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At last she her advised, that he which made
That mirror wherein the sick damosel

So strangely viewed her strange lover's shade,
To weet the learned Merlin, well could tell
Under what coast of heaven the man did dwell,
And by what means his love might best be wrought;
For though beyond the Afric Ismael,
Or th' Indian Peru he were, she thought
Him forth through infinite endeavour to have sought.

Forthwith themselves disguising both in strange And base attire, that none might them bewray, To Maridunum, that is now by change

Of name Cayr-Merdin call'd, they took their way; There the wise Merlin whylome wont (they say) To make his wonne, low underneath the ground, In a deep delve, far from the view of day; That of no living wight he mote be found, Whenso he counsell'd, with his sprites encompass'd round.

And if thou ever happen that same way To travel, go to see that dreadful place : It is an hideous hollow cave (they say) Under a rock that lies a little space From the swift Barry, tumbling down apace Amongst the woody hills of Dynevowre: But dare thou not, I charge, in any case, To enter into that same baleful bower, For fear the cruel fiends should thee unwares devour.

But standing high aloft, low lay thine ear,
And there such ghastly noise of iron chains,
And brazen cauldrons thou shalt rumbling hear,
Which thousand sprites, with long-enduring

Do toss, that it will stun thy feeble brains;
And oftentimes great groans and grievous stounds,
When too huge toil and labour them constrains,
And oftentimes loud strokes and ringing sounds,
From under that deep rock most horribly re-

The cause, some say, is this: a little while
Before that Merlin died, he did intend
A brazen wall in compass to compile
About Cairmardin, and did it commend
Unto these sprites to bring to perfect end;
During which work the Lady of the Lake,
Whom long he loved, for him in haste did send,
Who thereby forced his workmen to forsake,
Them bound till his return their labour not to

In the mean time, through that false lady's train,
He was surprised and buried under bier,
Ne ever to his work return'd again;
Nathless those fiends may not their work forbear,
So greatly his commandement they fear,
But there do toil and travail day and night,
Until that brazen wall they up do rear;
For Merlin had in magic more insight
Than ever him before or after living wight.

For he by words could call out of the sky
Both sun and moon, and make them him obey;
The land to sea, and sea to mainland dry,
And darksome night he eke could turn to day;
Huge hosts of men he could alone dismay,
And hosts of men of meanest things could frame,
Whenso him list his enemies to fray;
That to this day, for terror of his fame,
The fiends do quake when any hinto them does name.

And sooth men say, that he was not the son
Of mortal sire, or other living wight,
But wond'rously begotten and begone
By false illusion of a guileful sprite
On a fair lady nun, that whilom hight
Matilda, daughter to Pubidius,

Who was the lord of Mathtraval by right,
And cousin unto king Ambrosius,
Whence he enduëd was with skill so marvellous.

They here arriving, stay'd awhile without, Ne durst adventure rashly in to wend, But of their first intent 'gan make new doubt For dread of danger, which it might portend, Until the hardy maid (with love to friend) First entering, the dreadful mage there found Deep busied 'bout work of wond'rous end, And writing strange characters in the ground, With which the stubborn fiends he to his service [bound.






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SHE on a day, as she pursued the chace

Of some wild beast, which, with her arrows keen, She wounded had, the same along did trace By tract of blood, which she had freshly seen To have besprinkled all the grassy green; By the great pursue which she there perceived, Well hoped she the beast engored had been, And made more haste the life to have bereaved; But ah! her expectation greatly was deceived.

Shortly she came whereas that woeful squire, With blood deformed, lay in deadly swound; In whose fair eyes, like lamps of quenched fire, The crystal humour stood congealed round; His locks, like faded leaves, fallen to ground, Knotted with blood, in bunches rudely ran, And his sweet lips, on which, before that stound, The bud of youth to blossom fair began, Spoil'd of their rosy red, were waxen pale and wan.

Saw never living eye more heavy sight,

That could have made a rock of stone to rue Or rive in twain ; which when that lady bright Besides all hope, with melting eyes did view, All suddenly abash'd, she changed hue, And with stern horror backward 'gan to start; But when she better him beheld, she grew Full of soft passion and unwonted smart ; The point of pity pierced through her tender heart.

Meekly she bowed down, to weet if life Yet in his frozen members did remain, And feeling by his pulse's beating rife That the weak soul her seat did yet retain, She cast to comfort him with busy pain. His double-folded neck she rear'd upright, And rubb'd his temples and each trembling vein; His mailed haberjon she did undight, And from his head his heavy burganet did light.

Into the woods thenceforth in haste she went,
To seek for herbs that mote him remedy,
For she of herbs had great intendiment,
Taught of the nymph which from her infancy
Her nursed had in true nobility;
There, whether it divine tobacco were,
Or panacea, or polygony,

She found, and brought it to her patient dear, Who all this while lay bleeding out his heart-blood


The sovereign weed, betwixt two marbles plain,
She pounded small, and did in pieces bruise,
And then atween her lily handės twain
Into his wound the juice thereof did scruze,
And round about (as she could well it use)
The flesh therewith she suppled and did steep,
T'abate all spasm, and soak the swelling bruise;
And after having search'd the intuse deep,
She with her scarf did bind the wound, from cold to

By this he had sweet life recur'd again.
And groaning inly deep, at last his eyes,
His watery eyes, drizzling like dewy rain,
He up 'gan lift toward the azure skies,
From whence descend all hopeless remedies:
Therewith he sigh'd ; and turning him aside,
The goodly maid, full of divinities,

And gifts of heavenly grace, he by him spied,
Her bow and gilden quiver lying him beside.

"Mercy, dear Lord!" said he, "what grace is this That thou hast shewed to me, sinful wight, To send thine angel from her bower of bliss To comfort me in my distressed plight? Angel, or goddess, do I call thee right? What service may I do unto thee meet, That hast from darkness me return'd to light, And with thy heavenly salves and med'cines sweet Hast drest my sinful wounds? I kiss thy blessed feet."

Thereat she blushing said, "Ah! gentle Squire, Nor goddess I, nor angel, but the maid And daughter of a woody nymph, desire No service but thy safety and aid, Which if thou gain, I shall be well apaid. We mortal wights, whose lives and fortunes be To common accidents still open laid, Are bound with common bond of frailty, To succour wretched wights whom we captived see."

By this her damsels, which the former chace
Had undertaken after her, arrived,
As did Belphoebe, in the bloody place,

And thereby deem'd the beast had been deprived
Of life whom late their lady's arrow rived;
Forthy the bloody tract they follow'd fast,
And every one to run the swiftest striv'd;
But two of them the rest far overpast,
And where their lady was arrived at the last.

Where, when they saw that goodly boy with blood Defouled, and their lady dress his wound, They wonder'd much, and shortly understood How him in deadly case their lady found, And rescued out of the heavy stound: Eftsoons his warlike courser, which was stray'd Far in the woods, whiles that he lay in swownd, She made those damsels search; which being stay'd, They did him set thereon, and forthwith them convey'd.

Into that forest far they thence him led,
Where was their dwelling, in a pleasant glade,
With mountains round about environed,
And mighty woods which did the valley shade
And like a stately theatre it made.
Spreading itself into a spacious plain;
And in the midst a little river play'd

Amongst the pumice stones, which seem'd to plain With gentle murmur, that his course they did restrain.

Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
Planted with myrtle trees and laurels green,
In which the birds sang many a lovely lay
Of God's high praise, and of their sweet loves teen,
As it an earthly paradise had been ;
In whose enclosed shadow there was pight
A fair pavilion, scarcely to be seen,

The which was all within most richly dight, That greatest princes living it mote well delight.

Thither they brought that wounded squire, and laid In easy couch his feeble limbs to rest : He rested him a while, and then the maid His ready wound with better salves new drest; Daily she dressed him, and did the best His grievous hurt to guarish that she might, That shortly he his dolour had redrest, And his foul sore reduced to fair plight; It she reduced, but himself destroyed quite.

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Thus warred he long time against his will,
Till that through weakness he was forced at last
To yield himself unto the mighty ill,
Which as a victor proud 'gan ransack fast

His inward parts, and all his entrails waste,
That neither blood in face, nor life in heart,
It left, but both did quite dry up and blast,
As piercing levin, which the inner part
Of everything consumes, and càlcineth by art.

Which seeing, fair Belphoebe 'gan to fear
Least that his wound were inly well not heal'd,
Or that the wicked steel empoison'd were ;
Little she ween'd that love he close conceal'd;
Yet still he wasted as the snow congeal'd,
When the bright sun his beams theron doth beat;
Yet never he his heart to her reveal'd,
But rather chose to die for sorrow great,
Than with dishonourable terms her to entreat.

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For, when as day the heaven doth adorn,
I wish that night the noyous day would end;
And when as night hath us of light forlorn,
I wish that day would shortly reascend.
Thus I the time with expectation spend,
And fain my grief with changes to beguile,
That further seems his term still to extend,
And maketh every minute seem a mile.
So sorrow still doth seem too long to last,
But joyous hours do fly away too fast.


LIKE as the culver, on the bared bough,
Sits mourning for the absence of her mate,
And in her songs sends many a wishful vow
For his return that seems to linger late;
So I alone, now left disconsolate,
Mourn to myself the absence of my Love,
And, wand'ring here and there, all desolate,
Seek with my plaints to match that mournful dove;
Ne joy of aught that under heaven doth hove,
Can comfort me but her own joyous sight,
Whose sweet aspect both God and man can move,
In her unspotted pleasuns to delight.
Dark is my day, whiles her fair light I miss,
And dead my life, that wants such lively bliss.






THIS bold and spirited poem has been ascribed to several authors, but to none on satisfactory authority. It can be traced to MS. of a date as early as 1593, when Francis Davison, who published it in his Poetical Rhapsody, was too young to be supposed, with much probability, to have written it; and as Davison's work was a compilation, his claims to it must be very doubtful. Sir Egerton Brydges has published it among Sir Walter Raleigh's poems, but without a tittle of evidence to show that it was the production of that great man. Mr. Ellis gives it to Joshua Sylvester, evidently by mistake. Whoever looks at the folio vol. of Sylvester's poems, will see

that Joshua uses the beautiful original merely as a text, and has the conscience to print his own stuff in a way that shows it to be interpolated. Among those additions there occur some such execrable stanzas as the following:

Say, soldiers are the sink
Of sin to all the realm,
Giv'n all to whore and drink,
To quarrel and blaspheme.

Tell townsmen, that because that They prank their brides so proud, Too many times it draws that Which makes them beetle-brow'd.

Ohe jam satis !


Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand,
Fear not to touch the best,

The truth shall be thy warrant ;
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Go, tell the Court it glows,
And shines like rotten wood;
Go, tell the Church it shows
What's good and doth no good;
If Church and Court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates they live,
Acting by others' actions,
Not loved, unless they give,

Not strong but by their factions;

If potentates reply,

Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition
That rule affairs of state,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate;
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending;
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell Zeal it lacks devotion,
Tell Love it is but lust,
Tell Time it is but motion,
Tell Flesh it is but dust;
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell Age it daily wasteth,
Tell Honour how it alters,
Tell Beauty how she blasteth,
Tell Favour how she falters;
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell Wit how much it wrangles
In treble points of niceness,
Tell Wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness;
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell Physic of her boldness,
Tell Skill it is pretension,
Tell Charity of coldness,
Tell Law it is contention;
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell Fortune of her blindness, Tell Nature of decay,

Tell Friendship of unkindness, Tell Justice of delay;

And if they will reply,

Then give them all the lie.

Tell Arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming,
Tell Schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming;

If Arts and Schools reply,
Give Arts and Schools the lie.

Tell Faith it's fled the city,
Tell how the country erreth,
Tell manhood shakes off pity,
Tell Virtue least preferreth;
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

And when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing,
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing;
Yet stab at thee who will,

No stab the Soul can kill.



THE golden sun that brings the day,
And lends men light to see withal,
In vain doth cast his beams away,
When they are blind on whom they fall;
There is no force in all his light
To give the mole a perfect sight.

But thou, my sun, more bright than he
That shines at noon in summer tide,
Hast given me light and power to see
With perfect skill my sight to guide;
Till now I lived as blind as mole
That hides her head in earthly hole.

I heard the praise of Beauty's grace,
Yet deem'd it nought but poet's skill,

I gazed on many a lovely face,
Yet found I none to bend my will;

Which made me think that beauty bright
Was nothing else but red and white.

But now thy beams have clear'd my sight,

I blush to think I was so blind,

Thy flaming eyes afford me light,

That beauty's blaze each where I find ;

And yet those dames that shine so bright, Are but the shadows of thy light.


O NIGHT, O jealous night, repugnant to my pleasure, O night so long desired, yet cross to my content, Trere's none but only thou can guide me to my treasure,

Yet none but only thou that hindereth my intent.

Sweet night, withhold thy beams, withhold them till to-morrow,

Whose joy, in lack so long, a hell of torment breeds, Sweet night, sweet gentle night, do not prolong my


Desire is guide to me, and love no loadstar needs.

Let sailors gaze on stars and moon so freshly shining,

Let them that miss the way be guided by the light, I know my lady's bower, there needs no more divining,

Affection sees in dark, and love hath eyes by night.

Dame Cynthia, couch awhile; hold in thy horns for shining,

And glad not low'ring night with thy too glorious rays;

But be she dim and dark, tempestuous and repining, That in her spite my sport may work thy endless praise.

And when my will is done, then Cynthia shine, good lady,

All other nights and days in honour of that night, That happy, heavenly night, that night so dark and shady,

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Yet your sweet lips so soft kiss and delight me ;
Your deeds my heart surcharged with overjoying,

Wherein my love had eyes that lighted my delight. Your taunts my life destroying ;


THE gentle season of the year
Hath made my blooming branch appear,
And beautified the land with flowers;
The air doth savour with delight,
The heavens do smile to see the sight,
And yet mine eyes augment their showers.

The meads are mantled all with green,
The trembling leaves have clothed the treen,
The birds with feathers new do sing;
But I, poor soul, whom wrong doth rack,
Attire myself in mourning black,
Whose leaf doth fall amidst his spring.

And as you see the scarlet rose

In his sweet prime his buds disclose,
Whose hue is with the sun revived;
So, in the April of mine age,
My lively colours do assuage,
Because my sunshine is deprived.

Since both have force to kill me,
Let kisses sweet, sweet kill me!
Knights fight with swords and lances,
Fight you with smiling glances,
So, like swans of Meander,

My ghost from hence shall wander,
Singing and dying, singing and dying.

THERE is a jewel which no Indian mine can buy,
No chemic art can counterfeit ;

It makes men rich in greatest poverty,
Makes water wine, turns wooden cups to gold,
The homely whistle to sweet music's strain ;
Seldom it comes, to few from heaven sent,
That much in little-all in nought-Content.

CHANGE me, O heaven! into the ruby stone
That on my love's fair locks doth hang in gold,
Yet leave me speech to her to make my moan,
And give me eyes her beauty to behold:
Or if you will not make my flesh a stone,
Make her hard heart seem flesh, that now is


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