Fifteen stanzas (ababcc) plainly inspired by Spenser: "A Litle Heard-groome (for he was no bett') | When course of yeere return'd the pleasant spring." The "A. W." assigned in Davison's manuscript list is probably "anonymous writer."
Samuel Egerton Brydges: "The reign of the Tudors, more especially of the last glorious heroine of that House, was the reign of poetical genius; and after the fancy, the moral charms, the Doric delicacy, and the harmony and force of language, which the Miscellanies of Queen Elizabeth's time exhibit, we observe with astonishment and disgust the lapse of taste and refinement of imagination, of which the main body of the poetry of the three or four succeeding reigns produces such glaring proofs" Censura Literaria 1 (1805) 442.
Edward Farr: "This writer was one of the contributors to Davison's Poetical Rhapsody. The only names agreeing with the initials, mentioned by Ritson, are Andrew Willet and Arthur Warren, and he is inclined to attribute them to the latter; but no proof exists. Sir Egerton Brydges' supposition, that the poems to which they are affixed were by Sir Walter Raleigh, is equally unsupported. The author lived after the death of Sir Philip Sidney, in 1585: he wrote an eclogue, an epigram, and some hexameters upon his death" Select Poetry chiefly devotional of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (1845) xlii.
W. W. Greg: the first eglogue is "modelled on the January eclogue" Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama (1906) 102.
A list of allusions to several poems in Shepheardes Calender is given in Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 118.
A Litle Heard-groome (for he was no bett')
When course of yeere return'd the pleasant spring,
At break of day without-en further lett
Cast with himselfe his flocke a field to bring,
And for they had so long beene pent with paine,
At sight of Sun they seem'd to live againe.
Such was the flocke all bent to brouse and play,
But nothing such their Maister was to see.
Downe hung his drooping head like rainy day,
His cheeks with teares like springs bedeawed bee.
His wringed hand such silent mone did make.
Well might you guesse he was with love y'take.
Tho while his flocke went feeding on the greene,
And wantonly for joy of Summer plaid,
All in despight as if he n'ould be seene
He cast himselfe to ground full ill appayd.
Should seeme their pleasance made him more complaine
For joy in sight not felt, is double paine.
Unhappy Boy why liv'st thou still, quoth he,
And heft thy deadly wound so long ago?
What hope of after hap sustayneth thee?
As if there might be found some ease of wo.
Nay better dye ten thousand times then live,
Since every houre new cause of death doth give.
The joyfull Sunne, whom clowdy Winters spight,
Had shut from us in watry fishes haske,
Returnes againe to lend the world his light,
And red as Rose begins his yeerely taske.
His fiery steeds the steepy welkin beate,
And both the homes of clyming Bull do heate.
But ah no Sun of grace aspires to mee,
Close hid she lies, from whom I should have light,
The crowds of black disdaine so foggy bee,
That blind I ly (poore boy) bereft of sight:
And yet I see the Sun I seeke to find,
And yet the more I see, the more am blind.
Thrice happy ground, whom spoyld with winters rage,
The heat of pleasant spring renewes againe:
Unhappy I, whom in my spring of age,
The frost of could Despaire hath well-nigh slayne.
How shall I bide your stormy Winters smart,
When spring it selfe hath frorne my bloodlesse hart,
I see the beawty of thy flowers renew,
Thy mantle greene with sundry collours spread,
Thou seest in me a change of former hew,
Palenesse for white, blacknes for lively red.
What hope of Harvest fruit, or Summer flowers,
Since that my spring is drownd with teares like showres.
And left of all, but lieu'st of all to mee,
Thou leany flock, that didst of late lament,
And witnesse wast for shepheards all to see,
(Thy knees so weake, thy fleece so rough and rent)
That thou with paine didst pine away unfed,
All for thy Maister was with love misled.
Thou 'ginst at earst forget thy former state,
And range amid the busks thy selfe to feede,
Faire fall thee little flocke both rathe and late,
(Was never Lovers sheepe, that well did speede)
Thou free, I bound, thou glad, I pinde in payne,
I strive to dye, and thou to live full faine.
Wo worth the stund, wherein I tooke delight,
To frame the shifting of my nimble feete,
To cheerefull sound of Pipe in Moon-shine night,
Such pleasance past at earst now makes me greet.
I ween'd by Night have shun'd the parching ray,
But night it selfe was twise more hott then day.
Then first of all (and all too soone for me)
I saw thilk Lasse (nay grav'd her in my brest)
Her christall eyes more bright then Moone to see,
Her eies, her eies, that have robd me of rest,
On them I gaz'd, then saw I to my cost,
Through too much fight mine onely fight is lost.
Where beene the dapper Ditties that I dight,
And Roundlaies, and Virelayes so soot?
Whilome with Collins selfe compare I might
For other Swaine, to strive was little boote,
Such skill I had in making all above
But all to little skill to conquer Love.
What helps it me to have my piping prayz'd,
Of all save her, whom I would only please?
Nought care I, though my fame to sky be rayz'd
For pleasant song that brings my heart no case.
Wherfore both Pipe and Song I all forsweare,
And former pleasance wilfully forbeare.
With that he cast his looke to Welkin high,
And few the doubled shadowes flit away:
And as he glaunst halfe in despight awry,
He spide the shepheards starre shut in the Day;
Then rose, and homeward with his flock him went,
Whose voice did helpe their Maisters case lament.
Questo per amar s'aquista.