Monday, August 06, 2012

Michael Drayton, Minor Poems of Michael Drayton, Ed. Cyril Brett, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1907.

Beauty sometime, in all her glory crowned,
Passing by that cleere fountain of thine eye,
Her sun-shine face there chaunsing to espy,
Forgot herselfe, and thought she had been drowned.
And thus, whilst Beautie on her beauty gazed,
Who then, yet liuing, deemd she had been dying,
And yet in death some hope of life espying,
At her owne rare perfections so amazed;
Twixt ioy and griefe, yet with a smyling frowning,
The glorious sun-beames of her eyes bright shining,
And shee, in her owne destiny diuining,
Threw in herselfe, to saue herselfe by drowning;
The Well of Nectar, pau'd with pearle and gold,
Where shee remaines for all eyes to behold.

(Amour 9, Complete)

Oft taking pen in hand, with words to cast my woes,
Beginning to account the sum of all my cares,
I well perceiue my griefe innumerable growes,
And still in reckonings rise more millions of dispayres.
And thus, deuiding of my fatall howres,
The payments of my loue I read, and reading crosse,
And in substracting set my sweets vnto my sowres;
Th' average of my ioyes directs me to my losse.
And thus mine eyes, a debtor to thine eye,
Who by extortion gaineth all theyr lookes,
My hart hath payd such grieuous vsury,
That all her wealth lyes in thy Beauties bookes;
And all is thine which hath been due to mee,
And I a Banckrupt, quite vndone by thee.

(Amour 10, Complete)

Vertues  Idea in virginitie,
By inspiration, came conceau'd with thought:
The time is come deliuered she must be,
Where first my loue into the world was brought.
Vnhappy borne, of all vnhappy day!
So luckles was my Babes nativity,
Saturne chiefe Lord of the Ascendant lay,
The wandring Moone in earths triplicitie.
Now, or by chaunce or heauens hie prouidence,
His Mother died, and by her Legacie
(Fearing the stars presaging influence)
Bequeath'd his wardship to my soueraignes eye;
Where hunger-staruen, wanting lookes to liue,
Still empty gorg'd, with cares consumption pynde,
Salt luke-warm teares shee for his drink did giue,
And euer-more with sighes he supt and dynde:
And thus (poore Orphan) lying in distresse
Cryes in his pangs, God helpe the motherlesse.

(Amour 16)

The Crocodile, who, when thou hast me slaine,
Lament’s my death with teares of thy disdaine.

(Amour 30)

My hart the Anuile where my thoughts doe beate,
My words the hammers fashioning my desire,
My breast the forge, including all the heate,
Loue is the fuell which maintaines the fire:
My sighes the bellowes which the flame increaseth,
Filling mine eares with noise and nightly groning,
Toyling with paine my labour neuer ceaseth,
In greeuous passions my woes styll bemoning.
Myne eyes with teares against the fire stryuing,
With scorching gleed my hart to cynders turneth;
But with those drops the coles againe reuyuing,
Still more and more vnto my torment burneth.
With Sisiphus thus doe I role the stone,
And turne the wheele with damned Ixion.

(Amour 44, Complete)

INTO these Loves who but for Passion looks,
At this first sight here let him lay them by
And seek elsewhere, in turning other books,
Which better may his labour satisfy.
No far-fetched sigh shall ever wound my breast,
Love from mine eye a tear shall never wring,
Nor in Ah me's my whining sonnets drest,
A libertine, fantasticly I sing.
My verse is the true image of my mind,
Ever in motion, still desiring change ;
And as thus to variety inclined,
So in all humours sportively I range ;
     My Muse is rightly of the English strain,
     That cannot long one fashion entertain.

(Sonnet 2, Complete)

LOVE in a humor played the prodigal
And bade my Senses to a solemn feast ;
Yet, more to grace the company withal,
Invites my Heart to be the chiefest guest.
No other drink would serve this glutton's turn
But precious tears distilling from mine eyne,
Which with my sighs this epicure doth burn,
Quaffing carouses in this costly wine ;
Where, in his cups o'ercome with foul excess,
Straightways he plays a swaggering ruffian's part,
And at the banquet in his drunkenness
Slew his dear friend, my kind and truest Heart.
    A gentle warning, friends, thus may you see
    What 'tis to keep a drunkard company.

(Sonnet 10, Complete)

Thou which do'st guide this little world of love,
Thy planets mansions heere thou mayst behold,
My brow the spheare where Saturne still doth move,
Wrinkled with cares: and withered, dry, and cold;
Mine eyes the Orbe where Iupiter doth trace,
Which gently smile because they looke on thee,
Mars in my swarty visage takes his place,
Madeleane with love, where furious conflicts bee.
Sol in my breast with his hote scorching flame,
And in my hart alone doth Venus raigne:
Mercury my hands the Organs of thy fame,
And Luna glides in my fantastick braine;
The starry heaven thy prayse by me exprest,
Thou the first moouer, guiding all the rest.

(Sonnet 23, To the Spheares, Complete)

THOSE priests which first the Vestal fire begun,
Which might be borrowed from no earthly flame,
Devised a vessel to receive the sun,
Being steadfastly opposèd to the same ;
Where, with sweet wood, laid curiously by art,
On which the sun might by reflection beat,
Receiving strength from every secret part,
The fuel kindled with celestial heat ;
Thy blessed eyes the sun which lights this fire,
Thy holy thoughts, they be the Vestal flame,
The precious odours be my chaste desire,
My breast's the vessel which includes the same ;
    Thou art my Vesta, thou my Goddess art,
    Thy hallowed temple only is my heart.

(Sonnet 30, To the Vestalls, Complete)

WHY should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Disperse their rays on every vulgar spirit,
Whilst I in darkness, in the self-same place,
Get not one glance to recompense my merit ?
So doth the plowman gaze the wandering star,
And only rest contented with the light,
That never learned what constellations are
Beyond the bent of his unknowing sight.
Oh, why should beauty, custom to obey,
To their gross sense apply herself so ill ?
Would God I were as ignorant as they,
When I am made unhappy by my skill,
    Only compelled on this poor good to boast,
    Heavens are not kind to them that know them most.

(Sonnet 43, Complete)

SINCE here's no help, come, let us kiss and part,
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me,
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes.
    Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
    From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.

(Sonnet 61, Complete)

Upon this sinful earth
If man can happy be,
And higher then his birth,
(Friend) take him thus from me.
Whom promise not deceives
That he the breach should rue,
Nor constant reason leaves
Opinion to pursue.
To raise his mean estate
That sooths no wanton’s sin,
Doth that preferment hate
That virtue doth not win.
Nor bravery doth admire,
Nor doth more love profess
To that he doth desire,
Then that he doth possess.
Loose humor nor to please,
That neither spares nor spends,
But by discretion weighs
What is to needful ends.
To him deserving not
Not yielding, nor doth hould
What is not his, doing what
He ought not what he could.
Whome the base tyrants will
So much could never awe
As him for good or ill
From honesty to draw.
Whose constancy doth rise
‘Bove undeserved spite
Whose valour’s to despise
That most doth him delight.
That early leave doth take
Of th’world though to his pain
For virtues only sake
And not till need constrain.
No man can be so free
Though in imperial seat
Nor Eminent as he
That deemeth nothing great.

(Ode 4, To my worthy friend, Master John Savage of the inner Temple, Complete)

Singe we the Rose
Than which no flower there grows
Is sweeter:
And aptly her compare
With what in that is rare
A parallel none meter.
Or made poses,
Of this that incloses
Such blisses,
That naturally flusheth
As she blusheth
When she is robbed of kisses.
Or if strewed
When with the morning dewed
Or stilling,
Or howe to sense exposed
All which in her enclosed,
Each place with sweetness filling.
That most renowned
By Nature richly crowned
With yellow,
Or that delitious lair
And as pure, her hair
Unto the same the fellow
Fearing of harm
Nature that flower doth arm
From danger,
The touch gives her offence
But with reverence
Unto herself a stranger.
That red, or white,
Or mixed, the sense delight
In her complexion,
All which perfection
Such harmony infolding.
That divided
Ere it was decided
Which most pure,
Began the grievous war
Of York and Lancaster,
That did many years indure.
Conflicts as great
As were in all that heat
I sustain:
By her, as many hearts
As men on either parts
That with her eyes hath slain.
The Primrose flower
The first of Flora’s bower
Is placed,
So is she first as best
Though excellent the rest,
All gracing, by none graced.

(Ode 8, Complete)

The winter windes stille Easterly doe keepe,
And with keene Frosts haue chained vp the deepe,
The Sunne’s to vs a niggard of his Rayes,
But reuelleth with our Antipodes;
And seldome to vs when he shewes his head,
Muffled in vapours, he straight hies to bed.

(Of his Ladies not Coming to London)

Into the clouds the Deuill lately got,
And by the moisture doubting much the rot,
A medicine tooke to make him purge and cast;
Which in short time began to worke so fast,
That he fell too’g, and from his backside flew,
A rout of rascall a rude ribauld crew
Of base Plebeians, which no sooner light,
Vpon the earth, but with a suddaine flight,
They spread this Ile, and as Deucalion once
Ouer his shoulder backe, by throwing stones
They became men, euen so these beasts became,
Owners of titles from an obscure name.

(To my noble friend Master William Browne, of the euill time)

As from the Deluge, former us'd to do.
O cruel Humber guilty of their gore,
I now believe more than I did before
The Brittish Story, whence thy name begun
Of Kingly Humber, an invading Hun,
By thee devoured, for't is likely thou
With blood wert Christen'd, blood-thirsty till now.
The Ouse, the Done, and thou far clearer Trent,
To drown the SHEFFIELDS as you gave consent,
Shall curse the time, that ere you were infus'd,
Which have your waters basely thus abus'd.
The groveling Boor yee hinder not to go,
And at his pleasure Ferry to and fro.
The very best part of whose soul, and blood,
Compared with theirs, is viler then your mud.
But wherefore paper, do I idely spend,
On those deaf waters to so little end,
And up to starry heaven do I not look,
In which, as in an everlasting book,
Our ends are written; O let times rehearse
Their fatal loss, in their sad Anniverse.

(Vpon the three Sonnes of the Lorde Sheffield, drowned in Hvmber)

Death might haue tyth’d her sex, but for this one,
Nay, haue ta’n halfe to haue let her alone;
Such as their wrinkled temples to supply,
Cyment them vp with sluttish Mercury,
Such as vndrest were able to affright,
A valiant man approching him by night;
Death might haue taken such, her end deferd,
Vntill the time she had beene climaterd; 90
When she would haue bin at threescore yeares and three,
Such as our best at three and twenty be,
With enuie then, he might haue ouerthrowne her,
When she would haue bin at threescore yeares and three,
Such as our best at three and twenty be,
With enuie then, he might haue ouerthrowne her,
When age nor time had power to ceaze vpon her.
But when the vnpittying Fates her end decreed,
They to the same did instantly proceed,
For well they knew (if she had languish’d so)
As those which hence by natural causes goe,
So many prayers, and teares for her had spoken,
As certainly their Iron laws had broken,
And had wak’d heau’n, who clearly would haue show’d
That change of Kingdomes to her death it ow’d;

(An Elegies vpon the death of the Lady Penelopie Clifton)

The winter here a Summer is,

No waste is made by time,

Nor doth the Autumne euer misse
The blossomes of the Prime.
The flower that Iuly forth doth bring

In Aprill here is seene,

The Primrose that puts on the Spring

In Iuly decks each Greene.

(The Muses Elizium)

Rills rising out of euery Banck,
In wild Meanders strayne,

And playing many a wanton pranck

Vpon the speckled plaine,
In Gambols and lascivious Gyres

Their time they still bestow

Nor to their Fountaines none retyres,

Nor on their course will goe.
Those Brooks with Lillies brauely deckt,

So proud and wanton made,
That they their courses quite neglect:
And seeme as though they stayde,

(The Muses Elizium)

Those Cleeues whose craggy sides are clad

With Trees of sundry sutes,

Which make continuall summer glad,

Euen bending with their fruits,
Some ripening, ready some to fall,

Some blossom'd, some to bloome,

Like gorgeous hangings on the wall
Of some rich princely Roome:

(The Muses Elizium)

Dorida. To me like thine had nature giuen,
A Brow, so Archt, so cleere,

A Front, wherein so much of heauen

Doth to each eye appeare,

The world should see, I would strike dead

The Milky Way that's now,
And say that Nectar Hebe shed

Fell all vpon my Brow.

(The Muses Elizium)

Rodope. Had I a bosome like to thine,

When I it pleas'd to show,

T' what part o' th' Skie I would incline

I would make th' Etheriall bowe,

My swannish breast brancht all with blew,

In brauery like the spring:

In Winter to the generall view
Full Summer forth should bring.

(The Muses Elizium)

Dorida. Had I a body like my deare,

Were I so straight so tall,

O, if so broad my shoulders were,

Had I a waste so small;

I would challenge the proud Queene of loue

To yeeld to me for shape,

And I should feare that Mars or Iove

Would venter for my rape.

(The Muses Elizium)

Of Falconry they had the skill,

Their Halkes to feed and flye,

No better Hunters ere clome Hill,

Nor hollowed to a Cry:

In Dingles deepe, and Mountains hore,
Oft with the bearded Speare

They combated the tusky Boare,

And slew the angry Beare.

(The Muses Elizium)

Such power there with her presence came

Sterne Tempests she alayd,

The cruell Tiger she could tame,

She raging Torrents staid,

She chid, she cherisht, she gaue life,

Againe she made to dye,

She raisd a warre, apeasd a Strife,

With turning of her eye.

(The Muses Elizium)

Lalus. I haue two Sparrowes white as Snow,

Whose pretty eyes like sparkes doe show;

In her Bosome Venus hatcht them

Where her little Cupid watcht them,

Till they too fledge their Nests forsook

Themselues and to the Fields betooke,

Where by chance a Fowler caught them
Of whom I full dearely bought them;
They'll fetch you Conserue from the Hip,

And lay it softly on your Lip,

Through their nibling bills they'll Chirup

And fluttering feed you with the Sirup,

And if thence you put them by

They to your white necke will flye,

And if you expulse them there

They'll hang vpon your braded Hayre;

You so long shall see them prattle
Till at length they'll fall to battle,

And when they haue fought their fill,

You will smile to see them bill
These birds my Lirope's shall be

So thou'lt leaue him and goe with me.

(The Muses Elizium)

And on the Streame as thou do'st Floate,

The Naiades that haunt the deepe,

Themselues about thy Barge shall keepe,

Recording most delightfull Layes,

By Sea Gods written in thy prayse.

And in what place thou hapst to land,

There the gentle Siluery sand,

Shall soften, curled with the Aier

As sensible of thy repayre:

(The Muses Elizium)

Naijs. Nay 'tis a world to see,

In euery bush and Tree,

The Birds with mirth and glee,

Woo'd as they woe.
Cloe. The Robin and the Wren,
Every Cocke with his Hen,

Why should not we and men,

Doe as they doe.

(The Muses Elizium)

Mertilla. O I could wish this place were strewd with Roses,

And that this Banck were thickly thrumd with Grasse

As soft as Sleaue, or Sarcenet euer was,

(The Muses Elizium)

Mertilla. O that the sweets of all the Flowers that grow,

The labouring ayre would gather into one,

In Gardens, Fields, nor Meadowes leauing none,

And all their Sweetnesse vpon thee would throw.

(The Muses Elizium)

The Morne no sooner puts her rosye Mantle on,
But from my quyet Lodge I instantly am gone,

When the melodious Birds from euery Bush and Bryer,

Of the wilde spacious Wasts, make a continuall quire;

The motlied Meadowes then, new vernisht with the Sunne

Shute vp their spicy sweets vpon the winds that runne,

In easly ambling Gales, and softly seeme to pace,

That it the longer might their lushiousnesse imbrace:

(The Muses Elizium)

The numerous feathered flocks that the wild
Forrests haunt
Their Siluan songs to me, in cheerefull dittyes chaunte,

The Shades like ample Sheelds, defend me from the Sunne,

Through which me to refresh the gentle Riuelets runne,

No little bubling Brook from any Spring that falls

But on the Pebbles playes me pretty Madrigals.

I' th' morne I clime the Hills, where wholsome winds do blow,
At Noone-tyde to the Vales, and shady Groues below,

(The Muses Elizium)

Neare to the shady Banck where slender Sallowes grow,

And Willows their shag'd tops downe t'wards the waters bow

I shove in with my Boat to sheeld me from the heat,
Where chusing from my Bag, some prou'd especiall bayt,

The goodly well growne Trout I with my Angle strike,

And with my bearded Wyer I take the rauenous Pike,

Of whom when I haue hould, he seldome breakes away

Though at my Lynes full length, soe long I let him play

Till by my hand I finde he well-nere wearyed be,

When softly by degrees I drawe him vp to me.

The lusty Samon to, I oft with Angling take,

Which me aboue the rest most Lordly sport doth make,

Who feeling he is caught, such Frisks and bounds doth fetch,
And by his very strength my Line soe farre doth stretch,

As draws my floating Corcke downe to the very ground,

And wresting at my Rod, doth make my Boat turne round.

(The Muses Elizium)

My watchfulnesse and care giues day scarce leaue to break,

But to the Fields I haste, my folded flock to see,
Where when I finde, nor Woolfe, nor Fox, hath iniur'd me,

I to my Bottle straight, and soundly baste my Throat,

Which done, some Country Song or Roundelay I roate

So merrily; that to the musick that I make,

I Force the Larke to sing ere she be well awake;

Then Baull my cut-tayld Curre and I begin to play,

He o'r my Shephooke leapes, now th'one, now th'other way,
Then on his hinder feet he doth himselfe aduance,

I tune, and to my note, my liuely Dog doth dance,

(The Muses Elizium)

Mertilla. The Nightingale of birds most choyce,

To doe her best shall straine her voyce;

And to this bird to make a Set,
The Mauis, Merle, and Robinet;

The Larke, the Lennet, and the Thrush,

That make a Quier of euery Bush.

But for still musicke, we will keepe
The Wren, and Titmouse, which to sleepe

Shall sing the Bride, when shee's alone

The rest into their chambers gone.

(The Muses Elizium)

Cloris. Sprinckle the dainty flowers with dewes,
Such as the Gods at Banquets vse:
Let Hearbs and Weeds turne all to Roses,

And make proud the posts with posies:

Shute your sweets into the ayre,

Charge the morning to be fayre.

(The Muses Elizium)

Cloris. Summon all the sweets that are,

To this nuptiall to repayre;

Till with their throngs themselues they smother,

Strongly styfling one another;

And at last they all consume,

And vanish in one rich perfume.

(The Muses Elizium)

The Nimphes. No Gem, from Rocke, Seas, running streames,

(Their numbers let vs muster)

But hath from thy most powerfull beames
The Vertue and the Lustre;

The Diamond, the King of Gemmes,

The first is to be placed,

That glory is of Diadems,

Them gracing, by them graced:

In whom thy power the most is seene,

The raging fire refelling:

The Emerauld then, most deepely greene,

For beauty most excelling,

Resisting poyson often prou'd
By those about that beare it.

The cheerfull Ruby then, much lou'd,

That doth reuiue the spirit,

Whose kinde to large extensure growne

The colour so enflamed,

Is that admired mighty stone

The Carbunckle that's named,

Which from it such a flaming light

And radiency eiecteth,

That in the very dark'st of night
The eye to it directeth.

The yellow Iacynth, strengthening Sense,

Of which who hath the keeping,

No Thunder hurts nor Pestilence,

And much prouoketh sleeping:

The Chrisolite, that doth resist

Thirst, proued, neuer failing,

The purple colored Amatist,

'Gainst strength of wine prevailing;

The verdant gay greene Smaragdus,
Most soueraine ouer passion:

The Sardonix approu'd by vs

To master Incantation.

Then that celestiall colored stone

The Saphyre, heauenly wholly,

Which worne, there wearinesse is none,

And cureth melancholly:
The Lazulus, whose pleasant blew

With golden vaines is graced;

The Iaspis, of so various hew,
Amongst our other placed;

The Onix from the Ancients brought,

Of wondrous Estimation,

Shall in amongst the rest be wrought

Our sacred Shryne to fashion;

The Topas, we'll stick here and there,

And sea-greene colored Berill,

And Turkesse, which who haps to beare

Is often kept from perill,
To Selenite, of Cynthia's light,
So nam'd, with her still ranging,

Which as she wanes or waxeth bright

Its colours so are changing.

With Opalls, more then any one,

We'll deck thine Altar fuller,

For that of euery precious stone,

It doth retaine some colour;

With bunches of Pearle Paragon

Thine Altars vnderpropping,

Whose base is the Cornelian,
Strong bleeding often stopping:

With th' Agot, very oft that is

Cut strangely in the Quarry,

As Nature ment to show in this,

How she her selfe can varry:

With worlds of Gems from Mines and Seas

Elizium well might store vs:

But we content our selues with these

That readiest lye before vs:

And thus O Phœbus most diuine
Thine Altars still we hallow,

And to thy Godhead reare this Shryne

Our onely wise Apollo.

(The Muses Elizium)


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