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Then, being fild with learned dew,
The Muses willed him to love:
That instrument can aptly shew,
How finely our conceits will move;
As Bacchus opes dissembled harts,
So Love sets out our better parts.
Stella, a Nymph within this wood,
Most rare and rich of heavenly blis,
The highest in his fancie stood,
And she could well demerite this:
Tis likely they acquainted soone;
He was a Sun, and she a Moone.
Our Astrophill did Stella love :
O Stella! vaunt of Astrophill,
Albeit thy graces gods may move,
Where wilt thou finde an Astrophill?
The rose and lillie have their prime,
And so hath beautie but a time.
Although thy beautie do exceed,
In common sight of ev'ry eie,
Yet in his Poesies when we reede,
It is apparant more thereby,
He that hath love, and judgement too,
Sees more than any other doo.
Then, Astrophill hath honord thee;
For when thy bodie is extinct,
Thy graces shall eternall be,
And live by virtue of his inke;
For by his verses he doth give
The short livde beautie aye to live.
Above all others this is hee,
Which erst approoved in his song,
That love and honor might agree,
And that pure love will do no wrong.
Sweet saints, it is no sinne or blame
To love a man of vertuous name.
Did never love so sweetly breath
In any mortall brest before,
Did never Muse inspire beneath
A Poet's braine with finer store:
He wrote of love with high conceit,
And beautie reard above her height.
Then, Pallas afterward attyrde
Our Astrophill with her device,
Whom in his armor heaven admyrde,
As of the nation of the skies;
He sparkled in his armes afarrs
As he were dight with fierie starrs.
The blaze whereof when Mars beheld,
(An envious eie doth see afar)
Such majestie (quoth he) is seeld,
Such majestie my mart may mar;
Perhaps this may a suter be,
To set Mars by his deitie.
In this surmize he made with speede
An iron cane, wherein he put
The thunder that in cloudes do breede;
The flame and bolt togither shut
With privie force burst out againe,
And so our Astrophill was slaine.
His word (was slaine!) straightway did move
And natures inward life strings twitch;
The skie immediately above
Was dimd with hideous clouds of pitch,
The wrastling winds from out the ground
Fild all the aire with ratling sound.
The bending trees exprest a grone,
And sigh'd the sorrow of his fall;
The forrest beasts made ruthfull mone,
The birds did tune their mourning call,
And Philomell for Astrophill
Unto her notes annext a phill.
The Turtle dove with tunes of ruthe
Shewd feeling passion of his death ;
Me thought she said, I tell thee truthe,
Was never he that drew in breath,
Unto his love more trustie found,
Than he for whom our griefs abound.
The swan, that was in presence heere,
Began his funerall dirge to sing;
Good things (quoth he) may scarce appeere,
But passe away with speedie wing:
This mortall life as death is tride,
And death gives life; and so he di’de.
The generall sorrow that was made,
Among the creatures of kinde,
Fired the Phoenix where she laide,
Her ashes flying with the winde,
So as I might with reason see
That such a Phoenix nere should bee.
Haply the cinders, driven about,
May breede an offspring neere that kinde,
But hardly a peere to that, I doubt:
It cannot sinke into my minde,
That under branches ere can bee
Of worth and value as the tree.
The Egle markt with pearcing sight
The mournfull habite of the place,
And parted thence with mounting flight,
To signifie to Jove the case,
What sorrow nature doth sustaine,
For Astrophill by envie slaine.
And, while I followed with mine eie
The flight the Egle upward tooke,
All things did vanish by and by,
And disappeared from my looke;
The trees, beasts, birds, and grove was gone, So was the friend that made this mone.
This spectacle had firmly wrought,
A deepe compassion in my spright;
My molting hart issude, me thought,
In streames forth at mine eies aright:
And here my pen is forst to shrinke,
My teares discollor so mine inke.
AN EPITAPH UPON THE RIGHT
HONOURABLE SIR PHILLIP SIDNEY,
KNIGHT; LORD GOVERNOR OF FLUSHING.
O praise thy life, or waile thy worthie death, And want thy wit, thy wit high, pure, divine,
Is far beyond the powre of mortall line, Nor any one hath worth that draweth breath.
Yet rich in zeale, though poore in learnings lore,
And friendly care obscurde in secret brest,
And love that envie in thy life supprest,
Thy deere life done, and death hath doubled more.
And I, that in thy time and living state,
Did onely praise thy vertues in my thought,
As one that seeld the rising sun hath sought,
With words and teares now waile thy timelesse fate.
Drawne was thy race aright from princely line,
Nor lesse than such (by gifts that nature gave,
The common mother that all creatures have)
Doth vertue shew, and princely linage shine.
A king gave thee thy name: a kingly minde
That God thee gave; who found it now too deere
For this base world, and hath resumde it neere,
To sit in skies, and sort with powres divine.