COLIN CLOVTS Come home againe.

By Ed. Spencer.

LONDON Printed for VVilliam Ponsonbie. 1595.

TO THE RIGHT worthy and noble Knight Sir VValter Raleigh, Captaine of her Maiesties Guard, Lord Wardein of the Stanneries, and Lieutenant of the Countie of Cornwall.

SIR, that you may see that I am not al­waies ydle as yee thinke, though not greatly well occupied, nor altogither vndutifull, though not precisely of­ficious, I make you present of this sim­ple pastorall, vnworthie of your high­er conceipt for the meanesse of the stile, but agreeing with the truth in circumstance and mat­ter. The which I humbly beseech you to accept in part of paiment of the infinite debt in which I acknowledge my selfe bounden vnto you, for your singular fauours and sundrie good turnes shewed to me at my late being in England, and with your good countenance protect a­gainst the malice of euill mouthes, which are alwaies wide open to carpe at and misconstrue my simple meaning.

[Page]I pray continually for your happinesse.

Yours euer humbly. Ed. Sp.

COLIN CLOVTS come home againe.

THe shepheards boy (best knowne by that name)
That after Tityrus first sung his lay,
Laies of sweet loue, without rebuke or blame,
Sate (as his custome was) vpon a day,
Charming his oaten pipe vnto his peres,
The shepheard swaines that did about him play:
Who all the while with greedie listfull eares,
Did stand astonisht at his curious skill,
Like hartlesse deare, dismayd with thunders sound.
At last when as he piped had his fill,
He rested him: and sitting then around,
One of those groomes (a iolly groome was he,
As euer piped on an oaten reed,
And lou'd this shepheard dearest in degree,
Hight Hobbinol) gan thus to him areed.
Colin my liefe, my life, how great a losse
Had all the shepheards nation by thy lacke?
And I poore swaine of many greatest crosse:
That sith thy Muse first since thy turning backe
Was heard to sound as she was wont on hye,
Hast made vs all so blessed and so blythe.
[Page]Whilest thou wast hence, all dead in dole did lie:
The woods were heard to waile full many a sythe,
And all their birds with silence to complaine:
The fields with faded flowers did seem to mourne,
And all their flocks from feeding to refraine:
The running waters wept for thy returne,
And all their fish with languour did lament:
But now both woods and fields, and floods reviue,
Sith thou art come, their cause of meriment,
That vs late dead, hast made againe aliue:
But were it not too painfull to repeat
The passed fortunes, which to thee befell
In thy late voyage, we thee would entreat,
Now at thy leisure them to vs to tell.
To whom the shepheard gently answered thus,
Hobbin thou temptest me to that I couet:
For of good passed newly to discus,
By dubble vsurie doth twise renew it.
And since I saw that Angels blessed eie,
Her worlds bright sun, her heauens fairest light,
My mind full of my thoughts satietie,
Doth feed on sweet contentment of that sight:
Since that same day in nought I take delight.
Ne feeling haue in any earthly pleasure,
But in remembrance of that glorious bright,
My lifes sole blisse, my hearts eternall threasure.
Wake then my pipe, my sleepie Muse awake,
Till I haue told her praises lasting long:
Hobbin desires, thou maist it not forsake,
Harke then ye iolly shepheards to my song.
[Page]With that they all gan throng about him neare,
With hungrie eares to heare his harmonie:
The whiles their flocks deuoyd of dangers feare,
Did round about them feed at libertie.
One day (quoth he) I sat, (as was my trade)
Vnder the foote of Mole that mountaine hore,
Keeping my sheepe amongst the cooly shade,
Of the greene alders by the Mullaes shore:
There a straunge shepheard chaunst to find me out,
Whether allured with my pipes delight,
Whose pleasing sound yshrilled far about,
Or thither led by chaunce, I know not right:
VVhom when I asked from what place he came,
And how he hight, himselfe he did ycleepe,
The shepheard of the Ocean by name,
And said he came far from the main-sea deepe.
He sitting me beside in that same shade,
Prouoked me to plaie some pleasant fit,
And when he heard the musicke which I made,
He found himselfe full greatly pleasd at it:
Yet aemuling my pipe, he tooke in hond
My pipe before that aemuled of many,
And plaid theron; (for well that skill he cond)
Himselfe as skilfull in that art as any.
He pip'd, I sung; and when he sung, I piped,
By chaunge of turnes, each making other mery,
Neither enuying other, nor enuied,
So piped we, vntill we both were weary.
There interrupting him, a bonie swaine,
That Cuddy hight, him thus atweene bespake:
[Page]And should it not thy readie course restraine,
I would request thee Colin, for my sake,
To tell what thou didst sing, when he did plaie.
For well I weene it worth recounting was,
VVhether it were some hymne, or morall laie,
Or carol made to praise thy loued lasse.
Nor of my loue, nor of my losse (quoth he)
I then did sing, as then occasion fell:
For loue had me forlorne, forlorne of me,
That made me in that desart chose to dwell.
But of my riuer Bregogs loue I soong,
VVhich to the shiny Mulla he did beare,
And yet doth beare, and euer will, so long
As water doth within his bancks appeare.
Of fellowship (said then that bony Boy)
Record to vs that louely lay againe:
The staie whereof, shall nought these eares annoy,
VVho all that Colin makes, do couet faine.
Heare then (quoth he) the tenor of my tale,
In sort as I it to that shepheard told:
No leasing new, nor Grandams fable stale,
But auncient truth confirm'd with credence old.
Old father Mole, (Mole hight that mountain gray
That walls the Northside of Armulla dale)
He had a daughter fresh as floure of May,
VVhich gaue that name vnto that pleasant vale;
Mulla the daughter of old Mole, so hight
The Nimph, which of that water course has charge,
That springing out of Mole, doth run downe right
To Butteuant, where spreading forth at large,
[Page]It giueth name vnto that auncient Cittie,
VVhich Kilnemullah cleped is of old:
VVhose ragged ruines breed great ruth and pittie,
To trauailers, which it from far behold.
Full faine she lou'd, and was belou'd full faine,
Of her owne brother riuer, Bregog hight,
So hight because of this deceitfull traine,
VVhich he with Mulla wrought to win delight.
But her old sire more carefull of her good,
And meaning her much better to preferre,
Did thinke to match her with the neighbour flood,
VVhich Allo hight, Broad water called farre:
And wrought so well with his continuall paine,
That he that riuer for his daughter wonne:
The dowre agreed, the day assigned plaine,
The place appointed where it should be doone.
Nath les [...]e the Nymph her former liking held;
For loue will not be drawne, but must be ledde,
And Bregog did so well her fancie weld,
That her good will he got her first to wedde.
But for her father sitting still on hie,
Did warily still watch which way she went,
And eke from far obseru'd with iealous eie,
VVhich way his course the wanton Bregog bent,
Him to deceiue for all his watchfull ward,
The wily louer did deuise this slight:
First into many parts his streame he shar'd,
That whilest the one was watcht, the other might
Passe vnespide to meete her by the way;
And then besides, those little streames so broken
[Page]He vnder ground so closely did conuay,
That of their passage doth appeare no token,
Till they into the Mullaes water slide.
So secretly did he his loue enioy:
Yet not so secret, but it was descride,
And told her father by a shepheards boy.
Who wondrous wroth for that so foule despight,
In great auenge did roll downe from his hill
Huge mightie stones, the which encomber might
His passage, and his water-courses spill.
So of a Riuer, which he was of old,
He none was made, but scattred all to nought,
And lost emong those rocks into him rold,
Did lose his name: so deare his loue he bought.
Which hauing said, him Thestylis bespake,
Now by my life this was a mery lay:
Worthie of Colin selfe, that did it make.
But read now eke of friendship I thee pray,
What dittie did that other shepheard sing?
For I do couet most the same to heare,
As men vse most to couet forreine thing.
That shall I eke (quoth he) to you declare.
His song was all a lamentable lay,
Of great vnkindnesse, and of vsage hard,
Of Cynthia the Ladie of the sea,
Which from her presence faultlesse him debard.
And euer and anon with singulfs rife,
He cryed out, to make his vndersong
Ah my loues queene, and goddesse of my life,
Who shall me pittie, when thou doest me wrong?
[Page]Then gan a gentle bonylasse to speake,
That Marin hight, Right well he sure did plaine:
That could great Cynthiaes sore displeasure breake,
And moue to take him to her grace againe.
But tell on further Colin, as befell
Twixt him and thee, that thee did hence dissuade.
When thus our pipes we both had wearied well,
(Quoth he) and each an end of singing made,
He gan to cast great lyking to my lore,
And great dislyking to my lucklesse lot:
That banisht had my selfe, like wight forlore,
Into that waste, where I was quite forgot.
The which to leaue, thenceforth he counseld mee,
Vnmeet for man, in whom was ought regardfull
And wend with him, his Cynthia to see:
Whose grace was great, & bounty most rewardfull.
Besides her peerlesse skill in making well
And all the ornaments of wondrous wit,
Such as all womankynd did far excell:
Such as the world admyr'd and praised it:
So what with hope of good, and hate of ill,
He me perswaded forth with him to fare,
Nought tooke I with me, but mine oaten quill:
Small needments else need shepheard to prepare.
So to the sea we came; the sea? that is
A world of waters heaped vpon hie,
Rolling like mountaines in wide wildernesse,
Horrible, hideous, roaring with hoarse crie.
And is the sea (quoth Coridon) so fearfull?
Fearful much more (quoth he) thē hart can fear:
[Page]Thousand wyld beasts with deep mouthes gaping direfull
Therin stil wait poore passengers to teare.
Who life doth loath, and longs death to behold,
Before he die, alreadie dead with feare,
And yet would liue with heart halfe stonie cold,
Let him to sea, and he shall see it there.
And yet as ghastly dreadfull, as it seemes,
Bold men presuming life for gaine to sell,
Dare tempt that gulf, and in those wandring stremes
Seek waies vnknowne, waies leading down to hell.
For as we stood there waiting on the strond,
Behold an huge great vessell to vs came,
Dauncing vpon the waters back to lond,
As if it scornd the daunger of the same;
Yet was it but a wooden frame and fraile,
Glewed togither with some subtile matter,
Yet had it armes and wings, and head and taile,
And life to moue it selfe vpon the water.
Strange thing, how bold & swift the monster was,
That neither car'd for wynd, nor haile, nor raine,
Nor swelling waues, but thorough them did passe
So proudly, that she made them roare againe.
The same aboord vs gently did receaue,
And without harme vs farre away did beare,
So farre that land our mother vs did leaue,
And nought but sea and heauen to vs appeare.
Then hartlesse quite and full of inward feare,
That shepheard I besought to me to tell,
Vnder what skie, or in what world we were,
In which I saw no liuing people dwell.
[Page]Who me recomforting all that he might,
Told me that that same was the Regiment
Of a great shepheardesse, that Cynthia hight,
His liege his Ladie, and his lifes Regent.
If then (quoth I) a shepheardesse she bee,
Where be the flockes and heards, which she doth keep?
And where may I the hills and pastures see,
On which she vseth for to feed her sheepe?
These be the hills (quoth he) the surges hie,
On which faire Cynthia her heards doth feed:
Her heards be thousand fishes with their frie,
Which in the bosome of the billowes breed.
Of them the shepheard which hath charge in chief,
Is Triton blowing loud his wreathed horne:
At sound whereof, they all for their relief
Wend too and fro at euening and at morne.
And Proteus eke with him does driue his heard
Of stinking Seales and Porcpisces together,
With hoary head and deawy dropping beard,
Compelling them which way he list, and whether.
And I among the rest of many least,
Haue in the Ocean charge to me assignd:
Where I will liue or die at her beheast,
And serue and honour her with faithfull mind.
Besides an hundred Nymphs all heauenly borne,
And of immortall race, doo still attend
To wash faire Cynthiaes sheep, whē they be shorne,
And fold them vp, when they haue made an end.
Those be the shepheards which my Cynthia serue,
At sea, beside a thousand moe at land:
[Page]For land and sea my Cynthia doth deserue
To haue in her commandement at hand.
Thereat I wondred much, till wondring more
And more, at length we land far off descryde:
Which sight much gladed me; for much afore
I feard, least land we neuer should haue eyde:
Thereto our ship her course directly bent,
As if the way she perfectly had knowne.
We Lunday passe; by that same name is ment
An Island, which the first to west was showne.
From thence another world of land we kend,
Floting amid the sea in ieopardie,
And round about with mightie white rocks hemd,
Against the seas encroching crueltie.
Those same the shepheard told me, were the fields
In which dame Cynthia her landheards fed,
Faire goodly fields, then which Armulla yields
None fairer, nor more fruitfull to be red.
The first to which we nigh approched, was
An high headland thrust far into the sea,
Like to an horne, whereof the name it has,
Yet seemed to be a goodly pleasant lea:
There did a loftie mount at first vs greet,
Which did a stately heape of stones vpreare,
That seemd amid the surges for to fleet,
Much greater then that frame, which vs did beare:
There did our ship her fruitfull wombe vnlade,
And put vs all a shore on Cynthias land.
What land is that thou meanst (then Cuddy sayd)
And is there other, then whereon we stand?
[Page]Ah Cuddy (then quoth Colin) thous a fon,
That hast not seene least part of natures worke:
Much more there is vnkend, then thou doest kon,
And much more that does from mens knowledge lurke.
For that same land much larger is then this,
And other men and beasts and birds doth feed:
There fruitfull corne, faire trees, fresh herbage is
And all things else that liuing creatures need.
Besides most goodly riuers there appeare,
No whit inferiour to thy Funchins praise,
Or vnto Allo or to Mulla cleare:
Nought hast thou foolish boy seene in thy daies,
But if that land be there (quoth he) as here,
And is theyr heauen likewise there all one?
And if like heauen, be heauenly graces there,
Like as in this same world where we do wone?
Both heauen and heauenly graces do much more
(Quoth he) abound in that same land, then this.
For there all happie peace and plenteous store
Conspire in one to make contented blisse:
No wayling there nor wretchednesse is heard,
No bloodie issues nor no leprosies,
No griesly famine, nor no raging sweard,
No nightly bodrags, nor no hue and cries;
The shepheards there abroad may safely lie,
On hills and downes, withouten dread or daunger:
No rauenous wolues the good mans hope destroy,
Nor outlawes fell affray the forest raunger.
There learned arts do florish in great honor,
And Poets wits are had in peerlesse price:
[Page]Religion hath lay powre to rest vpon her,
Aduancing vertue and suppressing vice.
For end, all good, all grace there freely growes,
Had people grace it gratefully to vse:
For God his gifts there plenteously bestowes,
But gracelesse men them greatly do abuse.
But say on further, then said Corylas,
The rest of thine aduentures, that betyded.
Foorth on our voyage we by land did passe,
(Quoth he) as that same shepheard still vs guyded,
Vntill that we to Cynthiaes presence came:
Whose glorie greater then my simple thought,
I found much greater then the former fame;
Such greatnes I cannot compare to ought:
But if I her like ought on earth might read,
I would her lyken to a crowne of lillies,
Vpon a virgin brydes adorned head,
With Roses light and Goolds and Daffadillies;
Or like the circlet of a Turtle true,
In which all colours of the rainbow bee;
Or like faire Phebes garlond shining new,
In which all pure perfection one may see.
But vaine it is to thinke by paragone
Of earthly things, to iudge of things diuine:
Her power, her mercy, and her wisedome, none
Can deeme, bu [...] who the Godhead can define.
Why then do I base shepheard bold and blind,
Presume the things so sacred to prophane?
More fit it is t'adore with humble mind,
The image of the heauens in shape humane.
[Page]With that Alexis broke his tale asunder,
Saying, By wondring at thy Cynthiaes praise:
Colin, thy selfe thou makest vs more to wonder,
And her vpraising, doest thy selfe vpraise.
But let vs heare what grace she shewed thee,
And how that shepheard strange, thy cause aduan­ced?
The shepheard of the Ocean (quoth he)
Vnto that Goddesse grace me first enhanced:
And to mine oaten pipe enclin'd her eare,
That she thenceforth therein gan take delight,
And it desir'd at timely houres to heare,
All were my notes but rude and roughly dight,
For not by measure of her owne great mynd,
And wondrous worth she mott my simple song,
But ioyd that country shepheard ought could fynd
Worth harkening to, emongst that learned throng.
Why? (said Alexis then) what needeth shee
That is so great a shepheardesse her selfe
And hath so many shepheards in her fee,
To heare thee sing, a simple silly Elfe?
Or be the shepheards which do serue her laesie?
That they list not their mery pipes applie,
Or be their pipes vntunable and craesie,
That they cannot her honour worthilie?
Ah nay (said Colin) neither so, nor so,
For better shepheards be not vnder skie,
Nor better hable, when they list to blow,
Their pipes aloud, her name to glorifie.
There is good Harpalus now woxen aged,
In faithfull seruice of faire Cynthia,
[Page]And there is a Corydon though meanly waged,
Yet hablest wit of most I know this day.
And there is sad Aleyon bent to mourne,
Though fit to frame an euerlasting dittie,
Whose gentle spright for Daphnes death doth tourn
Sweet layes of loue to endlesse plaints of pittie.
Ah pensiue boy pursue that braue conceipt,
In thy sweet Eglantine of Meriflure,
Lift vp thy notes vnto their wonted height,
That may thy Muse and mates to mirth allure.
There eke is Palin worthie of great praise,
Albe he enuie at my rustick quill:
And there is pleasing Alcon, could he raise
His tunes from laies to matter of more skill.
And there is old Palemon free from spight,
Whose carefull pipe may make the hearer rew:
Yet he himselfe may rewed be more right,
That sung so long vntill quite hoarse he grew.
And there is Alabaster throughly taught,
In all this skill, though knowen yet to few,
Yet were he knowne to Cynthia as he ought,
His Eliseïs would be redde anew.
Who liues that can match that heroick song,
Which he hath of that mightie Princesse made?
O dreaded Dread, do not thy selfe that wrong,
To let thy fame lie so in hidden shade:
But call it forth, O call him forth to thee,
To end thy glorie which he hath begun:
That when he finisht hath as it should be,
No brauer Poeme can be vnder Sun.
Nor Po nor Tyburs swans so much renowned,
Nor all the brood of Greece so highly praised,
[Page]Can match that Muse whē it with bayes is crowned,
And to the pitch of her perfection raised.
And there is a new shepheard late vp sprong,
The which doth all afore him far surpasse:
Appearing well in that well tuned song,
Which late he sung vnto a scornfull lasse.
Yet doth his trembling Muse but lowly flie,
As daring not too rashly mount on hight,
And doth her tender plumes as yet but trie,
In loues soft laies and looser thoughts delight.
Then rouze thy feathers quickly Daniell,
And to what course thou please thy selfe aduance:
But most me seemes, thy accent will excell,
In Tragick plaints and passionate mischance.
And there that shepheard of the Ocean is,
That spends his wit in loues consuming smart:
Full sweetly tempred is that Muse of his
That can empierce a Princes mightie hart.
There also is (ah no, he is not now)
But since I said he is, he quite is gone,
Amyntas quite is gone and lies full low,
Hauing his Amaryllis left to mone.
Helpe, O ye shepheards helpe ye all in this,
Helpe Amaryllis this her losse to mourne:
Her losse is yours, your losse Amyntas is,
Amyntas floure of shepheards pride forlorne:
He whilest he liued was the noblest swaine,
That euer piped in an oaten quill:
Both did he other, which could pipe, maintaine,
And eke could pipe himselfe with passing skill.
And there though last not least is Action,
A gentler shepheard may no where be found:
[Page]Whose Muse full of high thoughts inuention,
Doth like himselfe Heroically sound.
All these, and many others mo remaine,
Now after Astrofell is dead and gone.
But while as Astrofell did liue and raine,
Amongst all these was none his Paragone,
All these do florish in their sundry kynd,
And do their Cynthia immortall make:
Yet found I lyking in her royall mynd,
Not for my skill, but for that shepheards sake.
Then spake a louely lasse, hight Lucida,
Shepheard, enough of shepheards thou hast told:
Which fauouy th [...], and honour Cynthia,
But of so many Nymphs which she doth hold
In her retinew, thou hast nothing sayd,
That seems, with none of thē thou fauor foundest,
Or art ingratefull to each gentle mayd,
That none of all their due deserts resoundest.
Ah far be it (quoth Colin Clout) fro me,
That I of gentle Mayds should ill deserue:
For that my selfe I do professe to be
Vassall to one, whom all my dayes I serue.
The beame of beautie sparkled from aboue,
The floure of vertue and pure chastitie:
The blossome of sweet ioy and perfect loue,
The pearle of peerlesse grace and modestie,
To her my thoughts I daily dedicate,
To her my heart I nightly martyrize:
To her my loue I lowly do prostrate,
To her my life I wholly sacrifice,
My thought, my heart, my loue, my life is shee:
[Page]And I hers euer onely, euer one:
One euer I all vowed hers to bee,
One euer I, and others neuer none.
Then thus Melissa said; Thrise happie Mayd,
Whom thou doest so enforce to deifie:
That woods, and hills, and valleyes, thou hast made,
Her name to eccho vnto heauen hie.
But say, who else vouchsafed thee of grace?
They all (quoth he) me graced goodly well,
That all I praise, but in the highest place,
Vriana, sister vnto Astrofell,
In whose braue mynd as in a golden cofer,
All heauenly gifts and riches locked are:
More rich then pearles of Ynde, or gold of Opher,
And in her sex more wonderfull and rare.
Ne lesse praise worthie I Theana read,
Whose goodly beames though they be ouer dight
With mourning stole of carefull wydow head,
Yet through that darksome vale do glister bright.
She is the well of bountie and braue mynd,
Excelling most in glorie and great light:
She is the ornament of womankind,
And Courts chief garlond with all vertues dight.
Therefore great Cynthia her in chiefest grace,
Doth hold, and next vnto her selfe aduance,
Well worthie she of so honourable place:
For her great worth and noble gouernance.
Ne lesse praise worthie is her sister deare,
Faire Marïan, the Muses onely darling:
Whose beautie shyneth as the morning cleare,
[Page]With siluer deaw vpon the roses pearling.
Ne lesse praise worthie is Mansilia,
Best knowne by bearing vp great Cynthiaes traine:
That same is she to whom Daphnaida
Vpon her neeces death I did complaine.
She is the paterne of true womanhead,
And onely mirrhor of feminitie:
Worthie next after Cynthia to tread,
As she is next her in nobilitie.
Ne lesse praise worthie Galathea seemes,
Then best of all that honourable crew,
Faire Galathea with bright shining beames,
Inflaming feeble eyes that her do view.
She there then waited vpon Cynthia,
Yet there is not her won, but here with vs
About the borders of our rich Coshma,
Now made of Maa the Nymph delitious.
Ne lesse praisworthie faire Neaera is,
Neaera ours, not theirs, though there she be,
For of the famous Shure, the Nymph she is,
For high desert, aduaunst to that degree.
She is the blosome of grace and curtesie,
Adorned with all honourable parts:
She is the braunch of true nobilitie,
Belou'd of high and low with faithfull harts.
Ne lesse praisworthie Stella do I read,
Though nought my praises of her needed arre,
Whom verse of noblest shepheard lately dead
Hath prais'd and rais'd aboue each other starre.
Ne lesse praisworthie are the sisters three,
[Page]The honor of the noble familie:
Of which I meanest boast my selfe to be,
And most that vnto them I am so nie.
Phyllis, Charillis, and sweet Amaryllis,
Phyllis the faire, is eldest of the three:
The next to her, is bountifull Charillis.
But th'youngest is the highest in degree.
Phyllis the floure of rare perfection,
Faire spreading forth her leaues with fresh delight,
That with their beauties amorous reflexion,
Bereaue of sence each rash beholders sight.
But sweet Charillis is the Paragone
Of peerlesse price, and ornament of praise,
Admyr'd of all, yet enuied of none,
Through the myld temperance of her goodly raies.
Thrise happie do I hold thee noble swaine,
The which art of so rich a spoile possest,
And it embracing deare without disdaine,
Hast sole possession in so chaste a brest:
Of all the shepheards daughters which there bee,
And yet there be the fairest vnder skie,
Or that elsewhere I euer yet did see.
A fairer Nymph yet neuer saw mine eie:
She is the pride and primrose of the rest,
Made by the maker selfe to be admired:
And like a goodly beacon high addrest,
That is with sparks of heauenle beautie fired.
But Amaryllis, whether fortunate,
Or else vnfortunate may I aread,
That freed is from Cupids yoke by fate,
[Page]Since which he doth new bands aduenture dread.
Shepheard what euer thou hast heard to be
In this or that praysd diuersly apart,
In her thou maist them all assembled see.
And seald vp in the threasure of her hart,
Ne thee lesse worthie gentle Flauia,
For thy chaste life and vertue I esteeme,
Ne thee lesse worthie curteous Candida,
For thy true loue and loyaltie I deeme.
Besides yet many mo that Cynthia serue,
Right noble Nymphs, and high to be commended,
But if I all should praise as they deserue,
This sun would faile me ere I halfe had ended.
Therefore in closure of a thankfull mynd,
I deeme it best to hold eternally,
Their bounteous deeds and noble fauours shrynd,
Then by discourse them to indignifie.
So hauing said, Aglaura him bespake:
Colin, well worthie were those goodly fauours
Bestowd on thee, that so of them doest make.
And them requitest with thy thankfull labours.
But of great Cynthiaes goodnesse and high grace,
Finish the storie which thou hast begunne.
More eath (quoth he) it is in such a case,
How to begin, then know how to haue donne.
For euerie gift and euerie goodly meed,
Which she on me bestowd; demaunds a day,
And euerie day, in which she did a deed,
Demaunds a yeare it duly to display.
Her words were like a streame of honny fleeting,
[Page]The which doth softly trickle from the hiue:
Hable to melt the hearers heart vnweeting,
And eke to make the dead againe aliue.
Her deeds were like great glusters of ripe grapes,
Which load the bunches of the fruitfull vine:
Offring to fall into each mouth that gapes,
And fill the same with store of timely wine.
Her lookes were like beames of the morning Sun,
Forth looking through the windowes of the East:
When first the fleecie cattell haue begun
Vpon the perled grasse to make their feast.
Her thoughts are like the fume of Franckincence,
Which from a golden Censer forth doth rise:
And throwing forth sweet odours moūts fro thēce
In rolling globes vp to the vauted skies.
There she beholds with high aspiring thought,
The cradle of her owne creation:
Emongst the seats of Angels heauenly wrought,
Much like an Angell in all forme and fashion.
Colin (said Cuddy then) thou hast forgot
Thy selfe, me seemes, too much, to mount so hie:
Such loftie flight, base shepheard seemeth not,
From flocks and fields, to Angels and to skie.
True (answered he) but her great excellence,
Lifts me aboue the measure of my might:
That being fild with furious insolence,
I feele my selfe like one yrapt in spright.
For when I thinke of her, as oft I ought,
Then want I words to speake it fitly forth:
And when I speake of her what I haue thought,
[Page]I cannot thinke according to her worth.
Yet will I thinke of her, yet will I speake,
So long as life my limbs doth hold together,
And when as death these vitall bands shall breake,
Her name recorded I will leaue for euer.
Her name in euery tree I will endosse,
That as the trees do grow, her name may grow:
And in the ground each where will it engrosse,
And fill with stones, that all men may it know.
The speaking woods and murmuring waters fall,
Her name Ile teach in knowen termes to frame:
And eke my lambs when for their dams they call,
Ile teach to call for Cynthia by name.
And long while after I am dead and rotten:
Amōgst the shepheards daughters dancing rownd,
My layes made of her shall not be forgotten.
But sung by them with flowry gyrlonds crownd.
And ye, who so ye be, that shall surviue:
When as ye heare her memory renewed,
Be witnesse of her bountie here aliue,
Which she to Colin her poore shepheard shewed.
Much was the whole assembly of those heards,
Moov'd at his speech, so feelingly he spake:
And stood awhile astonisht at his words,
Till Thestylis at last their silence brake,
Saying, Why Colin, since thou foundst such grace
With Cynthia and all her noble crew:
Why didst thou euer leaue that happie place,
In which such wealth might vnto thee accrew?
And back returnedst to this barrein soyle,
[Page]Where cold and care and penury do dwell:
Here to keep sheepe, with hunger and with toyle,
Most wretched he, that is and cannot tell.
Happie indeed (said Colin) I him hold,
That may that blessed presence still enioy,
Of fortune and of enuy vncomptrold,
Which still are wont most happie states t'annoy:
But I by that which little while I prooued:
Some part of those enormities did see,
The which in Court continually hooued,
And followd those which happie seemd to bee.
Therefore I silly man, whose former dayes
Had in rude fields bene altogether spent,
Darest not aduenture such vnknowen wayes,
Nor trust the guile of fortunes blandishment,
But rather chose back to my sheep to tourne,
Whose vtmost hardnesse I before had tryde,
Then hauing learnd repentance late, to mourne
Emongst those wretches which I there descryde.
Shepheard (said Thestylis) it seemes of spight
Thou speakest thus gainst their felicitie,
Which thou enuiest, rather then of right
That ought in them blameworthie thou doest spie.
Cause haue I none (quoth he) of cancred will
To quite them ill, that me demeand so well:
But selfe-regard of priuate good or ill,
Moues me of each, so as I found, to tell
And eke to warne yong shepheards wandring wit,
Which through report of that liues painted blisse,
Abandon quiet home, to seeke for it,
[Page]And leaue their lambes to losse misled amisse.
For sooth to say, it is no sort of life,
For shepheard fit to lead in that same place,
Where each one seeks with malice and with strife,
To thrust downe other into foule disgrace,
Himselfe to raise: and he doth soonest rise
That best can handle his deceitfull wit,
In subtil shifts, and finest sleights deuise,
Either by slaundring his well deemed name,
Through leasings lewd, and fained forgerie:
Or else by breeding him some blot of blame,
By creeping close into his secrecie;
To which him needs, a guilefull hollow hart,
Masked with faire dissembling curtesie,
A filed toung furnisht with tearmes of art,
No art of schoole, but Courtiers schoolery.
For arts of schoole haue there small countenance,
Counted but toyes to busie ydle braines,
And there professours find small maintenance,
But to be instruments of others gaines.
Ne is there place for any gentle wit,
Vnlesse to please, it selfe it can applie:
But shouldred is, or out of doore quite shit,
As base, or blunt, vnmeet for melodie.
For each mans worth is measured by his weed,
As harts by hornes or asses by their eares:
Yet asses been not all whose eares exceed,
Nor yet all harts, that hornes the highest beares.
For highest lookes haue not the highest mynd,
Nor haughtie words most full of highest thoughts:
[Page]But are like bladders blowen vp with wynd,
That being prickt do vanish into noughts,
Euen such is all their vaunted vanitie,
Nought else but smoke, that fumeth soone away,
Such is their glorie that in simple eie
Seeme greatest, when their garments are most gay.
So they themselues for praise of fooles do sell,
And all their wealth for painting on a wall;
With price whereof, they buy a golden bell,
And purchace highest rowmes in bowre and hall:
Whiles single Truth and simple honestie
Do wander vp and downe despys'd of all;
Their plaine attire such glorious gallantry
Disdaines so much, that none them in doth call.
Ah Colin (then said Hobbinol) the blame
Which thou imputest, is too generall,
As if not any gentle wit of name,
Nor honest mynd might there be found at all.
For well I wot, sith I my selfe was there,
To wait on Lobbin (Lobbin well thou knewest)
Full many worrhie ones then waiting were,
As euer else in Princes Court thou vewest.
Of which, among you many yet remaine,
Whose names I cannot readily now ghesse:
Those that poore Sutors papers do retaine,
And those that skill of medicine professe.
And those that do to Cynthia expound,
The ledden of straunge languages in charge:
For Cynthia doth in sciences abound,
And giues to their professors stipends large.
[Page]Therefore vniustly thou doest wyte them all,
For that which thou mislikedst in a few.
Blame is (quoth he) more blamelesse generall.
Then that which priuate errours doth pursew:
For well I wot, that there amongst them bee
Full many persons of right worthie parts,
Both for report of spotlesse honestie,
And for profession of all learned arts,
Whose praise hereby no whit impaired is,
Though blame do light on those that faultie bee,
For all the rest do most-what far amis,
And yet their owne misfaring will not see:
For either they be puffed vp with pride,
Or fraught with enuie that their galls do swell,
Or they their dayes to ydlenesse diuide,
Or drownded lie in pleasures wastefull well,
In which like Moldwarps nousling still they lurke,
Vnmyndfull of chiefe parts of manlinesse,
And do themselues for want of other worke,
Vaine votaries of laesie loue professe,
Whose seruice high so basely they ensew,
That Cupid selfe of them ashamed is,
And mustring all his men in Venus vew,
Denies them quite for seruitors of his.
And is loue then (said Corylas) once knowne
In Court, and his sweet lore professed there,
I weened sure he was our God alone:
And only woond in fields and forests here,
Not so (quoth he) loue most aboundeth there.
For all the walls and windows there are writ,
[Page]All full of loue, and loue, and loue my deare,
And all their talke and studie is of it.
Ne any there doth braue or valiant seeme,
Vnlesse that some gay Mistresse badge he beares:
Ne any one himselfe doth ought esteeme,
Vnlesse he swim in loue vp to the eares.
But they of loue and of his sacred lere,
(As it should be) all otherwise deuise,
Then we poore shepheards are accustomd here,
And him do sue and serue all otherwise.
For with lewd speeches and licentious deeds,
His mightie mysteries they do prophane,
And vse his ydle name to other needs,
But as a complement for courting vaine.
So him they do not serue as they professe,
But make him serue to them for sordid vses,
Ah my dread Lord, that doest liege hearts possesse,
Auenge thy selfe on them for their abuses.
But we poore shepheards whether rightly so,
Or through our rudenesse into errour led:
Do make religion how we rashly go,
To serue that God, that is so greatly dred;
For him the greatest of the Gods we deeme,
Borne without Syre or couples of one kynd,
For Venus selfe doth soly couples seeme,
Both male and female through commixture ioynd.
So pure and spotlesse Cupid forth she brought,
And in the gardens of Adonis nurst:
Where growing he, his owne perfection wrought,
And shortly was of all the Gods the first.
[Page]Then got he bow and shafts of gold and lead,
In which so fell and puissant he grew,
That Ioue himselfe his powre began to dread,
And taking vp to heauen, him godded new.
From thence he shootes his arrowes euery where
Into the world, at randon as he will,
On vs fraile men, his wretched vassals here,
Like as himselfe vs pleaseth, saue or spill.
So we him worship, so we him adore
With humble hearts to heauen vplifted hie,
That to true loues he may vs euermore
Preferre, and of their grace vs dignifie:
Ne is there shepheard, ne yet shepheards swaine,
What euer feeds in forest or in field,
That dare with euil deed or leasing vaine
Blaspheme his powre, or termes vnworthie yield.
Shepheard it seemes that some celestiall rage
Of loue (quoth Cuddy) is breath'd into thy brest,
That powreth forth these oracles so sage,
Of that high powre, wherewith thou art possest.
But neuer wist I till this present day
Albe of loue I alwayes humbly deemed,
That he was such an one, as thou doest say,
And so religiously to be esteemed.
Well may it seeme by this thy deep insight,
That of that God the Priest thou shouldest bee:
So well thou wot'st the mysterie of his might,
As if his godhead thou didst present see.
Of loues perfection perfectly to speake,
Or of his nature rightly to define,
[Page]Indeed (said Colin) passeth reasons reach,
And needs his priest t'expresse his powre diuine.
For long before the world he was y'bore
And bred aboue in Venus bosome deare:
For by his powre the world was made of yore,
And all that therein wondrous doth appeare.
For how should else things so far from attone
And so great enemies as of them bee,
Be euer drawne together into one,
And taught in such accordance to agree.
Through him the cold began to couet heat,
And water fire; the light to mount on hie,
And th'heauie downe to peize; the hungry t'eat
And voydnesse to seeke full satietie.
So being former foes, they wexed friends,
And gan by litle learne to loue each other:
So being knit, they brought forth other kynds
Out of the fruitfull wombe of their great mother.
Then first gan heauen out of darknesse dread
For to appeare, and brought forth chearfull day:
Next gan the earth to shew her naked head,
Out of deep waters which her drownd alway.
And shortly after euerie liuing wight,
Crept forth like wormes out of her slimie nature,
Soone as on them the Suns like giuing light,
Had powred kindly heat and formall feature,
Thenceforth they gan each one his like to loue,
And like himselfe desire for to beget,
The Lyon chose his mate, the Turtle Doue
Her deare, the Dolphin his owne Dolphinet,
[Page]But man that had the sparke of reasons might,
More then the rest to rule his passion:
Chose for his loue the fairest in his sight,
Like as himselfe was fairest by creation.
For beautie is the bayt which with delight
Doth man allure, for to enlarge his kynd,
Beautie the burning lamp of heauens light,
Darting her beames into each feeble mynd:
Against whose powre, nor God nor man can fynd,
Defence; ne ward the daunger of the wound,
But being hurt, seeke to be medicynd
Of her that first did stir that mortall stownd.
Then do they cry and call to loue apace,
With praiers lowd importuning the skie,
Whence he them heares, & whē he list shew grace,
Does graunt them grace that otherwise would die.
So loue is Lord of all the world by right,
And rules their creatures by his powrfull saw:
All being made the vassalls of his might,
Through secret sence which therto doth thē draw.
Thus ought all louers of their lord to deeme:
And with chaste heart to honor him alway:
But who so else doth otherwise esteeme,
Are outlawes, and his lore do disobay.
For their desire is base, and doth not merit,
The name of loue, but of disloyall lust:
Ne mongst true louers they shall place inherit,
But as Exuls out of his court be thrust.
So hauing said, Melissa spake at will,
Colin, thou now full deeply hast divynd:
[Page]Of loue and beautie and with wondrous skill,
Hast Cupid selfe depainted in his kynd.
To thee are all true louers greatly bound,
That doest their cause so mightily defend:
But most, all wemen are thy debtors found,
That doest their bountie still so much commend.
That ill (said Hobbinol) they him requite,
For hauing loued euer one most deare:
He is repayd with scorne and foule despite,
That yrkes each gentle heart which it doth heare.
Indeed (said Lucid) I haue often heard
Faire Rosalind of diuers fowly blamed:
For being to that swaine too cruell hard,
That her bright glorie else hath much defamed.
But who can tell what cause had that faire Mayd
To vse him so that vsed her so well:
Or who with blame can iustly her vpbrayd,
For louing not? for who can loue compell.
And sooth to say, it is foolhardie thing,
Rashly to wyten creatures so diuine,
For demigods they be and first did spring
From heauen, though graft in frailnesse feminine.
And well I wote, that oft I heard it spoken,
How one that fairest Helene did reuile:
Through iudgement of the Gods to been ywroken
Lost both his eyes and so remaynd long while,
Till he recanted had his wicked rimes:
And made amends to her with treble praise,
Beware therefore, ye groomes, I read betimes,
How rashly blame of Rosalind ye raise.
[Page]Ah shepheards (then said Colin) ye ne weet
How great a guilt vpon your heads ye draw:
To make so bold a doome with words vnmeet,
Of thing celestiall which ye neuer saw.
For she is not like as the other crew
Of shepheards daughters which emongst you bee,
But of diuine regard and heauenly hew,
Excelling all that euer ye did see.
Not then to her that scorned thing so base,
But to my selfe the blame that lookt so hie:
So hie her thoughts as she her selfe haue place,
And loath each lowly thing with loftie eie.
Yet so much grace let her vouchsafe to grant
To simple swaine, sith her I may not loue:
Yet that I may her honour paravant,
And praise her worth, though far my wit aboue.
Such grace shall be some guerdon for the griefe,
And long affliction which I haue endured:
Such grace sometimes shall giue me some reliefe,
And ease of paine which cannot be recured.
And ye my fellow shepheards which do see
And heare the languours of my too long dying,
Vnto the world for euer witnesse bee,
That hers I die, nought to the world denying,
This simple trophe of her great conquest.
So hauing ended, he from ground did rise,
And after him vprose eke all the rest:
All loth to part, but that the glooming skies,
Warnd them to draw their bleating flocks to rest.


A Pastorall Elegie vpon the death of the most Noble and valorous Knight, Sir Philip Sidney.

Dedicated To the most beautifull and vertuous Ladie, the Countesse of Essex.


SHepheards that wont on pipes of oaten reed,
Oft times to plaine your loues concealed smart:
And with your piteous layes haue learnd to breed
Compassion in a countrey lasses hart.
Hearken ye gentle shepheards to my song,
And place my dolefull plaint your plaints emong.
To you alone I sing this mournfull verse,
The mournfulst verse that euer man heard tell:
To you whose softened hearts it may empierse,
VVith dolours dart for death of Astrophel.
To you I sing and to none other wight,
For well I wot my rymes bene rudely dight.
Yet as they been, if any nycer wit
Shall hap to heare, or couet them to read:
Thinke he, that such are for such ones most fit,
Made not to please the liuing but the dead.
And if in him found pity euer place,
Let him be moov'd to pity such a case.
A Gentle Shepheard borne in Arcady,
Of gentlest race that euer shepheard bore:
[Page]About the grassie bancks of Haemony,
Did keepe his sheep, his litle stock and store.
Full carefully he kept them day and night,
In fairest fields, and Astrophel he hight.
Young Astrophel the pride of shepheards praise,
Young Astrophel the rusticke lasses loue:
Far passing all the pastors of his daies,
In all that seemly shepheard might behoue.
In one thing onely fayling of the best,
That he was not so happie as the rest.
For from the time that first the Nymph his mother
Him forth did bring, and taught her lambs to feed:
A sclender swaine excelling far each other,
In comely shape, like her that did him breed.
He grew vp fast in goodnesse and in grace,
And doubly faire wox both in mynd and face.
Which daily more and more he did augment,
With gentle vsage and demeanure myld:
That all mens hearts with secret rauishment
He stole away, and weetingly beguyld.
Ne spight it selfe that all good things doth spill,
Found ought in him, that she could say was ill.
His sports were faire, his ioyance innocent,
Sweet without sowre, and honny without gall:
And he himselfe seemd made for meriment,
Merily masking both in bowre and hall.
[Page]There was no pleasure nor delightfull play,
When Astrophel so euer was away.
For he could pipe and daunce, and caroll sweet,
Emongst the shepheards in their shearing feast:
As Somers larke that with her song doth greet,
The dawning day forth comming from the East.
And layes of loue he also could compose,
Thrise happie she, whom he to praise did chose.
Full many Maydens often did him woo,
Them to vouchsafe emongst his rimes to name,
Or make for them as he was wont to doo,
For her that did his heart with loue inflame.
For which they promised to dight for him,
Gay chapelets of flowers and gyrlonds trim.
And many a Nymph both of the wood and brooke,
Soone as his oaten pipe began to shrill:
Both christall wells and shadie groues forsooke,
To heare the charmes of his enchanting skill.
And brought him presents, flowers if it were prime,
Or mellow fruit if it were haruest time.
But he for none of them did care a whit,
Yet wood Gods for them oft sighed sore:
Ne for their gifts vnworthie of his wit,
Yet not vnworthie of the countries store.
For one alone he cared, for one he sight,
His lifes desire, and his deare loues delight.
Stella the Faire, the fairest star in skie,
As faire as Venus or the fairest faire:
A fairer star saw neuer liuing eie,
Shot her sharp pointed beames through purest aire.
Her he did loue, her he alone did honor,
His thoughts, his rimes, his songs were all vpō her.
To her he vowd the seruice of his daies,
On her he spent the riches of his wit:
For her he made hymnes of immortall praise,
Of onely her he sung, he thought, he writ.
Her, and but her of loue he worthie deemed,
For all the rest but litle he esteemed.
Ne her with ydle words alone he wowed,
And verses vaine (yet verses are not vaine)
But with braue deeds to her sole seruice vowed,
And bold atchieuements her did entertaine.
For both in deeds and words he nourtred was,
Both wise and hardie (too hardie alas)
In wrestling nimble, and in renning swift,
In shooting steddie, and in swimming strong:
Well made to strike, to throw, to leape, to lift,
And all the sports that shepheards are emong.
In euery one he vanquisht euery one,
He vanquisht all, and vanquisht was of none.
Besides, in hunting such felicitie,
Or rather infelicitie he found:
[Page]That euery field and forest far away,
He sought, where saluage beasts do most abound.
No beast so saluage but he could it kill,
No chace so hard, but he therein had skill.
Such skill matcht with such courage as he had,
Did prick him foorth with proud desire of praise:
To seek abroad, of daunger nought y'drad,
His mistresse name, and his owne fame to raise.
What need perill to be sought abroad,
Since round about vs, it doth make aboad?
It fortuned as he, that perilous game
In forreine soyle pursued far away:
Into a forest wide, and waste he came
Where store he heard to be of saluage pray.
So wide a forest and so waste as this,
Nor famous Ardeyn, nor fowle Arlo is.
There his welwouen toyles and subtil traines,
He laid the brutish nation to enwrap:
So well he wrought with practise and with paines,
That he of them great troups did soone entrap.
Full happie man (misweening much) was hee,
So rich a spoile within his power to see.
Eftsoones all heedlesse of his dearest hale,
Full greedily into the heard he thrust:
To slaughter them, and worke their finall bale,
Least that his toyle should of their troups be brust.
[Page]Wide wounds emongst them many one he made,
Now with his sharp borespear, now with his blade.
His care was all how he them all might kill,
That none might scape (so partiall vnto none)
Ill mynd so much to mynd anothers ill,
As to become vnmyndfull of his owne.
But pardon that vnto the cruell skies,
That from himselfe to them withdrew his eies.
So as he rag'd emongst that beastly rout,
A cruell beast of most accursed brood:
Vpon him turnd (despeyre makes cowards stout)
And with fell tooth accustomed to blood,
Launched his thigh with so mischieuous might,
That it both bone and muscles ryued quight.
So deadly was the dint and deep the wound,
And so huge streames of blood thereout did flow:
That he endured not the direfull stound,
But on the cold deare earth himselfe did throw.
The whiles the captiue heard his nets did rend,
And hauing none to let, to wood did wend.
Ah where were ye this while his shepheard peares,
To whom aliue was nought so deare as hee:
And ye faire Mayds the matches of his yeares,
Which in his grace did boast you most to bee?
Ah where were ye, when he of you had need,
To stop his wound that wondrously did bleed?
Ah wretched boy the shape of drery head,
And sad ensample of mans suddein end:
Full litle faileth but thou shalt be dead,
Vnpitied, vnplaynd, of foe or frend.
Whilest none is nigh, thine eylids vp to close,
And kisse thy lips like faded leaues of rose.
A sort of shepheards sewing of the chace,
As they the forest raunged on a day:
By fate or fortune came vnto the place,
Where as the lucklesse boy yet bleeding lay.
Yet bleeding lay, and yet would still haue bled,
Had not good hap those shepheards thether led.
They stopt his wound (too late to stop it was)
And in their armes then softly did him reare:
Tho (as he wild) vnto his loued lasse,
His dearest loue him dolefully did beare.
The dolefulst beare that euer man did see,
Was Astrophel, but dearest vnto mee.
She when she saw her loue in such a plight,
With crudled blood and filthie gore deformed:
That wont to be with flowers and gyrlonds dight,
And her deare [...]auours dearly well adorned
Her face, the fairest face, that eye mote see,
She likewise did deforme like him to bee.
Her yellow locks that shone so bright and long,
As Sunny beames in fairest somers day:
[Page]She fiersly tore, and with outragious wrong
From her red cheeks the roses rent away.
And her faire brest the threasury of ioy,
She spoyld thereof, and filled with annoy.
His palled face impictured with death,
She bathed oft with teares and dried oft:
And with sweet kisses suckt the wasting breath,
Out of his lips like lillies pale and soft.
And oft she cald to him, who answerd nought,
But onely by his lookes did tell his thought.
The rest of her impatient regret,
And piteous mone the which she for him made:
No toong can tell, nor any forth can set,
But he whose heart like sorrow did inuade.
At last when paine his vitall powres had spent,
His wasted life her weary lodge forwent.
Which when she saw, she staied not a whit,
But after him did make vntimely haste:
Forth with her ghost out of her corps did flit,
And followed her make like Turtle chaste.
To proue that death their hearts cannot diuide,
Which liuing were in loue so firmly tide.
The Gods which all things see, this same beheld,
And pittying this paire of louers trew:
Transformed them there lying on the field,
Into one flowre that is both red and blew.
[Page]It first growes red, and then to blew doth fade,
Like Astrophel, which thereinto was made.
And in the midst thereof a star appeares,
As fairly formd as any star in skyes:
Resembling Stella in her freshest yeares,
Forth darting beames of beautie from her eyes,
And all the day it standeth full of deow,
Which is the teares, that from her eyes did flow.
That hearbe of some, Starlight is cald by name,
Of others Penthia, though not so well:
But thou where euer thou doest finde the same,
From this day forth do call it Astrophel.
And when so euer thou it vp doest take,
Do pluck it softly for that shepheards sake.
Hereof when tydings far abroad did passe,
The shepheards all which loued him full deare:
And sure full deare of all he loued was,
Did thether flock to see what they did heare.
And when that pitteous spectacle they vewed,
The same with bitter teares they all bedewed.
And euery one did make exceeding mone,
With inward anguish and great griefe opprest:
And euery one did weep and waile, and mone,
And meanes deviz'd to shew his sorrow best.
That from that houre since first on grassie greene,
Shepheards kept sheep, was not like mourning seen.
But first his sister that Clorinda hight,
The gentlest shepheardesse that liues this day:
And most resembling both in shape and spright
Her brother deare, began this dolefull lay.
Which least I marre the sweetnesse of the vearse,
In sort as she it sung, I will rehearse.
AY me, to whom shall I my case complaine,
That may compassion my impatient griefe?
Or where shall I vnfold my inward paine,
That my enriuen heart may find reliefe?
Shall I vnto the heauenly powres it show?
Or vnto earthly men that dwell below?
To heauens? ah they alas the authors were,
And workers of my vnremedied wo:
For they foresee what to vs happens here,
And they foresaw, yet suffred this be so.
From them comes good, from them comes also il,
That which they made, who can them warne to spill.
To men? ah they alas like wretched bee,
And subiect to the heauens ordinance:
Bound to abide what euer they decree,
Their best redresse, is their best sufferance.
How then can they like wetched comfort mee,
The which no lesse, need comforted to bee?
Then to my selfe will I my sorrow mourne,
Sith none aliue like sorrowfull remaines:
And to my selfe my plaints shall back retourne,
To pay their vsury with doubled paines.
The woods, the hills, the riuers shall resound
The mournfull accent of my sorrowes ground.
VVoods, hills and riuers, now are desolate,
Sith he is gone the which them all did grace:
And all the fields do waile their widow state,
Sith death their fairest flowre did late deface.
The fairest flowre in field that euer grew,
VVas Astrophel; that was, we all may rew.
VVhat cruell hand of cursed foe vnknowne,
Hath cropt the stalke which bore so faire a flowre?
Vntimely cropt, before it well were growne,
And cleane defaced in vntimely howre.
Great losse to all that euer him see,
Great losse to all, but greatest losse to mee.
Breake now your gyrlonds, O ye shepheards lasses,
Sith the faire flowre, which them adornd, is gon:
The flowre, which them adornd, is gone to ashes,
Neuer againe let lasse put gyrlond on.
Instead of gyrlond, weare sad Cypres nowe,
And bitter Elder, broken from the bowe.
Ne euer sing the loue-layes which he made,
VVho euer made such layes of loue as hee?
Ne euer read the riddles, which he sayd
Vnto yourselues, to make you mery glee.
Your mery glee is now laid all abed,
Your mery maker now alasse is dead.
Death the deuourer of all worlds delight,
Hath robbed you and rest fro me my ioy:
Both you and me, and all the world he quight
Hath robd of ioyance, and lest sad annoy.
Ioy of the world, and shepheards pride was hee,
Shepheards hope neuer like againe to see.
Oh death that hast vs of such riches rest,
Tell vs at least, what hast thou with it done?
VVhat is become of him whose flowre here left
Is but the shadow of his likenesse gone.
Scarse like the shadow of that which he was,
Nought like, but that he like a shade did pas.
But that immortall spirit, which was deckt
VVith all the dowries of celestiall grace:
By soueraine choyce from th'heuenly quires select,
And lineally deriv'd from Angels race,
O what is now of it become aread.
Ay me, can so diuine a thing be dead?
Ah no: it is not dead, ne can it die,
But liues for aie, in blisfull Paradise:
VVhere like a new-borne babe it soft doth lie,
In bed of lillies wrapt in tender wise.
And compast all about with roses sweet,
And daintie violets from head to feet.
There thousand birds all of celestiall brood,
To him do sweetly caroll day and night:
And with straunge notes, of him well vnderstood,
Lull him a sleep in Angelick delight;
Whilest in sweet dreame to him presented bee
Immortall beauties, which no eye may see.
But he them sees and takes exceeding pleasure
Of their diuine aspects, appearing plaine,
And kindling loue in him aboue all measure,
Sweet loue still ioyous, neuer feeling paine.
For what so goodly forme he there doth see,
He may enioy from iealous rancor free.
There liueth he in euerlasting blis,
Sweet spirit neuer fearing more to die:
Ne dreading harme from any foes of his,
Ne fearing saluage beasts more crueltie.
Whilest we here wretches waile his priuate lack,
And with vaine vowes do often call him back.
But liue thou there still happie, happie spirit,
And giue vs leaue thee here thus to lament:
Not thee that doest thy heauens ioy inherit,
But our owne selues that here in dole are drent.
Thus do we weep and waile, and wear our eies,
Mourning in others, our owne miseries.
Which when she ended had, another swaine
Of gentle wit and daintie sweet deuice:
Whom Astrophel full deare did entertaine,
Whilest here he liv'd, and held in passing price,
Hight Thestylis, began his mournfull tourne,
And made the Muses in his song to mourne.
And after him full many other moe,
As euerie one in order lov'd him best,
Gan dight themselues t'expresse their inward woe,
With dolefull layes vnto the time addrest.
The which I here in order will rehearse,
As fittest flowres to deck his mournfull hearse.

The mourning Muse of Thestylis.

COme forth ye Nymphes come forth, forsake you watry bowres,
Forsake your mossy caues, and help me to lament:
Help me to tune my dolefull notes to gurgling sound
Of Liffies tumbling streames: Come let salt teares of ours,
Mix with his waters fresh. O come let one consent
Ioyne vs to mourne with wailfull plaints the deadly wound
Which fatall clap hath made; decreed by higher powres.
The dreery day in which they haue from vs yrent
The noblest plant that might from East to West be found.
Mourne, mourn, great Philips fall, mourn we his wofull end,
Whom spitefull death hath pluct vntimely from the tree,
Whiles yet his yeares in flowre, did promise worthie frute.
Ah dreadful Mars why didst thou not thy knight defend?
What wrathfull mood, what fault of ours hath moued thee
Of such a shining light to leaue vs destitute?
Tho with benigne aspect sometime didst vs behold,
[Page]Thou hast in Britons valour tane delight of old,
And with thy presence oft vouchsaft to attribute
Fame and renowme to vs for glorious martiall deeds.
But now their ireful bemes haue chill'd our harts with cold,
Thou hast estrang'd thy self, and deignest not our land:
Farre off to others now, thy fauour honour breeds,
And high disdaine doth cause thee shun our clime (I feare)
For hadst thou not bene wroth, or that time neare at hand,
Thou wouldst haue heard the cry that woful Englād made,
Eke Zelands piteous plaints, and Hollands toren heare
Would haply haue appeas'd thy diuine angry mynd:
Thou shouldst haue seen the trees refuse to yeeld their shade
And wailing to let fall the honor of their head,
And birds in mournfull tunes lamenting in their kinde:
Vp from his tombe the mightie Corineus rose,
Who cursing oft the fates that this mishap had bred,
His hoary locks he tare, calling the heauens vnkinde.
The Thames was heard to roare, the Reyne and eke the Mose,
The Schald, the Danow selfe this great mischance did rue,
With torment and with grief; their fountains pure & cleere
Were troubled, & with swelling flouds declar'd their woes.
The Muses comfortles, the Nymphs with paled hue,
The Siluan Gods likewise came running farre and neere,
And all with teares bedeawd, and eyes cast vp on hie,
O help, O help ye Gods, they ghastly gan to crie.
O chaunge the cruell fate of this so rare a wight,
And graunt that natures course may measure out his age.
The beasts their foode forsooke, and trembling fearfully,
Each sought his caue or den, this cry did them so fright.
Out from amid the waues, by storme then stirr'd to rage
This crie did cause to rise th'old father Ocean hoare,
Who graue with eld, and full of maiestie in sight,
[Page]Spake in this wise. Refrain (quoth he) your teares & plaints,
Cease these your idle words, make vaine requests no more.
No humble speech nor mone, may moue the fixed stint
Of destinie or death: Such is his will that paints
The earth with colours fresh; the darkest skies with store
Of starry lights: And though your teares a hart of flint
Might tender make, yet nought herein they will preuaile.
Whiles thus he said, the noble knight, who gan to feele
His vitall force to faint, and death with cruell dint
Of direfull dart his mortall bodie to assaile,
With eyes lift vp to heav'n, and courage franke as steele,
With cheerfull face; where valour liuely was exprest,
But humble mynd he said. O Lord if ought this fraile
And earthly carcasse haue thy seruice sought t'aduaunce,
If my desire haue bene still to relieue th'opprest:
If Iustice to maintaine that valour I haue spent
Which thou me gau'st; or if henceforth I might aduaunce
Thy name, thy truth, then spare me (Lord) if thou think best,
Forbeare these vnripe yeares. But if thy will be bent,
If that prefixed time be come which thou hast set,
Through pure and feruent faith, I hope now to be plast,
In th'euerlasting blis, which with thy precious blood
Thou purchase didst for vs. With that a sigh he fet,
And straight a cloudie mist his sences ouercast,
His lips waxt pale and wan, like damaske roses bud
Cast from the stalke, or like in field to purple flowre,
VVhich languisheth being shred by culter as it past.
A trembling chilly cold ran throgh their veines, which were
VVith eies brimfull of teares to see his fatall howre,
VVhose blustring sighes at first their sorrow did declare,
Next, murmuring ensude; at last they not forbeare
Plaine outcries, all against the heau's that enuiously
[Page]Depriv'd vs of a spright so perfect and so rare.
The Sun his lightsom beames did shrowd, and hide his face
For griefe, whereby the earth feard night eternally:
The mountaines each where shooke, the riuers turn'd their streames,
And th'aire gan winterlike to rage and fret apace:
And grisly ghosts by night were seene, and fierie gleames,
Amid the clouds with claps of thunder, that did seeme
To rent the skies, and made both man and beast afeard:
The birds of ill presage this lucklesse chance foretold,
By dernfull noise, and dogs with howling made man deeme
Some mischief was at hand: for such they do esteeme
As tokens of mishap, and so haue done of old.
Ah that thou hadst but heard his louely Stella plaine
Her greeuous losse, or seene her heauie mourning cheere,
While she with woe opprest, her sorrowes did vnfold.
Her haire hung lose neglect, about her shoulders twaine,
And from those two bright starres, to him sometime so deere
Her heart sent drops of pearle, which fell in foyson downe
Twixt lilly and the rose. She wroong her hands with paine,
And piteously gan say, My true and faithfull pheere,
Alas and woe is me, why should my fortune frowne
On me thus frowardly to rob me of my ioy?
What cruell enuious hand hath taken thee away,
And with thee my content, my comfort and my stay?
Thou onelie wast the ease of trouble and annoy,
When they did me assaile, in thee my hopes did rest.
Alas what now is left but grief, that night and day
Afflicts this wofull life, and with continuall rage
Torments ten thousand waies my mtserable brest?
O greedie enuious heau'n what needed thee to haue
Enricht with such a Iewell this vnhappie age,
To take it back againe so soone? Alas when shall
[Page]Mine eies see ought that may content them, since thy graue
My onely treasure hides the ioyes of my poore hart?
As herewith thee on earth I liv'd, euen so equall
Me thinkes it were with thee in heau'n I did abide:
And as our troubles all we here on earth did part,
So reason would that there of thy most happie state
I had my share. Alas if thou my trustie guide
Were wont to be, how canst thou leaue me thus alone
In darknesse and astray; weake, wearie, desolate,
Plung d in a world of woe, refusing for to take
Me with thee, to the place of rest where thou art gone.
This said, she held her peace, for sorrow tide her toong;
And insteed of more words, seemd that her eies a lake
Of teares had bene, they flow'd so plenteously therefro:
And with her sobs and sighs, th'aire round about her roong.
If Venus when she waild her deare Adonis slaine,
Ought moov'd in thy fiers hart compassion of her woe,
His noble sisters plaints, her sighes and teares emong,
Would sure haue made thee milde, and inly rue her paine:
Aurora halfe so faire, her selfe did neuer show,
When from old Tithons bed, shee weeping did arise.
The blinded archer-boy, like larke in showre of raine
Sat bathing of his wings, and glad the time did spend
Vnder those cristall drops, which fell from her faire eies,
And at their brightest beames him proynd in louely wise.
Yet sorie for her grief, which he could not amend,
The gētle boy gā wipe her eies, & clear those lights,
Those lights through which, his glory and his conquests shine.
The Graces tuckt her hair, which hung like threds of gold,
Along her yuorie brest the treasure of delights.
All things with her to weep, it seemed, did encline,
The trees, the hills, the dales, the caues, the stones so cold.
[Page]The aire did help them mourne, with dark clouds, raine and mist,
Forbearing many a day to cleare it selfe againe,
Which made them eftsoones feare the daies of Pirrha shold,
Of creatures spoile the earth, their fatall threds vntwist.
For Phoebus gladsome raies were wished for in vaine,
And with her quiuering light Latonas daughter faire,
And Charles-waine eke refus'd to be the shipmans guide.
On Neptune warre was made by Aeolus and his traine,
Who letting loose the winds, tost and tormented th'aire,
So that on eu'ry coast men shipwrack did abide,
Or else were swallowed vp in open sea with waues,
And such as came to shoare, were beaten with despaire.
The Medwaies siluer streames, that wont so still to slide,
Were troubled now & wrothe: whose hiddē hollow caues
Along his banks with fog then shrowded from mans eye,
Ay Phillip did resownd, aie Phillip they did crie.
His Nimphs were seen no more (thogh custom stil it craues)
With haire spred to the wynd themselues to bath or sport,
Or with the hooke or net, barefooted wantonly
The pleasant daintie fish to entangle or deceiue.
The shepheards left their wonted places of resort,
Their bagpipes now were still; their louing mery layes
Were quite forgot; and now their flocks, mē might perceiue
To wander and to straie, all carelesly neglect.
And in the stead of mirth and pleasure, nights and dayes
Nought els was to be heard, but woes, complaints & mone.
But thou (O blessed soule) doest haply not respect,
These teares we shead, though full of louing pure affect,
Hauing affixt thine eyes on that most glorious throne,
Where full of maiestie the high creator reignes.
In whose bright shining face thy ioyes are all complete,
Whose loue kindles thy spright; where happie alwaies one,
[Page]Thou liu'st in blis that earthly passion neuer staines;
Where from the purest spring the sacred Nectar sweete
Is thy continuall drinke: where thou doest gather now
Of well emploied life, th'inestimable gaines.
There Venus on thee smiles, Apollo giues thee place,
And Mars in reuerent wise doth to thy vertue bow,
And decks his fiery sphere, to do thee honour most.
In highest part whereof, thy valour for to grace,
A chaire of gold he setts to thee, and there doth tell
Thy noble acts arew, whereby euen they that boast
Themselues of auncient fame, as Pirrhus, Hanniball,
Scipio and Caesar, with the rest that did excell
In martiall prowesse, high thy glorie do admire.
All haile therefore O worthie Phillip immortall,
The flowre of Sydneyes race, the honour of thy name,
Whose worthie praise to sing, my Muses not aspire,
But sorrowfull and sad these teares to thee let fall,
Yet wish their verses might so farre and wide thy fame
Extend, that enuies rage, nor time might end the same.

A pastorall Aeglogue vpon the death of Sir Phillip Sidney Knight, &c.

Lycon. Colin.
Colin, well [...]its thy sad cheare this sad stownd,
This wofull stownd, wherein all things complaine
This great mishap, this greeuous losse of owres.
Hear'st thou the Orown? how with hollow sownd
He slides away, and murmuring doth plaine,
And seemes to say vnto the sading flowres,
Along his bankes, vnto the bared trees;
Phillisides is dead. Vp iolly swaine,
Thou that with skill canst tune a dolefull lay,
[Page]Help him to mourn. My hart with grief doth freese,
Hoarse is my voice with crying, else a part
Sure would I beare, though rude: But as I may,
With sobs and sighes I second will thy song,
And so expresse the sorrowes of my hart.
Ah Lycon, Lycon, what need skill, to teach
A grieued mynd powre forth his plaints? how long
Hath the pore Turtle gon to school (weenest thou)
To learne to mourne her lost make? No, no, each
Creature by nature can tell how to waile.
Seest not these flocks, how sad they wander now?
Seemeth their leaders bell their bleating tunes
In dolefull sound. Like him, not one doth faile
With hanging head to shew a heauie cheare,
What bird (I pray thee) hast thou seen, that prunes
Himselfe of late? did any cheerfull note
Come to thine eares, or gladsome sight appeare
Vnto thine eies, since that same fatall howre?
Hath not the aire put on his mourning coat,
And testfied his grief with flowing teares?
Sith then, it seemeth each thing to his powre
Doth vs inuite to make a sad consort;
Come let vs ioyne our mournfull song with theirs.
Griefe will endite, and sorrow will enforce
Thy voice, and Eccho will our words report.
Though my rude rymes, ill with thy verses frame,
That others farre excell; yet will I force
My selfe to answere thee the best I can,
And honor my base words with his high name.
But if my plaints annoy thee where thou sit
In secret shade or cave; vouchsafe (O Pan)
To pardon me, and here this hard constraint
With patience while I sing, and pittie it.
[Page]And eke ye rurall Muses, that do dwell
In these wilde woods; If euer piteous plaint
We did endite, or taught a wofull minde
VVith words of pure affect, his griefe to tell,
Instruct me now. Now Colin then goe on,
And I will follow thee, though farre behinde.
Phillisides is dead. O harmfull death,
O deadly harme. Vnhappie Albion
VVhen shalt thou see emong thy shepheards all,
Any so sage, so perfect? VVhom vneath
Enuie could touch for vertuous life and skill;
Curteous, valiant, and liberall.
Behold the sacred Pales, where with haire
Vntrust she sitts, in shade of yonder hill.
And her faire face bent sadly downe, doth send
A floud of teares to bathe the earth; and there
Doth call the heau'ns despightfull, enuious,
Cruell his fate, that made so short an end
Of that same life, well worthie to haue bene
Prolongd with many yeares, happie and famous.
The Nymphs and Oreades her round about
Do sit lamenting on the grassie grene;
And with shrill cries, beating their whitest brests,
Accuse the direfull dart that death sent out
To giue the fatall stroke. The starres they blame,
That deafe or carelesse seeme at their request.
The pleasant shade of stately groues they shun;
They leaue their cristall springs, where they wont frame
Sweet bowres of Myrtel twigs and Lawrel faire,
To sport themselues free from the scorching Sun.
And now the hollow caues where horror darke
Doth dwell, whence banisht is the gladsome aire
They seeke; and there in mourning spend their time
[Page]With wailfull tunes, whiles wolues do howle and barke,
And seem to beare a bourdon to their plaint.
Phillisides is dead. O dolefull ryme.
Why should my toong expresse thee? who is left
Now to vphold thy hopes, when they do faint,
Lycon vnfortunate? What spitefull fate,
What lucklesse destinie hath thee bereft
Of thy chief comfort; of thy onely stay?
Where is become thy wonted happie state,
(Alas) wherein through many a hill and dale,
Through pleasant woods, and many an vnknowne way,
Along the bankes of many siluer streames,
Thou with him yodest; and with him didst scale
The craggie rocks of th'Alpes and Appenine?
Still with the Muses sporting, while those beames
Of vertue kindled in his noble brest,
Which after did so gloriously forth shine?
But (woe is me) they now yquenched are
All suddeinly, and death hath them opprest.
Loe father Neptune, with sad countenance,
How he sitts mourning on the strond now bare,
Yonder, where th'Ocean with his rolling waues
The white feete washeth (wailing this mischance)
Of Douer cliffes. His sacred skirt about
The sea-gods all are set; from their moist caues
All for his comfort gathered there they be.
The Thamis rich, the Humber rough and stout,
The fruitfull Seuerne, with the rest are come
To helpe their Lord to mourne, and eke to see
The dolefull sight, and sad pomp funerall
Of the dead corps passing through his kingdome.
And all their heads with Cypres gyrlonds crown'd
With wofull shrikes salute him great and small.
[Page]Eke wailfull Eccho, forgetting her deare
Narcissus, their last accents, doth resownd.
Phillisides is dead. O lucklesse age;
O widow world; O brookes and fountains cleere;
O hills, O dales, O woods that oft haue rong
With his sweet caroling, which could asswage
The fiercest wrath of Tygre or of Beare.
Ye Siluans, Fawnes, and Satyres, that emong
These thickets oft haue daunst after his pipe,
Ye Nymphs and Nayades with golden heare,
That oft haue left your purest cristall springs
To harken to his layes, that coulden wipe
Away all griefe and sorrow from your harts.
Alas who now is left that like him sings?
When shall you heare againe like harmonie?
So sweet a sownd, who to you now imparts?
Loe where engraued by his hand yet liues
The name of Stella, in yonder bay tree.
Happie name, happie tree; faire may you grow,
And spred your sacred branch, which honor giues,
To famous Emperours, and Poets crowne.
Vnhappie flock that wander scattred now,
What maruell if through grief ye woxen leane,
Forsake your food, and hang your heads adowne?
For such a shepheard neuer shall you guide,
whose parting, hath of weale bereft you cleane.
Phillisides is dead. O happie sprite,
That now in heau'n with blessed soules doest bide:
Looke down a while from where thou sitst aboue,
And see how busie shepheards be to endite
Sad songs of grief, their sorrowes to declare,
And gratefull memory of their kynd loue.
Behold my selfe with Colin, gentle swaine
[Page](Whose lerned Muse thou cherisht most whyleare)
Where we thy name recording, seeke to ease
The inward torment and tormenting paine,
That thy departure to vs both hath bred;
Ne can each others sorrow yet appease.
Behold the fountains now left desolate,
And with red grasse with cypres boughes be-spred,
Behold these floures which on thy graue we strew;
Which faded, shew the giuers faded state,
(Though eke they shew their feruēt zeale & pure)
VVhose onely comfort on thy welfare grew.
Whose praiers importune shall the heau's for ay,
That to thy ashes, rest they may assure:
That learnedst shepheards honor may thy name
With yeerly praises, and the Nymphs alway
Thy tomb may deck with fresh & sweetest flowres;
And that for euer may endure thy fame.
The Sun (lo) hastned hath his face to steep
In western waues: and th'aire with stormy showres
Warnes vs to driue homewards our silly sheep,
Lycon, lett's rise, and take of them good keep.

Virtute summa: caetera fortuna. L. B.

An Elegie, or friends pas­sion, for his Astrophill. VVritten vpon the death of the right Honourable sir Phillip Sidney Knight, Lord gouernour of Flushing.

AS then, no winde at all there blew,
No swelling cloude, accloid the aire,
The skie, like grasse of watchet hew,
Reflected Phoebus golden haire,
The garnisht tree, no pendant stird,
No voice was heard of anie bird.
There might you see the burly Beare,
The Lion king, the Elephant,
The maiden Vnicorne was there,
So was Acteons horned plant,
And what of wilde or tame are found,
VVere coucht in order on the ground.
Alcides speckled poplar tree,
The palme that Monarchs do obtaine,
[Page]VVith Loue iuice staind the mulberie,
The fruit that dewes the Poets braine,
And Phillis philbert there away,
Comparde with mirtle and the bay.
The tree that coffins doth adorne,
With stately height threatning the skie,
And for the bed of Loue forlorne,
The blacke and dolefull Ebonie,
All in a circle compast were,
Like to an Ampitheater.
Vpon the branches of those trees,
The airie winged people sat,
Distinguished in od degrees,
One sort is this, another that,
Here Philomell, that knowes full well,
What force and wit in loue doth dwell.
The skiebred Egle roiall bird,
Percht there vpon an oke aboue,
The Turtle by him neuer stird,
Example of immortall loue.
The swan that sings about to dy,
Leauing Meander stood thereby.
And that which was of woonder most,
The Phoenix left sweet Arabie:
[Page]And on a Caedar in this coast,
Built vp her tombe of spicerie,
As I coniecture by the same,
Preparde to take her dying flame.
In midst and center of this plot,
I saw one groueling on the grasse:
A man or stone, I knew not that,
No stone, of man the figure was,
And yet I could not count him one,
More than the image made of stone.
At length I might perceiue him reare
His bodie on his elbow end:
Earthly and pale with gastly cheare,
Vpon his knees he vpward tend,
Seeming like one in vncouth stound,
To be ascending out the ground.
A grieuous sigh forthwith he throwes,
As might haue torne the vitall strings,
Then down his cheeks the teares so flows,
As doth the streame of many springs.
So thunder rends the cloud in twaine,
And makes a passage for the raine.
Incontinent with trembling sound,
He wofully gan to complaine,
[Page]Such were the accents as might wound,
And teare a diamond rocke in twaine,
After his throbs did somewhat stay,
Thus heauily he gan to say.
O sunne (said he) seeing the sunne,
On wretched me why dost thou shine,
My star is falne, my comfort done,
Out is the apple of my eine,
Shine vpon those possesse delight,
And let me liue in endlesse might.
O griefe that liest vpon my soule,
As heauie as a mount of lead,
The remnant of my life controll,
Consort me quickly with the dead,
Halfe of this hart, this sprite and will,
Di'de in the brest of Astrophill.
And you compassionate of my wo,
Gentle birds, beasts and shadie trees,
I am assurde ye long to kno,
VVhat be the sorrowes me agreeu's,
Listen ye then to that insu'th,
And heare a tale of teares and ruthe.
You knew, who knew not Astrophill,
(That I should liue to say I knew,
And haue not in possession still)
Things knowne permit me to renew,
Of him you know his merit such,
I cannot say, you heare too much.
VVithin these woods of Arcadie,
He chiefe delight and pleasure tooke,
And on the mountaine Parthenie,
Vpon the chrystall liquid brooke,
The Muses met him eu'ry day,
That taught him sing, to write and say.
When he descended downe to the mount,
His personage seemed most diuine,
A thousand graces one might count,
Vpon his louely cheerfull eine,
To heare him speake and sweetly smile,
You were in Paradise the while.
A sweet attractiue kinde of grace,
A full assurance giuen by lookes,
Continuall comfort in a face,
The lineaments of Gospell bookes,
I trowe that countenance cannot lie,
Whose thoughts are legible in the eie.
Was euer eie, did see that face,
Was neuer eare, did heare that tong,
Was neuer minde, did minde his grace,
That euer thought the trauell long,
But eies, and eares, and eu'ry thought,
Were with his sweete perfections caught.
O God, that such a worthy man,
In whom so rare desarts did raigne,
Desired thus, must leaue vs than,
And we to wish for him in vaine,
O could the stars that bred that wit,
In force no long [...] fixed sit.
Then being fild with learned dew,
The Muses willed him to loue,
That instrument can aptly shew,
How finely our conceits will moue,
As Bacchus opes dissembled harts,
So loue sets out our better parts.
Stella, a Nymph within this wood,
Most rare and rich of heauenly blis,
The highest in his fancie stood,
And she could well demerite this,
Tis likely they acquainted soone,
He was a Sun, and she a Moone.
Our Astrophill did Stella loue,
O Stella vaunt of Astrophrill,
Albeit thy graces gods may moue,
Where wilt thou finde an Astrophill,
The rose and lillie haue their prime,
And so hath beautie but a time.
Although thy beautie do exceed,
In common sight of eu'ry eie,
Yet in his Poesies when we reede,
It is apparant more thereby,
He that hath loue and iudgement to,
Sees more than any other doo.
Then Astrophill hath honord thee,
For when thy bodie is extinct,
Thy graces shall eternall be,
And liue by vertue of his inke,
For by his verses he doth giue,
To short liude beautie aye to liue.
Aboue all others this is hee,
Which erst approoued in his song,
That loue and honor might agree,
And that pure loue will do no wrong,
Sweet saints it is no sinne nor blame,
To loue a man of vertuous name.
Did neuer loue so sweetly breath
In any mortall brest before,
Did neuer Muse inspire beneath,
A Poets braine with finer store:
He wrote of loue with high conceit,
And beautie reard aboue her height.
Then Pallas afterward attyrde,
Our Astrophill with her deuice,
VVhom in his armor heauen admyrde.
As of the nation of the skies,
He sparkled in his armes afarrs,
As he were dight with fierie starrs.
The blaze whereof when Mars beheld,
(An enuious eie doth see afar)
Such maiestie (quoth he) is seeld,
Such maiestie my mart may mar,
Perhaps this may a suter be,
To set Mars by his deitie.
In this surmize he made with speede,
An iron cane wherein he put,
The thunder that in cloudes do breede,
The flame and bolt togither shut.
VVith priuie force burst out againe,
And so our Astrophill was slaine.
His word (was flaine) straightway did moue,
And natures inward life strings twitch,
The skie immediately aboue,
Was dimd with hideous clouds of pitch,
The wrastling winds from out the ground,
Fild all the aire with ratling sound.
The bending trees exprest a grone,
And sigh'd the sorrow of his fall,
The forrest beasts made ruthfull mone,
The birds did tune their mourning call,
And Philomell for Astrophill,
Vnto her notes annext a phill.
The Turtle doue with tunes of ruthe,
Shewd feeling passion of his death,
Me thought she said I tell thee truthe,
Was neuer he that drew in breath,
Vnto his loue more trustie found,
Than he for whom our griefs abound.
The swan that was in presence heere,
Began his funerall dirge to sing,
Good things (quoth he) may scarce appeere,
But passe away with speedie wing.
This mortall life as death is tride,
And death giues life, and so he di'de.
The generall sorrow that was made,
Among the creatures of kinde,
Fired the Phoenix where she laide,
Her ashes flying with the winde,
So as I might with reason see,
That such a Phoenix nere should bee.
Haply the cinders driuen about,
May breede an offspring neere that kinde,
But hardly a peere to that I doubt,
It cannot sinke into my minde,
Than vnder branches ere can bee,
Of worth and value as the tree.
The Egle markt with pearcing sight,
The mournfull habite of the place,
And parted thence with mounting flight,
To signifie to Ioue the the case,
What sorrow nature doth sustaine,
For Astrophill by enuie slaine.
And while I followed with mine eie,
The flight the Egle vpward tooke,
All things did vanish by and by,
And disappeared from my looke,
The trees, beasts, birds, and groue was gone,
So was the friend that made this mone.
This spectacle had firmly wrought,
A deepe compassion in my spright,
My molting hart issude me thought,
In streames forth at mine eies aright,
And here my pen is forst to shrinke,
My teares discollors so mine inke.
An Epitaph vpon the right Honourable sir Phillip Sidney knight: Lord gouernor of Flushing.
TO praise thy life, or waile thy worthie death,
And want thy wit, thy wit high, pure, diuine,
Is far beyond the powre of mortall line,
Nor any one hath worth that draweth breath.
Yet rich in zeale, though poore in learnings lore,
And friendly care obscurde in secret brest,
And loue that enuie in thy life supprest,
Thy deere life done, and death hath doubled more.
And I, that in thy time and liuing state,
Did onely praise thy vertues in my thought,
As one that seeld the rising sun hath sought,
With words and teares now waile thy timelesse fate.
Drawne was thy race, aright from princely line,
Nor lesse than such, (by gifts that nature gaue,
[Page]The common mother that all creatures haue,)
Doth vertue shew, and princely linage shine.
A king gaue thee thy name, a kingly minde,
That God thee gaue, who found it now too deere
For this base world, and hath resumde it neere,
To sit in skies, and sort with powres diuine.
Kent thy birth daies, and Oxford held thy youth,
The heauens made hast, & staid nor yeers, nor time,
The fruits of age grew ripe in thy first prime,
Thy will, thy words; thy words the seales of truth.
Great gifts and wisedom rare imployd thee thence,
To treat frō kings, with those more great thā kings,
Such hope men had to lay the highest things,
On thy wise youth, to be transported hence.
Whence to sharpe wars sweet honor did thee call,
Thy countries loue, religion, and thy friends:
Of worthy men, the marks, the liues and ends,
And her defence, for whom we labor all.
There didst thou vanquish shame and tedious age,
Griefe, sorrow, sicknes, and base fortunes might:
Thy rising day, saw neuer wofull night,
But past with praise, from of this worldly stage.
Back to the campe, by thee that day was brought,
First thine owne death, and after thy long fame;
Teares to the soldiers, the proud Castilians shame;
Vertue exprest, and honor truly taught.
What hath he lost, that such great grace hath woon,
Yoong yeeres, for endles yeeres, and hope vnsure,
Of fortunes gifts, for wealth that still shall dure,
Oh happie race with so great praises run.
England doth hold thy lims that bred the same,
Flaunders thy valure where it last was tried,
The Campe thy sorrow where thy bodie died,
Thy friends, thy want; the world, thy vertues fame.
Nations thy wit, our mindes lay vp thy loue,
Letters thy learning, thy losse, yeeres long to come,
In worthy harts sorrow hath made thy tombe,
Thy soule and spright enrich the heauens aboue.
Thy liberall hart imbalmd in gratefull teares,
Yoong sighs, sweet sighes, sage sighes, bewaile thy fall,
Enuie her sting, and spite hath left her gall,
Malice her selfe, a mourning garment weares.
That day their Hanniball died, our Scipio fell,
Scipio, Cicero, and Petrarch of our time,
Whose vertues wounded by my worthlesse rime,
Let Angels speake, and heauen thy praises tell.

Another of the same.

SIlence augmenteth grief, writing encreaseth rage,
Stald are my thoughts, which lou'd, & lost, the wonder of our age,
Yet quickned now with fire, though dead with frost ere now,
Enrag'de I write, I know not what: dead, quick, I know not how.
Hard harted mindes relent, and rigors teares abound,
And enuie strangely rues his end, in whom no fault she found,
Knowledge her light hath lost, valor hath slaine her knight,
Sidney is dead, dead is my friend, dead is the worlds delight.
Place pensiue wailes his fall, whose presence was her pride,
Time crieth out, my ebbe is come: his life was my spring tide,
Fame mournes in that she lost, the ground of her reports,
Ech liuing wight laments his lacke, and all in sundry sorts.
He was (wo worth that word) to ech well thinking minde,
A spotlesse friend, a matchles man, whose vertue euer shinde,
Declaring in his thoughts, his life, and that he writ,
Highest conceits, longest foresights, and deepest works of wit.
He onely like himselfe, was second vnto none,
Whose deth (though life) we rue, & wrong, & al in vain do mone,
Their losse, not him waile they, that fill the world with cries,
Death slue not him, but he made death his ladder to the skies.
Now sinke of sorrow I, who liue, the more the wrong,
Who wishing death, whom deth denies, whose thred is al to lōg,
Who tied to wretched life, who lookes for no reliefe,
Must spend my euer dying daies, in neuer ending griefe.
Harts ease and onely I, like parables run on,
Whose equall length, keep equall bredth, and neuer meet in one,
Yet for not wronging him, my thoughts, my sorrowes cell,
Shall not run out, though leake they will, for liking him so well.
Farewell to you my hopes, my wonted waking dreames,
Farewell sometimes enioyed, ioy, eclipsed are thy beames,
Farewell selfe pleasing thoughts, which quietnes brings foorth,
And farewel friendships sacred league, vniting minds of woorth.
And farewell mery hart, the gift of guiltlesse mindes,
And all sports, which for liues restore, varietie assignes,
Let all that sweete is voyd; in me no mirth may dwell,
Phillip, the cause of all this woe, my liues content farewell.
Now rime, the sonne of rage, which art no kin to skill,
And endles griefe, which deads my life, yet knowes not how to kill,
Go seekes that haples tombe, which if ye hap to finde,
Salute the stones, that keep the lims, that held so good a minde.

LONDON Printed by T. C. for William Ponsonbie. 1595.

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