1610 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To Master W. C.

The Purple Island, or the Isle of Man: together with Piscatorie Eclogs and other Poeticall Miscellanies. By P. F.

Rev. Phineas Fletcher


Four rhyme-royal Spenserians, in which Phineas Fletcher recalls his friend William Cappell away from the ladies and back to school: "Heark, how the Cambridge Muses thence recall thee; | Willy our deare, Willy his time abuses: | But sure thou hadst forgot our Chame, and Cambridge Muses." There they will con Virgil together, or failing that, Fletcher's own verses.

Abram Barnett Langdale: "Evidently he was Cappell's instructor, and in the poem he takes his charge to task because he had gone off, bent on love, to Little Haddam in Herts., and to Maddingly, three miles from Cambridge. The teacher admonishes his erring scholar, his 'dear Willy,' with tact, humor, and winning enthusiasm for academic tasks" Phineas Fletcher (1937) 44.



Willy my deare, that late by Haddam sitting,
By little Haddam, in those private shades,
Unto thy fancie thousand pictures fitting,
With dainty Nymphs in those retired glades,
Didst spend thy time; (time that too quickly fades)
Ah! much I fear, that those so pleasing toyes
Have too much lull'd thy sense and minde in slumbring joyes.

Now art thou come to nearer Maddingly,
Which with fresh sport and pleasure doth enthrall thee;
There new delights withdraw thy eare, thy eye;
Too much I fear, lest some ill chance befall thee:
Heark, how the Cambridge Muses thence recall thee;
Willy our deare, Willy his time abuses:
But sure thou hadst forgot our Chame, and Cambridge Muses.

Return now, Willy; now at length return thee:
Here thou and I, under the sprouting vine,
By yellow Chame, where no hot ray shall burn thee,
Will sit, and sing among the Muses nine;
And safely cover'd from the scalding shine,
We'l read that Mantuan shepherds sweet complaining
Whom fair Alexis griev'd with his unjust disdaining:

And when we list to lower notes descend,
Heare Thirsil's moan, and Fusca's crueltie:
He cares not now his ragged flock to tend;
Fusca his care, but careless enemie:
Hope oft he sees shine in her humble eye;
But soon her angrie words of hope deprives him:
So often dies with love, but love as oft revives him.

[pp. 60-61]