Most Honourable Tragedie
Sir Richard Grinuile, Knight

Gervase Markham

First published in 1595.

Extracted from Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, collected by Richard Hakluyt edited by Edmund Goldsmid. Volume VII. 1888

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Sir Richard Grenville

Sir Richard Grenville or Greynville belonged to a Cornish family and was born about 1541. He was a cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1571 he sat in Parliament as member for Cornwall. He made his first sea voyage in May 1585 when he commanded a fleet of seven ships intended for the settlement of Virginia. On his way home ‘he tooke a Spanish ship of 300 tunne richly loaden, boording her with a boate made with boards of chests, which fell asunder, and sunke at the ships side, assoone as ever he and his men were out of it.’ In 1586 he made another voyage to Virginia. In 1588 he was engaged in planning measures of defence for the western counties in anticipation of the Spanish Armada. In 1591 the action off the Azores took place which resulted in the loss of the ‘Revenge’ and his death. The portrait here reproduced is taken from the British museum copy of Holland’s Heroologia published in London in 1620.

The Most Honourable Tragedie of Sir Richard Grinuile, Knight. 1595.

At London, printed by I. Roberts, for Richard Smith, 1595.

That time of yeare when the inamored Sunne

Clad in the richest roabes of liuing fiers,

Courted the Virgin signe, great Nature Nunne,

Which barrains earth of al what earth desires

Euen in the month that from Augustus wonne,

His sacred name which vnto heauen aspires,

And on the last of his ten trebled days,

When wearie labour new refresh assayes.

Then when the earth out-brau’d the beautious Morne,

Boasting his cornie Mantle stird with aire,

Which like a golden Ocean did adorne,

His cold drie carcasse, featurelesse, vnfaire,

Holding the naked shearers scithe in scorne,

Or ought that might his borrowed pride empaire,

The soule of vertue seeing earth so ritch,

With his deare presence gilds the sea as mitch.

The sea, which then was heauie, sad, and still,

Dull, vnapplyed to sportiue wantonnesse,

As if her first-borne Venus had beene ill,

Or Neptune seene the Sonne his loue possesse,

Or greater cares, that greatest comforts kill,

Had crowned with griefe, the worlds wet wildernesse,

Such was the still-foot Thetis silent paine,

Whose flowing teares, ebbing fell backe againe.

Thetis, the mother of the pleasant springs,

Grandam of all the Riuers in the world,

To whom earths veins their moistning tribut brings,

Now with a mad disturbed passion hurld,

About her caue (the worlds great treasure) flings:

And with wreath’d armes, and long wet hairs uncurld,

Within her selfe laments a losse vnlost,

And mones her wrongs, before her ioyes be crost

Thus whilst churning sorrowe ceaz’d her hart,

Grinuile (ô melt my spyrit in that name,)

As sings the Swan her funerall depart,

And waues her wings the ensignes of her fame,

So he, with vertue sweetning bitter smart,

Which from the seas long toyling seruice came:

For why, sixe Moones, and so oft times the Sunne

Was past, and had one halfe the signes ore-runne,

Ere he the earth, our common Mother saw;

Now earlie greets black Flores banefull Ile,

(Flores, from whence afflictions selfe doth draw

The true memorialls of a weeping stile;)

And with Caisters Querristers1 which straw

Descant, that might Death of his darts beguile,

He tunes saluting notes, sweeter then long,

All which are made his last liues funerall song.

Skillesse in deaths great Parliament he cals

His fellow mat’s, and minions to his fame,

Shewes them long lookt for land, and how it brauls,

Repulsing backe the billowes as they came,

Much he triumphes, and passed griefe for-stals

With present ioy (sorrow lights pleasures flame:)

And whilst his hopes of Happy–Fortune sings,

Misfortune by, controls them with her wings.

Desir’d reliefe, and euer welcome rest,

The elements that forme the wearie man,

Began to hold a counsaile in his brest,

Painting his wants by sicknes pale and wan;

With other griefes, that others force opprest,

Aduising stay, (as what is but they can,)

Whilst he that fate to come, and past, nere feard,

Concludes to stay till strength decayd repaird.

Then casts he Anchor hulling on the maine,

And all his shyps poore Citizens recounts,

And hundred iust were free from sicknes paine,

Fourscore and ten death their redress accounts;

So that of all both sicke and sound vnslaine,

Vnto two hundred wanting ten amounts.

A slender armie for so great a guide,

But vertue is vnknowne till it be tride.

Those whom their harts enabled to attempt,

He puts a shoare to make supplie for neede;

Those whom long sicknes taught of death contempt,

He visits, and from Ioues great Booke doth reede

The balme which mortall poysen doth exempt;

Those whom new breathing health like sucklings feed,

Hie to the sands, and sporting on the same,

Finde libertie, the liues best liuing flame.

Looke how a troope of Winter-prisoned Dames,

Pent in th’ inclosure of the walled townes,

Welcoms the Spring, Vsher to Somer flames,

Making their Pastimes in the flowrie downes,

Whose beauteous Arras2 wrought in natures frames,

Through eyes admire, the hart with wonder crownes,

So the wood-walled citizens at sea,

Welcome both Spring and Sommer in a day.

The warring byllowes, seas artillerie,

With long held siege, had bruz’d their beaten keele,

Which to repaire the most, most busied be,

Lab’ring to cure, what want in labours feele;

All pleas’d with toyle, clothing extremitie

In Hopes best robes, that hang on Fortunes wheele

But men are men, in ignorance of Fate,

To alter chaunce, exceedeth humaine state.

For when the Sun, towred in heauens head,

Downe from the siluer mountaine of the skye,

Bent his bright Chariot on the glassie bed,

Faire christall, guilded with his glorious eye,

Fearing some usurpation in his stead,

Or least his Loue should too-long daliance spy

Tweene him and Virgo, whose attractiue face,

Had newly made him leaue the Lyons chase.

In that same myd-daies hower came sayling in,

A thought-swift-flying Pynnase, taught by winde,

T’ outstrip in flight Times euer flying wing;

And being come where vertue was inshrinde,

First vaild his plumes, and wheeling in a ring,

With Goat-like dauncing, stays where Grinuile shynd,

The whyle his great Commaunder calls the name,

Which is ador’d of all that speakes the same.

The great Commaunder of this little Barke,

Which like an Eglet armes the Eagles side,

Was Midleton, the ayme of Honors marke,

That more had prou’d then danger durst haue tride,

Now seeing all good fortunes sun-shine darke,

Thrise calls Sir Richard, who as oft replyde,

Bidding him speake, and ring his newes aloude,

Ill, not apald, nor good could make him proude.

O then (quoth Midleton) thou soule of all

What euer boasts in magnanimitie,

Thou, whom pure Vertue her best part doth call,

Better then valure, stronger then dietie,

Whom men adore, and all the gods exhall

Into the bookes of endlesse memorie,

I bring thee tidings of a deadly fray,

Begun in Heauen, to end vpon the Sea.

The glorious Senate of the Skyes was set,

And all the gods were royaliz’d in state,

When Happy-fortune and Ill-fortune met,

Striuing who first should enter Heauen’s gate,

The one made mad the others fame to let,

Neither but stirr’d with rage to wonder at,

Confusedly, as water floods doe passe

Their common bounds, such their rude entrance was.

The gods disturb’d, admire their strange aproch,

Censuring their angers by their gloing eyes,

Ill-fortune was attended by Reproch,

Good-fortune, Fame, and Vertue stellesies;3

One sweares the other doth her right incroch,

Which is the elder house, none can deuise:

The gods diuide, yet in the end agree

The Fates shall iudge each others pedigree.

Good–Fortune, drawes from heauen her hye descent,

Making hie Ioue the roote of her large tree;

She showes from him how many god-heads went,

Archangells, Angells, heauen’s posteritie:

From thence, she shows the glorious thrid she lent,

To Monarks, Emperours, and Kyngs in fee,

Annexing as Colatteralls to her line,

Honour, Vertue, Valure, and Endles-time.

Naithlesse, Ill-fortune will be elder borne,

She saith, she springs from Saturne, Ioues wronged Sier,

And heauen, and earth, and hell her coate haue borne,

Fresh bleeding harts, within a field of fier;

All that the world admires, she makes her scorne,

Who farthest seemes, is to Ill-fortune nier,

And that iust proofe may her great praise commend,

All that Best-chaunce begins, Ill-chaunce doth ende.

Thus they, dispute, guilding their tongues report

With instances, and argumental sawes,

Ill-fortune, bids let all the worlde resort,

And show within their Chronicles and lawes,

The man whose liue-line neuer did consort,

With sharpe affliction, deaths first grounded cause,

Then will she yeeld, else, is shee victor still.

Worlds good is rare, perpetuall is their ill.

Euen as the racket takes the balls rebound;

So doth Good-fortune catch Ill-fortunes proofe,

Saying, she wil her in herselfe confound,

Making her darts, Agents for her behoofe;

Bow but thine eies (quoth she) whence ha’ts abound,

And I will show thee vnder heauens roofe

Th’ vnconquered man whom no mischance importunes.

Crown of my kingdom, deaths man to misfortune.

At this, the casments of the skye broke ope,

Discouering all what’s girdled in her frame,

Whilst Happy-fortune through her eyes large scope

Like a Cosmographer comments on the same;

Three parts with praise she past and future hope,

Then to the fourth, the Westerne world she came,

And there, with her eyes festrawe paints a storie,

Stranger than strange, more glorified than glorie.

See (sayd Faire-fortune, to her soule shapt Foe)

How on the scourge that beates against the Ile

Of Flores, whence they curst oblations growe,

A winde-taught capring ship which ayre beguiles,

(Making poore Cephalus for-lorne with woe,

Curse arte, which made arte framed saile such smiles)

Richlie imbrodred with the Iems of warre,

In thy dispight commaunds a lucky starrye.

In that faire vessel liues my garlands flower.

Grinuile, my harts immortall arterie;

Of him thy deitie had neuer power,

Nor hath hee had of griefe one simpathie;

Successe attends him, all good hap doth shower

A golden raine of perpetuitie

Into his bossome, whete mine Empire stands,

Murdring the Agents of thy blacke commands.

Say, and say true, (for what but thou wilt say,)

That euer Grinuils fortunes came before thee,

Of euer prostrate at thine Altars lay,

Or with one wreath of Cipresse did adore thee?

Proue one blacke storme in all his Sommers day,

Whose threatening clouds compeld him to implore thee.

Then wil I staine my milkwhite vaile with weeping,

And as thine handmaide dye in sorrowes keeping.

As wounds the lightning, yet preserues the skinne,

So did these words split Lucklesse-fortunes hart,

Her smiling Superficies, lockt within

A deepe exulcerated festring smart;

Heere shee perceiu’d her first disgrace begin,

And wordlesse from the heauens takes her depart.

Yet as she flewe her wings in flying cri’d

On Grinuile shall my fame and power be tride.

At her departure all the heauens were glad.

Triumphing in Ill-fortunes banishment,

Apollo set new Anthems as Ioue bad,

Which spheare tunes made more then most excellent;

No light in heauen but with new fier was clad,

Making next Ioue, Good-fortune president,

Enrowling in the Bookes of destenie,

This memorable famous victorie.

Only the Fat’s su’d for her backe repeale,

(For they Ill-fortune lou’d exceeding well)

Many her deedes and Tropheis they reueale,

And all her liues blacke legend, weeping tell;

Yet all they speake, cannot in heauen preuaile,

Which seene, in spight they follow her to hell,

And there inhoused with their mother Night,

All foure deuise, how heauen and earth to spight.

Hence sprang the loues of Ioue, the Sonnes exile,

The shame of Mars and Venus in a net;

Iunos forsaken bed; Saturns compile

Of frantike discontentment, which beset

All heauen with armes; Diana hence had while

To court her sleeping boy; whilst Thetis let

Phoebus imbrace her in her Neptunes stead,

Who made complaints, breach of his bridall bed:

Yet not content with these disparagments,

Much greater mischiefes issues from their minds,

Grinuile, thy mountaine honour it augments

Within their breasts, a Meteor like the winds,

Which thrall’d in earth, a reeling issue rents

With violent motion; and their wills combinds

To belch their hat’s, vow’d murdrers of thy fame,

Which to effect, thus they begin the same.

Fast to Iberia flies vntoward chaunce,

Iberia, which we vulgar Christen Spaine,

Vpon whose Sunne-burnt continent doth daunce

Westerne Ducallidon, the greatest maine,

Thither shee packs, Error doth their aduance

Her coale-blacke standerd in the hands of paine;

And as escapt from rauishment or bale,

With false teares, thus shee tunes a falser tale.

Great Empire (said shee) blessed in thy birth,

Beautious created for-head of this round,

That with thy smiles first lent to heauen mirth,

And bout thy temples all perfections woond,

Lodgd in th’ immagin’d corners of the earth;

Thou whom our centers Monarchesse art crownd,

Attend my suite, baptisd in mournefull teares,

Who but ere while triumphed on the spheares.

Nor for my selfe more then thine owne decay

Which blindfold pleasure clouds as they arise,

Be gracious, and retort the domefull daye

Which thee and me to shame would sacrifice.

Loe, on the great west-walling boisterous sea,

Which doth imbrace thy gold-enclosing eyes,

Of many sailes one man, of one poor Ile,

That will my fame, and all thy faire defile.

His numberlesse great infinits of fame,

Haue shut against me heauens great christall dore,

The clouds, which once my feets dust had to name,

Hang ore my forhead, threatning euermore

Death to my praise; life to my infant shame,

Whilst I with sighes mediate a new restore.

And in my selfe behold my pleasures past,

Swimming amongst the ioyes I cannot tast.

Th’ ambrosian Nectar-filled banqueting,

No more shall I communicate, or see,

Triumphes in heauen, Ioues masks, and reuelling,

Are cleene exempt, both from my ioyes and me.

The reason, for my loue to thee I bring,

Trimming the locks with Iems of dietie,

Making the gods a dread a fatall day,

Worse then the Giants warre or Centaurs fray.

Poore goddesse, rob’d of all eternall power,

Whose broken Statues, and down razed Fan’s,

Neuer warm’d altars, euer forgotten hower

Where any memorie of praise is tane,

Witnes my fall from great Olympus tower;

Prostrate, implore blame for receiued bane,

And dyre reuenge gainst heauens impietie,

Which els in shame will make thee follow mee.

Behold these robes, maps of my fortunes world,

Torne, and distaind with eye-scornd beggerie;

These rags deuide the Zones, wherein is hurld

My liues distemprate, hote cold miserie;

These teares are points, the scale these hairs vncurld,

My hands the compasse, woe the emperie:

And these my plaints, true and auriculer,

Are to my Globe the perpendiculer.

Looke how I am, such art thou like to be

If armes preuent not heauens intendiment,

Grinuile, which now surfeits with dignitie,

Burd’ning the Sea with my disparagement;

Chiding the wanton winds if greedelie

They kisse his sailes; or els too slowlie vent,

Like Ioue, which bad the day be and it was,

So bids he Conquest warre; she brings to passe.

The sole incouragement he giues his power,

Is Prophet-like presaging of thy death,

Courage he cries, euen in the dying hower,

And with his words, recalls departing breath;

O (sayes he to his Mat’s) you are my glories tower,

Impregnable, wall’d with vnuanquisht faith,

You are the hands and agents of my trust,

I but the hart reuoluing what we must.

Liue Saints, til we haue ript the wombe of Spayne,

And wounded Error in the armes of hell,

Crushing the triple Myter in disdaine,

Which on the seauenfold mounted Witch doth dwel,

Angells rewards for such dissignes remaine,

And on heauens face men shall your stories tell;

At this they shoute; as eager of the pray,

As Ants in winter of a sunne-shine day.

Thus like triumphant Cæsar drawne in Rome,

By winged Valure, and vnconquered Chaunce,

He plowes the Sea (ô were it made his tombe)

Whilst Happy-fortune pypes unto his daunce.

Yet may thy power alternat heauens doome,

So pleaseth thee thy forward will t’aduance,

And cheare the sinews of thy mighty arme,

Whose out-strecht force shall quell his proud alarme.

Then giue newe fuell to his honours fier,

Least slight regard wealth-winning Error slay,

And so old Saturns happie world retyer,

Making Trueths dungion brighter than the day;

Was neuer woe could wound thy kingdom nyer,

Or of thy borrowed beautie make display,

Because this vow in heauens booke doth remaine,

That Errors death shall consumate thy raigne.

Now, for my god-heads remnant liues in thee,

Whose lost successe breeds mine eternall end,

Take for thine ayde, afflicting Miserie,

Woe, mine attendant, and Dispayre my freend,

All three my greatest great Triumuerie,

Blood bath’d Carnifici, which will protend

A murdring desolation to that will,

Which me in thee, and thee in mee would kill.

Here, with her fixed Comet-blazing eyes,

The damned Augurs of vntimely death,

Shee ends her tale, whilst from her harts caue flyes

A storme of winds, no gentle sighing breath,

All which, like euill spirits in disguise,

Enter Iberias eares, and to her sayth,

That all the substance of this damned storie,

Was zealous true, coyned for her Spanish glorie.

Sworne to beleeue, for ill, in ill assies,

Spayne then enamour’d with the Romane trull,

Calls all her forces, more then Atomies,

And tells Ill-fortunes storie to the full;

Many Parenthises shee doth deuise,

And frost-relenting words doth choycely cull,

Bewitching those whom oft shee had deceiued,

With such like Hemlock as her selfe receiued.

The first and greatest one, commaunding all,

The soule of mischiefes old created mother,

Was Don Alphonso Bassan, proud in brall,

The Marques Sancta Cruces onely brother;

Him shee coniures by typ’s emperiall,

And all that falshoods seeming trueth could couer,

To vndertake this hie (she termed it) act,

Which craues a curse of all that reads the fact.

Her selfe (shee said) and all the flowers of Spayne,

Should vnder his, as heauens Ensigne warre:

Thus from her harts foule dunghill flyes amaine

Grosse vapours, metamorphosd to a starre;

Her words in fumes like prodogies retaine

His hart, by her tongues witchcraft bound so farre,

And what shee will, that will hee vnder-take,

Be it to warre with heauen for her sake.

The seeming Nectar of her poysoning speech,

So well shee saw surprise his licoras sence,

That for to reare her ill beyonds ills reach,

With selfe-like tropes, decks self-like eloquence,

Making in Britain Dona such a breach,

That her arm’d wits, conqu’ring his best wits sence,

He vowes with Bassan to defende the broile,

Which men of praise, and earth of fame shal spoile.

To him shee giues the Biscaynnoys for guard,

Mechanicall Artificers for death,

And those which of affliction neuer hard,

She tempers with the hammer of her breath:

To euery act shee giues huge lyp-reward,

Lauish of oathes, as falshood of her faith;

And for the ground of her pretended right,

T’is hate, which enuies vertue in a Knight.

These two to her fast bound in vassailage,

Vnto the Marques Arumburch shee flyes,

Him shee prouokes, him shee finds apt to rage,

Imprisoning Pitties teares in flintie eyes;

To him the power of Siuill for a gage

Shee doth bequeath; bidding his prowesse ryse,

And clense his Countries face from widowes tears,

To which he posts, like lightning from the sphears.

Lastly, to make vp mischiefes perfect square,

To Luis Cutino shee takes her flight,

Him shee commaunds, he to her homage sware

To guide a Nauie to this damned fight,

Of Hulks and Fly-boats such as durst to dare.

Shee giues him soueraine rule, and publique right,

And then vniting all foure powers in one,

Sends them to sea, to calme Misfortunes mone.

And now behold (diuine for valiancie)

Like flying Castells sayle they to this strand,

Fiftie three saile, strong in artillarie;

Best men of warre knowne in the Spanish land;

Fifteene Armados, Kings of soueraigntie,

Which led the lesser with a mightie hand:

And these in foure battalions hither flie,

With whom three dayes I sailed in companie.

Then gentle Grinuile, Thetis parramoure,

Dearer than Venus, Daughter of the flood,

Set sailes to wind, let not neglect deuoure

Thy gracious fortunes and thine Angell goode,

Cut through the maine, compell thy keele to scoure,

No man his ill too timelie hath with-stoode

And when Best-chaunce shal haue repaird thy fortune,

Time for this flight may iust reuenge importune.

Here Midelton did end the passing peale

Which gaue the warning to a dismall end,

And as his words last knell began to faile,

This damned Nauie did a glimmering send,

By which Sir Richard might their power reueale,

Which seeming conquerlesse did conquests lend;

At whose appearance Midelton did cry,

See where they come, for fame and pitty flie.

This certaine story, of too certaine ill,

Did not extinguish, but gaue honour fier,

Th’amazing prodigie, (bane of my quill,)

Bred not astonishment, but a strong desier,

By which this heauen-adopted Knights strong will,

Then hiest height of Fame, flew much more hier:

And from the boundlesse greatnes of his minde,

Sends back this answer through his lyps refin’d.

Thanks hardie Midelton for thy dilate,

Perswasiue presage to auoyde my death,

But if thou wed my fortunes with my state,

This sauing health shall suffocate my breath,

To flye from them that holds my God in hate,

My Mistres, Countrey, me, and my sworne fayth,

Were to pull of the load from Typhons back,

And crush my selfe, with shame and seruille wrack.

Nor if my hart degenerate should yeeld,

To entertaine an amorus thought of life,

And so transport mine honour to the field,

Where seeming valure dies by cowards knife,

Yet zeale and conscience shall new forces build,

And others soules, with my soule holdeth strife;

For halfe my men, and all that draw sound breath,

Are gone on shore, for foode to conquer death.

If I forsake them, certaine is their end,

If I obtaine them, doubtfull is our fall,

Vpon my flight, shame and their sacks depend,

Vpon my stay, hope of good hap doth call,

Equall to me, the meanest I commend;

Nor will I loose, but by the losse of all:

They are the sinewes of my life and fame,

Dismembred bodies perish cripple-lame.

This sayd, he sends a cock-boate to the shore,

To summon backe his men vnto their ship,

Who com’d a board, began with some vprore

To way their Anchors, and with care to dip

Their hie reuolues in doubt, and euermore,

To paint deaths visage with a trembling lip,

Till he that was all fearelesse, and feare slew,

With Nectard words from them all dangers drew.

When Midelton saw Grinuills hie reuolue,

Past hope, past thought, past reach of all aspire,

Once more to moue him flie he doth resolue,

And to that purpose tips his tongue with fier;

Fier of sweete words, that easelie might dissolue

And moisten flint, though steeld in stiffe attire,

Had not desier of wonder praise, and fame,

Extinkt the sparks, and still keepe dead the flame.

Greater, and better then inarked he,

Which in the worlds huge deluge did suruiue,

O let thy wings of magnanimitie,

Not vainlie flatter, Honour to acchiue,

Gainst all conceit impossibilitie,

By which thou murderst Vertue, keepe aliue,

Nor in thy seeking of diuinitie,

Kill not heauens fame by base mortalitie.

O Grinuile thou hast red Philosophy

Nature and Arte hath made thee excellent,

And what thou read’st, hath grafted this in thee,

That to attempt hie dangers euident

Without constraint or neede, is infamie,

And honor turnes to rashhes in th’euent:

And who so darrs, not caring how he darrs,

Sells vertues name, to purchase foolish starrs.

Deere Knight, thou art not forst to hazard fame,

Heauens haue lent thee meanes to scape thine ill,

If thou abide, as true as is thy name,

So truly shall thy fault, thy death fulfill:

And as to loue the life for vertues flame,

Is the iust act of a true noble will,

So to contemne it, and her helps exclude,

Is baseness, rashness, and no Fortitude.

He that compard mans bodie to an hoast,

Sayd that the hands were scouts, discouering harmes,

The feete were horsemen, thundring on the coast,

The brest, and stomacke, footmen, huge in swarmes.

But for the head, in soueraigntie did boast,

It Captayne was, director of alarms,

Whose rashness, if it hazarded an ill,

Not hee alone but all the hoast did spill.

Rash Isadas, the Lacedemon Lord,

That naked fought against the Theban power,

Although they crown’d his valure by accord,

Yet was hee find for rashness in that hower:

And those which most his carelesse praise affoard,

Did most condemne what follie did deuoure;

For in attempting, prowesse is not ment,

But wiselie doing what we doe attempt.

Then sith t’is valure to abandon fight,

And base to darre, where no hope is to winne,

(Renowned man, of all renowne the light)

Hoyst vp thy sailes, delay attrackts thy sinne,

Flie from ill-boding starres with all thy might,

Vnto thy hart let praise and pittie in.

This sayd, and more desirous much to crie,

Sir Richard stayd him, with this rich replie.

Captayne, I praise thy warlike eloquence,

And sober Axioms of Philosophie,

But now’s no time for schoole points difference,

When Deaths blacke Ensigne threatens miserie;

Yet for thy words sound of such consequence.

Making flight praise, and fight pale obloquie,

Once ere I die, Ile clense my wits from rust,

And proue my flying base, my stay most iust.

Whence shall I flie? from refuge of my fame,

From whom? euen from my Countreis mortall foe,

Whither? but to the dungeon of my shame,

Why shall I flie? for feare of happie woe,

What end of flight? to saue vile life by blame,

Who ist that flies? Grinuile? Captayne no,

T’is England flies, faire Ile of happines,

And true diuine Elizas holynes.

Shall then my life regard taynt that choice faire?

First will I perrish in this liquid round,

Neuer shall Sunne-burnt Spanyards tongue endeare

Iberian eares with what shall me confound,

The life I haue, I for my Mistris beare,

Curst were that life, should it her scepter wound,

And trebble cursed be that damned thought,

Which in my minde hath any fayntnes wrought.

Now, for Philosophie defends thy theame,

Euen selfe Philosophie shall arme my stile,

Rich buskin’d Seneca, that did declaime,

And first in Rome our tragicke pompe compile,

Saith, Fortitude is that which in extreme

And certaine hazard all base feares exile:

It guides, saith he, the noble minde from farre,

Through frost, and fier, to conquer honors warre.

Honie-tongd Tullie, Mermaid of our eares,

Affirmes no force, can force true Fortitude,

It with our bodies, no communion beares,

The soule and spyrit, sole doth it include;

It is that part of honestie which reares

The hart to heauen, and euer doth obtrude

Faint feare, and doubt, still taking his delight

In perrills, which exceed all perrills might.

Patience, Perseuerance, Greatnes, and Strong Trust,

These pages are to Fortitude their King,

Patience that suffers, and esteemeth iust,

What euer woe, for vertue fortunes bring;

Perseuerance, holds constant what we must,

Greatnes, that still effects the greatest thing.

And armed Trust, which neuer can dispaire,

But hopes good hap; how euer fatall deare.

The Roman Sergius, hauing lost his hand,

Slew with one hand foure in a single fight,

A thing all reason euer did with-stand.

But that bright Fortitude spred forth her light

Pompey, by storme held from th’ Italyan land,

And all his sailors quaking in his sight,

First hoisted saile, and cry’d amidst the strife,

There’s neede I goe, no neede to saue my life.

Agis that guilt the Lacedemon streete,

Intending one day battaile with his foes,

By counsaile was repeld, as thing vnmeete,

The enemie beeing ten to one in shoes;

But he reply’d, Tis needful that his feete

Which many leads, should leade to many bloes:

And one being good, an Armie is for ten

Foes to religion, and known naughty men.

To him that told Dienecus, his foes

Couer’d the Sun with darts and armed speares,

Hee made reply, Thy newes is ioy in woes,

Wee’le in the shadow fight, and conquer feares.

And from the Polands words my humor floes,

I care for naught but falling of the Spheares.

Thunder affrights the Infants in the schooles,

And threatnings are the conquerors of fooles.

As these, my case is not so desperate,

And yet, then these, my darre shall be no lesse:

If this in them, for fame was wondred at,

Then this in mee, shall my desiers expresse;

Neuer shall Greece, nor Rome, nor Heathen state,

With shining honor, Albions shine depresse,

Though their great circuits yeelds their acts large bounds,

Yet shall they neuer darr for deeper wounds.

And thus resolu’d, deere Midelton depart,

Seeke for thy safetie in some better soyle,

Thy stay will be no succour in my smart,

Thy losse will make them boast of better spoyle.

And be assur’d before my last breath part,

Ile make the Sunne, for pittie backe recoyle.

And clothe the sea within a scarlet pale,

Iudge of their death which shall my life exhale.

This ship which now intombs my iealous soule,

Honestlie enuious of aspiring laude,

Is cald Reuenge, the scourge which doth controule,

The recreants that Errors right applaud,

Shall like her selfe, by name and fame enroule

My spyrits acts, by no Misfortune aw’d,

Within eternall Bookes of happie deeds,

Vpon whose notes, immortall Vertue reeds,

Say, if I perish, t’was mine honours will,

My Countries loue, religion, and my Queene,

And if that enuie glorie in mine ill,

Say that I dyed, conqu’ring, vnconquered seene.

Say fiftie three strong shyps could not fulfill,

Gainst one poore mayden vessell their foule teene,

But that in spight of death, or miserie,

She fought, and foyled, and scapt captiuitie.

Replie not Midelton, mine eares are clos’d,

Hie in heauen’s for-head are my vowes ingrau’d,

I see the banefull Nauie nowt disclosed,

Begon betime, Fate hath thy fortune sau’d;

To me good starres were neuer yet opposed,

Glorie hath crownd me when I glorie crau’d,

Farwel, and say how euer be my chaunce,

My death at honours wedding learnt to daunce.

This sayd, away sailes Midelton with speede,

Sad, heauie, dull, and most disconsolate,

Shedding stout manlie teares at valures deed,

Greeuing the ruine of so great estate;

But Grinuile, whose hope euer did exceede,

Making all death in daungers fortunate,

Gan to prouide to quell this great vprore,

Then which the like was neuer heard before.

His fights set vp; and all things fit prepard,

Low on the ballast did he couch his sick,

Being fourscoore ten, in Deaths pale mantle snar’d,4

Whose want to war did most their strong harts prick.

The hundred, whose more sounder breaths declard,

Their soules to enter Deaths gates should not stick,

Hee with diuine words of immortall glorie,

Makes them the wondred actors of this storie.

Nothing he left vnsaid that tongue could say,

To breede contempt of death, or hate of thrall,

Honours reward, fame for a famous day,

Wonder of eares, that men halfe gods shall call:

And contrarie, a hopelesse certaine way,

Into a Tyrants damned fists to fall,

Where all defame, base thoughts, and infamie,

Shall crowne with shame their heads eternally.

In this great thunder of his valiant speech,

From whence the eares-eyes honors lightning felt,

The Spanish Nauie came within the reach

Of Cannon shot, which equallie was delt

On eyther side, each other to impeach;

Whose volleys made the pittying skyes to melt,

Yet with their noyse, in Grinuiles heart did frame,

Greater desier, to conquer greater fame.

And now the sunne was past his middle way,

Leaning more louely to his Lemans bed,

And the noones third hower had attacht the day,

When fiftie three gainst one were basely led;

All harts were fierd; and now the deadlie fray,

Began tumultuouslie to ouer-spread.

The sea with fier, the Element with smoake

Which gods, and monsters from their sleep awoake.

In foure great battailes marcht the Spanish hoast,

The first of Siuill, led in two great squares,

Both which with courage, more then can be most,

Sir Richard forst to giue him way with cares;

And as the Sea-men terme it in our coast,

They sprang their luffe, and vnder lee declares,

Their manie forces feebled by this one,

Whose thoughts, saue him, are rightly due to none.

And now he stands amidst the thickest throngs,

Walld round with wooden Castels on the waue,

Fiftie three Tygers greedie in their wrongs,

Besiedge the princelie Lion in his caue:

Nothing sees Grinuile which to hope belongs,

All things are fled that any hap could saue;

Bright day is darkned by incurtaind night,

And nothing visits them but Canons light.

Then vp to heauen he lifts his loftie hart,

And cryes, old Salon, I am happy made.

All earthlie thoughts cleane from his spirits part,

Vertue and Valure all his sences lade,

His foes too fewe, too strong he holds his part,

Now doth he wish for millions to inuade,

For beeing conqueror he would conquer all,

Or conquered, with immortall honour fall.

Neuer fell hayle thicker then bullets flew,

Neuer show’rd drops faster than showring blowes,

Liu’d all the Woorthees, all yet neuer knew

So great resolue in so great certaine woes;

Had Fame told Cæsar what of this was true,

His Senate-murdred spirite would haue rose,

And with faire honors enuie wondred then,

Cursing mortalitie in mightie men.

Whilst thus affliction turmoyld in this brall,

And Grinuile still imployed his Actor death,

The great San-philip, which all Spayne did call

Th’ vnuanquisht ship, Iberias soule and faith,

Whose mountaine hugenes more was tearmed then tall,

Being twice a thousand tuns as rumour saith,

Came rushing in, becalming Grinuiles sailes,

Whose courage grew, the more his fortunes failes.

Hotlie on eyther side was lightning sent,

And steeled thunder bolts dinge men to hell,

Vnweldie Phillip, backt with millions lent,

Worse cracks of thunder then on Phaeton fell,

That with the dayes fier fiered the Element;

And why? because within her ribs did dwell,

More store of shot and great artillarie,

Then might haue seru’d the worlds great victorie.

Three tire of Cannon lodg’d on eyther side,

And in each tire, eleuen stronglie lay,

Eyght in her chase, that shot forth right did bide,

And in her sterne, twice eight that howerlie play;

Shee lesse great shot, in infinets did hide,

All which were Agents for a dismall day.

But poore Reuenge, lesse rich, and not so great,

Aunswered her cuffe for cuffe, and threat for threat.

Anon they graple eyther to the other,

And doth the ban-dogge with the Martins skinne;

And then the wombe of Phillip did vncouer,

Eight hundred Souldiers, which the fight beginne:

These board Sir Richard, and with thronging smother

The daye, the ayre, the time, and neuer linne,

But by their entrance did instruct eight more,

To doe the like, on each side foure and foure.

Thus in one moment was our Knight assaild,

With one huge Argosie, and eight great ships,

But all in vaine, their powers naught prevaild,

For the Reuenge, her Canon loud-dogs slips,

Whose bruzing teeth, so much the Phillip quaild,

That foundring in the greedie maine, he dips

His damned bodie in his watrie tombe,

Wrapt with dishonour in the Oceans wombe.

The other eight, fighting, were likewise foild,

And driuen perforce vnto a vile retraite,

None durst abide, but all with shame recoild,

Whilst Valures selfe, set Grinuile in her seate;

Onely Don Luis Saint Iohn, seeing spoild,

His Countries honour by this strange defaite,

Single encountred Grinuile in the fight,

Who quicklie sent his soule to endlesse night.

George de Prunaria, a Spanish Knight,

Euer held valiant in dispight of fate,

Seconded Luis, and with mortall might,

Writ on Sir Richards target souldiers hate,

Till Grinuile wakned with his loud rung fight,

Dispatcht his soules course vnto Plutos gate:

And after these two, sent in post all those

Which came within his mercie or his blowes.

By this, the sunne had spread his golden locks,

Vpon the pale green carpet of the sea,

And opned wide the scarlet dore which locks

The easefull euening from the labouring day;

Now Night began to leape from iron Rocks,

And whip her rustie wagon through the way,

Whilst all the Spanish host stoode maz’d in sight,

None darring to assayle a second fight.

When Don Alfonso, Generall of the warre,

Saw all his Nauie with one ship controld,

He toare his hayre, and loudlie cryd from farre,

For honour Spanyards, and for shame be bold;

Awaken Vertue, say her slumbers marre

Iberias auncient valure, and infold

Her wondred puissance, and her glorious deeds,

In cowards habit, and ignoble weeds.

Fie, that the spyrit of a single man,

Should contradict innumerable wills,

Fie, that infinitiues of forces can,

Nor may effect what one conceit fulfills;

Woe to the wombe, ceaselesse the teats I ban,

That cherrisht life, which all our liues ioyes kills;

Woe to our selues, our fortunes, and our minds,

Agast and scarrd, with whistling of the winds.

See how he triumphes in dispight of death,

Promethean like, laden with liuing fier,

And in his glorie spits disdainfull breath,

Loathing the baseness of our backe retire;

Euen now me thinke in our disgrace he saith,

Foes to your fames, why make you Fate a lyer,

When heauen and she haue giuen into your hand,

What all the world can neuer back demand?

Say that the God of Warre; Father of Chiualrie,

The Worthies, Heroes, all fam’d Conquerours,

Centaurs, Gyants, victorious Victorie,

Were all this Grinuils hart-sworne paramours.

Yet should we fightlesse let our shyps force flie:

Well might we crush his keele with rocklike powers,

And him with them ore-whelme into the maine,

Courage then harts, fetch honour backe againe.

Heere shame, the fretting canker of the mind,

That fiers the face with fuell from the hart,

Fearing his weapons weakenes, eft assigned

To desperate hardines his confounding dart,

And now the Spanyards made through words stone blind,

Desperate by shame, ashamd dispaire should part,

Like damned scritchowles, chimes to dead mens hours,

Make vowes to fight, till fight all liues deuours.

And now the tragicke sceane of death begins,

Acts of the night, deeds of the ouglie darke,

When Furies brands gaue light to furious sins,

And gastlie silence gaping wounds did marke;

Sing sadlie then my Muse (teares pittie wins)

Yet mount thy wings beyond the mornings Larke,

And wanting thunder, with thy lightnings might,

Split cares that heares the dole of this sad night.

The fier of Spaynes pride, quencht by Grinuils sword,

Alfonso rekindles with his tong,

And sets a batelesse edge, ground by his word

Vpon their blunt harts feebled by the strong,

Loe animated now, they all accord,

To die, or ende deaths conflict held so long;

And thus resolud, too greedelie assay

His death, like hounds that hold the Hart at bay.

Blacker then night, more terrible then hell,

Louder then thunder, sharper then Phoebus steele,

Vnder whose wounds the ouglie Python fell,

Were bullets mantles, clowding the haplesse keele,

The slaughtered cryes, the words the cannons tell,

And those which make euen rocky Mountaines reele,

And thicker then in sunne are Atomies,

Flew bullets, fier, and slaughtered dead mens cries.

At this remorsles Dirgie for the dead,

The siluer Moone, dread Soueraigne of the Deepe,

That with the floods fills vp her horned head

And by her waine the wayning ebbs doth keepe:

Taught by the Fat’s how destenie was led,

Bidds all the starres pull in their beames and weepe:

For twas vnfit, chast hallowed eyes should see

Honour confounded by impietie.

Then to the night she giues all soueraigne power,

Th’eternall mourner for the dayes diuorce,

Who drowned in her owne harts killing shower,

Viewes others torments with a sad remorse.

This flintie Princesse, ayme cryes to the hower,

On which to looke, kinde eies no force could force.

And yet the sight her dull hart so offended,

That from her sight a fogge dewe descended.

Now on our Knight, raines yron, sword, and fiers,

Iron wrapt in smoke, sword bath’d in smoking blood,

Fiers, furies king, in blood and smoke aspires

The consumation of all liuing good,

Yet Grinuile, with like Agents like expires

His foemen’s darts, and euermore withstood

Th’assaults of death, and ruins of the warre,

Hoping the splendour of some luckie starre.

On eyther side him, still two Gallions lay,

Which with continuall boardings nurst the fight,

Two great Armados, howrelie ploy’d their way,

And by assaulte, made knowne repellesse might.

Those which could not come neere vnto the fray,

Aloose dicharg’d their volleys gainst our Knight.

And when that one shrunk back, beat with disgrace,

An other instantly supply’d the place.

So that their resting, restlesse him containd,

And theyr supplies, deny’d him to supply:

The Hydra of their mightines ordaind

New spoile for death, when old did wounded lie:

But hee, Herculian-like one state retaind,

One to triumph, or one for all to die.

Heauen had onelie lent him but one hart,

That hart one thought, that thought no feare of smart.

And now the night grew neere her middle line,

Youthfully lustie in her strongest age,

When one of Spaynes great Gallions did repine,

That one should many vnto death ingage,

And therefore with her force, halfe held diuine,

At once euaporates her mortall rage,

Till powerfull Grinuille, yeelding power a toombe

Splyt her, & sunck her in the salt waves wombe.

When Cutino, the Hulks great Admirall,

Saw that huge Vessel drencht within the surge,

Enuie and shame tyered vpon his gall,

And for reuenge a thousand meanes doth vrge;

But Grinuile, perfect in destructions fall,

His mischiefes with like miseries doth scourge,

And renting with a shot his wooden tower,

Made Neptunes liquid armes his all deuouer.

These two ore-whelm’d, Siuills Ascension came,

A famous ship, well man’d and strongly drest,

Vindicta from her Cannons mouthes doth flame,

And more then any, our dread Knight oppresst:

Much hurt shee did, many shee wounded lame,

And Valurs selfe, her valiant acts confest.

Yet in the end, (for warre of none takes keepe)

Grinuile sunck her within the watry deepe.

An other great Armado, brusd and beat,

Sunck neere S. Michaels road, with thought to scape,

And one that by her men more choicely set,

Beeing craz’d and widow’d of her comly shape,

Ran gainst the shore, to pay Ill-chaunce her debt,

Who desolate for desolations gape:

Yet these confounded, were not mist at all.

For new supplies made new the aged brall.

This while on Grinuile ceazed no amaze.

No wonder, dread, nor base astonishment,

But true resolue, and valurs sacred blaze,

The crowne of heauen, and starrie ornament

Deck’t his diuine part, and from thence did raze

Affects of earth, or earth’s intendiment.

And in this broyle, as cheerefull was his fight,

As Ioues, embracing Danae by night.

Looke how a wanton Bridegroome in the morne,

Busilie labours to make glad the day,

And at the noone, with wings of courage borne,

Recourts his bride with dauncing and with play,

Vntil the night which holds meane bliss in scorne,

By action kills imaginations sway,

And then, euen then, gluts and confounds his thought,

With all the sweets, conceit or Nature wrought,

Euen so our Knight the bridegroome vnto Fame,

Toild in his battailes morning with vnrest,

At noone triumph’d and daunst, and made his game,

That vertue by no death could be deprest;

But when the night of his loues longings came,

Euen then his intellectuall soule confest

All other ioyes imaginarie were

Honour vnconquerd, heauen and earth held deare.

The bellowing shotte which wakened dead mens swounds,

As Dorian musick, sweetned his cares,

Ryuers of blood, issuing from fountaine wounds,

Hee pytties, but augments not with his teares,

The flaming fier which mercilesse abounds,

Hee not so much as masking torches feares,

The dolefull Eccho of the soules halfe dying,

Quicken his courage in their banefull crying.

When foule Misfortune houering on a Rock,

(The stonie girdle of the Florean Ile,)

Had seene this conflict, and the fearfull shock,

Which all the Spanish mischiefes did compile,

And saw how conquest licklie was to mock

The hope of Spayne, and fauster her exile,

Immortall shee, came downe herselfe to fight,

And doe what else no mortall creature might.

And as she flew the midnights waking starre,

Sad Cassiopea with a heauie cheare,

Pusht forth her forehead, to make known from farre,

What time the dryrie dole of earth drew neare,

But when shee saw Misfortune arm’d in warre,

With teares she blinds her eyes, and clouds the ayre,

And asks the Gods, why Fortune fights with man?

They say, to doe, what else no creature can.

O why should such immortall enuie dwell,

In the enclosures of eternall mould?

Let Gods with Gods, and men with men retell,

Vnequall warres t’vnequall shame is sould;

But for this damned deede came shee from hell,

And Ioue is sworne, to doe what dest’nie would,

Weepe then my pen, the tell-tale of our woe,

And curse the fount from whence our sorrows flow.

Now, now, Misfortune fronts our Knight in armes,

And casts her venome through the Spanysh hoast,

Shee salues the dead, and all the lyuing warmes

With vitall enuie, brought from Plutos coast;

Yet all in vaine, all works not Grinuils harmes;

Which seene, shee smiles, and yet with rage imbost5

Saith to her selfe, since men are all too weake,

Behold a goddesse shall thy lifes twine breake.

With that shee takes a Musket in her hand,

Raft from a dying Souldiour newlie slaine,

And ayming where th’ vnconquered Knight did stand,

Dischargd it through his bodie, and in twaine

Deuids the euer holie nuptiall band,

Which twixt his soule, and worlds part shold remaine,

Had not his hart, stronger then Fortunes will,

Held life perforce to scorne Misfortunes ill.

The bubling wound from whence his blood distild,

Mourn’d to let fall the hallowed drops to ground,

And like a iealous loue by riuall illd,

Sucks in the sacred moisture through the wound;

But he, which felt deaths fatall doome fulfilld,

Grew fiercer valiant, and did all confound,

Was not a Spanyard durst abord him rest,

After he felt his deaths wound in his brest.

Hundreds on hundreds, dead on the maymed fall,

Maymed on sounde, sound in them selues lye slaine,

Blest was the first that to his ship could crall,

For wounded, he wounds multituds againe;

No sacrifice, but sacrifice of all,

Could stay his swords oblations vnto paine,

Nor in Phillipie, fell for Cæsars death,

Soules thicker then for Grinuils wasting breath.

The Nemian Lyon, Aramanthian Bore,

The Hircanian Tyger, nor the Cholcean Bulls,

Neuer extended rage with such vprore,

Nor in their brests mad monstrous furie lulls;

Now might they learne, that euer learnt before,

Wrath at our Knight, which all wrath disanulls,

For slauish death, his hands commaunded more,

Then Lyon, Tyger, Bull, or angrie Bore.

Had Pompey in Pharsalia held his thought,

Cæsar had neuer wept vpon his head,

Had Anthonie at Actiome like him fought,

Augustus teares had neuer drowned him dead,

Had braue Renaldo, Grinuiles puissance bought,

Angelica from France had neuer fled,

Nor madded Rowland with inconstancie,

But rather slayne him wanting victorie.

Before a storme flewe neuer Doues so fast,

As Spanyards from the furie of his fist,

The stout Reuenge, about whose forlorne wast,

Whilome so many in their moods persist,

Now all alone, none but the scourge imbrast,

Her foes from handie combats cleane desist;

Yet still incirkling her within their powers,

From farre sent shot, as thick as winters showers.

Anger, and Enuie, enemies to Life,

Strong smouldering Heate and noisom stink of Smoke,

With over-labouring Toyle, Deaths ouglie wife,

These all accord with Grinuiles wounded stroke,

To end his liues date by their ciuell strife,

And him vnto a blessed state inyoke,

But he repelld them whilst repell he might,

Till feinting power, was tane from power to fight

Then downe he sat, and beat his manlie brest,

Not mourning death, but want of meanes to die;

Those which suruiu’d coragiouslie be blest,

Making them gods for god-like victorie;

Not full twice twentie soules aliue did rest,

Of which the most were mangled cruellie,

Yet still, whilst words could speake, or signes could show,

From death he maks eternall life to grow.

The Maister-gunner, which beheld his eyes

Dart fier gainst death triumphant in his face,

Came to sustaine him, and with courage cryes,

How fares my Knight? worlds glory, martiall grace?

Thine honour, former honours ouer-flyes,

And vnto Heauen and Vertue bids the bace;

Cheere then thy soule, and if deaths wounding pain it,

Abram’s faire bosome lyes to entertaine it.

Maister, he sayes, euen heers the opned dore,

Through which my spirit bridgroome like must ride,

(And then he bar’d his wounded brest all gore)

To court the blessed virgine Lambe his bride,

Whose innocence the worlds afflictions bore,

Streaming diuine blood from his sliced side,

And to that heauen my soule with courage flyes,

Because vnconquered, conquering it dyes.

But yet, replyed the Maister once againe,

Great vertue of our vertues, strive with fate,

Yeeld not a minute vnto death, retaine

Life like thy glory, made to wonder at.

This wounds recouerie well may entertaine

A double triumph to thy conquering state,

And make thee liue immortall Angell blest,

Pleaseth thee suffer it be searcht and drest.

Descend then gentle Grinvile downe below,

Into my Cabin for a breathing space,

In thee there let thy Surgion stanch our woe,

Giuing recuer to thee, our wounded case,

Our breaths, from thy breaths fountaine gently flow,

If it be dried, our currents loose their grace:

Then both for vs, and thee, and for the best,

Descend, to haue thy wound bound vp and drest.

Maister, reply’d the Knight, since last the sunne

Lookt from the hiest period of the sky,

Giuing a signall of the dayes mid noone,

Vnto this hower of midnight, valiantly,

From off this vpper deck I haue not runne,

But fought, and freed, and welcomd victorie,

Then now to giue new couert to mine head,

Were to reuiue our foes halfe conquered.

Thus with contrarie arguments they warre,

Diuers in their opinions and their speech,

One seeking means, th’ other a will to darre;

Yet both one end, and one desire reach:

Both to keepe honour liuing, plyant are,

Hee by his fame, and he by skilfull leach,

At length, the Maister winnes, and hath procurd

The Knight discend, to have his woundings curd.

Downe when he was, and had display’d the port

Through which his life was martching vp to heauen,

Albe the mortall taint all cuers retort,

Yet was his Surgion not of hope bereuen,

But giues him valiant speech of lifes resort,

Saves, longer dayes his longer fame shall euen,

And for the meanes of his recouerie,

He finds both arte and possibilitie.

Misfortune hearing this presage of life,

(For what but chimes within immortall eares)

Within her selfe kindles a home-bred strife,

And for those words the Surgions doomes day swears.

With that, her charg’d peece (Atropos keene knife,)

Againe she takes, and leueld with dispairs,

Sent a shrill bullet through the Surgions head,

Which thence, through Grinuils temples like was led.

Downe fell the Surgion, hope and helpe was reft,

His death gaue manumition to his soule,

Misfortune smyld, and euen then shee left

The mournfull Ocean, mourner for this dole;

Away shee flyes, for all was now bereft,

Both hopes and helpe, for life to win deaths gole;

Yet Grinuile vnamaz’d with constant faith,

Laughing dispisd the second stroke of death.

What foole (saith he) ads to the Sea a drop,

Lends Etna sparks, or angry stormes his wind?

Who burnes the root when lightning fiers the top?

Who vnto hell, can worse then hell combind?

Pale hungry Death, thy greedy longings stop,

Hope of long life is banefull to my mind:

Yet hate not life, but loath captiuitie,

Where rests no trust to purchase victorie.

Then vp he came with feeble pace againe,

Strength from his blood, blood from his wounds descending,

Saies, here I liu’d, and here wil I sustaine,

The worst of Deaths worst, by my fame defending,

And then he fell to warre with might and maine,

Valure on death most valiantly depending,

And thus continued aye coragiously,

Vntil the day chast shadowes from the sky.

But when the mornings dewie locks drunk vp

A mistie moysture from the Oceans face,

Then might he see the source of sorrowes cup,

Plainly prefigured in that hatefull place;

And all the miseries that mortals sup

From their great Grandsire Adams band, disgrace;

For all that did incircle him, was his foe,

And that incircled, modell of true woe.

His masts were broken, and his tackle torne,

His vpper worke hew’d downe into the Sea,

Naught of his ship aboue the sourge was borne,

But euen leueld with the Ocean lay,

Onely the ships foundation (yet that worne)

Remaind a trophey in that mighty fray;

Nothing at all aboue the head remained,

Either for couert, or that force maintained.

Powder for shot, was spent and wasted cleane,

Scarce seene a corne to charge a peece withall,

All her pykes broken, halfe of his best men slaine,

The rest sore wounded, on Deaths Agents call,

On th’other side, her foe in ranks remains,

Displaying multitudes, and store of all

What euer might auaile for victorie,

Had they not wanted harts true valiancie.

When Grinuile saw his desperate drierie case,

Meerely dispoyled of all success-full thought,

Hee calls before him all within the place,

The Maister, Maister-gunner, and them taught

Rules of true hardiment to purchase grace;

Showes them the end their trauailes toile had bought,

How sweet it is, swift Fame to ouer-goe,

How vile to diue in captiue ouerthrow.

Gallants (he saith) since three a clock last noone,

Vntill this morning, fifteene howers by course,

We haue maintaind stoute warre, and still vndoone

Our foes assaults, and driue them to the worse,

Fifteene Armados boardings haue not wonne

Content or ease, but beene repeld by force,

Eight hundred Cannon shot against her side,

Haue not our harts in coward colours died.

Not fifteene thousand men araungd in fight,

And fifteene howers lent them to atchiue,

With fifty three great ships of boundlesse might,

Haue had or meanes or prowesse to contriue

The fall of one, which mayden vertue dight,

Kept in despight of Spanish force aliue.

Then list to mee you imps of memorie,

Borne to assume to immortalitie.

Sith loosing, we vnlost keepe strong our praise,

And make our glories, gaynours by our ends,

Let not the hope of howers (for tedious dayes

Vnto our lines no longer circuite lends)

Confound our wondred actions and assayes,

Whereon the sweete of mortal eares depends,

But as we liue by wills victorious,

So let vs die victours of them and vs.

Wee that haue mercilesse cut Mercies wings,

And muffeld pittie in deaths mistie vale,

Let vs implore no mercie; pittyings,

But from our God, deere fauour to exhale

Our soules to heauen, where all the Angells rings

Renowne of vs, and our deepe tragick tale;

Let us that cannot liue, yet liue to dye,

Vnthrald by men, fit tropheys for the skye.

And thus resolu’d since other meane is reft,

Sweet Maister-gunner, split our keele in twaine,

We cannot liue, whom hope of life hath left,

Dying, our deaths more glorious liues retain,

Let not our ship, of shame and foile bereft,

Vnto our foe-men for a prize remaine;

Sinke her, and sinking with the Greeke wee’le cry,

Best not to be, or beeing soone to dye.

Scarce had his words tane wings from his deere tong,

But the stout Maister-gunner, euer rich

In heauenlie valure and repulsing wrong,

Proud that his hands by action might inritch

His name and nation with a worthie song,

Tow’rd his hart higher then Eagles pitch,

And instantlie indeuours to effect

Grinuils desier, by ending Deaths defect.

But th’ other Maister, and the other Mat’s,

Disented from the honour of their minds,

And humbly praid the Knight to rue their stat’s,

Whom miserie to no such mischiefe binds;

To him th’ aleadge great reasons, and dilat’s

Their foes amazements, whom their valures blinds,

And maks more eager t’entertaine a truce,

Then they to offer words for warres excuse.

They show him diuers gallant men of might,

Whose wounds not mortall, hope gaue of recuer,

For their saks sue they to diuorce this night

Of desperate chaunce, calld vnto Deaths black lure,

Their lengthened liues, their countries care might right,

And to their Prince they might good hopes assure.

Then quod the Captaine, (deare Knight) do not spill,

The liues whom gods and Fat’s seeke not to kill.

And where thou sayst the Spanyards shall not braue

T’ haue tane one ship due to our virgin Queene,

O knowe, that they, nor all the world can saue,

This wounded Barke, whose like no age hath seene,

Sixe foote shee leaks in hold, three shot beneath the waue,

All whose repaire so insufficient beene,

That when the Sea shall angrie worke begin,

She cannot chuse but sinke and dye therein.

Besides, the wounds and brusings which she beares,

Are such, so manie, so incurable,

As to remoue her from this place of feares.

No force, no wit, no meane, nor man is able;

Then since that peace prostrate to vs repaires,

Vnlesse our selues, our selues make miserable,

Herculeen Knight, for pittie, pittie lend,

No fame consists in wilfull desperat end.

These words with emphasis and action spent,

Mou’d not Sir Richard, but inrag’d him more,

To bow or yeeld, his heart would neare relent,

He still impugns all thought of lifes restore;

The Maister-gunner euer doth consent

To act his wish, swearing, in beds of gore

Death is most louelie, sweete and amiable,

But captiu’d life for foulenes admirable.

The Captayne, seeing words could take no place,

Turnes backe from them vnto the liuing few,

Expounds what pittie is, what victors grace;

Bids them them selues, them selues in kindnes rew,

Peace if they please, will kindlie them imbrace,

And they may liue, from whom warres glory grew;

But if they will to desperate end consent,

Their guilty soules too late shall mourne repent.

The sillie men, who sought but liuing ioyes,

Cryes to the Captaine for an honord truce,

Life they desire, yet no life that destroyes

Their wonne renownes, but such as might excuse

Their woes, their wounds, and al what els anoyes

Beautie of laude, for other they refuse;

All which the Captaine swears they shal obtaine,

Because their foes, in doubtfull states remaine.

O when Sir Richard saw them start aside,

More chaynd to life then to a glorius graue,

And those whom hee so oft in dangers tryde,

Now trembling seeke their hatefull liues to saue.

Sorrow and rage, shame, and his honors pride,

Choking his soule, madly compeld him raue,

Vntil his rage with vigor did confound

His heauie hart; and left him in a swound.

The Maister-gunner, likewise seeing Fate

Bridle his fortune, and his will to die,

With his sharpe sword sought to set ope the gate,

By which his soule might from his bodie flie,

Had not his freends perforce preseru’d his state,

And lockt him in his Cabbin safe to lie,

Whilst others swarm’d where haplesse Grinuile lay,

By cryes recalling life, late runne away.

In this too restlesse turmoile of vnrest,

The poore Reuenges Maister stole awaye,

And to the Spanish Admirall adrest

The dolefull tidings of this mournfull day,

(The Spanish Admirall who then oprest,

Houering with doubt, not daring t’end the fray,)

And pleads for truce, with souldier-like submission

Anexing to his words a straight condition.

Alfonso, willing to giue end to armes,

For well he knew Grinuile would neuer yeild,

Able his power stoode like vnnumbred swarmes,

Yet daring not on stricter tearmes to build,

He offers all what may alay their harmes

Safetie of liues, nor any thrall to weild,

Free from the Gallie, prisonment, or paine,

And safe returne vnto their soyle againe

To this he yeelds, as well for his own sake,

Whom desperate hazard might indamage sore,

As for desier the famous Knight to take,

Whom in his hart he seemed to deplore,

And for his valure halfe a God did make,

Extolling him all other men before,

Admiring with an honourable hart,

His valure, wisdome, and his Souldiours Art.

With peacefull newes the Maister backe returns,

And rings it in the liuing remnants eares,

They all reioyce, but Grinuile deadly mourns,

He frets, he sighs, he sorrowes and despaires,

Hee cryes, this truce, their fame and blisse adiourns,

He rents his locks, and all his garments teares,

He vowes his hands shall rent the ship in twaine

Rather then he will Spanish yoke sustaine.

The few reseru’d, that life esteem’d too well,

Knowing his words were warrants for his deede,

Vnkindly left him in that monstrous hell,

And fled vnto Alfonso with greate speede,

To him their Chieftaines mightines they tell,

And how much valure on his soule doth feede,

That if preuention, not his actions dim,

Twill be too late to saue the shyp or him.

Bassan made proude, vnconquering t’ouer-come,

Swore the brave Knight nor ship he would not lose,

Should all the world in a petition come:

And therefore of his gallants, fortie chose

To board Sir Richard, charging them be dombe

From threatning words, from anger, and from bloes,

But with all kindnes, honor, and admire

To bring him thence, to further Fames desire.

Sooner they boarded not the crazed Barke,

But they beheld where speechlesse Grinuile lay,

All smeard in blood, and clouded in the darke,

Contagious curtaine of Deaths tragick day;

They wept for pittie, and yet silent marke

Whether his lungs sent liuing breath away,

Which when they sawe in ayrie blasts to flie,

They striu’d who first should stanch his misery.

Anon came life, and lift his eye-lids vp,

Whilst they with teares denounce their Generals wil,

Whose honord mind sought to retort the cup

Of deaths sad poyson, well instruckt to kill;

Tells him what fame and grace his eyes might sup

From Bassans kindnes, and his Surgions skill,

Both how he lou’d him, and admir’d his fame,

To which he sought to lend a liuing flame.

Aye mee (quoth Grinuile) simple men, I know

My bodie to your Generall is a pray,

Take it, and as you please my lyms bestow,

For I respect it not, tis earth and clay:

But for my minde that mightier much doth grow,

To heauen it shall, despight of Spanish sway.

He swounded, and did neuer speake againe.

This said, orecome with anguish and with paine,

They took him vp, and to theyr Generall brought

His mangled carkasse, but vnmaimed minde,

Three dayes hee breath’d, yet neuer spake he ought,

Albe his foes were humble, sad, and kinde;

The fourth came downe the Lambe that all souls bot,

And his pure part, from worser parts refind,

Bearing his spirite vp to the loftie skyes,

Leauing his body, wonder to wonders eyes.

When Bassan saw the Angell-spirite fled,

Which lent a mortall frame immortall thought,

With pittie, griefe, and admiration led,

He mournfully complaind what Fat’s had wrought.

Woe me (he cryes) but now aliue, now dead,

But now inuincible, now captiue brought:

In this, vniust are Fat’s, and Death declared,

That mighty ones, no more than meane are spared.

You powers of heauen, rayne honour on his hearse,

And tune the Cherubins to sing his fame,

Let Infants in the last age him rehearse,

And let no more, honour be Honor’s name:

Let him that will obtaine immortall vearse,

Conquer the stile of Grinuile to the same,

For till that fire shall all the world consume,

Shall neuer name, with Grinuile name presume.

Rest then deere soule, in thine all-resting peace,

And take my teares for tropheys to thy tombe,

Let thy lost blood, thy vnlost fame increase,

Make kingly eares thy praises second wombe:

That when all tongues to all reports surcease,

Yet shall thy deeds, out-liue the day of doome,

For even Angels, in the heasens shall sing,

Grinuile vnconquered died, still conquering.

O ælinam.

1 Choristers.

2 Hangings, so called from having first been made at Arras.

3 Constellations.

4 Entangled.

5 Blown by being hunted.

“But being then imbost, the stately deer

When he hath gotten ground,” &c.

Drayton’s Polyolbian, xiii, p. 917.

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