A Farewell Entitled to the Famous and Fortunate Generals of our English Forces

Original Text: 
David H. Horne, The Life and Minor Works of George Peele (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1952): 220-23.
2With stretching sail to plow the swelling waves.
3Bid England's shore and Albion's chalky cliffs
6Begins her quiet glide, and runs along,
9The glorious hold that Julius Cæsar built:
10Change Love for Arms, girt to your blades, my boys,
12And let God Mars his consort make you mirth,
13The roaring Cannon and the brazen Trump,
14The angry sounding Drum, the whistling Fife,
15The shrieks of men, the princely coursers neigh.
17Bid all the lovely British Dames adieu,
18That under many a Standard well advanc'd,
19Have bid the sweet alarms and braves of love.
20Bid Theaters and proud Tragedians,
24To propagate religious piety,
25And hew a passage with your conquering swords
26By land and Sea: wherever Phoebus' eye
27Th'eternal Lamp of Heaven lends us light:
29Or through the spacious Bay of Portugal,
32Even to the Gulf that leads to lofty Rome,
33There to deface the pride of Antichrist,
34And pull his Paper walls and popery down:
35A famous enterprise for England's strength,
36To steel your swords on Avarice' triple crown,
38To Arms, my fellow Soldiers, Sea and land
39Lie open to the voyage you intend:
40And sea or land bold Britons far or near,
41Whatever course your matchless virtue shapes,
42Whether to Europe's bounds or Asian plains,
43To Affric's shore, or rich America,
45Sail on, pursue your honours to your graves:
46Heaven is a sacred covering for your heads,
47And every Climate, virtue's Tabernacle.
48To Arms, to Arms, to honourable Arms,
50With flying keels, plow up the land with swords,
51In God's name venture on, and let me say
52To you my Mates, as Cæsar said to his
53Striving with Neptune's hills: You here, quoth he,
54Cæsar, and Cæsar's fortune in your ships!
55You follow them whose swords successful are,
56You follow Drake by Sea, the scourge of Spain,
57The dreadful Dragon, terror to your foes.
58Victorious in his return from Inde,
59In all his high attempts unvanquished,
60You follow noble Norris, whose renown
62Spreads by the gates of Europe, to the Courts
63Of Christian Kings and heathen Potentates.
64You fight for Christ and England's peerless Queen,
65Elizabeth, the wonder of the world.
66Over whose throne th'enemies of God
68O ten times treble happy men that fight,
69Under the Cross of Christ and England's Queen,
70And follow such as Drake and Norris are.
71All honours do this cause accompany.
72All glory on these endless honours waits.
73These honours, and this glory shall he send:
74Whose honour and whose glory you defend.


1] abord: board [your ships]. amain: quickly. Back to Line
4] Troynovant: New Troy, England, thought to have been founded by Trojan Brute. Back to Line
5] Isis: the Thames as it flows through Oxford. Back to Line
7] Bridge: London Bridge. Back to Line
8] Tower: the Tower of London. Back to Line
11] Rests: see OED "rest" n. 3, 2 ("a contrivance fixed to the right side of the cuirass to receive the butt-end of the lance when couched for the charge, and to prevent it from being driven back upon impact"). Targe: shield. Back to Line
16] vail: doff. Back to Line
21] Mahomet's Poo: Muhammad's head, an allusion to the brazen head by which the Arab prophet spoke in Robert Greene's play Alphonsus. Back to Line
23] sanguine: bloody. Back to Line
28] golden-waved river in Portugal about which Sir Thomas Wyatt had written. Back to Line
30] Terrene: earthly. Back to Line
31] Alcides' pillars: Gibraltar in Europe, and Monte Hacho in Africa, the two mounts that flank the opening to the strait of Gilbraltar. Back to Line
37] Augeus' stalls: the stables of Augeas, king of Elis, which defied any cleaning until Hercules succeeded in the task. Back to Line
44] Lake Avernus, a crater near Cumae near Naples, the entrance to the underworld in Virgil's Aeneus. Back to Line
49] Hoise: raise aloft. Back to Line
61] Belgia: Belgium. Back to Line
67] erst: before. braves: bravados, assassins, thugs. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
As registered by the printer William Wright with the Stationers.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: