George Gascoigne (c. 1535 – October 7, 1577) was an English poet, playwright, translator and prose writer. He has been credited as the first English writer of comedy in vernacular prose, of original fiction in vernacular prose, of poetry criticism, and of war reporting.
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Quotations from The Posies and A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres are cited from G. W. Pigman III (ed.) A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), to which page-numbers also refer.
- Suffiseth this to proove my theame withall,
That every bullet hath a lighting place.
- "The Fruites of Warre", line 467, from The Posies (1575); p. 412.
- I thinke it not amisse to forewarne you that you thrust as few wordes of many sillables into your verse as may be: and hereunto I might alledge many reasons: first the most auncient English wordes are of one sillable, so that the more monasyllables that you use, the truer Englishman you shall seeme, and the lesse you shall smell of the Inkehorne.
- "Certayne Notes of Instruction Concerning the Making of Verse or Ryme in English", from The Posies; pp. 457-8.
A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres (1573)
- Sing lullabie, as women do,
Wherewith they bring their babes to rest;
And lullabie can I sing to,
As womanly as can the best.
- "The Lullabie of a Lover", line 1; p. 272.
- Full many wanton babes have I,
Which must be stilld with lullabie.
- "The Lullabie of a Lover", line 7; p. 272.
- The Raynbowe bending in the skye,
Bedeckte with sundrye hewes,
Is lyke the seate of God on hye,
And seemes to tell these newes:
That as thereby he promised,
To drowne the worlde no more,
So by the bloud whiche Christe hath shead,
He will oure health restore.
- "Gascoignes Good Morrow", line 41; p. 287.
- Master Gascoigne is not to bee abridged of his deserved esteeme, who first beate the path to that perfection which our best Poets have aspired too since his departure.
- From shortly after his death until the present Gascoigne's reputation as the foremost poet of his generation and as a precursor of the great Elizabethans has remained constant.
- G. W. Pigman III, in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) vol. 21, p. 585.