And others feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart, and write!
Note 1. The initial sonnet of Astrophel and Stella, 1591. The very first piece of the series, an oddly compounded sonnet of thirteen Alexandrines and a final heroic, strikes the note of intense and fresh poetry which is only heard afar off in Surrey and Wyat, which is hopeless to seek in the tentatives of Turberville and Googe, and which is smothered with jejune and merely literary ornament in the less familiar work of Thomas Watson. The second line, the couplet (lines 7 and 8) and the sudden and splendid finale are things that may be looked for in vain earlier. (George Saintsbury, Elizabethan Literature, 1887.) [back]