1866 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anthony Copley

John Payne Collier, in "Wits, Fits, and Fancies" in Bibliographical and Critical Account of the Rarest Books (1866) 1:195.



As a poet, Copley is scarcely worth notice. His Fig for Fortune, 1596, is good in little but in its pretentious and disappointing title: it is dull, and ill versified. The dialogue, — "Love's Owle," — in the first edition of Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 1595, is something better, and we quote the following stanza, in which Love says of an old man,—

Though age be old and colde, I can
Re-young him in a lustie man,
And in his joyntes infuse a fire
To execute a kinde desire.
I can regenerate his dying yeere
By faire bepriesting him to a bonny feere,
Or els dispensing him such like good cheere
Elsewhere.

This is, perhaps, the best of all the stanzas of which the piece consists, and some of them, it must be allowed, run ruggedly and uncouthly. It may be doubted whether Copley's proposed remedy would be at all effectual: young "feeres," i.e. wives, have not usually lengthened the lives of old men.