458 rhyme-royal stanzas, with a concluding frame-stanza in couplets. Unlike the tragic tales that dominate the Mirror for Magistrates, England's Eliza consists of an almost unbroken series of triumphs. This is by design; while Richard Niccols' poem is described as a chronicle, it is in fact quite selective in what it chooses to discuss; there is no mention of Lord Burghley or Scottish Mary, for instance. The effective subject is the conflict with Spain, its overt campaigns and secret plots. Elizabeth makes relatively few actual appearances, her chief role being the agent of divine providence in the wars of religion. Niccols displays none of the covert ambivalence towards Elizabeth Spenser had expressed when she was alive.
If the narrative languishes for dozens of stanzas at a stretch, it can spring to life in set-piece descriptions like those of the sea-fight against the Armada and the sack of Cadiz (which the poet had observed at first hand). Niccols's Spenserianism likewise is intermittent, chiefly apparent in his diction and alliteration. His versification is extremely lumpish in the manner of the earlier Mirrors. The "you are there" quality of Englands Eliza, while it revels in a bloody-mindedness unattractive to modern sensibilities, doubtless lends a kind of insight into the enthusiasms of some of Spenser's early admirers. While the pagination is continuous, the poem has a separate title page with a woodcut of Elizabeth grasping her orb and scepter. The title is given as "Englands Eliza: or the Victorious and Triumphant Reigne of that Virgin Empresse of Sacred Memorie, Elizabeth, Queene of England, France, and Ireland, &c."
Louis R. Zocca: "in 1610, Richard Niccols compiled a new, inclusive gathering of all the 'tragedies', under the title A Winter Night's Vision. He reverts to an old device: Memorie comes to him, since many kings had been overlooked, bidding him 'this night her penman be.' As a consequence, he adds ten pieces dealing with untreated characters, including Drayton's 'tragedy' of Lord Cromwell. At the end of his edition, Niccols sings a great paean to the Queen, 'England's Eliza.' This reminds us of Spenser's projected gathering of all the characters at the end of the Faerie Queene, but it makes us wish that someone else had undertaken the task. Here is great praise for Elizabeth and all her counsellors, Grey, Warwick, Drake, and others. However, it is nothing more than a chronicle of the principal events of the reign, recording such notable happenings as the Armada and Babington's plot, with indiscriminate praise lavished upon all the participants" Elizabethan Narrative Verse (1950) 34.
The poem opens with an argument presenting Elizabeth as England's Astraea, the wonderful monarch who brought peace, justice, and prosperity. But in the present age she has her detractors; therefore "And while that we, the brood of Phoebus wit | In golden verse her deeds to light can bring, | On mount Parnassus, as we safely sit, | In such high straine her worth we all will sing, | That earths whole round of her great fame shall ring" p. 787. Niccols squints at the love verses popular King James's less-than-heroic reign.
The chronicle proper opens with Elizabeth's treaty with the Scots and her defeat of the rebellion in the North. In an allegorical episode (the only one in the poem) Error descends to the the cave of Envy to make trouble: "At length to Rome with Error, Envie came, | Where gorg'd with fulnesse of excessive feast, | Finding proud Pius" (p. 792) they begin the plots which will occupy Niccols for the rest of the poem. Enraged by the sea-faring successes of Frobisher and Drake, and the victories of Essex and Grey in Ireland, "Romes dragon rousde his bloodie crest, | And wav'd his wings, from whence that rabble rout, | That hell-hatch'd brood, who fed on Errors brest | And suck'd her poysonous dugs, came crawling out | As was their woont" p. 796.
England faces an internal threat from Jesuit priests, veritable wolves in sheep's clothing (Campion among them). Their plots are foiled, and the miscreants properly punished: "With shameful death, their shamefull lives took end, | Leaving on earth for signes of infamie | Their totter'd carcases, to which no frend | At anie time, could give due obsequie, | Or scarse bewaile their woefull destinie; | But left they were for prey, both daies and nights | To black night ravens and to hungrie kites" p. 798. Parry's attempt to assassinate Elizabeth is foiled by her intimidating presence.
England agrees to succor the Netherlands in their rebellion against Spain; Drake and his allies lay waste Spanish possessions in the New World. For his part, Philip foments rebellion in Ireland. The actions in the Netherlands afford Niccols matter for narrative description, "Disorder, dread, death, noise and darknesse grim, | In blood and gore of slaughtered foes did swim" p. 807. Philip Sidney is killed, but Elizabeth is covered in her chiefs' reflected glory. Babington's plot is defeated, and in revenge Drake burns the Spanish fleet of Cadiz. Niccols swells his notes to epic proportions as he begins his account of the Armada with a description of the massive forces assembled by Philip. Milton may have remembered the passage: "Ore Stygian bridge from Plutoes Emperie, | Came nights blacke brood, Disorder, Ruine, Rage, | Rape, Discord, Dread, Despaire, Impietie, | Horror, swift Vengeance, Murder, Crueltie, | All which together on th' Iberian strand, | With Spaines great host troopt up did ready stand" p. 814.
When Englands Phoebus, Henries hopefull sonne
The worlds rare Phoenix, Princely Edward hight,
To death did yeeld, his glasse of life outrun,
And Phoebus-like no more could lend his light;
Then men did walke in shades of darkesome night,
Whose feeble sight with errors blacke strooke blind,
Could in no place Times faire Fidessa find.
That blind borne-monster truthes sterne opposite,
Begotten first in Demogorgons hall,
Twixt uglie Erebus and grizlie night,
The sonnes of truth did horriblie appall
With her approch, much dreaded of them all:
Who ever came in reach of her foule pawes,
She in their blood imbru'd her thirstie jawes.
Witnesse may bee the manie a burning flame,
Made with the limbes of Saints to mount on high,
Whose constant soules without the least exclaime,
In midst of death downe patientlie did lie,
And in bright flames did clime the Clow'd-brow'd skie;
Yea let Elizaes woes in that blind age
A witnesse bee of bloodie Errors rage.
Whose deepe distresse and dolefull miserie,
I not assay to sing, but leave the same
To our deare sister sad Melpomene,
That she her sweet patheticke voice may frame
In dolefull dittee to condole the same:
I onely here in high Heroick streine,
Do strive to sing of her triumphant reigne.
Jove looking downe, from his celestiall throne
With eies of pitie on poore Englands woes,
Did lend her helpe, when hope of helpe was none,
And in his mercy did his power oppose
Gainst Errors night-borne children, her cheife foes,
Who sought t' obscure with cloudes of envious night,
Her Cynthias shine, the lampe of all her light.
But he disperst those cloudes, and drove away
The lowring stormes, that overcast our skie,
And made our glorious Cynthia to dlsplay
Her heavenlie shine, to give them light thereby,
Who long before in darknese bound did lie;
For she it was, who with her sweet repaire
From th' hearts of men did banish black despaire.
Even as that morning starre that doth display
Her golden tresses in th' Orientall skie,
Brings happie tidings of approching day
To them that long in bed do restlesse lie,
Expecting comfort from the suns bright eye:
So our Eliza did blest tidings bring
Of joy to those, whom sad distress did sting.
No sooner did this Empires royall crowne
Begirt the temples of her princelie hed;
But that Jove-borne Astrea straight came downe
From highest heaven againe, to which in dread
Of earths impietie before shee fled:
Well did shee know, Elizaes happie reigne
Would then renew the golden age againe.
The heav'ns did smile on her with sweet delight,
And thundering Jove did laugh her foes to scorne,
The god of warre did cease from bloodie fight,
And fruitfull Plentie did her land adorne
With richest gifts, powrd from her plenteous horne,
The happie seedes, which th' hands of peace did sow
In everie place with goodlie fruit did grow.
Devouring Mulciber, whose flames before
With blood of holy men were heard to hisse,
Of Englands happie sonnes were seene no more;
But truth and mercie did each other kisse,
And brought sweet tidings of their heavenly blisse:
All which by powerfull Jove have granted been
For love t' Eliza Albions matchlesse Queene.
Matchlesse for all the gifts of heavenly grace,
For natures good and happie destinie,
All which in one sole subject having place,
If they a mortall wight may beautifie,
And give a Prince earths true felicitie,
She truly did enjoy, while she did live,
That Summum Bonum, which this life could give.
In th' happie Horoscope of her sweet birth,
Both heaven and nature seemed to consent
With Fortunes selfe t' augment their fame on earth,
Each one in hope to perfect their intent,
By this Queene Virgin and her government,
And amongst themselves they seemed to contend,
Who should to her the greatest gifts extend.
For when from Annaes wombe, she came to light,
Th' whole aggregate of heav'n from Joves high throne,
Unto the lowest orbe lookt blithe and bright,
And in the same, each constellation
United was in sweet conjunction,
Powring their influence of felicitie
Upon the Virgins blest nativitie.
Nor can I tell the gifts of grace exact,
With which heav'n did enrich her royall mind,
Had I a brazen throat or voice infract,
A thousand tongues, and rarest words refin'd,
With utterance swifter, then the swiftest winde;
Yet were they all too weake at large to tell
The gifts of grace, that in her soule did dwell.
Her setled faith, fixt in the highest heav'n
Remained firme unto her lives last date,
Nor her undanted spirit could be driven
At any time one jot thereof t' abate
By Spaines sterne threats, and Romes pernitious hate,
The ankor of the same, her hope, above
Stood fixt upon the promise of great Jove.
Her deeds of mercie, not in hope to merit,
Were true ostents of her fidelitie,
For which, a name on earth she shall inherit,
Which shall outlive the vading memorie
Of spitefull Romes defaming forgerie;
For not alone did we her bountie know,
But forren shores the same likewise can show.
Heav'n having dignifi'd her soule divine,
With rarest gifts of goodly qualitie,
Dame Natures selfe, as seeming to refine
The common mixture of mortalitie,
Into a matter of more puritie,
Made for her soule a mansion house so faire,
That few with it for beautie might compare.
And though her beautie were exceeding rare,
Yet Romes Lucretia for a sober eie
So far renown'd, with her might not compare,
Nor the Greekes constant Queene Penelope,
Might match this maiden Queene for modestie:
For Phoebes selfe did want her governance
In modest gesture and chaste countenance.
Thus heav'n and nature having shew'd their skill
In perfecting a creature so divine,
Fortune, as loth so rare a worke to spill,
At our Great Britaine Maid did not repine,
But did to her all happinesse assigne,
Whereby no Prince on earth yet ever was,
That for rare gifts Eliza did surpasse.
Cease then, yee black-mouth'd brood of Envies race,
Men monsters-like, or monsters like to men,
Whose tongues with scandall tipt, seeke to disgrace
Our royall Soveraigne, Joves anoynted Queene,
Whose like in any age hath seldome been:
Cease vipers, cease I say, from your offence,
In spitting poyson at such excellence.
Yet, if your English Romanized hearts,
Gainst natures custome swell with foule defame,
Brandish your stings, and cast your utmost darts
Against the greatnesse of her glorious name,
Yet shall it live to your eternall shame;
Yea, though Rome, Spaine, and hell it selfe repine,
Her fame on earth with sun-bright light shal shine.
And while that we, the brood of Phoebus wit
In golden verse her deeds to light can bring,
On mount Parnassus, as we safely sit,
In such high straine her worth we all will sing,
That earths whole round of her great fame shall ring:
For endless praise to her well may we give,
That did protect our cause, while she did live.
(O) how the wreath of Phoebus flowring bay,
The victors due desert and learnings meed
Did flourish in her time without decay!
Which to obtaine, each one did strive t' exceed
In high atchievment of some glorious deed:
Though now, alas, such custome is forgot,
And love of ease great Albions sonnes doth blot.
Lull'd in the bosome of securitie,
Upon th' ignoble bed of idle ease,
Foully defacing true nobilitie,
Few now do care, but how they best may please
The hungrie fancie of sweet loves disease,
That pitie t'is so many a worthie wight,
Lets honor flie for fancies fond delight.
But wake (yee honor'd Impes of noble race)
Rouze up the dying sparkes of courage bold,
T'is Clyo speakes to you, that she may place
Your lasting praises, writ with lines of gold,
In flying Fames great booke to be inrol'd,
Yea let your fathers late done deeds inflame
Your sleeping thoughts to gaine a glorious name:
Who thought it true honors glorious prize
By nimblie capring in a daintie dance,
To win th' affects of womens wanton eies,
Ne yet did seek their glory to advance
By only tilting with a rush-like lance,
But did in dreadfull death themselves oppose,
To winne renowne against Elizaes foes.
How stoutly did they march in honors field,
In stately station like the sonnes of Fame,
Led by renowne, who nere did let them yeeld,
Though drown'd in death in midst of martiall game,
Till by their deeds the gain'd a glorious name,
Whgose valour still Eliza did direct
Each where to beat downe wrong and right erect.
AN. REG. 2.
When Englands Scotland in distresse did stand,
Ambitious Guise intending her decay,
Englands fair Virgin lent her helping hand,
And soone did chace th' insulting French away,
That proudly did their ensignes there display:
For that brave Lord great Grey of Wilton hight,
Did force them thence by warres impulsive might.
AN. REG. 4.
When France within it selfe divided stood,
Th' aspiring Guise in hostile furie bent
Against brave Condie, Prince of royall blood,
Then our faire Queene all danger to prevent,
Great Warwicke ore the seas broad bosome sent,
Whose dreaded powers our Calice losse had quited,
Had heav'n not sicknesse through his host excited.
AN. REG. 7.
When Irelands great Oneale, first that did move
The Kernes and Gallowglasses, men of might,
Unto their Soveraigne to renounce their love,
Hight Henrie Sidnie that heroick Knight,
Did oft times turne him to inglorious flight,
Till traytor-like mongst friends he found his fall,
Who hew'd his bodie into pieces small.
AN. REG. 8.
Nor heere renowned Randol brave Esquire
Can I forget to give to thee thy right,
When with thine owne few troopes, whose hearts on fire
Thy valour set, thou put'st to shameful flight
This Shane Oneale, and all his host in fight:
Where though thou fell in venturing past the rest,
Thy name shall live in Fames great booke exprest.
AN. REG. 12.
And heere at home, when in the North did rise
The louring stormes stirr'd up by discontent
Of peace-disturbers, who did enterprize
By force of hand their Soveraignes right to rent,
And take from her this kingdomes government,
Then stood up many a loyall hearted Peere,
To shield her safe from threatning foe-mens feare.
For well they knew, with right it could not stand,
That any one their Soveraigne might displace,
And take the Scepter from the Princes hand:
The rule of many is absurd and base,
One Prince must sit inthron'd in justice place;
For many heads, what bodie ever bare,
That was not monster-like and out of square?
Which little did those jarring members know,
When with their banner of the five wounds spread,
And holy seeming crosse, a fained show
Of their ungodly zeale, they first made head
At Durhams towne against their Soveraigne dread,
Where their first outrage men did understand,
In tearing th' holy writs of Gods owne hand.
Gainst whom, these great Heroes up did stand,
Renowned Sussex, th' eldest sonne of Fame,
Great Warwick, Rutland, and stout Cumberland,
Bold Devorax, Howard Lord of Effingham,
Brave Lord of Perham Willowby by name,
Scroope, Evers, Knoles, all men of famous might,
From whom their foes to Scotland tooke their flight.
And thou brave Hunsdon borne of Princes blood,
Though last in place yet not the least in name,
When a disloyall Lord undaunted stood
To bid thee battell, to thy endless fame,
Thou mad'st him flie the bounded field with shame:
'Gainst whom with thy few troopes, thou didst advance
And authoriz'd high service with thy lance.
Upon the bankes, where silver Chelt doth glide,
With his three thousand men in armes well dight,
He stoutly stood and did thy charge abide,
Gainst whom with fifteene hundred thou didst fight,
And forc'd him yeeld unto thy powerfull might:
For heartlesse from the field away he fled
To Scotland by, to hide his shamefull hed.
And as the Lordly Lion, king of beasts,
When he by chance hath lost his wished prey,
Runs roring through the wood, and never rests
Till he have truly tract the readie way,
Where he may follow his escaped prey:
So noble Hunsdon with his conquering crew,
His flying foe to Scotland did pursue.
ANNO EODEM 12.
With that stout sonne of Mars, great Sussex bent,
T' inferre revenge upon the borderers by
For misdemeanor done, much time he spent
In making hostile spoile on th' enemie,
That fought to succour rebels treacherie:
Which done, loden with honor and rich spoile,
They made returne unto their native soile.
Thus did these Lords to their faire virgin Queene,
Return with glorie got from every place,
Though at her greatnesse with malignant spleene,
Many leaud sonnes of Envies hellish race,
Did much repine, and sought her names disgrace:
For spitefull Envie never doth repine,
But where true vertues glorie most doth shine.
Downe in the deepes of earths profunditie
Her dwelling is, in dungeons darksome blind,
Where she nere sees the bright sunnes cheerefull eie,
Ne comfort of the wholesome aire doth finde,
Tost to and fro by gentle breathing winde;
But with the Furies of the Stygian flood,
Sits low in hell in hate of humane good.
The restelesse griefe, which carking care doth breed,
Her thoughts with endlesse torment doth oppresse,
Her woes of others welfare do proceed,
Ne ever is she seene to laugh, unlesse
At lucklesse hap of others ill successe;
For others happinesse her woe doth bring,
And all her ill from others good doth spring.
To this foule hellhound from that blood-built towne,
Which Tyburs silver armes doe round imbrace,
Blind Error came, where truth was troden downe,
Since bloodie Phocas to the worlds disgrace,
Did seat the first false Priest in Caesars place;
And thence did Error take her speedie flight
To Envies cave to worke the world despight.
Where when she came before the hags foule sight,
Elizaes glorie she did oft propose,
And more to whet her forward to despight,
She shew'd how Truth and Love their two chiefe foes,
On that faire Virgin only did repose,
Which Envies malice did so much augment,
That she throughout the world with Error went.
Blinde Error bore foule Envie on her backe,
And over many kingdoms tooke their flight,
Where Envies poison mixt with Errors blacke,
In scalding drops, as they did flie, did light
Upon the limbes of many a wretched wight,
Which through their veins diffus'd did swiftly run,
Choaking that love, that in their hearts did won.
At length to Rome with Error, Envie came,
Where gorg'd with fulnesse of excessive feast,
Finding proud Pius, fift of that false name,
Laid on soft couch his heavie head to rest,
She laid her scurvie fist upon his breast,
And from his feet, even to his sleepie head,
She made her poison canker-like to spread.
And with more malice to augment his hate,
She did propose unto his envious eye,
Th' admired glorie of Elizaes state,
And his lost priviledge and dignitie
In this her kingdome of great Britanie;
Which did so vex great Pius, that on nought,
But mischief gainst our Queene thenceforth he thought.
His threatning Bull, whose rore in ages past,
The superstitious world did terrifie,
Amongst Elizaes subjects he did cast,
Thereby to alienate their loyaltie,
And dutie vow'd to her Soveraigntie;
Yea pardon in it he did denounce to all,
That from our Queene their dutie would recall.
AN. REG. 12.
Which Bull, (fond Felton) thy unhappie hand
Did fixe upon that Prelates Palace gate,
Which doth Paules high towering temple stand;
Where thou did'st justly meete thy wretched fate,
The meed, that traytors steps doth still await;
Nor could that Priest remit thy foule offence,
Though with large sinne his Bull did then dispence.
And though he did denounce both pardon and curse,
Yet by the one small comfort did'st thou find,
Ne yet was Englands happie state the worse;
But as in gloomie caves and corners blinde,
The suns bright blazing beames most cleare we finde,
So did the Virgins glorie shine most brim,
When her proud foes did seeke the same to dim.
AN. REG. 15.
For hereupon, when with rebellious sword,
Those stout strength-breathing Irish up did stand,
Renowned Devorax Vicount Hereford,
That most illustrate Lord of high command,
No sooner did approch with powerful hand,
But that the rebels daunted with his name,
Armes laid aside, in humble manner came.
Brian Mac-Phelin, that much scath had done,
With Ferdorough Macgillastick, that bold Knight,
By some surnam'd the blind Scots valiant sonne,
With Odonel, Roze, Oge, and Macknel hight,
Did yeeld themselves to famous Devorax might,
Which shews, that he of heav'n beloved was,
That without blood could bring such things to passe.
AN. REG. 18. 19. 20.
And heav'n, the more to blesse our happie Queene,
After this Romish Buls loud bellowing rore,
Three times the famous Frobisher was seene,
In winged barkes full fraught with golden ore,
Dancing ore Neptunes backe to Englands shore:
For Jason-like to his eternall fame,
Thrice from Catay with golden Fleece he came.
AN. REG. 21.
To adde more fame to this for future time,
Great Drake to quell their pride that had set downe,
Their Ne plus ultra in the farthest clime
By seas, sands, rocks and many a sea-sieg'd towne,
Did compasse earth in spight of Neptunes frowne;
For which his name with fame for aye is crown'd,
Whose barke still sailes about the worlds whole round.
And thee brave Holstock may I not forget,
Whose conquering sword on Neptune's high command
Elizaes hapless foes hath often met,
And brought them captive with victorious hand,
Rich fraught with spoile to Albions rockie strand,
Whereby the greatnesse of Elizaes name
A terror both by land and seas became.
O what a princely charge did she maintaine
Of men, munition and artillirie
In flying castles on the purple maine,
Which on the clowds of Thetis liquid skie,
Seeming to frisk about for jollitie,
Stood like safe centinels 'bout Englands shore
Making seas tremble at their cannons rore.
Thus did the heav'ns showre down felicitie
In ample manner on Elizaes state,
At which Romes holie sire did still envie,
Who failing in our English home-bred bate,
In foraine shoares shew'd his malignant hate:
For by false Desmonds meanes he made great show
Gainst our Elizaes weale to worke much woe.
AN. REG. 22.
But heav'n did soone oppose against his might
Th' heroick spirit, that burn'd in the hart
Of noble Grey of Wilton, that bold Knight,
Who unto wounds did challenge th' adverse part
In manie a field, who having felt the smart
Of his keene sword, the stoutest hid his hed,
And from his furie to the wilde woods fled.
And when th' Iberian troopes did there display
Romes ensigne, in that castle hight Del Ore,
In Desmonds cause against our Queene, great Grey
Did thunder gain'st their walls with cannons rore,
Ne would from fierce assault desist before
Unto his furie passage he had made
In Spanish blood to bathe his conquering blade.
Thus all his plots still failing in th' event,
Prevented by heav'ns all-foreseeing eye,
A thousand mischiefs now he gan invent,
Invasion, outrage, murder, treacherie,
Sounding the depths of all iniquitie;
For all black deedes his vice-blackt thoughts could find
He turn'd and return'd in his vengefull minde.
Upon his furrowed front, the signs of Ire,
Furie and rage, did sit like lowring night,
And both his burning eyes like glowing fire
Beneath his bended browes did sparkle bright,
As irefull lightnings of his hearts despight,
Yea nought could mollifie his raging teene,
But blood and vengeance gainst our royall Queene.
Amongst his holie sonnes he cald a quest,
Whose counsell to his mischief might give way,
And to his raging thoughts at length gave rest,
Setting his wrath on wing against that day,
Wherein he purposd Englands swift decay;
For by them all in counsell t'was decreed,
England should fall, Elizaes hart should bleed.
The time was set by stratagems devise,
And force of hands to worke their wicked hate,
The persons chosen for that enterprise,
All bent to tread downe Englands happie state
Beneath the feete of some disaster fate,
Bosting abroad before the deed was done,
By their firme valor, what rich prize was wone.
The conquerd nations of the Indian soyle,
At whose huge wealth the world is made to wonder,
Their mothers wombe were forced to dispoyle,
And rudely rend her golden ribs insunder,
Thereby to set on wing warres roring thunder:
For souldiers thoughts on golden wings flie far,
And earths spoiles are sinewes of the war.
Manie tall Pines were leveld with the plaine
By the confederates of the Latin shore,
Being taught to flie upon the purple maine
By force of winde and strength of sable Oare,
That on the solid ground stood firme before,
Whose hugeness mightie mountains did resemble,
Making the monsters of the deepe to tremble.
The famous Artizans, that by their art
Do imitate the thunder of the skie,
And digging down into the earths black hart,
With that salt humor, that doth hidden lie,
Into the ayre make fierie lightnings flie,
Were all imploy'd by Spaines supreme command
To hurle their thunder gainst our sea-sieg'd land.
All warre habiliments they did prepare
To set sterne Mars upon his conquering feete,
Their farre-fetcht Indian gold they did not spare,
That nothing might be wanting, that was meet
To furnish out their most unconquered fleet;
Before all which was consummate and done,
Bright Phoebus oft his yearely race had runne:
Meane time Romes dragon rousde his bloodie crest,
And wav'd his wings, from whence that rabble rout,
That hell-hatch'd brood, who fed on Errors brest
And suck'd her poysonous dugs, came crawling out
As was their woont, to flie the world about:
For those he hatch'd beneath his shadie wings,
T' imploy 'gainst Potentates and mightiest Kings.
AN. REG. 23.
Manie of these to Englands shores he sent,
All diverslie attir'd in strange array,
Closely thereby to worke his foule intent,
And by their presence to prepare a way
Against the enterprize of that great day;
In which Spaines potent fleete the worlds great wonder,
With hidious horror should gainst us enthunder.
Most of the which (O that times swanwhite wings
Could sweep away record of such foule shame)
Were home-borne Impes untimely shot up springs
Of Britaine brood, Britaines alone by name,
By nature monsters borne of foule defame,
That sought the ruine, shame, decay and death
Of their deare dam, from whom they took their breath.
Unkindly Impes, even from your birth accurst,
Detested stock of vipers bloodie brood,
That sought to satisfie your burning thirst
By drinking up your dying mothers blood,
Making her death your life, her hurt your good;
Your deeds are sunke to Plutoes darksome den,
Shame is your portion mongst the sonnes of men.
Mee seemes, I see them walk about the brim
Of black Styx dangerous flood, where Dis doth wonne,
Prince of dead night and darknesse gloomie grim,
Howling for passage, where deep Styx doth run,
Although in vaine, their funerall rites not done:
For hateful fowles of heav'n being their best grave,
No passage to Elyzium can they have.
Alas, how Error, Envie, and Despaire
Did troope them up to leade them on the way,
Error orecast their skie, darkened their ayre,
Obscur'd their sight, then Envie did assay
To make them seeke Truths ruine and decay;
Which having faild, Despaire to them did bring
Confusion, shame, and conscience griping sting.
In fatal barkes fast flying ore the maine,
They daylie came with doctrine seeming sound,
In which as meritorious they maintaine
The bloodie hand, that should his Prince confound,
If good thereby to holy church redoun'd,
Above all whom the self-conceited Campian
Past all compare, was reckn'd Romes arch Champian.
This English Romane wretch with manie more
Did spred themselves disguis'd about the land,
Seducing daylie both the rich and poore
Against their Prince to lift rebellious hand,
Renouncing as unjust her dread command,
And 'gainst the time appointed to provide
With forren force to set up Romane pride.
And then with dread and horror to dismay
Their wavering thoughts, they set before their eyes
The general slaughter of that dismall day,
When Spaines black fleet on Neptunes liquid skies
Should woefull England suddenlie surprise;
Wishing them crave the Popes protection
T' escape such horror and confusion.
But as the wolfe disguis'd with fleecie skin
Of sillie sheep, the shepheard long did blinde,
And 'mongst the flock thereby did credit win,
Till he at length, did by his bloodie minde
Bewray himselfe to be a wolfe by kinde:
So they, though making manie Saint-like showes
Did by their deeds themselves at length disclose.
With shameful death, their shamefull lives took end,
Leaving on earth for signes of infamie
Their totter'd carcases, to which no frend
At anie time, could give due obsequie,
Or scarse bewaile their woefull destinie;
But left they were for prey, both daies and nights
To black night ravens and to hungrie kites.
AN. REG. 24.
Which might have been a terror unto those,
That after sought the fair Elizaes fall,
And in their harts did wickedlie suppose
To Englands bounds againe back to recall
The Popish pride and Romane slavish thrall:
But after this did manie undergoe
Dire death and shame, to worke Elizaes woe.
AN. REG. 26.
First furious Sommervile, that posting came,
With his owne hands to act his Soveraignes death,
Prevented in the way, to shun such shame
As might ensue, did stop his owne deare breath,
Thinking the same a far more glorious death;
But simple man with far more shame thereby,
Thy trembling ghost unto the dead did flie.
ANNO EODEM. F. T.
The next, whose shame no time away shall sweepe,
Was he, who by the helpe of traytors hand,
Searching the mightie Neptunes waterie deepe,
Us'd all his art and skill to understand
The depth of every haven in this land;
Thereby to give safe conduct to the foe,
And bring them in to worke his countries woe.
He went to that great Gods dread kingdomes bounds,
Who often chargeth on the clouds in skie,
Who cuffes the seas, who by his power confounds
High hils and mountaines, who doth terrifie
Even the sad ghosts of Plutoes Emperie;
He went to know, what winde the Fleet should wing,
That should confusion unto England bring.
(O unremorsefull man!) (O wretched wight!)
Shame to thy selfe and thy posteritie,
Nor friends nor countries good, to whom of right
Thy care was due, nor love of loyaltie
To thy dread Queene thy heart might mollifie,
But wing'd with mischiefe, having once begun,
Thou to untimely death didst head-long run.
Whose wretched steps, in that same fatall way
That leads to house of death, loe many more
Had follow'd fast in giving like assay,
Had not our Queene, whose virgin bosome bore
A melting heart admir'd for mercie store,
In pitie far excell'd th' impieite
Of their false treason 'gainst her Majestie.
Out of her bountious grace and Princely mind,
She gave them passage at her owne expence,
Seldome on earth such mercie shall we find,
For which strooke blind withshame of their offence,
Against a person of such excellence,
They sent their owne hand writs to testifie
This worthie deed to all posteritie.
AN. REG. 27.
Yet that ungrateful man, to whom before
Justly convicted for foule felonie,
Renown'd Eliza did lost life restore,
Sought to enact a bloodie tragedie
Upon the person of her Majestie,
To wit that boaster, who did beare the name
Of Doctor Parrie to increase his Fame.
The Babylonian bawd, whose strumpet-breath
Gives life to treason, did with him conspire
To end their vengeance in the Virgins death;
And lest his heart should faile and he retire
From his intent, to wing him with desire,
His soule from sin, from death, and hell was freed,
With impious hands to act this tragicke deed.
The foolish man with resolution came,
As sent from heav'n, yet did it nought availe:
For getting licence to this royall dame
With her to talke alone, his heart did faile,
Her lookes alone his height of sprite did quaile;
For daunted with her sight, he did repent,
And closely sought to colour his intent.
He did declare to her, how he had taken
A solemn oath to take her life away,
And how her Soveraigntie he had forsaken,
The Romish beast as supreame head t' obay,
Who by his hands expected her decay,
To which, he said, he did but seeme t' agree,
That so it might by him detected bee.
The royall Virgin, when as she did heare
The wicked purpose of her treacherous foe,
To shew how little she the same did feare,
Pardon'd him in secret, that no Peere might know
His leaud intent, and so might worke him woe:
O height of Princely spirit, past humane sence!
O mercie past compare, for such offence!
Yet this false wretch, in whose obdurate heart
No loyall love did dwell, persisted still
In his blacke treason, and did use all art
Oft times with dagger, dag or any ill,
T' effect the purpose of his bloodie will:
Which once being brought to light for such offence,
His grudging ghost with shame was posted hence.
Thus Romes blood-thirsting wolves with cruell pawes,
Sought daily to devoure our Virgin Lambe,
And plunge poor England in deaths yawning jawes,
Hiding for aye the glorie of her name,
Rakte up in cinders of a ruthlesse flame:
Thereby t' extinguish that celestiall light,
Which Romes red Dragon did so sore affright.
They knew for certaine, while our glorious lampe,
Our Maiden Queene did live to lend us light,
She would disperse foule errors dismall dampe,
Which suffocates the soule, and choakes the sight
With fearefull shadowes of eternall night;
Yea much they fear'd pure truths true light divine,
Which then in forren shores began to shine.
The sea-divided seventeene lands great nation,
The Belgick borderers by the bankes of Rheine,
Cast off Romes yoke, and left their blind devotion,
With one consent beginning to incline
Unto a truth more perfect, more divine;
Which they with martyr'd blood did long maintaine,
Gainst th' inquisition of Rome-wronged Spaine.
AN. REG. 27.
But at the last, when with warres dreadfull thunder,
Don John of Austria and his warlike band,
Began to shake the Belgicke State in sunder,
To tyrannize and bring them with strong hand,
Beneath the yoke of Philips sterne command,
The great Eliza they did humblie crave,
Their Belgick State from hostile spoile to save.
The Briton Maid remorsefull of their woes
In their defence did lift her royall hand,
Against the threats of their invading foes,
And sent in safe conduct a warlike band,
With fame-grac'd Norrice to the Belgicke strand;
Which with his valiant crew he did maintaine,
Against the incursions of the power of Spaine.
Meane time th' undaunted Drake no time did sleepe,
Upon the maine King Philips powers to sease,
Who thought himselfe the Neptune of the deepe;
But of such yoke, the sea-gods sonnes to ease,
Drake tooke from him the scepter of the seas,
And put the same in his faire Soveraignes hand,
Teaching the deepe to know her milde command.
Her winged Barkes, like sea-Nymphes in their flight,
The aged sea-gods daughter safely bore,
Whose nimble dance the deepe did so delight,
That 'bout their bosomes sweeping by the shore
The silver waves did play with wanton rore,
Thinking themselves releas'd form yoke of Spaine,
Whose gold-heap'd mountaines did oppresse the maine.
With these upon the seas, the noble Drake
Did saile as Lord of the Ocean Emperie,
At whose dread name th' Iberians hearts did quake,
Who left the rule of Neptunes moistned skie
To Drakes command, and to the shores did flie,
Whom now for ancient wrongs done long before,
He with swift vengeance follow'd to the shore.
Brave Carlile, Winter, Frobisher, and Knoles,
With many more of Neptunes noble race,
Made peopled cities place for beast and fowles,
Burnt bowers, sackt towers, raz'd townes before the face
Of their base foes, who fled with foule disgrace,
Leaving wife, children, gold, and goods for pray,
By stranger people to be borne away.
Foure townes in this their voyage they did foile,
First did Saint Iago by their power decline,
That done, then Saint Domingo did they spoile,
Next towring Carthagena, and in fine
In Terra Florida, Saint Augustine:
Thus fortune with rich spoile their deeds did crowne,
And home they came with glorie and renowne.
And while these valiant men, true sonnes of fame,
In forren shores our foe-mens force did quell,
And by their deeds made knowne Elizaes name,
The sitff-neckt Irish proudly did rebell,
Whose hearts with stubborne pride did ever swell:
But noble Bingham, that illustrate Knight,
Did bring them downe and tame their towering might.
AN. REG. 28.
When that false traytor, Mahowne Obrian
To Romes proud strumpet bound his love to show,
In Thomond with rebellious hand began
To stirre up strife, and worke his countries woe,
In hope to have been backt by forren foe,
In warre affaires this Bingham far renown'd,
In castle Clanowen did him confound.
And when the Burkes, who did false rumours noise
Of wrong intended gainst their countries good,
With Clangibbons, with Clandonnels and Joyes,
Themselves in armes did bound and proudly stood
On daring tearmes in field to spend their blood,
Renowned Bingham with his valiant crew,
Did them through woods from cave to cave pursue.
And when the Redshankes on the borders by
Incursions made, and rang'd in battell stood
To beare his charge, from field he made them flie,
Where fisnie Moine did blush with crimson blood
Of thousand foes, that perisht in the flood,
For which brave Bingham crown'd with endless fame,
Enjoys on earth a never dying name.
Although these civill warres of home-bred hate,
First hatcht at Rome by Englands ancient foe,
Did much disturbe Elizaes blessed state,
Yet did the royall Virgin not forgoe
Th' afflictged Belgians drencht in depth of woe;
Buit to support them gainst all foes annoy,
For that designe, she Dudley did employ.
AN. REG. 28.
Who Jason-like to Colchos Island bound,
To fetch the golden fleece by force of hand,
With many great Heroes far renown'd,
Past with triumphant sailes ore seas and sand,
From Englands shores unto the Belgicke strand,
Where after all their high atchievements done,
Their fleece was fame, their gold was glorie won.
(O noble Virgin) (O victorious dame,
Englands Bellona, nurse of chivalrie)
What age brought forth so many sonnes of fame,
In all the worlds thrice-changed Monarchie,
As in the time of thy great Emperie?
Whose deeds from Englands bounds did beare thy name,
As far as Phoebus spreads his golden flame.
Who now arriving on the Belgian coast
With fatall steele did deepe ingrave thy name,
Upon the proudest crests in that great host
That with the valiant Prince of Parma came,
Enacting wonders for immortall fame;
Witnesse those famous deeds by Zutphen done,
Where many high exploits were undergone.
When both the adverse powres afront did meet
Although the foe farre more in number were;
Yet did our men with Mars swift-footed feet,
Charge on their troopes, whose hearts strooke dead with feare,
Unable to resist, they back did beare,
T' whom valiant Audlie in their faint recoyle,
With his foot-bands alone did give the soyle.
Then th' Albanois unto the rescue came
With their horse troopes, mongst whom stout Norris went,
And boldly singl'd out a man of fame,
Gainst whom his pistoll with full charge he bent
To act his fall; but failing in th' event,
His foe-mans head he with the same did greet,
And made him fall at his victorious feet.
Next noble Willoughby with lance in rest,
Arm'd like the god of warre on winged horse,
Met Captaine George, opposing brest to brest,
Whom from his steed halfe-dead with furious force,
He downe did beare in his winde-winged course,
Who falling said, I yeeld me to thy might,
In that I see thou art a seemly Knight.
Then noble Devorax, Mars his yongest sonne,
Chear'd up his troope (fellowes in armes) quoth he,
The honorable preafe let us not shunne,
Ne with the dread of death dismaied be,
But for your countries glorie follow me:
Which said, he fiercely charg'd on th' enemie,
And shew'd high proofe of his stout valiancie.
To second him, Russell that martiall Knight,
Like feathered shaft sent from a stiffe-bent bow,
On boysterous Boreas in his nimble flight,
With weightie lance did charge upon the foe,
And horse and man to ground did overthrow,
Who with affright did from his furie runne,
As braying goats the King of beasts doth shunne.
Amongst them all, that impe of honors bred,
That Worthie of the world, that hardie Knight,
The noble Sidnie to adventures led
With glory-thirsting zeale in deaths despight,
Upon his foes himself did noblie quight:
For in one skirmish with high valiancie,
Thrice did he charge upon the enemie.
But cursed Fortune, foe to famous men,
Beholding Sidnies deeds with envious eie,
Turning her malice into raging teene,
With deadly shot did wound him on the thigh,
Which from a foe-mans fatall peece did flie:
Whose timeless end, if time did serve thereto,
I should bewaile in lines of lasting woe.
Many more sonnes of Mars his noble race,
In this daies fight great fame with perill wonne,
Yea many high exploits each breathing space,
By many a worthie wight were undergone;
Mongst whom that deed with resolution done,
By valiant Williams, and the Belgian Skinke,
Downe to obilivions den shall never sinke.
AN. REG. 28.
For when that well-walled towne, which Venlo hight,
Was round about begirted by the foe,
Huge spirit and high conceit did so excite
Stout Williams mightie mind, to undergoe
Some great attempt, that he full bent to show
Proofe of his valour by some famous act,
With hardie Skinke this wonder did enact:
When grizly night her iron carre had driven
From her darke mansion house, that hidden lies
In Plutoes kingdome, to the top of heav'n,
And with black cloake of clouds muffling the skies,
With sable wings shut up all wakefull eies,
Obscur'd with darknesse grim they both did go,
To act this strategem upon the foe:
Husht were the winds, the aire all silent was,
Sad was the night, in skies appear'd no starre;
Yet through darke horror dreadlesse did they passe,
And listning unto every breach of aire,
With stealing steps this dangerous worke did dare,
Whom at the length the dark nights shadie wing,
Into the foe-mens campe did closely bring.
Where, when they came the utmost watch they found
Upon the ground all carelessely dispread,
Who tir'd with toile, lay in deepe sleepe fast drown'd,
And as they slept, each one secure of dread,
His weapon had fast fixed at his head,
Mongst whom like hungrie wolves on flockes unkept,
Stout Skinke and worthy Williams boldly stept.
Then death triumpht in slaughter of the slaine,
Soules strugling in the pangs of many a wound,
Departs in griefe and makes aire sigh againe,
Swords blusht with blood, grim horror did abound,
A crimson dew stood on the grassie ground;
Disorder, dread, death, noise and darknesse grim,
In blood and gore of slaughtered foes did swim.
By the still watch and two strong courts of gard,
Through death, through blood and armes they boldly went,
Untill they came, where horriblie they fear'd
The Prince himselfe sweet sleeping in his tent,
Whom in their power they long'd to circumvent,
Where many a noble wight fast snoring drown'd,
In deepest sleepe with death they did confound.
But as their swords they in their foes did sheath,
At last, through massacres, through shrikes and cries
Of sad soules groning in the pangs of death,
On every side the startled foes did rise,
And shrikt out thicke alarmes to shun surprise,
Crying arme, arme, whereby appall'd with feare,
Th' whole host in sudden throngs all gathered were.
Then fled the valiant Skinke, blacke death to shun,
But hardie Williams in contention stood
With his great mind, if he more fame t' have won,
Should stoutly stay, and hazard his owne good,
With slaughtering sword to shed more foe-mens blood:
Whereby at length in depth of danger drown'd,
By armed foes, he was incircled round.
But by advantange of the gloomie night
Amongst the foe-mens troopes, unknowne he goes,
And cri'd, where's Williams? Where is Williams hight?
To whom againe one answer'd mongst the foes,
Pursue, pursue with speed, before he goes:
Thus cloudie night this worthie wight did save,
Who shunn'd his foes, and fled his darksome grave.
These were the foster children of that nurse,
Englands Minerva, Queene of glorie bright,
Who through the paths of warre their way did force,
In armes to get true honors meed by might,
And grace their name with title of true Knight:
Which honor'd order only vertues meed,
Each one then purchas'd by some glorious deed.
But while these Captaines wedded to renowne,
True loyall subjects of a royall Queene,
On Belgian shores their Soveraignes head did crowne,
With conquering wreath of never vading greene,
In spight of spight for aye fresh to be seene,
Romes raging Python full of furious wrath,
Did once againe belch up his poisoned froth.
AN. REG. 28.
Foureteen false traytors from darke treasons den,
He up did call, foule elves of envious night,
Rebels accurst, monsters abhorr'd of men,
Who for the black fleet now already dight,
To passe th' unfruitfull deepe with all her might,
Should make fit passage gainst the dread full day,
By their sweet Prince and countries swift decay.
Ballard, first author in this villanie,
Sent from the triple-crowned sonne of night,
To put in practice this their treacherie,
Proud Babington and Savage did excite,
With unremorsefull hands of violent might,
To spoile and ruinate their countries good,
And bathe their swords in their dear Soveraignes blood.
Six resolute and bloodie minded mates,
Should have been actors in her tragedie,
Then the grave Peeres and honorable States,
Had been the slaughter of their butcherie,
And thou (O glorie of this Emperie)
Thy loftie towers been levell'd with the plaine,
Thy navie burnt, and many a thousand slaine.
Such dimsall deeds and blacke confusion,
By proud Romes twice-seven sonnes intended were
Against the time of that invasion,
Report whereof with terror and with feare,
Swift-winged fame about the world did beare;
But high heav'ns King, who for his servant chose
Our Virgin Queene, their drifts did soone disclose.
Their plot bewray'd, each one did seeke t' escape,
Vengeance pursuing them from place to place,
Hight Babington attir'd in Rusticke shape,
With walnut-leaves discolouring his face,
Did seeke t' escape sad death and foule disgrace:
And all the rest being clad in strange disguise,
With trembling feare did seeke to shun surprise.
As guiltie homicides, that in dead night
Pursu'd for tragick deeds of dismall death,
To woods and groves disperst, do take their flight,
Whose gloomie shade they trembling stand beneath,
With fainting knees, cold spirit and panting breath,
With feare, expecting at their backes behinde,
The pursuit made at every puffe of winde:
Even so these wretched men, whose selfe-doom'd soules,
Now prickt with deepe remorse, did daily looke
To be the spoile and prey of hungrie fowles,
From place to place their covert passage tooke,
Whose hearts the thought of death with horror shooke,
Untill surpriz'd at length, untimely death
To end this feare expir'd their fainting breath.
Of whose surprise, when as the trumpe of fame
Had blowen the blast, the subject ever given
To blesse the fate of so divine a dame,
For this so strange escape did morne and even,
With praises magnifie the King of heav'n,
Imploring still his gratious hands for helpes,
Against the danger of that Dragons whelpes.
That day was held divine, and all the night
Consum'd in Paeans to th' Olympian King,
Then crown'd they cups of wine, and with delight
At sumptuous feasts did sit, while belles did ring,
And sweet voic'd minstrels round about did sing,
Whose suppers favour wrapt in clouds on high,
The friendly winds blew up into the skie.
And as the silver Moone in calmest night,
When she in shining coach the skies doth seale,
As golden starres, that in the heav'ns shine bright,
When gentle Auster blowes a pleasing gale,
Do glad the shepheards in the lowly vaile:
So many a thousand flames, that glaz'd the skies,
Did at the time glad all true English eies.
But most of all, that plentious-peopled towne,
Elizaes blest belov'd, faire London hight,
Her Mistresse rare escape with joy did crowne,
Whose loftie towers thrust up themselves in sight,
And joy'd to glitter in the golden light,
Affrighting sore sad nights black drowzie dame,
With splendour of huge fires refulgent flame.
AN. REG. 29.
This joy once past t' avenge that villanie,
Which Rome did by this bloodie plot pretend,
Against Elizaes sacred Majestie,
The aged sea-gods backe, Drake did ascend,
And towards the foes wing'd with revenge did wend,
Mongst whom, his name had been the ghastly bug,
T' affright yong infants at the mothers dug.
His fleet transferr'd, with prosperous gale did sweepe
Through parted waves of Thetis waterie skie,
Unto the shores of the Castilian deepe,
In whose proud billowes he did wafting lie,
Until for truth he heard by his espie,
Of that prepare, that in Cales harbor lay,
For Spaines Armada gainst th' appointed day.
Then gave he order for the navall fight,
And in the evening tide, when setting sun
Leaves steepe Olympus to the darkesome night,
The pine-plough'd seas with black clouds overrun,
To give the onset valiant Drake begun:
Hurling forth burning flames with hidious rore,
Of brazen Cannon on th' Iberian shore.
And as, when Boreas in a tempest raves,
Leaping with wings of lightning from the skie,
Makes clouds to crack and cuffes the swelling waves,
Who from the storme of his fierce furie flie,
In roling billowes on the bankes fast by;
So wrapt in clouds of smoake and lightning pale,
With dreadfull fight, Drake did his foes assaile.
Six gallies thwart the towne at first did stand
The violent onset, which the English gave;
But had they with strong oares and readie hand,
Not made swift speed themselves and fleet to save,
They with the same had perisht in the wave;
For Drake with fire in hand without delay,
Had burnt their ships and sunke them in the sea.
But loe a richer prize, he soone had wonne,
Which did repay that losse with trebble gaine,
Three barkes, of which each bore a thousand tunne,
And in the deepe such compasse did containe,
Seeming like floting mountaines on the maine,
With cannons wounding shot he did intombe,
With all their men in Thetis watrie wombe.
Nor yet could this his noble heart suffice,
But with more conquest to renowne his name,
Thirtie eight ships his valour did surprise,
Of which most part with fire he did enflame,
The rest he kept for trophies of his fame,
Which in the sight of Cales that loftie towne,
He brought away in triumph and renowne.
And as a bellowing bull, that doth disdaine,
Amongst an heard of cattell grazing by,
That any other bull in all the plaine,
Should proudly beare his curled head on high,
But makes him basely yeeld, or fainting flie:
So did great Drake, as Lord of all the deepe,
His foes on th' Ocean in subjection keepe.
And when of all great Philips navall might,
On the seas wildernesse none durst appeare,
Drake to provoke his heartlesse foes to fight,
With his whole fleet unto the shore did beare,
Where three strong holds by him assaulted were,
With that faire castle of Cape Sacre hight,
All which did fall beneath his navall might.
From thence to seas with his triumphant sailes
He did returne, wafting upon the waves
Before hight Lisbone, neere to Eastern Cales,
Where of th' Iberians he the combate craves,
Though none mongst them durst interrupt his braves,
But fled into the ports and harbours by,
Where out of danger they might hidden lie.
Yet thence he rouz'd them, while that heartlesse Knight,
The Marques of Saint Cruz lay wafting by
In his swift sayling gallies, in whose sight
Drake burnt and spoil'd his ships and made them flie,
Who to his care for helpe did seeme to crie;
Yet durst he not come forth in their defence,
But suffred Drake to lead them captive thence.
A hundred ships with furniture full fraught
For Spaines Armada, that world-wondred fleet,
He did dispoile, and some away he brought
As signs of victorie, which as most meet
He did subject at faire Elizaes feet;
The praise of which with humble zeale and love,
She offred up the heav'n as due to Jove.
Such humble thoughts in such a noble mind,
Do beat downe Pride in chiefe felicitie:
And such a noble mind in kingly kind,
With best advice, doth teach true Majestie,
To shew itself in milde humilitie,
Such humble thoughts, such noble mind had she,
Which in her heart, heart-searching Jove did see.
For which in spight of her death-threatning foes,
As high as heav'n, he did exalt her name,
And did his blacke death-darting hand oppose
Against her braving foes, that proudly came
With all their power gainst such a royall dame,
Whose mightie fleete, fifteene yeares worke of wonder,
Now launcht into the seas began to thunder.
AN. REG. 30.
For now Joves helm'd-deckt sonne, the god of warre,
Rouz'd from his rest with cannons dreadfull rore,
Leapt on the earth from out his iron carre,
Shooke his strong lance, steept in black blood and gore,
Whose brazen feet did thunder on the shore,
The noise of which that from the earth did bound,
Made all the world to tremble at the sound.
And up from darkesome Lymboes dismall stage
Ore Stygian bridge from Plutoes Emperie,
Came nights blacke brood, Disorder, Ruine, Rage,
Rape, Discord, Dread, Despaire, Impietie,
Horror, swift Vengeance, Murder, Crueltie,
All which together on th' Iberian strand,
With Spaines great host troopt up did ready stand.
Fame downe descending from her silver bower,
On Duke of Medinaes huge black barke did stand,
The Generall of all the Spanish power,
Whence looking round ore seas, and sea-sieg'd land,
Holding her silver trumpet in her hand,
The same she sounded loud, whose echo shrill,
With sound thereof the wide worlds round did fill.
Then all th' Iberian Kings stout men of warre,
Renown'd for those resplendent armes they bore,
Marching beneath his ensignes heard from farre,
Who vowing England spoil'd of all her store,
Should stoope her Pride, and them outface no more;
Made swift repaire in concourse and thick crow'd,
To Spaines black fleet t' effect what they had vow'd.
The sun-burnt Spaniards from that Indian shore,
Subdu'd by Ferdinandoes bloodie hand,
Where Perues streames casts up her golden ore,
And Zenewes waves bring to the slimie strand,
Pure graines of gold amongst the ruddie sand,
Like Cadmus bone-bread brood came thicke in swarmes,
As newly borne from top to toe in armes.
Their captiv'd nations of the Castile King,
Luxurious Naples and proud Lombardie,
Their troopes in faire refulgent armes did bring,
And those of Portugale and Scicilie,
With slick-hair'd youth of wanton Italie,
T' avenge faire Englands soule supposed wrong,
To Spaines Armada in thicke troopes did throng.
Readie t' imbarke upon the shores they stood,
Like flowers in spring, that beautifie the plaine,
Or like May flies orewhelmed by the flood,
As infinite, as leaves or drops of raine,
Powr'd from the heav'ns upon the liquid maine,
That with their weight, dame Terraes aged backe
Beneath the sway of horse and foot did cracke.
And as blacke swarmes of ants with loaden thies,
Having upon the flowrie spring made pray,
In number numberlesse with fresh supplies,
Climbes some steepe hillock, and through all the day
By thousands in thick flockes do fill the way;
So Spaines great host from trampled shores did wend,
In thronging troopes, their mountaine-ships t' ascend.
And such a blustring as against the shore,
When as the swelling seas the welkin braves,
Or storme-driven billowes on the bankes do rore,
Or such a noise as in earths hollow caves
We often heare, when stormie Boreas raves:
Such clamorous noise out of the tumult sprong,
When they from shores unto their ships did throng.