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So all with rufull spectacles is fild,
So am I made the servant of the manie, l'it for Megera or Persephone ;
And laughing stocke of all that list to scorne, But I that in true tragedies am skild,
Not honoured nor cared for of anie; The flowre of wit, finde nought to busie me: But loath'd of losels as a thing forlorne: Therefore I mourne, and pitifully mone,
Therefore I mourne and sorrow with the rest, Because that mourning matter I have none. Untill my cause of sorrow be redrest.Then gan she wofully to waile, and wring Therewith she lowdly did lament and shrike, Her wretched hands in lamentable wise;
Pouring forth streames of teares abundantly ; And all her sisters, thereto answering,
And all her sisters, with compassion like, Threw forth lowd shrieks and drerie dolefull cries. The breaches of her singulfs did supply. So rested she: and then the next in rew
So rested shee: and then the next in rew Began her grievous plaint, as doth ensew. Began her grievous plaint, as doth ensew.
Faire Philomele, when Winters stormie wrath The painted theaters, and fill with pleasure The goodly fields, that earst so gay were dyde The listners eyes and eares with melodie ;
In colours divers, quite despoyled hath, In which I late was wont to raine as queene, All comfortlesse doth hide her chearelesse head And maske in mirth with graces well beseene? During the time of that her widowhead: 0! all is gone; and all that goodly glee, So we, that earst were wont in sweet accord Which wont to be the glorie of gay wits,
All places with our pleasant notes to fill, Is layd abed, and no where now to see;
Whilest favourable times did us afford And in her roome unseemly Sorrow sits,
Free libertie to chaunt our charmes at will; With hollow browes and greisly countenaunce, All comfortlesse upon the bated bow, Marring my ioyous gentle dalliaunce.
Like wofull culvers, doo sit wayling now. And him beside sits ugly Barbarisme,
For far more bitter storme than winters stowre And brutish Ignorance, ycrept of late
The beautie of the world hath lately wasted,
A stonie coldnesse hath benumbd the sence
And dimd with darknesse their intelligence, That whilome wont to wait upon my traine, Darknesse more than Cymerians daylie night : Fine Counterfesaunce, and unhurtfull Sport, And monstrous Error, flying in the ayre, Delight, and Laughter, deckt in seemly sort. Hath mard the face of all that semed fayre.
All these, and all that els the comick stage Image of hellish horrour, Ignorance,
And fed with Puries milke for sustenaunce
(For blind is bold) hath our fayre light defaced; With kindly counter under mimick shade, And, gathering unto bim a ragged rout Our pleasant Willy, ah! is dead of late:
Of Faunes and Satyres, hath our dwellings raced ; With whom all ioy and iolly meriment
And our chast bowers, in which all vertue rained, Is also deaded, and in dolour drent.
With brutishnesse and beastlie filth hath stained.
In stead thereof scoffing Scurrilitie,
The sacred springs of horsefoot Helicon, And scornfull Folly with Contempt is crept, So oft bedeawed with our learned layes, Rolling in rymes of shamelesse ribaudrie
And speaking streames of pure Castalion, Without regard, or due decorum kept;
The famous witnesse of our wonted praise, Each idle wit at will presumes to make,
They trampled have with their fowle footings trade, And doth the learneds taske upon him take. And like to troubled puddles have them made. But that same gentle spirit, from whose pen Our pleasant groves, which planted were with paines, Large streames of honnie and sweete nectar flowe, That with our musick wont so oft to ring, Scorning the boldnes of such base-borne men, And arbors sweet, in which the shepheards swaines Which dare their follies forth so rashlie throwe; Were wont so oft their pastoralls to sing, Doth rather choose to sit in idle cell,
They have cut downe, and all their pleasaance mard, Than so himselfe to mockerie to sell.
That now no pastorall is to bee hard.
In stead of them, fowle goblins and shriek-owles Nor anie one doth care to call us in,
Or once vouchsafeth us to entertaine,
And yeeld us some reliefe in this distresse; Whilest ignorance the Muses doth oppresse. Yet to be so reliev'd is wretchednesse. And I, whose ioy was earst with spirit full
So wander we all carefull comfortlesse, To teach the warbling pipe to sound aloft, Yet none doth care to comfort us at all; (My spirits now dismayd with sorrow dull) So seeke we helpe our sorrow to redresse, Doo mone my miserie with silence soft.
Yet none vouchsafes to answere to our call; Therefore I mourne and waile incessantly, Therefore we mourne and pittilesse complaine, Till please the Heavens affoord me remedy:- Because none living pittieth our paine. Therewith shee wayled with exceeding woe, With that she wept and wofullie waymented, And pitious lamentation did make;
That naught on Earth her griefe might pacifie; And all ber sisters, seeing her doo soe,
And all the rest her dolefull din augmented With equall plaints her sorrowe did partake. With shrikes, and grdanes, and grievous agonie. So rested shee: and then the next in rew
So ended shee: and then the next in rew Began her grievous plaint, as doth ensew.
Began her piteous plaint, as doth ensew.
Ye gentle spirits! breathing from above,
With beawtie kindled, and with pleasure fed, Yf chaunce him fall into calamitie,
Which ye now in securitie possesse, Finds greater burthen of his miserie.
Forgetfull of your former heavinesse : So wee that earst in ioyance did abound,
Now change the tenor of your joyous layes, And in the bosome of all blis did sit,
With which ye use your loves to deifie, Like virgin queenes, with laurell garlands cround, And blazon foorth an earthlie beanties praise For vertues meed and ornament of wit ;
Above the compasse of the arched skie: Sith Ignorance our kingdome did confound, Now change your praises into piteous cries, Be now become most wretched wightes on ground. And eulogies turne into elegies. And in our royall thrones, which lately stood Such as ye wont, whenas those bitter stounds In th' hearts of men to rule them carefully,
Of raging love first gan you to torment, He now hath placed his accursed brood,
And launch your hearts with lamentable wounds By him begotten of fowle Infamy;
Of secret sorrow and sad languishment, Blind Error, scornefull Follie, and base Spight,
Before your loves did take you unto grace; Who hold by wrong that wce should have by right. Those now renew, as fitter for this place. They to the vulgar sort now pipe and sing,
For I that rule, in measure moderate, And make them merrie with their fooleries; The tempest of that stormie passion, They cherelie chaunt, and rymes at randon fling, And use to paint in rimes the troublons state The fruitfull spawne of their ranke fantasies; Of lovers life in likest fashion, They feede the eares of fooles with flattery, Am put from practise of my kindlie skill, And good men blaine, and losels magnify.
Banisht by those that Love with leawdnes fill. All places they doo with their toy es possesse,
Love wont to be schoolmaster of my skill, And raigne in liking of the multitude;
And the devicefull matter of my song ; The schooles they fill with fond new-fanglenesse, Sweete Love devoyd of villanie or ill, And sway in court with pride and rashnes rude; But pure and spotles, as at first he sprong Mongst simple shepheards they do boast their skill, Out of th' Almighties bosome, where he nests ; And say their musicke matcheth Phæbus quill. From thence infused into mortall brests. The noble hearts to pleasures they allure,
Such high conceipt of that celestiall fire, And tell their prince that learning is but vaine ; The base-borne brood of Blindnes cannot gesse, Faire ladies loves they spot with thoughts impure, Ne ever dare their dunghill thoughts aspire And gentle mindes with lewd delights distaine ; Unto so loftie pitch of perfectnesse, Clerks they to loathly idlenes entice,
But rime at riot, and doo rage in love; And fill their bookes with discipline of vice. Yet little wote what doth thereto behove. So every where they rule, and tyrannize, Faire Cytheree, the mother of Delight, For their usurped kingdomes maintenaunce, And queene of beautie, now thou maist go pack; The whiles we silly maides, whom they dispize For lo! thy kingdome is defaced quight, And with reprochfull scorne discountenaunce, Thy scepter rent, and power put to wrack; From our owne native heritage exilde,
And thy gay sonne, the winged god of love, Walk through the world of every one revilde. May now goe prune his plumes like ruffed dore.
And ye three twins, to light by Venus brought, But now I will my golden clarion rend,
For noble peeres, whom I was wont to raise,
Now onely seeke for pleasure, nought for praise. For neither you nor we shall anie more
Their great revenues all in sumptuous pride Find entertainment or in court or schoole : They spend, that pought to learning they may spare; For that, which was accounted heretofore
And the rich fee, which poets wont divide, The learneds meede, is now lent to the foole; Now parasites and sycophants doo share: He sings of love, and maketh loving layes, Therefore I mourne and endlesse sorrow make, And they him heare, and they him higbly prayse. Both for my selfe and for my sisters sake. With that she powred foorth a brackish flood With that she lowdly gan to waile and shrike, Of bitter teares, and made exceeding mone ;. And from her eyes a sea of teares did powre; And all her sisters, seeing her sad mood,
And all her sisters, with compassion like, With lowd laments her answered all at one. Did more increase the sharpnes of her showre. So ended she: and then the next in rew
So ended she: and then the next in rew Began her grievous plaint, as doth ensew.
Began her plaint, as doth herein ensew.
Of starres conspiring wretched men t'affict,
Hath powrd on Farth this noyous pestilence, Or deignes to pitie a perplexed hart;
That mortall mindes doth inwardly infect But rather seekes my sorrow to augment
With love of blindnesse and of ignorance, With fowle reproach, and cruell banishment? To dwell in darknesse without sovenance ? For they, to whom I used to applie
What difference twixt man and beast is left, The faithfull service of my learned skill,
When th'heavenlie light of knowledge is put out, The goodly off-spring of loves progenie,
And th' ornaments of wisdome are bereft? That wont the world with famous acts to fill; Then wandreth he in error and in doubt, Whose living praises in heroick style,
Unweeting of the danger hee is in, It is my chiefe profession to compyle;
Through feshes frailtie, and deceipt of sin. They, all corrupted through the rust of time, In this wide world in which they wretches stray, That doth all fairest things on Earth deface, It is the onelie comfort which they have, Or through unnoble sloth, or sinfull crime, It is their light, their loadstarre, and their day; That doth degenerate the noble race;
But Hell, and darknesse, and the grislie grave, Have both desire of worthie deeds forlorne, Is Ignorance, the enemy of Grace, And name of learning utterly doo scorne.
That mindes of men borne heavenlie doth debace. Ne doo they care to have the auncestrie
Through knowledge we behould the worlds creation, Of th’ old heroës memorizde anew;
How in his cradle first he fostred was; Ne doo they care that late posteritie
And iudge of Natures cuming operation, Should know their names, or speak their praises dew, How things she formed of a forinlesse mas: But die forgot from whence at first they sprong, By knowledge wee do learne our selves to knowe, As they themselves shal be forgot ere long. And what to man, and what to God, wee owe. What bootes it then to come from glorious From hence wee mount aloft unto the skie, Forefathers, or to have been nobly bredd ?
And looke into the christall firmament; What oddes twixt Jrus and old Inachus,
There we behold the Heavens great hierarchie, Twixt best and worst, when both alike are dedd ; The starres pure light, the spheres swift movement, If none of neither mention should make,
The spirites and intelligences fayre, Nor out of dust their memories awake?
And angels waighting on th' Almighties chayre. Or who would ever care to doo brave deed, And there, with humble minde and high insight, Or strive in vertue others to excell ;
Th’ Eternall Makers maiestie wee viewe, If none should yeeld him his deserved meed, His love, his truth, his glorie, and his might, Due praise, that is the spur of dooing well ? And mercie more then mortall men can vew. For if good were not praised more than ill, O soveraigne lord, O soveraigne happinesse, None would choose goodnes of his owne freewill. To see thee, and thy mercie measurelesse ! Therefore the Nurse of Vertue I am hight,
Such happines have they, that do embrace And golden Trompet of Eternitie,
The precepts of my heavenlie discipline; That lowly thoughts lift up to Heavens hight, But shame and sorrow and accursed case And mortall men have powre to deifie :
Have they, that scorne the schoole of arts dirino, Bacchus and Hercules I raisd to Heaven,
Aud banish me, which do professe the skill And Charlemaine amongst the starris seaven. To make men heavenly wise through humbled will.
LONG SINCE DEDICATED.
However yet they mee despise and spight, Some few beside this sacred skill esteme,
And lifted up above the worldës gaze,
To sing with angels her inmortall praize.
But with base thoughts are into blindnesse led,
And all her sisters, see ng her sad stowre, Did throw forth shriekes and cries and dreery yells. Did weep and waile, and made exceeding mone, So ended shee; and then the next in rew
And all their learned instruments did breake:
TO THE MOST NOBLE AND EXCELLENT LORD,
THE EARLE OF LEICESTER, And make a tunefull dia pase of pleasures,
LATE DECEASED. Now being let to runne at libertie By those which have no skill to rule them right, WRONG'), yet not daring to expresse my paine, Have now quite lost their naturall delight.
To you (great lord) the causer of my care,
In clowdie teares my case I thus complaine
But if that any (Edipus unware [spriglit, And, thereby wanting due intelligence,
Shall chance, through power of some dividing Have mard the face of goodly poësie, And made a monster of their fantasie.
To reade the secrete of this riddle rare,
And know the purporte of my evill plight ;
Let him rest pleased with his owne insight,
Ne further seeke to glose npon the text :
For griefe enongh it is to grieved wight Then was shee held in soveraigne dignitie, Te feele his fault, and not be further vext. And made the noursling of nobilitie.
But what so by my selfe may not be showen, But now nor prince nor priest doth her maintayne, May by this Gnatts complaint be easily knowen. But suffer her prophaned for to bee Of the base vulgar, that with bands uncleane Dares to pollute her hidden mysterie;
We now have playde, Augustus, wantonly, And treadeth under foote hir holie things,
Tuning our song unto a tender Muse, Which was the care of Kesars and of kings. And, like a cobweb weaving slenderly,
Have onely playde: let thus much then excuse One onelie lives, her ages ornament,
This Guats small poëme, that th' whole historie And myrtour of her Makers maiestie,
Is but a iest, though envie it abuse: That with rich bountie, and deare cherishment, But who such sports, and sweet delights doth blame, Supports the praise of noble poësie;
Shall lighter seeme then this Gnats idle name. Ne onelie favours them which it professe, But is her selfe a peereles poëtesse.
Hereafter, when as season more secure
Shall bring forth fruit, this Muse shall speak to thee Most peereles prince, most peereles poëtesse, In bigger notes, that may thy sense allure, The true Pandora of all heavenly graces,
And for thy worth frame some fit poesie: Divine Elisa, sacred emperesse !
The golden ofspring of Latona pure, Live she for ever, and her royall p'laces
And ornament of great loves progenie, Be fld with praises of divinest wits,
Phoebus, shall be the author of my song, That her eternize with their heavenlie writs ! · Playing on ivorie barp with silver strong.
He shall inspire my verse with gentle mood Others the utmost boughs of trees doe crop,
And brouze the woodbine twiggés that freshly bud;
Of some soft willow, or new growen stud; Or whereas Mount Parnasse, the Muses brood, This with sharpe teeth the bramble leaves doth lop, Doth his broad forhead like two hornes divide, And chaw the tender prickles in her cud, And the sweete waves of sounding Castaly
The whiles another high doth overlooke With liquid foote doth slide downe easily.
Her owne like image in a christiall brooke. Wherefore ye sisters, which the glorie bee
O the great happines, which shepheards have, Of the Pierian streames, fayre Naiades,
Who so loathes not too much the poore estate, Go too; and, dauncing all in companie,
With minde that ill use doth before deprave, Adorne that yod: and thou holie Pales,
Ne measures all things by the costly rate To whome the honest care of husbandrie
Of riotise, and semblants outward brave! Returneth by continuall successe,
No such sad cares, as wont to macerate Have care for to pursue his footing light [dight. And rend the greedie mindes of covetous men, Throgh the wide woods, and groves, with green leaves Do ever creepe into the shepheards den. Professing thee I lifted am aloft
Ne cares he if the fleece, which him arayes,
Be not twice steeped in Assyrian dye;
Ne glistering of golde, which underlayes
The summer beames, doe blinde his gazing eye; O come, thou sacred childe, come sliding soft, And favour my beginnings graciously:
Ne pictures beautie, nor the glauncing rayes For not these leaves do sing that dreadfull stound,
Of precious stones, whence no good commneth by; When giants bloud did staine Phlegræan ground.
Ne yet his cup embost with imagery
Of Boetus or of Alcons vanity.
Ne ought the whelky pearles esteemeth hee, Nor how the East with tyranous despight
Which are from Indian seas brought far away: Burnt th’ Attick towres, and people slew with sword;
But with pure brest from carefull sorrow free, Nor how Mount Athos through exceeding might
On the soft grasse his limbs doth oft display, Was digged downe; nor yron bands abord
In sweete spring time, when flowres varietie The Pontick sea by their huge navy cast;
With sundrie colours paints the sprinckled lay; My volume shall renowne, so long since past.
There, lying all at ease from guile or spight,
With pype of fennie reedes doth him delight. Nor Hellespont trampled with horses feete, When flocking Persians did the Greeks affray;
There he, lord of himselfe, with palme bedight, But my soft Muse, as for her power more meete,
His looser locks doth wrap in wreath of vine: Delights (with Phæbus friendly leave) to play
There his milk-dropping goats be bis delight, An easie running verse with tender feete.
And fruitefull Pales, and the forrest greene, And thou, dread sacred child, to thee alway,
And darkesome cares in pleasaunt vallies pight, Let everlasting lightsome glory strive,
Wheras continuall shade is to be seene, Through the worlds endles ages to survive.
And where fresh springing weils, as christall neate,
Do alwayes flow, to quench his thirstie heate. And let an happie roome remaine for thee Mongst heavenly ranks, where blessed soules do rest; Than he, that with cleane minde, and heart sincere,
O! who can lead then a more happie life
No greedy riches knows nor bloudie strife,
No deadly fight of warlick fleete doth feare;
Ne runs in perill of foes cruell knife, Amongst good men, of whom thou oft are blest;
That in the sacred temples he may reare Live thou for ever in all happinesse!
A trophee of his glittering spoyles and treasure, But let us turne to our first businesse.
Or may abound in riches above measure. The fiery Sun was mounted now on hight
Of him his God is worshipt with his sythe, Up to the heavenly towers, and shot each where And not with skill of craftsman polished: Out of his golden charet glistering light;
He ioyes in groves, and makes himselfe fall blythe And fayre Aurora, with her rosie heare,
With sundrie flowers in wilde fieldes gathered ; The hatefull darkues now had put to flight; Ne frankincens he from Panchæa buyth: When as the shepheard, seeing day appeare, Sweete Quiet harbours in his harmeles head, His little goats gan drive out of their stalls,
And perfect Pleasure buildes ber joyous bowre, To feede abroad, where pasture best befalls. Free from sad cares, that rich mens hearts devowre. To an high mountaines top he with them went, This all bis care, this all his whole isdevour, Where thickest grasse did cloath the open hills: To this his minde and senses he doth bend, 'They now amongst the woods and thickets ment, How he may flow in quiets matchles treasour, Now in the valleies wandring at their wills, (scent; Content with any food that God doth send; Spread themselves farre abroad through each de- And how his limbs, resolv'd through idle leisour, Some on the soft greene grasse feeding their fills; Unto sweete sleepe he may securely lend, Some, clambring through the hollow cliffes on hy, In some coole shadow from the scorching heat, Nibble the bushie shrubs which growe thereby. The whiles his flock their chawed cuds do eate,