"The image is of a scroll. Cp. 'Rich with the spoils of nature', Browne, Religio Medici I xiii; and 'For, rich with Spoils of many a conquer'd Land', Dryden, Palamon and Arcite ii 452."
Photo provided by Flickr
The notion that the Scottish poem's value lies solely in its status as an "imitation"of English poetry, whether by Lydgate or Chaucer, unfortunately suggests that the relationship of The Quare of Jelusy is one of Scottish "imitation" to English "master" text, with all of the negative implications inherent in such a comparison.
Palamon and Arcite and they were hurt in the fighting
Photo provided by Flickr
" ''The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact'': says Dr Phelps. That they were at one time exact is certain; and they were probably exact to Gray's time. The wearisome frequency of the rhyme 'join' with such words as 'combine,' 'sign,' 'line,' in Dryden, Pope, &c. establishes the pronunciation of 'join' as 'jine' over a long period up to the middle of the 18th century; in Dryden we have 'spoil' rhyming with 'guile' and 'awhile'; 'boil' rhyming with 'pile,' and in Pope, Odyssey, b. 1.:
''Your widow'd heart, apart, with female toilThe very rhyme of the text is doubtless frequent; I find it casually in Johnson's London (1738):
And various labours of the loom beguile.''
''On all thy hours security shall smile,It is on record as an instance of Gray's pronunciation that he would say, 'What naise is that?' instead of 'noise.' The sound here indicated must be approximately that of the last syllable of 'recognize'; and analogously it seems probable that Gray himself said 'tile' for 'toil.'
And bless thine evening walk, and morning toil.''
Now for the rhyme of 'obscure' with 'poor.' If Gray pronounced 'scure' much as we pronounce 'skewer,' the rhyme is not quite exact; but it is more probable, if only from a certain Gallicizing tendency of his, that the sound for him was rather like the French 'obscur.' Dryden's rhyme for 'poor' is most frequently with 'more,' 'store,' &c., from which I infer, doubtfully, that he pronounced poor as 'pore.' Pope, makes 'poor' rhyme with 'door' which of itself determines nothing; but he also makes it rhyme with 'cure,' 'endure' and 'sure'; (which is like Gray); and further with 'store' and 'yore' (which is like Dryden). Thus in the famous story of Sir Balaam, with an interval of only two lines we have:
... ''his gains were sure,and
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
''Satan now is wiser than of yore,On the whole we may conclude that Gray pronounced 'poor' much as we do, and 'obscure' so as to rhyme with it.
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.''
When such rhymes as this stanza offers became merely conventional it would be harder to determine."