HotFreeBooks.com
The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume 5
by Edmund Spenser
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Who is the same which at my window peepes? Or whose is that faire face that shines so bright? Is it not Cinthia, she that never sleepes, But walkes about high heaven al the night? 375 O fayrest goddesse! do thou not envy My Love with me to spy: For thou likewise didst love, though now unthought, And for a fleece of wooll, which privily The Latmian Shepherd* once unto thee brought, 380 His pleasures with thee wrought. Therefore to us be favorable now; And sith of wemens labours thou hast charge, And generation goodly dost enlarge, Encline thy will t'effect our wishfull vow, 385 And the chast womb informe with timely seed, That may our comfort breed: Till which we cease our hopefull hap to sing, Ne let the woods us answer, nor our eccho ring. [* I.e. Endymion.]

And thou, great Iuno! which with awful might 390 The lawes of wedlock still dost patronize, And the religion of the faith first plight With sacred rites hast taught to solemnize, And eke for comfort often called art Of women in their smart, 395 Eternally bind thou this lovely band, And all thy blessings unto us impart. And thou, glad Genius! in whose gentle hand The bridale bowre and geniall bed remaine, Without blemish or staine, 400 And the sweet pleasures of theyr loves delight With secret ayde doost succour and supply, Till they bring forth the fruitfull progeny, Send us the timely fruit of this same night, And thou, fayre Hebe! and thou, Hymen free! 405 Grant that it may so be. Till which we cease your further prayse to sing, Ne any woods shall answer, nor your eccho ring.

And ye high heavens, the temple of the gods, In which a thousand torches flaming bright 410 Doe burne, that to us wretched earthly clods In dreadful darknesse lend desired light, And all ye powers which in the same remayne, More than we men can fayne, Poure out your blessing on us plentiously, 415 And happy influence upon us raine, That we may raise a large posterity, Which from the earth, which they may long possesse With lasting happinesse, Up to your haughty pallaces may mount, 420 And for the guerdon of theyr glorious merit, May heavenly tabernacles there inherit, Of blessed saints for to increase the count. So let us rest, sweet Love, in hope of this, And cease till then our tymely ioyes to sing: 425 The woods no more us answer, nor our eccho ring!

Song, made in lieu of many ornaments With which my Love should duly have been dect, Which cutting off through hasty accidents, Ye would not stay your dew time to expect, 430 But promist both to recompens, Be unto her a goodly ornament, And for short time an endlesse moniment!

* * * * *

PROTHALAMION:

OR,

A SPOUSALL VERSE,

MADE BY

EDM. SPENSER.

IN HONOUR OF THE DOUBLE MARRIAGE OF THE TWO HONORABLE AND VERTUOUS LADIES, THE LADIE ELIZABETH, AND THE LADIE KATHERINE SOMERSET, DAUGHTERS TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE THE EARLE OF WORCESTER, AND ESPOUSED TO THE TWO WORTHIE GENTLEMEN, M. HENRY GILFORD AND M. WILLIAM PETER, ESQUYERS.

(1596)



PROTHALAMION:

OR,

A SPOUSALL VERSE.

Calme was the day, and through the trembling ayre Sweete-breathing Zephyrus did softly play A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay* Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster fayre; When I (whom sullein care, Through discontent of my long fruitlesse stay In princes court, and expectation vayne Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away Like empty shadows, did afflict my brayne,) Walkt forth to ease my payne 10 Along the shoare of silver streaming Themmes; Whose rutty** bank, the which his river hemmes, Was paynted all with variable flowers, And all the meades adornd with dainty gemmes, Fit to decke maydens bowres, 15 And crowne their paramours Against the brydale day, which is not long@: Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [* Delay, allay.] [** Rutty, rooty.] [@ Long, distant.]

There, in a meadow by the rivers side, A flocke of Nymphes I chaunced to espy, 20 All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, With goodly greenish locks, all loose untyde, As each had bene a bryde; And each one had a little wicker basket, Made of fine twigs, entrayled* curiously, 25 In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket**, And with fine fingers cropt full feateously@ The tender stalkes on hye. Of every sort which in that meadow grew They gathered some; the violet, pallid blew, 30 The little dazie, that at evening closes, The virgin lillie, and the primrose trew, With store of vermeil roses, To deck their bridegroomes posies Against the brydale day, which was not long: 35 Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [* Entrayled, interwoven.] [** Flasket, a long, shallow basket.] [@ Feateously, dexterously.]

With that I saw two Swannes of goodly hewe Come softly swimming downe along the lee*: Two fairer birds I yet did never see; The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew 40 Did never whiter shew, Nor Jove himselfe, when he a swan would be For love of Leda, whiter did appear; Yet Leda was, they say, as white as he, Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near: 45 So purely white they were, That even the gentle stream, the which them bare, Seem'd foule to them, and bad his billowes spare To wet their silken feathers, least they might Soyle their fayre plumes with water not so fayre, 50 And marre their beauties bright, That shone as heavens light, Against their brydale day, which was not long: Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [* Lee, stream.]

Eftsoones, the Nymphes, which now had flowers their fill, 55 Ran all in haste to see that silver brood, As they came floating on the cristal flood; Whom when they sawe, they stood amazed still, Their wondring eyes to fill. Them seem'd they never saw a sight so fayre 60 Of fowles, so lovely, that they sure did deeme Them heavenly borne, or to be that same payre Which through the skie draw Venus stiver teeme; For sure they did not seeme To be begot of any earthly seede, 65 But rather angels, or of angels breede; Yet were they bred of Somers-heat, they say, In sweetest season, when each flower and weede The earth did fresh aray; So fresh they seem'd as day, 70 Even as their brydale day, which was not long: Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [Ver. 67—Somers-heat. A pun on the name of the Ladies Somerset. C.]

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew Great store of flowers, the honour of the field, That to the sense did fragrant odours yeild, 75 All which upon those goodly birds they threw, And all the waves did strew, That like old Peneus waters they did seeme, When downe along by pleasant Tempes shore, Scattred with flowres, through Thessaly they streeme, That they appeare, through lillies plenteous store, 81 Like a brydes chamber flore. Two of those Nymphes, meane while, two garlands bound Of freshest flowres which in that mead they found, The which presenting all in trim array, 85 Their snowie foreheads therewithall they crownd, Whilst one did sing this lay, Prepar'd against that day, Against their brydale day, which was not long: Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.

"Ye gentle Birdes! the worlds faire ornament, 91 And heavens glorie, whom this happie hower Doth leade unto your lovers blissfull bower, Ioy may you have, and gentle hearts content Of your loves couplement; 95 And let faire Venus, that is Queene of Love, With her heart-quelling sonne upon you smile, Whose smile, they say, hath vertue to remove All loves dislike, and friendships faultie guile For ever to assoile*. 100 Let endlesse peace your steadfast hearts accord, And blessed plentie wait upon your bord; And let your bed with pleasures chast abound. That fruitfull issue may to you afford, Which may your foes confound, 105 And make your ioyes redound Upon your brydale day, which is not long: Sweet Themmes! runne softlie, till I end my song." [* Assoile, do away with.]

So ended she; and all the rest around To her redoubled that her undersong*, 110 Which said, their brydale daye should not be long: And gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground Their accents did resound. So forth those ioyous birdes did passe along Adowne the lee, that to them murmurde low, 115 As he would speake, but that he lackt a tong, Yet did by signes his glad affection show, Making his streame run slow. And all the foule which in his flood did dwell Gan flock about these twaine, that did excell 120 The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend** The lesser stars. So they, enranged well, Did on those two attend, And their best service lend Against their wedding day, which was not long: 125 Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [* Undersong, burden.] [** Shend, put to shame.]

At length they all to mery London came, To mery London, my most kyndly nurse, That to me gave this lifes first native sourse, Though from another place I take my name, 130 An house of auncient fame. There when they came whereas those bricky towres The which on Themmes brode aged backe doe ryde, Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers.— There whylome wont the Templer Knights to byde, Till they decayd through pride,— 136 Next whereunto there standes a stately place, Where oft I gayned giftes and goodly grace Of that great lord which therein wont to dwell, Whose want too well now feels my freendles case: 140 But ah! here fits not well Olde woes, but ioyes, to tell, Against the bridale daye, which is not long: Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [Ver. 137.—A stately place Exeter House, the residence first of the Earl of Leicester, and afterwards of Essex. C.]

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer, 145 Great Englands glory and the worlds wide wonder, Whose dreadfull name late through all Spaine did thunder, And Hercules two pillors standing neere Did make to quake and feare. Faire branch of honor, flower of chevalrie! 150 That fillest England with thy triumphs fame, Ioy have thou of thy noble victorie, And endlesse happinesse of thine owne name, That promiseth the same; That through thy prowesse and victorious armes 155 Thy country may be freed from forraine harmes, And great Elisaes glorious name may ring Through al the world, fil'd with thy wide alarmes. Which some brave Muse may sing To ages following, 160 Upon the brydale day, which is not long: Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song. [Ver. 147.—Whose dreadfull name, &c. The allusion here is to the expedition against Cadiz, from which Essex returned in August, 1596. C.]

From those high towers this noble lord issuing, Like radiant Hesper, when his golden hayre In th'ocean billowes he hath bathed fayre, 165 Descended to the rivers open vewing, With a great traine ensuing. Above the rest were goodly to bee scene Two gentle Knights of lovely face and feature, Beseeming well the bower of any queene, 170 With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature Fit for so goodly stature, That like the twins of Iove they seem'd in sight, Which decke the bauldricke of the heavens bright. They two, forth pacing to the rivers side, 175 Receiv'd those two faire brides, their loves delight; Which, at th'appointed tyde, Each one did make his bryde Against their brydale day, which is not long: 179 Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.

* * * * *

FOWRE HYMNES

MADE BY

EDM. SPENSER.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND MOST VERTUOUS LADIES,

THE LADIE MARGARET,

COUNTESSE OF CUMBERLAND;

AND THE LADIE MARIE*,

COUNTESSE OF WARWICK.

Having, in the greener times of my youth, composed these former two Hymnes in the praise of love and beautie, and finding that the same too much pleased those of like age and disposition, which, being too vehemently carried with that kind of affection, do rather sucke out poyson to their strong passion, then honey to their honest delight, I was moved, by the one of you two most excellent Ladies, to call in the same; but being unable so to do, by reason that many copies thereof were formerly scattered abroad, I resolved at least to amend, and, by way of retraction, to reforme them, making (instead of those two Hymnes of earthly or naturall love and beautie) two others of heavenly and celestiall; the which I doe dedicate ioyntly unto you two honorable sisters, as to the most excellent and rare ornaments of all true love and beautie, both in the one and the other kind; humbly beseeching you to vouchsafe the patronage of them, and to accept this my humble service, in lieu of the great graces and honourable favours which ye dayly shew unto me, until such time as I may, by better meanes, yeeld you some more notable testimonie of my thankfull mind and dutifull devotion. And even so I pray for your happinesse. Greenwich, this first of September, 1596. Your Honors most bounden ever,

In all humble service,

ED. SP.

[* The Countess of Warwick's name was Anne, not Mary. TODD.]

* * * * *



AN HYMNE

IN HONOUR OF LOVE.

Love, that long since hast to thy mighty powre Perforce subdude my poor captived hart, And raging now therein with restlesse stowre*, Doest tyrannize in everie weaker part, Faine would I seeke to ease my bitter smart 5 By any service I might do to thee, Or ought that else might to thee pleasing bee. [* Stowre, commotion.]

And now t'asswage the force of this new flame, And make thee more propitious in my need, I meane to sing the praises of thy name, 10 And thy victorious conquests to areed*, By which thou madest many harts to bleed Of mighty victors, with wide wounds embrewed, And by thy cruell darts to thee subdewed. [* Areed, set forth.]

Onely I fear my wits, enfeebled late 15 Through the sharp sorrowes which thou hast me bred, Should faint, and words should faile me to relate The wondrous triumphs of thy great god-hed: But, if thou wouldst vouchsafe to overspred Me with the shadow of thy gentle wing, 20 I should enabled be thy actes to sing.

Come, then, O come, thou mightie God of Love! Out of thy silver bowres and secret blisse, Where thou dost sit in Venus lap above, Bathing thy wings in her ambrosial kisse, 25 That sweeter farre than any nectar is, Come softly, and my feeble breast inspire With gentle furie, kindled of thy fire.

And ye, sweet Muses! which have often proved The piercing points of his avengefull darts, 30 And ye, fair Nimphs! which oftentimes have loved The cruel worker of your kindly smarts, Prepare yourselves, and open wide your harts For to receive the triumph of your glorie, That made you merie oft when ye were sorrie. 35

And ye, faire blossoms of youths wanton breed! Which in the conquests of your beautie bost, Wherewith your lovers feeble eyes you feed, But sterve their harts, that needeth nourture most, Prepare your selves to march amongst his host, 40 And all the way this sacred hymne do sing, Made in the honor of your soveraigne king.

Great God of Might, that reignest in the mynd, And all the bodie to thy hest doest frame, Victor of gods, subduer of mankynd, 45 That doest the lions and fell tigers tame, Making their cruell rage thy scornfull game, And in their roring taking great delight, Who can expresse the glorie of thy might?

Or who alive can perfectly declare 50 The wondrous cradle of thine infancie, When thy great mother Venus first thee bare, Begot of Plenty and of Penurie, Though elder then thine own nativitie, And yet a chyld, renewing still thy yeares, 55 And yet the eldest of the heavenly peares?

For ere this worlds still moving mightie masse Out of great Chaos ugly prison crept, In which his goodly face long hidden was From heavens view, and in deep darknesse kept, 60 Love, that had now long time securely slept In Venus lap, unarmed then and naked, Gan reare his head, by Clotho being waked:

And taking to him wings of his own heat, Kindled at first from heavens life-giving fyre, 65 He gan to move out of his idle seat; Weakly at first, but after with desyre Lifted aloft, he gan to mount up hyre*, And, like fresh eagle, made his hardy flight Thro all that great wide wast, yet wanting light. 70 [* Hyre, higher.]

Yet wanting light to guide his wandring way, His own faire mother, for all creatures sake, Did lend him light from her owne goodly ray; Then through the world his way he gan to take, The world, that was not till he did it make, 75 Whose sundrie parts he from themselves did sever. The which before had lyen confused ever.

The earth, the ayre, the water, and the fyre, Then gan to raunge themselves in huge array, And with contrary forces to conspyre 80 Each against other by all meanes they may, Threatning their owne confusion and decay: Ayre hated earth, and water hated fyre, Till Love relented their rebellious yre.

He then them tooke, and, tempering goodly well 85 Their contrary dislikes with loved meanes, Did place them all in order, and compell To keepe themselves within their sundrie raines*, Together linkt with adamantine chaines; Yet so as that in every living wight 90 They mix themselves, and shew their kindly might. [* Raines, kingdoms.]

So ever since they firmely have remained, And duly well observed his beheast; Through which now all these things that are contained Within this goodly cope, both most and least, 95 Their being have, and daily are increast Through secret sparks of his infused fyre, Which in the barraine cold he doth inspyre.

Thereby they all do live, and moved are To multiply the likenesse of their kynd, 100 Whilest they seeke onely, without further care, To quench the flame which they in burning fynd; But man, that breathes a more immortall mynd, Not for lusts sake, but for eternitie, Seekes to enlarge his lasting progenie. 105

For having yet in his deducted spright Some sparks remaining of that heavenly fyre, He is enlumind with that goodly light, Unto like goodly semblant to aspyre; Therefore in choice of love he doth desyre 110 That seemes on earth most heavenly to embrace, That same is Beautie, borne of heavenly race.

For sure, of all that in this mortall frame Contained is, nought more divine doth seeme, Or that resembleth more th'immortall flame 115 Of heavenly light, than Beauties glorious beam. What wonder then, if with such rage extreme Frail men, whose eyes seek heavenly things to see, At sight thereof so much enravisht bee?

Which well perceiving, that imperious boy 120 Doth therewith tip his sharp empoisned darts, Which glancing thro the eyes with* countenance coy Kest not till they have pierst the trembling harts, And kindled flame in all their inner parts, Which suckes the blood, and drinketh up the lyfe, 125 Of carefull wretches with consuming griefe. [* Qu. from? WARTON.]

Thenceforth they playne, and make full piteous mone Unto the author of their balefull bane: The daies they waste, the nights they grieve and grone, Their lives they loath, and heavens light disdaine; 130 No light but that whose lampe doth yet remaine Fresh burning in the image of their eye, They deigne to see, and seeing it still dye.

The whylst thou, tyrant Love, doest laugh and scorne At their complaints, making their paine thy play; 135 Whylest they lye languishing like thrals forlorne, The whyles thou doest triumph in their decay; And otherwhyles, their dying to delay, Thou doest emmarble the proud hart of her Whose love before their life they doe prefer. 140

So hast thou often done (ay me the more!) To me thy vassall, whose yet bleeding hart With thousand wounds thou mangled hast so sore, That whole remaines scarse any little part; Yet to augment the anguish of my smart, 145 Thou hast enfrosen her disdainefull brest, That no one drop of pitie there doth rest.

Why then do I this honor unto thee, Thus to ennoble thy victorious name, Sith thou doest shew no favour unto mee, 150 Ne once move ruth in that rebellious dame,

Somewhat to slacke the rigour of my flame? Certes small glory doest thou winne hereby, To let her live thus free, and me to dy.

But if thou be indeede, as men thee call, 155 The worlds great parent, the most kind preserver Of living wights, the soveraine lord of all, How falles it then that with thy furious fervour Thou doest afflict as well the not-deserver, As him that doeth thy lovely heasts despize, 160 And on thy subiects most doth tyrannize?

Yet herein eke thy glory seemeth more, By so hard handling those which best thee serve, That, ere thou doest them unto grace restore, Thou mayest well trie if they will ever swerve, 165 And mayest them make it better to deserve, And, having got it, may it more esteeme; For things hard gotten men more dearely deeme.

So hard those heavenly beauties be enfyred, As things divine least passions doe impresse; 170 The more of stedfast mynds to be admyred, The more they stayed be on stedfastnesse; But baseborne minds such lamps regard the lesse, Which at first blowing take not hastie fyre; Such fancies feele no love, but loose desyre. 175

For Love is lord of truth and loialtie, Lifting himself out of the lowly dust On golden plumes up to the purest skie, Above the reach of loathly sinfull lust, Whose base affect*, through cowardly distrust 180 Of his weake wings, dare not to heaven fly, But like a moldwarpe** in the earth doth ly. [* Affect, affection, passion.] [** Moldwarpe, mole.]

His dunghill thoughts, which do themselves enure To dirtie drosse, no higher dare aspyre; Ne can his feeble earthly eyes endure 185 The flaming light of that celestiall fyre Which kindleth love in generous desyre, And makes him mount above the native might Of heavie earth, up to the heavens hight.

Such is the powre of that sweet passion, 190 That it all sordid basenesse doth expell, And the refyned mynd doth newly fashion Unto a fairer forme, which now doth dwell In his high thought, that would it selfe excell; Which he beholding still with constant sight, 195 Admires the mirrour of so heavenly light.

Whose image printing in his deepest wit, He thereon feeds his hungrie fantasy, Still full, yet never satisfyde with it; Like Tantale, that in store doth sterved ly, 200 So doth he pine in most satiety; For nought may quench his infinite desyre, Once kindled through that first conceived fyre.

Thereon his mynd affixed wholly is, Ne thinks on ought but how it to attaine; 205 His care, his ioy, his hope, is all on this, That seemes in it all blisses to containe, In sight whereof all other blisse seemes vaine: Thrice happie man, might he the same possesse, He faines himselfe, and doth his fortune blesse. 210

And though he do not win his wish to end, Yet thus farre happie he himselfe doth weene, That heavens such happie grace did to him lend As thing on earth so heavenly to have seene, His harts enshrined saint, his heavens queene, 215 Fairer then fairest in his fayning eye, Whose sole aspect he counts felicitye.

Then forth he casts in his unquiet thought, What he may do her favour to obtaine; What brave exploit, what perill hardly wrought, 220 What puissant conquest, what adventurous paine, May please her best, and grace unto him gaine; He dreads no danger, nor misfortune feares, His faith, his fortune, in his breast he beares.

Thou art his god, thou art his mightie guyde, 225 Thou, being blind, letst him not see his feares, But carriest him to that which he had eyde, Through seas, through flames, through thousand swords and speares; * Ne ought so strong that may his force withstand, With which thou armest his resistlesse hand. 230 [* The fifth verse of this stanza appears to have dropped out. C.]

Witnesse Leander in the Euxine waves, And stout Aeneas in the Troiane fyre, Achilles preassing through the Phrygian glaives*, And Orpheus, daring to provoke the yre Of damned fiends, to get his love retyre; 235 For both through heaven and hell thou makest way, To win them worship which to thee obay. [* Glaives, swords.]

And if by all these perils and these paynes He may but purchase lyking in her eye, What heavens of ioy then to himselfe he faynes! 240 Eftsoones he wypes quite out of memory Whatever ill before he did aby*: Had it beene death, yet would he die againe, To live thus happie as her grace to gaine. [* Aby, abide.]

Yet when he hath found favour to his will, 245 He nathemore can so contented rest, But forceth further on, and striveth still T'approch more neare, till in her inmost brest He may embosomd bee and loved best; And yet not best, but to be lov'd alone; 250 For love cannot endure a paragone*. [* Paragone, competitor.]

The fear whereof, O how doth it torment His troubled mynd with more then hellish paine! And to his fayning fansie represent Sights never seene, and thousand shadowes vaine, 255 To breake his sleepe and waste his ydle braine: Thou that hast never lov'd canst not beleeve Least part of th'evils which poore lovers greeve.

The gnawing envie, the hart-fretting feare, The vaine surmizes, the distrustfull showes, 260 The false reports that flying tales doe beare, The doubts, the daungers, the delayes, the woes, The fayned friends, the unassured foes, With thousands more then any tongue can tell, Doe make a lovers life a wretches hell. 265

Yet is there one more cursed then they all, That cancker-worme, that monster, Gelosie, Which eates the heart and feedes upon the gall, Turning all Loves delight to miserie, Through feare of losing his felicitie. 270 Ah, gods! that ever ye that monster placed In gentle Love, that all his ioyes defaced!

By these, O Love! thou doest thy entrance make Unto thy heaven, and doest the more endeere Thy pleasures unto those which them partake, 275 As after stormes, when clouds begin to cleare, The sunne more bright and glorious doth appeare; So thou thy folke, through paines of Purgatorie, Dost beare unto thy blisse, and heavens glorie.

There thou them placest in a paradize 280 Of all delight and ioyous happy rest, Where they doe feede on nectar heavenly-wize, With Hercules and Hebe, and the rest Of Venus dearlings, through her bountie blest; And lie like gods in yvory beds arayd, 285 With rose and lillies over them displayd.

There with thy daughter Pleasure they doe play Their hurtlesse sports, without rebuke or blame, And in her snowy bosome boldly lay Their quiet heads, devoyd of guilty shame, 290 After full ioyance of their gentle game; Then her they crowne their goddesse and their queene, And decke with floures thy altars well beseene.

Ay me! deare Lord, that ever I might hope, For all the paines and woes that I endure, 295 To come at length unto the wished scope Of my desire, or might myselfe assure That happie port for ever to recure*! Then would I thinke these paines no paines at all, And all my woes to be but penance small. 300 [* Recure, recover, gain.]

Then would I sing of thine immortal praise An heavenly hymne such as the angels sing, And thy triumphant name then would I raise Bove all the gods, thee only honoring; My guide, my god, my victor, and my king: 305 Till then, drad Lord! vouchsafe to take of me This simple song, thus fram'd in praise of thee.



AN HYMNE

IN HONOUR OF BEAUTIE.

Ah! whither, Love! wilt thou now carry mee? What wontlesse fury dost thou now inspire Into my feeble breast, too full of thee? Whylest seeking to aslake thy raging fyre, Thou in me kindlest much more great desyre, 5 And up aloft above my strength doth rayse The wondrous matter of my fire to praise.

That as I earst in praise of thine owne name, So now in honour of thy mother deare An honourable hymne I eke should frame, 10 And, with the brightnesse of her beautie cleare, The ravisht hearts of gazefull men might reare To admiration of that heavenly light, From whence proceeds such soule-enchanting might.

Therto do thou, great Goddesse! Queene of Beauty, Mother of Love and of all worlds delight, 16 Without whose soverayne grace and kindly dewty Nothing on earth seems fayre to fleshly sight, Doe thou vouchsafe with thy love-kindling light T'illuminate my dim and dulled eyne, 20 And beautifie this sacred hymne of thyne:

That both to thee, to whom I meane it most, And eke to her whose faire immortall beame Hath darted fyre into my feeble ghost, That now it wasted is with woes extreame, 25 It may so please, that she at length will streame Some deaw of grace into my withered hart, After long sorrow and consuming smart.

WHAT TIME THIS WORLDS GREAT WORKMAISTER did cast To make al things such as we now behold, 30 It seems that he before his eyes had plast A goodly paterne, to whose perfect mould He fashiond them as comely as he could, That now so faire and seemely they appeare As nought may be amended any wheare. 35

That wondrous paterne, wheresoere it bee, Whether in earth layd up in secret store, Or else in heaven, that no man may it see With sinfull eyes, for feare it do deflore, Is perfect Beautie, which all men adore; 40 Whose face and feature doth so much excell All mortal sence, that none the same may tell.

Thereof as every earthly thing partakes Or more or lesse, by influence divine, So it more faire accordingly it makes, 45 And the grosse matter of this earthly myne Which closeth it thereafter doth refyne, Doing away the drosse which dims the light Of that faire beame which therein is empight*. [* Empight, placed.]

For, through infusion of celestiall powre, 50 The duller earth it quickneth with delight, And life-full spirits privily doth powre Through all the parts, that to the lookers sight They seeme to please; that is thy soveraine might, O Cyprian queene! which, flowing from the beame 55 Of thy bright starre, thou into them doest streame.

That is the thing which giveth pleasant grace To all things faire, that kindleth lively fyre; Light of thy lampe; which, shyning in the face, Thence to the soule darts amorous desyre, 60 And robs the harts of those which it admyre; Therewith thou pointest thy sons poysned arrow, That wounds the life and wastes the inmost marrow.

How vainely then do ydle wits invent That Beautie is nought else but mixture made 65 Of colours faire, and goodly temp'rament Of pure complexions, that shall quickly fade And passe away, like to a sommers shade; Or that it is but comely composition Of parts well measurd, with meet disposition! 70

Hath white and red in it such wondrous powre, That it can pierce through th'eyes unto the hart, And therein stirre such rage and restlesse stowre*, As nought but death can stint his dolours smart? Or can proportion of the outward part 75 Move such affection in the inward mynd, That it can rob both sense, and reason blynd? [* Stowre, commotion.]

Why doe not then the blossomes of the field, Which are arayd with much more orient hew, And to the sense most daintie odours yield, 80 Worke like impression in the lookers vew? Or why doe not faire pictures like powre shew, In which oft-times we Nature see of Art Exceld, in perfect limming every part?

But ah! beleeve me there is more then so, 85 That workes such wonders in the minds of men; I, that have often prov'd, too well it know, And who so list the like assayes to ken Shall find by trial, and confesse it then, That Beautie is not, as fond men misdeeme, 90 An outward shew of things that onely seeme.

For that same goodly hew of white and red With which the cheekes are sprinckled, shall decay, And those sweete rosy leaves, so fairly spred Upon the lips, shall fade and fall away 95 To that they were, even to corrupted clay: That golden wyre, those sparckling stars so bright, Shall turne to dust, and lose their goodly light.

But that faire lampe, from whose celestiall ray That light proceedes which kindleth lovers fire, 100 Shall never be extinguisht nor decay; But, when the vitall spirits doe espyre, Unto her native planet shall retyre; For it is heavenly borne, and cannot die, Being a parcell of the purest skie. 105

For when the soule, the which derived was, At first, out of that great immortall Spright, By whom all live to love, whilome did pas Down from the top of purest heavens hight To be embodied here, it then tooke light 110 And lively spirits from that fayrest starre Which lights the world forth from his firie carre.

Which powre retayning still, or more or lesse, When she in fleshly seede is eft* enraced**, Through every part she doth the same impresse, 115 According as the heavens have her graced, And frames her house, in which she will be placed, Fit for her selfe, adorning it with spoyle Of th'heavenly riches which she robd erewhyle. [* Eft, afterwards.] [** Enraced, implanted.]

Thereof it comes that these faire soules which have The most resemblance of that heavenly light 121 Frame to themselves most beautifull and brave Their fleshly bowre, most fit for their delight, And the grosse matter by a soveraine might Temper so trim, that it may well be seene 125 A pallace fit for such a virgin queene.

So every spirit, as it is most pure, And hath in it the more of heavenly light, So it the fairer bodie doth procure To habit in, and it more fairely dight* 130 With chearfull grace and amiable sight: For of the soule the bodie forme doth take; For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make. [* Dight, adorn.]

Therefore, where-ever that thou doest behold A comely corpse*, with beautie faire endewed, 135 Know this for certaine, that the same doth hold A beauteous soule with fair conditions thewed**, Fit to receive the seede of vertue strewed; For all that faire is, is by nature good; That is a sign to know the gentle blood. 140 [* Corpse, body.] [** i.e. endowed with fair qualities.]

Yet oft it falles that many a gentle mynd Dwels in deformed tabernacle drownd, Either by chaunce, against the course of kynd*, Or through unaptnesse in the substance fownd, Which it assumed of some stubborne grownd, 145 That will not yield unto her formes direction, But is deform'd with some foule imperfection. [* Kynd, nature.]

And oft it falles, (ay me, the more to rew!) That goodly Beautie, albe heavenly borne, Is foule abusd, and that celestiall hew, 150 Which doth the world with her delight adorne, Made but the bait of sinne, and sinners scorne, Whilest every one doth seeke and sew to have it, But every one doth seeke but to deprave it.

Yet nathemore is that faire Beauties blame, 155 But theirs that do abuse it unto ill: Nothing so good, but that through guilty shame May be corrupt*, and wrested unto will. Nathelesse the soule is faire and beauteous still, However fleshes fault it filthy make; 160 For things immortall no corruption take. [* Corrupt, corrupted.]

But ye, faire Dames! the worlds deare ornaments, And lively images of heavens light, Let not your beames with such disparagements Be dimd, and your bright glorie darkned quight; l65 But mindfull still of your first countries sight, Doe still preserve your first informed grace, Whose shadow yet shynes in your beauteous face.

Loath that foule blot, that hellish fierbrand, Disloiall lust, fair Beauties foulest blame, 170 That base affections, which your eares would bland*, Commend to you by loves abused name, But is indeede the bondslave of defame; Which will the garland of your glorie marre, And quench the light of your brightshyning starre. 175 [* Bland, blandish.]

But gentle Love, that loiall is and trew, Wil more illumine your resplendent ray, And add more brightnesse to your goodly hew From light of his pure fire; which, by like way Kindled of yours, your likenesse doth display; 180 Like as two mirrours, by opposd reflection, Doe both expresse the faces first impression.

Therefore, to make your beautie more appeare, It you behoves to love, and forth to lay That heavenly riches which in you ye beare, 185 That men the more admyre their fountaine may; For else what booteth that celestiall ray, If it in darknesse be enshrined ever, That it of loving eyes be vewed never?

But, in your choice of loves, this well advize, 190 That likest to your selves ye them select, The which your forms first sourse may sympathize, And with like beauties parts be inly deckt; For if you loosely love without respect, It is not love, but a discordant warre, 195 Whose unlike parts amongst themselves do iarre.

For love is a celestiall harmonie Of likely* harts composd of** starres concent, Which ioyne together in sweete sympathie, To work each others ioy and true content, 200 Which they have harbourd since their first descent Out of their heavenly bowres, where they did see And know ech other here belov'd to bee. [* Likely, similar.] [** Composd of, combined by.]

Then wrong it were that any other twaine Should in Loves gentle band combyned bee, 205 But those whom Heaven did at first ordaine, And made out of one mould the more t'agree; For all that like the beautie which they see Straight do not love; for Love is not so light As straight to burne at first beholders sight. 210

But they which love indeede looke otherwise, With pure regard and spotlesse true intent, Drawing out of the obiect of their eyes A more refyned form, which they present Unto their mind, voide of all blemishment; 215 Which it reducing to her first perfection, Beholdeth free from fleshes frayle infection.

And then conforming it unto the light Which in it selfe it hath remaining still, Of that first sunne, yet sparckling in his sight, 220 Thereof he fashions in his higher skill An heavenly beautie to his fancies will; And it embracing in his mind entyre, The mirrour of his owne thought doth admyre.

Which seeing now so inly faire to be, 225 As outward it appeareth to the eye, And with his spirits proportion to agree, He thereon fixeth all his fantasie, And fully setteth his felicitie; Counting it fairer then it is indeede, 230 And yet indeede her fairnesse doth exeede.

For lovers eyes more sharply sighted bee Then other mens, and in deare loves delight See more then any other eyes can see, Through mutuall receipt of beames bright, 235 Which carrie privie message to the spright, And to their eyes that inmost faire display, As plaine as light discovers dawning day.

Therein they see, through amorous eye-glaunces, Annies of Loves still flying too and fro, 240 Which dart at them their litle fierie launces; Whom having wounded, back againe they go, Carrying compassion to their lovely foe; Who, seeing her faire eyes so sharp effect, Cures all their sorrowes with one sweete aspect. 245

In which how many wonders doe they reede To their conceipt, that others never see! Now of her smiles, with which their soules they feede, Like gods with nectar in their bankets free; Now of her lookes, which like to cordials bee; 250 But when her words embassade* forth she sends, Lord, how sweete musicke that unto them lends! [* Embassade, embassy.]

Sometimes upon her forhead they behold A thousand graces masking in delight; Sometimes within her eye-lids they unfold 255 Ten thousand sweet belgards*, which to their sight Doe seeme like twinckling starres in frostie night; But on her lips, like rosy buds in May, So many millions of chaste pleasures play. [* Belgards, fair looks.]

All those, O Cytherea! and thousands more, 260 Thy handmaides be, which do on thee attend, To decke thy beautie with their dainties store, That may it more to mortall eyes commend, And make it more admyr'd of foe and frend; That in mans harts thou mayst thy throne enstall, 265 And spred thy lovely kingdome over all.

Then Ioe, tryumph! O great Beauties Queene, Advance the banner of thy conquest hie, That all this world, the which thy vassels beene, May draw to thee, and with dew fealtie 270 Adore the powre of thy great maiestie, Singing this hymne in honour of thy name, Compyld by me, which thy poor liegeman am!

In lieu whereof graunt, O great soveraine! That she whose conquering beauty doth captive 275 My trembling hart in her eternall chaine, One drop of grace at length will to me give, That I her bounden thrall by her may live, And this same life, which first fro me she reaved, May owe to her, of whom I it receaved. 280

And you, faire Venus dearling, my dear dread! Fresh flowre of grace, great goddesse of my life, When your faire eyes these fearfull lines shall read, Deigne to let fall one drop of dew reliefe, That may recure my harts long pyning griefe, 285 And shew what wondrous powre your beauty hath, That can restore a damned wight from death.



AN HYMNE

OF HEAVENLY LOVE*.

[* See the sixth canto of the third book of the Faerie Queene, especially the second and the thirty-second stanzas; which, with his Hymnes of Heavenly Love and Heavenly Beauty, are evident proofs of Spenser's attachment to the Platonic school. WARTON.]

Love, lift me up upon thy golden wings From this base world unto thy heavens hight, Where I may see those admirable things Which there thou workest by thy soveraine might, Farre above feeble reach of earthly sight, 5 That I thereof an heavenly hymne may sing Unto the God of Love, high heavens king.

Many lewd layes (ah! woe is me the more!) In praise of that mad fit which fooles call Love, I have in th'heat of youth made heretofore, 10 That in light wits did loose affection move; But all those follies now I do reprove, And turned have the tenor of my string, The heavenly prayses of true Love to sing.

And ye that wont with greedy vaine desire 15 To reade my fault, and, wondring at my flame, To warme your selves at my wide sparckling fire, Sith now that heat is quenched, quench my blame, And in her ashes shrowd my dying shame; For who my passed follies now pursewes, 20 Beginnes his owne, and my old fault renewes.

BEFORE THIS WORLDS GREAT FRAME, in which al things Are now containd, found any being-place, Ere flitting Time could wag* his eyas** wings About that mightie bound which doth embrace 25 The rolling spheres, and parts their houres by space, That high eternall Powre, which now doth move In all these things, mov'd in it selfe by love. [* Wag, move.] [** Eyas, unfledged.]

It lovd it selfe, because it selfe was faire; (For fair is lov'd;) and of it self begot 30 Like to it selfe his eldest Sonne and Heire, Eternall, pure, and voide of sinfull blot, The firstling of his ioy, in whom no iot Of loves dislike or pride was to be found, Whom he therefore with equall honour crownd. 35

With him he raignd, before all time prescribed, In endlesse glorie and immortall might, Together with that Third from them derived, Most wise, most holy, most almightie Spright! 39 Whose kingdomes throne no thoughts of earthly wight Can comprehend, much lesse my trembling verse With equall words can hope it to reherse.

Yet, O most blessed Spirit! pure lampe of light, Eternall spring of grace and wisedom trew, Vouchsafe to shed into my barren spright 45 Some little drop of thy celestiall dew, That may my rymes with sweet infuse* embrew, And give me words equall unto my thought, To tell the marveiles by thy mercie wrought. [* Infuse, infusion]

Yet being pregnant still with powrefull grace, 50 And full of fruitfull Love, that loves to get Things like himselfe and to enlarge his race, His second brood, though not of powre so great, Yet full of beautie, next he did beget, An infinite increase of angels bright, 55 All glistring glorious in their Makers light.

To them the heavens illimitable hight (Not this round heaven which we from hence behold, Adornd with thousand lamps of burning light, And with ten thousand gemmes of shyning gold) 60 He gave as their inheritance to hold, That they might serve him in eternall blis, And be partakers of those ioyes of his.

There they in their trinall triplicities About him wait, and on his will depend, 65 Either with nimble wings to cut the skies, When he them on his messages doth send, Or on his owne dread presence to attend, Where they behold the glorie of his light, And caroll hymnes of love both day and night. 70 [Ver. 64.—Trinall triplicities. See the Faerie Queene, Book I. Canto XII. 39. H.]

Both day and night is unto them all one; For he his beames doth unto them extend, That darknesse there appeareth never none; Ne hath their day, ne hath their blisse, an end, But there their termelesse time in pleasure spend; 75 Ne ever should their happinesse decay, Had not they dar'd their Lord to disobay.

But pride, impatient of long resting peace, Did puffe them up with greedy bold ambition, That they gan cast their state how to increase 80 Above the fortune of their first condition, And sit in Gods own seat without commission: The brightest angel, even the Child of Light*, Drew millions more against their God to fight. [* I.e. Lucifer.]

Th'Almighty, seeing their so bold assay, 85 Kindled the flame of his consuming yre, And with his onely breath them blew away From heavens hight, to which they did aspyre, To deepest hell, and lake of damned fyre, Where they in darknesse and dread horror dwell, 90 Hating the happie light from which they fell.

So that next off-spring of the Makers love, Next to himselfe in glorious degree, Degendering* to hate, fell from above Through pride; (for pride and love may ill agree;) 95 And now of sinne to all ensample bee: How then can sinfull flesh it selfe assure, Sith purest angels fell to be impure? [* Degendering, degenerating.]

But that Eternall Fount of love and grace, Still flowing forth his goodnesse unto all, 100 Now seeing left a waste and emptie place In his wyde pallace through those angels fall, Cast to supply the same, and to enstall A new unknowen colony therein, Whose root from earths base groundworke should begin. 105

Therefore of clay, base, vile, and nest to nought, Yet form'd by wondrous skill, and by his might According to an heavenly patterne wrought, Which he had fashiond in his wise foresight, He man did make, and breathd a living spright 110 Into his face, most beautifull and fayre, Endewd with wisedomes riches, heavenly, rare.

Such he him made, that he resemble might Himselfe, as mortall thing immortall could; Him to be lord of every living wight 115 He made by love out of his owne like mould, In whom he might his mightie selfe behould; For Love doth love the thing belov'd to see, That like it selfe in lovely shape may bee.

But man, forgetfull of his Makers grace 120 No lesse than angels, whom he did ensew, Fell from the hope of promist heavenly place, Into the mouth of Death, to sinners dew, And all his off-spring into thraldome threw, Where they for ever should in bonds remaine 125 Of never-dead, yet ever-dying paine;

Till that great Lord of Love, which him at first Made of meere love, and after liked well, Seeing him lie like creature long accurst In that deep horor of despeyred hell, 130 Him, wretch, in doole* would let no lenger dwell, But cast** out of that bondage to redeeme, And pay the price, all@ were his debt extreeme. [* Doole, pain.] [** Cast, devised.] [@ All, although.]

Out of the bosome of eternall blisse, In which he reigned with his glorious Syre, 135 He downe descended, like a most demisse* And abiect thrall, in fleshes fraile attyre, That he for him might pay sinnes deadly hyre, And him restore unto that happie state In which he stood before his haplesse fate. 140 [* Demisse, humble.]

In flesh at first the guilt committed was, Therefore in flesh it must be satisfyde; Nor spirit, nor angel, though they man surpas, Could make amends to God for mans misguyde, But onely man himselfe, who selfe did slyde: 145 So, taking flesh of sacred virgins wombe, For mans deare sake he did a man become.

And that most blessed bodie, which was borne Without all blemish or reprochfull blame, He freely gave to be both rent and torne 150 Of cruell hands, who with despightfull shame Revyling him, (that them most vile became,) At length him nayled on a gallow-tree, And slew the iust by most uniust decree.

O huge and most unspeakeable impression 155 Of Loves deep wound, that pierst the piteous hart Of that deare Lord with so entyre affection, And, sharply launcing every inner part, Dolours of death into his soule did dart, Doing him die that never it deserved, 160 To free his foes, that from his heast* had swerved! [* Heast, command.]

What hart can feel least touch of so sore launch, Or thought can think the depth of so deare wound? Whose bleeding sourse their streames yet never staunch, But stil do flow, and freshly still redownd*, 165 To heale the sores of sinfull soules unsound, And clense the guilt of that infected cryme, Which was enrooted in all fleshly slyme. [* Redownd, overflow.]

O blessed Well of Love! O Floure of Grace! O glorious Morning-Starre! O Lampe of Light! 170 Most lively image of thy Fathers face, Eternal King of Glorie, Lord of Might, Meeke Lambe of God, before all worlds behight*, How can we thee requite for all this good? Or what can prize** that thy most precious blood? 175 [* Behight, named.] [** Prize, price.]

Yet nought thou ask'st in lieu of all this love But love of us, for guerdon of thy paine: Ay me! what can us lesse than that behove? Had he required life for us againe, Had it beene wrong to ask his owne with game? 180 He gave us life, he it restored lost; Then life were least, that us so little cost.

But he our life hath left unto us free, Free that was thrall, and blessed that was band*; Ne ought demaunds but that we loving bee, 185 As he himselfe hath lov'd us afore-hand, And bound therto with an eternall band; Him first to love that was so dearely bought, And next our brethren, to his image wrought. [* Band, cursed.]

Him first to love great right and reason is, 190 Who first to us our life and being gave, And after, when we fared* had amisse, Us wretches from the second death did save; And last, the food of life, which now we have, Even he himselfe, in his dear sacrament, 195 To feede our hungry soules, unto us lent. [* Fared, gone.]

Then next, to love our brethren, that were made Of that selfe* mould and that self Maker's hand That we, and to the same againe shall fade, Where they shall have like heritage of land, 200 However here on higher steps we stand, Which also were with selfe-same price redeemed That we, however of us light esteemed. [* Selfe, same.]

And were they not, yet since that loving Lord Commaunded us to love them for his sake, 205 Even for his sake, and for his sacred word Which in his last bequest he to us spake, We should them love, and with their needs partake; Knowing that whatsoere to them we give We give to him by whom we all doe live. 210

Such mercy he by his most holy reede* Unto us taught, and, to approve it trew, Ensampled it by his most righteous deede, Shewing us mercie, miserable crew! That we the like should to the wretches shew, 215 And love our brethren; thereby to approve How much himselfe that loved us we love. [* Reede, precept.]

Then rouze thy selfe, O Earth! out of thy soyle*, In which thou wallowest like to filthy swyne, And doest thy mynd in durty pleasures moyle**, 220 Unmindfull of that dearest Lord of thyne; Lift up to him thy heavie clouded eyne, That thou this soveraine bountie mayst behold, And read, through love, his mercies manifold. [* Soyle, mire.] [** Moyle, defile.]

Beginne from first, where he encradled was 225 In simple cratch*, wrapt in a wad of hay, Betweene the toylfull oxe and humble asse, And in what rags, and in how base aray, The glory of our heavenly riches lay, When him the silly shepheards came to see, 230 Whom greatest princes sought on lowest knee. [* Cratch, manger.]

From thence reade on the storie of his life, His humble carriage, his unfaulty wayes, His cancred foes, his fights, his toyle, his strife, His paines, his povertie, his sharpe assayes, 235 Through which he past his miserable dayes, Offending none, and doing good to all, Yet being malist* both by great and small. [* Malist, regarded with ill-will.]

And look at last, how of most wretched wights He taken was, betrayd, and false accused; 240 How with most scornfull taunts and fell despights, He was revyld, disgrast, and foule abused; How scourgd, how crownd, how buffeted, how brused; And, lastly, how twixt robbers crucifyde, With bitter wounds through hands, through feet, and syde! 245

Then let thy flinty hart, that feeles no paine, Empierced he with pittifull remorse, And let thy bowels bleede in every vaine, At sight of his most sacred heavenly corse, So torne and mangled with malicious forse; 250 And let thy soule, whose sins his sorrows wrought, Melt into teares, and grone in grieved thought.

With sence whereof whilest so thy softened spirit Is inly toucht, and humbled with meeke zeale Through meditation of his endlesse merit, 255 Lift up thy mind to th'author of thy weale, And to his soveraine mercie doe appeale; Learne him to love that loved thee so deare, And in thy brest his blessed image beare.

With all thy hart, with all thy soule and mind, 260 Thou must him love, and his beheasts embrace; All other loves, with which the world doth blind Weake fancies, and stirre up affections base, Thou must renounce and utterly displace, And give thy self unto him full and free, 265 That full and freely gave himselfe to thee.

Then shalt thou feele thy spirit so possest, And ravisht with devouring great desire Of his dear selfe, that shall thy feeble brest Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire 270 With burning zeale, through every part entire*, That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight, But in his sweet and amiable sight. [* Entire, inward.]

Thenceforth all worlds desire will in thee dye, And all earthes glorie, on which men do gaze, 275 Seeme durt and drosse in thy pure-sighted eye, Compar'd to that celestiall beauties blaze, Whose glorious beames all fleshly sense doth daze With admiration of their passing light, Blinding the eyes, and lumining the spright. 280

Then shall thy ravisht soul inspired bee With heavenly thoughts, farre above humane skil, And thy bright radiant eyes shall plainely see Th'idee of his pure glorie present still Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill 285 With sweete enragement of celestiall love, Kindled through sight of those faire things above.



AN HYMNE

OF HEAVENLY BEAUTIE.

Rapt with the rage of mine own ravisht thought, Through contemplation of those goodly sights And glorious images in heaven wrought, Whose wondrous beauty, breathing sweet delights, Do kindle love in high conceipted sprights, 5 I faine* to tell the things that I behold, But feele my wits to faile and tongue to fold. [* Faine, long.]

Vouchsafe then, O Thou most Almightie Spright! From whom all guifts of wit and knowledge flow, To shed into my breast some sparkling light 10 Of thine eternall truth, that I may show Some little beames to mortall eyes below Of that immortall Beautie there with Thee, Which in my weake distraughted mynd I see;

That with the glorie of so goodly sight 15 The hearts of men, which fondly here admyre Faire seeming shewes, and feed on vaine delight, Transported with celestiall desyre Of those faire formes, may lift themselves up hyer, And learne to love, with zealous humble dewty, 20 Th'Eternall Fountaine of that heavenly Beauty.

Beginning then below, with th'easie vew Of this base world, subiect to fleshly eye, From thence to mount aloft, by order dew, To contemplation of th'immortall sky; 25 Of the soare faulcon* so I learne to flye. That flags a while her fluttering wings beneath, Till she her selfe for stronger flight can breath. [* Soare faulcon, a young falcon; a hawk that has not shed its first feathers, which are sorrel.]

Then looke, who list thy gazefull eyes to feed With sight of that is faire, looke on the frame 30 Of this wyde universe, and therein reed The endlesse kinds of creatures which by name Thou canst not count, much less their natures aime; All which are made with wondrous wise respect, And all with admirable beautie deckt. 35

First, th'Earth, on adamantine pillers founded Amid the Sea, engirt with brasen bands; Then th'Aire, still flitting, but yet firmely bounded On everie side with pyles of flaming brands, Never consum'd, nor quencht with mortall hands; 40 And last, that mightie shining cristall wall, Wherewith he hath encompassed this all.

By view whereof it plainly may appeare, That still as every thing doth upward tend And further is from earth, so still more cleare 45 And faire it growes, till to his perfect end Of purest Beautie it at last ascend; Ayre more then water, fire much more then ayre, And heaven then fire, appeares more pure and fayre.

Looke thou no further, but affixe thine eye 50 On that bright shynie round still moving masse, The house of blessed God, which men call Skye, All sowd with glistring stars more thicke then grasse, Whereof each other doth in brightnesse passe, But those two most, which, ruling night and day, 55 As king and queene the heavens empire sway;

And tell me then, what hast thou ever seene That to their beautie may compared bee? Or can the sight that is most sharpe and keene Endure their captains flaming head to see? 60 How much lesse those, much higher in degree, And so much fairer, and much more then these, As these are fairer then the land and seas?

For farre above these heavens which here we see, Be others farre exceeding these in light, 65 Not bounded, not corrupt, as these same bee, But infinite in largenesse and in hight, Unmoving, uncorrupt, and spotlesse bright, That need no sunne t'illuminate their spheres, But their owne native light farre passing theirs. 70

And as these heavens still by degrees arize, Until they come to their first movers* bound, That in his mightie compasse doth comprize And came all the rest with him around, So those likewise doe by degrees redound**, 75 And rise more faire, till they at last arive To the most faire, whereto they all do strive. [* I.e. the primum mobile.] [** I.e. exceed the one the other.]

Faire is the heaven where happy soules have place, In full enioyment of felicitie, Whence they doe still behold the glorious face 80 Of the Divine Eternall Maiestie; More faire is that where those Idees on hie Enraunged be, which Plato so admyred, And pure Intelligences from God inspyred.

Yet fairer is that heaven in which do raine 85 The soveraigne Powres and mightie Potentates, Which in their high protections doe containe All mortall princes and imperiall states; And fayrer yet whereas the royall Seates And heavenly Dominations are set, 90 From whom all earthly governance is fet*. [* Fet, fetched, derived.]

Yet farre more faire be those bright Cherubins, Which all with golden wings are overdight, And those eternall burning Seraphins, Which from their faces dart out fierie light; 95 Yet fairer then they both, and much more bright, Be th'Angels and Archangels, which attend On Gods owne person, without rest or end.

These thus in faire each other farre excelling, As to the Highest they approach more near, 100 Yet is that Highest farre beyond all telling, Fairer then all the rest which there appeare, Though all their beauties ioyn'd together were; How then can mortall tongue hope to expresse The image of such endlesse perfectnesse? 105

Cease then, my tongue! and lend unto my mynd Leave to bethinke how great that Beautie is, Whose utmost* parts so beautifull I fynd; How much more those essentiall parts of His, His truth, his love, his wisedome, and his blis, 110 His grace, his doome**, his mercy, and his might, By which he lends us of himselfe a sight! [* Utmost, outmost.] [** Doome, judgment.]

Those unto all he daily doth display, And shew himselfe in th'image of his grace, As in a looking-glasse, through which he may 115 Be seene of all his creatures vile and base, That are unable else to see his face; His glorious face! which glistereth else so bright, That th'angels selves can not endure his sight.

But we, fraile wights! whose sight cannot sustaine 120 The suns bright beames when he on us doth shyne, But* that their points rebutted** backe againe Are duld, how can we see with feeble eyne The glorie of that Maiestie Divine, In sight of whom both sun and moone are darke, 125 Compared to his least resplendent sparke? [* But, unless.] [** Rebutted, reflected.]

The meanes, therefore, which unto us is lent Him to behold, is on his workes to looke. Which he hath made in beauty excellent, And in the same, as in a brasen booke, 130 To read enregistred in every nooke His goodnesse, which his beautie doth declare; For all thats good is beautifull and faire.

Thence gathering plumes of perfect speculation To impe* the wings of thy high flying mynd, 135 Mount up aloft through heavenly contemplation From this darke world, whose damps the soule do blynd, And, like the native brood of eagles kynd, On that bright Sunne of Glorie fixe thine eyes, Clear'd from grosse mists of fraile infirmities. 140 [* Impe, mend, strengthen.]

Humbled with feare and awfull reverence, Before the footestoole of his Maiestie Throw thy selfe downe, with trembling innocence, Ne dare looke up with corruptible eye On the dred face of that great Deity, 145 For feare lest, if he chaunce to look on thee, Thou turne to nought, and quite confounded be.

But lowly fall before his mercie seate, Close covered with the Lambes integrity From the iust wrath of His avengefull threate 150 That sits upon the righteous throne on hy; His throne is built upon Eternity, More firme and durable then steele or brasse, Or the hard diamond, which them both doth passe.

His scepter is the rod of Righteousnesse, 155 With which he bruseth all his foes to dust, And the great Dragon strongly doth represse Under the rigour of his iudgment iust; His seate is Truth, to which the faithfull trust, From whence proceed her beames so pure and bright, 160 That all about him sheddeth glorious light:

Light farre exceeding that bright blazing sparke Which darted is from Titans flaming head, That with his beames enlumineth the darke And dampish air, wherby al things are red*; 165 Whose nature yet so much is marvelled Of mortall wits, that it doth much amaze The greatest wisards** which thereon do gaze. [* Red, perceived.] [** Wisards, wise men, savants.]

But that immortall light which there doth shine Is many thousand times more bright, more cleare, 170 More excellent, more glorious, more divine; Through which to God all mortall actions here, And even the thoughts of men, do plaine appeare; For from th'Eternall Truth it doth proceed, Through heavenly vertue which her beames doe breed. 175

With the great glorie of that wondrous light His throne is all encompassed around, And hid in his owne brightnesse from the sight Of all that looke thereon with eyes unsound; And underneath his feet are to be found 180 Thunder, and lightning, and tempestuous fyre, The instruments of his avenging yre.

There in his bosome Sapience doth sit, The soveraine dearling of the Deity, Clad like a queene in royall robes, most fit 185 For so great powre and peerelesse maiesty, And all with gemmes and iewels gorgeously Adornd, that brighter then the starres appeare, And make her native brightnes seem more cleare.

And on her head a crown of purest gold 190 Is set, in signe of highest soverainty; And in her hand a scepter she doth hold, With which she rules the house of God on hy, And menageth the ever-moving sky, And in the same these lower creatures all 195 Subiected to her powre imperiall.

Both heaven and earth obey unto her will, And all the creatures which they both containe; For of her fulnesse, which the world doth fill, They all partake, and do in state remaine 200 As their great Maker did at first ordaine, Through observation of her high beheast, By which they first were made, and still increast.

The fairnesse of her face no tongue can tell; For she the daughters of all wemens race, 205 And angels eke, in beautie doth excell, Sparkled on her from Gods owne glorious face, And more increast by her owne goodly grace, That it doth farre exceed all humane thought, Ne can on earth compared be to ought. 210

Ne could that painter (had he lived yet) Which pictured Venus with so curious quill That all posteritie admyred it, Have purtray'd this, for all his maistring* skill; Ne she her selfe, had she remained still, 215 And were as faire as fabling wits do fayne, Could once come neare this Beauty soverayne. [* Maistring, superior.]

But had those wits, the wonders of their dayes, Or that sweete Teian poet*, which did spend His plenteous vaine in setting forth her praise, 220 Seen but a glims of this which I pretend**, How wondrously would he her face commend, Above that idole of his fayning thought, That all the world should with his rimes be fraught! [* I.e. Anacreon.] [** Pretend, set forth, (or, simply) intend.]

How then dare I, the novice of his art, 225 Presume to picture so divine a wight, Or hope t'expresse her least perfections part, Whose beautie filles the heavens with her light, And darkes the earth with shadow of her sight? Ah, gentle Muse! thou art too weake and faint 230 The pourtraict of so heavenly hew to paint.

Let angels, which her goodly face behold, And see at will, her soveraigne praises sing, And those most sacred mysteries unfold Of that faire love of mightie Heavens King; 235 Enough is me t'admyre so heavenly thing, And being thus with her huge love possest, In th'only wonder of her selfe to rest.

But whoso may, thrise happie man him hold Of all on earth, whom God so much doth grace, 240 And lets his owne Beloved to behold; For in the view of her celestiall face All ioy, all blisse, all happinesse, have place; Ne ought on earth can want unto the wight Who of her selfe can win the wishfull sight. 245

For she out of her secret threasury Plentie of riches forth on him will powre, Even heavenly riches, which there hidden ly Within the closet of her chastest bowre, Th'eternall portion of her precious dowre, 250 Which Mighty God hath given to her free, And to all those which thereof worthy bee.

None thereof worthy be, but those whom shee Vouchsafeth to her presence to receave, And letteth them her lovely face to see, 255 Wherof such wondrous pleasures they conceave, And sweete contentment, that it doth bereave Their soul of sense, through infinite delight, And them transport from flesh into the spright.

In which they see such admirable things, 260 As carries them into an extasy; And heare such heavenly notes and carolings Of Gods high praise, that filles the brasen sky; And feele such ioy and pleasure inwardly, That maketh them all worldly cares forget, 265 And onely thinke on that before them set.

Ne from thenceforth doth any fleshly sense, Or idle thought of earthly things, remaine; But all that earst seemd sweet seemes now offence, And all that pleased earst now seemes to paine: 270 Their ioy, their comfort, their desire, their game, Is fixed all on that which now they see; All other sights but fayned shadowes bee.

And that faire lampe which useth to enflame The hearts of men with selfe-consuming fyre, 275 Thenceforth seemes fowle, and full of sinfull blame And all that pompe to which proud minds aspyre By name of Honor, and so much desyre, Seemes to them basenesse, and all riches drosse, And all mirth sadnesse, and all lucre losse. 280

So full their eyes are of that glorious sight, And senses fraught with such satietie. That in nought else on earth they can delight, But in th'aspect of that felicitie Which they have written in theyr inward ey; 285 On which they feed, and in theyr fastened mynd All happie ioy and full contentment fynd.

Ah, then, my hungry soule! which long hast fed On idle fancies of thy foolish thought, And, with false Beauties flattring bait misled, 290 Hast after vaine deceiptfull shadowes sought, Which all are fled, and now have left thee nought But late repentance, through thy follies prief, Ah! ceasse to gaze on matter of thy grief:

And looke at last up to that Soveraine Light, 295 From whose pure beams al perfect Beauty springs, That kindleth love in every godly spright, Even the love of God; which loathing brings Of this vile world and these gay-seeming things; With whose sweet pleasures being so possest, 300 Thy straying thoughts henceforth for ever rest.

* * * * *

EPIGRAMS AND SONNETS.



EPIGRAMS.

I*. [* In the folio of 1611, these four short pieces are appended to the Sonnets. The second and third are translated from Marot's Epigrams, Liv. III. No. 5, De Diane, and No. 24, De Cupido et de sa Dame. C.]

In youth, before I waxed old, The blynd boy, Venus baby, For want of cunning, made me bold In bitter hyve to grope for honny: But when he saw me stung and cry, He tooke his wings and away did fly.

II.

As Diane hunted on a day, She chaunst to come where Cupid lay, His quiver by his head: One of his shafts she stole away, And one of hers did close convay, Into the others stead: With that Love wounded my Loves hart, But Diane, beasts with Cupids dart.

III.

I saw, in secret to my dame How little Cupid humbly came, And said to her, "All hayle, my mother!" But when he saw me laugh, for shame His face with bashfull blood did flame, Not knowing Venus from the other. "Then, never blush, Cupid," quoth I, "For many have err'd in this beauty."

IV.

Upon a day, as Love lay sweetly slumbring All in his mothers lap, A gentle Bee, with his loud trumpet murm'ring, About him flew by hap. Whereof when he was wakened with the noyse, And saw the beast so small, "Whats this," quoth he, "that gives so great a voyce, That wakens men withall?" In angry wize he flies about, And threatens all with corage stout. 10

To whom his mother, closely* smiling, sayd, 'Twixt earnest and 'twixt game: "See! thou thy selfe likewise art lyttle made, If thou regard the same. And yet thou suffrest neyther gods in sky, 15 Nor men in earth, to rest: But when thou art disposed cruelly, Theyr sleepe thou doost molest. Then eyther change thy cruelty, Or give lyke leave unto the fly." 20 [* Closely, secretly.]

Nathelesse, the cruell boy, not so content, Would needs the fly pursue, And in his hand, with heedlesse hardiment, Him caught for to subdue. But when on it he hasty hand did lay, 25 The Bee him stung therefore. "Now out, alas," he cryde, "and welaway! I wounded am full sore. The fly, that I so much did scorne, Hath hurt me with his little horne." 30

Unto his mother straight he weeping came, And of his griefe complayned; Who could not chuse but laugh at his fond game, Though sad to see him pained. "Think now," quoth she, "my son, how great the smart 35 Of those whom thou dost wound: Full many thou hast pricked to the hart, That pitty never found. Therefore, henceforth some pitty take, When thou doest spoyle of lovers make." 40

She tooke him streight full pitiously lamenting, She wrapt him softly, all the while repenting That he the fly did mock. She drest his wound, and it embaulmed well 45 With salve of soveraigne might; And then she bath'd him in a dainty well, The well of deare delight. Who would not oft be stung as this, To be so bath'd in Venus blis? 50

The wanton boy was shortly wel recured Of that his malady; But he soone after fresh again enured* His former cruelty. And since that time he wounded hath my selfe 55 With his sharpe dart of love, And now forgets the cruell carelesse elfe His mothers heast** to prove. So now I languish, till he please My pining anguish to appease. 60 [* Enured, practised.] [** Heast, command.]



SONNETS

WRITTEN BY SPENSER,

COLLECTED FKOM THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATIONS IN WHICH THEY APPEARED.

I*.

To the right worshipfull, my singular good frend, M. Gabriell Harvey, Doctor of the Lawes.

Harvey, the happy above happiest men I read**; that, sitting like a looker-on Of this worldes stage, doest note with critique pen The sharpe dislikes of each condition: And, as one carelesse of suspition, Ne fawnest for the favour of the great, Ne fearest foolish reprehension Of faulty men, which daunger to thee threat: But freely doest of what thee list entreat,@ Like a great lord of peerelesse liberty, Lifting the good up to high Honours seat, And the evill damning evermore to dy: For life and death is in thy doomeful writing; So thy renowme lives ever by endighting.

Dublin, this xviij. of July, 1586.

Your devoted friend, during life,

EDMUND SPENCER.

[* From "Foure Letters and certaine Sonnets especially touching Robert Greene, and other parties by him abused," &c. London, 1592. TODD.] [** Read, consider.] [@ Entreat, treat.]

II*.

Whoso wil seeke, by right deserts, t'attaine Unto the type of true nobility, And not by painted shewes, and titles vaine, Derived farre from famous auncestrie, Behold them both in their right visnomy** Here truly pourtray'd as they ought to be, And striving both for termes of dignitie, To be advanced highest in degree. And when thou doost with equall insight see The ods twist both, of both then deem aright, And chuse the better of them both to thee; But thanks to him that it deserves behight@: To Nenna first, that first this worke created, And next to Iones, that truely it translated.

ED. SPENSER.

[* Prefixed to "Nennio, or A Treatise of Nobility, &c. Written in Italian by that famous Doctor and worthy Knight, Sir John Baptista Nenna of Bari. Done into English by William Iones, Gent." 1595. TODD.] [** Visnomy, features.] [@ Behight, accord.]

III*.

Upon the Historie of George Castriot, alias Scanderbeg, King of the Epirots, translated into English.

Wherefore doth vaine Antiquitie so vaunt Her ancient monuments of mightie peeres, And old heroees, which their world did daunt With their great deedes and fild their childrens eares? Who, rapt with wonder of their famous praise, Admire their statues, their colossoes great, Their rich triumphall arcks which they did raise, Their huge pyramids, which do heaven threat. Lo! one, whom later age hath brought to light, Matchable to the greatest of those great; Great both by name, and great in power and might, And meriting a meere** triumphant seate. The scourge of Turkes, and plague of infidels, Thy acts, O Scanderbeg, this volume tels.

ED. SPENSER.

[* Prefixed to the "Historie of George Castriot, alias Scanderbeg, King of Albanie: Containing his famous actes, &c. Newly translated out of French into English by Z.I. Gentleman." 1596. TODD.] [** Meere, absolute, decided.]

IV*.

The antique Babel, empresse of the East, Upreard her buildinges to the threatned skie: And second Babell, tyrant of the West, Her ayry towers upraised much more high. But with the weight of their own surquedry** They both are fallen, that all the earth did feare, And buried now in their own ashes ly, Yet shewing, by their heapes, how great they were. But in their place doth now a third appeare, Fayre Venice, flower of the last worlds delight; And next to them in beauty draweth neare, But farre exceedes in policie of right. Yet not so fayre her buildinges to behold As Lewkenors stile that hath her beautie told.

EDM. SPENCER.

[* Prefixed to "The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, Written by the Cardinall Gaspar Contareno, and translated out of Italian into English by Lewes Lewkenor, Esquire." London, 1599. TODD.] [** Surquedry, presumption.]

* * * * *

APPENDIX.

APPENDIX I.

VARIATIONS FROM THE ORIGINAL EDITIONS.

The Ruines of Time v. 353, covetize, Q. covertize. The Ruines of Time v. 541, ocean, Q. Occaean. The Ruines of Time v. 551, which (ed. 1611), Q. with. The Ruines of Time v. 574, worlds (ed. 1611), Q. words. The Ruines of Time v. 675, worldes, Q. worlds. The Teares of the Muses v. 600, living (ed. 1611), Q. loving. Virgils Gnat v. 149, Ascraean, Q. Astraean. Virgils Gnat v. 340, seest thou not (ed. 1611), Q. seest thou. Virgils Gnat v. 387, throat (ed. 1611), Q. threat. Virgils Gnat v. 575, billowes, Q. billowe. Prosopopoia v. 53, gossip, Q. goship. Prosopopoia v. 453, diriges, Q. dirges. Prosopopoia v. 648, at all, Q. all. Prosopopoia v. 997, whether, Q. whither. Prosopopoia v. 1012, stopt, Q. stept. Prosopopoia v. 1019, whither, Q. whether. Ruines of Rome xviii. 5, ornaments, Q. ornament. Muiopotmos v. 250, dispacing, Q. displacing. Muiopotmos v. 431, yongthly, Q. yougthly. The Visions of Bellay ii. 8, one, Q. on. The Visions of Bellay ix. 1, astonied, Q. astoined. The Visions of Petrarche vii. 1, behold, Q. beheld. Amoretti lxxxii. 2, placed, Orig ed*. plac'd. [* According to Todd.] Epithalmion v. 67, dere, orig. ed. dore. Epithalmion v. 190, mazeful (ed. 1611), orig. ed. amazeful. Epithalmion v. 290, sad dread (ed. 1611), orig. ed. dread. Epithalmion v. 341, Pouke, orig. ed. ponke. An Hymne in Honour of Love v. 165, they will (ed. 1611), orig. ed. thou wilt. An Hymne in Honour of Love v. 169, be enfyred (ed. 1611), orig. ed. he enfyred. An Hymne in Honour of Love v. 302, an (ed. 1611), orig. ed. and. An Hymne in Honour of Beautie v. 147, deform'd, orig. ed. perform'd. An Hymne in Honour of Beautie v. 171, affections (ed. 1611), orig. ed. affection.



APPENDIX II.

To the Worshipfull, his very singular good friend, Maister G. H., Fellow of Trinitie Hall in Cambridge. * [* Reprinted from "Ancient Critical Essays upon English Poets and Poesy. Edited by Joseph Haslewood". Vol II]

GOOD MAISTER G.:—

I perceiue, by your most curteous and frendly letters, your good will to be no lesse in deed than I alwayes esteemed. In recompence wherof, think, I beseech you, that I wil spare neither speech, nor wryting, nor aught else, whensoeuer and wheresoeuer occasion shal be offred me; yea, I will not stay till it be offred, but will seeke it in al that possibly I may. And that you may perceiue how much your counsel in al things preuaileth with me, and how altogither I am ruled and ouer-ruled thereby, I am now determined to alter mine owne former purpose, and to subscribe to your advizement; being, notwithstanding, resolued stil to abide your farther resolution. My principal doubts are these. First, I was minded for a while to haue intermitted the vttering of my writings; leaste by ouer-much cloying their noble eares, I should gather a contempt of myself, or else seeme rather for game and commoditie to doe it, for some sweetnesse that I haue already tasted. Then also me seemeth the work too base for his excellent lordship, being made in honour of a priuate personage vnknowne, which of some ylwillers might be vpbraided, not to be so worthie as you knowe she is; or the matter not so weightie that it should be offred to so weightie a personage, or the like. The selfe former title still liketh me well ynough, and your fine addition no lesse. If these and the like doubtes maye be of importaunce, in your seeming, to frustrate any parte of your aduice, I beeseeche you without the leaste selfe loue of your own purpose, councell me for the beste: and the rather doe it faithfullye and carefully, for that, in all things, I attribute so muche to your iudgement, that I am euermore content to adnihilate mine owne determinations in respecte thereof. And, indeede, for your selfe to, it sitteth with you now to call your wits & senses togither (which are alwaies at call) when occasion is so fairely offered of estimation and preferment, For whiles the yron is hote it is good striking, and minds of nobles varie, as their estates. Verum ne quid durius.

I pray you bethinks you well hereof, good Maister G., and forth with write me those two or three special points and caueats for the nonce; De quibus in superioribus illis mellitissimus longissimisque litteris tuis. Your desire to heare of my late beeing with hir Maiestie muste dye in it selfe. As for the twoo worthy gentle men, Master Sidney and Master Dyer, they haue me, I thanke them, in some vse of familiarity; of whom and to whome what speache passeth for youre credite and estimation I leaue your selfe to conceiue, hauing alwayes so well conceiued of my vnfained affection and zeale towardes you. And nowe they haue proclaimed in their [Greek: hareiophaga] a generall surceasing and silence of balde rymers, and also of the verie beste to; in steade whereof they haue, by authoritie of their whole senate, prescribed certaine lawes and rules of quantities of English sillables for English verse; hauing had thereof already greate practise, and drawen mee to their faction. Newe bookes I heare of none, but only of one* [* Stephen Gosson.], that writing a certaine booke called The Schoole of Abuse, and dedicating it to Maister Sidney, was for hys labor scorned; if, at leaste, it be in the goodnesse of that nature to scorne. Such follie is it not to regard aforehande the inclination and qualitie of him to whome wee dedicate oure bookes. Suche mighte I happily incurre, entituling My Slomber, and the other pamphlets, vnto his honor. I meant them rather to Maister Dyer. But I am of late more in loue wyth my Englishe versifying than with ryming: whyche I should haue done long since, if I would then haue followed your councell. Sed te solum iam tum suspicabar cum Aschamo sapere; nunc aulam video egregios alere poetas Anglicos. Maister E.K. hartily desireth to be commended vnto your worshippe: of whome what accompte he maketh youre selfe shall hereafter perceiue by hys paynefull and dutifull verses of your selfe.

Thus muche was written at Westminster yesternight; but comming this morning, beeyng the sixteenth of October [1579], to Mystresse Kerkes, to haue it deliuered to the carrier, I receyued youre letter, sente me the laste weeke; whereby I perceiue you otherwhiles continue your old exercise of versifying in English,—whych glorie I had now thought whoulde haue bene onely ours heere at London and the court.

Truste me, your verses I like passingly well, and enuye your hidden paines in this kinde, or rather maligne and grudge at your selfe, that woulde not once imparte so muche to me. But once or twice you make a breache in Maister Drants rules: quod tamen condonabimus tanto poetae, tuaeque ipsius maximae in his rebus autoritati. You shall see, when we meete in London, (whiche when it shall be, certifye vs,) howe fast I haue followed after you in that course: beware, leaste in time I ouertake you. Veruntamen te solum sequar, (vt saepenumero sum professus,) nunquam sane assequar dum viuam. And nowe requite I you with the like, not with the verye beste, but with the verye shortest, namely, with a few Iambickes. I dare warrant, they be precisely perfect for the feete, (as you can easily iudge,) and varie not one inch from the rule. I will imparte yours to Maister Sidney and Maister Dyer, at my nexte going to the courte. I praye you keepe mine close to your selfe, or your verie entire friendes, Maister Preston, Maister Still, and the reste.

Iambicum Trimetrum

Vnhappie Verse, the witnesse of my vnhappie state, Make thy selfe fluttring wings of thy fast flying Thought, and fly forth vnto my love whersoeuer she be:

Whether lying reastlesse in heauy bedde, or else Sitting so cheerelesse at the cheerfull boorde, or else Playing alone carelesse on hir heauenlie virginals.

If in bed, tell hir, that my eyes can take no reste; If at boorde, tell hir, that my mouth can eate no meate; If at hir virginals, tel hir, I can heare no mirth.

Asked why? say, Waking loue suffereth no sleepe; Say, that raging loue dothe appall the weake stomacke; Say, that lamenting loue marreth the musicall.

Tell hir, that hir pleasures were wonte to lull me asleepe; Tell hir, that hir beautie was wonte to feede mine eyes; Tell hir, that hir sweete tongue was wonte to make me mirth.

Nowe doe I nightly waste, wanting my kindely reste; Nowe doe I dayly starue, wanting my liuely foode; Nowe doe I alwayes dye, wanting thy timely mirth.

And if I waste, who will bewaile my heauy chaunce? And if I starue, who will record my cursed end? And if I dye, who will saye, This was Immerito?

I thought once agayne here to haue made an ende, with heartie Vale, of the best fashion; but loe, an ylfavoured mys chaunce. My last farewell, whereof I made great accompt, and muche maruelled you shoulde make no mention thereof, I am nowe tolde, (in the diuel's name,) was thorough one mans negligence quite forgotten, but shoulde nowe vndoubtedly haue beene sent, whether I hadde come or no. Seing it can now be no otherwise, I pray you take all togither, wyth all their faults: and nowe I hope you will vouchsafe mee an answeare of the largest size, or else I tell you true, you shall bee verye deepe in my debte; notwythstandyng thys other sweete but shorte letter, and fine, but fewe verses. But I woulde rather I might yet see youre owne good selfe, and receiue a reciprocall farewell from your owne sweete mouth.

Ad ornatissimum virum, multis iam diu nominibus clarissimum, G. H., Immerito sui, mox in Gallias nauigaturi, [Greek: Eutuchein]

Sic malus egregium, sic non inimicus amicum, Sicque nouus veterem iubet ipse poeta poetam Saluere, ac caelo, post secula multa, secundo, Iam reducem, (caelo mage quam nunc ipse sccundo) Vtier. Ecce deus, (modo sit deus ille, renixum Qui vocet in scelus, et iuratos perdat amores) Ecce deus mihi clara dedit modo signa marinus, Et sua veligero lenis parat aequora ligno Mox sulcanda; suas etiam pater AEolus iras Ponit, et ingentes animos Aquilonis. Cuncta vijs sic apta meis: ego solus ineptus. Nam mihi nescio quo mens saucia vulnere, dudum Fluctuat ancipiti pelago, dum navita proram Inualidam validus rapit huc Amor, et rapit illuc Consilijs Ratio melioribus vsa, Decusque Immortale leui diffissa Cupidinis arcu*: [* This line appears to be corrupt.] Angimur hoc dubio, et portu vexamur in ipso. Magne pharetrati nunc tu contemptor Amoris, (Id tibi Dij nomen precor haud impune remittant) Hos nodos exsolue, et eris mihi magnus Apollo! Spiritus ad summos, scio, te generosus honores Exstimulat, majusque docet spirare poetam. Quam leuis est Amor, et tamen haud leuis est Amor omnis. Ergo nihil laudi reputas aequale perenni, Praeque sacrosancta splendoris imagine tanti, Caetera, quae vecors, vti numina, vulgus adorat, Praedia, amicitias, vrbana peculia, nummos, Quaeque placent oculis, formas, spectacula, amores, Conculcare soles, vt humum, et ludibria sensus: Digna meo certe Haruejo sententia, digna Oratore amplo, et generoso pectore, quam non Stoica formidet veterum sapientia vinclis Sancire aeternis: sapor haud tamen omnibus idem. Dicitur effoeti proles facunda Laertae, Quamlibet ignoti iactata per aequora caeli, Inque procelloso longum exsul gurgite ponto, Prae tamen amplexu lachrymosae conjugis, ortus Caelestes, Diuumque thoros spreuisse beatos. Tantum amor, et mulier, vel amore potetitior. Ilium Tu tamen illudis; tua magnificentia tanta est: Praeque subumbrata splendoris imagine tanti, Praeque illo meritis famosis nomine parto, Caetera, quae vecors, vti numina, vulgus adorat, Praedia, amicitias, armenta, peculia, nummos, Quaeque placent oculis, formas, spectacula, amores, Quaeque placent ori, quaeque auribus, omnia temnis. Nae tu grande sapis! sapor et sapientia non est: Omnis et in paruis bene qui scit desipuisse, Saepe supercilijs palmam sapientibus aufert. Ludit Aristippum modo tetrica turba sophorum, Mitia purpureo moderantem verba tyranno; Ludit Aristippus dictamina vana sophorum, Quos leuis emensi male torquet Culicis vmbra: Et quisquis placuisse studet heroibus altis, Desipuisse studet; sic gratia crescit ineptis. Denique laurigeris quisquis sua tempora vittis Insignire volet, populoque placere fauenti, Desipere insanus discit, turpemque pudendae Stultitiae laudem quaerit. Pater Ennuis vnus Dictus in innumeris sapiens: laudatur at ipse Carmina vesano fudisse liquentia vino. Nec tu, pace tua, nostri Cato Maxime saecli, Nomen honorati sacrum mereare poetae, Quantumvis illustre canas, et nobile carmen, Ni stultire velis; sic stultorum omnia plena. Tuta sed in medio superest via gurgite; nam qui Nec reliquis nimium vult desipuisse videri, Nec sapuisse nimis, sapientem dixeris vnum: Hinc te merserit vnda, illine combusserit ignis. Nec tu delicias nimis aspernare fluentes, Nec sero dominam venientem in vota, nec aurum, Si sapis, oblatum: (Curijs ea, Fabricijsque Grande sui decus ij, nostri sed dedecus aeui;) Nec sectare nimis: res vtraque crimine plena. Hoc bene qui callet, (si quis tamen hoc bene callet,) Scribe vel invito sapientem hunc Socrate solum. Vis facit vna pios, iustos facit altera, et alt'ra Egregie cordata ac fortia pectora: verum Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit vtile dulci. Dij mihi dulce diu dederant, verum vtile nunquam: Vtile nunc etiam, o vtinam quoque dulce dedissent. Dij mihi, (quippe Dijs aequalia maxima paruis,) Ni nimis inuideant mortalibus esse beatis, Dulce simul tribuisse queant, simul vtile: tanta Sed fortuna tua est: pariter quaeque vtile, quaeque Dulce dat ad placitum: sseuo nos sydere nati Quaesitum imus eam per inhospita Caucasa longe, Perque Pyrenaeos montes, Babilonaque turpem. Quod si quaesitum nec ibi invenerimus, ingens AEquor inexhaustis permensi erroribus vltra Fluctibus in medijs socij quaeremus Vlyssis: Passibus inde deam fessis comitabimur aegram, Nobile cui furtum quaerenti defuit orbis. Namque sinu pudet in patrio tenebrisque pudendis, Non nimis ingenio iuuenem infoelice virentes Officijs frustra deperdere vilibus annos, Frugibus et vacuas speratis cernere spicas. Ibimus ergo statim, (quis eutiti fausta precetur?) Et pede clivosas fesso calcabimus Alpes. Quis dabit interea, conditas rore Britanno, Quis tibi litterulas, quis carmen amore petulcum! Musa sub Oebalij desueta cacumine mentis, Flebit inexhausto tarn longa silentia planctu, Lugebitque sacrum lacrymis Helicona tacentem. Harueiusque bonus, (charus licet omnibus idem,) Idque suo merito prope suauior omnibus, vnus Angelus et Gabriel, quamuis comitatus araicis Innumeris, geniumque choro stipatus amaeno, Immerito tamen vnum absentem saepe requiret; Optabitque, Utinam meus hic Edmundus adesset, Qui noua scripsisset, nee amores conticuisset, Ipse suos; et saepe animo verbisque benignis Fausta precaretur, Deus illum aliqaundo reducat. &c.

Plura vellem per Charites, sed non licet per Musas. Vale, Vale plurimum, Mi amabilissime Harueie, meo cordi, meorum omnium longe charissime.

I was minded also to haue sent you some English verses, or rymes, for a farewell; but, by my troth, I haue no spare time in the world to thinke on such toyes, that, you knowe, will demaund a freer head than mine is presently. I beseeche you by all your curtesies and graces, let me be answered ere I goe; which will be (I hope, I feare, I thinke) the next weeke, if I can be dispatched of my Lorde. I goe thither, as sent by him, and maintained most what of him; and there am to employ my time, my body, my minde, to his Honours seruice. Thus, with many superhartie commendations and recommendations to your selfe, and all my friendes with you, I ende my last farewell, not thinking any more to write vnto you before I goe; and withall committing to your faithfull credence the eternall memorie of our euerlasting friendship; the inuiolable memorie of our ynspotted friendshippe, the sacred memorie of our vowed friendship; which I beseech you continue with vsuall writings, as you may, and of all things let me hears some newes from you: as gentle M. Sidney, I thanke his good worship, hath required of me, and so promised to doe againe. Qui monet, vt facias, quod iam facis, you knowe the rest. You may alwayes send them most safely to me by Mistresse Kerke, and by none other. So once againe, and yet once more, farewell most hardly, mine owne good Master H., and loue me, as I loue you, and thinke vpon poore Immerito, as he thinketh vppon you.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse