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She was to weet that jolly shepherd's lass,
Which piped there unto that merry rout;
That jolly shepherd, which there piped, was
Poor Colin Clout (who knows not Colin Clout?)
He pip'd apace, while they him danc'd about.
Pipe, jolly shepherd, pipe thou now apace
Unto thy love, that made thee low to lout;
Thy love is present there with thee in place,
Thy love is there advanc'd to be another Grace.
Much wonder'd Calidore at this strange sight,
Whose like before his eye had never seen:
And standing long astonished in spright,
And rapt with pleasance, wist not what to ween;
Whether it were the train of beauty's queen,
Or nymphs, or fairies, or enchanted show,
With which his eyes might have deluded been.
Therefore resolving, what it was, to know,
Out of the wood he rose, and toward them did go.
But soon as he appeared to their view,
They vanish'd all away out of his sight,
And clean were gone, which way he never knew;
All save the shepherd, who for fell despite
Of that displeasure, broke his bagpipe quite,
And made great moan for that unhappy turn.
But Calidore, though no less sorry wight,
For that mishap, yet seeing him to mourn, [learn.
Drew near, that he the truth of all by him might
And first him greeting, thus unto him spake;
“Hail, jolly shepherd! which thy joyous days
Here leadest in this goodly merry-make,
Frequented of these gentle nymphs always,
Which to thee flock, to hear thy lovely lays;
Tell me what might these dainty damsels be,
Which here with thee do make their pleasant plays?
Right happy thou, that mayst them freely see;
But why, when I them saw, fled they away from me?”
"Not I so happy," answered then that swain,
"As thou unhappy, which them thence didst chace,
Whom by no means thou canst recall again.
For, being gone, none can them bring in place,
But whom they of themselves list so to grace."
"Right sorry I," said then Sir Calidore,
"That my ill fortune did them hence displace.
But since things passed none may now restore,
Tell me what were they all, whose lack thee grieves
Then gan that shepherd thus for to dilate;
"Then wot thou, shepherd, whatsoe'er thou be,
That all those ladies, which thou sawest late,
Are Venus' damsels, all within her fee,
But differing in honour and degree;
They all are Graces which on her depend,
Besides a thousand more, which ready be
Her to adorn, whenso she forth doth wend:
But these three in the midst do chief on her attend.
"They are the daughters of sky-ruling Jove, By him begot of fair Eurynome,
The Ocean's daughter, in this pleasant grove,
"These three on men all gracious gifts bestow,
Which deck the body or adorn the mind,
To make them lovely or well favoured show:
As comely carriage, entertainment kind,
Sweet semblant, friendly offices that bind,
And all the compliments of courtesy:
They teach us, how to each degree and kind
We should ourselves demean, to low, to high;
To friends, to foes: which skill men call civility.
"Therefore they always smoothly seem to smile,
That we likewise should mild and gentle be;
And also naked are, that without guile
Or false dissemblance all them plain may see,
Simple and true from covert malice free:
And eke themselves so in their dance they bore,
That two of them still forward seem'd to be,
But one still towards shew'd herself afore; [store.
That good should from us go, then come in greater
"Such were those goddesses which ye did see;
But that fourth maid, which there amidst them
Who can aread, what creature might she be,[traced,
Whether a creature or a goddess graced
With heavenly gifts from heaven first enraced?
But whatso'er she was, she worthy was
To be the fourth, with those three other placed:
Yet was she certes but a country lass,
Yet she all other country lasses far did pass.
"So far as doth the daughter of the day,
All other lesser lights in light excel,
So far doth she in beautiful array,
Above all other lasses bear the bell:
Nor less in virtue that beseems her well,
Doth she exceed the rest of all her race;
For which the Graces that here wont to dwell,
Have for more honour brought her to this place,
And graced her so much to be another Grace.
"Another Grace she well deserves to be,
In whom so many graces gathered are,
Excelling much the mean of her degree;
Divine resemblance, beauty sovereign rare,
Firm chastity, that spite nor blemish dare;
All which she with such courtesy doth grace,
That all her peers cannot with her compare,
But quite are dimmed, when she is in place.
She made me often pipe, and now to pipe apace.
"Sun of the world, great glory of the sky,
That all the earth dost lighten with thy rays,
Great Gloriana, greatest Majesty,
Pardon thy shepherd 'mongst so many lays,
As he hath sung of thee in all his days,
To make one minime of thy poor handmaid,
And underneath thy feet to place her praise;
That when thy glory shall be far display'd
To future age, of her this mention may be made."
When thus that shepherd ended had his speech,
Said Calidore, "Now sure it irketh me,
That to thy bliss I made this luckless breach,
As now the author of thy bale to be,
Thus to bereave thy love's dear sight from thee:
But, gentle shepherd, pardon thou my shame,
Who rashly sought that which I might not see."
Thus did the courteous knight excuse his blame,
And to recomfort him all comely means did frame.
In such discourses they together spent
Long time, as fit occasion forth them led;
With which the knight himself did much content,
And with delight his greedy fancy fed,
Both of his words, which he with reason red;
And also of the place, whose pleasures rare
With such regard his senses ravished,
That thence he had no will away to fare, [ing share.
But wish'd that with that shepherd he might dwell-
FABLE OF THE OAK AND THE BRIAR. (FROM THE SHEPHERD'S CALENDAR.)
Cuddy. Ah, for pity! will rank winter's rage
These bitter blasts never 'gin t' assuage?
The keen cold blows through my beaten hide,
All as I were through the body gride:
My ragged ronts all shiver and shake,
As done high towers in an earthquake:
They wont in the wind wag their wriggle tails
Peark as a peacock; but now it avails.
Thenot. Leudly complainest, thou lazy lad,
Of winter's wrack for making thee sad?
Must not the world wend in his common course,
From good to bad, and from bad to worse,
From worse unto that is worst of all,
And then return to his former fall?
Who will not suffer the stormy time,
Where will he live till the lusty prime?
Self have I worn out thrice thirty years,
Some in much joy, many in many tears,
Yet never complained of cold nor heat,
Of summer's flame, nor of winter's threat,
Ne never was to Fortune foe-man,
But gently took that ungently came;
And ever my flock was my chief care,
Winter or summer they mought well fare.
Cuddy. No marvel, Thenot, if thou can bear
Chearfully the winter's wrathful chear,
For age and winter accord full nigh,
This chill, that cold; this crooked, that wry;
And as the low'ring weather looks down,
So seemest thou like Good Friday to frown;
But my flow'ring youth is foe to frost,
My ship unwont in storms to be tost.
Thenot. The sovereign of seas he blames in vain,
That once sea-beat will to sea again:
So loytrin glive you little heard-grooms,
Keeping your beasts in the budded brooms;
And when the shining sun laugheth once,
You deemen the spring is come at once:
Tho gin you, fond flies! the cold to scorn,
And, crowing in pipes made of green corn,
You thinken to be lords of the year;
But eft when ye count you freed from fear,
Comes the breme winter with chamfred brows,
Full of wrinkles and frosty furrows,
Drearily shooting his stormy dart,
Which cruddles the blood and pricks the heart:
Then is your careless courage accoyd,
Your careful herds with cold be annoyed:
Then pay you the price of your surquedry,
With weeping, and wailing, and misery.
Cuddy. Ah, foolish old man! I scorn thy skill,
That wouldst me my springing youth to spill;
I deem thy brain emperish'd be
Through rusty eld, that hath rotted thee
Or siker thy head very totty is,
So on thy corb shoulder it leans amiss.
Now thyself hath lost both lop and top,
Als my budding branch thou wouldest crop;
But were thy years green, as now been mine,
To other delights they would incline:
Tho wouldest thou learn to carol of love,
And hery with hymus thy lass's glove;
Tho wouldest thou pipe of Phillis' praise,
But Phillis is mine for many days:
I won her with a girdle of gelt,
Emboss'd with bugle about the belt;
Such an one shepherds would make full fain,
Such an one would make thee young again.
Thenot. Thou art a fon of thy love to bost;
All that is lent to love will be lost.
Cuddy. Seest how brag yond bullock bears,
So smirk, so smooth, his pricked ears?
His horns been as brade as rainbow bent,
His dewlap as lythe as lass of Kent?
See how he venteth into the wind,
Weenest of love is not his mind?
Seemeth thy flock thy counsel can,
So lustless been they, so weak, so wan;
Clothed with cold, and hoary with frost,
Thy flock's father his courage hath lost.
Thy ewes that wont to have blown bags,
Like wailful widows hanging their crags;
The rather lambs been starv'd with cold,
All for their master is lustless and old.
Thenot. Cuddy, I wot thou kenst little good,
So vainly to advance thy headless hood;
For youth is a bubble blown up with breath,
Whose wit is weakness, whose wage is death;
Whose way is wilderness, whose inn penaunce,
And stoop gallant age, the host of grievaunce.
But shall I tell thee a tale of truth
Which I cond of Tityrus in my youth,
Keeping his sheep on the hills of Kent?
Cuddy. To nought more, Thenot, my mind is bent Than to hear novels of his devise;
They been so well thewed, and so wise,
What ever that good old man bespake.
Thenot. Many meet tales of youth did he make, And some of love, and some of chivalry, But none fitter than this to apply.
Now listen a while and hearken the end.
There grew an aged tree on the green,
A goodly Oak sometime had it been,
With arms full strong and largely display'd,
But of their leaves they were disaray'd:
The body big and mightily pight,
Throughly rooted, and of wondrous height;
Whilom had been the king of the field,
And mochel mast to the husband did yield,
And with his nuts larded many swine,
But now the gray moss marred his rine,
His bared boughs were beaten with storms,
His top was bald, and wasted with worms,
His honour decay'd, his braunches sere.
Hard by his side grew a bragging Breere,
Which proudly thrust into th' element,
And seemed to threat the firmament:
It was embellisht with blossoms fair,
And thereto aye wonted to repair
The shepherd's daughters to gather flowres,
To paint their garlands with his colowres,
And in his small bushes used to shroud,
The sweet nightingale singing so loud,
Which made this foolish Breere wex so bold,
That on a time he cast him to scold,
And sneb the good Oak, for he was old.
Why stand's there (quoth he) thou brutish block? Nor for fruit nor for shadow serves thy stock; Seest how fresh my flowres been spread,
Died in lily white and crimson red,
With leaves engrained in lusty green,
Colours meet to cloath a maiden queen?
Thy waste bigness but cumbers the ground,
And dirks the beauty of my blossoms round:
The mouldy moss, which thee accloyeth,
My cinnamon smell too much annoyeth:
Wherefore soon I rede thee hence remove,
Lest thou the price of my displeasure prove.
So spake this bold Breere with great disdain,
Little him answer'd the Oak again,
But yielded, with shame and grief adaw'd,
That of a weed he was over-craw'd.
It chaunced after upon a day,
The husband-man's self to come that way,
Of custom to surview his ground,
And his trees of state in compass round:
Him when the spightful Breere had espyed,
Causeless complained, and loudly cryed
Unto his lord, stirring up stern strife:
O my liege Lord! the god of my life,
Please you pond your suppliant's plaint,
Caused of wrong and cruell constraint,
Which I your poor vassal daily endure;
And but your goodness the same recure,
Am like for desperate dole to die,
Through felonous force of mine enemy.
Greatly aghast with this piteous plea,
Him rested the good man on the lea,
And bad the Breere in his plaint proceed.
With painted words tho gan this proud weed (As most usen ambitious folk)
His colour'd crime with craft to cloke.
Ah, my Sovereign! lord of creatures all,
Thou placer of plants both humble and tall,
Was not I planted of thine own hand,
To be the primrose of all thy land,
With flowring blossoms to furnish the prime,
And scarlet berries in sommer-time?
How falls it then that this faded Oak,
Whose body is sere, whose branches broke,
Whose naked arms stretch unto the fire,
Unto such tyranny doth aspire,
Hindring with his shade my lovely light,
And robbing me of the sweet sun's sight?
So beat his old boughs my tender side,
That oft the bloud springeth from woundes wide;
Untimely my flowers forced to fall,
That been the honour of your coronal;
And oft he lets his canker-worms light
Upon my branches, to work me more spight;
And of his hoary locks down doth cast,
Wherewith my fresh flowrets been defast:
For this, and many more such outrage,
Craving your godlyhead to assuage
The rancorous rigour of his might;
Nought ask I, but onely to hold my right,
Submitting me to your good sufferaunce,
And praying to be guarded from grievaunce.
To this this Oak cast him to reply
Well as he couth; but his enemy
Had kindled such coles of displeasure,
That the good man nould stay his leasure,
But home him hasted with furious heat,
Encreasing his wrath with many a threat;
His harmful hatchet he hent in hand,
(Alas! that it so ready should stand!)
And to the field alone he speedeth,
(Aye little help to harm there needeth)
Anger nould let him speak to the tree,
Enaunter his rage mought cooled be,
But to the root bent his sturdy stroak,
And made many wounds in the waste Oak.
The axe's edge did oft turn again,
As half unwilling to cut the grain,
Seemed the senseless iron did fear,
Or to wrong holy eld did forbear;
For it had been an antient tree,
Sacred with many a mystery,
And often crost with the priests' crew,
And often hallowed with holy-water dew;
But like fancies weren foolery,
And broughten this Oak to this misery;
For nought mought they quitten him from decay,
For fiercely the good man at him did lay.
The block oft groaned under his blow,
And sighed to see his near overthrow.
In fine, the steel had pierced his pith,
Tho down to the ground he fell forthwith.
His wondrous weight made the ground to quake,
Th' earth shrunk under him, and seem'd to shake:
There lieth the Oak pitied of none.
Now stands the Breere like a lord alone,
Puff'd up with pride and vain pleasance;
But all this glee had no continuance :
For eftsoons winter 'gan to approach,
The blustering Boreas did encroach,
And beat upon the solitary Breere,
For now no succour was seen him neere.
Now 'gan he repent his pride too late,
For naked left and disconsolate,
The biting frost nipt his stalk dead,
The watry wet weighed down his head,
And heaped snow burdned him so sore,
That now upright he can stand no more;
And being down is trod in the durt
Of cattel, and brouzed, and sorely hurt.
Such was th' end of this ambitious Breere,
For scorning eld- -""
Cuddy. Now I pray thee shepherd, tell it not forth:
Here is a long tale and little worth.
So long have I listened to thy speech,
That graffed to the ground is my breech;
My heart-blood is well nigh frozen I feel,
And my galage grown fast to my heel;
But little ease of thy leud tale I tasted;
Hie thee home, shepherd, the day is nigh wasted.
"Ye nymphs of Mulla, which with careful heed The silver scaly trouts do tend full well, And greedy pikes which use therein to feed, (Those trouts and pikes all others do excel) And ye likewise, which keep the rushie lake, Where none do fishes take,
Bind up the locks the which hang scattered light,
And in his waters, which your mirror make,
Behold your faces as the crystal bright,
That when you come whereas my love doth lie,
No blemish she may spie.
And eke, ye lightfoot Maids! which keep the door,
That on the hoary mountain use to towre,
And the wild wolves which seek them to devour,
Which your steel darts do chace from coming near,
Be also present here
To help to deck her, and to help to sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.
"Wake now, my Love! awake, for it is time;
The rosie morn long since left Tithon's bed,
And ready to her silver coach to clime,
And Phœbus 'gins to shew his glorious head.
Hark! how the chearful birds do chaunt their layes,
And carrol of Love's praise.
The merry lark her mattins sings aloft,
The thrush replies, the mevis descant plays,
The ouzel shrills, the ruddock warbles soft;
So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,
To this day's merriment.
Ah! my dear Love! why do you sleep thus long,
When meeter were that ye should now awake,
T' await the coming of your joyous make,
And hearken to the bird's love-learned song,
The dewie leaves among?
For they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
That all thewoods them answer, and their eccho ring.
"My love is now awake out of her dreams,
And her fair eyes, like stars that dimmed were
With darksome cloud, now shew their goodly beams,
More bright than Hesperus his head doth rere.
Come now, ye Damsels! daughters of delight,
Help quickly her to dight;
But first come, ye fair Houres! which were begot
In Jove's sweet paradise of day and night,
Which do the seasons of the year allot,
And all that ever in this world is fair
Do make and still repair:
And ye three Handmaids of the Cyprian queen,
The which do still adorn her beauty's pride,
"Now is my love all ready forth to come,
Let all the virgins therefore well await;
And ye, fresh Boys, that tend upon her groom,
Prepare yourselves, for he is coming strait:
Set all your things in seemly good array,
Fit for so joyful day,
The joyfulst day that ever sun did see.
Fair Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy life-ful heat not fervent be,
For fear of burning her sun-shiny face,
Her beauty to disgrace.
O fairest Phoebus! father of the Muse,
If ever I did honour thee aright,
Or sing the thing that mote thy mind delight,
Do not thy servant's simple boon refuse,
But let this day, let this one day be mine,
Let all the rest be thine:
Then I thy soveraign praises loud will sing,
That all the woods shall answer, and their eccho ring.
"Hark! how the minstrels 'gin to shrill aloud
Their merry music that resounds from far,
The pipe, the tabor, and the trembling croud,
That well agree withouten breach or jar:
But most of all the damzels do delite
When they their timbrels smite,
And thereunto do daunce and carrol sweet,
That all the senses they do ravish quite ;
The whiles the boys run up and down the street,
Crying aloud, with strong confused noise,
As if it were one voice,
Hymen, lö Hymen! Hymen they do shout,
That even to the heavens their shouting shrill
Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill;
To which the people standing all about,
As in approvance, do thereto applaud,
And loud advance her laud.
And even more they Hymen, Hymen sing,
That all thewoods them answer, and their eccho ring.
"Loe, where she comes along with portly pace, Like Phœbe, from her chamber of the East, Arising forth to run her mighty race,
Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best: So well it her beseems, that ye would ween Some angel she had been:
Her long loose yellow locks, like golden wire,
Sprinkled with pearl, and perling flowers atween,
Do like a golden mantel her attire,
And being crowned with a girland green,
Seem like some maiden queen.
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold
So many gazers as on her do stare,
Upon the lowly ground affixed are,
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold,
But blush to hear her praises sung so loud,
So far from being proud.
Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.
"Tell me, ye merchants' daughters! did ye see
So fair a creature in your town before,
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she,
Adorn'd with beauty's grace and vertue's store?
Her goodly eyes like saphires shining bright,
Her forehead ivory white,
Her cheeks like apples which the sun hath rudded,
Her lips like cherries, charming men to bite,
Her breast like to a bowl of cream uncrudded,
Her paps like lillies budded,
Her snowy neck like to a marble towre,
And all her body like a palace fair,
Ascending up with many a stately stair
To Honour's seat, and Chastity's sweet bowre.
Why stand ye still, ye virgins! in amaze,
Upon her so to gaze;
Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing,
To which the woods did answer, and your ecchoring.
"But if ye saw that which no eyes can see,
The inward beauty of her lively spright,
Garnish'd with heavenly gifts of high degree,
Much more then would ye wonder at the sight,
And stand astonish'd like to those which red
Medusa's mazeful head.
There dwells sweet Love and constant Chastity,
Unspotted Faith and comely Womanhood,
Regard of Honour and mild Modesty;
There Vertue reigns as queen of royal throne
And giveth laws alone,
The which the base affections do obey,
And yield their services unto her will;
Ne thought of things uncomely ever may
Thereto approach, to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seen these her celestial treasures,
And unrevealed pleasures,
Then would ye wonder, and her praises sing, [ring.
That all the woods should answer, and your eccho
"Open the temple-gates unto my love, Open them wide that she may enter in, And all the posts adorn as doth behove, And all the pillars deck with girlands trim, For to receive this saint with honour due, That cometh in to you.