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TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND VERtuous Lady Helena Marqueffe of

North-hampton.

Haue the rather presumed humbly to offer

vnto your Honour the dedication of this little

Poème, for that the noble and vertuous Gentlewomå of whom it is written, was by match neere alied, and in affection greatly deuoted vnto your Ladiship. The occasion why I wrote the same, was aswell the great good

IO fame which I heard of her deceased, as the particular goodwill which I beare vnto her husband Master Arthur Gorges, a louer of learning and vertue, whose house, as your Ladiship by mariage hath honoured, so doe I find the name of them by many notable records, to be of great antiquitie in this Realme ; and such as haue euer borne themselues with honourable reputation to the world, & vnspotted loyaltie to their Prince and countrey : besides so lineally are they descended from the Howards,

as that the Lady Anne Howard, eldest daughter to Iohn Duke of Norfolke, was wife | to Sir Edmund, 20 mother to Sir Edward, and grandmother to Sir William and Sir Thomas Gorges Knightes. And therefore I doe assure my selfe, that no due honour done to the white Lyon, but will be most gratefull to your Ladisip, whose husband and children do so neerely participate with the bloud of that noble family. So in all dutie I recommende this Pamphlet, and the good acceptance thereof, to your honourable fauour and protection. London this first of Ianuarie. 1591.

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Hat euer man he be, whose heauie

mynd With griefe of mournefull great

mishap opprest, Fit matter for his cares increase

would fynd :
Let reade the rufull plaint herein

exprest,
Of one (I weene) the wofulft man aliue ;
Euen sad Alcyon, whose empierced brest,
Sharpe sorrowe did in thousand peeces riue.

ΙΟ

But who so else in pleasure findeth sense,
Or in this wretched life dooth take delight,
Let him be banisht farre away from hence:
Ne let the sacred Sisters here be hight,
Though they of sorrowe heauilie can sing ;
For euen their heauie song would breede delight:
But here no tunes, saue sobs and grones shall ring.

In stead of them, and their sweete harmonie,
Let those three fatall Sisters, whose sad hands
Doe weaue the direfull threeds of destinie,
And in their wrath breake off the vitall bands,
Approach hereto: and let the dreadfull Queene
Of darkenes deepe come from the Stygian strands,
And grisly Ghosts to heare this dolefull teene. /

20

In gloomie euening, when the wearie Sun,
After his dayes long labour drew to rest,
And sweatie steedes now hauing ouer run
The compaft skie, gan water in the west,
I walkt abroad to breath the freshing ayre
In open fields, whose flowring pride opprest
With early frosts, had lost their beautie faire.

30

There came vnto my mind a troublous thought,
Which dayly doth my weaker wit possesse,
Ne lets it reft, vntill it forth haue brought
Her long borne Infant, fruit of heauinesse,
Which she conceiued hath through meditation
Of this worlds vainnefle, and lifes wretchedneffe,
That yet my soule it deepely doth empassion.

So as I muzed on the miserie
In which men liue, and I of many moft,
Most miserable man; I did efpie
Where towards me a fory wight did cost,
Clad all in black, that mourning did bewray :
And laakob staffe in hand deuoutly croft,
Like to some Pilgrim, come from farre away.

40

His carelesse lockes, vncombed and vnshorne,
Hong long adowne, and beard all ouer growne,
That well he seemd to be some wight forlorne ;
Downe to the earth his heauie eyes were throwne
As loathing light : and euer as he went,
He sighed soft, and inly deepe did grone,
As if his heart in peeces would haue rent.

50

Approa/ching nigh, his face I vewed nere,
And by the semblant of his countenaunce,
Me seemd I had his person feene elsewhere,
Most like Alcyon seeming at a glaunce;
Alcyon he, the collie Shepheard swaine,
That wont full merrilie to pipe and daunce.
And fill with pleasance euery wood and plaine,

Yet halfe in doubt, because of his disguize,
I softlie sayd, Alcyon? There withall
He lookt a fide as in disdainefull wise,
Yet stayed not : till I againe did call.
Then turning back, he saide with hollow sound,
Who is it, that dooth name me, wofull thrall,
The wretchedft man that treads this day on groûd ?

60

One, whom like wofulnesse impressed deepe,
Hath made fit mate thy wretched case to heare,
And giuen like cause with thee to waile and wepe:
Griefe finds some ease by him that like does beare,
Then stay Alcyon, gentle shepheard stay
(Quoth I) till thou haue to my trustie eare
Committed, what thee dooth so ill apay.

70

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