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ENGLAND AND AMERICA,
This poet, who was born in 1540, is very justly placed among the worthies of early English poetical literature. He was bred to the law, but quitted it, and served with distinction against the Spaniards. His principal work is “ The Fruits of War,” which relates to the adventures of his voyage. In his youth he was a profligate, but he lived to amend his ways, and became a wise and good man. He died in a religious, calm, and happy frame of mind, in 1577. The writings of Gascoigne are more the result of observation than of creative genius. For the age in which he lived, the verse is uncommonly smooth, flowing, and unaffected.
From depth of dole, wherein my soul doth dwell,
From heavy heart, which harbors in my breast,
From troubled sprite, which seldom taketh rest,
My God, my Lord, my lovely Lord, alone
To thee I call, to thee I make my moan.
This woful plaint
Wherein. I faint;
Oh! bend thine ears attentively to hear,
Oh! turn thine eyes, behold me how I wail!
Oh! hearken, Lord, give ear for mine avail, Oh! mark in mind the burdens that I bear; See how I sink in sorrows everywhere.
Behold and see what dolors I endure,
Give ear and mark what plaints I put in ure ;' Bend willing ears; and pity therewithal
My willing voice,
Which hath no choice
If thou, good Lord, shouldst take thy rod in hand,
If thou regard what sins are daily done,
If thou take hold where we our works begun, If thou decree in judgment for to stand, And be extreme to see our 'scuses’ scanned ;
If thou take note of every thing amiss,
And write in rolls how frail our nature is, O glorious God, O King, O Prince of power!
What mortal wight
May thus have light
But thou art good, and hast of mercy store,
Thou not delight'st to see a sinner fall,
Thou hearkenest first, before we come to call, Thine ears are set wide open evermore, Before we knock thou comest to the door ;
Thou art more prest to hear a sinner cry
Than he is quick to climb to thee on high. Thy mighty name be praised then alway,
Let faith and fear
True witness bear,
I look for thee, my lovely Lord, therefore
For thee I wait, for thee I tarry still,
Mine eyes do long to gaze on thee my fill,
My soul doth thirst to take of thee a taste,
My soul desires with thee for to be placed.
Mine only trust,
My love and lust,
Before the break or dawning of the day,
Before the light be seen in lofty skies,
Before the sun appear in pleasant wise,
My soul, my sense, my secret thought, my sprite,
My will, my wish, my joy, and my delight,
With hasty wing
From me doth fling,
O Israel! O household of the Lord !
O Abraham's sons! O brood of blessed seed!
O chosen sheep, that love the Lord indeed !
put your trust in Him with one accord.
His fountains flow, his springs do never stand ;
Such sinners all
As on Him call,
He will redeem our deadly, drooping state,
He will bring home the sheep that go astray,
He will help them that hope in Him alway,
He will be ours, if we continue his,
He will bring bale' to joy and perfect bliss;
From all that is
Or was amiss
EDMUND SPENSER was born in London about 1553. He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. He has been styled, by way of . pre-eminence, the Divine Poet of England. This may, perhaps, be somewhat incorrect; his writings have, however, a pure, elevating, and beautiful spirit of humanity; and his “ Divine Hymns,” it has been well remarked, are indeed divine. Spenser was made Secretary of Ireland, and he obtained a grant of lands forfeited in the county of Cork. On the breaking out of Tyrone's rebellion, he was obliged to abandon his home so abruptly, that one of his children perished in the flames which consumed his dwelling. He died shortly after, it is said of a broken heart, in 1599; and was buried, by his own desire, near the tomb of Chaucer, in Westminster Abbey. Spenser himself describes his great poem, “The Fairy Queen,” in a letter to Sir Walter Raleigh, as a continual allegory, or dark conceit; the aim of “all the book” being “to fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.” An edition of all the works of Spenser has recently been published in Boston, edited with great taste and judgment by Mr. George Hillard of that city. There is a discriminating article upon Spenser in the thirty-second volume of The Quarterly Review, by the author of “ The Christian Year.”