Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Panglory’s Wooing Song
By Giles Fletcher (1586?–1623)
 
THEREFORE, 1 above the rest, Ambition sat.
  His Court with glitterant pearl was all enwalled
And round about the wall, in Chairs of State
  And most majestic splendour, were installed
  A hundred Kings: whose temples were impaled        5
In golden diadems, set here and there
With diamonds, and gemmèd everywhere;
And of their golden verges 2 none disceptred were
 
High over all, Panglory’s blazing throne,
  (In her bright turret, all of crystal wrought)        10
Like Phœbus’ lamp in the midst of heaven shone:
  Whose starry top (with pride infernal fraught)
  Self-arching columns, to uphold were taught.
In which her image still reflected was,
By the smooth crystal; that, most like her glass,        15
In beauty, and in frailty, did all others pass.
 
A silver wand, the Sorceress did sway:
  And for a crown of gold, her hair she wore;
Only a garland of rosebuds did play
  About her locks; and in her hand she bore        20
  A hollow globe of glass, that long before
She full of emptiness had bladderèd,
And all the world therein depicturèd;
Whose colours, like the rainbow, ever vanishèd.
 
Such wat’ry orbicles 3 young boys do blow        25
  Out of their soapy shells; and much admire
The swimming world, which tenderly they row
  With easy breath, till it be wavèd higher:
  But if they chance but roughly once aspire,
The painted bubble instantly doth fall!        30
Here, when she came, she gan for music call;
And sung this Wooing Song, to welcome him withal:
 
        Love is the blossom where there blows
        Everything that lives or grows:
        Love doth make the Heav’ns to move,        35
        And the Sun doth burn in love:
        Love the strong and weak doth yoke,
        And makes the ivy climb the oak,
        Under whose shadows lions wild,
        Softened by love, grow tame and mild:        40
        Love no med’cine can appease,
        He burns the fishes in the seas:
        Not all the skill his wounds can stench, 4
        Not all the sea his fire can quench.
        Love did make the bloody spear        45
        Once a leavy coat to wear,
        While in his leaves there shrouded lay
        Sweet birds, for love that sing and play.
        And of all love’s joyful flame
        I the bud and blossom am.        50
            Only bend thy knee to me,
            Thy wooing shall thy winning be!
 
        See, see the flowers that below
        Now as fresh as morning blow;
        And of all the virgin rose        55
        That as bright Aurora shows;
        How they all unleavèd die,
        Losing their virginity!
        Like unto a summer shade,
        But now born, and now they fade.        60
        Everything doth pass away;
        There is danger in delay:
        Come, come, gather then the rose,
        Gather it, or it you lose!
        All the sand of Tagus’ shore        65
        Into my bosom casts his ore:
        All the valleys’ swimming corn
        To my house is yearly borne:
        Every grape of every vine
        Is gladly bruised to make me wine:        70
        While ten thousand kings, as proud,
        To carry up my train have bowed,
        And a world of ladies send me
        In my chambers to attend me:
        All the stars in Heav’n that shine,        75
        And ten thousand more, are mine:
            Only bend thy knee to me,
            Thy wooing shall thy winning be!
 
Thus sought the dire Enchantress, in his mind
  Her guileful bait to have embossomèd:        80
But He, her charms dispersèd into wind;
  And, of her insolence admonishèd!
  And all her optic glasses shatterèd!
So, with her Sire, to Hell she took her flight
(The starting air flew from the damnèd sprite!)        85
Where deeply both, 5 aggrieved, plunged themselves in night.
 
But to their Lord, now musing in his thought,
  A heavenly volley of light angels flew;
And from his Father, him a banquet brought
  Through the fine Element: for well they knew,        90
  After his Lenten Fast, he hungry grew.
And as he fed, the holy quires combine
To sing a Hymn of the celestial Trine:
All thought to pass; and each was, past all thought, divine.
 
The birds’ sweet notes, to sonnet out their joys,        95
  Attempered to the Lays Angelical!
And to the birds, the winds attune their noise!
  And to the winds, the waters hoarsely call!
  And ECHO, back again revoicèd all!
That the whole valley rung with Victory!        100
But now our Lord, to rest doth homeward fly.
See, how the Night comes stealing from the mountains high!
 
Note 1. This selection is from Christ’s Victorie on Earth, published at Cambridge, 1610. The author of this poem, son to Giles Fletcher the elder, brother to Phineas Fletcher, and cousin to the dramatist, was as certainly Milton’s master as Spenser was Browne’s. “That Christ’s Victorie,” Dr. Grosart writes (Memorial-Introduction to G. Fletcher’s Poems, Fuller’s Worthies Library), “had one supreme student in John Milton every one discerns; and the one is compensating renown.” [back]
Note 2. Golden virges: rods. [back]
Note 3. Wat’ry orbicles: soap-bubbles. [back]
Note 4. Stench: staunch. [back]
Note 5. Where deeply both: i.e., presumption and Satan. [back]
 
 
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