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MOURNING MUSE OF THESTYLIS.*
COME forth, ye Nymphes, come forth, forsake your
Forsake your mossy caves, and help me to lament:
Help me to tune my dolefull notes to gurgling sound
Off Liffies tumbling streames: Come, let salt teares of
Mix with his waters fresh. O come, let one consent
loyne us to mourne with wailfull plaints the deadly wound
Which fatall clap hath made, decreed by higher powres ;
The dreery day in which they have from us yrent
The noblest plant that might from East to West be found.
Mourne, mourn, great Phillips fall, mourn we his wofull
Whom spitefull Death hath pluckt untimely from the tree,
Whiles yet his yeares in flowre did promise worthie frute.
Ah dreadful Mars, why didst thou not thy knight defend?
What wrathfull mood, what fault of ours, hath moved thee
Of such a shining light to leave us destitute?
Thou with benigne aspect sometimes didst us behold,
Thou hast in Britons valour tane1 delight of old,
* This and the succeeding Poem are supposed to have been written
And with thy presence oft vouchsaft to attribute
Fame and renowme to us for glorious martiall deeds.
But now their [thy] ireful bemes have chill'd our harts with cold;
Thou hast estrang'd thy self, and deignest not our land:
Farre off to others now thy favour honour breeds,
And high disdaine doth cause thee shun our clime, (I feare ;)
For hadst thou not bene wroth, or that time neare at hand,
Thou wouldst have heard the cry that wofull England
Eke Zelands piteous plaints, and Hollands toren heare,1
Would haply have appeas'd thy divine angry mynd:
Thou shouldst have seen the trees refuse to yeeld their
And wailing to let fall the honor of their head;
And birds in mournfull tunes lamenting in their kinde. 30
Up from his tombe the mightie Corineus rose,
Who cursing oft the Fates that this mishap had bred,
His hoary locks he tare, calling the Heavens unkinde.
The Thames was heard to roare, the Reyne and eke the
The Schald, the Danow selfe, this great mischance did
With torment and with grief: their fountains pure and cleere
Were troubled, and with swelling flouds declar'd their woes.
The Muses comfortles, the Nymphs with paled hue,
The Silvan gods likewise, came running farre and neere,
And all with teares bedeawd, and eyes cast up on hie;
O nelp, O help, ye gods, they ghastly gan to crie.
O chaunge the cruell fate of this so rare a wight,
And graunt that natures course may measure out his age
The beasts their foode forsooke, and, trembling fearfully,
Each sought his cave or den, this cry did them so fright. 45
Out from amid the waves, by storme then stirr'd to rage,
This crie did cause to rise th' old father Ocean hoare,
Who grave with eld,' and full of maiestie in sight,
Spake in this wise.
"Refrain (quoth he) your teares and
Cease these your idle words, make vaine requests no more. 50
No humble speech, nor mone, may move the fixed stint
Of destinie or death: Such is His will that paints
The earth with colours fresh; the darkest skies with store
Of starry lights: And though your teares a hart of flint
Might tender make, yet nought herein they will prevaile." 55
Whiles thus he said, the noble knight, who gan to feele
His vitall force to faint, and death with cruell dint
Of direfull dart his mortall bodie to assaile,
With eyes lift up to heav'n, and courage franke as steele,
With cheerfull face, where valour lively was exprest,
But humble mynd, he said: "O Lord, if ought this fraile
And earthly carcasse have thy service sought t' advaunce;
If my desire have bene still to relieve th' opprest;
If justice to maintaine that valour I have spent
Which thou me gav'st; or if henceforth I might advaunce 65 Thy name, thy truth, then spare me (Lord) if thou think
Forbeare these unripe yeares. But if thy will be bent,
If that prefixed time be come which thou hast set;
Through pure and fervent faith, I hope now to be plast
In th' everlasting blis, which with thy precious blood
Thou purchase didst for us." With that a sigh he set,
And straight a cloudie mist his sences overcast ;
His lips waxt pale and wan, like damaske roses bud
Cast from the stalke, or like in field to purple flowre,
Which languisheth being shred by culter1 as it past.
A trembling chilly cold ran throgh their veines, which were
With eies brimfull of teares to see his fatall howre,
Whose blustring sighes at first their sorrow did declare,
Next, murmuring ensude; at last they not forbeare
Plaine outcries, all against the Heav'ns that enviously 80
Depriv'd us of a spright so perfect and so rare.
The Sun his lightsom beames did shrowd, and hide his face
For griefe, whereby the earth feard night eternally:
The mountaines eachwhere shooke, the rivers turn'd their
And th' aire gan winterlike to rage and fret apace:
And grisly ghosts by night were seene, and fierie gleames,
Amid the clouds with claps of thunder, that did seeme
To rent the skies, and made both man and beast afeard:
The birds of ill presage this lucklesse chance foretold,
By dernfull noise; and dogs with howling made man
Some mischief was at hand: for such they do esteeme
As tokens of mishap, and so have done of old.
Ah! that thou hadst but heard his lovely Stella plaine Her greevous losse, or seene her heavie mourning cheere, While she, with woe opprest, her sorrowes did unfold. Her haire hung lose, neglect, about her shoulders twaine; And from those two bright starres, to him sometime so deere, Her heart sent drops of pearle, which fell in foyson 3 downe Twixt lilly and the rose. She wroong her hands with paine, And piteously gan say; "My true and faithfull pheere, 100
Alas, and woe is me, why should my fortune frowne
On me thus frowardly to rob me of my ioy!
What cruell envious hand hath taken thee away,
And with thee my content, my comfort, and my stay?
Thou onelie wast the ease of trouble and annoy,
When they did me assaile; in thee my hopes did rest.
Alas, what now is left but grief, that night and day
Afflicts this wofull life, and with continuall rage
Torments ten thousand waies my miserable brest!
O greedie envious Heav'n, what needed thee to have 110 Enricht with such a lewell this unhappie age;
To take it back againe so soone! Alas, when shall
Mine eies see ought that may content them, since thy grave,
My onely treasure, hides the ioyes of my poore hart!
As here with thee on earth I liv'd, even so equall
Me thinkes it were with thee in heav'n I did abide :
And as our troubles all we here on earth did part,
So reason would that there of thy most happie state
I had my share. Alas, if thou my trustie guide
Were wont to be, how canst thou leave me thus alone 120
In darknesse and astray; weake, wearie, desolate,
Plung'd in a world of woe, refusing for to take
Me with thee to the place of rest where thou art gone!"
This said, she held her peace, for sorrow tide her toong;
And insteyd of more words, seemd that her eies a lake 125
Of teares had bene, they flow'd so plenteously therefro:
And, with her sobs and sighs, th' aire round about her roong.
If Venus, when she waild her deare Adonis slaine,
Ought moov'd in thy fiers hart compassion of her woe,
His noble sisters plaints, her sighes and teares emong,
Would sure have made thee milde, and inly rue her paine:
Aurora halfe so faire her selfe did never show,
When, from old Tithons bed, shee weeping did arise.