Page images

Behold your faces as the christall bright,

That when you come whereas my Love doth lie,
No blemish she may spie.

And eke, ye lightfoot mayds, which keepe the dore,
That on the hoary mountayne use to towre;
And the wylde Wolves, which seeke them to devoure,
With your steele darts doe chace from coming neer;
Be also present heere,

To helpe to decke her, and to help to sing,

That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Wake now, my Love, awake; for it is time;
The rosy Morne long since left Tithons bed,
All ready to her silver coche to clyme;
And Phabus gins to shew his glorious hed.
Hark! how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies,
And carroll of Loves praise.

The merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft;

The Thrush replyes; the Mavis descant playes;

The Ouzell shrills; the Ruddock warbles soft;
So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,

To this dayes meriment.

Ah! my deere Love, why doe ye sleepe thus long,
When meeter were that ye should now awake,
T'awayt the comming of your joyous Make,
And hearken to the birds love-learned song,
The deawy leaves among!

For they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
That all the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

My Love is now awake out of her dreame,

And her fayre eyes, like stars that dimmed were
With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beams
More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere.
Come now, ye Damzels, Daughters of delight,
Helpe quickly her to dight

But first come, ye fayre Houres, which were begot,
In Joves sweet paradice, of Day and Night;


Which doe the seasons of the year allot,
And all, that ever in this world is fayre,
Do make and still repayre:

And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian Queene,
The which doe still adorn her beauties pride,
Helpe to adorne my beautifullest bride:
And, as ye her array, still throw betweene
Some graces to be seene;

And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing,

The whiles the woods shal answer, and your eccho ring.

Now is my Love all ready forth to come:
Let all the Virgins therefore well awayt;
And ye fresh Boyes, that tend upon her Groome,
Prepare your selves; for he is comming strayt.
Set all your things in seemely good aray,
Fit for so joyfull day:

The joyfulst day that ever Sunne did see.
Fair Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy lifull heat not fervent be,
For feare of burning her sunshyny face,
Her beauty to disgrace.

O fayrest Phabus! Father of the Muse!
If ever I did honour thee aright,

Or sing the thing that mote thy mind delight,
Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse;
But let this day, let this one day, be mine;
Let all the rest be thine.


Then I thy soverayne prayses loud wil sing,
That all the woods shal answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Harke! how the Minstrils gin to shrill aloud
Their merry musick that resounds from far,
The pipe, the tabor, and the trembling Croud,
That well agree withouten breach or jar.
But, most of all, the Damzels doe delite,
When they their tymbrels smyte,

And thereunto doe daunce and carrol sweet,

That all the sences they doe ravish quite;

The whyles the Boyes run up and downe the street,
Crying aloud with strong confused noyce,
As if it were one voyce,

Hymen, Iö Hymen, Hymen, they do shout;
That even to the heavens theyr shouting shrill
Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill;
To which the people standing all about,
As in approvance, doe thereto applaud,
And loud advaunce her laud;

Loe! where she comes along with portly pace,
Lyke Phabe, from her chamber of the East,
Arysing forth to run her mighty race,
Clad all in white, that seems a Virgin best.
So well it her beseems, that ye would weene
Some Angell she had beene.

Her long loose yellow locks lyke golden wyre,
Sprinckled with perle, and perling flowres atweene,
Doe lyke a golden mantle her attyre;

And, being crowned with a girland greene,
Seem lyke some Mayden Queene.
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold

So many gazers as on her do stare,
Upon the lowly ground affixed are;
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold,
But blush to heare her prayses sung so loud,

So farre from being proud.

Nathlesse doe ye still loud her prayses sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

And evermore they Hymen, Hymen, sing,
That all the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Tell me, ye Merchants daughters, did ye see
So fayre a creature in your towne before;
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she,
Adornd with beautyes grace and vertues store?
Her goodly eyes lyke Saphyres shining bright,


Her forehead Yvory white,

Her cheekes lyke apples which the sun hath rudded,
Her lips lyke cherries charming men to byte,
bowl of creame uncrudded,

Her brest like to
Her paps lyke lyllies budded,
Her snowie necke lyke to a marble towre;
And all her body like a pallace fayre,
Ascending up, with many a stately stayre,
To Honors seat and Chastities sweet bowre.
Why stand ye still ye Virgins in amaze,
Upon her so to gaze,

Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing,
To which the woods did answer, and your eccho ring?

But if ye saw that which no eyes can see,
The inward beauty of her lively spright,
Garnisht with heavenly guifts of high degree,
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonisht lyke to those which red
Medusaes mazeful hed.

There dwells sweet Love, and constant Chastity,
Unspotted Fayth, and comely Womanhood,
Regard of Honour, and mild Modesty ;
There Vertue raynes as Queene in royal throne,
And giveth lawes alone,

The which the base affections doe obay,
And yeeld theyr services unto her will;
Ne thought of things uncomely ever may
Thereto approch to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seene these her celestial threasures,
And unrevealed pleasures,


Then would ye wonder, and her prayses sing,

That all the woods should answer, and your eccho ring.

Open the temple gates unto my Love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,

And all the postes adorne as doth behove,
And all the pillours deck with girlands trim,

For to receyve this Saynt with honour dew,
That commeth in to you.

With trembling steps, and humble reverence,
She commeth in, before th' Almighties view:
Of her ye Virgins learne obedience,
When so ye come into those holy places,
To humble your proud faces:

Behold, whiles she before the altar stands,
Hearing the holy priest that to her speakes,
And blesseth her with his two happy hands,
How the red roses flush up in her cheekes,
And the pure snow,
with goodly vermill stayne,
Like crimsin dyde in grayne:
That even the Angels, which continually
About the sacred Altar doe remaine,
Forget their service and about her fly,
Ofte peeping in her face, that seems more fayre,
The more they on it stare.

Bring her up to th' high altar, that she may
The sacred ceremonies there partake,
The which do endlesse matrimony make;
And let the roring Organs loudly play

The praises of the Lord in lively notes;
The whiles, with hollow throates,

The Choristers the joyous Antheme sing,

That all the woods may answer, and their eccho ring.


Now al is done: bring home the Bride againe ;
Bring home the triumph of our victory;

But her sad eyes, still fastened on the ground,
Are governed with goodly modesty,

That suffers not one look to glaunce awry,
Which may let in a little thought unsownd.
Why blush ye, Love, to give to me your hand,
The pledge of all our band!

Sing, ye sweet Angels, Alleluya sing,

That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

« PreviousContinue »