1610
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christs Victorie on Earth.

Christs Victorie, and Triumph in Heaven, and Earth, over, and after death.

Rev. Giles Fletcher


The second canto of Giles Fletcher's sacred epic describes the temptation of Christ in the wilderness; Pangloretta's temptations are modeled on Spenser's Bower of Bliss, and Despair's cave recalls Guyon's adventures in the Cave of Mammon.

Henry Headley: "The most material features of this description are taken from Spenser, Faerie Queene, B. I. cant. ix. st. 33, 36. This is a curious instance of plagiarism, and serves to show us, what little ceremony the poets of that day laboured under in pilfering from each other. The reader will be amply repaid for his trouble in turning to the passage in Spenser, who seems to have put forth all his strength to render the picture complete, and it is in delineations of such a hue that he peculiarly excels. The limits of my book will not permit me to quote the passage at length. See also Britannia's Pastorals by Browne, Vol. I. p. 162, Thompson's edit." Specimens of Early English Poetry (1787; 1810) 1:81n.

Robert Aris Willmott: "The second canto, Christ's Victorie on Earth, opens with the temptation of our Saviour in the wilderness. The fanciful prettiness of Fletcher contrasts upleasingly with the calm and dignified narrative of Milton, who, without departing from the text of Scripture, where it is said, 'Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness,' has invested it with a poetical character. Fletcher's picture of our Saviour upon 'a grassy hillock laid,' with 'woody primroses befreckled,' does not impress us like Milton's description of Him, who the 'better to converse with solitude,' entered the 'bordering desert wild, | And with dark shades and rocks environ'd round, | pursued "his holy meditations.' The silence of the desert dwells around us!" Lives of Sacred Poets (1834) 47-48.

Edmund Gosse: "The stanza in which it is written is the nine-lined one of Spenser, compressed into an octett by the omission of the seventh line, and so deprived of that fourth rhyme which is one of its greatest technical difficulties" The Jacobean Poets (1894) 139.

George Saintsbury: "Giles dropped line seven of the Spenserian, but retained the order of the rhymes and the final Alexandrine. This gives a triplet at the close, which is sometimes not ineffective in itself, but seriously damages both the individual and the social merits of the stanza. From the first point of view the extraordinary unity — the 'seamless coat' of the Spenserian, is broken into quintet and triplet, inevitably in sound, and by strong temptation in sense and suggestion, like the octave and sestet arrangement of a sonnet. From the second, the accumulation of rhymes in the triplet and the culmination by the Alexandrine in the same way suggests a much stronger stope than the couplet-ending, and so arrests and injures that curious concatenation which, side by side with its individual integrity, is the glory of the great 'novena'" History of English Prosody (1906-10) 2:116.

Edward Payson Morton: "Giles Fletcher's sole imitation of Spenser's stanza is the stanza of his 'Christ's Victory and Triumph,' which runs ababbccc. Of the anonymous 'Britain's Ida' Mr. Gosse says that it 'is the only other known poem in that stanza.' Unfortunately for Mr. Gosse, Giles Fletcher himself wrote his earlier 'Canto upon the Death of Eliza' in that stanza; his brother Phineas wrote in it 'To my Beloved Thenot,' and the second of his 'Piscatory Eclogues;' T. Robinson used it in his 'Life and Death of Mary Magdalene;' and Edmund Smith (d. 1710) used it in 'Thales,' first published in 1750 or 51. In another comment on this stanza Mr. Gosse says that it is 'the nine-lined one of Spenser, compressed into an octet by the omission of the seventh line, and so deprived of that fourth rhyme which is one of its greatest technical difficulties.' Mr. Gosse's supposition is plausible, but, considering that Spenser apparently formed his stanza by adding a line to a recognized form, and that Phineas Fletcher made a stanza by adding an alexandrine to the ottava rima, it seems just as likely that Giles Fletcher, following the example of five of the legends in the 'Mirrour for Magistrates,' simply added an alexandrine to the common rhyme royal" "The Spenserian Stanza before 1700" (1907) 6-7.

Herbert E. Cory: "On earth Christ is dwelling in the wilderness. Satan comes as an aged hermit, just as Archimago comes to the Red Cross Knight in The Faerie Queene. Under pretence of leading Christ to his hermitage, Satan leads him to the bower of Despair and we come to Fletcher's superb borrowing from The Faerie Queene, his most important imitation. Headly condemned this passage as 'a curious instance of plagiarism.' Grosart, the Fletchers' militant champion, protests angrily with some of his characteristic rhetoric: 'Who but a man with nose for plagiarism as eagernostrilled as that of your orthodox hunter after 'heresy' will deem these of any moment.' He asserts that two lines were intended as a quotation. But many lines which Grosart chooses to ignore are lifted almost bodily out of Spenser. My own notion is that the whole quarrel is futile and that, although Fletcher's indebtedness amounts to liberal borrowing, he has created a picture which is hardly less impressive after we know its source. Christ comes to the baleful bower, 'The mouth of that infernall cave, | That gaping. stood, all commers to devoure.' About the den are venomous herbs and 'ragged trees.' Everywhere 'Dead bones and skulls were east and bodies hanged wear.' Here dwells Despair.... Fletcher does not attempt to reproduce Despair's subtle eloquence in The Faerie Queene that nearly ruins the Red Cross Knight Christ steals away and flies with Satan to where 'Presumption her pavilion spread | Over the temple the bright starres among.' Here, too, all temptations prove futile and angels bring the Saviour to a mountain-top at first snowy. Here he endures the supreme temptation. In the description which follows, a famous passage in the Christ, everyone who has read Spenser's magnificent outburst on the Bower of Bliss will see both the general indebtedness and the originality of Fletcher.... The quaint, stiff extravagance with which Fletcher strives to outdo his master's gorgeousness is here only delightful. Both poets have fountains adorned with naked, wanton boys. Both have groves where branches twine in drunken abandon. Both Spenser and Fletcher have beds of roses where naked women disport. The 'faire witch,' so called by both poets, has a herd of enchanted beasts, once men, in both poems. In Fletcher Ambition, too, sits enthroned.... In Spenser Guyon finds a similar Ambition sitting in state in Mammon's cave. Christ hears someone sing a voluptuous lay like that with which one of Acrasia's damsels greets Sir Guyon's ears...." "Spenser, the Fletchers, and Milton" UCPMP 2 (1912) 326-29.

Joan Grundy: "Christs Victorie, and Triumph" is, formally, a very fluid work, almost druidical in its capacity to flow from one literary form into another. Thus although there are Spenserian echoes throughout, the second book is the only one extensively to adopt Spenser's method" The Spenserian Poets (1969) 193.

Frank S. Kastor: "Christ's Victorie on Earth reminds us of Spenser's Faerie Queene in almost every way: episodes, use and type of allegory, action, place, style, verse texture, and the pace of the narrative. Both poems rely heavily upon description and not at all upon characterization or drama. Milton knew both poems: his Paradise Regained differs from both yet seems also to have been colored by each" Giles and Phineas Fletcher (1978) 52-53.



Thear all alone she spi'd, alas the while;
In shadie darknes a poore Desolate,
That now had measur'd many a wearie mile,
Through a wast desert, whither heav'nly fate,
And his owne will him brought; he praying sate,
And him to prey, as he to pray began,
The Citizens of the wilde forrest ran,
And all with open throat would swallowe whole the man.

Soone did the Ladie to her Graces crie,
And on their wings her selfe did nimbly strowe,
After her coach a thousand Loves did flie,
So downe into the wildernesse they throwe,
Whear she, and all her trayne that with her flowe
Thorough the ayrie wave, with sayles so gay,
Sinking into his brest that wearie lay,
Made shipwracke of themselves, and vanish't quite away.

Seemed that Man had them devoured all,
Whome to devoure the beasts did make pretence,
But him their salvage thirst did nought appall,
Though weapons none he had for his defence:
What armes for Innocence, but Innocence?
For when they saw their Lords bright cognizance
Shine in his face, soone did they disadvaunce,
And some unto him kneele, and some about him daunce.

Downe fell the Lordly Lions angrie mood,
And he himselfe fell downe, in congies lowe;
Bidding him welcome to his wastfull wood,
Sometime he kist the grasse whear he did goe,
And, as to wash his feete he well did knowe,
With fauning tongue he lickt away the dust,
And every one would neerest to him thrust,
And every one, with new, forgot his former lust.

Unmindfull of himselfe, to minde his Lord,
The Lamb stood gazing by the Tygers side,
As though betweene them they had made accord,
And on the Lions back the goate did ride,
Forgetfull of the roughnes of the hide,
If he stood still, their eyes upon him bayted,
If walk't, they all in order on him wayted,
And when he slep't, they as his watch themselves conceited.

Wonder doeth call me up to see, O no,
I cannot see, and therefore sinke in woonder,
The man, that shines as bright as God, not so,
For God he is himselfe, that close lies under
That man, so close, that no time can dissunder
That band, yet not so close, but from him breake
Such beames, as mortall eyes are all too weake
Such sight to see, or it, if they should see, to speake.

Upon a grassie hillock he was laid,
With woodie primroses befreckeled,
Over his head the wanton shadowes plaid
Of a wilde olive, that her bowgh's so spread,
As with her leav's she seem'd to crowne his head,
And her greene armes [t'] embrace the Prince of peace,
The Sunne so neere, needs must the winter cease,
The Sunne so neere, another Spring seem'd to increase.

His haire was blacke, and in small curls did twine,
As though it wear the shadowe of some light,
And underneath his face, as day, did shine,
But sure the day shined not halfe so bright,
Nor the Sunnes shadowe made so darke a night.
Under his lovely locks, her head to shroude,
Did make Humilitie her selfe growe proude,
Hither, to light their lamps, did all the Graces croude.

One of ten thousand soules I am, and more,
That of his eyes, and their sweete wounds complaine,
Sweete are the wounds of love, never so sore,
Ah might he often slaie mee so againe.
He never lives, that thus is never slaine.
What boots it watch? those eyes, for all my art,
Mine owne eyes looking on, have stole my heart,
In them Love bends his bowe, and dips his burning dart.

As when the Sunne, caught in an adverse clowde,
Flies crosse the world, and thear a new begets,
The watry picture of his beautie proude,
Throwes all abroad his sparkling spangelets,
And the whole world in dire amazement sets,
To see two dayes abroad at once, and all
Doubt whither nowe he rise, or nowe will fall:
So flam'd the Godly flesh, proude of his heav'nly thrall.

His cheekes as snowie apples, sop't in wine,
Had their red roses quencht with lillies white,
And like to garden strawberries did shine,
Wash't in a bowle of milke, or rose-buds bright
Unbosoming their brests against the light:
Here love-sicke soules did eat, thear dranke, and made
Sweete-smelling posies, that could never fade,
But worldly eyes him thought more like some living shade.

For laughter never look't upon his browe,
Though in his face all smiling joyes did bide,
No silken banners did about him flowe,
Fooles make their fetters ensignes of their pride:
He was best cloath'd when naked was his side,
A Lambe he was, and wollen fleece he bore,
Wove with one thread, his feete lowe sandalls wore,
But bared were his legges, so went the times of yore.

As two white marble pillars that uphold
Gods holy place whear he in glorie sets,
And rise with goodly grace and courage bold,
To beare his Temple on their ample jetts,
Vein'd every whear with azure rivulets,
Whom all the people on some holy morne,
With boughs and flowrie garlands doe adorne,
Of such, though fairer farre, this Temple was upborne.

Twice had Diana bent her golden bowe,
And shot from heav'n her silver shafts, to rouse
The sluggish salvages, that den belowe,
And all the day in lazie covert drouze,
Since him the silent wildernesse did house,
The heav'n his roofe, and arbour harbour was,
The ground his bed, and his moist pillowe grasse.
But fruit thear none did growe, nor rivers none did passe.

At length an aged Syre farre off he sawe
Come slowely footing, everie step he guest
One of his feete he from the grave did drawe,
Three legges he had, the woodden was the best,
And all the waie he went, he ever blest
With benedicities, and prayers store,
But the bad ground was blessed ne'r the more,
And all his head with snowe of Age was waxen hore.

A good old Hermit he might seeme to be,
That for devotion had the world forsaken,
And now was travailing some Saint to see,
Since to his beads he had himselfe betaken,
Whear all his former sinnes he might awaken,
And them might wash away with dropping brine,
And almes, and fasts, and churches discipline,
And dead, might rest his bones under the holy shrine.

But when he neerer came, he lowted lowe
With prone obeysance, and with curt'sie kinde,
That at his feete his head he seemd to throwe;
What needs him now another Saint to finde?
Affections are the sailes, and faith the wind,
That to this Saint a thousand soules conveigh
Each hour': O happy Pilgrims thither strey!
What caren they for beasts, or for the wearie way?

Soone the old Palmer his devotions sung,
Like pleasing anthems, moduled in time,
For well that aged Syre could tip his tongue
With golden foyle of eloquence, and lime,
And licke his rugged speech with phrases prime.
Ay me, quoth he, how many yeares have beene,
Since these old eyes the Sunne of heav'n have seene!
Certes the Sonne of heav'n they now behold I weene.

Ah, mote my humble cell so blessed be
As heav'n to welcome in his lowely roofe,
And be the Temple for thy deitie!
Loe how my cottage worships thee aloofe,
That under ground hath hid his head, in proofe
It doth adore thee with the feeling lowe,
Here honie, milke, and chesnuts wild doe growe,
The boughs a bed of leaves upon thee shall bestowe.

But oh, he said, and therewith sigh't full deepe,
The heav'ns, alas, too envious are growne,
Because our fields thy presence from them keepe;
For stones doe growe, where corne was lately sowne:
(So stooping downe, he gather'd up a stone)
But thou with corne canst make this stone to eare.
What needen we the angrie heav'ns to feare?
Let them envie us still, so we enjoy thee here.

Thus on they wandred, but those holy weeds
A monstrous Serpent, and no man did cover.
So under greenest hearbs the Adder feeds:
And round about that stinking corps did hover
The dismall Prince of gloomie night, and over
His ever-damned head the Shadowes err'd
Of thousand peccant ghosts, unseene, unheard,
And all the Tyrant feares, and all the Tyrant fear'd.

He was the Sonne of blackest Acheron,
Whear many frozen soules doe chattring lie,
And rul'd the burning waves of Phlegethon,
Whear many more in flaming sulphur frie,
At once compel'd to live and forc't to die,
Whear nothing can be heard for the loud crie
Of oh, and ah, and out alas that I
Or once againe might live, or once at length might die.

Ere long they came neere to a balefull bowre,
Much like the mouth of that infernall cave,
That gaping stood all Commers to devoure,
Darke, dolefull, dreary, like a greedy grave,
That still for carrion carkasses doth crave.
The ground no hearbs, but venomous did beare,
Nor ragged trees did leave, but every whear
Dead bones, and skulls wear cast, and bodies hanged wear.

Upon the roofe the bird of sorrowe sat
Elonging joyfull day with her sad note,
And through the shady aire, the fluttring bat
Did wave her leather sayles, and blindely flote,
While with her wings the fatall S[c]reechowle smote
Th' unblessed house, thear, on a craggy stone,
Celeno hung, and made his direfull mone,
And all about the murdered ghosts did shreek, and grone.

Like clowdie moonshine, in some shadowie grove,
Such was the light in which Despaire did dwell,
But he himselfe with night for darkenesse strove.
His blacke uncombed locks dishevell'd fell
About his face, through which, as brands of hell,
Sunk in his skull, his staring eyes did glowe,
That made him deadly looke, their glimpse did showe
Like Cockatrices eyes, that sparks of poyson throwe.

His cloaths wear ragged clouts, with thornes pind fast,
And as he musing lay, to stonie fright
A thousand wilde Chimera's would him cast:
As when a fearefull dreame, in mid'st of night,
Skips to the braine, and phansies to the sight
Some winged furie, strait the hasty foot,
Eger to flie, cannot plucke up his root,
The voyce dies in the tongue, and mouth gapes without boot.

Now he would dreame that he from heaven fell,
And then would snatch the ayre, afraid to fall;
And now he thought he sinking was to hell,
And then would grasp the earth, and now his stall
Him seemed hell, and then he out would crawle,
And ever, as he crept, would squint aside,
Lest him, perhaps, some Furie had espide,
And then, alas, he should in chaines for ever bide.

Therefore he softly shrunke, and stole away,
Ne ever durst to drawe his breath for feare,
Till to the doore he came, and thear he lay
Panting for breath, as though he dying were,
And still he thought, he felt their craples teare
Him by the heels backe to his ougly denne,
Out faine he would have leapt abroad, but then
The heav'n, as hell, he fear'd, that punish guilty men.

Within the gloomie hole of this pale wight
The Serpent woo'd him with his charmes to inne,
Thear he might baite the day, and rest the night,
But under that same baite a fearefull grin
Was readie to intangle him in sinne.
But he upon ambrosia daily fed,
That grew in Eden, thus he answered,
So both away wear caught, and to the Temple fled.

Well knewe our Saviour this the Serpent was,
And the old Serpent knewe our Saviour well,
Never did any this in falshood passe,
Never did any him in truth excell:
With him we fly to heav'n, from heav'n we fell
With him: but nowe they both together met
Upon the sacred pinnacles, that threat
With their aspiring tops, Astraeas starrie seat.

Here did Presumption her pavillion spread,
Over the Temple, the bright starres among,
(Ah that her foot should trample on the head
Of that most reverend place!) and a lewd throng
Of wanton boyes sung her a pleasant song
Of love, long life, of mercie, and of grace,
And every one her deerely did embrace,
And she herselfe enamour'd was of her owne face.

A painted face, belied with vermeyl store,
Which light Euelpis every day did trimme,
That in one hand a guilded anchor wore,
Not fixed on the rocke, but on the brimme
Of the wide aire she let it loosely swimme:
Her other hand a sprinkle carried,
And ever, when her Ladie wavered,
Court-holy water all upon her sprinkeled.

Poore foole, she thought herselfe in wondrous price
With God, as if in Paradise she wear,
But, wear shee not in a fooles paradise,
She might have seene more reason to despere:
But him she, like some ghastly fiend, did feare,
And therefore as that wretch hew'd out his cell
Under the bowels, in the heart of hell,
So she above the Moone, amid the starres would dwell.

Her Tent with sunny cloudes was seel'd aloft,
And so exceeding shone with a false light,
That heav'n it selfe to her it seemed oft,
Heav'n without cloudes to her deluded sight,
But cloudes withouten heav'n it was aright,
And as her house was built, so did her braine
Build castles in the aire, with idle paine,
But heart she never had in all her body vaine.

Like as a ship, in which no ballance lies,
Without a Pilot, on the sleeping waves,
Fairely along with winde, and water flies,
And painted masts with silken sayles embraves,
That Neptune selfe the bragging vessell saves,
To laugh a while at her so proud aray;
Her waving streamers loosely shee lets play,
And flagging colours shine as bright as smiling day;

But all so soone as heav'n his browes doth bend,
Shee veils her banners, and pulls in her beames,
The emptie barke the raging billows send
Up to th' Olympique waves, and Argus seemes
Againe to ride upon our lower streames:
Right so Presumption did her selfe behave,
Tossed about with every stormie wave,
And in white lawne shee went, most like an Angel brave.

Gently our Saviour shee began to shrive,
Whither he wear the Sonne of God, or no;
For any other shee disdeign'd to wive:
And if he wear, shee bid him fearles throw
Himselfe to ground, and thearwithall did show
A flight of little Angels, that did wait
Upon their glittering wings, to latch him strait,
And longed on their backs to feele his glorious weight.

But when she saw her speech prevailed nought,
Her selfe she tombled headlong to the flore:
But him the Angels on their feathers caught,
And to an ayrie mountaine nimbly bore,
Whose snowie shoulders, like some chaulkie shore,
Restles Olympus seem'd to rest upon
With all his swimming globes: so both are gone,
The Dragon with the Lamb. Ah, unmeet Paragon.

All suddenly the hill his snowe devours,
In liew whereof a goodly garden grew,
As if the snow had melted into flow'rs,
Which their sweet breath in subtill vapours threw,
That all about perfumed spirits flew.
For what so ever might aggrate the sense,
In all the world, or please the appetence,
Heer it was powred out in lavish affluence.

Not lovely Ida might with this compare,
Though many streames his banks besilvered,
Though Xanthus with his golden sands he bare,
Nor Hibla, though his thyme depastured,
As fast againe with honie blossomed.
Ne Rhodope, ne Tempes flowrie playne,
Adonis garden was to this but vayne,
Though Plato on his beds a flood of praise did rayne.

For in all these, some one thing most did grow,
But in this one, grew all things els beside,
For sweet varietie herselfe did throw
To every banke, here all the ground she dide
In lillie white, there pinks eblazed wide;
And damask't all the earth, and here shee shed
Blew violets, and there came roses red,
And every sight the yeelding sense, as captive led.

The garden like a Ladie faire was cut,
That lay as if shee slumber'd in delight,
And to the open skies her eyes did shut;
The azure fields of heav'n wear sembled right
In a large round, set with the flo[w'r]s of light,
The flo[w'r]s-de-luce, and the round sparks of deaw,
That hung upon their azure leaves, did shew
Like twinkling starrs, that sparkle in th[e] eav'ning blew.

Upon a hillie banke her head shee cast,
On which the bowre of Vaine-Delight was built,
White, and red roses for her face wear plac't,
And for her tresses Marigolds wear spilt:
Them broadly shee displaid, like flaming guilt,
Till in the ocean the glad day wear drown'd,
Then up againe her yellow locks she wound,
And with greene fillets in their prettie calls them bound.

What should I here depeint her lillie hand,
Her veines of violets, her ermine brest,
Which thear in orient colours living stand,
Or how her gowne with silken leaves is drest;
Or how her watchmen, arm'd with boughie crest,
A wall of prim hid in his bushes bears,
Shaking at every winde their leavie spears,
While she supinely sleeps, ne to be waked fears?

Over the hedge depends the graping Elme,
Whose greener head, empurpuled in wine,
Seemed to wonder at his bloodie helme,
And halfe suspect the bunches of the vine,
Least they, perhaps, his wit should undermine.
For well he knewe such fruit he never bore:
But her weake armes embraced him the more,
And with her ruby grapes laught at her paramour.

Under the shadowe of these drunken elmes
A Fountaine rose, where Pangloretta uses,
(When her some flood of fancie overwhelms,
And one of all her favourites she chuses)
To bath herselfe, whom she in lust abuses,
And from his wanton body sucks his soule,
Which drown'd in pleasure, in that shaly bowle,
And swimming in delight, doth am[o]rously rowle.

The font of silver was, and so his showrs
In silver fell, onely the guilded bowles
(Like to a fornace, that the min'rall powres)
Seem'd to have moul't it in their shining holes:
And on the water, like to burning coles,
On liquid silver, leaves of roses lay:
But when Panglorie here did list to play,
Rose water then it ranne, and milke it rain'd they say.

The roofe thicke cloudes did paint, from which three boyes
Three gaping mermaides with their eawrs did feede,
Whose brests let fall the streame, with sleepie noise,
To Lions mouths, from whence it leapt with speede,
And in the rosie laver seem'd to bleed.
The naked boyes unto the waters fall,
Their stonie nightingales had taught to call,
When Zephyr breath'd into their watry interall.

And all about, embayed in soft sleepe,
A heard of charmed beasts aground wear spread,
Which the faire Witch in goulden chaines did keepe,
And them in willing bondage fettered,
Once men they liv'd, but now the men were dead,
And turn'd to beasts, so fabled Homer old,
That Circe, with her potion, charm'd in gold,
Us'd manly soules in beastly bodies to immould.

Through this false Eden, to his Lemans bowre,
(Whome thousand soules devoutly idolize)
Our first destroyer led our Saviour.
Thear in the lower roome, in solemne wise,
They daunc't a round, and powr'd their sacrifice
To plumpe Lyaeus, and among the rest,
The jolly Priest, in yvie garlands drest,
Chaunted wild Orgialls, in honour of the feast.

Others within their arbours swilling sat,
(For all the roome about was arboured)
With laughing Bacchus, that was growne so fat,
That stand he could not, but was carried,
And every evening freshly watered,
To quench his fierie cheeks, and all about
Small cocks broke through the wall, and sallied out
Flaggons of wine, to set on fire that spueing rout.

This their inhumed soules esteem'd their wealths,
To crowne the bouzing kan from day to night,
And sicke to drinke themselves with drinking healths,
Some vomiting, all drunken with delight.
Hence to a loft, carv'd all in yvorie white,
They came, whear whiter Ladies naked went,
Melted in pleasure, and soft languishment,
And sunke in beds of roses, amourous glaunces sent.

Flie, flie thou holy child that wanton roome,
And thou my chaster Muse those harlots shun,
And with him to a higher storie come,
Whear mounts of gold, and flouds of silver run,
The while the owners, with their wealth undone,
Starve in their store, and in their plentie pine,
Tumbling themselves upon their heaps of mine.
Glutting their famish't soules with the deceitfull shine.

Ah, who was he such pretious perills found?
How strongly Nature did her treasures hide;
And threw upon them mountains of thicke ground,
To darke their orie lustre; but queint Pride
Hath taught her Sonnes to wound their mothers side,
And gage the depth, to search for flaring shells,
In whose bright bosome spumie Bacchus swells,
That neither heav'n, nor earth henceforth in safetie dwells.

O sacred hunger of the greedie eye,
Whose neede hath end, but no end covetise,
Emptie in fulnes, rich in povertie,
That having all things, nothing can suffice,
How thou befanciest the men most wise?
The poore man would be rich, the rich man great,
The great man King, the King, in Gods owne seat
Enthron'd, with mortal arme dares flames, and thunder threat.

Therefore above the rest Ambition sat:
His Court with glitterant pearle was all enwall'd,
And round about the wall in chaires of State,
And most majestique splendor, wear enstall'd
A hundred Kings, whose temples wear impal'd
In goulden diadems, set here, and thear
With diamounds, and gemmed every whear,
And of their golden virges none disceptred wear.

High over all, Panglories blazing throne,
In her bright turret, all of christall wrought,
Like Ph[oe]bus lampe in midst of heaven, shone:
Whose starry top, with pride infernall fraught,
Selfe-arching columns to uphold wear taught:
In which, her Image still reflected was
By the smooth christall, that most like her glasse,
In beauty, and in frailtie, did all others passe.

A Silver wande the sorceresse did sway,
And, for a crowne of gold, her haire she wore,
Onely a garland of rosebuds did play
About her locks, and in her hand, she bore
A hollowe globe of glasse, that long before,
She full of emptinesse had bladdered,
And all the world therein depictured,
Whose colours, like the rainebowe, ever vanished.

Such watry orbicles young boyes doe blowe
Out from their sopy shells, and much admire
The swimming world, which tenderly they rowe
With easie breath, till it be waved higher,
But if they chaunce but roughly once aspire,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall.
Here when she came, she gan for musique call,
And sung this wooing song, to welcome him withall.

Love is the blossome whear thear blowes
Every thing, that lives, or growes,
Love doth make the heav'ns to move,
And the Sun doth burne in love;
Love the strong, and weake doth yoke,
And makes the yvie climbe the oke,
Under whose shadowes Lions wilde,
Soft'ned by Love, growe tame, and mild;
Love no med'cine can appease,
He burnes the fishes in the seas,
Not all the skill his wounds can stench,
Not all the sea his fire can quench;
Love did make the bloody spear
Once a levie coat to wear,
While in his leaves thear shrouded lay
Sweete birds, for love, that sing, and play;
And of all loves joyfull flame,
I the bud, and blossome am.
Onely bend thy knee to me,
Thy wooeing, shall thy winning be.

See, see the flowers that belowe,
Now as fresh as morning blowe,
And of all, the virgin rose,
That as bright Aurora showes,
How they all unleaved die,
Loosing their virgin[i]tie:
Like unto a summer-shade,
But now borne, and now they fade.
Every thing doth passe away,
Thear is danger in delay,
Come, come gather then the rose,
Gather it, or it you lose.
All the sande of Tagus shore
Into my bosome casts his ore;
All the valleys swimming corne
To my house is yeerely borne;
Every grape, of every vine
Is gladly bruis'd to make me wine,
While ten thousand kings, as proud,
To carry up my traine, have bow'd,
And a world of Ladies send me
In my chambers to attend me:
All the starres in heav'n that shine,
And ten thousand more, are mine:
Onely bend thy knee to mee,
Thy wooing shall thy winning bee.

Thus sought the dire Enchauntress in his minde
Her guilefull bayt to have embosomed,
But he her charmes dispersed into winde,
And her of insolence admonished,
And all her optique glasses shattered.
So with her Syre to hell shee tooke her flight,
(The starting ayre flew from the damned spright,)
Whear deeply both aggriev'd, plunged themselves in night.

But to their Lord, now musing in his thought,
A heavenly volie of light Angels flew,
And from his Father him a banquet brought,
Through the fine element, for well they knew,
After his lenten fast, he hungrie grew,
And, as he fed, the holy quires combine
To sing a hymne of the celestiall Trine;
All thought to passe, and each was past all thought divine.

The birds sweet notes, to sonnet out their joyes,
Attemper'd to the layes Angelicall,
And to the birds, the winds attune their noyse,
And to the winds, the waters hoarcely call,
And Eccho back againe revoyced all,
That the whole valley rung with victorie.
But now our Lord to rest doth homewards flie:
See how the Night comes stealing from the mountains high.

[Boas (1908) 1:40-56]