Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 648 pages of information about Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama.
Weise, Berthold
White, Edward
Wicksteed, P. H.
Wilcox, Thomas
Wilde, George
Wilson, H.
Wilson, Thomas
Wily Beguiled
Windscheid, Katharina
Winstanley, William
Winter’s Tale
Wither, George
Wolfe, John
Wolsey, Thomas, Cardinal
Woman in the Moon
Wonder of Women
Wood, Anthony a
Wotton, Sir John
Wotton, Sir Henry
Wyatt, Sir Thomas, the elder
Wynkyn de Worde

Yong (or Young), Bartholomew

Zinano, Gabriele
Zola, Emil
Zurla, Lodovico

Oxford:  Horace Hart, Printer to the University.


[1] The often cited pastoralism of the Song of Solomon resolves itself on investigation into an occasional simile.  These argue familiarity with the scenes of pastoral life, but equally reveal the existence of the contrast in the mind of the writer.  It was on the orthodox interpretation of this love-song that Remi Belleau founded his Eclogues sacrees, but they contain little or nothing of a pastoral nature.  The same may be said of Drayton’s paraphrase, included in his Harmony of the Church in 1591, which is chiefly remarkable for the evident and honest pleasure with which he rendered the unsophisticated meaning of the original.  It is, however, just possible that the Hebrew poem may have had some influence on pastoral poetry in Italy.  There is a monograph on the subject by A. Abbruzzese, Il Cantico dei Cantici in alcune parafrasi poetiche italiane:  contributo alla storia del dramma pastorale, which, however, I have not seen.  With regard to possible Greek predecessors of Theocritus, it must be borne in mind that there were singing contests between shepherds at the Sicilian festival of Artemis, and it is possible that the competitors may have been sufficiently influenced by other orders of civilization to have given a definitely pastoral colouring to their songs.  Little is known of their nature beyond the fact that they probably contained the motive of the lament for Daphnis, which appears to be as old as Stesichorus.  They have perished all but two lines which are found prefixed by way of motto to the Idyls

  [Greek:  de/xai ta\n a)gatha\n ty/chan, de/xai ta\n y(gi/eian
  a(\n phe/romen para\ ta~s theoy~, a(\n e)kale/ssato te/na]

What I have wished to emphasize above is the fact that because shepherds sang songs we have no reason to assume that these were distinctively pastoral.  In later times the pastoral generally acknowledged a theoretical dependence on rustic song, and the popular compositions did actually now and again affect literary tradition.  But this was rare.

[2] Details concerning the conception of the golden age will be found in Moorman’s William Browne, p. 59.

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Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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