1593
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Shepheards Garland VI: The Sixt Eglog.

Idea: the Shepheards Garland. Fashioned in Nine Eglogs. Rowlands Sacrifice to the Nine Muses.

Michael Drayton


28 stanzas (abbacc), a form Henry Chettle would use in Englandes Mourning Garment (1603). Gorbo and Perkin decry the sufferings of Virtue in the hands of Fortune: "Where been those Nobles, Perkin, where been they? | Where been those worthies, Perkin, which of yore, | This gentle Ladie did so much adore?" Perkin replies that Virtue is not dead: "She lives with one who ever held her deere, | And to her lappe for succour she is fled, | In her sweete bosome, she hath built her nest, | And from the world, even there she lives at rest." This is "Pandora," Mary Sidney, sister of Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke, "The glorious light, and load-starre of our West." Gorbo concludes, "Long may she be as she hath ever beene, | The lowly handmaide of the Fayrie Queene."

Anna Jameson: "Lady Pembroke has been celebrated by Spenser and by Ben Jonson, and was, in every respect, a most accomplished woman" Loves of the Poets (1829) 1:271.

John Payne Collier: "She was herself a Poetess, and translated a tragedy, called Antonie, from the French, which was completed in 1590, but was not printed until five years afterwards. She also wrote several short poems, and died in 1621. To her Sidney dedicated his Arcadia, first published in 4to. 1590; and she is the Pandora of Drayton's Eglog. vi. — 'Pandora thou, our Phoebus was thy brother'" Poetical Works of Spenser (1862; 1875) 1:169n.

Oliver Elton: "Lady Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, is called Pandora, sister of our Phoebus, hand-maid of the Fairy Queen [Elizabeth], and the whole is taken up with a long inflated eulogy of her. In [1606], pp. 84-85, she is a shepherdess, sister of Elphin, gracing 'clear Willie's banks,' that is of the river Wilton her seat. Further, in [1606] appears the whole passage, cancelled later in the edition of 1619, concerning the desertion of Rowland by Selena for Cerberon; and the obscure allusion to Olcon, as well as those to Idea, Panape her sister, Mirtilla, Silvia, Thirsis, and Palmeo" Introduction to Michael Drayton (1895) 55.

W. W. Greg: "It can hardly be said that the verse of these poems attains any high order of merit, but the imitation of Spenser is evident throughout" Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama (1906) 103.

Herbert E. Cory: "The sixth eclogue begins with Gorbo's complaint against the degeneracy of the times; but Perkin assures him that virtue is not dead, and in earnest thereof sings the praises of Sidney's sister under the name Pandora" "Spenserian Pastoral" PM:A 25 (1910) 248.

Tillotson and Newdigate: "The panegyric which forms the main substance of this eclogue has no parallel in SC. Gorbo's lament on the theme of 'tempora mutantor' (43-54) is a little like Cuddie's in October (61-6)" Works of Drayton, ed. Hebel (1931-61) 5:9.

Richard F. Hardin: "Only the sixth and eighth poems are thematically independent of the Calender" Spenser Encyclopedia (1990) 225.



Good Gorbo cals to mind the fame,
Of our old Ancestrie:
And Perkin sings Pandoras prayse,
The Muse of Britanye.

PERKIN.
All haile good Gorbo, yet return'd at last,
What tell me man? how goes the world with thee?
What is it worse then it was wont to be?
Or been thy youthfull dayes already past?
Have patience man, for wealth will come and goe,
And to the end the world shall ebbe and flowe.

The valiant man, whose thoughts on hie been placed,
And sees sometime how fortune list to rage,
With wisdome still his actions so doth gage,
As with her frownes he no whit is disgraced,
And when she fawnes, and turnes her squinting eye,
Bethinks him then, of her inconstancie.

When as the Cullian, and the viler Clowne,
Who with the swine, on draffe sets his desire,
And thinks no life to wallowing in the myre,
In stormie tempest, dying layes him downe,
Yet tasting weale, the asse begins to bray,
And feeling woe, the beast consumes away.

GORBO.
So said the Sage in his Philosophie,
The Lordly hart inspir'd with noblesse,
With courage doth his crosses still suppresse,
His patience doth his passions mortifie,
When other folke this paine cannot endure,
Because they want this med'cine for their cure.

PERKIN.
And yet oft times the world I doe admire,
When as the wise and vertuous men I see,
Be hard beset with neede and povertie,
And lewdest fooles to highest things aspire,
What should I say? that fortune is to blame?
Or unto whome should I impute this shame.

GORBO.
Vertue and Fortune never could agree,
Foule Fortune ever was faire vertues foe,
Blinde Fortune blindly doth her gifts bestowe,
But vertue wise, and wisely doth foresee,
They fall which trust to fortunes fickle wheele,
But staied by vertue, men shall never reele.

PERKIN.
If so, why should she not be more regarded,
Why should men cherish vice and villanie,
And maintaine sinne and basest rogerie,
And vertue thus so slightly be rewarded,
This shewes that we full deepe dissemblers be,
And all we doe, but meere hypocrisie.

GORBO.
Where been those Nobles, Perkin, where been they?
Where been those worthies, Perkin, which of yore,
This gentle Ladie did so much adore?
And for her Impes did with such care purvey,
They been yswadled in their winding sheete,
And she (I thinke) is buried at their feete.

Oh worthy world, wherein those worthies lived,
Unworthy world, of such men so unworthy,
Unworthy age, of all the most unworthy,
Which art of these so worthy men deprived,
And inwardly in us is nothing lesse,
Than outwardly that, which we most professe.

PERKIN.
Nay stay good Gorbo, Vertue is not dead,
Nor all her friends be gone which wonned here,
She lives with one who ever held her deere,
And to her lappe for succour she is fled,
In her sweete bosome, she hath built her nest,
And from the world, even there she lives at rest.

Unto this sacred Ladie she was left,
(To be an heire-loome) by her ancestrie,
And so bequeathed by their legacie,
When on their death-bed, life was them bereft:
And as on earth together they remayne,
Together so in heaven they both shall raigne.

Oh thou Pandora, through the world renoun'd,
The glorious light, and load-starre of our West,
With all the vertues of the heavens possest,
With mighty groves of holy Lawrell cround,
Erecting learnings long decayed fame,
Heryed and hallowed be thy sacred name.

The flood of Helicon, forspent and drie,
Her sourse decayd with foule oblivion,
The fountaine flowes againe in thee alone,
Where Muses now their thirst may satisfie,
And old Apollo, from Pernassus hill,
May in this spring refresh his droughty quill.

The Graces twisting garlands for thy head,
Thy Ivorie temples deckt with rarest flowers,
Their rootes refreshed with divinest showers,
Thy browes with mirtle all inveloped,
Shepheards erecting trophies to thy praise,
Lauding thy name in songs and heavenly laies.

Sapphos sweete vaine in thy rare quill is seene,
Minerva was a figure of thy worth,
Mnemosine, who brought the Muses forth,
Wonder of Britaine, learnings famous Queene,
Apollo was thy Syer, Pallas her selfe thy mother,
Pandora thou, our Phoebus was thy brother.

Delicious Larke, sweete musick of the morrow,
Cleere bell of Rhetoricke, ringing peales of love,
Joy of the Angels, sent us from above,
Enchanting Syren, charmer of all sorrow,
The loftie subject of a heavenly tale,
Thames fairest Swanne, our summers Nightingale.

Arabian Phenix, wonder of thy sexe,
Lovely, chaste, holy, Myracle admired,
With spirit from the highest heaven inspired,
Oh thou alone, whome fame alone respects,
Natures chiefe glory, learnings richest prize,
Hie Joves Empresa, vertues Paradize.

Oh glorie of thy nation, beauty of thy name,
Joy of thy countrey, blesser of thy birth,
Thou blazing Comet, Angel of the earth,
Oh Poets Goddesse, sun-beame of their fame:
Whome time through many worlds hath sought to find,
Thou peerles Paragon of woman kinde.

Thy glorious Image, gilded with the sunne,
Thy lockes adorn'd with an immortall crowne,
Mounted aloft, upon a Chrystal throne,
When by thy death, thy life shalbe begun:
The blessed Angels tuning to the spheares,
With Gods sweete musick, charme thy sacred eares.

From Fayrie Ile, devided from the mayne,
To utmost Thuly fame transports thy name,
To Garamant shall thence convey the same,
Where taking wing, and mounting up againe,
From parched banckes on sun-burnt Affricks shore,
Shall flie as farre as erst she came of yore.

And gentle Zephire from his pleasant bower,
Whistling sweete musick to the shepheards rime,
The Ocean billowes duely keeping time,
Playing upon Neptunus brazen tower:
Lovers of learning shouting out their cries,
Shaking the Center with th' applaudities.

Whilst that great engine, on her axeltree,
Doth role about the vaultie circled Globe,
Whilst morning mantleth, in her purple Robe,
Or Tytan poste his sea Queenes bower to see,
Whilst Phoebus crowne, adornes the starrie skie,
Pandoras fame so long shall never die.

When all our silver swans shall cease to sing,
And when our groves shall want their Nightingales,
When hils shall heare no more our shepheards tales,
Nor ecchoes with our Roundelayes shall ring,
The little birdes long listning to thy fame,
Shall teach their ofspring to record thy name.

Ages shall tell such wonders of thy name,
And thou in death thy due desert shalt have,
That thou shalt be immortall in thy grave,
Thy vertues adding force unto thy fame,
So that vertue with thy fames wings shall flie,
And by thy fame shall vertue never die.

Upon thy toombe shall spring a Lawrell tree,
Whose sacred shade shall serve thee for an hearse,
Upon whose leaves (in golde) ingrav'd this verse,
Dying she lives, whose like shall never be,
A spring of Nectar flowing from this tree,
The fountayne of eternall memorie.

To adorne the triumph of eternitie,
Drawne with the steedes which dragge the golden sunne,
Thy wagon through the milken way shall runne,
Millions of Angels still attending thee,
Millions of Saints shall thy lives prayses sing,
Pend with the quill of an Archangels wing.

GORBO.
Long may Pandora weare the Lawrell crowne,
The ancient glory of her noble Peers,
And as the Egle: Lord renew her yeeres,
Long to upholde the proppe of our renowne,
Long may she be as she hath ever beene,
The lowly handmaide of the Fayrie Queene.

Non mihi mille placent: non sum desertor Amoris:
Tu mihi (si qua fides) cura perennis eris.

[pp. 37-44]