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ASTROPHEL: A Pastorall Elegie

A Note on the Renascence Editions text:

This HTML etext of Astrophel is based upon that found in The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Edmund Spenser [Grosart, London, 1882: "from the volume of 1596"] by Risa S. Bear at the University of Oregon. The text is in the public domain. Markup is copyright © 1995 University of Oregon; this version is distributed for nonprofit use only.


A Pastorall Elegie vpon
the death of the most Noble and valorous
Knight, Sir Philip Sidney.


To the most beautifull and vertuous Ladie, the Countesse

SHepheards that wont on pipes of oaten reed,
Oft times to plaint your loues concealed smart:
And with your piteous layes haue learnd to breed
Compassion in a countrey lasses hart.
Hearken ye gentle shepheards to my song,
And place my dolefull plaint your plaints emong.

To you alone I sing this mournfull verse,
The mournfulst verse that euer man heard tell:
To you whose softened hearts it may empierse,
VVith dolours dart for death of
To you I sing and to none other wight,
For well I wot my rymes bene rudely dight.

Yet as they been, if any nycer wit
Shall hap to heare, or couet them to read:
Thinke he, that such are for such ones most fit,
Made not to please the liuing but the dead.
And if in him found pity euer place,
Let him be moou'd to pity such a case.

A Gentle Shepheard borne in Arcady,
Of gentlest race that euer shepheard bore:
About the grassie bancks of Hæmony,
Did keepe his sheep, his litle stock and store.
Full carefully he kept them day and night,
In fairest fields, and Astrophel he hight.

Young Astrophel the pride of shepheards praise,
Young Astrophel the rusticke lasses loue:
Far passing all the pastors of his daies,
In all that seemly shepheard might behoue.
In one thing onely fayling of the best,
That he was not so happie as the rest.

For from the time that first the Nymph his mother
Him forth did bring, and taught her lambs to feed:
A sclender swaine excelling far each other,
In comely shape, like her that did him breed.
He grew vp fast in goodnesse and in grace,
And doubly faire wox both in mynd and face.

Which daily more and more he did augment,
With gentle vsage and demeanure myld:
That all mens hearts with secret rauishment
He stole away, and weetingly beguyld.
Ne spight it selfe that all good things doth spill,
Found ought in him, that she could say was ill.

His sports were faire, his ioyance innocent,
Sweet without sowre, and honny without gall:
And he himselfe seemd made for meriment,
Merily masking both in bowre and hall.
There was no pleasure nor delightfull play,
When Astrophel so euer was away.

For he could pipe and daunce, and caroll sweet,
Emongst the shepheards in their shearing feast:
As Somers larke that with her song doth greet,
The dawning day forth comming from the East.
And layes of loue he also could compose,
Thrise happie she, whom he to praise did chose.

Full many Maydens often did him woo,
Them to vouchsafe emongst his rimes to name,
Or make for them as he was wont to doo,
For her that did his heart with loue inflame.
For which they promised to dight for him,
Gay chapelets of flowers and gyrlonds trim.

And many a Nymph both of the wood and brooke,
Soone as his oaten pipe began to shrill:
Both christall wells and shadie groues forsooke,
To heare the charmes of his enchanting skill.
And brought him presents, flowers if it were prime,
Or mellow fruit if it were haruest time.

But he for none of them did care a whit,
Yet wood Gods for them oft[en] sighed sore:
Ne for their gifts vnworthie of his wit,
Yet not vnworthie of the countries store.
For one alone he cared, for one he sight,
His lifes desire, and his deare loues delight.

Stella the faire, the fairest star in skie,
As faire as Venus or the fairest faire:
A fairer star saw neuer liuing eie,
[S]hot her sharp pointed beames through purest aire.
Her he did loue, her he alone did honor,
His thoughts, his rimes, his songs were all vpõ her.

To her he vowd the seruice of his daies,
On her he spent the riches of his wit:
For her he made hymnes of immortall praise,
Of onely her he sung, he thought, he writ.
Her, and but her of loue he deemed,
For all the rest but little he esteemed.

Ne her with ydle words alone he wowed,
And verses vaine (yet verses are not vaine)
But with braue deeds to her sole seruice vowed,
And bold achieuements her did entertaine.
For both in deeds and words he nourtred was,
Both wise and hardie (too hardie alas).

In wrestling nimble, and in renning swift,
In shooting steddie, and in swimming strong:
Well made to strike, to throw, to leape, to lift,
And all the sports that shepheards are emong.
In euery one he vanquisht euery one,
He vanquist all, and vanquisht was of none.

Besides, in hunting such felicitie,
Or rather infelicitie he found:
That euery field and forest far away,
He sought, where saluage beasts do most abound.
No beast so saluage but he could it kill,
No chace so hard, but he therein had skill.

Such skill matcht with such courage as he had,
Did prick him foorth with proud desire of praise:
To seek abroad, of daunger nought y'drad,
His mistresse name, and his owne fame to raise.
What need[eth] perill to be sought abroad,
Since round about vs, it doth make aboad?

It fortuned as he, that perlous game
In forreine soyle pursued far away:
Into a forest wide, and waste he came
Where store he heard to be of saluage pray.
So wide a forest and so waste as this,
Nor famous Ardeyn, nor fowle Arlo is.

There his welwouen toyles and subtil traines,
He laid the brutish nation to enwrap:
So well he wrought with practise and with paines,
That he of them great troups did soone entrap.
Full happie man (misweening much) was hee,
So rich a spoile within his power to see.

Eftsoones all heedlesse of his dearest hale,
Full greedily into the heard he thrust:
To slaughter them, and work their finall bale,
Least that his tolye should of their troups be brust.
Wide wounds emongst them many a one he made,
Now with his sharp borespeare, now with his blade.

His care was all how he them all might kill,
That none might scape (so partiall vnto none)
Ill mynd so much to mynd anothers ill,
As to become vnmyndfull of his owne.
But pardon that vnto the cruell skies,
That from himselfe to them withdrew his eies.

So as he rag'd emongst that beastly rout,
A cruell beast of most accursed brood:
Vpon him turnd (despeyre makes cowards stout)
And with fell tooth accustomed to blood,
Launched his thigh with so mischieuous might,
That it both bone and muscles ryued quight.

So deadly was the dint and deep the wound,
And so huge streames of blood thereout did flow:
That he endured not the direfull stound,
But on the cold deare earth himselfe did throw.
The whiles the captiue heard his nets did rend,
And hauing none to let, to wood did wend.

Ah where were ye this while his shepheard peares,
To whom aliue was nought so deare as hee:
And ye faire Mayds the matches of his yeares,
Which in his grace did boast you most to bee?
Ah where were ye, when he of you had need,
To stop his wound that wondrously did bleed?

Ah wretched boy the shape of dreryhead,
And sad ensample of mans suddein end:
Full litle faileth but thou shalt be dead,
Vnpitied, vnplaynd, of foe or frend.
Whilest none is nigh, thine eylids vp to close,
And kisse thy lips like faded leaues of rose.

A sort of shepheards sewing of the chace,
As they the forest raunged on a day:
By fate or fortune came vnto the place,
Where as the lucklesse boy yet bleeding lay.
Yet bleeding lay, and yet would still haue bled,
Had not good hap those shepheards thether led.

They stopt his wound (too late to stop it was)
And in their armes they softly did him reare:
Tho (as he wild) vnto his loued lasse,
His dearest loue him dolefully did beare.
The dolefulst beare that euer man did see,
Was Astrophel, but dearest vnto mee.

She when she saw her loue in such a plight,
With crudled blood and filthie gore deformed:
That wont to be with flowers and gyrlonds dight,
And her deare fauours dearly well adorned
Her face, the fairest face that eye mote see,
She likewise did deforme like him to bee.

Her yellow locks that shone so bright and long,
As Sunny beames in fairest somers day:
She fiersly tore, and with outragious wrong
From her red cheeks the roses rent away.
And her faire brest the threasury of ioy,
She spoyld therof, and filled with annoy.

His palled face impictured with death,
She bathed oft with teares and dried oft:
And with sweet kisses suckt the wasting breath,
Out of his lips like lillies pale and soft.
And oft she cald to him, who answerd nought,
But onely by his lookes did tell his thought.

The rest of her impatient regret,
And piteous mone the which she for him made:
No toong can tell, nor any forth can set,
But he whose heart like sorrow did inuade.
At last when paine his vitall powres had spent,
His wasted life her weary lodge forwent.

Which when she saw, she staied not a whit,
But after him did make vntimely haste:
Forth with her ghost out of her corpse did flit,
And followed her make like Turtle chaste.
To proue that death their hearts cannot diuide,
Which liuing were in loue so firmly tide.

The Gods which all things see, this same beheld,
And pittying this paire of louers trew:
Transformed them there lying on the field,
Into one flowre that is both red and blew.
It first growes red, and then to blew doth fade,
Like Astrophel, which thereinto was made.

And in the midst thereof a star appeares,
As fairly formd as any star in skyes:
Resembling Stella in her freshest yeares,
Forth darting beames of beautie from her eyes,
And all the day it standeth full of deow,
Which is the teares, that from her eyes did flow.

That hearbe of some, Starlight is cald by name,
Of others Penthia, though not so well:
But thou where euer thou dost finde the same,
From this day forth do call it Astrophel.
And when so euer thou it vp doest take,
Do pluck it softly for that shepheards sake.

Hereof when tydings far abroad did passe,
The shepheards all which loued him full deare:
And sure full deare of all he loued was,
Did thether flock to see what they did heare.
And when that pitteous spectacle they vewed,
The same with bitter teares they all bedewed.

And euery one did make exceeding mone,
With inward anguish and great griefe opprest:
And euery one did weep and waile and mone,
And meanes deuiz'd to shew his sorrow best.
That from that houre since first on grassie greene,
Shepheards kept sheep, was not like mourning seen.

But first his sister that Clorinda hight,
The gentlest shepheardesse that liues this day:
And most resembling both in shape and spright
Her brother deare, began this dolefull lay.
Which least I marre the sweetnesse of the vearse,
In sort as she it sung, I will rehearse.

AY me, to whom shall I my case complaine,
That may compassion my impatient griefe?
Or where shall I vnfold my inward paine,
That my enriuen heart may find reliefe?
Shall I vnto the heauenly powres it show?
Or vnto earthly men that dwell below?

To heauens? ah they alas the authors were,
And workers of my vnremedied wo:
For they foresee what to vs happens here,
And they foresaw, yet suffred this be so.
From them comes good, from them comes also il,
That which they made, who can them warne to spill.

To men? ah they alas like wretched bee,
And subiect to the heauens ordinance:
Bound to abide what euer they decree,
Their best redresse, is their best sufferance.
How then can they like w[r]etched comfort mee,
The which no lesse, need comforted to bee?

Then to me selfe will I my sorrow mourne,
Sith none aliue like sorrowful remaines:
And to my selfe my plaints shall back retourne,
To pay their vsury with doubled paines.
The woods, the hills, the riuers shall resound
The mournfull accent of my sorrowes ground.

VVoods, hills and riuers, now are defolate,
Sith he is gone the which them all did grace:
And all the fields do waile their widow state,
Sith death their fairest flowre did late deface.
The fairest flowre in field that euer grew,
VVas Astrophel; that was, we all may rew.

VVhat cruell hand of cursed foe vnknowne,
Hath cropt the stalke which bore so faire a flowre?
Vntimely cropt, before it well were growne,
And cleane defaced in vntimely howre.
Great losse to all that euer [did] him see,
Great losse to all, but greatest losse to mee.

Breake now your gyrlonds, O ye shepheards lasses,
Sith the faire flowre, which them adornd, is gon:
The flowre, which them adornd, is gone to ashes,
Neuer againe let lasse put gyrlond on.
In stead of gyrlond, weare sad Cypres nowe,
And bitter Elder, broken from the bowe.

Ne euer sing the loue-layes which he made:
VVho euer made such layes of loue as hee?
Ne euer read the riddles, which he sayd
Vnto your selues, to make you mery glee.
Your mery glee is now laid all abed,
Your mery maker now alasse is dead.

Death the deuourer of all worlds delight,
Hath robbed you and reft fro me my ioy:
Both you and me, and all the world he quight
Hath robd of ioyance, and left sad annoy.
Ioy of the world, and shepheards pride was hee,
Shepheards hope neuer like againe to see.

Oh death that hast vs of such riches reft,
Tell vs at least, what thou hast with it done?
VVhat is become of him whose flowre here left
Is but the shadow of his likenesse gone.
Scarse like the shadow of that which he was,
Nought like, but that he like a shade did pas.

But that immortall spirit, which was deckt
VVith all the dowries of celestiall grace:
By soueraine choyce from th'heuenly quires select,
And lineally deriu'd from Angels race,
O what is now of it become aread.
Ay me, can so diuine a thing be dead?

Ah no: it is not dead, ne can it die,
But liues for aie, in blisfull Paradise:
VVhere like a new-borne babe it soft doth lie.
In beds of lillies wrapt in tender wise.
And compast all about with roses sweet,
And daintie violets from head to feet.

There thousand birds all of celestiall brood,
To him do sweetly caroll day and night:
And with straunge notes, of him well vnderstood,
Lull him a sleep in Angelick delight;
Whilest in sweet dreame to him presented bee
Immortall beauties, which no eye may see.

But he them sees and takes exceeding pleasure
Of their diuine aspects, appearing plaine,
And kindling loue in him aboue all measure,
Sweet loue still ioyous, neuer feeling paine.
For what so goodly forme he there doth see,
He may enioy from iealous rancor free.

There liueth he in euerlasting blis,
Sweet spirit neuer fearing more to die:
Ne dreading harme from any foes of his,
Ne fearing saluage beasts more crueltie.
Whilest we here wretches waile his priuate lack,
And with vaine vowes do often call him back.

But liue thou there still happie, happie spirit,
And giue vs leaue thee here thus to lament:
Not thee that doest thy heauens ioy inherit,
But our owne selues that here in dole are drent.
Thus do we weep and waile, and wear our eies,
Mourning in others, our owne miseries.

Which when she ended had, another swaine
Of gentle wit and daintie sweet deuice:
Whom Astrophel full deare did entertaine,
Whilest here he liu'd, and held in passing price,
Hight Thestylis, began his mourning tourne,
And made the Muses in his song to mourne.

And after him full many other moe,
As euerie one in order lou'd him best,
Gan dight themselues t'expresse their inward woe,
With dolefull layes vnto the time addrest.
The which I here in order will rehearse,
As fittest flowres to deck his mournfull hearse.

The mourning Muse of Thestylis.
COme forth ye Nymphes come forth, forsake you[r] watry bowres,
Forsake your mossy caues, and help me to lament:
Help me to tune my dolefull notes to gurgling sound
Of Liffies tumbling streames: Come let salt teares of ours,
Mix with his waters fresh. O come let one consent
Ioyne vs to mourne with wailfull plaints the deadly wound
Which fatall clap hath made; decreed by higher powres.
The dreery day in which they haue from vs yrent
The noblest plant that might from East to West be found.
Mourne, mourn, great Philips fall, mourn his wofull end,
Whom spitefull death hath pluct vntimely from the tree,
Whiles yet his yeares in flowre, did promise worthie frute.

Ah dreadful Mars why didst thou not thy knight defend?
What wrathfull mood, what fault of ours hath moued thee
Of such a shining light to leaue vs destitute?
Tho with benign aspect sometime didst vs behold,
Thou hast in Britons valour tane delight of old,
And with thy presence oft vouchsaft to attribute
Fame and renowme to vs for glorious martiall deeds.
But now thy irefull bemes haue chill'd our harts with cold,
Thou hast estrang'd thy self, and deignest not our land:
Farre off to others now, thy fauour honor breeds,
And high disdaine doth cause thee shun our clime (I feare)
For hadst thou not been wroth, or that time neare at hand,
Thou wouldst haue heard the cry that woful Englãd made,
Eke Zelands piteous plaints, and Hollands toren heare
Would haply haue appeas'd thy diuine angry mynd:
Thou shouldst haue seen the trees refuse to yeeld their shade
And wailing to let fall the honour of their head,
And birds in mournfull tunes lamenting in their kinde:
Vp from his tombe the mightie Corineus rose,
Who cursing oft the fates that this mishap had bred,
His hoary locks he tare, calling the heauens vnkinde.
The Thames was heard to roare, the Reyne and eke the Mose,
The Schald, the Danow selfe this great mischance did rue,
With torment and with grief; their fountains pure & cleere
Were troubled, & with swelling flouds declar'd their woes.
The Muses comfortles, the Nymphes with paled hue,
The Siluan Gods likewise came running farre and neere,
And all with teares bedeawd, and eyes cast vp on hie,
O help, O help ye Gods, they ghastly gan to crie.
O chaunge the cruell fate of this so rare a wight,
And graunt that natures course may measure out his age.
The beasts their food forsooke, and trembling fearfully,
Each sought his caue or den, this cry did them so fright.
Out from amid the waues, by storme then stirr'd to rage
This crie did cause to rise th'old father Ocean hoare,
Who graue with eld, and full of Maiestie in sight,
Spake in this wise. Refrain (quoth he) your teares & plaints,
Cease these your idle words, make vaine requests no more.
No humble speech nor mone, may moue the fixed stint
Of destinie or death: Such is his will that paints
The earth with colors fresh; the darkest skies with store
Of starry lights: And though your teares a hart of flint
Might tender make, yet nought herein they will preuaile.

Whiles thus he said, the noble knight, who gan to feele
His vitall force to faint, and death with cruell dint
Of direfull dart his mortall body to assaile,
With eyes lift vp to heau'n, and courage franke as steele,
With cheerfull face, where valour liuely was exprest,
But humble mynd he said. O Lord if ought this fraile
And earthly carcasse haue thy seruice sought t'aduaunce,
If my desire haue bene still to relieue th'oppest:
If Iustice to maintaine that valour I haue spent
Which thou me gau'st; or if henceforth I might aduaunce
Thy name, thy truth, then spare me (Lord) if thou think best,
Forbeare these Vnripe yeares. But if thy will be bent,
If that prefixed time be come which thou hast set,
Through pure and feruent faith, I hope now to be plast,
In th'euerlasting blis, which with thy precious blood
Thou purchase didst for vs. With that a sigh he fet,
And straight a cloudie mist his sences ouercast,
His lips waxt pale and wan, like damaske roses bud
Cast from the stalke, or like in field to purple flowre,
VVhich languisheth being shred by culter as it past.
A trembling chilly cold ran throgh their veines, which were
VVith eies brimfull of teares to see his fatall howre,
VVhose blustring sighes at first their sorrow did declare,
Next, murmuring ensude; at last they not forbeare
Plaine outcries, all against the heau'[n]s that enuiously
Depriu'd vs of a spright so perfect and so rare.
The Sun his lightsom beames did shrowd, and hide his face
For griefe, whereby the earth feard night eternally:
The mountaines eachwhere shooke, the riuers turn'd their streames,
And th'aire gan winterlike to rage and fret apace:
And grisly ghosts by night were seene, and fierie gleames,
Amid the clouds with claps of thunder, that did seeme
To rent the skies, and made both man and beast afeard:
The birds of ill presage this lucklesse chance foretold,
By dernfull noise, and dogs with howling made man deeme
Some mischief was at hand: for such they do esteeme
As tokens of mishap, and so haue done of old.

Ah that thou hadst but heard his louely Stella plaine
Her greeuous losse, or seene her heauie mourning cheere,
While she with woe opprest, her sorrowes did vnfold.
Her haire hung lose neglect, about her shoulders twaine,
And from those two bright starres, to him sometimes so deere
Her heart sent drops of pearle, which fell in foyson downe
Twixt lilly and the rose. She wroong her hands with paine,
And piteously gan say, My true and faithfull pheere,
Alas and woe is me, why should my fortune frowne
On me thus frowardly to rob me of my ioy?
What cruell enuious hand hath taken thee away,
And with thee my content, my comfort and my stay?
Thou onelie wast the ease of trouble and annoy,
When they did me assaile, in thee my hopes did rest.
Alas what now is left but grief, that night and day
Afflicts this wofull life, and with continuall rage
Torments ten thousand waies my miserable brest?
O greedie enuious heau'n what needed thee to haue
Enricht with such a Iewell this vnhappie age,
To take it back againe so soone? Alas when shall
Mine eies see ought that may content them, since thy graue
My onely treasure hides the ioyes of my poore hart?
As here with thee on earth I liu'd, euen so equall
Me thinkes it were with thee in heau'n I did abide:
And as our troubles all we on earth did part,
So reason would that there of thy most happie state
I had my share. Alas if thou my trustie guide
Were wont to be, how canst thou leaue me thus alone
In darknesse and astray; weake, wearie, desolate,
Plung'd in a world of woe, refusing for to take
Me with thee, to the place of rest where thou art gone.
This said, she held her peace, for sorrow tide her toong;
And insteed of more words, seemd that her eies a lake
Of teares had beene, they flow'd so plenteously therefro:
And with her sobs and sighs, th'aire round about her roong.

If Venus when she waild her deare Adonis slaine,
Ought moou'd in thy fiers hart compassion of her woe,
His noble sisters plaints, her sighes and teares emong,
Would sure haue made thee milde, and inly rue her paine:
Aurora halfe so faire, her selfe did neuer show,
When from old Tithons bed, shee weeping did arise.
The blinded archer-boy, like larke in showre of raine
Sat bathing of his wings, and glad the time did spend
Vnder those cristall drops, which fell from her faire eies,
And at their brightest beames him proynd in louely wise.
Yet sorie for her grief, which he could not amend,
The g&etilde;tle boy gã wipe her eies, & clear those lights,
Those lights through which, his glory and his conquests shine.
The Graces tuckt her hair, which hung like threds of gold,
Along her yuorie brest the treasure of delights.
All things with her to weep, it seemed, did encline,
The trees, the hills, the dales, the caues, the stones so cold.
The aire did help them mourne, with dark clouds, raine and mist,
Which made them eftsoones feare the daies of Pirrha shold,
Of creatures spoile the earth, their fatall threds vntwist.
For Phoebus gladsome raies were wished for in vaine,
And with her quiuering light Latonas daughter faire,
And Charles-waine eke refus'd to be the shipmans guide.
On Neptune warre was made by Aeolus and his traine,
Who letting loose the winds, tost and tormented th'aire,
So that on eu'ry coast men shipwrack did abide,
Or else were swallowed vp in open sea with waues,
And such as came to shoare, were beaten with despaire.
The Medwaies siluer streames, that wont so still to slide,
Were troubled now & wrothe: whose hidd&etilde; hollow caues
Along his bank sith fog then shrowded from mans eye,
Ay Phillip did resownd, aie Phillip they did crie.
His Nimphs were seen no more (thogh custom still it craues)
With haire spred to the wynd themselues to bath or sport,
Or with the hooke or net, barefooted wantonly
The pleasant daintie fish to entangle or deceiue.
The shepheards left their wonted places of resort,
Their bagpipes now were still; their louing mery layes
Were quite forgot; and now their flocks, m&etilde; might perceiue
To wander and to straie, all carelesly neglect.
And in the stead of mirth and pleasure, nights and dayes
Nought els was to be heard, but woes, complaints & mone.

But thou (O blessed soule) doest haply not respect,
These teares we shead, though full of louing pure affect,
Hauing affixt thine eyes on that most glorious throne,
Where full of maiestie the high creator reignes.
In whose bright shining face thy ioyes are all complete,
Whose loue kindles thy spright; where happie alwaies one,
Thou liu'st in blis that earthly passion neuer staines;
Where from the purest spring the sacred Nectar sweete
Is thy continuall drinke: where thou doest gather now
Of well emploied life, th'inestimable gaines.
There on thee smiles, Apollo giues thee place,
And Mars in reuerent wise doth to thy vertue bow,
And decks his fiery sphere, to do thee honour most.
In highest part whereof, thy valour for to grace,
A chaire of golde he setts to thee, and there doth tell
Thy noble acts arew, whereby euen they that boast
Themselues of auncient fame, as Pirrhus, Hanniball,
Scipio and Cæsar, with the rest that did excell
In martiall prowesse, high thy glorie do admire.

All haile therefore. O worthie Phillip immortall,
The flowre of Sydneyes race, the honour of thy name,
Whose worthie praise to sing, my Muses not aspire,
But sorrowfull and sad these teares to thee let fall,
Yet with their verses might so farre and wide thy fame
Extend, that enuies rage, nor time might end the same.

A pastorall Aeglogue vpon the death of Sir Phillip
Sidney Knight, &c.
Lycon. Colin.
C Olin, well fits thy sad cheare this sad stownd,
This wofull stownd, wherein all things complaine
This great mishap, the greeuous losse of owres.
Hear'st thou the Orown? how with hollow sownd
He slides away, and murmuring doth plaine,
And seemes to say vnto the fading flowres,
Along his banks, vnto the bared trees;
Phillisides is dead. Vp iolly swaine,
Thou that with skill canst tune a dolefull lay,
Help him to mourn. My hart with grief doth freese,
Hoarse is my voice with crying, else a part
Sure would I beare, though rude: But as I may,
With sobs and sighes I second will thy song,
And so expresse the sorrowes of my hart.

Colin. Ah Lycon, Lycon, what need skill, to teach
A grieued mynd powre forth his plaints? how long
Hath the pore Turtle gon to school (weenest thou)
To learne to mourne her lost make? No, no, each
Creature by nature can tell how to waile.
Seest not these flocks, how sad they wander now?
Seemeth their leaders bell their bleating tunes
In doleful sound. Like him, not one doth faile
With hanging head to shew a heauie cheare.
What bird (I pray thee) hast thou seen, that prunes
Himselfe of late? did any cheerfull note
Come to thine eares, or gladsome sight appeare
Vnto thine eies, since that same fatall howre?
Hath not the aire put on his mourning coat,
And testified his grief with flowing teares?
Sith then, it seemeth each thing to his powre
Doth vs inuite to make a sad consort;
Come let vs ioyne our mournfull song with theirs.
Griefe will endite, and sorrow will enforce
Thy voice, and Eccho will our words report.

Lyc. Though my rude rymes, ill with thy verses frame,
That others farre excell; yet will I force
My selfe to answere thee the best I can,
And honor my base words with his high name.
But if my plaints annoy thee where thou sit
In secret shade or caue; vouchsafe (O Pan)
To pardon me, and here this hard constraint
With patience while I sing, and pittie it.
And eke ye rurall Muses, that do dwell
In these wilde woods; If euer piteous plaint
We did endite, or taught a wofull minde
VVith words of pure affect, his griefe to tell,
Instruct me now. Now Colin then goe on,
And I will follow thee, though farre behinde.

Colin. Phillisides is dead. O harmfull death,
O deadly harme. Vnhappie Albion
VVhen shalt thou see emong thy shepheards all,
Any so sage, so perfect? VVhom vneath
Enuie could touch for vertuous life and skill;
Curteous, valiant, and liberall.
Behold the sacred Pales, where with haire
Vntrust she sitts, in shade of yonder hill.
And her faire face bent sadly downe, doth send
A floud of teares to bathe the earth; and there
Doth call the heau'ns despightfull, enuious,
Cruell his fate, that made so short an end
Of that same life, well worthie to haue bene
Prolongd with many yeares, happie and famous.
The Nymphs and Oreades her round about
Do sit lamenting on the grassie greene;
And with shrill cries, beating their whitest brests,
Accuse the direfull dart that death sent out
To giue the fatall stroke. The starres they blame,
That deafe or carelesse seeme at their request.
The pleasant shade of stately groues they shun;
They leaue their cristall springs, where they wont frame
Sweet bowres of Myrtel twigs and Lawrel faire,
To sport themselues free from the scorching Sun.
And now the hollow caues where horror darke
Doth dwell, whence banisht is the gladsome aire
They seeke; and there in mourning spend their time
With wailfull tunes, whiles wolues do howle and bark,
And seem to beare a bourdon to their plaint.

Lyc. Phillisides is dead. O dolefull ryme.
Why should my toong expresse thee? Who is left
Now to vphold thy hopes, when they do faint,
Lycon vnfortunate? What spitefull fate,
What lucklesse destinie hath thee bereft
Of thy chief comfort; of thy onely stay?
Where is become thy wonted happie state,
(Alas) wherein through many a hill and dale,
THrough pleasant woods, and many an vnknowne way,
Along the banks of many siluer streames,
Thou with him yodest; and with him didst scale
The craggie rocks of th'Alpes and Appenine?
Still with the Muses Sporting, while those beames
Of vertue kindled in his noble brest,
Which after did so gloriously forth shine?
But (woe is me) they now yquenched are
All suddeinly, and death hath them opprest.
Loe father Neptune, with sad countenance,
How he sitts mourning on the strond now bare,
Yonder, where th'Ocean with his rolling waues
The white feete washeth (wailing this mischance)
Of Douer cliffes. His sacred skirt bout
The sea-gods all are set; from their moist caues
All for his comfort gathered there they be.
The Thamis rich, the Humber rough and stout,
The fruitfull Seuerne, with the rest are come
To helpe their Lord to mourne, and eke to see
The doleful sight, and sad pomp funerall
Of the dead corps passing through his kingdome.
And all their heads with Cypres gyrlonds crown'd
With woful shrikes salute him great and small.
Eke wailfull Eccho, forgetting her deare
Narcissus, their last accents, doth resownd.

Colin. Phillisides is dead. O lucklesse age;
O widow world; O brookes and fountains cleere;
O hills, O dales, O woods, that oft haue rong
With his sweet caroling, which could asswage
The fiercest wrath of Tygre or of Beare.
Ye Siluans, Fawnes, and Satyres, that emong
These thickets oft haue daunst after his pipe,
Ye Nymphs and Nayades with golden heare,
That oft haue left your purest cristall springs
To harken to his layes, that coulden wipe
Away all griefe and sorrow from your harts.
Alas who now is left that like him sings?
When shall you heare againe like harmonie?
So sweet a sownd, who to you now imparts?
Loe where engraued by his hand yet liues
The name of Stella, in yonder bay tree.
Happie name, happie tree; faire may you grow,
And spred your sacred branch, which your honor giues,
To famous Emperours, and Poets crowne.
Vnhappie flock that wander scattred now,
What maruell if through grief ye woxen leane,
Forsake your food, and hang your heads adowne?
For such a shepheard neuer shall you guide,
[W]hose parting, hath of weale bereft you cleane.

Lyc. Phillisides is dead. O happie sprite,
That now in heau'n with blessed soules doest bide:
Looke down a while from where thou sitst aboue,
And see how busie shepheards be to endite
Sad songs of grief, their sorrowes to declare,
And gratefull memory of their kynd loue.
Behold my selfe with Colin, gentle swaine
(Whose lerned Muse thou cherisht most whyleare)
Where we thy name recording, seeke to ease
The inward torment and tormenting paine,
That thy departure to vs both hath bred;
Ne can each others sorrow yet appease.
Behold the fountains now left desolate,
And withred grasse with cypres boughes be spred,
Behold these floures which on thy graue we strew;
Which faded, shew the giuers faded state,
(Though eke they shew their feru&etilde;t zeale & pure)
VVhose onely comfort on thy welfare grew.
Whose praiers importune shake the heau'[n]s for ay,
That to thy ashes, rest they may assure:
That learnedst shepheards honor may thy name
With yeerly praises, and the Nymphs alway
Thy tomb may deck with fresh & sweetest flowres;
And that for euer may endure thy fame.

Colin. The Sun (lo) hastned hath his face to steep
In western waues: and th'aire with stormy showres
Warnes vs to driue homewards our silly sheep,
Lycon, lett's rise, and take of them good keep.

Virtute summa: cætera fortuna.

L. B.

An Elegie, or friends pas-
sion, for his Astrophill.

VVritten vpon the death of the right Honourable sir
Phillip Sidney Knight, Lord gouernour
of Flushing.

A S then, no winde at all there blew,
No swelling cloude, accloid the aire,
The skie, like glasse of watchet hew,
Reflected Phoebus golden haire,
The garnisht tree, no pendant stird,
No voice was heard of anie bird.

There might you see the burly Beare,
The Lion king, the Elephant,
The maiden Vnicorne was there,
So was Acteons horned plant,
And what of wilde or tame are found,
VVere coucht in order on the ground.

Alcides speckled poplar tree,
The palme that Monarchs do obtaine,
VVith Loue iuce staind the mulberie,
The fruit that dewes the Poets braine,
And Phillis philbert there away,
Comparde with mirtle and the bay.

The tree that coffins doth adorne,
With stately height threatning the skie,
And for the bed of Loue forlorne,
The blacke and dolefull Ebonie,
All in a circle compast were,
Like to an Amphitheater.

Vpon the branches of those trees,
The airie winged people sat,
Distinguished in od degrees,
One sort is this, another that,
Here Philomell, that knowes full well,
WHat force and wit in loue doth dwell.

The skiebred Egle, roiall bird,
Percht there vpon an oke aboue,
The Turtle by him neuer stird,
Example of immortall loue.
The swan that sings about to dy,
Leauing Meander stood thereby.

And that which was of woonder most,
The Phoenix left sweet Arabie:
And on a Cædar in this coast,
Built vp her tombe of spicerie,
As I coniecture by the same,
Preparde to take her dying flame.

In midst and center of this plot,
I saw one groueling on the grasse:
A man or stone, I knew not that,
No stone, of man the figure was,
And yet I could not count him one,
More than the image made of stone.

At length I might perceiue him reare
His bodie on his elbow end:
Earthly and pale with gastly cheare,
Upon his knees he vpward tend,
Seeming like one in vncouth stound,
To be ascending out the ground.

A grieuous sigh forthwith he throwes,
As might haue torne the vitall strings,
Then down his cheeks the teares so flows,
As doth the streme of many springs.
So thunder rends the cloud in twaine,
And makes a passage for the raine.

Incontinent with trembling sound,
He wofully gan to complaine,
Such were the accents as might wound,
And teare a diamond rocke in twaine,
After his throbs did somewhat stay,
Thus heauily he gan to say.

O sunne (said he) seeing the sunne,
On wretched me why dost thou shine,
My star is falne, my comfort done,
Out is the apple of my eine,
Shine vpon those possesse delight,
And let me liue in endlesse night.

O griefe that liest vpon my soule,
As heauie as a mount of lead,
The remnant of my life controll,
Comfort me quickly with the dead,
Halfe of this hart, this sprite and will,
Di'de in the brest of Astrophill.

And you compassionate of my wo,
Gentle birds, beasts, and shadie trees,
I am assurde ye long to kno,
VVhat be the sorrowes me agreeu's,
Listen ye then to that in su'th,
And heare a tale of teares and ruthe.

You knew, who knew not Astrophill,
That I should liue to say I knew,
And haue not in possession still)
Things knowne permit me to renew,
Of him you know his merit such,
I cannot say, you heare too much.

VVithin these woods ofArcadie,
He chiefe delight and pleasure tooke,
And on the mountaine Parthenie,
Vpon the chrystall liquid brooke,
The Muses met him eu'ry day,
That taught him sing, to write and say.

When he descended downe to the mount,
His personage seemed most diuine,
A thousand graces one might count,
Vpon his louely cheerfull eine,
To heare him speake and sweetly smile,
You were in Paradise the while.

A sweet attractiue kinde of grace,
A full assurance giuen by lookes,
Continuall comfort in a face,
The lineaments of Gospell bookes,
I trowe that countenance cannot lie,
Whose thoughts are legible in the eie.

Was [n]euer eie, did see that face,
Was neuer eare, did heare that tong.
Was neuer minde, did minde his grace,
That euer thought the trauell long,
But eies, and eares, and eu'ry thought,
Were with his sweete perfections caught.

O God, that such a worthy man,
In whom so rare desarts did raigne,
Desired thus, must leaue vs than,
And we to wish for him in vaine,
O could the stars that bred that wit,
In force no longer fixed sit.

Then being fild with learned dew,
The Muses willed him to loue,
That instrument can aptly shew,
How finely our conceits will moue,
As Bacchus opes dessembled harts,
So loue sets out our better parts.

Stella, a Nymph within this wood,
Most rare and rich of heauenly blis,
The highest in his fancie stood,
And she could well demerite this,
Tis likely they acquainted soone,
He was a Sun, and she a Moone.

Our Astrophill did Stella loue,
O Stella vaunt of Astrophill,
Albeit thy graces gods may moue,
Where wilt thou finde an Astrophill,
The rose and lillie haue their prime,
And so hath beautie but a time.

Although thy beautie do exceed,
In common sight of eu'ry eie,
Yet in his Poesies when we reede,
It is apparant more thereby,
He that hath loue and iudgement too,
Sees more than any other doo.

Then Astrophill hath honord thee,
For when thy bodie is extinct,
Thy graces shall eternall be,
And liue by vertue of his inke,
For by his verses he doth giue,
To short liude beautie aye to liue.

Aboue all others this is hee,
Which erst approoued in his song.
That loue and honor might agree,
And that pure loue will do no wrong,
Sweet saints it is no sinne nor blame,
To loue a man of vertuous name.

Did neuer loue so sweetly breath
In any mortall breast before,
Did neuer Muse inspire beneath,
A Poets braine with finer store:
He wrote of loue with high conceit,
And beautie reard aboue her height.

Then Pallas afterward attyrde,
Our Astrophill with her deuice,
VVhom in his armor heauen admyrde,
As of the nation of the skies,
He sparkled in his armes afarrs,
As he were dight with fierie starrs.

The blaze whereof when Mars beheld,
(An enuious eie doth see afar)
Such maiestie (quoth he) is seeld,
Such maiestie my mart may mar,
Perhaps this may a suter be,
To set Mars by his deitie.

In this surmize he made with speede,
An iron cane wherein he put,
The thunder that in cloudes do breede,
The flame and bolt togither shut.
VVith priuie force burst out againe,
And so our Astrophill was slaine.

His word (was slaine) straightway did moue,
And natures inward life strings twitch,
The skie immediately aboue,
Was dimd with hideous clouds of pitch,
The wrastling winds from out the ground,
Fild all the aire with ratling sound.

The bending trees exprest a grone,
And sigh'd the sorrow of his fall,
The forrest beasts made ruthfull mone,
The birds did tune their mourning call,
And Philomell for Astrophill,
Vnto her notes annext a phill.

The Turtle doue with tunes of ruthe,
Shewd feeling passion of his death,
Me thought she said I tell thee truthe,
Was neuer he that drew in breath,
Vnto his loue more trustie found,
Than he for whom our griefs abound.

The swan that was in presence heere,
Began his funerall dirge to sing,
Good things (quoth he) may scarce appeere,
But passe away with speedie wing.
This mortall life as death is tride,
And death giues life, and so he di'de.

The generall sorrow that was made,
Among the creatures of kinde,
Fired the Phoenix where she laide,
Her ashes flying with the winde,
So as I might with reason see,
That such a Phoenix nere should bee.

Haply the cinders driuen about,
May breede an offspring neere that kinde,
But hardly a peere to that I doubt,
It cannot sinke into my minde,
That vnder branches ere can bee,
Of worth and value as the tree.

THe Egle markt with pearcing sight,
The mournfull habite of the place,
And parted thence with mounting flight,
To signifie to Ioue the case,
What sorrow nature doth sustaine,
For Astrophill by enuie slaine.

And while I followed with mine eie,
The flight the Egle vpward tooke,
All things did vanish by and by,
And disappeared from my looke,
The trees, beasts, birds, and groue was gone,
So was the friend that made this mone.

This spectacle had firmly wrought,
A deepe compassion in my spright
My molting hart issude me thought,
In streames forth at mine eies aright,
And here my pen is forst to shrinke,
My teares discollors so mine inke.

An Epitaph vpon the right Honourable sir Phillip
Sidney knight: Lord gouernor of Flushing.
T O praise thy life, or waile thy worthie death,
And want thy wit, thy wit high, pure, diuine,
Is far beyond the powre of mortall line,
Nor any one hath worth that draweth breath.

Yet rich in zeale, though poore in learnings lore,
And friendly care obscurde in secret brest,
And loue that enuie in thy life supprest,
Thy deere life done, and death hath doubled more.

And I, that in thy time and liuing state,
did onely praise thy vertues in my thought,
As one that seeld the rising sun hath sought,
With words and teares now waile thy timelesse fate.

Drawne was thy race, aright from princely line,
Nor lesse than such, (by gifts that nature gaue,
The common mother that all creatures haue,)
Doth vertue shew, and princely image shine.

A king gaue thee thy name, a kingly minde,
That God thee gaue, who found it now too deere
For this base world, and hath resumde it neere,
To sit in skies, and sort with powres diuine.

Kent thy birth daies, and Oxford held thy youth,
The heauens made hast, & staid nor yeers, nor time,
The fruits of age grew ripe in thy first prime,
Thy will, thy words; thy words the seales of truth.

Great gifts and wisedom rare imployd thee thence,
To treat frõ kings, with those more great thã kings,
Such hope men had to lay the highest things,
On thy wise youth, to be transported hence.

Whence to sharpe wars sweet honor did thee call,
Thy countries loue, religion, and thy friends;
Of worthy men, the marks, the liues and ends,
And her defence, for whom we labor all.

There didst thou vanquish shame and tedious age,
Griefe, sorrow, sicknes, and base fortunes might:
Thy rising day, saw neuer wofull night,
But past with praise, from of this worldly stage.

Back to the campe, by thee that day was brought,
First thine owne death, and after thy long fame;
Teares to the soldiers, the proud Castilians shame;
Vertue exprest, and honor truly taught.

What hath he lost, that such great grace hath woon,
Yoong yeeres, for endles yeeres, and hope vnsure,
Of fortunes gifts, for wealth that still shall dure,
Oh happie race with so great praises run.

England doth hold thy lims that bred the same,
Flaunders thy valure where it last was tried,
The Campe thy sorrow where thy bodie died,
Thy friends, thy want; the world, thy vertues fame.

Nations thy wit, our mindes lay vp thy loue,
Letters thy learning, thy losse, yeeres long to come,
In worthy harts sorrow hath made thy tombe,
Thy soule and spright enrich the heauens aboue.

Thy liberall hart imbalmd in gratefull teares,
Yoong sighs, sweet sighes, sage sighes, bewaile thy fall,
Enuie her sting, and spite hath left her gall,
Malice her selfe, a mourning garment weares.

That day their Hannibal died, our Scipio fell,
Scipio, Cicero, and Petrarch of our time,
Whose vertues wounded by my worthlesse rime,
Let Angels speake, and heauen thy praises tell.

Another of the same.
SIlence augmenteth grief, writing encreaseth rage,
Stald are my thoughts, which lou'd, and lost, the wonder of our age,
Yet quickned now with fire, though dead with frost ere now,
Enrag'de I write, I know not what: dead, quick, I know not how.

Hard harted mindes relent, and rigors teares abound,
And enuie strangely rues his end, in whom no fault she found,
Knowledge her light hath lost, valor hath slaine her knight,
Sidney is dead, dead is my friend, dead is the worlds delight.

Place pensiue wailes his fall, whose presence was her pride,
Time crieth out, my ebbe is come: his life was my spring tide,
Fame mournes in that she lost, the ground of her reports,
Ech liuing wight laments his lacke, and all in sundry [s]orts.

He was (wo worth that word) to ech well thinking minde,
A spotlesse friend, a matchlesse man, whose vertue euer shinde,
Declaring in his thoughts, his life, and that he writ,
Highest conceits, longest foresights, and deepest works of wit.

He onely like himselfe, was second vnto none,
Whose deth (though life) we rue, & wrong, & al in vain do mone,
Their losse, not him waile they, that fill the world with cries,
Death slue not him, but he made death his ladder to the skies.

Now sinke of sorrow I, who liue, the more the wrong,
Who wishing death, whom deth denies, whose thred is al to lõg,
Who tied to wretched life, who lookes for no reliefe,
Must spend my euer dying daies, in neuer ending griefe.

Harts ease, and onely I, like parables run on,
Whose equall length, keep equall bredth, and neuer meet in one,
Yet for not wronging him, my thoughts, my sorrowes, cell,
Shall not run out, though leake they will, for liking him so well.

Farewell to you my hopes, my wonted waking dreames,
Farewell sometimes enioyed, ioy, eclipsed are thy beames,
Farewell selfe pleasing thoughts, which quietnes brings foorth,
And farewel friendships sacred league, vniting minds of woorth.

And farewell mery hart, the gift of guiltlesse mindes,
And all sports, which for liues restore, varietie assignes,
Let all that sweet is voyd; in me no mirth may dwell,
Philip, the cause of all this woe, my liues content farewell.

Now rime, the sonne of rage, which art no kin to skill,
And endles griefe, which deads my life, yet knowes not how to kill,
Go seekes that haples tombe, which if ye hap to finde,
Salute the stones, that keep the lims, that held so good a minde.


Printed by T. C. for William Ponsonbie.

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