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Though to the Tuscans I the smoothness grant, The little taper which should give thee light, Our dialect no majesty doth want,
Methought wax'd dim, to see thy eyes so bright; To set thy praises in as high a key,
Thine eye again supply'd the taper's turn, As France, or Spain, or Germany, or they.
And with his beams more brightly made it burn: What day I quit the fore-land of fair Kent, The shrugging air about thy temples hurls, And that my ship her course for Flanders bent, And wrapt thy breath in little clouded curls, Yet think I with how many a heavy look
And as it did ascend, it straight did seize it, My leave of England and of thee I took,
And as it sunk it presently did raise it. And did intreat the tide (if it might be)
Canst thou by sickness banish beauty so, But to convey me one sigh back to thee.
Which if put from thee, knows not where to go lip to the deck a billow lightly skips,
To make her shift, and for succour seek Taking my sigh, and down again it slips,
To every rivel'd face, each bankrupt cheek? Into the gulph itself it headlong throws,
“ If health preserv’d, thou beauty still dost cherish; And as a post to England-ward it goes.
If that neglected, beauty soon doth perish.” As I sate wond’ring how the rough sea stirr'd, Care draws on care, woe comforts woe again, I might far off perceive a little bird,
Sorrow breeds sorrow, one grief brings forth twain. Which as she fain from shore to shore would fly, If live or die, as thou do'st, so do I; Had lost herself in the broad vasty sky,
If live, I live; and if thou die, I die : Her feeble wing beginning to deceive her,
One heart, one love, one joy, one grief, one troth, The seas of life still gaping to bereave her:
One good, one ill, one life, one death to both. Unto the ship she makes, which she discovers, If Howard's blood thou hold’st as but too vile, And there (poor fool!) a while for refuge hovers; Or not esteem’st of Norfolk's princely stile; And when at length her flagging pinion fails, If Scotland's coat no mark of fame can lend, Panting she hangs upon the rolling sails,
That lion plac'd in our bright silver bend, And being forc'd to loose her hold with pain, Which as a trophy beautifies our shield, Yet beaten off, she straight lights on again, [weather, Since Scottish blood discolour'd Floden field; And toss'd with flaws, with storms, with wind, with When the proud Cheviot our brave ensign bare, Yet still departing thence, still turneth thither: As a rich jewel in a lady's hair, Now with the poop, now with the prow doth bear, And did fair Bramston's neighbouring vallies choke Now on this side, now that, now here, now there. With clouds of cannons fire-disgorged smoke; Methinks these storms should be my sad depart, If Surrey's earldom insufficient be, The silly helpless bird is my poor heart,
And not a dower so well contenting thee: The ship, to which for succour it repairs,
Yet I am one of great Apollo's heirs, That is yourself, regardless of my cares.
The sacred Muses challenge me for theirs. Of every surge doth fall, or wave doth rise,
By Princes my immortal lines are sung, To some one thing I sit and moralize.
My flowing verses grac'd with ev'ry tongue: When for thy love I left the Belgic shore,
The little children when they learn to go, Divine Erasmus, and our famous More,
By painful mothers daded to and fro, Whose happy presence gave me such delight, Are taught my sugar'd numbers to rehearse, As made a minute of a winter's night;.
And have their sweet lips season'd with my verse. With whom a while I staid at Roterdame,
When heav’n would strive to do the best it can, Now so renowned by Erasmus' name:
And put an angel's spirit into man, Yet every hour did seem a world of time,
The utmost power it hath, it then doth spend, Till I had seen that soul-reviving clime,
When to the world a Poet it doth intend. And thought the foggy Netherlands unfit,
That little diff'rence 'twixt the gods and us, A wat'ry soil to clog a fiery wit.
(By them confirm’d) distinguish'd only thus: And as that wealthy Germany I past,
Whom they in birth ordain to happy days, Coming unto the Emperor's court at last,
The gods commit their glory to our praise ; Great-learn'd Agrippa, so profound in art,
T'eternal life when they dissolve their breath, Who the infernal secrets doth impart,
We likewise share a second pow'r by death. When of thy health I did desire to know,
When time shall turn those amber locks to gray, Me in a glass my Geraldine did show, .
My verse again shall gild and make them gay Sick in thy bed; and for thou could'st not sleep, And trick them up in knotted curls anew, By a wax taper set the light to keep;
And to thy autumn give a summer's hue; I do remember thou didst read that ode,
That sacred pow'r, that in my ink remains, Sent back whilst I in Thanet made abode,
Shall put fresh blood into thy wither'd veins, Where when thou cam'st unto that word of love, And on thy red decay’d, thy whiteness dead, Evin in thine eyes I saw how passion strove : Shall set a white more white, a red more red: That showy lawn which covered thy bed,
When thy dim sight thy glass cannot descry, Methought look'd white, to see thy cheek so red; Nor thy craz'd mirror can discern thine eje; Thy rosy cheek oft changing in my sight,
My verse, to tell th' one what the other was, Yet still was red, to see the lawn so white: Shall represent them both, thine eye and glass :
Where both thy mirror and thine eye shall see, Whose leaves still mutt'ring, as the air doth breathe, What once thou saw'st in that, that saw in thee; With the sweet bubbling of the stream beneath, And to them both shall tell the simple truth, Doth rock the senses (whilst the small birds sing) What that in pureness was, what thou in youth. Lulled asleep with gentle murmuring ;
If Florence once should lose her old renown, Where light-foot Fairies sport at prison-base, As famous Athens, now a fisher-town;
(No doubt there is some pow'r frequents the place) My lines for thee a Florence shall erect,
There the soft poplar and smooth beech do bear Which great Apollo ever shall protect,
Our names together carved every where, And with the numbers from my pen that falls, And Gordian knots do curiously entwine Bring marble mines to re-erect those walls.
The names of Henry and Geraldine. Nor beauteous Stanhope, whom all tongues report
O let this grove, in happy times to come, To be the glory of the English court,
Be call’d the lover's bless'd Elyzium; Shall by our nation be so much admir’d,
Whither my mistress wonted to resort, If ever Surrey truly were inspir'd.
In summer's heat, in those sweet shades to sport: And famous Wyat, who in numbers sings
A thousand sundry names I have it given, To that enchanting Thracian harper's strings,
And call'd it Wonder-hider, Cover-heav'n, To whom Phæbus (the Poets' god) did drink The roof where beauty her rich court doth keep, A bowl of nectar, fill'd up to the brink ;
Under whose compass all the stars do sleep. And sweet-tongu'd Bryan (whom the Muses kept,
There is one tree, which now I call to mind, And in his cradle rockt him whilst he slept)
Doth bear these verses carved in the rind : In sacred verses (most divinely penn'd)
" When Geraldine shall sit in thy fair shade, Upon thy praises ever shall attend.
Fan her fair tresses with perfumed air, What time I came into this famous town,
Let thy large boughs a canopy be made, And made the cause of my arrival known,
To keep the sun from gazing on my fair: Great Medices a list for triumphs built ;
And when thy spreading branched arms be sunk, Within the which, upon a tree of gilt,
And thou no sap nor pith shalt more retain, (Which was with sundry rare devices set)
Ev’n from the dust of thy unwieldy trunk I did erect thy lovely counterfeit,
I will renew thee, phænix-like, again, To answer those Italian dames desire,
And from thy dry decayed root will bring Which daily came thy beauty to admire;
A new-born stem, another Æson's spring." By which, my lion in his gaping jaws
I find no cause, nor judge I reason why, Held up my lance, and in his dreadful paws
My country should give place to Lombardy. Reacheth my gauntlet unto him that dare
As goodly flow'rs on Thamesis do grow, A beauty with my Geraldine's compare.
As beautify the banks of wanton Po; Which, when each manly valiant arm assays,
As many nymphs as haunt rich Arnus' strand, After so many brave triumphant days,
By silver Severn tripping hand in hand: The glorious prize upon my lance I bear,
Our shade's as sweet, though not to us so dear, By herald's voice proclaim'd to be thy share.
Because the sun hath greater power here. The shiver'd staves here for thy beauty broke,
This distant place doth give me greater woe; With fierce encounters past at every shock,
Far off, my sighs the farther have to go. When stormy courses answer cuff for cuff,
Ah, absence! why thus should'st thou seem so long? Denting proud bevers with the counter-buff,
Or wherefore should'st thou offer time such wrong, Upon an altar, burnt with holy flame,
Summer so soon to steal on winter's cold, I sacrific'd, as incense to thy fame :
Or winter blasts so soon make summer old ? Where, as the phenix from her spiced fume
Love did us both with one self-arrow strike, Renews herself, in that she doth consume;
Our wounds both one, our cure should be the like; So from these sacred ashes live we both,
Except thou hast found out some mean by art, Ev'n as that one Arabian wonder doth.
Some pow'rful medicine to withdraw the dart; When to my chamber I myself retire,
But mine is fixt, and absence being proved, Burnt with the sparks that kindled all this fire, It sticks too fast, it cannot be removed. Thinking of England, which my hope contains, Adieu, adieu, from Florence when I go, The happy isle where Geraldine remains :
By my next letters Geraldine shall know, Of Hunsdon, where those sweet celestial eyne
Which if good fortune shall my course direct, At first did pierce this tender breast of mine :
From Venice by some messenger expect;
By him that lives thy virtues to admire.
THE LADY GERALDINE TO HENRY Clipt by the water from the other land,
HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY. Whose bushy top doth bid the sun forbear,
Such greeting as the noble Surrey sends, And checks his proud beams that would enter there; The like to thee thy Geraldine commends;
A maiden's thoughts do check my trembling hand, Nor let the envy of envenom'd tongues,
Which still is grounded on poor ladies' wrongs,
By any doubt to make my love the less. But all is one, my faith as firm shall prove,
My house from Florence I do not pretend, As her's that makes the greatest shew of love. Nor from those Geralds claim I to descend;
In Cupid's school I never read those books, Nor hold those honours insufficient are, Whose lectures oft we practise in our looks,
That I receive from Desmond, or Kildare: Nor ever did suspicious rival eye
Nor better air will ever boast to breathe,
Than that of Lemster, Munster, or of Meath:
Than Windsor's or Fitz-Gerald's families:
It is enough to leave unto my heirs, Since first my pen was to the paper set.
If they but please t' acknowledge me for theirs. If I do err, you know my sex is weak,
To what place ever did the court remove, Fear proves a fault where maids are forc'd to speak. But that the house gives matter to my love? Do I not ill? Ah, sooth me not herein;
At Windsor still I see thee sit, and walk, Or, if I do, reprove me of my sin :
There mount thy courser, there devise, there talk, Chide me in faith, or if my fault you hide,
The robes, the garter, and the state of Kings, My tongue will teach myself, myself to chide. Into my thoughts thy hoped greatness brings: Nay, noble Surrey, blot it if thou wilt,
None-such, the name imports (methinks) so much,
Rear'd by the pow'r of thy victorious hand:
In Greenwich still, as in a glass, I view,
Where last thou bad'st thy Geraldine adieu. Which in my face he greater might have seen, With ev'ry little perling breath that blows, But that my fan I quickly put between;
How are my thoughts confus’d with joys and woes! Yet scarcely that my inward guilt could hide, As through a gate, so through my longing ears “ Fear seeing all, fears it of all is spy’d.”
Pass to my heart whole multitudes of fears. Like to a taper burning bright,
O, in a map that I might see thee show But wanting matter to maintain his light,
The place where now in danger thou do'st go! The blaze ascending, forced by the smoke,
Whilst we discourse, to travel with our eye Living by that which seeks the same to choke; Romania, Tuscan, and fair Lombardy; The flame still hanging in the air, doth burn, Or with thy pen exactly to set down Until drawn down, it back again return: [closeth, The model of that temple, or that town; Then clear, then dim, then spreadeth, and then And to relate at large where thou hast been, Now getteth strength, and now his brightness loseth; As there, and there, and what thou there hast seen; As well the best discerning eye may doubt, Expressing in a figure, by thy hand, Whether it be yet in, or whether out:
How Naples lies, how Florence fair doth stand:
Drawing a river in a little line,
To model Venice moated round about;
Then adding more to counterfeit a sea, Unto that end I did not place you thero:
And draw the front of stately Genoa. Airs to asswage the bloody soldier's mind,
These from thy lips were like harmonious tones, Poor women, we are naturally kind.
Which now do sound like mandrakes dreadful Perhaps you'll think, that I these terms enforce,
groans. For that in court this kindness is of course:
Some travel hence, t'enrich their minds with skill, Or that it is that honey-steeped gall,
Leave here their good, and bring home others ill; We oft are said to bait our loves withal;
Which seem to like all countries but their own, That in one eye we carry strong desire,
Affecting most, where they the least are known: In th’ other drops, which quickly quench that fire; Their leg, their thigh, their back, their neck, their Ah, what so false can envy speak of us,
head, But it shall find some vainly credulous ?
As they had been in sev'ral countries bred; I do not so, and to add proof thereto,
In their attire, their gesture, and their gate, I love in faith, in faith, sweet Lord, I do:
Found in each one, all Italianate,
So well in all deformity in fashion,
Sets her son (Tame) forth, brave as May,
Upon the joyful wedding day:
At Oxford all the Muses meet her,
And with a Prothalamion greet her. O God forbid that Howard's noble line,
The nymphs are in the bridal bow'rs,
Some strowing sweets, some sorting flow'rs;
And sings of rivers, and their praises.
Thus, with the song, the marriage ends.
Now fame had through this isle divulg'd in every That wealth and Poets never can agree.
The long-expected day of marriage to be near, [ear, Few live in court that of their good have care,
That Isis, Cotswold's heir, long woo'd was lastly The Muses' friends are every where so rare.
(son. Some praise thy worth (that it did never know), And instantly should wed with Tame,old Chiltern's Only because the better sort do so,
And now that wood-man's wife, the mother of Whose judgment never further doth extend,
the flood, Than it doth please the greatest to commend; The rich and goodly vale of Aylsbury, that stood So great an ill upon desert doth chance,
So much upon her Tame, was busied in her bowers, When it doth pass by beastly ignorance.
Preparing for her son as many suits of flowers, Why art thou slack, whilst no man put his hand As Cotswold for the bride, his Isis lately made; To praise the mount where Surrey's towers must Who for the lovely Tame, her bridegroom only staid. Or who the groundsil of that work doth lay, (stand? Whilst every crystal flood is to this business prest, Whilst like a wand'rer thou abroad do'st stray, The cause of their great speed and many thus reClip'd in the arms of some lascivious dame,
[blow, When thou should'st rear an Ilion to thy name? O! whither go ye, floods ? what sudden wind doth When shall the Muses by fair Norwich dwell,
[flow; To be the city of the learned well ?
Than other of your kind, that you so fast should Or Phæbus' altars there with incense heap’d, What business in hand, that spurs you thus away? As once in Cyrrha, or in Thebe kept ?
Fair Windrush, let me hear; I pray thee, Charwel Or when shall that fair hoof-plow'd spring distil
say. From great Mount-Surrey, out of Leonard's-hill? They suddenly reply,' What lets you should not see Till thou return, the court I will exchange
• That for this nuptial feast we all prepared be? For some poor cottage, or some country grange Therefore this idle chat our ears doth but offend: Where to our distaves, as we sit and spin,
• Our leisure serves not now these trifles to attend.' My maid and I will tell what things have been. But whilst things are in hand, old Chiltern (for Our lutes unstrung shall hang upon the wall,
his life) Our lessons serve to wrap our tow withall,
From prodigal expence can noway keep his wife; And pass the night, whiles winter-tales we tell, Who feeds her Tame with marle, in cordial-wise Of many things, that long ago befell:
prepar'd, Or tune such homely carrols as were sung
And thinks all idly spent, that now she only spar'd, In country sport, when we ourselves were young, In setting forth her son: nor can she think it well, In pretty riddles to bewray our loves,
Unless her lavish charge do Cotswolds far excel. In questions, purpose, or in drawing gloves.
For, Aylesbury's a vale that walloweth in her wealth, The noblest spirits, to virtue most inclined,
And (by her wholesome air continually in health) These here in court thy greatest want do find: Is lusty, firm, and fat, and holds her youthful Others there be, on which we feed our eye,
[length, Like arras-work, or such like imag'ry:
Besides her fruitful earth, her mighty breadth and Many of us desire Queen Cath’rine's state,
Doth Chiltern fitly match ; which mountainously But very few her virtues imitate,
And being very long, so likewise she doth lie (high, Then, as Ulysses' wife, write I to thee,
From the Bedfordian fields, where first she doth Make no reply, but come thyself to me.
[doth win To fashion like a vale, to th' place where Tame
His Isis' wished bed; her soil throughout so sure, POLYOLBION.-THE XV. SONG.
For goodness of her glebe, and for her pasture pure, THE ARGUMENT.
That as her grain and grass, so she her sheep doth The guests here to the bride-house hje.
breed, The goodly vale of Aylsbury
For burthen and for bone all other that exceed :
And she, which thus in wealth abundantly doth “Ye daughters of the hills, come down from every flow,
(stow : side, Now cares not on her child what cost she do be- And due attendance give upon the lovely bride: Which when wise Chiltern saw (the world who Go, strew the paths with flowers, by which she is to long had try'd,
pass. And now at last had laid all garish pomp aside ; For be ye thus assur’d, in' Albion never was Whose hoar and chalky head descry'd him to be old, A beauty (yet) like hers: where have you ever seen His beechen woods bereft, that kept him from the So absolute a nymph in all things, for a queen? cold)
Give instantly in charge the day be wondrous fair, Would fain persuade the vale to hold a steady rate; That no disorder'd blast attempt her braided hair. And with his curious wife, thus wisely doth debate: Go, see her state prepar'd, and every thing be fit. • Quoth he, you might allow what needeth, to The bride-chamber adorn’d with all beseeming it. the most :
(cost ? And for the princely groom, who ever yet could But whereas less will serve, what means this idle A flood that is so fit for Isis as the Tame? [name Too much, a surfeit breeds, and may our child an- Ye both so lovely are, that knowledge scarce can noy:
(cloy. tell, These fat and luscious meats do but our stomachs For feature whether he, or beauty she excel : The modest comely mien, in all things likes the That ravished with joy each other to behold, Apparel often shews us womanish precise. [wise, When as your crystal waists you closely do enfold, And what will Cotswold think when he shall hear Betwixt your beauteous selves you shall beget a son, of this?
That when your lives shall end, in him shall be He'll rather blame your waste, than praise your begun.
(light, cost, I wiss.'
The pleasant Surryan shores shall in that flood deBut women wilful be, and she her will must have; And Kent esteem herself most happy in his sight. Nor cares how Chiltern chides, so that her Tame The shire that London loves, shall only him prefer, be brave.
And give full many a gift to hold him near to her. Alone which tow’ds his love she eas’ly doth convey: The Scheldt, the goodly Meuse, the rich and viny For the Oxonian Ouze was lately sent away (feet; Rhine,
(plain, From Buckingham, where first he finds his nimbler Shall come to meet the Thames in Neptune's wat'ry Tow'ds Whittlewood then takes; where, past the And all the Belgian streams and neighbouring noblest street,
floods of Gaul, He to the forest gives his farewell, and doth keep Of him shall stand in awe his tributaries all.' His course directly down into the German deep, As of fair Isis thus the learned virgins spake, To publish that great day in mighty Neptune's hall, A shrill and sudden bruit this Prothalamion brake; That all the sea-gods there might keep it festival. That White-horse, for the love she bare to her ally, As we have told how Tame holds on his even And honoured sister vale, the bounteous Aylsbury, course,
Sent presents to the Tame by Ock her only flood, Return we to report, how Isis from her source
Which for his mother vale so much on greatness Comes tripping with delight down from her dain
stood. tier springs;
[brings From Oxford, Isis hastes more speedily, to see And in her princely train, t'attend her marriage, That river like his birth might entertained be: Clear, Churnet, Coln, and Leech, which first she For that ambitious vale, still striving to command, did retain,
(strain And using for her place continually to stand, With Windrush; and with her (all outrage to re- Proud White-horse to persuade, much business there Which well might off’red be to Isis as she went)
[queen. Came Yenlood with a guard of satyrs which were T'acknowledge that great vale of Eusham for her sent
[dame. And but that Eusham is so opulent and great, From Whichwood, to await the bright and god-like That thereby she herself holds in the sovereign seat, So, Bernwood did bequeath his satyrs to the Tame,
This White-horse all the vales of Britain would o'erFor sticklers in those stirs that at the feast should be. And absolutely sit in the imperial chair; [bear, These preparations great, when Charwell comes to And boasts as goodly herbs, and numerous flocks to To Oxford got before, to entertain the flood, (see, feed, Apollo's aid he begs, with all his sacred brood, To have as soft a glebe, as good increase of seed; To that most learned place to welcome her repair. As pure and fresh an air upon her face to tlow, Who in her coming on, was wax'd so wondrous fair, As Eusham for her life; and from her steed doth That meeting, strife arose betwixt them, whether Her lusty rising downs, as fair a prospect take (show, they
As that imperious Wold; which her great queen Her beauty should extol, or she admire their bay. doth make On whom their several gifts (to amplify her dow'r) So wond'rously admir’d, and her so far extend, The Muses there bestow; which ever have the pow'r
But to the marriage hence, industrious Muse descend. Immortal ber to make. And as she past along,
The Naiads and the nymphs extremely over-joy'd, Those modest Thespian maids thus to their Isis sung ;
And on the winding banks all busily employd,