Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
Lines from “The Tragedie of Philotas”
LIX. Samuel Daniel
 
WITH 1 what strange formes and shadowes ominous
Did my last sleepe my griev’d soul intertaine!
I dreamt, yet O, dreames are but frivolous;
And yet I’le tell it, and God graunte in vaine.
Me thought a mighty hippopotamus,        5
From Nilus floting, thrusts into the maine,
Upon whose back a wanton mermaid sate,
As if she rul’d his course and steer’d his fate;
 
With whom t’ incounter forth another makes,
Alike in kind, of strength and poure as good,        10
At whose ingrappling Neptune’s mantle takes
A purple colour, dyde with streames of bloud;
Whereat this looker-on, amaz’d, forsakes
Her champion there, who yet the better stood;
But se’ing her gone, straight after her he hies,        15
As if his hart and strength laye in her eies.
 
On followes wrath, upon disgrace and feare,
Whereof th’ event forsooke me with the night;
But my wak’d cares gave me these shadowes were
Drawne but from darknes to instruct the light;        20
These secret figures Nature’s message beare
Of comming woes, were they deciphered right;
But if as cloudes of sleepe thou shalt them take,
Yet credit wrath and spight, that are awake.
 
Prevent great spirit the tempest that begin,        25
If lust and thy ambition have left way
But to looke out, and have not shut all in,
To stop thy iudgment from a true survay
Of thy estate; and let thy harte within
Consider in what danger thou dost lay        30
Thy life and mine, to leave the good thou hast,
To follow hopes with shadowes ou’rcast.
 
Come, come away from wrong, from craft, from toile;
Possesse thine owne with right, with truth, with peace;
Breake from these snares, thy iudgment unbeguile,        35
Free thine owne torment, and my griefe release.
But whither am I carried all this while?
Beyond my scope, and know not when to cease:
Words still with my increasing sorrowes grow;
I know t’ have said too much, but not ynow.        40
 
Wherefore no more, but onely I commend
To thee the hart that’s thine, and so I end.
 
Note 1. LIX. Samuel Daniel was tutor to Lady Anne Clifford, subsequently Countess of Pembroke, to whom several of his works are dedicated. Extracts from his Musophilus are inserted in the “Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.” In this collection an extract is given from “Certaine Small Poems lately printed with the Tragedie of Philotas,” which was published in 1605. [back]
 
 
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