Semel insaniuimus omnes.

AT LONDON Imprinted for Iohn Baylie, and are to be sold at his shop, neere the little North-doore of Paules Church. 1600.

To his deare Achates, Master Richard Warburton.

MAruaile you may, at the bolde approach of these my vnblushing lines, the first borne of my barren inuention, who begotten in my anticke age, now steps into the world to seeke some worthie Godfather: but cer­tes if you weigh the inducing motiues, whose all-iust (respect) perswading orato­rie, tempted my triuiall muse to this pre­sumption: I dare before hand, seale my selfe a pardon, and promise gracious ac­ceptance, to this my poore Orphant in your bosome. I hope you shall finde him ready to acknowledge you before the world, not [Page] for his owne sake alone, but for mine also, who confesse my selfe so much indebted to your loue, as me thinkes I can neuer de­clare it sufficiently, till thus the world be witnes to it.

Your due, Samuel Nicholson.


Eubulus. Acolastus.
GRase on deare Flocks, & tend your blessed feeding,
While your sad Master wofull and forlorne,
In his poore Lambes a pensiue lesson reading,
With Sin-bred sorrow hayles the weeping morne;
The morne, who sampling men their sinnes to rue,
Hath washt earths motley face in weeping dewe.
Faire Queene Aurora, Beautie of the East,
What vncouth chance thy wonted cheere hath blent?
Whose blithsome vp-rise makes Nights prisoners blest,
And greets their waking harts with sweet content:
What spite hath rob'd thee of thy golden rayes,
The mild fore-runners of our Sommer dayes?
O may it be the Heauen-threatning deeds,
Of Earth-bred Gyants, Adams sinfull brood,
Thus gars thee maske in mal-contented weeds,
Drowning the daies light in a mistie moode?
What makes Heauens weep, thee lowre and earth to grone?
T'is men haue sinn'd, oh let them learne to mone.
O bottomles benignitie of God,
In schooling his poore sheepe from wanton gates;
Stead of Reuenge, he doth but shew the rod,
He loues our saftie while our sinnes he hates.
See, see, (O man) thine euerlasting shame,
All creatures rue the rigour of thy blame.
The brazen heauens conspire against our good,
Wreathing their watry browes in cloudes of raine:
The earth denies to nurse her wicked brood,
Wishing all flesh within her wombe againe.
All creatures crie vpon vs for offending,
And will not cease till we professe amending.
The seruants rating should rebuke the sonne,
A wise man schooles himselfe by others follie,
With the dumbe creatures Iustice hath begunne;
Gods fire is fierce, yet with the flame we dallie:
Our turne is next, Wrath beateth on our shoares,
Death and destruction linger at our doores.
Our neighbour countries burne in ciuill fire,
And Nero-like warme vs by the flame,
Securitie that false-suggesting lier,
So maskes our eyes, we doe not feare our game,
Till we haue proued with too deare a price,
That to our chance, their Fortune casts the dice.
We of all people once that were the pelfe,
Thrust in a frozen corner of the North,
Almightie Ioue hath chosen to himselfe,
And made vs famous ouer all the earth;
Crowning our Land with Plenty and with peace,
For nothing hinders when the Lord will blesse.
Frost-bitten snakes, the Lord tooke pittie on vs,
Warming our Clymat with his Sunne of grace,
And more to powre his blessings downe vpon vs,
Makes vs triumphant in our foes disgrace:
That all our Neighbours in amazement stand,
To see heauens rayne downe graces on our Land.
But O friend-losing, base ingratitude,
Blacke lothsome ditch where all desert is drownd;
What doth Gods deepe benignitie allude,
But that we should be thankfull to the ground?
The ground, the roote, the fountaine of our blisse▪
For God the founder of each blessing is.
But Serpent-like, we sting his blessed name,
And staine Gods honour by the filth of sinning;
Our wicked liues are now the very same
They were when as our light was young beginning:
Our liues (said I) oh t'is my sinnes O God,
That merit beating with thine yron-rod.
In the May moneth of my blooming yeares,
Liuing in pleasures, ease, and hearts content,
Now am I forced to lament with teares,
Contempt of dutie and my time mispent:
O thou from whom repentant humours grow,
Raise in mine eyes an euerlasting flowe.
Thou broughtest fountaines forth a stony rocke,
Manna from Heauen, Quailes came with a wind:
O teach me how to seeke, to aske, to knocke;
Let frailtie fauour, sorrowes succour find:
Teach me to spend the remnant of my dayes
In sinnes rebuke, and thine eternall prayse.
Although the Aprill of my dayes be spent,
In seruice of the world, flesh and deuill;
And though my antick-age was freely lent
To the committing of accursed euill:
Yet let, oh let an old mans sacrifize
Obtaine some fauour in thy gracious eyes.
Thou callest some at morning, some at noone,
These beare the heate and burthen of the day;
And some thou call'st, when toyling time is done,
Yet giuest them all an equall parted pay:
Bidding them rest contented with their lot,
Since not desert, but Mercie paies the shot.
Thou gau'st Repentance to the dying Theefe,
Pronouncing him true heire of Paradice:
His teares obtained pardon through beleefe,
Of frozen Conscience for to thawe the yce:
Thou badst him laugh at death, though it did paine him,
Abrahams sweet bosom straight should entertain him.
Vpon these presidents though not presuming,
With prostrate heart, and eleuated hands,
The heauie burthen of my hearts griefe tuning,
Before thy throne, where Truth and Mercy stands,
I boldly come to beg my soules release,
And reconcilement to thy blessed peace.
Forget (my God) the folly of my youth,
How I misled, haue led my doting daies,
How spitefully I spurned at thy truth;
And skorn'd to set my footing in thy waies;
In this thy Mercy shall appeare much greater,
For pardoning him that was so deepe a debter.
Thou that didst once remoue so many deuils
From Magdalen the penitent offender;
Roote out of me a legion of euils,
And I proportionable praise will render.
Worke in me Lord, and heare my poore request;
Then will I dare the most, and vow the best.
And for (O Lord) one right-conceiued thought
Comes not in compasse of my poore election,
But that my words and workes, and all are naught,
Safe-conduct me this day by thy direction,
That for my youth-bred follies gone and past,
My Teares may make attonement now at last.
Come pining Cares betroth'd to Discontent,
Heart-killing griefs, sad sighes come dwell with me,
Helpe with your teares my fountaines of lament,
Least ere my sorrowes cease, they dried be:
If weeping dewe be wanting to my woe,
My heart will bleede, euen to supplie their flowe,
Affections Thrall, Afflictions Slaue I am,
O cursed life led captiue in this sort,
Dame Fancies foole, and Fortunes chiefest game,
Which vnto each assault yeeld Reasons fort.
O vnaduised, Treason-working eyes,
You are the cause my life in passion dyes.
So long I warm'd my selfe by Beauties fire,
Deeming it dead, much like a painted flame,
Till secretly I burnd in hot desire,
And grew to be a Cocke of Venus game:
My martyrd minde was cast in Cupids iayle,
And none but one my prisoned thoughts can bayle.
Vt vidi, vt perij now I duly sing,
Moaning my skant foresight with wealaday:
For at mine eyes my heart did sucke the sting,
That workes my ruine and my liues decay.
No maruaile men enioy a seldome rest,
Nestling such Traytor foes within their breast.
O passing priuiledge that blind men haue,
In wanting sight, they want a thousand sinnes;
And neuer any yet was Venus Slaue,
But in his eye the venome first beginnes.
Blinde are not poyson'd with the baites of Beautie,
Which Syren-like, tise men from God and dutie.
Poore foolish Blinkard, Beads-man vnto Christ,
For restitution of long lacked sight,
I maruaile what they fancie so inticte,
To be desirous of this lothsome light?
Alas, what profit haue we by our eyes,
Saue sinnes attaint in viewing Vanities?
Lament O Heauens, sight robbeth thee of Saints,
And mourne poore soules, sight spoyleth you of grace:
Yet sight deserueth not these hard complaints,
Lust is the theefe, Sight but his entring place.
Yet must I say Sight is not free from sin,
Since theefe he is, that theefe receiueth in.
Why rage I thus against my retchles eyes?
No sense but train'd me to my Tragedie,
And cowardly consorted to deuise?
My liuing death, past hope or remedie:
Yea all my parts tooke part to doe me wrong,
And I alone must battaile with my tongue.
Poore helples helpe, that wronged louers haue,
Whē harts deep wound is veng'd with shallow words;
The Prisoner rayling, yet is made a slaue,
Griefe fights with shadowes, while it feeleth swords:
So pecks the Doue, whilst Rauens pierst her brest,
So fares the Wren, when Children rob her nest.
Finding my senses foes, I made appeale
To the right-deeming censure of my hart;
Hoping that Reason would become my bayle,
And rid me from this inward pining smart:
But long ere this, the Senses insurrection
Brought Reason, Heart and all in foule subiection.
Where should a man goe seeke for siluer streames,
When springs are poysned, fountaines turnd to mud?
What brightnes can arise from borowed beames,
When Phoebus fleets, the soueraigne of our good?
Or wher's the soules Atturney, when the hart,
Being once corrupted, takes the worser part?
Misguided heart, made alyen from the forme
Of thy pure Makers glorious Creation;
Coward, why didst thou yeeld to Fancies storme,
And stoupe to Lust that foule abhomination?
Hadst thou with Reasons bit, checkt raging will,
A small foresight might haue forestald this ill.
O where was Prayer the Soules Ambassadour,
To muster heauenly troupes of powerfull ayde,
When Sinne and Hell first labour'd to defloure
Thy bodies Temple, Gods vnspotted Maide?
Christ bids thee knock for help & thou shalt haue it,
Then let him helples dye that will not craue it.
Thou shouldst haue sommond Hope and Charitie,
Mount-mouing Faith, hot Zeale, and perfect Loue,
Free-giuen Grace, true Courage, Constancie,
With such like gifts descending from aboue:
The smallest handfull of this holy band,
Had kept the diuell from seazing on thy land.
Looke as the Chaffe disperst before the wind,
Or as the dewe exhaled by the Sunne,
Or as a dreame which waking none can find,
Or as a thought ended ere well begunne:
So fancies dye, so soone we stifle euill,
If we resist the motiues of the deuill.
O hartles hart, false slaue to false delight,
Why didst thou tremble ere the Trumpet sounded,
Yeelding thy selfe to sinne before the fight,
And dastardly depart the field vnwounded?
When Guides misguide themselues, the simple sort
By their ill-sample render vp the Fort.
Fye foolish man, why stormst thou at the hart?
When Eyes and Sense are muffled vp in blindnes,
He steppes on Stage, and this is all his part,
To welcome Beautie with a world of kindnes:
As is the sympathie twixt flaxe and fire,
Such is the heart compar'd to hot desire.
Poore Heart, I wrong thee with my wrong exclames,
Seeking to crosse my foe, I kill my friend,
Extremitie still vrgeth such extreames,
And sorrow smites at him that next doth stand:
Much like a Curre, who smitten with a stone,
Bites the poore peble, lets the Man alone.
Much like a Curre (said I) nay not so wise;
For why I know my griefes vnhappie ground,
I see the roote from whence my passions rise,
And view the lure, that did my life confound:
O blab-tongue Tantalus, why dost not eate?
Fondling, t'is I must pine in sight of meate.
Then let me learne at last to leuell right,
See where Contempt sits laughing at my fall;
Ye hel-borne Furies helpe to frame a flight
To kill Disdaine, that holds my life in thrall:
That words with woes may some fit measure keepe,
Helpe me to rage, to curse, and then to weepe.
O faire and kind (O filthie monstrous lye)
I cry you mercie Madame for mistaking,
The blind man colours hardly can discrye,
And my poore reasons light is now but waking: (iest;
What heart once thought, now tongue bewraies in
Thou foule Apostata, notorious beast.
Can I report her foule impietie,
When as my tongue did tremble once to name her?
Faine would I speake, but when I speake, I die;
My ioynts apall'd with feare, refuse to shame her.
Courage my Heart, for loue she left thee griefe,
Make change a robbry; and so call her thiefe.
O shallow-braind inuention, course discourse,
In this high taske I doe her merits wrong,
The spring is drie it seemeth by the sourse,
Whē naught but New gate tearmes can store ye tongue.
I'le fetch from hel, sterne words to shake the Center,
And with mine action make them fiercely rent her.
O proud, presuming, foule, abhominable,
Sinnes shop, friends shame, hels bait, and natures mole,
Worse then the offall of Augias stable,
Ill thriue the beast that brought vs such a foale,
And let fell crosses all her ioyes depriue,
Through whom my faithfull heart thus dyes aliue.
O wooluish heart wrapt in a womans hyde,
That spurnst at profferd dutie, lendest loue
To Lads that seeke a Lemmon, not a Bryde,
Whom neither time hath try'd, nor seruice prou'd.
In men (t'is said) their wils must stand for pay,
But Lust-breathd fury guides a womans way.
If loue be hated, hate be blest with loue,
If Merit merit standing next the doore,
If haile-shot winne when Cannons cannot moue,
If Trueth and Promise soiourne from our shoare,
If weaker vessels weare the crest on high,
While mens best hope, is hopeles for to die▪
Why are not Natures workes in generall,
Prone to like crosses and to like confusion,
The greater seeking still to hurt the small,
The mightie wrong the weake by fell intrusion?
Why shines not Phoebus in the fulsome night,
While Luna lends the day her duskie light?
Why fall not Starres as thicke as winters haile?
Why is not Sommer colde, and Winter warme?
Or why doth not the earths foundation faile?
Sinking in seas, that long haue sought his harme?
Why doe not all things that on earth remaine,
To their rude-formed chaos turne againe?
O excrement of all exceeding ill!
How couldst thou wrong my true affection so?
I gaue in pawne my heart, my hand, my will;
Yet didst thou from thy plighted promise goe;
Vowing, if all were dead saue I alone,
Thou wouldst forsake me, and be wife to none.
Were I deformed (though I am not faire)
Ill-nurturd, Naturd, churlish and vnkind;
Did any member Monster-like appeare,
Or did I faile in faculties of mind;
Then hadst thou some pretence of reason, why
Thus all askaunce thou holdst me in thine eye.
But these are false, then whence deriues this hate,
Vngratfull guerdon of my zelous loue?
Perchance thou seest my shallow-ebd estate,
The thought whereof thy liking doth remoue:
T'is so: I know it by too true a token;
For why, thy selfe the same hast often spoken.
O Vertues blemish and thy sexes blot,
Base dunghill bird, nere sprong of Gentle blood;
Vile is thy mind, but viler be thy lot,
That mak'st earths drosse the soueraigne of thy good;
To cause men curse thee, and to pittie me,
Thus doe I rate thy god if golde be he.
Heauen-skorned mould, base skin of barren earth,
Springing in Caues, where death and darknes dwell,
A monstrous mettall proued by thy birth,
Since men diue for thee halfe way downe to hell.
O cursed engine of light hating euill,
Fauourd of men, but found out by the deuill.
O sacred thirst of golde what canst thou not,
Sinnes chiefest agent, enemy to good:
Thou, thou art sought to pay fond Pleasures shot,
Yet often found with losse of dearest blood.
Some termes thee gylt, that euery soule might reede
Euen in thy name, thy guilt is great indeede.
Guiltie thou art of Murther, Rape, and Theft,
Guiltie of Briberie and subornation,
Guiltie of Treason, Periurie, and shift,
An accessarie by thy slie temptation,
To all sinnes past, and all that are to come,
From Adams downefall to the day of doome.
Mishapen mettall, smooth-fac'd Hypocrite,
Whose golden splendoure masketh mortall eyes,
Moth of the minde, false slaue to false delight,
A diuell lurking in a strange disguise:
What is thy lustre when it shines most bright,
But Sathan clothed in an Angels light?
The want of thee is cause I want my blisse;
For whither flye the Gnats but to the Sunne?
The Swallow still repaires where Sommer is,
And womens hearts with heapes of gifts are wonne.
So dunghill wormes must catch the finest fish,
Else man shall neuer traine him to his dish.
Through thee one kingdome swelleth gainst another,
The Father butcherd often by his Sonne;
The Daughter giues a pasport to the Mother,
Fearing that else her daies would nere be done.
Through thee each murthring Roscius is appointed,
To act strang scenes of death on Gods annointed.
For thee the Merchant leaues his countries shore,
Wife, Children, Parents, and what else is deare,
His heart presaging nere to see them more,
Such are the circumstances of his feare;
The waues, the winds, the rocks, the cruell foe,
Consort in one to worke his ouerthrow.
But all the dangers of his wils obtaining,
Fright not this fondling from the sweets of gaine,
Nor weake-built hopes perswade him to abstaining,
When gold's proposd the guerdon of his paine.
Thus Syren-like thou trainst him to the deepe;
Where waues oft lull him in his latest sleepe.
T'is thou false hell-hound, right corrupting coyne,
That makst poore Souldiers, needy, bare, disgraced,
While greedy guides their stipends doe purloyne,
And martiall discipline stands quite defaced.
O manners, times, O world-declyning daies!
Where might is right, and men do what they please.
When spend-thrift Iohn, that goodly gentleman,
Hath swallow'd Lordships downe his dainty throte,
And brought his Fathers fortunes in the wane,
By gadding Cities in a silken Coate;
Then to some friend doth Lusty-blood complaine him,
His Bank-rupt birth-right cā no more maintain him.
A man he is, and Hector was no more,
Then why not Captaine too as Hector was:
Besides, it is not as in times before,
When mens deserts were viewd in Vertues glasse.
A man may compasse wonders with a gift,
Then why not this? Distresse will haue a shift.
Thus, plotts he meanes, to get a prettie traine,
Pretending honour, and his Countries cause;
And then he musters vp each simple Swaine,
Himselfe not knowing Armes, nor Martiall lawes.
He stalkes the streets, as who say, This is hee,
(I meane that first will teach his men to flee.)
Vnto this Captaine flocke both young and old,
He buies his seruant out, and he his sonne,
O monstrous times when men are bought and sold,
Who goe vnransom'd thinkes himselfe vndone.
For what great hope or comfort can he finde,
That maketh one where blinde do leade the blinde.
The raskall remnant of these sillie men,
Are summond speedily by sound of dromme,
And Skapt-thrift wishes euery one were ten,
Of greater number, greater gaines will come:
Well on they march, and still he steales a bite,
To feede his auaritious appetite.
This tuch and goe sets all his teeth on edge,
He'le be no Tantalus amid such treasure:
A thousand lawes the Lyon can alleadge,
To pray vpon poore Asses at his pleasure:
Yet pollicie perswades him to forbeare them,
Till far frō home, the Wolfe may boldly teare them
No sooner are their trauailes at an end,
But fresh afflictions full as fast beginning,
Yet sillie Lambes they deeme the Foxe a friend,
They shrinke no dog vntill they see him grinning:
They little thinke the end of his conduction,
Is wealth & honour bought with their destruction.
This Iudas set in Councell with himselfe,
Not how to foyle his foe and win the field,
No, no, he gapes for gaine and rusting pelfe,
No palme he seekes, but that doth profit yeeld:
Saies, When the yron's hot is chiefest striking,
Tyme serues my turne and bids me doe my liking.
What long before was plotted in his head,
The Monster prosecutes to this effect,
He purseth all the pay of those are dead,
The diuell needes no councell to direct:
He that could bring himselfe to beggars plight,
Knowes how to rob another of his right.
This done he monthly minceth small their paye,
Sings Nunc dimittimus to halfe his Band,
The rest must liue on pillage and on praye,
Such as they seaze from Boores vpon the land.
Who best bestirres him for his Princes paie,
Takes halfe in hand, the rest at latter daie.
O spightfull spectacle, who could behold thee?
That frightst my senses in th' imagination:
While to my selfe my selfe doe thus vnfold thee,
How am I rauished with indignation;
Those that to mount by others fall haue sought,
O might their heads moūt higher thē their thought
As he that trauailes in an vncouth wood,
Fraught with those Fortunes which his father left,
Is sodainly surpriz'd by Robin Hood,
And in a theeues name there receiues his shrift:
So stand these sillie soldiers at a bay,
Robd of their hire and basely sent away.
Poore playning Prodigalls, now must they wend,
Backe to their countrey with remorse and shame,
But wher's the feasting Father, or a friend,
To welcome home his sonne, forgiue his blame?
Alas our yron age will not afford it;
What? help the poore? the Deuill still abhorrd it.
Yet some there be that of a holy motion,
To harbor strangers, lodge them in the Cage:
And some because that fasting helpes deuotion,
Denie them foode their hunger to asswage:
Some whip them for their sins & former swaruing,
More of their curtesie then the Poores deseruing.
Who right conceits the miseries of Iob,
His children, seruants, goods, and cattell lost,
His bodie botched, basest ragges his robe,
His mind with millions of temptations tost:
Can fittest deeme their griefes true qualitie,
And sympathize poore Souldiers miserie.
Hell-damning drosse, thou art the fountaine cause
Of this iniustice, rauen, and confusion,
No man would spurne at dutie, God, or lawes,
Had not his heart to thee a false allusion.
O wracke of soules, the diuels adamant,
Deuouring numbers both by wealth and want.
The Infant-childe delights to play with golde,
The young man seekes it to maintaine his pleasure,
It is the life and Gods-good of the olde,
All ages deeme it as their dearest treasure.
Who giues a Rose to gaine a worthles weede?
We sell for good in shewe our good indeede.
Witnesse my Mistris, now no Mistris mine,
Who though no Queen hath made King Midas choise,
For none must plucke the Redrose of her prime,
But he that gaines her with a golden voyce.
So young and couetous, a ten daies wonder,
The diuell ioynes and I'le not put a sunder.
Say shameles Betresse, haue I made thee blush,
Rating the saint, whom thou dost rate so deare?
Or is thine impudencie growne so flush,
Thou waighst no credit, or thou wilt not heare?
O if thou bear'st a part of woman kinde,
Let some relenting pittie pierce thy minde.
The senseles marble moued with my plaining,
Wets his pale cheekes and seemes to weepe with me;
The showres which daily from mine eyes are raining,
Draw the dum creatures to a sympathie:
Poore Philomele that sings of rauishment,
Forgets her tune to listen my complaint.
If in the woods I breath abroad my woes,
Each bow doth bend to steale away my tale;
And still as I her iniuries disclose,
Great trees for sorrow seeme their tops to vaile.
Let me but sigh and say, She is vnkind,
Echo replies aloude, She is vnkind.
The strugling flood that still for passage grones,
Pausing his course, and wrapt in admiration
Of my laments, hart-breaking sighes and mones,
Sobs out the deskant of my desolation:
And runnes no more, till riuers growing ranke,
Cause him depart or ouerflowe the banke.
The vallies, rockes, and hollow caues resound,
Bearing the burthen to my wofull dittie;
My plaints haue power to pierce the stonie ground,
And moue the sauage Brutes to manly pittie.
If Rockes, and Earth, and Beasts bewaile my state,
O looke on me, and be compassionate.
The heauens as grieu'd locke vp the lightsome day,
And Phaebus fleeting fayles the world of light;
Starres change their course and wander all astray,
The Mayden Moone forgets to shine by night,
Sham'd, that a Maid so shameles should be found,
Fiercer then Beasts, harder then stony ground.
The heauen-died flowers, sweet of spring of the prime,
That gilde the medowes with their sommers pride,
Fading as in the frostie winters time,
Pitying my passions hould their heads aside:
The Siluan-Satyres in their green-wood-songs,
Tell how disdaine sits laughing at my wrongs.
O learne of these (slint hearted) how to grieue,
Dumme showes they are, yet shew to thee thy dutie,
They weepe to see thee laughing in thy sleeue,
Thou laughst to see me snared in thy Beawtie:
Thinke thy affections dull, thy trespasse deepe,
When trees, & stones must teach thee how to weepe,
If so my sorrowes cannot pierce thy hart,
Yet force a teare, and faine to make a plaster,
Breath sighes, as if thou deeply feltst my smart,
And kisse me to as Iudas kist his Master:
And when I rage, seeme thou withall to tremble;
It's hard when I must teach thee to dissemble.
So shall my selfe enioy thee in conceite,
And what is Loue, but a conceited pleasure;
Small fishes are content to see the baite,
While greater sucke the sweet and gaine the treasure.
Loue in conceit's a cony-catching play,
While I feed thoughts, he steales the wench away.
O woe beset, vnhappiest man aliue,
Seeking to wreake my selfe, my selfe am wounded;
Poore snared Byrd, for libertie I striue,
Yet in the trappe, still more and more confounded,
As one that wipes his wound, yet still doth bleede,
So more I speake the worse alas I speede.
He that with oyle the wilde-fire seekes to quench,
Or bound a riuer in with banks of sand;
He that hath lou'd a stony-harted Wench,
And now with brawling thinks to quench the brand;
Learne this of me, late proued to my paine,
It's hard to bayle imprisoned thoughts againe.
When I sate downe to ease my griefs with plaining,
I thought my chiefest remedie to rate her,
Hard words seemd swords to murther loue remaining.
And deep loue skornd, wold make me deadly hate her:
But while I seeke to quench loues hot desire,
My wind of words hath blowne a greater fire.
My time-bred troubles are but now beginning,
I loue, I loth; I hate, I wish withall,
My threed is cut, and yet the Sisters spinning,
I liue, I dye, I stand, and now I fall:
I laughing weepe, I hope and yet despaire,
I say she's foule, and straight I call her faire.
Hence idle words, seruants to shallow braines,
Vnfruitfull sounds, wind-wasting arbitrators,
Your endles prattle, lessens not my paines,
His suite is cold, that makes you mediators.
Since fates haue made me bankrupt of my blisse,
My dying life a very torment is.
In vaine I cauill at her crueltie,
At gold, at eyes, at senses, and the hart,
In vaine I spurne against my destinie,
In vaine I seeke to ease an endles smart;
No antidote at all can doe me good,
But the effusion of my harmeles blood.
Poore hart why tremblest thou at this decree?
Thy selfe art easd by ending of this life,
For sorrow kild, thou gainest libertie,
But if I liue, thou liuest still in strife:
Tell life, I'le not a minuts respite giue,
Since that is lost for which I sought to liue.
O wretched life, what is thy benefite?
Whose chiefest sportings are calamitie,
Whose daies are spent in troubles, care, and spite,
Whose pleasures, sinne, whose all is vanitie:
Whose last is short, whose strength is but a breath,
Whose date vnknown, whose end is suddaine death.
O wished death, come kill all murdring greeues,
My soule suruiues in neuer dying feares,
Which round ingirt me like as many theeues,
And load my hart with pangues, mine eyes with teares.
If on the earth there may be found a Hell,
Within my soule, her seuerall torments dwell.
Yet dye I will not till my Testament,
The briefe contents of discontented mind,
Writ with my blood into the world be sent,
Bearing true witnesse to my faire-vnkind,
That as her loue might once haue made me biest,
Her skorne hath sheath'd this dagger in my breast.
My spotted soule to him doe commend,
In whose compare the heauens are most impure,
On whose free promises my hopes depend,
To share the ioyes that euer shall indure:
My bodie I bequeath vnto the earth,
The common Mother that first brought it forth.
My blessing I bequeath vnto the blade,
That makes the breach for grislie death to enter,
She shall not ride my patience like a iade,
If death-wrought resolution may preuent her.
O welcome engine of my cares releasing,
That kill'st Despaire to make my hopes increasing.
My sorrowes, cares, hart-breaking sighes, and crosses,
Woes, lamentations, pining and despaires,
My teares, complaints, foule iniuries and losses,
Griefs, shame, misfortune, and my daily feares,
I giue to her that now giues me this fall,
The sole efficient of my Funerall.
Let her haue time to rent her Amber haire,
Lether haue time to thinke on me and raue,
Let her haue time of fauour to despaire,
And skorn'd of all to liue Affections slaue;
Let her haue time to beg and none relieue her,
And euery day bring crosses, more to grieue her.
Let her haue time to proue her friends her foes,
And see her olde acquaintance all forsake her,
Let her haue time her honest name to lose,
Abhorr'd of men, and cursed of her Maker.
And euery minute let her finde a time
To rue my death her vnrecalling crime.
My Halcyon daies of blisse and happines,
The milde forerunners of this fearefull storme,
I giue to those whom better starres doe blesse,
Which neuer felt the sting of womans skorne;
What euer else is mine, disbursed be
To those that liue and thinke no harme of me.
Come gentle knife, why lingrest thou so long?
Come ease my sorrowes with thy fatall stroke;
My heart is resolute, my hand is strong,
My lingring life more torment doth prouoke.
O King of graues, why killst thou them abhor thee.
And turnst from me that now am readie for thee?
Auaunt thou viper, I thy spite defie,
Where life is lou'd thou readie art to kill,
But neuer once thy weapons wilt applie,
To the redressing of a wretches ill.
Come trustie hand for thou must doe the deede,
Since other friends are fled in time of neede.
The Starre that first made entrance in mine eye,
And thence departing strooke my senses blinde,
Then led my heart in base captiuitie,
Yet to her prisoner proueth most vnkinde:
Witnes faire heauens she, she, t'is onely she,
That guides this hand to giue this wound to me.
Stay, stay thy hand (O Natures prodigie)
If blood and death must expiate thy rage,
Pittie thy selfe (foule beast) and murther me,
My life for thine, my selfe will be thy gage.
Ten thousand deaths my soule indures to see
Gods image wrong'd in thy mortalitie.
In massak'ring thy selfe, whom dost thou kill,
But with thy bodie that immortall soule,
For whose redemption Christ vouchsaft to spill
Those purple drops to quench the liuing coale
Of his deere Fathers deepe-deserued hate,
And to the heauens promote thy poore estate.
Think'st thou by dying to preuent the paine,
That seemes to pinch thee in this brittle life?
Alas this death begets thee life againe,
When with thy selfe, thy selfe shall be at strife,
When thou wilt thinke all paines consort in one,
And that thy selfe sustain'st them all alone.
O Acolastus, what foule fiend of Hell,
Would glut his fury with thy harmeles blood?
Watching thy death here in some shady cell,
To pray vpon thy soule, thy soueraigne good:
Looke, studie, sigh for grace, and flye from euill,
Grace and resistance driues away the deuill.
Art thou a God, a Man, or else a Ghost?
Com'st thou from heauen where blisse & solace dwell?
Or from the ayrie could-ingendring coast?
Or from the darkesome dungeon-hole of hell?
Or from the secret chambers of the deepe?
Or from the graues where breathles bodies sleepe?
Art thou a Hermite in this wildernes?
Or else some Satyre maskt in ages weeds?
Or (by the heauens I charge thee to confesse)
Art thou her shape for whom my poore hart bleeds?
I, I, t'is so, thou art that cruell she,
That wrought my death, now fain'st to pittie me.
What bloody scene hath crueltie to act?
Death is the worst thy malice can inflict,
And thou hadst seene my soules poore cittie sackt,
But thy deepe policie did contradict,
Knowing by death my troubles should haue end,
Which to prolong thou mainly dost intend.
O be content with robbing me of life,
Why dost thou triumph ouer fortunes wracke?
The death of men determinates their strife,
And warres are finisht with the Cities sacke.
The Elephant and Dragon, mortall foes,
Bury their hate in mutuall ouerthrowes.
By life my soule was pind in little ease,
By death I seeke my thraldome to release,
Then let my life thy brutish hart appease,
And giue me leaue at least to dye in peace.
O let it not be said in time to come,
A womans hate suruiues till day of doome.
Fondling I am no God, nor tempting friend,
Nor yet the woman that could wish thee dead;
Know me for Eubulus thy auncient friend,
Witnesse this snow-white fleece vpon my head:
Marke my complection, habite, tongue and yeares,
How euery thing in quondam sort appeares.
I am no flint-hart female, bloody minded;
Mocking thy senses with a borrowed shape,
But one that sees thy sense through passion blinded,
And sighes, and seekes away for thine escape:
Then charme this mad infection, that doth raigne
In beldam fury of thy witles braine.
Be not as sottish as the simple sort,
That wracke their wits vpon misfortunes shelfe,
Nor yeelde thy reasons, beauty-battred fort,
Crying God helpe, yet neuer helpe thy selfe:
Thy crazed Shipp's not so farre runne on shore,
But thou maist scape and flourish as before.
Et tu Brute, wilt thou stab Caesar too?
Thou art my friend and wilt not see me wrong'd,
I pray thee leaue me without more adoo,
For with my life my sorrowes are prolong'd:
I know thou pleasurst not in my distresse,
Then rob me not of deaths true happinesse.
Yet since in sun-shine of my better daies,
Thou wast a Father to my head-strong youth;
Training my rash-braind thoughts in reasons waies,
Whose words I euer found the glasse of Truth;
My cares shall take a truce with death so long,
Till I haue made thee priuie to my wrong.
Loe here at hand, a circle-braunching tree,
Whose leauie bosome makes a summer seate,
Nature hath raisd this arbour purposely
To shroude our bodies from the parching heate:
Here while we sit within this gloomy shade,
I'le tell my Loue, and how it did inuade.
Then yeeld me vp this irefull instrument,
The destin'd engine of thy tragedie:
T'is wisdomes rule, occasions to preuent,
And giue no ground to Sathans trecherie.
Well now begin, and giue thy sorrowes vent,
I'le sit and mourne with thee till day be spent.
To shew the poyson of my endles pining,
The taske is long and tedious to expresse,
Bright Phaebus to the Westerne deepe declining,
And repetition neuer made thing lesse:
Who rippes the rancour of old-wounded flesh,
In steede of healing, makes it bleede a fresh.
Yet since the heauens are so propitious,
To make my friend eye-witnesse to my fall;
Lysten kinde Father what I shall disclose,
How Loue became Disdaines vnhappie thrall:
And as I story my flint-mouing wrong,
Weepe thou, to beare the burthen to my song.

Sic incipit Stultorum tragi­comedia.

THree months agoe, when Phaebus in his pride
Had scal'd hot Cancers sunny-parched cell;
And Ceres cast her summers greene aside;
And flowres had chang'd their colour, forme, and smel;
When daies were long'st & nights were waxen short;
And yonglings met to wanton and to sport.
About this time I singled out a day,
With merry consorts to delight my selfe;
I thought my ship might sometime roue astray,
And yet not run her selfe on euery shelfe.
What Syren plaid, but I durst dance her measure?
Thinking to master Venus sonne at pleasure.
Fortune, who long had ow'd my hap a grudge,
Summond wild younglings to a sommers drinking,
To which my merry mates and I did trudge,
Of such an accident full little thinking:
Where reuels raigne, and dancing holds a day,
I'ts hard if Acolastus keepe away.
Well, there was I, and there was Fortune too,
Who had prepar'd baite to worke my bane;
There did I passe a pleasant houre or two,
In dauncing for the gloues and other gaine:
There did I gaze against that glorious Sunne,
By which my heart was fir'd, my sight was done.
O giue me leaue to sigh a little while,
Before my hell of foule mishap breake loose;
But let not Fortune see me least she smile,
And say, his mountaine thoughts end in a mouse,
Oh, t'is a burthen that will breake the backe,
To see ones foe triumphing in his wracke.
Scarce had the Sunne attain'd his noon-tide pricke,
Gracing our pastimes with a sommers daie,
A traine of Ladies trouping very thicke,
Directly towards vs made their speedy way:
For want of worse our Musicke drewe them on,
Pans pype plaies sweete, Apollo being gone.
Looke how astonisht in a qualmy traunce,
The man that meets a lothsome-visag'd Beare,
Struck with amazement of this suddaine chaunce,
Falls to the ground halfe slaine with very feare,
Within his heart and sences are at strife,
Past feare of death, and yet past hope of life.
So was I daunted at mine eyes first gazing,
Sweeping they came, and seemd to brush the ground,
Their tipto-tripping pace bred double mazing,
Their ratling silkes my senses did confound:
It seem'd, Dianas Nymphes had left her Queene,
To sport themselues a while vpon this greene.
Or loue-sicke Venus in a huntresse weede,
Meaning to seeke Adonis in the wood,
Mounted vpon a snow-white coloured Steede,
From Pegasus proude race vaunting his blood,
Came marching onward with a mayden-pace,
A thousand Nimphes attending on her grace.
My mates all rauished with admiration,
Stood like the men which once Ioues golden sonne,
By his speares wonder-working Transformation,
Turn'd into semblance of a sencelesse stone,
Or as Actaeon standing at a Bay,
Finding Diana naked in his way.
Fortune and Loue chose me amongst the rest,
As sweetest linguist of perswading wit,
With modest motiues kindly to request,
These sinfull Saints a little while to sit,
And see how shepheards spend the holy-day,
In youth-bred sports, and casting Care away.
Twixt hope and feare I marched on to meet them,
My rustick blush forbad me to dissemble,
Met face to face, when I was ment to greete them,
My words were done, and euery ioynt did tremble:
Till my poore heart rebuking much my blame,
Vntide my tongue, and bad me speake for shame.
More faire and beautifull, then were those three,
That found the golden fruite on Idas plaine;
Gods, Angels, Saints, or whatsoe're you be,
Accept the proffer of a simple swaine;
Draw neere, and till the heate of day be spent
Looke on, and laugh at Shepheards meriment.
We haue no thing of worth for to present,
We plead for pardon ere our sport begin,
Our boldnes springeth from a true intent,
Which makes an error oftentimes no sin:
We boast of naught, saue that it shall goe hard,
But our good wils shall purchase your regard.
These words scarce past the limits of my lippes,
Sounding a parley to their modest eares;
A wanton youngling from her fellowes skippes,
Which like a Comet in my sight appeares,
Causing my silly wits and me to sunder,
Infusing me with prophesies of wonder.
For by this crosse aspect I gather'd well,
(And yet not well, because I could not shun it)
In her faire face my ioyes defac'd to spell,
My battaile lost before her words begin it:
For from her eyes, a kinde looke did she dart,
Which through mine eyes diu'd down into my hart.
A prettie while this prettie creature stoode,
Before the engin of her thoughts began,
Seeming to sympathize my heauie moode,
Pittying my prone lookes, and my colour wan:
Till blushing forth a pure vermilion dye,
With low-tun'd voice she made me this replie.
Shepheard we see you are disposde to flatter,
That frumpe vs with a false-supposed fayre;
Mens words are Metaphors, it makes no matter,
You know poore women, sir, are made to beare:
But since you made so plausible a motion,
This day we consecrate to your deuotion.
Mistris (quoth I) if any take offence,
My heart makes good the trespasse of my tongue;
Humanitie full easily can dispence,
Where loue and zeale are authors of the wrong.
Good wine desires no bush to set it forth,
And I too meane to blaze your beauties worth.
But (Ladie) if a swaine may be so bold,
To craue admittance mong'st your other men,
My selfe will bring you where you shall behold
Our rusticke reuels at your ease, and when
In Thetis lappe the Sunne shall drowne the day,
Ile set you forward in your former way.
As fares the man conuict of Heresie,
Whose Iudgement doomes him death by cruell flame,
The world eye-witnesse of his infamie,
Bearing a fagot for his further shame,
Full faintly wending onward to the fier,
Where selfe opinion shall receiue his hire:
So marched I before this mayden-trayne,
Loue swore, excuses should not serue my turne,
Quoth he, Thou thinkest me by Reason slaine,
Thou holdst a false point, now recant and burne:
I cry'd retyre, and he inioynd this smart,
To beare fond fancies fagot in my hart.
Who so hath seene the tender Mary-gold,
Spreading her pride against the worlds faire eye,
But when the sunne his glorie doth infold,
This prettie Creature shuts and seemes to die:
So did I loue to gaze vpon my Sunne,
But when she turnd away, my life was done.
Thus while my sight was surfetting on Beautie,
We sodainely surpriz'd the bashfull Swaynes,
Who shewed their harts-ioy by their homely dutie,
Kissing these louely Ladies for their paynes;
Seeking all meanes to farther their delight,
While thus I ruminate on Fortunes spight.
Inconstant minion, mother of mischance,
True Vertues crosse, delighting still in chang,
When most thou fawn'st thy fauour's but a glance,
Thy naughtie nature loueth still to range:
Great pittie is it, were there remedie,
That men are tyde to thine extremitie.
Thou art a stepdame to each honest thing,
Training vp vices like a louing Nurse,
Crowning the begger, pulling downe the king,
What euer Nature made thou makest worse:
Thou helpst a man a while to cast his dice,
And turn'st thy wheele vpon him in a trice.
Thou dost vsurpe the worlds round circled stage,
Acting thereon thy variable scenes,
Where oft inspired with a bedlam rage,
Thou plaguest the innocent with endles paines:
And those that seeme to day but lookers on,
Thou makst thine actors ere tomorrow gone.
O hatefull Hag! thou hast betray'd my life,
In giuing weapons vnto Cupids wrath;
Perceiuing Loue and Reason were at strife,
Thou falsly train'dst me on to Errors path;
Where taking vantage on my hard distresse,
Loue forst my heart his valour to confesse.
For Loue had labour'd long to worke my fall,
Battring the bulwarke of my naked brest;
But Reason gaue his force no ground at all,
Bidding the blinde Boy set his heart at rest:
For more he sought to trie this fond conclusion,
The more my courage shin'd in his confusion.
Till thou to spit the venome of thy spite,
Subornedst Cupid how he soone might slay me,
Abandoning his bowe and arrowes quite,
You laid this priuie complot to betray me;
When Fortune first had brought me to the bay,
A Maydens eyes should steale my heart away.
Immortall heauens, and ye great powers aboue,
From whose faire influence all iustice flowes,
Worke your reuenge on Fortune and on Loue,
From whom the title of my trouble growes:
That men beholding it may safely say,
No sinne can scape vnpunisht past his day.
While thus I prosecute my fruitles playning,
Two Shepheards summon'd me to see their sport,
Whose suddaine sight soone mou'd me to abstaining,
Least they might heare my tragicall report:
Clearing my face from cloudes of discontent,
With these two louing swaines away I went.
Like as the soft and tender leaued flowre,
Whose drouping colour shewes his life is done,
Being lately drenched in some dismall showre,
Till he attract refreshing from the sunne:
So I whose hopes but lately seem'd to die,
Was now reuiu'd by beauties fresh supplie.
For now in Tropicke of false Fortunes height,
My nest was built by sweetest Beauties side,
Loues yoke was easie now I felt no waight,
My ship was carried with a gentle tide:
I sate too hot, yet still I did desire,
To liue a Salamander in the fire.
Now did I wish the day would ne're be done,
So loth I was to leaue this Paradise,
Or that our reuels were but new begun,
But swift-wing'd Pleasure passeth with a trise:
For Loue had sworne when ere I did depart,
I should perchance goe home without a hart.
Now while I court the Loadstarre of my life,
And with her prettie parley feede mine eares;
O sugred words, yet sharper then a knife,
Distilling Nectar-droppes on all that heares;
The merry swaines broke of our priuate pleasure,
And musicke summond vs to daunce a Measure.
Taking this Ladie by the lillie hand,
I taught her quickly treade the shepheards round:
Lo now blowes vp the secret-smoking brand,
Which did my reason and my sense confound,
For Loue is nine-liu'd kill him ne're so much,
The wanton Boy reuiueth with a tutch.
Looke as a man stung by the noysome Aspe,
Whose hony-poyson tickles with delight,
Sucks in the venome of this mortall waspe,
Wholy suspecties of the serpents spight;
So I so mad, that reason could not turne me,
Bath'd in the flame, which afterward did burne me.
Oft did I striue to take her in mine armes,
And tell my harts griefe by some silent motion,
She was too young to leuell at my harmes,
Or picke a meaning from my dum deuotion.
Oft would my dotage make me daunce amisse,
And then begin new measure with a kisse.
She bad me dance true, but I lou'd my faining,
(Hang him that loues and has no mother-wit)
I said our musick err'd in ouer-straining,
No meruaile then my footing could not hit;
And to preuent the iarres that came by this,
Our lips made musicke where our feete did misse.
Our countrey Round by this was almost done,
When wanton wearie suddainly she grew;
Nay then (quoth I) would we had ne're begun,
Faire Nimph cheere vp thy selfe and dance a new:
For if thou droope, our hearts will fall as fast,
As Autumne leaues before the Winters blast.
Behold the sunne-beames for thy Beauties sake,
Dancing Lauoltoes on the liquid floare;
The whistling winds vnwonted musicke make,
Whiles Syrens sit and sing vpon the shoare:
Yea the fierce Wolfe is come to see thee play,
And for thy sake our Lambes keepe holyday.
See, see faire Flora deckt in summers pride,
Burning in emulation of thy beautie;
And Venus nestled by Adonis side,
Seeking to doe his loue peculiar dutie:
Faire heauens Queene sits dallying with her Ioue,
Least he should see thee, and so change his Loue.
If then the treasure of thy supreme faire,
Breed iealousie in gods, wonder in men;
O doe not thus thy beauties worth impaire,
Quitting our kindnes with vnkinde disdaine:
Gentilitie should beare a gentle minde,
And perfect Beautie neuer proues vnkinde.
This said, I train'd her friendly from the rest,
Into a sweete and solitarie place,
Where Loue himselfe might daigne to build his nest,
All things consorted with so great a grace:
Had Mars plaid double here with Loues faire queen.
Their double-dealing Phaebus ne're had seen.
For why such was the shadow of this groue,
All thicke beset with circle-branching trees,
It gaue no passage to the sunne aboue,
Whose piercing light our actions ouersees:
But here and there small day-holes did appeare,
To light the ground, and let in cooling aire.
Amidst this Thicket with a silent gliding,
A Christall brooke ran in a flowrie brim,
Where labouring Swans train'd vp by natures guiding,
Record a thousand sweete notes as they swim:
Sweet notes they were, tun'd with a sweeter voice,
That charm'd the trees, and made the stones reioice.
Here summers Queene had made her flowry bed
Of the white Lillie, and the crimson Rose,
With thousand other kinds of white and red,
Whose heauenly hew her art did so dispose,
As bred amazement in the dazled sight,
And cloy'd the senses with a worlds delight.
The chirping Birds to shunne the heate of Iune,
Fled to the shelter of this shadie ground,
Where praising Nature in a siluerie tune,
The hollow caues and vallies made resound:
In briefe, this plot contain'd the perfect sum
Of all the sweetes in faire Elisium.
While towards this Paradice we made our way,
We were incountred by the glorious sunne,
Who purposely to force this faire Nimph stay,
Some hotter now then when his course begunne;
That he might feede his false eye with her sight,
Whose beautie dimm'd the glorie of his light.
My Loue was faint, and forste to set her downe,
Whose Angels face distilled pearly sweate;
Loue bad me giue her there a grasse-greene gowne,
In spite of Phaebus, and his forced heate,
But while my lingring thoughts stood to deuise,
I saw God Morpheus seazing on my prize.
Whereat I fell into a iealous trance,
Sleepe eyes (quoth I) see not my Loue prophan'd,
Or if heauens power haue power to helpe mischance,
Let not the Rose of beautie thus be stain'd:
Fie, fie (quoth Reason) where's thy wits in keepe [...]
Disturbe her not, thy Loue is but a sleepe.
I laught to thinke hart-burning iealousie
Should build a stage for Puppets in my braine,
Presenting visions to my phantasie,
That nothing were, nor could returne againe:
Self-biting Curre, a bolde vnbidden guest,
Whose foule disturbance marres true Louers feast.
Me thought her sleeping proued sleepe diuine,
Me thought the windes for pitie would not blow,
Shut were the casements of her christall eyen,
Which waking, like two siluer Moones did show;
Shut were the day-bright eyes, where all might see
Faire Beautie linckt in loue with Chastitie.
Sleepe on (quoth I) sweet Saint of puritie,
Yet sleeping, smile thy beautie on the aire,
That euery creature humbled at thy knee,
May offer homage to thy supreme faire:
But turne from Phaebus, least his fond desire
Cause him descend and set the world on fire.
I'le charme the brazen doores of fearefull dreames,
And bind the sterne God Morpheus in a chaine,
Least he molest thy minde with idle theames,
Which in the fancies of the night doe raigne,
And guard thy person with as deare a price,
As if I kept the gates of Paradice.
For thy sake Acol shall perfume the winds
With costly Myrre, and curious Ambergreece:
I'le venter more then Iason did to find
The happie fortune of a golden fleece,
Which I my selfe full safelie meane to keepe,
And wrap thee in it, when thou g'ins to sleepe.
And you sweet birds, whose nimble-relisht notes,
Rauish the soule of man, and cheere the day,
Stay the shrill descant of your siluery throtes,
Till Beautie wake and bid your musicke play:
Or if you needes will sing, some tune deuise,
Whose Angel-sound may charme all Argus eyes.
Thus did I greete the Idoll of my hart,
Offring vp teares before her sleeping shrine.
And was beginning to bewray my smart,
When loe, as if her spirit could deuine,
Opening the closet of her lockt-vp eyes,
She did preuent me in this cunning wise:
Shepheard, I glory in the happie chance,
That made me Mistris of so kinde a man,
And one so well my praises can aduance;
Good Lord, how long since you the whetstone wan?
Your high-pitcht words are like the torch by night,
That wasts it selfe in giuing others light.
Tell me whose person did you passionate?
Expressing motions of internate woe,
Grieuing your selfe to gesse at others fate?
You were to blame, that would not let me knowe,
Nor seeke my helpe to play some tragicke part;
For I can sigh too, yet ne're rent my hart.
Belike your Swaines intend a Comedie,
To be presented in some solemne place;
And loue-sicke you these passions must descrie:
Which to adorne with action and with grace,
You daily thus make triall of your part,
With sighes and teares that neuer pierce the hart.
Ah would to God flint-harted wench (thought I)
Thou feltst the crosse which loue hath laid vpon me;
Or that my woes gaue not thy words the lye,
And my poore heart had power henceforth to shunne thee.
Thy Mother (wanton) was not halfe so olde,
Yet knew she when a sutors tale was tolde.
Loue brought me in to acte this wooing scene,
The argument was written in thy face.
The words were such as might expresse my paine,
The end to win thee to a liking grace:
And euery period had his sense made plaine,
With teares, which Chorus-like mine eyes did raine.
Thou didst not sleep, yet hearing could not moue thee,
(A colde presage for him that meanes to wooe)
My wanton gesture seem'd to say, I loue thee,
But all was labour lost that I could doe:
My suite was sleeueles, thy regard so colde,
As if that I anothers tale had tolde.
This said my hart, but this I durst not say,
So loude the regent of my hart might heare me,
The place vnfit my fancie to bewray,
The time and other circumstance did feare me:
Her scene perform'd, my tongue thus acts his part,
Hiding the Loue, that reuel'd in my hart.
Faire Saint, if Loue haue forste me to offending▪
With yrksome prattle, crossing thy repose;
O blame the beautie on thy face depending,
That giues a tongue of praises to thy foes.
Then graunt me leaue, how euer others deeme,
To giue thy Beautie excellent esteeme.
But please thee (Sweeting) finish out our walke,
(The pleasure great, the labour is but small)
And in yond Eden see how euery stalke,
Brags the sweete blossomes he is blest withall,
I'le load thy lappe with Floras tender pride,
And bring thee homeward in the Euen-tide.
Thus said, I brought her to this shadie rest,
This green-dy'd groue, this summers Paradice,
Where Loue by pleading hard might make me blest,
Where I was bent to cast my Fortunes dice,
And in a minute ease or end the strife,
Or win my Loue, or else to lose my life.
Now while the Damsell wondring Natures store,
Seaz'd on the flowry treasure of the spring,
And more she gatherd, still desiring more,
(The last is best, and new sels euery thing)
I madly tost betweene Despaire and Ioy,
Prai'd for successe to the blind-seeing Boy.
Great Prince of Loue, to whose victorious hand
My frozen hart was forste perforce to yeeld,
And in my bosome entertaine the brand,
Gainst which weake Reason neuer man could sheeld:
O be propitious to an humble Swaine,
And giue my loue successe, to quite my paine.
Thou art so little (else our Poets misse)
That thou canst hide thee in a wanton eye,
So subtile thou canst enter with a kisse,
So craftie thou canst counterfaite to dye,
Or being dead, thy qualitie is such,
To liue againe by vertue of a tuch.
O lend me thy insinuating power,
Words steep'd in syrop of Ambrosia,
To force my Danae with their golden shower,
That she may blesse me with a yeelding nay:
Each sentence be a sweet inchanting charme,
Vpon her hart-strings playing loues alarme.
So shall thy glorie be immortall still,
The conquest woon to set thy captiues free,
And cure their wounds, whom thou mighst iustly kill▪
O exercise thy pittie then in me;
That finding her to ease my heauie bands,
May blesse the time I fell into thy hands.
By this her bosome stor'd, her lap was full,
And wanton weary, quickly set her downe,
No prettie flower there was, but she did pull;
No colour set in Ariadnes crowne,
Or in the compasse of faire Iris Bowe,
She did not gather to enrich her showe.
Now powrefull Loue that reuel'd in my hart,
Contrould my silence, hating to be mute,
Still rubs the soare that made my wound to smart,
And strongly vrg'd me to commence my sute:
Till fancie growne too headstrong to retire,
Thus in a word I tolde her my desire.
Goddesse (quoth I) for lesse thou canst not be,
God lieue thou couldst, or that my birth were better,
My loue, my life, both consecrate to thee,
I offer as an insufficient debter:
O stand propitious to an humble Swaine,
That craues but loue to answer loue againe.
I call to record Venus and her Sonne,
No meanes vnsought, no art vnwrought by me,
To quench this flame when first it was begunne,
Foreseeing still this foule extremitie;
But wisdome weake, my Reasons force was small,
To conquer loue, which conquers wit and all.
I know no bastard Hauke can soare so high,
As doth the Hobbie towring high by kind;
Nor Aegle-like behold the worlds faire eye,
But with his beames their sight is stricken blind.
I know gainst Nature actions are in vaine,
And high-pitcht thoughts reape nothing but dis­daine.
Yet Phaebus shining, little Gnats may play,
Small flies may pearch them by the Aegles side,
It lies in compasse of thy yea, or nay,
To be my bane, or to become my Bride:
Loue strikes a match t'wixt mortall men and Gods,
Sweete loue me then, can be no greater oddes.
O be remembred, was not Vulcan lame?
Yet was he Lord of louely Venus bed;
Or if he were not, more his wife to blame,
That rul'd the raynes to make him beare the head.
Such Vulcanes now are ours, who doting olde,
Marrie young Maids to keepe them from co-colde.
Diuine Aurora full as faire as she,
Whose heauen-di'de face the Graces still admire,
Lou'd gray-beard Tython, as ill fac'te as he,
And in her choice so pleas'd her chast desire,
That oft she said, when Beauties dowre is spent,
Mine old-mans loue shall yeeld me sweet content.
I will not muffle vp a meane estate,
As smoth-tongu'd sutors daily vse to doe,
Bragging of Birth, of Friends, of this and that,
Of money, lands, yea and of Vertue too,
Breathing vaine boasts of many a golden shower,
And things (God wot) were neuer in their power.
A shame to boast of bloods antiquitie,
Wherein no honour nor true Vertue lies;
Each Brute may bragge hereof as well as we,
One still succeeding as another dyes:
T'is Vertue (Minion) doth nobilitate,
And makes a Monarch of a meane estate.
Let others promise Mountaines if they list,
Intrapping fooles by false insinuations,
Till womens hopes doe end in Had I wist,
And make them say, Mens words are but temptations.
I hate all shifts, plaine dealing still is blest,
I like the meane, and here set downe my rest.
My dwelling is within a countrie Farme,
My table richly furnisht with Content,
My robes are such as keepe my body warme,
My pleasures rate sits at an easie rent,
My cheere is great, my charge is very small,
My fruits, my flocks; my foes are none at all.
My life is nothing but a world of Loue,
I loue my God, and next I loue my King,
I loue my Caesars friends that sit aboue,
I honour Vertue aboue any thing:
I loue my countrey and my dearest kin,
Briefly I nothing hate but mizers sin.
I spend the day time on these pleasant Plaines,
And while my Lambes grow wanton with the spring,
Vpon an oaten pype I cheere my paines,
And being wearie, straight I fall to sing:
This done, I laugh againe, and shake my crowne,
To see the world of late turn'd vpside downe.
Our Fathers plained in their weary daies,
How much the world was chang'd from that of yore:
We say of late, t'is turned many waies,
Yet will not stand as Adams did before:
Each side is turn'd, and yet it standeth wrong;
And will doe still, I'le tell thee wench how long.
While Kings do thirst for Countries and for Crownes,
And Princes pray vpon their Neighbour Landes,
Might treads down right, and Treason selleth Townes,
Iustice lies fetterd in oppressions bandes,
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
While Nobles vainely vaunting of their blood,
Doe sell themselues to sensuall appetite,
Neglecting time to doe their Countrey good,
To punish wrongs, ayde the poore-mans right;
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
While citties swim in Lucre, Lust, and Pride,
No art but craft, no gainefull trade but sinne,
While veluet breeches is allow'd to ride,
And aged Wisdome walketh bare and thinne;
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
While Leacherie and Lucar strike a match,
Making a compound of two deadly sinnes;
And or'e th'Hesperian fruite like dragons watch,
Or as the Eden-keeping Cherubims;
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
While poore are pincht by grunting Auarice,
And Gentils forste their ioyntures for to sell
To Father Grauity, whose biting vice
Will send his soule for handsill vnto hell;
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
While younglings chuse their Louers by their coyne,
Seeking to graft vpon a golden tree,
Goods make the choice, the diuell he must ioyne,
But ware their soules, the Priest will haue his fee;
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
Briefly while Vices maske in Vertues weed,
And Reason made a Baude to each abuse;
While Beasts are fatted, good men suffer need,
And all things altered from their proper vse;
So long the righteous gods will surely frowne,
And we shall finde the world turn'd vpside downe.
Thus while the world in sinne is madly tost,
Some beare the purse, but Iudas loues no poore,
The rest in pleasures Labyrinth are lost,
And would returne, but Custome keepes the doore;
I sit aloofe and laugh the world to scorne,
Happie in this, to be a Shepheard borne.
I am a King, my Conscience is my Crowne,
My Court is thoughts, enriched with Content,
My minde to me is as a walled Towne,
My Treasure, Grace which neuer can be spent;
The want of worldly things is very small,
To him whose heart desires them not at all.
I make my power the limits to my will,
And count wel doing summe of all my wealth,
My wishes fewe, and easie to fulfill,
My care is none but soule and bodies health;
In Heauen my happe, on God my hopes relye;
Loe thus I liue, and thus I meane to dye.
Say me then (Sweeting) dost thou like mine offer,
My loue, my life, and all at thy commaund?
Say, canst thou stoope vnto a poore mans proffer?
Thou art my Iudge, here I holde vp my hand;
Now passe the speedy doome of life or death,
Or cure my bane, or kill me with a breath.
I had no sooner said, but straight began
The cloudes appeare that menaced a storme,
Her face faire skie being turned pale and wan,
What might I hope but tempest euery houre?
The cursed Fates haue cloud-ecclipst my Sun,
Whose light once lost, of force my life is done.
First darts her amiable brow coy frownes,
And cruell hate inserted in disdaine
Inthrones her selfe, then scorne and wrath abounds,
And where before Loue-tempting lookes did raigne,
There proud Contempt arm'd with disdainfull ire,
Scornd proffer'd seruice of my poore desire.
Heart-slaine with lookes, I fell vpon the ground,
Her meaning strooke me ere her words were done,
As weapons met before they make a sound,
Or as the deadly bullet of a gunne:
Yet all my passions had no power to moue her,
But thus she rates me, that so much did loue her?
Presumptuous Swaine, proud selfe-conceited groome,
Whose climing thoughts at last will breake their necke,
God lieue my hate might helpe to build thy tombe,
And I suruiue to triumph on thy wracke;
That when the world shall see thy loue disgraced.
Men may beware of loue too highly placed.
What wanton marke of loose immodestie
Could'st thou decipher in me all this while?
Dar'st thou presume to touch a deitie,
Before she grace thee with a yeelding smile? (thought,
Poore foole, what starres bewitch thy wretched
To fancie her, that sets thee so at nought?
Thou seest my bodie straight as Cedar tree,
That fames the woods of rich Arabia:
My browes embost with heauens rich Heraldree,
Tables containing Beauties perfect lawe:
Mine eyes two twinkling stars, whose piercing raies,
Haue power to dim the brightest summer daies.
My face the Sunne-enlightning beauties skye,
Whose charmefull spels the proudest can controule,
Loues Adamant to euery wandring eye,
That like a Syren can inchant the soule;
The shop where Nature sets her art to showe,
Where crimson Roses sleepe in beds of snowe.
Poore foolish flie, why plaist thou with the flame?
Looke not on beautie for it soone will burne thee:
Shun, shun the thought which may procure thy shame;
The fire once kindled, t'is too late to turne thee.
I am mild Venus mongst gentilitie,
But fierce Medusa to thy baser eye.
Thy birth too base for me to beare thy name,
Thy person nothing hath that may commend thee,
Thy liuing will not let thee play such game,
Thy threed-bare loue full little can befriend thee;
Renounce thy suite, roote out these fancies straight,
Thou art no Atlas for so great a waight.
Or else in sight of heauen, I here protest,
I loue thee so, to liue thy foe till death,
For could one kinde looke euer make thee blest,
First would I forced be to yeeld my breath.
The more thy loue, the greater is thy paine;
I will not stay to heare thee speake againe.
With this she left the Melancholy place,
This fatall groue, the bed of mine vnrest;
And backe vnto her fellowes hies a pace,
Leauing me prostrate, heauily distrest:
Looke how a bright starre shooteth in the night,
So fast she fled, and vanisht from my sight.
Farewell (quoth I) sweet Saint of puritie,
Wonder of women, and the worlds admire;
More was I speaking, but it would not be,
Griefe stopt my dumbe tongue with too much desire;
That I was forste to sigh insteede of speaking,
As if my swolne heart were already breaking.
Then brake th'vnchannel'd issue of mine eyes,
My teares gaue vent vnto my tired soule,
Who breath'd hot sighes like lightning from the skye,
Such is Desire, which no man can controule;
And pining griefe still thinkes it treble wrong,
When heart is barr'd the aydance of the tongue.
Thus as a man laid speechles in a traunce,
Or one resembling deaths anatomie,
The birds in silence wondring at my chaunce,
Abruptly ceast their busie harmonie:
Till some propitious powre to ease my paine
Restor'd my sense, and thus I cri'd amaine;
O quis te nostris oculis, pulcherrima Virgo,
Obiecit Deus, & visam te protinus idem
Eripuit nobis, saeuo vt consumerer igni?
Illa meo nunquam facies de pectore abibit;
Illam vos etiam mecum discetis amare
Intonsi montes, vos vmbriferae conualles.
Siue greges inter captabo frigus & auram,
Flumina seu propter salices in valle putabo,
Aut agitans instabo aliud quodcunque, tibi ante
Carmina pauca canam, & te pectore suspirabo,
Toto vnam te corde; priùs (dediscet amare
Gramina ouis, nemora alta ferae, vaga flumina pisces,)
Quàm tua de nostris vellatur cura medullis,
O decus, atque animi nostri pergrata voluptas!
I lookt about if any would replie,
(Griefe best is pleasde with partners in his plaining)
The Damsell gone, I saw no creature nye,
Saue trees and stones which could not know my mea­ning:
To whom shrill Eccho in pittie of my paine,
Records my woes, and tels them o're againe.
And now the night with darkenes ouer-spred,
Had drawne her sable curtaines ore the earth,
And from her cole-blacke melancholy bed,
Sent foggie mists and filthie vapours foorth;
When home I went poore, haples, and forlorne,
Cursing the day that euer I was borne.
O blacke Despaire, foule lot of faithfull Loue,
Blasting our hopes, ere they begin to bud,
Whose dogged nature pittie cannot moue,
Nor ought can pacifie but humane blood:
A thousand times thou end'st a wretched life,
Which liues againe to pine in further strife.
The Nimphes and Satyrs in their ayrie bowres,
Dansed their Chorus, but it would not please me,
No pastures, walkes, nor wreath of sweetest flowres,
No flocks, no friends, nor no delight could ease me;
Her doome is past, intreatie could not stay it;
I owe Despaire a death, and I must pay it.
This plot, this place, this melancholy groue,
I singled out to lay my Cares to sleepe,
To end my life, and with my life my loue;
Pitty not me (sweet friend) forbeare to weepe:
Death chang'd to life I neuer shall repent,
That life is dead, that liues in discontent.
The weary Sunne now settles in the West,
And time permits not speake what I was ment,
This night I purpose thou shalt be my guest,
I'le tell thee things perhaps to thy content;
And e're our Lambes lye downe to rest to morrow,
I'le find a salue to counterpoise thy sorrow.

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