It has been said that three elements – pastoral novel, autobiographical novel, and lyrical anthology – formed the El Prado de Valencia by Don Gaspar Mercader (1600).[1]  This is true of the majority of Spanish pastoral romances, in varying degrees; however, we must leave the issue of the roman à clef (or enovela de clavef) to one side, for what is of greatest pertinence to this study is the degree to which the poetry is integrated to the prose (or vice versa).  The insertion of poems into a narrative – as opposed to their simply ending a chapter, as in Boccacciofs Ameto and Sannazarofs Arcadia – was a feature of the chivalric romances, and could be found in Bernardim Ribeirofs (1482-1552) Menina e moça (1554).[2]  It is now generally recognised that Gil Polofs poems are appropriate to their context, in opposition to the earlier view, of Menéndez Pelayo, that they represented the intercalation of previously written texts.[3]  Diana Enamorada is also distinguished by a rhythmic prose – one that is to be recited, one that lies close to poetry – and therefore harmony between both manifestations of literary language.[4]  The same synthesis of poetry and narration has been claimed for Montemayor.[5]  Features of his prose style such as the use of opposites, the delaying of the verb until the end, the intense use of epithets (in the pastoral tradition), the accumulation of terms,[6] are also evident in his poetry.  One feature of Yongfs style is his attempt to poeticise his prose[7]; the desire to endow this comparatively recent medium with literary dignity was a factor behind the rise of Euphuism, and it is necessary to remark on the salient features of this mode of writing.


The association of pastoral and sonnet was primarily Spanish,[8] then transmitted to French[9] and German through translation; indeed, in Baroque Germany, this setting was to play a role in the dissemination of this poetic form.[10]  The association was in no way incongruous.  It had, in a way, been foreshadowed by Sannazaro, who made Petrarchian conventions amenable to the pastoral through the avoidance of flamboyant excess in his sonnets.[11]  Moreover, the style of Petrarchan poetry lent itself to prose, in the guise of euphuism.  It is this proximity to poetry that is most interesting about the euphuistic style.  In such prose, gcthe sentence has a symmetrical structure imposed on it analogous to that of versec a sentence may assume an almost stanzaic form.h[12]  Moreover, the features of this style – the parallel sentence structure, the careful balance and antithesis, and the emphasis on sound relationships (alliteration, assonance, the pleasure of contrasting similarities) – offer many correspondences with that type of poetry we find in the Petrarchan sonnet.[13]  Of course, these figures of sound are dependent on syntax, and they are therefore instruments of thought.[14]  In this respect, Euphuism can be considered to be Petrarchism in prose; this is less applicable to the elaborate similes, often drawn from natural history, that impressed contemporaries[15] and brought the weight of scorn bearing down on this style,[16] although even they can be found in the very beginnings of the sonnet.[17]  The euphuistic aspect of poems such as eThe lowest trees haue topps, the ante her gall,f – which takes its opening lines from Euphues and his England (1580)[18] – has been noted.[19]  Such a poem is typical of the esixain Petrarchanismf we find in Watsonfs Hekatompathia.  The similarities between the heroine of romances and the Petrarchan heroine are also strong: in John Davies of Kidwellyfs The Extravagant Shepherd, a 1653 translation of Charles Sorelfs anti-romance Le Berger Extravagant,[20] there is an illustration entitled: eA Poetfs Dream Realised,f in which his mistresses eyes are portrayed as two suns, lilies and roses cover her cheeks, her teeth are pearls – and so on.[21]  The reader who turns into this illustration will not only be shocked at seeing the literal representation of poetic claims, but will also assume that it is Petrarchan conventions, and the Petrarchan use of language, that are being parodied.


With Montemayor, the pastoral lost in atmosphere and nostalgic lament, and it gained in depth of exploration of the psychology of love[22]; the sonnet seems the ideal form in which to continue this exploration, and this supposition will find confirmation in our examination of Yongfs translations from Gil Polo.  The other poetic forms are perhaps more suitable for the expression of an amatory state; it would be overstating the case to claim that they do not provide opportunities for exploration, but on an individual, poem for poem basis, they do not exert the same pressure on language.  This suggests that the sonnet is one of the most objective poetic forms; and the distance that this objectivity creates is actually helpful to the translator.  It makes it easier to engage with the text in a creative capacity; poems that are more overtly subjective may arouse a higher degree of empathy.


Moreover, as one eminent critic has remarked, the pastoral novel has an advantage over the sonnet-cycle in the analysis of the nature of love: whereas a cycle portrays an individualfs range of states of mind,[23] the characters in the novel can react against each other, thus creating a network of divergent voices that constantly question theory and experience[24]; the monologual restrictions of the sonnet-sequence are, at least in theory, overcome.[25]  The aim of the pastoral is to debate the merits of the different kinds of love.  Neoplatonism, the sense of love as the supreme binding cosmic force, pervades this genre.[26]  Indeed, the multiplicity of personages and the polymorphic poetry can all be said to represent manifestations of one Idea[27]; there is the sense that the writer, like the characters, is striving after a seemingly inaccessible unity.


However, English pastorals after Sidney and Yong did not take advantage of the opportunities offered.  The English pastoral romances, with the exception of Arcadia and Diana, contained less poetry than their Spanish counterparts,[28] and far fewer sonnets.[29]  Englands Helicon, the collection par excellence of English pastoral verse, contains only nine sonnets and one double-sonnet.[30]  Modern collections of pastoral poetry contain none of Yongfs translations, and very few sonnets.[31]  It could be claimed that the sonnets in his Diana are, in a way, slightly foreign to the English pastoral tradition; they do present an ideal opportunity for an examination of the psychology of love, but this potential comes into conflict with decorum, the elow stylef of pastoral, that is reflected in the dialect words and colloquial terms in the Shepheardes Calender and Draytonfs Eglogs.  It is a curious fact that Englands Helicon was the only one of the Elizabethan miscellanies to enjoy continuous popularity; its light was undimmed even in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, when Elizabethan poetry was not highly regarded.[32]







[1] Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce, La novela pastoril española (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1959), p. 141.

[2] Ed. Teresa Amado (Lisboa: Editorial Comunicaçao, 1984).  However, this work contains only 3 poems, all in native measures (p. 120, p. 131, and p. 179).

[3] Rafael Ferreres ed., Diana Enamorada. Gaspar Gil Polo. (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1953), pp. xxviii-xxix; Estrada ed., Diana Enamorada (Madrid: Castalia, 1987), pp. 44-45.

[4] Estrada ed. (1987), p. 43.  R.O. Jones, in A Literary History of Spain. The Golden Age. Prose and Poetry (London: Ernest Benn, 1971) considered Diana Enamorada to be, gcone of the most beautiful Spanish works of the sixteenth century, in both its prose and its verse.h (p. 61).

[5] Bruno M. Damiani, eAspectos Estilísticos de La Diana de Jorge de Montemayor,f Revista de Filología Española 63 (1983), pp. 291-312 (311-312).

[6] Estrada ed. (1987), p. 43.

[7] Judith M. Kennedy ed., A Critical Edition of Yongfs Translation of Montemayorfs Diana and Gil Polofs Enamoured Diana  (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), p. lxviii.

[8] From small acorns – only 4 sonnets in Diana – there grew a number of moderate-sized oaks: 14 in Pérezfs continuation, 13 in Gil Polo, 20 in Cervantesfs La Galatea (1585), and 24 in Lopefs Arcadia (1598).  Jerónimo de Tejedafs new continuation of Diana in 1627– La Diana de Montemayor. Nuevamente compuesto [sic] por Hierónymo de Texeda Castellanoc do se da fin a las Historias de la Primera y Segunda Parte – included 45 sonnets from other sources (9 from Gil Polo, whom he plagiarised heavily in general; 5 from Lope de Vegafs non-dramatic work, and 30 from his dramas; and one from La Galatea). –Avalle-Arce (1959), pp. 115-118.

[9] In the first French pastoral novel, Remy Belleaufs La Bergerie (1565), there are 24 sonnets. –Oeuvres Poétiques (2 Vols. ed. Guy Demerson. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2001), II:58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 63, 65, 66, 88, 106, 120, and 13 together pp. 111-118.  Contemporaries took pleasures in the poems in Astrée; Henri Bochet considered them to be a useless suspension of narrative, of little interest in themselves, and, in a suggestive turn of phrase, ghors-dfoeuvres.h –LfAstrée. Ses origines, son importance dans la formation de la littérature classique (Genève, 1923 : Slatkine Reprints, 1967, pp. 154-156).

[10] Especially by translations of Montreulxfs Les bergeries de Juliette and DfUrféfs Astrée. –Joseph  Leighton, eDas barocke Sonett als Gelegenheitsgedichtf in Martin Bircher and Eberhard Mannack (eds), Deutsche Barockliteratur und europäische Kultur: Zweites Jahrestreffen des Internationalen Arbeitskreises für deutsche Barockliteratur in der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel 28. bis 31. August 1976 (Hamburg: Dr Ernst Hauswedell & Co. Verlag 1977), 141-167, (151).

[11] His Rime, written in his youth in the Neapolitan dialect, and revised into Tuscan at the end of his life, were published in 1530, soon after his death.  They include 80 sonnets in 2 parts, but with no discernible order. –William J. Kennedy, Jacopo Sannazaro and the Uses of Pastoral (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1983), pp. 39-40.

[12] Ernest A. Baker, The History of the English Novel (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1963[1936]), II:63-64.

[13] G.K. Hunter, John Lyly. The Humanist as Courtier (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962, p. 263)lists 8 features of Euphuism: 1) Parison; 2) Isocolon; 3) Paromoion (same sound patterns); 4) quasi-rhymes (similiter cadens, similiter desinens, anaphora, epistrophe); 5) alliteration, especially transverse; 6) eunnatural historyf similes; 7) proverbs and exemplums, often in lists; 8) rhetorical questions.

[14] Jonas Barish, eThe prose-style of John Lyly,f ELH 23 (1956), pp. 14-35 (16), referring to isocolon and parison.

[15] Hunter (1962), p. 276.  These similes were used to pattern and organise nature; whereas Medieval bestiaries drew a parallel between nature and the divine scheme, Lyly drew a parallel nature and man (S.L. Wolff, Sewanee Review 31 (1923), p. 25, q. p.279).

[16] Baker (1963) mentions that it was this aspect of Euphuism which gave rise to criticism. -II:64.  Sidney, in Astrophel and Stella III:7-8, and in An Apology for Poetry (p.139, ll.6ff), ridicules the overuse of this device.

[17] For example, Lo basilisco a lo speclo lucente by Giacomo da Lentino, in which the basilisk, the swan, the peacock, and the phoenix, isocolonise the octet.

[18] Lines 1-2, from Lyly (1902), II:90; line 3, ibid, II:372; and line 8, ibid, II:219. –Ralph M. Sargent, The Life and Lyrics of Sir Edward Dyer (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968; formerly entitled At the Court of Queen Elizabeth [1935]), p.211.

[19] Gerald Hammond (ed.), Elizabethan Poetry: Lyrical and Narrative (London: Macmillan, 1984), p.10 and n.2.  This was written by Sir Edward Dyer c.1580; it was doubtfully attributed to Lyly in Vol.III of the 1902 edition of his complete works (ed. R. Warwick Bond. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 3 vols).  The New Oxford Book of 16th Century Verse ed. Emrys Jones (1991; reissued 2002) prints it under eAnonymous,f but following one poem by, and one poem attributed to, Dyer.

[20] The youthful Sorelfs (1602-74) eanti-novelf fell into oblivion after the 17th century. –Le Berger Extravagant, intro. Hervé D. Bechade (Genève: Slatkine Reprints, 1972), p. 9.  This edition of this lengthy work also includes the lengthy Remarques on the 14 Books, published in 1628.  There are only two poems (p. 142 and p. 145) and the former, the only sonnet, is an alexandrine eAdiev à la Poésie.f

[21] This illustration appears on p. 401 of J.J. Jusserand, The English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare, translated by Elizabeth Lee (London: Ernest Benn, 1966 [1890]).  This esonnet-ladyf picture has an interesting history; the 3 versions of it, each one less realistic and more ridiculous than the last, can be found in Thomas Roche (Petrarch and the English Sonnet Sequences. New York: AMS Press, 1989, Frontispiece, and facing pages 254 and 255).  The earliest one appears in Sorel (1972, p.53).  They demonstrate the incongruity of visual appropriation of figurative language; the two elements of the metaphor do not exist side by side in the mindfs eye, but one has supplanted the other.

[22] Kennedy ed. (1968), pp. xxi-xxii.

[23] Wording taken from Greg Walker, eThe Renaissance in Britainf in Patrick Collinson ed., The 16th Century. 1485-1603 (Oxford University Press, 2002), 145-187 (151).

[24] Arthur Terry, Seventeenth Century Spanish Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 30. On the other hand, the writing of a sequence allows – or enforces – more controlled experimentation. -Spiller (1992), p. 108f.  He has in mind Sidneyfs Astrophel and Stella, Arcadia and Certain Sonnets.

[25] The sonnet appeared as a monologue in Spanish plays.  Lope de Vega, in line 308 of his eArte Nuevo de Hacer Comediasf (Obras Poéticas. Ed. J.M. Blecua. Barcelona: Planeta, 1983, p. 265), remarked: gEl soneto está bien en los que aguardan.h  A sonnet is for those in waiting: for those on the stage alone, with an audience to entertain.   –Lucile K. Delano, eThe Sonnet in the Golden Age Drama of Spainf Hispania 11 (1928), pp. 25-28 (26).

[26] According to Leone Ebreo (Judah Abravanel, c.1460-c.1523), in his Dialoghi dfAmore (published 1535), a work strongly influenced by Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, love is identified with God.  The chances of rhyme supply few partners for elovef in English: but one of this small group – eabovef – seems as appropriate as any other term.

[27] Rallo ed. (1991), p. 42.

[28] The combination of prose and verse was essential to the genre.  It is evident in such titles as, Arcadia. Prosas, y/ Versos de Lope/ de Vega Carpio (Madrid, 1598).

[29] There are no sonnets in Robert Greenefs Menaphon (1589), his only prose work to contain interspersed poems, nor among the poems of Thomas Lodgefs Rosalynde, nor in Robert Parryfs (fl. 1540-1612) Moderatvs (1595), the poetical component of which consists almost entirely of sixains, his favoured form (his Sinetes [1597] contains 46 ePassionsf of four-sixained poems).  John Dickenson (fl. 1594-98), Arisbas, Euphues amidst his slumbers (1594), a collection of lyrics with a tenuous prose link in the manner of Sannazaro, includes 10 poems, with one sonnet (Arisbas his Sonet) in Shakespearean form, with the quatrains and couplet printed as separate units; his The Shepheardes Complaint (1596) contains sixains and rhyme royal, but no sonnets. The English Arcadia (Pt. 1, 1607; Pt. 2, 1613) of Gervase Markham (1568?-1637) contains 4 Shakespearean sonnets in the first part (eStrong heart, my strong eares vnconsumed thronef; eIn vaine my wittes you labour to excusef; eI doe not now complaine of my disgracef and eCare keepe that absent presence in my brestf) as well as four poems composed of quatrains/sixains.  The second part includes only 1 Shakespearean sonnet (eCare and complaint, you sonnes of loues vnrestf) which, unlike those in the first part, is not named as a sonnet.  As concerns the other continuations of Sidneyfs pastoral: Richard Belling (d. 1677), A Sixth Booke to the Countesse of Pembrokefs Arcadia (1624), contains an acrostic sonnet in the dedicatory section (abab abab cc dede) by eH. Delaunef, but almost all the poetry in the text is couplet-based; and Anna Weamys (b. ca. 1630), A Continuation of Sir Philip Sydneyfs Arcadia (1651), contains no poems.  Finally, there are no sonnets in Spenserfs Shepherdfs Calender, the initiator of the pastoral genre in England.

The closest imitation of Sidney was by his niece, Lady Mary Wroth, in her Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania (1633).  It contains 102 sonnets, 83 of them inside the sequence ePamphilia to Amphilanthus.f

[30] The Shakespearean ones, eMy hart & tongue were twinnes, at once conceavedf and eHearbs, words, and stones, all maladies haue cured,f both of which were sung before the Queen.  Also M. Birdfs eAs I beheld, J saw a Heardman wildef; eAs withereth the Primrose by the riuer,f a double-sonnet by Edmund Bolton in Shakespearean form; Richard Barnfieldfs eMy fairest Ganimede disdaine me notf in his usual abba cddc effe gg style; the anonymous translation of Petrarca 310, eZephirus brings the time that sweetly sentethf (abababab cdc ede); Sidneyfs Shakespearean eIn wonted walkes, since wonted fancies change,f eVertue, beauty, and speach, did strike, wound, charme,f and eA Satyre once did runne away for dreadf; and Sir Edward Dyerfs Shakespearean ePrometheus, when first from heauen hie.f

The additions to the 2nd edition (1614) did not include any sonnets.

[31] There are no sonnets in A Book of English Pastoral Verse ed. John Barrell and John Bull (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975); English Pastoral Poetry. From the Beginnings to Marvell ed. Frank Kermode (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1952) contains only one, William Drummondfs eTo hear my Plaints faire River Christalline,f a translation from Sannazaro.  This does not explain the absence of the epithalamion, gLet now each meade,f Yongfs best-known poem, which appeared in Robert H. Casefs English Epithalamies (London: John Lane, 1896, pp. 4-5).  Case refers in his introduction to gthe beautiful poem of Bartholomew Youngh – although it cannot be gseriously comparedh with Spenserfs Epithalamion (p. xxvii).

[32] Hyder H. Rollins ed., Englands Helicon (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935), II: 72.