A Strange Description of A Rare Garden Plot by Nicholas Breton

My garden ground of griefe: where selfe wils seeds are sowne,
Whereof comes vp the weedes of wo, that ioies haue ouergrown:
With patience paled round, to keep in secret spight:
And quickset round about with care, to keepe out all delight.

Foure quarters squared out, I finde in sundrie sort;
Whereof according to their kindes, I meane to make report:
The first, the knot of loue, drawne euen by true desier,
Like as it were two harts in one, and yet both would be nier.

The herbe is calde Isop, the iuice of such a taste,
As with the sowre, makes sweete conceits to flie away too fast:
The borders round about, are set with priuie sweete,
Where neuer bird but nightingale, presumde to set hir feete.

From this I stept aside, vnto the knot of care,
Which so was crost with strange co[n]ceits, as tong cannot declare:
The herbe was called Time, which set out all that knot:
And like a Maze me thought it was, when in the crookes I got.

The borders round about, are Sauerie vnsweete:
An herbe not much in my conceit, for such a knot vnmeete:
From this to friendships knot, I stept and tooke the view,
How it was drawne, and then againe, in order how it grew.

The course was not vnlike, a kinde of hand in hand:
But many fingers were away, that there should seeme to stand:
The herbe that set the knot, was Pennie Riall round:
And as me seem’d, it grew full close, and nere vnto the ground.

And parched heere and there, so that it seemed not
Full as it should haue been in deed, a perfect friendship knot:
Heerat I pawsd awhile, and tooke a little view
Of an od quarter drawne in beds, where herbs and flowers grew.

The flowres were buttons fine, for batchelers to beare,
And by those flowres ther grew an herb, was called maiden hear.

Amid this garden ground, a Condit strange I found,
Which water fetcht from sorows spring, to water al the ground:
To this my heauie house, the dungeon of distresse,
Where fainting hart lies panting still, despairing of redresse.

Whence from my window loe, this sad prospect I haue,
A piece of ground wheron to gaze, would bring one to his graue:
Lo thus the welcome spring, that others lends delight,
Doth make me die, to thinke I lie, thus drowned in despight,

That vp I cannot rise, and come abrode to thee,
My fellow sweet, with whom God knowes, how oft I wish to bee:
And thus in haste adieu, my hart is growne so sore,
And care so crookes my fingers ends, that I can write no more.

From: http://www.luminarium.org/renascence-editions/phoenix.html#Forpittiepretieeiessurcease

Date: 1593

By: Nicholas Breton (?1545-?1626)

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