« PreviousContinue »
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 CORNWALL.
THAT you may see that I am not alwaies ydle as yee thinke, though not greatly well occupied, nor altogither undutifull, though not precisely officious, I make you present of this simple Pastorall, unworthie 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 unto 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 evill 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
1591. [rather perhaps 1595.]
Yours ever humbly,
COME HOME AGAINE.*
THE shepheards boy (best knowen by that name)
Laies of sweet love, without rebuke or blame,
Like hartlesse deare, dismayd with thunders sound.
He rested him: and, sitting then around,
*"In the year 1595, Spenser published Colin Clouts come Home againe, a sort of pastoral, giving an account of his return to England, of his presentation to Queen Elizabeth, and of several persons attached to the court. It might be highly interesting at the time it was written, but its chief interest is now lost. It possesses nothing striking, either in character or description, to attract a modern reader."— Retrospective
As ever piped on an oaten reed,
"Colin, my liefe,2 my life, how great a losse
Sith 3 thou art come, their cause of merriment,
To whom the shepheard gently answered thus ;
1 Hight, called.
2 Liefe, dear.
3 Sith, since.
5 Sythe, time.
Ver. 15. — Hobbinol.] This is Spenser's friend, Gabriel Harvey.