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The Teares Of The Muses
by [?]

My part it is and my professed skill
The stage with tragick buskin to adorne,
And fill the scene with plaint and outcries shrill
Of wretched persons, to misfortune borne:
But none more tragick matter I can finde 155
Than this, of men depriv’d of sense and minde.

For all mans life me seemes a tragedy,
Full of sad sights and sore catastrophees;
First comming to the world with weeping eye,
Where all his dayes, like dolorous trophees, 160
Are heapt with spoyles of fortune and of feare,
And he at last laid forth on balefull beare.

So all with rufull spectacles is fild,
Fit for Megera or Persephone;
But I that in true tragedies am skild, 165
The flowre of wit, finde nought to busie me:
Therefore I mourne, and pitifully mone,
Because that mourning matter I have none.

Then gan she wofully to waile, and wring
Her wretched hands in lamentable wise; 170
And all her sisters, thereto answering,
Threw forth lowd shrieks and drerie dolefull cries.
So rested she: and then the next in rew
Began her grievous plaint, as doth ensew.


Where be the sweete delights of learnings treasure, 175
That wont with comick sock to beautefie
The painted theaters, and fill with pleasure
The listners eyes, and eares with melodie,
In which I late was wont to raine as queene,
And maske in mirth with graces well beseene? 180

O, all is gone! and all that goodly glee,
Which wont to be the glorie of gay wits,
Is layd abed, and no where now to see;
And in her roome unseemly Sorrow sits,
With hollow browes and greisly countenaunce 185
Marring my ioyous gentle dalliaunce.

And him beside sits ugly Barbarisme,
And brutish Ignorance, ycrept of late
Out of dredd darknes of the deep abysme,
Where being bredd, he light and heaven does hate:
They in the mindes of men now tyrannize, 191
And the faire scene with rudenes foule disguize.

All places they with follie have possest,
And with vaine toyes the vulgare entertaine;
But me have banished, with all the rest 195
That whilome wont to wait upon my traine,
Fine Counterfesaunce*, and unhurtfull Sport,
Delight, and Laughter, deckt in seemly sort.
[* Counterfesaunce, mimicry.]

All these, and all that els the comick stage
With seasoned wit and goodly pleasance graced, 200
By which mans life in his likest image
Was limned forth, are wholly now defaced;
And those sweete wits which wont the like to frame
Are now despizd, and made a laughing game.

And he, the man whom Nature selfe had made 205
To mock her selfe, and truth to imitate,
With kindly counter* under mimick shade,
Our pleasant Willy, ah! is dead of late:
With whom all ioy and iolly meriment
Is also deaded, and in dolour drent**. 210
[* Counter, counterfeit.]
[** Drent, drowned.]