A pastoral romance in which William Browne presents the adventures of Marina, Fida, and Aletheia in five "songs" with an interpolated elegy for Prince Henry. Walter Greg describes Browne's major works as "he longest and most ambitious poem ever composed on a pastoral theme" Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama (1906) 131.
The commendatory verses by John Selden, Michael Drayton, Edward Heyward, Christopher Brook, Fr. Dynne, Thomas Gardiner, W. Ferrar, and Fr. Oulde acknowledge Browne of Tavistock as a second Colin Clout, and for a time in the second decade of the seventeenth century it must have seemed that he was destined for great things.
Thomas Dermody: "His allegories are not so intricate as those of his contemporaries: they are picturesque without perplexity, and savour more of the school of Tasso than of that of Spenser. Yet there are two of his personifications which would not perhaps disgrace the sublime pencil which dashed out the wild horrors of the cave of Despair: I mean Riot, in, Book 1. Song 4.; and Limos (or Famine), in Book II. Song 1." in Raymond, Life of Dermody (1806) 2:304.
Robert Southey: "George Wither, in his happiest pieces, has learnt the manner of his friend; and Milton may be traced to him. And in our days his peculiarities have been caught, and his beauties imitated, by men who will themselves find admirers and imitators hereafter" in British Poets, Chaucer to Jonson (1831) 840
W. T. Arnold: "But with all this he feels strongly the force of the flowing Puritan tide, and spoils his poetry here and there, as Keats never does, by his resolution to improve the occasion. Browne is a staunch Protestant, and uses plain language about nuns and nunneries, Spain and Rome. All this does his poetry no good. We can imagine him passionate and powerful enough if he had lived a generation earlier. As it is, one has the feeling in reading him that he is living between two worlds of poetry without vital hold on either. His is neither the ardent muse of the young Shakspeare, nor the pure august muse of the great Puritan poet who was to follow him" The English Poets, ed. Thomas Humphry Ward (1880) 2:68.
Samuel Austin Allibone: "A poet who can elicit the warm encomiums of such men as Selden, Jonson, Drayton, Wither, Davies, and many others, distinguished for learning or knowledge of the poet's art — and those men his contemporaries — must needs have rare merit. To few authors has it chanced to be so enthusiastically lauded by one age and so thoroughly neglected by the next. Of poems which were devoured with rapture, and praised with warmth, a third edition was not demanded for a century and a half" Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 1:265.
George Saintsbury: "He was born, they say, in 1591, published the first part of Britannia's Pastorals in 1613, made many literary and some noble acquaintances, is thought to have lived for some time at Oxford as a tutor, and either in Surrey or in his native country for the rest of his life, which is (not certainly) said to have ended about 1643. Browne was evidently a man of very wide literary sympathy, which saved him from falling into the mere groove of the Fletchers. He was a personal friend and an enthusiastic devotee of Jonson, Drayton, Chapman. He was a student of Chaucer and Occleve. He was the dear friend and associate of a poet more gifted but more unequal than himself, George Wither. All this various literary cultivation had the advantage of keeping him from being a mere mocking-bird, though it did not quite provide him with any prevailing or wholly original pipe of his own. Britannia's Pastorals (the third book of which remained in MS. for more than two centuries) is a narrative but extremely desultory poem, in fluent and loose couplets, diversified with lyrics full of local colour, and extremely pleasant to read, though hopelessly difficult to analyse in any short space, or indeed in any space at all. Browne seems to have meandered on exactly as the fancy took him; and his ardent love for the country, his really artistic though somewhat unchastened gift of poetical description and presentment enabled him to go on just as he pleased, after a fashion" History of Elizabethan Literature (1887; 1909) 299-300.
W. J. Courthope: "the poet who learned most from [Drayton] was William Browne of Tavistock — 'my Browne,' as he is affectionately called in the [Epistle to Henry Reynolds] — whose Britannia's Pastorals is in a direct line of descent from Polyolbion, as The Shepherd's Pipe is the offspring of Idea's Mirror. He was the son of Thomas Browne of Tavistock — a member of a family tracing their origin to the Brownes of Betchworth Castle in Surrey — and was born about 1591. After receiving his first education in Tavistock Grammar School, he entered Exeter College, Oxford, about the beginning of the reign of James I., but left the University, without taking a degree, for Clifford's Inn, from which, on 1st March 1611-12, he passed to the Inner Temple. Very little is known of his life. The first book of Britannia's Pastorals was published in 1613, and the Shepherd's Pipe in 1614" History of English Poetry (1895-1910) 3:46-47.
F. W. Moorman: "The story of Marina and the River-God is based on Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess.... [There are] resemblances so marked as to suggest that Browne had Fletcher's play actually before him in writing" William Browne (1897) 21.
Joan Grundy: "If the poem, as its opening lines suggest, is an attempt at pastoral epic, then the epic model it follows instinctively is that provided by Spenser. Errant knights are replaced by errant shepherds and shepherdesses, whose travels provide similar 'sweet varietie' for author and reader" The Spenserian Poets (1969) 147.
Sukanta Chaudhuri: Britannia's Pastorals "may be the most elaborate attempt ever made to imitate the Faerie Queene with respect to its atmosphere of romance, general structure, and interlacing of many subplots" Spenser Encyclopedia (1990) 116.
Marina's Love ycleep'd the faire,
Celand's disdaine, and her despaire,
Are the first wings my Muse puts on
To reach the sacred Helicon.
I that whileare neere Tavies stragling spring,
Unto my seely Sheepe did use to sing,
And plaid to please my selfe, on rusticke Reed,
Nor sought for Baye, (the learned Shepheards meed,)
But as a Swaine unkent fed on the plaines,
And made the Eccho umpire of my straines:
Am drawne by time, (although the weak'st of many)
To sing those layes as yet unsung of any.
What need I tune the Swaines of Thessaly?
Or, bootlesse, adde to them of Arcadie?
No: faire Arcadia cannot be compleater,
My praise may lessen, but not make thee greater.
My Muse for loftie pitches shall not rome,
But onely pipen of her native home:
And to the Swaines, Love rurall Minstralsie,
Thus deare BRITANNIA will I sing of thee,
High on the plaines of that renowned Ile,
Which all men Beauties Garden-plot enstile;
A Shepheard dwelt, whom Fortune had made rich
With all the gifts that seely men bewitch.
Neere him a Shepheardesse for beauties store
Unparalell'd of any age before.
Within those breasts her face a flame did move,
Which never knew before what 'twas to love,
Dazeling each Shepheards sight that view'd her eyes.
And as the Persians did Idolatrise
Unto the Sunne: they thought that Cinthia's light
Might well be spar'd, where shee appear'd in night.
And as when many to the goale doe runne,
The price is given never but to one;
So first, and onely, Celandine was led,
Of Destinies and Heaven much favoured,
To gaine this Beautie, which I here doe offer
To memorie his paines, who would not proffer
Paines for such pleasures? yet they were not much,
But that his labours recompence was such
As countervailed all: for she whose passion,
(And passion oft is Love) whose inclination
Bent all her course to him-wards, let him know
Hee was the Elme whereby her Vine did grow:
Yea, tolde him, when his tongue beganne this taske,
Shee knew not to deny when hee would aske.
Finding his suite as quickely got as mov'd,
Celandine in his thoughts not well approv'd
What none could disallow, his love grew fained,
And what hee once affected now disdained.
But faire Marina (for so was shee call'd)
Having in Celandine her love install'd,
Affected so this faithlesse shepheards Boy,
That shee was rapt beyond degree of joy.
Briefly, shee could not live an houre without him,
And thought no joy like theirs that liv'd about him.
This variable Shepheard for a while
Did Natures Jewell, by his craft, beguile:
And still the perfecter her love did grow,
His did appeare more counterfeit in show.
Which shee perceiving that his flame did slake,
And lov'd her onely for his Trophies sake:
"For hee that's stuffed with a faithlesse rumour,
Loves only for his lust and for his humour."
Yea, in the end, hee in his merry fit
Would say, his good came, ere hee hop'd for it:
His thoughts for other subjects set their rest,
Esteeming that as nought, which hee possest:
"For, what is gotten but with little paine,
As little griefe we take to lose againe."
Well-minded Marine grieving, thought it strange
That her ingratefull Swaine did seeke for change:
Still by degrees her cares grew to the full,
Joyes to the wane, heart-rending griefe did pull
Her from her selfe, and shee abandon'd all
To cries and teares, fruits of a funerall:
Running, the mountaines, fields, by watry springs,
Filling each cave with wofull ecchoings;
Making in thousand places her complaint,
And uttering to the trees what her teares meant.
"For griefes conceal'd (proceeding from desire)
Consume the more: as doth a close pent fire."
Whilst that the dayes sole Eye doth guild the Seas,
In his dayes journey to th' Antipodes:
And all the time the Jetty-Chariotere
Hurles her blacke mantle through our Hemisphere,
Under the covert of a sprouting Pyne
Shee sits and grieves for faithlesse Celandine.
Beginning thus: Alas! and must it be
That Love which thus torments and troubles me
In setling it, so small advice hath lent
To make me captive, where enfranchisement
Cannot be gotten? nor where, like a slave,
The office due to faithfull Prisoners, have?
Oh cruell Celandine why shouldst thou hate
Her, who to love thee, was ordain'd by Fate!
Should I not follow thee, and sacrifice
My life (like Phaeton) to thy clearest eyes?
Aye me! of all my most unhappy lot;
What others would, thou maist, and yet wilt not.
Have I rejected those that me ador'd,
To be of him, whom I adore, abhor'd?
And pass'd by others teares, to make election
Of one, that should so passe-by my affection?
I have: and see the heav'nly powers intend,
"That punish sinners in what they offend."
May be hee takes delight to see in me
The burning rage of hellish Jealousie;
Tries if in fury any love appeares;
And bathes his joy within my floud of teares.
But if hee lov'd to soile my spotlesse soule,
And me amongst deceived Maides enroule,
To publish to the world my open shame?
Then heart take freedome; hence, accursed flame;
And, as Queene regent, in my heart shall move
"Disdaine, that only over-ruleth Love":
By this infranchiz'd sure my thoughts shall be,
And in the same sort love, as thou lov'st me.
But what? or can I cancell or unbinde
That which my heart hath seal'd and love hath sign'd?
No, no, griefe doth deceive me more each houre;
"For, who so truly loves, hath not that power.
I wrong to say so, since of all 'tis knowne,
"Who yeelds to love doth leave to be her owne":
But what availes my living thus apart?
Can I forget him? or out of my heart
Can teares expulse his Image? surely no.
"We well may flie the place, but not the woe:
Loves fire is of a nature which by turnes
Consumes in presence, and in absence burnes."
And knowing this: aye me! unhappy wight!
What meanes is left to helpe me in this plight?
And from that peevish shooting, hood-winckt elfe,
To repossesse my Love, my heart, my selfe?
Onely this helpe I finde, which I elect:
Since what my life nor can nor will effect,
My ruine shall: and by it, I shall finde,
"Death cures (when all helps faile) the grieved mind."
And welcome here, (then Love, a better guest)
That of all labours are the onely rest:
Whilst thus I live all things discomfort give,
The life is sure a death wherein I live:
Yea, life and death doe differ but in one,
That life hath ever cares, and death hath none.
But if that hee (disdainfull Swaine) should know
That for his love I wrought my overthrow;
Will hee not glory in't? and from my death
Draw more delights, and give new joyes their birth?
Admit hee doe, yet better 'tis that I
Render my selfe to Death then Misery.
I cannot live, thus barred from his sight,
Nor yet endure, in presence, any wight
Should love him but my selfe. O reasons eye,
How art thou blinded with vilde Jealousie!
And is it thus? Then which shall have my blood,
Or certaine ruine, or uncertaine good?
And do I doubt? Are we not still adviz'd
"That certaintie in all things best is priz'd?"
Yea, if a certaine end can helpe my mone,
"Know Death hath certaintie, but Life hath none.
Here is a Mount, whose top seemes to despise
The farre inferiour Vale that under lies:
"Who like a great man raisd aloft by Fate,
Measures his height by others meane estate":
Neere to whose foot there glides a silver-flood,
Falling from hence, Ile climbe unto my good:
And by it finish Love and Reasons strife,
And end my misery as well as life.
But as a Cowards hartener in warre,
The stirring Drumme, keepes lesser noyse from farre:
So seeme the murmuring waves, tell in mine eare,
That guiltlesse bloud was never spilled there.
Then stay a while; the Beasts that haunt those springs,
Of whom I heare the fearefull bellowings,
May doe that deede, (as moved by my cry)
Whereby my soule, as spotlesse Ivory,
May turne from whence it came, and, freed from hence,
Be unpolluted of that foule offence.
But why protract I time? Death is no stranger:
"And generous spirits never feare for danger:
Death is a thing most naturall to us,
And Feare doth onely make it odious."
As when to seeke her food abroad doth rove
The Nuncius of peace, the seely Dove,
For prey, two greedy Hawkes doe her on each side hem,
And shee knowes not which way to flie from them:
Or like a shippe that tossed too and fro
With winde and tyde; the winde doth sternely blow,
And drives her to the Maine, the tyde comes sore
And hurles her backe againe towards the shore.
And since her balast, and her sailes doe lacke,
One brings her out, the other beates her backe:
Till one of them increasing more his shockes,
Hurles her to shore, and rends her on the Rockes:
So stood shee long, twixt Love and Reason tost,
Untill Despaire (who where it comes rules most)
Wonne her to throw her selfe, to meet with Death,
From off the Rocke into the floud beneath.
The waves that were above when as she fell,
For feare flew backe againe into their Well;
Doubting ensuing times on them would frowne,
That they so rare a beauty help'd to drowne.
Her fall, in griefe, did make the streame so rore,
That sullen murmurings fill'd all the shore.
A Shepheard (neere this floud that fed his sheepe,
Who at this chance left grazing and did weepe)
Viewing so sad an object to his eyes,
Left Pipe and Flocke, and in the water flyes,
To save a Jewell, which was never sent
To be possest by one sole Element:
But such a worke Nature disposde and gave,
Where all the Elements concordance have.
He tooke her in his armes, for pittie cride,
And brought her to the Rivers further side:
Yea, and hee sought by all his Art and paine,
To bring her likewise to her selfe againe:
While shee that by her fall was senselesse left,
And almost in the waves had life bereft,
Lay long, as if her sweet immortall spirit
Was fled some other place t' inherit.
But as cleare Phoebus, when some foggy cloud
His brightnesse from the world a while doth shrowde,
Doth by degrees beginne to shew his light
Unto the view. Or, as the Queene of night,
In her increasing hornes, doth rounder grow,
Till full and perfect shee appeare in show:
Such order in this Maide the Shepheard spies,
When shee beganne to shew the world her eyes.
And like as if she now had past Deaths dreame,
Occasion'd by her fall into the streame,
And that Hels Ferriman did then deliver
Her to the other side th' infernall River;
Said to the Swaine: O Charon, I am bound
More to thy kindnesse, then all else, that round
Come thronging to thy Boate: thou hast past over
The wofulst Maide that ere these shades did cover:
But prithee Ferriman direct my spright
Where that same River runs that Lethe hight,
That I of it (as other Ghosts) may drinke,
And never of the world, or Love, more thinke.
The Swaine perceiv'd by that shee had reported,
That shee was wholy from her selfe transported;
And fearing left those often idle fits
Might cleane expell her uncollected wits:
Faire Nymph, said he, the powers above denie
So faire a beautie should so quickly dye.
The Heavens unto the World have made a loane,
And must for you have interest, three for one:
Call backe your thoughts o're-cast with dolours night;
Doe you not see the day, the heavens, the light?
Doe you not know in Plutoes darkesome place
The light of heaven did never shew his face?
Doe not your pulses beate, y' are warme, have breath,
Your sense is rapt with feare, but not with death?
I am not Charon, nor of Plutoes hoast;
Nor is there flesh and bloud found in a Ghost:
But as you see, a seely Shepheards swaine,
Who though my meere revenues be the traine
Of milk-white sheepe, yet is my joy so much,
In saving you, (oh, who would not save such?)
As ever was the wandring youth of Greece,
That brought, from Colchos, home, the golden Fleece.
The never-too-much-praised faire Marine,
Hearing those words, beleev'd her eares and eyne:
And knew that shee escaped had the flood
By meanes of this young Swaine that neere her stood.
Whereat for griefe shee gan againe to faint,
Redoubling thus her cryes and sad complaint:
Alas! and is that likewise barr'd from me,
Which for all persons else lyes ever free?
Will life, nor death, nor ought abridge my paine?
But live still dying, dye to live againe?
Then most unhappy I! which finde most sure,
The sting of conscience is a wound past cure.
Most cruell God of Love (if such there be),
That still to my desires art contrary!
Why should I not in reason this obtaine,
That as I love, I may be lov'd againe?
Alas! with thee too, Nature playes her parts,
That fram'd so great a discord 'tweene two harts:
One flyes, and alwayes doth in hate persever;
The other followes, and in love growes ever.
Why dost thou not extinguish cleane this flame,
And plac't on him that best deserves the same?
What should I not affect this sweetest youth,
The very portraicture of naked truth,
Who sav'd and loves, yet thou nor lov'st nor sav'st,
And offers faith indeede, which thou ne'er gav'st?
For Psyches love! if beautie gave thee birth,
Or if thou hast attractive power on earth,
Dame Venus sweetest Childe, or breake this love.
Or give a meanes my soule may hence remove.
Once seeing in a spring her drowned eyes,
O cruell beautie, cause of this, (shee cryes,)
Mother of Love, (my joyes most fatall knife)
That workst her death, by whom thy selfe hast life!
The youthfull Swaine that heard this loving Saint
So oftentimes to poure forth such complaint,
Hee in his heart such true affection prais'd,
And did perceive kinde love and pittie rais'd
His minde to sighes; yea, beauty forced this,
That all her griefe hee thought was likewise his.
And having brought her what his lodge affords,
Sometime hee wept with her, sometime with words
Would seeke to comfort; when alas poore elfe
He needed then a comforter himselfe.
Daily whole troopes of griefe unto him came,
For her who languish'd of another flame.
If that shee sigh'd hee thought him lov'd of her,
When 'twas another saile her winde did stirre:
But had her sighes and teares beene for this Boy,
Her sorrow had beene lesse, and more her joy.
Long time in griefe hee hid his love-made paines,
And did attend her walkes in woods and plaines.
She that knew all his love, did faine so true,
As if indeede of it she nothing knew.
He bashfull Swaine, to shew it did not dare;
And she lest hee should shew it, dy'd for feare.
Shee, ever-wailing, blam'd the powers above,
That night nor day give any rest to Love.
Hee prais'd the Heavens in silence, oft was mute,
And thought with teares and sighes to winne his sute.
Once in the shade, when she by sleepe repos'd,
And her cleare eyes twixt her faire lids enclos'd;
The Shepheard Swaine beganne to hate and curse
That day unfortunate, which was the nurse
Of all his sorrowes. He had given breath
And life to her, which was his cause of death.
O Aesops Snake, that thirstest for his bloud,
And render'st evill, by whom thy selfe had good.
Thus oftentimes unto himselfe alone
Would he recount his griefe, utter his mone;
And after much debating, did resolve
Rather his Grandame earth should cleane involve
His pining bodie, ere hee would make knowne
To her, what Tares Love in his breast had sowne.
Yea, hee would say when griefe for speech hath cride;
"'Tis better never aske than be denide.
But as the Queene of Rivers, fairest Thames,
That for her buildings other flouds enflames
With greatest envie: Or the Nymph of Kent,
That stateliest Ships to Sea hath ever sent;
Some baser groome, for lucres hellish course,
Her channell having stopt, kept backe her sourse,
(Fill'd with disdaine) doth swell above her mounds,
And overfloweth all the neighb'ring grounds:
Angry shee teares up all that stops her way,
And with more violence runnes to the Sea:
Right so this shepheard who his grief up-pent,
And never bring't to light was his entent:
Forth of his heart more violently thrust,
And all his vow'd intentions quickly burst.
Marina hearing sighes, to him drew neere,
And did entreat his cause of griefe to heare:
But had shee knowne her beautie was the sting,
That caused all that instant sorrowing;
Silence in bands her tongue had stronger kept,
And sh'ad not ask'd for what the Shepheard wept.
The Swaine first, of all times, this best did thinke,
To shew his love, whilst on the Rivers brinke
They sate alone, then thought, hee next would move her
With sighes and teares, (true tokens of a Lover:)
And since shee knew what helpe from him shee found
When in the River shee had else beene drown'd,
Hee thinketh sure shee cannot but grant this,
To give reliefe to him, by whom shee is:
By this incited, said; Whom I adore,
Sole Mistresse of my heart, I thee implore,
Doe not in bondage hold my freedome long.
And since I life or death hold from your tongue,
Suffer my heart to love; yea, dare to hope
To get that good of loves intended scope.
Grant I may praise that light in you I see,
And dying to my selfe, may live in thee.
Faire Nymph surcease this death-alluring languish,
So rare a beautie was not borne for anguish.
Why shouldst thou care for him that cares not for thee?
Yea, most unworthy wight, seemes to abhorre thee.
And if hee be as you doe here paint forth him,
Hee thinkes (thou) best of beauties, are not worth him;
That all the joyes of Love will not quite cost
For all lov'd-freedome which by it is lost.
Within his heart such selfe-opinion dwels,
That his conceit in this hee thinkes excels;
Accounting womens beauties sugred baits,
That never catch, but fooles, with their deceits:
"Who of himselfe harbours so vaine a thought,
Truly to love could never yet be brought."
Then love that heart, where lies no faithlesse seede,
That never wore dissimulations weede:
Who doth account all beauties of the Spring,
That jocund Summer-dayes are ushering,
As foyles to yours. But if this cannot move
Your minde to pittie, nor your heart to love;
Yet sweetest grant me love to quench that flame,
Which burnes you now. Expell his worthlesse name,
Cleane roote him out by me, and in his place
Let him inhabit, that will runne a race
More true in love. It may be for your rest,
When hee shall see her who did love him best,
Possessed by another, may debate
What losse of goodnesse is, when 'tis too late:
"For what is in our powers, wee little deeme,"
And things possest by others, best esteeme.
If all this gaine you not a Shepheards wife,
Yet give not death to him which gave you life.
Marine the faire, hearing his wooing tale,
Perceived well what wall his thoughts did scale.
And answer'd thus: I pray sir Swaine, what boote
Is it to mee to plucke up by the roote
My former love, and in his place to sow
As ill a seede, for any thing I know?
Rather 'gainst thee I mortall hate retaine,
That seek'st to plant in mee new cares; new paine:
Alas! th' hast kept my soule from deaths sweet bands,
To give me over to a Tyrants hands;
Who on his racks will torture every day,
This weakened body, guiltlesse, harmelesse, aye.
Be you the Judge, and see if reasons lawes
Give recompence of favour for this cause:
You from the streames of death, brought life on shore;
Releas'd one paine, to give me tenne times more.
For Loves sake, let my thoughts in this be free;
Object no more your haplesse saving mee:
That Obligation which you thinke should binde;
Doth still increase more hatred in my minde;
Yea, I doe thinke more thankes to him were due
That would expose my life, then unto you.
The Thunder-stroken Swaine lean'd to a tree,
As void of sense as weeping Niobe:
Making his teares, the instruments to wooe her,
The Sea wherein his love should swimme unto her:
Yea, could there flow from his two-headed font,
As great a floud as is the Hellespont;
Within that deepe hee would as willing wander,
To meet his Hero, as did ere Leander.
Meane while the Nymph with-drew her selfe aside,
And to a Grove at hand her steps applide.
With that sad sigh (O! had hee never seene,
His heart in better case had ever beene)
Against his heart, against the streame hee went,
With this resolve, and with a full intent,
When of that streame hee had discovered
The fount, the well-spring, or the bubling head,
Hee there would sit, and with the Well drop vie,
That he before his eyes would first runne drie:
But then hee thought the god that haunts that Lake,
The spoiling of his Spring would not well take,
And therefore leaving soone the Christall flood,
Did take his way unto the neerest Wood:
Seating himselfe within a darkesome Cave,
(Such places heavie Saturnists doe crave,)
Where yet the gladsome day was never seene,
Nor Phoebus peircing beames had ever beene.
Fit for the Synode house of those fell Legions,
That walke the Mountaines, and Silvanus regions.
Where Tragedie might have her full scope given,
From men aspects, and from the view of heaven.
Within the same some crannies did deliver
Into the midst thereof a pretty River;
The Nymph whereof came by out of the veynes
Of our first mother, having late tane paines
In scouring of her channell all the way,
From where it first beganne to leave the Sea.
And in her labour thus farre now had gone,
When comming through the Cave, shee heard that one
Spake thus: If I doe in my death persever,
Pittie may that effect, which Love could never.
By this shee can conjecture 'twas some Swaine,
Who overladen by a Maids disdaine,
Had here (as fittest) chosen out a place,
Where hee might give a period to the race
Of his loath'd life: which shee (for pitties sake)
Minding to hinder, div'd into her Lake,
And hastned where the ever-teeming Earth
Unto her Current gives a wished birth;
And by her new-delivered Rivers side,
Upon a Banke of flow'rs, had soone espide
Remond, young Remond, that full well could sing,
And tune his Pipe at Pans-birth carolling:
Who for his nimble leaping, sweetest layes,
A Lawrell garland wore on Holi-dayes;
In framing of whose hand Dame Nature swore
There never was his like, nor should be more:
Whose locks (insnaring nets) were like the rayes,
Wherewith the Sunne doth diaper the Seas:
Which if they had beene cut, and hung upon
The snow-white Cliffes of fertile Albion,
Would have allured more, to be, their winner,
Then all the Diamonds that are hidden in her.
Him shee accosted thus: Swaine of the Wreathe,
Thou art not placed, onely here to breathe;
But Nature in thy framing shewes to mee,
Thou shouldst to others, as shee did to thee,
Doe good: and surely I my selfe perswade,
Thou never wert for evill action made.
In heavens Consistory 'twas decreed,
That choycest fruit should come from choycest seede;
In baser vessels wee doe ever put
Basest materials, doe never shut
Those Jewels most in estimation set,
But in some curious costly Cabinet.
If I may judge by th' outward shape alone,
Within, all vertues have convention:
"For't gives most lustre unto Vertues feature,
When shee appeares cloth'd in a goodly creature."
Halfe way the hill, neere to those aged trees,
Whose insides are as Hives for labring Bees,
(As who should say (before their rootes were dead)
For good workes sake and almes, they harboured
Those whom nought else did cover but the Skies:)
A path (untroden but of Beasts) there lyes,
Directing to a Cave in yonder glade,
Where all this Forrests Citizens, for shade
At noone-time come, and are the first, I thinke,
That (running through that Cave) my waters drinke:
Within this Rocke there sits a wofull wight,
As void of comfort as that Cave of light;
And as I wot occasioned by the frownes
Of some coy Shepheardesse that haunts these Downes.
This I doe know (whos'ever wrought his care)
Hee's wholy given over to despaire.
Then hie thee thither, since 'tis charitie
To save a man; leave here thy flocke with me,
For whilst thou sav'st him from the Stygian Bay,
Ile keepe thy Lambkins from all beasts of prey.
The neernesse of the danger (in his thought)
As it doth ever, more compassion wrought:
So that with reverence to the Nymph, hee went
With winged speede, and hast'ned to prevent
Th' untimely seisure of the greedy grave:
Breathlesse, at last, hee came into the Cave;
Where, by a sigh directed to the man,
To comfort him hee in this sort beganne:
Shepheard all haile: what meane these plaints? this Cave
(Th' image of death, true portrait of the grave,)
Why dost frequent? and waile thee under ground,
From whence there never yet was pittie found?
Come forth, and shew thy selfe unto the light,
Thy griefe to me. If there be ought that might
Give any ease unto thy troubled minde,
Wee joy as much to give, as thou to finde.
The Love-sicke Swaine replide: A heavenly face,
Natures Idea, and perfections grace,
Within my breast hath kindled such a fire,
That doth consume all things, except desire;
Which daily doth increase, though alwayes burning,
And I want teares, but lacke no cause of mourning:
"For hee whome Love under his colours drawes,
May often want th' effect, but ne're the cause."
Quoth th' other, have thy starres maligne beene such,
That their predominations sway so much
Over the rest, that with a milde aspect
The lives and loves of Shepheards doe affect?
Then doe I thinke there is some greater hand,
Which thy endevours still doth countermand:
Wherefore I wish thee quench the flame, thus mov'd,
"And never love except thou be belov'd:
For such an humour every woman seiseth,
Shee loves not him that plaineth, but that pleaseth.
When much thou lovest, most disdaine coms on thee;
And when thou thinkst to hold her, shee flyes from thee:
Shee follow'd, flyes; shee fled from followes post,
And loveth best where shee is hated most.
'Tis ever noted both in Maides and Wives,
Their hearts and tongues are never Relatives.
Hearts full of holes, (so elder Shepheards saine)
As apter to receive then to retaine."
Whose crafts and wiles did I intend to show,
This day would not permit me time I know:
The dayes swift horses would their course have run,
And div'd themselves within the Ocean,
Ere I should have performed halfe my taske,
Striving their craftie subtilties t' unmaske.
And gentle Swaine some counsell take of me;
Love not still where thou maist; love, who loves thee;
Draw to the courteous, flye thy loves abhorror,
"And if shee be not for thee, be not for her."
If that shee still be wavering, will away,
Why shouldst thou strive to hold that will not stay?
This Maxime Reason never can confute,
"Better to live by losse then dye by sute."
If to some other Love shee is inclinde,
Time will at length cleane root that from her minde.
Time will extinct Loves flames, his hell-like flashes,
And like a burning brand consum't to ashes.
Yet maist thou still attend, but not importune:
"Who seekes oft misseth, sleepers light on fortune,"
Yea and on women too. "Thus doltish sots
Have Fate and fairest women for their lots.
Favour and pittie wait on Patience":
And hatred oft attendeth violence.
If thou wilt get desire, whence Love hath pawnd it,
Beleeve me, take thy time, but ne'er demaund it.
Women, as well as men, retaine desire;
But can dissemble, more then men, their fire.
Be never caught with looks, nor selfe-wrought rumour;
Nor by a quaint disguise, nor singing humour.
Those out-side shewes are toyes, which outwards snare:
But vertue lodg'd within, is onely faire.
If thou hast seene the beautie of our Nation,
And find'st her have no love, have thou no passion:
But seeke thou further; other places sure
May yeeld a face as faire, a Love more pure.
Leave (O, then leave) fond Swaine, this idle course,
For Love's a God no mortall wight can force.
Thus Remond said, and saw the faire Marine
Plac'd neere a Spring, whose waters Christaline
Did in their murmurings beare a part, and plained
That one so true, so faire, should be disdained:
Whilst in her cries, that fild the vale along,
Still Celand was the burthen of her song.
The stranger shepheard left the other Swaine,
To give attendance to his fleecy traine;
Who in departing from him, let him know,
That yonder was his freedomes over-throw,
Who sate bewailing (as hee late had done)
That love by true affection was not wonne.
This fully knowne: Remond the Nymph approching,
Beganne his salve with hated-loves reproching:
Blamed her rigor; yea, and call'd her cruell,
To follow hate, and flye loves chiefest Jewell.
Faire: doe not blame him that hee thus is moved;
For women sure were made to be beloved.
If beautie wanting lovers long should stay,
It like an house undwelt in would decay:
And beautie in the heart once taking place,
Time cannot blot, nor crooked age deface.
Th' Adamant and Beautie we discover
To be alike; for beauty drawes a Lover,
The Adamant his Iron. Doe not blame
His louing then, but that which caus'd the same.
Who so is lov'd, doth glory so to be:
The more your Lovers, more your victorie.
Know, if you stand on faith, most womens loathing,
'Tis but a word, a character of nothing.
Admit it somewhat, if what we call constance,
Within a heart hath long time residence,
And in a woman, she becomes alone
Faire to her selfe, but foule to every one.
If in a man it once have taken place,
Hee is a foole, or doates, or wants a face
To winne a woman, and I thinke it be
No vertue, but a meere necessitie.
Heavens powers deny it. Swain (quoth she) have done,
Strive not to bring that in derision,
Which whosoe'er detracts in setting forth,
Doth truly derogate from his owne worth.
It is a thing which heaven to all hath lent
To be their vertues chiefest ornament:
Which who so wants, is well compar'd to these
False Tables, wrought by Alcibiades;
Which noted well of all, were found t' have bin
Most faire without, although most foule within.
Then Shepheard know that I entend to be
As true to one, as hee is false to mee.
To one? (quoth hee) why so? Maides pleasure take
To see a thousand languish for their sake:
Women desire for Lovers of each sort,
And why not you? Th' amorous Swaine for sport;
The Lad that drives the greatest flocke to field,
Will Buskins, Gloves, and other fancies yeeld;
The gallant Swaine will save you from the jawes
Of ravenous Beares, and from the Lyons pawes.
Beleeve what I propound; doe many chuse,
"The least Herbe in the field serves for some use."
Nothing perswaded, nor asswag'd by this,
Was fairest Marine, or her heavinesse.
But prai'd the shepheard as he ere did hope
His silly sheepe should fearlesse have the scope
Of all the shadowes that the trees doe lend,
From Raynards stealth, when Titan doth ascend,
And runnes his mid-way course: to leave her there,
And to his bleating charge againe repaire.
He condescended; left her by the broke,
And to the Swaine and's sheepe himselfe betooke.
Hee gone: shee with her selfe thus gan to saine;
Alas poore Marine, think'st thou to attaine
His love by sitting here? or can the fire
Be quencht with wood? can wee allay desire
By wanting what's desired? O that breath,
The cause of life, should be the cause of death!
That who is shipwrackt on loves hidden shelfe,
Doth live to others, dyes unto her selfe.
Why might not I attempt by death as yet
To gaine that freedome, which I could not get,
Being hind'red heretofore, a time as free:
A place as fit offers it selfe to me,
Whose seede of ill is growne to such a height,
That makes the earth groane to support his waight.
Who so is lull'd asleepe with Midas' treasures,
And onely feares by death to lose lifes pleasures;
Let them feare death: but since my fault is such,
And onely fault, that I have lov'd too much,
On joyes of life, why should I stand; for those
Which I neere had, I surely cannot lose.
Admit a while I to these thoughts consented,
"Death can be but deferred, not prevented."
Then raging with delay, her teares that fell
Usher'd her way, and shee into a Well
Straight-wayes leapt after: "O! how desperation
Attends upon the minde enthral'd to passion!"
The fall of her did make the God below,
Starting, to wonder whence that noyse should grow:
Whether some ruder Clowne in spight did fling
A Lambe, untimely falne, into his Spring:
And if it were, he solemnly then swore
His Spring should flow some other way: no more
Should it in wanton manner ere be seene
To writhe in knots, or give a gowne of greene
Unto their Meadowes, nor be seene to play,
Nor drive the Rushy-mils, that in his way
The Shepheards made: but rather for their lot,
Send them red waters that their sheepe should rot.
And with such Moorish Springs embrace their field,
That it should nought but Mosse and Rushes yeeld.
Upon each hillocke, where the merry Boy
Sits piping in the shades his Noates of joy,
Hee'd shew his anger, by some floud at hand,
And turne the same into a running sand.
Yea, on the Oake, the Plumbe-tree, and the Holme,
The Stock-dove and the Blackbird should not come,
Whose muting on those trees doe make to grow
Rots curing Hyphear, and the Misseltoe.
Nor shall this helpe their sheep, whose stomackes failes,
By tying knots of wooll neere to their tailes:
But as the place next to the knot doth dye,
So shall it all the body mortifie.
Thus spake the God: but when as in his water
The corps came sinking downe, he spide the matter,
And catching softly in his armes the Maide,
He brought her up, and having gently laid
Her on his banke, did presently command
Those waters in her, to come forth: at hand
They straight came gushing out, and did contest
Which chiefly should obey their Gods behest.
This done, her then pale lips he straight held ope,
And from his silver haire let fall a drop
Into her mouth, of such an excellence,
That call'd backe life, which griev'd to part from thence,
Being for troth assur'd, that, then this one,
Shee ne'er possest a fairer mansion.
Then did the God her body forwards steepe,
And cast her for a while into a sleepe;
Sitting still by her did his full view take
Of Natures Master-piece. Here for her sake,
My Pipe in silence as of right shall mourne,
Till from the watring we againe returne.