Virginia Tufte: "Thomas Heywood's Marriage Triumphe of 756 lines [was] written in 1613 for the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Count Frederick, apparently in an attempt to demonstrate the poet's learning and to flatter the scholarly tastes of James I. It is an unselective assortment drawn mainly from the neo-Latin epic epithalamia" Poetry of Marriage (1970) 243.
The Epithalamion proper is followed by a "Nuptial Hymne."
Now the wet Winter of our teares are past,
And see, the cheerefull Spring appeares at last,
Now we may calculate by the Welkins racke
Aeolus hath chaste the Clouds that were so blacke:
And th' are beyond the Hiperboreans runne
That have so late eclipst Great Brittaines Sonne.
O thou my Muse, that whilome maskt in sable,
Exclaiming on the fates and chance unstable,
Accusing Phisicke, and her want of skill,
And Natures hard-heart, that her owne would kill:
On Death, and his fell tyranny exclaiming,
Chance, Fortune, Destiny, and all things blaming;
Inveighing against howres, daies, months, and time,
That cropt so sweet a blossome in his prime.
Against Mortality, that could not save
So choyce a Gemme from th' all-devouring grave;
But most against the cause, Brittaines Transgressions,
That so soone cal'd him to that heavenly Sessions.
Where from this earthy Mansion being translated,
He now for ay remaines a Prince instated.
No more let us our ancient griefes pursue,
Or the swift torrent of our teares renue.
No more let us with clamors fill the sky.
Or make th' heavens eccho to each dole full cry.
No more disturbe his soft sleepe, since 'tis best
We wake him not from his eternall rest.
Yet who could blame my Muse, that did lament
To see so faire a branch, so rudely rent
From such a stately, and broad-bearing tree,
That might have borne like fruit? For who to see
So rich a treasure in a moment wasted,
Such goodly fruit, not fully ripe, yet blasted,
So rich a roab, so soone dispoild as worne,
Such generall hopes destroid as soone as borne,
But with impartiall judgements must confesse,
No Muse, that can sing, but could shrieke no lesse?
Those that love day, must thinke it much too soone,
To see the glorious Sunne to set at noone.
And none but such as hate the cherefull light,
(Murderers and Theives) at mid-day wish it night
Is it because we breake the Gods decree,
That Tantalus we are punisht like to thee:
Thou that their secrets durst presume to tell,
Art with perpetuall hunger plagu'd in hell,
Yet sundry delicates before thee stand,
Which thou maist reach, not copasse with thy hand.
So have the Gods dealt with us, for some crime,
To let us see the glory of our time,
As a faire marke, at which the world might gaze,
And put the wondring Nations in a maze.
But as we stretch our hands to reach our joy,
They snatch it hence, and all our hopes destroy.
But now my Muse, shake off this gloomy sorrow,
And a bright saffron roab from Hymen borrow.
Thou that before in Ravens plumes didst sing,
Now get thee feathers from the Swans white wing,
And take an equall flight with Venus Doves,
To tune soft layes of Nuptials, and sweet Loves.
For now me thinkes I youthfull Tython see,
The day Aurora, that he married thee.
The expected howre was come, the Matrons shine
In glistring roabes; th' old men, as if Divine,
Apparreld in rich purple; them betweene,
The sprightly Youths, and beauteous Nymphes are seene.
At length the blushing Bride comes with her haire
Dishevel'd 'bout her shoulders; none so faire
In all that Bevie, though it might appeare,
The choycest beauties were assembled there.
She enters with a sweet commanding grace,
Her very presence paradic'd the place:
Her modest blush amongst the Ladies spred
And cast on all their Cheekes a shame-fast red.
How could they chuse, their looks that seeme divine
Before she came, eclipst are at her shine?
They all are darkned when she 'gins t' appeare,
And spread her beames in her Illustrious spheare:
All eyes are fixt on her, the youthfull fry,
Amazed stand at her great Majesty.
The Nymphs and Maids, both envy and admire
Her matchlesse beauty, state, and rich attire.
The graver Matrons stand amaz'd with wonder,
The Fathers, as if strooke with Joves sharpe thunder
Confounded are, as never having seene
In their long trace of yeares, so faire a Queene.
Not Hecuba, when Priam came to Thrace,
To court her for his Queene, could give the place
Such ornament: not Spartan Hellen knew,
To attire her person in a forme so true.
Had Perseus in his airy progresse spide
This picture to the marble rocke fast tide,
For her he would have fought, and as a pray
To the Sea-monster, left Andromeda.
Had Paris seene her, he had nere crost the flood,
Hellen had beene unrapte, Troy still had stood.
Had Thetis sonne beheld her when he saw
Polyxena, nothing should him with-draw
From dreadfull battle: he had shin'd in steele,
And not unarm'd beene wounded in the heele.
Had Juno, Venus, or Minerva, when
They strove for maistery, seene this Lady, then
As vanquisht, they had left to her the Ball,
Which from his starry throne great Jove let fall.
But wherefore on her glories doe I dwell,
Whose state my Muse unable is to tell?
To a bright Ivory Chaire the Bride they bring,
Whilst all the people Io Paean sing.
Now see from forth another stately Arch,
Of the great palace, the brave Bride-groome march,
A lovely youth, upon whose face appeares
True signes of man-hood; yet he for his yeares
And beauty, such a generall name hath wonne,
They take him all, for Venus, or her sonne.
A mixed grace he in his visage wore,
And but his habit shewd what sex hee bore
The quickest sighted eye might have mistooke,
Having female beauty in a manly looke.
Such lustre in Adonis cheeke did move,
When he was haunted by the Queene of love:
So look't Hypolitus when clad in greene,
He was oft Courted by th' Athenian Queene.
Such grace Hypomanes in publike wan,
That day he with the swift Atlanta ran.
So shin'd Perithous amongst the rest,
When mongst the Centaurs Joves son grac't the feast.
Such seem'd th' Idean sheepheard in the eye
Of faire Oenone, when she saw him lye
Upon a Violet banke: Such did appeare
Yong Itis, unto Galatea deere.
Such Ciparissus seem'd, so sweete so faire,
For whom Apollo left his fiery Chaire.
A curious Roabe athwart his shoulders fell,
By some laborious hand Imbroidered well:
Cunning Arachne could no better weave,
Nor Pallas, should the heavens she once more leave:
The colour was of Elementall blew
Spotted with golden Starres: heere Comets flew
With blazing trains, some great appeard, some smal,
Some were so wrought that they might seeme to fal,
And shooting towards the earth as darting fire,
Even in their hottest fury did expire:
Yet in their golden course the way they went,
They seemed to guild the Azure Firmament.
You might in this discoulered Roabe perceive
The Galaxia a more brightnesse leave
Then th' other parts of heaven, because so faire
Cassiopeia spreads her glistering haire.
There the quicke-sighted Eagle shines, and Swanne,
And the Argoe that the Fleece of Colchos wanne.
Sagitarius threats the Scorpion to have slaine,
Who gainst him shakes his poysonous starry traine.
With six bright lamps doth the bold Cetaure stand,
Threatning the Twins, who hold in every hand
Bright bals of fire, eighteene they be in number,
That if the Centaur stir, his force to cumber.
The Northen Waggoner stands next in roll,
Who Perseus with his Shield, frights 'bout the Pole.
The wandring Sporades 'mongst these appeare,
Which makes the Galaxia shine more cleere
Then the other parts of heaven, this Thetis wrought
And as a present to the Bridegroome brought:
For who could place them in there rancks more true
Then she, that every night takes a full view
(From top of Neptunes Tarras) how they stand,
How move, rise, set, or how the Seas command?
This Mantle doth the Bride-groomes body graspe
Buckled about him with a golden claspe.
And as when Lucifer lifts from the waves
His glorious head, the Stars about him braves,
Who when he moves his sacred front on high,
Seeme in their (almost wasted) oile to die,
And give him all the glory; with a Crest
As bright as his appeares amongst the rest.
This lovely Youth: with many a comely stride
Hee preaceth towards the place where sits his Bride,
Then bowes to her, she blusheth as he bends
And honors low, his faire hand he extends
To ceaze her Ivory Palme, which as he warmes,
Shee breathes into him many thousand charmes
Of loves, affections, zeale, cordiall desires,
Chast wishes, pleasures, mixt with deepe suspires,
Passions, distractions, extasies, amazes,
All these he feeles, when on her eies he gazes:
Till further boldned by a blushing smile,
He leaves his trance, and she discends the while
Yet was all silence, till at this glad close,
Through all the place, a whispering murmure rose:
Some his perfection, some her beauty praise,
And both above the highest degree would raise
To exceed all comparison, some sweare
Two such bright Comets, never grac't that Spheare,
And as they walke the Virgins strow the way
With Costmary, and sweete Angelica.
With Spyknard, Margerom, and Camomile,
Time, Buglosse, Lavender, and Pimpernell,
Strawbery leaves, Savory; and Eglantine
With Endive, Holy-thistle, Sops in Wine,
Smallage, Balme, Germander, Basell and Lilly,
The Pinke, the Flower-de-luce and Daffadilly,
The Gilliflowre, Carnation, white and red,
With various spots and staines enameled,
The Purple Violet, Paunce, and Hearts-ease,
And every flower that smell, or sight, can please:
The yellow Marigold, the Sunnes owne flower,
Pagle, and Pinke, that decke faire Floraes Bower,
The Dasie, Cowslip, Wal-flower, Columbine;
With the broad-leaves late cropt from Bacchus vine,
Besides a thousand other fragrant poses
Of Wood-bine, Rosemary, and sundry Roses:
Next in their way, some pretious garments strow,
Some scatter-gold wrought Arras where they go:
Others before them costly presents cast,
Of Ivory, Corrall, and of Pearle: the last
Bring Gold and Jewels: one presents a Crowne
Unto the Bride, and gives it as her owne.
Divers contend where this rich mettall grew,
In Phillipine, in Ophir, or Peru:
Or the Malluccoes: this a Carcanet
Bestowes, with pretious stones of all kind set
Of luster and of beauty, here was found
The hardest, and most quicke, the Diamond,
The Ruby, of a perfect light and life,
The Saphir and the Emerald, at strife,
Which can expresse unto the eie more true,
The one a grasse-greene, th' other perfect blew,
Heere the discoloured Opal faire did shine,
And Onix deepe, dig'd from the Rocky Mine,
The Topas which, some say, abides the fire,
And Sardonix; what is he can desire
A stone that's wanting as they walke along
The Batchelers, and Virgins with this Song
Tun'd to their aprest Instruments, thus greete
Their Nuptiall Joyes, with strings and voyces sweete.
You fairest of your sexes how shall we
Stile you, that seeme on earth to be divine,
Unlesse the Musicall Apollo hee,
And shee the fairest of the Muses nine,
Not Daphne turn'd into a Lawrel-tree
So bright could bee
So faire, so free
Not Ariadne crown'd so cleere can shine.
Can Venus yoaked Swannes so white appeare?
Or halfe so lovely when you two embrace?
Are not his parts admired every where,
His sweete proportion, feature, shape, and face?
Or like her Iris in her arched Spheare,
Or Hebe cleere
To Juno neere?
To match this Lady in her comely grace.
Why should we these to Venus Doves compare,
Since in blancht whitenes, they their plumes exceed,
Or to the Alpine Mountaines, when they are
Cloth'd in Snow, since monstrous beasts they breed
Why should we to white marble pillers dare
Set two so faire
In all things rare,
Since save disgrace comparisons nought breed.
Unto your selves, your selves, then we must say,
We onely may compare: Heaven, Sea nor Earth
Can parralell the vertues every way;
Your names, your stiles, your honors, and your birth
On to the Temple then, why do we stay?
Use no delay,
Loose no more day,
By this blest union adde unto our mirth.
Charis that strewes faire Venus Couch with flowers
Joyne with the other graces to attend you,
The Muses and their Influence to your dowres,
Angels and Cherubs from all ills defend you,
The Gods into your laps raigne plenteous showres,
All heavenly powers
Adde to your howers,
Heavens graces, and earths guifts that may commend you.
Minerva, that of Chastity hath care,
And Juno that of marriage takes regard,
The happy fortunes of these two prepare,
And let from them no comforts be debar'd,
Blesse them with Issue, and a Royall Heyre,
Let one so rare
In all her future thro's be gently hard.
Prove thou faire fortune in thy bounties free
Be all the happiest Seasons hence-forth showne
Temperate and calme, and full of mirthfull glee,
All joyes and comforts challenge as your owne,
What grace and good wee can but wish to bee,
May You and Shee
As heavens agree.
Injoy in your most happy prosperous Crowne,
So shall the Swaynes and Nymphs choice presents bring,
With yeerely offering to this sacred shrine
So shall our Annuall festives praise the Spring,
In which, two plants of such great hope combine,
For ever this bright day eternizing,
Timbrels shall ring
Whilst we still sing
O Hymen, Hymen, be thou still divine.
But whether am I carried, if such State
Yong Tython and Aurora celebrate:
What shall be then at this uniting done?
Since in his noone-tide progresse, the bright Sunne
Hath never seene their Equals? what blest muse
Shall I invoke, or whose assistance use?
What accent, in what number, or what straine?
Shall I the weakenesse of my skill complaine?
Oh were I by the cleere Pegasian Fount,
Which Perseus Steed made, when he gan to Mount,
Where his heele stroke, first grew the sacred Well,
By which Joves daughters, the nine sisters dwell:
Or were I laid in Aganippes Spring,
Where Pellas oft discends to heare them sing:
Or might I come to wash my Temples cleane,
In the pure drops of learned Hypocrene:
I might have then some hope to be inspired,
And mount the height I have so long desired:
Yet howsoe're, I will presume to sing
And soare according to my strength and wing,
Then now, O Hymen don thy brightest weed
That all things may successively succeed
At these high Nuptials, spread thy golden haire,
And let no spot upon thy Robes appeare,
No wrinckle in thy front, which may presage
The least sad chance, as at the marriage
Of Orpheus and Euridice, when thou
Wor'st stormes and tempests in thy angry brow.
Or when the father of the two Atrides,
Or their bold sonnes, contracted first their Brides.
Or when Minerva's Champion Diomed,
That wounded Venus in the hand, was sped;
For which the Goddesse curst him, and then sware
To leave his bed adulterate without heire.
Or when King Ceix with Alcione met,
When at the Nuptiall table thou wast set,
Thou wouldst not lend the feast one gentle smile,
But discontentedly sat'st all the while.
Nor as when first the Trojan sheepheard tooke
Oenone, and soone after her forsooke
O put not on that habit thou then wore,
When first faire Phedra to Duke Theseus swore!
But bring with thee that bright and cheerefull face,
As when Alcest, Admetus did imbrace.
Chaste Alcest, who to keepe him from the grave,
Offred her life, her husbands life to save.
Not Portia, whom the Romans so admire,
Who for the love of Brutus swallowed fire.
Not Romes great'st honor, and Collatiums pride
For chastity, that by her owne hand dy'd
Can equall this Alcest: but must give place,
In all perfection, beauty, fame, and face,
Appeare in those faire colours without stame,
As when Ulysses did the chaste love gaine
Of his Penelope, who twice ten yeares
Expects the absence of her Lord in teares;
Who neither threats, intreats, nor crowns can move
To attend the motives to untemperate love.
In him all vertues so united are,
Neither loves blandishments, nor stormes of warre,
No Circe, Syrtes, or Charibdis deepe,
Can from the bosome of his chaste wife keepe.
Oh decke thee in thy best and hollowedst robe
That ere was seene upon this earthly globe!
More proudly dight, then when the Gods did strive
To grace thy pompe, when Jove did Juno wive,
When the great thunderer gave thee a bright crowne
And Pallas with her needle wrought thy gowne:
When Neptune through his billowy concave sought
And for thee a rich Smarag'd found and bought,
When Phoebus on thy fore-head fixt his rayes,
And taught thee fro his harpe, sweet Nuptiall layes.
When Venus to their bounties added pleasure,
And Pluto from God Mammon, gave thee treasure.
When Mercury gave fluence to thy tongue,
To have th' Epithilamion sweetly sung:
When Juno to thy presence added state,
And Cinthia, though that night she sate up late,
To watch Endimion, by her beams so bright,
In th' Oceans bottome spide a stone give light,
A glorious shining Carbuncle, and that
She gave thee, and thou pindst it in thy hat:
When the God Mars gave thee, not least of all,
The richest armour in his Arcenall:
When Hebe fild thee Nectar for thy tast,
Which from the Christal Conduits run so fast.
Nor did lame Vulcan come behinde in cost,
An anticke robe with gold richly imbost
With Gold-smiths worke, and hammer'd from the wedge;
With curious art, deep fring'd about the edge
He did present thee, (pompous to behold)
Berontes and Pyragmon wrought in gold,
And left their plates of steele, to shew no dearth
Of love to thee: thou from our mother earth
Hadst a gift too, of all the fruits that grow
She fild her Cornucopia, and did bestow
By fertill Ceres hand, to please thy taste
A plenteous largesse; as in heaven thou wast
At those great bridals, with like pompe and state,
The Rites of these high Nuptials consecrate.
Whom all our populous united Nation
Attended long, with joyfull expectation,
Whom th' empire of great Brittaine wisht to see,
And th' Emperour to receive with Majesty.
Whom the Peeres ardently crave to behold,
And the glad Nobles in their armes t' infold,
Whom all the Nations in his way admir'd,
Whose presence the rich Court so long desir'd,
Whom London with applause wisht to embrace,
(The Chamber of the King, and best lov'd place)
Whom at his landing from the troublous maine,
The people stand on shore to entertaine,
And with glad shouts, and lowd applauses bring,
Even to the presence of the potent King.
Behold that Prince, the Empires prime Elector,
Of the religious Protestants protector,
The high and mighty Palsgrave of the Rhyne,
Duke of Bavaria, and Count Palatyne,
With Titles equall, laterally ally'd
To Mars his brood, the Soldiers chiefest pride,
That from the triple-headed Gerion have
Kept from a timelesse and abortive grave
Faire Belgia, and her seventeene daughters, all,
Doom'd to a sad and mournfull funerall;
Yet each of these in former times have beene
A beauteous Lady, and a flourishing Queene.
Now when their widowed eies are drownd in teares,
And by th' Hesperian Gyant fraught with feares,
They are freed from slaughter, and restor'd againe
To their first height by his triumphant straine,
A youth so lovely, that even beasts of Chace,
Staid by the way, to gaze him in the face.
The wildest birds, his beauty to espye
Sit round about him, and before him flye,
And with their chirping tunes beare him along,
As if to greet him with a Nuptiall song.
But when they saw he was imbark't, returne
As loth to leave him, and together mourne.
Chanting unto themselves unpleasant notes,
And full of discords from their pretty throtes.
Now lancht into the deepe, see by the way,
About his ship th' unweldy Porpoise play:
The Dolphin hath quite left the Southerne Seas,
And with a thousand colours seekes to please
The Princes eye, changing as oft his hue,
As he doth wish him joyes; Behold in view,
Where shoots the little Envious Remora,
Thinking his swift ship under saile to stay.
O stop her prosperous course. But when she saw
A face so full of beautie, mixt with awe,
Upon the hatches, sham'd what she had done,
Her head shee doth below the Channels runne,
No boysterous Whale above the waves appeares
The Seas to trouble whilest the Pilot steeres,
The huge Leviathan dwels in the deepes,
And wrapt in waters, with his femall sleepes,
As loath to move a tempest: Thus at last
He in a prosperous calme the Seas hath past;
Neptune meane time, in Amphitrites bowre,
Inuited to a banquet, for her dowre
By churlish old Octavius denide
That paid her not, since she was first his bride:
Shee knowing Neptune powerfull, as he's wise,
Intreats him this olde Jarre to compromise,
This difference held so long the God of Seas,
Who being made Umpire, sought both parts to please,
That whilest he in faire Thetis Pallace staid,
The Prince was past, without his marine aid,
This when he know, that one so yong, so faire,
Of whom the other Gods had tooke such care
In his safe wastage, and that he alone
Of all his choice gems, had afforded none,
Of which his wealthie channels as full stor'd,
Grieving so puissant and so great a Lord
Should passe his waterie Kingdomes, and not tast
Part of his bountie, up he starts in hast,
Mounts on his Sea-horse, and his Trydent takes,
Which all enrag'd, about his Crest he shakes.
And calling Triton from his concave shell
Bids him through all the deeps his furie tell;
That since no Marchant to the Indies traded
Whose wealthie ships, with drugs and spices laded,
Had made the verie Oceans backe to bend;
Since he had suffered them from end to end
To voyage his large Empire, as secure
As in the safest ouze, where they assure
Themselves at rest; since they for all the gold
Pangeans fraughts them: with great summes untold,
Pearles, Stones, Silks, Sweet-perfumes and Amber-greece,
With profits richer farre then Jasons fleece;
Since neither Marchant, nor yet Man of warre,
Poore Fisherman, or such as reckoned are
Sonnes of the Sea, or Bastards, Pyrats fell,
For all the wealth in which the Seas excell,
And they have thrived so richly, would make knowne
This newes to him, they now shall tast his frowne.
Streight the foure brothers from their brazen caves
Aeolus unlocks, who shake above the waves
Their flaggie plumes, and as they rise or fall
They hatch huge tempests: still doeth Neptune call
To make a turbulent Sea. Triton shrils lowd
T' Invoke the helpe of every stormie clowd
They all conspire in horrour, at new warre;
Meane time the foure seditious brothers jarre.
The South wind brings with him his spightful showers,
And gainst the cold and stormie Boreas powers
His spitting waters, in whose foule disgrace
His gusts returne them backe in Austers face,
Bleake Aquilo still with the West-wind crosse,
Mountaines of waves against his foe doth tosse;
And he as much at him: in this fierce brall
Poore ships are shaken, some are forc't to fall
So low, that they blacke Orcus may espie,
And suddenly are bandied up so high,
As if the Barke with tackles, masts, and shrouds,
Jove would like th' Argoe, snatch above the clouds.
No marvell, we so many wracks to heare,
Since Neptune hath of late beene so austeare;
So many ships being foundred, split and lost,
So many wrackt-men, cast on every Coast;
So many, that my passionate teares inforces,
Since all the Seas seem'd to be shor'd with coarses.
Long Neptunes furie lasted, made great spoile,
And wrackes at Sea, for still the billowes boile
With wrath and vengeance, till the Queene of love
Borne of the frothie waves, this suit gan move,
That since the high solemnitie drew neere
Of this faire Couple, to the Gods so deere,
As Heaven and Earth did in their joyes agree,
So at the last would his calm'd waves and he.
These words of hers great Neptune did appease;
So with his Trident straight he calm'd the Seas.
Now's the glad day, how can it other be
But a presage of all prosperitie!
The early howres that from her Rose at bed
Aurora call, the night have banished:
And envying shee so long hath sojournd here,
They chase the Hag from off this Hemisphere.
Who when she but espies the peepe of day;
Wrapt in her mistie darknesse, speeds away
To the Cymerians, were she meanes to dwell
And hide her horrid darksome front in Hell:
But ere her blacke and cloudie face she steeps,
The starres from off Heavens azured floare she sweeps,
And will not let them see the glorious Bride,
Whose presence was her hated lookes denide.
This day, Apollo in his orbe of fire
Ryseth before his hower, her face t' admire;
And in meere joy that he may gaze his fill,
He capers as he mounts th' Olympique hill:
The morning blusheth guiltie of the wrong
That she hath kept his steedes untrac't so long,
And such deepe sorrowes in her eyes appeares
That all the World she waters with her teares.
But when this universall joy she cals
To her remembrance, teares no more she fals,
But for the glistering Rayes of Phoebus seekes
With whose bright beames shee dries her blubbred cheekes,
The monstrous Signes by which the Sunne must passe
Guild with his glittering streakes their scalles of brasse.
Phoebus as oft, as he hath past the line
Hath never seene them in such glory shine:
And all to grace these Nuptials. Joves high Court
Is 'gainst this day new starr'd (as some report)
With stones and gems, and all the Gods attired
In there best pompe to make this day admired.
The Seasons have prefer'd the youthfull Spring
To be at this high states solemnizing:
Who lest he should be wanting at that day
Brings Februarie in, attyred like May,
And hath for hast to shew his glorious prime
Stept or'e two moneths, and come before his time:
And that's the cause, no strange preposterous thing,
That we this yeare have such a forward Spring.
The Summer now is busied with her seed
Which quickning in the Earth begins to breed;
And being sickish cannot well be spar'd.
Autumne in beggers rags attired, not dar'd
Intrude into so brave a pompous traine.
Old Winter clad in high furres, showers of raine
Appearing in his eyes, who still doth goe
In a rug gowne ashied with flakes of snow,
Shivering with cold, at whose long dangling beard
Hangs Isickles, with hoarie frosts made hard,
Dares not approach, nor in that Center move,
Where lives so sweet a Summer of warme love.
Therefore by Janus double face he's past
Retyring by December, speeding fast
Backward, with more then common aged speed,
Most willing that the fresh Spring should succeed
With chearefull lookes, and his greene dangling haire,
Winters most wastefull Ruines to repaire.
But oh leane Lent, why should thy pale lancke cheekes
Threaten a suddaine dearth for seven spare weekes
After this surplusage; but that the God,
That swayes the Ocean with his three-tin'd rod,
Would feast these Nuptials with his various cheere,
And nothing thinke, that the Sea holds, too deere?
Because that as the Heavens gave free assent,
With th' Earth to fill these Bridals with content,
Even so the Seas their bounties would afford
With seasonable Cates to Crowne their bord.
Bacchus hath cut his most delicious Vine,
And sent it through his swiftest River Rhine,
Least to these Bridals it might come too late,
Which Brittaine with such joy doth celebrate.
What Plannet, Starre, Fate, Influence, or Spheere,
But in their operative powers hold deere
These faire Espousals? Is there vertue, grace,
Or any goodnesse, but doth claime chiefe place
In these great triumphs? Can the Heavens afford
Blessings that doe not Crowne this bridall bord?
Can man devise, or of the Gods importune
A choice selected good, or speciall fortune,
Which heer's not frequent? 'mongst the Saints divine,
Be ever henceforth crown'd Saint Valentine.
Of all thy hallowings, let not this be least,
That thy Saints day is honour'd with this feast.
Thou hast the favour to lead in the Spring,
And to thy feastive Eve, the birds first sing,
With joy that Winter doth the Earth forsake:
Upon this day, they each one chuse his make.
Couple in paires, and first begin t' inquire
Where they may pearch, to quench the raging fire
Of their hot loves, where they may safely build
And from the bitter stormes their yong ones shield,
Untill there naked bodies be ful plum'd,
And that with their fledgd wings they have assumed
Courage and strength, that when the season's faire
They with their careful Dams may prove the Ayre.
Learne everie of you a new Nuptiall Lay
To Solemnize the triumphs of this day:
Your mourneful straines to sadder fates assigne.
Now with glad notes salute Saint Valentine.
For in this sacred, and melodious quire,
The Angels will beare part, tis their desire
To have this combination shrild so hie
That Heaven may Eccho with the melodie.
And now me thinks, I from a Cherubs tongue
Heare this applausive Hymne most sweetly sung.