DEDICATED TO THE MOST FAIRE AND VERTUOUS LADIE,
THE LADIE CAREY.
IMPRINTED FOR WILLIAM PONSONBIE, DWELLING IN PAULES
CHURCHYARD AT THE SIGNE OF THE BISHOPS HEAD.
[* This date seems to be an error for 1591; or, as Mr. Craik suggests, it may have been used designedly with reference to real events, not yet ascertained, which furnished the subject of this very pleasing allegory. The Visions of the Worlds Vanitie, which follow this piece, may be suspected of a similar application. C.]
TO THE RIGHT WORTHY AND VERTUOUS LADIE, THE LA: CAREY.
Most brave and bountifull La: for so excellent favours as I have received at your sweet handes, to offer these fewe leaves as in recompence, should be as to offer flowers to the gods for their divine benefites. Therefore I have determined to give my selfe wholy to you, as quite abandoned from my selfe, and absolutely vowed to your services: which in all right is ever held for full recompence of debt or damage, to have the person yeelded. My person I wot wel how little worth it is. But the faithfull minde and humble zeale which I bear unto your La: may perhaps be more of price, as may please you to account and use the poore service thereof; which taketh glory to advance your excellent partes and noble vertues, and to spend it selfe in honouring you; not so much for your great bounty to my self, which yet may not be unminded; nor for name or kindreds* sake by you vouchsafed, beeing also regardable; as for that honorable name, which yee have by your brave deserts purchast to your self, and spred in the mouths of al men: with which I have also presumed to grace my verses, and, under your name, to commend to the world this smal poeme; the which beseeching your La: to take in worth, and of all things therein according to your wonted graciousnes to make a milde construction, I humbly pray for your happines.
Your La: ever
[Footnote: “This lady was Elizabeth, one of the six daughters of Sir John Spencer, of Althorpe, in Northamptonshire, and was married to Sir George Carey, who became Lord Hunsdon on the death of his father, in 1596.”–TODD.]
THE FATE OF THE BUTTERFLIE.
I sing of deadly dolorous debate,
Stir'd up through wrathful! Nemesis despight,
Betwixt two mightie ones of great estate,
Drawne into armes and proofe of mortall fight
Through prowd ambition and hart-swelling hate, 5
Whilest neither could the others greater might
And sdeignfull scorne endure; that from small iarre
Their wraths at length broke into open warre.
The roote whereof and tragicall effect,
Vouchsafe, O thou the mournfulst Muse of nyne, 10
That wontst the tragick stage for to direct,
In funerall complaints and waylfull tyne*
Reveale to me, and all the meanes detect
Through which sad Clarion did at last declyne
To lowest wretchednes: And is there then 15
Such rancour in the harts of mightie men?
[* Tyne, grief.]
Of all the race of silver-winged flies
Which doo possesse the empire of the aire,
Betwixt the centred earth and azure skies
Was none more favourable nor more faire, 20
Whilst heaven did favour his felicities,
Then Clarion, the eldest sonne and haire
Of Muscaroll, and in his fathers sight
Of all alive did seeme the fairest wight.