Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLIO, NINE ECLOGUES IN HONOUR OF NINE VIRTUES: APOLOGY TO CLEO, by WILLIAM BASSE



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CLIO, NINE ECLOGUES IN HONOUR OF NINE VIRTUES: APOLOGY TO CLEO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Renowne of nymphes, that sits on verdant throne
Last Line: Colliden
Subject(s): Puritans In Literature; Wenman, Sir Richard (1573-1640)


1.
RENOWNE of Nymphes, that sits on verdant throne,
Where Lawrell chast doeth thy chast temples crowne,
On stately hill to neighbour starres well knowne,
And deck'd by Phœbus in a flowery gowne,
Yet has't in all this glory looked downe
On me so worthles Swayne in simple guise;
Blest favours that descend from vertuous eyes!

2.
Lo, here the fruits of thine owne bounty wrought
In measures such as granted was thy Swaine,
Whenas admiring thee (O Muse) I sought
Renowne (whereof thou Mistresse art) to gaine,
Though full of earthly imperfections' staine.
New wine shall spirit loose in vessell olde,
And so shall heau'nly guift in earthly molde.

3.
Let not offended be thy noble state
(What can, though meane, if honest, Muse offend?)
That I my songes so simply literate
Entitle to thy hand; from whence descend
The stately Storyes that haue oft been pen'd,
And workes of wonder, that in antique age
Were done by Writers graue and Singers sage.

4.
But thou art first of all the sisters nine
(Nine Ladyes great, and yet none wrong'd thereby)
For place is set to all estates that shine
And starres their limits know. The hand on hye
That framed all things fram'd this heraldry,
Which harmony preserues, and order frees
From blinde confusion that knowes no degrees.

5.
And these poore numbers clad in Swainish maske
Are eldest issues of my slender quill.
Much worthier tribute might thy favours aske,
But that the strength of thy infused skill
Is lessen'd by my frailty imbecill.
Great minde that more receiues may render more;
Small can no more then it receiues restore.

6.
But some (perchance) in my too hasty prime
May haue escap'd my young and looser hand,
And fare as fruits fallen before their time.
Pardon what pass'd ere I did understand
The sober method of thy graue command;
And let it be to youth not too much blame
Lightly to erre in coueting of Fame.

7.
Much workes on our fond youth our elders praise:
(And when we well doe, praises doe as well.)
Strongest is selfe-conceit in weakest dayes:
Wee vainly deeme our selues our times t'excell
When time and selues we want; whereby hath fell
Full often from green reed of youthfull Swaine
Much musique wilde, that age would call againe.

8.
Of these light layes some heretofore were made,
When as alone (my but too much delight)
Vnder the diff'ring bowers of Sun and Shade
I sat, and thought no ill to liuing wight,
But good to all, (to some but too much right);
And to the world might haue been heard & seene
Long since, that long has mus'd where they haue beene.

9.
For many elder shepheards, and more such
As deeper diu'd haue in your happy springes,
This sloath of mine haue oft condemned much,
And forward workes blam'd for so backward winges;
And would with pitty say so harmeles thinges,
That merit may the grace of pleasant light,
Should not obscured rest in endles night.

10.
And certainly, as Painter doeth not lim
A liuely peice in closet darke to hide,
Nor Nature doeth the earth with flowers trim
In her black womb to drowne againe their pride,
Nor harmles verse is made to lay aside.
Iewell as good ne're had, as neuer worne:
Neglected fame may iustly turne to scorne.

11.
Yet (Noble Muses) doe I not repent
That I this sloth (if sloth it be) did use
Ere I these songes into the world haue sent;
Since Time the while hath taught me how to chuse
What hopefull are, and others to refuse,
At whose undeck'd and childish rudenes you
Would then haue blush'd, and now your Shepheard too.

12.
As worthles drosse with precious metall growes,
As sweetest nut doth bitter worme conceiue,
As painted fly doth blast the gallant rose,
To our best actions imperfections cleaue.
Our vanities our serious thoughts deceiue,
And Vice is subtill, and with cunning snares
Oft steales on human weakenes unawares.

13.
But like as carefull Shepheard sheds the sound
From sheep diseas'd, that might infection breed;
And heedfull husband, that manures the ground,
Culles harmfull cockle from his hopefull seed;
Seeke I my verse of vicious staines to weed,
That none may blush a worke to looke upon
Of vertues some, of wilfull vices none.

your servant

COLLIDEN





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