University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
Amores Britannici

Epistles Historical and Gallant, In English Heroic Verse: From several of The Most Illustrious Personages of their Times. In Imitation of the Heroidum Epistolae of Ovid. With Notes explaining the Most Material Passages in every History [by John Oldmixon]

expand sectionI. 
expand sectionII. 



William de la Pooll Duke of Suffolk, procures a Match between King Henry VI. and Margaret Daughter of Rayner King of Sicily and Jerusalem, to whom the Provinces of Man, Anjou and Maine, were deliver'd on a Treaty concluded by the Duke of Suffolk, for which Treason, the Duke was banish'd by the means of the Earl of Warwick, at a Parliament held at Leicester. From France this Epistle is suppos'd to be sent to Queen Margaret from William de la Pooll, and the next is her Answer.

William de la Pooll Duke of Suffolk to Queen Margaret.

Let not my Mistress my Misfortune share,
And I with Patience will my Exile bear.
Five rowling Years on nimble Wings wou'd fly,
Like Lover's minutes, if my Queen were by.


When thou art absent, 'tis Eternal Night,
And Banishment Eternal from thy Sight.
The Persians who adore the rising Day,
Cou'd they see thee, to thee wou'd Worship pay.
Thy Eyes excel the Sun's meridian Light,
Their Force as piercing, and their Rays as bright.
Their rival Beams with Wonder he surveys,
And in his rapid Course, to view thee, stays.
England a Prison wou'd without thee be,
And ev'ry Region curst alike to me.
Who cou'd to Bonds the Generous Pooll confine?
What Chains can I submit to wear, but thine.
We, like the Falcons, no restraint endure,
Nor stoop, like vulgar Birds, to ev'ry Lure.

The Duke of Suffolk gave a Faulcon for his Arms, his Family was but new, and originally Citizens of London, from whom many of our present Nobility are deriv'd, tho' they have taught the inferior Quality to look on the most useful, and consequently the noble part of the Commonwealth, as a worthless scoundrel sort of People, below their Acquaintance or Conversation; in this our Fops and Wits are much wiser that Machiavell, who was of a quite different Opinion, and thought none of value in a State, that was not serviceable to it.

With wanton Wings in open Air they play,
And ne'er descend, but when they seize their Prey.
Live where we will, our Dwelling is the same,
We view one Heav'n, and tread one earthly Frame.


No Exile to the Brave can be assign'd,
Nor with the Body is the Soul confin'd.
Man in himself a little World contains
A Soul not subject or to Bonds or Chains.
Wheree'er his Body by constraint may be,
His Soul superior to their Force is free.
Who such Injustice, and be Calm, can bear,
The worst of Fortune has no need to fear.
At Leicester, Warwick my Disgrace contriv'd,
The States by him, and perjur'd Slaves deceiv'd.
Me they accus'd for yielding up of Main,
To me they charge the Loss of Aquitain.
By this, he feign wou'd win the Peoples Fame,
And be the Heir of good Duke Humphrey's Name.
My spotless Honour he abus'd with Lies,
That o'er the Pooll, the Nevil Race may rise.
He joyn'd in Counsel with his haughty Sire,

Nevil Earl of Salibury.

In York's stern Breast to kindle latent Fire.
By Clarence Title, aiming to supplant,
The Claims of Henry from the Famous Gaunt.


The Rout with fair Pretences he beguil'd,
And I, to please the Rabble, am exil'd.
Revenge my Good old Lord! the Traytor cry'd,

Humphrey Duke of Gloucester suppos'd to be murther'd by the Queen, and Pool's procurement.

Revenge! the People and his Friends reply'd.
Tho' worn with Age the Fav'rite Duke deceas'd,
Yet I must suffer, and the Mob be pleas'd.
If they wou'd know who rob'd him of his Life,
From Man, they only need recal his Wife.

Meaning Elnor Cobham Duchess of Gloucester, banish'd to the Isle of Man for Sorcery.

She, who in high Procession march'd along,
With flaming Wax, and penitential Song.
Let her again perform her Magic Rites,
And summon to her Aid, infernal Sprights.
From Hell, her Ministers must rise again,
To tell how Humphrey dy'd, and who shall reign.
Full Twenty Years in Gallick Plains I fought,

The Duke of Suffolk on the Duke of Bedford's Death, was made Leiutenant-General in France, the Lords Talbot, Scales and Willoughby, being joyn'd with him.

And Charles and Orleans to the Combat brought.

Charles VII. King of France.

Amid the thickest of the War I prest,
And offer'd to the Foe my Loyal Breast.
I saw the Havock of Vernoylas Fields,
With the Slain cover'd, and abandon'd Shields,


I saw Great Bedford thro' the Host advance,
And England triumph o'er dejected France.
The Marks of honourable Wounds I wear,
Where most was Danger, I was always there.
With me Great Montacute and Talbot fought,
By my Example and Instruction taught.
Fierce Heats, and piercing Colds I have sustain'd.
In England's Service, early Laurels gain'd.
The French to Forts and Cities I persu'd,
I sackt their Towns, and dy'd their Streets with Blood.
For this, from England, I reproach receive,
And banisht, in the Lands I conquer'd, live.
For thee, thou know'st, the fairest I refus'd,
And, only thee, to be my Princess chus'd.
The Treaty for Arminiack was begun,
I put her off, and plac'd thee on the Throne.
To see thee oft, and that my Queen might reign,
I gave thy Father Anjou, Mans and Main.


His Daughter for her Dow'r her Beauties brought,
Whose Treasures were too Cheap by Empires bought.
Before Aumarl, I left my conqu'ring Arms,
To tell my Sovereign of thy wond'rous Charms.
At Tours Ambassadors of Peace I find,

A Peace negotiated there by the mediation of several Kings between England and France.

Who su'd in vain till Love and Suffolk join'd.
My Tongue to praise thee was by Love inspir'd,
Young Henry heard, and with the Tale was fir'd.
With pow'rful Eloquence thy Charms I drew,
And set thee Glorious to the Monarh's view.
The King transported and confounded stood,
While I with Extasie the Theam pursu'd.
I prais'd thy Modesty, thy ev'ry Grace,
The Beauties of thy Mind and of thy Face.
Soft from my Tongue the moving Accents fell,
I, pleas'd to speak, and he to hear as well.
To us, I said, thou wou'dst new Glory bring,
Heiress of Sicily and Naples King.

Titular King only.


Then of his Pow'r and of his Kingdoms sung,
As if his Daughter from a God were sprung.
With pompous Epithetes his Stile I grac'd,
And Rayner with the first of Monarchs plac'd.
Thus to advance thee in the King's Esteem,
And dear to me, to make thee dear to him.
How much I lov'd was in thy Nuptials seen,
In Henry's Name when I espous'd the Queen.
The Proxy shone in an Imperial Gown.
Of equal Value with thy Father's Crown.
The Realms were tax'd, and I with lavish hand,

A fifteenth granted by the Parliament to fetch over the Queen.

Consum'd the Wealth of our empoverish'd Land.
To honour thee I on my Prince bestow'd,
My dearest Blessing, and my greatest Good.
Belov'd and Loving, I with Joy cou'd quit,
The Darling of my Heart, to make thee Great.
Had Jason, who adventur'd for the Prize,
As Poets sing, beheld thy sparkling Eyes,
And seen thee, such as on the Gallick Shoar,
The ravish'd Youth had left the worthless Oar.


With open Arms the Royal Maid to seize,
A richer Treasure than the Golden Fleece.
The Coasts of Diep were throng'd with weeping Crowds,
Who mourn'd to leave thee on the briny Floods.
The wanton Tide around thy Vessel play'd,
Old Ocean smil'd to see the heav'nly Maid.
Her silken Pride thy Ship display'd abroad.
And gamesom o'er the silver Waves she rode.
Sportive the Sea, as when Imperial Jove,
Bore thro' the yielding Waves his trembling Love.
The watry Nymphs their Harps divinely strung,
While sweet Arion on his Dolphin sung.
His Head fierce Neptune from his Palace rear'd,
And grimly pleasant with his Troop appear'd.
Before their King the Gods marine advanc'd,
While o'er the Waves th' immortal Lover danc'd.
Thus the proud Element to thee was kind,
To thee, in whom, all Beauty is confin'd.


Thou Pride of Nature, whom the Winds obey'd,
Fond of thy Smiles, and of thy Frowns afraid.
To Banishment, 'tis said, thy Pooll is gone,
France is his Prison, where his Fame he won.
A glorious Exile, this, my Queen, for me,
Where daily I the Fields of Conquest see.
The happy Plains with Pleasure I survey,
Where Gallia lost, and England got the Day.
Forth, here, the Vanguard mighty Bedford led,
Here Talbot charg'd, and here the French-men fled.
Scales and his Archers, there methinks appear,
And famous Willoughby again is there.
Again the Squadrons combating I view,
And now the Gallick fly, and ours pursue.
For what we cannot help we mourn in vain,
In all our Griefs, 'tis useless to complain.
Nor Sighs, nor Sorrows can our Pains relieve,
For then we suffer most, when most we grieve.
As mortal Men we're fated to endure,
Incessant Cares, and only this is sure.


The Laws Eternal, and the Pow'r we serve,
From what he once decrees, can never swerve.
We fondly prize what soon will fly away,
And cannot promise to our selves a Day.
Too oft we idly boast what we intend,
Forgetting our Designs on Heav'n depend.
What Fate has destin'd, only shall be done,
Which nor our Wisdom, nor our Strength can shun.
To the King's Will I must my Life resign,
The Pow'r is his, my Honour still is mine.
Courage, fair Queen, and let thy Looks declare,
No shew of Fear, not token of Despair.
Such as I saw thee at the Gallick Court,

She embarkt at Diep, and landed near Southampton.

Such as thou look'st, when we approacht the Port,
Where Henry waited on the crowded Strand,
And took his Royal Bride from Suffolk's hand.
New Graces then the youthful Queen adorn,
Blushing and Smiling as the Orient Morn.


With Rapture Henry seiz'd the Glorious Prey,
And bore thee in triumphant Pomp away.
Thus Gay, thus Happy may'st thou always be,
Nor dream of Danger for thy self or me.


Queen Margaret to William de la Pool.

Sweet as the Nightingal's nocturnal Song,
To Pooll, my words came slowing from my Tongue.
Soft on his Ear the charming Accents fell,
Which now are dismal, like the Passing-Bell.
My Breast was once the Sovereign Seat of Joy.
No Fears cou'd then my perfect Bliss annoy.
To Grief a Stranger and unus'd to care,
'Twas hard to learn the Lesson of Despair.
A vast and desert Wilderness 'tis grown,
Like the cold Regions of the frigid Zone.
Where, in the Air, the Icie Mountains rise,
And seem to threaten their unfriendly Skies.
No beams of Light the horrid Natives cheer,
For all is Darkness and Confusion there.
Thus in my Soul no dawn of hope I see,
But Clouds impending o'er my Love and me.


Our Day no more is Smiling and Serene,
And glaring Meteors in our Sky are seen.
For past Delights we only now must mourn,
Lament the Summer which will ne'er return.
As on Autumnal Boughs we often hear,
The Birds bemoaning the departing Year.
Tho' they again will have a time to sing,
Salute the Morn, and welcom in the Spring.
Our time is past and we must Joy no more,
But curse the Season which we blest before.
Now to our Aid, who stirs the Neighb'ring Kings,
Or, who from France a pow'rful Army brings?
Who moves the Norman in our Cause to joyn,

Philip Duke of Burgundy, a great Friend to the House of Lancaster.

Or Burgundy to own the Royal Line?

The Lords in the North withstood the Duke of York at his first Rising, and twice overthrew him.

Who in the North our lawful Claim commends?
Supports our Credit there, and gains us Friends?
To whom shall I my secret Griefs impart?
To whom disclose the anguish of my Heart?


Since Pooll is gone, on whom I cou'd depend,
The bravest Hero, and the truest Friend.
Nature on thee was lavish of her Store,
She gave so much, she cou'd not give thee more.
Of so Divine, so Rich a Temper wrought,
In thee, scarce Envy cou'd perceive a Fault.
The King knew well thy Rhet'rick wou'd succeed,
Who can resist when such as Suffolk plead?
All Force against thy Eloquence is weak,
Thy Eyes, thy Air, and ev'ry Action speak.
Had'st thou been living when immortal Jove,
His Heav'n abandon'd, and on Earth made Love.
No Shape but thine, the God had deign'd to wear,
For none cou'd be so Happy, none so Fair.
To Henry, York unfeign'd Allegiance swore,

The Duke of York on the Death of King Henry V. and Henry VIth's. Coronation, took the Oath of Allegiance to him.

Unfeign'd he call'd it, but he feigns no more.
The Vail thrown off, the haughty Duke appears,
In perjur'd Arms, and raises impious Wars.


By this his Treasons and his Guilt compleat,
Who breaks his Oath, will any Crime commit.
His Title to the Crown of late's proclaim'd,
To which, tho' secretly, he long has aim'd.
His Consort to her Sons the Tale repeats,
As Heirs of England, she the Princes greets.
The one of Wales, the next of York is stil'd,
And Henry's Right by odious Names revil'd.
We need no breach in the Succession fear,
The latest of the Brood will make an Heir.
Richard, unshapen in his Limbs and Mind,

The Duke of York had four Sons. Richard Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III. was the youngest, born with Teeth, and very unshapen.

The Scandal of his Nation, and his Kind.
His Mother's Picture, and her lasting Shame,
Abortive to the World, the Monster came.
The Womb unwilling, he for Passage tears,
And shews the Nurse his tusks and bristled Hairs,
The cruel promise of his future Years.


Who now, when York shall Henry's Arms oppose,
Will scourge the Rebels, and chastise our Foes?
Who clear the Garden of its noxious Weeds,
And crush the Vermin which of late it breeds.
Who chain the Bear, or chase him from the Wood,

The Earl of Warwick's Arms was the white Bear rampant, with the Ragged-Staff.

Give the Lands Peace, and save the Peoples Blood.
Before his Foes the wretched King falls down,
And humbly stoops, that they may take his Crown:
While, like a tow'ring Cedar he shou'd rear,
His top aloft, and shoot it in the Air.
His sacred Head shou'd mingle with the Clouds,
While these vile Shrubs sit lowly in his Shrouds.
Oh! why shou'd he enjoy his Father's Right?
A stranger to his Courage and his Might.
Sure Nature lavisht all her genial Fire,
To form a perfect Hero in his Sire.
No spark remain'd to animate the Son,
And make him worthy of his Father's Throne.


The noble Beast begets a noble Breed,
And Fools in Man alone the Wise succeed.
The Coward to the Hero's Race a shame,
Springs from his Manly Loyns, and stains his Name.
For me the Daizy was by Princes worn,

The Courtiers in honour of the Queen us'd to wear a Daizy, which in French is call'd Margarite.

Which lies neglected or expos'd to scorn.
York's Garlands now on ev'ry Head is seen,
And all forsake their Monarch and their Queen.
The Rebel rises fast as we decline,
Our Sun begins to set, and his to shine.
A dreadful Comet in our Sky appears,
And Warwick's Staves are our malignant Stars.
The Knees which bended to my Glories low,
Grow Stiff, as if they had forgot to bow.
I hear the Shoutings of the Crowd no more,
Who curse me loudly, as they blest before.
When Fame shall to our Foes thy Doom report,
We both shall be their Laughter and their Sport.


But when it spreads along the Western Coast,
How in our Wrongs will Glouster's Widow boast.
She soon will strive to be recall'd from Man,
To plot and practice hellish Arts again.
To this proud Warwick will, I know, agree,
In spight of Marg'ret, and in hate of thee.
That in our Court she may my Birth disgrace,
Abuse my Father, and affront our Race.
She thinks this most will vex my haughty Mind,
And I no help in Suffolk's absence find.
From the old Stock, 'tis said, new Branches bloom,
And Kent presents you for a King, a Groom.

Jack Cade, a Kentish Rebel, pretended to be descended from Mortimer, by Philippa the Duke of Clarence his Daughter.

The Man, the Faction to the Crown prefer,
As Mortimer and Philip's rightful Heir.
Thus Cade, a vulgar Rebel is become,
A Prince, whom York wou'd put in Henry's room.


In this we know the Traytor's higher aim,
To see what Numbers will support his Claim.
While he abroad usurps supream Command,
His Imps raise Tumults to disturb the Land.
To Ireland he our bravest Soldiers draws,

The Duke of York then Deputy of Ireland.

That Henry naked, he may gain his Cause.
Still to encrease the burthen of my Woe,
Great Winchester is gone, where all must go.
Beauford, the Pillar of the Church and State,

Cardinal Beauford, a Favourite of the Queen's.

Submits, as thou and I must do to Fate.
Next the wild Fury of the People fall,

Edmund Duke of Somerset, hated for his ill Fortune in France.

On Edmund, whom the Rout a Coward call.
His Wisdom and his Valour they defame,
And him, who sav'd their batter'd Armies, blame.
Duke Humphrey's Friends, and his inveterate Spouse,
Revive the ancient Quarrel with our House.
Wheree'er they go, they breath aloud revenge,
Their Malice growing as their Fortunes change.


While ours deprest, your Sentence is their Sport,
And Buckingham alone remains at Court.

Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, of the Queen's Faction.

By Love, I here conjure thee, Pooll, beware
Of Seas and Tempests, for thy Fate is there.
A Witch foretold, the Deep shou'd be thy Grave,
May Heav'n avert it, and our Suffolk save.
Yet oft in Visions I my Love behold,
Lie breathless on the Beech, and stiff with Cold.
Oft view thee driving on the stormy Main,
I wake with fear, and dread to sleep again.
Oft see thee there in horrid Combat joyn'd,
With Pyrats, Billows, and the raging Wind.
O'er all Victorious thou dost oft appear,
Yet still be cautious, and accept my Care.
Think me not weak that I this Counsel send,
She loves not much, who fears not for her Friend.
Whene'er we grieve we must our Griefs express,
Cou'd we hope more, our Sorrow wou'd be less.


The Storm that threatens to involve us o'er,
Heav'n still may land us on a peaceful Shore.
Still hope in Triumph thou may'st yet return,
Again we may rejoyce, tho' now we mourn.
But hope for ever is from us withdrawn,
Through the thick Clouds our Day will never dawn.
While Pool is gone, my Portion is Despair,
I ne'er can hope till I have Suffolk here.