DAPHNAIDA: AN ELEGIE
UPON THE DEATH OF THE NOBLE AND VERTUOUS DOUGLAS HOWARD, DAUGHTER AND HEIRE OF HENRY LORD HOWARD, VISCOUNT BYNDON, AND WIFE OF ARTHUR GORGES, ESQUIER.
DEDICATED TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE THE LADIE HELENA,
MARQUESSE OF NORTHAMPTON.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND VERTUOUS LADY,
MARQUESSE OF NORTH HAMPTON.[*]
I have the rather presumed humbly to offer unto your Honour the dedication of this little poeme, for that the noble and vertuous gentlewoman of whom it is written was by match neere alied, and in affection greatly devoted, unto your Ladiship. The occasion why I wrote the same was as well the great good fame which I heard of her deceassed, as the particular goodwill which I bear unto her husband, Master Arthur Gorges, a lover of learning and vertue, whose house, as your Ladiship by marriage hath honoured, so doe I find the name of them, by many notable records, to be of great antiquitie in this realme, and such as have ever borne themselves with honourable reputation to the world, and unspotted loyaltie to their prince and countrey: besides, so lineally are they descended from the Howards, as that the Lady Anne Howard; eldest daughter to John Duke of Norfolke, was wife to Sir Edmund, mother to Sir Edward, and grandmother to Sir William and Sir Thomas Gorges, Knightes: and therefore I doe assure my selfe that no due honour done to the White Lyon, but will be most gratefull to your Ladiship, whose husband and children do so neerely participate with the bloud of that noble family. So in all dutie I recommend this pamphlet, and the good acceptance thereof, to your honourable favour and protection. London, this first of Ianuarie, 1591.
Your Honours humbly ever.
[* This lady, when widow of William Parr, the only person who was ever Marquis of Northampton, had married Sir Thomas Gorges, uncle of Lady Douglas Howard, the subject of this elegy. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Arthur Gorges was himself a poet, and the author of the English translation of Bacon's tract De Sapientia Veterum, published in 1619. See Craik's Spenser and his Poetry, Vol. III. p. 187. C.]
* * * * *
Whatever man he be whose heavie mynd,
With griefe of mournefull great mishap opprest,
Fit matter for his cares increase would fynd,
Let reade the rufull plaint herein exprest,
Of one, I weene, the wofulst man alive,
Even sad Alcyon*, whose empierced brest
Sharpe sorrowe did in thousand peeces rive.
[* I.e. Sir Arthur Gorges.]
But whoso else in pleasure findeth sense,
Or in this wretched life doeth take delight,
Let him he banisht farre away from hence;
Ne let the Sacred Sisters here be hight*,
Though they of sorrowe heavilie can sing,
For even their heavie song would breede delight;
But here no tunes save sobs and grones shall ring.
[* Hight, summoned.]
In stead of them and their sweet harmonie,
Let those three Fatall Sisters, whose sad hands
Doe weave the direfull threeds of destinie,
And in their wrath break off the vitall bands,
Approach hereto; and let the dreadfull Queene
Of Darknes deepe come from the Stygian strands,
And grisly ghosts, to heare this dolefull teene*,
[* Teene, sorrow]
In gloomy evening, when the wearie sun
After his dayes long labour drew to rest,
And sweatie steedes, now having overrun
The compast skie, gan water in the west,
I walkt abroad to breath the freshing ayre
In open fields, whose flowring pride, opprest
With early frosts, had lost their beautie faire.
There came unto my mind a troublous thought,
Which dayly doth my weaker wit possesse,
Ne lets it rest untill it forth have brought
Her long borne infant, fruit of heavinesse,
Which she conceived hath through meditation
Of this worlds vainnesse and life's wretchednesse,
That yet my soule it deepely doth empassion*.
[* Empassion, move]
So as I muzed on the miserie
In which men live, and I of many most,
Most miserable man, I did espie
Where towards me a sory wight did cost*,
Clad all in black, that mourning did bewray,
And Iacob staffe ** in hand devoutly crost,
Like to some pilgrim come from farre away.
[* Cost, approach]
[** Iacob staffe, a pilgrim's staff, in the form of a cross]
His carelesse locks, uncombed and unshorne,
Hong long adowne, and bearde all overgrowne,
That well he seemd to be some wight forlorne:
Downe to the earth his heavie eyes were throwne,
As loathing light, and ever as he went
He sighed soft, and inly deepe did grone,
As if his heart in peeces would have rent.
Approaching nigh his face I vewed nere,
And by the semblant of his countenaunce
Me seemd I had his person seene elsewhere,
Most like Alcyon seeming at a glaunce;
Alcyon he, the iollie shepheard swaine,
That wont full merrilie to pipe and daunce,
And fill with pleasance every wood and plaine.
Yet halfe in doubt, because of his disguize,
I softlie sayd, Alcyon! There-withall
He lookt aside 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 treads this day on ground?"
"One whom like wofulnesse, impressed deepe,
Hath made fit mate thy wretched case to heare,
And given like cause with thee to waile and wepe;
Griefe finds some ease by him that like does beare.
Then stay, Alcyon, gentle shepheard! stay,"
Quoth I, "till thou have to my trustie eare
Committed what thee dooth so ill apay*."
[* Ill apay , discontent, distress.]
"Cease, foolish man!" saide he halfe wrothfully,
"To seeke to heare that which cannot be told;
For the huge anguish, which doeth multiply
My dying paines, no tongue can well unfold;
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 are bent
To die alone, unpitied, unplained;
Yet, ere thou die, it were convenient
To tell the cause which thee thereto constrained,
Least that the world thee dead accuse of guilt,
And say, when thou of none shall be maintained,
That thou for secret crime thy blood hast spilt."
"Who life does loath, and longs to be unbound
From the strong shackles of fraile flesh," quoth he,
"Nought cares at all what they that live on ground
Deem 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 car'st for one that for himselfe cares nought,
(Sign of thy love, though nought for my reliefe,
For my reliefe exceedeth living thought,)
I will to thee this heavie case relate:
Then harken well till it to end be brought,
For never didst thou heare more haplesse fate.
"Whilome I usde (as thou right well doest know)
My little flocke on westerns downes to keep,
Not far from whence Sabrinaes streame doth flow,
And flowrie bancks with silver liquor steepe;
Nought carde I then for worldly change or chaunce,
For all my ioy 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 native rose before the chaunge
Which Venus blood did in her leaves impresse,
I spied playing on the grassie plaine
Her youthfull sports and kindlie wantonnesse,
That did all other beasts in beawtie staine.
[Ver. 107.--A fair young Lionesse, So called from the white lion in
the arms of the Duke of Norfolk, the head of the family to which Lady
Douglas Howard belonged. H.]
"Much was I moved 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 never beene:
So well I wrought with mildnes and with paine,
That I her caught disporting on the greene,
And brought away fast bound with silver chaine.
"And afterwardes I handled her so fayre,
That though by kind shee stout and salvage were,
For being borne an auncient lions hayre,
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-ever 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 me or watch or sleepe;
And evermore when I did sleepe or play,
She of my flock would take full warie keepe*.
[* Keepe, care.]
"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 lovely Lionesse without beheast
So careful was for them and for my good,
That when I waked, neither most nor least
I found miscarried, or in plaine or wood.
[* All, although.]
"Oft did the shepheards which my hap did heare,
And oft their lasses, which my luck envyde,
Daylie resort to me from farre and neare,
To see my Lyonesse, whose praises wyde
Were spred abroad; and when her worthinesse
Much greater than the rude report they tryde*,
They her did praise, and my good fortune blesse.
[* Tryde, proved, found.]
"Long thus I ioyed in my happinesse,
And well did hope my ioy would have 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 cruel Satyre with his murdrous dart,
Greedie of mischiefe, ranging all about,
Gave her the fatall wound of deadly smart,
And reft from me my sweete companion,
And reft from me my love, my life, my hart:
My Lyonesse, ah woe is me! is gon!
"Out of the world thus was she reft away,
Out of the world, unworthy such a spoyle,
And borne to heaven, for heaven a fitter pray;
Much fitter then the lyon which with toyle
Alcides slew, and fixt in firmament;
Her now I seeke throughout this earthly soyle,
And seeking misse, and missing doe lament."
Therewith he gan afresh to waile and weepe,
That I for pittie of his heavie plight
Could not abstain 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 understand
The riddle of thy loved 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 plain areade* this doubtfull case."
[* Areade, explain.]
Then sighing sore, "Daphne thou knew'st," quoth he;
"She now is dead": no more endur'd to say,
But fell to ground for great extremitie;
That I, beholding it, with deepe dismay
Was much apald, and, lightly him uprearing,
Revoked life, that would have fled away,
All were my selfe through grief in deadly drearing*.
[* Drearing, sorrowing.]
Then gan I him to comfort all my best,
And with milde counsaile strove 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 fervent in his gate,
And, breaking foorth at last, thus dearnely* plained:
[* Dearnely, sadly.]
"What man henceforth that breatheth vitall aire
Will honour Heaven, or heavenly powers adore,
Which so uniustly doth their iudgements share
Mongst earthly wights, as to afflict so sore
The innocent as those which do transgresse,
And doe not spare the best or fairest more
Than worst or foulest, but doe both oppresse?
"If this be right, why did they then create
The world so faire, sith fairenesse is neglected?
Or why be they themselves immaculate,
If purest things be not by them respected?
She faire, she pure, most faire, most pure she was,
Yet was by them as thing impure reiected;
Yet she in purenesse heaven it self did pas.
"In purenesse, and in all celestiall grace
That men admire in goodly womankind,
She did excell, and seem'd of angels race,
Living on earth like angell new divinde*,
Adorn'd with wisedome and with chastitie,
And all the dowries of a noble mind,
Which did her beautie much more beautifie.
[* Divinde, deified.]
"No age hath bred (since faire 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 bounty* quight.
Well may the shepheard lasses now lament;
For doubble losse by her hath on them light,
To loose both her and bounties ornament.
[* Bounty, goodness.]
"Ne let Elisa, royall shepheardesse,
The praises of my parted* love envy,
For she hath praises in all plenteousnesse
Powr'd upon her, like showers of Castaly,
By her owne shepheard, Colin, her own shepheard,
That her with heavenly hymnes doth deifie,
Of rusticke Muse full hardly to be betterd.
[* Parted, departed.]
"She is the rose, the glory 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 live for ay.
O that so faire a flowre so soon should fade,
And through untimely tempest fall away!
"She fell away in her first ages spring,
Whilst yet her leafe was greene, and fresh her rinde;
And whilst her braunch faire blossomes foorth did bring,
She fell away against all course of kinde*.
For age to dye is right, but youth is wrong;
She fell away like fruit blowne down with winde.
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my undersong**.
[* Kinde, nature.]
[** Undersong, accompaniment.]
"What hart so stonie hard but that would weepe.
And poure forth fountaines of incessant teares?
What Timon but would let compassion creepe
Into his breast, and pierce his frosen eares?
In stead of teares, whose brackish bitter well
I wasted have, my heart bloud dropping weares,
To think 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 travell downe doth lye,
So lay she downe, as if to sleepe she went,
And closde her eyes with carelesse quietriesse;
The whiles soft death away her spirit hent*,
And soule assoyld** from sinfull fleshlinesse.
[* Hent, took]
[** Assoyld, absolved.]
"Yet ere that life her lodging did forsake,
She, all resolv'd, and readie to remove,
Calling to me (ay me!) this wise bespake;
'Alcyon! ah, my first and latest love!
Ah! why does my Alcyon weepe and mourne,
And grieve my ghost, that ill mote him behove,
As if to me had chaunst some evill tourne!
"'I, since the messenger is come for mee
That summons soules unto the bridale feast
Of his great Lord, must needs depart from thee,
And straight obay his soveraine 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 dolour 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 loves me sorrie bee
For my deliverance, or at all complaine
My good to heare, and toward* ioyes to see!
[* Toward, preparing, near at hand.]
"'I goe, and long desired have 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.
[* Whereas, where.]
"'Yet, ere I goe, a pledge I leave with thee
Of the late love the which betwixt us past;
My young Ambrosia; in lieu of mee,
Love her; so shall our love for ever last.
Thus, deare! adieu, whom I expect ere long.'--
So having said, away she softly past;
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make mine undersong.
"So oft as I record those piercing words,
Which yet are deepe engraven in my brest,
And those last deadly accents, which like swords
Did wound my heart and rend my bleeding chest,
With those sweet sugred speeches doe compare
The which my soul first conquerd and possest,
The first beginners of my endlesse care,
"And when those pallid cheekes and ashe hew,
In which sad Death his pourtraiture had writ,
And when those hollow eyes and deadly view,
On which the cloud of ghastly night did sit,
I match, with that sweete smile and chearful brow,
Which all the world subdued unto 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 rosye garland crownd!
And when she list advaunce her heavenly voyce,
Both Nymphes and Muses nigh she made astownd,
And flocks and shepheards caused to reioyce.
[* Trace, step]
"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 convert your ioyous playes,
And with the same fill every hill and dale.
[* Virelayes, roundelays.]
[** Dight, deck.]
"Let bagpipe never more be heard to shrill,
That may allure the senses to delight,
Ne ever shepheard sound his oaten quill
Unto the many*, that provoke them might
To idle pleasance; but let ghastlinesse
And drearie horror dim the chearfull light,
To make the image of true heavinesse.
[* Many, company.]
"Let birds be silent on the naked spray,
And shady woods resound with dreadfull yells;
Let streaming floods their hastie courses stay,
And parching drouth drie up the cristall 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 untimely howres.
"And Nature, nurse of every living thing,
Let rest her selfe from her long wearinesse,
And cease henceforth things kindly forth to bring,
But hideous monsters full of uglinesse;
For she it is that hath me done this wrong;
No nurse, but stepdame cruell, mercilesse.
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my undersong.
"My little flock, whom earst I lov'd so well,
And wont to feed with finest grasse that grew,
Feede ye hencefoorth on bitter astrofell*,
And stinking smallage, and unsaverie rew;
And when your mawes are with those weeds corrupted,
Be ye the pray of wolves; ne will I rew
That with your carkasses wild beasts be glutted.
[* Astrofell, (probably) starwort. See Astrophel, v. 184-196.]
"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 heavens I doo daylie call;
But heavens refuse to heare a wretches cry;
And cruell Death doth scorn to come at call,
Or graunt his boone that most desires to dye.
[* Decay, destruction.]
"The good and righteous he away doth take,
To plague th'unrighteous which alive remaine;
But the ungodly ones he doth forsake,
By living long to multiplie their paine;
Else surely death should be no punishment,
As the Great Iudge at first did it ordaine,
But rather riddance from long languishment.
"Therefore, my Daphne they have tane away;
For worthie of a better place was she:
But me unworthie willed here to stay,
That with her lacke I might tormented be.
Sith then they so have ordred, I will pay
Penance to her, according* their decree,
And to her ghost doe service day by day.
[* According, according to.]
"For I will walke this wandring pilgrimage,
Throughout the world from one to other end,
And in affliction waste my better age:
My bread shall be the anguish of my mynd,
My drink the teares which fro mine eyes do raine,
My bed the ground that hardest I may fynd;
So will I wilfully increase my paine.
"And she, my love that was, my saint that is,
When she beholds from her celestiall throne
(In which shee ioyeth in eternall blis)
My bitter penance, will my case bemone,
And pittie me that living thus doo die;
For heavenly spirits have compassion
On mortall men, and rue their miserie.
"So when I have with sorrow satisfyde
Th'importune Fates which vengeance on me seeks,
And th'heavens with long languor pacifyde,
She, for pure pitie of my sufferance meeke,
Will send for me; for which I daily long,
And will till then my painfull penance eeke,
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my undersong.
"Hencefoorth I hate whatever 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,
Leaving behind them nought but griefe of minde,
And mocking such as thinke they long will stay.
"I hate the heaven, because it doth withhould
Me from my love, and eke my love from me;
I hate the earth, because it is the mould
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 love to see;
I hate the darknesse and the dreary night,
Because they breed sad balefulnesse in mee;
I hate all times, because all times doo fly
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 have 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 love 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 ever to and fro,
And never standeth in one certaine state,
But, still unstedfast, round about doth goe
Like a mill-wheele in midst of miserie,
Driven with streames of wretchednesse and woe,
That dying lives, and living still does dye.
"So doo I live, 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 dolour and disdalne!
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my undersong.
"Why doo I longer live 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 have end thereby,
And cares finde quiet! Is it so uneath*
To leave this life, or dolorous to dye?
[* Uneath, difficult.]
"To live I finde it deadly dolorous,
For life drawes care, and care continuall woe;
Therefore to dye must needes be ioyeous,
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 ever 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 for feeblenesse,
Ne will I rest my limmes for frailtie,
Ne will I rest mine eyes for heavinesse.
"But, as the mother of the gods, that sought
For faire Euridyce, her daughter dere,
Throughout the world, with wofull heavie thought,
So will I travell whilest I tarrie heere,
Ne will I lodge, ne will I ever lin*,
Ne, when as drouping Titan draweth nere
To loose his teeme, will I take up my inne**.
[* Lin, cease.]
[** Inne, lodging.]
"Ne sleepe, the harbenger* of wearie wights,
Shall ever lodge upon mine eye-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.
[* Harbenger, one who provides lodging or repose.]
[** Philumene, Philomel.]
"And ever as I see the starre to fall,
And under ground to goe to give them light
Which dwell in darknesse, I to mind will call
How my faire starre, that shind on me so bright,
Fell sodainly and faded under ground;
Since whose departure, day is turnd to night,
And night without a Venus starre is found.
"But soon as day doth shew his deawie face,
And cals foorth men unto their toylsome trade,
I will withdraw me to some darkesome place,
Or some dere* cave, or solitarie shade;
There will I sigh, and sorrow all day long,
And the huge burden of my cares unlade.
Weepe, Shepheard! weepe, to make my undersong.
[* Qu. derne, lonely? Or, drere?]
"Henceforth mine eyes shall never more behold
Faire thing on earth, ne feed on false delight
Of ought that framed is of mortall mould,
Sith that my fairest flower is faded quight;
For all I see is vaine and transitorie,
Ne will be held in any stedfast plight,
But in a moment loose their grace and glorie.
"And ye, fond Men! on Fortunes wheele that ride,
Or in ought under heaven repose assurance,
Be it riches, beautie, or honours pride,
Be sure that they shall have no long endurance,
But ere ye be aware will flit away;
For nought of them is yours, but th'only usance
Of a small time, which none ascertains may.
"And ye, true Lovers! whom desastrous chaunce,
Hath farre exiled from your ladies grace,
To mourne in sorrow and sad sufferauncc,
When ye doe heare me in that desert place
Lamenting loud my Daphnes elegie,
Helpe me to waile my miserable case,
And when life parts vouchsafe to close mine eye.
"And ye, more happie Lovers! which enioy
The presence of your dearest loves delight,
"When ye doe heare my sorrowfull annoy,
Yet pittie me in your empassiond spright,
And thinke that such mishap as chaunst to me
May happen unto the most happiest wight;
For all mens states alike unstedfast be.
"And ye, ray fellow Shepheards! which do feed
Tour carelesse flocks on hils and open plaines,
With better fortune than did me succeed,
Remember yet my undeserved paines;
And when ye heare that I am dead or slaine,
Lament my lot, and tell your fellow-swaines
That sad Aleyon dyde in lifes disdaine.
"And ye, faire Damsels! shepheards deare delights,
That with your loves do their rude hearts possesse,
When as my hearse shall happen to your sightes,
Vouchsafe to deck the same with cyparesse;
And ever sprinckle brackish teares among,
In pitie of my undeserv'd distresse,
The which, I, wretch, endured have thus long.
"And ye, poore Pilgrims! that with restlesse toyle
Wearie your selves in wandring desart wayes,
Till that you come where ye your vowes assoyle*,
When passing by ye reade these wofull layes
On my grave written, rue my Daphnes wrong,
And mourne for me that languish out my dayes.
Cease, Shepheard! cease, and end thy undersong."
[* Assoyle, absolve, pay.]
Thus when he ended had his heavie plaint,
The heaviest plaint that ever I heard sound,
His cheekes wext pale, and sprights began to faint,
As if againe he would have fallen to ground;
Which when I saw, I, stepping to him light,
Amooved* him out of his stonie swound,
And gan him to recomfort as I might.
[* Amooved, roused.]
But he no waie recomforted would be,
Nor suffer solace to approach him nie,
But, casting up a sdeinfull 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 griev'd to see his wretched case.
Tho when the pang was somewhat overpast,
And the outragious passion nigh appeased,
I him desyrde, sith daie was overcast
And darke night fast approched, to be pleased
To turne aside unto my cabinet*,
And staie with me, till he were better eased
Of that strong stownd** which him so sore beset.
[* Cabinet, cabin.]
[** Stownd, mood, parosysm of grief.]
But by no meanes I could him win thereto,
Ne longer him intreate with me to staie,
But without taking leave he foorth did goe
With staggring pace and dismall looks dismay,
As if that Death he in the face had seene,
Or hellish hags had met upon the way:
But what of him became I cannot weene.