Orchestra: or, a Poem of
Sir John Davies.
Note: this Renascence
Editions text was transcribed by Risa S. Bear
of the University of Oregon, November 2001, from the Huntington
Library's copy of the 1596 edition, STC number 6360. Tillyard's edition
(1947) includes five stanzas not shown here. Any errors that have crept
into the transcription are the fault of the present publisher. The text
is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is
© 2001 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational
only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher.
O R C H E S T R A
A Poeme of Daun-
Iudicially proouing the
of time and
measure, in the Authentical
and laudable vse of Daun-
Ovid. Art. Aman. lib. 1
Si vox est, canta: si mollia
Et quacunque potes dote
Printed by I. Robarts
for N. Ling.
To his very Friend, Ma.
whom shall I this dauncing Poeme send,
This suddaine, rash, halfe-capreol of my wit?
To you, first mouer and sole cause of it
Mine-owne-selues better halfe, my deerest frend.
O would you yet my Muse some Honny lend
From your mellifluous tongue, whereon doth sit
Suada in maiestie, that I may fit
These harsh beginnings with a sweeter end.
You know, the modest Sunne full fifteene times
Blushing did rise, and blushing did descend,
While I in making of these ill made rimes,
My golden bowers vnthriftily did spend.
Yet if in friendship you these numbers prayse,
I will mispend another fifteene dayes.
O R C
H E S T R A.
A Poeme of Dauncing.
WHere liues the man that neuer yet
Of chast Penelope, Vlisses Queene?
VVho kept her faith vnspotted twenty yeere
Till he returnd that far away had beene,
And many men, and many townes had seene:
Ten yeere at siedge of Troy he lingring lay,
And ten yeere in the Midland-sea did stray.
Homer, to whom the Muses did carouse
A great deepe cup with heauenly Nectar filld,
The greatest, deepest cup in Ioues great house,
(For Ioue himselfe had so expresly willd)
He dranke of all, ne let one drop be spilld;
Since when, his braine that had before been dry,
Became the welspring of all Poetry.
Homer doth tell in his aboundant verse,
The long laborious trauailes of the man,
And of his Lady too he doth reherse,
How shee illudes with all the Art she can,
Th'vngratefull loue which other Lords began;
For of her Lord false Fame long since had sworne,
That Neptunes Monsters had his carcasse torne.
All this he tells, but one thing he forgot,
One thing, most worthy his eternall song,
But he was old, and blind, and saw it not,
Or else he thought he should Vlisses wrong,
To mingle it, his Tragick acts among.
Yet was there not in all the world of things,
A sweeter burden for his Muses wings.
The Courtly loue Antinous
Antinous that fresh and iolly Knight,
Which of the gallants that did vndertake
To win the Widdow, had most wealth and might,
VVit to perswade, and beautie to delight.
The Courtly loue he made vnto the Queene,
Homer forgot as if it had not beene.
Sing then Terpsichore, my light Muse, sing
His gentle Art and cunning curtesie:
You Lady can remember euery thing
For you are daughter of Queene Memorie,
But sing a plaine and easie Melodie:
For the soft meane that warbleth but the ground,
To my rude eare doth yield the sweetest sound.
One onely nights discourse I can report,
VVhen the great Torch-bearer of heauen was gone
Downe in a maske vnto the Oceans Court,
To reuell it with Tethis all alone;
Antinous disguised and vnknowne
Like to the spring in gaudie Ornament
Vnto the Castle of the Princesse went.
The soueraigne Castle of the rocky Ile
VVherein Penelope the Princesse lay,
Shone with a thousand Lamps, which did exile
The dim darke shades, & turn'd the night to day,
Not Ioues blew Tent what time the Sunny ray
Behind the bulwarke of the earth retires
Is seene to sparkle with more twinckling fiers.
That night the Queene came forth from far within,
And in the presence of her Court was seene,
For the sweet singer Phemius did begin
To praise the Worthies that at Troy had beene;
Somewhat of her Vlisses she did weene
In his graue Hymne the heau'nly man would sing,
Or of his warres, or of his wandering.
Pallas that houre with her sweet breath diuine
Inspir'd immortall beautie in her eyes,
That with cœlestiall glory she did shine,
Brighter then Venus when she doth arise
Out of the waters to adore the skies;
The wooers all amazed doe admire,
And check their owne presumptuous desire.
Onely Antinous when at first he view'd
Her star bright eyes that with new honour shind,
Was not dismayd, but there-with-all renew'd
The noblesse and the splendour of his mind;
And as he did fit circumstances find,
Vnto the Throne he boldly gan aduance,
And with faire maners, wooed ye Queene to
GOddesse of women, sith your
Hath now vouchsaft it selfe to represent
To our dim eyes, which though they see the lesse
Yet are they blest in their astonishment;
Imitate heau'n, whose beauties excellent
Are in continuall motion day and night,
And moue therby more wonder and delight.
Let me the mouer be, to turne about
Those glorious ornaments that Youth and Loue
Haue fixed in you, euery part throughout,
VVhich if you will in timely measure moue,
Not all those precious Iemms in heau'n aboue
Shall yield a sight more pleasing to behold,
VVith all their turnes and tracings manifold.
WIth this, the modest Princesse
blusht and smil'd,
Like to a cleare and rosie euentide;
And softly did returne this answere mild,
Faire Sir; you needs must fairely be denide
VVhere your demaund cannot be satisfied.
My feete, which onely nature taught to goe,
Did neuer yet the Art of footing know.
But why perswade you me to this new rage?
(For all disorder and misrule is new,)
For such misgouernment in former age
Our old diuine Forefathers neuer knew,
VVho if they liu'd, and did the follies view
Which their fond Nephews make their chiefe affaires,
Would hate themselues that had begot such heires.
Sole heire of Vertue, and of Beautie both,
VVhence commeth it (Antinous replies)
That your imperious vertue is so loth.
To graunt your beautie her chiefe exercise?
Or from what spring doth your opinion rise
That Dauncing is a frenzie and a rage,
First knowne and vs'd in this new-fangled age?
Dauncing (bright Lady) then began to be,
When the first seedes whereof the world did spring
The Fire, Ayre, Earth, and water did agree,
By Loues perswasion, Natures mighty King,
To learne their first disordred combating:
And, in a daunce such measure to obserue,
As all the world their motion should preserue.
Since when they still are carried in a round,
And changing come one in anothers place,
Yet doe they neyther mingle nor confound,
But euery one doth keepe the bounded space
VVherein the daunce doth bid it turne or trace:
This wondrous myracle did Loue deuise
For Dauncing is Loues proper exercise.
Like this, he fram'd the Gods eternall bower,
And of a shapelesse and confused masse
By his through-piercing and digesting power
The turning vault of heauen framed was:
VVhose starrie wheeles he hath so made to passe,
As that their mouings doe a musick frame
And they themselues, still daunce vnto the same.
Or if this (All) which round about we see
(As idle Morpheus some sicke braines hath taught)
Of vndeuided motes compacted bee,
How was this goodly Architecture wrought?
Or by what meanes were they together brought?
They erre that say they did concur by chaunce,
Loue made them meete in a well-ordered daunce.
As when Amphion with his charming Lire
Begot so sweet a Syren of the ayre,
That with her Rethorike made the stones conspire
The ruines of a Citty to repayre,
(A worke of wit and reasons wise affayre)
So loues smooth tongue, the motes such measure taught
That they ioyn'd hands, & so ye world was
How iustly then is Dauncing termed new
VVhich with the world in point of time begun?
Yea Time it selfe (whose birth Ioue neuer knew
And which is far more auncient then the Sun)
Had not one moment of his age outrunne
When out leapt Dauncing fro[m] the heape of things,
And lightly rode vpon his nimble wings.
Reason hath both their pictures in her Treasure,
VVhere Time the measure of all mouing is;
And Dauncing is a mouing all in measure,
Now if you doe resemble that to this
And think both one, I think you think amis:
But if you iudge them Twins, together got,
And Time first borne, your iudgment erreth not.
Thus doeth it equall age with age inioy,
And yet in lustie youth for euer flowers,
Like Loue his Sire, whom Paynters make a Boy,
Yet is he eldest of the heau'nly powers;
Or like his brother Time, whose winged howers
Going and comming will not let him dye,
But still preserue him in his infancie.
This sayd; the Queene with her sweet lips diuine
Gently began to moue the subtile ayre,
VVhich gladly yielding, did it selfe incline
To take a shape betweene those rubies fayre
And being formed, softly did repayre
With twenty doublings in the emptie way,
Vnto Antinous eares, and thus did say.
WHat eye doth see the heau'n but doth
When it the mouings of the heau'ns doth see?
My selfe, if I to heau'n may once aspire,
If that be dauncing, will a Dauncer be:
But as for this your frantick iollitie
How it began, or whence you did it learne,
I neuer could with reasons eye discerne.
Antinous aunswered: Iewell of the Earth
Worthie you are that heau'nly Daunce to leade:
But for you think our dauncing base of birth
And newly borne but of a brainsick head
I will forthwith his antique Gentry read,
And for I loue him, will his Herault be
And blaze his armes, and draw his Petigree.
Whe[n] Loue had shapt this world, this great faire wight
That all wights else in his wide womb containes
And had instructed it to daunce aright,
A thousand measures with a thousand straines,
VVhich it should practise with delightful paines
Vntill that fatall instant should reuolue,
VVhen all to nothing should againe resolue:
The comly order and proportion faire
On euery side did please his wandring eye,
Till glauncing through the thin transparent aire
A rude disordered rout he did espie
Of men and women, that most spightfullie
Did one another throng, and crowd so sore,
That his kind eye in pitty wept therefore.
And swifter then the Lightning downe he came,
Another shapelesse Chaos to digest,
He will begin another world to frame,
(For Loue till all be well will neuer rest)
Then with such words as cannot be exprest
He cutts the troups, that all a sunder fling,
And ere they wist, he casts them in a ring.
Then did he rarifie the Element
And in the center of the ring appeare,
The beames that from his forehead shining went,
Begot an horrour and religious feare
In all the soules that round about him weare,
VVhich in their eares attentiuenesse procures
While he with such like sounds their minds allures.
How doth Confusions Mother, headlong Chance
Put reasons noble squadron to the rout?
Or how should you that haue the gouernance
Of Natures children, heauen and earth throughout
Prescribe them rules, and liue your selues without?
VVhy should your fellowship a trouble be,
Since mans chiefe pleasure is societie?
If sence hath not yet taught you, learne of me
A comly moderation and discreet,
That your assemblies may well ordered be
VVhen my vniting power shall make you meet,
VVith heau'nly tunes it shall be tempered sweet:
And be the modell of the worlds great frame,
And you Earths children, Dauncing shall it name.
Behold the world how it is whirled round,
And for it is so whirl'd, is named so;
In whose large volume many rules are found
Of this new Art, which it doth fairely show:
For your quick eyes in wandring too and fro
From East to West, on no one thing can glaunce,
But if you make it well, it seemes to daunce.
First you see in this huge mirrour blew
Of trembling lights a number numberlesse,
Fixt they are nam'd, but with a name vntrue,
For they are moued, and in a Daunce expresse
That great long yeare that doth containe no lesse
Then threescore hundreths of those yeares in all
Which the Sunne makes with his course naturall.
VVhat if to you these sparks disordered seeme
As if by chaunce they had been scattered there?
The Gods a solemn measure doe it deeme
And see a iust proportion euery where,
And know ye points whence first their mouings were;
To which first points when all returne againe,
The Axeltree of Heau'n shall breake in twaine.
Vnder that spangled skye, fiue wandring flames,
Besides the King of Day, and Queene of Night,
Are wheel'd around, all in their sundry frames,
And all in sundry measures doe delight:
Yet altogether keepe no measure right.
For by it selfe, each doth it selfe aduaunce,
And by it selfe, each doth a Galliard daunce.
Venus the Mother of that bastard Loue
Which doth vsurpe the worlds great Marshals name,
Iust with the Sunne her dainty feete doth moue
And vnto him doth all her iestures frame:
Now after, now afore, the flattering Dame
VVith diuers cunning passages doth erre,
Still him respecting that respects not her.
For that braue Sunne the Father of the Day,
Doth loue this Earth the Mother of the Night,
And like a reuellour in rich aray
Doth daunce his Galliard in his Lemmans sight,
Both back, and forth, and side-wayes passing light,
His gallant grace doth so the Gods amaze,
That all stand still and at his beautie gaze.
But see the Earth, when she approcheth neere,
How she for ioy doth spring and sweetly smile:
But see againe her sad and heauie cheere
When changing places he retires a while:
But those black clouds he shortly will exile,
And make them all before his presence flye
As mists consum'd before his cheerfull eye.
VVho doth not see the measures of the Moone
Which thirteene times she daunceth euery yeare?
And ends her pauine thirteene times as soone
As doth her brother, of whose golden heire
She borroweth part and proudly doth it weare.
Then doth she coylie turne her face aside,
That halfe her cheeke is scarce sometimes discride.
Next her, the pure, subtile, and cleansing fire,
Is swiftly carried in a circle euen:
Though Vulcan be pronounst by many a lyer
The onely halting God that dwells in heauen.
But that foule name may be more fitly giuen
To your false fier that far from heau'n is fall
And doth consume, wast, spoile, disorder all.
And now behold your tender Nurse the ayre
And common neighbour that ay runns around,
How many pictues and impressions faire
Within her emptie regions are there found,
Which to your sences Dauncing doe propound?
For what are breath, speech, Ecchos, musick, winds,
But Dauncings of the ayre in sundry kinds?
For when you breath, the ayre in order moues,
Now in, now out, in time and measure trew;
And when you speake, so well the dauncing loues,
That doubling oft, and oft redoubling new,
With thousand formes she doth her selfe endew:
For all the words that from your lips repaire,
Are naught but tricks and turnings of the aire.
Hence is her pratling daughter Eccho borne,
That daunces to all voyces she can heare,
There is no sound so harsh that she doth scorne,
Nor any time wherein she will forbeare
The aiery pauement with her feete to weare.
And yet her hearing sence is nothing quick
For after time she endeth euery trick.
And thou sweet Musick, Dauncings only life
The eares sole happines, the ayres best speach,
Loadstone of fellowship, charming rod of strife,
The soft minds Paradice, the sick minds Leach,
With thine owne tongue yt trees & stones canst teach
That whe[n] the Aire doth daunce her finest measure,
Then art [thou] borne the Gods & mens sweet pleasure.
Lastly, where keepe the winds their reuelry
Their violent turnings and wild whirling hayes?
But in the Ayres tralucent gallery?
Where she her selfe is turnd a hundreth wayes,
While with those Maskers wantonly she playes;
Yet in this misrule, they such rule embrace
As two at once encomber not the place.
If then fier, ayre, wandring and fixed lights
In euery prouince of th'imperiall skye,
Yeeld perfect formes of dauncing to your sights,
In vaine I teach the eare, that which the eye
With certaine view already doth descrie.
But for your eyes perceiue not all they see
In this I will your sences maister bee.
For loe the Sea that fleets about the Land,
And like a girdle clips her solide wast,
Musick and measure both doth vnderstand:
For his great Christall eye is alwayes cast
Vp to the Moone, and oft her fixeth fast.
And as she daunceth in her pallid spheere,
So daunceth he about the Center heere.
Sometimes his proud greene waues in order set,
One after other flow vnto the shore,
Which when they haue with many kisses wet,
They ebb away in order as before;
And to make knowne his Courtly Loue the more,
He oft doth lay aside his three-forkt Mace,
And with his armes the timerous Earth embrace.
Onely the Earth doth stand for euer still,
Her rocks remoue not, nor her mountaines meete,
(Although some witts enricht with Learnings skill
Say heau'n stands firme, & that the Earth doth fleete
And swiftly turneth vnderneath their feet)
Yet though the Earth is euer stedfast seene,
On her broad breast hath Dauncing euer beene.
For those blew vaines that through her body spred,
Those saphire streams which fro[m] great hils do spring,
(The Earths great duggs: for euery wight is fed
With sweet fresh moisture from them issuing)
Obserue a daunce in their wild wandering:
And still their daunce begets a murmur sweete,
And still the murmur with the daunce doth meete.
Of all their wayes I loue Meanders path,
Which to the tunes of dying Swans doth daunce,
Such winding sleights, such turnes and tricks he hath,
Such Creekes, such wrenches, and such daliaunce,
That whether it be hap or heedlesse chaunce,
In his indented course and wringling play
He seemes to daunce a perfect cunning Hay.
But wherefore doe these streames for euer runne?
To keepe themselues for euer sweet and cleare:
For let their euerlasting course be donne
They straight corrupt and foule with mud appeare.
O yee sweet Nimphs that beauties losse doe feare,
Contemne the Drugs that Phisick doth deuise,
And learne of Loue this dainty exercise.
See how those flowers that haue sweet Beauty too
(The onely Iewels that the Earth doth weare
VVhen the young Sunne in brauery her doth woo)
As oft as they the whistling wind doth heare,
Doe waue their tender bodies here and there;
And though their daunce no perfect measure is,
Yet oftentimes their musick makes them kis[.]
VVhat makes the Vine about the Elme to daunce
With turnings, windings, and imbracements round?
What makes the Load-stone to the North aduaunce
His subtile point, as if from thence he found
His chiefe attractiue Vertue to redound?
Kind Nature first doth cause all things to loue,
Loue makes them daunce and in iust order moue.
Harke how the Birds doe sing, and marke then how
Iumpe with the modulation of their layes,
They lightly leape, and skip from bow to bow;
Yet doe the Cranes deserue a greater prayse
Which keepe such measure in their ayrie wayes,
As when they all in order ranked are,
They make a perfect forme trianguler:
In the chiefe angle flyes the watchfull guide,
And all the followers their heads doe lay
On their forgoers backs, on eyther side,
But for the Captaine hath no rest to stay
His head forwearied with the windy way,
He back retires, and then the next behind,
As his Lieutenaunt leads them through the wind.
But why relate I euery singular?
Since all the worlds great fortunes and affaires
Forward and backward rapt and whurled are,
According to the musick of the spheares:
And Chaunce her selfe, her nimble feete vpbeares
On a round slipperie wheele that rowleth ay,
And turnes all states with her impetuous sway.
Learne then to daunce you that are Princes borne
And lawfull Lords of earthly creatures all,
Imitate them, and thereof take no scorne,
For thys new Art to them is naturall
And imitate the starres cælestiall.
For when pale Death you[r] vitall twist shall seuer,
Your better parts must daunce with the[m] for euer.
Thus Loue perswades, and all the crowne of men
That stands around doth make a murmuring;
As when the wind loosd from his hollow den,
Among the trees a gentle base doth sing,
Or as a Brooke through peebles wandering:
But in their lookes they vttered this plaine speach,
That they wold learn to daunce if loue wold teach.
Then first of all, hee doth demonstrate plaine
The motions seauen that are in nature found,
Vpward, and downward, forth, and back againe,
To this side, and to that, and turning round:
VVhereof, a thousand brawles he doth compound,
VVhich he doth teach vnto the multitude,
And euer with a turne they must conclude.
As when a Nimph arysing from the Land
Leadeth a daunce with her long watery traine
Downe to the Sea, she wries to euery hand
And euery way doth crosse the fertile plaine:
But when at last she falls into the maine
Then all her trauerses concluded are,
And with the Sea her course is circulare.
Thus when at first Loue had them marshalled
As earst he did the shapelesse masse of things,
He taught them rounds and winding Heyes to tread,
And about trees to cast themselues in rings.
As the two Beares whom the first mouer flings
With a short turne about heauens Axeltree,
In a round daunce for euer wheeling bee.
But after these, as men more ciuill grew
He did more graue and solemne measures frame,
With such faire order and proportion trew
And correspondence euery way the same,
That no fault finding eye did euer blame:
For euery eye was moued at the sight
With sober wondring, and with sweet delight.
Not those old Students of the heauenly booke,
Atlas the great, Promethius the wise,
VVhich on the Starres did al their lyfe-time looke
Could euer find such measures in the skies,
So full of change and rare varieties;
Yet all the feete whereon these measures goe,
Are onely Spondeis, solemne, graue, and sloe.
But for more diuers and more pleasing show,
A swift and wandring daunce she did inuent,
VVith passages vncertaine to and fro,
Yet with a certaine aunswere and consent
To the quick musick of the Instrument.
Fiue was the number of the Musicks feete,
Which still the daunce did with fiue paces meete.
A gallant daunce, that liuely doth bewray
A spirit and a vertue Masculine,
Impatient that her house on earth should stay
Since she her selfe is fierie and diuine:
Oft doth she make her body vpward flyne,
With loftie turnes and capriols in the ayre,
Which with the lustie tunes accordeth fayre.
VVhat shall I name those currant trauases
That on a triple Dactyle foote doe run
Close by the ground with slyding passages,
VVherein that Dauncer greatest prayse hath won
Which with best order can all orders shun:
For euery where he wantonly must range,
And turne and wind, with vnexpected change.
Yet is ther one the most delightfull kind,
A lofty iumping, or a leaping round,
VVhere arme in arme, two Dauncers are entwind,
And whirle themselues with strict embracements bound,
And still their feet an Anapest do sound:
An Anapest is all theyr musicks song,
VVhose first two feet are short, & third is long.
As the victorious twinns of Læda and Ioue
That taught the Spartans dauncing on the sands,
Of swift Eurotas daunce in Heau'n aboue,
Knit and vnited with eternall hands;
Among the Starres their double Image stands,
VVhere both are carried with an equall pace
Together iumping in their turning race.
Thys is the Net wherein the Sunns bright eye
Venus and Mars entangled did behold,
For in thys Daunce, their armes they so imply
As each, doth seeme the other to enfold:
VVhat if lewd wits another tale haue told
Of iealous Vulcan, and of yron chaynes,
Yet this true sence that forged lye containes.
These various formes of dauncing Loue did frame,
And beside these, a hundred millions moe,
And as he did inuent, he taught the same
VVith goodly iesture, and with comly show,
Now keeping state, now humbly honoring low,
And euer for the persons and the place
He taught most fit, and best according grace.
For Loue, within his fertile working braine
Did then conceiue those gracious Virgins three
VVhose ciuill moderation did maintaine
All decent order and conveniencie,
And faire respect, and seemlie modestie:
And then he thought it fit they should be borne,
That their sweet presence dauncing might adorne.
Hence is it that these Graces painted are
With hand in hand, dauncing an endlesse round:
And with regarding eyes, that still beware
That there be no disgrace amongst the found;
VVith equall foote they beate the flowry ground,
Laughing, or singing, as their passions will,
Yet nothing that they doe becomes them ill.
Thus Loue taught men, and men thus learnd of Loue
Sweet Musicks sound with feete to counterfaite,
VVhich was long time before high thundering Ioue
VVas lifted vp to heau'ns imperiall seate.
For though by birth he were the Prince of Creete,
Nor Creete, nor Heau'n, should ye yong
Prince haue seen
If Dancers with their Timbrels had not been.
Since when all cermonious misteries,
All sacred Orgies and religious rights,
All pomps, and tryumphs, and solemnities,
All Funerals, Nuptials, and like publike sights,
All Parliaments of peace, and warlike fights,
Al learned Arts, and euery great affaire
A liuely shape of Dauncing seemes to beare.
For what did he who with his ten-tong'd Lute
Gaue Beasts and blocks an vnderstanding eare?
Or rather into bestiall minds and brute
Shed and infus'd the beames of reason cleare?
Doubtlesse for men that rude and sauage were
A ciuill forme of dauncing he deuis'd,
VVherewith vnto their Gods they sacrific'd.
So did Musæus, so Amphion did,
And Linus with his sweet enchanting song,
And he whose hand the earth of monsters rid
And had mens eares fast chained to his tong:
And Theseus to his wood-borne slaues among
Vs'd dauncing as the finest pollicie
To plant religion and societie.
And therefore now the Thracian Orpheus Lire
And Hercules him selfe are stellified;
And in high heau'n amidst the starry Quire
Dauncing their parts continually doe slide:
So on the Zodiake Ganimede doth ride,
And so is Hebe with the Muses nine
For pleasing Ioue with dauncing, made diuine.
VVherefore was Proteus sayd himselfe to change
Into a streame, a Lyon, and a tree,
And many other formes fantastique strange
As in his fickle thought he wisht to be?
But that he daunc'd with such facilitie.
As like a Lyon he could pace with pride,
Ply like a Plant, and like a Riuer slide.
And how was Cæneus made at first a man,
And then a woman, then a man againe
But in a Daunce? which when he first began
Hee the mans part in measure did sustaine
But when he chang'd into a second swaine
He daunc'd the womans part another space
And then return'd into his former place.
Hence sprang the fable of Tiresias
That he the pleasure of both sexes tryde:
For in a daunce hee man and woman was
By often chaunge of place from side to side:
But for the woman easily did slide
And smoothly swim with cunning hidden Art,
Hee tooke more pleasure in a woman's part.
So to a fish Venus herselfe did change,
And swimming through the soft and yeelding waue,
VVith gentle motions did so smoothly range
As none might see where she the water draue:
But this plaine truth that falsed fable gaue
That she did daunce with slyding easines,
Plyant and quick in wandring passages,
And merry Bacchus practis'd dauncing to,
And to the Lydian numbers rounds did make:
The like he did in th'Easterne India doo,
And taught them all when Phœbus did awake,
And when at night he did his Coach forsake:
To honor heau'n, and heau'ns great roling eie
VVith turning daunces, and with melodie.
Thus they who first did found a common-weale,
And they who first Religion did ordaine,
By dauncing first the peoples harts did steale,
Of whom we now a thousand tales doe faine.
Yet doe we now their perfect rules retaine,
And vse then still in such deuises new
As in the world long since their withering grew.
For after Townes and Kingdomes founded were
Betweene great States arose well-ordered war,
VVherein most perfect measure doth appeare
VVhether their well set ranks respected are
In Quadrant forme or Semicircular:
Or else the March, when all the troups aduance
Vnto the Drum, in gallant order daunce.
And after warrs, when white-wing'd victory
Is with a glorious tryumph beautified,
And euery one doth Io Io cry,
VVhiles all in gold the Conquerour doth ride,
The solemne pompe that fils the Citty wide
Obserues such ranke and measure euery where,
As if they altogether dauncing were.
The like iust order Mourners doe obserue,
(But with vnlike affection and attire)
VVhen some great man that nobly did deserue
And whom his friends impatiently desire
Is brought with honour to his latest fire:
The dead corps too in that sad daunce is mou'd,
As if both dead and liuing, dauncing lou'd.
A diuerse cause, but like solemnitie
Vnto the Temple leades the bashfull bride,
VVhich blusheth like the Indian Iuorie
VVhich is with dip of Tyrian purple died:
A golden troope doth passe on euery side
Of flourishing young men and Virgins gay,
Which keepe faire measure all the flowry way.
And not alone the generall multitude,
But those choise Nestors which in counsell graue
Of Citties, and of Kingdomes doe conclude,
Most comly order in their Sessions haue:
Wherefore the wise Thessalians euer gaue
The name of Leader of their Countries daunce
To him that had their Countries gouernaunce.
And those great Maisters of the liberall Arts
In all their seuerall Schooles doe Dauncing teach:
For humble Grammer first doth set the parts
Of congruent and well-according speach:
Which Rhetorick whose state ye clouds doth reach,
And heau'nly Poetry doe forward lead,
And diuers Measures, diuersly doe tread.
For Rhetorick clothing speech in rich aray
In looser numbers teacheth her to range,
VVith twentie tropes, and turning euery way,
And various figures, and licentious change:
But Poetry with rule and order strange
So curiously doth moue each single pace,
As all is mard if she one foote misplace.
These Arts of speach the guides and Marshals are,
But Logick leadeth Reason in a Daunce,
(Reason the Cynosure and bright Load-star
In this worlds Sea t'auoid the rock of Chaunce)
For with close following and continuance
One reason doth another so ensue,
As in conclusion still the daunce is true.
So Musick to her owne sweet tunes doth trip
VVith tricks of, 3, 5, 8, 15, and more:
So doth the Art of Numbring seeme to skip
From eu'n to odd in her proportion'd score:
So doe those skils whose quick eyes doe explore
The iust dimension both of earth and heau'n
In all their rules obserue a measure eu'n.
Loe this is Dauncings true nobilitie.
Dauncing the child of Musick and of Loue,
Dauncing it selfe both loue and harmony,
VVhere all agree, and all in order moue;
Dauncing the Art that all Arts doe approue:
The faire Caracter of the worlds consent,
The heau'ns true figure, and th'earths ornament.
TH E Queene, whose dainty eares had
borne too long
The tedious praise of yt she did despise,
Adding once more the musick of the tongue
To the sweet speech of her alluring eyes,
Began to aunswer in such winning wise
As that forthwith Antinous tongue was tyde,
His eyes fast fixt, his eares were open wide.
Forsooth (quoth she) great glory you haue won
To your trim Minion Dauncing all this while,
By blazing him Loues first begotten sonne;
Of euery ill the hatefull Father vile
That doth the world with sorceries beguile:
Cunningly mad, religiously prophane,
Wits monster, Reasons canker, Sences bane.
Loue taught the mother that vnkind desire
To wash her hands in her owne Infants blood;
Loue taught the daughter to betray her Sire
Into most base vnworthy seruitude;
Loue taught the brothers, that the all-seeing Sun
To feast his brothers, that the all-seeing Sun
Wrapt in a clowd, that wicked sight did shun.
And euen this selfe same Loue hath dauncing taught,
An Art that sheweth th'Idea of his mind
VVith vainesse, frenzie, and misorder fraught;
Sometimes with blood and cruelties vnkind:
For in a daunce, Tereus mad wife did finde
Fit time and place by murthering her sonne,
T'auenge the wrong his trayterous Sire had done.
What meane the Mermayds when they daunce and sing
But certaine death vnto the Mariner?
VVhat tydings doe the dauncing Dilphins bring
But that some dangerous storme approcheth nere?
Then sith both Loue & Dauncing lyueries beare
Of such ill hap, vnhappy may they proue,
That sitting free, will either daunce or loue.
YEt once againe Antinous did
Great Queene, condemne not Loue the innocent,
For this mischieuous lust, which traiterously
Vsurps his Name, and steales his ornament:
For that true Loue which dauncing did inuent,
Is he that tun'd the worlds whole harmony,
And linkt all men in sweet societie.
He first extracted from th'earth-mingled mind
That heau'nly fire, or quintessence diuine,
VVhich doth such simpathy in beauty find
As is betweene the Elme and fruitfull Vine,
And so to beautie euer doth encline.
Liues life it is, and cordiall to the hart,
And of our better part, the better part.
Thys is true Loue, by that true Cupid got
VVhich daunceth Galliards in your amorous eyes,
But to your frozen hart approcheth not,
Onely your hart he dares not enterprize.
And yet through euery other part he flyes,
And euery where he nimbly daunceth now.
That in your selfe, your selfe percieue not how.
For your sweet beauty daintily transfus'd
VVith due proportion throughout euery part,
VVhat is it but a daunce where Loue hath vs'd
His finer cunning, and more curuous Art?
VVhere all the Elements themselues impart,
And turne, and wind, & mingle with such measure,
That th'eye that sees it, sufeits with the pleasure.
Loue in the twinckling of your eylids daunceth,
Loue daunceth in your pulses and your vaines,
Loue whe[n] you sow your needles poynt aduaunceth,
And makes it daunce a thousand curious straines
Of winding rounds, whereof the forme remaines,
To shew, that your faire hands can daunce ye
VVhich your fine feet would learne as well as they.
And when your Iuory fingers touch the strings
Of any siluer-sounding instrument,
Loue makes the[m] daunce to those sweet murmurings,
VVith busie skill, and cunning excellent:
O that your feet those tunes would represent
With artificiall motions to and fro,
That Loue this Art in euery part might shoe.
Yet your faire soule which came from heau'n aboue,
To rule thys house, another heau'n below,
VVith diuers powers in harmony doth moue,
And all the vertues that from her doe flow,
In a round measure hand in hand doe goe.
Could I now see as I conceiue thys Daunce,
VVonder and Loue would cast me in a traunce.
The richest Iewell in all the heau'nly Treasure
That euer yet vnto the Earth was showne,
Is perfect Concord, th'onely perfect pleasure
That wretched Earth-borne men haue euer knowne,
For many harts it doth compound in one:
That what so one doth will, or speake, or doe,
VVith one consent they all agree thereto.
Concords true picture shineth in thys Art,
VVhere diuers men and women ranked be,
And euery one doth daunce a seuerall part,
Yet all as one, in measure doe agree,
Obseruing perfect vniformitie:
All turne together, all together trace,
And all together honor and embrace.
If they whom sacred Loue hath link'd in one,
Doe, as they daunce, in all theyr course of life
Neuer shall burning griefe nor bitter mone,
Nor factious difference, nor vnkind strife,
Arise betwixt the husband and the wife.
For whether forth or back, or round he goe,
As the man doth, so must the woman doe.
VVhat if by often enterchaunge of place
Sometime the woman get the vpper hand?
That is but done for more delightfull grace,
For on that part shee doth not euer stand:
But as the Measures law doth her commaund
Shee wheeles about, and ere the daunce doth end,
Into her former place shee doth transcend.
But not alone this correspondence meet
And vniforme consent doth dauncing praise,
For Comlines the chyld of order sweet
Enamels it with her eye-pleasing raies:
Faire Comlines, ten hundred thousand waies
Through dauncing shedds it selfe, & makes it shine
VVith glorious beauty, and with grace diuine.
For Comlines is a disposing faire
Of things and actions in fit time and place,
VVhich doth in dauncing shew it selfe most cleere,
VVhe[n] troopes confus'd which here & there do trace
VVithout distinguishment or bounded space,
By dauncing rule, into such ranks are brought,
As glads the eye, and rauisheth the thought.
Then why should reason iudge that reasonles
VVhich is wits of-spring, and the worke of Art,
Image of concord, and of comlines.
VVho sees a clock moouing in euery part,
A sayling Pinnesse, or a wheeling Cart,
But thinks that reason ere it came to passe
The first impulsiue cause and mouer was?
VVho sees an Armie all in ranke aduaunce
But deemes a wise Commaunder is in place
Which leadeth on that braue victorious daunce?
Much more in dauncings Art, in dauncings grace
Blindnes it selfe may reasons footstep trace:
For of Loues Maze it is the curious plot,
And of mans fellowship the true-loue knot.
But if these eyes of yours, (Load-starrs of loue
Shewing the worlds great daunce to your minds eye)
Cannot with all theyr demonstrations moue
Kind apprehension in your fantasie
Of Dauncings vertue, and nobilitie:
How can my barbarous tongue win you thereto
Which heau'n & earths faire speech could neuer do?
O Loue my King: If all my wit and power
Haue done you all the seruice that they can,
O be you present in this present hower,
And helpe your seruant and your true Leige-man
End that perswasion which I earst began:
For who in praise of dauncing can perswade
With such sweet force as Loue, wc dauncing
LOue heard his prayer, and swifter
then the wind
Like to a page, in habit, face, and speech,
He came, and stood Antinous behind,
And many secrets to his thoughts did teach.
At last, a christall Mirrour he did reach
Vnto his hands, that he with one rash view,
All formes therein by Loues reuealing knew.
And humbly honoring, gaue it to the Queene
With this faire speech: See fairest Queene (quoth he)
The fairest sight that euer shall be seene,
And th'onely wonder of posteritie,
The richest worke in Natures treasury;
VVhich she disdaines to shew on this worlds stage,
And thinks it far too good for our rude age.
But in another world deuided far,
In the great, fortunate, triangled Isle,
Thrise twelue degrees remou'd from the North star
Shee will this glorious workmanship compile
Which shee hath been conceiuing all thys while
Since the worlds birth, & will bring forth at last,
When sixe and twenty hundreth yeeres are past.
PEnelope the Queene when she
The strange-eye-dazeling-admirable sight,
Faine would haue praisd the state and pulchritude,
But she was stroken dumbe with wonder quite,
Yet her sweet mind retayn'd her thinking might:
Her rauisht minde in heau'nly thoughts did dwel,
But what she thought, no mortall tongue can tell.
You Lady Muse, whom Ioue the Counsellour
Begot of Memorie, wisdoms Treasuresse,
To your diuining tongue is giuen a power
Of vttering secrets large and limitlesse:
You can Penelopes strange thoughts expresse
Which she conceiu'd, & the[n] would faine haue told,
VVhen shee the wondrous Christall did behold.
Her winged thoughts bore vp her minde so hie
As that shee weend shee saw the glorious throne
VVhere the bright moone doth sit in maiestie,
A thousand sparkling starres about her shone,
But she herselfe did sparkle more alone
Then all those thousand beauties would haue done
If they had been confounded all in one.
And yet she thought those starrs mou'd in such measure
To doe their Soueraigne honor & delight,
As sooth'd her minde wt sweet enchaunting [pleasure]
Although the various change amaz'd her sight,
And her weake iudgement dyd entangle quite:
Beside, theyr mouing made the[m] shine more cleere,
As Diamonds mou'd, more sparkling do appeare.
Thys was the Picture of her wondrous thought;
But who can wonder that her thought was so,
Sith Vulcan King of fire, that Mirrour wrought
(Which things to come, present, & past doth know)
And there did represent in liuely show;
Our glorious English Courts diuine Image
As it should be in this our golden age.
Away Terpsichore, light Muse away,
And come Vrania, Prophetesse diuine;
Come Muse of heau'n, my burning thirst allay,
Euen now, for want of sacred drinke I tine.
In heau'nly moysture dip thys Pen of mine,
And let my mouth with Nectar ouerflow,
For I must more then mortall glory show.
O that I had Homers aboundant vaine,
I would heereof another Ilias make,
Or els the man of Mantuas charmed braine
In whose large throat great Ioue the thunder spake.
O that I could old Gefferies Muse awake,
Or borrow Colins fayre heroike stile,
Or smooth my rimes with Delias seruants file.
O could I sweet Companion, sing like you,
VVhich of a shadow, vnder a shadow sing;
Or like faire Salues sad louer true,
Or like the Bay, the Marigolds darling,
Whose suddaine verse Loue couers with his wing:
O that your braines were mingled all with mine,
T'inlarge my wit for this great worke diuine.
Yet Astrophell might one for all suffize,
VVhose supple Muse Camelion-like doth change
Into all formes of excellent deuise:
So might the Swallow, whose swift Muse doth range
Through rare Ideas, and inuentions strange,
And euer doth enioy her ioyfull spring,
And sweeter then the Nightingale doth sing.
O that I might that singing Swallow heare
To whom I owe my seruice and my loue,
His sugred tunes would so enchant mine eare,
And in my mind such sacred fury moue,
As I should knock at heau'ns great gate aboue
With my proude rimes, while of this heau'nly state
I doe aspire the shadows to relate.
F I N I S.