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With trembling steps and humble reverence When once the Crab behind his back he sees:
But for this time it ill ordained was,
To chuse the longest day in all the year, Whenso ye come into those holy places,
And shortest night, when longest fitter were; To humble your proud faces.
Yet never day so long but late would pass. Bring her up to th' high altar, that she may Ring ye the bells to make it wear away, The sacred ceremonies there partake,
And bonefires make all day, The which do endless matrimony make;
And daunce about them, and about them sing, And let the roaring organs loudly play
That all the woods may answer,
and your eccho ring The praises of the Lord, in lively notes, The whiles with hollow throats
“ Ah! when will this long weary day have end, The choristers the joyous anthems sing,
And lend me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly doth sad Time his feathers move ? “ Behold, whiles she before the altar stands, Haste thee, O fairest Planet! to thy home, Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks,
Within the western foame; And blesses her with his two happy hands,
Thy tyred steeds long since have need of rest.
Long tho it be, at last I see it gloom,
Appear out of the east.
Fair child of beauty, glorious lamp of love About the sacred altar do remain,
That all the host of heaven in ranks dost lead,
And guidest lovers through the night's sad dread,
And seem'st to laugh atween thy twinkling light,
Of these glad many, which for joy do sing, (ring."
That all the woods them answer, and their eccho Which may let in a little thought unsound. Why blush ye, Love! to give to me your hand, Now cease, ye Damsels! your delights forepast, The pledge of all your band ?
Enough it is that all the day was yours; Sing, ye sweet angels! Alleluya sing,
Now day is done, and night is nighing fast, That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. Now bring the bride into the bridal bowres;
Now night is come, now soon her disarray, « Now all is done; bring home the bride again,
And in her bed her lay; Bring home the triumph of our victory :
Lay her in lillies and in violets, Bring home with you the glory of her gain,
And silken curtains over her display, With joyance bring her, and with jollity.
And odour'd sheets, and arras coverlets. Never had man more joyful day than this,
Behold how goodly my fair love does lie,
In proud humility;
In Tempe, lying on the flowrie grass,
'Twixt sleep and wake, after she weary was Pour not by cups, but by the belly-full:
With bathing in the Acidalian brook :
Now it is night, ye damsels may be gone,
The woods no more shall answer, nor your ecchoring.
Now welcome night, thou night so long expected,
That long day's labour dost at length defray,
Spread thy broad wing over my love and me,
From fear of peril, and foul horror free;
Let no false treason seek us to entrap, This day the sun is in its chiefest hight,
Nor any dread disquiet once annoy With Barnaby the bright;
The safety of our joy, From whence declining daily by degrees,
But let the night be calm and quietsome, He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
Without tempestuous storms or sad affray,
Like as when Jove with fair Alcmena lay,
The Latmian shepherd once unto thee brought, When he begot the great Tirynthian groom;
His pleasures with thee wrought: Or like as when he with thy self did lie,
Therefore to us be favourable now, And begot Majesty;
And sith of women's labours thou hast charge, And let the maids and young men cease to sing ;
And generation goodly dost enlarge,
Encline thy will t' effect our wishful vow,
That may our comfort breed;
Till which we cease our hopeful hap to sing, Be heard all night within, nor yet without ;
Ne let the woods us answer, nor our eccho ring. Ne let false whispers, breeding hidden fears, Break gentle sleep with misconceived doubt:
And thou, great Juno! which with awful might Let no deluding dreams, nor dreadful sights,
The laws of wedlock still dost patronize, Make sudden sad affrights;
And the religion of the faith first plight, Ne let house-fires, nor lightnings, helpless harms,
With sacred rights hast taught to solemnize, Ne let the ponk, nor other evil sprights,
And eke for comfort often called art Ne let mischievous witches with their charms,
Of women in their smart, Ne let hob-goblins, names whose sense we see not,
Eternally bind thou this lovely band, Fray us with things that be not:
And all thy blessing unto us impart. Let not the scriech-owl nor the stork be heard,
And thou, glad Genius ! in whose gentle hand Nor the night-raven, that still deadly yells,
The bridal bower and genial bed remain, Nor damned ghosts, call’d up with mighty spells,
Without blemish or stain, Nor griesly vultures, make us once affeard:
And the sweet pleasures of their love's delight Ne let th' unpleasant quire of frogs still croking,
With secret aid dost succour and supply, Make us to wish their choking;
Till they bring forth the fruitful progeny, Let none of these their drery accents sing,
Send us the timely fruit of this same night, Ne let the woods them answer, nor their eccho ring.
And thou, fair Hebe! and thou, Hymen free,
Grant that it so may be. But let still Silence true night-watches keep,
Till which we cease your further praise to sing That sacred Peace may in assurance reign,
Ne any woods shall answer, nor your eccho ring. And timely Sleep, when it is time to sleep, May pour his limbs forth on your pleasant plain ;
And ye, high Heavens! the temple of the gods, The whiles an hundred little winged Loves,
In which a thousand torches flaming bright Like divers-fethered doves,
Do burn, that to us wretched earthly clods Shall fly and flutter round about your bed,
In dreadful darkness lend desired light; And in the secret dark, that none reproves,
And all ye Powers which in the same remain, Their pretty stealths shall work, and snares shall
More than we men can feign, spread,
Pour out your blessing on us plenteously, To filch away sweet snatches of delight,
And happy influence upon us rain, Conceal'd through covert night.
That we may rise a large posterity, Ye sons of Venus! play your sports at will,
Which from the earth, which they may long possess For greedy Pleasure, careless of your toyes,
With lasting happiness, Thinks more upon her Paradise of joyes
Up to your haughty palaces may mount, Than what you do, all be it good or ill.
And for the guerdon of your glorious merit All night, therefore, attend your merry play,
May heavenly tabernacles there inherit, For it will soon be day:
Of blessed saints for to increase the count: Now none doth hinder you that say or sing,
So let us rest, sweet Love! in hope of this Ne will the woods now answer, nor your eccho ring.
And cease till then our timely joys to sing,
The woods no more us answer, nor our eccho ring. Who is the same which at my window peeps ? Or whose is that fair face which shines so bright?
Song made in lieu of many ornaments Is it not Cynthia, she that never sleeps,
With which my love should duly have been deckt, But walks about high heaven all the night?
Which cutting off through hasty accidents, O! fairest Goddess! do thou not envy
Ye would not stay your due time to expect, My love with me to spy;
But promis'd both to recompence, For thou likewise didst love, though now unthought, But unto her a goodly ornament, And for a fleece of wool, which privily
And for short time an endless monument.
SONNETS, BY SIR PHILIP SIDNEY-A.D. 1554-84.
Because I oft in dark abstracted guise
In martial sports I had my cunning tried,
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies,
Come, Sleep, O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Of all the kings that ever here did reign,
High-way, since you my chief Parnassus be,
Now blessed you bear onward blessed me
O happy Thames, that did'st my Stella bear!
ROSAMOND TO KING HENRY.
(FROM ENGLAND'S HEROICAL EPISTLES.) Henry the Second keepeth (with much care) Lord Clifford's daughter, Rosamond the fair; And whilst his sons do Normandy invade, He forc'd to France, with wond'rous cost hath made A labyrinth in Woodstock, where unseen His love might lodge safe from his jealous queen: Yet when he stay'd beyond his time abroad, Her pensive breast, his darling to unload, In this epistle doth her grief complain ; And his rescription tells her his again.
If yet thine eyes (Great Henry) may endure
If with my shame thine eyes thou fain would'st
What by this conquest canst thou hope to win, Where thy best spoil is but the act of sin ? Why on my name this slander dost thou bring, To make my fault renowned by a king? “ Fame never stoops to things but mean and poor, The more our greatness, our fault is the more; Lights on the ground themselves do lessen far But in the air each small spark seems a star.” Why on my woman-frailty should'st thou lay So strong a plot mine honour to betray? Or thy unlawful pleasure should'st thou buy, Both with thine own shame and my infamy? 'Twas not my mind consented to this ill, Then had I been transported by my will; For what my body was inforc'd to do, (Heav'n knows) my soul yet ne'er consented to: For through mine eyes had she her liking seen, Such as my love, such had my lover been. “ True love is simple, like his mother truth, Kindly affection, youth to love with youth ; No greater cor'sive to our blooming years, Than the cold badge of winter-blasted hairs. Thy kingly power makes to withstand thy foes, But cannot keep back age, with time it grows:
Though honour our ambitious sex doth please,
But Henry, how canst thou affect me thus,
Sometimes, to pass the tedious irksome hours,
As in the gallery this other day,
Why, girl (quoth I) this is that Roman dame- And to declare for what intent it came,
Lest I therein should ever keep my shame.
That Jove's love, lo, turn’d into a cow;
So wakeful still be Juno's jealousies :
By this I well might have forwarned been, In beauty's field pitching his crimson tent,
T' have clear'd myself to thy suspecting Queen, In lovely sanguine sutes the lily cheek,
Who with more hundred eyes attendeth me, Whilst it but for a resting place doth seek;
Than had poor Argus single eyes to see. And changing oftentimes with sweet delight, In this thou rightly imitatest Jove, Converts the white to red, the red to white:
Into a beast thou hast transform’d thy love; The blush with paleness for the place doth strive,
Nay, worser far (beyond their beastly kind)
A monster both in body and in mind.
With the dull vap'ry dimness mocks my sight,
As tho' the damp, which hinders the clear flame, And the trees shadows hath much taller made,
Came from my breath in that night of my shame :
When as it look'd with a dark lowering eye,
And if a star but by the glass appear,
I straight intreat it not to look in here : With fearful nibbling fly th’inticing gin,
I am already hateful to the light, By nature taught what danger lies therein.
And will it too betray me to the night? Things reasonless thus warnd by nature be,
Then sith my shame so much belongs to thee,
Rid me of that, by only murd’ring me;
Thou shalt not need by circumstance t'accuse me ;
If I deny it, let the heavens refuse me.
My life's a blemish, which doth cloud thy name,
In this shew mercy, as I ever lov'd thee.
HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY,
TO THE LADY GERALDINE.
The Earl of Surrey, that renowned lord, Here in the garden, wrought by curious hands, Th' old English glory bravely that restor'd, Naked Diana in the fountain stands,
That prince and poet (a name more divine) With all her nymphs got round about to hide her, Falling in love with beauteous Geraldine, As when Acteon had by chance espy'd her:
Of the Geraldi, which derive their name This sacred image I no sooner view'd,
From Florence: whither to advance her fame,
He travels, and in public jousts maintain'd
From Tuscany this letter to her writes;
Which her rescription instantly invites.
From learned Florence (long time rich in fame)
From whence thy race, thy noble grandsires came In that sair casket of such wond'rous cost,
To famous England, that kind nurse of mine, Thou sent'st the night before mine honour lost, Thy Surrey sends to heav'nly Geraldine. Amimone was wrought, a harınless maid,
Yet let not Tuscan think I do it wrong,
That I from thence write in my native tongue;
But rather think it self adorn'd thereby,
That England reads the praise of Italy.