William Browne of Tavistock declares that he will emulate Spenser, who sung the "Nuptiall mirth" of the River Thames.
F. W. Moorman: "We have already drawn attention to the way in which Browne repeats himself, making the same motif, and the same episode do double duty. Nowhere is this more manifest than in the story of Pan and the Nymph, which occupies the latter half of Song IV. This story is a most manifest repetition, under changed names and changed situation, of the story of Tavy and Walla in the preceding song. The figure of Pan corresponds to that of Tavy, that of Pan's nymph to Walla, while the Satyr of the former narrative is here replaced by the Wolf" William Browne (1897) 33.
Henry Hallam: "Among these historical poets I should incline to class William Browne, author of a poem with the quaint title of Britannia's Pastorals; though his story, one of little interest, seems to have been invented by himself. Browne, indeed, is of no distinct school among the writers of that age: he seems to recognize Spenser as his master; but his own manner is more to be traced among later than earlier poets. He was a native of Devonshire; and his principal poem, above mentioned, relating partly to the local scenery of that county, was printed in 1613. Browne is truly a Poet, full of imagination, grace, and sweetness, though not very nervous or rapid. I know not why Headley, favorable enough for the most part to this generation of the sons of song, has spoken of Browne with unfair contempt. Justice, however, has been done to him by later critics. But I have not observed that they take notice of what is remarkable in the history of our poetical literature, that Browne is an early model of ease and variety in the regular couplet. Many passages in his unequal poem are hardly excelled, in this respect, by the fables of Dryden. It is manifest that Milton was well acquainted with the writings of Browne" Literature of Europe (1837-39, 1882) 3:251-52.
Edmund Gosse: "On the first book of Britannia's Pastorals the stamp of extreme youth is visible clearly enough; but the second book, which belongs to Browne's manhood, and the two cantos of the third, which probably date from his advanced age, show little more skill in the evolution of a story, or power in making the parts of a poem mutually cohere" The Jacobean Poets (1894) 154-55.
The Cornish Swaines and Brittish Bard
Thetis hath with attention heard.
And after meets an aged man
That tels the haplesse love of Pan:
And why the flockes doe live so free
From Wolves within rich Britannie.
Looke as a Lover with a lingring kisse
About to part with the best halfe that's his,
Faine would he stay but that he feares to doe it,
And curseth time for so fast hastning to it:
Now takes his leave, and yet begins anew
To make lesse vowes then are esteemed true:
Then sayes he must be gone, and then doth finde
Something he should have spoke that's out of minde;
And whilst he stands to look for 't in her eyes,
Their sad-sweet glance so tye his faculties
To thinke from what he parts, that he is now
As farre from leaving her, or knowing how,
As when he came; begins his former straine,
To kisse, to vow, and take his leave againe,
Then turnes, comes back, sighes, parts, and yet doth goe,
Apt to retyre, and loath to leave her so.
Brave Streame, so part I from thy flowrie banke,
Where first I breath'd, and (though unworthy) dranke
Those sacred waters which the Muses bring
To woo Britannia to their ceaslesse spring.
Now would I on, but that the christall Wels,
The fertill Meadowes and their pleasing smels,
The Woods delightfull and the scatt'red Groves,
(Where many Nymphes walke with their chaster Loves)
Soone make me stay: And think that Ordgar's sonne
(Admonish'd by a heavenly vision)
Not without cause did that apt fabricke reare,
(Wherein we nothing now but Eccho's heare
That wont with heavenly Anthemes daily ring
And duest praises to the greatest King)
In this choise plot. Since he could light upon
No place so fit for contemplation.
Though I a while must leave this happy soyle,
And follow Thetis in a pleasing toyle,
Yet when I shall returne, Ile strive to draw
The Nymphs by Thamar, Tavy, Ex and Tau,
By Turridge, Otter, Ock, by Dert and Plym,
With all the Nayades that fish and swim
In their cleare streames, to these our rising Downes,
Where while they make us chaplets, wreaths and crowns,
Ile tune my Reede unto a higher key,
(And have already cond some of the Lay.)
Wherein (as Mantua by her Virgils birth
And Thames by him that sung her Nuptiall mirth)
You may be knowne (though not in equall pride)
As farre as Tiber throwes his swelling Tide.
And by a Shepheard (feeding on your plaines)
In humble, lowly, plaine, and ruder straines,
Heare your worths challenge other floods among,
To have a period equall with their song.
Where Plym and Thamar with imbraces meet,
Thetis weighes ancor now, and all her Fleet:
Leaving that spacious Sound, within whose armes
I have those Vessels seene, whose hote alarmes
Have made Iberia tremble, and her towres
Prostrate themselves before our iron showres
While their proud builders hearts have been inclynde
To shake (as our brave Ensignes) with the wynde.
For as an Eyerie from their Seeges wood
Led o're the Playnes and taught to get their food:
By seeing how their Breeder takes his prey
Now from an Orchard doe they scare the Jey,
Then o're the Corne-fields as they swiftly flye,
Where many thousand hurtfull Sparrowes lye
Beating the ripe graine from the bearded eare,
At their approach, all (overgone with feare)
Seeke for their safetie: some into the dyke,
Some in the hedges drop, and others like
The thicke-growne corne, as for their hiding best,
And under turfes or grasse most of the rest;
That of a flight which cover'd all the graine,
Not one appeares, but all or hid, or slaine:
So by Heroes were we led of yore,
And by our drummes that thundred on each shore,
Stroke with amazement Countries farre and neere;
Whilst their Inhabitants like Heards of Deere,
By kingly Lyons chas'd, fled from our Armes.
If any did oppose, instructed swarmes
Of men immayl'd; Fate drew them on to be
A greater Fame to our got Victory.
But now our Leaders want; those Vessels lye
Rotting, like houses through ill husbandry;
And on their Masts where oft the Ship-boy stood,
Or silver Trumpets charm'd the brackish Flood,
Some wearyed Crow it set; and daily seene
Their sides instead of pitch calk'd o're with greene:
Ill hap (alas) have you that once were knowne
By reaping what was by Iberia sowne.
By bringing yealow sheaves from out their plaine,
Making our Barnes the store-house for their graine:
When now as if we wanted land to till,
Wherewith we might our uselesse Souldiers fill:
Upon their Hatches where halfe-pikes were borne,
In every chinke rise stems of bearded corne:
Mocking our idle times that so have wrought us,
Or putting us in minde what once they brought us.
Beare with me Shepheards if I doe digresse,
And speake of what our selves doe not professe:
Can I behold a man that in the field,
Or at a breach hath taken on his Shield
More Darts then ever Romane; that hath spent
Many a cold December, in no Tent
But such as Earth and Heaven make; that hath beene
Except in Iron Plates not long time seene;
Upon whose body may be plainly told
More wounds then his lanke purse doth almes-deeds hold;
O! can I see this man (adventring all)
Be onely grac'd with some poore Hospitall,
Or may be worse, intreating at his doore
For some reliefe whom he secur'd before,
And yet not shew my griefe? First may I learne
To see, and yet forget how to discerne;
My hands neglectfull be at any need,
Or to defend my body, or to feed,
Ere I respect those times that rather give him
Hundreds to punish, then one to relieve him.
As in an Evening when the gentle ayre
Breathes to the sullen night a soft repayre,
I oft have set on Thames sweet banke to heare
My Friend with his sweet touch to charme mine eare,
When he hath plaid (as well he can) some straine
That likes me, streight I aske the same againe,
And he as gladly granting, strikes it o're
With some sweet relish was forgot before:
I would have beene content if he would play
In that one straine to passe the night away;
But fearing much to doe his patience wrong,
Unwillingly have ask'd some other song.
So in this diffring Key, though I could well
A many houres but as few minutes tell,
Yet least mine owne delight might injure you
(Though loath so soone) I take my Song anew.
Yet as when I with other Swaines have beene
Invited by the Maidens of our greene
To wend to yonder Wood, in time of yeare
When Cherry-trees inticing burdens beare,
Hee that with wreathed legs doth upwards goe,
Pluckes not alone for those which stand below;
But now and then is seene to picke a few
To please himselfe as well as all his crew:
Or if from where he is he doe espie
Some Apricock upon a bough thereby,
Which overhangs the tree on which he stands,
Climbes up and strives to take it with his hands:
So if to please my selfe I somewhat sing,
Let it not be to you lesse pleasuring.
No thirst of glory tempts me: for my straines
Befit poore Shepheards on the lowly Plaines;
The hope of riches cannot draw from mee
One line that tends to servile flatterie,
Nor shall the most in titles on the earth
Blemish my Muse with an adulterate birth,
Nor make me lay pure colours on a ground
Where nought substantiall can be ever found.
No; such as sooth a base and dunghill spirit,
With attributes fit for the most of merit,
Cloud their free Muse; as when the Sun doth shine
On straw and durt mixt by the sweating Hyne,
It nothing gets from heapes so much impure
But noysome steames that doe his light obscure.
My free-borne Muse will not like Danae be,
Won with base drosse to clip with slavery;
Nor lend her choiser Balme to worthlesse men,
Whose names would dye but for some hired pen.
No: if I praise, Vertue shall draw me to it,
And not a base procurement make me doe it.
What now I sing is but to passe away
A tedious houre, as some Musitians play;
Or make another my owne griefes bemone;
Or to be least alone when most alone.
In this can I as oft as I will choose,
Hug sweet content by my retyred Muse,
And in a study finde as much to please
As others in the greatest Pallaces.
Each man that lives, (according to his powre)
On what he loves bestowes an idle howre;
In stead of Hounds that make the wooded hils
Talke in a hundred voyces to the Rils,
I like the pleasing cadence of a line
Strucke by the consort of the sacred Nine.
In lieu of Hawkes, the raptures of my soule
Transcend their pitch and baser earths controule.
For running Horses, Contemplation flyes
With quickest speed to winne the greatest prize.
For courtly dancing I can take more pleasure
To heare a Verse keepe time and equall measure.
For winning Riches, seeke the best directions
How I may well subdue mine owne affections.
For raysing stately pyles for heyres to come,
Here in this Poem I erect my toombe.
And time may be so kinde in these weake lines
To keepe my Name enroll'd, past his, that shines
In guilded Marble, or in brazen leaves:
Since Verse preserves when Stone and Brasse deceives.
Or if (as worthlesse) Time not lets it live
To those full dayes which others Muses give,
Yet I am sure I shall be heard and sung
Of most severest eld, and kinder young
Beyond my dayes; and, maugre Envies strife,
Adde to my name some houres beyond my life.
Such of the Muses are the able powres,
And since with them I spent my vacant houres,
I finde nor Hawke, nor Hound, nor other thing,
Turnyes nor Revels, pleasures for a King,
Yeeld more delight; for I have oft possest
As much in this as all in all the rest,
And that without expence, when others oft
With their undoings have their pleasures bought.
On now, my loved Muse, and let us bring
Thetis to heare the Cornish Michael sing;
And after him to see a Swaine unfold
The Tragedie of DRAKE in leaves of gold.
Then heare another GREENVILS name relate,
Which times succeeding shall perpetuate,
And make those two the Pillers great of Fame,
Beyond whose worths shall never sound a Name,
Nor Honour in her everlasting story
More deeper grave for all ensuing glory.
Now Thetis stayes to heare the Shepheards tell
Where Arthur met his death, and Mordred fell:
Of holy Ursula (that fam'd her age)
With other Virgins in her pilgrimage.
And as shee forwards steeres is showne the Rocke
Maine-Amber, to be shooke with weakest shocke,
So equall is it poyz'd; but to remove
All strength would faile, and but an infants prove.
Thus while to please her some new Songs devise,
And others Diamonds (shaped angle-wise,
And smooth'd by Nature, as she did impart
Some willing time to trim her selfe by Art)
Sought to present her and her happy crew:
She of the Gulfe and Syllies tooke a view.
And doubling then the poynt, made on away
Tow'rds goodly Severne and the Irish Sea,
There meets a Shepheard that began sing o're
The Lay which aged Robert sung of yore,
In praise of England and the deeds of Swaines
That whilome fed and rul'd upon our plaines.
The Brittish Bards then were not long time mute,
But to their sweet Harps sung their famous Brute:
Striving in spight of all the mists of eld,
To have his Story more autenticque held.
Why should we envy them those wreaths of Fame?
Being as proper to the Troyan name,
As are the dainty flowres which Flora spreads
Unto the Spring in the discoloured Meads.
Rather afford them all the worth we may,
For what we give to them adds to our Ray.
And, Brittons: thinke not that your glories fall,
Derived from a meane originall;
Since lights that may have powre to check the darke
Can have their lustre from the smallest sparke.
"Not from Nobilitie doth Vertue spring,
But Vertue makes fit Nobles for a King.
From highest nests are croaking Ravens borne,
When sweetest Nightingales sit in the Thorne."
From what low Fount soe're your beings are
(In softer peace and mighty brunts of warre)
Your owne worths challenge as triumphant Bayes
As ever Trojan hand had power to raise.
And when I leave my Musiques plainer ground,
The world shall know it from Bellona's sound.
Nor shall I erre from Truth; for what I write
She doth peruse, and helps me to indite.
The small converse which I have had with some,
Branches, which from those gallant trees have come,
Doth, what I sing, in all their acts approve,
And with more dayes increase a further love.
As I have seene the Lady of the May
Set in an Arbour (on a Holy-day)
Built by the May-pole, where the jocund Swaines
Dance with the Maidens to the Bagpipes straines,
When envious Night commands them to be gone,
Call for the merry yongsters one by one,
And for their well performance soone disposes:
To this a Garland interwove with Roses.
To that a carved Hooke, or well-wrought Scrip,
Gracing another with her cherry lip:
To one her Garter, to another then
A Hand-kerchiefe cast o're and o're agen:
And none returneth emptie that hath spent
His paynes to fill their rurall merriment:
So Nereus Daughter, when the Swaines had done
With an unsparing, liberall hand, begun
To give to every one that sung before,
Rich orient Pearles brought from her hidden store,
Red branching Corrall, and as precious Jems
As ever beautifide the Diadems:
That they might live what chance their sheepe betide,
On her reward, yet leave their heires beside.
Since when I thinke the world doth nothing give them,
As weening Thetis ever should relieve them.
And Poets freely spend a golden showre,
As they expected Her againe each houre.
Then with her thankes and praises for their skill
In tuning numbers of the sacred Hill,
Shee them dismist to their contented Coates;
And every Swaine a severall passage floates
Upon his Dolphin. Since whose safe repayre,
Those Fishes, like, a well composed ayre.
And (as in love to men) are ever seene
Before a tempests rough regardlesse teene,
To swim high on the waves: as none should dare
Excepting fishes to adventure there.
When these had left her, she drave on in pride
Her prouder Coursers through the swelling tyde,
To view the Cambrian Cliffes, and had not gone
An houres full speede, but neere a Rocke (whereon
Congealed frost and snow in Summer lay,
Seldome dissolued by Hyperions ray)
Shee saw a troope of people take their seat,
Whereof some wrung their hands, and some did beat
Their troubled brests, in signe of mickle woe,
For those are actions griefe inforceth to.
Willing to know the cause, somewhat neere hand
She spyes an aged man sit by the strand,
Upon a greene hill side (not meanly crown'd
With golden flowres, as chiefe of all the ground)
By him a little Lad, his cunning heyre,
Tracing greene Rushes for a Winter Chayre.
The old man while his sonne full neatly knits them
Unto his worke begun, as trimly fits them.
Both so intending what they first propounded,
As all their thoghts by what they wrought were bounded.
To them She came, and kindly thus bespake:
Ye happy creatures, that your pleasures take
In what your needes inforce, and never aime
A limitlesse desire to what may maime
The setled quiet of a peacefull state,
Patience attend your labours! And when Fate
Brings on the restfull night to your long dayes,
Wend to the fields of blisse! Thus Thetis prayes.
Fayre Queene, to whom all dutious prayse wee owe,
Since from thy spacious Cesterne daily flow
(Replyd the Swaine) refreshing streames that fill
Earth's dugs (the hillockes) so preserving still
The infant grasse, when else our Lambs might bleat
In vaine for sucke, whose Dams have nought to eat:
For these thy prayers we are doubly bound,
And that these Cleeves should know; but (O) to sound
My often mended Pipe presumption were,
Since Pan would play if thou wouldst please to heare.
The louder blasts which I was wont to blow
Are now but faint, nor doe my fingers know
To touch halfe part those merry tunes I had.
Yet if thou please to grace my little Lad
With thy attention, he may somewhat strike
Which thou from one so young maist chance to like.
With that the little Shepheard left his taske,
And with a blush (the Roses onely maske)
Denyde to sing. Ah father (quoth the Boy),
How can I tune a seeming note of joy?
The worke which you command me, I intend
Scarce with a halfe bent minde, and therefore spend
In doing little, now, an houre or two
Which I in lesser time could neater doe.
As oft as I with my more nimble joynts
Trace the sharpe Rushes ends, I minde the points
Which Philocel did give; and when I brush
The pritty tuft that growes beside the rush,
I never can forget (in yonder layre)
How Philocel was wont to stroake my hayre.
No more shall I be tane unto the Wake,
Nor wend a fishing to the winding Lake,
No more shall I be taught on silver strings
To learne the measures of our banquettings:
The twisted Collers, and the ringing Bels,
The Morrice Scarfes and cleanest drinking shels
Will never be renew'd by any one;
Nor shall I care for more when he is gone.
See; yonder hill where he was wont to sit,
A cloud doth keepe the golden Sun from it,
And for his seat (as teaching us) hath made
A mourning covering with a scowling shade.
The dew on every flowre, this morne, hath laine
Longer then it was wont, this side the plaine;
Belike they meane since my best friend must dye,
To shed their silver drops as he goes by.
Not all this day here, nor in comming hither,
Heard I the sweet Birds tune their Songs together,
Except one Nightingale in yonder Dell
Sigh'd a sad Elegie for Philocel;
Neere whom a Wood-Dove kept no small adoe,
To bid me in her language Doe so too,
The Weathers bell that leads our flocke around
Yeelds as me thinkes this day a deader sound.
The little Sparrowes which in hedges creepe,
Ere I was up did seeme to bid me weepe.
If these doe so, can I have feeling lesse,
That am more apt to take and to expresse?
No: let my owne tunes be the Mandrakes grone
If now they tend to mirth when all have none.
My pritty Lad (quoth Thetis) thou dost well
To feare the losse of thy deere Philocel.
But tell me Sire what may that Shepheard be,
Or if it lye in us to set him free,
Or if with you yond people touch'd with woe
Under the selfe-same loade of sorrow goe.
Faire Queene (replyde the Swaine) one is the cause
That moves our griefe, and those kind shepherds draws
To yonder rocke. Thy more then mortall spirit
May give a good beyond our power to merit.
And therefore please to heare while I shall tell
The haplesse Fate of hopelesse Philocel.
Whilome great Pan, the Father of our flockes
Lov'd a faire lasse so famous for her lockes,
That in her time all women first begun
To lay their looser tresses to the Sun.
And theirs whose hew to hers was not agreeing,
Were still roll'd up as hardly worth the seeing.
Fondly have some beene led to thinke, that Man
Musickes invention first of all began
From the dull Hammers stroke; since well we know
From sure tradition that hath taught us so,
Pan sitting once to sport him with his Fayre
Mark'd the intention of the gentle ayre,
In the sweet sound her chaste words brought along;
Fram'd by the repercussion of her tongue:
And from that harmony begun the Art
Which others (though unjustly) doe impart
To bright Apollo, from a meaner ground:
A sledge or parched nerves; meane things to found
So rare an Art on; when there might be given
All earth for matter with the gyre of heaven.
To keepe her slender fingers from the Sunne,
Pan through the pastures oftentimes hath run
To plucke the speckled Foxe-gloves from their stem,
And on those fingers neatly placed them.
The Hony-suckles would he often strip
And lay their sweetnesse on her sweeter lip:
And then as in reward of such his paine,
Sip from those cherryes some of it againe.
Some say, that Nature, while this lovely Maide
Liv'd on our plaines, the teeming earth araide
With Damaske Roses in each pleasant place,
That men might liken somewhat to her face.
Others report: Venus, afraid her sonne
Might love a mortall as he once had done,
Preferr'd an earnest sute to highest Jove,
That he which bore the winged shafts of love
Might be debarr'd his sight, which sute was sign'd,
And ever since the God of Love is blynde.
Hence is't he shoots his shafts so cleane awry:
Men learne to love when they should learne to dye.
And women, which before, to love began
Man without wealth, love wealth without a man.
Great Pan of his kinde Nymph had the imbracing
Long, yet too short a time. For as in tracing
These pithfull Rushes, such as are aloft,
By those that rais'd them presently are brought
Beneath unseene: So in the love of Pan
(For Gods in love doe undergoe as man),
Shee, whose affection made him raise his song,
And (for her sport) the Satyres rude among
Tread wilder measures, then the frolike guests,
That lift their light heeles at Lyeus feasts;
Shee by the light of whose quicke-turning eye
Hee never read but of felicitie:
Shee whose assurance made him more than Pan,
Now makes him farre more wretched then a man.
For mortals in their losse have death a friend,
When gods have losses, but their losse no end.
It chanc'd one morne (clad in a robe of gray,
And blushing oft as rising to betray)
Intic'd this lovely Maiden from her bed
(So when the Roses have discovered
Their taintlesse beauties, flyes the early Bee
About the winding Allyes merrily.)
Into the Wood: and 'twas her usuall sport,
Sitting where most harmonious Birds resort,
To imitate their warbling in a quill
Wrought by the hand of Pan, which she did fill
Halfe full with water: and with it hath made
The Nightingale (beneath a sullen shade)
To chant her utmost Lay, nay, to invent
New notes to passe the others instrument,
And (harmelesse soule) ere shee would leave that strife,
Sung her last song, and ended with her life.
So gladly chusing (as doe other some)
Rather to dye then live and be o're come.
But as in Autumne (when birds cease their noates,
And stately Forrests d'on their yealow coates:
When Ceres golden lockes are nearely shorne
And mellow fruit from trees are roughly torne),
A little Lad set on a bancke to shale
The ripened Nuts pluck'd in a woody Vale
Is frighted thence (of his deare life afeard)
By some wilde Bull lowd bellowing for the heard:
So while the Nymph did earnestly contest
Whether the Birds or shee recorded best,
A Ravenous Wolfe, bent eager to his prey
Rush'd from a theevish brake; and making way,
The twined Thornes did crackle one by one,
As if they gave her warning to be gone.
A rougher gale bent downe the lashing boughes,
To beate the beast from what his hunger vowes.
When shee (amaz'd) rose from her haplesse seate
(Small is resistance where the feare is great),
And striving to be gone, with gaping jawes
The Wolfe pursues, and as his rending pawes
Were like to seise, a Holly bent betweene;
For which good deed his leaves are ever greene.
Saw you a lusty Mastive at the stake
Throwne from a cunning Bull, more fiercely make
A quicke returne; yet to prevent the goare
Or deadly bruize which he escap'd before,
Wynde here and there, nay creepe if rightly bred,
And proffring otherwhere, fight still at head:
So though the stubborne boughes did thrust him backe,
(For Nature, loath, so rare a Jewels wracke,
Seem'd as shee here and there had plash'd a tree,
If possible to hinder Destiny.)
The savage Beast foaming with anger flyes
More fiercely then before, and now he tries
By sleights to take the Maide; as I have seene
A nimble Tumbler on a burrow'd greene,
Bend cleane awry his course, yet give a checke
And throw himselfe upon a Rabbets necke.
For as he hotly chas'd the Love of Pan,
A Heard of Deere out of a thicket ran,
To whom he quickly turn'd, as if he meant
To leave the Maide, but when shee swiftly bent
Her race downe to the Plaine, the swifter Deere
He soone forsooke. And now was got so neere
That (all in vaine) she turned to and fro
(As well she could) but not prevailing so,
Breathlesse and weary calling on her Love
With fearefull shrikes that all the Ecchoes move
(To call him to) shee fell downe deadly wan,
And ends her sweet life with the name of Pan.
A youthfull Shepheard of the neighbour Wold,
Missing that morne a sheepe out of his Fold,
Carefully seeking round to finde his stray,
Came on the instant where this Damsell lay.
Anger and pitty in his manly brest
Urge yet restraine his teares. Sweet Maide possest
(Quoth hee) with lasting sleepe, accept from mee
His end, who ended thy hard destinie!
With that his strong Dog of no dastard kinde
(Swift as the Foales conceived by the winde)
He sets upon the Wolfe, that now with speede
Flyes to the neighbour-wood, and least a deed
So full of ruthe should unrevenged be
The Shepheard followes too, so earnestly
Chearing his Dog, that he ne're turn'd againe
Till the curst Wolfe lay strangled on the plaine.
The ruin'd temple of her purer soule
The Shepheard buryes. All the Nymphes condole
So great a losse, while on a Cypresse graffe
Neere to her grave they hung this Epitaph:
Least loathed age might spoyle the worke in whom
All earth delighted, Nature tooke it home.
Or angry all hers else were carelesse deem'd,
Here did her best to have the rest esteem'd.
For feare men might not thinke the Fates so crosse,
But by their rigour in as great a losse;
If to the grave there ever was assign'd
One like this Nymph in body and in minde,
We wish her here in balme not vainely spent,
To fit this Maiden with a Monument.
For Brasse and Marble were they seated here
Would fret or melt in teares to lye so neere.
Now Pan may sit and tune his Pipe alone
Among the wished shades, since shee is gone,
Whose willing eare allur'd him more to play,
Then if to heare him should Apollo stay.
Yet happy Pan! and in thy Love more blest,
Whom none but onely death hath dispossest;
While others love as well, yet live to be
Lesse wrong'd by Fate then by inconstancy.
The sable mantle of the silent night
Shut from the world the ever-joysome light.
Care fled away, and softest slumbers please
To leave the Court for lowly Cottages.
Wilde beasts forsooke their dens on woody hils,
And sleightfull Otters left the purling Rils;
Rookes to their Nests in high woods now were flung
And with their spread wings shield their naked young.
When theeves from thickets to the crosse-wayes stir,
And terror frights the loanely passenger.
When nought was heard but now and then the howle
Of some vilde Curre, or whooping of the Owle;
Pan, that the day before was farre away
At shepherds sports, return'd, and as he lay
Within the bowre wherein he most delighted,
Was by a gastly vision thus affrighted:
Heart-thrilling grones first heard he round his bowre,
And then the Schrich-owle with her utmost powre
Labour'd her loathed note, the forrests bending
With winds, as Hecate had beene ascending.
Hereat his curled hayres on end doe rise,
And chilly drops trill o're his staring eyes.
Faine would he call, but knew not who, nor why,
Yet getting heart at last would up and try
If any divellish Hag were come abroad
With some kinde Mothers late deliver'd load,
A ruthlesse bloody sacrifice to make
To those infernall Powres, that by the Lake
Of mighty Styx and blacke Cocytus dwell,
Ayding each Witches Charme and misticke Spell.
But as he rais'd himselfe within his bed
A sodaine light about his lodging spread,
And therewithall his Love, all ashy pale
As evening mist from up a watry Vale,
Appear'd; and weakly neere his bed she prest,
A ravell'd wound distain'd her purer brest.
(Brests softer farre then tufts of unwrought silke)
Whence had she liv'd to give an infant milke,
The vertue of that liquor (without ods)
Had made her babe immortall as the Gods.
Pan would have spoke, but him she thus prevents:
Wonder not that the troubled Elements
Speake my approach; I draw no longer breath,
But am inforced to the shades of death.
My exequies are done, and yet before
I take my turne to be transported o're
The neather floods among the shades of Dis
To end my journey in the fields of blisse:
I come to tell thee that no humane hand
Made me seeke waftage on the Stygian strand;
It was an hungry Wolfe that did imbrue
Himselfe in my last blood. And now I sue
In hate to all that kinde, and shepherds good
To be revenged on that cursed brood.
Pan vow'd, and would have clipt her, but she fled,
And as shee came, so quickly vanished.
Looke as a well-growne stately headed Bucke
But lately by the Wood-mans arrow strucke,
Runs gadding o're the Lawnes or nimbly strayes
Among the combrous Brakes a thousand wayes,
Now through the high-wood scowres, then by the brooks,
On every hill side, and each vale he lookes,
If 'mongst their store of simples may be found
An hearbe to draw and heale his smarting wound,
But when he long hath sought, and all in vaine,
Steales to the Covert closely backe againe,
Where round ingirt with Ferne more highly sprung,
Strives to appease the raging with his tongue,
And from the speckled Heard absents him till
He be recover'd somewhat of his ill:
So wounded Pan turnes in his restlesse bed,
But finding thence all ease abandoned,
He rose, and through the wood distracted runs:
Yet carryes with him what in vaine he shuns.
Now he exclaim'd on Fate: and wisht he ne're
Had mortall lov'd, or that he mortall were.
And sitting lastly on an Oakes bare trunke
(Where raine in Winter stood long time unsunke)
His plaints he gan renew, but then the light
That through the boughes flew from the Queene of night,
(As giving him occasion to repine)
Bewrayde an Elme imbraced by a Vine,
Clipping so strictly that they seem'd to bee
One in their growth, one shade, one fruit, one tree.
Her boughes his armes, his leaves so mixt with hers,
That with no winde he mov'd, but streight she stirs.
As shewing all should be, whom love combynde,
In motion one, and onely two in kynde.
This more afflicts him while he thinketh most
Not on his losse, but on the substance lost.
O haplesse Pan, had there but beene one by,
To tell thee (though as poore a Swaine as I)
Though (whether casuall meanes or death doe move)
"Wee part not without griefe things held with love:
Yet in their losse some comfort may be got
If wee doe minde the time we had them not."
This might have lessen'd somewhat of thy paine,
Or made thee love as thou mightst loose againe.
If thou the best of women didst forgoe,
Weigh if thou foundst her, or did'st make her so;
If shee were found so, know there's more then one;
If made, the Worke-man lives, though she be gone.
Should from mine eyes the light be tane away,
Yet night her pleasures hath as well as day;
And my desires to heaven yeeld lesse offence,
Since blindnesse is a part of Innocence.
So though thy Love sleepe in eternall night,
Yet there's in loannesse somewhat may delight.
Instead of dalliance, partnership in woes
It wants, the care to keepe, and feare to lose.
For Jealousies and fortunes baser pelfe,
He rest injoyes that well injoyes himselfe.
Had some one told thee thus, or thou bethought thee
Of inward helpe, thy sorrow had not brought thee
To weigh misfortune by anothers good:
Nor leave thy seate to range about the wood.
Stay where thou art, turne where thou wert before,
Light yeelds small comfort, nor hath darknesse more.
A woody hill there stood, at whose low feet
Two goodly streames in one broad channell meet,
Whose fretfull waves beating against the hill,
Did all the bottome with soft muttrings fill.
Here in a nooke made by another mount,
(Whose stately Oakes are in no lesse account
For height or spreading, then the proudest be
That from Oeta looke on Thessaly)
Rudely o'rehung there is a vaulted cave,
That in the day as sullen shadowes gave,
As Evening to the woods. An uncouth place,
(Where Hags and Goblins might retyre a space)
And hated now of Shepheards, since there lyes
The corps of one (lesse loving Deities
Then wee affected him) that never lent
His hand to ought but to our detriment.
A man that onely liv'd to live no more,
And dy'de still to be dying. Whose chiefe store
Of vertue was, his hate did not pursue her,
Because he onely heard of her, not knew her;
That knew no good, but onely that his sight
Saw every thing had still his opposite;
And ever this his apprehension caught,
That what he did was best, the other naught;
That alwayes lov'd the man that never lov'd,
And hated him whose hate no death had mov'd;
That (politique) at fitting time and season
Could hate the Traitor, and yet love the Treason.
That many a wofull heart (ere his decease)
In peeces tore to purchase his owne peace.
Who never gave his almes but in this fashion,
To salve his credit, more then for salvation.
Who on the names of good-men ever fed,
And (most accursed) sold the poore for bread.
Right like the Pitch-tree, from whose any limbe
Comes never twig, shall be the seede of him.
The Muses scorn'd by him, laugh at his fame,
And never will vouchsafe to speake his Name.
Let no man for his losse one teare let fall,
But perish with him his memoriall!
Into this cave the God of Shepheards went;
The Trees in grones, the Rockes in teares lament
His fatall chance, the Brookes that whilome lept
To heare him play while his faire Mistresse slept,
Now left their Eddyes and such wanton moods,
And with loud clamours fild the neighbring woods.
There spent he most of night: but when the day
Drew from the earth her pitchy vaile away,
When all the flowry plaines with Carols rung
That by the mounting Larke were shrilly sung,
When dusky mists rose from the christall floods,
And darknesse no where raign'd but in the woods;
Pan left the Cave, and now intends to finde
The sacred place where lay his love enshrinde.
A plot of earth, in whose chill armes was laide
As much perfection as had ever Maide:
If curious Nature had but taken care
To make more lasting, what she made so faire.
Now wanders Pan the arched Groves, and hils
Where Fayeries often danc'd, and Shepheards quils
In sweet contentions pass'd the tedious day:
Yet (being earely) in his unknowne way
Met not a Shepheard, nor on all the Plaine
A Flocke then feeding saw, nor of his traine
One jolly Satyre stirring yet abroad,
Of whom he might inquire; this to the load
Of his affliction addes; Now hee invokes
Those Nymphes in mighty Forrests, that with Oakes
Have equall Fates, each with her severall Tree
Receiving birth, and ending Destinie.
Cals on all Powres, intreats that hee might have
But for his Love, the knowledge of her grave;
That since the Fates had tane the Jem away,
He might but see the Carknet where it lay;
To doe fit right to such a part of molde,
Covering so rare a piece, that all the Gold
Or Dyamond Earth can yeeld, for value, ne're
Shall match the treasure which was hidden there!
A hunting Nymph awakned with his mone,
(That in a bowre neere-hand lay all alone,
Twyning her small armes round her slender waste,
That by no others us'd to be imbrac'd)
Got up, and knowing what the day before
Was guiltie of; shee addes not to his store
As many simply doe, whose friends so crost
They more afflict by shewing what is lost:
But bad him follow her. He, as she leades,
Urgeth her hast. So a kinde mother treads
Earnest, distracted, where with blood defil'de
She heares lyes dead her deere and onely childe.
Mistrust now wing'd his feet, then raging ire,
"For Speed comes ever lamely to Desire."
Delayes, the stones that waiting Suiters grinde,
By whom at Court the poore mans cause is sign'd.
Who, to dispatch a suite, will not deferre
To take death for a joynt Commissioner.
Delay, the Wooers bane, Revenges hate,
The plague to Creditors decaid estate,
The Test of Patience, of our Hopes the Racke,
That drawes them forth so long untill they cracke,
Vertues best benefactor in our times,
One that is set to punish great mens crimes,
Shee that had hindred mighty Pan a while,
Now steps aside: and as ore-flowing Nyle
Hid from Clymene's sonne his reeking head
So from his rage all opposition fled,
Giving him way to reach the timelesse Toombe
Of Natures glory, for whose ruthlesse doome
(When all the Graces did for mercy pleade,
And Youth and Goodnesse both did intercede)
The Sonnes of Earth (if living) had beene driven
To heape on hils, and warre anew with heaven.
The Shepheards which he mist upon the Downes
Here meetes he with: for from the neighbring Townes
Maidens and Men resorted to the grave
To see a wonder more then time e're gave.
The holy Priests had told them long agone
Amongst the learned Shepheards there was one
So given to pietie, and did adore
So much the name of Pan, that when no more
He breath'd, those that to ope his heart began,
Found written there with gold the name of Pan.
Which, unbeleeving man that is not mov'd
To credit ought, if not by reason prov'd,
And tyes the over-working powre to doe
Nought otherwise then Nature reacheth to,
Held as most fabulous: Not inly seeing,
The hand by whom we live, and All have being,
No worke for admirable doth intend,
Which Reason hath the powre to comprehend,
And Faith no merit hath from heaven lent
Where humane reason yeelds experiment.
Till now they durst not trust the Legend old,
Esteeming all not true their Elders tolde,
And had not this last accident made good
The former, most in unbeliefe had stood.
But Fame that spread the bruite of such a wonder,
Bringing the Swaine of places farre a sunder
To this selected plot (now famous more
Then any Grove, Mount, Plaine, had bin before
By relicke, vision, buriall or birth
Of Anchoresse, or Hermit yet on earth.)
Out of the Maidens bed of endlesse rest
Shewes them a Tree new growne, so fairely drest
With spreading armes and curled top, that Jove
Ne're braver saw in his Dodonian Grove;
The hart-like leaves oft each with other pyle,
As doe the hard scales of the Crocodyle;
And none on all the tree was seene but bore
Written thereon in rich and purest Ore
The name of Pan; whose lustre farre beyond
Sparkl'd, as by a Torch the Dyamond;
Or those bright spangles which fayre Goddesse doe
Shine in the hayre of these which follow you.
The Shepheards by direction of great Pan,
Search'd for the roote, and finding it began
In her true heart, bids them againe inclose
What now his eyes for ever, ever lose.
Now in the selfe-same Spheare his thoughts must move
With him that did the shady Plane-tree love.
Yet though no issue from her loynes shall be
To draw from Pan a noble peddigree,
And Pan shall not, as other Gods have done,
Glory in deeds of an heroicke Sonne,
Nor have his Name in Countries neere and farre
Proclaim'd; as by his Childe the Thunderer;
If Phoebus on this Tree spread warming rayes,
And Northerne blasts kill not her tender sprayes,
His Love shall make him famous in repute,
And still increase his Name, yet beare no fruite.
To make this sure (the God of Shepheards last,
When other Ceremonies were o're past),
And to performe what he before had vow'd
To dire Revenge, thus spake unto the crow'd:
What I have lost, kinde Shepheards, all you know,
And to recount it were to dwell in woe:
To shew my passion in a Funerall Song,
And with my sorrow draw your sighes along,
Words, then, well plac'd might challenge somewhat due,
And not the cause alone, win teares from you.
This to prevent, I set Orations by
"For passion seldome loves formalitie."
What profits it a prisoner at the Barre,
To have his judgement spoken regular?
Or in the prison heare it often read,
When he at first knew what was forfeited?
Our griefes in others teares, like plates in water,
Seeme more in quantitie. To be relator
Of my mishaps, speaks weaknesse, and that I
Have in my selfe no powre of remedy.
Once (yet that once too often) heretofore
The silver Ladon on his sandy shore
Heard my complaints, and those coole Groves that be
Shading the brest of lovely Arcady
Witnesse the teares which I for Syrinx spent.
Syrinx the faire; from whom the instrument
That fils your feasts with joy, which when I blow
Drawes to the sagging dug milke white as snow,
Had his beginning. This enough had beene
To shew the Fates (my deemed sisters) teene.
Here had they staid, this Adage had beene none:
"That our disasters never come alone."
What boot is it though I am said to be
The worthy sonne of winged Mercury?
That I with gentle Nymphes in Forrests high
Kist out the sweet time of my infancie?
And when more yeeres had made me able growne,
Was through the Mountaines for their leader known?
That high-brow'd Maenalus where I was bred,
And stony hils not few have honoured
Me as protector by the hands of Swaines
Whose sheepe retyre there from the open plaines?
That I in Shepheards cups (rejecting gold)
Of milke and hony measures eight times told
Have offred to me, and the ruddy wine
Fresh and new pressed from the bleeding Vine?
That gleesome Hunters pleased with their sport
With sacrifices due have thank'd me for't.
That patient Anglers standing all the day
Neere to some shallow stickle or deepe bay.
And Fishermen whose nets have drawne to land
A shoale so great it well-nye hides the sand,
For such successe some Promontories head
Thrust at by waves, hath knowne me worshipped?
But to increase my griefe, what profits this,
"Since still the losse is as the looser is?"
The many-kernell-bearing Pyne of late
From all trees else to mee was consecrate,
But now behold a roote more worth my love,
Equall to that which in an obscure Grove
Infernall Juno proper takes to her:
Whose golden slip the Trojan wanderer
(By sage Cumoean Sybil taught) did bring
(By Fates decreed) to be the warranting
Of his free passage, and a safe repayre
Through darke Avernus to the upper ayre.
This must I succour, this must I defend
And from the wilde Boares rooting ever shend,
Here shall the Wood-pecker no entrance finde,
Nor Tivy's Bevers gnaw the clothing rinde,
Lambeders Heards, nor Radnors goodly Deere
Shall never once be seene a browsing here.
And now yee Brittish Swains (whose harmelesse sheepe
Then all the worlds besides I joy to keepe,
Which spread on every Plaine and hilly Wold
Fleeces no lesse esteem'd then that of Gold,
For whose exchange one Indy Jems of price,
The other gives you of her choisest spice.
And well shee may; but wee unwise the while
Lessen the glory of our fruitfull Isle:
Making those Nations thinke we foolish are
For baser Drugs to vent our richer ware,
Which (save the bringer) never profit man
Except the Sexton and Physitian.
And whether change of Clymes or what it be
That proves our Mariners mortalitie,
Such expert men are spent for such bad fares
As might have made us Lords of what is theirs.
Stay, stay at home, yee Nobler spirits, and prise
Your lives more high then such base trumperies;
Forbeare to fetch, and they'le goe neere to sue,
And at your owne doores offer them to you;
Or have their woods and plaines so overgrowne
With poysnous weeds, roots, gums and seeds unknown;
That they would hire such Weeders as you be
To free their land from such fertilitie.
Their Spices hot their nature best indures,
But 'twill impayre and much distemper yours.
What our owne soyle affords befits us best,
And long, and long, for ever, may we rest
Needlesse of helpe! and may this Isle alone
Furnish all other Lands, and this Land none!
Excuse me, Thetis, quoth the aged man,
If passion drew me from the words of Pan,
Which thus I follow: You whose flocks, quoth he,
By my protection quit your industry,
For all the good I have and yet may give
To such as on the Plaines hereafter live,
I doe intreat what is not hard to grant,
That not a hand rend from this holy Plant
The smallest branch; and who so cutteth this
Dye for th' offence; to me so hainous 'tis.
And by the Floods infernall here I sweare,
(An oath whose breach the greatest Gods forbeare,)
Ere Phoebe thrice twelve times shall fill her hornes
No furzy tuft, thicke wood, nor brake of thornes
Shall harbour Wolfe, nor in this Ile shall breed,
Nor live one of that kinde: if what's decreed
You keepe inviolate. To this they swore:
And since those beasts have frighted us no more.
But Swaine (quoth Thetis), what is this you tell,
To what you feare shall fall on Philocel?
Faire Queene attend; but oh I feare, quoth he,
Ere I have ended my sad History,
Unstaying time may bring on his last houre,
And so defraud us of thy wished powre.
Yond goes a Shepheard, give me leave to run
And know the time of execution,
Mine aged limbes I can a little straine,
And quickly (come to end the rest) againe.