1595
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Rowland. Eglogue III.

A Fig for Momus: containing Pleasant Varietie, included in Satyres, Eclogues, and Epistles, by T. L. of Lincolnes Inne Gent.

Dr. Thomas Lodge


Thomas Lodge declares that patronage is requisite for poetry. "Golde" is an anagram for "Lodge"; "Donroy" for Roydon; "Rowland" is, of course, Michael Drayton's pastoral eidolon from the Shepherds Garland (1593). The sourness of this eclogue perhaps suggests that Drayton's plans for his ambitious career were already going awry; Lodge himself would soon abandon poetry.

Thomas Park: "This book is dedicated to William Earle of Darbie: and the preface is dated 6 May 1595. Different poems are severally inscribed to Master E. Dig[bie], To reverend Colin [qu. Spenser?], To happie Menalcas [forsan Watson], To Rowland [f. Drayton], To Master Samuel Daniel, To W. Bolton, and to Michael Drayton" Censura Literaria 3(1807) 305-06.

John Payne Collier: "Lodge, in the third Eclogue of his Fig for Momus, 1595, mentions Roydon (or Donroy as he there calls him) as if he were then in prosperous circumstances, and capable of patronising, as well as writing, poetry. Wagrin is there urging the desponding Golde (i.e. Lodge) to seek other employment than that of the pen and the stage" Poetical Works of Spenser (1862; 1875) 1:cx-xi n.

Oliver Elton: "Lodge's third eclogue is also addressed to him. He advises his friend to rise in style; 'true excellence depends | on numbers aimed to good and happy ends.' Lodge also alludes to the 'learned nines and threes' of his friend; the reference may be either to his sonnet, or to the passage in Endimion, where the Pythagorean jargon is dragged in" Introduction to Michael Drayton (1895) 57-58.

W. W. Greg: "The themes are serious, even weighty according to the estimation of the author, and befit the mood of the poet who first sought to acclimatize the classical satire. These eclogues do not, however, testify to any high poetic gift, any more than do the couple in a lighter vein found in the Phillis of 1593" Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama (1906) 113.

Edward A. Tenny: "The Donroy and Wagrin of Eclogue 3 are said to be the anagrams of Matthew Roydon, author of 'Elegie, or Friends passion for Astrophill,' and of Giovanni Guarini, author of Il Pastor Fido" Thomas Lodge (1935) 146.



WAGRIN, GOLDE.

WAGRIN.
Whie sings not Golde as he whilome did
In sacred numbers, and diviner vaine,
Such hymnes, as from bace-humor'd braines are hid?
For shame revive thy mated Muse againe,
Let not ambitious ignorance forbid
Thy worthfull stile immortall praise to gaine,
Live thou to after age, and let thy fame,
Eternise thy deserts, and tell their shame.

GOLDE.
Why should I make mine industrie a slave,
To day, and night? why should I dwell on thought
When as some scoffing ideot shall deprave
That which with travaile learning forth hath brought:
Proud Aristarchsus will the credit have,
And beare that palme, the happier muse hath bought,
And though in furnace of true art I trie
My labor'd lines, yet scape not obloquie.

In such a world where worth, hath no rewarde,
Where all the gods, want shrines, but greedie gaine,
Where science sleepes; and ignorance is hard,
Why should I loose my sleepe, or breake my braine?
Can vertue spring that wanteth true regarde?
No Wagrin no: tis wisdome to refraine
In such an age, where learning hath no laude,
Nor needie Homer welcome, or applaude.

Sweete Muses, my companions, and repose,
Tir'd with contempts in silence now record
Your pleasures past; disdaining to disclose
Your worth to them, who wisdome have abhord:
Make me the judge, and writer of your woes:
Whil'st senceles walles, (where I your treasures hord)
Doe heare such griefe, as were they ought but stone,
Hewd in this age, they might consume with mone.

WAGRIN.
Fie Golde, blame not all men for a few,
The Muses have some friends, who will esteeme
A man of worth, and give desert his dewe:
Did Mircurie (as many wisemen deeme)
Surcease the wavering Cynthia to pursue,
His crosse aspects to arts, more sweete would seeme:
There are some fewe, (alas that they were more)
That honour poesie, and wit adore.

To these firme oakes (who boldlie can resist
The tempest of lewd tongues,) thy selfe applie,
Like Ivie, round about their bodies twist,
And live to them, whose fame should never die:
Sweeten their eares, and glut them when they list
With such nice numbers of sweete poetrie:
That reading, they may thinke, that everie line
Refines their wits, and makes them more divine.

GOLDE.
On these strong pillars (Wagrin) have I built,
And liv'd a while in sunne-shine of their grace,
But time (sweete friend) beleeve me if thou wilt,
Hath made them worldlie, covetous, and base,
Their niggard mindes, with golden words they gilt,
They are not as they seeme, in outward face,
To live in hope of that they meane to give,
Is to deceive our selves, and not to live.

Arts perish, wanting honour, and applause,
And where imperious neede doth tyrannise,
The holie heate, through worldly cares doth pause,
The minde, (with-drawne to studie for supplies)
Is soyld with earthlie thoughts, and downward drawes;
Hence come those dull conceits amongst the wise,
Which coy-eard readers censure to proceede,
From ignorance, whereas they grow by neede.

Oh were the world so forward to affect
The high conceits of artists as of yore,
When least deserts, were held in high respect;
Did wise Maecenas flourish still t' adore
The heavenly lines his Virgil did erect,
Or he whom Rome admir'd for wisdomes store;
Want, should not wring good wits, and this our age
For science, should with theirs, the battaile wage.

But now, these frugall patrons, who begin
To skantle learning with a servile pay,
Make Poets count their negligence, no sinne:
The colde conceit of recompence doth lay
Their fierie furie when they should begin,
The priest unpaid, can neither sing, nor say:
Nor Poets sweetlie write, except they meete
With sound rewards, for sermoning so sweete.

Which found rewards, since this neglectful time
Repines to yeeld to men of high desart,
Ile cease to revel out my wits in rime,
For such who make so base account of art:
And since by wit there is no meanes to clime,
Ile hould the plough a while, and plie the cart,
And if my muse to wonted course returne,
Ile write, and judge, peruse, commend and burne.

WAGRIN.
A better mind God send thee, or more meanes,
Oh wouldst thou but converse with Charles the kind,
Or follow harvest, where thy Donroy gleanes,
These thoughts would cease: with the thy muse should find
A sweet converse: then this conceit which weanes
Thy pen from writing, should be soone resignd.

GOLDE.
I rest resolv'd, if bountie will, I wright,
If not, why then my muse shall flie the light.

[sigs C4-D2]