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as furnishing a striking and beautiful instance of the simple manner in which whole trains of poetical thought are sometimes awakened, and literary enterprises suggested to the mind.

In the course of his poem he more than once bewails the peculiar hardness of his fate; thus doomed to lonely and inactive life, and shut up from the freedom and pleasure of the world, in which the meanest animal indulges unrestrained. There is a sweetness, however, in his very complaints; they are the lamentations of an amiable and social spirit at being denied the indulgence of its kind and generous propensities; there is nothing in them harsh or exaggerated; they flow with a natural and touching pathos, and are perhaps rendered more touching by their simple brevity. They contrast finely with those elaborate and iterated repinings, which we sometimes meet with in poetry; -the effusions of morbid minds, sickening under miseries of their own creating, and venting their bitterness upon an unoffending world. James speaks of his privations with acute sensibility, but having mentioned them passes on, as if his manly mind disdained to brood over unavoidable calamities. When such a spirit breaks forth into complaint, however brief, we are aware how great must be the suffering that extorts the murmur. We sympathise with James, a romantic, active, and accomplished prince, cut

off in the lustihood of youth from all the enterprise, the noble uses, and vigorous delights of life; as we do with Milton, alive to all the beauties of nature and glories of art, when he breathes forth brief, but deep-toned lamentations, over his perpetual blindness.

Had not James evinced a deficiency of poetic artifice, we might almost have suspected that these lourings of gloomy reflection were meant as preparative to the brightest scene of his story; and to contrast with that effulgence of light and loveliness, that exhilarating accompaniment of bird and song, and foliage and flower, and all the revel of the year, with which he ushers in the lady of his heart. It is this scene, in particular, which throws all the magic of romance about the old castle keep. He had risen, he says, at daybreak, according to custom, to escape from the dreary meditations of a sleepless pillow. "Bewailing in his chamber thus alone," despairing of all joy and remedy, "fortired of thought and wo-begone," he had wandered to the window, to indulge the captive's miserable solace of gazing wistfully upon the world from which he is excluded. The window looked forth upon a small garden which lay at the foot of the tower. It was a quiet, sheltered spot, adorned with arbours and green alleys, and protected from the passing gaze by trees and hawthorn hedges.

Now was there made, fast by the tower's wall,
A garden faire, and in the corners set
An arbour green with wandis long and small
Railed about, and so with leaves beset
Was all the place and hawthorn hedges knet,


That lyf was none, walkyng there forbye,
That might within scarce any wight espye.

So thick the branches and the leves grene,

Beshaded all the alleys that there were;
And midst of every arbour might be seen
The sharpe, grene, sweet juniper,
Growing so fair, with branches here and there,
That as it seemed to a lyf without,

The boughs did spread the arbour all about.

And on the small grene twistis † set

The lytel swete nightingales, and sung
So loud and clear, the hymnis consecrate

Of lovis use, now soft, now loud among,
That all the garden and the wallis rung
Right of their song

It was the month of May, when every thing was in bloom; and he interprets the song of the nightingale into the language of his enamoured feeling :

Lyf, person.

Note. modernised.

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+ Twistis, small boughs or twigs.

The language of the quotations is generally

Worship, all ye that lovers be, this May,
For of your bliss the kalends are begun,
And sing with us, away, winter away,

Come, summer, come, the sweet season and sun.` As he gazes on the scene, and listens to the notes of the birds, he gradually lapses into one of those tender and undefinable reveries which fill the youthful bosom in this delicious season. He wonders what this love may be, of which he has so often read, and which thus seems breathed forth in the quickening breath of May, and melting all nature into ecstasy and song. If it really be so great a felicity, and if it be a boon thus generally dispensed to the most insignificant of beings, why is he alone cut off from its enjoyments?

Oft would I think, O Lord, what may this be,
That love is of such noble myght and kynde?
Loving his folke, and such prosperitee
Is it of him, as we in books do find:

May he oure hertes setten* and unbynd:
Hath he upon our hertes such maistrye?
Or is all this but feynit fantasye?

For giff he be of so grete excellence,

That he of every wight hath care and charge,
What have I gilt † to him, or done offense,
That I am thral'd, and birdis go at large?

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In the midst of his musing, as he casts his eye downward, he beholds "the fairest and the freshest young floure" that ever he had seen. It is the lovely Lady Jane walking in the garden to enjoy the beauty of that "fresh May morrowe." Breaking thus suddenly upon his sight in the moment of loneliness and excited susceptibility, she at once captivates the fancy of the romantic prince, and becomes the object of his wandering wishes, the sovereign of his ideal world.

There is, in this charming scene, an evident resemblance to the early part of Chaucer's Knight's Tale; where Palamon and Arcite fall in love with Emilia, whom they see walking in the garden of their prison. Perhaps the similarity of the actual fact to the incident which he had read in Chaucer may have induced James to dwell on it in his poem. His description of the Lady Jane is given in the picturesque and minute manner of his master; and being doubtless taken from the life, may be considered as a perfect portrait of a beauty of that day. He dwells, with the fondness of a lover, on every article of her apparel, from the net of pearl, splendent with emeralds and sapphires, that confined her golden hair, even to the "goodly chaine of small orfeverye" about her neck, whereby there hung

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