1845 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Brooke

John Holland, "Christopher Brooke" Poets of Yorkshire; comprising Sketches of the Lives, and Specimens of the Writings of those Children of Song (1845) 30.



Sir Egerton Brydges (in Cens. Lit. x. 210) says, this individual was a Yorkshireman, who, after having left the University — but whether Oxford or Cambridge is not known — studied the law in Lincoln's Inn, where he became acquainted with the wits of the day; especially after he had published, in 1613, "An Elegy to the Memory of Henry Prince of Wales." In the year following, he became a bencher, and summer reader of his house, when he wrote "Eclogues," dedicated to his much-loved friend, Mr. William Browne," the author of "Britannia's Pastorals," who in that work compliments

—Brooke, whose polish'd lines
Are fittest to accomplish high designs.

The following graceful Sonnet is addressed to Browne, on his really "sweet and elegant" Britannia's Pastorals, a poem to which even Milton is said to have been indebted.

This plant is knotlesse that puts forth these leaves,
Upon whose branches I his praise doe sing;
Fruitful the ground, whose verdure it receives
From fertile Nature and the learned spring.
In zeale to good; knowne, but unpractiz'd ill,
Chaste in his thoughts, though in his youthful prime,
He writes of past'ral love, with nectar'd quill,
And offers up his first fruits unto time.
Receive them (Time) and in thy border place them
Among the various flowers of poesie;
No envy blast, nor ignorance deface them,
But keep them fresh in fayrest memory!
And when from Daphne's tree he plucks more baies,
His shepherd's pipe may chant more heavenly laies.