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MOST brave and noble Ladie; the things, that make ye so much honored of the world as ye bee, are such, as (without my simple lines testimonie) are throughlie knowen to all men; namely, your excellent beautie, your vertuous behavior, and your noble match with that most honourable Lord, the very Paterne of right Nobilitie: But the causes, for which ye have thus deserved of me to be honoured, (if honour it be at all,) are, both your particular bounties, and also some private bands of affinitie,* which it hath pleased your Ladiship to acknowledge. Of which whenas I found my selfe in no part woorthie, I devised this last slender meanes, both to intimate my humble affection to your Ladiship, and also to make the same universallie knowen to the world; that by honouring you they might know me, and by knowing me they might honor you. Vouchsafe, noble Lady, to accept this simple remembrance, though not worthy of your self, yet such, as perhaps by good acceptance thereof ye may hereafter cull out a more meet and memorable evidence of your owne excellent deserts. So recommending the same to your Ladiships good liking, I humbly take leave.

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* Lady Strange was a daughter of Sir John Spenser, and sister of

Lady Carey, to whom Muiopotmos was dedicated.



REHEARSE to me, ye sacred Sisters nine,
The golden brood of great Apolloes wit,
Those piteous plaints and sorrowfull sad tine,
Which late ye powred forth as ye did sit
Beside the silver springs of Helicone,
Making your musick of hart-breaking mone!

For since the time that Phoebus foolish sonne
Ythundered, through loves avengefull wrath,
For traversing the charret of the Sunne
Beyond the compasse of his pointed path,
Of you his mournfull Sisters was lamented,


Such mournfull tunes were never since invented.

Nor since that faire Calliope did lose

Her loved Twinnes, the dearlings of her ioy,

Her Palici, whom her unkindly foes,


The Fatall Sisters, did for spight destroy,

Ver. 15.-Palici.] The Palici were children of Jupiter and Thalia, not Calliope.

* This poem consists of the lamentations of the nine Muses over the

Whom all the Muses did bewaile long space;
Was ever heard such wayling in this place.

For all their groves, which with the heavenly noyses
Of their sweete instruments were wont to sound,
And th' hollow hills, from which their silver voyces
Were wont redoubled echoes to rebound,
Did now rebound with nought but rufull cries,
And yelling shrieks throwne up into the skies.


The trembling streames which wont in chanels cleare
To romble gently downe with murmur soft,
And were by them right tunefull taught to beare
A bases part amongst their consorts oft;
Now, forst to overflowe with brackish teares,
With troublous
did dull their daintie eares.



The ioyous Nymphes and lightfoote Faëries

Which thether came to heare their musick sweet,

And to the measure of their melodies

Did learne to move their nimble-shifting feete;

Now, hearing them so heavily lament,


Like heavily lamenting from them went.

And all that els was wont to worke delight

Through the divine infusion of their skill,
And all that els seemd faire and fresh in sight,

So made by nature for to serve their will,

Was turned now to dismall heavinesse,
Was turned now to dreadfull uglinesse.


decay of learning, and of the indifference with which poetry and poets were regarded. It has little merit but that of smoothness of versification.

Ay me! what thing on earth that all thing breeds,
Might be the cause of so impatient plight?

What furie, or what feend, with felon deeds
Hath stirred up so mischievous despight?
Can griefe then enter into heavenly harts,

And pierce immortall breasts with mortall smarts?

Vouchsafe ye then, whom onely it concernes,
To me those secret causes to display ;
For none but you, or who of you it learnes,
Can rightfully aread so dolefull lay.

Begin, thou eldest Sister of the crew,
And let the rest in order thee ensew.


HEARE, thou great Father of the gods on hie,
That most art dreaded for thy thunder darts;
And thou our Sire, that raignst in Castalie
And Mount Parnasse, the god of goodly Arts:
Heare, and behold the miserable state
Of us thy daughters, dolefull desolate.

Behold the fowle reproach and open shame,
The which is day by day unto us wrought
By such as hate the honour of our name,
The foes of learning and each gentle thought;
They, not contented us themselves to scorne,
Doo seeke to make us of the world forlorne.

Ne onely they that dwell in lowly dust,
The sonnes of darknes and of ignoraunce;

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