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GOLDSMITH : See Washington Irving's Life of Goldsmith; Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith, by John Forster (London, 1848); Macaulay's Essays; Thackeray's English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century; Campbell's Specimens of the British Poets (London, 1841); Goldsmith (English Men of Letters), by William Black; Hazlitt's English Poets; DeQuincey's Eighteenth Century.

Cowper: Life of Cowper, by Benham, in the Globe edition of his works; Life of Cowper, by Charles Cowden Clarke; Cowper (English Men of Letters), by Goldwin Smith; Macaulay's Essay on Moore's Life of Byron; Hazlitt's English Poets.

Other writers mentioned in this chapter have references named elsewhere,



Definitions -Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar - Drayton's Shepherd's

Garland and the Muses' Elysium-Browne's Britannia's Pastorals Jonson's Sad Shepherd-Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess—Milton's Arcades—Pope's Pastorals-Philips's Pastorals—Gay's Shepherd's Week — Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd — Shenstone's Pastoral Ballads.

PASTORAL poetry may be defined as descriptive poetry, with the additional qualities of narrative and dramatic action. In its broadest sense, it is poetry relating to country life and manners. In its original and narrowest sense, it is that which relates to the tranquil life and the rural employments of shepherds. Says Alexander Pope: “A pastoral is an imitation of the action of a shepherd, or one considered under that character. The form of this imitation is dramatic or narrative, or mixed of both; the fable simple, the manners not too polite nor too rustic; the thoughts are plain, yet admit a little quickness and passion, but that short and flowing; the expression humble, yet as pure as the language will afford; neat but not florid; easy and yet lively. In short, the fable, manners, thoughts, and expressions are full of the greatest simplicity in nature. The complete character of a pastoral consists in simplicity, brevity, and delicacy; the two first of which render an eclogue natural, and the last delightful.”

Our English pastorals were intended originally as imitations of the style and manner of the Greek “idyls” of Theocritus or the Latin “eclogues” of Virgil. But they fall far short of their models, principally from the reason that the conditions of rural life in England, or as known to Englishmen, have always been so widely different from


those portrayed in the classical pastorals, that neither the writer nor the reader can wholly reconcile them. The first and one of the most noted pastorals in our language is the Shepherd's Calendar, “ containing Twelve Eclogues, proportionable to the Twelve Months,” by Edmund Spen

It was published in 1579, and dedicated to that “noble and virtuous gentleman, most worthie of all titles both of learning and chivalry, Maister Philip Sidney." In this series of eclogues, Spenser endeavors, under the guise of pastoral fiction, to paint English scenery and English character, thus giving a tone of nationality to his poem. Hence his characters, far from discoursing in the manner of simple shepherds, are represented as discussing questions of grave importance to society and the State, and as paying delicate compliments to some of the illustrious personages of that time. In the first eclogue, or Januarie, Colin Clout, a shepherd boy, is represented as bewailing his unfortunate love for a country lass named Rosalind. The name Colin Clout was derived from Skelton, or possibly from the French poet Marot (both of whom had used it before), and is often applied by Spenser to himself. At the conclusion of his lament, the shepherd boy breaks his oaten pipe and casts himself upon the ground. By that the welked Phoebus gan

His wearie waine; and now the frosty Night
Her mantle black through heaven gan overhaile;
Which seene, the pensive Boy, half in despight,

Arose and homeward drove his sunned sheepe,

Whose hanging heads did seeme his carefull case to weepe. Februarie, the second eclogue, is a colloquy between two shepherds, Cuddie and Thenot, and is rather “morall and generall than bent to anie secret or particular purpose.” In it the well-known fable of the Briar and the Oak is very pleasantly related.

March is of a more allegorical character, and represents two shepherd boys, Wyllie and Thomalin, discoursing about matters of love and about Cupid and his arrows.

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April, the fourth eclogue, was intended purposely“ to the honour and prayse of our most gratious soveraigne, Queene Elizabeth,

“That blessed wight,

The flowre of virgins; may she florish long
In princely plight!"

In the fifth eclogue, or May, Spenser enters into the vexed controversies of the time by representing his shepherds, Piers and Palinode, as types, respectively, of Protestant and Catholic pastors: the former having at heart the welfare and happiness of his flock; the latter caring only for selfish pleasures. The fable of the Fox and the Kid is inserted for the sake of illustration.

In June the complaint of Colin Clout in reference to his unfortunate love for the “fayre Rosalind” is continued. In July Spenser returns to the subject of the rival churches, speaking in honor and commendation of “good shepheards, and to the shame and dispraise of proud and ambitious pastors.” Of the Romish clergy, the false shepherds, he gives the following description:

Theire sheep han crusts, and they the bread;

The chippes, and they the cheere;
They han the fleece and eke the flesh,
(O seely sheepe the while !)
The corne is theyrs, let other thresh,

Their handes they may not file.
They han great store and thriftie stockes,

Great friends and feeble foes ;
What neede hem caren for their flockes,

Theyr boyes can looke to those.

The next eclogue, the eighth, is of a more lively and pleasing character, representing a controversy between two shepherds, after the manner of Theocritus, and also in imitation of the third and seventh eclogues of Virgil. In the next, September, we are given another allegory, wherein are set forth the abuses and corruption of the Catholic Church. One Diggon Davie, a shepherd, is represented as driving his sheep into a foreign country in hopes of deriving greater profit from his flock; there, however, they are torn in pieces by ravenous wolves

That with sheeps clothing doen hem disguise, and the shepherd returns to his home, a wretched wight in piteous plight."

The tenth eclogue is a poetical defense of poetry, written in imitation of the sixteenth Idyl of Theocritus. The eleventh eclogue, between Thenot and Colin, bewails the death of a noble maiden called in the poem Dido. It is merely a free translation of Clement Marot's lament of Colin and Thenot for Queen Louise of France, the mother of Francis I. The twelfth eclogue, or December, is also derived from Marot, being a paraphrase of that poet's cclogue on the course of his life,“ wherein he compareth his youth to the spring-time, when hee was fresh and free from love's follie; his manhood to the sommer, which, he saith, was consumed with greate and excessive drouth, caused through a comet or blazing starre, by which he meaneth love; his ripest yeares he resembleth to an unseasonable harvest, wherein the fruits fall ere they be ripe":

My boughs with bloosmes that crowned were at first,
And promised of timely fruit such store,
Are left both bare and barrein now at erst;
The flattering fruite is fallen to ground before,

And rotted ere they were halfe mellow ripe;

My harvest, wast, my hope away did wipe. His latter years, to continue the simile, he compares to chill winter:

So now my yeere drawes to his latter terme,
My spring is spent, my sommer burnt up quite;
My harvest hastes to stirre up Winter sterne,

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