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There as in glistring glory she did sitt,
She held a great gold chaine ylincked well,
upper end to highest heven was knitt,
And lower part did reach to lowest hell;
And all that preace did rownd about her swell
To catchen hold of that long chaine, thereby
To climbe aloft, and others to excell :
That was Ambition, rash desire to sty,
And every linck thereof a step of dignity.
Some thought to raise themselves to high degree
By riches and unrighteous reward ;
Some by close shouldring, some by flatteree,
Others through friendes, others for base regard ;
And all by wrong waies, for themselves prepard :
Those that were up themselves, kept others low;
Those that were low themselves, held others hard,
Ne? suffred them to ryse or greater grow;
But every one did strive his fellow downe to throw.
The Ministry of Angels.
And is there care in heaven? and is there love
In heavenly spirits to those creatures bace,
That may compassion of their evils move?
There is : else much more wretched were the cace
Of men than beasts. But O th’exceeding grace
Of highest God, that loves his creatures so,
And all his workes with mercy doth embrace,
That blessed angels he sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!
How oft do they their silver bowers leave
That come to succour us that succour want!
How oft do they with golden pineons cleave
The flitting skyes, like flying pursuivant,
Against fowle feendes to ayd us militant !
They for us fight, they watch and dewly ward,
i to soar upwarde.
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
And all for love, and nothing for reward : O why should hevenly God to men have such regard !
Description of a Garden. THERE the most daintie paradise on ground Itself doth offer to his sober eye, In which all pleasures plenteously abownd, And none does others happinesse envye : The painted flowres, the trees upshooting hye, The dales for shade, the hilles for breathing space, The trembling groves, the christall running by;
And, that which all faire workes doth most aggrace, The art which all that wrought appeared in no place.
One would have thought (so cunningly the rude
And scorned partes were mingled with the fine),
That nature had for wantonesse ensude
Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ;
So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the others worke more beautify;
So diff'ring both in willes, agreed in fine :
So all agreed, through sweete diversity,
This gardin to adorne with all variety.
And in the midst of all a fountaine stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might bee,
and shiny that the silver flood
Through every channell running one might see;
Most goodly it with curious ymagerees
Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes,
Of which some seemd with lively jollitee
To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
Whylest others did themselves embay in liquid joyes.
And over all, of purest gold was spred
A trayle of ivie in his native hew;
For the rich metall was so coloured,
That wight who did not well avis'd it vew,
Would surely deeme it to bee ivie trew :
Low his lascivious armes adown did creepe,
That themselves dipping in the silver dew
Their fleecy flowers, they fearfully did steepe,
Which drops of christall seemd for wantones2 to weep.
Infinit streames continually did well
Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew to so great quantitie,
That like a litle lake it seemd to bee,
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,
All pav'd beneath with jaspar shining bright,
That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle upright.
EFTSOONES: they heard a most melodious sound,
Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,
Such as attonce might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere :
Right hard it was for wight which did it heare,
To read what manner musicke that mote4 bee;
For all that pleasing is to living eare
Was there consorted in one harmonee;
Birds, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all agree :
The joyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet;
Th' angelicall soft trembling voyces made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmure of the waters fall ;
The waters fall, with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call ;
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.
The other nothing better was than shee ;
Agreeing in bad will and cancred kynd,
But in bad manner they did disagree :
For whatso Envie good or bad did fynd,
She did conceale, and murder her owne mynd;
But this, whatever evill she conceived,
Did spred abroad and throw in th' open wynd :
Yet this in all her words might be perceived,
That all she sought was mens good name to have bereaved.
For whatsoever good by any sayd
Or doen she heard, she would streightwayes invent
How to deprave or slaunderously upbrayd,
Or to misconstrue of a mans intent,
And turne to ill the thing that well was ment;
Therefore she used often to resort
To common haunts, and companies frequent,
To hearke what any one did good report,
To blot the same with blame, or wrest in wicked sort.
And if that any ill she heard of any,
She would it eeke,? and make much worse by telling,
And take great joy to publish it to many ;
every matter worse was for her melling: 3
Her name was hight4 Detraction, and her dwelling
Was neare to Envie, even her neighbour next;
A wicked hag, and Envy selfe excelling
In mischiefe: for herselfe she onely vext; But this same both herselfe and others eke perplext.
So forth issew'd the Seasons of the yeare. First lusty Spring, all dight? in leaves of flowres That freshly budded and new blossomes did beare, In which a thousand birds had built their bowres, That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ; And in his hand a javelin he did beare, And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures?) A gilt engraven morion” he did weare ; That as some did him love, so others did him feare.
Then came the jolly Summer, being dight
In a thin silken cassock coloured greene,
That was unlyned all to be more light;
And on his head a girlond well beseene4
He wore, from which, as he had chauffedó been,
The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore
A bowe and shaftes, as he in forest greene
Had hunted late the libbard or the bore,
And now would bathe his limbes, with labor heated sore.
Then came the Autumn, all in yellow clad,
As though he joyed in his plentious store,
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
That he had banisht hunger, which to-fore
Had by the belly oft him pinched sore:
Upon his head a wreath, that was unrold
With ears of corne of every sort, he bore ;
And in his hand a sickle he did holde,
To reape the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold.?
Lastly came Winter, clothed all in frize,
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill ;
Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freese,
4 beautiful to look on.
a military steel cap. 5 heated.