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COMPLAINT OF A LOVER REBUKED Love, that liveth and reigneth in my thought, That built his seat within my captive breast, Clad in the arms wherein with me he fought, Oft in my face he doth his banner rest. She that me taught to love and suffer pain, My doubtful hope and eke my hot desire With shamefast cloak to shadow and refrain, Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire. The coward Love then to the heart apace Taketh his flight, whereas he lurks and plains,3 His purpose lost, and dare not show his face. For my lord's guilt thus faultless bide I pains. Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove; Sweet is his death that takes his end by love.
DESCRIPTION AND PRAISE OF HIS LOVE
From Tuscan came my lady's worthy race;
Fair Florence was sometime her ancient seat;
The Western isle whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Camber's cliffs did give her lively heat;
Fostered she was with milk of Irish breast;
Her sire, an earl; her dame, of princes' blood;
From tender years in Britain she doth rest,
With a king's child, where she tasteth costly food;
Hunsdon did first present her to mine eyes;
Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight; 10
Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine;
And Windsor, alas, doth chase me from her
Her beauty of kind, her virtues from above.
Happy is he, that can obtain her love!
THE MEANS TO ATTAIN HAPPY LIFE
Martial, the things that do attain
The happy life be these, I find:
The riches left, not got with pain;
The fruitful ground; the quiet mind;
1 float mixes laments is named from nature
Resteth here, that quick could never rest;
Whose heavenly gifts, encreased by disdain,
And virtue sank the deeper in his breast;
Such profit he by envy could obtain.
A head where wisdom mysteries did frame;
Whose hammers beat still in that lively brain
As on a stithe3 where that some work of fame
Was daily wrought to turn to Britain's gain.
A visage stern and mild; where both did grow,
Vice to condemn, in virtue to rejoice;
Amid great storms, whom grace assured so
To live upright and smile at fortune's choice.
A hand that taught what might be said in rhyme;
That reft Chaucer the glory of his wit:
A mark, the which (unperfected, for time)
Some may approach, but never none shall hit.
A tongue that served in foreign realms his king;
Whose courteous talk to virtue did enflame
Each noble heart; a worthy guide to bring
Our English youth by travail unto fame.
An eye whose judgment none affect could blind,
Friends to allure, and foes to reconcile;
Whose piercing look did represent a mind
With virtue fraught, reposed, void of guile.
A heart where dread was never so impressed,
To hide the thought that might the truth ad-
In neither fortune lost, nor yet repressed,
To swell in wealth, or yield unto mischance.
A valiant corse, where force and beauty met;
Happy, alas, too happy, but for foes!
Lived, and ran the race, that Nature set:
Of manhood's shape, where she the mold did
But to the heavens that simple soul is fled, Which left with such as covet Christ to know Witness of faith that never shall be dead, Sent for our health, but not received so.
1 equal 2 moderate 3 anvil bereft affection
They whisted' all, with fixed face attent,
When Prince Æneas from the royal seat
Thus 'gan to speak: "O Queen, it is thy will
I should renew a woe cannot be told;
How that the Greeks did spoil and overthrow
The Phrygian wealth and wailful realm of Troy.
Those ruthful things that I myself beheld,
And whereof no small part fell to my share;
Which to express, who could refrain from tears?
What Myrmidon? or yet what Dolopes?
What stern Ulysses' waged soldier?
And lo! moist night now from the welkin falls,
And stars declining counsel us to rest;
But since so great is thy delight to hear
Of our mishaps and Troyës last decay,
Though to record the same my mind abhors
And plaint eschews, yet thus will I begin: -
The Greekës chieftains, all irked with the war,
Wherein they wasted had so many years,
And oft repulsed by fatal destiny,
A huge horse made, high raised like a hill,
By the divine science of Minerva,
Of cloven fir compacted were his ribs,
For their return a feigned sacrifice,
The fame whereof so wandered it at point.
In the dark bulk they closed bodies of men
Chosen by lot, and did enstuff by stealth
The hollow womb with armed soldiers.
There stands in sight an isle hight Tenedon,
Rich and of fame while Priam's kingdom stood,
Now but a bay and road unsure for ship.
Hither them secretly the Greeks withdrew,
Shrouding themselves under the desert shore;
And, weening we they had been fled and gone,
And with that wind had fet the land of Greece,
Troy discharged her long continued dole.*
The gates cast up, we issued out to play,
The Greekish camp desirous to behold,
The places void and the forsaken coasts.
Here Pyrrhus' band, there fierce Achilles pight;
Here rode their ships, there did their battles join.
Astonied some the scathful gift beheld,
Behight by vow unto the chaste Minerve,-
All wondering at the hugeness of the horse.
And first of all Timotes gan advise
Within the walls to lead and draw the same,
And place it eke amid the palace court,
Whether of guile, or Troyës fate it would.
Capys, with some of judgment more discreet,
Willed it to drown, or underset with flame,
The suspect present of the Greek's deceit,
Or bore and gauge the hollow caves uncouth;
So diverse ran the giddy people's mind.
Lo! foremost of a rout that followed him,
Kindled Laöcoön hasted from the tower,
Crying far off: 'O wretched citizens,
What so great kind of frenzy freteth you? -
Deem ye the Greeks, our enemies, to be gone?
Or any Greekish gifts can you suppose
Devoid of guile? Is so Ulysses known?
Either the Greeks are in this timber hid,
Or this an engine is to annoy our walls,
To view our towers, and overwhelm our town.
Here lurks some craft. Good Troyans give no trust
Unto this horse, for, whatsoever it be,
I dread the Greeks, yea when they offer gifts.""
GEORGE GASCOIGNE (1525?-1577)
Alas, my lord, my haste was all too hot,
I shut my glass before you gazed your fill,
And, at a glimpse, my silly self have spied
A stranger troop than any yet were seen.
Behold, my lord, what monsters muster here,
With angel's face, and harmful hellish hearts,
With smiling looks, and deep deceitful thoughts,
With tender skins, and stony cruel minds,
With stealing steps, yet forward feet to fraud.
Behold, behold, they never stand content,
With God, with kind, with any help of art,
But curl their locks with bodkins and with braids,
But dye their hair with sundry subtle sleights,
But paint and slick till fairest face be foul,
But bumbast, bolster, frizzle, and perfume.
They mar with musk the balm which nature made
And dig for death in delicatest dishes.
The younger sort come piping on apace,
In whistles made of fine enticing wood,
1 became silent 2 lamentable 3 fetched, reached sorrow 5 camped, tendebat harmful 7 promised
Till they have caught the birds for whom they birded.
The elder sort go stately stalking on,
And on their backs they bear both land and fee,
Castles and towers, revenues and receipts,
Lordships and manors, fines, yea, farms and all.
What should these be? Speak you, my lovely lord.
They be so sure, even wo to men indeed.
Nay then, my lord, let shut the glass apace,
High time it were for my poor muse to wink,
Since all the hands, all paper, pen, and ink,
Which ever yet this wretched world possessed,
Cannot describe this sex in colors due!
No, no, my lord, we gazed have enough;
And I too much, God pardon me therefor.
Better look off, than look an ace too far;
And better mum, than meddle overmuch.
But if my glass do like my lovely lord,
We will espy, some sunny summer's day,
To look again, and see some seemly sights.
Meanwhile, my muse right humbly doth beseech,
That my good lord accept this vent'rous verse,
Until my brains may better stuff devise.
THOMAS SACKVILLE, LORD
THE MIRROR FOR MAGISTRATES
FROM THE INDUCTION
Whereby I knew that she a goddess was, And therewithal resorted to my mind My thought, that late presented me the glass Of brittle state, of cares that here we find, Of thousand woes to silly men assigned; And how she now bid me come and behold, To see with eye that erst in thought I rolled. 168
Flat down I fell, and with all reverence
Adored her, perceiving now that she,
A goddess sent by godly providence,
In earthly shape thus showed herself to me,
To wail and rue this world's uncertainty: 173
And while I honored thus her god-head's might,
With plaining voice these words to me she shright :
"I shall thee guide first to the griesly lake,
And thence unto the blissful place of rest,
Where thou shalt see and hear the plaint they make,
That whilom here bare swing among the best.
This shalt thou see, but great is the unrest
That thou must bide before thou canst attain
Unto the dreadful place where these remain. 182
And with these words as I upraised stood, And 'gan to follow her that straightforth paced, Ere I was ware, into a desert wood
We now were come; where, hand in hand embraced,
She led the way, and through the thick SO traced,
As, but I had been guided by her might,
It was no way for any mortal wight.
And first within the porch and jaws of Hell Sat deep Remorse of Conscience, all besprent With tears: and to herself oft would she tell Her wretchedness, and cursing never stent To sob and sigh; but ever thus lament With thoughtful care, as she that all in vain Would wear and waste continually in pain. 2 called 3 scum
Her eyes unsteadfast, rolling here and there, Whirled on each place, as place that vengeance brought,
So was her mind continually in fear,
Tossed and tormented with the tedious thought
Of those detested crimes which she had wrought;
With dreadful cheer and looks thrown to the sky,
Wishing for death, and yet she could not die. 231
Next saw we Dread, all trembling how he
With foot uncertain proferred here and there; Benumbed of speech, and with a ghastly look Searched every place all pale and dead for fear, His cap borne up with staring' of his hair, Stoynd and amazed at his own shade for dread, And fearing greater dangers than was need. 238
And next within the entry of this lake Sat fell Revenge, gnashing her teeth for ire, Devising means how she may vengeance take, Never in rest till she have her desire; But frets within so farforth 3 with the fire Of wreaking flames, that now determines she To die by Death, or venged by Death to be. 245
When fell Revenge with bloody foul pretence Had shown herself as next in order set, With trembling limbs we softly parted thence, Till in our eyes another sigh we met: When from my heart a sight forthwith I fet,* Rueing, alas! upon the woeful plight Of Misery, that next appeared in sight.
His face was lean, and somewhat pined away, And eke his hands consumed to the bone, And what his body was I cannot say, For on his carcass raiment had he none Save clouts and patches, pieced one by one. With staff in hand, and scrip on shoulders cast, His chief defence against the winter's blast. 259
His food, for most, was wild fruits of the trees, Unless sometime some crumbs fell to his share, Which in his wallet long, God wot, kept he. As on the which full daintily would he fare; His drink the running stream, his cup the bare Of his palm closed, his bed the hard cold ground. To this poor life was Misery y-bound.
With retchless hand in grave doth cover it,
Thereafter never to enjoy again
The gladsome light, but, in the ground y-lain,
In depth of darkness waste and wear to nought,
As he had never into the world been brought. 322
But who had seen him, sobbing how he stood
Unto himself, and how he would bemoan
His youth forepast, as though it wrought him good
To talk of youth, all were his youth foregone,
He would have mused, and marvelled much
This wretched Age should life desire so fain, 328 And knows full well life doth but length his pain.
Crookbacked he was, toothshaken, and bleareyed,
Went on three feet, and sometime crept on four,
With old lame bones, that rattled by his side,
His scalp all piled and he with elde forlore; 3
His withered fist still knocking at death's door,
Fumbling and drivelling as he draws his breath,
For brief, the shape and messenger of Death. 336
And fast by him pale Malady was placed,
Sore sick in bed, her colour all foregone,
Bereft of stomach, savour, and of taste,
Ne could she brook no meat but broths alone.
Her breath corrupt, her keepers every one
Abhorring her, her sickness past recure,'
Detesting physic and all physic's cure.
And that, alas! was gnawen on everywhere, All full of holes, that I ne mought refrain From tears, to see how she her arms could tear, And with her teeth gnash on the bones in vain; When all for nought she fain would so sustain Her starved corse, that rather seemed a shade Than any substance of a creature made. 357
Great was her force, whom stone wall could
Her tearing nails snatching at all she saw;
With gaping jaws, that by no means y-may
Be satisfied from hunger of her maw,
But eats herself as she that hath no law;
Gnawing, alas! her carcass all in vain,
Where you may count each sinew, bone, and vein.
1 careless bare worn with age recovery terrible
On her while we thus firmly fixed our eyes, That bled for ruth of such a dreary sight, Lo, suddenly she shryght' in so huge wise, As made hell-gates to shiver with the might. Wherewith a dart we saw, how it did light Right on her breast, and therewithal pale Death Enthrilling it, to reave her of her breath. 371
And by and by a dumb dead corpse we saw, Heavy and cold, the shape of Death aright, That daunts all earthly creatures to his law: Against whose force in vain it is to fight. Ne peers, ne princes, nor no mortal wight, Ne towns, ne realms, cities, ne strongest tower, But all perforce must yield unto his power.
Lastly stood War, in glittering arms y-clad, With visage grim, stern looks, and blackly hued; In his right hand a naked sword he had, That to the hilts was all with blood embrued: And in his left (that kings and kingdoms rued) Famine and fire he held, and therewithal 391 He razed towns, and threw down towers and all.
Cities he sacked, and realms, that whilom
In honour, glory, and rule above the best,
He overwhelmed, and all their fame devoured, 395
Consumed, destroyed, wasted, and never ceased,
Till he their wealth, their name, and all oppressed.
His face forhewed with wounds, and by his side
There hung his targe1 with gashes deep and wide.
GILES FLETCHER THE ELDER (1549?-1611)
Like Memnon's rock, touched with the rising sun,
Which yields a sound, and echoes forth a voice;
But, when it's drowned in western seas, is dumb,
And, drowsy-like, leaves off to make a noise:
So I, my love! enlightened with your shine,
A Poet's skill within my soul I shroud!
Not rude, like that which finer wits decline,
But such as Muses to the best allowed!
1 shrieked 2 thrusting in hewed to pie