1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Arthur Gorges

Henry John Todd, in Works of Spenser (1805) 1:lxxxvii-viii.



This beautiful Elegy [Daphnaida] was written upon the death of Douglas Howard, daughter and heir of Henry Lord Howard, Viscount Bryndon; and wife of Arthur Gorge, or Gorges Esquire, afterwards knighted. It is dedicated to her aunt, the Ladie Helena, Marchioness of Northampton. The afflicted husband is introduced into the Poem, under the name of Alcyon, as bewailing the death of a White Lioness which he had been so happy as to find, and had tenderly nursed. The White Lion being one of the Duke of Norfolk's supporters to his armorial bearings, "the riddle of the loved Lionesse," as the poet calls it, is easily explained. In the Dedication Spenser avows the "goodwill which he bears unto Master Arthur Gorges, a lover of learning and vertue;" and again he notices him, with peculiar elegance, in Colin Clouts come home again, not only as inconsolable for the loss of his beloved Daphne, but as known to the Muses and his comrades by notes of higher mood. Sir Arthur Gorges, however, has hitherto been recorded as a man of genius, without a proof of the assertion. I am happy to add his name to the list of English poets [quotes sonnet, "No praise of Poesie do I affect"].