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Unfold thy flocks and leave them to the fields,
To feed on hills, or dales, where likes them best, Of what the summer or the spring-time yields,
For love and time hath given thee leave to rest.
Thy heart which was their fold, now in decay
By often storms and winter's many blasts, All torn and rent becomes misfortune's prey ;
False hope, my shepherd's staff, now age hath brast ;
My pipe, which love's own hand gave my desire
To sing her praises and my woe upon, Despair hath often threatened to the fire,
At vain to keep now all the rest are gone.
Thus home I draw, as death's long night draws on ;
Yet every port, old thoughts turn back mine eyes : Constraint me guides, as old age draws a stone
Against the hill, which over-weighty lies
For feeble arms or wasted strength to move :
My steps are backward, gazing on my loss, My mind's affection and my soul's sole love,
Not mixed with fancy's chaff or fortune's dross.
To God I leave it, who first gave it me,
And I her gave, and she returned again, As it was hers; so let His mercies be
Of my last comforts the essential mean.
But be it so or not, the effects are past;
The end of the books of the Ocean's Love to Cynthia," and the beginning of the 22nd book, entreating of Sorrow.
My days' delights, my spring-time joys fordone, Which in the dawn and rising sun of youth
Had their creation, and were first begun,
Do in the evening and the winter sad Present my mind, which takes my times account,
The grief remaining of the joy it had.
My times that then ran o'er themselves in these, And now run out in other's happiness,
Bring unto those new joys and new-born days.
So could she not, if she were not the sun, Which sees the truth and burial of all else,
And holds that power with which she first begun,
Leaving each withered body to be torn By fortune, and by times tempestuous,
Which, by her virtue once fair fruit have borne ;
Knowing she can renew, and can create
By virtue lasting over time and date,
Leaving us only woe, which, like the moss, Having compassion of unburied bones
Cleaves to mischance, and unrepaired loss.
For tender stalks
(MS. abruptly ends here.)
The sensitive ear of the writer was apparently caught by this interrupted measure, which resembles a broken speech or sob, and he uses it again for the verse petition of 1618, which I have discussed in Chapter IX. (p. 152) of the text. The following is the text of the petition :
“S. W. RAGHLIES PETITION TO THE QUEENE, 1618."
O had truth power, the guiltless could not fall, Malice win glory, or revenge triumph ;
But truth alone cannot encounter all.
Mercy is filed to God, which mercy made; Compassion dead; faith turned to policy ;
Friends know not those who sit in sorrow's shade.
For what we sometime were, we are no more : Fortune hath changed our shape, and destiny
Defaced the very form we had before.
All love, and all desert of former times, Malice hath covered from my sovereign's eyes,
And largely laid abroad supposed crimes.
But kings call not to mind what vassals were, But know them now, as envy hath described them :
So can I look on no side but despair.
Cold walls ! to you I speak; but you are senseless :
And shall determine, to my greatest happiness.
Then unto whom shall I unfold my wrong, Cast down my tears, or hold up folded hands?
To Her, to whom remorse doth most belong ;
To Her who is the first, and may alone Be justly called the Empress of the Bretanes,
Who should have mercy if a Queen have none ?
Save those that would have died for your defence ! Save him whose thoughts no treason ever tainted !
For lo ! destruction is no recompense.
If I have sold my duty, sold my faith To strangers, which was only due to One ;
Nothing I should esteem so dear as death.
But if both God and Time shall make you know That I, your humblest vassal, am oppressed,
Then cast your eyes on undeserved woe ;
That I and mine may never mourn the miss Of Her we had, but praise our living Queen,
Who brings us equal, if not greater, bliss.
The two short pieces which precede the 'Cynthia' poem are discussed in the text and also in the introductory paragraph to this Appendix. They are evidently the work of Ralegh himself.
If Cynthia be a Queen, a princess, and supreme,
Thy mind of neither needs, in both seeing it exceeds.
My body in the walls captived Feels not the wounds of spiteful envy ;
But my thralled mind, of liberty deprived, Fast fettered in her ancient memory,
Doth nought behold but sorrow's dying face :
Such prison erst was so delightful,
As it desired no other dwelling place : But time's effects and destinies despiteful
Have changed both my keeper and my fare. Love's fire and beauty's light I then had store ;
But now, close kept, as captives wonted are, That food, that heat, that light, I find no more.
Despair bolts up my doors; and I alone
Speak to dead walls; but those hear not my moan.
The following are two specimens of the verses of the Earl of Essex, which are undoubtedly authentic. " VERSES MADE BY THE EARL OF ESSEX IN HIS
Devereux, Lives, ii. 111.
And when he dies his tomb may be a bush,
Where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush ;
Ibid. 121. It will be seen that the writers of the last four pieces had little ear or artistic sense. They simply write as sincere men with the object of giving expression to their own feelings, without any capacity of doing so under the forms of art.
RALEGH AS SCUDAMORE
(See p. 167, Chapter IX.)
Scudamore is the most formidable personality in the Faerie Queene. He is represented as suffering hardships and vicissitudes of fortune and subject to care and anxiety.
When he fights with Paridel (in whom, as I believe, I have identified Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel)' the contest is described under a sea image, with an Irish allusion :
As when two billowes in the Irish sowndes,
IV. i. 42.
Three stanzas later his countenance is depicted under an image of gloom and darkness. Ralegh had black hair and a rather forbidding aspect.
He little answer'd, but in manly heart
1 See Edmund Spenser, etc., p. 92, sq.