The Bridegroom


The bridegroom was all2 dressed by Honors fine,
And was attended by the Muses nine.
Virtue strewed flow’rs3 of dispositions sweet,
In honest ways to walk on gentle feet.
A crown of loyalty was on4 his head;                              5
Both5 Fortitude, and Justice did him lead.6
Over his7 crown a laurel Fame did8 set,
Which Fortune often strived away to get.
And many bells of several censures rung,
And all the streets were9 with inquiry hung,                10
And10 in a chariot of good deeds did ride,
And many thankful hearts run by his side.

To the Temple


Thus bride and bridegroom to the temple2 went,
Though Envy strove the marriage to prevent.
Hymen did join their hands, and their3 hearts tied,4
Not to dissolve until their bodies died.5
The gods did join their souls in wedlock bands;                5
In Heaven’s record their love forever stands.

A Masquer Dressed by Vanity


The2 perfumed powder in’s long curls of hair
Were like3 lime-twigs to catch a maid that’s fair.
His glist’ring suit, which every seam Pride laced,4
Was5 made a bawd for to corrupt the chaste.
A cut-work band, which vanity had wrought,                      5
The6 price by which his mistress’s7 love was bought;8
Silk stockings, garters, roses, all of gold,
Were9 bribes by which his mistress’s love did10 hold.
His11 several colored ribbons he did wear,12
Were pages, which to her did letters bear.13                         10
Feathers, like sails, did14 wave with every wind,
Yet by these15 sails he finds his mistress kind.
His flatt’ring16 tongue persuades17 a simple maid
That18 all is truth, when all is19 false he said.

A Masquer Dressed by Honor and Time


His hair did white like silver ribbons show;2
Knots of experience were tied into.3
His head was covered4 all with wisdom’s hat;
Good management the hatband was round5 that.
His garments loose yet manly did appear;6                                       5
Though time had crumpled them, no spots were there.7
His cloak made of a free and noble mind,
Within8 with generosity was lined.
And gloves of bounty, which his hands did cover,9
Were stitched10 with love, with free hearts trimmed all over.11  10
A sword of valor hung close by his side,
To cut off all base fears and haughty pride.
His boots were honesty, to walk upon,12
And spurs of good desires tied them on.13
Thus he was dressed by Honor and by Time;14                                15
The one did give him wit, the other made him fine.15

Honor’s Epilogue

Noble spectators, pray learn this1 by me,
That nothing without Honor, Time, can2 perfect be.
Honor doth dress the mind with virtuous weeds,
And is the parent to all noble deeds.
Time doth the body dress with youth and age,                      5
And is great Nature’s chambermaid and page.
If in Time’s cabinet3 great spoils you find,
The fault is ignorance, stupid and4 blind,
Which careless is, and tumbles5 all about,
Misplacing all, taking the6 wrong things out.                         10
But Time’s a housewife good, and takes much pain
To order all as Nature did ordain.
On several heaps she several ages7 lays,
And what she takes from Life, to Death she pays.
But if disordered Life doth run in debt,                                   15
Then Death his sergeants doth diseases set,
Which causes Time8 to give a double pay,
’Cause Life is9 spent so much before rent day.