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Samuel Daniel

Born: 1562 // Died: 1619

Samuel Daniel Daniel's first book, Delia, was praised by Edmund Spenser in his Colin Clouts Come Home Again. He went on to become a successful court poet, writing occasional verses and dramatic entertainments. In 1604 Queen Anne commissioned a masque from him, The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses, and took part in the performance. Later that year he was in trouble for his tragedy Philotas, which was thought to represent the Earl of Essex's 1600 rebellion in a sympathetic light. Daniel prefaced the printed version of the play with an ' Apology' and was restored to favour. Towards the end of his life, he retired to his farm in Somerset.

  Samuel Daniel's Poetry: (click on a title to read a poem)
  Ulysses and the Siren   Why Should I Sing in Verse   But Love Whilst That...
  When Winter Snows...   Thou Canst Not Die...   Most Fair and Lovely...
  Beauty, Sweet Love, Is...   None Other Fame Mine...   Lo, Here the Impost of a...
  If This Be Love, To...   To Delia: XXXI   To Delia: XLVI

Ulysses and the Siren
 Come worthy Greek, Ulysses, come,
 Possess these shores with me;
 The winds and seas are troublesome,
 And here we may be free.
 Here may we sit and view their toil
 That travail in the deep,
 And joy the day in mirth the while,
 And spend the night in sleep.

 Fair nymph, if fame or honour were
 To be attain'd with ease,
 Then would I come and rest me there,
 And leave such toils as these.
 But here it dwells, and here must I
 With danger seek it forth;
 To spend the time luxuriously
 Becomes not men of worth.

 Ulysses, O be not deceiv'd
 With that unreal name;
 This honour is a thing conceiv'd
 And rests on others' fame.
 Begotten only to molest
 Our peace, and to beguile
 The best thing of our life, our rest,
 And give us up to toil.

 Delicious nymph, suppose there were
 Nor honour nor report,
 Yet manliness would scorn to wear
 The time in idle sport.
 For toil doth give a better touch,
 To make us feel our joy;
 And ease finds tediousness as much
 As labour yields annoy.

 Then pleasure likewise seems the shore
 Whereto tends all your toil,
 Which you forgo to make it more,
 And perish oft the while.
 Who may disport them diversly,
 Find never tedious day,
 And ease may have variety
 As well as action may.

 But natures of the noblest frame
 These toils and dangers please,
 And they take comfort in the same
 As much as you in ease,
 And with the thoughts of actions past
 Are recreated still;
 When pleasure leaves a touch at last
 To show that it was ill.

 That doth opinion only cause
 That's out of custom bred,
 Which makes us many other laws
 Than ever nature did.
 No widows wail for our delights,
 Our sports are without blood;
 The world we see by warlike wights
 Receives more hurt than good.

 But yet the state of things require
 These motions of unrest,
 And these great spirits of high desire
 Seem born to turn them best,
 To purge the mischiefs that increase
 And all good order mar;
 For oft we see a wicked peace
 To be well chang'd for war.

 Well, well, Ulysses, then I see
 I shall not have thee here,
 And therefore I will come to thee
 And take my fortunes there.
 I must be won that cannot win,
 Yet lost were I not won;
 For beauty hath created been
 T' undo, or be undone.

Why Should I Sing in Verse
Why should I sing in verse, why should I frame
These sad neglected notes for her dear sake?
Why should I offer up unto her name
The sweetest sacrifice my youth can make?
Why should I strive to make her live forever,
That never deigns to give me joy to live?
Why should m'afflicted muse so much endeavor
Such honor unto cruelty to give?
If her defects have purchased her this fame,
What should her virtues do, her smiles, her love?
If this her worst, how should her best inflame?
What passions would her milder favors move?
Favors, I think, would sense quite overcome,
And that makes happy lovers ever dumb

But Love Whilst That Thou Mayst Be Loved Again
But love whilst that thou mayst be loved again,
Now whilst thy May hath filled thy lap with flowers,
Now whilst thy beauty bears without a stain;
Now use the summer smiles ere winter lours.
And whilst thou spread'st unto the rising sun
The fairest flower that ever saw the light,
Now joy thy time before thy sweet be done;
And, Delia, think thy morning must have night,
And that thy brightness sets at length to west,
When thou wilt close up that which now thou show'st,
And think the same becomes thy fading best,
Which then shall most inveil and shadow most.
Men do not weigh the stalk for that it was,
When once they find her flower, her glory, pass.

When Winter Snows Upon Thy Sable Hairs
When winter snows upon thy sable hairs,
And frost of age hath nipped thy beauties near,
When dark shall seem thy day that never clears,
And all lies withered that was held so dear,
Then take this picture which I here present thee,
Limned with a pencil not all unworthy;
Here see the gifts that God and nature lent thee,
Here read thyself and what I suffered for thee.
This may remain thy lasting monument,
Which happily posterity may cherish;
These colors with thy fading are not spent,
These may remain when thou and I shall perish.
If they remain, then thou shalt live thereby;
They will remain, and so thou canst not die.

Thou Canst Not Die Whilst Any Zeal Abound
Thou canst not die whilst any zeal abound
In feeling hearts that can conceive these lines;
Though thou, a Laura, hast no Petrarch found,
In base attire yet clearly beauty shines.
And I, though born within a colder clime,
Do feel mine inward heat as great (I know it),
He never had more faith, although more rhyme;
I love as well, though he could better show it.
But I may add one feather to thy fame,
To help her flight throughout the fairest isle,
And if my pen could more enlarge thy name,
Then shouldst thou live in an immortal style.
For though that Laura better limned be,
Suffice, thou shalt be loved as well as she.

Most Fair and Lovely Maid, Look from the Shore
Most fair and lovely maid, look from the shore,
See thy Leander striving in these waves,
Poor soul, quite spent, whose force can do no more;
Now send forth hope, for now calm pity saves,
And waft him to thee with these lovely eyes,
A happy convoy to a holy land.
Now show thy power and where thy virtue lies;
To save thine own, stretch out the fairest hand.
Stretch out the fairest hand, a pledge of peace,
That hand that darts so right and never misses;
I shall forget old wrongs, my griefs shall cease;
And that which gave me wounds, I'll give it kisses,
Once let the ocean of my cares find shore,
That thou be pleased, and I may sigh no more.

Beauty, Sweet Love, Is Like the Morning Dew
Beauty, sweet love, is like the morning dew,
Whose short refresh upon the tender green
Cheers for a time, but till the sun doth shew,
And straight 'tis gone as it had never been.
Soon doth it fade that makes the fairest flourish,
Short is the glory of the blushing rose;
The hue which thou so carefully dost nourish,
Yet which at length thou must be forced to lose,
When thou, surcharged with the burthen of thy years,
Shalt bend thy wrinkles homeward to the earth,
And that in beauty's lease expired appears
The date of age, the kalends of our death.
But ah! no more, this must not be foretold,
For women grieve to think they must be old.

None Other Fame Mine Unambitious Muse
None other fame mine unambitious muse
Affected ever but t' eternize thee;
All other honors do my hopes refuse,
Which meaner prized and momentary be.
For God forbid I should my papers blot
With mercenary lines, with servile pen,
Praising virtues in them that have them not,
Basely attending on the hopes of men.
No, no, my verse respects nor Thames nor theaters,
Nor seeks it to be known unto the great;
But Avon, poor in fame and poor in waters,
Shall have my song, where Delia hath her seat.
Avon shall be my Thames and she my song;
No other prouder brooks shall hear my wrong.

Lo, Here the Impost of a Faith Entire
Lo, here the impost of a faith entire
Which love doth pay and her disdain extorts;
Behold the message of a chaste desire
Which tells the world how much my grief imports.
These tributary passions, beauty's due,
I send those eyes, the cabinets of love,
That cruelty herself might grieve to view
Th' affliction her unkind disdain doth move,
And how I live, cast down from off all mirth,
Pensive, alone, only but with despair;
My joys, abortive, perish in their birth;
My griefs long lived, and care succeeding care.
This is my state, and Delia's heart is such;
I say no more, I fear I said too much.

If This Be Love, To Draw a Weary Breath
If this be love, to draw a weary breath,
To paint on floods till the shore cry to th'air,
With downward looks, still reading on the earth
The sad memorials of my love's despair;
If this be love, to war against my soul,
Lie down to wail, rise up to sigh and grieve,
The never-resting stone of care to roll,
Still to complain my griefs whilst none relieve;
If this be love, to clothe me with dark thoughts,
Haunting untrodden paths to wail apart;
My pleasures horror, music tragic notes,
Tears in mine eyes and sorrow at my heart.
If this be love, to live a living death,
Then do I love and draw this weary breath.

To Delia: XXXI
Look, Delia, how w' esteem the half-blown rose,
The image of thy blush and summer's honour,
Whilst yet her tender bud doth undisclose
That full of beauty Time bestows upon her.
No sooner spreads her glory in the air
But straight her wide-blown pomp comes to decline;
She then is scorn'd that late adorn'd the fair;
So fade the roses of those cheeks of thine.
No April can revive thy wither'd flowers
Whose springing grace adorns thy glory now;
Swift speedy Time, feather'd with flying hours,
Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.
Then do not thou such treasure waste in vain,
But love now, whilst thou mayst be lov'd again.

To Delia: XLVI
Let others sing of knights and paladines
In aged accents and untimely words;
Paint shadows in imaginary lines
Which well the reach of their high wits records:
But I must sing of thee, and those fair eyes
Authentic shall my verse in time to come,
When yet th' unborn shall say, "Lo where she lies
Whose beauty made him speak that else was dumb."
These are the arks, the trophies I erect,
That fortify thy name against old age;
And these thy sacred virtues must protect
Against the dark, and time's consuming rage.
Though th' error of my youth they shall discover,
Suffice they show I liv'd and was thy lover.

Samuel Daniel, Certaine small poems lately printed: with the tragedie of Philotas (G. Eld for S. Waterson, 1605). STC 6239. First Publication Date: 1605.

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