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THE PHENIX AND TURTLE.
(From the additional Poems to Chester's “ Love's Martyr, or
Rosalin's Complaint,” 1601.)
Let the bird of loudest lay, a
But thou shrieking harbinger,
Let the priest in surplice white,
• Let the bird of loudest lay,–] “In 1601 a book was published, entitled 'Lores Martyr, or Rosalins Complaint, Allegorically shadowing the Truth of Love, in the constant Fate of the Phænix and Turtle. A Poem enterlaced with much Varietie and Raritie ; now first translated out of the venerable Italian Torquato Cæliano by Robert Chester. With the true Legend of famous King Arthur, the last of the nine Worthies ; being the first Essay of a new British Poet: collected out of diverse authentical Records.
" To these are added some new Compositions of several modern Writers, whose names are subscribed to their several Workes ; upon the first Subject, viz. the Phænix and Turtle.'
“Among these new compositions is the following poem, subscribed with our poet's name. The second title prefixed to these verses, is yet more full. “Hereafter follow - diverse Poetical Essaies on the former Subject, viz. the Turtle and Phænix. Done by the best and chiefest of our modern Writers, with their Names subscribed to their particular Workes. Never before extant.
"And now first consecrated by them all generally to the Love and Merit of the truenoble knight, Sir John Salisburie.'
“The principal writers associated with Shakspeare in this collection are Ben Jonson, Marston, and Chapman. The above very particular account of these verses leaves us, I think, no room to doubt of the genuineness of this little poem."- MALONE,
Augur of the fever's end,–] Compare, “A Midsummer Night's Dream," Act V. Sc. 2,—
"Now the wasted brands do glow,
In remembrance of a shroud.”
• But in them-] Except in them.
Property was thus appalld,—-] “Property” means here propriety. The sense of fitness was appall’d.
- Single nature's double name-] This may be right, though we have sometimes thought the genuine reading was,
“Single natures, double name," &c. d – threne—] A funeral song.
Death is now the phenix' nest;
Leaving no posterity :
Truth may seem, but cannot be ;