His Golden Locks Time hath to Silver Turn'd

Original Text: 
George Peele, Polyhymnia describing, the honourable triumph at Tylt (R. Jhones, 1590). STC 19546.
2      O time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
3His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd,
4      But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
5Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
6Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.
7His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
8      And lovers' sonnets turn'd to holy psalms,
9A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
11But though from court to cottage he depart,
12His saint is sure of his unspotted heart.
13And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
14      He'll teach his swains this carol for a song:
15"Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
16      Curst be the souls that think her any wrong."
17Goddess, allow this aged man his right,


1] A long verse description of a tournament, at first attributed in RPO to Peele, supposedly devised for Sir Henry Lee (1530-1610). Lee had in 1559 made a vow to defend Elizabeth's honour against all challengers in an annual tournament to be held on her birthday. By 1590 he was too old to tilt, and in this song he makes his complimentary and graceful withdrawal. David H. Horne in his The Life and Minor Works of George Peele (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1952), however, argues persuasively that Peele is not the author (169-73) and does not firmly attribute it to anyone else. Back to Line
10] age his alms: the alms of age. Back to Line
18] beadsman: one endowed to pray for others. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.148.