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THE

RUINES OF TIME.

DEDICATED TO THE

RIGHT NOBLE AND BEAUTIFULL LADIE,

THE

LA: MARIE,

COUNTESSE OF PEMBROOKE.

MOST Honourable and bountifull Ladie, there bee long fithens deepe fowed in my brest the seedes of most entire love and humble affection unto that most brave Knight, your noble brother deceased; which, taking roote, began in his life time fomewhat to bud forth, and to thew themselves to him, as then in the weaknes of their first spring; and would in their riper strength (had it pleased High God till then to drawe out his daies) spired forth fruit of more perfection. But since God hath difdeigned the world of that most noble Spirit, which was the hope of all learned men, and the Patron of my young Muses; together with him both their hope of anie further fruit was cut off, and also the tender delight of those their first blossoms nipped and quite dead. Yet, fithens my late cumming into England, fome frends of mine, (which might much prevaile with me, and indeede commaund me,) knowing with howe straight bandes of duetie I was tied to him, as also bound unto that noble House, (of which the chiefe hope then rested in him,) have fought to revive them by upbraiding me, for that I have not shewed anie thankefull remembrance towards him or any of them; but suffer their names to sleep in silence and forgetfulneffe. Whome chieflie to satisfie, or els to avoide that fowle blot of unthankefulneffe, I have conceived this fmall Poeme, intituled by a generall name of The Worlds Ruines : yet speciallie intended to the renowming of that noble Race, from which both you and he sprong, and to the eternizing of some of the chiefe of them late deceased. The which I dedicate unto. your La. as whome it most specially concerneth; and to whome I acknowledge my felfe bounden by many fingular favours and great graces. I pray for your Honourable happinesse : and so humbly kiffe your hands,

Your Ladiships ever humblie at commaund,

E. S.

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IT chaunced me on day beside the shore
Of filver-streaming Thamesis to bee,
Nigh where the goodly Verlame stood of yore,
Of which there now remaines no memorie,
Nor anie little moniment to see,
By which the travailer, that fares that

way, This once was me, may warned be to say.

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There, on the other side, I did behold
A Woman sitting forrowfullie wailing,
Rending her yellow locks, like wyrie gold
About her shoulders careleslie downe trailing,
And streames of teares from her faire

forth railing:

eyes

Ver. 1.

on day] The adjective on for one is frequent in Chaucer. See Tyrwhitt's Glossary: “ They were at on,” Cant. T. 4195. And many other instances. The same spelling is found in the works of various writers contemporary with and subsequent to Spenser. See Mr. Malone's curious note on the following passage in Shakspeare's King John: “ Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;" one, in the old copies, being written on. TODD.

Ver. 3. Nigh where the goodly Verlame food of yore, &c.] See Selden's note on Drayton's Polyolbion, Song xvi. edition 1621. p. 253. “ Thou saw'it when Verlam once her head aloft did beare." TODD.

In her right hand a broken rod she held, Which towards heaven shee seemd on high to

weld.

Whether she were one of that Rivers Nymphes, 15
Which did the losse of some dere Love lament,
I doubt; or one of those three fatall Impes,
Which draw the dayes of men forth in extent ;
Or th' auncient Genius of that Citie brent:
But, seeing her so piteouslie perplexed,
I (to her calling) afkt what her fo vexed.

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“ Ah! what delight (quoth she) in earthlie thing,
Or comfort can I, wretched creature, have?
Whose happines the heavens envying,
From highest staire to lowest step me drave, 25
And have in mine owne bowels made my

grave, That of all nations now I am forlorne, The worlds sad spectacle, and fortunes fcorne.”

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Much was I mooved at her piteous plaint,
And felt

my

heart nigh riven in my brest With tender ruth to see her fore constraint; That, shedding teares a while, I still did rest, And, after, did her name of her request. “ Name have I none (quoth she) nor any being, Bereft of both by Fates uniuft decreeing.

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