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An Hymne in Honour of Love

An Hymne in Honour of Beautie

An H)Tiine of Heavenly Love

An H}Tnne of Heavenly Beautie

' The Visions of Petrarch, formerly translated .

The Visions of Bellay ....

Visions of the Worlds Vanitie
Prosopopoia: or, Mother Hubberds Tale
Prothalamion ; or, A Spousall Verse
Epithalamion ......

Poems ......

Amoretti, or Sonnets .....

Sonnets . . . . ^ .

Daphnaida : an Elegie upon the Death of the noble and

vertuous Douglas Howard
Astrophel. A Pastorall Elegie upon the Death of the

most noble and valorous Knight, Sir Phillip Sidney
















The JMouruing Mme of Thestylis .... 242

A Pastoral Aeglogue upon the Death of Sir Phillip Sidney 251

An Elegie ; or Friends Passion, for his Astrophill . 257

An Epitaph upon the Right Honourable Sir Phillip Sidney 267

Another to the Same ..... 270

The Teares of the Muses . . . . . 273

The Ruines of Rome ..... 299

The Ruines of Time . . . . . . 319

Muiopotmos : or, the Fate of the Butterflie . . 347

Canto I. . . . . . . . 369

Canto II. . . . . . .372

Canto III. . . . . . . 375

Canto IV. . . . . . .380

Canto V. ...... 383

Canto VI. ...... 38G

Glossary . . . . . . . 391










Having, in the greener times of my youth, com-
posed these former two Hymnes in the praise of love
and beautie, aiid finding that the same too much
pleased those of like age and disposition, which, being
too vehemently carried with that kind of affection, do
rather sucke out poyson to their strong passion, then
honey to their honest delight, I was moved, by the
one of you two most excellent Ladies, to call in the
same ; but, being unable so to do, by reason that
many copies thereof were formerly scattered abroad,
I resolved at least to amend, and, by way of retrac-
tion, to reforme them, making (instead of those two
Hymnes of earthly or naturall love and beautie) two
others of heavenly and celestiall ; the which I doe
dedicate joyntly unto you two honorable sisters, as
to the most excellent and rare ornaments of all true

B 2


love and beautie, both in the one and the other kind;
humbly beseeching you to vouchsafe the patronage of
them, and to accept this my humble service, in lieu
of the great graces and honourable favours which ye
dayly shew unto me, until such time as I may, by bet-
ter meanes, yeeld you some more notable testimonie
of my thankfull mind and dutifull devotion. And
even so I pray for your happinesse. Greenv/ich this
first of September, 1596. Your Honors most bounden

In all humble service,

Ed. Sf.



_LiOVE, that long since hast to thy mighty po^yre

Perforce subdude my poor captived hart.

And, raging now therein with restlesse stowre,

Doest tyrannize in everie weaker part,

Faine would I seeke to ease my bitter smart 5

By any service I might do to thee.

Or ought that else might to thee pleasing bee.

And now t'asswage the force of this new flame.

And make thee more propitious in my need,

I meane to sing the praises of thy name^ 1

And thy victorious conquests to areed.

By which thou madest many harts to bleed

Of mighty victors, with wide wounds embrewed,

And by thy cruell darts to thee subdewed.

Onely I fear my wits enfeebled late, 1 5

Through the sharp sorrowes which thou hast me bred,

Should faint, and words should faile me to relate

The wondrous triumphs of thy great god-hed :

But, if thou wouldst vouchsafe to overspred

3Ie with the shadow of thy gentle wing, 20

I should enabled be thy actes to sing.


Come;, then, O come, thou mightie God of Love !

Out of thy silver bowres and secret blisse.

Where thou dost sit in Venus lap above.

Bathing thy wings in her ambrosial kisse, 25

That sweeter farre than any nectar is ;

Come softly, and my feeble breast inspire

With gentle furie, kindled of thy fire.

And ye, sweet Muses ! which have often proved

The piercing points of his avengefull darts ; 30

And ye, fair Nimphs ! which oftentimes have loved

The cruel worker of your kindly smarts.

Prepare yourselves, and open wide your harts

For to receive the triumph of your glorie.

That made you merie oft when ye were sorrie. 35

And ye, faire blossoms of youths wanton breed !

Which in the conquests of your beautie host.

Wherewith your lovers feeble eyes you feed.

But sterve their harts that needeth nourture most.

Prepare your selves to march amongst his host, 40

And all the way this sacred Hymne do sing,

iMade in the honor of your soveraigne king.

Great God op might, that reignest in the mynd.
And all the bodie to thy best doest frame,
Victor of gods, subduer of mankynd, 45

That doest the lions and fell tigers tame,
IMaking their cruell rage thy scornfull game.
And in their roring taking great delight ;
Wlio can expresse the glorie of thy might ?


Or who alive can perfectly declare 50

The wondrous cradle of thine infancie.

When thy great mother Venus first thee bare.

Begot of Plenty and of Penurie,

Though elder then thine own nativitie.

And yet a chyld, renewing still thy yeares, 55

And yet the eldest of the heavenly peares?

For ere this worlds still moving mightie masse

Out of great Chaos ugly prison crept.

In which his goodly face long hidden was

From heavens view, and in deep darknesse kept, 60

Love, that had now long time securely slept

In Venus lap, unarmed then and naked,

Gan reare his head, by Clotho being waked :

And taking to him wings of his own heat.

Kindled at first from heavens life-giving fyre, 6-5

He gan to move out of his idle seat;

Weakly at first, but after with desyre

Lifted aloft, he gan to mount up hyre.

And, like fresh eagle, made his hardy flight

Thro all that great wide wast, yet wanting light. 70

Yet wanting light to guide his wandring way.

His own faire mother, for all creatures sake.

Did lend him light from her owne goodly ray ;

Then through the world his way he gan to take.

The world, that was not till he did it make, 75

Whose sundrie parts he from themselves did sever.

The which before had lyen confused* ever.


The earth, the ayre, the water, and the fyre^

Then gan to raunge themselves in huge array.

And with contrary forces to conspyre 80

Each against other by all meanes they may,

Threatning their owne confusion and decay:

Ayre hated earth, and water hated fyre.

Till Love relented their rebellious yre.

He then them tooke, and, tempering goodly well 85

Their contrary dislikes with loved meanes.

Did place them all in order, and compell

To keepe themselves within their sundrie raines.

Together linkt with adamantine chaines;

Yet so, as that in every living wight 90

They mix themselves, and shew their kindly might.

So ever since they firmely have remained.

And duly well observed his beheast ;

Through which now all these things that are contained

Within this goodly cope, both most and least, 95

Their being have, and daily are increast

Through secret sparks of his infused fyre.

Which in the barraine cold he doth inspyre.

'Thereby they all do live, and moved are
To multiply the likenesse of their kynd, 100

Wliilest they seeke onely, without further care,
To quench the flame which they in burning fynd ;
But man that breathes a more immortall mynd.
Not for lusts sake, but for eternitie,
Scekes to enlarge his lasting progcnie ; 1 05


For, having yet in his deducted spright

Some sparks remaining of that heavenly fyre,

He is enlumind with that goodly light.

Unto like goodly semblant to aspyre ;

Therefore in choice of love he doth desyre 110

That seemes on earth most heavenly to embrace.

That same is Beautie, borne of heavenly race.

For sure, of all that in this mortall frame

Contained is, nought more divine doth seeme,

Or that resembleth more th' immortall flame 115

Of heavenly light, than Beauties glorious beam.

What wonder then, if with such rage extreme

Frail men, whose eyes seek heavenly things to see,

At sight thereof so much enravisht bee ?

Which well perceiving, that imperious boy 120

Doth therewith tip his sharp empoisned darts,
Which glancing thro the eyes with countenance coy
Rest not till they have pierst the trembling harts.
And kindled flame in all their inner parts.
Which suckes the blood, and drinketh up the lyfe, 125
Of carefuU wretches with consuming griefe.

Thenceforth they playne, and make full piteous mone

Unto the author of their balefull bane :

The dales they waste, the nights they grieve and grone.

Their lives they loath, and heavens light disdaine ; 130

No light but that, whose lampe doth yet remaine

Fresh burning in the image of their eye.

They deigne to see, and seeing it still dye.


The whylst thou tyrant Love doest laiigli and scorne

At their complaintSj, making their paine thy play, 135

Whylest they lye languishing like thrals forlorne.

The whyles thou doest triumph in their decay;

And otherwhyles, their dying to delay.

Thou doest emmarble the proud hart of her

Whose love before their life they doe prefer. 140

So hast thou often done (ay me, the more !)

To me thy vassall, whose yet bleeding hart

With thousand wounds thou mangled hast so sore.

That whole remaines scarse any little part;

Yet, to augment the anguish of my smart, 145

Thou hast enfrosen her disdainefuU brest.

That no one drop of pitie there doth rest.

Why then do I this honor unto thee.

Thus to ennoble thy victorious name,

Sith thou doest shew no favour unto mee, 150

Ne once move ruth in that rebellious dame.

Somewhat to slacke the rigour of my flame.'*

Certes small glory doest thou winne hereby.

To let her live thus free, and me to dy.

But if thou be indeede, as men thee call, 155

The worlds great parent, the most kind preserver

Of living wights, the soveraine lord of all,

How falles it then that with thy furious fervour

Thou doest afilict as well the not-deserver.

As him that doeth thy lovely beasts despize, 160

And on thy subiects most doth tyrannize ?


Yet herein eke thy glory seemeth more,

By so hard handling those which best thee servC;,

That, ere thou doest them unto grace restore.

Thou may est well trie if thou wilt ever swerve, 165

And mayest them make it better to deserve,

And, having got it, may it more esteeme ;

For things hard gotten men more dearely deeme.

So hard those heavenly beauties he enfyred

As things divine, least passions doe impresse, 1 70

The more of stedfast mynds to be admyred.

The more they stayed be on stedfastnesse ;

But baseborne minds such lamps regard the lesse,'

Which at first blowing take not hastie fyre;

Such fancies feele no love, but loose desyre. 175

For Love is lord of Truth and Loialtie,

Lifting himself out of the lowly dust

On golden plumes up to the purest skie.

Above the reach of loathly sinfull lust.

Whose base affect through cowardly distrust 1 80

Of his weake wings dare not to heaven fly.

But like a moldwarpe in the earth doth ly.

His dunghill thoughts, which do themselves enure

To dirtie drosse, no higher dare aspyre,

Ne can his feeble earthly eyes endure 185

The flaming light of that celestiall fyre

^Vhich kindleth love in generous desyre,

And makes him mount above the native might

Of heavie earth, up to the heavens hight. -


Such is the powre of that sweet passion, 190

That it all sordid basenesse doth expell,
And the refyned mynd doth newly fashion
Unto a fairer forme^, which now doth dwell
In his high thought, that would it selfe excell.
Which he beholding still with constant sight, 195

Admires the mirrour of so heavenly light.

Whose image printing in his deepest wit.

He thereon feeds his hungrie fantasy.

Still full, yet never satisfyde with it ;

Like Tantale, that in store doth sterved ly, 200

So doth he pine in most satiety ;

For nought may quench his infinite desyre.

Once kindled through that first conceived fyre.

Thereon his mynd affixed wholly is,

Ne thinks on ought but how it to attaine ; 205

His care, his ioy, his hope, is all on this.

That seemes in it all blisses to containe.

In sight whereof all other blisse seemes vaine :

Thrice happie Man ! might he the same possesse.

He faines himselfe, and doth his fortune blesse. 210

And though he do not win his wish to end.

Yet thus farre happie he himselfe doth weene.

That heavens such happie grace did to him lend,

As thing on earth so heavenly to have scene

His harts enshrined saint, his heavens quecne, 215

?\iircr then fairest, in liis fayning eye.

Whose sole aspect he counts felicityc.


Then forth he casts in his unquiet thought,

What he may do, her favour to obtaine;

What brave exploit, what perill hardly wrought, 220

What puissant conquest, what adventurous paine.

May please her best, and grace unto him gaine;

He dreads no danger, nor misfortune feares.

His faith, his fortune, in his breast he beares.

Thou art his god, thou art his mightie guyde, 225

Thou, being blind, letst him not see his feares.
But carriest him to that which he had eyde.
Through seas, through flames, through thousand swords

and speares ;
Ne ought so strong that may his force withstand.
With which thou armest his resistlesse hand. 230

Witnesse Leander in the Euxine waves,.

And stout Tineas in the Troiane fyre,

Achilles preassing through the Phrygian glaives.

And Orpheus, daring to provoke the yre

Of damned fiends, to get his love retyre; 235

For both through heaven and hell thou makest way.

To win them worship which to thee obay.

And if by all these perils, and these paynes.

He may but purchase lyking in her eye.

What heavens of ioy then to himselfe he faynes ! 240

Eftsoones he wypes quite out of memory

Whatever ill before he did aby :

Had it beene death, yet would he die againe.

To live thus happie as her grace to gaine.


Yet, when he hath found favour to his will, 245

He nathemore can so contented rest,

But forceth further on, and striveth still

T* approch more neare, till in her inmost brest

He may embosomd bee and loved best ;

And yet not best, but to be lov'd alone ; 250

For love cannot endure a paragone.

The fear whereof, O how doth it torment

His troubled mynd with more then hellish paine !

And to his fayning fansie represent ,

Sights never seene, and thousand shadowes vaine, 255

To breake his sleepe, and waste his ydle braine :

Thou that hast never lov'd canst not beleeve

Least part of th' evils which poore lovers greeve.

The gnawing envie, the hart-fretting feare.

The vaine surmizes, the distrustfull showes, 260

The false reports that flying tales doe beare,

The doubts, the daungers, the delayes, the woes.

The fayned friends, the unassured foes.

With thousands more then any tongue can tell.

Doe make a lovers life a wretches hell. 265

Yet is there one more cursed then they all,

That cancker-worme, that monster, Gelosie,

Which eates the heart and feedes upon the gall,

Turning all Loves delight to miserie.

Through feare of losing his felicitie. 270

Ah, Gods ! that ever ye that monster placed

In gentle Love, that all his ioyes defaced !


By these, O Love ! thou doest thy entrance make

Unto thy heaven, and doest the more endeere

Thy pleasures unto those which them partake, 275

As after stormes, when clouds begin to cleare.

The sunne more bright and glorious doth appeare ;

So thou thy folke, through paines of Purgatorie,

Dost beare unto thy blisse, and heavens glorie.

There thou them placest in a paradize 280

Of all delight and ioyous happy rest.

Where they doe feede on nectar heavenly-wize.

With Hercules and Hebe, and the rest

Of Venus dearlings, through her bountie blest ;

And lie like gods in yvory beds arayd, 285

With rose and lillies over them displayd.

There with thy daughter Pleasure they doe play

Their hurtlesse sports, without rebuke or blame.

And in her sno^vy bosome boldly lay

Their quiet heads, devoyd of guilty shame, 290

After full loyance of their gentle game ;

Then her they crowne their goddesse and their queene.

And decke with floures thy altars well beseene.

Ay me ! deare Lord ! that ever I might hope.

For all the paines and woes that I endure, 295

To come at length unto the wished scope

Of my desire, or might myselfe assure

That happie port for ever to recure !

Then would I thinke these paines no paines at all.

And all my woes to be but penance small. 300


Then would I sing of thine immortal praise

And heavenly Hymne, such as the angels sing.

And thy 'triumphant name then would I raise

Bove all the gods, thee only honoring ; 305

My guide, my god, my victor, and my king :

Till then, drad Lord ! vouchsafe to take of me

This simple song, thus fram'd in praise of thee. 308



j^H ! whither. Love I wilt thou now carry mee ?

What wontlesse fury dost thou now inspire

Into my feeble breast;, too full of thee ?

Whylest seeking to aslake thy raging fyre.

Thou in me kindlest much more great desyre, 5

And up aloft above my strength doth rayse

The wondrous matter of my fire to praise.

That as I earst, in praise of thine owne name, .

So now in honour of thy mother deare.

An honourable Hymne I eke should frame, 10

And, with the brightnesse of her beautie cleare.

The ravisht hearts of gazefull men might reare

To admiration of that heavenly light,

From whence proceeds such soule-enchanting might.

Therto do thou, great Goddesse ! Queene of Beauty, 1 5

Mother of Love, and of all worlds delight.

Without whose soverayne grace and kindly dewty

Nothing on earth seems fayre to fleshly sight.

Doe thou vouchsafe with thy love-kindling light

T' illuminate my dim and dulled eyne, 20

And beautifie this sacred Hymne of thyne :

VOL. V. c


That both to thee, to whom I meane it most,

And eke to her, whose faire immortall beame

Hath darted fyre into my feeble ghost.

That now it wasted is with woes extreame, 25

It may so please, that she at length will streame

Some deaw of grace into my withered hart.

After long sorrow and consuming smart.

yid cast

What time this worlds great Workmaister

To make al things such as we now behold, 30

It seems that he before his eyes had plast

A goodly paterne, to whose perfect mould

He fashiond them as comely as he could,

That now so faire and seemely they appeare,

As nought may be amended any wheare. 25

That wondrous paterne, wheresoere it bee.

Whether in earth layd up in secret store.

Or else in heaven, that no man may it see

With sinfull eyes, for feare it to deiflore.

Is perfect Beautie, which all men adore ; 40

Whose face and feature doth so much excell

All mortal sence, that none the same may tell.

Thereof as every earthly thing partakes

Or more or lesse, by influence divine.

So it more faire accordingly it makes, 45

And the grosse matter of this earthly myne

Which closeth it thereafter doth refyne,

Doing away the drosse which dims the light

Of that faire beame which therein is empight.


For, through infusion of celestiall powre, 50

The duller earth it quickneth with delight.
And life-full spirits privily doth powre
Through all the parts, that to the looker's sight
They seeme to please ; that is thy soveraine might,
O Cyprian queene ! which flowing from the beame 55
Of thy bright starre, thou into them doest streame.

That is the thing which giveth pleasant grace
To all things faire, that kindleth lively fyre.
Light of thy lampe ; which, shyning in the face,
Thence to the soule darts amorous desyre, 60

And robs the harts of those which it admyre ;
Therewith thou pointest thy sons poysned arrow.
That wounds the life, and wastes the inmost marrow.

How vainely then do ydle wits invent.

That Beautie is nought else but mixture made 65 ,

Of colours faire, and goodly temp'rament

Of pure complexions, that shall quickly fade

And passe away, like to a sommers shade ;

Or that it is but comely composition

Of parts well measurd, with meet disposition ! 70

Hath w^hite and red in it such wondrous powre.
That it can pierce through th' eyes unto the hart.
And therein stirre such rage and restlesse stowre.
As nought but death can stint his dolours smart ?
Or can proportion of the outward part 75

JMove such affection in the inward mynd.
That it can rob both sense, and reason blynd ?

c 2


Why doe not then the blossomes of the field,

Ayhich are arayd with much more orient hew.

And to the sense most daintie odours yield, 80

\yorke like impression in the lookers vew?

Or why doe not faire pictures like powre shew.

In which oft-times we Nature see of Art

Exceld, in perfect limming every part ?

But ah ! beleeve me there is more then so, 85

That workes such wonders in the minds of men ;

I, that have often prov'd, too well it know.

And who so list the like assayes to ken.

Shall find by trial, and confesse it then.

That Beautie is not, as fond men misdeeme, 90

An outward shew of things that onely seeme.

For that same goodly hew of white and red.

With which the cheekes are sprinckled, shall decay.

And those sweete rosy leaves, so fairly spred

Upon the lips, shall fade and fall away 95

To that they were, even to corrupted clay:

That golden wyre, those sparckling stars so bright.

Shall turne to dust, and lose their goodly light.,

But that faire lampe, from whose celestiall ray

That light proceedes, which kindletli lovers fire, 100

Shall never be extinguisht nor decay;

But, when the vitall spirits doe expyre.

Unto her native planet shall retyre ;

For it is heavenly borne and cannot die,

Being a parcell of the purest skie. 105


For when the soule, the which derived was.

At first, out of that great immortall Spright,

By whom all live to love, whilome did pas

Down from the top of purest heavens hight

To be embodied here, it then tooke light 110

And lively spirits from that fayrest starre

Which lights the world forth from his firie carre.


Which powre retayriing still or more or lesse.

When she in fleshly seede is eft enraced.

Through every part she doth the same impresse, 115

According as the heavens have her graced.

And frames her house, in which she will be placed,

Fit for her selfe, adorning it with spoyle

Of th' heavenly riches which she robd erewhyle.

Thereof it comes that these faire soules, which have 120
The most resemblance of that heavenly light.
Frame to themselves most beautifull and brave
Their fleshly bowre, most fit for their delight.
And the grosse matter by a soveraine might
Temper so trim, that it may well be seene 125

A pallace fit for such a virgin queene.

So every spirit, as it is most pure.

And hath in it the more of heavenly light,

So it the fairer bodie doth procure

To habit in, and it more fairely dight 1 30

With chearfull grace and amiable sight;

For of the soule the bodie forme doth take ;

For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.


Therefore where-ever that thou doest behold

A comely corpse, with beautie faire endewed;, 135

Know this for certaine, that the same doth hold

A beauteous soule, with fair conditions thewed^,

Fit to receive the seede of vertue strewed ;

For all that faire is, is by nature good ;

That is a sign to know the gentle blood. 140

Yet oft it falles that many a gentle mynd

Dwels in deformed tabernacle drownd.

Either by chaunce, against the course of kynd.

Or through unaptnesse in the substance fownd,

Which it assumed of some stubborne groAvnd, 1 45

That will not yield unto her formes direction.

But is perform'd with some foule imperfection.

And oft it falles, (ay me, the more to rew!)

That eoodlv Beautie, albe heavenly borne,

Is foule abusd, and that celestial! hew, 150

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