Wednesday, June 22, 2011

George Gascoigne, A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres

George Gascoigne, A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres; From the Original Edition of 1573, 2nd Edition, Ed. Ruth Loyd Miller, Kennikat Press Corporation, Port Washington, New York, 1975

What wonder seemeth then? When stares stand thicke in skies,
If such a blasing starre have power to dim my dazzled eyes?

(Fayre Bersabe the bright once bathing in a Well, … 123)

I must confesse these dazzled eyes of myne
Did wincke for feare, when I first viewd thy face:
But bold desire, did open them agayne,
And bad mee looke till I had lookt to long,
I pitied them that did procure my payne,
And lov’d the lookes that wrought me all the wrong:
And as the Byrd once caught (but works her woe)
That strives to leave the lymed twigges behind:
Even so the more I strave to parte thee fro,
The greater grief did growe within my minde:
Remediles then must I yeeld to thee,
And crave no more, thy servant but to bee

(Of thee deare Dame, three lessons would I learne, 124)

What may be sayd, where truth cannot prevayle:
What plea may serve, where will it selfe is Judge?
What reason rules, where right and reason fayle:
Remediles then must the giltlesse trudge:
And seeke out care, to be the carving knyfe,
To cut the thred that lingreth such a life.

(A Cloud of care hath covred all my coste, 128)

And lo, my Lady of hir wonted grace,
First lent hir lippes to me (as for a kisse:)
And after that hir bodye to embrace,
Wherein dame nature wrought nothing amisse.

(That selfe same day, and of that day that hower, 132)

The thirstie mouth thinkes water hath good taste,
The hungrie jawes, are pleas’d, with ech repaste:
Who hath not prov’d what dearth by warres doth growe,
Cannot of peace the pleasaunt plenties knowe.

(What state to man, so sweete and pleasaunt were, 136)

I could not though I would: good Lady say not so,
Since one good word of your good wil might soone redresse my wo,
Where would is free before, there could can never faule:
For profe, you see how gallies passe where ships can beare no sayle,
The weary mariner when skies are overcast,
By ready will doth guyde his skill and wins the haven at last,
The pretty byrd that sings with pricke against hir brest,
Doth make a vertue of hir need, to watche when others rest.

(I could not though I would: good Lady say not so, 138)

Wherefore if you desire to see my true love spilt,
Commaund and I will slea my self, that yours may be the gilt.
But if you have no power to say yoru servaunt nay,
Write thus: I may not as I would, yit must I as I may.

(I could not though I would: good lady say not so, 138)

A hundredth sonnes (in course but not in kind)
Can witnesse well that I possess no joye:
The fear of death which fretteth in my mynd
Consumes my hart with dread of darke anoye.
And for eche sonne a thousand broken sleepes,
Devide my dreames with fresh recourse of cares:
The youngest sister sharpe hir sheare she kepes,
To cut my thred and thus my life it weares.
Yet let such days, such thousand restlesse nightes,
Spit forth their spite, let fates eke showe their force:
Deathes daunting dart where so his buffets lights,
Shall shape no change within my friendly corse:
But dead or live, in heaven, in earth, in hell
I wilbe thine where so my carkase dwell.

(complete, 147)

He wrote to the same friend from Founteine belle eau in Fraunce, this Sonet in commendation of the said house of Fountaine bel’eau.

Not stately Troy though Priam yet did live,
Could now compare Founteine bel’eau to passe:
Nor Syrriane towers, whose loftie steppes did strive,
To clymbe the throne where angry Saturne was.
For outward shew the ports are of such price,
As skorne the cost which Cesar spilt in Roome;
Such works within as stayne the rare devise,
Which whillome he Apelles wrought on tome.
Swift Tiber floud which fed the Romayne pooles,
Puddle to this where Christall melts in streames,
The pleasaunt place where Muses kept their schooles,
(Not parcht with Phoebe, nor banisht form his beams)
Yeeld to those Dames, nor sight, nor fruite, nor smell,
Which may be thought these gardens to excel.

(Complete, 148)

And yet in all that choyce a worthy Romaine Knight,
Antonius who conquered proude Egypt by his might.
Not all to please his eye, but most to ease his minde,
Chose Cleopatra for his love, & left the rest behinde.
A wondrous thing to read, in all his victory,
He snapt but hir for his owne share, to please his fantasie.
She was not faire God wot, y[e] country breeds none bright,
Well maye we judge hir skinne the soyle, bycause hir
teeth were white.
Percase hir lovely lookes, some praises did deserve,
But brown I dare be bold she was, for so y[e] sole did serve.
And could Antonius forsake the fayre in Roome?
To love this nutbrowne Lady best, was this an equall doome?
I dare wel say dames there, did beare him deadly grudge,
His sentence had bene shortly sayed, if Faustine had bene judge.
For this I dare avow, (without vaunt be it spoke)
So brave a knight as Antony, held al their necks in yoke.

(If men may credite give, to true reported fames, 150-151)

The garments gay, the glittering golden gite,
The tysing talk which floweth from Pallas pooles:
The painted pale, the (too much) red made white,
Are smyling baytes to fishe for loving fooles.

(The thriftless thred which pampred beauty spines, 154)

The rootes of rotten Reedes is swelling seas are seene:
And when ech tyde hath toste his worst, they grow agein full greene.
Thus much to please my self, unpleasantly I sing:
And shrich to ease my mourning minde, in spye of envies sting.

(Despysed things may live, although they pyne in payne:, 169)

I see no sight on earth, but it to Chaunge enclines:
As little clowds oft overcast, the brightest sunne that shines.

(Despysed things may live, although they pyne in payne:, 169)

Then like the Larke that past the night
In heavy sleepe with cares opprest:
Yit when shee spies the pleasaunt light,
She sends sweete notes from our hir brest.
So sing I now because I think
How joyes approach, when sorrowes shrink.
And as faire Philomeme ageine
Can watch and singe when other sleepe:
And taketh pleasure in hir payne,
To wray the woo that makes his weepe.
So sing I now for to bewray
The lothsome life I lead always.
The which to thee (deare wench) I write,
That know’st my mirth but not my moane:
I pray God graunt thee deepe delight,
To live in joyes when I am gone.
I cannot live, it will not be:
I dye to think to part from thee.

(Amid my Bale I bath in blisse, 170-1)

Such is the fruite that growes on gadding trees,
Such kind of mell most moveth busie Bees.

(This Apuleius was in Affricke borne, 185)

A simple soule much like my selfe, did once a serpant find.
Which (almost dead for colde) lay moiling in the myre
When he for pittie toke it up and brought it to the fyre.
No soner was the Snake, cured of hir grief,
But straight she sought to hurt the man, that lent hir such relief.
Such Serpant seemeth thou, such simple soule am I,
That for the weight of my good will, am blamd without cause why.

(The cruell hate which boyles within thy burning brest, 187)

I will now deliver unto you so many more of Master Gascoignes Poems as have come to my hands, who hath never beene dayntie of his doings, and therefore I conceale not his name: but his word or posie he hath often changed and therefore I will deliver his verses with such sundrie posies as I received them. (192)

Quod Beautie, no, it sitteth not,
A Prince hir selfe to judge the cause:
Here is oure Justice well you wote,
Appointed to discusse our lawes:
If you will guiltlesse seeme to goe,
God and your countrey quitte you so.

(Gascoignes araignement, 193-4)

These rustie walles whome cankred yeares deface,
The comely corps of seemely Zouche enclose,
Whose auncient stocke derived from worthie face,
Procures hir prayse, wher so the carkas goes:

(These rustie walles whome cankred yeares deface, 196)

What fits I feele? what distance? what delayes?

(note the meter. ‘Gascoignes passion’, 197)

Divorce me now good death, from love and lingring life,
That one hath ben my concubine, that other was my wife.
In youth I lived with love, she had my lusty dayes,
In age I thought with lingering life to stay my wandering wayes,
But now abused by both, I come for to complaine
To thee good death, …

(Gascoignes libell of Divorce, 199)

The common speech is, spend and God will send,
But what sends he? a bottell and a bagge,
A staffe, a wallet and a wofull ende,

(The common speech is, spend and God will send, 207)


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