1593
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Phillis: The Induction.

Phillis: Honoured with Pastorall Sonnets, Elegies, and Amorous Delights. Where-unto is annexed, The Tragicall Complaynt of Elstred.

Dr. Thomas Lodge


Among modern poets, Thomas Lodge praises "learned Colin."

Edmond Malone identifies the "Octavia" as Mary Countess of Pembroke ("Octavia was the sister of Augustus, and patroness of Virgil"), the "fore-bred brothers" as Thomas Watson and Abraham Fraunce, Colin, of course, as Spenser and Delia's prophet as Samuel Daniel; Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare (1790; 1821) 2:253-54n.

John Payne Collier: "This applause is of more worth, because it came from a successful writer in nearly every form of poetry chosen by Spenser" Poetical Works of Spenser (1862; 1875) 1:xci.

George Saintsbury: "Phillis is especially remarkable for the grace and refinement with which the author elaborates the Sidneian model. Lodge, indeed, as it seems to me, was one of the not uncommon persons who can always do best with a model before them. He euphuised with better taste than Lyly, but in imitation of him; his tales in prose are more graceful than those of Greene, whom he copied; it at least seems likely that he out-Marlowed Marlowe in the rant of the Looking-Glass for London, and the stiffness of the Wounds of the Civil War, and he chiefly polished Sidney in his sonnets and madrigals. It is not to be denied, however, that in three of these four departments he gave us charming work" History of Elizabethan Literature (1887; 1909) 109-10.

N. Burton Paradise: "It has been suggested that these appreciative lines on Spenser are in return for a reference in Colin Clout, where Spenser says: 'And there is pleasing Alcon, could he raise | His tunes from laies to matter of more skill' (ll. 394-95). Alcon is the name of an old peasant in A Looking Glasse for London and England, a play in which Lodge and Greene collaborated. [Edmond] Malone maintained that Spenser, with this fact in mind, here applied the name to Lodge, and that Lodge's other play, The Wounds of Civill War, was the 'matter of more skill' with which Lodge responded to Spenser's suggestion. Since, however, the scenes in which Alcon appears in A Looking Glasse are not definitely known to have been of Lodge's composition, and since The Wounds of Civill War, which would not, in any case, have been considered a 'matter of more skill,' is several years earlier than Colin Clout, the identification of Alcon with Lodge is not altogether probable" Thomas Lodge (1931) 110-11.

Thomas Lodge describes Spenser as "famous for facility in discourse" in Incarnated Devils, Works (1883) 4:57.



I that obscur'd have fled the Sceane of Fame,
Intitling my conceits to nought but care,
I that have liv'd a Phoenix in loves flame,
And felt that death I never would declare,
Now mount the Theater of this our age,
To plead my faith and Cupids cursed rage.

Oh you high sp'rited Paragons of witte,
That flye to fame beyond our earthly pitch,
Whose sence is sound, whose words are feat and fitte,
Able to make the coyest eare to itch:
Shroud with your mighty wings that mount so well,
These little loves, new crept from out the shell.

And thou the true Octavia of our time,
Under whose worth, beauty was never matched,
The Genius of my Muse and ragged rime,
Smile on these little loves but lately hatched,
Who from the wrastling waves have made retreate,
To pleade for life before thy judgement seate.

And tho the fore-bred brothers they have had,
(Who in theyr Swan-like songes Amintus wept)
For all their sweet-thought sighes had fortune bad,
And twice obscur'd in Cinthias circle slept:
Yet these (I hope) under your kind aspect,
(Most worthy Lady) shall escape neglect.

And if these Infants of mine artlesse braine,
(Not by theyr worth, but by thy worthinesse)
A meane good liking of the learned gaine,
My Muse enfranchis'd from forgetfulnesse:
Shall hatch such breede in honour of thy name,
As moderne Poets shall admire the same.

As moderne Poets shall admire the same,
I meane not you (you never matched men)
Who brought the Chaos of our tongue in frame,
Through these Herculean labours of your pen:
I meane the meane, I meane no men divine,
But such whose feathers are but waxt like mine.

Goe weeping Truce-men in your sighing weedes,
Under a great Mecaenas I have past you:
If so you come where learned Colin feedes
His lovely flocke, packe thence and quickly haste you;
You are but mistes before so bright a sunne,
Who hath the Palme for deepe invention wunne.

Kisse Delias hand for her sweet Prophets sake,
Whose not affected but well couched teares:
Have power, have worth, a Marble minde to shake;
Whose fame, no Iron-age or time out weares.
Then lay you downe in Phillis lap and sleepe,
Untill she weeping read, and reading weepe.

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