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Renascence Editions

The Purple Island. Cantos VII-IX.

Phineas Fletcher.

Table of Contents

I    II    III    IV    V    VI    VII    VIII    IX    X    XI    XII

This Renascence Editions text was transcribed by Daniel Gustav Anderson, July 2003, and reproduces the 1633 publication of The Purple Island, with the Piscatory Eclogues and Poeticall Miscellenie. It retains the spelling and punctuation of the original, silently amending obvious typographical errors such as missing periods at stanza ends. The long "s" and the vowel ligatures, also, are silently amended to the letters of the conventional keyboard. Any errors that have crept into the transcription are the fault of the present publisher. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2003 the editor and the University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only.



THe rising morn lifts up his orient head,
And spangled heav’ns in golden robes invests;
Thirsil starting up from his fearlesse bed,
Where uselesse nights he safe and quiet rests,
      Unhous’d his bleating flock, and quickly thence
      Hasting to his expecting audience,
Thus with sad verse began their grieved mindes incense:

Fond man, that looks on earth for happinesse,
And here long seeks what here is never found!
For all our good we hold from heav’n by lease,
With many forfeits and conditions bound;
      Nor can we pay the fine and rentage due:
      Though now but writ, and seal’d, and giv’n anew,
Yet daily we it break, then daily must renew.

Why should’st thou here look for perpetuall good,
At every losse against heav’ns face repining?
Do but behold where glorious Cities stood,
With gilded tops, and silver turrets shining;
      There now the Hart fearlesse of greyhound feeds,
      And loving Pelican in safety breeds;
There shrieching Satyres fill the peoples emptie steads.

Where is th’ Assyrian Lions golden hide,
That all the East once graspt in lordly paw?
Where that great Persian Beare, whose swelling pride
The Lions self tore out with ravenous jaw?
      Or he which ‘twixt a Lion, and a Pard,
      Through all the world with nimble pineons far’d,
And to his greedy whelps his conquer’d kingdoms shar’d?

Hardly the place of such antiquitie,
Or note of these great monarchies we finde:
Onely a fading verball memorie,
And emptie name in writ is left behinde:
      But when this second life, and glory fades,
      And sinks at length in times obscurer shades,
A second fall succeeds, and double death invades.

That monstrous beast, which nurst in Tibers fenne,
Did all the world with hideous shape affray;
That fill’d with costly spoil his gaping denne,
And trode down all the rest to dust and clay:
      His batt’ring horns pull’d out by civil hands,
      And iron teeth lie scatter’d on the sands;
Backt, bridled by a Monk, with sev’n heads yoked stands.

And that black 1Vulture, which with deathfull wing
O’re-shadows half the earth, whose dismall sight
Frighted the Muses from their native spring,
Already stoops, and flagges with weary flight.
      Who then shall look for happines beneath;
      Where each new day proclaims chance, change, and death,
And life it self’s as flit as is the aire we breathe?

Ne mought this Prince escape, though he as farre
All these excels in worth and heav’nly grace,
As the brightest Phoebus does the dimmest starre:
The deepest falls are from the highest place.
      There lies he now bruis’d with so sore a fall,
      To his base bonds, and loathsome prison thrall,
Whom thousand foes besiege, fenc’d with frail yielding wall.

Tell me, oh tell me then, thou holy Muse,
Sacred Thespio, what the cause may be
Of such despite, so many foemen use
To persecute unpiti’d miserie:
      Or if these cankred foes (as most men say)
      So mighty be, that gird this wall of clay;
What makes it hold so long, and threatned ruine stay?

When that great Lord his standing Court would build,
The outward walls with gemmes and glorious lights,
But inward rooms with nobler Courtiers fill’d;
Pure, living flames, swift, mighty, blessed sprites:
      But some his royall service (fools!) disdain;
      So down were flung: (oft blisse is double pain)
In heav’n they scorn’d to serve, so now in hell they reigne.

There turn’d to serpents, slown with pride and hate,
Their Prince a Dragon fell, who burst with spight
To see this Kings and Queens yet happy state,
Tempts them to lust and pride, prevails by slight:
      To make them wise, and gods he undertakes.
      Thus while the snake they heare, they turn to snakes;
To make them gods he boasts, but beasts, and devils makes.

But that great 2Lion who in Judahs plains
The awfull beasts holds down in due subjection,
The Dragons craft, and base-got spoil disdains,
And folds this captive Prince in his protection;
      Breaks 3 ope the jayl, & brings the prisoners thence,
      Yet plac’t them in this castles weak defence,
Where they might trust and seek an higher providence.

So now spread round about this little hold,
With armies infinite encamped lie
Th’ enraged Dragon and his Serpents bold:
And knowing well his time grows short and nigh,
      He swells with venom’d gore and poys’nous heat;
      His 4 tail unfolded heav’n it self doth beat,
And sweeps the mighty starres from their transcendent seat.

With him goes 5Caro, cursed damme of sinne,
Foul filthie damme of fouler progenie;
Yet seems (skin-deep) most fair by witching gin
To weaker sight; but to a purged eye
      Looks like (nay worse then) hells infernall hagges:
      Her empty breasts hang like lank hollow bagges,
And Iris ulcer’d skin is patcht with leprous ragges.

Therefore her loathsome shade in steel arayd,
All rust within, the outside polisht bright:
And on her shield a Mermaid sung and playd;
Whose humane beauties ‘lure the wandring sight,
      But slimy scales hid in their waters lie:
      She chants, she smiles, so draws the eare, the eye,
And whom she winnes, she kills: the word, Heare, gaze, & die.

And after march her fruitfull serpent frie,
Whom she of divers lechers divers bore;
Marshall’d in severall ranks their colours flie:
6Foure to Anagnus, foure this painted whore
      To loathsome Asebie brought forth to light;
      Twice foure got Adicus, a hateful wight;
But swoln Acrates two, born in one bed, and night.

7Moechus the first, of blushlesse bold aspect;
Yet with him Doubt and Fear still trembling go:
Oft lookt he back, as if he did suspect
Th’ approach of some unwisht, unwelcome foe:
      Behinde, fell Jealousie his steps observ’d,
      And sure Revenge, with dart that never swerv’d:
Ten thousand griefs and plagues he felt, but more deserv’d.

His armour black as hell, or starlesse night;
And in his shield he lively pourtray’d bare
Mars fast impound in arms of Venus light,
And ti’d as fast as in Vulcans subtil snare:
      She feign’d to blush for shame now all too late;
      But his red colour seem’d to sparkle hate:
Sweet are stoln waters, round about the marge he wrate.

8Porneius next him pac’t, a meager wight;
Whose leaden eyes sunk deep in swimming head,
And joylesse look, like some pale ashie spright,
Seem’d as he now were dying, or now dead:
      And with him Wastefulnesse, that all expended,
      And Want, that still in theft and prison ended:
A hundred foul diseases close at’s back attended.

His shining helm might seem a sparkling flame,
Yet sooth nought was it but a foolish fire:
And all his arms were of that burning frame,
That flesh and bones were gnawn with hot desire:
      Bout his wrist his blazing shield did frie
      With sweltring hearts in flame of luxurie:
His word, In fire I live, in fire I burn and die.

With him 9Acatharus in Tuscan guise;
A thing, that neither man will owne, nor beast:
Upon a boy he lean’d in wanton wise,
On whose fair limbes his eyes still greedie feast;
      He sports, he toyes, kisses his shining face:
      Behinde, reproach and thousand devils pace;
Before, bold Impudence, that cannot change her grace.

His armour seem’d to laugh with idle boyes,
Which all about their wonton sportings playd;
Al’s would himself help out their childish toyes,
And like a boy lend them unmanly aid:
      In his broad targe the bird her wings dispread,
      Which trussing wafts the Trojan Ganymed:
And round which was writ, Like with his like is coupeled.

10Aselges follow’d next, the boldest boy,
That ever play’d in Venus wanton court:
He little cares who notes his lavish joy;

Broad were his jests, wilde his uncivil sport;
      His fashion too too fond, and loosly light:
      A long love-lock on his left shoulder plight,
Like to a womans hair, well shew’d a womans sprite.

Lust in strange nests this Cuckoe egge conceiv’d;
Which nurst with surfets, drest with fond disguises,
In fancies school his breeding first receiv’d:
So this brave spark to wilder flame arises;
      And now to court preferr’d, high bloods he fires,
      There blows up pride, vain mirths and loose desires;
And heav’nly souls (oh grief!) with hellish flame inspires.

There oft to rivals lends the gentle Dor,
Oft takes (his mistresse by) the bitter Bob:
There learns her each daies change of Gules, Verd, Or,
(His sampler) if she pouts, her slave must sob:
      Her face his sphere, her hair his circling skie;
      Her love his heav’n, her sight eternitie:
Of her he dreams, with her he lives, for her he’l die.

Upon his arm a tinsell scarf he wore,
Forsooth his Madams favour, spangled fair:
Light as himself, a fanne his helmet bore,
With ribbons drest, begg’d from his Mistresse hair:
      On’s shield a winged boy all naked shin’d;
      His folded eyes willing and wilfull blinde:
The word was wrought with gold, Such is a lovers minde.

These foure, Anagnus and foul Caro’s sonnes,
Who led a diff’rent, and disorder’d rout;
Fancie, a lad that all in feathers wons,
And loose desire, and danger linkt with doubt;
      And thousand wanton thoughts still budding new:
      But lazie ease usher’d the idle crue;
And lame disease shuts up their troops with torments due.

Next band by Asebie was boldly led,
And his foure sonnes, begot in Stygian night:
First 11Idololatros, whose monstrous head
Was like an ugly fiend, his flaming sight
      Like blazing starres; the rest all different:
      For to his shape some part each creature lent,
But to the great Creatour all adversly bent.

Upon his breast a bloudie Crosse he scor’d,
Which oft he worshipt; but the Christ that di’d
Thereon, he seldome but in paint ador’d;
Yet wood, stone, beasts, wealth, lusts, fiends deifi’d:
      He makes meer pageants of the 12saving Rock,
      Puppet-like trimming his Almighty stock:
Which then, his god or he, which is the verier block?

Of Giant shape, and strength thereto agreeing,
Wherewith he whilome all the world opprest;
And yet the greater part his vassals being,
Slumbring in ignorance, securely rest:
      A golden calf (himself more beast) he bore;
      Which brutes with dancings, gifts, and songs adore:
Idols are lay-mens books, he round had wrote in Ore.

Next 13Pharmacus, of gashly wilde aspect;
Whom hell with seeming fear, and fiends obey:
Full eas’ly would he know each past effect,
And things to come with double guesse foresay,
      By slain beasts entrails, and fowls marked flight:
      Thereto he tempests rais’d by many a spright,
And charm’d the Sunne and Moon, & chang’d the day and night.

So when the South (dipping his sablest wings
In humid Ocean) sweeps with’s dropping beard
Th’ aire, earth, and seas; his lips loud thunderings
And flasing eyes make all the world afeard:
      Light with dark clouds, waters with fires are met:
      The Sunne but now is rising, now is set;
And findes west-shades in East, and seas in ayers wet.

By birth, and hand, he jugling fortunes tells;
Oft brings from shades his grandsires damned ghost,
Oft stoln goods forces out by wicked spells:
His frightfull shield with thousand fiends embost,
      Which seem’d without a circles ring to play:
      In midst himself dampens the smiling day,
And prints sad characters, which none may write, or say.

The third 14Haereticus, a wrangling carle,
Who in the way to heav’n would wilfulle erre;
And oft convicted, still would snatch and snarle:
His Crambe oft repeats; all tongue, no eare.
      Him Obstinacie, Pride, and Scorn attended:
      On’s shield with Truth Errour disguis’d contended:
His Motto this, Rather thus erre, then be amended.

Last marcht Hypocrisie, false form of grace,
That vaunts the show of all, ha’s truth of none:
A rotten heart he masks with painted face;
Among the beasts a mule, ‘mong bees a drone,
      ‘Mong starres a meteor: all the world neglects him;
      Nor good, nor bad, nor heav’n, nor earth affects him:
The earth for glaring forms, for bare forms heav’n rejects him.

His wanton heart he vails with dewy eyes,
So oft the world, and oft himself deceives:
His tongue his heart, his silver hands his tongue belies:
In’s path (as snails) silver, but slime he leaves:
      He Babels glory is, but Sions taint;
      Religions blot, but Irreligions paint:
A Saint abroad, at home a Fiend; and worst a Saint.

So tallow lights live glitt’ring, stinking die;
Their gleams aggrate the sight, steams would the smell:
So Sodom apples pease the ravisht eye,
But sulphure taste proclaims their root’s in hell:
      So airy flames to heav’nly seem alli’d;
      But when their oyl is spent, they swiftly glide,
And into jelly’d mire melt all their gilded pride.

So rushes green, smooth, full, are spungie light;
So their ragg’d stones in velvet peaches gown:
So rotten sticks seem starres in cheating night;
So quagmires false their mire with emeralds crown:
      Such is Hypocrisies deceitfull frame;
      A stinking light, a sulphure fruit, false flame,
Smooth rush, hard peach, sere wood, false mire, a voice, a name.

Such were his arms, false gold, true alchymie;
Glitt’ring with glassie stones, and fine deceit:
His sword a flatt’ring steel, which gull’d the eye,
And pierc’t the heart with pride and self-conceit:
      On’s shield a tombe, where death had drest his bed
      With curious art, and crown’d his loathsome head
With gold, & gems: his word, More gorgeous when dead.

Before them went their nurse, bold Ignorance;
A loathsome monster, light, sight, ‘mendment scorning:
Born deaf and blinde, fitter to lead the dance
To such a rout; her silver heads adorning
      (Her dotage index) much she bragg’d, yet feign’d:
      For by false tallies many yeares she gain’d.
Wise youth is honour’d age; fond’s age with dotage stain’d.

Her failing legges with erring footsteps reel’d;
(Lame guide to blisse!) her daughters on each side
Much pain’d themselves her stumbling feet to weeld;
Both like their mother, dull and beetle-ey’d:
      The first was Errour false, who multiplies
      Her num’rous race in endlesse progenies:
For but one truth there is, ten thousand thousand lies.

Her brood o’re-spread her round with sinne and bloud,
With envie, malice, mischiefs infinite;
While she to see her self amazed stood,
So often got with childe and bigge with spite:
      Her off-spring flie about & spread their seed;
      Straight hate, pride, schisme, warres & seditions breed,
Get up, grow ripe. How soon prospers the vicious weed!

The other Owl-ey’d Superstition,
Deform’d, distorted, blinde in shining light;
Yet styles her self holy Devotion,
And so is call’d, and seems in shadie night:
      Fearfull, as is the hare, or hunted hinde;
      Her face and breast she oft with crosses sign’d:
No custome would she break, or change her settled minde.

If hare or snake her way, herself she crosses,
And stops her ‘mazed steps; sad fears affright her,
When falling salt points out some fatall losses,
Till Bacchus grapes with holy sprinkle quite her:
      Her onely bible is an Erra Pater;
      Her antidote are hallow d wax and water:
I’ th’ dark all lights are sprites, all noises chains that clatter.

With them marcht (sunk in deep securitie)
Profanenesse, to be fear’d for never fearing;
And by him, new-oaths-coyning Blasphemie,
Who names not God, but in curse, or swearing:
      And thousand other fiends in diverse fashion,
      Dispos’d in severall ward, and certain station:
Under, Hell widely yawn’d; and over, flew Damnation.

Next Adicus his sonnes; first 15Ecthroes slie,
Whose prickt-up eares kept open house for lies;
And sleering eyes still watch and wait to spie
When to return still-living injuries:
      Fair weather smil’d upon his painted face,
      And eyes spoke peace, till he had time and place;
Then poures down showers of rage, and streams of rancour base.

So when a sable cloud with swelling sail
Comes swimming through calm skies, the silent aire
(While fierce windes sleep in Aeols rockie jayl)
With spangled beams embroid’red, glitters fair;
      But soon ‘gins lowr: straight clatt’ring hail is bred,
      Scatt’ring cold shot; light hides his golden head,
And with untimely winter earth’s o’re-silvered.

His arms well suit his minde, where smiling skies
Breed thund’ring tempests: on his loftie crest
Asleep the spotted Panther couching lies,
And by sweet sents and skinne so quaintly drest,
      Draws on her prey: upon his shield he bears
      The dreadfull monster which great Nilus fears;
(The weeping Crocadile) his word, I kill with tears.

With him Dissemblance went, his Paramour,
Whose painted face might hardly be detected:
Arms of offence he seld’ or never wore,
Lest thence his close designes might be suspected;
      But clasping close his foe, as loth to part,
      He steals his dagger with false smiling art,
And sheaths the trait’rous steel in his own masters heart.

Two Jewish Captains, close themselves enlacing
In loves sweet twines, his target broad display’d;
One th’ others beard with his left hand embracing,
But in his right a shining sword he sway’d,
      Which unawares through th’ others ribs he smites;
      There lay the wretch without all buriall rites:
His word, He deepest wounds, that in his fawning bites.

16Eris the next, of sex unfit for warre:
Her arms were bitter words from flaming tongue,
Which never quiet, wrangle, fight, and jarre;
Ne would she weigh report with right, or wrong:
      What once she held, that would she ever hold,
      And Non-obstantes force with courage bold:
The last word she must have, or never leave to scold.

She is the trumpet to this angrie train,
And whets their furie with loud-railing spite:
But when no open foes did more remain,
Against themselves themselves she would incite.
      Her clacking mill, driv’n by her flowing gall,
      Could never stand, but chide, rail, bark, and bawl:
Her shield no word could find; her tongue engrost them all.

17Zelos the third, whose spitefull emulation
Could not endure a fellow in excelling;
Yet slow in any vertues imitation,
At easie rate that fair possession selling:
      Still as he went, he hidden sparkles blew,
      Till to a mighty flame they sudden grew,
And like fierce lightning all in quick destruction drew.

Upon his shield lay that Tirinthian Swain,
Sweltring in fierie gore and pois’nous flame;
His wives sad gift venom’d with bloudie stain:
Well could he bulls, snakes, hell, all monsters tame;
      Well could he heav’n support and prop alone;
      But by fell Jealousie soon overthrown,
Without a foe, or sword: his motto, First, or none.

18Thumos the fourth, a dire, revengefull swain;
Whose soul was made of flames, whose flesh of fire:
Wrath in his heart, hate, rage and furie reigne;
Fierce was his look, when clad in sparkling tire;
      But when dead palenesse in his cheek took seisure,
      And all the bloud in’s boyling heart did treasure,
Then in his wilde revenge kept he nor mean, nor measure.

Look as when waters wall’d with brazen wreath
Are sieg’d with crackling flames, their common foe;
The angrie seas ‘gin foam and hotly breathe,
Then swell, rise, rave, and still more furious grow;
      Nor can be held, but forc’t with fires below,
      Tossing their waves, break out and all o’reflow:
So boyl’d his rising bloud, and dasht his angry brow.

For in his face red heat, and ashie cold
Strove which should paint revenge in proper colours:
That, like consuming fire, most dreadfull roll’d;
This, liker death, threatens all deadly dolours:
      His trembling hand a dagger still embrac’t,
      Which in his friend he rashly oft encas’t:
His shields devise fresh bloud with foulest stain defac’t.

Next him 19Erithius, most unquiet swain,
That all in law and fond contention spent;
Not one was found in all this numerous train,
With whom in any thing he would consent:
      His Will his Law, he weigh’d not wrong or right;
      Much scorn’d to bear, much more forgive a spight:
Patience he th’ asses load, and cowards Vertue hight.

His weapons all were fram’d of shining gold,
Wherewith he subt’ly fought close under hand:
Thus would he right from right by force withhold,
Nor suits, nor friends, nor laws his slights withstand:
      Ah powerfulle weapon! how dost thou bewitch
      Great, but base mindes, & spott’st with leprous itch,
That never are in thought, nor ever can be rich!

Upon his belt (fastned with leather laces)
Black boxes hung sheaths of his paper-swords;
Fill’d up with Writs, Sub-poena’s, Triall-cases;
This trespast him in cattel, that in words:
      Fit his device, and well his shield became,
      A Salamander drawn in lively frame:
His word was this, I live, I breathe, I feed in flame.

Next after him marcht proud 20Dichostasis,
That wont but in the factious court to dwell;
But now to shepherd-swains close linked is;
And taught them (fools!) to change their humble cell,
      And lowly weed for courts, and purple gay,
      To sit aloft, and States and Princes sway:
A hook, no scepter needs our erring sheep to stay.

A Miter trebly crown’d th’ Impostour wore;
For heav’n, earth, hell he claims with loftie pride.
Not in his lips, but hands, two keyes he bore,
Heav’ns doores and hells to shut, and open wide:
      But late his keyes are marr’d, or broken quite:
      For hell he cannot shut, but opens light;
Nor heav’n can ope, but shut; nor buyes, but sells by slight.

Two heads, oft three, he in one body had,
Nor with the body, nor themselves agreeing:
What this commanded, th’ other soon forbad;
As different in rule, as nature being:
      The body to them both, and neither prone,
      Was like a double-hearted dealer grown;
Endeavouring to please both parties, pleasing none.

As when the powerfulle winde and adverse tide
Strive which should most command the subject main;
The scornfull waves, swelling with angrie pride,
Yeelding to neither, all their force disdain:
      Mean time the shaken vessel doubtfull playes,
      And on the stagg’ring billow trembling stayes,
And would obey them both, and none of them obeyes.

A subtil craftsman fram’d him seemly arms,
Forg’d in the shop of wrangling sophistrie;
And wrought with curious arts, and mightie charms,
Temper’d with lies, and false philosophie:
      Millions of heedlesse souls thus had he slain.
      His sev’n-fold targe a field of Gules did stain;
In which two swords he bore: his word, Divide, and reigne.

Envie the next, Envie with squinted eyes;
Sick of a strange disease, his neighbours health:
Best lives he then, when any better dies;
Is never poore, but in anothers wealth:
      On best mens harms and griefs he feeds his fill;
      Else his own maw doth eat with spitefull will.
Ill must the temper be, where diet is so ill.

Each eye through divers opticks slily leers,
Which both his sight, and object self belie;
So greatest vertue as a mote appeares,
And molehill faults to mountains multiplie.
      When needs he must, yet faintly, then he praises;
      Somewhat the deed, much more the means he raises:
So marreth what he makes, & praising most dispraises.

Upon his shield that cruell Herd-groom play’d,
Fit instrument of Juno’s jealous spight;
His hundred eyes stood fixed on the maid;
He pip’t, she sigh’d: his word, Her day my night.
      His missile weapon was a lying tongue,
      Which he farre off like swiftest lightning flung,
That all the world with noise & foul blaspheming rung.

Last of this rout the savage 21Phonos went,
Whom his dire mother nurst with humane bloud;
And when more age and strength more fiercenesse lent,
She taught him in a dark and desert wood
      With force and guile poore passengers to slay,
      And on their flesh his barking stomack stay,
And with their wretched bloud his firy thirst allay.

So when the never-setled Scythian
Removes his dwelling in an empty wain;
When now the Sunne hath half his journey ranne,
His horse he bloods, and pricks a trembling vain,
      So from the wound quenches his thirstie heat:
      Yet worse, this fiend makes his own flesh his meat.
Monster! the ravenous beare his kinde will never eat.

Ten thousand Furies on his steps awaited;
Some sear’d his hardned soul with Stygian brand:
Some with black terrours his faint conscience baited,
That wide he star’d, and starched hair did stand.
      The first-born man still in his minde he bore,
      Foully array’d in guiltlesse brothers gore,
Which for revenge to heav’n from earth did loudly roar.

His arms offensive all, to spill, not spare;
Swords, pistols, poisons, instruments of hell:
A shield he wore (not that the wretch did care
To save his flesh, oft he himself would quell)
      For shew, not use: on it a viper swilling
      The dammes spilt gore, his emptie bowels filling
With flesh that gave him life: his word, I live by killing.

And last his brutish sonnes Acrates sent,
Whom Caro bore both in one birth and bed;
22Methos the first, whose panch his feet out-went,
As if it usher’d his unsetled head:
      His soul quite sowced lay in grapie bloud;
      In all his parts the idle dropsie stood;
Which, though already drown’d, still thirsted for the floud.

This thing, nor man, nor beast, tunnes all his wealth
In drink; his dayes, his yeares in liquour drenching:
So quaffes he sicknesse down by quaffing health,
Firing his cheeks with quenching, strangely quenching
      His eyes with firing; dull and faint they roll’d:
      But nimble lips known things, and hid unfold;
Belchings, oft-sips, large spits point the long tale he told.

His armour green might seem a fruitfull vine;
The clusters prison’d in the close-set leaves,
Yet oft between the bloudie grape did shine;
And peeping forth, his jaylers spite deceives:
      Among the boughs did swilling Bacchus ride,
      Whom wilde-grown Maenads bore, and every stride
Bacche, Io Bacche, loud with madding voice they cri’d.

On’s shield the goatish Satyres dance around,
(Their heads much lighter then their nimble heels)
Silenus old, in wine (as ever) drown’d,
Clos’d with the ring, in midst (though sitting) reels:
      Under his arm a bag-pipe swoln he held,
      (Yet wine-swoln cheeks the windie bag out-swell’d)
So loudly pipes: his word, But full, no mirth I yeeld.

Insatiate sink, how with so generall stain
Thy spu’d-out puddles court, town, fields entice!
Ay me! the shepherds selves thee entertain,
And to thy Curtian gulph do sacrifice:
      All drink to spue, and spue again to drink.
      Sowre swil-tub sinne, of all the rest the sink,
How canst thou thus betwitch with thy abhorred stink?

The eye thou wrong’st with vomits reeking streams,
The eare with belching; touch thou drown’st in wine;
The taste thou surfet’st; smell with spuing steams
Thou woundest: foh! thou loathsome putrid swine,
      Still thou increasest thirst, when thirst thou slakest;
      The minde and will thou (wits bane) captive takest:
Senseles thy hoggish filth, & sense thou senseles makest.

Thy fellow sinnes, and all the rest of vices
With seeming good are fairly cloath’d to sight;
Their feigned sweet the bleare-ey’d will entices,
Coz’ning the daz’led sense with borrow’d light:
      Thee neither true, nor yet false good commends;
      Profit nor pleasure on thy steps attends:
Folly begins thy sinne, which still with madnesse ends.

With Methos, Gluttonie, his gutling brother,
Twinne parallels, drawn from the self-same line;
So foully like was either to the other,
And both most like a monstrous-panched swine:
      His life was either a continu’d feast,
      Whose surfets upon surfets him opporest;
Or heavie sleep, that helps so great a load digest.

Mean time his soul, weigh’d down with muddie chains,
Can neither work, nor move in captive bands;
But dull’d in vaprous fogges, all carelesse reignes,
Or rather serves strong appetites commands:
      That when he now was gorg’d with crammd-down store,
      And porter wanting room had shut the doore,
The glutton sigh’d that he could gurmandize no more.

His crane-like neck was long unlac’d; his breast,
His gowtie limbes, like to a circle round,
As broad as long; and for his spear in rest
Oft with his staffe he beats the yeelding ground;
      Wherewith his hands did help his feet to bear,
      Els would they ill so huge a burthen stear:
His clothes were all of leaves, no armour could he wear.

Onely a target light upon his arm
He carelesse bore, on which old Gryll was drawn,
Transform’d into a hog with cunning charm;
In head, and paunch, and soul it self a brawn:
      Half drown’d within, without, yet still did hunt
      In his deep trough for swill, as he was wont;
Cas’d all in loathsome mire: no word; Gryll could but grunt.

Him serv’d sweet-seeming lusts, self-pleasing lies;
But bitter death flow’d from those sweets of sinne:
And at the Rear of these in secret guise
Crept Theeverie, and Detraction, neare akinne;
      No twinnes more like: they seem’d almost the same;
      One stole the goods, the other the good name:
The latter lives in scorn, the former dies in shame.

Their boon companions in their joviall feasting
Were new-shapt oaths, and damning perjuries:
Their cates, fit for their taste, profanest jesting,
Sauc’d with the salt of hell, dire blasphemies.
      But till th’ ambitious Sunne, yet still aspiring,
      Allayes his flaming gold with gentler firing,
We’l rest our wearie song in that thick groves retiring.

1 The Turk.

2 Revel. 5.5.

3 Luke. 4.18.

4 Revel. 12.4

5 The flesh.

6 The fruits of the flesh are described Gal. 5.19, 20, 21. and may be ranked into foure companies, 1. of Unchastitie. 2. of Irreligion. 3. of Unrighteousnesse. 4. of Intemperance.

7 Adulterie. Gal. 5.19.

8 Fornication.

9 Sodomie. Rom. 1.26, 27. Levit. 20. 15, 16.

10 Lasciviousnesse.

11 Idolatrie, either by worshipping the true God by false worship; as by images, against the second commandment: or giving away his worship to anything that is not God, against the first.

12 Psal. 62.7.

13 Witchcraft and curious arts.

14 Heresie.

15 Hatred.

16 Variance.

17 Emulation.

18 Wrath.

19 Strife.

20 Sedition or Schisme.

21 Murder.

22 Drunkennesse.



THe Sunne began to slack his bended bow,
And more obliquely dart his milder ray;
When cooler ayers gently ‘gan to blow,
And fanne the fields parcht with the scorching day:
      The shepherds to their wonted seats repair;
      Thirsil, refresht with this soft-breathing aire,
Thus ‘gan renew his task, and broken song repair:

What watchfull care must fence that weary state,
Which deadly foes begirt with cruell siege;
And frailest wall of glasse, and trait’rous gate
Strive which should first yeeld up their wofull liege?
      By enemies assail’d, by friends betray’d;
      When others hurt, himself refuses aid:
By weaknesse self his strength is foil’d and overlay’d.

How comes it then that in so neare decay
We deadly sleep in deep securitie,
When every houre is ready to betray
Our lives to that still-watching enemie?
      Wake then thy soul that deadly slumbereth:
      For when thy foe hath siez’d thy captive breath,
Too late to wish past life, too late to wish for death.

Caro the Vantguard with the Dragon led,
1Cosmos the battell guides, with loud alarms;
Cosmos, the first sonne to the Dragon red,
Shining in seeming gold, and glitt’ring arms:
      Well might he seem a strong and gentle Knight,
      As e’re was clad in steel and armour bright;
But was a recreant base, a foul, false, cheating sprite.

And as himself, such were his arms; appearing
Bright burnisht gold, indeed base alchymie,
Dimme beetle eyes, and greedy worldlings blearing:
His shield was drest in nights sad liverie,
      Where man-like Apes a Gloworm compasse round,
      Glad that in wintrie night they fire had found;
Busie they puffe & blow: the word, Mistake the ground.

Mistake points all his darts; his sunshines bright
(Mistaken) light appeare, sad lightning prove:
His clouds (mistook) seem lightnings, turn to light;
His love true hatred is, his hatred love;
      His shop, a Pedlars pack of apish fashion;
      His honours, pleasures, joyes are all vexation:
His wages, glorious care, sweet surfets, woo’d damnation.

His lib’rall favours, complemental arts;
His high advancements, Alpine slipp’ry straits;
His smiling glances, deaths most pleasing darts;
And (what he vaunts) his gifts are gilded baits:
      Indeed he nothing is, yet all appears.
      Haplesse earths happy fools, that know no tears!
Who bathes in worldly joyes, swimmes in a world of fears.

Pure Essence, who hast made a stone descrie
‘Twixt natures hid, and check that metals pride
That dares aspire to golds high soveraigntie;
Ah leave some touch-stone erring eyes to guide,
      And judge dissemblance; see by what devices
      Sinne with fair glosse our mole-ey’d sight entises,
That vices vertues seem to most; and vertues, vices.

Strip thou their meretricious seemlinesse,
And tinfold glitt’ring bare to every sight,
That we may loath their inward uglinesse;
Or else uncloud the soul, whose shadie light
      Addes a fair luster to false earthly blisse:
      Thine and their beauty differs but in this;
Theirs what is not, seems; thine seems not what it is.

Next to the Captain coward 2Deilos far’d;
Him right before he as his shield projected,
And following troops to back him as his guard;
Yet both his shield and guard (faint heart) suspected:
      And sending often back his doubtfull eye,
      By fearing taught unthought of treacherie;
So made him enemies, by fearing enmitie.

Still did he look for some ensuing crosse,
Fearing such hap as never man befell:
No mean he knows, but dreads each little losse
(With tyrannie of fear distraught) as hell.
      His sense he dare not trust, (nor eyes, nor eares)
      And when no other cause of fright appears,
Himself he much suspects, and fears his causelesse fears.

Harnest with massie steel, for fence, not fight;
His sword unseemly long he ready drew:
At sudden shine of his own armour bright
He started oft, and star’d with ghastly hue:
      He shrieks at every danger that appears,
      Shaming the knightly arms he goodly bears:
His word, Safer that all, then he that nothing fears.

With him went Doubt, stagg’ring with steps unsure,
That every way, and neither way enclin’d;
And fond Distrust, whom nothing could secure;
Suspicion lean, as if he never din’d:
      He keeps intelligence by thousand spies;
      Argus to him bequeath’d his hundred eyes:
So waking still he sleeps, and sleeping wakefull lies.

Fond Deilos all, 3Tolmetes nothing fears;
Just frights he laughs, all terrours counteth base;
And when of danger, or sad news he heares,
He meets the thund’ring fortune face to face:
      Yet oft in words he spends his boisterous threat;
      That his hot bloud, driv’n from the native seat,
Leaves his 4faint coward heart empty of lively heat.

Himself (weak help!) was all his confidence;
He scorns low ebs, but swimmes in highest rises:
His limbes with arms or shield he would not fence;
Such coward fashion (fool!) he much despises:
      Ev’n for his single sword the world seems scant;
      For hundred worlds his conqu’ring arm could dant:
Much would he boldly do, but much more boldly vant.

With him went self-admiring Arrogance,
And Bragge, his deeds without an helper praising:
Blinde Carelesnesse before would lead the dance;
Fear stole behind, those vaunts in balance peysing,
      Which farre their deeds outweigh’d; their violence,
      ‘Fore danger spent with lavish diffluence,
Was none, or weak in time of greatest exigence.

As when a fierie courser readie bent,
Puts forth himself at first with swiftest pace;
Till with too sudden flash his spirits spent,
Alreadie fails now in the middle race:
      His hanging crest farre from his wonted pride,
      No longer now obeyes his angrie guide;
Rivers of sweat and bloud flow from his gored side:

Thus ran the rash Tolmetes, never viewing
The fearfull fiends that duly him attended;
Destruction close his steps in poast pursuing,
And certain ruines heavie weights depended
      Over his cursed head, and smooth-fac’d guile,
      That with him oft would loosly play and smile;
Till in his snare he lockt his feet with treach’rous wile.

Next marcht 5Asotus, careless-spending Swain;
Who with a fork went spreading all around,
Which his old sire with sweating toil and pain
Long time was raking from his racked ground:
      In giving he observ’d nor form, nor matter,
      But 6 best reward he got, that best could flatter;
Thus what he thought to give, he did not give, but scatter.

Before aray’d in sumptuous braverie,
Deckt court-like in the choice and newest guise;
But all behinde like drudging slaverie,
With ragged patches, rent, and bared thighs:
      His shamefull parts, that shunne the hated light,
      Were naked left; (ah foul unhonest sight!)
Yet neither could he see, nor feel his wretched plight.

His shield presents to life deaths latest rites,
A sad black herse born up with sable swains;
Which many idle grooms with hundred lights
(Tapers, lamps, torches) usher through the plains
      To endlesse darknesse; while the Sunnes bright brow
      With fierie beams quenches their smoaking tow
And wastes their idle cost: the word, Not need, but show.

A vagrant rout (a shoal of tatling daws)
Strow him with vain-spent prayers, and idle layes;
And flatt’rie to his sinne close curtains draws,
Clawing his itching eare with tickling praise:
      Behinde, fond pitie much his fall lamented,
      And miserie, that former waste repented:
The usurer for his goods, jayl for his bones indented.

His steward was his kinsman, Vain-expense,
Who proudly strove in matters light to shew
Heroick minde in braggard affluence;
So lost his treasure, getting nought in liew,
      But ostentation of a foolish pride;
      While women fond, and boyes stood gaping wide;
But wise men all his waste and needlesse cost deride.

Next 7Pleonectes went, his gold admiring,
His servants drudge, slave to his basest slave;
Never enough, and still too much desiring:
His gold his god, yet in an iron grave
      Himself protects his god from noysome rusting;
      Much fears to keep, much more to loose his lusting;
Himself, and golden god, and every god mistrusting.

Age on his hairs the winter snow had spread;
That silver badge his neare end plainly proves:
Yet as to 8earth he nearer bowes his head,
So loves it more; for Like his like still loves.
      Deep from the ground he digs his sweetest gain,
      And deep into the earth digs back with pain:
From hell his gold he brings, and hoords in hell again.

His clothes all patcht with more then honest thrift,
And clouted shoon were nail’d for fear of wasting;
Fasting he prais’d, but sparing was his drift;
And when he eats, his food is worse that fasting:
      Thus starves in store, thus doth in plentie pine,
      Thus wallowing on his god, his heap of Mine,
He feeds his famisht soul with that deceiving shine.

Oh hungrie metall, false deceitfull ray,
Well laid’st thou dark, prest in th’ earths hidden wombe;
Yet through our mothers entrails cutting way,
We dragge thy buried coarse from hellish tombe:
      The merchant from his wife and home departs,
      Nor at the swelling ocean ever starts;
While death & life a wall of thinne planks onely parts.

Who was it first, that from thy deepest cell,
With so much costly toil and painfull sweat
Durst rob thy palace, bord’ring next to hell?
Well mayst thou come from that infernall seat;
      Thou all the world with hell-black deeps dost fill.
      Fond men, that with such pain do wooe your ill!
Needlesse to send for grief, for he is next us still.

His arms were light, and cheap, as made to save
His purse, not limbes; the money, not the man:
Rather he dies, then spends: his helmet brave,
An old brasse pot; breast-plate a dripping-pan:
      His spear a spit, a pot-lid broad his shield,
      Whose smokie plain a chalkt Impresa fill’d,
A bagge sure seal’d: his word, Much better sav’d, then spill’d.

By Pleonectes shamelesse Sparing went,
Who whines and weeps to beg a longer day,
Yet with a thundering voice claims tardie rent;
Quick to receive, but hard and slow to pay:
      His care’s to lessen cost with cunning base;
      But when he’s forc’t beyond his bounded space,
Loud would he crie, & howl, while others laugh apace.

Long after went 9Pusillus, weakest heart,
Able to serve, and able to command,
But thought himself unfit for either part;
And now full loth, amidst the warlike band
      Was hither drawn by force from quiet cell:
      Lonenesse his heav’n, and bus’ness was his hell.
A weak distrustfull heart is vertues aguish spell.

His goodly arms, eaten with shamefull rust,
Betwray’d their masters ease, and want of using;
Such was his minde, tainted with idle must,
His goodly gifts with little use abusing:
      Upon his shield was drawn that noble Swain
      That loth to change his love and quiet reigne
For glorious warlike deeds, did craftie madnesse feigne.

Finely the workman fram’d the toilsome plough
Drawn with an ox and asse, unequall pair;
While he with busie hand his salt did sow,
And at the furrows end his dearest heir
      Did helplesse lie, and Greek lords watching still
      Observ’d his hand guided with carefull will:
About was wrote, Who nothing doth, doth nothing ill.

By him went Idlenesse, his loved friend,
And Shame with both; with all, ragg’d Povertie:
Behinde sure Punishment did close attend,
Waiting a while fit opportunitie;
      And taking count of houres mispent in vain,
      And graces lent without returning gain,
Pour’d on his guiltie corse late grief, & helplesse pain.

This dull cold earth with standing water froze;
At ease he lies to coyn pretence for ease;
His soul like Ahaz diall, where it goes
Not forward, poasteth backward ten degrees:
      In’s couch he’s pliant wax for fiends to seal;      
      He never sweats, but in his bed, or meal:
He’d rather steal then work, and beg then strive to steal.

All opposite, though he his brother were,
Was 10Chaunus, that too high himself esteem’d:
All things he undertook, nor could he fear
His power too weak, or boasted strength misdeem’d,
      With his own praise like windie bladder blown:
      His eyes too little, or too much is own;
For 11known to all men weak, was to himself unknown.

Fondly himself with praising he disprais’d,
Vaunting his deeds and worth with idle breath;
So raz’d himself, what he himself had rais’d:
On’s shield a boy threatens high Phoebus death,
      Aiming his arrow at his purest light;
      But soon the thinne reed, fir’d with lightning bright,
Fell idlely on the strond: his word, Yet high, and right.

Next rave 12Philotimus in poast did ride:
Like rising ladders was his climbing minde;
His high-flown thoughts had wings of courtly pride,
Which by foul rise to greatest height enclin’d;
      His heart aspiring swell’d untill it burst:
      But when he gain’d the top, which spite accurst
Down would he fling the steps by which he clamb’red first.

His head’s a shop furnisht with looms of state:
His brain the weaver, thoughts are shuttles light,
With which in spite of heav’n he weaves his fate;
Honour his web: thus works he day and night,
      Till fates cut off his threed; so heapeth sinnes
      And plagues, nor once enjoyes the place he winnes;
But where his old race ends, there his new race begins.

Ah silly man, who dream’st that honour stands
In ruling others, not thy self! thy slaves
Serve thee, and thou thy slaves; in iron bands
Thy servile spirit prest with wilde passions raves.
      Would’st thou live honour’d? clip ambitions wing;
      To reasons yoke thy furious passions bring.
Thrice noble is the man, who of himself is King.

Upon his shield was fram’d that vent’rous lad,
That durst assay the Sunnes bright-flaming team;
Spite of his feeble hands, the horses mad
Fling down on burning earth the scorching beam;
      So made the flame in which himself was fir’d;
      The world the bonefire was, where he expir’d:
His motto written thus, Yet had what he desir’d.

But 13Atimus, a carelesse idle swain,
Though Glory off’red him her sweet embrace,
And fair Occasion with little pain
Reacht him her ivory hand, yet (lozel base!)
      Rather his way, and her fair self declin’d;
      Well did he thence prove his degenerous minde:
Base were his restie thoughts, base was his dunghill kinde.

And now by force dragg’d from the monkish cell,
(Where teeth he onely us’d, nor hands, nor brains,
But in smooth streams swam down through ease to hell;
His work to eat, drink, speal, and purge his reins)
      He left his heart behinde him with his feast:
      His target with a flying dart was drest,
Poasting unto his mark: the word, I move to rest.

Next 14Colax all his words with sugar spices;
His servile tongue, base slave to greatnesse name,
Runnes nimble descant on the plainest vices;
He lets his tongue to sinne, takes rent of shame:
      His temp’ring lies, porter to th’ eare resides,
      Like Indian apple, which with painted sides,
More dangerous within his lurking poyson hides.

So Echo, to the voice her voice conforming,
From hollow breast for one will two repay;
So, like the rock it holds, it self transforming,
That subtil fish hunts for her heedlesse prey:
      So crafty fowlers with their fair deceits
      Allure the hungrie bird; so fisher waits
To bait himself with fish, his hook and fish with baits.

His art is but to hide, not heal a sore,
To nourish pride, to strangle conscience;
To drain the rich, his own drie pits to store,
To spoil the precious soul, to please vile sense:
      A carrion crow he is, a gaping grave,
      The rich coats moth, the courts bane, trenchers slave;
Sinnes & hells winning baud, the devils fact’ring knave.

A mist he casts before his patrons sight,
That blackest vices never once appeare;
But greater then it is, seems vertues light;
His Lords displeasure is his onely fear:
      His clawing lies, tickling the senses frail
      To death, make open way where force would fail.
Lesse hurts the lions paw, then foxes softest tail.

His arms with hundred tongues were poud’red gay,
(The mint of lies) gilt, fil’d, the sense to please;
His sword which in his mouth close sheathed lay,
Sharper then death, and fram’d to kill with ease.
      Ah cursed weapon, life with pleasure spilling!
      The Sardoin herb with many branches filling
His shield, was his device: the word, I please in killing.

Base slave! how crawl’st thou from thy dunghill nest,
Where thou wast hatcht by shame and beggerie,
And pearchest in the learn’d and noble breast?
      Arts learn new art their learning to adorn:
      (Ah wretched mindes!) He is not nobly born,
Nor learn’d, that doth not thy ignoble learning scorn.

Close to him Pleasing went, with painted face,
And Honour, by some hidden cunning made;
Not Honours self, but Honours semblance base,
For soon it vanisht like an emptie shade:
      Behinde, his parents duely him attend;
      With them he forced is his age to spend:
Shame his beginning was, and shame must be his end.

Next follow’d 15Dyscolus, a froward wight;
His lips all swoln, and eyebrows ever bent,
With sootie locks, swart looks, and scouling sight,
His face a tell-tale to his foul intent:
      He nothing lik’t, or prais’d; but reprehended
      What every one beside himself commended.
Humours of tongues impostum’d, purg’d with shame, are mended.

His mouth a pois’nous quiver, where he hides
Sharp venom’d arrows, which his bitter tongue
With squibs, carps, jests, unto their object guides;
Nor fears he gods on earth, or heav’n to wrong:
      Upon his shield was fairly drawn to sight
      A raging dog, foaming out wrath and spite:
The word to his device, Impartiall all I bite.

16Geloios next ensu’d, a merrie Greek,
Whose life was laughter vain, and mirth misplac’t;
His speeches broad, to shame the modest cheek;
Ne car’d he whom, or when, or how disgrac’t.
      Salt round about he flung upon the sand;
      If in his way his friend or father stand,
His father & his friend he spreads with carelesse hand.

His foul jests steep’d and drown’d in laughter vain,
And rotten speech, (ah!) was not mirth, but madnesse:
His armour crackling thorns all flaming stain
With golden fires, (embleme of foppish gladnesse)
      Upon his shield two laughing fools you see,
      (In number he the third, first in degree)
At which himself would laugh, and fleer: his word, We three.

And after, 17Agrios, a sullen swain,
All mirth that in himself and others hated;
Dull, dead, and leaden was his cheerlesse vein:
His weary sense he never recreated;
      And now he marcht as if he somewhat dream’d:
      All honest joy but madnesse he estemm’d,
Refreshings idlenesse, but sport he folly deem’d.

In’s arms his minde the workman fit exprest,
Which all with quenched lamps, but smoking yet,
And foully stinking, were full queintly drest;
To blinde, not light the eyes, to choke, not heat:
      Upon his shield an heap of fennie mire
      In flagges and turfs (with sunnes yet never drier)
Did smoth’ring lie, not burn: his word, Smoke without fire.

Last Impudence, whose never-changing face
Knew but one colour; with some brasse-brow’d lie,
And laughing loud she drowns her just disgrace:
About her all the fiends in armies flie:
      Her feather’d beaver sidelong cockt, in guise
      Of roaring boyes; set look with fixed eyes
Out-looks all shamefac’t forms, all modestie defies.

And as her thoughts, so arms all black as hell:
Her brasen shield two sable dogs adorn,
Who each at other stare, and snarle, and swell:
Beneath the word was set, All change I scorn.
      But if I all this rout and foul array
      Should muster up, and place in battle ray,
Too long your selves & flocks my tedious song would stay.

The aged day growes dimme, and homeward calls:
The parting Sunne (mans state describing well)
Falls when he rises, rises when he falls:
So we by falling rose, and rising fell.
      The shadie cloud of night ‘gins softly creep,
      And all our world with sable tincture steep:
Home now ye shepherd-swains; home now my loved sheep.

1 The World or Mammon.

2 Fearfulnesse.

3 Overbold-nesse, or foolhardinesse.

4 The Philosopher rightly calls such <TEXT FAULTY>. Ethic. 3. cap. 7. not foolhardy, but faint-hardy.

5 Prodigalitie.

6 Arist. Eth. 4.

7 Coveteousnesse.

8 Arist. Eth.

9 Feeble-mindednesse.

10 Arrogancie.

11 The arrogant are more stupid. Arist. Ethic. 4

12 Ambition.

13 Basenesse of minde.

14 Flatterie.

15 Morositie.

16 Mad laughter. Eccles. 2.2.

17 Rusticitie, or feritie.


THe bridegroome Sunne, who late the Earth had spous’d,

Leaves his star-chamber; early in the East
He shook his sparkling locks, head lively rouz’d,
While Morn his couch with blushing roses drest;
      His shines the Earth soon latcht to gild her flowers:
      Phosphor his gold-fleec’t drove folds in their bowers,
Which all the night had graz’d about th’ Olympick towers.

The cheerfull Lark, mounting from early bed,
With sweet salutes awakes the drowsie light;
The earth she left, and up to heav’n is fled;
There chants her Makers praises out of sight:
      Earth seems a molehill, men but ants to be;
      Teaching proud men, that soar to high degree,
The farther up they climbe, the lesse they seem, and see.

The shepherds met, and Thomalin began;
Young Thomalin, whose notes and silver string
Silence the rising Lark, and falling Swan:
Come Thirsil, end thy lay, and cheerly sing:
      Hear’st how the Larks give welcome to the day,
      Temp’ring their sweetest notes unto thy lay?
Up then, thou loved swain; why dost thou longer stay?

Well sett’st thou (friend) the Lark before mine eyes,
Much easier to heare then imitate:
Her wings lift up her notes to loftie skies;
But me a leaden sleep, and earthly state
      Down to the centre ties with captive string:
      Well might I follow here her note and wing;
Singing she loftie mounts: ah! mounting I should sing.

Oh thou dread King of that heroick band,
Which by thy power beats back these hellish sprites,
Rescuing this State from death and base command;
Tell me, (dread King) what are those warlike Knights?
      What force? what arms? where lies their strengths increase,
      That though so few in number, never cease
To keep this sieged town ‘gainst numbers numberlesse?

The first Commanders in this holy train,
Leaders to all the rest, an ancient pair;
Long since sure linkt in wedlocks sweetest chain;
His name Spiritto, she 1Urania fair:
      Fair had she been, and full of heav’nly grace,
      And he in youth a mightie warrier was,
Both now more fair, & strong; which prov’d their heav’nly race.

His arms with flaming tongues all sparkled bright,
Bright flaming tongues, in divers sections parted;
His piercing sword, edg’d with their firy light,
‘Twixt bones and marrow, soul and spirit disparted:
      Upon his shield was drawn a glorious Dove,
      ‘Gainst whom the proudest Eagle dares not move;
Glitt’ring in beams: his word, Conqu’ring by peace and love.

But she Amazon-like in azure arms,
Silver’d with starres, and gilt with sunnie rayes,
Her mighty Spouse in fight and fierce alarms
Attends, and equals in these bloudie frayes;
      And on her shield an heav’nly globe (displaying
      The constellations lower bodies swaying,
Sway’d by the higher) she bore: her word, I rule obeying.

About them swarm’d their fruitfull progenie;
An heav’nly off-spring of an heav’nly bed:
Well mought you in their looks his stoutnesse see
With her sweet graces lovely tempered.
      Fit youth they seem’d to play in Princes hall,
      (But ah long since they thence were banisht all)
Or shine in glitt’ring arms, when need fierce warre doth call.

The first in order (nor in worth the last)
Is Knowledge, drawn from peace and Muses spring;
Where shaded in fair Sinaies groves, his taste
He feasts with words and works of heav’nly King;
      But now to bloudy field is fully bent:
      Yet still he seem’d to study as he went:
His arms cut all in books; strong shield slight papers lent.

His glitt’ring armour shin’d like burning day,
Garnisht with golden Sunnes, and radiant flowers;
Which turn their bending heads to Phoebus ray,
And when he falls, shut up their leavie bowers:
      Upon his shield the silver Moon did bend
      Her horned bow, and round her arrows spend:
His word in silver wrote, I borrow what I lend.

All that he saw, all that he heard, were books,
In which he read and learn’d his Makers will:
Most on his word, but much on heav’n he looks,
And thence admires with praise the workmans skill.
      Close to him went still-musing Contemplation,
      That made good use of ills by meditation;
So to him ill it self was good by strange mutation.

And Care, who never from his sides would part,
Of knowledge oft the waies and means enquiring,
To practice what he learnt from holy art;
And oft with tears, and oft with sighs desiring
      Aid from that Soveraigne Guide, whose wayes so steep,
      Though fain he would, yet weak he could not keep:
But when he could not go, yet forward would he creep.

Next 2Tapinus, whose sweet, though lowly grace
All other higher then himself esteem’d;
He in himself priz’d things as mean and base,
Which yet in others great and glorious seem’d:
      All ill due debt, good undeserv’d he thought;
      His heart a low-rooft house, but sweetly wroght,
Where God himself would dwell, though he it dearly bought.

Honour he shunnes, yet is the way unto him;
As hell, he hates advancement wonne with bribes;
But publick place and charge are forc’t to wooe him;
He good to grace, ill to desert ascribes:
      Him (as his Lord) contents a lowly room,
      Whose first house was the blessed Virgins wombe,
The next a cratch, the third a crosse, the fourth a tombe.

So choicest drugs in meanest shrubs are found;
So precious gold in deepest centre dwells:
So sweetest violets trail on lowly ground;
So richest pearls ly clos’d in vilenst shells:
      So lowest dales we let and highest rates;
      So creeping strawberries yeeld daintiest cates.
The Highest highly loves the low, the loftie hates.

Upon his shield was drawn that Shepherd lad,
Who with a sling threw down fain Israels fears;
And in his hand his spoils, and trophies glad,
The Monsters sword and head, he bravely bears:
      Plain in his lovely face you might behold
      A little blushing meeknesse met with courage bold:
Little, not little worth, was fairly wrote in gold.

With him his kinsman both in birth and name,
Obedience, taught by many bitter showers
In humble bonds his passions proud to tame,
And low submit unto the higher powers:
      But yet no servile yoke his forehead brands;
      For ti’d in such an holy service bands,
In this obedience rules, and serving thus commands.

By them went 3Fido, Marshal of the field:
Weak was his mother, when she gave him day;
And he at first a sick and weakly childe,
As e’re with tears welcom’d the sunnie ray:
      Yet when more yeares afford more growth, & might,
      A champion stout he was, and puissant Knight,
As ever came in field, or shone in armour bright.

So may we see a little lionet,
When newly whelpt, a weak and tender thing,
Despis’d by every beast; but waxen great,
When fuller times full strength and courage bring,
      The beasts all crouching low, their King adore,
      And dare not see what they contemn’d before:
The trembling forrest quakes at his affrighting roar.

Mountains he flings in seas with mighty hand;
Stops, and turns back the Sunnes impetuous course;
Nature breaks natures laws at his command;
No force of hell or heav’n withstands his force:
      Events to come yet many ages hence
      He present makes, by wondrous prescience;
Proving the senses blinde, by being blinde to sense.

His sky-like arms, di’d all in blue and white,
And set with golden starres that flamed wide;
His shield invisible to mortall sight,
Yet he upon it easily descri’d
      The lively semblance of his dying Lord;
      Whose bleeding side with wicket steel was gor’d,
Which to his fainting spirits new courage would afford.

Strange was the force of that enchanted shield,
Which highest powers to it from heav’n impart;
For who could bear it well, and rightly wield,
It sav’d from sword, and spear, and poison’d dart:
      Well might he slip, but yet not wholly fall:
      No finall losse his courage might appall;
Growing more sound by wounds, and rising by his fall.

So some have feign’d that Tellus giant sonne
Drew many new-born lives from his dead mother;
Another rose as soon as one was done,
And twentie lost, yet still remain’d another:
      For when he fell, and kist the barren heath,
      His parent straight inspir’d successive breath;
And though her self was dead, yet ransom’d him from death.

With him his Nurse went, carefull 4Acoe,
Whose hands first from his mothers wombe did take him,
And ever since have foster’d tenderly:
She never might, she never would forsake him;
      And he her lov’d again with mutuall band:
      For by her needful help he oft did stand,
When else he soon would fail, and fall in foemens hand.

With both sweet Meditation ever pac’t,
His Nurses daughter, and his Foster-sister:
Deare as his soul he in his soul her plac’t,
And oft embrac’t, and oft by stealth he kist her:
      For she had taught him by her silent talk
      To tread the safe, and dangerous wayes to balk;
And brought his God with him, him with his God to walk.

Behinde him Penitence did sadly go,
Whose cloudie dropping eyes were ever raining;
Her swelling tears, which ev’n in ebbing flow,
Furrow her cheek, the sinfull puddles draining:
      Much seem’d she in her pensive thought molested,
      And much the mocking world her soul infested;
More she the hatefull world, and most her self detested.

She was the object of lewd mens disgrace,
The squint-ey’d, wrie-mouth’d scoffe of carnall hearts;
Yet smiling heav’n delights to kisse her face,
And with his bloud God bathes her painfull smarts:
      Afflictions iron flail her soul had thrasht;
      Sharp Circumcisions knife her heart had slasht;
Yet it was angels wine, which in her eyes was masht.

With her a troop of mournfull grooms abiding,
Help with their sullen blacks their Mistresse wo;
Amendment still (but still his own faults) chiding,
And Penance arm’d with smarting whips did go:
      Then sad Remorse came sighing all the way;
      Last Satisfaction, giving all away:
Much surely did he owe, much more he would repay.

Next went 5Elpinus, clad in skie-like blue;
And through his arms few starres did seem to peep,
Which there the workmans hand so finely drew,
That rockt in clouds they softly seem’d to sleep:
      His rugged shield was like a rockie mold,
      On which an anchour bit with surest hold:
I hold by being held, was written round in gold.

Nothing so cheerfull was his thoughtfull face,
As was his brother Fido’s: Fear seem’d dwell
Close by his heart; his colour chang’d apace,
And went, and came, that sure all was not well:
      Therefore a comely Maid did oft sustain
      His fainting steps, and fleeting life maintain:
6Pollicita she hight, which ne’re could lie or feigne.

Next to Elpinus marcht his brother Love;
Not that great Love which cloth’d his Godhead bright
With rags of flesh, and now again above
Hath drest his flesh in heav’ns eternall light;
      Much lesse the brat of that false Cyprian dame,
      Begot by froth, and fire in bed of shame,
And now burns idle hearts swelt’ring in lustfull flame:

But this from heav’n brings his immortall race,
And nurst by Gratitude; whose carefull arms
Long held, and hold him still in kinde embrace:
But train’d to daily warres, and fierce alarms,
      He grew to wondrous strength, and beautie rare:
      Next that God-Love, from whom his off-springs are,
No match in earth or heav’n may with this Love compare.

His Page, who from his side might never move,
Remembrance, on him waits; in books reciting
The famous passions of that highest Love,
His burning zeal to greater flames exciting:
      Deep would he sigh, and seem empassion’d sore,
      And oft with tears his backward heart deplore,
That loving all he could, he lov’d that Love no more.

Yet sure he truly lov’d, and honour’d deare
That glorious name; for when, or where he spi’d
Wrong’d, or in hellish speech blasphem’d did heare,
Boldly the rash blasphemer he defi’d,
      And forc’t him eat the words he foully spake:
      But if for him he grief or death did take,
That grief he counted joy, and death life for his sake.

His glitt’ring arms, drest all with firie hearts,
Seem’d burn in chaste desire, and heav’nly flame:
And on his shield kinde Jonathan imparts
To his souls friend his robes, and princely name
      And kingly throne, which mortals so adore:
      And round about was writ in golden ore,
Well might he give him all, that gave his life before.

These led the Vantguard; and an hundred moe
Fill’d up the emptie ranks with ord’red train:
But first in middle ward did justly go
In goodly arms a fresh and lovely Swain,
      Vaunting himself Loves twin, but younger brother:
      Well mought it be; for ev’n their very mother
With pleasing errour oft mistook the one for th’ other.

As when fair Paris gave that golden ball,
A thousand doubts ranne in his stagg’ring breast:
All lik’d him well, fain would he give it all;
Each better seems, and still the last seems best:
      Doubts ever new his reaching hand deferr’d;
      The more he looks, the more his judgement err’d:
So she first this, then that, then none, then both preferr’d.

Like them, their armour seem’d full neare of kinne:
In this they onely differ; th’ elder bent
His higher soul to heav’n, the younger Twinne
‘Mong mortals here his love and kindenesse spent;
      Teaching strange alchymie, to get a living
      By selling land, and to grow rich by giving;
By emptying filling bags, so heav’n by earth atchieving.

About him troop the poore with num’rous trains,
Whom he with tender care, and large expence,
With kindest words, and succour entertains;
Ne looks for thanks, or thinks of recompence:
      His wardrobe serves to cloath the naked side,
      And shamefull parts of bared bodies hide;
If other cloaths he lackt, his own he would divide.

To rogues his gate was shut; but open lay,
Kindely the weary traveller inviting:
Oft therefore Angels, hid in mortall clay,
And God himself in his free roofs delighting,
      Lowly to visit him would not disdain,
      And in his narrow cabin oft remain,
Whom heav’n, & earth, & all the world cannot contain.

His table still was fill’d with wholesome meat,
Not to provoke, but quiet appetite;
And round about the hungry freely eat,
With plenteous cates cheering their feeble sprite:
      Their earnest vows broke open heav’ns wide doore,
      That not in vain sweet Plentie evermore
With gracious eye looks down upon his blessed store.

Behinde attend him in an uncouth wise
A troop with little caps, and shaved head;
Such whilome was infranched bondmens guise,
New freed from cruell masters servile dread:
      These had he lately bought from captive chain;
      Hence they his triumph sing with joyfull strain,
And on his head due praise and thousand blessings rain.

Her was a father to the fatherlesse,
To widows he suppli’d an husbands care;
Nor would he heap up woe to their distresse,
Or by a Guardians name their state impair;
      But rescue them from strong oppressours might:
      Nor doth he weight the great mans heavie spight.
Who fears the highest Judge, needs fear no mortal wight.

Once every week he on his progresse went,
The sick to visit, and those meager swains,
Which all their weary life in darknesse spent,
Clogg’d with cold iron, prest with heavy chains:
      He hoords not wealth for his loose heir to spend it,
      But with a willing hand doth well expend it.
Good then is onely good, when to our God we lend it.

And when the dead by cruell tyrants spight
Lie out to rav’nous birds and beasts expos’d,
His yearnfull heart pitying that wretched sight,
In seemly graves their weary flesh enclos’d,
      And strew’d with dainty flowers the lowly herse;
      Then all alone the last words did rehearse,
Bidding them softly sleep in his sad sighing verse.

So once that royall 7Maid fierce Thebes beguil’d,
Though wilfull Creon proudly did forbid her;
Her brother, from his home and tombe exil’d,
(While willing night in darknesse safely hid her)
      She lowly laid in earths all-covering shade:
      Her dainty hands (not us’d to such a trade)
She with a mattock toils, and with a weary spade.

Yet feels she neither sweat, nor irksome pain,
Till now his grave was fully finished;
Then on his wounds her cloudy eyes ‘gin rain,
To wash the guilt painted in bloudy red:
      And falling down upon his gored side,
      With hundred varied plaints she often cri’d,
Oh had I di’d for thee, or with the might have di’d!

Ay me! my ever wrong’d, and banisht brother,
How can I fitly thy hard fate deplore,
Or in my breast so just complainings smother?
To thy sad chance what can be added more?
      Exile thy home, thy home a tombe thee gave:
      Oh no; such little room thou must not have,
But for thy banisht bones I (wretch) must steal a grave.

But whither, wofull Maid, have thy complaints
With fellow passion drawn my feeling mone?
But thus this Love deals with those murd’red Saints;
Weeps with the sad, and sighs with those that grone.
      But now in that beech grove we’l safely play,
      And in those shadows mock the boyling ray;
Which yet increases more with the decreasing day.

1 Heaven.

2 Humilitie.

3 Faith.

4 Hearing.

5 Hope.

6 Promise.

7 Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, contrary to the edict of Creon, buries Polynices.

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