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There drincks she nectar with ambrosia Against the brydale day, which is not mixt,

long : And joyes enjoyes that mortall men doe Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end misse.

my song The honour nowe of highest gods she is,

That whilome was poore shepheards There, in a meadow, by the rivers side, pryde,

A flocke of nymphes I chaunced to espy, While here on earth she did abyde. All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, O happy herse!

With goodly greenish locks all loose unCeasse now, my song, my woe now wasted

tyde, is;

As each had bene a bryde:
O joyfull verse!

And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs entrayled curiously,

In which they gathered flowers to fill their
PROTHALAMION

flasket;
And with fine fingers cropt full feateously

The tender stalkes on hye.
A SPOUSALL VERSE MADE BY

Of every sort, which in that meadow grew,
EDM. SPENSER

They gathered some; the violet pallid

blew, IN HONOUR

DOUBLE MARIAGE

The little dazie, that at evening closes, OF THE TWO HONOURABLE & VERTUOUS

The virgin lillie, and the primrose trew, LADIES, LADIE ELIZABETH

With store of vermeil roses, THE LADIE KATHERINE SOMERSET,

To decke their bridegromes posies DAUGHTERS

RIGHT HONOUR

Against the brydale day, which was not ABLE THE EARLE OF WORCESTER AND

long: ESPOUSED

WORTHIE

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end GENTLEMEN MASTER HENRY GILFORD, AND MASTER WILLIAM PETER, ESQUYERS

my song. CALME was the day, and through the trem- With that I saw two swannes of goodly bling ayre

hewe Sweete breathing Zephyrus did softly play, Come softly swimming downe along the A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay

lee; Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster Two fairer birds I yet did never see : fayre:

The snow which doth the top of Pindus When I, whom sullein care,

strew Through discontent of my long fruitlesse Did never whiter shew, stay

Nor Jove himselfe, when he a swan would In princes court, and expectation vayne

be Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away, For love of Leda, whiter did appear : Like empty shaddowes, did aflict my Yet Leda was, they say, as white as he, brayne,

Yet not so white as these, nor nothing Walkt forth to ease my payne

neare: Along the shoare of silver streaming So purely white they were, Themmes ;

That even the gentle streame, the which Whose rutty bancke, the which his river them bare, hemmes,

Seem'd foule to them, and bad his billowes Was paynted all with variable flowers,

spare And all the meades adornd with daintie To wet their silken feathers, least they gemmes,

might Fit to decke maydens bowres,

Soyle their fayre plumes with water not so And crowne their paramours,

fayre,

TO

THE

TWO

And marre their beauties bright,

That they appeare, through lillies plenteThat shone as heavens light,

ous store, Against their brydale day, which was not Like a brydes chamber flore. long :

Two of those nymphes, meane while, two Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I garlands bound end my song.

Of freshest flowres which in that mead

they found, Eftsoones the nymphes, which now had The which presenting all in trim array, flowers their fill,

Their snowie foreheads therewithall they Ran all in haste to see that silver brood,

crownd, As they came floating on the christal Whil'st one did sing this lay, flood;

Prepar'd against that day, Whom when they sawe, they stood amazed Against their brydale day, which was not still,

long: Their wondring eyes to fill.

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end Them seem'd they never saw a sight so

my song. fayre, Of fowles so lovely, that they sure did “Ye gentle birdes, the worlds faire ornadeeme

ment, Them heavenly borne, or to be that same And heavens glorie, whom this happie payre

hower Which through the skie draw Venus silver Doth leade unto your lovers blissful bower, teeme;

Joy may you have and gentle hearts conFor sure they did not seeme

tent To be begot of any earthly seede,

Of your loves couplement : But rather angels or of angels breede: And let faire Venus, that is Queene of Yet were they bred of Somers-heat, they

Love, say,

With her heart-quelling sonne upon you In sweetest season, when each flower and

smile, weede

Whose smile, they say, hath vertue to The earth did fresh aray; So fresh they seem'd as day,

All loves dislike, and friendships faultie Even as their brydale day, which was not guile long:

For ever to assoile. Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end Let endlesse peace your steadfast hearts my song.

accord,

And blessed plentie wait upon your bord; Then forth they all out of their baskets And let your bed with pleasures chast drew

abound, Great store of flowers, the honour of the That fruitfull issue may to you afford, field,

Which may your foes confound, That to the sense did fragrant odours And make your joyes redound, yield,

Upon your brydale day, which is not long : All which upon those goodly birds they Sweete Themmes, run softlie, till I end threw,

my song." And all the waves did strew, That like old Peneus waters they did So ended she; and all the rest around seeme,

To her redoubled that her undersong, When downe along by pleasant Tempes Which said, their bridale daye should not shore,

be long. Scattred with flowres, through Thessaly And gentle Eccho from the neighbour

they streeme,

remove

ground

armes

Their accents did resound.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer, So forth those joyous birdes did passe Great Englands glory and the worlds wide along,

wonder, Adowne the lee, that to them murmurde Whose dreadfull name late through all low,

Spaine did thunder, As he would speake, but that he lackt And Hercules two pillors standing neere a tong

Did make to quake and feare. Yet did by signes his glad affection show, Faire branch of honor, flower of chevalMaking his streame run slow.

rie, And all the foule which in his flood did That fillest England with thy triumphes dwell

fame, Gan flock about these twaine, that did Joy have thou of thy noble victorie, excell

And endlesse happinesse of thine owne The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend

name The lesser starres. So they, enranged well, That promiseth the same: Did on those two attend,

That through thy prowesse and victorious And their best service lend, Against their wedding day, which was not Thy country may be freed from forraine long :

harmes; Sweete Themmes, run softly, till I end And great Elisaes glorious name may my song

ring

Through al the world, fil'd with thy wide At length they all to mery London came, alarmes To mery London, my most kyndly nurse, Which some brave Muse may sing That to me gave this lifes first native To ages following, sourse;

Upon the brydale day, which is not long : Though from another place I take my Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I name,

end my song. An house of auncient fame. There when they came, whereas those From those high towers this noble lord bricky towres,

issuing, The which on Themmes brode aged backe Like radiant Hesper when his golden doe ryde,

hayre Where now the studious lawyers have In th' ocean billowes he hath bathed their bowers,

fayre, There whylome wont the Templer Knights Descended to the rivers open vewing, to byde,

With a great traine ensuing. Till they decayd through pride:

Above the rest were goodly to bee seene Next whereunto there standes a stately Two gentle knights of lovely face and place,

feature, Where oft I gayned giftes and goodly Beseeming well the bower of anie queene, grace

With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature, Of that great lord which therein wont to Fit for so goodly stature: dwell,

That like the twins of Jove they seem'd in Whose want too well now feeles my

sight, freendles case:

Which decke the bauldricke of the heavens But ah! here fits not well

bright. Olde woes, but joyes to tell,

They two, forth pacing to the rivers side, Against the bridale daye, which is not Received those two faire brides, their long :

loves delight, Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I Which, at th' appointed tyde, end my song.

Each one did make his bryde,

scorne

neare:

did rayse,

Against their brydale day, which is not Bid her awake therefore, and soone her long :

dight, Sweet Themmes, runne softly, till I end For lo! the wished day is come at last, my song.

That shall, for all the paynes and sorrowes

past,

Pay to her usury of long delight:
EPITHALAMION

And, whylest she doth her dight,
Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing,

That all the woods may answer, and your Ye learned sisters, which have oftentimes

eccho ring Beene to me ayding, others to adorne, Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull Bring with you all the nymphes that you rymes,

can heare That even the greatest did not greatly

Both of the rivers and the forrests greene, To heare theyr names sung in your simple

And of the sea that neighbours to her layes, But joyed in theyr praise ;

Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene. And when ye list your owne mishaps to

And let them also with them bring in hand

Another gay girland mourne,

For my fayre love, of lillyes and of roses, Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck

Bound truelove wize, with a blew silke

riband. Your string could soone to sadder tenor

And let them make great store of bridale turne, And teach the woods and waters to lament

poses, Your dolefull dreriment:

And let them eeke bring store of other

flowers, Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside; And, having all your heads with girlands And let the ground whereas her foot shall

To deck the bridale bowers. crownd,

tread, Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound;

For feare the stones her tender foot should

wrong, Ne let the same of any be envide:

Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along, So Orpheus did for his owne bride!

And diapred lyke the discolored mead. So I unto my selfe alone will sing ; The woods shall to me answer,

Which done, doe at her chamber dore eccho ring.

awayt,
For she will waken strayt;

The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing, Early, before the worlds light-giving The woods shall to you answer, and your lampe

eccho ring. His golden beame upon the hils doth spred, Having disperst the nights unchearefull Ye Nymphes of Mulla, which with carefull dampe,

heed Doe ye awake; and, with fresh lusty-hed, The silver scaly trouts doe tend full well, Go to the bowre of my beloved love, And greedy pikes which use therein to My truest turtle dove;

feed Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake, Those trouts and pikes all others doo And long since ready forth his maske to

excell move,

And ye likewise, which keepe the rushy With his bright tead that flames with many lake, a flake,

Where none doo fishes take; And many a bachelor to waite on him, Bynd up the locks the which hang scatIn theyr fresh garments trim.

terd light,

and my

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And in his waters, which your mirror More bright than Hesperus his head doth make,

rere. Behold your faces as the christall bright, Come now, ye damzels, daughters of That when you come whereas my love doth

delight, lie;

Helpe quickly her to dight : No blemish she may spie.

But first come ye fayre houres, which were And eke, ye lightfoot mayds, which keepe begot the deere,

In Joves sweet paradice of Day and Night; That on the hoary mountayne used to Which doe the seasons of the yeare allot, towre;

And al, that ever in this world is fayre, And the wylde wolves, which seeke them Doe make and still repayre: to devoure,

And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian With your steele darts doo chace from Queene, comming neer;

The which doe still adorne her beauties Be also present heere,

pride, To helpe to decke her, and to help to sing, Helpe to addorne my beautifullest bride: That all the woods may answer, and your And, as ye her array, still throw betweene eccho ring.

Some graces to be seene;

And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing, Wake now, my love, awake! for it is time; The whiles the woods shal answer, and The Rosy Morne long since left Tithones your eccho ring.

bed, All ready to her silver coche to clyme; Now is my love all ready forth to come: And Phoebus gins to shew his glorious hed. Let all the virgins therefore well awayt: Hark! how the cheerefull birds do chaunt And ye fresh boyes, that tend upon her theyr laies

groome, And carroll of loves praise.

Prepare your selves; for he is comming The merry larke hir mattins sings aloft ;

strayt. The thrush replyes; the mavis descant Set all your things in seemely good aray, . playes;

Fit for so joyfull day: The ouzell shrills; the ruddock warbles The joyfulst day that ever sunne did see. soft;

Faire Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray, So goodly all agree, with sweet consent, And let thy lifull heat not fervent be, To this dayes merriment.

For feare of burning her sunshyny face, Ah! my deere love, why doe ye sleepe thus Her beauty to disgrace. long?

O fayrest Phoebus ! father of the Muse! When meeter were that ye should now If ever I did honour thee aright, awake,

Or sing the thing that mote thy mind T' awayt the comming of your joyous delight, make,

Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse; And hearken to the birds love-learnèd song, But let this day, let this one day, be myne; The deawy leaves among !

Let all the rest be thine. Nor they of joy and pleasance to you Then I thy soverayne prayses loud wil sing,

sing, That all the woods them answer, and theyr That all the woods shal answer, and theyr eccho ring.

eccho ring.

.

My love is now awake out of her dreames, Harke! how the minstrils gin to shrill And her fayre eyes, like stars that dimmèd

aloud

Their merry musick that resounds from far, With darksome cloud, now shew theyr The pipe, the tabour, and the trembling goodly beams

croud,

were

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