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ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Britannia's Pastorals: The Second Song.

Britannia's Pastorals. [Book I.]

William Browne of Tavistock


Marina encounters Doridon, who makes love to her, "as they are thus conversing, Doridon is struck by a blow from a flint, and as he lies helpless, the author of the blow rushes in, seizes Marina, carries her to his boat, and rows down the swollen river with Marina lying asleep. This episode finds more than one parallel in Spenser.... Fletcher himself has something similar in the Faithful Shepherdess" F. W. Moorman, William Browne (1897) 23-24.

Edmund Gosse: "Browne was absolutely devoid of all epic or dramatic talent. His maids and shepherds have none of the sweet plausibility which enlivens the long recitals of Spenser. They outrage all canons of common sense. When a distracted mother wants to know if a man has seen her lost child, she makes the inquiry in nineteen lines of deliberate poetry. An air of silliness broods over the whole conception. Mariana meets a lovely shepherd, whose snowy buskins display a still silkier leg, and she asks of him her way to the marish; he misunderstands her to say 'marriage,' and tells her that the way is through love; she misunderstands him to refer to some village so entitled, and the languid comedy of errors winds on through pages. The best of the poem consists in its close and pretty pictures of country scenes. At his best, Browne is a sort of Bewick, and provides us with vignettes of the squirrel at play, a group of wrens, truant schoolboys, or a country girl, 'When she upon her breast, love's sweet repose, | Doth bring the Queen of Flowers, the English Rose.' But these happy 'bits' are set in a terrible waste of what is not prose, but poetry and water, foolish babbling about altars and anagrams, long lists of blooms and trees and birds, scarcely characterised at all, soft rhyming verse meandering about in a vaguely pretty fashion to no obvious purpose" The Jacobean Poets (1894) 154.



THE ARGUMENT.
Oblivions Spring, and Dory's love,
With faire Marina's rape, first move
Mine Oaten Pipe, which after sings
The birth of two renowned Springs.

Now till the Sunne shall leave us to our rest,
And Cinthia have her Brothers place possest,
I shall goe on: and first in diffring stripe,
The floud-Gods speech thus tune on Oaten Pipe.

Or mortall, or a power above,
Inrag'd by Fury, or by Love,
Or both, I know not; such a deede
Thou would'st effected, that I bleede
To thinke thereon: alas poore elfe,
What growne a traitour to thy selfe?
This face, this haire, this hand so pure
Were not ordain'd for nothing sure.
Nor was it meant so sweet a breath
Should be expos'd by such a death;
But rather in some lovers brest
Be given up, the place that best
Befits a lover yeeld his soule.
Nor should those mortals ere controule
The Gods, that in their wisedome sage
Appointed have what Pilgrimage
Each one should runne: and why should men
Abridge the journey set for them?
But much I wonder any wight
If he did turne his outward sight
Into his inward, dar'd to act
Her death, whose body is compact
Of all the beauties ever Nature
Laid up in store for earthly creature.
No savage beast can be so cruell
To rob the earth of such a Jewell.
Rather the stately Unicorne
Would in his breast enraged scorne,
That Maides committed to his charge
Should by some furious beast, in rage,
Be so ill dealt with. Satyres rude
Durst not attempt, or ere intrude
With such a minde the flowry balkes
Where harmlesse virgines have their walkes.
Would shee be wonne with me to stay,
My waters should bring from the Sea,
The Corrall red, as tribute due,
And roundest pearles of Orient hue.
Through other veynes within the ground
Should seeke for her the Diamond.
And whereas now unto my Spring
They nothing else but gravell bring,
They should within a Myne of Gold
In piercing manner long time hold,
And having it to dust well wrought,
By them it hither should be brought;
With which Ile pave and over-spread
My bottome, where her foote shall tread.
The best of Fishes in my flood
Shall give themselves to be her food.
The Trout, the Dace, the Pike, the Breame,
The Eele, that loves the troubled streame,
The Millers-thombe, the hiding Loach,
The Perch, the ever-nibbling Roach,
The Shoates with whom is Tavie fraught,
The foolish Gudgeon quickly caught,
And last the little Minnow-fish,
Whose chiefe delight in gravell is.

In right shee cannot me despise
Because so low mine Empire lyes.
For I could tell how Natures store
Of Majesty appeareth more
In waters, then in all the rest
Of Elements. It seem'd her best
To give the waves most strength and power:
For they doe swallow and devoure
The earth; the waters quench and kill
The flames of fire: and mounting still
Up in the aire, are seene to be,
As challenging a seignorie
Within the Heavens, and to be one
That should have like dominion.
They be a seeling and a floore
Of clouds, caus'd by the vapours store
Arising from them, vitall spirit
By which all things their life inherit
From them is stopped, kept asunder.
And what's the reason else of Thunder,
Of lightnings flashes all about,
That with such violence breake out,
Causing such troubles and such jarres,
As with it selfe the world had warres?
And can there any thing appeare
More wonderfull, then in the aire
Congealed waters oft to spie
Continuing pendant in the Skie?
Till falling downe in haile or snow,
They make those mortall wights below
To runne, and ever helpe desire
From his foe Element the fire,
Which fearing then to come abroad,
Within doores maketh his aboad.
Or falling downe oft time in raine,
Doth give greene Liveries to the plaine,
Makes Shepheards Lambs fit for the dish,
And giveth nutriment to fish.
Which nourisheth all things of worth
The earth produceth and brings forth;
And therefore well considering
The nature of it in each thing:
As when the teeming earth doth grow
So hard, that none can plow nor sow,
The same, it doth so mollifie,
That it not onely comes to be
More easie for the share and Oxe,
But that in Harvest times the shockes
Of Ceres hanging eared corne
Doth fill the Hovell and the Barne.
To Trees and Plants I comfort give,
By me they fructifie and live:
For first ascending from beneath
Into the Skie, with lively breath,
I thence am furnish'd, and bestow
The same on hearbs, that are below.
So that by this each one may see
I cause them spring and multiply.
Who seeth this? can doe no lesse,
Then of his owne accord confesse,
That notwithstanding all the strength
The earth enjoyes in breadth and length,
Shee is beholding to each streame,
And hath received all from them.
Her love to him shee then must give
By whom her selfe doth chiefly live.

This being spoken by this waters God,
He straight-way in his hand did take his rod,
And stroke it on his banke, wherewith the flood
Did such a roaring make within the wood,
That straight the Nymph who then sate on her shore,
Knew there was somewhat do be done in store:
And therefore hasting to her Brothers Spring
Shee spide what caus'd the waters ecchoing.
Saw where faire Marine fast asleepe did lie,
Whilst that the God still viewing her sate by:
Who when hee saw his Sister Nymph draw neare,
He thus gan tune his voyce unto her eare.

Sister mine (for we doe come
Both from the swelling Thetis wombe)
The reason why of late I strooke
My ruling wand upon my Brooke
Was for this purpose; Late this Maide
Which on my banke asleepe is laid,
Was by her selfe or other wight,
Cast in my spring, and did affright
With her late fall, the fish that take
Their chiefest pleasure in my Lake:
Of all the Fry within my deepe,
None durst out of their dwellings peepe.
The Trout within the weedes did scud,
The Eele him hid within the mud.
Yea, from this feare I was not free:
For as I musing sate to see
How that the prettie Pibbles round
Came with my Spring from under ground,
And how the waters issuing
Did make them dance about my Spring;
The noyse thereof did me appall:
That starting upward therewithall,
I in my armes her bodie caught,
And both to light and life her brought:
Then cast her in a sleepe you see.
But Brother, to the cause (quoth she)
Why by your raging waters wilde
Am I here called? Thetis childe,
Replide the God, for thee I sent,
That when her time of sleepe is spent,
I may commit her to thy charge,
Since women best know womens rage.
Meane while, faire Nymph, accompany
My Spring with thy sweet harmonie;
And we will make her soule to take
Some pleasure, which is said to wake,
Although the body hath his rest.
Shee gave consent: and each of them addrest
Unto their part. The watry Nymph did sing
In manner of a prettie questioning:
The God made answere to what shee propounded,
Whilst from the Spring a pleasant Musicke sounded,
(Making each shrubbe in silence to adore them)
Taking their subject from what lay before them.

NYMPH.
Whats that, compact of earth, infus'd with ayre;
A certaine, made full with uncertainties;
Sway'd by the motion of each severall Spheare;
Who's fed with nought but infelicities;
Indures nor heat nor cold; is like the Swan,
That this houre sings, next dyes?

GOD.
It is a Man.

NYMPH.
Whats he, borne to be sicke, so alwayes dying,
That's guided by inevitable Fate;
That comes in weeping, and that goes out crying;
Whose Kalender of woes is still in date;
Whose life's a bubble, and in length a span;
A consort still in discords?

GOD.
Tis a man.

NYMPH.
What's he, whose thoughts are still quell'd in th' event,
Though ne'er so lawfull, by an opposite,
Hath all things fleeting; nothing permanent;
And at his eares weares still a Parasite:
Hath friends in wealth, or wealthy friends, who can
In want prove meere illusions?

GOD.
Tis a Man.

NYMPH.
What's he, that what he is not, strives to seeme;
That doth support an Atlas-waight of care;
That of an outward good doth best esteeme;
And looketh not within how soild they are;
That doth not vertuous, but the richest scan;
Learning and worth by wealth?

GOD.
It is a Man.

NYMPH.
What's that possessor, which of good makes bad;
And what is worst, makes choise still for the best;
That grieveth most to thinke of what hee had;
And of his chiefest losse accounteth least;
That doth not what he ought, but what he can;
Whose fancie's ever boundlesse?

GOD.
Tis a man.

NYMPH.
But what is it, wherein Dame Nature wrought
The best of workes, the onely frame of Heaven;
And having long to finde a present sought,
Wherein the worlds whole beautie might be given;
Shee did resolve in it all arts to summon,
To joyne with Natures framing?

GOD.
Tis this Woman.

NYMPH.
If beautie be a thing to be admired;
And if admiring draw to it affection;
And what we doe affect is most desired;
What wight is he to love denies subjection?
And can his thoughts within himselfe confine?

Marine that waking lay, said; Celandine.
Hee is the man that hates, which some admire;
He is the wight that loathes whom most desire:
'Tis onely hee to love denies subjecting,
And but himselfe, thinkes none is worth affecting.
Unhappy me the while; accurst my Fate,
That Nature gives no love where she gave hate.
The watrie Rulers then perceived plaine,
Nipt with the Winter of loves frost, disdaine;
This Non-par-el of beautie had beene led
To doe an act which Envie pittied:
Therefore in pittie did conferre together,
What Physicke best might cure this burning Fever.
At last found out, that in a Grove below,
Where shadowing Sicamours past number grow,
A Fountaine takes his journey to the Maine,
Whose liquors nature was so soveraigne,
Like to the wondrous Well and famous Spring,
Which in Boetia hath his issuing,
That whoso of it doth but onely taste,
All former memory from him doth waste.
Not changing any other worke of Nature,
But doth endow the drinker with a feature
More faire and lovely. Medea tooke from hence
Some of this water; by whose quintessence,
Aeson from age came backe to youth. This knowne,
The God thus spake:

Nymph, be thine owne,
And after mine. This Goddesse here
(For shees no lesse) will bring thee where
Thou shalt acknowledge Springs have done
As much for thee as any one.
Which ended, and thou gotten free,
If thou wilt come and live with mee,
No Shepheards daughter, nor his wife,
Shall boast them of a better life.
Meane while I leave thy thoughts at large,
Thy body to my Sisters charge;
Whilst I into my Spring doe dive,
To see that they doe not deprive
The Meadowes neere, which much doe thirst,
Thus heated by the Sunne. May first
(Quoth Marine) Swaines give Lambs to thee;
And may thy Floud have seignorie
Of all flouds else, and to thy fame
Meete greater Springs, yet keepe thy name.
May never Evet nor the Toade,
Within thy Bankes make their abode.
Taking thy journey from the Sea,
Maist thou ne'er happen in thy way
On Niter or on Brimstone Myne,
To spoile thy taste: this Spring of thine
Let it of nothing taste but earth,
And salt conceived, in their birth
Be ever fresh. Let no man dare
To spoile thy Fish, make locke or ware,
But on thy Margent still let dwell
Those flowers which have the sweetest smell.
And let the dust upon thy strand
Become like Tagus golden sand.
Let as much good betide to thee,
As thou hast favour shew'd to mee.

Thus said; in gentle paces they remove,
And hastned onward to the shady Grove:
Where both arriv'd; and having found the Rocke,
Saw how this precious water it did locke.
As hee whom Avarice possesseth most,
Drawne by necessitie unto his cost,
Doth drop by piece meale downe his prison'd gold,
And seemes unwilling to let goe his hold:
Right so the rocke the water long time stops,
And by degrees lets it fall downe in drops.
Like hoording huswives that doe mold their food,
And keepe from others, what doth them no good.

The drops within a Cesterne fell of stone,
Which fram'd by Nature, Art had never one
Halfe part so curious. Many spells then using,
The waters Nymph twixt Marines lips infusing
Part of this water, she might straight perceive
How soone her troubling thoughts began to leave
Her Love-swolne-breast; and that her inward flame
Was cleane asswaged, and the very name
Of Celandine forgotten; did scarce know
If there were such a thing as Love or no.
And sighing, therewithall threw in the Ayre
All former love, all sorrow, all despaire;
And all the former causes of her mone
Did therewith burie in oblivion.
Then mustring up her thoughts, growne vagabonds
Prest to relieve her inward bleeding wounds,
She had as quickly all things past forgotten,
As men doe Monarchs that in earth lie rotten.
As one new borne shee seem'd, so all discerning,
"Though things long learned are the longst unlearning."
Then walk'd they to a Grove but neare at hand,
Where fiery Titan had but small command,
Because the leaves conspiring kept his beames,
For feare of hurting (when hee's in extreames)
The under-flowers, which did enrich the ground
With sweeter sents than in Arabia found.
The earth doth yeeld (which they through pores exhale)
Earths best of odours, th' Aromaticall:
Like to that smell, which oft our sense descries
Within a field which long unplowed lyes,
Somewhat before the setting of the Sunne;
And where the Raine-bow in the Horizon
Doth pitch her tips: or as when in the Prime,
The earth being troubled with a drought long time,
The hand of Heaven his spungie Clouds doth straine,
And throwes into her lap a showre of raine;
She sendeth up (conceived from the Sunne)
A sweet perfume and exhalation.
Not all the Oyntments brought from Delos Ile;
Nor from the confines of seven-headed Nyle;
Nor that brought whence Phoenicians have abodes;
Nor Cyprus wilde Vine-flowers, nor that of Rhodes,
Nor Roses-oyle from Naples, Capua,
Saffron confected in Cilicia;
Nor that of Quinces, nor of Marjoram,
That ever from the Ile of Coos came.
Nor these, nor any else, though ne'er so rare,
Could with this place for sweetest smels compare.
There stood the Elme, whose shade so milde and thin
Doth nourish all that groweth under him.
Cypresse that like Piramides runne topping,
And hurt the least of any by their dropping.
The Alder, whose fat shadow nourisheth,
Each Plant set neere to him long flourisheth.
The heavie-headed Plane-tree, by whose shade
The grasse growes thickest, men are fresher made.
The Oake, that best endures the Thunder shocks
The everlasting Ebene, Cedar, Boxe.
The Olive that in Wainscot never cleaves.
The amorous Vine which in the Elme still weaves.
The Lotus, Juniper, where wormes ne'er enter:
The Pyne, with whom men through the Ocean venter.
The warlike Yewgh, by which (more then the Lance)
The strong-arm'd English spirits conquer'd France.
Amongst the rest the Tamariske there stood,
For Huswives besomes onely knowne most good.
The cold-place-loving Birch, and Servis tree:
The Walnut loving vales, and Mulbury.
The Maple, Ashe; that doe delight in Fountaines,
Which have their currents by the sides of Mountaines.
The Laurell, Mirtle, Juy, Date, which hold
Their leaves all Winter, be it ne'er so cold.
The Firre, that oftentimes doth Rosin drop:
The Beech that scales the Welkin with his top:
All these, and thousand more within this Grove,
By all the industry of Nature strove
To frame an Harbour that might keepe within it
The best of beauties that the world hath in it.

Here entring, at the entrance of which shroud,
The Sunne halfe angry hid him in a cloud,
As raging that a Grove should from his sight
Locke up a beauty whence himselfe had light.
The flowers pull'd in their heads as being sham'd
Their beauties by the others were defam'd.

Neere to this Wood there lay a pleasant Meade,
Where Faieries often did their Measures treade,
Which in the Meadow made such circles greene,
As if with Garlands it had crowned beene,
Or like the Circle where the Signes we tracke,
And learned Shepheards call't the Zodiacke:
Within one of these rounds was to be seene
A Hillocke rise, where oft the Fairy-Queene
At twi-light sate, and did command her Elves,
To pinch those Maides that had not swept their shelves:
And further if by Maidens over-sight,
Within doores water were not brought at night:
Or if they spread no Table, set no Bread,
They should have nips from toe unto the head:
And for the Maide that had perform'd each thing,
Shee in the Water-paile bade leave a Ring.

Upon this Hill there sat a lovely Swaine,
As if that Nature thought it great disdaine
That hee should (so through her his Genius told him)
Take equall place with Swaines, since she did hold him
Her chiefest worke, and therefore thought it fit,
That with inferiours hee should never sit.
Narcissus change, sure Ovid cleane mistooke,
He dy'd not looking in a Christall brooke,
But (as those which in emulation gaze)
He pinde to death by looking on this face.
When he stood fishing by some Rivers brim,
The fish would leape, more for a sight of him
Then for the flye. The Eagle highest bred,
Was taking him once up for Ganimed.
The shag-haird Satyres, and the tripping Fawnes,
With all the troope that frolicke on the Lawnes,
Would come and gaze on him, as who should say
They had not seene his like this many a day.
Yea Venus knew no difference twixt these twaine,
Save Adon was a Hunter, this a Swaine.
The woods sweet Quiristers from spray to spray
Would hop them neerer him, and then there stay:
Each joying greatly from his little hart,
That they with his sweet Reede might beare a part:
This was the Boy, (the Poets did mistake)
To whom bright Cynthia so much love did make;
And promis'd for his love no scornfull eyes
Should ever see her more in horned guize:
But shee at his command would as of dutie
Become as full of light as he of beautie.
Lucina at his birth for Mid-wife stucke:
And Citherea nurc'd and gave him sucke,
Who to that end, once Dove-drawne from the Sea,
Her full Paps dropt, whence came the Milkie-way.
And as when Plato did i' th' Cradle thrive,
Bees to his lips brought honey from their Hive:
So to this Boy they came, I know not whether
They brought, or from his lips did honey gather.
The Wood-Nymphs oftentimes would busied be,
And plucke for him the blushing Strawbery:
Making of them a Bracelet on a Bent,
Which for a favour to this Swaine they sent.
Sitting in shades, the Sunne would oft by skips
Steale through the boughes, and seize upon his lips.
The chiefest cause the Sunne did condescend
To Phaetons request, was to this end,
That whilst the other did his Horses reyne,
He might slide from his Spheare, and court this Swaine;
Whose sparkling eyes vi'd lustre with the Starres,
The truest Center of all Circulers.
In briefe, if any man in skill were able
To finish up Apelles halfe-done Table,
This Boy (the man left out) were fittest sure
To be the patterne of that portraiture.

Piping he sate, as merry as his looke,
And by him lay his bottle and his hooke.
His buskins (edg'd with silver) were of silke,
Which held a legge more white then mornings milk.
Those buskins hee had got and brought away
For dancing best upon the Revell day:
His Oaten Reede did yeeld forth such sweet Noates,
Joyned in consort with the Birds shrill throates,
That equaliz'd the Harmony of Spheares,
A Musicke that would ravish choicest eares.
Long look'd they on (who would not long looke on,
That such an object had to looke upon?)
Till at the last the Nymph did Marine send,
To aske the neerest way, whereby to wend
To those sheepe-walkes ground of Marina's ill
Whilst she would stay: Marine obey'd her will,
And hastned towards him (who would not doe so,
That such a pretty journey had to goe?)
Sweetly shee came, and with a modest blush,
Gave him the day, and then accosted thus:

Fairest of men, that (whilst thy flocke doth feed)
Sitt'st sweetly piping on thine Oaten Reede
Upon this Little berry (some ycleep
A Hillocke) voide of care, as are thy sheepe
Devoide of spots, and sure on all this greene
A fairer flocke as yet was never seene:
Doe me this favour (men should favour Maides)
That whatsoever path directly leades,
And voide of danger, thou to mee doe show,
That by it to the Marish I might goe.
Mariage! (quoth he) mistaking what shee said,
Natures perfection: thou most fairest Maide,
(If any fairer then the fairest may be)
Come sit thee downe by me; know lovely Ladie,
Love is the readyest way: if tane aright
You may attaine thereto full long ere night.
The Maiden thinking hee of Marish spoke,
And not of Marriage, straight-way did invoke,
And praid the Shepheards God might alwayes keepe
Him from all danger, and from Wolves his sheepe.
Yea, she did wish, that ever in the Spring
Each sheepe hee had, two Lambes might yearely bring.
But yet (quoth shee) arede good gentle Swaine,
If in the Dale below, or on yond Plaine;
Or is the Village scituate in a Grove,
Through which my way lyes, and ycleeped love.
Nor on yond Plaine, nor in this neighbouring wood;
Nor in the Dale where glides the silver flood;
But like a Beacon on a hill so hie,
That every one may see't which passeth by,
Is Love yplac'd: there's nothing can it hide,
Although of you as yet 'tis unespide.
But on which hill (quoth she) pray tell me true?
Why here (quoth he) it sits and talkes to you.
And are you Love (quoth she?) fond Swaine adue,
You guide me wrong, my way lyes not by you.
Though not your way, yet you may lye by me:
Nymph, with a Shepheard thou as merrily
Maist love and live, as with the greatest Lord.
"Greatnesse doth never most content afford."
I love thee onely, not affect worlds pelfe,
"Shee is not lov'd, that's lov'd not for her selfe."
How many Shepheards daughters, who in dutie
To griping fathers have inthral'd their beautie,
To wait upon the Gout, to walke when pleases
Old January halt. O that diseases
Should linke with youth! Shee that hath such a mate
Is like two twinnes borne both incorporate:
Th' one living, th' other dead: the living twinne
Must needs be slaine through noysomnesse of him
He carryeth with him: such are their estates,
Who meerely marry wealth and not their mates.

As ebbing waters freely slide away,
To pay their tribute to the raging Sea;
When meeting with the floud they justle stout,
Whether the one shall in, or th' other out:
Till the strong floud new power of waves doth bring,
And drives the River backe into his Spring:
So Marine's words offring to take their course,
By Love then entring, were kept backe, and force
To it, his sweet face, eyes, and tongue assign'd,
And threw them backe againe into her minde.
"How hard it is to leave and not to do
That which by nature we are prone unto?
We hardly can (alas why not?) discusse,
When Nature hath decreed it must be thus.
It is a Maxime held of all, knowne plaine,
Thrust Nature off with forkes, shee'll turne againe."

Blithe Doridon (so men this Shepheard hight)
Seeing his Goddesse in a silent plight,
("Love often makes the speeches organs mute,")
Beganne againe thus to renue his sute:

If by my words your silence hath beene such,
Faith I am sorry I have spoke so much.
Barre I those lips? fit to be th' uttrers, when
The heavens would parly with the chiefe of men.
Fit to direct (a tongue all hearts conuinces)
When best of Scribes writes to the best of Princes,
Were mine like yours, of choicest words compleatest,
"Ide shew how grief's a thing weighs down the greatest
The best of formes (who knows not) grief doth taint it,
The skilfull'st Pencill never yet could paint it."
And reason good, since no man yet could finde
What figure represents a grieved minde.
Me thinkes a troubled thought is thus exprest,
To be a Chaos rude and indigest:
Where all doe rule, and yet none beares chiefe sway:
Checkt onely by a power that's more then they.
This doe I speake, since to this every lover
That thus doth love, is thus still given over.
If that you say you will not, cannot love:
Oh Heavens! for what cause then do you here move?
Are you not fram'd of that expertest molde,
For whom all in this Round, concordance holde?
Or are you framed of some other fashion,
And have a forme and heart, but yet no passion?
It cannot be: for then unto what end
Did the best worke-man this great worke intend?
Not that by mindes commerce, and joynt estate,
The worlds continuers still should propagate?
Yea, if that Reason (regent of the Senses)
Have but a part amongst your excellences,
Shee'll tell you what you call Virginitie,
Is fitly lik'ned to a barren tree;
Which when the Gardner on it paines bestowes,
To graffe an Impe thereon, in time it growes
To such perfection, that it yeerely brings
As goodly fruit, as any tree that springs.
Beleeve me Maideen, vow no chastitie:
Y'are but the shadow of what you should be.

Alas poore Boy (quoth Marine) have the Fates
Exempted no degrees? are no estates
Free from Loves rage? Be rul'd: unhappy Swaine,
Call backe thy spirits, and recollect againe
Thy vagrant wits. I tell thee for a truth
"Love is a Syren that doth shipwracke youth."
Be well advis'd, thou entertainst a guest
That is the Harbinger of all unrest:
Which like the Vipers young, that licke the earth,
Eat out the breeders wombe to get a birth.

Faith (quoth the Boy) I know there cannot be,
Danger in loving or enjoying thee.
For what cause were things made and called good,
But to be loved? If you understood
The Birds that prattle here, you would know then,
As birds woe birds, maids should be woo'd of men.
But I want power to wooe, since what was mine
Is fled, and lye as vassals at your shrine:
And since what's mine is yours, let that same move,
Although in me you see nought worthy Love.
Marine about to speake, forth of a sling
(Fortune to all misfortunes plyes her wing
More quicke and speedy) came a sharpned flint,
Which in the faire boyes necke made such a dint,
That crimson bloud came streaming from the wound,
And he fell downe into a deadly swound.
The bloud ran all along where it did fall,
And could not finde a place of buriall:
But where it came, it there congealed stood,
As if the Earth loath'd to drinke guiltlesse blood.

Gold-haird Apollo, Muses sacred King,
Whose praise in Delphos Ile doth ever ring:
Physickes first founder, whose Arts excellence
Extracted Natures chiefest quintessence,
Unwilling that a thing of such a worth
Should so be lost; straight sent a Dragon forth
To fetch his bloud, and hee perform'd the same:
And now Apothecaries give it name,
From him that fetch'd it: (Doctors know it good
In Physicks use) and call it Dragons bloud.
Some of the bloud by chance did downe-ward fall,
And by a veyne got to a Minerall,
Whence came a Red, decayed Dames infuse it
With Venice Ceruse, and for painting use it.
Marine astonisht (most unhappy Maide)
O'er-come with feare, and at the view afraid,
Fell downe into a trance, eyes lost their sight,
Which being open, made all darknesse light.
Her bloud ran to her heart, or life to feede,
Or loathing to behold so vilde a deede.

And as when Winter doth the Earth array
In silver sute, and when the night and day
Are in dissention, Night locks up the ground,
Which by the helpe of day is oft unbound:
A shepherds Boy with Bow and Shafts addrest,
Ranging the fields, having once pierc'd the brest
Of some poore fowle, doth with the blow straight rush
To catch the Bird lyes panting in the Bush:
So rusht this striker in, up Marine tooke,
And hastned with her to a neare-hand Brooke.
Olde Shepheards saine (old shepherds sooth have saine)
Two Rivers tooke their issue from the Maine,
Both neere together, and each bent his race,
Which of them both should first behold the face
Of Radiant Phoebus: One of them in gliding
Chanc'd on a Veyne where Niter had abiding:
The other loathing that her purer Wave
Should be defil'd with that the Niter gave,
Fled fast away, the other follow'd fast,
Till both beene in a Rocke ymet at last.
As seemed best, the Rocke did first deliver
Out of his hollow sides the purer River:
(As if it taught those men in honour clad,
To helpe the vertuous and suppresse the bad.)
Which gotten loose, did softly glide away.
As men from earth, to earth; from sea to sea;
So Rivers run: and that from whence both came
Takes what shee gave: Waves, Earth: but leaves a name.
As waters have their course, and in their place
Succeeding streames will out, so is mans race:
The Name doth still survive, and cannot die,
Untill the Channels stop, or Spring grow drye.

As I have seene upon a Bridall-day
Full many Maides clad in their best array,
In honour of the Bride come with their Flaskets
Fill'd full with flowres: others in wicker-baskets
Bring from the Marish Rushes, to o'er-spread
The ground, whereon to Church the Lovers tread;
Whilst that the quaintest youth of all the Plaine
Ushers their way with many a piping straine:
So, as in joy, at this faire Rivers birth,
Triton came up a Channell with his mirth,
And call'd the neighb'ring Nymphes each in her turne
To poure their pretty Rivilets from their Urne;
To wait upon this new-delivered Spring.
Some running through the Meadowes, with them bring
Cowslip and Mynt: and 'tis anothers lot
To light upon some Gardeners curious knot,
Whence shee upon her brest (loves sweet repose)
Doth bring the Queene of flowers, the English Rose.
Some from the Fenne bring Reedes, Wilde-tyme from Downes;
Some fro a Grove the Bay that Poets crownes;
Some from an aged Rocke the Mosse hath torne,
And leaves him naked unto winters storme:
Another from her bankes (in meere good will)
Brings nutriment for fish, the Camomill.
Thus all bring somewhat, and doe over-spread
The way the Spring unto the Sea doth tread.

This while the Floud which yet the Rocke up pent,
And suffered not with jocund merriment
To tread rounds in his Spring, came rushing forth,
As angry that his waves (he thought) of worth
Should not have libertie, nor helpe the pryme.
And as some ruder Swaine composing ryme,
Spends many a gray Goose quill unto the handle,
Buries within his socket many a Candle;
Blots Paper by the quire, and dries up Inke,
As Xerxes Armie did whole Rivers drinke,
Hoping thereby his name his worke should raise
That it should live untill the last of dayes:
Which finished, hee boldly doth addresse
Him and his workes to under-goe the Presse;
When loe (O Fate!) his worke not seeming fit
To walke in equipage with better wit,
Is kept from light, there gnawne by Moathes and wormes,
At which hee frets: Right so this River stormes:
But broken forth; As Tavy creepes upon
The Westerne vales of fertile Albion,
Here dashes roughly on an aged Rocke,
That his entended passage doth up locke;
There intricately mongst the Woods doth wander,
Losing himselfe in many a wry Meander:
Here amorously bent, clips some faire Meade;
And then disperst in rils, doth measures treade
Upon her bosome 'mongst her flowry rankes:
There in another place beares downe the bankes,
Of some day-labouring wretch: here meets a rill,
And with their forces joynde cuts out a Mill
Into an Iland, then in jocund guise
Survayes his conquest, lauds his enterprise:
Here digs a Cave at some high Mountaines foote:
There undermines an Oake, teares up his roote:
Thence rushing to some Country farme at hand,
Breaks o'er the Yeomans mounds, sweepes from his land
His Harvest hope of Wheat, of Rye, or Pease:
And makes that channell which was Shepheards lease:
Here, as our wicked age doth sacriledge,
Helpes downe an Abbey, then a naturall bridge
By creeping under ground hee frameth out,
As who should say hee eyther went about
To right the wrong hee did, or hid his face,
For having done a deed so vild and base:
So ran this River on, and did bestirre
Himselfe, to finde his fellow-Traveller.

But th' other fearing least her noyce might show
What path shee took, which way her streams did flow:
As some way-faring man strayes th' row a wood,
Where beasts of prey thirsting for humane bloud
Lurke in their dens, hee softly listning goes,
Not trusting to his heeles, treades on his toes:
Feares every noyse hee heares, thinks each small bush
To be a beast that would upon him rush:
Feareth to dye, and yet his winde doth smother;
Now leaves this path, takes that, then to another:
Such was her course. This feared to be found,
The other not to finde, swels o'er each mound,
Roares, rages, foames, against a mountaine dashes,
And in recoile, makes Meadowes standing plashes:
Yet findes not what hee seekes in all his way,
But in despaire runs headlong to the Sea.
This was the cause them by tradition taught,
Why one floud ranne so fast, th' other so soft,
Both from one head. Unto the rougher streame,
(Crown'd by that Meadowes flowry Diadeame,
Where Doridon lay hurt) the cruell Swaine
Hurries the Shepheardesse, where having laine
Her in a Boate like the Cannowes of Inde,
Some silly trough of wood, or some trees rinde;
Puts from the shoare, and leaves the weeping strand,
Intends an act by water, which the land
Abhorr'd to boulster; yea, the guiltlesse earth
Loath'd to be Mid-wife to so vile a birth.
Which to relate I am inforc'd to wrong
The modest blushes of my Maiden-song.
Then each faire Nymph whom Nature doth endowe
With beauties cheeke, crown'd with a shamefast browe;
Whose well-tun'd eares, chast-object-loving eyne
Ne'er heard nor saw the workes of Aretine;
Who ne'er came on the Citherean shelfe,
But is as true as Chastitie it selfe;
Where hated Impudence ne'er set her seede;
Where lust lyes not vail'd in a virgins weed:
Let her with-draw. Let each young Shepheardling
Walke by, or stop his eare, the whilst I sing.

But yee, whose bloud, like Kids upon a plaine,
Doth skip, and dance Lavoltoes in each veyne;
Whose brests are swolne with the Venerean game,
And warme your selves at lusts alluring flame;
Who dare to act as much as men dare thinke,
And wallowing lye within a sensuall sinke;
Whose fained gestures doe entrap our youth
With an apparancie of simple truth;
Insatiate gulphs, in your defective part
By Art helpe Nature, and by Nature, Art:
Lend me your eares, and I will touch a string
Shall lull your sense asleepe the while I sing.

But stay: me thinkes I heare something in me
That bids me keepe the bounds of modestie;
Sayes, "Each mans voice to that is quickely moved
Which of himselfe is best of all beloved;
By uttring what thou knowst lesse glory's got,
Then by concealing what thou knowest not."
If so, I yeeld to it, and set my rest
Rather to lose the bad, then wrong the best.
My Maideen-Muse flyes the lascivious Swaines,
And scornes to soile her lines with lustfull straines:
Will not dilate (nor on her fore-head beare
Immodesties abhorred Character)
His shamelesse pryings, his undecent doings;
His curious searches, his respectlesse wooings:
How that hee saw. But what? I dare not breake it,
You safer may conceive then I dare speake it.
Yet verily had hee not thought her dead,
Sh'ad lost, ne'er to be found, her Maiden-head.

The rougher streame loathing a thing compacted
Of so great shame, should on his Floud be acted;
According to our times not well allow'd
In others, what hee in himselfe avow'd
Bent hard his fore-head, furrow'd up his face,
And danger led the way the boate did trace.
And as within a Landtskip that doth stand
Wrought by the Pencill of some curious hand,
We may discry, here meadow, there a wood:
Here standing ponds, and there a running floud:
Here on some mount a house of pleasure vanted,
Where once the roaring Cannon had beene planted:
There on a hill a Swaine pipes out the day,
Out-braving all the Quiristers of May.
A Hunts-man here followes his cry of hounds,
Driving the Hare along the fallow grounds:
Whilst one at hand seeming the sport t' allow,
Followes the hounds, and carelesse leaves the Plow.
There in another place some high-rais'd land,
In pride beares out her breasts unto the strand.
Here stands a bridge, and there a conduit-head:
Here round a May-pole, some the measures tread:
There boyes the truant play and leave their booke:
Here stands an Angler with a baited hooke.
There for a Stagge one lurkes within a bough:
Here sits a Maiden milking of her Cow.
There on a goodly plaine (by time throwne downe)
Lies buried in his dust some ancient Towne;
Who now invillaged, there's onely seene
In his vaste ruines what his state had beene:
And all of these in shadowes so exprest
Make the beholders eyes to take no rest.
So for the Swaine the Floud did meane to him
To shew in Nature, (not by Art to limbe)
A Tempests rage, his furious waters threate,
Some on this shoare, some on the other beate.
Here stands a Mountaine, where was once a Dale;
There where a Mountaine stood is now a Vale.
Here flowes a billow, there another meetes:
Each, on each side the skiffe, unkindly greetes.
The waters underneath gan upwards move,
Wondring what stratagems were wrought above:
Billowes that mist the Boate, still onward thrust,
And on the Cliffes, as swolne with anger, burst.
All these, and more, in substance so exprest,
Made the beholders thoughts to take no rest.
Horror in triumph rid upon the waves;
And all the Furies from their gloomy caves
Came hovering o're the Boate, summond each sence
Before the fearefull barre of Conscience;
Were guilty all, and all condemned were
To under-goe their horrors with despaire.

What Muse? what Powre? or what thrice sacred Herse,
That lives immortall in a well-tun'd Verse,
Can lend me such a sight that I might see
A guilty conscience true Anatomie;
That well-kept Register wherein is writ
All ils men doe, all goodnesse they omit?
His pallid feares, his sorrowes, his affrightings;
His late wisht had-I-wists, remorcefull bitings:
His many tortures, his heart-renting paine:
How were his griefes composed in one chaine,
And he by it let downe into the Seas,
Or through the Center to th' Antipodes?
Hee might change Climates, or be barr'd Heavens face;
Yet finde no salve, nor ever change his case.
Feares, sorrowes, tortures, sad affrights, nor any,
Like to the Conscience sting, though thrice as many;
Yet all these torments by the Swaine were borne.
Whilst Deaths grimme visage lay upon the storme.

But as when some kinde Nurse doth long time keepe
Her pretty babe at sucke, whom falne asleepe
Shee layes downe in his Cradle, stints his cry
With many a sweet and pleasing Lullaby;
Whilst the sweet childe, not troubled with the shocke,
As sweetly slumbers, as his nurse doth rocke.
So lay the Maide, th' amazed Swaine sate weeping,
And death in her was dispossest by sleeping.
The roaring voyce of windes, the billowes raves;
Nor all the muttring of the sullen waves
Could once disquiet, or her slumber stirre:
But lull'd her more asleepe then wakened her.
Such are their states, whose soules from foule offence
Enthroned sit in spotlesse Innocence.
Where rest my Muse; till (jolly Shepheards Swaines)
Next morne with Pearles of dewe bedecks our plaines;
Wee'll folde our flockes, then in fit time goe on
To tune mine Oaten-pipe for Doridon.

[pp. 21-44]