Penelopes Complaint

By Peter Coulse

Edited by Jack Lynch


Penelopes Complaint; or, A Mirrour for wanton Minions:
Taken out of Homers Odissea, and written in English Verse

By Peter Colse

Armat spina rosas, mella tegunt apes.


Printed by H. Jackson dwelling in Fleetstreet, and are to be sold at his shop under Temple-barre gate. 1596.

To the vertuous and chaste Ladie, the Ladie Edith, wife to the right worshipfull Sir Rafe Horsey knight, increase of all honourable vertues.

Perusing (vertuous Ladie) a Greeke Author, entituled Odyssea (written by Homer prince of Greeke poets) noting therein, the chast life of the Ladie Penelope (in the twentie yeers absence of hir loving lord Ulysses) I counterfeited a discourse, in English verses, terming it her Complaint: which treatise, comming to the view, of certaine my special friends, I was by them oftentimes encited to publish it. At length weying with my selfe, the shipwracke that noble vertue chastitie is subject unto: and seeing an unknowne Author, hath of late published a pamphlet called Avisa (overslipping so many praiseworthy matrons, hath registred the meanest: I have presumed under your Ladiships patronage, to commit this my Penelopes complaint (though unperfectly portraied) to the presse: not doubting but the Etimologie of so rare a subject, enchased with the Physiognomie of your excellent chastitie: so worthie a conclusion cannot but be a sufficient argument, both to abolish Venus Idolaters, & also to counteruaile the checkes of Artizans ill willers, which carpe at al, but correct nothing at al: measuring other mens labours, by their owne idle humors. Thus offering unto your Ladiship the firstlings of my scholers crop for a satisfaction of my presumption, and hoping you wil pardon my boldnes, and accept of this my proffered service, I commit you to the grace and tuition of the Almightie.

Your Ladiships to commaund

In commendation of the right Worshipfull sir Raufe Horsey knight.

S Sweete Muse strike up thy siluer string,
I In shrill consort thy shake but straine,
R Reflecting peales let Cosmos ring,
R Resound Apolloes piercing vaine:
A Arise and rowse thy selfe with speede,
U Use no delay but do the deede.

F Feare not, for Momus nor his mates
E Encounter dare with rare renowne,
H Honour with Armes defends the states,
O Of those whom due desert doth crowne,
R Recount at large what trump of fame,
S Sounds in the praise of Horseis name.

E Engravde in golden letters write,
Y Your censure sage with due advices
K Knowne trueth ne snaky envies spite,
N Nor wrath can touch in any wise,
I Into thy Poem though there prie,
G Grose Zoilus with squinted eie.

H Harsh, and too rude I must confesse
T The Poem is to move delight:
Yet force of duety would no lesse.
But it present in open sight:
For what my wit cannot discharge,
My will surely supplies at large.

His valour daunts the valiantst heart,
His wisedome worthy worship winnes,
His perfect zeale by due desart
To highest point of honour climes:
His hand the sword most justly guides,
And therewith causes due decides.

His wit doth Orphanes wrong redresse,
His hand relieves the needy heart,
His word the widowes wo doth ease,
He double doth reward desart:
He naught attempts in any case
Whereby he may incurre disgrace.

His chiefest care his countries love,
His chiefest love his countries care,
Whose care considered, well doth prove
His love, the countrey cannot spare:
Whom countriemen do so adore,
That worship never man had more.

To Prince he true lieutenant is,
To common weale a faithfull knight,
Her Grace his service cannot misse,
Nor common weale so worthy a wight:
Whom Jove to Prince and subjects joy
Preserve and keepe from all annoy.

P. C.


An Encomion upon the right worshipful sir Rafe Horsey knight, and the Lady Edith in Saphic verse.

If merites may true, honour attaine,
Or fame advance worthy renowmed offspring,
Les Muses sound forth triple tuned harpestrings,
         unto their honour.

Whose lovely bloud with favourable aspect
Nurture and good fortune enhanceth highly
Unto bright heavens generously springing,
         theirs be the glory.

From farre apart those lovely doves did ascend,
Th’ one fro th’ east with Phoebus arose for our good,
Th’ other of west where Coronaeus hardy
         camped in old time.

Gentle their gentilitie knightly adorned,
Worthy their worships stately well adopted,
Humble their humanitie highly graced
         with lovely nature.

Whose divine deedes and tried hearts true meaning
Duely commented manifest sequences,
Happy doubtlesse, worthy no doubt the titles
         of their aliance.

Whose honours unburied I will entombe,
For everlasting ages to looke upon,
Cleare of obscurenesse, free of envies outrage
         will I defend them.

Happy my Muses, but unhappy master,
That can advance encomions renowmed
Of others, obscurely lying in hopes grave
         buried himselfe.

Yet dying, and dead wil I sing due trophees,
Then triumphs shall stately records eternize,
My Muse shall ever erect monuments to their praise
         unto the worldes end.

P. C.


In commendation of the vertuous, prudent, and chaste virgin, mistris Grace Horsey, daughter to the right Worshipfull, sir Raph Horsey knight, and the Ladie Edith.

G Glorious Nimph, Dianaes darling deere,
R Rose-garland dresse of damaske red and white,
A Adorne thou Vestaes shrine, her poesies weave,
C Conservde with sweete of honor, high delight.
E Enter the Lyons cave he is thy friend,
Though Dragon swell saint George that thee defend.

H Hunt as Diana did, with Daphne flie,
O Outrunne Apollo, trust not to his rage,
R Repose no trust in Cupids deitie,
S Say Frusira to his force, make him thy page.
E Enchase thou vertue with pearles of grace,
Y Yongsters may wonder at the enterlace.

What faire? wise? rich? with grace combind?
A joy to al that such a grace behold:
So rare a sympathie is hard to find,
A gift with fame worthie to be enrold.
Beautie and chastitie two deadly foes,
Live reconciled in her lovely browes.

Faire: looke on her there dwelleth beauties grace:
Wise: her wit the wisest doth abash
Sweete: where is sweete but in her sweetest face:
Rich: to her store al treasure is but trash.
A Grace she is with such rare Graces dight,
Tongue, pen, nor art her grace can shew aright.

P. C.


Candido Lectori hexastichon.

En tibi Penelope prudens, & δια γυναικων,
cuius tot vates nomen ubique canunt.
Si cupis illius niucos cognoscere mores,
hunc paruum placido perlege fronte librum.
Nam de Penelope quae doctus dixit Homerus:
hic plano & pleno carmine (Lector) habes.

Joannes Mayo.

Amico suo charissimo P.C. S.D.

Quid quarit titulos, quid dotes lactat Avisae.
    Anne ea Penelope est aequiparanda tuae?
Penelope clara est, veneranda fidelis: Avisae
    obscura, obscuro foemina nata loco.
Penelope satrapae est. coniux illustris: Avisae
    coniux cauponis, filia pandochei.
Penelope casta est cum sponsus abesset: Avisae
    casta suo sponso nocte diéque domi.
Penelopeia annos bis denos mansit: Avisae
    tot (vix credo) dies intenter ata foret.
Penelopeia procos contum neglexite Avisae
    Vix septem pretium sustinuitque precem.
Penelope nevit, pensum confecit: Avisae
    lassavit nunquam pendula tela manus.
Penelope Graiis, Latiis celebratur: Avisae
    unus homo laudes, nomen & acta canit.
Ergo Penelope vigeat, cantetur: Avisa
    nullo Penelope est aequivalenda modo.

To the Readers.

Having taken upon me (Gentlemen) to pipe with Hiparchion, though my musicke be not melodious inough to content the proud Thessalians, yet I doubt not but poore shepheards will stirre their stumps after my minstrelsie: If the stranes be too harsh, to delight your stately eares (pardon me and accept my mind, and not my musicke) I stretch my strings as I can, desiring rather to teach the simple their uniforme cinquepace, then effect Courtiers in their lofty galliards, which alter every day with new devises. The cause I have contrived so pithie a matter, in so plaine a stile, and short verse, is: for that a vaineglorious Avisa (seeking by slaunder of her superiors, to eternize her folly) is in the like verse, (by an unknowen Authour) described: I follow (I say) the same stile, & verse, as neither misliking the methode, nor the matter, had it beene applyed to some worthier subject. Thus hoping you wil courteously accept my Penelopes Complaint, I wil shortly make you amends with her Will, and Testament, in Pentameters, wherein I wil stretch my wits to Ela, to shew my duetie, and satisfie your desires: and so farewell.

Peter Colse.


Penelope complaineth of Ulysses departure.

You Nymphs that Alcidalions brookes,
And Paphos sportes are dispossest:
Which want the Sun of lovely lookes.
And are displac’d of Cupids crest:
If you have tried, loves sweete aspect,
And do lament, your joyes defect:

Surcease, your cases to complaine,
Your losses leave so much to mone,
Alas my loves long lacking paine,
Is more then yours tenne to one:
But if you needes will puling sit,
A pew-mate for you am I fit.

Let foolish Phillis cease to faint,
And for Demophoon leave to mourne:
Let Dido finish her complaint,
And faithlesse false Aeneas scorne:
For carelesse wights why do you care,
And causelesse eke so wofull are?

Leave off (I say) those causelesse cares,
Help me bewaile my wretched woe:
What neede you shed those ruthlesse teares?
Your passions but of pleasure grow,
Oh help me seely soule, relate
My toilesome lamentable state.

My love (alas) and I love sicke,
Ten thousand leagues to warres is gone,
And me hath left here widdow-like,
In shivering bed to lie alone:
Oh now, unto my paine I prove,
A dririe lothsome thing is love.

Alacke, how am I gallde with griefe,
Sith that no where I can behold,
Those lovely lookes that of reliefe,
The locks and keyes and al do hold:
Whose smiling cheekes and merrie cheere,
To pleasure sweete the Porters were.

She sheweth how Ulisses fained himselfe mad at his departure, and how he was bewraied by Palemedes.

Ulysses, my Ulysses deare,
Alacke, alacke, and wel away,
My bedfellow, my friend and pheere,
Ulysses mine is wend away:
To siege of Troy, with heavie cheare,
Against his wil, I dare to sweare.

Halfe franticke he (unwilling wretch)
And mad almost, himselfe did faine,
He warily his wit did stretch,
New nuptiall sport so vext his braine.
Love tickled so his lovely brest,
That he (poore soule) could take no rest.

But oft would stare as one amazde,
Or as the foule amids the fire:
Yea, grimly oft on me he gazde,
His flesh so fumde with loves desire:
Alacke how oft did he complaine,
Loves parting was a pinching paine?

Woe worth the wretch, that did bewray,
My good Ulysses warie wit:
Foule fare Palemedes I say,
That so his poysoned venome spit.
But my Ulysses wil ere long,
Revenge the villaines spightful wrong.

Meane while (alas) poore worthles wight,
I want my hearts most chiefest treasure:
I leade my life in fansies spight,
And tarry ever Fortunes leasure.
I harping sit on Hopes sweete string,
Till Time Ulysses home doth bring.

Adue my joy, adue my blisse,
My comfort, and my deare delight,
By day I shal his presence misse:
Much more, his absence in the night.
Of joy, of blisse, and sweete delight,
One man at once, deprivde me quight.

She discommendeth her married estate, and sheweth the toile she indures.

Ah, what a doting foole was I?
To marry such a manly mate,
Well taught (alas) now do I trie,
Too mery was my maiden-state,
And Angel-like my virgins life,
But hellish-like, to be a wife.

With mangled mind, loves worthles ware,
(Poore wretch) I have too deerely bought:
Like seely bird, I saw the snare,
Yet foolishly my woe I wrought:
Woe to my selfe t’was my desire,
To Junoes hests thus to aspire.

But sith I would the wanton play,
And enter into wedded state,
I wish (but all too late) I say,
That I had chose some meacocke mate,
As could have kept but dogges from dore,
And not a knight that Armes had bore.

Well mought I thinke, as now I find,
That long Ulysses could not stay
In Venus court, his martiall mind
And courage stowt would it gainesay:
Had I at first had this forecast,
I neede not thus repent at last.

Had nature me deformed fac’de,
Or had I not Ulysses seene,
Or had he never me embrac’de,
Or in his bed had I not beene:
Then maiden-like had bin my care,
Not widdowlike, thus neede I fare.

With distaffe thus I neede not drudge,
Nor yet with wheele have worne my hand:
Nor want of sleepe neede I thus grudge,
Nor tired thus a-twisting stand,
Nor yet have busied thus my braine,
From hastic sutors to refraine.

Shee accuseth Hellen of light consent.

OH for those routs of roisters ranke,
Which do my silly soule assault,
And for this toile I wel may thanke,
Dame Hellen and her foolish fault:
Her light consent makes al men say,
The Grecian dames cannot say nay.

Had Hellen felt my loves long lacke,
So many wearie winters woe,
Or sunnie summers lustful wracke,
As I poore wretched woman do:
Then had there beene some reason why,
Her loving pheere she should defie.

Or she such troopes of wooers had,
Or halfe the courting I endure,
Of saucie suters staring mad,
Her honours breach for to procure:
Some would have thought, love had her won,
Not lust, to go with Priams sonne.

To one mans sute she did consent,
And scarce entreated did she yeeld,
Unaskd almost, to bed she went,
Without repulse, she fled the field.
O vile, unconstant, fickle dame,
Unworthie worthie womens name.

How wil Sir Paris vaunt at Troy?
Of his successe, how wil he boast?
(Wel let him heed amidst his joy,
Lest Menelaus marre his roast)
Both Troy, and Greece may wel repent,
Thy peremptorie light consent.

Fie, what were al your frumps forgot?
Where were your chaste and chary lookes?
Were you so farre with fansie shot,
To trust to beauties hidden hookes?
Where were your sharpe conceited shifts,
Your wittie, subtle, shrewish drifts?

She controlleth Hellen for her ill example.

How dar’st thou looke the Greekes in fact,
When they at Troy shal with thee meete?
Alas, with what disguised grace,
Wilt thou thy wedded husband greete?
Alacke, it would have burst my heart,
If I had played such a part.

Fie, Hellen fie: thou womans foe,
Foule fare thy frensie foolish fal:
Thy wantonnes hath wrought our woe,
Oh, this thy fault hath shamde us al.
Thy follie doth us crucifie:
This foule defame can never die.

A thousand prettie damsels peart,
Have cause to curle this fact of thine!
A thousand thousand in their heart,
Wil wish that Hellen had not beene:
Thy giggish tricke, thy queanish trade,
A thousand Bridewel birds hath made.

Thy foule example works such force,
The brau’st thereby to lust are bent:
The rich as bad as poore, or worse,
To brothell houses do frequent.
False play (say they) is no offence,
For Hellen exercisde it once.

This made faire Joane of Naples queene,
So wantonly to tread awry,
And Messaline for to be seene,
Those tricks in common stowes to trie.
This damned deede that thou hast done,
May infants curse that are unborne.

Thy toy is growne to such a trade,
That few or none wil wive and wed,
So common now the use is made,
That lust, not love, brings brides to bed.
For few wil houshold charge endure:
That Palliardice do put in vre.

Against Paris and his trecherie.

Alacke how could Sir Paris flie,
His countrey and his owne true love?
What heart had he, how durst he trie,
From native soile thus to remove?
What had his love Oenone done?
That he so retchles from her runne.

What furie forc’d his franticke head?
To Troy had Hellens beautie rung?
What, was he sure at first to speede?
That thither in such haste he flung?
Was he so resolute and rash,
No princely port could him abash?

What (Devil) set his ships on saile,
And hither sent the leachers band?
Could he unto no harbour haile,
But thus at Lacedemon land?
Was there no place for to arrive?
Must needs the wind him hither drive?

I would his mother had not knowne,
His father Priam, or that she,
So foule a firebrand had not borne,
As he to Troy is like to be:
Would she had dreamed of his death,
Or wisely she had stopt his breath.

I would that he had not beene borne,
Or seas had sunke him downe to hel,
Would tempests had his tackling torne,
Or he on craggie rocks had fell:
Would sea hagges had transformd his hue
Ere ever Hellen did him vew.

I would (I wish with al my heart)
That Leacher he my ghest had beene,
I would have better plaid my part,
Then did the brainsicke doting queene:
Had he but sought Ulysses place,
These fingers should have flead his face.

Then should sir Paris soone have felt,
The furie of my chast desires,
Ulysses seene how I had delt,
The dole that lawles love requires.
My good Ulysses had beene sure,
How faithful alwaies I endure,

My heart had not thus sacrifizde,
Nor yet such woful incense sent:
Sorrow had me not thus surprizde,
Then had I liv’d at hearts content:
In corners darke I neede not creepe,
Lie downe to waile, and rise to weepe.

The world had not felt my outcries,
The aire my sighes, the earth my teares,
My prayers had not pearst the skies,
Nor troubled so celestial eares:
But sighes and prayers are in vaine,
My Lord sith they bring not againe.

Antinous interrupting her sighing, offereth his suit.

Fie Ladie fie: why sigh you so?
Be of good cheare, what neede you fray
Those heart bloud suckers wrecke your woe,
Those farfetcht sighes loves want bewray,
Heigh ho againe: alas for woe,
To whom shal this sweete message go.

Extirpe the monster out of mind,
Those passions al tread under foote,
Sith that Ulysses proves unkind,
From of your heart the traitor roote:
Who would take care for such a knight,
That leaves his love in field to fight?

Let not loves want disturbe your head,
For by the Stygian lake I sweare:
I am a Lord, I will thee wed,
My faith and troth shal soone appeare:
Else wil I rest your secret friend,
Those lovesicke motions to amend.

Her answere to her wooers.

My Lord: for me take you no care,
My loves losse I my selfe wil mourne:
I wonder you so witlesse are,
To trie by force, the streame to tourne:
What though my love doth time prolong,
With shame shal I requite the wrong?

Shame followes sinnne, as beames the sunne,
Amisse wil out though closely done:
Folly diffame can never shunne,
Reproach breaks out unthought upon
My countenance would me bewray,
If I amisse should do or say.

Shall I my soules shipwracke procure?
Shal hateful slander spot my name?
Shall faire speech me to lust allure?
With pleasure shal I purchase shame?
Ile rather pine in my complaint,
Then shame shal crowne me Cupids saint.

I can but thanks afford for love,
Your good will for to gratifie:
Your practise meane I not to prove,
Your secret friendship I defie,
Sith (Lordings) you have misst your aime,
Leave off in time, those toyes reclaime.

For why? it never shal be said,
Penelope did tread awry:
Not truely told, she false hath playde,
Or spotted her pure chastitie.
My lords, I loath your wanton lure,
Your faith shal not my fall procure.

Therefore my Lords and lovers al,
Let me this at your hands obtaine:
(For feare of that which may befall)
That you my house a while refraine:
Until my towe be at an end,
Then I with speede wil for you send.

She complaineth of her wooers misrule, and feareth to write to Ulysses, for putting him in a jelousie.

What shall I say? what shall I doo?
How diversly am I perplext?
With lustie gallants that mee woo,
How am I silly woman vext?
What shall I to those roisters say,
That shameles tempt me night and day?

From Samos sutors to me post,
And Zacinth cutters do me court:
Besides those of our Ithac coast,
Lads of Dulichium do resort.
What shall I do? what shal I say?
Those stately gamsters brooke no nay.

My good Ulysses goods they waste,
And me poore wretch, do they torment:
Lord-like forsooth is their repast,
When he poore man is wel content,
At siege of Troy, with souldiers fare,
Unwitty of my wofull care.

If I should to Ulysses write,
And shew him of their careles coyle,
How earnestly they me incite,
My constant faith, and troth to foyle:
I might breede Bees nests in his braine,
And put him in a jelous vaine.

For he is wise, he wil suspect,
My lightnesse breedes their fond desire,
Some cause he’le thinke, doth adde effect.
No smoake appeares without some fire:
So seldome is there fervent love,
But where some kindnes doth it move.

Then may he presently for spight
Acquaint him with some forrein fro:
My slut (saith he) I wil requite,
Sith she at home doth serve me so,
Since so unrulie she doth range,
Brow antlers with her Ile exchange.

She wisheth Vlisses to beware of the cruel Troians.

No, no, my gem and sweetest joy,
Thou shalt not neede for me to care,
Thou busines hast enough at Troy,
Looke wisely to thy owne welfare,
For Troy yeeldes many a dogged lad,
Which makes me sighing sit thus sad.

Ah how doth feare affright my heart?
I dreade and yet I neede not doubt,
Though froward fortune doth him thwart,
He’s warie, valiant, yea and stout,
And beares the minde he will not stoupe:
For proudest he in Troian troupe.

Yet (Heartagold) restraine thy heat,
Be not too forward on thy foes,
Ah (truelove) let me thee intreate,
Be not the first at bloudie blowes:
Though of thy selfe no care thou make:
Yet (sweete) of me, some pittie take.

Beware of hugy Hectors hand,
To swifty Dolon take good heede:
What needst thou fight, which maist command,
Thy souldiers for to do the deede?
Let them God Mars his mercie trie,
Stand backe and come not thou too nie.

Give Menelaus leave to fight,
The cause is his, he had the wrong,
And Agamemnon worthie knight,
The quarrel doth to them belong:
Let fiery Ajax fight his fill,
But (if thou love me) stand thou still.

Ah let thy consort Diomede,
And stout Achilles battel wage:
Let hardy Hercules at neede,
His swelling furie there asswage:
From battel (sweete) do thou desist,
Love thou, and let them fight that list.

Her supplication to the Gods.

Thou Jove, Lord of Olympus hie,
If thou wilt heare poore widows griefe,
Looke down with thy transplendant eie,
And yeeld us wretches due reliefe:
Our loves, our lives, and destinie,
Do on thy Princely powre relie.

And thou Apollo, which in fight,
With Thunderclaps, didst Cyclops quell:
In Greekes just quarrel shew thy might,
Raze and confound those Troians fell:
Which wrong us with their villanie,
And triumph in their tyranny.

And Juno: we do thee implore,
To tender our unworthy wrong:
To us, our wedded mates restore,
For we, (alas) have lackt them long:
With speede let them returne againe,
Lest we our bridall beds do staine.

She accuseth Menelaus of folly, for making warres for Hellen.

Was not Prince Menelaus mad,
For strumpet thus to levie armes?
This makes the wanton woman glad,
Yea: she will laugh at those alarmes:
For war’s a play-game, they suppose,
That never tasted bloudie blowes.

Who would in warres his person trust,
Which safe in peace at pleasure swimmes?
For paltrie giglet so unjust,
What Prince would hazard life and lims?
At push of pike, assoone doth light,
A wound on Prince, as worthles wight.

What if the Grecians have the foile?
(As warres event uncertaine is)
How wil she glorie at thy spoile?
Thy bane wil be to her a blisse:
Then shal we widdowes wearie worne,
A fresh begin to waile and mourne.

Put case the Troians have the worst,
(As we al wish for Hellens sake)
The silly people then accurst,
With outcries wil the aire shake:
Then shall they wretches dearely buy,
Their prinkox Paris trecherie.

What ghastly groanes, wil dead men give?
How wil the maimed howling lie?
How wil the aged fathers grieve?
How wil the silly infants crie?
And widdowes (in worst case of al)
How wil they for their husbands call?

From fire and sword shal few be free,
With famine some shal hunger-starve:
The virgins they deflowr’d shalbe,
(The Lord us from such state preserve)
It grieves my heart to shew the paine,
They for a strumpet shall sustaine.

She sheweth Ulysses worthines.

Ulysses deare, the Gods thee shield,
And send thee home wel to retourne,
For love to thee they all may yeeld,
Thy like in love was never borne:
So Angel-like did shine thy face,
It was a blisse thee to embrace.

Alacke he was the worthiest,
The gentlest, and the meck’st of mind:
The truest, and the faithfullest,
That of a thousand I could finde:
The wisest and the wariest,
And one I lou’d and liked best.

Ah, good Ulysses was my trust,
With him contented still I stood,
He hath my love in clay and dust:
Ile die for him to do him good.
To him I gave my heart and hand:
Therefore both vow and gift shal stand.

She bewailes the want of Ulysses in the night.

Alacke how loathsome is my bed?
How sore for sleepe my eielids chim?
What phantasies possesse my head?
How palsy-sicke is every lim?
Such shiverring ague-fits me shake,
As make my very heart to quake.

Such ugly shapes doth Morpheus shew,
Such hips and hawes, and sudden care,
Doth of those vaine illusions grow,
Which dreaming represented are:
Sometimes I sigh, sometimes I start,
Such terror doth torment my heart.

I want (poore wretch) in darkesome night,
The comfort of my dearest friend:
My sorrowes leach, my hearts delight,
Whose verie sight my griefe would end:
Whom if I mought but once embrace,
I sure should be in happie case.

Shee sheweth her defect of beautie.

Alas how tawnie am I turnd?
How am I wretch transformd in hue?
How am I scorched, and sunburnd?
A gastly creature for to vew:
A mirror I, for beautie was,
But now a mouster, for disgrace.

My skinne that cleare as christal was,
My cheekes that crimson silke did staine,
My eies like bright transplendant glasse,
My browes, fraught with each prettie vaine:
My skinne, my cheeks, my eies and browes,
Are like to soot, in smoaky house.

Ah when to Troy my true-love wend,
He left me shining maiden like,
But when that he doth backward bend,
He sure shal find-me beldam-like:
But Jove I thanke thy glorious grace,
For this my wrinkling sorrowed face.

Penelope warneth her maides to beware of hot affection.

Ah damsels deare, which see the care,
Of mistres yours Penelope:
And see how fowly I do fare,
Be ruld, and take this reede of me:
Hast not too soone for wedded charge,
Lest that you wish you liv’d at large:

Of hot affection eke take heede,
For often I have heard it told,
That hastie liking hath slow speede,
And love soone hot, is quickly cold:
And those that woo, ere wise they are,
Are won sometime, ere they beware.

The virgins state, I must confesse,
Is too too tedious for to beare:
But widdowes state exceedes excesse,
So fickle and so fraught with feare:
Wherefore see that you maides remaine,
Of evils take the least of twaine.

For if you (wantons) wedded were,
(As yet you farre unworthie are,)
To one that with my wedded pheere,
Might everie way for worth compare:
What pleasure of him can you take,
If he your companie forsake.

Put case that you (my prettie ones)
Should match with such a brainsicke boy:
As would not sticke to baste your bones,
What then? where were your bridall joy?
Then might you wish, but al in vaine,
That you unwedded were againe.

Thus if you wed a worthie knight,
Then of his death you still wil doubt,
And if you have a wretched wight:
Then wil you wish, his braines were out:
But either ill for to prevent,
I wish you unto none consent.

The speech of her wooers.

AH Princely nymph Penelope,
A goddesse, were thou not to coy,
Pallas may not compare with thee,
Nor Venus with her blinded boy,
Mycene could not thy craft fulfill,
Nor had Alcmena halfe thy skill.

Say (sweete Icarius daughter deare)
Do thou no longer us delay,
Whom wilt thou take to wedded Pheere,
That al the rest may post away.
Either say yea, or else denie:
Thou must take one, or al defie.

No worthles wight shal with thee wed,
Though thou the worst amongst us chuse,
Feare not: Ulysses he is dead:
Shew reason if thou us refuse:
Say, if thou loathe our Parentage,
Or dost dislike our personage.

Her answere to her sutors.

My lovely youthes, and Lordings all,
As I have said, so say I still:
I can but thanke you great and small,
For this your kindnes and good will.
It grieves me (Gallants) to the heart,
I cannot grant you your desart.

I love you all, I do protest,
As did Diana Phoebus faire,
Who of al woodmen, likde him best,
But when he lou’d, to loathe him sware:
So you as friends, I entertaine,
But lovers, I you al disdaine.

Yea though my love his bane hath bought,
(As Gods forebode) yet must you stay,
Until my web be fully wrought,
For why the world shal never say:
That such a worthie knight as he,
without a shrowde should buried be.

The wooers advised Telemachus, Ulysses son, to put his mother out of doore, and inherit the land.

Telemachus, thou foolish lad,
A Lord thou were, if thou hadst wit:
Thou hear’st thy father he is dead,
And we thy friends al can prove it:
Wherefore it now doth thee behove,
That thou thy mother dost remove.

Why dost thou not thy birthright claime,
And turne the beldame out of doore?
Thou seest al we at her do aime,
To do us right, we thee implore:
If from thy house, thou her expell,
We would her wed, and al were wel.

With scoffing cardes she doth us load,
And with faire speeches us delay:
And woodcocke-like leades us to roade,
Yea like tame fooles, she makes us stay:
Thou art the onely cause of this,
Therefore amend that is amisse.

Telemachus answere to the wooers.

And is this al that you can say?
Is this the counsel that you use?
Do you your parents so obey?
Can you your mothers so abuse?
No force: my father shal not find,
His Telemac, so much unkind.

For let my father live or die,
If I my mother ill intreate:
Why then my Graundsire I cary,
With vengeance (surely) wil me threat.
I feare if I should her offend,
The Lord short life would to me lend.

Your companies I well could spare:
Pardon me if I fret and fume,
I see right little do you care,
How you my fathers goods consume:
Except you better you behave,
Your absence shortly let me crave.

She debateth with her selfe of marriage.

Now may I leave, now may I take,
Now may I love, now may I hate,
I now may chuse, I may forsake,
Twixt yea, and nay, stands my estate:
Now may I marrie, for my case,
Or else may tarrie if I please.

My husband (hardly) is alive:
And though alive, yet ten to one,
If ever here he do arrive:
What foole so long would lie alone?
Who would a widdow stay so long,
And nature of her right thus wrong?

Antinous my love doth seeke,
(A gallant Lordly minded lad)
And Eurymac (fac’d Angel-like)
To win my love would be right glad:
Sith with such sutors I am sped,
Why should I not poore widdow wed.

My father wils me for to wed,
And that shal stand for my excuse:
What though I foyle my bridall bed?
Ulysses will me not refuse.
And when againe he doth retourne,
What care I though he do me scorne.

But devilish wretch, how do I dote?
What hellish hag doth me possesse?
What? shal I sing Medeas note?
Know good, and follow nothing lesse:
Shall I that yong a saint have seemd,
In age a devill right be deemd.

No, no, my constant chastitie,
The world throughout about shal ring?
In prayse of chast Penelope,
From time, to time, shal al men sing:
My fame shall mount unto the skie,
When Hellens vile defamd shall die:

Her commendation of chastitie.

O Chastitie, the cheefest kay,
Of womens worthie treasury:
A vertue that’s of virgines gay,
The pure and redoubted dowry.
A poesy springing fresh for aye,
A flowre that never can decay.

Diana it did beautifie,
And her among the gods enroll:
And Gammede her chastitie,
Did to the heavens hie extoll.
Zenobia with her maiden might,
Did ramping Lyons put to flight.?

When lawles love, to luckles end,
A thousand, thousand, daily brings,
Diana to the woodes doth wend,
And sweetely with hir damsels sings,
Diana-like, I wil disdaine,
Both lovers joy, and lovers paine.

The complaint of her waiting women against the wooers.

Ah Madame, if you love your life,
Or do regard your chastitie:
If you wil be Ulysses wife,
Or tender your poore familie:
Those helhounds al with speede expell,
Which of your house do make a hel.

Antinous he sweares and stares,
By al the othes he can devise,
If you come not, he unawares,
Wil you salute in shamefull wise.
Foule shame shal take them al and some.
Ere I againe amongst them come.

For madame they have me defilde,
with cruel shameles villanie:
Alas I feare I am with childe,
With trusting to their tyrany.
Oh would to God I buried were,
I am so tost with doubtful feare.

They are so dronken al with wine,
They care not what they say or do:
(Saving your presence) where they dine,
They do discharge their stomackes too.
And al that ever they inuent,
Is but to have us wretches shent.

One sings, Ulysses sure is dead,
Another saies, he feedes the fish,
Another at him stakes his head,
Another doth him evil wish.
Yea some your strangers ill intreate,
And others do your seruants beate.

Yet al this wil not them suffice,
Not al your cates, and costly cheare.
But they amidst thei Gourmandice,
Your siluer plate in peeces teare:
But when Ulysses comes, no doubt,
He wil asswage this revel rout.

Her speech unto her sonne Telemachus.

Telemachus (my lovely sonne)
What shall we silly wretches do?
I see we shall be al undone,
Unlesse thou to thy father go.
Those Lordings that a wooing come,
Will eate us out of house and home.

Alas I cannot be so rude,
By cruel meanes their bloud to spill:
Not yet by force them to extrude,
That proffer me so much good will:
Alas their love I must respect,
Though their conditions I reject.

Thou seest, how wastful eke they are,
And in our house keepe careles coyle:
Ther’s neither of them al do care,
Nor what they spend, nor what they spoile.
Yea now with me they may not match,
Well’s he my sillie maids can catch.

The reply of her sonne Telemachus, then but a childe.

Peace (mother) fie: what neede you mourne?
My father will not you forsake:
Be of good cheare he wil returne,
No thought for him (good mother) take:
He will with us arrive ere long,
And wil revenge our wofull wrong.

(Ah mother) would I were a man,
I would so plague these leachers vile,
Not one of them should scape me than,
They should not thus our house defile:
O how I would their carcas carve?
They should not you thus shrewdly serve.

These trencher flyes me tempt each day,
To turne you (mother) out of doore:
The land is mine (these lyars say)
My father he is dead of yore.
Yet mother, here you still shall rest,
Of women al I love you best.

Oh you may see (sweete mother deare)
How friendly minded they are bent:
And eke what loving hearts they beare,
By this their trecherous intent.
But I commanded them be gone,
How say you? was’t not stoutly done?

Wel, though my father he be slaive,
(As Gods forbid it should be so)
And that he never come againe,
Yet one day will I worke their woe.
My dearest bloud I sure wil spend,
My fathers house for to defend.

Meane while (al heart) to Troy Ile trudge,
If you thereto wil but consent,
To runne or go I wil not grudge,
Pray (mother) peace, lest they prevent
My going forth, when I come backe,
I wil not feare the proudest jacke.

Her Epistle to Ulysses.

Ulysses (if thou be alive)
Peruse those lines I send to thee,
(Sweete) let me see thee here arrive,
Tis booteles for to write to me.
Not thy epistle be thou sure,
Thy present sight, my griefe must cure.

Ah say (sweete heart) and truelove mine,
How caust thou lingring stay so long?
Why cam’st thou not home a this time?
How canst thou offer me this wrong?
Say (sluggard) what doth thee restraine,
That thou dost not returne againe?

The Troian warre is at an end,
To sinders Troy is quite consumde,
The Argives al do homeward bend,
With incense are the Altars fumde.
Some froe I feare me, holdes thee backe,
And that’s the cause thou art so slacke.

To Pylon have I often sent,
To forrein countries farre and neare:
My messenger to Sparta went,
But there no certaine newes could heare:
At Troy (they say) thou were not slaine,
That makes me hope thou com’st againe.

Ah good Ulysses hie thee home,
For I had sutors long agoe:
If that thou say, thou wilt not come,
Then know I what I have to doe:
I neede not long a widow live,
A hundred gladly would me wive.

For of Dulichium fifty two,
Most stately sutors secke my shame:
Of Zacinthe, twentie do mee woo,
From Samos foure and twentie came:
Besides twelue of our Ithac states,
On whom, Maedon the minstrell waites.

My father eke doth me accuse,
And saies, I do my wooers wrong:
And too too much my selfe abuse,
Sith widdow-like I stay so long.
But let him daily me reprove,
From constant faith I wil not move.

Yea, let him say, or do his worst,
I wil be but Ulysses wife:
To him I gave my faith at first,
With him Ile end my love and life.
To him, ere I wil faile my faith,
I sure wil die a Martirs death.

As twentie winters there are gone,
So twentie more I meane to spend,
I wil undoe that I have done,
Ten thousand times before I end.
Yet shal I thinke each houre twaine,
Until you do returne againe.

She accuseth Antinous, that he goeth about to kil her sonne.

Antinous I have beene told,
Thou wert a youth that did excell,
(Ah true I prove the proverbe old)
Report untruth doth often tell.
They say, thy like not Ithac had,
I thinke it hath not one so bad.

How dar’st thou me the mother court,
And go about my child to kill:
Thou swear’st and star’st thou mean’st no hurt,
Yet dost devise his bloud to spill.
But you can wake, although you winke,
And say right wel, though ill you thinke.

But take thou heede, and warning good,
And warning give to al the rest:
Beware of spilling princely bloud,
For unreveng’d it will not rest.
Wherefore see that his life you save,
If favour you of me wil have.

The reply of Eurymachus, in the behalfe of the wooers.

Assure your selfe (my dearling sweete)
Ther’s no man here, that wil or shall,
Him hurt, Ile die first at his feete,
Before mishap shal him befall.
Be bold, whilst me alive you see,
From sword I sure wil set him free.

For thine, and for Ulysses sake,
Telemachus I wil preserve,
(Who on his knee would oft me take)
And rost meate often to me carve:
Ile sheath my sword within his skinne,
That first to touch him dares beginne.

Am I not here? what needs thou dread?
Thou maist command me heart and hand,
Ile him defend alive or dead,
My word and deede, shal firmely stand.
Wherefore (sweete heart) be of good cheare,
And cast away this foolish feare.

She bewaileth the sending of her sonne Telemachus to his father.

Alas, what have I (fondling) done?
How have I on aduenture sent,
Telemachus my onely sonne?
Ah: for his sake shal I be shent.
If by this meanes he do miscarrie:
Then of my life shal I be wearie.

What will the common people say?
(As they are prone to speake the worst)
She, she, her sonne hath sent away,
(See who would fickle women trust,)
That she may with hir wooers wed,
And so defile his fathers bed.

What dangers dire shal he endure?
Rocks renting dread, and tempests doubt,
Of measure hard he shal be sure,
If prouling Pirates pry him out:
Or if Antinous descry,
His skil in swimming shal he trie.

Alas: if my sweete Temelac,
(Whom for to shield the Gods I pray)
On wastfull seas should go to wracke,
What wil my good Ulysses say:
My life alas I soone should lacke,
As hearbs to pot he would me hacke.

But if it be my destinie:
I stil wil waile with woful heart,
Til time doth end this Tragedie,
Or chance doth cure my carefull smart.
And I my selfe, my selfe wil hate,
Til death doth cease my dolefull state.

But see, he comes right wellcome home,
(Sweete Telemac my prettie boy)
What? is thy father with thee come?
Tel true, what lives my lovely joy?
Ah say the truth, and do not faine,
Will my Ulysses come againe?

Telemachus sheweth his fathers comming: and how he means to be revenged of his Riuals, and sheweth some of his fathers acts.

My father (as you say) doth live,
Loe here, a letter he hath sent,
And shortly here he will arrive,
For to returne is his intent.
But privily he will you greete,
That with those Riuals he may meete.

He sweares he wil torment them all,
Not one of them shall scape alive,
He’ll kill and slay, both geat and smal:
As dogges from doore he wil them drive.
He sweares he’ll see their eies al out,
Ere he wil feed so soule a rout.

Eurymachus he wil take downe,
And eke Antinous swelling pride,
He’ll coxe them all, I hold a crowne,
For that they do him thus deride,
He’ll teach them better use their tearmes,
He’ll learne them scoffe a man at armes.

Though that those lads have long him loath’d,
If he in sight should but appeare,
They al would wish they were uncloathd,
So that they lighter legged were.
They’ll rather wish for feete that day,
Then either gold or rich array.

For he at hazard more hath beene,
Then taking downe such trencher-knights,
His prowes at siege of Troy was seene,
He hath subdued worthier wights.
Yea (mother) he hath beene at hel,
Where the Prince Pluto dire doth dwell.

He thrust out Polyphemus eie,
For that he did his fellowes eate,
And he scapt Circes sorcerie:
He feared not God Neptunes threat.
When three daies shiples he did saile,
His hardy heart did never faile.

Penelope readeth Ulysses letter.

Thy letter when I over-looke,
(Penelope my sweetest saint)
I note the care that thou hast tooke,
And pittie take of thy complaint.
Lo: to release thee of thy doome,
(Sweete heart) at once I write and come.

Thy faithful hand I quickly found,
The pledge and token of my troth,
Whereby to me thou first wert bound,
And I to thee, by solemne oth.
So welcome thereof was the sight,
My heavie heart it made ful light.

I would to God my sluggardise,
Which thou so highly dost accuse:
The Greekes at Troian enterprise,
Had holden for a just excuse:
Then had I not endured the toile,
I now sustaine in forrein soyle.

Then had I staied still with thee,
When I my selfe did franticke faine:
It grieu’d me (trust me) to agree,
The warres so soone should part us twaine.
I would, nor could, as thou maist see,
So lightly leave thy companie.

No Troian trull doth me retaine,
For Troy to cinders quite is rasde,
Priam, and Paris, both are slaine,
And al the countrey quite defasde.
Sarpedon slaine, and Hector stout,
And Mars so hurt, his guts came out.

I scotfree scap’t, and Rhesus slaine,
His palfreys led I to my tent:
I feared not the Thracian traine,
But boldly I amidst them went:
And those that Diomedes slue,
Still by the heeles I from him threw.

Thou needst not doubt, my life or love,
The one the Troians could not spill,
Nor th’other Mermaids could remove:
To thee it resteth constant still.
No comfort have I on the sea,
But love, to make me thinke on thee.

Parthenope did oft assay,
Me to her love for to allure,
Yet could she not me so betray,
My toyle I stoutly did endure:
And when she saw I would not stay,
She drownd her selfe in surging sea.

Nor yet Calypso with her skill,
When in Ogygean Isle I staid,
Could with her druggs win my good will:
Though oft so shamefully she assaid.
Though me immortall she would make,
Yet could I not thee so forsake.

And where thou saist, thou sutors hast,
It is a credit I confesse,
If they our substance do not wast,
Nor thee of honour dispossesse:
Beware lest thou amidst thy wine,
Dost grant them that is none of thine.

If to the hundred thou hast had,
A thousand sutors more thou set,
Yet have I had a sturre as bad,
With lasses, my true love to get.
Do Lords the court? a common case,
Unaskt, brave Ladies me embrace.

But (wife) you scarcely did me please,
When Telemac my onely sonne,
You set on mercie of the seas:
Confesse a truth it was ill done.
That love ungrateful is ywis,
That to such danger, subject is.

But now his course is finished,
Our danger al is at an end,
My dolour eke diminished:
You after me no more shal send:
For suddenly you shal me see,
Before those Riuals looke for me.

Meane while, suppresse thy merrie cheere,
Let not thy sutors know my mind,
Unto their costs I wil appeare:
The helhounds shal me feele and find.
Thy countenance see that thou keepe,
When thou shouldst laugh, see that thou weepe.

I wil not open warres proclaime,
Nor yet by force of armes there come,
Amidst their banket wil I aime,
To cut them off both al and some.
And when you see those Riuals slaine,
Then say that I am come againe.

The advice of Euryclea, nurse to Penelope.

Oh daughter deare? my Jem and joy:
My comfort, and my onely care,
Ah, Jove preserve thee from annoy,
And from those spoiles that, threatned are
Be charie of thy chastitie,
Which sutors seeke so shamefully.

Thy waiting women they abuse,
Without remorse or conscience sting,
And of thy house they make a stewes,
Thee to dishonour, for to bring.
Take heede in time I thee advise,
wit bought, is at too deare a prise.

These lustie Gallants sweare and stare,
If thou to wed wilt not consent,
Thy house they’ll topsie turuy teare,
And eke thy heart in peeces rent.
To hide thy selfe I thinke it best,
And unto Love commit the rest.

Her reply to Euryclea.

What are they men, or are they not?
Or are they beasts, or are they worse?
Are lawes of God, and men, forgot?
No care of God, nor yet his curse?
Or dread they not the day of doome?
That they so beastlike are become.

Shal men, that God himselfe hath made?
And do his Image represent,
By their abhominable trade:
To be the devils lims consent?
O most unworthie wretches vile,
That do their vessels so defile.

Fie: what can they not eate and drinke?
But they must surfeit shamefully?
Can they not mischiefe meane or thinke?
But they must blab it by and by.
Can they not prettie damsels use?
But they their bodies must abuse.

Aurelianus here we lacke,
Or Iulia with her sacred lawe:
Then should those gallants go to wracke,
Then better would they stand in awe:
For then the sword or else the tree,
From shameful force, should set us free.

O cursed times, O cruel facts,
O manners vile, for men unfit,
O dismal daies, O hainous acts,
O helish hagges, of Plutoes pit.
O spightfull, cruel tyrany,
Enforcing endles misery.

My tongue doth tremble for to tell,
The villanie that they inuent,
My heart (alas) with griefe doth swell,
To see brave men so beastly bent,
From this their wicked trechery,
The Lord above deliver me.

She bewaileth Ulysses long tarrying.

How doth Ulysses time detract?
How doth he play the cosoning knight,
He writes Troy is alreadie sack’t,
Yet wil he not appeare in sight.
I feare me he hath caught some dove,
And keepes her tame, with tills of love.

I would I wist he false did play,
Of spight I would revenged be:
But then what would the people say?
As is the hee, so is the shee:
No, no, the care I absent take,
His presence wil the sweeter make.

Nor wealth, nor woe? nor envies crosse,
Nor griefe, nor gaine, nor fortunes fall:
Nor paine, nor pleasure, lucke or losse,
Nor treasure, nor yet wretched thrall,
Shall make me my Ulysses loath.
Nor to him false my faith and troath.

The speech of her wooers chalenging her by promise.

Come on (sweet nimph) what answer now?
Your towe is twist, your web is wrought,
With speede performe your sacred vow:
Thy murmring mate his death hath sought:
Harpyades have on him fed,
The citie-spoiler he is dead.

Thee for to wed is al our sute,
And now thy answere we expect:
Therefore say quicke, be not so mute,
Which of our sutes wilt thou accept?
If thou no ready answere make,
Thy house we never wil forsake.

(Sweete Nimph) resolue us now with speede,
Thinke ere thou speake, denie not flat:
For we are they can do the deede:
Thou maist refuse thou knowest not what:
Make readie Hymaeneus bed,
For why, we must and will thee wed.

Her answere to the wooers.

Sweete Lordings though my web be wrought,
And al my towe be readie spun,
Another doubt comes to my thought,
You know, what worth Ulysses won:
Yow know he was a worthie knight,
And got him honour for his might.

It me behoves to draw the latch,
And of my choyce in time beware,
Lest I with such a milkesop match,
As may augment my wonted care.
Or you in fight for me contend,
And so the mightie Gods offend.

Lo Lordings, this is my decree,
He that Ulysses bowe can bend,
That worthie wight shall wed with me:
Away with him I soone wil wend.
Hold take in hand to bend the bowe,
Your strength that quickly I may know.

Ulysses being come home, disguiseth himselfe, and soiourning with Penelope amongst the wooers, maketh this answere.

Why then (faire queene) to win thy love,
I silly wretch wil also trie,
My shriveled sinewes will I prove:
To win this worthie masterie.
Had I my youthfull strength and skill,
I would the act right soone fulfill.

Eurymachus I thee beseech,
And eke Antinous I thee pray,
To give me leave my strength to stretch,
Which gods have almost tane away:
Necessitie hath pincht me too,
A cruel dart it is you know.

The bowe resigne into my hand,
I trial of my strength wil make,
And if the same I cannot bend,
The prize you shal among you take.
But if the bowe be by me bent,
To wed the Nimph is my intent.

The wooers scoffingly checke Ulysses.

How dar’st thou Palmer thus to prate?
And with us yongsters thus compare?
Content thee with thine owne estate:
Of Palmery go take thou care:
Although Ulysses bowe thou bend,
With Baldpate shall she never wend,

But too much wine makes thee thus mad,
Which wiser men doth brainsicke make,
And bragge of that they never had,
If out of measure they it take:
Therefore leave off to make such strife,
For her thou shalt not take to wife.

Leave off I say: thus to contend,
If thou wilt banket here at rest,
We wey not who the bowe doth bend,
For that we hold but as a jest.
But if with us thou so contend,
Thou soone shalt feele thy fatall end.

She checketh Antinous for abusing her ghests.

Antinous leave off I say,
Our ghests thus evil to intreate,
Discurteous parts why dost thou play?
My stranger thus why dost thou threat?
Their neighbours al they wil abuse,
That strangers practise to misuse.

This stranger is of stature tall,
And borne of worthie parentage:
The likeliest amongst you all,
If force consists in personage:
Pray give him leave his strength to trie,
Why offer you this iniurie?

If that Apollo give him powre,
For manly might the price to win,
Then wil I waite on him each houre,
And costly webs array him in:
My onely joy I wil him make,
And him to husband wil I take.

Telemachus wisheth his mother to be silent.

Fie: fie: what neede you thus to chaunt,
Silence doth best become your sex,
T’is giglet-like, thus for to taunt,
What thogh those vilains do you vex:
Yet (mother) you must patience use,
And smother up this vile abuse.

Unto your maids your mind disclose,
And talke of that you have to doe,
What neede you counterchecke with those,
That nothing appertaines you to:
They’ll say you are alreadie won,
Their companie you cannot shun.

Sweete (mother) let me answere make,
That am a man, and know to speake:
My speech shal make them for to quake,
Against me dare they not to creake.
My father absent, I am king,
New dirges shall they shortly sing.

The death of her wooers represented unto hir, in a dreame of an Egle and a flocke of geese.

Why dost thou Morpheus me annoy?
What fantasies dost thou intrude?
Why dost thou me of sleepes sweete joy,
With vaine illusions thus delude?
Those dreames iwis that I endure,
I doubt but little good procure.

Last night as I lay in my bed,
Strecht forth (alas) in slumbring wise,
Me thought a flocke of geese I fed,
That al my corne could not suffice.
To give them foode I did denie,
And yet not one away would flie.

They were a number numberles,
Whose gagling did me much offend:
I made them answere answereles,
And wisht them to the fields to wend:
Yet would they not be answered so,
In rest for them I could not go.

At last as they were safe in mue,
A mightie Eagle with them met:
And them, both great and smal he slue,
Not one of them could from him get.
No creature could the spoile prevent,
The Eagle was so fiercely bent.

At length when his bloud-thirstie bill,
Had thus upon these goselings praide,
(Me thought) the people for to kill,
This matchles Eagle al assaide.
They were so wroath they sware by gis,
They would dispoile both him and his.

Ah Cesta sweete, I thee implore,
My doubtful dreame for to dissolue,
For that which Morpheus told of yore.
I often in my mind reuolue.
The resolution to me show,
And endles thanks I wil thee owe.

She hearing Ulysses fighting with her wooers, unknowen to her, she feareth.

How doth Ulysses me me deride?
How doth he foolefaine me possesse?
He promisde to returne with speede,
But sure he thinks of nothing lesse.
My eies with looking for him ake,
with trembling feare my heart doth quake.

What horror doth my heart oppresse?
What hurly burly do I heare?
What sturdy tumults? (God me blesse)
What’s he that plaies the tyrant there?
Who’s he cries out, what’s he is slaine?
Go Girle and see, but hie againe.

Harke, harke, at daggers point on life,
Those dronkards with each other fight:
Why doth my sonne not stint the strife?
Ah how doth feare my heart affright?
What is the cause of this their ruth?
Come quicke (sweete wench) and tel the truth.

Her maide sheweth the slaughter of her wooers.

Alas, beblubred al with bloud,
Antinous lieth under bord,
Yea Eurymac that was so proud,
Is slaine with dint of sharped sword:
Pisanders braines are beaten out,
And Polybe slaine that Champion stout.

Eurynomus, he waltring lies,
And eke Polidor worthie knight,
Amphimedon for mercie cries:
And Liodes is put to flight.
Ctesippus put to deadly paine,
And eke Eurydamantus slaine.

Liocritus that Lordlie lad,
And Demoptolemus is dead,
Euriades hath sped as bad,
His braines are knockt out of his head:
I thought amidst their stately pride.
Some stagedie there would be plaide.

She hearing of the death of her wooers, feareth lest Ulysses wil slay her also.

Alacke, and are those Lordings slaine?
Why then my Lord Ulysses deare,
Ulysses mine, is come againe,
How am I tost twixt joy and feare?
Ah he, tis he hath done this deede:
Yea, he this Stratageme hath plaied,

It is Ulysses deales such blowes,
What shal I silly woman doo?
Ah see, how furiously he glowes,
I feare he wil torment me too:
I wil him trie, with weeping eies,
Him to withdraw from tyranies.

Fie: cannot twentie yeares suffice,
Thy wrathful venome for to spit,
But thou must thus in warlike wise,
Thy tyrany continue yet?
Though no wight can thy wrath appease,
Let me request thee to sureease.

Ulysses making himselfe knowne, comforteth Penelope with these speeches.

Feare not my jem and hearts delight,
Penelope my spotles spouse,
Those lads no more shal worke our spight,
They shal no more defile our house.
Ah I have seene thy constancie,
They vertues have reioyc’d mine eie.

But oh: what have I tyrant done,
(Oh miser borne to endles toyle)
Now have I new my care begon,
By this my pittie-wanting spoyle.
I merciles have many slaine.
For bloud shall I pay bloud againe,

O furie with repentance fraught,
(Ah enemie to perfect peace.)
Thou to confusion hast me brought,
(Ah furie foe to humane ease.)
I that my foes have put to flight,
Against my friends am forc’d to fight.

Penelope fearing to entertaine Ulysses, debateth as followeth.

But ah me wretch (borne but to wo)
What entertainment shal I give?
Him, for my Lord how shal I know?
T’is hard to know whom to beleeve.
Ah my Ulysses was too kind,
To beare such a bloud-thirstie mind,

But (doting dame) what can I tell,
May not God Mars his furie move?
May not Bellona make him fell?
Ah Mars makes Turtles Tygers prove:
And those are ordinary events,
To them that do frequent the tents.

But yet, Ulysses welcome home,
(If thou my Lord Ulysses be)
A thousand times to me welcome,
Thee safe I do reioyce to see.
Yet shew (ah good Ulysses show)
Some token that I may thee know.

Ulysses sheweth by evident tokens, he is no cosening knight.

Why then I am Laertes sonne,
And he that Gods, and men do hate,
Scomme of the world, by fates foredone,
Whose death my deedes do calculate,
Ah I am he, that for thy love,
A thousand perills daily prove.

Yea I am he, that fainde me mad,
Thee in my armes for to embrace,
And I am that unhappie swad,
That Palemedes did disgrace.
Yea I am he that for thy sake,
All dangers dare to undertake.

Yea I am he, whose damned hand,
Have slaine a knot of noble bloud:
And I am he, thou maist command,
Alive or dead, to do thee good.
Yea I am he that maugre spight,
Wil alwaies rest thy constant knight.


Lo Ladies, Jove reserves a friend,
For those that tender chastitie,
But Leachers brought to dolefull end,
Amidst their chiefe securitie:
Penelope for bale had blisse,
When villanes vengeance could not misse.

Let Rivals lot learne Lordly youthes,
To shun the snare of lewd desires,
Lest lawles love procure their ruthes,
With liveles love that lust requires:
Lest whilst they recke not what they do,
Some good Ulysses wrecke their woe.