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EPITHALAMION. learned Sisters! which have oftentimes YE
Been to me aiding, others to adorn, Whom ye thought worthy of your graceful rimes, That ev'n the greatest did not greatly scorn To hear their names sung in your simple layes, Bat joyed in their praise ; And when ye list your own mishap to mourn, Which death, or love, or fortune's wreck, did raise, Your string could soon to sadder tenour turn, And teach the woods and waters to lament Your doleful dreriment; Now lay those sorrowful complaints aside, And having all your heads with girlands crown'd, Help me mine own love's praises to resound, Ne let the same of any be envide: So Orpbeus did for his own bride; So I unto my self alone will sing, The woods shall to me answer, and my eccho ring. Early before the world's light-giving lamp His golden beam upon the hills doth spred, Haring disperst the night's unchearful damp, Do ye awake, and with fresh lustihed, Go to the bowre of my beloved love, My truest turtle
dove, Bid her awake, for Hymen is awake, And long since ready forth his mask to move, With his bright tead that flames with many a flake, And many a batchelor to wait on him, In their fresh garments trim; Bid her awake, therefore, and soon her dight, For loe, the wished day is come at last, That shall for all the pains and sorrows past Pay to her usury of long delight; And whilst she doth her dight, Do ye to her of joy and solace sing, That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.
Bring with you all the nymphs that you can hear, Both of the rivers and the forests green, And of the sea that neighbours to her near, All with gay girlands goodly well beseen ; And let them also with them bring in hand Another gay girland, For my fair love, of lillies and of roses, Bound true-love wise with a blue silk riband; And let them make great store of bridal posies, And let them eke bring store of other flowers To deck the bridal bowers; And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread, For fear the stones her tender foot should wrong, Be strew'd with fragrant flowers all along, And diapred like the discoloured meed : Which done, do at her chamber-door await, For she will waken strait ; The whiles do ye this song unto her sing, The woods shall to you answer, and your eccho ring.
“ 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 scatterd 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 eccbo ring.
" Wake now, my Love! awake, for it is time;
The rosie Morn long since left Tithon's bed,
All ready to her silver coach to clime,
And Phæbus '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 mattios sings aloft,
The thrush replies, the mavis 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 ye sleep thus longa
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 the woods them answer, and their ecchoring.
“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, 1
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 wbich do still adorn her beauty's pride,
Help to adorn my beautifullest bride,
And as ye her array, still throw between
Some graces to be seen ;
And as ye use to Venus, to her sing,
The whiles the woods shall.answer, and your eccho
“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
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 musick that resounds from far,
The pipe, the taber, 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 ever more they Hymen, Hymen sing,
That all the woods them answer, and their eccho ring.
* Loe, where she comes along with portly pace,
Like Phæbe, 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 flowres 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 brest 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 bowro.
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 eccho ring.