University of Virginia Library



Other poems from this volume have been reproduced elsewhere in English Poetry.

THE NINTHE Tragedy of Lucius Annæus Seneca, called Octauia. Translated out of Latine into Englishe by T. N.

The Argument.

Octauia daughter to prince Claudius grace,
To Nero espousd, whom Claudius did adopt
(Although Syllanus first in husbandes place
Shee had receiu'd, whom she for Nero chopt)
Her parente both, her Make that should haue bene,
Her husbandes present Tiranny much more,
Her owne estate, her case that she was in,
Her brothers death (pore wretch) lamenteth sore.
Him Seneca doth persuade his latter loue,
Dame Poppie, Crispynes wife that sometime was,
And eake Octauias maide for to remoue.
For Senecks counsel he doth lightly passe
But Poppie ioynes to him in marriage rites,
The people wood into his pallace runne,
Hir golden fourmed shapes which them sore spytes,
They pul to ground this vprore now begunne,
To quench, he some to griesly death doth send.
But her close cased vp in dreadful barge,
With her vnto Campania coast to wend,
A band of armed men, he gaue in charge.




    The Speakers names.

  • Octauia,
  • Nutrix,
  • Chorus Romanorum,
  • Seneca,
  • Nuntius,
  • Agrippina,
  • Poppea,
  • Nero.
  • Præfectus.
Now that Aurore with glitteryng streames,
The glading starres from skye doth chase,
Syr Phœbus pert, with spouting beames,
From dewy neast doth mount apace:
And with his cheerefull lookes doth yeeld,
Unto the world a gladsome day.
Go to, O wretch, with ample Fielde
Of heauy cares oppressed aye,
Thy grieuous wonted playntes recount:
Do not alone with sighes and howles,
The Seaysh Alcyones surmounte,
But also passe the Pandyon foules:
More yrksome is thy state then theirs.
O Mother deare whose death by fits,
I nyll lament but still shed teares.
My ground of griefe in thee it sits.
If that in shade of darksome denne,
Perceiuing sence at al remayne,
Heare out at large, O mother then,
My great complayntes, and grieuous payne
O that immortall Clothos wrist,
Had torne in twayne my vitall thred:
Ere I vnto my griefe had wist


Thy woundes, and face of sanguine red.
O day which aye doth me annoy:
Since that tyme did I more desyre,
The feareful darknes to enioy,
Than Phœbus fresh with fayre attyre.
I haue abode the bitter hest
Of stepdame dire, in mothers place,
I haue abode her cruell breast,
Hir stomake stout, and fighting face.
She, Shee, for spyte vnto my case,
A doleful, and a graue Eryn,
To Bridegromes chamber spousall space,
The Stygian flashing flames brought in.
And thee, (alas) most piteous Syre,
With traytrous traynes hath shee bereft
Of breathing soule with poysoned myre:
To whom ere whyle, the world all left
Unvanquisht from the Ocean Seas
By martiall feats did freely yeeld:
And didst subdue with wondrous ease,
The Brittayne brutes that fledde the fielde:
Whom liuing at their propre swaye:
No Romayne power did earst inuade.
Now lo (ful wel lament I may)
Thy Spouse deceypte thy prowes hath lade:
And now thy court and child of yore,
With homage serue a Tyrantes lore.



Whom so the glistering pompe of royal place,
With soden sight ynumd doth quite disgrace,
Who so at courtly fleeting ebbing blase,
Astonied sore, himselfe doth much amase:
Lo see of late the great and mighty stocke,
By lurking Fortunes sodayne forced knocke,
Of Claudius quite subuert and cleane extinct:
Tofore, who held the world in his precinct:
The Brittayne Ocean coast that long was free,
He ruld at wil, and made it to agree,
Their Romaine Gallies great for to embrace.
Lo, he that Tanais people first did chase,
And Seas vnknowen to any Romayne wight
With lusty sheering shippes did ouerdight,
And safe amid the sauage freakes did fight,
And ruffling surging seas hath nothing dread,
By cruel spouses gilt doth lye all dead.
Her sonne likewyse more fiend then Tigre fierce,
Of naturall mother makes a funerall herse,
Whose brother drenched deepe with poysoned cup.
Pore Britannick, his senseles soule gaue vp
Octauia sister and vnhappy make,
Doth sore lament her case for Britans sake,
Ne can her ruthful piteous sorrow slake,
Though Neros wrath do sore constrayne her grace
She nil esteemes the secrete closet place:
But boyling stil with equal peysd disdayne.
With mutuall hate gaynst him doth burne agayne.
My true and trusty loue that I do beare,


In vayne I see doth striue to comfort her.
Reuenging greedy griefe doth streight repriue,
T'appease her smarte the counsel that I giue.
Nor flame of worthy breast doth once relent
But heaps of greefe, her courage do augment.
Alas, what griesely deedes for to ensue
My feare foreseeth: God graunt it be not true.


Octauia, Nutrix.
O staggering state, O peerelesse yll:
With ease Electra I repeate,
And call to mynd thy mourning will.
With watred eies like smartīg sweat
Thou mightst lament thy father slain,
Stil hoping that thy brother myght,
That deadly deede reuenge agayne.
Whom thou O tender louing wight
Didst safely shield from bloudy foe,
And naturall loue did closely kepe:
But Neroes dreaded visage loe,
Doth feare me that I dare not weepe,
Nor wayle my parentes ruthful case,
By cruell lot this slaughter cought:
Ne suffers mee this geniall face,
To dash with teares to dearely bought
With brothers bloud: who onely was
Myne onely hope in all my griefe,
And of so many mischieues, as


My comfort greate, and sole reliefe.
Now loe reserud for greater care,
And to abyde more lingring payne,
Of noble famous lineage bare,
A drouping shade I do remayne.
My Ladyes heauye voyce mee thought
Within my listning eares can sounde,
And snaylish age in going soft,
Unto her thews is not ybounde.

O Nurse our dolours witnes sure
By curroll cheekes distilling rayne,
And heauy heartes complaynt endure.

Alas, what day shall ridde of payne,
With care your welnye wasted heart?

That sends this guiltles ghost to graue

This talke (good madame) set apart.

In rule my state theire destenies haue,
And not thy prayers, (O matrone) iust.

The doune soft easy God shall geue,
Your troubled mynd a tyme I trust,
More sweete then euer you did liue.
With feuell fayre as one content,
And glosed face, but onely please
Your man, and make, he will relent.

The Lyon fierce I shall appease,
And sooner tame the Tygre stoute,
Then mankynd Tyrantes brutish breast.
He spytes the noble raced rout,
Contemnes hygh powers, disdaynes the least:
Ne can wel vse that princely weede,
Which venemous parent wrapt him in
By huge vnspeakeable griesly deede.
Although that wight vnthankful, grynne,
In Kingly throne that hee doth raygne,
Throughe cruel cursed mothers ayde:


Although hee pay with Death agayne
So greate a gift, it shal be sayde
And after fates in long spent age,
That woman wight shal haue alwaye,
This eloge yet and saying sage,
That he by her doth beare the sway,

Let not your ragious mynde so walke,
But doe compresse your moody talke.


Octauia, Nutrix.
Though much I beare that boyling brest do beate
And tollerably take diuorcements threate,
Deathes only deadly darte, I see an end,
Of al my broyle and pinching payne can send,
What pleasant light to me (O wretch) is left,
My natural Mother slayne, and Syre bereft,
Of breathing life, by treason, and by gilt:
Of Brother eake depriude: with miseryes spilt:
And wayling ouercome: kept downe with care,
Enuyed of Make, which I dare not declare.
To mayden subiect now, and now defied:
What pleasant light can me (O wretch) abyde,
With feareful hart suspecting always ought:
Because I would no wicked deede were wroughte:
Not that I feare Deathes griesly gyrning face,
God graunt I do not so reuenge my case,


A better deede to dye: for to behold
The Tyrantes visage grimme, with browes vprolde
And with soft tender lippes my foe to kisse,
And stand in awe of beckes and noddes of his,
Whose will to please my griefe with cares yfirde
Since brothers death by wicked wyle conspirde,
Could neuer once vouchsafe for to sustayne,
Lesse griefe to die, then thus to liue in payne.
His Empyre Nero rules and ioyes in blood:
The cause and ground of death that Tirant wood.
How oft (alas) doth Fansie fondly fayne.
Whē slumber swete in pensiue parts doth raigne,
And sleepe in eyes, all tyrd with teares doth rest,
I apprehend deare Brittans liuely brest:
Ere whyle me thinkes his feble shiuering hands
He fenseth sure with deadly blasing brandes,
And fiercely on his brother Neros face,
With sturdy stinging stroakes he flies apace.
Ere whyle thilke wretch recoyleth backe agayne,
And to my thewes for aide retyres amayne:
Him foming foe pursues with hast to haue:
And whyle my brother I desire to saue,
And in my clasped armes to shield him free,
His goary bloudied falchion keene I see.
The boysterous raumping fiend to tugge, & hale
Through out my shiuering limmes, as ashes pale.
Forthwith a mighty trembling chattering quake
From weary lims all souple sleepe doth shake,
And makes me woeful wretch for to recount,
My wayling sobbing sorrowes that surmount.
Hereto, put to that gorgeous stately [illeg.]ouse,
All glistring bright, with spoyles of Claudius house
His parent deare in bubling boate did douse,
That wicked sonne, this fisking dame to please.
Whom yet escaping daungers great of Seas.


He fiercer freake than waues that scantly rest,
VVith bloudy blade hir bowels did vnbrest.
VVhat hope of health, can me, O wretch, abyde,
That after them thilke way I should not ryde?
My speciall foe, triumphant wise doth weight,
VVith naked nates to presse by louers sleight,
Our spousall, pure, and cleane vnspotied bed:
Gainst whom, she burns, with deadly foode bloud red.
And, for a meede of filthy strumpets sport,
She causeth Make from spouse for to diuort.
O auncient Syre, step forth from Limbo lake,
Thy daughters heauy troublous cares to slake:
Or your twygated hellysh porche vnfolde,
That downe through gaping ground I may bee rolde.
O piteous wretch, in vaine, (alas) in vaine
Thou calst vpon thy fathers senselesse sprite:
In whome, God wot, there doth no care remaine
Of mortall broode, that here doth take delight.
Shall he, thinke you, asswage your sory cheere,
Or shape you forth some sleight, t'appall your paine,
That could preferre, before his Brittan deere,
Th'imperiall throne, a straunge begotten swaine:
And with incestiall loue benummed quyte
His brother Germanicks daughter that could plyght,
And ioyne to him in solemne mariage rites,
VVith woefull, and vnlucky louers lightes?
Here sprang the roale of hurly burly great,
Here beastly venomous slaughter gan to sweate,
Here wylie treasons traines appeared first,
Here rules desire, and brutish bloudy thirst.
Syllanus first Prince Claudius sonne in lawe,
A bloudy mangled offring fall we sawe,
That in our graces Hymæneal bed,
Ymatcht with you, he might not couche his hed.


O monstrous slaughter, worthy endlesse blamer:
In steade of gift vnto that wanton dame,
A Carkasse colde pore soule, and curelesse corse,
Sillane was giuen against his will perforce.
And falsly then attacht of traitors crime,
As one conspyring death in Claudius time,
VVith lothsome streakes spewde out vpon the wall,
He all bedasht your fathers princely hall.
Eft stepped into seruile Pallace stroke,
To filthy vices lore, one easly broke.
Of Diuelish wicked wit this Princocks proude:
By stepdames wyle prince Claudius Sonne auoude.
VVhome deadly damme did bloudy match ylight:
And thee, against thy will, for feare did plight.
Through which successe this Dame of corage fine,
Durst venture, mighty Ioue to vndermine.
VVho can so many cursed kindes report
Of wicked hopes, and actes in any sort,
Or such a womans glosed guyles can name,
That raumpes at rule, by all degrees of shame?
Then holy sacred zeale put out of grace,
Her stagring steppes, directed forth apace,
And sterne Erinnis in with deadly steps,
To Claudius Court, all desert left yleps.
And with hir dririe drakes of Stygian fort,
Hath quite distainde the sacred princely port.
And raging riuen in twaine both natures lore,
And right to wrongs mishapen fourme hath tore.
That haughty minded dame first gaue her make,
A deadly poysoned cup, his thyrst to slake.
Straight wayes againe through vile vnkindly touch,
Her Nero causde with him in hell to couch.
And thee, vnhappy Britt, in all that broyle,
Till that of breth, and life he did dispoyle,


Thilk greedie bloudy tyraunt neuer stent:
VVhose dolefull death for aye we may lament.
Ere whyle, vnto the world the starre that shone,
And was the stay of princely court alone,
Now loe, light ashes easly puft aforne,
And griesly goast to graue with torche yborne.
VVhom blessed Babe, thy stepdame did lament:
Nor from hir gushing teares, did scarce relent,
VVhen as shee gaue eche trimme appointed parte,
And goodly portraide limmes with natures arte,
Of flaming stacke to be deuoured quite,
And sawe the scortching feruent fire in sight
Thy naked ioynts to rauin vp a pace
And like the flittring God thy comely face.

Dispatch he me least with this hand he fall.

That power you, nature graunted not at all.

But wondrous dolor, great and wrathfull yre,
And miseries will it graunt without desyre.

Nay rather cause your angry moody make,
With souple cheere his fury for to slake.

What, that he will by guilt once slaine before,
Aliue againe my brother mee restore?

Nay, safe that you may liue and issue beare:
Your fathers auncient court for to repayre.

That court doth wayte another broode they say.
And poore Britts death tugges me another way.

Yet let the cities loue vnto your grace,
Your troubled minde confirme but for a space.

Their mindes so prest to pleasure me, I know
Great comfort brings: but do not slake my wo.

Of mighty power the people haue bene aye.

But princes force doth beare the greater sway.

He will respect his lawfull wedded wife,

His mynion braue can not so leade her life.


Of no man shee esteemde.

But dear to make.

She can not truely yet of wifehood crake.

Ere longe she shall a mother eke be made.
So farre therein I dare most boldly wade.

His youthfull heate at first in filthy loue,
With lusty, crusty pangs doth boyle aboue:
Thylke corage quickly colde in lust apace
As vapour sone extinct in flame giues place.
But holy, louing, chaste vnspotted spouse,
Her loue endureth aye with sacred vowes.
That wanton first that there durst couch hir hed,
And tumbling stayned quite your spousall bed,
And being but your mayde hath ruled longe,
Hir soueraine Lord, with beauties grace bestong,
That pranked Paramour pert shal croutch with pain,
VVhen she your grace shall see preferd againe.
For Poppie subiect is, and meeke of spright,
And now begins her goastly tombs to dight:
VVhereby she closely graunting doth bewray,
Hir secret hidden feare eche other day.
That swift, vnconstant, double winged lad
With cloute, before his blinded eyes, yclad,
That fickle brayned God, thunhappy boy,
Shall leaue hir in the midst of all hir ioy:
Although for beauty bright the bell she beare,
And goodly glistring garments new she weare,
And now do vaunt her selfe in gorgeous geere,
Shee shall not long enioy this gladsome cheere.
Be not dismayde, Madame, for such like paine,
The queene of gods was forced to sustaine,
VVhen to ech pleasaunt shape the heauenly guide,
And syre of Gods yturnde, from skyes did glyde.
The swannes white wings, to se how they could fadge
He did on him, and cuckoldes bullysh badge,


That God shone bright in Golden raynie showre
To Danaes brest through top of fortred towre.
The twinckling starres the twinnes of Læda bright,
Whom Pollux, some, and Castor, call aryght,
In large and ample space of starry scope,
With cristal glimering faces shyne wyde ope.
And Semeles sonne, whom Bacchus we do call,
In heauenly byrthright doth himselfe ystall.
And Hercules that puissant Champion stoute,
His sturdy brawnes, his Hebe wyndes aboute.
Nor once regardes how Goddesse Iuno fare:
Whose lowring stepdame now she is yframde,
That whyle on earth his prowes he did declare,
Agaynst that maryage, aye, was sore inflamd.
Yet loe her wise, and closly couched greefe,
Debonaire face, obeisaunce to her leefe,
Causde him at length his mynd for to remoue,
Through mortall feeres estraundge from Iunos loue.
And now that mighty heauenly Goddesse great,
No more adred of mortall strumpets feat,
Aloft alone in cloudy bowre contentes
The thundring Lord, which now to her relentes.
Nor now with earthly Ladyes beauty bright
Yfyred, leaues his starry specked right.
Now madam sith on earth your powre is pight
And haue on earth Queene Iunos princely place,
And sister are, and wyfe to Neroes grace,
Your wondrous restles dolours great appease.

Nay, sooner shall the roaring froathy seas,
And mounting flashing flawes ymatch the skye,
And smoaking, stifling parching fyer drye
With dankish pooles agree and watrye fenne:
And griesly Plutoes filthy feltred denne,
With starbright heauen shal sooner coupled be,
And shyning light with glomy shades agree,


And with the cleere drye day the dewy night,
Than vnto seruile lore of husbande wight,
That brutish wyse in bloud takes his delight,
My heauy woeful mynd can I addresse,
Whyle brothers death my heart doth stil possesse.
O that of heauenly powers the prince and syre,
That shogges and shakes the earth with thūdring fyre,
And with his wondrous, feareful, cursed crackes,
And straunge mishapen monsters which he makes,
Our feareful musing myndes doth sore amase,
Would coyne some cureles burning wildfyre blase,
To pelt and pash with thumping fyer bright,
That diuelish pate, that cruell cursed wight.
We saw from heauen, with beames forthshoting farre
Doubtles a dreadful heary, blasing starre:
That spouted out a mortall fiery flake,
Whose force a princes bloud can only slake:
Euen where that hayting carman sloe Boote
With chilling cold al starcke of frosen pole,
Doth guyde aright Charles whirling running rote,
In steade of night that neuer away doth role.
Loe now the open ayre in euery streate,
With doggish tyrantes breath, is poysoned, quite,
And dreadful starres some sodayne death do threate.
To people rulde, by wicked Neroes spright.
So sterne a freake, or mankynd tyrant stoute,
Not Tellus with the Gods displeasd brought out,
When mighty Ioue neglected she vphorlde
Huge, vgly, monstrous Typhon to the worlde.
A sorer plague, a cleaner scouryng scourge,
With bloudy pawes that cityes boundes doth purge,
Is Nero drye, this cruell cursed wyght.
That doth himselfe gaynst God and man ydyght:
And thrustes from sacred shrynes their quiet porte,
And goodly temples gay the sancted sort:


That cittyes dwellers puts from countries fort:
That hath bereft his brother of his lyfe,
And launcht his mothers sides with goary knyfe:
Yet doth this present lightsome day enioye
And leades his lyfe, that doth vs sore annoy.
O Father of heauen, in vayne why dost thou throwe
Thy great vnuanquisht ratling thundring blowe
Uppon the whistling woods and ample seas,
With force of princely power thy wrath t'appease?
On such an hurtful and pernicious freake,
Thy due and iust conceyued yre to wreake.
Why stay thy mighty puissaunt braunds so long,
Ere thou fling downe thy ratling cracking throng?
O Lord, that Nero once might pay the price,
Of all his deuilish deedes, and euery vyce,
Th'whole wyde worlds tyrant sterne wher he a stroke
Doth beare: which he ouerlades with burdnous yoke
Of princely syre yborne, but doth defame,
With beastly manners vyle his princely name:

Unworth he is your spousall chamber place:
But yet your destnies force, you must imbrace,
And wel, abyde your fortunes crooked race:
Nor moue vnkyndly Neroes gauly yre.
One day perchaunce, there wil as I desyre,
Some God reuenge your lamentable case:
And once I trust a gladsome day shal be,
When you shal ioy a fresh in wonted place.

Ah. no, now, long this court (alas) we see
With heauy wrath of Gods displeased yre
Hath ouercharged bene: which Venus dyre
With Messalinas monstrous ramping lust,
Shee first hath brought adowne into the dust.
Who madly maryed to prince Claudius grace,
But little myndful then of that same case,


And not regarding much thappoynted payne,
With cursed cressets maried once againe.
To which vnlucky incestuall brydall bed,
That drosell dyre that furious slut Erin,
With hanging hayre aboute her hellish hed,
And gyrt with snakes with deadly step went in.
And flaming brandes from spousall chamber cought,
In both their blouds ybathd, hath quenched cleane:
And hath incenst prince Claudius burning thought
In bloudy thratling stroake to passe all meane.
My mother first of wretches all the most,
With stripe of deadly sword gaue vp her ghost.
And now extinguisht quite, left me forlorne,
With dolours pyning panges and mourning worne.
And after her in hellish teame doth hayle,
Unto the senseles soules of Plutoes iaile
Her make, and Brittannick her sonne that way:
And first this ruinous court did she betray.

Let be, Madame, with teares your face to dight:
Ne so renew your bitter wayling iust:
Ceasse troubling now your parents piteous spright,
That payed hath the price of raging lust.



God graunt the talke wee hearde of late,
To rashly trusted euery where,
And blowne abroad through each estate,
No badge of truth that it may beare.
And that no fresh espoused dame,
Our Princes thewes do enter in,
But that OCTAVIA keepe the same,
And that the seede of GLADIVS kin,
May once bring forth some pledge of peace:
That to the world rest may redowne,
And wrangling stryfe may easly cease,
And Rome retayne her great renowne.
The peerlesse Princesse Iuno hight,
Her brothers wedlocke yoke retaynes:
VVhy is AVGVSTVS sister bright,
VVhere like betroathed league remaynes,
From stately pompe of court reiect,
VVhat doth deuoutnes her auayle?
To sayncted syre who hath respectt?
VVhat doth her Virgins life preuayle?
And CLAVDIVS now in ground ylayed,
Euen wee to much vnmyndefull be:


VVhose worthy steme we haue betrayed
Through feare that made vs to agree.
In breast our elders did embrace,
The perfect Romayne puissaunce,
The true vnstayned worthy race,
And bloud of Mars they did aduaunce.
The proude and lofty stomackt trayne
Of lusty hauty mynded Kinges,
They could not suffer to remayne
VVithin this noble Cities winges.
And iustly they reuengd thy death,
O Virgin chast, VIRGINIA pure,
Depriude by syre of vitall breath,
That bondage thou mightst not endure:
And that his shameles brutish lust,
So good a meede might not enioy:
Although by filthy force vniust
Thy chastity he would annoy.
Thee likewyse whom thyne owne right hande,
VVith sword did pearce, LVCRETIA true,
VVho tyrantes rape could not withstand,
Did bloudy broyles and warres ensue
And with her proude disdaynfull Make
Lord TARQVIN ympe of cursed seede,
Correction due doth TVLLIA take
For her vnkindly shameles deede,
VVho on her Fathers mangled corse,
To mischiefe bent, and wicked bane,
The Carman shee to driue did force,
His cruell brusing wombling wane.


And quite agaynst all natures law,
Euen from her owne dismembred syre,
The sacred rytes she did withdraw,
Denaying wonted burial fire
This griefe our woeful age doth feele,
Through monstruous act agaynst all kinde,
VVhen as in deadely crafty keele,
To TYRRHEN seas, and wrastling wynd,
The proude presuming Prince did put,
His mother trapt in subtil sort.
The Mariners appoynted cut,
The swelling Seas from pleasaunt port.
The clash resoundes with stroake of Ores,
The Ship out launcht apace doth spinne,
In surging froath aloofe from shores,
And ample course of seas doth winne.
VVhich glydyng forth with leusned plankes,
In pressed streames with peysed weight,
The riftes do open closed crankes,
That hidden were with secrete sleight:
And gulpeth vp the leaking waue
The woeful roaring noyse and crye,
VVith womans shrikes themselues to saue,
Do reach and beate the starry skye.
Then griesly present death doth daunce
Before their eyes with pyning Cheekes:
VVhose deadly stroake and heauy chaunce
For to auoyde, then each man seekes:
On ryuened ribs some naked lie,
And cutte the beating waues in twayne:


And some theyr skilful swimming trye,
To get vnto the shore agayne.
The greatest part that sayled there,
By destnies dire to men prefixt,
In whirling swallowes drowned were,
The brinkes of Seas and ground betwixt.
Queene AGRIPPYNE her garments rendes,
Shee teares her ruffled lockes of hayre
Abundant blubbring teares she spendes,
Through deepe distresse of faynting feare.
VVho when no hope of health shee spies,
Enflamde with wrath, which woes appeasde,
O sonne, for so greate giftes, shee cryes,
Hast thou with such reward me pleasd?
This keele I haue deserued sure,
That bare and brought thee first to light:
VVho empyre witles did procure,
And CAESARS title for thy ryght.
Shew forth thy feareful spritish face,
O CLADIVS now from Limbo lake,
And of thy wyfe in wretched case,
Reuenge and due correction take.
Thy deth I causeles did conspyre,
VVhich now I rue with woeful harte:
I dressed eake a funerall fyre
Vnto thy sonne by deadly smart.
Lo now as I deserued haue,
Vntombde go to thy guiltles Ghost,
Encloasd in seas instead of graue.
And wrestling waues of Romayne coast.


The flasshing flawes do flappe her face,
And on her speaking mouth do beate,
Anone shee sinkes a certayne space,
Depressed downe with surges great:
Anone shee fleetes on weltring brim,
And pattes them of with tender handes
Through faynting feare then taught to swim
Approaching death, and fates withstandes
At length on troubled Seas displayde
Shee geuing ouer working vayne
And tyrd with streames is weary layd,
Not able toyling strength to strayne
Inclose and secrete silent breastes,
Of mates with her to sea that yode,
In whom no feare of death there restes
True fayth vnto theyr Queene abode.
Theyr Ladyes weather beaten limmes
To helpe, some freely venter dare,
Some in the combrous waters swymmes
And desperate daunger do not spare.
VVith cheereful voyce they comfort her,
Though drawling dragling limmes shee drew,
To lift her vp with helpe they stirre,
And nummed corpes to strength renew.
VVhat bootes it thee the death to shonne
Of roaring raging rauening waues.
From deadly sword of wicked sonne,
Alas pore wretch thee nothing saues?
VVhose huge and heinous cursed rage,
Agaynst all course of natures lore,


Our after slow beleeuing age,
VVil scarce beleeue it done before,
The deuillish man repynde with griefe
VVhen he is mother saued sawe,
From swallowing seas haue safe releefe,
And that she vitall breath did draw,
He grudgde with griefe and in his heate,
He huger mischiefe heapes to this:
He doth not once delay his feate,
But headlong rashly caryed is
Vpon her death. A souldiour sent,
Dispatcheth that he had in charge,
His Ladies breast his blade doth rent:
Shee yeelding vp her soule at large,
From wretched corpes for to entombe
Her slaughter man she then be sought,
That bloudy blade within her wombe,
That fyrst this woe to her had brought,
This, this accursed breast (quoth shee)
VVhich this vnkindly monster bare,
From pinching payne may not be free:
Digge, slash the same, no mischiefe spare.
VVhen this with foltring tounge was sayde,
At last her sad and trembling ghost,
VVith latter sobbing sighes vnstayd,
Through goryd woundes leaues vitall coast.




On me with like consent why didst thou smile,
With glosed lookes deluding mee a-whyle,
O fortune much of might and princely powre?
To lift aloft to noble royall bowre?
To the'nde that I to honours court extold,
From stately seate might haue the greater fall,
And round aboute in euery place beholde,
Such dreadful, threating daungers to vs all,
I safer lay aloofe from enuyes knockes,
Remou'd among the craggy corsicke rockes:
Where as my mynd there free at proper sway,
With leysure did repeate my studies aye.
A gladsome ioy alone it was to viewe,
And earnestly to marke the heauens so blew:
And sacred Phœbus double wheeled wayne:
And eake the worldes swift whirling motion mayne.
The Sunne so euen his second course to keepe:
And Phœbes glyding globe so swiftly sweepe:
Whom wondrous starting starres encompasse round.
And to behold that shynes in euery stound,
The glistring beauty bright of welkin wyde:
Than which in al the world nothing besyde.
Of all this huge and endles worke the guyde,
More wondrous nature framde that I espyde,


For all the bumping bignes it doth beare,
Yet waxing old is like agayne to weare,
And to be chaungde to an vnwyldy lumpe.
Now prest at hand this worldes last day doth iumpe,
With boystrous fall, and tumbling rush of skye.
To squease and make this cursed kynd abye.
That springing once agayne, it may yeeld out
An other straunge renued vertuous route,
As once before it did, new sprong agayne,
What tyme Saturnus held his golden raygne.
That blamelesse, chast, vnspotted Uigin cleere
A goddesse much of might clept Iustice heere,
With sacred sooth sent downe from heauenly space,
At ease on earth did rule the mortal race.
That people playne knew not of warlicke feates.
Nor trembling trompets tunes that rendes and beates
The souldiers eares: nor chashing armour bright,
That warring wightes defend in field and fight.
Nor wonted was with walles to rampyre round,
Their open cityes set in any stound.
To each man passage free lay open than:
Nothing there priuate was to any man.
And then the ground it selfe and fertil soyle,
Hir fruitful bosome baard all voyd of toyle,
Into such bounden barnes a Matrone good,
And peaceable vnto so iust a broode.
But then an other second race arose,
Perceyued not to be so meeke as those.
A third more wyse and witty sort vp startes,
Of nature forged fit, t'inuent new artes:
As yet vnspotted quite with filthy vyce.
Soone after thoe, they raungd with new deuyce,
That boldly venture dare in scudding race,
Unweldy beastes for to pursue apace.


And mighty weying strugling fishes great,
With watry coats yclad with fishers feat,
With net in window wyse draw forth, and streeke
With craft of quill, the nibling fysshes cheeke.
And silly byrdes begylde with pyning trayne:
And light foote deare for lyfe that flyng amayne
Intangling gins entrapt, that safely hold.
And sturdy scouling visage buls controld,
On fleshye fillet neckes, make weare the yoake:
And earth ere that vngrubbed vp that broake:
Which then turnd vp with Plowmans shyning share,
In sacred bosome deepe, her fruits kept thare.
But now this age much worse then all the rest,
Hath lept into her mothers broken breast:
And rusty lumpish yron and massye Gold,
Hath digged out, that was quite hid with mold.
And fighting fistes haue armd without delay:
And drawing forth their bondes for rule to stay,
Haue certayne seuerall ioly kingdomes made,
And cities new haue raysde now rulde with blade,
And fenseth eyther with their proper force
Straūge stoundes or them assaults the which is worse.
The Starry specked virgin flowre of skies.
Which Iustice hight, that guilty folke discries,
Now lightly esteemd of mortall people here,
Each earthly stound is fled, and comes not neere
The sauage mannerd route, and beastly rude,
With dabbed wristes in goary bloud embrude.
The great desyre of griesly warre is sprong:
And raping thurst of gold, it is not young.
Throughout the worlde a mighty monstruous vice,
Fowle, filthy, monstruous lust hath got the price,
A pleasaunt tickling plague, whom longer space,
And errour deepe haue fostred vp apace.
The heaps of vyce rakte vp in yeares long past,


Abounding flowe in these our dayes at last.
And this same troublous tyme, and combrous age,
Oppresseth all men sore, both yong and sage.
Wherein those wicked wayes that be do raygne,
And cruell, raumping woodnes boyles agayne.
Lust strong in filthy touch, doth beare a sway.
And Princes, ryot, now doth catch away
With greedy pawes, to bring it to decay.
Th'whole worldes vncredible wealth, without delay.
But loe, which staggring steppes where Nero flinges,
And visage grymme, I feare what newes hee brynges.


Nero, Prefectus, Seneca.
Dispatch with speede that we commaunded haue:
Go, send forthwith some one or other slaue,
That Plautius cropped scalpe and Sillas eke,
May bring befor our face: goe some man seeke.
I nill protract your noble graces hest:
But to their campes to goe am ready prest.

Gaynst lynage naught should rashly poynted bee.

A light thing tis for to be iust, I see
For him, whose heart is voyd of shrinking feare.

A soueraigne salue for feare is for to beare
Your selfe debonair to your subiectes all.

Our foes to slea, a cheftaynes vertue call.


A worthier vertue tis in countries syre,
His people to defend with sword and fyre.

It wel beseemes such aged wightes, to teach,
Unbridled springolles yong, and not to preache,
Both to a man and prince of ryper yeares.

Nay, rather frolicke youthful bloud appeares,
To haue more neede of counsell wyse and graue

This age sufficient reason ought to haue.

That heauenly powers your doinges may allow.

A madnes t'were to Gods for me to bow,
When I my selfe can make such Gods to be:
As Claudius now ycounted is we see.

So much the more because so much you may.

Our power permittes vs all without denay.

Geue slender trust to Fortunes flattring face:
She topsie turuy turnes her wheele apace.

A patch he is that knoweth not what he may.

A Princes prayse I compted haue alway,
To do that same which with his honor stoode,
Not that which franticke fancy counteth good.

If that I were a meacocke or a slouch,
Each stubborne, clubbish daw would make mee couch.

And whom they hate, with force they ouerquell.

Then dynt of sword the prince defendeth well.

But fayth more sure defence doth seeme to mee.

Ful meete it is that Cæsar dreaded be.

More meete of subiectes for to be belou'd

From subiects myndes, feare must not be remou'd

What so by force of armes you do wringe out,
A grieuous worke it is to bring aboute.

Well hardly then our will let them obay.

Will nothing then, but that which wel you may.

We wil decree what we shall best suppose.

What peoples voyce doth ioyntly bynd or lose.
Let that confirmed stand.

Swordes bloudy dynt,


Shal cause them else at me to take their hint.

God sheeld, and far that facte from you remoue.

What then, why Senec do you that approue,
That we contemnde, despysde and set at nought,
With finger put in hole (ful wysely wrought)
Our bodies bloud to seeke should them abyde,
That they might vs sometyme destroy vnspyde?
Their natiue countrey boundes to banisht bee,
Nor Plautius brest nor Scillas eake we see
Hath broke or tamd: whose cankred churlish yre,
Shapes bloudy freakes to quench our bodyes fyre.
And chiefly when these trayterous absent clounes,
Such wondrous fauour fynd in cityes bownes,
Which those same exiles lingring hope doth feede:
Suspected foes with sword we wil out weede.
And so Octauia shall that ioly dame,
Continue after them their bloudy game.
And wend that way her nowne whyte brother went,
Such hye mistrusted thinges must needes be bent.

It is (O Prince) a worthy famous thing,
Amids redoubted Lordes alone to ring:
And wysely worke your countries prayse to saue:
And wel your selfe to captiue folke behaue:
From cruell brutish slaughter to abstayne,
And voyde of moode to wreake your angry payne:
And to the world a quiet calme to geue,
That al your age in peace their liues may liue.
This is a Princes prayse without al cryme:
This is the path to heauen wherby we clyme.
So is Augustus prince and father cald
Of countrie first in starbright throne ystald.
Whom as a God in minsters we adorne,
Yet troublous fortune tossed him beforne,
A great while long on lands and ruffling seas,
Until his fathers foes he could appease,


And through wars diuerse course could quel them quite.
To you did fortune yeelde her power, and might,
And raynes of rule without all bloud, and fight.
And to your beck both land, and seas hath bent.
Grim deadly enuye daunted doth relent.
The Senate Lordes gaue place with free consent:
The battaylous route of knights with willing hartes
(That same decree from sager sires departes)
Unto the lay mens choyse do well agree.
Your grace the spring of peace they count to bee.
And chosen Iudge, and guyde of mortal stocke.
Your grace, your countreys sacred syre, doth rocke
And rule with princely gorgeous tytle bright,
The cyrcled world in rundel wyse ydight.
Which mighty mounting name to keepe so great,
This noble citty Rome doth you entreat:
And doth commend vnto your royall grace
Her liuely limmes in charge for your liues space.

The gyft of Gods it is, as we discus,
That Rome with Senate sorte doth honor vs,
And that the feare of our displeasure great,
From cankred enuyous stomackes maketh sweat
Both humble talke and supplications meeke.
And were not feare all these would be to seeke.
Unweldy, combrous cityes, members ill,
That Prince and countrey both do seeke to spill,
To leaue alyue (which swell, and puffed bee,
Bycause of lynage great. and high degre)
What madnes meere is it when as we may,
Euen with a word, such streakes dispatch away?
Sir Brutus sterne, his brawnes and armes did dight,
His soueraygne liege to slayne by force and might,
That erst had holpen him, and geuen him health,
And had endued him with princely wealth.
In brunt of raging warre vndaunted out,


That vanquisht many people strong and stoute,
Prince Cæsar matcht by great degrees of power
To loue, in stately chayre of starry bower,
By diu'lish citizens wicked wyle was slayne.
What store of bloudy stiffling streames on molde.
Did tatred Rome, of her owne lims, beholde?
He by his noble vertues worthy prayse,
Whō peoples, common bruite to heauē doth raise.
August among the Gods ysayncted well,
How many noble breastes did he compel,
How many springoldes young, and hoary heads,
Each where disperst to lig in molded heds?
How many men did he bereaue of breath
Tofore proscript that were condemnd to death?
When for the griesly feare of deadly dart
From propre home they were constraind to part
And flye Octauius force, and Lepidus might,
And not abyde sterne Marke Antonius sight,
Which then the ample world at once did guyde,
That into kingdomes three they did deuyde,
To dumpish sadded syres, with heauy cheere,
Their childrens griesly cropped pates appeere,
Hong out beforne the Senates iudgement seate,
For each man to behold in open streate:
Ne durst they once lament their piteous case,
Nor inward seeme to mourne to Claudius face.
The market stead with bloud from bodies spued,
And lothsome mattrie streames, is all imbrued:
And quite throughout their faces foule arayed,
The piteous gubbes of bloud drop downe vnstayd.
Nor here did this same slaughterous bloudshed stay.
Phillyps Pharsalia gastly fieldes each day,
The cromming rauening foules, and cruell beastes
Long fed, with gobbets bigge of manlye breastes,
Besyde all this, the cost he scoured quite


Of Sicill sea and ships to ware ydyght
With force of armes did win, and hauocke made
Of propper subiectes slayne with his owne blade.
The rundle round of landes with mighty mayne
Of noble Chieftaynes stroake reboyles agayne.
Antonius ouercome in Nauale fight,
To Egipt poastes in shippes preparde to flight:
Not looking long to liue nor hoping life.
Incesteous Egipt (through Antonius wyfe)
That worthy Romayne princes bloud did sucke:
And couerd lye their ghostes with durty mucke.
Long wicked, waged ciuil warre there stayed,
In Marcke Antonius graue with him ylayed.
Augustus at the last of conquest greate
His dulled swords that wounded soules did beate,
In peaceable sheathes reposd hath layd at rest:
And feare doth rule, and guyde his kingdome best
By ready force of armes at all assayes,
And Captaynes fayth he shieldes him selfe alwaies
Whō now his sōnes most worthy vertuous praise,
To heauen a consecrated God doth rayse,
And causeth all, in Churches for to place
The sacred Picture of Prince Claudius grace.
And vs the starry raigne of Gods shall bide
If first with dreadful sword about vs wyde
We wype away what so our person stayne:
And found our court with worthy stem agayne.

Your noble spouse, sprong forth of saincted peer
Of Claudius stocke, the starbright diamond cleere,
That Goddesse Iuno wise her brothers bed
Partaking, pressed downe with buttockes red,
Your graces princely court shal garnish gay,
With wondrous heauenly fayre descended stay.

Incestuous maryed dames, from stocke & stem,
Detract all hope, that we should haue of them.


Nor vs, could she once loue that we could see,
Nor with our person once at all agree

In tender budding yeares, when loue supprest
With blushing hydes the flames of burning breast,
Scant playne appeares the loue they bare indeed.

Thus wee our selues with hope in vaine did feede:
Although vndoubted signes, as bodye wryed,
And frowning lookes, which we haue oft espyed,
Her spyteful hating stomacke did bewray
Which shee doth beare, whom duty byndes t'obaye.
Which yet at last, big, boyling, grieuous payne,
With death determind hath t'auenge agayne,
Wee haue found out, for byrth and beauties grace.
A worthy make for such an Empresse place:
To whom that louely Goddesse Venus bright,
And mighty Ioue his spouse that Iuno hight,
And goddesse fierce in boysterous warlike artes,
Geues place for bodyes seemly portrayd partes.

Fayth, meeknes, manners mild, & bashfull shame
Of spouse, those ought an husband to reclayme.
The perles of iudging mynd, alone remayne,
Not subiect once to any rulers raygne.
The passing pryde of beautyes numming grace
Each day appals, and bleamisheth apace.

What prayses woman wights haue in them closd?
All those in her alone hath God reposde,
And such a peerlesse peere, the guydes of lyfe,
The destnies would haue borne to be our wyfe,

O noble prince such blynd vnlawful loue,
(Do rashly credite naught) from you remoue.

Whom Ioue can not repell that rules the cloudes,
And pearcing raging floods, therein him shroudes,
And raungeth through the raigne of Plutoes pit,
And pulleth downe in welkin hie that sit
The mighty powers of heauen, the God of loue?


And can I then his force from me remoue?

Swift winged loue, mens fancy fond, in vayne
A mercy wanting God to bee, doth fayne:
And armes his handes with woundinge weapons keen
And bowes with burning brondes, for louers greene:
Of Venus to be sprong they al accorde,
And blyndly forgde of thunders limping Lorde.
Bland loue the myndes great torment sore appeares,
And buddeth first in frolicke youthful yeares.
Who while we drinke of Fortunes pleasaunt cuppe,
With laysie pampring ryot, is nestled vp:
Whom if to toster vp you leaue at length
It fleeting, falles away with broken strength.
This is in all our life (as I suppose)
The greattest cause how pleasure first arose.
Which sith mankind by broodyng bydeth aye,
Through gladsom loue ye fierce wild beastes doth sway
It neuer can from manly breast depart.

This selfe same God I wish withall my hart
The wedlocke lightes to beare before our grace,
And fasten Poppie sure in our bed place.

The peoples griefe might neuer yeeld to it:
Nor vertue can the same at all permit.

Shall I alone to do, forbidden be
That euery patch may do? that grieueth mee

No tryfling toyes the people lookes to haue
Of him, that ought to rule with wisdome graue.

It pleaseth vs with daunted power to trye,
If peoples rash conceiued rage will flie.

Seeke rather for to please and calme their moode.

Ill ruled is that raygne where people wood,
Their subiect Prince doth weld, as they thinke good

When nought that they require they can obtayne,
They iustly then agrieued are agayne.


That gentle prayers cannot win with ease,
By force to wring it out, it doth vs please.

An hard thing tis the people not to haue
That of theyr Prince, which they do iustly craue.

And horrible 'tis a Prince to be constraynd.

Let not your subiectes then so sore be raynd.

Why then the common brute abroade wil be.
How that the people haue subdued mee.

That no man trustes that is of credite light.

Be it so, yet many it markes with deadly spyghte.

With countrie peeres to medle it is afrayd,

To quip and frump, 'tis nothing lesse dismayd.

Your grace may easly couch that budding bruite
Let Sayncted sires desertes with pliant sute,
Your graces mynd remoue: let spouses age,
And curteous bashfull shame disrumpe your rage.

Leaue off (I say) that we entend to grutch.
For now your talke our pacience moueth much:
I pray you let it lawful be to do,
That Senec geueth not aduyse vnto.
And we our peoples wishes do defer,
While Poppie feele in wombling wombe to sterre,
The pledge of faythful loue to me and her.
Why do we not appoynt the morrow next,
When as our mariage pompe may be context?




Through paunch of riuened earth, from Plutoes raigne
With ghostly steps, I am returnd agayne.
In writhled wristes, that bloud do most desyre,
Forguyding wedlocke vyle with Stygian fire.
Let Poppie, which these cressets coupled sure,
Unto my sonne be ioynd in mariage pure:
Whom mothers griefe, and hand reuenging wrackes,
Shal send with heaue and hoe to funeral stackes
I always do remember wel beneath
Where piteous, ghostly, crauling soules do breath,
Th'unkindly slaughterous deede, which to our spright
Yet vnreuengd is grieuous and of right:
And for the good I did a cruell prise,
That deadly framed ship in crafty wyse:
And due reward that he gaue me agayne,
For helping him to rule of Empyres raygne:
And eake that night, when as I did bewayle,
Both losse of shippe wherin we then did sayle,
And mates vnhappye death, and whyle I thoughte,
For this accursed deede to haue besought


The Gods to trickling teares he gaue scant tyme
But twice encreased hath his deuillish cryme.
Quite slayne with sword, thrust through my bodyes boundes
And filthy layed through goary mattring woundes,
Deliuered safe from seas, deuouring sup,
In antique court my ghost I yeelded vp.
Nor yet his cancred, and vnsatiate hate.
For all this bloud doth Nero once abate.
That Tyrant dyre doth rage at mothers name.
And seeketh wayes my deedes for to defame.
Who threating death to them that doe withstand,
My shapes he dingeth downe in euery land:
My princely tytles large hee scrapeth out
In euery place, the whole wydeworld aboute,
Which my vnlucky parentes loue did geue,
To much vnto my paine whyle I did liue,
Unto a boy to guyde, which now I rue.
My poysoned make, my Ghost doth oft pursue:
And in my face with burning brondes doth flye.
He stayes a space with earnest talke hard by,
And threatneth sore, and doth impute his death
And tombe he should haue had to mee beneath.
And now desyres to haue some factious wight,
That dare despoyle my soane of breathing spright.
Let be you shall haue one to worke this cryme,
I do require no long delayed tyme.
Reuenging spright Erin, a death doth coine,
Of life, that wicked tyrant to purloyne.
Sore smarting leaden strypes and shameful flight,
And pyning panges with thurst and hunger dight:
That Tantalus spungelike thursty mouth befurde,
And Sisyphus toyle shal passe, and Tityus burde,
And Ixions paynful wambling wheele aboute,
That teareth all his bodyes partes throughout.
Although that Tyrant proude and scornful wight,
His court with marble stone do strongly dyght,


And princelike garnish it with glistring golde:
Though troupes of souldiours shielded sure, vpholde
Their chieftaynes princely porch: and though yet still
The world drawne drye with talkes euen to his will,
Great heapes of riches yeeld themselues to saue,
Although his bloudy helpe the Parthians craue,
And Kingdomes bring, and goods al that they haue,
The tyme and day shall come, when as he shall
Forlorne, and quite vndone, and wanting all.
Unto his cursed deedes his life and more,
Unto his foes his bared throate restore.
Alas, vnto what ende is all my payne?
Or in what case do now my vowes remayne?
Wherto doth now thy rage and destnies spyte?
Draw thee O Sonne, with brayne benummed quite?
That to such monstruous heapes of ylles thy dame
(Whom thou with cursed mischiefe ouercame)
Hir wrath should yeeld? O that ere to the light
A sucking babe I brought thee foorth in sight,
And fedd thee fyne with pappe as princely borne,
The fierce, wild, sauage beastes had rent and torne
My wombe and bloudy entrails all beforne.
Without all cryme, and wanting reasons pride,
Mine own deere dādling thou child shouldst haue dide.
And fastned sure to me shouldst aye beholde,
The quiet place, where Ghostly soules be rolde:
And see thy graundsyres great of worthy fame,
And syre Domitius eake of princely name,
Whom now both shame and wayling doth abyde,
That whyle they dure, from them shal neuer slyde.
For which both thee, O cursed Barne, they may,
And mee, that thee haue borne geeue thankes for aye.
But why ceasse I, with hel to hyde my face,
Wyfe, stepdame, mother dire, in my life space?



Octauia Chorus.
Do not, alas, thus sore lament,
But rather yet your mourning stay,
Sith that the city whole is bent
To celebrate this ioyful day:
Least your great loue and fauour both,
Which I do count to be most sure,
The more cause Nero me to loth,
And eake his bitter wrath procure:
And I fal out to be the ground
To you of many mischieues vyle,
This same is not the first deepe wounde,
That I haue felt now this good whyle:
Farre worse then this haue I abode:
But of these troublous cares this day
Shall make an end I trust in God,
Although with Death he do me pay,
No man to see shal me constrayne
His bended browes knit furrowyse,
Nor step within the Chamber ragyne
Of mayde drest vp in brydall guise
Augulius sister I wil bee,
And not his wyfe as wont I was:
But onely paynes remoue from mee,
And feare of death I wil not passe.
Yet canst thou piteous wreth once trust,
Thy cruell husbandes father law,
Or these few thinges to haue so iust


Whyle mischieues yet in mynd are rawe?
Now long reserud, vntil this day,
And these same maryage rytes be past,
Thou shalt poore wretch without delay,
A bloudy offring dye at last.
Why thus with teares disfigured sore
Thy wonted home dost thou behold?
Make hast to shunne this deadly shore
And leaue this straughtrous Princes fold.
Lo see that day suspecttd long
And whispered Fame in all mens eares,
With glisteryng pompe of brydall throng,
To vs pore wretches now appeares.
And Claudius broode Octauias grace,
From Neroes wedlocke place expelde,
Departed is, whose spousall space,
Hath Poppie conquerour long tyme helde.
The whyle, our pyety couched lyes
Kept downe with heauy, combrous feare.
And slow reuenging grief likewyse:
Where doth the peoples power appeare,
That brake the force of Princes great,
That conquerous city lawes hath framde,
That worthy men to honours seat
Preferd, that warre and peace proclaymd,
That sauage people straunge did tame
That Kinges and Princes caught in fight
Shut surely vp in prison frame
To keepe them close from all mens sight
Loe, which wee cannot once abyde,
To see wher Poppies ymage trym,
Conioyned vnto Neroes syde
All glistring bright shynes very brim.
Let force of Armes pul downe that frame
And match with grounde that Ladyes face


Too likely carued to his name,
And snatch her downe from hedddig place,
And let it forthwith flye with brandes
With Dartes and Iauelins fiercely flonge,
From pythy braunes and sturdy handes
Unto the princes courtly throng.



Nutrix. Poppea,
From out of spousal bower dismayd with feare,
Whither go you? what secrets daughter deare
Unknowen, makes you to looke so drousely?
Why spungelike lokes your face wt tears frō eye
That fell? of truth the tyme desyred long,
And wished for by prayers, and vowes among
Hath shyned bright. Cæsars wedlock are you:
Your golden grace, wherof he tooke the view.
Him prisoner caught, and did him surely bynde,
So much the more, how much Senec his mynd
Did seeke to chaunge, and wild from loue to weeld.
And Venus chiefe in loue hath made him yeeld.
O in beauty passing all, what beds then downe
More soft, haue borne thy weight when thou with crowne
Didst sit in middes of court the Senate all.
At thy great beauty agast, thou didst appall.
Whylst thou the Goddes with perfume sendest fyne,


And sacred alters drencht with thankful wyne,
Thy head attyrd with veyle of yellow hiew
By Cæsars side thou wentst as princesse new:
When he aloft extold aboue the rest,
With hauty courage merily went to feast.
Like as kyng Peleus went sometymes to take
Queene Tethis, whom salt seas fome bred, his make.
Whose bridinge chambers, banquet wise ydrest,
The Gods vouchsaft to hallow with their hest,
Both they that rule in skyes and eake in Seas.
But tel, O Lady, tell, if it you please,
What sodayne chaūce doth shade your beautyes light.
What meanes your colour chaūge from red to white?
What moues those trickling tears, how standes your plight?
With dreames, and griesly sightes, this last night, Nurse,
My mynd was troubled sore, but frayd much worse.
For when sir Phœbe his weary course had ryd,
Whyle quiet restyng night each thing shadid,
My sences weary fel in slumber deepe,
Whyle Nero me within his armes did cleepe.
Resoluing lims, at length gan sleepe discharge,
And long I rest not vnder quiets targe,
For loe, I saw a route that brought me feare,
Come to my chaumber with disheueled hayre:
The Matrons sage of Latin land did mourne,
And sounded shryking sighes as though forlorne
They were, the dolefulst wightes that liue on ground.
And oft among the warlike trumpets sound,
I sawe my husbands mother teribly stand,
With threatning looke berayed with bloud in hand
A light fyre brand she bare which oft she shooke,
And made mee goe with her through feareful loke.
When downe we came through op'ned earth shee led
The way, I after went with bowing hed,
And musing much therat, marke what I say,


My bed, me thought I saw, wherin I laye,
When first espousde I was to Rufe Chrispyne:
And hee me thought, with first sonne of his lyne,
With many following them agaynst me fast
Did come, and me to cleepe did swift his hast,
And as he wonted was he kist me oft,
Then rusht into my house with pace not soft
Amased Nero sore, in Chryspines breast
That hidde his faulchion kene: feare shakte of rest
From mee: I trembling stode with quiuering feare,
And brest dismayd to speake made me forbeare.
Til now (O Nurse) I met with thee, whose trust,
And fayth into these wordes haue made me brust.
Alas, what threatneth mee eche griesly spright?
What meanes of husbands bloud that doleful sight?

The hidden sacred vayne that moueth swift,
Which fantasie we call by secret drift,
When we do take our rest doth shew agayne,
The thinges both good and bad that broyle in brayne:
You maruel that you saw your make, and bower,
His ghostly funerall stackes, at that same hower
Round clasped close in armes of husband new:
Hereto, the beaten breastes with handes mou'd you,
And maydens hayre, on mariage day displayd:
Octauias friendes with heauy hartes bewrayed,
Amids hir brothers both and fathers hall
Their heauy cheere for her vnluckye fall.
That dreadful blasing flame of fyre forborne
In Agryppynas hand your grace beforne.
Which you did follow streigth declares renowne
To you, though enuye stryue to keepe it downe:
The seat you saw beneath doth promise you
Your stale to stand ful sure not chaunging new:
That Nero prince in Crispins throat did hyde
His sword, it telles that he in peace shall byde,


Unknowen to bloudy ruthful warre for aye.
Therfore (Madam) plucke vp your hart I pray:
Receiue both mirth and glee cast feare asyde,
With ioy, and ease you may in bowre abide.

To temples hie where mighty Gods do dwell,
I wil repayre, and offringes to them fell
In humble wyse their heauy wrath t'ppease,
And me of mighty sight, and dreams to ease.
My second wish shal be, that this feare all
Uppon my foes as sodayne chaunce may fall.
O Nurse pray thou for mee some vowes do make
Toth' Gods, that ghostly feare his flight may take.


If stealth discloasde by blabbing fame,
And lusty, pleasaunt, thankfull loue,
Of IOVE be true: who fourme did frame
Of swan to come from skies aboue,
And did enioy the sweete consent
Of Ladye LEDAS loues delight:
VVho like a Bull his labour spent,
Through flowing floods to cary quite,
EVROPA slylie stolne awaye:
Hee will no doubt leaue raygne of Skye
And POPPIES loue disguisd assaye.


If hee her soueraygne beauty spye.
VVhich hee might wel preferre before
Fayre LAEDAS sugred sweete delight:
And DANAE whom hee wonne of yore,
Amasde with golden shoure so bright:
Let SPARTE now for HELENS sake
Of beauty bragging fame vprayse:
Admit the TROIAN heardman make
Of gayned spoyle tryumphant prayse:
Fayre HELEN here is stayned quight:
VVhose beauty bredde such boyling yre,
That earth was matched euen in sight
VVith TROIAN towres consumde with fyre.
But who is this that runnes with feare opprest?
Or els what newes bringes he in panting breast?


Nuntius, Chorus,
What sturdy champion stoute doth ioy with glee
Our chieftaynes royal bower safe to see,
Then to his court I counsel him to mend,
Gainst which the populus rout their force doth bend.
The rulers runne amasde to fetch the gard,
And armed troupes of men, theyr towne to ward.
Nor woodnes rashly cought through feare doth ceasse,
But more and more, their power doth encrease.


What sodain rage doth beat their broiling braine?

The garisons great with fury astonde againe,
And sturred vp for Queene Octauias sake
With monstrous mischiefe vile, their rage to slake,
They rumbling rush into the Pallace farre.

What dare they do, their counsailers who are?

Aduaunce their Empresse old, subuert the new:
And graunt hir, brothers beds as is hir due.

Which Poppie now, with hole consent doth hold?

Yea that vnbrideled rage in brest vprold,
Sets them agog, and makes them wondrous wood,
What euer ymage grauen in marble stood,
If Poppies badge it bare, or if in sight,
It tended for to shew hir beauty bryght,
Though it on heauenly altares braue did stand,
They break, or pull it down, with sword or hand.
Some parts with ropes sure ride, they trayle thē forth
Which spurnd wt durty feete, as though naught worth
With filthy stinking myre, they it all beray.
And with their deedes their talke doth iumpe agree,
Which mine amased minde, thinks true to bee
For fierie flames they threat for to prepare,
Wherewith to waste, the princes Pallace faire,
Unlesse, vnto their furious moode he giue
His second wife, and with Octauia liue,
But he by me shall know in what hard stay
The City stands: the rulers Ile obay.

Alack, what made you cruell warres, in vaine
To moue, sith prisoner loue you can not gaine
You can not him ouercome, your fiery flame
He recketh not: his syre ouercomes the same.
He darkened hath those thundring thumps that shake
Heauen, Earth, Hel, sea, al things yt makes to quake.
Yea mighty Ioue, in heauen that weares chief crowne
His flames from welkin hie hath brought adowne.
And you, not victors now, but vanquished,


Shall raunsome pay, the price of hearts bloud red,
Loue, pacient can not be, but hote in rage,
No easie thing it is, his wrath t'asswage.
Achilles worthy wight, that was so stout,
To twang the Harpe he made in Ladies rout,
Prince Agamemnon sterne that boy benumd,
And rable rude of Greekes with loue bronds bumd.
King Priams raigne he topsie turuie tost,
And goodly Cities great he chiefly lost.
And now my minde sore frighted stands agast,
What Cupides furious force brings vs at last.


Ah , ah, our captaines sloe dispatching coyle,
And our long suffring yre in such a broyle,
That streames of bloud yet do not quēch their rage
Which thei against our propre person wage
And that all Rome, with corses strewd about,
Those cruell villaines bloud, doth not sweat out.
But deedes already done, with death to pay
A small thing t'is, a greater slaughtrous day
The peoples cursed crime, and eke that dame,
Whom I did aye suspect, deserues the same.
In whome, to yelde those peasaunts would me make:
At last she shall, with life our sorow slake,
And with hir bodies bloud shall quench our yre.
Then, shall their houses fall by force of fyre:
What burning both, and buildings fayre decay,
What beggerly want, and wayling hunger may
Those villaines shal be sure, to haue ech day.
Ah, Prouender pricks that vile rebellious race
Ne can they once our fauour well embrace,
Nor be content, with peace in quiet state,


But broyling raumpe about with troubled gate.
Hereon with boldnesse straight, hereon they flie,
With harebraind rashnesse hedlong by and by.
Well, they must tamed be with heauy stroke,
And downe be kept with peise of weighty yoke:
That they, with like attempt, do not arise,
Nor once cast vp their deadly peasaunts eyes,
Against our louing spouses golden lookes:
First punish them sure, then feare shal be their bookes,
To teache them, at their Princes beck t'obay
But see at hand, whom fayth, and vertue rare,
Lieuetenant chiefe of camps, appointed thare.


Præfectus: Nero.
The vulgare peoples rash vnruly rage
The slaughter of a fewe did sone asswage,
Which long wtstode our valiant force in vain,
To tel your grace this newes, I come againe,
And is this then ynough, dost thou so well,
O souldiour marke what doth thy captaine tell?
Hast thou with held thy hand frou bloudy yre?
Is this the due reuenge that we requyre?

The captaine guides of treason payd their hyre,
By desperate death of bloudy sword in fight.
The route which sought with flaming fyre to light,

Our royall Pallace great, who would assigne
Their Prince what he should doe: and pull in fine
Our mate from vs dissoluing wedlocke bandes:
Whose hardy slaunderous tongs, & wicked handes,
Hir princely grace reprochfully withstandes,
From due reuenge, are they dismissed free?

Shall subiectes payne, by griefe assigned bee?

It shall assigne which time shall neuer weare.

Which neither wrath may end, nor yet your fear?


Shee shall appease our hie displeased minde,
Who fiyrst, our wrath deserued due to finde.

Declare whose death your moode doth most require
Let not my hande be stayde from your desire.

It seekes our sisters death, and trayterous hed.

Those words through all my lims, hath stifnesse spred,
Opprest with griesly feare:

Us to obay.
Stands thou in doubt?

On fayth why do you lay
So great a fault?

Bycause thou sparedst our foe.

Deserues a woman to be termed so?

If treason she begin.

Is any man
So sure, that hir accuse of treason can?

The peoples rage:

Those madde unweldye wights
Who order could?

Who could stir vp their sprits?

No creature as I thincke.

A woman could,
In whome a mind Dame nature hath vpfould,
To mischiefe prone: shee armed hath hir heart,
To hurt by wyles: yet strength shee set apart,
Least shee vndaunted force with hir should beare:
But now hir slender power with doubting feare,
Is quickly quaylde, or else with punishment,
Which hir condemned state to mischiefe bent
To late doth ende: away with graue aduise,
Us with entreating seeke not to entyse.
Dispatch that we commaund on shipboorde borne,
Farre off to shore aloofe with dashing worne,
Commaund shee be: that tunlike swelling brest
At length in storming stomack may take rest.


Chorus. Octauia.
A lack the peoples bitter loue,
And dyre good will to many one,
Which, when they hoysted sayles aboue,
With pleasaunt blastes it made to grone,


And caried them from quiet shore,
That faynting, leaues them in the deepe,
And tumbling, raging waters rore.
Cornelia piteous wretch did weepe,
And sore bewayle hir sonnes estate:
The peoples loue did vndoe them,
And wondrous fauour, bred them hate:
Great worthy peeres of noble stem:
Of high renowne for vertues prayse:
In fayth and eloquence did pas
Their stomacks stout their fame did rayse:
Ith lawes eche one most excellent was.
And Scipio, thee did Fortune yeelde
Unto lyke death, and curssed wracke,
Whom neyther honours pompe coulde sheelde,
Nor fenced house thy foes keepe backe.
Moe to repeate, although I coulde,
Pure present griefe forbiddeth sore:
Ere whyle to whom the people woulde,
Her Fathers antique Courte restore,
And Brothers wedlocke once againe,
Now weeping, wringing hands poore wretch,
Unto hir cruell, deadly payne,
The armed souldiours doe hir fetch.
How safe doth pouerty lye content,
In thetched house safe shrouded there?
High raysed towers with blasts are bent,
Which often tymes them ouer beare.
Where pull you mee poore wretch? alas,
Into what banisht exiles place,
Woulde Nero haue mee for to passe,
Or Fortune bids, with frowning face?
If now with faynting strength quite coolde,
And with my broyles all wearied ceasse,
And longer lyfe shee graunt nice woolde,
If that shee worke for to increase,


My sorrowes great with deadly dart,
Why is she then so much my foe,
In country that I may not part,
And leaue my life before I goe?
But now no helpe of health I feele,
Alas I see my Brothers boate:
This is the same, whose vaulted keele,
His Mother once did set a flote.
And now his piteous Sister I,
Excluded cleane from spousall place,
Shall be so caried by and by:
No force hath vertue in this case.
No Gods there be my woes to wrecke.
The griesly, dreadfull drab Eryn,
Doth weld the worlde at nod and becke,
Who can lament my state, wherein
I am, alas, sufficientlie?
Now can Aedon duely playne,
My smarting streames of teares that I
Do shedde? whose wings I would be faine,
If destnies would them graunt, to weare.
Then would I leaue my mourning mates,
As swiftly fled, as wings could beare,
Aud so auoyde these bloudy pates.
Then sitting sole in shirwood shirle,
And hanging sure, by dandling twigge
VVith plaintiue pipe I might out twirle
My heauy tuned note so bigge.

The mortall broode the destnies guide:
Themselues they nothing can assure,
That certainly doth stedfast bide:
VVhich our last day of life, procure,
(VVhereof we alwayes should beware,)
Much daungerous chaunces for to try:
Unto your troubled minde with care,
Now many saumples do apply,
Which your accursed court hath brought,


To bolden you in all your broyle:
For what hath more your troubles wrought,
What doth against you sorer toyle,
Than fortune doth? the first of all,
Agrippas childe brought forth to life,
Whome we Tyberrus daughter call,
By lawe, and eke Prince Cæsars wife,
Of many sonnes a carefull dame,
I cannot chose but now recount,
Whose worthy, glorious ample name,
Throughout the world doth much surmount.
So oft with belly bolne that bare
Desyred fruicts, and peares pledge,
Ere long thou sufferedst exiles care,
Strypes, chaines, and boltes of yron wedge,
And mourning much, which so did frame,
That death they causde thee to abyde.

So Liuia, Drusus lucky dame
In male kinde babes, did hedling slyde,
Into a cruell monstrous deede,
And death sore pearcing deadly dart.
Hir mothers fates doth Iulia speede,
To folow streight with all hir heart,
Who after longer wasted time
With bloudy fauchion kene, was slaine,
Although for no iust cause or crime.
Your mother eke that once did raigne,
Who then esteemd of Claudius well,
Did wisely weld his court at will,
And fruitfull was, as you can tell,
What could not her desire fulfill?
Shee sometime subiect to hir slaue,
To death was put with souldiours blade,
What shee, that easy hope might haue,
Toth skies, hir raigne to rise haue made,
Prynce Neroes lusty Parent great?
First tost with shipmans boysterous force,


Then torne with sword in Prynces heat,
Did shee not lye a senceles corse,
Loe mee the tyrant stern will send
To yrcksome shades and hellish sprits.
Why wretch doe I the tyme thus spend?
Draw mee to death you to whose myghts,
False Fortune hath bequeathed mee.
I witnesse now the heauenly powre.
What dost thou bedlame? leaue to flee,
With prayer to Gods, who on thee lowre.
I call to witnesse Tartar deepe,
And sprytes of Hell reuenging freakes
Of haynous facts, in Dungeon steepe,
And Syre whom death deserued wreakes.
I doe not now repyne to dye,
Deck vp your Ship, and hoyse your Sayle,
On frothing seas to windes on hye:
Let him that guides the Helm not fayle,
To seeke the shore of Pharian Land.

O pippling puffe of western wynde,
Which sacrifice didst once withstand,
Of Iphigen to death assignde:
And close in Cloude congealed clad,
Did cary hir from smoking aares,
Which angry, cruell Uirgin had:
This Prynce also opprest with cares,
Saue from this paynefull punishment,
To Dians temple safely borne:
The barbarous Moores to rudenesse bent,
Then Prynces Courtes in Rome forlorne,
Haue farre more Cyuile curtesie:
For there doth straungers death appease
The angry Gods in heauens on hie,
But Romayne bloude, our Rome must please.