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This Poem has been reprinted by Pinkerton. Pinkerton says the Authoress was not the Mother of Colvill the Poet. Ritson makes it clear, that she was from Douglases Peerage, p. 146. The first edition was printed at Edinburgh, 1603.
AS this personage has been frequently confounded with Sir John Davies, and the works of the one erroneously ascribed to the other, I mention him here, and give a place to the following work of his, which I have no where seen mentioned.
The period at which it was written. and the scarcity of the tract, seem to justify a specific account and extract.
"Humours Heavn on Earth,
The Civilli Warres of Death and Fortune,
The Triumph of Death,
The Picture of the Plague, according to the Life, as it was in Anno Domini 1603.
By John Davies, of Hereford.
O'tis a sacred kind of excellence
Printed at London, by A. I. 1609." The Poem is dedicated" To the Right Noble Algernon, Lord Percy, Sonne and Heire Apparent to the Right Honourable Henry, Earle of Northumberland."
The author was a Writing Master, the Ladie Dorothie and Ladie Lucy Percies, were his pupils, he calls himself " their unworthie Tutor." The following short extract may suffice.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE WANTONS
Epithymus the wanton on his crowne
Did his broad shoulders quite ore-canopy;
A waste-coate wrought with floures as they had growne,
In coloured silke lay open to the eie;
And as his bosome was unbuttoned quite,
So were his points untrusst for ends too light.
His doublet carnation cut with greene
This Poet must have had respectable conpections: at the end of the performance is a Copy of Verses, addressed to "The good Knight and my much honoured Scholler, Sir Phillip Carey."
There is also another, "To my worthy and worthily beloved Scholler, Thomas Bodenham, Esquier, Sonne and Heire Apparent of Sir Roger Bodenham, of Rotherwas, Knight of the Bathe."
The verses to this last personage baye the following most singular subscription.
Yours as whats most yours,
THIS Writer is introduced by Ritson in his Catalogue of English Poets; but I know of no other copy of this performance but that which is in the British Museum.
"The Travayled Pilgrim, bringing Newes from all Partes of the Worlde, such like scarce hard of before.
Seene and allowed according to the order appointed.
The Poem, such as it is, is dedicated to " The Right Worshipfull Sir William Damsell, Knight, Receyver General of the Queenes Majesties Court of Wardes and Lyveries."
It is printed in black letter, and embellished by a great number of engravings on wood.
The first chapter or section will serve as a specimen as well as any other.
The mightye Jove celestiall, when first he tooke in hand That CHAOS huge, he made to fall, and formed so a land,
Wherein he set and created all things as now we see. First beasts, then ma which he prepard their governor to bee,
And named him in Eden grounde ADAM, that name he
Where nothing then could him confound till he a mate did crave.
She EVE hight, a woman kinde when he awakt hir sawe. As Innocents no sinne did minde till Sathan wrought their awe.
That woman first she did consent, the apple for to proove, Wherby the Serpent did invent all joyes from them to
For their offence they were exilde out of that pleasaunt
And Earth accursed forth did yealde the crabbed thorne
The Earth then fayne were they to till, still labouring the ground;
Thus Sattans drifts then thought to spill, he gave that deadly wound,
Although that ADAM did offend, yet God so shewde his Grace,
A newс ADAM he after sent, which did all sinne deface; Such minde hath God alwayes to those that joyes his lawes to loove,
And such as are his mortall foes, with plagues he doth them proove;
As PHARAO, that cruell king, which did so sore oppresse The Israelites above all thing, and would not them release.
It were to long all to recite, I minde them to foregoe. The swallow swift, once taken flight, then Auster straight doth bloe
With nipping showres and frosts so colde, few may it long
But that once past, then doth unfold the sweete and pleasant showre,
Whereby all things do spring and grow with sweet smell, most sweete,
Till Hyems force himself doth showe the PISCES joyes in deepe. &c. &c.