A theological pastoral; the reference to the Faerie Queen identifies the speakers as Spenser and Harvey, though Clapham's wry Colin seems rather out of character and his allegory is unclear. But if this is the "H. Clapham" who entered Cambridge in 1560, the author may well have known Edmund Spenser and Gabriel Harvey and have been in a position to comment on their relationship.
Thomas Corser: "Clapham's prose is far superior to his verse" in Collectanea Anglo-Poetica 4 (1869) 399.
Good Hobbinoll, why hangs thou so thy head;
Hast lost some sheep, or be some lambkins dead?
Thou Whilome sung unto thy oten pipe,
As Fary-queen could not but love and like.
What meane these dumps?
Oh, Collin clout, ays me,
Some of my Lambs, that erst were full of glee,
Now droope amaine and squat aside the hill,
As having suckt from Dams, some fatall ill:
Or from the grasse, have lickt the venomd web,
Which hath them brought unto so low an ebbe.
Black Will (that usde to lead them with his Bell)
His heart is broke, to see they be not well.
And, that is worse, the cause is yet unknowne,
From whence these evils, untimely evels be growne.
And what shall Collin have, if he can tell
From whence it comes, and how it shalbe well?
O Collin, theres a kisse, and it shall binde
Me to performe the promise is behinde;
Speak loving Boy, I long to heare thee speake.
Ey, ey, but you your promise once did breake,
Give me your hand, that you will pitch and pay:
Now, whats your promise?
Hearken what I say.
I have a nest of Turtles, flidgd well ny;
Hearke, hearken Clout, one of them now did cry:
Tell me good newes, and thou shall have them both.
But fetch them first.
Clout, Clout, thou'rt very loth
To give me credence 'fore thou have thy pay:
Well, well Ile set them.
See you doe not stay.
I trust him? no: gainst Christmas he did say,
He would me give a dozen points to play,
But when yoole came, he dodgd me off with twaine,
And said he should but sin, play to maintaine.
Come, set them downe. Now hearken forth my tale:
Seest Hobbinoll, on th' outside of that dale
In shadowie plots, the Vipers Monk-cowle groes;
Which with his yellowe flower full tricky shoes,
His leaves (but darker) snipt like to the vine,
But trust me Hobbinoll, too bad for swine.
Some of thy flock, too greedy of that shade,
There lickt and cropt, till they were sickly made.
And to lay sooth, with such a trick as that,
Pers lost ten Ewes and Lambkins, that is flat.
Aes me; but what will help them to recover?
Give my my doves. This vale now walke we over,
Seest thou that Hill? seest thou that helmet flower,
Whose stalke is hollow as a kex? In it is power,
T' expell the venom of the others bane,
If now in time, it off the sheepe be tane.
How, how good Clout?
Dig it up Hobbinole.
That double-root, now stamp thou in a bole,
And put the juyce to milk made somwhat warme,
Then geet them with an horne; and feare no harme.
For everie sore, no doubt, a salve there is,
But sin blindes sheepherds, that they doe amisse.
But well I wot, hereafter I shall watch,
If in such shades my sheep doe poison catch.
Collin farewell, I must about this geare,
Till they have drunk this draught, I live in feare:
But prove all well, that sheepe and I may joy,
I (better while I live) will love my Boy.