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The Frute of reconciliation,
Written uppon a reconciliation betwene two freendes.
THe hatefull man that heapeth in his mynde,
Cruell revenge of wronges forepast and done,
May not (with ease) ye pleasaunt pathway finde,
Of friendly verse which I have now begone,
Unlesse at first his angry brest untwinde,
The crooked knot which canckred choller knit,
And then recule with reconciled grace.
Likewise I finde it sayde in holy write,
If thou entend to turne thy fearefull face,
To God above: make thyne agreement yet,
First with thy Brother whom thou didst abuse,
Confesse thy faultes, thy frowardnesse and all,
So that the Lord thy prayer not refuse.
When I consider this, and then the brall,
Which raging youth (I will not me excuse)
Did whilome breede in mine unmellowed brayne,
I thought it meete before I did assay,
To write in ryme the double golden gayne,
Of amitie: first yet to take away
The grutch of grief, as thou doest me constrayne,
By due desert whereto I now must yeeld,
And drowne for aye in depth of Lethes lake,
Disdaynefull moodes whom frendship cannot weelde:
Pleading for peace which for my parte I make
Of former strife, and henceforth let us write
The pleasant fruites of faythfull friends delight.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
Two gentlemen did run three courses at the Ring for one kisse to be taken of a fair gentlewoman being then present, with this condicion, that the winner should have the kisse, and the loser be bound to write some verses upon the gaine or losse therof. Now it fortuned that the winner triumphed, saying, he much lamented that in youth he had not seen the warres. Whereupon the loser compyled these following, in discharge of the condition above rehearsed.
THis vaine availe which thou by Mars hast woonne,
Should not allure thy flitting minde to feelde,
Where sturdie steeds in depth of dangers roonne,
By guttes wel gnawen by clappes that Canons yeelde.
Where faithlesse friendes by warrefare waxen ware,
And runne to him that giveth best rewarde:
No feare of lawes can cause them for to care,
But robbe and reave, and steale without regarde,
The fathers coate, the brothers steede from stall:
The deare friendes purse shall picked be for pence,
The native soile, the parentes left and all,
With Tant tra tant, the Campe is marching hence.
But when bare beggrie bidds them to beware,
And late repentance rules them to retire,
Like hivelesse Bees they wander here and there,
And hang on them who (earst) did dreade their ire.
This cut throte life (me seemes) thou shouldst not like,
And shunne the happie haven of meane estate:
High Jove (perdy) may sende what thou doest seeke,
And heape up pounces within thy quiet gate.
Nor yet I would that thou shouldst spende thy dayes
In idlenesse to teare a golden time:
Like countrey loutes, which compt none other praise,
But grease a sheepe, and learne to serve the swine.
In vaine were then the giftes which nature lent,
If Pan so presse to passe dame Pallas lore:
But my good friende, let thus thy youth be spent,
Serve God thy Lord, and prayse him evermore.
Search out the skill which learned bookes do teach,
And serve in feeld when shadowes make thee sure:
Hold with the head, and row not past thy reach.
But plead for peace which plenty may procure.
And (for my life) if thou canst run this race,
Thy bagges of coyne will multiply apace.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
Not long after the writing hereof: he departed from the company of his sayd friend
(whom he entirely loved) into the west of Englande, and feeling himselfe so consumed by womens craft that he doubted of a safe returne: wrote before his departure as followeth.
THe feeble thred which Lachesis hath sponne,
To drawe my dayes in short abode with thee,
Hath wrought a webbe which now (welneare) is donne,
The wale is worne: and (all to late) I see
That lingring life doth dally but in vaine,
For Atropos will cut the twist in twaine.
I not discerne what life but lothsome were,
When faithfull friends are kept in twayne by want:
Nor yet perceive what pleasure doth appeere,
To deepe desires where good successe is skant.
Such spight yet showes dame fortune (if she frowne,)
The haughty harts in high mishaps to drowne.
Hot be the flames which boyle in friendly mindes,
Cruell the care and dreadfull is the doome:
Slipper the knot which tract of time untwynds,
Hatefull the life and welcome were the toome.
Blest were the day which might devoure such youth,
And curst the want that seekes to choke such trueth.
This wayling verse I bathe in flowing teares,
And would my life might end with these my lines:
Yet strive I not to force into thine eares,
Such fayned plaints as fickell faith resignes.
But high forsight in dreames hath stopt my breath,
And causde the Swanne to sing before his death.
For lo these naked walles do well declare,
My latest leave of thee I taken have:
And unknowne coastes which I must seeke with care
Do well divine that there shalbe my grave:
There shall my death make many for to mone,
Skarce knowne to them, well knowne to thee alone.
This bowne of thee (as last request) I crave,
When true report shall sounde my death with fame:
Vouchsafe yet then to go unto my grave,
And there first write my byrth and then my name:
And how my life was shortned many yeares,
By womens wyles as to the world appeares.
And in reward of graunt to this request,
Permit O God my toung these woordes to tell:
(When as his pen shall write upon my chest)
With shriking voyce mine owne deare friend farewell:
No care on earth did seeme so much to me,
As when my corps was forst to part from thee.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
He wrote to the same friend from Excester, this Sonet following.
A Hundreth sonnes (in course but not in kind)
Can witnesse well that I possesse no joye:
The feare of death which fretteth in my mind
Consumes my hart with dread of darke anoye.
And for eche sonne a thousand broken sleepes
Devide my dreames with fresh recourse of cares:
The youngest sister sharpe hir sheare she keepes,
To cut my thred, and thus my life it weares.
Yet let such daies, such thousand restlesse nights,
Spit forth their spite, let fates eke showe their force:
Deathes daunting dart where so his buffet lights,
Shall shape no change within my friendly corse:
But dead or live, in heaven, in earth, in hell
I wilbe thine where so my carkase dwell.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
He wrote to the same friend from Founteine belle eaü in Fraunce, this Sonnet in commendation of the said house of Fountaine bel'eaü.
NOt stately Troye though Priam yet did live,
Could now compare Founteine bel'eaü to passe:
Nor Syrian towers, whose loftie steppes did strive,
To climbe the throne where angry Saturne was,
For outward shew the ports are of such price,
As skorne the cost which Cesar spilt in Rome:
Such works within as stayne the rare devise,
Which whilome he Apelles wrought on toome.
Swift Tiber floud which fed the Romayne pooles,
Puddle to this where Christall melts in streames,
The pleasaunt place where Muses kept their schooles,
(Not parcht with Ph■be, nor banisht from his beames)
Yeeld to those Dames, nor sight, nor fruite, nor smell,
Which may be thought these gardens to excell.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
He wrote unto a Skotish Dame whom he chose for his Mistresse in the French Court, as followeth.
LAdy receyve, receive in gracious wise,
This ragged verse, these rude ill skribled lines:
Too base an object for your heavenly eyes,
For he that writes his freedome (lo) resignes
Into your handes: and freely yeelds as thrall
His sturdy necke (earst subject to no yoke)
But bending now, and headlong press to fall,
Before your feete, such force hath beauties stroke.
Since then mine eyes (which skornd our English dames)
In forrayne courtes have chosen you for fayre,
Let be this verse true token of my flames,
And do not drench your owne in deepe dispayre.
Onely I crave (as I nill change for new)
That you vouchsafe to thinke your servaunt trew.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
A Sonet written in prayse of the browne beautie, compiled for the love of Mistresse E. P. as foloweth.
THe thriftles thred which pampred beauty spinnes,
In thraldom binds the foolish gazing eyes:
As cruell Spiders with their crafty ginnes,
In worthlesse webbes doe snare the simple Flies.
The garments gay, the glittring golden gite,
The tysing talk which flowes from Pallas pooles:
The painted pale, the (too much) red made white,
Are smiling baytes to fishe for loving fooles.
But lo, when eld in toothlesse mouth appeares,
And hoary heares in steede of beauties blaze:
Then had I wist, doth teach repenting yeares,
The tickle track of craftie Cupides maze.
Twixt faire and foule therfore, twixt great and small,
A lovely nutbrowne face is best of all.
Si fortunatus inf■lix.
Now to begin with another man, take these verses written to be sent with a ryng, wherein were engraved a Partrich in a Merlines foote.
THe Partridge in the pretie Merlines foote,
Who feeles hir force supprest with fearfulnesse,
And findes that strength nor strife can do hir boote,
To scape the danger of hir deepe distresse:
These wofull wordes may seeme for to reherse
Which I must write in this waymenting verse.
What helpeth now (sayeth she) dame natures skill,
To die my feathers like the dustie ground?
Or what prevayles to lend me winges at will
Which in the ayre can make my bodie bound?
Since from the earth the dogges me crave perforce,
And now aloft the Hauke hath caught my corse.
If chaunge of colours, could not me convey,
Yet mought my wings have scapt the dogges despite:
And if my wings did fayle to flie away,
Yet mought my strength resist the Merlines might.
But nature made the Merline mee to kill,
And me to yeeld unto the Merlines will.
My lot is like (deere Dame) beleve me well,
The quiet life which I full closely kept,
Was not content in happie state to dwell,
But forth in hast to gaze on thee it lept.
Desire thy dogge did spring me up in hast,
Thou wert the Hauke, whose tallents caught me fast.
What should I then, seeke meanes to flie away?
Or strive by force, to breake out of thy feete?
No, no, perdie, I may no strength assay,
To strive with thee ywis, it were not meete.
Thou art that Hauke, whom nature made to hent me,
And I the Byrd, that must therewith content me.
And since Dame nature hath ordayned so,
Hir happie hest I gladly shall embrace:
I yeeld my will, although it were to wo,
I stand content to take my griefe for grace:
And scale it up within my secrete hart,
Which seale receive, as token of my smart.
Spræta tamen vivunt.
A loving Lady being wounded in the spring time, and now galded eftsones with the remembrance of the spring, doth therfore thus bewayle.
THis tenth of March when Aries receyvd,
Dame Ph■bus rayes, into his horned head:
And I my selfe, by learned lore perceyv'd,
That Ver approcht, and frostie winter fled:
I crost the Thames, to take the cherefull ayre,
In open feeldes, the weather was so fayre.
And as I rowed, fast by the further shore,
I heard a voyce, which seemed to lament:
Whereat I stay'd, and by a stately dore,
I left my Boate, and up on land I went:
Till at the last by lasting paine I found,
The wofull wight, which made this dolefull sound.
In pleasant garden (placed all alone)
I sawe a Dame, who sat in weary wise,
With scalding sighes, she uttred all hir mone,
The ruefull teares, downe rayned from hir eyes:
Hir lowring head, full lowe on hand she layde,
On knee hir arme: and thus this Lady sayde.
Alas (quod she) behold eche pleasaunt greene,
Will now renew his sommers livery,
The fragrant flowers, which have not long bene seene,
Will florish now, (ere long) in bravery:
The tender buddes, whom colde hath long kept in,
Will spring and sproute, as they do now begin.
But I (alas) within whose mourning minde,
The graffes of grief, are onely given to growe,
Cannot enjoy the spring which others finde,
But still my will, must wither all in woe:
The cold of care, so nippes my joyes at roote,
No sunne doth shine, that well can do them boote.
The lustie Ver, which whilome might exchange
My griefe to joy, and then my joyes encrease,
Springs now elsewhere, and showes to me but strange,
My winters woe, therefore can never cease:
In other coasts, his sunne full cleare doth shine,
And comforts lends to ev'ry mould but mine.
What plant can spring, that feeles no force of Ver?
What floure can florish, where no sunne doth shine?
These Bales (quod she) within my breast I beare,
To breake my barke, and make my pith to pine:
Needes must I fall, I fade both roote and rinde,
My braunches bowe at blast of ev'ry winde.
This sayde: shee cast a glance and spied my face,
By sight whereof, Lord how she chaunged hew?
So that for shame, I turned backe apace
And to my home, my selfe in hast I drew:
And as I could hir wofull wordes reherse,
I set them downe in this waymenting verse.
Now Ladies you, that know by whom I sing,
And feele the winter, of such frozen wills:
Of curtesie, yet cause this noble spring,
To send his sunne, above the highest hilles:
And so to shyne, uppon hir fading sprayes,
Which now in woe, do wyther thus alwayes.
Spræta tamen vivunt.
An absent Dame thus complayneth.
MUch like the seely Byrd, which close in Cage is pent,
So sing I now, not notes of joye, but layes of deep lament.
And as the hooded Hauke, which heares the Partrich spring,
Who though she feele hir self fast tied, yet beats her bating wing:
So strive I now to shewe, my feeble forward will,
Although I know my labour lost, to hop against the Hill.
The droppes of darke disdayne, did never drench my hart,
For well I know I am belov'd, if that might ease my smart.
Ne yet the privy coales, of glowing jellosie,
Could ever kindle needlesse feare, within my fantasie.
The rigor of repulse, doth not renew my playnt,
Nor choyce of change doth move my mone, nor force me thus to faint.
Onely that pang of payne, which passeth all the rest,
And cankerlike doth fret the hart, within the giltlesse brest.
Which is if any bee, most like the panges of death,
That present grief now gripeth me, and strives to stop my breath.
When friendes in mind may meete, and hart in hart embrace,
And absent yet are faine to playne, for lacke of time and place:
Then may I compt their love, like seede that soone is sowen,
Yet lacking droppes of heavenly dew, with weedes is overgrowen.
The Greyhound is agreev'd, although he see his game,
If stil in slippe he must be stayde, when he would chase the same.
So fares it now by me, who know my selfe belov'd
Of one the best, in eche respect, that ever yet was prov'd.
But since my lucklesse lot, forbids me now to taste,
The dulcet fruites of my delight, therfore in woes I wast.
And Swallow like I sing, as one enforced so,
Since others reape the gaineful crop, which I with pain did sow.
Yet you that marke my song, excuse my Swallowes voyce,
And beare with hir unpleasant tunes, which cannot wel rejoyce.
Had I or lucke in love, or lease of libertie,
Then should you heare some sweeter notes, so cleere my throte would be.
But take it thus in gree, and marke my playnsong well,
No hart feeles so much hurt, as that, which doth in absence dwell.
Spræta tamen vivunt.
In prayse of a Countesse.
DEsire of Fame would force my feeble skill,
To prayse a Countesse by hir dew desert:
But dread of blame holds backe my forward will,
And quencht the coales which kindled in my hart.
Thus am I plongd twene dread and deepe desire,
To pay the dew which dutie doth require.
And when I call the mighty Gods in ayd
To further forth some fine invention:
My bashefull spirits be full ill afrayd
To purchase payne by my presumption.
Such malice reignes (sometimes) in heavenly minds,
To punish him that prayseth as he finds.
For Pallas first, whose filed flowing skill,
Should guyde my pen some pleasant words to write,
With angry mood hath fram'd a froward will,
To dashe devise as oft as I endite.
For why? if once my Ladies gifts were knowne,
Pallas should loose the prayses of hir owne.
And bloudy Mars by chaunge of his delight
Hath made Joves daughter now mine enemie:
In whose conceipt my Countesse shines so bright,
That Venus pines for burning jelousie:
She may go home to Vulcane now agayne,
For Mars is sworne to be my Ladies swayne.
Of hir bright beames Dan Ph■bus stands in dread,
And shames to shine within our Horizon:
Dame Cynthia holds in hir horned head,
For feare to loose by like comparison:
Lo thus shee lives, and laughes them all to skorne,
Countesse on earth, in heaven a Goddesse borne.
And I sometimes hir servaunt, now hir friend,
Whom heaven and earth for hir (thus) hate and blame:
Have yet presumde in friendly wise to spend,
This ragged verse, in honor of hir name;
A simple gift compared by the skill,
Yet what may seeme so deere as such good will.
Meritum petere, grave.
The Lover declareth his affection, togither with the cause thereof.
WHen first I thee beheld in colours black and white,
Thy face in forme wel framde wt favor blooming stil:
My burning brest in cares did choose his chief delight,
With pen to painte thy prayse, contrary to my skill:
Whose worthinesse compar'd with this my rude devise,
I blush and am abasht, this worke to enterprise.
But when I call to mind thy sundry gifts of grace,
Full fraught with maners meeke in happy quiet mind:
My hasty hand forthwith doth scribble on apace,
Least willing hart might thinke, it ment to come behind:
Thus do both hand and hart these carefull meetres use,
Twixt hope and trembling feare, my duetie to excuse.
Wherfore accept these lines, and banish darke disdayne,
Be sure they come from one that loveth thee in chief:
And guerdon me thy friend in like with love agayne,
So shalt thou well be sure to yeeld me such relief,
As onely may redresse my sorrowes and my smart:
For proofe whereof I pledge (deare Dame) to thee my hart.
Meritum petere, grave.
A Lady being both wronged by false suspect, and also wounded by the durance of hir husband, doth thus bewray hir grief.
GIve me my Lute in bed now as I lie,
And lock the doves of mine unluckie bower:
So shall my voyce in mournefull verse discrie
The secrete smart which causeth me to lower:
Resound you walles an Eccho to my mone,
And thou cold bed wherein I lie alone,
Beare witnesse yet what rest thy Lady takes,
When other sleepe which may enjoy their makes.
In prime of youth when Cupide kindled fire,
And warmd my will with flames of fervent love:
To further forth the fruite of my desire,
My freends devisde this meane for my behove.
They made a match according to my mind,
And cast a snare my fansie for to blind:
Short tale to make: the deede was almost donne,
Before I knew which way the worke begonne.
And with this lot I did my selfe content,
I lent a liking to my parents choyse:
With hand and hart I gave my free consent,
And hung in hope for ever to rejoyce.
I liv'd and lov'd long time in greater joy,
Than shee which held king Priams sonne of Troy:
But three lewd lots have chang'd my heaven to hell
And those be these, give eare and marke them well.
First slaunder he, which alwayes beareth hate,
To happy harts in heavenly state that bide:
Gan play his part to stirre up some debate,
Whereby suspect into my choyse might glide.
And by his meanes the slime of false suspect,
Did (as I feare) my dearest friend infect.
Thus by these twayn long was I plungd in paine,
Yet in good hope my hart did still remaine.
But now (aye me) the greatest grief of all,
(Sound loud my Lute, and tell it out my toong)
The hardest hap that ever might befall,
The onely cause wherfore this song is soong,
Is this alas: my love, my Lord, my Roy,
My chosen pheare, my gemme, and all my joye,
Is kept perforce out of my dayly sight,
Whereby I lacke the stay of my delight.
In loftie walles, in strong and stately towers,
(With troubled minde in solitary sorte,)
My lovely Lord doth spend his dayes and howers,
A weary life devoyde of all disport.
And I poore soule must lie here all alone,
To tyre my trueth, and wound my will with mone:
Such is my hap to shake my blooming time,
With winters blastes before it passe the prime.
Now have you heard the summe of all my grief,
Whereof to tell my hart (oh) rends in twayne:
Good Ladies yet lend you me some relief,
And beare a parte to ease me of my payne.
My sortes are such, that waying well my trueth,
They might provoke the craggy rocks to rueth,
And move these walles with teares for to lament,
The lothsome life wherein my youth is spent.
But thou my Lute, be still, now take thy rest,
Repose thy bones uppon this bed of downe:
Thou hast dischargd some burden from my brest,
Wherefore take thou my place, here lie thee downe.
And let me walke to tyre my restlesse minde,
Untill I may entreate some curteous winde
To blow these wordes unto my noble make,
That he may see I sorow for his sake.
Meritum petere, grave.
A Lady once did aske of me,
This preatie thing in privitie:
Good sir (quod she) faine would I crave,
One thing which you your selfe not have:
Nor never had yet in times past,
Nor never shall while life doth last.
And if you seeke to find it out,
You loose your labour out of doubt:
Yet if you love me as you say,
Then give it me, for sure you may.
Meritum petere, grave.
The shield of Love. &c.
L'Escü d'amour, the shield of perfect love,
The shield of love, the force of stedfast faith,
The force of faith which never will remove,
But standeth fast, to bide the brunts of death:
That trustie targe, hath long borne off the blowes,
And broke the thrusts, which absence at me throwes.
In dolefull dayes I lead an absent life,
And wound my will with many a weary thought:
I plead for peace, yet sterve in stormes of strife,
I find debate, where quiet rest was sought.
These panges with mo, unto my paine I prove,
Yet beare I all uppon my shield of love.
In colder cares are my conceipts consumd,
Than Dido felt when false Æneas fled:
In farre more heat, than trusty Troylus fumde,
When craftie Cressyde dwelt with Diomed:
My hope such frost, my hot desire such flame,
That I both fryse, and smoulder in the same.
So that I live, and die in one degree,
Healed by hope, and hurt againe with dread:
Fast bound by faith when fansie would be free,
Untied by trust, though thoughts enthrall my head:
Reviv'd by joyes, when hope doth most abound,
And yet with grief, in depth of dolors drownd.
In these assaultes I feele my feebled force
Begins to faint, thus weried still in woes:
And scarcely can my thus consumed corse,
Hold up this Buckler to beare of these blowes:
So that I crave, or presence for relief,
Or some supplie, to ease mine absent grief.
To you (deare Dame) this dolefull plaint I make,
Whose onely sight may soone redresse my smart:
Then shew your selfe, and for your servaunts sake,
Make hast post hast, to helpe a faithfull harte:
Mine owne poore shield hath me defended long,
Now lend me yours, for elles you do me wrong.
Meritum petere, grave.
Councell to Duglasse Dive written upon this occasion. She had a booke wherein she had collected sundry good ditties of divers mens doings, in whiche booke she would needes entreate the aucthor to write some verses. And thereupon he wrote as followeth.
TO binde a bushe of thornes amongst sweete smelling floures,
May make the posie seeme the worse, and yet the fault is ours:
For throw away the thorne, and marke what will ensew?
The posie then will shew it selfe, sweete, faire, and freshe of hew.
A puttocke set on pearch, fast by a falcons side,
Will quickly shew it selfe a kight, as time hath often bide.
And in my musing minde, I feare to finde like fall,
As just reward to recompence my rash attempts withall.
Thou bidst, and I must bowe, thou wilt that I shall write,
Thou canst commaund my wery muse some verses to endite.
And yet perdie, thy booke is fraught with learned verse,
Such skill as in my musing minde I can none like reherse.
What followes then for me? but if I must needes write,
To set downe by the falcons side, my selfe a sillie kight.
And yet the sillie kight, well weyde in each degree,
May serve sometimes (as in his kinde) for mans commoditie.
The kight can weede the worme, from corne and costly seedes,
The kight can kill the mowldiwarpe, in pleasant meads yt breeds:
Out of the stately streetes, the kight can clense the filth,
As men can clense the worthlesse weedes, from fruteful fallowed filth.
And onely set aside the hennes poore progenie,
I cannot see who can accuse the kight for fellonie.
The falcon, she must feede on partritch, and on quayle,
On pigeon, plover, ducke & drake, hearne, lapwing, teale, & raile,
Hir hungrie throte devours both foode and deintie fare,
Whereby I take occasion, thus boldly to compare.
And as a sillie kight, (not falcon like that flie,
(a) The Hill where poetes fayne that the Muses sleepe.
Nor yet presume to hover by mount Hellycon (a) on hie)
I frendly yet presume, upon my frends request,
In barreine verse to shew my skill, then take it for the best.
And Douty Douglasse thou, that art of faulcons kinde,
Give willing eare yet to the kight, and beare his words in minde.
Serve thou first God thy Lord, and prayse him evermore,
Obey thy Prince and love thy make, by him set greatest store.
Thy Parents follow next, for honor and for awe,
Thy frends use alwaies faithfully, for so commands the lawe.
Thy seemely selfe at last, thou shalte likewise regard,
And of thy selfe this lesson learne, and take it as reward:
That looke how farre deserts, may seeme in thee to shine,
So farre thou maist set out thy selfe, without empeach or crime.
For this I dare avow, without selfe love (alight)
It can scarce be that vertue dwell, in any earthly wight.
But if in such selfe love, thou seeme to wade so farre,
As fall to foule presumption, and judge thy selfe a starre,
(a) A true exposition.
(b) Over- weening.
Beware betimes and thinke in our (a) Etymologie,
Such faults are plainly called pryde, and in french (b) Surcüydrye,
Lo thus can I pore kight, adventure for to teach
The falcon flie, and yet forewarne, she row not past hir reach.
Thus can I weede the worme, which seeketh to devoure
The seeds of vertue, which might grow within thee every houre.
Thus can I kill the mowle, which else would overthrow
The good foundacion of thy fame, with every litle blowe.
And thus can I convey, out of thy comely brest,
The sluttish heapes of peevish pride, which might defile the rest.
Perchance some falcons flie, which will not greatly grutch,
To learne thee first to love thy selfe, and then to love to mutch,
But I am none of those, I list not so to range,
I have mans meate enough at home, what need I then seeke change.
I am no peacocke I: my feathers be not gay,
And though they were, I see my feete such fonde affectes to stay,
I list not set to sale a thing so litle worth,
I rather could kepe close my creast, than seeke to set it forth.
Wherefore if in this verse, which thou commandst to flowe,
Thou chaunce to fall on construing, whereby some doubles may grow,
Yet grant this onely boone, peruse it twice or thrice,
Disgest it well ere thou condemne the depth of my devise.
And use it like the nut, first cracke the outward shell,
Then trie the kirnell by the tast, and it may please thee well.
Do not as barbers do, which wash beards curiously,
Then cut them off, then cast them out, in open streetes to lie.
Remember therewithall, my muze is tied in chaines,
The goonshot of calamitie hath battred all my braynes.
And though this verse scape out, take thou thereat no marke,
It is but like a hedlesse flie, that tumbleth in the darke.
It was thine owne request, remember so it was,
Wherefore if thou dislike the same, then licence it to passe
Into my brest againe, from whence it flew in hast,
Full like a kight which not deserves by falcons to be plast:
And like a stubbed thorne, which may not seeme to serve,
To stand with such sweete smelling floures, like praises to deserve.
Yet take this harmelesse thorne, to picke thy teeth withall,
A tooth picke serves some use perdie, although it be but small.
And when thy teeth therewith, be piked faire and cleane,
Then bend thy tong no worse to me, than mine to thee hath bene.
Ever or Never.
Councell given to master Bartholmew Withipoll a little before his latter journey to Geane. 1572.
MIne owne good Bat, before thou hoyse up saile,
To make a furrowe in the foming seas,
Content thy selfe to heare for thine availe,
Such harmelesse words, as ought thee not displease.
First in thy journey, jape not over much,
What? laughest thou Batte, bicause I write so plaine?
Beleeve me now it is a friendly touch,
To use fewe words where friendship doth remaine.
And for I finde, that fault hath runne to fast,
Both in thy flesh, and fancie too sometime,
Me thinks plaine dealing biddeth me to cast
This bone at first amid my dogrell rime.
But shall I say, to give thee grave advise?
(Which in my head is (God he knowes) full geazon)?
Then marke me well, and though I be not wise,
Yet in my rime, thou maist perhaps find reason.
First every day, beseech thy God on knee,
So to direct thy staggring steppes alway,
That he which every secrete thought doth see
May horde thee in, when thou wouldst goe astray:
And that he deigne to sende thee safe retoure,
And quicke dispatche of that whiche is thy due:
Lette this (my Batte) be bothe thy prime and houre,
Wherin also commend to Nostre Dieu,
Thy good Companion and my verie freed,
To whom I shoulde (but time woulde not permitte)
Have taken paine some ragged ryme to sende
In trustie token, that I not forget
His curtesie: but this is debte to thee,
I promysde it, and now I meane to pay:
What was I saying? sirra, will you see
How soone my wittes were wandering astraye?
I saye, praye thou for thee and for thy mate,
So shipmen sing, and though the note be playne,
Yet sure the musike is in heavenly state,
When frends sing so, and know not how to fayne.
The nexte to GOD, thy Prince have still in mynde
Thy countreys honor, and the common wealth:
And flee from them, which fled with every wynde
There are to many of them in every countrey.
From native soyle, to forraine coastes by stealth:
Theyr traynes are trustlesse, tending still to treason,
Theyr smoothed tongues are lyned all with guyle,
Their power slender, scarsly woorthe two peason,
Their malice much, their wittes are full of wyle:
Eschue them then, and when thou seest them, say,
Da, da, sir K, I may not come at you,
You cast a snare your countrey to betraye,
And woulde you have me trust you now for true?
Remembre Batte the foolish blink eyed boye
Which was at Rome, thou knowest whome I meane,
Remember eke the preatie beardlesse toye,
Whereby thou foundst a safe returne to Geane,
Doe so againe: (God shielde thou shouldst have neede,)
But rather so, than to forsweare thy selfe:
A loyall hearte, (beleeve this as thy Creede)
Is evermore more woorth than worldly pelfe.
And for one lesson, take this more of mee,
There are three Ps almost in every place,
From whiche I counsell thee alwayes to flee,
And take good hede of them in any case,
The first is poyson, perillous in deede
To such as travayle with a heavie pursse:
And thou my Batte beware, for thou hast neede,
Thy pursse is lynde with paper, which is wursse:
Thy billes of credite wil not they thinkst thou,
Be bayte to sette Italyan hands on woorke?
Yes by my faye, and never worse than nowe,
When every knave hath leysure for to lurke,
And knoweth thou commest for the shelles of Christe:
Beware therefore where ever that thou go,
It may fall out that thou shalte be entiste
To suppe sometimes with a Magnifico,
And have a Fico foysted in thy dishe,
Bycause thou shouldest disgeste thy meate the better:
Beware therefore, and rather feede on fishe,
Than learne to spell fyne fleshe with such a Letter.
Some may present thee with a pounde or twaine
Of Spanishe soape to washe thy lynnen white:
Beware therefore, and thynke it were small gayne,
To save thy shirte, and cast thy skinne off quite:
Some cunning man maye teache thee for to ryde,
And stuffe thy saddle all with Spanishe wooll,
Or in thy stirrops have a toye so tyde,
As both thy legges may swell thy buskins full:
Beware therfore, and beare a noble porte,
Drynke not for thyrste before an other taste:
Lette none outlandishe Taylour take disporte
To stuffe thy doublet full of such Bumbaste,
As it may cast thee in unkindely sweate,
And cause thy haire per companie to glyde,
Straungers are fyne in many a propre feate:
Beware therefore: the seconde P. is Pryde,
More perillous than was the first by farre,
For that infects but bloud and leaves the bones,
This poysons all, and mindes of men doth marre,
It findeth nookes to creepe in for the nones:
First from the minde it makes the heart to swell,
From thence the flesh is pampred every parte,
The skinne is taught in Dyers shoppes to dwell,
The haire is curlde or frisled up by arte:
Beleeve mee Batte, our Countreymen of late
Have caughte such knackes abroade in forayne lande,
That most men call them Devils incarnate,
So singular in theyr conceites they stande:
Nowe sir, if I shall see your maistershippe
Come home disguysde and cladde in queynt araye,
As with a piketoothe byting on your lippe,
Your brave Mustachyos turnde the Turky waye,
A Coptanckt haste made on a Flemmish blocke,
A nightgowne cloake downe trayling to your toes,
A slender sloppe close couched to your docke,
A curtold slipper, and a shorte silke hose:
Bearing your Rapier pointe above the hilte,
And looking bigge like Marquise of all Beefe,
Then shall I coumpte your toyle and travayle spilte,
Bycause my seconde P, with you is cheefe.
But forwardes nowe, although I stayde a while,
My hindmost P, is worsse than bothe these two,
For it both bones and bodie doth defile,
With fouler blots than bothe those other doo.
Shorte tale to make, this P, can beare no blockes,
(God shielde me Batte, should beare it in his breast)
And with a dashe it spelleth piles and pockes
A perlous P, and woorsse than bothe the reste:
Now though I finde no cause for to suspect
My Batte in this, bycause he hath bene tryde,
Yet since such Spanish buttons can infect
Kings, Emperours, Princes and the world so wide,
And since those sunnes do mellowe men so fast
As most that travayle come home very ripe
Although (by sweate) they learne to live and last
When they have daunced after Guydoes pype:
Therfore I thought it meete to warne my frende
Of this foule P, and so an ende of Ps.
Now for thy diet marke my tale to ende,
And thanke me then, for that is all my fees.
See thou exceede not in three double Us,
The first is Wine, which may enflame thy bloud,
The second Women, such as haunte the stewes,
The thirde is Wilfulnesse, which dooth no good.
These three eschue, or temper them alwayes:
So shall my Batte prolong his youthfull yeeres,
And see long George againe, with happie dayes,
Who if he bee as faithfull to his feeres,
As hee was wonte, will dayly pray for Batte,
And for (a) Pencoyde: and if it fall out so,
(a) Sir Wil- liam Morgan of Pencoyde.
That James a Parrye doo but make good that,
Which he hath sayde: and if he bee (no, no)
The best companion that long George can finde,
Then at the Spawe I promise for to bee
In Auguste nexte, if God turne not my minde,
Where as I would bee glad thy selfe to see:
Till then farewell, and thus I ende my song,
Take it in gree, for else thou doest mee wrong.
Haud ictus sapio.
Gascoignes woodmanship written to the L. Grey of Wilton upon this occasion, the sayd L. Grey delighting (amongst many other good qualities) in chusing of his winter deare, & killing the same with his bowe, did furnishe the Aucthor with a crossebowe cum pertinenciis and vouchsaved to use his company in the said exercise, calling him one of his wood men. Now the Aucthor shooting very often, could never hitte any deare, yea and oftentimes he let the heard passe by as though he had not seene the. Whereat when this noble Lord tooke some pastime, and had often put him in remembrance of his good skill in choosing, and readinesse in killing of a winter deare, he thought good thus to excuse it in verse.
MY woorthy Lord, I pray you wonder not,
To see your woodman shoote so ofte awrie,
Nor that he stands amased like a sot,
And lets the harmlesse deare (unhurt) go by.
Or if he strike a Doe which is but carren,
Laugh not good Lord, but favoure such a fault,
Take will in worth, he would faine hit the barren,
But though his harte be good, his happe is naught:
And therefore now I crave your Lordships leave,
To tell you plaine what is the cause of this:
First if it please your honour to perceyve,
What makes your woodman shoote so ofte amisse,
Beleeve me L. the case is nothing strange,
He shootes awrie almost at every marke,
His eyes have bene so used for to raunge,
That now God knowes they be both dimme and darke.
For proofe he beares the note of follie now,
Who shotte sometimes to hit Philosophie,
And aske you why? forsooth I make avow,
Bicause his wanton wittes went all awrie.
Next that, he shot to be a man of lawe,
And spent sometime with learned Litleton,
Yet in the end, he proved but a dawe,
For lawe was darke and he had quickly done.
Then could he with Fitzharbert such a braine,
As Tully had, to write the lawe by arte,
So that with pleasure, or with litle paine,
He might perhaps, have caught a trewants parte.
But all to late, he most mislikte the thing,
Which most might helpe to guide his arrow streight:
He winked wrong, and so let slippe the string,
Which cast him wide, for all his queint conceit.
From thence he shotte to catch a courtly grace,
And thought even there to wield the world at will,
But out alas he much mistooke the place,
And shot awrie at every rover still.
The blasing baits which drawe the gazing eye,
Unfethered there his first affection,
No wonder then although he shot awrie,
Wanting the feathers of discretion.
Yet more than them, the marks of dignitie,
He much mistooke and shot the wronger way,
Thinking the purse of prodigalitie,
Had bene best meane to purchase such a pray.
He thought the flattring face which fleareth still,
Had bene full fraught with all fidelitie,
And that such wordes as courtiers use at will,
Could not have varied from the veritie.
But when his bonet buttered with gold,
His comelie cape begarded all with gay,
His bumbast hose, with linings manifold,
His knit silke stocks and all his queint aray,
Had picks his purse of all the Peter pence,
Which might have paide for his promotion,
Then (all to late) he found that light expence,
Had quite quencht out the courts devotion.
So that since then the test of miserie,
Hath bene alwayes full bitter in his bit,
And why? forsooth bicause he shot awrie,
Mistaking still the markes which others hit.
But now behold what marke the man doth find,
He shootes to be a souldier in his age,
Mistrusting all the vertues of the minde,
He trusts the power of his personage.
As though long limmes led by a lusty hart,
Might yet suffice to make him rich againe,
But Flushyng fraies have taught him such a parte,
That now he thinks the warres yeeld no such gaine.
And sure I feare, unlesse your lordship deigne,
To traine him yet into some better trade,
It will be long before he hit the veine,
Whereby he may a richer man be made.
He cannot climbe as other catchers can.
To leade a charge before himselfe be led,
He cannot spoile the simple sakeles man,
Which is content to feede him with his bread.
He cannot pinch the painefull souldiers pay,
And sheare him out his share in ragged sheetes,
He cannot stoupe to take a greedy pray
Upon his fellowes groveling in the streetes.
He cannot pull the spoyle from such as pill,
And seeme full angrie at such foule offence,
Although the gayne content his greedie will,
Under the cloake of contrarie pretence:
And now adayes, the man that shootes not so,
May shoote amisse, even as your Woodman dothe:
But then you marvell why I lette them go,
And never shoote, but saye farewell forsooth:
Alas my Lord, while I doe muze hereon,
And call to minde my youthfull yeares myspente,
They give mee suche a boane to gnawe upon,
That all my senses are in silence pente.
My minde is rapte in contemplation,
Wherein my dazeled eyes onely beholde,
The blacke houre of my constellation,
Which framed mee so lucklesse on the molde:
Yet therewithall I can not but confesse,
That vayne presumption makes my heart to swell,
For thus I thinke, not all the worlde (I guesse,)
Shootes (a) bet than I, nay some shootes not so well.
In Aristotle somewhat did I learne,
To guyde my manners all by comelynesse,
And Tullie taught me somewhat to discerne
Betweene sweete speeche and barbarous rudenesse.
Olde Parkyns, Rastall, and Dan Bractens bookes,
Did lende mee somewhat of the lawlesse Lawe,
The craftie Courtiers with their guylefull lookes,
Must needes put some experience in my mawe:
Yet can not these with many maystries mo,
Make me shoote streyght at any gaynfull pricke,
Where some that never handled such a bow,
Can hit the white, or touch it neare the quicke,
Who can nor speake, nor write in pleasant wise,
Nor leade their life by Aristotles rule,
Nor argue well on questions that arise,
Nor pleade a case more than my Lord Mairs mule,
Yet can they hit the marks that I do misse,
And winne the meane which may the man mainteyne.
Now when my minde doth mumble upon this,
No wonder then although I pine for payne:
And whiles mine eyes beholde this mirrour thus,
The hearde goeth by, and farewell gentle does:
So that your Lordship quickely may discusse
What blindes mine eyes so ofte (as I suppose.)
But since my Muse can to my Lorde reherse
What makes me misse, and why I doe not shoote,
Let me imagine in this woorthlesse verse,
If right before mee, at my standings foote
There stoode a Doe, and I should strike hir deade,
And then shee prove a carrian carkas too,
What figure might I finde within my head,
To scuse the rage whiche rulde mee so to doo?
Some myght interprete by playne paraphrase,
That lacke of skill or fortune ledde the chaunce,
But I must otherwise expounde the case,
I say Jehova did this Doe advaunce,
And made hir bolde to stande before mee so,
Till I had thrust mine arrowe to hir harte,
That by the sodaine of hir overthrowe,
I myght endevour to amende my parte,
And turne myne eyes that they no more beholde,
Such guylefull markes as seeme more than they be:
And though they glister outwardely like golde,
Are inwardly but brasse, as men may see:
And when I see the milke hang in hir teate,
Me thinkes it sayth, olde babe now learne to sucke,
Who in thy youth couldst never learne the feate
To hitte the whytes whiche live with all good lucke.
Thus have I tolde my Lorde, (God graunt in season)
A tedious tale in rime, but little reason.
Haud ictus sapio.
Gascoignes gardnings, whereof were written in one end of a close walke whiche he hath in his Garden, this discourse following.
THe figure of this world I can compare,
To Garden plots, and such like pleasaunt places,
The world breedes men of sundry shape and share,
As hearties in gardens, grow of sundry graces:
Some good, some bad, some amiable faces,
Some foule, some gentle, some of froward mind,
Subject like bloome, to blast of every wind.
And as you see the floures most fresh of hew,
That they prove not alwayes the holesomest,
So fayrest men are not alwayes found true:
But even as withred weedes fall from the rest,
So flatterers fall naked from their neast:
When truth hath tried, their painting tising tale,
They loose their glosse, and all their jests seeme stale.
Yet some do present pleasure most esteeme,
Till beames of braverie wither all their welth,
And some agayne there be can rightly deeme,
Those herbes for best, which may mainteine their helth.
Considering well, that age drawes on by stelth,
And when the fayrest floure is shronke and gone,
A well growne roote, will stand and shifte for one.
Then thus the restlesse life which men here leade,
May be resembled to the tender plant,
In spring it sprouts, as babes in cradle breede,
Florish in May, like youthes that wisdome want,
In Autumne ripes and rootes, least store waxe skante
In winter shrinks and shrowdes from every blast,
Like crooked age when lusty youth is past.
And as the grounde or grace whereon it grewe,
Was fatte or leane, even so by it appeares
If barreyn soyle, why then it chaungeth hewe,
It fadeth faste, it flits to fumbling yeares,
But if he gathered roote amongst his feeres,
And light on lande that was well muckte in deede,
Then standes it still, or leaves increase of seede.
As for the reste, fall sundrie wayes (God wot)
Some faynt lyke froathe at every little puffe,
Some smarte by swoorde, like hearties that serve the pot,
And some be weeded from the finer stuffe,
Some stande by proppes to maynteyne all their ruffe:
And thus (under correction bee it tolde)
Hath Gascoigne gathered in his Garden molde.
Haud ictus sapio.
In that other ende of his sayde close walke, were written these toyes in ryme.
IF any floure that here is growne,
Or any hearbe may ease your payne,
Take and accompte it as your owne,
But recompence the lyke agayne:
For some and some is honest playe
And so my wyfe taughte me to saye.
If here to walke you take delight,
Why come, and welcome when you will:
If I bidde you suppe here this night,
Bidde me an other time, and still
Thinke some and some is honest playe,
For so my wife taught me to saye.
Thus if you suppe or dine with mee,
If you walke here, or sitte at ease,
If you desire the thing you see,
And have the same your minde to please,
Thinke some and some is honest playe,
And so my wife taught me to saye.
Haud ictus sapio.
In a chayre in the same Garden was written this followyng.
IF thou sitte here to viewe this pleasant garden place
Think thus: at last will come a frost, & all these floures deface:
But if thou sitte at ease to rest thy wearie bones,
Remember death brings finall rest to all oure greevous grones.
So whether for delight, or here thou sitte for ease,
Thinke still upon the latter day, so shalt thou God best please.
Haud ictus sapio.
Upon a stone in the wall of his Garden he had written the yeare wherein he did the coste of these devises, and therewithall this posie in Latine.
Quoniam etiam humiliatos, am■na delectant.
Gascoignes voyage into Hollande. An. 1572. written to the right honourable the Lorde Grey of Wilton.
A Straunge conceyte, a vayne of newe delight,
Twixt weale and woe, twixte joy and bitter griefe,
Hath pricked foorth my hastie penne to write
This woorthlesse verse in hazarde of repreefe:
(a) best beloved
And to mine (a) Alderlievest Lorde I must endite
A wofull case, a chippe of sorie chaunce,
A tipe of heaven, a lively hew of hell,
A feare to fall, a hope of high advance,
A life, a death, a drearie tale to tell.
But since I know the pith of my pastaunce
Shall most consist in telling of a truth,
(b) in good worth
Vouchsafe my Lord (b) (en bon grè) for to take
This trustie tale the storie of my youth,
This Chronicle which of my selfe I make,
To shew my Lord what healplesse happe ensewth,
When heady youth will gad without a guide,
And raunge untide in leas of libertie,
Or when bare neede a starting hole hath spice
To peepe abroade from mother Miserie,
And buildeth Castels in the Welkin wide,
In hope thereby to dwell with wealth and ease.
But he the Lord (whome my good Lord doth know)
Can bind or lose, as best to him shall please,
Can save or spill, rayse up or overthrowe,
Can gauld with griefe, and yet the payne appease.
Which thing to prove if so my L. take time,
(When greater cares his head shall not possesse)
To sitte and reade this raunging ragged rime,
I doubt not then but that he will confesse
What falles I found when last I leapt to clime.
In March it was, that cannot I forget,
In this last March upon the nintenth day,
When from Gravesend in boate I gan to jette
To boorde our shippe in Quinborough that lay,
From whence the very twentith day we set
Our sayles abrode to slice the Salt sea fome,
And ancors weyde gan trust the trustlesse floud:
That day and night amid the waves we rome
To seeke the coast of Holland where it stoode.
And on the next when we were farre from home,
And neare the haven whereto we sought to sayle,
A fearly chaunce: (whereon alone to thinke
My hande now quakes, and all my senses fayle)
Gan us befall: the Pylot gan to shrinke,
And all agaste his courage seemde to quayle.
Whereat amazed, the Maister and his mate
Gan aske the cause of his so sodeyne chaunge,
And from alofte the Stewarde of our state,
(The sounding plumbe) in haste posse hast must raunge,
To trye the depth and goodnesse of our gate.
Mee thinkes (even yet) I heare his heavie voyce,
(a) Fadom a half, three ho.
(a) Fadome three, foure, foote more, foote lesse, that cride:
Mee thinkes I heare the fearefull whispring noyse,
Of such as sayde full softely (me beside)
God graunte this journey cause us to rejoyce,
When I poore soule, which close in caban laye,
And there had reacht till gaule was welneare burst,
With giddie head, my stumbling steppes must stay
To looke abroade as boldly as I durst.
And whyles I hearken what the Saylers saye,
The sownder sings, fadame two full no more.
Aloofe, aloofe, then cried the Maister out,
The Stearesmate strives to sende us from the shore,
And trustes the streame, whereof wee earst had doubt,
Tweene two extreeme thus were we tossed sore,
And went to (b) Hull, untill we leyzure had
(b) When all sayles are taken downe.
To talke at large, and eke to know the cause
What moode had made our Pylot looke so sad.
At last the Dutche with butterbitten jawes,
(For so he was a Dutche, a Devill, a swadde,
A foole, a drunkarde, or a traytour tone)
Gan aunswere thus: (c) Ghy zijt te vroegh here come,
(c) You be to soone (d) It is not good tide,
(d)Tis niet goet tijt and standing all alone,
Gan preache to us, which fooles were all and some
To trust him foole, in whom there skill was none.
Or what knew wee if Albaes subtill brayne
(So to prevent our enterpryse by treazon)
Had him subornde to tice us to this trayne
And so him selfe (per Companye and seazon)
For spite, for hate, or else for hope of gayne.
This must we thinke that (e) Alba would not spare
(c) the Duke.
To give out gold for such a sinfull deede:
And glistring gold can oftentimes ensnare,
More perfect wits than Holland soyle doth breede.
But let that passe, and let us now compare
Our owne fond fact with this his foule offence.
We knew him not, nor where he wond that time,
Nor if he had Pylots experience,
Or Pylats crafte, to cleare him selfe from crime.
Yea more than that (how voyde were we of sense)
We had small smacke of any tale he tolde,
He powrde out Dutch to drowne us all in drinke,
And we (wise men) uppon his words were bolde,
To runne on head: but let me now bethinke
The masters speech: and let me so unfold
The depth of all this foolish oversight.
The master spake even like a skilfull man,
And sayde I sayle the Seas both day and night,
I know the tides as well as other can,
From pole to pole I can the courses plight:
I know France, Spaine, Greece, Denmarke, Daunsk & all,
Frize, Flaunders, Holland, every coast I know,
But truth to tell, it seldome doth befall,
That English merchants ever bend their bowe
To shoote at Breyll, where now our flight should fall,
They send their shafts farder for greater gayne.
So that this haven is yet (quoth he) (a) unkouth,
And God graunt now that England may attayne
Such gaines by Breyll, (a gospell on that mouth)
As is desired: thus spake the master playne.
And since (saide he) my selfe knew not the sowne,
How could I well a better Pylot fynde,
Than this (which first) did saye he dwelt in towne,
And knew the way where ever sat the wynde?
While we thus talke, all sayles are taken downe,
And we to Hull (as earst I sayd) gan wend,
Till full two houres and somewhat more were past.
Our guyde then spake in Dutch and bad us bend
All sayles againe: for now quod he (at last)
(a) Die tijt is goet, dat heb ick weell bekend.
(a) It is good tide that know I well
Why staye I long to ende a wofull tale?
We trust his Dutch, and up the foresayle goes,
We fall on knees amyd the happy gale,
(Which by Gods will full kynd and calmely blowes)
And unto him we there unfolde our bale,
Whereon to thinke I wryte and weepe for joye,
That pleasant song the hundreth and seventh Psalme,
There dyd we reade to comfort our annoye,
Which to my soule (me thought) was sweete as balme,
Yea farre more sweete than any worldly toye.
And when he had with prayers prayed the Lord,
Our (b) Edell Bloetts, gan fall to eate and drinke,
(b) Lusty gallants
And for their sauce, at takyng up the borde
The shippe so strake (as all we thought to sinke)
Against the ground. Then all with one accorde
We fell againe on knees to pray apace,
And therewithall even at the second blowe,
(The number cannot from my minde outpace)
Our helme strake of, and we must fleete and flowe,
Where winde and waves would guide us by their grace.
The winde waxt calme as I have sayde before,
(O mightie God so didst thou swage our woes)
The selly shippe was sowst and smitten sore,
With counter buffetts, blowes and double blowes.
At last the keele which might endure no more,
Gan rende in twayne and sucks the water in:
Then might you see pale lookes and wofull cheare,
Then might you heare loude cries and deadly dinne:
Well noble minds in perils best appeare,
And boldest harts in bale will never blinne.
For there were some (of whome I will not say
That I was one) which never changed hew,
But pumps apace, and labord every way
To save themselves, and all their lovely crew,
Which cast the best freight overboorde away,
Both corne and cloth, and all that was of weight.
Which halde and pulde at every helping corde,
Which prayed to God and made their conscience streight.
As for my self: I here protest my Lorde,
My words were these: O God in heaven on height,
Behold me not as now a wicked wight,
A sacke of sinne, a wretch ywrapt in wroth,
Let no fault past (O Lord) offende thy sight,
But weye my will which now those faults doth lothe,
And of thy mercy pittie this our plight.
Even thou good God which of thy grace didst saye
That for one good, thou wouldst all Sodome save,
Behold us all: thy shyning beames displaye,
Some here (I trust) thy goodnesse shall engrave,
To be chast vessels unto thee alwaye,
And so to live in honour of thy name:
Beleve me Lord, thus to the Lord I sayde.
But there were some (alas the more their blame)
Which in the pumpe their onely comfort layde,
And trusted that to turne our griefe to game.
Alas (quod I) our pumpe good God must be,
Our sayle, our sterne, our tackling, and our trust.
Some other cried to cleare the shipboate free,
To save the chiefe and leave the rest in dust.
Which word once spoke (a wondrous thing to see)
All hast post hast, was made to have it done:
And up it commes in hast much more than speede.
There did I see a wofull worke begonne,
Which now (even now) doth make my hart to bleede.
Some made such hast that in the boate they wonne,
Before it was above the hatches brought.
Straunge tale to tell, what hast some men shall make
To find their death before the same be sought.
Some twixt the boate and shippe their bane do take,
Both drownd and slayne with braynes for hast crusht out.
At last the boat halfe freighted in the aire
Is hoyst alofte, and on the seas downe set,
When I that yet in God could not dispaire,
Still pride the pumpe, and patiently did let
All such take boate as thither made repaire.
And herewithall I safely may protest
I might have wonne the boate as wel as one,
And had that seemed a safetie for the rest
I should percase even with the first have gone.
But when I saw the boate was over press
And pestred full with moe than it might beare,
And therwithall with cherefull looke might see
My chiefe companions whome I held most deare
Yorke and Herle.
(Whose companie had thither trained me)
Abiding still aboorde our shippe yfeare:
Nay then (quoth I) good God thy will be done,
For with my feeres I will both live and dye.
And eare the boate farre from our sight was gon
The wave so wrought, that they (which thought to flee
And so to scape) with waves were overronne.
Lo how he strives in vaine that strives with God
For there we lost the flowre of the band,
And of our crew full twentie soules and odde,
The Sea sucks up, whils we on hatches stand
In smarting feare to feele that selfe same rodde.
Well on (as yet) our battred barke did passe,
And brought the rest within a myle of lance,
Then thought I sure now neede not I to passe,
For I can swymme and so escape this sande.
Thus dyd I deeme all carelesse like an Asse,
When sodaynely the wynde our foresayle tooke,
And turnd about and brought us eft to Seas.
Then cryed we all, cast out the ancor hooke,
And here let byde such helpe as god may please:
Which ancor cast, we soone the same forsooke,
And cut it off, for feare least thereupon
Our shippe should bowge, then callde we fast for fire,
And so dischargde our great gunnes everychone,
To warne the towne thereby of our desire:
But all in vayne, for succor sent they none.
At last a Hoy from Sea came flinging fast,
And towards us helde course as streight as lyne.
Then might you see our hands to heaven up cast
To render thanks unto the power devine,
That so vouchsafte to save us yet at last:
But when this Hoy gan (welneere) boorde our barke,
And might perceive what peryll we were in,
It turnd a way and left us still in (a) carke,
This tale is true (for now to lie were sin)
It lefte us there in dreade and daungers darke.
It lefte us so, and that within the sight
And hearing both of all the peare at Breyll.
Now ply thee pen, and paint the foule despite
Of drunken Dutchmen standing there even still,
For whom we came in their cause for to fight,
For whom we came their state for to defende,
For whom we came as friends to grieve their foes,
They now disdaynd (in this distresse) to lend
One helping boate for to asswage our woes:
They sawe our harmes the which they would not mend,
And had not bene that God even then did rayse
Some instruments to succor us at neede,
We had bene sunk and swallowed all in Seas.
But Gods will was (in way of our good speede)
That on the peare (lamenting our mysease)
Some englishe were, whose naked swordes did force
The drunken dutch, the cankred churles to come,
And so at last (not moved by remorce,
But forst by feare) they sent us succor some:
Some must I say: and for to tell the course,
They sent us succor saust with sowre despite,
They saved our lives and spoylde us of the rest,
They stale our goods by day and eke by night,
They shewed the worst and closely kept the best.
And in this time (this treason must I wryte)
Our Pylot fled, but how? not emptie handed:
He fled from us, and with him did conveye
A Hoy full fraught (whiles we meane while were landed)
With pouder, shotte, and all our best araye:
This skill he had, for all he set us sanded.
And now my Lord, declare your noble mynde,
Was this a Pylot, or a Pilate judge?
Or rather was he not of Judas kynde:
Which left us thus and close away could trudge?
Well, at the Bryell to tell you what we finde,
The Governour was all bedewed with drinke,
His truls and he were all layde downe to sleepe,
And we must shift, and of our selves must thinke
What meane was best, and how we best might keepe
That yet remaynd: the rest was close in clinke.
Well, on our knees with trickling teares of joye,
We gave God thanks: and as we might, did learne
What might be founde in every (a) pynke and hoye.
(a) A Small bote.
And thus my Lord, your honour may descerne
Our perils past, and how in our anoye
God saved me (your Lordshippes bound for ever)
Who else should not be able now to tell,
The state wherein this countrey doth persever,
Ne how they seeme in carelesse mindes to dwell.
(So did they earst and so they will do ever)
And to my Lord for to bewray my minde
Me thinkes they be a race of Bulbeefe borne,
Whose hartes their Butter mollyfieth by kinde,
And so the force of beefe is cleane outworne:
And eke their braines with double beere are lynde:
So that they march bumbast with buttred beere,
Like soppes of browesse puffed up with froth,
Where inwardely they be but hollowe geere,
As weake as winde, which with one puffe up goeth:
And yet they bragge, and thinke they have no peere,
Bicause Harlem hath hitherto helde out,
Although in deed (as they have suffred Spayne)
The ende thereof even now doth rest in doubt.
Well, as for that, let it (for me) remaine
In God his hands, whose hand hath brought me out,
To tell my Lord this tale nowe tane in hande,
As howe they traine their trezons all in drinke,
And when them selves for drunk can scarcely stande,
Yet sucke out secretes (as them selves do thinke)
From guests. The best (almost) in all their lande,
(I name no man, for that were brode before)
Will (as men say) enure the same sometime,
But surely this (or I mistake him sore)
Or else he can (but let it passe in rime)
Dissemble deepe, and mocke sometimes the more:
Well, drunkennesse is here good companie,
And therewithall per consequens it falles
That whordome is accompted jollitie:
A gentle state, where two suche Tenisballes
Are tossed still and better bowles let lie.
I cannot herewith from my Lord conceale,
How God and Mammon here do dwell yfeare,
And how the Masse is cloked under veale
Of pollicie, till all the coast be cleare.
Ne can I chuse, but I must ring a peale,
To tell what hypocrytes the Nunnes here be:
And how the olde Nunnes be content to go,
Before a man in streates like mother B,
Untill they come wheras there dwels a Ho,
(Receyve that halfe, and let the rest go free)
There can they poynt with finger as they passe,
Yea sir, sometimes they can come in themselfe,
To strike the bergaine tweene a wanton lasse,
And Edel bloets: nowe is not this good pelfe?
As for the yong Nunnes, they be bright as glasse,
And chaste forsooth, met v: and anders niet:
What sayde I? what? that is a misterie,
I may no verse of such a theame endite,
Yong Rowlande Yorke may tell it bet than I
Yet to my Lorde this little will I write,
That though I have (my selfe) no skill at all,
To take the countnance of a Colonel,
Had I a good Lieutenant general,
As good John Zuche wherever that he dwel,
Or else Ned Dennye (faire mought him befal)
I coulde have brought a noble regiment
Of smugskinnde Nunnes into my countrey soyle:
But farewell they as things impertinent,
Let them (for me) go dwell with master Moyle,
Who hath behight to place them well in Kent.
And I shall well my sillie selfe content,
To come alone unto my lovely Lorde,
And unto him (when riming sporte is spent)
To tel some sadde and reasonable worde,
Of Hollandes state, the which I will present,
In Cartes, in Mappes, and eke in Models made,
If God of heaven my purpose not prevent.
And in meane while although my wits do wade
In ranging rime, and fling some follie foorth,
I trust my Lorde will take it well in woorth.
Haud ictus sapio.