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THOMAS RANDOLPH

Poet
1605-1634

Thomas Randolph was the son of William Randolph and Elizabeth Smyth.  He was born June 15, 1605 in Newnham, England.
He was an English poet and dramatist as well as a writer of English and Latin verse. He was an author of six plays including Aristippus; or, The Joviall Philosopher (1630); The Jealous Lovers 1632);
The muses' Looking-Glasse (1638), and Amyntas (1638). Randolph was one of Jonson's cleverest disciples. Pleasant anecdotes are recorded of their relationship and one of Randolph's best poems is his Gratulatory. The author's great wit and ingenuity are apparent in his plays and poetical works. In            this two-volume work, edited by the eminent Victorian scholar, W. C. Hazlitt, is a compendium of Randolph's writings.
He died 1634 at the age of 29.  William Randolph was my husband's 11th great Grandfather.

The following are two of Thomas Randolph's many works.......

AN ODE TO MASTER ANTHONY STAFFORD, TO HASTEN HIM INTO THE COUNTRY

    Come, spur away!
I have no patience for a longer stay;
    But must go down,
And leave the chargeable noise of this great town.
    I will the country see,
    Where old simplicity,
    Though hid in gray,
    Doth look more gay
Than foppery in plush and scarlet clad.
    Farwell, you city-wits that are
    Almost at civil war;
'Tis time that I grow wise, when all the world grows mad.

    More of my days
I will not spend to gain an idiot's praise;
    Or to make sport
For some sllight puny of the Inns of Court.
    Then, worthy Stafford, say,
    How shall we spend the day?
    With what delights
    Shorten the nights?
When from this tumult we are got secure,
    Where mirth with all her freedom goes,
    Yet shall no finger lose;
Where every word is thought, and every thought is pure.

    There from the tree
We'll cherries pluck; and pick the strawberry;
    And every day
Go see the wholesome country girls make hay,
    Whose brown hath lovelier grace
    Than any painted face
    That I do know
    Hyde Park can show.
Where I had rather gain a kiss, than meet
    (Though some of them in greater state
    Might court my love with plate)
The beauties of the Cheap, and wives of Lonbard Street.

    But think upon
Some other pleasures; these to me are none.
    Why do I prate
Of women, that are things against my fate?
    I never mead to wed,
    That torture to my bed:
    My Muse is she
    My Love shall be.
Let clowns get wealth, and heirs; when I am gone,
    And the great bugbear, gisly Death,
    Shall take this idle breath,
If I poem leave, that poem is my son.

    Of this, no more;
We'll rather taste the bright Pomona's store,
    No fruit shall 'scape
Our palates, from the damson to the grape.
    Then, full, we'll seek a shade,
    And hear what music's made:
    How Philomel
    Her tale doth tell;
And how the other birds do fill the quire;
    The thrush and blackbird lend their throats,
    Warblilng melodious notes;
We will all sports enjoy, which others but desire.

    Ours is the sky,
Where at what fowl we please our hawk shall fly;
    Nor will we spare
To hunt the crafty fox, or timorous hare;
    But let our hounds run loose
    In any ground they'll choose;
    The buck shall fall,
    The stag, and all.
Our pleasures must from their own warrants be,
    For to my Muse, if not to me,
    I'm sure all game is free;
Heaven, earth, are all but parts of her great royalty.

    And when we mean
To taste of Bacchus' blessings now an dthen,
    And drink by stealth
A cup or two to noble Berkeley's health:
    I'll take my pipe and try
    The Phrygian melody,
    Which he that hears,
    Lets through his ears
A madness to distemper all the brain.
    Then I another pipe will take
    And Doric music make,
To civilize with graver notes our wits again.
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On sixe Cambridge Lasses Bathinge themselfes by queenes colledge on the 25th of June at night and espied by a scholer

When bashfull daylight now was gone
And night, that hides a blush, came on.
Sixe Pretty Nymphes to wash away
The sweatinge of a Summers daye
In Chams fair streames did gently swim
And naked bathd each curious limbe.
O Who had this blist sight but seene
Would thinke they all had Cl{oe}lia=s beene.
    A Scholer that a walke did take
Perchance for Meditation sake.
This blessed Obiect chan'cd to find
Straight all thinges else went out of mind
No Studye=s better in this life
For Practicke or Contemplatiue:
Who thought Poore soule these hee had seene,
Fair Dian and her Nymphes had beene.
And therefor thought in piteous feare
Act{ae} ons fortune was tooneere.
Or that the Water=Nymphes thy were
Together met to sport'um there
And that to him such loue they bore
As to Iolas once before.
    What could hee thinke but that his eye
Sixe Venusses at once did spie
Rise from the waues, or that perchaunce
Fresh=Water Syrens came to dance
Upon our streames, with songes and lookes
To tempt Poore Scholers from their bookes.
    Hee cannot thinke they Graces are
Unlesse their number doubled were.
    Nor can hee thinke they muses bee
Bicause alasse they wanted three.
    I should haue rather huess'd that here
    Another brood of Helens were
Begot by Ioue upon [y+e+] playnes
Watchd by some L{ae}da of the Swans.
The maydes betrayd were in a fright
And blush'd (but twas not seene ith night.)
At last all by [y+e+] banke did stand
And hee, good harte lent them his hand.
    Where twas his blisse to feele all ore
Soft Paps, smooth thighes and somethinge more.
But Enuous Night masqued from his eyes
The place where loue an dpleasure lyes.
    Guesse Louers guesse, o you [y+t+] dare
What then might bee this Scholers praier
That hee wree but a Cat to spye
Or had but now Tyberius eyes.
    Yet since this hope was all in Vaine
Hee helpes 'um don there cloths agayne.
Makes Promise thye shall none bee shent
So with them to the Tauerne went.
    Where how hee then might sport or play
    Pardon mee Muse I must not say
    Guesse you that haue a mind to know
Whither hee were a Foole of no./
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