« PreviousContinue »
SATIRE L. Time was, and that was term’d the Time of Gold, When world and time were yong, that now are old : (When quiet Saturn swaid the mace of lead; And Pride was yet unborne, and yet unbred.) Time was, that, whiles the autumne fall did last, Our hungry sires gap't for the falling mast
Of the Dodonian okes. Could no unhusked akorne leave the tree, But there was chalenge made whose it might bee. And, if some nice and likuorous appetite Desir'd more daintie dish of rare delite, They scald the stored Crab with clasped knee, Till they had sated their delicious eie : Or search'd the hopefull thicks of hedgy-rowes, For brierie berries, or hawes, or sowrer sloes : Or, when they meant to fare the fin'st of all, They lick’t oake-leaves besprint’ with hony fall. As for the thrise three-angled beech-nut shell, Or chesnut's armed huske and hid kernell, No Squire durst touch, the law would not afford, Kept for the court, and for the king's owne bord. Their royall plate was clay, or wood, or stone; The vulgar, save his hand, else had he none. Their only sellers was the neighbour brooke : None did for better care, for better looke. Was then no playning of the Brewer's scapet, Nor greedie Vintner mixt the strained grape. The king's pavilion was the grassy green, Under safe shelter of the shadie treen. Under each banke men layd their lims along, Not wishing any ease', not fearing wrong:
Clad with their owne, as they were made of old,
Not fearing shame, not feeling any cold.
But when, by Ceres' huswifry and paine,
Men learn'd to bury the reviving graine;
And father Janus taught the new found vine
Rise on the Elme, with many a friendly twine;
And base desire bade men to delven’ low,
For needelesse mettals; then gan mischiefe grow.
Then farewell, fayrest age, the world's best dayes ;
Thriving in ill, as it in age decaies.
Then crept in Pride and peevish Covetise;
And men grew greedy, discordous, and nice.
Now man, that earst Haile-Fellow was with beast,
Wose on to weene himselfe a God at least.
No aery foule can take so high a flight,
Tho' she her daring wings in clouds have dight;
Nor fish can dive so deep in yeelding sea,
Tho' Thetis' selfe should sweare her safetie';
Nor fearefull beast can dig his cave so lowe,
As could he further than Earth's center go;
As that the ayre, the earth, or Ocean,
Should shield them from the gorge of greedy man.
Hath utmost Inde ought better, than his owne?
Then utmost Inde is neare, and rife to gone".
O Nature! was the world ordain'd for nought
But fill" man's maw, and feed man's idle thought ?
Thy Grandsire's words savour'd of thriftie leekes,
Or manly garlicke: but thy furnace reekes
Hote steams of wine ; and can aloofe descrie
The drunken draughts of sweete Autumnitie",
They naked went; or clad in ruder hide,
Or home-spun Russet, void of forraine pride :
But thou canst maske in garish gauderie"},
To suite a foole's far-fetched liverie.
A French head joyn'd to necke Italian :
Thy thighs from Germanie, and brest fro Spain :
An Englishman in none, a foole in all :
Many in one, and one in severall.
Then men were men; but now the greater part
Beasts are in life, and women are in heart.
3 Woxe on to weene i.e. Came to imagine. safetie-as three syllables. E.
rife to gone. i. e. easy to be gone to. - fill i. e, to fill.
Autumnitie-the Autumnal Season. garish gauderie-shewy finery.
Good Saturne' selfe, that homely emperour,
In proudest pompe was not so clad of yore,
As is the under-groome of the ostlerie,
Husbanding it in work-day yeomanrie.
Lo! the long date of those expired dayes,
Which the inspired Merlin's word fore-sayes :
When dunghill pesants shall be dight as kings,
Then one confusion another brings :
Then farewell, fairest age, the world's best dayes,
Thriving in ill, as it in age decayes.
Great Osmond knowes not how he shal be known,
When once great Osmond shall be dead and gone :
Unlesse he reare up some rich monument,
Ten furlongs nearer to the firmament.
Some stately tombe he builds, Egyptian wise,
Rex Regum written on the Pyramis.
Whereas great Arthur lies in ruder oke";
That never felt none but the feller's stroke.
Small honour can be got with gawdie grave ;
Nor it thy rotting name from death can save's.
The fayrer tombe, the fowler is thy name;
The greater pompe procuring greater shame.
Thy monument make thou thy living deeds :
No other tombe than that true virtue needs.
What! had he nought wherby he might be knowne,
But costly pilements of some curious stone ?
The matter nature's, and the workman's frame;
His purse's cost : where then is Osmond's name?
Deserv’dst thou ill? well were thy name and thee,
Wert thou inditched in great secrecie;
Where as no passenger might curse thy dust,
Nor dogs sepulchrall sate their gnawing lust.
Tbine iĩl deserts cannot be gray'd with thee,
So long as on thy grave they engrav'd be.
The curteous citizen bad me to his feast,
With hollow words, and overly '7 request :
“ Come, will ye dine with me this holyday ?”
I yeelded ; tho' he hop'd I would say Nay :
For had I mayden'd it", as many use;
Loath for to graunt, but loather to refuse;
“ Alacke, Sir, I were loath ; another day,–
“ I should but trouble you;—pardon me, if you may :"
No pardon should I need; for, to depart
He gives me leave, and thanks too, in his heart.
Two words for money, Darbishirian wise"),
(That's one too many) is a naughtie guise.
Who lookes for double biddings to a feast,
May dine at home for an importune guest .
I went: then saw, and found the great expence;
The fare and fashions of our citizens.
Oh, Cleopatricall " ! what wanteth there
For curious cost, and wondrous choise of cheare?
Beefe, that earst Hercules held for finest fare;
Porke, for the fat Baotian; or the hare,
For Martiall; fish, for the Venetian ;
Goose-liver, for the likorous Romane;
Th’ Athenian's goate; quaile, Iolan's cheere;
The hen, for Esculape; and the Parthian deere;
Grapes, for Arcesilas ; figs, for Platoe's mouth;
And chesnuts faire, for Amarillis' tooth”.
Hadst thou such cheer? wert thou ever ther before ?
Never. – I thought so: nor come there no more.
Come there no more; for so ment all that cost :
Never hence take me for thy second host.
For whom he meanes to make an often guest,
One dish shall serve; and welcome make the rest.
overly-slight. 18 For had I mayden'd it i, e. Acted the modest maiden.
19 Two words for money, DARBISHIRIAN WISE. Qu. Is this a satire against the men of Derbyshire, or against some known character of our author's time?
for an importune guest, i. e. One who will not become a guest without much importunity.
WERE yesterday Polemon's Natals kept,
That so his threshold is all freshly steept
With new-shed bloud ? Could hee not sacrifice
Some sorry morkin" that unbidden dies,
meager heifer, or some rotten ewe,
But he must needes his posts with blood embrew;
And on his way-doore fixe the horned head,
With flowers and with ribbands garnished ?
Now shall the passenger deeme the man devout.
What boots it be so, but the world must know't?
O the fond boastings of vaine glorious men!
Does he the best, that may the best be seene?
Who ever gives a paire of velvet shooes
To th’ Holy Rood 4, or liberally allowes
But a new rope to ring the Couvre-feu Bell,
But he desires that his great deed may dwell,
Or graven in the chancel-window-glasse,
Or in his lasting tombe of plated brasses.
For he, that doth so few deserving deeds,
'Twere sure his best sue for such larger meeds.
Who would inglorious live, inglorious die,
And might eternize his name's memorie ?
And he, that cannot brag of greater store,
Must make his somewhat much, and little more.
Nor can good Myson weare on his left hond,
A signet ring of Bristol-diamond,
But he must cut his glove to shęw his pride,
That his trim jewel might be better spide;
And, that men mought some Burgesse him repute,
With satten sleeves hath grac'd his sackcloth sute.
Fie'on all curtesie, and unruly winds,
Two onely foes that faire disguisement finds.
morkin—a beast that dies by accident or sickness. 24 Who ever gives a pair of veloet shooes
To th' Holy Rood The velvet shoes were for the feet of Christ on the Cross, or of one of the attendant figures.
25 Or in his lasting tombe of plated brasse. The edition of 1602, followed by the Oxford, reads the : but his is the reading of the first edition.