Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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228                Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
worthy of Arcadia itself in its most palmy days — and the
writer, first in conjunction with his friend, Francis Beaumont,
and afterwards by his unaided pen, of a large number of plays,
of almost every style, from that of Seneca to that of Plautus.
In speaking of "The Faithful Shepherdess," Hazlitt says it
comes near to Spenser in a certain tender and voluptuous
sense of natural beauty, whilst in the playful and fantastic
expression of it he approaches Shakspeare; and he quotes
some passages which bear out the eulogy. Here is one: the
description of a spot well fitted for love, described by Chloe
to Thenot:—
--------Here be woods as green
As any, air likewise as fresh and sweet As where smooth Zephyrus plays on the fLet Face of the curled stream, with flow'rs as many As the young Spring gives, and choice as any; Here be all new delights, cool streams and wells, Arbours o'ergrow with woodbine; caves and dells; Chuse where thou wilt, while I sit by and sing, Or gather rushes, to make many a ring For thy long fingers; tell thee tales of love, How the pale Phcebe, hunting in a grove, First saw the boy Endymion, from whose eyes She took eternal fire that never dies ; How she conveyed him softly, in a sleep, His temples bound with poppy, to the steep Head of old Latmos, where she stoops each night, Gilding the mountain with her brother's light, To kiss her sweetest.
The invocation of Amaryllis to Pan, the God of Shep­herds, to save her from the violence of the Sullen Shepherd,
for Syrinx' sake—
For her dear sake That loves the rivers' brinks, and still doth quake In cold remembrance of thy quick pursuit—
this has the magic touch of Shakspeare in it; and in some
passages it is obvious that Fletcher set a copy which Milton
was not loath to follow in his Comus—Ex. gr.:
Yet I have heard (my mother told it me, And now I do believe it), if I keep My virgin flow'r uncropt, pure, chaste and fair, No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf or fiend, Satyr, or other power that haunts the groves, Shall hurt my body, or by vain illusion Draw me to wander after idle fires;
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