A Dialogue between two shepherds, Thenot and Piers,|
in praise of ASTREA, made by the excellent Lady, the Lady Mary
Countess of Pembroke at the Queen's Majesty's being at her house at
, Anno 15.
I sing divine ASTREA'S praise,|
O Muses! help my wits to raise,
And heave my Verses higher.
Thou need'st the truth but plainly tell,|
Which much I doubt thou canst not well,
Thou art so oft a lier.
If in my Song no more I show,|
Than Heav'n, and Earth, and Sea do know,
Then truly I have spoken.
Sufficeth not no more to name,|
But being no less, the like, the same,
Else laws of truth be broken.
Then say, she is so good, so fair,|
With all the earth she may compare,
Not Momus self denying.
Compare may think where likeness holds,|
Nought like to her the earth enfolds,
I lookt to find you lying.
ASTREA sees with Wisdom's sight,|
ASTREA works by Virtue's might,
And jointly both do stay in her.
Nay take from them, her hand, her mind,|
The one is lame, the other blind
Shall still you lying stain her?
Soon as ASTREA shows her face,|
Straight every ill avoids the place,
And every good aboundeth.
Nay long before her face doth show,|
The last doth come, the first doth go,
How loud this lie resoundeth!
ASTREA is our chiefest joy,|
Our chiefest guard against annoy,
Our chiefest wealth, our treasure,
Where chiefest are, there others be,|
To us none else, but only she;
When wilt thou speak in measure?
ASTREA may be justly said,|
A field in flow'ry robe arrayed,
In season freshly springing.
That Spring endures but shortest time,|
This never leaves Astrea's clime,
Thou liest, instead of singing.
As heavenly light that guides the day,|
Right so doth thine each lovely ray,
That from Astrea flyeth.
Nay, darkness oft that light enclouds,|
Astrea's beam no darkness shrowds;
How loudly Thenot lieth!
ASTREA rightly term I may,|
A manly Palm, a maiden Bay,
Her verdure never dying.
Palm oft is crooked, Bay is low,|
She still upright, still high doth grow,
Good Thenot leave thy lying.
Then Piers, of friendship tell me why,|
My meaning true, my words should lye,
And strive in vain to raise her?
Words from conceit do only rise,|
Above conceit her honor flies,
But silence, nought can praise her.