Vpon The Noble Lady Astons Departure For Spaine

A poem by Michael Drayton

I many a time haue greatly marueil'd, why
Men say, their friends depart when as they die,
How well that word, a dying, doth expresse,
I did not know (I freely must confesse,)
Till her departure: for whose missed sight,
I am enforc'd this Elegy to write:
But since resistlesse fate will haue it so,
That she from hence must to Iberia goe,
And my weak wishes can her not detaine,
I will of heauen in policy complaine,
That it so long her trauell should adiourne,
Hoping thereby to hasten her returne.
Can those of Norway for their wage procure,[1]
By their blacke spells a winde that shall endure
Till from aboard the wished land men see,
And fetch the harbour, where they long to be,
Can they by charmes doe this and cannot I
Who am the Priest of Phoebus, and so hie,
Sit in his fauour, winne the Poets god,
To send swift Hermes with his snaky rod,
To ├ćolus Caue, commanding him with care,
His prosperous winds, that he for her prepare,
And from that howre, wherein shee takes the seas,
Nature bring on the quiet Halcion dayes,
And in that hower that bird begin her nest,
Nay at that very instant, that long rest
May seize on Neptune, who may still repose,
And let that bird nere till that hower disclose,
Wherein she landeth, and for all that space
Be not a wrinkle seene on Thetis face,
Onely so much breath with a gentle gale,
As by the easy swelling of her saile,
May at *Sebastians safely set her downe[2]
Where, with her goodnes she may blesse the towne.
If heauen in iustice would haue plagu'd by thee
Some Pirate, and grimme Neptune thou should'st be
His Executioner, or what is his worse,
The gripple Merchant, borne to be the curse
Of this braue Iland; let them for her sake,
Who to thy safeguard doth her selfe betake,
Escape vndrown'd, vnwrackt, nay rather let
Them be at ease in some safe harbour set,
Where with much profit they may vent their wealth
That they haue got by villany and stealth,
Rather great Neptune, then when thou dost raue,
Thou once shouldst wet her saile but with a waue.
Or if some proling Rouer shall but dare,
To seize the ship wherein she is to fare,
Let the fell fishes of the Maine appeare,
And tell those Sea-thiefes, that once such they were
As they are now, till they assaid to rape
Grape-crowned Bacchus in a striplings shape,[3]
That came aboard them, and would faine haue saild,
To vine-spread *Naxus but that him they faild,
Which he perceiuing, them so monstrous made,
And warnd them how they passengers inuade.
Ye South and Westerne winds now cease to blow
Autumne is come, there be no flowers to grow,
Yea from that place respire, to which she goes,
And to her sailes should show your selfe but foes,
But Boreas and yee Esterne windes arise,
To send her soon to Spaine, but be precise,
That in your aide you seeme not still so sterne,
As we a summer should no more discerne,
For till that here againe, I may her see,
It will be winter all the yeare with mee.
Ye swanne-begotten lonely brother-stars,[4]
So oft auspicious to poore Mariners,
Ye twin-bred lights of louely Leda's brood,
Ioues egge-borne issue smile vpon the flood,
And in your mild'st aspect doe ye appeare
To be her warrant from all future feare.
And if thou ship that bear'st her, doe proue good,
May neuer time by wormes, consume thy wood
Nor rust thy iron, may thy tacklings last,
Till they for reliques be in temples plac't;
Maist thou be ranged with that mighty Arke,
Wherein iust Noah did all the world imbarque,
With that which after Troyes so famous wracke,
From ten yeares trauell brought Vlisses backe,
That Argo which to Colchos went from Greece,
And in her botome brought the goulden fleece
Vnder braue Iason; or that same of Drake,
Wherein he did his famous voyage make
About the world; or Candishes that went
As far as his, about the Continent.
And yee milde winds that now I doe implore,
Not once to raise the least sand on the shore,
Nor once on forfait of your selues respire:
When once the time is come of her retire,
If then it please you, but to doe your due,
What for these windes I did, Ile doe for you;
Ile wooe you then, and if that not suffice,
My pen shall prooue you to haue dietyes,
Ile sing your loues in verses that shall flow,
And tell the storyes of your weale and woe,
Ile prooue what profit to the earth you bring,
And how t'is you that welcome in the spring;
Ile raise vp altars to you, as to show,
The time shall be kept holy, when you blow.
O blessed winds! your will that it may be,
To send health to her, and her home to me.

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