1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hugh Holland

Anonymous, "A Cypres Garland" British Bibliographer 4 (1814) 168-70.



A Cypres Garland. For the Sacred Forehead of our late Soveraigne King James. By Hugh Holland, P. Ovid. Naso. "Infaelix habitum temporis huius habe." London, printed for Simon Waterson. M.DCXXV. qto. 12 leaves.

Hugh Holland was born at Denbigh about 1563. He was bred at Westminster school (says Wood) while Camden taught there, a circumstance alluded to in the present elegy, which, upon the same authority, seems the only one of his pieces that has been printed. Of his manuscripts some of them were presented to the King, as in the present dedication, "to my Lord the Duke of Buckingham's grace," he says;

"It was you that led me by the hand, not once, nor twice, to kisse that awful hand of his, to which I durst not have else aspired. With what sweetenesse and bravery the great majesty of Brittanie imbraced then his meanest vassal, and those my humble compositions, our young sovereigne (then prince of my country) your Grace and the honourable Lords then present, perhaps remember; sure I am I can never forget, and if I do, let my right hand forget her cunning;"

and his verses commence,

Who now wil reade my rimes, and with exceding
Sweet grace and accent, mend them in the reading:
So would he praise the manner and the matter,
Nor did they him, he rather them did flatter.
For with his sugred lips my eares he charmed,
And with his snowy hand my lips he warmed.
But now the frost of death my heart hath chilled,
My blood is through my eyes to teares distilled.
His ague hath me whole, that for enditing,
I neither have a head, nor baud for writing.
Great Britany, that knowes no other bounders
But heav'n and sea, lost lately both her founders:
My master, king of armes by man's appointment,
My soveraign, king of peace by God's annointment.
Oh that my soveraigne had bin longer lived,
Or had my Camden yet a while survived:
With angell's quill, what else can reach his glory?
To write this mortall god's immortall story:
But in that other world, which never endeth,
Him with his Lord's his herald, he attendeth.

The author also introduces himself and family in the, following passage.

Why was the fatall spinster so unthrifty,
To draw my third foure yeares to tell and fifty?
Why did not Atropos in peeces ravil
My string of life, and cot it with my navill?
Curs'd be the day that I was borne, and cursed
The nights that have so long my sorrows nurced:
Yet griefe is by the surer side my brother,
The child of payne, and Payne was eke my mother,
Who children had, the arke had men as many,
Of which, myselfe except, now breathes not any:
Nor Ursala my deere, nor Phil my daughter,
Amongst us death hath made so dire a slaughter.
Them and my Martyn have I, wretch, survived,
But all their deaths my soveraigne's hath retrived.
Each yeare, moneth, weeke, day, houre, I loose some fleeces,
So from my selfe, and all, I part by peeces:
The whilst I stand in controversy, whether
More sigh and weepe, I, or the winde and weather.

The "third four years to tell and fifty" shows our author's age to have been sixty-two, and may serve as some apology for the string of conceits which this offspring of his muse displays. He died at Westminster, 1633, and was buried at the abbey church of St. Peter.

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