1610
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Englands Eliza. [Years 32-44.]

A Mirour for Magistrates: being a true Chronicle Historie of the untimely Falles of such unfortunate Princes and Men of Note, as have happened since the First Entrance of Brute into this Iland, untill this our Latter Age.

Richard Niccols


Richard Niccols breaks off his catalogue of sea-battles: "But should I heere assay to sing of those. . . | Yet not an age drawne out in length of daies, | Would me suffice to sing their worthie praise" p. 852. In an interlude, he gives Elizabeth's character in domestic affairs, not failing to notice her concern for the Muses: "With fond delight she did not ease her cares; | But with the Ladie Muses wont to play, | Or Pallas-like would often spend the day" p. 854. As the Popish powers continue to harass the Queen at home and abroad, she launches the Cadiz voyage, led by Howard and Essex.

The English forces are successful fighting at sea, in open field, and finally in a house-to-house combat recalling the sack of Troy: "The inward roomes are fill'd with wofull sounds, | And wailing noise of folke in wretched plight, | The buildings all with larums loud rebounds, | And women with yong infants in affright" p. 867. The victors are told to spare the women however, and as the flames ascend over the town they make away with a vast treasure. By contrast, Essex's disgrace and execution (fit subject for a Mirour for Magistrates) is but lightly touched on, "when his deare Dame | The great Eliza, with majesticke frowne | Gan change milde looks, when Fortune foe to Fame | Did turne her wheele about" p. 872. The poem concludes with a surprisingly short and simple eulogy for Elizabeth. Perhaps Niccols had exhausted grief in his Induction to Englands Eliza and in "Expicedium. A Funeral Oration, upon the Death of the late deceased Princesse of famous Memorye, Elizabeth" (1603).



AN. REG. 32.
Fame-winged Drake and Hawkins, that bold Knight,
Upon the coast of Spaine the foes did dare,
When at the Groyne that host lay readie dight
To passe the seas, to dispossesse Navarre,
Gainst whom th' unholy league did warre prepare;
But while the royall fleet of our faire Queene
Appeer'd at sea, they durst not then be seene.

Nor durst the Captaine of the Spanish fleet,
Th' insulting Don Alonso Bacan hight,
Elizaes ships in equall battell meet;
But if by chance he found the ods in fight,
Then proudly would he use his utmost might;
Yet Englands blacke Revenge, alone at length
Did worke him shame with all his navall strength.

AN. REG. 33.
For famous Greenvile sayling neere to Flores
In the Revenge of our Elizaes fleet,
Obscur'd from sight with th' Ilands of th' Azores,
Spaines great Armada did untimely meet;
Yet with sharpe welcome their approch did greet,
For rich revenge he made upon his foes;
Though he his life in his Revenge did lose.

Ten thousand men in three and fiftie saile,
Did in his barke alone begirt him round,
And fifteene howers space did never faile
With thundring shot his ships weake wombe to wound,
Both him, and her in th' Ocean to confound,
Whom with twice fiftie men he did oppose,
And did inferre dire slaughter mongst his foes.

The great San Philip, that mount Etna-like,
Lay spitting fierie vengeance gainst her foes,
In fight her entertaine did so dislike,
That she her sad mishap did soone disclose,
And fainting made retreate, to shun foule blowes,
While the amaz'd Iberians strove to save
Her leaking wombe from sinking in the wave.

Like as a goodly Hart begirted round,
With eager hounds, that thirst to see him fall,
Tir'd in the toile, turnes head and stands his ground,
And with fell blowes the dogs do so appall,
That in the end he makes his way through all:
So noble Greenvile round besieg'd in fight,
Brake through their squadrons with admired might.

Saint Michael hight, and Cyvils great Ascension,
With th' Admirall of the hulkes, three ships of fame,
Each of the which so large was in dimension,
That Greenvils ship, that bore Vindictas name,
Did seeme a skiffe compar'd unto the same,
With crosse-barre shot in fight he did so wound,
That wallowing waves their hugenesse did confound.

Against them all she proudly did enthunder,
Untill her masts were beaten over-bord,
Her deckes downe raz'd, her tackle cut sunder,
Until her shot and powder, that were stor'd
In her maim'd bulke could scarce one charge afford;
Yea when her sides were evened with the wave
She would not yeeld, but still her foes did brave.

And had not fate inforc'd her noble Knight
To sinke downe senselesse in her hollow wombe,
Even he alone would have withstood their might:
But who, alas, can contradict the doome
Of wilfull fate, when time prefix'd is come?
From muskets mouth spit forth with vengefull breath,
A fatall shot did wounde the Knight to death.

And at his death, to shew his mightie mind,
Being from his ship convei'd amongst his foes,
Feeling th' approch of his last houre assign'd,
As one not fear'd in all externall showes
To leave this life, whose end should end his woe,
With manly lookes amidst his enemies
These words he spake, ere death did close his eies:

In peace of mind I bid the world adew,
For that a souldiers death I truly die,
And to my royall Queene have paid her due,
Since by my timeless death I glorifie
My God, and her against her enemie:
Which to my grace, since fame to her shall tell,
With joy I bid the world and her farewell.

Thus Fames faire finger in his manly prime,
With honor'd touch in death did close his eies,
Whose glorie shall out-last the prints of time,
Carv'd in his brow, and like the Sunne in skies,
In darkest times each day shall fresh arise;
For to my verse if heaven such grace do give,
True noble Knight, thy name shall ever live.

AN REG. 34.
His ghost regardlesse did not passe away
Without revenge: for where in haplesse fight,
Unhappie fate did worke his lives decay,
There Frobisher and Borrough that bold Knight,
To his Iberian foes did worke despight;
For by th' Azores on the stormie maine,
Many a ship they daily did obtaine.

The Indian barkes at th' Ilands they did stop,
For which, that naked people which adore
The King of flames in steepe Olympus top,
With wicked steele their grandames ribs had tore,
To glut their spacious wombes with golden ore,
Whom Frobisher did send with all their treasure,
To be dispos'd at his Elizaes pleasure.

Meane time, stout Crosse and Borrough valiant Knight,
Against that monster of the fleet of Spaine,
That Madre Dios, did a noble fight
Before those Ilands many houres maintaine,
Whom by plaine strength, at length they did constraine
To stoope her pride, and hazarding the might
Of twice three hundred, boorded her in fight.

Who to inrich their noble enterprize
With a small world of treasure did abound,
Ten smaller ships fraught with her merchandize,
Which stor'd within her spacious bulke were found,
Arrived safe in Thamis silver sound;
For fifteene hundred tunne she did containe,
And thirtie foot she drew within the maine.

They tooke likewise the Santa Clare in fight,
Which from the Indian East for Spaine was bound,
And on the Ilands in their foe-mens sight,
With flames of hungrie fire they did confound
The Santa Cruze, which did with wealth abound,
Making each creeke and corner of the maine
To know the rule of their Elizaes raigne.

But should I heere assay to sing of those,
Who to eternize their Soveraignes name,
Renown'd their swords with fall of thousand foes,
Had I a brazen trumpe to sound the same,
Which might out-sound th' eternall trumpe of Fame,
Yet not an age drawne out in length of daies,
Would me suffice to sing their worthie praise.

The Belgian Author of that large discourse
Of th' Indian trafickes, truly doth explaine
The matchlesse vertue of their navall force,
And of their high adventures on the maine
That Saxons Latin Muse in loftie straine
About the world doth sing; yet cruell fate
Unto his life did adde too short a date.

AN DOM. 1584.
For when brave spirit did Gilberts thoughts excite,
To saile the seas to search for worlds unfound,
This worthie Poet with that noble Knight
In th' angrie surge, alas, was helplesse drown'd,
And swallow'd up within the deepes blacke sound:
Yet life to Gilberts dead, his verse doth give,
And his owne name, in his owne verse doth live.

But leave we heere those valiant men, that love
To dive the deepes of Neptunes high command,
To see the wonders of the mightie Jove,
And view meane while, with what auspicious hand,
Eliza guides her plentious peopled land,
Whose royall raigne and bountie debonaire,
Times time to come shall count past all compare.

While those bold Martialists, that for their fame
In skill of warre affaires were so renown'd,
Did by their swords immortalize her name,
So those grave aged fathers, Peeres profound,
In depth of judgement with wits laurell crown'd,
In swaying th' Empires Scepter all her daies,
Did guide her steps in the true path of praise.

Like gods in counsell in the State affaires,
They sate in Senate skill'd in all things done,
Deeds past and future, carrying by their cares
Through broken sleepes the course of things begun,
Striving in dead of night the time t' outrun,
By good advice, by plots, and counsels close,
T' oppugne, prevent, and circumvent their foes.

From whom in care of State the royall Maid
Did counsell take, as from the mouth of Jove,
Still rul'd with reason, as in power obey'd,
Not led with false opinions fond selfe-love,
But by their sound advice did ever prove,
How she with lawes respect might best command,
Seeing Jove had put the Scepter in her hand.

And with intent, that in her Maiden brest
A deepe impression of that pregnant wit
In use of lawes, by use might be imprest,
Mongst the grave Senate she did often sit,
And her conceit to consultation fit.
All Princes that true virtues race do run,
The starre-bright light of counsell will not shun.

As the good shepheard with respective right
Of his meeke flocke, drownes not the night in sleepe,
Nor spends the compleat day in his delight;
Who distant farre upon some mountaine steepe,
Yet nere in care them safe from spoile doth keepe:
So her chiefe care, as carelesse how to please
Her owne affect; was care of peoples ease.

Well did she know, that who would guard and keepe
The State and counsell of a Realme aright,
Not utterly dissolv'd in ease and sleepe,
Or led with loose affection of delight,
They must insist in their owne appetite;
But their State-charged thoughts in cares begun,
Through broken sleepes, and easelesse toiles must run.

Yet if she did abstaine from grave affaires,
And found fit time to solace her delay,
With fond delight she did not ease her cares;
But with the Ladie Muses wont to play,
Or Pallas-like would often spend the day,
In making wits quaint parlie her best sport,
Amidst her Virgin troope of stately port.

Mongst whom, if some, yet mindfull of her worth,
With Ivorie fingers touch do chance to turne
These luckie leaves, I only picke them forth
To grace Joves wit-bred brood, the thrice three borne
With their great worth, she dead, left now forlorne,
That by the power, whence I this verse derive,
She may in them, and they in her survive.

And yee faire Nymphs, that like to Angels hover
About the Palace of our Britaine King,
That locke the hearts of every gazing lover
Within your lookes, whence all delight doth spring,
Of this faire Queene vouchsafe to heare me sing,
And let her life, to whom she was unknowne,
A Mirrour be for them to gaze upon.

It was, alas that now it is now so,
Praise-worthie deem'd amongst divinest dames,
In learnings lore their leisure to bestow,
For which the Muses to their lasting fames,
In golden verse might eternize their names;
But now seduc'd with each mind-pleasing toy
In learnings liking, few do place their joy.

Yet she, that could command all joyes on earth,
With sweets of judgement suckt from learning skill,
In all delights, did moderate her mirth,
Nor give she swinge unto her Princely will
In any pleasure to affect the fill;
But with true Temperance advis'd aright,
She best did love the meane in each delight.

In musicks skill mongst Princes past compare
She was esteem'd; and yet for that delight
The precious time she did not wholly square,
And though daintie dance she goodly dight
Was matchlesse held for her majesticke sprite;
Yet not in dalliance did she go astray,
Ne yet in dance did dallie out the day.

She with the seed of Jove, the Muses nine,
So frequent was in her yeares youthfull prime,
That she of them had learned power divine
To quell proud love, if love at any time
In her pure brest aloft began to clime,
The praise of whom so chaste, and yet so faire,
Envies soule selfe not justly can impaire.

In learnings better part her skill was such,
That her sweet tongue could speake distinctively
Greeke, Latin, Tuscane, Spanish, French, and Dutch:
For few could come in friendly ambasie
From forren parts to greet her Majestie,
Whom she not answer'd in their native tongue,
As if all language on her lips had hung.

Whereby the world did seeme to plead for right
Within her Court, where in her Princely throne,
Astrea-like she sate with powerfull might
To right the wrong of those, that in despaire
Of others helps, to her did make repaire,
Who after humble sute backe never went
Through her Court gates without true minds content.

Witnesse great Burbon, when that house of Guise
Did counterchecke thee in thy lawfull claime,
In thy defence what Prince did then arise,
Or with strong hand, who in fights bloodie frame
Did joyne to wound thy rebell foes with shame?
But Englands Queene, who still with fresh supplie
Did send her forces gainst thine enemie:

AN. EODEM 34.
To beare the first brunt in those bloodie broyles,
That noble Knight, the famous Willoughby
Did crosse the seas, and through important toyles
Did lead a multitude, whose valiancie
Made France admire our English Britanie,
Whom Englands royall Virgin did excite
Unto that warre t' advance thee to thy right.

And then to reinforce thy strengths decay
World-wondred Norrice, Mars his matchlesse sonne,
Did with three thousand souldiers passe the sea,
Who in French Britaine having once begunne,
Did not forsake thee, till thy warres were done,
Whom many did in this thy cause insue,
And in thy French dust did their bloods imbrue.

When noble Devoreux, that heroicke Knight,
To shew his love to armes and chevalrie,
Ingag'd his person in that furious fight
Before that towne, hight Roan in Normandie,
His honor'd brother fighting valiantly;
Who though but yong, yet oft approv'd in fight,
By a small shot was slaine in his owne sight.

And thou brave Sackvile, Buckhurst third-borne birth,
Who in these warres didst change thy life for fame,
Although thy bones lie tomb'd in stranger earth,
Yet in thy countrie lives thy noble name
And honor'd friends, that still record the same:
For though blacke death triumph ore humane breath,
Yet vertues deeds do live in spight of death.

Many more valiant men of no meane birth,
Whose names obscur'd, are yet not come to light,
Being slaine, did falling kisse their mother earth,
And with their foreheads trode the ground in fight,
Against untruth t' adavance great Burbons right,
Who by their valour, fighting for renowne,
Did at the length in peace enjoy his crowne.

Thus Albions Mistresse as an Angell sent,
The sonnes of men from hels blacke Prince to save,
The worlds usurped rule from Rome did rent,
And from her yoke sweet freedoms comfort gave
To those her neighbours, that her helpe did crave,
Restoring Princes to their royaltie,
Debas'd by Romes insulting tyrannie.

The which when that seven-headed beast beheld,
Who proudly treads upon the necks of Kings
With indignation his high stomack sweld,
And of the adulterate sect forthwith he wings,
Many bald Priests t' enact pernicious things,
Those close confessors, that most use their skill
To worke the weaker sex unto their will.

AN. EODEM 34.
With these the bifront Jesuits, that cloake
Themselves in divers shapes, did seeke againe,
Against their Prince the people to provoke,
And with pretence of zeale did thinke to traine
Their loyall hearts against their Soveraigne:
But these their base attempts tooke no event,
Seeing prudent Jove their plots did still prevent.

For at this time, the Irish Oroick,
That bloodie traytour to this Kingdomes State,
That with his utmost diligence did worke
With Rome and Spaine to execute their hate,
Being most secure of his untimely fate,
Prevented was, in what he did pretend
In his foule treason by a traytors end.

For after all his plots at length he came
To proffer service to that royall King,
Now Monarch of this Ile, and in his name,
All Ireland in subjection he would bring,
If he would shroud him with his soveraigne wing;
But he brave Prince, t' whom Traitors hatefull beene,
Did send that Traitor to our noble Queene.

(O Peerelesse Prince, that Northern Starre so bright)
Whose shine did guide us to the port of rest,
When our pure Virgin lampe did lose her light,
If from thy sight these ruder rimes be blest,
But with one kingly glaunce, graunt this request,
As living, thou didst honour her great name,
So shee being dead (O King) still love the same.

Persist, persist, to grace her being dead,
Who living did to thee all grace proclaime,
Against her name permit no scandall spread;
But quell those black-mouth'd monsters that defame
The Lords annointed our Elizaes name,
So thy great name 'gainst Envies biting rage,
May finde like favour in the worlds last age.

After this rebels ruine, in whose life
Rome did such hopefull confidence repose,
Hoping through him to raise some home-bred strife,
Unable now t' avenge her on her foes,
By honour'd meanes in dealing with martiall blowes;
Being sencelesse of all princely royaltie
He sought revenge by basest treacherie.

AN. REG. 35.
Hight Lopez he, that was for Physicke skill,
Highly respected in the Princes grace,
Corrupted was her loved life to spill,
And had the helpe of Heaven not been in place,
The royall Virgin in a moments space
In stead of that, which should have life protected,
Had tasted death in poison strong confected.

But that great King of heav'n, whose watchfull eie
Did ever guard her Maiden brest from taint
Of timeless death, the drift did soone descrie,
And made false Lopez in the fact to faint,
Depicturing out his fault in feares constraint,
Who wretched traytor, for his blacke deed done,
Blacke death and scandall in the world hath wonne.

Romes demi-god that can at his dispose
By power from heav'n dispence with villanie,
Thus did his sanctitie of life disclose,
In plotting by inglorious treacherie,
Basely to act a Virgins tragedie;
Whose force for fight seem'd both on seas and land,
Too full of death for him to countermand.

Yet once againe with contumelious vaunt,
Invasion threatned was against this land,
Which did our Queenes great heart so little daunt,
That to her conquering fleet she gave command,
Which readie rig'd lay on the English strand,
To seeke the foes for fight in their own home,
Thereby to ease them of their toyle to come.

AN. REG. 38.
The royall fleet to the Dames command,
Rig'd up to dance on Amphitriaes greene,
With war-like musickes sound did launch from land,
To whom, in love of Albions honor'd Queene,
Then easefull peace Spaines warre more wisht hath beene,
Whose bosomes twice ten thousand men did fill,
Train'd up to tread the paths of warre with skill.

Two noble Peeres stood up to lead them out,
The one hight Howard he, that with renowne
Gainst Spaines blacke fleet successfully had fought,
Who now, though honor'd age his head did crowne
With snow-white haires of silver-like downe;
Yet in despight of yeares respect did goe,
As Generall of the fleet against the foe.

The other Peere, whose heart heaven grac'd with grace
Of goodly gifts, was Essex noble Knight,
Whom from his youth treading the honour'd race
Of valiant men, true vertue did excite,
T' affect renowne in warre with chiefe delight,
Who best above the best of high command,
In this exploit went Generall of the land.

These Lords, not like the foes, did put in ure,
Their high exploit, who when their blacke fleete came
Did treate of peace, to make us more secure;
But they each where their purpose to proclaime,
Chose Fame for Herauld to denounce the same,
Threatning all Nations with their Dames just ire,
That should as agents with their foe conspire.

Many more Nobles drew their willing swords
In this exploit to trie th' Iberian might:
Brave Sussex, Howard, Harbert, valiant Lords,
Lord Warden, Burk, stout Veere and Clifford hight,
With Lodowick of Nassau that stranger Knight,
Don Christopher young Prince of Portugale,
And Vander forde the Belgians Generall.

From Plimmouth port in safe transport of these
And many gallants more, two hundred keele
Did with swift winde cut through the wavie Seas,
While shee, whose heart th' effects of grace did feele,
Not giving trust unto the strength of steele,
While Englands sacred Queene, while shee, I say,
For her faire fleete to this effect did pray:

Thou guide of all the world, great King of Heaven,
That seest all hearts with thy all-seeing eye,
Thou knowest what cause us to this warre hath driven,
No thirst of blood, of wealth, or dignitie,
No malice of revenge or injurie;
But to defend thy truth, we lift our armes
And to prevent our foes intended harmes.

Heare then (O King of heav'n) thy hand-maids prayer,
Give full effect unto our just desire,
In midst of stormes t' our fleet vouchsafe thy care,
And with thy heav'nly fortitude inspire
Our souldiers hearts, that they may not retire
Unto their homes without victorious fame,
T' advance the glorie of thy holy name.

Thus pray'd Eliza, to whose just request
The God of Hosts advisefull audience gave,
Who downe descending from his heav'nly rest,
Did safely lead her ships, as she did crave,
To Cadiz harbor ore the surging wave,
Where to all eyes appear'd his true foresigne,
That gainst th' Iberians they should victors shine.

As that thrice happie bird, the peacefull Dove,
When the old world groaning beneath the raigne
Of Giants raging rule, was drown'd by Jove,
Brought heav'nly newes of a new world againe
Unto the Arke, then floting on the maine:
So now a Dove did with her presence greet
Elizaes Arke, then Admirall of the fleet.

For loe the fleet riding at seas in sight
Of Cadiz towers, making that towne the marke
Of their desire, the Dove did stay her flight
Upon the maine yard of that stately barke,
Which long before that time was term'd the Arke,
Whose unexpected presence did professe
Peace unto the fleet; but to the foes distresse:

Who from the browes of Cadiz loftie towers
With eyes amaz'd, viewing so many a keele
Floting upon their seas, and seeing such powers
Of martiall people arm'd in brightest steele,
The cold effects of fainting feare did feele,
Through whose faint brests remembrance now did run
Of ancient wrongs to Englands Empresse done.

The Fleete descri'd, the Citie high did ring
Each where with horrid sound of shrill alarmes,
In every street Bellona loud did sing
The song of battaile, and the foes in swarmes
Did throng together in the streets to armes,
While fearefull noise of childrens wofull cries,
And womens shrikes did pierce the echoing skies.

The gates were open set, out rush'd the hoast,
Both horse and foote in armes confused found,
Who vaunting of their power did vainely boast,
Their fainting foes in battaile to confound,
If their bold feete durst presse the sandie ground,
Not doubting all their fleete, with fire t' inflame,
If from their ships to fight on shore they came.

And in the gulfie mouth of that faire bay,
Where the proud waves doe wash the townes white breast,
The Spanish navie ready anchoring lay,
All mighty ships bound for the Indian East;
But now for fight themselves they soone addrest,
With whom twice ten stout gallies did prepare
'Gainst th' English fleete to trie the chaunce of warre.

The honour'd Peeres, great Essex, and his mate
Renowned Howard, Times swan-white hair'd sonne,
Sitting in counsell wisely did debate,
How by their fleete with best advantage wonne,
Against the foes the fight might be begunne;
For both the Castle, Forts and Towne in sight,
Did threaten danger to the Navall fight.

But through the windowes of Heavens crystall bowres,
Jove seeing the foemens force so full of dread,
The Citie so well fenc'd with loftie towres;
The Sea with faire ships fill'd, the field ore spread
With men of armes, that from the towne made head,
Did send to shield Elizaes fleete from harmes,
His braine-borne childe, th' unconquered Queene of armes.

Who to effect th' Olympian Gods great will,
About the fleete from ship to ship did flie,
And with such courage every heart did fill,
Inflaming their desires in fight to trie
The valour of the vaunting enemie,
That every one did thirst to trample downe
The loftie pride of Cadiz towring towne.

The Norfolke noble Dukes undaunted Sonne,
Sterne-visag'd like the grim-fac'd God of war,
As was decreed, the fight at first begun,
Who to the foes like some disastrous star,
Or blazing Comet did appeare from far;
Shooting forth fierie beames from his blacke ship,
Which with the mounting waves did forward skip.

Each adverse force to fight drew forth their powers,
And in a golden morne, when Phoebus drew
From off the battlements of Cadiz towers,
The ruddie cheekt Auroraes pearlie dew,
The thundring bullets interchanged flew,
And either side a glorious day to win,
With deadly furie did the fight begin.

The guns, astuns with sounds rebounds from shore
The Souldiers eares, and death on mischiefes back
Spit from the Canons mouth with horrid rore
Flies to and fro in clowdes of pitchie black,
And 'mongst the valiant men makes spoilefull wrack,
While either part like Lions far'd in fight,
None feeling servile feare of deaths afright.

Thus when stout Howard had begun the fight
With many more to quell the foemens pride,
The noble Devoreux, that undaunted Knight,
Who stood asterne his ship and wishly ei'd,
How deepe the skirmish drew on either side,
Nere stai'd, as was decreed, to second those
In the maine fight, but rusht among'st the foes.

And as we see the Sunne sometimes shine cleare
Amid'st the skie, then muffle his bright face
In sable clouds, and straight againe appeare,
So famous Essex did applie each place,
Sometimes incircled round with foes embrace
He stood in fight, and sometimes seene of all,
He in the forefront did his foes appall.

Which when grave Howard view'd from farre well dight
In noble armes, himselfe he did betake
Unto his pinnace with Lord William hight,
His honor'd sonne, and with their powers to make
The fight more hot, into the presse they brake,
Where with fresh strength they labour'd to repell
The foes stout pride, twixt whom the fight grew fell.

So long as faire Auroaes light did shine,
They equall fought and neither had the best;
But when the servent Sunne began decline
From th' hot meridian point and day decreast,
Feare did invade each bold Iberian brest,
Who through the danger of the darkesome wave
Did flie their foes, themselves from death to save.

To shun Charybdis jawes, they helplesse fell
In Scyllaes gulfe; for after all their braves,
Being all too weake the English to repell,
Their ships they left, and leapt into the waves,
In whose soft bosome many found their graves;
And lest ought good might to their foes redound,
They burnt their ships and ran them on the ground.

The Gallies fled, the ships with secret fire
Inflam'd, did burst to shew their burning light;
Then from the shore th' Iberians did retire
Close to their walles, who boasting of their might
In equall ground before did wish for fight;
But now beneath their walles scarce made they stand;
For without fight the victors went on land.

All from the ships did cluster to the shore,
Forth marcht the foote, whose hearts emboldned were
With their late fight, and in the front before
Great Essex breath'd exhorts in every eare
To charge the foes; and not in vaine to beare
The name of first, but first himselfe to show
In every deed, he first did charge the foe

With such swift force, as when wilde Neptune raves,
And ore the shore breaking his wonted bounds,
Riding in triumph on his winged waves,
Runnes unresisted over lands and grounds,
And in his way all in his power confounds;
So from the fleet at shore went th' English downe
To charge the foes inranckt before the towne.

The battels joyn'd; but by their valours might,
The valiant English in one howres space
Brake through the foe-mens rankes, who turn'd to flight;
Did turne their backes and gave the victors place,
Who to the towne pursu'd with speedie chace,
Whose walles th' Iberians flying from the field
Against their foes did long to make their shield.

And being entred with confused cries,
The gates were shut, and in the towne each where,
A divers noise about with horror flies;
Then in the streets thicke troopes of men appeare,
Some to the gates, some to the walles with feare
Amazed runne, and every hold about
They stuffe with men, to keepe their foe-men out.

Meane time to triumph in proud Cadiz fall,
Illustrate Essex did approch the towne,
Where scaling ladders laid unto the wall
Were fill'd with men, who climing for renowne,
Did hazard death from off the walles cast downe:
For from th' assault to force them to retire,
Thicke fell downe darts, huge stones, and dreadfull fire.

The fearefull cries of men on either side,
Rung though the towne, as they the walles did scale,
Not long the bold defendants did abide
Th' assailants by their prowesse did prevaile,
The foes gave backe, their fainting hearts did faile,
Who left the walles, and through the streetes did runne,
With ruthfull tidings how the walles were wonne.

Upon the battlements, the blood red crosse
Appear'd in sight, and from the walles downe went
The English troopes, and to the gates did passe,
Where th' iron barres in sunder they did rent,
Beate downe the posts, and all the jewses brent,
And passage wide to them without did win,
To whom the houses farre appear'd within.

Then all the host, led by that aged Lord,
The seas chiefe Admirall, rusht through the gate,
And through the towne with fierie shot and sword
Did force their way in every street and strait,
Even to the publicke market, where of late
The foes had purpos'd in the Kings high street,
To make their common rendevous to meet.

There now the battell fresh againe begun,
For making head unto that place, the foe
To reinforce their strength, in troopes did run,
While others downe from house tops did throw
Ruine and death on th' English bands below,
Where fighting gainst such ods, they haplesse lost
Brave Wingfield hight, a leader in the host.

On whose dissolved life, such deepe remorse
The English tooke, that all with loud exclaime
Rusht on th' Iberians bold, and did enforce
Their speedie flight, then furie did enflame
The souldiers hearts, and in the bloodie game
Of raging Mars, remorseless they were all,
To wreake revenge for worthie Wingfields fall.

Like angrie Lions rob'd of their dear yong,
The houses round about they now invade,
The portals, posts, and thresholds downe are flung,
The gates and walles of stone so strongly made,
And doores fast barr'd with earth are levell made,
And all high turrets and strong chambers shake
With th' hot invading, which the souldiers make.

The inward roomes are fill'd with wofull sounds,
And wailing noise of folke in wretched plight,
The buildings all with larums loud rebounds,
And women with yong infants in affright,
Through chambers wide shunning the souldiers fight,
Runne heere and there to seeke some covert place,
To hide themselves from angrie Mars his face.

About the parents knees, the children swarmes,
Calling in vaine for helpe with pitious cries,
The spouse fast clips her husband in her armes,
In whose sad brest his cold heart fainting dies,
Seeing the armed men before his eies,
Stand with bright swords in thicke tumultuous croud
At th' entrie doores, crying out with clamors loud.

But th' English all, that never use to lift
Their hands against a yeelding enemie
By nature milde, not proud of fortunes gift,
Did not insult upon their miserie,
But with milde hand did use the victorie,
And after fight they all abhorring blood,
Did only tend the spoile of golden good.

Both the brave Generals, by a strict command
About the towne, this mercie did proclaime,
That none thenceforth should use the force of hand,
Nor offer wrong to any virgin Dame,
That would sweet beautie keepe from lustfull shame,
Which unreprov'd edict amongst all men,
Through th' English host inviolate hath been.

Amongst the captives not the basest mate
With any sad designe they vexed sore,
The female sex untoucht inviolate
Did freely passe with all that golden store
Of chaines, and gemmes, which they about them bore,
And all religious folke did find like grace,
Free without ransome to depart the place.

(Thrice valiant victors) ever may my rimes
Survive on earth, that in their life may live
This famous conquest to all future times,
That from the best, that for true praise do strive,
All me to you the laurell wreath may give,
Which that milde mercie, which you then did show,
Doth more deserve then conquest gainst the foe.

After the souldier had return'd from spoile
Loaden with riches of the ransackt towne,
To yeeld fit compensation to the toile
Of each mans paines, with favour or renowne,
The Generals did each souldiers merit crowne,
And gave to many a well deserving wight
That noble order of true martiall Knight.

That noble order, which in antique time
In top of Fames high tower tooke chiefest place,
To which by vertue valours steps did clime;
Was then no base minds meed, that nere had grace
T' ensue fames feeting in true vertues race;
Though now the aged world to dotage growne,
This noble order scarce is truly knowne.

But now to sing the spoile and last decay
Of that faire towne by her owne folke forlorne,
The host all readie to depart away,
Intending first in funerall flames to burne
Her fatall pride, and all her pompe oreturne,
Did in thicke concourse cluster to confound,
Her high top-towers and ev'n them with the ground.

In number like the golden flowers in spring,
In forme like furies of the Stygian cave:
The souldiers high on houses tops do fling
Their burning brands, and round do range and rave,
To burie that faire towne in ashie grave,
While hungrie flames borne up on golden wings,
Flies through the aire, and far their splendor flings.

Then the faire wals inricht with paintings grace,
And portals proud of gold are all cast downe,
Sterne Mulciber in his bright armes embrace
Doth graspe the towres, and on th' inflamed towne
Through rolling clouds of smoake doth sternely frowne,
Whose fierce fiers climing houses far away,
By foes are seene to worke the townes decay.

Thus burnt Spaines Cadiz fam'd for that fair place,
Where great Alcides, when his sword did tame
The triple Gerion borne of tyrants race,
Did fixe his pillars t' eternize his name,
With Ne Plus Ultra graven on the same;
Thus did it burne captiv'd in English yoke,
And all her fame lay stifled in the smoke.

After the spoile, exchange of captives made
For those, that Spaine had long captiv'd before,
Each souldiers prize aboard the fleet convei'd,
Leaving the towne despoil'd of all her store,
All made returne unto the ships at shore;
At whose depart such after-signe was seene,
As had before at their arrivall been.

For hoysing saile at sea, loe as before
Upon the Arke a Dove her flight did stay,
With which departing from th' Iberian shore,
She from the same departed not away;
But kept her stations till that happie day,
That all the fleet did with the compleat hoast
Arrive in triumph on the English coast.

Thus when upon Elizaes royall brow,
Times honor'd age in print had set his signe,
Even then her arme Spaines stiffened pride did bow;
And when her youthfull daies did most decline,
Then did the King of heav'n to her assign
The ever youthfull wreath of sacred bay,
In signe of triumph to her lives last day.

The utmost kingdomes canopi'd of skie,
Did bear record of her triumphant fame,
The vastest Ocean, that did farthest lie,
With each small creeke and have in the same,
Did then resound the praises of her name:
Which to her friends defence, her foemen feare,
Her crosse-crown'd Fleet about the world did beare.

For all sea-bordering townes, that subject were
Unto the crowne of Rome-supporting Spaine,
Who high their breasts above the waves did beare,
Did tremble to behold the crookt stern'd traine
Of English ships still floating on the maine;
For towards the seas greene bounds they often bore,
And many townes destroy'd upon the shore.

ANNO EODEM 38.
Renowned Clifford on the fruitfull deepe
Like Jove-borne Perseus, that illustrate Knight,
In his swift Pegasus the seas did sweepe,
And after many a prize surpriz'd in fight,
To make the land record his powerfull might,
He at that time with his triumphant host,
Got noble conquest on the Indian coast.

Fortune with fame his high attempts did crowne,
And his dread name the foes with feare did fright,
Saint John De Porta Rico that strong towne,
And her faire castle, which did seeme in sight,
Impregnable gainst all assaults in fight,
His hands to heapes of fruitlesse dust did burne,
And with her spoile he home did safe returne.

The valiant English still did worke much woe
Unto the foemen both on seas and land,
Eliza still did triumph ore the foe,
And day by day upon the English strand
Arriv'd rich prize surpriz'd by force of hand,
Whereby th' Iberian folke made poore and bare,
In heart did curse the causer of the warre.

But leave we heere of forren deeds to sing,
And turne we home at sound of those alarms,
Which on thy shores (O England) high did ring;
And let us waile, alas, the wofull harmes,
Which did befall that valiant men of armes,
Who after all his glorie and renowne,
Beneath too hard a fate felt fortunes frowne.

Tyrone that traytor, from whose treacherie
The first chiefe cause of his annoy did spring,
Disloyall to Elizaes Majestie;
Had now begun to set the war on wing
On th' Irish coast, whose townes and plaines did ring
With sad report of bloodie actions done,
By the bold rebels and the base Tyrone.

AN. REG. 41.
Tidings whereof to Englands rockie bound,
Borne ore the Oceans backe on wings of winde,
The shores with Mars his rugged voice did sound,
And noble Essex Generall was assign'd
To crosse the fruitfull deepe, whose honor'd minde
Did wing him forward with desire of fame,
On earth to purchase an immortall name.

Yet towards the coast when he this journey tooke,
The King of flames that with delight did crowne
All that faire day before, did change his looke,
The heav'ns did thunder loud, the clouds did frowne,
And in the way Jove cast pale lightning downe,
Presaging sad event of things to come,
Which tooke effect at his returning home.

At his returning home, when his deare Dame
The great Eliza, with majesticke frowne
Gan change milde looks, when Fortune foe to Fame
Did turne her wheele about, and hurring downe
His towring State, all hope of life did drowne
In deaths deepe waves, whose most untimely end
Both heav'n and earth lamenting did befriend.

For that blacke morne, when he without appall
To lose his life unto the blocke was led,
The Sunne in heav'n, as for his Phaetons fall,
In sable clouds did hide his golden hed,
And from so sad a sight away he fled;
While wofull heav'n with dolefull teares sent downe,
For his sad fall the world in woe did drowne.

He being dead, being dead, alas, and gone,
That hopefull Lord hight Mountjoy did succeed
As Generall in the warre against Tyrone;
To whom all-seeing Jove tooke speciall heed,
And did direct his hand in every deed,
Who would not have Elizaes unstain'd praise,
Distain'd by rebels in her aged daies.

For what hath she in her affairs decreed,
Even to her royall lives last breathing space,
In which Jove did not ever grace her deed,
Yea now when ripe yeares rugged prints had place
Upon the fore-front of her Princely face,
Then did her gratious God with compleat praise,
Perfect the upshot of her aged daies.

AN. REG. 42.
The happie Belgians on the marine coast,
In a pight field against a Prince of name,
In person fighting 'midst his royall host,
Did purchase conquest, captives, gold and fame,
By th' only aid which from Eliza came:
Without whose helpe on which their hopes did build,
All had been lost, the foes had won the field.

For when the Austrian Prince on Newport Sands,
After the slaughter of the valiant Scot,
Had given charge upon the adverse bands,
When by thicke volleyes of their murdring shot,
Many stout men had drawne deaths fatall lot;
Then many Belgians fainting fled away,
And left their friends to win or lose the day.

'Mongst whom the English chiefely did sustaine
The furious brunt of that important fight,
Where many worthie men were helplesse slaine,
Who rather chose to make that day the night
Of deaths approach, then turne their backes for flight;
Who all had fallen by death without remorse,
Had not the Veres renew'd their fainting force.

For the bold brothers both the valiant Veres,
Deepe wounds did purchase to regaine the day,
The one breath'd comfort in the Souldiers eares,
While th' other through the foes with violent sway
Of his horse troopes did force a dreafull way,
Through which the Belgians that before had fled,
Might 'gainst the fainting foes againe make head.

The foemen fled, the ground was stro'd with harmes
Of their mishap, their Duke fled fast away,
Leaving his horse of honour and his armes
Unto the victors to remaine for ay,
As signes of conquest and that glorious day,
Which by Elizaes auxilarie traine,
Then agents there the Belgians did obtaine.

Thus to the life our triumphant Dame
Time in her reigne no yeere did multiplie,
Which Fortune did not dignifie with fame,
Or praise of some illustrate victorie;
'Gainst Rome, 'gainst Spaine, or th' Austrian enemie,
'Gainst whom that houre that she expir'd her breath,
She di'd victorious in the armes of death.

AN. REG. 43-44.
For when the Austrian Duke with his proud hoast,
Atrides-like laid siege to little Troy,
And by a solemne vow did vainely boast,
Not to depart untill he did destroy
That English towne; yet to his owne annoy,
He there did lie while th' horses of the sunne,
Their yeares race thrice about the heaven had runne.

For Englands Hector and his valiant brother,
That time young Troylus did the Duke appall,
And his best hopes in blood and dust did smother;
Yea many a thousand at that siege did fall
In Deaths blacke grave before the townes strong wall,
Which while the Belgian Patronesse did live,
Unto the foes in fight the soile did give.

And as our Queene in forraine-bred debate,
From hence to Heaven victorious tooke her flight,
So here at home before her lives last date,
Triumphant sounds of belles the Starres did smite,
And bright bon-fires the darkesome even did light
With gladsome flames for worthy victorie,
Atchiev'd against the Irish enemie.

Yea, when the hand of unremorsefull fate,
Had even spun out the thred of her lives clew,
Tyron that long disturber of her state,
With shame of his offence remorsefull grew,
And on his knees did then for mercie sue:
That dying, she might say with vading breath,
I left no foes unvanquisht at my death.

But woe, alas, the dust-borne pompe of earth,
Made thrall to death, returnes to dust againe;
All under Heaven, that have their beeing and breath
Of natures gift, no longer doe remaine,
Then nature doth their brittle state sustaine,
The Prince and Swaine to death are both alike,
No ods are found when he with dart doth strike.

For I, that whilome sung with cheerefull breath
Her royall Reigne, whose like no age hath seene,
Now cannot sing; but weepe to thinke how death,
All pittilesse of what before had beene,
Did rob poore England of so rich a Queene;
And if I sing, I must in my sad song,
Exclaime on Death for doing us such wrong.

For doing us such wrong to dim the light
Of Englands Virgin glorie then decaid,
Which, while Heavens light the Earths broade face shall smite,
All Virgins shall admire and still upbraid
That Tarquin death, with death of such a Maide:
For her, whose Virgin blood no Tarquins staine,
Did ever taint, O death, thy dart hath slaine.

That day shee di'd, which to her royall Sire,
To great Plantagenet hath fatall been;
That day, when Fates did his sad death conspire:
That day, when his young Edward dead was seene,
That day when Mary left to be a Queene:
That day from us did our Eliza goe,
That day, that tyrant Death did worke our woe.

But why doe we 'gainst death use such complaint,
Seeing not in youth, then short of yeares to crowne
Her head with age, she di'de by Deaths constraint,
But ripe in yeares, and loaden with renowne;
Made mellow for the grave, she lai'd her downe:
And leaving earth that part, which Earth had given,
On Faiths strong wings she tooke her flight for Heaven.

Heere Clio ceast, her Lute no more did sound,
But in a moment mounting from the ground,
She vanisht from my sight, and with her fled
The place of pleasure which mine eyes had fed:
With which all had been lost, if in my minde,
My dreams Idaea had not stai'd behinde.

[pp. 848-75]