1814
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnets by Spenser.

Laura: or an Anthology of Sonnets, (on the Petrarcan Model,) and Elegiac Quaruorzains. 5 vols. [Capel Lofft, ed.]

Edmund Spenser


Of the 1000 sonnets in Lofft's five volumes Nos. 123, 679, 692, 700, 796, 797, 864, are by Edmund Spenser. In order to include them, Lofft violates his principle of including only sonnets on the "Petrarcan Model." Making something of a fetish of the rhyme patterns, he break to stanzas in order to emphasize their form. "Green" is the composer Edward Burnaby Greene (d. 1788).

The collection was assembed between the years 1805 and 1809, at the perhaps the pinnacle of the sonnet revival in English literature. Much of the collection consists of translations from Italian originals by Lofft and others. While Spenserian sonnets are excluded, many Spenserian poets are represented, including some very obscure writers.



SPENSER*.
ELEGIAC.
Like as a Huntsman, after weary chace,
Seeing the Game from him escape away,
Sits down to rest him in some shady place
With panting Hounds beguiled of their prey:

So, after long pursute and vain assay
When I long weary had the chace forsook
The gentle Deer return'd the self-same way
Thinking to quench her thirst in the next brook:

2.
Then She, beholding me with milder look,
Sought not to flee, but fearless still did bide:
Till I in hand her, yet half trembling, took
And with her own good will her firmly tide.
Strange thing me seem'd to see a Beast so wild
So goodly won; with her own will beguil'd.

* This Sonnet, if I recollect, is beautifully set by GREEN.
C. L.

[Unpaginated: No. XCCIII]