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Within this wood, out of a rocke did rise
A spring of water, mildly rumbling downe,
Whereto approched not in anie wise
The homely shepheard, nor the ruder clowne;
But manie Muses, and the Nymphes withall,
That sweetly in accord did tune their voyce
To the soft sounding of the waters fall;
That my glad hart thereat did much reioyce.
But, while herein I tooke my chiefe delight,
I saw (alas) the gaping earth devoure
The spring, the place, and all cleane out of sight;
Which yet aggreeves my hart even to this houre,
And wounds my soule with rufull memorie,
To see such pleasures gon so suddenly.
I saw a Phoenix in the wood alone,
With purple wings, and crest of golden hewe;
Strange bird he was, whereby I thought anone,
That of some heavenly wight I had the vewe;
Untill he came unto the broken tree,
And to the spring, that late devoured was.
What say I more? each thing at last we see
Doth passe away: the Phoenix there alas,
Spying the tree destroid, the water dride,
Himselfe smote with his beake, as in disdaine,
And so foorthwith in great despight he dide;
That yet my heart burnes, in exceeding paine,
For ruth and pitie of so haples plight:
O! let mine eyes no more see such a sight.
At last so faire a Ladie did I spie,
That thinking yet on her I burne and quake;
On hearbs and flowres she walked pensively,
Milde, but yet love she proudly did forsake:
White seem'd her robes, yet woven so they were,
As snow and golde together had been wrought:
Above the wast a darke clowde shrouded her,
A stinging serpent by the heele her caught;
Wherewith she languisht as the gathered floure;
And, well assur'd, she mounted up to ioy.
Alas, on earth so nothing doth endure,
But bitter griefe and sorrow full annoy :
Which make this life wretched and miserable,
Tossed with stormes of fortune variable.
When I beheld this tickle' trustles state
Of vaine worlds glorie, flitting too and fro,
And mortall men tossed by troublous fate
In restles seas of wretchednes and woe;
I wish I might this wearie life forgoe,
And shortly turne unto my happie rest,
Where my free spirite might not anie moe 2
Be vext with sights, that doo her peace molest.
And ye, faire Ladie, in whose bounteous brest
All heavenly grace and vertue shrined is,
When ye these rythmes doo read, and vew the rest,
Loath this base world, and thinke of heavens blis:
And though ye be the fairest of Gods creatures,
Yet thinke, that Death shall spoyle your goodly features.
UPON THE DEATH OF THE NOBLE AND VERTUOUS
DAUGHTER AND HEIRE OF HENRY LORD HOWARD, VISCOUNT byndon, AND WIFE OF ARTHUR GORGES, ESQUIER.
DEDICATED TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE
MARQUESSE OF NORTHAMPTON.