The Shepheardes Calender: September
Note on this Renascence
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A R G V M E N
Dauie is deuised to be a shepheard, that in hope of more gayne, droue
his sheepe into a farre countrye. The abuses whereof, and loose liuing
of Popish prelates, by occasion of Hobbinols demaund, he discourseth at
DIggon Dauie, I
her god day:
Or Diggon her is, or I missaye.
Her was her, while it was daye light,
But nowe her is a most wretched
For day, that was, is wightly
And now at earst the dirke night
Diggon areede, who has thee so dight?
Neuer I wist thee in so poor a plight.
Where is the fayre flocke, thou
was wont to leade?
Or bene they chaffred?
or at mischiefe dead?
Ah for loue of that, is to thee moste
Hobbinol, I pray thee gall not my
Sike question ripeth vp cause of
For one opened mote vnfolde many
Nay, but sorrow close shrouded in hart
I know, to kepe, is a burdenous
Eche thing imparted is more eath
When the rayne is faln, the cloudes
And nowe sithence I sawe thy head
three Moones bene fully spent and past:
Since when thou hast measured
And wandred I wene about the world
So as thou can many thinges relate:
But tell me first of thy flocks
My sheepe bene wasted, (wae
is me therefore)
The iolly shepheard that was of
Is nowe nor iolloye, nor shepehearde
In forrein costes, men sayd, was
And so there is, but all of miserye.
I dempt there much to haue eeked
But such eeking hath made my hart
In tho countryes, whereas I haue
No being for those, that truely
But for such, as of guile maken
No such countrye, as there to remaine.
They setten to sale their shops
And maken a Mart of theyr good name.
The shepheards there robben one
And layen baytes to beguile her
Or they will buy his sheepe out
of the cote,
Or they will caruen
the shepheards throte.
The shepheards swayne you cannot
But it be by his pryde, from other
They looken bigge as Bulls, that
And bearen the cragge
so stiffe and so state,
As cocke on his dunghill, crowing
Diggon, I am so stiffe, and so stanck,
That vneth may I stand any more:
the Westerne wind bloweth sore,
That nowe is in his chiefe souereigntee,
Beating the withered leafe from
Sitte we downe here under the hill:
Tho may we talke, and tellen our
And make a mocke
at the blustring blast.
Now say on Diggon, what euer thou
Hobbin, ah hobbin, I curse the stounde,
That euer I cast to haue lorne
Wel-away the while I was so fonde,
To leaue the good, that I had in
In hope of better, that was vncouth:
So lost the Dogge the flesh in his
My seely sheepe (ah seely sheepe)
by there I whilome vsed to keepe,
All were they lustye, as thou didst
Bene all sterued with pyne and penuree.
Hardly my selfe escaped thilke payne,
Driuen for neede to come home agayne.
Ah fon, now by thy losse art taught,
That seeldome chaunge the better
Content who liues with tryed state,
Neede feare no chaunge of frowning
But who will seeke for vnknowne
Oft liues by losse, and leaues with
I wote ne Hobbin how I was bewitcht
With vayne desyre, and hope to be
But sicker so it is, as the bright
Seemeth ay greater, when it is farre:
I thought the soyle would haue made
But nowe I wote, it is nothing sich.
For eyther the shepeheards bene
ydle and still,
And ledde of theyr sheepe, what
way they wyll:
Or they bene false, and full of
And casten to compasse many wrong
But the more bene fraught with fraud
Ne in good nor goodnes taken delight:
But kindle coales of conteck
Wherewith they sette all the world
Which when they thinken agayne to
With holy water, they doen hem all
They saye they con to heauen the
But by my soule I dare vndersaye,
Thye neuer sette foote in that same
But balk the right way, and strayen
They boast they han the deuill at
But aske hem therefore, what they
great Pan bought with deare borrow,
To quite it from the blacke
bowre of sorrowe.
But they han sold thilk same long
For thy woulden drawe with hem many
But let hem gange
alone a Gods name:
As they han brewed, so let hem beare
Diggon, I praye the speake not so dirke.
saying me seemeth to mirke.
Then playnely to speake of shepheards
Badde is the best (this english
Their ill hauiour garres men missay,
Both of their doctrine, and of their
They sayne the world is much war
then it wont,
All for her shepheards bene beastly
Other sayne, but how truely I note,
All for they holden shame of theyr
Some sticke not to say, (whote cole
on her tongue)
That sike mischeife graseth hem
All for the casten too much of worlds
To deck her Dame, and enrich her
For such encheason,
If you goe nye,
Fewe chymneis reeking you shall
The fat Oxe, that wont ligge in
Is nowe fast stalled in her crumenall.
Thus chatten the people in theyr
Ylike as a Monster of many heads.
But they that shooten neerest the
Sayne, other the fat from their
beards doen lick.
For bigge Bulles of Basanbrace
That with theyr hornes butten the
But the leane soules treaden vnder
And to seeke redresse mought little
For liker bene they to pluck away
Then ought of the gotten good to
For they bene like foule wagmoires
That if thy galage
once sticketh fast,
The more to wind it out thou doest
Thou mought ay deeper and deeper
Yet better leaue of with a little
Then by much wrestling to leese
Nowe Diggon, I see thou speakest to
Better it were, a little to feyne,
And cleanly couer, that cannot be
Such il, as is forced, mought nedes
But of sike pastoures howe done
the flocks creepe?
Sike as the shepheards, sike bene her
For they nill listen to the shepheards
But if he call hem at theyr good
They wander at wil, and stray at
And to theyr foldes yeeld at their
But they had be better come at their
for many han into mischiefe fall,
And bene of rauenous Wolues yrent,
All for they nould be buxome
Fye on thee Diggon, and all thy foule
Well is knowne that sith the Saxon
Neuer was Woolfe seene many nor
Nor in all Kent, nor
But the fewer Woolues (the soth
The more bene the Foxes that here
Yes, but they gang in more secrete wise,
And with sheepes clothing doen hem
They walke not widely as they were
For feare of raungers, and the great
But priuely prolling too and froe,
they mought be inly knowe.
Or priue or
pert yf any bene,
We han great Bandogs will tear their
Indeede thy ball is a bold bigge curre,
And could make a iolly hole in theyr
But not good Dogges hem needeth
But heedy shepheards to discerne
For all their craft is in their
They bene so graue and full of mayntenaunce.
But shall I tell thee what my selfe
Chaunced to Roffynn
not long ygoe?
Say it out Diggon, what euer it hight,
For not but well mought him betight.
He is so meeke, wise, and merciable,
And with his word his worke is conuenable.
I wene be his selfe boye,
(Ah for Colin he whilome my ioye)
Shepheards sich, God mought vs many
That doen so carefully theyr flocks
Thilk same shepheard mought I well marke:
He has a Dogge to byte or to bark,
Neuer had shepheard so nene a kurre,
That waketh, and if but a leafe
Whilome there wonned
a wicked Wolfe,
That with many a Lambe had glutted
And euer at night wont to repayre
Vnto the flocke, when the Welkin
Ycladde in clothing of seely sheepe,
When the good old man vsed to sleepe.
Tho at midnight he would barke and
(For he had eft learned a curres
As if a Woolfe were emong the sheepe.
With that the shpheard would breake
And send out Lowder (for so his
To raunge the fields with wide oppen
Tho when as Lowder was farre away,
This Woluish sheepe would catchen
A Lambe, or a Kidde, or a
With that to the wood would he speede
Long time he vsed this slippery
Ere Roffy could for his laboure
At end the shepheard his practise
(For Roffy is wise, and as Argus
And when at euen he came to the
Fast in theyr folds he did them
And tooke out the Woolfe in his
And let out the sheepes bloud at
Marry Diggon, what should him affraye,
To take his owne where euer it laye?
For had his wesand bene a little
He would hue deuoured both hidder
Mischiefe light on him, and Gods great
Too good for him had bene a great
For it was a perilous beast aboue
And eke had he cond the shepherds
And oft in the night came to the
And called Lowder, with a hollow
As if it the old man selfe had bene.
The dog his maisters voice did it
Yet halfe in doubt, he opened the
And ranne out, as he was wont of
No sooner was out, but swifter then
Fast by the hyde the Wolfe lowder
And had not Roffy renne to the steuen,
Lowder had be slaine thilke same
God shield man, he should so ill haue
All for he did his deuoyr beliue.
If sike bene Wolues, as thou hast
How mought we Diggon, hem be-hold.
How, but with heede and watchfulnesse,
Forstallen hem of their wilinesse?
For thy with shepheard sittes not
Or sleepe, as some doen, all the
But euer liggen in watch and ward,
From soddein force theyr flocks
for to gard.
Ah Diggon, thilke same rule were too
All the cold season to wach and
We bene of flesh, men as other bee,
Why should we be bound to such miseree?
thing lacketh chaungeable rest,
Mought needes decay, when it is
Ah but Hobbinol, all this long tale,
Nought easeth the care, that doth
What shall I doe? what way shall
My piteous plight and losse to amend?
Ah, good Hobbinol, mought I thee
Of ayde or counsell in my decaye.
Now by my soule Diggon, I lament
The haplesse mischief, that has
Nethelesse thou seest my lowly saile,
That froward fortune doth euer auaile.
But were Hobbinoll, as God mought
Diggon should soone find fauour
But if to my cotage thou wilt resort,
So as I can, I wil thee comfort:
There mayst thou ligge in a vetchy
Till fayrer Fortune shewe forth
Ah Hobbinol, God mought it thee requite.
Diggon on fewe such freends did
Inopem me copia
dialecte and phrase of speache in this Dialogue, seemeth somewhat to differ
from the comen. The cause whereof is supposed to be, by occasion of the
party herein meant, who being very freend to the Author hereof, had bene
long in forraine countreyes, and there seene many disorders, which he here
recounteth to Hobbinoll.
her) Bidde good morrow. For to bidde, is to praye, whereof commeth beades
for prayers, and so they say, To bidde his beades. .s. to saye his prayers.
quicklye, or sodenlye.
at mischiefe) an vnusuall speache, but much vsurped of Lidgate, and sometime
thre moones) nine monethes.
wearie or fainte.
nowe) He applieth it to the tyme of the yeare, which is in thend of haruest,
which they call the fall of the leafe: at which time the Westerne wynde
beareth most swaye.
mocke) imitating Horace, Debes ludibrium ventis.
there) here and there.
As the brighte) Translated
out of Mantuane.
for enterprise. Per Syncopen.
that) that is, their soules, which by popish Exorcismes & practises
they damme to hell.
ouergrowen with grasse.
grosse) the whole.
and bent) meeke and obedient.
king) K. Edgare, that reigned here in Brytanye in the yeare of our Lorde.
which king caused all the Wolues, whereof then was store in thys countrye,
by a proper policie to be destroyed. So as neuer since that time, there
haue ben Wolues here founde, vnlesse they were brought from other countryes.
And therefore Hobbinoll rebuketh him of vnthruth, for saying there be Wolues
in Christendome) This saying seemeth to be strange and vnreasonable: but
indeede it was wont to be an old prouerbe and comen phrase. The original
whereof was, for that most part of England in the reigne of king Ethelbert
was vnchristened, So that Kent was counted no part of [Christendome].
hunt) Executing of lawes and iustice.
or pert) openly sayth Chaucer.
The name of a shepehearde in Marot his Æglogue of Robin and the Kinge.
whome he here commendeth for great care and wise gouernance of his flock
cloute) Nowe I thinke no man doubteth but by Colin is euer meante the Authour
selfe. whose especiall good freend Hobbinoll sayth he is, or more rightly
Mayster Gabriel Haruey: of whose speciall commendation, aswell in Poetrye
as Rhetorike and other choyce learning, we haue lately had a sufficient
tryall in duerse his workes, but specially in his Musarum Lachrymae, and
his late Gratulationum Valdinensium which boke in the progresse at Audley
in Essex, he dedicated in writing to her Maiestie. afterward presenting
the same in print vnto her Highnesse at the worshipfull Maister Capells
in Hertfordshire. Beside other his sundrye most rare and very notable writings,
partely vnder vnknown Tytles, and partly vnder counterfayt names, as hys
Tyrannomastix, his Ode Natalitia, his Rameidos, and esspecially that parte
of Philomusus, his diuine Anticosmopolita, and diuers other of lyke importance.
As also by the names of other shepheardes, he couereth the persons of diuers
other his familiar freendes and best acquayntaunce.
This tale of
Roffy seemeth to coloure some particular Action of his. But what, I certeinlye
Weanell waste) a weaned youngling.
and shidder) He & she. Male and Female.
euer) Ouids verse translated. Quod caret alterna requie, durabile non est.
drawe or distresse.
of Pease strawe.
This is the saying
of Narcissus in Ouid. For when the foolish boye by beholding hys face in
the brooke, fell in loue with his owne likenesse: and not hable to content
him selfe with much looking thereon, he cryed out, that plentye made him
poore. meaning that much gazing had bereft him of sence. But our Diggon
vseth it to other purpose, as who that by tryall of many wayes had founde
the worst, and through great plentye was fallen into great penurie. This
posie I knowe, to haue bene much vsed of the author, and to suche like
effecte, as fyrste Narcissus spake it.
Go on to October.