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And many a deep wound lent; His arms with blood besprent, And many a cruel dent
Bruised his helmet.
"Poitiers and Cressy tell, When most their pride did swell, Under our swords they fell.
No less our skill is, Than when our Grandsire great, Claiming the regal seat, By many a warlike feat
Lopped the French lilies.”
The Duke of York so dread
The eager vanward led;
With the main, Henry sped
Amongst his henchmen:
Exeter had the rear,
A braver man not there!
O Lord, how hot they were
On the false Frenchmen!
Gloucester, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood
With his brave brother. Clarence, in steel so bright, Though but a maiden knight, Yet in that furious fight
Scarce such another!
They now to fight are gone;
Armour on armour shone;
Drum now to drum did groan:
To hear, was wonder;
That, with the cries they make,
The very earth did shake;
Trumpet to trumpet spake;
Thunder to thunder.
Well it thine age became,
O noble Erpingham,
Which didst the signal aim
To our hid forces !
When, from a meadow by,
Like a storm suddenly,
The English archery
Stuck the French horses.
With Spanish yew so strong;
Arrows a cloth-yard long,
That like to serpents stung,
Piercing the weather.
None from his fellow starts;
But, playing manly parts,
And like true English hearts,
Stuck close together.
When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilboes drew,
And on the French they flew:
Not one was tardy.
Arms were from shoulders sent,
Scalps to the teeth were rent,
Down the French peasants went:
Our men were hardy.
This while our noble King,
His broad sword brandishing,
Down the French host did ding,
As to o'erwhelm it.
From learned Florence (long time rich in fame),
From whence thy race, thy noble grandsires, came
To famous England, the kind nurse of mine,
Thy Surrey sends to heavenly Geraldine.
Yet let not Tuscan think I do her wrong,
That I from thence write in my native tongue,
That in these harsh-tun'd cadences I sing,
Sitting so near the Muses' sacred spring;
But rather think herself adorn'd thereby,
That England reads the praise of Italy.
Though to the Tuscan I the smoothness grant,
Our dialect no majesty doth want,
To set thy praises in as high a key,
As France, or Spain, or Germany, or they.
And as that wealthy Germany I passed, 57
Coming unto the Emperor's court at last,
Great learned Agrippa, so profound in Art,
Who the infernal secrets doth impart,
When of thy health I did desire to know;
Me in a glass my Geraldine did show,
Sick in thy bed, and for thou couldst not sleep,
By a wax taper set thy light to keep.
I do remember thou didst read that Ode,
Sent back whilst I in Thanet made abode;
Where as thou cam'st unto the word of love,
Even in thine eyes I saw how passion strove.
That snowy lawn which covered thy bed,
Me thought looked white, to see thy cheek so red,
Thy rosy cheek oft changing in my sight, 71
Yet still was red, to see the lawn so white.
The little taper which should give thee light,
Me thought waxed dim, to see thy eye so bright;
Thine eye again supplies the taper's turn,
And with his beams doth make the taper burn.
The shrugging air about thy temple hurls,
And wraps thy breath in little crowded curls,
And as it doth ascend, it straight doth cease it,
And as it sinks, it presently doth raise it. 80
Canst thou by sickness banish beauty so?
Which if put from thee, knows not where to go
To make her shift, and for her succor seek
To every riveled face, each bankrupt cheek.
If health preserved, thou beauty still dost cherish;
If that neglected, beauty soon doth perish.
Care draws on care, woe comforts woe again,
Sorrow breeds sorrow, one grief brings forth twain.
If live, or die, as thou dost, so do I;
If live, I live, and if thou die, I die;
One heart, one love, one joy, one grief, one troth,
One good, one ill, one life, one death to both.
If Howard's blood thou hold'st as but too vile
Or not esteemst of Norfolk's Princely style,
And trick them up in knotted curls anew,
And in the autumn give a summer's hue.
That sacred power that in my ink remains
Shall put fresh blood into thy withered veins,
And on thy red decayed, thy whiteness dead,
Shall set a white more white, a red more red.
When thy dim sight thy glass cannot descry, 131
Thy crazed mirror cannot see thine eye,
My verse to tell what eye, what mirror was,
Glass to thine eye, an eye unto thy glass,
Where both thy mirror and thine eye shall see,
What once thou saw'st in that, that saw in thee;
And to them both shall tell the simple truth,
What that in pureness was, what thou in youth.
If Florence once should lose her old renown,
As famous Athens, now a fisher town,
My lines for thee a Florence shall erect,
Which great Apollo ever shall protect;
And with the numbers from my pen that falls,
Bring marble mines to re-erect those walls.
* * I find no cause, nor judge I reason why 227 My country should give place to Lombardy. As goodly flowers on Thamisis do grow, As beautify the banks of wanton Po; 230 As many Nymphs as haunt rich Arnus' strand, By silver Sabrine tripping hand in hand; Our shades as sweet, though not to us so dear, Because the sun hath greater power here. This distant place but gives me greater woe; Far off, my sighs the farther have to go! Ah absence ! why thus shouldst thou seem so long? Or wherefore shouldst thou offer time such wrong, Summer so soon should steal on winter's cold Or winter's blasts so soon make summer old ? Love did us both with one self arrow strike; 241 Our wounds both one, our cure should be the like; Except thou hast found out some means by art, Some powerful medicine to withdraw the dart; But mine is fixed, and absence, physic proved, It sticks too fast, it cannot be removed. Adieu, adieu, from Florence when I go, By my next letters Geraldine shall know; Which if good fortune shall my course direct, From Venice by some messenger expect; 250 Till when, I leave thee to thy heart's desire. By him that lives thy virtues to admire.
Yet am I one of great Apollo's heirs,
105 The sacred Muses challenge me for theirs. By Princes my immortal lines are sung, My flowing verses graced with every tongue; The little children, when they learn to go, By painful mothers guided to and fro, Are taught my sugar'd numbers to rehearse, And have their sweet lips seasoned with my verse. When heaven would strive to do the best it can, And put an angel's spirit into a man, The utmost power in that great work doth spend, When to the world a poet it doth intend. That little difference 'twixt the Gods and us, By them confirmed, distinguished only thus; Whom they in birth ordain to happy days, The Gods commit their glory to our praise; 120 To eternal life when they dissolve their breath, We likewise share a second power by death. When time shall turn those amber colours to gray, My verse again shall gild and make them gay,
Old Chaucer doth of Topas tell,
Mad Rabelais of Pantagruel,
A later third of Dowsabel,
With such poor trifles playing;
Her chariot ready straight is made
Each thing therein is fitting laid,
That she by nothing might be stayed,
For nought must her be letting;
Four nimble gnats the horses were,
Their harnesses of gossamer,
Fly Cranion her charioteer
Upon the coach-box getting.
On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
In view and opposite two cities stood,
Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might;
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offer'd as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit, for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn; 10
Her wide sleeves green, and border'd with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
Of proud Adonis, that before her lies;
Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,
Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her veil reach'd to the ground be-
Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,
The wheels composed of crickets' bones,
And daintily made for the nonce;
For fear of rattling on the stones
With thistle-down they shod it;
For all her maidens much did fear
If Oberon had chanc'd to hear
150 That Mab his Queen should have been there,
He would not have abode it.
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives. Many would praise the sweet smell as she past, When 'twas the odour which her breath forth
cast; And there, for honey, bees have sought in vain, And, beat from thence, have lighted there again. About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone, Which, lighten’d by her neck, like diamonds shone. She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her mind, Or warm or cool them, for they took delight To play upon those hands, they were so white. Buskins of shells, all silver'd, usèd she, 31 And branch'd with blushing coral to the knee; Where sparrows perch'd of hollow pearl and gold, Such as the world would wonder to behold: Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fills, Which as she went, would chirrup through the
bills Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd, And, looking in her face, was strooken blind. But this is true; so like was one the other, As he imagin'd Hero was his mother; And oftentimes into her bosom flew, About her naked neck his bare arms threw, And laid his childish head upon her breast, And, with still panting rock, there took his rest. So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus' nun, As Nature wept, thinking she was undone, Because she ook more from her than she left, And of such wondrous beauty her bereft: Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer'd wrack, Since Hero's time hath half the world been black.
Amorous Leander, beautiful and young 51 (Whose tragedy divine Musæus sung), Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none For whom succeeding times make greater moan. His dangling tresses, that were never shorn, Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne, Would have allur'd the venturous youth of Greece To hazard more than for the golden fleece. Fair Cynthia wished his arms might be her Sphere; Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there. His body was as straight as Circe's wand; 61 Jove might have sipt out nectar from his hand. Even as delicious meat is to the taste, So was his neck in touching, and surpast The white of Pelops' shoulder: I could tell ye, How smooth his breast was, and how white his
belly; And whose immortal fingers did imprint That heavenly path with many a curious dint That runs along his back; but my rude pen Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men, 70 Much less of powerful gods: Let it suffice That my slack Muse sings of Leander's eyes;
Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his
That leapt into the water for a kiss
Of his own shadow, and, despising many,
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,
Enamour'd of his beauty had he been.
His presence made the rudest peasant melt,
That in the vast uplandish country dwelt; 80
The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov'd with
Was mov'd with him, and for his favour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,
For in his looks were all that men desire, —
A pleasant-smiling cheek, a speaking eye,
A brow for love to banquet royally;
And such as knew he was a man, would say,
“Leander, thou art made for amorous play;
Why art thou not in love, and loved of all ?
Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall."
The men of wealthy Sestos every year, For his sake whom their goddess held so dear, Rose-cheek'd Adonis, kept a solemn feast. Thither resorted many a wandering guest To meet their loves; such as had none at all Came lovers home from this great festival; For every street, like to a firmament, Glister'd with breathing stars, who, where they
Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem'd
Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem'd
As if another Phaëton had got
The guidance of the sun's rich chariot.
But, far above the loveliest, Hero shin'd,
And stole away th' enchanted gazer's mind;
For like sea-nymphs' inveigling harmony,
So was her beauty to the standers by;
Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery star
(When yawning dragons draw her thirling car
From Latmus' mount up to the gloomy sky,
Where, crown'd with blazing light and majesty,
She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood
Than she the hearts of those that near her stood.
Even as, when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase,
Wretched Ixion's shaggy-footed race,
Incens'd with savage heat, gallop amain
From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain,
So ran the people forth to gaze upon her,
And all that view'd her were enamour'd on her.
And as, in fury of a dreadful fight,
Their fellows being slain or put to flight,
Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead-
So at her presence all surpris'd and tooken,
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes;
He whom she favours lives; the other dies.
There might you see one sigh; another rage;
And some, their violent passions to assuage,
Compile sharp satires; but, alas, too late!
For faithful love will never turn to hate.
And many, seeing great princes were denied,
Pin'd as they went, and thinking on her died. 130
On this feast-day O cursèd day and hour!
Went Hero thorough Sestos, from her tower
To Venus' temple, where unhappily,
As after chanc'd, they did each other spy.
So fair a church as this had Venus none:
The walls were of discolour'd jasper-stone,
Wherein was Proteus carved; and over-head
A lively vine of green sea-agate spread,
Where by one hand light-headed Bacchus hung,
And with the other wine from grapes out-wrung.
Of crystal shining fair the pavement was; 141
The town of Sestos call'd it Venus' glass:
She said, love should have no wrong.
Corydon would kiss her then;
She said, maids must kiss no men,
Till they did for good and all;
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness truth:
Never loved a truer youth.
Thus with many a pretty oath,
Yea and nay, and faith and troth,
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse,
Love which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded;
And Phyllida, with garlands gay, 25
Was made the Lady of the May.
– N. BRETON (15457-1626 ?)
And in the midst a silver altar stood:
There Hero, sacrificing turtles' blood,
Vailed to the ground, veiling her eyelids close;
And modestly they opened as she rose. 160
Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head;
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gaz'd,
Till with the fire that from his countenance
Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook:
Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.
It lies not in our power to love or hate, For will in us is over-rul'd by fate. When two are stript long ere the course begin, We wish that one should lose, the other win; 170 And one especially do we affect Of two gold ingots, like in each respect: The reason no man knows, let it suffice, What we behold is censur'd by our eyes. Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?