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What hart can feel least touch of so sore launch, Begione from first, where he encradled was
Or thought can think the depth of so deare wound? In simple cratch, wtapt in a wad of hay,
Whose bleeding sourse their streames yet never Betweene the toylfull

oxe and humble asse,
But stil do flow, and freshly still redownd, (staunch, And in what rags, and in how base aray,
To heale the sores of sinfull soules unsound, The glory of our heavenly riches lay,
And clense the guilt of that infected cryme When him the silly shepheards came to see,
Which was enrooted in all fleshly slyme.

Whom greatest princes sought on lowest knee.
O blessed Well of Love! O Floure of Grace! From thence reade on the storie of his life,
O glorious Morning-Starre! O Lampe of Light! His humble carriage, his unfaulty wayes,
Most lively image of thy Fathers face,

His cancred foes, his fights, his toyle, his strife,
Eternal King of Glorie, Lord of Might,

His paines, his povertie, his sharpe assayes,
Meeke Lambe of God, before all worlds behight, Through which he past his miserable dayes,
How can we thee requite for all this good? Offending none, and doing good to all,
Or what can prize that thy most precious blood ? Yet being malist both by great and small.
Yet nought thou ask'st in lieu of all this love, And look at last, how of most wretched wights
But love of us, for guerdon of thy paine :

He taken was, betrayd, and false accused,
Ay me! what can us lesse than that behove? How with most scornfull taunts, and fell despights
Had he required life for us againe,

He was revyld, disgrast, and foule abused; Had it beene wrong to ask his owne with gaine? How scourgd, how crownd, how buffeted, how brused; He gave us life, he it restored lost;

And, lastly, how twixt robbers crucifyde, (syde! Then life were least, that us so little cost.

With bitter wounds through hands, through feet, and But he our life hath left unto us free,

Then let thy finty hart, that feeles no paine,
Free that was thratt, and blessed that was band; Empierced be with pittifull remorse,
Ne ought demaunds but that we loving bee, And let thy bowels bleede in every vaine,
As he himselfe hath lov'd us afore-hand,

At sight of his most sacred heavenly corse,
And bound therto with an eternall band,

So torne and mangled with malicious forse; Him first to love that was so dearely bought, And let thy soule, whose sins his sorrows wrought, And next our brethren, to his image wrought. Melt into teares, and grone in grieved thought. Him first to love great right and reason is, With sence whereof, whilest so thy softened spirit Who first to us our life and being gave,

Is inly toucht, and humbled with meeke zeale
And after, when we fared had amisse,

Through meditation of his endlesse merit,
Us wretches from the second death did save; Lift up thy mind to th’ Author of thy weale,
And last, the food of life, which now we have, And to his soveraine mercie doe appeale;
Even he himselfe, in his dear sacrament,

Learne bim to love that loved thee so deare,
To feede our hungry soules, unto us lent.

And in thy brest his blessed image beare.
Then next, to love our brethren, that were made With all thy hart, with all thy soule and mind,
Of that selfe mould, and that self Maker's hand, Thou must him love, and his bebeasts embrace;
That we, and to the same againe shall fade, All other loves, with which the world doth blind
Where they shall have like heritage of land, Weake fancies, and stirre up affections base,
However here on higher steps we stand,

Thou inust renounce and utterly displace,
Which also were with selfe-same price redeemed And give thy selfe unto him full and free,
That we, however of us light esteemed.

That full and freely gave himselfe to thee.
And were they not, yet since that loving Lord Then shalt thou feele thy spirit so possest,
Commaunded us to love them for his sake, And ravisht with devouring great desire
Even for his sake, and for his sacred word, Of bis dear selfe, that shall thy feeble brest
Which in his last bequest be to us spake,

Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire
We should them love, and with their needs partake; with burning zeale, through every part entire,
Knowing that, whatsoere to them we give, That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight,
We give to him by whom we all doe live. But in his sweet and amiable sight.
Such mercy he by his most holy reede

Thenceforth all worlds desire will in thee dye,
Unto us taught, and to approve it trew,

And all Earthes glorie, on which men do gaze, Ensainpled it by his most righteous deede, Seeme durt and drosse in thy pure-sighted eye, Shewing us mercie (miserable crew!)

Compar'd to that celestiall beauties blaze, That we the like should to the wretches shew, Whose glorious beames all Aeshly sense doth daze And love our brethren; thereby to approve With admiration of their passing light, How much, himselfe that loved us, we love. Blinding the eyes, and lumining the spright. Then rouze thy selfe, O Earth! out of thy soyle, Then shall thy ravisht soul inspired bee In which thou wallowest like to filthy swyne, With heavenly thoughts, farre above humane skil, And doest thy mynd in durty pleasures moyle; And thy bright radiant eyes shall plainely see Unmindfull of that dearest Lord of thyne; Th' idee of his pure glorie présent still Lift up to him thy heavie clouded eyne,

Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill That thou this soveraine bountie mayst behold, With sweete enragement of celestiall love, And read, through love, his mercies manifold. Kindled through sight of those faire things above.

1

And tell me then, what hast thou ever seene
HYMNE IV.

That to their beautie may compared bee,
Or can the sight that is most sharpe and keene

Endure their captains flaming head to see?
OF HEAVENLY BEAUTIE.

How much lesse those, much higher in degree,

And so much fairer, and much more then these, Rart with the rage of mine own ravisht thought,

As these are fairer then the land and seas? Through contemplation of those goodly sights,

For farre above these Heavens, which here we sce,
And glorious images in Heaven wrought,
Whose wondrous beauty, breathing sweet delights, Not bounded, not corrupt, as these same bee,

Be others farre exceeding these in light,
Do kindle love in high conceipted sprights;
I faine to tell the things that I behold,

But infinite in largenesse and in hight,
But feele my wits to faile, and tongue to fold.

Unmoving, uncorrupt, and spotlesse bright,

That need no sunne t illuminate their spheres, Vouchsafe then, O thou most Almightie Spright!

But their owne native light farre passing theirs. From whom all guifts of wit and knowledge fow, And as these Heavens still by degrees arize, To shed into my breast some sparkling light

Until they come to their first movers bound, Of thine eternall truth, that I may show

That in his mightie compasse doth comprize, Some little beames to mortall eyes below

And carrie all the rest with him around; Of that immortall Beautie, there with thee,

So those likewise doe by degrees redound, Which in my weake distraughted mynd I see;

And rise more faire, till they at last arive,

To the most faire, whereto they all do strive. That with the glorie of so goodly sight The hearts of men, which fondly here admyre Paire is the Heaven where happy soules have place Faire seeming shewes, and feed on vaine delight, In full enioyınent of felicitie, Transported with celestiall desyre

Whence they doe still behold the glorious face
Of those faire formes, may lift themselves up hyer, Of the Divine Eternall Maiestie;
And learne to love, with zealous humble dewty, More faire is that, where those idees on hie
Th’ Eternall Fountaine of that heavenly beauty. Enraunged be, which Plato so admyred,

And pure intelligences from God inspyred.
Beginning then below, with th' easie vew
Of this base world, subiect to fleshly eye,

Yet fairer is that Heaven, in which do raine From thence to mount aloft, by order dew, The soveraigne powres and mightie potentates, To contemplation of th’immortall sky;

Which in their high protections doe containe Of the soare faulcon so I learne to flye,

All mortall princes and imperiall states ; That flags a while her fluttering wings beneath, And fayrer yet, whereas the royall seates Till she her selfe for stronger flight can breath. And heavenly dominations are set,

From whom all earthly governance is fet. Then looke, who list thy gazefull eyes to feed With sight of that is faire, looke on the frame Yet farre more faire be those bright cherubins, Of this wyde universe, and therein reed

Which all with golden wings are overdight, The endlesse kinds of creatures which by name

And those eternall burning seraphins, Thou canst not count, much less their natures aime; Which from their faces dart out fierie light; All which are made with wondrous wise respect,

Yet fairer then they both, and much more bright, And all with admirable beautie deckt.

Be th' angels and archangels, which attend

On Gods owne person, without rest or end.
First, th’ Earth, on adamantine pillers founded
Amid the sea, engirt with brasen bands;

These thus in faire each other farre excelling, Then th' aire still fitting, but yet firmely bounded As to the highest they approach more near, On everie side, with pyles of faming brands, Yet is that highest farre beyond all telling, Never consum'd, nor quencht with mortall hands;

Fairer then all the rest which there appeare, And, last, that mightie shining cristall wall, Though all their beauties ioyn'd together were; Wherewith he hath encompassed this all.

How then can mortall tongue hope to expresse

The image of such endlesse perfectnesse ? By view whereof it plainly may appeare, That still as every thing doth upward tend, Cease then, my tongue! and lend unto my mynd And further is from Earth, so still more cleare

Leave to bethinke how great that beautie is, And faire it growes, till to his perfect end

Whose utmost parts so beautifull i fynd; Of purest beautie it at last ascend;

How much more those essentiall parts of his, Ayre more then water, fire much more then ayre,

His truth, his love, bis wisedome, and his blis, And Heaven then fire, appeares more pure and His grace, his doome, his mercy, and his might, fayre.

By which he lends us of himselfe a sight!
Looke thou no further, but affixe thine eye Those unto all he daily doth display,
On that bright shynie round still moving masse,

And shew himselfe in th' image of his grace, The house of blessed God, which men call skye, As in a looking-glasse, through which he may All sowd with glistring stars more thicke then grasse, Be seene of all his creatures vile and base, Whereof each other doth in brigbtnesse passe,

That are unable else to see his face, But those two most, which, ruling night and day,

His glorious face! which glistereth else so bright, As king and queene, the Heavens empire sway; That th' angels selves can not endure bis sight.

But we, fraile wights! whose sight cannot sustaine | There in his bosome Sapience doth sit,
The Suns bright beames when he on us doth shyne, The soveraine dearling of the Deity,
But that their points rebutted backe againe Clad like a queene in royall robes, most fit
Are duld, how can we see with feeble eyne For so great powre and peerelesse majesty,
The glorie of that Maiestie divine,

And all with gemmes and jewels gorgeously
In sight of whom both Sun and Moone are darke, Adornd, that brighter then the starres appeare,
Compared to his least resplendent sparke ? And make her native brightnes seem more cleare.
The meanes, therefore, wbich unto us is lent And on her head a crown of purest gold
Him to behold, is on his workes to looke,

Is set, in signe of highest soverainty ; Which he hath made in beauty excellent,

And in her hand a scepter she doth hold, And in the same, as in a brasen booke,

With which she rules the house of God on hy, To read enregistred in every nooke

And menageth the ever-moving sky,
His goodnesse, which his beautie doth declare; And in the same these lower creatures all
For all thats good is beautifull and faire.

Subiected to her powre imperiall.
Thence gathering plumes of perfect speculation, Both Heaven and Earth obey unto her will,
To impe the wings of thy high flying mynd, And all the creatures which they both containe;
Mount up aloft through heavenly contemplation, For of her fulnesse which the world dotb fill
From this darke world, whose damps the soule do They all partake. and do in state remaine
And, lyke the native brood of cagles kynd, [blynd, As their great Maker did at first ordaine,
On that bright Sunne of Glorie fixe thine eyes, Through observation of her high beheast,
Cleard from grosse mists of fraile infirmities. By which they first were made, and still increast.
Humbled with feare and awfull reverence, The fairnesse of her face no tongue can tell ;
Before the footestoole of his Maiestie

For she the daughters of all wemens race,
Throw thy selfe downe, with trembling innocence, And angels eke, in beautie doth excell,
Ne dare looke up with corruptible eye

Sparkled on her from Gods owne glorious face, On the dred face of that Great Deity,

And more increast by her owne goodly grace, For feare, lest if he chaunce to look on thee, That it doth farre exceed all humane thought, Thou turne to nought, and quite confounded be. Ne can on Earth compared be to ought. But lowly fall before his mercie seate,

Ne could that painter (had he lived yet) Close covered with the Lambes integrity

Which pictured Venus with so curious quill, From the just wrath of his avengefull threate That all posteritie admyred it, That sits upon the righteous throne on hy; Have purtray'd this, for all his maistring skill; His throne is built upon eternity,

Ne she her selfe had she remained still, More firme and durable then steele or brasse, And were as faire as fabling wits do fayne, Or the hard diamond, which them both doth passe. Could once come neare this beauty soverayne. His scepter is the rod of Righteousnesse,

But had those wits, the wonders of their daycs, With which he bruseth all his foes to dust,

Or that sweete Teian poet, which did spend And the great dragon strongly doth represse, His plenteous vaine in setting forth her praise, Under the rigour of his iudgment just;

Seen but a glims of this which I pretend, His seate is Truth, to which the faithfull trust, How wondrously would he her face commend, From whence proceed her beames so pure and bright, Above that idole of his fayning thought, That all about him sheddeth glorious light: That all the world should with his rimes be fraught! Light, farre exceeding that bright blazing sparke How then dare I, the novice of his art, Which darted is from Titans flaming head, Presume to picture so divine a wight, That with his beames enlumineth the darke Or hope t'expresse her least perfections part, And dampish air, wherby al things are red; Whose beautie filles the Heavens with her light, Whose nature yet so much is marvelled

And darkes the Earth with shadow of her sight? Of mortall wits, that it doth much amaze

Ah, gentle Muse! thou art too weake and faint The greatest wisards which thereon do gaze. The pourtraict of so heavenly hew to paint. But that immortall light, which there doth shine, Let angels, which her goodly face behold Is many thousand times more bright, more cleare, And see at will, her soveraigne praises sing, More excellent, more glorious, more divine, And those most sacred mysteries unfold Through which to God all mortall actions here, Of that faire love of mightie Heavens King; And even the thoughts of men, do plaine appeare; Enough is me t'admyre so heavenly thing, For from th' Eternall Truth it doth proceed, (breed. And, being thus with her huge love possest, Through heavenly vertue which her beames doe In th' only wonder of her selfe to rest. With the great glorie of that wondrous light But whoso may, thrise happie man him hold, His throne is all encompassed around,

Of all on Earth whom God so much doth grace, And hid in his owne brightnesse from the sight And lets his owne beloved to behold; Of all that looke thereon with eyes unsound; For in the view of her celestiall face and underneath his feet are to be found

All iny, all blisse, all happinesse, have place; Thunder, and lightning, and tempestuous fyre, Ne ought on Earth can want unto the wight The instruments of his avenging yre.

Who of her selfe can win the wishfull sight.

Por she, out of her secret threasury,
Plentie of riches forth on him will powre,

" BRITTAIN'S IDA'. Eveu heavenly riches, which there hidden ly

WRITTEN BY THAT RENOWNED POET,
Within the closet of her chastest bowre,

EDMOND SPENCER.
Th' eternall portion of her precious dowre,
Which mighty God hath given to her free,

LONDON: PRINTED FOR THOMAS WALKLEY, AND ARE TO And to all those which thereof worthy bee.

BE SOLD AT HIS SHOP AT THB EAGLE AND CHILD IN
BRITTAINES BURSSE.

1628." 12mo.
None thereof worthy be, but those whom shee
Vouchsafeth to her presence to receave,

THB
And letteth them her lovely face to see,
Whereof such wondrous pleasures they conceave,

EPISTLE.
And sweete contentment, that it doth bereave

TO THE RIGHT NOBLE LADY MARY, Their soul of sense, through infinite delight,

DAUGHTER TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE, GEORGE, And them transport from flesh into the spright.

DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. In which they see such admirable things,

Most noble lady! I have presumed to present As carries them into an extasy,

this poëm to your honourable hand, encouraged And heare such heavenly notes and carolings

onely by the worth of the famous author, (for I Of Gods high praise, that filles the brasen sky; And feele such ioy and pleasure inwardly,

am certainely assured, by the ablest and most That maketh them all worldly cares forget, knowing men, that it must be a worke of SpenAnd onely thinke on that before them set.

cers, of whom it were pitty that any thing should Ne from thenceforth doth any fleshly sense,

bee lost) and doubting not but your lady-ship will Or idle thought of eartbly things, remaine ; graciously accept, though from a meane hand, this But all that earst seemd sweet seemes now offense, humble present, since the man that offers it is a And all that pleased earst now seemes to paine:

true honourer and observer of your selfe and your Their ioy, their comfort, their desire, their gaine, Is fixed all on that which now they see;

princely family, and shall ever remaine All other sights but fayned shadowes bee.

the humblest of your devoted servants,

THOMAS WAI.KLEY.
And that faire lampe which useth to enflame
The hearts of men with selfe-consuming fyre,
Thenceforth seemes fowle, and full of sinfull blame;

MARTIAL.
And all that pompe to which proud minds aspyre
By name of honor, and so much desyre,

Accipe facundi Culicem studiose Maronis, Seemes to them basenesse, and all riches drosse, Ne nugis positis, arma virûmque canas. And all mirth sadnesse, and all lucre losse.

See here that stately Muse, that erst could raise

In lasting numbers great Elizaes praise, So full their eyes are of that glorious sight,

And dresse fair Vertue in so rich attire, And senses fraught with such satietie,

That even her foes were forced to admire 'That in nought else on Earth they can delight,

And court her heavenly beauty! Shee that taught But in th' aspect of that felicitie,

The Graces grace, and made the Vertues thought Which they have written in theyr inward ey;

More vertuous than before, is pleased here On which they feed, and in theyr fastened mynd

To slacke her serious flight, and feed your eare All happie joy and full contentment fynd.

With Love's delightsome toys: doe not refuse

These harmlesse sports; 'tis learned Spencer's Muse; Ah, then, my hungry soule! which long hast fed

But think his loosest poëms worthier then
On idle fancies of thy foolish thought,

The serious follies of enskillfull men.
And, with false beauties flattring bait misled,
Hast after vaine deceiptfull shadowes sought,
Which all are fled, and now have left thee nought

BRITTAIN'S IDA.
But late repentance through thy follies prief;
Ab! ceasse to gaze on matter of thy grief:

CANTO 1.
And looke at last up to that Soveraine Light,

THE ARGUMENT.
From whose pure beams al perfect beauty springs,
That kindleth love in every godly spright,

The youthly shepheards wonning here,

And beauties rare displayd, appeare;
Even the love of God; which loathing brings
Of this vile world and these gay-seeming things;

What exercise hee chiefe affects,
With whose sweet pleasures beiog so possest,

His name and scornefull love neglects.
Thy straying thoughts henceforth for ever rest.

IN Ida vale (who knowes not Ida vale?)
When harmlesse Troy yet felt not Græcian spite,
An hundred shepheards wonn'd, and iu the dale,
While theirfaire flockes the three-leav'd pastures bite,
The shepheards boyes with hundred sportings light,

· The printer's assertion is the only authority on which this poem has been admitted into the ediGave winges unto the times too speedy hast :

BRITTAIN'S IDA.
Ah, foolish lads! that strove with lavish wast

CANTO II.
So fast to spend the time thatspends your time as fast.
Among the rest, that all the rest excel'd,

THE ARGUMENT.
A dainty boy there wonn'd, whose harmlesse yeares

Diones garden of delight
Now in their freshest budding gently sweld ;

With wonder holds Anchises sight;
His nimph-like face nere felt the nimble sheeres,
Youth's downy blossome through his cheeke ap-

While from the bower such musique sounds,

As all his senses neere confounds.
peares;
His lovely limbes (but love be quite discarded)
Were made for play (but he no play regarded) One day it chanc't as hee the deere persude,
And fit love to reward, and with love be rewarded. Tyred with sport, and faint with weary play,

Faire Venus grove not farre away be view'd,
High was his fore-head, arch't with silver mould,

Whose trembling leaves invite him there to stay, (Where never anger churlish rinkle dighted) And in their shades his sweating limbes display ; His auburne lockes bung like darke threds of gold, There in the cooling glade he softly paces, That wanton aires (with their faire length incited) | And much delighted with their even spaces, To play among their wanton curles delighted; What in himselfe he scorn'd, hee prais'd their kind His smiling eyes with simple truth were stord:

iinbraces. Ah! how should truth in those thiefe eyes be stor'd, Which thousand loves had stol'n, and never one re- The woode with Papbian myrtles peopled, stor'd?

(Whose springing youth felt never winters spiting)

To laurels sweete were sweetely married, His lilly-cheeke might seeme an ivory plaine, Doubling their pleasing smels in their uniting ; More purely white than frozen Apenine,

When single much, much more when mixt, deWhere lovely Bashfulnesse did sweetly raine,

lighting: In blushing scarlet cloth'd and purple fine. No foot of beaste durst touch this hallowed place, A hundred hearts had this delightfull shrine And many a boy that longd the woods to trace, (Still cold it selfe) inflam'd with hot desire, Entred with feare, but soone turn'd back his frighted That well the face might seem, in divers tire,

face. To be a burning snow, or else a freezing fire.

The thicke-lockt boughs shut out the tell-tale Sunne, His cheerfull lookes and merry face would proove (For Venus hated his all-blabbing light, (If eyes the index be where thoughts are read) Since her knowne fault, which oft she wisbt undon) A dainty play-fellow for naked Love;

And scattered rayes did make a doubtfull sigbt, Of all the other parts enough is sed,

Like to the first of day or last of night : That they were fit twins for so fayre a head! The fittest light for lovers gentle play: Thousand boyes for him, thousand maidens dy'de; Such light best shewes the waodring lovers way, Dye they that list, for such his rigorous pride, And guides his erring hand : night is Love's hollyHe thousand boyes (ah, foole!) and thousand maids day. deni'd.

So farre in this sweet labyrinth he stray'd His ioy was not in musiques sweete delight, That now he views the garden of Delight, (Though well his hand had learnt that cunning arte) Whose breast, with thousand painted flowers array'd, Or dainty songs to daintier eases indite,

With divers joy captiv'd his wandring sight; But through the plaines to chace the nible hart But soon the eyes rendered the eares their right; With well-tun'd hounds; or with his certaine dart For such strange harmony he seem'd to beare, The tusked boare or savage beare to wound; That all bis senses flockt into his eare, Meane time his heart with monsters doth abound; And every faculty wisht to be seated there. Ah, foole ! to seeke so farre what neerer might be found !

From a close bower this dainty musique flow'd,

A bower appareld round with divers roses, His name (well knowne unto those woody shades,

Both red and white, which by their liveries show'd Where unrewarded lovers oft complaine them)

Their mistris faire, that there her selfe reposes; Anchises was; Anchises oft the glades

Seem'd that would strive with those rare musique And mountains heard, Anchises had disdain'd them;

clozes, Not all their love one gentle

looke had gain'd them, By spreading their faire bosomes to the light, That rockey bills, with ecchoing noyse consenting, which the distracted sense should most delight; Anchises plain'd; but he no whit relenting, Harder then rocky hils, laught at their vaine la- That, raps the melted eare; this, both the smel

and sight. menting.

The boy 'twixt fearefull hope, and wishing feare, tions of Spenser's works, since its first publication Crept all along (for much he long'd to see in 1628, The critics agree in believing that it The bower, much more the guest so lodged there;) was not written by Spenser. It is rather remark- And, as he goes, he marks how well agree able also that the poem, if it had been Spenser's, Nature and Arte in discord unity, should have been unknown to the editor of his Each striving who should best performe his part, works in 1611, whom I believe to be Gabriel Har- Yet Arte now helping Nature, Nature Arte; vey, his particular friend. Todd.

While from his eares a voyce thus stole his heart.

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