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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–42). The Poetical Works. 1880.


The Song of Iopas, unfinished

WHEN Dido feasted the wand’ring Trojan knight,

Whom Juno’s wrath with storms did force in Libic sands to light;

That mighty Atlas taught, the supper lasting long,

With crisped locks on golden harp Iopas sang in song:

‘That same,’ quod he, ‘that we the World do call and name,

Of heaven and earth with all contents, it is the very frame.

Or thus, of heavenly powers by more power kept in one;

Repugnant kinds, in mids of whom the earth hath place alone;

Firm, round, of living things the mother, place, and nurse;

Without the which in equal weight, this heaven doth hold his course:

And it is call’d by name the first and moving heaven.

The firmament is placed next, containing other seven.

Of heavenly powers that same is planted full and thick,

As shining lights which we call stars, that therein cleave and stick:

With great swift sway, the first, and with his restless source,

Carrieth itself, and all those eight, in even continual course.

And of this world so round within that rolling case,

Two points there be that never move, but firmly keep their place:

The one we see alway, the other stands object

Against the same, dividing just the ground by line direct;

Which by imagination he drawen from one to t’other

Toucheth the centre of the earth, for way there is none other:

And these be call’d the poles, described by stars not bright:

Arctic the one northward we see: Antarctic the other hight.

The line, that we devise from the one to t’other so,

As axle is; upon the which the heavens about do go;

Which of water nor earth, of air nor fire, have kind;

Therefore the substance of those same were hard for man to find:

But they been uncorrupt, simple, and pure unmixt;

And so we say been all those stars, that in those same be fixt:

And eke those erring seven, in circle as they stray;

So call’d, because against that first they have repugnant way;

And smaller by-ways too, scant sensible to man;

Too busy work for my poor harp; let sing them he that can.

The widest save the first, of all these nine above,

One hundred year doth ask of space, for one degree to move.

Of which degrees we make in the first moving heaven,

Three hundred and threescore, in parts justly divided even.

And yet there is another between those heavens two,

Whose moving is so sly, so slack, I name it not for now.

The seventh heaven or the shell, next to the starry sky;

All those degrees that gathereth up, with aged pace so sly:

And doth perform the same, as elders’ count hath been,

In nine and twenty years complete, and days almost sixteen;

Doth carry in his bowt the star of Saturn old,

A threat’ner of all living things with drought and with his cold.

The sixth whom this contains, doth stalk with younger pace,

And in twelve year doth somewhat more than t’other’s voyage was:

And this in it doth bear the star of Jove benign,

’Tween Saturn’s malice and us men, friendly defending sign.

The fifth bears bloody Mars, that in three hundred days

And twice eleven with one full year hath finish’d all those ways.

A year doth ask the fourth, and hours thereto six,

And in the same the day his eye, the Sun, therein he sticks.

The third that govern’d is by that that governs me,

And love for love, and for no love provokes, as oft we see,

In like space doth perform that course, that did the other.

So doth the next unto the same, that second is in order:

But it doth bear the star, that call’d is Mercury;

That many a crafty secret step doth tread, as calcars try.

That sky is last, and fix’d next us those ways hath gone,

In seven-and-twenty common days, and eke the third of one;

And beareth with his sway the divers Moon about;

Now bright, now brown, now bent, now full, and now her light is out:

Thus have they of their own two movings all these Seven;

One, wherein they be carried still, each in his several heaven:

Another of themselves, where their bodies be laid

In by-ways, and in lesser rounds, as I afore have said;

Save of them all the Sun doth stray least from the straight:

The starry sky hath but one course, that we have call’d the eight.

And all these movings eight are meant from west to east;

Although they seem to climb aloft, I say from east to west.

But that is but by force of their first moving sky,

In twice twelve hours from east to east, that carrieth them by and by:

But mark we well also, these movings of these seven

Be not above the axletree of the first moving heaven.

For they have their two poles directly the one to the other,’ &c.