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BEING one day at my window all alone,
So manie strange things happened me to see,
As much it grieveth me to thinke thereon.
At my right hand a Hynde appear'd to mee,
So faire as mote the greatest God delite;
Two eager dogs did her pursue in chace,
Of which the one was blacke, the other white:
With deadly force so in their cruell race
They pincht the haunches of that gentle beast,
That at the last, and in short time, I spide,
Under a Rocke, where she alas, opprest,
Fell to the ground, and there untimely dide.
Cruell death vanquishing so noble beautie,
Oft makes me wayle so hard a destenie.
After, at Sea a tall ship did appeare,
Made all of Heben and white Yvorie;
The sailes of golde, of silke the tackle were:
Milde was the winde, calme seem'd the sea to bee,
The skie eachwhere did show full bright and faire :
With rich treasures this gay ship fraighted was:
But sudden storme did so turmoyle the aire,
And tumbled up the sea, that she (alas)
Strake on a Rock, that under water lay,
And perished past all recoverie.
O! how great ruth, and sorrowfull assay,
Doth vex my spirite with perplexitie,
Thus in a moment to see lost, and drown'd,
So great riches, as like cannot be found.
The heavenly branches did I see arise
Out of the fresh and lustie Lawrell tree,
Amidst the yong greene wood of Paradise;
Some noble plant I thought my selfe to see:
Such store of birds therein yshrowded were,
Chaunting in shade their sundrie melodie,
That with their sweetnes I was ravish't nere.
While on this Lawrell fixed was mine eie,
The skie gan everie where to overcast,
And darkned was the welkin all about,
When sudden flash of heavens fire out brast,
And rent this royall tree quite by the roote;
Which makes me much and ever to complaine;
For no such shadow shalbe had againe.
Within this wood, out of a rocke did rise
A spring of water, mildly rumbling downe,
Whereto approched not in anie wise
The homely shepheard, nor the ruder clowne;
But manie Muses, and the Nymphes withall,
That sweetly in accord did tune their voyce
To the soft sounding of the waters fall;
That my glad hart thereat did much rejoyce.
But, while herein I tooke my chiefe delight,
I saw (alas) the gaping earth devoure
The spring, the place, and all cleane out of sight ;
Which yet aggreeves my hart even to this houre,
And wounds my soule with rufull memorie,
To see such pleasures gon so suddenly.
I saw a Phoenix in the wood alone,
With purple wings, and crest of golden hewe;
Strange bird he was, whereby I thought anone,
That of some heavenly wight I had the vewe;
Untill he came unto the broken tree,
And to the spring, that late devoured was.
What say I more? each thing at last we see
Doth passe away: the Phoenix there alas,
Spying the tree destroid, the water dride,
Himselfe smote with his beake, as in disdaine,
And so foorthwith in great despight he dide;
That yet my heart burnes, in exceeding paine,
For ruth and pitie of so haples plight:
O! let mine eyes no more see such a sight.
At last so faire a Ladie did I spie,
That thinking yet on her I burne and quake;
On hearbs and flowres she walked pensively,
Milde, but yet love she proudly did forsake:
White seem'd her robes, yet woven so they were,
As snow and golde together had been wrought:
Above the wast a darke clowde shrouded her,
A stinging Serpent by the heele her caught;
Wherewith she languisht as the gathered floure;
And, well assur'd, she mounted up to joy.
Alas, on earth so nothing doth endure,
But bitter griefe and sorrowfull annoy :
Which make this life wretched and miserable,
Tossed with stormes of fortune variable.
When I beheld this tickle trustles state
Of vaine worlds glorie, flitting too and fro,
And mortall men tossed by troublous fate
In restles seas of wretchednes and woe;
I wish I might this wearie life forgoe,
And shortly turne unto my happie rest,
Where my free spirite might not anie moe
Be vext with sights, that doo her peace molest.
And ye, faire Ladie, in whose bounteous brest
All heavenly grace and vertue shrined is,
When ye these rythmes doo read and vew the rest,
Loath this base world, and thinke of heavens blis:
And though ye be the fairest of Gods creatures,
Yet thinke, that Death shall spoyle your goodly features.
THE VISIONS OF BELLAY.
T was the time, when Rest, soft sliding downe
From heavens hight into mens heavy eyes,
In the forgetfulnes of sleepe doth drowne
The carefull thoughts of mortall miseries ;
Then did a Ghost before mine eyes appeare,
On that great rivers banck, that runnes by Rome;
Which, calling me by name, bad me to reare
My lookes to heaven whence all good gifts do come,
And crying lowd, Lo! now beholde (quoth hee)
What under this great temple placed is:
Lo, all is nought but flying vanitee!
So I, that know this worlds inconstancies,
Sith onely God surmounts all times decay,
In God alone my confidence do stay.
On high hills top I saw a stately frame,
An hundred cubits high by just assize,
With hundreth pillours fronting faire the same,
All wrought with Diamond after Dorick wize:
Nor brick nor marble was the wall in view,
But shining christall, which from top to base
Out of her womb a thousand rayons threw,
One hundred steps of Afrike golds enchase:
Golde was the Parget; and the seeling bright
Did shine all scaly with great plates of golde;
The floore of Jasp and Emeraude was dight.
O worlds vainesse! Whiles thus I did behold,
An earthquake shooke the hill from lowest seat,
And overthrew this frame with ruine great.
Then did a sharped spyre of Diamond bright,
Ten feete each way in square, appeare to mee,
Justly proportion'd up unto his hight,