Hen first the rage of loue assail'd my hart,
And towards my thoughts his fiery forces bent:
Eftsoones to shield me from his wounding dart,
Arm'd with disdaine, I held him in contempt.
Curld headed loue when from mount Erecine
He saw this geere, so ill thereof he brookes,
That thence he speedes vnwilling to be seene,
Till he had tane his stand in thy faire lookes.
There all inrag'd his golden bow he bent,
And nockt his arrow like a pretie elfe:
Which when I saw, I humbly to him went,
And cri'd hold, hold, and I will yeeld my selfe.
Thus Cupid conquer'd me, and made me sweare
Homage to him, and dutie to my deare.
Omage to loue, dutie to thee my deare,
Deare mistris of my thoughts, Queene of my ioy:
Then my lifes gratious planet bright appeare,
My hearts deepe griefe and sorrow to destroy.
Be not (I thee beseech) my cares maintainer:
For in thy power it lyes to saue or strike,
To kill the griefe, or els the griefes retainer,
With loue or hate the infant of dislike.
O if that cruell loue did not command
To slay my heart without remorse or pitie:
Or if he did that sad doome countermand,
And be a gratious Queene of gentle mercie:
Sweet shew thy selfe diuine in being pitifull,
For nature of the gods is to be mercifull.
Hy doe I pleade for mercie vnto thee,
When from offence my life & soule are
For in my heart I neere offended thee,
Vnlesse the hie pitch of his flight it were.
I, that is it, I to too well consider,
Thy sparkling beautie is the sunne that melted:
My thoughts the waxe that ioyn'd his wings together,
And till my very fall I neuer felt it:
Despaire the Ocean is that swallowed me,
Where I like Icarus continue drowned,
Till with thy beautie I reuiued be,
And with loues immortalitie be crowned.
True loue immortall is, then loue me truly:
Sweet doe, and then thy name Ile honor duly.
Y forlorne muse that neuer trode the path
That leades to top of hie Pierion mount,
Nor neuer washt within the liuesome bath
Of learnings spring, bright Aganippe fount:
Mine artles pen that neuer yet was dipt
In sacred nectar of sweet Castalie,
My louesicke heart that euer hath I clipt,
Emaricdulfe the Queene of chastitie:
Shall now learne skill my Ladies fame to raise,
Shall now take paines her vertues to record,
And honor her with more immortall praise,
Then euer heretofore they could affoord:
Both heart, and pen, and muse shall thinke it dutie,
With sigheswolne words to blaze her heaue[n]ly beutie.
Ature (Emaricdulfe) did greatly
When first her pourtrait she began to pencill,
And rob'd the heauens of her chiefest honour:
There sacred beautie all her parts doth tincill.
Heauens Hyrarkie is in her bright eyes spheered:
The Graces sport in her cheekes dimpled pits:
Trophies of maiestie in her face be reared,
And in her lookes stately Saturnia sits.
Modest Diana in her thoughts doth glorie,
Loue-lacking Vesta in her heart inthroned:
The quired Muses on her lips doe storie
Their heauen sweet notes, as if that place they
But aye is me, Cupid and Venus faire
Haue no degree, saue in her golden haire.
Ithin her haire Venus and Cupid
Sometime they twist it Amberlike in gold,
To which the whistling windes doe oft resort them,
As if they stroue to haue the knots vnrold:
Sometime they let their golden tresses dangle,
And therewith nets and amorous gins they make,
Wherewith the hearts of louers to intangle:
Which once inthral'd, no ransome they will take.
But as to tyrants sitting in their thrones,
Looke on their slaues with tyrannizing eyes:
So they no whit regarding louers mones,
Doome worlds of hearts to endles slaueries,
Vnlesse they subiect-like sweare to adore,
And serue Emaricdulf for euermore.
Will perseuer euer for to loue thee,
O cease diuinest sweetnes to disdaine mee:
Albeit my loues true types can neuer moue thee,
Yet from affection let not pride detaine thee.
Although my heart once purchast thy displeasure
With ouerbold presumption on thy fauour:
Yet now Ile sacrifice my richest treasure
Vnto thy name and much admired honour:
Teares are the treasure of my griefe-gal'd hart,
Which on (thy loue) my altar I haue dropped
To thee, that my thoughts temples goddesse art,
Hoping thy anger would thereby be stopped.
If these to get thy grace may not suffice,
My heart is slaine, accept that sacrifice.
Maricdulf, thou grace to euery grace,
Thou perfect life of my vnperfect liuing:
My thoughts sole heaue[n], my harts sweet resting place,
Cause of my woe and comfort of my grieuing.
O giue me leaue and I will tell thee how
The haples place and the vnhappie time,
Wherein and when my selfe I did auow
To honour thee, and giue my heart to thine.
Wearie with labour, labour that did like me,
I gaue my bodie to a sweet repose:
A golden slumber suddenly did strike me,
That in deaths cabbin euery sense did close:
And either in a heauenly trance or vision,
I then beheld this pleasing apparition.
Wight was clad most Foster-like in greene,
With loyal horne and hunting pole in hand:
Whose chanting hou[n]ds were heard in woods & seene
The deere amasde before the rider stand:
The keeper bids goe choose the best in heard:
The huntsman sayd, my choise is not to change:
And drawing neere the deere was sore affeard,
Into the woods the rider spurd to range:
There did he view a faire young barren doe
Within the hey fast by the purley side,
And woodman-like did take the winde then soe,
Whereby the deere might better him abide.
At length he shot, and hit the very same
Where he best likte and lou'd of all the game.
Vt stay conceit where he best likt to loue,
Yea better he if better best might bee:
The Rider thought the best of better proue,
Till fortune sign'd his fortune for to see.
Now wearie he betooke himselfe to rest,
Deuised where he might good harbour finde:
Emaricdulf (quoth he) I am her guest,
And thither went: she greeted him most kinde:
Welcome sayd she, three welcomes more she gaue:
His hand she tooke, and talking with him then,
What wine or beere to drinke wilt please you haue,
Sixe welcomes more, and so she made them ten.
He dranke his fill, and fed to his desire,
Refresht himselfe, and then did home retire.
Orthwith I saw, and with the sight was blest,
A beautious issue of a beautious mother,
A young Emaricdulf, whose sight increast
Millions of ioyes each one exceeding other:
Faire springing branch sprong of a hopefull stocke,
On thee more beauties nature had bestowde,
Then in her heauenly storehouse she doth locke,
Or may be seene disperst on earth abrode.
Thrise had the Sunne the world encompassed,
Before this blossome with deaths winter nipt:
O cruell death that thus hast withered
So faire a branch before it halfe was ripte!
Halfe glad with ioyes, and halfe appal'd with feares,
I wak't, and found my cheekes bedew'd with teares.
Y cheeks bedew'd, my eies eue[n] drown'd
O fearfull storme that causde so great a showre
Griefe ty'd my tongue, sorrow did stop my eares,
Because earth lost her sweetest paramoure.
O cruell heauens and regardlesse fates!
If the worlds beautie had compassion'd you,
You might by powre haue shut deaths ebon gates,
And been remorsefull at her heauenly view.
O foolish nature why didst thou create
A thing so faire, if fairenes be neglected?
But fairest things be subiect vnto fate,
And in the end are by the fates reiected.
Yong Emaric yet thou crost the destinie,
For thou suruiu'st in fame, that nere shall die.
Hat I did loue and once was lou'd of thee,
Witnesse the fauours that I haue receiued:
That golden ring, pledge of thy constancie:
That bracelet, that my libertie bereaued:
Those gloues, that once adorn'd thy lillie hands:
That handkercher, whose maze inthral'd me so:
Those thousand gifts, that like a thousand bands
Bound both my heart and soule to weale and woe.
All which I weare, and wearing them sigh forth
You instancies of her true loyaltie:
I doe not keepe you for your soueraigne worth,
But for her sake that sent you vnto me:
Tis she, not you, that doth compell my eyes,
My lifes sole light, my hearts sole paradice.
Ne day, ô ten times happie was that day,
Emaricdulf was in her garden walking,
Where Floras imps ioy'd with her feete to play,
And I to see them thitherward ran stalking,
Behind the hedge (not daring to be seene)
I saw the sweetsent Roses blush for shame,
The Violets stain'd, and pale the Lillies beene:
Whereat to smile my Ladie had good game.
Sometimes she pleasde to sport vpon the grasse,
That chang'd his hew to see her heauenly
But when she was imasked, then (alas)
They as my selfe wail'd for her beauties
They mourn'd for that their mistris went away,
And I for end of such a blessed day.
Hat meane our Merchants so with eger minds
To plough the seas to finde rich iuels forth?
Sith in Emaricdulf a thousand kinds
Are heap'd, exceeding wealthie Indias worth:
Then India doth her haire affoord more gold,
And thousands siluer mines her forhead showes,
More Diamonds then th'Egyptian surges folde,
Within her eyes rich treasurie nature stowes:
Her hony breath, but more then hony sweete,
Exceeds the odours of Arabia:
Those pretious rankes continually that meete,
Are pearles more worth then all America.
Her other parts (proud Cupids countermate)
Exceed the world for worth, the heauens for state.
Ooke when dame Tellus clad in Floras
Her summer vaile with faire imbroderie,
And fragrant hearbs sweet blossom'd hauing dide.
And spred abrode her spangled tapistrie:
Then shalt thou see a thousand of her flowers
(For their faire hew and life delighting
Gathered to deck and beautifie the bowers
Of Ladies faire, grac'd with their louers
But when rough winter nips them with his rage,
They are disdain'd and not at all respected:
Then loue (Emaricdulf) in thy yong age,
Lest being old, like flowers thou be reiected:
Nature made nothing that doth euer flourish,
And euen as beautie fades, so loue doth perish.
Am inchanted with thy snow-white hands,
That mase me with their quaint dexteritie,
And with their touch, tye in a thousand bands
My yeelding heart euer to honour thee:
Thought of thy daintie fingers long and small,
For pretie action that exceed compare,
Sufficient is to blesse me, and withall
To free my chained thoughts from sorrowes snare.
But that which crownes my soule with heauenly blis,
And giues my heart fruition of all ioyes,
Their daintie concord and sweet musick is,
That poysons griefe and cureth all annoyes,
Those eyes that see, those eares are blest that heare
These heauenly gifts of nature in my deare.
Maricdulf, if thou this riddle reade,
This darke AEnigma that I will demand
Then for thy wisedomes well deseruing meede,
In loues pure dutie thou shalt ay command mee.
A Turtle that had chose his louing mate,
Sate seemly percht vpon a red rose breere:
Yet saw a bird (ayres paragon for state)
That farre surpast his late espoused deere:
He chang'd himselfe into that lustfull bird
That Iuno loues, and to his loue
And thought with amorous speeches to haue firde
Her constant heart: but her in vaine he courted.
When bootles he had woo'd her to his paine,
He tooke his leaue and turn'd his shape againe.
He Heauens and Nature whe[n] my Loue was
Stroue which of both shuld most adorne &
The sacred heauens in wealthie natures scorne
With wisedomes pure infusion did imbrace her:
Nature lent wings to wisedome for her flight,
And deckt my Ladie with such heauenly features,
As nere before appear'd in humane sight,
Ne euer sithence in terrestriall creatures.
(Quoth Wisedome) I will guide her constant hart
At all assaies with policie to relieue her:
(Quoth Nature) I will cast those gifts apart,
With outward graces that I meane to giue her.
Yet were they reconcil'd, and swore withall
To make her more then halfe celestiall.
Hat thou art faire exceeding all compare,
Witnes thy eyes that gaze vpon thy beautie,
Witnes the hearts thou daily dost insnare,
And draw to honour thee with louers dutie:
That thou art wise witnes the worlds report,
Witnes the thoughts that do so much admire thee,
Witnes the heauen-borne Muses that resort,
And for their mistris meekly do desire thee:
That thou art both exceeding faire and wise,
Witnes the anguish of my sillie hart:
Thy heauenly shape hath caught me by my eyes,
Thy secret wisedome that giues art to art,
So circumuents me and procures my paine,
That I must dye, vnles thou true remaine.
L those that write of heauen and heauenly
Describe the way with narrow crooked be[n]dings,
Beset with griefe, paine, horror and annoyes,
That till all end haue neuer perfect endings.
The heauen wherein my thoughts are resident,
The paradice wherein my heart is sainted,
Through street-like straight hie-waies I did attempt,
Nor with rough care nor rigorous crosse
I must confesse faith was the only meane,
For that wich some for want thereof did misse,
Only thereby at length I did obtaine,
And by that faith am now instal'd in blisse:
There sleepe my thoughts, my heart there set thy rest,
Both heart & thoughts thinke that her heauen is best.
E subiects of her partiall painted praise,
Pen, paper, inke, you feeble instruments:
Vnto a higher straine I now must raise
Your mistris beautious faire abiliments.
Thou author of our hie Meonian verse,
That checks the proud Castalians eloquence:
With humble spirit if I now reherse
Her seuerall graces natures excellence:
Smile on these rough-hewd lines, these ragged words
That neuer stil'd from the Castalian spring:
Nor that one true Apologie affoords,
Nor neuer learn'd with pleasant tune to sing:
So shall they liue, and liuing still perseuer
To deifie her sacred name for euer.
E moderne Laureats of this later age,
That liue the worlds admirement for your writ,
And seeme infused with a diuine rage,
To shew the heauenly quintessence of wit:
You on whose weltun'd verse sits princely beautie,
Deckt and adorn'd with heauens eternitie,
See I presume to cote (and all is duetie)
Her graces with my learnings scarsitie.
But if my pen (Marcias harsh-writing quill)
Could feede the feeling of my thoughts desire,
And shew my wit coequall with my will,
Then with you men diuine I would conspire,
In learned poems and sweet poesie,
To send to heauen my Ladies dignitie.
Ft haue I heard hony-tong'd Ladies speake,
Striuing their amerous courtiers to inchant,
And from their nectar lips such sweet words breake,
As neither art nor heauenly skill did want.
But when Emaricdulf gins to discourse,
Her words are more then wel-tun'd harmonie,
And euery sentence of a greater force
Then Mermaids song, or Syrens sorcerie:
And if to heare her speake, Laertes heire
The wise Vlisses liu'd vs now among,
From her sweet words he could not stop his eare,
As from the Syrens and the Mermaids song:
And had she in the Syrens place but stood,
Her heauenly voyce had drown'd him in the flood.
Et gorgeous Tytan blush: for of her
Each trannel checks his brightest summers shine
The cleerest Comets drop within the aire
To see them dim'd with those her glorious eine:
Iuno for state she matchles doth disgrace,
Surpassing eke for stature Dyan tall,
Venus for faire, faire Venus for her face,
In whose sweet lookes are heap't the graces all:
For wisedome may she make comparison
With Pallas, yet I wrong her ouer-much:
For who so sounds her policies each one,
Will sweare Trytonias wit was neuer
Her she exceeds, though she exceed all other,
Being Ioues great daughter borne without a mother.
Maricdulf reade here, but reading
As in a mirror my true constancie:
The golden Sunne shall first be turn'd to darke,
And darknes claime the Sunnes bright dignitie:
The starres that spangle heauen with glistring light,
In number more then ten times numberlesse,
Shall sooner leaue to beautifie the night,
And thereby make the world seeme comfortlesse:
First shall the Sea become the continent,
And red-gild Dolphins dance vpon the shore:
First wearie Atlas from his paine exempt,
Shall leaue the heauens to tremble euermore,
Before I change my thoughts and leaue to loue thee,
And plead with words and direful sighs to moue thee.
Weet are the thoughts of pleasures we haue
Sweete are the thoughts that thinke of that
Sweetnes is too sweet to be refusde,
That vertuous loue-tast for my faith was meet:
The taste whereof is sweeter vnto me,
Then sweetest sweet that euer nature made.
No odours sweetnes may compared be
To this true sweetnes that will neuer fade.
This Sonnet sweet with cheerefull voyces sing,
And tune the same so pleasing to mine eare,
That Emaricdulf thy praises so may ring,
As all the world thy honors fame may heare.
Once didst thou vow, that vow to me obserue,
Whose faith and truth from thee shall neuer swerue.
F euer tongue with heauen inticing cries,
If euer words blowne from a rented hart,
If euer teares shed from a Louers eyes,
If euer sighes issue of griefe and smart,
If euer trembling pen with more then skill,
If euer paper, witnes of true loue,
If euer inke, cheefe harbenger of will,
If euer sentence made with art to moue,
If all of these combinde by Cupids power,
My long borne liking to anatomise:
Had but the art, with art for to discouer
What loue in me doth by his art comprise.
Then might the heauens, the earth, water and ayre,
Be witnes that I thinke thee onely fayre.
Y hart is like a ship on Neptunes
Thy beautie is the sea where my ship sayleth,
Thy frownes the surges are that threat my wracke
Thy smiles the windes that on my sailes soft
Long tost betwixt faire hope and foule despaire,
My seasick hart, arriued on thy shore:
Thy loue I meane, begges that he may repaire
His broken vessell with thy bounteous store.
Dido relieu'd AEneas in distresse,
And lent him loue, and gaue to him her heart,
If halfe such bountie thou to me expresse,
From thy faire shore I neuer will depart:
But thanke kinde fortune that my course did sorte,
To suffer shipwrack on so sweete a porte.
N Tellus bosome spring two fragrant
The milkwhite Lilly, and the blushing Rose,
Which daintie Flora for to decke her bowers
Aboue all other colours chiefly chose.
These in my mistris cheekes both empire holding
In emulation of each others hew,
Continually may be discerned folding
Beautie in lookes, and maiestie in view.
Sometime they meet, and in a skarlet field
Warre with rebellious hearts neglecting dutie,
And neuer cease, vntill they force to yeeld
Them coward captiues conquered by beautie.
Emaricdulf thus didst thou play the foe,
And I the rebell, and was conquer'd so.
N tedious volumes I doe not intend
To write my woes, my woes by loue procured,
Nor by my infant muse implore the end
Of loues true life, this (loue) I haue abiured:
Only my face (faire deare) shall be the booke
Wherein my daily care shall be rehearsed:
Whereby thou shalt perceiue when thou doest looke,
How by thy beauties darts my heart was piersed.
My eyes shall witnes with distilling teares,
And heart with deepe fetcht sighes shall
My painfull torments causde by griefes and feares,
And hourely labours mixt with deepe vnrest:
Both heart, and eyes, and face shall all expresse,
That only thou art cause of my distresse.
Hy image is plaine porturde in my thought,
Thy constant minde is written in my heart,
Thy seemely grace and pleasing speech haue wrought
To vow me thine, till death asunder part:
Thy fauours forst me subiect vnto thee,
Thy onely care extended to my good,
T[h]y louely lookes, commaunded all in me
For thy deare sake to spend my dearest blood:
My ioy consists in keeping of thy loue,
My bale doth breede if I inioy it not:
My seruice true, from thee none can remoue,
Vnlesse both life and loue I shall forgot.
Though life and loue in time must haue an end,
Yet euer I haue vowde to be thy frend.
Maricdulf my Orphan muses mother,
Pure map of vertue, Honors onely daughter:
Bright gemme of bewtie, fayre aboue all other,
True badge of faith, foule ignominies slaughter,
Ensigne of loue, soure enemie to lust,
The graces grace, faire Eretines disgrace:
Wrongs cheefe reprouer, cause of what is iust,
Aduices patron, councels resting place:
Wisdomes chiefe fort, wits onely pure refiner,
Graue of deceite, the life of policie,
Fates best beloued, natures true diuiner,
Nurce of inuention, hould of constancie,
Poyson of paine, Phisition of anoyes,
Eliziums pride, and paradice of ioyes.
Maricdulf, loue is a holy fire
That burnes vnseene, and yet not burning seene:
Free of himselfe, yet chain'd with strong desire:
Conquerd by thee, yet triumphs in thy eine:
An eye-bewitching vision thee in seeming,
That shadow-like flyes from a louers eyes:
An heauen aspiring spirit voyd of seeing:
A gentle god, yet loues to tyrannize:
Bond-slaue to honour, burthen of conceit,
The only god of thine eyes Hyrarkie,
Decay of friendship, grandsire of deceit,
More then a god, yet wants a monarkie:
Bastard of nature that to heauen did clime,
To seeme the misbegotten heire of time.
Faith, thou sacred Phoenix of this age,
Into another world from hence exiled
Diuorc'd from honor by vnheedfull rage,
Pure vertues nest by hatefull vice defiled:
Thou faith that cal'st thy sirname Constancie,
Christned aboue the nine-fold glorious sphere,
And from the heauens deriues thy pedegree,
Planting the roote of thy faire linage there:
Let this thy glorie be aboue the rest,
That banisht earth where thou didst once
Thou yet maist harbour in my mistris brest,
So a pure chest pure treasure may containe,
And in her liuing beautie neuer old,
Seem like a pretious Diamond set in gold.
Hen I behould heauens all behoulding starres,
I doe compare them to my woes and smart,
Causde by the many wounds and mightie scarres
That loue hath trenched in my bleeding hart:
And when I thinke vpon the Ocean sands,
Me thinkes they number but my ladies bewties,
And represent the infinites of bandes
Wherein my heart is bound to endles duties:
And when I see natures faire children thriue,
Nurst in the bofome of the fruitefull earth,
From my chast vowes they their increase deriue;
And as they spring, so haue my vowes their
And as the starres and sands haue endles date,
So is my loue subiect to naught but fate.
Lust of sacred loue the foule corrupter,
Vsurper of her heauenly dignitie,
Follies first childe, good councels interrupter
Fostered by sloth, first step to infamie,
Thou hel-borne monster that affrights the wise,
Loue-choking lust, vertues disdainefull foe:
Wisdomes contemner spurner of aduise,
Swift to forsweare, to faithfull promise slow,
Be thou as far from her chast-thoughted breast,
Her true loue kindled heart, her vertuous minde,
As is al-seeing Tytan from the west,
When from Auroras armes he doth
Nature did make her of a heauenly mould,
Onely true heauenly vertues to infould.
Y thoughts ascending the hie house of fame,
Found in records of vertuous monuments
A map of honours in a noble frame,
Shining in spight of deaths oft banishments:
A thousand colours Loue sate suted in,
Guarded with honour and immortall time,
Lust led with enuie, feare, and deadly sin,
Opposde against faire Loues out-liuing line.
True Constancie kneeld at the feet of Loue,
And begg'd for seruice, but could not procure
Which seene, my heart stept forth & thought to moue
Kind Loue for fauour, but did not allure it:
Yet when my heart swore Constancie was true,
Loue welcom'd it, and gaue them both their due.
Mage of honour, Vertues first borne childe,
Natures faire painted stage, Fames brightest
Syren that neuer with thy tongue beguild,
Sibill more wise then Cumas Sibill was,
When learnings sun with more resplendent gleames,
Shall with immortall flowres of poesie,
Bred by the vertue of Bram bigning beames
Deck my inuention for thy dignitie:
With heauenly hymnes thy more the[n] heauenly parts
Ile deifie, thy name commands such dutie,
Though many heads of poisest poets arts
Are insufficient to expresse thy beautie,
Thy name, thy honour, and loues puritie,
With Stanzas, Layes and Hymnes Ile stellifie.
Ome bewties make a god of flatterie,
And scorne Eliziums eternall types,
Nathes, I abhorre such faithles prophesie,
Least I be beaten with thy vertues stripes,
Wilt thou suruie another world to see?
Delias sweete Prophet shall the praises
Of bewties worth exemplified in thee,
And thy names honour in his sweete tunes ring:
Thy vertues Collin shall immortalize,
Collin chast vertues organ sweetst
When for Elizas name he did comprise
Such matter as inuentions wonder seem'd.
Thy vertues hee, thy bewties shall the other
Christen a new, whiles I sit by and wonder.
Mea fortuna tua
Vt hodie sic cras, & semper.
Transcribed and converted to HTML by Greg Foster, Columbia,
Missouri, August 2003