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The ioyous Nymphes and lightfoote Faëries
Which thether came to heare their musick sweet,
And to the measure of their melodies
Did learne to move their nimble-shifting feete;
Now, hearing them fo heavily lament,
Like heavily lamenting from them went.
And all that els was wont to worke delight
Through the divine infusion of their ikill,
And all that els seemd faire and fresh in sight,
So made by nature for to serve their will,
Was turned now to dismall heavineffe,
Was turned now to dreadfull uglinesse.
Ay me! what thing on earth that all thing
breeds, Might be the cause of fo impatient plight? What furie, or what feend, with felon deeds 45 Hath stirred up so mischievous despight? Can griefe then enter into heavenly harts, And pierce immortall breasts with mortall
Vouchsafe ye then, whom onely it concernes,
To me those secret causes to display ;
For none but you, or who of you it learnes,
Can rightfully aread so dolefull lay.
Begin, thou eldest Sister of the crew,
And let the rest in order thee ensew.
HEARE, thou great Father of the gods on
hie, That most art dreaded for thy thunder darts ; And thou our Sire, that raignft in Caftalie And Mount Parnasse, the god of goodly Arts : Heare, and behold the miserable state Of us thy daughters, dolefull desolate...
Behold the fowle reproach and open shame,
The which is day by day unto us wrought
By such as hate the honour of our name,
The foes of learning and each gentle thought ;
They, not contented us themselves to fcorne, 65
Doo seeke to make us of the world forlorne.
Ņe onely they that dwell in lowly duft,
The fonnes of darknes and of ignoraunce ;
But they, whom thou, great love, by doome
Didst to the type of honour earst advaunce; 70-
They now, puft up with sdeignfull insolence,
Defpife the brood of blessed Sapience.
The sectaries of my celestiall skill,
That wont to be the worlds chiefe ornament,
And learned Impes that wont to shoote up still, 75
And grow to height of kingdomes government,
They underkeep, and with their spreading
: armes Do beat their buds, that perish through their
It most behoves the honorable race
Of mightie Peeres true wisedome to sustaine, 80,
And with their noble countenaunce to grace
The learned forheads, without gifts or gaine:
Or rather learnd themselves behoves to bee;
That is the girlond of Nobilitie.
But (ah !) all otherwise they doo esteeme
Of th' heavenly gift of wisdomes influence,
And to be learned it a base thing deeme;
Bafe minded they that want intelligence:
For God himselfe for wifedome most is praised,
And men to God thereby are nighest raised. 90
But they doo onely strive themselves to raise
Through pompous pride, and foolish vanitie;
In th' of people they put all their praise,
And onely boast of Armes and Auncestrie:
But vertuous deeds, which did those armes first
give To their grandfyres, they care not to atchive.
So I, that doo all noble feates professe
To register, and found in trump of gold;
Through their bad dooings, or base Nothfulnesse,
Finde nothing worthie to be writ, or told:
For better farre it were to hide their names,
Then telling them to blazon out their blames.
So shall succeeding ages have no light
Of things forepaft, nor moniments of time;
And all that in this world is worthie-hight 105
Shall die in darknesse, and lie hid in fime !
Therefore I mourne with deep harts forrowing,
Because I nothing noble have to fing.
With that the raynd fuch storé of streaming
teares, That could have made a stonie heart to weep; 110 And all her Sisters rent their golden heares, And their faire faces with falt humour steep. So ended shee: and then the next anew, Began her grievous plaint as doth ensew.
MÉLPOMEN E. s O! WHO shall powre into my swollen eyes 115 A fea of teares that never may be dryde, A brafen voice that may with shrilling cryes
Jteep.] Here is one of Spenser's elleipfes ; steep for did steep. JORTIN.
Ver. 115. 0! who shall powre &c.] Jerem. ix. 1. “ Oh that head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the daughter of my people." JORTIN.
Pierce the dull heavens and fill the ayër wide, And yron
sides that sighing may endure, To waile the wretchednes of world impure ? 120
Ah! wretched world, the den of wickednefle,
Deformd with filth and fowle iniquitie ; .
Ah! wretched world, the house of heavineffe,
Fild with the wreaks of mortall miserie ;
Ah! wretched world, and all that is therein, 125
The vafsals of Gods wrath, and flaves to fin.
Most miserable creature under sky
Man without Understanding doth appeare;
For all this worlds affliction he thereby,
And Fortunes freakes, is wisely taught to beare:
Of wretched life the onely ioy Shee is,
And th' only comfort in calamities.
She armes the brest with constant patience :,
Against the bitter throwes of Dolours darts :
She folaceth with rules of Sapience
The gentle minds, in midst of worldly smarts :
When he is sad, shee seeks to make him merie,
And doth refresh his fprights when they be
Ver. 126. The vassals of Gods wrath,] Milton has adopted the same expression, Par. L. B. ii. 90. Where fee Bentley's poté. TODD. Ver. 131.
Shee] The Understanding,