Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: The Description of Walla
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
Book II. Song 3.

A GREEN silk frock her comely shoulders clad,
And took delight that such a seat it had,
Which at her middle gathered up in pleats
A love-knot girdle willing bondage threats.
Nor Venus’ ceston held a braver piece,        5
Nor that which girt the fairest flower of Greece.
Down to her waist her mantle loose did fall
Which Zephyr, as afraid, still played withal,
And then tuck’d up somewhat below the knee
Showed searching eyes where Cupid’s columns be.        10
The inside lined with rich carnation silk,
And in the midst of both lawn white as milk,
Which white beneath the red did seem to shroud,
As Cynthia’s beauty through a blushing cloud.
About the edges curious to behold        15
A deep fringe hung of rich and twisted gold;
So on the green marge of a crystal brook
A thousand yellow flowers at fishes look,
And such the beams are of the glorious sun
That through a tuft of grass dispersed run.        20
Upon her leg a pair of buskins white
Studded with orient pearl and chrysolite,
And, like her mantle, stitch’d with gold and green,
(Fairer yet never wore the forest’s queen)
Knit close with ribands of a party hue,        25
A knot of crimson and a tuft of blue,
Nor can the peacock in his spotted train
So many pleasing colours show again;
Nor could there be a mixture with more grace,
Except the heavenly roses in her face.        30
A silver quiver at her back she wore,
With darts and arrows for the stag and boar;
But in her eyes she had such darts again,
Could conquer gods, and wound the hearts of men.
Her left hand held a knotty Brazil bow,        35
Whose strength, with tears, she made the red deer know.
So clad, so armed, so dressed to win her will
Diana never trod on Latmus hill.
Walla, the fairest nymph that haunts the woods
Walla, beloved of shepherds, fauns, and floods,        40
Walla, for whom the frolic satyrs pine,
Walla, with whose fine foot the flowerets twine,
Walla, of whom sweet birds their ditties move,
Walla, the earth’s delight, and Tavy’s love.
 
 
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