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And suddenly unties the poke,
So grievous was the pother:
But when the mist 'gan somewhat cease,
"But here yourselves you must engage, Somewhat to cool your spleenish rage, Your grievous thirst and to assuage
That first you drink this liquor; Which shall your understandings clear, As plainly shall to you appear, Those things from me that you shall hear, Conceiving much the quicker."
This Lethe water, you must know,
The memory destroyeth so,
Of it nor can you ever think:
King Oberon forgotten had,
And ask'd how they came thither.
When they were found together.
Nor either of 'em both had thought,
Queen Mab and her light maids the while
THE QUEST OF CYNTHIA.
WHAT time the groves were clad in green,
Long wand'ring in the wood, said I, "O whither's Cynthia gone?" When soon the echo doth reply
To my last word,——" go on."
At length upon a lofty fir
It was my chance to find,
Where that dear name most due to her,
Was carved upon the rind.
Which whilst with wonder I beheld,
As they with gold were wrought.
And near that tree's more spacious root,
The yielding sand, where she had trod,
By the fair posture plainly show'd,
When chance me to an arbour led,
The wealthy Spring yet never bore
That sweet, nor dainty flower, That damask'd not the chequer'd floor Of Cynthia's summer bower.
The birch, the myrtle, and the bay,
Like friends did all embrace;
Where she like Venus doth appear
As lilies the soft pillows were,
Whereon she laid her head.
The winds were hush'd, no leaf so small At all was seen to stir :
Whilst tuning to the waters fall,
The small birds sang to her.
"Into these secret shades (quoth she) How darest thou be so bold To enter, consecrate to me,
Or touch this hallow'd mould ?"
"And when the moon doth once appear,
"And have a flock of turtle-doves,
Which spoke, I felt such holy fires
By Cynthia thus do I subsist,
On earth heaven's only pride; Let her be mine, and let who list Take all the world beside.
Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night Bespangled had with pearl, to please the morning's sight:
On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open throats,
Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes, That hills and valleys ring, and even the echoing air Seems all composed of sounds, about them everywhere.
The throstel, with shrill sharps; as purposely he sung T'awake the lustless sun; or chiding, that so long He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill;
The woosel near at hand, that hath a golden bill; As nature him had markt of purpose, t' let us see That from all other birds his tunes should different
For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant May;
Upon his dulcet pipe the merle doth only play. When in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by, In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply, As though the other birds she to her tunes would draw
And, but that nature (by her all-constraining law) Each bird to her own kind this season doth invite, They else, alone to hear that charmer of the night, (The more to use their ears) their voices sure would spare,
That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare, As man to set in parts at first had learn'd of her. To Philomel the next, the linnet we prefer; And by that warbling bird, the wood-lark place we then, [wren.
The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the The yellow-pate; which though she hurt the blooming tree,
Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she. And of these chaunting fowls, the goldfinch not behind,
That hath so many sorts descending from her kind. The tydy for her notes as delicate as they,
The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay, The softer with the shrill (some hid among the leaves, Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves)
Thus sing away the morn, until the mounting sun Through thick exhaled fogs his golden head hath run,
And through the twisted tops of our close covert
To kiss the gentle shade, this while that sweetly sleeps.
And near to these our thicks, the wild and frightful herds,
Not hearing other noise but this of chattering birds, Feed fairly on the lawns; both sorts of season'd deer: Here walk the stately red, the freckled fallow there: The bucks and lusty stags amongst the rascals strew'd,
As sometime gallant spirits amongst the multitude. Of all the beasts which we for our venerial name, of which most princely chase sith none did e'er The hart among the rest, the hunter's noblest game:
Or by description touch, t' express that wondrous sport
(Yet might have well beseem'd th' ancients nobler songs)
To our old Arden here, most fitly it belongs :
Which oft hast borne thy bow (great huntress, used to rove)
At many a cruel beast, and with thy darts to pierce The lion, panther, ounce, the bear, and tiger fierce; And following thy fleet game, chaste mighty forest's
That sprinkling their moist pearl do seem for him
When after goes the cry, with yellings loud and deep,
That all the forest rings, and every neighbouring
And there is not a hound but falleth to the chase. Rechating with his horn, which then the hunter cheers,
Whilst still the lusty stag his high-palm'd head upbears,
His body showing state, with unbent knees upright, Expressing from all beasts, his courage in his flight.
But when th' approaching foes still following he perceives,
That he his speed must trust, his usual walk he leaves :
And o'er the champain flies: which when th' assembly find,
Each follows, as his horse were footed with the wind.
But being then imbost, the noble stately deer When he hath gotten ground (the kennel cast arrear)
Doth beat the brooks and ponds for sweet refreshing
That serving not, then proves if he his scent can foil, And makes amongst the herds, and flocks of slagwool'd sheep,
Them frighting from the guard of those who had
But when as all his shifts his safety still denies, Put quite out of his walk, the ways and fallows tries.
Whom when the ploughman meets, his team he letteth stand
T'assail him with his goad: so with his hook in hand, The shepherd him pursues, and to his dog doth hallo :
When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and huntsmen follow;
Until the noble deer through toil bereaved of strength,
His long and sinewy legs then failing him at length,
This noblest beast of chase, that vainly doth but fear,
Some bank or quickset finds: to which his haunch opposed,
He turns upon his foes, that soon have him inclosed. The churlish-throated hounds then holding him at bay,
And as their cruel fangs on his harsh skin they lay, With his sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly wounds.
The hunter, coming in to help his wearied hounds, He desperately assails; until opprest by force, He who the mourner is to his own dying corse, Upon the ruthless earth his precious tears lets fall.
TO HIS COY LOVE. FROM HIS ODES.
I PRAY thee, love, love me no more, Call home the heart you gave me ;
I but in vain that saint adore,
That can, but will not save me : These poor half kisses kill me quite; Was ever man thus served ? Amidst an ocean of delight,
For pleasure to be starved.
Show me no more those snowy breasts,
By me thou art prevented;
But thus in heaven tormented.
Clip me no more in those dear arms,
In all this coil about thee;
BALLAD OF DOWSABEL.
FAR in the country of Arden,
As was the good Sir Topas.
A maiden fair and free.
Of mickle courtesy.
The silk well couth she twist and twine,
And with the needle work :
And sing a psalm in kirk.
Iwrought full featously.
Her skin as soft as Lemster wool, As white as snow, on Peakish Hull, Or swan that swims in Trent. This maiden in a morn betime,
Went forth when May was in the prime,
To deck her summer hall.
Thus as she wander'd here and there,
He learn'd his sheep, as he him list,
In favour this same shepherd swain
Which held proud kings in awe :
Whom his lewd brother slaw.
The shepherd wore a sheep-gray cloak,
That could be cut with sheer.
His hood of miniveer.
And piping still he spent the day,
So merry as the popinjay,
Which liked Dowsabel;
That would she ought, or would she nought, This lad would never from her thought,
She in love-longing fell.
At length she tucked up her frock,
White as a lily was her smock,
She drew the shepherd nigh:
Thy sheep, quoth she, cannot be lean,
The which can pipe so well:
Of love, fond boy, take thou no keep,
Lest they should hap to stray.
And all for love of thee.
My cote, saith he, nor yet my fold,
Saith she, yet lever I were dead,
Of courtesy the flower.
Then will I be as true, quoth she,
As ever maiden yet might be
Unto her paramour.
With that she bent her snow-white knee, Down by the shepherd kneeled she,
And him she sweetly kist.
With that the shepherd whoop'd for joy; Quoth he, there's never shepherd's boy That ever was so blest.
TO HIS FAIR IDEA.
IN pride of wit, when high desire of fame