Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BRITANNIA'S PASTORALS: BOOK 2. THE THIRD SONG, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BRITANNIA'S PASTORALS: BOOK 2. THE THIRD SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A redbreast doth from pining save
Last Line: That I ere night may end another song.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Great Britain


A redbreast doth from pining save
Marina shut in Famine's Cave.
The golden age described plain,
And Limos by the shepherds slain,
Do give me leave awhile to move
My pipe of Tavy and his love.

ALAS that I have done so great a wrong
Unto the fairest maiden of my song,
Divine Marina, who in Limos' cave
Lies ever fearful of a living grave,
And night and day upon the harden'd stones
Rests, if a rest can be amongst the moans
Of dying wretches; where each minute all
Stand still afraid to hear the death's-man call.
Thrice had the golden sun his hot steeds wash'd
In the west main, and thrice them smartly lash'd
Out of the balmy east, since the sweet maid
Had in that dismal cave been sadly laid.
Where hunger pinch'd her so, she need not stand
In fear of murd'ring by a second hand:
For through her tender sides such darts might pass
'Gainst which strong walls of stone, thick gates of brass,
Deny no entrance, nor the camps of kings,
Since soonest there they bend their flaggy wings.
But Heaven that stands still for the best's avail,
Lendeth his hand when human helpings fail;
For 'twere impossible that such as she
Should be forgotten of the Deity;
Since in the spacious orb could no man find
A fairer face match'd with a fairer mind.
A little robin-redbreast, one clear morn,
Sat sweetly singing on a well-leav'd thorn:
Whereat Marina rose, and did admire
He durst approach from whence all else retire:
And pitying the sweet bird what in her lay,
She fully strove to fright him thence away.
Poor harmless wretch, quoth she, go, seek some spring,
And to her sweet fall with thy fellows sing;
Fly to the well-replenish'd groves, and there
Do entertain each swain's harmonious ear;
Traverse the winding branches; chant so free,
That every lover fall in love with thee;
And if thou chance to see that lovely boy
(To look on whom the sylvans count a joy):
He whom I lov'd no sooner than I lost,
Whose body all the Graces hath engross'd,
To him unfold (if that thou dar'st to be
So near a neighbour to my tragedy)
As far as can thy voice (in plaints so sad,
And in so many mournful accents clad,
That as thou sing'st upon a tree there by
He may some small time weep, yet know not why),
How I in death was his, though Powers divine
Will not permit that he in life be mine.
Do this, thou loving bird; and haste away
Into the woods: but if so be thou stay
To do a deed of charity on me,
When my pure soul shall leave mortality,
By cov'ring this poor body with a sheet
Of green leaves, gather'd from a valley sweet;
It is in vain: these harmless limbs must have
Than in the caitiff's womb no other grave.
Hence then, sweet robin; lest in staying long
At once thou chance forego both life and song.
With this she hush'd him thence; he sung no more,
But ('fraid the second time) flew tow'rds the shore.
Within as short time as the swiftest swain
Can to our May-pole run and come again,
The little redbreast to the prickled thorn
Return'd, and sung there as he had beforn:
And fair Marina to the loophole went,
Pitying the pretty bird, whose punishment
Limos would not defer if he were spied.
No sooner had the bird the maiden eyed,
But leaping on the rock, down from a bough,
He takes a cherry up (which he but now
Had thither brought, and in that place had laid
Till to the cleft his song had drawn the maid),
And flying with the small stem in his bill,
(A choicer fruit than hangs on Bacchus' hill,)
In fair Marina's bosom took his rest,
A heavenly seat fit for so sweet a guest:
Where Cytherea's doves might billing sit,
And gods and men with envy look on it;
Where rose two mountains, whose rare sweets to crop
Was harder than to reach Olympus' top:
For those the gods can; but to climb these hills
Their powers no other were than mortal wills.
Here left the bird the cherry, and anon
Forsook her bosom, and for more is gone,
Making such speedy flights into the thick,
That she admir'd he went and came so quick.
Then lest his many cherries should distaste,
Some other fruit he brings than he brought last.
Sometime of strawberries a little stem,
Oft changing colours as he gather'd them:
Some green, some white, some red on them infus'd,
These lov'd, those fear'd, they blush'd to be so us'd.
The peascod green oft with no little toil
He'd seek for in the fattest, fertil'st soil,
And rend it from the stalk to bring it to her,
And in her bosom for acceptance woo her.
No berry in the grove or forest grew,
That fit for nourishment the kind bird knew,
Nor any powerful herb in open field
To serve her brood the teeming earth did yield,
But with his utmost industry he sought it,
And to the cave for chaste Marina brought it.
So from one well-stor'd garden to another,
To gather simples runs a careful mother,
Whose only child lies on the shaking bed
Grip'd with a fever (sometime honoured
In Rome as if a god), nor is she bent
To other herbs than those for which she went.
The feather'd hours five times were overtold,
And twice as many floods and ebbs had roll'd
The small sands out and in, since fair Marine
(For whose long loss a hundred shepherds pine)
Was by the charitable robin fed:
For whom (had she not so been nourished)
A hundred doves would search the sunburnt hills,
Or fruitful valleys lac'd with silver rills,
To bring her olives. Th' eagle strong of sight
To countries far remote would bend her flight,
And with unwearied wing strip through the sky
To the choice plots of Gaul and Italy,
And never lin till homeward she escape
With the pomegranate, lemon, orange, grape,
Or the lov'd citron, and attain'd the cave.
The well-plum'd goshawk (by th' Egyptians grave
Us'd in their mystic characters for speed)
Would not be wanting at so great a need,
But from the well-stor'd orchards of the land
Brought the sweet pear, once by a cursed hand
At Swinsted us'd with poison for the fall
Of one who on these plains rul'd lord of all.
The scentful osprey by the rock had fish'd,
And many a pretty shrimp in scallops dish'd,
Some way convey'd her; no one of the shoal
That haunt the waves, but from his lurking hole
Had pull'd the crayfish, and with much ado
Brought that the maid, and periwinkles too.
But these for others might their labours spare,
And not with robin for their merits share.
Yet as a herdess in a summer's day,
Heat with the glorious sun's all-purging ray,
In the calm evening, leaving her fair flock,
Betakes herself unto a froth-girt rock,
On which the headlong Tavy throws his waves,
And foams to see the stones neglect his braves:
Where sitting to undo her buskins white,
And wash her neat legs, as her use each night,
Th' enamour'd flood, before she can unlace them,
Rolls up his waves as hast'ning to embrace them,
And though to help them some small gale do blow,
And one of twenty can but reach her so;
Yet will a many little surges be
Flashing upon the rock full busily,
And do the best they can to kiss her feet,
But that their power and will not equal meet:
So as she for her nurse look'd tow'rds the land,
And now beholds the trees that grace the strand,
Then looks upon a hill whose sliding sides
A goodly flock like winter's cov'ring hides,
And higher on some stone that jutteth out,
Their careful master guiding his trim rout
By sending forth his dog as shepherds do,
Or piping sat, or clouting of his shoe;
Whence, nearer hand drawing her wand'ring sight,
So from the earth steals the all-quick'ning light,
Beneath the rock, the waters high, but late,
(I know not by what sluice or empting gate)
Were at a low ebb; on the sand she spies
A busy bird that to and fro still flies,
Till pitching where a heatful oyster lay,
Opening his close jaws, closer none than they
Unless the griping fist, or cherry lips
Of happy lovers in their melting sips,
Since the decreasing waves had left him there
Gaping for thirst, yet meets with nought but air,
And that so hot, ere the returning tide,
He in his shell is likely to be fried;
The wary bird a pretty pebble takes
And claps it 'twixt the two pearl-hiding flakes
Of the broad-yawning oyster, and she then
Securely picks the fish out (as some men
A trick of policy thrust 'tween two friends,
Sever their powers), and his intention ends.
The bird thus getting that for which she strove,
Brought it to her: to whom the Queen of Love
Serv'd as a foil, and Cupid could no other,
But fly to her mistaken for his mother.
Marina from the kind bird took the meat,
And (looking down) she saw a number great
Of birds, each one a pebble in his bill,
Would do the like, but that they wanted skill:
Some threw it in too far, and some too short;
This could not bear a stone fit for such sport,
But, harmless wretch, putting in one too small,
The oyster shuts and takes his head withal.
Another bringing one too smooth and round,
(Unhappy bird that thine own death hast found)
Lays it so little way in his hard lips,
That with their sudden close, the pebble slips
So strongly forth (as when your little ones
Do 'twixt their fingers slip their cherry-stones),
That it in passage meets the breast or head
Of the poor wretch, and lays him there for dead.
A many striv'd, and gladly would have done
As much or more than he which first begun,
But all in vain: scarce one of twenty could
Perform the deed, which they full gladly would.
For this not quick is to that act he go'th,
That wanteth skill, this cunning, and some both:
Yet none a will, for from the cave she sees
Not in all-lovely May th' industrious bees
More busy with the flowers could be, than these
Among the shell-fish of the working seas.
Limos had all this while been wanting thence,
And but just Heav'n preserv'd pure innocence
By the two birds, her life to air had flit,
Ere the curst caitiff should have forced it.
The first night that he left her in his den,
He got to shore, and near th' abodes of men
That live as we by tending of their flocks,
To interchange for Ceres' golden locks,
Or with the neatherd for his milk and cream,
Things we respect more than the diadem
His choice made-dishes. O! the golden age
Met all contentment in no surplusage
Of dainty viands, but, as we do still,
Drank the pure water of the crystal rill,
Fed on no other meats than those they fed,
Labour the salad that their stomachs bred.
Nor sought they for the down of silver swans,
Nor those sow-thistle locks each small gale fans,
But hides of beasts, which when they liv'd they kept,
Serv'd them for bed and cov'ring when they slept.
If any softer lay, 'twas (by the loss
Of some rock's warmth) on thick and spongy moss,
Or on the ground: some simple wall of clay
Parting their beds from where their cattle lay.
And on such pallets one man clipped then
More golden slumbers than this age again.
That time physicians thriv'd not: or, if any,
I dare say all: yet then were thrice as many
As now profess't, and more; for every man
Was his own patient and physician.
None had a body then so weak and thin,
Bankrupt of nature's store, to feed the sin
Of an insatiate female, in whose womb
Could nature all hers past, and all to come
Infuse, with virtue of all drugs beside,
She might be tir'd, but never satisfied.
To please which ork her husband's weaken'd piece
Must have his cullis mix'd with ambergris;
Pheasant and partridge into jelly turn'd,
Grated with gold, seven times refin'd and burn'd
With dust of Orient pearl, richer the East
Yet ne'er beheld: (O Epicurean feast!)
This is his breakfast; and his meal at night
Possets no less provoking appetite,
Whose dear ingredients valu'd are at more
Than all his ancestors were worth before.
When such as we by poor and simple fare
More able liv'd, and died not without heir,
Sprung from our own loins, and a spotless bed
Of any other power unseconded:
When th' other's issue, like a man fall'n sick,
Or through the fever, gout, or lunatic,
Changing his doctors oft, each as his notion
Prescribes a sev'ral diet, sev'ral potion,
Meeting his friend (who meet we nowadays
That hath not some receipt for each disease?)
He tells him of a plaister which he takes;
And finding after that, his torment slakes,
(Whether because the humour is out-wrought,
Or by the skill which his physician brought,
It makes no matter :) for he surely thinks
None of their purges nor their diet drinks
Have made him sound; but his belief is fast
That med'cine was his health which he took last:
So by a mother being taught to call
One for his father, though a son to all,
His mother's often 'scapes, though truly known,
Cannot divert him; but will ever own
For his begetter him, whose name and rents
He must inherit. Such are the descents
Of these men; to make up whose limber heir
As many as in him must have a share;
When he that keeps the last yet least ado,
Father the people's child, and gladly too.
Happier those times were when the flaxen clew
By fair Arachne's hand the Lydians knew,
And sought not to the worm for silken threads,
To roll their bodies in, or dress their heads.
When wise Minerva did th' Athenians learn
To draw their milk-white fleeces into yarn;
And knowing not the mixtures which began
(Of colours) from the Babylonian,
Nor wool in Sardis dyed, more various known
By hues, than Iris to the world hath shown:
The bowels of our mother were not ripp'd
For madder-pits, nor the sweet meadows stripp'd
Of their choice beauties, nor for Ceres' load
The fertile lands burden'd with needless woad.
Through the wide seas no winged pine did go
To lands unknown for staining indico;
Nor men in scorching climates moor'd their keel
To traffic for the costly cochineal.
Unknown was then the Phrygian broidery,
The Tyrian purple, and the scarlet dye,
Such as their sheep clad, such they wove and wore,
Russet or white, or those mix'd, and no more:
Except sometimes (to bravery inclin'd)
They dyed them yellow caps with alder rind.
The Grecian mantle, Tuscan robes of state,
Tissue, nor cloth of gold of highest rate,
They never saw; only in pleasant woods,
Or by th' embroidered margin of the floods,
The dainty nymphs they often did behold
Clad in their light silk robes, stitch'd oft with gold.
The arras hangings round their comely halls
Wanted the cerite's web and minerals:
Green boughs of trees which fatt'ning acorns lade,
Hung full with flowers and garlands quaintly made,
Their homely cotes deck'd trim in low degree,
As now the court with richest tapestry.
Instead of cushions wrought in windows lain,
They pick'd the cockle from their fields of grain,
Sleep-bringing poppy, by the ploughmen late
Not without cause to Ceres consecrate,
For being round and full at his half birth
It signified the perfect orb of earth;
And by his inequalities when blown,
The earth's low vales and higher hills were shown.
By multitude of grains it held within,
Of men and beasts the number noted been;
And she since taking care all earth to please,
Had in her Thesmophoria offer'd these.
Or cause that seed our elders us'd to eat,
With honey mix'd, and was their after meat,
Or since her daughter that she lov'd so well
By him that in th' infernal shades doth dwell,
And on the Stygian banks for ever reigns,
Troubled with horrid cries and noise of chains,
Fairest Proserpina, was rapt away;
And she in plaints the night, in tears the day
Had long time spent, when no high Power could give her
Any redress; the poppy did relieve her:
For eating of the seeds they sleep procur'd,
And so beguil'd those griefs she long endur'd.
Or rather since her love, then happy man,
Micon ycleep'd, the brave Athenian,
Had been transform'd into this gentle flower,
And his protection kept from Flora's power.
The daisy scatter'd on each mead and down,
A golden tuft within a silver crown;
(Fair fall that dainty flower! and may there be
No shepherd grac'd that doth not honour thee!)
The primrose, when with six leaves gotten grace
Maids as a true-love in their bosoms place;
The spotless lily, by whose pure leaves be
Noted the chaste thoughts of virginity;
Carnations sweet with colour like the fire,
The fit impresas for inflam'd desire;
The harebell for her stainless azur'd hue
Claims to be worn of none but those are true;
The rose, like ready youth, enticing stands,
And would be cropp'd if it might choose the hands.
The yellow kingcup Flora them assign'd
To be the badges of a jealous mind;
The orange-tawny marigold: the night
Hides not her colour from a searching sight.
To thee then, dearest friend (my song's chief mate),
This colour chiefly I appropriate,
That spite of all the mists oblivion can
Or envious frettings of a guilty man,
Retain'st thy worth; nay, mak'st it more in price,
Like tennis-balls, thrown down hard, highest rise.
The columbine in tawny often taken,
Is then ascrib'd to such as are forsaken;
Flora's choice buttons of a russet dye
Is hope even in the depth of misery.
The pansy, thistle, all with prickles set,
The cowslip, honeysuckle, violet,
And many hundreds more that grac'd the meads,
Gardens and groves, where beauteous Flora treads,
Were by the shepherds' daughters (as yet are
Us'd in our cotes) brought home with special care:
For bruising them they not alone would quell
But rot the rest, and spoil their pleasing smell.
Much like a lad, who, in his tender prime,
Sent from his friends to learn the use of time,
As are his mates or good or bad, so he
Thrives to the world, and such his actions be.
As in the rainbow's many-colour'd hue,
Here see we watchet deepen'd with a blue:
There a dark tawny with a purple mix'd,
Yellow and flame, with streaks of green betwixt,
A bloody stream into a blushing run,
And ends still with the colour which begun;
Drawing the deeper to a lighter stain,
Bringing the lightest to the deep'st again,
With such rare art each mingleth with his fellow,
The blue with watchet, green and red with yellow;
Like to the changes which we daily see
About the dove's neck with variety,
Where none can say (though he it strict attends)
Here one begins, and there the other ends:
So did the maidens with their various flowers
Deck up their windows, and make neat their bowers:
Using such cunning as they did dispose
The ruddy piny with the lighter rose,
The monkshood with the bugloss, and entwine
The white, the blue, the flesh-like columbine
With pinks, sweet-williams: that far off the eye
Could not the manner of their mixtures spy.
Then with those flowers they most of all did prize,
With all their skill, and in most curious wise
On tufts of herbs and rushes, would they frame
A dainty border round their shepherd's name.
Or posies make, so quaint, so apt, so rare,
As if the Muses only lived there:
And that the after world should strive in vain
What they then did, to counterfeit again.
Nor will the needle nor the loom e'er be
So perfect in their best embroidery,
Nor such composures make of silk and gold,
As theirs, when Nature all her cunning told.
The word of mine did no man then bewitch,
They thought none could be fortunate if rich.
And to the covetous did wish no wrong
But what himself desir'd: to live here long.
As of their songs, so of their lives they deem'd:
Not of the long'st, but best perform'd, esteem'd.
They thought that Heaven to him no life did give,
Who only thought upon the means to live.
Nor wish'd they 'twere ordain'd to live here ever,
But as life was ordain'd they might persever.
O happy men! you ever did possess
No wisdom but was mix'd with simpleness;
So wanting malice and from folly free,
Since reason went with your simplicity,
You search'd yourselves if all within were fair,
And did not learn of others what you were.
Your lives the patterns of those virtues gave,
Which adulation tells men now they have.
With poverty in love we only close,
Because our lovers it most truly shows:
When they who in that blessed age did move,
Knew neither poverty nor want of love.
The hatred which they bore was only this,
That every one did hate to do amiss.
Their fortune still was subject to their will:
Their want (O happy!) was the want of ill.
Ye truest, fairest, loveliest nymphs that can
Out of your eyes lend fire Promethean,
All-beauteous ladies, love-alluring dames,
That on the banks of Isca, Humber, Thames,
By your encouragement can make a swain
Climb by his song where none but souls attain:
And by the graceful reading of our lines
Renew our heat to further brave designs:
You, by whose means my Muse thus boldly says:
Though she do sing of shepherds' loves and lays,
And flagging weakly low gets not on wing
To second that of Helen's ravishing:
Nor hath the love nor beauty of a queen
My subject grac'd, as other works have been;
Yet not to do their age nor ours a wrong,
Though queens, nay, goddesses, fam'd Homer's song:
Mine hath been tun'd and heard by beauties more
Than all the poets that have liv'd before.
Not 'cause it is more worth, but it doth fall
That Nature now is turn'd a prodigal,
And on this age so much perfection spends,
That to her last of treasure it extends;
For all the ages that are slid away
Had not so many beauties as this day.
O what a rapture have I gotten now!
That age of gold, this of the lovely brow
Have drawn me from my song! I onward run
Clean from the end to which I first begun.
But ye, the heavenly creatures of the West,
In whom the virtues and the graces rest,
Pardon! that I have run astray so long,
And grow so tedious in so rude a song,
If you yourselves should come to add one grace
Unto a pleasant grove or such like place,
Where here the curious cutting of a hedge:
There, by a pond, the trimming of the sedge:
Here the fine setting of well-shading trees:
The walks there mounting up by small degrees,
The gravel and the green so equal lie,
It, with the rest, draws on your ling'ring eye:
Here the sweet smells that do perfume the air,
Arising from the infinite repair
Of odoriferous buds and herbs of price,
(As if it were another Paradise)
So please the smelling sense, that you are fain
Where last you walk'd to turn and walk again.
There the small birds with their harmonious notes
Sing to a spring that smileth as she floats:
For in her face a many dimples show,
And often skips as it did dancing go:
Here further down an over-arched alley,
That from a hill goes winding in a valley,
You spy at end thereof a standing lake,
Where some ingenious artist strives to make
The water (brought in turning pipes of lead
Through birds of earth most lively fashioned)
To counterfeit and mock the sylvans all,
In singing well their own set madrigal.
This with no small delight retains your ear,
And makes you think none blest but who live there.
Then in another place the fruits that be
In gallant clusters decking each good tree,
Invite your hand to crop some from the stem,
And liking one, taste every sort of them:
Then to the arbours walk, then to the bowers,
Thence to the walks again, thence to the flowers,
Then to the birds, and to the clear spring thence,
Now pleasing one, and then another sense.
Here one walks oft, and yet anew begin'th,
As if it were some hidden labyrinth;
So loath to part, and so content to stay,
That when the gard'ner knocks for you away,
It grieves you so to leave the pleasures in it,
That you could wish that you had never seen it:
Blame me not then, if while to you I told
The happiness our fathers clipt of old,
The mere imagination of their bliss
So rapt my thoughts, and made me sing amiss.
And still the more they ran on those days' worth,
The more unwilling was I to come forth.
Oh! if the apprehension joy us so,
What would the action in a human show?
Such were the shepherds (to all goodness bent)
About whose thorps that night curs'd Limos went;
Where he had learn'd that next day all the swains,
That any sheep fed on the fertile plains,
The feast of Pales, goddess of their grounds,
Did mean to celebrate. Fitly this sounds,
He thought, to what he formerly intended,
His stealth should by their absence be befriended:
For whilst they in their off' rings busied were,
He 'mongst the flocks might range with lesser fear.
How to contrive his stealth he spent the night.
The morning now in colours richly dight
Stepp'd o'er the Eastern thresholds, and no lad
That joy'd to see his pastures freshly clad,
But for the holy rites himself address'd
With necessaries proper to that feast.
The altars everywhere now smoking be
With bean-stalks, savin, laurel, rosemary,
Their cakes of grummell-seed they did prefer,
And pails of milk in sacrifice to her.
Then hymns of praise they all devoutly sung
In those Palilia for increase of young.
But ere the ceremonies were half past
One of their boys came down the hill in haste,
And told them Limos was among their sheep;
That he, his fellows, nor their dogs could keep
The rav'ner from their flocks; great store were kill'd,
Whose blood he suck'd, and yet his paunch not fill'd.
O hasten then away! for in an hour
He will the chiefest of your fold devour.
With this most ran (leaving behind some few
To finish what was to fair Pales due),
And as they had ascended up the hill,
Limos they met, with no mean pace and skill
Following a well-fed lamb; with many a shout
They then pursu'd him all the plain about.
And either with fore-laying of his way,
Or he full gorg'd ran not so swift as they,
Before he could recover down the strand,
No swain but on him had a fasten'd hand.
Rejoicing then (the worst wolf to their flock
Lay in their powers), they bound him to a rock
With chains ta'en from the plough, and leaving him
Return'd back to their feast. His eyes late dim
Now sparkle forth in flames, he grinds his teeth,
And strives to catch at everything he seeth;
But to no purpose: all the hope of food
Was ta'en away; his little flesh, less blood,
He suck'd and tore at last, and that denied,
With fearful shrieks most miserably died.
Unfortunate Marina, thou art free
From his jaws now, though not from misery.
Within the cave thou likely art to pine,
If (O may never) fail a help divine,
And though such aid thy wants do still supply,
Yet in a prison thou must ever lie.
But Heav'n, that fed thee, will not long defer
To send thee thither some deliverer:
For than to spend thy sighs there to the main
Thou fitter wert to honour Thetis' train:
Who so far now with her harmonious crew
Scour'd through the seas (O who yet ever knew
So rare a concert?) she had left behind
The Kentish, Sussex shores, the Isle assigned
To brave Vespasian's conquest, and was come
Where the shrill trumpet and the rattling drum
Made the waves tremble (ere befell this chance)
And to no softer music us'd to dance.
Hail, thou my native soil! thou blessed plot
Whose equal all the world affordeth not!
Show me who can so many crystal rills,
Such sweet-cloth'd valleys or aspiring hills;
Such wood-ground, pastures, quarries, wealthy mines;
Such rocks in whom the diamond fairly shines;
And if the earth can show the like again,
Yet will she fail in her sea-ruling men.
Time never can produce men to o'ertake
The fames of Grenville, Davies, Gilbert, Drake,
Or worthy Hawkins, or of thousands more
That by their power made the Devonian shore
Mock the proud Tagus; for whose richest spoil
The boasting Spaniard left the Indian soil
Bankrupt of store, knowing it would quit cost
By winning this, though all the rest were lost.
As oft the sea-nymphs on her strand have set,
Learning of fishermen to knit a net,
Wherein to wind up their dishevell'd hairs,
They have beheld the frolic mariners
For exercise (got early from their beds)
Pitch bars of silver, and cast golden sleds.
At Exe a lovely nymph with Thetis met:
She singing came, and was all round beset
With other wat'ry powers, which by her song
She had allur'd to float with her along.
The lay she chanted she had learn'd of yore,
Taught by a skilful swain, who on her shore
Fed his fair flock: a work renown'd as far
As his brave subject of the Trojan war.
When she had done, a pretty shepherd's boy
That from the near Downs came (though he small joy
Took in his tuneful reed, since dire neglect
Crept to the breast of her he did affect,
And that an ever-busy-watchful eye
Stood as a bar to his felicity),
Being with great entreaties of the swains,
And by the fair queen of the liquid plains
Woo'd to his pipe, and bade to lay aside
All troubled thoughts, as others at that tide,
And that he now some merry note should raise,
To equal others which had sung their lays:
He shook his head, and knowing that his tongue
Could not belie his heart, thus sadly sung:

As new-born babes salute their ages' morn
With cries unto their woful mother hurl'd:
My infant Muse, that was but lately born,
Began with wat'ry eyes to woo the world.
She knows not how to speak, and therefore weeps
Her woe's excess,
And strives to move the heart that senseless sleeps,
To heaviness;
Her eyes enveil'd with sorrow's clouds
Scarce see the light,
Disdain hath wrapt her in the shrouds
Of loathed night.
How should she move then her grief-laden wing,
Or leave my sad complaints, and pæans sing?
Six Pleiads live in light, in darkness one.
Sing, mirthful swains, but let me sigh alone.

It is enough that I in silence sit,
And bend my skill to learn your lays aright;
Nor strive with you in ready strains of wit,
Nor move my hearers with so true delight.
But if for heavy plaints and notes of woe
Your ears are prest;
No shepherd lives that can my pipe outgo
In such unrest.
I have not known so many years
As chances wrong,
Nor have they known more floods of tears
From one so young.
Fain would I tune to please as others do,
Were't not for feigning song and numbers too.
Then (since not fitting now are songs of moan)
Sing, mirthful swains, but let me sigh alone.

The nymphs that float upon these wat'ry plains
Have oft been drawn to listen to my song,
And sirens left to tune dissembling strains
In true bewailing of my sorrows long.
Upon the waves of late a silver swan
By me did ride;
And thrilled with my woes forthwith began
To sing, and died.
Yet where they should, they cannot move.
O hapless verse!
That fitter than to win a love
Art for a hearse.
Henceforward silent be; and ye my cares
Be known but to myself, or who despairs;
Since pity now lies turned to a stone.
Sing, mirthful swains, but let me sigh alone.

The fitting accent of his mournful lay
So pleas'd the pow'rful Lady of the Sea,
That she entreated him to sing again;
And he obeying tun'd this second strain:

Born to no other comfort than my tears,
Yet robb'd of them by griefs too inly deep,
I cannot rightly wail my hapless years,
Nor move a passion that for me might weep.
Nature, alas! too short hath knit
My tongue to reach my woe:
Nor have I skill sad notes to fit
That might my sorrow show.
And to increase my torments' ceaseless sting,
There's no way left to show my pains,
But by my pen in mournful strains,
Which others may perhaps take joy to sing.

As (woo'd by May's delights) I have been borne
To take the kind air of a wistful morn
Near Tavy's voiceful stream (to whom I owe
More strains than from my pipe can ever flow),
Here have I heard a sweet bird never lin
To chide the river for his clam'rous din;
There seem'd another in his song to tell,
That what the fair stream did he liked well;
And going further heard another too,
All varying still in what the others do;
A little thence, a fourth with little pain
Conn'd all their lessons, and them sung again;
So numberless the songsters are that sing
In the sweet groves of the too-careless spring,
That I no sooner could the hearing lose
Of one of them, but straight another rose,
And perching deftly on a quaking spray,
Nigh tir'd herself to make her hearer stay;
Whilst in a bush two nightingales together
Show'd the best skill they had to draw me thither:
So (as bright Thetis pass'd our cleeves along)
This shepherd's lay pursu'd the others' song,
And scarce one ended had his skilful stripe,
But straight another took him to his pipe.
By that the younger swain had fully done,
Thetis with her brave company had won
The mouth of Dart, and whilst the Tritons charm
The dancing waves, passing the crystal Earme,
Sweet Yealm and Plym, arriv'd where Tamar pays
Her daily tribute to the western seas.
Here sent she up her dolphins, and they plied
So busily their fares on every side,
They made a quick return, and brought her down
A many homagers to Tamar's crown,
Who in themselves were of as great command
As any meaner rivers of the land.
With every nymph the swain of most account
That fed his white sheep by her clearer fount:
And every one to Thetis sweetly sung.
Among the rest a shepherd (though but young,
Yet hearten'd to his pipe) with all the skill
His few years could, began to fit his quill.
By Tavy's speedy stream he fed his flock,
Where when he sat to sport him on a rock,
The water-nymphs would often come unto him,
And for a dance with many gay gifts woo him.
Now posies of this flower, and then of that;
Now with fine shells, then with a rushy hat,
With coral or red stones brought from the deep
To make him bracelets, or to mark his sheep:
Willy he hight. Who by the ocean's queen
More cheer'd to sing than such young lads had been,
Took his best framed pipe, and thus 'gan move
His voice of Walla, Tavy's fairest love:

Fair was the day, but fairer was the maid
Who that day's morn into the greenwoods stray'd.
Sweet was the air, but sweeter was her breathing,
Such rare perfumes the roses are bequeathing.
Bright shone the sun, but brighter were her eyes,
Such are the lamps that guide the deities;
Nay such the fire is, whence the Pythian knight
Borrows his beams, and lends his sister light.
Not Pelops' shoulder whiter than her hands,
Nor snowy swans that jet on Isca's sands.
Sweet Flora, as if ravish'd with their sight,
In emulation made all lilies white:
For as I oft have heard the wood-nymphs say,
The dancing fairies, when they left to play,
Then back did pull them, and in holes of trees
Stole the sweet honey from the painful bees;
Which in the flower to put they oft were seen,
And for a banquet brought it to their queen.
But she that is the goddess of the flowers
(Invited to their groves and shady bowers)
Mislik'd their choice. They said that all the field
No other flower did for that purpose yield;
But quoth a nimble fay that by did stand:
If you could give't the colour of yond hand,
(Walla by chance was in a meadow by
Learning to sample earth's embroidery.)
It were a gift would Flora well befit,
And our great queen the more would honour it.
She gave consent; and by some other power
Made Venus' doves be equall'd by the flower,
But not her hand; for Nature this prefers:
All other whites but shadowings to hers.
Her hair was roll'd in many a curious fret,
Much like a rich and artful coronet,
Upon whose arches twenty Cupids lay,
And were or tied, or loath to fly away.
Upon her bright eyes Phœbus his inclin'd,
And by their radiance was the god struck blind,
That clean awry th' ecliptic then he stripp'd
And from the milky way his horses whipp'd;
So that the Eastern world to fear begun
Some stranger drove the chariot of the sun.
And never but that once did heaven's bright eye
Bestow one look on the Cimmerii.
A green silk frock her comely shoulders clad,
And took delight that such a seat it had,
Which at her middle gather'd up in pleats,
A love-knot girdle willing bondage threats.
Not Venus' ceston held a braver piece,
Nor that which girt the fairest flower of Greece.
Down from her waist her mantle loose did fall,
Which Zephyr (as afraid) still play'd withal,
And then tuck'd up somewhat below the knee
Show'd searching eyes where Cupid's columns be.
The inside lin'd with rich carnation silk,
And in the midst of both, lawn white as milk,
Which white beneath the red did seem to shroud,
As Cynthia's beauty through a blushing cloud.
About the edges curious to behold
A deep fringe hung of rich and twisted gold,
So on the green marge of a crystal brook
A thousand yellow flowers at fishes look;
And such the beams are of the glorious sun,
That through a tuft of grass dispersed run.
Upon her leg a pair of buskins white,
Studded with orient pearl and chrysolite,
And like her mantle stitch'd with gold and green,
(Fairer yet never wore the forest's queen)
Knit close with ribbons of a party hue,
A knot of crimson and a tuft of blue;
Nor can the peacock in his spotted train
So many pleasing colours show again;
Nor could there be a mixture with more grace,
Except the heav'nly roses in her face.
A silver quiver at her back she wore,
With darts and arrows for the stag and boar,
But in her eyes she had such darts again
Could conquer gods, and wound the hearts of men.
Her left hand held a knotty Brazil bow,
Whose strength with tears she made the red deer know.
So clad, so arm'd, so dress'd to win her will
Diana never trod on Latmus' hill.
Walla, the fairest nymph that haunts the woods,
Walla, belov'd of shepherds, fawns, and floods,
Walla, for whom the frolic satyrs pine,
Walla, with whose fine foot the flow'rets twine,
Walla, of whom sweet birds their ditties move,
Walla, the earth's delight, and Tavy's love.
This fairest nymph, when Tavy first prevail'd
And won affection where the sylvans fail'd,
Had promis'd (as a favour to his stream)
Each week to crown it with an anadem:
And now Hyperion from his glitt'ring throne
Sev'n times his quick'ning rays had bravely shown
Unto the other world, since Walla last
Had on her Tavy's head the garland plac'd;
And this day (as of right) she wends abroad
To ease the meadows of their willing load.
Flora, as if to welcome her, those hours
Had been most lavish of her choicest flowers,
Spreading more beauties to entice that morn
Than she had done in many days beforn.
Look as a maiden sitting in the shade
Of some close arbour by the woodbind made,
Withdrawn alone where undescri'd she may
By her most curious needle give assay
Unto some purse (if so her fancy move)
Or other token for her truest love;
Variety of silk about her pap,
Or in a box she takes upon her lap,
Whose pleasing colours wooing her quick eye,
Now this she thinks the ground would beautify,
And that, to flourish with, she deemeth best;
When spying others, she is straight possess'd
Those fittest are; yet from that choice doth fall,
And she resolves at last to use them all:
So Walla, which to gather long time stood,
Whether those of the field, or of the wood,
Or those that 'mong the springs and marish lay;
But then the blossoms which enrich'd each spray
Allur'd her look; whose many-colour'd graces
Did in her garland challenge no mean places:
And therefore she (not to be poor in plenty)
From meadows, springs, woods, sprays, culls some one dainty,
Which in a scarf she put, and onwards set
To find a place to dress her coronet.
A little grove is seated on the marge
Of Tavy's stream, not over-thick nor large,
Where every morn a choir of sylvans sung,
And leaves to chatt'ring winds serv'd as a tongue,
By whom the water turns in many a ring,
As if it fain would stay to hear them sing;
And on the top a thousand young birds fly,
To be instructed in their harmony.
Near to the end of this all-joysome grove
A dainty circled plot seem'd as it strove
To keep all briars and bushes from invading
Her pleasing compass by their needless shading,
Since it was not so large, but that the store
Of trees around could shade her breast and more.
In midst thereof a little swelling hill,
Gently disburden'd of a crystal rill
Which from the greenside of the flow'ry bank
Ate down a channel; here the wood-nymphs drank,
And great Diana having slain the deer,
Did often use to come and bathe her here.
Here talk'd they of their chase, and where next day
They meant to hunt; here did the shepherds play,
And many a gaudy nymph was often seen
Embracing shepherds' boys upon this green.
From hence the spring hastes down to Tavy's brim,
And pays a tribute of his drops to him.
Here Walla rests the rising mount upon,
That seem'd to swell more since she sat thereon,
And from her scarf upon the grass shook down
The smelling flowers that should her river crown:
The scarf (in shaking it) she brushed oft,
Whereon were flowers so fresh and lively wrought,
That her own cunning was her own deceit,
Thinking those true which were but counterfeit.
Under an alder on his sandy marge
Was Tavy set to view his nimble charge,
And there his love he long time had expected:
While many a rose-cheek'd nymph no wile neglected
To woo him to embraces; which he scorn'd,
As valuing more the beauties which adorn'd
His fairest Walla, than all Nature's pride
Spent on the cheeks of all her sex beside.
Now would they tempt him with their open breasts,
And swear their lips were love's assured tests:
That Walla sure would give him the denial
Till she had known him true by such a trial.
Then comes another, and her hand bereaves
The soon slipp'd alder of two clammy leaves,
And clapping them together, bids him see
And learn of love the hidden mystery.
Brave flood (quoth she) that hold'st us in suspense,
And show'st a godlike power in abstinence,
At this thy coldness we do nothing wonder,
These leaves did so, when once they grew asunder;
But since the one did taste the other's bliss,
And felt his partner's kind partake with his,
Behold how close they join; and had they power
To speak their now content, as we can our,
They would on Nature lay a heinous crime
For keeping close such sweets until this time.
Is there to such men ought of merit due,
That do abstain from what they never knew?
No: then as well we may account him wise
For speaking nought, who wants those faculties.
Taste thou our sweets; come here and freely sip
Divinest nectar from my melting lip;
Gaze on mine eyes, whose life-infusing beams
Have power to melt the icy northern streams,
And so inflame the gods of those bound seas
They should unchain their virgin passages,
And teach our mariners from day to day
To bring us jewels by a nearer way.
Twine thy long fingers in my shining hair,
And think it no disgrace to hide them there;
For I could tell thee how the Paphian queen
Met me one day upon yond pleasant green,
And did entreat a slip (though I was coy)
Wherewith to fetter her lascivious boy.
Play with my teats that swell to have impression;
And if thou please from thence to make digression,
Pass thou that milky way where great Apollo
And higher powers than he would gladly follow.
When to the full of these thou shalt attain,
It were some mast'ry for thee to refrain;
But since thou know'st not what such pleasures be
The world will not commend but laugh at thee.
But thou wilt say, thy Walla yields such store
Of joys, that no one love can raise thee more;
Admit it so, as who but thinks it strange?
Yet shalt thou find a pleasure more, in change.
If that thou lik'st not, gentle flood, but hear:
To prove that state the best I never fear.
Tell me wherein the state and glory is
Of thee, of Avon, or brave Thamesis?
In your own springs? or by the flowing head
Of some such river only seconded?
Or is it through the multitude that do
Send down their waters to attend on you?
Your mixture with less brooks adds to your fames,
So long as they in you do lose their names:
And coming to the ocean, thou dost see,
It takes in other floods as well as thee;
It were no sport to us that hunting love
If we were still confin'd to one large grove.
The water which in one pool hath abiding
Is not so sweet as rillets ever gliding.
Nor would the brackish waves in whom you meet
Contain that state it doth, but be less sweet,
And with contagious streams all mortals smother,
But that it moves from this shore to the other.
There's no one season such delight can bring,
As summer, autumn, winter, and the spring.
Nor the best flower that doth on earth appear
Could by itself content us all the year.
The salmons, and some more as well as they,
Now love the freshet, and then love the sea.
The flitting fowls not in one coast do tarry,
But with the year their habitation vary.
What music is there in a shepherd's quill
(Play'd on by him that hath the greatest skill)
If but a stop or two thereon we spy?
Music is best in her variety.
So is discourse, so joys; and why not then
As well the lives and loves of gods as men?
More she had spoke, but that the gallant flood
Replied: ye wanton rangers of the wood,
Leave your allurements; hie ye to your chase;
See where Diana with a nimble pace
Follows a struck deer: if you longer stay
Her frown will bend to me another day.
Hark how she winds her horn; she some doth call,
Perhaps for you, to make into the fall.
With this they left him. Now he wonders much
Why at this time his Walla's stay was such,
And could have wish'd the nymphs back, but for fear
His love might come and chance to find them there.
To pass the time at last he thus began
(Unto a pipe join'd by the art of Pan)
To praise his love: his hasty waves among
The frothed rocks, bearing the under-song:

As careful merchants do expecting stand,
After long time and merry gales of wind,
Upon the place where their brave ship must land:
So wait I for the vessel of my mind.

Upon a great adventure is it bound,
Whose safe return will valu'd be at more
Than all the wealthy prizes which have crown'd
The golden wishes of an age before.

Out of the East jewels of worth she brings;
Th' unvalu'd diamond of her sparkling eye
Wants in the treasures of all Europe's kings;
And were it mine they nor their crowns should buy.

The sapphires ringed on her panting breast
Run as rich veins of ore about the mould,
And are in sickness with a pale possess'd,
So true; for them I should disvalue gold.

The melting rubies on her cherry lip
Are of such power to hold, that as one day
Cupid flew thirsty by, he stoop'd to sip,
And fasten'd there could never get away.

The sweets of Candy are no sweets to me
When hers I taste; nor the perfumes of price
Robb'd from the happy shrubs of Araby,
As her sweet breath, so powerful to entice.

O hasten then! and if thou be not gone
Unto that wished traffic through the main,
My powerful sighs shall quickly drive thee on,
And then begin to draw thee back again.

If in the mean rude waves have it oppress'd,
It shall suffice I ventur'd at the best.

Scarce had he given a period to his lay
When from a wood (wherein the eye of day
Had long a stranger been, and Phœbe's light
Vainly contended with the shades of night,)
One of those wanton nymphs that woo'd him late
Came crying tow'rds him; O thou most ingrate,
Respectless flood! canst thou here idly sit,
And loose desires to looser numbers fit?
Teaching the air to court thy careless brook,
Whilst thy poor Walla's cries the hills have shook
With an amazed terror: hear! O hear!
A hundred echoes shrieking everywhere!
See how the frightful herds run from the wood!
Walla, alas! as she, to crown her flood,
Attended the composure of sweet flowers,
Was by a lust-fir'd satyr 'mong our bowers
Well-near surpris'd, but that she him descri'd
Before his rude embracement could betide.
Now but her feet no help, unless her cries
A needful aid draw from the deities.
It needless was to bid the flood pursue:
Anger gave wings; ways that he never knew
Till now, he treads; through dells and hidden brakes
Flies through the meadows, each where overtakes
Streams swiftly gliding, and them brings along
To further just revenge for so great wrong.
His current till that day was never known,
But as a mead in July, which unmown
Bears in an equal height each bent and stem,
Unless some gentle gale do play with them.
Now runs it with such fury and such rage,
That mighty rocks opposing vassalage
Are from the firm earth rent and overborne
In fords where pebbles lay secure beforn.
Lo'd cataracts, and fearful roarings now
Affright the passenger; upon his brow
Continual bubbles like compelled drops,
And where (as now and then) he makes short stops
In little pools drowning his voice too high,
'Tis where he thinks he hears his Walla cry.
Yet vain was all his haste, bending away,
Too much declining to the Southern Sea,
Since she had turned thence, and now begun
To cross the brave path of the glorious sun.
There lies a vale extended to the north
Of Tavy's stream, which (prodigal) sends forth
In autumn more rare fruits than have been spent
In any greater plot of fruitful Kent.
Two high-brow'd rocks on either side begin,
As with an arch to close the valley in:
Upon their rugged fronts short writhen oaks
Untouch'd of any feller's baneful strokes:
The ivy twisting round their barks hath fed
Past time wild goats which no man followed.
Low in the valley some small herds of deer,
For head and footmanship withouten peer,
Fed undisturb'd. The swains that thereby thriv'd
By the tradition from their sires deriv'd,
Call'd it sweet Ina's Coombe: but whether she
Were of the earth or greater progeny,
Judge by her deeds; once this is truly known
She many a time hath on a bugle blown,
And through the dale pursu'd the jolly chase,
As she had bid the winged winds a base.
Pale and distracted hither Walla runs,
As closely follow'd as she hardly shuns;
Her mantle off, her hair now too unkind
Almost betray'd her with the wanton wind.
Breathless and faint she now some drops discloses,
As in a limbeck the kind sweat of roses,
Such hang upon her breast, and on her cheeks;
Or like the pearls which the tann'd Æthiop seeks.
The satyr (spurr'd with lust) still getteth ground,
And longs to see his damn'd intention crown'd.
As when a greyhound of the rightest strain
Let slip to some poor hare upon the plain,
He for his prey strives, th' other for her life,
And one of these or none must end the strife;
Now seems the dog by speed and good at bearing
To have her sure; the other ever fearing
Maketh a sudden turn, and doth defer
The hound a while from so near reaching her:
Yet being fetch'd again and almost ta'en,
Doubting (since touch'd of him) she 'scapes her bane:
So of these two the minded races were,
For hope the one made swift, the other fear.
O if there be a power (quoth Walla then,
Keeping her earnest course) o'erswaying men
And their desires! O let it now be shown
Upon this satyr half part earthly known.
What I have hitherto with so much care
Kept undefiled, spotless, white and fair,
What in all speech of love I still reserv'd,
And from its hazard ever gladly swerv'd;
O be it now untouch'd! and may no force
That happy jewel from myself divorce!
I that have ever held all women be
Void of all worth if wanting chastity;
And whoso any lets that best flower pull,
She might be fair, but never beautiful:
O let me not forgo it! strike me dead!
Let on these rocks my limbs be scattered!
Burn me to ashes with some powerful flame,
And in mine own dust bury mine own name,
Rather than let me live and be defil'd.
Chastest Diana! in the deserts wild,
Have I so long thy truest handmaid been?
Upon the rough rock-ground thine arrows keen,
Have I (to make thee crowns) been gath'ring still
Fair-cheek'd Etesia's yellow camomile?
And sitting by thee on our flow'ry beds
Knit thy torn buckstalls with well-twisted threads,
To be forsaken? O now present be,
If not to save, yet help to ruin me!
If pure virginity have heretofore
By the Olympic powers been honour'd more
Than other states; and gods have been dispos'd
To make them known to us, and still disclos'd
To the chaste hearing of such nymphs as we
Many a secret and deep mystery;
If none can lead without celestial aid
Th' immaculate and pure life of a maid,
O let not then the Powers all-good, divine,
Permit vile lust to soil this breast of mine!
Thus cried she as she ran: and looking back
Whether her hot pursuer did ought slack
His former speed, she spies him not at all,
And somewhat thereby cheer'd 'gan to recall
Her nigh-fled hopes: yet fearing he might lie
Near some cross path to work his villainy,
And being weary, knowing it was vain
To hope for safety by her feet again,
She sought about where she herself might hide.
A hollow vaulted rock at last she spied,
About whose sides so many bushes were,
She thought securely she might rest her there.
Far under it a cave, whose entrance straight
Clos'd with a stone-wrought door of no mean weight;
Yet from itself the gemels beaten so
That little strength could thrust it to and fro.
Thither she came, and being gotten in
Barr'd fast the dark cave with an iron pin.
The satyr follow'd, for his cause of stay
Was not a mind to leave her, but the way
Sharp-ston'd and thorny, where he pass'd of late,
Had cut his cloven foot, and now his gait
Was not so speedy, yet by chance he sees
Through some small glade that ran between the trees
Where Walla went, and with a slower pace,
Fir'd with hot blood, at last attain'd the place.
When like a fearful hare within her form,
Hearing the hounds come like a threat'ning storm,
In full cry on the walk where last she trod,
Doubts to stay there, yet dreads to go abroad:
So Walla far'd. But since he was come nigh,
And by an able strength and industry
Sought to break in, with tears anew she fell
To urge the Powers that on Olympus dwell.
And then to Ina call'd: O if the rooms,
The walks and arbours in these fruitful coombes
Have famous been through all the Western plains
In being guiltless of the lasting stains
Pour'd on by lust and murder: keep them free!
Turn me to stone, or to a barked tree,
Unto a bird, or flower, or ought forlorn;
So I may die as pure as I was born.
"Swift are the prayers and of speedy haste,
That take their wing from hearts so pure and chaste.
And what we ask of Heaven it still appears
More plain to it in mirrors of our tears."
Approv'd in Walla. When the satyr rude
Had broke the door in two, and 'gan intrude
With steps profane into that sacred cell,
Where oft (as I have heard our shepherds tell)
Fair Ina us'd to rest from Phœbus' ray:
She or some other having heard her pray,
Into a fountain turn'd her; and now rise
Such streams out of the cave, that they surprise
The satyr with such force and so great din,
That quenching his life's flame as well as sin,
They roll'd him through the dale with mighty roar
And made him fly that did pursue before.
Not far beneath i' the valley as she trends
Her silver stream, some wood-nymphs and her friends
That follow'd to her aid, beholding how
A brook came gliding, where they saw but now
Some herds were feeding, wondering whence it came:
Until a nymph that did attend the game
In that sweet valley, all the process told,
Which from a thick-leav'd tree she did behold:
See, quoth the nymph, where the rude satyr lies
Cast on the grass, as if she did despise
To have her pure waves soil'd with such as he:
Retaining still the love of purity.
To Tavy's crystal stream her waters go,
As if some secret power ordained so,
And as a maid she lov'd him, so a brook
To his embracements only her betook.
Where growing on with him, attain'd the state
Which none but Hymen's bonds can imitate.
On Walla's brook her sisters now bewail,
For whom the rocks spend tears when others fail,
And all the woods ring with their piteous moans:
Which Tavy hearing as he chid the stones,
That stopp'd his speedy course, raising his head
Inquir'd the cause, and thus was answered:
Walla is now no more. Nor from the hill
Will she more pluck for thee the daffodil,
Nor make sweet anadems to gird thy brow,
Yet in the groves she runs, a river now.
Look as the feeling plant (which learned swains
Relate to grow on the East Indian plains)
Shrinks up his dainty leaves, if any sand
You throw thereon, or touch it with your hand:
So with the chance the heavy wood-nymphs told,
The river (inly touch'd) began to fold
His arms across, and while the torrent raves,
Shrunk his grave head beneath his silver waves.
Since when he never on his banks appears
But as one frantic: when the clouds spend tears
He thinks they of his woes compassion take,
(And not a spring but weeps for Walla's sake)
And then he often, to bemoan her lack,
Like to a mourner goes, his waters black,
And every brook attending in his way,
For that time meets him in the like array.
Here Willy that time ceas'd; and I a while:
For yonder's Roget coming o'er the stile;
'Tis two days since I saw him (and you wonder,
You'll say, that we have been so long asunder).
I think the lovely herdess of the dell
That to an oaten quill can sing so well,
Is she that's with him: I must needs go meet them,
And if some other of you rise to greet them
'Twere not amiss, the day is now so long
That I ere night may end another song.

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