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.
Again we know, alike from Wood’s Athenae and Meres’ Palladis Tamia, that Stephen Gosson left works of the kind of which we have now no trace; while Puttenham in his Art of English Poesy mentions an eclogue of his own, addressed to Edward VI, and entitled Elpine.  Puttenham and Meres in dealing with pastoral writers also mention one Challener, no doubt the Thomas Chaloner who contributed to the Mirror for Magistrates, and Nashe in his preface to Menaphon adds Thomas Atchelow, who may be plausibly identified with the Thomas Achelly who contributed verses to Watson’s Hecatompathia and various sententious fragments to England’s Parnassus, among them a not very happy rendering of those lines of Catullus which might almost be taken as a motto to pastoral poetry as a whole: 

    The sun doth set, and brings again the day,
    But when our light is gone, we sleep for aye.


It is not easy to arrange the mass of occasional lyric verse of a pastoral nature in a manner to facilitate a general survey.  We may perhaps divide it roughly into general groups which possess certain points in common and can be treated more or less independently.  Little would be gained by following a strictly chronological order, even were it possible to do so.

We occasionally meet with translations, though from the nature of the case these, as well as evidences of direct foreign influence, are less prominent here than in the more formal type of pastoral verse.  We have already seen that Googe, besides borrowing from Garcilaso’s version of a portion of the Arcadia, himself paraphrased passages of the Diana in his eclogues, and the latter work also supplied material for the pen of Sir Philip Sidney.  His debt consists in translations of two songs from Montemayor’s romance, printed among his miscellaneous poems[124].  About a dozen translations from the same source appeared in England’s Helicon, the work of Bartholomew Yong.  They are for the most part very inferior to the general average of the collection, but the opening of one at least is worth quoting: 

    ’Guardami las vaccas,
      Carillo, por tu fe.—­
    Besami primero,
      Yo te las guardare.’

    I prithee keep my kine for me,
      Carillo, wilt thou? tell.—­
    First let me have a kiss of thee,
      And I will keep them well.

Another translation is the poem headed ‘A Pastorall’ in Daniel’s Delia of 1592, a rendering of the famous chorus to the first act of Tasso’s Aminta.

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