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SOME act of Love's bound to rehearse,
I thought to bind him in my verse;
Which, when he felt, "Away!" quoth he,
"Can poets hope to fetter me?
It is enough they once did get
Mars and my mother in their net;
I wear not these my wings in vain."
With which he fled me; and again
Into my rhymes could ne'er be got
By any art. Then wonder not

That, since, my numbers are so cold,
When Love is fled, and I grow old.


Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show Of touch or marble; nor canst boast a row

1 The seat of the Sidneys in Kent near the banks of the Medway; afterward rendered famous by Waller as the resi dence of Saccharissa.

2 Its original and proper application was to the basanites of the Greeks, a hard black marble, which, being used as a test of gold, was hence called touch-stone.-B.

Of polished pillars or a roof of gold;

Thou hast no lantern, whereof tales are told;
Or stair, or courts; but stand'st an ancient pile,
And these grudged at, art reverenced the while.
Thou joy'st in better marks, of soil, of air,
Of wood, of water; therein thou art fair.
Thou hast thy walks for health, as well as sport;
Thy mount, to which thy Dryads do resort,
Where Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have

Beneath the broad beech and the chestnut shade;

That taller tree, which of a nut was set,

At his great birth, where all the muses met.3
There, in the writhed bark, are cut the names
Of many a sylvan taken with his flames;
And thence the ruddy satyrs oft provoke
The lighter fauns to reach thy lady's oak.*
Thy copse, too, named of Gamage, thou hast

That never fails to serve thee seasoned deer,
When thou wouldst feast or exercise thy friends;

8 Sir Philip Sidney.

4 There is an old tradition that a Lady Leicester (the wife undoubtedly of Sir Robert Sidney) was taken in travail under an oak in Penshurst Park, which was afterwards called "my lady's oak."- G.

5 In this copse Barbara Gamage, the first wife of Sir Robert Sidney, used to take great delight in feeding the deer from her own hands. Hence the copse was called Lady

Gamage's bower. - B.

The lower land, that to the river bends,

Thy sheep, thy bullocks, kine, and calves do


The middle grounds thy mares and horses breed;
Each bank doth yield thee conies; and the tops
Fertile of wood, Ashore and Sidney's copps,
To crown thy open table, doth provide
The purpled pheasant, with the speckled side;
The painted partridge lies in every field,
And for thy mess is willing to be killed;
And if the high-swoln Medway fail thy dish,
Thou hast thy ponds that pay thee tribute fish,
Fat aged carps that run into thy net,
And pikes, now weary their own kind to eat,
As loath the second draught or cast to stay,
Officiously at first, themselves betray;

Bright eels that emulate them, and leap on land,
Before the fisher, or into his hand.

Then hath thy orchard fruit, thy garden flowers,
Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours:
The early cherry, with the later plum,
Fig, grape, and quince, each in his time doth


The blushing apricot, and woolly peach

Hang on thy walls, that every child may reach. And though thy walls be of the country stone, They're reared with no man's ruin, no man's


There's none that dwell about them wish them


But all come in, the farmer and the clown,
And no one empty-handed, to salute

Thy lord and lady, though they have no suit.
Some bring a capon, some a rural cake,

Some nuts, some apples; some that think they make

The better cheeses, bring 'em; or else send
By their ripe daughters, whom they would com-

This way to husbands, and whose baskets bear
An emblem of themselves in plum or pear.
But what can this, more than express their love,
Add to thy free provisions, far above

The need of such? whose liberal board doth flow
With all that hospitality doth know!

Where comes no guest but is allowed to eat, Without his fear, and of thy lord's own meat;

Where the same beer and bread, and selfsame


That is his lordship's, shall be also mine."
And I not feign to sit, as some this day

At great men's tables, and yet dine away.
Here no man tells my cups; nor, standing by,
A waiter doth my gluttony envỳ,

But gives me what I call, and lets me eat,

6 Gifford points out that at the time Jonson wrote the system was gradually breaking up in England by which a common table was set in the hall, where the gradation of rank was marked by a gradation in the fineness of the food, and that Jonson's praise indicates Penshurst as one of the places that abandoned the old feudal custom.

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