Imatges de pÓgina

The life of mann (my most gracious and soveraigne Lady) is besette withe sundrie enemyes, and subjected to manye perilles; neither have wee in this worlde any joye that maye be accounted sure and stable, nor yet any suche stabilitie as maie yielde us sufficient cause of perfecte joye and contentation. But arnongst. all other occurrents I have noted, that even in greatest prosperities, man is oftentymes burdened with great cares, and hearethe continually on his shoulders an untollerable weight of woes; soe that oure age seemeth (unto mee) a fiyeng chase, continuallie hunted withe calamities. And even as the harte, hare, or foxe do oftentymes lyght in the nett or snare (unseene) whyles theye flie to eschewe the open mouthed hounde, in like manner do we most comonly fall into the botomless pitt of abuse, whiles we seeke things that seeme most necessarie for sustentation of oure bodies (yea as hunters doe soonest, kyll their chase) whiche lurke in the faire pretence of oure fading pleasures, and lye closcly wrapped upp in the mantle of oure posting fellicities. To conclude, as the stoutest chieftaines have often founde much travaile to keep the victorie whiche they had (withe payne and danger) ones obteined, even so the wisest and most polletyke braynes shall hardly hold their heapes. from deminishing, and with much adoo shall they so bridle their affections, as that extreeme


delights do not sometymnes carrie them into depth of secret dollors and greves. For well wrott hee whiche said: Omnia commoditas ; sua fert incommoda secum.

Upon these considerations (peereless Queene) I have presumed to employ my pen in this small worke, (which I call the Griefe of Joye.) and with greater presumption have I adventured to present the same unto youre royall and most perfect judgement. Not that I think my Poemes any way northie to be ones redd or beheld of your heavenly eyes, but that I might make your Majesty witnesse, how the interims and vacant houres (of those dayes which I spent this sõiner in your service) have byn bestored.

Surely, Madame, the leaves of this Pamphlett have passed with mee in all my perilles, neither could any daies travaile so tyre inee, but that the night had some conference withe my restles (and yet worthless) muse. Suche care I had to prepare some present for your imperial) person, and suche was myne arrogance, that I assured myselfe youre infinite vertues, rould easely be accompanied withe a gracious benignitie, in receiving and accepting so symple a gifte.

For thoughe the height of youre honour might justlye disdaine so worthless a trifle, yet I hoope that the depthe of youre discretion will consider, The sion of his good will is not small, which presenteth hym selfe and all that he hathe.



Towching the methode and invention, even as Petrark in his workes De remediis utriusque fortunæ doth recoupt the uncerteine joyes of men in severall dialogues, so have I in these elegies distributed the same into sundrie songs, and have hetherto perfected but fowre of the first, the which I humbly commend unto your noble sensure and gracious correction. And therewithall I proffer in like manner that if your MaMe shall lyke the woorke, and deeme it worthy of publication, I will then shrinke fur no pains untill I have (in such songes) touched alle common places of mans perylous pleasures.

But without the confirmation of your favorabile acceptains (your Matic well knoweth) I will never presume to publish any thing hereafter, and that being well considered (compared also withe the unspeakable comfort which I have .conceived in your Ma'is undescrved favor) maie sufficiently witnes without further triall that doutfull grceves and greevous doubtes, do often accompanye oure greatest joyes.

Howsoever it be, I right humbly beseeche youre heighness to accept this Nifle for a new yeres gyfte, and therewithal to pardon the boldnes of your servaunt who eftsoones presumethe hy contemplation to kysse your delicate and most honourable handes, and voweth willingly to purchase the continewance of your comforte, by any deathe or perill, which occasion maye present for accomplishment of


least service


acceptable to so worthie a Queene, whome God preserve this first of January, 1577, and ever. Amen.

Youre Matie joyfull greeved seruant,


Gascoigne thus reveals the intent of his undertaking:

There is a griefe in every kind of joye;
That is my theame, and that I meane to prove.

four songs.

The Poem consists of what the Author calls

At the end of the last he has written “ Left unperfect for feare of horsmen.

Tam Marti quam Mercurio."

The following specimen of the Poem is taken from the fourth song or section.

I graunt young myuds may youthfully delight
Yn sondrie sortes of exercyse and sporte;
I graunt the meane to heele a heavy spright
Ys myrth and glee where idly guests resort;
I graunt that pastyme ys the lowly porte
Wherein mans mynde maie shrewd yt selfe full oft,
Whyle crewell cares bestowe their blasts alloft.
But as the bell can hardly holde the hawke
From soaring sometymes when she list to gadd,
Even so the mynde whiche woontedly dothe walke,
In fancies fields most lyke a lusty ladd,
Can seldom be so bridled from the badd,
But that delight maie drawe one foote to farré
Whilst vayne excesse, the mery eane doth marze.


To prove this trew who shall the game begyinne ?
Must MUSICKÈ first bewraye her vayne delight,
And must she saye that, as the fowlers gynne
Doth lye full close in deptle of dangers dight,
Whiles yet his pype doth play in pleasaunt plight,
Even soe her sweet consents beguyle soinetymes
The highest harte in harmonye that clymes?

Alas alas, who sooner deathe deceave
Then doe the CIRENES with their sugred songes ?
Of all the wooes that wanton worldlyngs weave
I finde not one more thrall to guylefull throngs
Then is the moane to MUSJCKE that belongs;
Since * mellyshe mowthes can worst awaye with gall,
As of highest clymes are most afearde to fall.

Yn deede such dynne appeasethe angrye mynds,
And MELANCHOLIE ys removed thereby,
Somtymes removed, somtymes encrease yt fynds,
When madness leades the mourneful moode awrye ;
For MUSICKE waytes, and where yt can espye
Or moane or myrthe yt dothe theire $ bewpore feede
And wbat they dreamt yt makes them doe yudeede.

Sett me asyde and harke to ş holly syres,
Whose dyverse doome maye skarce discusse the doubt;
For AMBROSE first the use thereof requires
Yn everie churche and all the worlde abowt;
But ATHANASE forbadd the same throughowt;

* No doubt the Author means honied, though I never remember to, have seen this word.

+ They who climb highest.
* Humour.
9 Huly fathers.

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