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RUINES OF TIME.
DEDICATED TO THE
RIGHT NOBLE AND BEAUTIFULL LADIE,
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,
IT chaunced me on day beside the shore
way, This once was me, may warned be to say.
There, on the other side, I did behold
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
Whether she were one of that Rivers Nymphes, 15
“ Ah! what delight (quoth she) in earthlie thing,
grave, That of all nations now I am forlorne, The worlds sad spectacle, and fortunes fcorne.”
Much was I mooved at her piteous plaint,
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.