Front Page Titles (by Subject) HERO AND LEANDER. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe, vol. 3 (Poems)
HERO AND LEANDER. - Christopher Marlowe, The Works of Christopher Marlowe, vol. 3 (Poems) 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. A.H. Bullen (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885). Vol. 3.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- Publisher's Notice
- Hero and Leander.
- To the Right-worshipful Sir Thomas Walsingham, Knight
- Hero and Leander.
- The First Sestiad.
- The Second Sestiad.
- The Epistle Dedicatory
- The Third Sestiad.
- The Fourth Sestiad.
- The Fifth Sestiad.
- The Sixth Sestiad.
- Ovid's Elegies.
- P. Ovidii Nasonis 'amorum Liber Primus
- Elegia I. Quemadmodum a Cupidine, Pro Bellis Amores Scribere Coactus Sit.
- Elegia II. Quod Primo Amore Correptus, In Triumphum Duci Se a Cupidine Patiatur.
- Elegia III. Ad Amicam.
- Elegia IV. Amicam, Qua Arte Quibusque Nutibus In Cæna, Presente Viro, Uti Debeat, Admonet.
- Elegia V. Corinnæ Concubitus.
- Elegia VI. Ad Janitorem, Ut Fores Sibi Aperiat.
- Elegia VII. Ad Pacandam Amicam, Quam Verberaverat.
- Elegia VIII. Execratur Lenam Quæ Puellam Suam Meretricis Arte Instituebat.
- Elegia Ix Ad Atticum, Amantem Non Oportere Desidiosum Esse, Sicuti Nec Militem.
- Elegia X Ad Puellam, Ne Pro Amore Præmia Poscat.
- Elegia XI. Napen Alloqutur, Ut Paratas Tabellas Ad Cornnam Perferat.
- Elegia XII. Tabellas Quas Miserat Execratur Quod Amica Noctem Negabat.
- Elegia XIII. Ad Auroram Ne Properet.
- Elegia XIV. Puellam Consolatur Cui Præ Nimia Cura Comæ Deciderant.
- Elegia XV. Ad Invidos, Quod Fama Poetarum Sit Perennis.
- P. Ovidii Nasonis Amorum. Liber Secundus .
- Elegia I. Quod Pro Gigantomachia Amores Scribere Sit Coactus.
- Elegia II. Ad Bagoum, Ut Custodiam Puellæ Sibi Commissæ Laxiorem Habeat
- Elegia III. Ad Eunuchum Servantem Dominam.
- Elegia IV. Quod Amet Mulieres, Cujuscunque Formæ Sint.
- Elegia V. Ad Amicam Corruptam.
- Elegia VI. In Mortem Psittaci.
- Elegia VII. Amicæ Se Purgat, Quod Ancillam Non Amet.
- Elegia VIII. Ad Cypassim Ancillam Corinnæ.
- Elegia IX. Ad Cupidinem.
- Elegia X. Ad Græcinum Quod Eodem Tempore Duas Amet.
- Elegia XI. Ad Amicam Navigantem.
- Elegia XII. Exultat, Quod Amica Potitus Sit.
- Elegia XIII. Ad Isidem, Ut Parientem Corinnam Servet
- Elegia XIV. In Amicam, Quod Abortivum Ipsa Fecerit.
- Elegia XV. Ad Annulum, Quem Dono Amicæ Dedit.
- Elegia XVI. Ad Amicam, Ut Ad Rura Sua Veniat.
- Elegia XVII. Quod Corinnæ Soli Sit Serviturus.
- Elegia XVIII. Ad Macrum, Quod De Amoribus Scribat,
- Elegia XIX. Ad Rivalem Cut Nxor Curæ Non Erat.
- P. Ovidii Masonis Amorum. Liber Tertius .
- Elegia I. Deliberatio Poetæ, Utrum Elegos Pergat Scribere an Potius Tragoedias.
- Elegia II. Ad Amicam Cursum Equorum Spectantem.
- Elegia III. De Amica Quæ Perjuraverat.
- Elegia IV. Ad Virum Servantem Conjugem.
- Elegia VI. Ad Amnem Dum Iter Faceret Ad Amicam.
- Elegia VII. Quod Ab Amica Receptus, Cum Ea Coire Non Potuit Conqueritur.
- Elegia VIII. Quod Ab Amica Non Recipiatur, Dolet.
- Elegia IX. Tibulli Mortem Deflet.
- Elegia X. Ad Cererem, Conquerens Quod Ejus Sacris Cum Amica Concumbere Non Permittatur.
- Elegia XI. Ad Amicam a Cujus Amore Discedere Non Potest.
- Elegia XII. Dolet Amicam Suam Ita Suis Carminibus Innotuisse Ut Rivales Multos Sibi Pararit.
- Elegia XIII. De Junonis Festo.
- Elegia XIV. Ad Amicam, Si Peccatura Est, Ut Occulte Peccet.
- Elegia XV. Ad Venerem, Quod Elegis Finem Imponat.
- Epigrams By J[ohn] D[avies].
- Ad Musam. I.
- Of a Gull. II.
- In Refum. III.
- In Quintum. IV.
- In Plurimos. V.
- In Titum. VI.
- In Faustum. VII.
- In Katam. VIII.
- In Librum. IX.
- In Medontem. X
- In Gellam. XI.
- In Quintum. XII.
- In Severum. XIII.
- In Leucam. XIV.
- In Macrum. XV.
- In Faustum. XVI.
- In Cosmum. XVII.
- In Flaccum. XVIII.
- In Cineam. XIX.
- In Gerontem. XX.
- In Marcum. XXI.
- In Cyprium. XXII.
- In Cineam. XXIII.
- In Gallum. XXIV.
- In Decium. XXV.
- In Gellam. XXVI.
- In Syllam. XXVII.
- In Syllam. XXVIII.
- In Heywodum. XXIX.
- In Dacum. XXX.
- In Priscum. XXXI.
- In Brunum. XXXII.
- In Francum. XXXIII.
- In Castorem. XXXIV.
- In Septimium. XXXV.
- Of Tobacco. XXXVI.
- In Crassum. Xxxvii
- In Philonem. XXXVIII.
- In Fuscum. XXXIX.
- In Afrum. Xl.
- In Paulum. Xli.
- In Lycum. Xlii.
- In Publium. Xliii.
- In Syllam. Xliv.
- In Dacum. Xlv.
- In Marcum. Xlvi.
- Meditations of a Gull. Xlvii.
- Ad Musam. Xlviii.
- The First Book of Lucan.
- To His Kind and True Friend, Edward Blunt.
- The First Book of Lucan.
- The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
- Dialogue In Verse.
- No. 1. the Atheist’s Tragedie.
- No. II.
- No. III. a Note
- No. IV.: The Death of Marlowe.
- Scene I.
- Scene II.
- Scene III.
HERO AND LEANDER.
THE FIRST SESTIAD.
The Argumentof the First Sestiad.
- Hero's description and her love's;
- The fane of Venus, where he moves
- His worthy love-suit, and attains;
- Whose bliss the wrath of Fates restrains
- For Cupid's grace to Mercury:
- Which tale the author doth imply.
- On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
- In view and opposite two cities stood,
- Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might;
- The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
- At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
- Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
- And offer'd as a dower his burning throne,
- Where she should sit, for men to gaze upon.
- Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd,
- And, looking in her face, was strooken blind.
- But this is true; so like was one the other,
- As he imagin'd Hero was his mother;
- And oftentimes into her bosom flew,
- About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
- And laid his childish head upon her breast,
- And, with still panting rock, there took his rest.
- So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus’ nun,
- As Nature wept, thinking she was undone,
- Because she took more from her than she left,
- And of such wondrous beauty her bereft:
- Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer'd wrack,
- Since Hero's time hath half the world been black.
- Amorous Leander, beautiful and young
- (Whose tragedy divine Musæus sung),
- Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none
- For whom succeeding times make greater moan.
- His dangling tresses, that were never shorn,
- Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne,
- Would have allur'd the venturous youth of Greece
- To hazard more than for the golden fleece.
- Fair Cynthia wished his arms might be her Sphere;
- Grief makes her pale, because she moves not there.
- His body was as straight as Circe's wand;
- Jove might have sipt out nectar from his hand.
- Even as delicious meat is to the tast,
- So was his neck in touching, and surpast
- The white of Pelops' shoulder: I could tell ye,
- How smooth his breast was, and how white his belly;
- And whose immortal fingers did imprint
- That heavenly path with many a curious dint
- That runs along his back; but my rude pen
- Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men,
- Much less of powerful gods: let it suffice
- That my slack Muse sings of Leander's eyes;
- Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his
- That leapt into the water for a kiss
- Of his own shadow, and, despising many,
- Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
- Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,
- Enamour'd of his beauty had he been:
- His presence made the rudest peasant melt,
- That in the vast uplandish country dwelt;
- The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov'd with nought,
- Was mov'd with him, and for his favour sought.
- Some swore he was a maid in man's attire,
- For in his looks were all that men desire,—
- A pleasant-smiling cheek, a speaking eye,
- A brow for love to banquet royally;
- And such as knew he was a man, would say,
- “Leander, thou art made for amorous play:
- Why art thou not in love, and loved of all?
- Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own thrall.”
- The men of wealthy Sestos every year,
- For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
- Rose-cheek'd Adonis, kept a solemn feast:
- Thither resorted many a wandering guest
- To meet their loves: such as had none at all
- Came lovers home from this great festival;
- For every street, like to a firmament,
- Glister'd with breathing stars, who, where they went,
- Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem'd
- Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem'd,
- As if another Phaëton had got
- The guidance of the sun's rich chariot.
- But, far above the loveliest, Hero shin'd,
- And stole away th' enchanted gazer's mind;
- For like sea-nymphs' inveigling harmony,
- So was her beauty to the standers by;
- Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery star
- (When yawning dragons draw her thirling car
- From Latmus' mount up to the gloomy sky,
- Where, crown'd with blazing light and majesty,
- She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood
- Than she the hearts of those that near her stood.
- Even as when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase,
- Wretched Ixion's shaggy-footed race,
- Incens'd with savage heat, gallop amain
- From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain,
- So ran the people forth to gaze upon her,
- And all that view'd her were enamour'd on her:
- And as in fury of a dreadful fight,
- Their fellows being slain or put to flight,
- Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead-strooken,
- So at her presence all surpris'd and tooken,
- Await the sentence of her scornful eyes;
- He whom she favours lives; the other dies:
- There might you see one sigh; another rage;
- And some, their violent passions to assuage,
- Compile sharp satires; but, alas, too late!
- For faithful love will never turn to hate;
- And many, seeing great princes were denied,
- Pin'd as they went, and thinking on her died.
- On this feast-day—O cursèd day and hour!—
- Went Hero thorough Sestos, from her tower
- To Venus' temple, where unhappily,
- As after chanc'd, they did each other spy.
- So fair a church as this had Venus none:
- The walls were of discolour'd jasper-stone,
- Wherein was Proteus carved; and over-head
- A lively vine of green sea-agate spread,
- Where by one hand light-headed Bacchus hung,
- And with the other wine from grapes out-wrung.
- Of crystal shining fair the pavement was;
- The town of Sestos call'd it Venus' glass:
- There might you see the gods, in sundry shapes,
- Committing heady riots, incests, rapes;
- For know, that underneath this radiant flour
- Was Danäe's statue in a brazen tower:
- Jove slily stealing from his sister's bed,
- To dally with Idalian Ganymed,
- And for his love Europa bellowing loud,
- And tumbling with the Rainbow in a cloud;
- Blood-quaffing Mars heaving the iron net
- Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set;
- Love kindling fire, to burn such towns as Troy;
- Silvanus weeping for the lovely boy
- That now is turned into a cypress-tree,
- Under whose shade the wood-gods love to be.
- And in the midst a silver altar stood:
- There Hero, sacrificing turtles' blood,
- Vailed to the ground, veiling her eyelids close;
- And modestly they opened as she rose:
- Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head;
- And thus Leander was enamourèd.
- Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gaz'd,
- Till with the fire, that from his countenance blaz'd,
- Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook:
- Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.
- It lies not in our power to love or hate,
- For will in us is over-rul'd by fate.
- When two are stript long ere the course begin,
- We wish that one should lose, the other win;
- And one especially do we affect
- Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
- The reason no man knows, let it suffice,
- What we behold is censur'd by our eyes.
- Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
- Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?
- He kneel'd; but unto her devoutly prayed:
- Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
- “Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him;”
- And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near him.
- He started up; she blushed as one asham'd;
- Wherewith Leander much more was inflam'd.
- He touch'd her hand; in touching it she trembled:
- Love deeply grounded hardly is dissembled.
- These lovers parled by the touch of hands:
- True love is mute, and oft amazèd stands.
- Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts entangled,
- The air with sparks of living fire was spangled;
- And Night, deep-drenched in misty Acheron,
- Heav'd up her head, and half the world upon
- Breath'd darkness forth (dark night is Cupid's day):
- And now begins Leander to display
- Love's holy fire, with words, with sighs, and tears;
- Which, like sweet music, enter'd Hero's ears;
- And yet at every word she turn'd aside
- And always cut him off, as he replied
- At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,
- With cheerful hope thus he accosted her.
- “Fair creature, let me speak without offence:
- I would my rude words had the influence
- To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine!
- Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine.
- Be not unkind and fair; mis-shapen stuff
- Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.
- O, shun me not, but hear me ere you go!
- God knows, I cannot force love as you do:
- My words shall be as spotless as my youth,
- Full of simplicity and naked truth.
- This sacrifice, whose sweet perfume descending
- From Venus' altar, to your footsteps bending,
- Doth testify that you exceed her far,
- To whom you offer, and whose nun you are.
- Why should you worship her? her you surpass
- As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass.
- A diamond set in lead his worth retains;
- A heavenly nymph, belov'd of human swains,
- Receives no blemish, but ofttimes more grace;
- Which makes me hope, although I am but base,
- Base in respect of thee divine and pure,
- Dutiful service may thy love procure;
- And I in duty will excel all other,
- As thou in beauty dost exceed Love's mother.
- Nor heaven nor thou were made to gaze upon:
- As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.
- A stately-builded ship, well rigg'd and tall,
- The ocean maketh more majestical;
- Why vow'st thou, then, to live in Sestos here,
- Who on Love's seas more glorious wouldst appear?
- Like untun'd golden strings all women are,
- Which long time lie untouch'd, will harshly jar.
- Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine:
- What difference betwixt the richest mine
- And basest mould, but use? for both, not us'd,
- Are of like worth. Then treasure is abus'd,
- When misers keep it: being put to loan,
- In time it will return us two for one.
- Rich robes themselves and others do adorn;
- Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.
- Who builds a palace, and rams up the gate,
- Shall see it ruinous and desolate:
- Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish!
- Lone women, like to empty houses, perish.
- Less sins the poor rich man, that starves himself
- In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,
- Than such as you: his golden earth remains,
- Which, after his decease, some other gains;
- But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,
- When you fleet hence, can be bequeath'd to none;
- Or, if it could, down from th' enamell'd sky
- All heaven would come to claim this legacy,
- And with intestine broils the world destroy,
- And quite confound Nature's sweet harmony.
- Well therefore by the gods decreed it is,
- We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.
- One is no number; maids are nothing, then,
- Without the sweet society of men.
- Wilt thou live single still? one shalt thou be,
- Though never-singling Hymen couple thee.
- Wild savages, that drink of running springs
- Think water far excels all earthly things;
- But they, that daily taste neat wine, despise it:
- Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
- Compar'd with marriage, had you tried them both,
- Differs as much as wine and water doth.
- Base bullion for the stamp's sake we allow:
- Even so for men's impression do we you;
- By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
- Women receive perfection every way.
- This idol, which you term virginity,
- Is neither essence subject to the eye,
- No, nor to any one exterior sense,
- Nor hath it any place of residence,
- Nor is't of earth or mould celestial,
- Or capable of any form at all.
- Of that which hath no being, do not boast;
- Things that are not at all, are never lost.
- Men foolishly do call it virtuous:
- What virtue is it, that is born with us?
- Much less can honour be ascrib'd thereto:
- Honour is purchas'd by the deeds we do;
- Believe me, Hero, honour is not won,
- Until some honourable deed be done.
- Seek you, for chastity, immortal fame,
- And know that some have wrong'd Diana's name?
- Whose name is it, if she be false or not,
- So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot?
- But you are fair, ay me! so wondrous fair,
- So young, so gentle, and so debonair,
- As Greece will think, if thus you live alone,
- Some one or other keeps you as his own.
- Then, Hero, hate me not, nor from me fly,
- To follow swiftly-blasting infamy.
- Perhaps thy sacred priesthood makes thee loath:
- Tell me to whom mad'st thou that heedless oath?”
- “To Venus,” answer'd she; and, as she spake,
- Forth from those two tralucent cisterns brake
- A stream of liquid pearl, which down her face
- Made milk-white paths, whereon the gods might trace
- To Jove's high court. He thus replied: “The rites
- In which Love's beauteous empress most delights,
- Are banquets, Doric music, midnight revel,
- Plays, masks, and all that stern age counteth evil.
- Thee as a holy idiot doth she scorn;
- For thou, in vowing chastity, hast sworn
- To rob her name and honour, and thereby
- Committ'st a sin far worse than perjury,
- Even sacrilege against her deity,
- Through regular and formal purity.
- To expiate which sin, kiss and shake hands:
- Such sacrifice as this Venus demands.”
- Thereat she smil'd, and did deny him so,
- As put thereby, yet might he hope for mo;
- Which makes him quickly reinforce his speech,
- And her in humble manner thus beseech:
- “Though neither gods nor men may thee deserve,
- Yet for her sake, whom you have vow'd to serve,
- Abandon fruitless cold virginity,
- The gentle queen of Love's sole enemy.
- Then shall you most resemble Venus' nun,
- When Venus' sweet rites are performed and done.
- Flint-breasted Pallas joys in single life;
- But Pallas and your mistress are at strife.
- Love, Hero, then, and be not tyrannous;
- But heal the heart that thou hast wounded thus;
- Nor stain thy youthful years with avarice:
- Fair fools delight to be accounted nice.
- The richest corn dies, if it be not reapt;
- Beauty alone is lost, too warily kept.”
- These arguments he us'd, and many more;
- Wherewith she yielded, that was won before.
- Hero's looks yielded, but her words made war:
- Women are won when they begin to jar.
- Thus, having swallow'd Cupid's golden hook,
- The more she striv'd, the deeper was she strook:
- Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still,
- And would be thought to grant against her will.
- So having paus'd a while, at last she said,
- “Who taught thee rhetoric to deceive a maid?
- Ay me! such words as these should I abhor,
- And yet I like them for the orator.”
- With that, Leander stooped to have embrac'd her,
- But from his spreading arms away she cast her,
- And thus bespake him: “Gentle youth, forbear
- To touch the sacred garments which I wear.
- Upon a rock, and underneath a hill,
- Far from the town (where all is whist and still,
- Save that the sea, playing on yellow sand,
- Sends forth a rattling murmur to the land,
- Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus
- In silence of the night to visit us),
- My turret stands; and there, God knows, I play
- With Venus' swans and sparrows all the day.
- A dwarfish beldam bears me company,
- That hops about the chamber where I lie,
- And spends the night, that might be better spent,
- In vain discourse and apish merriment:—
- Come thither.” As she spake this, her tongue tripp'd,
- For unawares “Come thither” from her slipp'd;
- And suddenly her former colour chang'd,
- And here and there her eyes through anger rang'd;
- And, like a planet moving several ways
- At one self instant, she, poor soul, assays,
- Loving, not to love at all, and every part
- Strove to resist the motions of her heart:
- And hands so pure, so innocent, nay, such
- As might have made Heaven stoop to have a touch,
- Did she uphold to Venus, and again
- Vow'd spotless chastity; but all in vain;
- Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings;
- Her vows above the empty air he flings:
- All deep enrag'd, his sinewy bow be bent,
- And shot a shaft that burning from him went;
- Wherewith she strooken, look'd so dolefully,
- As made Love sigh to see his tyranny;
- And, as she wept, her tears to pearl he turn'd,
- And wound them on his arm, and for her mourn'd.
- Then towards the palace of the Destinies,
- Laden with languishment and grief, he flies,
- And to those stern nymphs humbly made request,
- Both might enjoy each other, and be blest.
- But with a ghastly dreadful countenance,
- Threatening a thousand deaths at every glance,
- They answer'd Love, nor would vouchsafe so much
- As one poor word, their hate to him was such:
- Hearken awhile, and I will tell you why.
- Heaven's wingèd herald, Jove-born Mercury,
- The self-same day that he asleep had laid
- Enchanted Argus, spied a country maid,
- Whose careless hair, instead of pearl t'adorn it,
- Glister'd with dew, as one that seemed to scorn it;
- Her breath as fragrant as the morning rose;
- Her mind pure, and her tongue untaught to glose:
- Yet proud she was (for lofty Pride that dwells
- In tower'd courts, is oft in shepherds' cells),
- And too-too well the fair vermilion knew
- And silver tincture of her cheeks that drew
- The love of every swain. On her this god
- Enamour'd was, and with his snaky rod
- Did charm her nimble feet, and made her stay,
- The while upon a hillock down he lay,
- And sweetly on his pipe began to play,
- And with smooth speech her fancy to assay,
- Till in his twining arms he lock'd her fast,
- And then he woo'd with kisses; and at last,
- As shepherds do, her on the ground he laid,
- And, tumbling in the grass, he often stray'd
- Beyond the bounds of shame, in being bold
- To eye those parts which no eye should behold;
- And, like an insolent commanding lover,
- Boasting his parentage, would needs discover
- The way to new Elysium. But she,
- Whose only dower was her chastity,
- Having striven in vain, was now about to cry,
- And crave the help of shepherds that were nigh.
- Herewith he stay'd his fury, and began
- To give her leave to rise: away she ran;
- After went Mercury, who used such cunning,
- As she, to hear his tale, let off her running
- (Maids are not won by brutish force and might,
- But speeches full of pleasures and delight);
- And, knowing Hermes courted her, was glad
- That she such loveliness and beauty had
- As could provoke his liking; yet was mute,
- And neither would deny nor grant his suit.
- Still vow'd he love: she, wanting no excuse
- To feed him with delays, as women use,
- Or thirsting after immortality,
- (All women are ambitious naturally,)
- Impos'd upon her lover such a task,
- As he ought not perform, nor yet she ask;
- A draught of flowing nectar she requested,
- Wherewith the king of gods and men is feasted.
- He, ready to accomplish what she will'd,
- Stole some from Hebe (Hebe Jove's cup fill'd),
- And gave it to his simple rustic love:
- Which being known,—as what is hid from Jove?—
- He inly storm'd, and wax'd more furious
- Than for the fire filch'd by Prometheus;
- And thrusts him down from heaven. He, wandering here,
- In mournful terms, with sad and heavy cheer,
- Complain'd to Cupid: Cupid, for his sake,
- To be reveng'd on Jove did undertake;
- And those on whom heaven, earth, and hell relies,
- I mean the Adamantine Destinies,
- He wounds with love, and forc'd them equally
- To dote upon deceitful Mercury.
- They offer'd him the deadly fatal knife
- That shears the slender threads of human life;
- At his fair-feather'd feet the engines laid,
- Which th' earth from ugly Chaos' den upweigh'd.
- These he regarded not; but did entreat
- That Jove, usurper of his father's seat,
- Might presently be banish'd into hell,
- And agèd Saturn in Olympus dwell.
- They granted what he crav'd; and once again
- Saturn and Ops began their golden reign:
- Murder, rape, war, and lust, and treachery,
- Were with Jove clos'd in Stygian empery.
- But long this blessèd time continu'd not:
- As soon as he his wishèd purpose got,
- He, reckless of his promise, did despise
- The love of th' everlasting Destinies.
- They, seeing it, both Love and him abhorr'd,
- And Jupiter unto his place restor'd:
- And, but that Learning, in despite of Fate,
- Will mount aloft, and enter heaven-gate,
- And to the seat of Jove itself advance,
- Hermes had slept in hell with Ignorance.
- Yet, as a punishment, they added this,
- That he and Poverty should always kiss;
- And to this day is every scholar poor:
- Gross gold from them runs headlong to the boor.
- Likewise the angry Sisters, thus deluded,
- To venge themselves on Hermes, have concluded
- That Midas' brood shall sit in Honour's chair,
- To which the Muses' sons are only heir;
- And fruitful wits, that inaspiring are,
- Shall, discontent, run into regions far;
- And few great lords in virtuous deeds shall joy
- But be surpris'd with every garish toy,
- And still enrich the lofty servile clown,
- Who with encroaching guile keeps learning down.
- Then muse not Cupid's suit no better sped,
- Seeing in their loves the Fates were injurèd.
THE SECOND SESTIAD.
The Argument of the Second Sestiad.
- Hero of love takes deeper sense,
- And doth her love more recompense:
- Their first night's meeting, where sweet kisses
- Are th' only crowns of both their blisses:
- He swims t' Abydos, and returns:
- Cold Neptune with his beauty burns;
- Whose suit he shuns, and doth aspire
- Hero's fair tower and his desire.
- By this, sad Hero, with love unacquainted,
- Viewing Leander's face, fell down and fainted.
- He kiss'd her, and breath'd life into her lips;
- Wherewith, as one displeas'd, away she trips;
- Yet, as she went, full often look'd behind,
- And many poor excuses did she find
- To linger by the way, and once she stay'd,
- And would have turn'd again, but was afraid,
- In offering parley, to be counted light:
- So on she goes, and, in her idle flight,
- Her painted fan of curled plumes let fall,
- Thinking to train Leander therewithal.
- He, being a novice, knew not what she meant,
- But stay'd, and after her a letter sent;
- Which joyful Hero answer'd in such sort,
- As he had hope to scale the beauteous fort
- Wherein the liberal Graces locked their wealth;
- And therefore to her tower he got by stealth.
- Wide open stood the door; he need not climb;
- And she herself, before the pointed time,
- Had spread the board, with roses strew'd the room,
- And oft looked out, and mused he did not come.
- At last he came: O, who can tell the greeting
- These greedy lovers had at their first meeting?
- He asked; she gave; and nothing was denied;
- Both to each other quickly were affied:
- Look how their hands, so were their hearts united,
- And what he did, she willingly requited.
- (Sweet are the kisses, the embracements sweet,
- When like desires and like affections meet;
- For from the earth to heaven is Cupid raised,
- Where fancy is in equal balance paised. )
- Yet she this rashness suddenly repented,
- And turn'd aside, and to herself lamented,
- As if her name and honour had been wronged
- By being possessed of him for whom she longed;
- Ay, and she wished, albeit not from her heart,
- That he would leave her turret and depart.
- The mirthful god of amorous pleasure smiled
- To see how he this captive nymph beguiled;
- For hitherto he did but fan the fire,
- And kept it down, that it might mount the higher.
- Now wax'd she jealous lest his love abated,
- Fearing her own thoughts made her to be hated.
- Therefore unto him hastily she goes,
- And, like light Salmacis, her body throws
- Upon his bosom, where with yielding eyes
- She offers up herself a sacrifice
- To slake his anger, if he were displeased:
- O, what god would not therewith be appeased?
- Like Æsop's cock, this jewel he enjoyed,
- And as a brother with his sister toyed,
- Supposing nothing else was to be done,
- Now he her favour and goodwill had won.
- But know you not that creatures wanting sense,
- By nature have a mutual appetence,
- And, wanting organs to advance a step,
- Mov'd by love's force, unto each other lep?
- Much more in subjects having intellect
- Some hidden influence breeds like effect.
- Albeit Leander, rude in love and raw,
- Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
- That might delight him more, yet he suspected
- Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
- Therefore unto his body hers he clung:
- She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
- Strived with redoubled strength; the more she strived,
- The more a gentle pleasing heat revived,
- Which taught him all that elder lovers know;
- And now the same gan so to scorch and glow,
- As in plain terms, yet cunningly, he crave it:
- Love always makes those eloquent that have it.
- She, with a kind of granting, put him by it,
- And ever, as he thought himself most nigh it,
- Like to the tree of Tantalus, she fled,
- And, seeming lavish, saved her maidenhead.
- Ne'er king more sought to keep his diadem,
- Than Hero this inestimable gem:
- Above our life we love a steadfast friend;
- Yet when a token of great worth we send,
- We often kiss it, often look thereon,
- And stay the messenger that would be gone;
- No marvel, then, though Hero would not yield
- So soon to part from that she dearly held:
- Jewels being lost are found again; this never;
- 'Tis lost but once, and once lost, lost for ever.
- Now had the Morn espied her lover's steeds;
- Whereat she starts, puts on her purple weeds,
- And, red for anger that he stayed so long,
- All headlong throws herself the clouds among.
- And now Leander, fearing to be missed,
- Embraced her suddenly, took leave, and kissed:
- Long was he taking leave, and loath to go,
- And kissed again, as lovers use to do.
- Sad Hero wrung him by the hand, and wept,
- Saying, “Let your vows and promises be kept:”
- Then standing at the door, she turned about,
- As loath to see Leander going out.
- And now the sun, that through th' horizon peeps,
- As pitying these lovers, downward creeps;
- So that in silence of the cloudy night,
- Though it was morning, did he take his flight.
- But what the secret trusty night concealed,
- Leander's amorous habit soon revealed:
- With Cupid's myrtle was his bonnet crowned,
- About his arms the purple riband wound,
- Wherewith she wreath'd her largely-spreading hair;
- Nor could the youth abstain, but he must wear
- The sacred ring wherewith she was endowed,
- When first religious chastity she vowed;
- Which made his love through Sestos to be known,
- And thence unto Abydos sooner blown
- Than he could sail; for incorporeal Fame,
- Whose weight consists in nothing but her name,
- Is swifter than the wind, whose tardy plumes
- Are reeking water and dull earthly fumes.
- Home when he came, he seemed not to be there,
- But, like exilèd air thrust from his sphere,
- Set in a foreign place; and straight from thence,
- Alcides-like, by mighty violence,
- He would have chas'd away the swelling main,
- That him from her unjustly did detain.
- Like as the sun in a diameter
- Fires and inflames objects removèd far,
- And heateth kindly, shining laterally;
- So beauty sweetly quickens when'tis nigh,
- But being separated and removed,
- Burns where it cherished, murders where it loved.
- Therefore even as an index to a book,
- So to his mind was young Leander's look.
- O, none but gods have power their love to hide!
- Affection by the countenance is descried;
- The light of hidden fire itself discovers,
- And love that is concealed betrays poor lovers.
- His secret flame apparently was seen:
- Leander's father knew where he had been,
- And for the same mildly rebuk'd his son,
- Thinking to quench the sparkles new-begun.
- But love, resisted once, grows passionate,
- And nothing more than counsel lovers hate;
- For as a hot proud horse highly disdains
- To have his head controlled, but breaks the reins,
- Spits forth the ringled bit, and with his hoves
- Checks the submissive ground; so he that loves,
- The more he is restrain'd, the worse he fares:
- What is it now but mad Leander dares?
- “O Hero, Hero!” thus he cried full oft;
- And then he got him to a rock aloft,
- Where having spied her tower, long star'd he on't,
- And pray'd the narrow toiling Hellespont
- To part in twain, that he might come and go;
- But still the rising billows answer'd, “No.”
- With that, he stripp'd him to the ivory skin,
- And, crying, “Love, I come,” leap'd lively in:
- Whereat the sapphire-visaged god grew proud,
- And made his capering Triton sound aloud,
- Imagining that Ganymed, displeas'd,
- Had left the heavens; therefore on him he seiz'd.
- Leander strived; the waves about him wound,
- And pull'd him to the bottom, where the ground
- Was strewed with pearl, and in low coral groves
- Sweet-singing mermaids sported with their loves
- On heaps of heavy gold, and took great pleasure
- To spurn in careless sort the shipwreck treasure;
- For here the stately azure palace stood,
- Where kingly Neptune and his train abode.
- The lusty god embrac'd him, called him “Love,”
- And swore he never should return to Jove:
- But when he knew it was not Ganymed,
- For under water he was almost dead,
- He heav'd him up, and, looking on his face,
- Beat down the bold waves with his triple mace,
- Which mounted up, intending to have kiss'd him,
- And fell in drops like tears because they miss'd him.
- Leander, being up, began to swim,
- And, looking back, saw Neptune follow him:
- Whereat aghast, the poor soul gan to cry,
- “O, let me visit Hero ere I die!”
- The god put Helle's bracelet on his arm,
- And swore the sea should never do him harm.
- He clapped his plump cheeks, with his tresses played,
- And, smiling wantonly, his love bewrayed;
- He watched his arms, and, as they open'd wide
- At every stroke, betwixt them would he slide,
- And steal a kiss, and then run out and dance,
- And, as he turn'd, cast many a lustful glance,
- And throw him gaudy toys to please his eye,
- And dive into the water, and there pry
- Upon his breast, his thighs, and every limb,
- And up again, and close beside him swim,
- And talk of love. Leander made reply,
- “You are deceiv'd; I am no woman, I.”
- Thereat smil'd Neptune, and then told a tale,
- How that a shepherd, sitting in a vale,
- Play'd with a boy so lovely-fair and kind,
- As for his love both earth and heaven pin'd;
- That of the cooling river durst not drink,
- Lest water-nymphs should pull him from the brink;
- And when he sported in the fragrant lawns,
- Goat-footed Satyrs and up-staring Fauns
- Would steal him thence. Ere half this tale was done,
- “Ay me,” Leander cried, “th' enamoured sun,
- That now should shine on Thetis' glassy bower,
- Descends upon my radiant Hero's tower:
- O, that these tardy arms of mine were wings!”
- And, as he spake, upon the waves he springs.
- Neptune was angry that he gave no ear,
- And in his heart revenging malice bare:
- He flung at him his mace; but, as it went,
- He call'd it in, for love made him repent:
- The mace, returning back, his own hand hit,
- As meaning to be venged for darting it.
- When this fresh-bleeding wound Leander viewed,
- His colour went and came, as if he rued
- The grief which Neptune felt: in gentle breasts
- Relenting thoughts, remorse, and pity rests;
- And who have hard hearts and obdurate minds,
- But vicious, hare-brained, and illiterate hinds?
- The god, seeing him with pity to be moved,
- Thereon concluded that he was beloved.
- (Love is too full of faith, too credulous,
- With folly and false hope deluding us;)
- Wherefore, Leander's fancy to surprise,
- To the rich ocean for gifts he flies:
- 'Tis wisdom to give much; a gift prevails
- When deep persuading oratory fails.
- By this, Leander, being near the land,
- Cast down his weary feet, and felt the sand.
- Breathless albeit he were, he rested not
- Till to the solitary tower he got;
- And knocked and called: at which celestial noise
- The longing heart of Hero much more joys,
- Than nymphs and shepherds when the timbrel rings,
- Or crookèd dolphin when the sailor sings.
- She stayed not for her robes, but straight arose,
- And, drunk with gladness, to the door she goes;
- Where seeing a naked man, she screeched for fear
- (Such sights as this to tender maids are rare),
- And ran into the dark herself to hide
- (Rich jewels in the dark are soonest spied).
- Unto her was he led, or rather drawn,
- By those white limbs which sparkled through the lawn.
- The nearer that he came, the more she fled,
- And, seeking refuge, slipt into her bed;
- Whereon Leander sitting, thus began,
- Through numbing cold, all feeble, faint, and wan.
- “If not for love, yet, love, for pity-sake,
- Me in thy bed and maiden bosom take;
- At least vouchsafe these arms some little room,
- Who, hoping to embrace thee, cheerly swoom:
- This head was heat with many a churlish billow,
- And therefore let it rest upon thy pillow.”
- Herewith affrighted, Hero shrunk away,
- And in her lukewarm place Leander lay;
- Whose lively heat, like fire from heaven fet,
- Would animate gross clay, and higher set
- The drooping thoughts of base-declining souls,
- Than dreary-Mars-carousing nectar bowls.
- His hands he cast upon her like a snare:
- She, overcome with shame and sallow fear,
- Like chaste Diana when Actæon spied her,
- Being suddenly betray'd, div'd down to hide her;
- And, as her silver body downward went,
- With both her hands she made the bed a tent,
- And in her own mind thought herself secure,
- O'ercast with dim and darksome coverture.
- And now she lets him whisper in her ear,
- Flatter, entreat, promise, protest, and swear:
- Yet ever, as he greedily assay'd
- To touch those dainties, she the harpy play'd,
- And every limb did, as a soldier stout,
- Defend the fort, and keep the foeman out;
- For though the rising ivory mount he scal'd,
- Which is with azure circling lines empal'd,
- Much like a globe (a globe may I term this,
- By which Love sails to regions full of bliss),
- Yet there with Sisyphus he toil'd in vain,
- Till gentle parley did the truce obtain.
- Even as a bird, which in our hands we wring,
- Forth plungeth, and oft flutters with her wing,
- She trembling strove: this strife of hers, like that
- Which made the world, another world begat
- Of unknown joy. Treason was in her thought,
- And cunningly to yield herself she sought.
- Seeming not won, yet won she was at length:
- In such wars women use but half their strength.
- Leander now, like Theban Hercules,
- Enter'd the orchard of th' Hesperides;
- Whose fruit none rightly can describe, but he
- That pulls or shakes it from the golden tree.
- Wherein Leander, on her quivering breast,
- Breathless spoke something, and sigh'd out the rest;
- Which so prevail'd, as he with small ado,
- Enclos'd her in his arms, and kiss'd her too:
- And every kiss to her was as a charm,
- And to Leander as a fresh alarm:
- So that the truce was broke, and she, alas,
- Poor silly maiden, at his mercy was.
- Love is not full of pity, as men say,
- But deaf and cruel where he means to prey.
- And now she wish'd this night were never done,
- And sigh'd to think upon th' approaching sun;
- For much it griev'd her that the bright day-light
- Should know the pleasure of this blessèd night,
- And them, like Mars and Erycine, display
- Both in each other's arms chain'd as they lay.
- Again, she knew not how to frame her look,
- Or speak to him, who in a moment took
- That which so long, so charily she kept;
- And fain by stealth away she would have crept,
- And to some corner secretly have gone,
- Leaving Leander in the bed alone.
- But as her naked feet were whipping out,
- He on the sudden cling'd her so about,
- That, mermaid-like, unto the floor she slid;
- One half appear'd, the other half was hid.
- Thus near the bed she blushing stood upright,
- And from her countenance behold ye might
- A kind of twilight break, which through the air,
- As from an orient cloud, glimps'd here and there;
- And round about the chamber this false morn
- Brought forth the day before the day was born.
- So Hero's ruddy cheek Hero betray'd,
- And her all naked to his sight display'd:
- Whence his admiring eyes more pleasure took
- Than Dis, on heaps of gold fixing his look.
- By this, Apollo's golden harp began
- To sound forth music to the ocean;
- Which watchful Hesperus no sooner heard,
- But he the bright Day-bearing car prepar'd,
- And ran before, as harbinger of light,
- And with his flaring beams mock'd ugly Night,
- Till she, o'ercome with anguish, shame, and rage,
- Dang'd down to hell her loathsome carriage.
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY
best esteemed and worthily honoured lady the
one of the ladies of her majesty's bed-chamber.
I present your ladyship with the last affections of the first two Lovers that ever Muse shrined in the Temple of Memory, being drawn by strange instigation to employ some of my serious time in so trifling a subject, which yet made the first Author, divine Musaeus eternal. And were it not that we must subject our accounts of these common received conceits to servile custom, it goes much against my hand to sign that for a trifling subject on which more worthiness of soul hath been shewed, and weight of divine wit, than can vouchsafe residence in the leaden gravity of any money-monger; in whose profession all serious subjects are concluded. But he that shuns trifles must shun the world; out of whose reverend heaps of substance and austerity I can and will ere long single or tumble out as brainless and passionate fooleries as ever panted in the bosom of the most ridiculous lover. Accept it, therefore, good Madam, though as a trifle, yet as a serious argument of my affection; for to be thought thankful for all free and honourable favours is a great sum of that riches my whole thrift intendeth.
Such uncourtly and silly dispositions as mine, whose contentment hath other objects than profit or glory, are as glad, simply for the naked merit of virtue, to honour such as advance her, as others that are hard to commend with deepliest politique bounty.
It hath therefore adjoined much contentment to my desire of your true honour to hear men of desert in court add to mine own knowledge of your noble disposition how gladly you do your best to prefer their desires, and have as absolute respect to their mere good parts as if they came perfumed and charmed with golden incitements. And this most sweet inclination, that flows from the truth and eternity of Nobles[se], assure your Ladyship doth more suit your other ornaments, and makes more to the advancement of your name and happiness of your proceedings, than if like others you displayed ensigns of state and sourness in your forehead, made smooth with nothing but sensuality and presents.
This poor Dedication (in figure of the other unity betwixt Sir Thomas and yourself) hath rejoined you with him, my honoured best friend; whose continuance of ancient kindness to my still-obscured estate, though it cannot increase my love to him which hath been entirely circular; yet shall it encourage my deserts to their utmost requital, and make my hearty gratitude speak; to which the unhappiness of my life hath hitherto been uncomfortable and painful dumbness.
THE THIRD SESTIAD.
The Argument of the Third Sestiad
- Leander to the envious light
- Resigns his night-sports with the night,
- And swims the Hellespont again.
- Thesme, the deity sovereign
- Of customs and religious rites,
- Appears, reproving his delights,
- Since nuptial honours he neglected;
- Which straight he vows shall be effected.
- Fair Hero, left devirginate,
- Weighs, and with fury wails her state;
- But with her love and woman's wit
- She argues and approveth it.
- New light gives new directions, fortunes new.
- To fashion our endeavours that ensue.
- More harsh, at least more hard, more grave and high
- Our subject runs, and our stern Muse must fly.
- Love's edge is taken off, and that light flame,
- Those thoughts, joys, longings, that before became
- High unexperienc'd blood, and maids' sharp plights,
- Must now grow staid, and censure the delights,
- That, being enjoy'd, ask judgment; now we praise,
- As having parted: evenings crown the days.
- And now, ye wanton Loves, and young Desires,
- Pied Vanity, the mint of strange attires,
- Ye lisping Flatteries, and obsequious Glances,
- Relentful Musics, and attractive Dances,
- And you detested Charms constraining love!
- Shun love's stoln sports by that these lovers prove.
- By this, the sovereign of heaven's golden fires,
- And young Leander, lord of his desires,
- Together from their lovers' arms arose:
- Leander into Hellespontus throws
- His Hero-handled body, whose delight
- Made him disdain each other epithite.
- And as amidst th' enamour'd waves he swims,
- The god of gold of purpose gilt his limbs,
- That, this word gilt including double sense,
- The double guilt of his incontinence
- Might be express'd, that had no stay t' employ
- The treasure which the love-god let him joy
- In his dear Hero, with such sacred thrift
- As had beseem'd so sanctified a gift;
- But, like a greedy vulgar prodigal,
- Would on the stock dispend, and rudely fall,
- Before his time, to that unblessèd blessing
- Which, for lust's plague, doth perish with possessing:
- Joy graven in sense, like snow in water, wasts:
- Without preserve of virtue, nothing lasts.
- What man is he, that with a wealthy eye
- Enjoys a beauty richer than the sky,
- Through whose white skin, softer than soundest sleep,
- With damask eyes the ruby blood doth peep,
- And runs in branches through her azure veins,
- Whose mixture and first fire his love attains;
- Whose both hands limit both love's deities,
- And sweeten human thoughts like Paradise;
- Whose disposition silken is and kind,
- Directed with an earth-exempted mind;—
- Who thinks not heaven with such a love is given?
- And who, like earth, would spend that dower of heaven.
- With rank desire to joy it all at first?
- What simply kills our hunger, quencheth thirst,
- Clothes but our nakedness, and makes us live,
- Praise doth not any of her favours give:
- But what doth plentifully minister
- Beauteous apparel and delicious cheer,
- So orde'd that it still excites desire,
- And still gives pleasure freeness to aspire,
- The palm of Bounty ever moist preserving;
- To Love's sweet life this is the courtly carving.
- Thus Time and all-states-ordering Ceremony
- Had banish'd all offence: Time's golden thigh
- Upholds the flowery body of the earth
- In sacred harmony, and every birth
- Of men and actions makes legitimate;
- Being us'd aright, the use of time is fate.
- Yet did the gentle flood transfer once more
- This prize of love home to his father's shore;
- Where he unlades himself of that false wealth
- That makes few rich,—treasures compos'd by stealth.
- And to his sister, kind Hermione
- (Who on the shore kneel'd, praying to the sea
- For his return), he all love's goods did show,
- In Hero seis'd for him, in him for Hero.
- His most kind sister all his secrets knew,
- And to her, singing, like a shower, he flew,
- Sprinkling the earth, that to their tombs took in
- Streams dead for love, to leave his ivory skin,
- Which yet a snowy foam did leave above.
- As soul to the dead water that did love;
- And from hence did the first white roses spring
- (For love is sweet and fair in everything),
- And all the sweeten'd shore, as he did go,
- Was crown'd with odorous roses, white as snow.
- Love-blest Leander was with love so fill'd,
- That love to all that touch'd him he instill'd;
- And as the colours of all things we see,
- To our sight's powers communicated be,
- So to all objects that in compass came
- Of any sense he had, his senses' flame
- Flow'd from his parts with force so virtual,
- It fir'd with sense things mere insensual.
- Now, with warm baths and odours comforted,
- When he lay down, he kindly kiss'd his bed,
- As consecrating it to Hero's right,
- And vow'd thereafter, that whatever sight
- Put him in mind of Hero or her bliss,
- Should be her altar to prefer a kiss.
- Then laid he forth his late-enrichèd arms,
- In whose white circle Love writ all his charms,
- And made his characters sweet Hero's limbs,
- When on his breast's warm sea she sideling swims;
- And as those arms, held up in circle, met,
- He said, “See, sister, Hero's carquenet!
- Which she had rather wear about her neck,
- Than all the jewels that do Juno deck.”
- But, as he shook with passionate desire
- To put in flame his other secret fire,
- A music so divine did pierce his ear,
- As never yet his ravish'd sense did hear;
- When suddenly a light of twenty hues
- Brake through the roof, and, like the rainbow, views.
- Amaz'd Leander: in whose beams came down
- The goddess Ceremony, with a crown
- Of all the stars; and Heaven with her descended:
- Her flaming hair to her bright feet extended,
- By which hung all the bench of deities;
- And in a chain, compact of ears and eyes,
- She led Religion: all her body was
- Clear and transparent as the purest glass,
- For she was all presented to the sense:
- Devotion, Order, State, and Reverence,
- Her shadows were; Society, Memory;
- All which her sight made live, her absence die.
- A rich disparent pentacle she wears,
- Drawn full of circles and strange characters.
- Her face was changeable to every eye;
- One way look'd ill, another graciously;
- Which while men view'd, they cheerful were and holy,
- But looking off, vicious and melancholy.
- The snaky paths to each observèd law
- Did Policy in her broad bosom draw.
- One hand a mathematic crystal sways,
- Which, gathering in one line a thousand rays
- From her bright eyes, Confusion burns to death,
- And all estates of men distinguisheth:
- By it Morality and Comeliness
- Themselves in all their sightly figures dress.
- Her other hand a laurel rod applies,
- To beat back Barbarism and Avarice,
- That follow'd, eating earth and excrement
- And human limbs; and would make proud ascent
- To seats of gods, were Ceremony slain.
- The Hours and Graces bore her glorious train;
- And all the sweets of our society
- Were spher'd and treasur'd in her bounteous eye.
- Thus she appear'd, and sharply did reprove
- Leander's bluntness in his violent love;
- Told him how poor was substance without rites,
- Like bills unsign'd; desires without delights;
- Like meats unseason'd; like rank corn that grows
- On cottages, that none or reaps or sows;
- Not being with civil forms confirm'd and bounded,
- For human dignities and comforts founded;
- But loose and secret all their glories hide;
- Fear fills the chamber, Darkness decks the bride.
- She vanish'd, leaving pierc'd Leander's heart
- With sense of his unceremonious part,
- In which, with plain neglect of nuptial rites,
- He close and flatly fell to his delights
- And instantly he vow'd to celebrate
- All rites pertaining to his married state.
- So up he gets, and to his father goes,
- To whose glad ears he doth his vows disclose.
- The nuptials are resolv'd with utmost power;
- And he at night would swim to Hero's tower,
- From whence he meant to Sestos' forkèd bay
- To bring her covertly, where ships must stay,
- Sent by his father, throughly rigg'd and mann'd,
- To waft her safely to Abydos' strand.
- There leave we him; and with fresh wing pursue
- Astonish'd Hero, whose most wishèd view
- I thus long have foreborne, because I left her
- So out of countenance, and her spirits bereft her
- To look on one abash'd is impudence,
- When of slight faults he hath too deep a sense.
- Her blushing het her chamber; she look'd out,
- And all the air she purpled round about;
- And after it a foul black day befell,
- Which ever since a red morn doth foretell,
- And still renews our woes for Hero's woe;
- And foul it prov'd because it figur'd so
- The next night's horror; which prepare to hear;
- I fail, if it profane your daintiest ear.
- Then, ho, most strangely intellectual fire,
- That, proper to my soul, hast power t' inspire
- Her burning faculties, and with the wings
- Of thy unspherèd flame visit'st the springs
- Of spirits immortal! Now (as swift as Time
- Doth follow Motion) find th' eternal clime
- Of his free soul, whose living subject stood
- Up to the chin in the Pierian flood,
- And drunk to me half this Musæan story,
- Inscribing it to deathless memory:
- Confer with it, and make my pledge as deep,
- That neither's draught be consecrate to sleep;
- Tell it how much his late desires I tender
- (If yet it know not), and to light surrender
- My soul's dark offspring, willing it should die
- To loves, to passions, and society.
- Sweet Hero, left upon her bed alone,
- Her maidenhead, her vows, Leander gone,
- And nothing with her but a violent crew
- Of new-come thoughts, that yet she never knew,
- Even to herself a stranger, was much like
- Th' Iberian city that War's hand did strike
- By English force in princely Essex' guide,
- When Peace assur'd her towers had fortified,
- And golden-finger'd India had bestow'd
- Such wealth on her, that strength and empire flow'd
- Into her turrets, and her virgin waist
- The wealthy girdle of the sea embraced;
- Till our Leander, that made Mars his Cupid,
- For soft love-suits, with iron thunders chid;
- Swum to her towers, dissolv'd her virgin zone;
- Led in his power, and made Confusion
- Run through her streets amaz'd, that she suppos'd
- She had not been in her own walls enclos'd,
- But rapt by wonder to some foreign state,
- Seeing all her issue so disconsolate,
- And all her peaceful mansions possess'd
- With war's just spoil, and many a foreign guest
- From every corner driving an enjoyer,
- Supplying it with power of a destroyer.
- So far'd fair Hero in th' expugnèd fort
- Of her chaste bosom; and of every sort
- Strange thoughts possess'd her, ransacking her breast
- For that that was not there, her wonted rest.
- She was a mother straight, and bore with pain
- Thoughts that spake straight, and wish'd their mother slain;
- She hates their lives, and they their own and hers:
- Such strife still grows where sin the race prefers:
- Love is a golden bubble, full of dreams,
- That waking breaks, and fills us with extremes.
- She mus'd how she could look upon her sire,
- And not shew that without, that was intire;
- For as a glass is an inanimate eye,
- And outward forms embraceth inwardly,
- So is the eye an animate glass, that shows
- In-forms without us; and as Phœbus throws
- His beams abroad, though he in clouds be clos'd,
- Still glancing by them till he find oppos'd
- A loose and rorid vapour that is fit
- T' event his searching beams, and useth it
- To form a tender twenty-colour'd eye,
- Cast in a circle round about the sky;
- So when our fiery soul, our body's star,
- (That ever is in motion circular,)
- Conceives a form, in seeking to display it
- Through all our cloudy parts, it doth convey it
- Forth at the eye, as the most pregnant place,
- And that reflects it round about the face.
- And this event, uncourtly Hero thought,
- Her inward guilt would in her looks have wrought;
- For yet the world's stale cunning she resisted,
- To bear foul thoughts, yet forge what looks she listed,
- And held it for a very silly sleight,
- To make a perfect metal counterfeit,
- Glad to disclaim herself, proud of an art
- That makes the face a pandar to the heart.
- Those be the painted moons, whose lights profane
- Beauty's true Heaven, at full still in their wane;
- Those be the lapwing-faces that still cry,
- “Here'tis!” when that they vow is nothing nigh:
- Base fools! when every moorish fool can teach
- That which men think the height of human reach.
- But custom, that the apoplexy is
- Of bed-rid nature and lives led amiss,
- And takes away all feeling of offence,
- Yet braz'd not Hero's brow with impudence;
- And this she thought most hard to bring to pass,
- To seem in countenance other than she was,
- As if she had two souls, one for the face,
- One for the heart, and that they shifted place
- As either list to utter or conceal
- What they conceiv'd, or as one soul did deal
- With both affairs at once, keeps and ejects
- Both at an instant contrary effects;
- Retention and ejection in her powers
- Being acts alike; for this one vice of ours,
- That forms the thought, and sways the countenance,
- Rules both our motion and our utterance.
- These and more grave conceits toil'd Hero's spirits;
- For, though the light of her discoursive wits
- Perhaps might find some little hole to pass
- Through all these worldly cinctures, yet, alas!
- There was a heavenly flame encompass'd her,—
- Her goddess, in whose fane she did prefer
- Her virgin vows, from whose impulsive sight
- She knew the black shield of the darkest night
- Could not defend her, nor wit's subtlest art:
- This was the point pierc'd Hero to the heart;
- Who, heavy to the death, with a deep sigh,
- And hand that languished, took a robe was nigh,
- Exceeding large, and of black cypres made,
- In which she sate, hid from the day in shade,
- Even over head and face, down to her feet;
- Her left hand made it at her bosom meet,
- Her right hand lean'd on her heart-bowing knee,
- Wrapp'd in unshapeful folds, 'twas death to see;
- Her knee stay'd that, and that her falling face;
- Each limb help'd other to put on disgrace:
- No form was seen, where form held all her sight;
- But like an embryon that saw never light,
- Or like a scorchèd statue made a coal
- With three-wing'd lightning, or a wretched soul
- Muffled with endless darkness, she did sit:
- The night had never such a heavy spirit.
- Yet might a penetrating eye well see
- How fast her clear tears melted on her knee
- Through her black veil, and turn'd as black as it,
- Mourning to be her tears. Then wrought her wit
- With her broke vow, her goddess' wrath, her fame,—
- All tools that enginous despair could frame:
- Which made her strew the floor with her torn hair,
- And spread her mantle piece-meal in the air.
- Like Jove's son's club, strong passion struck her down,
- And with a piteous shriek enforc'd her swoun:
- Her shriek made with another shriek ascend
- The frighted matron that on her did tend;
- And as with her own cry her sense was slain,
- So with the other it was called again.
- She rose, and to her bed made forcèd way,
- And laid her down even where Leander lay;
- And all this while the red sea of her blood
- Ebb'd with Leander: but now turn'd the flood,
- And all her fleet of spirits came swelling in,
- With child of sail, and did hot fight begin
- With those severe conceits she too much marked:
- And here Leander's beauties were embarked.
- He came in swimming, painted all with joys,
- Such as might sweeten hell: his thought destroys
- All her destroying thoughts; she thought she felt
- His heart in hers, with her contentions melt,
- And chide her soul that it could so much err,
- To check the true joys he deserved in her.
- Her fresh-heat blood cast figures in her eyes,
- And she suppos'd she saw in Neptune's skies
- How her star wander'd, wash'd in smarting brine,
- For her love's sake, that with immortal wine
- Should be embath'd, and swim in more heart's-ease
- Than there was water in the Sestian seas.
- Then said her Cupid-prompted spirit, “Shall I
- Sing moans to such delightsome harmony?
- Shall slick-tongu'd Fame, patch'd up with voices rude,
- The drunken bastard of the multitude
- (Begot when father Judgment is away,
- And, gossip-like, says because others say,
- Takes news as if it were too hot to eat,
- And spits it slavering forth for dog-fees meat),
- Make me, for forging a fantastic vow,
- Presume to bear what makes grave matrons bow?
- Good vows are never broken with good deeds,
- For then good deeds were bad: vows are but seeds,
- And good deeds fruits; even those good deeds that grow
- From other stocks than from th' observèd vow.
- That is a good deed that prevents a bad:
- Had I not yielded, slain myself I had.
- Hero Leander is, Leander Hero;
- Such virtue love hath to make one of two.
- If, then, Leander did my maidenhead git,
- Leander being myself, I still retain it:
- We break chaste vows when we live loosely ever,
- But bound as we are, we live loosely never:
- Two constant lovers being join'd in one,
- Yielding to one another, yield to none.
- We know not how to vow till love unblind us,
- And vows made ignorantly never bind us.
- Too true it is, that, when 'tis gone, men hate
- The joy as vain they took in love's estate:
- But that's since they have lost the heavenly light
- Should show them way to judge of all things right.
- When life is gone, death must implant his terror:
- As death is foe to life, so love to error.
- Before we love, how range we through this sphere,
- Searching the sundry fancies hunted here:
- Now with desire of wealth transported quite
- Beyond our free humanity's delight;
- Now with ambition climbing falling towers,
- Whose hope to scale, our fear to fall devours;
- Now rapt with pastimes, pomp, all joys impure:
- In things without us no delight is sure.
- But love, with all joys crowned, within doth sit:
- O goddess, pity love, and pardon it!”
- Thus spake she weeping: but her goddess' ear
- Burn'd with too stern a heat, and would not hear.
- Ay me! hath heaven's strait fingers no more graces
- For such as Hero than for homeliest faces?
- Yet she hoped well, and in her sweet conceit
- Weighing her arguments, she thought them weight,
- And that the logic of Leander's beauty,
- And them together, would bring proofs of duty;
- And if her soul, that was a skilful glance
- Of heaven's great essence, found such imperance
- In her love's beauties, she had confidence
- Jove loved him too, and pardoned her offence:
- Beauty in heaven and earth this grace doth win,
- It supples rigour, and it lessens sin.
- Thus, her sharp wit, her love, her secrecy,
- Trooping together, made her wonder why
- She should not leave her bed, and to the temple;
- Her health said she must live; her sex, dissemble.
- She viewed Leander's place, and wished he were
- Turned to his place, so his place were Leander.
- “Ay me,” said she, “that love's sweet life and sense
- Should do it harm! my love had not gone hence
- Had he been like his place: O blessèd place,
- Image of constancy! Thus my love's grace
- Parts nowhere, but it leaves something behind
- Worth observation: he renowns his kind:
- His motion is, like heaven's, orbicular,
- For where he once is, he is ever there.
- This place was mine; Leander, now 'tis thine;
- Thou being myself, then it is double mine,
- Mine, and Leander's mine, Leander's mine.
- O, see what wealth it yields me, nay, yields him!
- For I am in it, he for me doth swim.
- Rich, fruitful love, that, doubling self estates,
- Elixir-like contracts, though separates!
- Dear place, I kiss thee, and do welcome thee,
- As from Leander ever sent to me.”
THE FOURTH SESTIAD.
The Argument of the Fourth Sestiad.
- Hero, in sacred habit deckt,
- Doth private sacrifice effect.
- Her scarf's description, wrought by Fate;
- Ostents that threaten her estate;
- The strange, yet physical, events,
- Leander's counterfeit presents.
- In thunder Cyprides descends,
- Presaging both the lovers' ends:
- Ecte, the goddess of remorse,
- With vocal and articulate force
- Inspires Leucote, Venus' swan,
- T' excuse the beauteous Sestian.
- Venus, to wreak her rites' abuses,
- Creates the monster Eronusis,
- Inflaming Hero's sacrifice
- With lightning darted from her eyes;
- And thereof springs the painted beast
- That ever since taints every breast.
- Now from Leander's place she rose, and found
- Her hair and rent robe scatter'd on the ground;
- Which taking up, she every piece did lay
- Upon an altar, where in youth of day
- She us'd t' exhibit private sacrifice:
- Those would she offer to the deities
- Of her fair goddess and her powerful son,
- As relics of her late-felt passion;
- And in that holy sort she vow'd to end them,
- In hope her violent fancies, that did rend them,
- Would as quite fade in her love's holy fire,
- As they should in the flames she meant t' inspire.
- Then put she on all her religious weeds,
- That decked her in her secret sacred deeds;
- A crown of icicles, that sun nor fire
- Could ever melt, and figur'd chaste desire;
- A golden star shined in her naked breast,
- In honour of the queen-light of the east.
- In her right hand she held a silver wand,
- On whose bright top Peristera did stand,
- Who was a nymph, but now transformed a dove,
- And in her life was dear in Venus' love;
- And for her sake she ever since that time
- Choosed doves to draw her coach through heaven's blue clime.
- Her plenteous hair in curlèd billows swims
- On her bright shoulder; her harmonious limbs
- Sustained no more but a most subtile veil,
- That hung on them, as it durst not assail
- Their different concord; for the weakest air
- Could raise it swelling from her beauties fair;
- Nor did it cover, but adumbrate only
- Her most heart-piercing parts, that a blest eye
- Might see, as it did shadow, fearfully,
- All that all-love-deserving paradise:
- It was as blue as the most freezing skies;
- Near the sea's hue, for thence her goddess came:
- On it a scarf she wore of wondrous frame;
- In midst whereof she wrought a virgin's face,
- From whose each cheek a fiery blush did chase
- Two crimson flames, that did two ways extend,
- Spreading the ample scarf to either end;
- Which figur'd the division of her mind,
- Whiles yet she rested bashfully inclin'd,
- And stood not resolute to wed Leander;
- This serv'd her white neck for a purple sphere,
- And cast itself at full breadth down her back:
- There, since the first breath that begun the wrack
- Of her free quiet from Leander's lips,
- She wrought a sea, in one flame, full of ships;
- But that one ship where all her wealth did pass,
- Like simple merchants' goods, Leander was;
- For in that sea she naked figured him;
- Her diving needle taught him how to swim,
- And to each thread did such resemblance give,
- For joy to be so like him it did live:
- Things senseless live by art, and rational die
- By rude contempt of art and industry.
- Scarce could she work, but, in her strength of thought,
- She fear'd she prick'd Leander as she wrought,
- And oft would shriek so, that her guardian, frighted,
- Would startling haste, as with some mischief cited:
- They double life that dead things' griefs sustain;
- They kill that feel not their friends' living pain.
- Sometimes she fear'd he sought her infamy;
- And then, as she was working of his eye,
- She thought to prick it out to quench her ill;
- But, as she prick'd, it grew more perfect still:
- Trifling attempts no serious acts advance;
- The fire of love is blown by dalliance.
- In working his fair neck she did so grace it,
- She still was working her own arms t' embrace it:
- That, and his shoulders, and his hands were seen
- Above the stream; and with a pure sea-green
- She did so quaintly shadow every limb,
- All might be seen beneath the waves to swim.
- In this conceited scarf she wrought beside
- A moon in change, and shooting stars did glide
- In number after her with bloody beams;
- Which figur'd her affects in their extremes,
- Pursuing nature in her Cynthian body,
- And did her thoughts running on change imply;
- For maids take more delight, when they prepare,
- And think of wives' states, than when wives they are.
- Beneath all these she wrought a fisherman,
- Drawing his nets from forth the ocean;
- Who drew so hard, ye might discover well
- The toughen'd sinews in his neck did swell:
- His inward strains drave out his blood-shot eyes,
- And springs of sweat did in his forehead rise;
- Yet was of naught but of a serpent sped,
- That in his bosom flew and stung him dead:
- And this by Fate into her mind was sent,
- Not wrought by mere instinct of her intent.
- At the scarfs other end her hand did frame,
- Near the fork'd point of the divided flame,
- A country virgin keeping of a vine,
- Who did of hollow bulrushes combine
- Snares for the stubble-loving grasshopper,
- And by her lay her scrip that nourish'd her.
- Within a myrtle shade she sate and sung
- And tufts of waving reeds above her sprung,
- Where lurked two foxes, that, while she applied
- Her trifling snares, their thieveries did divide,
- One to the vine, another to her scrip,
- That she did negligently overslip;
- By which her fruitful vine and wholesome fare
- She suffered spoiled to make a childish snare.
- These ominous fancies did her soul express,
- And every finger made a prophetess,
- To show what death was hid in love's disguise,
- And make her judgment conquer Destinie.
- O, what sweet forms fair ladies' souls do shroud,
- Were they made seen and forced through their blood;
- If through their beauties, like rich work through lawn,
- They would set forth their minds with virtues drawn,
- In letting graces from their fingers fly,
- To still their eyas thoughts with industry;
- That their plied wits in numbered silks might sing
- Passion's huge conquest, and their needles leading
- Affection prisoner through their own-built cities,
- Pinioned with stories and Arachnean ditties.
- Proceed we now with Hero's sacrifice:
- She odours burned, and from their smoke did rise
- Unsavoury fumes, that air with plagues inspired;
- And then the consecrated sticks she fired,
- On whose pale flames an angry spirit flew,
- And beat it down still as it upward grew;
- The virgin tapers that on th' altar stood,
- When she inflam'd them, burned as red as blood;
- All sad ostents of that too near success,
- That made such moving beauties motionless.
- Then Hero wept; but her affrighted eyes
- She quickly wrested from the sacrifice,
- Shut them, and inwards for Leander looked,
- Search'd her soft bosom, and from thence she plucked
- His lovely picture; which when she had viewed,
- Her beauties were with all love's joys renewed;
- The odours sweeten'd, and the fires burned clear,
- Leander's form left no ill object there:
- Such was his beauty, that the force of light,
- Whose knowledge teacheth wonders infinite,
- The strength of number and proportion,
- Nature had placed in it to make it known,
- Art was her daughter, and what human wits
- For study lost, entombed in drossy spirits.
- After this accident (which for her glory
- Hero could not but make a history),
- Th' inhabitants of Sestos and Abydos
- Did every year, with feasts propitious,
- To fair Leander's picture sacrifice:
- And they were persons of especial price
- That were allowed it, as an ornament
- T' enrich their houses, for the continent
- Of the strange virtues all approved it held;
- For even the very look of it repelled
- All blastings, witchcrafts, and the strifes of nature
- In those diseases that no herbs could cure;
- The wolfy sting of avarice it would pull,
- And make the rankest miser bountiful;
- It kill'd the fear of thunder and of death;
- The discords that conceit engendereth
- 'Twixt man and wife, it for the time would cease;
- The flames of love it quench'd, and would increase;
- Held in a prince's hand, it woald put out
- The dreadful'st comet; it would ease all doubt
- Of threaten'd mischiefs; it would bring asleep
- Such as were mad; it would enforce to weep
- Most barbarous eyes; and many more effects
- This picture wrought, and sprung Leandrian sects;
- Of which was Hero first; for he whose form,
- Held in her hand, cleard such a fatal storm,
- From hell she thought his person would defend her,
- Which night and Hellespont would quickly send her.
- With this confirm'd, she vow'd to banish quite
- All thought of any check to her delight;
- And, in contempt of silly bashfulness,
- She would the faith of her desires profess,
- Where her religion should be policy,
- To follow love with zeal her piety;
- Her chamber her cathedral-church should be,
- And her Leander her chief deity;
- For in her love these did the gods forego;
- And though her knowledge did not teach her so,
- Yet did it teach her this, that what her heart
- Did greatest hold in her self-greatest part,
- That she did make her god; and 'twas less naught
- To leave gods in profession and in thought
- Than in her love and life; for therein lies
- Most of her duties and their dignities;
- And, rail the brain-bald world at what it will,
- That's the grand atheism that reigns in it stil
- Yet singularity she would use no more,
- For she was singular too much before;
- But she would please the world with fair pretext
- Love would not leave her conscience perplext:
- Great men that will have less do for them, still
- Must bear them out, though th' acts be ne'er so ill,
- Meanness must pander be to Excellence;
- Pleasure atones Falsehood and Conscience:
- Dissembling was the worst, thought Hero then,
- And that was best, now she must live with men.
- O virtuous love, that taught her to do best
- When she did worst, and when she thought it least'
- Thus would she still proceed in works divine,
- And in her sacred state of priesthood shine,
- Handling the holy rites with hands as bold.
- As if therein she did Jove's thunder hold,
- And need not fear those menaces of error.
- Which she at others threw with greatest terror.
- O lovely Hero, nothing is thy sin,
- Weigh'd with those foul faults other priests are in
- That having neither faiths, nor works, nor beauties,
- T' engender any 'scuse for slubbered duties,
- With as much countenance fill their holy chairs,
- And sweat denouncements 'gainst profane affairs,
- As if their lives were cut out by their places,
- And they the only fathers of the graces.
- Now, as with settled mind she did repair
- Her thoughts to sacrifice her ravished hair
- And her torn robe, which on the altar lay,
- And only for religion's fire did stay,
- She heard a thunder by the Cyclops beaten,
- In such a volley as the world did threaten,
- Given Venus as she parted th' airy sphere,
- Descending now to chide with Hero here:
- When suddenly the goddess' waggoners,
- The swans and turtles that, in coupled pheres,
- Through all worlds' bosoms draw her influence,
- Lighted in Hero's window, and from thence
- To her fair shoulders flew the gentle doves,—
- Graceful Ædone that sweet pleasure loves,
- And ruff-foot Chreste with the tufted crown;
- Both which did kiss her, though their goddess frown.
- The swans did in the solid flood, her glass,
- Proin their fair plumes; of which the fairest was
- Jove-lov'd Leucote, that pure brightness is;
- The other bounty-loving Dapsilis.
- All were in heaven, now they with Hero were:
- But Venus' looks brought wrath, and urged fear.
- Her robe was scarlet; black her head's attire:
- And through her naked breast shin'd streams of fire,
- As when the rarifièd air is driven
- In flashing streams, and opes the darken'd heaven.
- In her white hand a wreath of yew she bore;
- And, breaking th' icy wreath sweet Hero wore,
- She forc'd about her brows her wreath of yew,
- And said, “Now, minion, to thy fate be true,
- Though not to me; endure what this portends
- Begin where lightness will, in shame it ends.
- Love makes thee cunning; thou art current now,
- By being counterfeit: thy broken vow
- Deceit with her pied garters must rejoin,
- And with her stamp thou countenances must coin:
- Coyness, and pure deceits, for purities,
- And still a maid wilt seem in cozen'd eyes,
- And have an antic face to laugh within,
- While thy smooth looks make men digest thy sin.
- But since thy lips (least thought forsworn) forswore,
- Be never virgin's vow worth trusting more!”
- When Beauty's dearest did her goddess hear
- Breathe such rebukes 'gainst that she could not clear,
- Dumb sorrow spake aloud in tears and blood,
- That from her grief-burst veins, in piteous flood,
- From the sweet conduits of her favour fell.
- The gentle turtles did with moans make swell
- Their shining gorges; the white black-ey'd swans
- Did sing as woful epicedians,
- As they would straightways die: when Pity's queen,
- The goddess Ecte, that had ever been
- Hid in a watery cloud near Hero's cries,
- Since the first instant of her broken eyes,
- Gave bright Leucote voice, and made her speak,
- To ease her anguish, whose swoln breast did break
- With anger at her goddess, that did touch
- Hero so near for that she us'd so much;
- And, thrusting her white neck at Venus, said
- “Why may not amorous Hero seem a maid,
- Though she be none, as well as you suppress
- In modest cheeks your inward wantonness?
- How often have we drawn you from above.
- T' exchange with mortals rites for rites in love!
- Why in your priest, then, call you that offence,
- That shines in you, and is your influence?”
- With this, the Furies stopp'd Leucote's lips,
- Enjoin'd by Venus; who with rosy whips
- Beat the kind bird. Fierce lightning from her eyes
- Did set on fire fair Hero's sacrifice,
- Which was her torn robe and enforcèd hair;
- And the bright flame became a maid most fair
- For her aspèct: her tresses were of wire,
- Knit like a net, where hearts set all on fire,
- Struggled in pants, and could not get releast;
- Her arms were all with golden pincers drest,
- And twenty-fashioned knots, pulleys, and brakes,
- And all her body girt with painted snakes;
- Her down-parts in a scorpion's tail combined,
- Freckled with twenty colours; pied wings shined
- Out of her shoulders; cloth had never dye,
- Nor sweeter colours never viewèd eye,
- In scorching Turkey, Cares, Tartary,
- Than shined about this spirit notorious;
- Nor was Arachne's web so glorious.
- Of lightning and of shreds she was begot;
- More hold in base dissemblers is there not.
- Her name was Eronusis. Venus flew
- From Hero's sight, and at her chariot drew
- This wondrous creature to so steep a height,
- That all the world she might command with sleight
- Of her gay wings; and then she bade her haste,—
- Since Hero had dissembled, and disgraced
- Her rites so much,—and every breast infect
- With her deceits: she made her architect
- Of all dissimulations; and since then
- Never was any trust in maids or men.
- O, it spited
- Fair Venus' heart to see her most delighted,
- And one she choos'd, for temper of her mind
- To be the only ruler of her kind,
- So soon to let her virgin race be ended!
- Not simply for the fault a whit offended,
- But that in strife for chasteness with the Moon,
- Spiteful Diana bade her show but one
- That was her servant vow'd, and liv'd a maid;
- And, now she thought to answer that upbraid,
- Hero had lost her answer: who knows not
- Venus would seem as far from any spot
- Of light demeanour, as the very skin
- 'Twixt Cynthia's brows? sin is asham'd of sin.
- Up Venus flew, and scarce durst up for fear
- Of Phœbe's laughter, when she pass'd her sphere:
- And so most ugly-clouded was the light,
- That day was hid in day; night came ere night;
- And Venus could not through the thick air pierce,
- Till the day's king, god of undaunted verse,
- Because she was so plentiful a theme
- To such as wore his laurel anademe.
- Like to a fiery bullet made descent,
- And from her passage those fat vapours rent,
- That being not throughly rarified to rain,
- Melted like pitch, as blue as any vein;
- And scalding tempests made the earth to shrink
- Under their fervour, and the world did think
- In every drop a torturing spirit flew,
- It pierc'd so deeply, and it burn'd so blue.
- Betwixt all this and Hero, Hero held
- Leander's picture, as a Persian shield;
- And she was free from fear of worst success:
- The more ill threats us, we suspect the less:
- As we grow hapless, violence subtle grows,
- Dumb, deaf, and blind, and comes when no man knows.
THE FIFTH SESTIAD.
The Argument of the Fifth Sestiad.
- Day doubles his accustom'd date,
- As loath the Night, incens'd by Fate,
- Should wreck our lovers. Hero's plight;
- Longs for Leander and the night:
- Which ere her thirsty wish recovers,
- She sends for two betrothèd lovers,
- And marries them, that, with their crew,
- Their sports, and ceremonies due,
- She covertly might celebrate,
- With secret joy her own estate.
- She makes a feast, at which appears
- The wild nymph Teras, that still bears
- An ivory lute, tells ominous tales,
- And sings at solemn festivals.
- Now was bright Hero weary of the day,
- Thought an Olympiad in Leander's stay.
- Sol and the soft-foot Hours hung on his arms,
- And would not let him swim, foreseeing his harms
- That day Aurora double grace obtain'd
- Of her love Phœbus; she his horses rein'd,
- Set on his golden knee, and, as she list,
- She pull'd him back; and as she pull'd she kiss'd,
- To have him turn to bed: he lov'd her more,
- To see the love Leander Hero bore:
- Examples profit much; ten times in one,
- In persons full of note, good deeds are done.
- Day was so long, men walking fell asleep;
- The heavy humours that their eyes did steep
- Made them fear mischiefs. The hard streets were beds
- For covetous churls and for ambitious heads,
- That, spite of Nature, would their business ply:
- All thought they had the falling epilepsy,
- Men grovell'd so upon the smother'd ground;
- And pity did the heart of Heaven confound.
- The Gods, the Graces, and the Muses came
- Down to the Destinies, to stay the frame
- Of the true lovers' deaths, and all world's tears:
- But Death before had stopp'd their cruel ears.
- All the celestials parted mourning then,
- Pierc'd with our human miseries more than men:
- Ah, nothing doth the world with mischief fill,
- But want of feeling one another's ill!
- With their descent the day grew something fair,
- And cast a brighter robe upon the air.
- Hero, to shorten time with merriment,
- For young Alcmane and bright Mya sent,
- Two lovers that had long crav'd marriage-dues
- At Hero's hands: but she did still refuse;
- For lovely Mya was her consort vow'd
- In her maid state, and therefore not allow'd
- To amorous nuptials: yet fair Hero now
- Intended to dispense with her cold vow,
- Since hers was broken, and to marry her:
- The rites would pleasing matter minister
- To her conceits, and shorten tedious day.
- They came; sweet Music usher'd th' odorous way,
- And wanton Air in twenty sweet forms danced
- After her fingers; Beauty and Love advanced
- Their ensigns in the downless rosy faces
- Of youths and maids led after by the Graces.
- For all these Hero made a friendly feast,
- Welcom'd them kindly, did much love protest,
- Winning their hearts with all the means she might,
- That, when her fault should chance t' abide the light.
- Their loves might cover or extenuate it,
- And high in her worst fate make pity sit.
- She married them; and in the banquet came,
- Borne by the virgins. Hero striv'd to frame
- Her thoughts to mirth: ay me! but hard it is
- To imitate a false and forcèd bliss;
- Ill may a sad mind forge a merry face,
- Nor hath constrainèd laughter any grace.
- Then laid she wine on cares to make them sink:
- Who fears the threats of Fortune, let him drink.
- To these quick nuptials enter'd suddenly
- Admirèd Teras with the ebon thigh;
- A nymph that haunted the green Sestian groves,
- And would consort soft virgins in their loves,
- At gaysome triumphs and on solemn days,
- Singing prophetic elegies and lays,
- And fingering of a silver lute she tied
- With black and purple scarfs by her left side.
- Apollo gave it, and her skill withal,
- And she was term'd his dwarf, she was so small:
- Yet great in virtue, for his beams enclosed
- His virtues in her; never was proposed
- Riddle to her, or augury, strange or new,
- But she resolv'd it; never slight tale flew
- From her charm'd lips without important sense,
- Shown in some grave succeeding consequence.
- This little sylvan, with her songs and tales,
- Gave such estate to feasts and nuptials,
- That though ofttimes she forewent tragedies,
- Yet for her strangeness still she pleas'd their eyes;
- And for her smallness they admir'd her so,
- They thought her perfect born, and could not grow
- All eyes were on her. Hero did command
- An altar decked with sacred state should stand
- At the feast's upper end, close by the bride,
- On which the pretty nymph might sit espied.
- Then all were silent; every one so hears,
- As all their senses chmb'd into their ears:
- And first this amorous tale, that fitted well
- Fair Hero and the nuptials, she did tell.
- The Tale of Teras.
- Hymen, that now is god of nuptial rites,
- And crowns with honour Love and his delights,
- Of Athens was a youth, so sweet of face,
- That many thought him of the female race;
- Such quickening brightness did his clear eyes dart,
- Warm went their beams to his beholder's heart,
- In such pure leagues his beauties were combin'd,
- That there your nuptial contracts first were signed;
- For as proportion, white and crimson, meet
- In beauty's mixture, all right clear and sweet,
- The eye responsible, the golden hair,
- And none is held, without the other, fair;
- All spring together, all together fade;
- Such intermix'd affections should invade
- Two perfect lovers; which being yet unseen,
- Their virtues and their comforts copied been
- In beauty's concord, subject to the eye;
- And that, in Hymen, pleased so matchlessly,
- That lovers were esteemed in their full grace,
- Like form and colour mixed in Hymen's face,
- And such sweet concord was thought worthy then
- Of torches, music, feasts, and greatest men:
- So Hymen look'd that even the chastest mind
- He mov'd to join in joys of sacred kind;
- For only now his chin's first down consorted
- His head's rich fleece in golden curls contorted;
- And as he was so loved, he loved so too:
- So should best beauties bound by nuptials, do.
- Bright Eucharis, who was by all men said
- The noblest, fairest, and the richest maid
- Of all th' Athenian damsels, Hymen lov'd
- With such transmission, that his heart remove'd
- From his white breast to hers: but her estate,
- In passing his, was so interminate
- For wealth and honour, that his love durst feed
- On naught but sight and hearing, nor could breed
- Hope of requital, the grand prize of love;
- Nor could he hear or see, but he must prove
- How his rare beauty's music would agree
- With maids in consort; therefore robbèd he
- His chin of those same few first fruits it bore,
- And, clad in such attire as virgins wore,
- He kept them company, and might right well,
- For he did all but Eucharis excel
- In all the fair of beauty! yet he wanted
- Virtue to make his own desires implanted
- In his dear Eucharis; for women never
- Love beauty in their sex, but envy ever.
- His judgment yet, that durst not suit address,
- Nor, past due means, presume of due success,
- Reason gat Fortune in the end to speed
- To his best prayers: but strange it seemed, indeed,
- That Fortune should a chaste affection bless:
- Preferment seldom graceth bashfulness.
- Nor grac'd it Hymen yet; but many a dart,
- And many an amorous thought, enthralled his heart.
- Ere he obtained her; and he sick became,
- Forced to abstain her sight; and then the flame
- Raged in his bosom. O, what grief did fill him!
- Sight made him sick, and want of sight did kill him.
- The virgins wonder'd where Diætia stay'd,
- For so did Hymen term himself, a maid.
- At length with sickly looks he greeted them
- Tis strange to see 'gainst what an extreme stream
- A lover strives; poor Hymen look'd so ill.
- That as in merit he increasèd still
- By suffering much, so he in grace decreas'd:
- Women are most won, when men merit least.
- If Merit look not well, Love bids stand by;
- Love's special lesson is to please the eye.
- And Hymen soon recovering all he lost,
- Deceiving still these maids, but himself most,
- His love and he with many virgin dames,
- Noble by birth, noble by beauty's flames,
- Leaving the town with songs and hallow'd lights
- To do great Ceres Eleusina rites
- Of zealous sacrifice, were made a prey
- To barbarous rovers, that in ambush lay,
- And with rude hands enforc'd their shining spoil,
- Far from the darkened city, tired with toil:
- And when the yellow issue of the sky
- Came trooping forth, jealous of cruelty
- To their bright fellows of this under-heaven,
- Into a double night they saw them driven,—
- A horrid cave, the thieves' black mansion;
- Where, weary of the journey they had gone,
- Their last night's watch, and drunk with their sweet gains
- Dull Morpheus enter'd, laden with silken chains,
- Stronger than iron, and bound the swelling veins
- And tirèd senses of these lawless swains.
- But when the virgin lights thus dimly burn'd,
- O, what a hell was heaven in! how they mourn'd
- And wrung their hands, and wound their gentle forms
- Into the shapes of sorrow! golden storms
- Fell from their eyes; as when the sun appears,
- And yet it rains, so show'd their eyes their tears:
- And, as when funeral dames watch a dead corse,
- Weeping about it, telling with remorse
- What pains he felt, how long in pain he lay,
- How little food he ate, what he would say;
- And then mix mournful tales of others' deaths,
- Smothering themselves in clouds of their own breaths,
- At length, one cheering other, call for wine;
- The golden bowl drinks tears out of their eyne,
- As they drink wine from it; and round it goes,
- Each helping other to relieve their woes;
- So cast these virgins' beauties mutual rays,
- One lights another, face the face displays;
- Lips by reflection kissed, and hands hands shook.
- Even by the whiteness each of other took.
- But Hymen now used friendly Morpheus' aid,
- Slew every thief, and rescued every maid:
- And now did his enamour'd passion take
- Heart from his hearty deed, whose worth did make
- His hope of bounteous Eucharis more strong;
- And now came Love with Proteus, who had long
- Juggled the little god with prayers and gifts,
- Ran through all shapes and varied all his shifts,
- To win Love's stay with him, and make him love him.
- And when he saw no strength of sleight could move him.
- To make him love or stay, he nimbly turned
- Into Love's self, he so extremely burned.
- And thus came Love, with Proteus and his power,
- T' encounter Eucharis: first, like the flower
- That Juno's milk did spring, the silver lily,
- He fell on Hymen's hand, who straight did spy
- The bounteous godhead, and with wondrous joy
- Offer'd it Eucharis. She, wondrous coy,
- Drew back her hand: the subtle flower did woo it,
- And, drawing it near, mixed so you could not know it
- As two clear tapers mix in one their light,
- So did the lily and the hand their white.
- She viewed it; and her view the form bestows
- Amongst her spirits; for, as colour flows
- From superficies of each thing we see,
- Even so with colours forms emitted be;
- And where Love's form is, Love is; Love is form:
- He entered at the eye; his sacred storm
- Rose from the hand, Love's sweetest instrument:
- It stirred her blood's sea so, that high it went,
- And beat in bashful waves 'gainst the white shore
- Of her divided cheeks; it raged the more,
- Because the tide went 'gainst the haughty wind
- Of her estate and birth: and, as we find,
- In fainting ebbs, the flowery Zephyr hurls
- The green-haired Hellespont, broke in silver curls,
- 'Gainst Hero's tower; but in his blast's retreat,
- The waves obeying him, they after beat,
- Leaving the chalky shore a great way pale,
- Then moist it freshly with another gale;
- So ebbed and flowed the blood in Eucharis' face,
- Coyness and Love strived which had greatest grace;
- Virginity did fight on Coyness' side,
- Fear of her parents' frowns and female pride
- Loathing the lower place, more than it loves
- The high contents desert and virtue moves.
- With Love fought Hymen's beauty and his valure,
- Which scarce could so much favour yet allure
- To come to strike, but fameless idle stood:
- Action is fiery valour's sovereign good.
- But Love, once entered, wished no greater aid
- Than he could find within; thought thought betray'd;
- The bribed, but incorrupted, garrison
- Sung “Io Hymen;” there those songs begun,
- And Love was grown so rich with such a gain,
- And wanton with the ease of his free reign,
- That he would turn into her roughest frowns
- To turn them out; and thus he Hymen crowns
- King of his thoughts, man's greatest empery:
- This was his first brave step to deity.
- Home to the mourning city they repair,
- With news as wholesome as the morning air,
- To the sad parents of each savèd maid:
- But Hymen and his Eucharis had laid
- This plat to make the flame of their delight
- Round as the moon at full, and full as bright.
- Because the parents of chaste Eucharis
- Exceeding Hymen's so, might cross their bliss;
- And as the world rewards deserts, that law
- Cannot assist with force; so when they saw
- Their daughter safe, take vantage of their own,
- Praise Hymen's valour much, nothing bestown;
- Hymen must leave the virgins in a grove
- Far off from Athens, and go first to prove,
- If to restore them all with fame and life,
- He should enjoy his dearest as his wife.
- This told to all the maids, the most agree:
- The riper sort, knowing what 'tis to be
- The first mouth of a news so far derived,
- And that to hear and bear news brave folks lived.
- As being a carriage special hard to bear
- Occurrents, these occurrents being so dear,
- They did with grace protest, they were content
- T' accost their friends with all their compliment,
- For Hymen's good; but to incur their harm,
- There he must pardon them. This wit went warm
- To Adolesche's brain, a nymph born high,
- Made all of voice and fire, that upwards fly:
- Her heart and all her forces' nether train
- Cimb'd to her tongue, and thither fell her brain,
- Since it could go no higher; and it must go;
- All powers she had, even her tongue, did so:
- In spirit and quickness she much joy did take,
- And loved her tongue, only for quickness' sake;
- And she would haste and tell. The rest all stay:
- Hymen goes one, the nymph another way;
- And what became of her I'll tell at last:
- Yet take her visage now;—moist-lipped, long-faced,
- Thin like an iron wedge, so sharp and tart,
- As 'twere of purpose made to cleave Love's heart:
- Well were this lovely beauty rid of her.
- And Hymen did at Athens now prefer
- His welcome suit, which he with joy aspired:
- A hundred princely youths with him retired
- To fetch the nymphs; chariots and music went;
- And home they came: heaven with applauses rent.
- The nuptials straight proceed, whiles all the town,
- Fresh in their joys, might do them most renown.
- First, gold-locked Hymen did to church repair,
- Like a quick offering burned in flames of hair;
- And after, with a virgin firmament
- The godhead-proving bride attended went
- Before them all: she looked in her command,
- As if form-giving Cypria's silver hand
- Gripped all their beauties, and crushed out one flame;
- She blushed to see how beauty, overcame
- The thoughts of all men. Next, before her went
- Five lovely children, decked with ornament
- Of her sweet colours, bearing torches by;
- For light was held a happy augury
- Of generation, whose efficient right
- Is nothing else but to produce to light.
- The odd disparent number they did choose,
- To show the union married loves should use,
- Since in two equal parts it will not sever,
- But the midst holds one to rejoin it ever,
- As common to both parts: men therefore deem
- That equal number gods do not esteem,
- Being authors of sweet peace and unity,
- But pleasing to th' infernal empery,
- Under whose ensigns Wars and Discords fight,
- Since an even number you may disunite
- In two parts equal, naught in middle left
- To reunite each part from other reft;
- And five they hold in most especial prize,
- Since 'tis the first odd number that doth rise
- From the two foremost numbers' unity,
- That odd and even are; which are two and three;
- For one no number is; but thence doth flow
- The powerful race of number. Next, did go
- A noble matron, that did spinning bear
- A huswife's rock and spindle, and did wear
- A wether's skin, with all the snowy fleece,
- To intimate that even the daintiest piece
- And noblest-born dame should industrious be:
- That which does good disgraceth no degree.
- And now to Juno's temple they are come,
- Where her grave priest stood in the marriage-room:
- On his right arm did hang a scarlet veil,
- And from his shoulders to the ground did trail,
- On either side, ribands of white and blue:
- With the red veil he hid the bashful hue
- Of the chaste bride, to show the modest shame,
- In coupling with a man, should grace a dame.
- Then took he the disparent silks, and tied
- The lovers by the waists, and side to side,
- In token that thereafter they must bind
- In one self-sacred knot each other's mind.
- Before them on an altar he presented
- Both fire and water, which was first invented,
- Since to ingenerate every human creature
- And every other birth produc'd by Nature,
- Moisture and heat must mix; so man and wife
- For human race must join in nuptial life.
- Then one of Juno's birds, the painted jay,
- He sacrific'd and took the gall away;
- All which he did behind the altar throw,
- In sign no bitterness of hate should grow,
- 'Twixt married loves, nor any least disdain.
- Nothing they spake, for 'twas esteem'd too plain
- For the most silken mildness of a maid,
- To let a public audience hear it said,
- She boldly took the man; and so respected
- Was bashfulness in Athens, it erected
- To chaste Agneia, which is Shamefacedness,
- A sacred temple, holding her a goddess.
- And now to feasts, masks, and triumphant shows,
- The shining troops returned, even till earth-throes
- Brought forth with joy the thickest part of night,
- When the sweet nuptial song, that used to cite
- All to their rest, was by Phemonoe sung,
- First Delphian prophetess, whose graces sprung
- Out of the Muses' well: she sung before
- The bride into her chamber; at which door
- A matron and a torch-bearer did stand:
- A painted box of confits in her hand
- The matron held, and so did other some
- That compassed round the honour'd nuptial room.
- The custom was, that every maid did wear,
- During her maidenhead, a silken sphere
- About her waist, above her inmost weed,
- Knit with Minerva's knot, and that was freed
- By the fair bridegroom on the marriage-night,
- With many ceremonies of delight:
- And yet eternized Hymen's tender bride,
- To suffer it dissolved so, sweetly cried.
- The maids that heard, so loved and did adore her,
- They wished with all their hearts to suffer for her.
- So had the matrons, that with confits stood
- About the chamber, such affectionate blood,
- And so true feeling of her harmless pains,
- That every one a shower of confits rains;
- For which the bride-youths scrambling on the ground,
- In noise of that sweet hail her cries were drown'd,
- And thus blest Hymen joyed his gracious bride,
- And for his joy was after deified.
- The saffron mirror by which Phœbus' love,
- Green Tellus, decks her, now he held above
- The cloudy mountains: and the noble maid,
- Sharp-visaged Adolesche, that was stray'd
- Out of her way, in hasting with her news,
- Not till this hour th' Athenian turrets views;
- And now brought home by guides, she heard by all,
- That her long kept occurrents would be stale,
- And how fair Hymen's honours did excel
- For those rare news which she came short to tell.
- To hear her dear tongue robbed of such a joy,
- Made the well-spoken nymph take such a toy,
- That down she sunk: when lightning from above
- Shrunk her lean body, and, for mere free love,
- Turn'd her into the pied-plum'd Psittacus,
- That now the Parrot is surnam'd by us,
- Who still with counterfeit confusion prates
- Naught but news common to the common'st mates.—
- This told, strange Teras touch'd her lute, and sung
- This ditty, that the torchy evening sprung.
- Epithalamion Teratos.
- Come, come, dear Night! Love's mart of kisses, Sweet close to his ambitious line,
- The fruitful summer of his blisses! Love's glory doth in darkness shine.
- O come, soft rest of cares! come, Night! Come, naked Virtue's only tire,
- The reapèd harvest of the light, Bound up in sheaves of sacred fire!
- Love calls to war;
- Sighs his alarms,
- Lips his swords are,
- The field his arms.
- Come, Night, and lay thy velvet hand On glorious Day's outfacing face;
- And all thy crownèd flames command, For torches to our nuptial grace!
- Love calls to war;
- Sighs his alarms,
- Lips his swords are,
- The field his arms.
- No need have we of factious Day, To cast, in envy of thy peace,
- Her balls of discord in thy way: Here Beauty's day doth never cease;
- Day is abstracted here,
- And varied in a triple sphere.
- Hero, Alcmane, Mya, so outshine thee,
- Ere thou come here, let Thetis thrice refine thee.
- Love calls to war;
- Sighs his alarms,
- Lips his swords are,
- The field his arms.
- The evening star I see:
- Rise, youths! the evening star
- Helps Love to summon war;
- Both now embracing be.
- Rise, youths! Love's rite claims more than banquets; rise!
- Now the bright marigolds, that deck the skies,
- Phœbus' celestial flowers, that, contrary
- To his flowers here, ope when he shuts his eye,
- And shuts when he doth open, crown your sports:
- Now Love in Night, and Night in Love exhorts
- Courtship and dances: all your parts employ,
- And suit Night's rich expansure with your joy.
- Love paints his longings in sweet virgins' eyes:
- Rise, youths! Love's rite claims more than banquets; rise!
- Rise, virgins! let fair nuptial loves enfold
- Your fruitless breasts: the maidenheads ye hold
- Are not your own alone, but parted are;
- Part in disposing them your parents share,
- And that a third part is; so must ye save
- Your loves a third, and you your thirds must have.
- Love paints his longings in sweet virgins' eyes:
- Rise, youths! Love's rite claims more than banquets; rise!
- Herewith the amorous spirit, that was so kind
- To Teras' hair, and comb'd it down with wind,
- Still as it, comet-like, brake from her brain,
- Would needs have Teras gone, and did refrain
- To blow it down: which, staring up, dismay'd
- The timorous feast; and she no longer stay'd;
- But, bowing to the bridegroom and the bride,
- Did, like a shooting exhalation, glide
- Out of their sights: the turning of her back
- Made them all shriek, it look'd so ghastly black.
- O hapless Hero! that most hapless cloud
- Thy soon-succeeding tragedy foreshow'd.
- Thus all the nuptial crew to joys depart;
- But much-wronged Hero stood Hell's blackest dart:
- Whose wound because I grieve so to display,
- I use digressions thus t' increase the day.
THE SIXTH SESTIAD.
The Argument of the Sixth Sestiad.
- Leucote flies to all the Winds,
- And from the Fates their outrage blinds,
- That Hero and her love may meet.
- Leander, with Love's complete fleet
- Manned in himself, puts forth to seas;
- When straight the ruthless Destinies,
- With Até, stir the winds to war
- Upon the Hellespont: their jar
- Drowns poor Leander. Hero's eyes,
- Wet witnesses of his surprise,
- Her torch blown out, grief casts her down
- Upon her love, and both doth drown:
- In whose just ruth the god of seas
- Transforms them to th' Acanthides.
- No longer could the Day nor Destinies
- Delay the Night, who now did frowning rise
- Into her throne; and at her humorous breasts
- Visions and Dreams lay sucking: all men's rests
- Fell like the mists of death upon their eyes,
- Day's too-long darts so kill'd their faculties.
- The Winds yet, like the flowers, to cease began;
- For bright Leucote, Venus' whitest swan,
- That held sweet Hero dear, spread her fair wings,
- Like to a field of snow, and message brings
- From Venus to the Fates, t' entreat them lay
- Their charge upon the Winds their rage to stay,
- That the stern battle of the seas might cease,
- And guard Leander to his love in peace.
- The Fates consent;—ay me, dissembling Fates!
- They showed their favours to conceal their hates,
- And draw Leander on, lest seas too high
- Should stay his too obsequious destiny:
- Who like a fleering slavish parasite,
- In warping profit or a traitorous sleight,
- Hoops round his rotten body with devotes,
- And pricks his descant face full of false notes;
- Praising with open throat, and oaths as foul
- As his false heart, the beauty of an owl;
- Kissing his skipping hand with charmèd skips,
- That cannot leave, but leaps upon his lips
- Like a cock-sparrow, or a shameless quean
- Sharp at a red-lipp'd youth, and naught doth mean
- Of all his antic shows, but doth repair
- More tender fawns, and takes a scatter'd hair
- From his tame subject's shoulder; whips and calls
- For everything he lacks; creeps 'gainst the walls
- With backward humbless, to give needless way:
- Thus his false fate did with Leander play.
- First to black Eurus flies the white Leucote
- (Born 'mongst the negroes in the Levant sea,
- On whose curl'd head[s] the glowing sun doth rise),
- And shows the sovereign will of Destinies,
- To have him cease his blasts; and down he lies.
- Next, to the fenny Notus course she holds,
- And found him leaning, with his arms in folds,
- Upon a rock, his white hair full of showers;
- And him she chargeth by the fatal powers,
- To hold in his wet cheeks his cloudy voice.
- To Zephyr then that doth in flowers rejoice:
- To snake-foot Boreas next she did remove,
- And found him tossing of his ravished love,
- To heat his frosty bosom hid in snow;
- Who with Leucote's sight did cease to blow.
- Thus all were still to Hero's heart's desire;
- Who with all speed did consecrate a fire
- Of flaming gums and comfortable spice,
- To light her torch, which in such curious price
- She held, being object to Leander's sight,
- That naught but fires perfumed must give it light.
- She loved it so, she griev'd to see it burn,
- Since it would waste, and soon to ashes turn:
- Yet, if it burned not, 'twere not worth her eyes;
- What made it nothing, gave it all the prize.
- Sweet torch, true glass of our society!
- What man does good, but he consumes thereby?
- But thou wert loved for good, held high, given show;
- Poor virtue loathed for good, obscured, held low:
- Do good, be pined,—be deedless good, disgraced;
- Unless we feed on men, we let them fast.
- Yet Hero with these thoughts her torch did spend:
- When bees make wax, Nature doth not intend
- It should be made a torch; but we, that know
- The proper virtue of it, make it so,
- And, when 'tis made, we light it: nor did Nature
- Propose one life to maids; but each such creature
- Makes by her soul the best of her free state,
- Which without love is rude, disconsolate,
- And wants love's fire to make it mild and bright,
- Till when, maids are but torches wanting light.
- Thus 'gainst our grief, not cause of grief, we fight:
- The right of naught is glean'd, but the delight.
- Up went she: but to tell how she descended,
- Would God she were dead, or my verse ended!
- She was the rule of wishes, sum, and end,
- For all the parts that did on love depend:
- Yet cast the torch his brightness further forth;
- But what shines nearest best, holds truest worth.
- Leander did not through such tempests swim
- To kiss the torch, although it lighted him:
- But all his powers in her desires awakèd,
- Her love and virtues clothed him richly naked.
- Men kiss but fire that only shows pursue;
- Her torch and Hero, figure show and virtue.
- Now at opposed Abydos naught was heard
- But bleating flocks, and many a bellowing herd,
- Slain for the nuptials; cracks of falling woods;
- Blows of broad axes; pourings out of floods.
- The guilty Hellespont was mix'd and stained
- With bloody torrents that the shambles rained;
- Not arguments of feast, but shows that bled,
- Foretelling that red night that followèd.
- More blood was spilt, more honours were addrest,
- Than could have gracèd any happy feast;
- Rich banquets, triumphs, every pomp employs
- His sumptuous hand; no miser's nuptial joys.
- Air felt continual thunder with the noise
- Made in the general marriage-violence;
- And no man knew the cause of this expense,
- But the two hapless lords, Leander's sire,
- And poor Leander, poorest where the fire
- Of credulous love made him most rich surmis'd:
- As short was he of that himself he prized,
- As is an empty gallant full of form,
- That thinks each look an act, each drop a storm,
- That falls from his brave breathings; most brought up
- In our metropolis, and hath his cup
- Brought after him to feasts; and much palm bears
- For his rare judgment in th' attire he wears;
- Hath seen the hot Low-Countries, not their heat,
- Observes their rampires and their buildings yet;
- And, for your sweet discourse with mouths, is heard
- Giving instructions with his very beard;
- Hath gone with an ambassador, and been
- A great man's mate in travelling, even to Rhene;
- And then puts all his worth in such a face
- As he saw brave men make, and strives for grace
- To get his news forth: as when you descry
- A ship, with all her sail contends to fly
- Out of the narrow Thames with winds unapt,
- Now crosseth here, then there, then this way rapt,
- And then hath one point reach'd, then alters all,
- And to another crookèd reach doth fall
- Of half a bird-bolt's shoot, keeping more coil
- Than if she danc'd upon the ocean's toil;
- So serious is his trifling company,
- In all his swelling ship of vacantry;
- And so short of himself in his high thought
- Was our Leander in his fortunes brought,
- And in his fort of love that he thought won;
- But otherwise he scorns comparison.
- O sweet Leander, thy large worth I hide
- In a short grave! Ill-favour'd storms must chide
- Thy sacred favour; I in floods of ink
- Must drown thy graces, which white papers drink,
- Even as thy beauties did the foul black seas;
- I must describe the hell of thy decease,
- That heaven did merit: yet I needs must see
- Our painted fools and cockhorse peasantry
- Still, still usurp, with long lives, loves, and lust,
- The seats of Virtue, cutting short as dust
- Her dear-bought issue: ill to worse converts,
- And tramples in the blood of all deserts.
- Night close and silent now goes fast before
- The captains and the soldiers to the shore,
- On whom attended the appointed fleet
- At Sestos' bay, that should Leander meet,
- Who feigned he in another ship would pass:
- Which must not be, for no one mean there was
- To get his love home, but the course he took.
- Forth did his beauty for his beauty look,
- And saw her through her torch, as you behold
- Sometimes within the sun a face of gold,
- Formed in strong thoughts, by that tradition's force
- That says a god sits there and guides his course.
- His sister was with him; to whom he show'd
- His guide by sea, and said, “Oft have you view'd
- In one heaven many stars, but never yet
- In one star many heavens till now were met.
- See, lovely sister! see, now Hero shines,
- No heaven but her appears; each star repines,
- And all are clad in clouds, as if they mourned
- To be by influence of earth out-burned.
- Yet doth she shine, and teacheth Virtue's train
- Still to be constant in hell's blackest reign,
- Though even the gods themselves do so entreat them
- As they did hate, and earth as she would eat them.”
- Off went his silken robe, and in he leapt,
- Whom the kind waves so licorously cleapt,
- Thickening for haste, one in another, so,
- To kiss his skin, that he might almost go
- To Hero's tower, had that kind minute lasted.
- But now the cruel Fates with Até hasted
- To all the winds, and made them battle fight
- Upon the Hellespont, for either's right
- Pretended to the windy monarchy;
- And forth they brake, the seas mixed with the sky,
- And tossed distressed Leander, being in hell,
- As high as heaven: bliss not in height doth dwell.
- The Destinies sate dancing on the waves,
- To see the glorious Winds with mutual braves
- Consume each other: O, true glass, to see
- How ruinous ambitious statists be
- To their own glories! Poor Leander cried
- For help to sea-born Venus she denied;
- To Boreas, that, for his Atthæa's sake
- He would some pity on his Hero take,
- And for his own love's sake, on his desires;
- But Glory never blows cold Pity's fires.
- Then call'd he Neptune, who, through all the noise,
- Knew with affright his wreck'd Leander's voice,
- And up he rose; for haste his forehead hit
- 'Gainst heaven's hard crystal; his proud waves he smil
- With his forked sceptre, that could not obey;
- Much greater powers than Neptune's gave them sway.
- They loved Leander so, in groans they brake
- When they came near him; and such space did take
- 'Twixt one another, loath to issue on,
- That in their shallow furrows earth was shown,
- And the poor lover took a little breath:
- But the curst Fates sate spinning of his death
- On every wave, and with the servile Winds
- Tumbled them on him. And now Hero finds,
- By that she felt, her dear Leander's state:
- She wept, and prayed for him to every Fate;
- And every Wind that whipped her with her hair
- About the face, she kissed and spake it fair,
- Kneeled to it, gave it drink out of her eyes
- To quench his thirst: but still their cruelties
- Even her poor torch envied, and rudely beat
- The baiting flame from that dear food it eat;
- Dear, for it nourish'd her Leander's life;
- Which with her robe she rescued from their strife;
- But silk too soft was such hard hearts to break;
- And she, dear soul, even as her silk, faint, weak,
- Could not preserve it; out, O, out it went!
- Leander still call'd Neptune, that now rent
- His brackish curls, and tore his wrinkled face,
- Where tears in billows did each other chase;
- And, burst with ruth, he hurl'd his marble mace
- At the stern Fates: it wounded Lachesis
- That drew Leander's thread, and could not miss
- The thread itself, as it her hand did hit,
- But smote it full, and quite did sunder it.
- The more kind Neptune raged, the more he razed
- His love's life's fort, and kill'd as he embraced:
- Anger doth still his own mishap increase;
- If any comfort live, it is in peace.
- O thievish Fates, to let blood, flesh, and sense,
- Build two fair temples for their excellence,
- To rob it with a poisoned influence!
- Though souls' gifts starve, the bodies are held dear
- In ugliest things; sense-sport preserves a bear:
- But here naught serves our turns: O heaven and earth.
- How most-most wretched is our human birth!
- And now did all the tyrannous crew depart,
- Knowing there was a storm in Hero's heart,
- Greater than they could make, and scorn'd their smart.
- She bow'd herself so low out of her tower,
- That wonder 'twas she fell not ere her hour,
- With searching the lamenting waves for him:
- Like a poor snail, her gentle supple limb
- Hung on her turret's top, so most downright,
- As she would dive beneath the darkness quite,
- To find her jewel;—jewel!—her Leander,
- A name of all earth's jewels pleas'd not her
- Like his dear name: “Leander, still my choice,
- Come naught but my Leander! O my voice,
- Turn to Leander! henceforth be all sounds,
- Accents and phrases, that show all griefs' wounds,
- Analyzed in Leander! O black change!
- Trumpets, do you, with thunder of your clange,
- Drive out this change's horror! My voice faints:
- Where all joy was, now shriek out all complaints!”
- Thus cried she; for her mixèd soul could tell
- Her love was dead: and when the Morning fell
- Prostrate upon the weeping earth for woe,
- Blushes, that bled out of her cheeks, did show
- Leander brought by Neptune, bruis'd and torn
- With cities' ruins he to rocks had worn,
- To filthy usuring rocks, that would have blood,
- Though they could get of him no other good.
- She saw him, and the sight was much-much more
- Than might have serv'd to kill her: should her store
- Of giant sorrows speak?—Burst,—die,—bleed,
- And leave poor plaints to us that shall succeed.
- She fell on her love's bosom, hugged it fast,
- And with Leander's name she breathed her last.
- Neptune for pity in his arms did take them,
- Flung them into the air, and did awake them
- Like two sweet birds, surnam'd th' Acanthides,
- Which we call Thistle-warps, that near no seas
- Dare ever come, but still in couples fly,
- And feed on thistle-tops, to testify
- The hardness of their first life in their last;
- The first, in thorns of love, that sorrows past:
- And so most beautiful their colours show,
- As none (so little) like them; her sad brow
- A sable velvet feather covers quite,
- Even like the forehead-cloth that, in the night,
- Or when they sorrow, ladies use to wear:
- Their wings, blue, red, and yellow, mixed appear:
- Colours that, as we construe colours, paint
- Their states to life;—the yellow shows their saint,
- The dainty Venus, left them; blue their truth;
- The red and black, ensigns of death and ruth.
- And this true honour from their love-death sprung,—
- They were the first that ever poet sung.
All the old editions of Marlowe's translation of the Amores are undated, and bear the imprint Middleburgh (in various spellings). It is probable that the copy which Mr. Charles Edmonds discovered at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire (the seat of Sir Charles Isham, Bart.), is the earliest of extant editions. The title-page of this edition is—Epigrammes and Elegies. By I. D. and C. M. At Middleborugh 12mo. After the title-page come the Epigrammata, which are signed at the end “I. D.” (the initials of Sir John Davies). Following the Epigrammata is a copy of verses headed Ignoto, and then comes a second title-page—Certaine of Ovid's Elegies. By C. Marlowe. At Middleborough. In his preface to a facsimile reprint of the little volume, Mr. Edmonds states his conviction that this edition, not withstanding the imprint Middleborough, was issued at London from the press of W. Jaggard, who in 1599 printed the Passionate Pilgrime. He grounds his opinion not only on the character of the type and of the misprints, but on the fact that there would be no need for the book to be printed abroad in the first instance. It was not (he thinks) until after June 1599—when (with other books) it was condemned by Archbishop Whitgift to be burnt—that recourse was had to the expedient of reprinting it at Middleburgh. In the notes I refer to this edition as the Isham copy.
The next edition, which has the same title-pages as the Isham copy—Epigrammes and Elegies by I. D. and C. M. at Middleborugh, 12mo.—was certainly, to judge from its general appearance, printed abroad, and by foreigners. The text agrees in the main with that of the Isham copy, but the corruptions are more numerous. I have followed Dyce in referring to this edition as Ed. A.
The Isham copy and Ed. A contain only a portion of the Elegies. The complete translation appeared in All Ovid's Elegies: 3 Bookes. By C. M. Epigrams by I. D. At Middleborugh, 12mo. (Ed. B); and in another edition with the same title-page (Ed. C). The readings of Ed. C I have occasionally borrowed from Dyce. It is supposed that the book “continued to be printed with Middleburgh on the title, and without date, as late as 1640” (Hazlitt).
P. OVIDII NASONIS 'AMORUM
Quemadmodum a Cupidine, pro bellis amores scribere coactus sit.
- We which were Ovid's five books, now are three,
- For these before the rest preferreth he:
- If reading five thou plain'st of tediousness,
- Two ta'en away, thy labour will be less;
- With Muse prepared, I meant to sing of arms,
- Choosing a subject fit for fierce alarms:
- Both verses were alike till Love (men say)
- Began to smile and took one foot away.
- Rash boy, who gave thee power to change a line?
- We are the Muses' prophets, none of thine.
- What, if thy mother take Diana's bow,
- Shall Dian fan when love begins to glow?
- In woody groves is't meet that Ceres reign,
- And quiver-bearing Dian till the plain?
- Who'll set the fair-tressed Sun in battle-ray
- While Mars doth take the Aonian harp to play?
- Great are thy kingdoms, over-strong and large,
- Ambitious imp, why seek'st thou further charge?
- Are all things thine? the Muses' Tempe thine?
- Then scarce can Phœbus say, “This harp is mine.”
- When in this work's first verse I trod aloft,
- Love slaked my muse, and made my numbers soft:
- I have no mistress nor no favourite,
- Being fittest matter for a wanton wit.
- Thus I complained, but Love unlocked his quiver,
- Took out the shaft, ordained my heart to shiver,
- And bent his sinewy bow upon his knee,
- Saying, “Poet, here's a work beseeming thee.”
- O, woe is me! he never shoots but hits,
- I burn, love in my idle bosom sits:
- Let my first verse be six, my last five feet:
- Farewell stern war, for blunter poets meet!
- Elegian muse, that warblest amorous lays,
- Girt my shine brow with seabank myrtle sprays.
Quod primo amore correptus, in triumphum duci se a
- What makes my bed seem hard seeing it is soft?
- Or why slips down the coverlet so oft?
- Although the nights be long I sleep not tho;
- My sides are sore with tumbling to and fro.
- Were Love the cause it's like I should descry him,
- Or lies he close and shoots where none can spy him?
- 'Twas so; he strook me with a slender dart;
- 'Tis cruel Love turmoils my captive heart.
- Yielding or striving do we give him might,
- Let's yield, a burden easily borne is light.
- I saw a brandished fire increase in strength,
- Which being not shak'd, I saw it die at length.
- Young oxen newly yoked are beaten more,
- Than oxen which have drawn the plough before:
- And rough jades' mouths with stubborn bits are torn.
- But managed horses' heads are lightly borne.
- Unwilling lovers, love doth more torment,
- Than such as in their bondage feel content.
- Lo! I confess, I am thy captive I,
- And hold my conquered hands for thee to tie.
- What need'st thou war? I sue to thee for grace:
- With arms to conquer armless men is base.
- Yoke Venus' Doves, put myrtle on thy hair,
- Vulcan will give thee chariots rich and fair:
- The people thee applauding, thou shalt stand,
- Guiding the harmless pigeons with thy hand.
- Young men and women shalt thou lead as thrall,
- So will thy triumph seem magnifical;
- I, lately caught, will have a new-made wound,
- And captive-like be manacled and bound.
- Good meaning, Shame, and such as seek Love's wrack
- Shall follow thee, their hands tied at their back.
- Thee all shall fear, and worship as a king;
- Io triumphing shall thy people sing.
- Smooth speeches, Fear and Rage shall by thee ride,
- Which troops have always been on Cupid's side;
- Thou with these soldiers conquer'st gods and men,
- Take these away, where is thine honour then?
- Thy mother shall from heaven applaud this show,
- And on their faces heaps of roses strow:
- With beauty of thy wings, thy fair hair gilded,
- Ride golden Love in chariots richly builded!
- Unless I err, full many shalt thou burn,
- And give wounds infinite at every turn.
- In spite of thee, forth will thine arrows fly,
- A scorching flame burns all the standers by.
- So, having conquered Inde, was Bacchus' hue:
- Thee pompous birds, and him two tigers, drew;
- Then seeing I grace thy show in following thee,
- Forbear to hurt thyself in spoiling me.
- Behold thy kinsman Cæsar's prosperous bands,
- Who guards the conquered with his conquering hands.
- I ask but right, let her that caught me late,
- Either love, or cause that I may never hate;
- I crave too much—would she but let me love her
- Jove knows with such-like prayers I daily move her.
- Accept him that will serve thee all his youth,
- Accept him that will love with spotless truth.
- If lofty titles cannot make me thine,
- That am descended but of knightly line,
- (Soon may you plough the little land I have;
- I gladly grant my parents given to save; )
- Apollo, Bacchus, and the Muses may;
- And Cupid who hath marked me for thy prey;
- My spotless life, which but to gods gives place,
- Naked simplicity, and modest grace.
- I love but one, and her I love change never;
- If men have faith, I'll live with thee for ever.
- The years that fatal Destiny shall give
- I'll live with thee, and die ere thou shalt grieve.
- Be thou the happy subject of my books
- That I may write things worthy thy fair looks.
- By verses, hornèd Io got her name;
- And she to whom in shape of swan Jove came,
- And she that on a feigned Bull swam to land,
- Griping his false horns with her virgin hand.
- So likewise we will through the world be rung
- And with my name shall thine be always sung.
Amicam, qua arte quibusque nutibus in cæna, presente viro, uti
- Thy husband to a banquet goes with me;
- Pray God it may his latest supper be!
- Shall I sit gazing as a bashful guest,
- While others touch the damsel I love best?
- Wilt lying under him, his bosom clip?
- About thy neck shall he at pleasure skip?
- Marvel not, though the fair bride did incite
- The drunken Centaurs to a sudden fight.
- I am no half horse, nor in woods I dwell,
- Yet scarce my hands from thee contain I well.
- But how thou should'st behave thyself now know,
- Nor let the winds away my warnings blow.
- Before thy husband come, though I not see
- What may be done, yet there before him be.
- Lie with him gently, when his limbs he spread
- Upon the bed; but on my foot first tread.
- View me, my becks, and speaking countenance;
- Take, and return each secret amorous glance.
- Words without voice shall on my eyebrows sit,
- Lines thou shalt read in wine by my hand writ.
- When our lascivious toys come in thy mind,
- Thy rosy cheeks be to thy thumb inclined.
- If aught of me thou speak'st in inward thought,
- Let thy soft finger to thy ear be brought.
- When I, my light, do or say aught that please thee,
- Turn round thy gold ring, as it were to ease thee.
- Strike on the board like them that pray for evil,
- When thou dost wish thy husband at the devil.
- What wine he fills thee, wisely will him drink;
- Ask thou the boy, what thou enough dost think.
- When thou hast tasted, I will take the cup,
- And where thou drink'st, on that part I will sup.
- If he gives thee what first himself did taste,
- Even in his face his offered gobbets cast.
- Let not thy neck by his vile arms be prest,
- Nor lean thy soft head on his boisterous breast.
- Thy bosom's roseate buds let him not finger,
- Chiefly on thy lips let not his lips linger;
- If thou givest kisses, I shall all disclose,
- Say they are mine, and hands on thee impose.
- Yet this I'll see, but if thy gown aught cover,
- Suspicious fear in all my veins will hover.
- Mingle not thighs, nor to his leg join thine,
- Nor thy soft foot with his hard foot combine.
- I have been wanton, therefore am perplexed,
- And with mistrust of the like measure vexed.
- I and my wench oft under clothes did lurk,
- When pleasure moved us to our sweetest work.
- Do not thou so; but throw thy mantle hence,
- Lest I should think thee guilty of offence.
- Entreat thy husband drink, but do not kiss,
- And while he drinks, to add more do not miss;
- If he lies down with wine and sleep opprest,
- The thing and place shall counsel us the rest.
- When to go homewards we rise all along
- Have care to walk in middle of the throng.
- There will I find thee or be found by thee,
- There touch whatever thou canst touch of me.
- Ay me! I warn what profits some few hours!
- But we must part, when heaven with black night
- At night thy husband clips thee: I will weep
- And to the doors sight of thyself [will] keep:
- Then will he kiss thee, and not only kiss,
- But force thee give him my stolen honey-bliss.
- Constrained against thy will give it the peasant,
- Forbear sweet words, and be your sport unpleasant.
- To him I pray it no delight may bring,
- Or if it do, to thee no joy thence spring.
- But, though this night thy fortune be to try it,
- To me to-morrow constantly deny it.
- In summer's heat, and mid-time of the day,
- To rest my limbs upon a bed I lay;
- One window shut, the other open stood,
- Which gave such light as twinkles in a wood,
- Like twilight glimpse at setting of the sun,
- Or night being past, and yet not day begun;
- Such light to shamefaced maidens must be shown
- Where they may sport, and seem to be unknown:
- Then came Corinna in a long loose gown,
- Her white neck hid with tresses hanging down,
- Resembling fair Semiramis going to bed,
- Or Lais of a thousand wooers sped.
- I snatched her gown: being thin, the harm was small,
- Yet strived she to be covered therewithal;
- And striving thus, as one that would be cast,
- Betrayed herself, and yielded at the last.
- Stark naked as she stood before mine eye,
- Not one wen in her body could I spy.
- What arms and shoulders did I touch and see!
- How apt her breasts were to be pressed by me!
- How smooth a belly under her waist saw I,
- How large a leg, and what a lusty thigh!
- To leave the rest, all liked me passing well;
- I clinged her naked body, down she fell:
- Judge you the rest; being tired she bade me kiss;
- Jove send me more such afternoons as this!
Ad Janitorem, ut fores sibi aperiat.
- Unworthy porter, bound in chains full sore,
- On movèd hooks set ope the churlish door.
- Little I ask, a little entrance make,
- The gate half-ope my bent side in will take.
- Long love my body to such use make[s] slender,
- And to get out doth like apt members render.
- He shows me how unheard to pass the watch,
- And guides my feet lest, stumbling, falls they catch:
- But in times past I feared vain shades, and night,
- Wondering if any walkèd without light.
- Love, hearing it, laughed with his tender mother,
- And smiling said, “Be thou as bold as other.”
- Forthwith love came; no dark night-flying sprite,
- Nor hands prepared to slaughter, me affright.
- Thee fear I too much: only thee I flatter:
- Thy lightning can my life in pieces batter.
- Why enviest me? this hostile den unbar;
- See how the gates with my tears watered are!
- When thou stood'st naked ready to be beat,
- For thee I did thy mistress fair entreat.
- But what entreats for thee sometimes took place,
- (O mischief!) now for me obtain small grace.
- Gratis thou mayest be free; give like for like;
- Night goes away: the door's bar backward strike.
- Strike; so again hard chains shall bind thee never,
- Nor servile water shalt thou drink for ever.
- Hard-hearted porter, dost and wilt not hear?
- With stiff oak propped the gate doth still appear.
- Such rampired gates besiegèd cities aid;
- In midst of peace why art of arms afraid?
- Exclud'st a lover, how would'st use a foe?
- Strike back the bar, night fast away doth go.
- With arms or armèd men I come not guarded;
- I am alone, were furious love discarded.
- Although I would, I cannot him cashier,
- Before I be divided from my gear.
- See Love with me, wine moderate in my brain,
- And on my hairs a crown of flowers remain.
- Who fears these arms? who will not go to meet them?
- Night runs away; with open entrance greet them.
- Art careless? or is't sleep forbids thee hear,
- Giving the winds my words running in thine ear?
- Well I remember, when I first did hire thee,
- Watching till after midnight did not tire thee.
- But now perchance thy wench with thee doth rest:
- Ah, how thy lot is above my lot blest!
- Though it be so, shut me not out therefore;
- Night goes away: I pray thee ope the door.
- Err we? or do the turnèd hinges sound,
- And opening doors with creaking noise abound?
- We err: a strong blast seemed the gates to ope:
- Ay me, how high that gale did lift my hope!
- If Boreas bears Orithyia's rape in mind,
- Come break these deaf doors with thy boisterous wind.
- Silent the city is: night's dewy host
- March fast away: the bar strike from the post;
- Or I more stern than fire or sword will turn,
- And with my brand these gorgeous houses burn.
- Night, love, and wine to all extremes persuade:
- Night, shameless wine, and love are fearless made.
- All have I spent: no threats or prayers move thee;
- O harder than the doors thou guard'st I prove thee!
- No pretty wench's keeper may'st thou be,
- The careful prison is more meet for thee.
- Now frosty night her flight begins to take,
- And crowing cocks poor souls to work awake.
- But thou, my crown, from sad hairs ta'en away,
- On this hard threshold till the morning lay.
- That when my mistress there beholds thee cast,
- She may perceive how we the time did waste.
- Whate'er thou art, farewell, be like me pained!
- Careless, farewell, with my fault not distained!
- And farewell, cruel posts, rough threshold's block,
- And doors conjoined with an hard iron lock!
Ad pacandam amicam, quam verberaverat.
- Bind fast my hands, they have deservèd chains,
- While rage is absent, take some friend the pains.
- For rage against my wench moved my rash arm;
- My mistress weeps whom my mad hand did harm.
- I might have then my parents dear misused,
- Or holy gods with cruel strokes abused.
- Why, Ajax, master of the seven-fold shield,
- Butchered the flocks he found in spacious field.
- And he who on his mother venged his ire,
- Against the Destinies durst sharp darts require.
- Could I therefore her comely tresses tear?
- Yet was she gracèd with her ruffled hair.
- So fair she was, Atalanta she resembled,
- Before whose bow th' Arcadian wild beasts trembled.
- Such Ariadne was, when she bewails,
- Her perjured Theseus' flying vows and sails.
- So, chaste Minerva, did Cassandra fall
- Deflowered except within thy temple wall.
- That I was mad and barbarous all men cried:
- She nothing said; pale fear her tongue had tied.
- But secretly her looks with checks did trounce me,
- Her tears, she silent, guilty did pronounce me.
- Would of mine arms my shoulders had been scanted!
- Better I could part of myself have wanted.
- To mine own self have I had strength so furious,
- And to myself could I be so injurious?
- Slaughter and mischief's instruments, no better,
- Deservèd chains these cursèd hands shall fetter.
- Punished I am, if I a Roman beat:
- Over my mistress is my right more great?
- Tydides left worst signs of villainy;
- He first a goddess struck: another I.
- Yet he harmed less; whom I professed to love
- I harmed: a foe did Diomede's anger move.
- Go now, thou conqueror, glorious triumphs raise,
- Pay vows to Jove; engirt thy hairs with bays.
- And let the troops which shall thy chariot follow,
- “Iö, a strong man conquered this wench,” hollow.
- Let the sad captive foremost, with locks spread
- On her white neck, but for hurt cheeks, be led.
- Meeter it were her lips were blue with kissing,
- And on her neck a wanton's mark not missing.
- But, though I like a swelling flood was driven,
- And as a prey unto blind anger given,
- Was't not enough the fearful wench to chide?
- Nor thunder, in rough threatenings, haughty pride?
- Nor shamefully her coat pull o'er her crown,
- Which to her waist her girdle still kept down?
- But cruelly her tresses having rent,
- My nails to scratch her lovely cheeks I bent.
- Sighing she stood, her bloodless white looks shewed,
- Like marble from the Parian mountains hewed.
- Her half-dead joints, and trembling limbs I saw,
- Like poplar leaves blown with a stormy flaw.
- Or slender ears, with gentle zephyr shaken,
- Or waters' tops with the warm south-wind taken.
- And down her cheeks, the trickling tears did flow,
- Like water gushing from consuming snow.
- Then first I did perceive I had offended;
- My blood the tears were that from her descended.
- Before her feet thrice prostrate down I fell,
- My fearèd hands thrice back she did repel.
- But doubt thou not (revenge doth grief appease),
- With thy sharp nails upon my face to seize;
- Bescratch mine eyes, spare not my locks to break
- (Anger will help thy hands though ne'er so weak);
- And lest the sad signs of my crime remain,
- Put in their place thy kembèd hairs again.
Execratur lenam quæ puellam suam meretricis arte instituebat.
- There is—whoe'er will know a bawd aright,
- Give ear—there is an old trot Dipsas hight.
- Her name comes from the thing: she being wise,
- Sees not the morn on rosy horses rise,
- She magic arts and Thessal charms doth know,
- And makes large streams back to their fountains flow;
- She knows with grass, with threads on wrung wheels spun,
- And what with mares' rank humour may be done.
- When she will, clouds the darkened heaven obscure,
- When she will, day shines everywhere most pure.
- If I have faith, I saw the stars drop blood,
- The purple moon with sanguine visage stood;
- Her I suspect among night's spirits to fly,
- And her old body in birds' plumes to lie.
- Fame saith as I suspect; and in her eyes,
- Two eyeballs shine, and double light thence flies.
- Great grandsires from their ancient graves she chides,
- And with long charms the solid earth divides.
- She draws chaste women to incontinence,
- Nor doth her tongue want harmful eloquence.
- By chance I heard her talk; these words she said,
- While closely hid betwixt two doors I laid.
- “Mistress, thou knowest thou hast a blest youth pleased,
- He stayed and on thy looks his gazes seized.
- And why should'st not please? none thy face exceeds;
- Ay me, thy body hath no worthy weeds!
- As thou art fair, would thou wert fortunate!
- Wert thou rich, poor should not be my state.
- Th' opposèd star of Mars hath done thee harm;
- Now Mars is gone, Venus thy side doth warm,
- And brings good fortune; a rich lover plants
- His love on thee, and can supply thy wants.
- Such is his form as may with thine compare,
- Would he not buy thee, thou for him should'st care.”
- She blushed: “Red shame becomes white cheeks; but this
- If feigned, doth well; if true, it doth amiss.
- When on thy lap thine eyes thou dost deject,
- Each one according to his gifts respect.
- Perhaps the Sabines rude, when Tatius reigned
- To yield their love to more than one disdained.
- Now Mars doth rage abroad without all pity,
- And Venus rules in her Æneas' city.
- Fair women play; she's chaste whom none will have,
- Or, but for bashfulness, herself would crave.
- Shake off these wrinkles that thy front assault;
- Wrinkles in beauty is a grievous fault.
- Penelope in bows her youths' strength tried,
- Of horn the bow was that approved their side.
- Time flying slides hence closely, and deceives us,
- And with swift horses the swift year soon leaves us.
- Brass shines with use; good garments would be worn;
- Houses not dwelt in, are with filth forlorn.
- Beauty, not exercised, with age is spent,
- Nor one or two men are sufficient.
- Many to rob is more sure, and less hateful;
- From dog-kept flocks come preys to wolves most grateful.
- Behold, what gives the poet but new verses?
- And thereof many thousand he rehearses.
- The poet's god, arrayed in robes of gold,
- Of his gilt harp the well-tuned strings doth hold.
- Let Homer yield to such as presents bring;
- (Trust me) to give, it is a witty thing.
- Nor, so thou may'st obtain a wealthy prize,
- The vain name of inferior slaves despise.
- Nor let the arms of ancient lines beguile thee;
- Poor lover, with thy grandsires I exile thee.
- Who seeks, for being fair, a night to have,
- What he will give, with greater instance crave.
- Make a small price, while thou thy nets dost lay;
- Lest they should fly; being ta'en, the tyrant play.
- Dissemble so, as loved he may be thought,
- And take heed lest he gets that love for nought.
- Deny him oft; feign now thy head doth ache:
- And Isis now will show what 'scuse to make.
- Receive him soon, lest patient use he gain,
- Or lest his love oft beaten back should wane.
- To beggars shut, to bringers ope thy gate;
- Let him within hear barred-out lovers prate.
- And, as first wronged, the wrongèd sometimes banish;
- Thy fault with his fault so repulsed will vanish.
- But never give a spacious time to ire;
- Anger delayed doth oft to hate retire.
- And let thine eyes constrainèd learn to weep,
- That this or that man may thy cheeks moist keep.
- Nor, if thou cozenest one, dread to forswear;
- Venus to mocked men lends a senseless ear.
- Servants fit for thy purpose thou must hire,
- To teach thy lover what thy thoughts desire.
- Let them ask somewhat; many asking little,
- Within a while great heaps grow of a tittle.
- And sister, nurse, and mother spare him not;
- By many hands great wealth is quickly got.
- When causes fail thee to require a gift
- By keeping of thy birth, make but a shift.
- Beware lest he, unrivalled, loves secure;
- Take strife away, love doth not well endure.
- On all the bed men's tumbling let him view,
- And thy neck with lascivious marks made blue.
- Chiefly show him the gifts which others send:
- If he gives nothing, let him from thee wend.
- When thou hast so much as he gives no more,
- Pray him to lend what thou may'st ne'er restore.
- Let thy tongue flatter, while thy mind harm works;
- Under sweet honey deadly poison lurks.
- If this thou dost, to me by long use known,
- (Nor let my words be with the winds hence blown)
- Oft thou wilt say, ‘live well;’ thou wilt pray oft,
- That my dead bones may in their grave lie soft.”
- As thus she spake, my shadow me betrayed;
- With much ado my hands I scarcely stayed,
- But her blear eyes, bald scalp's thin hoary fleeces,
- And rivelled cheeks I would have pulled a-pieces.
- The gods send thee no house, a poor old age,
- Perpetual thirst, and winter's lasting rage.
Ad Atticum, amantem non oportere desidiosum esse, sicuti nec militem.
- All lovers war, and Cupid hath his tent;
- Attic, all lovers are to war far sent.
- What age fits Mars, with Venus doth agree;
- 'Tis shame for eld in war or love to be.
- What years in soldiers captains do require,
- Those in their lovers pretty maids desire.
- Both of them watch: each on the hard earth sleeps:
- His mistress' door this, that his captain's keeps.
- Soldiers must travel far: the wench forth send,
- Her valiant lover follows without end.
- Mounts, and rain-doubled floods he passeth over,
- And treads the desert snowy heaps do cover.
- Going to sea, east winds he doth not chide,
- Nor to hoist sail attends fit time and tide.
- Who but a soldier or a lover's bold
- To suffer storm-mixed snows with night's sharp cold?
- One as a spy doth to his enemies go,
- The other eyes his rival as his foe.
- He cities great, this thresholds lies before:
- This breaks town-gates, but he his mistress' door.
- Oft to invade the sleeping foe 'tis good,
- And armed to shed unarmèd people's blood.
- So the fierce troops of Thracian Rhesus fell,
- And captive horses bade their lord farewell.
- Sooth, lovers watch till sleep the husband charms,
- Who slumbering, they rise up in swelling arms.
- The keepers' hands and corps-du-gard to pass,
- The soldier's, and poor lover's work e'er was.
- Doubtful is war and love; the vanquished rise,
- And who thou never think'st should fall, down lies.
- Therefore whoe'er love slothfulness doth call,
- Let him surcease: love tries wit best of all.
- Achilles burned, Briseis being ta'en away;
- Trojans destroy the Greek wealth, while you may.
- Hector to arms went from his wife's embraces,
- And on Andromache his helmet laces.
- Great Agamemnon was, men say, amazed,
- On Priam's loose-trest daughter when he gazed.
- Mars in the deed the blacksmith's net did stable;
- In heaven was never more notorious fable.
- Myself was dull and faint, to sloth inclined;
- Pleasure and ease had mollified my mind.
- A fair maid's care expelled this sluggishness,
- And to her tents willed me myself address.
- Since may'st thou see me watch and night-wars move:
- He that will not grow slothful, let him love.
Ad puellam, ne pro amore præmia poscat.
- Such as the cause was of two husbands' war,
- Whom Trojan ships fetch'd from Europa far,
- Such as was Leda, whom the god deluded
- In snow-white plumes of a false swan included.
- Such as Amymone through the dry fields strayed,
- When on her head a water pitcher laid;
- Such wert thou, and I feared the bull and eagle,
- And whate'er Love made Jove, should thee inveigle.
- Now all fear with my mind's hot love abates:
- No more this beauty mine eyes captivates.
- Ask'st why I change? because thou crav'st reward;
- This cause hath thee from pleasing me debarred.
- While thou wert plain I loved thy mind and face:
- Now inward faults thy outward form disgrace.
- Love is a naked boy, his years saunce stain,
- And hath no clothes, but open doth remain.
- Will you for gain have Cupid sell himself?
- He hath no bosom where to hide base pelf.
- Love and Love's son are with fierce arms at odds;
- To serve for pay beseems not wanton gods.
- The whore stands to be bought for each man's money,
- And seeks vild wealth by selling of her coney.
- Yet greedy bawd's command she curseth still,
- And doth, constrained, what you do of goodwill.
- Take from irrational beasts a precedent;
- 'Tis shame their wits should be more excellent.
- The mare asks not the horse, the cow the bull,
- Nor the mild ewe gifts from the ram doth pull.
- Only a woman gets spoils from a man,
- Farms out herself on nights for what she can;
- And lets what both delight, what both desire,
- Making her joy according to her hire.
- The sport being such, as both alike sweet try it,
- Why should one sell it and the other buy it?
- Why should I lose, and thou gain by the pleasure,
- Which man and woman reap in equal measure?
- Knights of the post of perjuries make sale,
- The unjust judge for bribes becomes a stale.
- 'Tis shame sold tongues the guilty should defend,
- Or great wealth from a judgment-seat ascend.
- 'Tis shame to grow rich by bed-merchandise,
- Or prostitute thy beauty for bad price.
- Thanks worthily are due for things unbought;
- For beds ill-hired we are indebted nought.
- The hirer payeth all; his rent discharged,
- From further duty he rests then enlarged.
- Fair dames, forbear rewards for nights to crave:
- Ill-gotten goods good end will never have.
- The Sabine gauntlets were too dearly won,
- That unto death did press the holy nun.
- The sun slew her, that forth to meet him went,
- And a rich necklace caused that punishment.
- Yet think no scorn to ask a wealthy churl;
- He wants no gifts into thy lap to hurl.
- Take clustered grapes from an o'er-laden vine,
- May bounteous love Alcinous' fruit resign.
- Let poor men show their service, faith and care;
- All for their mistress, what they have, prepare.
- In verse to praise kind wenches 'tis my part,
- And whom I like eternise by mine art.
- Garments do wear, Jewels and gold do waste,
- The fame that verse gives doth for ever last.
- To give I love, but to be asked disdain;
- Leave asking, and I'll give what I refrain.
Napen alloqutur, ut paratas tabellas ad Cornnam perferat.
- In skilful gathering ruffled hairs in order,
- Napè, free-born, whose cunning hath no border,
- Thy service for night's scapes is known commodious.
- And to give signs dull wit to thee is odious.
- Corinna clips me oft by thy persuasion:
- Never to harm me made thy faith evasion.
- Receive these lines; them to my mistress carry:
- Be sedulous; let no stay cause thee tarry,
- Nor flint nor iron are in thy soft breast,
- But pure simplicity in thee doth rest.
- And 'tis supposed Love's bow hath wounded thee.
- Defend the ensigns of thy war in me.
- If what I do, she asks, say “hope for night;”
- The rest my hand doth in my letters write.
- Time passeth while I speak; give her my writ,
- But see that forthwith she peruseth it.
- I charge thee mark her eyes in front in reading:
- By speechless looks we guess at things succeeding.
- Straight being read, will her to write much back,
- I hate fair paper should writ matter lack.
- Let her make verses and some blotted letter
- On the last edge to stay mine eyes the better.
- What needs she tire her hand to hold the quill?
- Let this word “Come,” alone the tables fill.
- Then with triumphant laurel will I grace them
- And in the midst of Venus' temple place them,
- Subscribing, that to her I consecrate
- My faithful tables, being vile maple late.
Tabellas quas miserat execratur quod amica noctem negabat.
- Bewail my chance: the sad book is returned,
- This day denial hath my sport adjourned.
- Presages are not vain; when she departed,
- Napè by stumbling on the threshold, started.
- Going out again, pass forth the door more wisely,
- And somewhat higher bear thy foot precisely.
- Hence luckless tables! funeral wood, be flying!
- And thou, the wax, stuffed full with notes denying!
- Which I think gathered from cold hemlock's flower,
- Wherein bad honey Corsic bees did pour:
- Yet as if mixed with red lead thou wert ruddy,
- That colour rightly did appear so bloody.
- As evil wood, thrown in the highways, lie,
- Be broke with wheels of chariots passing by!
- And him that hewed you out for needful uses,
- I'll prove had hands impure with all abuses.
- Poor wretches on the tree themselves did strangle:
- There sat the hangman for men's necks to angle.
- To hoarse scrich-owls foul shadows it allows;
- Vultures and Furies nestled in the boughs.
- To these my love I foolishly committed,
- And then with sweet words to my mistress fitted.
- More fitly had they wrangling bonds contained
- From barbarous lips of some attorney strained.
- Among day-books and bills they had lain better,
- In which the merchant wails his bankrupt debtor
- Your name approves you made for such-like things,
- The number two no good divining brings.
- Angry, I pray that rotten age you racks,
- And sluttish white-mould overgrow the wax.
Ad Auroram ne properet.
- Now o'er the sea from her old love comes she
- That draws the day from heaven's cold axletree.
- Aurora, whither slid'st thou? down again!
- And birds for Memnon yearly shall be slain.
- Now in her tender arms I sweetly bide,
- If ever, now well lies she by my side.
- The air is cold, and sleep is sweetest now,
- And birds send forth shrill notes from every bough.
- Whither runn'st thou, that men and women love not?
- Hold in thy rosy horses that they move not.
- Ere thou rise, stars teach seamen where to sail,
- But when thou com'st, they of their courses fail.
- Poor travellers though tired, rise at thy sight,
- And soldiers make them ready to the fight.
- The painful hind by thee to field is sent;
- Slow oxen early in the yoke are pent.
- Thou coz'nest boys of sleep, and dost betray them
- To pedants that with cruel lashes pay them.
- Thou mak'st the surety to the lawyer run,
- That with one word hath nigh himself undone.
- The lawyer and the client hate thy view,
- Both whom thou raisest up to toil anew.
- By thy means women of their rest are barred,
- Thou settst their labouring hands to spin and card.
- All could I bear; but that the wench should rise,
- Who can endure, save him with whom none lies?
- How oft wished I night would not give thee place,
- Nor morning stars shun thy uprising face!
- How oft that either wind would break thy coach,
- Or steeds might fall, forced with thick clouds' approach!
- Whither go'st thou, hateful nymph? Memnon the elf
- Received his coal-black colour from thyself.
- Say that thy love with Cephalus were not known,
- Then thinkest thou thy loose life is not shown?
- Would Tithon might but talk of thee awhile!
- Not one in heaven should be more base and vile.
- Thou leav'st his bed, because he's faint through age,
- And early mount'st thy hateful carriage:
- But held'st thou in thine arms some Cephalus,
- Then would'st thou cry, “Stay night, and run not thus.”
- Dost punish me because years make him wane?
- I did not bid thee wed an agèd swain.
- The moon sleeps with Endymion every day;
- Thou art as fair as she, then kiss and play.
- Jove, that thou should'st not haste but wait his leisure,
- Made two nights one to finish up his pleasure.
- I chid no more; she blushed, and therefore heard me,
- Yet lingered not the day, but morning scared me.
Puellam consolatur cui præ nimia cura comæ deciderant.
- Leave colouring thy tresses, I did cry;
- Now hast thou left no hairs at all to dye.
- But what had been more fair had they been kept?
- Beyond thy robes thy dangling locks had swept.
- Fear'dst thou to dress them being fine and thin,
- Like to the silk the curious Seres spin.
- Or threads which spider's slender foot draws out,
- Fastening her light web some old beam about?
- Not black nor golden were they to our view,
- Yet although [n]either, mixed of either's hue;
- Such as in hilly Ida's watery plains,
- The cedar tall, spoiled of his bark, retains.
- Add they were apt to curl a hundred ways,
- And did to thee no cause of dolour raise.
- Nor hath the needle, or the comb's teeth reft them,
- The maid that kembed them ever safely left them.
- Oft was she dressed before mine eyes, yet never,
- Snatching the comb to beat the wench, outdrive her.
- Oft in the morn, her hairs not yet digested,
- Half-sleeping on a purple bed she rested;
- Yet seemly like a Thracian Bacchanal,
- That tired doth rashly on the green grass fall.
- When they were slender and like downy moss,
- Thy troubled hairs, alas, endured great loss.
- How patiently hot irons they did take,
- In crookèd trannels cnspy curls to make.
- I cried, “'Tis sin, 'tis sin, these hairs to burn,
- They well become thee, then to spare them turn.
- Far off be force, no fire to them may reach,
- Thy very hairs will the hot bodkin teach.”
- Lost are the goodly locks, which from their crown,
- Phœbus and Bacchus wished were hanging down.
- Such were they as Diana painted stands,
- All naked holding in her wave-moist hands.
- Why dost thy ill-kembed tresses' loss lament?
- Why in thy glass dost look, being discontent?
- Be not to see with wonted eyes inclined;
- To please thyself, thyself put out of mind.
- No charmèd herbs of any harlot scathed thee,
- No faithless witch in Thessal waters bathed thee.
- No sickness harmed thee (far be that away!),
- No envious tongue wrought thy thick locks' decay.
- By thine own hand and fault thy hurt doth grow,
- Thou mad'st thy head with compound poison flow.
- Now Germany shall captive hair-tires send thee,
- And vanquished people curious dressings lend thee.
- Which some admiring, O thou oft wilt blush!
- And say, “He likes me for my borrowed bush,
- Praising for me some unknown Guelder dame;
- But I remember when it was my fame.”
- Alas, she almost weeps, and her white cheeks,
- Dyed red with shame, to hide from shame she seeks.
- She holds, and views her old locks in her lap;
- Ay me! rare gifts unworthy such a hap!
- Cheer up thyself, thy loss thou may'st repair,
- And be hereafter seen with native hair.
Ad invidos, quod fama poetarum sit perennis.
- Envy, why carp'st thou my time's spent so ill?
- And term'st my works fruits of an idle quill?
- Or that unlike the line from whence I sprung
- War's dusty honours are refused being young?
- Nor that I study not the brawling laws,
- Nor set my voice to sail in every cause?
- Thy scope is mortal; mine, eternal fame.
- That all the world may ever chant my name.
- Homer shall live while Tenedos stands and Ide,
- Or to the sea swift Simois shall slide.
- Ascræus lives while grapes with new wine swell,
- Or men with crookèd sickles corn down fell.
- The world shall of Callimachus ever speak;
- His art excelled, although his wit was weak.
- For ever lasts high Sophocles' proud vein;
- With sun and moon Aratus shall remain.
- While bondmen cheat, fathers [be] hard, bawds whorish,
- And strumpets flatter, shall Menander flourish.
- Rude Ennius, and Plautus full of wit,
- Are both in Fame's eternal legend writ.
- What age of Varro's name shall not be told,
- And Jason's Argo, and the fleece of gold?
- Lofty Lucretius shall live that hour,
- That nature shall dissolve this earthly bower.
- Æneas' war and Tityrus shall be read,
- While Rome of all the conquered world is head.
- Till Cupid's bow, and fiery shafts be broken,
- Thy verses, sweet Tibullus, shall be spoken.
- And Gallus shall be known from East to West,
- So shall Lycoris whom he lovèd best.
- Therefore when flint and iron wear away,
- Verse is immortal and shall ne'er decay.
- To verse let kings give place and kingly shows,
- The banks o'er which gold-bearing Tagus flows.
- Let base-conceited wits admire vild things;
- Fair Phœbus lead me to the Muses' springs.
- About my head be quivering myrtle wound,
- And in sad lovers' heads let me be found.
- The living, not the dead, can envy bite,
- For after death all men receive their right.
- Then though death racks my bones in funeral fire,
- 'll live, and as he pulls me down mount higher.
The same, by B. I.
- Envy, why twitt'st thou me, my time's spent ill?
- And call'st my verse fruits of an idle quill?
- Or that (unlike the line from whence I sprung)
- War's dusty honours I pursue not young?
- Or that I study not the tedious laws;
- And prostitute my voice in every cause?
- Thy scope is mortal; mine eternal fame,
- Which through the world shall ever chant my name
- Homer will live, whilst Tenedos stands, and Ide,
- Or to the sea, fleet Simois doth slide:
- And so shall Hesiod too, while vines do bear,
- Or crookèd sickles crop the ripened ear.
- Callimachus, though in invention low,
- Shall still be sung, since he in art doth flow;
- No loss shall come to Sophocles' proud vein;
- With sun and moon Aratus shall remain.
- Whilst slaves be false, fathers hard, and bawds be whorish.
- Whilst harlots flatter, shall Menander flourish.
- Ennius, though rude, and Accius' high-reared strain,
- A fresh applause in every age shall gain.
- Of Varro's name, what ear shall not be told?
- Of Jason's Argo and the fleece of gold?
- Then shall Lucretius' lofty numbers die
- When earth and seas in fire and flames shall fry.
- Tityrus, Tillage, Æney shall be read,
- Whilst Rome of all the conquered world is head.
- Till Cupid's fires be out, and his bow broken,
- Thy verses, neat Tibullus, shall be spoken.
- Our Gallus shall be known from East to West,
- So shall Lycoris, whom he now loves best.
- The suffering ploughshare or the flint may wear,
- But heavenly poesy no death can fear.
- Kings shall give place to it, and kingly shows,
- The banks o'er which gold-bearing Tagus flows.
- Kneel hinds to trash: me let bright Phœbus swell,
- With cups full flowing from the Muses' well.
- The frost-drad myrtle shall impale my head,
- And of sad lovers I'll be often read.
- Envy the living, not the dead doth bite,
- For after death all men receive their right.
- Then when this body falls in funeral fire,
- My name shall live, and my best part aspire.
P. OVIDII NASONIS AMORUM.
Quod pro gigantomachia amores scribere sit coactus.
- I, Ovid, poet, of my wantonness,
- Born at Peligny, to write more address.
- So Cupid wills. Far hence be the severe!
- You are unapt my looser lines to hear.
- Let maids whom hot desire to husbands lead,
- And rude boys, touched with unknown love, me read
- That some youth hurt, as I am, with Love's bow,
- His own flame's best-acquainted signs may know,
- And long admiring say, “By what means learned,
- Hath this same poet my sad chance discern'd?”
- I durst the great celestial battles tell,
- Hundred-hand Gyges, and had done it well;
- With Earth's revenge, and how Olympus' top
- High Ossa bore, Mount Pelion up to prop;
- Jove and Jove's thunderbolts I had in hand,
- Which for his heaven fell on the giants' band.
- My wench her door shut, Jove's affairs I left,
- Even Jove himself out of my wit was reft.
- Pardon me, Jove! thy weapons aid me nought,
- Her shut gates greater lightning than thine brought.
- Toys, and light elegies, my darts I took,
- Quickly soft words hard doors wide-open strook.
- Verses reduce the hornèd bloody moon,
- And call the sun's white horses back at noon.
- Snakes leap by verse from caves of broken mountains,
- And turnèd streams run backward to their fountains.
- Verses ope doors; and locks put in the post,
- Although of oak, to yield to verses boast.
- What helps it me of fierce Achill to sing?
- What good to me will either Ajax bring?
- Or he who warred and wandered twenty year?
- Or woful Hector whom wild jades did tear?
- But when I praise a pretty wench's face,
- She in requital doth me oft embrace.
- A great reward! Heroes of famous names,
- Farewell! your favour nought my mind inflames.
- Wenches apply your fair looks to my verse,
- Which golden Love doth unto me rehearse.
Ad Bagoum, ut custodiam puellæ sibi commissæ laxiorem habeat
- Bagous, whose care doth thy mistress bridle,
- While I speak some few, yet fit words, be idle.
- I saw the damsel walking yesterday,
- There, where the porch doth Danaus' fact display:
- She pleased me soon; I sent, and did her woo;
- Her trembling hand writ back she might not do.
- And asking why, this answer she redoubled,
- Because thy care too much thy mistress troubled.
- Keeper, if thou be wise, cease hate to cherish,
- Believe me, whom we fear, we wish to perish.
- Nor is her husband wise: what needs defence,
- When unprotected there is no expense?
- But furiously he follow his love's fire,
- And thinks her chaste whom many do desire:
- Stolen liberty she may by thee obtain,
- Which giving her, she may give thee again:
- Wilt thou her fault learn? she may make thee tremble.
- Fear to be guilty, then thou may'st dissemble.
- Think when she reads, her mother letters sent her:
- Let him go forth known, that unknown did enter.
- Let him go see her though she do not languish,
- And then report her sick and full of anguish.
- If long she stays, to think the time more short,
- Lay down thy forehead in thy lap to snort.
- Inquire not what with Isis may be done,
- Nor fear lest she to the theàtres run.
- Knowing her scapes, thine honour shall increase;
- And what less labour than to hold thy peace?
- Let him please, haunt the house, be kindly used,
- Enjoy the wench; let all else be refused.
- Vam causes feign of him, the true to hide,
- And what she likes, let both hold ratified.
- When most her husband bends the brows and frowns,
- His fawning wench with her desire he crowns.
- But yet sometimes to chide thee let her fall
- Counterfeit tears: and thee lewd hangman call.
- Object thou then, what she may well excuse,
- To stain all faith in truth, by false crimes' use.
- Of wealth and honour so shall grow thy heap:
- Do this, and soon thou shalt thy freedom reap.
- On tell-tales' necks thou seest the link-knit chains,
- The filthy prison faithless breasts restrains.
- Water in waters, and fruit, flying touch,
- Tantalus seeks, his long tongue's gain is such.
- While Juno's watchman Iö too much eyed,
- Him timeless death took, she was deified.
- I saw one's legs with fetters black and blue,
- By whom the husband his wife's incest knew:
- More he deserved; to both great harm he framed,
- The man did grieve, the woman was defamed.
- Trust me all husbands for such faults are sad,
- Nor make they any man that hears them glad.
- If he loves not, deaf ears thou dost importune,
- Or if he loves, thy tale breeds his misfortune.
- Nor is it easy proved though manifest;
- She safe by favour of her judge doth rest.
- Though himself see, he'll credit her denial,
- Condemn his eyes, and say there is no trial.
- Spying his mistress' tears he will lament
- And say “This blab shall suffer punishment.”
- Why fight'st 'gainst odds? to thee, being cast, do hap
- Sharp stripes; she sitteth in the judge's lap.
- To meet for poison or vild facts we crave not;
- My hands an unsheathed shining weapon have not.
- We seek that, through thee, safely love we may;
- What can be easier than the thing we pray?
Ad Eunuchum servantem dominam.
- Ay me, an eunuch keeps my mistress chaste,
- That cannot Venus' mutual pleasure taste.
- Who first deprived young boys of their best part,
- With self-same wounds he gave, he ought to smart.
- To kind requests thou would'st more gentle prove,
- If ever wench had made lukewarm thy love:
- Thou wert not born to ride, or arms to bear,
- Thy hands agree not with the warlike spear.
- Men handle those; all manly hopes resign,
- Thy mistress' ensigns must be likewise thine.
- Please her—her hate makes others thee abhor;
- If she discards thee, what use serv'st thou for?
- Good form there is, years apt to play together:
- Unmeet is beauty without use to wither.
- She may deceive thee, though thou her protect;
- What two determine never wants effect.
- Our prayers move thee to assist our drift,
- While thou hast time yet to bestow that gift.
Quod amet mulieres, cujuscunque formæ sint.
- I mean not to defend the scapes of any,
- Or justify my vices being many;
- For I confess, if that might merit favour,
- Here I display my lewd and loose behaviour.
- I loathe, yet after that I loathe I run:
- Oh, how the burthen irks, that we should shun.
- I cannot rule myself but where Love please;
- Am driven like a ship upon rough seas.
- No one face likes me best, all faces move,
- A hundred reasons make me ever love.
- If any eye me with a modest look,
- I burn, and by that blushful glance am took;
- And she that's coy I like, for being no clown,
- Methinks she would be nimble when she's down.
- Though her sour looks a Sabine's brow resemble,
- I think she'll do, but deeply can dissemble.
- If she be learned, then for her skill I crave her;
- If not, because she's simple I would have her.
- Before Callimachus one prefers me far;
- Seeing she likes my books, why should we jar?
- Another rails at me, and that I write,
- Yet would I lie with her, if that I might:
- Trips she, it likes me well; plods she, what than?
- She would be nimbler lying with a man.
- And when one sweetly sings, then straight I long,
- To quaver on her lips even in her song;
- Or if one touch the lute with art and cunning,
- Who would not love those hands for their swift running?
- And her I like that with a majesty,
- Folds up her arms, and makes low courtesy.
- To leave myself, that am in love with all,
- Some one of these might make the chastest fall.
- If she be tall, she's like an Amazon,
- And therefore fills the bed she lies upon:
- If short, she lies the rounder: to speak troth,
- Both short and long please me, for I love both,
- I think what one undecked would be, being drest;
- Is she attired? then show her graces best.
- A white wench thralls me, so doth golden yellow:
- And nut-brown girls in doing have no fellow.
- If her white neck be shadowed with black hair,
- Why, so was Leda's, yet was Leda fair.
- Amber-tress'd is she? then on the morn think I:
- My love alludes to every history:
- A young wench pleaseth, and an old is good,
- This for her looks, that for her womanhood:
- Nay what is she, that any Roman loves,
- But my ambitious ranging mind approves?
Ad amicam corruptam.
- No love is so dear,—quivered Cupid, fly!—
- That my chief wish should be so oft to die.
- Minding thy fault, with death I wish to revel;
- Alas! a wench is a perpetual evil.
- No intercepted lines thy deeds display,
- No gifts given secretly thy crime bewray.
- O would my proofs as vain might be withstood!
- Ay me, poor soul, why is my cause so good?
- He's happy, that his love dares boldly credit;
- To whom his wench can say, “I never did it.”
- He's cruel, and too much his grief doth favour,
- That seeks the conquest by her loose behaviour.
- Poor wretch, I saw when thou didst think I slumbered;
- Not drunk, your faults on the spilt wine I numbered.
- I saw your nodding eyebrows much to speak,
- Even from your cheeks, part of a voice did break.
- Not silent were thine eyes, the board with wine
- Was scribbled, and thy fingers writ a line.
- I knew your speech (what do not lovers see?)
- And words that seemed for certain marks to be.
- Now many guests were gone, the feast being done,
- The youthful sort to divers pastimes run.
- I saw you then unlawful kisses join;
- (Such with my tongue it likes me to purloin);
- None such the sister gives her brother grave,
- But such kind wenches let their lovers have.
- Phœbus gave not Diana such, 'tis thought,
- But Venus often to her Mars such brought.
- “What dost?” I cried; “transport'st thou my delight?
- My lordly hands I'll throw upon my right.
- Such bliss is only common to us two,
- In this sweet good why hath a third to do?”
- This, and what grief enforced me say, I said:
- A scarlet blush her guilty face arrayed;
- Even such as by Aurora hath the sky,
- Or maids that their betrothèd husbands spy;
- Such as a rose mixed with a lily breeds,
- Or when the moon travails with charmèd steeds.
- Or such as, lest long years should turn the dye,
- Arachne stains Assyrian ivory.
- To these, or some of these, like was her colour:
- By chance her beauty never shinèd fuller.
- She viewed the earth; the earth to view, beseemed her;
- She lookèd sad; sad, comely I esteemed her.
- Even kembèd as they were, her locks to rend,
- And scratch her fair soft cheeks I did intend.
- Seeing her face, mine upreared arms descended,
- With her own armour was my wench defended.
- I, that erewhile was fierce, now humbly sue,
- Lest with worse kisses she should me endue.
- She laughed, and kissed so sweetly as might make
- Wrath-kindled Jove away his thunder shake.
- I grieve lest others should such good perceive,
- And wish hereby them all unknown to leave.
- Also much better were they than I tell,
- And ever seemed as some new sweet befell.
- 'Tis ill they pleased so much, for in my lips
- Lay her whole tongue hid, mine in hers she dips.
- This grieves me not; no joinèd kisses spent,
- Bewail I only, though I them lament.
- Nowhere can they be taught but in the bed;
- I know no master of so great hire sped.
In mortem psittaci.
- The parrot, from East India to me sent,
- Is dead; all fowls her exequies frequent!
- Go godly birds, striking your breast, bewail,
- And with rough claws your tender cheeks assail.
- For woful hairs let piece-torn plumes abound,
- For long shrild trumpets let your notes resound.
- Why, Philomel, dost Tereus' lewdness mourn?
- All-wasting years have that complaint now worn.
- Thy tunes let this rare bird's sad funeral borrow;
- Itys a great, but ancient cause of sorrow.
- All you whose pinions in the clear air soar,
- But most, thou friendly turtle-dove, deplore.
- Full concord all your lives was you betwixt,
- And to the end your constant faith stood fixt.
- What Pylades did to Orestes prove,
- Such to the parrot was the turtle-dove.
- But what availed this faith? her rarest hue?
- Or voice that how to change the wild notes knew?
- What helps it thou wert given to please my wench?
- Birds' hapless glory, death thy life doth quench.
- Thou with thy quills might'st make green emeralds dark,
- And pass our scarlet of red saffron's mark.
- No such voice-feigning bird was on the ground,
- Thou spok'st thy words so well with stammering sound.
- Envy hath rapt thee, no fierce wars thou mov'dst.
- Vain-babbling speech, and pleasant peace thou lov'dst.
- Behcld how quails among their battles live,
- Which do perchance old age unto them give.
- A little filled thee, and for love of talk,
- Thy nouth to taste of many meats did balk.
- Nuts were thy food, and poppy caused thee sleep,
- Pure water's moisture thirst away did keep.
- The ravenous vulture lives, the puttock hovers
- Around the air, the cadess rain discovers.
- And crow survives arms-bearing Pallas' hate,
- Whose life nine ages scarce bring out of date.
- Dead is that speaking image of man's voice,
- The parrot given me, the far-world's best choice.
- The greedy spirits take the best things first,
- Supplying their void places with the worst.
- Thersites did Protesilaus survive;
- And Hector died, his brothers yet alive.
- My wench's vows for thee what should I show,
- Which stormy south winds into sea did blow?
- The seventh day came, none following might'st thou see,
- And the Fate's distaff empty stood to thee:
- Yet words in thy benumbèd palate rung;
- 'Farewell, Corinna,” cried thy dying tongue.
- Elysium hath a wood of holm-trees black,
- Whose earth doth not perpetual green grass lack.
- There good birds rest (if we believe things hidden),
- Whence unclean fowls are said to be forbidden.
- There harmless swans feed all abroad the river;
- There lives the phœnix, one alone bird ever;
- There Juno's bird displays his gorgeous feather,
- And loving doves kiss eagerly together.
- The parrot into wood received with these,
- Turns all the godly birds to what she please.
- A grave her bones hides: on her corps' great grave,
- The little stones these little verses have.
- This tomb approves I pleased my mistress well;
- My mouth in speaking did all birds excel.
Amicæ se purgat, quod ancillam non amet.
- Dost me of new crimes always guilty frame?
- To overcome, so oft to fight I shame.
- If on the marble theatre I look,
- One among many is, to grieve thee, took.
- If some fair wench me secretly behold,
- Thou arguest she doth secret marks unfold.
- If I praise any, thy poor hairs thou tearest;
- If blame, dissembling of my fault thou fearest.
- If I look well, thou think'st thou dost not move,
- If ill, thou say'st I die for others' love.
- Would I were culpable of some offence!
- They that deserve pain, bear't with patience.
- Now rash accusing, and thy vain belief,
- Forbid thine anger to procure my grief.
- Lo, how the miserable great-eared ass,
- Dulled with much beating, slowly forth doth pass!
- Behold Cypassis, wont to dress thy head,
- Is charged to violate her mistress' bed!
- The gods from this sin rid me of suspicion,
- To like a base wench of despised condition.
- With Venus' game who will a servant grace?
- Or any back, made rough with stripes, embrace?
- Add she was diligent thy locks to braid,
- And, for her skill, to thee a grateful maid.
- Should I solicit her that is so just,—
- To take repulse, and cause her show my lust?
- I swear by Venus, and the winged boy's bow,
- Myself unguilty of this crime I know.
Ad Cypassim ancillam Corinnæ.
- Cypassis, that a thousand ways trim'st hair,
- Worthy to kemb none but a goddess fair,
- Our pleasant scapes show thee no clown to be,
- Apt to thy mistress, but more apt to me.
- Who that our bodies were comprest bewrayed?
- Whence knows Corinna that with thee I played?
- Yet blushed I not, nor used I any saying,
- That might be urged to witness our false playing.
- What if a man with bondwomen offend,
- To prove him foolish did I e'er contend?
- Achilles burnt with face of captive Briseis,
- Great Agamemnon loved his servant Chrysëis.
- Greater than these myself I not esteem:
- What gracèd kings, in me no shame I deem.
- But when on thee her angry eyes did rush,
- In both thy cheeks she did perceive thee blush.
- But being present, might that work the best,
- By Venus deity how did I protest!
- Thou goddess dost command a warm south blast,
- My self oaths in Carpathian seas to cast.
- For which good turn my sweet reward repay,
- Let me lie with thee, brown Cypass, to-day.
- Ungrate, why feign'st new fears, and dost refuse?
- Well may'st thou one thing for thy mistress use.
- If thou deniest, fool, I'll our deeds express,
- And as a traitor mine own faults confess;
- Telling thy mistress where I was with thee,
- How oft, and by what means, we did agree.
- O Cupid, that dost never cease my smart!
- O boy, that liest so slothful in my heart!
- Why me that always was thy soldier found,
- Dost harm, and in thy tents why dost me wound?
- Why burns thy brand, why strikes thy bow thy friends
- More glory by thy vanquished foes ascends.
- Did not Pelides whom his spear did grieve,
- Being required, with speedy help relieve?
- Hunters leave taken beasts, pursue the chase,
- And than things found do ever further pace.
- We people wholly given thee, feel thine arms,
- Thy dull hand stays thy striving enemies' harms.
- Dost joy to have thy hookèd arrows shaked
- In naked bones? love hath my bones left naked.
- So many men and maidens without love,
- Hence with great laud thou may'st a triumph move.
- Rome, if her strength the huge world had not filled,
- With strawy cabins now her courts should build.
- The weary soldier hath the conquered fields,
- His sword, laid by, safe, tho' rude places yields;
- The dock inharbours ships drawn from the floods,
- Horse freed from service range abroad the woods.
- And time it was for me to live in quiet,
- That have so oft served pretty wenches' diet.
- Yet should I curse a God, if he but said,
- “Live without love;” so sweet ill is a maid.
- For when my loathing it of heat deprives me,
- I know not whither my mind's whirlwind drives me.
- Even as a headstrong courser bears away
- His rider, vainly striving him to stay;
- Or as a sudden gale thrusts into sea
- The haven-touching bark, now near the lea;
- So wavering Cupid brings me back amain,
- And purple Love resumes his darts again.
- Strike, boy, I offer thee my naked breast,
- Here thou hast strength, here thy right hand doth rest.
- Here of themselves thy shafts come, as if shot;
- Better than I their quiver knows them not:
- Hapless is he that all the night lies quiet,
- And slumbering, thinks himself much blessèd by it.
- Fool, what is sleep but image of cold death,
- Long shalt thou rest when Fates expire thy breath.
- But me let crafty damsel's words deceive,
- Great joys by hope I inly shall conceive.
- Now let her flatter me, now chide me hard,
- Let me enjoy her oft, oft be debarred.
- Cupid, by thee, Mars in great doubt doth trample,
- And thy stepfather fights by thy example.
- Light art thou, and more windy than thy wings;
- Joys with uncertain faith thou tak'st and brings:
- Yet Love, if thou with thy fair mother hear,
- Within my breast no desert empire bear;
- Subdue the wandering wenches to thy reign,
- So of both people shalt thou homage gain.
Ad Græcinum quod eodem tempore duas amet.
- Græcinus (well I wot) thou told'st me once,
- I could not be in love with two at once;
- By thee deceived, by thee surprised am I,
- For now I love two women equally:
- Both are well favoured, both rich in array,
- Which is the loveliest it is hard to say:
- This seems the fairest, so doth that to me;
- And this doth please me most, and so doth she;
- Even as a boat tossed by contràry wind,
- So with this love and that wavers my mind.
- Venus, why doublest thou my endless smart?
- Was not one wench enough to grieve my heart?
- Why add'st thou stars to heaven, leaves to green woods,
- And to the deep vast sea fresh water-floods?
- Yet this is better far than lie alone:
- Let such as be mine enemies have none;
- Yea, let my foes sleep in an empty bed,
- And in the midst their bodies largely spread:
- But may soft love rouse up my drowsy eyes,
- And from my mistress' bosom let me rise!
- Let one wench cloy me with sweet love's delight,
- If one can do't; if not, two every night.
- Though I am slender, I have store of pith,
- Nor want I strength, but weight, to press her with:
- Pleasure adds fuel to my lustful fire,
- I pay them home with that they most desire:
- Oft have I spent the night in wantonness,
- And in the morn been lively ne'ertheless.
- He's happy who Love's mutual skirmish slays;
- And to the gods for that death Ovid prays.
- Let soldiers chase their enemies amain,
- And with their blood eternal honour gain,
- Let merchants seek wealth and with perjured lips,
- Being wrecked, carouse the sea tired by their ships;
- But when I die, would I might droop with doing,
- And in the midst thereof, set my soul going,
- That at my funerals some may weeping cry,
- “Even as he led his life, so did he die.”
Ad amicam navigantem.
- The lofty pine, from high Mount Pelion raught,
- Ill ways by rough seas wondering waves first taught;
- Which rashly 'twixt the sharp rocks in the deep,
- Carried the famous golden-fleecèd sheep.
- O would that no oars might in seas have sunk!
- The Argo wrecked had deadly waters drunk.
- Lo, country gods and know[n] bed to forsake
- Corinna means, and dangerous ways to take.
- For thee the East and West winds make me pale,
- With icy Boreas, and the Southern gale.
- Thou shalt admire no woods or cities there,
- The unjust seas all bluish do appear.
- The ocean hath no painted stones or shells,
- The sucking shore with their abundance swells.
- Maids on the shore, with marble-white feet tread,
- So far 'tis safe; but to go farther, dread.
- Let others tell how winds fierce battles wage,
- How Scylla's and Charybdis' waters rage;
- And with what rock[s] the feared Ceraunia threat;
- In what gulf either Syrtes have their seat.
- Let others tell this, and what each one speaks
- Believe; no tempest the believer wreaks.
- Too late you look back, when with anchors weighed,
- The crookèd bark hath her swift sails displayed.
- The careful shipman now fears angry gusts,
- And with the waters sees death near him thrusts.
- But if that Triton toss the troubled flood,
- In all thy face will be no crimson blood.
- Then wilt thou Leda's noble twin-stars pray,
- And, he is happy whom the earth holds, say.
- It is more safe to sleep, to read a book,
- The Thracian harp with cunning to have strook.
- But if my words with wingèd storm hence slip,
- Yet, Galatea, favour thou her ship.
- The loss of such a wench much blame will gather,
- Both to the sea-nymphs and the sea-nymphs' father.
- Go, minding to return with prosperous wind,
- Whose blast may hither strongly be inclined.
- Let Nereus bend the waves unto this shore,
- Hither the winds blow, here the spring-tide roar.
- Request mild Zephyr's help for thy avail,
- And with thy hand assist thy swelling sail.
- I from the shore thy known ship first will see,
- And say it brings her that preserveth me.
- I'll clip and kiss thee with all contentation;
- For thy return shall fall the vowed oblation;
- And in the form of beds we'll strew soft sand;
- Each little hill shall for a table stand:
- There, wine being filled, thou many things shalt tell,
- How, almost wrecked, thy ship in main seas fell.
- And hasting to me, neither darksome night,
- Nor violent south-winds did thee aught affright,
- I'll think all true, though it be feignèd matter!
- Mine own desires why should myself not flatter?
- Let the bright day-star cause in heaven this day be,
- To bring that happy time so soon as may be.
Exultat, quod amica potitus sit.
- About my temples go, triumphant bays!
- Conquered Corinna in my bosom lays.
- She whom her husband, guard, and gate, as foes,
- Lest art should win her, firmly did enclose:
- That victory doth chiefly triumph merit,
- Which without bloodshed doth the prey inherit.
- No little ditchèd towns, no lowly walls,
- But to my share a captive damsel falls.
- When Troy by ten years' battle tumbled down.
- With the Atrides many gained renown:
- But I no partner of my glory brook,
- Nor can another say his help I took.
- I, guide and soldier, won the field and wear her.
- I was both horseman, footman, standard-bearer.
- Nor in my act hath fortune mingled chance
- O care-got triumph hitherwards advance!
- Nor is my war's cause new; but for a queen,
- Europe and Asia in firm peace had been;
- The Lapiths and the Centaurs, for a woman,
- To cruel arms their drunken selves did summon;
- A woman forced the Trojans new to enter
- Wars, just Latinus, in thy kingdom's centre,
- A woman against late-built Rome did send
- The Sabine fathers, who sharp wars intend.
- I saw how bulls for a white heifer strive,
- She looking on them did more courage give.
- And me with many, but me without murther,
- Cupid commands to move his ensigns further.
Ad Isidem, ut parientem Corinnam servet
- While rashly her womb's burden she casts out,
- Weary Corinna hath her life in doubt.
- She, secretly from me, such harm attempted,
- Angry I was, but fear my wrath exempted.
- But she conceived of me; or I am sure
- I oft have done what might as much procure.
- Thou that frequent'st Canopus' pleasant fields,
- Memphis, and Pharos that sweet date-trees yields,
- And where swift Nile in his large channel skipping,
- By seven huge mouths into the sea is slipping.
- By feared Anubis' visage I thee pray,—
- So in thy temples shall Osiris stay,
- And the dull snake about thy offerings creep,
- And in thy pomp horned Apis with thee keep,—
- Turn thy looks hither, and in one spare twain:
- Thou givest my mistress life, she mine again.
- She oft hath served thee upon certain days,
- Where the French rout engirt themselves with bays.
- On labouring women thou dost pity take,
- Whose bodies with their heavy burdens ache;
- My wench, Lucina, I entreat thee favour;
- Worthy she is, thou should'st in mercy save her.
- In white, with incense, I'll thine altars greet,
- Myself will bring vowed gifts before thy feet,
- Subscribing Naso with Corinna saved:
- Do but deserve gifts with this title graved.
- But, if in so great fear I may advise thee,
- To have this skirmish fought let it suffice thee.
In amicam, quod abortivum ipsa fecerit.
- What helps it woman to be free from war,
- Nor, being armed, fierce troops to follow far,
- If without battle self-wrought wounds annoy them,
- And their own privy-weaponed hands destroy them.
- Who unborn infants first to slay invented,
- Deserved thereby with death to be tormented.
- Because thy belly should rough wrinkles lack,
- Wilt thou thy womb-inclosèd offspring wrack?
- Had ancient mothers this vile custom cherished,
- All human kind by their default had perished;
- Or stones, our stock's original should be hurled.
- Again, by some, in this unpeopled world.
- Who should have Priam's wealthy substance won,
- If watery Thetis had her child fordone?
- In swelling womb her twins had Ilia killed,
- He had not been that conquering Rome did build.
- Had Venus spoiled her belly's Trojan fruit,
- The earth of Cæsars had been destitute.
- Thou also that wert born fair, had'st decayed,
- If such a work thy mother had assayed.
- Myself, that better die with loving may,
- Had seen, my mother killing me, no day.
- Why tak'st increasing grapes from vinetrees full?
- With cruel hand why dost green apples pull?
- Fruits ripe will fall; let springing things increase,
- Life is no light price of a small surcease.
- Why with hid irons are your bowels torn?
- And why dire poison give you babes unborn?
- At Colchis, stained with children's blood, men rail.
- And mother-murdered Itys they bewail
- Both unkind parents; but, for causes sad,
- Their wedlocks' pledges venged their husbands bad.
- What Tereus, what Iason you provokes,
- To plague your bodies with such harmful strokes?
- Armenian tigers never did so ill,
- Nor dares the lioness her young whelps kill.
- But tender damsels do it, though with pain;
- Oft dies she that her paunch-wrapt child hath slain:
- She dies, and with loose hairs to grave is sent,
- And whoe'er see her, worthily lament.
- But in the air let these words come to naught,
- And my presages of no weight be thought.
- Forgive her, gracious gods, this one delict,
- And on the next fault punishment inflict.
Ad annulum, quem dono amicæ dedit.
- Thou ring that shalt my fair girl's finger bind,
- Wherein is seen the giver's loving mind:
- Be welcome to her, gladly let her take thee,
- And, her small joints encircling, round hoop make thee
- Fit her so well, as she is fit for me,
- And of just compass for her knuckles be.
- Blest ring, thou in my mistress' hand shall lie.
- Myself, poor wretch, mine own gifts now envy.
- O would that suddenly into my gift,
- I could myself by secret magic shift!
- Then would I wish thee touch my mistress' pap,
- And hide thy left hand underneath her lap,
- I would get off, though strait and sticking fast,
- And in her bosom strangely fall at last.
- Then I, that I may seal her privy leaves,
- Lest to the wax the hold-fast dry gem cleaves,
- Would first my beauteous wench's moist lips touch:
- Only I'll sign naught that may grieve me much.
- I would not out, might I in one place hit:
- But in less compass her small fingers knit.
- My life! that I will shame thee never fear,
- Or be a load thou should'st refuse to bear.
- Wear me, when warmest showers thy members wash,
- And through the gem let thy lost waters pash,
- But seeing thee, I think my thing will swell,
- And even the ring perform a man's part well.
- Vain things why wish I? go, small gift, from hand,
- Let her my faith, with thee given, understand.
Ad amicam, ut ad rura sua veniat.
- Sulmo, Peligny's third part, me contains,
- A small, but wholesome soil with watery veins,
- Although the sun to rive the earth incline,
- And the Icarian froward dog-star shine;
- Pelignian fields with liquid rivers flow,
- And on the soft ground fertile green grass grow;
- With corn the earth abounds, with vines much more,
- And some few pastures Pallas' olives bore;
- And by the rising herbs, where clear springs slide,
- A grassy turf the moistened earth doth hide.
- But absent is my fire; lies I'll tell none,
- My heat is here, what moves my heat is gone.
- Pollux and Castor, might I stand betwixt,
- In heaven without thee would I not be fixt
- Upon the cold earth pensive let them lay,
- That mean to travel some long irksome way.
- Or else will maidens young men's mates to go,
- If they determine to persèver so.
- Then on the rough Alps should I tread aloft,
- My hard way with my mistress would seem soft.
- With her I durst the Libyan Syrts break through,
- And raging seas in boisterous south-winds plough.
- No barking dogs, that Scylla's entrails bear,
- Nor thy gulfs, crook'd Malea, would I fear.
- No flowing waves with drownèd ships forth-poured
- By cloyed Charybdis, and again devoured.
- But if stern Neptune's windy power prevail,
- And waters' force force helping Gods to fail,
- With thy white arms upon my shoulders seize;
- So sweet a burden I will bear with ease.
- The youth oft swimming to his Hero kind,
- Had then swum over, but the way was blind.
- But without thee, although vine-planted ground
- Contains me; though the streams the fields surround
- Though hinds in brooks the running waters bring,
- And cool gales shake the tall trees' leafy spring,
- Healthful Peligny, I esteem naught worth,
- Nor do I like the country of my birth.
- Scythia, Cilicia, Britain are as good,
- And rocks dyed crimson with Prometheus' blood.
- Elms love the vines; the vines with elms abide.
- Why doth my mistress from me oft divide?
- Thou swear'dst, division should not twixt us rise.
- By me, and by my stars, thy radiant eyes;
- Maids' words more vain and light than falling leaves
- Which, as it seems, hence wind and sea bereaves.
- If any godly care of me thou hast,
- Add deeds unto thy promises at last.
- And with swift nags drawing thy little coach
- (Their reins let loose), right soon my house approach
- But when she comes, you swelling mounts, sink down,
- And falling valleys be the smooth ways' crown.
Quod Corinnæ soli sit serviturus.
- To serve a wench if any think it shame,
- He being judge, I am convinced of blame.
- Let me be slandered, while my fire she hides,
- That Paphos, and flood-beat Cythera guides.
- Would I had been my mistress' gentle prey,
- Since some fair one I should of force obey.
- Beauty gives heart; Corinna's looks excel;
- Ay me, why is it known to her so well?
- But by her glass disdainful pride she learns,
- Nor she herself, but first trimmed up, discerns.
- Not though thy face in all things make thee reign,
- (O face, most cunning mine eyes to detain!)
- Thou ought'st therefore to scorn me for thy mate,
- Small things with greater may be copulate.
- Love-snared Calypso is supposed to pray
- A mortal nymph's refusing lord to stay.
- Who doubts, with Peleus Thetis did consort?
- Egeria with just Numa had good sport.
- Venus with Vulcan, though, smith's tools laid by,
- With his stump foot he halts ill-favouredly.
- This kind of verse is not alike; yet fit,
- With shorter numbers the heroic sit.
- And thou, my light, accept me howsoever;
- Lay in the mid bed, there be my lawgiver.
- My stay no crime, my flight no joy shall breed,
- Nor of our love, to be ashamed we need.
- For great revenues I good verses have,
- And many by me to get glory crave.
- I know a wench reports herself Corinne;
- What would not she give that fair name to win?
- But sundry floods in one bank never go,
- Eurotas cold, and poplar-bearing Po;
- Nor in my books shall one but thou be writ,
- Thou dost alone give matter to my wit.
Ad Macrum, quod de amoribus scribat,
- To tragic verse while thou Achilles train'st,
- And new sworn soldiers' maiden arms retain'st,
- We, Macer, sit in Venus' slothful shade,
- And tender love hath great things hateful made.
- Often at length, my wench depart I bid,
- She in my lap sits still as erst she did.
- I said, “It irks me:” half to weeping framed,
- “Ay me!” she cries, “to love why art ashamed?
- Then wreathes about my neck her winding arms,
- And thousand kisses gives, that work my harms:
- I yield, and back my wit from battles bring,
- Domestic acts, and mine own wars to sing.
- Yet tragedies, and sceptres fill'd my lines,
- But though I apt were for such high designs,
- Love laughèd at my cloak, and buskins painted,
- And rule, so soon with private hands acquainted.
- My mistress' deity also drew me fro it,
- And love triumpheth o'er his buskined poet.
- What lawful is, or we profess love's art:
- (Alas, my precepts turn myself to smart!)
- We write, or what Penelope sends Ulysses,
- Or Phillis' tears that her Demophoon misses;
- What thankless Jason, Macareus, and Paris.
- Phedra, and Hippolyte may read, my care is,
- And what poor Dido, with her drawn sword sharp,
- Doth say, with her that loved the Aonian harp.
- As soon as from strange lands Sabinus came,
- And writings did from divers places frame,
- White-cheeked Penelope knew Ulysses' sign,
- The step-dame read Hippolytus' lustless line.
- Æneas to Elisa answer gives,
- And Phillis hath to read, if now she lives;
- Jason's sad letter doth Hypsipyle greet:
- Sappho her vowed harp lays at Phœbus' feet.
- Nor of thee, Macer, that resound'st forth arms,
- Is golden love hid in Mars' mid alarms.
- There Paris is, and Helen's crime's record,
- With Laodamia, mate to her dead lord,
- Unless I err to these thou more incline,
- Than wars, and from thy tents wilt come to mine.
Ad rivalem cut nxor curæ non erat.
- Fool, if to keep thy wife thou hast no need,
- Keep her from me, my more desire to breed;
- We scorn things lawful; stolen sweets we affect
- Cruel is he that loves whom none protect.
- Let us, both lovers, hope and fear alike,
- And may repulse place for our wishes strike.
- What should I do with fortune that ne'er fails me?
- Nothing I love that at all times avails me.
- Wily Corinna saw this blemish in me,
- And craftily knows by what means to win me.
- Ah, often, that her hale head ached, she lying,
- Willed me, whose slow feet sought delay, be flying
- Ah, oft, how much she might, she feigned offence;
- And, doing wrong, made show of innocence.
- So, having vexed, she nourished my warm fire,
- And was again most apt to my desire.
- To please me, what fair terms and sweet words has she
- Great gods! what kisses, and how many ga' she!
- Thou also that late took'st mine eyes away,
- Oft cozen me, oft, being wooed, say nay,
- And on thy threshold let me lie dispread,
- Suff'ring much cold by hoary night's frost bred.
- So shall my love continue many years;
- This doth delight me, this my courage cheers.
- Fat love, and too much fulsome, me annoys,
- Even as sweet meat a glutted stomach cloys
- In brazen tower had not Danäe dwelt,
- A mother's joy by Jove she had not felt.
- While Juno 10 keeps, when horns she wore,
- Jove liked her better than he did before.
- Who covets lawful things takes leaves from woods.
- And drinks stolen waters in surrounding floods.
- Her lover let her mock that long will reign.
- Ay me, let not my warnings cause my pain!
- Whatever haps, by sufferance harm is done,
- What flies I follow, what follows me I shun.
- But thou, of thy fair damsel too secure,
- Begin to shut thy house at evening sure.
- Search at the door who knocks oft in the dark,
- In night's deep silence why the ban-dogs bark.
- Whither the subtle maid lines brings and carries,
- Why she alone in empty bed oft tarries.
- Let this care sometimes bite thee to the quick.
- That to deceits it may me forward prick.
- To steal sands from the shore he loves a-life
- That can affect a foolish wittol's wife.
- Now I forewarn, unless to keep her stronger
- Thou dost begin, she shall be mine no longer.
- Long have I borne much, hoping time would beat thee
- To guard her well, that well I might entreat thee.
- Thou suffer'st what no husband can endure,
- But of my love it will an end procure.
- Shall I, poor soul, be never interdicted?
- Nor never with night's sharp revenge afflicted.
- In sleeping shall I fearless draw my breath?
- Wilt nothing do, why I should wish thy death?
- Can I but loathe a husband grown a bawd?
- By thy default thou dost our joys defraud.
- Some other seek that may in patience strive with thee,
- To pleasure me, forbid me to corrive with thee.
P. OVIDII MASONIS AMORUM.
Deliberatio poetæ, utrum elegos pergat scribere an potius tragoedias.
- An old wood stands, uncut of long years' space,
- 'Tis credible some godhead haunts the place.
- In midst thereof a stone-paved sacred spring,
- Where round about small birds most sweetly sing.
- Here while I walk, hid close in shady grove,
- To find what work my muse might move, I strove.
- Elegia came with hairs perfumèd sweet,
- And one, I think, was longer, of her feet:
- A decent form, thin robe, a lover's look,
- By her foot's blemish greater grace she took.
- Then with huge steps came violent Tragedy,
- Stern was her front, her cloak on ground did lie:
- Her left hand held abroad a regal sceptre,
- The Lydian buskin [in] fit paces kept her.
- And first she said, “When will thy love be spent,
- O poet careless of thy argument?
- Wine-bibbing banquets tell thy naughtiness,
- Each cross-way's corner doth as much express.
- Oft some points at the prophet passing by,
- And, ‘This is he whom fierce love burns,’ they cry.
- A laughing-stock thou art to all the city;
- While without shame thou sing'st thy lewdness' ditty.
- 'Tis time to move great things in lofty style,
- Long hast thou loitered; greater works compile.
- The subject hides thy wit; men's acts resound;
- This thou wilt say to be a worthy ground.
- Thy muse hath played what may mild girls content,
- And by those numbers is thy first youth spent.
- Now give the Roman Tragedy a name,
- To fill my laws thy wanton spirit frame.”
- This said, she moved her buskins gaily varnished,
- And seven times shook her head with thick locks garnished.
- The other smiled (I wot), with wanton eyes:
- Err I, or myrtle in her right hand lies?
- “With lofty words, stout Tragedy,” she said,
- “Why tread'st me down? art thou aye gravely play'd
- Thou deign'st unequal lines should thee rehearse;
- Thou fight'st against me using mine own verse.
- Thy lofty style with mine I not compare,
- Small doors unfitting for large houses are.
- Light am I, and with me, my care, light Love;
- Not stronger am I, than the thing I move.
- Ventis without me should be rustical:
- This goddess' company doth to me befall.
- What gate thy stately words cannot unlock,
- My flattering speeches soon wide open knock.
- And I deserve more than thou canst in verity,
- By suffering much not borne by thy severity.
- By me Corinna learns, cozening her guard,
- To get the door with little noise unbarred;
- And slipped from bed, clothed in a loose nightgown,
- To move her feet unheard in setting down.
- Ah, how oft on hard doors hung I engraved,
- From no man's reading fearing to be saved!
- But, till the keeper went forth, I forget not,
- The maid to hide me in her bosom let not.
- What gift with me was on her birthday sent,
- But cruelly by her was drowned and rent.
- First of thy mind the happy seeds I knew;
- Thou hast my gift, which she would from thee sue.”
- She left; I said, “You both I must beseech,
- To empty air may go my fearful speech.
- With sceptres and high buskins th' one would dress me,
- So through the world should bright renown express me.
- The other gives my love a conquering name;
- Come, therefore, and to long verse shorter frame.
- Grant, Tragedy, thy poet time's least tittle:
- Thy labour ever lasts; she asks but little.”
- She gave me leave; soft loves, in time make haste;
- Some greater work will urge me on at last.
Ad amicam cursum equorum spectantem.
- I sit not here the noble horse to see;
- Yet whom thou favour'st, pray may conqueror be.
- To sit and talk with thee I hither came,
- That thou may'st know with love thou mark'st me flame.
- Thou view'st the course; I thee: let either heed
- What please them, and their eyes let either feed.
- What horse-driver thou favour'st most is best,
- Because on him thy care doth hap to rest.
- Such chance let me have: I would bravely run,
- On swift steeds mounted till the race were done.
- Now would I slack the reins, now lash their hide,
- With wheels bent inward now the ring-turn ride.
- In running if I see thee, I shall stay,
- And from my hands the reins will slip away.
- Ah, Pelops from his coach was almost felled,
- Hippodamia's looks while he beheld!
- Yet he attained, by her support, to have her:
- Let us all conquer by our mistress' favour.
- In vain, why fly'st back? force conjoins us now:
- The place's laws this benefit allow.
- But spare my wench, thou at her right hand seated;
- By thy sides touching ill she is entreated.
- And sit thou rounder, that behind us see;
- For shame press not her back with thy hard knee.
- But on the ground thy clothes too loosely lie:
- Gather them up, or lift them, lo, will I.
- Envious garments, so good legs to hide!
- The more thou look'st, the more the gown's envied.
- Swift Atalanta's flying legs, like these,
- Wish in his hands grasped did Hippomenes.
- Coat-tucked Diana's legs are painted like them,
- When strong wild beasts, she, stronger, hunts to strike them.
- Ere these were seen, I burnt: what will these do?
- Flames into flame, floods thou pour'st seas into.
- By these I judge; delight me may the rest,
- Which lie hid, under her thin veil supprest.
- Yet in the meantime wilt small winds bestow,
- That from thy fan, moved by my hand, may blow?
- Or is my heat of mind, not of the sky?
- Is't women's love my captive breast doth fry?
- While thus I speak, black dust her white robes ray,
- Foul dust, from her fair body go away!
- Now comes the pomp; themselves let all men cheer
- The shout is nigh; the golden pomp comes here.
- First, Victory is brought with large-spread wing
- Goddess, come here; make my love conquering.
- Applaud you Neptune, that dare trust his wave,
- The sea I use not: me my earth must have.
- Soldier applaud thy Mars, no wars we move,
- Peace pleaseth me, and in mid peace is love.
- With augurs Phœbus, Phœbe with hunters stands;
- To thee Minerva turn the craftsmen's hands.
- Ceres and Bacchus countrymen adore,
- Champions please Pollux, Castor loves horsemen more
- Thee, gentle Venus, and the boy that flies,
- We praise: great goddess aid my enterprise.
- Let my new mistress grant to be beloved;
- She becked, and prosperous signs gave as she moved.
- What Venus promised, promise thou we pray
- Greater than her, by her leave, thou'rt, I'll say.
- The gods, and their rich pomp witness with me,
- For evermore thou shalt my mistress be.
- Thy legs hang down, thou may'st, if that be best,
- Awhile thy tiptoes on the footstool rest.
- Now greatest spectacles the Prætor sends,
- Four chariot-horses from the lists' even ends.
- I see whom thou affect'st: he shall subdue;
- The horses seem as thy desire they knew.
- Alas, he runs too far about the ring;
- What dost? thy waggon in less compass bring.
- What dost, unhappy? her good wishes fade:
- Let with strong hand the rein to bend be made.
- One slow we favour, Romans, him revoke:
- And each give signs by casting up his cloak.
- They call him back; lest their gowns toss thy hair,
- To hide thee in my bosom straight repair.
- But now again the barriers open lie,
- And forth the gay troops on swift horses fly.
- At least now conquer, and outrun the rest:
- My mistress' wish confirm with my request.
- My mistress hath her wish; my wish remain:
- He holds the palm: my palm is yet to gain.
- She smiled, and with quick eyes behight some grace
- Pay it not here, but in another place.
De amica quæ perjuraverat.
- What, are there gods? herself she hath forswore,
- And yet remains the face she had before.
- How long her locks were ere her oath she took.
- So long they be since she her faith forsook.
- Fair white with rose-red was before commixt;
- Now shine her looks pure white and red betwixt.
- Her foot was small: her foot's form is most fit:
- Comely tall was she, comely tall she's yet.
- Sharp eyes she had: radiant like stars they be,
- By which she, perjured oft, hath lied to me.
- In sooth, th' eternal powers grant maids society
- Falsely to swear; their beauty hath some deity.
- By her eyes, I remember, late she swore,
- And by mine eyes, and mine were painèd sore.
- Say gods: if she unpunished you deceive,
- For other's faults why do I loss receive.
- But did you not so envy Cepheus' daughter,
- For her ill-beauteous mother judged to slaughter.
- 'Tis not enough, she shakes your record off,
- And, unrevenged, mocked gods with me doth scoff.
- But by my pain to purge her perjuries,
- Cozened, I am the cozener's sacrifice.
- God is a name, no substance, feared in vain,
- And doth the world in fond belief detain.
- Or if there be a God, he loves fine wenches,
- And all things too much in their sole power drenches.
- Mars girts his deadly sword on for my harm;
- Pallas' lance strikes me with unconquered arm;
- At me Apollo bends his pliant bow;
- At me Jove's right hand lightning hath to throw.
- The wrongèd gods dread fair ones to offend,
- And fear those, that to fear them least intend.
- Who now will care the altars to perfume?
- Tut, men should not their courage so consume.
- Jove throws down woods and castles with his fire,
- But bids his darts from perjured girls retire.
- Poor Semele among so many burned,
- Her own request to her own torment turned.
- But when her lover came, had she drawn back,
- The father's thigh should unborn Bacchus lack.
- Why grieve I? and of heaven reproaches pen?
- The gods have eyes, and breasts as well as men.
- Were I a god, I should give women leave,
- With lying lips my godhead to deceive.
- Myself would swear the wenches true did swear,
- And I would be none of the gods severe.
- But yet their gift more moderately use,
- Or in mine eyes, good wench, no pain transfuse.
Ad virum servantem conjugem.
- Rude man, 'tis vain thy damsel to commend
- To keeper's trust: their wits should them defend.
- Who, without fear, is chaste, is chaste in sooth:
- Who, because means want, doeth not, she doth.
- Though thou her body guard, her mind is stained;
- Nor, 'less she will, can any be restrained.
- Nor can'st by watching keep her mind from sin,
- All being shut out, the adulterer is within.
- Who may offend, sins least; power to do ill
- The fainting seeds of naughtiness doth kill.
- Forbear to kindle vice by prohibition;
- Sooner shall kindness gain thy will's fruition.
- I saw a horse against the bit stiff-necked,
- Like lightning go, his struggling mouth being checked.
- When he perceived the reins let slack, he stayed,
- And on his loose mane the loose bridle laid.
- How to attain what is denied we think,
- Even as the sick desire forbidden drink.
- Argus had either way an hundred eyes,
- Yet by deceit Love did them all surprise.
- In stone and iron walls Danäe shut,
- Came forth a mother, though a maid there put.
- Penelope, though no watch looked unto her,
- Was not defiled by any gallant wooer.
- What's kept, we covet more: the care makes theft,
- Few love what others have unguarded left.
- Nor doth her face please, but her husband's love:
- I know not what men think should thee so move
- She is not chaste that's kept, but a dear whore:
- Thy fear is than her body valued more.
- Although thou chafe, stolen pleasure is sweet play,
- She pleaseth best, “I fear,” if any say.
- A free-born wench, no right 'tis up to lock,
- So use we women of strange nations' stock.
- Because the keeper may come say, “I did it,”
- She must be honest to thy servant's credit.
- He is too clownish whom a lewd wife grieves,
- And this town's well-known custom not believes;
- Where Mars his sons not without fault did breed,
- Remus and Romulus, Ilia's twin-born seed.
- Cannot a fair one, if not chaste, please thee?
- Never can these by any means agree.
- Kindly thy mistress use, if thou be wise;
- Look gently, and rough husbands' laws despise.
- Honour what friends thy wife gives, she'll give many,
- Least labour so shall win great grace of any.
- So shalt thou go with youths to feast together,
- And see at home much that thou ne'er brought'st thither.
Ad amnem dum iter faceret ad amicam.
- Flood with reed-grown slime banks, till I be past
- Thy waters stay: I to my mistress haste.
- Thou hast no bridge, nor boat with ropes to throw,
- That may transport me, without oars to row.
- Thee I have passed, and knew thy stream none such,
- When thy wave's brim did scarce my ankles touch.
- With snow thawed from the next hill now thou gushest
- And in thy foul deep waters thick thou rushest.
- What helps my haste? what to have ta'en small rest?
- What day and night to travel in her quest?
- If standing here I can by no means get
- My foot upon the further bank to set.
- Now wish I those wings noble Perseus had,
- Bearing the head with dreadful adders clad;
- Now wish the chariot, whence corn-fields were found.
- First to be thrown upon the untilled ground:
- I speak old poets' wonderful inventions,
- Ne'er was, nor [e'er] shall be, what my verse mentions.
- Rather, thou large bank-overflowing river,
- Slide in thy bounds; so shalt thou run for ever.
- Trust me, land-stream, thou shalt no envy lack,
- If I a lover be by thee held back.
- Great floods ought to assist young men in love,
- Great floods the force of it do often prove.
- In mid Bithynia, 'tis said, Inachus
- Grew pale, and, in cold fords, hot lecherous.
- Troy had not yet been ten years' siege outstander,
- When nymph Neæra rapt thy looks, Scamander.
- What, not Alpheus in strange lands to run,
- The Arcadian virgin's constant love hath won?
- And Creusa unto Xanthus first affied,
- They say Peneus near Phthia's town did hide.
- What should I name Asop, that Thebe loved,
- Thebe who mother of five daughters proved,
- If, Achelous, I ask where thy horns stand,
- Thou say'st, broke with Alcides' angry hand.
- Not Calydon, nor Ætolia did please;
- One Deianira was more worth than these.
- Rich Nile by seven mouths to the vast sea flowing,
- Who so well keeps his water's head from knowing,
- Is by Evadne thought to take such flame,
- As his deep whirlpools could not quench the same.
- Dry Enipeus, Tyro to embrace,
- Fly back his stream charged; the stream charged, gave place.
- Nor pass I thee, who hollow rocks down tumbling,
- In Tibur's field with watery foam art rumbling.
- Whom Ilia pleased, though in her looks grief revelled,
- Her cheeks were scratched, her goodly hairs dishevelled.
- She, wailing Mar's sin and her uncle's crime,
- Strayed barefoot through sole places on a time.
- Her, from his swift waves, the bold flood perceived,
- And from the mid ford his hoarse voice upheaved,
- Saying, “Why sadly tread'st my banks upon,
- Ilia sprung from Idæan Laomedon?
- Where's thy attire? why wanderest here alone?
- To stay thy tresses white veil hast thou none?
- Why weep'st and spoil'st with tears thy watery eyes?
- And fiercely knock'st thy breast that open lies?
- His heart consists of flint and hardest steel,
- That seeing thy tears can any joy then feel.
- Fear not: to thee our court stands open wide,
- There shalt be loved: Ilia, lay fear aside.
- Thou o'er a hundred nymphs or more shalt reign,
- For five score nymphs or more our floods contain.
- Nor, Roman stock, scorn me so much, I crave;
- Gifts than my promise greater thou shalt have.”
- This said he: she her modest eyes held down;
- Her woful bosom a warm shower did drown.
- Thrice she prepared to fly, thrice she did stay,
- By fear deprived of strength to run away.
- Yet rending with enragèd thumb her tresses,
- Her trembling mouth these unmeet sounds expresses.
- “O would in my forefathers' tomb deep laid,
- My bones had been while yet I was a maid:
- Why being a vestal am I wooed to wed,
- Deflowered and stainèd in unlawful bed?
- Why stay I? men point at me for a whore:
- Shame, that should make me blush, I have no more
- This said; her coat hoodwinked her fearful eyes,
- And into water desperately she flies.
- 'Tis said the slippery stream held up her breast,
- And kindly gave her what she likèd best.
- And I believe some wench thou hast affected,
- But woods and groves keep your faults undetected.
- While thus I speak the waters more abounded,
- And from the channel all abroad surrounded.
- Mad stream, why dost our mutual joys defer?
- Clown, from my journey why dost me deter?
- How would'st thou flow wert thou a noble flood?
- If thy great fame in every region stood?
- Thou hast no name, but com'st from snowy mountains,
- No certain house thou hast, nor any fountains;
- Thy springs are nought but rain and melted snow,
- Which wealth cold winter doth on thee bestow.
- Either thou art muddy in mid-winter tide,
- Or full of dust dost on the dry earth slide.
- What thirsty traveller ever drunk of thee?
- Who said with grateful voice, “Perpetual be!”
- Harmful to beasts, and to the fields thou proves,
- Perchance these others, me mine own loss moves.
- To this I fondly loves of floods told plainly,
- I shame so great names to have used so vainly.
- I know not what expecting, I erewhile,
- Named Achelous, Inachus, and Nile.
- But for thy merits I wish thee, white stream,
- Dry winters aye, and suns in heat extreme.
Quod ab amica receptus, cum ea coire non potuit conqueritur.
- Either she was foul, or her attire was bad,
- Or she was not the wench I wished to have had.
- Idly I lay with her, as if I loved not,
- And like a burden grieved the bed that moved not.
- Though both of us performed our true intent,
- Yet could I not cast anchor where I meant.
- She on my neck her ivory arms did throw,
- Her arms far whiter than the Scythian snow.
- And eagerly she kissed me with her tongue,
- And under mine her wanton thigh she flung,
- Yea, and she soothed me up, and called me “Sir,”
- And used all speech that might provoke and stir.
- Yet like as if cold hemlock I had drunk,
- It mockèd me, hung down the head and sunk.
- Like a dull cipher, or rude block I lay,
- Or shade, or body was I, who can say?
- What will my age do, age I cannot shun,
- Seeing in my prime my force is spent and done?
- I blush, that being youthful, hot, and lusty,
- I prove neither youth nor man, but old and rusty.
- Pure rose she, like a nun to sacrifice,
- Or one that with her tender brother lies.
- Yet boarded I the golden Chie twice,
- And Libas, and the white-cheeked Pitho thrice.
- Corinna craved it in a summer's night,
- And nine sweet bouts had we before daylight.
- What, waste my limbs through some Thessalian charms?
- May spells and drugs do silly souls such harms?
- With virgin wax hath some imbast my joints?
- And pierced my liver with sharp needle-points?
- Charms change corn to grass and make it die:
- By charms are running springs and fountains dry.
- By charms mast drops from oaks, from vines grapes fall,
- And fruit from trees when there's no wind at all.
- Why might not then my sinews be enchanted?
- And I grow faint as with some spirit haunted?
- To this, add shame: shame to perform it quailed me.
- And was the second cause why vigour failed me.
- My idle thoughts delighted her no more,
- Than did the robe or garment which she wore.
- Yet might her touch make youthful Pylius fire,
- And Tithon livelier than his years require.
- Even her I had, and she had me in vain,
- What might I crave more, if I ask again?
- I think the great gods grieved they had bestowed,
- This benefit: which lewdly I foreslowed.
- I wished to be received in, in I get me.
- To kiss, I kiss; to lie with her, she let me.
- Why was I blest? why made king to refuse it?
- Chuff-like had I not gold and could not use it?
- So in a spring thrives he that told so much,
- And looks upon the fruits he cannot touch.
- Hath any rose so from a fresh young maid,
- As she might straight have gone to church and prayed?
- Well, I believe, she kissed not as she should,
- Nor used the sleight and cunning which she could.
- Huge oaks, hard adamants might she have moved,
- And with sweet words caus[ed] deaf rocks to have loved,
- Worthy she was to move both gods and men,
- But neither was I man nor livèd then.
- Can deaf ears take delight when Phæmius sings?
- Or Thamyris in curious painted things?
- What sweet thought is there but I had the same?
- And one gave place still as another came.
- Yet notwithstanding, like one dead it lay,
- Drooping more than a rose pulled yesterday.
- Now, when he should not jet, he bolts upright,
- And craves his task, and seeks to be at fight.
- Lie down with shame, and see thou stir no more.
- Seeing thou would'st deceive me as before.
- Thou cozenest me: by thee surprised am I,
- And bide sore loss with endless infamy.
- Nay more, the wench did not disdain a whit
- To take it in her hand, and play with it.
- But when she saw it would by no means stand,
- But still drooped down, regarding not her hand,
- “Why mock'st thou me,” she cried, “or being ill,
- Who bade thee lie down here against thy will?
- Either thou art witched with blood of frogs new dead,
- Or jaded cam'st thou from some other's bed.”
- With that, her loose gown on, from me she cast her;
- In skipping out her naked feet much graced her.
- And lest her maid should know of this disgrace,
- To cover it, spilt water in the place.
Quod ab amica non recipiatur, dolet.
- What man will now take liberal arts in hand,
- Or think soft verse in any stead to stand?
- Wit was sometimes more precious than gold;
- Now poverty great barbarism we hold.
- When our books did my mistress fair content,
- I might not go whither my papers went.
- She praised me, yet the gate shut fast upon her,
- I here and there go, witty with dishonour.
- See a rich chuff, whose wounds great wealth inferred,
- For bloodshed knighted, before me preferred.
- Fool, can'st thou him in thy white arms embrace?
- Fool, can'st thou lie in his enfolding space?
- Know'st not this head a helm was wont to bear?
- This side that serves thee, a sharp sword did wear.
- His left hand, whereon gold doth ill alight,
- A target bore: blood-sprinkled was his right.
- Can'st touch that hand wherewith some one lies dead?
- Ah, whither is thy breast's soft nature fled?
- Behold the signs of ancient fight, his scars!
- Whate'er he hath, his body gained in wars.
- Perhaps he'll tell how oft he slew a man,
- Confessing this, why dost thou touch him than?
- I, the pure priest of Phœbus and the Muses,
- At thy deaf doors in verse sing my abuses.
- Not what we slothful know, let wise men learn,
- But follow trembling camps and battles stern,
- And for a good verse draw the first dart forth:
- Homer without this shall be nothing worth.
- Jove, being admonished gold had sovereign power,
- To win the maid came in a golden shower.
- Till then, rough was her father, she severe,
- The posts of brass, the walls of iron were.
- But when in gifts the wise adulterer came,
- She held her lap ope to receive the same.
- Yet when old Saturn heaven's rule possest,
- All gain in darkness the deep earth supprest.
- Gold, silver, iron's heavy weight, and brass,
- In hell were harboured; here was found no mass.
- But better things it gave, corn without ploughs,
- Apples, and honey in oaks' hollow boughs.
- With strong ploughshares no man the earth did cleave,
- The ditcher no marks on the ground did leave.
- Nor hanging oars the troubled seas did sweep,
- Men kept the shore and sailed not into deep.
- Against thyself, man's nature, thou wert cunning,
- And to thine own loss was thy wit swift running.
- Why gird'st thy cities with a towerèd wall,
- Why let'st discordant hands to armour fall?
- What dost with seas? with th' earth thou wert content;
- Why seek'st not heaven, the third realm, to frequent?
- Heaven thou affects: with Romulus, temples brave,
- Bacchus, Alcides, and now Cæsar have.
- Gold from the earth instead of fruits we pluck;
- Soldiers by blood to be enriched have luck.
- Courts shut the poor out; wealth gives estimation.
- Thence grows the judge, and knight of reputation.
- All, they possess: they govern fields and laws,
- They manage peace and raw war's bloody jaws.
- Only our loves let not such rich churls gain:
- 'Tis well if some wench for the poor remain.
- Now, Sabine-like, though chaste she seems to live,
- One her commands, who many things can give.
- For me, she doth keeper and husband fear,
- If I should give, both would the house forbear.
- If of scorned lovers God be venger just,
- O let him change goods so ill-got to dust.
Tibulli mortem deflet.
- If Thetis and the Morn their sons did wail,
- And envious Fates great goddesses assail;
- Sad Elegy, thy woful hairs unbind:
- Ah, now a name too true thou hast I find.
- Tibullus, thy work's poet, and thy fame,
- Burns his dead body in the funeral flame.
- Lo, Cupid brings his quiver spoilèd quite,
- His broken bow, his firebrand without light
- How piteously with drooping wings he stands,
- And knocks his bare breast with self-angry hands.
- The locks spread on his neck receive his tears,
- And shaking sobs his mouth for speeches bears.
- So at æneas' burial, men report,
- Fair-faced Iülus, he went forth thy court.
- And Venus grieves, Tibullus' life being spent,
- As when the wild boar Adon's groin had rent.
- The gods' care we are called, and men of piety,
- And some there be that think we have a deity.
- Outrageous death profanes all holy things,
- And on all creatures obscure darkness brings.
- To Thracian Orpheus what did parents good?
- Or songs amazing wild beasts of the wood?
- Where Linus by his father Phœbus laid,
- To sing with his unequalled harp is said.
- See Homer from whose fountain ever filled
- Pierian dew to poets is distilled:
- Him the last day in black Avern hath drowned:
- Verses alone are with continuance crowned.
- The work of poets lasts: Troy's labour's fame,
- And that slow web night's falsehood did unframe.
- So Nemesis, so Delia famous are,
- The one his first love, th' other his new care.
- What profit to us hath our pure life bred?
- What to have lain alone in empty bed?
- When bad Fates take good men, I am forbod
- By secret thoughts to think there is a God.
- Live godly, thou shalt die; though honour heaven,
- Yet shall thy life be forcibly bereaven.
- Trust in good verse, Tibullus feels death's pains,
- Scarce rests of all what a small urn contains.
- Thee, sacred poet, could sad flames destroy?
- Nor fearèd they thy body to annoy?
- The holy god's gilt temples they might fire,
- That durst to so great wickedness aspire.
- Eryx' bright empress turned her looks aside,
- And some, that she refrained tears, have denied.
- Yet better is't, than if Corcyra's Isle,
- Had thee unknown interred in ground most vile.
- Thy dying eyes here did thy mother close,
- Nor did thy ashes her last offerings lose.
- Part of her sorrow here thy sister bearing,
- Comes forth, her unkembed locks asunder tearing.
- Nemesis and thy first wench join their kisses
- With thine, nor this last fire their presence misses.
- Delia departing, “Happier loved,” she saith,
- “Was I: thou liv'dst, while thou esteem'dst my faith.”
- Nemesis answers, “What's my loss to thee?
- His fainting hand in death engraspèd me.”
- If aught remains of us but name and spirit,
- Tibullus doth Elysium's joy inherit.
- Their youthful brows with ivy girt to meet him,
- With Calvus learned Catullus comes, and greet him;
- And thou, if falsely charged to wrong thy friend,
- Gallus, that car'dst not blood and life to spend.
- With these thy soul walks: souls if death release,
- The godly sweet Tibullus doth increase.
- Thy bones, I pray, may in the urn safe rest,
- And may th' earth's weight thy ashes naught molest.
Ad Cererem, conquerens quod ejus sacris cum amica concumbere non permittatur.
- Come were the times of Ceres' sacrifice;
- In empty bed alone my mistress lies.
- Golden-haired Ceres crowned with ears of corn,
- Why are our pleasures by thy means forborne?
- Thee, goddess, bountiful all nations judge,
- Nor less at man's prosperity any grudge.
- Rude husbandmen baked not their corn before,
- Nor on the earth was known the name of floor.
- On mast of oaks, first oracles, men fed;
- This was their meat, the soft grass was their bed.
- First Ceres taught the seed in fields to swell,
- And ripe-eared corn with sharp-edged scythes to fell.
- She first constrained bulls' necks to bear the yoke,
- And untilled ground with crooked ploughshares broke.
- Who thinks her to be glad at lovers' smart,
- And worshipped by their pain and lying apart?
- Nor is she, though she loves the fertile fields,
- A clown, nor no love from her warm breast yields.
- Be witness Crete (nor Crete doth all things feign),
- Crete proud that Jove her nursery maintain.
- There he who rules the world's star-spangled towers,
- A little boy, drunk teat-distilling showers.
- Faith to the witness Jove's praise doth apply;
- Ceres, I think, no known fault will deny.
- The goddess saw Iasion on Candian Ide,
- With strong hand striking wild beasts' bristled hide.
- She saw, and as her marrow took the flame,
- Was divers ways distract with love and shame.
- Love conquered shame, the furrows dry were burned,
- And corn with least part of itself returned.
- When well-tossed mattocks did the ground prepare,
- Being fit-broken with the crooked share,
- And seeds were equally in large fields cast,
- The ploughman's hopes were frustrate at the last.
- The grain-rich goddess in high woods did stray,
- Her long hair's ear-wrought garland fell away.
- Only was Crete fruitful that plenteous year;
- Where Ceres went, each place was harvest there
- Ida, the seat of groves, did sing with corn,
- Which by the wild boar in the woods was shorn.
- Law-giving Minos did such years desire,
- And wished the goddess long might feel love's fire.
- Ceres, what sports to thee so grievous were,
- As in thy sacrifice we them forbear?
- Why am I sad, when Proserpine is found,
- And Juno-like with Dis reigns under ground?
- Festival days ask Venus, songs, and wine,
- These gifts are meet to please the powers divine.
Ad amicam a cujus amore discedere non potest.
- Long have I borne much, mad thy faults me make;
- Dishonest love, my wearied breast forsake!
- Now have I freed myself, and fled the chain,
- And what I have borne, shame to bear again.
- We vanquish, and tread tamed love under feet,
- Victorious wreaths at length my temples greet.
- Suffer, and harden: good grows by this grief,
- Oft bitter juice brings to the sick relief.
- I have sustained, so oft thrust from the door,
- To lay my body on the hard moist floor.
- I know not whom thou lewdly didst embrace,
- When I to watch supplied a servant's place.
- I saw when forth a tirèd lover went,
- His side past service, and his courage spent,
- Yet this is less than if he had seen me;
- May that shame fall mine enemies' chance to be.
- When have not I, fixed to thy side, close laid?
- I have thy husband, guard, and fellow played.
- The people by my company she pleased;
- My love was cause that more men's love she seized.
- What, should I tell her vain tongue's filthy lies,
- And, to my loss, god-wronging perjuries?
- What secret becks in banquets with her youths,
- With privy signs, and talk dissembling truths?
- Hearing her to be sick, I thither ran,
- But with my rival sick she was not than.
- These hardened me, with what I keep obscure:
- Some other seek, who will these things endure.
- Now my ship in the wishèd haven crowned,
- With joy hears Neptune's swelling waters sound.
- Leave thy once-powerful words, and flatteries,
- I am not as I was before, unwise.
- Now love and hate my light breast each way move,
- But victory, I think, will hap to love.
- I'll hate, if I can; if not, love 'gainst my will,
- Bulls hate the yoke, yet what they hate have still.
- I fly her lust, but follow beauty's creature,
- I loathe her manners, love her body's feature.
- Nor with thee, nor without thee can I live,
- And doubt to which desire the palm to give.
- Or less fair, or less lewd would thou might'st be
- Beauty with lewdness doth right ill agree.
- Her deeds gain hate, her face entreateth love;
- Ah, she doth more worth than her vices prove!
- Spare me, oh, by our fellow bed, by all
- The gods, who by thee, to be perjured fall.
- And by thy face to me a power divine,
- And by thine eyes, whose radiance burns out mine!
- Whate'er thou art, mine art thou: choose this course,—
- Wilt have me willing, or to love by force?
- Rather I'll hoist up sail, and use the wind,
- That I may love yet, though against my mind.
Dolet amicam suam ita suis carminibus innotuisse ut rivales multos sibi pararit.
- What day was that, which all sad haps to bring,
- White birds to lovers did not always sing?
- Or is I think my wish against the stars?
- Or shall I plain some god against me wars?
- Who mine was called, whom I loved more than any,
- I fear with me is common now to many.
- Err I? or by my books is she so known?
- 'Tis so: by my wit her abuse is grown.
- And justly: for her praise why did I tell?
- The wench by my fault is set forth to sell.
- The bawd I play, lovers to her I guide:
- Her gate by my hands is set open wide.
- 'Tis doubtful whether verse avail or harm,
- Against my good they were an envious charm
- When Thebes, when Troy, when Cæsar should be writ,
- Alone Corinna moves my wanton wit.
- With Muse opposed, would I my lines had done,
- And Phœbus had forsook my work begun!
- Nor, as use will not poets' record hear,
- Would I my words would any credit bear.
- Scylla by us her father's rich hair steals,
- And Scylla's womb mad raging dogs conceals.
- We cause feet fly, we mingle hares with snakes,
- Victorious Perseus a winged steed's back takes.
- Our verse great Tityus a huge space outspreads,
- And gives the viper-curlèd dog three heads.
- We make Enceladus use a thousand arms,
- And men enthralled by mermaid's singing charms.
- The east winds in Ulysses' bags we shut,
- And blabbing Tantalus in mid-waters put.
- Niobe flint, Callist we make a bear,
- Bird-changèd Progne doth her Itys tear.
- Jove turns himself into a swan, or gold,
- Or his bull's horns Europa's hand doth hold.
- Proteus what should I name? teeth, Thebes' first seed?
- Oxen in whose mouths burning flames did breed?
- Heaven-star, Electra, that bewailed her sisters?
- The ships, whose godhead in the sea now glisters?
- The sun turned back from Atreus' cursèd table?
- And sweet-touched harp that to move stones was able?
- Poets' large power is boundless and immense,
- Nor have their words true history's pretence.
- And my wench ought to have seemed falsely praised,
- Now your credulity harm to me hath raised.
De Junonis festo.
- When fruit-filled Tuscia should a wife give me,
- We touched the walls, Camillus, won by thee.
- The priests to Juno did prepare chaste feasts,
- With famous pageants, and their home-bred beasts.
- To know their rites well recompensed my stay,
- Though thither leads a rough steep hilly way.
- There stands an old wood with thick trees dark-clouded
- Who sees it grants some deity there is shrouded.
- An altar takes men's incense and oblation,
- An altar made after the ancient fashion.
- Here, when the pipe with solemn tunes doth sound,
- The annual pomp goes on the covered ground.
- White heifers by glad people forth are led,
- Which with the grass of Tuscan fields are fed,
- And calves from whose feared front no threatening flies,
- And little pigs. base hogsties' sacrifice,
- And rams with horns their hard heads wreathèd back
- Only the goddess-hated goat did lack,
- By whom disclosed, she in the high woods took,
- Is said to have attempted flight forsook.
- Now is the goat brought through the boys with darts,
- And give[n] to him that the first wound imparts.
- Where Juno comes, each youth and pretty maid,
- Show large ways, with their garments there displayed.
- Jewels and gold their virgin tresses crown,
- And stately robes to their gilt feet hang down.
- As is the use, the nuns in white veils clad,
- Upon their heads the holy mysteries had.
- When the chief pomp comes, loud the people hollow,
- And she her vestal virgin priests doth follow.
- Such was the Greek pomp, Agamemnon dead;
- Which fact and country wealth Halesus fled;
- And having wandered now through sea and land,
- Built walls high towered with a prosperous hand.
- He to th' Hetrurians Juno's feast commended:
- Let me and them by it be aye befriended.
Ad amicam, si peccatura est, ut occulte peccet.
- Seeing thou art fair, I bar not thy false playing,
- But let not me, poor soul, know of thy straying.
- Nor do I give thee counsel to live chaste,
- But that thou would'st dissemble, when 'tis past.
- She hath not trod awry, that doth deny it.
- Such as confess have lost their good names by it.
- What madness is't to tell night-pranks by day?
- And hidden secrets openly to bewray?
- The strumpet with the stranger will not do,
- Before the room be clear and door put-to.
- Will you make shipwreck of your honest name,
- And let the world be witness of the same?
- Be more advised, walk as a puritan,
- And I shall think you chaste, do what you can.
- Slip still, only deny it when 'tis done,
- And, before folk, immodest speeches shun.
- The bed is for lascivious toyings meet,
- There use all tricks, and tread shame under feet.
- When you are up and dressed, be sage and grave,
- And in the bed hide all the faults you have.
- Be not ashamed to strip you, being there,
- And mingle thighs, yours ever mine to bear.
- There in your rosy lips my tongue entomb,
- Practise a thousand sports when there you come.
- Forbear no wanton words you there would speak,
- And with your pastime let the bedstead creak;
- But with your robes put on an honest face,
- And blush, and seem as you were full of grace.
- Deceive all; let me err; and think I'm right,
- And like a wittol think thee void of slight.
- Why see I lines so oft received and given?
- This bed and that by tumbling made uneven?
- Like one start up your hair tost and displaced,
- And with a wanton's tooth your neck new-rased.
- Grant this, that what you do I may not see;
- If you weigh not ill speeches, yet weigh me.
- My soul fleets when I think what you have done,
- And thorough every vein doth cold blood run.
- Then thee whom I must love, I hate in vain,
- And would be dead, but dead with thee remain.
- I'll not sift much, but hold thee soon excused.
- Say but thou wert injuriously accused.
- Though while the deed be doing you be took,
- And I see when you ope the two-leaved book,
- Swear I was blind, deny if you be wise,
- And I will trust your words more than mine eyes
- From him that yields, the palm is quickly got,
- Teach but your tongue to say, “I did it not,”
- And being justified by two words, think
- The cause acquits you not, but I that wink.
Ad Venerem, quod elegis finem imponat.
- Tender Loves' mother a new poet get,
- This last end to my Elegies is set.
- Which I, Peligny's foster-child, have framed,
- Nor am I by such wanton toys defamed.
- Heir of an ancient house, if help that can,
- Not only by war's rage made gentleman.
- In Virgil Mantua joys: in Catull Verone;
- Of me Peligny's nation boasts alone;
- Whom liberty to honest arms compelled,
- When careful Rome in doubt their prowess held.
- And some guest viewing watery Sulmo's walls,
- Where little ground to be enclosed befalls,
- “How such a poet could you bring forth?” says:
- “How small soe'er, I'll you for greatest praise.”
- Both loves, to whom my heart long time did yield,
- Your golden ensigns pluck out of my field.
- Horned Bacchus graver fury doth distil,
- A greater ground with great horse is to till.
- Weak Elegies, delightful Muse, farewell;
- A work that, after my death, here shall dwell.
EPIGRAMS BY J[ohn] D[avies].
EPIGRAMS BY J[ohn] D[avies].
AD MUSAM. I.
- Fly, merry Muse, unto that merry town,
- Where thou mayst plays, revels, and triumphs see:
- The house of fame, and theatre of renown,
- Where all good wits and spirits love to be.
- Fall in between their hands that praise and love thee.
- And be to them a laughter and a jest:
- But as for them which scorning shall reprove thee,
- Disdain their wits, and think thine own the best.
- But if thou find any so gross and dull,
- That thinks I do to private taxing lean,
- Bid him go hang, for he is but a gull,
- And knows not what an epigram doth mean,
- Which taxeth, under a particular name,
- A general vice which merits public blame.
OF A GULL. II.
- Oft in my laughing rhymes I name a gull;
- But this new term will many questions breed;
- Therefore at first I will express at full,
- Who is a true and perfect gull indeed.
- A gull is he who fears a velvet gown,
- And, when a wench is brave, dares not speak to her;
- A gull is he which traverseth the town,
- And is for marriage known a common wooer;
- A gull is he which, while he proudly wears
- A silver-hilted rapier by his side,
- Endures the lie and knocks about the ears,
- Whilst in his sheath his sleeping sword doth bide;
- A gull is he which wears good handsome clothes,
- And stands in presence stroking up his hair,
- And fills up his unperfect speech with oaths,
- But speaks not one wise word throughout the year.
- But, to define a gull in terms precise,—
- A gull is he which seems and is not wise.
IN REFUM. III.
- Rufus the courtier, at the theatre,
- Leaving the best and most conspicuous place,
- Doth either to the stage himself transfer,
- Or through a grate doth show his double face,
- For that the clamorous fry of Inns of Court
- Fill up the private rooms of greater price,
- And such a place where all may have resort
- He in his singularity doth despise.
- Yet doth not his particular humour shun
- The common stews and brothels of the town,
- Though all the world in troops do thither run,
- Clean and unclean, the gentle and the clown:
- Then why should Rufus in his pride abhor
- A common seat, that loves a common whore?
IN QUINTUM. IV.
- Quintus the dancer useth evermore
- His feet in measure and in rule to move:
- Yet on a time he call'd his mistress whore,
- And thought with that sweet word to win her love.
- O, had his tongue like to his feet been taught,
- It never would have utter'd such a thought!
IN PLURIMOS. V.
- Faustinus, Sextus, Cinna, Ponticus,
- With Gella, Lesbia, Thais, Rhodope,
- Rode all to Staines, for no cause serious,
- But for their mirth and for their lechery.
- Scarce were they settled in their lodging, when
- Wenches with wenches, men with men fell out,
- Men with their wenches, wenches with their men;
- Which straight dissolves this ill-assembled rout.
- But since the devil brought them thus together,
- To my discoursing thoughts it is a wonder,
- Why presently as soon as they came thither,
- The self-same devil did them part asunder.
- Doubtless, it seems, it was a foolish devil,
- That thus did part them ere they did some evil.
IN TITUM. VI.
- Titus, the brave and valorous young gallant,
- Three years together in this town hath been;
- Yet my Lord Chancellor's tomb he hath not seen,
- Nor the new water-work, nor the elephant.
- I cannot tell the cause without a smile,—
- He hath been in the Counter all this while.
IN FAUSTUM. VII.
- Faustus, nor lord nor knight, nor wise nor old,
- To every place about the town doth ride;
- He rides into the fields plays to behold,
- He rides to take boat at the water-side,
- He rides to Paul's, he rides to th' ordinary,
- He rides unto the house of bawdry too,—
- Thither his horse so often doth him carry,
- That shortly he will quite forget to go.
IN KATAM. VIII.
- Kate, being pleas'd, wish'd that her pleasure could
- Endure as long as a buff-jerkin would.
- Content thee, Kate; although thy pleasure wasteth,
- Thy pleasure's place like a buff-jerkin lasteth,
- For no buff-jerkin hath been oftener worn,
- Nor hath more scrapings or more dressings borne
IN LIBRUM. IX.
- Liber doth vaunt how chastely he hath liv'd
- Since he hath been in town, seven years and more,
- For that he swears he hath four only swiv'd,
- A maid, a wife, a widow, and a whore:
- Then, Liber, thou hast swiv'd all womenkind,
- For a fifth sort, I know, thou canst not find.
IN MEDONTEM. X
- Great Captain Medon wears a chain of gold
- Which at five hundred crowns is valuéd,
- For that it was his grandsire's chain of old,
- When great King Henry Boulogne conqueréd.
- And wear it, Medon, for it may ensue,
- That thou, by virtue of this massy chain,
- A stronger town than Boulogne mayst subdue,
- If wise men's saws be not reputed vain;
- For what said Philip, king of Macedon?
- “There is no castle so well fortified,
- But if an ass laden with gold comes on,
- The guard will stoop, and gates fly open wide”
IN GELLAM. XI.
- Gella, if thou dost love thyself, take heed
- Lest thou my rhymes unto thy lover read,
- For straight thou grinn'st, and then thy lover seeth
- Thy canker-eaten gums and rotten teeth.
IN QUINTUM. XII.
- Quintus his wit, infus'd into his brain,
- Mislikes the place, and fled into his feet;
- And there it wanders up and down the street,
- Dabbled in the dirt, and soakéd in the rain.
- Doubtless his wit intends not to aspire,
- Which leaves his head, to travel in the mire.
IN SEVERUM. XIII.
- The puritan Severus oft doth read
- This text, that doth pronounce vain speech a sin,—
- “That thing defiles a man, that doth proceed
- From out the mouth, not that which enters in.”
- Hence is it that we seldom hear him swear;
- And therefore like a Pharisee, he vaunts:
- But he devours more capons in a year
- Than would suffice a hundred protestants.
- And, sooth, those sectaries are gluttons all,
- As well the thread-bare cobbler as the knight;
- For those poor slaves which have not wherewithal,
- Feed on the rich, till they devour them quite;
- And so, like Pharaoh's kine, they eat up clean
- Those that be fat, yet still themselves be lean.
IN LEUCAM. XIV.
- Leuca in presence once a fart did let:
- Some laugh'd a little; she forsook the place,
- And, mad with shame, did eke her glove forget,
- Which she return'd to fetch with bashful grace;
- And when she would have said “this is my glove,”
- “My fart,” quod she; which did more laughter move.
IN MACRUM. XV.
- Thou canst not speak yet, Macer; for to speak,
- Is to distinguish sounds significant:
- Thou with harsh noise the air dost rudely break,
- But what thou utter'st common sense doth want,—
- Half-English words, with fustian terms among,
- Much like the burden of a northern song.
IN FAUSTUM. XVI.
- “That youth,” said Faustus, “hath a lion seen,
- Who from a dicing-house comes moneyless.”
- But when he lost his hair, where had he been?
- I doubt me, he had seen a lioness.
IN COSMUM. XVII.
- Cosmus hath more discoursing in his head
- Than Jove when Pallas issu'd from his brain;
- And still he strives to be deliveréd
- Of all his thoughts at once; but all in vain:
- For, as we see at all the playhouse-doors,
- When ended is the play, the dance, and song,
- A thousand townsmen, gentlemen, and whores,
- Porters, and serving-men, together throng,—
- So thoughts of drinking, thriving, wenching, war,
- And borrowing money, ranging in his mind,
- To issue all at once so forward are,
- As none at all can perfect passage find.
IN FLACCUM. XVIII.
- The false knave Flaccus once a bribe I gave;
- The more fool I to bribe so false a knave:
- But he gave back my bribe; the more fool he,
- That for my folly did not cozen me.
IN CINEAM. XIX.
- Thou, doggéd Cineas, hated like a dog,
- For still thou grumblest like a masty dog,
- Compar'st thyself to nothing but a dog;
- Thou say'st thou art as weary as a dog,
- As angry, sick, and hungry as a dog,
- As dull and melancholy as a dog,
- As lazy, sleepy, idle as a dog.
- But why dost thou compare thee to a dog
- In that for which all men despise a dog?
- I will compare thee better to a dog;
- Thou art as fair and comely as a dog,
- Thou art as true and honest as a dog,
- Thou art as kind and liberal as a dog,
- Thou art as wise and valiant as a dog.
- But, Cineas, I have often heard thee tell,
- Thou art as like thy father as may be:
- 'Tis like enough; and, faith, I like it well;
- But I am glad thou art not like to me.
IN GERONTEM. XX.
- Geron, whose mouldy memory corrects
- Old Holinshed our famous chronicler
- With moral rules, and policy collects
- Out of all actions done these fourscore year;
- Accounts the time of every odd event,
- Not from Christ's birth, nor from the prince's reign,
- But from some other famous accident,
- Which in men's general notice doth remain,—
- The siege of Boulogne, and the plaguy sweat,
- The going to Saint Quintin's and New-Haven,
- The rising in the north, the frost so great,
- That cart-wheel prints on Thamis' face were graven,
- The fall of money, and burning of Paul's steeple,
- The blazing star, and Spaniards' overthrow:
- By these events, notorious to the people,
- He measures times, and things forepast doth show:
- But most of all, he chiefly reckons by
- A private chance,—the death of his curst wife;
- This is to him the dearest memory,
- And th' happiest accident of all his life.
IN MARCUM. XXI.
- When Marcus comes from Mins', he still doth swear,
- By “come on seven,” that all is lost and gone:
- But that's not true; for he hath lost his hair,
- Only for that he came too much on one.
IN CYPRIUM. XXII.
- The fine youth Cyprius is more terse and neat
- Than the new garden of the Old Temple is;
- And still the newest fashion he doth get,
- And with the time doth change from that to this,
- He wears a hat now of the flat-crown block,
- The treble ruff, long coat, and doublet French;
- He takes tobacco, and doth wear a lock,
- And wastes more time in dressing than a wench.
- Yet this new-fangled youth, made for these times,
- Doth, above all, praise old George Gascoigne's rhymes.
IN CINEAM. XXIII.
- When Cineas comes amongst his friends in morning,
- He slyly looks who first his cap doth move:
- Him he salutes, the rest so grimly scorning,
- As if for ever they had lost his love.
- I, knowing how it doth the humour fit
- Of this fond gull to be saluted first,
- Catch at my cap, but move it not a whit:
- Which he perceiving, seems for spite to burst.
- But, Cineas, why expect you more of me
- Than I of you? I am as good a man,
- And better too by many a quality,
- For vault, and dance, and fence, and rhyme I can:
- You keep a whore at your own charge, men tell me;
- Indeed, friend Cineas, therein you excel me.
IN GALLUM. XXIV.
- Gallus hath been this summer-time in Friesland,
- And now, return'd, he speaks such warlike words,
- As, if I could their English understand,
- I fear me they would cut my throat like swords;
- He talks of counter-scarfs, and casamates,
- Of parapets, curtains, and palisadoes;
- Of flankers, ravelins, gabions he prates,
- And of false-brays, and sallies, and scaladoes.
- But, to requite such gulling terms as these,
- With words to my profession I reply;
- I tell of fourching, vouchers, and counterpleas,
- Of withernams, essoins, and champarty.
- So, neither of us understanding either,
- We part as wise as when we came together.
IN DECIUM. XXV.
- Audacious painters have Nine Worthies made,
- But poet Decius, more audacious far,
- Making his mistress march with men of war,
- With title of “Tenth Worthy” doth her lade.
- Methinks that gull did use his terms as fit,
- Which term'd his love “a giant for her wit.”
IN GELLAM. XXVI.
- If Gella's beauty be examinéd,
- She hath a dull dead eye, a saddle nose,
- An ill-shap'd face, with morphew overspread,
- And rotten teeth, which she in laughing shows,
- Briefly, she is the filthiest wench in town,
- Of all that do the art of whoring use:
- But when she hath put on her satin gown,
- Her cut lawn apron, and her velvet shoes,
- Her green silk stockings, and her petticoat
- Of taffeta, with golden fringe around,
- And is withal perfum'd with civet hot,
- Which doth her valiant stinking breath confound,—
- Yet she with these additions is no more
- Than a sweet, filthy, fine, ill-favour'd whore.
IN SYLLAM. XXVII.
- Sylla is often challeng'd to the field,
- To answer, like a gentleman, his foes:
- But then doth he this only answer yield,
- That he hath livings and fair lands to lose.
- Sylla, if none but beggars valiant were,
- The king of Spain would put us all in fear.
IN SYLLAM. XXVIII.
- Who dares affirm that Sylla dare not fight?
- When I dare swear he dares adventure more
- Than the most brave and most all-daring wight
- That ever arms with resolution bore;
- He that dare touch the most unwholesome whore
- That ever was retir'd into the spittle,
- And dares court wenches standing at a door
- (The portion of his wit being passing little);
- He that dares give his dearest friends offences,
- Which other valiant fools do fear to do,
- And, when a fever doth confound his senses,
- Dare eat raw beef, and drink strong wine thereto;
- He that dares take tobacco on the stage,
- Dares man a whore at noon-day through the street,
- Dares dance in Paul's, and in this formal age
- Dares say and do whatever is unmeet;
- Whom fear of shame could never yet affiight,
- Who dares affirm that Sylia dares not fight?
IN HEYWODUM. XXIX.
- Heywood, that did in epigrams excel,
- Is now put down since my light Muse arose:
- As buckets are put down into a well,
- Or as a schoolboy putteth down his hose.
IN DACUM. XXX.
- Amongst the poets Dacus number'd is,
- Yet could he never make an English rhyme:
- But some prose speeches I have heard of his,
- Which have been spoken many a hundred time;
- The man that keeps the elephant hath one,
- Wherein he tells the wonders of the beast;
- Another Banks pronounced long agone,
- When he his curtal's qualities express'd:
- He first taught him that keeps the monuments
- At Westminster, his formal tale to say,
- And also him which puppets represents,
- And also him which with the ape doth play
- Though all his poetry be like to this,
- Amongst the poets Dacus numbered is.
IN PRISCUM. XXXI.
- When Priscus, rais'd from low to high estate,
- Rode through the street in pompous jollity,
- Caius, his poor familiar friend of late,
- Bespake him thus, “Sir, now you know not me “
- ” Tis likely, friend,” quoth Priscus, “to be so,
- For at this time myself I do not know.”
IN BRUNUM. XXXII.
- Brunus, which deems himself a fair sweet youth,
- Is nine and thirty year of age at least;
- Yet was he never, to confess the truth,
- But a dry starveling when he was at best
- This gull was sick to show his nightcap fine,
- And his wrought pillow overspread with lawn;
- But hath been well since his grief's cause hath line
- At Trollop's by Saint Clement's Church in pawn.
IN FRANCUM. XXXIII.
- When Francus comes to solace with his whore,
- He sends for rods, and strips himself stark naked;
- For his lust sleeps, and will not rise before,
- By whipping of the wench, it be awaked.
- I envy him not, but wish I had the power
- To make myself his wench but one half-hour.
IN CASTOREM. XXXIV.
- Of speaking well why do we learn the skill,
- Hoping thereby honour and wealth to gain?
- Sith railing Castor doth, by speaking ill,
- Opinion of much wit, and gold obtain.
IN SEPTIMIUM. XXXV.
- Septimius lives, and is like garlic seen,
- For though his head be white, his blade is green.
- This old mad colt deserves a martyr's praise,
- For he was burned in Queen Mary's days.
OF TOBACCO. XXXVI.
- Homer of Moly and Nepenthe sings;
- Moly, the gods' most sovereign herb divine,
- Nepenthe, Helen's drink, which gladness brings,
- Heart's grief expels, and doth the wit refine.
- But this our age another world hath found,
- From whence an herb of heavenly power is brought;
- Moly is not so sovereign for a wound,
- Nor hath nepenthe so great wonders wrought.
- It is tobacco, whose sweet subtle fume
- The hellish torment of the teeth doth ease,
- By drawing down and drying up the rheum,
- The mother and the nurse of each disease;
- It is tobacco, which doth cold expel,
- And clears th' obstructions of the arteries,
- And surfeits threatening death digesteth well,
- Decocting all the stomach's crudities;
- It is tobacco, which hath power to clarify
- The cloudy mists before dim eyes appearing;
- It is tobacco, which hath power to rarify
- The thick gross humour which doth stop the hearing;
- The wasting hectic, and the quartan fever,
- Which doth of physic make a mockery,
- The gout it cures, and helps ill breaths for ever,
- Whether the cause in teeth or stomach be;
- And though ill breaths were by it but confounded,
- Yet that vild medicine it doth far excel,
- Which by Sir Thomas More hath been propounded,
- For this is thought a gentleman—like smell.
- O, that I were one of these mountebanks
- Which praise their oils and powders which they sell'
- My customers would give me coin with thanks;
- I for this ware, forsooth, a tale would tell:
- Yet would I use none of these terms before;
- I would but say, that it the pox will cure;
- This were enough, without discoursing more,
- All our brave gallants in the town t'allure.
IN CRASSUM. XXXVII
- Crassus his lies are no pernicious lies,
- But pleasant fictions, hurtful unto none
- But to himself; for no man counts him wise
- To tell for truth that which for false is known.
- He swears that Gaunt is three-score miles about,
- And that the bridge at Paris on the Seine
- Is of such thickness, length, and breadth throughout,
- That six-score arches can it scarce sustain;
- He swears he saw so great a dead man's skull
- At Canterbury digg'd out of the ground,
- As would contain of wheat three bushels full;
- And that in Kent are twenty yeomen found,
- Of which the poorest every year dispends
- Five thousand pound: these and five thousand mo
- So oft he hath recited to his friends,
- That now himself persuades himself 'tis so.
- But why doth Crassus tell his lies so rife,
- Of bridges, towns, and things that have no life?
- He is a lawyer, and doth well espy
- That for such lies an action will not lie.
IN PHILONEM. XXXVIII.
- Philo, the lawyer, and the fortune-teller,
- The school-master, the midwife, and the bawd,
- The conjurer, the buyer and the seller
- Of painting which with breathing will be thaw'd,
- Doth practise physic; and his credit grows,
- As doth the ballad-singer's auditory,
- Which hath at Temple-bar his standing chose,
- And to the vulgar sings an ale-house story:
- First stands a porter: then an oyster-wife
- Doth stint her cry and stay her steps to hear him
- Then comes a cutpurse ready with his knife,
- And then a country client presseth near him;
- There stands the constable, there stands the whore.
- And, hearkening to the song, mark not each other.
- There by the serjeant stands the debitor,
- And doth no more mistrust him than his brother:
- This Orpheus to such hearers giveth music,
- And Philo to such patients giveth physic
IN FUSCUM. XXXIX.
- Fuscus is free, and hath the world at will;
- Yet, in the course of life that he doth lead,
- He's like a horse which, turning round a mill,
- Doth always in the self-same circle tread:
- First, he doth rise at ten; and at eleven
- He goes to Gill's, where he doth eat till one;
- Then sees a play till six; and sups at seven;
- And, after supper, straight to bed is gone;
- And there till ten next day he doth remain;
- And then he dines; then sees a comedy;
- And then he sups, and goes to bed again:
- Thus round he runs without variety,
- Save that sometimes he comes not to the play,
- But falls into a whore-house by the way.
IN AFRUM. XL.
- The smell-feast Afer travels to the Burse
- Twice every day, the flying news to hear;
- Which, when he hath no money in his purse,
- To rich men's tables he doth ever bear.
- He tells how Groni[n]gen is taken in
- By the brave conduct of illustrious Vere,
- And how the Spanish forces Brest would win,
- But that they do victorious Norris fear.
- No sooner is a ship at sea surpris'd,
- But straight he learns the news, and doth disclose it;
- No sooner hath the Turk a plot devis'd
- To conquer Christendom, but straight he knows it.
- Fair-written in a scroll he hath the names
- Of all the widows which the plague hath made;
- And persons, times, and places, still he frames
- To every tale, the better to persuade.
- We call him Fame, for that the wide-mouth slave
- Will eat as fast as he will utter lies;
- For fame is said an hundred mouths to have,
- And he eats more than would five-score suffice.
IN PAULUM. XLI.
- By lawful mart, and by unlawful stealth,
- Paulus, in spite of envy, fortunate,
- Derives out of the ocean so much wealth,
- As he may well maintain a lord's estate:
- But on the land a little gulf there is,
- Wherein he drowneth all this wealth of his.
IN LYCUM. XLII.
- Lycus, which lately is to Venice gone,
- Shall, if he do return, gain three for one;
- But, ten to one, his knowledge and his wit
- Will not be better'd or increas'd a whit.
IN PUBLIUM. XLIII.
- Publius, a student at the Common-Law,
- Oft leaves his books, and, for his recreation,
- To Paris-garden doth himself withdraw;
- Where he is ravish'd with such delectation,
- As down amongst the bears and dogs he goes;
- Where, whilst he skipping cries, “To head, to head,'
- His satin doublet and his velvet hose
- Are all with spittle from above be-spread;
- Then is he like his father's country hall,
- Stinking of dogs, and muted all with hawks,
- And rightly too on him this filth doth fall,
- Which for such filthy sports his books forsakes,
- Leaving old Ployden, Dyer, and Brooke alone,
- To see old Harry Hunkes and Sacarson.
IN SYLLAM. XLIV.
- When I this proposition had defended,
- “A coward cannot be an honest man,”
- Thou, Sylla, seem'st forthwith to be offended,
- And hold'st the contrary, and swear'st he can.
- But when I tell thee that he will forsake
- His dearest friend in peril of his life,
- Thou then art chang'd, and say'st thou didst mistake,
- And so we end our argument and strife:
- Yet I think oft, and think I think aright,
- Thy argument argues thou wilt not fight.
IN DACUM. XLV.
- Dacus, with some good colour and pretence,
- Terms his love's beauty “silent eloquence;”
- For she doth lay more colours on her face
- Than ever Tully us'd his speech to grace.
IN MARCUM. XLVI.
- Why dost thou, Marcus, in thy misery
- Rail and blaspheme, and call the heavens unkind?
- The heavens do owe no kindness unto thee,
- Thou hast the heavens so little in thy mind;
- For in thy life thou never usest prayer
- But at primero, to encounter fair.
MEDITATIONS OF A GULL. XLVII.
- See, yonder melancholy gentleman,
- Which, hood-wink'd with his hat, alone doth sit!
- Think what he thinks, and tell me, if you can,
- What great affairs trouble his little wit.
- He thinks not of the war 'twixt France and Spain,
- Whether it be for Europe's good or ill,
- Nor whether the Empire can itself maintain
- Against the Turkish power encroaching still;
- Nor what great town in all the Netherlands
- The States determine to besiege this spring,
- Nor how the Scottish policy now stands,
- Nor what becomes of the Irish mutining.
- But he doth seriously bethink him whether
- Of the gull'd people he be more esteem'd
- For his long cloak or for his great black feather
- By which each gull is now a gallant deem'd:
- Or of a journey he deliberates
- To Paris-garden, Cock-pit, or the play;
- Or how to steal a dog he meditates,
- Or what he shall unto his mistress say.
- Yet with these thoughts he thinks himself most fit
- To be of counsel with a king for wit.
AD MUSAM. XLVIII.
- Peace, idle Muse, have done! for it is time,
- Since lousy Ponticus envies my fame,
- And swears the better sort are much to blame
- To make me so well known for my ill rhyme.
- Yet Banks his horse is better known than he;
- So are the camels and the western hog,
- And so is Lepidus his printed dog:
- Why doth not Ponticus their fames envy?
- Besides, this Muse of mine and the black feather
- Grew both together fresh in estimation;
- And both, grown stale, were cast away together:
- What fame is this that scarce lasts out of fashion?
- Only this last in credit doth remain,
- That from henceforth each bastard cast-forth rhyme,
- Which doth but savour of a libel vein,
- Shall call me father, and be thought my crime;
- So dull, and with so little sense endued,
- Is my gross-headed judge the multitude.
- Ilove thee not for sacred chastity,—
- Who loves for that?—nor for thy sprightly wit;
- I love thee not for thy sweet modesty,
- Which makes thee in perfection's throne to sit;
- I love thee not for thy enchanting eye,
- Thy beauty['s] ravishing perfection;
- I love thee not for unchaste luxury,
- Nor for thy body's fair proportion;
- I love thee not for that my soul doth dance
- And leap with pleasure, when those lips of thine
- Give musical and graceful utterance
- To some (by thee made happy) poet's line;
- I love thee not for voice or slender small:
- But wilt thou know wherefore? fair sweet, for all.
- Faith, wench, I cannot court thy sprightly eyes,
- With the base-viol plac'd between my thighs;
- I cannot lisp, nor to some fiddle sing,
- Nor run upon a high-stretch'd minikin;
- I cannot whine in puling elegies,
- Entombing Cupid with sad obsequies;
- I am not fashion'd for these amorous times,
- To court thy beauty with lascivious rhymes;
- I cannot dally, caper, dance, and sing,
- Oiling my saint with supple sonneting;
- I cannot cross my arms, or sigh “Ay me,
- Ay me, forlorn!” egregious foppery!
- I cannot buss thy fist, play with thy hair,
- Swearing by Jove, “thou art most debonair!”
- Not I, by cock! but shall [I] tell thee roundly?—
- Hark in thine ear,—zounds, I can () thee soundly.
- Sweet wench, I love thee: yet I will not sue,
- Or show my love as musky courtiers do;
- I'll not carouse a health to honour thee,
- In this same bezzling drunken courtesy,
- And, when all's quaff'd, eat up my bousing-glass
- In glory that I am thy servile ass;
- Nor will I wear a rotten Bourbon lock,
- As some sworn peasant to a female smock.
- Well-featur'd lass, thou know'st I love thee dear:
- Yet for thy sake I will not bore mine ear,
- To hang thy dirty silken shoe-tires there;
- Nor for thy love will I once gnash a brick,
- Or some pied colours in my bonnet stick:
- But, by the chaps of hell, to do thee good,
- I'll freely spend my thrice-decocted blood.
THE FIRST BOOK OF LUCAN.
Lucans First Booke Translated Line for Line, By Chr. Marlow. At London, Printed by P. Short, and are to be sold by Walter Burre at the Signe of the Flower de Luce in Paules Churchyard, 1600, 4to.
This is the only early edition. The title-page of the 1600 4to. of Hero and Leander has the words, “Whereunto is added the first booke of Lucan;” but the two pieces are not found in conjunction.
TO HIS KIND AND TRUE FRIEND, EDWARD BLUNT.
Blunt, I propose to be blunt with you, and, out of my dulness, to encounter you with a Dedication in memory of that pure elemental wit, Chr. Marlowe, whose ghost or genius is to be seen walk the Churchyard, in, at the least, three or four sheets. Methinks you should presently look wild now, and grow humorously frantic upon the taste of it. Well, lest you should, let me tell you, this spirit was sometime a familiar of your own, Lucan's First Book translated; which, in regard of your old right in it, I have raised in the circle of your patronage. But stay now, Edward: if I mistake not, you are to accommodate yourself with some few instructions, touching the property of a patron, that you are not yet possessed of; and to study them for your better grace, as our gallants do fashions. First, you must be proud, and think you have merit enough in you, though you are ne'er so empty; then, when I bring you the book, take physic, and keep state; assign me a time by your man to come again; and, afore the day, be sure to have changed your lodging; in the meantime sleep little, and sweat with the invention of some pitiful dry jest or two, which you may happen to utter with some little, or not at all, marking of your friends, when you have found a place for them to come in at; or, if by chance something has dropped from you worth the taking up, weary all that come to you with the often repetition of it; censure, scornfully enough, and somewhat like a traveller; commend nothing, lest you discredit your (that which you would seem to have) judgment. These things, if you can mould yourself to them, Ned, I make no question that they will not become you. One special virtue in our patrons of these days I have promised myself you shall fit excellently, which is, to give nothing; yes, thy love I will challenge as my peculiar object, both in this, and, I hope, many more succeeding offices. Farewell: I affect not the world should measure my thoughts to thee by a scale of this nature: leave to think good of me when I fall from thee.
Thine in all rights of perfect friendship,
THE FIRST BOOK OF LUCAN.
- Wars worse than civil on Thessalian plains,
- And outrage strangling law, and people strong,
- We sing, whose conquering swords their own breasts lancht,
- Armies allied, the kingdom's league uprooted,
- Th' affrighted world's force bent on public spoil,
- Trumpets and drums, like deadly, threatening other,
- Eagles alike display'd, darts answering darts,
- Romans, what madness, what huge lust of war,
- Hath made barbarians drunk with Latin blood?
- Now Babylon, proud through our spoil, should stoop,
- While slaughter'd Crassus' ghost walks unreveng'd,
- Will ye wage war, for which you shall not triumph?
- Ay me! O, what a world of land and sea
- Might they have won whom civil broils have slain!
- As far as Titan springs, where night dims heaven,
- Ay, to the torrid zone where mid-day burns,
- And where stiff winter, whom no spring resolves,
- Fetters the Euxine Sea with chains of ice;
- Scythia and wild Armenia had been yok'd,
- And they of Nilus' mouth, if there live any.
- Rome, if thou take delight in impious war,
- First conquer all the earth, then turn thy force
- Against thyself: as yet thou wants not foes.
- That now the walls of houses half-reared totter,
- That, rampires fallen down, huge heaps of stone
- Lie in our towns, that houses are abandon'd,
- And few live that behold their ancient seats;
- Italy many years hath lien untill'd
- And chok'd with thorns; that greedy earth wants hinds,—
- Fierce Pyrrhus, neither thou nor Hannibal
- Art cause; no foreign foe could so afflict us:
- These plagues arise from wreak of civil power.
- But if for Nero, then unborn, the Fates
- Would find no other means, and gods not slightly
- Purchase immortal thrones, nor Jove joy'd heaven
- Until the cruel giants' war was done;
- We plain not, heavens, but gladly bear these evils
- For Nero's sake: Pnarsalia groan with slaughter,
- And Carthage souls be glutted with our bloods!
- At Munda let the dreadful battles join;
- Add, Cæsar, to these ills, Perusian famine,
- The Mutin toils, the fleet at Luca[s] sunk,
- And cruel field near burning Ætna fought!
- Yet Rome is much bound to these civil arms,
- Which made thee emperor. Thee (seeing thou, being old,
- Must shine a star) shall heaven (whom thou lovest)
- Receive with shouts; where thou wilt reign as king,
- Or mount the Sun's flame-bearing chariot,
- And with bright restless fire compass the earth,
- Undaunted though her former guide be chang'd;
- Nature and every power shall give thee place,
- What god it please thee be, or where to sway.
- But neither choose the north t'erect thy seat,
- Nor yet the adverse reeking southern pole,
- Whence thou shouldst view thy Rome with squinting beams.
- If any one part of vast heaven thou swayest,
- The burden'd axes with thy force will bend:
- The midst is best; that place is pure and bright:
- There, Cæsar, mayst thou shine, and no cloud dim thee.
- Then men from war shall bide in league and ease,
- Peace through the world from Janus' fane shall fly.
- And bolt the brazen gates with bars of iron.
- Thou, Cæsar, at this instant art my god;
- Thee if I invocate, I shall not need
- To crave Apollo's aid or Bacchus' help;
- Thy power inspires the Muse that sings this war.
- The causes first I purpose to unfold
- Of these garboils, whence springs a long discourse:
- And what made madding people shake off peace.
- The Fates are envious, high seats quickly perish,
- Under great burdens falls are ever grievous;
- Rome was so great it could not bear itself.
- So when this world's compounded union breaks,
- Time ends, and to old Chaos all things turn,
- Confusèd stars shall meet, celestial fire
- Fleet on the floods, the earth shoulder the sea,
- Affording it no shore, and Phœbus wain
- Chase Phœbus, and enrag'd affect his place,
- And strive to shine by day and full of strife
- Dissolve the engines of the broken world.
- All great things crush themselves; such end the gods
- Allot the height of honour; men so strong
- By land and sea, no foreign force could ruin.
- O Rome, thyself art cause of all these evils,
- Thyself thus shiver'd out to three men's shares!
- Dire league of partners in a kingdom last not.
- O faintly-join'd friends, with ambition blind,
- Why join you force to share the world betwixt you?
- While th' earth the sea, and air the earth sustains,
- While Titan strives against the world's swift course,
- Or Cynthia, night's queen, waits upon the day,
- Shall never faith be found in fellow kings:
- Dominion cannot suffer partnership.
- This need[s] no foreign proof nor far-fet story:
- Rome's infant walls were steep'd in brother's blood,
- Nor then was land or sea, to breed such hate;
- A town with one poor church set them at odds.
- Cæsar's and Pompey's jarring love soon ended.
- 'Twas peace against their wills; betwixt them both
- Stepp'd Crassus in. Even as the slender isthmos,
- Betwixt the Ægæan, and the Ionian sea,
- Keeps each from other, but being worn away,
- They both burst out, and each encounter other;
- So whenas Crassus' wretched death, who stay'd them,
- Had fill'd Assyrian Carra's walls with blood,
- His loss made way for Roman outrages.
- Parthians, y'afflict us more than ye suppose;
- Being conquer'd, we are plagu'd with civil war.
- Swords share our empire: Fortune, that made Rome
- Govern the earth, the sea, the world itself,
- Would not admit two lords; for Julia,
- Snatch'd hence by cruel Fates. with ominous howls
- Bare down to hell her son, the pledge of peace,
- And all bands of that death-presaging alliànce.
- Julia, had heaven given thee longer life,
- Thou hadst restrain'd thy headstrong husband's rage,
- Yea, and thy father too, and, swords thrown down,
- Made all shake hands, as once the Sabines did:
- Thy death broke amity, and train'd to war
- These captains emulous of each other's glory.
- Thou fear'd'st, great Pompey, that late deeds would dim
- Old triumphs, and that Cæsar's conquering France
- Would dash the wreath thou war'st for pirates' wreck:
- Thee war's use stirr'd, and thoughts that always scorn'd
- A second place. Pompey could bide no equal,
- Nor Cæsar no superior: which of both
- Had justest cause, unlawful 'tis to judge:
- Each side had great partakers; Cæsar's cause
- The gods abetted, Cato lik'd the other
- Both differ'd much. Pompey was struck in years,
- And by long rest forgot to manage arms
- And, being popular, sought by liberal gifts
- To gain the light unstable commons' love,
- And joy'd to hear his theatre's applause:
- He lived secure, boasting his former deeds,
- And thought his name sufficient to uphold him:
- Like to a tall oak in a fruitful field,
- Bearing old spoils and conquerors' monuments,
- Who, though his root be weak, and his own weight
- Keep him within the ground, his arms all bare,
- His body, not his boughs, send forth a shade;
- Though every blast it nod, and seem to fall,
- When all the woods about stand bolt upright,
- Yet he alone is held in reverence.
- Cæsar's renown for war was less; he restless,
- Shaming to strive but where he did subdue;
- When ire or hope provok'd, heady and bold;
- At all times charging home, and making havoc:
- Urging his fortune, trusting in the gods,
- Destroying what withstood his proud desires,
- And glad when blood and ruin made him way:
- So thunder, which the wind tears from the clouds,
- With crack of riven air and hideous sound
- Filling the world, leaps out and throws forth fire,
- Affrights poor fearful men, and blasts their eyes
- With overthwarting flames, and raging shoots
- Alongst the air, and, not resisting it,
- Falls, and returns, and shivers where it lights.
- Such humours stirr'd them up; but this war's seed
- Was even the same that wrecks all great dominions.
- When Fortune made us lords of all, wealth flow'd,
- And then we grew licentious and rude;
- The soldiers' prey and rapine brought in riot;
- Men took delight in jewels, houses, plate,
- And scorn'd old sparing diet, and ware robes
- Too light for women; Poverty, who hatch'd
- Rome's greatest wits, was loath'd, and all the world
- Ransack'd for gold, which breeds the world['s] decay:
- And then large limits had their butting lands;
- The ground, which Curius and Camillus till'd,
- Was stretched unto the fields of hinds unknown.
- Again, this people could not brook calm peace;
- Them freedom without war might not suffice:
- Quarrels were rife; greedy desire, still poor,
- Did vild deeds; then 'twas worth the price of blood.
- And deem'd renown, to spoil their native town;
- Force mastered right, the strongest govern'd all;
- Hence came it that th' edicts were over-rul'd,
- That laws were broke, tribunes with consuls strove,
- Sale made of offices, and people's voices
- Bought by themselves and sold, and every year
- Frauds and corruption in the Field of Mars;
- Hence interest and devouring usury sprang,
- Faith's breach, and hence came war, to most men welcome.
- Now Cæsar overpass'd the snowy Alps;
- His mind was troubled, and he aim'd at war:
- And coming to the ford of Rubicon,
- At night in dreadful vision fearful Rome
- Mourning appear'd, whose hoary hairs were torn,
- And on her turret-bearing head dispers'd,
- And arms all naked; who, with broken sighs,
- And staring, thus bespoke: “What mean'st thou, Cæsar?
- Whither goes my standard? Romans if ye be,
- And bear true hearts, stay here!” This spectacle
- Struck Cæsar's heart with fear; his hair stood up,
- And faintness numb'd his steps there on the brink.
- He thus cried out: “Thou thunderer that guard'st
- Rome's mighty walls, built on Tarpeian rock!
- Ye gods of Phrygia and Iülus' line,
- Quirinus' rites, and Latian Jove advanc'd
- On Alba hill! O vestal flames! O Rome,
- My thought's sole goddess, aid mine enterprise!
- I hate thee not, to thee my conquests stoop:
- Cæsar is thine, so please it thee, thy soldier.
- He, he afflicts Rome that made me Rome's foe.”
- This said, he, laying aside all lets of war,
- Approach'd the swelling stream with drum and ensign:
- Like to a lion of scorch'd desert Afric,
- Who, seeing hunters, pauseth till fell wrath
- And kingly rage increase, then, having whisk'd
- His tail athwart his back, and crest heav'd up,
- With jaws wide-open ghastly roaring out,
- Albeit the Moor's light javelin or his spear
- Sticks in his side, yet runs upon the hunter.
- In summer-time the purple Rubicon,
- Which issues from a small spring, is but shallow,
- And creeps along the vales, dividing just
- The bounds of Italy from Cisalpine France.
- But now the winter's wrath, and watery moon
- Being three days old, enforc'd the flood to swell,
- And frozen Alps thaw'd with resolving winds.
- The thunder-hoof'd horse, in a crookèd line,
- To scape the violence of the stream, first waded;
- Which being broke, the foot had easy passage.
- As soon as Cæsar got unto the bank
- And bounds of Italy, “Here, here,” saith he,
- “An end of peace; here end polluted laws!
- Hence leagues and covenants! Fortune, thee I follow!
- War and the Destinies shall try my cause.”
- This said, the restless general through the dark,
- Swifter than bullets thrown from Spanish slings,
- Or darts which Parthians backward shoot, march'd on;
- And then, when Lucifer did shine alone,
- And some dim stars, he Ariminum enter'd.
- Day rose, and view'd these tumults of the war:
- Whether the gods or blustering south were cause
- I know not, but the cloudy air did frown.
- The soldiers having won the market-place,
- There spread the colours with confusèd noise
- Of trumpets' clang, shrill cornets, whistling fifes.
- The people started; young men left their beds,
- And snatch'd arms near their household-gods hung up,
- Such as peace yields; worm-eaten leathern targets,
- Through which the wood peer'd, headless darts, old swords
- With ugly teeth of black rust foully scarr'd.
- But seeing white eagles, and Rome's flags well known,
- And lofty Cæsar in the thickest throng,
- They shook for fear, and cold benumb'd their limbs,
- And muttering much, thus to themselves complain'd
- “O walls unfortunate, too near to France!
- Predestinate to ruin! all lands else
- Have stable peace: here war's rage first begins;
- We bide the first brunt. Safer might we dwell
- Under the frosty bear, or parching east,
- Waggons or tents, than in this frontier town.
- We first sustain'd the uproars of the Gauls
- And furious Cimbrians, and of Carthage Moors:
- As oft as Rome was sack'd, here gan the spoil.”
- Thus sighing whisper'd they, and none durst speak,
- And show their fear or grief; but as the fields
- When birds are silent thorough winter's rage,
- Or sea far from the land, so all were whist.
- Now light had quite dissolv'd the misty night,
- And Cæsar's mind unsettled musing stood;
- But gods and fortune pricked him to this war,
- Infringing all excuse of modest shame,
- And labouring to approve his quarrel good.
- The angry senate, urging Gracchus' deeds,
- From doubtful Rome wrongly expell'd the tribunes
- That cross'd them: both which now approach'd the camp,
- And with them Curio, sometime tribune too.
- One that was fee'd for Cæsar, and whose tongue
- Could tune the people to the nobles' mind.
- “Cæsar,” said he, “while eloquence prevail'd,
- And I might plead and draw the commons' minds
- To favour thee, against the senate's will,
- Five years I lengthen'd thy command in France;
- But law being put to silence by the wars,
- We, from her houses driven, most willingly
- Suffer'd exile: let thy sword bring us home,
- Now, while their part is weak and fears, march hence:
- Where men are ready lingering ever hurts.
- In ten years wonn'st thou France: Rome may be won
- With far less toil, and yet the honour's more;
- Few battles fought with prosperous success
- May bring her down, and with her all the world.
- Nor shalt thou triumph when thou com'st to Rome,
- Nor Capitol be adorn'd with sacred bays;
- Envy denies all; with thy blood must thou
- Aby thy conquest past: the son decrees
- To expel the father: share the world thou canst not;
- Enjoy it all thou mayst.” Thus Curio spake;
- And therewith Cæsar, prone enough to war,
- Was so incens'd as are Elean steeds
- With clamours, who, though lock'd and chain'd in stalls,
- Souse down the walls, and make a passage forth.
- Straight summon'd he his several companies
- Unto the standard: his grave look appeas'd
- The wrestling tumult, and right hand made silence;
- And thus he spake: “You that with me have borne
- A thousand brunts, and tried me full ten years,
- See how they quit our bloodshed in the north,
- Our friends' death, and our wounds, our wintering
- Under the Alps! Rome rageth now in arms
- As if the Carthage Hannibal were near;
- Cornets of horse are muster'd for the field;
- Woods turn'd to ships; both land and sea against us.
- Had foreign wars ill-thriv'd, or wrathful France
- Pursu'd us hither, how were we bested,
- When, coming conqueror, Rome afflicts me thus?
- Let come their leader whom long peace hath quail'd,
- Raw soldiers lately press'd, and troops of gowns,
- Babbling Marcellus, Cato whom fools reverence!
- Must Pompey's followers, with strangers' aid
- (Whom from his youth he brib'd), needs make him king?
- And shall he triumph long before his time,
- And, having once got head, still shall he reign?
- What should I talk of men's corn reap'd by force,
- And by him kept of purpose for a dearth?
- Who sees not war sit by the quivering judge,
- And sentence given in rings of naked swords,
- And laws assail'd, and arm'd men in the senate?
- 'Twas his troop hemm'd in Milo being accus'd;
- And now, lest age might wane his state, he casts
- For civil war, wherein through use he's known
- To exceed his master, that arch-traitor Sylla.
- A[s] brood of barbarous tigers, having lapp'd
- The blood of many a herd, whilst with their dams
- They kennell'd in Hyrcania, evermore
- Will rage and prey; so, Pompey, thou, having lick'd
- Warm gore from Sylla's sword, art yet athirst:
- Jaws flesh[ed] with blood continue murderous.
- Speak, when shall this thy long-usurped power end?
- What end of mischief? Sylla teaching thee,
- At last learn, wretch, to leave thy monarchy!
- What, now Sicilian pirates are suppress'd,
- And jaded king of Pontus poison'd slain,
- Must Pompey as his last foe plume on me,
- Because at his command I wound not up
- My conquering eagles? say I merit naught,
- Yet, for long service done, reward these men,
- And so they triumph, be't with whom ye will.
- Whither now shall these old bloodless souls repair?
- What seats for their deserts? what store of ground
- For servitors to till? what colonies
- To rest their bones? say, Pompey, are these worse
- Than pirates of Sicilia? they had houses.
- Spread, spread these flags that ten years' space have conquer'd!
- Let's use our tried force: they that now thwart right,
- In wars will yield to wrong: the gods are with us;
- Neither spoil nor kingdom seek we by these arms,
- But Rome, at thraldom's feet, to rid from tyrants.”
- This spoke, none answer'd, but a murmuring buzz
- Th' unstable people made: their household-gods
- And love to Rome (though slaughter steel'd their hearts,
- And minds were prone) restrain'd them; but war's love
- And Cæsar's awe dash'd all. Then Lælius
- The chief centurion, crown'd with oaken leaves
- For saving of a Roman citizen,
- Stepp'd forth, and cried: “Chief leader of Rome's force,
- So be I may be bold to speak a truth,
- We grieve at this thy patience and delay.
- What, doubt'st thou us? even now when youthful blood
- Pricks forth our lively bodies, and strong arms
- Can mainly throw the dart. wilt thou endure
- These purple grooms, that senate's tyranny?
- Is conquest got by civil war so heinous?
- Well, lead us, then, to Syrtes' desert shore,
- Or Scythia, or hot Libya's thirsty sands.
- This band, that all behind us might be quail'd,
- Hath with thee pass'd the swelling ocean,
- And swept the foaming breast of Arctic Rhene.
- Love over-rules my will; I must obey thee,
- Cæsar: he whom I hear thy trumpets charge,
- I hold no Roman; by these ten blest ensigns
- And all thy several triumphs, shouldst thou bid me
- Entomb my sword within my brother's bowels,
- Or father's throat, or women's groaning womb,
- This hand, albeit unwilling, should perform it;
- Or rob the gods, or sacred temples fire,
- These troops should soon pull down the church of Jove;
- If to encamp on Tuscan Tiber's streams,
- I'll boldly quarter out the fields of Rome;
- What walls thou wilt be levell'd with the ground,
- These hands shall thrust the ram, and make them fly,
- Albeit the city thou wouldst have so raz'd
- Be Rome itself.” Here every band applauded,
- And, with their hands held up, all jointly cried
- They'll follow where he please. The shouts rent heaver,
- As when against pine-bearing Ossa's rocks
- Beats Thracian Boreas, or when trees bow down
- And rustling swing up as the wind fets breath.
- When Cæsar saw his army prone to war,
- And Fates so bent, lest sloth and long delay
- Might cross him, he withdrew his troops from France,
- And in all quarters musters men for Rome.
- They by Lemannus' nook forsook their tents;
- They whom the Lingones foil'd with painted spears,
- Under the rocks by crookèd Vogesus;
- And many came from shallow Isara,
- Who, running long, falls in a greater flood,
- And, ere he sees the sea, loseth his name;
- The yellow Ruthens left their garrisons;
- Mild Atax glad it bears not Roman boats,
- And frontier Varus that the camp is far,
- Sent aid; so did Alcides' port, whose seas
- Eat hollow rocks, and where the north-west wind
- Nor zephyr rules not, but the north alone
- Turmoils the coast, and enterance forbids;
- And others came from that uncertain shore
- Which is nor sea nor land, but ofttimes both,
- And changeth as the ocean ebbs and flows;
- Whether the sea roll'd always from that point
- Whence the wind blows, still forcèd to and fro;
- Or that the wandering main follow the moon;
- Or flaming Titan, feeding on the deep,
- Pulls them aloft, and makes the surge kiss heaven,
- Philosophers, look you; for unto me,
- Thou cause, whate'er thou be, whom God assigns
- This great effect, art hid. They came that dwell
- By Nemes' fields and banks of Satirus,
- Where Tarbell's winding shores embrace the sea;
- The Santons that rejoice in Cæsar's love;
- Those of Bituriges, and light Axon pikes;
- And they of Rhene and Leuca, cunning darters,
- And Sequana that well could manage steeds;
- The Belgians apt to govern British cars;
- Th' A[r]verni, too, which boldly feign themselves
- The Romans' brethren, sprung of Ilian race;
- The stubborn Nervians stain'd with Cotta's blood;
- And Vangions who, like those of Sarmata,
- Wear open slops; and fierce Batavians,
- Whom trumpet's clang incites; and those that dwell
- By Cinga's stream, and where swift Rhodanus
- Drives Araris to sea; they near the hills,
- Under whose hoary rocks Gebenna hangs;
- And, Trevier, thou being glad that wars are past thee.
- And you, late-shorn Ligurians, who were wont
- In large-spread hair to exceed the rest of France;
- And where to Hesus and fell Mercury
- They offer human flesh, and where Jove seems
- Bloody like Dian, whom the Scythians serve.
- And you, French Bardi, whose immortal pens
- Renown the valiant souls slain in your wars,
- Sit safe at home and chant sweet poesy.
- And, Druides, you now in peace renew
- Your barbarous customs and sinister rites:
- In unfell'd woods and sacred groves you dwell;
- And only gods and heavenly powers you know,
- Or only know you nothing; for you hold
- That souls pass not to silent Erebus
- Or Pluto's bloodless kingdom, but elsewhere
- Resume a body; so (if truth you sing)
- Death brings long life. Doubtless these northern men.
- Whom death, the greatest of all fears, affright not,
- Are blest by such sweet error; this makes them
- Run on the sword's point, and desire to die,
- And shame to spare life which being lost is won.
- You likewise that repuls'd the Caÿc foe,
- March towards Rome; and you, fierce men of
- Leaving your country open to the spoil.
- These being come, their huge power made him bold
- To manage greater deeds; the bordering towns
- He garrison'd; and Italy he fill'd with soldiers.
- Vain fame increased true fear, and did invade
- The people's minds, and laid before their eyes
- Slaughter to come, and, swiftly bringing news
- Of present war, made many lies and tales:
- One swears his troops of daring horsemen fought
- Upon Mevania's plain, where bulls are graz'd;
- Other that Cæsar's barbarous bands were spread
- Along Nar flood that into Tiber falls,
- And that his own ten ensigns and the rest
- March'd not entirely, and yet hide the ground;
- And that he's much chang'd, looking wild and big,
- And far more barbarous than the French, his vassals;
- And that he lags behind with them, of purpose,
- Borne 'twixt the Alps and Rhene, which he hath brought
- From out their northern parts, and that Rome,
- He looking on, by these men should be sack'd.
- Thus in his fright did each man strengthen fame,
- And, without ground, fear'd what themselves had feign'd.
- Nor were the commons only struck to heart
- With this vain terror; but the court, the senate,
- The fathers selves leap'd from their seats, and, flying,
- Left hateful war decreed to both the consuls.
- Then, with their fear and danger all-distract,
- Their sway of flight carries the heady rout,
- That in chain'd troops break forth at every port:
- You would have thought their houses had been fir'd,
- Or, dropping-ripe, ready to fall with ruin.
- So rush'd the inconsiderate multitude
- Thorough the city, hurried headlong on,
- As if the only hope that did remain
- To their afflictions were t' abandon Rome.
- Look how, when stormy Auster from the breach
- Of Libyan Syrtes rolls a monstrous wave,
- Which makes the main-sail fall with hideous sound,
- The pilot from the helm leaps in the sea,
- And mariners, albeit the keel be sound,
- Shipwreck themselves; even so, the city left,
- All rise in arms; nor could the bed-rid parents
- Keep back their sons, or women's tears their husbands:
- They stayed not either to pray or sacrifice;
- Their household-gods restrain them not; none lingered,
- As loath to leave Rome whom they held so dear:
- Th' irrevocable people fly in troops.
- O gods, that easy grant men great estates,
- But hardly grace to keep them! Rome, that flows
- With citizens and captives, and would hold
- The world, were it together, is by cowards
- Left as a prey, now Cæsar doth approach.
- When Romans are besieged by foreign foes,
- With slender trench they escape night-stratagems,
- And sudden rampire rais'd of turf snatched up,
- Would make them sleep securely in their tents.
- Thou, Rome, at name of war runn'st from thyself,
- And wilt not trust thy city-walls one night:
- Well might these fear, when Pompey feared and fled.
- Now evermore, lest some one hope might ease
- The commons' jangling minds, apparent signs arose,
- Strange sights appeared; the angry threatening gods
- Filled both the earth and seas with prodigies.
- Great store of strange and unknown stars were seen
- Wandering about the north, and rings of fire
- Fly in the air, and dreadful bearded stars,
- And comets that presage the fall of kingdoms;
- The flattering sky glittered in often flames,
- And sundry fiery meteors blazed in heaven,
- Now spear-like long, now like a spreading torch;
- Lightning in silence stole forth without clouds,
- And, from the northern climate snatching fire,
- Blasted the Capitol; the lesser stars,
- Which wont to run their course through empty night,
- At noon-day mustered; Phœbe, having filled
- Her meeting horns to match her brother's light,
- Struck with th' earth's sudden shadow, waxèd pale;
- Titan himself, throned in the midst of heaven,
- His burning chariot plunged in sable clouds,
- And whelmed the world in darkness, making men
- Despair of day; as did Thyestes' town,
- Mycenæ, Phœbus flying through the east.
- Fierce Mulciber unbarrèd Ætna's gate,
- Which flamèd not on high, but headlong pitched
- Her burning head on bending Hespery.
- Coal-black Charybdis whirled a sea of blood.
- Fierce mastives howled. The vestal fires went out;
- The flame in Alba, consecrate to Jove,
- Parted in twain, and with a double point
- Rose, like the Theban brothers' funeral fire.
- The earth went off her hinges; and the Alps
- Shook the old snow from off their trembling laps.
- The ocean swelled as high as Spanish Calpe
- Or Atlas' head. Their saints and household-gods
- Sweat tears, to show the travails of their city:
- Crowns fell from holy statues. Ominous birds
- Defiled the day; and wild beasts were seen,
- Leaving the woods, lodge in the streets of Rome.
- Cattle were seen that muttered human speech;
- Prodigious births with more and ugly joints
- Than nature gives, whose sight appals the mother;
- And dismal prophecies were spread abroad:
- And they, whom fierce Bellona's fury moves
- To wound their arms, sing vengeance; Cybel's priests,
- Curling their bloody locks, howl dreadful things.
- Souls quiet and appeas'd sighed from their graves;
- Clashing of arms was heard; in untrod woods
- Shrill voices schright; and ghosts encounter men.
- Those that inhabited the suburb-fields
- Fled: foul Erinnys stalked about the walls,
- Shaking her snaky hair and crookèd pine
- With flaming top; much like that hellish fiend
- Which made the stern Lycurgus wound his thigh,
- Or fierce Agave mad; or like Megæra
- That scar'd Alcides, when by Juno's task
- He had before look'd Pluto in the face.
- Trumpets were heard to sound; and with what noise
- An armèd battle joins, such and more strange
- Black night brought forth in secret. Sylla's ghost
- Was seen to walk, singing sad oracles;
- And Marius' head above cold Tav'ron peering,
- His grave broke open, did affright the boors.
- To these ostents, as their old custom was,
- They called th' Etrurian augurs: amongst whom
- The gravest, Arruns, dwelt in forsaken Leuca
- Well-skill'd in pyromancy; one that knew
- The hearts of beasts, and flight of wandering fowls.
- First he commands such monsters Nature hatch'd
- Against her kind, the barren mule's loath'd issue,
- To be cut forth and cast in dismal fires;
- Then, that the trembling citizens should walk
- About the city; then, the sacred priests
- That with divine lustration purg'd the walls,
- And went the round, in and without the town;
- Next, an inferior troop, in tuck'd-up vestures,
- After the Gabine manner; then, the nuns
- And their veil'd matron, who alone might view
- Minerva's statue; then, they that kept and read
- Sibylla's secret works, and wash their saint
- In Almo's flood; next learnèd augurs follow;
- Apollo's soothsayers, and Jove's feasting priests;
- The skipping Salii with shields like wedges;
- And Flamens last, with net-work woollen veils.
- While these thus in and out had circled Rome,
- Look, what the lightning blasted, Arruns takes,
- And it inters with murmurs dolorous,
- And calls the place Bidental. On the altar
- He lays a ne'er-yok'd bull, and pours down wine,
- Then crams salt leaven on his crookèd knife:
- The beast long struggled, as being like to prove
- An awkward sacrifice; but by the horns,
- The quick priest pulled him on his knees, and slew him.
- No vein sprung out, but from the yawning gash,
- Instead of red blood, wallow'd venomous gore.
- These direful signs made Arruns stand amazed,
- And searching farther for the gods' displeasure,
- The very colour scared him; a dead blackness
- Ran through the blood, that turned it all to jelly,
- And stained the bowels with dark loathsome spots;
- The liver swelled with filth; and every vein
- Did threaten horror from the host of Cæsar;
- A small thin skin contained the vital parts;
- The heart stirred not; and from the gaping liver
- Squeezed matter through the caul; the entrails peered;
- And which (ay me!) ever pretendeth ill,
- At that bunch where the liver is, appear'd
- A knob of flesh, whereof one half did look
- Dead and discolour'd, th' other lean and thin.
- By these he seeing what mischiefs must ensue,
- Cried out, “O gods, I tremble to unfold
- What you intend! great Jove is now displeas'd;
- And in the breast of this slain bull are crept
- Th' infernal powers. My fear transcends my words;
- Yet more will happen than I can unfold:
- Turn all to good, be augury vain, and Tages,
- Th' art's master, false!” Thus, in ambiguous terms
- Involving all, did Arruns darkly sing.
- But Figulus, more seen in heavenly mysteries,
- Whose like Ægyptian Memphis never had
- For skill in stars and tuneful planeting,
- In this sort spake: “The world's swift course is lawless
- And casual; all the stars at random range;
- Or if fate rule them, Rome, thy citizens
- Are near some plague. What mischief shall ensue?
- Shall towns be swallow'd? shall the thicken'd air
- Become intemperate? shall the earth be barren?
- Shall water be congeal'd and turn'd to ice?
- O gods, what death prepare ye? with what plague
- Mean ye to rage? the death of many men
- Meets in one period. If cold noisome Saturn
- Were now exalted, and with blue beams shin'd,
- Then Ganymede would renew Deucalion's flood,
- And in the fleeting sea the earth be drench'd.
- O Phœbus, shouldst thou with thy rays now singe
- The fell Nemæan beast, th' earth would be fir'd,
- And heaven tormented with thy chafing heat:
- But thy fires hurt not. Mars, 'tis thou inflam'st
- The threatening Scorpion with the burning tail,
- And fir'st his cleys: why art thou thus enrag'd?
- Kind Jupiter hath low declin'd himself;
- Venus is faint; swift Hermes retrograde;
- Mars only rules the heaven. Why do the planets
- Alter their course, and vainly dim their virtue?
- Sword-girt Orion's side glisters too bright:
- War's rage draws near; and to the sword's strong hand
- Let all laws yield, sin bears the name of virtue:
- Many a year these furious broils let last:
- Why should we wish the gods should ever end them?
- War only gives us peace. O Rome, continue
- The course of mischief, and stretch out the date
- Of slaughter! only civil broils make peace.”
- These sad presages were enough to scare
- The quivering Romans; but worse things affright them.
- As Mænas full of wine on Pindus raves,
- So runs a matron through th' amazèd streets,
- Disclosing Phœbus' fury in this sort;
- “Pæan, whither am I haled? where shall I fall,
- Thus borne aloft? I see Pangæus' hill
- With hoary top, and, under Hæmus' mount,
- Philippi plains. Phœbus, what rage is this?
- Why grapples Rome, and makes war, having no foes?
- Whither turn I now? thou lead'st me toward th' east,
- Where Nile augmenteth the Pelusian sea:
- This headless trunk that lies on Nilus' sand
- I know. Now th[o]roughout the air I fly
- To doubtful Syrtes and dry Afric, where
- A Fury leads the Emathian bands. From thence
- To the pine-bearing hills; thence to the mounts
- Pyrene; and so back to Rome again.
- See, impious war defiles the senate-house!
- New factions rise. Now through the world again
- I go. O Phœbus, show me Neptune's shore,
- And other regions! I have seen Philippi.”
- This said, being tir'd with fury, she sunk down.
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE.
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE.
- Come live with me and be my love,
- And we will all the pleasures prove
- That hills and vallies, dales and fields,
- Woods or steepy mountain yields.
- And we will sit upon the rocks,
- Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
- By shallow rivers to whose falls
- Melodious birds sing madrigals.
- And I will make thee beds of roses
- And a thousand fragrant posies,
- A cup of flowers and a kirtle
- Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.
- A gown made of the finest wool
- Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
- Fair-linèd slippers for the cold,
- With buckles of the purest gold.
- A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
- With coral clasps and amber studs;
- An if these pleasures may thee move,
- Come live with me, and be my love.
- The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
- For thy delight each May-morning:
- If these delights thy mind may move,
- Then live with me, and be my love.
[In England's Helicon Marlowe's song is followed by the “Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd” and “Another of the same Nature made since.” Both are signed Ignoto, but the first of these pieces has been usually ascribed to Sir Walter Raleigh — on no very substantial grounds.]
- THE NYMPH'S REPLY TO THE SHEPHERD.
- If all the world and love were young,
- And truth in every Shepherd's tongue,
- These pretty pleasures might me move
- To live with thee, and be thy love.
- But Time drives flocks from field to fold,
- When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,
- And Philomel becometh dumb,
- The rest complains of cares to come.
- The flowers do fade and wanton fields
- To wayward winter reckoning yields;
- A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
- Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.
- Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
- Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
- Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten;
- In folly ripe, in reason rotten.
- Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
- Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
- All these to me no means can move
- To come to thee, and be thy love.
- But could youth last and love still breed,
- Had joys no date nor age no need,
- Then these delights my mind might move
- To live with thee, and be thy love.
- ANOTHER OF THE SAME NATURE MADE SINCE.
- Come live with me, and be my dear,
- And we will revel all the year,
- In plains and groves, on hills and dales,
- Where fragrant air breathes sweetest gales.
- There shall you have the beauteous pine,
- The cedar, and the spreading vine;
- And all the woods to be a screen,
- Lest Phœbus kiss my Summer's Queen.
- The seat for your disport shall be
- Over some river in a tree,
- Where silver sands and pebbles sing
- Eternal ditties to the spring.
- There shall you see the nymphs at play,
- And how the satyrs spend the day;
- The fishes gliding on the sands,
- Offering their bellies to your hands.
- The birds with heavenly tunèd throats
- Possess woods' echoes with sweet notes,
- Which to your senses will impart
- A music to enflame the heart.
- Upon the bare and leafless oak
- The ring-doves' wooings will provoke
- A colder blood than you possess
- To play with me and do no less.
- In bowers of laurel trimly dight
- We will out-wear the silent night,
- While Flora busy is to spread
- Her richest treasure on our bed.
- Ten thousand glow-worms shall attend,
- And all these sparkling lights shall spend
- All to adorn and beautify
- Your lodging with most majesty.
- Then in mine arms will I enclose
- Lilies' fair mixture with the rose,
- Whose nice perfection in love's play
- Shall tune me to the highest key.
- Thus as we pass the welcome night
- In sportful pleasures and delight,
- The nimble fairies on the grounds,
- Shall dance and sing melodious sounds.
- If these may serve for to entice
- Your presence to Love's Paradise,
- Then come with me, and be my dear,
- And we will then begin the year.
The following verses in imitation of Marlowe are by Donne:—
- THE BAIT.
- Come live with me, and be my love,
- And we will some new pleasure prove
- Of golden sands and christal brooks
- With silken lines and silver hooks.
- There will the river whispering run,
- Warm'd by thine eyes more than the sun;
- And there th' enamoured fish will stay
- Begging themselves they may betray.
- When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
- Each fish which every channel hath
- Will amorously to thee swim,
- Gladder to catch thee than thou him.
- If thou to be so seen beest loath
- By sun or moon, thou darkenest both;
- And if my self have leave to see,
- I heed not their light, having thee.
- Let others freeze with angling reeds
- And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
- Or treacherously poor fish beset
- With strangling snare or winding net.
- Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
- The bedded fish in banks outwrest,
- Or curious traitors, sleave-silk flies,
- Bewitch poor fishes' wandering eyes.
- For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,
- For thou thyself art thine own bait:
- That fish that is not catched thereby,
- Alas, is wiser far than I.
Herrick has a pastoral invitation
- TO PHILLIS TO LOVE AND LIVE WITH HIM.
- Live, live with me, and thou shalt see
- The pleasures I'll prepare for thee;
- What sweets the country can afford
- Shall bless thy bed and bless thy board.
- The soft sweet moss shall be thy bed
- With crawling woodbine overspread:
- By which the silver-shedding streams
- Shall gently melt thee into dreams.
- Thy clothing next shall be a gown
- Made of the fleeces' purest down.
- The tongues of kids shall be thy meat;
- Their milk thy drink; and thou shall eat
- The paste of filberts for thy bread,
- With cream of cowslips buttered.
- Thy feasting-table shall be hills
- With daisies spread and daffodils;
- Where thou shalt sit, and red-breast by
- For meat shall give thee melody.
- I'll give thee chains and carcanets
- Of primroses and violets.
- A bag and bottle thou shalt have,
- That richly wrought and this as brave,
- So that as either shall express
- The wearer's no mean shepherdess.
- At shearing-times and yearly wakes,
- When Themihs his pastime makes,
- There thou shalt be; and be the wit,
- Nay more, the feast and grace of it.
- On holidays when virgins meet
- To dance the hays with nimble feet,
- Thou shalt come forth and then appear
- The queen of roses for that year;
- And having danced ('bove all the best)
- Carry the garland from the rest.
- In wicker-baskets maids shall bring
- To thee, my dearest shepherdling,
- The blushing apple, bashful pear,
- And shame-faced plum all simp'ring there:
- Walk in the groves and thou shalt find
- The name of Phillis in the rind
- Of every straight and smooth-skin tree,
- Where kissing that I'll twice kiss thee.
- To thee a sheep-hook I will send
- Be-prankt with ribands to this end,
- This, this alluring hook might be
- Less for to catch a sheep than me.
- Thou shalt have possets, wassails fine,
- Not made of ale but spiced wine;
- To make thy maids and self free mirth,
- All sitting near the glittering hearth.
- Thou shalt have ribbands, roses, rings,
- Gloves, garters, stockings, shoes and strings
- Of winning colours that shall move
- Others to lust but me to love.
- These, nay, and more, thine own shall be
- If thou wilt love and live with me.
- I walk'd along a stream, for pureness rare, Brighter than sun-shine; for it did acquaint
- The dullest sight with all the glorious prey
- That in the pebble-pavèd channel lay.
- No molten crystal, but a richer mine, Even Nature's rarest alchymy ran there,—
- Diamonds resolv'd, and substance more divine, Through whose bright-gliding current might appear
- A thousand naked nymphs, whose ivory shine, Enamelling the banks, made them more dear
- Than ever was that glorious palace' gate
- Where the day-shining Sun in triumph sate.
- Upon this brim the eglantine and rose, The tamarisk, olive, and the almond tree,
- As kind companions, in one union grows, Folding their twining arms, as oft we see
- Turtle-taught lovers either other close, Lending to dulness feeling sympathy;
- And as a costly valance o'er a bed, So did their garland-tops the brook o'erspread.
- Their leaves, that differ'd both in shape and show, Though all were green, yet difference such in green,
- Like to the checker'd bent of Iris' bow, Prided the running main, as it had been—
DIALOGUE IN VERSE.
- Seest thou not yon farmer's son? He hath stoln my love from me, alas!
- What shall I do? I am undone; My heart will ne'er be as it was.
- O, but he gives her gay gold rings, And tufted gloves [for] holiday,
- And many other goodly things, That hath stolen my love away.
- Let him give her gay gold rings Or tufted gloves, were they ne'er so [gay];
- [F]or were her lovers lords or kings, They should not carry the wench away.
- But 'a dances wonders well, And with his dances stole her love from me:
- Yet she wont to say I bore the bell For dancing and for courtesy.
- Fie, lusty younker, what do you here, Not dancing on the green to-day?
- For Pierce, the farmer's son, I fear, Is like to carry your wench away.
- Good Dick, bid them all come hither, And tell Pierce from me beside,
- That, if he thinks to have the wench, Here he stands shall lie with the bride.
- Fie, Nan, why use thy old lover so, For any other new-come guest?
- Thou long time his love did know; Why shouldst thou not use him best?
- Bonny Dick, I will not forsake My bonny Rowland for any gold:
- If he can dance as well as Pierce, He shall have my heart in hold.
- Why, then, my hearts, let's to this gear; And by dancing I may won
- My Nan, whose love I hold so dear As any realm under the sun.
- Then, gentles, ere I speed from hence I will be so bold to dance
- A turn or two without offence; For, as I was walking along by chance,
40 I was told you did agree.
- 'Tis true, good sir; and this is she Hopes your worship comes not to crave her;
- For she hath lovers two or three, And he that dances best must have her.
- How say you, sweet, will you dance with me?
- And you [shall] have both land and [hill];
- My love shall want nor gold nor fee.
- I thank you, sir, for your good will;
- But one of these my love must be:
50 I'm but a homely country maid,
- And far unfit for your degree; [To dance with you I am afraid.]
- Take her, good sir, by the hand, As she is fairest; were she fairer,
- By this dance, you shall understand, He that can win her is like to wear her.
- And saw you not [my] Nan to-day, My mother's maid have you not seen?
- My pretty Nan is gone away
60 To seek her love upon the green.
- [I cannot see her 'mong so many:]
- She shall have me, if she have any.
- Welcome, sweet-heart, and welcome here. Welcome, my [true] love, now to me.
- This is my love [and my darling dear], And that my husband [soon] must be.
- And, boy, when thou com'st home thou'lt see
- Thou art as welcome home as he.
- Why, how now, sweet Nan! I hope you jest.
- No, by my troth, I love the fool the best:
- And, if you be jealous, God give you good-night!
- I fear you're a gelding, you caper so light.
- I thought she had jested and meant but a fable,
- But now do I see she hath play'[d] with his bable.
- I wish all my friends by me to take heed,
- That a fool come not near you when you mean to speed.
THE ATHEIST'S TRAGEDIE .
- All you that have got eares to heare, Now listen unto mee;
- Whilst I do tell a tale of feare; A true one it shall bee:
- A truer storie nere was told, As some alive can showe;
- 'Tis of a man in crime grown olde, Though age he did not know.
- This man did his owne God denie And Christ his onelie son,
- And did all punishment defie, So he his course might run.
- Both day and night would he blaspheme, And day and night would sweare,
- As if his life was but a dreame, Not ending in dispaire.
- A poet was he of repute, And wrote full many a playe,
- Now strutting in a silken sute, Then begging by the way.
- He had alsoe a player beene Upon the Curtaine-stage,
- But brake his leg in one lewd scene, When in his early age.
- He was a fellow to all those That did God's laws reject,
- Consorting with the Christians' foes And men of ill aspect.
- Ruffians and cutpurses hee Had ever at his backe,
- And led a life most foule and free, To his eternall wracke.
- He now is gone to his account, And gone before his time,
- Did not his wicked deedes surmount All precedent of crime.
- But he no warning ever tooke From others' wofull fate,
- And never gave his life a looke Untill it was to late.
- He had a friend, once gay and greene, Who died not long before,
- The wofull'st wretch was ever seen, The worst ere woman bore,
- Unlesse this Wormall did exceede Even him in wickednesse,
- Who died in the extreemest neede And terror's bitternesse.
- Yet Wormall ever kept his course, Since nought could him dismay;
- He knew not what thing was remorse Unto his dying day.
- Then had he no time to repent The crimes he did commit,
- And no man ever did lament For him, to dye unfitt.
- Ah, how is knowledge wasted quite On such want wisedome true,
- And that which should be guiding light But leades to errors newe!
- Well might learnd Cambridge oft regret He ever there was bred:
- The tree she in his mind had set Brought poison forth instead.
- His lust was lawlesse as his life, And brought about his death;
- For, in a deadlie mortall strife, Striving to stop the breath
- Of one who was his rivall foe, With his owne dagger slaine,
- He groand, and word spoke never moe, Pierc'd through the eye and braine.
- Thus did he come to suddaine ende That was a foe to all,
- And least unto himselfe a friend, And raging passion's thrall.
- Had he been brought up to the trade His father follow'd still,
- This exit he had never made, Nor playde a part soe ill.
- Take warning ye that playes doe make, And ye that doe them act;
- Desist in time for Wormall's sake, And thinke upon his fact.
- Blaspheming Tambolin must die, And Faustus meete his ende;
- Repent, repent, or presentlie To hell ye must discend.
- What is there, in this world, of worth, That we should prize it soe?
- Life is but trouble from our birth, The wise do say and know.
- Our lives, then, let us mend with speed, Or we shall suerly rue
- The end of everie hainous deede, In life that shall insue.
In a copy of Hero and Leander Collier found, together with other questionable matter, the following MS. notes:— “Feb. 10, 1640. Mr. [two words follow in cipher], that Marloe was an atheist, and wrot a booke against [two words in cipher,] how that it was all one man's making, and would have printed it, but it would not be suffred to be printed. Hee was a rare scholar, and made excellent verses in Latine. He died aged about 30.”—“Marloe was an acquaintance of Mr. [a name follows in cipher] of Douer, whom hee made become an atheist; so that he was faine to make a recantation vppon this text, The foole hath said in his heart there is no God.'”—“This [the name in cipher] learned all Marloe by heart.”—“Marloe was stabd with a dagger and dyed swearing.”
CONTAYNINGE THE OPINION OF ONE CHRISTOFER MARLYE, CONCERNYNGE HIS DAMNABLE OPINIONS AND JUDGMENT OF RELYGION AND SCORNE OF GODS WORDE.
From MS. Harl. 6853, Fol. 320.
That the Indians and many Authors of Antiquitei have assuredly written of aboue 16 thowsande yeers agone, wher Adam is proved to have leyved within 6 thowsande yeers.
He affirmeth That Moyses was but a Juggler, and that one Heriots can do more then hee.
That Moyses made the Jewes to travell fortie yeers in the wildernes (which iorny might have ben don in lesse then one yeer) er they came to the promised lande, to the intente that those whoe wer privei to most of his subtileteis might perish, and so an everlastinge super-sticion remayne in the hartes of the people.
That the firste beginnynge of Religion was only to keep men in awe.
That it was an easye matter for Moyses, beinge brought up in all the artes of the Egiptians, to abvse the Jewes, being a rvde and grosse people.
*** * * * * * * * * * * * *
That he [Christ] was the sonne of a carpenter, and that, yf the Jewes amonge whome he was born did crvcifye him, thei best knew him and whence he came.
That Christ deserved better to dye than Barrabas, and that the Jewes made a good choyce, though Barrabas were both a theife and a murtherer.
That yf ther be any God or good Religion, then it is in the Papistes, becavse the service of God is performed with more ceremonyes, as elevacion of the masse, organs, singinge men, shaven crownes, &c. That all protestantes ar hipocriticall Asses.
That, yf he wer put to write a new religion, he wolde vndertake both a more excellent and more admirable methode, and that all the new testament is filthely written.
*** * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
That all the Appostels wer fishermen and base fellowes, nether of witt nor worth, that Pawle only had witt, that he was a timerous fellow in biddinge men to be subiect to magistrates against his conscience.
That he had as good right to coyne as the Queen of Englande, and that he was acquainted with one Poole, a prisoner in newgate, whoe hath great skill in mixture of mettalls, and havinge learned such thinges of him, he ment. thorough help of a cvnnynge stampe-maker, to coyne fiench crownes, pistolettes, and englishe shillinges.
That, yf Christ had instituted the Sacramentes with more cerymonyall reverence, it would have ben had in more admiracion, that it wolde have ben much better beinge administred in a Tobacco pype.
That one Richard Cholmelei hath confessed that he was perswaded by Marloes reason to become an Athieste.
Theis thinges, with many other, shall by good and honest men be proved to be his opinions and common speeches, and that this Marloe doth not only holde them himself, but almost in every company he commeth, perswadeth men to Athiesme, willinge them not to be afrayed of bugbeares and hobgoblins, and vtterly scornynge both God and his ministers, as I Richard Bome [sic] will justify bothe by my othe and the testimony of many honest men, and almost all men with whome he hath conversed any tyme will testefy the same: and, as I thincke, all men in christianitei ought to endevor that the mouth of so dangerous a member may be stopped.
He sayeth moreover that he hath coated a number of contrarieties out of the scriptures, which he hath geeven to some great men, who in convenient tyme shalbe named When theis thinges shalbe called in question, the witnesses shalbe produced.
Copye of Marloes blasphemyes
as sent to her H[ighness]
[Now-a-days inquiries as to the age of the earth are of interest only to Geologists; and all may criticise with impunity the career of Moses—provided that they do not employ the shafts of ridicule too freely. Marlowe's strictures on the New Testament—grossly exaggerated by the creature who penned the charges—were ma***e from the literary point of view. We should blame nobody to-day for saying that the language of Revelations is poor and thin when compared with the language of Isaiah. Again, as to the statement that Romanism alone is logical, and that Protestantism has no locus standi,—has not the doctrine been proclaimed again and again in our own day by writers whom we all respect? The charge that Marlowe had announced his intention of coining French crowns is so utterly absurd as to throw discredit upon all the other statements It must be remembered that the testimony was not upon oath, and that the deponent was a ruffian.]
An edition of Marlowe cannot be more fitly concluded than by a reprint of Mr. R. H. Horne's noble and pathetic tragedy, The Death of Marlowe (originally published in 1837), one of the few dramatic pieces of the present century that will have any interest for posterity. For permission to reprint this tragedy I am indebted to Mr. Horne's literary executor, Mr. H. Buxton Forman.
THE DEATH OF MARLOWE.
- Christopher Marlowe, Dramatists and Actors.
- Thomas Heywood, Dramatists and Actors.
- Thomas Middleton, Dramatist.
- Cecilia, Runaway Wife of the drunkard, Bengough.
- Jacconot, aliasJack-O'-NightA Tavern Pander and Swash-buckler.
Gentlemen, Officers, Servants, &c.
Public Gardens—Liberty of the Clink, Southwark.
Be sure of it.
I am; but not by your light.
- I speak it not in malice, nor in envy
- Of your good fortune with so bright a beauty:
- But I have heard such things!
Good Master Heywood,
- I prithee plague me not with what thou'st heard;
- I've seen, and I do love her—and, for hearing,
- The music of her voice is in my soul,
- And holds a rapturous jubilee 'midst dreams
- That melt the day and night into one bliss.
Beware the waking hour!
In lovely radiance,
- Like all that's fabled of Olympus' queen,
- She moves—as if the earth were undulant clouds,
- And all its flowers her subject stars.
- Smile not; for 'tis most true: the very air
- With her sweet presence is impregnate richly.
- As in a mead, that's fresh with youngest green,
- Some fragrant shrub, some secret herb, exhales
- Ambrosial odours; or in lonely bower,
- Where one may find the musk plant, heliotrope,
- Geranium, or grape hyacinth, confers
- A ruling influence, charming present sense
- And sure of memory; so, her person bears
- A natural balm, obedient to the rays
- Of heaven—or to her own, which glow within,
- Distilling incense by their own sweet power.
- The dew at sunrise on a ripened peach
- Was never more delicious than her neck.
- Such forms are Nature's favourites.
- Pygmalion and Prometheus dwell within you!
- You poetise her rarely, and exalt
- With goddess-attributes, and chastity
- Beyond most goddesses: be not thus serious'
- If for a passing paramour thou'dst love her,
- Why, so, so it may be well; but never place
- Thy full heart in her hand.
I have—I do—
- And I will lay it bleeding at her feet.
- Reason no more, for I do love this woman:
- To me she's chaste, whatever thou hast heard.
- Whatever I may know, hear, find, or fancy,
- I must possess her constantly, or die.
- Nay, if't be thus, I'll fret thine ear no more
- With raven voice; but aid thee all I can.
- Cecilia!-Go, dear friend-good Master Heywood,
- Leave me alone-I see her coming thither!
- Bliss wait thy wooing; peace of mind its end!
- (aside) His knees shake, and his face and hands are wet,
- As with a sudden fall of dew—God speed him!
- This is a desperate fancy!
- Thoughtful sir,
- How fare you? Thou'st been reading much of late,
- By the moon's light, I fear me?
Why so, lady?
The reflex of the page is on thy face.
- But in my heart the spirit of a shrine
- Burns, with immortal radiation crown'd.
Nay, primrose gentleman, think'st me a saint?
I feel thy power.
- I exercise no arts—
- Whence is my influence?
- From heaven, I think.
- Madam, I love you—ere to-day you've seen it,
- Although my lips ne'er breathed the word before;
- And seldom as we've met and briefly spoken,
- There are such spiritual passings to and fro
- 'Twixt thee and me-though I alone may suffer-
- As make me know this love blends with my life;
- Must branch with it, bud, blossom, put forth fruit,
- Nor end e'en when its last husks strew the grave,
- Whence we together shall ascend to bliss.
Continued from this world?
- Thy hand, both hands;
- I kiss them from my soul!
- Nay, sir, you burn me-
- Let loose my hands!
- I loose them—half my life has thus gone from me!—
- That which is left can scarce contain my heart,
- Now grown too full with the high tide of joy,
- Whose ebb, retiring, fills the caves of sorrow,
- Where Syrens sing beneath their dripping hair,
- And raise the mirror'd fate.
- Then, gaze not in it,
- Lest thou should'st see thy passing funeral
- I would not—I might chance to see far worse.
- Thou art too beautiful ever to die!
- I look upon thee, and can ne'er believe it
- O, sir—but passion, circumstance, and fate,
- Can do far worse than kill: they can dig graves,
- And make the future owners dance above them,
- Well knowing how 'twill end. Why look you sad?
- 'Tis not your case; you are a man in love—
- At least, you say so—and should therefore feel
- A constant sunshine, wheresoe'er you tread,
- Nor think of what's beneath. But speak no more:
- I see a volume gathering in your eye
- Which you would fain have printed in my heart;
- But you were better cast it in the fire.
- Enough you've said, and I enough have listened.
I have said naught
- You have spoken very plain—
- So, Master Marlowe, please you, break we off;
- And, since your mind is now relieved—good day!
Leave me not thus!—forgive me!
For what offence?
The expression of my love.
- Tut! that's a trifle.
- Think'st thou I ne'er saw men in love before?
- Unto the summer of beauty they are common
- As grasshoppers,
And to its winter, lady?
- There is no winter in my thoughts—adieu!
- She's gone!—How leafless is my life!—My strength
- Seems melted—my breast vacant—and in my brain
- I hear the sound of a retiring sea.
Gravel Lane; Bankside.
Enter Heywood and Middleton.
And yet it may end well, after his fit is over.
But he is earnest in it.
'Tis his habit; a little thunder clears the atmosphere. At present he is spell-bound, and smouldereth in a hot cloud of passion; but when he once makes his way, he will soon disperse his free spirit abroad over the inspired heavens.
I fear me she will sow quick seed of feverish fancies in his mind that may go near to drive him mad.
How so? He knoweth her for what she is, as well as for what she was;—the high-spirited and once virtuous wife of the drunkard Bengough. You remember him?
I have seen him i‘the mire. Twas his accustomed bed o’ nights—and morning, too—many a time. He preferred that to the angel he left at home. Some men do 'Tis a sorrow to think upon.
And one that tears cannot wash! Master Marlowe hath too deep a reading i' the books of nature to nail his heart upon a gilded weathercock. He is only desperate after the fashion of a pearl diver. When he hath enough he will desist—breathe freely, polish the shells, and build grottoes.
Nay, he persisteth in not knowing her for a courtesan —talks of her purity in burning words, that seem to glow and enhance his love from his convictions of her virtue; then suddenly falls into silent abstraction, looking like a man whose eyes are filled with visions of Paradise. No pains takes she to deceive him; for he supersedes the chance by deceiving himself beyond measure. He either listens not at all to intimation, or insists the contrary.
This is his passionate aggravation or self-will: he must know it.
Tis my belief; but her beauty blinds him with its beams, and drives his exiled reason into darkness.
Here comes one that could enlighten his perception, methinks.
Who's he? Jack-o'-night, the tavern pander and swashbuckler.
Save ye, my masters; lusty thoughts go with ye, and a jovial full cup wait on your steps: so shall your blood rise, and honest women pledge ye in their dreams!
Your weighty-pursed knowledge of women, balanced against your squinting knowledge of honesty, Master Jack-o'-night, would come down to earth, methinks, as rapid as a fall from a gallows-tree.
Well said, Master Middleton—a merry devil and a long-lived one run monkey-wise up your back-bone! May your days be as happy as they're sober, and your nights full of applause! May no brawling mob pelt you, or your friends, when throned, nor hoot down your plays when your soul's pinned like a cockchafer on public opinion! May no learned or unlearned calf write against your knowledge and wit, and no brother paper-stainer pilfer your pages, and then call you a general thief! Am I the only rogue and vagabond in the world?
I‘faith, not: nay, an’ thou wert, there would be no lack of them i’ the next generation. Thou might'st be the father of the race, being now the bodily type of it The phases of thy villany are so numerous that, were they embodied they would break down the fatal tree which is thine inheritance, and cause a lack of cords for the Thames shipping!
Don't choke me with compliments!
Heywood (to Middleton).
He seems right proud of this multiplied idea of his latter end.
Ay; hanging's of high antiquity, and, thereto, of broad modern repute. The flag, the sign, the fruit, the felon, and other high and mighty game, all hang; though the sons of ink and sawdust try to stand apart, smelling civet, as one should say,—faugh! Jewelled caps, ermined cloaks, powdered wigs, church bells, bona-roba bedgowns, gilded bridles, spurs, shields, swords, harness, holy relics, and salted hogs, all hang in glory! Pictures, too, of rare value! Also music's ministrants,—the lute, the horn, the fiddle, the pipe, the gong, the viol, the salt-box, the tambourine and the triangle, make a dead-wall dream of festive harmonies!
Infernal discords, thou would'st say!
These are but few things among many! for ‘scutcheons, scarecrows, proclamations, the bird in a cage, the target for fools’ wit, hie jacet tablets (that is, lying ones), the King's Head and the Queen's Arms, ropes of onions, dried herbs, smoked fish, holly boughs, hall lantborns, framed piety texts, and adored frights of family portraits, all hang! Likewise corkscrews, cat-skins, glittering trophies, sausage links, shining icicles, the crucifix, and the skeleton in chains. There, we all swing, my masters! Tut! hanging's a high Act of Parliament privilege!-a Star-Chamber Garter-right!
The devil's seed germinates with reptile rapidity, and blossoms and fructifies in the vinous fallows of this bully's brain!
I tell thee what—(looking off) another time!
I breathe fresh air!
- Look!—said I not so? See whom 'tis he meets;
- And with a lounging, loose, familiar air,
- Cocking his cap and setting his hand on's hip,
- Salutes with such free language as his action
- And attitude explain!
- I grieve for Marlowe:
- The more, since 'tis as certain he must have
- Full course of passion, as that its object's full
- Of most unworthy elements.
- Indeed, of such a form, if all be base.
- But Nature, methinks, doth seldom so belie
- The inward by the outward; seldom frame
- A cheat so finish'd to ensnare the senses,
- And break our faith in all substantial truth
EnterCecilia, followed byJacconot.
Well, well, Mistress St. Cecil; the money is all well enough—I object nothing to the money.
Then, go your ways.
My ways are your ways—a murrain on your beauties' —has your brain shot forth skylarks as your eyes do sparks?
Go!—here is my purse.
I'll no more oft!—I have a mind to fling back what thou'st already given me for my services.
Master Jacconot, I would have no further services from thee. If thou art not yet satisfied, fetch the weight and scales, and I will cast my gold into it, and my dross besides—so shall I be doubly relieved.
I say again—and the devil bear me fierce witness!— it is not gold I want, but rightful favour; not silver, but sweet civility; not dross, but the due respect to my nonpareil value! Bethink thee, Cecil—bethink thee of many things! Ay! am not I the true gallant of my time? the great Glow-worm and Will-o'-the-wisp—the life, the fortune, and the favourite of the brightest among ye!
Anywhere, so it be distant
What mean'st by discarding me, and why is it? 'Slud! is this the right sort of return for all my skilful activities, my adroit fascinations of young lords in drink, my tricks at dice, cards, and dagger-play, not to speak too loudly of bets on bear-baits, soap-bubbles, and Shrovetide cocks; or my lies about your beauty and temper? Have I not brought dukes and earls and reverend seniors, on tip-toe, and softly whispering for fear of “the world,” right under the balcony of your window?-O, don't beat the dust with your fine foot! These be good services, I think!
Cecilia (half aside).
Alas! alas! the world sees us only as bright, though baleful stars, little knowing our painful punishments in the dark-our anguish in secret
Are you thinking of me?
Go!—a death's-head crown your pillow! May you dream of love, and wake and see that!
I had rather see't than you.
What's i' the wind,—nobleman, or gentleman, or a brain fancy—am not I at hand? Are you mad?
I'd gladly believe I have been so.
Good. I'm content you see me aright once more, and acknowledge yourself wrong.
Cecilia (half aside, and tearfully).
O, wrong indeed—very wrong—to my better nature— my better nature.
And to me, too! Bethink thee, I say, when last year, after the dance at Hampton, thou wert enraged against the noble that slighted thee; and, flushed with wine, thou took'st me by the ear, and mad'st me hand thee into thy coach, and get in beside thee, with a drawn sword in my hand and a dripping trencher on my head, singing such songs, until—
Earthworms and stone walls!
Hey! what of them?
- I would that as the corporal Past they cover,
- They would, at earnest bidding of the will,
- Entomb in walls of darkness and devour
- The hated retrospections of the mind.
- Oho!—the lamps and saw-dust!-Here's foul play
- And mischief in the market. Preaching varlet!
- I'll find him out—I'll dog him!
- Gnaws at the root of being, and doth hang
- A heavy sickness on the beams of day,
- Making the atmosphere, which should exalt
- Our contemplations, press us down to earth,
- As though our breath had made it thick with plague.
- Cursed! accursed be the freaks of Nature,
- That mar us from ourselves, and make our acts
- The scorn and loathing of our afterthoughts—
- The finger mark of Conscience, who, most treacherous,
- Wakes to accuse, but slumber'd o'er the sin.
A room in the Triple Tun, Blackfriars.
Marlowe, Middleton, Heywood, and Gentlemen.
- I do rejoice to find myself among
- The choicest spirits of the age: health, sirs!
- I would commend your fame to future years,
- But that I know ere this ye must be old
- In the conviction, and that ye full oft
- With sure posterity have shaken hands
- Over the unstable bridge of present time.
- Not so: we write from the full heart within,
- And leave posterity to find her own.
- Health, sir!—your good deeds laurel you in heaven.
- Twere best men left their fame to chance and fashion,
- As birds bequeath their eggs to the sun's hatching,
- Since Genius can make no will
- Troth, can it!
- But for the conseqnences of the deed,
- What fires of blind fatality may catch them!
- Say, you do love a woman—do adore her—
- You may embalm the memory of her worth
- And chronicle her beauty to all time,
- In words whereat great Jove himself might flush,
- And feel Olympus tremble at his thoughts;
- Yet where is your security? Some clerk
- Wanting a foolscap, or some boy a kite,
- Some housewife fuel, or some sportsman wadding
- To wrap a ball (which hits the poet's bran
- By merest accident) seizes your record,
- And to the wind thus scatters all your will,
- Or, rather, your will's object. Thus, our pride
- Swings like a planet by a single hair,
- Obedient to God's breath. More wine! more wine!
- I preach—and I grow melancholy—wine!
Enter Drawer with a tankard.
A Gentleman (rising).
We're wending homeward—gentlemen, good night!
- Not yet—not yet—the night has scarce begun—
- Nay, Master Heywood—Middleton, you'll stay!
- Bright skies to those who go—high thoughts go with ye,
- And constant youth!
We thank you, sir—good night!
Let's follow—'tis near morning.
- Do not go.
- I'm ill at ease, touching a certain matter
- I've taken to heart—don't speak of't—and besides
- I have a sort of horror of my bed.
- Last night a squadron charged me in a dream,
- With Isis and Osiris at the flanks,
- Towering and waving their colossal arms,
- While in a van a fiery chariot roll'd,
- Wherein a woman stood—I knew her well—
- Who seem'd but newly risen from the grave!
- She whirl'd a javelin at me, and methought
- I woke; when, slowly at the foot o' the bed
- The mist-like curtains parted, and upon me
- Did learned Faustus look! He shook his head
- With grave reproof, but more of sympathy,
- As though his past humanity came o'er him—
- Then went away with a low, gushing sigh,
- That startled his own death-cold breast, and seem'd
- As from a marble urn where passion's ashes
- Their sleepless vigil keep. Well—perhaps they do.
(after a pause)
- Lived he not greatly? Think what was his power!
- All knowledge at his beck—the very Devil
- His common slave. And, O, brought he not back,
- Through the thick-million'd catacombs of ages,
- Helen's unsullied loveliness to his arms?
So—let us have more wine, then!
- Spirit enough
- Springs from thee, Master Marlowe—what need more.
- Drawer! lift up thy leaden poppy-head!
- Up man!—where art? The night seems wondrous hot!
(Marlowethrows open a side window that reaches down to the floor, and stands there, looking out.)
- The air flows in upon his heated face,
- And he grows pale with looking at the stars;
- Thinking the while of many things in heaven.
- And some one on the earth—as fair to him—
- For, lo you!—is't not she?
(Pointing towards the open window.)
- The lady, folded
- In the long mantle, coming down the street?
- Let be; we cannot help him.
(HeywoodandMiddletonretire apart—Ceciliais passing by the open window.)
- Stay awhile!—
- One moment stay!
That is not much to ask.
(She steps in through the window.)
- Nor much for you to grant; but O, to me
- That moment is a circle without bounds,—
- Because I see no end to my delight!
- O, sir, you make me very sad at heart;
- Let's speak no more of this. I am on my way
- To walk beside the river.
May I come?
Ah, no; I'll go alone.
- 'Tis dark and dismal;
- Nor do I deem it safe!
- What can harm me?
- If not above, at least I am beyond
- All common dangers. No, you shall not come.
- I have some questions I would ask myself;
- And in the sullen, melancholy flow
- O' the unromantic Thames, that has been witness
- Of many tragical realities,
- Bare of adornment as its cold stone stairs,
- I may find sympathy, if not response.
- You find both here. I know thy real life;
- We do not see the truth—or, O, how little!
- Pure light sometimes through painted windows streams;
- And, when all's dark around thee, thou art fair!
- Thou bear'st within an ever-burning lamp,
- To me more sacred than a vestal's shrine;
- For she may be of heartless chastity,
- False in all else, and proud of her poor ice,
- As though 'twere fire suppress'd; but thou art good
- For goodness' sake;—true-hearted, lovable,
- For truth and honour's sake; and such a woman,
- That man who wins, the gods themselves may envy.
- Considering all things, this is bitter sweet.
And I may come? (following her).
You shall not.
I obey you.
- Ah! Kit Marlowe,—
- You think too much of me—and of yourself
- Too little!
Then I may——(advancing).
- Wilt promise
- To see me for one “good night” ere you sleep?
(She turns to look at him—then steps through the window—Exit.)
Be sure—be sure!
Now, Marlowe!—you desert us!
- Say not so;—
- Or, saying so, add—that I have lost myself!
- Nay, but I have; yonder I go in the dark!
Street Music.—Jacconot, singing outside.
- Ram out the link, boys; ho, boys!
- There's daylight in the sky!
- While the trenchers strew the floor,
- And the worn-out grey beards snore,
- Jolly throats continue dry!
- Ram out the link, boys, &c.
What voice is that?
Marlowe (through his teeth).
From one of the hells.
- The roystering singer approaches.
EnterJacconot, with a full tankard.
Ever awake and shining, my masters! and here am I, your twin lustre, always ready to herald and anoint your pleasures, like a true Master of the Revels. I ha' just stepped over the drawer's body, laid nose and heels together on the door-mat, asleep, and here's wherewith to continue the glory!
We need not your help.
We thank you, Jack-o'-night: we would be alone.
What say you, Master Marlowe? you look as grim as a sign-painter's first sketch on a tavern bill, after his ninth tankard.
Cease your death-rattle, night-hawk!
That's well said.
Is it? So 'tis my gallants—a night-bird like yourselves, am I.
Beast!—we know you.
Your merry health, Master Kit Marlowe! I'll bring a loud pair of palms to cheer your soul the next time you strut in red paint with a wooden weapon at your thigh.
Who sent for you, dorr-hawk?—go!
Go! Aha!—I remember the word—same tone, same gesture—or as like as the two profiles of a monkey, or as two squeaks for one pinch. Go!—not I—here's to all your healths! One pull more! There, I've done—take it, Master Marlowe; and pledge me as the true knight of London's rarest beauties!
(Dashes the tankard at his head.)
Jacconot (stooping quickly).
A miss, 'fore-gad!—the wall has got it! See where it trickles down like the long robe of some dainty fair one! And look you here—and there again, look you!—what make you of the picture he hath presented?
Marlowe (staggers as he stares at the wall).
- O subtle Nature! who hath so compounded
- Our senses, playing into each other's wheels,
- That feeling oft acts substitute for sight,
- As sight becomes obedient to the thought—
- How canst thou place such wonders at the mercy
- Of every wretch that crawls? I feel—I see!
- (Street Music as before, but farther off.)
- Ram out the link, boys; ho, boys!
- The blear-eyed morning's here;
- Let us wander through the streets,
- And kiss whoe'er one meets;
- St. Cecil is my dear!
- Ram out the link, boys, &c.
Lightning come up from hell and strangle thee!
- Nay, Marlowe! Marlowe!
- (they hold him back).
Away, thou bestial villain!
Jacconot (singing atMarlowe).
St. Cecil is my dear!
- Blast! blast and scatter
- Thy body to ashes! Off! I'll have his ghost!
(rushes atJacconot—they fight—Marlowedisarms him; butJacconotwrestsMarlowe'sown sword from his hand, and stabs him—Marlowefalls).
Marlowe (clasping his forehead).
- Who's down?—answer me, friends—is't I?—
- Or in the maze of some delirious trance,
- Some realm unknown, or passion newly born—
- Ne'er felt before—am I transported thus?
- My fingers paddle, too, in blood—is't mine?
O, content you, Master Marplot—it's you that's down, drunk or sober; and that's your own blood on your fingers, running from a three-inch groove in your ribs for the devil's imps to slide into you. Ugh! cry gramercy! for it's all over with your rhyming!
O, heartless mischief!
Hence, thou rabid cur!
- What demon in the air with unseen arm
- Hath turn'd my unchain'd fury against myself?
- Recoiling dragon! thy resistless force
- Scatters thy mortal master in his pride,
- To teach him, with self-knowledge, to fear thee.
- Forgetful of all corporal conditions,
- My passion hath destroy'd me!
No such matter; it was my doing. You shouldn't ha‘ran at me in that fashion with a real sword—I thought it had been one o’ your sham ones.
- See! his face changes—lift him up!
- (they raise and support him)
- Here—place your hand upon his side—here, here—
- Close over mine, and staunch the flowing wound!
- Bright is the day—the air with glory teems—
- And eagles wanton in the smile of Jove:
- Can these things be, and Marlowe live no more!
- O Heywood! Heywood! I had a world of hopes
- About that woman—now in my heart they rise
- Confused, as flames from my life's coloured map,
- That burns until with wrinkling agony
- Its ashes flatten, separate, and drift
- Through gusty darkness. Hold me fast by the arm!
- A little aid will save me:—See! she's here!
- I clasp thy form—I feel thy breath, my love—
- And know thee for a sweet saint come to save me!
- Save!—is it death I feel—it cannot be death?
Jacconot (half aside).
Marry, but it can!—or else your sword's a foolish dog that dar'n't bite his owner.
- O friends—dear friends—this is a sorry end—
- A most unworthy end! To think—O God!—
- To think that I should fall by the hand of one
- Whose office, like his nature, is all baseness,
- Gives Death ten thousand stings, and to the Grave
- A damning victory! Fame sinks with life!
- A galling—shameful—ignominious end! (sinks down).
- O mighty heart! O full and orbed heart,
- Flee to thy kindred sun, rolling on high!
- Or let the hoary and eternal sea
- Sweep me away, and swallow body and soul!
There'll be no “encore” to either, I wot; for thou'st led an ill life, Master Marlowe; and so the sweet Saint thou spok'st of will remain my fair game—behind the scenes.
- Liar! slave! sla—Kind Master Heywood,
- You will not see me die thus!—thus by the hand
- And maddening tongue of such a beast as that!
- Haste, if you love me—fetch a leech to help me—
- Here—Middleton—sweet friend—a bandage here—
- I cannot die by such a hand—I will not—
- I say I will not die by that vile hand!
- Go bring Cecilia to me—bring the leech—
- Close—close this wound—you know I did it myself—
- Bring sweet Cecilia—haste—haste—instantly—
- Bring life and time—bring heaven!—Oh, I am dying!—
- Some water—stay beside me—maddening death,
- By such a hand! O villain! from the grave
- I constantly will rise—to curse! curse! curse thee!
(Rises—and falls dead.)
O God!—he is quite gone!
‘Twas dreadful—’twas! Christ help us! and lull him to sleep in's grave. I stand up for mine own nature none the less. (Voices without.) What noise is that?
This is our man—ha! murder has been here! You are our prisoner—the gallows waits you!
What have I done to be hung up like a miracle? The hemp's not sown nor the ladder-wood grown, that shall help fools to finish me! He did it himself! He said so with his last words!—there stands his friends and brother players—put them to their Testament if he said not he did it himself?
Who is it lies here?—methinks that I should know him, But for the fierce distortion of his face!
- He who erewhile wrote with a brand of fire,
- Now, in his passionate blood, floats tow'rds the grave!
- The present time is ever ignorant—
- We lack clear vision in our self-love's maze;
- But Marlowe in the future will stand great,
- Whom this—the lowest caitiff in the world—
- A nothing, save in grossness, hath destroy'd.
“Caitiff” back again in your throat! and “gross nothing” to boot—may you have it to live upon for a month, and die mad and starving! Would'st swear my life away so lightly? Tut! who was he? I could always find the soundings of a quart tankard, or empty a pasty in half his time, and swear as rare oaths between whiles—who was he? I too ha‘writ my odes and Pindar jigs with the twinkling of a bedpost, to the sound of the harp and hurdygurdy, while Capricornus wagged his fiery beard; I ha’ sung songs to the faint moon's echoes at daybreak and danced here away and there away, like the lightning through a forest! As to your sword and dagger play, I've got the trick o' the eye and wrist—who was he? What's all his gods—his goddesses and lies?—the first a'nt worth a word; and for the two last, I was always a prince of both! “Caitiff!” and “beast!” and “nothing!”—who was he?
- You're ours, for sundry villanies committed,
- Sufficient each to bring your vice to an end;
- The law hath got you safely in its grasp!
Jacconot (after a pause).
Then may Vice and I sit crown'd in heaven, while Law and Honesty stalk damned through hell! Now do I see the thing very plain!—treachery—treachery, my masters! I know the jade that hath betrayed me—I know her. 'Slud! who cares? She was a fine woman, too—a rare person—and a good spirit; but there's an end of all now—she's turned foolish and virtuous, and a tell-tale, and I am to be turned to dust through it—long, long before my time: and these princely limbs must go make a dirt-pie—build up a mud hut—or fatten an alderman's garden! There! calf-heads—there's a lemon for your mouths! Heard'st ever such a last dying speech and confession! Write it in red ochre on a sheet of Irish, and send it to Mistress Cecily for a death-winder. I know what you've got against me—and I know you all deserve just the same yourselves—but lead on, my masters!
- O Marlowe! canst thou rise with power no more?
- Can greatness die thus?
Heywood (bending over the body).
(A shriek outside the house.)
That cry!—what may that mean?
Heywood (as if awaking).
I hear no cry.
What is't comes hither, like a gust of wind?
- Where—where? O, then, 'tis true—and he is dead!
- All's over now—there's nothing in the world—
- For he who raised my heart up from the dust,
- And show'd me noble lights in mine own soul,
- Has fled my gratitude and growing love—
- I never knew how deep it was till now!
- Through me, too!—do not curse me!—I was the cause—
- Yet do not curse me—No! no! not the cause,
- But that it happen'd so. This is the reward
- Of Marlowe's love!—why, why did I delay?
- O, gentlemen, pray for me! I have been
- Lifted in heavenly air—and suddenly
- The arm that placed me, and with strength sustain'd me,
- Is snatch'd up, starward: I can neither follow,
- Nor can I touch the gross earth any more!
- Pray for me, gentlemen!—but breathe no blessings—
- Let not a blessing sweeten your dread prayers—
- I wish no blessings—nor could bear their weight;
- For I am left, I know not where or how:
- But, pray for me—my soul is buried here.
(Sinks down upon the body.
“Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, And burned is Apollo's laurel bough!”
- “The moist star,
- Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands.”
- “Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,—
- Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?”
- “Among a number one is reckoned none.”
- “She with a kind of granting put him by it.”
- ‘There is no beldam nurse to powt nor lower
- When wantoning we revell in my tower,
- Nor need I top my turret with a light,
- To guide thee to me as thou swim'st by night.’”
- “Comes the blind Fury with the abhorrèd shears
- And slits the thin-spun life.”
- “I dreamed my lady came and found me dead,
- Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to think!—
- And breathed such life with kisses in my lips,
- That I revived and was an emperor.”
- “Our Tarquin thus
- Did softly press the rushes ere he wakened
- The chastity he wounded.”
- “O thou weed,
- Who art so lovely-fair and smell'st so sweet.”
- “I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal
- For it must seem their guilt.”—ii. 2
- ‘But pleasures are like poppies spread,
- You seize the flower, its bloom is shed,
- Or like the snow falls in the river,
- A moment white—then melts for ever!’”
- “Why, what a peevish fool was he of Crete,
- That taught his son the office of a fowl!
- And yet for all his wings the fool was drowned.”
- “By open force or prospects enginous.”
- ‘But whan I was sowing his beke,
- Methought, my sparow did speke,
- And opened his prety byll,
- Saynge, Mayd, ye are in wyll
- Agayne me for to kyll,
- Ye prycke me in the head.’
- ‘Wine is ordained to raise such hearts as sink.
- Whom woful stars distemper let him drink.’”
- “The hot horse hot as fire
- Took toy at this.”
- “Virginitas non tota tua est: ex parte parentum est:
- Tertia pars patri data, pars data tertia matri,
- Tertia sola tua est: noli pugnare duobus,
- Qui genero sua jura simul cum dote dederunt.”
- “Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
- That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?”
- “Quid? si præripiat flavæ Venus arma Minervæ Ventilet accensas flavæ Minerva comas.”
- “Vitreoque madentia rore Tempora noctis eunt.”
- “Sic nisi vittatis quod erat Cassandra capillis.”
- “Si sinerent læsæ, Candida tota, genæ.”
- “Let merchants seek wealth with perjurèd lips
- And being wrecked,” &c.
- “Ah, quotiens sani capitis mentita dolores,
- Cunctantem tardo jussit abire pede.”
- “Quin ego me memini, dum custos saevus abiret, Ancillae missam delituisse sinu.”
- “Prima tuae movi felicia semina mentis.”
- Marlowe's copy read “novi.”)
- (“Invidiæ” here means “discredit, odium.”)
- “Omnia possideant, illis Campusque Forumque
- Serviat; hi pacem crudaque bella gerant.”
- “Aelinon in silvis idem pater, aelinon, altis Dicitur invita concinuisse lyra.”
- “Quod tibi secubitus tristes, dea flava, fuissent, Hoc cogor sacris nunc ego ferre tuis”
- Marlowe appears to have read “Qui tibi concubitus,” &c.
- “Quis fuit ille dies quo tristia semper amanti Omina non albae concinuistis aves?”
- “Flere genis electra tuas, auriga, sorores?”
- “Et fuerint oculis probra videnda meis.”
- “Fly far from hence
- All private taxes.”
- Friend Candidus, thou often doost demaund
- What humours men by gulling understand
- Our English Martiall hath full pleasantly
- In his close nips describde a gull to thee
- I'le follow him, and set downe my conceit
- What a gull is—oh, word of much receit'
- He is a gull whose indiscretion
- Cracks his purse-strings to be in fashion,
- He is a gull who is long in taking roote
- In barraine soyle where can be but small fruite;
- He is a gull who runnes himselfe in debt
- For twelue dayes' wonder, hoping so to get,
- He is a gull whose conscience is a block,
- Not to take interest, but wastes his stock;
- He is a gull who cannot haue a whore,
- But brags how much he spends upon her score,
- He is a gull that for commoditie
- Payes tenne times ten, and sell the same for three,
- He is a gull who, passing nicall,
- Peiseth each word to be rhetoricall;
- And, to conclude, who selfe-conceitedly
- Thinks al men guls, ther's none more gull then he.'
- “The youth of these our times that did behold
- This motion strange of this unwieldy plant
- Now boldly brag with us that are men old,
- That of our age they no advantage want,
- Though in our youth we saw an elephant.”
- “You keepe a whore att your [own] charge in towne,
- Indeede, frend Ceneas, there you put me downe.”
- ‘And made those strange approaches by false-brays,
- Redwts, half-moons, horn-works, and such close ways.’
- “My lord most court-like lies abed till noon,
- Then all high-stomacht riseth to his dinner;
- Falls straight to dice before his meat be down,
- Or to digest walks to some female sinner,
- Perhaps fore-tired he gets him to a play,
- Comes home to supper and then falls to dice;
- Then his devotion wakes till it be day,
- And so to bed where unto noon be lies.”
- “Ah, beauty, syren, faire enchanting good,
- Sweet silent rhetorique of perswading eyes,
- Dumb eloquence, whose power doth move the blood
- More than the words or wisedome of the wise,” &c.
Perhaps there is an allusion to this epigram in Marston's fourth satire:—
- “What, shall not Rosamond or Gaveston
- Ope their sweet lips without detraction?
- But must our modern critticks envious eye
- Seeme thus to quote some grosse deformity,
- Where art not error shineth in their stile,
- But error and no art doth thee beguile?”
- “Gentesque subactas Vix impune feres.”
- “Arma tenenti Omnia dat qui justa negat.”
- “Castraque quae, Vogesi curvam super ardua rupem,
- Pugnaces pictis colnbebant Lingonas armis.
- “pars ægra et marcida pendet,
- Pars micat, et celeri venas movet improba pulsu.”
- “Thy silver dishes for thy meat
- As precious as the gods do eat,
- Shall on an ivory table be
- Prepar'd each day for thee and me.”