Edmund Spenser's pastoral elegy for Douglas Howard received mixed reviews down the years, nor was the peculiar stanza adopted by later poets.
William Oldys?: "We find our Author at London, Jan. 1, 1591-92, dedicating his Daphnaida to Helen Marchioness of Northampton, on the death of her Niece Douglas Howard. The Marchioness was a Swede; and became third Wife to William Parr, Brother to the Katherine married to Henry VIII, July 12, 1543. The 23d of Dec. following he was made Earl of Essex; and on Feb. 17, 1547-48, Marquiss of Northampton. He dying in 1571, she married Sir Thomas Gorges; by whom she had many Children, and died in April 1635. Douglas Howard, the Lady here lamented, was descended, as well as the Gorges, from the Dukes of Norfolk. Her Husband Arthur Gorges, afterwards knighted, is here introduced by Spenser as Alcyon, bewailing the death of a white Lioness, whom he had been so happy as to find and had tenderly nurst up.... We need not point out this, or any thing else in the Poem, where all is beautiful. In the dedication Spenser had said; 'I do assure myself that no honour done to the white Lion, but will be most gratefull to your Ladyship.' Now we may recollect, that a white Lion is one of the Duke of Norfolk's supporters" Faerie Queene, ed. Church (1758) 1:xxix-xxx.
Henry John Todd: "This beautiful Elegy was written upon the death of Douglas Howard, daughter and heir of Henry Lord Howard, Viscount Byndon; and wife of Arthur Gorge or Gorges Esquire, afterwards knighted. It is dedicated to her aunt, the Ladie Helena, Marchioness of Northampton. The afflicted husband is introduced into the Poem, under the name of Alcyon, as bewailing the death of a White Lioness which he had been so happy as to find, and had tenderly nursed. The White Lion being one of the Duke of Norfolk's supporters to his armorial bearings, "the riddle of the loved Lionesse," as the poet calls it, is easily explained. In the Dedication Spenser avows the "goodwill which he bears unto Master Arthur Gorges, a lover of learning and vertue;" and again he notices him, with peculiar elegance, in Colin Clouts come home again, not only as inconsolable for the loss of his beloved Daphne, but as known to the Muses and his comrades by notes of higher mood" Works of Spenser (1805) 1:lxxxviii.
Retrospective Review: "Daphnaida, which was published in 1591-2, is an elegy on the death of a lady of the Howard family; very long, very dull, and very unnatural" 12 (1825) 155.
John Wilson: "Thus the Daphnaida, which is almost all one lament by one mourner, fluctuates over nearly six hundred lines! Such ebbing and flowing! And such sights of the sands! Any three stanzas are in themselves an elegy. Thus are there many elegies in one, yet is that one as much a whole as the sad sky with all its misty stars" Blackwood's Magazine 34 (1833) 816.
What-ever Man he be, whose heavy Mind
With grief of mournful great Mishap opprest,
Fit matter for his Cares Increase would find,
Let read the ruful Plaint herein exprest,
Of one, I ween, the woful'st Man alive,
Even sad Alcyon, whose empierced Brest
Sharp Sorrow did in thousand pieces rive.
But whoso else in Pleasure findeth Sense,
Or in this wretched Life doth take delight,
Let him be banish'd far away from hence:
Ne let the sacred Sisters here be hight,
Though they of Sorrow heavily can sing;
For even their heavy Song would breed Delight:
But here no Tunes, save Sobs and Grones, shall ring.
In stead of them, and their sweet Harmony,
Let those three fatal Sisters, whose sad Hands
Do weave the direful Threds of Destiny,
And in their Wrath break off the vital Bands,
Approach hereto; and let the dreadful Queen
Of Darkness deep come from the Stygian Strands,
And grisly Ghosts to hear this doleful Teen.
In gloomy Evening, when the weary Sun
After his Day's long Labour drew to rest,
And sweaty Steeds now having over-run
The compast Sky, 'gan water in the West;
I walk'd abroad to breathe the freshing Air
In open Fields, whose flow'ring Pride opprest
With early Frosts, had lost their Beauty fair.
There came unto my Mind a troublous Thought,
Which daily doth my weaker Wit possess,
Ne lets it rest, until it forth have brought
Her long-born Infant, Fruit of Heaviness,
Which she conceived hath through Meditation
Of this World's Vainness, and Life's Wretchedness,
That yet my Soul it deeply doth empassion.
So as I mused on the Misery
In which Men live, and I of many most,
Most miserable Man; I did espy
Where towards me a sory Wight did cost,
Clad all in black, that Mourning did bewray,
And Jacob's Staff in Hand devoutly crost,
Like to some Pilgrim, come from far away.
His careless Locks, uncombed and unshorn,
Hung long adown, and Beard all over-grown,
That well he seem'd to be some Wight forlorn;
Down to the Earth his heavy Eyes were thrown,
As loathing Light: and ever as he went,
He sighed oft, and inly deep did grone,
As if his Heart in pieces would have rent.
Approaching nigh, his Face I viewed nere,
And by the Semblant of his Countenaunce,
Me seem'd I had his Person seen elsewhere,
Most like Alcyon seeming at a glaunce;
Alcyon he, the jolly Shepherd Swain,
That wont full merrily to pipe and daunce,
And fill with Pleasance every Wood and Plain.
Yet half in doubt, because of his Disguise,
I softly said, Alcyon? There-withall
He look'd aside as in disdainful wise,
Yet stayed not; till I again did call.
Then turning back, he said, with hollow sound,
Who is it that doth name me, woful Thrall,
The wretchedst Man that treads this Day on Ground?
One, whom like Wofulness impressed deep,
Hath made fit Mate thy wretched Case to hear,
And given like cause with thee to wail and weep:
Grief finds some ease by him that like does bear.
Then stay Alcyon, gentle Shepherd stay
(Quoth I) till thou have to my trusty Ear
Committed, what thee doth so ill apay.
Cease foolish Man (said he, half wrothfully)
To seek to hear that which cannot be told:
For the huge Anguish, which doth multiply
My dying Pains, no Tongue can well unfold:
Ne do I care that any should bemone
My hard Mishap, or any weep that would,
But seek alone to weep, and die alone.
Then be it so, quoth I, that thou are bent
To die alone, unpitied, unplained;
Yet ere thou die, it were convenient
To tell the cause, which thee thereto constrained:
Lest that the World thee dead, accuse of Guilt,
And say, when thou of none shalt be maintained,
That thou for secret Crime thy Blood hast spilt.
Who Life does loath, and longs to be unbound
From the strong Shackles of frail Flesh, quoth he,
Nought cares at all, what they that live on ground
Deem the occasion of his Death to be;
Rather desires to be forgotten quight,
Than question made of his Calamity:
For Heart's deep Sorrow hates both Life and Light.
Yet sith so much thou seem'st to rue my Grief,
And car'st for one that for himself cares nought,
(Sign of thy Love, though nought for my Relief;
For my Relief exceedeth living Thought)
I will to thee this heavy case relate.
Then harken well till it to end be brought,
For never didst thou hear more hapless Fate.
Whilome I us'd (as thou right well doost know)
My little Flock on Western Downs to keep,
Not far from whence Sabrina's Stream doth flow,
And flowrie Banks with silver Liquor steep:
Nought car'd I then for worldly Change or Chaunce;
For all my Joy was on my gentle Sheep,
And to my Pipe to caroll and to daunce.
It there befell; as I the Fields did range
Fearless and free, a fair young Lioness,
White as the native Robe before the change,
Which Venus' Blood did in her Leaves impress,
I spyed playing on the grassie Plain
Her youthful Sports and kindly Wantonness,
That did all other Beasts in Beauty stain.
Much was I moved at so goodly sight,
Whose like before mine Eye had seldom seen,
And 'gan to cast, how I her compass might,
And bring to Hand, that yet had never been:
So well I wrought with Mildness and with Pain,
That I her caught disporting on the Green,
And brought away fast bound with silver Chain.
And afterwards I handled her so fair,
That though by Kind she stout and salvage were,
For being born an ancient Lion's Heir,
And of the Race that all wild Beasts do fear;
Yet I her fram'd, and won so to my bent,
That she became so meek and mild of cheer,
As the least Lamb in all my Flock that went.
For the in Field, whereever I did wend,
Would wend with me, and wait by me all Day;
And all the Night that I in Watch did spend,
If cause requir'd, or else in Sleep, if nay,
She would all Night by me or watch or sleep;
And evermore when I did sleep or play,
She of my Flock would take full wary keep.
Safe then, and safest were my silly Sheep,
Ne fear'd the Wolf, ne fear'd the wildest Beast;
All were I drown'd in careless Quiet deep:
My lovely Lioness without Beheast
So careful was for them, and for my good,
That when I waked, neither most nor least
I found miscarried or in Plain or Wood.
Oft did the Shepherds, which my Hap did hear,
And oft their Lasses, which my Luck envide,
Daily resort to me from far and near,
To see my Lioness, whose Praises wide
Were spred abroad; and when her Worthiness
Much greater than the rude Report they try'd,
They her did praise, and my good Fortune bless.
Long thus I joyed in my Happiness,
And well did hope my Joy would have no end:
But oh! fond Man, that in World's Fickleness
Reposedst Hope, or weenedst her thy Friend,
That glories most in mortal Miseries,
And daily doth her changeful Counsels bend,
To make new matter fit for Tragedies.
For whilst I was thus without Dread or Doubt,
A cruel Satyre with his murdrous Dart,
Greedy of Mischief, ranging all about,
Gave her the fatal Wound of deadly Smart;
And reft from me my sweet Companion,
And reft flom me my Love, mv Life, my Heart:
My Lioness (ah Woe is me) is gone!
Out of the World thus was she reft away,
Out of the World, unworthy such a Spoil,
And borne to Heaven, for Heaven a fitter Prey;
Much fitter than the Lion, which with Toil
Alcides slew, and fix'd in Firmament:
Her now I seek throughout this earthly Soil,
And seeking miss, and missing do lament.
Therewith he 'gan afresh to wail and weep,
That I for pity of his heavy Plight,
Could not abstain mine Eyes with Tears to steep:
But when I saw the Anguish of his Spright
Some deal allay'd, I him bespake again.
Certes Alcyon, painful is thy Plight,
That it in me breeds almost equal Pain.
Yet doth not my dull Wit well understand
That Riddle of thy loved Lioness;
For rare it seems in Reason to be scann'd,
That Man, who doth the whole World's Rule possess,
Should to a Beast his noble Heart embase,
And be the Vassal of his Vassaless:
Therefore more plain aread this doubtful Case.
Then sighing sore, Daphne thou knew'st, quoth he,
She now is dead; ne more endur'd to say,
But fell to ground for great Extremity:
That I beholding it, with deep dismay
Was much appall'd; and lightly him uprearing,
Revoked Life, that would have fled away,
All were my self, through Grief, in deadly drearing.
Then 'gan I him to comfort all my best,
And with mild Counsail strove to mitigate
The stormy Passion of his troubled Brest;
But he thereby was more empassionate:
As stubborn Steed, that is with Curb restrained,
Becomes more fierce and fervent in his Gate,
And breaking forth at last, thus dearnly plained:
What Man henceforth that breatheth vital Air,
Will honour Heaven, or heavenly Powers adore?
Which so unjustly do their Judgments share
'Mongst earthly Wights, as to afflict so sore
The innocent, as those which do transgress;
And do not spare the best or fairest, more
Than worse or fouler, but do both oppress.
If this be right, why did they then create
The World so Fair, sith Fairness is neglected?
Or why be they themselves immaculate,
If purest things be not by them respected?
She fair, she pure, most fair, most pure she was,
Yet was by them as Thing impure rejected;
Yet she in Pureness, Heaven it self did pass.
In Pureness and in all celestial Grace,
That Men admire in goodly Womankind,
She did excel, and seem'd of Angels Race,
Living on Earth like Angel new divin'd,
Adorn'd with Wisdom and with Chastity,
And all the Dowries of a noble Mind,
Which did her Beauty much more beautify.
No Age hath bred (since fair Astrea left
The sinful World) more Vertue in a Wight;
And when she parted hence, with her she reft
Great Hope, and robb'd her Race of Bounty quight.
Well may the Shepherd Lasses now lament,
For double Loss by her hath on them light;
To lose both her and Bounty's Ornament.
Ne let Elisa, Royal Shepherdess,
The Praises of my parted Love envy;
For she hath Praises in all plenteousness
Pour'd upon her, like Showers of Castaly,
By her own Shepherd, Colin her own Shepherd,
That her with heavenly Hymns doth deify,
Of rustick Muse, full hardly to be better'd.
She is the Rose, the Glory of the Day,
And mine the Primrose in the lowly shade;
Mine, ah! not mine; amiss I mine did say:
Not mine, but his, which mine awhile her made;
Mine to be his, with him to live for aye.
O that so fair a Flowre so soon should fade,
And through untimely Tempest fall away!
She fell away in her first Age's Spring,
Whilst yet her Leaf was green, and fresh her Rind,
And whilst her Branch fair Blossoms forth did bring,
She fell away against all Course of Kind.
For Age to die is right, but Youth is wrong:
She fell away like Fruit blown down with Wind.
Weep Shepherd, weep, to make my Undersong.
What Heart so stony hard, but that would weep,
And pour forth Fountains of incessant Tears?
What Timon, but would let Compassion creep
Into his Breast, and pierce his frozen Ears?
In stead of Tears, whose brackish bitter Well
I wasted have, my Heart-Blood dropping wears,
To think to ground how that fair Blossom fell.
Yet fell she not, as one enforc'd to die,
Ne died with Dread and grudging Discontent,
But as one toil'd with Travel, down doth lie;
So lay she down, as if to sleep she went,
And clos'd her Eyes with careless Quietness;
The whiles soft Death away her Spirit hent,
And Soul assoyl'd from sinful Fleshliness.
Yet ere that Life her Lodging did forsake,
She all resolv'd, and ready to remove,
Calling to me (ay me!) this wise bespake;
Alcyon, ah! my first and latest Love,
Ah! why does my Alcyon weep and mourn,
And grieve my Ghost, that ill mote him behove,
As if to me had chaunst some evil tourn?
I, sith the Messenger is come for me,
That summons Souls unto the bridale Feast
Of his great Lord, must needs depart from thee,
And straight obey his soveraign Beheast:
Why should Alcyon then so sore lament,
That I from Misery should be releast,
And freed from wretched long Imprisonment?
Our days are full of Dolour and Disease,
Our Life afflicted with incessant Pain,
That nought on Earth may lessen or appease.
Why then should I desire here to remain?
Or why should he that loves me, sorry be
For my Deliverance, or at all complain
My good to hear, and toward Joys to see?
I go, and long desired have to go,
I go with gladness to my wished Rest,
Whereas no World's sad Care nor wasting Woe
May come, their happy Quiet to molest;
But Saints and Angels in celestial Thrones
Eternally him praise, that hath them blest:
There shall I be amongst those blessed ones.
Yet ere I go, a Pledge I leave with thee
Of the late Love, the which betwixt us past,
My young Ambrosia, in lieu of me
Love her; so shall our Love for ever last:
Thus Dear adieu, whom I expect ere long.
So having said, away she softly past:
Weep Shepherd, weep, to make mine Undersong.
So oft as I record those piercing Words,
Which yet are deep engraven in my Brest,
And those last deadly Accents, which like Swords
Did wound my Heart, and rend my bleeding Chest,
With those sweet sugred Speeches do compare,
The which my Soul first conquer'd and possest,
The first Beginners of my endless Care:
And when those pallid Cheeks and ashie Hue,
In which sad Death his Portraiture had writ;
And when those hollow Eyes and deadly View,
On which the Cloud of ghastly Night did sit,
I match with that sweet Smile and chearful Brow,
Which all the World subdued unto it;
How happy was I then, and wretched now?
How happy was I, when I saw her lead
The Shepherds Daughters dauncing in a Round?
How trimly would she trace and softly tread
The tender Grass, with rosie Garland crown'd?
And when she list advaunce her heavenly Voice,
Both Nymphs and Muses nigh she made astown'd,
And Flocks and Shepherds caused to rejoyce.
But now, ye Shepherd Lasses, who shall lead
Your wandring Troups, or sing your Virelayes?
Or who shall dight you Bowres, sith she is dead
That was the Lady of your Holy-days?
Let now your Bliss be turned into Bale,
And into Plaints convert your joyous Plays,
And with the same fill every Hill and Dale.
Let Bagpipe never more be heard to shrill,
That may allure the Senses to Delight;
Ne ever Shepherd sound his Oaten Quill
Unto the many, that provoke them might
To idle Pleasance: but let Ghastliness
And dreary Horror dim the chearful Light,
To make the Image of true Heaviness.
Let Birds be silent on the naked Spray,
And shady Woods resound with dreadful Yells;
Let dreaming Floods their hasty Courses stay,
And parching Drouth dry up the crystal Wells:
Let th' Earth be barren and bring forth no Flowres,
And th' Air be fill'd with noise of doleful Knells,
And wandering Spirits walk untimely Houres.
And Nature, Nurse of every living thing,
Let rest her self from her long Weariness,
And cease henceforth things kindly forth to bring,
But hideous Monsters full of Ugliness:
For she it is, that hath me done this wrong,
No Nurse, but Stepdame, cruel, merciless:
Weep Shepherd, weep, to make my Undersong.
My little Flock, whom earst I lov'd so well,
And wont to feed with finest Grass that grew,
Feed ye henceforth on bitter Astrofell,
And stinking Smallage, and unsavory Rue:
And when your Maws are with those Weeds corrupted,
Be ye the Prey of Wolves; ne will I rue,
That with your Carkasses wild Beasts be glutted.
Ne worse to you, my silly Sheep, I pray,
Ne sorer Vengeance with on you to fall
Than to my self, for whose confus'd Decay
To careless Heavens I do daily call:
But Heavens refuse to hear a Wretch's Cry,
And cruel Death doth scorn to come at call,
Or grant this Boon that most desires to die.
The good and righteous he away doth take,
To plague th' unrighteous which alive remain;
But the ungodly ones he doth forsake,
By living Long to multiply their Pain:
EIse surely Death should be no Punishment,
As the great Judge at first did it ordain,
But rather Riddance from long Languishment.
Therefore my Daphne they have tane away,
For worthy of a better place was she;
But me unworthy willed here to stay,
That with her lack I might tormented be.
Sith then they so have ordred, I will pay
Penance to her, according their Decree,
And to her Ghost do service day by day.
For I will walk this wandering Pilgrimage
Throughout the World from one to other end,
And in Affliction waste my bitter Age.
My Bread shall be the Anguish of my Mind,
My Drink the Tears which from mine E yes do rain,
My Bed the Ground that hardest I may find;
So will I wilfully increase my Pain.
And she my Love that was, my Saint that is,
When she beholds from her celestial Throne
(In which she joyeth in eternal Bliss)
My bitter Penance, will my case bemone,
And pity me that living thus do die
For heavenly Spirits have compassion
On mortal Men, and rue their Misery.
So when I have with Sorrow satisfide
Th' importune Fates, which Vengeance on me seek,
And th' Heavens with long Languor pacifide,
She for pure pity of my Sufferance meek,
Will send for me; for which I daily long,
And will till then my painful Penance eke:
Weep Shepherd, weep, to make my Undersong.
Henceforth I hate whatever Nature made,
And in her Workmanship no pleasure find;
For they be all but vain, and quickly fade:
So soon as on them blows the Northern Wind,
They tarry not, but flit and fall away,
Leaving behind them nought but Grief of Mind,
And mocking such as think they long will stay.
I hate the Heaven, because it doth with-hold
Me from my Love, and eke my Love from me;
I hate the Earth, because it is the Mould
Of fleshly Slime, and frail Mortality;
I hate the Fire, because to nought it flies;
I hate the Air, because Sighs of it be;
I hate the Sea, because it Tears supplies.
I hate the Day, because it lendeth Light
To see all things, and not my Love to see;
I hate the Darkness, and the dreary Night,
Because they breed sad Balefulness in me:
I hate all Times, because all Times do fly
So fast away, and may not stayed be,
But as a speedy Post that passeth by.
I hate to speak, my Voice is spent with crying;
I hate to hear, loud Plaints have dull'd mine Ears;
I hate to taste, for Food with-holds my dying;
I hate to see, mine Eyes are dimm'd with Tears;
I hate to smell, no Sweet on Earth is left;
I hate to feel, my Flesh is numb'd with Fears;
So all my Senses from me are bereft.
I hate all Men, and shun all Womankind:
The one, because as I they wretched are;
The other, for because I do not find
My Love with them, that wont to be their Star.
And Life I hate, because it will not last;
And Death I hate, because it Life doth tear;
And all I hate that is to come or past.
So all the World and all in it I hate,
Because it changeth ever to and fro,
And never standeth in one certain state,
But still unstedfast, round about doth go,
Like a Mill-wheel, in midst of Misery,
Driven with Streams of Wretchedness and Woe,
That dying lives, and living still does die.
So do I live, so do I daily die,
And Pine away in self-consuming Pain:
Sith she that did my vital Powers supply,
And feeble Spirits in their Force maintain,
Is fetcht from me, why seek I to prolong
My weary Days in Dolour and Disdain?
Weep Shepherd, weep, to make my Undersong.
Why do I longer live in Life's despight,
And do not die then in despight of Death?
Why do I longer see this loathsom Light,
And do in Darkness not abridge my Breath,
Sith all my Sorrow should have end thereby,
And Cares find quiet; is it so uneath
To leave this Life, or dolorous to die?
To live I find it deadly dolorous;
For Life draws Care, and Care continual Woe:
Therefore to die must needs be joyeous,
And wishful thing this sad Life to forgoe.
But I must stay; I may it not amend,
My Daphne hence departing bade me so,
She bade me stay, till she for me did send.
Yet whilst I in this wretched Vale do stay,
My Weary Feet shall ever wandring be,
That still I may be ready on my way,
When as her Messenger doth come for me;
He will I rest my Feet for Feebleness,
Ne will I rest my Limbs for Fraelty,
Ne will I rest mine Eyes for Heaviness
But as the Mother of the Gods, that sought
For fair Eurydice her Daughter dear
Throughout the World, with woful heavy Thought;
So will I travel whilst I tarry here,
Ne will I lodge, ne will I ever lin,
Ne when as drouping Titan draweth near,
To loose his Teem, will I take up my Inn.
Ne Sleep (the Harbenger of weary Wights)
Shall ever lodge upon mine Eye-lids more;
Ne shall with Rest refresh my fainting Sprights,
Nor failing Force to former Strength restore;
But I will wake and sorrow all the night
With Philomel, my Fortune to deplore;
With Philomel, the Partner of my Plight.
And ever as I see the Star to fall,
And under Ground to go, to give them Light
Which dwell in Darkness, I to mind will call
How my fair Star (that shin'd on me so bright)
Fell suddainly, and faded under-ground;
Since whose departure, Day is turn'd to Night,
And Night without a Venus' Star is found.
But soon as Day doth shew his dewie Face,
And calls forth Men unto their toylsom Trade,
I will withdraw me to some darksom place,
Or some dear Cave, or solitary Shade;
There will I sigh, and sorrow all day long,
And the huge Burden of my Cares unlace:
Weep Shepherd, weep, to make my Undersong.
Henceforth mine Eyes shall never more behold
Fair things on Earth, ne feed on false Delight
Of ought that framed is of mortal Mould,
Sith that my fairest Flower is faded quight:
For all I see is vain and transitory,
Ne will be held in any stedfast Plight,
But in a moment lose their Grace and Glory.
And ye fond Men, on Fortune's Wheel that ride,
Or in ought under Heaven repose Assurance,
Be it Riches, Beauty, or Honour's Pride,
Be sure that they shall have no long endurance,
But ere ye be aware will flit away:
For nought of them is yours, but th' only Usance
Of a small time, which none ascertain may.
And ye true Lovers, whom desastrous Chaunce
Hath far exiled from your Ladies Grace,
To mourn in Sorrow and sad Sufferaunce,
When ye do hear me in that desert place,
Lamenting loud my Daphne's Elegy;
Help me to wail my miserable Case,
And when Life parts, vouchsafe to close mine Eye.
And ye more happy Lovers, which enjoy
The Presence of your dearest Love's Delight;
When ye do hear my sorrowful Annoy,
Yet pity me in your empassion'd Spright,
And think that such mishap, as chaunst to me,
May happen unto the most happy Wight;
For all Mens States alike unstedfast be.
And ye my Fellow Shepherds, which do feed
Your careless Flocks on Hills and open Plains,
With better fortune than did me succeed,
Remember yet my undeserved pains:
And when ye hear that I am dead or slain,
Lament my not, and tell your Fellow-Swains,
That sad Alcyon dy'd in Life's disdain.
And ye fair Damsels, Shepherds dear Delights,
That with your Loves do their rude Hearts possess,
Whenas my Hearse shall happen to your lights,
Vouchsafe to deck the same with Cyparess;
And ever sprinkle brackish Tears among,
In pity of my undeserv'd Distress,
The which I Wretch endured have thus long.
And ye poor Pilgrims, that with restless Toyl
Weary your selves in wandring desart ways,
Till that you come, where ye your Vows assoyl,
When passing by, ye read these woful Lays,
On my Grave written, rue my Daphne's Wrong,
And mourn for me that languish out my Days:
Cease Shepherd, cease, and end thy Under-song.
Thus when he ended had his heavy Plaint,
The heaviest Plaint that ever I heard sound,
His Cheeks wext pale, and Sprights began to faint,
As if again he would have fall'n to Ground:
Which when I saw, I (stepping to him light)
Amooved him out of his stony Swound,
And 'gan him to recomfort as I might.
But he no way recomforted would be,
Nor suffer Solace to approach him nie;
But casting up a sdeignful Eye at me,
That in his Traunce I would not let him lie,
Did rend his Hair and beat his blubbred Face,
As one disposed wilfully to die,
That I sore griev'd to see his wretched case.
Tho when the Pang was somewhat over-past,
And the outrageous Passion nigh appeased,
I him desir'd, sith Day was over-cast,
And dark Night fast approached, to be pleased
To turn aside unto my Cabinet,
And stay with me, till he were better eased
Of that strong Stownd, which him so sore beset.
But by no means I could him win thereto,
Ne longer him intreat with me to stay;
But without taking leave he forth did go
With staggring pace and dismal Looks dismay,
As if that Death he in the Face had seen,
Or hellish Hags had met upon the way:
But what of him became, I cannot ween.
[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 5:1319-35]