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There, on the other side, I did behold
A Woman sitting sorrowfullie wailing,
Rending her yellow locks, like wyrie gold
About her shoulders careleslie downe trailing,


And streames of teares from her faire eyes forth railing1:
In her right hand a broken rod she held,
Which towards heaven shee seemd on high to weld.

Whether she were one of that Rivers Nymphes,
Which did the losse of some dere Love lament,
I doubt; or one of those three fatall Impes,
Which draw the dayes of men forth in extent;
Or th' auncient Genius of that Citie brent 2.
But, seeing her so piteouslie perplexed,
I (to her calling) askt what her so vexed.

"Ah! what delight (quoth she) in earthlie thing, Or comfort can I, wretched creature, have?

Whose happines the heavens envying,

From highest staire to lowest step me drave,
And have in mine owne bowels made my grave,
That of all nations now I am forlorne,
The worlds sad spectacle, and fortunes scorne."

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Much was I mooved at her piteous plaint,
And felt my heart nigh riven in my brest
With tender ruth to see her sore constraint;
That, shedding teares a while, I still did rest,
And, after, did her name of her request.
“Name have I none (quoth she) nor any being,
Bereft of both by Fates uniust decreeing.






1 Railing, rolling, flowing.

2 Brent, burnt.


"I was that Citie, which the garland wore
Of Britaines pride, delivered unto me

By Romane Victors, which it wonne of yore;
Though nought at all but ruines now I bee,
And lye in mine owne ashes, as ye see:
Verlame I was; what bootes it that I was,
Sith1 now I am but weedes and wastefull gras?

"O vaine worlds glorie, and unstedfast state
Of all that lives on face of sinfull earth!
Which, from their first untill their utmost date,
Taste no one houre of happines or merth;
But like as at the ingate 2 of their berth
They crying creep out of their mothers woomb,
So wailing back, go to their wofull toomb.

Why then dooth flesh, a bubble-glas of breath,
Hunt after honour and advauncement vaine,
And reare a trophee for devouring death,
With so great labour and long-lasting paine,
As if his daies for ever should remaine?
Sith1 all, that in this world is great or gaie,
Doth as a vapour vanish, and decaie.





"Looke backe, who list, unto the former ages,
And call to count, what is of them become:
Where be those learned wits and antique sages,
Which of all wisedome knew the perfect somme? 60
Where those great warriors, which did overcome
The world with conquest of their might and maine,
And made one meare of th' earth and of their raine?

1 Sith, since.


2 Ingate, entrance, beginning.

"What nowe is of th' Assyrian Lyonesse,
Of whom no footing now on earth appeares?
What of the Persian Beares outragiousnesse,
Whose memorie is quite worne out with yeares?
Who of the Grecian Libbard' now ought heares,
That over-ran the East with greedie powre,
And left his whelps their kingdomes to devoure?

"And where is that same great seven-headed Beast, That made all nations vassals of her pride,

To fall before her feete at her beheast,
And in the necke of all the world did ride?
Where doth she all that wondrous welth nowe hide?
With her owne weight downe pressed now shee lies,
And by her heapes her hugenesse testifies.

"O Rome, thy ruine I lament and rue,
And in thy fall my fatall overthrowe,

That whilom 2 was, whilst heavens with equall vewe
Deignd to behold me and their gifts bestowe,
The picture of thy pride in pompous shew:

And of the whole world as thou wast the Empresse,
So I of this small Northerne world was Princesse.

"To tell the beawtie of my buildings fayre,
Adornd with purest golde and precious stone,
To tell my riches, and endowments rare,
foes are now all spent and gone;
To tell my forces, matchable to none;

That by my

1 Libbard, leopard.

Ver. 64. Th' Assyrian Lyonesse.]






2 Whilom, formerly.

These types of nations are

taken from the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel.

Were but lost labour, that few would beleeve,
And, with rehearsing, would me more agreeve.


High towers, faire temples, goodly theaters, Strong walls, rich porches, princelie pallaces, Large streetes, brave houses, sacred sepulchers, Sure gates, sweete gardens, stately galleries, Wrought with faire pillours and fine imageries; All those (O pitie!) now are turnd to dust, And overgrowne with black oblivions rust.

"Thereto for warlike power, and peoples store,
In Britannie was none to match with mee,
That manie often did abie full sore:
Ne Troynovant,1 though elder sister shee,
With my great forces might compared bee;
That stout Pendragon to his perill felt,
Who in a siege seaven yeres about me dwelt.

"But long ere this, Bunduca, Britonnesse,
Her mightie boast against my bulwarkes brought;
Bunduca! that victorious conqueresse,
That, lifting up her brave heroick thought
Bove womens weaknes, with the Romanes fought,
Fought, and in field against them thrice prevailed:
Yet was she foyld, when as she me assailed.

“And though at last by force I conquered were
Of hardie Saxons, and became their thrall ;
Yet was I with much bloodshed bought full deere,

1 Troynovant, London.

Ver. 106.- Bunduca.] Boadicea.






And priz'd with slaughter of their Generall:
The moniment of whose sad funerall,

For wonder of the world, long in me lasted;


But now to nought, through spoyle of time, is wasted.

"Wasted it is, as if it never were;

And all the rest, that me so honord made,
And of the world admired ev'rie where,
Is turnd to smoake, that doth to nothing fade;
And of that brightnes now appeares no shade,
But greislie shades, such as doo haunt in hell
With fearfull fiends, that in deep darknes dwell.



"Where my high steeples whilom1 usde to stand,
On which the lordly faulcon wont to towre,
There now is but an heap of lyme and sand
For the shriche-owle to build her balefull bowre: 130
And where the nightingale wont forth to powre
Her restles plaints, to comfort wakefull lovers,
There now haunt yelling mewes and whining plovers.

"And where the christall Thamis wont to slide

In silver channell, downe along the lee,
About whose flowrie bankes on either side
A thousand Nymphes, with mirthfull iollitee,
Were wont to play, from all annoyance free;
There now no rivers course is to be seene,
But moorish fennes, and marshes ever greene.

"Seemes, that that gentle river for great griefe Of my mishaps, which oft I to him plained;

1 Whilom, formerly.



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