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, how faire frutes may you to mortall men From wisdomes garden geue? How mang may By you the wiser and the better proue ?

NICHOLAS GRIMAULD. Tottel's Miscellany : 1557. PRE FACE

The aim of this work is to provide students and lovers of good poetry with a comprehensive Selection of the best original Sonnets known to the Editor, written by native English poets not living; and to illustrate it from English poetical and prose literature.

In pursuance of the plan adopted, the volume falls into two equal portions, Text and Notes. The first is devoted to Sonnets by those writers who have attained the highest, or nearly the highest, excellence in this species of composition ; and the second, which is specially intended for students, to a liberal system of illustration, furnishing a complete critical apparatus for the study of the Sonnets in the Text, and containing numerous supplementary Sonnets by the same writers and others of the past suggested by them. Throughout this portion also have been interspersed, as occasion offered, examples from some of our best living sonnet-writers; but it will be obvious that these, which come in simply by the way, and form no essential part of the work, are not submitted as affording any adequate representation of our contemporary Sonnet-literature.

Definitions of the Sonnet have been so frequent since the present work was first taken in hand, now some years ago, as to determine the Editor not to encumber his volume with the

analytical Essay on the Sonnet out of which it originally grew. It may be mentioned, however, that the Selection, generally, has been made in accordance with principles enforced in that Essay, whichwith all deference to such rigid disciplinarians as Mr. Tomlinson-favoured a relaxation, so far as English practice is concerned, of nearly every law in the Italian code except the two cardinal ones which demand that the Sonnet shall consist of fourteen rimed decasyllabic verses, and be a development of one idea, mood, feeling, or sentiment,-and one only.

By reducing the contents of the Text to the orthography of the present day-a wholesome test of poetic vitality-and adhering, in all quotations in the Notes, to the successive contemporary modes of spelling and (when admissible) punctuation, the Editor trusts that he has avoided offence to the advocates either of the archaic method on the one hand, or of the modern on the other.

To the respective owners by whose liberality so large a number of copyright Sonnets are inserted; and to the many good friends who by word or deed have aided him in his labour of love, the Editor takes this opportunity of repeating his grateful acknowledgments.

D. M. M.

Doune, PerthsHIRE,

27th November, 1879.

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SIR THO. WYAT

1503-1542

FAREWELL, Love, and all thy laws for ever !

Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more :
Senec and Plato call me from thy lore
To perfect wealth my wit for to endeavour.
In blind error when I did perséver,
Thy sharp repulse, that pricketh aye so sore,
Taught me in trifles that I set no store ;
But 'scaped forth thence, since, liberty is lever.
Therefore, farewell! go trouble younger hearts,
And in me claim no more authority :
With idle youth go use thy property,
And thereon spend thy many brittle darts ;
For hitherto though I have lost my time,
Me list no longer rotten boughs to climb.

II

THE DESERTED LOVER CONSOLETH HIMSELF
WITH REMEMBRANCE THAT ALL WOMEN ARE BY

NATURE FICKLE.

SIR THO. WYAT

DIVER

1503-1542

IVERS doth use, as I have heard and know,

When that to change their ladies do begin,
To mourn, and wail, and never for to lynn;
Hoping thereby to 'pease their painful woe.
And some there be that when it chanceth so
That women change, and hate where love hath been,
They call them false, and think with words to win
The hearts of them which otherwhere doth grow.
But as for me, though that by chance indeed
Change hath outworn the favour that I had,
I will not wail, lament, nor yet be sad,
Nor call her false that falsely did me feed;
But let it pass, and think it is of kind
That often change doth please a woman's mind.

III

EARL OF SURREY

1516?--1547

DESCRIPTION OF SPRING,
WHEREIN EACH THING RENEWS, SAVE ONLY THE LOVER.
THE
HE soote season, that bud and bloom furth brings,

With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale,
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs,
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new-repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale ;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

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