Reference > Cambridge History > The Age of Dryden > The Court Poets > His Songs
  Sir Charles Sedley Buckhurst: To all you Ladies now at Land  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

VIII. The Court Poets.

§ 11. His Songs.


But Sedley had his happy moments, in which he discarded the poor artifices of his muse, and wrote like a free and untrammelled poet. Phyllis is my only Joy, apart from its metrical ingenuity, has a lyrical sincerity which has kept it fresh unto this day. Written to be sung, it is the work not of a fop but of a poet. A near rival is “Not Celia that I juster am,” memorable for its epigrammatic conclusion,
       
When Change itself can give no more,
’T is easy to be true.
When he condescends to lyrical patriotism, Sedley is seen at his worst. Not even his hatred of James II can palliate such doggerel as
       
Behold the happy day again,
Distinguish’d by the joy in every face;
This day great William’s life began
Soul of our war and guardian of our peace.
For the rest, Rochester’s criticism of Sedley is not without truth. He praised the gentle Art,
       
That can with a resistless Power impart
The loosest wishes to the chastest Heart.
Sedley’s early ambition could not be more justly or delicately expressed.
  28

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Sir Charles Sedley Buckhurst: To all you Ladies now at Land  
 
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