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William Warner

The Patient Countess. - extracted from Albion's England

Impatience chaungeth smoke to flame, but jealousie is hell;
Some wives by patience have reduc'd ill husbands to live well:
As did the ladie of an earle, of whom I now shall tell.
An earle 'there was' had wedded, lov'd; was lov'd, and lived long
Full true to his fayre countesse; yet at last he did her wrong.
Once hunted he untill the chace, long fasting, and the heat
Did house him in a peakish graunge within a forest great.
Where knowne and welcom'd (as the place and persons might afforde)
Browne bread, whig, bacon, curds and milke were set him on the borde.
A cushion made of lists, a stoole halfe backed with a hoope
Were brought him, and he sitteth down besides a sorry coupe
The poore old couple wisht their bread were wheat, their whig were perry,
Their bacon beefe, their milke and curds were creame, to make him merry.
Mean while (in russet neatly clad, with linen white as swanne,
Herlselfe more white, save rosie where the ruddy colour ranne:
Whom naked nature, not the aydes of arte made to excell)
The good man's daughter sturres to see that all were feat and well.
The earle did marke her and admire such beautie there to dwell.
Yet fals he to their homely fare and held him at a feast;
But as his hunger slaked, so an amorous heat increast.

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Argentile and Curan. - Albion's England (excerpt)

The Brutons thus departed hence, seven kingdoms here begun,--
Where diversely in divers broils the Saxons lost and won,--
King Edel and king Adelbright in Diria jointly reign;
In loyal concord during life these kingly friends remain.
When Adelbright should leave his life, to Edel thus he says:
'By those same bonds of happy love, that held us friends always,
By our bi-parted crown, of which the moiety is mine,
By God, to whom my soul must pass, and so in time may thine,
I pray thee, nay I conjure thee, to nourish as thine own
Thy niece, my daughter Argentile, till she to age be grown;
And then, as thou receivest it, resign to her my throne.'
A promise had for this bequest, the testator he dies;
But all that Edel undertook, he afterward denies.
Yet well he fosters for a time the damsel, that was grown
The fairest lady under Heaven; whose beauty being known,
A many princes seek her love, but none might her obtain:
For gripple Edel to himself her kingdom sought to gain,
And for that cause from sight of such he did his ward restrain.
By chance one Curan, son unto a prince in Danske, did see
The maid, with whom he fell in love as much as one might be.

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