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To the right Noble and beautifull Ladie, the La. Marie

Countesse of Pembrooke.

MOST Honourable and bountifull Ladie,

there bee long sithens deepe sowed in my brest, the seede of most entire love and humble affection unto that most braue Knight your noble brother deceased; which taking roote began in his life time somewhat to bud forth and to shew themselues to him, as then in the weakenes of their first spring: And would in their riper strength (had it pleased high God till then to drawe out his daies) spired forth fruit of more perfection. But since God hath disdeigned the world of that most noble Spirit, which was the hope of all learned men, and the Patron of my young Muses; togeather with him both their hope of anie further fruit was cut off and also the tender delight of those their first blossoms nipped and quite dead. Yet sithens my late cumming into England, some frends of mine (which might much preuaile with me, and indeede commaund me) knowing with howe straight bandes of duetie I was tied to him: as also bound vnto that noble house, (of which the chiefe hope then rested in him) haue sought to reuiue them by vpbraiding


me: for that I have not shewed anie thankefull

remembrance towards him or any of them; but
suffer their names to sleep in silence and forget-
fulnesse. Whome chieflie to satisfie, or els to
auoide that fowle blot of vnthankefulnesse, I haue
conceived this small Poeme, intituled by a generall
name of the worlds Ruines: yet speciallie in-
tended to the renowming of that noble race, from
which both you and he sprong, and to the eterniz
ing of some of the chiefe of them late deceased.
The which I dedicate vnto your La. as whome it
most speciallie concerneth: and to whome
I acknowledge my selfe bounden, by manie
singular fauours and great graces.
I pray for your Honourable
happinesse: and so
humblie kisse your

Your Ladiships euer
humblie at commaund.

The Ruines of Time.

T chaunced me on day beside the shore Of siluer streaming Thamesis to bee, Nigh where the goodly Verlame stood of yore, Of which there now remaines no memorie, Nor anie little moniment to see,

By which the trauailer, that fares that way,
This once was she, may warned be to say.

There on the other side, I did behold
A Woman sitting sorrowfullie wailing,

Rending her yeolow locks, like wyrie golde, 10 About her shoulders careleslie downe trailing, And streames of teares from her faire eyes forth railing.

In her right hand a broken rod she held, Which towards heauen shee seemd on high to weld.

Whether she were one of that Riuers Nymphes, Which did the losse of some dere loue lament,

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Ah what delight (quoth she) in earthlie thing,
Or comfort can I wretched creature haue?
Whose happines the heauens enuying,
From highest staire to lowest step me draue,
And haue in mine owne bowels made my graue,
That of all Nations now I am forlorne,
The worlds sad spectacle, and fortunes scorne.
Much was I mooued at her piteous plaint,
And felt my heart nigh riuen in my brest
With tender ruth to see her sore constraint,
That shedding teares awhile I still did rest,
And after did her name of her request.
Name haue I none (quoth she) nor anie being,
Bereft of both by Fates vniust decreeing.
I was that Citie, which the garland wore
Of Britaines pride, deliuered vnto me
By Romane Victors, which it wonne of yore;
Though nought at all but ruines now I bee,
And lye in mine owne ashes, as ye see:
Verlame I was; what bootes it that I was
Sith now I am but weedes and wastfull gras?
O vaine worlds glorie, and vnstedfast state
Of all that liues, on face of sinfull earth,
Which from their first vntill their vtmost


Tast no one hower of happines or merth,
But like as at the ingate of their berth,
They crying creep out of their mothers woomb,
So wailing backe go to their wofull toomb.
Why then dooth flesh, a bubble glas of

Hunt after honour and aduauncement vaine,
And reare a trophee for deuouring death,
With so great labour and long lasting paine,
As if his daies for euer should remaine?
Sith all that in this world is great or gaie,
Doth as a vapour vanish, and decaie.
Looke backe, who list, vnto the former ages,
And call to count, what is of them become:
Where be those learned wits and antique Sages,
Which of all wisedome knew the perfect somme:
Where those great warriors, which did ouer-

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What of the Persian Beares outragiousnesse,
Whose memorie is quite worne out with yeares?
Who of the Grecian Libbard now ought heares,
That ouerran the East with greedie powre, 69
And left his whelps their kingdomes to deuoure?
And where is that same great seuen headded

That made all nations vassals of her pride,
To fall before her feete at her beheast,
And in the necke of all the world did ride?
Where doth she all that wondrous welth nowe

With her own weight down pressed now shee lies,

And by her heaps her hugenesse testifies.
O Rome thy ruine I lament and rue,
And in thy fall my fatall ouerthrowe,
That whilom was, whilst heauens with equall


Deignd to behold me, and their gifts bestowe, The picture of thy pride in pompous shew: And of the whole world as thou wast the Empresse,


So I of this small Northerne world was Princesse.
To tell the beawtie of my buildings fayre,
To tell my riches, and endowments rare
Adornd with purest golde, and precious stone;
That by my foes are now all spent and gone:
To tell my forces matchable to none,
Were but lost labour, that few would beleeue,
And with rehearsing would me more agreeue.
High towers, faire temples, goodly theaters,
Strong walls, rich porches, princelie pallaces,
Large streetes, braue houses, sacred sepulchers,
Sure gates, sweete gardens, stately galleries,
Wrought with faire pillours, and fine imageries,
All those (O pitie) now are turnd to dust,
And ouergrowen with blacke obliuions rust.
Theretoo for warlike power, and peoples store,
In Britannie was none to match with mee, 100
That manie often did abie full sore:
Ne Troynouant, though elder sister shee,
With my great forces might compared bee;
That stout Pendragon to his perill felt,
Who in a siege seauen yeres about me dwelt.
But long ere this Bunduca Britonnesse
Her mightie hoast against my bulwarkes

Bunduca, that victorious conqueresse,
That lifting vp her braue heroick thought
Boue womens weaknes, with the Romanes

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Fought, and in field against them thrice preuailed:

Yet was she foyld, when as she me assailed.

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And where the Nightingale wont forth to powre
Her restles plaints, to comfort wakefull Louers,
There now haunt yelling Mewes and whining

And where the christall Thamis wont to slide
In siluer channell, downe along the Lee,
About whose flowrie bankes on either side
A thousand Nymphes, with mirthfull iollitee
Were wont to play, from all annoyance tree;
There now no riuers course is to be seene, 139
But moorish fennes, and marshes euer greene.
Seemes, that that gentle Riuer for great griefe
Of my mishaps, which oft I to him plained;
Or for to shunne the horrible mischiefe,
With which he saw my cruell foes me pained,
And his pure streames with guiltles blood oft


But me no man bewaileth, but in game,
Ne sheddeth teares from lamentable eie:
Nor anie liues that mentioneth my name
To be remembred of posteritie,
Saue One that maugre fortunes iniurie,
And times decay, and enuies cruell tort,
Hath writ my record in true-seeming sort.
Cambden the nourice of antiquitie,
And lanterne vnto late succeeding age,
To see the light of simple veritie,
Buried in ruines, through the great outrage
Of her owne people, led with warlike rage.
Cambden, though time all moniments obscure,
Yet thy iust labours euer shall endure.
But whie (vnhappie wight) doo I thus crie,
And grieue that my remembrance quite is raced
And all my antique moniments defaced?
Out of the knowledge of posteritie,
Sith I doo dailie see things highest placed, 180
So soone as fates their vitall thred haue shorne,
Forgotten quite as they were neuer borne.
It is not long, since these two eyes beheld
A mightie Prince, of most renowmed race,
Whom England high in count of honour held,
And greatest ones did sue to gaine his grace
Sate in the bosome of his Soueraine,
Of greatest ones he greatest in his place,
And Right and loyall did his word maintaine.
I saw him die, I saw him die, as one
Of the meane people, and brought foorth on


I saw him die, and no man left to mone
Ilis dolefull fate, that late him loued deare.
Scarce anie left to close his eylids neare;
Scarce anie left vpon his lips to laie
The sacred sod, or Requiem to saie.
O trustlesse state of miserable men,
That builde your blis on hope of earthly thing,
And vainly thinke your selues halfe happie then,
When painted faces with smooth flattering 200
Doo fawne on you, and your wide praises sing,
And when the courting masker louteth lowe,
Him true in heart and trustie to you trow.
All is but fained, and with oaker dide,
That euerie shower will wash and wipe away,
All things doo change that vnder heauen abide,
And after death all friendship doth decaie.
Therefore what euer man bearst worldlie sway,
Liuing, on God, and on thy selfe relie ;
For when thou diest, all shall with thee die. 210
He now is dead, and all is with him dead,
Saue what in heauens storehouse he vplaid :
His hope is faild, and come to passe his dread,
160 And euill men, now dead, his deeds vpbraid:
Spite bites the dead, that liuing neuer baid.

From my vnhappie neighborhood farre fled,
And his sweete waters away with him led.
There also where the winged ships were seene
In liquid waues to cut their fomie waie, 149
And thousand Fishers numbred to haue been,
In that wide lake looking for plenteous praie
Of fish, which they with baits vsde to betraie,
Is now no lake, nor anie fishers store,
Nor euer ship shall saile there anie more.
They all are gone, and all with them is gone,
Ne ought to me remaines, but to lament
My long decay, which no man els doth mone,
And mourne my fall with dolefull dreriment.
Yet it is comfort in great languishment,
To be bemoned with compassion kinde,
And mitigates the anguish of the minde.


He now is gone, the whiles the Foxe is crept
Into the hole, the which the Badger swept.
He now is dead, and all his glorie gone,
And all his greatnes vapoured to nought,
That as a glasse vpon the water shone,
Which vanisht quite, so soone as it was sought.
His name is worne alreadie out of thought,
Ne anie Poet seekes him to reuiue;
Yet manie Poets honourd him aliue.
Ne doth his Colin, carelesse Colin Cloute,
Care now his idle bagpipe vp to raise,
Ne tell his sorrow to the listning rout

Of shepherd groomes, which wont his songs to praise:

Praise who so list, yet I will him dispraise, Vntill he quite him of this guiltie blame: 230 Wake shepheards boy, at length awake for


And who so els did goodnes by him gaine,
And who so els his bounteous minde did trie,
Whether he shepheard be, or shepheards swaine,
(For manie did, which doo it now denie)
Awake, and to his Song a part applie:
And I, the whilest you mourne for his decease,
Will with my mourning plaints your plaint

He dyde, and after him his brother dyde, 239
His brother Prince, his brother noble Peere,
That whilste he liued, was of none enuyde,
And dead is now, as liuing, counted deare,
Deare vnto all that true affection beare:
But vnto thee most deare, O dearest Dame,
His noble Spouse, and Paragon of fame.
He whilest he liued, happie was through thee,
And being dead is happie now much more;
Liuing, that lincked chaunst with thee to bee,
And dead, because him dead thou dost adore
As liuing, and thy lost deare loue deplore. 250
So whilst that thou, faire flower of chastitie,
Dost liue, by thee thy Lord shall neuer die.
Thy Lord shall neuer die, the whiles this verse
Shall liue, and surely it shall liue for euer :
For ever it shall liue, and shall rehearse
His worthie praise, and vertues dying neuer,
Though death his soule doo from his bodie seuer.
And thou thy selfe herein shalt also liue;
Such grace the heauens doo to my verses giue.
Ne shall his sister, ne thy father die,
Thy father, that good Earle of rare renowne,
And noble Patrone of weake pouertie;
Whose great good deeds in countrey and in towne
Haue purchast him in heauen an happie crowne;
Where he now liueth in eternall blis,


And left his sonne t'ensue those steps of his.

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Most gentle spirite breathed from aboue,
Out of the bosome of the makers blis,
In whom all bountie and all vertuous loue
Appeared in their natiue propertis,
And did enrich that noble breast of his,
With treasure passing all this worldes worth,
Worthie of heauen it selfe, which brought it

His blessed spirite full of power diuine
And influence of all celestiall grace,
Loathing this sinfull earth and earthlie slime,
Fled backe too soone vnto his natiue place, 291
Too soone for all that did his loue embrace,
Too soone for all this wretched world, whom he
Robd of all right and true nobilitie.

Yet ere his happie soule to heauen went
Out of this fleshlie goale, he did deuise
Vnto his heauenlie maker to present
His bodie, as a spotles sacrifise;
And chose, that guiltie hands of enemies
Should powre forth th'offring of his guiltles


So life exchanging for his countries good.
O noble spirite, liue there euer blessed,
The worlds late wonder, and the heauens
new ioy,

Liue euer there, and leaue me here distressed
With mortall cares, and cumbrous worlds anoy.
But where thou dost that happines enioy,
Bid me, O bid me quicklie come to thee,
That happie there I maie thee alwaies see.
Yet whilest the fates affoord me vitall breath,
I will it spend in speaking of thy praise, 310
And sing to thee, vntill that timelie death
By heauens doome doo ende my earthlie daies:
Thereto doo thou my humble spirite raise,
And into me that sacred breath inspire,
Which thou there breathest perfect and entire.

Then will I sing: but who can better sing,
Than thine owne sister, peerles Ladie bright,
Which to thee sings with deep harts sorrowing,
Sorrowing tempered with deare denght.
That her to heare I feele my feeble spright 320
Robbed of sense, and rauished with ioy,
O sad ioy made of mourning and anoy.
Yet will I sing but who can better sing,
Than thou thy selfe, thine owne selfes valiance,
That whilest thou liuedst, madest the forrests

And fields resownd, and flockes to leap and daunce,

And shepheards leaue their lambs vnto mischaunce,

To runne thy shrill Arcadian Pipe to heare:
O happie were those dayes, thrice happie were.
But now more happie thou, and wretched wee,
Which want the wonted sweetnes of thy voice,
Whiles thou now in Elisian fields so free,
With Orpheus, and with Linus, and the choice
Of all that euer did in rimes reioyce,
Conuersest, and doost heare their heauenlie layes,
And they heare thine, and thine doo better

So there thou liuest, singing euermore,
And here thou liuest, being euer song
Of vs, which liuing loued thee afore,
And now thee worship, mongst that blessed

Of heauenlie Poets and Heroes strong.
So thou both here and there immortall art,
And euerie where through excellent desart.
But such as neither of themselues can sing,
Nor yet are sung of others for reward,
Die in obscure obliuion, as the thing
Which neuer was, ne euer with regard
Their names shall of the later age be heard,
But shall in rustie darknes euer lie,
Vnles they mentioned be with infamie.
What booteth it to haue been rich aliue?
What to be great? what to be gracious?
When after death no token doth suruiue,
Of former being in this mortall hous,
But sleepes in dust dead and inglorious,



Prouide therefore (ye Princes) whilst ye liue,
That of the Muses ye may friended bee,
Which vnto men eternitie do giue;
For they be daughters of Dame memorie,
And Ioue the father of eternitie,
And do those men in golden thrones repose,
Whose merits they to glorifie do chose.
The seuen fold yron gates of grislie Hell,
And horrid house of sad Proserpina,
They able are with power of mightie spell
To breake, and thence the soules to bring awaie
Out of dread darkenesse, to eternall day,
And them immortall make, which els would die
In foule forgetfulnesse, and nameles lie.
So whilome raised they the puissant brood
Of golden girt Alcmena, for great merite, 380
Out of the dust, to which the Oetaan wood
Had him consum'd, and spent his vitall spirite:
To highest heauen, where now he doth inherite
All happinesse in Hebes siluer bowre,
Chosen to be her dearest Paramoure.
So raisde they eke faire Lelaes warlick twinnes,
And interchanged life vnto them lent,
That when th'one dies, th'other then beginnes
To shew in Heauen his brightnes orient;
And they, for pittie of the sad wayment, 390
Which Orpheus for Eurydice did make,
Her back againe to life sent for his sake.
So happie are they, and so fortunate,
Whom the Pierian sacred sisters loue,
That freed from bands of impacable fate,
And power of death, they liue for aye aboue,
Where mortall wreakes their blis may not


But with the Gods, for former vertues meede,
On Nectar and Ambrosia do feede.

For deeds doe die, how euer noblie donne, 400
And thoughts of men do as themselues decay,
But wise wordes taught in numbers for to runne,
Recorded by the Muses, liue for ay;
Ne may with storming showers be washt away,
Ne bitter breathing windes with harmfull blast,
Nor age, nor enuie shall them euer wast.

In vaine doo earthly Princes then, in vaine
Seeke with Pyramides, to heauen aspired;

Like beast, whose breath but in his nostrels is, Or huge Colosses, built with costlie paine;

And hath no hope of happinesse or blis.
How manie great ones may remembred be,
Which in their daies most famouslie did florish?
Of whome no word we heare, nor signe now see,
But as things wipt out with a sponge to perishe,
Because they liuing, cared not to cherishe
No gentle wits, through pride or couetize,
Which might their names for euer memorize.


Or brasen Pillours, neuer to be fired,
Or Shrines, made of the mettall most desired;
To make their memories for euer liue:
For how can mortall immortalitie giue?
Such one Mausolus made, the worlds great wonder,
But now no remnant doth thereof remaine :
Such one Marcellus, but was torne with thunder:
Such one Lisippus, but is worne with raine :

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