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Wake, now, my love, awake! for it is time;
The rosy morn long since left Tithon's bed,
All ready to her silver coach to climb;
And Phoebus gins to show his glorious head.
Hark, how the cheerful birds do chant their lays
And carol of love's praise.
The merry lark her matins sings aloft;
The thrush replies; the mavis descant plays;
The ouzel shrills; the ruddock warbles soft;
So goodly all agree, with sweet content,
To this day's merriment.
Ah! my dear love, why do ye sleep thus long,
When meeter were that ye should now awake,
T' await the coming of your joyous make,
And hearken to the birds' love-learned song,
The dewy leaves among!
For they of joy and pleasance to you sing, That all the woods them answer, and their echo ring.
My love is now awake out of her dreams,
And her fair eyes, like stars that dimmed were
With darksome cloud, now show their goodly
More bright than Hesperus his head doth rear.
Come now, ye damsels, daughters of delight,
Help quickly her to dight:
But first come, ye fair hours, which were begot,
In Jove's sweet paradise of Day and Night;
Which do the seasons of the year allot,
And all that ever in this world is fair,
Do make and still repair:
And ye three handmaids of the Cyprian queen, The which do still adorn her beauty's pride,
1 where 2 marked * vari-colored
But if ye saw that which no eyes can see,
The inward beauty of her lively spright,'
Garnished with heavenly gifts of high degree,
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonished like to those which read
Medusa's mazeful head.
There dwells sweet love, and constant chastity,
Unspotted faith, and comely womanhood,
Regard of honour, and mild modesty;
There virtue reigns as queen in royal throne,
And giveth laws alone,
The which the base affections do obey,
And yield their services unto her will;
Ne thought of thing uncomely ever may
Thereto approach to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seen these her celestial treasures,
And unrevealed pleasures,
Then would ye wonder, and her praises sing, That all the woods should answer, and your echo ring.
Open the temple gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,
And all the posts adorn as doth behove,
And all the pillars deck with garlands trim,
For to receive this Saint with honour due,
Now all is done: bring home the bride again;
Bring home the triumph of our victory:
Bring home with you the glory of her gain
With joyance bring her and with jollity.
Never had man more joyful day than this
Whom heaven would heap with bliss;
Make feast therefore now all this live-long day;
This day for ever to me holy is.
Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
Pour not by cups, but by the bellyful,
Pour out to all that will,
And sprinkle all the posts and walls with wine,
That they may sweat, and drunken be withal.
Crown ye god Bacchus with a coronal,
And Hymen also crown with wreaths of vine;
And let the Graces dance unto the rest,
For they can do it best:
The whiles the maidens do their carol sing, To which the woods shall answer, and their echo ring. 260
Ring ye the bells, ye young men of the town,
And leave your wonted labours for this day:
This day is holy; do ye write it down,
That ye forever it remember may;
This day the sun is in his chiefest height,
With Barnaby the bright,
From whence declining daily by degrees,
He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
When once the Crab behind his back he sees.
But for this time it ill ordained was,
To choose the longest day in all the year,
And shortest night, when longest fitter were:
Yet never day so long, but late would pass.
Ring ye the bells, to make it wear away,
And bonfires make all day;
And dance about them, and about them sing, That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring.
Ah! when will this long weary day have end,
And lend me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the hours their numbers spend! 280
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move!
Haste thee, O fairest planet, to thy home,
Within the western foam:
Thy tired steeds long since have need of rest.
Long though it be, at last I see it gloom,
And the bright evening-star with golden crest
Appear out of the East.
Fair child of beauty! glorious lamp of love!
That all the hosts of heaven in ranks dost lead,
And guidest lovers through the night's sad dread,
How cheerfully thou lookest from above,
And seem'st to laugh atween thy twinkling light,
As joying in the sight
Of these glad many, which for joy do sing, That all the woods them answer, and their echo ring!
Now cease, ye damsels, your delights forepast;
Enough it is that all the day was yours:
Now day is done, and night is nighing fast,
Now bring the bride into the bridal bowers.
The night is come, now soon her disarray,
And in her bed her lay;
Lay her in lilies and in violets,
And silken curtains over her display,
And odoured sheets, and Arras coverlets.
Behold how goodly my fair love does lie,
In proud humility!
Like unto Maia, whenas Jove her took
In Tempe, lying on the flowery grass,
What time this world's great Workmaster did cast
To make all things such as we now behold,
It seems that he before his eyes had placed
A goodly pattern, to whose perfect mould
He fashioned them as comely as he could,
That now so fair and seemly they appear
As nought may be amended anywhere.
That wondrous pattern, wheresoe'er it be,
Whether in earth laid up in secret store,
Or else in heaven, that no man may it see
With sinful eyes, for fear it to deflore,1
Is perfect Beauty, which all men adore;
Whose face and feature doth so much excel
All mortal sense, that none the same may tell.
But ah! believe me there is more than so,
That works such wonders in the minds of men;
I, that have often prov'd, too well it know,
And whoso list the like assays to ken,
Shall find by trial, and confess it then,
That Beauty is not, as fond men misdeem,
An outward show of things that only seem.
Thereof as every earthly thing partakes
Or more or less, by influence divine,
So it more fair accordingly it makes,
And the gross matter of this earthly mine
Which clotheth it, thereafter doth refine,
Doing away the dross which dims the light
Of that fair beam which therein is empight."
For, through infusion of celestial power,
The duller earth it quickeneth with delight,
And life-full spirits privily doth pour
Through all the parts, that to the looker's sight
They seem to please. That is thy sovereign might,
O Cyprian queen! which, flowing from the beam
Of thy bright star, thou into them dost stream.
That is the thing which giveth pleasant grace 57
To all things fair, that kindleth lively fire,
Light of thy lamp; which, shining in the face,
Thence to the soul darts amorous desire,
And robs the hearts of those which it admire;
Yet oft it falls that many a gentle mind
Dwells in deformed tabernacle drowned,
Either by chance, against the course of kind,
Or through unaptness in the substance found,
Which it assumed of some stubborn ground, 145
That will not yield unto her form's direction,
But is deformed with some foul imperfection.
And oft it falls, (ay me, the more to rue!)
That goodly beauty, albe heavenly born,
Is foul abused, and that celestial hue,
Which doth the world with her delight adorn,
Made but the bait of sin, and sinners' scorn,
Whilst every one doth seek and sue to have it,
But every one doth seek but to deprave it.
Thou turn to nought, and quite confounded be.
But lowly fall before his mercy-seat,
Close covered with the Lamb's integrity
From the just wrath of his avengeful threat 150
That sits upon the righteous throne on high;
His throne is built upon Eternity,
More firm and durable than steel or brass,
Or the hard diamond, which them both doth pass.
His sceptre is the rod of Righteousness,
With which he bruiseth all his foes to dust
And the great Dragon strongly doth repress,
Under the rigour of his judgment just;
His seat is Truth, to which the faithful trust, From whence proceed her beams so pure and
Ah, then, my hungry soul! which long hast fed
On idle fancies of thy foolish thought,
And, with false beauty's flattering bait misled,
Hast after vain deceitful shadows sought,
Which all are fled, and now have left thee nought
But late repentance through thy follies' prief;'
Ah! cease to gaze on matter of thy grief:
And look at last up to that Sovereign Light,
From whose pure beams all perfect beauty springs,
That kindleth love in every godly spright,
Even the love of God; which loathing brings
Of this vile world and these gay-seeming things:
With whose sweet pleasures being so possessed,
Thy straying thoughts henceforth forever rest.
FROM THE SHEPHEARDS CALENDER
CUDDIE. Ah for pittie, will rancke Winters rage, These bitter blasts neuer ginne tasswage? The kene cold blowes through my beaten hyde, 1 proof
All as I were through the body gryde.1
My ragged rontes all shiver and shake,
As doen high Towers in an earthquake:
They wont in the wind wagge their wrigle tailes,
Perke as Peacock; but nowe it auales.'
THE. Lewdly complainest thou, laesie ladde,
Of Winters wracke for making thee sadde.
Must not the world wend in his commun course,
From good to badd, and from badde to worse,
From worse vnto that is worst of all,
And then returne to his former fall "?
Who will not suffer the stormy time,
Where will he liue tyll the lusty prime?
Selfe haue I worne out thrise threttie yeares,
Some in much ioy, many in many teares,
Yet neuer complained of cold nor heate,
Of Sommers flame, nor of Winters threat:
Ne euer was to Fortune foeman,
But gently tooke, that ungently came;
And euer my flocke was my chiefe care,
Winter or Sommer they mought well fare.
THE. The Soveraigne of seas he blames in vaine, That, once sea beate, will to sea againe. So loytring liue you little heardgroomes, Keeping your beasts in the budded broomes: And, when the shining sunne laugheth once, You deemen, the Spring is come attonce; Tho gynne you, fond flyes, the cold to scorne, And, crowing in pypes made of greene corne, You thinken to be Lords of the yeare; But eft,' when ye count you freed from feare, Comes the breme winter with chamfred Full of wrinckles and frostie furrowes: Drerily shooting his stormy darte,
Which cruddles 10 the blood, and pricks the harte.
Then is your carelesse corage accoied,"
Your carefull heards with cold bene annoied.
Then paye you the price of your surquedrie,1
With weeping, and wayling, and misery.
So on thy corbe1 shoulder it leanes amisse.
Now thy selfe hast lost both lopp and topp,
Als my budding braunch thou wouldest cropp:
But were thy yeares greene, as now bene myne,
To other delights they would encline.
Tho wouldest thou learne to caroll of Loue,
And hery 3 with hymnes thy lasses gloue.
Tho wouldest thou pype of Phyllis prayse:
But Phyllis is myne for many dayes;
I wonne her with a gyrdle of gelt,*
Embost with buegle about the belt.
Such an one shepeheards woulde make full faine:
Such an one would make thee younge againe.
THE. Thou art a fon of thy loue to boste, All that is lent to loue, wyll be lost.
CUD. Seest, howe brag yond Bullocke beares, So smirke, so smoothe, his pricked eares? His hornes bene as broade, as Rainebowe bent, His dewelap as lythe, as lasse of Kent, See howe he venteth into the wynd. Weenest of loue is not his mynd? Seemeth thy flocke thy counsell can,' So lustlesse bene they, so weake, so wan, Clothed with cold, and hoary wyth frost, Thy flockes father his corage hath lost: Thy Ewes, that wont to haue blowen bags, Like wailefull widdowes hangen their crags": The rather 10 lambes bene starved with cold, All for their Maister is lustlesse and old.
THE. Many meete tales of youth did he make, And some of loue, and some of cheualrie: But none fitter then this to applie. Now listen a while, and hearken the end.
CUD. Ah foolish old man, I scorne thy skill, That wouldest me, my springing youngth to spil: I deeme, thy braine emperished bee Through rusty elde, that hath rotted thee: Or sicker 13 thy head veray tottie" is,
There grewe an aged Tree on the greene, A goodly Oake sometime had it bene, With armes full strong and largely displayd, But of their leaues they were disarayde: The bodie bigge, and mightely pight,
2 also praise gilt fool brisk necks 10 earlier 11 knowest 12 learned