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De Guiana, carmen Epicum. *

WHAT work of honour and eternal name 'Then most admired sovereign, let your
For all th' world to envy, and us t'achieve, breath
Fills me with fury, and gives armed Go forth upon the waters, and create

A golden world in this our iron age, To my heart's peace, that else would gladly And be the prosperous forewind to a fleet, turn

That seconding your last, may go before it, My limbs and every sense into my thoughts In all success of profit and renown; Rapt with the thirsted action of my mind? Doubt not but your election was divine, O Clio, Honour's Muse, sing in my voice; As well by fate as your high judgment orTell th'

attempt, and prophesy the exploit der'd, Of his Eliza-consecrated sword,

To raise him with choice bounties, that That in this peaceful charm of England's could add sleep

Height to his height; and like a liberal Opens most tenderly her aged throat,

vine, Offering to pour fresh youth through all Not only bear his virtuous fruit aloft, her veins,

Free from the press of squint-eyed Envy's That flesh of brass and ribs of steel re- feet, tains.

But deck his gracious prop with golden

bunches, Riches, and conquest, and renown I sing. And shroud it with broad leaves of rule Riches with honour, conquest without o'ergrown blood,

From all black tempests of invasion. Enough to seat the monarchy of earth, Like to Jove's eagle, on Eliza's hand. Those conquests that like general earthGuiana, whose rich feet are mines of quakes shook gold,

The solid world, and made it fall before Whose forehead knocks against the roof of them, stars,

Built all their brave attempts on weaker Stands on her tip-toes at fair England grounds looking,

And less persuasive likelihoods than this ; Kissing her hand, bowing her mighty Nor was there ever princely fount so long breast,

Pour'd forth a sea of rule with so free And every sign of all submission making, course, To be her sister, and the daughter both And such ascending majesty as you ; Of our most sacred maid ; whose barren- Then be not like a rough and violent wind,

That in the morning rends the forests Is the true fruit of virtue, that may get, down, Bear and bring forth anew in all perfec- Shoves up the seas to heaven, makes earth tion,

to tremble, What heretofore savage corruption held And tombs his wasteful bravery in the In barbarous Chaos; and in this affair

even ; Become her father, mother, and her heir, But as a river from a mountain running,

The further he extends, the greater grows,

And by his thrifty race strengthens his * Prefixed to "A Relation of the second

stream, Voyage to Guiana. Perfourmed and written in Even to join battle with th' imperious sea, Imprinted at London by Thomas Dawson, Disdaining his repulse, and in despight dwelling at the three Cranes in the Vintree, and Of his proud fury, mixeth with his main, are there to be solde. 1596."

Taking on him his title and commands :


So let thy sovereign Empire be increased, But where the sea in envy of your reign, And with Iberian Neptune part the stake, Closeth her womb as fast as 'tis disclosed, Whose trident he the triple world would That she like avarice might swallow all, make.

And let none find right passage through

her rage ; You then that would be wise in wisdom's There your wise souls, as swift as Eurus spite,

lead, Directing with discredit of direction, Your bodies through, to profit and renown, And hunt for honour, hunting him to And scorn to let your bodies choke your death ;

souls With whom before you will inherit gold, In the rude breath and prison'd life of You will lose gold, for which you lose

beasts; your souls ;

You that herein renounce the course of You that choose nought for right, but cer- earth, tainty,

And lift your eyes for guidance to the stars, And fear that value will get only blows, That live not for yourselves, but to possess Placing your faith in Incredulity ;

Your honour'd country of a general store; Sit till you see a wonder, Virtue rich ; In pity of the spoil rude self-love makes Till Honour having gold, rob gold of Of them whose lives and yours one air honour,

doth feed, Till as men have desert that getteth nought, One soil doth nourish, and one strength They loathe all getting that deserves not combine ; aught;

You that are blest with sense of all things And use you gold-made men as dregs of noble, men ;

In this attempt your complete worths reAnd till your poison'd souls, like spiders double.

lurking, In sluttish chinks, in mists of cobwebs But how is Nature at her heart corrupted, hide

(I mean even in her most ennobled birth) Your foggy bodies, and your dunghill How in excess of sense is sense bereft her! pride.

That her most lightning-like effects of lust

Wound through her flesh, her soul, her O Incredulity! the wit of fools,

flesh unwounded ; That slovenly will spit on all things fair, And she must need incitements to her The coward's castle, and the sluggard's good, cradle,

Even from that part she hurts. O! how How easy 'tis to be an infidel !

most like

Art thou, heroic author of this act, But you patrician spirits that refine To this wrong'd soul of nature ; that susYour flesh to fire, and issue like a flame

tain'st On brave endeavours, knowing that in Pain, charge, and peril for thy country's them

good, The tract of heaven in morn-like glory And she, much like a body numb'd with opens,

surfeits, That know you cannot be the kings of Feels not thy gentle applications, earth,

For the health, use, and honour of her Claiming the rights of your creation,

powers. And let the mines of earth be kings of Yet shall my verse through all her easeyou;

lock'd ears, That are so far from doubting likely Trumpet the noblesse of thy high intent, drifts,

And if it cannot into act proceed, That in things hardest y'are most confident. The fault and bitter penance of the fault, You that know death lives where power Make red some other's eyes with penilives unused,

tence, Joying to shine in waves that bury you, For thine are clear; and what more nimble And so make way for life even through spirits your graves ;

Apter to bite at such unhooked baits, That will not be content like horse to hold Gain by our loss; thật must we needs A threadbare beaten way to home affairs ; confess,

Thy princely valour would have purchased His bating colours English valour swarms, us,

In haste, as if Guianian Orenoque Which shall be fame eternal to thy name,

With his fell waters fell upon our shore. Though thy contentment in thy grave de And now a wind as forward as their sires

spirits Of our advancement, fail deserved effect, Sets their glad feet on smooth Guiana's O how I fear thy glory which I love,

breast, Lest it should dearly grow by our decrease. Where, as if each man were an Orpheus, Natures that stick in golden-gravell’d A world of savages fall tame before them, springs,

Storing their theft-free treasuries with gold ; In muck-pits cannot 'scape their swallow And there doth plenty crown their wealthy ings.


There Learning eats no more his thriftless But we shall forth, I know ; gold is our books, fate,

Nor Valour, estridge-like, his iron arms. Which all our acts doth fashion and There Beauty is no strumpet for her wants, create.

Nor Gallic humours putrefy her blood ;

But all our youth take Hymen's lights in Then in the Thespiad's bright prophetic hand, fount,

And fill each roof with honour'd progeny ; Methinks I see our Liege rise from her There makes society adamantine chains, throne,

And joins their hearts with wealth whom Her ears and thoughts in steep amaze wealth disjoin'd. erected

There healthful recreations strow their At the most rare endeavour of her power ; meads, And now she blesseth with her wonted And make their mansions dance with graces,

neighbourhood, Th'industrious knight, the soul of this ex- | That here were drown'd in churlish avarice. ploit,

And there do palaces and temples rise Dismissing him to convoy of his stars. Out of the earth, and kiss the enamour'd And now for love and honour of his skies, worth,

Where new Britannia humbly kneels to Our twice-born nobles bring him, bride- heaven, groom-like,

The world to her, and both at her blest That is espoused for virtue to his love,

feet, With feasts and music, ravishing the air, In whom the circles of all Empire meet. To his Argolian fleet, where round about






fire ;

To you, whose depth of soul measures the Or starve themselves, and quench their height

fiery spirits. And all dimensions of all works of weight, Thus as the soul upon the flesh depends, Reason being ground, structure and orna- Virtue must wait on wealth ; we must make ment,

friends To all inventions grave and permanent, Of the unrighteous mammon,

and our And your clear eyes, the spheres where rea- sleights son moves ;

Must bear the forms of fools or parasites. This artizan, this God of rational loves, Rich mine of knowledge, O that my strange Blind Homer, in this Shield, and in the rest muse, Of his seven books, which my hard hand Without this body's nourishment could

hath dress'd In rough integuments, I send for censure, Her zealous faculties, only t' aspire, That my long time and labours' deep ex- Instructive light from your whole sphere of

tensure, Spent to conduct him to our envious light, But woe is me, what zeal or power so In your allowance may receive some right ever, To their endeavours; and take virtuous My free soul hath, my body will be never heart,

Able t'attend; never shall I enjoy From your applause, crown'd with their The end of my hapless birth ; never emown desert.

ploy Such crowns suffice the free and royal mind, That smother'd fervour that in loathed But these subjected hang-byes of our kind, embers These children that will never stand alone, Lies swept from light, and no clear hour But must be nourish'd with corruption,

remembers. Which are our bodies : that are traitors O, had your perfect eye organs to pierce born

Into that chaos whence this stifled verse To their own crowns, their souls ; betray'd By violence breaks; where, glow-worinto scorn,

like, doth shine To gaudy insolence and ignorance, In nights of sorrow, this hid soul of mine ; By their base flesh's frailties, that must And how her genuine forms struggle for dance

birth, Profane attendance at their states and Under the claws of this foul panther earth : birth,

Then under all those forms you should That are mere servants to this servile discern earth;

My love to you, in my desire to learn. These must have other crowns for meeds Skill and the love of skill, do ever kiss ; than merits,

No band of love so strong as knowledge

Which who is he, that may not learn of * Appended to “ Achilles' Shield. Translated as the other seven Bookes of Homer, out of his

you, eighteenth booke of Iliades. Ry George Chap- Whom learning doth with his light's throne man Gent. London. 1598."


is ;

bid prease

What learned fields pay not their flowers Showing to every comprehensive eye t' adorn

High sectious brawls becalm'd by unity, Your odorous wreath? Compact, put on, Nature made all transparent, and her and worn

heart By apt and adamantine industry,

Gript in thy hand, crushing digested Art Proposing still demonstrate verity

In flames unmeasured, measured out of it, For your great object, far from plodding on whose head for a crown thy soul shall gain,

sit, Or thirst of glory; when, absurd and vain, Crown'd with heaven's inward brightness Most students in their whole instruction showing clear are,

What true man is, and how like gnats But in traditions more particular ;

appear, Leaning like rotten houses, on out beams, fortune-glossed pompists, and proud And with true light fade in themselves misers, like dreams.

That are of arts such impudent despisers; True learning hath a body absolute, Then past anticipating dooms and scorns, That in apparent sense itself can suit, Which for self-grace each ignorant suborns, Not hid in airy terms, as if it were Their glowing and amazed eyes shall see Like spirits fantastic, that put men in fear, How short of thy soul's strength my weak And are but bugs form'd in their foul con- words be ; ceits,

And that I do not like our poets prefer Nor made for sale, glazed with sophistic For profit, praise, and keep a squeaking sleights,

stir But wrought for all times proof, strong to With call'd-on muses to unchild their

brains And shiver ignorants, like Hercules, Of wind and vapour : lying still in pains On their own dung-hills; but our formal Of worthy issue; but as one profess'd clerks,

In nought but truth's dear love the soul's Blown for profession, spend their souls in true rest. sparks,

Continue then your sweet judicial kindFramed of dismember'd parts that make most show,

To your true friend, that though this lump And like to broken limbs of knowledge go, of blindness, When thy true wisdom by thy learning This scornful, this despised, inverted world, won,

Whose head is fury-like with adders Shall honour learning while there shines a curl'd sun ;

And all her bulk a poison'd porcupine, And thine own name in merit, far above Her stings and quills darting at worths Their tympanies of state, that arms of love, divine, Fortune, or blood shall lift to dignity; Keep under my estate with all contempt, Whom though you reverence and your And make me live even from myself empery

exempt. Of spirit and soul, be servitude they think Yet if you see some gleams of wrestling And but a beam of light broke through a fire chink

Break from my spirit's oppression, showing To all their waterish splendour; and much desire

To become worthy to partake your skill, To the great sun, and all things they Since virtue's first and chief step is to adore,

will, In staring ignorance; yet your self shall Comfort me with it, and prove you affect shine

me, Above all this in knowledge most divine, Though all the rotten spawn of earth And all shall homage to your true worth reject me. owe,

For though I now consume in poesy, You comprehending all, that all, not you. Yet Homer being my root I cannot die. And when thy writings that now Error's But lest to use all poesy in the sight night

Of grave philosophy show brains too light Chokes earth with mists, break forth like to comprehend her depth of mystery, eastern light,

I vow 'tis only strong necessity



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