The Sonnet-Series (Cont.)

In the same year [1596] appeared Bartholomew Griffin's Fidessa, a sequence of sixty-two English sonnets.1 The technic of these sonnets is excellent, but the subject-matter is echoed from previous series. The most flagrant plagiarism is the sonnet on sleep, in which the phrases of Daniel's fine poem are simply rearranged.2

Gnffin's ability for attaining verbal effects without any particular sense in the words is illustrated by the opening lines of the sonnet describing his lady:--

Fair is my love that feeds among the lilies,

The lilies growing in that pleasant garden

Where Cupid's Mount, that well-beloved hill is,

And where that little god, himself is Warden.

See where my Love sits in the beds of spices!

Beset all round with camphor, myrrh and roses,

And interlaced with curious devices

Which her from all the world apart incloses."3

Griffin's only contributions to technical form are two sonnets in which every line ends in the same word. To the conventional music-theme, however, he adds a new point of view, bringing it nearer to Shakspere. He introduces the lute, in the seventeenth sonnet,4 but the lady plays it:--

"The lute itself is sweetest when she plays."

The instrument ceases to be the badge of the poet's art, and becomes a detail in a realistic picture.

1Arber's English Garner, v. p. 589 sq.

2Ibid., p. 598.

3Ibid., p. 609.

4Ibid., p. 599.