Cover to Cover with Jack Foley

Cover to Cover with Jack Foley – April 25, 2018: A History of English Poetry II

Derek Jacobi

Today’s show, two days after Shakespeare’s birthday, continues The History of English Poetry, a Naxos AudioBook written by Peter Whitfield and read by Derek Jacobi with supporting cast. Part Two focuses on Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593); Sir Thomas Sackville andA Mirror for Magistrates (1559); Tottel’s Miscellany (1557); Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542); Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516/1517-1547); Sir Walter Raleigh (ca. 1554-1618); Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586); and Edmund Spenser (1552/1553-1599). Hosted by Jack Foley.

This is Wyatt:
They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.
Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”
It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved.
And this Raleigh:
What is Our Life?

What is our life? A play of passion, 
Our mirth the music of division, 
Our mother’s wombs the tiring-houses be, 
Where we are dressed for this short comedy. 
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is, 
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss. 
Our graves that hide us from the setting sun 
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done. 
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest, 
Only we die in earnest, that’s no jest. 

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