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very particular manner, that it was his favourite flower. There is a very interesting passage to this effect in his Legend of Good Women; where he says, that nothing but the daisied fields in spring could take him from his books.
And as for me, though that I can* but lite*
As she that is of all flowers the flower. Ile says that he finds it ever new, and that he shall love it till his “ heart dies :" and afterwards, with a natural picture of his resting on
Adown full softèly I gan to sink,
The daisie, or else the eye of day. This etymology, which we have no doubt is the real one, repeated by Ben Jonson, who takes occasion to spell the word days-eyes; adding, with his usual tendency to overdo a matter of learning,
Days-eyes, and the lippes of cows; videlicet, cowslips: which is a disentanglement of compounds, in the style of our pleasant parodists :
-Puddings of the plum,
And fingers of the lady. Mr. Wordsworth introduces his homage to the daisy with a passage from George Wither; which as it is an old favourite of ours, and extremely applicable both to this article and our whole work, we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of repeating. It is the more interesting,
* Know but little.
inasmuch as it was written in prison, where the freedom of his opinions
Her divine skill taught me tiis;
In some other wiser man.
Poets, vain men in their mood!
Travel with the multitude,
Be violets in their secret mews
Her head impearling;
The poet's darling.
A nun demure, of lowly port;
Of all temptations;
in crown of rabies drest;
The freak is over;
lo fight to cover.
* It is not generally known, that Chaucer was four years in prison, in his old Age, on the same account. He was a Wicklilfite,-one of the precursors of the Reformation. His prison, doubtless, was no diminisher of his love of the daisy.
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Who shall reprove thee.
Swect flower! for by that name at last,
Sweet silent creature;
Oftly meek mature.
Mr. Wordsworth calls the daisy "an unassuming common-place of Nature," which it is; and he praises it very becomingly for discharging it's duties so chearfully, in that universal character. cannot agree with him in thinking that it has a “ homely face." Not that we should care, if it really had; for homeliness does not make ugliness; but we appeal to every body, whether it is proper to say this of la belle Marguerite. In the first place, it's shape is very pretty and slender, but not too much so. Then it has a boss of gold, set round and irradiated with silver points. It's yellow and fair white are in so high a taste of contrast, that Spenser has chosen the same colours for a picture of Leda reposing :
Oh wondrous skill and sweet wit of the man !
From scorching heat her dainty limbs to shade. It is for the same reason, that the daisy, being chiefly white, makes such a beautiful shew in company with the butter cup. But this is not all; for look at the back, and you find it's fair petals blushing with a most delightful red. And how compactly and delicately is the neck set in green! Belle et douce Marguerite, aimable sæur du roi Kingcup, we would tilt for thee with a hundred pens, against the stoutest poet that did not find perfection in thy cheek.
But here somebody may remind us of the spring showers, and what drawbacks they are upon going into the fields.-Not at all so, when the spring is really confirmed, and the showers but April-like and at intervals. Let us turn our imaginations to the bright side of spring, and we shall forget the showers. You see they have been forgotten just this moment. Besides, we are not likely to stray too far into the fields; and if we should, are there not hats, bonnets, barns, cottages, elm-trees, and good wills? We may make these things zests, if we please, instead of drawbacks. There is a pleasant, off-hand, picturesque little poem, full of sprightly simplicity, written by Franco Sacchetti, the earliest follower of Boccaccio; which will shew us, that the Italians are not prevented from gathering flowers by the fear of rain, nor even of snakes. Eccolo, *
* With respect to giving the originals of what we translate, we are guided by this principle: if they are easily referred 10, we shall always content ourselves with short extracts, unless hurried away by the enthusiasm of the moment, or for some other special reason; if they are not so readily to be found, it will add a value
Passando con pensier per un boschetto,
to our little work to lay them before the reader. A volume of the Indicator will thus contain some of the best mossels of literature. In the Parnaso Italiano, it is doubted whether the present poem is to be assigned to Franco Sacchetti, or to Ugolin Ubaldini, who according to the editor is the same as the Ubaldin de la Pila mentioned among the gluttons in the 24th Book of Dante's Purgatory. If so, he was not so likely to forget himself among the fields, as Sacchetti; but whether he be the same person or not, the poem answers so well to the latter's character, that it was most probably his production. He is another instance, to be added to some of the most illustrious names, of the triumph of a genial imagination, and a rich indifference to riches, over a life of business, politics, and even honours. Franco Sacchetti, a Florentine, says Mr. Dunlop, (History of Fiction, Vol. 2. p. 305.) “ was born in 1335, and died about the year 1410. He was a poet in his youth, and travelled 10 Sclavonia and other countries, to attend to some mercantile concerns. As he advanced in years, he was raised to a distinguished rank in the Magistracy of Florence; he became podestà of Faenza and other places, and at length governor of a Florentine province in the Romagna. Notwithstanding his honours he lived and died poor, but is said to have been a good-lumoured facetious man. He left an immense collection of sonnets and canzone, some of which have been lost, and others are still in M.S.”-We should be exceedingly gratified by the sight of any of his poems that may happen to be in print.
Cio cb' an colto ir si lassa,
Sì tiso sietti il dì ch' io le inirai,
Walking and musing in a wood, I saw
Frightened, and scrambling, jolting one another,
So fixed I stood, gazing at that fair set,
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