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Some drunken rhymer thinks his time well spent,
If he can live to see his name in print,
Who, when he is once fleshed to the press,
And sees his hansell have such fair success,
Sung to the wheel, and sung unto the pail,
He sends forth thraves of ballads to the sail,
Nor then can rest, but volumes up bodg'd rhymes,
To have his name talk'd of in future times.
The brain-sick youtlı, that feeds his tickled ear
With sweet sauc'd lies of some false traveller,
Which hath the Spanish decades read awhile,
Or whetstone leasings of old Mandeville,
Now with discourses breaks his midnight sleep
Of his adventures through the Indian deep,
Of all their massy heaps of golden mine,
Or of the antique tombs of Palestine,
Or of Damascus' magic wall of glass,
Of Solomon his sweating piles of brass,
Of the bird ruc that bears an elephant,
Of mermaids that the southern seas do haunt,
Of headless men, of savage cannibals,
The fashions of their lives and governals;
What monstrous cities there erected be,
Cairo, or the city of the Trinity;
Now are they dunghill cocks that have not'seen
The bordering Alps, or else the neighbour Rhine ;.
And now he plies the news-full grashopper,
Of voyages and ventures to enquire.
His land mortgaged, he sea-beat in the way,
Wishes for home a thousand sighs a day;


And now he deems his home-bred fare as leaf
As his parch'd biscuit, or his barrellid beef.
Mongst all these stirs of discontented strife,
O let me lead an academic life;
To know much, and to think for nothing, know
Nothing to have, yet think we have enow;
In skill to want, and wanting seek for more ;
In weal nor want, nor wish for greater store.
Envy, ye monarchs, with your proud excess,
At our low sail, and our high happiness.


Was a native of Oxfordshire, and was born, as Mr. Ellis conjectures, in 1558. He left the university of Oxford without a degree, and came to London, where he pursued the business of an attorney of the common pleas. Scott, the poet of Amwell, discovered that he had been buried in the church of that parish in 1609, having died suddenly in the night-time.

His Albion's England was once exceedingly popular. Its publication was at one time interdicted by the Star-chamber, for no other reason that can now be assigned, but that it contains some lovestories more simply than delicately related. His contemporaries compared him to Virgil, whom he certainly did not make his model. Dr. Percy thinks he rather resembled Ovid, to whom he is, if possible, still more unlike. His poem is, in fact, an enormous ballad on the history, or rather on the fables, appendant to the history of England: heterogeneous, indeed, like the Metamorphoses, but written with an almost doggrel simplicity. Headley has rashly preferred his works to our ancient ballads; but with the best of these they will bear no comparison. Argentile and Curan has indeed some beautiful touches, yet that episode requires to be weeded of many lines to be read with unqualified pleasure; and through the rest of his stories we shallysearch in vain for the familiar magic of such ballads' as Chevy Chase or Gill Morrice.



Argentile, the daughter and heiress of the deceased King, Adel

bright, has been left to the protection of her uncle Edel, who discharges his trust unfaithfully, and seeks to force bis niece to marry a suitor whom he believes to be ignoble, that he may have a pretext for seizing on her kingdom,

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Yet well he fosters for a time the damsel, that was

grown The fairest lady under heav'n, whose beauty being

known, VOL. I.


A many princes seek her love, but none might her

obtain, For gripel Edel to himself her kingdom sought to

gain, And for that cause, from sight of such he did his

ward restrain. By chance one Çuran, son unto a Prince of Danske,

did see

The maid, with whom he fell in love, as much as one

might be: Unhappy youth, what should he do? his saint was

kept in mew; Nor he nor any nobleman admitted to her view: One while in melancholy fits he pines himself

away, Anon he thought by force of arms to win her if he

may, And still against the king's restraint did secretly in

veigh. At length the high controller, Love, whom none

may disobey, Imbased him from lordliness into a kitchen drudge, That so at least of life or death she might become

his judge; Access so had, to see and speak, he did his love

bewray, And tells his birth—her answer was, she husband

less would stay: Meanwhile the king did beat his brain, his booty

to achieve,

Not caring what became of her, so he by her might

thrive; At last his resolution was some peasant should her

wive: And (which was working to his wish) he did ob

serve with joy, How Curan, whom he thought a drudge, scap'd

many an am'rous toy : The king, perceiving such his vein, promotes his

vassal still, Lest that the baseness of the man should let perhaps

bis will; Assured, therefore, of his love, but not suspecting

who The lover was, the king himself in his behalf did


The lady, resolute from love, unkindly takes that

he Should bar the noble and unto so base a match

agree; And therefore, shifting out of doors, departed hence

by stealth, Preferring poverty before a dangerous life in wealth. When Curan heard of her escape, the anguish of

his heart Was more than much, and after her he did from

court depart; Forgetful of himself, his birth, his country, friends, and all,

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