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The Ruines Of Time
by [?]

Much was I mooved at her piteous plaint,
And felt my heart nigh riven in my brest 30
With tender ruth to see her sore constraint;
That, shedding teares, a while I still did rest,
And after did her name of her request.
“Name have I none,” quoth she, “nor anie being,
Bereft of both by Fates uniust decreeing. 35

“I was that citie which the garland wore
Of Britaines pride, delivered unto me
By Romane victors which it wonne of yore;
Though nought at all but ruines now I bee,
And lye in mine owne ashes, as ye see, 40
VERLAME I was; what bootes it that I was,
Sith now I am but weedes and wastfull gras?

“O vaine worlds glorie, and unstedfast state
Of all that lives on face of sinfull earth!
Which, from their first untill their utmost date, 45
Tast no one hower of happines or merth;
But like as at the ingate* of their berth
They crying creep out of their mothers woomb,
So wailing backe go to their wofull toomb.
[* Ingate, entrance, beginning.]

“Why then dooth flesh, a bubble-glas of breath, 50
Hunt after honour and advauncement vaine,
And reare a trophee for devouring death
With so great labour and long-lasting paine,
As if his daies for ever should remaine?
Sith all that in this world is great or gaie 55
Doth as a vapour vanish and decaie.

“Looke backe, who list, unto the former ages,
And call to count what is of them become.
Where be those learned wits and antique sages,
Which of all wisedome knew the perfect somme? 60
Where those great warriors, which did overcome
The world with conquest of their might and maine,
And made one meare* of th’earth and of their raine?
[* Meare, boundary.]

“What nowe is of th’Assyrian Lyonesse,
Of whome no footing now on earth appeares? 65
What of the Persian Beares outragiousnesse,
Whose memorie is quite worne out with yeares?
Who of the Grecian Libbard* now ought heares,
That over-ran the East with greedie powre,
And left his whelps their kingdomes to devoure? 70
[* Libbard, leopard]

“And where is that same great seven-headded beast,
That made all nations vassals of her pride,
To fall before her feete at her beheast,
And in the necke of all the world did ride?
Where doth she all that wondrous welth nowe hide? 75
With her own weight downe pressed now shee lies,
And by her heaps her hugenesse testifies.

“O Rome, thy ruine I lament and rue,
And in thy fall my fatall overthrowe,
That whilom was, whilst heavens with equall vewe 80
Deignd to behold me and their gifts bestowe,
The picture of thy pride in pompous shew:
And of the whole world as thou wast the empresse,
So I of this small Northerne world was princesse.