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Would raise a jealous doubt, that there did lurke
Some secret doubt whereto the prayse did tend:

For when men know the goodnes of the wyne,
"Tis needless for the Hoast to have 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 envies tuch,
That never gives 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 goodness 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 utmost dew.


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[Most of these noblemen, &c., are historical personages, respecting whom the curious reader will find information in common histories and biographies.]

To the Right Honourable Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord high Chauncelor of England, &c.

THOSE prudent heads, that with their 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 grave 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 burdein of this kingdom mightily,
With like delightes sometimes may eke delay1
The rugged brow of carefull Policy;
And to these ydle rymes lend litle space,
Which for their titles sake may find more grace.

E. S.

1 Delay, smooth.

To the Right Honourable the Lord Burleigh, Lord high Threasurer of England.

To you, Right Noble Lord, whose carefull brest
To menage of most grave affaires is bent;

And on whose mightie shoulders most doth rest
The burdein of this kingdome's governement,
(As the wide compasse of the firmament

On Atlas mightie shoulders is upstayd,)
Unfitly I these ydle rimes present,
The labor of lost time, and wit unstayd:

Yet if their deeper sence be inly wayd,

And the dim vele, with which from commune vew
Their fairer parts are hid, aside be layd,
Perhaps not vaine they may appear to You.
Such as they be, vouchsafe them to receave,
And wipe their faults out of your censure grave.

E. S.

To the Right Honourable the Earle of Oxenford, Lord high Chamberlayne of England, &c.

RECEIVE, most Noble Lord, in gentle gree,1
The unripe fruit of an unready wit;

Which, by thy countenaunce, doth crave to bee
Defended from foule Envies poisnous bit.
Which so to doe may thee right well befit,
Sith th' antique glory of thine auncestry
Under a shady vele is therein writ,
And eke thine owne long living memory,
Succeeding them in true Nobility:

And also for the love which thou doest beare

Gree, favor.

To th' Heliconian ymps,1 and they to thee; They unto thee, and thou to them, most deare: Deare as thou art unto thyselfe, so love 2

That loves and honours thee; as doth behove.

By whose endevours they are glorifide; And eke from all, of whom it is envide,

To the Right Honourable the Earle of Northumberland.

THE sacred Muses have made alwaies clame
To be the Nourses of Nobility,
And Registres of everlasting fame,
To all that armes professe and chevalry.
Then, by like right, the noble Progeny,

Which them succeed in fame and worth, are tyde
T'embrace the service of sweet Poetry,

E. S.

To thee therefore, Right Noble Lord, I send
This present of my paines, it to defend.

To patronize the authour of their praise,

Which gives them life, that els would soon have dide,
And crownes their ashes with immortall baies.

1 Ymps, offspring.

2 "Him" is understood after "love."

E. S.

To the Right Honourable the Earle of Cumberland.
REDOUBTED Lord, in whose corageous mind

The flowre of chevalry, now blossming faire,
Doth promise fruite worthy the noble kind
Which of their praises have left you the haire;

To you this humble present I prepare,
For love of vertue and of martial praise;
To which though nobly ye inclined are,
(As goodlie well ye shew'd in late assaies,)1
Yet brave ensample of long passed daies,

In which trew honor ye may fashiond see,
To like desire of honor may ye raise,
And fill your mind with magnanimitee.
Receive it, Lord, therefore as it was ment,
For honor of your name and high descent.

E. S.

To the most Honourable and excellent Lord the Earle of Essex, Great Maister of the Horse to her Highnesse, and Knight of the Noble order of the Garter, &c.

MAGNIFICKE Lord, whose vertues excellent
Doe merit a most famous Poets witt
To be thy living praises instrument;

Yet doe not sdeigne2 to lett thy name be writt
In this base Poeme, for thee far unfitt;

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 3

To the last praises of this Faery Queene;
Then shall it make most famous memory

Of thine heroicke parts, such as they beene:
Till then, vouchsafe thy noble countenaunce
To their first labours needed furtheraunce.

E. S.

1 Assaies, proofs, or trials. 2 Sdeigne, disdain. 3 Sty, ascend.

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