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“ Now is my love all ready forth to come,
Let all the virgins therefore well await;
And ye, fresh Boys, that tend upon her groom,
Prepare yourselves, for he is coming strait:
Set all your things in seemly good array,
Fit for so joyful day,
The joyfulst day that ever sun did see.
Fair Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy life-ful heat not fervent be,
For fear of
O fairest Phæbus ! father of the Muse,
If ever I did honour thee aright,
Or sing the thing that mote thy mind delight,
Do not thy servant's simple boon refuse,
But let this day, let this one day be mine,
Let all'the rest be thine:
Then I thy soveraign praises loud will sing,
That all the woods shall answer, and their ecchoring.
Her beauty hou ning her sun-shiny face,
“ Hark! how the minstrels 'gin to shrill aloud
Their merry musick that resounds from far,
The pipe, the taber, and the trembling croud,
That well agree withouten breach or jar:
But most of all the damzels do delite
When they their timbrels smite,
And thereunto do daunce and carrol sweet,
That all the senses they do ravish quite;
The whiles the boys run up and down the street,
Crying aloud, with strong confused noise,
As if it were one voice,
Hymen, lö Hymen! Hymen they do shout,
That even to the heavens their shouting shrill
Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill;
To which the people standing all about,
As in approvance, do thereto applaud,
And loud advance her laud,
And ever more they Hymen, Hymen sing,
That all the woods them answer, and their eccho ring.
* Loe, where she comes along with portly pace, Like Phæbe, from her chamber of the East, Arising forth to run her mighty race, Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best : So well it her beseems, that ye would ween Some angel she had been: Her long loose yellow locks, like golden wire, Sprinkled with pearl, and perling flowres atween, Do like a golden mantel her attire, And being crowned with a girland green, Seem like some maiden queen. Her modest eyes, abashed to behold So many gazers as on her do stare, Upon the lowly ground affixed are, Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, But blush to hear her praises sung so loud, So far from being proud. Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing, That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. “Tell me, ye merchants' daughters ! did ye see So fair a creature in your town before, So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she, Adorn'd with beanty's grace and vertue's store? Her goodly eyes like saphires shining bright, Her forehead ivory white, Her cheeks like apples which the sun hath rudded, Her lips like cherries, charming men to bite, Her brest like to a bowl of cream uncrudded, Her paps like lillies budded, Her snowy neck like to a marble towre, And all her body like a palace fair, Ascending up with many a stately stair To Honour's seat, and Chastity's sweet bowro. Why stand ye still, ye virgins ! in amaze, Upon her so to gaze; Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing, To which the woods did answer, and your eccho ring.
“ But if ye saw that which no eyes can see,
The inward beauty of her lively spright,
Garnish'd with heavenly gifts of high degree,
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonish'd like to those which red
Medusa's mazeful head.
There dwells sweet Love and constant Chastity,
Unspotted Faith, and comely Womanhood,
Regard of Honour, and mild Modesty ;
There Vertue reigns as queen in royal throne,
And giveth laws alone,
The which the base affections do obey,
And yield their services unto her will;
Ne thought of things uncomely ever may
Thereto approach, to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seen these her celestial treasures,
And unrevealed pleasures,
Then would ye wonder, and her praises sing,
That all the woods should answer, and your eccho
“Open the temple-gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,
And all the posts adorn as doth behove,
And all the pillars deck with girlands trim,
For to receive this saint with honour due,
That cometh in to you.
With trembling steps and humble reverence
She cometh in before th' Almighty's view;
Of her, ye Virgins ! learn obedience,
Whenso ye come into those holy places,
To humble your proud faces,
Bring her up to th' high altar that she may
The sacred ceremonies there partake,
The which do endless matrimony make;
And let the roaring organs loudly play
The praises of the Lord in lively notes,
The whiles with hollow throats
The choristers the joyous anthem sing,
That all the woods may answer, and their eccbo ring.
* Behold, whiles she before the altar stands, Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks, And blesses her with his two happy hands, How the red roses flush up in her cheeks! And the pure snow with goodly vermil stain, Like crimsin dy'd in grain, That even the angels, which continually About the sacred altar do remain, Forget their service, and about her fly, Oft peeping in her face, that seems more fair The more they on it stare; But her sad eyes, still fastned on the ground, Are governed with goodly modesty, That suffers not one look to glaunce awry, Which may let in a little thought unsound. Why blush ye, Love! to give to me to your hand, The pledge of all our band ? Sing, ye sweet angels ! Alleluya sing, That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.
“Now all is done; bring home the bride again,
Bring home the triumph of our victory;
Bring home with you the glory of her gain,
With joyance bring her, and with jollity.
Never had man more joyful day than this,
Whom Heaven would heap with bliss.
Make feast, therefore, now all this live-long day,
This day for ever to me holy is :
Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
Pour not by cups, but by the belly-full;
Pour out to all that wull,
And sprinkle all the posts and walls with wine,
That they may sweat and drunken be withal :
Crown ye god Bacchus with a coronal,
And Hymen also crown with wreaths of vine,
And let the graces daunce unto the rest,
For they can do it best;
The whiles the maidens do their carol sing,
To which the woods shall answer and their eccho ring.
" Ring ye the bells, ye young men of the town,
And leave your wonted labours for this day;
This day is holy; do you write it down,
That ye for ever it remember may: 1
This day the sun is in its chiefest hight,
With Barnaby the bright;":
From whence declining daily by degrees,
He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
When once the Crab behind his back he sees :
But for this time it ill ordained was,
To chuse the longest day in all the year,
And shortest night, when longest fitter were ;
Yet never day so long but late would pass.
Ring ye the bells to make it wear away,
And bonefires make all day,
And daunce about them, and about them sing, **
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho
“Ah! when will this long weary đay have end,
And lend me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the hours their numbers spend ?
How slowly doth sad Time his feathers move?
Haste thee, O fairest Planet! to thy home,
Within the western foame;
Thy tyred steeds long since have need of rest.
Long tho it be, at last I see it gloom,
And the bright evening-star, with golden crest,
Appear out of the east.
Fair child of beauty, glorious lamp of love,
That all the host of heaven in ranks doost lead,
And guidest lovers through the night's sad dread,
How cheerfully thou lookest from above,
And seem'st to laugh atween thy twinkling light,
As joying in the sight
Of these glad many, which for joy do sing,
That all the woods them answer, and their eccho ring.