Cinquecento

1 May 2014

The house received all ornaments to grace it,
The walls were of discolour’d jasper-stone,
One window shut, the other open stood,

The time is come, I must depart
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Ring out your bells, let mourning shows be spread;

Close the Truncke, embalme the Chest,
You should not trust lieutenants in your room,
Or hawk of the tower:

Sir Charles into my chamber coming in,
Fillet of a fenny snake,
His chilling cold doth heat require;

Oh, what a lantern, what a lamp of light
Avising the bright beams of these fair eyes
Where Muses (like bees) make their mansion.



†a cento; sources: ‘The Description of Cooke-ham’ by Æmilia Lanyer, ‘Hero and Leander’ and ‘Elegies,
Book One, 5’ by Christopher Marlowe, ‘A Communication Which the Author Had to London, Before She Made
Her Will’ by Isabella Whitney, ‘A Hymn to God the Father’ by John Donne, ‘Ring Out Your Bells’ by Sir
Philip Sidney, from The Countesse of Montgomery’s Urania: “Love peruse me, seeke, and finde”
by Lady Mary Wroth, ‘The Steel Glass’ by George Gascoigne, ‘To Mistress Margaret Hussey’ by John
Skelton, ‘An Epilogue to the Above’ by Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Cavendish, ‘Song of the Witches’
by William Shakespeare, ‘New Heaven, New War’ by Robert Southwell, SJ, ‘O’ by Mary Sidney Herbert,
‘Avising the Bright Beams’ by Sir Thomas Wyatt, ‘Sonnet 17’ by Richard Barnfield

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