1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Daniel

Henry Headley, in Select Beauties of Ancient English Poetry (1787; 1810) 2:164.



— my Silvia's memory
Is all that I must ever live withal.
Hym. Triumph. Scen. 4.

This simple thought reminds us of a most inimitable exclamation in Shenstone's Epitaph on his amiable relation Miss Dolman, who died of the small-pox at the age of twenty-one. This little piece of Shenstone's is one of the very rare modern productions, that not only resembles but rivals the dignified and affecting conciseness of the ancients, in their sepulchral inscriptions. It is worth volumes of his pastorals. I will gratify myself by quoting it entire:

Peramabili sine consobrinae
M. D.

On the other side.

Ah Maria
Puellarum elegantissima,
Ah flore venustatis abrepta,
Vale!
Heu quanto minus est
cum reliquis versari,
Quam tui
Meminisse !

In our author's funeral poem to the memory of the Earl of Devonshire, the following lines remind us of the immortal Chatham:

Here is no room to tell with what strange speed
And secresy he used to prevent
The enemies designs: nor with what heed
He march'd before report: where what he meant
Fame never knew herself, till it was done.

Sylvester, in his Du Bartas, compliments Daniel, and calls

My dear sweet Daniel, sharp-conceited, brief,
Civil, sententious, for pure accents chief.
Fol. Edit. p. 82.

In what follows, Drayton is alluded to, whom he entitles, "our new Naso." Daniel had prefixed a sonnet to his work. B. Jonson likewise has verses prefixed to it.