« PreviousContinue »
And pallid Yvie, building his owne bowre;
And whatsoever other flowre of worth,
The ioyous Spring out of the ground brings forth,
To thee, small Gnat, in lieu of his life saved, The Shepheard hath thy deaths record engraved.
1 Ensue, follow
MOTHER HUBBERDS TALE.
BY ED. SP.
DEDICATED TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE,
THE LADIE COMPTON AND MOUNTEGLE.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE,
THE LADIE COMPTON AND MOUNTEGLE.*
MOST faire and vertuous Ladie; having often sought opportunitie by some good meanes to make knowen to your Ladiship the humble affection and faithfull duetie, which I have alwaies professed, and am bound to beare to that House, from whence yee spring, I have at length found occasion to remember the same, by making a simple present to you of these my idle labours; which having long sithens composed in the raw conceipt of my youth, I lately amongst other papers lighted upon, and was by others, which liked the same, mooved to set them foorth. Simple is the device, and the composition meane, yet carrieth some delight, even the rather because of the simplicitie and meannesse thus personated. The same I beseech your Ladiship take in good part, as a pledge of that profession which I have made to you; and keepe with you untill, with some other more worthie labour, I do redeeme it out of your hands, and discharge my utmost dutie. Till then wishing your Ladiship all increase of honour and happinesse, I humblie take leave.
Your La: ever humbly;
*"This lady was Anne, the fifth daughter of Sir John Spenser, distinguished also in the pastoral of Colin Clouts come Home again, by the name of Charillis. She was married, first to Sir Wm. Stanley, Lord Mountegle; next to Henry Compton, Lord Compton; and lastly to Robert Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, afterwards Earl of Dorset."
MOTHER HUBBERDS TALE.*
IT was the month, in which the righteous Maide,
That for disdaine of sinfull worlds upbraide
Ver. 1.-It was the month, &c.] August.
*"In this poem, we have a specimen of Spenser's genius in satire, a talent he very seldom exercised. This fable is after the manner of Chaucer, of whom it is an excellent imitation; and perhaps the antiquated style has no ill effect in improving the humor of the story. The morality of it is admirable. Every one will observe that keenness of wit, with which he has represented the arts of ill courtiers. In the description of a good courtier, which is so finely set off by the contrary characters, it is believed the author had in view Sir Philip Sidney, of whom this seems to be a very just as well as beautiful
“Mother Hubberds Tale appears to have been one of his earliest productions, although not published until 1591. Spenser informs us, that it was composed in the raw conceit of his youth;' but it is certainly the best and most agreeable of his smaller pieces."— Retrospective Review, vol. xii. p. 146.
And the hot Syrian Dog on him awayting,
After the chafed Lyons cruell bayting,
Corrupted had th' ayre with his noysome breath,
And powr'd on th' earth plague, pestilence, and death.
Raign'd emongst men, that manie did to die,
And meanes of gladsome solace to devise.
They sought my troubled sense how to deceave
1 Geason, rare.
3 Reave, take away, remove.
4 Stound, occasion.