Steele Glas. George Gascoigne
of The Steel Glas & The Complaynte of Philomene is based on
the first edition of 1576. It was transcribed by Risa S. Bear at the University of Oregon during the fall
of 1997. The text is provided to the public for nonprofit purposes
only; content unique to this edition is copyright © 1997 The
University of Oregon.
Dedicated to John
McCandless, Printer, in memoriam.
compiled by George
The Complainte of Phylomene.
Tam Marti, quàm Mercurio.
Printed for Richard Smith.
To the right
honorable his sin-
gular good Lord the Lord Gray of VVil-
ton Knight of the most honorable order of the Gar-
ter, George Gascoigne Esquire wisheth long life
with encrease of honour, according to
his great worthinesse.
Ight honorable, noble and my
good Lorde: if mine abilitie were any way correspondent too the
iust desires of my hart, I should yet
thinke al the same vnable to deserue
the least parte of your goodnesse:
in that you haue alwayes deygned
with chearefull looke to regarde me,
with affabylitie to heare me, with exceeding curtesy
to use me, with graue aduice to directe mee, with
apparant loue to care for me, and with assured assistance
to protect me. All which when I do remember, yet
it stirreth in me an exceeding zeale to deserue it: and
that zeale begetteth bashefull dreade too performe it.
The dread is ended in dolours, and yet those dolours
reviued the very same affection, whiche firste moued in
mee the desire to honour and esteme you. For whiles
I bewayle mine own vnworthynesse, and therewithal
do set before mine eyes the lost time of my youth
mispent, I seeme to see afarre of (for my comfort) the
high and triumphant vertue called Magnanimitie, accompanied
with industrious diligence. The first doth
encourage my faynting harte, and the seconde doth beginne
(already) to employ my vnderstanding, for
(ahlas my goode Lorde) were not the cordial of these
two pretious Spiceries, the corrosyue of care woulde
quickely confounde me.
I haue misgouerned my
youth, I confesse it: what
shall I do then? shall I yelde to mysery as a iust plague
apointed for my portion? Magnanimitie saith no,
and Industrye seemeth to be of the very same opinion.
I am derided, suspected,
accused, and condemned: yea more than that, I am rygorously reiected
proffer amendes for my harme. Should I therefore
dispayre? shall I yeelde vnto iellosie? or drowne my
dayes in idlenesse, bycause their beginning was bathed
in wantonnesse? Surely (my Lord) the Magnanimitie of
a noble minde will not suffer me, and the delightfulnesse
of dilygence doth vtterly forbydde me.
Shal I grudge to be
reproued for that which I haue
done in deede, when the sting of Emulation spared
not to touche the worthy Scipio with most vntrue
surmyses? Yea Themistocles when he had deliuered al
Greece from the huge host of Xerxes, was yet by his
vnkinde citizens of Athens expulsed from his owne,
and constrained to seeke fauour in the sight of his late
professed enemie. But the Magnanimitie of their
mindes was such, as neither could aduersytie ouercome
them, nor yet the iniurious dealing of other men coulde
kindle in their brestes any least sparke of desire, to
seeke any vnhonorable reuenge.
I haue loytred (my lorde)
I confesse, I haue lien
streaking me (like a lubber) when the sunne did shine,
and now I striue al in vaine to loade the carte when
it raineth. I regarded not my comelynes in the
Maymoone of my youth, and yet now I stand prinking me
in the glasse, when the crowes foote is growen vnder
mine eye. But what?
his youth very ryotously, and Plato
( by your leaue) in twenty of his youthful yeares, was
no lesse addicted to delight in amorous verse, than hee
was after in his age painful to write good precepts of
moral Phylosophy. VVhat shoulde I speake of Cato,
who was olde before he learned lattine letters, and yet
became one of the greatest Oratours of his time?
These examples are sufficient to proue that by
industrie and diligence any perfection may be attained,
and by true Maganimitie all aduersities are easye to
be endured. And to that ende (my verie good lorde)
I do here presume thus rudely to rehearse them.
For as I can be content to confesse the lightnesse
wherewith I haue bene (in times past) worthie to be
burdened, so would I be gladde, if nowe when I am
otherwise bent, my better endeuors might be accepted.
But (alas my lorde) I am not onely enforced stil to
carie on my shoulders the crosse of my carelesnesse,
but therewithall I am also put to the plonge, to
prouide newe weapons wherewith I maye defende
all heauy frownes, deepe suspects, and dangerous
detractions. And I finde my selfe so feeble, and so vnable
to endure that combat, as (were not the cordialles
before rehearsed) I should either cast downe mine
armoure and hide myselfe like a recreant, or else (of a
malicious stubbornesse) should busie my braines with
some Stratagem for to execute an enuious reuenge vpon
But neither wil
Magnanimitie suffer me to become
Vnhonest, nor yet can Industrie see me sinke in idlenesse.
For I haue learned in
sacred scriptures to heape
coles vppon the heade of mine enemie, by honest
dealing: and our saviour himselfe hath encoraged me,
saying that I shal lacke neither workes nor seruice,
although it were noone dayes before I came into the
These thinges I say (my
singular good lorde) do renewe in my troubled minde the same affection
first moved me to honor you, nothing doubting but that
your fauorable eyes will vouchsafe to beholde me as
I am, and neuer be so curious as to enquire what I
And in ful
hope therof, I
haue presumed to
present your honour with this Satye written without rime,
but I trust not without reason. And what soeuer it
bee, I do humbly dedicate it vnto your honorable
name, beseeching the same too accept it with as
gratious regarde, as you haue in times past bene
accustomed too beholde my trauailes. And (my good
Lorde) though the skorneful do mocke me for a time,
yet in the ende I hope to giue them al a rybbe of
roste for their paynes. And when the vertuous shall
perceiue indeede how I am occupied, then shall detraction be no lesse
ashamed to haue falsely accused
me, than light credence shal haue cause to repent his
rashe conceypt: and Grauitie the iudge shal not be
abashed to cancel the sentence vniustly pronounced in
my condemnation. In meane while I remaine amongst
my bookes here at my poore house in VValkamstowe,
where I praye daylie for speedy aduauncement,
and continuall prosperitie of your good Lordship.
VVritten the fiftenth
of April. 1576.
By your honours most
bownden and well assured
of the Author, and his
N rowsing verses of Mauors bloudie raingne,
The famous Greke, and Miro did excel.
Graue Sence did, surmounte for Tragike vaine,
Quicke Epigrams, Cutullus wrote as wel.
Archilochus, did for Iambickes passe,
For commicke verse, still Plautus peerlesse was.
and wanton loue writ laies,
Sance peere were Naso, and Tibullus deemde:
In Satyres sharpe (as men of mickle praise)
Lucilius, and Horace were esteemde.
Thus diuers men, with diuers vaines did write,
But Gascoigne doth, in euery vaine indite.
And what perfourmance
hee thereof doth make,
I list not vaunte, his workes for me shal say:
In praising him Timantes trade I take,
VVho (when he should, the woful cheare displaie,
Duke Agamemnon when he did waile,
His daughters death with teares of smal auaile:
Not skild to
countershape his morneful grace,
That men might deeme, what art coulde not supplie)
Deuisde with painted vaile, to shrowde his face.
Like sorte my pen shal Gascoignes praise discrie,
VVhich wanting grace, his graces to rehearse,
Doth shrowde and cloude them thus in silent verse.
Rawely of the Middle
Temple, in commendation of the Steele Glasse.
were the sauce, would please ech
kind of tast,
The life likewise, were pure that neuer swerued,
For spyteful tongs, in cankred stomackes plaste,
Deeme worst of things, which best (percase) deserued:
But what for that? this medcine may suffyse,
To scorne the rest, and seke to please the wise.
Though sundry mindes,
in sundry sorte do deeme,
Yet worthy wights, yelde prayse for euery payne,
But envious braynes, do nought (or light) esteme,
Such stately steppes, as they cannot attaine.
For who so reapes, renowne aboue the rest,
VVith heapes of hate, shal surely be opprest.
VVherefore to write, my
censure of this booke,
This Glasse of Steele, vnpartialy do shewe,
Abuses all, to such as in it looke,
From prince to poore, from high estate to lowe,
As for the verse, who lists like trade to trye,
I feare me much, shal hardly reache so high.
Bowyer in commen-
dation of this worke.
Rom layes of Loue, to Satyres sadde and sage,
Our Poet turnes, the trauaile of his time,
And as he pleasde, the vaine of youthful age,
VVith pleasant penne, employde in louing ryme:
So now he seekes, the grauest to delight,
VVith workes of worth, much better than they showe.
of Steele, (if
it be markt aright)
Discries the faults, as wel of high as lowe.
And Philomelaes fourefolde iust complaynte,
In sugred sounde, doth shrowde a solempne sence,
Gainst those whome lust, or murder doth attaynte.
Lo, this we see, is Gascoignes good pretence,
To please al sorts, with his praiseworthy skill.
Then yelde him thanks in signe of like good wil.
Author to the Reader.
O vaunt, were vaine: and flattrie were a faulte.
Tam Marti, quàm Mercurio.
But truth to tell, there is a sort of fame,
The which I seeke, by science to assault,
And so to leaue, remembrance of of my name.
The walles thereof are wondrous hard to clyme:
And much to high, for
ladders made of ryme.
Then since I see, that rimes can seldome reache,
Vnto the toppe, of such a stately Towre,
By reasons force, I meane to make some breache,
VVhich yet may helpe, my feeble fainting powre,
That so at last, my Muse might enter in,
And reason rule, that rime could neuer win.
Such battring tyre,
this pamphlet here bewraies,
In rymelesse verse, which thundreth mighty threates,
And where it findes, that vice the wal decayes,
Euen there (amaine) with sharpe rebukes it beates.
The worke (thinke I) deserues an honest name,
If not? I fayle, to win this sort of fame.
He Nightingale, (whose happy noble hart,
No dole can daunt, nor feareful force affright,
Whose chereful voice, doth comfort saddest wights,
When she hir self, hath little cause to sing.
Whom lovers loue, bicause she plaines their greues,
She wraies their woes, and yet relieues their payne,
Whom worthy mindes, alwayes esteemed much,
And grauest yeares, haue not disdainde hir notes:
(Only that king proud Tereus by his name
With murdring knife, did carue hir pleasant tong,
To couer so, his owne foule filthy fault)
This worthy bird, hath taught my weary Muze,
To sing a song, in spight of their despight,
Which worke my woe, withouten cause or crime,
And make my backe, a ladder for their feete,
By slaundrous steppes, and stayres of tickle talke,
To clyme the throne, wherein my selfe should sitte.
O Phylomene, then helpe me now to chaunt:
And if dead beastes, or liuing byrdes haue ghosts,
Which can conceiue the cause of carefull mone,
When wrong triumphes, and right is ouertrodde,
Then helpe me now, O byrd of gentle bloud,
In barrayne verse, to tell a frutefull tale,
A tale (I meane) which may content the mindes
of learned men, and graue Philosophers.
And you my Lord, (whose happe hath
Bene, louingly to reade my reckles rimes,
And yet haue deignde, with fauor to forget
The faults of youth, which past my hasty pen:
And therwithall, haue graciously vouchsafte,
To yeld the rest, much more than they deservde)
Vouchsafe (lo now) to reade and to peruse,
This rimles verse, which flowes from troubled mind.
Synce that the line, of that false caytife king,
(which rauished fayre Phylomene for lust,
And then cut out, hir trustie tong for hate)
Liues yet (my Lord) which words I weepe to write.
They liue, they liue, (alas the worse my lucke)
Whose greedy lust, vnbridles from their brest,
Hath raunged long about the world so wyde,
To finde a pray for their wide open mouthes,
And me they found, (O wofull tale to tell)
Whose harmelesse hart, perceivde not their deceipt.
But that my Lord, may playnely vnderstand,
The mysteries, of all that I do meane,
I am not he whom slaunderous tongues haue tolde,
(False tongues in dede, and craftie subtile braines)
To be the man, which ment a common spoyle
Of louing dames, whose eares wold heare my words
Or trust the tales deuised by my pen.
In' am a man, as some do thinke I am,
(Laugh not good Lord) I am in dede a dame,
Or at the least, a right Hermaphrodite:
And who desires, at large to know my name,
My birth, my line, and euery circumstance,
Lo reade it here, Playne dealyng was my Syre,
And he begat me by Simplycitie,
|Not ignorant symplicity but a
thought free from
Satyrical Poetrye may rightly be
called the daughter of
A paire of twinnes at one selfe burden borne,
My sistr' and I, into this world were sent,
My systers name, was pleasant Poesys,
And I my selfe had Satyra to name,
Whose happe was such, that in the prime of youth,
A lusty ladde, a stately man to see,
Brought vp in place, where pleasures did abound,
(I dare not say, in court for both myne eares)
Beganne to woo my sister, not for wealth,
But for hir face was louely to beholde,
And therewithall, hir speeche was pleasant stil.
This Nobles name, was called vayne Delight,
And in his trayne, he had a comely crewe
of guylefull wights: False semblant was the first,
The second man was, Flearing flattery,
|VVhere may be commonly found a
meeter vvoer for
plesant poetry, than vaine Delight? Such men do many tymes attend
vpon vaine delight.
Poetrie married to vaine Delight.
Brethren by like, or very neare of kin)
Then followed them, Detraction and Deceite.
Sym Swash did beare a buckler for the first,
False witnesse was the seconde stemly page
And thus wel armd, and in good equipage,
This Galant came, vnto my fathers courte,
And woed my sister, for she elder was,
And fayrer eke, but out of doubt (at least)
Hir pleasant speech surpassed mine somuch,
That vayne Delight, to hie adrest his sute.
Short tale to make, she gaue a free consent,
And forth she goeth, to be his wedded make,
Entyst percase, with glosse of gorgeous shewe,
(Or else perhappes, persuaded by his peeres,)
That constant loue had herbord in his brest,
Such errors growe where suche false Prophets preach.
How so it were, my Sister likte him wel,
And forth she goeth, in Court with him to dwel,
Where when she had some yeeres ysoiorned,
And saw the world, and marked eche mans minde,
A deepe Desire hir louing hart enflamde,
To see me sit by hir in seemely wise,
That companye might comfort hir sometimes,
And sound advice might ease hir wearie thoughtes:
And forth with speede, (euen at hir first request)
Doth vaine Delight, his hasty course direct,
To seeke me out his sayles are fully bent,
And winde was good, to bring me to the bowre,
Whereas she lay, that mourned dayes and nights
To see hir selfe, so matchte and so deceivde,
And when the wretch, (I cannot terme him bet)
Had me on seas ful farre from friendly help,
A sparke of lust, did kindle in his brest,
And bad him harke, to songs of Satyra.
I selly soule (which thought no body harme)
Gan cleere my throte, and straue to sing my best,
Which pleasde him so, and so enflamde his hart,
That he forgot my sister Poesys,
And rauisht me, to please his wanton minde.
|Satyrical Poetry is somtimes
rauished by vayne
False semblant and flatterie can
Not so content, when this foule fact was done,
(Yfraught with feare, least that I should disclose
His incest: and his doting darke desire)
He causde straight wayes, the formost of his crew
VVith his compeare, to trie me with their tongues:
And when their guiles, could not preuaile to winne
My simple mynde, from tracke of trustie truth,
Nor yet deceyt could bleare mine eyes through fraud,
Came Slander then, accusing me, and sayde,
That I entist Delyght, to loue and luste.
Thus was I caught, poore wretch that thought none il.
And furthermore, to cloke their own offence,
They clapt me fast, in cage of Myserie,
And there I dwelt, full many a doleful day,
Vntil this theef, this traytor vaine Delight,
Cut out my tong, with Raysor of Restraynte,
|The revvard of busy medling is
and compare this allegory to the story of Progne and Philomele.
Least I should wraye, this bloudy deede of his.
And thus (my Lord I liue a weary life,
Not as I seemd, a man sometimes of might,
But womanlike, whose teares must venge her harms.
And yet, euen as the mighty gods did daine
For Philomele, that thoughe her tong were cutte,
Yet should she sing a pleasant note sometimes:
So haue they deignd, by their deuine decrees,
That with the stumps of my reproued tong,
I may sometimes, Reprouers deedes reproue,
And sing a verse to make them see themselues.
Then thus I sing, this selly song by
Like Phylomene, since that the shining Sunne
Is how eclypt, which wont to lend me light.
And thus I sing, in corner closely cowcht
Like Philomene, since that the stately cowrts,
Are now no place, for such poore byrds as I.
And thus I sing, with pricke against my
Like Philomene, since that the priuy worme,
Which makes me see my reckles youth mispent,
May well suffise, to keepe me waking still.
And thus I sing, when pleasant spring
Like Philomene, since euery ianglyng byrd,
Which squeaketh loude, shall neuer triumph so,
As though my muze were mute and durst not sing.
And thus I sing, with harmlesse true
Like Philomene, when as percase (meane while)
The Cuckowe suckes mine eggs by foule deceit,
And lickes the sweet, which might haue fed me first.
And thus I meane, in mournfull wise to
A rare conceit, (God graunt it like my Lorde)
A trustie tune, from auncient clyffes conueyed,
A playne song note, which cannot warble well.
For whyles I mark this weak and wretched
Wherein I see, howe euery kind of man
Can flatter still and yet deceiues himselfe.
|Here the substance of the theame
I seeme to muse, from whence such errour springs,
Such grosse conceits, such mistes of darke mistake,
Such Surcuydry, such weening ouer well,
And yet in dede, such dealings too too badde.
And as I stretch my weary wittes, to weighe
The cause thereof, and whence it should proceede,
My battred braynes, (which now be shrewdly brusde,
With cannon shot, of much misgouernment)
Can spye no cause, but onely one conceite,
Which makes me thinke, the world goeth stil awry.
I see and sigh, (bycause it makes me
That peuishe pryde, doth al the world possesse,
And euery wight, will haue a looking glasse
To see himselfe, yet so he seeth him not:
Yea shal I say? a glasse of common glasse,
Which glistreth bright, and shewes a seemely shew,
Is not enough, the days are past and gon,
That Berral glasse, with foyles of louely brown,
Might serue to shew, a seemely fauord face.
That age is deade, and vanisht long ago,
which thought that steele, both trusty was and true,
And needed not, a foyle of contraries,
But shewde al things, euen as they were in deede.
In steade whereof, our curious yeares can finde
The christal glas, which glimseth braue and bright,
And shewes the thing, much better than it is,
Beguylde with Foyles, of sundry subtil sights,
So that they seeme, and couet not to be.
This is the cause (beleue me now my Lorde)
That Realmes do rewe, from high prosperity,
That kings decline, from princely gouernment,
That Lords do lacke, their auncestors good wil,
That knights consume, their patrimonie still,
That gentlemen, do make the merchant rise,
That plowmen begge, and craftesmen cannot thriue,
That clergie quayles, and hath smal reuerence,
That laymen liue, by mouing mischiefe stil,
That courtiers thriue, at latter Lammas day,
That officers, can scarce enrich their heyres,
That Souldiours sterue, or prech at Tiborne crosse,
That lawyers buye, and purchase deadly hate,
That merchants clyme, and fal againe as fast,
That roysters brag, aboue their betters rome,
That sicophants, are counted iolly guests,
That Lais leades a Ladies life alofte,
And Lucrece lurkes, with sobre bashful grace.
This is the cause (or else my Muze
That things are thought, which neuer yet were wrought,
And castels buylt, aboue in lofty skies,
Which neuer yet, had good foundation.
And that the same may seme no feined dreame,
But words of worth, and worthy to be wayed,
I haue presumde, my Lord for to present
With this poore glasse, which is of trustie Steele,
And came to me, by wil and testament
Of one that was, a Glassemaker in deede.
Lucylius, this worthy man was
|A famous old satyrical Poete.
Who at his death, bequeathd the christal glasse,
To such as loue, to seme but not to be,
And vnto those, that loue to see themselues,
How foule or fayre, soeuer that they are,
He gan bequeath, a glasse of trustie Steele,
Wherein they may be bolde alwayes to looke,
Bycause it shewes, all things in their degree.
And since myselfe (now pride of youth is past)
Do loue to be, and let al seeming passe,
Since I desire, to see my selfe in deed,
Not what I would, but what I am or should,
Therfore I like this trustie glasse of Steele.
Wherein I see, a frolike fauor frounst
|The aucthor himselfe.
Alexander magnus had but a smal
He vvhich vvil rebuke mens
faults, shal do vvel not
to forget hys ovvne imperfections
With foule abuse, of lawlesse lust in youth:
Wherein I see, a Sampsons grim regarde
Disgraced yet with Alexanders bearde:
Wherein I see, a corps of comely shape
(And such as might beseeme the courte full wel)
Is cast at heele, by courting al to soone:
Wherein I see, a quicke capacitye,
Berayde with blots of light Inconstancie:
An age suspect, bycause of youthes misdeedes.
A poets brayne, possest with layes of loue:
A Cæsars minde, and yet a Codrus might,
A Souldiours hart, supprest with feareful doomes:
A Philosopher, foolishly fordone.
And to be playne, I see my selfe so playne,
And yet so much vnlike that most I seemde,
As were it not, that Reason ruleth me,
I should in rage, this face of mine deface,
And cast this corps, downe headlong in dispaire,
Bycause it is, so farre vnlike it selfe.
And therwithal, to comfort me againe,
I see a world, of worthy gouernment,
A common welth, with policy so rulde,
As neither lawes are sold, nor iustice bought,
Nor riches sought, vnlesse it be by right.
No crueltie nor tyrannie can raigne,
No right reuenge, doth rayse rebellion,
No spoyles are tane, although the sword preuaile,
No ryot spends, the coyne of commonwelth,
No rulers hoard, the countries treasure vp,
No man growes riche, by subtilty nor sleight:
All people dreade, the magistrates decree,
And al men feare, the scourge of mighty Ioue.
Lo this (my lord) may wel deserue the name,
Of such a lande, as milke and hony flowes.
And this I see, within my glasse of Steel,
Set forth euen so, by Solon (worthy wight)
Who taught king Croesus, what it is to seme,
And what to be, by proofe of happie end.
The like Lycurgus, Lacedemon king,
Did set to shew, by viewe of this my glasse,
And left the same, a mirour to behold,
To euery prince, of his posterity.
But now (aye me) the glasing, christal
Doth make vs thinke, that realmes and townes are rych
VVhere fauor sways, the sentence of the law,
VVhere al is fishe, that cometh to the net,
VVhere mighty power, doth ouer rule the right,
VVhere iniuries, do foster secret grudge,
VVhere bloudy sword, maks euery booty prize,
VVhere banquetting, is compted comly cost,
VVhere officers grow rich by princes pens,
VVhere purchase commes, by couyn and deceit,
And no man dreads, but he that cannot shift,
Nor none serue God but only tongtide men.
Againe I see, within my glasse of Steele,
But foure estates, to serue eche country Soyle,
The King, the Knight, the Pesant, and the Priest.
The King should care for all the subiectes still,
The Knight should fight, for to defende the same,
The Peasant he, should labor for their ease,
And Priests shuld pray, for them and for themselues.
But out alas, such mists do bleare our
And christal glosse, doth glitter so therwith,
That Kings conceive, their care is wonderous great.
When as they beat, their busie restles braynes,
To maintaine pompe, and high triumphant sights,
To fede their fil, of daintie delicates,
To glad their harts, with sight of pleasant sports,
To fil their eares, with sound of instruments,
To breake with bit, the hot coragious horse,
To deck their haules, with sumpteous cloth of gold,
To cloth themselues, with silkes of straunge deuise,
To search the rocks, for pearles and pretious stones,
To delue the ground, for mines of glistering gold:
And neuer care, to maynteine peace and rest,
To yeld reliefe where needy lacke appears,
To stop one eare, vntil the poore man speake,
To seme to sleepe, when Iustice still doth wake,
To gard their lands, from sodaine sword and fier,
To feare the cries of giltles suckling babes,
Whose ghosts may cal for vengeance on their bloud,
And stirre the wrath, of mightie thundring Ioue.
I speake not this, by any english king,
Nor by our Queene, whose high forsight prouids,
That dyre debate, is fledde to foraine Realmes,
Whiles we inioy the golden fleece of peace.
But there to turne my tale, from whence it came,
In olden dayes, good kings and worthy dukes,
(Who sawe themselues, in glasse of trusty Steele)
Contented were, with pompes of little pryce,
And set their thoughtes, on regal gouernement.
An order was, when Rome did florish most,
That no man might triumph in stately wise,
|Veleri max. lib. i. cap. 3.
But such as had, with blowes of bloody blade
Fiue thousand foes in foughten field foredone.
Now he that likes, to loke in Christal glasse,
May see proud pomps, in high triumphant wise,
Where neuer blowe, was delt with enemie.
When Sergius, deuised first the
To pen vp fishe, within the swelling floud,
And so content his mouth with daintie fare,
Then followed fast, excesse on Princes bordes,
And euery dish, was chargde with new conceits,
To please the taste, of vncontented mindes.
But had he seene, the streine of straunge deuise,
Which Epicures, do now adayes inuent,
To yelde good smacke, vnto their daintie tongues:
Could he conceiue, how princes paunch is fillde
With secret cause, of sickenesse (oft) vnseene,
Whiles lust desires, much more than nature carues,
Then would he say, that al the Romane cost
Was common trash, compard to sundrie Sauce
Which princes vse, to pamper Appetite.
O Christal Glasse, thou settest things to
Which are (God knoweth) of little worth in dede.
Al eyes behold, with eagre deepe desire,
The Faulcon flye, the grehounde runne his course,
The bayted Bul, and Beare at stately stake,
These Enterluds, these newe Italian sportes,
And euery gaude, that glads the minde of man:
But fewe regard, their needy neighbours lacke,
And fewe beholde, by contemplation,
The ioyes of heauen ne yet the paines of hel.
Fewe loke to lawe, but al men gaze on lust.
A swete consent, of Musicks sacred sound,
Doth rayse our mindes, (as rapt) al vp on high,
But sweeter soundes, of concorde, peace, and loue,
Are out of tune, and iarre in euery stoppe.
To tosse and turne, the sturdie trampling
To bridle him, and make him meete to serue,
Deseruves (no doubt) great commendation.
But such as haue, their stables ful yfraught,
VVith pampred Iades, ought therwithal to wey,
VVhat great excesse, vpon them may be spent,
How many pore, (which nede nor brake nor bit)
Might therwith al, in godly wise be fedde,
And kings ought not, so many horse to haue.
The sumpteous house, declares the princes
But vaine excesse, bewrayes a princes faults.
Our bumbast hose, our treble double
Our sutes of Silke, our comely garded capes,
Our knit silke stockes, and spanish lether shoes,
(Yea veluet serues, ofttimes to trample in)
Our plumes, our spangs, and al our queint aray,
Are pricking spurres, prouoking filthy pride,
And snares, (vnseen) which leade a man to hel.
How liue the Mores, which spurne at
And scorne the costs, which we do holde so deare?
How? how but wel? and weare the precious pearle
Of peerlesse truth, amongst them published,
(VVhich we enjoy, and neuer wey the worth.)
They would not then, the same (like vs) despise,
VVhich (though they lacke) they liue in better wise
Than we, which holde, the worthles pearle so deare.
But glittring gold, which many yeares lay hidde,
Til gredy mindes, gan search the very guts
Of earth and clay, to finde out sundrie moulds
(As redde and white, which are by melting made
Bright gold and siluer, mettals of mischiefe)
Hath now enflamde, the noblest Princes harts
With foulest fire, of filthy Auarice,
And seldome, seene, that kings can be content
To kepe their bounds, which their forefathers left:
What causeth this, but greedy gold to get?
Euen gold, which is the very cause of warres,
The neast of strife, and nourice of debate,
The barre of heauen, and open way to hel.
But is this strange? when Lords, when
Knightes and Squires
(Which ought defende, the state of common welth)
Are not afrayd to couet like a king?
O blinde desire: oh high aspiring harts.
The country Squire, doth couet to be Knight,
The Knight a Lord, the Lord an Erle or a Duke.
The Duke a King, the King would Monarke be,
And none content, with that which is his own.
Yet none of these, can see in Christal glasse
(VVhich glistreth bright, and bleares their gasing eyes)
How euery life, beares with him his disease.
But in my glasse, which is of trustie steele,
I can perceiue, how kingdomes breede but care,
How Lordship liues, with lots of lesse delight,
(Though cappe and knee, do seeme a reuerence,
And courtlike life, is thought an other heauen)
Than common people finde in euery coast.
The Gentleman, which might in countrie
A plenteous boorde, and feed the fatherlesse,
VVith pig and goose, with mutton, beefe and veale,
(Yea now and then, a capon and a chicke)
VVil breake vp house, and dwel in market townes,
A loytring life, and like an Epicure.
But who (meane while) defends the common
VVho rules the flocke, when shepherds so are fled?
VVho stayes the staff, which shuld vphold the state?
Forsoth good Sir, the Lawyer leapeth in,
Nay rather leapes, both ouer hedge and ditch,
And rules the rost, but fewe men rule by right.
O Knights, O Squires, O Gentle blouds
You were not borne, al onely for your selues:
Your countrie claymes, some part of al your paines.
There should you liue, and therein should you toyle,
To hold vp right, and banish cruel wrong,
To helpe the pore, to bridle backe the riche,
To punish vice, and vertue to aduaunce,
To see God servde, and Belzebub supprest.
You should not trust, lieftenaunts in your rome,
And let them sway, the scepter of your charge,
VVhiles you (meane while) know scarcely what is don,
Nor yet can yeld, accompt if you were callde.
The stately lord, which woonted was to kepe
A court at home, is now come vp to courte,
And leaues the country for a common prey,
To pilling, polling, brybing, and deceit:
(Al which his presence might haue pacified,
Or else haue made offenders smel the smoke.)
And now the youth which might haue serued him,
In comely wise, with countrey clothes yclad,
And yet therby bin able to preferre
Vnto the prince, and there to seke aduance:
Is faine to sell, his landes for courtly cloutes,
Or else sits still, and liueth like a loute,
(Yet of these two, the last fault is the lesse:)
And so those imps which might in time haue sprong
Alofte (good lord) and servde to shielde the state,
Are either nipt, with such vntimely frosts,
or else growe crookt, bycause they be not proynd.
These be the Knights, which shold defend
And these be they, which leaue the land at large.
Yet here percase, it wilbe thought I roue
And runne astray, besides the kings high way,
Since by the Knights, of whom my text doth tell
(And such as shew, most perfect in my glasse)
Is ment no more, but worthy Souldiours
Whose skil in armes, and long experience
Should still vphold the pillers of the worlde.
Yes out of doubt, this noble name of Knight,
May comprehende, both Duke, Erle, lorde, Knight, Squire,
Yea gentlemen, and euery gentle borne.
But if you wil, constraine me for to
What souldiours are, or what they ought to be
(And I my selfe, of that profession)
I see a crew, which glister in my glasse,
The brauest bande, that euer yet was sene:
Behold behold, where Pompey commes before,
VVhere Manlius, and Marius insue,
Æmilius, and Curius I see,
Palamedes, and Fabius maximus,
And eke their mate, Epaminondas loe,
Protesilaus and Phocyan are not farre,
Pericles stands in rancke amongst the rest,
Aristomenes, may not be forgot,
Vnlesse the list, of good men be disgrast.
Behold (my lord) these souldiours can I
Within my glasse, within my true Steele glasse.
I see not one therein, which seekes to
A world of pence, by pinching of dead payes,
And so beguiles, the prince in time of nede,
When muster day, and foughten fielde are odde.
Since Pompey did, enrich the common heaps,
Soldiours more braue
And Paulus he, (Æmilius) surnamed)
Returnde to Rome, no richer than he went,
Although he had, so many lands subdued,
And brought such treasure, to the common chests,
That fourscore yeres, the state was (after) free
From grevous taske, and imposition.
Yea since againe, good Marcus Curius,
Thought sacriledge, himselfe for to aduaunce,
And see his souldiours, pore or liue in lacke.
I see not one, within this glasse of mine,
Whose fethers flaunt, and flicker in the winde,
As though he were, all onely to be markt,
When simple snakes, which go not halfe so gay,
Can leaue him yet a furlong in the field:
And when the pride, of all his peacockes plumes,
Is daunted downe, with dastard dreadfulnesse.
And yet in towne, he ietted euery streete,
As though the god of warres (euen Mars himself)
Might wel (by him) be liuely counterfayte,
Though much more like, the coward Constantine.
I see none such, (my Lorde) I see none such,
Since Phocion, which was in deede a Mars
And one which did, much more than he wold vaunt,
Contented was to be but homely clad.
And Marius, (whose constant hart could bide
The very vaines, of his forewearied legges
To be both cut, and carued from his corps)
Could neuer yet, contented be to spend,
One idle groate, in clothing nor in cates.
I see not one, (my Lord) I see not one
Which stands somuch, vpon his paynted sheath
(Bycause he hath, perchaunce at Bolleyn bene
And loytered, since then in idlenesse)
That he accompts, no Soldiour but himselfe,
Nor one that can, despise the learned brayne,
VVhich ioyneth reading with experience.
Since Palamedes, and Vlisses both,
|Soldiours vvho (for their ovvn long
service) do seeme to despise all other of latter time, and
especially such as are learned.
Soldiours ouer cruel vvithout and
VVhere much esteemed for their pollicies
Although they were not thought long trained men.
Epaminondas, eke was much esteemde
VVhose Eloquence, was such in all respects,
As gaue no place, vnto his manly hart.
And Fabius, surnamed Maximus,
Could ioyne such learning, with experience,
As made his name, more famous than the rest.
These bloudy beasts, apeare not in my
VVhich cannot rule, their sword in furious rage,
Nor haue respecte, to age nor yet to kinde:
But downe goeth al, where they get vpper hand.
VVhose greedy harts so hungrie are to spoyle,
That few regard, the very wrath of God,
VVhich greeued is, at cries of giltlesse bloud.
Pericles was, a famous man of warre,
And victor eke, in nine great foughten fields,
VVherof he was the general in charge.
Yet at his death he rather did reioyce
In clemencie, than bloudy victorie.
Be still (quoth he) you graue Athenians,
VVho whispered, and tolde his valiant facts)
You haue forgot, my greatest glorie got.
For yet (by me, nor mine occasion)
VVas neuer sene, a mourning garment worne.
O noble words, wel worthy golden writ.
Beleue me (Lord) a souldiour cannot haue
Too great regarde, whereon his knife should cut.
Ne yet the men, which wonder at their
and shewe their scarres to euery commer by,
Dare once be seene, within my glasse of Steele,
For so the faults, of Thraso and his trayne,
(Whom Terence told, to be but bragging brutes)
Might sone appeare, to euery skilful eye.
Bolde Manlius, could close and wel conuey
such as boast of their vvounds.
Drunken and lecherous soldiours.
Full thirtie wounds, (and three) upon his head,
Yet neuer made, nor bones nor bragges therof.
What should I speake, of durnken
Or lechers lewde, which fight for filthy lust?
Of whom that one, can sit and bybbe his fil,
Consume his coyne, (which might good corage yeld,
To such as march, and moue at his commaunde)
And makes himselfe, a worthy mocking stocke
Which might deserue, (by sobre life) great laude.
That other dotes, and driueth forth his dayes
In vaine delight, and foule concupiscence,
When works of weight, might occupie his hedde.
Yea therwithal, he puts his owne fonde heade
Vnder the belt, of such as should him serue,
And so becoms, example of much euil,
Which should haue servde, as lanterne of good life
And is controlde, whereas he should commaund.
Augustus Cæsar, he which might haue made
Both feasts and banquets brauely as the best,
Was yet content (in campe) with homely cates,
And seldome dranke his wine vnwatered.
Aristomenes, dayned to defende
His dames of prize, whom he in warres had won,
And rather chose, to die in their defence,
THen filthy men, should soyle their chastitie.
This was a wight, wel worthy fame and prayse.
O Captayns come, and Souldiours come
Behold my glasse, and you shall see therin,
Proud Crassus bagges, consumde by couetise,
Great Alexander, drounde in drunkennesse,
Cæsar and Pompey, split with priuy
Brennus beguild, with lightnesse of beliefe,
Cleômenes, by ryot not regarded,
Vespasian, disdayned for deceit,
Demetrius, light set by for his lust,
Whereby at last, he dyed in prison pent.
Hereto percase, some one man will alledge,
That Princes pence, are pursed vp so close,
And faires do fall so seldome in a yeare,
That when they come, prouision must be made
To fende the frost, in hardest winter nights.
Indeede I finde, within this glasse of
Iustinian, that proude vngrateful prince,
Which made to begge, bold Belisarius
His trustie man, which had so stoutly fought
in his defence, with evry enimy.
And Scypio, condemnes the Romaine rule,
Which suffred him (that had so truely serued)
To leade pore life at his (Lynternum) ferme,
VVhich did deserue, such worthy recompence.
Yea herewithal, most Souldiours of our time,
Beleeue for truth, that proude Iustinian
Did neuer die, without good store of heyres.
And Romanes race, cannot be rooted out,
Such yssewe springs, of such vnplesant budds,
But shal I say? this lesson learne of me,
VVhen drums are dumb, and sound not dub a dub,
Then be thou eke, as mewet as a mayde
(I preach this sermon but to souldiours)
And learne to liue, within thy bravries bounds.
|VVhat euery soldiour should be in
time of peace.
Let not the Mercers pul thee by the sleeue
For sutes of silke, when cloth may serue thy turne,
Let not thy scores, come robbe thy needy purse,
Make not the catchpol, rich by thine arrest.
Art thou a Gentle. liue with gentle
VVhich wil be glad, thy companie to haue,
If manhoode may, with manners well agree.
Art thou a seruing man? then serue againe,
And stint to steale as common soldiours do.
Art thou a craftsman? take thee to thine
And cast off slouth, which loytreth in the Campes.
Art thou a plowman pressed for a shift?
Then learne to clout, thine old cast cobled shoes,
And rather bide, at home with barly bread,
Than learne to spoyle, as thou has seene some do.
Of truth (my friendes, and my companions
Who lust by warres to gather lawful welth,
And so to get, a right renoumed name,
Must cast aside, al common trades of warre,
And learne to liue, as though he knew it not.
Well, thus my Knight hath held me al to
Bycause he bare, such compasse in my glasse.
High time were then, to turne my wery pen,
Vnto the Peasant comming next in place.
And here to write, the summe of my conceit,
I do not meane, alonely husbandmen,
Which till the ground, which dig, delve, mow and sowe,
Which swinke and sweate, whiles we do sleepe and snort
And serch the guts of earth, for greedy gain,
But he that labors any kind of way.
To gather gaines, and to enrich himselfe,
By King, by Knight, by holy helping Priests,
And al the rest, that liue in common welth,
(So that his gaines, by greedy guyles be got)
Him can I compt, a Peasant in his place.
All officers, all aduocates at lawe,
Al men of arte, which get goodes greedily,
Must be content, to take a Peasants rome.
A strange deuise, and sure my Lord wil
To see it so, desgested in degrees.
But which can, in office drudge, and droy,
And craue of al, (although euen now a dayes,
Most officers, commaund that shuld be cravde)
He that can share, from euery pention payde
A Peeter peny weying halfe a pounde,
He that can plucke, sir Bennet by the sleeue,
And finde a fee, in his pluralitie,
He that can winke, at any foule abuse,
As long as gaines, come trouling in therwith,
Shal such come see themselues in this my glasse?
Or shal they gaze, as godly good men do?
Yea let them come: but shal I tell you one thing?
How ere their gownes, be gathered in the backe,
With organe pipes, of old king Henries clampe,
How ere their cappes, be folded with a flappe,
How ere their beards, be clipped by the chinne,
How ere they ride, or mounted are on mules,
I compt them worse, than harmeles homely hinder,
Which toyle in dede, to serue our common vse.
Strange tale to tel: all officers be
And yet their one eye, sharpe as Linceus sight,
That one eye winks as though it were but blynd,
That other pries and peekes in euery place.
Come naked neede? and chance to do amisse?
He shal be sure, to drinke vpon the whippe.
But priuie gaine, (that bribing busie wretch)
Can finde the meanes, to creepe and cowch so low,
As officers, can neuer see him slyde,
Nor heare the trampling of his stealing steppes.
He comes (I thinke,) vpon the blinde side stil.
These things (my Lord) my glasse now sets
Whereas long since, all officers were seene
To be men made, out of another moulde.
Epamynond, of whome I spake before
(Which was long time, an officer in (Thebes)
And toylde in peace, as wel as fought in warre,
VVould neuer take, or bribe, or rich reward.
And thus he spake, to such as sought his helpe:
If it be good, (quoth he) that you desire,
Then wil I do, it for the vertues sake:
|There [be] to fevv such officers.
If it be badde, no bribe can me infecte.
If so it be, for this my common weale,
Then I am borne, and bound by duetie both
To see it done, withouten furder words.
But if it be, vnprofitable thing,
And might empaire, offende, or yeld anoy
Vnto the state, which I pretende to stay,
Then al the gold (quoth he) that growes on earth
Shal neuer tempt, my free consent thereto.
How many now, wil treade Zeleucus steps?
Or who can bide, Cambyses cruel dome?
Cruel? Ny iust, (yea softe and peace good sir)
For Iustice sleepes, and Troth is iested out.
O that al kings, would (Alexander like)
Hold euermore, one finger streight stretcht out,
To thrust in eyes, of all their master theeues.
But Brutus died, without
And Marcus Crassus had none issue male,
Cicero slipt, vnsene out of this world,
With many mo, which pleaded romaine pleas,
And were content, to vse their eloquence,
In maintenance, of matters that were good.
Demosthenes, in Athens vsde his arte,
(Not for to heape, himselfe great hourds of gold,
But) stil to stay, the towne from deepe deceite
Of Philips wyles, which had besieged it.
Where shal we reade, that any of these foure
Did euer pleade, as carelesse of the trial?
Or who can say, they builded sumpteously?
Or wroong the weake, out of his own by wyles?
They were (I trowe) of noble houses borne,
And yet content, to vse their best deuoire,
In furdering, eche honest harmelesse cause.
They did not rowte (like rude vnringed swine,)
To roote nobilitie from heritage.
They stoode content, with gaine of glorious fame,
(Bycause they had, respect to equitie)
To leade a life, like true Philosophers.
Of all the bristle bearded Aduocates
That euer lovde their fees aboue the cause,
I cannot see, (scarce one) that is so bolde
To shewe his face, and fayned Phisnomie
In this my glasse: but if he do (my Lorde)
He shewes himselfe, to be by very kinde
A man which meanes, at euery time and tide,
To do smal right, but sure to take no wrong.
And master Merchant, he whose travaile
Commodiously, to doe his countrie good,
And by his toyle, the same for to enriche,
Can finde the meane, to make Monopolyes
Of euery ware, that is accompted strange.
And feeds the vaine, of courtiers vaine desires
Vntil the court, haue courtiers cast at heele,
Quia non habent vestes Nuptiales.
O painted fooles, whose harebrainde heads
More clothes attones, than might become a king:
For whom the rocks, in forain Realmes must spin,
For whom they carde, for whom they weaue their webbes
For whom no wool, appeareth fine enough,
(I speake not this by english courtiers
Since english wool, was euer thought most worth)
For whom al seas, are tossed to and fro,
For whom these purples come from Persia,
The crimosine, and liuely red from Inde:
For whom soft silks, do sayle frome Sericane,
And all queint costs, do come from fardest coasts:
Whiles in meane while, that worthy Emperour,
Which rulde the world, and had all welth at wil,
Could be content, to tire his wearie wife,
His daughters and, his neipces euerychone,
To spin and worke the clothes that he shuld weare,
And neuer carde, for silks of sumpteous cost,
For cloth of gold, or tinsel figurie,
For Baudkin, broydrie, cutworks, nor conceits.
He set the shippes, of merchantmen on worke,
VVith bringing home, oyle, graine, and savrie salt
And such like wares, as serued common vse.
Yea for my life, those merchants were not
To lend their wares, at reasonable rate,
(To gaine no more, but Cento por cento,)
To teach yong men, the trade to sel browne paper,
Yea Morrice bells, and byllets too sometimes,
To make their coyne, a net to catch yong frye.
To binde suche babes, in father Derbies bands,
To stay their steps, by statute Staples staffe,
To rule yong roysters, with Recognisance,
To read Arithmeticke once euery day,
In VVoodstreat, Bredstreat, and in Pultery
(VVhere such schoolmaisters keepe thier counting house)
To fede on bones, when flesh and fell is gon,
To keepe their byrds, ful close in caytiues cage,
(Who being brought, to libertie at large,
Might sing perchaunce, abroade, when sunne doth shine
Of their mishaps, and how their fethers fel)
Vntill the canker may their corpse consume.
These knackes (my lord) I cannot cal to
Bycause they shewe not in my glasse of steele.
But holla: here, I see a wondrous sight,
I see a swarme, of Saints within my glasse:
Beholde, behold, I see a swarme in deede
Of holy Saints, which walke in comely wise,
Not deckt in robes, nor garnished with gold,
But some Vnshod, yea some ful thinly clothde,
And yet they sem, so heauenly for to see,
As if their eyes, were al of Diamonds,
Their face of Rubies, Saphires, and Iacincts,
Their comly beards, and heare, of siluer wiers.
And to be short, they seeme Angelycall.
What should they be, (my Lord) what should they be?
O gratious God, I see now what they be.
These be my priests, which pray for evry state,
These be my priests, deuorced from the world,
And wedded yet, to heauen and holynesse,
Which are not proude, nor couet to be riche.
Which go not gay, nor fede on daintie foode,
VVhich enuie not, nor knowe what malice meanes,
Which loth all lust, disdayning drunkenesse,
Which cannot faine, which hate hypocrisie.
Which neuer sawe, Sir Simonies deceits.
Which preach of peace, which carpe contentions,
Which loyter not, but labour al the yeare,
Which thunder threts, of gods most greuous wrath,
And yet do teach, that mercie is in store.
Lo these (my Lord) be my good praying
Descended from, Melchysedec by line
Cosens to Paule, to Peter, Iames, and Iohn,
These be my priests, the seasning of the earth
VVhich wil not leese, their Savrinesse, I trowe.
Not one of these (for twentie hundred
VVil teach the text, that byddes him take a wife,
And yet be combred with a concubine.
Not one of these, wil reade the holy write
Which doth forbid, all greedy vsurie,
And yet receiue, a shilling for a pounde.
Not one of these, wil preach of patience,
And yet be found, as angry as a waspe,
Not one of these, can be content to sit
In Tauerns, Innes, or Alehouses all day,
But spends his time, devoutly at his booke.
Not one of these, will rayle at rulers
And yet be blotted, with extortion.
Not one of these, will paint out worldly
And he himselfe, as gallaunt as he dare.
Not one of these, rebuketh auarice,
And yet procureth, proude pluralities.
Not one of these, reproueth vanitie
(Whiles he himselfe, with hauke vpon his fist
And houndes at heele,)doth quite forget his text.
Not one of these, corrects contentions,
For trifling things: and yet will sue for tythes.
Not one of these (not one of these my
Wil be ashamde, to do euen as he teacheth.
My priests haue learnt, to pray vnto the
And yet they trust not in their lyplabour.
My priests can fast, and vse al
From vice and sinne, and yet refuse no meats.
My priests can giue, in charitable wise,
And loue also, to do good almes dedes,
Although they trust, not in their owne deserts.
My priests can place, all penaunce in the
VVithout regard, of outward ceremonies.
My priests can keepe, their temples
And yet defie, all Superstition.
Lo now my Lorde, what thinke you by my
Although they were, the last that shewed themselues,
I saide at first, their office was to pray,
And since the time, is such euen now a dayes,
as hath great nede, of prayers truely prayde,
Come forth my priests, and I wil bydde your beades
I wil presume, (although I be no priest)
To bidde you pray, as Paule and Peter prayde.
Then pray my priests, yea pray to god
that he vouchsafe, (euen for his Christes sake)
To giue his word, free passage here on earth,
And that his church (which now is Militant)
|The poetes Beades.
May soone be sene, triumphant ouer all,
And that he deigne, to ende this wicked world,
VVhich walloweth stil, in Sinks of filthy sinne.
Eke pray my priests, for Princes and for
Emperours, Monarks, Duks, and all estates,
VVhich sway the sworde, of royal gouernment,
(of whom our Queene, which liues without compare
Must be the chiefe, in bydding of my beades,
Else I deserue, to lese both beades, and bones)
That God giue light, vnto their noble mindes,
To maintaine truth, and therwith stil to wey
That here they reigne, not onely for themselues,
And that they be but slaues to common welth,
Since al their toyles, and all their broken sleeps
Shal scant suffize, to hold it stil vpright.
Tell some (in Spaine) how close
they kepe their closets,
How selde the winde, doth blow vpon their cheeks,
While as (mene while) their sunburnt sutours sterue
And pine before, their processe be preferrde.
Then pray (my priests) that god wil giue his grace,
To such a prince, his fault in time to mende.
Tel some (in France) how much
they loue to dance,
VVhile sutours daunce, attendaunce at the door.
Yet pray (my priests) for prayers princes mende.
Tel some (in Portugale,) how
colde they be,
In setting forth, of right religion:
Which more esteme, the present pleasures here,
Then stablishing, of God his holy worde.
And pray (my priests) least god such princes spit,
And vomit them, out of his angrie mouth.
Tel some (Italian) princes, how
At stinking stewes, and say they are (forsooth)
A remedy, to quench foule filthy luste:
When as (in dede they be the sinkes of sinne.
And pray (my priests) that God wil not impute
Such wilful facts, vnto such princes charge,
When he himselfe, commaundeth euery man
To do none ill, that good may grow therby.
And pray likewise, for all that rulers be
By kings commaundes, as their lieftenants here,
|For al nobilite and counselors.
Al magistrates, al councellours, and all
That sit in office or Authoritie.
Pray, pray, (my priest) that neither loue nor mede
Do sway their minds, from furdering of right,
That they be not, too faintish nor too sowre,
But beare the bridle, euenly betwene both,
That stil they stoppe, one eare to heare him speake,
Which is accused, absent as he is:
That euermore, they mark what moode doth moue
The mouth which makes, the information,
The faults forpaste (so that they be not huge,
Nor do exceed, the bonds of loyaltie)
Doo neuer quench, their charitable minde,
When as they see, repentence hold the reines
Of heady youth, which wont to runne astray.
That malice make, no mansion in their minds,
Nor enuy frete, to see how vertue clymes.
The greater Birth, the greater glory sure,
If deeds mainteine, their auncestors degree.
Eke pray (my Priests) for them and for yourselues,
For Bishops, Prelats, Archdeanes, deanes, and Priests
And al that preach, or otherwise professe
Gods holy word, and take the cure of soules.
Pray pray thay you, and euery one of you,
Make walke vpright, in your vocation.
And that you shine like lamps of perfect life,
To lende a light, and lanterne to our feete.
Say therwithal, that some, (Isee them I
VVheras they fling, in Flaunders all afarre,
For why my glasse, wil shew them as they be)
Do neither care, for God nor yet for deuill,
So libertie, may launch about at large.
And some again (I see them wel enough
And note their names, in Liegelande where they lurke)
Vnder pretence, of holy humble harts
Would plucke adowne, al princely Dyademe.
Pray, pray (my priests for these, they touch you neere.
Shrinke not to say, that some do
Esteme their pall, and habyte ouermuche.
And therfore pray (my priests) lest pride preuaile.
Pray that the soules, of sundrie damned
Do not come in, and bring good euidence
Before the God, which iudgeth all mens thoughts,
Of some whose welth, made them neglect their charge
Til secret sinnes (vntoucht) infecte their flocks
And bredde a scab, which brought the shep to bane.
Some other ranne, before the greesy
And left the folde, vnfended from the fox
Which durst not bake, nor bawle for both theyr eares.
Then pray (my priests) that such no more do so.
Pray for the nources, of our noble Realme,
I meane the worthy Vniversities,
(And Cantabridge, shal haue the dignitie,
Wherof I was, vnworthy member once)
That they bring vp their babes in decent wise:
That Philosophy, smel no secret smoke,
Which Magike makes, in wicked mysteries:
That Logike leape, not ouer euery stile,
Before he come, a furlong neare the hedge,
With curious Quids, to maintain argument.
That Sophistrie, do not deceiue it selfe,
That Cosmography keepe his compasse wel,
And such as be, Historiographers,
Trust not to much, in euery tatyling tong,
Nor blynded be, by partialitie.
That Phisicke, thriue not ouer fast by murder:
That Numbring men, in all their euens and odds
Do not forget, that only Vnitie
Vnmeasurable, infinite, and one.
That Geometrie, measure not so long,
Til all their measures out of measure be:
That Musike with, his heauenly harmonie,
Do not allure, a heauenly minde from heauen,
Nor set mens thoughts, in worldly melodie,
Til heauenly Hierarchies be quite forgot:
That Rhetorick, learne not to ouerreache:
That Poetrie, presume not for to preache,
And bite mens faults, with Satyres corosiues,
Yet pamper vp hir owne with pultesses:
Or that she dote not vppon Erato,
Which should inuoke the good Caliope:
That Astrologie, looke not ouer high,
And light (meane while) in euery pudled pit:
That Grammer grudge not at our english tong,
Bycause it stands by Monosyllaba,
And cannot be declined as others are.
Pray thus (my priests for vniuersities.
And if I haue forgotten any Arte,
Which hath bene taught, or exercised there,
Pray you to god, the good be not abusde,
With glorious shewe, of ouerloding skill.
Now these be past, (my priests) yet shal you pray
For common people, eche in his degree,
That God vouchsafe to graunt them al his grace.
Where should I now beginne to bidde my beades?
Or who shal first be put in common place?
My wittes be wearie, and my eyes are dymme,
I cannot see who best deseues the roome,
Stand forth good Peerce, thou plowman by thy name,
Yet so the Sayler saith I do him wrong:
That one contends, his paines are without peare,
That other saith, that none be like to his,
In dede they labour both exceedingly.
But since I see no shipman that can liue
Without the plough, and yet I many see
(Which liue by lande) that neuer sawe the seas:
Therefore I say, stand forth Peerce plowman first,
Thou winst the roome, by verie worthinesse.
Behold him (priests) and
though he stink of sweat
Disdaine him not: for shal I tel you what?
Such clime to heauen, before the shauen crownes.
But how? forsooth, with true humilytie.
Not that they hoord, their grain when it is cheape,
Nor that they kill, the calfe to haue the milke,
Nor that they set, debate betwene their lords,
By earing vp the balks, that part their bounds:
Nor for because, they both crowche and creep
(The guilefulst men, that euer God yet made)
VVhen as they meane, most mischiefe and deceite,
Nor that they can, crie out on landelordes lowde,
And say they racke, their rents an ace to high,
VVhen they themselues, do sel their landlords lambe
For greater price, than ewe was wont be worth.
I see you Peerce, my glasse was lately scowrde.
But for they feed, with frutes of their gret paines,
Both King and Knight, and priests in cloyster pent:
Therefore I say, that sooner some of them
Shal scale the walles which leade vs vp to heauen,
Than cornfed beasts, whose bellie is their God,
Although they preach, of more perfecion.
And yet (my priests) pray you
to God for Peerce,
As Peerce can pinch, it out for him and you.
And if you haue a Paternoster spare
Then shal you pray, for Saylers (God them send
More mind of him, when as they come to lande,
For toward shipwracke, many men can pray)
That they once learne, to speake without a lye,
And meane good faith, without blaspheming othes:
That they forget, to steale from euery fraight,
And for to forge, false cockets, free to passe,
That manners make, them giue their betters place,
And vse good words, though deeds be nothing gay.
But here me thinks, my priest
begin to frowne,
And say, that thus they shal be ouerchargde,
To pray for al, which seme to do amisse:
And one I heare, more saucie than the rest,
VVhich asketh me, when shal our prayers end?
I tel thee (priest) when shoomakers make shoes,
That are wel sowed, with neuer a stich amisse,
A[n]d vse no crafte, in vttring of the fame:
VVhen Taylours steale, no stuffe from gentlemen,
VVhen Tanners are, with Corriers wel agreede,
And both so dresse their hydes, that we go dry.
when Cutlers leaue, to sel olde rustie blades,
And hide no crackes, with soder nor deceit:
when tinkers make, no more holes than they founde,
when thatchers thinke, their wages worth their worke,
when colliers put, no dust into their sacks,
when maltemen make, vs drink no firmentie,
when Dauie Diker diggs, and dallies not,
when smithes shoo horses, as they would be shod,
when millers, toll not with a golden thumbe,
when bakers make, not barme beare price of wheat,
when brewers put, no bagage in their beere,
when butchers blowe, not ouer al their fleshe,
when horsecorsers, beguile no friends with Iades,
when weauers weight, is found in huswives web.
(but why dwel I, so long among these lowts?)
VVhen mercers make, more bones to swere
VVhen vintners mix, no water with their wine,
VVhen printers passe, none errours in their bookes,
VVhen hatters vse, to bye none old cast robes,
VVhen goldsmithes get, no gains by sodred crownes,
When vpholsters, sel fethers without dust,
When pewterers, infect no Tim with leade,
When drapers draw, no gaines by giuing day,
When perchmentiers, put in no ferret Silke,
When Surgeons heale, al wounds without delay.
(Tush these are toys, but yet my glass sheweth al.)
When purveyours, prouide not for
VVhen Takers, take no brybes, nor vse no brags,
When customers, conceale no covine usde,
VVhen Searchers see, al corners in a shippe,
(And spie no pens by any sight they see)
VVhen shriues do serue, al processe as they ought,
VVhen baylifes strain, none other thing but strays,
VVhen auditours, their counters cannot change,
VVhen proude surueyours, take no parting pens,
VVhen Siluer sticks not on the Tellers fingers,
And when receiuers, pay as they receiue,
When al these folke, haue quite forgotten fraude.
(Againe (my priests) a little by your
VVhen Sicophants, can finde no place in courte,
But are espied, for Ecchoes, as they are,
When roysters ruffle not aboue their rule,
Nor colour crafte, by swearing precious coles:
When Fencers fees, are like to apes rewards,
A peece of breade, and therwithal a bobbe
VVhen Lays liues, not like a ladies peare,
Nor vseth art, in dying of hir heare.
When al these things, are ordred as they ought,
A[n]d see themselues, within my glasse of steele,
Euen then (my priests) may you make holyday,
And pray no more but ordinarie prayers.
And yet therin, I pray you
(my good priests)
Pray stil for me, and for my Glasse of steele
That it (nor I) do any minde offend,
Bycause we shew, all colours in their kinde.
And pray for me, that (since my hap is such
To see men so) I may perceiue myselfe.
O worthy words, to ende my worthlesse verse,
Pray for me Priests, I pray you pray for me.
Tam Marti, quàm Mercurio.
(my lord) my hast was al to hote,
I shut my glasse, before you gasde your fill,
And at a glimse, my seely selfe haue spied,
A stranger trowpe, than any yet were sene:
Beholde (my lorde) what monster muster here,
With angels face, and harmefull helish harts,
With smyling lookes, and depe deceitful thoughts,
With tender skinnes, and stony cruel mindes,
With stealing steppes, yet forward feete to fraude.
Behold, behold, they neuer stande content,
With God, with kinde, with any helpe of Arte,
But curle their locks, with bodkins and with braids,
But dye their heare, with sundry subtill sleights,
But paint and slicke, til fayrest face be foule,
But bumbast, bolster, frisle, and perfume:
They marre with muske, the balme which nature made,
And dig for death, in dellicatest dishes.
The yonger sorte, come pyping on apace,
In whistles made of fine enticing wood,
Til they haue caught the birds for whom they bryded.
The elder sorte, go stately stalking on,
And on their backs, they beare both land and see,
Castles and Towres, revenewes and receits,
Lordships, and manours, fines, yea fermes and al.
What should these be? (speake you my louely lord)
They be not men: for why? they haue no beards.
They be no boyes, which weare such side long gowns.
They be no Gods, for al their gallant glosse.
They be no diuels, (I trow) which seme so saintish.
What be they? women? masking in mens weedes?
With dutchkin dublets, and with Ierkins iaggde?
With Spanish spangs, and ruffes set out of France?
With high copt hattes, and fethers flaunt a flaunt?
They be so sure euen VVo to Men in dede.
Nay then (my lorde) let shut the glasse apace,
High time it were, for my pore Muse to winke,
Since al the hands, al paper, pen, and inke,
Which euer yet, this wretched world possest,
Cannot describe, this Sex in colours dewe,
No no (my Lorde) we gased haue inough,
(and I too much, God pardon me therfore)
Better loke of, than loke an ace to farre:
And better mumme, than meddle ouermuch.
But if my Glasse, do like my louely lorde,
VVe wil espie, some sunny Sommers day,
To loke againe, and see some semely sights.
Meane while, my Muse, right humbly doth besech,
That my good lorde, accept this ventrous verse,
Vntil my braines, may better stuffe deuise.
Tam Marti, quàm Mercurio.
An Elegye Compyled by
Tam Marti, quàm Mercurio.
I M P R I N T E D
London by Henrie Binne-
man for Richarde
Anno Domini 1576.
the right honorable, my
singuler good Lord, the L. Gray
Wilton, knight of the most noble
order of the Garter.
Yght noble, when I had
determined with myself to write the Satire before recited
(called the Steele Glasse)
and had in myne Exordium (by allegorie) compared my case to
of fayre Phylomene, abused by the
bloudy king hir brother by lawe: I
called to minde that twelue or
thirtene yeares past, I had begonne an Elegye or sorrowefull
song, called the Complainte of Phylomene, the
which I began too deuise riding by the high way betwene
Chelmisford and London, and being ouertaken
with a sodaine dash of Raine, I changed my copy,
and stroke ouer into the Deprofundis which is placed
amongst my other Poesies, leuing the complaint of Phylomene
vnfinished: and so it hath continued euer
Since vntil this present moneth of April. 1575. when
I begonne my Steele Glasse. And bycause I haue in
mine Exordium to the Steele Glasse, begonne with the
Nightingales notes: therfore I haue not thought
amisse now to finish and pece vp the saide Complaint
of Philomene, obseruing neuerthelesse the same determinate
inuention which I had propounded and begonne (as is saide) twelue
yeares nowe past. The
which I presume with the rest to present vnto your
honor, nothing doubting but the same wil accept my
good entente therin. And I furder beseche that
your lordship wil voutsafe in reading therof, to gesse
(by change of style) where the renewing of the verse
may bee most apparantly thought to begin. I wil no
furder trouble your honor with these rude lines, but
besech of the almightie long to preserue you to his
pleasure. From my pore house in VValkamstowe the
sixtenth of April 1575.
L. bounden and most assured
N sweet April, the messenger to May,
When hoonie drops, do melt in golden showres,
When euery byrde, records hir louers lay,
And westerne windes, do foster forth our floures,
Late in an euen, I walked out alone,
To heare the descant of the Nightingale,
And as I stoode, I heard hir make great moane,
Waymenting much, And thus she tolde hir tale.
thriftles birds (quoth she) which spend the day,
Are costly kept, and finely fedde alway
With daintie foode, whereof they feede their fil.
But I which spend, the darke and dreadful night,
In watch and ward, when those birds take their rest,
Forpine my selfe, that Louers might delight,
To heare the notes, which breake out of my breste.
I leade a life, to please the Louers minde,
(And though god wot, my foode be light of charge,
Yet seely soule, that can no fauour finde)
I begge my breade, and seke for seedes at large.
The Throstle she, which makes the wood to ring
With shryching lowde, that lothsome is to heare,
Is costly kept, in cage: (O wondrous thing
The Mauis eke, whose notes are nothing cleare,
Now in good sooth (quoth she) sometimes I wepe
To see Tom Tyttimouse, so much set by.
The Finche, which singeth neuer a note but peepe,
Is fedde aswel, nay better farre than I.
The Lennet and the Larke, they singe alofte,
And coumpted are, as Lordes in high degree.
The Brandlet saith, for singing sweete and softe,
(In hir conceit) there is none such as she.
byrds, come in to
beare the bell,
And Goldfinches, do hope to get the gole:
The tatling Awbe doth please some fancie wel,
And some like best, the byrde as Black as cole.
And yet could I, if so it were my minde,
For harmony, set al these babes to schole,
And sing such notes, as might in euery kinde
Disgrace them quight, and make their corage coole
But should I so? non no wil I not.
Let brutish beasts, heare such brute birds as those.
(for like to like, the prouerbe saith I wot)
And should I then, my cunning skil disclose?
For such vnkinde, as let the cuckowe flye,
To sucke mine egges, whiles I sit in the thicke?
And rather praise, the chattring of a pye,
Than hir that sings, with brest against a pricke?
Nay let them go, to marke the cuckowes talke,
The iangling Iay, for that becomes them wel.
And I the silent night then let them walke,
To heare the Owle, how she doth shryche and yel.
And from henceforth, I wil no more constraine
My pleasant voice, to sounde, at their request.
But shrowd my selfe, in darkesome night and raine,
And learne to cowche, ful close vpon my neast.
Yet if I chaunce, at any time (percase)
To sing a note, or twaine for my disporte,
It shalbe done, in some such secret place,
That fewe or none, may thervnto resorte.
These flatterers, (in loue) which falshood meane,
Not once aproch, to heare my pleasant song.
But such as true, and stedfast louers bene,
Let them come neare, for else they do me wrong.
And as I gesse, not many miles from hence,
There stands a squire, with pangs of sorrow prest,
For whom I dare, auowe (in his defence)
He is as true, (in Loue) as is the best.
Him wil I
cheare, with chaunting al this night:
And with that word, she gan to cleare hir throate.
Yet never hearde I such another note.
It was (thought me) so pleasant and so plaine,
Orphæus harpe, was neuer halfe so sweete,
Tereu, Tereu, and thus she gan to plaine,
Most piteously, which made my hart to greeue,
second note, was fy, fy, fy, fy, fy,
And that she did, in pleasant wise repeate,
With sweete reports, of heauenly harmonie,
But yet it seemd, hir gripes of griefe were greate.
For when she had, so soong and taken breath,
Then should you heare, hir heauy hart so throbbe,
As though it had bene, ouercome with death,
And yet alwayes, in euery sigh and sobbe,
She shewed great skil, for tunes of vnisone,
Hir Iug, Iug, Iug, (in griefe) had such a grace.
Then stinted she, as if hir song were done.
And ere that past, not ful a furlong space,
She gan againe, in melodie to melt,
And many a note, she warbled wondrous wel.
Yet can I not (although my hart should swelt)
Remember al, which hir sweet tong did tel.
But one strange note,
I noted with the rest
And that saide thus: Nêmesis, Nêmesis,
The which me thought, came bldly from hir brest,
As though she blamde, (therby) some thing amisse.
Short tale to make,
hir singing sounded so,
And pleasde mine eares, with such varietie,
That (quite forgetting all the wearie wo,
Which I my selfe felt in my fantasie)
I stoode astoynde, and yet therwith content,
Wishing in hart that (since I might aduant,
Of al hir speech to knowe the plaine entent,
Which grace hirselfe, or else the Gods did graunt)
I might therwith, one furder fauor craue,
To vnderstand, what hir swete notes might meane.
And in that thought, (my whole desire to haue)
I fell on sleepe, as I on staffe did leane.
And in my slomber, had I such a sight,
As yet to thinke theron doth glad my minde.
Me thought I sawe a derling of delight,
A stately Nimph, a dame of heauenly kinde.
Whose glittring gite, so glimsed in mine eyes,
As (yet) I not, what proper hew it bare,
Ne therewithal, my wits can wel deuise,
To whom I might hir louely lookes compare.
But trueth to tel, (for al hir smyling cheere)
She cast sometimes, a grieuous frowning glance,
As who would say: by this it may appeare,
That Iust reuenge, is Prest for euery chance,
In hir right hand, (which to and fro did shake)
She bare a skourge, with many a knottie string,
And in hir left, a snaffle Bit or brake,
Bebost with gold, and many a gingling ring:
She came apace, and stately did she stay,
And whiles I seemd, amazed very much,
The courteous dame, these words to me did say:
Sir Squire (quoth she) since thy desire is such,
To vnderstande, the notes of Phylomene,
(For so she hight, whom thou calst Nightingale)
And what the sounde, of euery note might meane,
Giue eare a while, and hearken to my tale.
The Gods are good,
they heare the harty prayers,
Of such as craue without a craftie wil,
With fauour eke, they furder such affaires
As tende to good, and meane to do none il.
And since thy words, were grounded on desire,
Wherby much good, and little harm can growe,
They graunted haue, the thing thou didst require,
And louingly, haue sent me here bylowe,
To paraphrase, the piteous pleasant notes,
Which Phylomene, doth darkely spend in spring,
For he that wel, Dan Nasoes verses notes,
Shall finde my words to be no fained thing.
Giue eare (sir Squire quith she) and I wil, tel
Both what she was, and how hir fortunes fel.
fable of Philomela.
N Athens reignde somtimes,
A king of worthy fame,
VVho kept in courte a stately traine,
Pandyon was his name.
And had the Gods
No holly breade of happe,
(I meane such fruts as make men thinke
They sit in fortunes lappe).
Then had his golden
Lyen dead with him in toombe.
Ne but himselfe had none endurde,
The daunger of his doome.
But smyling lucke,
This peerelesse Prince to thinke,
That poyson cannot be conueyde
In draughts of pleasant drinke.
And kinde became so
That he two daughters had,
Of bewtie such and so wel giuen,
As made their father glad.
See: see: how
Do lurke in ripest Ioyes,
How couertly doth sorow shrowde,
In trymmest worldely toyes.
iewels of his
Became his cause of care,
And bewtie was the guileful bayte,
VVhich caught their liues in Snare.
For Tereus lord
Bycause he came of kings,
(So weddings made for worldly welth
Do seme triumphant things)
VVas thought a
Pandyons heire to wedde:
VVhose eldest daughter chosen was,
To serue this king in bedde.
That virgine Progne
And she by whom I meane,
To tell this woful Tragedie,
VVas called Phylomene.
¶ The wedding
The feasting done and past,
To Thrace with his new wedded spouse
He turneth at the last.
VVhere many dayes
And iolytie they spent,
Both satisfied with deepe delight,
And cloyde with al content.
¶ At last the
Hir sister for to see,
Such coles of kindely loue did seme
VVithin hir brest to be.
She praies hir
Lorde, of grace,
He graunts to hir request,
And hoist vp saile, to seke the coaste,
VVhere Phylomene doth rest.
And findes the pleasant porte,
Of Athens towne, which guided him
To King Pandyons court.
And) welcomde by the king,
He shewde the cause, which thither then
Did his ambassade bring.
His father him
His sister kist his cheeke,
In al the court his comming was
Reioyst of euerie Greeke.
O see the sweete
Which blindeth worldly wits,
How common peoples loue by lumpes,
And fancie comes by fits.
The foe in
Is many times embraste,
And he which meanes most faith and troth
By grudging is disgrast.
¶ Faire Phylomene
In comely garments cladde,
As one whom newes of sisters helth
Had moued to be gladde,
Or womans wil
Enflamde hir haughtie harte,
To get more grace by crummes of cost,
And princke it out hir parte.
VVhom he no sooner
(I meane this Thracian prince)
But streight therwith his fancies fume
All reason did conuince.
Might kindle rotten reeds:
Euen so hir looke a secret flame,
Within his bosome breedes.
He thinks al
Til he (with hir) were gone,
And hir he makes to moue the mirth,
VVhich after made hir mone.
Loue made him
And if he cravde too much,
He then excusde him selfe, and saide
That Prognes words were such.
Teares: like to sisters teares,
As who shuld say by these fewe drops
Thy sisters griefe appeares.
So finely could he
That wickednesse seemde wit,
And by the lawde of his pretence,
His lewdnesse was acquit.
The force of his request,
And cravde (with sighes) hir fathers leaue
To be hir sisters guest.
And hoong about his
And collingly him kist,
And for hir welth did seke the woe
VVherof she little wist.
Meane while stoode Tereus,
Beholding their affectes
And made those pricks (for his desire[)]
A spurre in al respects.
wisht himselfe hir
VVhen she hir sire embrast,
For neither kith nor kin could then
Haue made his meaning chast.
¶ The Grecian
king had not
The powre for to denay,
His own deare child, and sonne in lawe
The thing that both did pray.
And downe his
To thanke him on hir knee,
Supposing that for good successe,
VVhich hardest happe must be.
But (least my tale
Their shipping is preparde:
And to the shore this aged Greeke,
Ful princely did them guard.
There (melting into
He vsde this parting speech:
Daughter (quoth he) you haue desire
Your sister court to seech.
Your sister seemes
Your companie to craue,
That craue you both, and Tereus here
The selfe same thing would haue.
Ne coulde I more
So many deepe desires,
But this (quoth he) remember al
Your father you requires,
And thee (my sonne
I constantly coniure,
By faith, by kin, by men, by gods,
And al that seemeth sure,
father like, thou
My daughter deare from scathe,
And (since I count al leasure long)
Returne hir to me rathe.
And thou my Philomene,
(Quoth he) come soone againe,
Thy sisters absence puts thy syre,
To too much priuie paine.
Herewith he kist
And sent a second kisse
For Prognes part, and (bathde with teares)
His daughter doth he blisse.
And tooke the Thracyans
For token of his truth,
VVho rather laught his teares to scorn,
Than wept with him for ruth.
The sayles are
And winds do serue at will,
And forth this traitour king conueies
His praie in prison still.
Ne could the Barbrous
Conceale his filthy fyre,
Hey: Victorie (quoth he) my shippe
Is fraught with my desire.
VVherewith he fixt
Vppon hir fearefull face,
And stil behelde hir gestures all,
And all hir gleames of grace.
Ne could he loke a
But like the cruel catte
VVhich gloating casteth many a glance
Vpon the selly ratte.
VVhy hold I
They now are come on lande,
And forth of ship the feareful wenche
He leadeth by the hande.
Vnto a selly
A sheepecote closely builte
Amid the woodds, where many a lamb
Their guiltlesse bloud had spilte,
There (like a
lambe,) she stoode,
And askte with trimbling voice,
VVhere Progne was, whose only sight
Might make hir to reioyce.
His lust in lewdnesse lapt,
And with his filthy fraude ful fast
This simple mayde entrapt.
And forth he floong
Vnbridling blinde desire,
And ment of hir chast minde to make
A fewel for his fire.
And al alone (alone)
VVith force he hir supprest,
And made hir yelde the wicked weede
VVhose flowre he liked best.
What could the
She could not runne away,
Whose forward feete, his harmfull hands
With furious force did stay.
should she fight?
Fewe women win by fight:
Hir weapons were but weake (god knows)
And he was much of might.
booted not to
Since help was not at hande,
And stil before hir fearful face,
Hir cruel foe did stande.
And yet she
Vppon hir sisters name,
Hir fathers, and hir brothers (oh)
Whose facte did foyle hir fame.
And on the Gods
For helpe in hir distresse,
But al in vaine he wrought his wil
Whose lust was not the lesse.
¶ The filthie
fact once done,
He gaue hir leaue to geete,
And there she sat much like a birde
New scapte from falcons feete.
embrues hir selfe,
And sitts in Sorie plight,
Ne dare she proine hir plumes again,
But feares a second flight.
At last when hart
Discheveld as she sate,
VVith hands vphelde, she tried hir tongue,
To wreake hir woful state.
O Barbrous blood
By Barbrous deeds disgrast,
Coulde no kinde coale, nor pities sparke,
Within thy brest be plaste?
Could not my
Nor my most ruthful teares,
My maydenhoode, not thine own yoke,
Affright thy minde with feares?
not my sisters loue
Once quench thy filthy lust?
Thou foilst vs al, and eke thy selfe,
We griev'd and thou unuist.
By thee I haue
My dearest sisters bedde
By thee I compt the life but lost,
Which too too long I ledde.
By thee (thou Bigamus)
Our fathers griefe must growe,
Who daughters twain, (and two too much)
Vppon thee did bestowe.
But since my
faulte, thy facte,
My fathers iust offence,
My sisters wrong, with my reproche,
I cannot so dipence.
If any Gods be
If right in heauen do raigne,
If right or wrong may make reuenge,
Thou shalt be paide againe.
And (wicked) do
Thou canst no more but kil:
And oh that death (before this gilte)
Had ouercome my will.
Then might my
Haue triumpht yet and saide,
That though I died discontent,
I livde and dide a mayde.
¶ Herewith hir
Did tie hir tong from talke,
Whiles yet the Thracian tyrant (there)
To heare these words did walke.
skornefully he cast
At hir a frowning glaunce,
VVhich made the mayde to striue for spech,
And stertling from hir traunce,
¶ I wil
reuenge (quoth she)
For here I shake off shame,
And wil (my selfe) bewray this facte
Therby to foile thy fame.
(If I haue leaue to go)
I will pronounce this bloudie deede,
And blotte thine honour so.
If I in deserts
The woods, my words shal heare,
The holts, the hilles, the craggie rocks,
Shall witnesse with me beare.
I will so fil
With noyse of this thine acte,
That gods and men in heauen and earth
Shal note the naughtie facte.
¶ These words
amazde the king,
Conscience with choller straue,
But rage so racte his restles thought,
That now he gan to raue.
And from his sheath
Ful despratly he drawes,
VVherwith he cut the guiltlesse tong
Out of hir tender iawes.
The tong that rubde
The tong that tolde but truthe,
The tong that movde him to be mad,
And should haue moued ruth.
from his hand with
This trustie tongue he cast,
VVhose roote, and it (to wreake this wrong)
Did wagge yet wondrous fast.
So stirres the serpents taile
VVhen it is cut in twaine,
And so it seemes that weakest willes,
(By words) would ease their paine.
I blush to tell
But sure best books say this:
That yet the butcher did not blush
Hir bloudy mouth to kisse.
And ofte hir bulke
And ofter quencht the fire,
VVhich kindled had the furnace first,
Within his foule desire.
To Progne home he came,
VVho askt him streight of Philomene:
He fayning grife of game,)
Burst out in bitter
And sayde the dame was dead,
And falsly tolde, what wery life
Hir father (for hir) ledde.
The Thracian Queene
Hir gold, and gorgeous weede,
And drest in dole, bewailde hir death
VVhom she thought dead in deede.
A sepulchre she
(But for a living corse,)
And praide the gods on sisters soule
To take a iust remorse:
To all the powers aboue.
Ah traiterous Thracian Tereus,
This was true force of loue.
¶ The heauens
had whirld aboute
Twelue yeeres in order due
And twelue times euery flowre and plant,
Their liueries did renew,
In shepcote stil was clapt,
Enforst to bide by stonie walles
VVhich fast (in hold) hir hapt.
And as those walles
Hir feete by flight to scale,
So was hir tong (by knife) restrainde,
For to reueale this rape
No remedie remaynde
But onely womans witte,
VVhich sodainly in queintest chance,
Can best it selfe acquit.
Tenne thousand mischieues moe,
Learnes pollicie in practises,
As proofe makes men to knowe.
A garment gan she make,
Wherin she wrote what bale she bode,
And al for bewties sake.
This garment gan
To trustie Seruants hande,
VVho streight conueid it to the queen
Of Thracian Tirants lande.
red the writ,
(A wondrous tale to tell)
She kept it close: though malice made
Hir venging hart to swell.
And did deferre the
Til time and place might serue,
But in hir minde a sharpe reuenge,
She fully did reserue.
That women counsell keepe,
The cause was this, she wakt hir wits
And lullde hir tong on sleepe.
I speake against my
So haue I done before,
But truth is truth, and muste be tolde
Though daunger keepe the dore.
The thirde yeres
VVhich Bacchus to belong,
And in that night the queene prepares
Reuenge for al hir wrongs.
She (girt in Bacchus
VVith sworde hir selfe doth arme,
VVith wreathes of vines about hir browes
And many a needles charme.
And forth in furie
Hir handmaides following fast,
Vntil with hastie steppes she founde
The shepecote at the last.
There howling out
As Bacchus priests do crie,
She brake the dores, and found the place
VVhere Philomene did lye.
toke hir out by
And drest hir Bacchus like,
And hid hir face with boughes and leaues
(For being knowen by like.)
And brought hir to
But when the wretch it knewe,
That now againe she was so neere
To Tereus vntrue.
She trembled oft
And lookt like ashes pale.
But Progne (now in priuie place)
Set silence al to sale,
And tooke the
Discouering first hir face,
And sister like did louingly
Faire Phylomene embrace.
There she (by shame
Held downe hir weeping eyes,
As who should say: Thy right (by me)
Is refte in wrongful wise.
And down on the
ground she falles,
VVhich ground she kist hir fill,
As witnesse that the filthie facte
VVas done against hir wil.
And cast hir hands
In steede of tong to tell,
VVhat violence the lecher vsde,
And how hee did her quell.
Queene brake off
Hir piteous pearcing plainte,
And sware with sworde (no teares) to venge
The crafte of this constrainte.
Some other meane more sure,
More stearne, more stoute, then naked sword
Some mischiefe to procure,
I sweare by al the
I shall the same embrace,
To wreake this wrong with bloudie hande
Vppon the king of Thrace.
Ne will I spare to
My life in sisters cause,
In sisters? ah what saide I wretch?
My wrong shall lende me lawes.
I wil the pallace
VVith al the princes pelfe,
And in the midst of flaming fire,
VVil caste the knig him selfe.
I wil scrat out
that taught him first to lust,
Or teare his tong from traitors throte,
Oh that reuenge were iust.
Or let me carue
the wicked Instrument,
VVherewith he, thee, and me abusde
(I am to mischiefe bent.)
Or sleeping let me
To sende the soule to hel,
VVhose barbarous bones for this filthy force,
Did seeme to beare the bel.
¶ These words
and more in rage
Pronounced by this dame,
Hir little sonne came leaping in
VVhich Itis had to name.
For (vewing well his face,)
Ah wretch (quoth she) how like he groweth
Vnto his fathers grace.
A rare reuenge in deede
VVheron to thinke (withouten words)
My woful hart doth bleede.
But when the lad
And cheerefully did smile,
And hung about his mothers necke
VVith easie weight therewhile,
And kist (as
His angrie mothers cheeke,
Her minde was movde to much remorce
And mad became full meeke.
Ne could she teares
But wept against hir will,
Such tender rewth of innocence,
Hir cruell moode did kill.
At last (so furie
VVithin hir brest she felt,
That too much pitie made hir minde
Too womanlike to melt,
And saw hir sister
VVith heauy harte and cheere,
And now on hir, and then on him,
Full lowringly did leare,
Into these words
(Quoth she) why flatters he?
And why againe (with tong cut out)
So sadly sitteth shee?
She sister cannot say,
That one in earnest doth lament
That other whines in plaie.
Remember stil your race,
And neuer marke the subtil shewes
Of any Soule in Thrace.
If right reuenge you slake,
More right reuenge can neuer bee,
Than this reuenge to make.
Al il that may be
Al mischiefe vnder skies,
VVere pietie compard to that
VVhich Tereus did deuise.
¶ She holds no
but (Tygerlike) she toke
The little boy ful boistrously
VVho now for terror quooke
She (mother) toke a blade,
And in hir sonnes smal tender hart
And open wound she made.
The cruel dede
Betwene the sisters twaine
They tore in pieces quarterly
The corps which they had slaine.
Some part, they
hoong on hooks,
The rest they laide to fire,
And on the table caused it,
Be set before they fire.
(as Grecians order then)
That at such feasts; (but onely one)
They might abide no men.
He knowing not
Sat downe alone to eat,
And hungerly his owne warme bloud
Deuoured then for meate.
His ouersight was
That he for Itis sent,
VV[h]ose murdered members in his mawe,
He priuily had pent.
No longer Progne
Hir ioy of griefe could hide,
The thing thou seekst (o wretch quoth she)
VVithin thee doth abide.
And searching for his sonne)
Came forth at length, faire Philomene
By whom the griefe begonne,
And clokt in Bacchus
VVherwith she then was cladde,)
In fathers bosom cast the head
Of Itis selly ladde:
Nor euer in hir
Had more desire to speake,
Than now: wherby hir madding mood
Might al hir malice wreake.
¶ The Thracian
prince stert vp,
VVhose hart did boyle in brest,
To feele the food, and see the sawce,
VVhich he could not digest.
armed (as he was)
He followed both the Greekes,
On whom (by smarte of sword, and flame)
A sharpe reuenge he sekes.
But when the
These bloudie deedes did see,
And found that bloud stil couits bloud
And so none ende could be.
They then by their
Thought meete to stinte the strife,
And so restraind the murdring king,
From sister and from wife.
So that by their
The yougest daughter fledde
Into the thicks, where couertly,
A cloister life she ledde.
And yet to ease hir
She worthily can sing,
And as thou hearst, can please the eares
of many men in spring.
The eldest dame and
A Swallowe was assignde,
And builds in smoky chimney toppes
And flies against the winde.
The king him selfe
A Lapwing for to be,
VVho for his yong ones cries alwais,
Yet neuer can them see.
The lad a Pheasant
For his degree hath gaind,
VVhose blouddie plumes declare the bloud
VVherwith his face was staind.
But there to
turne my tale,
The which I came to tell,
|An exposition of al such notes
as the nightingale
dot[h] commonly vse to sing.
The yongest dame to forrests fled,
And there is dampnde to dwell.
VVhich (Philomela hight)
Delights for (feare of force againe)
To sing alwayes by night.
But when the sunne
Doth bende his weerie course,
Then Phylomene records the rewth,
VVhich craueth iust remorse.
1 And for
hir foremost note,
Tereu Tereu, doth sing,
Complaining stil vppon the name
Of that false Thracian king.
Much like the
childe at schole
VVith byrchen rodds sore beaten,
If when he go to bed at night
His maister chaunce to threaten,
In euery dreame he
And (ô good maister) cries,
Euen so this byrde vppon that name,
hir foremost note replies.
Or as the red
VVhome prettie Merlynes hold,
Ful fast in foote, by winters night
To fende themselues from colde:
For pitie let them scape,
Yet al that day, they fede in feare,
And doubte a second rape.
Ful many times do crie,
Remembring yet the ruthful plight
VVherein they late did lye.
Euen so this selly
Though now transformde in kinde,
Yet euermore hir pangs forepast,
She beareth stil in minde.
And in hir foremost
She notes that cruel name,
By whom she lost hir pleasant speech
And soiled was in fame.
2 ¶ Hir
second note is fye,
In Greeke and latine phy,
In english fy, and euery tong
That euer yet read I.
Or lothsome leying by
Of any thing we tast, heare touche,
Smel, or behold with eye.
In tast, phy
sheweth some sowre.
In hearing, some discorde,
In touch, some foule or filthy toye,
In smel, some sent abhorde.
In sight, some
And euery kind of waie,
This byword phy betokneth bad,
And to cast things away.
So that it seemes
Phy, phy, phy, phy, to sing,
Since phy befytteth him so well
In euery kind of thing.
Phy false vnto thy wife,
Phy coward phy, (on womankinde)
To vse thy cruel knife.
Phy for thou wert
Fye fierce, and foule forsworne,
Phy monster made of murdring mould
VVhose like was neuer borne.
Phy agony of age,
Phy ouerthrowe of youth,
Phy mirrour of mischeuousnesse,
Phy, tipe of al vntruth.
Phy fayning forced
Phy forging fyne excuse,
Phy periury, fy blasphemy,
Phy bed of al abuse.
These phyes, and
Pore Philomene may meane,
And in hir selfe she findes percase,
Some phy that was vncleane.
For though his
May not defended bee,
Hir sister yet, and she transgrest,
Though not so deepe as he.
His doome came by
Their deedes grewe by disdaine,
But men must leaue reuenge to Gods.
VVhat wrong soeuer raigne.
Then Progne phy
VVhich kildst thine only child,
Phy on the cruel crabbed heart
VVhich was not movde with milde.
phy, thou close
A secret il vnsene,
Where (good to kepe in councel close)
Had putrifide thy splene.
Phy on thy sisters
And phy hir selfe doth sing,
VVhose lack of tong nere toucht hir so
As when it could not sting.
Phy on vs both
The father onely faulted,
And we (the father free therewhile)
The selly sonne assalted.
3 ¶ The
next note to hir phy
is Iug, Iug, Iug, I gesse,
That might I leaue, to latynists,
By learning to expresse.
About it much adoe:
If it should onely Iugum meane
Or Iugulator too.
Some thinke that Iugum
The Iug, she iugleth so,
But Iugulator is the word
That doubleth al hir woe.
For when she
She beares them both in minde,
Him, breaker of his bonde in bed,
Hir, killer of hir kinde.
As fast as furies
Hir thoughts on him to thinke,
So fast hir conscience choks hir vp,
And wo to wrong doth linke.
It boldly breaketh out,
And makes the hollow woods to ring
VVith Eccho round about.
4 ¶ Hir
next most note (to note)
I neede no helpe at al,
For I my selfe the partie am
On whom she then doth call.
She calles on Némesis
And Némesis am I,
The Goddesse of al iust reuenge,
VVho let no blame go by.
This bridle bost
I beare in my left hande,
To holde men backe in rashest rage,
Vntil the cause be scand.
And such as like
And beare it willingly,
May scape this scourge in my right hand
Although they trode awry.
But if they hold on
And scorne to beare my yoke,
Oft times they buy the rost ful deare,
It smelled of the smoke.
This is the cause
Quoth she) that Phylomene
Doth cal so much vpon my name,
She to my lawes doth leane:
She feeles a iust
Of that which she hath done,
Constrainde to vse the day for night,
And makes the moone hir sunne.
(Although she lost hir tong)
For since that time, ne yet before,
No byrde so swetely soong.
That gift we gods
To countervaile hir woe,
I sat on bench in heauen my selfe
VVhen it was graunted so.
And though hir foe
But whither knows not she,
And like hir selfe transformed eke
A selly byrde to bee:
On him this sharpe
The Gods and I did take,
He neither can beholde his brats,
Nor is belovde of make.
As soone as coles
Haue warmed him to do
The selly shift of dewties dole
VVhich him belongeth to:
His hen straight
way him hates,
And flieth farre him fro,
And close conueis hir eggs from him,
As from hir mortal foe.
As sone as she hath
Hir little yong ones runne,
For feare their dame should serue them efte,
As Progne had begonne.
And rounde about
The furious father flies,
To seke his sonne, and filles the ayre
VVith loude lamenting cries.
lothsome life he
By our almightie dome,
And thus sings she, where company
But very seldome come.
Now lest my
For fable should be taken,
And therevpon my curtesie,
By the might be forsaken:
Remember al my
And beare them wel in minde,
And make thereof a metaphore,
So shalt thou quickly finde.
Both profite and
In al that I thee tel:
I knowe thy skil wil serue therto,
And so (quoth she) farewell.
Wherewith (me thought) she flong so fast away,
That scarce I could, hir seemely shaddowe see.
|The author continevveth his
discourse and concludeth.
At last: my staffe (which was mine only stay)
Did slippe, and I, must needes awaked be,
Against my wil did I (God knowes) awake,
For willingly I could my self content,
Seuen dayes to sleepe for Philomelâs sake,
So that my sleepe in such swete thoughts were spent.
But you my Lord which reade this ragged verse,
Forgiue the faults of my so sleepy muse,
Let me the heast of Némesis rehearse,
For sure I see, much sense therof ensues.
I seeme to see (my Lord) that lechers lust,
Procures the plague, and vengaunce of the highest,
I may not say, but God is good and iust,
Although he scourge the furdest for the nighest:
The fathers fault lights sometime on the sonne,
Yea foure discents it beares the burden stil,
Whereby it falles (when vaine delight is done)
That dole steppes in and wields the world at wil.
O whoredom, whoredome, hope for no good happe,
The best is bad that lights on lechery
And (al wel weyed) he sits in Fortunes lappe,
Which feeles no sharper scourge than beggery.
You princes peeres, you comely courting knights,
Which vse al arte to marre the maidens mindes,
Which win al dames with baite of fonde delights,
Which bewtie force, to loose what bountie bindes:
Thinke on the scourge that Némesis doth beare,
Remember this, that God (although he winke)
Doth see al sinnes that euer secret were.
(Voe vobis) then which still in sinne do sinke.
Gods mercy lends you brydles for desire,
Hold backe betime, for feare you catch a foyle,
The flesh may spurre to euerlasting fire,
But sure, that horse which tyreth like a roile,
And lothes the griefe of his forgalded sides,
Is better, much than is the harbrainde colte
Which headlong runnes and for no bridle bydes,
But huntes for sinne in euery hil and holte.
He which is single, let him spare to spil
The flowre of force, which makes a famous man:
Lest when he comes to matrimonies will,
His fynest graine be burnt, and ful of branne.
He that is yokte and hath a wedded wife,
Be wel content with that which may suffyse,
And (were no God) yet feare of worldly strife
Might make him lothe the bed where Lays lies:
For though Pandyons daughter Progne shee,
Were so transformde into a fethered foule,
Yet seemes she not withouten heires to be,
Who (wrongde like hir) ful angrely can scoule,
And beare in brest a right reuenging mode,
Til time and place, may serue to worke their will.
Yea surely some, the best of al the broode
(If they had might) with furious force would kil.
But force them not, whose force is not to force.
And way their words as blasts of blustring winde,
VVhich comes ful calme, when stormes are past by course:
Yet God aboue that can both lose and bynde,
Vil not so soone appeased be therfore,
He makes the male, of female to be hated,
He makes the sire go sighing wondrous sore,
Because the sonne of such is seldome rated.
I meane the sonnes of such rash sinning sires,
Are seldome sene to runne a ruly race.
But plagude (be like) by fathers foule desires
Do gadde a broade, and lacke the guide of grace
Then (Lapwinglike) the father flies about,
And howles and cries to see his children stray,
Where he him selfe (and no man better) mought
Haue taught his bratts to take a better way.
Thus men (my Lord) be Metamorphosed,
From seemely shape, to byrds, and ougly beastes:
Yea brauest dames, (if they amisse once tredde)
Finde bitter sauce, for al their pleasant feasts.
They must in fine condemned be to dwell
In thickes vnseene, in mewes for minyons made,
Vntil at last, (if they can bryde it wel)
They may chop chalke, and take some better trade.
Beare with me (Lord) my lusting dayes are done,
Fayre Phylomene forbad me fayre and flat
To like such loue, as is with lust begonne.
The lawful loue is best, and I like that.
Then if you see, that (Lapwinglike) I chaunce,
To leape againe, beyond my lawful reache,
(I take hard taske) or but to giue a glaunce,
At bewties blase: for such a wilful breache,
Of promise made, my Lord shal do no wrong,
To say George) thinke on Philomelâes song.
Tam Marti, quàm
thus my very good L. may se how coblerlike
I haue clouted a new patch to an old sole, beginning this complainte of
Philomene, in Aprill, 1562,
contiuing it a little furder in Aprill. 1575 and now
thus finished this thirde day of Aprill. 1576.
Al which mine April showers are humbly sent vnto your good
Lordship, for that I hope very shortly to see
the May flowers of your fauour, which I desire, more than I can
deserue. And yet rest
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