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An Elegie, or friends passion, for his Astrophill. VVrittenWritten vponupon the death of the right Honourable sir Phillip Sidney Knight, Lord gouernourgovernour of Flushing.
ASAs then, no winde at all there blew,
No swelling cloude, accloid the aire,
The skie, like grasse of watchet hew,
Reflected Phœbus golden haire,
The garnisht tree, no pendant stird,
No voice was heard of anie bird.
There might you see the burly Beare,
The Lion king, the Elephant,
The maiden VnicorneUnicorne was there,
So was Acteons horned plant,
And what of wilde or tame are found,
VVereWere coucht in order on the ground.
Alcides speckled poplar tree,
The palme that Monarchs do obtaine,
VVithWith LoueLove iuicejuice staind the mulberie,
The fruit that dewes the Poets braine,
And Phillis philbert there away,
Comparde with mirtle and the bay.
The tree that coffins doth adorne,
With stately height threatning the skie,
And for the bed of LoueLove forlorne,
The blacke and dolefull Ebonie,
All in a circle compast were,
Like to an Ampitheater.
VponUpon the branches of those trees,
The airie winged people sat,
Distinguished in od degrees,
One sort is this, another that,
Here Philomell, that knowes full well,
What force and wit in louelove doth dwell.
The skiebred Egle roiall bird,
Percht there vponupon an oke aboueabove,
The Turtle by him neuernever stird,
Example of immortall louelove.
The swan that sings about to dy,
LeauingLeaving Meander stood thereby.
And that which was of woonder most,
The Phœnix left sweet Arabie:
And on a Cædar in this coast,
Built vpup her tombe of spicerie,
As I coniectureconjecture by the same,
Preparde to take her dying flame.
In midst and center of this plot,
I saw one grouelinggroveling on the grasse:
A man or stone, I knew not that,
No stone, of man the figure was,
And yet I could not count him one,
More than the image made of stone.
At length I might perceiueperceive him reare
His bodie on his elbow end:
Earthly and pale with gastly cheare,
VponUpon his knees he vpwardupward tend,
Seeming like one in vncouthuncouth stound,
To be ascending out the ground.
A grieuousgrievous sigh forthwith he throwes,
As might hauehave torne the vitall strings,
Then down his cheeks the teares so flows,
As doth the streame of many springs.
So thunder rends the cloud in twaine,
And makes a passage for the raine.
Incontinent with trembling sound,
He wofully gan to complaine,
Such were the accents as might wound,
And teare a diamond rocke in twaine,
After his throbs did somewhat stay,
Thus heauilyheavily he gan to say.
O sunne (said he) seeing the sunne,
On wretched me why dost thou shine,
My star is falne, my comfort done,
Out is the apple of my eine,
Shine vponupon those possesse delight,
And let me liuelive in endlesse might.
O griefe that liest vponupon my soule,
As heauieheavie as a mount of lead,
The remnant of my life controll,
Consort me quickly with the dead,
Halfe of this hart, this sprite and will,
Di’de in the brest of Astrophill.
And you compassionate of my wo,
Gentle birds, beasts and shadie trees,
I am assurde ye long to kno,
VVhatWhat be the sorrowes me agreeu’sagreev’s,
Listen ye then to that insu’th,
And heare a tale of teares and ruthe.
You knew, who knew not Astrophill,
(That I should liuelive to say I knew,
And hauehave not in possession still)
Things knowne permit me to renew,
Of him you know his merit such,
I cannot say, you heare too much.
VVithinWithin these woods of Arcadie,
He chiefe delight and pleasure tooke,
And on the mountaine Parthenie,
VponUpon the chrystall liquid brooke,
The Muses met him eu’ryev’ry day,
That taught him sing, to write, and say.
When he descended downe to the mount,
His personage seemed most diuinedivine,
A thousand graces one might count,
VponUpon his louelylovely cheerfull eine,
To heare him speake and sweetly smile,
You were in Paradise the while.
A sweet attractiueattractive kinde of grace,
A full assurance giuengiven by lookes,
Continuall comfort in a face,
The lineaments of Gospell bookes,
I trowe that countenance cannot lie,
Whose thoughts are legible in the eie.
Was euerever eie, did see that face,
Was neuernever eare, did heare that tong,
Was neuernever minde, did minde his grace,
That euerever thought the trauelltravell long,
But eies, and eares, and eu’ryev’ry thought,
Were with his sweete perfections caught.
O God, that such a worthy man,
In whom so rare desarts did raigne,
Desired thus, must leaueleave vsus than,
And we to wish for him in vaine,
O could the stars that bred that wit,
In force no longer fixed sit.
Then being fild with learned dew,
The Muses willed him to louelove,
That instrument can aptly shew,
How finely our conceits will mouemove,
As Bacchus opes dissembled harts,
So louelove sets out our better parts.
Stella, a Nymph within this wood,
Most rare and rich of heauenlyheavenly blis,
The highest in his fancie stood,
And she could well demerite this,
Tis likely they acquainted soone,
He was a Sun, and she a Moone.
Our Astrophill did Stella louelove,
O Stella vaunt of Astrophrill,
Albeit thy graces gods may mouemove,
Where wilt thou finde an Astrophill,
The rose and lillie hauehave their prime,
And so hath beautie but a time.
Although thy beautie do exceed,
In common sight of eu’ryev’ry eie,
Yet in his Poesies when we reede,
It is apparant more thereby,
He that hath louelove and iudgementjudgement too,
Sees more than any other doo.
Then Astrophill hath honord thee,
For when thy bodie is extinct,
Thy graces shall eternall be,
And liuelive by vertue of his inke,
For by his verses he doth giuegive,
To short liudelivde beautie aye to liuelive.
AboueAbove all others this is hee,
Which erst approouedapprooved in his song,
That louelove and honor might agree,
And that pure louelove will do no wrong,
Sweet saints it is no sinne nor blame,
To louelove a man of vertuous name.
Did neuernever louelove so sweetly breath
In any mortall brest before,
Did neuernever Muse inspire beneath,
A Poets braine with finer store:
He wrote of louelove with high conceit,
And beautie reard aboueabove her height.
Then Pallas afterward attyrde,
Our Astrophill with her deuicedevice,
VVhomWhom in his armor heauenheaven admyrde.
As of the nation of the skies,
He sparkled in his armes afarrs,
As he were dight with fierie starrs.
The blaze whereof when Mars beheld,
(An enuiousenvious eie doth see afar)
Such maiestiemajestie (quoth he) is seeld,
Such maiestiemajestie my mart may mar,
Perhaps this may a suter be,
To set Mars by his deitie.
In this surmize he made with speede,
An iron cane wherein he put,
The thunder that in cloudes do breede,
The flame and bolt togither shut.
VVithWith priuieprivie force burst out againe,
And so our Astrophill was slaine.
His word (was slaine) straightway did mouemove,
And natures inward life strings twitch,
The skie immediately aboueabove,
Was dimd with hideous clouds of pitch,
The wrastling winds from out the ground,
Fild all the aire with ratling sound.
The bending trees exprest a grone,
And sigh’d the sorrow of his fall,
The forrest beasts made ruthfull mone,
The birds did tune their mourning call,
And Philomell for Astrophill,
VntoUnto her notes annext a phill.
The Turtle douedove with tunes of ruthe,
Shewd feeling passion of his death,
Me thought she said I tell thee truthe,
Was neuernever he that drew in breath,
VntoUnto his louelove more trustie found,
Than he for whom our griefs abound.
The swan that was in presence heere,
Began his funerall dirge to sing,
Good things (quoth he) may scarce appeere,
But passe away with speedie wing.
This mortall life as death is tride,
And death giuesgives life, and so he di’de.
The generall sorrow that was made,
Among the creatures of kinde,
Fired the Phœnix where she laide,
Her ashes flying with the winde,
So as I might with reason see,
That such a Phœnix nere should bee.
Haply the cinders driuendriven about,
May breede an offspring neere that kinde,
But hardly a peere to that I doubt,
It cannot sinke into my minde,
Than vnderunder branches ere can bee,
Of worth and value as the tree.
The Egle markt with pearcing sight,
The mournfull habite of the place,
And parted thence with mounting flight,
To signifie to IoueJove the the case,
What sorrow nature doth sustaine,
For Astrophill by enuieenvie slaine.
And while I followed with mine eie,
The flight the Egle vpwardupward tooke,
All things did vanish by and by,
And disappeared from my looke,
The trees, beasts, birds, and grouegrove was gone,
So was the friend that made this mone.
This spectacle had firmly wrought,
A deepe compassion in my spright,
My molting hart issude me thought,
In streames forth at mine eies aright,
And here my pen is forst to shrinke,
My teares discollors so mine inke.
Building display . . .
Re-selecting textual changes . . .


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Textual Changes

The vagaries of early modern printing often required that lines or words be broken. Toggling Modern Lineation on will reunite divided words and set errant words in their lines.

Off: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, (blest. And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely (FQ I.ii.18.8-9) On: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely blest.

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Off: Sweet slõbring deaw, the which to sleep them biddes: (FQ I.i.36.4)

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Off: And all the world in their subiection held, Till that infernall feend with foule vprore (FQ I.i.5.6-7) On: And all the world in their subjection held, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

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Off: But wander too and fro in waies vnknowne (FQ I.i.10.5) On: But wander to and fro in waies vnknowne.

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Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine (FQ I.i.14.9) 14.9. Most lothsom] this edn.; Mostlothsom 1590

(The text of 1590 reads Mostlothsom, while the editors’ emendation reads Most lothsom.)


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And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, (FQ I.i.31.5) 5. thee] 1590; you 15961609

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To my long approoved and singular good frende, Master G.H. (Letters I.1) 1. long aprooved: tried and true, found trustworthy over a long period