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First Line: If thou be not that gentle shep-heard swaine
Last Line: Seen, known, admir'd, is god aboue.
Subject(s): Humility

Hobbinoll. Colliden.


IF thou be not that gentle Shep-heard Swaine
That in the Muses wells, as good as wine,
(Freind Colliden) hast so refresh'd a braine,
That, for the Sonnet sweet, or lyrique line,
Few Shepheards be that may surpasse thy straine,
Or from thy forhead win the leaffy twine,
I haue forgot that honest looke of thine.

Who would haue look'd for entertaine so fine
From Hobbinoll, if I mistake not you,
To Colliden, the same poore freind of thine,
To whom no such great complement is due.

Yet to reviue our spirits, that both decline,
Let's heare some pleasant Sonnet old or new.

O Hobbinoll, Wee may not still pursue
The path of youth; nor walke beside the line
That from false ioyes should leade us to the true.
I now those wanton virelayes doe rue,
The fancyes of my like phantastique dayes,
Wherein to Swaines and Nymphes more praise then due:
The more I sung, I lessen'd mine owne praise.
With Oliue twine now twisted is my Bayes,
From whence my heart more hallow'd thoughts doth take.
Now let my songs be in my Makers praise,
Who to that purpose onely did me make,
(If so unworthy Shep-heard in his layes,
O blessed Lord, thy praise may undertake).
For Shepheard, sheepe, and all that for their sake
Thou sees't this goodly universe doth yield,
His mighty hand did forme, and voyce awake.
When out of nothing he did all things build,
The glorious Sun that doth the welkin guild,
And Welkin gilt, he plac'd in such estate,
And with such bounty made and deck'd the feild,
As well for heardsmans ioy as cattells gate,
As we them see: and (sikerly) he will'd,
When we them see, we him should meditate
Who hath these favours done for us ingrate
And worthles of the least of all his store,
Nay wretches much more meriting his hate
For our desarts, if ought we claime therefore.

Shep-heard I am full glad it was my fate
To meet thee so, a swaine of such good lore:
For I had thought, as I was taught to fore,
That Pan was God of Shep-heards and of sheep,
That Phœbus of the Sun the bridle bore,
And Cynthia sway'd the season when we sleep;
And that another Deity, old and hoare,
They Neptune call'd, govern'd the Ocean deep;
That of the feilds Dame Flora had the keep,
And them in all their painted 'parrell clad;
And that the valley flat, the mountains steep,
And all things else, their severall Deity had.

Who taught thee so, were Shep-heards not so wise
Or honest as they should; unlesse they meant
By these and all imagin'd Deities
One onely God, true and Omnipotent.
For like a reall truth in shady guise
Such fictions his true honours represent.

Sure (Colliden) such was their good intent,
Though I, then young, did scarcely understand.
But since of thee it is my blest event
More now to learne of his most high command,
Who made and gouerns all, be thou content
To follow on the song thou hast in hand.

When I survey my heap of youthfull song
And Ditties quaint, to volumes neare arose,
I whilome did, to please the amorous throng
Of Nymphs and Swayns, to my green reed compose,
And finde so small a number them among
Of pious straine or vertues pure dispose,
Then muse not (Hobbinoll) that my Muse growes
Melancholly, but thinke her iustly sorry
For seeking earthly more then heau'nly glory.

The Man is happy (sure) to whom the Muse
So gracious is as with him deigne to dwell;
(For she in him more joyance may infuse
Then hath to some of greater place befell):
But much more happy hee that how to use
And entertaine so sweet a guest can tell.
She comes not hither from her sacred well
For thee or mee with her too bold to make:
Of daintiest things we soonest surfet take.

Doubtles The head of that so famous fount
By pranceing hoofe of flying horse was found,
That mens conceits, by taste thereof, should mount
Till they at Heauens azure gates rebound;
And not descend to theames of base account
To be in nine days vulgar wonder drown'd,
Or idle Minstrells mercinary sound,
And of eternity themselues depriue,
That noble mindes all labour to arriue.

Delightfull songs if fram'd on subiect vaine,
Though for a season vaunt and flourish may,
Yet sagest hand of Fame will them disdaine
In her immortall Treasury to lay;
But as yon wanton Sicamore to raine
Must yeild her pompe, so theirs to time must they,
Though yet as fresh as death-unknowing Bay,
Whose leafe who claimes to weare ought well fore-cast
His actions, life with life of Laurell last.

Wherefore thou seest not on my simple head
Such Coronet to sager Shep-heards due,
Whose Verses liue though they them-selues be dead
(If dye they could whose deeds their liues renew),
While most of mine unworthy to be read
Dye (while I liue), or should, if how I knew
To win successe my wishes to ensue:
Since tis the way to make one sin two-fold
To cout'nance youths vaine acts with forhead old.

But now I am in better vaine to sing
In his due honour, that on high doth sit:
(Which he, that is of all the Soveraigne King,
Grant I so may as may his servant fit).
If ought thou hear'st, wherefore in verdant ring
Of laurell branch Thou mayst my temples knit,
I shall at once embrace thy loue and it;
For whether meed assum'd hath right or none,
Just is the garland others hands put on.

Ah! woe is me! that pent in cottage poore,
And cottage poore as pent in valley low,
And sorry soyle that at my luckles doore
Such tree of triumph listeth not to grow.
But neighbour mine there is, that hath afore
His happy hatch some that he will bestow
More soone on me cause I to thee it owe:
My sweeting tree may one day him remeed;
The poore sometime hath what the rich may need.

Awake, o virgin of celestiall race!
That thy first milke didst draw from sacred breast
Of Memory, and then receiu'ds thy place
By Thespian streames amongst thy sisters blest;
So highly sprung, yet scornest not to grace
Mee, lowly Swaine, of all thy seruants least:
No more let lump of liuing clay infest
Thy heauenly pinions, nor yet prevent
With plummets of dull sloth thy faire ascent.

But aboue all, o blessed Majesty,
Who by thy power and wisdome all hast wrought,
And all dost rule, aboue and under skye,
From greatest substance unto smallest thought,
That we thy name aright may magnify,
And sing thy works and wonders as we ought,—
Grant with such streames our feeble hearts be fraught
As thou doest giue, from forth thine euer-liuing
Fountaine of grace, that more abounds by giuing.

O sottish men! that dayes in silence spend,
Or in lewd tales that worse then silence bee;
While Creatures dumb by Nature doe commend
Their makers loue with greater praise then wee.
Who taught this Beech her branches to extend,
From storme to shelter us and flockes, but hee?
Who not alone into this freindly tree,
But into euery lesse-esteemed plant
And herbe and shrub, hath put life vegetant.

Nor hath he set the high aboue to grow,
As shrouds to be or shaddows to our need,
But hath commanded they their blossoms blow,
And usefull fruits their blossoms to succeed:
Nor doth the Earth with flowers and herbage sow
Onely for pleasant walke, or cattells feed,
Or sence of sight or smell; but us to steed
For wholsom cure, and often to supply
Our dying life, to render theirs to dy.

Goat-heard beware, or man, (who ere thou art),
That thou alone do not like cypher stand,
Conferring all thy fortunes, wit, and art
Vpon thy selfe, with too reseru'd a hand;
But learne for common good to act some part
Of vertuous office in thy natiue land,
Least thou be worse then weed in sorry sand,
Whereof the vilest that thou tread'st upon
For others use more vertues hath then one.

The Cowslip do's not onely deck the feilds,
But lends her yellow fingers to the cure
Of shaking sinnews: and the violet yeilds
Her azure blood fowle surfets to repure.
Contemned wormwood from infection sheilds;
And Rue makes wasting liuer longer dure.
Elacampane faint loungs doth reassure;
Plantain of bleeding wounds allayes the smart;
Mynt helps the head, and Rose mary the heart.

The Indian julep, mix'd for pallats paines,
Craues Woodbines help such dolour to asswage;
And quintessences diving to the reines
Disdaine not there the aid of Saxifrage.
Who Tansey tastes, or Clarey entertaines,
Need eate no snake with youth to couer age.
The holy-thistle quenches feuers rage.
Where costly Antidots shun poore estate
There sage is treacle, saffron Mythridate.

Nor stand tall woods alone for goodly port,
But each his proper businesse hath and state.
The Oake a builder is of lasting sort,
And him the Elme and Beech doe imitate.
The Ash a souldier, Ewe is his consort:
The Pine a Sayler, and the Fyrrhe his mate;
The Cypresse mourner at the funerall gate;
And Lawrell, that wee talked of but now,
A crowne of Victors and of Muses brow.

The Poplar can the climbeing workeman's wish
As well advance as fan the sunny glade;
The melancholly willow learne to fish
Rather then bee for fooles the garland made;
The Maple turne himselfe to Shep-heards dish,
And Holly prentice be to Vintners trade,
The hoary Palme the poore mans cottage shade:
And all this crue to solace, Walnut-tree,
And Box, and Plane, a set of Musique bee.

Where-to to dance becomes not us to call
Fayre fruitfull Ladies not to Shep-heards knowne,
Such as the great Pom-granate, Oliue small,
And lushious Figge, that loues to be alone,
The Abricot upheld with Southern wall,
And Orenge gilt that thrice a yeare doth grone,
The downy Quince, and golden Mell-cotone,
The sanguine Peach in silken robe install'd,
The Almond twice, and Nut-meg treble-wall'd.

But with our rurall nymphes we may be bold
(As to our rurall callings most be meet),
The ruddy Peare-main, and the Costard cold,
The spungy Russetting, and Violet sweet,
The Warden, and the Deus-ans two year'd old,
The Pippen when she leaues the stately street,
The Cherry when she scornes not us to greet,
The Hasell-nut familiar euery-where,
The harmeles Damson, and the Katterne Peare.

Thus like my selfe, although I simply sing
Song simple as my selfe, forbeare to blame,
For all my serious thoughts are on the King
Of trees and fruits, that yet I did not name,
The peereles Vine with clusters flourishing
Of mighty grapes, not onely for their fame,
But that the Lord of life, who man became,
Him-selfe is pleased the true Vine to call,
And all his members true his branches all.

And as we see that fixed to the stake,
So nayled to tree was this celestiall Vine,
Whose pierced side for our redemptions sake
Gush'd precious blood, as precious grapes doe wine.
O blessed Husband! that in hand dost take
To purge all liuing branch thereof, refine
With powerfull grace this feeble soule of mine,
And graffe it in this stock so sure, that fruite
Of praise to thee it euer forth may shute.

That turning ore new leafe of Natures booke
Thy hand or worke I further may behold
In creatures such whose knowledge thou dost brooke
To simple Man, clad in so wretched mold:
For (Nations all to hold in heau'nly hooke
Of mutuall loue) his wisedome doeth unfold,
To some, what he from others doth withold;
That men for wonders that they not possesse
Ought him admire, for those they haue him blesse.

His wonders then let us (with reuerence) note.
What learnedst tongues could never full expresse,
Thou mayest well thinke, in sound of slender Oate
The little learned Shep-heard can much lesse.
The Marriner that toyles in Sea's remote,
And Pilgrim, that doth halfe his life professe
To spend in farre-sought lands and wildernesse,
From freezing Laps to scorched Negro's walke,
His other halfe may thereof spend in talke.

Although the Sun him company had borne,
Companion such would tempt one venter farre
From the Vermillion palace of the morne
To Westerne waues oft gilded by his carre,
And shewen him euery land his rayes adorne
With yearely progresse, and his courts that are
All flourish'd 'ore with many a twinkling starre,
Some ouer head to us, some ouer-head
To those whose feet against our feet doe tread.
And all his sisters shining seates, betwixt
The golden Ram and siluer horned Kid;
The axle set, with Lords and Ladies mix't,
Now stellified for famous deeds they did;
The Cynosure with cout'nance grauely fix't,
Teaching the wonder in the Load-stone hid;
Th' Arcadian Lady, and her sonne, forbid
To wash in Ocean waues; and daughter seuen
Of him whose shoulders underset the heauen.

But how beseemes it me in russet robe
To sing of shineing wonders of the skye?
More fitting those that skill the astralobe
And haue high reach in sage astrologie.
But he that fram'd this uniuersall globe
Aboue all Creatures here would Man his eye
Should upward lift, and contemplate on hye
Those glympses of the glorious life of blisse,
The more to striue for that life after this.

And though poore Shep-heard be the least of men,
And I (poore I!) of Shep-heards be the least,
My Muse his honours must returne agen
In such degree as he my Muse hath bles't.
Though in the sound of highest pipe or pen
His praise can neuer fully be expres't,
None may his talent let in dust to rest;
And, shareing of his graces, I not dare
To silence in his praise my humble share.

Little wot I who is the skillfulst Swaine:
Of skill to iudge (certes) doth skill require:
Yet bene thy layes and loue not all in vaine;
For though I cannot iudge, I can admire;
But nothing haue, to quit thy gentle paine,
Till I some happier Fortune may aspire:
Vnlesse thou wilt (for want of better tire)
Accept a warme kids-skin, to keepe from cold
Thy neck that doth thy honest brain uphold.

If Kid be lost, thou more his skin dost need:
I, waxen weake, yet no such gift may take.
Reward should not be taken for good deed,
That should be done for onely goodnes sake.
Now Pyro-ë-is, the Suns formost steed,
With flameing fet-lock gildes the brackish lake:
Let us with day to our reposure make;
And houze our heards, ere nights unhealthy dewes
Soake through the fleeces of the tender ewes.

Beshrew the Night, whose so unwelcome hast
Begins here to forbid our longer stay.

O no. The sooner come, the sooner past
Is night, that brings on the more welcome day.

And for that welcome day I shall fore-cast,
Wherein with thee discourse againe I may.

Come any day thou wilt, when he giues way
Who gaue us six for one, that we should borrow
For our vaine use, no part of his, to morrow.

Collidens Emblem
Visa Creatoris manus est miranda creatis.

Hobbinoll's Emblem
In his works, his power, his loue,
Seen, known, admir'd, is God aboue.

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