Posts tagged ‘1600’

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Excerpt from “Godfrey of Bulloigne; or the Recoverie of Jerusalem” by Torquato Tasso

These naked wantons, tender, faire and white,
Mooved so farre the warriours stubborne harts,
That on their shapes they gazed with delite;
The Nymphes applide their sweete alluring artes,
And one of them above the waters quite,
Lift up her head, her brests, and higher partes,
And all that might weake eies subdew and take,
Her lower beauties vailed the gentle lake.

As when the morning starre escapt and fled,
From greedie waves with dewie beames up flies,
Or as the Queene of love, new borne and bred
Of th’ Oceans fruitfull froth, did first arise:
So vented she, her golden lockes foorth shed
Round pearles and cristall moist therein which lies:
But when her eies upon the knights she cast
She start, and fain’d her of their sight agast.

And her faire lockes, that on a knot were tide
High on her crowne, she gan at large unfold;
Which falling long and thicke, and spreading wide,
The ivorie soft and white, mantled in gold:
Thus her faire skin the dame would cloath and hide,
And that which hid it no lesse faire was hold;
Thus clad in waves and lockes, her eies divine
From them ashamed did she turne and twine.

With all she smiled, and she blusht withall,
Her blush, her smiling; smiles, her blushing graced:
Over her face her amber tresses fall,
Where under love himselfe in ambush placed:
At last she warbled forth a treble small,
And with sweet lookes, her sweet songs enterlaced;
O happie men! that have the grace (quoth shee)
This blisse, this heav’n, this paradise to see.


Date: 1580 (Italian); 1600 (translated)

By: Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Translated by: Edward Fairfax (c1575-1635)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Damætas’ Madrigal in Praise of his Daphnis by John Wotton

Tune on my pipe the praises of my love,
Love fair and bright;
Fill earth with sound, and airy heavens above,
Heavens Jove’s delight,
With Daphnis’ praise.

To pleasant Tempe groves and plains about,
Plains shepherds’ pride,
Resounding echoes of her praise ring out,
Ring far and wide
My Daphnis’ praise.

When I begin to sing, begin to sound,
Sounds loud and shrill
Do make each note unto the skies rebound,
Skies calm and still.
With Daphnis’ praise.

Her tresses are like wires of beaten gold,
Gold bright and sheen;
Like Nisus’ golden hair that Scylla poll’d,
Scyll o’erseen
Through Minos’ love.

Her eyes like shining lamps in midst of night,
Night dark and dead,
Or as the stars that give the seamen light,
Light for to lead
Their wand’ring ships.

Amidst her cheeks the rose and lily strive,
Lily snow-white,
When their contend doth make their colour thrive.
Colour too bright
For shepherds’ eyes.

Her lips like scarlet of the finest dye,
Scarlet blood-red;
Teeth white as snow which on the hills doth lie.
Hills overspread
By Winter’s force.

Her skin as soft as is the finest silk,
Silk soft and fine,
Of colour like unto the whitest milk.
Milk of the kine
Of Daphnis’ herd.

As swift of foot as is the pretty roe,
Roe swift of pace.
When yelping hounds pursue her to and fro,
Hounds fierce in chase.
To reave her life.

Cease, tongues, to tell of any more compares.
Compares too rude,
Daphnis’ deserts and beauty are too rare:
Then here conclude
Fair Daphnis’ praise.

From: Bullen, A H, England’s Helicon. A Collection of Lyrical and Pastoral Poems: Published in 1600, 1899, Lawrence & Bullen Ltd: London, pp. 82-84.

Date: 1600

By: John Wotton (1550-1597)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Damelus’ Song to His Diaphenia by Henry Constable

Diaphenia, like the daffadowndilly,
White as the sun, fair as the lily,
Heigh ho, how I do love thee!
I do love thee as my lambs
Are belovéd by their dams;
How blest were I if thou would’st prove me.

Diaphenia like the spreading roses,
That in thy sweets all sweets encloses,
Fair sweet, how I do love thee!
I do love thee as each flower
Loves the sun’s life-giving power;
For dead, thy breath to life might move me.

Diaphenia like to all things blesséd,
When all thy praises are expresséd,
Dear joy, how I do love thee!
As the birds do love the spring,
Or the bees their careful king:
Then in requite, sweet virgin, love me!


Date: 1600

By: Henry Constable (1562-1613)