From Eclogue iij

A poem by Michael Drayton

O thou fayre siluer Thames: O cleerest chrystall flood,
Beta alone the Phenix is, of all thy watery brood,
The Queene of Virgins onely she:
And thou the Queene of floods shalt be:
Let all thy Nymphes be ioyfull then to see this happy day,
Thy Beta now alone shalbe the subiect of my laye.

With daintie and delightsome straines of sweetest virelayes:
Come louely shepheards sit we down and chant our Betas prayse:
And let vs sing so rare a verse,
Our Betas prayses to rehearse,
That little Birds shall silent be, to heare poore shepheards sing,
And riuers backward bend their course, and flow vnto the spring.

Range all thy swannes faire Thames together on a rancke,
And place them duely one by one, vpon thy stately banck,
Then set together all agood,
Recording to the siluer flood,
And craue the tunefull Nightingale to helpe you with her lay,
The Osel and the Throstlecocke, chiefe musicke of our maye.

O! see what troups of Nimphs been sporting on the strands,
And they been blessed Nimphs of peace, with Oliues in their hands.
How meryly the Muses sing,
That all the flowry Medowes ring,
And Beta sits vpon the banck, in purple and in pall,
And she the Queene of Muses is, and weares the Corinall.

Trim vp her Golden tresses with Apollos sacred tree,
O happy sight vnto all those that loue and honor thee,
The Blessed Angels haue prepar'd,
A glorious Crowne for thy reward,
Not such a golden Crowne as haughty C├Žsar weares,
But such a glittering starry Crowne as Ariadne beares.

Make her a goodly Chapilet of azur'd Colombine,
And wreath about her Coronet with sweetest Eglentine:
Bedeck our Beta all with Lillies,
And the dayntie Daffadillies,
With Roses damask, white, and red, and fairest flower delice,
With Cowslips of Jerusalem, and cloues of Paradice.

O thou fayre torch of heauen, the days most dearest light,
And thou bright shyning Cinthya, the glory of the night:
You starres the eyes of heauen,
And thou the glyding leuen,
And thou O gorgeous Iris with all strange Colours dyd,
When she streams foorth her rayes, then dasht is all your pride.

See how the day stands still, admiring of her face,
And time loe stretcheth foorth her armes, thy Beta to imbrace,
The Syrens sing sweete layes,
The Trytons sound her prayse,
Goe passe on Thames and hie thee fast vnto the Ocean sea,
And let thy billowes there proclaime thy Betas holy-day.

And water thou the blessed roote of that greene Oliue tree,
With whose sweete shadow, al thy bancks with peace preserued be,
Lawrell for Poets and Conquerours,
And mirtle for Loues Paramours:
That fame may be thy fruit, the boughes preseru'd by peace,
And let the mournful Cipres die, now stormes and tempest cease.

Wee'l straw the shore with pearle where Beta walks alone,
And we wil paue her princely Bower with richest Indian stone,
Perfume the ayre and make it sweete,
For such a Goddesse it is meete,
For if her eyes for purity contend with Titans light,
No maruaile then although they so doe dazell humaine sight.

Sound out your trumpets then, from London's stately towres,
To beate the stormie windes a back and calme the raging showres,
Set too the Cornet and the flute,
The Orpharyon and the Lute,
And tune the Taber and the Pipe, to the sweet violons,
And moue the thunder in the ayre, with lowdest Clarions.

Beta long may thine Altars smoke, with yeerely sacrifice,
And long thy sacred Temples may their Saboths solemnize,
Thy shepheards watch by day and night,
Thy Mayds attend the holy light,
And thy large empyre stretch her armes from east vnto the west,
And thou vnder thy feet mayst tread, that foule seuen-headed beast.

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