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Suffis'd it not that civill warres me made
The whole worlds spoile, but that this Hydra new,
Of hundred Hercules to be assaide,
With seven heads, budding monstrous crimes anew,
So many Neroes and Caligulaes
Out of these crooked shores must dayly rayse?"
Upon an hill a bright flame I did see
Waving aloft with triple point to skie,
Which, like incense of precious Cedar tree,
With balmie odours fil'd th' ayre farre and nie.
A Bird all white, well feathered on each wing,
Hereout up to the throne of gods did flie,
And all the way most pleasant notes did sing,
Whilst in the smoake she unto heaven did stie.1
Of this faire fire the scattered rayes forth threw
On everie side a thousand shining beames:
When sudden dropping of a silver dew
(O grievous chance!) gan quench those precious flames;
That it, which earst so pleasant sent did yeld,
Of nothing now but noyous sulphure smeld.
I saw a spring out of a rocke forth rayle,3
As cleare as Christall gainst the sunnie beames,
The bottome yeallow, like the golden grayle4
That bright Pactolus washeth with his streames;
It seem'd that Art and Nature had assembled
All pleasure there, for which mans hart could long;
And there a noyse alluring sleepe soft trembled,
Of manie accords more sweete than Mermaids song:
3 Rayle, flow.
♦ Grayle, gravel.
The seates and benches shone as yvorie,
And hundred Nymphes sate side by side about;
When from nigh hills, with hideous outcrie,
A troupe of Satyres in the place did rout,
Which with their villeine feete the streame did ray,1 Threw down the seats, and drove the Nymphs away.
Much richer then that vessell seem'd to bee,
Which did to that sad Florentine appeare,
Casting mine eyes farre off, I chaunst to see
Upon the Latine Coast herselfe to reare:
But suddenly arose a tempest great,
Bearing close envie to these riches rare,
Which gan assaile this ship with dreadfull threat,
This ship, to which none other might compare:
And finally the storme impetuous
Sunke up these riches, second unto none,
Within the gulfe of greedie Nereus.
I saw both ship and mariners each one,
And all that treasure, drowned in the maine:
But I the ship saw after raisd againe.
Long having deeply gron'd these Visions sad,
I saw a Citie like unto that same,
Which saw the messenger of tidings glad;
But that on sand was built the goodly frame:
It seem'd her top the firmament did rayse,
And, no lesse rich than faire, right worthie sure
(If ought here worthie) of immortall dayes,
Or if ought under heaven might firme endure.
Much wondred I to see so faire a wall:
When from the Northerne coast a storme arose,
Which, breathing furie from his inward gall
On all which did against his course oppose,
Into a clowde of dust sperst in the aire
The weake foundations of this Citie faire.
At length, even at the time, when Morpheus
Most trulie doth unto our eyes appeare,
Wearie to see the heavens still wavering thus,
I saw Typhoeus sister comming neare;
Whose head, full bravely with a morion1 hidd,
Did seeme to match the gods in maiestie.
She, by a rivers bancke that swift downe slidd,
Over all the world did raise a Trophee hie;
An hundred vanquisht Kings under her lay,
With armes bound at their backs in shamefull wize;
Whilst I thus mazed was with great affray,
I saw the heavens in warre against her rize:
Then downe she stricken fell with clap of thonder, That with great noyse I wakte in sudden wonder
one day at my window all alone,
So manie strange things happened me to see,
As much it grieveth me to thinke thereon.
At my right hand a Hynde appear'd to mee,
So faire as mote the greatest god delite;
Two eager dogs did her pursue in chace,
Of which the one was blacke, the other white:
With deadly force so in their cruell race
They pincht the haunches of that gentle beast,
That at the last, and in short time, I spide,
Under a rocke, where she alas, opprest,
Fell to the ground, and there untimely dide.
"The Visions of Petrarch, and most of the Visions of Bellay, appeared, with some differences, indeed, from the present copies, both in regard to the nature of the verse, to a few expressions, and to the arrangement of them, in 'A Theatre for Worldlings,' &c., 12mo., 1569. Spenser's own edition notices that the Visions of Petrarch were formerlie translated; he does not say by whom. The translator might be himself. He was in 1569 entered a member of the University of Cambridge." - TODD.
Cruell death vanquishing so noble beautie,
Oft makes me wayle so hard a destenie.
After, at sea a tall ship did appeare,
Made all of heben and white yvorie;
The sailes of golde, of silke the tackle were:
Milde was the winde, calme seem'd the sea to bee,
The skie eachwhere did show full bright and faire:
With rich treasures this gay ship fraighted was:
But sudden storme did so turmoyle the aire,
And tumbled up the sea, that she (alas)
Strake on a rock, that under water lay,
And perished past all recoverie.
O! how great ruth, and sorrowfull assay,
Doth vex my spirite with perplexitie,
Thus in a moment to see lost, and drown'd,
So great riches, as like cannot be found.
The heavenly branches did I see arise
Out of the fresh and lustie lawrell tree,
Amidst the yong greene wood of Paradise;
Some noble plant I thought my selfe to see:
Such store of birds therein yshrowded were,
Chaunting in shade their sundrie melodie,
That with their sweetnes I was ravish't nere.
While on this lawrell fixed was mine eie,
The skie gan everie where to overcast,
And darkned was the welkin all about,
When sudden flash of heavens fire out brast,2
And rent this royall tree quite by the roote;
Which makes me much and ever to complaine;
For no such shadow shalbe had againe.