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of Helens rape

When stout Achilles hestates ofrece deuisd:
Thinking by sleight the fatall warres to scape,
In womans weedes him selfe he then disguisde:
But this deuise Vlysses soone did spy,

And brought him forth, the chaunce of warre to try.
When Spencer saw the fame was spredd so large,
Through Faery land of their renowned Queene:
Loth that his Muse should take so great a charge,
As in such haughty matter to be seene,

To seeme a shepeheard then he made his choice,
But Sydney heard him sing, and knew his voice.
And as Vlysses brought faire Thetis sonne
From his retyred life to menage armes :
So Spencer was by Sidneys speaches wonne,
To blaze her fame not fearing future harmes :
For well he knew, his Muse would soone be tyred
In her high praise, that all the world admired.
Yet as Achilles in those warlike frayes,
Did win the palme from all the Grecian Peet es:
So Spencer now to his immortall prayse,
Hath wonne the Laurell quite from all his feres.
What though his taske exceed a humaine witt,
He is excus'd, sith Sidney thought it fitt.
W. L.

The kitchen a workan rare deuise view,
looke vpon of
And not to yield it the deserued prise,
That vnto such a workmanship is dew,
Doth either proue the iudgement to be naught
Or els doth shew a mind with enuy fraught.
To labour to commend a peece of worke,
Which no man goes about to discommend,
Would raise a lealous doubt that there did lurke,
Some secret doubt, whereto the prayse did tend.
For when men know the goodnes of the wyne,
T'is needlesse for the hoast to haue a sygne.
Thus then to shew my iudgement to be such
As can discerne of colours blacke, and white,
As alls to free my minde from enuies tuch,
That neuer giues to any man his right,

I here pronounce this workmanship is such,
As that no pen can set it forth too much.
And thus I hang a garland at the dore,
Not for to shew the goodnes of the ware:
But such hath beene the custome heretofore,
And customes very hardly broken are.

And when your tast shall tell you this is trew,
Then looke you give your hoast his vtmost dew.
Ignoto.

TH

[DEDICATORY SONNETS.]

To the right honourable Sir Christopher Hatton,
Lord high Chauncelor of England. &c.

'Hose prudent heads, that with theire counsels
wise

Whylom the Pillours of th'earth did sustaine,
And taught ambitious Rome to tyrannise,
And in the neck of all the world to rayne,
Oft from those graue affaires were wont abstaine,
With the sweet Lady Muses for to play:
So Ennius the elder Africane,

So Maro oft did Cæsars cares allay.

So you great Lord, that with your counsell sway
The burdeine of this kingdom mightily,
With like delightes sometimes may eke delay,
The rugged brow of carefull Policy:
And to these ydle rymes lend litle space,

Which for their titles sake may find inore

grace.

To the right honourable the Lo. Burleigh Lo. high
Threasurer of England.

To you right noble Lord, whose carefull brest
Tomenage of most graue affaires is bent,
And on whose mightie shoulders most doth

rest

The burdein of this kingdomes gouernement,
As the wide compasse of the firmament,
On Atlas mighty shoulders is vpstayd;
Vnfitly I these ydle rimes present,

To the right Honourable

The labor of lost time, and wit vnstayd:
Yet if their deeper sence be inly wayd,

And the dim vele, with which from comune vew
Their fairer parts are hid, aside be layd.
Perhaps not vaine they may appeare to you.
Such as they be, vouchsafe them to receaue,
And wipe their faults out of your censure graue.

E. S.

the Earle of Oxenford,

Lord high Chamberlayne of England. &c.

REceive most Noble Lord in gentle gree,
The vnripe fruit of an vnready wit:
Which by thy countenaunce doth craue to bee
Defended from toule Enuies poisnous bit.
Which so to doe may thee right well besit,
Sith th'antique glory of thine auncestry
Vnder a shady vele is therein writ,

And eke thine owne long liuing memory,
Succeeding them in true nobility:

And also for the loue, which thou doest beare
To th' Heliconian ymps, and they to thee,
They vnto thee, and thou to them most deare:
Deare as thou art vnto thy selfe, so loue

That loues and honours thee, as doth behoue.

To the right honourable the Earle of
Northumberland.

THe sacred Muses have made alwaies clame
To be the Nourses of nobility,
And Registres of euerlasting fame,
To all that armes professe and cheualry.
Then by like right the noble Progeny,

Which them succeed in fame and worth, are
tyde

T'embrace the seruice of sweete Foetry,

By whose endeuours they are glorifide,
And eke from all, of whom it is enuide,
To patronize the authour of their praise,
Which gives them life, that els would soone
haue dide,

And crownes their ashes with immortall baies.
To thee therefore right noble Lord I send
This present of my paines, it to defend.

To the right honourable the Earle of Cumberland.

Edoubted Lord, in whose

mind

Route cheualry now bloosming faire,
Doth promise fruite worthy the noble kind,
Which of their praises haue left you
the haire;
you this humble present I prepare,
For loue of vertue and of Martiall praise,
To which though nobly ye inclined are,
As goodlie well ye shew'd in late assaies,

Το

Yet braue ensample of long passed daies,
In which trew honor yee may fashiond see,
To like desire of honor may ye raise,
And fill your mind with magnanimitée.
Receiue it Lord therefore as it was ment,
For honor of your name and high descent.
E. S.

To the most honourable and excellent Lo. the Earle
of Essex. Great Maister of the Horse to her Highnesse,
and knight of the Noble order of the Garter. &c.

Magnifiche Lord, whose vertues excellent

Doe merit a most famous Poets witt,
To be thy liuing praises instrument,
Yet doe not sdeigne, to let thy name be writt
In this base Poeme, for thee far vnfitt.
Nought is thy worth disparaged thereby,
But when my Muse, whose fethers nothing flitt

Doe yet but flagg, and lowly learne to fly
With bolder wing shall dare alofte to sty
To the last praises of this Faery Queene,
Then shall it make more famous memory
Of thine Heroicke parts, such as they beene:
Till then vouchsafe thy noble countenaunce,
To these first labours needed furtherance.

To the right Honourable the Earle of
Ormond and Ossory.

Eceiue most noble Lord a simple taste

But where thy selfe hast thy braue mansione;

Rof the wilde fruit, which saluage soyl hath | There in deede dwel faire Graces many one.

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To the right honourable the Lo.

And gentle Nymphes, delights of learned wits,
And in thy person without Paragone
All goodly bountie and true honour sits,
Such therefore, as that wasted soyl doth yield,
Receiue dear Lord in worth, the fruit of barren
field.

Ch. Howard, Lo. high Admi

ral of England, knight of the noble order of the Garter,
and one of her Maiesties

Nd ye, braue Lord, whose goodly personage,
And noble deeds each other garnishing,
Make you ensample to the present age,
Of th'old Heroes, whose famous ofspring
The antique Poets wont so much to sing,

In this same Pageaunt haue a worthy place,
Sith those huge castles of Castilian king,

priuie Counsel. &c.

That vainly threatned kingdomes to displace,
Like flying doues ye did before you chace;
And that proud people woxen insolent
Through many victories, didst first deface:
Thy praises euerlasting monument
Is in this verse engrauen semblably,
That it may liue to all posterity.

יו

To the right honourable the Lord of Hunsdon, high
Chamberlaine to her Maiesty.

Rand noble deeds haue your deserued place,
Enowmed Lord, that for your worthinesse
High in the fauour of that Emperesse,
The worlds sole glory and her sexes grace,
Here eke of right haue you a worthie place,
Both for your nearnes to that Faerie Queene,
And for your owne high merit in like cace,
Of which, apparaunt proofe was to be seene,

When that tumultuous rage and fearfull deene
Of Northerne rebels ye did pacify,
And their disloiall powre defaced clene,
The record of enduring memory.

Liue Lord for euer in this lasting verse,
That all posteritie thy honour may reherse.
E. S.

To the most renowmed and valiant Lord, the
Lord Grey of Wilton, knight of the Noble order
of the Garter, &c.

Most Noble Lord the pillor of my life,
And Patrone of my Muses pupillage,
Through whose large bountie poured on me
rife,

In the first season of my
feeble age,
I now doe liue, bound yours by vassalage:
Sith nothing euer may redeeme, nor reaue
Out of your endlesse debt so sure a gage,

Vouchsafe in worth this small guift to receaue,
Which in your noble hands for pledge I leaue,
Of all the rest, that I am tyde t'account:
Rude rymes, the which a rustick Muse did weaue
In sauadge soyle, far from Parnasso mount,
And roughly wrought in an vnlearned Loome:
The which vouchsafe dear Lord your fauorable
doome.

To the right honourable the Lord of Buckhurst, one
of her Maiesties priuie Counsell.

N vain I thinke right honourable Lord,
By this rude Kingo memorize thy name;

Whose learned Muse hath writ her owne record,
In golden verse, worthy immortal fame:
Thou much more. fit (were leasure to the same)
Thy gracious Souerains praises to compile.
And her imperiall Maiestie to frame,

In loftie numbers and heroicke stile.
But sith thou maist not so, giue leaue a while
To baser wit his power therein to spend,
Whose grosse defaults thy daintie pen may file,
And vnaduised ouersights amend.

But euermore vouchsafe it to maintaine
Against vile Zoilus backbitings vaine.

To the right honourable Sir Fr. Walsingham knight,
principall Secretary to her Maiesty, and of her
honourable priuy Counsell.

Hat Mantuane Poetes incompared spirit,

Twhose girland now is set in highest place,

Had not Mecenas for his worthy merit,

It first aduaunst to great Augustus grace,
Might long perhaps haue lien in silence bace,
Ne bene so much admir'd of later age.

This lowly Muse, that learns like steps to trace,
Flies for like aide vnto your Patronage;

That are the great Mecenas of this age,
As wel to al that ciuil artes professe
As those that are inspird with Martial rage,
And craues protection of her feeblenesse:
Which if ye yield, perhaps ye may her rayse
In bigger tunes to sound your liuing prayse.
E. S.

To the right noble Lord and most valiaunt Captaine,
Sir John Norris knight, Lord president of Mounster.

prize

W to the Get Muse, then did the Martiall crew;
Ho euer gaue more
That their brauc deeds she might immortalize
In her shril tromp, and sound their praises
dew?

Who then ought more to fauour her, then
Moste noble Lord, the honor of this age,
And Precedent of all that armes ensue?

you

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To the right noble and valorous knight, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lo. Wardein of the Stanneryes, and lieftenaunt

of Cornewaile.

To thee that art the sommers Nightingale,
Thy soueraine Goddesses most deare delight,
Why doe I send this rusticke Madrigale,
That may thy tunefull eare vnseason quite?
Thou onely fit this Argument to write,

In whose high thoughts Pleasure hath built her
bowre,

And dainty loue learnd sweetly to endite.
My rimes I know vnsauory and sowre,

To last the streames, that like a golden showre
Flow from thy fruitfull head, of thy loues.
praise,

Fitter perhaps to thonder Martiall slowre,
When so thee list thy lofty Muse to raise:
Yet till that thou thy Poeme wilt make knowne,
Let thy faire Cinthias praises bee thus rudeiy

showne.

E. S.

To the right honourable and most vertuous Lady, the

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To all the gratious and beautifull Ladies in the Court.

He Chian Peincter, when he was requirde
To pourtraict Venus in her perfect new,
To make his worke more absolute, desird
Of all the fairest Maides to haue the vew.
Much more me needs to draw the semblant trew,
Of beauties Queene,the worlds sole wonderment,
To sharpe my sence with sundry beauties

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If all the world to seeke I ouerwent,
A fairer crew yet no where could I see,
Then that braue court doth to mine eie present,
That the worlds pride seemes gathered ther
to bee.

Of each a part I stole by cunning thefte:
Forgive it me faire Dames, sith lesse ye haue
not lefte.

E. S.

FINIS.

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