1587 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Philip Sidney

Anonymous, in "Eglogue. Made long since upon the Death of Sir Phillip Sidney" 1587 ca.; Poetical Rapsody (1602)



Ye Shepheards Boyes that leade your flocks a field,
The whilst your sheepe feede safely round about,
Breake me your Pipes that pleasant sound did yeeld,
Sing now no more the Songs of Collin Clout:
Lament the end of all our joy,
Lament the source of all annoy:
WILLY is dead,
That wont to leade
Our flockes and us in mirth and Shepheards glee:
Wel could he sing,
Wel dance, and spring;
Of all the Shepheards was none such as hee.

How often hath his skill in pleasant Song
Drawn al the water-nimphs from out their bowers?
How have they laine the tender grasse along,
And made him Garlands gay of smelling flowers?
Phoebus himselfe that conquer'd Pan,
Striving with Willy, nothing wan.
Ne thinkes I see,
The time when hee
Pluckt from his golden lockes the Laurell crowne;
And so to raise
Our Willies praise,
Bedeckt his head, and softly set him downe.

The learned Muses flockt to heare his skill,
And quite forgot their water, wood, and mount;
They thought his Songs were done too quickly stil,
Of none but Willies Pipe they made account.
Hee sung; they seemd in joy to flowe:
He ceast; they seemd to weep for woe;
The Rurall rout,
All round about,
Like Bees came swarming thicke, to heare him sing
Ne could they thinke,
On meate or drinke,
While Willies musicke in their eares did ring.

But now (alas) such pleasant mirth is past,
Apollo weepes, the Muses rend their haire.
No joy on earth that any time can last,
See where his breathlesse corps lies on the beare.
That selfe same hand that reft his life,
Hath turned Shepheards peace to strife.
Our joy is fled,
Our life is dead,
Our hope, our help, our glory all is gone:
Our Poets praise,
Our happy dayes,
And nothing left but griefe, to thinke thereon.