1654
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To the right honourable Henry Lord Marquesse of Dorchester: and his incomparable Lady.

Divine, and Moral Speculations in Metrical Numbers, upon Various Subjects. By Doctor R. Aylet, one of the Masters of the High Court of Chancery.

Robert Aylett


Five Spenserians by the Cambridge-educated poet.

F. M. Padelford: "Aylett's Epistle Dedicatory, after alluding to one of Dorchester's forebears who had been a royal counselor, gracefull recalls the efforts which the Marquis had made to guide the conduct of the King.... These stanzas are of moment in defining Aylett's attitude toward the policies of Charles I, as reviewed from the vantage point of old age and long experience" "Robert Aylett" (1936) 18.

In this volume Aylett reprints his earlier verse with changes described by Padelford: "The Song of Sons is an exact reprint of the earlier edition. The Brides Ornaments supplies the ten meditations, constituting Books III and IV, which were omitted from the first edition. The last two stanzas of the original Proem are reduced to one, and, as stated above, Books I and II are reduced a third. The Five Divine and Moral Meditations, on the other hand, have only been reduced from 230 to 220 stanzas, and the Five Moral Meditations have exactly the same number — 216 — in each edition, although the later editions omits four of the original stanzas and adds four elsewhere" "Robert Aylett" (1936) 18-19.



To whom should I these fancies dedicate,
When I made truce with thoughts of vanity,
But to your Noble selfe, and Princely Mate,
Whose soules are so espouz'd to Piety?
Now, in such verdant yeers, when most apply
Themselves to gaudy garbs, and worlds delight,
Lo, your brave mindes do soare a pitch more high,
To seek your Maker and Celestial light;
And few there are who make that way a loftier flight.

My Lord,
I could produce (could it augment your fame,)
A Noble Counsellour in former dayes,
That was of your own Lignage, Blood and Name,
Whoby the light of Heavens clear cristal rayes
His Prince did guide (to his eternal praise.)
The King was glad to hear what he propounded,
Whereby he shunn'd those rockie dangerous wayes,
Which all the Christian world might have confounded,
No Musick sweeter then good counsel ever sounded.

He was another Joseph to this land,
Who by his Prudence did his Lord advise
To passe that Charter under seal and hand,
Which props the Priest and peoples liberties;
(The peoples hearts are Kings best treasuries,)
The marks and bounds to terminate each Section,
From all encroachment which that Grant denies,
For where I pay my tribute and subjection,
I challenge may my life's and livelihoods protection.

I spare, Illustrious Lord, the application;
Do but the forename change, the storie's thine,
Who art the brightest glory of this Nation
In search of knowledge Humane and Divine,
Be pleas'd as Sol, when he begins to shine,
All foggs and mists from hills and valleys chaseth,
To countenance these gentle Songs of mine,
Sweet Israels Singer sate among the Graces,
The wiseman after all his travels Hymen paceth.

A Vote.

With outward store God grant you inward peace,
In mutual love to spend long lasting dayes;
It is the course both Heaven and Earth to please,
Who will you blesse in all your works and wayes,
(Good wives their Husbands House and Honor raise,)
Provide true Jonathans to be their friend.
And now your Votary most humbly prayes,
That God may children like the Parents send,
And to the utmost point of time your noble line extend.

So prayeth the Humblest of your Servants,
ROBERT AYLET.

[sigs A2-A3]