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VISIONS OF BELLAY.
373 I saw raysde up on yvorie pillowes tall,
Much was I mazde, to see this monsters kinde Whose bases were of richest mettalls warke, In hundred formes to change bis fearefull hew; The chapters alablaster, the fryses christall, When as at length I saw the wrathfull winde, The double front of a triumphall arke:
Which blows cold storms, burst out of Scithian mew, On each side purtraid was a victorie,
That sperst these cloudes; and, in so short as thought, Clad like a nimph, that winges of silver weares, This dreadfull shape was vanished to nought. And in triumphant chayre was set on hie, The auncient glory of the Romaine peares.
Then all astoined with this mighty ghoast, No worke it seemd of earthly craftsmans wit, An hideous bodie big and strong I sawe, But rather wrought by his owne industry, With side-long beard, and locks down hanging loast, That thunder-dartes for love bis syre doth fit. Sterne face, and front full of Satúrnlike awe; Let me no more see faire thing under sky, Who, leaning on the belly of a pot, Sith that mine eyes have seene so faire a sight Pourd foorth a water, whose out gushing food With sodain fall to dust consumed quight. Ran bathing all the creakie shore aflot,
Whereon the Troyan prince spilt Turnus blood; Then was the faire Dodonian tree far seene, And at his feete a bitch wolfe suck did yeeld Upon seaven hills to spread his gladsome gleame, To two young babes: his left the palme tree stout, And conquerours bedecked with his greene, His right hand did the peacefull olive wield; Along the bancks of the Ausonian streame: And head with lawrell garnisht was abont. There many an auncient trophee was addrest, Sudden both palme and olive fell away, And many a spoyle, and many a goodly show, And faire greene lawrell branch did quite decay. Which that brave races greatnes did attest, That whilome from the Troyan blood did flow.
Hard by a rivers side a virgin faire, Ravisht I was so rare a thing to vew;
Folding her armes to Heaven with thousand throbs, When lo! a barbarous troupe of clownish fone
And outraging her cheekes and golden haire, The honour of these noble boughs down threw :
To falling rivers sound thus tun'd her sobs. Under the wedge I heard the tronck to grone ;
“Where is, qnoth she, “this whilom honoured face? And, since, I saw the roote in great disdaine
Where the great glorie and the auncient praise,
In which all worlds felicitie had place, A twinne of forked trees send forth againe.
When gods and men my honour up did raise ? I saw a wolfe under a rockie cave
Suffis'd it not that civill warres me made Noursing two whelpes; I saw her litle ones
The whole worlds spoile, but that this hydra new, In wanton dalliance the teate to crave,
Of hundred Hercules to be assaide, While she her neck wreath'd from them for the With seven heads, budding monstrous crimes anew, pones :
So many Neroes and Caligulaes I saw her raunge abroad to seeke her food,
Out of these crooked shores mast dayly rayse?” And roming through the field with greedie rage Tembrew her teeth and clawes with lukewarm waving aloft with triple point to skie,
Upon an hill a bright flame I did see blood
Which, like incense of precious cedar tree, Of the small heards, her thirst for to asswage.
With balmie odours fil'd th' ayre farre and nie. I saw a thousand huntsmen, which descended
A bird all white, well feathered on each wing, Downe from the mountaines bordring Lombardie,
Hereout up to the throne of gods did Aie, That with an hundred speares her flank wide rended.
And all the way most pleasant notes did sing, I saw her on the plaine outstretched lie,
Whilst in the smoake sbe unto Heaven did stie. Throwing out thousand throbs in her owne soyle;
Of this faire fire the scattered rayes forth threw Soone on a tree upbang'd I saw her spoyle. On everte side a thousand shiping beames:
When sudden dropping of a silver dew [flames; I saw the bird, that can the Sun endure,
(O grievous chance!) gan quench those precious With feeble wings assay to mount on bight;
That it, which earst so pleasant sent did yeld, By more and more she gan her wings t assure,
Of nothing now but noyous sulphure smeld.
I saw a spring out of a rocke forth rayle,
That bright Pactolus washeth with his streames; There was she lost; when suddaine I behelde, It seem'd that Art and Nature had assembled Where, tumbling through the ayre in firie fold,
All pleasure there, for which mans hart could long; All flaming downe she on the plaine was felde, And there a noyse alluring sleepe soft trembled, And soone her bodie turn'd to ashes colde.
Of manie accords more sweete than mermaids song: I saw the fonle, that doth the light despise, The seates and benches shone as yvorie, Out of her dust like to a worme arise.
And hundred nymphes sate side by side about;
When from nigh hills, with hideous outcrie, I saw a river swift, whose fomy billowes
A troupe of satyres in the place did rout, Did wash the ground-work of an old great wall; Which with their villeine feete the streame did ray, I saw it cover'd all with griessy shadowes, Threw down the seats, and drove the nymphs away. That with black borror did the ayre appall : Thereout a strange beast with seven heads arose, Much richer then that vessell seem'd to bee, That townes and castles under her brest did coure, Which did to that sad Florentine appeare, And seem'd both milder beasts and fiercer foes Casting mine eyes farre off, I chaunst to see Alike with equall ravine to devoure.
Upon the Latine coast berselfe to reare:
But suddenly arose a tempest great,
The skie eachwhere did show full bright and faire: Bearing close envie to these riches rare,
With rich treasures this gay ship fraighted was : Which gan assaile this ship with dreadfull threat, But sudden storme did so turmoyle the aire, This ship to which none other might compare : And tumbled up the sea, that she (alas) And finally he storme impetuous
Strake on a rock, that under water lay, Sunke up these riches, second unto none,
And perished past all recoverie. Within the gulfe of greedie Nereus.
O! how great ruth, and sorrowfull assay, I saw both ship and mariners each one,
Doth vex my spirite with perplexitie,
So great riches, as like cannot be found.
Out of the fresh and lustie lawrell tree,
The skie gan everie where to overcast, When from the northerne coast a storme arose, And darkned was the welkin all about, Which, breathing furie from his inward gall When sudden flash of Heavens fire out brast, On all which did against his course oppose, And rent this royall tree quite by the roote; Into a clowde of dust sperst in the aire
Which makes me much and ever to complaino ; she weake foundations of this citje faire.
For no such shadow shalbe had againe.
At length, even at the time, when Morpheus Within this wood, out of a rocke did rise
A spring of water, mildly rumbling dowie,
The homely shepheard, nor the ruder clownes Whose head, full bravely with a morion hidd, But manie Muses, and the nymphes withall, Did seeme to match the gods in maiestie.
That sweetly in accord did tune their royce
I saw a phenix in the wood alone,
That of some heavenly wight I had the rewe;
Untill he came unto the broken tree,
Doth passe away: the phenix there, alas,
Spying the tree destroid, the water dride,
Himselfe smote with his beake, as in disdaine, Being one day at my window all alone,
And so foorthwith in great despight he dide; So manje strange things happened ine to see, That yet my heart burnes, in exceeding paine, As much it grieveth me to thinke thereon. For ruth and pitie of so haples plight: At my right hand a hynde appear’d to mee, 0! let mine eyes no more see such a sight. So faire as mote the greatest god delite; Two cager dogs did her pursue in chace,
At last so faire a ladie did I spie, Of which the one was blacke, the other white : That thinking yet on her I burne and quake; With deadly force so in their cruell race
On hearbs and flowres she walked penisively, They pincht the haunches of that gentle beast, Milde, but yet love she proudly did forsake: That at the last, and in short time, I spide, White seem'd her robes, yet woven so they were, Under a rocke, where she alas, opprest,
As snow and golde together had been wrought : Fell to the ground, and there untimely dide. Above the wast a darke clowde shrouded her, Cruell death vanquishing so poble beautie, A stinging serpent by the heele her caught; Oft makes me wayle so hard a destenie.
Wherewith she languisht as the gathered floure ;
And, well assur'd, she mounted up to ioy. After, at sea a tall ship did appeare,
Alas, on Earth so nothing doth endure, Made all of heben and white yvorie;
But bitter griefe and sorrowfall annoy: The sailes of golde, of silke the tackle were: Which make this life wretched and miserable, Milde was the winde, calme seem'd the sea to bee, Tossed with stormes of fortune variable.
DEDICATED TO THE
When I beheld this tickle trustles state
WHAT-EFER man he be whose heavie mynd,
Of one, I weene, the wofulst man alive,
Or in this wretched life doeth take delight,
Though they of sorrowe heavilie can sing ;
For even their heavie song would breede delight;
But here no tunes, save sobs and grones, shall ring. OPON, THE DEATH OF THE NOBLE AND VERTUOUS DOUGLAS
In stead of them, and their sweet harmonie,
Let those three Fatall Sisters, whose sad hands
Doe weave the direfull threeds of destinie,
And in their wrath break off the vitall bands,
Of darknes deepe come from the Stygian strands, RIGHT HONORABLE THE LADIE HELENA,
And grisly ghosts, to heare this dolefull teene. MARQUESSE OF NORTHAMPTON.
In gloomy evening, when the wearie Sun, I HAVE the rather presumed humbly to offer anto And sweatie steedes, now having overrun
After his dayes long labour drew to rest, your honour the dedication of this little poëme, The compast skie, gan water in the west, for that the noble and vertuous gentlewoman of I walkt abroad to breath the freshing ayre whom it is written, was by match neere alied, and with early frosts, had lost their beautie faire.
In open fields, whose flowring pride, opprest in affection greatly devoted, unto your ladiship. The occasion why I wrote the same, was aswell There came unto my mind a troublons thought, the great good fame which I beard of her de- Which dayly doth my weaker wit possesse, ceassed, as the particular goodwill which I bear Ne lets it rest untill it forth have brought
Her long borne infant, fruit of heavinesse, unto her husband master Arthur Gorges, a lover which she conceived hath through meditation of learning and vertue, whose house, as your la- of this worlds vainnesse and life's wretchednesse, diship by marriage bath honoured, so doe I find That yet my soule it deepely doth empassion. 1 the name of them, by many notable records, to
So as I muzed on the miserie be of great antiquitie in this realme, and such as
In which men live, and I of many most, have ever borne themselves with honourable re- Most miserable man; I did espie potation to the world, and unspotted loyaltie to Where towards me a sory wight did cost,
Clad all in black, that mourning did bewray, their prince and countrey: besides, so lineally And lacob staffe in hand devoutly crost, are they descended from the Howards, as that like to some pilgrim come from farre away. the lady Anne Howard, eldest daughter to John duke of Norfolke, was wife to sir Edmund, mo.
His carelesse locks, uncombed and unshorne, ther to sir Edward, and grandmother to sir Wil. That well he seem to be some wight forlome:
Hong long adowne, and beard all overgrowne, liam and sir Thomas Gorges, knightes : and there Downe to the earth his heavie eyes were throwne, fore I doe assure my selfe that no due honour As loathing light; and ever as he went done to the white lyon, but will be most gratefull He sighed soft, and inly deepe did grone,
As if his heart in peeces would have rent. , to your ladiship, whose husband and children do so neerely participate with the bloud of that no
Approaching nigh, his face I vewed nere, ble family. So in all dutie I recommend this And by the semblant of his countenaunce pamphlet, and the good acceptance thereof, to Me seemnd I had his person seene elsewhere, your honourable favour and protection. London, Most like Alcyon seeming at a glaunce;
Alcyon he, the iollie shepheard swaine, this first of Ianuarie, 1591. Your honours hum- That wont full merrilie to pipe and daunce,
And fill with pleasance every wood and pla ne.
Yet halfe in doubt, because of his disguize, " And afterwardes I handled her so fayre,
That though by kind shee stont and salvage were,
For being borne an auncient lions bayre,
And of the race that all wild beasts do feare,
She of my flock would take full warie keepe.
So careful was for them, and for my good,
And oft their lasses, which my luck envyde,
Daylie resort to me from farre and neare,
“ Long thus I ioyed in my happinesse,
Reposedst hope, or weenedst her thy frend Rather desires to be forgotten quight,
That glories most in mortall miseries, Than question made of his calamitie;
And daylie doth her changefull counsels bend For harts deep sorrow hates both life and light. To make new matter fit for tragedies; « Yet since so much thou seemst to rue my griefe, “ For whilest I was thus without dread or dout, And car'st for one that for himselfe cares nought, A cruel satyre with his murdrous dart, (Sign of thy love, though nought for my reliefe, Greedie of mischiefe, ranging all about, For my reliefe exceedeth living thought;)
Gave her the fatall wound of deadly smart,
And reft from me my sweete companion,
Her now I seeke throughout this earthly soyle,
And seeking misse, and missing doe lament." “ It there befell, as I the fields did range Therewith he gan afresh to waile and weepe, Fearlesse and free, a faire young lionesse,
That I for pittie of his heavie plight
Some deale alaid, I him bespake againe ;
“ Yet doth not my dull wit well understand Whose like before mine eye had seldome seene, The riddle of thy loved lionesse; And gan to cast how I her compasse might, For rare it seemes in reason to be skand, And bring to hand that yet had never beenc: That man, who doth the whole worlds rule possesse, So well I wrought with mildnes and with paine, Should to a beast his noble hart embase, That I her caught disporting on the greene, And be the vassall of his vassalesse; and brought away fast bound with silver chaine. Therefore more plain areade this doubtfull case."
Then sighing sore, “ Daphne thou knew'st,” quoth
II. “ She now is dead;" ne more endur'd to say, [he, " What hart so stonie hard but that would weepe, But fell to ground for great extremitie;
And poure forth fountaines of incessant teares ? That I, beholding it, with deepe dismay
What Timon but would let compassion creepe Was much apald; and, lightly him uprearing, Into his breast, and pierce his frosen eares ? Revoked life, that would have fled away,
In stead of teares, whose brackish bitter well All were my selfe, through grief, in deadly drearing. I wasted have, my heart bloud dropping weares,
To think to ground how that faire blossome fell. Then gan I him to comfort all my best, And with milde counsaile strove to mitigate " Yet fell she not as one enforst to dye, The stormie passion of his troubled brest,
Ne dyde with dread and grudging discontent, But be thereby was more empassionate;
But as one toyld with travell downe doth lye, As stubborne steed, that is with curb restrained, So lay she downe, as if to sleepe she went, Becomes more fierce and fervent in his gate; And closde her eyes with carelesse quietnesse ; And breaking foorth at last, thus dearnely plained: The whiles soft Death away her spirit hent,
And soule assoyld from sinfull fleshlinesse.
" Yet ere that life her lodging did forsake, « What man henceforth that breatheth vitall aire She, all resolv'd, and readie to remove, Will honour Heaven, or heavenly powers adore,
Calling to me (ay me !) this wise bespake; Which so unjustly doth their judgements share
Alcyon! ah, my first and latest love! Mongst earthly wights, as to afflict so sore
Ah ! why does my Alcyon weepe and mourne, The innocent, as those which do transgresse, And grieve my ghost, that ill mote him behove, And doe not spare the best or fairest, more As if to me had chaunst some evill tourne ! Than worst or foulest, but doe both oppresse ?
*** I, since the messenger is come for mee, “ If this be right, why did they then create That summons soules unto the bridale feast The world so faire, sith fairnesse is neglected? Of his great Lord, must needs depart from thee, Or why be they themselves immaculate,
And straight obay his soveraine beheast; If parest things be not by them respected ? Why should Alcyon then so sore lament She faire, she pure, most faire, most pure she was, That I from miserie shall be releast, Yet was by them as thing impure reiected; And freed from wretched long imprisonment ! Yet sbe in purenesse Heaven itselfe did pas.
". Our daies are full of dolour and disease, " In purenesse and in all celestiall grace,
Our life afflicted with incessant paine, That men admire in goodly womankind,
That nought on Earth may lessen or appease; She did excell, and seem'd of angels race,
Why then should I desire here to remaine! Living on Earth like angell new divinde,
Or why should he, that loves me, sorrie bee Adornde with wisedome and with chastitie, For my deliverance, or at all complaine And all the dowries of a noble mind,
My good to heare, and toward joyes to see!
« • I goe, and long desired have to goe;
" " Yet, ere I goe, a pledge I leave with thee “ Ne let Elisa, royall shepheardesse,
Of the late love the which betwixt us past, The praises of my parted love envy,
My young Ambrosia ; in lieu of mee, For she hath praises in all plenteousnesse
Love her; so shall our love for ever last. Powr'd upon her, like showers of Castaly,
Thus, deare! adieu, wbom I expect ere long.'By her owne shepheard, Colin, her own shepheard, So having said, away she softly past : That her with heavenly hymnes doth deifie, Weepe, shepheard! weepe, to make mine undersong. Of rusticke Muse fall hardly to be betterd.
III. “ She is the rose, the glory of the day,
“ So oft as I record those piercing words, And mine the primrose in the lowly shade : Which yet are deepe engraven in my brest, Mine, ah! not mine; amisse I mine did say: And those last deadly accents, which like swords Not mine, but his, which mine awhile her made; Did wound my heart, and rend my bleeding chest, Mine to be his, with him to live for ay.
With those sweet sugred speeches doe compare, O that so faire a flowre so soon should fade, The which my sont first conquers and possest, And through untimely tempest fall away! The first beginners of my endlesse care: “ She fell away in her first ages spring,
“ And when those pallid cheekes and ashe hew, Whilst yet her leafe was greene, and fresh her rinde, in which sad Death his pourtraiture had writ, And whilst her braunch faire blossomes foorth did And when those hollow eyes and deadly view, She fell away against all course of kinde. [bring, On which the cloud of ghastly night did sit, For age to die is right, but youth is wrong ; I match with that sweete smile and chearful brow, She fell away like fruit blowne down with winde. Which all the world subdued unto it, Weepe, shepheard! weepe, to make my under-song. How happie was I then, and wretched now!