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TO THE THRICE-SACRED QUEEN ELIZABETH, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Even now that care which on thy crown attends
Last Line: Sing what god doth, and doo what men may sing.
Alternate Author Name(s): Pembroke, Countess Of
Subject(s): Elizabeth I, Queen Of England (1533-1603


Even now that Care which on thy Crowne attends
and with thy happy greatnes dayly growes
Tells mee thrise sacred Queene my Muse offends,
and of respect to thee the line out goes,
One instant will, or willing can shee lose
I say not reading, but receiving Rimes,
On whom in chiefe dependeth to dispose
what Europe acts in theise most active times?

Yet dare I so, as humblenes may dare
cherishing some hope they shall acceptance finde;
not waighing less thy state, lighter thy Care,
but knowing more thy grace, abler thy minde.
What heav'nly powrs thee highest throne assign'de,
assign'd thee goodnes suting that Degree:
and by thy strength thy burthen so defin'de,
To others toile, is Exercise to thee.

Cares though still great, cannot bee greatest still,
Busines most ebb, though Leasure never flowe:
Then these the Postes of Dutie and Goodwill
shall presse to offer what their Senders owe;
Which once in two, now in one Subject goe,
the poorer left, the richer reft awaye:
Who better might (O might ah word of woe,)
have giv'n for mee what I for him defraye.

How can I name whom sighing sighs extend,
and not unstopp my teares eternall spring?
but hee did warpe, I weav'd this webb to end;
the stuffe not ours, our worke no curious thing,
Wherein yet well wee thought the Psalmist King
Now English denizend, though Hebrue borne,
woold to thy musicke undispleased sing,
Oft having worse, without repining worne;

And I the Cloth in both our names present,
A liverie robe to bee bestowed by thee:
small parcell of that undischarged rent,
from which nor paines, nor paiments can us free.
And yet enough to cause our neighbours see
wee will our best, though scanted in our will:
and those nighe feelds where sow'n thy favors bee
unwalthy doo, not elce unworthie till.

For in our worke what bring wee but thine owne?
what English is, by many names is thine.
There humble Lawrells in thy shadowes growne
To garland others, woold themselves repine.
Thy brest the Cabinet, thy seat the shrine,
where Muses hang their vowed memories:
where Wit, where Art, where all that is divine
conceived best, and best defended lies.

Which if men did not (as they doe) confesse,
and wronging worlds woold otherwise consent:
Yet here who mynds so meet a Patrones
for Authors state or writings argument?
A King should onely to a Queene bee sent.
Gods loved choise unto his chosen love:
Devotion to Devotions President:
what all applaud, to her whom none reprove.

And who sees ought, but sees how justly square
his haughtie Ditties to thy glorious daies?
How well beseeming thee his Triumphs are?
his hope, his zeale, his praier, plaint, and praise,
Needles thy person to their height to raise:
lesse need to bend them downe to thy degree:
Theise holy garments each good soule assaies,
some sorting all, all sort to none but thee.

For ev'n thy Rule is painted in his Raigne:
both cleere in right: both nigh by wrong opprest:
And each at length (man crossing God in vaine)
Possest of place, and each in peace possest.
proud Philistines did interrupt his rest,
The foes of heav'n no lesse have beene thy foes;
Hee with great conquest, thou with greater blest;
Thou sure to winn, and hee secure to lose.

Thus hand in hand with him thy glories walke:
but who can trace them where alone they goe?
Of thee two hemispheres on honor talke,
and Lands and seas thy Trophees jointly showe.
The very windes did on thy partie blowe,
and rocks in armes thy foe men eft defie:
But soft my muse, Thy pitch is earthly lowe;
forbeare this heav'n, where onely Eagles flie.

Kings on a Queene enforst their states to lay;
Main-lands for Empire waiting on an Ile;
Men drawne by worth a woman to obey;
one moving all, herselfe unmov'd the while:
Truthes restitution, vanitie exile,
wealth sprung of want, warr held without annoye,
Let subject bee of some inspired stile,
Till then the object of her subjects joye.

Thy utmost can but offer to hir sight
Her handmaids taske, which most her will endeeres;
and pray unto thy paines life from that light
which lively lightsome, Court, and Kingdome cheeres,
what wish shee may (farre past hir living Peeres
and Rivall still to Judas Faithfull King)
In more then hee and more triumphant yeares,
Sing what God doth, and doo What men may sing.





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