George Peele

Here you will find the Long Poem Polyhymnia of poet George Peele


[Polyhymnia: Describing, The honourable Triumph at Tylt,
before her Maiestie, on the 17. of Nouember, last past,
being the first day of the three and thirtith yeare of
her Highnesse raigne. With Sir Henrie Lea, his resignation
of honour at Tylt, to her Maiestie, and receiued by the right
honourable, the Earle of Cumberland.]

[Polyhimnia. Entituled, with all dutie to the Right
Honourable, Lord Compton of Compton.]

Therefore, when thirtie two were come and gone,
Years of her raigne, daies of her countries peace,
Elizabeth great Empresse of the world,
Britanias Atlas, Star of Englands globe,
That swaies the massie scepter of her land,
And holdes the royall raynes of Albion:
Began the gladsome sunnie day to shine,
That drawes in length date of her golden raigne:
And thirtie three shee numbreth in her throne:
That long in happinesse and peace (I pray)
May number manie to these thirtie three.
Wherefore it fares as whilom and of yore,
In armour bright and sheene, faire Englands knights
In honour of their peerelesse Soueraigne:
High Maistresse of their seruice, thoughtes and liues
Make to the Tyltamaine: and trumpets sound,
And princelie Coursers neigh, and champ the byt,
When all addrest for deeds of high deuoyre,
Preace to the sacred presence of their Prince.

The 1. couple. Sir Henrie Lea. The Earle of Cumberland.

Mightie in Armes, mounted on puissant horse,
Knight of the Crown in rich imbroderie,
And costlie faire Caparison charg'd with Crownes,
Oreshadowed with a withered running Vine,
As who would say, My spring of youth is past:
In Corslet gylt of curious workmanship,
Sir Henry Lea, redoubted man at Armes.
Leades in the troopes, whom woorthie Cumberland
Thrice noble Earle, aucutred as became
So greate a Warriour and so good a Knight.
Encountred first, yclad in coate of steele,
And plumes and pendants al as white as Swanne,
And speare in rest, right readie to performe
What long'd vnto the honour of the place.
Together went these Champions, horse and man,
Thundring along the Tylt, that at the shocke
The hollow gyring vault of heauen resoundes.
Six courses spent, and speares in shiuers split,

The 2. couple. The L. Straunge. M. Iohn Gerrarde.

The Earle of Darbies valiant sonne and heire,
Braue Ferdinande Lord Straunge, straunglie embarkt,
Vnder Ioues kinglie byrd, the golden Eagle,
Stanleyes olde Crest and honourable badge,
As veering fore the winde, in costlie ship,
And armour white and watchet buckled fast,
Presentes himselfe, his horses and his men,
Suted in Satten to their Maisters collours,
Welneere twise twentie Squires that went him by
And hauing by his Trounch-man pardon crau'd,
Vailing his Eagle to his Soueraignes eies,
As who should say, stoope Eagle to this Sun,
Dismountes him from his pageant, and at once,
Taking his choice of lustie Tilting horse,
Couered with sumptuous rich Caparisons,
He mountes him brauely for his friendlie foe,
And at the head he aimes, and in his aime
Happily thriues, and breakes his Azure staues.
Whom gentle Gerrarde, all in white and greene,
Collours (belike) best seruing his conceit,
Lustilie meetes, mounted in seate of steele,
With flourishing plume and faire Caparison,
And then at euerie shocke the shiuers flie,
That recommend their honors to the skie.

The 3. couple. The L. Compton. M. Henry Nowell.

Next in the Virgins collours, as before
Ran Cumberland; comes louely Compton in,
His Courser trapt in white, and plumes and staues
Of snowie hue, and Squires in faire aray,
Waiting their Lords good fortune in the field.
His armour glittering like the Moones bright raies,
Or that cleare siluer path, the milk-white way
That in Olympus, leads to Ioues high court,
Him noble minded Nowell pricks to meet,
All arm'd in Sables with rich Bandalier,
That Bawdrick wise he ware, set with faire stones
And pearles of Inde, that like a siluer bend
Shew'd on his varnish't Corslet black as Iet,
And beauteous plumes and bases sutable,
And on his styrrop waites a trustie train
Of seruants, clad in tawnie liueries,
And toote they goe, this Lord and lusty Knight
To doo their roiall mistresse honors right.

The 4. couple. The L. Burke. Sir Edward Dennye.

When mounted on his fieree and foming Steed,
In Riches and in Collours like his peeres,
With Iuorie plumes in siluer shining Armes,
His men in Crimson dight, and staues in Red
Comes in Lord Burck, a faire yoong Ireland Lord,
Bent chiefly to the exercise of Armes,
And bounding in his princelie Mistresse eie,
Chargeth his staffe when trumpet cals away,
At noble Dennies head, braue man at Armes,
(As if the God of warre had sent him downe,
Or if you will, to shew his burning zeale
And forwardnes