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And after him the famous rivers came
Long Rhodanus, whose course springs from the sky ;, Ye may redress, and me restore to light.
Fair Ister, flowing from the mountains high ; Which sorry words, her mighty heart did mate Divine Scamander, purpled yet with blood With mild regard, to see his rueful plight,
Of Greeks and Trojans, which therein did die ; That her in-burning wrath she gan abate,
Pactolus, glistering with his golden flood, And him received again to former favour's state. And Tigris fierce, whose streams of none may be with
Great Ganges, and immortal Euphrates ; [Wedding of the Medway and the Thames.] Deep Indus, and Meander intricate ;
Slow Peneus, and tempestuous Phasides ; [This piece is a remarkable specimen of the allegorical man. Swift Rhine and Alpheus still immaculate ; ner of the poet. Natural objects are here personified in an abun: Ooraxes, feared for great Cyrus' fate ; dance, and with a facility which almost bewilders the reader.] Tybris, renowned for the Roman’s fame ; It fortun'd then a solemn feast was there,
Rich Oranochy, though but knowen late; To all the sea-gods and their fruitful seed,
And that huge river which doth bear his name In honour of the spousals which then were
Of warlike Amazons, which do possess the same. Betwixt the Medway and the Thames agreed. Then was there heard a most celestial sound Long had the Thames (as we in records read) Of dainty music, which did next ensue Before that day her wooed to his bed,
Before the spouse, that was Arion crown'd, But the proud nymph would for no wordly meed, Who playing on his harp, unto him drew Nor no entreaty, to his love be led,
The ears and hearts of all that godly crew : Till now at last relenting, she to him was wed. That even yet the dolphin which him bore So both agreed that this, their bridal feast,
Through the Egean seas from pirate's view, Should for the gods in Proteus' house be made,
Stood still by him, astonishid at his lore,
And all the raging seas for joy forgot to roar.
So went he playing on the watery plain ;
Soon after whom the lovely bridegroom came, All which not if an hundred tongues to tell,
The noble Thames, with all his goodly train ; And hundred mouths, and voice of brass, I had.
But him before there went, as best became, And endless memory, that mote excell,
His ancient parents, namely th' ancient Thame; In order as they came could I recount them well. But much more aged was his wife than he,
The Ouse, whom men do Isis rightly name ; Help, therefore, O thou sacred imp of Jove !
Full weak, and crooked creature seemed she, The nursling of dame memory, his dear,
And almost blind through eld, that scarce her way To whom those rolls, laid up in heaven above,
could see. And records of antiquity appear, To which no wit of man may comen near ;
Therefore on either side she was sustain'd Help me to tell the names of all those floods, Of two small grooms, which by their names were hight And all those nymphs, which then assembled were
The Churn and Charwell, two small streams which To that great banquet of the watery gods,
Themselves her footing to direct aright, [pain'd And all their ' sundry kinds, and all their hid Which failed oft through faint and feeble plight; abodes.
But Thame was stronger, and of better stay,
Yet seem'd full aged by his outward sight, First came great Neptune, with his threeforkt mace, With head all hoary and his beard all gray, That rules the seas, and makes them rise or fall; Dewed with silver drops that trickled down alway: His dewy locks did drop with brine apace Under his diadem imperial ;
And eke somewhat seemed to stoop afore
With bowed back, by reason of the load
And ancient heavy burden which he bore
Of that fair city, wherein make abode
So many learned imps, that shoot abroad,
No less than do her elder sister's brood : prepare.
Joy to you both, ye double nursery These marched far afore the other crew,
Of arts, but Oxford ! thine doth Thame most glorify And all the way before them, as they went,
But he their son full fresh and jolly was, Triton his trumpet shrill before them blew,
All decked in a robe of watchet hue, For goodly triumph and great jollyment,
On which the waves, glittering like crystal glass, That made the rocks to roar as they were rent ;
So cunningly inwoven were, that few And after them the royal issue came,
Could weenen whether they were false or true ; Which of them sprung by lineal descent ;
And on his head like to a coronet First the sea-gods, which to themselves do claim
He wore, that seemed strange to common view, The power to rule the billows, and the waves to In which were many towers and castles set, tame.
That it encompass'd round as with a golden fret. Next came the aged ocean and his dame,
Like as the mother of the gods they say, Old Tethys, th' oldest two of all the rest,
In her great iron chariot wonts to ride, For all the rest of those two parents came,
When to love's palace she doth take her way, Which afterward both sea and land possest.
Old Cybele, array'd with pompous pride,
Wearing a diadem embattled wide
With such an one was Thamis beautified,
And round about him many a pretty page
In the above extracts from the Faery Queen, we Attended duly, ready to obey ;
have, for the sake of perspicuity, modernised the All little rivers which owe vassalage
spelling, without changing a word of the original. To him, as to their lord, and tribute pay ;
The following two highly poetical descriptions are The chalky Kennet, and the Thetis gray;
given in the poet's own orthography :-
[The House of Sleep.]
And through the world of waters wide and deepe, And water all the English soil throughout;
Amid the bowels of the earth full steepe, They all on him this day attended well,
And low, where dawning day doth never peepe, And with meet service waited him about,
His dwelling is, there Tethys his wet bed Ne none disdained low to him to lout;
Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth steepe, No, not the stately Severn grudg'd at all,
In silver deaw, his ever drouping hed, Ne storming Humber, though he looked stout,
Whiles sad Night over him her mantle black doth But both him honor'd as their principal,
spred. And let their swelling waters low before him fall. There was the speedy Tamar, which divides
Whose double gates he findeth locked fast,
The one fayre fram'd of burnisht yvory, The Cornish and the Devonish confines,
The other all with silver overcast;
And wakeful dogges before them farre doe lye,
Watching to banish Care their enimy,
Who oft is wont to trouble gentle sleepe. But Avon marched in more stately path,
By them the sprite doth passe in quietly, Proud of his adamants with which he shines
And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deepe And glisters wide, as als' of wondrous Bath, And Bristow fair, which on his waves he builded hath. In drowsie fit he findes ; of nothing he takes keepe.
And more to lulle him in his slumber soft, Next there came Tyne, along whose stony bank
A trickling streame froin high rock tumbling downe, That Roman monarch built å brazen wall,
And ever-drizling raine upon the loft, Which mote the feebled Britons strongly flank
Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like the sowne Against the Picts, that swarmed over all,
Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swowne. Which yet thereof Gualsever they do call ;
No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes,
As still are wont t'annoy the walled towne,
Might there be heard ; but careless Quiet lyes
Wrapt in eternal silence farre from enimyes.
[Description of Belphabe.] That to old Loncaster his name doth lend,
In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame, And following Dee, which Britons long ygone, Kindled above at th' heavenly Maker's light, Did call divine, that doth by Chester tend;
And darted fyrie beames out of the same, And Conway, which out of his streann doth send
So passing persant, and so wondrous bright, Plenty of pearls to deck his dames withal ;
That quite bereav'd the rash beholders sight: And Lindus, that his pikes doth most commend,
In them the blinded god his lustfull fyre Of which the ancient Lincoln men do call :
To kindle oft assayd, but had no might; All these together inarched toward Proteus' hall.
For, with dredd majestie and awfull yre, Then came the bride, the lovely Medua came,
She broke his wanton darts, and quenched base desyre. Clad in a vesture of unknowen gear,
Her yvorie forhead, full of bountie brave, And uncouth fashion, yet her well became,
Like a broad table did itselfe dispred, That seem'd like silver sprinkled here and there,
For Love his loftie triumphes to engrave, With glittering spangs that did like stars appear, And write the battailes of his great godhed : And war'd upon like water chamelot,
All good and honour might therein be red ; To hide the metal, which yet everywhere
For there their dwelling was. And, when she spake, Bewray'd itself, to let men plainly wot,
Sweete wordes, like dropping honey, she did shed ; It was no mortal work, that seem'd and yet was not.
And 'twixt the perles and rubins softly brake Her goodly locks adown her back did flow
A silver sound, that heavenly musicke seemd to make. Unto her waist, with flowers bescattered, The which ambrosial odours forth did throw
Upon her eyelids many Graces sate, To all about, and all her shoulders spread,
Under the shadow of her even browes, As a new spring; and likewise on her head
Working belgardes and amorous retrate ;
And everie one her with a grace endowes,
And everie one with meekenesse to her bowes :
So glorious mirrhour of celestiall grace, Congealed little drops, which do the morn adore.
And soveraine moniment of mortall vowes,
How shall frayle pen descrive her heavenly face, On her two pretty handmaids did attend,
For feare, through want of skill, her beauty to disgraco !
And was yclad, for heat of scorching aire,
Purfled upon with many a folded plight,
Which all above besprinckled was throughout The Doun and eke the Frith, both which prepared her With golden aygulets. way.
And in her hand a sharpe bore-speare she held, Greatly aghast with this piteous plea,
Him rested the good man on the lea,
With painted words then gan this proud weed Knit with a goiden bauldricke which forelay
(As most usen ambitious folk) Athwart her snowy brest, and did divide
His colour'd crime with craft to cloke.
Thou placer of plants both humble and tall,
To be the primrose of all thy land,
With flow'ring blossoms to furnish the prime,
And scarlet berries in sommer-time !
How falls it then that this faded Oak,
Whose body is sere, whose branches broke,
Whose naked arms stretch unto the fire,
Unto such tyranny doth aspire,
Hindring with his shade my lovely light,
And robbing me of the sweet sun's sight? [Fable of the Oak and the Briar.]
That oft the blood springeth from wounds wide,
Untimely my flowers forced to fall, There grew an aged tree on the green,
That been the honour of your coronal; A goodly Oak sometime had it been,
And oft he lets his canker-worms light With arms full strong and largely display'd, Upon my branches, to work me more spight; But of their leaves they were disaray'd :
And of his hoary locks down doth cast, The body big and mightily pight,
Wherewith my fresh flowrets been defast : Throughly rooted, and of wondrous height;
For this, and many more such outrage, Whilom had been the king of the field,
Craving your godlyhead to assuage And mochel mast to the husband did yield,
The rancorous rigour of his might; And with his nuts larded many swine,
Nought ask I but only to hold my right, But now the gray moss marred his rine,
Submitting me to your good sufferance, His bared boughs were beaten with storms,
And praying to be guarded from grievance. His top was bald, and wasted with worins,
To this this Oak cast him to reply His honour decay'd, his branches sere.
Well as he couth; but his enemy Hard by his side grew a bragging Briere,
Had kindled such coals of displeasure, Which proudly thrust into th' element,
That the good man nould stay his leisure, And seemed to threat the firmament:
But home him hasted with furious heat, It was embellisht with blossoms fair,
Enercasing his wrath with many a threat ; And thereto aye wonted to repair
Ilis harmful hatchet he hent in hand, The shepherd's daughters to gather flowres,
(Alas! that it so ready should stand!) To paint their garlands with his colowres,
And to the field alone he speedeth, And in his small bushes used to shroud,
(Aye little help to harm there needeth) The sweet nightingale singing so loud,
Anger nould let him speak to the tree, Which made this foolish Briere wex so bold,
Enaunter his rage might cooled be, That on a time he cast him to scold,
But to the root bent his sturdy stroke,
And made many wounds in the waste Oak.
Seemed the senseless iron did fear,
Or to wrong holy eld did forbear; With leaves engrained in lusty green,
For it had been an ancient tree, Colours meet to cloath a maiden queen!
Sacred with many a mystery, Thy waste bigness but cumbers the ground,
And often crost with the priests' crew, And dirks the beauty of my blossoms round :
And often hallowed with holy-water dew; The mouldy moss, which thee accloyeth,
But like fancies weren foolery, My cinnamon smell too much annoyeth :
And broughten this Oak to this misery; Wherefore soon I rede thee hence remove,
For nought might they quitten him from decay, Lest thou the price of my displeasure prove.
For fiercely the good man at him did lay. So spake this bold Briere with great disdain, The block oft groaned under his blow, Little him answer'd the Oak again,
And sighed to see his near overthrow. But yielded, with shame and grief adaw'd,
In fine, the steel had pierced his pith, That of a weed he was over-craw'd.
Then down to the ground he fell forthwith. It chanced after upon a day,
His wondrous weight made the ground to quake, The husband-man's self to come that way,
Th' earth shrunk under him, and seem'd to shake; Of custom to surview his ground,
There lieth the Oak pitied of none. And his trees of state in compass round :
Now stands the Briere like a lord alone, Him when the spiteful Briere had espyed,
Puff'd up with pride and vain pleasance; Causeless complained, and loudly cryed
But all this glee had no continuance : Unto his lord, stirring up stern strife :
For eftsoons winter 'gan to approach, O my liege Lord ! the god of my life,
The blustering Boreas did encroach, Please you ponder your suppliant's plaint,
And beat upon the solitary Briere, Caused of wrong and cruel constraint,
For now no succour was seen him near. Which I your poor vassal daily endure ;
Now 'gan he repent his pride too late, And but your goodness the same recure,
For naked left and disconsolate, And like for desperate dole to die,
The biting frust nipt his stalk dead, Through felonous force of mine enemy.
The watry wet weighed down his head,
And heap'd snow burdned him so sore,
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold That now upright he can stand no more ;
So many gazers as on her do stare, And being down is trod in the dirt
Upon the lowly ground affixed are; Of cattle, and brouzed, and sorely hurt.
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, Such was th' end of this ambitious Briere,
But blush to hear her praises sung so loud, For scorning eld.'
So far from being proud.
Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing, [From the Epithalamion.]
That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring. Wake now, my love, awake; for it is time;
Tell me, ye merchants' daughters, did ye see The rosy morn long since left Tithon's bed,
So fair a creature in your town before ? All ready to her silver coach to climb;
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, And Phoebus 'gins to show his glorious head.
Adorned with beauty's grace, and virtue's store; Hark! now the cheerful birds do chant their lays, Her goodly eyes like sapphires shining bright, And carol of Love's praise.
Her forehead ivory white, The merry lark her matins sings aloft;
Her cheeks like apples which the sun bath rudded, The thrush replies ; the mavis descant plays ; Her lips like cherries charming men to bite, The ouzel shrills; the ruddock' warbles soft;
Her breast like to a bowl of cream uncrudded. So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,
Why stand ye still, ye virgins in amaze, To this day's merriment.
Upon her so to gaze, Ah! my dear love, why do you sleep thus long, Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing, When meeter were that you should now awake, To which the woods did answer, and your echo ring! T' await the coming of your joyous make, And hearken to the birds' love-learned song,
But if ye saw that which no eyes can see, The dewy leaves among !
The inward beauty of her lively sp’rit, For they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
Garnished with heavenly gifts of high degree, That all the woods them answer and their echo ring.
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonished like to those which read My love is now awake out of her dream,
Medusa's mazeful head. And her fair eyes, like stars that dimmed were There dwells sweet Love, and constant Chastity, With darksome cloud, now show their goodly beams Unspotted Faith, and comely Womanhood, More bright than Hesperus his head doth rear. Regard of Honour, and mild Modesty ; Come now, ye damsels, daughters of delight,
There Virtue reigns as queen in royal throne,
And giveth laws alone,
And yield their services unto her will ;
Ne thought of things uncomely ever may And all, that ever in this world is fair,
Thereto approach to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seen these her celestial treasures,
That all the woods would answer, and your echo ring.
Open the temple gates unto my love, And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing,
Open them wide that she may enter in, The'while the woods shall answer, and your echo ring. And all the pillars deck with garlands trim,
And all the posts adorn as doth behore, Now is my love all ready forth to come :
For to receive this saint with honour due,
That cometh in to you.
Of her, ye virgins, learn obedience,
When so ye come into those holy places, The joyfull'st day that ever sun did see.
To humble your proud faces : Fair Sun ! show forth thy favourable ray,
Bring her up to the high altar, that she may And let thy lifeful heat not fervent be,
The sacred ceremonies there partake, For fear of burning her sunshiny face,
The which do endless matrimony make; Her beauty to disgrace.
And let the roaring organs loudly play O fairest Phæbus father of the Muse!
The praises of the Lord in lively notes ; If ever I did honour thee aright,
The whiles, with hollow throats, Or sing the thing that might
thy mind delight, The choristers the joyous anthem sing, Do not thy serrant's simple boon refuse,
That all the woods may answer, and their echo ring But let this day, let this one day be mine ; Let all the rest be thine.
Behold, while she before the altar stands, Then I thy sovereign praises loud will sing,
Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks, That all the woods shall answer, and their echo ring.
And blesseth her with his two happy hands,
How the red roses flush up in her cheeks,
Like crimson dyed in grain ;
That even the angels, which continually Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best.
About the sacred altar do remain, So well it her beseems, that ye would ween
Forget their service and about her fly,
Oft peeping in her face, that seems more fair,
Are governed with goodly modesty,
That suffers not a look to glance awry, Seem like some maiden queen.
Which may let in a little thought unsound.
Why blush you, love, to give to me your hand,
I often look upon a face The pledge of all our band !
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin ; Sing, ye sweet angels, alleluya sing,
I often view the hollow place That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring.
Where eyes and nose had sometime been ;
Yet little think that I must die.
I read the label underneath,
That telleth me whereto I must; cal lights of the reign of Elizabeth is due to ROBERT SOUTHWELL, who is also remarkable as a victim of
I see the sentence too, that saith, the religious contentions of the period. He was born
* Remember, man, thou art but dust.' in 1560, at St Faiths, Norfolk, of Roman Catholic
But yet, alas ! how seldom I
Do think, indeed, that I must die ! parents, who sent him, when very young, to be educated at the English college at Douay, in Flan- Continually at my bed's head 'ders, and from thence to Rome, where, at sixteen A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell years of age, he entered the society of the Jesuits. That I ere morning may be dead, În 1584, he returned to his native country, as a mis- Though now I feel myself full well ; sionary, notwithstanding a law which threatened all But yet, alas ! for all this, I members of his profession found in England with Have little mind that I must die ! death. For eight years he appears to have ministered secretly but zealously to the scattered adhe
The gown which I am used to wear, rents of his creed, without, as far as is known, doing
The knife wherewith I cut my meat ;
And eke that old and ancient chair, anything to disturb the peace of society, when, in
Which is my only usual seat; 1592, he was apprehended in a gentleman's house at Uxenden in Middlesex, and committed to a dungeon
All these do tell me I must die, in the Tower, so noisome and filthy, that, when he
And yet my life amend not I. was brought out for examination, his clothes were My ancestors are turn’d to clay, covered with vermin. Upon this his father, a man And many of my mates are gone ; of good family, presented a petition to Queen Eliza- My youngers daily drop away, beth, begging, that if his son had committed any- And can I think to 'scape alone! thing for which, by the laws, he had deserved No, no ; I know that I must die, death, he might suffer death; if not, as he was a And yet my life amend not I. gentleman, he hoped her majesty would be pleased to order him to be treated as a gentleman. South
If none can 'scape Death's dreadful dart; well was, after this, somewhat better lodged, but
If rich and poor his beck obey ; an imprisonment of three years, with ten inftic- If strong, if wise, if all do smart, tions of the rack, wore out his patience, and he Then I to 'scape shall have no way : intreated to be brought to trial. Cecil is said to
Then grant me grace, O God ! that Í have made the brutal remark, that if he was in My life may mend, since I must die. so much haste to be hanged, he should quickly have his desire.' Being at this trial found guilty, upon his own confession, of being a Romish priest,
Times go by Trens. he was condemned to death, and executed at the lopped tree in time may grow again, Tyburn accordingly, with all the horrible circumstances dictated by the old treason laws of Eng; The sorriest wight may find release of pain,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower; land. Throughout all these scenes, he behaved with a mild fortitude which nothing but a highly Time goes by turns, and chances change by course,
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower : regulated mind and satisfied conscience could have From foul to fair, from better hap to worse. prompted.
The life of Southwell, though short, was full of The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow; gtief. The prevailing tone of his poetry is therefore She draws her favours to the lowest ebb: that of a religious resignation to severe evils. His Her tides have equal times to come and go; two longest poems, St Peter's Complaint, and Mary Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web: Magdalene's Funeral Tears, were, like many other No joy so great but runneth to an end, works of which the world has been proud, written No hap so hard but may in fine amend. in prison. It is remarkable that, though composed Not always fall of leaf, nor ever spring, while suffering under persecution, no trace of angry feeling against any human being or any human insti- The saddest birds a season find to sing,
Not endless night, yet not eternal day: tution, occurs in these poems. After experiencing great popularity in their own time, insomuch that Thus, with succeeding turns, God tempereth all,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay. eleven editions were printed between 1593 and 1600, That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall. the poems of Southwell fell, like most of the other productions of that age, into a long-enduring neglect. A chance may win that by mischance was lost; Their merits having been again acknowledged in That net that holds no great, takes little fish; our own day, a complete reprint of them appeared in some things all, in all things none are cross'd ; in 1818, under the editorial care of Mr W. Joseph Few all they need, but none have all they wish. Walter.
Unmingled joys here to no man befall;
Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all.
Love's Servile Lot.
She shroudeth vice in virtue's veil,
Pretending good in ill;
She offereth joy, but bringeth grief ; Do think hereon, that I must die.
A kiss-where she doth kill.