The Dark Side of Shakespeare (A Trilogy by W. Ron Hess)
********** Home **********
Intro to Authorship Question **********
Trilogy's Outline **********
Figures from Vol. II **********
Shakespeare Contacts **********
Article 1 - Rare Dreame **********
Article 2 - Cannibal TEM **********
Article 3 - Signatures **********
Article 4 - Illit Shaxper **********
Article 5 - Munday Press **********
Article 6 - Ziggurat Jig **********
Article 7 - Tree of Sunne **********
Article 8 - Poor DNB Woes **********
Article 9 - Heywood Bard **********
Article 10 - Euphues SONs **********
Article 11 - Sackville &Sh **********
Article 12 - Latin Poems ***********
Article 13 - Bad Ciphers **********
Article 14 - Willobie **********
Article 15 - SacvylesOA **********
Article 16 - Groatsworth **********
Article 17 - Ox's Medicine **********
Article 1 **********

All rights are reserved by Mr. Hess, but permission is given to copy and share these articles with others as long as proper attributions are given.
Here is an article concerning a challenge I made to Prof. Steven May, Prof. Alan Nelson, and author Irvin Matus on April 19, 2003 at a panels debate hosted by the Smithsonian Associates.  As of September 2003 both Profs. May and Nelson had replied saying that they intended to respond when they got the time (though in mid-October Prof. Nelson posted that he was still in London and wouldn't have an opportunity to read my material before meeting me at New York). 
Hopefully this may lead to acceptance of far more quality poetry as having been written by the 17th Earl of Oxford outside of the use of his pseudonym of "Shake-speare." 

The Challenge of "Another Rare Dreame"

by W. Ron Hess, assisted by Dr. Gordon Cyr and Alan Tarica


            At the April 19, 2003 panels-debate hosted by the "Smithsonian Associates," Oxfordians Katherine Chiljan, W. Ron Hess, and Joe Sobran faced Stratfordians Irvin Matus, Prof. Steven May, and Prof. Alan Nelson.  As Prof. May had done at a number of prior public events over past decades, he referred to his standard lament that he had a completely open mind as he began his comparative analysis of the poetry of various Elizabethan authors, and because of the Oxfordian beliefs of a friend, he even secretly hoped to substantiate the Oxfordian theory.  No doubt Prof. May was sincere.  Yet, as he chortled repeatedly during the debate, he was prevented from becoming an Oxfordian specifically because he could not find poetry reasonably (i.e., in his opinion) written by Oxford that was reasonably (i.e., also in his opinion) comparable to a mature Shakespeare.  So, we find that Prof. May's opinion doubly impacted what is basically subjective criteria.


            One protest to this regime was voiced during the debate by Ms. Chiljan, who noted that almost all of the Oxford poetry authenticated by May and others as having been written by Oxford was poetry from an anthology gathered in years prior to 1567 and not published until 1576 (see Ogburn Jr., 585-86 & Nelson, 157-63).  Ergo, most "authenticated" examples of Oxford's poetry came from an "immature," teenaged Oxford and was not completely fair to be compared with a "mature Shakespeare."  In similar vein, Hess' 1998 article borrowed from earlier work by Peter Moore, protesting that the spelling and punctuation conventions of the 1560s to 80s varied significantly from those of the 1590s to early-1600s, which varied as well from the 1609 to 1623 time-frame when most of Shakespeare’s works first appeared in print.  The spelling and punctuation would in any case represent habits of compositors and printers rather than of the author, and most orthodox comparisons had directly or indirectly allowed these non-authorial elements to sneak into their analyses.  Hess' article also lamented that the sheer number of Shakespeare lines available for comparison with the relatively few lines authentically by Oxford was part of the problem, because chances for rare word matches and common themes were far less as long as Oxford's output was officially limited to only about 20 verses, totaling about 500 lines.  Even so, the best quality verses are essentially excluded as Oxford's because "experts," principally Prof. May, have labeled them as only "possibly" by Oxford.  Hess' article even proposed a comparison between those excluded verses and Shakespeare’s least mature poetry in order to see if there wasn't a fair match. 


            So, for the Oxfordian theory to prevail, it would help to discover more poetry reasonably written by Oxford, preferably poetry offering enough new lines to double what is now "authentically" in Oxford's portfolio (bringing the total closer to 1,000 lines), ideally it would have a fair percentage of high-quality lines reasonably comparable to Shakespeare’s mature work, and hopefully it would be "authenticated" as Oxford's by "experts" such as Prof. May.  That's a tall order, but having met Prof. May, Hess believes he is a fair man, capable of paradigm shifts when the evidence has been convincingly put before him.


            Accordingly, at the end of the Smithsonian debate Hess issued a challenge to the Stratfordian panel, addressed principally to Prof. May.  He asked the trio to examine a 60-stanza high-quality poem that he believed met all requirements needed for Prof. May to consummate his stated desire to substantiate the Oxfordian theory, including a very high probability that it was written by Oxford.  At the time, the Stratfordian trio were obviously taken by surprise by this challenge, and it seemed Hess had gotten their attention.  Yet, a few days after the conference, when Hess sent the trio an open e-mail reiterating the challenge, he got no response, not even an acknowledgment or thanks.  Undeterred, Hess sent to the trio one more open e-mail, reiterating the challenge through a copy of this article and finally got replies from Profs. Nelson and May indicating that they’d look at ARD afresh.  Notably, Nelson and Matus are scheduled to speak at the Oct. 2003 New York Conference of the "Shakespeare Oxford Society" (SOS).  Hopfully the trio will receive the challenge seriously and responsibly.  This article is extracted from Appen. L, Vol. III of Hess' trilogy.


            To begin, the 1593 Phoenix Nest anthology had a poem signed "E.O.," unreservedly assigned to Edward DeVere, 17th Earl of Oxford (Crane, iii, 62-3; Miller-Looney I, 563-4; and May, 280-1):

1. "What cunning can expresse, / The favor of hir face, / To whom in this distress, / I doe appeale for grace, / A thousand Cupids flie, / About hir gentle eie.  // 2. "From whence each throwes a dart, / That kindleth soft sweete fier: / Within my sighing hart, / Possessed by desier: / No sweeter life I trie, / Than in hir love to die.  // 3. "The Lillie in the fielde, / That glories in his white: / For purenes now must yeelde, / And render up his right: / Heav'n pictur'de in hir face, / Doth promise joy and grace.  // 4. "Faire Cinthias silver light, / That beates on running streames; / Compares not with hir white, / Whose haires are all sunbeames; / Hir vertues so doe shine, / As daie unto mine eine.  // 5. "With this there is a Red, / Exceeds the Damaske Rose; / Which in hir cheekes is spred; / Whence every favor groes, / In skie there is no starre, / That she surmounts not farre.  // 6. "When Phoebus from the bed, / Of Thetis doth arise, / The morning blushing red, / In faire carnation wise, / He shewes it in hir face, / As Queene of every grace.  // 7. "This pleasant lillie white, / This taint of roseat red, / This Cinthias silver light, / This sweete faire Dea spread, / These sunbeames in mine eie, / These beauties make me die. //  E.O." 

An interesting comparison is 1.6-2.1's "...gentle eie./ From whence each throwes a dart" which was a god-like attribute attributed to Oxford himself by Gabriel Harvey in his 1578 encomium, one phrase of which "...vultus / Tela vibrat..." can be translated variably from the Latin as "...will / Speares shakes..." or "...eyes / Darts shoots...," while comparing Oxford to Hector and Achilles (son of the Thetis mentioned here in 6.2).


            Miller-Looney I (564) noted the following about this poem:

"First appeared in 'Phoenix' Nest' (1593), afterwards in 'England's Helicon' (1600) as 'What Shepherd can Express.'  Compare specially with 'Lucrece' (Stanzas 2-11, 37, 56, 69); also with Sonnets 98, 99, 130, and 'Passionate Pilgrim.'  For dying lovers see Troilus and Cressida (III, i and 2)...."

and quoted from lines 37, 56, and 69.  After we've overcome our repulsion to the cloying last two lines of Oxford's "What cunning can expresse" ("These sunbeames... make me die," Ick!), we find at least 11 themes cunningly expressed within it, which might be remarkable for compactly fitting into a meger 7 stanzas of such short lines.  So, what are we to conclude if we find the same 11 themes featured in another poem within the same anthology, a much longer, higher-quality poem likely comparable to Shakespeare's mature poetry? 


            Hess argues the 11 themes of "What cunning can expresse" are keys to Oxford's authorship of the much longer poem, "Another Rare Dreame" or "A Most Rare and Excellent Dream" (see its text at the end below), which occurred earlier in Phoenix Nest, and which Oxfordians should find most interesting indeed!  Hess argues the two poems were written by the same person, and were intended to be read together (just as Sid Lubow theorizes that A Lover's Complaint was placed behind and as a key to the Sonnets in the same 1609 publication).  To facilitate the analysis of May, Nelson, and Matus, here are the 11 themes with passages from both "What Cunning Can Express" (WCCE) and "Another Rare Dreame" (ARD):


     1)    a worshiped lady with attributes of the virgin goddess Artemis (Roman Diana, goddess of the silver moon, also called Cinthia or Sylvia; another virgin goddess of note was Pallas Athena, or Roman Minerva, goddess of war, knowledge, the arts, and literature, where "Pallas" in Greek meant "Shaker" or "Spear-shaker").

WCCE:  1.6-1.7 "...hir gentle eie. / From whence each throwes a dart"; 4.1 "Faire Cinthias..."; 7.3 "...Cinthias silver light."

ARD:  24.2 "portraict of the Saint"; 37.4 " to Angels calling lift?"; 37.6 "...advance yee to a Goddesse seate"; 40.2 "So deepe your thrall"; 48.3 "Exempt from Love, I live in happines"; 48.7 "And minde not Love..."; 49.1 " can from Love refraine"; 51.3 "...with vertue, and mine honor stand."


     2)            emphasis on flowers, especially the Lily, Carnation, and Rose (see Appen. J, with similar emphasis in some of the Sonnets; and note that "flowers" can = poems or feminine favors).

WCCE:  3.1 "...Lillie in the fielde"; 5.2 "...Damaske Rose"; 6.4 "...carnation wise"; 7.1 "...lillie white."

ARD:  15.1-15.2 " plot,... Carnation flowres"; 15.7 "...lillies and the damaske roses"; 39.1 "...those graces and those flowres."


     3)            classical imagery.

WCCE:  1.5 "Cupids flie"; 6.1 "Phoebus..."; 6.2 "Of Thetis"; 7.4 "faire Dae spread"; etc.

ARD:  13.4 "...curious web Arachne spun"; 15.5 "Uncertain Juno..."; 16.1 "Vermilion morne"; 23.7 "...conversation of the Muses"; 44.2-44.3 "Loves torments... he a mightie Tyrant is"; 60.1 "...Morning entring at the glasse"; etc.


     4)    the whiteness of her skin.

WCCE:  3.1-3.5 "The Lillie... glories in his white... pictur’de in hir face"; 4.3 "...with her white."

ARD:  14.1-14.3 "The forehead... for whitnes... snowe... smoothnes with Ivorie compares"; 19.1-19.2 "...hir skin, / A snowe white lawne...".


     5)    the red gold of her glowing hair.

WCCE:  4.4 "Whose haires are all sunbeames... doe shine"; 5.1 "With this there is a Red"; 6.3 "The morning blushing red"; 7.2 "...taint of roseat red"; 7.5 "...sunbeames ...".

ARD:  12.6-12.7 "...raies of beautie... sunshine light"; 13.1-13.7 "Hir Amber tresses... shining fire / Or flames..."; 14.1 "...these burnisht haires."


     6)    her situation as prominent among the stars.                                                               

WCCE:  2.2 "...kindleth soft sweete fier"; 3.5 "Heav'n pictur'de in hir face"; 4.1-4.5 "...Cinthias silver light... so doe shine"; 5.6-5.7 " starre / That she surmounts not farre."

ARD:  9.1-9.2 "...the night doth through the skie... with golden stars"; 14.5-14.6 "Under this firmament... Two powrfull stars...".


     7)            allusions to Phoebus (or Phoenix, Phaeton, Dea, or other "fiery" mythical entities), noting that god of the Sun, Phoebus Apollo, was also god of healing, prophesy, and poetry, and was intimate with the inspirational Muses.

WCCE:  6.1 "When Phoebus..."; 7.4-7.5 "...Dea spread / These sunbeames...".

ARD:  4.5 "...they recommend as Prophesies"; 12.6-12.7 "Whose raies... sunshine light"; 13.6-13.7 "...shining fire, / Or flames by woonder..."; 23.7 "daily conversation of the Muses"; 26.7 "...visit the afflicted and the sicke"; 27.2 "...recoverie to you bring"; 42.6-42.7 "The Sun... his light."


     8)            allusions to a sea nymph (as in Thetis, nymph mother of Achilles in the Iliad; or Aphrodite-Venus, mother of Cupid and the goddess of love, created out of sea foam on the coast of Cyprus).

WCCE:  1.5-1.6 "...Cupids flie, / About hir..."; 6.1-6.2 "...from the bed, / Of Thetis doth rise."

ARD:  6.7 "Loves commandment"; 15.6 "Venus"; 19.6 "...a tawnie Cyprous... Angell woman goes"; 20.3 "...imitate the gently moved Seas"; 22.2 "The tawnie cyprous..."; 34.7 "...perish like the outcast in the seas"; 42.1 "condiscending unto Love"; 44.5-46.6 "...insnare me in this net... for fish, with fish to bait"; 45.1 "When Love (sweete Lady)...".


     9)    the author's blindness from her brilliance.

WCCE:  4.4-4.6 " doe shine, / As daie unto mine eine"; 7.5 "...sunbeames in mine eie."

ARD:  7.1 "Mine eies, the first intreating messeengers"; 12.6-12.7 "Whose raies... Sunshine light"; 22.7 "Sees somwhat further, than mine eies might see"; 42.6-42.7 "The Sun... his light."


   10)    the author's intention to die for the sake of beauty and love (a ploy historically favorably responded to by Queen Elizabeth in the case of Sir Christopher Hatton, unfavorably when tried by Hatton's advisor Sir Edward Dyer, and may have been originated by their rival Oxford while ill at Windsor in 1569).

WCCE:  2.5-2.6 "No sweeter life I trie, / Than in hir love to die"; 7.6 "...beauties make me die."

ARD:  10.7 "Of purpose strait to make a final end"; 33.4 "...from this bodie would my life divide"; 34.5 " sight of helpe, must helples die"; 36.3 "Upon the beauties which your visage dies"; 52.1 "...Love hath brought me to the grave"; 53.2 "And for you will not love (said I) I die"; 53.7 "Let not thy mistres be thy homicide"; 55.7 "...with a kiss drew up my life againe."


   11)    most important, the lady in the powerful role of the author's Queen or sovereign!

WCCE:  1.2-1.4 "...hir face... I doe appeal for grace"; 3.5-3.6 "...hir face, / Doth promise joy and grace"; 6.5-6.6 "...hir face, / As Queene of every grace."

ARD:  6.6 "upon my soveraigne"; 9.2 "Her sable robe" (regnal garb); 24.4 "Mistress of my hope, my feare, and plaint"; 27.7 "Bestowe on me"; 36.6 "Yeelding favor"; 40.2 "so deepe your thrall"; 40.7 "Your beautie of it selfe is Conqueresse"; 41.5 "Your soveraigne beautie"; 48.6 "in the estate I live"; 49.2-49.3 "...he holds his state within your eies: / But I, the vassall..."; 52,5 "...heere my servant lay"; 53.6 "...servant (said she) abide."


            There are many potential links between these two poems and Shakespeare's Sonnets.  Just for starters, consider the parallels focusing on third person references to "him" or "his":

            WCCE:  3.4  "And render up his right"

ARD: 49.3  "But I, the vassal of his hard disdaine"

SON 5.6  "To hideous winter and confounds him there"

SON 9.14  "That on himself such murderous shame commits"

SON 28.10  "And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven"

SON 34.12  "To him that bears the strong offence's cross"

SON 39.14  "By praising him here who doth hence remain!"

SON 46.5  "My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie--"

SON 46.8  "And says in him thy fair appearance lies"

SON 51.14  "Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go"

SON 52.2  "Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure"

SON 67.3  "That sin by him advantage should achieve"

SON 67.13  "O, him she stores, to show what wealth she had"

SON 68.9  "In him those holy antique hours are seen."

Which was just to name a few, and just one example of many relevant comparisons.  Studies of Venus and Adonis, Rape of Lucrece, The Phoenix and the Turtle, and Willobie His Avisa should be worth comparing with WCCE and ARD.  So, if ARD was part of Oxford's portfolio, his linkages to the rest of Shakespeare's poetry would undoubtedly be enhanced.  Or was Shakespeare meticulously aping from Oxford?


            Note there were several intriguing links to Oxford's life in ARD.  First, the 8.4 line about "Bedlam fits" was reminiscent of King Lear's character "Tom of Bedlam," who pretended to be mad; and the Bedlam asylum lay outside Bishopsgate and just across the road from Oxford's "Fisher's Folly" mansion during the mid-1580s.  Second, the 28.1-28.4 "Is't in my garden..." spoken by the poem's mysterious queen-deity implied that the action of the poem took place within her garden- or palace-precincts.  Thus, note that Oxford was said to have been gravely ill in the last part of 1569, during which he recuperated at Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Palace grounds; and in 1595 Oxford was again ill and living with his second wife at Byfleet, the royal lodge on the south edge of Windsor Park (Holmes, 166 & 171); so Windsor seemed a royal place of healing.  Third, as late as 1573 there was report that the Queen was enchanted with Oxford's "personage and his dancing" to the point that his jealous mother-in-law objected (Ogburn Jr., 511).  And fourth, when "in his cups," Oxford supposedly bragged of various sexual adventures, among them some touching on her Majesty (Nelson, 204-09).  So, there is a possibility that ARD was based on a masculine fantasy of an actual event from Oxford's life in late-1569, related to his actual illness and attempts to romance the Queen.  Though not certain, such historical links to Oxford's life far outshine any possible links to the life of the obscure, irrelevant man from Stratford-upon-Avon.


            Clearly these 11 themes were aimed at Elizabeth the "Virgin Queen," famously vain about her red-golden hair, painted white face, ambiguous sexual morality, and deliberate ties of her own legend to virgin goddesses.  Or were they?  Might some elements have been originally aimed at a different red-headed queen, Mary Stuart, but rewritten for the "Virgin Queen" after Mary was executed in early 1587?  The Hess trilogy provides much evidence to support either conclusion, particularly in Appendix H's discussion of the challenges and affronts used by Oxford and other knights for a Jan. 22, 1580/1 Tournament at Whitehall.  Hess' Chapter 9 proposes that Oxford's long-term campaign to entrap and destroy traitors may have led him to adopt certain conventions used by his potential victims, likely for their enjoyments in private.  In short, Oxford need not "really" have been a traitor in order to have talked or written like one when in their company, particularly if his literary work was originated for their entertainment and further entrapment.


            In isolation or combinations of a few themes at a time, each theme might be found in hundreds of other poems, not likely all having been written by Oxford.  Yet, finding 11 matches between two poems (WCCE and ARD) in the same 1593 anthology, when Shakespeare's works were first appearing and the Sonnets were being written, has a very small probability of having occurred by accident.  So, it might be argued ARD was written first (i.e., well before 1593) and then Oxford shamelessly stole from it for his WCCE poem.


            Thus, it's important to note what Phoenix Nest itself had to say about ARD, because, the only identifying information about ARD's author was:

"learnedly set downe by a woorthy Gentleman, a brave Scholler, and M. of Artes in both Universities."

And, as it so happens, the 17th Earl of Oxford was one of a very few "scholars" who had MAs from both universities.  He'd gotten his MA from Cambridge U. in 1565 and another from Oxford U. in 1566.  It may be that Prof. Nelson's claim has merit that degrees to noblemen were only honorary; still, Oxford indisputably had those degrees, as did the author of ARD and only a few others (e.g., the poets Robert Greene and Francis Meres).  Oxford was not uniquely qualified to have been the author of ARD, but the short list of those qualified would have included Oxford at its top, even if WCCE had not been attributed to "E.O." in Phoenix.


            A review of Phoenix Nest at tentatively attributed ARD to Robert Greene (who had died the year before, but was a double-master like Oxford).  It read:

"The earl of Oxford has a charming lyric, 'What cunning can expresse,' and it is possible that the longest poem in the volume, A most rare and excellent dreame, is the work of Greene. The dream is the favourite one of the visit of a lady to her sleeping lover. Her beauties are described and his parlous state explained. Then follows a long argument on love, of the kind that had not yet passed out of fashion; and, on the relenting of his mistress, the lover wakes. There is much of the old school in the matter, but little in the manner. The stanzas in rime royal move freely and strongly, and the whole is a good specimen of the poetry of the time. It needs, however, only to place it side by side with such a lyric as Lodge’s 'My bonnie Lasse thine eie,' in the same volume, to realise the immensely enlarged field in which the poet had to work."

Though many connections between Oxford and Greene existed, and much of Greene's poetry may easily be compared to Oxford's or Shakespeare's, there's no need to exhume a dead Greene when Oxford yet lived!


            Fortunately, there are many tests to help confirm common authorship of WCCE and ARD.  A 1986 article by Helen Cyr (Dr. Gordon Cyr’s late first wife) provided clues, and so does William Plumer Fowler's book published a few weeks later (and reviewed in the Winter 1987 SOS Newsletter by Morse Johnson).  At our April 2003 Smithsonian debate, Prof. Nelson was critical of "errors" made by Fowler, principally in transcription of Oxford's letters.  But, with Prof. Nelson's own "authentic" transcriptions available on his webpage, scholars can update or correct Fowler's findings where needed.  Mrs. Cyr's host publication, The Shakespeare Newsletter, under its editor Louis Marder, was at that time providing a small amount of space to the SOS for publishing Oxfordian articles, usually less than a full page in length.  So, there was insufficient space to note that she had checked against concordances or indexes of the works of Spenser, Marlowe, and Sidney, after which she was confident that no similar findings existed for those works (even so, her choice of title, "Lord Oxford Said it First," belied Prof. May's claim in our debate that such parallelisms "were commonplaces of the times," and it needs to be noted that her citations came only from the few poetry examples endorsed by May as by Oxford).  She later wrote an article in the SOS Newsletter arguing that such comparisons with other authors, difficult to do though they may be, were necessary for Oxfordians to make definitive arguments about Oxford's links to Shakespeare.


            Still, both Mrs. Cyr and Fowler were able to point to significant "rare words" and "parallelisms" between Shakespeare's works and Oxford's letters and poetry (in addition to those pointed out above under the 11 themes).  Mrs. Cyr noted WCCE's 7.5 "...sunbeames in mine eie" was a "parallelism" with LLL 5.02.169-170 "once to behold with sun-beamed eyes... your sun-beamed eyes."


            Hess' 1998 article (an updated and expanded version will be in Hess' trilogy, Vol. III, Appen. S) proposed use of automated "Expert Systems" and "Neural Networks" for authorship comparisons.  Such systems could provide confidence in the common authorship of WCCE and ARD.  Since the two works were in the same 1593 publication, their punctuation and spelling should be similar, and any differences (if any) should be due to authorship.  Moreover, their publication at the same time as Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis should make it fair to compare them to that work, more fair than Oxford's other poetry written much earlier.  Ergo, unfair tests that have been performed against Oxford's other portfolio with unfair results can be more reasonably applied to WCCE and ARD as a presumed set of two Oxford works. 

            In closing, after Prof. May, Prof. Nelson, and author Irvin Matus have evaluated ARD with open minds and noted its striking similarity in so many important ways to the Oxford work WCCE, their formal response will be a great assistance to those who are interested in validation of the Oxfordian theory that the 17th Earl of Oxford was the principal author of Shakespeare's works.  We welcome their input to this process.


"Another Rare Dreame" or "A most rare, and excellent Dreame,"

learnedly set downe by a woorthy Gentleman, a brave Scholler, and M. of Artes in both Universities.

1.  The while we sleepe, whereof may it proceed, / Our minde is led with dreames of divers sorts, / Some fearfull things, and discontentment breede, / Some merriment, and pretie idle sports, / And some of future things presage imports; / Some wounds the conscience with the former gilt, / Of outrage, wrongs, and bloud unjustly spilt.    // 2.  Some strange effects if not impossible, / As to be caried in the emptie aire, / Of transformations some incredible, / From forme to forme, and of their backe repaire, / Some pleasant shewes presents, and some dispaire: / Some graver things a sleeping can discusse: / And other, matter meere ridiculous.  // 3.  Men diversly do argue of the cause / Of dreames: Some their occasion thus recites, / The while the bodie takes his needfull pause / In sleepe to fresh and to restore the sprites, [spirits] / Decaid by labor, or the daies delites, / The minde, the cogitations of the day do keepe, / And run them over when we are asleepe.  // 4.  Others our meates do charge with those effects / That indigested in the stomacke lies: / Other celestiall influence respects, / And fetch from them our sleeping fantasies; / The which they recommend as Prophesies: / For when our sprites are stirred with those charms, / We are foretold of good or future harms.  // 5.  But this conjecture cheefly I embrace, Even as the sea enraged with the winde, / After the storme alaid will moove a space, / The selfe same reason may be well assignde, / Unto the nightly labors of the minde: / Who works in sleepe, our actions at a stay, / Upon th' occasions of the passed day.  // 6.  Upon a dreame I had, I this prefer, / The which the sequell shall deliver straite: / That Love that first did make my reason erre, / Straitly one day commanded me to waite, / On paine to pine, and perish in conceite; / Upon my soveraigne, unto whom I went, / As dutie wild, and Loves commandement.  // 7.  Mine eies, the first intreating messengers, / By signes-of sorrow openly did speake, / After my toong the humble suite prefers / Of my poore hart, with torments like to breake: / But little of my suffrings doth she reake: / Sooner the rocks their hardnes will forgo, / Than she acknowledge that which she doth know.  // 8.  In fine, unto my chamber I retire, / A thousand fancies hamring on my wits, / Despaire, griefe, anguish, furie, and desire, / Doe exercise in turne their Bedlem fits, / Whereof to speake, or heare, best them befits, / That now enjoying, heretofore have tride, / The hell, and bitternes of Love denide.  // 9.  By this the night doth through the skie display / Hir sable robe, spangled with golden stars, / And voicelesse silence gan to chace away / Noyses and sounds, with their molesting jars: / And so the place to needfull sleepe prepars; / Who Motherlike, most tenderly asswages, / The daies aggreevances and damages.  // 10. Encumbred thus, I went unto my bed, / Love knowes, with litle hope of taking rest, /Fancie and frenzie worketh on my head, / One while the one, then th' other gets the best: / Now eithers [ether's] faction egarly addrest; / To hostile conflict furiously discend, / Of purpose strait to make a finall end.  // 11. Extremitie proceeding on so far, / When eithers forces equally were spent, / They stinted of themselves this raging war, / And left with victorie indifferent: / Slumber that found the time convenient, / Seeing the slacknes of their wearied traine, / Upon the' advantage seased on my braine.  // 12. Who holding me under his shadie wings, / To mitigate the anguish of my thought, / Presented me with divers pleasant things, / Amonst the rest, a Ladie faire he brought, / Fró heaven no doubt those features there are wrought, / Whose raies of beautie admirable bright, / Filled my chanber with a Sunshine light.  // 13. Hir Amber tresses on hir shoulders lies, / The which as she doth move, divided run, / About hir bodie just in circle wise, / Like to the curious web Arachne spun; / Or else to make a fit comparison, / Like slender twist turned to shining fire, / Or flames by woonder wrought into a wire.  // 14. The forehead that confines these burnisht haires, / For whitenes striveth with untouched snowe; / For smoothnes with the Ivorie compares; / And doth the Alablasters glistrting showe, / Under this firmament you are to know, / Two powrfull stars which at their pleasure move, / The variable effects that followes love.  // 15. Hir cheekes resembleth right a garden plot, / Of divers sorts of rare Carnation flowres, / The which the scortching Sun offendeth not, / Nor boystrous winters with his rotting showeres; / Uncertain Juno thereon never lowres: / Heere Venus with hir little loves reposes, / Amongst the lillies and the damaske roses.  // 16. Hir lips compares with the Vermilion morne, / Hir equall teeth in semicircle wise, / For orientnes selected pearle may scorne, / What may I of hir issuing breath devise, / That from this pearle and Synaber doth rise: / The francumsence and myrr, that Inde presents, / Within this aire leese their extolled sents.  // 17. The nose, the chin, the straight erected necke, / Supporter to the head: next shoulders stands, / The which discends into the arme direct, / And terminates their length upon the hands: / At each of these my wits amased stands: / For when I would their merits utter foorth, / I finde all words inferior to their woorth.  // 18. The garments wherewithall she was attyrde, / But slender in account, and yet were more / Than hir perfections needfully requyrde, / Whose every part hath of contentment store: / But as it was, thanks to my dreame therfore, / Who causde the apparition to be wrought, / As all lay open to mine eies or thought.  // 19. There was, as I observ'd next to hir skin, / A snowe white lawne, transparent as the aire, / And over this a garment wondrous thin, / Of networke, wrought in blacke, exceeding faire; / Whose masks were small, and thred as fine as hair, / Girt with a tawnie Cyprous were hir clothes, / And thus attirde, this Angell woman goes.  // 20. Hir moving brests as equall promontories, / Divided by an Indraft from the maine, / Doe imitate the gently moved Seas, / That rising fall, and falling rise againe: / As they, so did my life in every vaine: / My spirit issued as they waxed hier, / And as they setled, backe againe retier.  // 21. Next neighbor heerunto in due discent, / Hir bellie plaine, the bed of namelesse blisse, / Wherein all things appeere above content, / And paradise is nothing more than this: / In which Desire was mov'd to doe amisse; / For when his eies upon this tree was cast, / O blame him not, if he requirde to taste.  // 22. What followed this, I cannot well report: / The tawnie Cyprous that forehanging fell, / Restraind mine eies in most malitious sort, / Which of themselves were else affected well, / Although as witnes nought thereof I tell: / I doubt not those that sine conceited be, / Sees somwhat further, than mine eies might see.  // 23. But of hir praises thus in generall, / Desirde perfection shewd in everie part, / Yet all appeerd in each one severall, / Unto the wonder of the eie and hart, / Of every private part to write apart. / Were worke and argument for him that uses, / The daily conversation of the Muses.  // 24. Who this should be, if any long to heare, / I say it is the portraict of the Saint, / Which deepe ingraved in my hart I beare, / The Mistres of my hope, my feare, and plaint, / And thou that with hir praises I acquaint, / If thou canst nothing else, yet with thou me, / Delivered of that beauties crueltie.  // 25. With unperceived motion drawing ny, / Unto the bed of my distresse and feare, / She with hir hand doth put the curtaine by, / And sits hir downe upon the one side there: / My wasted spirits quite amazed were, / To see the sudden morning of those eies, / To see the sudden morning of those eies, / Within the darke thus inexpected rise.  // 26. Being abrode (quoth she) I lately hard, / That you were falne into a sudden fever, / And solitarie in your chamber bard, / From companie you did your selfe dissever, / To charitie it appertaineth ever, / In duties to our neighbors for to sticke, / And visit the afflicted and the sicke.  // 27. Which Christian office hither hat me led, / Wishing I could recoverie to you bring, / Ladie (quoth I) as easly done as sed, / For you that have my life in managing, / What need you wish, when you may doe the thing: / For if you be disposd to charitie, / Bestowe on me this wisht recoverie.  // 28. Is't in my garden that may doe thee good? / (Quoth she) or in my closet of conserves, / Or may my kitchin any kinde of foode / Devise, that to thy taste and fancie serves, / Ladie (said I) no coolice, no conserves, / No herbe, no potion commeth nie that part, / That suffereth this anguish and this smart.  // 29. When further I would faine have spoken on, / With fearfulnes I felt my toong restrained, / And shamefastnes with red Vermilion, / My shallow cheekes and countenance distained: / Now by this meanes my hart more deepely pained, / Sent out a flood of weeping to betoken, / The rest of that my toong had left unspoken.  // 30. As soone as sighes had overblowne my teares, / And teares allaid my sighings vehemence, /Audacitie expulser of those feares, / Gave to the desire at last preheminence, / Who saw it now to be of consequence; / Sauced his tale with dutie and respect, / And thus began, or to the like effect.  // 31. It is no fever (Ladie) in the vaines, / Nor in the blood, of humors the excesse, / Nor stomacks vapor, that annoies the braines, / Nor ill contagion in the Arteries, / Nor any griefe that Physicke remedies: / It is, & c. and heere my lips refusde to move, / Stopping the sentence ere I came to Love.  // 32. Haply (said she) as I doe judge thereon, / It is some toy or fancie in your head, / Some sicknes grounded on opinion, / Or else some error your conceit hath bred: / Then as suppose you to this anguish led, / By mine advice, if you list ruled be, / For health sake doe suppose the contrarie.  // 33. Were it within the compas of my wits, / (Leader of my desires) thus I replide, / To remedie the outrage of those fits, / That from this bodie would my life divide, / The rather should these cordials be applide, / That I might keepe my life in health, to doe, / The services that love commands me to.  // 34. But out alas, that waied downe with paine, / With hands erected up, that I should crie, /As doth the saylers blowne into the maine, / After the ship that fore the winde doth flie, / And yet in sight of helpe, must helples die: / So I, neere hir that can my woes appease, / Do perish like the outcast in the Seas.  // 35. Are you the woorser that I am so neere, / The Ladie said, and I not thereof ware? / Nay happie then (quoth I) that you are heere, / And haples too, bicause you are so farre: [fair & far] / She aunswered hereunto, these riddles are: / Can neere be far, can happy haples be? / As well (quoth I) as see, and not to see.  // 36. What is he (Madame) that doth baite his eies, / Be he of mortall or immortall kinde, / Upon the beauties which your visage dies, / And drawes not present death into his minde, / Unles your gratious lookes do proove so kinde, / As with a yeelding favour to prevent, /The dangers thereunto are incident.  // 37. Can it be possible you should not knowe / The powre and vertue of sweete beauties gift? / Can heaven and nature neasureles bestowe / The things that you to Angels calling lift? / And you not understand their purpos'd drift? / Might they advance yee to a Goddesse seate, / And you be ignorant why they make yee great?  // 38. If this were true, which you of me suppose, / The praise of beautie, and commended parts, / I see no reason to steeme of those, / That do complaine them of such pettie smarts, / Not incident to men of valiant harts: / The argument is dull, an nothing quicke, / Bicause that I am faire, you should be sicke.  // 39. Suppose I have those graces and those flowres, / And all the vertues that you can recite, / You looke, you like, and you must have them yours; / Forsooth, bicause they moove your appetite: / I see no reason to impart my right, / Before that God and men agreed be, / To let all things run in communitie.  // 40. An easie thing for you to overcome, / (Faire Ladie) him, that is so deepe your thrall: / For every syllable from your lips that come, / Beares wit, and weight, and vehemence withall: / Under the which, my subject spirits fall: / If you do speake, or if you nought express, / Your beautie of it selfe is Conqueresse.  // 41. With favour (Ladie) give me leave to speake, / (If you will listen a condemneds tale) / No pettie wound can make my hart strings breake: / Nor might a trifle worke this deadly bale: / Your soveraigne beautie doth me hither hale: / The stronger doth (even by a common course) / Over the weaker exercise his force.  // 42. Ladie, in condiscending unto Love, / You do not share nor yet your right forgo, / In that you shall your servants sute approve, / And blesse him with those favors you can showe, / To higher place of dignitie you growe: / The Sun were not in my opinion bright, / If there were not eie witnes of his light.  // 43. No abject commons of those things he seekes, / Nor any way doth labor to induce / That lives to serve and honor hir he leekes, / In hope at last to make an happie truce, / And for this cause all other he refuse: / To exercise those parts with serious care, / Which to his Mistres fancie pleasing are.  // 44. But sir (quoth she) how can ye answers this? / You men complaine, Loves torments to be great; / Saying that he a mightie Tyrant is; / Such one as putteth reason from hir seat; / Why wish ye to insnare me in this net? / Better it is you suffer that you doe, / Then such extreames should happen upon two.  // 45. When Love (sweete Ladie) thorowly accords, / The Lovers and beloveds harts in one, / This amitie a perfect heaven affords, / Upon the instant of this union: / Banisht is thence all sorrow, care, and mone, / For they which in conspiring Love abide, / Live with continuall joies, unsatisfide.  // 46. This is beleev'd and knowne by common brute, / When of us Dames ye hap to get a graunt, / You give it to the cunning of your sute, / Using with your companions thus to vaunt: / These pretie fooles, tis nothing to enchaunt: / As fishers use for fish, with fish to bait, / These faire ones, so, faire speeches catches strait.  // 47. Let not (sweete Love) the fault of one or few, / Or sinister report of truthelesse fame, / Endamage the desart of him can shew / Many effects repugnant to the same, / Unworthie he of life, or Lovers name, / Shall dare unto hir honor, wrong, or seathe. / Of whom both life, and happines he hathe.  // 48. It is a proofe (said she) of foolishnes, / To set that upon chaunce which may be sure, / Exempt from Love, I live in happines, / In which condition I will yet indure: / Griefes come apace, we neede not them procure: / In the estate I live, I am content, / And minde not Love, in dread of discontent.  // 49. I know (quoth I) you can from Love refraine, / Because he holds his state within your eies: / But I, the vassall of his hard disdaine, / Am so deirected, as I cannot rise; / Albeit my sute and service you dispise, / Yet give me leave to honor and admire, / Your beautie which afflicteth my desire.  // 50. Ther's little reason (said she then) to like / The thing which you affirme to vexe ye so, / If your desire such discontentment strike, / Such war, such anguish, agonies, and woe, / Let that fantastike I advise ye goe: / The man is much desirous of unrest, / That home intreates a knowne disquiet guest.  // 51. Excepting Love, demaund you at my hand, / Whatever is in my abilitie: / And may with vertue, and mine honor stand, / Ladie (said I) Love is the Maladie, / And unto Love, Love's th' onely remedie: / But sith you doe herein my sute destest, / Then grant me this, the last I shall request.  // 52. When haples Love hath brought me to the grave, / If so at any time you passe that way, / Where my consuming bones their buriall have, / Vouchsafe yee then for pitties sake to say, / As I remember, heere my servant lay, / Long time a Lover in affection true, / Whom my disdaine and rigor overthrew.  // 53. Altho yee die (quoth she) I will not love, / And for you will not love (said I) I die: / Then presently my spirits faild to move, / Retiring backe themselves succssivelle: / But when she did the signe of death espie, / She puld, she halde, servant (said she) abide, / Let not thy mistres be thy homicide.  // 54. If thy affections doe from Love proceede, / How canst thou die, and I thy lives life neere? / If thou doost love, and honor me indeede, / Why with this act dost thou defame me here? / If thou esteemst my Love and honor deere, / O live, and see my rigour overthrowne, / And come and take possession of thine owne.  // 55. And then unable weeping to withholde, / She sundrie meanes assaies to make me live, / My brests she strikes, she rubs my temples colde, / And with such vehemence of labours strive, / As life unto a Marble stone might give: / My hand at last, she amorously doth straine, / And with a kiss drew up my life againe.  // 56. This new sprong joy conceived in my hart, / Of Loves assurance under hand and seale, / Dilated thence abroad to every part, / Telling how graciouslie my love did deale, / My soule and spirit swelling with this zeale, / So rowsed sleepe, that he his holde forsooke, / And I through surfeit of the joy awooke.  // 57. Awaked thus, I presently perceiv'd, / The vanitie and falshood of these joyes; / Finding that fond illusions had deceiv'd / My overwatched braine with idele toyes; / Then I that freshly felt my first annoyes, / Their woonted rage within my thoughts to keepe, / Gan thus expostulate the cause with sleepe.  // 58. Thou ease of harts, with burth'nous [burdenous] woes opprest, / Thou pitier of the cares of busie daie, / Thou friend to lovers in their deepe unrest, / Turning their anguishes another waie, / Why may not I continue with thee aie, / Sith that my destinie is so extreame, / As not to have my good, but in a dreame.  // 59. Why art thou not (O dreame) the same you seeme? / Seeing thy visions our contentment brings; / Or doe we of their woorthines misdeeme? / To call them shadowes that are reall things? / And falslie attribute their due to wakings? / O doe but then perpetuate thy sleight, / And I will sweare, thou workst  not by deceit.  // 60. And now the Morning entring at the glasse, / Made of these thoughts some intermission; / Thus have I tolde what things in dreame did passe, / Upon the former daies occasion; / And whence they come in mine opinion; / But whether they tell truth, or nothing lesse, / I shall resolve, upon my dreames successe.


Works cited:

Crane, D. E. L., ed., A Scholar Press Facsimile: The Phoenix Nest,

              Menston, 1973, Scolar Press.

Cyr, Helen W., "Lord Oxford Said It First," The Shakespeare Newsl.,

               XXXVI:1, # 189, Spr. 1986, pg. 11.

--     "What's Wrong With Word Studies?," The Sh. Oxford Society

               Newsl., 23:2, Spr. 1987, pgs. 10-15.

Fowler, William Plumer, Shakespeare Revealed in Oxford's Letters,

               Portsmouth, NH, 1986, Peter E. Randall.

Hess, W. Ron, "Hotwiring the Bard into Cyberspace," The Oxfordian,

               Vol. I 1998, 88-101.

--     The Dark Side of Shakespeare, Vol. I: An Iron-fisted Romantic in 

                England's Most Perilous Times, 2002,,

                877-823-9235, ISBN # 0-595-24777-6; Chapts. 1-7 & Appen. A.

--     Vol. II: An Elizabethan Courtier, Diplomat, Spymaster, & Epic

                Hero, 2003, ISBN # 0-595-29390-5; Chapts. 8-12 &

                Appens. B-F.

--     Vol. III: The Invincible Paladin, Maecenas, & King-maker of

                His Time2004, ISBN # to be assigned circa April 2004;

                Appens. G-W.

Holmes, Edward, Discovering Shakespeare: A Handbook for Heretics,

                Durham, U.K., 2001, Mycroft Books, ISBN # 0-9540719-1-3

                paperback or # 0-9540719-0-5 hardback.

Johnson, Morse, "Review of 'Shakespeare Revealed in Oxford's Letters' by

               William Plumer Fowler," The Shakespeare Oxford Society

               Newsletter23:1, Winter 1987, pgs. 1-3.

Lubow, Sidney, The Internal Triangle: A New Interpretation of

               Shakespeare's Sonnets, projected 2004;

               contact or see


May, Steven W., The Elizabethan Courtier Poets, Columbia, MO,

                1991, U. of Missouri Press. 

Miller, Ruth & Looney, J. Thomas, Shakespeare Identified in Edward

                de Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, 2 Vols., 3rd Edition,

               Jennings, LA, (1920) 1975, Minos Publishing. 

Nelson, Alan H., Monstrous Adversary: The Life of Edward de Vere,

               17th Earl of Oxford, Liverpool, 2003, Liverpool U. Press.


Ogburn Jr., Charlton, The Mysterious William Shakespeare: The Myth

               and the Reality, NY, 1984, Dodd Mead (a somewhat updated 2nd

               edition 1992 available from EPM Publications, McLean, VA).


The Dark Side of Shakespeare (a Trilogy by W. Ron Hess)