¶ A louing Epistle, written by Ruphilus a
yonge Gentilman, to his best beloued Lady
Elriza, as followeth. +
T Wice hath my quaking hand withdrawen this pen away And twice againe it gladly would, before I dareThe secret shrined thoughts, that in my hart do dwell, That neuer wight as yet hath wist, nor I desire to tell. (5) But as the smoothered cole, doth wast and still consume, And outwardly doth geue no heate, of burnyng blaze or fume: So hath my hidden harmes, been harbred in my corpce, Till faintyng limmes and life and all, had welnigh lost his force: Yet stand I halfe in doubt, whiche of these two to choose, (10) To hide my harmes still to my hurt, or els this thraldome loose. I will lay feare aside, and so my tale beginne: Who neuer durst assaile his foe: did neuer conquest win. Lo here my cause of care to thee vnfolde I will: Help thou Minerua, graunt I pray, some of thy learned skill. (15) Help all you Muses nine , my wofull Pen to write: So stuffe my verse with pleasant wordes, as she may haue delight, With heedyng eares to reade my greeif and great vnrest: Some wordes of plaint may moue perhaps, to pitty my request. Oft haue I hard complaint, how Cupid beares a sway (20) In brittle youth, and would commaund: and how they did obay. When I with skorning eares did all their talke dispise: But well I see the blinded boy: in lurking den hee lies, To catch the careles sorte: awayting with his Darte: Hee threw at mee when I vnwares, was wounded to the harte. (25) To speake and pray for helpe, now loue hath mee constrainde: And makes mee yeeld to serue the sorte, that lately I disdainde. Sith beggars haue no choyce +: nor neede had euer law +The subiecte Oxe doth like his yoke: when hee is driuen to draw. +That Ruphilus this wrote: thou wonder wilt I know, (30) Cause neuer erst in louinge vearse: my labor I bestowe, Well, woful loue is mine, and weeping lines I wright, And doubtfull wordes with driery cheere beseemes a careful wightO thou Elrisa fayre, the beuty of thine eyes Hath bred such bale within my brest, and cau’sde such strife to ryse.