135)

Greekes and Latines… We admire them not for their smooth-gliding wordes, nor their measures, but for their inuentions: which treasure, if it were to be found in Welch, and Irish, we should hold those languages in the same estimation, and they may thanke their sword that made their tongues so famous and vniuersall as they are. For to say truth, their Verse is many times but a confused deliuerer of their excellent conceits, whose scattered limbes we are faine to looke out and ioyne together, to discerne the image of what they represent vnto vs. and euen the Latines, who professe not to be so licentious as the Greekes, shew vs many times examples but of strange crueltie, in torturing and dismembering of wordes in the middest, or disioyning such as naturally should be married and march together, by setting them as farre asunder, as they can possibly stand: that sometimes, vnlesse the kind reader, outo f his owne good nature, wil stay them vp by their measure, they will fall downe into flatte prose, and sometimes are no other indeed in their naturall sound: (136-7)

Euery science, euery profession, must be so wrapt vp in vnnecessary intrications, as if it were not to fashion, but to confound the vnderstanding, which makes me much to distrust man, and feare that our presumption goes beyond our abilitie, (137)

We must not looke vpon the immense course of times past, as men ouer-looke spacious and wide countries, from off high Mountaines and are neuer the neere to iudge of the true Nature of the soyle, or the particular syte and face of those territories they see. (143)

I thanke God that I am none of these great Schollers, if thus their hie knowledges doe but giue them more eyes to looke out into vncertaintie and confusion, accounting my selfe, rather beholding to my ignorance, that hath set me in so lowe an vnderroome of conceipt with other men, and hath giuen me as much distrust, as it hath done hope, daring not aduenture to goe alone, and plodding on the plaine tract I finde beaten by Custome and the Time, contenting me with what I see in vse. (147)

But had our Aduersary taught vs by his owne proceedings, this way of perfection, and therein fram’d vs a Poeme of that excellencie as should haue put downe all, and beene the maister-peece of these times, we should all haue admired him. But to depraue the present forme of writing, and to bring vs nothing but a few loose and vncharitable Epigrammes, and yet would make vs belieue those numbers were come to raise the glory of our language, giueth vs cause to suspect the performance, (148)

Why then it was to shew his owne skill, and what himselfe had obserued: so he might well haue done, without doing wrong to the honor of the dead, wrong to the fame of the liuing, and wrong to England, in seeking to lay reproach vppon her natiue ornaments, and to turne the faire streame and full course of her accents, into the shallow current of a loose vncertaintie, cleane out of the way of her knowne delight. (153)

What, doth he think himselfe is now gotten so farre out of the way of contempt, that his numbers are gone beyond the reach of obloquie, and that how friuolous, or idle soeuer they shall runne, they shall be protected from disgrace, as though that light rymes and light numbers did not weigh all alike in the graue opinion of the wise. (153)

And I must confesse my Aduersary hath wrought this much vpon me, that I thinke a Tragedie would indeede best comporte with a blank Verse, and dispence with Ryme, sauing in the Chorus or where a sentence shall require a couplet. (156)

Next to this deformitie stands our affectation, wherein we always berwray our selues to be both vnkinde, and vnnaturall to our owne natiue language, in disguising or forging strange or vnvsuall wordes, as in if it were to make our verse seeme an other kind of speech out of the course of our vsuall practise, displacing our wordes, or inuesting new, onely vpon a singularitie: when our owne accustomed phrase, set in the due place, would expresse vs more familiarly and to better delight, than all this idle affectation of antiquitie, or noueltie can euer doe. And I can not but wonder at the strange presumption of some men that dare so audaciously aduenture to introduce any whatsoeuer forraine wordes, be they neuer so strange; and of themselues as it were, without a Parliament, without any consent, or allowance, establish them as Free-denizens in our language. But this is but a Character of that perpetually reuolution which wee see to be in all things that neuer remaine the same, and we must herein be content to submit our selues to the law of time, which in few yeeres wil make al that, for which we now contend, Nothing. (158)


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