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GRAVE Muses, march in triumph and with prayses;
Our Goddesse here hath given you leave to land,
And biddes this rare dispenser of your graces
Bow downe his brow unto her sacred hand.
Deserte findes dew in that most princely doome,
In whose sweete brest are all the Muses bredde:
So did that great Augustus erst in Roome
With leaves of fame adorne his Poets hedde.
Faire be the guerdon of your Faery Queene,
Even of the fairest that the world hath seene!

H. B..

WHEN Stout Achilles heard of Helens rape,
And what revenge the States of Greece devisd,
Thinking by sleight the fatall warres to scape,
In womans weedes himselfe he then disguisde :
But this devise Ulysses soone did spy,
And brought him forth, the chaunce of warre to try.

When Spencer saw the fame was spredd so large, Through Faery land, of their renowned Queene, Loth that his Muse should take so great a charge, As in such haughty matter to be seene,

To seeme a Shepeheard then he made his choice; But Sydney heard him sing, and knew his voice.

And as Ulysses brought faire Thetis sonne
From his retyred life to menage armes,
So Spencer was, by Sidneys speaches, wonne
To blaze Her fame, not fearing future harmes :

For well he knew, his Muse would soone be tyred In her high praise, that all the world admired.

Yet as Achilles, in those warlike frayes,
Did win the palme from all the Grecian Peeres,
So Spencer now, to his immortall prayse,
Hath wonne the laurell quite from all his feres.1
What though his taske exceed a humaine witt?
He is excus'd, sith2 Sidney thought it fitt.

To looke upon a worke of rare devise
The which a workman setteth out to view,
And not to yield it the deserved prise
That unto such a workmanship is dew,

Doth either prove the iudgement to be naught,
Or els doth shew a mind with envy fraught.

W. L

To labour to commend a peece of worke
Which no man goes about to discommend,
Would raise a iealous doubt, that there did lurke
Some secret doubt whereto the prayse did tend:

For when men know the goodnes of the wyne, 'Tis needlesse for the hoast to have a sygne.

Thus then, to shew my iudgement to be such
As can discerne of colours blacke and white,
As alls to free my minde from envies tuch,

3

1 Feres, companions.

2 Sith, since.

8 Alls, also.

That never gives to any man his right,
I here pronounce this workmanship is such
As that no pen can set it forth too much.

And thus I hang a garland at the dore;
Not for to shew the goodnes of the ware,
But such hath beene the custome heretofore,
And customes very hardly broken are;

And when your tast shall tell you this is trew,
Then looke you give your hoast his utmost dew.
IGNOTO.

VERSES

ADDRESSED BY THE AUTHOR OF THE FAERIE

QUEENE TO SEVERAL NOBLEMEN, &C.1

To the Right Honourable Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord High Chauncelor of England, &c.

THOSE prudent heads, that with theire counsels wise
Whylom the pillours of th' earth did sustaine,
And taught ambitious Rome to tyrannise
And in the neck of all the world to rayne,
Oft from those grave affaires were wont abstaine,
With the sweet Lady Muses for to play :
So Ennius the elder Africane;

So Maro oft did Cæsars cares allay.

So you, great Lord, that with your counsell sway
The burdeine of this kingdom mightily,

With like delightes sometimes may eke delay 2
The rugged brow of carefull Policy;

And to these ydle rymes lend litle space,
Which for their titles sake may find more grace.

1 The Letter of the Author to Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Verses addressed to Spenser, are annexed to the first three books of the Faerie Queene. Then come, in some copies of the first edition, the 1st, 6th, 3d, 4th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 14th, 16th, and 17th of the following Sonnets. In other copies, eight new pages are inserted in the place of pp. 601-604, and seventeen Sonnets are given, as here printed. These Sonnets were no doubt sent with presentation copies of the poem. C.

2 Delay, smooth.

To the Right Honourable the Lord Burleigh, Lord High Threasurer of England.

To you, right noble Lord, whose carefull brest
To menage of most grave affaires is bent,

And on whose mightie shoulders most doth rest The burdein of this kingdomes governement, (As the wide compasse of the firmament

On Atlas mighty shoulders is upstayd,)
Unfitly I these ydle rimes present,

. The labor of lost time, and wit unstayd:
Yet if their deeper sence be inly wayd,

And the dim vele, with which from comune vew Their fairer parts are hid, aside be layd,

Perhaps not vaine they may appeare to you. Such as they be, vouchsafe them to receave, And wipe their faults out of your censure grave.

To the Right Honourable the Earle of Oxenford, Lord High Chamberlayne of England, &c.

RECEIVE, most noble Lord, in gentle gree,1
The unripe fruit of an unready wit,

Which, by thy countenaunce, doth crave to bee
Defended from foule Envies poisnous bit.
Which so to doe may thee right well befit,
Sith th' antique glory of thine auncestry
1 Gree, favor.

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