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Renascence Editions

Barley-Breake. W.N. Gentleman (Anon.) (1607)

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Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text is based on the edition by Alexander B. Grosart, "Printed for the Subscribers. 1877." Grosart worked from a copy in the possession of Henry Huth. The other known copy was at Bridgewater House. It was transcribed by Risa S. Bear in November 2006. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2006 Risa Bear and The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher, rbear[at]uoregon.edu.


A Warning for Wantons.

Written by W. N. Gent.
Printed at London by Simon Stafford,

dwelling in the Cloth-fayre, neere
the red Lyon. 1607.



chaste Maiden, Mistresse Eliz. C. daughter to
the VVorshipfull Rob. C. Esquire, yours
in seruice W. N. wisheth all fortunes
smiles, with the dew of im-
mortall felicitie.

IT is not vnknowne (right vertuous) amongst the wise, the Jillie Oaten winded by a rurall Shepheard, vnder a sliadowing Hawthorne, sprouting on a champion mountaine, hath beene as highly esteemed, as the curious strained Lute, sounded by the cunning Mujiaan in tne ncsie/t chamber of the Court of the mojl potentate Princes, and that a Jillie braunch rest from an Oliue tree, hath beene as acceptable, as the most precious perle dragd from the sands of the Ocean. Then, seeing the zeale lyeth not in the gift, but in the giuer: IJhall entreat you as gratefully accept this my Treatise, as I deliuer it, not for the worth, but as a testimonie of the zeale and duety from me belonging, which so long time I hauejludied how^ to manifest. And thus hoping there Jkall be nothing herein construed contrarie to my Jlmple meaning, neither my presumption held in disdaine, I end, though not forgetting my bounden ditetie to your VVorskipfull Parent and my very good friend, to whom if this my Pamphlet may cause mirth, as an Arbour lest, it hath his dejire> and my Hopes accompli/hed.

A Warning for Wantons.

VPon Arcadia's greene and fertile plaine,
Where snowie girles doe feede their prettie lambes,
Where Pan and Faunus as the chiefest raigne,
The onely wonder of Dame Natures hands:

Old Elpin with his sweete and louely May
Would oft prepare (as Pastorals vie to doe)
To keepe their sheep, that none might go astray,
And from the Woolues, that silly flocks pursue.

And to a shade he her would often call,
To shrowd her from the splendour of the sunne,
Leauing his flocke vnto the charge of Bawle,
A trustie Curre, and wondrous well could runne.

There would he talke of things done long agoe,
When gods on earth disdaind not sheepe to feed:
O then (quoth he) great grace from heauen did grow,
And Pan himselfe mask't in a shepheards weede.

Then Hate, and Enuie, all to totters went,
That now goes pampred vp in silke and gold,
Then milke and cheese the chiefest might content,
And garments best, that best could shun the cold:

Then new wrought ditches kept no Commons in,
Nor goodly Okes deuour'd in Vulcans forge:
Ceres of Pan the conquest could not win,
The stately Stagge in groues might fill his gorge:

Then one in others rights would not intrude,
But each lamented at his neighbours paine:
None gaue a cause to sue or to be su'de,
The weight of conscience wanted not a graine.

By pleasant springs the young and youthfull sort
Would sit and talke of their vnfained loue,
Whose simple truth would in a word report
More faith and zeale, then in an age we proue.

Why, Parents then would let their children goe
To plaies and reuells both by night and day;
Where now they dread & feare their ouerthrow:
For rape and murder lurke in euery way.

A Shepheard then secure might lye and sleepe,
Hauing a care his victuall were not stole
By Wolues and Curs that in the hillocks keepe.
And range abroad, while Somnus gaines the gole.

Thus would he fill his daughter with a sound,
Whilst she poore girle did see her mates at play:
His words againe might very well rebound:
For why, her minde was fix'd another way.

But on a time the Lads and Lasses came,
Entreating Elpin that she might goe play.
He said she should (Euphema was her name)
And then denyes: yet needs she must away.

To Barley-breake they roundly then 'gan fall:
Raimon, Euphema had vnto his mate:
For by a lot he won her from them all:
Wherfore young Streton doth his fortune hate.

But yet ere long he ran and caught her out,
And on the backe a gentle fall he gaue her.
It is a fault which iealous eyes spie out,
A maide to kisse before her iealous father.

Old Elpin smiles, but yet he frets within.
Euphema saith, she was vniustly cast.
She striues, he holds, his hand goes out, and in
She cries, Away, and yet she holds him fast,

Till sentence giuen by an other maid,
That she was caught according to the law:
The voice whereof this ciuill quarrell staid,
And to his make each lusty lad 'gan draw.

Euphema now with Streton is in hell:
(For so the middle roome is alwaies cald)
He would for euer, if he might, there dwell;
He holds it blisle with her to be inthrald.

The other run, and in their running change:
Streton 'gan catch, and then let go his hold.
Euphema, like a Doe, doth swiftly range,
Yet taketh none, although full well she could.

And winkes on Streton, he on her 'gan smile,
And faine would whisper something in her eare.
She knew his mind, and bid him vse a wile,
As she ran by him, so that none did heare.

Some other pastimes then they would begin;
And to locke hands one doth them all assummon.
Varietie is good in euery thing,
Excepting onely Gods and earthly women.

Then hand in hand they make a circle round,
And with a napkin one must goe about,
And looke behinde what lad, this same is found,
Must run to take her that so markt him out.

And first, Euphema doth begin the chace,
When Almon thought she would haue him assign'd:
But she of Streton doth require the race,
And by the Napkin shewes to him her mind.

She runs about, and tripping falls along.
(A tricke of maides vs'd when they lose their honour)
Her Father cries, Nay, let her haue no wrong,
When Streton nosling stumbleth out vpon her.

The lasses laugh: but Elpin he doth frowne,
And sweares by Pan, the play was too too bad.
Euphema sayes, her frocke did throw her downe.
Streton would faigne; but no excuse he had.

The play doth end, and Elpin will away:
Yet they entreat him still to stay awhile:
But all their sute may him no longer stay,
And with a whistle cals away his childe.

She goes, and going, bids them all farewell,
Vnlesse 'twere Streton, whom she would not see:
She feares her face, as she might very well:
For lookes in women ofttimes tell-tales bee.

She beares the scrip, her Father beares the bottle,
And to their flocke they soberly 'gan pase,
And by the way he doth begin to prattle,
Saying, that maids to play with boyes is base.
Seest thou (quoth he) that rude and ruffling Swaine.
Sirnamed Streton, how he did him behaue?
I tell thee, Chucke, thy Father doth disdaine,
To see his child so ruffled by a knaue:

And were it not I loue in peace to liue,
My Crab-tree staffe should read to him thy wrong:
The day I knew, when one the like should giue,
With halfe a word I had him laid along.

It makes no matter: let the sawce-boxe goe,
And euer after marke him what he is,
Running his race whilst that the hemp doth grow,
He hath good lucke, if he the gibbet misse.

Long haue I liu'd, yet could I neuer see
One of his lookes, but had a shamefull end,
And like a bird deceased on a tree.
And so will he, if time be not his friend.

But pray hereafter come not where he is:
Such company discredit often brings
To honest maides, that nothing doe amisse,
And breeds a fame that neuer shuts her wings.

By this they were arriued on the plaine,
Where Bawle salutes them with a gentle howle.
The Sunne being set, the day was in the waine.
Too whit, too who, cries out the broad-fac'd Owle.

Along a valley then the flocke she driues,
Vnto a cottage fenced with a wall,
To saue the lambs from wolues & sculking theeues,
And such as in the sylent night doe proale.

A little tilt stoode by the sheep-cote side,
Whereunto super-solemnly they goe:
Bawle had a lambe that in the yewning dide,
Which the olde man preserued from the crow.

The cloth is laid vpon Euphemas lap,
Their meate was grapes and fine delicious plummes,
A rosted Crab in milke was made a sop,
Which Elpin eates, his teeth had left his gummes.

Where we will leaue them to their feast, and bed,
Which after supper they entend to see,
And treat of Cratchets now in Stretons head
Vpon the mountaines restlesse wanders he.

His sheepe, for him, might all at riot run,
And fold themselues, or else do what they would:
He feares no woe, he dreads no losse to come,
The Shepheardesse hath all his thoughts in hold:

His studie is, which way he might contriue
A place and time, where they might fit confer,
And how he might a cause sufficient giue,
To make his loue and passion knowne to her.

One while he thinkes to send his griefe in rime,
And therein praise her cruell conquering eyes:
But then he feares she will some error finde:
For she was faire, and therewith passing wise.

Then thinkes he on what words he should depend,
If he should hap to finde a time and place:
One was too meane, another to no end;
This word obscure, and that was too too base.

In the conclusion, he doth beate his braine,
When through the matter he hath swiftly run:
Then all afresh begin doth he againe,
As farre to seeke as when he first begun.

Much like vnto a Player on a stage,
When he forgets tne thing that he should doe,
As one distract doth exit in a rage,
That faine would act, but yet he knowes not how.

Perplexed thus, he spends the silent night,
Vntill Aurora with a blushing red,
Comes as a Herald to proclayme the light
Of heauens bright taper rising from his bed.

And then e're long, he might afarre perceaue
Old Elfin's dogge come driuing of the flocke;
Whereat the champion mountaines he 'gan leaue,
And by the way he shrouds behinde a rocke,

Where he might see, and yet might not be seene,
Old Elpin and his pretie snowy maid,
Louingly paceyng vp alongst the greene,
Vnto the mountaine, where Bawle for them staid;

And to a shade, where they did vse to sit,
(For by this time the Sun was got on high)
Prepare they did to shun the scorching heate:
The Ewes 'gan feede, the lambes are frisking by.

And Elpin now some storie will reuiue,
To feast the time as it did passe along;
And from Calisto he doth it deriue,
And Iupiter, and of Calistos wrong.

One tale (quoth he) will steale the day away,
Whilst that our flocke in shadow chew the cud:
Then of a Nymph my purpose is to say;
But not of her whom Ioue bare on the flood,

Nor yet of her that caught was fetching water,
Nor yet of her whom Nessus earst did wrong,
Nor yet of her whom Iason so did flatter,
Nor of the three that Cacus kept so long:

Nor of the Queene that Carthage did inclose;
Nor will I speake of faire Lucrecias rape,
Ne tell a storie of the Albion Rose,
Nor IO yet, of Cow that had the shape.

Though all of these defloured were by men,
And each a warning to withstand disgrace,
And maides to shunne occasion offered them,
By guilefull harts that beare a flattring face:

Yet of a Nimph, Calisto hight, tis she,
From whose mishap our Countrey tooke this name,
I doe intend my story whole shall be
So note the sequell, and record the same.

          Old Elpins tale to his daughter.

WHen Dian in these deserts held her Court,
Calisto, faire of fairest, her attended,
To whom Dame Nature lent so rich a port,
That all her glory on her was depended.

Her curled lockes like streames on golden sands,
Her face cast in the mold of true perfection,
Her Swan-like brest, her Alabaster hands,
A stately gate, a body past description;

This Nimph in colour that did staine the Rose,
Ioue in his youth downe from Olympus spide,
Within whose brest conceit of fancie growes,
And sorting time when Iuno was aside,

Left Atlas burden, and to earth doth hie,
Where fates and fortune in his rage are curst,
Where he 'twixt heat and feruent cold doth frie,
And in deepe passion out these words doth thrust:

Am I (quoth he) the high supreme of gods,
Great King of heaven, Neptunes elder brother?
Drown'd I the earth, made Sea-nimphes dwel in woods,
Displac'd Saturnus, was Queene Opes my mother?

Tush, tis not so: 'tis faign'd, I am no Ioue:
Prerogatiues yeeld vnto Ioue all mirth,
And may command, not humbly sue for loue:
Yet 'tis a fault to play such prankes on earth:

Yet all is one, loue needs must be obaid.
Goe, Cupid, yeeld thy father his desire:
Let Iuno frowne, I must enioy the maid:
Let Scepter fall, and credit too expire.

With that, in haste a damzels robes he takes,
Wherein himselfe with curious hands he decks,
And Virgine-like each point and parcell makes,
And on his cheeke a colour chaste doth fixe:

His head adorn'd with precious stones and perle,
About his necke a comely falling band,
A frocke of silke, much like the Nunnes apparell,
Which fit him serues for this his freake in hand

White veluet buskins strapt with Indian gold,
Wherein his legs with seemely Art he pens.
Thus hauing set each thing in comely fold,
Vnto Dianas temple forthwith wends,

And by the way, with bended knees he tries
To cursie, and refine a Nimph-like voice.
From groser brest, for feare of prying spies,
His tongue to frame both ciuill words and choice.

He finds the Goddesse with her vestall traine,
With hunting habite walking in a vale;
To whom a tale demurely he doth faine,
Not with a blushing, but with visage pale,

Reporting that she was a Grecian borne,
And further, was the daughter of a King,
Whose chast desires had made her been forlorne
Of kin and countrey; and with that doth bring

Learned examples for the virgine life,
Whose contemplation highly past all other:
Not tedious chat, but all in comely briefe,
She craues the goddesse leaue to liue together.

Who gladly graunts, and by the hand her takes,
And next Calisto kindly doth embrace her.
For ioy whereof Ioues suttle inwards quakes,
Whose hopes depended wholy to deface her.

Vnto the Cloyster, all in seemly ray,
For to install this new-elected Nun,
This sacred traine with Musicke take the way,
Where, with importance euery rite is done.

Looke how a Foxe, when he intends to take
A silly lambe; his purpose to obtaine,
Staukes farre at first, for feare some dogs awake,
Then neere and neere, till he the lambe hath slaine.

So walkes slye Ioue with his Calisto forth,
A furlong first, the next day three or foure,
Then backe againe, with tales of note and worth,
Some fetcht from heauen, and some from earth far lower.

So long at last vnto a shadow groue
They straid, so farre out of sound or cry;
Which thing well noted of dissembling Ioue,
Soone sate him downe the faire Calisto by;

As who would say, Let's rest: for walkes are weary.
Where laughing, they claspe cithers iuory hands,
Prooue strength of armes, as maids will being merry,
Clip wrests, draw lots, meat wastes with silken bands.

And now although the game began in sport,
The silly Nymph rude earnest doth sustaine:
It's vaine to striue, or use the womens arte,
Screeke out, or struggle, prayers are but vaine.

Ioue shewes himselfe, but to Calistos griefe,
He her deflour'd, and straight to heauen flies,
Where he doth kisse Queene Iuno his iealous wife,
To blind the scape from her all-watchfull eyes.

Calisto maid, a maid? nay, there I lyde,
The snowy one, who was a maid ere while,
Tis she (I meane) whose fortunes are descryde,
Lamenting sits, that euen now did smile.

The day was gone, and Phebus maskt his face,
The antike world is shut in robes of night:
Yet she poore soule, bewayling still her case,
Asham'd henceforth to gaze vpon the light.

Yet in the end she doth recall to mind,
That what was past, no wight the act did know,
And that close acton much the world doth blind.
All are not maids that virgins are in show.

Considering this, she wipes her blubbered eyes,
And charg'd with feare, she mends her ruffled clothes,
And for excuse, her wits she doth surprise
For her delay; so to the Cloyster goes,

As light as euer Nymph or damzel trod:
No change of fortune may Diana spy;
No marke is seene of any soyle she had;
Front bolt-vpright, she neuer stept awry:

And making there (as wily women can)
Excuse worth credit for her long delay,
Reporting that a sauage monster came,
And fiercely tooke her sister Nymph away;

Much care and sorrow was conceiu'd thereat.
But you may note, that damsels waile not euer:
Time wore the memorie of it out of date,
And ioy, like spring time, was received thither,

Calisto, blithe as she that merriest was,
Ioues thunder-bolts are past, she nothing feeles,
Ne dreameth of her gowne late made of grasse,
Her gowne of greene she got of Ioue in fieldes:

But spendeth, as her wonted custome was,
With Phœbes Nymphs, her time in hunting sport,
So long, untill she silly one, alas,
Might plaine perceiue her lace come home too short:

And day by day this lace a mayle doth bate.
The cause whereof, conceit may not her tell;
Till on a day, as by a fount she sate,
Against the sunne she spies her belly swell.

At sight hereof, pale feare her hart inthralleth;
Her Rose-like cheekes, that lately dim'd the Rose,
Wan gastly white, like curtens, ouer-valeth,
And falling backe, to weeping fresh she goes.

Poore silly soule, I moane in heart to thinke.
How she with teares her lucklesse case bewailed,
And how from care & patience she 'gan shrinke,
And in deepe passion on the god out-rayl'd,

And twentie times with winged shaft she threats,
Most desperately her sobbing brest to slay:
But horror of her ghostly rest entreats
To hold; and thus vnto her selfe 'gan say:

          Calistos Lamentation.

O Haplesse wretch (quoth she) deflowrd by Ioue!
O lucklesse soule, of Fates a queane decreed !
O wronged stalke, that neuer thought to loue,
Constraynd to beare the fruite of wanton seede!

If iustice were in heauen or earth beneath,
Then thou, Calisto, hast not merit'd blame:
But Ioues vniust, and giuen to deceyue;
The world's vnright, & subiect to defame:

And I, poore wretch, wronged now by both,
Must vncieserued take an harlots name,
And byde the slaunder of eche spitefull mouth,
And like a Caytiffe byde the butt of shame.

O tymes profan'd, with speed cut short this hell,
And in obliuion, O, for euer keepe
This haynous act. And, Terra, let me dwell
Within thy bosome, and for euer sleepe;

O, neuer let these eyes behold the babe,
The babe, the babe, that with him bringeth hate,
Ne get these feete of mine on thee to tread,
Within the circuit of an harlots state.

But thou that restst my honours branch away,
With teares bemoan'd, take tree and all with thee,
And let me not heere in dishonour stay,
For after-times an history line to be.

O chastities white-siluer-sacred shore,
Though from thee reft, from thee I neuer swomme,
Vnto thy waues I may attayne no more,
In Seas of lust I drowned am become.

But wherefore beat I thus the sencelesse ayre?
Why warble I these vaine and frutelesse words,
Whilst he relentlesse Leatcher keepes him there,
Where he's supreme, and pittie none affords?

Why doe I not complaine vnto the gods ?
Callisto, doe; let him beare shame with thee:
Shew him he did betray thee to the woods;
Let Iuno know how he hath dealt with me.

Yet, foolish wench, tis vaine, if so thou thinke,
That to thy plaints the gods will credit giue:
Noe, they will rather at his falshood winke:
Thy information they will not beleeue.

Like stormes on plaines, with threats hee'le beare thee downe.
A silly lambe a Lyon cann't defame?
Heele vnto tortures haue thee drag'd and bound,
If thou his scapes shouldst once detect or name.

And thus (God wot) doe mountaines take their freakes,
But euermore poore mole-hils beare the blame.
The Owle may see the haughty Eagle['s] scapes:
But none durst one accuse him for the same.

This said, she spies Diana with her traine,
With course directed to a fountaine, where
The loftie trees coole shadow doth containe,
Where she did vse to wash her body bare.

Faine would she hide: but Dian she espies,
And called her, whose heast she doth obay;
And standing vp, she wipes her watery eyes,
And to the fountaine with them takes the way.

Good God, what tis for silly maides to shift,
When conscience writes some action in the cheeke!
She hangs the head, her eyes she durst not lift
Vp from the ground: the ayre she did not like.

The Nymph, that euer by Dianas side
Went cheeke by iowle, bearing a stately part,
Now lurkes behind, not willing to be ey'd,
Byting her lips, as one asham'd in hart.

Which caus'd a muttring 'mongst the virgine rout,
And some supposed she had stept amisse:
Her very count'nance may dissolue the doubt,
Her cheeke bewrayes, that it had caught a kisse.

But being come vnto the siluer streame,
Where naked all attend to wash the Queene,
Calistos robes no more may hide her shame:
Ioues suttle freak's apparent to be seene.

Calistos griefe is publike to their eyes;
Her slender hands may not her belly hide.
The goddesse spies, and therewith out she cryes,
Strumpet, auaunt, thy whoredome is descride.

The Nymphs all shouted: but the sorry one
On bended knees desires to be heard:
But hopelesse soule, attention had she none.
For her exile their voyces all accord.

Away she goes, as one expeld from Court,
And liues in deserts, as a wight forlorne,
Where, to the world (as ancient fame reports)
And to her woe, was hayrie Arcas borne.

From whom Arcadia tooke at first the name:
The Sonne of Ioue, a Satire first became:
The angry Iuno, to augment her fame,
Vpon the Nymph a Bearish shape doth frame.

Then loue, to shewe his glory to the earth,
And prooue him King of what the Fates had giuen,
He takes Calisto, to requite his mirth,
And of her makes a fixed signe in heauen.

NO sooner had he breathed out this tale,
A distance off his hollow eyes descryes
Young Streton running vp alongst a vale,
And vnto them, Away, away he cryes:

Your doores are ope, and theeues your treasure gaynes,
Your Pannes and Tankards all are tane away,
Yea, not so much as one Treene Dish remaynes.
Now woe (quoth Elpin) to the time and day:

And therewith starting on his withered limmes,
As one distract, in haste doth homeward hie:
Eupheme, as if she had the swallowes wings,
Before her Father downe the hill doth flie.

Which seene by Streton, he doth backe returne,
And to the woods directly he 'gan take,
As who would say, The theeues are this way run.
Euphema, swiftly after him doth make,

And through the Laborinth pathes and waies obscure,
This wily Marchant now his streamers bended,
Vntill arriuing where he might secure
Strike sayle, and shew the maid what he intended,

The winde conspiring with his base desire,
Ere long, to harbour brings his hoped prize.
Of sence bereft, and life like to retire,
Amazde she stands in most afflicted wise,

When he to draw her from that fearefull plight,
Whereby he might the better her inlure,
Sweares All is well: and that he vsde this slight,
To bring her where he might safe and secure,

Without the circuit of her Fathers eye,
Conferre with her, and manifest his loue:
And therewith pitched on his faithlesse knee,
Beseeching her, she would no Tygresse proue,

And that she would vouchsafe to graunt him grace,
Linking affection with his faithfull zeale.
O let (quoth he) the brightnesse of that face,
Salue vp the sore that nothing else can heale.

Let vs begin a Theame for after-time,
Whereon the Poets may their Muses cheere,
Blazing thy beautie with the zeale of mine:
So shalt thou liue, when Fates thy thread shall teare.

The bealed birdes, as we by riuers sit,
Shall in their language of our loue report,
Whilst fragrant flowers shall imbrace thy feete,
And frisking lambes doe skip to make vs sport.

What haughtie Shepheard, what neat spangled Goatresse,
What russling Neat-heard, dagled mayd with payle?
What Nymph, what Nun, or what disdainefull Votresse,
Shall not plucke downe and strike to thee the sayle:

When thou art clad in robes of younglings wool,
When thou hast Roses strowed at thy feete,
When stockes & stones, and each dead saples Mull
Shall skip and daunce, when thou on them shalt sit:

When thou shalt feede on Oliues, Nuts, and plummes,
Delicious Figs and Almonds finely peel'd,
The Muses food, such as of Violets comes,
With drinke forth of the purest grape distil'd:

When Pinkes and Cowslips, shall be made a bed,
Vpon whose gentle leaues secure wee'le sleepe,
Lockt one to other, whilst red lips doe wed,
Inuiron'd with armes, brests sweete kissing meete,

Cast ouer with a vale of beautyous Lillyes,
Vpon which mantle shall curiously be drawne
A thousand stories by renown'd Apelles,
Where we will see how louing soules doe fawne.

If those delights, with many thousand more,
May in thy brest moue matter of regard,
Let me no longer thus distrest implore:
But with a smile my loyall loue reward.

WIth that, he takes her by the Iuory hand,
And silent stands to heare her make reply;
When that her lookes giue him to vnderitand,
That womens thoughts doe on such subjects lye.

And shee with silent motion giues consent,
Not noting once the fraud of golden showres,
Nor how too late, betrayed maides repent
Themselues, in suffring men to plucke their flowres,

But suffers Streton to doe what he would:
Her mind is dauncing on this promist pleasure.
Away will I, (lest Pandor proue I should)
Leauing Euphema to repent by leasure.

ANd now of Elpin, whom we touch't before,
That home was run, deluded with a wile,
And view'd his house, his windowes and his dore,
Whilst crafty Streton stole his bliise the while.

And when his eyes, the messengers of ioy,
Had backe return'd the tidings of no wrong,
With hems, and sighs, he shakes away annoy,
And to the deserts 'gan he pase along;

Where all that day he spends in whoopes and calls:
But from his child the ayre doth nothing lend,
When greater dread his trembling heart inthrals,
Supposing that she had Adonis end.

And when the clouds had maskt the face of heauen,
And cole-black shade, the subiect of all illnesse,
Had full possest the seate that time had giuen,
And in her mantle wrapt vp all in stilnesse,

He sate him downe, girt with extremest woe.
O, why did Nature such affextion breed,
That parents eyes with teares should ouerflow,
And dim their glasses for their gracelesse seed?

For after he with sighs had toll'd her knell,
And clensd the brooke of groues that staid the flood,
With wringed hands, Adue (quoth he) farewell,
The onely comfort of my withered blood:

Farewell the face, that duld the fatall knife,
Farewell the brest, that heaued out such layes,
Farewell the shield and target of my life,
Farewell the whole supporter of my dayes:

And welcome thou blacke mistres of the night,
In thy sad armes let me alwaies sleepe:
O let me not reuiue to see the light,
O let the Sunne beneath for euer keepe:

And from the darke and hideous scowling clouds,
Powre stormes of vengeance on this cursed place;
Blow Northerne blasts, and scatter downe these shrouds,
Eare vp the roots from Terras pampered face:

Disrobe her of her rich and spangled vale,
Kill vp her younglings, leuell hils with plaines,
Rent rocks and mountaines, stop each pleasant well,
Heaue Tiber streames aboue his curbing raines.

Let dreadfull lightnings burne the fragrant greenes,
O let the Violet die with all the rest;
Die, stately Beech, and Oakes forbid your rines;
Let euery hearbe reueale his mothers brest:

And Philomele, of Tereus cease to sing,
And here, with me a deeper note renue,
Bid Progne come, and we her knell will ring,
We liuing, bore a sugred straine with you.

O Tarquin, death, and Fates of puissant power,
You might haue let my poore Euphema liu'd,
And prey'd on me, that longs to view the howre,
Wherein the Iudge shall dreadfull sentence giue.

The date of all my pleasant dayes are done,
The stage is broke that held my Comedie,
My sun is set, my glasse of life is run:
O Atropos, come act a Tragedie.

O hard mishap, past helpe or hope of cure!
O lucklesse Fate! O haplesse chaunce of mine;
Yet in despite her name shall still indure,
Grauen on the face of euery outward rine.

Whilst mountaines shall low vales and meads suruay,
Whilst Itis shall his mothers deeds rehearse,
Whilst Tagus sands shall scorne at Scillas clay,
Whilst doues shall bill, or Poets sing in verse,

My Pipe shall sound sad Musicke to the ayre,
Whilst I with clamors cracke the loftie skies,
When stately streames their courses shall forbeare,
And gazing stand; to heare what I deuise.

With that, vnto a Sackbut 'gan he giue
Sufficient matter to expresse his woe,
Whose dolefull sounds the Eccho did receiue,
That to his moanes the syluan beasts did moo;

And through the night he floted on his teares,
Vntill arriuing at the gladsome day,
When hurling winds present his watchfull eares,
With dying grones from out a caue therby:

Whereat he ran, as hungry of the cause,
Driuen by desire, directed by the sound,
He shunnes no shrub, he feares no thickets clawes;
No bush nor hedge can make him once rebound;

Vntill within a Caue he might descry
His owne pourtrayture both in woe and age,
A man, whose griefe had wrung his fountaynes dry,
And on his wrinckled cheekes the teares 'gan lodge,

Dry'd with the winde in euery crest and seame,
Like as a Riuer of her spring depriu'd,
When on her face she beares a slime or creame,
A shroud to shew the world he is vnliu'd.

Which seene by Elpin, he doth soone accuse
Himselfe, for that he could not so lament,
And craues of him the subiect to vnlose,
That so had made his eyes thus traiect bent.

          Elpin and Stretons Father.

NE're shalt thou find (quoth Elfin) one more fit,
To whom thou mayst a dolefull tale impart,
Then I, that can in like accords thee quit,
And passe no detter for a bleeding hart.

And therefore shew the role of this thy care,
Shew out the burden of thy warbling hart,
And vnto thee I likewise will declare
As sad a tale in euery point and part.

So may one helpe another in a straine:
He sigh, whilst thou deliverest out thy griefe;
And thou shalt pitty, whilst my part doth rayne,
And meete at last both with a weary life.

HEreat the other pleased seem'd to be,
And by the hand he Elpin doth inuite
To sit by him, beside an Oaken tree,
Whose burly branches kept the Caue from light.

And after they vpon a brace of pipes,
Had many sollum mournefull tunes o'rerunne,
The scarlet eyes of one the other wipes,
When Elpins mate his tale he thus begun:

          Stretons Fathers tale.

THe cause I moane, is not for any losse,
If reason might dame Natures errour master:
But follies bred within the bones of vs,
Stand farre without the cure of wisdomes plaster.

And where affection buyldes her habitation,
Admit it be in ne're so base a soyle,
What counsell can with strongest protestation,
Withdraw it foorth, or ease vs of that toyle?

My selfe, whom age should bynde in Wisdomes lore,
And through experience tread the path that's best,
May not refraine from that which makes me sore,
But loue the vulture that doth gnaw my brest.

A gracelesse sonne, an off-spring of my bloud,
In whom my youth had stored vp his ioy,
To be a comfort when I nothing cou'd,
Hath stolne my Goats, and packt himselfe away,

And tane with him a wily wanton maid,
Euphema hight, whom I this present morne
Found in his lap, as she afleepe was laid,
Whilst he with flowers did her head adorne,

And at my showing suddenly arose,
And in a moment flung out of my sight,
And hither came (at least I so suppofe)
And in this caue I hop't on them to light.

          Elpins answere to Stretons Father.

ENough, enough, too much oh, say no more,
(Quoth weary Elpin) thou hast poysoned me:
Forbeare, forbeare to rub me on that sore,
That inward bleeds, and may not cured be.

Thy Goats? my girle, hath one felon stolne;
Accurst for one, and damned for the other:
Woe to the day and place where he was borne;
Shame to his father, and horrour to his mother.

          Stretons Fathers reply.

CEase, bawling catife, I thy words disdaine,
Quoth Stretons Father, shame be to thy selfe:
If she be thine, she is as lewd as mine:
Then cease to dote so on a wanton elfe.

The fathers loue the child to ill doth harden,
When that it stands so publike she may view it,
Whereby presuming on her Fathers pardon,
She lumps so far, till she with shame doth rue it.

They both are naught, so naught let both them run:
One day they'le wish they had kept parents rules
An aged eye can oft see things to come,
When greener heads account vs doating fooles.

Put vp thy Pipe; let's get us to our flockes:
And let them gad, till they repentance catch:
When Hyems shall vpon them shake his lockes,
Their grazing feast will haue a wearish tatch.

When siluer showres congeale to hardned hayle,
When pleasant meads conuert to marish ground,
When stately trees of sap their leaues shall fayle,
Or when the wind shall tumble Progne downe;

Then shall we see our Grasse-hoppers to come,
And with the words of mercy cloy our eares,
When foolish we with pittie ouercome,
Shall fondly shead a thousand pardoning teares.

Whereat they rose, and sighing tooke their way
Vnto the mountaine where the Shepheards plaid,
Where woefull Elpin passed many a day,
In deepe laments for his too carelesse maid.

And on a time, as he alone was sate,
Neere to a fountaine or a liuely spring,
Unto a Pipe made of a ramping Oate,
With strained voice he loudly thus 'gan sing.

          Elpins Song.

THe harshie rockes are all to totters rent,
The frisking lambs haue left their wonted playes,
Faire Philomele is dombe and discontent,
The scowling clouds abbridge our sun-shine dayes.

The seemely Lilly hangs her louely head,
The Violet dies, with the Carnation white;
Faire Marigold infolds no more her seede,
The fragrant Rose is withered with despight:

The earth is barren, ciuilitie is dombe,
Our brightest daies are foggie, foule and blacke:
O time It is, O time, when wilt thou come,
And shew the Lambe, whose comming many lacke?

ANd ending this, though more he would haue sung,
Had not Euphema to his sight appeard,
Who at his feete with hands together wrung,
And wombe bewraying what within it bear'd,

Lies pleading for remission of her fact,
With vowed promise to transgresse no more,
Whose sudden sight her Fathers life-strings crackt,
And falling downe, he ended his implore.

Well might she waile: but death his owne will keepe;
Well might she rocke and strocke her Fathers corse:
Well might she sit her downe by him and weepe,
That 'twixt them twaine pale death had made diuorce.

Now stands she speechlesse, choakt with inward woe,
And with her hands her Iuorie brest doth beate,
Cursmg in hart what brought her hereunto.
Thus women will, but when it is too late.

And then on Streton she 'gan lowd exclaime,
Who had forsaken her in this her neede,
Leauing a marke for shame to take her aime.
The vulgar fruit that springs from wanton seede.

          Euphemas Lamentation.

WAS I (quoth she) the chiefe Arcadian maid?
Was I the wardrop of my Fathers treasure?
I was, I was: but all's at riot laid.
My iewel's changed for a fruitlesse pleasure.

O, heare I not the birds bewray my fact?
O, see I not the flockes abhorre my sight?
Behold, behold, the world lothing thy act:
See how they scorne, who in thee tooke delight.

Then looke on, you, whom Iasons would allure,
See here the Musicke of a yeelding song:
Read what it is to build on vowes impure.
The sweetest words containe oft greatest wrong.

Beautie, without the ornament of honour;
Is like a Rose whom Spiders have bereft,
The pure sweete odour time bestowd vpon her,
Loth'd of the Bees when hony none is left,

And pittied as a Deare amongst an heard,
When he with soyle hath al him ouer-dight,
Whose company they will not once afford,
But beate him hence, as lothing such a sight.

But whereunto doe I this breath applie?
Why draw I thus the pourtract of my fate?
Why rather doe I not despaire and die,
And cancell vp my life with honours date?

Now that base lust lies publike, voide of harbour,
Spreading abroad the ensigne of transgression,
Now vertuous triumphs haue forsooke the arbour,
Leauing the seate where shame hath ta'ne possession:

Prepare, vaine flesh, you that conspir'd with shame,
Ope wide your veines to let out wanton streames,
Resolue, resolue to die. And with the same,
An armed blade euen at her brest she aimes.

Looke, how a villen toucht with consciences dart,
When at his feete he lies, whom he would slay,
Puts forth his hand, and then repents in hart,
Now vowes to strike, but horror bids him slay

Euen so her hand the knife pluckes to and fro,
Fearing to hurt the bosome which it loues,
Whilst feare and scorne threats each others woe,
One crying, Stab; the other still reproues.

Thus standing in suspense 'twixt life and death;
Death arguing feare, life crying out dishonour:
When resolution hating lothed breath,
Confutes pale feare to let in death vpon her.

Then Dido-like she pears'd the frame of Nature;
When through the bulwarke of her crimson blood,
Deaths roaring cannon spoyles the worke and feature,
Breaking the stage whereon liues aftion flood.

But what is fate, if we conceiue with measure?
Who beares the badge of fortune, rules not her.
The deeds of men are voide at heauens pleasure:
Our doome decreed, we cannot mend, nor marre.

Whilst thus her blood the scornefull earth embrac'd,
Before the set of liues declining sun,
The caitife Streton being thither chac'd
By Wolues, and Beares, whose force he sought to shun,

And looking round which way he best might take,
His eyes did spy this dismall spectacle,
The sight whereof made ioynts and synewes shake.
And as he gaz'd, behold a miracle.

Those sauage beasts, whose iawes he sought to flie,
Had in a moment compast him about,
As who would say, Villaine, behold her die.
And therewithall the ayre and wood throughout

Did ring and sound with noyse of beasts and birds,
Who at him bay'd and star'de as at an Owle:
Kites, Crowes, and Buzzards, iayes, with woluish heards,
Rookes, Pies, and Oopes, and each deuouring fowle.

Amongst the rest, a blacke and filthie bird
Sate on a skrange, and cries, A rope, a rope.
Whose ougly voyce to Streton plaine was heard:
And seeing hope of life flood past all hope,

Aloud replies, A rope? why, I haue none:
If die I must, come sunder these my quarters.
A prating Parrot sitting all alone,
Him answere makes, Goe hang thee in thy garters.

With that, in haste his garters he puts off.
A nimble Ape his topman strait will bee,
And hangs vp Streton, whilst a Monkie did scoffe,
Crying, good fruite, good fruite doth beare the tree.

The Owle forth-with a solemne dirge doth sing:
With that, the Rauen seaz'd vpon his eyes.
His funerall condold, and euery thing,
They left his bones a banquet for the flies.

F I N I S.

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Renascence Editions