1876 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Warner

Robert Carruthers, in Chambers's Cyclopaedia of English Literature, 3rd ed. (1876; 1879) 1:178.



A rhyming history entitled Albion's England, was published in 1586, by WILLIAM WARNER (1558-1609), an attorney of the Common Pleas. It was admired in its own day, and is said to have supplanted in popularity the Mirror for Magistrates. The poem is written in the long fourteen-syllable verse, but is tedious and monotonous. A few lines will shew the style of the poem:

Then choose a shepherd; with the sun he doth his flock unfold,
And all the day on hill or plain be merry chat can hold:
And with the sun doth fold again: then jogging home betime,
He turns a crab, or tunes a round, or sings some merry rhyme;
Nor lacks he gleeful tales to tell, whilst that the bowl doth trot:
And sitteth singing care away, till he to bed hath got.
There sleeps he soundly all the night, forgetting morrow cares,
Nor fears he blasting of his corn, or wasting of his wares,
Or storms by sea, or stirs on land, or crack of credit lost,
Nor spending franklier than his flock shall still defray the cost.
Well wot I, sooth they say, that say, more quiet nights and days
The shepherd sleeps and wakes than he whose cattle he doth graze.