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There drincks she nectar with ambrosia mixt,

And joyes enjoyes that mortall men doe misse.

The honour nowe of highest gods she is, That whilome was poore shepheards pryde,

While here on earth she did abyde.
O happy herse!

Ceasse now, my song, my woe now wasted is;


O joyfull verse!






Sweete breathing Zephyrus did softly play,
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster
fayre :

When I, whom sullein care,
Through discontent of my long fruitlesse

In princes court, and expectation vayne
Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away,
Like empty shaddowes, did aflict my

Walkt forth to ease my payne
Along the shoare of silver streaming

Whose rutty bancke, the which his river hemmes,

Was paynted all with variable flowers, And all the meades adornd with daintie

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Against the brydale day, which is not long :

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song.

There, in a meadow, by the rivers side,
A flocke of nymphes I chaunced to espy,
All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks all loose un-

As each had bene a bryde:

And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs entrayled curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their

And with fine fingers cropt full feateously
The tender stalkes on hye.

Of every sort, which in that meadow grew, They gathered some; the violet pallid blew,

The little dazie, that at evening closes,
The virgin lillie, and the primrose trew,
With store of vermeil roses,

To decke their bridegromes posies
Against the brydale day, which was not

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song.

With that I saw two swannes of goodly hewe

Come softly swimming downe along the lee;

Two fairer birds I yet did never see: The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew

Did never whiter shew,

Nor Jove himselfe, when he a swan would be

For love of Leda, whiter did appear:
Yet Leda was, they say, as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing


So purely white they were,

That even the gentle streame, the which them bare,

Seem'd foule to them, and bad his billowes spare

To wet their silken feathers, least they


Soyle their fayre plumes with water not so


And marre their beauties bright,
That shone as heavens light,
Against their brydale day, which was not

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song.

Eftsoones the nymphes, which now had flowers their fill,

Ran all in haste to see that silver brood, As they came floating on the christal flood;

Whom when they sawe, they stood amazed still,

Their wondring eyes to fill.

Them seem'd they never saw a sight so fayre,

Of fowles so lovely, that they sure did deeme

Them heavenly borne, or to be that same payre

Which through the skie draw Venus silver teeme;

For sure they did not seeme
To be begot of any earthly seede,
But rather angels or of angels breede:
Yet were they bred of Somers-heat, they

In sweetest season, when each flower and weede

The earth did fresh aray;

So fresh they seem'd as day,

Even as their brydale day, which was not long:

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song.

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That they appeare, through lillies plenteous store,

Like a brydes chamber flore.

Two of those nymphes, meane while, two garlands bound

Of freshest flowres which in that mead they found,

The which presenting all in trim array, Their snowie foreheads therewithall they crownd,

Whil'st one did sing this lay,
Prepar'd against that day,

Against their brydale day, which was not long:

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song.

"Ye gentle birdes, the worlds faire ornament,

And heavens glorie, whom this happie hower

Doth leade unto your lovers blissful bower, Joy may you have and gentle hearts con


Of your loves couplement :

And let faire Venus, that is Queene of Love,

With her heart-quelling sonne upon you smile,

Whose smile, they say, hath vertue to


All loves dislike, and friendships faultie guile

For ever to assoile.

Let endlesse peace your steadfast hearts accord,

And blessed plentie wait upon your bord; And let your bed with pleasures chast abound,

That fruitfull issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joyes redound,
Upon your brydale day, which is not long :
Sweete Themmes, run softlie, till I end
my song."

So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said, their bridale daye should not
be long.

And gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground

Their accents did resound.

So forth those joyous birdes did passe along,

Adowne the lee, that to them murmurde low,

As he would speake, but that he lackt
a tong,

Yet did by signes his glad affection show,
Making his streame run slow.

And all the foule which in his flood did

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer,
Great Englands glory and the worlds wide

Whose dreadfull name late through all
Spaine did thunder,

And Hercules two pillors standing neere
Did make to quake and feare.

Faire branch of honor, flower of cheval-

That fillest England with thy triumphes fame,

Gan flock about these twaine, that did Joy have thou of thy noble victorie,


The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend
The lesser starres. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,

And their best service lend,

Against their wedding day, which was not long:

Sweete Themmes, run softly, till I end my song.

At length they all to mery London came,
To mery London, my most kyndly nurse,
That to me gave this lifes first native


Though from another place I take my name,

An house of auncient fame.

There when they came, whereas those bricky towres,

The which on Themmes brode aged backe doe ryde,

Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers,

There whylome wont the Templer Knights
to byde,

Till they decayd through pride:
Next whereunto there standes a stately

Where oft I gayned giftes and goodly


Of that great lord which therein wont to


Whose want too well now feeles my freendles case:

But ah! here fits not well

Olde woes, but joyes to tell,

Against the bridale daye, which is not long:

And endlesse happinesse of thine owne

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Which decke the bauldricke of the heavens bright.

They two, forth pacing to the rivers side, Received those two faire brides, their loves delight,

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I Which, at th' appointed tyde,

end my song.

Each one did make his bryde,

Against their brydale day, which is not long:

Sweet Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song.


YE learned sisters, which have oftentimes Beene to me ayding, others to adorne,

Bid her awake therefore, and soone her dight,

For lo the wishèd day is come at last, That shall, for all the paynes and sorrowes past,

Pay to her usury of long delight:

And, whylest she doth her dight,
Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your
eccho ring.

Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull Bring with you all the nymphes that you


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can heare

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And in his waters, which your mirror make,

Behold your faces as the christall bright, That when you come whereas my love doth lie;

No blemish she may spie.

And eke, ye lightfoot mayds, which keepe the deere,

That on the hoary mountayne used to towre;

And the wylde wolves, which seeke them to devoure,

With your steele darts doo chace from comming neer;

Be also present heere,

To helpe to decke her, and to help to sing, That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Wake now, my love, awake! for it is time; The Rosy Morne long since left Tithones bed,

All ready to her silver coche to clyme; And Phoebus gins to shew his glorious hed. Hark! how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies

And carroll of loves praise.

The merry larke hir mattins sings aloft; The thrush replyes; the mavis descant playes;

The ouzell shrills; the ruddock warbles soft;

So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,
To this dayes merriment.

Ah! my deere love, why doe ye sleepe thus long?

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When meeter were that ye should now awake,

T' awayt the comming of your joyous make,

And hearken to the birds love-learned song, The deawy leaves among!

Nor they of joy and pleasance to you sing,

That all the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

My love is now awake out of her dreames, And her fayre eyes, like stars that dimmèd


With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beams

More bright than Hesperus his head doth


Come now, ye damzels, daughters of delight,

Helpe quickly her to dight:

But first come ye fayre houres, which were begot

In Joves sweet paradice of Day and Night; Which doe the seasons of the yeare allot, And al, that ever in this world is fayre, Doe make and still repayre:

And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian Queene,

The which doe still adorne her beauties pride,

Helpe to addorne my beautifullest bride: And, as ye her array, still throw betweene Some graces to be seene;

And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing, The whiles the woods shal answer, and your eccho ring.

Now is my love all ready forth to come: Let all the virgins therefore well awayt: And ye fresh boyes, that tend upon her


Prepare your selves; for he is comming strayt.

Set all your things in seemely good aray,
Fit for so joyfull day:

The joyfulst day that ever sunne did see.
Faire Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy lifull heat not fervent be,
For feare of burning her sunshyny face,
Her beauty to disgrace.

O fayrest Phoebus! father of the Muse!
If ever I did honour thee aright,

Or sing the thing that mote thy mind


Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse; But let this day, let this one day, be myne; Let all the rest be thine.

Then I thy soverayne prayses loud wil sing,

That all the woods shal answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Harke! how the minstrils gin to shrill aloud

Their merry musick that resounds from far, The pipe, the tabour, and the trembling croud,

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