Britannia's Pastorals II: The First Song.

Britannia's Pastorals. The Second Booke.

William Browne of Tavistock

In 1616 Browne of Tavistock published a revision of Book I with a second, consisting of five additional Songs (a fragmentary manuscript of Book III was edited by T. C. Croker and published in 1852). In the first Song Browne introduces Thetis as a chief character, with a gesture towards Spenser, "The Muses chiefest glory." The Song concludes with an elegy to Spenser that alludes to an plan to erect a "Piramis" to his memory. But Avarice intervenes: "Who closely lurking like a subtile Snake | Under the covert of a thorny brake, | Seiz'd on the Factor by faire Thetis sent, | And rob'd our Colin of his Monument."

Michelle O'Callaghan: "The satire on the causes of Famine in the first Song of Book II is succeeded by an abortive epic cultural translatio in which it is Spenser himself who inspires the elegiac vision. An Elizabethan Thetis makes the conventional journey from classical Greece and Rome to Renaissance Italy and France, finally landing at the 'coast of Britany' to hear Colin Clout perform his epic poem, but he dies before it is completed. Thetis-Elizabeth orders a monument, but Avarice intervenes and 'rob'd our Colin of his Monument' (27). Avarice is a version of the Blatant Beast.... The failure to memorialize Spenser is equated with the failure of an imperial translatio. Satire now takes the place of epic" Shepheardes Nation (2000) 113.

London Magazine: "He who has read the justly-admired Lycidas of Milton, will be struck with a similarity of sentiment which occurs once or twice in two poems; but however the critics may determine with respect to Lycidas, and this little ode [the opening stanzas of the First Song of the Second Book of Britannia's Pastorals], there is, amongst the Eclogues of W. Browne, an admirable Monody, in which he bewails the death of his friend Mr. Thomas Manwood. Milton certainly formed the plan of Lycidas upon Browne's Philarete" 40 (October 1771) 515.

Thomas Dermody: "The design of these Pastorals is perfectly original. They profess no imitation of any ancient or foreign writer: and are meant solely as a compliment to our own country; which is placed in happy competition with that famous haunt of demi-gods, Arcadia itself. The style is harmonious and flowing, diversified with a pleasing assemblage of new and captivating imagery; and even the measure is sometimes changed not for the worse, as it administers a kind of metrical relaxation that relieves the fancy by variety without violence" in Raymond, Life of Dermody (1806) 2:295-96.

E. K. Chambers: "This ["Glide soft, ye silver floods" in First Song] is an elegy on William Ferrar, the Alexis of Wither's Shepherd's Hunting, who died at sea" English Pastorals (1906) 166.

George Saintsbury: "William Browne, not one of the strongest of poets, but also not one of the least engaging, has more appeals than one; and it so happens that most, if not all, of these concern prosody. That he, when all of Middle English poetry save Chaucer was passing into utter neglect, save by a few students, for all but two centuries, read and revived Occleve is something; that, after these two centuries, he himself was read, and, what is more, followed by Keats, is something more. It would have been lucky is the following had been only prosodic; for few people can be sorry for Keats's return to enjambment, extravagant as it may be. But there might, with considerable advantage, have been less in Endymion of the overrunning of fable as well as of verse, which is characteristic of Britannia's Pastorals" History of English Prosody (1906-10) 2:117-18.

A. A. Jack: "Spenser is long, Browne tedious. Spenser is discursive; Browne does not even finish his episodic episodes. We may say, in fact, that he went to school with Spenser without learning anything of his art. Without the sense of general narrative, he has produced a poem which, though very pretty in places, is only pretty in parts.... The first book of Browne's pastorals is amorphous, but the second has undoubted claims, and came home both in its virtues and its failings to the poet of 'Endymion'" Chaucer and Spenser (1920) 315, 316.

Joan Grundy: "In Book II Drayton's influence is all pervasive. So far Browne may have brought the pastoral to Britain: Drayton shows him how to introduce Britain into the pastoral" The Spenserian Poets (1969) 148.

F. W. Moorman: "Marina is carried out to sea, and finally the boat is landed in one of the bays of Mona, — the Isle of Anglesey. Here under a bush the ravisher leaves Marina still asleep. But her misfortunes are not yet over. A girl of strange ugliness appears on the scene, and Marina attempts to help her out of her troubles. But the allegorical monster Limos intervenes, and carries Marina off to his loathsome cave. This story bears some resemblance to an episode related by Spenser in the Faerie Queene Book IV Canto VII. Amoret straying through the wood is seized by "a wilde and salvage man" of the most loathsome form, and violently dragged off to his cave where he imprisons her" William Browne (1897) 27.

David Norbrook: "Browne's originality in Britannia's Pastorals lies in the connections he makes between the symbolic figure of the shepherd as Protestant prophet and the celebration of the English countryside. Throughout the poem the country is associated with moral purity, the court with corruption" Poetry and Politics (1984) 208.

The praise of Spenser is reprinted among the "Commendatory Verses" to Todd's Works of Spenser (1805).

Marina's freedome now I sing,
And of her new endangering:
Of Famines Cave, and then th' abuse
Tow'rds buryed Colyn and his Muse.

As when a Mariner (accounted lost,)
Upon the watry Desert long time tost,
In Summers parching heate, in Winters cold,
In tempests great, in dangers manifold:
Is by a fav'ring winde drawne up the Mast,
Whence he descryes his native soile at last:
For whose glad sight he gets the hatches under,
And to the Ocean tels his joy in thunder,
(Shaking those Barnacles into the Sea,
At once, that in the wombe and cradle lay)
When sodainely the still inconstant winde
Masters before, that did attend behinde;
And growes so violent, that hee is faine
Command the Pilot stand to Sea againe;
Lest want of Sea-roome in a Channell streight,
Or casting Anchor might cast o're his freight:

Thus gentle Muse it happens in my Song,
A journey, tedious, for a strength so young
I under-tooke: by silver-seeming Floods,
Past gloomy Bottomes, and high-waving Woods,
Climb'd Mountaines where the wanton Kidling dallyes,
Then with soft steps enseal'd the meekned Vallies,
In quest of memory: and had possest
A pleasant Garden, for a welcome rest
No sooner; then a hundred Theames come on
And hale my Barke a-new for Helicon.

Thrice sacred Powers! (if sacred Powers there be
Whose mylde aspect engyrland Poesie)
Yee happy Sisters of the learned Spring,
Whose heavenly notes the Woods are ravishing!
Brave Thespian Maidens, at whose charming layes
Each Mosse-thrumb'd Mountaine bends, each Current playes!
Pierian Singers! O yee blessed Muses!
Who as a Jem too deare the world refuses!
Whose truest lovers never clip with age,
O be propitious in my Pilgrimage!
Dwell on my lines! and till the last sand fall,
Run hand in hand with my weake Pastorall!
Cause every coupling cadence flow in blisses,
And fill the world with envy of such kisses.
Make all the rarest Beauties of our Clyme,
That deigne a sweet looke on my younger ryme,
To linger on each lines inticing graces,
As on their Lovers lips and chaste imbraces!

Through rouling trenches of self-drowning waves,
Where stormy gusts throw up untimely graves,
By billowes whose white fome shew'd angry mindes,
For not out-roaring all the high-rais'd wyndes,
Into the ever-drinking thirsty Sea
By Rockes that under water hidden lay,
To shipwracke passengers, (So in some den
Theeves bent to robbry watch way-faring men.)
Fairest Marina, whom I whilome sung,
In all this tempest (violent though long)
Without all sense of danger lay asleepe:
Till tossed where the still inconstant deepe
With wide spred armes, stood ready for the tender
Of daily tribute, that the swolne floods render
Into her Chequer: (whence as worthy Kings
Shee helpes the wants of thousands lesser Springs:)
Here waxt the windes dumbe (shut up in their caves)
As still as mid-night were the sullen waves,
And Neptunes silver-ever-shaking brest
As smooth as when the Halcyon builds her nest.
None other wrinckles on his face were seene
Then on a fertile Meade, or sportive Greene,
Where never Plow-share ript his mothers wombe
To give an aged seed a living tombe,
Nor blinded Mole the batning earth e're stird,
Nor Boyes made Pit-fals for the hungry Bird.
The whistling Reedes upon the waters side
Shot up their sharpe heads in a stately pride,
And not a binding Ozyer bow'd his head,
But on his root him bravely carryed.
No dandling leafe plaid with the subtill aire,
So smooth the Sea was, and the Skye so faire.

Now with his hands in stead of broad-palm'd Oares,
The Swaine attempts to get the shell-strewd shores,
And with continuall lading making way,
Thrust the small Boat into as faire a Bay
As ever Merchant wisht might be the rode
Wherein to ease his sea-torne Vessels lode.
It was an Iland (hugg'd in Neptunes armes,
As tendring it against all forraigne harmes,)
And Mona height: so amiably faire,
So rich in soyle, so healthfull in her aire,
So quicke in her encrease, (each dewy night
Yeelding that ground as greene, as fresh of plight
As 't was the day before, whereon then fed
Of gallant Steeres, full many a thousand head.)
So deckt with Floods, so pleasant in her Groves,
So full of well-fleec'd Flockes and fatned Droves;
That the brave issue of the Trojan line,
(Whose worths, like Diamonds, yet in darknesse shine,)
Whose deeds were sung by learned Bards as hye,
In raptures of immortall Poesie,
As any Nations, since the Grecian Lads
Were famous made by Homers Iliads.)
Those brave heroicke spirits, twixt one another
Proverbially call Mona Cambria's Mother.
Yet Cambria is a land from whence have come
Worthies well worth the race of Ilium.
Whose true desert of praise could my Muse touch,
I should be proud that I had done so much.
And though of mighty Brute I cannot boast,
Yet doth our warlike strong Devonian coast
Resound his worth, since on her wave-worne strand
He and his Trojans first set foot on land,
Strooke Saile, and Anchor cast on Totnes shore.
Though now no Ship can ride there any more.

In th' Ilands Rode the Swaine now moares his Boate
Unto a Willow (lest it outwards floate)
And with a rude embracement taking up
The Maid (more faire then Shee that fill'd the cup
Of the great Thunderer, wounding with her eyes
More harts then all the troopes of Deities).
Hee wades to shore, and sets her on the sand,
That gently yeelded when her foot should land.
Where bubling waters through the pibbles fleet,
As if they strove to kisse her slender feet.

Whilst like a wretch, whose cursed hand hath tane
The sacred reliques from a holy Phane,
Feeling the hand of heaven (inforcing wonder)
In his returne, in dreadfull cracks of thunder,
Within a bush his Sacriledge hath left,
And thinkes his punishment freed with the theft:
So fled the Swaine, from one; had Neptune spide
At halfe an ebbe; he would have forc'd the Tyde
To swell anew; whereon his Carre should sweepe,
Deckt with the riches of th' unsounded deepe,
And he from thence, would with all state, on shore,
To wooe this beautie, and to wooe no more.

Divine Electra (of the Sisters seven
That beautifie the glorious Orbe of heaven)
When Iliums stately towres, serv'd as one light
To guide the Ravisher in ugly night
Unto her virgin beds, with-drew her face,
And never would looke downe on humane race
Til this Maids birth; since when some power hath won her
By often fits to shine, as gazing on her.
Grim Saturnes son, the dread Olimpicke Jove
That dark't three dayes to frolicke with his Love,
Had he in Alcmen's stead clipt this faire wight,
The world had slept in everlasting night.
For whose sake onely (had she lived then)
Deucalions flood had never rag'd on men:
Nor Phaeton perform'd his fathers duty,
For feare to rob the world of such a beauty:
In whose due praise, a learned quill might spend
Houres, dayes, months, yeeres, and never make an end.

What wretch inhumane? or what wilder blood
(Suckt in a desert from a Tigers brood)
Could leave her so disconsolate? but one
Bred in the wasts of frost-bit Calydon;
For had his veynes beene heat with milder ayre,
He had not wrong'd so foule, a Maide so faire.

Sing on sweet Muse, and whilst I feed mine eyes
Upon a Jewell and unvalued prize,
As bright a Starre, a Dame, as faire, as chaste,
As eye beheld, or shall, till Natures last:
Charme her quicke senses! and with raptures sweet
Make her affection with your cadence meet!
And if her gracefull tongue admire one straine,
It is the best reward my Pipe would gaine.
In lieu whereof, in Laurell-worthy rimes
Her Love shall live untill the end of times,
And spight of age, the last of dayes shall see
Her Name embalm'd in sacred Poesie.

Sadly alone upon the aged rocks,
Whom Thetis grac'd in washing oft their locks
Of branching Sampire, sate the Maid o'retaken
With sighes and teares, unfortunate, forsaken,
And with a voyce that floods from rocks would borrow,
She thus both wept and sung her noates of sorrow.

If Heaven be deafe and will not heare my cryes,
But addes new dayes to adde new miseries;
Heare then ye troubled Waves and flitting Gales,
That coole the bosomes of the fruitfull Vales!
Lend, one, a flood of teares, the other, winde,
To weepe and sigh that Heaven is so unkinde!
But if yee will not spare, of all your store
One teare, or sigh, unto a wretch so poore;
Yet as yee travell on this spacious Round,
Through Forrests, Mountaines, or the Lawny ground,
If 't happ' you see a Maide weepe forth her woe,
As I have done; Oh bid her as ye goe
Not lavish teares! for when her owne are gone,
The world is flinty and will lend her none.
If this be eke denyde; O hearken then
Each hollow vaulted Rocke, and crooked Den!
And if within your sides one Eccho be
Let her begin to rue my destinie!
And in your clefts her plainings doe not smother,
But let that Eccho teach it to another!
Till round the world in sounding coombe and plaine,
The last of them tell it the first againe:
Of my sad Fate, so shall they never lin,
But where one ends, another still begin.
Wretch that I am, my words I vainely waste,
Eccho, of all woes onely speakes the last;
And that's enough: for should she utter all,
As at Medusa's head, each heart would fall
Into a flinty substance, and repine
At no one griefe, except as great as mine.
No carefull Nurse would wet her watchfull eye,
When any pang should gripe her infantry,
Nor though to Nature it obedience gave,
And kneeld, to doe her Homage, in the grave,
Would shee lament, her suckling from her torne:
Scaping by death those torments I have borne.

This sigh'd, shee wept (low leaning on her hand)
Her briny teares downe rayning on the sand,
Which seene by (them, that sport it in the Seas
On Dolphins backes) the faire Nereides,
They came on shore, and slily as they fell
Convai'd each teare into an Oyster-shell,
And by some power that did affect the Girles,
Transform'd those liquid drops to oryent Pearles,
And strew'd them on the shore: for whose rich prize
In winged Pines, the Roman Colonies
Flung through the deepe Abysse to our white rockes
For Jems to decke their Ladyes golden lockes:
Who valew'd them as highly in their kindes
As those the Sun-burnt Aethiopian findes.

Long on the shore, distrest Marina lay:
For he that opes the pleasant sweets of May
Beyond the Noon-stead so farre drove his teame,
That Harvest-folkes (with curds and clouted creame,
With cheese and butter, cakes, and cates ynow,
That are the Yeomans from the yoake or Cowe)
On sheafes of corne were at their noonshuns close,
Whilst them merrily the Bag-pipe goes:
Ere from her hand she lifted up her head,
Where all the Graces then inhabited.
When casting round her over-drowned eyes,
(So have I seene a Jem of mickle price
Roule in a Scallop-shell with water fild)
She, on a marble rocke at hand behild
In Characters deepe cut with Iron stroke,
A Shepherds moane, which read by her, thus spoke:

Glide soft ye silver Floods,
And every Spring:
Within the shady Woods,
Let no Bird sing!
Nor from the Grove a Turtle Dove,
Be seene to couple with her love,
But silence on each Dale and Mountaine dwell
Whilst WILLY bids his friend and joy Farewell.

But (of great Thetis trayne)
Yee Mermaids faire,
That on the shores doe plaine
Your Sea-greene haire,
As yee in tramels knit your locks
Weepe yee; and so inforce the rocks
In heavy murmures through the broade shores tell,
How WILLY bade his friend and joy Farewell.

Cease, cease, yee murdring winds
To move a wave;
But if with troubled minds
You seeke his grave;
Know 'tis as various as your selves,
Now in the deepe, then on the shelves,
His coffin toss'd by fish and surges fell,
Whilst WILLY weepes and bids all joy Farewell.

Had he Arion like
Beene judg'd to drowne,
Hee on his Lute could strike
So rare a sown';
A thousand Dolphins would have come
And joyntly strive to bring him home.
But he on Ship-boord dyde, by sicknesse fell,
Since when his WILLY bade all joy Farewell.

Great Neptune heare a Swaine!
His Coffin take,
And with a golden chaine
(For pittie) make
It fast unto a rocke neere land!
Where eu'ry calmy morne Ile stand
And ere one sheepe out of my fold I tell,
Sad WILLY'S Pipe shall bid his friend Farewell.

Ah heavy Shepherd (who so ere thou be)
Quoth faire Marina, I doe pitty thee:
For who by death is in a true friend crost,
Till he be earth, he halfe himselfe hath lost.
More happy deeme I thee, lamented Swaine,
Whose body lies among the scaly traine,
Since I shall never thinke, that thou canst dye,
Whilst WILLY lives, or any Poetry:
For well it seemes in versing he hath skill,
And though he (ayded from the sacred Hill)
To thee with him no equall life can give,
Yet by this Pen thou maist for ever live.
With this a beame of sudden brightnesse flyes
Upon her face, so dazeling her cleare eyes,
That neyther flowre nor grasse which by her grew
She could discerne cloath'd in their perfect hue.
For as a Wag (to sport with such as passe)
Taking the Sun-beames in a Looking-glasse,
Convayes the Ray into the eyes of one,
Who (blinded) either stumbles at a stone,
Or as he dazeled walkes the peopled streets,
Is ready justling every man he meets:
So then Apollo did in glory cast
His bright beames on a rocke with gold enchast,
And thence the swift reflection of their light
Blinded those eyes: The chiefest Starres of night.
When streight a thick-swolne Cloud (as if it sought
In beauties minde to have a thankfull thought)
Invail'd the lustre of great Titans Carre,
And shee beheld, from whence she sate not farre,
Cut on a high-brow'd Rocke (inlaid with gold)
This Epitaph, and read it, thus enrold.

In depth of waves long hath ALEXIS slept,
So choicest Jewels are the closest kept;
Whose death the land had seene, but it appeares
To countervaile his losse, men wanted teares.
So here he lyes, whose Dirge each Mermaid sings,
For whom the Clouds weepe raine, the Earth her springs.

Her eyes these lines acquainted with her minde
Had scarcely made; when o're the hill behinde
Shee heard a woman cry; Ah well-a-day,
What shall I doe? goe home, or flye, or stay.
Admir'd Marina rose, and with a pace
As gracefull as the Goddesses did trace
O're stately Ida, (when fond Paris doome
Kindled the fire, should mighty Troy entombe.)
She went to aide the woman in distresse,
(True beauty never was found mercilesse)
Yet durst she not goe nye, lest (being spide)
Some villaines outrage, that might then betyde
(For ought shee knew) unto the crying Maide,
Might graspe with her: by thickets which aray'd
The high Sea-bounding hill, so neare she went,
She saw what wight made such lowd dreriment.
Lowd? yes: sung right: for since the Azure skie
Imprison'd first the world, a mortals cry
With greater clangor never pierc'd the ayre.

A wight she was so farre from being faire;
None could be foule esteem'd, compar'd with her.

Describing Foulnesse, pardon if I erre,
Yee Shepherds Daughters, and yee gentle Swaines!
My Muse would gladly chaunt more lovely straines:
Yet since on miry grounds she trode, for doubt
Of sinking, all in haste, thus wades shee out.

As when great Neptune in his height of pride
The inland creekes fils with a high Spring-tyde,
Great sholes of fish, among the Oysters hye,
Which by a quicke ebbe, on the shores, left dry,
The fishes yawne, the Oysters gapen wide:
So broad her mouth was: As she stood and cride,
Shee tore her elvish knots of haire, as blacke
And full of dust as any Collyers sacke.
Her eyes unlike, were like her body right,
Squint and misse-shapen, one dun, t' other white.

As in a picture limb'd unto the life,
Or carved by a curious workmans knife,
If twenty men at once should come to see
The great effects of untirde industry,
Each sev'rally would thinke the pictures eye
Was fixt on him, and on no stander by:
So as shee (bawling) was upon the banke,
If twice five hundred men stood on a ranke,
Her ill face towards them; every one would say,
She lookes on me; when she another way
Had cast her eyes, as on some rocke or tree,
And on no one of all that company.
Her Nose (O crooked nose) her mouth o're-hung,
And it would be directed by her tongue:
Her Fore-head such, as one might neere auow
Some Plow-man, there, had lately beene at plow.
Her Face so scorcht was, and so vilde it showes,
As on a Peare-tree she had scar'd the Crowes.
Within a Tanners fat I oft have eyde
(That three moones there had laine) a large Oxe-hyde
In liquor mixt with strongest barke, (for gaine)
Yet had not tane one halfe so deepe a staine
As had her skin: and that, as hard well-nye
As any Brawnes, long hardned in the stye.
Her Shoulders such, as I have often seene
A silly Cottage on a Village greene
Might change his corner posts, in good behoofe,
For foure such under-proppers to his roofe.
Huswives, goe, hire her; if you yearely gave
A Lamkin more then use, you that might save
In washing Beetles, for her hands would passe
To serve that purpose, though you daily wash.
For other hidden parts, thus much I say;
As Ballad-mongers on a Market-day
Taking their stand, one (with as harsh a noyce
As ever Cart-wheele made) squeakes the sad choice
Of Tom the Miller with a golden thumbe,
Who crost in love, ran mad, and deafe, and dumbe,
Halfe part he chants, and will not sing it out,
But thus bespeakes to his attentive rout:
Thus much for love I warbled from my brest,
And gentle friends, for money take the rest:
So speake I to the over-longing eare,
That would the rest of her description heare,
Much have I sung for love, the rest (not common)
Martial will shew for coyne, in's crabbed woman.

If e're you saw a Pedant gin prepare
To speake some gracefull speech to Master Major,
And being bashfull, with a quaking doubt
That in his eloquence he may be out;
He oft steps forth, as oft turnes backe againe;
And long 'tis e're he ope his learned veyne:
Thinke so Marina stood: for now she thought
To venture forth, then some conjecture wrought
Her to be jealous, lest this ugly wight
(Since like a Witch shee lookt) through spels of night,
Might make her body thrall (that yet was free)
To all the foule intents of Witchery:
This drew her backe againe. At last she broke
Through all fond doubts, went to her, and bespoke
In gentle manner thus: Good day, good Maide;
With that her cry she on a sodaine staid,
And rub'd her squint eyes with her mighty fist.
But as a Miller having ground his grist,
Lets downe his flood-gates with a speedy fall,
And quarring up the passage therewithall,
The waters swell in spleene, and never stay
Till by some cleft they finde another way:
So when her teares were stopt from either eye
Her singults, blubbrings, seem'd to make them flye
Out at her Oyster-mouth and Nose-thrils wide.
Can there (quoth faire Marina) e're betide
(In these sweet Groves) a wench, so great a wrong,
That should inforce a cry so loud, so long?
On these delightfull Plaines how can there be
So much as heard the name of villany?
Except when Shepherds in their gladsome fit
Sing Hymnes to Pan that they are free from it.

But shew me, what hath caus'd thy grievous yell?
As late (quoth shee) I went to yonder Well,
(You cannot see it here; that Grove doth cover
With his thicke boughes his little channell over.)
To fetch some water (as I use) to dresse
My Masters supper (you may thinke of flesh;
But well I wot he tasteth no such dish)
Of Rotchets, Whitings, or such common fish,
That with his net he drags into his Boate:
Among the Flags below, there stands his Coate
(A simple one) thatch'd o're with Reede and Broome;
It hath a Kitchen, and a severall roome
For each of us. But this is nought: you flee,
Replyde Marine, I prithee answer me
To what I question'd. Doe but heare me first,
Answer'd the Hag. Hee is a man so curst,
Although I toyle at home, and serve his Swine,
Yet scarce allowes he me whereon to dine:
In Summer time on Black-berries I live,
On Crabs and Hawes, and what wilde Forrests give:
In Winters cold, bare-foot, I run to seeke
For Oysters, and small Winkles in each creeke,
Whereon I feed, and on the Meager Slone.
But if he home returne and finde me gone,
I still am sure to feele his heavy hand.
Alas and weale away, since now I stand
In such a plight: for if I seeke his dore
Hee'l beat me ten times worse then e're before.
What hast thou done? (yet askt Marina) say?
I with my pitcher lately tooke my way
(As late I said) to thilke same shaded Spring,
Fill'd it, and homewards, rais'd my voyce to sing;
But in my backe returne, I (haplesse) spyde
A tree of Cherries wilde, and them I eyde
With such a longing, that unwares my foot
Got underneath a hollow-growing root,
Carrying my pot as Maides use on their heads,
I fell with it, and broke it all to shreads.
This is my griefe, this is my cause of mone.
And if some kinde wight goe not to attone
My surly Master with me wretched Maid,
I shall be beaten dead. Be not afraid,
Said sweet Marina, hasten thee before;
Ile come to make thy peace: for since I sore
Doe hunger, and at home thou hast small cheere,
(Need and supply grow farre off, seldome neere.)
To yonder Grove Ile goe, to taste the spring,
And see what it affords for nourishing.
Thus parted they. And sad Marina blest
The houre shee met the Maid, who did invest
Her in assured hope, she once should see
Her Flocke againe (and drive them merrily
To their flowre-decked layre, and tread the shores
Of pleasant Albion,) through the well poys'd Oares
Of the poore Fisher-man that dwelt thereby.

But as a man who in a Lottery
Hath ventur'd of his coyne, ere he have ought,
Thinkes this or that shall with his Prize be bought,
And so enricht, march with the better rancke,
When sodainly hee's call'd, and all is Blancke:
To chaste Marina, so doth Fortune prove,
Statesmen and she are never firme in love.

No sooner had Marina got the wood,
But as the trees shee neerly search'd for food,
A Villaine, leane, as any rake appeares,
That look't, as pinch'd with famine, Aegypts yeeres,
Worne out and wasted to the pithlesse bone,
As one that had a long Consumption.
His rusty teeth (forsaken of his lips
As they had serv'd with want two Prentiships)
Did through his pallid cheekes, and lankest skin
Bewray what number were enranckt within.
His greedy eyes deepe sunke into his head,
Which with a rough hayre was o're covered.
How many bones made up this starved wight
Was soone perceiv'd; a man of dimmest sight
Apparantly might see them knit, and tell
How all his veynes and every sinew fell.
His belly (inwards drawne) his bowels prest,
His unfill'd skin hung dangling on his brest,
His feeble knees with paine enough uphold
That pined carkasse, casten in a mold
Cut out by Deaths grim forme. If small legs wan
Ever the title of a Gentleman;
His did acquire it. In his flesh pull'd downe
As hee had liv'd in a beleaguerd towne,
Where Plenty had so long estranged beene
That men most worthy noate, in griefe were seene
(Though they rejoyc'd to have attain'd such meat)
Of Rats, and halfe-tann'd Hydes, with stomackes great,
Gladly to feed: and where a Nurse, most vilde,
Drunke her owne milke, and starv'd her crying childe.
Yet hee through want of food not thus became:
But Nature first decreed, That as the flame
Is never seene to flye his nourishment,
But all consumes: and still the more is lent
The more it covets. And as all the Floods
(Down treching from small groves, and greater woods)
The vast insatiate Sea doth still devoure,
And yet his thirst not quenched by their power:
So ever should befall this starved wight;
The more his vyands, more his appetite.
What ere the deepes bring forth, or earth, or ayre,
He ravine should, and want in greatest fare.
And what a Citie twice seaven yeeres would serve,
He should devoure, and yet be like to starve.
A wretch so empty, that if e're there be
In Nature found the least vacuitie,
'Twill be in him. The grave to Ceres store;
A Caniball to lab'rers old and poore;
A Spunge-like-Dropsie, drinking till it burst;
The Sicknesse tearm'd the Wolfe, vilde and accurst;
In some respects like th' art of Alchumy
That thrives least, when it long'st doth multiply:
Limos he cleeped was: whose long-nayl'd paw
Seizing Marina, and his sharpe-fang'd jaw
(The strongest part he had) fixt in her weeds,
He forc'd her thence, through thickets and high Reeds,
Towards his Cave. Her fate the swift windes rue,
And round the Grove in heavy murmures flew.
The limbes of trees, that (as in love with eyther)
In close imbrasements long had liv'd together,
Rubb'd each on other, and in shreeks did show
The windes had mov'd more partners of their woe.
Olde and decayed stocks, that long time spent
Upon their armes, their rootes chiefe nourishment;
And that drawne dry, as freely did impart
Their boughes a feeding on their fathers hart,
Yet by respectlesse impes when all was gone,
Pithlesse and saplesse, naked left alone,
Their hollow truncks, fill'd with their neighbours moanes,
Sent from a thousand vents, ten thousand groanes.
All Birds flew from the wood, as they had been
Scar'd with a strong Bolt ratling 'mong the treen.

Limos with his sweet theft full slily rushes
Through sharp-hook'd brambles, thornes, and tangling bushes,
Whose tenters sticking in her garments, sought
(Poore shrubs) to helpe her, but availing nought,
As angry (best intents miss'd best proceeding)
They scratch'd his face and legs, cleere water bleeding.
Not greater haste a fearefull school-boy makes
Out of an Orchard whence by stealth he takes
A churlish Farmers Plums, sweet Peares or Grapes,
Then Limos did, as from the thicke he scapes
Downe to the shore. Where resting him a space,
Restlesse Marina gan intreat for grace
Of one whose knowing it as desp'rate stood,
As where each day to get supply of food.
O! had she (thirsty) such intreaty made
At some high Rocke, proud of his evening shade,
He would have burst in two, and from his veynes
(For her availe) upon the under Plaines
A hundred springs a hundred wayes should swimme,
To shew her teares inforced floods from him.
Had such an Oratresse beene heard to plead
For faire Polixena, the Murthrers head
Had beene her pardon, and so scap'd that shocke,
Which made her lovers toombe her dying blocke.
Not an inraged Lion, surly, wood,
No Tyger reft her young, nor savage brood,
No, not the foaming Boare, that durst approve
Lovelesse to leave the mighty Queene of Love,
But her sad plaints, their uncouth walkes among
Spent, in sweet numbers from her golden tongue,
So much their great hearts would in softnes steepe,
They at her foot would groveling lye, and weepe.
Yet now (alas!) nor words, nor floods of teares
Did ought availe. The belly hath no eares.

As I have knowne a man loath meet with gaine
That carrieth in his front least shew of paine,
Who for his vittailes all his rayment pledges,
Whose stackes for firing are his neighbours hedges,
From whence returning with a burden great,
Wearied, on some greene banke he takes his seat,
But fearefull (as still theft is in his stay)
Gets quickly up, and hasteth fast away:
So Limos sooner eased then yrested
Was up, and through the Reeds (as much molested
As in the Brakes) who lovingly combine,
And for her ayde together twist and twine,
Now manacling his hands, then on his legs
Like fetters hang the under-growing Segs:
And had his teeth not beene of strongest hold,
He there had left his prey. Fates uncontrold,
Denide so great a blisse to Plants or men,
And lent him strength to bring her to his den.

West, in Apollo's course to Tagus streame,
Crown'd with a silver circling Dyademe
Of wet exhaled mists, there stood a pile
Of aged Rockes (torne from the neighbour Ile
And girt with waves,) against whose naked brest
The surges tilted, on his snowy crest
The towring Falcon whilome built, and Kings
Strove for that Eirie, on whose scaling wings,
Monarchs, in gold refin'd as much would lay
As might a month their Army Royall pay.
Brave Birds they were, whose quick-self-less-'ning kin
Still wonne the girlonds from the Peregrin.
Not Cerna Ile in Affricks silver mayne,
Nor lustfull-bloody-Tereus Thracian straine,
Nor any other Lording of the ayre
Durst with this Eirie for their wing compare.
About his sides a thousand Seaguls bred,
The Mevy and the Halcyon famosed
For colours rare, and for the peacefull Seas
Round the Sicilian coast, her brooding dayes.
Puffins (as thicke as Starlings in a Fen)
Were fetcht from thence: there sate the Pewet hen,
And in the clefts the Martin built his nest.
But those by this curst caitife dispossest
Of roost and nest, the least; of life, the most:
All left that place, and sought a safer coast.
In stead of them the Caterpiller hants,
And Cancre-worme among the tender plants,
That here and there in nooks and corners grew;
Of Cormorants and Locusts not a few;
The cramming Raven, and a hundred more
Devouring creatures; yet when from the shore
Limos came wading (as he easily might
Except at high tydes) all would take their flight,
Or hide themselves in some deepe hole or other,
Lest one devourer should devoure another.

Neere to the shore that bord'red on the Rocke
No merry Swaine was seene to feed his Flocke,
No lusty Neat-heard thither drove his Kine,
Nor boorish Hog-heard fed his rooting Swine:
A stony ground it was, sweet Herbage fail'd:
Nought there but weeds, which Limos, strongly nayl'd,
Tore from their mothers brest, to stuffe his maw.
No Crab-tree bore his loade, nor Thorne his haw.
As in a Forest well compleat with Deer
We see the Hollyes, Ashes, every where
Rob'd of their cloathing by the browsing Game:
So neere the Rocke, all trees where e're you came,
To cold Decembers wrath stood void of barke.
Here danc'd no Nymph, no early-rising Larke
Sung up the Plow-man and his drowsie mate:
All round the Rocke barren and desolate.

In midst of that huge pyle was Limos Cave
Full large and round, wherein a Millers knave
Might for his Horse and Querne have roome at will:
Where was out-drawne by some inforced skill,
What mighty conquests were atchiev'd by him.
First stood the siege of great Jerusalem,
Within whose triple wall and sacred Citie
(Weepe ye stone-hearted men! oh read and pittie!
'Tis Sions cause invokes your briny teares:
Can any dry eye be when she appeares
As I must sing her? oh, if such there be;
Fly, flye th' abode of men! and hasten thee
Into the Desart, some high Mountaine under,
Or at thee boyes will hisse, and old men wonder.)
Here sits a mother weeping, pale and wan,
With fixed eyes, whose hopelesse thoughts seem'd ran
How (since for many dayes no food shee tasted,
Her Meale, her Oyle consum'd, all spent, all wasted)
For one poore day shee might attaine supply,
And desp'rate of ought else, sit, pine, and dye.
At last her minde meets with her tender childe
That in the cradle lay (of Ozyers wilde)
Which taken in her armes, she gives the teat,
From whence the little wretch with labour great
Not one poore drop can sucke: whereat she wood,
Cries out, O heaven! are all the founts of food
Exhausted quite? and must my Infant yong
Be fed with shooes? yet wanting those ere long,
Feed on it selfe? No: first the roome that gave
Him soule and life, shall be his timelesse grave:
My dugs, thy best reliefe, through griping hunger
Flow now no more, my babe; Then since no longer
By me thou canst be fed, nor any other,
Be thou the Nurse, and feed thy dying Mother.
Then in another place she straight appeares,
Seething her suckling in her scalding teares.
From whence not farre the Painter made her stand
Tearing his sod flesh with her cruell hand,
In gobbets which shee ate. O cursed wombe,
That to thy selfe art both the grave and tombe.

A little sweet lad (there) seemes to entreat
(With held up hands) his famisht Sire for meat,
Who wanting ought to give his hoped joy
But throbs and sighes; the over-hungry boy,
For some poore bit, in darke nookes making quest,
His Sachell finds, which growes a gladsome feast
To him and both his Parents. Then, next day
He chewes the points wherewith he us'd to play:
Devouring last his Bookes of every kinde,
They fed his body which should feede his minde:
But when his Sachell, Points, Bookes all were gone,
Before his Sire, he droopes, and dies anone.

In height of Art then had the Work-man done,
A pious, zealous, most religious sonne,
Who on the enemy excursion made,
And spight of danger strongly did invade
Their victuals convoy, bringing from them home
Dri'd figs, Dates, Almonds, and such fruits as come
To the beleagring foe, and sate's the want
Therewith of those, who, from a tender plant
Bred him a man for armes: thus oft he went,
And Storke-like sought his Parents nourishment,
Till Fates decreed, he on the Roman Speares
Should give his bloud for them, who gave him theirs.
A Million of such throes did Famine bring
Upon the Citie of the mighty King,
Till, as her people, all her buildings rare
Consum'd themselves and dim'd the lightsome ayre.

Neere this the curious Pencell did expresse
A large and solitary wildernesse,
Whose high well limmed Oakes in growing show'd
As they would ease strong Atlas of his load:
Here underneath a tree in heavy plight
(Her bread and pot of water wasted quite)
Aegyptian Hagar (nipt with hunger fell)
Sate rob'd of hope: her Infant Ishmael.
(Farre from her being laid) full sadly seem'd
To cry for meate, his cry shee nought esteem'd,
But kept her still, and turn'd her face away,
Knowing all meanes were bootlesse to assay
In such a Desert: and since now they must
Sleepe their eternall sleepe, and cleave to dust,
She chose (apart) to graspe one death alone,
Rather then by her babe a million.

Then Eresichthons case in Ovids Song
Was portraied out; and many moe along
The insides of the Cave; which were descride
By many loope-holes round on every side.

These faire Marina view'd, left all alone,
The Cave fast shut. Limos for pillage gone:
Neere the wash'd shore mong rootes and breers, and thorns,
A Bullocke findes, who delving with his hornes
The hurtlesse earth (the while his tough hoofe tore
The yeelding turffe) in furious rage he bore
His head among the boughs that held it round,
While with his bellowes all the shores resound:
Him Limos kil'd, and hal'd with no small paine
Unto the Rocke; fed well; then goes againe:
Which serv'd Marina fit, for had his food
Fail'd him, her veynes had fail'd their deerest blood.

Now great Hyperion left his golden throne
That on the dancing waves in glory shone,
For whose declyning on the Westerne shore
The orientall hils blacke mantles wore,
And thence apace the gentle Twi-light fled,
That had from hideous cavernes ushered
All-drowsie Night; who in a Carre of Jet,
By Steeds of Iron-gray (which mainely swet
Moist drops on all the world) drawne through the skye,
The helps of darknesse waited orderly.
First, thicke clouds rose from all the liquid plaines:
Then mists from Marishes, and grounds whose veynes
Were Conduit-pipes to many a christall spring:
From standing Pooles and Fens were following
Unhealthy fogs: each River, every Rill
Sent up their vapours to attend her will.
These, pitchie curtains drew, 'twixt earth and heaven.
And as Nights Chariot through the ayre was driven,
Clamour grew dumb, unheard was Shepheards song,
And silence girt the Woods; no warbling tongue
Talk'd to the Eccho; Satyres broke their dance,
And all the upper world lay in a trance.
Onely the curled streames soft chidings kept;
And little gales that from the greene leafe swept
Dry Summers dust, in fearefull whisp'rings stir'd,
As loth to waken any singing Bird.

Darknesse no lesse then blinde Cimmerian
Of Famines Cave the full possession wan,
Where lay the Shepherdesse inwrapt with night,
(The wished garment of a mournfull wight)
Here silken slumbers and refreshing sleepe
Were seldome found; with quiet mindes those keepe,
Not with disturbed thoughts; the beds of Kings
Are never prest by them, sweet rest inrings
The tyred body of the swarty Clowne,
And oftner lies on flocks then softest downe.

Twice had the Cocke crowne, and in Cities strong
The Bel-mans dolefull noyse and carefull song,
Told men, whose watchfull eyes no slumber hent,
What store of houres theft-guilty night had spent.
Yet had not Morpheus with this Maiden been,
As fearing Limos; (whose impetuous teen
Kept gentle rest from all to whom his cave
Yeelded inclosure (deadly as the grave.)
But to all sad laments left her (forlorne)
In which three watches she had nye outworne.

Faire silver-footed Thetis that time threw
Along the Ocean with a beautious crew
Of her attending Sea-nymphes (Joves bright Lamps
Guiding from Rockes her Chariots Hippocamps.)
A journey, onely made, unwares to spye
If any Mighties of her Empery
Opprest the least, and forc'd the weaker sort
To their designes, by being great in Court.

O! should all Potentates whose higher birth
Enroles their titles, other Gods on earth,
Should they make private search, in vaile of night,
For cruell wrongs done by each Favorite;
Here should they finde a great one paling in
A meane mans land, which many yeeres had bin
His charges life, and by the others heast,
The poore must starue to feed a scurvy beast.
If any recompence drop from his fist,
His time's his owne, the mony, what he list.
There should they see another that commands
His Farmers Teame from furrowing his lands,
To bring him stones to raise his building vast,
The while his Tenants sowing time is past.
Another (spending) doth his rents inhance,
Or gets by tricks the poores inheritance.
But as a man whose age hath dim'd his eyes,
Useth his Spectacles, and as he pryes
Through them all Characters seeme wondrous faire,
Yet when his glasses quite removed are
(Though with all carefull heed he neerly looke)
Cannot perceive one tittle in the Booke;
So if a King behold such favourites
(Whose being great, was being Parasites)
With th' eyes of favour, all their actions are
To him appearing plaine and regular:
But let him lay his sight of grace aside,
And see what men he hath so dignifide,
They all would vanish, and not dare appeare,
Who Atom-like, when their Sun shined cleare,
Danc'd in his beame; but now his rayes are gone,
Of many hundred we perceive not one.
Or as a man who standing to descry
How great floods farre off run, and vallies lye,
Taketh a glasse prospective good and true,
By which things most remote are full in view:
If Monarchs, so, would take an Instrument
Of truth compos'd to spie their Subjects drent
In foule oppression by those high in seate
(Who care not to be good but to be great)
In full aspect the wrongs of each degree
Would lye before them; and they then would see.
The divellish Politician all convinces,
In murdring Statesmen and in poisning Princes;
The Prelate in pluralities asleepe,
Whilst that the Wolfe lyes preying on his sheepe;
The drowsie Lawyer, and the false Atturnies
Tire poore mens purses with their life-long-journies;
The Country Gentleman, from's neighbours hand
Forceth th' inheritance, joynes land to land,
And (most insatiate) seekes under his rent
To bring the worlds most spacious continent;
The fawning Citizen (whose love's bought dearest)
Deceives his brother when the Sun shines clearest,
Gets, borrowes, breakes, lets in, and stops out light,
And lives a Knave to leave his sonne a Knight;
The griping Farmer hoords the seed of bread,
Whilst in the streets the poore lye famished:
And free there's none from all this worldly strife,
Except the Shepherds heaven-blest happy life.

But stay sweet Muse! forbeare this harsher straine,
Keepe with the Shepherds; leave the Satyres veine,
Coupe not with Beares: let Icarus alone
To scorch himselfe within the torrid Zone:
Let Phaeton run on, Ixion fall,
And with an humble stiled Pastorall
Tread through the vallies, dance about the streames,
The lowly Dales will yeeld us Anadems
To shade our temples, 'tis a worthy meed,
No better girlond seekes mine Oaten Reede;
Let others climbe the hils, and to their praise
(Whilst I sit girt with Flowers) be crown'd with Bayes.

Shew now faire Muse what afterward became
Of great Achilles Mother; She whose name
The Mermaids sing, and tell the weeping strand
A braver Lady never tript on land,
Except the ever-living Fayerie Queene,
Whose vertues by her Swaine so written beene,
That time shall call her high enhanced story
In his rare song, The Muses chiefest glory.

So mainely Thetis drove her silver throne,
Inlaid with pearles of price, and precious stone,
(For whose gay purchase, she did often make
The scorched Negro dive the briny Lake)
That by the swiftnesse of her chariot wheels
(Scouring the Maine as well-built English Keels)
She, of the new-found World all coasts had seene,
The shores of Thessaly, where she was Queene,
Her brother Pontus waves, imbrac'd, with those
Moeotian fields and vales of Tenedos,
Streit Hellespont, whose high-brow'd cliffes yet sound
The mournfull name of young Leander drown'd,
Then with full speed her Horses doth shee guide
Through the Aegaean Sea, that takes a pride
In making difference twixt the fruitfull lands
Europe and Asia almost joyning hands,
But that shee thrusts her billowes all afront
To stop their meeting through the Hellespont.
The Midland Sea so swiftly was shee scouring,
The Adriaticke gulfe brave Ships devouring.
To Padus silver streame then glides shee on
(Enfamoused by rekelesse Phaeton)
Padus that doth beyond his limits rise,
When the hot Dog-starre raines his maladies,
And robs the high and ayre-invading Alpes
Of all their Winter-suits and snowy scalpes,
To drowne the level'd lands along his shore,
And make him swell with pride. By whom of yore
The sacred Heliconian Damsels sate
(To whom was mighty Pindus consecrate)
And did decree (neglecting other men)
Their height of Art should flow from Maro's pen.
And pratling Eccho's evermore should long
For repetition of sweet Naso's song.
It was inacted here, in after dayes
What wights should have their temples crown'd with Bayes.
Learn'd Ariosto, holy Petrarchs quill,
And Tasso should ascend the Muses hill.
Divinest Bartas, whose enriched soule
Proclaim'd his Makers worth, should so enroule
His happy name in brasse, that Time nor Fate
That swallows all, should ever ruinate.
Delightfull Salust, whose all blessed layes
The Shepherds make their Hymnes on Holy-dayes;
And truly say thou in one weeke hast pend
What time may ever study, ne're amend.
Marot and Ronsard, Garnier's buskind Muse
Should spirit of life in very stones infuse.
And many another Swan whose powerfull straine
Should raise the Golden World to life againe.

But let us leave (faire Muse) the bankes of Po
Thetis forsooke his brave streame long agoe,
And we must after. See in haste shee sweepes
Along the Celticke shores, th' Armorick deepes
She now is entring: beare up then a head,
And by that time shee hath discovered
Our Alablaster rockes, we may descry
And ken with her, the coasts of Britany.
There will she Anchor cast, to heare the Songs
Of English Shepherds, whose all-tunefull tongues
So pleas'd the Nayades, they did report
Their songs perfection in great Nereus Court:
Which Thetis hearing, did appoint a day
When shee would meet them in the Brittish Sea,
And thither for each Swaine a Dolphin bring
To ride with her, whilst she would heare him sing.
The time prefixt was come; and now the Starre
Of blissefull light appear'd, when shee her Carre
Staid in the narrow seas. At Thames faire port
The Nymphes and Shepherds of the Isle resort.
And thence did put to Sea with mirthfull rounds,
Whereat the billowes dance above their bounds,
And bearded Goats, that on the clouded head
Of any sea-survaying Mountaine fed,
Leaving to crop the Ivy, listning stood
At those sweet ayres which did intrance the flood
In jocund sort the Goddesse thus they met.
And after rev'rence done, all being set
Upon their finny Coursers, round her throne,
And shee prepar'd to cut the watry Zone
Ingirting Albion; all their pipes were still,
And Colin Clout began to tune his quill
With such deepe Art, that every one was given
To thinke Apollo (newly slid from heav'n)
Had tane a humane shape to win his love,
Or with the Westerne Swaines for glory strove.
He sung th' heroicke Knights of Faiery land
In lines so elegant, of such command,
That had the Thracian plaid but halfe so well,
He had not left Eurydice in hell.
But e're he ended his melodious song
An host of Angels flew the clouds among,
And rapt this Swan from his attentive mates,
To make him one of their associates
In heavens faire Quire: where now he sings the praise
Of him that is the first and last of dayes.
Divinest Spencer heav'n-bred, happy Muse!
Would any power into my braine infuse
Thy worth, or all that Poets had before,
I could not praise till thou deserv'st no more.

A dampe of wonder and amazement strooke
Thetis attendants, many a heavy looke
Follow'd sweet Spencer, till the thickning ayre
Sights further passage stop'd. A passionate teare
Fell from each Nymph, no Shepherds cheeke was dry,
A dolefull Dirge, and mournfull Elegie
Flew to the shore. When mighty Nereus Queene
(In memory of what was heard and seene)
Imploy'd a Factor (fitted well with store
Of richest Jemmes, refined Indian Ore)
To raise, in honour of his worthy name,
A Piramis, whose head (like winged Fame)
Should pierce the clouds, yea seeme the stars to kisse,
And Mausolus great tombe might shrowd in his.
Her will had beene performance, had not Fate
(That never knew how to commiserate)
Suborn'd curs'd Avarice to lye in waight
For that rich prey: (Gold is a taking bait)
Who closely lurking like a subtile Snake
Under the covert of a thorny brake,
Seiz'd on the Factor by faire Thetis sent,
And rob'd our Colin of his Monument.

Yee English Shepherds, sonnes of Memory,
For Satyres change your pleasing melody,
Scourge, raile and curse that sacrilegious hand,
That more then Fiend of hell, that Stygian brand,
All-guilty Avarice: that worst of evill,
That gulfe-devouring, off-spring of a Devill:
Heape curse on curse so direfull and so fell,
Their waight may presse his damned soule to hell.
Is there a spirit so gentle can refraine
To torture such? O let a Satyres veine
Mix with that man! to lash this hellish lym,
Or all our curses will descend on him.

For mine owne part, although I now commerce
With lowly Shepheards in as low a Verse;
If of my dayes I shall not see an end
Till more yeeres presse mee; some few houres Ile spend
In rough-hewn Satyres, and my busied pen
Shall jerke to death this infamy of men.
And like a Fury, glowing coulters beare,
With which? But see how yonder fondlings teare
Their fleeces in the brakes; I must goe free
Them of their bonds; Rest you here merrily
Till my returne: when I will touch a string
Shall make the Rivers dance, and Vallies ring.

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