Page images

daughter Philoclea, which was the cause they three were matched together in this picture, without having any other creature living in that lodge with him.

• Which though it be strange, yet not so strange as the course he hath taken with the princess Pamela, whom he hath placed in the other lodge: bút how, think you, accompanied ? Truly with none other but one Dametus, the most arrant doltish clown, that I think ever was without the privilege of a bable, with his wife Miso and daughter Mopsa, in whom no wit can devise any thing wherein they may pleasure her, but to exercise her patience and to serve for a foil of her perfections. This loutish clown is such, that you never saw so ill-favoured a visor; his behaviour such, that he is beyond the degree of ridiculous ; and for his apparel, even as I would wish him: Myso, his wife, so handsome a beldam, that only her face and splayfoot have made her accused for a witch; only one good point she hath, that she observes decorum, having a froward mind in a wretched body. Between these two personages (who never agreed in any humour, but in disagreeing) is issued forth mistress Mopsa, a fit woman to participate of both their perfections: but because a pleasant fellow of my acquaintance set forth her praises in verse, I will only repeat them, and spare mine own tongue, since she goes for a woman. The verses are these, which I have so often caused to be sung, that I have them without book :

* What length of verse can serve brave Mopsa's good to show, When virtues strange, and beauties such as no man them may Like great god Saturn fair, and like fair Venus chaste; As smooth as Pan, as Juno mild, like goddess Iris faced, With Cupid she foresees, and goes god Vulcan's pace; And, for a taste of all these gifts, she steals god Momus' grace.

know? Thus shrewdly burthen'd then, 'how can my Muse escape ? The gods must help, and precious things must serve to show her


Her forehead jacinth-like, her cheeks of opal hue, Her twinkling eyes bedeck'd with pearl, her lips a sapphire Blues Her hair like crapal stone; her mouth, O heavenly wide! Her skin like burnish'd gold, her hands like silver ore untried:

As for her parts unknown, which hidden sure are best: Happy be they which will believe, and never seek the rest.'*

ELEGIACS. « Dorus.- Fortupė, Nature, Love, long have contended about

me, Which should most miseries cast on a worin that I am. Fortune thus gan say,

Misery and misfortune is all one; And of misfortune, Fortune hath only the gift. With strong foes on land, on sea with contrary tempests, Still do I cross this wretch, whatso he taketh in hand.' • Tush, tush,' said Nature, this is all but a trifle: a man's self Gives haps or mishaps, even as he ordereth his heart. But so his humour I frame, in a mould of choler adusted, That the delights of life shall be to him dolorous.' Love'smiled, and thus said; What join'd to desire is unhappy? But, if he fought do desire, what can Heraclitus ail? None but I work by desire: by desire have I kindled in his soul Infernal agonies into a beauty divine: Where thou, poor Nature, left'st all thy due glory, to Fortune Her virtue is sovereign, Fortune a vassal of hers.' Nature abash'd went back: Fortune blush'd: yet she replied thus • And even in that love shall I reserve him a spite.' Thus, thus, alas! woeful by Nature, unhappy by Fortune ; But most wretched I am, now Love awakes my desire."

“ If mine eyes can speak to do hearty errand,

Or mine eye's language she do hap to judge of,
So that eye's message be of her received,

Hope, we do live yet.

* See Johnson's Lyce.'

But if eyes fail then when I most do need them,
Or if eye's language be not unto her known,
So that eye's message do return rejected,

Hope, we do both die.

Yet dying and dead, do we sing her honour :
So becomes our tomb monument of her praise ;
So becomes our loss the triumph of her gain;

Hers be the glory.

If the spheres senseless do yet hold a music,
If the swan's sweet voice be not heard but at death,
If the mute timber, when it hath the life lost,

Yieldeth a lute's tune:

Are then human lives privileged so meanly,
As that hateful death can abridge them of power
With the vow of truth to record to all worlds,

That we be her spoils ?

Thus not ending ends the due praise of her praise :
Fleshly vail consumes; but a soul hath his life,
Which is held in love; love it is, that hath join'd

Life to this our soul.

But if eyes can speak to do hearty errand,
Or mine eye's language she doth hap to judge of,
So that eye's message be of her received,

Hope, we do live yet.

Virtue, beauty, and speech, did strike, wound, chảrm,

My heart, eyes, ears, with wonder, love, delight: First, second, last, did bind, enforce, and arm,

His works, shows, suits, with wit, grace, and vow's might.

[ocr errors]

Thus honour, liking, trust, much, far, and deep,

Held, pierced, possessid, my judgement, sense, and will ; Tin wrong, contempt, deceit, did grow, steal

, creep, Bonds, favour, faith, to break, dešle, and kil


Then grief, unkindness, proof, took, kindled, wrought

Well-grounded, noble, due, spite, rage, disdain : But ah, alas! (in vảin) my mind, sight, thought,

Doth him, his face, his words, leave, shun, refrain ;






For no thing, time, nor place, can loose, queńch, ease,
Mine own, embraced, sought, knot, fire, disease."

As somewhat less quaint in their composition, two additional specimens are subjoined. “The love, which is imprinted in my soul,

With beauty's seal and virtue fair disguised,
With inward cries puts up a bitter roll

Of huge complaints, that now it is despised.

Thus then the more I love, the wrong

the more Monstrous appears; long truth received late, Wrong stirs remorsed grief, grief's deadly sore

Unkindness breeds, unkindness fostereth hate.

Byt ah! the more I hate, the more I think

Whom I do hate; the more I think on him,
The more his matchless gifts do deeply sink

Into my breast, and loves renewed swim.
What medicine then can such disease remove,
Where love draws hate, and hate engendereth love ?"

“ As I my little flock on Ister bank

(A little flock; but well my pipe they couth) Did piping lead, the sun already sank

Beyond our world, and ere I got my booth, :

Each thing with mantle black the night doth scoth ;
Saving the glow-worm, which would courteous be
Of that small light oft watching shepherds see.

The welkin had full niggardly enclosed

In coffer of dim clouds his silver groats, Ycleped stars; each thing to rest disposed,

The caves were full, the mountains void of goats,

The birds' eyes closed, closed their chirping notes.
As for the nightingale, wood-music's king,
It August was, he deign'd not then to sing.

Amid my sheep, though I saw nought to fear,

Yet for I nothing saw, I feared sore;
Then found I which thing is a charge to bear:

As for my sheep, I dreaded mickle more

Than ever for myself, since I was bore.
I sat me down, for see to go ne could,
And sang unto my sheep lest stray they should

The song I sang old Languet had me taught,
• Languet, the shepherd best swift Ister knew,
For clerkly reed and hating what is nought,

For faithful heart, clean hands, and mouth as true :

With his sweet skill my skill-less youth he drew.
To have a feeling taste of Him that sits
Beyond the heaven, far more beyond our wits.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

He said, "The music best thilk powers pleased,

• Has jump concord between our wit and will; • Where highest notes to godliness are raised,

• And lowest sink not down to jot of ill :'

With old true tales he wont mine ears to fill, • How shepherds did of yore, how now they thrive, Spoiling their flock, or while 'twixt them they strive,'

He liked me, but pitied lustful youth:

His good strong staff my slippery years upbore. He still hoped well, because I loved truth;

Till forced to part, with heart and eyes even sore

To worthy Corydon he gave me o'er :
But thus in oak's true shade recounted be,
Which now in night's deep shade sheep heard of me."

« PreviousContinue »