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A BALET BY THE EARL RIVERS.
The amiable light, in which the character of Anthony Widville the gallant Earl Rivers has been placed by the lively Editor of the Catal. of Noble Authors, interests us in whats ever fell from his pen. It is presumed therefore that the insertion of this little Sonnet will be pardoned, tho' it should not be found to have much poetical merit. It is the only original Poem known of that nobleman's; his more voluminous
; works being only translations. And if we consider that it was written during his cruel confinement in Pomfret castle a short time before his execution in 1483, it gives us a fine picture of the composure
. and steadiness with which this ficut earl beseld his approaching fate.
The verses are preserved by Rouse a contemporary.historian, who seems to have copied them from the Earl's own hand writing. In tempore, says this writer, incarcerationis a. pud Pòntem-fractum edidit unum Baler in anglicis, ut mihi monftratum eft, quod fubfequitur fub his verbis : Bum what muspng &c. * Rofii Hift. 8vo 2 Edit. p. 213.” The 2d Stanze is, wat withstanding, imperfez, and we have inserted offerisks, to denote the defect.
This little piece, tehich perhaps ought rather to have been printed in fianzas of eight short lines, is written in imitation of a poem of Chaucer's, that will be found in Urry's Edit. 1721. pag. 555. beginning thus,
" Alone walkyng', In thought plainyng,
« And fore fighying, All desolate.
My death wishyng Bothe erly and late.
" That wote ye what, Out of mesure.
UMWHAT musyng, and more mornyng,
In remembring the unftydfastnes ; This world being of fuch whelyng,
Me contrarieng, what may I gesse ?
I fere dowtles, remediles,
wofull chaunce. Lo is this traunce now in subftaunce,
such is my
Wyllyng to dye, me thynkys truly
Bowndyn am I, and that gretly, to be content: 10 Seyng playnly, that fortune doth wry
All contrary from myn entent.
My lyff was lent me to on intent,
Hytt is ny spent. Welcome fortune! But I ne went thus to be shent,
But sho hit ment, such is hur won,
Ver. 7. in this. Rossi Hij.
VIII. CU, VIII.
CUPID's ASSAULT: BY NICH. LORD VAUX.
The Reader will observe that infant Poetry grew apace between the times of Rivers and Vaux, tho' almost contemporaries. Sir Nicholas (afterwards lord) Vaux was a shining ornament in the court of Henry VII, and died in the year 1523. See the ballad, i loTHE THAT I DID Love, in the next volume.
The following piece (printed from Surrey's poems, 1559. 4t0) is attributed to lord Vaux by Puttenham in his “ Art of Eng. Poesie, 1589. 4to.” Take the passage at large.
large. “In “ this figure (Counterfait Adion) the lord Nicholas Vaux,
a noble gentleman and much delighted in vulgar making, “ and a man otherwise of no great learning, but having “ herein a marvelous facilitie, made a dittie representing the “ Battayle and Afault of Cupide, so excellently well, as for “ the gallant and propre application of his fiktion in every “ part, I cannot choose but set downe the greatest part of bis “ ditty, for in truth it cannot be amended. When CUPID " SCALED, &c." p. 200. -For a farther account of this ancient peer and poet see Mr. Walpole's Noble Authors.
WHEN Cupide fcaled fyrft the fort,
, Wherin my hart lay wounded fore; The battery was of such a sort,
That I muft yelde or dye therfore.
There saw I Love upon the wall,
How he is banner did display.
The armes, the which that Cupyde bare,
Wer pearced hartes with teares besprent, In filver and fable to declare
The stedfast love, he alwaies ment.
There myght you see his band al drest
In colours lyke to white and blacke, With powder and with pellets preft
To bring the fort to spoyle and facke.
Good-wil, the maister of the fhot,
Stode in the rampire brave and proude, For spence of powder he spared not
Assault! assault! to crye aloude.
There might yõu heare the cannons rore;
Eche piece discharged a lovers loke ; Which had the power to rent, and tore
In any place wheras they toke.
And even with the trumpets fowne
The scaling ladders wer up fet; And Beauty walked up and downe,
With bow in hand, and arrowes whet.
Then first Defire began to scale,
And shrouded him under his targe ; As one the worthiest of them al,
And apteft for to geve the charge.
Then pushed souldiers with their pykes,
And halberders with handy strokes ; The argabushe in feshe it lightes,
And duns the ayre with misty smokes.
And as it is now' souldiers use
When shot and powder gyns to want,
When Fanfy thus had made her breache,
And Beauty entred with her bande, With bag and baggage, sely wretch,
I yelded into Beauties hand.
Then Beauty bad to blow retrete,
And every souldiour to retyre,
Me captive bound as prisoner.
Madame, quod I, fith that this day
Hath served you at all asfayes, I yelde to you without delay
Here of the fortreffe all the kayes :
And fith that I have ben the marke,
At whom you shot at with your eye; Nedes must you with your handy warke
Or falve my fore, or let me die.