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I press to bear no haughty sway;

Look, what I lack my mind supplies:
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.
Some have too much, yet still do crave; 25

I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,

And I am rich with little store:
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live. 30
I laugh not at another's loss;

I grudge not at another's pain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;

My state at one doth still remain:
I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;

35 I loathe not life, nor dread my end.

38

42

FROM AN ODE “False !” She said, “how can it be, To court another, yet love me? Crowns and Love no partners brook; If she be liked, I am forsook. Farewell, False, and love her still ! Your chance was good, but mine was ill. No harm to you but this I crave That your new Love may you deceive, And jest with you as you have done;

For light's the love that's quickly won.” “Kind and fair Sweet, once believe me! Jest I did, but not to grieve thee; Words and sighs and what I spent In show to her, to you were meant. Fond I was, your love to cross, Jesting love oft brings this loss! Forget this fault! and love your friend, Which vows his truth unto the end !” “Content,” She said, “if this you keep!” Thus both did kiss, and both did weep.

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SIR EDWARD DYER (15507-1607)

MY MIND TO ME A KINGDOM IS

SIR WALTER RALEIGH (15527-1618)

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My mind to me a kingdom is,

Such present joys therein I find That it excels all other bliss

That earth affords or grows by kind: Though much I want which most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave. No princely pomp, no wealthy store,

No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to feed a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall:
For why? My mind doth serve for all.
I see how plenty (surfeits) oft,

And hasty climbers soon do fall;
I see that those which are aloft

Mishap doth threaten most of all; They get with toil, they keep with fear: Such cares my mind could never bear. Content to live, this is my stay;

I seek no more than may suffice;

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THE RENAISSANCE

IO

VIII

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EDMUND SPENSER (15527-1599)

Tell her the joyous time will not be stayed,

Unless she do him by the forelock take;
AMORETTI

Bid her therefore herself soon ready make
To wait on Love amongst his lovely crew;
Where everyone that misseth then her make'

Shall be by him amerced with penance due. More than most fair, full of the living fire

Make haste, therefore, sweet love, whilst it is Kindled above unto the Maker near;

prime; No eyes but joys, in which all powers conspire

For none can call again the passed time.
That to the world naught else be counted dear;
Through your bright beams doth not the blinded

guest
Shoot out his darts to base affections wound;

Men call you fair, and you do credit it, But angels come to lead frail minds to rest

For that yourself ye daily such do see: In chaste desires, on heavenly beauty bound.

But the true fair, that is the gentle wit

And virtuous mind, is much more praised of me: You frame my thoughts, and fashion me within;

For all the rest, however fair it be,
You stop my tongue, and teach my heart to speak;
You calm the storm that passion did begin,

Shall turn to nought and lose that glorious hue; Strong through your cause, but by your virtue

But only that is permanent and free weak.

From frail corruption that doth flesh ensue.

That is true beauty; that doth argue you Dark is the world, where your light shined

To be divine, and born of heavenly seed;
never;
Well is he born that may behold you ever.

Derived from that fair Spirit from whom all true
And perfect beauty did at first proceed:

He only fair, and what he fair hath made;

All other fair, like flowers, untimely fade.
Like as a ship, that through the ocean wide,
By conduct of some star doth make her way,

PROTHALAMION
Whenas a storm hath dimmed her trusty guide,
Out of her course doth wander far astray;

Calm was the day, and through the trembling air
So I, whose star, that wont with her bright ray Sweet, breathing Zephyrus did softly play
Me to direct, with clouds is overcast,

A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay Do wander now, in darkness and dismay,

Hot Titan's beams, which then did glister fair; Through hidden perils round about me placed; When I (whom sullen care, Yet hope I well that, when this storm is past, Through discontent of my long fruitless stay My Helicë, the lodestar of my life,

In princes' court, and expectation vain Will shine again, and look on me at last,

Of idle hopes, which still do fly away,
With lovely light to clear my cloudy grief: Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain)

Till then I wander careful, comfortless, Walked forth to ease my pain
In secret sorrow, and sad pensiveness.

Along the shore of silver streaming Thames;
Whose rutty ? bank, the which his river hems,
Was painted all with variable flowers,

And all the meads adorned with dainty gems Fresh Spring, the herald of love's mighty king,

Fit to deck maidens' bowers,
In whose coat-armour richly are displayed

And crown their paramours
All sorts of flowers the which on earth do spring Against the bridal day, which is not long:
In goodly colours gloriously arrayed;

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.
Go to my love, where she is careless laid,
Yet in her winter's bower not well awake;

XXIV

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Even as their bridal day, which was not long:

Sweet Thames ! run softly, till I end my song.

20

1

30

There, in a meadow, by the river's side,
A flock of nymphs I chanced to espy,
All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks, all loose untied,
As each had been a bride:
And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket,
And with fine fingers cropt full feateously?
The tender stalks on high.
Of every sort, which in that meadow grew,
They gathered some; the violet, pallid blue,
The little daisy, that at evening closes,
The virgin lily, and the primrose true,
With store of vermeil roses,
To deck their bridegroom's posies
Against the bridal day, which was not long:

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.
With that I saw two swans of goodly hue
Come softly swimming down along the Lee;
Two fairer birds I yet did never see;
The snow, which doth the top of Pindus strew,
Did never whiter shew,
Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would be
For love of Leda, whiter did appear;
Yet Leda was, they say, as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near;
So purely white they were,
That even the gentle stream, the which them bare,
Seemed foul to them, and bade his billows spare
To wet their silken feathers, lest they might
Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair,
And mar their beauties bright,

51 That shone as heaven's light, Against their bridal day, which was not long:

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew
Great store of flowers, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,
All which upon those goodly birds they threw
And all the waves did strew,
That like old Peneus' waters they did seem, 78
When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore,
Scattered with flowers, through Thessaly they

stream,
That they appear, through lilies' plenteous store,
Like a bride's chamber floor.
Two of those nymphs meanwhile, two garlands

bound Of freshest flowers which in that mead they

found, The which presenting all in trim array, Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crowned, Whilst one did sing this lay, Prepared against that day, Against their bridal day, which was not long: 89

Sweet Thames ! run softly, till I end my song.

38

“Ye gentle birds! the world's fair ornament,
And heaven's glory whom this happy hour
Doth lead unto your lover's blissful bower,
Joy may you have, and gentle hearts' content
Of your love's couplement;
And let fair Venus, that is queen of love,
With her heart-quelling son upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove
All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile
For ever to assoil;
Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed plenty wait upon your board;
And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound,
That fruitful issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joys redound
Upon your bridal day, which is not long:”

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

100

fill,

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Ran all in haste to see that silver brood,
As they came floating on the crystal flood;
Whom when they saw, they stood amazed still,
Their wondering eyes to fill;
Them seemed they never saw a sight so fair
Of fowls so lovely, that they sure did deem 61
Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair
Which through the sky draw Venus' silver team;
For sure they did not seem
To be begot of any earthly seed,
But rather angels, or of angels' breed;
Yet were they bred of summer's heat, they say,
In sweetest season, when each flower and weed
The earth did fresh array;
So fresh they seemed as day,

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So ended she: and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said their bridal day should not be long:
And gentle Echo from the neighbour ground
Their accents did resound.
So forth those joyous birds did pass along,
Adown the Lee, that to them murmured low,
As he would speak, but that he lacked a tongue,
Yet did by signs his glad affection show,
Making his stream run slow.
And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell
'Gan flock about these twain, that did excel

The rest, so far as Cynthia doth shend?
The lesser stars. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend
Against their wedding day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature
Beseeming well the bower of any queen, 170
With gifts of wit, and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature,
That like the twins of Jove they seemed in sight,
Which deck the baldrick of the heavens bright;
They two, forth pacing to the river's side,
Received those two fair brides, their love's delight;
Which, at th' appointed tide,
Each one did make his bride
Against their bridal day, which is not long: 179

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

FROM AN EPITHALAMION

At length they all to merry London came,
To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
That to me gave this life's first native source;
Though from another place I take my name, 130
An house of ancient fame:
There when they came, whereas ? those bricky

towers
The which on Thames' broad, aged back do ride,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers,
There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide,
Till they decayed through pride:
Next whereunto there stands a stately place,
Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace
Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feels my friendless case;
But ah! here fits not well
Old woes, but joys, to tell
Against the bridal day, which is not long:

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

141

Ye learned sisters, which have oftentimes
Been to me aiding, others to adorn,
Whom ye thought worthy of your graceful rimes,
That even the greatest did not greatly scorn
To hear their names sung in your simple lays,
But joyed in their praise;
And when ye list your own mishaps to mourn,
Which Death, or Love, or Fortune's wreck did

raise,
Your string could soon to sadder tenor turn,
And teach the woods and waters to lament
Your doleful dreariment:
Now lay those sorrowful complaints aside;
And, having all your heads with garlands crowned,
Help me mine own love's praises to resound;
Ne let the same of any be envied;
So Orpheus did for his own bride!
So I unto myself alone will sing;
The woods shall to me answer, and my echo ring.

10

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer,
Great England's glory, and the world's wide

wonder, Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did

thunder, And Hercules' two pillars standing near Did make to quake and fear: Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry! 150 That fillest England with thy triumph's fame, Joy have thou of thy noble victory, And endless happiness of thine own name, That promiseth the same; That through thy prowess, and victorious arms, Thy country may be freed from foreign harms; And great Elisa's glorious name may ring Through all the world, filled with thy wide alarms, Which some brave muse may sing To ages following,

160 Upon the bridal day, which is not long:

Sweet Thames ! run softly, till I end my song.

20

Early, before the world's light-giving lamp
His golden beam upon the hills doth spread,
Having dispersed the night's uncheerful damp
Do ye awake, and, with fresh lustihed,
Go to the bower of my beloved love,
My truest turtle dove
Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake,
And long since ready forth his mask to move,
With his bright tead ? that flames with many a flake,
And many a bachelor to wait on him,
In their fresh garments trim,
Bid her awake therefore, and soon her dight, 30
For lo! the wished day is come at last, .
That shall, for all the pains and sorrows past,
Pay to her usury of long delight:
And, whilst she doth her dight,

her of joy and solace sing, That all the woods may answer, and your echo

From those high towers this noble lord issuing,
Like radiant Hesper, when his golden hair
In th’ ocean billows he hath bathed fair,
Descended to the river's open viewing,
With a great train ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to be seen

ring.

Do ye

1 shame

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1 lustiness

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