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228

OLD BALLADS.

Had Paris seen this wondrous piece of art,
Proud Venus had not carried beauty's prize,
Pallas and Juno would have stood apart,
To see their gifts one virgin royalize :

In every point surpassing curious,
Had fate and fortune been as gracious.

Ungentle star, that domineer'd the day,
When first my lady mistress breath'd this air,
What angry object stood then in the way,
To cross the course that was begun so fair !

You lowring heavens, why did ye oppress
The saint whom you so many ways did bless!

But, wretch! why stand'st thou charging these with guilt

,
And art thyself the author of this ill ?
Thou hapless boy thy lady's blood hast spilt,
Thy master and his servants thou didst kill.

When first thou travell’dst for this trothless man,
Even in that hour these miseries began.

But, sovereign Love, immortal and divine,
Whose gracious name did shadow this abuse,
Canst thou permit before thy holy eyn,
This heinous deed exempt from all excuse?

O mighty Love, what will thy subjects say,
If foul offence go unrevenged away?

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Stand I expostulating this or that,
When on my back the weighty burthen lies;
Waste no more time with rain and idle chat,
But for this fault be thou a sacrifice.

Fair Iffida, thy page doth follow thee,
The only engine of this tragedy.

L.

ROSSALIND'S DITTY.

From “ The Famous Historie of the Searen Champions of

Christendome.”

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“ During which time faire Rossalinde (one of the daughters

of the Thracian King, being as then prisoner in the Castle) by chance looked over the walls, and espyed the body of the Gyant headlesse, under whose subjection shee had continued in great servitude for the time of seaven moneths, likewise by him a knight unarmed, as shee thought panting for breath, the which the lady judged to be the knight that had slaine the Gyant Blanderon, and the nian by whom her delivery should be recovered, shee presently descended the walles of the castle, and ran with all speed to the adventurous champion, whom shee found dead. But yet being nothing discouraged of his recovery, feeling as yet a warme bloud in every member, retired back with all speede to the castle, and feteht a boxe of precious balme, the which the Gyant was wont to poure into his wounds after his encounter with any Knight: with which balme this courteous lady chafed every part of the breathlesse champion's bodie, one while washing his stiffe lims with her salt teares the which like pearles fell from her eyes, another while drying them with the tresses of her golden hayre, which hung dangling in the winde, then chafing his livelesse body againe with a balme of a contrary nature, but yet no signe of life could shee espie the dead Knight: which caused her to grow desperate of all hope of his recoverie, Therefore like a loving, meeke, and kinde ladie, considering he had lost his life for her sake, shee intended to beare him company in death, and with her owne hands to finish up her dayes, and to dye upon his breast as Thisbe died upon the brest of her true Pyramus; therefore as the swanne sings a while before ber death, so this sorrowful lady warbled forth this swap-like song over the bodie of the noble champion."

Muses come mourn with doleful melody,
Kind Sylvan Nymphs that sit in rosy bowers, ,
With bracking tears commix your harmony
To wail with me both minutes, days, and hours.
A heavy, sad, and swan-like song, sing I,
To ease my heart a while before I die.

Dead is the Knight for whom I live and die,
Dead is the Knight which for my sake is slain,
Dead is the Knight for whom my careful cry,
With wounded soul for ever shall complain,
A heavy, sad, and swan-like song, sing I,
To ease my heart a while before I die.

I'll lay my breast upon a silver stream,
And swim unto Elysium's lilly fields;
There in ambrosian trees I'll write a theme
Of all the woeful sighs my sorrow yields.
A heavy, sad, and swan-like song, sing I,
To ease my heart a while before I die.

Farewell, fair woods, where sing the nightingales,
Farewell, fair fields, where feed the light-foot does,
Farewell, yoữ groves, you hills and flowery dales,
But fare thou ill, the cause of all my woes :
A heavy, sad, and swan-like song, sing 1,
To ease my heart a while before I die.

Ring out my ruth, you hollow caves of stone,
Both birds and beasts with all things on the ground:
You senseless trees, be assistant to my moan,
That up to heaven my sorrows may resound.
A heavy, sad, and swan-like song, sing I,
To ease my heart a while before I die.

Let all the towns of Thrace ring out my knell,
And write in leaves of brass what I have said,
That after ages may remember well,
How Rossalind both liv'd, and died a maid :
A heavy, sad, and swan-like song, sing I,

heart a while before I die.

To ease my

LI.

PITHIAS'S LAMENT FOR THE LOSS OF

DAMON.

[From the very rare old Drama of Damon and Pithias.]

Aw

WAKE ye woeful wights
That long have wept in woe,
Resign to me your plaints and tears,

My hapless hap to show :
My woe no tongue can tell,

Ne pen can well descry:
O what a death is this to hear,

Damon my friend must die.

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The loss of worldly wealth

Man's wisdom may restore,
And physick hath provided too

A salve for every sore :
But my true friend once lost,

No art can well supply:
Then what a death is this to hear !

friend must die.

Damon my

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