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TO THE RIGHT
worthy and noble Knight
Sir Walter Raleigh, Captaine of her Maiesties
Guard, Lord Wardein of the Stanneries,
and Lieutenant of the Countie of
SIR, that you may see that I am not alwaies ydle as yee thinke, though not greatly well occupied, nor altogither vndutifull, though not precisely officious, I make you present of this simple pastorall, vnworthie of your higher conceipt for the meanesse of the stile, but agreeing with the truth in circumstance and matter. The which I humbly beseech you to accept in part of paiment of the infinite debt in which I acknowledge my selfe bounden vnto you, for your singular
favours and sundrie good turnes shewed to me at
my late being in England, and with your good
countenance protect against the malice of euill
mouthes, which are alwaies wide open to carpe
at and misconstrue my simple meaning. I pray
continually for your happinesse. From my house
of Kilcolman the 27. of December. 1591.
Yours euer humbly.
come home againe.
"He shepheards boy (best knowen by that | Was heard to sound as she was wont on hye, name)
That after Tityrus first sung his lay,
Laies of sweet loue, without rebuke or blame,
Sate (as his custome was) vpon a day,
Charming his oaten pipe vnto his peres,
The shepheard swaines that did about him
Who all the while with greedie listfull eares,
Did stand astonisht at his curious skill,
Like hartlesse deare, dismayd with thunders
Hast made vs all so blessed and so blythe. 21
Whilest thou wast hence, all dead in dole did lie:
The woods were heard to waile full many a
And all their birds with silence to complaine :
The fields with faded flowers did seem to mourne,
And all their flocks from feeding to refraine :
The running waters wept for thy returne,
And all their fish with languour did lament:
But now both woods and fields, and floods
Sith thou art come, their cause of meriment, 30
That vs late dead, hast made againe aliue:
But were it not too painfull to repeat
The passed fortunes, which to thee befell
In thy late voyage, we thee would entreat,
Now at thy leisure them to vs to tell.
To whom the shepheard gently answered
Hobbin thou temptest me to that I couet :
For of good passed newly to discus,
By dubble vsurie doth twise renew it.
And since I saw that Angels blessed eie,
Her worlds bright sun, her heauens fairest
My mind full of my thoughts satietie,
Doth feed on sweet contentment of that sight:
Since that same day in nought I take delight,
Ne feeling haue in any earthly pleasure,
But in remembrance of that glorious bright,
My lifes sole blisse, my hearts eternall threasure.
Wake then my pipe, my sleepie Muse awake,
Till I haue told her praises lasting long :
Hobbin desires, thou maist it not forsake, 50
Harke then ye iolly shepheards to my song.
With that they all gan throng about him
With hungrie eares to heare his harmonie : The whiles their flocks deuoyd of dangers feare, Did round about them feed at libertie.
One day (quoth he) I sat, (as was my trade) Vnder the foote of Mole that mountaine hore, Keeping my sheepe amongst the cooly shade, Of the greene alders by the Mullaes shore: There a straunge shepheard chaunst to find me
Whether allured with my pipes delight,
Whose pleasing sound yshrilled far about,
Or thither led by chaunce, I know not right:
Whom when I asked from what place he came,
And how he hight, himselfe he did ycleepe,
The shepheard of the Ocean by name,
And said he came far from the main-sea
He sitting me beside in that same shade,
Prouoked me to plaie some pleasant fit,
And when he heard the musicke which I made,
He found himselfe full greatly pleasd at it: 71
Yet æmuling my pipe, he tooke in hond
My pipe before that æmuled of many,
And plaid theron; (for well that skill he cond)
Himselfe as skilfull in that art as any.
He pip'd, I sung; and when he sung, I piped,
By chaunge of turnes, each making other mery,
Neither enuying other, nor enuied,
So piped we, vntill we both were weary.
There interrupting him, a bonie swaine, 80
That Cuddy hight, him thus atweene bespake:
And should it not thy readie course restraine,
I would request thee Colin, for my sake,
To tell what thou didst sing, when he did plaie.
For well I weene it worth recounting was,
Whether it were some hymne, or morall laie,
Or carol made to praise thy loued lasse.
Nor of my loue, nor of my losse (quoth he). I then did sing, as then occasion fell: For loue had me forlorne, forlorne of me, That made me in that desart chose to dwell.
But of my riuer Bregogs loue I soong, Which to the shiny Mulla he did beare, And yet doth beare, and euer will, so long As water doth within his bancks appeare.
Of fellow ship (said then that bony Boy) Record to vs that louely lay againe: The staie whereof, shall nought these eares annoy,
Who all that Colin makes, do couet faine.
Heare then (quoth he) the tenor of my tale,
In sort as I it to that shepheard told :
No leasing new, nor Grandams fable stale,
But auncient truth confirm'd with credence old.
Old father Mole, (Mole hight that mountain
That walls the Northside of Armulla dale)
He had a daughter fresh as floure of May,
Which gaue that name vnto that pleasant vale;
Mulla the daughter of old Mole, so hight
The Nimph, which of that water course has
That springing out of Mole, doth run downe right
To Butteuant, where spreading forth at large,
It giueth name vnto that auncient Cittie,
Which Kilnemullah cleped is of old:
Whose ragged ruines breed great ruth and
To trauailers, which it from far behold.
Full faine she lou'd, and was belou'd full faine,
Of her owne brother riuer, Bregog hight,
So hight because of this deceitfull traine,
Which he with Mulla wrought to win delight.
But her old sire more carefull of her good, 120
And meaning her much better to preferre,
Did thinke to match her with the neighbour
Which Allo hight, Broad water called farre:
And wrought so well with his continuall paine,
That he that riuer for his daughter wonne :
The dowre agreed, the day assigned plaine,
The place appointed where it should be doone.
Nath lesse the Nymph her former liking held;
For loue will not be drawne, but must be
Passe vnespide to meete her by the way; 140 And then besides, those little streames so broken
He vnder ground so closely did conuay,
That of their passage doth appeare no token,
Till they into the Mullaes water slide.
So secretly did he his loue enioy:
Yet not so secret, but it was descride,
And told her father by a shepheards boy.
Who wondrous wroth for that so foule despight,
In great auenge did roll downe from his hill
Huge mightie stones, the which encomber might
His passage, and his water-courses spill.
So of a Riuer, which he was of old,
He none was made, but scattred all to nought,
And lost emong those rocks into him rold,
Did lose his name: so deare his loue he bought.
Which hauing said, him Thestylis bespake,
Now by my life this was a mery lay:
Worthie of Colin selfe, that did it make.
But read now eke of friendship I thee pray,
What dittie did that other shepheard sing?
For I do couet most the same to heare,
As men vse most to couet forreine thing.
That shall I eke (quoth he) to you declare.
His song was all a lamentable lay,
Of great vnkindnesse, and of vsage hard,
Of Cynthia the Ladie of the sea,
Which from her presence faultlesse him debard.
And euer and anon with singults rife,
He cryed out, to make his vndersong
Ah my loues queene, and goddesse of my life,
Who shall me pittie, when thou doest me
Besides her peerlesse skill in making well
And all the ornaments of wondrous wit,
Such as all womankynd did far excell:
Such as the world admyr'd and praised it:
So what with hope of good, and hate of ill,
He me perswaded forth with him to fare:
Nought tooke I with me, but mine oaten quill:
Small needments else need shepheard to prepare.
So to the sea we came; the sea? that is
A world of waters heaped vp on hie,
Rolling like mountaines in wide wildernesse,
Horrible, hideous, roaring with hoarse crie.
And is the sea (quoth Coridon) so fearfull?
Fearful much more (quoth he) then hart can
Thousand wyld beasts with deep mouthes gap-
That neither car'd for wynd, nor haile, nor raine,
Nor swelling waues, but thorough them did passe
So proudly, that she made them roare againe.
The same aboord vs gently did receaue,
And without harme vs farre away did beare,
So farre that land our mother vs did leaue,
And nought but sea and heauen to vs appeare.
Then hartlesse quite and full of inward feare,
That shepheard I besought to me to tell, 229
Vnder what skie, or in what world we were,
In which I saw no liuing people dwell.
Who me recomforting all that he might,
Told me that that same was the Regiment
Of a great shepheardesse, that Cynthia hight,
His liege his Ladie, and his lifes Regent
If then (quoth I) a shepheardesse she bee,
Where be the flockes and heards, which she doth
And where may I the hills and pastures see,
On which she vseth for to feed her sheepe?
These be the hills (quoth he) the surges hie,
On which faire Cynthia her heards doth feed:
Her heards be thousand fishes with their frie,
Which in the bosome of the billowes breed.
Of them the shepheard which hath charge in
Is Triton blowing loud his wreathed horne:
At sound whereof, they all for their relief
Wend too and fro at euening and at morne.
And Proteus eke with him does driue his heard
Of stinking Seales and Porcpisces together,
With hoary head and deawy dropping beard,
Compelling them which way he list, and
And I among the rest of many least,
Haue in the Ocean charge to me assignd:
Where I will liue or die at her beheast,
And serue and honour her with faithfull mind.
Besides an hundred Nymphs all heauenly
And of immortall race, doo still attend
To wash faire Cynthiaes sheep, when they be shorne,
And fold them vp, when they haue made an end. Those be the shepheards which my Cynthia 260
And is there other, then whereon we stand?
Ah Cuddy (then quoth Colin) thous a fon, That hast not seene least part of natures worke: Much more there is vnkend, then thou doest kon,
And much more that does from mens know-
For that same land much larger is then this,
And other men and beasts and birds doth feed:
There fruitfull corne, faire trees, fresh herbage is
And all things else that liuing creatures need.
Besides most goodly riuers there appeare, 300
No whit inferiour to thy Funchins praise,
Or vnto Allo or to Mulla cleare:
Nought hast thou foolish boy seene in thy daies.
But if that land be there (quoth he) as here,
And is theyr heauen likewise there all one?
And if like heauen, be heauenly graces there,
Like as in this same world where we do wone?
Both heauen and heauenly graces do much
(Quoth he) abound in that same land, then this. At sea, beside a thousand moe at land: For there all happie peace and plenteous store For land and sea my Cynthia doth deserue Conspire in one to make contented blisse: 311 To haue in her commandement at hand. No wayling there nor wretchednesse is heard, Thereat I wondred much, till wondring more No bloodie issues nor no leprosies, And more, at length we land far off descryde: No griesly famine, nor no raging sweard, Which sight much gladed me; for much afore No nightly bodrags, nor no hue and cries; I feard, least land we neuer should haue eyde: The shepheards there abroad may safely lie, Thereto our ship her course directly bent, On hills and downes, withouten dread or As if the way she perfectly had knowne. 269 daunger: We Lunday passe; by that same name is ment An Island, which the first to west was showne. From thence another world of land we kend, Floting amid the sea in ieopardie,
No rauenous wolues the good mans hope
Nor outlawes fell affray the forest raunger.
There learned arts do florish in great honor,
And round about with mightie white rocks And Poets wits are had in peerlesse price: 321 hemd,
Against the seas encroching crueltie.
Those same the shepheard told me, were the
In which dame Cynthia her landheards fed,
Faire goodly fields, then which Armulla yields
None fairer, nor more fruitfull to be red.
The first to which we nigh approched, was
An high headland thrust far into the sea, 281
Like to an horne, whereof the name it has,
Yet seemed to be a goodly pleasant lea:
Religion hath lay powre to rest vpon her,
Aduancing vertue and suppressing vice.
For end, all good, all grace there freely growes,
Had people grace it gratefully to vse :
For God his gifts there plenteously bestowes,
But gracelesse men them greatly do abuse.
But say on further, then said Corylas,
The rest of thine aduentures, that betyded.
Foorth on our voyage we by land did passe,
(Quoth he) as that same shepheard still vs
Vntill that we to Cynthiaes presence came:
Whose glorie, greater then my simple thought,
I found much greater then the former fame;
Such greatnes I cannot compare to ought:
But if I her like ought on earth might read,
I would her lyken to a crowne of lillies,
Vpon a virgin brydes adorned head,
With Roses dight and Goolds and Daffadillies;
Or like the circlet of a Turtle true, 340
In which all colours of the rainbow bee;
Or like faire Phebes garlond shining new,
In which all pure perfection one may see.
But vaine it is to thinke by paragone
Of earthly things, to iudge of things diuine :
Her power, her mercy, and her wisedome, none
Can deeme, but who the Godhead can define.
Why then do I base shepheard bold and blind,
Presume the things so sacred to prophane ?
More fit it is t'adore with humble mind,
The image of the heauens in shape humane.
With that Alexis broke his tale asunder,
Saying, By wondring at thy Cynthiaes praise,
Colin, thy selfe thou mak'st vs more to wonder,
And her vpraising, doest thy selfe vpraise.
But let vs heare what grace she shewed thee,
And how that shepheard strange, thy cause
The shepheard of the Ocean (quoth he) Vnto that Goddesse grace me first enhanced, And to mine oaten pipe enclin'd her eare, 360 That she thenceforth therein gan take delight, And it desir'd at timely houres to heare, All were my notes but rude and roughly dight.
For not by measure of her owne great mynd, And wondrous worth she mott my simple song, But ioyd that country shepheard ought could fynd
Worth harkening to, emongst the learned throng.
Why? (said Alexis then) what needeth shee That is so great a shepheardesse her selfe, And hath so many shepheards in her fee, 370 To heare thee sing, a simple silly Elfe? Or be the shepheards which do serue her laesie, That they list not their mery pipes applie? Or be their pipes vntunable and craesie, That they cannot her honour worthylie ? Ah nay (said Colin) neither so, nor so: For better shepheards be not vnder skie, Nor better hable, when they list to blow Their pipes aloud, her name to glorifie. There is good Harpalus, now woxen aged In faithfull seruice of faire Cynthia : And there is Corydon though meanly waged, Yet hablest wit of most I know this day.
And there is sad Alcyon bent to mourne, Though fit to frame an euerlasting dittie, Whose gentle spright for Daphnes death doth
Sweet layes of loue to endlesse plaints of pittie.
Ah pensiue boy pursue that braue conceipt,
In thy sweet Eglantine of Meriflure,
Lift vp thy notes vnto their wonted height, 390
That may thy Muse and mates to mirth allure.
There eke is Palin worthie of great praise,
Albe he enuie at my rustick quill:
And there is pleasing Alcon, could he raise
His tunes from laies to matter of more skill.
And there is old Palemon free from spight,
Whose carefull pipe may make the hearer rew:
Yet he himselfe may rewed be more right,
That sung so long vntill quite hoarse he grew.
And there is Alabaster throughly taught, 400
In all this skill, though knowen yet to few:
Yet were he knowne to Cynthia as he ought,
His Eliseïs would be redde anew.
Who liues that can match that heroick song,
Which he hath of that mightie Princesse made?
O dreaded Dread, do not thy selfe that
To let thy fame lie so in hidden shade:
But call it forth, O call him forth to thee,
To end thy glorie which he hath begun :
That when he finisht hath as it should be, 410
No brauer Poeme can be vnder Sun.
Nor Po nor Tyburs swans so much renowned,
Nor all the brood of Greece so highly praised,
Can match that Muse when it with bayes is
And to the pitch of her perfection raised.
And there is a new shepheard late vp sprong,
The which doth all afore him far surpasse:
Appearing well in that well tuned song,
Which late he sung vnto a scornfull lasse.
Yet doth his trembling Muse but lowly flie,
As daring not too rashly mount on hight, 421
And doth her tender plumes as yet but trie,
In loues soft laies and looser thoughts delight.
Then rouze thy feathers quickly Daniell,
And to what course thou please thy selfe
But most me seemes, thy accent will excell,
In Tragick plaints and passionate mischance.
And there that shepheard of the Ocean is,
That spends his wit in loues consuming smart:
Full sweetly tempred is that Muse of his 430
That can empierce a Princes mightie hart.
There also is (ah no, he is not now)
But since I said he is, he quite is gone,
Amyntas quite is gone and lies full low,
Hauing his Amaryllis left to mone.