1614
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Shepheards Pipe. The Seventh Eglogue.

The Shepheards Pipe. Other Eglogues: by Mr. Brooke, Mr. Wither and Mr. Davies. An other Eclogue by Mr. George Wither. Dedicated to his truely loving and worthy Friend, Mr. W. Browne.

William Browne of Tavistock


The "week" of William Browne of Tavistock's sequence of seven Inns-of-Court pastorals concludes as it began, with a satire on women.

Herbert E. Cory: "The last eclogue treats of Palinode's attempts to wean Hobbinoll from his love for a wanton girl. Like Drayton, Browne, used the homely touches with more felicity than Spenser. He talked with the good wives and conned their lore about Queen Mab. He lingered by the May-poles and watched real maidens and their brown lovers at delightful play. From Browne and Drayton, Robert Herrick certainly learned a lesson or two" "Spenserian Pastoral" PMLA 25 (1910) 258-59.

Paul J. Klemp: "During the Stuart reign, Spenserian pastoral was generally scorned, though some writers based their entire careers on it. William Browne's Shepheards Pipe (1614) borrowed some of the Calender's verse forms; his Britannia's Pastorals (1613-16) used Spenserian episodes, characters, and language, as did Phineas Fletcher's Piscatorie Eclogs (1633) and Sylva poetica (1633)" Spenser Encyclopedia (1990) 395.



THE ARGUMENT.
PALINODE intreates his friend
To leave a wanton Lasse;
Yet hee pursues her to his end
And lets all Counsell passe.

PALINODE. HOBBINOLL.

Whither wends Hobbinoll so early day?
What, be thy Lamkins broken from the fold,
And on the plaines all night have run astray?
Or are thy sheepe and sheep-walkes both ysold?
What mister-chance hath brought thee to the field
Without thy sheepe? thou wert not wont to yeeld
To idle sport,
But didst resort
As early to thy charge from drowzy bed
As any shepheard that his flocke hath fed
Upon these downes.

HOBBINOLL.
Such heavy frownes
Fortune for others keepes; but bends on me
Smiles would befit the seat of majestie.
Hath Palinode
Made his abode
Upon our plaines, or in some uncouth Cell?
That heares not what to Hobbinoll befell;
Phillis the faire, and fairer is there none,
To-morrow must be linkt in marriage bands,
Tis I that must undo her virgin Zone.
Behold the man, behold the happy hands.

PALINODE.
Behold the man? Nay then the woman too,
Though both of them are very smal beholding
To any powre that set them on to wooe;
Ah Hobbinoll! it is not worth unfolding
What shepheards say of her; thou canst not chuse
But heare what language all of Phyllis use;
Yet, then such tongues,
To her belongs
More men to sate her lust; Unhappy elfe!
That wilt be bound to her to loose thy selfe.
Forsake her first.

HOBBINOLL.
Thou most accurst!
Durst thou to slander thus the innocent,
The graces patterne, Vertues president?
She, in whose eye
Shines modesty,
Upon whose brow lust never lookes with hope,
Venus rul'd not in Phillis Horoscope;
Tis not the vapour of a Hemblocke stem
Can spoile the perfume of sweet Cynnnamon;
Nor vile aspersions, or by thee or them
Cast on her name, can stay my going on.

PALINODE.
On maist thou goe, but not with such a one,
Whom (I dare sweare) thou knowst is not a maid:
Remember when I met her last alone,
As wee to yonder Grove for filberds straid,
Like to a new-strook Doe from out the bushes
Lacing herselfe, and red with gamesome blushes
Made towards the greene,
Loath to be seene:
And after in the grove the goatheard met:
What saidst thou then? If this prevaile not, yet
I'le tell thee moe.
Not long agoe
Too long I lov'd her, and as thou dost now,
Would sweare Diana was lesse chaste then she,
That Jupiter would court her, knew he how
To finde a shape might tempt such chastity:
And that her thoughts were pure as new-falne snow,
Or silver swans that trace the bankes of Poe,
And free within
From spot of sin:
Yet like the flinte her lust-swolne breast conceal'd
A hidden fire; and thus it was reveal'd:
Cladon, the lad
Who whilome had
The Garland given for throwing best the barre,
I know not by what chance or lucky star,
Was chosen late
To bee the mate
Unto our Lady of the gleesome May,
And was the first that danc'd each holyday.
None would hee take but Phillis forth to dance,
Nor any could with Phillis dance but hee,
On Palinode shee thenceforth not a glance
Bestowes, but hates him and his poverty,
Cladon had sheepe and lims for stronger load
Then ere shee saw in simple Palinode;
Hee was the man
Must clip her than,
For him shee wreathes of flowers, and chaplets made,
To strawberries invites him in the shade
In sheering time
And in the prime
Would helpe to clip his sheepe, and gard his lambs,
And at a need lend him her choicest rams;
And on each stocke
Worke such a clocke
With twisted couloured thred, as not a Swaine
On all these downes could show the like againe.
But as it seemes, the Well grew dry at last,
Her fire unquench'd; and shee hath Cladon left.
Nor was I sorry; nor do wish to taste
The flesh whereto so many flyes have cleft.
Oh Hobbinoll! Canst thou imagine shee
That hath so oft beene tryde, so oft misdone,
Can from all other men bee true to thee?
Thou knowst with mee, with Cladon, shee hath gone
Beyond the limits that a maiden may,
And can the name of wife those rovings stay?
Shee hath not ought
That's hid, unsought,
These eyes, these hands, so much know of that woman
As more thou canst not; can that please that's common?
No: should I wed,
My marriage bed
And all that it containes, should as my heart
Be knowne but to my selfe; if we impart
What golden rings
The Fairie brings,
Wee loose the Jem nor will they give us more.
Wives loose their value, if once knowne before
Behold this Violet that cropped lyes,
I know not by what hand, first from the stem,
With what I plucke my selfe shall I it prise?
I scorne the offals of a Diadem.
A Virgins bed hath millions of delights
If then good parents please shee know no more:
Nor hath her servants nor her favorites
That waite her husbands issuing at dore:
Shee that is free both from the act and eye
Onely deserves the due of Chastitie.
But Phillis is
As farre from this,
As are the poles in distance from each other
Shee well beseemes the daughter of her mother.
Is there a brake
By Hill or Lake
In all our plaines that hath not guilty beene
In keeping close her stealths; the Paphian Queene
Ne'er used her skill
To win her will
Of young Adonis, with more heart then shee
Hath her allurements spent to work on me.
Leave, leave her, Hobbinol; shee is so ill
That any one is good that's nought of her,
Though she be faire, the ground which oft we till
Growes with his burden old and barrener.

HOBBINOLL.
With much ado, and with no little paine
Have I out-heard thy railing 'gainst my love:
But it is common, what wee cannot gaine
Wee oft disvalew; sooner shalt thou move
Yond lofty Mountain from the place it stands,
Or count the Medowes flowers, or Isis sands,
Then stirre one thought
In mee, that ought
Can be in Phillis which Diana faire
And all the Goddesses would not wish their.
Fond man then cease
To crosse that peace
Which Phillis vertue and this heart of mine
Have well begun; and for those words of thine
I do forgive,
If thou wilt live
Hereafter free from such reproaches moe,
Since goodnesse never was without her foe.

PALINODE.
Beleeve mee Hobbinoll what I have said
Was more in love to thee then hate to her:
Thinke on thy liberty; let that bee weigh'd;
Great good may oft betide if wee deferre
And use some short delayes ere marriage rites
Wedlocke hath daies of toile as joysome nights.
Canst thou bee free
From jealousy?
Oh no: that plague will so infect thy braine
That onely death must worke thy peace againe.
Thou canst not dwell
One minute well
From whence thou leav'st her; locke on her thy gate
Yet will her minde be still adulterate.
Not Argos eyes
Nor ten such spies
Can make her onely thine; for shee will do
With those, that, shall make thee mistrust them too.

HOBBINOLL.
Wilt thou not leave to taint a virgines name?

PALINODE.
A virgin? yes: as sure as is her mother.
Dost thou not hear her good report by fame?

HOBBINOLL.
Fame is a lyer and was never other.

PALINODE.
Nay, if shee ever spoke true; now shee did:
And thou wilt once confesse what I foretold:
The fire will bee disclos'd that now lies hid,
Nor will thy thought of her thus long time hold.
Yet may shee (if that possible can fall)
Bee true to thee that hath beene false to all.

HOBBINOLL.
So pierce the rockes
A Red-breasts knockes
As the beleefe of ought thou tell'st mee now.
Yet bee my guest to morrow.

PALINODE.
Speed your plough.
I feare ere long
You'le sing a song
Like that was sung heereby not long ago.
Where there is carrion never wants a crow.

HOBBINOLL.
Ill tutor'd Swaine,
If one the plaine
Thy sheep hence-forward come where mine do feed,
They shall bee sure to smart for thy misdeed.

PALINODE.
Such are the thankes a friends fore-warning brings.
Now by the love I ever bore thee, stay!
Meete not mishaps! themselves have speedy wings.

HOBBINOLL.
It is in vaine. Farewell. I must away.

[sigs E7v-F3]