**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Prothalamion, or A Spousall Verse
by [?]

So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong*, 110
Which said, their brydale daye should not be long:
And gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground
Their accents did resound.
So forth those ioyous birdes did passe along
Adowne the lee, that to them murmurde low, 115
As he would speake, but that he lackt a tong,
Yet did by signes his glad affection show,
Making his streame run slow.
And all the foule which in his flood did dwell
Gan flock about these twaine, that did excell 120
The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend**
The lesser stars. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend
Against their wedding day, which was not long: 125
Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.
[* Undersong, burden.]
[** Shend, put to shame.]

At length they all to mery London came,
To mery London, my most kyndly nurse,
That to me gave this lifes first native sourse,
Though from another place I take my name, 130
An house of auncient fame.
There when they came whereas those bricky towres
The which on Themmes brode aged backe doe ryde,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers.–
There whylome wont the Templer Knights to byde,
Till they decayd through pride,– 136
Next whereunto there standes a stately place,
Where oft I gayned giftes and goodly grace
Of that great lord which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feels my freendles case: 140
But ah! here fits not well
Olde woes, but ioyes, to tell,
Against the bridale daye, which is not long:
Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.

[Ver. 137.–A stately place Exeter House, the residence
first of the Earl of Leicester, and afterwards of Essex. C.]

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer, 145
Great Englands glory and the worlds wide wonder,
Whose dreadfull name late through all Spaine did thunder,
And Hercules two pillors standing neere
Did make to quake and feare.
Faire branch of honor, flower of chevalrie! 150
That fillest England with thy triumphs fame,
Ioy have thou of thy noble victorie,
And endlesse happinesse of thine owne name,
That promiseth the same;
That through thy prowesse and victorious armes 155
Thy country may be freed from forraine harmes,
And great Elisaes glorious name may ring
Through al the world, fil’d with thy wide alarmes.
Which some brave Muse may sing
To ages following, 160
Upon the brydale day, which is not long:
Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.

[Ver. 147.–Whose dreadfull name, &c;. The allusion
here is to the expedition against Cadiz, from which
Essex returned in August, 1596. C.]

From those high towers this noble lord issuing,
Like radiant Hesper, when his golden hayre
In th’ocean billowes he hath bathed fayre, 165
Descended to the rivers open vewing,
With a great traine ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to bee scene
Two gentle Knights of lovely face and feature,
Beseeming well the bower of any queene, 170
With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature
Fit for so goodly stature,
That like the twins of Iove they seem’d in sight,
Which decke the bauldricke of the heavens bright.
They two, forth pacing to the rivers side, 175
Receiv’d those two faire brides, their loves delight;
Which, at th’appointed tyde,
Each one did make his bryde
Against their brydale day, which is not long: 179
Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.