Page images
PDF
EPUB

AN ELEGIE,

OR FRIENDS PASSION, FOR HIS

ASTROPHILL.

WRITTEN UPON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, KNIGHT, LORD GOVERNOUR
OF FLUSHING.

S then, no winde at all there blew,
No swelling cloude accloid the aire;
The skie, like glasse of watchet hew
Reflected Phœbus golden haire;
The garnisht tree no pendant stird,
No voice was heard of anie bird.

There might you see the burly Beare,
The Lion king, the Elephant;
The maiden Unicorne was there,
So was Acteons horned plant,

And what of wilde or tame are found
Were coucht in order on the ground.

Alcides speckled poplar tree,
The palme that Monarchs do obtaine,
With love-juice staind the mulberie,
The fruit that dewes the Poets braine;
And Phillis philbert there away,
Comparde with mirtle and the bay.

ΙΟ

The tree that coffins doth adorne,
With stately height threatning the skie;
And, for the bed of Love forlorne,

The blacke and dolefull Ebonie;

All in a circle compast were,
Like to an Ampitheater.

Upon the branches of those trees
The airie winged people sat,
Distinguished in od degrees,
One sort is this, another that,

20

Here Philomell, that knowes full well

What force and wit in love doth dwell.

30

The skiebred Egle, roiall bird,
Percht there upon an oke above;
The Turtle by him never stird,
Example of immortall love.

The swan that sings about to dy,
Leaving Meander, stood thereby.

And that which was of woonder most,
The Phoenix left sweet Arabie;
And, on a Cædar in this coast,
Built up her tombe of spicerie,

As I conjecture, by the same
Preparde to take her dying flame.

In midst and center of this plot,
I saw one groveling on the grasse:
A man or stone, I knew not that;
No stone; of man the figure was,

And yet I could not count him one,
More than the image made of stone.

At length I might perceive him reare
His bodie on his elbow end:
Earthly and pale with ghastly cheare,
Upon his knees he upward tend,

40

50

Seeming like one in uncouth stound,
To be ascending out the ground.

A grievous sigh forthwith he throwes,
As might have torne the vitall strings;
Then down his cheeks the teares so flows,
As doth the streame of many springs.

So thunder rends the cloud in twaine,
And makes a passage for the raine.

Incontinent, with trembling sound
He wofully gan to complaine;
Such were the accents as might wound,
And teare a diamond rocke in twaine :
After his throbs did somewhat stay,
Thus heavily he gan to say.

O sunne! (said he, seeing the sunne)
On wretched me why dost thou shine,
My star is falne, my comfort done,
Out is the apple of my eine;

Shine upon those possesse delight,
And let me live in endlesse night.

O griefe! that liest upon my soule
As heavie as a mount of lead,
The remnant of my life controll;
Consort me quickly with the dead:
Halfe of this hart, this sprite, and will,
Di'de in the brest of Astrophill.

And you, compassionate of my wo,
Gentle birds, beasts, and shadie trees,

I am assurde ye long to kno

What be the sorrowes me agreev's;

Listen ye then to that insu'th,
And heare a tale of teares and ruthe.

You knew,-who knew not Astrophill ?

(That I should live to say I knew,

60

70

80

And have not in possession still!)
Things knowne permit me to renew
Of him you know his merit such,
I cannot say, you heare, too much.

Within these woods of Arcadie
He chiefe delight and pleasure tooke;
And on the mountaine Parthenie,
Upon the chrystall liquid brooke,
The Muses met him ev'ry day,
That taught him sing, to write, and say.

When he descended downe to the mount,
His personage seemed most divine,
A thousand graces one might count,
Upon his lovely cheerfull eine;

To heare him speake and sweetly smile,
You were in Paradise the while.

A sweet attractive kinde of grace,
A full assurance given by lookes,
Continuall comfort in a face,
The lineaments of Gospell bookes,

I trowe, that countenance cannot lie
Whose thoughts are legible in the eie.

Was never eie did see that face,
Was never eare did heare that tong,
Was never minde did minde his

grace,

That ever thought the travell long;
But eies, and eares, and ev'ry thought,
Were with his sweete perfections caught.

O God! that such a worthy man,
In whom so rare desarts did raigne,
Desired thus, must leave us than,
And we to wish for him in vaine.
O! could the stars, that bred that wit,
In force no longer fixed sit?

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Then, being fild with learned dew,
The Muses willed him to love:
That instrument can aptly shew,
How finely our conceits will move;
As Bacchus opes dissembled harts,
So Love sets out our better parts.

Stella, a Nymph within this wood,
Most rare and rich of heavenly blis,
The highest in his fancie stood,
And she could well demerite this:
Tis likely they acquainted soone;
He was a Sun, and she a Moone

Our Astrophill did Stella love:
O Stella! vaunt of Astrophill,
Albeit thy graces gods may move,
Where wilt thou finde an Astrophill?
The rose and lillie have their prime,
And so hath beautie but a time.

Although thy beautie do exceed,
In common sight of ev'ry eie,
Yet in his Poesies when we reede,

It is apparant more thereby,

He that hath love, and judgement too,
Sees more than any other doo.

Then, Astrophill hath honord thee;

For when thy bodie is extinct,

Thy graces shall eternall be,

And live by virtue of his inke;
For by his verses he doth give
The short livde beautie aye to live.

Above all others this is hee,
Which erst approoved in his song,
That love and honor might agree,
And that pure love will do no wrong.

130

140

150

« PreviousContinue »