Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
To Cynthia
By Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554–1628)
 
CYNTHIA, 1 because your horns look divers ways,
  Now darkened to the east, now to the west,
Then at full glory once in thirty days,
  Sense doth believe that change is nature’s rest.
 
Poor earth, that dare presume to judge the sky:        5
  Cynthia is ever round, and never varies;
Shadows and distance do abuse 2 the eye,
  And in abusèd sense truth oft miscarries:
Yet who this language to the people speaks, 3
Opinion’s empire sense’s idol breaks.        10
 
Note 1. From Caelica, in Certain Learned and Elegant Works, 1633. Fulke Greville, says Naunton, “had the longest lease and the smoothest time without rub, of any of her [Elizabeth’s] favourites…. He was a brave gentleman, and honourably descended…. Neither illiterate; for … there are of his now extant some fragments of his poems, and of those times, which do interest him in the Muses, and which shews the Queen’s election had ever a noble conduct, and its motions more of virtue and judgment, than of fancy.” (Fragmenta Regalia, ed. Arber, p. 50.) [back]
Note 2. Abused: deceived. [back]
Note 3. Yet who this language, etc. This is a typical example of Greville’s extreme condensation in the expression of pregnant thought. Expressed more fully, whoever speaks to the people of things as they really are breaks the rule of the idol which the sense worships, i.e., the appearance of things. [back]
 
 
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