Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
 
An Eclogue
LXI. Thomas Randolph
 
(Occasioned by Two Doctors Disputing upon Predestination.)

Coridon.
HO! 1 jolly Thirsis, whither in such haste?
Is’t for a wager that you run so fast?
Or, past your howre, belowe yon hawthorne-tree
Doth longing Galathæa looke for thee?
 
Thirsis.
No, Coridon; I heard young Daphnis say,
        5
Thenot hath challeng’d Colin Clowt to-day,
Who best shall sing of shepherd’s art and praise:
But hark! I heare them; listen to their laies.
 
Thenot.
Colin doth reade: what meanes this mystique thing?
An ewe I had two lambes at once did bring,        10
The one black as jet, the other white as snowe;
Say, in just Providence, how it could be soe.
 
Colin.
Will you Pan’s goodnesse therefore partiall call,
That might as well haue giuen you none at all?
 
Thenot.
Were they not both yeaned by the selfe-same ewe?
        15
How could they merit, then, a different hue?
Poor lamb, and could’st thou, yet, alas, unborne,
Sin to deserve the guilt of such a scorne?
Thou hadst not yet fowld a religious spring,
Nor fedd on plots of hallowed grass, to bring        20
Staynes to thy fleece; nor browz’d vpon a tree
Sacred to Pan or Pale’s deitie.
The gods are ignoraunt, if they not foreknow,
And, knowing, ’tis uniust to vse thee so.
 
Colin.
Thenot, with me contend, or Coridon;
        25
But let the gods and their high wills alone:
For in our flocks that freedome challeng wee,—
This kid is sacrifiz’d, and that goes free.
 
Thenot.
Feed where you will, my lambs; what boots it us
To watch and water, drive and ffold you thus:        30
This on the barren mountaines flesh can gleane,
That fedd in flowry pastures will be leane.
 
Colin.
Plowgh, soaw, and compass, nothing boots at all,
Unless the dew upon the tilths doe fall:
So labour, silly shepherds, what we can,—        35
All ’s vain, unless a blessing drop from Pan.
 
Thenot.
Doatard: you fowle on Pan’s omniscience fall—
 
Colin.
And you his goodnes into question call.
 
Thirsis.
Ffy, shepherds, fy; while you these strifes begin,
Here creeps the woolf, and there the fox gets in;        40
To your vain piping on so deepe a reed
The lambkins listen, but forget to feed.
It gentle swaines befitts of loue to sing;
How loue left heauen, and heauen’s immortall King,
His co-eternall Father; oh! admire:        45
Loue is a son as auncient as his sire;
Hys mother was a virgin; how could come
A birth so great, and from so chast a womb?
His cradle was a mangre: shepherds, see,
True faith delightes in pure simplicitie.        50
Deepe sages by a star his mansion sought,
Poore swaines by his own harbingers were brought.
He pressed no grapes, nor prunde the fruitfull vine;
Nor did he plowgh the earth, and to his barne
The haruest bring, nor thresh and grinde the corne.        55
Without all these, Loue could supply our need,
And with fiue loaues fiue thousand hungry feed.
More wonders did He; for all which suppose
How was He crowned,—with lillies or the rose,
The winding ivy or the glorious bay,        60
Or mirtle, with the which Venus, they say,
Girt her proud temples? Shepherds, none of them;
But wore, poor soule! a thorney diadem.
Feete to the lame He gave, with which they run
To work their surgeon’s last destruction:        65
The blind from him had eies, but use that light
Like basiliscks, to kill him with their sight.
Lastly, He was betrai’d—(oh! sing of this)—
How Loue could be betrayed—’twas with a kis:
And then his inocent hand and guiltless feete        70
Were nail’d vnto the crosse, striving to meete,
In his spread armes, his spowse: so mild in show,
He seemed to court the embraces of his foe.
Through his pierced side, through which a spear was sent,
A torrent of all-flowing balsam went.        75
Run, Amarillis, run: one drop from thence
Cures thy sad soule, and driues all anguish hence.
Go, sun-burnt Thestilis, goe and repaire
The beautie lost, and be againe made faire.
Love-sick Aminsas, get a philtrum here,        80
To make thee lovely to thy truly deere:
But, coy Sycoris, take the pearle from thine,
And take the blood-shot from Palaemon’s eyne;
Wear this an amulet ’gainst all syrens’ smiles,
The sting of snakes, and tears of crocodiles.        85
Now Loue is dead;—oh! no, He neuer dies;
Three days He sleepes, and then againe doth rise,
(Like fair Aurora from the easterne bay),
And with his beames driues all our clouds away.
This pipe vnto our flocks, this sonnet get:        90
But, loa! I see the sun ready to set.
Good night to all; for the great night is come:
Flocks, to your foldes, and, shepherds, hye ye home.
To-morrow morning, when we all haue slept,
Pan’s cornets blowes, and the great sheepshear’s kept.        95
 
Note 1. LXI. Thomas Randolph.—This poet is memorable as the adopted son of Ben Jonson. His principal works, like those of his great patron, are dramatic, but he wrote miscellaneous poems, many of which are of a Christian character. Winstanley says, “he was sententiously grave,” notwithstanding the festivity of his principal poems. The Eclogue printed in this volume is derived from the MS. of “Celestiall Flowers,” described in a previous article, to which the signature of “T. Randolph, gent.” is annexed. This Eclogue has been reprinted in one or two modern collections of poetry, as in the “Poetry of the Seventeenth Century,” edited by the Rev. R. Cattermole; but there is considerable variation in the textual reading of this MS. and the modern reprints. The genius and acquirements of Randolph, at an early age, held forth promises of great literary eminence, but they were frustrated by a premature death. [back]
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors