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DEDICATED

TO THE RIGHT NOBLE AND BEAUTIFULL LADIE,

THE LA: MARIE,

COUNTESSE OF PEMBROOKE.

MOST Honourable and bountifull Ladie, there bee long sithens deepe sowed in my brest the seedes of most entire love and humble affection unto that most brave Knight, your noble brother* deceased; which, taking roote, began in his life time somewhat to bud forth, and to shew themselves to him, as then in the weaknes of their first spring; and would in their riper strength (had it pleased High God till then to drawe out his daies) spired forth 2 fruit of more perfection. But since God hath disdeigned the world of that most noble Spirit, which was the hope of all learned men, and the Patron of my young Muses; together with him both their hope of anie further fruit was cut off, and also the tender delight of those their first blossoms nipped and quite dead. Yet, sithens my late cumming into England, some frends of mine, (which might much prevaile with me, and indeede commaund me,) knowing with howe straight bandes of duetie I was tied to him, as also bound unto that noble House, (of which the

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1 Sithens, since.

2 Spired forth, produced.

* Sir Philip Sidney.

chiefe hope then rested in him,) have sought to revive them by upbraiding me, for that I have not shewed anie thankefull remembrance towards him or any of them; but suffer their names to sleep in silence and forgetfulnesse. Whome chieflie to satisfie, or els to avoide that fowle blot of unthankefulnesse, I have conceived this small Poeme, intituled by a generall name of The Worlds Ruines; yet speciallie intended to the renowming of that noble Race, from which both you and he sprong, and to the eternizing of some of the chiefe of them late deceased. The which I dedicate unto your La. as whome it most specially concerneth; and to whome I acknowledge my selfe bounden by many singular favours and great graces. I pray for your Honourable happinesse: and so humbly kisse your hands.

Your Ladiships ever humblie at commaund,

E. S.

THE

RUINES OF TIME.*

IT chaunced me on1 day beside the shore
Of silver streaming Thamesis to bee,
Nigh where the goodly Verlame stood of yore,
Of which there now remaines no memorie,
Nor anie little moniment to see,

By which the travailer, that fares that way,
This once was she, may warned be to say.

1 On, one.

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Ver. 3.- Verlame.] Verolamium, or Verulam, was a Roman town, near the present city of St. Albanз, in Hertfordshire. Some remains of its walls are still perceptible.

"The piece entitled the Ruines of Time discloses its subject in its name. Its principal feature is the lamentation of the city of Verulam, under the emblematical representation of a female, over the decay of her towers and palaces, in the course of which, the lady takes occasion to moralize on the transitory nature of human things, and afterwards adverts to the death of the Earl of Leicester. To the commendation of this nobleman and his family, the poem is, in fact, especially devoted. The general subject is undoubtedly a fine but the poet has made but little of it; the poem containing neither grandeur, sublimity, nor pathos. His reflections on the instability of human affairs are not to be compared to the eloquent and imaginative moralizations of Jeremy Taylor in his Holy Dying.”— Retrospective Review, vol. xii. p. 154.

one,

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,

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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,

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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,

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And have in mine owne bowels made my grave,
That of all nations now I am forlorne,

The worlds sad spectacle, and fortunes scorne."

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.

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"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?
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.

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