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And tell me then, what hast thou ever seene HYMNE IV.

That to their beautie may compared bee,

Or can the sight that is most sharpe and keene
OF HEAVENLY BEAUTIE.

Endure their captains faming head to see?
How much lesse those, much higher in degree,

And so much fairer, and much more then these,
Rart with the rage of mine own ravisht thought, As tbese are fairer then the land and seas?
Through contemplation of those goodly sights,
And glorious images in Heaven wrought,

For farre above these Heavens, which here we see, Whose wondrous beauty, breathing sweet delights, Not bounded, not corrupt, as these same bee,

Be others farre exceeding these in light,
Do kindle love in high conceipted sprights;
I faine to tell the things that I behold,

But infinite in largenesse and in hight,

Unmoving, uncorrupt, and spotlesse bright, But feele my wits to faile, and tongue to fold.

That need no sunne t'illuminate their spheres, Vouchsafe then, O thou most Almightie Spright!

But their owne native light farre passing theirs. From whom all guifts of wit and knowledge flow, And as these Heavens still by degrees arize, To shed into my breast some sparkling light Until they come to their first movers bound, Of thine eternall truth, that I may show

That in his mightie compasse doth comprize, Some little beames to mortall eyes below

And carrie all the rest with him around; Of that immortall Beautie, there with thee,

So those likewise doe by degrees redound, Which in my weake distraughted mynd I see; And rise more faire, till they at last arive,

To the most faire, whereto they all do strive. That with the glorie of so goodly sight The hearts of men, which fondly here admyre Faire is the Heaven where happy soules have place Faire seeming shewes, and feed on vaine delight, In full enioyınent of felicitie, Transported with celestiall desyre

Whence they doe still behold the glorious face
Of those faire formes, may lift themselves up hyer, Of the Divine Eternall Maiestie;
And learne to love, with zealous humble dewty, More faire is that, where those idees on hie
Th’Eternall Fountaine of that heavenly beauty. Enraunged be, which Plato so admyred,

And pure intelligences from God inspyred.
Beginning then below, with th' eașie vew
Of this base world, subiect to fleshly eye,

Yet fairer is that Heaven, in which do raine
From thence to mount aloft, by order dew,

The soveraigne powres and mightie potentates, To contemplation of th' immortall sky;

Which in their high protections doe containe Of the soare faulcon so I learne to flye,

All mortall princes and imperiall states; That flags a while her futtering wings beneath, And fayrer yet, whereas the royall seates Till she her selfe for stronger flight can breath.

And heavenly dominations are set,

From whom all earthly governance is fet. Then looke, who list thy gazefull eyes to feed With sight of that is faire, looke on the frame Yet farre more faire be those bright cherubins, Of this wyde universe, and therein reed

Which all with golden wings are overdight, The endlesse kinds of creatures which by name And those eternall burning seraphins, Thou canst not count, much less their patures aime; Which from their faces dart out fierie light; All which are made with wondrous wise respect,

Yet fairer then they both, and much more bright, And all with admirable beautie deckt.

Be th' angels and archangels, which attend

On Gods owne person, without rest or end.
First, th’ Earth, on adamantine pillers founded
Amid the sea, engirt with brasen bands;

These thus in faire each other farre excelling, Then th' aire still fitting, but yet firmely bounded As to the highest they approach more near, On everie side, with pyles of flaming brands,

Yet is that highest farre beyond all telling, Never consum’d, nor quencht with mortall hands; Fairer then all the rest which there appeare, And, last, that mightie shining cristall wall,

Though all their beauties joyn'd together were; Wherewith he bath encompassed this all.

How then can mortall tongue hope to expresse

The image of such endlesse perfectnesse ? By view whereof it plainly may appeare, That still as every thing doth upward tend, Cease then, my tongue! and lend unto my mynd And further is from Earth, so still more cleare Leave to bethinke how great that beautie is, And faire it growes, till to his perfect end

Whose utmost parts so beautifull i fynd; Of purest beautie it at last ascend;

How much more those essentiall parts of his, Ayre more then water, fire much more then ayre, His truth, his love, his wisedome, and his blis, And Heaven then fire, appeares more pure and His grace, his doome, his mercy, and his might, fayre.

By which he lends us of himselfe a sight!
Looke thou no further, but affixe thine eye Those unto all he daily doth display,
On that bright shynie round still moving masse,

And shew himselfe in th' image of his grace,
The house of blessed God, which men call skye,

As in a looking-glasse, through which he may All sowd with glistring stars more thickethen grasse, Be seene of all his creatures vile and base, Whereof each other doth in brightnesse passe, That are unable else to see his face, But those two most, which, ruling night and day, His glorious face ! which glistereth else so bright, As king and queene, the Heavens empire sway ; That th' angels selves can not endure bis sight.

But we, fraile wights! whose sight cannot sustaine | There in his bosome Sapience doth sit,
The Suns bright beames when he on us doth shyne, The soveraine dearling of the Deity,
But that their points rebutted backe againe Clad like a queene in royall robes, most fit
Are duld, how can we see with feeble eyne For so great powre and peerelesse majesty,
The glorie of that Maiestie divine,

And all with gemmes and jewels gorgeously
In sight of whom both Sun and Moone are darke, Adornd, that brighter then the starres appeare,
Compared to his least resplendent sparke ? And make her native brightnes seem more cleare.
The meanes, therefore, which unto us is lent And on her head a crown of purest gold
Him to behold, is on his workes to looke,

Is set, in signe of highest soverainty ; Which he hath made in beauty excellent,

And in her hand a scepter she doth hold, And in the same, as in a brasen booke,

With which she rules the house of God on hy, To read enregistred in every nooke

And menageth the ever-moving sky,
His goodnesse, which his beautie duth declare; And in the same these lower creatures all
For all thats good is beautifull and faire.

Subiected to her powre imperiall.
Thence gathering plumes of perfect speculation, Both Heaven and Earth obey unto her will,
To impe the wings of thy high flying mynd, And all the creatures which they both containe;
Mount up aloft through heavenly contemplation, For of her fulnesse which the world doth till
From this darke world, whose damps the soule do They all partake, and do in state remaine
And, lyke the native brood of eagles kynd, [blynd, As their great Maker did at first ordaine,
On that bright Sunne of Glorie fixe thine eyes, Through observation of her high beheast,
Cleard from grosse mists of fraile infirmities. By wbich they first were made, and still increast.
Humbled with feare and awfull reverence,

The fairnesse of her face no tongue can tell; Before the footestoole of his Maiestie

For she the daughters of all wemens race,
Throw thy selfe downe, with trembling innocence, And angels eke, in beautie doth excell,
Ne dare looke up with corruptible eye

Sparkled on her from Gods owne glorious face, On the dred face of that Great Deity,

And more increast by her owne goodly grace, For feare, lest if he chaunce to look on thee, That it doth farre exceed all humane thought, Thou turne to nought, and quite confounded be. Ne can on Earth compared be to ought. But lowly fall before his mercie seate,

Ne could that painter (had he lived yet) Close covered with the Lambes integrity

Which pictured Venus with so curious quill, From the iust wrath of his avengefull threate That all posteritie admyred it, That sits upon the righteous throne on hy; Have purtray'd this, for all his maistring skill; His throne is built upon eternity,

Ne she her selfe had she remained still, More firme and durable then steele or brasse, And were as faire as fabling wits do fayne, Or the hard diamond, which them both doth passe. Could once come neare this beauty soverayve. His scepter is the rod of Righteousnesse,

But had those wits, the wonders of their dayes, With which he bruseth all bis foes to dust, Or that sweete Teian poet, which did spend And the great dragon strongly doth represse, His plenteous vaine in setting forth her praise, Under the rigour of bis iudgment iust;

Seen but a glims of this which I pretend, His seate is Truth, to which the faithfull trust, How wondrously would be her face commend, From whence proceed her beames so pure and bright, Above that idole of his fayning thought, That all about him sheddeth glorious light: That all the world should with his rimes be fraught!

Light, farre exceeding that bright blazing sparke How then dare I, the novice of his art,
Which darted is from Titans flaming head, Presume to picture so divine a wight,
That with his beames enlumineth the darke Or hope t expresse her least perfections part,
And dampish air, wherby al things are red; Whose beautie filles the Heavens with her light,
Whose nature yet so much is marvelled

And darkes the Earth with shadow of her sight? Of mortall wits, that it doth much amaze

Ah, gentle Muse! thou art too weake and faint The greatest wisards which thereon do gaze. The pourtraict of so heavenly hew to paint. But that immortall light, which there doth shine, Let angels, which her goodly face behold Is many thousand times more bright, more cleare, And see at will, her soveraigne praises sing, More excellent, more glorious, more divine, And those most sacred mysteries unfold Through which to God all mortall actions here, Of that faire love of mightie Heaveus King; And even the thoughts of men, do plaine appeare; Enough is me t'admyre so heavenly thing, For from th'Eternall Truth it doth proceed, [breed. And, being thus with her huge love possest, Through heavenly vertue which her beames doe In th' only wonder of her selfe to rest. With the great glorie of that wondrous light But whoso may, thrise happie man him hold, His throne is all encompassed around,

Of all on Earth whom God so much doth grace, And þid in his owne brightnesse from the sight And lets his owne beloved to behold; Of all that looke thereon with eyes unsound; For in the view of her celestiall face And underneath his feet are to be found

All joy, all blisse, all happinesse, hare place; Thunder, and lightning, and tempestuous fyre, Ne ought on Earth can want unto the wight The instruments of his avenging yre.

Who of her selfe can win the wishfull sight.

THE

For she, out of her secret threasury,
Plentie of riches forth on him will powre,

BRITTAIN'S IDA', Even heavenly riches, which there hidden ly

WRITTEN BY THAT RENOWNED POET,
Within the closet of her chastest bowre,

EDMOND SPENCER.
Th' eternall portion of her precious dowre,
Which mighty God hath given to her free,

LONDON: PRINTED FOR THOMAS WALKLEY, AND ARE TO

BE SOLD AT HIS SHOP AT THE EAGLE AND CHILD IN And to all those which thereof worthy bee.

BRITTAINES BURSSE. 1628." 12mo.
None thereof worthy be, but those whom shee
Vouchsafeth to her presence to receave,
And letteth them her lovely face to see,

EPISTLE.
Whereof such wondrous pleasures they conceave,
And sweete contentment, that it doth bereave

TO THE RIGHT NOBLE LADY MARY,
Their soul of sense, through infinite delight,

DAUGHTER TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE, GEORGE, And them transport from flesh into the spright.

DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. In which they see such admirable things,

Most noble lady! I have presumed to present As carries them into an extasy,

this poëm to your honourable hand, encouraged And heare such beavenly notes and carolings

onely by the worth of the famous author, (for I Of Gods bigh praise, that filles the brasen sky; And feele such joy and pleasure inwardly,

am certainely assured, by the ablest and most That maketh them all worldly cares forget, knowing men, that it must be a worke of SpenAnd onely thinke on that before them set.

cers, of whom it were pitty that any thing should Ne from thenceforth doth any fleshly sense,

bee lost) and doubting not but your lady-ship will Or idle thought of earthly things, remaine; graciously accept, though from a meane hand, this But all that earst seemd 'sweet seemes now offense, humble present, since the man that offers it is a And all that pleased earst now seemes to paine:

true honourer and observer of your selfe and your Their ioy, their comfort, their desire, their gaine, Is fixed all on that which now they see;

princely family, and shall ever remaine All other sights but fayned shadowes bee.

the humblest of your devoted servants,

TUOMAS WALKLEY,
And that faire lampe which useth to enflame
The hearts of men with selfe-consuming fyre,
Thenceforth seemes fowle, and full of sinfull blame;

MARTIAL
And all that pompe to which proud minds aspyre
By name of honor, and so much desyre,

Accipe facundi Culicem studiose Maronis, Seemes to them basenesse, and all riches drosse, Ne nugis positis, arma virûmque canas. And all mirth saddesse, and all lucre losse.

See here that stately Muse, that erst could raise

In lasting numbers great Elizaes praise, So full their eyes are of that glorious sight,

And dresse fair Vertue in so rich attire, And senses fraught with such satietie,

That even her foes were forced to admire That in nought else on Earth they can delight,

And court her heavenly beauty! Shee that taught But in th' aspect of that felicitie,

The Graces grace, and made the Vertues thought Which they have written in theyr inward ey;

More vertuous than before, is pleased here On which they feed, and in theyr fastened mynd

To slacke her serious fight, and feed your eare All happie ioy and full contentment fynd.

With Love's delightsome toys: doe not refuse

These harmlesse sports; 'tis learned Spencer's Muse; Ah, then, my hungry soule! which long hast fed

But think his loosest poëms worthier then
On idle fancies of thy foolish thought,

The serious follies of vnskillfull men.
And, with false beauties flattring bait misled,
Hast after vaine deceiptfull shadowes sought,
Which all are fled, and now have left thee nought

BRITTAIN'S IDA.
But late repentance through thy follies prief;
Ab! ceasse to gaze on matter of thy grief:

CANTO 1.
And looke at last up to that Soveraine Light,

THE ARGUMENT.
From whose pare beams al perfect beauty springs,
That kindleth love in every godly spright

The youthly shepheards wonning bere,

And beauties rare displayd, appeare;
Even the love of God; whic! loathing brings
Of this vile world and these giy-seeming things ;

Wbat exercise hee chiefe affects,
With whose sweet pleasures being so possest,

His name and scornefull love neglects.
Thy straying thoughts henceforth for ever rest.

In Ida vale (who knowes not Ida vale?)
When harmlesse Troy yet felt not Græcian spite,
An hundred shepheards wonn'd, and in the dale,
While theirfaire flockes the three-leav'd pastures bite,
The shepheards boyes with hundred sportings light,

· The printer's assertion is the only authority on which this poem has been admitted into the edi

Gave winges unto the times too speedy hast :
Ah, foolish lads! that strove with lavish wast
So fast to spend the time that spends your time as fast.

BRITTAIN'S IDA.

CANTO II.

Among the rest, that all the rest excel'd,

THE ARGUMENT.
A dainty boy there wonn'd, whose harmlesse yeares
Now in their freshest budding gently sweld ;

Diones garden of delight

With wonder holds Anchises sight; His nimph-like face nere felt the nimble sheeres,

-While from the bower such musique sounds, Youth's downy blossome through his cheeke ap

As all his senses neere confounds. peares; His lovely limbes (but love he quite discarded) Were made for play (but he no play regarded) One day it chanc't as hee the deere persude, And fit love to reward, and with love be rewarded. Tyred with sport, and faint with weary play,

Faire Venus grove not farre away he view'd, High was his fore-head, arch't with silver mould,

Whose trembling leaves invite him there to stay, (Where never anger churlish rinkle dighted) Aud in their shades his sweating limbes display; His auburne lockes hung like darke threds of gold, There in the cooling glade he softly paces, That wanton aires (with their faire length incited) and much delighted with their even spaces, To play among their wanton curles delighted ;

What in himselfe he scorn'd, hee prais'd their kind His smiling eyes with simple truth were stord:

imbraces. Ah! how should truth in those thiefe eyes be stord, Which thousand loves had stol'n, and pever one re- The woode with Paphian myrtles peöpled, stor'd?

(Whose springing youth felt never winters spiting)

To laurels sweete were sweetely married, His lilly-cheeke might seeme an ivory plaine, Doubling their pleasing smels in their uniting; More purely white than frozen Apenine,

When single much, much more when mixt, deWhere lovely Bashfulnesse did sweetly raine,

lighting: In blushing scarlet cloth'd and purple fine. No foot of beaste durst touch this hallowed place, A hundred hearts had this delightfull shrine

And many a boy that long'd the woods to trace, (Still cold it selfe) inflam'd with hot desire, Entred with feare, but soone turn'd back his frighted That well the face might seem, in divers tire,

face. To be a burning snow, or else a freezing fire.

The thicke-lockt boughs shut out the tell-tale Sunne, His cheerfull lookes and merry face would proove (For Venus bated his all-blabbing light, (If eyes the index be where thoughts are read) Since her knowne fault, which oft she wisht undon) A dainty play-fellow for naked Love;

And scattered rayes did make a doubtfull sight, Of all the other parts enough is sed,

Like to the first of day or last of night : That they were fit twins for so fayre a head! The fittest light for lovers gentle play: Thousand boyes for him, thousand maidens dy'de; Such light best shewes the wandring lovers way, Dye they that list, for such his rigorous pride, And guides his erring hand : night is Love's hollyHe thousand boyes (ah, foole!) and thousand maids day. deni'd.

So farre in this sweet labyrinth he stray'd His ioy was not in musiques sweete delight, That now he views the garden of Delight, (Though well his hand had learnt that cunning arte) Whose breast, with thousand painted flowers array'd, Or dainty songs to daintier eases indite,

With divers joy captiv'd his wandring sight; But through the plaines to chace the nible hart

But soon the eyes rendered the eares their right; With well-tun'd hounds; or with his certaine dart For such strange harmony he seem'd to heare, The tusked boare or savage beare to wound; That all his senses flockt into his eare, Meane time his heart with monsters doth abound; | And every faculty wisht to be seated there. Ah, foole ! to seeke so farre what neerer might be found !

From a close bower this dainty musique flow'd,

A bower appareld round with divers roses, His name (well knowne unto those woody shades,

Both red and white, which by their liveries show'd Where unrewarded lovers oft complaine them)

Their mistris faire, that there her selfe reposes; Anchises was; Anchises oft the glades

Seem'd that would strive with those rare musique And mountains heard, Anchises had disdain'd them;

clozes, Not all their love one gentle looke had gain'd them, By spreading their faire bosomes to the light, That rockey hills, with eccboing noyse consenting, which the distracted sepse should most delight; Anchises plain'd; but he no whit relenting, Harder then rocky hils, laught at their vaine la- That, raps the melted eare; this, both the smel

and sight. menting.

The boy 'twixt fearefull hope, and wishing feare, tions of Spenser's works, since its first publication Crept all along (for much he long'd to see in 1628. The critics agree in believing that it The bower, much more the guest so lodged there;) was not written by Spenser. It is rather remark- And, as he goes, he marks how well agree able also that the poem, if it had been Spenser's, Nature and Arte in discord unity, should have been unknown to the editor of his Each striving who should best performe his part, works in 1611, whom I believe to be Gabriel Har- Yet Arte now helping Nature, Nature Arte; vey, his particular friend. Todd.

While from his eares a voyce thus stole his heart.

sure.

« Fond men! whose wretched care the life soone end- Her full large eye, in jetty-blacke array'd,
By striving to increase your ioy, do spend it; [ing, Prov'd beauty not confin'd to red and white,
And, spending ioy, yet find no ioy in spending; But oft her selfe in blacke more rich display'd;
You burt your life by striving to amend it; Both contraries did yet themselves unite,
And, seeking to prolong it, soonest end it: To make one beauty in different delight;
Then, while fit time affords thee time and leasure, | A thousand Loves sate playing in each eye;
Enioy while yet thou mayst thy lifes sweet pleasure: And smiling Mirth, kissing fair Courtesie,
Too foolish is the man that starves to feed his trea- | By sweete pesswasion wan a bloodlesse victory.

The whitest white, set by her silver cheeke, “ Love is lifes end ; (an end, but never ending ;)

Grew pale and wan, like unto heavy lead; All joyes, all sweetes, all happinesse, awarding ;

The freshest purple fresher dyes must seeke, Love is life's wealth (nere spent, but ever spending) On these Cupido winged armies led

That dares compare with them his fainting red: More rich by giving, taking by discarding ; Love's lifes reward, rewarded in rewarding :

Of little Loves that, with bold wanton traine Then from thy wretched heart fond care remoove;

Under those colours, marching on the plaine, Ah! shouldst thou live but once loves sweetes to

Force every heart, and to low vasselage constraine. proove,

Her lips, most happy each in other's kisses, Thou wilt not love to live, unlesse thou live to love." From their so wisht imbracements seldome parted,

Yet seem'd to blush at such their wanton blisses; To this sweet voyce a dainty musique fitted But, when sweet words theirioyning sweet disparted, It's well-tun'd strings, and to her notes consorted, To th'eare a dainty musique they imparted : And while with skilfull voyce the song she dittied, Upon them fitly sate, delightfull smiling, The blabbing Echo had her words retorted; A thousand soules with pleasing stealth beguiling: That now the boy, beyond his soule transported, Ah! that such shews of ioyes should be all ioyes Through all his limbes feeles run a pleasant shaking, exiling. And, twixt a hope and feare, suspects mistaking, And doubts he sleeping dreames, and broad awake So sweet a lodge; but when she once intended

The breath came slowly thence, unwilling leaving feares waking.

To feast the aire with words, the heart deceiving,
More fast it thronged so to be expended;

And at each word a hundred Loves attended,
BRITTAIN'S IDA.

Playing i' th' breath, more sweete than is that firing

Where that Arabian onely bird, expiring, (spiring. CANTO III.

Lives by her death, by losse of breath more fresh re

Her chin, like to a stone in gold inchased,
THE ARGUMENT.

Seem'd a fair iewell wrought with cunning hand,
Faire Cythereas limbes beheld,

And, being double, doubly the face graced :
The strayiog lads heart so inthrald,

This goodly frame on her round necke did stand;
That in a trance his melted spright

Such pillar well such curious work sustain'd;
Leaves th’sences slumbring in delight.

And, on his top the heavenly spheare np-rearing,
Might well present, with daintier appearing,

A lesse but better Atlas, that faire Heaven bearing,
Now to the bower hee sent his theevish eyes
To stcale a happy sight; there doe they finde

Lower two breasts stand, all their beauties bearing, Faire Venus, that within halfe naked lyes;

Two breasts as smooth and soft; but, ah, alas! And straight amaz’d (so glorious beauty shin'd)

Their smoothest softnes farre exceedes comparing; Would not returne the message to the minde;

More smooth and soft, but naught that ever was, But, full of feare and superstitious awe,

Where they are first, deserves the second place; Could not retire, or backe their beams withdraw,

Yet each as soft and each as smooth as other; So fixt on too much seeing made they nothing saw.

And when thou first tri'st one, and then the other,

Each softer seemes then each, and each then each Her goodly length stretcht on a lilly-bed,

seemes smoother. (A bright foyle of a beauty farre more bright)

Lowly betweene their dainty hemisphæres, Few roses round about were scattered,

(Their hemisphæres the heav'nly globes excelling) As if the lillies learnt to blush, for spight

A path more white than is the name it beares, To see a skinne much more then lilly-white :

The lacteal path, conducts to the sweet dwelling The bed sanke with delight so to be pressed, And knew not which to thinke a chance more blessed, where hundred sweetes, and still fresh ioyes attend

Where best Delight all ioyes sits freely dealing ; Both blessed so to kisse, and so agayne be kissed. Receive in giving; and, still love dispending, sing,

Grow richer by their losse, and wealthy by expending. Her spacious fore-head, like the clearest Moone, Whose full-growne orbe begins now to be spent, But stay, bold shepheard ! here thy footing stay, Largely display'd in native silver shone,

Nor trust too much unto thy new-borne quill, Giving wide room to Beauty's regiment,

As farther to those dainty limbs to stray, Which on the plaine with Love tryumphing went; Or hope to paint that vale or beautious hill Her golden haire a rope of pearle imbraced, Which past the finest hand or choycest skill: Which, with their dainty threds oft-times enlaced, But were thy verse and song as finely fram'd Made the eie think the pearle was there in gold in- As are those parts, yet should it soone be blam'd, chased.

For now the shameles world of best things is asbam'd.

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