What time Ierusalem that Cittie
faire, Was sieg'd and sackt by great Vespatians heire
To the Gentlemen Readers
Gentlemen, I present you heere with the mourning song of
lerusalems sorrow : whose destruction was Prophesied by our
Lord lesus Christ, while he liued among them :
they neither regarded, nor beleeued his words. And after
in the mallice of their hearts compact his death, and that
sought to cleare himself e of so foule a crime : The curssed
cryed with one consent saying: his blood be on vs, and one
children. Which wicked wish of theirs the Lord brought to
within a short time after , as in this following Historie
perceiue. At what time both Cittie and Temple was brought to
vtter confusion : the misery whereof was so extreame as the
neuer before, nor since : And you shall perceiue that this
came vpon them in the time of their greatest prosperitie,
gould and Treasure most abounded, when pride excelled, and
the people were bent to all wantonnes. Such was their
and delicasie, that they could not deuise, with what meate
best please their nice stomachs y wishing for better bread
then could be
made of Wheate : abusing in such sort, the blessings of God
was in great abundance bestowed vpon them) that being
to much wealth and plentie, they loathed euery thing that
an high price : casting scornefull eyes vpon Gods great
blessings : but
in reading this Historie, you shall see how soone their
was changed, and the great plagues that followed their
peuish and hatefull pride : by whose wofullfall,
God graunt vs and all Christians to take
example, least following them in
the like sinne, we feele the
like smart. Vale.
Yours in all courtesie. T. D.
A description of Jerusalem and the Riches
Like to a Mourner clad in dolefull black,
That sadly sits to heare a heauie tale :
So must my pen proceed to shew the wrack,
That did with terror Syon hill assaile.
What time Jerusalem that Cittie faire,
Was sieg'd and sackt by great Vespatians heire.
A noble lew losephus writes the storie.
Of all the stories euer yet recited,
Neuer could any make the mind more sorie,
Than that which he so dolefully indighted : 10
Which sets in sight how for abhomination.
That goodly Citty came to desolation.
In all the world the like might not be seene.
To this faire Citty famous to behold,
A thousand Towers stood there the streetes between,
Whose carued stones great cunning did vnfold :
The buildings all, so stately fine and rare,
That with Jerusalem no place might compare.
In mid'st whereof the glorious Temple stood,
Which Nehemia had so faire erected, 20
Whose Timber worke was all of precious wood,
By Gods appointment wounderously effected :
Where all the People came with one accord,
And offered sacrifice, vnto the Lord.
Three stately walles begirt this Citty round,
Strongly raild vp of gallant squared stone,
Vnpossible in fight foes should them confound,
By warlike Engines seized therevpon.
The spacious gates most glorious to behold,
Were all gilt ouer, with rich burnisht gould. 30
And round about Jerusalem likewise,
Were pleasant walkes prepard for recreation,
Sweet daintie gardens feeding gazers eyes,
With workes of wonder and high admiration,
Where in the midst of sweetest smelling flowers,
They built for pleasure, many pleasant bowers.
The Destruction of Jerusalem. 421
In treasures store this Citty did excell,
For pompe and pride it was the onely place,
In her alone did richest Marchants dwell,
And famous Princes sprung of Royall race : 40
And fairer Dames did nature neuer frame,
Then in that Citty dwelt and thither came.
Christs Prophesie of the destruction
of this Cittie and how it came to passe accordingly
within Forty yeares after, shewing the cause that
mooued the Emperour to come against it.
ah Sauiour Christ tracing the bordring hilles,
Vhen he on this faire Cittie cast his eye
The teares along his rosiall cheekes distilles :
Mourning for their destruction drawing nie.
O Jerusalem Jerusalem (quoth hee)
My heart bewailes thy great calamitie.
The time shall come and neere it is at hand,
When furious foes shall trench thee round about, 50
And batter downe thy Towers that stately stand,
All thy strong holds within thee and without:
Thy golden buildings shall they quite confound,
And make thee equall with the lowly ground.
O woe to them that then giues sucke (he sayes)
And hilles their Infants on their tender knees,
More woe to them that be with child those dayes,
Wherein shalbe such extreame miseryes :
Thou mightst haue shund these plagues, hadst thou bin wise,
Which now for sinne is hidden from thy eyes. 60
This dreadfull Prophesie spoken by our Lord,
The stubborne people naught at all regarded,
Whose Adamantine heartes did still accord,
To follow sinne, which was with shame rewarded:
They flouted him for telling of this storie,
And crucifide in spite the Lord of glorie.
422 The Destruction
Reprochfully they fleered in his face,
That wept for them in tender true compassion,
They wrought his death and did him all disgrace,
That sought their life, and waild their desolation : 70
Their hardened heartes beleeu'd not what was said,
Vntill they saw the siege about them layd.
Full fortie yeares after Christes passion,
Did these proud people Hue in peace and rest,
Whose wanton eyes seeing no alteration,
Christs words of truth, they turned to a iest :
But when they thought themselues the surest of all,
Lo then began their neuer raised fall.
Their mounting minds that towred past their strength
Scorning subiection to the Romaine state, 80
In boyling hatred loath'd their Lords at length,
Dispis'd the Emperour with a deadly hate :
Reiecting his authoritie each howre,
Sought to expell the pride of forraine power.
Which foule contempt the Emperours wrath inflam'd,
Mightie Vespatian hot reueng did threat,
But all in vaine they would not be reclaim'd;
Relying on their strength and courage great :
And hereupon began the deadly iarre,
And after followed bloody wofull warre. 90
The signes and tokens shewed be-
fore the destruction^ alluring the lewes to repen-
tance, and their little regard thereof, interpre
ting all things to be for the best, flattering
themselues in their sinnes.
YEt marke the mercy of our gracious God,
Before the grieuous scourge to them was sent,
That they might shun his heauie smarting rod,
And hartely their filthy faultes repent :
Strange signes and wonders did he shew them still,
Fore-runners of their ruine, woe, and ill.
of lerusalem. 423
For one whole yeare as well by day as night,
A blazing starre appeared in the skie,
Whose bushie tayle was so excelling bright,
It dim'd the glory of the sunns faire eye, 100
And euery one that on this obiect gazed,
At sight thereof stood wonderous sore amazed.
In right proportion it resembled well,
A sharp two edged sword of mighty strength,
The percing poynt a needle did excell,
And sure it seem'd a miracle for length :
So strange a starre before was neuer scene,
And since that time the like hath neuer been.
And ouer right that goodly famous Cittie,
Hung still this dreadfull apparition, no
Which might haue mou'd had they bin gracious witty,
For outward follies, inward hearts contrition :
And neuer did that wonder change his place,
But still lerusalem with woe menace.
The wondring people neuer lookt thereon,
But their mistrusting heart suspected much,
Saying great plagues would follow thereupon,
Such priuie motions did their conscience touch:
But other-some would say it was not so,
But signe that they their foes would ouerthrow. 120
Thinke not (quoth they) that Jacobs God will leaue
The blessed seed of Abraham in distresse,
First shall his Sword the heathens Hues bereaue,
As by this token he doth plaine expresse,
His fierie sword shall shield this holy towne,
And heaw in heapes the proudest Remains downe.
Thus flattered they themselues in sinfull sort,
Their harts were hard, their deepest iudgments blinded
What godly teachers did to them report,
They soone forgot, such things they neuer minded: 130
Their chiefest study was delight and pleasure,
And how they might by all meanes gather treasure.
Men would haue thought this warning had bin faire,
When God his standard gainst them did aduance,
His flagge of lustice waued in the ayre,
And yet they count it, but a thing of chance :
424 The Destruction
This bad them yeild, and from their sinnes conuart,
But they would not till sorrow made them smart.
Then in the ayre God shewed another wonder,
When azurd skies were brightest faire and cleere, 140
An hoast of armed men, like dreadfull thunder,
With hidious clamours, fighting did appeare :
And at each other eagerly they ran,
With burnisht Falchions murdering many a man.
And marching fiercely in their proud aray,
Their wrathfull eyes did sparkle like the fier,
Or like inraged Lyons for their pray,
So did they striue, in nature and desire :
That all the plaine wherein they fighting stood,
Seem'd to mens sight all staind with purple blood. 150
This dreadfull token many men amazed,
When they beheld the vncouth sight so strange,
On one another doubtfully they gazed,
With fearefull lookes their coulour quite did change :
Yet all, they did interpret to the best,
Thinking themselues aboue all other blest.
The conquering sort that did with warlike hand,
Suppresse the other in the bloudy field,
Declares (quoth they) that ludaes sacred band,
Shall make vnhallowed Romaines die or yeeld : 160
And ouer them we shall haue honour great,
That proudly now vsurpes King Dauids seat.
See how the Diuell doth sinfull soules beguile,
Filling the same with vaine imagination,
Thinking themselues cock-sure, when al the while,
They stand vpon the brink of desolation :
All faithfull Christians warning take by this,
Interpret not Gods fearfull signes amisse.
Yet loe the Lord would not giue ouer so,
But to conuert them, if that it might bee,
Hee doth proceed more wonders yet to show,
All to reclayme them from iniquitie :
That so he might remoue his plagues away,
Which threatned their destruction euery day.
of lerusalem. 425
The Temple gates all made of shining brasse,
Whose massie substance was exceeding great,
Which they with yron barres each night did crosse,
And lockt with brazen bolts, which made them sweat,
Did of themselues start open and vndoe,
Which twenty men of might could scant put to. 180
Vpon a day most high and festiuall,
The high Priest went after a sacred manner,
Into the glorious Temple most maiesticall,
To offer sacrifice their God to honour :
What time the Lord a wonder did declare,
To all mens sight, prodigious, strange, and rare.
A goodly Calfe prepar'd for sacrifice,
And layd vpon the holy Alter there,
Brought forth a Lambe most plaine before their eyes,
Which filled some mens hearts with sodaine feare : 190
And sore perplext the passions of their mind,
To see a thing so farre against all kind.
Soone after this they heard a wailefull voice,
Which in the Temple shreeking thus did say,
Let vs go hence^ and no man heere reioyce^
Thus figuring foorth their ruine and decay,
All men did heare these speeches very plaine,
But saw nothing, nor knew from whence it came.
And foure yeares space before the bloody fight,
One Ananias had a youthfull sonne, aoo
Which like a Prophet cried day and night
About the streets as he did go and runne :
Shewing the people without dread at all,
Most wofull plagues should on the Cittie fall.
And in this sort began his dolefull cry:
A fearefull voyce proceedeth from the East,
And from the West, as great a voyce did fly,
A voyce likewise from blustering winds addrest:
A voyce vpon lerusalem shall goe,
A voyce vpon the Temple full of woe. 210
A mournefull voyce on wretched man and wife,
A voyce of sorrow on the people all,
Woe and destruction, mortall war and strife,
Bitter pinching famine, misery and thrall :
426 The Destruction
In euery place these threatnings still he had,
Running about like one distraught and mad.
With lofty voyce thus ran he through the towne,
Nor day and night did he his clamours cease,
No man could make him lay these threatnings downe,
By no intreaty would he hould his peace: aao
Although he was in Dungeon deeply layd,
Yet there his cryes did make them more afraid.
The Maiestrates that most forbad his crie :
And saw his bouldnesse more and more arise,
With grieuous scourges whipt him bitterly,
Yet came no teares out of his pleasant eyes :
The more his stripes, the higher went his voyce,
In sorest torment did he most reioyce.
But when the lewes perceau'd how he was bent,
And that their eares were cloyed with his cries, 230
They counted it but sportfull merriment,
A nine dayes wonder that in short time dyes :
So that a fresh their follies they begin,
And for his speech they passed not a pin.
But as the holy Scriptures doe bewray,
To dainty cheere they iocondly sat downe,
And well refresht, they rose againe to play,
In smiling sort when God did fircely frowne :
And neuer more to mirth were they disposed,
Then when the Lord his wrath to them disclosed. 240
IF The tydings brought of the enimies approach, and the
of the citizens : their provision of victuals for twenty
burnt in one night, by one of their owne captaines, of meere
malice, which caused a sodaine dearth to follow : their
and diuision betweene themselues while the cittie was
BVt whilst that they their sugred lunkets tasted,
Vnto the Citty came a tyred post,
Full weake and wearie, and with trauell wasted,
Who brought them word their foes were on their coast:
Which when they knew, their merriments were dashed,
These dolefull newes made them full sore abashed.
of Jerusalem. 427
Their Cipres Tables then to ground they throw,
Their siluer dishes, and their cups of gould,
For haste to meet the proud inuading foe,
Feare makes them mad, but courage makes them bould :
And to defend the brunt of future harmes, 251
They leaue their Ladies and imbrace their Armes.
Instead of Lutes and sweete resounding Vials,
They sound the Trumpet and the ratling drum,
Their barbed Steeds they put to diuers tryals,
How they can manage, stop, carrie, and run:
Their cunning harpers now must harnesse beare,
Their nimble dauncers war-like weapons weare,
But ere their wrathfull foes approached neere,
The store-houses the Gouerners did fill, 260
With wholsome victuals which for twenty yeare
Would serue two hundred thousand cast by bill,
But all the same by one seditious Squire
Was in one night consum'd with flaming fire.
For why the Cittizens to discord fell,
So giddy headed were they alwaies found,
And in their rage like furious fiends of hell,
In murdering sort they did each other wound :
And when they entred in this diuellish strife,
They spared neither Infant, man, nor wife. 370
Into three parts the people were deuided,
And one against an other hatred bore,
The chiefest sort sediciously were guided,
Whereby vnciuell mutines vext them sore :
So that the sorrow of the forreine warre,
Was nothing to their bloody ciuill iarre.
And so malicious did their rancor rise,
That they the holy Temple did defile,
All such as came to offer sacrifice,
They murdered straight, remorce they did exile : 280
The Sacrificer with the sacrifice,
Both bath'd in blood, men saw before their eyes.
Thus did they make the sacred Temple there,
The slaughter house of many a humane soule,
So that the marble pauement euery where,
Was blacke with blood like to a butchers bowle :
247 Their] Three 1618, 1677
428 The Destruction
And with the fat of men so slippery made,
That there for falling, none could goe vnstayd.
And by this wicked meanes it came to passe,
The streets and temple full of dead-men lay, 290
With wounds putrified, where no buriall was,
Which rais'd a grieuous pestilence that day :
So hot, and fell, that thereof dyed a number,
Whose foule infection all the towne did cumber.
And that which was more heauie to behold,
As men and women past along the street :
Their weeping eyes did to their hearts vnfold,
A mappe of Murder at their trembling feete :
Some saw their Fathers fetching deadly groanes,
Some their Husbands braines scattered on the stones.
Here lay a woman stabbed to the heart, 301
There a tender Infant one a souldiers speare,
Strugling with death, and sprawling with each part:
The channels ran with purple blood each wheare :
A thousand persons might you daily see,
Some gasping, groaning, bleeding fresh to bee.
Lo, all this mischiefe was within the towne
Wrought twixt themselues in wonderous hatefull sort,
While noble Tytus beat their bulwarkes downe,
And at their walles did shew them warlike sport : 310
But by distresse to bring them vnto thrall,
He brake their pipes, and stopt their cundits all.
IF A description of the horrible Famine within
the Cittie of Jerusalem.
FOr true report rung in his royall eares,
That bitter Famine did afflict them sore,
Which was the cause of many bitter teares,
And he to make their miserie the more,
Depriu'd them quit of all their water cleere,
Which in their want they did esteeme so deere.
291 where buriall, 2628, l6^^
of lerusalem. 429
Alack, what pen. Js -able to expresse?
The extreame miserie of this people then? 320
Which were with Famine brought to great distresse,
For cruell hunger vext the welthiest men :
When night approacht, well might they lye & winke,
But cold not sleepe for want of meat and drinke.
For by this time full Fourteene monthes and more,
Had warlike Titus sieg'd that famous towne,
What time the lewes had quite consum'd their store,
And being staru'd, like Ghosts went vp and downe :
For in the markets were no victuals found,
Though for a Lambe, they might haue twenty pound. 330
When bread was gone, then was he counted blest,
That in his hand had either cat or dogge,
To fill his emptie maw : and thus distrest,
A dozen men would fight for one poore frogge,
The fairest Lady lighting one a mouce,
Would keepe it from her best friend in the house.
A weazell was accounted daynty meate,
A hissing snake esteemed a Princes dish,
A Queene vpon a moule might seeme to eate,
A veanom neawt was thought a wholesome fish : 340
Wormes from the earth were dig'd vp great & small,
And poysoned spiders eaten from the wall.
A hundred men vnder this grieuous crosse,
With hunger-starued bodies wanting food,
Haue for a morsell of a stinking horse,
In deadly strife, shed one an others blood:
Like famisht Rauens, that in a shole doe pitch,
To seaze a caryon in a noysome ditch.
But when these things were all consumed quite,
(For famines greedy mawe destroyeth all,) 350
Then did they bend their study day and night,
To see what next vnto their share might fall :
Necessitie doth seeke an hundred wayes,
Famines fell torment from the heart to rayse.
Then did they take their horses leather raignes,
And broyling them suppos'd them wonderous sweete,
A hungry stomack naught at all refraines,
Nor did they spare their shooes vpon their feete:
43 TAe Destruction
But shooes, and bootes, and buskins, all they eate,
And would not spare one morsell of their meate. 360
But out alas my heart doth shake to show,
When these things fail'd, what shift these wretches made,
Without salt teares how should I write their woe,
Sith sorrowes ground-worke in the same is layd :
All English hearts which Christ in armes doe hem,
Marke well the woes of fayre Jerusalem.
When all was spent, and nothing left to eate,
Whereby they might maintaine their feeble life,
Then doth the wife her husband deere intreat,
To end her misery by his wounding knife : 370
Maides weepe for foode, & children make their moane,
Their parents sigh when they can giue them none.
Some men with hunger falleth raging mad,
Gnawing the stones and timber where they walke,
Some other staggering, weake and wonderous sad,
Dyes in the streetes, as with their friends they talke ?
And other some licks vp the vomit fast,
Which their sick neighbours in their houses cast.
Nay more then this, though this be all to much,
losephus writes, that men and maidens young 380
The which of late did scorne brown-bread to touch,
Sustain'd themselues with one an others doong.
Remember this you that so dainty bee,
And praise Gods name for all things sent to thee.
All things were brought by famine out of frame,
For modest Chastitie to it gaue place,
High honoured Virgins that for very shame,
Would hardly looke on men with open face,
One bit of bread neuer so course and browne,
Would winne them to the foulest knaue in towne. 390
of Jerusalem. 431
IF The seditious Captaines Schimion & lehocanan search
all the houses in the Cittyfor Victuals, they take from a
Lady all her prouision y leauing her and her Sonne comfort-
lesse, shewing the great moane she made.
THe curst seditious Captaines and their crue,
When they perceiu'd the famine grow so great,
In all mens houses would they search, and view,
In euery corner both for bread and meat:
If any did their bould request denie,
On murdering swords they were right sure to dye.
Among the rest where they a searching went,
Vnto a gallant Ladyes house they came,
And there before her victuals quite was spent,
With hardened hearts, and faces void of shame : 400
They tooke her store with many a bitter threat,
And left her not one bit of bread to eate.
The noble Lady on her tender knees,
With floods of teares distilling from her eyes,
Their crueltie when she so plainely sees,
In mournefull sort vnto them thus she cries :
Vpon a wofull Lady take some pittie,
And let not famine slay me in this Cittie.
Of all the store which you haue tooke away,
Leaue one browne loafe, for my poore child and me : 410
That we may eat but one bit in a day,
To saue our Hues from extreame misery.
Thus holding vp her lillie hands she cried,
The more she crau'd the more she was denied.
If you (quoth she) cannot afford me bread,
One dried stock-fish doe one me bestow,
For my poore Infants life I greatly dread,
If thus distrest you leaue me when you goe :
Braue men of might, shew pittie for his sake,
And I thereof a thousand meales will make. 430
O call to minde my childe is nobly borne,
Of honorable blood and high degree,
Then leaue vs not braue Captaines thus forlorne,
Your countries friend one day this child may bee:
43 2 The Destruction
let me not this gentle fauour misse,
1 may one day requite far more then this.
Then answered they in harsh and churlish sort,
Tut tell not vs of honourable state,
And if thou wilt we'l cut thy Infants throat,
So shall he neede no meate, then cease to prate : 430
Men must haue meate, let children dye and starue,
Yf we want foode, in warres how can we serue.
With bended browes they stroue to get away
But she vpon her knees did follow fast,
And taking hould on their confus'd aray,
This sad complaint from her hearts pallace past :
Renouned Lords, our Citties sure defence,
O let me speake once more, ere you goe hence.
Yf you lack money, see I haue good store,
Wherein great Cesars Image is portrayde, 440
Therefore of gift, I will demaund no more,
* To buy me foode, let me not be denayd.
For flue red herrings, ten Crownes shall you haue,
He pay it downe, with vantage if you craue.
That damned coyne (quoth they) wee doe detest,
And therewithall thy selfe, which all this while,
Hast kept our foes foule picture in thy chest,
Which seekes this holy Citty to defile :
Thou getst no foode, and therefore hold thy toungue
Hang, starue, & dye, thou canst not dye more young. 450
O pardon yet (quoth she) my earnest speech,
Do not my words to poyson so conuert,
Take heere my chaine, I humbly doe beseech,
Of pearle and Diamonds for one silly sprat :
One sprat (sweete men) cast but vpon the ground,
For this faire chaine, which cost a thousand pound.
Talke not to vs (quoth they) of lems and chaines,
Of Diamonds, Pearls or precious rings of Gould,
One sprat to vs is sweeter gotten gaines,
Then so much siluer, as this house can hold: 4 6
Gould is but drosse, where hunger is so great,
Hard hap hath hee, that hath but gould to eate.
442 foode 1677 : some foode 1618 455 cast but vpon 1677 :
of lerusalem. 433
With that the testie Souldiers get them out,
Proud of the purchast pray which they had got,
The woefull Ladye did they mocke and flout,
Her plaints and teares regarding not a iott :
Shee sighes, they smile, she mournes, and they reioyce,
And of their pray they make an equall choyce,
But Megar famine couetous of all,
Enuying those that should thereof haue part, 470
In sharing out there purchasse bread a brawle,
Wherein one stabd the other to the heart:
This fellow said the other did deceiue him,
He swore againe enough they did not leaue him.
Lo thus about the victuals they did fight,
Looke who was strongest bore away the prize,
And for a crust of bread, in dead of night,
They cut their Fathers throats in wofull wise :
The mother would her childrens victuals snatch,
And from his wife, the husband he did catch. 480
IT How the noble Lady and her young Sonne went
out the dung of beasts to eate, being ready to dye with
hunger, and could finde none: shewing what moane
they made camming home without^
BVt now of Miriams sorrow will I speake,
Whom the seditious Souldiers so distrest,
Her noble heart with griefe was like to breake,
With gnawing hunger was she sore opprest,
No kind of foode had she, then to reliue her,
Nor for her child : which most of all did grieue her.
Alas (quoth shee) that euer I was borne,
To see these gloomie daies of griefe and care,
Whome this false world hath made an open scorne,
Fraught full of miserie passing all compare : 490
Blest had I been if in the painefull birth,
I had receiu'd sweete sentence of my death.
917.6 F f
434 The Destruction
Why hath the partiall heauens prolong'd my life,
Aboue a number of my deerest friends,
Whose blessed soules did neuer see the strife,
How happy were they in their happy ends :
Great God of Abraham heare my mournefull crie,
Soone rid my life or end this miserie.
With that her little sonne with eager looke,
Vnto his wofull mother crying came, 500
His pretty hands fast hold vpon her tooke,
Whose presence brought her praying out of frame :
And to his Mother thus the child did say,
Giue mee some meate, that eat nothing to day.
I am (deere Mother) hungry at the heart,
And scalding thirst makes me I cannot speake,
I feele my strength decay in euery part,
One bit of bread for me good Mother breake,
My lesson I haue learnd, where you did lay it,
Then giue me some-what: you shall heere me say it. 510
The sighing Ladie looking quite a-side,
With many sobs sent from her wofull soule,
Wroung both her hands, but not one word replide,
Sighes stopt her toung, teares did her tongue controul,
Sweete Lady mother, mother speake (quoth he)
O let me not with hunger murdered bee.
Deere child (she said) what wouldst thou haue of me :
Art thou a thirst, then come and drinke my teares,
For other succour haue I none for thee,
The time hath been, I could haue giuen thee peares: 520
Rose coulered apples, cherries for my child,
But now alas, of all wee are beguild.
But come (quoth she) giue me thy little finger,
And thou and I will to the back-yard goe,
And there seeke out a Cow-cake for thy dinner,
How saist thou sonne art thou contented so?
The ioyfull child did hereat giue a smile,
When both his eyes with water ran the while.
Then vp and downe with warie searching eye,
In euery place for beasts dung doth she seeke, 530
As if a long lost lewell there did lye,
Close hidden in some narrow chink or creeke :
of lerusalem. 435
When she lookt and nought at all had found,
Then downe she coucheth on the sluttish ground.
And with her faire white fingers fine and small,
She scrapes away the dust and draffe togeather,
And so doth search through out the Oxes stall,
For dung or hoofes, or some old peece of leather :
But when in vaine her paines she did bestow,
She paid her heart the interest of her woe. 540
And lifting vp with sorow her bright eyes,
She cald her little Sonne to come away,
Who sought as fast for spiders, wormes and flies,
As she for Ordure mongst the mouldy hay,
O stay a while good mother did he cry,
For heere euen now I did a maggot spie.
At which sweete sight my teeth did water yet,
Euen as you cald, she fell her in the dust,
An hower were well spent, this prize to get,
To let her slip, I thinke I was accurst : 5 50
My hungry stomacke well it would haue stayd,
And I haue lost her I am sore affraid.
I, I, my Sonne, it may be so (quoth shee)
Then come away : let vs togeather dye,
Our lucklesse starres alots it so to be,
Peace my sweete boy, alack why dost thou cry,
Had I found any thing, thou shouldst haue seen,
That there withall we would haue merry been,
Then be thou still (my sonne) and weepe no more,
For with my teares, thou kilst my wounded heart, 560
Thy neede is great, my hunger is as sore,
Which grieues my soule, and pinches euery part :
Yet hope of helpe alack I know not any,
Without, within, our foes they are so many.
Deare mother heare me one word and no moe,
See heere my foote so slender in your sight,
Giue me but leaue to eate my little toe,
No better supper will I aske to night :
Or else my thumbe : a morsell small you see,
And these two ioynts, me thinks may spared be. 570
F f 2
My sonne (quoth she) great are thy cares God wot,
To haue thy hungry stomack fil'd with food,
Yet all be it we haue so hard a lot,
Dismember not thy selfe for any good:
No brutish beast, will doe so foule a deede,
Then doe not thou gainst nature so proceed.
But O my sonne, what shall I doe (quoth she)
My griefe of hunger is as great as thine,
And sure no hope of comfort doe I see,
But we must yeild our selues to starue and pine : 580
The wrath of God doth siege the Citty round,
And we within fell famine doth confound.
The sword without intends our desolation,
Consuming pestilence destroyeth heere within,
Ciuell dissention breedes our hearts vexation,
The angry heauens the same hath sent for sinne,
Murders, and ruine through our streetes doe run,
Then how can I feede thee, my louing sonne?
Yf pale fac't famine take away my life,
Why then, with whome should I trust thee my sonne 590
For heer's no loue, but hate and deadly strife,
Woe is that child, whose parents dayes are done :
One thee sweete boy no person would take pitty,
For milde compassion hath forsooke the citty.
Once I retaynd this ioyfull hope of thee,
When ripened yeares brought thee to mans estate,
That thou shouldst be a comfort vnto me,
Feeding my age, when youthfull strength did bate :
And haue my meate my drinke and cloth of thee,
Fit for a Lady of so high degree. 600
And when the span length of my life was done,
That God and nature claim'd of me their due,
My hope was then, that thou my louing Sonne,
In Marble stone my memorie should renew ;
And bring my corpes, with honour to the graue,
The latest dutie men of children craue,
But now I see (my sweete and bonny boy)
This hope is fruitlesse, and these thoughts are vaine,
I see grim death hath seaz'd my earthly ioy,
For famines dart hath thee already slaine : 610
of lerusalem. 437
Thy hollow eyes and wrinckled cheekes declare,
Thou art not markt to be thy Fathers heire.
Looke on thy legges, see all thy flesh is gone,
Thy iollie thighes are fallen quite away,
Thy armes and handes, nothing but skin and bone
How weake thy heart is, thou thy selfe canst say :
I haue no foode to strengthen thee (my child)
And heere thy buriall would be too too vilde.
Wherefore my Sonne least vgly Rauens and Crowes
Should eate thy carcasse in the stincking streetes, 620
Thereby to be a scorne vnto our foes,
And gaule to me, that gaue thee many sweets:
I haue prepaird this my vnspotted wombe,
To be for thee an honourable Tombe.
Then sith thou canst not Hue to be a man,
What time thou mightst haue fed thy aged mother,
Therefore my child it lyes thee now vpon,
To be my foode, because I haue no other :
With my one blood, long time I nourisht thee,
Then with thy flesh, thou oughtst to cherish mee. 630
Within this wombe thou first receiuedst breath,
Then giue thy mother, that which she gaue thee,
Here hadst thou life, then lye here after death,
Sith thou hadst beene so welbeloude of me :
In spight of foes, be thou my dayly food,
And saue my life, that can doe thee no good,
In blessed Eden shall thy soule remaine,
While that my belly is thy bodyes graue,
There is no taste of famine woe or paine
But ioyes eternall, more then heart can craue: 640
Then who would wish, in sorrow to perseuer,
That by his death might Hue in heauen for euer.
438 The Destruction
The Lady with hunger is constrayned to kill her best
beloued and onely Sonne, and eate him :
whose body she Roasted.
WHen this was said, her feeble child she tooke,
And with a sword which she had lying by,
She thrust him through turning away her looke,
That her wet eyes might not behold him die :
And when sweete life was from his body fled,
A thousand times she kist him being dead.
His milke white body staind with purple blood,
She clensd and washt with siluer dropping teares, 650
Which being done, she wipte it as she stood,
With nothing else, but her faire golden haires :
And when she saw his litle lims were cold,
She cut him vp, for hunger made her bold.
In many peeces did she then deuide him,
Some part she sod, some other part she rosted,
From neighbours sight she made great shift to hide him,
And of her cheere, in heart she greatly bosted :
Ere it was ready, she began to eate,
And from the spit, pluckt many bits of meate. 660
The smell of the meate is felt round about : the sediti
on Captaine thereupon came to the Lady, and threatens to
kill her for meate. Whereupon the Lady, sets
part before them.
THe sent thereof was straight smelt round about,
The neighbours then out of their houses ran,
Saying, we smell roast-meat out of all doubt,
Which was great wonder vnto euery man :
And euery one like to a longing wife,
In that good cheer did wish his sharpest knife.
This newes so swift in each mans mouth did flie,
The proud seditious heard thereof at last,
Who with all speed vnto the house did hye,
And at the doores and windowes knocked fast : 670
And with vilde words & speeches rough and great,
They askt the Lady, where she had that meat.
of Jerusalem . 439
Thou wicked woman how comes this (quoth they)
That thou alone hast roast-meat in the towne?
While we with griping famine dye each day,
Which are your Lords, and leaders of renowne :
For this contempt, we thinke it right and reason,
Thou shouldst be punisht as in case of treason.
The louely Lady trembling at their speech,
Fearing their bloody hands and cruell actions, 680
With many gentle words, did them beseech,
They would not enter into further factions :
But listen to her words and she would tell,
The certaine truth, how euery thing befell.
Be not (she said) at your poore hand-maid grieued,
I haue not eaten all in this hard case,
But that your selues might something be relieued,
I haue kept part to giue you in this place :
Then sit you downe, right welcome shall you be,
And what I haue, your selues shall tast and see. 690
With diligence the Table then she layde,
And siluer trenchers on the boord she set,
A golden salt, that many ounces wayde,
And Damask napkins, dainty, fine, and neate :
Her guests were glad to see this preparation,
And at the boord they sat with contentation,
In massie siluer platters brought she forth
Her owne Sonnes flesh, whom she did loue so deere,
Saying my maisters take this well in worth,
I pray be merry : looke for no other cheere : 700
See here my childs white hand, most finely drest,
And here his foote, eate where it likes you best.
And doe not say this child was any others,
But my owne Sonne : whome you so well did know,
Which may seeme strange vnto all tender Mothers,
My owne childes flesh, I should deuoure so:
Him did I beare, and carefully did feed,
And now his flesh sustaines me in my need
Yet allbeit this sweet relieuing feast,
Hath dearest beene to me that ere I made, 710
Yet niggardize I doe so much detest,
I thought it shame, but there should some be layde
44 7%* Destruction
In store for you: although the store be small,
For they are gluttons which consumeth all.
Herewith she burst into a flood of teares,
Which downe her thin pale cheekes distilled fast,
Her bleeding heart, no sobs nor sighes forbeares,
Till her weake voyce breath'd out these words at last :
O my deere Sonne, my pretty boy (quoth she)
While thou didst Hue, how sweet wast thou to me? 720
Yet sweeter farre, a thousand times thou art,
To thy poore mother, at this instant howre,
My hungry stomake hast thou eas'd of smart,
And kept me from the bloody Tyrants power,
And they like friends doe at my table eat,
That would haue kild me for a bit of meate.
When this was said, wiping her watery eyes,
Vnto her self fresh courage then she tooke,
And all her guests she welcom'd in this wise,
Casting on them a courteous pleasant looke : 7 30
Be mery friends, I pray you doe not spare.
In all this towne, is not such noble fare.
The Captaines and their company were so amazed
at sight of the childs limbes being by his mother set 'upon
the table in platters, that wondring thereat, they
would not eat a bite, for the which the Lady
THe men amazed at this vncouth sight,
One to another cast a steadfast eye,
Their hard remorcelesse hearts full fraught with spight
Were herewithall appalled sodenly,
And though their extreame hunger was full great,
Like sencelesse men they sat and would not eate.
why (quoth she) doe you refraine this food,
1 brought it forth vnto you for good will, 740
Then scorne it not (deere friends) for it is good:
And I euen now did thereof eate my fill :
Tast it therefore and I dare sweare you'l say,
You eate no meate, more sweete this many a day.
of Jerusalem. 441
Hard hearted woman, cruell and vnkind
Canst thou (quoth they) so frankly feed of this?
A thing more hatefull did wee neuer finde,
Then keepe it for thy tooth, loe there it is.
Most vild and odious is it in our eye,
Then feed on mans flesh, rather would wee dye. 750
Alack (quoth she) doth foolish pitty mooue ye,
Weaker then womans, is your hearts become,
I pray fall too, and if that you doe loue me,
Eate where you will, and ile with you eat some :
What greater shame to Captaines can befall,
Then I in courage should surpasse you all,
Why, wast not you, that did with many a threat,
Charge me with eager lookes to lay the cloth :
And as I lou'd my life to bring you meate,
And now to eate it doe you seeme so loath? 760
More fit I should, then you, heerewith be moued,
Since twas his flesh whom I so deerly loued.
It was my sonne and not yours that is slaine.
Whose roasted limbes lies here within the platter,
Then more then you I ought his flesh refraine,
And ten times more be greeued at this matter,
How chance you are more mercifull then I,
To spare his flesh, while you for hunger dye.
Yet blame not me for this outragious deed,
For wast not you that first did spoyle my house? 770
And rob me of my food in my great need,
Leauing not behind a ratt or silly mouse :
Then you alone are authors of this feast,
What need you then this action so detest?
The starued lewes hearing this dolefull tale,
Were at the matter smitten in such sadnesse,
That man by man with visage wan and pale,
Dropt out of dores, accusing her of madnesse,
And noting well, their famine, warre and strife,
Wisht rather death, than length of mortall life. 780
752 womans .7^77 : a womans 1618
44 2 The Destruction
And hereupon, much people of the Citty
Fled to the Romaines secret in the night,
Vpon their knees desiring them for pitty
To saue their Hues, that were in wofull plight,
And finding mercie, tolde when that was done,
How famine forc't a Lady eate her Sonne.
lytus the Romaine Generall wept at the report of
the famine In Jerusalem, especially when he heard
of the Mother that did eate her Childe.
THe Romaine Generall hearing of the same,
Tytus I meane, Vespasians famous Sonne,
So grieu'd thereat, that griefe did teares constraine,
Which downe his manly cheekes did streaming runne, 790
And holding vp to heauen his hands and eyes
To this effect, vnto the Lord he cries.
Thou mighty God, which guides this mortall round,
That all hearts secrets sees, and knowes my heart,
Witnesse thou canst, I came not to confound
This goodly Cittie : or to worke their smart :
I was not author of their bloudie iarrs,
But offred peace, when they imbraced wars.
These eighteene moneths, that I with warlike force
Besieged their Cittiy: (Lord thou knowest it well,) 800
My heart was full of mercy and remorce,
And they alwayes did stubbornely rebell :
Therfore good Lord, with their most hatefull rage,
And wondrous deeds do not my conscience charge.
My eyes doe see, my heart doth likewise pity
The great calamitie that they are in,
Yet Lord, except thou wilt yeeld me the Cittie,
Tie raise my power, and not behold more sinne :
For they with famine are become so wilde,
That hunger made a woman eate her childe. 810
When Noble Titus thus had made his moane,
All those, that from Jerusalem did fly,
He did receaue to mercy euery one,
And nourisht famisht men at poynt to dye:
of lerusalem . 443
But cruell Schimion that seditious lewe,
And Proud lehocanan, more mischiefe still did brew.
For albeit braue Tytus by his power,
And warlike Engines, brought vnto that place,
Had layde their strong walles flat vpon the flower,
And done their Citty wonderfull disgrace. 820
Yet stubbornly they did resist him still,
Such place they gaue to their seditious will.
ouerthrowing the walls of lerusalem enters the
Cyty and Temple with his power burning downe the siluer
gate thereof^ which led the way to the Sanctum Sanctorum
and setteth Souldiers to keepe it from further hurt.
k Bout that time with wonderous dilligence,
..They rais'd a wall, in secret of the night,
Which then was found their Citties best defence,
For to withstand the conquering Romaines might :
Which once rac't the Citty needs must yeeld,
And lewes giue place to Romaines sword and shield,
Renowned Tytus well perceiuing this,
To his best proued Captaines gaue a charge, 830
That new rais'd wall, the lewes supposed blis,
Should scattered be, with breaches wide and large:
And herupon, the troopes togither met,
And to the walles their battering Engines set.
The feare of this made many a Jewish Lord,
That ioynde themselues with the seditious traine,
To steale away, and all with one accord,
At Tytus feete, sought mercie to obtaine :
Whose milde submission he accepted then,
And gaue them honour mong'st his noble men. 840
By this, the mellow wall was broke and scaled,
With fierce allarms the holy towne was entred,
Romaines tooke courage, but the lewes harts failed,
Thousands lost their Hues, which for honour ventred :
Schimion, lehocanan, all did flie for feare,
lewes mournd, and Romaines triumpht euery where.
444 The Destruction
The faire Temple, Gods holy habitation,
The worlds non parallel, the heathens wonder,
Their Citties glory, their ioyes preseruation,
To the Romaine power must now come vnder : 850
There many Isralites for Hues defence,
Had lockt themselues, would not come from thence.
The famous Citty being thus subdued,
The Romaines heads with glad-some baies wer crowned
For blesfull victory on their side ensued,
While on the lewes the worlds Creator frowned :
The Captaines of the foule seditious rout,
To hide their heades did seeke odd corners out,
The Romaines resting in triumphant state,
Vnto the holy Temple turned their course, 860
And finding shut the siluer shining gate,
They fir'd it, retayning no remorce :
And when the fiers flame did sore abound,
The melting siluer streamd along the ground.
Their timber worke into pale ashes turning,
Downe dropt the goodly gate vpon the flower,
What time the wrathfull Romaines went in running,
Shouting and crying with a mighty power :
The glory of which place, their bright sight drew,
To take thereof a wondring greedy view. 870
Yet did that place but onely lead the way,
Vnto the holyest place, where once a yeare,
The high Priest went, vnto the Lord to pray,
The figure of whose glory did there appeare:
Sanctum Sanctorum so that place was called,
Which Tytus wondring mind the most appalled.
W r hich holy holyest place, when Tytus sawe,
Hauing a view but of the outward part,
So glorious was it that the sight did draw
A wounderous reuerence in his soule and heart: 880
And with all meeknesse on his Princely knees,
He honours there the Maiestie he sees.
This place was closed in with goulden gates,
So beautifull and super excellent,
That Princely Tytus and the Romaine states
Said sure this is Gods house omnipotent :
of lerusalem. 445
And therefore Tytus who did loue and feare it,
Commanded straightly, no man should come nere it.
And through his Camp he made a proclamation,
That whosoeuer did come neere the same, 890
He should be hanged vp, without compassion,
Without respect of birth, desert, or fame :
And more, a band of men he there ordained,
To keepe the Temple not to be prophaned.
The seditious set vpon the Romaine guard that kept
the Temple, and sodenly slew them: whereupon the
Romaine souldiers set fire on the golden gate of Sanctum
Sanctorum, and spoyled the holy place with fire. Titus
sought to quench it but could not, for which he made
WHile quiet thus the Romaine prince did ly,
Without mistrust of any bloudy broyle,
Proclaiming pardon, life and liberty,
To euery yeelding soule, in that faire soyle :
A crew of trayterous lewes, of base condition,
Assayled the Romaine guard, without suspition. 900
All Tytus gallant Souldiers which he set,
So carefully, the Temple gates to keepe,
Vpon a sodaine, they against them get,
In dead of night, when most were falne a-sleepe:
And there without all stay, or further wordes,
Each man they murdered on their drawn swordes.
Not one escap'd their bloody butchering hands,
Which noble Tyttis hearing, grieued sore,
And thereon rais'd his best prepared bandes,
Slaying those lewes, and many hundreds more. 910
And with such fury, he pursu'd them still,
That who escapt, fled vp to Syon hill,
But yet the Romaines full of hot reuenge,
For this vilde deede, by wicked lewes committed,
Troopt to the Temple, with a mighty swinge:
And hauing all things for their purpose fitted:
44 6 The Destruction
Did in their rage, set on the fiers flame,
Those goodly goulden gates, of greatest fame,
And as the flaming fier gather'd strength,
Great spoyle was practisd by the Romaine rout, 920
The melting gould that streamed downe at length,
Did gild the marble pauement round about :
The gates thus burned with a hidious din,
Sanctum Sanctorum Romaines entred in.
Who hauing hereby won their hearts desier,
With mighty shootes they shewed signes of ioy,
While the holy place (was) burnt with flaming fier,
Which did earthes heauenly paradice destroy :
This woefull sight when Tytus once did see,
He sought to quench it : but it would not be. 930
For many wicked hands had busie beene,
To worke that holy house all foule disgraces,
Which Tytus would haue sau'd as well was scene,
But it was fier'd in so many places :
That by no meanes the spoyle he could preuent,
Which thing he did most grieuously lament.
He ran about and cri'd with might and maine,
O stay your hands, and saue this house I charge yee,
Fetch water vp, and quench this fire againe,
Or you shall smart, before I doe enlarge yee, 940
Thus some he threatned, many he intreated :
Till he was hoarse, with that he had repeated.
But when his voyce was gone with crying out,
He drew his sword, and slew the disobedient,
Till faint and weary, running round about,
He sat him downe, as it was expedient :
And there twixt wrath and sorrow he bewayled,
With froward Souldiers, he no more preuayled.
The Priests & lewes that earst themselues had hidden
Within the compasse of that holy ground, 950
Against the Romaines fought : and had abidden,
For to defend it many a bleeding wound :
But when they saw, there was no way to fly,
They lept into the fier, and there did die.
917 on the fiers i6jj : on fiers 1618 927 was burnt] place
of lerusalem. 447
So long they fought, vntill the parching fier,
Did burne the clothes, from off their sweating backes,
The more they fought, the more was their desier,
For to reuenge the Temples wofull wrackes :
They layd about, as long as they could stand;
Or moue a legge, or lift a feeble hand.
And all this while did noble Tytus mourne,
To see Sanctorum spoyled in such sort,
Layde on the ground, there did he tosse and turne :
And smote at such as did to him report,
The woefull ruine of that holy place,
And from his sight, with frownes he did them chace.