Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLIO, NINE ECLOGUES IN HONOUR OF NINE VIRTUES: 8. OF CONSTANCY, by WILLIAM BASSE



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CLIO, NINE ECLOGUES IN HONOUR OF NINE VIRTUES: 8. OF CONSTANCY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tomkin, what pipe hath lull'd thy muse asleep
Last Line: Vertue's constancyes renowne.
Subject(s): Perseverance


Perkin. Tomkin.

Perkin
TOMKIN, what pipe hath lull'd thy Muse asleep,
Or sleepy dulnes lull'd thy pipe a late?
Do's some disease infect thy gentle sheep,
Or too much care of them infect thy state?
Say is the fault in the ill-will of Fate?
Or is the Fate in thine owne faulty will,
Thou do'st thy selfe so seldom recreate
On the sweet stops of thy once pleasant quill?

Tomkin
Wonder not (Perkin) that the Muse is still,
That wants some sweet occasions to awake.
Pipes must be dumb, fingers forget their skill,
When fauours and encouragements forsake.
It is not I, but Eccho, that's asleep,
Or in some desart farre remote remaines:
And wee our flocks in Desarts seeme to keep,
And sadly touch our unresounded canes.
Fayeries, sometime familiar freinds to plaines,
In their forsaken circles cease t'appeare;
And Nymphes and Naiades, once kinde to swaynes,
Now neither walke nor gather garlands here:
And this has brought my heart so out of cheare,
And, as thou find'st, so dull'd my pipe and pen.

Perkin
Sad story (Swaine) but what's your meaning, when
You doe those freinds to plaines, the Fayeries, name;
And Nym[p]hes and Naiades, that now and then
Vnto your Greenes to gather garlands came?

Tomkin
To tell thee plaine, I meane Philisiden,
And his deare sister, that renowned Dame
We Pœmenarcha call'd: he that of men
The wonder was; She of her Sex the same:
And that good Lord of th'ancient house of Thame;
His learned Lady; both of noble race:
And more like them, in honour, love, and fame,
That us'd us Sheap-heards and our songs to grace,
But now are gone to farre more happy place.
And therefore wee, not for their sakes, doe moane,
But since so few now shew so kinde a face.
As is our losse, our sorrow is our owne.

Perkin
Tomkin, Tis true; but yet not ours alone
Is losse or greife, but theirs that still surviue.
Tis good to praise their fauours that are gone,
Without despaire of those that are aliue.
But though wee Shep-heards not in favours thriue,
And careles times of us take little heed,
Yet must wee still our honest verse contriue
Vnto the slender timber of the reed.
As flowers pay their owne ungather'd seed
Vnto the earth, neglected trees their fruit,
Wee owe our dayes what they in us did breed,
Since onely ours we nothing can repute.
As crushed violets more sweetnes shute,
Obscured worth doth more it selfe adorne:
Eternall Lawrell stands on her owne roote,
Weake Ivy is on th'others shoulders borne;
And perseuering Constancyes pursuite
Of Vertue, honor wins and conquers scorne.

Tomkin
There hast thou nam'd a vertue that agrees
So with my heart, That I will hold me fast
To Vertues praise and honour. Though my trees
Yeild smaller fruit in this then Summer past,
And though I gaine by my Hyblæan Bees
A lighter stock of honey then the last,
I liue in hope that Heau'ns (whose iust distast
Ill seasons doth for our ill manners send)
Will cast of frownes when faults away we cast,
And mend our meanes when wee our selues amend.

Perkin
There art thou right; and as thou dost intend,
So to thy resolution hold thee true:
For as true Vertues neuer shall haue end,
No more shall their renowne that them pursue.
Hope neuer failes that doeth on Heau'n depend,
And they win Heaue'n that with repentance wooe.

Tomkin
Well hast thou sayd: And as I yeild thereto,
So hold thy selfe to thine owne discipline;
Which to requite is more then I can doe;
But, as thou seest, thy flock now feeds with mine:
Walke with me to my Bower, where let us two
On such poore fare I haue together dine,
While Phœbus, in his best and highest place,
Doth this halfe-holyday so kindely grace.

Perkins Emblem
Constancy is vertues crowne.

Tomkins Emblem
Vertue's Constancyes renowne.





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