Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset

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Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, 1st Baron Buckhurst, PC (c. 1536April 19 1608) was an English statesman, courtier, poet and playwright. In politics he is most notable as the Lord High Treasurer of England; in literature as the co-author of the first blank verse play in the English language, Gorboduc.


  • For right will alwayes live, and rise at length,
    But wrong can never take deepe roote to last.
    • Gorboduc (1561), Act 5, sc. 2, last lines; cited from Lucy Toulmin Smith (ed.) Gorboduc (Heilbronn: Henninger, 1883) p. 96.
    • Written in collaboration with Thomas Norton, though Acts 4 and 5 were apparently Sackville's work alone.

The Induction[edit]

"The Induction", first published in the 1563 edition of William Baldwin et al. A Myrrour for Magistrates, is cited here from Joseph Haslewood (ed.) Mirror for Magistrates (London: Lackington, Allen & Co., 1815), vol. 2, part 1. The page-numbers also refer to this edition.

  • The wrathfull winter proching on apace,
    With blustering blasts had all ybarde the treene,
    And olde Saturnus, with his frosty face
    With chilling cold had pearst the tender greene.
    • Line 1, p. 309.
  • And sorrowing I to see the sommer flowers,
    The lively greene, the lusty lease, forlorne,
    The sturdy trees so shattred with the showers,
    The fieldes so fade, that florisht so beforne:
    It taught mee well, all earthly things be borne
    To dye the death: for nought long time may last:
    The sommer's beauty yeeldes to winter's blast.
    • Line 50, p. 311.
  • His drinke, the running streame, his cup, the bare
    Of his palme cloasde, his bed, the hard cold ground:
    To this poore life was Misery ybound.
    • Line 264, p. 320.
  • Crookebackt hee was, toothshaken, and blere eyed,
    Went on three feete, and somtyme, crept on fowre,
    With olde lame boanes, that ratled by his syde,
    His scalpe all pild, and hee with eld forlore:
    His withred fist still knocking at Death's dore,
    Fumbling, and driveling, as hee drawes his breath,
    For briefe, the shape and messenger of Death.
    • Line 330, p. 322.


  • So in this way of writing without thinking,
    Thou hast a strange alacrity in sinking.
    • Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset "On Mr Edward Howard, upon his British Princes"; cited from Geoffrey Grigson (ed.) The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980) p. 74.

External links[edit]