5.2. The Poems.  Index and Sources

 

We are dealing with the works of a poet who (four hundred years ago), with a series of adept tricks, somehow managed to make himself invisible.

Oxford’s poetry was set to music by some famous English musicians, namely Byrd (Nos. 79, 83 and 90) and  Dowland  (No. 99). There is a possibility that the two composers also used other works from Oxford in their music, however such allocations are based more on “feeling” rather than hard evidence. (Song lyrics that seem to indicate Oxford’s authorship include: “My thoughts are wing’d with hopes” and “Fine knacks for ladies.”)

“If fluds of tears could cleanse my follies past” from the post script from Sir P. S. His Astrophel and Stella (1591) divulges, not in the tone, but in content from Oxford, because he upbraids the fates often, but is never remorseful. -  “Sweet Cyntherea sitting by a brook”, “If music and sweet poetry agree”, “Crabbed age and youth cannot live together”, “My flocks feed not” and “As it fell upon a day” from The Passionate Pilgrim (1599) could be, in spite of the appropriation by Barnfield and Deloney, Oxford’s (or Shake-speare’s) poems. However in the hand written poetical collections, no direct proof has been documented.

In order to make it easier to read the poems, italics are used to signify quotes of the spoken word. The orthography of the Oxfordian poems have been modernized with the exception of words that end in -th. Some old English poems will be presented in their original form.

 

INDEX

 

I. POEMS 1-63 (1572-1575)

 

 

 

1

The labouring man that tills the fertile soil

Earl of Oxford

Cardanus

2

To scourge the crime of wicked Laius

Fortunatus Infoelix

Flowres

3

Fair Bersabe the bright once bathing in a well

F. I.

Flowres

4

Of thee dear Dame, three lessons would I learn

F. I.

Flowres

5

Love, hope, and death do stir in me such strife

F. I.

Flowres

6

In prime of lusty years, when Cupid caught me in

F. I.

Flowres

7

A cloud of care hath covered all my coast

F. I.

Flowres

8

Dame Cinthia herself that shines so bright

F. I.

Flowres

9

That self same day, and of that day that hour

F. I.

Flowres

10

Beauty shut up thy shop and truss up all thy trash

F. I.

Flowres

11

The stately dames of Rome their pearls did wear

F. I.

Flowres

12

As some men say there is a kind of seed

F. I.

Flowres

13

What state to man so sweet and pleasant were

F. I.

Flowres

14

I could not though I would: good Lady say not so

F. I.

Flowres

15

With her in arms that had my heart in hold

F. I.

Flowres

16

And if I did what then?

F. I.

Flowres

17

When worthy Bradamant had looked long in vain

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

18

The hateful man that heapeth in his mind

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

19

This vain avail which thou by Mars hast won

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

20

The feeble thread which Lachesis hath spun

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

21

A hundreth suns (in course but not in kind)

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

22

Not stately Troye though Priam yet did live

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

23

Lady receive, receive in gracious wise

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

24

I cannot wish thy grief,  although thou work my woe

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

25

If men may credit give, to true reported fames

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

26

Were my heart set on high as thine is bent

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

27

How long she looks that looks at me of late

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

28

I looked of late and saw thee look askance

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

29

The thriftless thread which pamper’d beauty spins

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

30

When danger keeps the door of lady beauty’s bower

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

31

Thou with thy looks on whom I look full oft

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

32

I cast mine eye and saw ten eyes at once

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

33

What thing is that which swims  in bliss

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

34

I groped in thy pocket, pretty peat

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

35

A lemon (but no leman) Sir you found

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

36

When steadfast friendship (bound by holy oath)

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

37

Of all the birds that I do know

Si fortunatus infoelix

Flowres

38

The Partridge in the pretty Merlin’s foot

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

39

You must not wonder though you think it strange

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

40

This tenth of March when Aries receiv’d

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

41

Now have I found the way to weep and wail my fill

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

42

Thy birth, thy beauty, nor thy brave attire

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

43

Much like the seely bird which close in cage is pent

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

44

Despised things may live, although they pine in pain

Spraeta tamen vivunt

Flowres

45

Amid my bale I bath in bliss

Ferenda Natura

Flowres

46

The straightest tree that grows upon one only root

Ferenda Natura

Flowres

47

That self same tongue which first did thee entreat

Ferenda Natura

Flowres

48

Desire of fame would force my feeble skill

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

49

When first I thee beheld in colours black and white

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

50

If ever man yet found the bath of perfect bliss

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

51

The deadly drops of dark disdain

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

52

Both deep and dreadful were the seas

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

53

Give me my lute in bed now as I lie

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

54

Of all the letters in the crist-cross-row

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

55

Content thyself with patience perforce

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

56

Receive you worthy Dame this rude and ragged verse

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

57

This Apuleius was in Afric born

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

58

A Lady once did ask of me

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

59

The cruel hate which boils within thy burning breast

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

60

If what you want, you (wanton) had at will

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

61

I that my race of youthful years had run

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

62

When I record within my musing mind

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

63

L'Escü d'amour, the shield of perfect love

 

Meritum petere grave

Flowres

 

II. POEMS 64-78  (Paradyse, 1576) 

 

 

 

64

Why doth each state apply itself to worldly praise?

My lucke is losse

Paradise

65

Beware of had I wist, whose fine brings care and smart

My lucke is losse

Paradise

66

Fram'd in the front of forlorn hope

E. O.

Paradise

67

If fortune may enforce the careful heart to cry

[My lucke is losse]  

RO, LOO. / Balle

Paradise

68

I sigh? why so? for sorrow of her smart

My lucke is losse

Paradise

69

Even as the raven, the crow, and greedy kite

My lucke is losse

Paradise

70

The faith that fails, must needs be thought untrue

My lucke is losse

Paradise

71

The lively lark did stretch her wing

E. O.

Paradise

72

A crown of bays shall that man wear

E. O.

Paradise

73

If care or skill could conquer vain desire

E. O.

Paradise

74

The trickling tears that fall along my cheeks

E. O.

Paradise

75

I am not as I seem to be

E. O.

Paradise

76

Ev'n as the wax doth melt, or dew consume away

E. O.

Paradise

77

My meaning is to work what wonders love

E. O.

Paradise

78

When griping griefs the heart would wound

 

Balle

Paradise / Coningsby

 

III. POEMS 79-100  (Miscellaneous 1576-1591)

 

 

 

79

My mind to me a kingdom is

Ball / L. Ver

Coningsby /

Finet / Byrd

80

Were I a king, I might command content

Vere

Cornwallis

81

Fain would I sing, but fury makes me fret

Earle of Oxenforde

Tanner

82

Short is my rest, whose toil is overlong

Ball

Coningsby /

Finet

83

If women could be fair and yet not fond

Earll of Oxenforde

Coningsby /

Finet / Byrd

84

Whereas the heart at tennis plays

Therle of Ox.

Coningsby /

Finet

85

Winged with desire, I seek to mount on high

Lo. ox.

Coningsby /

Finet

86

Though I seem strange, sweet friend, be thou not so

Balle / Vavaser

Coningsby /

Finet

87

Who taught thee first to sigh, alas, my heart ?

Ball / Earlle of Oxenforde

Coningsby /

Finet / Cornw.

88

Sitting alone upon my thought in melancholy mood

earle of oxford / Vavaser

Coningsby /

Finet / Cornw.

89

When I was fair and young then favour graced me

L. of oxforde

Coningsby /

Finet / Cornw.

90

When wert thou born, Desire?

Earle of Oxenforde

Coningsby /

Finet

91

What thing is love? a vain conceit of mind?

Anon.

Coningsby /

Finet

92

My waning joys, my still increasing griefs

Anon.

Coningsby /

Finet

93

The dreary day when I must take my leave

Anon.

Finet

94

How can the feeble fort but yield at last

Anon.

Coningsby /

Finet

95

I said and swore that I would never love

Anon.

Coningsby /

Finet / Cornw.

96

When that thine eye hath chose the dame

W. Shakespeare

Coningsby /

Cornwallis / PP

97

To look upon a work of rare devise

Ignoto

Faerie Queene

98

Sweet friend, whose name agrees with thy increase

Phaeton

Florio

99

Faction that ever dwells

E. O.

Astrophel  / Dowland

100

What cunning can express

 

E. O.

Phoenix Nest

 

IV. POEMS 101-109 (Different Ascriptions, 1575-1591)

 

 

 

101

We praise the plough, that makes the fruitless soil

T. B.

Posies

102

In gladsome spring when sweet and pleasant showers

E. C.

Posies

103

In rowsing verses of Mavors’ bloody reign

N. R.

Steele Glass

104

What thing is Will, without good Wit?

C. A.

Breton

105

What shall I say of gold more than 'tis gold

W. S.

Breton

106

In Peascod time when hound to horn

L. ox.

Coningsby /

Finet / Churchy.

107

What is desire which doth approve

Ewph.

Coningsby /

Finet

108

What thing is love? It is a power divine

[E. O.]

Greene

109

A day, a night, an hour of sweet content

 

CONTENT / [E. O.]

                                                                            

Astrophel

 

SOURCES

 

Astrophel

Syr P. S. His Astrophel and Stella. Wherein the excellence of sweet Poesy is concluded. To the end of which are added, sundry other rare Sonnets of divers Noble men and Gentlemen. 1591

 

Byrd

William Byrd’s Psalmes, Sonets, & Songs. 1588

 

Cardanus

 

Cardanus Comforte, translated into Englishe. And Published by commandement of the righte honourable the Earle of Oxenforde... A.D. 1573

 

Castiglione

Balthasaris Castilionis comitis de curiali sive aulico libri quatuor ex Italico sermone in Latinum conversi. / Bartholomaeo Clerke Anglo Cantabrigiensi interprete. Londini : apud Iohannem Dayum typographum, an. Domini. 1571 [=1572]

 

Cecil Papers

Hatfield HouseCecil Papers

 

Churchyard

A pleasaunte laborinth called Churchyardes Chance. London 1580

 

Coningsby

British Library, MS. Harleian 7392 (2), Coningsbye [Humphrey Coningsby].

 

Cornwallis

Folger Library, MS. V.a.89, Anne Cornwaleyes Her Booke.

See: Arthur F. Marotti, “The Cultural and Textual Importance of Folger MS V.a.89”, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 11 (2002): 70-92.

 

Dowland

John Dowland, The second Booke of Songs or Ayres, London 1600

 

Faerie Queene

Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Commendatory Poems, ed. by Albert Charlie Hamilton. London 1981

 

Finet

John Finet’s Micellany [Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson Poet. 85], ed. by L.A.D. Cummings, Washington 1960

 

Florio

John Florio, Second Fruits, to be gathered of Twelve Trees. London 1591

 

Flowres

A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, Bounde up in one small Poesie. Gathered partely (by translation) in the fyne outlandish Gardins of Euripides, Ovid, Petrarke, Ariosto, and others: and partly by invention, out of our owne fruitefull Orchardes in Englande … At London [1573]

Gascoigne, George, A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, ed. by G. W. Pigman III, New York 2000

 

Greene

Robert Greene, Menaphon, 1589.

The Life and Complete Works of Robert Greene, ed. by Alexander B. Grosart. Huth Library 1881–86.

 

Lansdowne

British Library, Lansdowne Manucripts

 

Paradise

The Paradise of Dainty Devices (1576-1606), ed. by Hyder E. Rollins. Cambridge, 1927

 

Phoenix Nest

The Phoenix Nest, 1593, ed. by Hyder E. Rollins. Cambridge/Mass. 1931 

 

PP = Passionate Pilgrime

 

The Passionate Pilgrime, 1599. Ed. by Sidney Lee. Oxford 1905

 

Posies

The Complete Works of George Gascoigne, ed. by John W. Cunliffe, vol. I. The Posies. Cambridge 1907

 

PRO

The National Archives (Public Record Office)

 

Steele Glass

 

The Complete Works of George Gascoigne, ed. by John W. Cunliffe, vol. II. Cambridge 1910

 

Tanner

Bodleian Library, MS Tanner 306. In: Grosart, Dr. Alexander B. Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies' Library, Vol. IV (1872)

 

© Kurt Kreiler (2013)