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Thenot. Many meet tales of youth did he make, With painted words tho gan this proud weed And some of love, and some of chivalry,
(As most usen ambitious folk) But none fitter than this to apply.
His colour'd crime with craft to cloke. Now listen a while and hearken the end.
Ah, my Sovereign! lord of creatures all, * There grew an aged tree on the green,
Thou placer of plants both humble and tall, A goodly Oak sometime had it been,
Was not I planted of thine own hand, With arms full strong and largely display'd, To be the primrose of all thy land, But of their leaves they were disaray’d:
With flowring blossoms to furnish the prime, The body big and mightily pight,
And scarlet berries in sommer-time? Throughly rooted, and of wondrous height;
How falls it then that this faded Oak, Whilom had been the king of the field,
Whose body is sere, whose branches broke, And mochel mast to the husband did yield, Whose naked arms stretch unto the fire, And with his nuts larded many swine,
Unto such tyranny doth aspire, But now the gray moss marred his rine,
Hindring with his shade my lovely light, His bared boughs were beaten with storms, And robbing me of the sweet sun's sight? His top was bald, and wasted with worms,
So beat his old boughs my tender side, His honour decay’d, his braunches sere.
That oft the bloud springeth from woundes wide ; Hard by his side grew a bragging Breere, Untimely my flowers forced to fall, Which proudly thrust into th’ element,
That been the honour of your coronal; And seemed to threat the firmament:
And oft he lets his canker-worms light It was embellisht with blossoms fair,
Upon my branches, to work me more spight; And thereto aye wonted to repair
And of his hoary locks down doth cast, The shepherd's daughters to gather flowres, Wherewith my fresh flowrets been defast : To paint their garlands with his colowres,
For this, and many more such outrage, And in his small bushes used to shroud,
Craving your godlyhead to assuage The sweet nightingale singing so loud,
The rancorous rigour of his might; Which made this foolish Breere wex so bold, Nought ask I, but onely to hold my right, That on a time he cast him to scold,
Submitting me to your good sufferaunce,
And praying to be guarded from grievaunce.
Had kindled such coles of displeasure,
That the good man nould stay his leasure, With leaves engrained in lusty green,
But home him hasted with furious heat, Colours meet to cloath a maiden queen?
Encreasing his wrath with many a threat ; Thy waste bigness but cumbers the ground,
His harmful hatchet he hent in hand, And dirks the beauty of my blossoms round: (Alas! that it so ready should stand!) The mouldy moss, which thee accloyeth,
And to the field alone he speedeth, My cinnamon smell too much annoyeth:
(Aye little help to harm there needeth) Wherefore soon I rede thee hence remove,
Anger nould let him speak to the tree, Lest thou the price of my displeasure prove. Enaunter his rage mought cooled be, So spake this bold Breere with great disdain, But to the root bent his sturdy stroak, Little him answer'd the Oak again,
And made many wounds in the waste Oak. But yielded, with shame and grief adaw'd,
The axe's edge did oft turn again, That of a weed he was over-craw'd.
As half unwilling to cut the grain, It chaunced after upon a day,
Seemed the senseless iron did fear, The husband-man's self to come that way,
Or to wrong holy eld did forbear; Of custom to surview his ground,
For it had been an antient tree,
Sacred with many a mystery,
And often hallowed with holy-water dew;
But like fancies weren foolery, O my liege Lord! the god of my life,
And broughten this Oak to this misery; Please you pond your suppliant's plaint,
For nought mought they quitten him from decay, Caused of wrong and cruell constraint,
For fiercely the good man at him did lay. Which I your poor vassal daily endure;
The block oft groaned under his blow, And but your goodness the same recure,
And sighed to see his near overthrow. Am like for desperate dole to die,
In fine, the steel had pierced his pith, Through felonous force of mine enemy.
Tho down to the ground he fell forthwith. Greatly aghast with this piteous plea,
His wondrous weight made the ground to quake, Him rested the good man on the lea,
Th' earth shrunk under him, and seem'd to shake : And bad the Breere in his plaint proceed.
There lieth the Oak pitied of none.
Now stands the Breere like a lord alone,
Pay to her usury of long delight; Puff'd up with pride and vain pleasance ;
And whilst she doth her dight, But all this glee had no continuance:
Do ye to her of joy and solace sing, For eftsoons winter 'gan to approach,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. The blustering Boreas did encroach, And beat upon the solitary Breere,
Bring with you all the nymphs that you can hear For now no succour was seen him neere.
Both of the rivers and the forests green, Now 'gan he repent his pride too late,
And of the sea that neighbours to her near, For naked left and disconsolate,
All with gay girlands goodly well beseen ; The biting frost nipt his stalk dead,
And let them also with them bring in hand The watry wet weighed down his head,
Another gay girland, And heaped snow burdned him so sore,
For my fair love, of lillies and of roses, That now upright he can stand no more ;
Bound true love wise with a blue silk riband; And being down is trod in the durt
And let them make great store of bridal posies, Of cattel, and brouzed, and sorely hurt.
And let them eke bring store of other flowers Such was th' end of this ambitious Breere,
To deck the bridal bowers ; For scorning eld"
And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread, Cuddy. Now I pray thee shepherd, tell it not forth: For fear the stones her tender foot should wrong, Here is a long tale and little worth.
Be strew'd with fragrant flowers all along, So long have I listened to thy speech,
And diapred like the discoloured meed: That graffed to the ground is my breech;
Which done, do at her chamber-door await, My heart-blood is well nigh frozen I feel,
For she will waken strait; And my galage grown fast to my heel;
The whiles do ye this song unto her sing, But little ease of thy leud tale I tasted ;
The woods shall to you answer, and your eccho ring. Hie thee home, shepherd, the day is nigh wasted.
“ Ye nymphs of Mulla, which with careful heed The silver scaly trouts do tend full well,
And greedy pikes which use therein to feed, EPITHALAMION.
(Those trouts and pikes all others do excel) Ye learned Sisters! which have oftentimes
And ye likewise, which keep the rushie lake, Been to me aiding, others to adorn,
Where none do fishes take, Whom ye thought worthy of your graceful rimes, Bind up the locks the which hang scattered light, That ev'n the greatest did not greatly scorn And in his waters, which your mirror make, To hear their names sung in your simple layes,
Behold your faces as the crystal bright, But joyed in their praise ;
That when you come whereas my love doth lie, And when ye list your own mishap to mourn,
No blemish she may spie. Which death, or love, or fortune's wreck, did raise, And eke, ye lightfoot Maids! which keep the door, Your string could soon to sadder tenour turn,
That on the hoary mountain use to towre, And teach the woods and waters to lament
And the wild wolves which seek them to devour, Your doleful dreriment;
Which your steel darts do chace from coming near, Now lay those sorrowful complaints aside,
Be also present here And having all your heads with girlands crown'd,
To help to deck her, and to help to sing, Help me mine own love's praises to resound,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. Ne let the same of any be envide: So Orpheus did for his own bride;
“ Wake now, my Love! awake, for it is time; So I unto my self alone will sing,
The rosie morn long since left Tithon's bed,
And ready to her silver coach to clime,
And Phæbus 'gins to shew his glorious head. Early before the world's light-giving lamp
Hark! how the chearful birds do chaunt their layes, His golden beam upon the hills dòth spred,
And carrol of Love's praise.
The thrush replies, the mevis descant plays,
The ouzel shrills, the ruddock warbles soft; My truest turtle-dove,
So goodly all agree, with sweet consent, Bid her awake, for Hymen is awake,
To this day's merriment. And long since ready forth his mask to move, Ah! my dear Love! why do you sleep thus long, With his bright teade that flames with many a flake, When meeter were that ye should now awake, And many a batchelor to wait on him,
T'await the coming of your joyous make, In their fresh garments trim ;
And hearken to the bird's love-learned song,
For they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
“ My love is now awake out of her dreams, Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best:
Do like a golden mantel her attire,
Seem like some maiden queen.
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold And all that ever in this world is fair
So many gazers as on her do stare, Do make and still repair :
Upon the lowly ground affixed are, And ye three Handmaids of the Cyprian queen,
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, The which do still adorn her beauty's pride, But blush to hear her praises sung so loud, Help to adora my beautifullest bride,
So far from being proud. And as ye her array, still throw between
Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing, Some graces to be seen;
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. And as ye use to Venus, to her sing, (ring. The whiles the woods shall answer, and your eccho « Tell me, ye merchants' daughters! did ye see
So fair a creature in your town before, « Now is my love all ready forth to come,
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, Let all the virgins therefore well await;
Adorn'd with beauty's grace and vertue's store ? And ye, fresh Boys, that tend upon her groom, Her goodly eyes like saphires shining bright, Prepare yourselves, for he is coming strait:
Her forehead ivory white, Set all your things in seemly good array,
Her cheeks like apples which the sun hath rudded, Fit for so joyful day,
Her lips like cherries, charming men to bite, The joyfulst day that ever sun did see.
Her breast like to a bowl of cream uncrudded, Fair Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
Her paps like lillies budded, And let thy life-ful heat not fervent be,
Her snowy neck like to a marble towre, For fear of burning her sun-sbiny face,
And all her body like a palace fair, Her beauty to disgrace.
Ascending up with many a stately stair O fairest Phæbus ! father of the Muse,
To Honour's seat, and Chastity's sweet bowre. If ever I did honour thee aright,
Why stand ye still, ye virgins! in amaze,
Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing,
To which the woods did answer, and your ecchoring. Let all the rest be thine: Then I thy soveraign praises loud will sing, “ But if ye saw that which no eyes can see, That all the woods shall answer and their ecchoring. The inward beauty of her lively spright,
Garnish'd with heavenly gifts of high degree, Hark! how the minstrels 'gin to shrill aloud Much more then would ye wonder at the sight, Their merry music that resounds from far,
And stand astonish'd like to those which red
There dwells sweet Love and constant Chastity, But most of all the damzels do delite
Unspotted Faith and comely Womanhood, When they their timbrels smite,
Regard of Honour and mild Modesty ; And thereunto do daunce and carrol sweet, There Vertue reigns as queen of royal throne That all the senses they do ravish quite ;
And giveth laws alone, The whiles the boys run up and down the street,
The which the base affections do obey, Crying aloud, with strong confused noise,
And yield their services unto her will; As if it were one voice,
Ne thought of things uncomely ever may Hymen, lö Hymen! Hymen they do shout,
Thereto approach, to tempt her mind to ill. That even to the heavens their shouting shrill Had ye once seen these her celestial treasures, Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill;
And unrevealed pleasures, To which the people standing all about,
Then would ye wonder, and her praises sing, [ring. As in approvance, do thereto applaud,
That all the woods should answer, and your eccho And loud advance her laud. And even more they Hymen, Hymen sing,
“ Open the temple-gates upto my love, That all thewoods them answer, and their eccho ring. Open them wide that she may enter in,
And all the posts adorn as doth behove, « Loe, where she comes along with portly pace, And all the pillars deck with girlands trim, Like Phæbe, from her chamber of the East,
For to receive this saint with honour due, Arising forth to run her mighty race,
That cometh in to you.
With trembling steps and humble reverence When once the Crab behind his back he sees: She cometh in before th’ Almighty's view;
But for this time it ill ordained was, Of her, ye Virgins ! learn obedience,
To chuse the longest day in all the year, Whenso ye come into those holy places,
And shortest night, when longest fitter were ; To humble your proud faces.
Yet never day so long but late would pass. Bring her up to th' high altar, that she may
Ring ye the bells to make it wear away, The sacred ceremonies there partake,
And bonefires make all day, The which do endless matrimony make;
And daunce about them, and about them sing, And let the roaring organs loudly play
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. The praises of the Lord, in lively notes, The whiles with hollow throats
“ Ah! when will this long weary day have end, The choristers the joyous anthems sing,
And lend me leave to come unto my love? That all the woods may answer, and theireccho ring. How slowly do the hours their numbers spend?
How slowly doth sad Time his feathers move? “ Behold, whiles she before the altar stands,
Haste thee, O fairest Planet! to thy home, Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks,
Within the western foame; And blesses her with his two happy hands,
Thy tyred steeds long since have need of rest. How the red roses flush up in her cheeks !
Long tho it be, at last I see it gloom, And the pure snow, with goodly vermil stain, And the bright evening-star with golden crest, Like crimson dy'd in grain,
Appear out of the east. That even the angels, which continually
Fair child of beauty, glorious lamp of love About the sacred altar do remain,
That all the host of heaven in ranks dost lead, Forget their service, and about her fly,
And guidest lovers through the night's sad dread, Oft peeping in her face, that seems more fair How chearfully thou lookest from above, The more they on it stare :
And seem'st to laugh atween thy twinkling light, But her sad eyes, still fastned on the ground, As joying in the sight Are governed with goodly modesty,
Of these glad many, which for joy do sing, (ring.” That suffers not one look to glaunce awry,
That all the woods them answer, and their eccho Which may let in a little thought unsound. Why blush ye, Love! to give to me your hand, Now cease, ye Damsels! your delights fore past, The pledge of all your band ?
Enough it is that all the day was yours; Sing, ye sweet angels! Alleluya sing,
Now day is done, and night is nighing fast, That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. Now bring the bride into the bridal bowres;
Now night is come, now soon her disarray, “ Now all is done; bring home the bride again,
And in her bed her lay; Bring home the triumph of our victory :
Lay her in lillies and in violets, Bring home with you the glory of her gain,
And silken curtains over her display, With joyance bring her, and with jollity.
And odour'd sheets, and arras coverlets. Never had man more joyful day than this,
Behold how goodly my fair love does lie, Whom Heaven would heap with bliss.
In proud humility; Make feast, therefore, now all this live-long day,
Like unto Maia, whenas Jove her took This day for ever to me holy is;
In Tempe, lying on the flowrie grass, Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
'Twixt sleep and wake, after she weary was Pour not by cups, but by the belly-full:
With bathing in the Acidalian brook :
Now it is night, ye damsels may be gone,
former lays to sing ; Crown ye god Bacchus with a coronal,
The woods no more shall answer, nor your ecchorings And Hymen also crown with wreaths of vine, And let the Graces daunce unto the rest,
Now welcome night, thou night so long expected, For they can do it best;
That long day's labour dost at length defray, The whiles the maidens do their carol sing, (ring. And all my cares, which cruel Love collected, To which the woods shall answer, and their eccho Hast summ'd in one, and cancelled for aye:
Spread thy broad wing over my love and me, « Ring ye the bells, ye young men of the town, That no man may us see, And leave your wonted labours for this day; And in thy sable mantle us enwrap, This day is holy; do you write it down,
From fear of peril, and foul horror free; That ye for ever it remember may:
Let no false treason seek us to entrap, This day the sun is in its chiefest hight,
Nor any dread disquiet once annoy With Barnaby the bright;
The safety of our joy, From whence declining daily by degrees,
But let the night be calm and quietsome, He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
Without tem ous storms or sad affray,
Like as when Jove with fair Alcmena lay,
The Latmian shepherd once unto thee brought, When he begot the great Tirynthian groom;
His pleasures with thee wrought: Or like as when he with thy self did lie,
Therefore to us be favourable now, And begot Majesty;
And sith of women's labours thou hast charge, And let the maids and young men cease to sing ;
And generation goodly dost enlarge,
Encline thy will t' effect our wishful vow,
That may our comfort breed;
Till which we cease our hopeful hap to sing, Be heard all night within, nor yet without ;
Ne let the woods us answer, nor our eccho ring. Ne let false whispers, breeding hidden fears, Break gentle sleep with misconceived doubt:
And thou, great Juno! which with awful might Let no deluding dreams, nor dreadful sights,
The laws of wedlock still dost patronize, Make sudden sad affrights;
And the religion of the faith first plight, Ne let house-fires, nor lightnings, helpless harms,
With sacred rights hast taught to solemnize, Ne let the ponk, nor other evil sprights,
And eke for comfort often called art Ne let mischievous witches with their charms,
Of women in their smart, Ne let hob-goblins, names whose sense we see not,
Eternally bind thou this lovely band, Fray us with things that be not:
And all thy blessing unto us impart. Let not the scriech-owl nor the stork be heard,
And thou, glad Genius ! in whose gentle hand Nor the night-raven, that still deadly yells,
The bridal bower and genial bed remain, Nor damned ghosts, call’d up with mighty spells,
Without blemish or stain, Nor griesly vultures, make us once affeard:
And the sweet pleasures of their love's delight Ne let th' unpleasant quire of frogs still croking,
With secret aid dost succour and supply, Make us to wish their choking;
Till they bring forth the fruitful progeny, Let none of these their drery accents sing,
Send us the timely fruit of this same night, Ne let the woods them answer, nor their eccho ring.
And thou, fair Hebe! and thou, Hymen free,
Grant that it so may be. But let still Silence true night-watches keep,
Till which we cease your further praise to sing That sacred Peace may in assurance reign,
Ne any woods shall answer, nor your eccho ring. And timely Sleep, when it is time to sleep, May pour his limbs forth on your pleasant plain ;
And ye, high Heavens! the temple of the gods, The whiles an hundred little winged Loves,
In which a thousand torches flaming bright Like divers-fethered doves,
Do burn, that to us wretched earthly clods Shall fly and flutter round about your bed,
In dreadful darkness lend desired light; And in the secret dark, that none reproves,
And all ye Powers which in the same remain, Their pretty stealths shall work, and snares shall
More than we men can feign, spread,
Pour out your blessing on us plenteously, To filch away sweet snatches of delight,
And happy influence upon us rain, Conceal'd through covert night.
That we may rise a large posterity, Ye sons of Venus! play your sports at will,
Which from the earth, which they may long possess For greedy Pleasure, careless of your toyes,
With lasting happiness, Thinks more upon her Paradise of joyes
Up to your haughty palaces may mount, Than what you do, all be it good or ill.
And for the guerdon of your glorious merit All night, therefore, attend your merry play,
May heavenly tabernacles there inherit, For it will soon be day:
Of blessed saints for to increase the count: Now none doth hinder you that say or sing,
So let us rest, sweet Love! in hope of this Ne will the woods now answer, nor your eccho ring.
And cease till then our timely joys to sing,
The woods no more us answer, nor our eccho ring. Who is the same which at my window peeps ? Or whose is that fair face which shines so bright?
Song made in lieu of many ornaments Is it not Cynthia, she that never sleeps,
With which my love should duly have been deckt, But walks about high heaven all the night?
Which cutting off through hasty accidents, O! fairest Goddess! do thou not envy
Ye would not stay your due time to expect, My love with me to spy;
But promis'd both to recompence, For thou likewise didst love, though now unthought, But unto her a goodly ornament, And for a fleece of wool, which privily
And for short time an endless monument.