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Visions of the worlds vanitie. . One day, whiles that my daylie cares did
The kingly Bird, that beares Ioues thundersleepe,
clap, My spirit, shaking off her earthly prison, One day did scorne the simple Scarabee, Began to enter into meditation deepe Proud of his highest seruice, and good hap, Of things exceeding reach of common reason ; That made all other Foules his thralls to bee : Such as this age,
in which all good is geason, The silly Flie, that no redresse did see, And all that humble is and meane debaced, Spide where the Eagle built his towring nest, Hath brought forth in her last declining season, And kindling fire within the hollow tree, Griefeofgood mindes, toseegoodnesse disgraced. Burnt vp his yong ones, and himselfe distrest ; On which when as my thought was throghly Ne suffred him in anie place to rest, 51 placed,
9 But droue in Ioues owne lap his egs to lay ; Vnto my eyes strange showes presented were, Where gathering also filth him to infest, Picturing that, which I in minde embraced, Forst with the filth his egs to fling away : That yet those sights empassion me full nere. For which when as the Foule was wroth,
Such as they were (faire Ladie) take in worth, said Ioue, That when time serues, may bring things Lo how the least the greatest may reproue. better forth.
5 In Summers day, when Phæbus fairly shone, I saw the fish (if fish I may it cleepe)
Toward the sea turning my troubled eye, I saw a Bull as white as driuen snowe, With gilden hornes embowed like the Moone, And with his flaggie finnes doth seeme to sweepe
That makes the sea before his face to flye, 59 In a fresh flowring meadow lying lowe: Vp to his eares the verdant grasse did growe, The huge Leuiathan, dame Natures wonder,
The fomie waues out of the dreadfull deep, And the gay floures did offer to be eaten ; But he with fatnes so did ouerflowe,
Making his sport, that manie makes to weep :
A sword-fish small him from the rest did sunder, That heallwallowedin the weedes downe beaten, Ne card with them his daintielips to sweeten: His wide Abysse him forced forth to spewe,
That in his throat him pricking softly vnder, Till that a Brize, a scorned little creature, Through his faire hide his angrie sting did That all the sea did roare like heauens thunder,
Andall the waues werestain'd with filthie hewe. threaten, And vext so sore, that all his goodly feature,
Hereby I learned haue, not to despise,
What euer thing seemes small in common And all his plenteous pasture nought him pleased :
6 So by the small the great is oft diseased.
An hideous Dragon, dreadfull to behold, 3
Whose backe was arm'd against the dint of Beside the fruitfull shore of muddie Nile, speare Vpon a sunnie banke outstretched lay 30 With shields of brasse, that shone like burnisht In monstrous length, a mightie Crocodile, golde, Thatcram'd withguiltles blood, andgreedie pray And forkhed sting, that death in it did beare, Of wretched people trauailing that way,
Stroue with a Spider his vnequall peare: Thought all things lesse than his disdainful And bad defiance to his enemie. pride.
The subtill vermin creeping closely neare, I saw a little Bird, cald Tedula,
Did in his drinke shed
poyson priuilie; The least of thousands which on earth abide, Which through his entrailes spredding
That forst this hideous beast to open wide diuersly, The greisly gates of his deuouring hell, Made him to swell, that nigh his bowells brust, And let him feede, as Nature doth prouide, And him enforst to yeeld the victorie, Vpon his iawes, that with blacke venime swell. That did so much in his owne greatnesse trust. Why then should greatest things the least O how great vainnesse is it then to scorne disdaine,
41 The weake, that hath the strong so oft forSith that so small so mightie can constraine ? Jorne.
High on a hill a goodly Cedar grewe,
A mighty Lyon, Lord of all the wood, Of wondrous length, and streight proportion, Hauing his hunger throughly satisfide, That farre abroad her daintie odours threwe; With pray of beasts, and spoyle of liuing blood, Mongst all the daughters of proud Libanon, Safe in his dreadles den him thought to hide :
Her match in beautie was not anie one. His sternesse was his prayse, his strength his Shortly within her inmost pith there bred 90 pride,
131 A litle wicked worme, perceiu'd of none, And all his glory in his cruell clawes. That on her sap and vitall moysture fed : I saw a wasp, that fiercely him defide,
Thenceforth her garland so much honoured And bad him battaile euen to his iawes ; Began to die, (O great ruth for the same) Sore he him stong, that it the blood forth And her faire lockes fell from her loftie head, drawes, That shortly balde, and bared she became. And his proude heart is fild with fretting ire : I, which this sight beheld, was much dis- In vaine he threats his teeth, his tayle, his mayed,
pawes, To see so goodly thing so soone decayed. And from his bloodie eyes doth sparkle fire ;
That dead himselfe he wisheth for despight. 8
So weakest may anoy the most of might. Soone after this I saw an Elephant, Adorn'd with bells and bosses gorgeouslie, 100 That on his backe did beare (as batteilant) What time the Romaine Empire bore the A gilden towre, which shone exceedinglie;
141 That he himselfe through foolish vanitie, Of all the world, and florisht most in might, Both for his rich attire, and goodly forme, The nations gan their soueraigntie disdaine, Was puffed vp with passing surquedrie, And cast to quitt them from their bondage And shortly gan all other beasts to scorne, quight: Till that a little Ant, a silly worme,
So when all shrouded were in silent night, Into his nosthrils creeping, so him pained, The Galles were, by corrupting of a mayde, That casting downe his towres, he did deforme Possest nigh of the Capitol through slight, Both borrowed pride, and natiue beautie Had not a Goose the treachery bewrayde. stained.
If then a Goose great Rome from ruine stayde, Let therefore nought that great is, therein And Ioue himselfe, the patron of the place, glorie,
Preserud from being to his foes betrayde, 151 Sith so small thing his happines may varie. Why do vaine men mean things so much deface,
And in their might repose their most assur
ance, Looking far foorth into the Ocean wide, Sith nought on earth can chalenge long A goodly ship with banners brauely dight, endurance ? And flag in her top-gallant I espide, Through the maine sea making her merry When these sad sights were ouerpast and flight:
gone, Faire blew the winde into her bosome right; My spright was greatly moued in her rest, And th'heauens looked louely all the while, With inward ruth and deare affection, That she did seeme to daunce, as in delight, To see so great things by so small distrest : And at her owne felicitie did smile.
Thenceforth I gan in my engrieued brest All sodainely there cloue vnto her keele To scorne all difference of great and small, 160 A little fish, that men call Remora,
Sith that the greatest often are opprest, Which stopt her course, and held her by the And vnawares doe into daunger fall. heele,
And ye, that read these ruines tragicall That winde nor tide could moue her thence Learne by their losse to loue the low degree, away.
And if that fortune chaunce you vp to call Straunge thing me seemeth, that so small a To honours seat, forget not what you be : thing
For he that of himselfe is most secure, Should able be so great an one to wring. Shall finde his state most fickle and vnsure.
The Visions of Bellay.
4 T was the time, when rest soft sliding downe I saw raysde vp on yuorie pilloures tall,
From heauens hight into mens heauy eyes, Whose bases were of richest mettalls warke, In the forgetfulnes of sleepe doth drowne The chapters Alablaster, the fryses christall, The carefull thoughts of mortall miseries : The double front of a triumphall Arke :
Then did a Ghost before mine eyes appeare, On each side purtraid was a Victorie, On that great riuers banck, that runnes by Clad like a Nimph, that wings of siluer weares, Rome,
And in triumphant chayre was set on hie, Which calling me by name, bad me to reare The auncient glory of the Romaine Peares. 50 My lookes to heauen whence all good gifts do No worke it seem'd of earthly craftsmans wit, come,
But rather wrought by his owne industry, And crying lowd, loe now beholde (quoth hee) | That thunder-dartes for loue his syre doth fit. What vnder this great temple placed is: 10 Let me no more see faire thing vnder sky, Lo all is nought but flying vanitee.
Sith that mine eyes haue seene so faire a sight So I that know this worlds inconstancies, With sodain fall to dust consumed quight.
Sith onely God surmounts all times decay,
Vpon seauen hills to spread his gladsome On high hills top I saw a stately frame, I
gleame, An hundred cubits high by iust assize, And conquerours bedecked with his greene, With hundreth pillours' fronting faire the Along the bancks of the Ausonian streame : same,
There many an auncient Trophee was All wrought with Diamond after Dorick wize : addrest,
61 Nor brick, nor marble was the wall in view, And many a spoyle, and many a goodly show, But shining Christall, which from top to base Which that braue races greatnes did attest, Out of her womb a thousand rayons threw, That whilome from the Troyan blood did flow. On hundred steps of Afrike golds enchase: Rauisht I was so rare a thing to vew,
Golde was the parget, and the seeling bright When lo a barbarous troupe of clownish fone Did shine all scaly with great plates of golde; The honour of these noble boughs down threw, The floore of lasp and Emeraude was dight. Vnder the wedge I heard the tronck to grone; O worlds vainesse. Whiles thus I did behold, And since I saw the roote in great disdaine An earthquake shooke the hill from lowest A twinne of forked trees send forth againe. seat,
6 And ouerthrew this frame with ruine great.
I saw a Wolfe vnder a rockie caue
Noursing two whelpes ; I saw her litle ones Then did a sharped spyre of Diamond In wanton dalliance the teate to craue, bright,
While she her neck wreath'd from them for the Ten feete each way in square, appeare to mee, Iustly proportion'd vp vnto his hight, 31 I saw her raunge abroad to seeke her food, So far as Archer might his leuel see:
And roming through the field with greedie rage The top thereof a pot did seeme to beare, T'embrew her teeth and clawes with lukewarm Made of the mettall, which we most do honour, blood And in this golden vessell couched weare Of the small heards, her thirst for to asswage. The ashes of a mightie Emperour :
I saw a thousand huntsmen, which descended Vpon foure corners of the base were pight, Downe from the mountaines bordring LomTo beare the frame, foure great Lyons of gold ; bardie,
80 A worthy tombe for such a worthy wight. That with an hundred speares her flank wide Alas this world doth nought but grieuance rended. hold.
40 I saw her on the plaine outstretched lie, I saw a tempest from the heauen descend, Throwing out thousand throbs in her owne Which this braue monument with flash did soyle : rend.
Soone on a tree vphang'd I saw her spoyle.
7 I saw the Bird that can the Sun endure, Hard by a riuers side a virgin faire, With feeble wings assay to mount on hight, Folding her armes to heauen with thousand By more and more she gan her wings t'assure, throbs, Following th’ensample of her mothers sight: And outraging her cheekes and golden haire,
I saw her rise, and with a larger flight To falling riuers sound thus tun'd her sobs. To pierce the cloudes, and with wide pinneons Where is (quoth she) this whilom honoured To measure the most haughtie mountaines face?
91 Where the great glorie and the auncient praise, Vntill she raught the Gods owne mansions : In which all worlds felicitie had place,
There was she lost, when suddaine I behelde, When Gods and men my honour vp did raise ? Where tumbling through the ayre in firie fold; Suffisd' it not that ciuill warres me made All flaming downe she on the plaine was felde, The whole worlds spoile, but thatthis Hydra new, And soone her bodie turn'd to ashes colde. Of hundred Hercules to be assaide,
I saw the foule that doth the light dispise, With seuen heads, budding monstrous crimes Out of her dust like to a worme arise.
So many Neroes and Caligulaes 8
Out of these crooked shores must dayly I saw a riuer swift, whose fomy billowes
rayse ? Did wash the ground work of an old great wall;
Vpon an hill a bright flame I did see, I saw it couer'd all with griesly shadowes, Wauing aloft with triple point to skie, That with black horror did the ayre appall : Which like incense of precious Cedar tree, Thereout a strange beast with seuen heads With balmie odours fil'd th’ayre farre and nie. arose,
A Bird all white, well feathered on each wing, That townes and castles vnder her brest did Hereout vp to the throne of Gods did flie, coure,
And all the way most pleasant notes did sing, And seem'd both milder beasts and fiercer foes Whilst in the smoake she vnto heauen did stie. Alike with equall rauine to deuoure.
Of this faire fire the scattered rayes forth Much was I mazde, to see this monsters kinde threw
149 In hundred formes to change his fearefull hew, On euerie side a thousand shining beames : When as at length I saw the wrathfull winde, When sudden dropping of a siluer dew
a Which blows cold storms, burst out of Scithian (O grieuous chance) gan quench those precious
mew, That sperst these cloudes, and in so short as That it which earst so pleasant sent did yeld, thought,
Of nothing now but noyous sulphure smeld. This dreadfull shape was vanished to nought. 9
I saw a spring out of a rocke forth rayle, Then all astonied with this mighty ghoast, As cleare as Christall gainst the Sunnie beames, An hideous bodie big and strong I sawe, The bottome yeallow, like the golden grayle With side long beard, and locks down hanging That bright Pactolus washeth with his streames; loast,
It seem'd that Art and Nature had assembled Sterne face, and front full of Saturnlike awe; All pleasure there, for which mans hart could Who leaning on the belly of a pot,
160 Pourd foorth a water, whose out gushing flood And there a noyse alluring sleepe soft trembled, Ran bathing all the creakie shore aflot, 119 Of manie accords more sweete than Mermaids Whereon the Troyan prince spilt Turnus blood ; song :
And at his feete a bitch wolfe suck did yeeld The seates and benches shone as yuorie, To two young babes : his left the Palme tree And hundred Nymphes sate side by side about; stout,
When from nigh hills with hideous outcrie, His right hand did the peacefull Oliue wield, A troupe of Satyres in the place did rout, And head with Lawrell garnisht was about. Which with their villeine feete the streame
Sudden both Palme and Oliue fell away, And faire greene Lawrell branch did quite Threw down the seats, and droue the Nymphs decay.
Much wondred I to see so faire a wall: 191 Much richer then that vessell seem'd to bee, When from the Northerne coast a storme Which did to that sad Florentine appeare, 170 arose, Casting mine eyes farre off, I chaunst to see, Which breathing furie from his inward gall Vpon the Latine Coast herselfe to reare: On all, which did against his course oppose, But suddenly arose a tempest great,
Into a clowde of dust sperst in the aire Bearing close enuie to these riches rare, The weake foundations of this Citie faire. Which gan assaile this ship with dreadfull threat,
15 This ship, to which none other might compare.
At length, euen at the time, when Morpheus And finally the storme impetuous
Most trulie doth vnto our eyes appeare, Sunke vp these riches, second vnto none, Wearie to see the heauens still wauering thus, Within the gulfe of greedie Nereus.
I saw Typhæus sister comming neare; I saw both ship and mariners each one, 180 Whose head full brauely with a morion And all that treasure drowned in the hidd, maine :
Did seeme to match the Gods in Maiestie. But I the ship saw after raisd' againe. She by a riuers bancke that swift downe
Ouer all the world did raise a Trophee hie ; Long hauing deeply gron'd these visions sad, An hundred vanquisht Kings vnder her lay, I saw a Citie like vnto that same,
With armes bound at their backs in shamefull Which saw the messenger of tidings glad ; But that on sand was built the goodly frame : Whilst I thus mazed was with great affray,
It seem'd her top the firmament did rayse, I saw the heauens in warre against her rize : And no lesse rich than faire, right worthie Then downe she stricken fell with clap of
thonder, (If ought here worthie) of immortall dayes, That with great noyse I wakte in sudden Or if ought vnder heauen might firme endure. wonder.
The Visions of Petrarch.
2 Eing one day at my window all alone, After at sea a tall ship did appeare, So manie strange things happened me Made all of Heben and white Yuorie,
The sailes of golde, of silke the tackle were, As much it grieueth me to thinke thereon. Milde was the winde, calme seem'd the sea to At my right hand a Hynde appear'd to mee, bee,
So faire as mote the greatest God delite ; The skie eachwhere did show full bright and Two eager dogs did her pursue in chace, Of which the one was blacke, the other with rich treasures this gay ship fraighted
white: With deadly force so in their cruell race But sudden storme did so turmoyle the aire, They pincht the haunches of that gentle And tumbled vp the sea, that she (alas) beast,
Strake on a rock, that vnder water lay, That at the last, and in short time I spide, 10 And perished past all recouerie. Vnder a Rocke where she alas opprest, O how great ruth and sorrowfull assay, Fell to the ground, and there vntimely dide. Doth vex my spirite with perplexitie,
Cruell death vanquishing so noble beautie, Thus in a moment to see lost and drown'd, Oft makes me wayle so hard a destenie. So great riches, as like cannot be found.