THE BATTAILES OF CRESCEY, and Poictiers vnder the leading of King Edward the Third of that name; And his Sonne Edward Prince of Wales, named the Blacke. By Charles Allen, sometime of Sidney Colledge in Cambridge.

Magnarum rerum etiamsi successus Non fuerit, Honestus ipse conatus est,
Seneca.

LONDON, Printed by Tho: Purfoot for T. K. 1631.

DOCTISSIMO AMICO SVO CAROLO ALEINO de nobili hoc Poemate.

SI quid victrices debebunt vatibus vmbrae,
Aevum mortali si dare musa potest,
Et decus aeternum praestare, hos doctus honores
Praestitit Alleinus, Rex, Edovarde, tibi,
Gallorum domitor, tibique inuictissime Princeps,
Cujus adhuc nomen saecula nostra colunt.
Felices animae, laudes agnoscite vestras,
Carmina (que) eximios dignae sonare duces.
Maesta suas iterum lugebit Gallia clades,
Damna (que) per calamum iam renovata tuum
Sentiet infelix, lugubria praelia damnans,
Tempora (que) Anglorum cum pharetrata cohrrs
Rumperet hostiles horrenda strage catervas,
Galla (que) Gallorum luxuriaret humus
Sanguine pinguescens, quae ne damnare tenebris
Saecula, vel possit perdere livor edax;
Hos patriae reddit meritos Alleinus honores,
Nec patitur regum fortia facta mori.
Thomas May.

To his Friend Mr. Charles Allen vpon his learned Poeme.

THe noblest spurre vnto the sonnes of fame
Is thirst of honour, and to haue their name
Enrold in faithfull History: thus worth
Was by a wise ambition first brought forth.
Blest Edward whom posterity shall know
By this vnspotted worke, to which we owe
Our knowledge of thy Choisest deedes: so iust
Has bin my friend vnto thy reuerend dust.
Truth is the historians Crowne, and art
Squares it to stricter comelinesse: each part
Thou skilfully obseru'st, whose learned slight
Shall teach succeeding ages how to write.
Goe on t'improoue the world, and scorne the harme
That malice can find out, desert's a charme.
Be fortunate as knowing, may thy brayne
Ioue-like bring forth valour and wit, disdaine
Those torturers of wit that stuffe these times
With rude Composures and vnseason'd rimes.
It will be weakenesse to inlarge thy prayse,
Thy owne iudicious Poeme is thy bayes.
Iohn Hall.

To my Friend Mr. Charles Allen.

CHarles, by the muse Edward the Blacke seems faire,
The daring Sonne of an vndaunted Sire.
Liue not my hopes, if I can iudge more rare
Their Acts, or thy expression. To require
An equall censure, this with truth accords,
They giue thee matter, thou afford'st them words.
John Lewis.

TO THE RIGHT Worshipfull, and accom­plished Sir John Spencer of Ofley Knight and Baronet.

Sir,

I Haue read (said Cosmus a Duke of Florence) that wee should forgiue our Enemies, but no where that wee should forgiue our Friends: It seemes by this Dukes doctrine, that the transgression of an engaged obseruer is no veniall sinne. Indeede the discontinuance of my seruice cries so loude, that had I not much faith in your goodnesse, I should not hope an attonement; But your noble nature hath bespoke my confidence. The [Page] figure of that deuotion long since set in my brest I heere delineate in this Dedication, begging the noble charity of your con­struction, that you would rather conceiue well of the patterne, then too nearely ex­amine the portraiture. A diffidence wher­of were an vnpardonable trespasse to your generous selfe, to whom my study shall make good, what your merits expect from the faith of his obseruance, in whose Logicke to bee and to bee yours is conuertible.

Charles Allen.

TO THE NOBLE and vertuous Ladie, the Ladie Spencer of Ofley.

Madam,

IT may seeme a solecisme to match a Lady and a battaile: for Trumpets and Fifes are harsh accents in a Ladies eare; and a Battaile though but in arras is terrible: But this makes the constuction good. I see your virtue (most Honourd Lady) stand higher then your Sex, and in that I know that the atcheiuements of actiue spirits are more wel­come to a masculine vertue then a soft discourse. [Page] Besides there hath euer beene a sympathie be­twixt Ladies and Martialists, and the Doues of Venus make their nests sometime in a Sol­diers helmet: Nay (to passe true stories) the bookes of Knight errantrie were but shrunken things, if wee tooke out of them aduentures done for Ladies. I hope the reconcilementis made, if not, your Ladiship is mercifull; and though you detect an errour in my Iudgement, you shall finde an infallibilitie in his deuotion, who here laies his hand vpon your Altar for pro­tection.

Charles Allen.

THE BATTAILE OF CRESCEY.

TIs true, my hand blacke Edward cann't enrowle
In honors brasen leaues, nor draw a line
In his fam'd table, vnlesse Homers soule
Were made by wondrous transmigra­tion mine.
I car'd not, though Pythagoras did misse
In all Philosophie, if true in this.
Yet may I draw somenobler Genius forth,
Whose high-borne streines are privileg'd from time,
Who in the handling of a theame of worth,
Can drowne fames trumpet with a mighty rime,
And soaring notes impt with a muses wing,
High as the Bards that Agincourt did sing.
Let Tourney quake, great Edward's at her gate,
And like a meteor menaceth her walls,
Tourney may glory in her better fate
If by the hand of Edward, Tourney falls:
For 'tis a comfort by great hands to die,
And thus to fall is next to victory.
But now the enemy is on his way
(Navar, the French, and the Bohemian King,)
To take the hungry Lion from his prey:
Three Kings but named might some terrour bring.
But titles neuer were by iudgement feard,
Had all the hoast beene Kings he had not car'd.
And that the French might know his perso'nall worth,
Hee dard De Valois to a single fight;
And if not that, to draw a hundred forth,
That fewer slaughters might decide the right.
A good King knowes (cause all depend on him)
To loose a subiect is to loose a limbe.
I will not question, if a leader should
Be personally seene in such an action,
It is enough for me that Edward would,
His precedent is reall satisfaction.
A King's a God on earth, and this i'le call
Edwards divinity; one dye for all.
But such defiances are vaine to those,
Who more their numbers than their valour trust,
Now armie armie, all shall all oppose,
The French will haue it so the English must.
Edward appoints a day: 'tis brauely done
To tell thy foman when thou wilt come on.
Twas genuine valour in our grand-sires, who
Proclaimed when, and what they meant to doe,
And scornd like theeues to steale vpon a foe,
A foe vnwarned is vnarmed too.
By sculking out to beat an enemy,
Doth pilfer honour, and steale victory.
The cloud of war was ready to dissolue
To showers of blood: the ayre affrighted feard
The blowes it should receiue, now all resolue
To goe, or send to death: but all is cleard.
What was presaged blacke proues a faire day,
A Ladies breath dispelld the storme away.
Sister to Phillip, mother to Edwards wife,
The Ladie Iane De Valois interceedes,
A cloistered Nun sets period to the strife,
Or else whole troopes had di'd, and now none bleeds.
Troopes of that force, that had they joind in one,
Had throwne a palenesse on the Turkish moone.
Coriolanus armd with fury dard
Bid a defiance to vngratefull Rome,
And would haue humbled her proud hills, nor feard
Had the grim Father of Romes founder come.
His mothers louing prayers make him yeeld,
Her armes, not Romes, must make him quit the field
Edward for England hasts puts out of pay
His forreine aids; he finds his treasuries
Staru'd by his Offi'cers, since be went away:
The Dutch shall not share in his victories,
The English onely shall partake in glory,
None else be quoted in their honourd storie.
Nor is it wisedome, where no treasures are,
To hope for succours from a strange supply:
Mony's the nerue and ligament of War,
It makes them fight, and keepes from mutuny.
Leaders are soules, Armies the bodies, coine,
The vitall spirits that doe both combine.
Now Mars is chained in his iron caue,
And sterne Enyo hath set vp her lance,
They in more strict restreints more wildly raue,
And are made sharper by their abstinence.
Let fury take her course, she will proue mild,
To stay her gallop will make fury wild.
But soone they quit their prison and reioyce
To try in Brittaine wars vncertaine chance,
Edward for Mountford stands, Phillip for Blois
Who both plead right in that inheritance.
Weapons are drawne on both sides to cut out
Their rights, but are put vp before they fought.
And now two Cardinals, (a Nun before)
Strike a faire truce, and are the shields of France,
As Fabius of Rome their words fence more
Than armes; but when the English next aduance,
And march to Cressey, then the French shall know,
Their Church hoth not a gard for such a blow.
But hungry Mars once more to prison must,
And fast from blood, nor dare once dreame of fight,
Their tooles of death for want of vse shall rust,
Whilst plowmen stewd in sweat make theirs looke bright,
Vnder a checkerd shadow Tytrus singes,
Whilst peace fans choller with her siluer wings.
Yet though their helmets gather rust, and are
The shops, where spiders weaue their bowels forth,
Yet let not those braue heads, that did them weare,
In rusty idlenesse entombe their worth.
The spirits are extinct, and valour dyes,
Without their soueraigne diet▪ exercise.
Which mou'd our second Arthur to erect
A table, least their Magnanimitie
Should languish in dull coldnesse, and neglect
Of practising their armes, and cheualrie;
For exercise, and emulation are
The parents, that beget children for war.
Fam'd Arthur worthy of best pens, but that
Truth is so far before 'tis out of sight;
Thy acts are made discourse for those that chat
Of Hamptons cutthrote or the red-rose Knight.
Yet there is truth enough in thy faire storie
Without false legends to enshrine thy glorie.
Some monkish pen hath giuen thy fame more blowes
Then all the Saxons could thy body lend;
The hand a sacrifice to Vulcan owes,
That killd the truth by forgeries it pend.
When truth and falshood interlaced lye,
All are thought falshoods by posteritie.
Yet in the raigne of this first sonne of Mars,
All is not sternely rugged, some delights
Sweete amorous sports to sweeten tarter-wars,
And then a dance began the garter Knights.
They swell with loue, that are with vallour fild,
And Venus doues may in a head peice build.
As Sarum beauteous Countesse in a dance
Her loosened garter vnawares let fall,
Renouned Edward tooke it vp by chance,
Which gaue that order first originall.
Thus saying to the wondring standers by.
There shall be honour to this silkenty.
Some the beginning from first Richard bring,
(Counting too meanelie of this pedegree)
When he at Acon tyde a leather string
About his Soldiers legges, whose memorie
Might stir their vallour vp, yet choose you whether
You'll Edwards silke prefer, or Richards leather.
But they take not a scruple of delight,
More than's by nature giuen torellish paine:
At once; your welcome pleasure and good night,
Before 'tis settled, 'tis expelled againe.
As dogs of Nilus drinke, a snatch, and gone,
Sweets must be tasted, and not glutted on.
By this time France is ranke, her vaines are full,
And ripe to be let blood, deaths instruments
Are keene edged, which before were dull,
And fit to execute the mindes intents.
The furies rowsed from their loathed shelues,
For former fastings now may glut themselues.
The sword, the shield, the battaile axe, the speare
Are taken from the well-stor'd armory,
And that which iustly shall beget most feare,
The well experienc'd English archery,
Who knew to conquer: Parthiae cann't show
Such high-raisd trophies, as our English bow.
Tall ships are rig'd▪ and with provision stord,
Stay but a while, till a faire wind shall rise,
Young Iason had not such with him a board,
When bound to Colchos for the golden prize.
The very ships when they were lanching forth,
Did seeme to dance to haue in them such worth.
The sailes, as if with child, grew big with wind,
And long to haue flown ore the briny ford:
The rising waues for feare themselues declind,
Supposing they were Neptunes were a bord.
Or else for feare Neptune kept downe the maine,
Least seeing them it would haue changd the reigne.
The vessels are vnlading of their fraight,
Richer than euer cross'd the seas before,
The earth with longing did appeare to waite,
As proud to haue their foot-steps on the shore:
But the displeased sea growne angry, now,
Vext for this losse, fretted her wrincked brow.
Bnt if wise nature had inform'd the earth,
That all her vert should into gules be turnd:
Or of that blood she should teeme such a birth
As shee had of the Giants, she had mournd.
Or else suncke downe vnder the brinie flood,
Then had they fought in a red sea of blood.
Some thirty thousand foot, great Edward led,
With these were ioynd twentie fiue hundred horse,
The French the fields with fiue such numbers spred:
Yet heated by their wrongs he beards their force.
Not Clements mediation can asswage,
The iust incensed flame of Edwards rage.
Their hosts before twice did their weapons shake,
Twice did their hosts returne without a stroke,
They truce at Tourney, and at Malstroict make
A truce twice made the French as often broke.
Th' vnmanlie for fee of fidelitie
Is worst eclipse in spheare of Maiestie.
Euils are link'd together, now he spills
Baccos, and Cliffons blood in Normandie:
Nor can one place confine his rage, he kills
Edwards approued friend in Picardie.
Our friends are parts make vs entirelie one,
What's left of vs is lame, when they are gone.
But that which most aggreeued Edward strooke,
And to his honour seem'd the greatest staine,
Philip too hautily the homage tooke,
Which Edward did to him for Aquitaine.
When you depresse great spirits, that aspire,
You throw down balls to make thē rise the higher
It is a trespasse against martiall right,
To take vp wrongs on trust, and not repay:
When beareing old ones new ones doe inuite,
There Clement cannot Edwards feruour stay.
Since he is iustlie fir'd, lesse shall be done
Now by a Pope, then had beene by a Nun.
March on: and now at Carentine they are,
Great Cliffons hands are naild vpon her gates.
This act shall make her feele th' extreme of war
And wronged Cliffons hands shall spin her fates.
Like a Petar they make her gates to fly,
And ope a passage to her miserie.
But Carentine can now no longer hold,
(For guilt is fearefull,) and the English are,
Like heards of wolues amidst a fleecie fold;
Wrong'd fauours turnd to furie will none saue.
For drams of Cliffons blood, whole pounds are shed
And hundreds are attonement for his head.
The walles that would haue garded them shall burne,
And cause they shard in guilt, be razed downe:
Edward the buildings doth to atomes turne,
As if he would annihilate the towne.
For that his corpes they of its rites beguile,
The towne in flames is Cliffons funerall pile.
They take in Caen in Normandie, and aduance
Forward (for no controlement yet bids stay:)
Almost to Paris, and the heart of France,
Whilst sword and fire doe vsher them their way.
Though fire was giuen but for the heate, & light,
Yet man can teach this element to fight.
And now tis tyme to bid the English stand,
Which is not done by bearding them in fight:
They tumble downe the bridges, and command,
Th' impetuous stremes to counter check their might
Edward must cumbat, if he will passe o're,
Now against water, as with fire before.
But whilst the English are in search to finde
Where it is fordable, and how they might
Gaine to the other side, the French diuind
By weake coniectures that this stay was flight▪
Thus doe we build assurance on a waue,
And easily beleeue what wee would haue.
Weake man, (the welstord shop of vanities,
Dreame of a shade, and shadow of a dreame)
Erects presumptions on vncertainties
And is in feares, or hopes fondly extreme.
Thoughts airie castles in a breath doe fall,
And hopes which highest fly flag first of all.
But long the streame cannot there iourney bound,
Not with his winding armes the passage keepe▪
On Blanch Laque vpon some the English found,
A ford, which nature had not made so deepe.
For nature durst not be rebellious
To stay, whom heau'n would haue victorious.
Edward was first that entrd on the ford,
(Like to great Philips greater sonne, when he
Fought against Porus) with this mouing word,
He that doth loue me let him follow me.
It was a word so forciue, that it might
Make valour wonders doe, and basenes fight,
Philip sixe thousand foot, a thousand horse
Sends to the ford, whom Godmar lead along,
To lay a rub before the English course:
But opposition maketh strength more strong.
For vertue gathers heate by hauing foes,
Valour is dull'd, and numb'd, when none oppose,
As when the sea hath artificiall bounds,
And damms haue laid command vpon the waues,
Not rebellike to ouerrun the grounds;
More madded with these stops, it wildlie raues.
And valours of that one ey'd Captaines mind,
'Twill make a passage if it cannot find.
Furie is not by full resistance tam'd,
Voyding must ward it: he is mad will stay
A beare, or bull broke loose: furie inflam'd
Is violent on all that's in its way.
What stands before, is offerd to the eye,
In the true nature of an enemie.
And now S. George: The French are mowed downe,
Like men ripe for the sword, the English won
The quitted bancke; Godmar is ouerthrowne,
And when no hands to fight, hath feet to run,
And least their armie should too great be thought,
Leades backe too thousand fewer then he brought
The passage is theit owne: for Crescey now,
Which in his mothers right was Edwards owne,
Crescey is famed for that ouerthrow,
Where horror in his deepest die was showne.
To be in view of that which is ones right.
Would make a heart for lesse than Edwards fight.
In three Battalias the King drew out
His men, by valliant commanders leade,
Wales her young lion in the vangard fought,
Which like a herse in forme was ordered.
It were enough to make a coward fly,
To see this emblem of mortalitie.
With him was Hare court, Warwicke, and La ware,
Beaucham, and Bourchier, worthies who knew well
The vse of hand, and head: the next troopes are
Lead by Northampton, Rosse, and Arundell.
Cheifs, who like sowles, could the dull spirits stir
In the chill hart of coldest follower.
The third Battalia King Edward lead,
His soldiars might vnder his conduct be
Prowd and secure: so Mars stood in the head
Of his robustious Thracian companie.
The three Battalias seemd, as they did stand,
The three fork'd thunder in Ioues flaming hand.
The English armie is clos'd vp behind,
And barricadod that they cannot flye:
Their horses tooke away put them in mind
That they were there to conquer, or to dye.
'Tis policie to bar the meanes of flight,
Necessitie will make a coward fight.
Couragious Edward spurres their valour on,
And cheeres his sprightfull soldiars; where he came,
His breath did kindle valour, where was none;
And where it found a sparke, it made a flame.
Armies of fearefull hearts will scorne to yeeld,
If lyons be their Captaines in the field.
Through all the armie this tenthworthy rid,
With a white rod in his victorious hand,
As if to chastise fortune, if shee did
But dare his vncontrold designes withstand.
'Though fooles, and cowards at the name do quake
The wise, and valiant their fortune make.
The King (as strength ioyned with wisedom should)
Set targets in the front, to saue his men
From Genoan Crosbowes; so wise Rome of old
Gaue crownes to them that saued a citisen.
Offensiue rashnesse she did not commend,
'Tis the first act of valour to defend.
Which made the old King of Bohemia say,
The English marshalling speakes this intent:
Either to loose their liues, or win the day,
To get a trophie, or a monument.
A soldiar hath two aimes, to win or dye,
A Coward two, quickely to win, or fly.
Now Sauois Earle to make the conquest full,
Brings in a thousand to the enemie:
To share in his hop'd fortunes, and to pull
A pinion from the wing of victorie.
But Amie heere [...]is debt to nature paies,
And weareth Cypresse for triumphant bayes.
Blacke was the day, the Chaos was thus blacke,
Before 'twas said, Let there be light; the clouds
Opend their watrie treasures, which did cracke
They were so full: all is insable shrowds,
The symptomes of trew griefe were in the spheare
As if it meant to be chiefe mourner heere.
The Sun at first halfe scared with the sight,
Behind the Moone with halfe his body lies:
So soone as he was quitted of this fright,
He shot his beames full on the Frenchmens eyes.
And 'gainst them let his raies like arrowes fly,
As if he sided with our archerie.
Then on a cloud an arch triumphall drew,
And lookt vpon that watrie lookinglasse.
That he himselfe might by reflection view,
Whether his late Eclips had changed his face.
Or else it was to let the English know,
How much they were endebted to the bow.
The lightning cuts the ayre with flaming wing,
Willing to aide the Sunne in that darke day;
And heau'ns great shot doth in the welkin ring,
And with loud bellowings vshers the fray.
As if for those great Lords which here shall fall,
Heau'n ow'd a volly to the funerall.
Shoales of ill-boding Rauens (as if the sky
Had not beene darke enough) a shadow made
Darke as the clouds; that though the glorious eye
Of heau'n had shind, they had beene in the shade.
Foules ioyntly met to feast vpon the dead,
The guests were tombes where men were buried.
The pikes are orderd, ensignes are displaid,
And menace braue extremity; the light
Of glittering helmes and wauing streamers made
A day seem cleere, which before seemed night.
Pale feare had amorous lookes, and all the while
Terrour lookt Iouely, and death seemd to smile,
The shafts headed with death, and wingd with speed,
Now to the arched engine they apply,
Which as if hungry on mans flesh to feed,
With greedy certainty appear'd to flye.
Their bowes with such a certainty they drew,
As Phaebus did when he the Python slew.
We to the grey goose wing more conquests owe,
Than to the Monks inuention; for then
We cull'd out mighty armes to draw the bow,
Striplings oft serue vs now, then onely men.
For these hot engins equall mischiefe can,
Discharged by a boy, or by a man.
Bullets, because they vndiscerned flie,
Worke lesse effects of feare: but dangers seene,
If they cannot be fenc'd, more terrifie;
At startled sence reason hath startled beene.
Amaz'd to haue so many shafts in sight,
In hope to ward them, they forget to fight.
A well-selected Archer can let flye
Thrice for one shot of the best musketeere:
And barbed arrowes gall more eagerly,
Where they once light, they second fresh-wounds there,
And mad the Horse, who will not forward stir,
More sensible of them, than of the spur.
Who madded, as they backard fly, doe fall
Foule on their owne, and doe their seruice there:
Whilst their owne Horses their owne quarters mall,
They both themselues, and enemies must feare.
Thus broke, vvith an vnvvilling courtesie,
They ope a passage to the enemy.
The musketeeres discharge but in one ranke
At once; but whole squadrons of Archers may:
These wound at randome, they but at point blanke;
And when both sides, are now engag'd in fray,
At push of Pike; behind the armed foot,
Though muskets cannot, yet the Bowes may shoot.
At the fam'd Battaile of Lepanto, when
Valiant young Austria vvwas admirall;
The Turkish Archery did slay more men,
Than by our Peeces of all sorts did fall.
And the white faith of history cann't show,
That e're the Musket yet could beat the Bow.
The Genoan Bowes, to make the French horse way
In the first point are ranged: but the showers,
Auxiliarie heau'n distild that day,
Corrupt the Genoan strings, but hurt not ours.
Small things worke much, where victory is due,
And onely hurt your foe, though might hurt you.
Novv since their Bowes vnserviceable be,
The King commanded Allanson to rent,
And beate them from the point: thus oft we see
Actions condemnd for some ill accident.
Which may miscarry, when tis not the crime
Of him, that did attempt them, but the time.
Meane men are often in small faults impeacht:
Greatnesse aboue the clouds so high asshrind;
It cannot by Ioues greatest shot be reacht,
And laughs at the low vollies of the wind.
Wolfe-bane 'mongst roses leaues its deadly sent,
Faults amongst great men find no punishment.
But th' English of their strings more care did take,
(VVhose winged pursivants deaths message beare.)
Some (through loues seat the liuer, passage make,
As if our Archers had beene Cupids there.
Some strike lifes seat, the hart, so that you can
Scarse tell, if death did shoot them, or a man.
As when the colder Region of the ayre,
Moulds Raine to haile-shot, the relenting tree
Of the plump God, lusty before, and faire,
Looseth her rubies with heau'ns battery.
Thus fell the French: for shoot, though in the darke
Tis hard to misse, when the whole fieid's a marke.
The Genoan tempest is dispell'd: their force
Diuided wins no feare; a mighty flood
Cut in small rills is weakned in his course,
And parted strength is easily withstood.
Diuide, and then you conquer: for though none
Can breake a sheafe of darts, they may break one.
Disorder's next to ruine, and destroyes
Th' essence of creatures: order did create,
Then by the rule of contrarieties,
Tis a disorder doth annihilate.
By this ill shaped enemy doe fall,
Both bodies politicke, and naturall.
Continu'd, or collected bodies are
Weakned by their disvnion; but doe
Get strength by vn'ty; beames reflex'd are far
More hot, because they are vnited: so
We see in bodies ly [...]ened by a soule,
The vnion of the parts conserues the whole.
Divisions ruine Realmes: the Monarchies
Of Mars his Rome, and Macedon thus fall;
Christendomes whip, that now doth tyrannize,
Shall thus returne to her originall.
Factions those commas are, that bring the state
Of Kingdomes to their period, and fate.
The hot Count Alanson with fiery horse
Scoures o're the plaines with an impetuousnesse,
Which eas'ly made it a short-winded course:
As it was sayd of great Themistocles.
His heat was quickly cooled, and did draw
To a too sodaine end, like fire in straw.
The generous-mettald courser (as if we
Had beene too slow on foot) is taught to fight:
Wee borrow speed to meet our enemy,
And flie to our reuenge: and to doe right
Vnto the actiue French; old Thessaly
Won not more Garlonds than their Chevalrie.
Armies (if we Iphicrates will heare)
Are of themselues dull bodies, nor can weeld
Their sullen weights, vnlesse the horse be three,
Which are ihe feet: indeed the horse at field.
Are best in actions of celeritie,
In expeditions, and discouery.
But horse 'gainst resolute foot can littlewin,
The mounting is more firme, the aimes more sure;
For footmen haue their mouing from within,
They from their horse: yet horse are more secure
In flight, and haue (as Xenophon did say)
But the aduantage, when they run away.
The sprightly Count is quickly out of breath,
Like to heau'ns lightning as soone out as seene,
A gallant flash before the night of death;
Those edges soonest turne, that are most keene.
A sober moderation stands sure,
No violent extremities endure.
A storme of Enhlish Arrowes breakes their course,
And routs their troopes: stout Alanson's engaged
VVithin the lists of death; the furious horse
(Impatient patients of their wounds) enraged
Dismount their riders, vext, that they did beare
Men, that did spur them to those dangers there.
But carefull Phillip his Battalia brings
To disengage his cousen: and foresight
And prouidence in Kings doth, make them Kings;
Kingdomes are Chaoses without their light.
And in Niles mysticke characters, the eye
More than the scepter noted maiesty.
Suffolke as wary, on his battaile drew,
To ayd his Prince, and checke the King of France:
Whilst rusty horrour through the armies flew,
And dealt his dole of death: indiff'rent chance.
Durst not yet choose her side on which to be,
And no lesse wauering was victory.
Reason it selfe did thinke it fit to leaue them
To their wild passions, and let fury guide:
Now choler of their reason doth bereaue them:
If fury be at home, reason's deni'd.
Madnesse and anger differ but in this,
This is short madnesse, that long anger is.
The swords forgat to glister any more,
As loth to lend their light to that darke shade;
They'r double dyde in a deepe graine of gore,
Youl'd thinke they had so many Comets made.
So many by their fatall seisures dide,
That Atropos might lay her knife a side.
Here a hand seuerd, there an eare was cropt,
Here a chap falne, and there an eye put out.
Here was an arme lopt off, there a nose dropt:
Here halte a man, and there a lesse peece fought.
Like to dismembred statues they did stand,
VVhich had beene mangled by times yron hand.
There one (as if vnwilling should be spent,
Cost to make Marble seeme to liue) doth meane
To be himselfe a cheaper monument.
VVhilst slaine, he still vpon his sword doth leane.
And for the seruice he did there that day,
Himselfe stood there as his owne statua.
Heere one, all of whose selfe was as one wound,
(Oftner transfixt than mighty Scaeuas shield)
Sometimes himselfe, sometimes he beats the ground,
Or clings so fast as if he'de winne the field.
So many wayes to death, yet doth not die,
The soule vncertaine which way it should flie.
There two vnited gores doe make one flood,
Wherein the duellers doe saile to death:
Thus Elephants, and Dragons mixe their blood,
When both doe vanquish, & both loose their breath
Their angry bloods did in two channells run,
But friendly now in death flow but in one.
King Edward like a clowd hung on a hill,
(As Affricks Captaine said of Fabius)
Marking those gamesters; readie to destill,
When need should bid him be propitious.
And whilst be wisely watched for their sakes,
Not onely viewed the sport, but kept the stakes.
As an old Eagle pearched on a tree
(After the Sunne hath ratified her brood
By their vnwaur'ring eyes) is proud to see
Her royall birds inbrue themselues in blood.
So stood the King, whose heart within him glows
To see his Eaglet flesht vpon his foes.
But as Ioues trees, that crowne proud Idas brow,
Stoope at stiffe Eols oft repeated rore:
And many drops can eate a Marble through;
So numbers iterated beare valour ore.
What? can a faintnesse fall on such? it can,
Edward may saint, though he be more then man.
Nor the intelligence, that moues the spheare,
Nor spheare it selfe, doe any faintnesse proue:
Because there is no contrainence there,
Nat'ralls mou'd nat'rallie may euer moue.
If to the center were an immense space,
A stone for euer could maintaine the race.
But whilst our soules haue vnion with clay,
Our limbs in vpward motions are prest
By their owne strugling waight another way;
Exhausted spirits bid our motions rest.
No mortall's indefatigable, then
Had they not fainted, who had thought them men.
Now as the English houer on the brinke
Of ruine, readie now to make a fraight
For gristley Charons leaking boate, and sinke
Vnder the pressure of their numerous weight.
Vnto the King regardfull suffolke sent:
He knowes to win, that knowes how to preuent.
The messenger returnes; his anfwer this:
Whilst the Prince liues, his highnesse will not care,
Nor thinke of ayd: he saith, the day is his,
As lawfull as his birthright; nor will share
In his vnriuald fame: the field must be
Either his graue, or stage of victorie.
Nor was he cruell in this act: his sonne
Now for his honour fought: and in this strife
Aid had tooke from't; therfore the King sends none,
To shew he valu'd honour aboue life.
To be indulgent to his life, had beene
To kill his honour, and the greater sinne.
What distance is in man? some are as much
Beneath an others vertue as aboue
The worst of beasts: this message cannot touch
This man of men, nor his fixt spirit moue.
But should you it vnto a coward tell,
It had beene deathstroke, and the passing bell.
It was to Edward, and this Edward could
As well put off himselfe, as put on feare:
It were a [...]inne to worth, if any should
Not thinke him dreadles, and vndanted there.
For he was heire apparent to the state,
And feare had prou'd him illigitimate.
Looke, as the earth foundation of all
Our staring buildings; yet it selfe hath none:
But its owne selfe secures it selfe from fall,
And hath no buttresses to leane vpon.
For whilst graue bodies to the Center run,
They hug that poynt, & poise themselues thereon
Thus an heroick soule lodgd in a brest,
In which are centerd all the lines of worth:
Closely compacted on it selfe doth rest,
And for its selfe its owne supplies drawes forth.
Edwards owne worth, if no supportes come on,
Is its owne base to stay it selfe vpon.
Hope in great actions is too weake a hold,
And yeelds her enterteiner to his foe:
When churlish winds with testie Neptune scold,
We cut the Cables, and let anchors goe.
Then hope to win, when hope of ayd is gone,
The way to safetie is to looke for none.
If we had any cowards in the field,
They purge their aguish passion, at the sight
To see their Prince menace his flaming shield,
Like to the Sunne; and speare, like Comet light.
Where shaddowes terminate, light issues in.
'Tis first, to dare to fight; tis next, to win.
But if there were amongst our English hoast,
Within the colder region of whole blood
There dwelt perpetuallice, and shiuring frost,
Which could not be disolu'd: they did this good.
For euery English that did basely dye,
Bequeath'd his foe his feare for legacie.
The game of death was but a iest before,
Turn'd earnest now: before they did but try
To vse their weapons; there they did no more,
But meditate, here practse how to dye.
And if stearne Mars had left his sanguine throne,
Here he had met more Diomeds then one.
Mortality till now had but defraid
Some trifling reck'nings on deaths bloody score,
Some Items not worth speaking: now Death's paid
Whole summes; & Charons boat which leak'd before
Had suncke right downe; had not his Stygian flood
Beene made more saileable, thickned with blood.
Armour as if 'twere sensible of smart,
Falls to the ground: his flesh, who did it beare,
Is his owne coat of proofe to ward his heart:
And their owne armes are the best targets there.
Weapons are dulld, but stomackes keener are,
And hearts are better-pointed then they were.
In Affricke, neere heauens porter Atlas side,
A Lionesse beseeg'd by men, and hownds,
There makes a breach, where it is most denid;
As free from hope of life, as feare of wounds.
Led by dispaire, shee scoures about the plame,
Thirstie of blood, as Affrica of raine.
So marchd the Prince with his blacke regiment,
(Assisted by the armes of valiant Lords)
And top'd the gaudy poppies, as they went,
And strooke such terror, that before their swords
Did seize, the French stood trembling; thus an oke
Shakes with that wind vshers the thunder stroke.
For they like thunder shot their furie through,
Where solidnes did most resistance make:
And crumble into dust, what would not bow,
Whereon they stand, and thence aduanced take
Their stately flight, on humbled backes we rise,
And on the wings of ruine conquest flies.
Thus Rome in a sedition was tooke,
VVhen Arnulph came there mutinies to quell:
His souldiers shoutings such amazements strooke,
That from the wall the startled Romans fell.
Their heapes were scaling ladders, and their fall
Made him the staires on which he clim'd the wall.
The Boheme King in head of all his men
Encounters with dehruction, and dares
Death to a duell, which did meete him then,
And with deepe cutts cancell his date of yeares.
Disarmd him not, he still his weapon held
As if his ghost should fight, when he was kild.
Kings, vpon whom many depend, haue vs'd
T'haue danger at a distance, nor at all
Tread within reach; the Theban chiefe accusd
Himselfe, for being neere an arrows fall.
For Kings are those chiefe stones, which arches knit,
Let one be dislocated, all will flitt.
A loyall subiect hath nor life, nor breath
But whats infus'd, and breathed from the Prince:
Who if he rashly shall encounter death,
Stifles too cruellie his influeuce.
And 'tis a problem whether thus to dye,
Or greater rashnes be, or crueltie.
Leaders without disgrace haue sometimes fled,
He that did flye this day, may next day fight:
Great Amurath had not beene vanquished,
Had not Huniades beene sau'd by flight.
Wherelife more than our death auailes the state,
Valour by flight may looke for better fate.
But where it doth not, leaders must not moue,
But cope with danger: here a Captaines flight
Reads basenesse to his men, and coward loue
Of an ignoble life; in such a flight.
A valliant Diomed will rather dye,
And scorne to stir, though Nestor bids him flye.
Twice was the King of France beate off his horse,
By Henault movnted vp, as oft did rise:
And acted to the height of single force,
He did so noblic fight, so well aduise.
He seemd his armies hand, and armies head,
He fought like Scaeua, and like Cesar led.
The valliaut King still wrastles with his fate,
As if he would vntwist, what that had weau'd:
Deeming the web of fate had beene like that,
VVith which the Grecian dame her loues deceiu'd.
Flesh cannot breake the threds, the fates haue spun
Like Narses web, theirs cannot be vndone,
Nor Frances strength nor fortune can preuaile,
Fortune hath left no refuge but to flye:
The King turnd head, and all his men turnd taile,
And leaue at once the field aud victorie.
Soone turnd the King, the armie turnd as soone,
Thus a small rudder turnes a Galeone.
The King congratulates his sonne for this
Faire earnest of his future victories,
And sealeth vp his language with a kisse:
VVith mute expressions the Prince replies.
Silence hath Rhetoricke and veiles are best,
To portr [...]t that, which cannot be exprest.
Wars greater tempest had forgat to blow,
And horrors thicker clowdes were driu'n away;
But lighter mists, and weaker blasts did now
Appeare to dim the honour of the day.
Thus when a roring storme hath ceasd to raue,
A trembliug noyse still murmurs on the waue.
When the next morne had blusht to see the field
Looke redder then her selfe, in purple dight:
Some scatterd troopes, as willing to be kild,
Came rather to a slanghter, then a fight.
If the sound bodies of whole armes faile,
'Tis ruine for sore members to assaile.
For by the English breathing death, they're blowne
Out of the field: and day drawne out of night:
So many Lords of France were ouerthrowne,
That yet I ne'r could iudge, if that I might
Or a misfortune, or an honour call,
That losse should alwaies on their nobles fall.
FINIS.

THE BATTAIE OF Poictiers vnder Edward, Sirna­named the Blacke Prince.

NOt in full orbe as yet his honour shines:
True honours orbs are fill'd by digits, grow
By orderlie addictions, high designes
Doe with Methodicall progression goe.
Tall Cedars by degrees aduance the top,
'Tis Mushrome honour in a night springs vp.
Nature the hand, and instrument of heauen
VVith sober pace aduanceth fairelie on:
Her peeces are produc'd by smooth, and euen
Degrees, and grow by soft accession.
Nature by mediums workes, leaps not at all,
And honour leapd to seemes vnnaturall.
But yet she stayes not, but doth gently pace
In her continued march: and high borne sprights
Worke, [...] Falcon to wring to her place
Winns are by constant circlings, not alights.
Macedo [...] heire could glory, he did raise
His name by expeditions, not delayes.
Then on great Prince, the eldest sonne of Fame,
Honours first borne; continue still to add
Items to vertues sum, and weare a name
Charg'd with more well-won titles, than he had.
Contest for thy inheritance in fame,
More iust thy interest, more faire thy claime.
France was the court wherein the case was try'd,
With title so apparant, proofes so cleare;
His plea for honour could not be deni'd
By iustice brib'd: nay if more worlds there were,
And Philips sonne had triumpht on them all,
His suit for honours birthright here should fall.
But he that would court honour in the field,
And wed her noblie to his vertue, must
Hold passion in; on a firme basis build,
And know the causes of his war be iust.
Great actions, if not founded deepe, will reele,
The greatest ship must haue the strongest keele.
To procure peace, or keepe a foe at bay
By warding iniuries, call a warre iust:
But not to hug reuenge, and make a way
For brutish feritie, but that Kings must
Keepe Kings in good opinion, that they know,
What a wrong is, and how to vse a foe.
T'enlarge the [...]i [...]ts of Kingdomes, and extend
An Empires armes a war may authorize:
The Prince, whom sacred leaues doe most commend,
And by the style of heau'n is writt most wise.
Made all the people tributarie bee,
Were from Euphrates to the midland sea.
Or to recouer, what our right hath beene,
And whats deteind vniustly, to regaine,
Where iustice ends, there iustlie warrs begin,
Our Edward thus did war in Aquitaine.
Thus fierce Camillus taught th'insulting Gaule
To weigh the treasure, and restore it all.
King Iohn had setled vpon Charles his sonne
Aquitaines D [...]rchie; which did owe her state
To Englands Edward, who confirm'd it on
The Prince, with charge his right to vindicate.
Kings doe marke Kings proceedings, and to eye
Their waies is politicke necessitie.
This was that Charles, whom the French stories writ
First Dolphin: Vinbert broken at the chance
Of's onely sonnes decease, did giue his right
Of Dolphinie to Phillip King of France:
But with this coution conferd the same,
They should the heire of Franee the Dolphin name
Goe vindicate thy right? a word what can
Effect a wonder on lame cowardise,
And teach it moue: but to the Prince a man
To picture prowes by, it doth but this,
Remoue those letts which did his vallour stay;
Streames haue selfe motions, take the dams away.
Thus when a pondrous stone, whose wight propende
Downe to the loued center, with a stop
Hath an encounter as it downeward tends:
And with the interposure is kept vp,
Whose'uer shall displace the impediment,
Imparts no motion but by accident.
Still had their King seene peaces laughing browe,
And smoother front, had he not bard his foes
Of that, for which there was no right to show,
As once a Pope the Indies did dispose.
Which made the barberous King to laugh at this,
One should dispose of what was none of his.
But th'vnexperienc'd King dares sport with flame,
And sindge his royall pinions, he doth thinke
The bloody dye of Mars is but a game:
And thirsts wars bitter potions to drinke.
His father dranke not all the violls vp,
Edward's his doctour to dresse him a cup.
He musters vp his men, extracts the best
Out of the English masse, Salsbury, L [...]le,
Suffolke and Warwicke: men that might contest
With antiquie worth, and leade the right hand file.
Wise Princes haue wise seconds, nor alone
Imbarke in actions, eyes see more then one.
Suppose the gen'rall wise, and valiant,
Such the commanders; yet if be proposd
Proiects of consequence, they doe not grant
They should in one brests conclaue be disposd.
But call a martiall court, and there debate
Which side makes best conclusion for the state.
Such were the souldiers here, and such the head,
Mars could not here select a souldiar out▪
But could command; no captaine but could lead
The Gods, when they against the Giants fought.
Mars would haue chose these soldiars in his wars,
And Mars his soldiars Edward for their Mars.
The Prince eight thousand sineweie archars bringes,
Armed with fatall engins, which were try'd,
And neuer taught the foile; as if their wings
Impropriated conquest to their side:
Their whistleling shafts alway victorious fly,
Featherd with plumes were pluckt from victorie.
A thousand men of armes calld out, did looke
Like yron statues, art had taught to goe:
Which stood more firmely on the ground they tooke
Than Macedon [...] Phalanx er could doe.
And as the Prince these fierie warriours led,
He seemd the star some Comet followed.
More to distract, and more to terrifie,
The English land in diuers parts of France:
VVhilst Glosters forces fight in Normandie,
VVales doth in Aquitane the war aduance.
For in a war that hath more seates then one,
More fear's diffused, and more pillage wone.
Charles of Na [...]ar challeng'd a right in [...]ry,
Great Gloster tooke vp armes in Charles his right,
And in his owne Edwar did France defie,
For right the Prince, for right did Gloster fight.
For those false Keyes which locke vp iustice, are
The Keyes which ope Ianus his dores of war
Gloster with Philip brother of Nauar,
Preuailes in Normandie: takes Narbon in,
Forces C [...]rcassou; nor durst fortune bare
The cittyes gates, which Gloster meant to win.
He shot without a counterbuffing stocke,
Like to a thunderbolt through Languedocke.
But Glosters not my theame: (though that too hi [...]
For best of quils to reach) I must retreate
To Edwards quarters, and there vainely try
To make his greatnes make these measures great.
The onely muse I sue to is his name,
And vncorrupt relation of his fame.
And now my fancy sees great Edward rise,
Mars his Enthusiast: his actions were
Raptures of valour, and deepe extasies
Of man aboue himselfe: for drawing heere
His spirits from their matter, passed more
Himselfe, then he surpass'd the world before.
He on the stage of Aquitane did play
That part, which none beside can personate:
In euery course or found or made away,
And prostrates as infallible as fate.
Like to deaths harbinger his passage made,
And there death lodged, where he lodg'd his blade
Citties of such a strength (that they had beene
Abler t'ensure the Godlings from surprise,
Than bodging in strange shapes:) did let him in
As if he had beene keeper of the keyes.
And raineing arrowes in a featherd shower,
He could haue peirc'd more then a brazen tower.
Some townes inueited by their strength withstand,
Not out of hope to stand but out of shame:
Some yeeld more to his name, than to his hand,
For that had summond them, before he came.
Whilst some are forc'd, some yeelded, as he went,
And seem'd to haue beene won by precedent.
Thus fall the shrubs, poore neighbours of an oke,
Whose top kisseth the clouds, whose root sounds hel
Which vanquisht by th'assault of sturdy stroke
With groniug fall the vnderwood doth fell.
Small states sinke with the fall of greater states,
The same their fortunes, and the same their fates.
Ciement the sixt of Rome strikes in for peace,
An act of which few of them guilty are:
The Papacie arriu'd at the increase
Of her progression by forraine war.
And since the Eagle did some plumes afford,
It thriu'd lesse by the keyes, than by the sword.
But Wales th'exact Idea of a sonne,
And trew commander, wiselie did deni't:
Vnwarranted from home had it been done,
He had entrenchd vpon his fathers right.
Th'jniunctions of thy Prince must stand, not thine
The soule of Martiall feasts is discipline.
Sterne Manlius yeelds his victorious sonne,
Vnto the lictors axe, because he fought
Without command though challendg; and had won
The day from Metius, and rich spoiles had brought,
The losse of such a sonne doth rather choose
Than Rome the least of discipline should loose.
No eare to lecture of soft peace is turnd,
Mars his red letters writt with sword and speare
Must still be read, his valour's but adjournd
Tis not prorogu'd: it was no period here
But as a breathing comma to the Prince,
Such stops as these are spurs to violence.
As I haue seene come galloping amaine
A gentle Knight, who meeting on the roade
An old frind long vnseene, doth entertaine
Someshort discourse, then with his gingling goade
Pricke vp grashopper, and deuoure the way,
And win with speed, what he had lost by stay.
And thus a streame prowd with a fall of raine
Topping his bankes, and scorning the controule
Of a poore chanell winneth from the plaine,
And with impetuous violence doth roule.
But if some dam shall countercheck his waues,
It breakes the dam, and more insulting raues.
The Prince shoot smoothly though without recoile;
And townes so eas'lie homag'd to his name,
As if he went but to receiue the spoyle,
Which fortune had told out against he came.
And with so swift dispatch effected this,
That Caesars Vici was but slow to this.
Faire fortune was engrossd for him by fate,
Yet was he not more fortunate, then wise:
Wise as Huniades, as fortunate
As Castriot, which two this one comprise.
He seemd to take townes at a cast, and get
(As one Timoleon) citties in a net.
Now shiuring winter fledg with featherd raine
Couerd the earth with beds of watrish downe
Which warnes the Prince to quit the open plaine,
And haue his soldiars winterd in a towne.
Who vnto Burdeux vninpeachd retreates,
And for that yeere takes leaue of matiall feates.
The carefull Prince will not his men bestow
In fields vnsheltred, whilst the leagring cold,
And battring engins of chill ice, and snow
Assault the spirits, and surprize their hold.
Who let their men ith field in winter lie,
Both combat nature, and the enemie.
The Sun surrownding with a fleet carrere,
On the highway of the Eclipticke line:
Had inned in his winter signes that yeere,
And at the goale his mounture did decline.
Thus Edward to his winter Tropick came,
Aduancing through the Zodiacke of fame.
As when a fat, and teemeing soile is growne
Leane, and o'respent; and by its often birth
Threatens a barren womb, the moileing clowne
Fallowes the acres of his languisht earth.
Thus chiefes indulge their weari'd soldiars rest,
And husband valour in their fallow'd brest.
Apollos yew is not at all times bent,
It sometime feriates, and string is slackt:
The sinews of his lyre not alway rent
With screwing torture nor with winding rackt
These rests and stops with sweet varietie,
Tune all our actions to a harmonie.
Now had the Sun rid through his winter stage,
And lighted at the lusty ram: the earth
With hearbs, as Aeson, did renew her age,
And was impregnate with a numerous birth.
Flora to ope her wardrobe did begin,
As 'twere to decke her at her lying in.
The constellation of the winged steed
Rising with Sol, attempereth the ayre
To the radicall humour, and doth breede
Blood in the strouting veines, and sprights repaire.
Soldiars in spring doublie their seruice can,
A man in winter is but halfe a man.
The Prince, who had in winter seem'd to set,
Aduanceth forward, with th'aduancing Sun:
Doth not his resolute designes forget,
Nor to consummate what he had begun.
Not to promote what we doe once comence,
Argues a weakenesse, and a diffidence.
Vaines would be cram'pd; the stream of blood would freeze,
In the old chanels, should they longer lie:
And if they still should sacrifice to ease,
Valour would fall into alethargie.
Dull lakes are choakt with melancholie mud,
Motions doth cleare, and cristallize a flood
No body's [...] healthfull without exercise,
Iust wars are exercises of a state:
Vertue's in motion, and contends to rise,
With generous ascents aboue a mate.
Princes in motion with the spheares contest,
Made more for veneration, then for rest.
With vncontrowled march he did aduance
Througb Bruges, Perigort, and Limosin:
And seizd the bosome of affrighted France,
The terrour of his acts vsherd him in.
The lowd report of his victorious name
Did execution long before he came.
As when the nurses rod cannot appease
The Child; at th'hearing of some horrid name
'Tis husht: thus Turkey with Huniades
Stilled their children saying that he came.
A frightfull name's as forciue as a blow,
Both Edwards name, and arme can ouerthrow.
For he, like light diffused, in the aire,
Spreads without opposition, meets no stay
To checke his faire proceedings, nor impaire
His smoother fortune wheeling on her way.
No lets encountred with his fortunes yet,
They ran as smoothly as Musaeus writ.
As yet ther's no abatement of his power,
No blood expended, they did nothing meet
Whereby they might diegust the wars, no sower
As yet had beene attempe [...]d with their sweet.
Thus Arethusa slides through Neptunes bed,
And keepes her maiden streame vnrauished.
But whether march we? are the armes of France
Pinio'nd with feare? What not a Caualleere:
That for his mistris sake dare try his Lance;
If not for's country be a champion here?
Yes now their horsemen like a tempest come,
Acknowledgd then the flower of Christendome.
King Iohn such vnexpected hast did make
(His spirits heated with too quicke a fire:)
He did the Prince at Poictiers ouertake;
He wingd his hope, and imped his desire,
As if he would his hastie fates importune
He might outrun his father in misfortune.
The King mistooke it for a chase, and thought
To ouertake, were to surprize his foe▪
As when a hownd with snufling long hath sought
Through way lesse woods which way the game did goe,
Rouses by chance a Lyon for a deere▪
And thus the French did rowse a Lyon heere.
Vnder the heauie burthen of their power
They seem'd to make the groning earth to yeeld:
And with a clowd of men (able to shower
Distruction on the world,) darken the field.
A whirlewind scowring from the Northern waine
Did ease th'oppressed, cleare the darkned plaine.
They had the odds of number sixe to one,
A wonder by a sixth to be withstood:
So many Speares at once, and lances showne,
Did in a champaine seeme to make a wood.
But I haue heard, a wolfe did neuer feare,
A flock of sheepe, how great so e'r it were.
Let fond Tigranes in a proud despight
Scoffe at Romes handfull, and in brauerie
Brag to his men, they were too few for fight,
And but too many for an embassie.
They chas'd this bragart, and the conquest wou,
And made his honour set before the Sun.
They haue the odds of country: the cause is
Try'd in their court; and we are forc'd to play
In their owne alley: nay, they're strain by this
To fight; they loose the country with the day.
But in inuasiue wars abroad, we doe
But loose our selues, and not our country too.
Vpon the foyle, where thou wert borne, to flee
Cryes bastard in thy face: is it not iust
To pay her life, whch once did lend it thee?
Ner couldst thou better dye and once thou must.
Giue me a cocke that nere durst strick a blow,
Vpon his dunghill he will beat his foe.
Nay, as if fortune had a patent lent
For France, t'ingrosse all the aduantages,
Odds in conceit; conceit, an instrument,
VVhich though pantasticke, gets realities.
The pregnant mothers strong imagination
Hath giuen her wombe a reall alteration.
The King of France his army did draw out,
And on a spacious plaine imbatteled:
His num'rous multitude he wheeld about
Like the first mouer; and the fields did spread
With traine too long, and wings too short to fly,
Vnto so high a pitch as victory.
His hopes had now impos'd on his beleife
That he already had the victorie:
He thinkes that tedious, which all else thinke briefe
He meanes to [...]ne his battaile presentlie.
Desires are ha [...]ie, and when hopes are strong,
Minutes are lazie, and compendiums long.
They thinke to scourge our heros, and with steele
Whip this yong warriour, who now was made
Professor in his art, and scornd to feele
Checke, or correction from the proudest blade.
It cannot come into their memories,
He had at Crescey fought his master prize.
Scorning the petty numbers which we brought,
They rate them pris'ners more then enemies:
And against light, and truth of nature thought
That efficatious force in number lies.
He is blind-hardy, that will dangers slight
For they grow heauy, when they once seeme light
If chance claimd not an interest in tents,
And schooles of Mars, then the French numbers might
Seeme in good eyes enforcing arguments
For strong conclusions, but she claimes such right,
That tis a question whether Rome ought more
To her owne fortitude, or to this whore.
But France hath greater opposition here
Than single fortune had we cowards beene,
She had imparkd vs like a heard of deere,
But in so few ne'r was more valour seene.
A multitude could neuer make a head
Against feirce Lyons if by Lyons lead▪
Whilst the French swolne with vaine, & sickish hope
Of victory, are ready now to burst
In feaue'rish choler on the foe; the Pope
With fatherly prevention tried first,
It for such feavers any thing might be
A soueraigne cure besides Phlebotomie.
To meditate betweene this mighty paire
He sent two Cardinalls: the French withstood
With eares of proofe, and fortified 'gainst prayer,
Their Crosier staues could here doe little good,
Nay, if the herauld of the gods had come,
He might haue broke his rod, and so flowne home.
We were too far gone in this maze to flye,
Nor humane iudgement could present a light
To shew vs out; Time, and necessity
Aduise the Prince leane to a Peace, which might
Be not inglorious, and giue a blow
Vpon his honour deeper then a foe.
But France presuming fatally there are
Vpon her side matchles aduantages,
Will heare no musicke but the sounds of warre,
The hymnes of Peace are but dull aires to these.
Thus Semele the thundercracke will heare,
And dies with that, which onely pleas'd her eare
The Prince beset with strong obiections
Of opposits can no euasion see:
Would therefore yeeld to faire conditions,
Nay, yeeld vp all things but himselfe; and he
Cannot be guilty of such base controwle
Whose body't selfe's no prison to his soule,
Yet this, and onely this can satisfie
Their high desires: Edward must basely yeeld
Himselfe a pris'ner: nay he'le rather dye,
Than yeeld, and liue: nay fore he quits the field,
He'le take their King: tis iust, he that will choose,
To take thy freedome, should his freedome loose.
He giues conditions, as if we were
Now in his hands, and really possest
In's ouerweening thoughts: and doth not feare
Our fortune, and our valour: but profest
Hee'd set vs Lawes: but Edward thought it fit,
Those Lawes like Dracos should in blood be writ.
His articles at first did terrour strike,
And did our minds in darke suspenses hold,
But ended things to laugh at; not vnlike
The armed charets in the field of old
Wherein both sithes, and hookes and speares were borne:
Were first a terrour, afterward a scorne.
To yeeld ones selfe, and yeeld before a blow
Calls indignation ftom a cowards brest.
He could not yeeld his honour to his foe,
For others had in it some interest.
He had deceiu'd country, and King for he
To them for's honour must accomptant be.
His life, and honour at the stake did lie.
Set to be throw'n at in this martiall game:
Hee'l therefore vse his life couragiously
To keepe from forfeit his vngaged fame;
And with a fearelesse progresse dangers meet,
Life not in length, but in the vse is sweet.
The King of France an errour did commit,
(And wars for errours scarce haue second roome)
Had he but tymd it, and not ioyned yet
We easely would to composition come.
Fortune's a Market, if a while you stand,
Things doe grow cheape, and fall into your hand.
We could not with prouision be stor'd,
He might haue cut it off without a blow:
Famine had beene more forciue, than the sword;
But he will fondly buckle with his foe;
And by his folly make our fortune great;
Serpents proue Dragons when they Serpens eate.
Great actions are not moulded ont of hand,
They aske their time for iust conception;
Least they should proue blind issues; they deman
A first, and second agitation,
And are on arguments of Counsell tost,
Or on the waues of fortune they are lost.
When mature counsell hath concluded, what
Is to be done; and how contriu'd; wee need
Dispatch, the life of things, to practise that:
Consult at leisure, prosecute with speed.
Which Tytus by his emblem well descride,
A nimble Dolphin to an anchor ty'd.
King Iohn admits no consultation
To ripen his designes, as if't had beene
Too short a time for his perdition.
Grapling with dangers brings them sooner in.
Actions are weakned with too hasty speed,
Thus predigestion doth diseases breed.
He Kenns not precedents that went before,
But with erected, and ambitious eye,
Thinkes on surmis'd aduantages to sore,
Nor minding what's before him, to mount high.
Thus a seeld doue with right vp mountures flies,
Because she sees not, what before her lies.
If he had but his fathers legend read,
There had beene lectures to haue taught him wit.
The name of Crescey might haue strooke him dead,
To thinke like fortune might attend vs yet.
Heau'n destining a fall, muffies the eyes,
And when it will destroy, it stupefies.
When some did th' Emperour Charles the fourth ad­uise
To dare the Turkish cressant, he refusd:
'Cause through the current of all histories,
He saw much blood was in those warres effusd.
The ancient times, what is the best, doe show,
The moderne teach what is most fit to doe.
When Zeuxis did his Iuno goe about,
From the choise shapes of th' Agrigentine Dames,
He culd the rarest of perfections out.
Thus Princes doe arriue at highest names,
For they the best of all examples take,
When they the Iuno of their power doe make.
Their former suffrings might instructions be:
Tis best anothers madnesse to inioy:
They might their owne through other danger see,
And with what fate we did our shafts employ.
From fire which hath once burnt it, to refreine,
Moues in the circle of an Infants braine,
When Archimedes engins once had feard,
And did at Siracuse the Romans maull,
Not one in all the leager once appeard,
But stood the space of danger from the wall.
If they a peece of rope, or wood did spy,
Supposing it an engin, they would flie.
From his owne losse hee'l read instruction,
And try experience on himselfe: they sing
To a deafe rocke, who tune perswasion:
The Card'nalls is dull rhet'ricke: for a King
Not to be forced is a glorious state,
But not perswaded is a dangerous fate.
Wise Chiefes would purchase, were it to be sold,
A foes returne: which made that worthy say,
If he will goe, make him a bridge of gold,
No mettall is too deare to paue his way.
Vnwelcome oppositions will at length
Create a sudden fury, and new strength.
The Freneh well mounted did so firmely ride,
They seemd some monster made of man and beast:
Thus rid the Centaures by Enipus side,
Inuited to Peryth'ous bridall feast.
Nessus did fall by great Alcides Bow,
Thus the French Centaures haue their ouerthrow.
Iohn on his horse the confidence did lay,
And thinkes he sooner shall vpon their speed
Allight at th'hope, and honour of the day,
But this opinion did an errour breed.
An eye through water measures nothing streight,
Nor wisedome through the glasse of preconceit.
He sees not how the prince had layd his men
Close in a bushie, and vnequall ground,
His horse though better could doe nothing then,
And while at once they feele the arrowes wound
And windings of a bush, they doe mistake,
They feele the stinging of some winding snake.
A ground (as I haue seene some dining roome
Whose seeling art hath cut in wandring vines)
So that by nature: that no horse can come,
But is supplanted by th'intangling twines
The creeping vines with their erronious course,
Were made by nature shackles for their horse.
We this aduantage borrowd from the place,
The French Kings errour doth another make:
No place was giu'n by merit, but by grace,
Which make deseruers cold to vndertake.
When no faire aspect shineth on deserts,
There is a dearth presag'd on armes, and arts.
Three hundred horse he culled from the rest,
The rest conceiuing it a high neglect,
Thinke themselnes worst, 'cause others are thought best.
And 'gin to enuie, whom he did select.
Enuie's a race, in which the runners, minde
Those, who doe run before, not who behind.
In great designes we such impressions see
Impeach an action, where the mind must looke
Pointblank vpon the worke, nor squinting bee
By the affections from the bus'nes tooke.
A shaking eye hath an vncertaine sight,
And minds by passion moued aime not right.
Vext with disgrace they discontented grow,
And thus distracted, either study why
They were reiected with dislike, or how
To be reueng'd for such an iniurie.
And readi'r are to double their despight,
Than animate their courages to fight.
The Prince helpt by these errours, and the ground
Strengthen'd by nature, where his men were laid,
Vs'd art to make it stronger then 'twas found,
That it might more vnpassable be made.
Rests not in what was by meere nature done▪
Art is to perfect what that hath begun.
The night before, ditches, and trenches cast,
So wide, they might not by the horse be leapt.
His Archers close behind the banks were plac't,
From whence they shot, and were so safely kept.
That I would prooue, and by no proofe but this,
The place conserueth what contayned is.
Yet it were weaknesse, if he were content
With strength of place: and therfore that he might
Haue brests as fortifi'd, he did present
His men with the necessity to fight.
When a, needs must, commands vs to begin,
Wee loose with honour, or with wonder win.
His men with obstinacy armed so,
And resolution, that the farwell breath
Of Edwards gasping men could blast a foe.
And if no friends would vindicate their death,
Yet this should be their comfort, here to dye,
Would be their birth-day to eternity.
And now with horrour I the French espy
Come rowling o'r the Champaine like a flood.
Their swords like scourging Comets in the Skie
Prognosticated deluges of blood,
To drowne vs in, but that the English bow
Like the propitious meteor sayd no.
Here you may see their formest troope of horse
With a resolued brau'rie charge the bankes:
There see the ruder archers breake their course,
And spoile the method of their orderd rankes.
Thus 'gainst a rocke deepe founded in the maine,
The waues oft sally, oft repulst againe.
There see their second troope so close compact,
As if that all should but inflict one stroke;
And be as but one person in that act:
But falling on our men at armes, are broke.
Thus on the stones a storme of haile doth fall,
It breakes it selfe, and doth not hurt at all.
Now see the third ride forward in a braue,
Then backward beat, then vanish out of sight.
As I haue seene a straw slide on a waue,
Vntill encountred by a narrow streight,
Then forward, backward, and about it whirles,
And then is swallow'd in the watrish curles.
We had beene ouerlai'd with numbers now,
And if declining had beene crushed streight:
The body of our army did not bow,
But standing right is settled with their weight.
Imposed weights columnes which leane deface,
But standing streight they fixe them on their base
Had Plato seene this armie he would sweare,
(Rauisht to see such wonders done by men)
Valours Idea had existence there,
And ne'r before vouchsafd to lodge with men.
Valour so high, that whatsoe'r may be
Conceiud of it, is no hyperbolie.
Here Edward fought, and there the French men fly,
Whilst he an alley through their quarters made:
They count it not a harme, but grace to dye,
If that their deaths were honourd by his blade,
No Herauld shows an armes of such a note,
As where his weapons gaue the bloody coat.
There Audley stood, thus Diomed did stand,
When he the God of battaile did defie:
His flaming sword came lightening from a hand,
Of as swift execution, as his eye.
The bloodie lines which there his steele did write,
Were perfect copies how the world should fight.
Who is that? Warwicke? yes 'tis he, be gone,
He is deaths swordbearer, who went before
To make death way, which else could haue got none▪
He slaughterd many, and affrighted more.
The thunder dart though but on one it fall,
Yet doth it strike a terrour on them all.
There come the common soldiars, who did light
Their valour at their Captaines: no commands
Of leaders, but examples bid them fight,
They seemd like Briareus with's hundred hands.
And if imploy'd, they could as well, as he,
Haue rescus'd Iupiter, and set him free.
So many heapes of slaughterd men did raise
The field in swelling hills, that no man will
Haue faith enough in these last faithlesse dayes,
To thinke the sword so many men could kill;
But rather that some stroke from heau'n did fall,
Or spreeding sicknesse did infect them all.
Those witty feigners of antiquitie,
That with a drop was from some louer shed,
Could giue a tincture to the mulberie,
And make her greener fruit, looke sanguine red.
Had they then liued and this field had seene
There had no fruit in all the world beene greene.
See in that heape one man among the rest,
Vnder those bleeding carcasses suruiue,
And by the weightie multitude opprest:
Themselues vnburi'd bury him aliue.
And must be pleasd with this vnequall lot,
The liuing shall haue graues, the dead haue not.
Here armes lopt off; put them in mind to vse
The service of their legges in time, before
They shall those necessarie members loose.
Here one that lost a leg fretted, and swore
At his owne madnesse he so long should stay
That now he could not run, but hop away.
There might you see a helmet full of head,
Like to an yron monument stand out.
Here all the field with plumes of feathers spread,
Which mocked by the winds did fly about.
The hou'ring plumes presented to their sight,
Was a presaging emblem of their flight.
Here Iohn of France with steely wand did show
Wonders, incircled in a hostile ring:
There hardy Phillip ran the army through,
To disengage his father, and his King.
Thus Affrican amongst the thickest ranckes,
Fought for old Scipio at Ticinus bankes.
But what is that I heare? o 'tis fly, fly,
Or a rude noise of Soldiars that would [...]iue,
And in confusion for quarter cry,
Which should they sooner aske, hee'd sooner giue.
Valour, and mercy are the fixed poles
On which the spheare of Edwards honor rowles.
Kings are Gods pictures, and their mercy lend,
Best life vnto the Peeces clemency,
And moderation doe best commend
Their actions, and their fortunes beautifie.
These glorious lustres are the varnish cast,
Which makes their acts not onely shine, but last
Mercy declard vnto a foe, doth show
W'are cit'zens of this world; and would not be
Cut off by ferity; and lets men know
No sep [...]ratists are in humanity,
Here we maintaine communion, for our hearts
Are continents not Iles from other parts.
King Iohn with humble state is entertaind,
Not dealt with roughly as an enemy;
Edward by valour his first conquest gaind,
And wins a second by his courtesie.
Base wolues, and beares still vrge a yeelding foe,
Edward's a Lion, and he cann't doe soe.
In midst of triumph, here the crier say,
Remember thou art man, to moderate
Thy fortune: on a steep descent wee stay,
Our selues, and horse; thus in a high-raisd state
We vse a moderation, and begin
On fortunes steepe to reine our pnssions in.
So many pris'ners at this battaile tooke,
Who did into the armes of mercy yeeld:
As might haue taken vs; at the first looke
They seemd enough to win againe the field.
Saue that these odds did for the English stand,
One keeper can ten prisoners command.
So many Noble Lords did write with blood,
And seale with wounds that France did loue her King
As if the Nobles did not thinke it good,
The commons should their testimonie bring
To ratifie that truth; themselues will be
Th'onely subscribers to this veritie.
Edward the heau'ns doth humblie gratifie,
Whose starrs had for him in their courses fought,
And leade him by the hand to victorie
And like sure conuoies through his dangers brought:
Timotheus thriues not, after he denies
A share to fortune in his victories.
Then he bestowes rich larges on his men
T'enflame their minds, that if they did not loue
Vertue for her owne selfe, rewards should then
Win their loues to her, and their dulnesse moue.
Reward is the great pillar of a state,
Which doth support as strongly, as her fate.
Then heightens them with commendations, praise
Is the reflexion doth from vertue rise;
These faire encomiums doe vertue raise
To higher acts: to praise is to aduise,
Telling men what they are, we let them see,
And represent to them what they should be.
And they were worthy of it: Rome ne'r saw
An armie yet, to which this hoast would yeeld,
Nor brauer Chiefe than Edward er'e did draw
Her powerfull legions into the field.
Edward shall mate the proudest He of Rome,
Let Caesars selfe her great dictator come.
When Rome had conquerd all the world beside,
Then, and but then she durst attempt the Gaules,
Gaules, who before her powers did deride,
And oft had scourged her at her owne walls.
Rome neuer durst the stubborne Gaul defie,
Till she had not another enemie.
But England had another powerfull foe,
The hardy Scot, to threaten from the North
Incursions: yet then did Edward goe
From home, and lead with him an army forth.
And spight of Oracle a conquest win
Which said we should with Scotland first begin.
Victorious Cesar bed ezperienc'd men,
Custom'd as well to conquests, as to fights:
Those whom heroicke Wales conducted then,
Were but meere nouices in Mars his rites.
New chang'd the whip for sword, the share for sheild,
And Ceres fat for Mars his bloodie field.
The Gaules indeed were resolute in war,
Whom Cesar with his legions vanquished:
Yet were those Gaules inferiour by far
Vnto the French: for the French conquered
The Gaules, who could not then themselues defēd
Eue'n when that Rome did them assistance lend.
Ariouistus with his Germans had
The Gaules in slauerie (a great allay
To the best temperd spirits) and had made
Factions to take their soueraignetie away.
Seditions are the rills, which at the length,
Weaken the current, and maine streame of strength
But now the French were free, a setled state,
And fixt in the obedience to one Lord,
A King for fame, and fortune wondred at,
Vnder his colours Kings did draw the sword.
A King for whom one did himselfe bereaue
Of rule for loue, and one for money leaue.
Against a state so strong, and setled thus,
Edward durst come with an vnpractisd few,
The French had more aduantages of vs,
[...]han Cesar of those Gaules he ouerthrew.
And yet there were more markes of valour mad [...]
In France by th'English than the Roman blade.
Then why hath history so copious beene,
In old Romes strength, as if it meant to say,
Not what should win beliefe, but wonder win,
Thus Alexander left in India
So great an armour, which should rather be,
T'amaze, than to informe posteritie.
Mighty third Edward thou didst propagate
Strength in thy children, though we often see
Their seed degen'rous, and tis thought a fate
The sons of Heroes should a blemish bee,
Pure was the graine when it at first was sowne,
But it hath many huskes when it is growne.
Who hath in vertues Zenith seated beene
Swerues farthest in his fall: a mighty spright,
Highly sublim'd is stranger to a meane:
Nor is it foild in sinne, but falls downe right.
And for the sinnes which such great sires haue don
The heau'ns haue oft tooke vengeance on the son.
And sometime too, great men vxorious are,
(So was Themistocles) and let their wiues
With too indulgent education mar
The hoped fortunes of their childrens liues.
Children like water on a table spilt
Are easely drawne into what shape thou wilt.
But noble Edwards fortitude descends
Downe to his sonnes: this royall Eagle breeds
An airie of true Eaglets, not commends
Doues to the world; a valiant race succeeds.
This valliant father: ne'r could Heros vaunt
Of two such mighty sonnes as Wales and Gaunt.
Now farewell Lords, who seeme t'haue thrown des­paire
Vpō the world; which feares while it shal last
It hardly shall be crownd with such a paire,
For nature lost the moulds, where they were cast:
Or else in making them she spent such store,
That she hath scarse materialls for more.
FINIS.

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