1687 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Thomas Lodge

William Winstanley, Lives of the Most Famous English Poets (1687) 72-74.



Thomas Lodge, a Doctor of Physick, flourish'd also about the beginning of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; He was also an eminent Writer of Pastoral Songs, Odes, and Madrigals. The following Sonnet is said to be of his composing.

If I must die, O let me chose my Death:
Suck out my Soul with Kisses, cruel Maid!
In thy Breasts Crystal Balls embalm my Breath,
Dole it all out in sighs when I am laid;
Thy Lips on mine like Cupping-glasses clasp;
Let our Tongues meet, and strive as they would sting:
Crush out my Wind with one straight girting Grasp,
Stabs on my Heart keep time whilst thou dost sing.
Thy Eyes like searing-Irons burn out mine;
In thy fair Tresses stifle me outright:
Like Circes, change me to a loathsome Swine,
So I may live for ever in thy sight.
Into Heavens Joys can none profoundly see,
Except that first they meditate on thee.

Contemporary with Dr. Lodge, were several others, who all of them wrote in the same strain, as George Gascoigne, Tho. Hudson, John Markham, Tho. Achely, John Weever, Chr. Midleton, George Tubervile, Henry Constable, Sir Edward Dyer, Charles Fitz Geoffry. Of these George Gascoigne wrote not only Sonnets, Odes and Madrigals, but also something to the Stage: as his Supposes, a Comedy; Glass of Government, a Tragi-Comedy; and Jocasta, a Tragedy.

But to return to Dr. Lodge; we shall only add one Sonnet more, taken out of his Euphues Golden Legacy, and so proceed to others.

Of all chaste Birds, the Phoenix doth excell;
Of all strong Beastes, the Lion bears the Bell:
Of all sweet Flowers, the Rose doth sweetest smell:
Of all fair Maids, my Rosalind is fairest.
Of all pure Metals, Gold is only purest;
Of all high Trees, the PIne hath highest Crest;
Of all soft Sweets, I like my Mistress best:
Of all chaste Thoughts my Mistress Thoughts are rarest.
Of all proud Birds, the Eagle pleaseth Jove,
Of pretty Fowls, kind Venus likes the Dove:
Of Trees, Minerva doth the Olive love,
Of all sweet Nymphs, I honour Rosaline,
Of all her Gifts, her Wisdome pleaseth most:
Of all her Graces, Virtue she doth boast;
For all the Gifts, my Life and Joy is lost,
If Rosalinde prove cruel and unkind.