green courts


Totell’s Miscellany 15 (Henry Howard)– Prisoned in windsor, he recounteth his pleasure there passed.
S0 cruell prison how coulde betide, alas,
As proude Windsor? where I in lust and ioye,
With a kinges sonne, my childishe yeres did passe,
In greater feast than Priams sonnes of Troy:
Where eche swete place returns a taste full sower,
The large grene courtes, where we were wont to houe,
With eyes cast vp into the maydens tower.
And easie sighes, suche as folke drawe in loue:
The stately seates, the ladies bright of hewe:
The daunces shorte, longe tales of great delight:
With wordes and lokes, that tygers coulde but rewe,
Where eche of vs did pleade the others right:
The palme play, where, dispoyled for the game,
With dazed eies oft we by gleames of loue,
Haue mist the ball, and got sight of our dame,
To baite her eyes, whiche kept the leads aboue:
The grauell grounde, with sleues tyed on the helme:
On fomynge horse, with swordes and frendlye hartes:
With cheare, as though one should another whelme:
Where we haue fought, and chased oft with dartes,
With siluer droppes the meade yet spred for ruthe,
In actiue games of nimblenes, and strength,
Where we did straine, trayned with swarmes of youth.
Our tender lymmes, that yet shot vp in length:
The secrete groues, which oft we made resounde
Of pleasaunt playnt, and of our ladies prayse,
Recordyng ofte what grace eche one had founde,
What hope of spede, what dreade of long delayes:
The wilde forest, the clothed holtes with grene:
With rayns auailed, and swift ybreathed horse,
With crye of houndes, and mery blastes betwene,
Where we did chase the fearfull harte of force,
The wide vales eke, that harborde vs ech night,
Wherwith (alas) reuiueth in my brest
The swete accorde: such slepes as yet delight,
The pleasant dreames, the quiet bed of rest:
The secrete thoughtes imparted with such trust:
The wanton talke, the diuers change of play:
The frendship sworne, eche promise kept so iust:
Wherwith we past the winter night away.
And, with this thought, the bloud forsakes the face,
The teares berayne my chekes of deadly hewe:
The whiche as sone as sobbyng sighes (alas)
Vpsupped haue, thus I my plaint renewe:
O place of blisse, renuer of my woes,
Geue me accompt, where is my noble fere:

Whom in thy walles thou doest eche night enclose,

To other leefe, but vnto me most dere.
Eccho (alas) that dothe my sorow rewe,
Returns therto a hollow sounde of playnte.
Thus I alone, where all my fredome grewe,
In prison pyne, with bondage and restrainte,
And with remembrance of the greater greefe
To banishe the lesse, I find my chief releefe.