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For whilst king Edward only doth attend
And to the royal blood me to ally, A happy voyage to the Holy Land,
(Which did but back my humour of ambition) For which the laity mighty sums did leud,
In bands of wedlock did to me affy E'en whilst ibis business hotly was in hand, A lay of an excellent condition, See but to me what fortune there can fall,
Which Joan of Arches his dear sister bare This conqueror's death hath quickly alter'd all ! To th' earl of Glo'ster, that right noble Clare. Should I presume his praises to report,
O blessed bounty, giving all content ! Thinking thereby to grace his so great name,
The only fautress of all noble arts, My mean endeavours would fall far too short, That lend'st success to every good intent, And I too much should but iinpair his fame; A grace that rests in the most godlike hearts,
I'll leave that to some sacred Muse to tell, By Heaven to none but happy souls infused, Upon whose life a poet's pen might dwell.
Pity it is that e'er thou wast abused. Scarce was his body lapp'l up in the lead,
When those here first that my exile procurd, Before his doleful obsequies were done,
Which in my heart still hated did abide,
As the black night at the approaching day, For emulation ever did attend
Upon the great, and shall so to the end.
To cross whom, into favour 1 wrought those, Whom Elward Longhanks banish'd to his death ; That from mean places lifted up by me, I, whom the father held inost base and vile, Being factious spirits, were fittest to oppose Was to the son as precioas as his breath : [blot, Them, that perhaps too powerful else might be, .
What th' old kiog writ, the young king forth did That against envy raised by my hand,
Th’ alive's remember'd, dead men's words forgot. Must uphold me, to make themselves to stand. The fair wind safts me to that wish'd-for place, Having my frame so cunningly contriv'd, And sets me safely on that blessed shore,
To bolster me in my ambitious ways, From whence I seem'd but banish'd for a space, I show'd the king my hate to be deriv'd That my return might honour'd be the more, From those high honours that he on me lays,
There to my lov'd lord happily to leave me, Drawing him on (my courses to partake)
Whose arms were cast wide open to receive me. Still to maintain what he himself did make. Who would have seen that noble Roman dame, Thus did my youth but exercise extremes, O'ercome with joy, give up her vital breath, My heed was rashness to forerun my fall, Her son returning sounded in by Fame,
My wit but folly, and my hopes but dreams, When thankful Rome had mourned for his death, My counsel serv'd myself but to enthral, Might here behold her personated right,
Abusing me but with a vain illusion, At my approach to my dear Edward's sight. And all together hasting my confusion. My Jove now lord of the ascendant is,
When as king Edward hast'neth bis repair, In an aspect to promise happy speed,
T'espouse the princess Isabel of France, And such on me that influence of his,
Daughter to Philip that was call’d the Fair, As prais'd the course wherein we did proceed; By which he thought his strength much to advance; Yet most prodigious it to some appears,
And here at home to perfect my command, Telling the troubles of ensuing years.
He left me the protection of the land. When, like to Midas, all I touch'd was gold, Giving me power so absolute withal, Upon me show'r'd, as into Danae's lap,
That I drank pleasure in a plenteous cup, For I obtained any thing I would,
When there was none me to account to call, So well bad Fortune lotted out my hap :
All to my hands so freely render'd up, For princes' treasures like to oceans are,
That Heav'n on me no greater bliss could bri To whom all rivers naturally repair.
Except to make me greater than my king. The Isle of Mau the first to me he gave,
Thus being got as high as I could climb,
I thought t'embrace the benefit of time,
Fully to take what freely I possess'd; Fair Wallingford, which many years had been Holding for truth that he is worse than mad, The wealthy dow'r of Elenor the queen.
Fondly to spare, a prince's wealth that had. Those sums his father had been levying long Their counsel then continually I cross'd, By impositions for the war abroad,
As scoring their authority and blood, Others his princely benefits among,
And those things that concern'd their honours most, At once on me he liberally bestow'd,
In those against them evermore I stood, When some that saw how much on me he cast, And things for public, privately did spend
Perceiv'd his wealth could not maintain his waste. To feed my riot, that could find no end. He gave me then his secretary's place,
Until false Fortune, like a treacherous foe, Thereby to train me in affairs of state ;
Which had so long attended on my fall, Me in those rooms, that I was in, to grace, In the plain path wherein I was to go, And earl of Cornwal frankly did create;
Lay'd many a bait to train me on withal, Besides, in court more freely to partake me, Till by her skill sbe cunningly had brought me of England he high chamberlain did make me. Into the trap where she at pleasure caught me.
For when the barons hotly went in hand,
And since the flow me follow'd in this vise,
It had been folly to bave seem'd precise,
To take that which fell on me like the rain, Till all their charge was lastly overthrown, Such as before no age had ever seen, Who could abide no glory but mine own.
And since he was, I think, hath seldom been. Thus sought my fate me forward still to set, So that, when the bold barony had found As though some engine seiz'd me with a slight: The cuoning us'd in covering of my fight, One mischief soon a second doth beget,
That shifted me but to a surer ground, The second brings a third but on too right, On which they vainly had bestow'd their might, And erery one itself employeth wholly
Perceiv'd far off that greater peril rose, In their just course to prosecute my folly.
Than they could find how fitly to dispose. For when the barons found me to retain
Like those that strive to stop some swelling source, Th'ambitious course wherein I first began, (Whose plenty none can comprchend in bounds) And deeply felt, that under my disdain,
Which climbs above th' opposers of his course, Into contempt continually they ran,
And that which should encircle it surrounds, They took up arms to remedy their wrong, That so innated in itself is blest,
Which their cold spirits had suffer'd but too long. That 'tis the more, the more it is deprest.
For fearing much the force I had abroad,
They thought me better here to be bestow'd,
And for the state more safely far therein, Who never did in any thing delight,
Where tho'my spoil they hop'd not to prevent, But what might please my bestial appetite. Yet could they see the giddy course I went. That like a sickness on the land was sent,
Of which they scarcely had conceivd the thought, Whose hateful courses the chief cause had been
And did thereto but seemingly descend, The commonwealth thus totter'd was and rent,
But that the king immediately it caught, And worse and worse yet every day foreseen.
Nor car'd he by it what they did intand. [me, Thus was I scandal'd publicly of many,
Plot what they could, so he thereby might gaig Who pitied none, nor pity'd was of auy.
Once in his court again to entertain me. And since I thus was match'd by men of might, What is so hard, but majesty commands, The king, my danger that discreetly weigh'd, Yea, and severely humbleth with the eye Seeing them to pursue me with such spite, Whose very nod acts with a thousand hands, Me into Ireland secretly convey'd,
In it such virtue secretly doth lie, Till with my peers my peace he might procure, Having t' uphold it the high power of fate, Or might my safety ptherwise assure.
It is imperious both o'er love and hate.
And to some sure place doth with that retire, That he to pass in little time did bring,
What most men thought to be a doubtful thing,
Me out of Ireland instantly to call, To make my absence otherwise to seem,
Allow'd of by the general consent, And to the world to bear a fairer face,
Although not lik'd of inwardly of all; Lest my exile, saygested by their hate,
Yet 'twas sufficient that it freedom gave me, In England here perhaps might wound my state: But to be here where he desir'd to have me. By their wise counsel that were him about, My proud sails swelling with a prosp'rous wind, Of Ireland he me deputy doth make,
The boist'rous seas did homage to mine eyes, And caus'd it each-where to be given out,
And much above their lisnal course were kind, My journey therefore thither I did take,
All low'ring clouds abandoning the skies, To stop their mouths, that sladly would embrace Nothing discern'd in any star to fear me,
The Icast thing that might sound to my disgrace. Fortune herself sat at the helm to steer me. Whereas he set me in that princely sort,
What time the king a progress needs would make As in my place might purchase me renown, Into North-W'ales, his native place to see, With no less bounty to maintain a court,
Which was indeed but only for my sake, Than hourly crav'd th' reyennes of a crown, Who at West-Chester knew to meet with me, Thither his bounty so much die me bring,
And there, with all the state he could devise, That though he reign'd, yet there was I a king. To do me honour in the people's eyes. There were few weeks, but some the Channel cross’d Where for my landing long he did provide, With sundry presents of a wonu'rous price, That nought might want to nourish iny delight, Some jewel that him infinitely cost,
And at each lodging as along we ride, Or some rich robe of excellent device,
He entertaju'd me with some pleasing sight ; That they which saw what he upon me threw,
And that the realm our friendship night report, Well might discern some change innst needs ensue. We enter'd London in this royal sort
Which prov'd sharp spurs to my untam'd desire, Where, though I chang'd my habit and my name, Lending the reigns to my lascivious will,
Hoping thereby to live unknown to any; And put me forth upon my full career,
Yet swift report had so divulg'd my shame, On places slippery, and my manage ill :
My hateful life was publish'd to too many, Sinall my foresight, and over-much my haste, That as I pass'd through every street along, Which me, alas! unfortunately cast.
I was the tale of every cornu.on tongue. King Edward's ear when having a command, From whence I found a secret ineans, to have Who aught would have, be must me entertain ; Intelligence with my kind lord the king, And yet before it pass'd my gripple hand,
Who fail'd no month, but he me notice gave I share the great'st part to my private gain ; What the proud barons had in managing; Nor car'd I what from any I could wring,
And labour'd then, as he had done before, So I might coin into my coffers bring.
Me into England safely to restore. Then daily begg'd I great monopolies,
For which relying on my sovereign's love, Taking the lands belonging to the crown,
To whom as life I had been ever dear, Transporting all the best commodities
Which ne'er than now I had more need to prove, L'seful to England, needed of her own,
Who strove t' obtain, if any mean there were,
A dispensation for his former oath,
In their despite that thereto seem'd most loth. And being inconsiderately proud,
Which long debating, we resolv'd at length, Held all things vile that suited not my vein ; Since I by marriage strongly was ally'd, Nothing might pass, but that which I allow'd, I at this pinch should stand upon my strength, A great opinion to my wit to gain,
And should for England, hap what could betide,
And in a ship that for my passage lay,
Thither myself to secretly, convey.
Where safely landed on the wished shore,
About what time he there for me should look,
Who was devising, when I should arrive,
The surest way my safety to contrive.
That to themselves then only were to trust; And I her son, so rightly of her pitch,
For what before was done, avail'd them not, She had bequeath'd her sorceries to me;
And for my sake they found the king unjust, Urging it on, for a most certain thing,
Bringing thereby, whilst triðling they do stand, That I by magic wrought upon the king.
Spoil on themselves, and peril on the land. And into France they charg'd me to convey
Who was so dull, that did not then distaste, A goodly table of pure massy gokil,
That thus the king his pobles should neglect ? A relique kept in Windsor many a day,
And those in court we for our purpose plac'd, Which to king Arthur did belong of old,
Gave us just cause their dealings to suspect,
Yet at our actions often look'd awry.
Which made king Edward presently provide They soon procur'd a legate to the land,
A chosen convoy of his chiefest friends, With malediction by the church's doom,
To guard me safe to York, to be supply'd Upon that man, which on my part should stand; With foreign succours, and to Scotland sends The king suspending, should he not consent,
To warlike Baliol, and to Wales, from whence To ratify the barony's intent.
He hop'd for power to frustrate their pretence. Which they to purpose prosp?rously effect, But they his agents quickly intercept, Then at full strength, to counterpoise his force; Not then to seek in so well known a thing, Having withal the clergy to direct
A d both the Marches they so strictly kept,
Only to chastise my abhorred sin,
Who had the cause of all these troubles been. Th' uncertain issue of each earthly thing,
Thus like a ship, despoiled of her sails, Set out most lively in my star-crost state,
Shov'd by the wind against the streamful tide, That doth remain in Fortune's managing,
This way the one, that way the other hales, Appearing in my variable fate:
Now tow'rds this shore and now tow'rds thatdoth ride, On me that frown'd and flatter'd me so oft,' As that poor vessel's, such my brittle stay, Casting me down, then setting me aloft.
The nearer land, the nearer cast away.
Such friends in France they daily did procure, How many empires be there that do rue thee?
appy the world was till too well it knew thee.
Thus of all succour utterly bereft,
THE LEGEND OF THOMAS CROMWELL For us to trust to, Fortune had us left,
EARL OF ESSEX.
Awar'd, and trembling betwixt iage and dread Our former courses forced to forsake.
With the loud slander (by the impious time) Our present peril happ'ning to be so,
That of my actions every where is spread, That did for aid importunately call,
Through which to honour falsely I should climb: Wherefore in York, as safest from the foe,
From the sad dwelling of th' untimely dead, He left me to the keeping of the wall,
To quit me of that execrable crime, Till his retin me further ajd might gire,
Cromwell appears, his wretched plight to show, Whom more and more he studied to relieve.
Much that can tell, as one that much did know. The barons then from Bedford setting on,
Roughly not made up in the common mould, Th' appointed rendy where they gath'red head,
That with the vulgar vilely I should die, When they had notice that the king was gone,
What thing so strange of Cromwell is not told? Tow'rus Yorkshire with celerity them sped,
What man more prais'd? who more condemn'd To seize my person purposed that were,' [bear. That with the world when I am waxed old, [than 1? Whose presence else might make them to for.
Most 'twere unfit that Fame of me should lie,
With fables vain my history to fill,
You, that but hearing of my hated name,
Your ancient malice instantly bewray,
And for my sake your ill-deserved blame
Upon my legend publicly shall lay, The hills at hand might privilege my fight.
Would you forbear to blast me with defame,
Might I so mean a privilege but pray, But they which kept the country round about, He that three ages bad endur'd your wrong, Upon each passage set so watchful spies,
Hear him a little, who hath heard you long. Of well-wall a York that I was scarcely out,
Since Rome's sad ruin here by me began, But on their light-horse after me they rise,
Who her religion pluck'd up by the root, And suddenly they in upon me came,
Of the false world such bate for which I wan, Ere I had time to get into the same.
Which still at me her poisoned'st darts doth shoot; Thence with intent tow'rds Oxford to convey me, That to excuse it, do the best I can, When by the way, as birds do at the owl,
Little, I fear, my labour me will boot :
Much to the mind herself it is to please.
O powerful number, from whose stricter law
Heart-moving music did receive the ground, Conducted this to Dedington at last,
Which man to fair civility did draw, Where Il' earl of Pembroke will'd me to be stay'd, With the brute beast when lawless he was found : To understand before they further pass'd,
O, if according to the wiser saw, What by the king could on my side be said
There be a high divinity in sound, About this business, and tow'rds Edward went,
Be now abundant, prosp'rously to aid T" acquaint him with the general intent.
The pen prepar'd my doubtful case to plead. But th' earl of Warwick (lying but too near)
Putney the place made blessed by my birth, The dog of Arden that I us'd to call,
Whose meanest cottage simply me did shroud, Who mortal hatred did me ever bear,
To me as dearest of the English earth; He whom I most suspect d of them all,
So of my bringing that poor village proud, Thither repairing with his powerful band,
Though in a time when never less the dearth Seized upon me with a violent hand.
Of happy wits, yet mine so well allow'd, To Warwick castle carrying me along,
That with the best sbe boldly durst prefer (Where he had long desired me to get)
Me, that my breath acknowledged from her. With fri nds and tenants absolutely strong, Twice flow'd proud Thames, as at my coming Whom all the paissant barony abet,
Striking the wond'ring borderers with fear, (woo'd, Which since occasion ofier'd them such hold,
And the pale Genius of that aged food, Hasten.my death by all the incans they could.
To my sick mother labouring did appear, North from the town, a mile or very ncar, And with a countenance much distracted stood, A little bill in public view doth lie,
Threat'ning the fruit her pained womb should bear; That's called Blacklow of the dwellers thcre,
My specdy birth being added thereunto, Near to the ancient hermitage of Gay,
Seen 'd to foretel that much I came to do. To which the lords ine as a traitor led,
Who was reserved for those worser days, And on a scaffold took away my head.
As the great ebb unto so long a flow, My life and fortunes lively thus exprest,
When what those ages formerly did raise, In the sad tenour of my tragic tale,
This, when I livid, did lastly overthrow, Let me return to the fair fields of rest,
And that great'st labour of the world did seize, Thither transported with a prosp'rous gale,
Only for which immerlicable blow, And leave the world my destiny to view,
Due to that time, me dooming Hearen ordain'd, Biuding it thus eternally adieu.
Wherein cepfusiou absolutely rcign d.
Vainly yet poted this prodigious sign,
Virtue, but poor, God in this Earth doth place, Often predictions of most fearful things,
'Gainst the rude world to stand up in his right, As plagues, or war, or great men to decline, To suffer sad amiction and disgrace, Rising of commons, or the death of kings;
Nor ceasing to pursue her with despite: But some strange news though ever it divine, Yet when of all she is accounted base, Yet forth them not immediately it brings,
And seeming in most miserable plight, Until th' eflects men afterward did learn,
Out of her power new life to her doth take, To know that me it chiefly did concern.
Least then dismay'd, when all do her forsake. Whilst yet my father by his painful trade, That is the man of an undaunted spirit, Whose labour'd anvil only was his fee,
For her dear sake that offereth him to die, Whom my great tow'rdness strongly did persuade, For whom, when him the world doth disinherit, In knowledge to have educated me;
Looketb upon it with a pleased eye, But death did him unluckily invade,
What's done for virtue thinking it doth merit, Ere he the fruits of his desire could see,
Daring the proudest menaces defy, Leaving me young, then little that did know, More worth than life, howe'er the base world How me the Heavens had purpos’d to bestow.
Belov'd of Heaven, although the Earth doth hate Hopeless as helpless most might me suppose, Whose meanness seem'd their abject breath to Injurious Time, unto the good unjust, Yet did my breast that glorious fire inclose, (draw: O! low may weak posterity suppose Which their dull purblind ignorance not saw,
Erer to have their merit from the dust, Which still is settled upon outward shows,
'Gainst them thy partiality that knows? The vulgar's judgment ever is so raw,
To thy report, O who shall ever trust, , Which the unworthiest sottishly do love, Triumphant arches building unto those, In their own region properly that move.
Allow'd the longest memory to have, Yet me my fortune so could not disguise, know,
That were the most unworthy of a grave ? Bit through this cloud were some that did me But my clear metal had that powerful heat, Which than the rest more happy, or more wise, As it not curu'd with all that Fortune could: Medid relieve, when I was driven low,
Nor when the world me terriblest did threat, Which, as the stairs by which I first did rise, Could win that place, which my high thoughts did When to my height I afterward did grow,
That waxed still more prosperously great, (hold, Them to requite, my bounties were so high, The more the world me strove to have controllid, As made my fame through every ear to fly.
On mine own columns constantly to stand,
Without the false help of another's hand.
My youthful course thus wisely did I steer,
Tavoid those rocks my wrack that else did threat; Toʻnames, and to be limited doth scorn:
Yet some fair hopes from far did still appear, Man doth the most degenerate from kind,
If that too much my wants did me not let : Richest and poorest both alike are born;
Wherefore myself above myself to bear, And to be always pertinently good,
Still as I grew, I knowledge strove to get, Follows not still the greatness of our blood. To perfect that which in the embryo was, pity it is, that to one virtuous man
Whose birth, I found, time well might bring
to pass. That mark him lent, to gentry to advance, Which first by noble industry he wan,
But when my means to fail me I did find, His baser issue after should enhance,
Myself to travel presently I took : And the rude slave not any good that can,
For 'twas distasteful to my noble mind,
As had not he been first that him did raise, Being besides industriously inclin'd,
My judgment more to rectify thereby,
In matters that were difficult and high.
When lo it happ'd, that Fortune, as my guide, When upon Fortune only they depend,
Of me did with such providence dispose, And by her changes governed must be?
That th’ English merchants then, who did reside Besides the dangers still that such attend,
At Antwerp, me their secretary chose, Liveljest of all men pourtray'd out in ine,
(As though in me to manifest her pride) When that, for which I hated was of all, W bence to those principalities I rose, Soon'st from me fled, scarce tarrying for my fall. To pluck me down, whom afterward she fear'd,
Beyond her power that alınost she bad rear’d. You that bat boast your ancestors' prond stile, And the large stem whence your vain greatness When first the wealthy Netherlands me train'd, grew,
In wise commerce most proper to that place, When you yourselves are ignorant and vile, And from my country carefully me wain'd, Nor glorious thing dare actually pursue,
As with the world it meant to win me grace, That all good spirits would utterly exile,
Where great experience happily I gain'd; Doubting their worth should else: discover you,
Yet bere I seen’d but tutor'd for a space, Giving yourselves unto ignoble things,
For bigh employment otherwise ordaiu'd. Base I proclaim you, though deriv'd from kings, Till vluch the time I idly entertain'd.