WHatWhat euerever man he be, whose heauieheavie minde
With griefe of mournefull great mishap opprest,
Fit matter for his cares increase would finde:
Let reade the rufull plaint herein exprest
Of one (I weene) the wofulst man aliuealive;
Alcyon, whose empierced brest
Sharpe sorrowe did in thousand peeces riuerive.
But who so else in pleasure findeth sense,
Or in this wretched life dooth take delight,
Let him be banisht farre away from hence:
Ne let the sacred Sisters here be hight,
Though they of sorrowe heauilieheavilie can sing;
For eueneven their heauieheavie song would breede delight:
But here no tunes, sauesave sobs and grones shall ring.
In stead of them, and their sweete harmonie,
Let those three fatall Sisters, whose sad hands
Doo weaueweave the direfull threds of destinie,
And in their wrath breake off the vitall bands,
Approach hereto: and let the dreadfull Queene
Of darkenes deepe come from the Stygian strands,
And grisly Ghosts to heare this dolefull teene.
In gloomie eueningevening, when the wearie Sun
After his dayes long labour drew to rest,
And sweatie steeds now hauinghaving
The compast skie, gan water in the west,
I walkt abroade to breath the freshing ayre
In open fields, whose flowring pride opprest
With early frosts, had lost their beautie faire.
There came vntounto my minde a troublous thought,
Which dayly dooth my weaker wit possesse,
Ne lets it rest, vntilluntill it forth hauehave brought
Her long borne Infant, fruit of heauinesseheavinesse,
Which she conceiuedconceived hath through meditation
Of this worlds vainnesse and lifes wretchednesse,
That yet my soule it deeply doth empassion.
So as I muzed on the miserie,
In which men liuelive, and I of many most,
Most miserable man; I did espie
Where towards me a sory wight did cost,
Clad in all black, that mourning did bewray:
staffe in hand deuoutliedevoutlie crost,
Like to some Pilgrim come from farre away.
His carelesse locks, vncombeduncombed and vnshorneunshorne
Hong long adowne, and beard all ouerover growne,
That well he seemd to be sum wight forlorne;
Downe to the earth his heauieheavie eyes were throwne
As loathing light: and euerever as he went,
He sighed soft, and inly deepe did grone,
As if his heart in peeces would hauehave rent.
Approaching nigh, his face I vewed nere,
And by the semblant of his countenance,
Me seemd I had his person seene elsewhere,
Most like Alcyon seeming at a glaunce;
Alcyon he, the iolliejollie Shepheard swaine,
That wont full merrilie to pipe and daunce,
And fill with pleasance eueryevery wood and plaine.
Yet halfe in doubt because of his disguize,
I softlie sayd Alcyon? There with all
He lookt a side as in disdainefull wise,
Yet stayed not: till I againe did call.
Then turning back he saide with hollow sound,
Who is it, that dooth name me, wofull thrall,
The wretchedst man that treades this day on ground?
One, whome like wofulnesse impressed deepe
Hath made fit mate thy wretched case to heare,
And giuengiven like cause with thee to waile and weepe:
Griefe findes some ease by him that like does beare,
Then stay Alcyon, gentle shepheard stay,
(Quoth I) till thou hauehave to my trustie eare
Committed, what thee dooth so ill apay.
Cease foolish man (saide he halfe wrothfully)
To seeke to heare that which cannot be tolde.
For the huge anguish, which dooth multiplie
My dying paines, no tongue can well vnfoldunfold:
Ne doo I care, that any should bemone
My hard mishap, or any weepe that would,
But seeke alone to weepe, and dye alone.
Then be it so (quoth I) that thou art bent
To die alone, vnpitiedunpitied, vnplainedunplained,
Yet ere thou die, it were conuenientconvenient
To tell the cause, which thee theretoo constrained:
Least that the world thee dead accuse of guilt,
And say, when thou of none shalt be maintained,
That thou for secret crime thy blood hast spilt.
Who life dooes loath, and longs to bee vnboundunbound
From the strong shackles of fraile flesh (quoth he)
Nought cares at all, what they that liuelive on ground
Deeme the occasion of his death to bee:
Rather desires to be forgotten quight,
Than question made of his calamitie,
For harts deep sorrow hates both life and light.
Yet since so much thou seemst to rue my griefe,
And carest for one that for himselfe cares nought,
(Signe of thy louelove, though nought for my reliefe:
For my reliefe exceedeth liuingliving thought)
I will to thee this heauieheavie case relate,
Then harken well till it to ende bee brought,
For neuernever didst thou heare more haplesse fate.
Whilome I vsdeusde (as thou right well doest know)
My little flocke on westerne downes to keepe.
Not far from whence Sabrinaes streame doth flow,
And flowrie bancks with siluersilver liquor steepe:
Nought carde I then for worldly change or chaunce,
For all my ioyjoy was on my gentle sheepe,
And to my pype to caroll and to daunce.
It there befell as I the fields did range
Fearlesse and free, a faire young Lionesse,
White as the natiuenative Rose before the chaunge,
Which Venus blood did in her leauesleaves impresse,
I spied playing on the grassie playne
Her youthfull sports and kindlie wantonnesse.
That did all other Beasts in beawtie staine.
Much was I mouedmoved at so goodly sight;
Whose like before mine eye had seldome seene,
And gan to cast, how I her compasse might,
And bring to hand, that yet had neuernever beene:
So well I wrought with mildnes and with paine,
That I her caught disporting on the grene,
And brought away fastbound with siluersilver chaine.
And afterwards I handled her so fayre,
That though by kind shee stout and saluagesalvage were,
For being borne and auncient Lions haire,
And of the race, that all wild beastes do feare;
Yet I her fram’d and wan so to my bent,
That shee became so meeke and milde of cheare,
As the least lamb in all my flock that went.
For shee in field, where euerever I did wend,
Would wend with me, and waite by me all day:
And all the night that I in watch did spend,
If cause requir’d, or els in sleepe, if nay,
Shee would all night by mee or watch, or sleepe:
And euermoreevermore when I did sleepe or play,
She of my flock would take full warie keepe.
Safe then and safest were my sillie sheepe,
Ne fear’d the Wolfe, ne fear’d the wildest beast:
All were I drown’d in carelesse quiet deepe:
My louelielovelie Lionesse without beheast
So carefull was for them and for my good,
That when I waked, neither most nor least
I found miscaried or in plaine or wood.
Oft did the Shepeheards, which my hap did heare,
And oft their lasses which my luck enuideenvide,
Daylie resort to me from farre and neare,
To see my Lyonesse, whose praises wide
Were spred abroad; and when her worthinesse
Much greater than the rude report they tri’de,
They her did praise, and my good fortune blesse.
Long thus I ioyedjoyed in my happinesse,
And well did hope my ioyjoy would hauehave no end:
But oh fond man, that in worlds ficklenesse
Reposedst hope, or weenedst her thy frend,
That glories most in mortall miseries,
And daylie doth her changefull counsels bend:
To make new matter fit for Tragedies.
For whilest I was thus without dread or dout,
A cruell Satyre with his murdrous dart,
Greedie of mischiefe ranging all about,
GaueGave her the fatall wound of deadlie smart:
And reft fro me my sweete companion,
And reft fro me my louelove, my life, my hart,
My Lyonesse (ah woe is mee) is gon.
Out of the world thus was she reft awaie,
Out of the world, vnworthieunworthie such a spoyle;
And borne to heauenheaven, for heauenheaven a fitter pray:
Much fitter than the Lyon, which with toyle
Alcides slew, and fixt in firmament;
Her now I seek throughout this earthlie soyle,
And seeking misse, and missing doe lament.
Therewith he gan afresh to waile and weepe,
That I for pittie of his heauieheavie plight,
Could not abstaine mine eyes with teares to steepe:
But when I saw the anguish of his spright
Some deale alaid, I him bespake againe.
Certes Alcyon, painfull is thy plight,
That it in me breeds almost equall paine.
Yet doth not my dull wit well vnderstandunderstand
The riddle of thy louedloved Lionesse;
For rare it seemes in reason to be skand
That man, who doth the whole worlds rule possesse
Should to a beast his noble hart embase,
And be the vassall of his vassalesse:
Therefore more plaine aread this doubtfull case.
Then sighing sore, Daphne thou knewest (quoth he)
She now is dead; ne more endured to say:
But fell to ground for great extreamitie,
That I beholding it, with deepe dismay
Was much appald, and lightlie him vprearinguprearing,
ReuokedRevoked life that would hauehave fled away,
All were my self through griefe in deadly drearing.
Then gan I him to comfort all my best,
And with milde counsaile strouestrove to mitigate
The stormie passion of his troubled brest,
But he thereby was more empassionate:
As stubborne steed, that is with curb restrained,
Becomes more fierce and feruentfervent in his gate;
And breaking foorth at last, thus dearnelie plained.
1 What man henceforth, that breatheth vitall ayre,
Will honour heauenheaven, or heauenlieheavenlie powers adore?
Which so vniustlieunjustlie doe their iudgmentsjudgments share;
Mongst earthlie wightes, as to afflict so sore
The innocent, as those which do transgresse,
And do not spare the best or fayrest more,
Than worst or fowlest, but doe both oppresse.
If this be right, why did they then create
The world so fayre, sith faireness is neglected?
Or whie be they themseluesthemselves immaculate,
If purest things be not by them respected?
She faire, shee pure, most faire most pure shee was,
Yet was by them as thing impure reiectedrejected:
Yet shee in purenesse, heauenheaven it selfe did pas.
In pureness and in all celestiall grace,
That men admire in goodlie womankinde;
Shee did excell and seem’d of Angels race
LiuingLiving on earth like Angell new diuindedivinde,
Adorn’d with wisedome and with chastitie:
And all the dowries of a noble mind,
Which did her beautie much more beautifie.
No age hath bred (since fayre Astræa left
The sinfull world) more vertue in a wight,
And when she parted hence, with her she reft
Great hope; and robd her race of bountie quight:
Well may the shepheard lasses now lament,
For dubble losse by her hath on them light;
To loose both her and bounties ornament.
Ne let Elisa royall Shepheardesse
The praises of my parted louelove
For she hath praises in all plenteousnesse
Powr’d vponupon her like showers of Castaly
By her own Shepheard, Colin her owne Shepherd,
That her with heauenlyheavenly hymnes doth deifie,
Of rustick muse full hardly to be betterd.
She is the Rose, the glorie of the day,
And mine the Primrose in the lowly shade,
Mine, ah not mine; amisse I mine did say:
Not mine but his, which mine awhile her made:
Mine to be his, with him to liuelive for ay:
O that so faire a flower so soone should fade,
And through vntimelyuntimely tempest fall away.
She fell away in her first ages spring,
Whil’st yet her leafe was greene, &and fresh her rinde,
And whil’st her braunch faire blossomes foorth did
She fell away against all course of kinde:
For age to dye is right, but youth is wrong;
She fel away like fruit blowne downe with winde:
Weepe Shepheard weepe to make my vndersongundersong.
2 What hart so stony hard, but that would weepe,
And poure foorth fountaines of incessant teares?
What Timon, but would let compassion creepe
Into his brest, and pierce his frosen eares?
In stead of teares, whose brackish bitter well
I wasted hauehave, my heart blood dropping weares,
To thinke to ground how that faire blossome fell.
Yet fell she not, as one enforst to dye,
Ne dyde with dread and grudging discontent
But as one toyld with trauailetravaile downe doth lye,
So lay she downe, as if to sleepe she went,
And closde her eyes with carelesse quietnesse;
The whiles soft death away her spirit hent,
And soule assoyld from sinfull fleshlinesse.
Yet ere that life her lodging did forsake,
She all resolu’dresolv’d and ready to remoueremove,
Calling to me (ay me) this wise bespake;
Alcyon, ah my first and latest louelove,
Ah why does my Alcyon weepe and mourne,
And grieuegrieve my ghost, that ill mote him behouebehove,
As if to me had chanst some euillevill tourne?
I, since the messenger is come for mee,
That summons soules vntounto the bridale feast
Of his great Lord, must needes depart from thee,
And straight obay his souerainesoveraine beheast:
Why should Alcyon then so sore lament,
That I from miserie shall be releast,
And freed from wretched long imprisonment?
Our daies are full of dolor and disease,
Our life afflicted with incessant paine,
That nought on earth may lessen or appease.
Why then should I desire here to remaine?
Or why should he that louesloves me, sorie bee
For my deliuerancedeliverance, or at all complaine
My good to heare, and toward ioyesjoyes to see?
I goe, and long desired hauehave to goe,
I goe with gladnesse to my wished rest,
Whereas no worlds sad care, nor wasting woe
May come their happie quiet to molest,
But Saints and Angels in celestiall thrones
Eternally him praise, that hath them blest,
There shall I be amongst those blessed ones.
Yet ere I goe, a pledge I leaueleave with thee
Of the late louelove, the which betwixt vsus past,
My yong Ambrosia, in lieu of mee
LoueLove her: so shall our louelove for euerever last.
Thus deare adieu, whom I expect ere long:
So hauinghaving said, away she softly past:
Weep Shepheard weep, to make mine vndersongundersong.
3 So oft as I record those piercing words,
Which yet are deepe engrauenengraven in my brest,
And those last deadly accents, which like swords
Did wound my heart and rend my bleeding chest,
With those sweet sugred speaches doo compare,
The which my soule first conquerd and possest,
The first beginners of my endles care;
And when those pallid cheekes and ashy hew,
In which sad death his pourtraicture had writ,
And when those hollow eyes and deadly view,
On which the clowde of ghastly night did sit,
I match with that sweet smile and chearfull brow,
Which all the world subdued vntounto it;
How happie was I then, and wretched now?
How happie was I, when I saw her leade
The Shepheards daughters dauncing in a rownd?
How trimly would she trace and softly tread
The tender grasse with rosie garland crownd?
And when she list aduanceadvance her heauenlyheavenly voyce,
Both Nimphs and Muses nigh she made astownd,
And flocks and shepheards caused to reioycerejoyce.
But now ye Shepheard lasses, who shall lead
Your wandring troupes, or sing your virelayes?
Or who shall dight your bowres, sith she is dead
That was the Lady of your holy dayes?
Let now your blisse be turned into bale,
And into plaints conuertconvert your ioyousjoyous playes,
And with the same fill eueryevery hill and dale.
Let Bagpipe neuernever more be heard to shrill,
That may allure the senses to delight;
Ne euerever Shepheard sound his Oaten quill
VntoUnto the many, that prouokeprovoke them might
To idle pleasance: but let ghastlinesse
And drery horror dim the chearfull light,
To make the image of true heauinesseheavinesse.
Let birds be silent on the naked spray,
And shady woods resound with dreadfull yells:
Let streaming floods their hastie courses stay,
And parching drougth drie vpup the christall wells;
Let th’earth be barren and bring foorth no flowres,
And th’ayre be fild with noyse of dolefull knells,
And wandring spirits walke vntimelyuntimely howres.
And Nature nurse of eueryevery
Let rest her selfe from her long wearinesse,
And cease henceforth things kindly forth to bring,
But hideous monsters full of vglinesseuglinesse:
For she it is, that hath me done this wrong,
No nurse, but Stepdame cruell mercilesse,
Weepe Shepheard weepe to make my vnderunder song.
4 My little flocke, whom earst I lou’dlov’d so well,
And wont to feede with finest grasse that grew,
Feede ye hencefoorth on bitter Astrofell,
And stinking Smallage, and vnsauerieunsaverie Rew;
And when your mawes are with those weeds corrupted,
Be ye the pray of WoluesWolves: ne will I rew,
That with your carkasses wild beasts be glutted.
Ne worse to you my sillie sheepe I pray,
Ne sorer vengeance wish on you to fall
Than to my selfe, for whose confusde decay
To carelesse heauensheavens I doo daylie call:
But heauensheavens refuse to heare a wretches cry,
And cruell death doth scorne to come at call,
Or graunt his boone, that most desires to dye.
The good and righteous he away doth take,
To plague th’vnrighteousth’unrighteous which aliuealive remaine:
But the vngodlyungodly ones he doth forsake,
By liuingliving long to multiplie their paine:
Els surely death should be no punishment,
As the great IudgeJudge at first did it ordaine,
But rather riddance from long languishment.
Therefore my Daphne they hauehave tane away;
For worthie of a better place was she:
But me vnworthieunworthie willed here to stay,
That with her lacke I might tormented be.
Sith then they so hauehave ordred, I will pay
Penance to her according their decree,
And to her ghost doo seruiceservice day by day.
For I will walke this wandring pilgrimage
Throughout the world from one to other end,
And in affliction wast my better age.
My bread shall be the anguish of my mind,
My drink the teares which fro my eyes do raine,
My bed the ground that hardest I may finde;
So will I wilfully increase my paine.
And she my louelove that was, my Saint that is,
When she beholds from her celestiall throne,
(In which shee ioyethjoyeth in eternall blis)
My bitter penance, will my case bemone,
And pitie me that liuingliving thus doo die:
For heauenlyheavenly spirits hauehave compassion
On mortall men, and rue their miserie.
So when I hauehave with sorowe satisfide
Th’importune fates, which vengeance on me seeke,
And th’eauensth’eavens with long languor pacifide,
She for pure pitie of my sufferance meeke,
Will send for me; for which I daylie long,
And will tell then my painfull penance eeke:
Weep Shepheard, weep to make my vnderunder song.
5 Hencefoorth I hate what euerever Nature made,
And in her workmanship no pleasure finde:
For they be all but vaine, and quickly fade,
So soone as on them blowes the Northern winde,
They tarrie not, but flit and fall away,
LeauingLeaving behind them nought but griefe of minde,
And mocking such as thinke they long will stay.
I hate the heauenheaven, because it doth withhold
Me from my louelove, and eke my louelove from me;
I hate the earth, because it is the mold
Of fleshly slime and fraile mortalitie;
I hate the fire, because to nought it flyes,
I hate the Ayre, because sighes of it be,
I hate the Sea, because it teares supplyes.
I hate the day, because it lendeth light
To see all things, and not my louelove to see:
I hate the darknesse and the drery night,
Because they breed sad balefulnesse in mee:
I hate all times, because all times doo flye
So fast away, and may not stayed bee,
But as a speedie post that passeth by.
I hate to speake, my voyce is spent with crying:
I hate to heare, lowd plaints hauehave duld mine eares:
I hate to tast, for food withholds my dying:
I hate to see, mine eyes are dimd with teares:
I hate to smell, no sweet on earth is left:
I hate to feele, my flesh is numbd with feares:
So all my senses from me are bereft.
I hate all men, and shun all womankinde;
The one because as I they wretched are,
The other for because I doo not finde
My louelove with them, that wont to be their Starre:
And life I hate, because it will not last,
And death I hate, because it life doth marre,
And all I hate, that is to come or past.
So all the world, and all in it I hate,
Because it changeth euerever too and fro,
And neuernever standeth in one certaine state,
But still vnstedfastunstedfast round about doth goe,
Like a Mill wheele, in midst of miserie,
DriuenDriven with streames of wretchednesse and woe,
That dying liueslives, and liuingliving still does dye.
So doo I liuelive, so doo I daylie die,
And pine away in selfe-consuming paine,
Sith she that did my vitall powres supplie,
And feeble spirits in their force maintaine
Is fetcht fro me, why seeke I to prolong
My wearie daies in dolor and disdaine?
Weep Shepheard weep to make my vnderunder song.
6 Why doo I longer liuelive in lifes despight?
And doo not dye then in despight of death:
Why doo I longer see this loathsome light,
And doo in darknesse not abridge my breath,
Sith all my sorrow should hauehave end thereby,
And cares finde quiet; is it so vneathuneath
To leaueleave this life, or dolorous to dye?
To liuelive I finde it deadly dolorous;
For life drawes care, and care continuall woe:
Therefore to dye must needes be ioyeousjoyeous,
And wishfull thing this sad life to forgoe.
But I must stay; I may it not amend,
My Daphne hence departing bad me so,
She bad me stay, till she for me did send.
Yet whilest I in this wretched vale doo stay,
My wearie feete shall euerever wandring be,
That still I may be readie on my way,
When as her messenger doth come for me:
Ne will I rest my feete or feeblenesse,
Ne will I rest my limmes for frailtie,
Ne will I rest mine eyes for heauinesseheavinesse.
But as the mother of the Gods, that sought
For faire Eurydice her daughter deere
Throghout the world, with wofull heauieheavie thought;
So will I trauelltravell whilest I tarrie heere,
Ne will I lodge, ne will I euerever lin,
Ne when as drouping Titan draweth neere
To loose his teeme, will I take vpup my Innne.
Ne sleepe (the harbenger of wearie wights)
Shall euerever lodge vponupon mine ey-lids more;
Ne shall with rest refresh my fainting sprights,
Nor failing force to former strength restore,
But I will wake and sorrow all the night
With Philumene, my fortune to deplore,
With Philumene, the partner of my plight.
And euerever as I see the starres to fall,
And vnderunder ground to goe, to giuegive them light
Which dwell in darknes, I to minde will call,
How my faire Starre (that shinde on me so bright)
Fell sodainly, and faded vnderunder ground;
Since whose departure, day is turnd to night,
And night without a Venus starre is found.
But soone as day doth shew his deawie face,
And calls foorth men vntounto their toylsome trade,
I will withdraw me to some darksome place,
Or some deepe cauecave, or solitarie shade;
There will I sigh and sorrow all day long,
And the huge burden of my cares vnladeunlade:
Weep Shepheard, weep, to make my vndersongundersong.
7 Hence foorth mine eyes shall neuernever more behold
Faire thing on earth, ne feed on false delight
Of ought that framed is of mortall moulde,
Sith that my fairest flower is faded quight:
For all I see is vaine and transitorie,
Ne will be helde in anie stedfast plight,
But in a moment loose their grace and glorie.
And ye fond men on fortunes wheele that ride,
Or in ought vnderunder
heauenheaven repose assurance,
Be it riches, beautie, or honors pride:
Be sure that they shall hauehave no long endurance,
But ere ye be aware will flit away;
For nought of them is yours, but th’onely vsanceusance
Of a small time, which none ascertaine may.
And ye true LouersLovers, whom desastrous chaunce
Hath farre exiled from your Ladies grace,
To mourne in sorrow and sad sufferaunce,
When ye doo heare me in that desert place
Lamenting lowde my Daphnes Elegie,
Helpe me to wayle my miserable case,
And when life parts, vouchsafe to close mine eye.
And ye more happie LouersLovers, which enioyenjoy
The presence of your dearest louesloves delight,
When ye doo heare my sorrowfull annoy,
Yet pittie me in your empassiond spright,
And thinke that such mishap, as chaunst to me,
May happen vntounto the most happiest wight;
For all mens states alike vnstedfastunstedfast be.
And ye my fellow Shepheards, which do feed
Your carelesse flocks on hils and open plaines,
With better fortune, than did me succeed,
Remember yet my vndeseruedundeserved paines,
And when ye heare, that I am dead or slaine,
Lament my lot, and tell your fellow swaines,
That sad Alycon dyde in lifes disdaine.
And ye faire Damsels Shepheards dere delights,
That with your louesloves do their rude hearts possesse,
When as my hearse shall happen to your sightes,
Vouchsafe to deck the same with Cyparesse;
And euerever sprinckle brackish teares among,
In pitie of my vndeseru’dundeserv’d distresse,
The which I wretch, endured hauehave thus long.
And ye poore Pilgrimes, that with restlesse toyle
Wearie your seluesselves in wandring desert wayes,
Till that you come, where ye your vowes assoyle,
When passing by ye read these wofull layes
On my grauegrave written, rue my Daphnes wrong,
And mourne for me that languish out my dayes:
Cease Shepheard, cease, and end thy vndersongundersong.
when he ended had his heauieheavie plaint,
The heauiestheaviest plaint that euerever I heard sound,
His cheekes wext pale, and sprights began to faint,
As if againe he would hauehave fallen to ground;
Which when I saw, I (stepping to him light)
AmoouedAmooved him out of his stonie swound,
And gan him to recomfort as I might.
But he no waie recomforted would be,
Nor suffer solace to approach him nie,
But casting vpup a sdeinfullasdeinfull eie at me,
That in his traunce I would not let him lie,
Did rend his haire, and beat his blubbred face
As one disposed wilfullie to die,
That I sore grieu’dgriev’d to see his wretched case.
Tho when the pang was somewhat ouerpastoverpast,
And the outragious passion nigh appeased,
I him desirde, sith daie was ouercastovercast,
And darke night fast approched, to be pleased
To turne aside vntounto my Cabinet,
And staie with me, till he were better eased
Of that strong stownd, which him so sore beset.
But by no meanes I could him win thereto,
Ne longer him intreate with me to staie,
But without taking leaueleave, he foorth did goe
With staggring pace and dismall lookes dismay,
As if that death he in the face had seene,
Or hellish hags had met vponupon the way:
But what of him became I cannot weene.
F I N I S.