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Yet fell she not, as one enforst to dye,
Ne dyde with dread and grudging discontent,
But as one toyld with trauaile downe doth lye,
So lay she downe, as if to sleepe she went,
And closde her eyes with carelesse quietnesse;
The whiles soft death away her spirit hent,
And soule assoyld from sinfull fleshlinesse.
Yet ere that life her lodging did forsake,
She all resolu'd and ready to remoue,
Calling to me (ay me) this wise bespake;
Alcyon, ah my first and latest loue,
Ah why does my Alcyon weepe and mourne,
And grieue my ghost, that ill mote him behoue,
As if to me had chanst some euill tourne?
I, since the messenger is come for mee,
That summons soules vnto the bridale feast
Of his great Lord, must needes depart from
And straight obay his soueraine beheast:
Why should Alcyon then so sore lament,
That I from miserie shall be releast,
And freed from wretched long imprisonment?
Our daies are full of dolor and disease,
Our life afflicted with incessant paine,
That nought on earth may lessen or appease.
Why then should I desire here to remaine?
Or why should he that loues me, sorie bee
For my deliuerance, or at all complaine
My good to heare, and toward ioyes to see?
I goe, and long desired haue to goe,
I goe with gladnesse to my wished rest,
Whereas no worlds sad care, nor wasting woe
May come their happie quiet to molest,
But Saints and Angels in celestiall thrones
Eternally him praise, that hath them blest;
There shall I be amongst those blessed ones.
Yet ere I goe, a pledge I leaue with thee
Of the late loue, the which betwixt vs past,
My yong Ambrosia, in lieu of mee
Loue her so shall our loue for euer last.
Thus deare adieu, whom I expect ere long :
So hauing said, away she softly past:
Weep Shepheard weep, to make mine vnder-
So oft as I record those piercing words,
Which yet are deepe engrauen in my brest,
And those last deadly accents, which like swords
Did wound my heart and rend my bleeding chest,
With those sweet sugred speaches doo compare,
The which my soule first conquerd and possest,
The first beginners of my endles care;
And when those pallid cheekes and ashy hew,
In which sad death his pourtraicture had writ,
And when those hollow eyes and deadly view,
On which the clowde of ghastly night did sit,
I match with that sweet smile and chearful
Which all the world subdued vnto it;
How happie was I then, and wretched now?
How happie was I, when I saw her leade 309
The Shepheards daughters dauncing in a rownd?
How trimly would she trace and softly tread
The tender grasse with rosie garland crownd?
And when she list aduance her heauenly voyce,
Both Nimphs and Muses nigh she made astownd,
And flocks and shepheards caused to reioyce.
But now ye Shepheard lasses, who shall lead
Your wandring troupes, or sing your virelayes?
Or who shall dight your bowres, sith she is dead
That was the Lady of your holy dayes?
Let now your blisse be turned into bale, 320
And into plaints conuert your ioyous playes,
And with the same fill euery hill and dale.
Let Bagpipe neuer more be heard to shrill,
That may allure the senses to delight;
Ne euer Shepheard sound his Oaten quill
Vnto the many, that prouoke them might
To idle pleasance: but let ghastlinesse
And drery horror dim the chearfull light,
To make the image of true heauinesse.
Let birds be silent on the naked spray,
And shady woods resound with dreadfull yells:
Let streaming floods their hastie courses stay,
And parching drougth drie vp the christall
My little flocke, whom earst I lou'd so well,
And wont to feede with finest grasse that grew,
Feede ye hencefoorth on bitter Astrofell,
And stinking Smallage, and vnsauerie Rew;
And when your mawes are with those weeds
Be ye the pray of Wolues: ne will I rew,
That with your carkasses wild beasts be glutted.
Ne worse to you my sillie sheepe I pray, 351
Ne sorer vengeance wish on you to fall
Than to my selfe, for whose confusde decay
To carelesse heauens I doo daylie call:
But heauens refuse to heare a wretches cry,
And cruell death doth scorne to come at call,
Or graunt his boone that most desires to dye.
The good and righteous he away doth take,
To plague th'vnrighteous which aliue remaine:
But the vngodly ones he doth forsake, 360
By liuing long to multiplie their paine :
Els surely death should be no punishment,
As the great Iudge at first did it ordaine,
But rather riddance from long languishment.
Therefore my Daphne they haue tane away;
For worthie of a better place was she:
But me vnworthie willed here to stay,
That with her lacke I might tormented be.
Sith then they so haue ordred, I will pay
Penance to her according their decree,
And to her ghost doo seruice day by day.
For I will walke this wandring pilgrimage
Throughout the world from one to other end,
And in affliction wast my better age.
My bread shall be the anguish of my mind,
My drink the teares which fro mine eyes do
My bed the ground that hardest I may finde; So will I wilfully increase my paine.
And she my loue that was, my Saint that is,
When she beholds from her celestiall throne,
(In which shee ioyeth in eternall blis)
My bitter penance, will my case bemone,
And pitie me that liuing thus doo die:
For heauenly spirits haue compassion
On mortall men, and rue their miserie.
So when I haue with sorowe satisfide
Th'importune fates, which vengeance on me
And th'heauens with long languor pacifide,
She for pure pitie of my sufferance meeke,
Will send for me; for which I daylie long, 390
And will till then my painfull penance eeke:
Weep Shepheard, weep to make my vnder song.
Hencefoorth I hate what euer Nature made, And in her workmanship no pleasure finde: For they be all but vaine, and quickly fade, So soone as on them blowes the Northern winde, They tarrie not, but flit and fall away, Leauing behind them nought but griefe of minde,
And mocking such as thinke they long will stay.
I hate the heauen, because it doth withhold
Me from my loue, and eke my loue from me;
I hate the earth, because it is the mold
Of fleshly slime and fraile mortalitie;
I hate the fire, because to nought it flyes,
I hate the Ayre, because sighes of it be,
I hate the Sea, because it teares supplyes.
I hate the day, because it lendeth light
To see all things, and not my loue to see ;
I hate the darknesse and the drery night,
Because they breed sad balefulnesse in mee:
I hate all times, because all times doo flye 411
So fast away, and may not stayed bee,
But as a speedie post that passeth by.
I hate to speake, my voyce is spent with crying:
I hate to heare, lowd plaints haue duld mine
I hate all men, and shun all womankinde;
The one, because as I they wretched are,
The other, for because I doo not finde
My loue with them, that wont to be their
And life I hate, because it will not last,
And death I hate, because it life doth marre,
And all I hate, that is to come or past.
So all the world, and all in it I hate,
Because it changeth euer too and fro,
And neuer standeth in one certaine state, 430
But still vnstedfast round about doth goe,
Like a Mill wheele, in midst of miserie,
Driuen with streames of wretchednesse and woe,
That dying liues, and liuing still does dye.
So doo I liue, so doo I daylie die,
And pine away in selfe-consuming paine,
Sith she that did my vitall powres supplie,
And feeble spirits in their force maintaine
Is fetcht fro me, why seeke I to prolong
My wearie daies in dolor and disdaine?
Weep Shepheard weep to make my vnder song.
Why doo I longer liue in lifes despight?
And doo not dye then in despight of death:
Why doo I longer see this loathsome light,
And doo in darknesse not abridge my breath,
Sith all my sorrow should haue end thereby,
And cares finde quiet; is it so vneath
To leaue this life, or dolorous to dye ?
To liue I finde it deadly dolorous;
For life drawes care, and care continuall woe:
Therefore to dye must needes be ioyeous,
And wishfull thing this sad life to forgoe.
But I must stay; I may it not amend,
My Daphne hence departing bad me so,
She bad me stay, till she for me did send.
Yet whilest I in this wretched vale doo stay,
My wearie feete shall euer wandring be,
That still I may be readie on my way,
When as her messenger doth come for me:
Ne will I rest my feete for feeblenesse,
Ne will I rest my limmes for frailtie,
Ne will I rest mine eyes for heauinesse.
But as the mother of the Gods, that sought
For faire Eurydice her daughter deere
Throghout the world, with wofull heauie
So will I trauell whilest I tarrie heere,
Ne will I lodge, ne will I euer lin,
Ne when as drouping Titan draweth neere
To loose his teeme, will I take vp my Inne.
Ne sleepe (the harbenger of wearie wights)
Shall euer lodge vpon mine ey-lids more; 471
Ne shall with rest refresh my fainting sprights,
Nor failing force to former strength restore:
But I will wake and sorrow all the night
With Philumene, my fortune to deplore,
With Philumene, the partner of my plight.
And euer as I see the starres to fall,
And vnder ground to goe, to giue them light Which dwell in darknes, I to minde will call, How my faire Starre (that shinde on me so bright)
Fell sodainly, and faded vnder ground;
Since whose departure, day is turnd to night,
And night without a Venus starre is found.
But soone as day doth shew his deawie face,
And calls foorth men vnto their toylsome trade,
I will withdraw me to some darksome place,
Or some deepe caue, or solitarie shade;
There will I sigh and sorrow all day long,
And the huge burden of my cares vnlade: 489
Weep Shepheard, weep, to make my vndersong.
And ye fond men on fortunes wheele that ride,
Or in ought vnder heauen repose assurance,
Be it riches, beautie, or honors pride:
Be sure that they shall haue no long endurance,
But ere ye be aware will flit away;
For nought of them is yours, but th❜onely vsance
Of a small time, which none ascertaine may.
And ye true Louers, whom desastrous chaunce
Hath farre exiled from your Ladies grace,
To mourne in sorrow and sad sufferaunce,
When ye doo heare me in that desert place
Lamenting lowde my Daphnes Elegie,
Helpe me to wayle my miserable case,
And when life parts, vouchsafe to close mine eye.
And ye more happie Louers, which enioy
The presence of your dearest loues delight,
When ye doo heare my sorrowfull annoy,
Yet pittie me in your empassiond spright,
And thinke that such mishap, as chaunst to me,
May happen vnto the most happiest wight;
For all mens states alike vnstedfast be.
And ye my fellow Shepheards, which do feed
Your carelesse flocks on hils and open plaines,
With better fortune, than did me succeed, 521
Remember yet my vndeserued paines;
And when ye heare, that I am dead or slaine,
Lament my lot, and tell your fellow swaines
That sad Alcyon dyde in lifes disdaine.
And ye faire Damsels, Shepheards dere delights, That with your loues do their rude hearts possesse,
When as my hearse shall happen to your sightes,
Vouchsafe to deck the same with Cyparesse;
And euer sprinckle brackish teares among, 530
In pitie of my vndeseru'd distresse,
The which I wretch, endured haue thus long.
And ye poore Pilgrimes, that with restlesse toyle
Wearie your selues in wandring desert wayes,
Till that you come, where ye your vowes
When passing by ye read these wofull layes On my graue written, rue my Daphnes wrong, And mourne for me that languish out my dayes: Cease Shepheard, cease, and end thy vndersong.
Tho when the pang was somewhat ouerpast,
And the outragious passion nigh appeased,
I him desirde, sith daie was ouercast,
And darke night fast approched, to be pleased
To turne aside vnto my Cabinet,
And staie with me, till he were better eased Of that strong stownd, which him so sore beset. 560
But by no meanes I could him win thereto,
Ne longer him intreate with me to staie,
But without taking leaue, he foorth did goe
With staggring pace and dismall lookes
As if that death he in the face had seene;
Or hellish hags had met vpon the way:
But what of him became I cannot weene.