Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles by Michael Drayton and Bartholomew Griffin and Sir William Smith


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles, by Michael
Drayton, Bartholomew Griffin, and William Smith, Edited by Martha Foote
Crow


This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net





Title: Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles
Idea, by Michael Drayton; Fidessa, by Bartholomew Griffin; Chloris, by William Smith


Author: Michael Drayton, Bartholomew Griffin, and William Smith

Editor: Martha Foote Crow

Release Date: March 24, 2005 [eBook #15448]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ELIZABETHAN SONNET CYCLES***


E-text prepared by David Starner, Melissa Er-Raqabi, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net)



ELIZABETHAN SONNET-CYCLES

Edited by

MARTHA FOOTE CROW


Paternoster House London W.C.

1897







IDEA
by
MICHAEL DRAYTON

FIDESSA
by
BARTHOLOMEW GRIFFIN

CHLORIS
by
WILLIAM SMITH








IDEA
by
MICHAEL DRAYTON


The true story of the life of Michael Drayton might be told to
vindicate the poetic traditions of the olden time. A child-poet
wandering in fay-haunted Arden, or listening to the harper that
frequented the fireside of Polesworth Hall where the boy was a petted
page, later the honoured almoner of the bounty of many patrons, one
who "not unworthily," as Tofte said, "beareth the name of the chiefest
archangel, singing after this soule-ravishing manner," yet leaving but
"five pounds lying by him at his death, which was _satis viatici ad
coelum_"--is not this the panorama of a poetic career? But above
all, to complete the picture of the ideal poet, he worshipped, and
hopelessly, from youth to age the image of one, woman. He never
married, and while many patronesses were honoured with his poetic
addresses, there was one fair dame to whom he never offered dedicatory
sonnet, a silence that is full of meaning. Yet the praises of Idea,
his poetic name for the lady of his admiration and love, are written
all over the pages of his voluminous lyrical and chorographical and
historical poems, and her very name is quaintly revealed to us. Anne
Goodere was the younger daughter in the noble family where Drayton was
bred and educated; and one may picture the fair child standing
"gravely merry" by the little page to listen to "John Hews his lyre,"
at that ancestral fireside. "Where I love, I love for years," said
Drayton in 1621. As late as 1627, but four years before his death, he
writes an elegy of his lady's not coming to London, in which he
complains that he has been starved for her short letters and has had
to read last year's over again. About the same time he is writing that
immortal sonnet, the sixty-first, the one that Rossetti, with perhaps
something too much of partiality, has declared to be almost, if not
quite, the best in the language. The tragedy of a whole life is
concentrated in that sonnet, and the heart-pang in it is
unmistakable. But Drayton had stood as witness to the will of Anne's

an heiress, he a penniless poet, and what was to be done?

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