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WHEN Phoebus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,

No sooner doth the earth her flowery bosom brave, At such time as the year brings on the pleasant spring,

But hunts-up to the morn the feather'd sylvans

And in the lower grove, as on the rising knoll,
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole,
Those quiristers are percht with many a speckled


Then from her burnisht gate the goodly glitt'ring


Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night Bespangled had with pearl, to please the morning's sight:

On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open throats,

Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes, That hills and valleys ring, and even the echoing air Seems all composed of sounds, about them everywhere.

The throstel, with shrill sharps; as purposely he sung T'awake the lustless sun; or chiding, that so long He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill;

The woosel near at hand, that hath a golden bill; As nature him had markt of purpose, t' let us see That from all other birds his tunes should different


For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant May;

Upon his dulcet pipe the merle doth only play. When in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by, In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply, As though the other birds she to her tunes would draw

And, but that nature (by her all-constraining law) Each bird to her own kind this season doth invite, They else, alone to hear that charmer of the night, (The more to use their ears) their voices sure would


That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare, As man to set in parts at first had learn'd of her. To Philomel the next, the linnet we prefer ; And by that warbling bird, the wood-lark place we then, [wren. The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the The yellow-pate; which though she hurt the blooming tree,

Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she. And of these chaunting fowls, the goldfinch not behind,

That hath so many sorts descending from her kind.
The tydy for her notes as delicate as they,
The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay,
The softer with the shrill (some hid among the leaves,
Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves)

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As sometime gallant spirits amongst the multitude. Of all the beasts which we for our venerial name, of which most princely chase sith none did e'er The hart among the rest, the hunter's noblest game:


Or by description touch, t' express that wondrous sport

(Yet might have well beseem'd th' ancients nobler songs)

To our old Arden here, most fitly it belongs :
Yet shall she not invoke the muses to her aid;
But thee, Diana bright, a goddess and a maid:
In many a huge-grown wood, and many a shady

Which oft hast borne thy bow (great huntress, used to rove)

At many a cruel beast, and with thy darts to pierce The lion, panther, ounce, the bear, and tiger fierce; And following thy fleet game, chaste mighty forest's queen,

With thy dishevel'd nymphs attired in youthful green,

About the lawns hast scour'd, and wastes both far and near, Brave huntress; but no beast shall prove thy quarries here;

Save those the best of chase, the tall and lusty red, The stag for goodly shape, and stateliness of head, Is fitt'st to hunt at force. For whom, when with his hounds

The labouring hunter tufts the thick unbarbed grounds Where harbour'd is the hart; there often from his feed

The dogs of him do find; or thorough skilful heed, The huntsman by his slot, or breaking earth, per


On ent'ring of the thick by pressing of the greaves, Where he had gone to lodge. Now when the hart doth hear

The often-bellowing hounds to vent his secret leir, He rousing rusheth out, and through the brakes doth drive,

is though up by the roots the bushes he would


And through the cumbrous thicks, as fearfully he makes,

le with his branched head the tender saplings shakes,

That sprinkling their moist pearl do seem for him to weep;

When after goes the cry, with yellings loud and deep,

That all the forest rings, and every neighbouring place:

And there is not a hound but falleth to the chase. Rechating with his horn, which then the hunter cheers,

Whilst still the lusty stag his high-palm'd head upbears,

His body showing state, with unbent knees upright, Expressing from all beasts, his courage in his flight.

But when th' approaching foes still following he perceives,

That he his speed must trust, his usual walk he leaves :

And o'er the champain flies: which when th' assembly find,

Each follows, as his horse were footed with the wind.

But being then imbost, the noble stately deer When he hath gotten ground (the kennel cast arrear)

Doth beat the brooks and ponds for sweet refreshing soil:

That serving not, then proves if he his scent can foil, And makes amongst the herds, and flocks of shagwool'd sheep,

Them frighting from the guard of those who had their keep.

But when as all his shifts his safety still denies, Put quite out of his walk, the ways and fallows tries.

Whom when the ploughman meets, his team he letteth stand

T'assail him with his goad: so with his hook in hand, The shepherd him pursues, and to his dog doth hallo:

When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and huntsmen follow;

Until the noble deer through toil bereaved of strength,

His long and sinewy legs then failing him at length,
The villages attempts, enraged, not giving way
To anything he meets now at his sad decay.
The cruel ravenous hounds and bloody hunters


This noblest beast of chase, that vainly doth but fear,

Some bank or quickset finds: to which his haunch opposed,

He turns upon his foes, that soon have him inclosed. The churlish-throated hounds then holding him at bay,

And as their cruel fangs on his harsh skin they lay, With his sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly wounds.

The hunter, coming in to help his wearied hounds, He desperately assails; until opprest by force, He who the mourner is to his own dying corse, Upon the ruthless earth his precious tears lets fall.

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Her skin as soft as Lemster wool,
As white as snow, on Peakish Hull,

Or swan that swims in Trent.
This maiden in a morn betime,
Went forth when May was in the prime,
To get sweet setywall,

The honey-suckle, the harlock,
The lily, and the lady-smock,

To deck her summer hall.
Thus as she wander'd here and there,
And picked off the bloomy brier,
She chanced to espy

A shepherd sitting on a bank,
Like chanticleer he crowned crank,
And piped full merrily.

He learn'd his sheep, as he him list, When he would whistle in his fist,

To feed about him round. Whilst he full many a carol sang, Until the fields and meadows rang, And all the woods did sound. In favour this same shepherd swain Was like the bedlam Tamerlane,

Which held proud kings in awe : But meek as any lamb might be ; And innocent of ill as he

Whom his lewd brother slaw. The shepherd wore a sheep-gray cloak, Which was of the finest lock,

That could be cut with sheer.

His mittens were of bauzons' skin,
His cockers were of cordiwin,

His hood of miniveer.

His awl and lingel in a thong,

His tar-box on his broad belt hung,
His breech of Cointree blue.
Full crisp and curled were his locks,
His brows as white as Albion rocks,
So like a lover true.

And piping still he spent the day,

So merry as the popinjay,

Which liked Dowsabel;

That would she ought, or would she nought, This lad would never from her thought,

She in love-longing fell.

At length she tucked up her frock,
White as a lily was her smock,

She drew the shepherd nigh:
But then the shepherd piped a good,
That all his sheep forsook their food,
To hear this melody.

Thy sheep, quoth she, cannot be lean,
That have a jolly shepherd swain,
The which can pipe so well:
Yea but (saith he) their shepherd may,
If piping thus he pine away,

In love of Dowsabel.

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Except thou favour me.

Saith she, yet lever I were dead,
Than I should lose my maidenhead,

And all for love of men.
Saith he, yet are you too unkind,
If in your heart you cannot find

To love us now and then.
And I to thee will be as kind,
As Colin was to Rosalind,

Of courtesy the flower.

Then will I be as true, quoth she,
As ever maiden yet might be

Unto her paramour.

With that she bent her snow-white knee,
Down by the shepherd kneeled she,
And him she sweetly kist.

With that the shepherd whoop'd for joy ;
Quoth he, there's never shepherd's boy
That ever was so blest.



IN pride of wit, when high desire of fame
Gave life and courage to my labouring pen,
And first the sound and virtue of my name
Won grace and credit in the ears of men;
With those the thronged theatres that press,
I in the circuit for the laurel strove,
Where, the full praise, I freely must confess,
In heat of blood, a modest mind might move.
With shouts and claps, at every little pause,
When the proud round on every side hath rung,
Sadly I sit unmoved with the applause,

As though to me it nothing did belong :
No public glory vainly I pursue;
The praise I strive, is to eternize you.

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