The Sonnet-Series (Cont.)

In this same year, 1593, appeared Thomas Watson's second sequence, the Teares of Fancie. Of the original twenty-eight sonnets, eight have been lost. This also is a conventional love-sequence, and the lady counts for as little as did Parthenophe. Watson resembles Barnes further in giving his sonnets a narrative character. The first eight tell how the poet quarrelled with Cupid, and how, after many unsuccessful attempts at revenge, the god finally caught him with his mistress' eyes. With the love-story thus elaborately begun, the sonnets immediately relapse into the inevitable theme of the lady's extreme cruelty, with one brief hint at her beauty.1

1Watson's Poems, Arber Reprint, p. 189.

This sequence is too short to be compared with Sidney's or Barnes's. It shows even more technical proficiency than the Hekatompathia, but is just as lacking in inspiration and importance. It is a good illustration, however, of the Italian influence upon scholarly minds, appearing here in such small but significant points as the attempt to reproduce the feminine rimes of that literature.