i A1r

Colin Clouts
Come home againe.

By Ed. Spencer.

Oval woodcut emblem showing Truth as a crowned naked female figure, being scourged at the back by a hand protruding from the clouds. A quote in Latin, "viressit [sic] vulnere veritas" ("Truth flourishes through a wound"), encircles the figure.

Printed for William Ponſonbie.

excerptA1v,A2r,A2v,A3r,A3v,A4r,A4v,B-F4;pp.ii-iv,1-44 45 G1r

Ay me, to whom ſhall I my caſe complaine,

That may compaſsion my impatient griefe?

Or where ſhall I unfold my inward paine,

That my enriven heart may find reliefe?

Shall I unto the heavenly powres it ſhow?

Or unto earthly men that dwell below?

To heavens? ah they alas the authors were,

And workers of my unremedied wo:

For they foreſee what to us happens here,

And they foreſaw, yet ſuffred this be ſo.

From them comes good, from them comes alſo il,

That which they made, who can them warne to ſpill.

To men? ah they alas like wretched bee,

And ſubject to the heavens ordinance:

Bound to abide what ever they decree,

Their beſt redreſſe, is their beſt ſufferance.

How then can they like wretched comfort mee,

The which no leſſe, need comforted to bee?

Then to my ſelfe will I my ſorrow mourne,

Sith none alive like ſorrowfull remaines:

And to my ſelfe my plaints ſhall back retourne,

To pay their uſury with doubled paines.

The woods, the hills, the rivers ſhall reſound

The mournfull accent of my ſorrowes ground.

G Woods, 46 G1v

Woods, hills and rivers, now are deſolate,

Sith he is gone the which them all did grace:

And all the fields do waile their widow ſtate,

Sith death their faireſt flowre did late deface.

The faireſt flowre in field that ever grew,

Was Astrophel; that was, we all may rew.

What cruell hand of curſed foe unknowne,

Hath cropt the ſtalke which bore ſo faire a flowre?

Untimely cropt, before it well were growne,

And cleane defaced in untimely howre.

CGreat loſſe to all that ever him ſee,

Great loſſe to all, but greateſt loſſe to mee.

Breake now your gyrlonds, O ye ſhepheards laſſes,

Sith the faire flowre, which them adornd, is gon:

The flowre, which them adornd, is gone to aſhes,

Never againe let laſſe put gyrlond on.

In ſtead of gyrlond, weare ſad Cypres nowe,

And bitter Elder, broken from the bowe.

Ne ever ſing the love-layes which he made,

Who ever made ſuch layes of love as hee?

Ne ever read the riddles, which he ſayd

Unto your ſelves, to make you mery glee.

Your mery glee is now laid all abed,

Your mery maker now alaſſe is dead.

Death 47 G2r

Death the devourer of all worlds delight,

Hath robbed you and reft fro me my joy:

Both you and me, and all the world he quight

Hath robd of joyance, and left ſad annoy.

Joy of the world, and ſhepheards pride was hee,

Shepheards hope never like againe to ſee.

Oh death that haſt us of ſuch riches reft,

Tell us at leaſt, what haſt thou with it done?

What is become of him whoſe flowre here left

Is but the ſhadow of his likeneſſe gone.

Scarſe like the ſhadow of that which he was,

Nought like, but that he like a ſhade did pas.

But that immortall ſpirit, which was deckt

With all the dowries of celeſtiall grace:

By ſoveraine choyce from th’hevenly quires ſelect.

And lineally deriv’d from Angels race,

O what is now of it become aread.

Ay me, can ſo divine a thing be dead?

Ah no: it is not dead, ne can it die,

But lives for aie, in bliſfull Paradiſe:

Where like a new-borne babe it ſoft doth lie,

In bed of lillies wrapt in tender wiſe.

And compaſt all about with roſes ſweet,

And daintie violets from head to feet.

G2 There 48 G2v

There thouſand birds all of celeſtiall brood,

To him do ſweetly caroll day and night:

And with ſtraunge notes, of him well understood,

Lull him a ſleep in Angelick delight;

Whileſt in ſweet dreame to him preſented bee

Immortall beauties, which no eye may ſee.

But he them ſees and takes exceeding pleaſure

Of their divine aſpects, appearing plaine,

And kindling love in him above all meaſure,

Sweet love ſtill joyous, never feeling paine.

For what ſo goodly forme he there doth ſee,

He may enjoy from jealous rancor free.

There liveth he in everlaſting blis,

Sweet ſpirit never fearing more to die:

Ne dreading harme from any foes of his,

Ne fearing ſalvage beaſts more crueltie.

Whileſt we here wretches waile his private lack,

And with vaine vowes do often call him back.

But live thou there ſtill happie, happie ſpirit,

And give us leave thee here thus to lament:

Not thee that doeſt thy heavens joy inherit,

But our owne ſelves that here in dole are drent.

Thus do we weep and waile, and wear our eies,

Mourning in others, our owne miſeries.

Which 49 G3r excerptG3r,G3v,G4r,G4v,H-I4,K1r,K1v,K2r,K2v,K3r,K3v,K4r;pp.49-77