1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Browne of Tavistock

William Hazlitt, in Lectures chiefly on the Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth (1820; 1845) 160.



In Browne's Pastorals, notwithstanding the weakness and prolixity of his general plan, there are repeated examples of single lines and passages of extreme beauty and delicacy, both of sentiment and description, such as the following Picture of Night:

Clamour grew dumb, unheard was shepherd's song,
And silence girt the woods: no warbling tongue
Talk'd to the echo; satyrs broke their dance,
And all the upper world lay in a trance,
Only the curled stream soft chidings kept;
And little gales that from the green leaf swept
Dry summer's dust, in fearful whisperings stirr'd,
As loth to waken any singing bird.

Poetical beauties of this sort are scattered, not sparingly, over the green lap of nature through almost every page of our author's writings. His description of the squirrel hunted by mischievous boys, of the flowers stuck in the windows like the hues of the rainbow, and innumerable others, might be quoted.