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The Anatomye of a Lover.
TO make a Lover knowne, by plaine Anatomie,
You lovers all that list beware, loe here behold you me.
Who though mine onely lookes, your pittie wel might move,
Yet every part shall playe his part, to paint the panges of love.
If first my feeble head, have so much matter left,
If fansies raging force have not, his feeble skill bereft.
These lockes that hang unkempt, these hollowe dazled eyes,
These chattering teeth, this trebling tongue, well sewed with carefull cries.
These wan and wrinkled cheekes, wel washt with waves of woe,
Maye stand for patterne of a ghost, where so this carkasse goe.
These shoulders they sustaine, the yoake of heavy care,
And on my brused broken backe, the burden must I beare.
These armes quite braunfalne are, with beating on my brest,
This right hand weary is to write, this left hand craveth rest:
These sides enclose the forge, where sorrowe playes the smith,
And hote desire, hath kindled fire, to worke this mettall with.
The Anvile is my heart, my thoughtes they strike the stroake,
My lights and lunges like bellowes blow, & sighes ascend for smoake.
My secreete partes are so with secreete sorrowe soken,
As for the secreete shame thereof, deserves not to be spoken,
My thighes, my knees, my legges, and last of all my feete,
To serve a lovers turne, are so unable and unmeete,
That scarce they sustaine up, this restlesse body well,
Unlesse it be to see the boure, wherein my love doth dwell,
And there by sight eftsoone, to feede my gazing eye,
And so content my hungrie corps, tyll dollours doe me dye:
Yet for a just reward of love so dearely bought,
I pray you saye, loe this was he, whome love had worne to nought.
Ever or never.
¶ The arraig[n]ment of a Lover.
AT Beautyes barre as I dyd stande,
When false suspect accused mee,
George (quod the Judge) holde up thy hande,
Thou art arraignde of Flatterye:
Tell therefore howe thou wylt bee tryde?
Whose judgement here wylt thou abyde?
My Lorde (quod I) this Lady here,
Whome I esteeme above the rest,
Doth knowe my guilte if any were:
Wherefore hir doome shall please me best,
Let hir bee Judge and Jurour boathe,
To trye mee guiltlesse by myne oathe.
Quod Beautie, no, it fitteth not,
Wyll is dame bewties chiefe Justice of Oyre and terminer.
A Prince hir selfe to judge the cause:
Wyll is our Justice well you wot,
Appointed to discusse our Lawes:
If you wyll guiltlesse seeme to goe,
God and your countrey quitte you so.
Then crafte the cryer cal'd a quest,
Of whome was falshoode formost feere,
A packe of pickethankes were the rest,
Which came false witnesse for to beare,
The Jurye suche, the Judge unjust,
Sentence was sayde I should be trust.
Jelous the Jayler bound mee fast,
To heare the verdite of the byll,
George (quod the Judge) nowe thou art cast,
Thou must goe hence to heavie hill,
And there be hangde all but the head,
God rest thy soule when thou art dead.
Downe fell I then upon my knee,
All flatte before Dame Beauties face,
And cryed, good Ladye pardon mee,
Which here appeale unto your grace,
You knowe if I have beene untrue,
It was in too much praysing you.
And though this Judge doe make suche haste,
To shead with shame my guiltlesse blood:
Yet let your pittie first bee plaste,
To save the man that meant you good,
So shall you shewe your selfe a Queene,
And I maye bee your servaunt seene.
(Quod Beautie) well: bicause I guesse,
What thou dost meane hencefoorth to bee,
Although thy faultes deserve no lesse,
Than Justice here hath judged thee,
Wylt thou be bounce to stynt all strife,
And be true prisoner all thy lyfe?
Yea Madame (quod I) that I shall,
Loe fayth and trueth my suerties:
Why then (quod shee) come when I call,
I aske no better warrantise.
Thus am I Beauties bounden thrall,
At hir commaunde when shee doth call.
Ever or never.
The passion of a Lover.
I Smyle sometimes although my griefe be great,
To heare and see these lovers paint their paine,
And how they can in pleasaunt rimes repeate,
The passing pangs, which they in fancies faine.
But if I had such skyll to frame a verse,
I could more paine than all their panges rehearse.
Some saye they finde nor peace, nor power to fight,
Which seemeth strange: but stranger is my state:
I dwell in dole, yet sojorne with delight,
Reposde in rest, yet weryed with debate.
For flatte repulse, might well appease my wyll,
But fancie fightes, to trye my fortune styll.
Some other saye they hope, yet live in dread,
They friese, they flame, they flie aloft, they fall,
But I nor hope with happe to rayse my head,
Nor feare to stoupe, for why my gate is small.
Nor can I friese, with cold to kyll my heart,
Nor yet so flame, as might consume my smart.
How live I then, which thus drawe foorth my dayes?
Or tell me howe, I found this fever first?
What fits I feele? what distance? what delayes?
What griefe? what ease? what lyke I best? what worst?
These thinges they tell, which seeke redresse of paine,
And so wyll I, although I coumpt it vaine.
I live in love, even so I love to live,
(Oh happie state, twise happie he that findes it)
But love to life this cognisance doth geve,
This badge this marke, to every man that mindes it,
Love lendeth life, which (dying) cannot dye,
Nor lyving live: and such a life leade I.
The Sunny dayes which gladde the saddest wightes,
Yet never shine to cleere my misty moone:
No quiet sleepe, amidde the mooneshine nightes,
Can close mine eyes, when I am woe begone.
Into such shades my peevishe sorrowe shrowdes,
That Sunne and Moone, are styll to me in clowdes.
And feverlike I feede my fancie styll,
With such repast, as most empaires my health,
Which fever first I caught by wanton wyll,
When coles of kind dyd stirre my blood by stealth:
And gazing eyes, in bewtie put such trust,
That love enflamd my liver al with lust.
My fits are lyke the fever Ectick fits,
There is in deede suche a kinde of fever.
Which one daye quakes within and burnes without,
The next day heate within the boosoms sits,
And shiviring colde the body goes about.
So is my heart most hote when hope is colde,
And quaketh most when I most heate behold.
Tormented thus without delayes I stand,
All wayes in one and evermore shalbe,
In greatest griefe when helpe is nearest hand,
And best at ease if death might make me free:
Delighting most in that which hurtes my heart,
And hating change which might relieve my smart.
Yet you deare dame: to whome this cure pertaines,
Devise by times some drammes for my disease,
A noble name shall be your greatest gaines,
Whereof be sure, if you wyll worke mine ease.
And though fond fooles set forth their fittes as fast,
Yet graunt with me that my straunge passion past.
Ever or never.
¶ A straunge passion of a Lover.
AMid my Bale I bath in blisse,
I swim in heaven, I sinke in hell:
I find amends for every misse,
And yet my moane no tongue can tell.
I live and love, what wold you more:
As never lover liv'd before.
I laugh sometimes with little lust,
So jest I oft and feele no joye:
Myne ease is builded all on trust:
And yit mistrust breedes myne anoye.
I live and lacke, I lacke and have:
I have and misse the thing I crave.
These things seeme strange, yet are they trew,
Beleeve me sweete my state is such,
One pleasure which I wold eschew,
Both slakes my grief and breedes my grutch.
So doth one paine which I would shoon,
Renew my joyes where grief begoon.
Then like the larke that past the night.
In heavy sleepe with cares opprest:
Yit when shee spies the pleasaunt light,
She sends sweete notes from out hir brest.
So sing I now because I thinke
How joyes approch, when sorrowes shrinke.
And as fayre Philomene againe,
Can watch and singe when other sleepe:
And taketh pleasure in hir payne,
To wray the woo that makes hir weepe.
So sing I now for to bewray
The lothsome life I lead alway.
The which to thee (deare wenche) I write,
That know'st my mirth, but not my moane:
I praye God graunt thee deepe delight,
To live in joyes when I am gone.
I cannot live, it wyll not bee:
I dye to thinke to part from thee.
¶ The Divorce of a Lover.
DIvorce me nowe good death, from love and lingring life,
That one hath bene my concubine, that other was my wife.
In youth I lived with love, she had my lustye dayes,
In age I thought with lingering life to stay my wandering wais,
But now abusde by both, I come for to complaine,
To thee good death, in whom my helpe doth wholy now remain,
My libell loe behold: wherein I doe protest,
The processe of my plaint is true, in which my griefe doth rest.
First love my concubine (whome I have kept so trimme,
Even she for whome I seemd of yore, in seas of joy to swimme:
To whome I dare avowe, that I have served as well,
And played my part as gallantly, as he that beares the bell)
She cast me of long since, and holdes me in disdaine,
I cannot pranke to please hir nowe, my vaunting is but vaine.
My writhled cheekes bewraye, that pride of heate is past,
My stagring steppes eke tell the trueth, that nature fadeth fast,
My quaking crooked joyntes, are combred with the crampe,
The boxe of oyle is wasted wel, which once dyd feede my lampe.
Such a sect there is that desire no longer lyfe then whiles they are in love.
The greenesse of my yeares, doth wyther now so sore,
That lusty love leapes quite awaye, and lyketh me no more,
And love my lemman gone, what lyking can I take?
In lothsome lyfe that croked croane, although she be my make?
Shee cloyes me with the cough, hir comfort is but cold,
She bids me give mine age for almes, wher first my youth was sold.
No day can passe my head, but she beginnes to brall,
No mery thoughts conceived so fast, but she confounds them al.
When I pretend to please, she overthwarts me still,
When I wou[l]d faynest part with hir, she overwayes my will.
Be judge then gentle death, and take my cause in hand,
Consider every circumstaunce, marke how the case doth stand.
Percase thou wilte aledge, that cause thou canst none see,
But that I like not of that one, that other likes not me:
Yes gentle judge give eare, and thou shalt see me prove,
My concubine incontinent, a common whore is love.
And in my wyfe I find, such discord and debate,
As no man living can endure the tormentes of my state.
Wherefore thy sentence say, devorce me from them both,
Since only thou mayst right my wronges, good death nowe be not loath.
But cast thy pearcing dart, into my panting brest,
That I may leave both love and life, & thereby purchase rest.
Haud ictus sapio.
¶ The Lullabie of a Lover.
SIng lullaby, as women doe,
Wherewith they bring their babes to rest,
And lullaby can I sing to,
As womanly as can the best.
With lullaby they still the childe,
And if I be not much beguild,
Full many wanton babes have I,
Which must be stild with lullabie.
First lullaby my youthfull yeares,
It is nowe time to go to bed,
For croocked age and hoary heares,
Have wone the haven [within] my head:
With Lullaby then youth be still,
With Lullaby content thy will,
Since courage quayles, and commes behind,
Go sleepe, and so beguile thy minde.
Next Lullaby my gazing eyes,
Which wonted were to glaunce apace.
For every Glasse maye nowe suffise,
To shewe the furrowes in my face:
With Lullabye then winke awhile,
With Lullabye your lookes beguile:
Lette no fayre face, nor beautie brighte,
Entice you efte with vayne delighte.
And Lullaby my wanton will,
Lette reasons rule, nowe reigne thy thought,
Since all to late I finde by skyll,
Howe deare I have thy fansies bought:
With Lullaby nowe tak thyne ease,
With Lullaby thy doubtes appease:
For trust to this, if thou be styll,
My body shall obey thy will.
Eke Lullaby my loving boye,
My little Robyn take thy rest,
Since age is colde, and nothing coye,
Keepe close thy coyne, for so is best:
With Lulla[b]y be thou content,
With Lullaby thy lustes relente,
Lette others pay which hath mo pence,
Thou art to pore for such expence.
Thus Lullabye my youth, myne eyes,
My will, my ware, and all that was,
I can no mo delayes devise,
But welcome payne, let pleasure passe:
With Lullaby now take your leave,
With Lullaby your dreames deceive,
And when you rise with waking eye,
Remember then this Lullabye.
Ever or Never.
The lamentation of a lover.
NOw have I found the waie, to weepe & wayle my fill,
Now can I ende my dolfull dayes, & so content my will.
The way to weepe inough, for such as list to wayle,
Is this: to go abord ye ship, where pleasure beareth sayle.
And there to marke the jestes, of every joyfull wight,
And with what winde and wave they fleet, to nourish their delight.
For as the striker Deare, that seeth his fellowes feede,
Amid the lustie [heard] (unhurt), & feeles himselfe to bleede
Or as the seely byrd, that with the Bolte is brusd,
And lieth aloofe among the leaves, of al hir pheares refusd,
And heares them sing full shrill, yet cannot she rejoyce,
Nor frame one warbling note to passe, out of hir mournfull voyce.
Even so I finde by proofe, that pleasure dubleth payne,
Unto a wretched wounded hart, which doth in woe, remaine.
I passe where pleasure is, I heare some sing for joye,
I see som laugh, som other daunce, in spight of darke anoy.
But out alas my mind, amends not by their myrth,
I deeme al pleasurs to be paine, that dwell above ye earth.
Such heavy humors feede, ye bloud that lendes me breath,
As mery medcins cannot serve, to keepe my corps from death.
Spræta tamen vivunt.
Certaine verses written to a Gentlewoman whome hee liked very wel, and yet had never any oportunity to discover his affection, being alwayes bridled by jelouse lookes which attended them both, and therefore gessing by hir lokes, that she partly also liked him: he wrote in a booke of hirs as foloweth, being termed with the rest that follow the lokes of a lover enamoured.
THou with thy lookes on whom I loke full ofte,
And find there in great cause of deepe delight:
Thy face is fayre, thy skin is smoth and softe,
Thy lippes are sweet, thine eyes are cleere and bright,
And every part seemes pleasant in my sight.
Yet wote thou well, those lokes have wrought my wo,
Bicause I love to looke upon them so.
For first those lookes allurd mine eye to loke,
And strayght mine eye stird up my hart to love:
And cruell love with deepe deceitfull hooke,
Chokt up my mind whom fancie cannot move,
Nor hope releeve, nor other helpe behove:
But still to loke, and though I loke to much,
Needes must I loke bicause I see none such.
Thus in thy lookes my love and life have hold,
And with such life my death drawes on a pace:
And for such death no medcine can be told,
But loking still upon thy lovely face,
Wherin are painted pitie, peace, and grace,
Then though thy lokes should cause me for to dye,
Needes must I looke, bicause I live therby.
Since then thy lookes my lyfe have so in thrall,
As I can like none other lookes but thine:
Lo here I yeelde my lyfe, my love, and all
Into thy hands, and all things else resigne,
But libertie to gaze upon thyne eyen.
Which when I doe, then think it were thy part,
To looke again, and linke with me in hart.
Si fortunatus [inf■lix].
With these verses you shall judge the quicke capacitie of the Lady: for she wrote thereunder this short aunswere.
Looke as long as you lyst, but surely if I take you looking, I will looke with you.
And for a further proofe of this Dames quicke understan ding, you shall now understande, that sone after this aunswere of hirs, the same Aucthour chansed to be at a supper in hir company, where were also hir brother, hir husband, and an old lover of hirs by whom shee had bene long suspected. Nowe, although there wanted no delicate viandes to content them, yet their chiefe repast was by entreglancing of lokes. For the Aucthour being stong with hotte affection, coulde none otherwyse relieve his passion but by gazing. And the Dame of a curteous enclination deigned (nowe and then) to requite the same with glancing at him. Hir olde lover occupied his eyes with watching: and her brother perceiving all this coulde not abstaine from winking, whereby hee might putte his Syster in remembraunce, least she shoulde too much forget hir selfe. But most of all her husbande beholding the first, and being evyll pleased with the seconde, scarce contented with the thirde, and misconstruing the fourth, was constrayned to praye the fifth part in frowarde frowning. This royall banquet thus passed over, the Aucthor knowing that after supper they should passe the tyme in propounding of Ryddles, and making of purposes: contrived all this conceipt in a Riddle as followeth. The which was no soner pronounced, but shee coulde perfectly perceive his intent, and drave out one nayle with another, as also enseweth.
I Cast mine eye and sawe ten eyes at once,
All seemelye set uppon one lovely face:
Twoo gaz'd, twoo glanc'd, twoo watched for the nonce,
Twoo winked wiles, twoo fround with froward grace.
Thus everye eye was pitched in his place.
And everye eye which wrought eche others wo,
Saide to it selfe, alas why lookt I so
And everye eye for jelousie did pine,
And sigh'd and sayde, I would that eye were mine.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
¶ In all this lovelie company was not one that coulde and would expound the meaning hereof. At last the Dame hir selfe aunswered on this wise. Syr, quod she, because your darke speech is much to curious for this simple company, I wyl bee so bolde as to quit one question with another. And when you have aunswered mine, it maye fall out peradventure, that I shall somewhat the better judge of yours.
WHat thing is that which swimmes in blisse,
And yet consumes in burning griefe:
Which being plaste where pleasure is,
Can yet recover no reliefe.
Which sees to sighe, and sighes to see,
All this is one, what maye it bee?
¶ He held him selfe herewith contented: and afterwardes when they were better acquainted, he chaunsed once (groping in hir pocket) to find a letter of hir olde lovers: and thynking it were better to wincke than utterlye to put out his eyes, seemed not to understande this first offence: but soone after finding a lemman (the which he thought he sawe hir olde lemman put there) he devised therof thus, and delivered it unto hir in writing.
I Grooped in thy pocket pretty peate,
And found a Lemman which I looked not:
So founde I once (which nowe I must repeate)
Both leaves and letters which I lyked not.
Such hap have I to finde and seeke it not,
But since I see no faster meanes to bind them,
I wyll (hencefoorth) take Lemmans as I finde them.
The Dame within verie short space dyd aunswere it thus.
A Lymone (but no Lemmane) Syr you found,
For Lemmans beare their name to broade before:
The which since it hath given you such a wound,
That you seeme now offended very sore:
Content your selfe you shall find (there) no more.
But take your Lemmans henceforth where you lust,
For I wyll shewe my letters where I trust.
¶The lookes of a lover forsaken: written by a gentlewoman who passed by him with hir armes set bragging by hir sides, and lefte it unfinished as followeth.
WEre my hart set on hoygh as shine is bent,
Or in my brest so brave and stout a will:
Then (long ere this) I coulde have bene content,
With sharpe reveng thy carelesse corpes to kill.
For why thou knowest (although thou know not all)
What rule, what raygne, what power, what segnory,
Thy melting minde did yeeld to me (as thrall)
When first I pleasd thy wandring fantisie.
What lingring lookes bewray'd thyne inward thought,
What panges were publisht by perplexcitie,
Such reakes the rage of love in thee had wrought
And no gramercie for thy curtesie.
I list not vaunt, but yet I dare avowe
(Had bene my harmelesse hart as harde as thine)
I coulde have bounde thee then for starting nowe,
In bondes of bale, in pangs of deadly pyne.
For why by profe the field is eath to win,
Where as the chiefteynes yeeld them selves in chaynes:
The port or passage plaine to enter in,
Where porters list to leave the key for gaynes.
But did I then devise with crueltie,
(As tyrants do) to kill the yeelding pray?
Or did I bragge and boast triumphauntly,
As who should saye the field were mine that daye?
Did I retire my selfe out of thy sight
To beat afresh the bulwarkes of thy brest?
Or did my mind in choyce of change delight,
And render thee as reffuse with the rest
No Tygre no, the lyon is not lewd,
He shewes no force on seely wounded sheepe, &c.
Whiles he sat at the dore of his lodging, devising these verses above rehersed, the same Gentlewoman passed by againe, and cast a longe looke towardes him, whereby he left his former invention and wrote thus.
HOwe long she looks that looks at me of late,
As who would say, hir lookes were all for love:
When God he knowes they came from deadly hate,
To pinch me yit with pangs which I must prove.
But since my lokes hir liking maye not move,
Looke where she likes, for lo this looke was cast,
Not for my love, but even to see my last.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
An other Sonet written by the same Gentlewoman,
uppon the same occasion.
I Lookt of late and sawe thee loke askance,
I Upon my dore, to see if I satte there.
As who should say: If he be there by chance,
Yet maye he thinke I loke him every where,
No cruell, no, thou knowest and I can tell,
How for thy love I layd my lokes a side:
Though thou (par case) hast looks and liked wel,
Some newe founde lookes amide this world so wide.
But since thy lookes my love have so in chaynd
That to my lokes, thy liking now is past:
Loke where thou likest, and let thy hands be stayned,
In true loves bloud, which thou shalt lack at last,
So looke, so lack, for in these toyes thus tost,
My lookes thy love, thy lookes my life have lost.
Si fortunatus inf■l[i]x.
¶ To the same gentlewoman because she challenged the Aucthour for holding downe his head alwaies, and for that hee looked not uppon hir in wonted manner.
YOu must not wonder though you thinke it straunge,
To see me holde my lowring head so lowe:
And that myne eyes take no delyght to raunge,
About the gleames which on your face doe growe.
The mouse which once hath broken out of trappe,
Is sildome tysed with the trustlesse bayte,
But lyes aloofe for feare of more mishappe,
And feedeth styll in doubte of deepe deceipte.
The skorched flye which once hath scapt the flame,
Wyll hardlye come to playe againe with fyre.
Whereby I learne that greevous is the game,
Which followes fansie dazled by desire.
So that I wynke or else holde downe my head,
Because your blazing eyes my bale have bred.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
The Recantacion of a Lover.
Now must I needes recant the wordes which once I spoke,
Fond fansie fumes so nie my noose, I nedes must smel ye smoke:
And better were to beare a Faggot from the fire,
Than wylfully to burne and blaze, in flames of vaine desire.
You Judges then give eare, you people marke me well,
I saye, both heaven and earth record the tale which I shall tell
And knowe that dread of death, nor hope of better hap,
Have forced or perswaded me to take my turning cap,
But even that mightye Jove, of his great clemencie,
Hath given me grace at last to judge, the trueth from heresie:
I saye then and professe, with free and faithfull heart,
That womens vowes are nothing els, but snares of secret smart:
Their beauties blaze are baites which seeme of pleasant taste,
But who devoures the hidden hooke, eates poyson for repast:
Their smyling is deceipt, their faire wordes trainee of treason,
Their wit alwaies so full of wyles, it skorneth rules of reason.
Percase some present here, have heard my selfe of yore,
Both teach & preach the contrary, my fault was then themore:
I graunt my workes were these, first one Anatomie,
Wherein I painted every pang of [loves] perplexitye:
Next that I was araignde, with George holde up thy hand,
Wherein I yeelded Bewties thrall, at hir commaund to stand:
Myne eyes so blinded were, (good people marke my tale)
That once I song, I Bathe in Blisse, amidde my weary Bale:
And many a frantike verse, then from my penne dyd passe,
In waves of wicked heresie, so deepe I drowned was.
All which I now recant, and here before you burne
Those trifling bookes, from whose lewde lore my tippet here I turne.
And hencefoorth wyl I write, howe mad is that mans minde,
Which is entist by any traine to trust m womankind.
Astolfe being the goodliest personne in the world founde a dwarf lying with his wife.
I spare not wedlocke I, who lyst that state advance,
Aske Astolfe king of Lumbardie, howe trim his dwarfe coulde daunce.
Wherefore fayre Ladies you, that heare me what I saye,
If you hereafter see me slippe, or seeme to goe astraye:
Or if my tongue revolte from that which nowe it sayth,
Then plague me thus, Beleeve it not, for this is nowe my faith.
Haud ictus sapio.
¶ In prayse of Bridges, nowe Lady Sandes.
IN Court who so demaundes what Dame doth most excell,
For my conceyt I must needes say, faire Bridges beares ye bell:
Upon whose lively cheeke, to proove my judgement true,
The Rose and Lillie seeme to strive for equall change of hewe:
And therewithall so well her graces all agree,
No frowning cheere dare once presume in hir sweete face to bee.
Although some lavishe lippes, which like some other best,
Wyll saye the blemishe on hir browe disgraceth all the rest.
Thereto I thus replie, God wotte they lisle know,
The hidden cause of that mishap, nor how the harme dyd grow.
For when Dame nature first had framde hir heavenly face,
And thoroughly bedecked it, with goodly gleames of grace:
It lyked hir so well: Lo here (quod shee) a peece,
For perfect shape that passeth all Apelles worke in Greece.
This bayte may chaunce to catche the greatest God of love,
Or mighty thundring Jove himself that rules the roast above.
But out, alas, those wordes were vaunted all in vaine,
And some unsene were present there (poore Bridges) to thy pain.
For Cupide craftie boye, close in a corner stoode,
Not blyndfold then, to gaze on hir, I gesse it dyd him good.
Yet when he felt the flame gan kindle in his brest,
And hard dame nature boast by hir, to breake him of his rest,
His hote newe chosen love, he chaunged into hate,
And sodainly with mighty mace, gan rap hir on the pate.
It grieved Nature much to see the quell deede:
Me seemes I see hir how she wept, to see hir dearling blede.
Well yet (quod she) this hurt shall have some helpe I trowe,
And quicke with skin she covered it, that whiter is than snowe.
Wherewith Dan Cupid fled, for feare of further flame,
When angel like he saw hir shine, whom he had smit with shame.
Lo thus was Bridges hurt, in cradel of hir kind,
The coward Cupid brake hir brow, to wreke his wounded mind,
The skar styll there remaines, no force, there let it be,
There is no clowde that can eclipse, so bright a sunne as she.
Ever or never.
¶ In prayse of Zouche late the Lady Greye of Wilton
whome the auctor found in a homely house.
THese rustie walles whome cankred yeares deface,
The comely corps of seemely Zouche enclose,
Whose auncient stocke derivde from worthy race,
Procures hir praise, where so the carkas goes:
Hir aungels face declares hyr modest minde,
Hyr lovely lokes the gazing eyes allure,
Hyr deedes deserve some endlesse prayse to finde,
To blaze suche brute as ever might endure.
Wherfore my penne in trembling feare shall staye,
To write the thing that doth surmount my skill,
And I will wish of God both night and daye,
Some worthier place to guide hir worthy will.
Where princes peeres hir due desertes maye see,
And I content hir servaunt there to bee.
Ever or Never.
Gascoignes praise of his mistres.
THe hap which Paris had, as due for his desert,
Who favord Venus for hir face, & skornde Menervas art:
May serve to warne the wise that they no more esteme,
The glistering glosse of bewties blaze, than reason should it deme.
Dan Priams yonger son, found out ye fairest dame,
That ever bode on Troyane mold, what folowed of ye same?
I list not brut hir bale, let others spread it forth,
But for his parte to speake my minde his choice was little worth,
My meaning is but this, who markes the outward shewe,
And never grops for graftes of grace which in ye mind should grow:
May chance upon such choise as trusty Troilus had,
And dwel in dole as Paris did, when he would faine be glad.
How happie then am I whose happe hath bene to finde,
A mistresse first that doth excell in vertues of the mind.
And yet therewith hath joynd, such favoure and suche grace,
As Pandars niece (if she wer here) would quickly give hir place.
With in whose worthy brest, Dame Bounty seekes to dwel,
And saith to beawty, yeeld to me, since I doe thee excell.
Betwene whose heavenly eyes, doth right remorse appeare,
And pitie placed by the same, doth muche amende hir cheere.
Who in my daungers deepe, dyd deigne to doe mee good,
Who did relieve my heavy heart, and sought to save my blood.
Who first encreast my friendes, and overthrew my fooes,
Who loved al them that wisht me wel, & liked none but those.
O Ladies give me leave, I prayse not hir to farre,
Since she doth pas you al, as much, as Titan staines a starre.
You hold such servauntes deare, as able are to serve.
She held me deare, when I poore soule, could no good thing deserve.
You set by them that swim in all prosperitie,
She set by me when as I was in great calamitie.
You best esteeme the brave, and let the poorest passe,
Shee best esteemde my poore good wyll, all naked as it was.
But whether am I went? what humor guides my braine?
I seeke to wey ye woolsack down, with one poore pepper grain.
I seeme to penne hir praise, that doth surpasse my skill,
I strive to rowe against the tide, I hoppe against the hill.
Then let these fewe suffise, shee Helene staines for hewe,
Dydo for grace, Cressyde for cheere, and is as Thisbye true.
Yet if you furder crave, to have hir name displaide,
Dame Favor is my mistres name, dame Fortune is hir maid.
Attamen ad solitum.
Gascoignes good morrow.
YOu that have spent the silent night,
In sleepe and quiet rest,
And joye to see the cheerefull lyght
That ryseth in the East:
Now cleare your voyce, now chere your hart,
Come helpe me nowe to sing:
Eche willing wight come beare a part,
To prayse the heavenly King.
And you whome care in prison keepes,
Or sickenes doth suppresse,
Or secret sorowe breakes your sleepes,
Or dolours doe distresse:
Yet beare a parte in dolfull wise,
Yea thinke it good accorde,
And [ac]ceptable sacrifice,
Eche sprite to prayse the lorde.
The dreadfull night with darkesomnesse,
Had over spread the light,
And sluggish sleepe with drowsynesse,
Had over press our might:
A glasse wherin you may beholde,
Eche storme that stopes our breath,
Our bed the grave, our clothes lyke molde,
And sleepe like dreadfull death.
Yet as this deadly night did laste,
But for a little space,
And heavenly daye nowe night is past,
Doth shewe his pleasaunt face:
So must we hope to see Gods face,
At last in heaven on hie,
When we have chang'd this mortall place,
And of such happes and heavenly joyes,
As then we hope to holde,
All earthly sightes and wor[l]dly toyes,
Are tokens to beholde.
The daye is like the daye of doome,
The sunne, the Sonne of man,
The skyes the heavens, the earth the tombe
Wherein we rest till than.
The Rainbowe bending in the skye,
Bedeckte with sundrye hewes,
Is like the seate of God on hye,
And seemes to tell these newes:
That as thereby he promised,
To drowne the world no more,
So by the bloud which Christ hath shead,
He will our helth restore.
The mistie cloudes that fall somtime,
And overcast the skyes,
Are like to troubles of our time,
Which do but dymme our eyes:
But as suche dewes are dryed up quite,
When Ph■bus shewes his face,
So are such fansies put to flighte,
Where God doth guide by grace.
The caryon Crowe, that lothsome beast,
Which cryes agaynst the rayne,
Both for hir hewe and for the rest,
The Devill resembleth playne:
And as with gonnes we kill the Crowe,
For spoyling our releefe,
The Devill so must we overthrowe,
With gonshote of beleefe.
The little byrde[s] which sing so swete,
Are like the angelles voyce,
Which render God his prayses meete,
And teache us to rejoyce:
And as they more esteeme that myrth,
Than dread the nights anoy,
So mu[ste] we deeme our days on earth,
But hell to heavenly joye.
Unto which Joyes for to attayne
God graunt us all his grace,
And sende us after worldly payee,
In heaven to have a place.
Where wee maye still enjoy that light,
Which never shall decaye:
Lorde for thy mercy lend us might,
To see that joyfull daye.
Haud ictus sapio.
Gascoygnes good night.
WHen thou hast spent the lingring day in pleasure and delight,
Or after toyle and wearie waye, cost seeke to rest at nighte:
Unto thy paynes or pleasures past, adde this one labour yet,
Ere sleepe close up thyne eye to fast, do not thy God forget,
But searche within thy secret thoughts, what deeds did thee befal:
And if thou find amisse in ought, to God for mercy call.
Yea though thou find nothing amisse, which thou canst cal to mind,
Yet ever more remember this, there is the more behind:
And thinke how well so ever it be, that thou hast spent the daye,
It came of God, and not of thee, so to direct thy waye.
Thus if thou trie thy dayly deedes, and pleasure in this payee,
Thy life shall clense thy come from weeds, & shine shal be ye gaine:
But if thy sinfull sluggishe eye, will venter for to winke,
Before thy wading will may bye, how far thy soule maye sinke,
Beware and wake, for else thy bed, which soft & smoth is made
May heape more harm upon thy head, than blowes of enmies blade.
Thus if this paine procure shine ease, in bed as thou doest lye,
Perhaps it shall not God displease, to sing thus soberly;
I see that sleepe is lent me here, to ease my wearye bones,
As death at laste shall eke appeere, to ease my greevous gropes.
My dayly sportes, my panch full fed, have causde my drousie eye,
As carelesse life in quiet led, might cause my soule to dye:
The stretching armes, ye yauning breath, which I to bedward use,
Are patternes of the pangs of death, when life will me refuse:
And of my bed eche sundrye part in shaddowes doth resemble,
The sundry shapes of deth, whose dart shal make my flesh to treble.
My bed it selfe is like the grave, my sheetes the winding sheete,
My clothes the mould which I must have, to cover me most meete:
The hungry fleas which friske so freshe, to wormes I can compare,
Which greedily shall gnaw my fleshe, & leave the bones ful bare:
The waking Cock that early crowes to weare the night awaye,
Puts in my minde the trumpe that blowes before the latter day.
And as I ryse up lustily, when sluggish sleepe is past,
So hope I to rise joyfully, to Judgement at the last.
Thus wyll I wake, thus wyll I sleepe, thus wyl I hope to ryse,
Thus wyll I neither waile nor weepe, but sing in godly wyse.
My bones shall in this bed remaine, my soule in God shall trust,
By whome I hope to ryse againe from death and earthly dust.
Haud ictus sapio.
The introduction to the Psalme of De profundis.
THe Skies gan scowle, orecast with misty clowdes,
When (as I rode alone by London waye,
Cloakelesse, unclad) thus did I sing and say:
Behold quoth I, bright Titan how he shroudes
His head abacke, and yelds the raine his reach,
Till in his wrath, Dan Jove have soust the soile,
And washt me wretch which in his travaile toile.
But holla (here) doth rudenesse me appeach,
Since Jove is Lord and king of mighty power,
Which can commaund the Sunne to shewe his face,
And (when him lyst) to give the raine his place.
Why doe not I my wery muses frame,
(Although I bee well soused in this showre,)
To write some verse in honour of his name?
Gascoignes De profundis.
FRom depth of doole wherein my soule doth dwell,
From heavy heart which harbours in my brest,
From troubled sprite which sildome taketh rest.
From hope of heaven, from dreade of darkesome hell.
O gracious God, to thee I crye and yell.
My God, my Lorde, my lovely Lord aloane,
To thee I call, to thee I make my moane.
And thou (good God) vouchsafe in gree to take,
This woefull plaint,
Wherein I faint.
Oh heare me then for thy great mercies sake.
Oh bende thine eares attentively to heare,
Oh turne thine eyes, behold me how I wayle,
O hearken Lord, give eare for mine availe,
O marke in minde the burdens that I beare:
See howe I sinke in sorrowes everye where.
Beholde and see what dollors I endure,
Give eare and marke what plaintes I put in ure.
Bende wylling eare: and pittie therewithall,
My wayling voyce,
Which hath no choyce.
But evermore upon thy name to call.
If thou good Lorde shouldest take thy rod in hande,
If thou regard what sinnes are daylye done,
If thou take holde where wee our workes begone,
If thou decree in Judgement for to stande,
And be extreame to see our scuses skande,
If thou take note of every thing amysse,
And wryte in rowles howe frayle our nature is,
O gloryous God, O King, O Prince of power,
What mortall wight,
Maye then have lyght,
To feele thy frowne, if thou have lyst to lowre?
But thou art good, and hast of mercye store,
Thou not delygh[t]st to see a sinner fall,
Thou hearknest first, before we come to call.
Thine eares are set wyde open evermore,
Before we knocke thou commest to the dore.
Thou art more press to heare a sinner crye,
Then he is quicke to climbe to thee on hye.
Thy mighty name bee praysed then alwaye,
Let fayth and feare,
True witnesse beare.
Howe fast they stand which on thy mercy staye.
I looke for thee (my lovelye Lord) therefore.
For thee I wayte for thee I tarrye styll,
Myne eyes doe long to gaze on thee my fyll.
For thee I watche, for thee I prye and pore.
My Soule for thee attendeth evermore.
My Soule doth thyrst to take of thee a taste,
My Soule desires with thee for to bee plaste.
And to thy worde (which can no man deceyve)
Myne onely trust,
My love and lust
In co[n]fidence contin[u]allye shall cleave.
Before the breake or dawning of the daye,
Before the lyght be seene in loftye Skyes,
Before the Sunne appeare in pleasaunt wyse,
Before the watche (before the watche I saye)
Before the warde that waytes therefore alwaye:
My soule, my sense, my secreete thought, my sprite,
My wyll, my wishe, my joye, and my delight:
Unto the Lord that sittes in heaven on highe,
With hastye wing,
From me doeth fling,
And stryveth styll, unto the Lorde to flye.
O Israell, O housholde of the Lorde,
O Abrahams Brattes, O broode of blessed seede,
O chosen sheepe that love the Lord in deede:
O hungrye heartes, feede styll upon his worde,
And put your trust in him with one accorde.
For he hath evermore at hande,
His fountaines flowe, his springes doe never stande.
And plenteouslye hee loveth to redeeme,
Such sinners all,
As on him call,
And faithfully his mercies most esteeme.
Hee wyll redeeme our deadly drowning state,
He wyll bring home the sheepe that goe astraye,
He wyll helpe them that hope in him alwaye:
He wyll appease our discorde and debate,
He wyll soone save, though we repent us late.
He wyll be ours if we continewe his,
He wyll bring bale to joye and perfect blisse.
He wyll redeeme the flocke of his electe,
From all that is,
Or was amisse.
Since Abrahams heyres dyd first his Lawes reject.
Ever or never.
¶Gascoignes Memories, written upon this occasion. Hee had (in myddest of his youth) determined to abandone all vaine delightes and to returne unto Greyes Inne, there to undertake againe the studdie of the common Lawes. And being required by five sundry Gentlemen to write in verse somewhat worthye to bee remembred, before he entered into their fellowshippe, hee compiled these five sundrie sortes of metre uppon five sundrye theames, whiche they delivered unto him, and the first was at request of Frauncis Kinwelmarshe who delivered him this theame. Audaces fortuna juvat. And thereuppon hee wrote this Sonnette following.
IF yelding feare, or cancred villannie,
In Cæsars haughtie heart had tane the charge,
The walles of Rome had not bene rearde so hye,
Nor yet the mightye Empire left so large.
If Menelaus could have ruld his wyll,
With fowle reproche to loose his faire delight,
Then had the stately towres of Troy stoode styll,
And Greekes with grudge had dronke their owne despight.
If dread of drenching waves or feare of fire,
Had stayde the wandring Prince amydde his race,
Ascanius then, the fruite of his desire,
In Lavine Lande had not possessed place.
But true it is, where lottes doe lyght by chaunce,
There Fortune herpes the boldest to advaunce.
The nexte was at request ofAntony Kinwelmarshe, who delivered him this theame, Satis sufficit, and thereupon he wrote as foloweth.
THe vaine excesse of flattering fortunes giftes,
Envenometh the minde with vanitye,
And beates the restelesse braine with endlesse driftes,
To staye the staffe of worldly dignitie:
The begger standes in like extremitie.
Wherfore to lacke the moste, and leave the least,
I coumpt enough as good as any feast.
By too too much Dan Cr■sses caught his death,
And bought with bloud the price of glittering gold,
By too too litle many one lackes breath
And sterves in stretes a mirroure to beholde:
So pride for heate, and povertye pynes for colde.
Wherefore to lacke the most, and leave the least
I coumpt enough as good as any feast.
Store makes no sore: loe this seemes contrarye,
And mo the merier is a Proverbe eke,
But store of sores maye make a maladye,
And one to many maketh some to seeke,
When two be mette that bankette with a leeke:
Wherfore to lacke the most and leave the least,
I coumpt enough as good as any feast.
The rych man surfetteth by glottony,
Which feedeth still, and never standes content,
The poore agayne he pines for penurye,
Which lives with lacke when all and more is spente:
So to much and to little bothe bee shente.
Wherefore to lacke the moste, and leave the least,
I coumpt enough as good as any feast.
The conquerour with uncontented swaye,
Doth rayse up rebelles by his avarice,
The recreaunt dothe yeeld himselfe a praye,
To forraine spoyle by slouth and cowardyce:
So too much and to little both be vyce.
Wherefore to lacke the most, and leave the least,
I coumpt enough as good as any feast.
If so thy wife be too too fayre of face:
It drawes one gest too many to three inne:
If she be fowle, and foyled with disgrace,
In other pillowes prickst thou many a pinne:
So fowle [prove] fooles, and fayrer fall to sinne.
Wherfore to lacke the moste, and leave the least
I coumpt enough as good as any feast.
And of enough, enough, and nowe no more,
Bycause my braynes no better can devise,
When thinges be badde, a small summe maketh store,
So of suche verse a fewe maye soone suffice:
Yet still to this my weary penne replyes.
That I sayde last, and though you like it least,
It is enough and as good as a feast.
John Vaughan delivered him this theame. Magnum vectigal parcimonia, where uppon he wrote thus.
THe common speech is, spend and God will send,
But what sendes he? a bottell and a bagge,
A staffe a wallet and a wofull ende,
For such as list in bravery so to bragge.
Then if thou covet coyne enough to spend,
Learne first to spare thy budget at the brinke,
So shall the bottome be the faster bound:
But he that list with lavish hand to linke,
(In like expence) a pennye with a pound,
May chaunce at last to sitte a side and shrinke
His harbraind head with out dame dainties dore.
Hick, [H]obbe, and Dick, with clouts upon their knee,
Have many times more goonhole grotes in store
And change of crownes more quicke at cal then he,
Which let their lease and take their rent before.
For he that rappes a royall on his cappe,
Before he put one penny in his pursse,
Had neede turne quicke and broch a better tappe,
Or els his drinke may chance go downe the wursse.
I not denie but some men have good hap,
To climbe a lofte by scales of courtly grace,
And winne the world with liberalitye:
Yet he that yerks old angells out apace,
And hath no newe to purchase dignitye,
When orders fall, may chaunce to lacke his grace.
For haggard hawkes mislike an emptie hand:
So stiffely some sticke to the mercers stall,
Till sutes of silke have swet out all their land.
So ofte thy neighbours banquet in thy hall,
Till Davie Debet in thy parler stand,
And bids the welcome to thine owne decay.
I like a Lions lookes not worth a leeke
When every Foxe beguiles him of his praye:
What sauce but sorrow serveth him a weeke,
Which all his cates consumeth in one daye?
First use thy stomacke to a stand of ale,
Before thy Malmesey come in Marchantes bookes,
And rather were (for shifte) thy shirte of male,
Than teare thy silken sieves with teynter hokes,
Put feathers in thy pillowes great and small,
Let them be princkt with plumes, that gape for plummes,
Heape up bothe golde and silver safe in hooches,
Catche, snatche, and scratche for scrapings and for crommes
Before thou decke thy haste (on high) with brooches.
Lette first thyne one hand hold faste all that commes,
Before that other learne his letting flie:
Remember still that soft fire makes sweet malte,
No haste but good (who meanes to multiplye:)
Bought witte is deare, and drest with sower salte,
Repentaunce commes to late, and then saye I,
Who spares the first and keepes the last unspent,
Shall finde that sparing yeeldes a goodly rent.
Alexander Nevile delivered him this theame, Sat cito, si sat bene, whereupon hee compiled these seven Sonets in seq[u]ence, therin bewraying his owne Nimis cito: and therwith his Vix bene, as foloweth.
IN haste poste haste, when first my wandring minde,
Behelde the glistring Courte with gazing eye,
Suche deepe delightes I seemde therin to finde,
As might beguile a graver guest than I.
The stately pompe of Princes and their peeres,
Did seeme to swimme in flouddes of beaten goulde,
The wanton world of yong delightfull yeeres,
Was not unlyke a heaven for to behoulde.
Wherin dyd swarme (for every saint) a Dame,
So faire of hue, so freshe of their attire,
As might excell dame Cinthia for Fame,
Or conquer Cupid with his owne desire.
These and suche lyke were baytes that blazed still
Before myne eye to feede my greedy will.
2. Before mine eye to feede my greedy will,
Gan muster eke mine olde acquainted mates,
Who helps the dish (of vayne delighte) to fill
My empty mouth with dayntye delicates:
And folishe boldenesse toke the whippe in hande,
To lashe my life into this trustlesse trace,
Til all in haste I leapte a loofe from lande,
And hoyste up soyle to catche a Courtly grace:
Eche lingring daye did seeme a world of wo,
Till in that haplesse haven my head was brought:
Waves of wanhope so tost me to and fro,
In deepe dispayre to drowne my dreadfull thought:
Eche houre a day eche day a yeare did seeme,
And every yeare a worlde my will did deeme.
3. And every yeare a worlde my will did deeme,
Till lo, at last, to Court nowe am I come,
A seemely swayne, that might the place beseeme,
A gladsome guest embraste of all and some:
Not there contente with common dignitie,
My wandring eye in haste, (yea poste poste haste)
Behelde the blazing badge of braverie,
For wante wherof, I thought my selfe disgraste:
Then peevishe pride puffte up my swelling harte,
To further foorth so hotte an enterprise:
And comely cost beganne to playe his parte,
In praysing patternes of mine owne devise.
Thus all was good that might be got in haste,
To princke me up, and make me higher plaste.
4. To prinke me up and make me higher plaste,
All came to late that taryed any time,
Pilles of provision pleased not my taste,
They made my heeles to heavie for to clime:
Mee thought it best that boughes of boystrous oake,
Should first be shread to make my feathers gaye.
Tyll at the last a deadly dinting stroake,
Brought downe the bulke with edgetooles of decaye:
Of every farme I then let flye a lease,
To feede the purse that payde for peevishnesse,
Till rente and all were falne in suche disease,
As scarse coulde serve to mayntayne cleanlynesse:
They bought, the bodie, fine, ferme, lease, and lande,
All were to little for the merchauntes hande.
5. All were to little for the merchauntes hande,
And yet my braverye bigger than his booke:
But when this hotte accompte was coldly scande,
I thought highe time about me for to looke:
With heavie cheare I caste my head abacke,
To see the fountaine of my furious race.
Comparde my losse, my living, and my lacke,
In equall balance with my jolye grace.
And sawe expences grating on the grounde
Like lumpes of lead to presse my pursse full ofte,
When light rewarde and recompence were founde,
Fleeting like feathers in the winde alofte:
These thus comparde, I left the Courte at large,
For why? the gaines doth seeldome quitte the charge.
6. For why? the gaines doth seldome quitte ye charge,
And so saye I, by proofe too dearely bought,
My haste mad west, my brave and brainsicke barge,
Did float to fast, to catch a thing of nought:
With leasure, measure, meane, and many mo,
I mought have kept a chayre of quiet state,
But hastie heads can not bee setled so,
Till croked Fortune give a crabbed mate:
As busie braynes muste beate on tickle toyes,
As rashe invention breedes a rawe devise,
So sodayne falles doe hinder hastie joyes,
And as swifte baytes doe fleetest fyshe entice.
So haste makes waste, and therefore nowe I saye,
No haste but good, where wisdome makes the waye.
7. No haste but good, where wisdome makes the waye,
For profe whereof, behold the simple snayle,
(Who sees the souldiers carcasse caste a waye,
With hotte assaulte the Castle to assayle,)
By line and leysure clymes the loftye wall,
And winnes the turrettes toppe more conningly,
Than doughtye Dick, who loste his life and all,
With hoysting up his head to hastilye.
The swiftest bitche brings foorth the blyndest whelpes,
The hottest Fevers coldest crampes ensue,
The nakedst neede hathe over latest helpes:
With Nevyle then I finde this proverbe true,
That haste makes waste, and therefore still I saye,
No haste but good, where wisdome makes the waye.
Richarde Courtop (the last of the five) gave him this theame, Durum æneum & miserabile ævum, and thereupon hee wrote in this wise.
WHen peerelesse Princes courses were free from flatterie,
The Justice from unequal doome, the quest from perjurie,
The pilfers of the state, from proude presumption,
The clearkes from heresie, the commones from rebellion:
Then right rewardes were given, by swaye of dewe desarte,
Then vertues derlinges might be plaste aloft to play their part:
Then might they coumpt it true, that hath beene sayde of olde,
The children of those happie dayes, were borne in beds of golde,
And swadled in the same: the Nurse that gave them sucke,
Was wife to liberallitie, and lemman to good lucke.
When Cæsar woon the fielde, his captaines caught the Townes,
And every painful souldiours purse was crammed ful of crownes.
Licurgus for good Lawes, lost his owne libertie,
And thought it better to preferre common commoditie.
But nowe the times are turnde, it is not as it was,
The golde is gone, the silver sunke, and nothing left but brasse.
To see a King encroache, what wonder should it seeme,
When commons cannot be content, with countrie Dyadeeme?
The Prince maye dye a babe, trust up by trecherie,
Where vaine ambition doth move trustlesse nobillitye.
Errours in pulpit preache, where faith in priesthood failes,
Promotion (not devotion) is cause why cleargie quailes.
Thus is the stage stakt out, where all these partes be plaide,
And I the prologue should pronounce, but that I am afraide.
First Cayphas playes the Priest, and Herode sits as king,
Pylate the Judge, Judas the Jurour verdict in doth bring,
Vaine tatling plates the vice, well cladde in ritche aray,
And poore Tom Trooth is laught to skorn, with garments nothing gay.
The woman wantonnesse, shee commes with ticing traine,
Pride in hir pocket plaies bo peepe, and bawdry in hir braine.
Hir handmaides be deceipte, daunger, and dalliaunce,
Riot and Revell follow hir, they be of hir alliaunce:
Next these commes in Sim Swashe, to see what sturre they keepe.
Clim of the Clough then takes his heeles, tis time for him to creepe:
To packe the pageaunt up, commes Sorrow with a song,
He say[s] these jestes can get no grotes, & al this geare goth wrong:
Fyrst pride without cause why, he singes the treble parte,
The meane hee mumbles out of tune, for lacke of life and hart:
Cost lost, the counter Tenor chanteth on apace,
Thus all in discords stands the cliffe, and beggrie singes the base.
The players loose their paines, where so fewe pence are sturring,
Their garments weare for lacke of gains, & fret for lack of furring.
When all is done and past, was no part plaide but one,
For everye player plaide the foole, tyll all be spent and gone.
And thus this foolishe jest, I put in dogrell rime,
Because a crosier staffe is best, for such a crooked time.
¶ And thus an ende of these five Theames, admounting to the number of .CCLVIII. verses, devised ryding by the way, writing none of them untill he came at the ende of his Journey, the which was no longer than one day in ryding, one daye in tarying with his friend, and the thirde in returning to Greyes Inne: and therefore called Gascoignes memories.
¶ A gloze upon this text, Dominus iis opus habet.
MY recklesse race is runne, greene youth and pride be past,
My riper mellowed yeeres beginne to follow on as fast.
My glancing lookes are gone, which wonted were to prie,
In everie gorgious garishe glasse, that glistred in mine eie.
My sight is now so dimme, it can behold none such,
No mirrour but the merrie meane, can please my fansie much.
And in that noble glasse, I take delight to vewe,
The fashions of the wonted world, compared by the newe.
For marke who lyst to looke, eche man is for him selfe.
And beates his braine to hord & heape, this trashe & worldly pelfe.
Our handes are closed up, great giftes go not abroade,
Fewe men wyll lende a locke of heye, but for to gaine a loade.
Give Gave is a good man, what neede we lashe it out,
The world is wondrous feareful now, for danger bids men doubt.
And aske how chaunceth this? or what meanes all this meede?
Forsoothe the common aunswere is, because the Lord hath neede.
A noble jest by gisse, I finde it in my glasse,
The same freeholde our saviour Christ, conveyed to his asse.
A texte to trie the trueth, and for this time full fitte,
Fo[r] where should we our lessons learne, but out of holy writte?
First marke our onely God, which ruleth all the rost,
He sets a side all pompe and pride, wherin fond wordlings boast.
His trayne is not so great, as filthy Sathans band,
A smaller heard maye serve to feede, at our great masters hand.
Next marke the heathens Gods, and by them shall we see,
They be not now so good fellowes, as they were wonte to be.
Jove, Mars, and Mercurie, Dame Venus and the rest,
They banquet not as they were wont, they know it were not best.
So kinges and princes both, have left their halles at large,
Their privie chambers cost enough, they cut off every charge.
And when an office falles, as chaunce somtimes maye bee,
First kepe it close a yere or twayne, then geld it by the fee.
And give it out at last, but yet with this proviso,
(A bridle for a brainsicke Jade) durante bene placito.
Some thinke these ladders low, to climbe alofte with speede:
Well let them creepe at leisure then, for sure the Lord hath neede.
Dukes Earles and Barons bold, have learnt like lesson nowe,
They breake up house & come to course, they live not by ye plowe.
Percase their roomes be skant, not like their stately boure,
A field bed in a corner coucht, a palled on the floure.
But what for that? no force, they make thereof no boast,
They feede them selves with delycates, and at the princes cost.
And as for all their men, their pages and their swaynes,
They choke them up with chynes of beefe, to multiply their games.
Themselves lie neere to looke, when any leafe doth fall,
Such cromes were wont to feede pore gromes, but nowe ye Lords licke al.
And why? oh sir, because, both dukes & lords have neede,
I mocke not I, my text is true, beleeve it as your creede.
Our Prelates and our Priests, can tell this text with mee,
They can hold fast their fattest fermes, and let no lease go free.
They have both wife and childe, which maye not be forgot,
The scriptures say the Lord hath neede, and therfore blame them not.
Then come a little lower, unto the contrye knight,
The squire and the gentleman, they leave the countrye quite,
Their Halles were all to large, their tables were to long,
The clouted shoes came in so faste, they kepte to great a throng,
And at the porters lodge, where lubbers wonte to feede,
The porter learnes to answere now, hence hence the Lord hath neede.
His gestes came in to thicke, their diet was to great,
Their horses eate up all the hey, which should have fed his neate:
Their teeth were farre to fine, to feede on porke and souse,
Fyve flocks of sheepe could scarce maintaine good mutten for his house.
And when this count was cast, it was no biding here,
Unto the good towne is he gonne, to make his frends good cheere.
And welcome there that will, but shall I tell you howe:
At his owne dish he feedeth them, that is the fashion nowe,
Side bords be rayed aside, the tables ende is gonne,
His cooke shall make you noble cheere, but hostler hath he none.
The chargers now be changde, wherin he wont to eate,
An olde frutedish is bigge ynough to hold a joynte of meate.
A sallad or a sauce, to test your cates with all,
Som strang devise to feede mans eies, mens stomacks now be small.
And when the tenauntes come to pale their quarters rent,
They bringe some fowle at Midsommer, a dish of Fish in Lent,
At Christmasse a capon, at Mighelmasse a goose:
And somewhat else at Newyeres tide, for feare their lease flie loose.
Good reason by my troth, when Gentlemen lacke groates,
Let Plowmen pinche it out for pence, & patch their russet coates:
For better Fermers fast, than Manner houses fall,
The Lord hath neede, than says the text, bring old Asse colt & all.
Well lowest nowe at last, let see the contrye loute,
And marke how he doth swink & sweat, to bring this geare about:
His feastinges be but fewe, cast whipstockes clout his shoone,
The wheaten loafe is locked up as sone as dinners doone:
And where he wonte to kepe a lubber, two or three,
Now hath he learnd to kepe no more, but Sim his sonne and he,
His wife and Mawde his mayd, a boye to pitch the carte,
And turne him up at Hollontide, to feele the winter smarte:
Dame Alyson his wife doth knowe the price of meale,
Hir bride cakes be not halfe so bigge as she was wont to steale:
She weares no silver hookes, she is content with worsse,
Hir pendantes and hir silver pinnes she putteth in hir pursse.
Thus learne I by my glasse, that merrie meane is best,
And he most wise that finds the meane, to keepe himselfe at rest.
Perchaunce some open mouth will mutter now and than,
And at the market tell his mate, our landlordes a zore man:
He racketh up our rentes, and keepes the best in hand,
He makes a wondrous deale of good out of his own measne land:
Yea let suche pelters prate, saint Needam be their speede,
We neede no text to answer them, but this, The Lord hath nede.
Ever or never.
An Epitaph uponCaptaine Bourcher late slaine in the warres in Zelande, the which hath bene termed the tale of a stone as foloweth.
FYe Captaines fie, your tongues are tyed to close,
Your Souldiours eke by silence purchase shame:
Can no man penne in meetre nor in prose,
The lyfe, the death, the valliaunt actes, the fame,
The birth, behaviour, nor the noble name,
Of such a feere as you in fight have lost:
Alas such paines would quickly quite the cost.
Bourcher is dead, whome eche of you dyd knowe,
Yet no man writes one worde to paint his praise,
His sprite on highe, his carkasse here belowe,
Doth both condemne your doting ydle dayes:
Yet ceasse they not to sounde his worthy wayes,
Who lived to dye, and dyed againe to live,
With death deere bought, he dyd his death forgive.
Hee might for byrth have boasted noble race,
Yet were his manners meeke and alwayes milde,
Who gave a gesse by gazing on his face,
And judgde thereby, might quickly be beguilde,
In fielde a Lion, and in Towne a Childe,
Fierce to his foe, but courteouse to his friende.
Alas the while, his life so soone should ende?
To serve his Prince his life was ever prest,
To serve his God, his death he thought but dew,
In all attempts as foreward as the best,
And all to forewardes, which we all may rew,
His life so shewed, his death eke tried it true:
For where his foes in thickest prease dyd stande,
Bourcher caught bane with bloodie sworde in hande.
And marke the courage of a noble heart,
When he in bed laye wounded wondrous sore,
And heard allarme, he soone forgot his smart,
And calde for armes to shewe his service more:
I wyll to fielde (quod he) and God before.
Which sayde, he sailde into more quiet coast,
Styll praysing God, and so gave up the ghost.
Nowe muze not reader though we stones can speake,
Or write sometimes the deedes of worthy ones,
I could not holde although my heart should breake,
(Because here by me buryed are his bones,)
But I must tell this tale thus for the nones
When men crye mumme and keepe such silence long,
Then stones must speake, els dead men shall have wrong.
Finis quod Marmaduke Marblestone.
¶ A devise of a Maske for the right honorable Viscount Mountacute, written upon this occasion, when the sayde L. had prepared to solemnize twoo marriages betweene his sonne and heyre, and the Daughter of syr William Dormer Knight, and betweene the sonne and heyre of syr William Dormer, and the Daughter of the said L. Mountacute: there were eight Gentlemen (all of blood or alliaunce to the sayd L. Mountacute) which had determined to present a Maske at the daye appointed for the sayd marriages, and so farre they had proceeded therein, that they had alreadye bought furniture of Silkes, &c, and had caused their garmenntes to bee cut of the Venetian fashion. Nowe then they began to imagine that (without some speciall demonstration) it would seeme somewhat obscure to have Venetians presented rather than other countrey men. Whereupon they entreated the Aucthour to devise some verses to bee uttered by an Actor wherein might be some discourse convenient to render a good cause of the Venetians presence. The Aucthour calling to minde that there is a noble house of the Mountacutes in Italie, and therwithall that the L. Mounhtacute here doth quarter the coate of an auncient English Gentleman called Mounthermer, and hath the inheritaunce of the sayde house, dyd thereupon devise to bring in a Boye of the age of twelve or .xiiii. yeeres, who should faine that he was a Mounthermer by the fathers side, and a Mountacute by the mothers side, and that his father being slaine at the last warres against the Turke, and he there taken, hee was recovered by the Venetians in their last victorie, and with them sayling towardes Venice, they were driven by tempest upon these coastes, and so came to the marriage upon report as followeth, and the sayde Boye pronounced the devise in this sort.
WHat wonder you my Lords? why gaze you gentlemen?
And wherefore marvaile you Mez Dames, I praye you tell mee then?
Is it so rare a sight, or yet so straunge a toye,
Amongst so many nooble peeres, to see one Pouer Boye?
Why? boyes have bene allowed in everye kinde of age,
As Ganymede that pretye boye, in Heaven is Jove his page,
Cupid that mighty God although his force be fearse,
Yet is he but a naked Boye, as Poets doe rehearse.
And many a preetye boye a mightye man hath proved,
And served his Prince at all assayes deserving to bee loved.
Percase my strange attire my glittering golden gite,
Doth eyther make you marvaile thus, or move you with delite.
Yet wonder not my Lordes for if your honours please,
But even to give me eare a while, I wyll your doubles appease.
And you shall knowe the cause, wherefore these roabes are worne,
And why I goe outlandishe lyke, yet being Englishe borne.
And why I thus presume to presse into this place,
And why I (simple boye) am bolde to looke such men in face.
Fyrst then you must perstande, I am no straunger I,
But English boye, in England borne, and bred but even hereby.
My father was a Knight, Mount Hermer was his name,
My mother of the Mountacutes, a house of worthy fame.
My father from his youth was trained up in field,
And alwayes toke his chiefe delight, in helmet speare and shielde.
Soldado for his life, and in his happie dayes,
Soldado like hath lost his life, to his immortall prayse.
The thundering fame which blewe about the worlde so wyde,
Howe that the Christian enemye, the Turke that Prince of pride,
Addressed had his power, to swarme uppon the Seas,
With Gallies, foists, and such lik[e] ships, well armde at al assaies.
And that he made his vaunt, the greedy fishe to glut,
With gobs of Christian carkasses, in cruell peeces cut.
These newes of this report, did pearce my fathers eares,
But never touched his noble heart, with any sparke of feares.
For well he knewe the trade of all the Turkishe warres,
And had amongst them shed his blood, at many cruell jarres.
In Rhodes his race begonne, a slender tal[l] yong man,
Where he by many martiall feats, his spurres of knighthood wan.
Yea though the peece was lost, yet won he honour styll,
And evermore against the Turkes he warred by his wyll.
At Chios many knowe, how hardily he fought,
And howe with streames of stryving blood, his honoure deare hee bought.
At length enforst to yeeld with many captaines mo,
* A peece of golde like the Crusado.
He bought his libertie with Landes, and let his goodes ago.
Zechines* of glistering golde, two thousand was his price,
The which to paye his lances must leape, for else he were unwise.
Beleeve me nowe my Lordes although the losse be mine,
Yet I confesse them better solde, than lyke a slave to pine.
"For lances maye come againe, but lybertie once lost,
"Can never finde such recompence, as countervailes the cost.
My selfe now know the case, who lyke my fathers lot,
Was lyke of late for to have lost my libertie God wot.
My father (as I saye) enforste to leave his lance,
In mortgage to my mothers kinne, for ready coyne in hande,
Gan nowe upon these newes, which earst I dyd rehearse,]
Prepare himselfe to save his pawne, or else to leese his phearce.
And first his raunsome payde, with that which dyd remaine,
He rigged up a proper Barke, was called Leffort Brittaine.
And lyke a venturer (besides him seemely selfe)
Determined for to venture me and all his worldly pelfe.
Perhappes some hope of gaine perswaded so his minde,
For sure his hauty heart was bent, some greate exploite to finde.
Howe so it were, the windes nowe hoysted up our sailes,
Wee furrowing in the foming flooddes, to take our best availes.
Now hearken to my wordes, and marke you well the same,
For nowe I wyll declare the cause, wherefore I hyther came.
My father (as I saye) had set up all his rest,
And tost on seas both daye and night, disdayning ydle rest,
We left our forelandes ende, we past the coast of Fraunce,
We reacht the cape of Finis Terre our course for to advaunce.
We past Marrocchus streightes, and at the last descried,
The fertile coastes of Cyprus soile, which I my selfe first spyed.
My selfe (a foreward boye) on highest top was plast,
And there I saw the Cyprian shoare, whereto we sayld in haste.
Which when I had declared unto the masters mate,
He lepte for joye and thanked God, of that our happy state.
"But what remaines to man, that can continue long?
"What sunne can shine so cleare & bright but cloudes may ryse among?
Which sentence soone was proved, by our unhappy hap,
We thought our selves full neere our friendes, & light in enemies lap.
The Turke yt Tirant he, with siege had girte the walles,
*The chiefe Cittie in Cyprus.
Of famous Famagosta* then and sought to make them thralles.
And as he laye by lande, in strong and stately trenche,
So was his power press by Sea, his Christian foes to drenche,
Upon the waltring waves, his Foistes and Gallies fleete,
More forrest like than orderly, for such a man most meete.
This heavy sight once scene, we turnde our course apace,
And set up al our sailes in haste, to give suche furie place.
But out alas, our willes, and windes were contrarie,
For raging blastes did blowe us still uppon our enimie.
My father seeing then, whereto he needes must go,
And that the mighty hand of God, had it appointed so,
Most like a worthy knight (though certaine of his death)
Gan cleane forget all wayling wordes, as lavishe of his breath.
And to his Christian crewe, this (too shorte) tale he told,
To comfort them which seemde to faint, & make the coward bold,
"Fellowes in armes, quod hee, although I beare the charge,
"And take upon mee chieftaines name, of this unhappy barge,
"Yet are you all my pheares, and as one companie,
"Wee must like true companions, togeather live and die,
"You see quod hee our foes, with furious force at hand,
"And in whose handes our handfull heere, unable is to stand,
"What resteth then to doe, should we unto them yeeld?
"And wi[l]fully receive that yoke, which Christians cannot weld.
"No sure, hereof be sure, our lives were so unsure,
"And though we live, yet so to live, as better death endure.
" To heare those hellishe fiendes in raging blasphemie,
"Defye our onely Saviour, were this no miserie?
"To see the fowle abuse of boyes in tender yeeres,
"The which I knowe must needes abhorre all honest Christians eares.
"To see maides ravished, Wives, Women forst by feare,
"And much more mischiefe than this time can let me utter here.
"Alas, quod he, I tell not all, my tongue is tyde,
"But all the slaveries on the earth, we should with them abide.
"How much were better than, to dye in worthy wise,
"And so to make our carkasses, a wylling Sacrifice?
"So shall we paye the debt, which unto God is due,
"So shall you die in his defence, who deind to die for you.
"And who with hardy hand, most Turkish tikes can quell,
"Let him accompt in conscience, to please his maker well.
"You see, quod he, my sonne, wherewith hee looks on mee,
"Whome but a babe, yet have I brought, my partner here to bee.
"For him, I must confesse, my heart is pensive nowe,
"To leave him lyving thus in youth, to die I know not how.
"But since it pleaseth God, I may not murmure I,
"If God had pleased we both should live, and as God wyll we dye.
Thus with a braying sigh, his noble tongue he stayde,
Commaunding all the ordinaunce, in order to be laide.
And placing all his men in order for to fight,
Fell groveling styll upon his face, before them all in sight.
And when in secreete so, he whispered had a while,
He raisde his head with cheerefull looke, his sorrowes to beguile:
And with the rest he prayde, to God in heaven on hie,
Which ended thus, Thou onely Lord, canst helpe in miserie.
This sayd (behold) the Turkes enclosde us round about,
And seemde to wonder that we durst resist so great a rout.
Wherat they doubt not long, for though our power was slender,
We sent them signes by Canon shot, that we ment not to render.
Then might we see them chafe, then might we heare them rage,
And all at once they bent their force, about our silly cage.
Our ordinaunce bestowed, our men them selves defend,
On every side so thicke beset, they might not long contend.
But as their captaine wilde, eche man his force did strayne,
To send a Turke (some two or three) unto the hellishe trayne,
And he himselfe which sawe, he might no more abide,
Did thrust amide the thickest throng, and so with honour died.
With him there dyed like wise, his best aproved men,
The rest did yeeld as men amazd, they had no courage then.
Amongest the which my selfe, was tane by Turkes alas,
And with the Turkes a turkish life, in Turkie must I passe.
I was not done to death for so I often cravde,
But like a slave before the Gattes, of Famagosta savde.
That peece once put to sacke, I thither was conveyed,
And under savegard evermore, I silly boye was stayed.
There dyd I see such sightes, as yet my heart do pricke,
*The governour of Famagosta.
*The generall of the Turkes.
I sawe the noble *Bragadine, when he was fleyd quicke.
First like a slave enforst to beare to every breach,
Two baskets laden full with earth *Mustaffa dyd him teach.
By whome he might not passe before he kyst the grounde,
These quell tormentes (yet with mo) that worthy souldior found.
His eares cut from his head, they set him in a chayre,
And from a maine yard hoisted him aloft into the ayre,
That so he might be shewed with crueltie and spight,
Unto us all, whose weeping eyes dyd much abhorre the sight.
Alas why do I thus with woefull wordes rehearse,
These werye newes which all our heartes with pittie needes must pearce?
Well then to tell you forth, I styll a slave remaind,
To one, which Prelybassa highs, who held me styll enchaind.
With him I went to Seas into the gulfe of Pant,
With many christians captives mo, which dyd their freedom want.
There with the Turkishe traine we were enforst to staye,
With waltring styll upon the waves, dyd waite for furder praye.
For why? they had advise, that the Venetian fleete,
Dyd floote in Argostelly then, with whome they hopte to meete.
And as they weltered thus with tides and billowes tost,
Their hope had hap, for at the last they met them to their cost.
As in October last uppon the seventh daye,
They found the force of christian knightes address in good aray.
And shall I trie my tong to tell the whole discourse,
And howe they did encounter first, and howe they joynd in force?
Then harken nowe my lords, for sure my memorye,
Doth yet recorde the very plot of all this victorye,
The christian crew came on, in forme of battayle pight,
And like a crescent cast them selves preparing for to fight.
On other side the Turkes, which trusted power to much,
Disorderly did spread their force, the will of God was such.
Well at the last they met, and first with cannones thunder,
Eache other sought with furious force to slit their ships in sunder.
The barkes are battered sore, the gallies gald with shot,
The hulks are hit, and every man must stand unto his lot.
The powder sendes his smoke into the cruddy skies,
The smoulder stops our nose with stench, the fume offends our eies.
The pots of lime unsleakt, from highest top are cast,
The parched pease are not for got to make them slip as fast.
The wilde fire works are wrought and cast in foemens face,
The grappling hooks are stretched foorth, ye pikes are pusht a pace.
The halbert[s] hewe on hed, the browne billes bruse the bones,
The harquebush doth spit his spight, with prety persing stones.
The drummes crie dub a dub, the braying trumpets blow,
The whistling fifes are seldom herd, these sounds do drowne them so.
The voyce of warlike wights, to comfort them that faynt,
The pitious plaints of golden harts, which were with feares attaint.
The groping of such ghosts as gasped nowe for breath,
The praiers of the better sort, prepared unto death.
And to be short, eache griefe which on the earth maye growe,
Was eath and easie to be found, upon these floudes to flowe.
If any sight on earth, maye unto hell resemble,
Then sure this was a hellishe sighte, it makes me yet to tremble:
And in this bloudie fight, when halfe the daye was spent,
It pleazed God to helpe his flocke, which thus in pound was pent.
The generall of Spayne, gan gald that galley sore,
Where in my Prely Bassa was, and grievde it more and more:
Upon that other side, with force of sworde and flame,
The good Venetian Generall dyd charge upon the same.
At leength they came aboorde, and in his raging pride,
Stroke of this Turkish captains head, which blasphemd as it dide:
Oh howe I feele the bloud now trickle in my brest,
To thinke what joye then pierst my heart, and how I thought me blest.
To see that cruell Turke which held me as his slave,
By happie hand of Christians, his paiment thus to have:
His head from shoulders cut, upon a Pike dyd stand,
The which Don John of Austrye, helde in his triumphant hand.
The boldest Bassa then, that dyd in life remaine,
Gan tremble at the sight hereof, for privy griefe and paine.
Thus when these fierce had fought, from morning untyl night,
Christ gave his flocke the victory, and put his foes to flight:
And of the Turkishe traine, were eyght score Galleys sane,
Fifteene sunke, five and twenty burnt, & brought unto their tane,
Of Christians set at large were foureteene thousand soules,
Turkes twentie thousand registred in Belzebub his rolles.
Thus have you nowe my Lordes, the summe of all their fight,
And trust it all for true I tell, for I was styll in sight:
But when the Seas were calme, and skies began to cleare,
When foes were all or dead or fled, and victors dyd appeare.
Then every Christian sought amongst us for his friende,
His kinsman or companion, some succour them to lende:
And as they ransakte so, loe God his wyll it was,
A noble wise Venetian, by me dyd chaunce to passe:
Who gazing on my face, dyd seeme to lyke me well,
And what my name, and whence I was, commaunded me to tel:
I now which waxed bolde, as one that scaped had,
From deepest hell to highest heaven, began for to be glad:
And with a lively sprite, began to pleade my case,
And hid not from this worthy man, myne auntient worthy race:
And tolde my fathers name, and howe I dyd descende,
From Mountacutes by Mothers side, nor there my tale dyd ende.
But furthermore I tolde my Fathers late exployte,
And how he left [lances,] goodes & life, to pay son Dieu son droit.
Nor of my selfe I craved so credited to bee,
For lo there were remaining yet, These foure whom here you see.
The foure torche
bearers, that came in
with the Actor.
Which all were Englishe borne, and knewe I had not lyed,
And were my Fathers souldiors eke, and sawe him how he dyed.
This grave Venetian who heard the famous name,
Of Mountacutes rehersed there, which long had bene of fame
In Italy, and he of selfe same worthy race,
Gan straight with many curteous words, in arms me to imbrace.
And kyssed me on cheeke, and bad me make good cheere,
And thank the mighty hand of God, for that which hapned there,
Confessing that he was him selfe a Mountacute,
And bare the selfe same armes that I dyd quarter in my scute:
The Actor had a token in his cap like to the Mountacutes of Italie.
And for a further proofe, he shewed in his hat,
This token which the Mountacutes dyd beare alwaies, for that
They covet to be knowne from Capels where they passe,
For auncient grutch which long ago, twene these two houses was.
Then tooke me by the hand, and ledde me so aboorde,
His Galley: where there were yfeere, full many a comely Lorde:
Of whome eyght Mountacutes dyd sitte in highest place,
To whom this first declared first my name, and then my race:
Lo Lordings here (quod he) a babe of our owne bloods,
Whom Turks had tane, his father slaine, with losse of lands & goods:
See how God favours us, that I should find him nowe,
I straunge to him, he straunge to mee, we met I know not howe.
But sure when I him saw, and gazed in his face,
Me thought he was a Mountacute, I chose him by his grace.
Herewith he dyd rehearse my Fathers valiaunt deede,
For losse of whome eche Mountacute, did seeme in heart to bleede.
They all embrast me then, and straight as you may see,
In comely garments trimde me up, as brave as brave may bee:
I was in sackcloath I, nowe am I cladde in Golde,
The token that he dyd weare in his cappe. The Montacutes and capels in Italie do were tokens in their cappes to be knowen one from another.
And weare such roabes, as I my selfe take pleasure to beholde.
Amongst their other giftes, this token they me gave,
And bad me lyke a Mountacute, my selfe alway behave.
Nowe hearken then my Lordes, I staying on the Seas
In consort of these lovely Lordes, with comfort and with ease,
Determined with them in Italie to dwell,
And there by traine of youthfull yeeres in knowledge to excell.
That so I might at last reedifye the walles,
Which my good father had decaide by tossing fortunes balles.
And while they slice the Seas to their desired shore,
Beholde a lytle gale began, encreasing more and more.
At last with raging blast, which from Southeast dyd blowe,
Gan sende our sailes upon these shores, which I ful wel did know.
I spyed the Chalkie Clyves upon the Kentishe coast,
Whereby our Lande highs Albyon, as Brutus once dyd boast.
Which I no sooner sawe, but to the rest I sayde,
Siate di buona voglia, My Lordes be well apaide:
I see by certaine signes these Tempestes have us cast,
Upon my native countrey coastes with happy hap at last:
And if your honours please this honour me to doo,
In Englishe havens to harbour you, and see our Citties too:
Lo London is not farre, whereas my friendes would bee,
Right glad, with favour to requite your favour shewed to mee:
Vouchsafe my Lordes (quod I) to stay upon this strand,
And whiles your Barks be rigged new, remaine with me on land.
Who though I bee a Boye, my Father dead and slaine,
Yet shall you see I have some friendes which wyll you entertaine.
These Noble men which are, the flowre of curtesie,
Dyd not disdaine this my request, but tooke it thankfullie.
And from their battered Barkes commaunded to be cast,
Some * Gondalaes, wherin upon our pleasant streames they past.
Into the mo[u]th of Thames, thus dyd I them transport,
And to London at the last, whereas I heard report,
Even as we landed first, of this twise happie day,
To thinke whereon I leapt for joye, as I both must and may.
And to these lovely Lordes, which are Magnificoes,
I dyd declare the whole discourse in order as it rose:
That you my Lorde who are the chiefest Mountacute,
And he whome Englishe Mountacutes their onely staye impute,
Had found the meanes this daye to match your sonne and heire,
In marriage with a worthy dame, which is both fresh and faire,
And (as reportes are spread) of goodly quallyties,
A virgin trayned from hir youth in godly exercise,
Whose brother had like wise your daughter tane to wife,
And so by double lynkes enchaynde themselves in lovers life:
These noble Mountacutes which were from Venice droven,
By tempest (as I tolde before) wherewith they long had stroven,
Gan nowe give thankes to God which so did them convay,
To see such honours of their kinne in such a happie day.
And straight they mee intreat, whom they might wel commaund,
That I should come to you my Lord, first them to recommaund,
And then this boone to crave, that under your protection,
They might be bolde to enter here, devoyd of all suspection,
And so in friendly wise for to conselebrate,
This happie match solemnized, according to your state.
Lo this is all they crave, the which I can not doubt,
But that your Lordship soone will graunt, with more, if more ye mought:
Yea were it for no more, but for the Curtesie,
Which as I saye they shewde to me in greate extremitye:
They are Venetians, and though from Venice reft,
They come in such Venecian robes, as they on seas had left:
And since they be your friendes, and kinsmen too by blood,
I trust your entretainement will be to them right good:
They will not tarry long, lo nowe I heare their drumme,
Behold, lo nowe I see them here, in order howe they come,
Receive them well my lord, so shall I praye all wayes,
That God vouchsafe to blesse this house with many happie days.
After the maske was done, the Actor tooke master Tho. Bro. by the hand an[d] brought him to the Venetians, with these words:
GUardate Signori my lovely Lords behold,
This is another Mountacute, hereof you may bee bold.
Of such our patrone here, The viscont Mountacute,
Hath many comely sequences, well sorted all in sute.
But as I spied him first, I could not let him passe,
I tooke the carde that likt me best, in order as it was.
And here to you my lords, I do present the same,
Make much of him, I pray you then, for he is of your name.
For whome I dare advante, he may your Trounchman bee,
Your herald and ambassadour, let him play all for me.
Then the Venetians embraced and received the same maister Tho. Browne, and after they had a while whispered with him, he torned to the Bridegroomes and Brides, saying thus.
BRother, these noblemen to you nowe have me sent,
As for their Trounchman to expound the effect of their intent.
They bid me tell you then, they like your worthy choyce,
And that they cannot choose therin but triumph and rejoyce.
As farre as gesse may give, they seeme to praise it well,
They saye betweene your Ladyes eyes, doth Gentilezza dwell.
I terme it as they doo, their english is but weake,
And I (God knowes) am al to yong, beyond sea speech to speake.
And you my sister eke they seeme for to commend,
With such good wor[d]es as may beseeme a cosin and a friend.
They lyke your chosen pheare, so praye they for your sake,
That he maye alwayes be to you, a faythfull loving make.
This in effect is all, but that they crave a boone,
That you will give them licence yet, to come and see you soone.
Then will they speake them selves, such english as they can,
I feare much better then I speake, that am an english man.
Lo nowe they take their leaves of you and of your dames,
Here after shal you see their face and knowe them by their nam[e]s.
Then when they had taken their leaves the Actor did make an ende thus.
And I your Servidore, vi bascio le mani,
These wordes I learnt amongst them yet, although I learnt not many.
Haud ictus sapio.
The refusal of a lover, writen to a gentlewoman who had refused him and chosen a husband (as he thought) much inferior to himselfe, both in knowledge, birth, and parsonage, wherin he bewraieth both their names in clowdes, and how she was won from him with swete gloves, and broken ringes.
I Cannot wish thy griefe, although thou worke my wooe,
Since I profess to be thy friend, I cannot be thy foe:
But if thinges done and past, might well be cald agayne,
Then would I wishe the wasted wordes, which I have spent in vayne:
Were yet untold to thee, in earnest or in game,
And that my doubtfull musing mind, had never thought ye same.
For whiles I thee beheld, in carefull thoughtes I spent,
My liking lust, my luckelesse love which ever truely meet.
And whiles I sought a meane, by pittie to procure,
Too latte I found that gorged haukes, do not esteme the lure.
This vauntage hast thou then, thou mayest wel brag and boast.
Thou mightest have had a lustye lad of stature with the most,
And eke of noble mind: his vertues nothing base,
Do well declare that he desends, of auncient worthy race.
Save that I *not his name, and though I could it tell,
My friendly pen shall let it passe, bicause I love him well.
And thou hast chosen one of meaner parentage,
Of stature smale and therewithall, unequall for shine age.
His *thewes unlike the first, yet hast thou hote desire,
To play thee in his flitting flames, God graunt they prove not fire.
Him holdest thou as deare, and he thy Lord shall bee,
(Too late alas) thou lovest him, that never loved thee.
And for just profe hereof, marke what I tell is true,
Some dismold daye shall chaunge his minde, and make him seeke a new.
Then wylt thou much repent, thy bargaine made in haste,
And much lament those perfumd Gloves, which yeeld such sower taste,
And eke the falsed faith, which lurkes in broken ringes,
Though hand in hand say otherwise, yet do I know such thinges.
Then shalt thou sing and saye, farewell my trusty Squyer,
Would God my mind had yeelded once, unto thy just desire.
Thus shalt thou wayle my want, and I thy great unrest,
Which cruel Cupid kindled hash, within thy broken brest.
Thus shalt thou find it griefe, which earst thou thoughtest game,
And I shall heare the wearie newes, by true reporting fame.
Lamenting thy mishap, in source of swelling teares,
Harding my heart with cruell care, which frosen fansie beares.
And though my just desert, thy pittie could not move,
Yet wyl I washe in wayling wordes, thy careles childishe love.
And saye as Troylus sayde, since that I can no more,
Thy wanton wyll dyd waver once, and woe is me therefore.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
¶ Pride in Court written by a Gentlewoman in Court, who (when shee was there placed) seemed to disdaine him, contrarie to a former profession.
WHen daunger keepes the doore, of Ladye bewties bowre,
When jelouse toyes have chased Trust out of hir strongest towre.
Then faith and trooth maye flye, then falshood winnes the field,
Then feeble naked fautlesse heartes, for lacke of fence must yeeld.
And then prevailes as much to hoppe against the hyll,
As seeke by suite for to appease a froward Ladies wyll.
For oathes and solempne vowes, are wasted then in vaine,
And truth is compted but a toye, when such fond fancies raigne.
The sentence sone is sayde, when will it selfe is Judge,
And quickly is the quarrell picks, when Ladies list to grudge.
This sing I for my selfe, (which wroate this weary song)
Who justly may complaine my case, if ever man had wrong.
A Lady have I serv'd, a Lady have I lov'd,
A Ladies good wyll once I had, hir yll wyll late I prov'd.
In countrey first I knewe hir, in countrey first I caught hir,
And out of countrey nowe in Court, to my cost have I sought hir.
In Court where Princes raigne, hir place is nowe assignde,
And well were worthy for the roome, if she were not unkinde.
There I (in wonted wise) dyd shewe my selfe of late,
And found that as the soile was chang'd, so love was turnd to hate.
But why? God knowes, not I: save as I sayde before,
Pitie is put from porters place, and daunger keepes the dore.
If courting then have skill, to chaunge good Ladies so,
God send eche wilful Dame in Court, some wound of my like wo.
That with a troubled head, she may both turne and tosse,
In restlesse bed when she should sleepe and feele of love the losse.
And I (since porters put me from my wonted place)
And deepe deceipte hath wrought a wyle to wrest me out of grace:
Wyll home againe to cart, as fitter were for mee,
Then thus in court to serve and starve, where such proude porters bee.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
This question being propounded by a Dame unto the Aucthour, to witte, why he should write Spreta tamen vivunt, he aunswereth thus.
DEspysed things may live, although they pine in payne:
And things ofte trodden under foote, may once yet rise againe.
The stone that lieth full lowe, may clime at last full hye:
And stand a loft on stately towr's, in sight of every eye.
The cruell Axe which felles the tree that grew full straight:
Is worne with rust, when it renewes, and springeth up on height.
The rootes of rotten Reedes in swelling seas are scene:
And when eche tide hath tost his worst, they grow againe ful greene.
Thus much to please my selfe, unpleasauntly I sing.
And shrich to ease my morning minde, in spite of envies sting.
I am nowe set full light, who earst was dearely lov'd:
Som new found choise is more estemd, than yt which wel was prov'd.
Some Diomede is crept into Dame Cressides hart:
And trustie Troylus nowe is taught in vaine to playne his part.
What resteth then for me? but thus to wade in wo:
And hang in hope of better chaunce, when chaunge appointeth so.
I see no sight on earth, but it to Chaunge enclines:
As litle clowdes oft overcast, the brightest Sunne that shines.
No Flower is so freshe, but frost can it deface:
No man so sure in any seate, but he maye leese his place.
So that I stand content (though much against my mind)
To take in worth this lothsome lot, which luck to me assynd,
And trust to see the time, when they that nowe are up:
May feele the whirle of fortunes wheele, and test of sorrowes cup.
God knoweth I wishe it not, it had bene bet for mee:
Styll to have kept my quiet chayre in hap of high degree.
But since without recure, Dame Chaunge in love must raigne:
I now wish chaunge that sought no chaunge, but constant did remaine.
And if suche chaunge do chaunce, I vowe to clap my hands,
And laugh at them which laught at me: lo thus my fansie standes.
Spreta tamen vivunt.
¶ In trust is Treason, written by a Lover, leaning onelye to his Ladies promises, and finding them to fayle.
THe straightest Tree that growes upon one onely roote:
If that roote fayle, wyll quickly fade, no props can do it boote.
I am that fading plant, which on thy grace dyd growe,
Thy grace is gone wherefore I mone, and wither all in woe.
The tallest ship that sailes, if shee too Ancors trust:
When Ancors slip & Cables breake, her helpe lyes in the dust.
I am the ship my selfe, mine Ancor was thy faith:
Which now is fled, thy promise broke, & I am driven to death.
Who climeth oft on hie, and trusts the rotten bowe:
If that bow breake may catch a fall, such state stand I in now.
Me thought I was a loft, and yet my seate full sure:
Thy heart dyd seeme to me a rock which ever might endure.
And see, it was but sand, whome seas of subtiltie:
Have soked so with wanton waves, that faith was forst to flye.
The flooddes of ficklenesse have undermined so.
The first foundation of my joy, that myrth is ebb'd to wo.
Yet at lowe water markes, I lye and wayte my time:
To mend the breach, but all in vaine, it cannot passe the prime.
For when the prime flood comes, which all this rage begoon:
Then waves of wyll do worke so fast, my piles are over roon.
Dutie and dilligence which are my workmen there,
Are glad to take up tooles in haste, and run away for feare.
For fansie hath such force, it overfloweth all,
And whispring tales do blow the blasts, that make it ryse & fall.
Thus in these tempests tost, my restles life doth stand:
Because I builded on thy wo[rd]es, as I was borne in hand.
Thou weart that only stake, wereby I ment to stay:
Alas, alas, thou stoodst so weake, the hedge is borne away.
By thee I thought to live, by thee now must I dye:
I made thee my Phisicion, thou art my mallady.
For thee I longde to live, for thee nowe welcome death:
And welcome be that happie pang, that stops my gasping breath.
Twise happie were that axe, would cut my rotes downe right:
And sacred were that swelling sea, which would consume me quight.
Blest were that bowe would breake to bring downe climing youth,
Which craks aloft, and quakes full oft, for feare of thine untruth.
The constancie of a lover hath thus sometimes bene briefly declared.
THat selfe same tonge which first did thee entreat
To linke thy liking with my lucky love:
That trustie tonge must nowe these wordes repeate,
I love thee still, my fancie cannot move.
That dreadlesse hart which durst attempt the thought
To win thy will with mine for to consent,
Maintaines that vow which love in me first wrought,
I love thee still, and never shall repent.
That happie hande which hardely did touch,
Thy tender body to my deepe delight:
Shall serve with sword to prove my passion such
As loves thee still, much more than it can write.
Thus love I still with tongue, hand, hart and all,
And when I chaunge, let vengeance on me fall.
¶ The fruite of foes written to a Gentlewoman, who blamed him for writing his friendly advise in verse unto another lover of hyrs.
THe cruell hate which boyles within thy burning brest,
And seekes to shape a sharpe revenge, on them yt love thee best:
May warne all faithfull friendes, in case of jeopardie,
Howe they shall put their harmelesse hands, betweene the barck & tree.
And I among the rest, which wrote this weary song,
Must nedes alledge in my defence, that thou hast done me wrong.
For if in simple verse, I chaunc'd to touch thy name,
And toucht the same without reproch, was I therefore to blame?
And if (of great good will) I gave my best advise,
Then thus to blame without cause why, me thinkes thou art not wise.
Amongst olde written tales, this one I beare in mind,
A simple soule much like my selfe, dyd once a serpent find.
Which (almost dead for colde) lay moyling in the myre,
When he for pittie tooke it up, and bro[u]ght it to the fyre.
No sooner was the Snake, recured of hir griefe,
But straight shee sought to hurt the mane, that lent hir such reliefe.
Such Serpent seemest thou, such simple soule am I,
That for the weight of my good wil, am blam'd without cause why.
But as it best beseemes, the harmelesse gentle hart,
Rather to take an open wrong, than for to plaine his part:
I must and will endure, thy spite without repent,
The blame is mine, the triumph thine, and I am well content.
Meritum petere, grave.
A Lover often warned, and once againe droven into fantasticall flames by the chase of company, doth thus bewayle his misfortunes.
I That my race of youthfull yeeres had roon,
Alwayes untyed, and not (but once) in thrall,
Even I which had the fieldes of freedome woon,
And liv'd at large, and playde with pleasure ball:
Lo nowe at last am tane agayne and taught,
To test such sorowes, as I never sought.
I love, I love, alas I love indeede,
I crie alas but no man pityes me:
My woundes are wide, yet seme they not to bleed,
And hidden woundes are hardly heald we see.
Such is my lucke to catch a sodain clappe,
Of great mischaunce in seeking my good happe.
My morning minde which dwelt and dyed in dole,
Sought company for solace of the same:
My cares were cold, and craved comforts coale,
To warme my will with flakes of friendly flame.
I sought and found, I crav'd and did obtaine,
I woon my wish, and yet I got no gaine.
For whiles I sought the cheare of company,
Fayre fellowship did wonted woes revive:
And craving medcine for my maladie,
Dame pleasures plasters prov'd a corosive.
So that by myrth, I reapt no fruite but mone,
Much worse I fere, than when I was alone.
The cause is this, my lot did light to late,
The Byrdes were flowen before I found the nest:
The steede was stollen before I shut the gate,
The cates consumd, before I smelt the feast.
And I fond foole with emptie hand must call,
The gorged Hauke, which likes no lure at all.
Thus still I toyle, to till the barraine land,
And grope for grappes among the bramble briers:
I strive to saile and yet I sticke on sand,
I deeme to live, yet drowne in deepe desires.
These lottes of love, are fitte for wanton will,
Which findes too much, yet must be seeking still.
Meritum petere grave.
The lover encouraged by former examples, determineth to make vertue of necessitie.
WHen I record with in my musing mind,
The noble names of wightes bewicht in love:
Such solace for my selfe therin I finde,
As nothing maye my fixed fansie move:
But paciently I will endure my wo,
Because I see the heavens ordayne it so.
For whiles I read and ryfle their estates,
In every tale I note mine owne anoye:
But whiles I marke the meanings of their mates,
I seeme to swime in such a sugred joye,
As did (parcase) entise them to delight,
Though turnd at last, to drugges of sower despite.
Peruse (who list) Dan Davids perfect deedes,
There shall he find the blot of Bersabe,
Wheron to thinke, my heavy hart it bleedes,
When I compare my love like hir to be:
Urias wife before mine eyes that shines,
And David I, from dutie that declines.
Then Salomon this princely Prophetes sonne,
Did Pharaos daughter make him fall or no?
Yes, yes, perdie his wisdome coulde not shoone,
Hir subtill snares, nor from hir counsell go.
I nam* (as hee) the wisest wight of all,
But well I wot, a woman holdes me thrall.
So am I lyke the proude Assirian Knight,
Which blasphem'd God, and all the world defied:
Yet could a woman overcome his might
And daunt his force in all his Pompe and Pride.
I Holiferne, am dronken brought to bead
My love lyke Judith, cutting of my head.
If I were strong, as some have made accompt,
Whose force is like to that which Sampson had?
If I be bolde, whose courage can surmount,
The heart of Hercules, which nothing drad?
Yet Dalila, and Deyanyraes love,
Dyd teach them both, such panges as I must prove.
Well let these passe, and thinke on Nasoes name,
Whose skilfull verse dyd flowe in learned style:
Dyd hee (thinke you) not dote upon his Dame?
Corinna fayre, dyd shee not him beguile?
Yes God he knowes, for verse nor pleasaunt rymes,
Can constant keepe, the key of Cressides crimes.
So that to ende my tale as I began,
I see the good, the wise, the stoute, the bolde:
The strongest champion and the learnedst man,
Have bene and bee, by lust of love controlde.
Which when [I] thinke, I hold me well content,
To live in love, and never to repent.
Meritum petere, grave.