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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Let the bird of loudest lay On the sole Arabian tree Herald sad and trumpet be, To whose sound chaste wings obey. But thou shrieking harbinger, Foul precurrer of the fiend, Augur of the fever's end, To this troop come thou not near. From this session interdict Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feather'd king; Keep the obsequy so strict. Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can, Be the death-divining swan, Lest the requiem lack his right. And thou treble-dated crow, That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy is dead; Phoenix and the Turtle fled In a mutual flame from hence. So they lov'd, as love in twain Had the essence but in one; Two distincts, division none: Number there in love was slain. Hearts remote, yet not asunder; Distance and no space was seen 'Twixt this Turtle and his queen: But in them it were a wonder. So between them love did shine That the Turtle saw his right Flaming in the Phoenix' sight: Either was the other's mine. Property was thus appalled That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was called. Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together, To themselves yet either neither, Simple were so well compounded; That it cried, "How true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love has reason, reason none, If what parts can so remain." Whereupon it made this threne To the Phoenix and the Dove, Co-supremes and stars of love, As chorus to their tragic scene: threnos Beauty, truth, and rarity, Grace in all simplicity, Here enclos'd, in cinders lie. Death is now the Phoenix' nest, And the Turtle's loyal breast To eternity doth rest, Leaving no posterity: 'Twas not their infirmity, It was married chastity. Truth may seem but cannot be; Beauty brag but 'tis not she; Truth and beauty buried be. To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For these dead birds sigh a prayer.
The Phoenix and the Turtle
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE MARGARET CAVENDISH
Sir Charles into my chamber coming in, When I was writing of my Fairy Queen; I praysaid hewhen Queen Mab you do see Present my service to her Majesty: And tell her I have heard Fame's loud report Both of her beauty and her stately court. When I Queen Mab within my fancy viewed, My thoughts bowed low, fearing I should be rude; Kissing her garment thin which fancy made, I knelt upon a thought, like one that prayed; And then, in whispers soft, I did present His humble service which in mirth was sent; Thus by imagination I have been In Fairy court and seen the Fairy Queen.
An Epilogue to the Above
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
THOMAS BASTARD
Our vice runs beyond all that old men saw, And far authentically above our laws, And scorning virtues safe and golden mean, Sits uncontrolled upon the high extreme. Circes, thy monsters painted out the hue, Of feigned filthiness, but ours is true. Our vice puts down all proverbs and all themes, Our vice excels all fables and all dreams.
Book 7, Epigram 42
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
EDMUND SPENSER
Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske, As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds, Am now enforst a far unfitter taske, For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds, And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds; Whose prayses having slept in silence long, Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds To blazon broad emongst her learned throng: Fierce warres and faithful loves shall moralize my song. Helpe then, O holy Virgin chiefe of nine, Thy weaker Novice to performe thy will, Lay forth out of thine everlasting scryne The antique rolles, which there lye hidden still, Of Faerie knights and fairest Tanaquill, Whom that most noble Briton Prince so long Sought through the world, and suffered so much ill, That I must rue his undeserved wrong: O helpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my dull tong. And thou most dreaded impe of highest Jove, Faire Venus sonne, that with thy cruell dart At that good knight so cunningly didst rove, That glorious fire it kindled in his hart, Lay now thy deadly Heben bow apart, And with thy mother milde come to mine ayde: Come both, and with you bring triumphant Mart, In loves and gentle jollities arrayd, After his murdrous spoiles and bloudy rage allayd. And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly bright, Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine, Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine, Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne, And raise my thoughts too humble and too vile, To thinke of that true glorious type of thine, The argument of mine afflicted stile: The which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest dred a-while. i A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine, Y cladd in mightie armes and silver shielde, Wherein old dints of deepe wounds did remaine, The cruell markes of many a bloudy fielde; Yet armes till that time did he never wield: His angry steede did chide his foming bitt, As much disdayning to the curbe to yield: Full jolly knight he seemd, and faire did sitt, As one for knightly giusts and fierce encounters fitt. ii But on his brest a bloudie Crosse he bore, The deare remembrance of his dying Lord, For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he wore, And dead as living ever him ador'd: Upon his shield the like was also scor'd, For soveraine hope, which in his helpe he had: Right faithfull true he was in deede and word, But of his cheere did seeme too solemne sad; Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad. iii Upon a great adventure he was bond, That greatest Gloriana to him gave, That greatest Glorious Queene of Faerie lond, To winne him worship, and her grace to have, Which of all earthly things he most did crave; And ever as he rode, his hart did earne To prove his puissance in battell brave Upon his foe, and his new force to learne; Upon his foe, a Dragon horrible and stearne. iv A lovely Ladie rode him faire beside, Upon a lowly Asse more white then snow, Yet she much whiter, but the same did hide Under a vele, that wimpled was full low, And over all a blacke stole she did throw, As one that inly mournd: so was she sad, And heavie sat upon her palfrey slow; Seemed in heart some hidden care she had, And by her in a line a milke white lambe she lad. v So pure an innocent, as that same lambe, She was in life and every vertuous lore, And by descent from Royall lynage came Of ancient Kings and Queenes, that had of yore Their scepters stretcht from East to Westerne shore, And all the world in their subjection held; Till that infernall feend with foule uprore Forwasted all their land, and them expeld: Whom to avenge, she had this Knight from far compeld. vi Behind her farre away a Dwarfe did lag, That lasie seemd in being ever last, Or wearied with bearing of her bag Of needments at his backe. Thus as they past, The day with cloudes was suddeine overcast, And angry Jove an hideous storme of raine Did poure into his Lemans lap so fast, That every wight to shrowd it did constrain, And this faire couple eke to shroud themselves were fain. vii Enforst to seeke some covert nigh at hand, A shadie grove not far away they spide, That promist ayde the tempest to withstand: Whose loftie trees yclad with sommers pride, Did spred so broad, that heavens light did hide, Not perceable with power of any starre: And all within were pathes and alleies wide, With footing worne, and leading inward farre: Faire harbour that them seemes; so in they entred arre. viii And foorth they passe, with pleasure forward led, Joying to heare the birdes sweete harmony, Which therein shrouded from the tempest dred, Seemd in their song to scorne the cruell sky. Much can they prayse the trees so straight and hy, The sayling Pine, the Cedar proud and tall, The vine-prop Elme, the Poplar never dry, The builder Oake, sole king of forrests all, The Aspine good for staves, the Cypresse funerall. ix The Laurell, meed of mightie Conquerours And Poets sage, the Firre that weepeth still, The Willow worne of forlorne Paramours, The Eugh obedient to the benders will, The Birch for shaftes, the Sallow for the mill, The Mirrhe sweete bleeding in the bitter wound, The warlike Beech, the Ash for nothing ill, The fruitfull Olive, and the Platane round, The carver Holme, the Maple seeldom inward sound. x Led with delight, they thus beguile the way, Untill the blustring storme is overblowne; When weening to returne, whence they did stray, They cannot find that path, which first was showne, But wander too and fro in wayes unknowne, Furthest from end then, when they neerest weene, That makes them doubt, their wits be not their owne: So many pathes, so many turnings seene, That which of them to take, in diverse doubt they been. xi At last resolving forward still to fare, Till that some end they finde or in or out, That path they take, that beaten seemd most bare, And like to lead the labyrinth about; Which when by tract they hunted had throughout, At length it brought them to a hollow cave, Amid the thickest woods. The Champion stout Eftsoones dismounted from his courser brave, And to the Dwarfe a while his needlesse spere he gave. xii Be well aware, quoth then that Ladie milde, Least suddaine mischiefe ye too rash provoke: The danger hid, the place unknowne and wilde, Breeds dreadfull doubts: Oft fire is without smoke, And perill without show: therefore your stroke Sir knight with-hold, till further triall made. Ah Ladie (said he) shame were to revoke The forward footing for an hidden shade: Vertue gives her selfe light, through darkenesse for to wade. xiii Yea but (quoth she) the perill of this place I better wot then you, though now too late To wish you backe returne with foule disgrace, Yet wisedome warnes, whilest foot is in the gate, To stay the steppe, ere forced to retrate. This is the wandring wood, this Errours den, A monster vile, whom God and man does hate: Therefore I read beware. Fly fly (quoth then The fearefull Dwarfe:) this is no place for living men. xiv But full of fire and greedy hardiment, The youthfull knight could not for ought be staide, But forth unto the darksome hole he went, And looked in: his glistring armor made A litle glooming light, much like a shade, By which he saw the ugly monster plaine, Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide, But th'other halfe did womans shape retaine, Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine. xv And as she lay upon the durtie ground, Her huge long taile her den all overspred, Yet was in knots and many boughtes upwound, Pointed with mortall sting. Of her there bred A thousand yong ones, which she dayly fed, Sucking upon her poisonous dugs, eachone Of sundry shapes, yet all ill favored: Soone as that uncouth light upon them shone, Into her mouth they crept, and suddain all were gone. xvi Their dam upstart, out of her den effraide, And rushed forth, hurling her hideous taile About her cursed head, whose folds displaid Were stretcht now forth at length without entraile. She lookt about, and seeing one in mayle Armed to point, sought backe to turne againe; For light she hated as the deadly bale, Ay wont in desert darknesse to remaine, Where plaine none might her see, nor she see any plaine. xvii Which when the valiant Elfe perceiv'd, he lept As Lyon fierce upon the flying pray, And with his trenchand blade her boldly kept From turning backe, and forced her to stay: Therewith enrag'd she loudly gan to bray, And turning fierce, her speckled taile advaunst, Threatning her angry sting, him to dismay: Who nought aghast, his mightie hand enhaunst: The stroke down from her head unto her shoulder glaunst. xviii Much daunted with that dint, her sence was dazd, Yet kindling rage, her selfe she gathered round, And all attonce her beastly body raizd With doubled forces high above the ground: Tho wrapping up her wrethed sterne arownd, Lept fierce upon his shield, and her huge traine All suddenly about his body wound, That hand or foot to stirre he strove in vaine: God helpe the man so wrapt in Errours endlesse traine. xix His Lady sad to see his sore constraint, Cride out, Now now Sir knight, shew what ye bee, Add faith unto your force, and be not faint: Strangle her, else she sure will strangle thee. That when he heard, in great perplexitie, His gall did grate for griefe and high disdaine, And knitting all his force got one hand free, Wherewith he grypt her gorge with so great paine, That soone to loose her wicked bands did her constraine. xx Therewith she spewd out of her filthy maw A floud of poyson horrible and blacke, Full of great lumpes of flesh and gobbets raw, Which stunck so vildly, that it forst him slacke His grasping hold, and from her turne him backe: Her vomit full of bookes and papers was, With loathly frogs and toades, which eyes did lacke, And creeping sought way in the weedy gras: Her filthy parbreake all the place defiled has. xxi As when old father Nilus gins to swell With timely pride above the Aegyptian vale, His fattie waves do fertile slime outwell, And overflow each plaine and lowly dale: But when his later spring gins to avale, Huge heapes of mudd he leaves, wherein there breed Ten thousand kindes of creatures, partly male And partly female of his fruitfull seed; Such ugly monstrous shapes elsewhere may no man reed. xxii The same so sore annoyed has the knight, That welnigh choked with the deadly stinke, His forces faile, ne can no longer fight. Whose corage when the feend perceiv'd to shrinke, She poured forth out of her hellish sinke Her fruitfull cursed spawne of serpents small, Deformed monsters, fowle, and blacke as inke, Which swarming all about his legs did crall, And him encombred sore, but could not hurt at all. xxiii As gentle Shepheard in sweete even-tide, When ruddy Phoebus gins to welke in west, High on an hill, his flocke to vewen wide, Markes which do byte their hasty supper best; A cloud of combrous gnattes do him molest, All striving to infixe their feeble stings, That from their noyance he no where can rest, But with his clownish hands their tender wings He brusheth oft, and oft doth mar their murmurings. xxiv Thus ill bestedd, and fearefull more of shame, Then of the certaine perill he stood in, Halfe furious unto his foe he came, Resolv'd in minde all suddenly to win, Or soone to lose, before he once would lin; And strooke at her with more then manly force, That from her body full of filthie sin He raft her hatefull head without remorse; A streame of cole black bloud forth gushed from her corse. xxv Her scattred brood, soone as their Parent deare They saw so rudely falling to the ground, Groning full deadly, all with troublous feare, Gathred themselves about her body round, Weening their wonted entrance to have found At her wide mouth: but being there withstood They flocked all about her bleeding wound, And sucked up their dying mothers blood, Making her death their life, and eke her hurt their good. xxvi That detestable sight him much amazde, To see th'unkindly Impes of heaven accurst, Devoure their dam; on whom while so he gazd, Having all satisfide their bloudy thurst, Their bellies swolne he saw with fulnesse burst, And bowels gushing forth: well worthy end Of such as drunke her life, the which them nurst; Now needeth him no lenger labour spend, His foes have slaine themselves, with whom he should contend. xxvii His Ladie seeing all, that chaunst, from farre Approcht in hast to greet his victorie, And said, Faire knight, borne under happy starre, Who see your vanquisht foes before you lye: Well worthy be you of that Armorie, Wherein ye have great glory wonne this day, And proov'd your strength on a strong enimie, Your first adventure: many such I pray, And henceforth ever wish, that like succeed it may. xxviii Then mounted he upon his Steede againe, And with the Lady backward sought to wend; That path he kept, which beaten was most plame, Ne ever would to any by-way bend, But still did follow one unto the end, The which at last out of the wood them brought. So forward on his way (with God to frend) He passed forth, and new adventure sought; Long way he travelled, before he heard of ought. xxix At length they chaunst to meet upon the way An aged Sire, in long blacke weedes yclad, His feete all bare, his beard all hoarie gray, And by his belt his booke he hanging had; Sober he seemde, and very sagely sad, And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent, Simple in shew, and voyde of malice bad, And all the way he prayed, as he went, And often knockt his brest, as one that did repent. xxx He faire the knight saluted, louting low, Who faire him quited, as that courteous was: And after asked him, if he did know Of straunge adventures, which abroad did pas. Ah my deare Sonne (quoth he) how should, alas, Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell, Bidding his beades all day for his trespas, Tydings of warre and worldly trouble tell? With holy father sits not with such things to mell. xxxi But if of daunger which hereby doth dwell, And homebred evill ye desire to heare, Of a straunge man I can you tidings tell, That wasteth all this countrey farre and neare. Of such (said he) I chiefly do inquere, And shall you well reward to shew the place, In which that wicked wight his dayes doth weare: For to all knighthood it is foule disgrace, That such a cursed creature lives so long a space. xxxii Far hence (quoth he) in wastfull wildernesse His dwelling is, by which no living wight May ever passe, but thorough great distresse. Now (sayd the Lady) draweth toward night, And well I wote, that of your later fight Ye all forwearied be: for what so strong, But wanting rest will also want of might? The Sunne that measures heaven all day long, At night doth baite his steedes the Ocean waves emong. xxxiii Then with the Sunne take Sir, your timely rest, And with new day new worke at once begin: Untroubled night they say gives counsell best. Right well Sir knight ye have advised bin, (Quoth then that aged man;) the way to win Is wisely to advise: now day is spent; Therefore with me ye may take up your In For this same night. The knight was well content: So with that godly father to his home they went. xxxiv A little lowly Hermitage it was, Downe in a dale, hard by a forests side, Far from resort of people, that did pas In travell to and froe: a little wyde There was an holy Chappell edifyde, Wherein the Hermite dewly wont to say His holy things each morne and eventyde: Thereby a Christall streame did gently play, Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth alway. xxxv Arrived there, the little house they fill, Ne looke for entertainement, where none was: Rest is their feast, and all things at their will; The noblest mind the best contentment has. With faire discourse the evening so they pas: For that old man of pleasing wordes had store, And well could file his tongue as smooth as glas; He told of Saintes and Popes, and evermore He strowd an Ave-Mary after and before. xxxvi The drouping Night thus creepeth on them fast, And the sad humour loading their eye liddes, As messenger of Morpheus on them cast Sweet slombring deaw, the which to sleepe them biddes. Unto their lodgings then his guestes he riddes: Where when all drownd in deadly sleepe he findes, He to his study goes, and there amiddes His Magick bookes and artes of sundry kindes, He seekes out mighty charmes, to trouble sleepy mindes. xxxvii Then choosing out few wordes most horrible, (Let none them read) thereof did verses frame, With which and other spelles like terrible, He bad awake blacke Plutoes griesly Dame, And cursed heaven, and spake reprochfull shame Of highest God, the Lord of life and light; A bold bad man, that dar'd to call by name Great Gorgon, Prince of darknesse and dead night, At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put to flight. xxxviii And forth he cald out of deepe darknesse dred Legions of Sprights, the which like little flyes Fluttring about his ever damned hed, A-waite whereto their service he applyes, To aide his friends, or fray his enimies: Of those he chose out two, the falsest twoo, And fittest for to forge true-seeming lyes; The one of them he gave a message too, The other by him selfe staide other worke to doo. xxxix He making speedy way through spersed ayre, And through the world of waters wide and peepe, To Morpheus house doth hastily repaire. Amid the bowels of the earth full steepe, And low, where dawning day doth never peepe, His dwelling is; there Tethys his wet bed Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth steepe In silver deaw his ever-drouping hed, Whiles sad Night over him her mantle black doth spred. xl Whose double gates he findeth locked fast, The one faire fram'd of burnisht Yvory, The other all with silver overcast; And wakefull dogges before them farre do lye Watching to banish Care their enimy, Who oft is wont to trouble gentle Sleepe. By them the Sprite doth passe in quietly, And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deepe In drowsie fit he findes: of nothing he takes keepe. xli And more, to lulle him in his slumber soft, A trickling streame from high rocke tumbling downe And ever-drizling raine upon the loft, Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like the sowne Of swarming Bees, did cast him in a swowne: No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes, As still are wont t'annoy the walled towne, Might there be heard: but carelesse Quiet lyes, Wrapt in eternall silence farre from enemyes. xlii The messenger approching to him spake, But his wast wordes returnd to him in vaine: So sound he slept, that nought mought him awake. Then rudely he him thrust, and pusht with paine, Whereat he gan to stretch: but he againe Shooke him so hard, that forced him to speake. As one then in a dreame, whose dryer braine In tost with troubled sights and fancies weake, He mumbled soft, but would not all his silence breake. xliii The Sprite then gan more boldly him to wake, And threatned unto him the dreaded name Of Hecate: whereat he gan to quake, And lifting up his lumpish head, with blame Halfe angry asked him, for what he came. Hither (quoth he) me Archimago sent, He that the stubborne Sprites can wisely tame, He bids thee to him send for his intent A fit false dreame, that can delude the sleepers sent. xliv The God obayde, and calling forth straight way A diverse dreame out of his prison darke, Delivered it to him, and downe did lay His heavie head, devoide of carefull carke, Whose sences all were straight benumbed and starke. He backe returning by the Yvorie dore, Remounted up as light as chearefull Larke, And on his litle winges the dreame he bore In hast unto his Lord, where he him left afore. xlv Who all this while with charmes and hidden artes, Had made a Lady of that other Spright, And fram'd of liquid ayre her tender partes So lively, and so like in all mens sight, That weaker sence it could have ravisht quight: The maker selfe for all his wondrous witt, Was nigh beguiled with so goodly sight: Her all in white he clad, and over it Cast a blacke stole, most like to seeme for Una fit. xlvi Now when that ydle dreame was to him brought, Unto that Elfin knight he bad him fly, Where he slept soundly void of evill thought And with false shewes abuse his fantasy, In sort as he him schooled privily: And that new creature borne without her dew, Full of the makers guile, with usage sly He taught to imitate that Lady trew, Whose semblance she did carrie under feigned hew. xlvii Thus well instructed, to their worke they hast, And comming where the knight in slomber lay, The one upon his hardy head him plast, And made him dreame of loves and lustfull play, That nigh his manly hart did melt away, Bathed in wanton blis and wicked joy: Then seemed him his Lady by him lay, And to him playnd, how that false winged boy, Her chast hart had subdewd, to learne Dame pleasures toy. xlviii And she her selfe of beautie soveraigne Queene, Faire Venus seemde unto his bed to bring Her, whom he waking evermore did weene, To be the chastest flowre, that ay did spring On earthly braunch, the daughter of a king, Now a loose Leman to vile service bound: And eke the Graces seemed all to sing, Hymen {i}{_o} Hymen, dauncing all around, While freshest Flora her with Yvie girlond crownd. xlix In this great passion of unwonted lust, Or wonted feare of doing ought amis, He started up, as seeming to mistrust Some secret ill, or hidden foe of his: Lo there before his face his Lady is, Under blake stole hyding her bayted hooke, And as halfe blushing offred him to kis, With gentle blandishment and lovely looke, Most like that virgin true, which for her knight him took. l All cleane dismayd to see so uncouth sight, And halfe enraged at her shamelesse guise, He thought have slaine her in his fierce despight: But hasty heat tempring with sufferance wise, He stayde his hand, and gan himselfe advise To prove his sense, and tempt her faigned truth. Wringing her hands in wemens pitteous wise, Tho can she weepe, to stirre up gentle ruth, Both for her noble bloud, and for her tender youth. li And said, Ah Sir, my liege Lord and my love, Shall I accuse the hidden cruell fate, And mightie causes wrought in heaven above, Or the blind God, that doth me thus amate, For hoped love to winne me certaine hate? Yet thus perforce he bids me do, or die. Die is my dew: yet rew my wretched state You, whom my hard avenging destinie Hath made judge of my life or death indifferently. lii Your owne deare sake forst me at first to leave My Fathers kingdome, There she stopt with teares; Her swollen hart her speach seemd to bereave, And then againe begun, My weaker yeares Captiv'd to fortune and frayle worldly feares, Fly to your faith for succour and sure ayde: Let me not dye in languor and long teares. Why Dame (quoth he) what hath ye thus dismayd? What frayes ye, that were wont to comfort me affrayd? liii Love of your selfe, she said, and deare constraint Lets me not sleepe, but wast the wearie night In secret anguish and unpittied plaint, Whiles you in carelesse sleepe are drowned quight. Her doubtfull words made that redoubted knight Suspect her truth: yet since no'untruth he knew, Her fawning love with foule disdainefull spight He would not shend, but said, Deare dame I rew, That for my sake unknowne such griefe unto you grew. liv Assure your selfe, it fell not all to ground; For all so deare as life is to my hart, I deeme your love, and hold me to you bound; Ne let vaine feares procure your needlesse smart, Where cause is none, but to your rest depart. Not all content, yet seemd she to appease Her mournefull plaintes, beguiled of her art, And fed with words, that could not chuse but please, So slyding softly forth, she turnd as to her ease. lv Long after lay he musing at her mood, Much griev'd to think that gentle Dame so light, For whose defence he was to shed his blood. At last dull wearinesse of former fight Having yrockt a sleepe his irkesome spright, That troublous dreame gan freshly tosse his braine, With bowres, and beds, and Ladies deare delight: But when he saw his labour all was vaine, With that misformed spright he backe returnd againe.
from The Faerie Queene: Book I, Canto I
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
RICHARD BARNFIELD
Long have I longd to see my love againe, Still have I wisht, but never could obtaine it; Rather than all the world (if I might gaine it) Would I desire my loves sweet precious gaine. Yet in my soule I see him everie day, See him, and see his still sterne countenaunce, But (ah) what is of long continuance, Where majestie and beautie beares the sway? Sometimes, when I imagine that I see him, (As love is full of foolish fantasies) Weening to kisse his lips, as my loves fees, I feele but aire: nothing but aire to bee him. Thus with Ixion, kisse I clouds in vaine: Thus with Ixion, feele I endles paine.
Sonnet 16
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
RICHARD BARNFIELD
Cherry-lipt Adonis in his snowie shape, Might not compare with his pure ivorie white, On whose faire front a poets pen may write, Whose roseate red excels the crimson grape, His love-enticing delicate soft limbs, Are rarely framd tintrap poore gazine eies: His cheeks, the lillie and carnation dies, With lovely tincture which Apollos dims. His lips ripe strawberries in nectar wet, His mouth a Hive, his tongue a hony-combe, Where Muses (like bees) make their mansion. His teeth pure pearle in blushing correll set. Oh how can such a body sinne-procuring, Be slow to love, and quicke to hate, enduring?
Sonnet 17
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
SIR WALTER RALEGH
Praisd be Dianas fair and harmless light; Praisd be the dews wherewith she moists the ground; Praisd be her beams, the glory of the night; Praisd be her power by which all powers abound. Praisd be her nymphs with whom she decks the woods, Praisd be her knights in whom true honour lives; Praisd be that force by which she moves the floods; Let that Diana shine which all these gives. In heaven queen she is among the spheres; In aye she mistress-like makes all things pure; Eternity in her oft change she bears; She beauty is; by her the fair endure. Time wears her not: she doth his chariot guide; Mortality below her orb is placd; By her the virtue of the stars down slide; In her is virtues perfect image cast. A knowledge pure it is her worth to know: With Circes let them dwell that think not so.
Praisd be Dianas Fair and Harmless Light
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
QUEEN ELIZABETH I
When I was fair and young, then favor graced me. Of many was I sought their mistress for to be. But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore: Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more. How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe, How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show, But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore: Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. Then spake fair Venus son, that proud victorious boy, Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy, I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more: Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast That neither night nor day I could take any rest. Wherefore I did repent that I had said before: Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.
When I Was Fair and Young
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
JOHN DONNE
When by thy scorn, O murd'ress, I am dead And that thou think'st thee free From all solicitation from me, Then shall my ghost come to thy bed, And thee, feign'd vestal, in worse arms shall see; Then thy sick taper will begin to wink, And he, whose thou art then, being tir'd before, Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think Thou call'st for more, And in false sleep will from thee shrink; And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou Bath'd in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie A verier ghost than I. What I will say, I will not tell thee now, Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent, I'had rather thou shouldst painfully repent, Than by my threat'nings rest still innocent.
The Apparition
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
JOHN SKELTON
Pla ce bo, Who is there, who? Di le xi, Dame Margery; Fa, re, my, my, Wherfore and why, why? For the sowle of Philip Sparowe, That was late slayn at Carowe, Among the Nones Blake, For that swete soules sake, And for all sparowes soules, Set in our bederolles, Pater noster qui, With an Ave Mari, And with the corner of a Crede, The more shalbe your mede. Whan I remembre agayn How mi Philyp was slayn, Never halfe the payne Was betwene you twayne, Pyramus and Thesbe, As than befell to me: I wept and I wayled, The tearys downe hayled; But nothinge it avayled To call Phylyp agayne, Whom Gyb our cat hath slayne. Gib, I saye, our cat, Worrowyd her on that Which I loved best: It can not be exprest My sorowfull hevynesse, But all without redresse; For within that stounde, Halfe slumbrynge, in a swounde I fell downe to the grounde. Unneth I kest myne eyes Towarde the cloudy skyes: But whan I dyd beholde My sparow dead and colde, No creatuer but that wolde Have rewed upon me, To behold and se What hevynesse dyd me pange; Wherewith my handes I wrange, That my senaws cracked, As though I had ben racked, So payned and so strayned, That no lyfe wellnye remayned. I syghed and I sobbed, For that I was robbed Of my sparowes lyfe. O mayden, wydow, and wyfe, Of what estate ye be, Of hye or lowe degre, Great sorowe than ye myght se, And lerne to wepe at me! Such paynes dyd me frete, That myne hert dyd bete, My vysage pale and dead, Wanne, and blewe as lead; The panges of hatefull death Wellnye had stopped my breath. Heu, heu, me, That I am wo for the! Ad Dominum, cum tribularer, clamavi: Of God nothynge els crave I But Phyllypes soule to kepe From the marees deepe Of Acherontes well, That is a flode of hell; And from the great Pluto, The prynce of endles wo; And from foule Alecto, With vysage blacke and blo; And from Medusa, that mare, That lyke a fende doth stare; And from Megeras edders, For rufflynge of Phillips fethers, And from her fyry sparklynges, For burnynge of his wynges; And from the smokes sowre Of Proserpinas bowre; And from the dennes darke, Wher Cerberus doth barke, Whom Theseus dyd afraye, Whom Hercules dyd outraye, As famous poetes say; From that hell-hounde, That lyeth in cheynes bounde, With gastly hedes thre, To Jupyter pray we That Phyllyp preserved may be! Amen, say ye with me! Do mi nus, Helpe nowe, swete Jesus! Levavi oculos meos in montes: Wolde God I had Zenophontes, Or Socrates the wyse To shew me their devyse, Moderatly to take This sorrow that I make For Phylyp Sparowes sake! So fervently I shake, I fele my body quake; So urgently I am brought Into carefull thought. Like Andromach, Hectors wyfe, Was wery of her lyfe, Whan she had lost her joye, Noble Hector of Troye; In lyke maner also Encreaseth my dedly wo, For my sparowe is go. It was so prety a fole, It wold syt on a stole, And lerned after my scole For to kepe his cut, With, "Phyllyp, kepe your cut!" It had a velvet cap, And wold syt upon my lap, And seke after small wormes, And somtyme white bred crommes; And many tymes and ofte Betwene my brestes softe It wolde lye and rest; It was propre and prest. Somtyme he wolde gaspe Whan he sawe a waspe; A fly or a gnat, He wolde flye at that; And prytely he wold pant Whan he saw an ant; Lord, how he wolde pry After the butterfly! Lorde, how he wolde hop After the gressop! And whan I sayd, "Phyp! Phyp!" Than he wold lepe and skyp, And take me by the lyp. Alas, it wyll me slo, That Phillyp is gone me fro!
The Book of Phillip Sparrow
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
EDMUND SPENSER
Ye learned sisters which have oftentimes Beene to me ayding, others to adorne: Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull rymes, That even the greatest did not greatly scorne To heare theyr names sung in your simple layes, But joyed in theyr prayse. And when ye list your owne mishaps to mourne, Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck did rayse, Your string could soone to sadder tenor turne, And teach the woods and waters to lament Your dolefull dreriment. Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside, And having all your heads with girland crownd, Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound, Ne let the same of any be envide: So Orpheus did for his owne bride, So I unto my selfe alone will sing, The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring. Early before the worlds light giving lampe, His golden beame upon the hils doth spred, Having disperst the nights unchearefull dampe, Doe ye awake, and with fresh lusty hed, Go to the bowre of my beloved love, My truest turtle dove, Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake, And long since ready forth his maske to move, With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake, And many a bachelor to waite on him, In theyr fresh garments trim. Bid her awake therefore and soone her dight, For lo the wished day is come at last, That shall for al the paynes and sorrowes past, Pay to her usury of long delight: And whylest she doth her dight, Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing, That all the woods may answer and your eccho ring. Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can heare Both of the rivers and the forrests greene: And of the sea that neighbours to her neare, Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene. And let them also with them bring in hand Another gay girland For my fayre love of lillyes and of roses, Bound truelove wize with a blew silke riband. And let them make great store of bridale poses, And let them eeke bring store of other flowers To deck the bridale bowers. And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread, For feare the stones her tender foot should wrong Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along, And diapred lyke the discolored mead. Which done, doe at her chamber dore awayt, For she will waken strayt, The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing, The woods shall to you answer and your Eccho ring. Ye Nymphes of Mulla which with carefull heed, The silver scaly trouts doe tend full well, And greedy pikes which use therein to feed, (Those trouts and pikes all others doo excell) And ye likewise which keepe the rushy lake, Where none doo fishes take, Bynd up the locks the which hang scatterd light, And in his waters which your mirror make, Behold your faces as the christall bright, That when you come whereas my love doth lie, No blemish she may spie. And eke ye lightfoot mayds which keepe the deere, That on the hoary mountayne use to towre, And the wylde wolves which seeke them to devoure, With your steele darts doo chace from comming neer, Be also present heere, To helpe to decke her and to help to sing, That all the woods may answer and your eccho ring. Wake, now my love, awake; for it is time, The Rosy Morne long since left Tithones bed, All ready to her silver coche to clyme, And Phoebus gins to shew his glorious hed. Hark how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies And carroll of loves praise. The merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft, The thrush replyes, the Mavis descant playes, The Ouzell shrills, the Ruddock warbles soft, So goodly all agree with sweet consent, To this dayes merriment. Ah my deere love why doe ye sleepe thus long, When meeter were that ye should now awake, T'awayt the comming of your joyous make, And hearken to the birds lovelearned song, The deawy leaves among. For they of joy and pleasance to you sing, That all the woods them answer and theyr eccho ring. My love is now awake out of her dreames, And her fayre eyes like stars that dimmed were With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beames More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere. Come now ye damzels, daughters of delight, Helpe quickly her to dight, But first come ye fayre houres which were begot In Joves sweet paradice, of Day and Night, Which doe the seasons of the yeare allot, And al that ever in this world is fayre Doe make and still repayre. And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian Queene, The which doe still adorne her beauties pride, Helpe to addorne my beautifullest bride: And as ye her array, still throw betweene Some graces to be seene, And as ye use to Venus, to her sing, The whiles the woods shal answer and your eccho ring. Now is my love all ready forth to come, Let all the virgins therefore well awayt, And ye fresh boyes that tend upon her groome Prepare your selves; for he is comming strayt. Set all your things in seemely good aray Fit for so joyfull day, The joyfulst day that ever sunne did see. Faire Sun, shew forth thy favourable ray, And let thy lifull heat not fervent be For feare of burning her sunshyny face, Her beauty to disgrace. O fayrest Phoebus, father of the Muse, If ever I did honour thee aright, Or sing the thing, that mote thy mind delight, Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse, But let this day let this one day be myne, Let all the rest be thine. Then I thy soverayne prayses loud will sing, That all the woods shal answer and theyr eccho ring. Harke how the Minstrels gin to shrill aloud Their merry Musick that resounds from far, The pipe, the tabor, and the trembling Croud, That well agree withouten breach or jar. But most of all the Damzels doe delite, When they their tymbrels smyte, And thereunto doe daunce and carrol sweet, That all the sences they doe ravish quite, The whyles the boyes run up and downe the street, Crying aloud with strong confused noyce, As if it were one voyce. Hymen io Hymen, Hymen they do shout, That even to the heavens theyr shouting shrill Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill, To which the people standing all about, As in approvance doe thereto applaud And loud advaunce her laud, And evermore they Hymen Hymen sing, That al the woods them answer and theyr eccho ring. Loe where she comes along with portly pace Lyke Phoebe from her chamber of the East, Arysing forth to run her mighty race, Clad all in white, that seemes a virgin best. So well it her beseemes that ye would weene Some angell she had beene. Her long loose yellow locks lyke golden wyre, Sprinckled with perle, and perling flowres a tweene, Doe lyke a golden mantle her attyre, And being crowned with a girland greene, Seeme lyke some mayden Queene. Her modest eyes abashed to behold So many gazers, as on her do stare, Upon the lowly ground affixed are. Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, But blush to heare her prayses sung so loud, So farre from being proud. Nathlesse doe ye still loud her prayses sing, That all the woods may answer and your eccho ring. Tell me ye merchants daughters did ye see So fayre a creature in your towne before? So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, Adornd with beautyes grace and vertues store, Her goodly eyes lyke Saphyres shining bright, Her forehead yvory white, Her cheekes lyke apples which the sun hath rudded, Her lips lyke cherryes charming men to byte, Her brest like to a bowle of creame uncrudded, Her paps lyke lyllies budded, Her snowie necke lyke to a marble towre, And all her body like a pallace fayre, Ascending uppe with many a stately stayre, To honors seat and chastities sweet bowre. Why stand ye still ye virgins in amaze, Upon her so to gaze, Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing, To which the woods did answer and your eccho ring. But if ye saw that which no eyes can see, The inward beauty of her lively spright, Garnisht with heavenly guifts of high degree, Much more then would ye wonder at that sight, And stand astonisht lyke to those which red Medusaes mazeful hed. There dwels sweet love and constant chastity, Unspotted fayth and comely womenhed, Regard of honour and mild modesty, There vertue raynes as Queene in royal throne, And giveth lawes alone. The which the base affections doe obay, And yeeld theyr services unto her will, Ne thought of thing uncomely ever may Thereto approch to tempt her mind to ill. Had ye once seene these her celestial threasures, And unrevealed pleasures, Then would ye wonder and her prayses sing, That al the woods should answer and your eccho ring. Open the temple gates unto my love, Open them wide that she may enter in, And all the postes adorne as doth behove, And all the pillours deck with girlands trim, For to recyve this Saynt with honour dew, That commeth in to you. With trembling steps and humble reverence, She commeth in, before th'almighties vew: Of her ye virgins learne obedience, When so ye come into those holy places, To humble your proud faces; Bring her up to th'high altar that she may, The sacred ceremonies there partake, The which do endlesse matrimony make, And let the roring Organs loudly play The praises of the Lord in lively notes, The whiles with hollow throates The Choristers the joyous Antheme sing, That al the woods may answere and their eccho ring. Behold whiles she before the altar stands Hearing the holy priest that to her speakes And blesseth her with his two happy hands, How the red roses flush up in her cheekes, And the pure snow with goodly vermill stayne, Like crimsin dyde in grayne, That even th'Angels which continually, About the sacred Altare doe remaine, Forget their service and about her fly, Ofte peeping in her face that seemes more fayre, The more they on it stare. But her sad eyes still fastened on the ground, Are governed with goodly modesty, That suffers not one looke to glaunce awry, Which may let in a little thought unsownd. Why blush ye love to give to me your hand, The pledge of all our band? Sing ye sweet Angels, Alleluya sing, That all the woods may answere and your eccho ring. Now al is done; bring home the bride againe, Bring home the triumph of our victory, Bring home with you the glory of her gaine, With joyance bring her and with jollity. Never had man more joyfull day then this, Whom heaven would heape with blis. Make feast therefore now all this live long day, This day for ever to me holy is, Poure out the wine without restraint or stay, Poure not by cups, but by the belly full, Poure out to all that wull, And sprinkle all the postes and wals with wine, That they may sweat, and drunken be withall. Crowne ye God Bacchus with a coronall, And Hymen also crowne with wreathes of vine, And let the Graces daunce unto the rest; For they can doo it best: The whiles the maydens doe theyr carroll sing, To which the woods shal answer and theyr eccho ring. Ring ye the bels, ye yong men of the towne, And leave your wonted labors for this day: This day is holy; doe ye write it downe, That ye for ever it remember may. This day the sunne is in his chiefest hight, With Barnaby the bright, From whence declining daily by degrees, He somewhat loseth of his heat and light, When once the Crab behind his back he sees. But for this time it ill ordained was, To chose the longest day in all the yeare, And shortest night, when longest fitter weare: Yet never day so long, but late would passe. Ring ye the bels, to make it weare away, And bonefiers make all day, And daunce about them, and about them sing: That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. Ah when will this long weary day have end, And lende me leave to come unto my love? How slowly do the houres theyr numbers spend? How slowly does sad Time his feathers move? Hast thee O fayrest Planet to thy home Within the Westerne fome: Thy tyred steedes long since have need of rest. Long though it be, at last I see it gloome, And the bright evening star with golden creast Appeare out of the East. Fayre childe of beauty, glorious lampe of love That all the host of heaven in rankes doost lead, And guydest lovers through the nightes dread, How chearefully thou lookest from above, And seemst to laugh atweene thy twinkling light As joying in the sight Of these glad many which for joy doe sing, That all the woods them answer and their echo ring. Now ceasse ye damsels your delights forepast; Enough is it, that all the day was youres: Now day is doen, and night is nighing fast: Now bring the Bryde into the brydall boures. Now night is come, now soone her disaray, And in her bed her lay; Lay her in lillies and in violets, And silken courteins over her display, And odourd sheetes, and Arras coverlets. Behold how goodly my faire love does ly In proud humility; Like unto Maia, when as Jove her tooke, In Tempe, lying on the flowry gras, Twixt sleepe and wake, after she weary was, With bathing in the Acidalian brooke. Now it is night, ye damsels may be gon, And leave my love alone, And leave likewise your former lay to sing: The woods no more shal answere, nor your echo ring. Now welcome night, thou night so long expected, That long daies labour doest at last defray, And all my cares, which cruell love collected, Hast sumd in one, and cancelled for aye: Spread thy broad wing over my love and me, That no man may us see, And in thy sable mantle us enwrap, From feare of perrill and foule horror free. Let no false treason seeke us to entrap, Nor any dread disquiet once annoy The safety of our joy: But let the night be calme and quietsome, Without tempestuous storms or sad afray: Lyke as when Jove with fayre Alcmena lay, When he begot the great Tirynthian groome: Or lyke as when he with thy selfe did lie, And begot Majesty. And let the mayds and yongmen cease to sing: Ne let the woods them answer, nor theyr eccho ring. Let no lamenting cryes, nor dolefull teares, Be heard all night within nor yet without: Ne let false whispers, breeding hidden feares, Breake gentle sleepe with misconceived dout. Let no deluding dreames, nor dreadful sights Make sudden sad affrights; Ne let housefyres, nor lightnings helpelesse harmes, Ne let the Pouke, nor other evill sprights, Ne let mischivous witches with theyr charmes, Ne let hob Goblins, names whose sence we see not, Fray us with things that be not. Let not the shriech Oule, nor the Storke be heard: Nor the night Raven that still deadly yels, Nor damned ghosts cald up with mighty spels, Nor griesly vultures make us once affeard: Ne let th'unpleasant Quyre of Frogs still croking Make us to wish theyr choking. Let none of these theyr drery accents sing; Ne let the woods them answer, nor theyr eccho ring. But let stil Silence trew night watches keepe, That sacred peace may in assurance rayne, And tymely sleep, when it is tyme to sleepe, May poure his limbs forth on your pleasant playne, The whiles an hundred little winged loves, Like divers fethered doves, Shall fly and flutter round about your bed, And in the secret darke, that none reproves, Their prety stelthes shal worke, and snares shal spread To filch away sweet snatches of delight, Conceald through covert night. Ye sonnes of Venus, play your sports at will, For greedy pleasure, carelesse of your toyes, Thinks more upon her paradise of joyes, Then what ye do, albe it good or ill. All night therefore attend your merry play, For it will soone be day: Now none doth hinder you, that say or sing, Ne will the woods now answer, nor your Eccho ring. 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? 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 woll, which privily, The Latmian shephard once unto thee brought, 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, And the chast wombe informe with timely seed, That may our comfort breed: Till which we cease our hopefull hap to sing, Ne let the woods us answere, nor our Eccho ring. And thou great Juno, which with awful might The lawes of wedlock still dost patronize, And the religion of the faith first plight With sacred rites hast taught to solemnize: And eeke for comfort often called art Of women in their smart, 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, And the sweet pleasures of theyr loves delight With secret ayde doest 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, Grant that it may so be. Til which we cease your further prayse to sing, Ne any woods shal answer, nor your Eccho ring. And ye high heavens, the temple of the gods, In which a thousand torches flaming bright Doe burne, that to us wretched earthly clods, In dreadful darknesse lend desired light; And all ye powers which in the same remayne, More then we men can fayne, Poure out your blessing on us plentiously, 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, 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 joyes to sing, The woods no more us answer, nor our eccho ring. Song made in lieu of many ornaments, With which my love should duly have bene dect, Which cutting off through hasty accidents, Ye would not stay your dew time to expect, But promist both to recompens, Be unto her a goodly ornament, And for short time an endlesse moniment.
Epithalamion
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE
On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood, In view and opposite two cities stood, Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might; The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight. At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair, Whom young Apollo courted for her hair, And offer'd as a dower his burning throne, Where she could sit for men to gaze upon. The outside of her garments were of lawn, The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn; Her wide sleeves green, and border'd with a grove, Where Venus in her naked glory strove To please the careless and disdainful eyes Of proud Adonis, that before her lies; Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain, Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain. Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath, From whence her veil reach'd to the ground beneath; Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves, Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives; Many would praise the sweet smell as she past, When 'twas the odour which her breath forth cast; And there for honey bees have sought in vain, And beat from thence, have lighted there again. About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone, Which lighten'd by her neck, like diamonds shone. She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind, Or warm or cool them, for they took delight To play upon those hands, they were so white. Buskins of shells, all silver'd, used she, And branch'd with blushing coral to the knee; Where sparrows perch'd, of hollow pearl and gold, Such as the world would wonder to behold: Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills, Which as she went, would chirrup through the bills. Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd, And looking in her face, was strooken blind. But this is true; so like was one the other, As he imagin'd Hero was his mother; And oftentimes into her bosom flew, About her naked neck his bare arms threw, And laid his childish head upon her breast, And with still panting rock'd there took his rest. So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus' nun, As Nature wept, thinking she was undone, Because she took more from her than she left, And of such wondrous beauty her bereft: Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer'd wrack, Since Hero's time hath half the world been black. Amorous Leander, beautiful and young (Whose tragedy divine Musus sung), Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none For whom succeeding times make greater moan. His dangling tresses, that were never shorn, Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne, Would have allur'd the vent'rous youth of Greece To hazard more than for the golden fleece. Fair Cynthia wish'd his arms might be her sphere; Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there. His body was as straight as Circe's wand; Jove might have sipt out nectar from his hand. Even as delicious meat is to the taste, So was his neck in touching, and surpast The white of Pelops' shoulder: I could tell ye, How smooth his breast was, and how white his belly; And whose immortal fingers did imprint That heavenly path with many a curious dint That runs along his back; but my rude pen Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men, Much less of powerful gods: let it suffice That my slack Muse sings of Leander's eyes; Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his That leapt into the water for a kiss Of his own shadow, and, despising many, Died ere he could enjoy the love of any. Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen, Enamour'd of his beauty had he been. His presence made the rudest peasant melt, That in the vast uplandish country dwelt; The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov'd with nought, Was mov'd with him, and for his favour sought. Some swore he was a maid in man's attire, For in his looks were all that men desire, A pleasant smiling cheek, a speaking eye, A brow for love to banquet royally; And such as knew he was a man, would say, "Leander, thou art made for amorous play; Why art thou not in love, and lov'd of all? Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall." The men of wealthy Sestos every year, For his sake whom their goddess held so dear, Rose-cheek'd Adonis, kept a solemn feast. Thither resorted many a wandering guest To meet their loves; such as had none at all Came lovers home from this great festival; For every street, like to a firmament, Glister'd with breathing stars, who, where they went, Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem'd Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem'd As if another Pha{"e}ton had got The guidance of the sun's rich chariot. But far above the loveliest, Hero shin'd, And stole away th' enchanted gazer's mind; For like sea-nymphs' inveigling harmony, So was her beauty to the standers-by; Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery star (When yawning dragons draw her thirling car From Latmus' mount up to the gloomy sky, Where, crown'd with blazing light and majesty, She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood Than she the hearts of those that near her stood. Even as when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase, Wretched Ixion's shaggy-footed race, Incens'd with savage heat, gallop amain From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain, So ran the people forth to gaze upon her, And all that view'd her were enamour'd on her. And as in fury of a dreadful fight, Their fellows being slain or put to flight, Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead-strooken, So at her presence all surpris'd and tooken, Await the sentence of her scornful eyes; He whom she favours lives; the other dies. There might you see one sigh, another rage, And some, their violent passions to assuage, Compile sharp satires; but, alas, too late, For faithful love will never turn to hate. And many, seeing great princes were denied, Pin'd as they went, and thinking on her, died. On this feast-dayO cursed day and hour! Went Hero thorough Sestos, from her tower To Venus' temple, where unhappily, As after chanc'd, they did each other spy. So fair a church as this had Venus none: The walls were of discolour'd jasper-stone, Wherein was Proteus carved; and over-head A lively vine of green sea-agate spread, Where by one hand light-headed Bacchus hung, And with the other wine from grapes out-wrung. Of crystal shining fair the pavement was; The town of Sestos call'd it Venus' glass: There might you see the gods in sundry shapes, Committing heady riots, incest, rapes: For know, that underneath this radiant flower Was Danae's statue in a brazen tower, Jove slyly stealing from his sister's bed, To dally with Idalian Ganimed, And for his love Europa bellowing loud, And tumbling with the rainbow in a cloud; Blood-quaffing Mars heaving the iron net, Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set; Love kindling fire, to burn such towns as Troy, Sylvanus weeping for the lovely boy That now is turn'd into a cypress tree, Under whose shade the wood-gods love to be. And in the midst a silver altar stood: There Hero, sacrificing turtles' blood, Vail'd to the ground, veiling her eyelids close; And modestly they opened as she rose. Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head; And thus Leander was enamoured. Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gazed, Till with the fire that from his count'nance blazed Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook: Such force and virtue hath an amorous look. It lies not in our power to love or hate, For will in us is over-rul'd by fate. When two are stript, long ere the course begin, We wish that one should lose, the other win; And one especially do we affect Of two gold ingots, like in each respect: The reason no man knows, let it suffice, What we behold is censur'd by our eyes. Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?
Hero and Leander
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
EDMUND SPENSER
By that he ended had his ghostly sermon, The fox was well induc'd to be a parson, And of the priest eftsoons gan to inquire, How to a benefice he might aspire. "Marry, there" (said the priest) "is art indeed: Much good deep learning one thereout may read; For that the ground-work is, and end of all, How to obtain a beneficial. First, therefore, when ye have in handsome wise Yourself attired, as you can devise, Then to some nobleman yourself apply, Or other great one in the worldes eye, That hath a zealous disposition To God, and so to his religion. There must thou fashion eke a godly zeal, Such as no carpers may contrare reveal; For each thing feigned ought more wary be. There thou must walk in sober gravity, And seem as saint-like as Saint Radegund: Fast much, pray oft, look lowly on the ground, And unto every one do courtesy meek: These looks (nought saying) do a benefice seek, But be thou sure one not to lack or long. And if thee list unto the court to throng, And there to hunt after the hoped prey, Then must thou thee dispose another way: For there thou needs must learn to laugh, to lie, To face, to forge, to scoff, to company, To crouch, to please, to be a beetle-stock Of thy great master's will, to scorn, or mock. So may'st thou chance mock out a benefice, Unless thou canst one conjure by device, Or cast a figure for a bishopric; And if one could, it were but a school trick. These be the ways by which without reward Livings in court be gotten, though full hard; For nothing there is done without a fee: The courtier needs must recompensed be With a benevolence, or have in gage The primitias of your parsonage: Scarce can a bishopric forpass them by, But that it must be gelt in privity. Do not thou therefore seek a living there, But of more private persons seek elsewhere, Whereas thou may'st compound a better penny, Ne let thy learning question'd be of any. For some good gentleman, that hath the right Unto his church for to present a wight, Will cope with thee in reasonable wise; That if the living yearly do arise To forty pound, that then his youngest son Shall twenty have, and twenty thou hast won: Thou hast it won, for it is of frank gift, And he will care for all the rest to shift, Both that the bishop may admit of thee, And that therein thou may'st maintained be. This is the way for one that is unlearn'd Living to get, and not to be discern'd. But they that are great clerks, have nearer ways, For learning sake to living them to raise; Yet many eke of them (God wot) are driven T' accept a benefice in pieces riven. How say'st thou (friend), have I not well discourst Upon this common-place (though plain, not worst)? Better a short tale than a bad long shriving. Needs any more to learn to get a living?" "Now sure, and by my halidom," (quoth he) "Ye a great master are in your degree: Great thanks I yield you for your discipline, And do not doubt but duly to incline My wits thereto, as ye shall shortly hear." The priest him wish'd good speed, and well to fare: So parted they, as either's way them led. But th' ape and fox ere long so well them sped, Through the priest's wholesome counsel lately taught, And through their own fair handling wisely wrought, That they a benefice 'twixt them obtained; And crafty Reynold was a priest ordained, And th' ape his parish clerk procur'd to be. Then made they revel rout and goodly glee; But, ere long time had passed, they so ill Did order their affairs, that th' evil will Of all their parish'ners they had constrain'd; Who to the Ordinary of them complain'd, How foully they their offices abus'd, And them of crimes and heresies accus'd, That pursuivants he often for them sent; But they neglected his commandement. So long persisted obstinate and bold, Till at the length he published to hold A visitation, and them cited thether: Then was high time their wits about to geather. What did they then, but made a composition With their next neighbour priest, for light condition, To whom their living they resigned quite For a few pence, and ran away by night.
Prosopopoia: or Mother Hubbard's Tale
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
EDMUND SPENSER
CALM was the day, and through the trembling air Sweet breathing Zephyrus did softly play, A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay Hot Titan's beams, which then did glister fair; When I whose sullen care, Through discontent of my long fruitless stay In prince's court, and expectation vain Of idle hopes, which still do fly away Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain, Walked forth to ease my pain Along the shore of silver streaming Thames, Whose rutty bank, the which his river hems, Was painted all with variable flowers, And all the meads adorned with dainty gems, Fit to deck maidens' bowers, And crown their paramours, Against the bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. There, in a meadow, by the river's side, A flock of nymphs I chanced to espy, All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, With goodly greenish locks, all loose untied, As each had been a bride; And each one had a little wicker basket, Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously, In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket, And with fine fingers cropt full featously The tender stalks on high. Of every sort, which in that meadow grew, They gathered some; the violet pallid blue, The little daisy, that at evening closes, The virgin lily, and the primrose true, With store of vermeil roses, To deck their bridegrooms' posies Against the bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. With that, I saw two swans of goodly hue Come softly swimming down along the Lee; Two fairer birds I yet did never see. The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew, Did never whiter shew, Nor Jove himself, 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. So purely white they were, That even the gentle stream, the which them bare, Seemed foul to them, and bade his billows spare To wet their silken feathers, lest they might Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair, And mar their beauties bright, That shone as heaven's light, Against their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their fill, Ran all in haste, to see that silver brood, As they came floating on the crystal flood. Whom when they saw, they stood amazed still, Their wondering eyes to fill. Them seemed they never saw a sight so fair, Of fowls so lovely, that they sure did deem Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair Which through the sky draw Venus' silver team; For sure they did not seem To be begot of any earthly seed, But rather angels, or of angels' breed: Yet were they bred of Somers-heat they say, In sweetest season, when each flower and weed The earth did fresh array, So fresh they seemed as day, Even as their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. 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 yield, All which upon those goodly birds they threw, And all the waves did strew, That like old Peneus' waters they did seem, When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore, Scattered with flowers, through Thessaly they stream, That they appear through lilies' plenteous store, Like a bride's chamber floor. Two of those nymphs meanwhile, two garlands bound, Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found, The which presenting all in trim array, Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crowned, Whilst one did sing this lay, Prepared against that day, Against their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. 'Ye gentle birds, the world's fair ornament, And heaven's glory, whom this happy hour Doth lead unto your lovers' blissful bower, Joy may you have and gentle heart's content Of your love's complement: And let fair Venus, that is queen of love, With her heart-quelling son upon you smile, Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile For ever to assoil. Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord, And blessed plenty wait upon your board, And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound, That fruitful issue may to you afford, Which may your foes confound, And make your joys redound Upon your bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.' So ended she; and all the rest around To her redoubled that her undersong, Which said their bridal day should not be long. And gentle echo from the neighbour ground Their accents did resound. So forth those joyous birds did pass along, Adown the Lee, that to them murmured low, As he would speak, but that he lacked a tongue, Yet did by signs his glad affection show, Making his stream run slow. And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell Gan flock about these twain, that did excel 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: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. At length they all to merry London came, To merry London, my most kindly nurse, That to me gave this life's first native source; Though from another place I take my name, An house of ancient fame. There when they came, whereas those bricky towers, The which on Thames' broad aged back do ride, Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide, Till they decayed through pride: Next whereunto there stands a stately place, Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell, Whose want too well now feels my friendless case. But ah, here fits not well Old woes but joys to tell Against the bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer, Great England's glory, and the world's wide wonder, Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did thunder, And Hercules' two pillars standing near Did make to quake and fear: Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry, That fillest England with thy triumph's fame, Joy have thou of thy noble victory, And endless happiness of thine own name That promiseth the same: That through thy prowess and victorious arms, Thy country may be freed from foreign harms; And great Elisa's glorious name may ring Through all the world, filled with thy wide alarms, Which some brave Muse may sing To ages following, Upon the bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. From those high towers this noble lord issuing, Like radiant Hesper when his golden hair In th'Ocean billows he hath bathed fair, Descended to the river's open viewing, With a great train ensuing. Above the rest were goodly to be seen Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature Beseeming well the bower of any queen, With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature, Fit for so goodly stature; That like the twins of Jove they seemed in sight, Which deck the baldric of the heavens bright. They two forth pacing to the river's side, Received those two fair birds, their love's delight; Which, at th' appointed tide, Each one did make his bride Against their bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
Prothalamion
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
EDMUND SPENSER
THENOT & HOBBINOLL Tell me good Hobbinoll, what garres thee greete? What? hath some Wolfe thy tender Lambes ytorne? Or is thy Bagpype broke, that soundes so sweete? Or art thou of thy loved lasse forlorne? Or bene thine eyes attempred to the yeare, Quenching the gasping furrowes thirst with rayne? Like April shoure, so stremes the trickling teares Adowne thy cheeke, to quenche thy thristye payne. HOBBINOLL Nor thys, nor that, so muche doeth make me mourne, But for the ladde, whome long I lovd so deare, Nowe loves a lasse, that all his love doth scorne: He plongd in payne, his tressed locks dooth teare. Shepheards delights he dooth them all forsweare, Hys pleasaunt Pipe, whych made us meriment, He wylfully hath broke, and doth forbeare His wonted songs, wherein he all outwent. THENOT What is he for a Ladde, you so lament? Ys love such pinching payne to them, that prove? And hath he skill to make so excellent, Yet hath so little skill to brydle love? HOBBINOLL Colin thou kenst, the Southerne shepheardes boye: Him Love hath wounded with a deadly darte. Whilome on him was all my care and joye, Forcing with gyfts to winne his wanton heart. But now from me hys madding mynd is starte, And woes the Widdowes daughter of the glenne: So nowe fayre Rosalind hath bredde hys smart, So now his frend is chaunged for a frenne. THENOT But if hys ditties bene so trimly dight, I pray thee Hobbinoll, recorde some one: The whiles our flockes doe graze about in sight, And we close shrowded in thys shade alone. HOBBINOLL Contented I: then will I singe his laye Of fayre Elisa, Queene of shepheardes all: Which once he made, as by a spring he laye, And tuned it unto the Waters fall. Ye dayntye Nymphs, that in this blessed Brooke doe bathe your brest, Forsake your watry bowres, and hether looke, at my request: And eke you Virgins, that on Parnasse dwell, Whence floweth Helicon the learned well, Helpe me to blaze Her worthy praise, Which in her sexe doth all excell. Of fayre Eliza be your silver song, that blessed wight: The flowre of Virgins, may shee florish long, In princely plight. For shee is Syrinx daughter without spotte, Which Pan the shepheards God of her begot: So sprong her grace Of heavenly race, No mortall blemishe may her blotte. See, where she sits upon the grassie greene, (O seemely sight) Yclad in Scarlot like a mayden Queene, And Ermines white. Upon her head a Cremosin coronet, With Damaske roses and Daffadillies set: Bayleaves betweene, And Primroses greene Embellish the sweete Violet. Tell me, have ye seene her angelick face, Like Ph{oe}be fayre? Her heavenly haveour, her princely grace can you well compare? The Redde rose medled with the White yfere, In either cheeke depeincten lively chere. Her modest eye, Her Majestie, Where have you seene the like, but there? I sawe Ph{oe}bus thrust out his golden hedde, upon her to gaze: But when he sawe, how broade her beames did spredde, it did him amaze. He blusht to see another Sunne belowe, Ne durst againe his fyrye face out showe: Let him, if he dare, His brightnesse compare With hers, to have the overthrowe. Shewe thy selfe Cynthia with thy silver rayes, and be not abasht: When shee the beames of her beauty displayes, O how art thou dasht? But I will not match her with Latonaes seede, Such follie great sorow to Niobe did breede. Now she is a stone, And makes dayly mone, Warning all other to take heede. Pan may be proud, that ever he begot such a Bellibone, And Syrinx rejoyse, that ever was her lot to beare such an one. Soone as my younglings cryen for the dam, To her will I offer a milkwhite Lamb: Shee is my goddesse plaine, And I her shepherds swayne, Albee forswonck and forswatt I am. I see Calliope speede her to the place, where my Goddesse shines: And after her the other Muses trace, with their Violines. Bene they not Bay braunches, which they doe beare, All for Elisa in her hand to weare? So sweetely they play, And sing all the way, That it a heaven is to heare. Lo how finely the graces can it foote to the Instrument: They dauncen deffly, and singen soote, in their meriment. Wants not a fourth grace, to make the daunce even? Let that rowme to my Lady be yeven: She shalbe a grace, To fyll the fourth place, And reigne with the rest in heaven. And whither rennes this bevie of Ladies bright, raunged in a rowe? They bene all Ladyes of the lake behight, that unto her goe. Chloris, that is the chiefest Nymph of al, Of Olive braunches beares a Coronall: Olives bene for peace, When wars doe surcease: Such for a Princesse bene principall. Ye shepheards daughters, that dwell on the greene, hye you there apace: Let none come there, but that Virgins bene, to adorne her grace. And when you come, whereas shee is in place, See, that your rudeness doe not you disgrace: Binde your fillets faste, And gird in your waste, For more finesse, with a tawdrie lace. Bring hether the Pincke and purple Cullambine, With Gelliflowres: Bring Coronations, and Sops in wine, worne of Paramoures. Strowe me the ground with Daffadowndillies, And Cowslips, and Kingcups, and loved Lillies: The pretie Pawnce, And the Chevisaunce, Shall match with the fayre flowre Delice. Now ryse up Elisa, decked as thou art, in royall aray: And now ye daintie Damsells may depart echeone her way, I feare, I have troubled your troupes to longe: Let dame Eliza thanke you for her song. And if you come hether, When Damsines I gether, I will part them all you among. THENOT And was thilk same song of Colins owne making? Ah foolish boy, that is with love yblent: Great pittie is, he be in such taking, For naught caren, that bene so lewdly bent. HOBBINOLL Sicker I hold him, for a greater fon, That loves the thing, he cannot purchase. But let us homeward: for night draweth on, And twincling starres the daylight hence chase. THENOTS EMBLEME O quam te memorem virgo? HOBBINOLLS EMBLEME O dea certe.
from The Shepheardes Calender: April
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
EDMUND SPENSER
PIERCE & CUDDIE Cuddie, for shame hold up thy heavye head, And let us cast with what delight to chace, And weary thys long lingring Phoebus race. Whilome thou wont the shepheards laddes to leade, In rymes, in ridles, and in bydding base: Now they in thee, and thou in sleepe art dead. CUDDY Piers, I have pyped erst so long with payne, That all mine Oten reedes bene rent and wore: And my poore Muse hath spent her spared store, Yet little good hath got, and much lesse gayne, Such pleasaunce makes the Grashopper so poore, And ligge so layd, when Winter doth her straine. The dapper ditties, that I wont devise, To feede youthes fancie, and the flocking fry, Delighten much: what I the bett for thy? They han the pleasure, I a sclender prise. I beate the bush, the byrds to them doe flye: What good thereof to Cuddie can arise? PIERS Cuddie, the prayse is better, then the price, The glory eke much greater then the gayne: O what an honor is it, to restraine The lust of lawlesse youth with good advice: Or pricke them forth with pleasaunce of thy vaine, Whereto thou list their trayned willes entice. Soone as thou gynst to sette thy notes in frame, O how the rurall routes to thee doe cleave: Seemeth thou dost their soule of sence bereave, All as the shepheard, that did fetch his dame From Plutoes balefull bowre withouten leave: His musicks might the hellish hound did tame. CUDDIE So praysen babes the Peacoks spotted traine, And wondren at bright Argus blazing eye: But who rewards him ere the more for thy? Or feedes him once the fuller by a graine? Sike prayse is smoke, that sheddeth in the skye, Sike words bene wynd, and wasten soone in vayne. PIERS Abandon then the base and viler clowne, Lyft up thy selfe out of the lowly dust: And sing of bloody Mars, of wars, of giusts. Turne thee to those, that weld the awful crowne, To doubted Knights, whose woundlesse armour rusts, And helmes unbruzed wexen dayly browne. There may thy Muse display her fluttryng wing, And stretch her selfe at large from East to West: Whither thou list in fayre Elisa rest, Or if thee please in bigger notes to sing, Advaunce the worthy whome shee loveth best, That first the white beare to the stake did bring. And when the stubborne stroke of stronger stounds, Has somewhat slackt the tenor of thy string: Of love and lustihed tho mayst thou sing, And carrol lowde, and leade the Myllers rownde, All were Elisa one of thilke same ring. So mought our Cuddies name to Heaven sownde. CUDDYE Indeed the Romish Tityrus, I heare, Through his Mecoenas left his Oaten reede, Whereon he earst had taught his flocks to feede, And laboured lands to yield the timely eare, And eft did sing of warres and deadly drede, So as the Heavens did quake his verse to here. But ah Mecoenas is yclad in claye, And great Augustus long ygoe is dead: And all the worthies liggen wrapt in leade, That matter made for Poets on to play: For ever, who in derring doe were dreade, The loftie verse of hem was loved aye. But after vertue gan for age to stoupe, And mighty manhode brought a bedde of ease: The vaunting Poets found nought worth a pease, To put in preace emong the learned troupe. Tho gan the streames of flowing wittes to cease, And sonnebright honour pend in shamefull coupe. And if that any buddes of Poesie, Yet of the old stocke gan to shoote agayne: Or it mens follies mote be forst to fayne, And rolle with rest in rymes of rybaudrye: Or as it sprong, it wither must agayne: Tom Piper makes us better melodie. PIERS O pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy place? If nor in Princes pallace thou doe sitt: (And yet is Princes pallace the most fitt) Ne brest of baser birth doth thee embrace. Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace. CUDDIE Ah Percy it is all to weake and wanne, So high to sore, and make so large a flight: Her peeced pyneons bene not so in plight, For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne: He, were he not with love so ill bedight, Would mount as high, and sing as soote as Swanne. PIERS Ah fon, for love does teach him climbe so hie, And lyftes him up out of the loathsome myre: Such immortall mirrhor, as he doth admire, Would rayse ones mynd above the starry skie. And cause a caytive corage to aspire, For lofty love doth loath a lowly eye. CUDDIE All otherwise the state of Poet stands, For lordly love is such a Tyranne fell: That where he rules, all power he doth expell. The vaunted verse a vacant head demaundes, Ne wont with crabbed care the Muses dwell. Unwisely weaves, that takes two webbes in hand. Who ever casts to compasse weightye prise, And thinks to throwe out thondring words of threate: Let powre in lavish cups and thriftie bitts of meate, For Bacchus fruite is frend to Phoebus wise. And when with Wine the braine begins to sweate, The nombers flowe as fast as spring doth ryse. Thou kenst not Percie howe the ryme should rage. O if my temples were distaind with wine, And girt in girlonds of wild Yvie twine, How I could reare the Muse on stately stage, And teache her tread aloft in buskin fine, With queint Bellona in her equipage. But ah my corage cooles ere it be warme, For thy, content us in thys humble shade: Where no such troublous tydes han us assayde, Here we our slender pipes may safely charme. PIERS And when my Gates shall han their bellies layd: Cuddie shall have a Kidde to store his farme. CUDDIES EMBLEME Agitante calescimus illo
from The Shepheardes Calender: October
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
JOHN DONNE
Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the devil's foot, Teach me to hear mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy's stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind. If thou be'st born to strange sights, Things invisible to see, Ride ten thousand days and nights, Till age snow white hairs on thee, Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me, All strange wonders that befell thee, And swear, No where Lives a woman true, and fair. If thou find'st one, let me know, Such a pilgrimage were sweet; Yet do not, I would not go, Though at next door we might meet; Though she were true, when you met her, And last, till you write your letter, Yet she Will be False, ere I come, to two, or three. Poetry Out Loud Note: In the print anthology, this poem is titled simply "Song." The student may give either title during the recitation.
Song: Go and catch a falling star
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves when he did sing: To his music plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea, Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
Song: Orpheus with his lute made trees
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
What is your substance, whereof are you made, That millions of strange shadows on you tend? Since every one hath, every one, one shade, And you, but one, can every shadow lend. Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit Is poorly imitated after you; On Helen's cheek all art of beauty set, And you in Grecian tires are painted new. Speak of the spring and foison of the year: The one doth shadow of your beauty show, The other as your bounty doth appear; And you in every blessed shape we know. In all external grace you have some part, But you like none, none you, for constant heart.
Sonnet 53: What is your substance, whereof are you made
Renaissance
Mythology & Folklore
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, And make me travel forth without my cloak, To let base clouds oertake me in my way, Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke? Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break, To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face, For no man well of such a salve can speak That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace: Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss: The offenders sorrow lends but weak relief To him that bears the strong offences cross. Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
Sonnet 34: Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
Renaissance
Nature
THOMAS BASTARD
The welcome Sun from sea Freake is returned, And cheereth with his beams the naked earth, Which gains with his coming her apparel And had his absence six long months mourned. Out of her fragrant sides she sends to greet him The rashed primrose and the violet; While she the fields and meadows doth beset With flowers, and hangs the trees with pearl to meet him. Amid this hope and joy she doth forget, To kill the hemlock which doth grow too fast, And chill the adder making too much haste, With his black sons revived with the heat; Till summer comes with diverse colours clad, Much like my Epigrams both good and bad.
Book 1, Epigram 34: Ad. Thomam Freake armig. de veris adventu.
Renaissance
Nature
THOMAS BASTARD
I met a courtier riding on the plain, Well-mounted on a brave and gallant steed; I sat upon a jade, and spurred to my pain My lazy beast, whose tired sides did bleed: He saw my case, and then of courtesy Did rein his horse, and drew the bridle in, Because I did desire his company: But he corvetting way of me did win. What should I do, who was besteaded so? His horse stood still faster than mine could go.
Book 2, Epigram 22
Renaissance
Nature
THOMAS BASTARD
Walking the fields a wantcatcher I spied, To him I went, desirous of his game: Sir, have you taken wants? Yes, he replied, Here are a dozen, which were lately taen. Then you have left no more. No more? quoth he. Sir I can show you more: the more the worse; And to his work he went, but 'twould not be, For all the wants were crept into my purse. Farewell friend wantcatcher, since 'twill not be, Thou cannot catch the wants, but they catch me.
Book 2, Epigram 8
Renaissance
Nature
THOMAS BASTARD
Fishing, if I a fisher may protest, Of pleasures is the sweetest, of sports the best, Of exercises the most excellent. Of recreations the most innocent. But now the sport is marred, and what, ye, why? Fishes decrease, and fishers multiply.
Book 6, Epigram 14: De Piscatione.
Renaissance
Nature
LADY MARY WROTH
Come darkest night, becoming sorrow best; Light; leave thy light; fitt for a lightsome soule; Darknes doth truly sure with mee oprest Whom absence power doth from mirthe controle: The very trees with hanging heads condole Sweet sommers parting, and of leaves distrest In dying coulers make a griefe-full role; Soe much (alas) to sorrow are they prest, Thus of dead leaves her farewell carpetts made: Theyr fall, theyr branches, all theyr mournings prove; With leavles, naked bodies, whose huese vade From hopefull greene, to wither in theyr love, If trees, and leaves for absence, mourners bee Noe mervaile that I grieve, who like want see.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 19
Renaissance
Nature
EDMUND SPENSER
Januarie. gloga prima. ARGVMENT. IN this fyrst glogue Colin clout a shepheardes boy complaineth him of his vnfortunate loue, being but newly (as semeth) enamoured of a countrie lasse called Rosalinde: with which strong affection being very sore traueled, he compareth his carefull case to the sadde season of the yeare, to the frostie ground, to the frosen trees, and to his owne winterbeaten flocke. And lastlye, fynding himselfe robbed of all former pleasaunce and delights, hee breaketh his Pipe in peeces, and casteth him selfe to the ground. COLIN Cloute. A Shepeheards boye (no better doe him call) when Winters wastful spight was almost spent, All in a sunneshine day, as did befall, Led forth his flock, that had been long ypent. So faynt they woxe, and feeble in the folde, That now vnnethes their feete could them vphold. All as the Sheepe, such was the shepeheards looke, For pale and wanne he was, (alas the while,) May seeme he lovd, or els some care he tooke: Well couth he tune his pipe, and frame his stile. Tho to a hill his faynting flocke he ledde, And thus him playnd, the while his shepe there fedde. Ye gods of loue, that pitie louers payne, (if any gods the paine of louers pitie:) Looke from aboue, where you in ioyes remaine, And bowe your eares vnto my doleful dittie. And Pan thou shepheards God, that once didst loue, Pitie the paines, that thou thy selfe didst proue. Thou barrein ground, whome winters wrath hath wasted, Art made a myrrhour, to behold my plight: Whilome thy fresh spring flowrd, and after hasted Thy sommer prowde with Daffadillies dight. And now is come thy wynters stormy state, Thy mantle mard, wherein thou mas-kedst late. Such rage as winters, reigneth in my heart, My life bloud friesing wtih vnkindly cold: Such stormy stoures do breede my balefull smarte, As if my yeare were wast, and woxen old. And yet alas, but now my spring begonne, And yet alas, yt is already donne. You naked trees, whose shady leaves are lost, Wherein the byrds were wont to build their bowre: And now are clothd with mosse and hoary frost, Instede of bloosmes, wherwith your buds did flowre: I see your teares, that from your boughes doe raine, Whose drops in drery ysicles remaine. All so my lustfull leafe is drye and sere, My timely buds with wayling all are wasted: The blossome, which my braunch of youth did beare, With breathed sighes is blowne away, & blasted, And from mine eyes the drizling teares descend, As on your boughes the ysicles depend. Thou feeble flocke, whose fleece is rough and rent, Whose knees are weak through fast and evill fare: Mayst witnesse well by thy ill gouernement, Thy maysters mind is ouercome with care. Thou weak, I wanne: thou leabe, I quite forlorne: With mourning pyne I, you with pyning mourne. A thousand sithes I curse that carefull hower, Wherein I longd the neighbour towne to see: And eke tenne thousand sithes I blesse the stoure, Wherein I sawe so fayre a sight, as shee. Yet all for naught: snch [such] sight hath bred my bane. Ah God, that loue should breede both ioy and payne. It is not Hobbinol, wherefore I plaine, Albee my loue he seeke with dayly suit: His clownish gifts and curtsies I disdaine, His kiddes, his cracknelles, and his early fruit. Ah foolish Hobbinol, thy gyfts bene vayne: Colin them gives to Rosalind againe. I loue thilke lasse, (alas why doe I loue?) And am forlorne, (alas why am I lorne?) Shee deignes not my good will, but doth reproue, And of my rurall musick holdeth scorne. Shepheards deuise she hateth as the snake, And laughes the songes, that Colin Clout doth make. Wherefore my pype, albee rude Pan thou please, Yet for thou pleasest not, where most I would: And thou vnlucky Muse, that wontst to ease My musing mynd, yet canst not, when thou should: Both pype and Muse, shall sore the while abye. So broke his oaten pype, and downe dyd lye. By that, the welked Phoebus gan availe, His weary waine, and nowe the frosty Night Her mantle black through heauen gan overhaile. Which seene, the pensife boy halfe in despight Arose, and homeward drove his sonned sheepe, Whose hanging heads did seeme his carefull case to weepe.
The Shepheardes Calender: January
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Where the bee sucks, there suck I: In a cowslips bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry. On the bats back I do fly After summer merrily. Merrily, merrily shall I live now Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
Song: Where the bee sucks, there suck I
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Tis true, tis day, what though it be? O wilt thou therefore rise from me? Why should we rise because tis light? Did we lie down because twas night? Love, which in spite of darkness brought us hither, Should in despite of light keep us together. Light hath no tongue, but is all eye; If it could speak as well as spy, This were the worst that it could say, That being well I fain would stay, And that I loved my heart and honour so, That I would not from him, that had them, go. Must business thee from hence remove? Oh, thats the worst disease of love, The poor, the foul, the false, love can Admit, but not the busied man. He which hath business, and makes love, doth do Such wrong, as when a married man doth woo.
Break of Day
Renaissance
Nature
ROBERT SOUTHWELL, SJ
As I in hoary winters night stood shivering in the snow, Surprisd I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow; And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near, A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear; Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed. Alas! quoth he, but newly born, in fiery heats I fry, Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I! My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns, Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns; The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals, The metal in this furnace wrought are mens defiled souls, For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good, So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood. With this he vanishd out of sight and swiftly shrunk away, And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.
The Burning Babe
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM BYRD
Care for thy soul as thing of greatest price, Made to the end to taste of power divine, Devoid of guilt, abhorring sin and vice, Apt by Gods grace to virtue to incline. Care for it so as by thy retchless train It be not brought to taste eternal pain. Care for thy corse, but chiefly for souls sake; Cut off excess, sustaining food is best; To vanquish pride but comely clothing take; Seek after skill, deep ignorance detest. Care so, I say, the flesh to feed and clothe That thou harm not thy soul and body both. Care for the world to do thy body right; Rack not thy wit to win thy wicked ways; Seek not to oppress the weak by wrongful might; To pay thy due do banish all delays. Care to dispend according to thy store, And in like sort be mindful of the poor. Care for thy soul, as for thy chiefest stay; Care for thy body for thy souls avail; Care for the world for bodys help alway; Care yet but so as virtue may prevail. Care in such sort that thou be sure of this: Care keep thee not from heaven and heavenly bliss.
Care for Thy Soul as Thing of Greatest Price
Renaissance
Nature
QUEEN ELIZABETH I
The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy, And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy; For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects faith doth ebb, Which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web. But clouds of joys untried do cloak aspiring minds, Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds. The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be, And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly ye shall see. The dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds, Shall be unsealed by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds. The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know. No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port; Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort. My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ To poll their tops that seek such change or gape for future joy.
The Doubt of Future Foes
Renaissance
Nature
GEORGE GASCOIGNE
Fie pleasure, fie! thou cloyest me with delight, Thou fillst my mouth with sweetmeats overmuch; I wallow still in joy both day and night: I deem, I dream, I do, I taste, I touch, No thing but all that smells of perfect bliss; Fie pleasure, fie! I cannot like of this. To taste (sometimes) a bait of bitter gall, To drink a draught of sour ale (some season) To eat brown bread with homely hands in hall, Doth much increase mens appetites, by reason, And makes the sweet more sugard that ensues, Since minds of men do still seek after news. The pamperd horse is seldom seen in breath, Whose manger makes his grace (oftimes) to melt; The crammed fowl comes quickly to his death; Such colds they catch in hottest haps that swelt; And I (much like) in pleasure scawled still, Do fear to starve although I feed my fill. It might suffice that Love hath built his bower Between my ladys lively shining eyes; It were enough that beautys fading flower Grows ever fresh with her in heavenly wise; It had been well that she were fair of face, And yet not rob all other dames of grace. To muse in mind, how wise, how fair, how good, How brave, how frank, how courteous, and how true My lady is, doth but inflame my blood With humours such as bid my health adieu; Since hap always when it is clomb on high, Doth fall full low, though erst it reachd the sky. Lo, pleasure, lo! lo thus I lead a life That laughs for joy, and trembleth oft for dread; Thy pangs are such as call for changes knife To cut the twist, or else to stretch the thread, Which holds yfeer the bundle of my bliss: Fie, pleasure, fie! I dare not trust to this.
Fie, Pleasure, Fie!
Renaissance
Nature
HENRY VIII, KING OF ENGLAND
Green groweth the holly, So doth the ivy. Though winter blasts blow never so high, Green groweth the holly. As the holly groweth green And never changeth hue, So I am, ever hath been, Unto my lady true. As the holly groweth green With ivy all alone When flowers cannot be seen And greenwood leaves be gone, Now unto my lady Promise to her I make, From all other only To her I me betake. Adieu, mine own lady, Adieu, my special Who hath my heart truly Be sure, and ever shall.
Green Groweth the Holly
Renaissance
Nature
SIR THOMAS WYATT
Lucks, my fair falcon, and your fellows all, How well pleasant it were your liberty! Ye not forsake me that fair might ye befall. But they that sometime liked my company: Like lice away from dead bodies they crawl. Lo what a proof in light adversity! But ye my birds, I swear by all your bells, Ye be my friends, and so be but few else.
Lucks, My Fair Falcon
Renaissance
Nature
SIR WALTER RALEGH
If all the world and love were young, And truth in every Shepherds tongue, These pretty pleasures might me move, To live with thee, and be thy love. Time drives the flocks from field to fold, When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold, And Philomel becometh dumb, The rest complains of cares to come. The flowers do fade, and wanton fields, To wayward winter reckoning yields, A honey tongue, a heart of gall, Is fancys spring, but sorrows fall. Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses, Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten: In folly ripe, in reason rotten. Thy belt of straw and Ivy buds, The Coral clasps and amber studs, All these in me no means can move To come to thee and be thy love. But could youth last, and love still breed, Had joys no date, nor age no need, Then these delights my mind might move To live with thee, and be thy love.
The Nymphs Reply to the Shepherd
Renaissance
Nature
EN JONSON
Gut eats all day and lechers all the night; So all his meat he tasteth over twice; And, striving so to double his delight, He makes himself a thoroughfare of vice. Thus in his belly can he change a sin: Lust it comes out, that gluttony went in.
On Gut
Renaissance
Nature
SIR WALTER RALEGH
Praisd be Dianas fair and harmless light; Praisd be the dews wherewith she moists the ground; Praisd be her beams, the glory of the night; Praisd be her power by which all powers abound. Praisd be her nymphs with whom she decks the woods, Praisd be her knights in whom true honour lives; Praisd be that force by which she moves the floods; Let that Diana shine which all these gives. In heaven queen she is among the spheres; In aye she mistress-like makes all things pure; Eternity in her oft change she bears; She beauty is; by her the fair endure. Time wears her not: she doth his chariot guide; Mortality below her orb is placd; By her the virtue of the stars down slide; In her is virtues perfect image cast. A knowledge pure it is her worth to know: With Circes let them dwell that think not so.
Praisd be Dianas Fair and Harmless Light
Renaissance
Nature
ORLANDO GIBBONS
The silver swan, who living had no note, When death approached, unlocked her silent throat; Leaning her breast against the reedy shore, Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more: Farewell, all joys; Oh death, come close mine eyes; More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.
The Silver Swan
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As mans ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen, Because thou art not seen, Although thy breath be rude. Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly. Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, That dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot: Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remembered not. Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly...
Song: Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he: Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo! O, word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear! When shepherds pipe on oaten straws, And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws, And maidens bleach their summer smocks, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo! O, word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear! When icicles hang by the wall, And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, And Tom bears logs into the hall, And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring-owl, Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who!a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. When all aloud the wind doth blow, And coughing drowns the parson's saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow, And Marian's nose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who!a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
Song: When daisies pied and violets blue
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
When that I was and a little tiny boy, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, A foolish thing was but a toy, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came to mans estate, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came, alas! to wive, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, By swaggering could I never thrive, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came unto my beds, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, With toss-pots still had drunken heads, For the rain it raineth every day. A great while ago the world begun, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, But thats all one, our play is done, And well strive to please you every day.
Song: When that I was and a little tiny boy (With hey, ho, the wind and the rain)
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
From fairest creatures we desire increase, That thereby beautys rose might never die, But as the riper should by time decease, His tender heir might bear his memory; But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Feedst thy lights flame with self-substantial fuel, Making a famine where abundance lies, Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel. Though that art now the worlds fresh ornament And only herald to the gaudy spring, Within thine own bud buriest thy content, And, tender churl, makst waste in niggarding. Pity the world, or else this glutton be, To eat the worlds due, by the grave and thee.
Sonnet 1: From fairest creatures we desire increase
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summers lease hath all too short a date; Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or natures changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owst; Nor shall death brag thou wanderst in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growst: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summers day?
Renaissance
Nature
THOMAS NASHE
Spring, the sweet spring, is the years pleasant king, Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing: Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! The palm and may make country houses gay, Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day, And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay: Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet, Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit, In every street these tunes our ears do greet: Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to witta-woo! Spring, the sweet spring!
Spring, the sweet spring
Renaissance
Nature
QUEEN ELIZABETH I
When I was fair and young, then favor graced me. Of many was I sought their mistress for to be. But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore: Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more. How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe, How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show, But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore: Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. Then spake fair Venus son, that proud victorious boy, Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy, I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more: Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast That neither night nor day I could take any rest. Wherefore I did repent that I had said before: Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.
When I Was Fair and Young
Renaissance
Nature
QUEEN ELIZABETH I
No crooked leg, no bleared eye, No part deformed out of kind, Nor yet so ugly half can be As is the inward suspicious mind.
Written in her French Psalter
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Twice or thrice had I lov'd thee, Before I knew thy face or name; So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame Angels affect us oft, and worshipp'd be; Still when, to where thou wert, I came, Some lovely glorious nothing I did see. But since my soul, whose child love is, Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do, More subtle than the parent is Love must not be, but take a body too; And therefore what thou wert, and who, I bid Love ask, and now That it assume thy body, I allow, And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow. Whilst thus to ballast love I thought, And so more steadily to have gone, With wares which would sink admiration, I saw I had love's pinnace overfraught; Ev'ry thy hair for love to work upon Is much too much, some fitter must be sought; For, nor in nothing, nor in things Extreme, and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere; Then, as an angel, face, and wings Of air, not pure as it, yet pure, doth wear, So thy love may be my love's sphere; Just such disparity As is 'twixt air and angels' purity, 'Twixt women's love, and men's, will ever be.
Air and Angels
Renaissance
Nature
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! How silently, and with how wan a face! What, may it be that even in heav'nly place That busy archer his sharp arrows tries! Sure, if that long-with love-acquainted eyes Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case, I read it in thy looks; thy languish'd grace To me, that feel the like, thy state descries. Then, ev'n of fellowship, O Moon, tell me, Is constant love deem'd there but want of wit? Are beauties there as proud as here they be? Do they above love to be lov'd, and yet Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess? Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?
Astrophil and Stella 31: With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies
Renaissance
Nature
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
When Nature made her chief work, Stella's eyes, In colour black why wrapt she beams so bright? Would she in beamy black, like painter wise, Frame daintiest lustre, mix'd of shades and light? Or did she else that sober hue devise, In object best to knit and strength our sight; Lest, if no veil these brave gleams did disguise, They, sunlike, should more dazzle than delight? Or would she her miraculous power show, That, whereas black seems beauty's contrary, She even in black doth make all beauties flow? Both so, and thus, she, minding Love should be Plac'd ever there, gave him this mourning weed To honour all their deaths who for her bleed.
Astrophil and Stella 7: When Nature made her chief work, Stella's eyes
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Come live with me, and be my love, And we will some new pleasures prove Of golden sands, and crystal brooks, With silken lines, and silver hooks. There will the river whispering run Warm'd by thy eyes, more than the sun; And there the 'enamour'd fish will stay, Begging themselves they may betray. When thou wilt swim in that live bath, Each fish, which every channel hath, Will amorously to thee swim, Gladder to catch thee, than thou him. If thou, to be so seen, be'st loth, By sun or moon, thou dark'nest both, And if myself have leave to see, I need not their light having thee. Let others freeze with angling reeds, And cut their legs with shells and weeds, Or treacherously poor fish beset, With strangling snare, or windowy net. Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest The bedded fish in banks out-wrest; Or curious traitors, sleeve-silk flies, Bewitch poor fishes' wand'ring eyes. For thee, thou need'st no such deceit, For thou thyself art thine own bait: That fish, that is not catch'd thereby, Alas, is wiser far than I.
The Bait
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Our storm is past, and that storm's tyrannous rage, A stupid calm, but nothing it, doth 'suage. The fable is inverted, and far more A block afflicts, now, than a stork before. Storms chafe, and soon wear out themselves, or us; In calms, Heaven laughs to see us languish thus. As steady'as I can wish that my thoughts were, Smooth as thy mistress' glass, or what shines there, The sea is now; and, as the isles which we Seek, when we can move, our ships rooted be. As water did in storms, now pitch runs out; As lead, when a fir'd church becomes one spout. And all our beauty, and our trim, decays, Like courts removing, or like ended plays. The fighting-place now seamen's rags supply; And all the tackling is a frippery. No use of lanthorns; and in one place lay Feathers and dust, to-day and yesterday. Earth's hollownesses, which the world's lungs are, Have no more wind than the upper vault of air. We can nor lost friends nor sought foes recover, But meteor-like, save that we move not, hover. Only the calenture together draws Dear friends, which meet dead in great fishes' jaws; And on the hatches, as on altars, lies Each one, his own priest, and own sacrifice. Who live, that miracle do multiply, Where walkers in hot ovens do not die. If in despite of these we swim, that hath No more refreshing than our brimstone bath; But from the sea into the ship we turn, Like parboil'd wretches, on the coals to burn. Like Bajazet encag'd, the shepherds' scoff, Or like slack-sinew'd Samson, his hair off, Languish our ships. Now as a myriad Of ants durst th' emperor's lov'd snake invade, The crawling gallies, sea-gaols, finny chips, Might brave our pinnaces, now bed-rid ships. Whether a rotten state, and hope of gain, Or to disuse me from the queasy pain Of being belov'd and loving, or the thirst Of honour, or fair death, out-push'd me first, I lose my end; for here, as well as I, A desperate may live, and a coward die. Stag, dog, and all which from or towards flies, Is paid with life or prey, or doing dies. Fate grudges us all, and doth subtly lay A scourge, 'gainst which we all forget to pray. He that at sea prays for more wind, as well Under the poles may beg cold, heat in hell. What are we then? How little more, alas, Is man now, than before he was? He was Nothing; for us, we are for nothing fit; Chance, or ourselves, still disproportion it. We have no power, no will, no sense; I lie, I should not then thus feel this misery.
The Calm
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Where, like a pillow on a bed A pregnant bank swell'd up to rest The violet's reclining head, Sat we two, one another's best. Our hands were firmly cemented With a fast balm, which thence did spring; Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread Our eyes upon one double string; So to'intergraft our hands, as yet Was all the means to make us one, And pictures in our eyes to get Was all our propagation. As 'twixt two equal armies fate Suspends uncertain victory, Our souls (which to advance their state Were gone out) hung 'twixt her and me. And whilst our souls negotiate there, We like sepulchral statues lay; All day, the same our postures were, And we said nothing, all the day. If any, so by love refin'd That he soul's language understood, And by good love were grown all mind, Within convenient distance stood, He (though he knew not which soul spake, Because both meant, both spake the same) Might thence a new concoction take And part far purer than he came. This ecstasy doth unperplex, We said, and tell us what we love; We see by this it was not sex, We see we saw not what did move; But as all several souls contain Mixture of things, they know not what, Love these mix'd souls doth mix again And makes both one, each this and that. A single violet transplant, The strength, the colour, and the size, (All which before was poor and scant) Redoubles still, and multiplies. When love with one another so Interinanimates two souls, That abler soul, which thence doth flow, Defects of loneliness controls. We then, who are this new soul, know Of what we are compos'd and made, For th' atomies of which we grow Are souls, whom no change can invade. But oh alas, so long, so far, Our bodies why do we forbear? They'are ours, though they'are not we; we are The intelligences, they the spheres. We owe them thanks, because they thus Did us, to us, at first convey, Yielded their senses' force to us, Nor are dross to us, but allay. On man heaven's influence works not so, But that it first imprints the air; So soul into the soul may flow, Though it to body first repair. As our blood labors to beget Spirits, as like souls as it can, Because such fingers need to knit That subtle knot which makes us man, So must pure lovers' souls descend T' affections, and to faculties, Which sense may reach and apprehend, Else a great prince in prison lies. To'our bodies turn we then, that so Weak men on love reveal'd may look; Love's mysteries in souls do grow, But yet the body is his book. And if some lover, such as we, Have heard this dialogue of one, Let him still mark us, he shall see Small change, when we'are to bodies gone.
The Ecstasy
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace As I have seen in one autumnal face. Young beauties force our love, and that's a rape, This doth but counsel, yet you cannot scape. If 'twere a shame to love, here 'twere no shame; Affection here takes reverence's name. Were her first years the golden age? That's true, But now she's gold oft tried and ever new. That was her torrid and inflaming time, This is her tolerable tropic clime. Fair eyes, who asks more heat than comes from hence, He in a fever wishes pestilence. Call not these wrinkles, graves; if graves they were, They were Love's graves, for else he is no where. Yet lies not Love dead here, but here doth sit Vow'd to this trench, like an anachorit; And here till hers, which must be his death, come, He doth not dig a grave, but build a tomb. Here dwells he; though he sojourn ev'rywhere In progress, yet his standing house is here: Here where still evening is, not noon nor night, Where no voluptuousness, yet all delight. In all her words, unto all hearers fit, You may at revels, you at council, sit. This is Love's timber, youth his underwood; There he, as wine in June, enrages blood, Which then comes seasonabliest when our taste And appetite to other things is past. Xerxes' strange Lydian love, the platan tree, Was lov'd for age, none being so large as she, Or else because, being young, nature did bless Her youth with age's glory, barrenness. If we love things long sought, age is a thing Which we are fifty years in compassing; If transitory things, which soon decay, Age must be loveliest at the latest day. But name not winter faces, whose skin's slack, Lank as an unthrift's purse, but a soul's sack; Whose eyes seek light within, for all here's shade; Whose mouths are holes, rather worn out than made; Whose every tooth to a several place is gone, To vex their souls at resurrection: Name not these living death's-heads unto me, For these, not ancient, but antique be. I hate extremes, yet I had rather stay With tombs than cradles, to wear out a day. Since such love's natural lation is, may still My love descend, and journey down the hill, Not panting after growing beauties. So, I shall ebb on with them who homeward go.
Elegy IX: The Autumnal
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Here take my picture; though I bid farewell Thine, in my heart, where my soul dwells, shall dwell. 'Tis like me now, but I dead, 'twill be more When we are shadows both, than 'twas before. When weather-beaten I come back, my hand Perhaps with rude oars torn, or sun beams tann'd, My face and breast of haircloth, and my head With care's rash sudden storms being o'erspread, My body'a sack of bones, broken within, And powder's blue stains scatter'd on my skin; If rival fools tax thee to'have lov'd a man So foul and coarse as, oh, I may seem then, This shall say what I was, and thou shalt say, "Do his hurts reach me? doth my worth decay? Or do they reach his judging mind, that he Should now love less, what he did love to see? That which in him was fair and delicate, Was but the milk which in love's childish state Did nurse it; who now is grown strong enough To feed on that, which to disus'd tastes seems tough."
Elegy V: His Picture
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay? Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste, I run to death, and death meets me as fast, And all my pleasures are like yesterday; I dare not move my dim eyes any way, Despair behind, and death before doth cast Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh. Only thou art above, and when towards thee By thy leave I can look, I rise again; But our old subtle foe so tempteth me, That not one hour I can myself sustain; Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art, And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.
Holy Sonnets: Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Since I am coming to that holy room, Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore, I shall be made thy music; as I come I tune the instrument here at the door, And what I must do then, think here before. Whilst my physicians by their love are grown Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown That this is my south-west discovery, Per fretum febris, by these straits to die, I joy, that in these straits I see my west; For, though their currents yield return to none, What shall my west hurt me? As west and east In all flat maps (and I am one) are one, So death doth touch the resurrection. Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem? Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar, All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them, Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem. We think that Paradise and Calvary, Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place; Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me; As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face, May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace. So, in his purple wrapp'd, receive me, Lord; By these his thorns, give me his other crown; And as to others' souls I preach'd thy word, Be this my text, my sermon to mine own: "Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down."
Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness
Renaissance
Nature
SIR THOMAS WYATT
My galley, charged with forgetfulness, Thorough sharp seas in winter nights doth pass 'Tween rock and rock; and eke mine en'my, alas, That is my lord, steereth with cruelness; And every owre a thought in readiness, As though that death were light in such a case. An endless wind doth tear the sail apace Of forced sighs and trusty fearfulness. A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain, Hath done the weared cords great hinderance; Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance. The stars be hid that led me to this pain; Drowned is Reason that should me comfort, And I remain despairing of the port.
My Galley, Charged with Forgetfulness
Renaissance
Nature
SIR THOMAS WYATT
My mother's maids, when they did sew and spin, They sang sometime a song of the field mouse, That, for because her livelood was but thin, Would needs go seek her townish sister's house. She thought herself endured too much pain; The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse That when the furrows swimmed with the rain, She must lie cold and wet in sorry plight; And worse than that, bare meat there did remain To comfort her when she her house had dight; Sometime a barley corn; sometime a bean; For which she laboured hard both day and night In harvest time whilst she might go and glean; And where store was stroyed with the flood, Then well away! for she undone was clean. Then was she fain to take instead of food Sleep, if she might, her hunger to beguile. "My sister," quod she, "hath a living good, And hence from me she dwelleth not a mile. In cold and storm she lieth warm and dry In bed of down; the dirt doth not defile Her tender foot, she laboureth not as I. Richly she feedeth and at the richman's cost, And for her meat she needs not crave nor cry. By sea, by land, of the delicates, the most Her cater seeks, and spareth for no peril. She feedeth on boiled bacon meet and roast, And hath thereof neither charge nor travail; And when she list, the liquor of the grape Doth glad her heart till that her belly swell." And at this journey she maketh but a jape; So forth she goeth, trusting of all this wealth With her sister her part so for to shape, That if she might keep herself in health, To live a lady while her life doth last. And to the door now is she come by stealth, And with her foot anon she scrapeth full fast. Th' other for fear durst not well scarce appear, Of every noise so was the wretch aghast. At last she asked softly who was there. And in her language, as well as she could, "Peep!" quod the other. "Sister, I am here." "Peace," quod the towny mouse, "why speakest thou so loud?" And by the hand she took her fair and well. "Welcome," quod she, "my sister, by the Rood!" She feasted her, that joy it was to tell The fare they had; they drank the wine so clear, And as to purpose now and then it fell, She cheered her with "How, sister, what cheer!" Amids this joy befell a sorry chance, That, well away! the stranger bought full dear The fare she had, for, as she look askance, Under a stool she spied two steaming eyes In a round head with sharp ears. In France Was never mouse so fear'd, for the unwise Had not i-seen such a beast before, Yet had nature taught her after her guise To know her foe and dread him evermore. The towny mouse fled, she know whither to go; Th' other had no shift, but wonders sore Feard of her life. At home she wished her tho, And to the door, alas! as she did skip, The Heaven it would, lo! and eke her chance was so, At the threshold her silly foot did trip; And ere she might recover it again, The traitor cat had caught her by the hip, And made her there against her will remain, That had forgotten her poor surety and rest For seeming wealth wherein she thought to reign. Alas, my Poynz, how men do seek the best And find the worst, by error as they stray! And no marvail; when sight is so opprest. And blind the guide; anon out of the way Goeth guide and all in seeking quiet life. O wretched minds, there is no gold that may Grant that ye seek; no war, no peace, no strife. No, no, although thy head were hooped with gold, Sergeant with mace, hawbert, sword, nor knife, Cannot repulse the care that follow should. Each kind of life hath with him his disease. Live in delight even as thy lust would, And thou shalt find, when lust doth most thee please, It irketh straight and by itself doth fade. A small thing it is that may thy mind appease. None of ye all there is that is so mad To seek grapes upon brambles or breres; Nor none, I trow, that hath his wit so bad To set his hay for conies over rivers, Ne ye set not a drag-net for an hare; And yet the thing that most is your desire Ye do mis-seek with more travail and care. Make plain thine heart, that it be not knotted With hope or dread, and see thy will be bare From all affects, whom vice hath ever spotted. Thyself content with that is thee assigned, And use it well that is to thee allotted. Then seek no more out of thyself to find The thing that thou hast sought so long before, For thou shalt feel it sitting in thy mind. Mad, if ye list to continue your sore, Let present pass and gape on time to come, And deep yourself in travail more and more. Henceforth, my Poynz, this shall be all and some, These wretched fools shall have nought else of me; But to the great God and to his high doom, None other pain pray I for them to be, But when the rage doth lead them from the right, That, looking backward, Virtue they may see, Even as she is, so goodly fair and bright; And whilst they clasp their lusts in arms across, Grant them, good Lord, as Thou mayst of Thy might To fret inward for losing such a loss.
Of the Mean and Sure Estate
Renaissance
Nature
JOHN DONNE
Forget this rotten world, and unto thee Let thine own times as an old story be. Be not concern'd; study not why, nor when; Do not so much as not believe a man. For though to err, be worst, to try truths forth Is far more business than this world is worth. I'he world is but a carcass; thou art fed By it, but as a worm, that carcass bred; And why shouldst thou, poor worm, consider more, When this world will grow better than before, Than those thy fellow-worms do think upon That carcass's last resurrection? Forget this world, and scarce think of it so, As of old clothes, cast off a year ago. To be thus stupid is alacrity; Men thus lethargic have best memory. Look upward; that's towards her, whose happy state We now lament not, but congratulate. She, to whom all this world was but a stage, Where all sat heark'ning how her youthful age Should be employ'd, because in all she did Some figure of the golden times was hid. Who could not lack, what'er this world could give, Because she was the form, that made it live; Nor could complain that this world was unfit To be stay'd in, then when she was in it; She, that first tried indifferent desires By virtue, and virtue by religious fires; She, to whose person paradise adher'd, As courts to princes; she, whose eyes enspher'd Star-light enough t' have made the South control, (Had she been there) the star-full Northern Pole; She, she is gone; she is gone; when thou knowest this, What fragmentary rubbish this world is Thou knowest, and that it is not worth a thought; He honours it too much that thinks it nought. Think then, my soul, that death is but a groom, Which brings a taper to the outward room, Whence thou spiest first a little glimmering light, And after brings it nearer to thy sight; For such approaches doth heaven make in death. Think thyself labouring now with broken breath, And think those broken and soft notes to be Division, and thy happiest harmony. Think thee laid on thy death-bed, loose and slack, And think that but unbinding of a pack, To take one precious thing, thy soul, from thence. Think thyself parch'd with fever's violence; Anger thine ague more, by calling it Thy physic; chide the slackness of the fit. Think that thou hear'st thy knell, and think no more, But that, as bells call'd thee to church before, So this to the Triumphant Church calls thee. Think Satan's sergeants round about thee be, And think that but for legacies they thrust; Give one thy pride, to'another give thy lust; Give them those sins which they gave thee before, And trust th' immaculate blood to wash thy score. Think thy friends weeping round, and think that they Weep but because they go not yet thy way. Think that they close thine eyes, and think in this, That they confess much in the world amiss, Who dare not trust a dead man's eye with that Which they from God and angels cover not. Think that they shroud thee up, and think from thence They reinvest thee in white innocence. Think that thy body rots, and (if so low, Thy soul exalted so, thy thoughts can go) Think thee a prince, who of themselves create Worms, which insensibly devour their state. Think that they bury thee, and think that rite Lays thee to sleep but a Saint Lucy's night.
Of the Progress of the Soul: The Second Anniversary
Renaissance
Nature
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE
Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields. And we will sit upon the Rocks, Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow Rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing Madrigals. And I will make thee beds of Roses And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle; A gown made of the finest wool Which from our pretty Lambs we pull; Fair lined slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold; A belt of straw and Ivy buds, With Coral clasps and Amber studs: And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me, and be my love. The Shepherds Swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May-morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me, and be my love.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Renaissance
Nature
EDMUND SPENSER
CALM was the day, and through the trembling air Sweet breathing Zephyrus did softly play, A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay Hot Titan's beams, which then did glister fair; When I whose sullen care, Through discontent of my long fruitless stay In prince's court, and expectation vain Of idle hopes, which still do fly away Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain, Walked forth to ease my pain Along the shore of silver streaming Thames, Whose rutty bank, the which his river hems, Was painted all with variable flowers, And all the meads adorned with dainty gems, Fit to deck maidens' bowers, And crown their paramours, Against the bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. There, in a meadow, by the river's side, A flock of nymphs I chanced to espy, All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, With goodly greenish locks, all loose untied, As each had been a bride; And each one had a little wicker basket, Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously, In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket, And with fine fingers cropt full featously The tender stalks on high. Of every sort, which in that meadow grew, They gathered some; the violet pallid blue, The little daisy, that at evening closes, The virgin lily, and the primrose true, With store of vermeil roses, To deck their bridegrooms' posies Against the bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. With that, I saw two swans of goodly hue Come softly swimming down along the Lee; Two fairer birds I yet did never see. The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew, Did never whiter shew, Nor Jove himself, 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. So purely white they were, That even the gentle stream, the which them bare, Seemed foul to them, and bade his billows spare To wet their silken feathers, lest they might Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair, And mar their beauties bright, That shone as heaven's light, Against their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their fill, Ran all in haste, to see that silver brood, As they came floating on the crystal flood. Whom when they saw, they stood amazed still, Their wondering eyes to fill. Them seemed they never saw a sight so fair, Of fowls so lovely, that they sure did deem Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair Which through the sky draw Venus' silver team; For sure they did not seem To be begot of any earthly seed, But rather angels, or of angels' breed: Yet were they bred of Somers-heat they say, In sweetest season, when each flower and weed The earth did fresh array, So fresh they seemed as day, Even as their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. 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 yield, All which upon those goodly birds they threw, And all the waves did strew, That like old Peneus' waters they did seem, When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore, Scattered with flowers, through Thessaly they stream, That they appear through lilies' plenteous store, Like a bride's chamber floor. Two of those nymphs meanwhile, two garlands bound, Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found, The which presenting all in trim array, Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crowned, Whilst one did sing this lay, Prepared against that day, Against their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. 'Ye gentle birds, the world's fair ornament, And heaven's glory, whom this happy hour Doth lead unto your lovers' blissful bower, Joy may you have and gentle heart's content Of your love's complement: And let fair Venus, that is queen of love, With her heart-quelling son upon you smile, Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile For ever to assoil. Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord, And blessed plenty wait upon your board, And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound, That fruitful issue may to you afford, Which may your foes confound, And make your joys redound Upon your bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.' So ended she; and all the rest around To her redoubled that her undersong, Which said their bridal day should not be long. And gentle echo from the neighbour ground Their accents did resound. So forth those joyous birds did pass along, Adown the Lee, that to them murmured low, As he would speak, but that he lacked a tongue, Yet did by signs his glad affection show, Making his stream run slow. And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell Gan flock about these twain, that did excel 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: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. At length they all to merry London came, To merry London, my most kindly nurse, That to me gave this life's first native source; Though from another place I take my name, An house of ancient fame. There when they came, whereas those bricky towers, The which on Thames' broad aged back do ride, Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide, Till they decayed through pride: Next whereunto there stands a stately place, Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell, Whose want too well now feels my friendless case. But ah, here fits not well Old woes but joys to tell Against the bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer, Great England's glory, and the world's wide wonder, Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did thunder, And Hercules' two pillars standing near Did make to quake and fear: Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry, That fillest England with thy triumph's fame, Joy have thou of thy noble victory, And endless happiness of thine own name That promiseth the same: That through thy prowess and victorious arms, Thy country may be freed from foreign harms; And great Elisa's glorious name may ring Through all the world, filled with thy wide alarms, Which some brave Muse may sing To ages following, Upon the bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. From those high towers this noble lord issuing, Like radiant Hesper when his golden hair In th'Ocean billows he hath bathed fair, Descended to the river's open viewing, With a great train ensuing. Above the rest were goodly to be seen Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature Beseeming well the bower of any queen, With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature, Fit for so goodly stature; That like the twins of Jove they seemed in sight, Which deck the baldric of the heavens bright. They two forth pacing to the river's side, Received those two fair birds, their love's delight; Which, at th' appointed tide, Each one did make his bride Against their bridal day, which is not long: Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
Prothalamion
Renaissance
Nature
EDMUND SPENSER
THENOT & HOBBINOLL Tell me good Hobbinoll, what garres thee greete? What? hath some Wolfe thy tender Lambes ytorne? Or is thy Bagpype broke, that soundes so sweete? Or art thou of thy loved lasse forlorne? Or bene thine eyes attempred to the yeare, Quenching the gasping furrowes thirst with rayne? Like April shoure, so stremes the trickling teares Adowne thy cheeke, to quenche thy thristye payne. HOBBINOLL Nor thys, nor that, so muche doeth make me mourne, But for the ladde, whome long I lovd so deare, Nowe loves a lasse, that all his love doth scorne: He plongd in payne, his tressed locks dooth teare. Shepheards delights he dooth them all forsweare, Hys pleasaunt Pipe, whych made us meriment, He wylfully hath broke, and doth forbeare His wonted songs, wherein he all outwent. THENOT What is he for a Ladde, you so lament? Ys love such pinching payne to them, that prove? And hath he skill to make so excellent, Yet hath so little skill to brydle love? HOBBINOLL Colin thou kenst, the Southerne shepheardes boye: Him Love hath wounded with a deadly darte. Whilome on him was all my care and joye, Forcing with gyfts to winne his wanton heart. But now from me hys madding mynd is starte, And woes the Widdowes daughter of the glenne: So nowe fayre Rosalind hath bredde hys smart, So now his frend is chaunged for a frenne. THENOT But if hys ditties bene so trimly dight, I pray thee Hobbinoll, recorde some one: The whiles our flockes doe graze about in sight, And we close shrowded in thys shade alone. HOBBINOLL Contented I: then will I singe his laye Of fayre Elisa, Queene of shepheardes all: Which once he made, as by a spring he laye, And tuned it unto the Waters fall. Ye dayntye Nymphs, that in this blessed Brooke doe bathe your brest, Forsake your watry bowres, and hether looke, at my request: And eke you Virgins, that on Parnasse dwell, Whence floweth Helicon the learned well, Helpe me to blaze Her worthy praise, Which in her sexe doth all excell. Of fayre Eliza be your silver song, that blessed wight: The flowre of Virgins, may shee florish long, In princely plight. For shee is Syrinx daughter without spotte, Which Pan the shepheards God of her begot: So sprong her grace Of heavenly race, No mortall blemishe may her blotte. See, where she sits upon the grassie greene, (O seemely sight) Yclad in Scarlot like a mayden Queene, And Ermines white. Upon her head a Cremosin coronet, With Damaske roses and Daffadillies set: Bayleaves betweene, And Primroses greene Embellish the sweete Violet. Tell me, have ye seene her angelick face, Like Ph{oe}be fayre? Her heavenly haveour, her princely grace can you well compare? The Redde rose medled with the White yfere, In either cheeke depeincten lively chere. Her modest eye, Her Majestie, Where have you seene the like, but there? I sawe Ph{oe}bus thrust out his golden hedde, upon her to gaze: But when he sawe, how broade her beames did spredde, it did him amaze. He blusht to see another Sunne belowe, Ne durst againe his fyrye face out showe: Let him, if he dare, His brightnesse compare With hers, to have the overthrowe. Shewe thy selfe Cynthia with thy silver rayes, and be not abasht: When shee the beames of her beauty displayes, O how art thou dasht? But I will not match her with Latonaes seede, Such follie great sorow to Niobe did breede. Now she is a stone, And makes dayly mone, Warning all other to take heede. Pan may be proud, that ever he begot such a Bellibone, And Syrinx rejoyse, that ever was her lot to beare such an one. Soone as my younglings cryen for the dam, To her will I offer a milkwhite Lamb: Shee is my goddesse plaine, And I her shepherds swayne, Albee forswonck and forswatt I am. I see Calliope speede her to the place, where my Goddesse shines: And after her the other Muses trace, with their Violines. Bene they not Bay braunches, which they doe beare, All for Elisa in her hand to weare? So sweetely they play, And sing all the way, That it a heaven is to heare. Lo how finely the graces can it foote to the Instrument: They dauncen deffly, and singen soote, in their meriment. Wants not a fourth grace, to make the daunce even? Let that rowme to my Lady be yeven: She shalbe a grace, To fyll the fourth place, And reigne with the rest in heaven. And whither rennes this bevie of Ladies bright, raunged in a rowe? They bene all Ladyes of the lake behight, that unto her goe. Chloris, that is the chiefest Nymph of al, Of Olive braunches beares a Coronall: Olives bene for peace, When wars doe surcease: Such for a Princesse bene principall. Ye shepheards daughters, that dwell on the greene, hye you there apace: Let none come there, but that Virgins bene, to adorne her grace. And when you come, whereas shee is in place, See, that your rudeness doe not you disgrace: Binde your fillets faste, And gird in your waste, For more finesse, with a tawdrie lace. Bring hether the Pincke and purple Cullambine, With Gelliflowres: Bring Coronations, and Sops in wine, worne of Paramoures. Strowe me the ground with Daffadowndillies, And Cowslips, and Kingcups, and loved Lillies: The pretie Pawnce, And the Chevisaunce, Shall match with the fayre flowre Delice. Now ryse up Elisa, decked as thou art, in royall aray: And now ye daintie Damsells may depart echeone her way, I feare, I have troubled your troupes to longe: Let dame Eliza thanke you for her song. And if you come hether, When Damsines I gether, I will part them all you among. THENOT And was thilk same song of Colins owne making? Ah foolish boy, that is with love yblent: Great pittie is, he be in such taking, For naught caren, that bene so lewdly bent. HOBBINOLL Sicker I hold him, for a greater fon, That loves the thing, he cannot purchase. But let us homeward: for night draweth on, And twincling starres the daylight hence chase. THENOTS EMBLEME O quam te memorem virgo? HOBBINOLLS EMBLEME O dea certe.
from The Shepheardes Calender: April
Renaissance
Nature
EDMUND SPENSER
PIERCE & CUDDIE Cuddie, for shame hold up thy heavye head, And let us cast with what delight to chace, And weary thys long lingring Phoebus race. Whilome thou wont the shepheards laddes to leade, In rymes, in ridles, and in bydding base: Now they in thee, and thou in sleepe art dead. CUDDY Piers, I have pyped erst so long with payne, That all mine Oten reedes bene rent and wore: And my poore Muse hath spent her spared store, Yet little good hath got, and much lesse gayne, Such pleasaunce makes the Grashopper so poore, And ligge so layd, when Winter doth her straine. The dapper ditties, that I wont devise, To feede youthes fancie, and the flocking fry, Delighten much: what I the bett for thy? They han the pleasure, I a sclender prise. I beate the bush, the byrds to them doe flye: What good thereof to Cuddie can arise? PIERS Cuddie, the prayse is better, then the price, The glory eke much greater then the gayne: O what an honor is it, to restraine The lust of lawlesse youth with good advice: Or pricke them forth with pleasaunce of thy vaine, Whereto thou list their trayned willes entice. Soone as thou gynst to sette thy notes in frame, O how the rurall routes to thee doe cleave: Seemeth thou dost their soule of sence bereave, All as the shepheard, that did fetch his dame From Plutoes balefull bowre withouten leave: His musicks might the hellish hound did tame. CUDDIE So praysen babes the Peacoks spotted traine, And wondren at bright Argus blazing eye: But who rewards him ere the more for thy? Or feedes him once the fuller by a graine? Sike prayse is smoke, that sheddeth in the skye, Sike words bene wynd, and wasten soone in vayne. PIERS Abandon then the base and viler clowne, Lyft up thy selfe out of the lowly dust: And sing of bloody Mars, of wars, of giusts. Turne thee to those, that weld the awful crowne, To doubted Knights, whose woundlesse armour rusts, And helmes unbruzed wexen dayly browne. There may thy Muse display her fluttryng wing, And stretch her selfe at large from East to West: Whither thou list in fayre Elisa rest, Or if thee please in bigger notes to sing, Advaunce the worthy whome shee loveth best, That first the white beare to the stake did bring. And when the stubborne stroke of stronger stounds, Has somewhat slackt the tenor of thy string: Of love and lustihed tho mayst thou sing, And carrol lowde, and leade the Myllers rownde, All were Elisa one of thilke same ring. So mought our Cuddies name to Heaven sownde. CUDDYE Indeed the Romish Tityrus, I heare, Through his Mecoenas left his Oaten reede, Whereon he earst had taught his flocks to feede, And laboured lands to yield the timely eare, And eft did sing of warres and deadly drede, So as the Heavens did quake his verse to here. But ah Mecoenas is yclad in claye, And great Augustus long ygoe is dead: And all the worthies liggen wrapt in leade, That matter made for Poets on to play: For ever, who in derring doe were dreade, The loftie verse of hem was loved aye. But after vertue gan for age to stoupe, And mighty manhode brought a bedde of ease: The vaunting Poets found nought worth a pease, To put in preace emong the learned troupe. Tho gan the streames of flowing wittes to cease, And sonnebright honour pend in shamefull coupe. And if that any buddes of Poesie, Yet of the old stocke gan to shoote agayne: Or it mens follies mote be forst to fayne, And rolle with rest in rymes of rybaudrye: Or as it sprong, it wither must agayne: Tom Piper makes us better melodie. PIERS O pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy place? If nor in Princes pallace thou doe sitt: (And yet is Princes pallace the most fitt) Ne brest of baser birth doth thee embrace. Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace. CUDDIE Ah Percy it is all to weake and wanne, So high to sore, and make so large a flight: Her peeced pyneons bene not so in plight, For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne: He, were he not with love so ill bedight, Would mount as high, and sing as soote as Swanne. PIERS Ah fon, for love does teach him climbe so hie, And lyftes him up out of the loathsome myre: Such immortall mirrhor, as he doth admire, Would rayse ones mynd above the starry skie. And cause a caytive corage to aspire, For lofty love doth loath a lowly eye. CUDDIE All otherwise the state of Poet stands, For lordly love is such a Tyranne fell: That where he rules, all power he doth expell. The vaunted verse a vacant head demaundes, Ne wont with crabbed care the Muses dwell. Unwisely weaves, that takes two webbes in hand. Who ever casts to compasse weightye prise, And thinks to throwe out thondring words of threate: Let powre in lavish cups and thriftie bitts of meate, For Bacchus fruite is frend to Phoebus wise. And when with Wine the braine begins to sweate, The nombers flowe as fast as spring doth ryse. Thou kenst not Percie howe the ryme should rage. O if my temples were distaind with wine, And girt in girlonds of wild Yvie twine, How I could reare the Muse on stately stage, And teache her tread aloft in buskin fine, With queint Bellona in her equipage. But ah my corage cooles ere it be warme, For thy, content us in thys humble shade: Where no such troublous tydes han us assayde, Here we our slender pipes may safely charme. PIERS And when my Gates shall han their bellies layd: Cuddie shall have a Kidde to store his farme. CUDDIES EMBLEME Agitante calescimus illo
from The Shepheardes Calender: October
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong. Hark! now I hear them,ding-dong, bell.
Song: Full fathom five thy father lies
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings, And Phoebus 'gins arise, His steeds to water at those springs On chaliced flowers that lies; And winking Mary-buds begin To ope their golden eyes: With every thing that pretty is, My lady sweet, arise: Arise, arise.
Song: Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Notes: Macbeth: IV.i 10-19; 35-38
Song of the Witches: Double, double toil and trouble
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves when he did sing: To his music plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea, Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
Song: Orpheus with his lute made trees
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lie with me, And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat, Come hither, come hither, come hither: Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather. Who doth ambition shun And loves to live i' the sun, Seeking the food he eats, And pleased with what he gets, Come hither, come hither, come hither: Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.
Song: Under the greenwood tree
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Full many a glorious morning have I seen Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace. Even so my sun one early morn did shine With all-triumphant splendour on my brow; But out, alack! he was but one hour mine; The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.
Sonnet 33: Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Sonnet 73: That time of year thou mayst in me behold
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
How like a winter hath my absence been From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! What old December's bareness everywhere! And yet this time remov'd was summer's time, The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime, Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease: Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me But hope of orphans and unfather'd fruit; For summer and his pleasures wait on thee, And thou away, the very birds are mute; Or if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.
Sonnet 97: How like a winter hath my absence been
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, [......] these rebel powers that thee array, Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, Painting thy outward walls so costly gay? Why so large cost, having so short a lease, Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend? Shall worms, inheritors of this excess, Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end? Then soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss And let that pine to aggravate thy store; Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross; Within be fed, without be rich no more. So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men, And, Death once dead, there's no more dying then.
Sonnet 146: Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Renaissance
Nature
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, And make me travel forth without my cloak, To let base clouds oertake me in my way, Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke? Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break, To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face, For no man well of such a salve can speak That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace: Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss: The offenders sorrow lends but weak relief To him that bears the strong offences cross. Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
Sonnet 34: Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
Renaissance
Love
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Weret aught to me I bore the canopy, With my extern the outward honouring, Or laid great bases for eternity, Which proves more short than waste or ruining; Have I not seen dwellers on form and favour Lose all, and more, by paying too much rent, For compound sweet forgoing simple savour, Pitiful thrivers, in their gazing spent? No;let me be obsequious in thy heart, And take thou my oblation, poor but free, Which is not mixd with seconds, knows no art, But mutual render, only me for thee. Hence, thou subornd informer! a true soul, When most impeachd, stands least in thy control.
Sonnet 125: Weret aught to me I bore the canopy
Renaissance
Love
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Let the bird of loudest lay On the sole Arabian tree Herald sad and trumpet be, To whose sound chaste wings obey. But thou shrieking harbinger, Foul precurrer of the fiend, Augur of the fever's end, To this troop come thou not near. From this session interdict Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feather'd king; Keep the obsequy so strict. Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can, Be the death-divining swan, Lest the requiem lack his right. And thou treble-dated crow, That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy is dead; Phoenix and the Turtle fled In a mutual flame from hence. So they lov'd, as love in twain Had the essence but in one; Two distincts, division none: Number there in love was slain. Hearts remote, yet not asunder; Distance and no space was seen 'Twixt this Turtle and his queen: But in them it were a wonder. So between them love did shine That the Turtle saw his right Flaming in the Phoenix' sight: Either was the other's mine. Property was thus appalled That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was called. Reason, in itself confounded, Saw division grow together, To themselves yet either neither, Simple were so well compounded; That it cried, "How true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love has reason, reason none, If what parts can so remain." Whereupon it made this threne To the Phoenix and the Dove, Co-supremes and stars of love, As chorus to their tragic scene: threnos Beauty, truth, and rarity, Grace in all simplicity, Here enclos'd, in cinders lie. Death is now the Phoenix' nest, And the Turtle's loyal breast To eternity doth rest, Leaving no posterity: 'Twas not their infirmity, It was married chastity. Truth may seem but cannot be; Beauty brag but 'tis not she; Truth and beauty buried be. To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For these dead birds sigh a prayer.
The Phoenix and the Turtle
Renaissance
Love
GEORGE GASCOIGNE
Sing lullaby, as women do, Wherewith they bring their babes to rest, And lullaby can I sing too As womanly as can the best. With lullaby they still the child, And if I be not much beguiled, Full many wanton babes have I Which must be stilled with lullaby. First lullaby my youthful years; It is now time to go to bed, For crooked age and hoary hairs Have won the haven within my head. With lullaby, then, youth be still; With lullaby content thy will; Since courage quails and comes behind, Go sleep, and so beguile thy mind. Next, lullaby my gazing eyes, Which wonted were to glance apace. For every glass may now suffice To show the furrows in my face; With lullaby then wink awhile, With lullaby your looks beguile; Let no fair face nor beauty bright Entice you eft with vain delight. And lullaby, my wanton will; Let reason's rule now reign thy thought, Since all too late I find by skill How dear I have thy fancies bought; With lullaby now take thine ease, With lullaby thy doubts appease. For trust to this: if thou be still, My body shall obey thy will. Eke lullaby, my loving boy, My little Robin, take thy rest; Since age is cold and nothing coy, Keep close thy coin, for so is best; With lullaby be thou content, With lullaby thy lusts relent, Let others pay which hath mo pence; Thou art too poor for such expense. Thus lullaby, my youth, mine eyes, My will, my ware, and all that was. I can no mo delays devise, But welcome pain, let pleasure pass; With lullaby now take your leave, With lullaby your dreams deceive; And when you rise with waking eye, Remember then this lullaby.
The Lullaby of a Lover
Renaissance
Love
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan For that deep wound it gives my friend and me: Ist not enough to torture me alone, But slave to slavery my sweetst friend must be? Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken, And my next self thou harder hast engrossed; Of him, myself, and thee I am forsaken, A torment thrice threefold thus to be crossed. Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward, But then my friend's heart let my poor heart bail; Whoeer keeps me, let my heart be his guard: Thou canst not then use rigour in my jail. And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee, Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.
Sonnet 133: Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan
Renaissance
Love
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
O, call not me to justify the wrong That thy unkindness lays upon my heart; Wound me not with thine eye but with thy tongue; Use power with power, and slay me not by art. Tell me thou lovst elsewhere; but in my sight, Dear heart, forbear to glance thine eye aside; What needst thou wound with cunning when thy might Is more than my oerpressed defense can bide? Let me excuse thee: ah, my love well knows Her pretty looks have been mine enemies; And therefore from my face she turns my foes, That they elsewhere might dart their injuries Yet do not so; but since I am near slain, Kill me outright with looks and rid my pain.
Sonnet 139: O, call not me to justify the wrong
Renaissance
Love
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate, Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving. O, but with mine compare thou thine own state, And thou shalt find it merits not reproving; Or if it do, not from those lips of thine, That have profaned their scarlet ornaments And sealed false bonds of love as oft as mine, Robbed others beds revenues of their rents. Be it lawful I love thee as thou lovst those Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune thee: Root pity in thy heart, that, when it grows, Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide, By self-example mayst thou be denied.
Sonnet 142: Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate
Renaissance
Love
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
My love is as a fever, longing still For that which longer nurseth the disease, Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, Th uncertain sickly appetite to please. My reason, the physician to my love, Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, Hath left me, and I desperate now approve Desire is death, which physic did except. Past cure I am, now reason is past care, And frantic-mad with evermore unrest; My thoughts and my discourse as madmens are, At random from the truth vainly expressed: For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
Sonnet 147: My love is as a fever, longing still
Renaissance
Love
DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE MARGARET CAVENDISH
A Poet am I neither born nor bred, But to a witty poet married: Whose brain is fresh and pleasant as the Spring, Where Fancies grow and where the Muses sing. There oft I lean my head, and listening, hark, To catch his words and all his fancies mark: And from that garden show of beauties take Whereof a posy I in verse may make. Thus I, that have no gardens of my own, There gather flowers that are newly blown.
The Duchess to Her Readers
Renaissance
Love
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show, That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain, Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know, Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain, I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe, Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain, Oft turning others leaves, to see if thence would flow Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain. But words came halting forth, wanting Inventions stay: Invention, Natures child, fled step-dame Studys blows, And others feet still seemed but strangers in my way. Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart and write.
Sonnet 1
Renaissance
Love
THOMAS BASTARD
Misus and Mopsa hardly could agree, Striving about superiority. The text which says that man and wife are one, Was the chief argument they stood upon. She held they both one woman should become, He held both should be man, and both but one. So they contended daily, but the strife Could not be ended, till both were one wife.
Book 5, Epigram 20: In Misum & Mopsam.
Renaissance
Love
EDMUND SPENSER
Joy of my life, full oft for loving you I bless my lot, that was so lucky placed: But then the more your own mishap I rue, That are so much by so mean love embased. For had the equal heavens so much you graced In this as in the rest, ye might invent Some heavenly wit, whose verse could have enchased Your glorious name in golden monument. But since ye deignd so goodly to relent To me your thrall, in whom is little worth, That little that I am shall all be spent In setting your immortal praises forth; Whose lofty argument uplifting me Shall lift you up unto an high degree.
['Joy of my life, full oft for loving you']
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
Sweet shades why doe you seeke to give delight To mee who deeme delight in this vilde place Butt torment, sorrow, and mine owne disgrace To taste of joy, or your vaine pleasing sight; Show them your pleasures who saw never night Of greife, wher joyings fauning, smiling face Appeers as day, wher griefe found never space Yett for a sigh, a grone, or envies spite; Butt O on mee a world of woes doe ly, Or els on mee all harmes strive to rely, And to attend like servants bound to mee, Heat in desire, while frosts of care I prove, Wanting my love, yett surfett doe with love Burne, and yett freeze, better in hell to bee.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 17
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
Come darkest night, becoming sorrow best; Light; leave thy light; fitt for a lightsome soule; Darknes doth truly sure with mee oprest Whom absence power doth from mirthe controle: The very trees with hanging heads condole Sweet sommers parting, and of leaves distrest In dying coulers make a griefe-full role; Soe much (alas) to sorrow are they prest, Thus of dead leaves her farewell carpetts made: Theyr fall, theyr branches, all theyr mournings prove; With leavles, naked bodies, whose huese vade From hopefull greene, to wither in theyr love, If trees, and leaves for absence, mourners bee Noe mervaile that I grieve, who like want see.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 19
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
Love like a jugler, comes to play his prise, And all minds draw his wonders to admire, To see how cuningly hee, wanting eyes, Can yett deseave the best sight of desire: The wanton child, how hee can faine his fire So pretely, as none sees his disguise! How finely doe his tricks, while wee fooles hire The badge, and office of his tirannies, For in the end, such jugling hee doth make As hee our harts, in stead of eyes doth take For men can only by theyr slieghts abuse The sight with nimble, and delightful skill; Butt if hee play, his gaine is our lost will: Yett childlike, wee can nott his sports refuse.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 2
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
Time only cause of my unrest By whom I hopd once to bee blest How cruell art thou turned? That first gavst lyfe unto my love, And still a pleasure nott to move Or change though ever burned; Have I thee slackd, or left undun One loving rite, and soe have wunn Thy rage or bitter changing? That now noe minutes I shall see, Wherein I may least happy bee Thy favors soe estranging. Blame thy self, and nott my folly, Time gave time butt to bee holly; True love such ends best loveth Unworhty love doth seeke for ends A worthy love butt worth pretends Nor other thoughts itt proveth: Then stay thy swiftnes cruell time, And lett mee once more blessed clime To joy, that I may prayse thee: Lett mee pleasure sweetly tasting Joy in love, and faith nott wasting And on fames wings Ile rayse thee: Never shall thy glory dying Bee untill thine owne untying That time noe longer liveth; Tis a gaine such tyme to lend: Since soe thy fame shall never end Butt joy for what she giveth.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: Song 5
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
Love peruse me, seeke, and finde How each corner of my minde Is a twine Woven to shine. Not a Webb ill made, foule framd, Bastard not by Father namd, Such in me Cannot bee. Deare behold me, you shall see Faith the Hive, and love the Bee, Which doe bring. Gaine and sting. Pray desect me, sinewes, vaines, Hold, and loves life in those gaines; Lying bare To despaire, When you thus anotamise All my body, my heart prise; Being true Just to you. Close the Truncke, embalme the Chest, Where your power still shall rest, Joy entombe, Loves just doome.
from The Countesse of Montgomerys Urania: Love peruse me, seeke, and finde
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
When I beeheld the Image of my deere With greedy lookes mine eyes would that way bend, Fear, and desire did inwardly contend; Feare to bee markd, desire to drawe still neere, And in my soule a speritt wowld apeer, Which boldnes waranted, and did pretend To bee my genius, yett I durst nott lend My eyes in trust wher others seemed soe cleere, Then did I search from whence this danger rose, If such unworthynes in mee did rest As my stervd eyes must nott with sight bee blest; When jealousie her poyson did disclose; Yett in my hart unseense of jealous eye The truer Image shall in triumph lye.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 4
Renaissance
Love
LADY MARY WROTH
Love leave to urge, thou knowst thou hast the hand; Tis cowardise, to strive wher none resist: Pray thee leave off, I yeeld unto thy band; Doe nott thus, still, in thine owne powre persist, Beehold I yeeld: lett forces bee dismist; I ame thy subject, conquerd, bound to stand, Never thy foe, butt did thy claime assist Seeking thy due of those who did withstand; Butt now, itt seemes, thou wouldst I should thee love; I doe confess, twas thy will made mee chuse; And thy faire showes made mee a lover prove When I my freedome did, for paine refuse. Yett this Sir God, your boyship I dispise; Your charmes I obay, butt love nott want of eyes.
from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: 7
Renaissance
Love
RICHARD BARNFIELD
Long have I longd to see my love againe, Still have I wisht, but never could obtaine it; Rather than all the world (if I might gaine it) Would I desire my loves sweet precious gaine. Yet in my soule I see him everie day, See him, and see his still sterne countenaunce, But (ah) what is of long continuance, Where majestie and beautie beares the sway? Sometimes, when I imagine that I see him, (As love is full of foolish fantasies) Weening to kisse his lips, as my loves fees, I feele but aire: nothing but aire to bee him. Thus with Ixion, kisse I clouds in vaine: Thus with Ixion, feele I endles paine.
Sonnet 16
Renaissance
Love
RICHARD BARNFIELD
Cherry-lipt Adonis in his snowie shape, Might not compare with his pure ivorie white, On whose faire front a poets pen may write, Whose roseate red excels the crimson grape, His love-enticing delicate soft limbs, Are rarely framd tintrap poore gazine eies: His cheeks, the lillie and carnation dies, With lovely tincture which Apollos dims. His lips ripe strawberries in nectar wet, His mouth a Hive, his tongue a hony-combe, Where Muses (like bees) make their mansion. His teeth pure pearle in blushing correll set. Oh how can such a body sinne-procuring, Be slow to love, and quicke to hate, enduring?
Sonnet 17
Renaissance
Love
SIR THOMAS WYATT
They flee from me, that sometime did me seek With naked foot, stalking in my chamber. I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek, That now are wild, and do not remember That sometime they put themselves in danger To take bread at my hand; and now they range Busily seeking with a continual change. Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise Twenty times better; but once, in special, In thin array, after a pleasant guise, When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall, And she me caught in her arms long and small; Therewith all sweetly did me kiss, And softly said, Dear heart, how like you this? It was no dream: I lay broad waking: But all is turned, thorough my gentleness, Into a strange fashion of forsaking; And I have leave to go of her goodness, And she also to use newfangleness. But since that I so kindly am served, I would fain know what she hath deserved.
Remembrance
Renaissance
Love
JOHN DONNE
Tis true, tis day, what though it be? O wilt thou therefore rise from me? Why should we rise because tis light? Did we lie down because twas night? Love, which in spite of darkness brought us hither, Should in despite of light keep us together. Light hath no tongue, but is all eye; If it could speak as well as spy, This were the worst that it could say, That being well I fain would stay, And that I loved my heart and honour so, That I would not from him, that had them, go. Must business thee from hence remove? Oh, thats the worst disease of love, The poor, the foul, the false, love can Admit, but not the busied man. He which hath business, and makes love, doth do Such wrong, as when a married man doth woo.
Break of Day
Renaissance
Love
SECOND BARON VAUX OF HARROWDEN THOMAS, LORD VAUX
I loathe that I did love, In youth that I thought sweet, As time requires for my behove, Methinks they are not meet. My lusts they do me leave, My fancies all be fled, And tract of time begins to weave Grey hairs upon my head, For age with stealing steps Hath clawed me with his crutch, And lusty life away she leaps As there had been none such. My Muse doth not delight Me as she did before; My hand and pen are not in plight, As they have been of yore. For reason me denies This youthly idle rhyme; And day by day to me she cries, Leave off these toys in time. The wrinkles in my brow, The furrows in my face, Say, limping age will lodge him now Where youth must give him place. The harbinger of death, To me I see him ride, The cough, the cold, the gasping breath Doth bid me provide A pickaxe and a spade, And eke a shrouding sheet, A house of clay for to be made For such a guest most meet. Methinks I hear the clark That knolls the careful knell, And bids me leave my woeful wark, Ere nature me compel. My keepers knit the knot That youth did laugh to scorn, Of me that clean shall be forgot As I had not been born. Thus must I youth give up, Whose badge I long did wear; To them I yield the wanton cup That better may it bear. Lo, here the bared skull, By whose bald sign I know That stooping age away shall pull Which youthful years did sow. For beauty with her band These crooked cares hath wrought, And shipped me into the land From whence I first was brought. And ye that bide behind, Have ye none other trust: As ye of clay were cast by kind, So shall ye waste to dust.
The Aged Lover Renounceth Love
Renaissance
Love
HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY
Alas, so all things now do hold their peace! Heaven and earth disturbed in no thing; The beasts, the air, the birds their song do cease, The nightes car the stars about doth bring; Calm is the sea; the waves work less and less: So am not I, whom love, alas! doth wring, Bringing before my face the great increase Of my desires, whereat I weep and sing, In joy and woe, as in a doubtful case. For my sweet thoughts sometime do pleasure bring: But by and by, the cause of my disease Gives me a pang that inwardly doth sting, When that I think what grief it is again To live and lack the thing should rid my pain.
"Alas, so all things now do hold their peace!"
Renaissance
Love
EDMUND SPENSER
Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands, Which hold my life in their dead doing might Shall handle you and hold in loves soft bands, Lyke captives trembling at the victors sight. And happy lines, on which with starry light, Those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look And reade the sorrowes of my dying spright, Written with teares in harts close bleeding book. And happy rymes bathd in the sacred brooke, Of Helicon whence she derived is, When ye behold that Angels blessed looke, My soules long lacked foode, my heavens blis. Leaves, lines, and rymes, seeke her to please alone, Whom if ye please, I care for other none.
Amoretti I: Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands
Renaissance
Love
EDMUND SPENSER
New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate, Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight: And bidding thold Adieu, his pass
Amoretti IV: "New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate"
Renaissance
Love
EDMUND SPENSER
Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay, My love lyke the Spectator ydly sits Beholding me that all the pageants play, Disguysing diversly my troubled wits. Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits, And mask in myrth lyke to a Comedy: Soone after when my joy to sorrow flits, I waile and make my woes a Tragedy. Yet she beholding me with constant eye, Delights not in my merth nor rues my smart: But when I laugh she mocks, and when I cry She laughes, and hardens evermore her hart. What then can move her? if not merth nor mone, She is no woman, but a sencelesse stone.
Amoretti LIV: Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay
Renaissance
Love

Dataset Card for poetry

Dataset Summary

It contains poems from subjects: Love, Nature and Mythology & Folklore that belong to two periods namely Renaissance and Modern

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Has 5 columns:

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  • Author
  • Poem name
  • Age
  • Type

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