Seven Minor Epics of the English Renaissance (1596-1624) by Barksted et al.


Philos and Licia (1624) by Anonymous
Pyramus and Thisbe (1617) by Dunstan Gale
The Love of Dom Diego and Ginevra (1596) by Richard Lynche
Mirrha (1607) by William Barksted
Hiren (1611) by William Barksted
Amos and Laura (1613) by Samuel Page
The Scourge of Venus (1613) by H. A.


Gainesville, Florida
1605 N. W. 14th Avenue
Gainesville, Florida, 32601, U.S.A.
Harry R. Warfel, General Editor


To Mary Joan


L. C. Catalog Card Number: 67-10125

Introduction VII
A Pleasant and Delightfull Poeme of Two Lovers, Philos and Licia. 1
Pyramus and Thisbe. By Dunstan Gale. 37
The Love of Dom Diego and Ginevra. By Richard Lynche. 61
Mirrha the Mother of Adonis: or, Lustes Prodegies. By William Barksted. 103
Hiren: or The Faire Greeke. By William Barksted. 169
The Love of Amos and Laura. By Samuel Page. 213
The Scourge of Venus. By H. A. 229
[Pg VII]

Professor Elizabeth Story Donno, in her recent Elizabethan Minor Epics (New York, 1963), has made an important contribution to both scholarship and teaching. Not only has she brought together for the first time in one volume most of the extant Elizabethan minor epics, but in so doing, she has hastened the recognition that the minor epic, or “epyllion” as it has often been called in modern times,[1] is a distinctive literary genre as deserving of study as the sonnet, the pastoral, or the verse satire.

The purpose of the present volume is to supplement and complement Professor Donno’s collection by making available in facsimile seven minor epics of the English Renaissance omitted from it. With the publication of these poems all the known, surviving minor epics of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods will for the first time be made available for study in faithful reproductions of the earliest extant editions.

[Pg VIII]Of the seven minor epics included here, three—A Pleasant and Delightfull Poeme of Two Lovers, Philos and Licia, STC 19886 (1624); Dunstan Gale’s Pyramus and Thisbe, STC 11527 (1617); and S[amuel] P[age’s] The Love of Amos and Laura (1613)[2]—have not previously been reprinted in modern times. And of these three, one, Philos and Licia, though listed in the Short-Title Catalogue, seems not to have been noticed by Renaissance scholars, nor even by any of the principal bibliographers except William C. Hazlitt, who gives this unique copy bare mention as a book from Robert Burton’s collection.[3]

The remaining four books—R[ichard] L[ynche’s][4] The Amorous Poeme of Dom Diego and Ginevra published with Lynche’s Diella, Certaine Sonnets, STC 17091 (1596); William Barksted’s Mirrha The Mother of Adonis: Or, Lustes Prodegies, STC 1429 (1607), published with Three Eglogs by Lewes Machin; Barksted’s Hiren: or The Faire Greeke, STC 1428 (1611); and H. A’s The Scourge of Venus, or, The Wanton Lady. With the Rare Birth of Adonis, STC 968 (1613)—have been edited by the “indefatigable” Alexander B. Grosart in Occasional Issues of Very Rare Books (Manchester, 1876-77), limited to 50 copies each and hence extremely scarce today.[5] Dom Diego and Ginevra was also reprinted by Edward Arber in An English Garner, VII (Birmingham, 1883), 209-240. With the exception of Philos and Licia, these poems [Pg IX]are printed in their approximate order of composition from 1596 to 1613.[6]


As befits the paucity of their known literary productions, the authors of these poems have in common chiefly their anonymity, or a degree of obscurity approaching it. The authors of Philos and Licia and of H. A’s The Scourge are unknown. Though the authors of the other poems are known, little is known about them. The mystery of the authorship of The Scourge was compounded in the nineteenth century by its incorrect attribution to one Henry Austin. Grosart, for example, argued that the H. A. on the title page and on the address “To the Reader” of the 1614 impression, and the A. H. on the corresponding pages of the 1620 impression, STC 970, was the Austin denounced by Thomas Heywood for stealing his translations of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria and De Remedio Amoris. Arthur Melville Clark, in correcting this error, pointed out that these stolen translations of Ovid should not be confused with The Scourge, an original poetic composition based on Book X of a quite different work by Ovid, The Metamorphoses. Clark concluded that “H. A. or A. H. was probably the editor, not the author, although he may have made certain corrections and additions, as the title-page of the second edition states.”[7]

[Pg X]

However, H. A.—not A. H.—was almost certainly the author of The Scourge, as evidenced, among other details, by the title page of the 1613 Scourge,[8] unknown to Clark, which unequivocally states: “Written by H. A.” As to the initials H. A. appended to the address “To the Reader” of the 1614 impression and the A. H. on the title and address pages of the 1620 impression, they were probably printer’s errors, arising in the 1614 impression from the printer’s careless assumption that the address “To the Reader” was the work of the author rather than the bookseller, and in the impression of 1620 from a simple typographical metathesis of the letters H and A.[9]

The authorship of the remaining five poems, together with such relevant facts of the authors’ lives as are known, is as follows. Pyramus and Thisbe is by one Dunstan Gale (fl. 1596), about whom nothing else is known. Dom Diego and Ginevra has long been attributed to Richard Lynche (fl. 1601), otherwise chiefly known for his Diella, a conventional sonnet sequence accompanying Dom Diego, and for his translation of Cartari’s Le Imagini, Englished as The Fountaine of Ancient Fiction (1599). Mirrha and Hiren are by William Barksted (fl. 1611), “one of the servants of his Majesties Revels,” as the title page of Hiren proclaims. Barksted is believed to have completed The Insatiate Countess after Marston’s withdrawal from the stage in 1608 or 1609. This play, bearing Barksted’s name in one issue of the 1631 edition, contains a number of lines and phrases identical with lines and phrases in Mirrha and Hiren.[10]

[Pg XI]

Amos and Laura has been attributed, probably correctly, to Samuel Page (1574-1630),[11] who is mentioned by Meres as “most passionate among us to bewaile and bemoane the perplexities of Love,”[12] and by his fellow-Oxonian Anthony à Wood as long-time Vicar of Deptford.[13] Although a few additional facts are known about these authors, none seems to contribute to an understanding of the poems reprinted, and all may be found under the appropriate authors’ names in the DNB.


Traditionally the storyhouse of minor epic source materials has been classical mythology, but inevitably, as suitable classical myths were exhausted, Renaissance poets turned to such sources as the Italian novella, or even—romantic heresy—to comparatively free invention. As if to compensate for these departures from orthodoxy, the later epyllionists leaned ever more heavily on allusions to classical mythology. Of the seven poems included here only three (Pyramus and Thisbe, Mirrha, and The Scourge) are based on a classical source (Ovid’s [Pg XII]Metamorphoses). Of the remaining four tales, two are drawn from Bandello apparently by way of Painter, and the last two (Philos and Licia, Amos and Laura), though greatly indebted to Hero and Leander overall, seem not to have drawn their characters or actions directly from either a classical or more contemporary source. These last two poems, then, from a Renaissance point of view, are comparatively free inventions. But both, and especially Philos and Licia, are a tissue of allusions to classical mythology.

Gale in Pyramus and Thisbe expands Golding’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, IV, from some 130 to 480 lines, Barksted expands less than 300 lines of Golding’s Ovid, X, to nearly 900, and H. A. enlarges the same tale to about 950 lines.[14] It should be emphasized, however, that these are not mere amplified translations, but reworkings of the classics, with significant departures from them. Gale, for example, prefaces the romance of Pyramus and Thisbe with their innocent meeting out-of-doors in an arbor, amid violets and damask roses. He has Venus, enraged at seeing these youngsters engaging in child-like rather than erotic play, command Cupid to shoot his arrows at them “As nought but death, their love-dart may remove” (Stanza 8). There is no counterpart to this opening scene in Golding’s Ovid.

Similarly Barksted departs at length from Ovid in the beginning of his tale, where the Renaissance poet undertakes to explain why Mirrha is cursed with love for her father. While she listens to the sweet, sad songs of Orpheus, Cupid,[15] falling in love with her, courts her and is rejected; his parting kiss “did inspire/her brest with an infernall and unnam’d desire” (p. 123). Gold[Pg XIII]ing’s Ovid, specifically denying that Cupid had anything to do with Mirrha’s unnatural love, suggests that Cinyras’ daughter must have been blasted by one of the Furies.[16] Other inventions of Barksted include a picture of her father with which Mirrha converses (pp. 126-127), pictures of her suitors (p. 128), a picture of her mother, over which she throws a veil (p. 128) and a description of Mirrha herself (pp. 131-132). Later in the story Mirrha meets a satyr named Poplar (unknown to Ovid), who makes free with her (pp. 148-155). As punishment for such goings on in Diana’s sacred grove, he is to be metamorphosed into the tree that now bears his name (even as Mirrha is subsequently transformed into the tree that produces myrrh).

The Scourge of Venus, though following Ovid’s story more closely than Mirrha, expands Golding by more than 600 lines, to a little more than the average length of the Elizabethan minor epic. In the process, Mirrha is assigned lustful dreams not found in Ovid (p. 236), and is impelled to write a long letter to her father (pp. 237-240). Shortly thereafter, the author introduces an emphatically Christian digression on the horror of Mirrha’s “fowle incestious lust” and on the importance of reading “Gods holy Bible” as a salve for sin (p. 243), and invents the Nurse’s prolix arguments against such “filthy” love as Mirrha desires (pp. 248-251).[17] The fact that the author follows Ovid’s story [Pg XIV]as closely as he does should be taken as a commentary on his limited powers of invention rather than on his devotion to the art of translation.

Bandello, I, 27, Belleforest, 18, Whetstone’s Rocke of Regard, 2, Fenton’s Tragicall Discourses, 13, and Painter’s Palace of Pleasure, II, 29[18] have all been listed as possible sources for Dom Diego and Ginevra.[19] Grosart regarded Fenton’s work, 1579, as the source from which Lynche got the bare bones of his story, and Arber agreed.[20] But though Jeannette Fellheimer could find no evidence that Lynche knew Belleforest’s or Fenton’s version of the tale, she demonstrated, on the basis of two very close parallels, that he knew Painter’s.[21] In support of Fellheimer’s view, one notes that Lynche follows Painter in employing the form “Cathelo[y]gne”[22] (p. 63) rather than Fenton’s “Catalonia.”[23]

Barksted may have known ballads on the subject of Hiren, alluded to in stanza 34 of his poem, as well as Peele’s lost play The Turkish Mahomet and Hyren the fair Greek. But like Lynche, he seems heavily indebted to a tale by Painter, in this case “Hyerenee the Faire Greeke.”[24] Among other equally [Pg XV]striking but less sustained correspondences between Painter’s prose narrative and Barksted’s minor epic verse, one notes the following, in which Mahomet’s confidant Mustapha attempts to reanimate his leader’s martial spirit, drowned in uxoriousness: “But nowe I cannot revive the memorie of your father Amurate, but to my great sorow and griefe, who by the space of XL. yeres made the sea and earth to tremble and quake … [and so cruelly treated the Greeks] that the memorie of the woundes do remaine at this present, even to the mountaines of Thomao and Pindus: he subjugated … all the barbarous nations, from Morea to the straits of Corinthe. What neede I here to bring in the cruel battell that he fought with the Emperour Sigismunde and Philip duke of Burgundia wherein he overthrew the whole force of the Christians, toke the emperour prisoner, and the duke of Burgundie also … or to remember other fierce armies which he sent into Hungarie.”[25]

Barksted versifies this speech in stanzas 1 and 2, putting it at the beginning instead of toward the end, where it comes in Painter’s novella. By a poetic license, Barksted credits all these achievements to the son, none to the father. Barksted follows Painter’s story quite closely, but he cuts, amplifies and invents in order to develop its minor epic potentialities. Thus, in addition to turning Painter’s prose into the sixains of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, he cuts the length of Painter’s tale by about two-thirds. In the process, much of Painter’s attention to historical detail, his complication of plot, and his tedious moralizing are mercifully lost. By way of amplification in the minor epic mode, Barksted expands as follows Mahomet’s brief command in Painter that Hiren should “adorne herselfe with her most precious jewels, and decke her with the costliest apparell shee had” (see stanza 100).[26] Also, in order to bring out Mahomet’s [Pg XVI]realization of the enormity of his crime of slaying Hiren, the consummation of all his amorous dreams, Barksted invents a second killing—Mahomet’s killing of Mustapha, who had driven his lord to perform the first execution.


Like the poems reprinted by Professor Donno, these establish their identity as minor epics by the erotic subject matter of their narration, however symbolized or moralized, and by their use of certain rhetorical devices that came to be associated with the genre. These include the set description of people and places; the suasoria, or invitation to love; and the formal digression, sometimes in the form of an inset tale, such as the tale of Poplar in Mirrha (pp. 148-155). Other rhetorical devices cultivated in the epyllion are the long apostrophe, and the sentence or wise saying. Also, these poems employ numerous compound epithets and far-fetched conceits. (Dom Diego goes hunting with a “beast-dismembring blade” [p. 64], and Cinyras incestuous bed in The Scourge “doth shake and quaver as they lie,/As if it groan’d to beare the weight of sinne.” [p. 261].)

The average length of these, like other Renaissance minor epics, is about 900 lines. Although the length of Renaissance minor epics is not rigidly prescribed, it is noteworthy that several of these poems have almost the same number of lines. Philos and Licia, Mirrha, and Hiren, for example, running to about 900 lines, vary in length by no more than 16 lines. (Amos and Laura, however, the shortest with about 300 lines, is some 650 lines shorter than The Scourge, the longest, with about 950.)

As well as echoing Marlowe’s Hero and Leander and Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis in particular words and phrases, these poems reveal a much more general indebtedness to what Professor Bush has aptly called “the twin peaks of the Ovidian tradition in England.”[27] The majority employ one of two [Pg XVII]prosodic patterns—the Marlovian couplet popularized in Hero and Leander, or the six-line stanza used by Lodge but soon after taken over by Shakespeare in Venus and Adonis and thereafter associated with his poem.[28]

In addition to the couplet, a common mark of Marlovian influence in the poems is the etiological myth, sometimes expanded into a tale. Thus, in Mirrha, for instance, the growth of rare spices and perfumes in Panchaia is explained by the story of how Hebe once spilled nectar there (p. 147).

Comparable marks of Shakespearean influence are the aggressive female like Mirrha, reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Venus; the hunting motif in Dom Diego and Amos and Laura, recalling Adonis’ obsession with the hunt; and the catalog of the senses in Philos and Licia, pp. 15-16, and Hiren, stanzas 75-79, which imitates Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, ll. 427-450. Only Mirrha among these poems, however, makes specific acknowledgment of a debt to Shakespeare (see p. 167). Finally, Dom Diego’s plangent laments at Ginevra’s cruelty recall Glaucus’ unrestrained weeping at Scylla’s cruelty in Lodge’s Scillaes Metamorphosis. But whereas the “piteous Nimphes” surrounding Glaucus weep till a “pretie brooke” forms,[29] “the fayre Oreades pitty-moved gerles” that comfort Dom Diego are loath to lose the “liquid pearles” he weeps. Consequently they gather (and presumably preserve) them with “Spunge-like Mosse” [Pg XVIII](p. 95). Lynche extends his debt to Lodge by establishing at the end of his poem a link between Ginevra and the Maiden he professes to love. But, whereas Lodge in the Envoy to his poem uses Scylla on the rocks as a horrible example of what may happen to unyielding maids, Lynche holds up Ginevra, who finally marries her lover, as an example to be followed by the poet’s disdainful Diella of the accompanying sonnets (see p. 101).

It would probably be impossible, even if it were desirable, for any given minor epic to follow all the conventions of the genre, or even all its alternative conventions. Yet all the poems included here adhere so closely to most of the important minor epic conventions that there should be no question as to the minor epic identity of any.[30]


Philos and Licia, though entered on October 2, 1606 and presumably printed soon thereafter, survives only in the unique copy of the 1624 edition printed by W. S. [William Stansby?] for John Smethwick. (No record of transfer of this poem from William Aspley, who entered it, exists, though Aspley and Smethwick were associated, along with William Jaggard, in the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623.)

Robert Burton bequeathed this copy of Philos and Licia, along with many of his other books, to the Bodleian Library in 1639. Under the terms of his will the Bodleian was to have first choice of his books, unless it already had duplicates, and Christ Church, Burton’s college, second choice. Along with Philos and Licia, the Bodleian received the following other minor epics from Burton’s collection: Pigmalion’s Image (1598), Venus and[Pg XIX] Adonis (1602), Samacis and Hermaphroditus (1602), and Hero and Leander (1606).[31] Burton regularly wrote his name in full, some abbreviation thereof, or at least his initials, on the title page of his books, usually across the middle. In Philos and Licia, Burton’s heavily and distinctively written initials RB are written a bit below the middle of the title page, on either side of the printer’s device.[32] Also in its typical location at the bottom of the title page is found “a curious mark, a sort of hieroglyphic or cypher,” which Burton almost always affixed to his books. The significance of this device remains obscure; it “has usually been supposed to represent the three ‘R’s’ in his name joined together.”[33]

Although the dedication of Dunstan Gale’s Pyramus and Thisbe is dated November 25, 1596, no copy of an earlier edition than that printed in 1617 for Roger Jackson is extant. The unsophisticated, highly imitative style of the piece, the date of the dedication, and the fact that the printer’s device in the 1617 edition is an old one, used previously in 1586-87 by Ralph Newbery,[34] to whom Jackson was apprenticed from 1591-99,[35] [Pg XX]suggests that the poem was originally published by Newbery about 1596. Probably this first edition had the same device as the edition of 1617, and a similar title page. According to Newbery’s will, Roger Jackson and John Norcott were to receive his stock of books on Fleet Street, but McKerrow, citing the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 30, Hudlestone as his authority, says the offer seems not to have been taken up.[36] Gale’s poem would seem to constitute an exception to this generalization.

Pyramus and Thisbe was also issued with Greene’s Arbasto in 1617. On Jan. 16, 1625/26 Gale’s poem was transferred from Roger Jackson’s widow to Francis Williams,[37] who had it printed for the last time in 1626.

Nothing of note has been turned up with regard to the first and only early edition of Lynche’s Dom Diego and Ginevra (1596).

According to their first modern editor, A. B. Grosart, the first and only early editions of Mirrha and Hiren are notorious for their wretched typography and printing errors of various kinds.[38] He writes, “In all my experience of our elder literature I have not met with more carelessly printed books. Typographical and punctuation errors not only obscure the meaning but again and again make places absolutely unintelligible.”[39] Their author Barksted must share the blame, Grosart opines, for some of the poem’s errors would seem to show that he was “ill-educated and unpractised in composition.”[40] Henry Plomer agrees with Grosart that Edward Allde, the printer of Mirrha, was guilty of [Pg XXI]poor type and workmanship.[41] Perhaps the grossest example in Mirrha of the kind of thing Plomer may have had in mind is the tipping of the type on the title page of the two copies of this poem which have come to my attention.[42] Another example would be the awkward separation of the “A” in “Adonis” on one line of the title page from the rest of the word on the next.

But although Mirrha is indeed a printer’s nightmare, it strikes me that Grosart is far too severe in his strictures against Hiren, which was quite attractively and reasonably accurately printed, probably by Nicholas Okes,[43] who also printed The Scourge. Indeed Grosart has “corrected” a number of details of punctuation in the poem which might better have been left standing, in view of the generally light punctuation of Barksted’s day. In two instances Grosart has even “corrected” details which, as “corrected,” follow the unique copy of Hiren, the Bodleian copy which he consulted.[44]

Page’s Amos and Laura was first published in 1613,[45] a second time in 1619. Finally, in 1628, a second impression of the edition of 1613, with slight variants from it, was printed.

[Pg XXII]In the nineteenth century Amos and Laura was remarked upon chiefly for its dedicatory verses to Izaak Walton in the unique copy of the 1619 edition at the British Museum, verses found neither in the then only known, imperfect British Museum copy of the 1613 edition, nor in the impression of 1628. These verses have long been thought to constitute the first reference to Walton in print. But three additional copies of the 1613 edition have by now come to light, at the Folger, the Huntington, and at the British Museum.[46] All three copies, though variously imperfect, contain the dedicatory verses.[47]

A word remains to be said about the way in which the second impression of the 1614 Scourge, “corrected, and enlarged, by H. A.” differs from the first edition of 1613. Though long thought to be identical with the first edition,[48] the second impression, besides being corrected in a number of details, is “enlarged” by the following two stanzas after the line on p. 252, “Helpe Nurse, else long I cannot live.”[49]

Some say (and you can tell the truth likewise)
When women once have felt that they cal sport,
And in their wombe a Tympanie doth rise
For things peculiar they do oft import:
And though most odious it do seeme to some,
Yet give it them or they are quite undone.
And so my case most desperate standes you see,
I long for this yet know no reason why,
Unlesse a womans will a reason bee,
We’le have our will although unlawfully,
It is most sweete and wholsome unto mee,
Though it seeme bad and odious unto thee.

The third impression of 1620 follows the edition of 1613 but prints three stanzas to a page instead of four.


Much of the literary value of these poems, it should be recognized, is historical. Like Henry Petowe’s romance, The Second Part of Hero and Leander (1598), they are fully as interesting as reflections of the poetic genius of Marlowe and/or Shakespeare, mirrored in the works of their less gifted contemporaries, as they are in themselves. Apart from their historical significance, however, all these poems have intrinsic interest, and several, including Dom Diego, Mirrha and Hiren as well as Philos and Licia, have a considerable degree of literary merit as well. Whoever the author of Philos and Licia may have been, he was one who had thoroughly assimilated the conventions of the minor epic, especially those employed in Hero and Leander.[50] Unlike Page, whose imitation of Marlowe is for the most part blind, this author is skillful in working many of these conventions, and even particular words and phrases from other minor epics, into the context of his poem, somewhat as the bards of major epic are supposed to have done. Surprisingly, in view of this technique of composition, the poem is well integrated, and consistently smooth and fluent in its versification.[51]

[Pg XXIV]As much as this unknown poet must have admired Marlowe’s verse, he evidently could not stomach the elder poet’s conception of a hostile universe, or his glorification of unwedded bliss. Accordingly he constructed in Philos and Licia a world in which all goes well provided one follows the rules, and where one of the key rules is that Hymen’s rites must precede love’s consummation. One of Licia’s chief responsibilities, in addition to summing up all feminine perfections, is to enforce this rule. Philos, though severely tempted to violate it, soon yields to Licia’s virtuous admonitions, for he is, let it be known, a pliant youth, almost as devoted to Licia’s will as the knight in Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s tale to the Loathly Lady’s. The poem ends happily, with the gods attending the lovers’ nuptials. The result of this too easily ordered union of souls and bodies, unhappily for this otherwise charming poem, is an insufficiency of conflict. Aside from the poem’s un-Marlovian insistence on matrimony, its most notable feature is its skillful and sustained use of light and dark imagery, recalling Chapman’s much less extensive treatment of such imagery in his conclusion of Marlowe’s poem and in Ovid’s Banquet of Sense.

Gale’s Pyramus and Thisbe begins with a moderately engaging portrayal of the youngsters’ innocent friendship; it soon falls into absurdity, from which it never subsequently gets entirely clear. Gale seems to have had no inkling of the ridiculous possibilities of “serious” verse. Consequently, he is able to write of Pyramus and Thisbe “sit[ting] on bryers,/Till they enjoyd the height of their desires,” (Stanza 13), with no sense of the incongruity of the image employed. With similar ill effect in its pathetic context, Thisbe’s nose bleed is introduced as an omen of disaster (Stanza 33), and Pyramus’ “angry” blood, by a ridiculously far-fetched conceit, is said to gush out “to finde the author of the deed,/But when it none but Pyramus had found,/ Key cold with feare it stood upon the ground” (Stanza 30).

[Pg XXV]Dom Diego, though a pleasant, occasionally charming imitation of Lodge’s Scillaes Metamorphosis, employs fewer of the epyllionic conventions than Philos and Licia, and uses them less imaginatively. Though it never achieves a style of its own, it is quite successful in recapturing the lachrymose artificiality that marks Lodge’s poem.

Despite its oblique opening and occasionally awkward style, Barksted’s Mirrha is a poem of more power than Dom Diego. Among its more affecting passages are a vivid portrayal of a “gloomy gallerie” lined with portraits of Mirrha’s suitors (p. 126) and an inventive account of Hebe’s spilling the nectar that rained spices on Panchaia (p. 147). Barksted’s early and unqualified recognition of Shakespeare’s greatness, and his humbly accurate assessment of his own limited powers, compared to “neighbor” Shakespeare’s, are quite disarming. One gets the uncomfortable sense, however, that Barksted in both Mirrha and Hiren, like H. A. in The Scourge after him, is a moral fence straddler, enjoying vicariously the lasciviousness he so piously reprehends.

Hiren as treated by Barksted is also deficient in imagination of a high order, but is a more absorbing story than Mirrha. As signaled by his undertaking a more intricately rhymed stanza than he attempted in his first poem, Barksted’s versification and composition in the second poem are superior. The poet achieves his most telling effects in Hiren not from invention but from the elaboration of such source materials in Painter as permit him to capture the distinctive glittering artifice of minor epic. His catalog of the senses (Stanzas 75-79) serves as an example of this power of embellishment at its best.

Page’s Amos and Laura, like Gale’s Pyramus and Thisbe, falls into bathos near the end when Amos, in an extended comparison, likens Laura’s refusal to cure his love wound to an avaricious doctor’s refusal to set a poor man’s leg. Page’s failure as a poet is not a result of temporary lapses, as here, but of his[Pg XXVI] inability to invent significant conflict. As Amos says, with unintentional irony on page 225:

There are no Seas to separate our joy,
No future danger can our Love annoy.
This is precisely the problem. But in spite of the poem’s obvious weakness, one is drawn to the man who wrote it for his obviously sincere, self-deprecatory references to his “weake wit” and “inferiour stile.” Fully aware of his limitations, Page, like Barksted and many another unexceptional talent of his age, was nevertheless drawn to the composition of poetry like a moth to the flame.

The Scourge is a straightforward and lively but undistinguished redaction, in sing-song verse, of the well-worn Mirrha story. Its chief but nevertheless dubious merit, over against the epyllionic tradition, is its no-nonsense approach to the art of minor epic narration. Although it expands Ovid’s speeches and descriptions where feasible and introduces a degree of invention en route, it is singularly barren of such adornments as epithets, set descriptions, and formal digressions. In consequence, it lacks the distinctive hard, bejewelled brilliance of minor epic that characterizes Barksted’s poetry at its best.

In summation, then, we see that although Pyramus and Thisbe and Amos and Laura have slight literary value, The Scourge, while failing to score very high as a minor epic, yet has a certain crude, narrative vitality. And Dom Diego, Mirrha, Hiren, and Philos and Licia, by virtue of their charm, inventiveness, or skillful adaptation of minor epic conventions to their expressive needs, form a hierarchy of increasing literary value that raises them as a group well above the level of the merely imitative.

For permission to reproduce Philos and Licia (for the first time), Mirrha, and Hiren, I am much indebted to the Bodleian Library; for permission to reproduce Dom Diego and Ginevra[Pg XXVII] I am similarly indebted to the Trustees of the British Museum. I am also under heavy obligation to the Folger Library for permission to reprint Pyramus and Thisbe, Amos and Laura, and The Scourge of Venus (1613), all for the first time.

I also wish to express my thanks to The British Museum, the Bodleian Library, the University of Michigan, and the Ohio State University libraries for generous permission to use their collections, and to the Board of College Education of the Lutheran Church in America for a six-week summer study grant, which enabled me to gather research materials for this project.

For help and encouragement in a great variety of ways I am grateful to the following mentors and colleagues: Professor John Arthos, who first introduced me to the beauty of minor epic, the late Professor Hereward T. Price, and Professor Warner G. Rice, all from the University of Michigan; Professor Helen C. White of the University of Wisconsin; librarians Major Felie Clark, Ret., U. S. Army, of Gainesville, Florida, and Professor Luella Eutsler of Wittenberg University; and Dr. Katharine F. Pantzer of the Houghton Library, Harvard University, editor of the forthcoming, revised Short-Title Catalogue.

Paul W. Miller

Wittenberg University
Springfield, Ohio
December, 1965



[1] See in this connection my article “The Elizabethan Minor Epic,” SP, LV (1958), 31-38, answered by Walter Allen, Jr., pp. 515-518. My chief concern in this article was to show that the kind of poetry described therein, though in years past loosely and variously referred to by such terms as “Ovidian poetry” or “mythological love poetry,” and often lumped together indiscriminately with other kinds such as the complaint, the tragical history, and the verse romance, actually constitutes a distinct genre recognized in practice by Renaissance poets. Whether or not there is classical authority for use of the term “epyllion,” though a significant point of scholarship, is not the main issue here. Either the term “minor epic” or “epyllion” is satisfactory, provided its referent is clear, and accurately described.

[2] Published with I. C’s [John Chalkhill’s?] Alcilia, Philoparthens Loving Folly. Whereunto is Added Pigmalion’s Image … and Also Epigrammes by Sir I. H. [John Harington] and Others, STC 4275.

[3] Bibliographical Collections and Notes, 1893-1903 (London, 1903; reprinted 1961 by Burt Franklin), p. 301.

[4] Or Linche’s.

[5] Actually Grosart edited the second impression of The Scourge, STC 969 (1614), the earliest impression he knew at the time, though by 1883 he had become aware of the unique Huth copy of the 1613 edition. (See pp. 49-50 issued with copy no. 38 of Grosart’s edition of The Scourge.)

[6] Philos and Licia was probably not composed much before Oct. 2, 1606, when it was entered in A Transcript of the Registers … 1554-1640, ed. Arber, III (London, 1876), 330. I have placed it first, however, because of the undeserved neglect from which it has suffered over the years and because of its literary superiority to the other poems in the collection. I have placed Pyramus and Thisbe second because, though not known to have been published prior to 1617, it was doubtless composed by Nov. 25, 1596, the date given in the dedication, and probably printed shortly thereafter in an edition now lost.

[7] “Thomas Heywood’s Art of Love Lost and Found,” The Library, III (1922), 212.

[8] The Francis Freeling-Henry Huth-W. A. White copy, here reproduced by courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

[9] These evident errors appear to have been corrected in ink on the Bodleian copy of the 1620 impression, of which I have seen a microfilm.

[10] Gerald Eades Bentley has gleaned and summarized a few additional facts about Barksted in The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, II (Oxford, 1941), 357-358. For an account of the correspondences between The Insatiate Countess and the poems, see R. A. Small, “The Authorship and Date of The Insatiate Countess,” Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, V (1896), 279-282. For a more recent survey of Barksted’s probable contribution to The Insatiate Countess see A. J. Axelrad, Un Malcontent Élizabéthain: John Marston (Paris, 1955), pp. 86-90.

[11] The attribution was made by Thomas Corser in Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, LII (Manchester, 1860), 24-25, and has been generally accepted. In further support of Corser’s attribution, one might mention the anecdote in Amos and Laura about a merchant seaman, followed by a vivid description of a storm at sea (pp. 218-219). Such a tale and description are appropriate in a poem by Page, who had been a naval chaplain and who published several sermons and other devotional works for seamen.

[12] Francis Meres, Palladis Tamia (1598). Introduction by Don Cameron Allen (New York, 1938), p. 284.

[13] Anthony a Wood, Athenae Oxonienses and Fasti Oxonienses, 2 vols. in one (London, 1691), 467. Page was vicar of St. Nicholas Church in Deptford from 1597 until his death in 1630.

[14] Shakespeare’s Ovid Being Arthur Golding’s Translation of the Metamorphoses, ed. W. H. D. Rouse (London, 1904; reprinted Carbondale, Ill. 1961), IV, 67-201; X. 327-605.

[15] Not Orpheus, as stated by Professor Douglas Bush in Mythology and the Renaissance Tradition (Minneapolis, 1932), p. 183.

[16] Shakespeare’s Ovid, X, 343-346.

[17] Despite these departures from Ovid, the British Museum Catalogue continues to list this as a “translation” of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, X. For a somewhat later example of an actual translation of this tale, considerably amplified, see James Gresham’s (not Graham’s, as in STC) The Picture of Incest, STC 18969 (1626), ed. Grosart (Manchester, 1876). In idiomatic English, occasionally ornamented with such triple epithets as “azure-veyned necke” and “Nectar-candied-words,” Gresham expands Golding’s Ovid by more than 300 lines. Although he invents a suitable brief description of Mirrha’s nurse, whom he calls “old trott,” and throws in a few erotic tid-bits quite in the spirit of the minor epic, he never departs from Ovid’s story line and never introduces descriptive detail of which there is not at least a hint in Ovid.

[18] No. 95 in the edition cited below.

[19] Mary A. Scott, Elizabethan Translations from the Italian (Boston, 1916), pp. 20, 144.

[20] Poems by Richard Linche, Gentleman (1596), ed. Grosart, p. x; The Love of Dom Diego and Gynevra, ed. Arber in An English Garner, VII (Birmingham, 1883), 209.

[21] “The Source of Richard Lynche’s ‘Amorous Poeme of Dom Diego and Ginevra,'” PMLA, LVIII (1943), 579-580.

[22] William Painter, The Palace of Pleasure, IV (London, 1929), 74. (Actually, “Catheloigne” in Painter.)

[23] Certain Tragical Discourses of Bandello, trans. Geffraie Fenton anno 1567. Introd. by Robert Langton Douglas, II (London, 1898), 239.

[24] Painter, I, No. 40, 153-158.

[25] Painter, I, 156.

[26] Painter, I, 157.

[27] Bush, p. 139.

[28] Two (Philos and Licia, Amos and Laura) employ the Marlovian couplet, two (Dom Diego and The Scourge) the Shakespearean sixain, and Barksted’s two employ eight-line stanzas, with Mirrha rhyming ababccdd (the Shakespearean stanza plus a couplet), and Hiren rhyming ababbcac, a more tightly knit departure from Shakespeare’s stanza. The last, Pyramus and Thisbe, suggests its debt to both masters—or plays both ends against the middle—by employing a 12 (2×6)-line stanza composed of couplets, with the last couplet having a double rhyme probably designed to echo the concluding couplet of the Shakespearean sixain.

[29] Thomas Lodge, Scillaes Metamorphosis in Elizabethan Minor Epics, ed. Donno, p. 35, stanza 71.

[30] Yet Dom Diego seems not to have been previously identified as a minor epic. The late C. S. Lewis, a few pages before his brilliant discussion of Hero and Leander as an epyllion, refers to Lynche’s poem as a “stanzaic novella.” See Lewis’ English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama (Oxford, 1954), p. 479, pp. 486-488.

[31] For a complete list of Burton’s books in the Bodleian and Christ Church libraries, numbering 581 and 473 items respectively, see “Lists of Burton’s Library,” ed. F. Madan, Oxford Bibliographical Society Proceedings & Papers, I, Part 3 (1925; printed 1926), 222-246.

[32] No. 376 in Ronald B. McKerrow, Printers’ & Publishers’ Devices in England & Scotland 1485-1640 (London, 1913), p. 144. According to McKerrow, the bird in this handsome device, with the word “wick” in its bill, is probably a smew, with a pun intended on the name of the owner of the device, Smethwick.

[33] For these notes I am indebted to an excellent article, “The library of Robert Burton,” ed. F. Madan, p. 185 especially, in the Oxford Bibliographical Society volume listed above.

[34] No. 240 in McKerrow, Printers’ Devices, p. 92. “Framed device of a lion passant crowned and collared, a mullet for difference, on an anchor; with Desir n’a repos, and the date 1586.”

[35] A Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers, ed. R. B. McKerrow (London, 1910), p. 151.

[36] Ibid., p. 199.

[37] Arber, A Transcript, IV, 149.

[38] Contributing to the unattractive appearance of the Bodleian copy of Mirrha, which Grosart consulted, is the close cropping of its upper margins.

[39] The poems of William Barksted, ed. Grosart (Manchester, 1876), p. x.

[40] Barksted, p. xiv.

[41] Henry Plomer, A Short History of English Printing (London, 1900), p. 163.

[42] The Oxford and Folger copies, of which only the first is listed in the STC. There is a third, imperfect copy at Trinity College, Cambridge, from the Edward Capell collection. According to Mr. L.W. Hanson, Keeper of Printed Books at the Bodleian, the tipping of the type in the Bodleian copy represents a fault at binding.

[43] Though the printer’s name is not given, the printer’s device, a fleur-de-lis, no. 251 in McKerrow, was used by Okes about this time.

[44] Grosart, p. xiii, n. 17, stanza 20, line 7, which has “adoration[e]” in both the original and Grosart’s “corrected” version, and p. xiii, n. 19, stanza 41, line 6, “graces” in both copies.

[45] The printer was Thomas Creede, as revealed by the printer’s device, no. 299 in McKerrow, p. 117: “Framed device of Truth being scourged by a hand from the clouds. Between her feet the initials T. C. The motto Viressit vulnere veritas.”

[46] The presence of these dedicatory verses in the Huntington copy has been noted by Franklin Williams in his Index of Dedications and Commendatory Verses (London, 1962), p. 193.

[47] The Folger copy, here reproduced, is complete except for Sig. L4 (pp. 214), which have been supplied from another copy.

[48] This error goes back to the first entry in A Catalogue of the Library of Henry Huth (London, 1880), which says the second edition is the same as the first.

[49] The first word of the next stanza is changed from “And” in the 1613 edition to “Then” in the second impression.

[50] Rather surprisingly, in view of its silent emulation of Marlowe’s poem, Philos and Licia pays lavish tribute to Sidney. But since tributes to Sidney were common in the period, this one may be no more than a conventional recognition of his greatness.

[51] Occasionally, though, it introduces odd off-rhymes such as “forth” and “mouth” (p. 5), “vaines” and “streames” (p. 6), “either” and “fairer” (p. 8).

Philos and Licia
Text of Title Page


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To the Reader
GEntlemen; hauing beene (with the ouerthrow giuen to my best opposed forces) violently taken with the ouerflowing delights of hart-rauishing Poesie, the common infection of easie youth, and commending manie idle houres to these papers, and these to the Presse, I commit both to your fauorable censures. In which, if there be any thing (yet I feare I am not to attend so high a blisfulnesse) which may yeeld you the least content, my fortune hath brought forth the intended end of my labours, and I desire no other happinesse.


[Pg 1]

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No sooner had the Sun chas’d night away,
And that the Worlds discouerer, bright-eyd day,
Poasting in triumph through the enameld skie,
Had to the people showne this victorie,
But that poore Philos (in himselfe forlorne)
Hasted to tell his Loue that it was morne.
The milke-white path that leadeth vnto Ioue,
Whereon the Gods continually doe moue,
Compar’d with that, which leadeth to her bed,
Was not so white, nor so enameled.
A paire of milke-white staires, whiter than white,
Was the next way vnto his chiefe delight:
Vp those he mounted; and as by he paste,
[Pg 2]Vpon a wall were sundry stories plaste:
Sweet weeping Venus, crying out amaine
For the dear boy that by the bore was slaine:
Skie-ruling Ioue lamenting ore a Cow,
That seemd to weepe with him the sweetest Io:
And there the picture of proud Phaeton,
Mounting the chariot of the burning Sun,
Was portraied, by which Apollo stood,
Who seemd to check his hot sonnes youthful blood:
One hand had holde, and one legge was aduanst,
To climbe his longing seat; but yet it chanst,
That warned by his father so, he staid
A while, to heare whose teeres might well perswade;
Which with such plenty answerd his desires,
As though they striu’d to quench ensuing fires:
Hanging so liuely on the painted wall,
That standers by haue sought to make them fall.
The chamber, where his hearts delight did lie,
Was all behung with richest Tapistrie;
Where Troies orethrow was wrought, & therwithall
The goddesses dissent about the ball.
Bloud-quaffing Hector all in compleat steele,
Coping Achilles in the Troian feeld,
Redoubling so his sterne stroaks on his head,
That great Achilles left the field, and fled;
Which was so liuely by the Painter done,
[Pg 3]That one would sweare the very cloth did runne.
Trecherous Vlysses bringing in that horse,
Which proued a fatall coffin for Troies corse.
False-hearted Synon groueling on the mire,
Whose oily words prou’d fewell to Troies fire.
Flint-brested Pyrrhus with an iron mace
Murdring the remnants of great Priams race.
Vertuous Æneas, with the armes of Greece,
Venturing for Troy as Iason for his fleece.
And vpward if you lookt, you might behold
The roofe of it all wrought in burnisht gold:
Whereon was figur’d heauen; and there anent
The Gods in state riding to Parliament.
Gold-showring Ioue vpon a milke-white steed
Rode first in ranke; on whose imperiall head
A triple crowne was plac’t, at which before
Two matchlesse diamonds for worth he wore:
On whose right hand Idalian Ganymed
A massie scepter strongly carried:
But on his left, swift-winged Mercurie
A dreadfull thunderbolt (earths feare) did whurrie.
Next Ioue, Apollo came: him followed Fame
Baring a lawrell, on which sweet Sydneys name
In golden letters, plainly to be read,
By the Nine Muses had beene charrectred:
On whose each side Eternitie and Praise
[Pg 4]Enroll’d mens deeds, and gaue them fame to raise.
Then furious Mars came next with sulphure eies,
Flashing forth fire as lightning from the skies;
Whose vncontrolled crest and battered shield
Greeke-wounding Hector and Æneas held.
Light-headed Bacchus with a cup of golde
Brimfull of wine, next Mars his place did holde;
The which quaft off, one reeling on before
Filled againe, and still supplied more.
Him followed sicknesse, by excesse, being lead,
With faint weake hands holding his pained head.
Thus was the roofe adorn’d: but for the bed,
The which those sacred limmes encanaped,
I could say much: yet poised with her selfe,
That gorgeous worke did seeme but drossy pelfe.
All-conquering Loue inspire my weaker Muse,
And with thy iocund smiles daigne to infuse
Heauen-prompted praises to my vntaught story,
That I may write her worth, and tell thy glory.
Vpon her backe she lay (ô heauenly blisse!);
Smiling like Ioue, being couzend of a kisse;
The enuious pillow, which did beare her head,
Was with it selfe at warre, and mutined:
For if the midst receiu’d her chaste impression,
Then the two ends would swell at such a blessing;
And if she chanst to turne her head aside,
[Pg 5]Gracing one end with natures only pride,
The rest for enuy straight would swell so much,
As it would leape asunder for a touch.
Her Sun-out-shining eyes were now at set,
Yet somewhat sparkling through their cabinet;
Her scorne white forehead was made vp by nature,
To be a patterne to succeeding creature
Of her admiring skill: her louely cheeke,
To Rose, nor Lyllie, will I euer leeke,
Whose wondrous beautie had that boy but prou’d,
Who died for loue, and yet not any lou’d,
Neuer had riuer beene adorned so,
To burie more then all the world could shew.
Her sweetest breath from out those sweeter lips,
Much like coole winde which from the valleys skips
In parching heat of Summer, stealeth forth,
Wandring amongst her haire; her wel formd mouth:
No art hath left vs such proportion,
To modell out so true perfection.
Her smoothe moist hands the sheets kept from his sight,
Lest by comparing, they should staine their white.
As thus she lay like Venus in her pride,
(Tempting sweet Adon, lowring by her side)
Philos approcht, who with this sight strooke dumbe
Came stealing on to see, and being come,
His greedie eye, which on the sudden meets
[Pg 6]So many various and delicious sweets,
As rackt with pleasure (neuer hauing fill)
Would faine looke off, and yet would looke on still.
Thus do we surfet on our sudden ioyes,
And ranck-fed pleasure thus it selfe destroyes:
For when his eye doth light vpon her hand,
He then protests, that that is whitenesse land;
But when the whitenesse of her whiter brow
Doth steale his eye from thence, he sweareth now
Her brow is fellowlesse without all peere;
When being snatcht off vnto her fairer haire,
He vowes, the Sun, which makes trees burnisht gold,
Is not so faire, nor glorious to behold:
The viewing the strains which through those cheeks appeare,
And that pure whitenesse which triumpheth there,
Mixt with those azure Saphire passing vaines,
Which are insert like siluer running streames,
Watring those golden apples of the brests,
Where heauens delight & earths contentment rests,
His full-fed eye orecome with such excesse,
Sweares and forsweares, denies and doth confesse:
Then doth he touch her lips, Natures rich treasure,
And musing thinks which is the greatest pleasure
To kisse or see; for to resolue which doubt,
Againe he kisses, whence comes stealing out
So sweet a breath as doth confound his sence;
[Pg 7]For rarest obiects hurt with excellence:
Then doth he seise her hand with softest straine,
Whose moist rebound doth easily detaine
A willing guest, who purposely could wish
Noother food, but such a well-grac’t dish.
Whiles thus poore Philos kisses, feeles and sees,
Heauen-staining Licia opes her sparkling eyes,
And askt the hopelesse Louer, if mornes eye
Had out-stript night. Philos made answer, I.
And thus the Louer did continuallie:
For why, such lustre glided from her eie,
Which darkt the Sun, whose glory all behold,
So that she knew not day, till some man told.
Which office she to Philos had assign’d,
Because she had him alwayes most in mind:
Which had he knowne, he would not so haue spent
The restlesse nights in drery languishment,
Tumbling and tossing in his lothsome bed,
To flie from griefe, yet that still followed.
Then rising vp, and running here and there,
As if he could outrun or lose his care;
But being vp, and finding no reliefe,
Lookt in his heart, and there he found out griefe.
How cam’st thou hither (then amaine he cries)
To kil my heart? Griefe answerd, Through his eyes.
Mine eyes (quoth he) subornd to murder me?
[Pg 8]Well, for their treason they no more shall see.
With that a floud of teeres gush out amaine;
But griefe sends sighs to beat them backe againe:
So that the hurt he meant to do his eies,
Heart-murdring griefe resists, and it denies.
Whereat amazd, as one bereft of sence,
His eies fixt fast on her, as if from thence
His soule had gone, he cri’d: ôh, let this moue,
Loue me for pitie, or pitie me for loue.
Though I am blacke, yet do me not despise,
Loue looks as sweet in blacke as faire mens eies.
The world may yeeld one fairer to your view;
Not all the world fairer in loue to you.
A iewell dropt in mire to sight ilfauoured,
Now, as before, in worth is valued;
An orient pearle hung in an Indians eare,
Receiues no blemish, but doth shew more faire;
One Diamond, compared with another,
Darks his bright lustre, & their worth doth smother;
Where poised with a thing of light esteeme,
Their worth is knowen, and their great beauty seene.
Set white to white, and who commendeth either?
Set white to blacke, and then the white’s the fairer.
The glorious Sunne, when in his glittring pride,
Scowring the heauens, in progresse he doth ride,
Who runnes to see? or who his sight doth lacke?
[Pg 9]But if he chance to shute himselfe in blacke,
Then the earths people couet him to see,
As if he were some wondrous prodegie.
The worlds perfection, at the highest rated,
Was of a blacke confused thing created.
The sight, wherewith such wonders we behold,
The ground of it all darke, and blacke the mold.
Since then by blacke, perfection most is knowne,
Loue, if not for my sake, yet for your owne.
Mole gracing Venus neuer shewed so faire,
When as Vulcan the black-fac’d god was there,
As thou by me: the people, as we pace,
By my defects shall wonder at thy grace;
And seeing me so swarthie and so tawnie,
Shall haue more cause for to admire thy beautie:
And all shall thinke (by whom our charriots go)
That tis thy beautie which hath tann’d me so.
Thy dangling tresses, if compar’d with mine,
Glitter like heauen with lustre from thine eine:
And those immortall eies, which like the Sunne,
The lookers on with his bright rayes doth burne,
If mine be nie, will seeme to shine more cleere,
Than glittering Venus in her Hemisphere.
So thy rich worth, compared with my pelfe,
Will in excelling others match thy selfe:
Euen as Merchant that hath out at sea
[Pg 10]His wealth, the hope of his posteritie,
And hauing heard by flying newes, at home,
That all is lost by some tempestuous storme;
Comming to after-knowledge in the bay,
It is arriu’d, and nothing cast away,
But with redoubled wealth is backe returnd,
For whose supposed losse he oft hath mournd;
Is scarse himselfe, with ioy of what he heares,
And yet retaines some of his former feares
It should proue false, recalling to his mind
The certaine tokens which some had assign’d
Of his more certaine wracke: So fareth she,
Possest with ioy (euen to the highest degree)
Of what she heard; and yet in this extreame,
Was halfe affrayd she was but in a dreame:
For well she knew, that some nights did present
As pleasing visions to her owne content;
Yet in the morne, when golden sleepe had left her,
Of her supposed ioyes it had bereft her.
With this conceit, her iuory hand put forth,
Drawes wide the curtaines which eclips’d her worth,
And then she surely thinks she sees his face,
(For none but his could glory of such grace)
The same maiesticke courage which was wont
To place it selfe vpon his gracefull front;
That speaking cheeke, and that same sparkling eie;
[Pg 11]That powrfull arme, and that same lustie thie;
With all those parts, so well compact together,
That Nature erd in all for him, or rather
Some higher power concurr’d to beautifie
So sweet a patterne of humanitie:
For neuer Nature (since the world began)
Could shew so true a perfect well shap’t man.
While these conceits busi’d her wit-fraught braine,
Poore Philos, who imagines through disdaine
She will not speake, in these words doth beseech,
She will transforme her breath into her speech:
Natures chiefe wonder, and the worlds bright eie,
Which shrowds Elysium in humanitie,
Idea of all blisse, ôh let me heare
Those well tun’d accents which thy lips do beare:
Pronounce my life or death: if death it be,
Thrise happy death, the which proceeds from thee.
O let those corall lips inricht with blisses,
A while forbeare such loue-steept amourous kisses,
And part themselues, to story to mine eares
The sad misfortune which my poore heart feares.
If all my loue must be repayd with hate,
And I ordaind to be vnfortunate;
If my poore heart being consecrate to thee,
(Where thy sweet image sits in maiestie)
Must turne to ruine; and my teere-spent eies
[Pg 12]Wholly possest with gripple auarice,
Hourding the riches of the blessed sight
Which they haue stolne from thee, must shade in night
Their deerest chrystals of vnualued price,
Since they haue glassd themselues within thine eies:
Yet let me craue one happy-making boone,
Though farre too worthy for so meane a groome,
That thine owne voice may swanlike (ere I die)
Relate the storie of my miserie.
Poore Licia fain would speake, & faine would tell him
He needs not doubt, for she well doth loue him;
Yet fearing he (as Chapmen vse to doo)
Would hold aloofe, if Sellers gin to woo,
Her tongue entreats of her vnwilling heart,
She may a while forbeare, and not impart
Her loue-sicke passions to his couetous minde,
Lest he disdainfull proue, and so vnkinde.
O wonder worker (Loue) how thou doest force
Our selues against our selues! and by that course
Seem’st to erect great Trophies in our brests,
By which thou tak’st away our easefull rests,
Nurse to thy passions, making seeming-hate
Fewell to loue, and iealousie the bate
To catch proud hearts, fearefull suspition
Being forerunner to thy passion!
Who most doth loue, must seeme most to neglect it,
[Pg 13]For he that shews most loue, is least respected.
What vertue is inioyd, thats not esteemd;
But what meane good we want, thats highly deemd:
Which is the cause that many men do rate
Their owne wiues vertues at a meane estate;
Their matchlesse beautie and vnualued worth
Seemes nothing in their eyes, nor bringeth forth
Effects of loue, when to a meaner farre,
Whose birth nor beautie comparable are;
With that he’s cloid, his passions will admire
The very place whereon her footsteps were.
The life of sweets is kild without varietie,
One beautie still enioyd, breeds loathd satietie;
And kindnesse, whose command lies in our power,
We seldome relish; but if labourd for,
Our very soule is rauisht with delight,
It is so pleasing to our appetite.
Vrg’d by these reasons, she would faine conceale
The hid affection which her heart did feele;
And yet compassion of her louers state
(Whose outward habit shewd his inward fate)
Perswade with her to lend him some by-taste,
Lest through his loues griefe she his loues life waste.
Thrise happy daies (quoth she) and too soone gone,
When as the deed was coupled with the tongue,
And no deceitfull flattry nor guile
[Pg 14]Hung on the Louers teere-commixed stile;
When now-scornd vertue was the golden end,
By which all actions were performd and scand;
And nothing glorious held, but what was free
From vassall guilt and staind impietie.
In those gold-times poore maidens might relie
(Heauens sweetest treasure, dearer chastitie)
Vpon mens words: but since that age is fled,
And that the staining of a lawfull bed
Is youths best grace, and all his oaths and passion
Must still be taken on him as a fashion,
To busie idle heads: ôh, who can blame
If maids grow chary, since slie men want shame!
Say I should loue, and yet I know not why
I should make any such supposes, I;
Not that I am of such relentlesse temper,
Whose heart nor vowes, nor sighs, nor teeres can enter;
Nor am I only she, who thinks it good
To sprinckle Loues rites with their Louers blood.
Poore women neuer yet in loue offended,
But that too quicke to loue they condescended:
Their fault is pitie, which beleeues too soone
Mens heart void tongue-delighted passion.
Could women learne but that imperiousnesse,
By which men vse to stint our happinesse,
When they haue purchac’d vs for to be theirs
[Pg 15]By customary sighs and forced teeres,
To giue vs bits of kindnesse lest we faint,
But no abundance; so we euer want,
And still are begging, which too well they know
Endeares affection, and doth make it grow.
Had we these sleights, how happy were we then,
That we might glory ouer loue-sicke men!
But arts we know not, nor haue any skill
To faine a sower looke to a pleasing will;
Nor couch our secretst loue in shew of hate:
But if we like, must be compassionate.
Say that thy teere-discoloured cheeke should moue
Relenting pitie and that long liu’d loue.
If ere thy faith should alter, and become
Stranger to that which now it oft hath sworne,
How were I wrapt in woe! No time to be
Would euer end my datelesse miserie.
Ay me (quoth Philos) what man can despise
Such amourous looks, sweet tongues, & most sweet eies?
Or who is glutted with the sight of heauen,
Where still the more we looke, the more is seene?
To the world of beauties Nature lent,
And in each beautie worlds of loues content,
Wherein delight and state moues circuler,
Pleasure being captaine to thy Hemisphere.
Say that the eie, wandring through white and red,
[Pg 16]Long hauing viewd Loues tower, thy wel built head,
Passing those iuory walks where gentlest aire
Fannes the sweet tresses of thy scorn-gold haire,
Admiring oft those redder strawberries,
Ript by the Sun-shine of thy loue-blest eyes,
Should in this maze of pleasure, being led,
Grow weary, with much time satisfied:
Then might the eare be rapt with melodie
Surpassing farre the seuen-spheard harmonie
Deliuerd from thy pearle-enuirond tongue,
Each word being sweeter then a well tun’d song.
But for the touch, all ages that are past,
And times to come, would steale away, and waste
Euen like a minute; and no time suffice
To melt the Louer in such rarities:
Each day would adde to other such excesse
Of Nectar-flowing sweets, that Happinesse
Would be too meane a word for to dilate
The enuied blisse of his vnequall state.
No more (quoth Licia) thou enough hast sayd
Fo to deceiue a sillie witted maid:
But to the God of Loue I will reueale,
How that thou keepst a tongue maids harts to steale,
Whose fatall arrow with the golden head,
Which (as some write) makes all enamoured,
May be compared well (without offence)
[Pg 17]Vnto thy sweet tongue guilt with eloquence,
Whose powrfull accents, so constraining loue,
Had they beene knowen to Thunder-darting Ioue,
He neuer needed to haue vs’d such shapes
For to commit his slie stolne headdy rapes:
Or to Apollo, when his harebraind sonne,
The proud aspiring lucklesse Phaeton,
Would guide the lampe of heauen he then had staid,
And to his Sires graue counsels had obaid:
Beast-mouing Orpheus, and stones void of sence,
Ore which his musicke had preheminence,
Did not inchant so by his power diuine,
As doth that Adamantine tongue of thine.
Iudge me not light, that I so soone do yeeld
To part from that which I so deerely held;
For where a likely beautie doth request,
Euen at the first, Loue ransacketh the brest:
And though maids seem coy, yet the heart is strooke
At the first glancing of an amourous looke:
For from the Louer to the loued eie
Passeth the visuall beames, which gendred nie
Vnto the heart, they thither hie amaine,
And there her bloud do secretly inflame
With strange desires, faint hopes, and longing feares,
Vnheard of wishes, thoughts begetting teares,
That ere she is aware she’s farre in loue,
[Pg 18]Yet knowes no cause that should affection moue.
I could be froward, techie, sullen, mute,
And with loue-killing looks repell thy sute;
Contemne the speaking letters which thou sends;
Command thine absence, and reiect thy friends;
Neglect thy presents, and thy vowes despise;
And laughing at thy teeres, force teeres arise;
Making thee spend a deale of precious time
To get that heart which at the first was thine.
More I could say. But he content with this,
Closd vp the sentence with a sugred kisse.
She seemd displeasd, till kissing her againe,
Achilles like, he tooke away her paine:
And then in close coucht termes would faine desire
Loues highest blisse, than which there is no higher:
But yet the bashfull boy knew not what art,
What termes to vse, or how for to impart
His secret meaning; for he blusht for shame
To thinke what he should aske; & then would faine
Haue made his bolder hand supply the roome
Of his tongues office, which was mute and dumbe;
The which he layes vpon her siluer brest,
Where little Cupid slumbring takes his rest;
Betweene the which an amourous streame doth run,
That leads the way vnto Elysium.
I wonder much (quoth he) when Ioue did make
[Pg 19]A treble night for faire Alcmenaes sake,
She nere perceiued that the night was long,
Since all eyes wait vpon the rising sunne:
But sure some melting pleasure did detaine
Her willing senses, and did so enchaine
Her captiue minde, that time vnthought of fled,
Long nights in sweets being swiftly buried.
Might I such dalliance craue, as great Ioue did
Of faire Alcmena; or when he lay hid
In the swannes shape; how happy were I then,
And how farre blest aboue all other men!
For this, the gods themselues haue often woed,
Courted, adored, kneeld vnto and sued,
Left heauen, their glory, pompe and maiestie,
And put aside their glittring deitie,
To get this iewell, which yeelds true content.
When that seuerer state perhaps gan ornament
Of inward woe, let mortals be excus’d,
When deities such amourous tricks haue vs’d.
O wit abusing boy (sweet Licia cried;)
The gods for that were neuer deified:
Though they did vse it, and obserue it well,
When ere they did it (as all Poets tell)
They from their godheads long before were turnd,
And to some monstrous beast they were transformd,
And in that shape did act lasciuiousnesse:
[Pg 20]For lust transformes vs beasts, and no whit lesse
Do we than they, but yet deserue more blame,
We hauing reason, whose reproofe should tame
Rebell-affection, and not to let it grow,
To worke his owne vntimely ouerthrow.
Insatiate lust as Spring-frosts nips the growth
Of Natures fairest blossomes, crops the worth
Of her best hopes, nay’s foe vnto delight,
Dulling the keene edge of our appetite,
Whose rancke desire, much like the Ocean,
Whose swelling ridges no bound can containe,
Oreflowes whole sands, and in her emptie wombe
Buries them all; Euen so doth lust intombe
All disrancke thoughts, sin-breeding interuiewes,
Disordred passions, all dishonest shewes
Of what may fatten vice; like thriftlesse heires
Lusts champians are, which kill their dearest Sires
For their possessions, to giue both life and growth
To helborne riot. So lasciuious youth,
Courting our beauties, cares not to pollute
Our soules for that, though left heauens substitute
To bridle passion. Gentle boy refraine,
And quench vnlawfull heat till Hymens flame
With sacred fire hath warmd vs, and her rites
Fully performd do warrant those delites.
By this the Soueraigne of heauens flaming beame
[Pg 21]Had got the full height of the starrie heauen,
And she requests the boy, that for a while
He will depart the roome, she may beguile
The clothes of her blest presence. He obaid,
And in a chamber next to hers he staid.
He being gone, the sheets away she flung,
Which loth to let her go, about her clung;
And as she stroue to get out from the sheet,
The vpper clothes imprisond both her feet;
Yet out she whips, and them away she throwes,
Couering her beauties with the ioyfull clothes:
Her purple veluet gowne with gold-starres mixt,
And euery starre with spangles set betwixt
Of purest siluer, with a twist of gold,
Would much amaze the gazers to behold.
This starrie garment did she first put on,
Which tooke light from her face as from the Sun.
Her mantle was of richest taffatie,
Where Iupiter was seruing Danae,
So liuely wrought by Vestaes chastest Nun,
As much delighted the sweet lookers on.
Her stomacher was all with diamonds set,
Ore which a fall was plac’d with pearles with net,
And at each pearle (which seemd to darke the skie)
Hung glistring Rubies and rich Porpherie.
A bracelet all of pearle her hands did grace;
[Pg 22]For to her hands all orients are but base.
A scarfe of maiden-blush did seeme to hide her,
Wherein Diana when Acteon spide her,
Herselfe had wrought, looking with such disdaine,
As witnest well his after-following paine;
One end whereof had yong Leanders shape,
When through the swelling main (whose waues did gape)
He sought his chastest Hero, beating from him
The waues, which murmuring stroue for to com nere him:
And at the other, matchlesse Hero stood
Viewing Leander tossed by the flood,
And how the churlish billowes beat that head
On which herselfe was so enamoured;
Praying to Neptune, not to be so cruell,
But to deliuer vp her dearest iewell:
To figure to the world whose shining eies
She set two diamonds of highest prise.
Vpon her head she ware a vaile of lawne,
Eclipsing halfe her eyes, through which they shone
As doth the bright Sun, being shadowed
By pale thin clouds, through which white streaks are spred.
Poore Philos wondred why she staid so long,
And oft lookt out and mus’d she did not come.
What need she decke her selfe with art (quoth he)
Or hide those beauties with her brauerie,
Which addeth glory to the meanst attire?
[Pg 23]What if she went in her loose flagging haire,
Spread at his full length, that the Easterne winde
Might tie loue-knots for Cupid to vntwinde,
With some trasparent garment ore her skin,
Through which her naked glory might be seene:
Then as Diana a hunting might she goe;
But she nor needs her arrowes nor a bow:
For all the beasts that should but see her passe,
With wōdring straight would leaue the perled grasse
And feed their eyes, while with her snowy hand
She take what beasts she please; nor more command
Needs she to keepe them: for her iuory palme
Commandeth more than any iron chaine.
But now she’s come, at whose thrise radiant light
As all amazd he shunnes her glorious sight,
Like those which long in darke, chance to espie
A candles glimmering, if it come but nie,
Can not endure that weake and feeble shine,
But straightway shut their dim and dazled eine.
No maruell then, though in great extasie
His spirits are, at glittring maiestie.
She feares the worst, and to her Louer skips,
Claps his plumpe cheeks, and beats his corall lips,
And seeing him fall breathlesse to the earth,
She seeks with kisses to inspire his breath.
At last his eye-lids he vp heaues againe,
[Pg 24]And feeling her sweet kisses, gins to faine;
Shuts his bright eyes, and stops his rosie breath,
And for her kisses counterfeits his death.
With that poore Licia both her hands vpholds,
And those let fall, her wofull armes enfolds,
With cast vp eyes in labour with her teares,
Which ioy did weep for woe to leaue those spheares
Which downe her face made paths vnto her necke,
And setling there shewd like a carquenet;
Anon she teares her haire, away it flings,
Which twining on her fingers shewd like rings;
Then she assayes to speake, but sighs and teares
Eats vp her words and multiplies her feares.
Why wert thou borne (quoth she) to die so soone,
And leaue the world poore of perfection;
Or why did high heauen frame thee such a creature,
So soone to perish: ô selfe-hurting Nature,
Why didst thou suffer death to steale him hence,
Who was thy glory and thy excellence.
What are the Roses red, now he is gone,
But like the broke sparks of a diamond,
Whose scattred pieces shadow to the eye
What the whole was, and adde to miserie?
Such this faire casket of a fairer iem,
Whose beautie matchlesse now, what was it then
When that his precious breath gaue life and sent
[Pg 25]To those dead flowers whose feruor now is spent?
O starueling Death, thou ruiner of Kings,
Thou foe to youth and beautie-sealed things,
Thou friend to none but sepulchers and graues,
High reared monuments, lasting Epitaphs,
Poore Clearks & Sextons, and some thriftlesse heires,
Depriued Priests, and a few Courtiers,
Who hauing liuings in reuersion,
Do dayly pray for quicke possession;
Who had offended thee, that blinde with rage
Thou strookst at him, for whom succeeding age
Will curse thy bones? Physitians be thy baine,
And chase thee hence to lowest hell againe.
He hearing this, from pleasing death reuiues,
And drunke those teeres from her immortall eies,
Which drop by drop sought other to displace,
That each might kisse that sweet and daintie face.
Nor doth the Soueraigne of heauens golden fires,
After a storme so answer mens desires,
When with a smiling countenance he orelooks
The flowrie fields and siluer streaming brooks,
As Licia in his life was comforted,
Whom new before she thought for to be dead:
She locks her fingers in his crisped haire,
And pulles it out at length, which leauing there,
The haire bands backe at it for ioy had leapt,
[Pg 26]To be a prisoner to hand so white:
And then she stroaks his alabaster skin,
And chucks the boy on his immortall chin,
Glassing herselfe within his matchlesse eyes,
Where little Cupids conquering forces lies.
Faire Deere (quoth he) to night now wil I leaue you,
But in your charge my heart I will bequeath you;
Securely sleepe, lest in your troubled brest
If you chance sigh, you keepe my heart from rest;
Which I protest hath many a tedious night
Counted times minutes for your absent sight:
What for the nuptials will seeme requisit,
That to your charge (faire creature) I commit,
Which ere the bright Sun with his burning beame
Hath twice more coold his tresses in the maine,
Shall be performd. This sayd, away he’s gone.
Farewell (quoth she:) and at that word a groane
Waited with sighs and teeres, which to preuent,
For feare his sweet heart she should discontent,
Vnto her needle in all haste she goes,
For to beguile her passions and her woes.
She first begins a smocke, of greater cost
Than Helen wore that night when as she lost
Her husbands fame and honour, and thereby
Had almost kept our now lost dignitie:
For Paris first, when as he came to bed,
[Pg 27]On that rich smocke was so enamoured,
And so attentiuely beheld the same,
That he forgot almost for what he came:
For on the coller and the seame before
Was big-bon’d Hercules and the Minetaure,
Both wrought so liuely, that the bloud which came
From that deformed beast, did seeme to staine
Her smocke below; which running here and there
Workt in red silke, did new and fresh appeare;
Which made yong Paris doubt, and thinke indeed
She was not well, and askt and she did bleed;
And would needs see: but wide the curtains drawn,
There was some iewell sparkled through the lawn,
Which pleasd him so, that he had quite forgot
The curious working of the rich wrought smocke.
But loue-blest Licia in her smocke delights
To worke of pleasing tales and marriage rites,
Of louers sweet stolne sports, and of the rapes
Of gods immortall, and of maidens scapes:
There might you see Mars conquering Venus shrowd,
Sea-torne Æneas in a foggie cloud
Making for Carthage; entring all vnseene
To the rich temple where the Tyrian Queene
(Flashing forth beautie from her star-like eies)
Sate in her throne to heare the Troians cries.
Beneath this same she wrought a boistrous storme,
[Pg 28]Whereas the mercy-wanting winds had torne
The tops of loftie trees, and rent the roots
Of stately Cedars and of aged oakes:
The horrid thunder with his dreadfull claps
Made yawn the mouth of heauen, from whose great gaps
The fearefull lightning flasht: and then againe
Ioue squeesd the clouds, & powrd down snow & rain.
In this same storme she wrought the Tyrian Queene
And great Æneas, who that day had beene
Hunting the fallow deere, and thither camex
To shrowd themselues from tempest and raine.
Into a bushie caue hard by they got,
Which thicke set trees did couer ore the top;
In which the Carthage Queene Æneas led,
Who there deceiu’d her of her maidenhead.
A scarfe besides she made of cunning frame,
Whereas Alcides club and armour throwne,
His lion skin put off, in maids attire
He grad the wheele at Omphales desire.
And all this night she banisht sleepe by worke,
Who in her chamber priuily did lurke,
Tempting her eye-lids to conspire with him,
Who often times would winke and ope again:
But now bright Phœbus in his burning car
Visits each mortall eye and dimmes each star,
The nights sole watch-man, when she casts aside
[Pg 29]Her curious worke, and doth in haste prouide:
For the faire fountaine which not far off stands,
Whose purling noise vpon the golden sands
Inuites each weary wandring passenger
To see and taste those streames which are so cleare.
The louing banks like armes seeme to embrace it,
Vpon the which there grew (the more to grace it)
All sorts of coloured flowers, which seemd to looke
And glasse themselues within that siluer brooke.
Plentie of grasse did euery where appeare,
Nurst by the moisture of the running riuer,
Which euer flourishing still a beautious greene,
Shewd like the palace of the Summers Queene:
For neither frost nor cold did nip those flowers,
Nor Sunburnt Autumne parch those leafie bowers:
And as she goes to bathe, the tender grasse
Twineth about her, loth to let her passe:
Here loue-strucke brambles plucke her by the gown,
There roses kisse her as she walks along.
When being come vnto the riuer side,
Looking about, for feare she should be spide,
She stript her naked, standing on the brinke,
When the deere water, who ten yeeres did thinke
Till she was in, conspired with the banke,
That downe it fell, and all vnwares she sanke
Vp to the brests; then it inclos’d her round,
[Pg 30]Kisses each part, and from the purling ground
The vnder-streames made haste to come and view
Those beauties which no earth could euer shew.
The slimy fishes with their watry finnes
Stand gazing on her, and close by her swimmes,
And as she mou’d they mou’d, she needs no bait,
For as when Orpheus plaid, so do they wait.
And purple Titan, whom some fogs did shrowd,
Perforce brake forth from his imprisond cloud
To gaze vpon her, whose reflecting beames
When hot she felt, she leaues the watry streames;
Which they perceiuing, lessened her strength,
To make her stay; yet out she got at length:
For which the waters are at enmitie
With the Sunnes bright and glorious maiestie,
And euery morning, ere Apollo rise,
They send blacke vapours vp to his darke eies,
And maske his beautie, that he be not seene
To hinder them of such a blessed blessing.
Now vp she gets, and homeward fast she goes,
And by the way is musing of the ioyes
To morrowes day should yeeld, and wisht it come;
But her swift wishes ouergoe the Sunne,
Which to her thinking, like a tired man
Heauily loaden, vp a hill doth come.
Ay me (quoth she) had Thetis Daphnes grace,
[Pg 31]Then wouldst thou ierke thy horses, and apace
Scowre through the azurd skie: but for she’s old,
Wanting white snowy armes for to enfold
Thy golden body, therefore thou doest moue
(As though new parted from some amorous loue)
Not like a man trudging with more than haste,
That he might clip his louers melting waste.
Were I the ruler of that fierie teame,
Bloud would I fetch, and force them leape amaine
Into the sea, and ouerspread the skie
With pitchie clouds, their darkesome liuerie.
Yet home she hies in hope to finde the boy
Which soone would turne those sorrowes into ioy:
But he was absent; for much time he spent
To make his horse fit for the Turnament,
Which with his curtelax and drery lance
He meant to holde her beautie to aduance:
When missing him, she knew not how to spend
The weary day, nor bring it to end;
But calls her maid to beare her companie,
And willed her to tell some historie
Which she had read or heard, to mocke the time;
Who with a sober smile did thus beginne:
In Crete there dwelt a boy of so good grace,
So wondrous beautie, such a louely face,
An eye so liuely, such a cherrie lip,
[Pg 32]So white a belly and so strait a hip,
So well shapt, faire, in euery part and lim,
That Nature was in loue with making him.
This boy would oft resort vnto the Lawnes,
To rouse the Satyres and the nimble fawnes,
That he might chase them; but the fearefull deere
Loue-taken by his presence, would not stirre:
So he was faine (when he would haue some play)
Himselfe to run, and then they scud away
And follow him, and in the place he stands
Come lightly tripping for to licke his hands:
And if the lion chanst for to espie him,
He would away, looke back, but not come nie him,
Lest he should feare him, and complaine of Nature,
That she had made him such a horrid creature,
And wish himselfe to be the gentle hare,
The timorous sheepe, or any beast that were,
So he might gaze on him, and not beasts king,
To be depriu’d of so endeerd a blessing.
And many times the wood nymph in a ring
Would girt the boy about, and being hemd in,
Ere he get out, a kisse to each must giue,
Or being so inchaind, so must he liue.
As thus the boy did often times resort
Vnto the woods to finde some friendly sport,
One day amongst the rest he chanst to spie
[Pg 33]A virgin huntresse comming that way by,
With light thin garments tuckt vp to the knees,
Buskins about her legs, through which he sees
A skin so white, that neuer did his eie
Beholde so chaste, so pure, so sweet a die:
Her vpper bodies when he did beholde,
They seemd all glistring to be made of gold,
But he perceiued, being somewhat nere,
It was the beautie of her dangling haire,
Which from her head hung downe vnto her waste,
And such a bright and orient colour cast.
About her necke she ware a precious stone,
A high pris’d, matchlesse, sparkling diamond,
But poising it with her transpiercing eye,
Shewd like a candle when the Sun is by.
The louely boy was taken with the hooke,
The more he gazd, the more still was he strooke;
A thousand amourous glances he doth throwe,
And those recoild, seconds a thousands moe.
At last the boy being danted by her feature,
Makes his speech prologue to so admir’d a creature:
Celestiall goddesse, sprung from heauenly race,
Ioues sweetest offpring, shew me but what place
Thou doest inhabit, where thy Temple stands,
That I may offer with vnspotted hands
On thy deere Altar; and vpon thy praise
[Pg 34]Sing glorious hymnes and sweet tun’d roundelays;
But ô most happy if I were thy Priest,
To celebrate thy vigils and thy feast.
If it be Paphos and thou loues sweet Queene,
Rose cheekt Adonis would that I had beene;
Or if nights gouernesse, the pale-fac’d Moone,
For thy sake would I were Endymion:
But if no goddesse, yet of heauenly birth,
And not disdainst poore men that liue on earth,
If thou hast any Loue, would I were he,
Or if thou wantst one, fix thy loue on me.
With that she blusht, and smiling lookt vpon him;
But here she left: for Philos comming in,
Brake off her tale, and then they all deuise
For state and show, how they may solemnise
Their nuptials: each minute seemes a day,
Till the slow houres had stolne the night away:
But morne being come, theres none can tell the blis
That they conceiu’d, without the like were his.
The golden Sun did cherish vp the day,
And chas’d the foggie mists and slime away,
And gentle Zephyre with perfumed breath
Stealing the sweets from off the flowry earth,
Doth mildly breathe among the enamord trees,
Kissing their leafie locks, which like still seas
Waue vp and downe: and on the sprigs there stood
[Pg 35]The feathred Quiristers of the shadowy wood,
Warbling forth layes of piercing melodie,
Measuring the dances of the wind-wau’d tree.
Swift-winged Mercurie hearing the report
Of these same nuptials, trudg’d vnto the Court,
And there vnto the bench of Deities
Vnfolds this newes, who altogether rise,
And on the battlements of the azure skie
They seat themselues to see these two passe by.
Afore him went a troupe of gallant youth,
Of the best feature and of perfect growth;
He followed in a cloake of cloth of gold,
Larded with pearles, with diamonds enrold;
His vpper vestment was cut out in starres,
(Such wore great Mars when as he left the warres,
And courted Venus) vnder which was drawne
Cloth all of tyssue couered ore with lawne.
Next came the Bride, like to the Queene of light,
Drawne by her dragons to adorne the night:
When she is richly dect and all things on,
Going to court her sweet Endymion,
Attended by a shining companie
Of louely damsels, who together hie
Vnto the Temple, where the sacred Priest
In all his hallowed vestments being drest,
With each consent, ioyning the louers hands,
Knit them together in Hymens sacred bands.
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Pyramus and Thisbe
Text of Title Page
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decorative border

his veric friend, D. B. H. Dvnstan
Gale, wisheth all happinesse.
The worthinesse (good Captaine) of your demerits, with the benefit of your friendly curtesies, incites mee to make profer vnto you of this my vnpolished Pamphlet, humbly intreating you to vouchsafe it acceptance, in that amongst many whom I haue knowne, I could finde none more meete for the patronizing it then your self. Which if it please you, I hope it wil be the better welcom to others for your sake: and if vnconstant fortune do but once more enable me for better, then shall you find a gratefull minde ready to requite you with a double guerdeon for your former kindnesse. Thus crauing pardon for this my rash attempt, I humbly take my leaue this 25. of Nouember, 1596.

Your Worships euer devoted,

Dunstan Gale.


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[Pg 41]


Neere to the place where Nilus channels runne,
There stood a town by loue long since vndone;
For by a chance that hapned in the same,
The town’s forgot, & with the towne the name.
Within which towne (for then it was a towne)
Dwelt two commanders of no small renowne,
Daughter to one, was Thisbe smooth as glasse:
Fairer then Thisbe never woman was.
Sonne to the other, Pyramus the bright:
Yong Thisbes play-feare, Thisbe his delight:
Both firme in loue, as constant and were any,
Both crost in loue, as proud Loue crosseth many.


For in the pride of sommers parching heat,
When children play and dally in the street,
Yong Thisbe seuerd from the common sort,
As gentle nurture lothes each rusticke sport,
Went to an arbour, arbours then were greene,
Where all alone, for feare she should be seene,
She gatherd violets and the Damaske rose,
And made sweet nosegaies, from the which she chose,
One of the sweetest. Sweet were all the rest,
But that which pleasd her wanton eye the best.
And this (quoth she) shall be my true loues fauor:
Her tender nonage did of true love sauor.

[Pg 42]

No sooner spake, but at her speech she blusht:
For on the sudden Pyramus in rusht,
Hauing but newly cropt the spredding pine,
And other branches that were greene and fine,
Of which to passe his idle time away,
The boy made wreaths and garlands that were gay,
And spying Thisbe, Thisbe made him start,
And he her blush, so tender was her heart:
She blusht, because another was so neere,
He started, for to finde another there;
Yet looking long, at last they knew each other,
For why, they lov’d like sister and like brother.


When they left looking, for they lookt awhile,
First Pyramus, last Thisbe gan to smile,
I was afraide, thus Thisbe straight began:
Faint (he replied) a maid and feare a man?
I feard (quoth she) but now my feare is past.
Then welcome me (quoth Pyramus) at last.
Welcome (quoth she) and then she kist his lips,
And he from her, sweet Nectar drops out sips:
She pats his lips, he puls her milke white skin.
Thus children sport, and thus true loue begins:
But they as children, not as louers gamed,
For loue (alas) twixt them was neuer named.

[Pg 43]

Oft would he take her by the lillie hand,
Cirkling her middle, straight as any wand,
And cast her downe, but let her lye alone,
For other pastime Pyramus knew none.
Then vp she starts and takes him by the necke,
And for that fall giues Pyramus a checke:
Yet at the length she chanst to cast him downe,
Though on the green she neuer gaind a gowne,
But rose againe, and hid her in the grasse,
That he might tract the place where Thisbe was,
And finding her (as children vse) imbrace her,
For being children nothing could disgrace her.


But marke the issue, of their sportiue play,
As this sweet couple in the coole shade lay,
Faire Venus posting whom to Paphos Ile,
Spied their sports, nor could she chuse but smile,
Wherefore she straight vnyok’t her siluer teame,
And walkt on foot along the Chrystall streame,
And enuying that these louers were so bold,
VVith iealous eyes she did them both behold.
And as she lookt, casting her eye awry,
It was her chance (vnhappy chance) to spy,
VVhere squint-eyd Cupid sate vpon his quiuer,
Viewing his none-eyd body in the riuer.

[Pg 44]

Him straight she cald, being cald he made no stay,
But to his mother tooke the neerest way.
Yet ere he came, she markt the tother two,
Playing as oft tofore th’er wont to do:
And then she sware, yong Pyramus was faire,
Thisbe but browne, as common women are:
Anon she wisht yong Pyramus was neere,
That she might bind loue in his golden haire,
And loue him too, but that she cald to mind,
That yong Adonis proued so vnkinde.
But Cupid came, his comming causd her hate them,
And in a heat, proud Venus gan to rate them.


Seest thou my sonne (quoth she) and then she fround,
Those brattish elues, that dally on the ground?
They scorne my kingdome, and neglect my minde,
Contemne me as inconstant as the winde.
Then shoot (quoth she) and strike them so in loue,
As nought but death, their loue-dart may remoue.
At this he lookt, the boy was loth to shoot,
Yet strucke them both so neere the hearts sweet root,
As that he made them both at once to cry
(Quoth he) I loue, for loue (quoth she) I die.
Of this both Venus, and her blind boy bosted,
And thence to Paphos Isle in triumph posted.

[Pg 45]

Now was the time, when shepheards told their sheep,
And weary plow-men ease themselues with sleepe,
When loue-prickt Thisbe no where could be found,
Nor Pyramus, though seruants sought them round.
But newes came straight, that Pyramus was seene,
Sporting with Thisbe lately in the euen:
Like newes to both their Parents soone was brought;
Which newes (alas) the louers downfals wrought.
For though they lov’d, as you haue heard of yore,
Their angry parents hate was ten times more,
And hearing that their children were together,
Both were afraide least each had murthered other.


When they came home, as long they staid not forth,
Their storming parents fround vpon them both,
And charged them neuer so to meet againe,
Which charge to them, God knows was endles paine:
For yeres came on, and true loue tooke such strength,
That they were welnigh slaine for loue at length:
For though their parents houses ioynd in one,
Yet they poore peats, were ioynd to liue alone.
So great and deadly was the daring hate,
Which kept their moody parents at debate,
And yet their hearts as houses ioynd together,
Though hard constraint, their bodies did disseuer.

[Pg 46]

At length they found, as searching louers find,
A shift (though hard) which somwhat easd their mind:
For Io a time worne creuis in the wall,
Through this the louers did each other call,
And often talke, but softly did they talke,
Least busie spy-faults should find out their walke:
For it was plast in such a secret roome,
As thither did their parents seldome come.
Through this they kist, but with their breath they kist,
For why the hindring wall was them betwixt,
Somtimes poor souls, they talkt till they were windles
And all their talke was of their friends vnkindnes.


When they had long time vsd this late found shift,
Fearing least some should vndermine their drift,
They did agree, but through the wall agreed,
That both should hast vnto the groue with speed,
And in that arbour where they first did meet,
With semblant loue each should the other greet,
The match concluded, and the time set downe,
Thisbe prepar’d to get her forth the towne,
For well she wot, her loue would keepe his houre,
And be the first should come vnto the bowre:
For Pyramus had sworne there for to meete her,
And like to Venus champion there to greet her.

[Pg 47]

Thisbe and he, for both did sit on bryers,
Till they enioyd the height of their desires:
Sought out all meanes they could to keep their vow,
And steale away, and yet they knew not how.
Thisbe at last (yet of the two the first)
Got out, she went to coole loues burning thirst,
Yet ere she went (yet as she went) she hide,
She had a care to decke her vp in pride,
Respecting more his loue to whom she went,
Then parents feare, though knowing to be shent,
And trickt her selfe so like a willing louer,
As purblind Cupid tooke her for his mother.


Her vpper garment was a robe of lawne,
On which bright Venus siluer doues were drawne:
The like wore Venus, Venus robe was white,
And so was Thisbes not so faire to sight,
Nor yet so fine, yet was it full as good,
Because it was not stain’d with true loues bloud.
About her waste, she wore a scarfe of blew,
In which by cunning needle-worke she drew
Loue-wounded Venus in the bushie groue,
VVhere she inheated, Adon scornd her loue.
This scarfe she wore, (Venus wore such another)
And that made Cupid take her for his mother.

[Pg 48]

Nymph-like attyr’d (for so she was attyr’d)
She went to purchase what true loue desyr’d,
And as she trode vpon the tender grasse,
The grasse did kisse her feet as she did passe:
And when her feet against a floure did strike,
The bending floures did stoope to doe the like:
And when her feet did from the ground arise,
The ground she trod on, kist her heele likewise.
Tread where she would, faire Thisbe could not misse,
For euery grasse would rob her of a kisse.
And more the boughs wold bend, for ioy to meet her
And chanting birds, with madrigals would greet her.


Thus goes this maidlike Nimph, or Nimphlike maid,
Vnto the place afore appointed laid,
And as she past the groues and fountaines cleere,
Where Nymphs vsd hunting, for Nymphs hunted there,
They sware she was Diana, or more bright.
For through the leauie boughs they tooke delight,
To view her daintie footing as she tript:
And once they smil’d, for once faire Thisbe slipt,
Yet though she slipt, she had so swift a pace,
As that her slipping wrought her no disgrace.
For of the Nymphs (whose coy eyes did attend her)
Of all was none, of all that could amend her.

[Pg 49]

VVhen she had past Dianes curious traine,
The crooked way did bending turne againe,
Vpon the left hand by a forrest side,
Where (out alas) a woe chance did betide:
For loue-adoring Thisbe was so faire,
That bruitish beasts at her delighted are:
And from the rest as many beasts did rome,
A lamb deuouring Lion forth did come,
And hauing lately torne a sillie Lambe,
The full gorg’d Lion sported as it came,
To him a sport, his sport made Thisbe hie her,
For why, she durst not let the beast come nie her.


Yet still it came, to welcome her it came,
And not to hurt, yet fearefull is the name,
The name more then the Lion, her dismayd,
For in her lap the Lion would haue playd.
Nor meant the beast to spill her guilelesse bloud,
Yet doubtfull Thisbe in a fearefull moode,
Let fall her mantle, made of purest white,
And tender heart, betooke her straight to flight,
And neere the place where she should meet her loue,
Shee slipt, but quickely slipt into a groue,
And lo a friendly Caue did entertaine her,
For feare the bloudy Lion should haue slaine her.

[Pg 50]

Thisbe thus scap’t, for thus she scap’t his force,
Although (God wot) it fell out farther worse:
The Lion came yet meant no harme at all,
And comming found the mantle she let fall,
Which now he kist, he would haue kist her too,
But that her nimble footmanship said no.
He found the robe, which quickly he might find,
For being light, it houered in the winde:
VVith which the game-some Lion long did play,
Till hunger cald him thence to seeke his prey:
And hauing playd, for play was all his pleasure,
He left the mantle, Thisbes chiefest treasure.


Yet ere he left it, being in a mood,
He tore it much, and stain’d it ore with bloud,
Which done, with rage he hasted to his prey,
For they in murther passe their time away.
And now time-telling, Pyramus at last,
(For yet the houre of meeting was not past)
Got forth (he would haue got away before)
But fate and fortune sought to wrong him more:
For euen that day, more fatall then the rest,
He needs must giue attendance at a feast,
Ere which was done (swift time was shrewdly wasted)
But being done, the louely stripling hasted.

[Pg 51]

In hast he ran, but ran in vaine God wot,
Thisbe he sought, faire Thisbe found he not,
And yet at last her long loue robe he found
All rent and torne vpon the bloody ground.
At which suspicion told him she was dead,
And onely that remained in her stead:
Which made him weepe, like mothers, so wept he,
That with their eyes their murthered children see;
And gathering vp the limbes in peecemeale torne,
Of their deare burthen murtherously forlorne:
So Pyramus sicke thoughted like a mother,
For Thisbes losse, more deare then any other.


Or who hath seene a mournefull Doe lament
For her young Kid, in peecemeale torne and rent,
And by the poore remainders sit and mourne,
For loue of that which (out alas) is gone?
Let him behold sad Pyramus, and say,
Her losse, his loue, doth equall euery way.
For as a man that late hath lost his wits,
Breakes into fury and disaster fits,
So Pyramus in griefe without compare,
Doth rend his flesh, and teare his golden haire,
Making the trees to tremble at his mourning,
And speechlesse beasts to sorrow with his groaning.

[Pg 52]

Alas (quoth he) and then he tore his flesh,
Gone is the sunne that did my Zone refresh,
Gone is the life, by which I wretch did liue,
Gone is my heauen, which hopefull blisse did giue,
To giue me heat, her selfe lyes nak’t and cold,
To giue me life, to death her selfe she sold,
To giue me ioy, she bale alas did gaine,
My heat, life, ioy, procur’d her death, bale, paine:
Had I beene here, my loue had not beene dead,
At least the beasts had torne me in her stead,
Or would they yet teare me for company,
Their loue to me would slacke their tyranny.


And then he cast his eyes vpon the ground,
And here and there where bloudie grasse he found;
Sweet bloud (quoth he) and then he kist the bloud,
And yet that kisse God wot did little good,
Couldst thou being powr’d into my halfe slaine brest,
Reuiue againe, or purchase Thisbes rest,
This hand should teare a passage through the same,
And yet that bloud from Thisbe neuer came,
And then be gatherd vp the bloudie grasse,
And looking grieu’d, and grieuing cryde alas,
Where shall I hide this bloud of my deare louer,
That neither man nor beast may it discouer?

[Pg 53]

Then in the mantle he the grasse vp tide,
And laid it close vnto his naked side:
Lie there (quoth he) deare to me as my hart,
Of which thy mistresse had the greater part.
Tut she is dead, and then he vow’d and swore,
He would not liue to murther loue no more:
Which spoke, he drew his Rapier from his side,
Of which the loue-slaine youth would then haue dy’d,
But that he thought, that pennance too too small,
To pacifie faire Thisbes Ghost withall:
Wherefore he rag’d, and ragingly exclaimed,
That he true loue, and true loue him had maimed.


And then his Rapier vp againe he tooke,
Then on the mantle cast a grieuous looke.
For me (quoth he) faire Thisbe lost this bloud,
She dead, my life would doe me little good,
And well he thought he could endure the smart
Of death, and yet he could not harme his heart:
For why his hand being guiltlesse of the deed,
Deny’d to make his harmelesse heart to bleed,
And like a trembling executioner,
Constrain’d to slay a guiltelesse prisoner,
His hand retired still, further backe and further,
As lothing to enact so vile a murther.

[Pg 54]

But Pyramus like to a raging Iudge,
Seeing his executioner flinch, and grudge
To do the duty he enioyn’d him do,
Reply’d, dispatch, or Ile cut thee off too:
At which the trembling hand tooke vp the blade,
But when the second profer it had made,
It threw it downe, and boldly thus replyed,
He was not cause that louely Thisbe dyed,
Nor would I slay thee, knew I she were dead:
Then be the bloud vpon thy guiltie head.
Of these last words young Pyramus dispences,
And cald a synodie of all his seuer’d sences.


His conscience told him, he deserv’d not death,
For he deprav’d not Thisbe of her breath:
But then suspicion thought, he causd her dye,
But conscience swore, suspition told a lye.
At this suspicion prompted loue in th’eare,
And bad him shew his verdict, and come neare,
Which soone he did, and fate among the rest,
As one whom Pyramus esteemed best:
For when proud Loue gaue in his faultie plea,
He askt if he were guiltie, Loue said yea,
And with the youth, fond youth by loue entangled,
Agreed his guiltlesse body should be mangled.

[Pg 55]

Resolv’d to die, he sought the pointed blade,
Which erst his hand had cast into the shade,
And see, proud Chance, fell Murthers chiefest frend,
Had pitcht the blade right vpwards on the end,
Which being loth from murther to depart,
Stood on the hilt, point-blanke against his hart:
At which he smil’d, and checkt his fearefull hand,
That stubbornely resisted his command.
And though (quoth he) thou scorn’d to doe my will,
What lets me now my minde for to fulfill?
Both Fate and Fortune to my death are willing,
And be thou witnesse of my minds fulfilling.


With that he cast himselfe vpon the sword,
And with the fall his tender brest through gor’d:
The angry bloud, for so his bloud was sheed,
Gusht out, to finde the author of the deed,
But when it none but Pyramus had found,
Key cold with feare it stood vpon the ground,
And all the bloud, I meane that thus was spilt,
Ran downe the blade, and circled in the hilt,
And presently congeald about the same,
And would haue cald it by some murtherous name,
Could it haue spoke, nere sought it any further,
But did arrest the Rapier of the murther.

[Pg 56]

And as the child that seeth his father slaine,
Will runne (alas) although he runne in vaine,
And hug about the shedder of his bloud,
Although God wot, his hugging do small good,
Euen so his bloud, the ofspring of his heart,
Ran out amaine, to take his fathers part,
And hung vpon the rapier and the hilt,
As who should say, the sword his bloud had spilt:
Nor would depart, but cleaue about the same,
So deare it lov’d the place from whence it came:
For sure it was poore Pyramus was murthered,
Nor by pursute, could his poore bloud be furthred.


When this was done, as thus the deed was done,
Begun, alas, and ended too too soone,
Faire Thisbe strucken pale with cold despaire,
Came forth the Caue into the wholsome aire:
And as she came, the boughs would giue her way,
Thinking her Venus in her best array.
But she (alas) full of suspicious feare,
Least that the late feard Lion should be there,
Came quaking forth, and then start backe againe,
Fearing the beast, and yet she fear’d in vaine.
She fear’d the Lion, Lions then were feeding,
And in this feare, her nose gusht out a bleeding.

[Pg 57]

Her sudden bleeding argued some mischance,
Which cast her doubtfull senses in a trance,
But of the Lion troubled Thisbe thought,
And then of him, whom fearefully she sought:
Yet forth she went, replete with iealous feare,
Still fearing, of the Lion was her feare:
And if a bird but flew from forth a bush,
She straightwaies thought, she heard the Lion rush.
Her nose left bleeding, that amaz’d her more
Then all the troublous feare she felt before:
For sudden bleeding argues ill ensuing,
But sudden leauing, is fell feares renewing.


By this she came into the open wood,
Where Pyramus had lost his dearest bloud,
And round about she rolles her sun bright eyes
For Pyramus, whom no where she espies;
Then forth she tript, and nearly too she tript,
And ouer hedges oft this virgin skipt.
Then did she crosse the fields, and new mown grasse,
To find the place whereas this arbour was:
For it was seated in a pleasant shade,
And by the shepheards first this bowre was made.
Faire Thisbe made more haste into the bower,
Because that now was iust the meeting hower.

[Pg 58]

But comming thither, as she soone was there,
She found him not, which did augment her feare:
But straight she thought (as true loue thinks the best)
He had beene laid downe in the shade to rest,
Or of set purpose hidden in the reeds,
To make her seeke him in the sedgie weeds,
For so of children they had done before,
Which made her thoughts seeme true so much the more:
But hauing sought whereas she thought he was,
Shee could not finde her Pyramus (alas)
Wherefore she back return’d vnto the arbor,
And there reposd her after all her labor.


To one that’s weary drowsie sleepe will creepe,
Weary was Thisbe, Thisbe fell asleepe,
And in her sleepe she dreamt she did lament,
Thinking her heart from forth her brest was rent,
By her owne censure damn’d to cruell death,
And in her sight bereft of vitall breath.
When she awak’t, as long she had not slept,
She wept amaine, yet knew not why she wept:
For as before her heart was whole and sound,
And no defect about her could be found,
She dreamt she hurt, no hurt could she discouer,
Wherefore she went to seeke her late lost louer.

[Pg 59]

Suspicious eyes, quick messengers of wo,
Brought home sad newes ere Thisbe farre could go:
For lo, vpon the margent of the wood,
They spy’d her loue, lye weltring in his bloud,
Hauing her late lost mantle at his side,
Stained with bloud, his hart bloud was not dry’d.
VVisty she lookt, and as she lookt did cry,
See, see, my hart, which I did iudge to dye:
Poore hart (quoth she) and then she kist his brest,
VVert thou inclosd in mine, there shouldst thou rest:
I causd thee die poore heart, yet rue thy dying,
And saw thy death, as I asleepe was lying.


Thou art my hart, more deare then is mine owne,
And thee sad death in my false sleepe was showne:
And then she pluckt away the murtherous blade,
And curst the hands by whom it first was made,
And yet she kist his hand that held the same,
And double kist the wound from whence it came.
Him selfe was author of his death she knew,
For yet the wound was fresh, and bleeding new,
And some bloud yet the ill-made wound did keepe,
VVhich when she saw, she freshly gan to weepe,
And wash the wound with fresh tears down distilling,
And view’d the same (God wot) with eyes vnwilling.

[Pg 60]

She would haue spoke, but griefe stopt vp her breath,
For me (quoth she) my Loue is done to death,
And shall I liue, sighes stopt her hindmost word,
When speechlesse vp she tooke the bloudy sword,
And then she cast a looke vpon her Loue,
Then to the blade her eye she did remoue.
And sobbing cride, since loue hath murthred thee,
He shall not chuse but likewise murther me:
That men may say, and then she sigh’d againe,
I him, he me, loue him and me hath slaine.
Then with resolue, loue her resolue did further:
With that same blade, her selfe, her selfe did murther.


Then with a sigh, she fell vpon the blade,
And from the bleeding wound the sword had made,
Her fearefull bloud ran trickling to the ground,
And sought about, till Pyramus it found:
And hauing found him, circled in his corse,
As who should say, Ilegard thee by my force.
And when it found his bloud, as forth it came,
Then would it stay, and touch, and kisse the same,
As who should say, my mistresse loue to thee,
Though dead in her, doth still remaine in me,
And for a signe of mutuall loue in either,
Their ill shed bloud congealed both together.
[Pg 61]

Dom Diego and Ginevra
Text of Title Page

[Pg 62]



[Pg 63]

Dom Diego and Ginevra
In Catheloygne, o’repeerd by Pyren Mountaines,
(a Prouince seated in the East of Spaine,
Famous for hunting sports & cleerest fountains)
a young heroyck gallant did remaine;
Hee, Signior Dom Diego had to name,
Who for his constant faith had got such fame.

Nature had tryde her deepest skill on him,
(for so the heauen-borne powers had her desired)
With such perfection framed shee each lim,
that at her owne worke shee herselfe admired.
Maiestick Ioue gaue him a Princely grace,
Apollo wit, and Venus gaue his face.

This loue-some youth, kinde Natures fairest child,
what for his beautious loue-alluring face,
And for he was so gracious and so milde;
was deem’d of all to be of heauenly race;
Men honord him, and Maydens gaue him loue,
To make him famous Men and Maydens stroue.
[Pg 64]
Hunting he lou’d, nor did he scorne to loue,
(a truer-louing hart was neuer knowne)
Which well his Mistres cruelly did proue,
whose causelesse rigor Fame abroad hath blowne.
But now lets tell, how hee on hunting went,
And in what sports such pleasant time he spent.

Soone as the sunne had left his watry bed.
(blushing for shame that he so long had slept)
Reuiuing those which duskie Night made dead,
when for his welcom Lambes on mountains lept.
Vp starts Diego, and with shrill-voyc’d horne.
Tells hounds & huntsmen of a cleere-fac’d morne.

Cloth’d all in Greene, (Syluanus lyuery)
he wore a low-crown’d hat of finest silke,
Whose brim turnd vp, was fastned with a Ruby,
and vnderneath, a Pearle as white as milke,
A sleeueles coate of Damaske, richly laced
With Indian pearle, as thicke as could be placed.

A glistring Cutlax pendent by his side,
(he much esteem’d yt beast-dismembring blade)
And halfe-leg’d Buskins curiously ytide
with loopes of burnisht gold full finely made,
Thus goes Diego, chiefest of his name,
With siluer-headed speare to finde some game.
[Pg 65]
Long while it was ere any sport began,
at last a Hart his big-growne hornes did shew,
VVhich (winding straight the huntsmen) gan to run
as fast as arrow from a Parthyan bow:
In whose pursute (by wil of powreful Fates)
Diego lost himfelfe, and all his mates.

Left thus alone in midst of vnknowne place,
he inuocates the fauourable ayde
Of Ariadne, who with smalest lace,
freed Monster-killing Theseus, so dismaid,
In worser Laborinth did he now remaine,
For none saue trees or beasts, could heare him plain.

In these Meanders, stragling heere and there,
goes faire Diego, listning to each sound,
Musing twixt purple hope, and palish feare,
he thought to rest him (wearied) on the ground,
But see, he heares a farre some forced noyse,
A horne, a hound, or els some human voyce.

VVith that, Desire, which scornes least tedious let,
directed him vnto that very place,
Where loe to hunt the tymerous Hare, were met
as Knights, so Ladies, fittest for that chase:
Mongst which, there came a Grace of heauēly faire,
Her name Gyneura, with the golden hayre.
[Pg 66]
Her hayre of such corruscant glitterous shine,
as are the smallest streames of hottest sunne,
Like starres in frostie night, so looke her eyne,
within whose Arches Christall springs doe run,
Her cheekes faire show of purest Porphyrie,
Full curiously were typt with roseall die.

Her lips like ripened Cherries seem’d to be,
from out whose concaue Corrall-seeming Fount,
Came sweeter breath then muske of Araby,
whose teeth ye white of blanched pearle surmount
Her necke the Lillies of Lyguria
Did much exceed; Thus looked fayre Gyneura.

These Dryades Diego then bespake,
with sugred tearmes of mildest curtesie,
And crau’d to know which way he best might take
with shortest cut, to such a Signiory,
Whereat he nam’d himselfe; when presently
The Ladies knew him (as a Neyghbour by.)

Gyneuras Mother (cheefe of all the rest)
(for that shee knew his birth and his discent)
Desir’d him home, he grants her such request,
and thanks the Fates that him such hap had lent,
For still on faire Gyneura were his eyes,
And shee reciprocally on his replyes.
[Pg 67]
These dumbe Embassadors, Loues chiefe combatants
tell (softly whispring in each others hart)
Her of humble seruice; him of acceptance;
his craued loue, hers wisht they nere might part,
Much talk they had wt tongues, more wt their eyes,
But (oh) most with their harts, where true loue lies.

Now were they come whereas the good old Lady
might boldly welcome her inuited guest,
Where after little talke, (Hunters are hungry)
they all sat downe vnto a soone-made feast,
The Louers fed on glaunces of their eyes,
Tis heauenly food when both do simpathize.

At last, the Lady of the house espied
the intercourse of those bright Messengers,
Who inwardly reioycing, as fast plied
hers on her daughter, fittest Harbengers,
To bid her keepe the fairest and the best
Place in her hart, to entertaine this guest.

Word back againe was sent by her faire light,
how that was done already; and replied,
The Land-lord o’re his Tennant hath such might,
that he to enter in is nere denied.
I, in a little corner of my hart
Doe liue, (quoth she) he hath the greatest part.
[Pg 68]
Diego wisht thys supper nere would end,
(and yet he long’d to be in priuate place,
To ruminate vpon his fairest friend,
and to recount the beauties of her face)
So wisht Gyneura, were neuer such two,
That lou’d so deerely as these Louers doe.

The gloomy Curtaines of the tongue-lesse night,
were drawne so close as day could not be seene,
Now leaden-thoughted Morpheus dyms each sight,
now, murder, rapes, and robberies begin:
Nature crau’d rest, but restlesse Loue would none,
Diego, Loues young prentice, thus gan mone.

Oh heauens, what new-founde griefes possesse my mind,
what rare impassionated fits be these?
Cold-burning Feuers in my hart I find,
whose opposite effects worke mee no ease,
Then loue assailes the hart with hotest fight,
VVhen beauty makes her conqust at first sight.

I little dreamed of thys strange euent,
(this harts-inthraller, mindes-disturbing Loue,
VVhen with my Huntsmen to the woods I went,
Oh neere till now did I his greatnes proue,
Whose first impression in the Louers hart,
Till then nere tainted, bringeth deepest smart.
[Pg 69]
Thus lay Diego tossing in his bed,
bound to the will of all commaunding beauty,
Whom angry Cupid now in tryumph led,
expecting from his slaue all seruile duty,
Hee might haue freed his prysoner so dismaid,
For sighes and grones had double ransome paide.

In like extreames, (Loue loues extremity)
did faire Gyneura passe the long-thought night,
Shee raild against fell Cupids crueltie,
that so would tyrannize o’re a Maydens spright.
There needes no blowes, quoth she, when foes doe yield,
Oh cease, take thou the honor of the field.

The valiant Greekes (faire Ilyons fatall Foes)
their tedious ten yeres siedge for Spartaes Queen
Nere thought so long; (yet long it was) as those
loue-scorcht enamored (so restles) now ween
This night to be; A night if spent in care,
Seemes longer then a thousand pleasant are.

Thus lay they sleeplesse, thoughtfull, euer thinking
on sluggish humor of expected Morne,
They thought that Louers eyes were neuer winking
nor sleepe they e’re in whom Loues newly borne.
Hee vow’d, when day was come, to woo his deere,
Shee swore such wooing she would gladly heare.
[Pg 70]
At last, the guyder of the firie Coach,
drying his locks wet in Eurotas floud,
Gan resalute the world with bright approch,
angry he seem’d, for all his face was bloud:
Auroraes hast had made him looke so red,
For loath he was to leaue faire Thetis bed.

Scarce were his horses put in readines,
and he himselfe full mounted on his seate,
VVhen Dom Diego full of heauines,
abroade did walke, his night talke to repeate
Some two howres spent, he in againe retires,
And sees his Mistres, whom he now admires.

Whereat inflam’d, (loue brookes no base delay,
whose fruite is danger, whose reward is paine)
With fine-fil’d termes he giues her the good day,
and blushing, she returnes it him againe.
Endimeons blush her beauty did eclypse,
His causd by Cynthiaes, hers Adonis lyps.

Boldly encourag’d by her milde aspect,
he told her that which Louers vse to tell,
How he did liue by her faire eyes reflect,
and how his hart in midst of hers did dwell.
Much eloquence he vsd, twas needles done,
To win that hart which was already won.
[Pg 71]
Ne’re did the dungeon thiefe condemn’d to dye
with greater pleasure heare his pardon read,
Then did Gyneura heare his Oratorie,
(of force sufficient to reuiue the dead)
Shee needes must yield; for sure he had the Art,
VVith amorous heate to fixe Dianaes hart.

These Louers (thus in this both-pleasing parly)
were interrupted by Geneuraes Mother
VVho newly vp, (age seldome ryseth early)
gan straight salute her guest, so did he her,
Some termes of kindnes mutually past,
Shee friendly leades him in, to breake his fast.

VVhich done, (as all good manners did require)
hee thankt his Hostis for her curtesie,
And now at length went home for to retire,
where hee was looked for so earnestly,
The Lady crau’d if ere hee came that way,
To see her house, and there to make some stay.

Then heauily, and with a dying eye,
(ioylesse) hee takes his leaue of his faire Loue,
VVho for to fauour him, full graciously,
with louing count’nance gaue to him her Gloue.
Keepe this (quoth shee) till better fortune fall,
My Gloue, my Loue, my hand, my hart, and all.
[Pg 72]
At this large offer, bashfull modestie,
with pure Vermilion stain’d her all faire face,
So lookt Calystone at her great bellie,
when chast Ilythia spi’d her in such case;
Let Louers iudge how grieuous tis to part,
From two, twixt whom, there lyueth but one hart.

Nowe is hee gone, who after little travell
attain’d his house (not pleasing thought desired)
At whose late absence each one much did maruell,
but (come) at his sad lookes they more admired,
Great Cupids power, such sadnes in him bred,
VVho (erst) all louing harts in tryumph led.

One month (consum’d in pensiuenes) expir’d;
to recreate and reuiue his tyred spright,
Hee now on hunting goes, which hee desir’d,
not for the (once well-pleasing) sports delight;
But for he might some fit occasion finde,
To see his Loue, on whom was all his minde.

Where being come (suppose his sports prou’d bad)
Gyneura gaue him welcome from her hart,
The Sea-tost Lord of Ithica ne’re had,
after his twentie yeares turmoile and smart,
More ioyfull welcome by his constant wife
Then had Diego from his loue, his lyfe.
[Pg 73]
Two dayes he stay’d, whence he would ne’re depart
but custome wil’d that he should now returne,
Yet though he went he left with her his hart,
which for their parting heauily gan mourne,
But for worse newes had it poore hart to greeue,
In that Gyneura would so soone beleeue.

For sooner was hee not departed thence
but straight there comes a Riuall of his Loue,
VVho vnder true fidellities pretence
wrought wondrous hard Diego to remoue,
Nor could at first his oaths or vowes preuaile,
To make Gyneuraes loue one whit to faile.

For yet they lyu’d fast bound in Fancies chaines,
stryuing to passe each other in pure loue,
But (as there’s nothing that for aye remaines
without some change.) so do these Louers proue,
That hottest loue hath soon’st the cold’st disdaine,
And greatest pleasures, haue their greatest paine.

For now no longer could shee so perseuer,
shee turnes to deadly hate her former kindnes,
Which still had lasted; but that Nature euer
strikes into womens eyes such dim-sight blindnes,
And such obdurate hardnes in their harts,
They see, nor knowe, not truest loues desarts.
[Pg 74]
Gyneura this confirmes against her Louer,
whom now (all guiltlesse) she condemnes to die,
That in his deede or thought did nere offend her,
vnlesse by louing her so wondrous deerelie.
Such Loue, such hate, such lyking, such disdains,
Was neuer knowne in one hart to remaine.

Thus twas; Diego had an enemie,
(immortall vertue euer lincked is,
With that pale leane-fac’d meager-hewed enuie)
who secretly (so falsely) tells his Mis.
How shee was mockt; Diego lou’d another,
And storm’d & rag’d what madnes so should moue her.

To dote on him that else where sets his Loue,
hee makes you thinke (quoth he) what ere he list,
That this is true, you easily may proue
for still he weares her fauour on his fist,
A Hawke it is; which shee (so stands the Mart)
Giues him, he you faire words, but her his hart.

VVith this incenst, (that sex will soone beleeue)
soonest when enuies broode to them display it,
I’st true (quoth shee) for true loue doth he giue,
such smooth-fac’d flattry, doth he thus repay it?
Shee neuer scan’d, the truth of this her griefe,
Loue in such cases, is of quicke beliefe.
[Pg 75]
Her loue to him was neuer halfe so great,
(though once shee lou’d him) as is now her hate,
This Momus breath (like bellowes) to her heate,
did kindle firie coales of hote debate.
Hee plyes her; and exasperates his spight,
And sweares, and vowes, hee tells her but the right.

Shee (like a franticke Froe of Thessaly
madded with Bacchus brayne-distempring liquor)
Runs here, and there, exclayming furiously
with hideous, vncouth mind-affrighting terror.
Swearing reuenge on false Diegoes head,
VVhose lying lookes in her such madnes bred.

VVherewith shee inuocates great Nemesis,
and begs the power of her deitie,
Shee tells her case, to Iustice-doing Themis,
and shewes how shee is wronged mightily.
Shee leaues no power vnsought for, or vnpraide,
That vse to helpe distressed with their aide.

VVronged Diego (little this suspecting)
now thought it time to see his deerest faire,
And (other matters of import neglecting,
hee presently to her makes his repaire.
VVhere being come, such welcome he did finde,
As at the first did much disturbe his minde.
[Pg 76]
For faire Gyneura would not now be seene,
she sent him word she scorn’d his fauning flattrie,
And much did greeue that shee so fond had beene,
to yield her hart to such deceitfull battrie:
Bid him (quoth shee) goe flatter where he list,
I like not I, that fauour on his fist.

Such hap it was, Diego then had brought
his Hawke; (the author of this fell debate)
Which well confirm’d her euer doubtfull thought,
that nowe shee was resolu’d on deadly hate,
Bid him (quoth she) depart hence from my sight,
His loath-some presence brings me irksome spight.

Twas hard; that he whose loue was neuer tainted
whose sincere faith was kept inuiolate,
Nay, in whose face all truest loue was painted,
should for his spotlesse truth be paid with hate,
Hee stone-astonied, like a Deare at gaze,
Admir’d these speeches in a wondrous maze.

At last hee crau’d this fauour he might haue,
that shee her selfe would heare what he could say,
So Neptunes Towne (quoth shee) such lycense gaue
to smooth-fac’d Synon (Ilions lost decay)
So Syrens sing vntill they haue their will,
Some poore mistrustlesse Passenger to kill.
[Pg 77]
Shee would not heare him speake (oh cruell shee)
that causelesse this would kill him with disdaine,
Hee sweares he’s guiltlesse, vowes innocencie,
& in such vowes, tears down his cheeks did raine,
Those cheeks which staine the blushing of ye morne
Gyneura now most hatefully doth scorne.

Tis strange that Maides should ere be so abused,
to credit each malicious-tongued slaue,
And to condemne a man (if once accused)
before or proofe, or tryall, hee may haue.
Too many such there be; wo’s mee therefore,
Such light credulitie, I must deplore.

When sighes, salt tears, & vowes could do no good,
nor sighes, nor teares, nor vowes could pierce her hart,
In which, disdaine triumphant victor stood
holding in eyther hand a sable dart,
VVherewith he strikes true loue, & stainlesse truth,
Condemning them vnto eternall ruth.

Home goes Diego with a cheereless face,
whose steps were led by leaden-footed griefe,
VVho neuer goes but with a dead-slowe pace,
vntill hee finde some ease, or some reliefe;
Twould melt a marble hart to see that man,
(Earst, fresh as a new-blowne Rose) so ashie wan.
[Pg 78]
VVhere being come, he straight for four daies space,
locks him in his chamber, and there did poure
Huge shewers of christall rayne adowne his face,
(for sure he lou’d her deerely at this howre)
All ouerwhelm’d in waues of sea-salt teares,
Some fatall shipwrack of his life he feares.

Wherewith he calls for paper, pen, and ynck,
and for his Hawke, which presently he kild,
Die thou (quoth he) so shall my loue nere thinke,
that for thy sake to any else I yield.
And plucking of her head, straight way hee writes,
VVho (sending it as token) thus indites.

Loe heere (thou cruell faire) that gracious fauour,
the Ensigne (as thou saist) of my vntruth,
Behold in what high-priz’d esteeme I haue her
that gaue me it, the cause of all my ruth:
Looke as this Hawke, faire Loue, so is my hart,
Mangled and torne; cause thou so cruell art.

I sweare to thee by all the rites of loue,
by heauens faire head, by earth, & black-fac’d hel,
I nere meant other loue but thine to proue,
nor in my hart that any else should dwell;
Let this suffize, my ioy, my deere, my chiefe,
My griefes are too too long, though letter briefe.
[Pg 79]
Twas time to ende, for floods gusht out amaine,
out came the springtide of his brinish teares,
VVhich whatsoere hee writ blot out againe
all blubred so to send it scarce hee dares:
And yet hee did; goe thou (quoth hee) vnto her,
And for thy maister, treate, sollicite, woo her.

And pray thee (if thy Fortune be so good
as to be viewd by sunshine of her eyes)
Bid her take heede in spilling guiltlesse blood,
tell her there’s danger in such cruelties:
VVith this, hee gaue it to the messenger,
Who (making speed) in short time brought it her.

Shee, when shee heard from whom the Letter came,
returnes it backe againe, and straight replied,
My friend (quoth she) hadst thou not told his name
perhaps thy Letter, had not beene denied:
VVhereat shee paus’d; but yet ile see (quoth shee)
With what perswading termes, he flatters mee.

Twas quickly read; (God knowes it was but short)
griefe would not let the wryter tedious be,
Nor would it suffer him fit words to sort,
but pens it (chaos-like) confusedly.
Yet had it passion to haue turn’d hard stones
To liquid moisture, if they heard his moanes.
[Pg 80]
But cruell shee, more hard then any flint,
worse then a Tygresse of Hyrcania,
Would not be mou’d, nor could his lines take print
in her hard hart, so cruell was Gyneura.
Shee which once lou’d him deerly, (too too well)
Now hates him more then any tongue can tell.

Oh Nature, chiefest Mother of vs all,
why did you giue such apt-beleeuing harts
To women-kind, that thus poore men inthrall,
and will not dulie waie true loues desarts?
O had their harts been like vnto their face,
They sure had been of some celestiall race.

Shee pittiles, sends backe to Dom Diego,
and sayes, his words cannot inchant her hart,
Vlisses-like, shee will not heare Calypso,
nor lend her eares to such intising arte.
Bid him (quoth she) frō henceforth cease to write,
Tell him his Letters agrauate my spight.

Full heauie newes it was to stainelesse loue,
to him that had enshrin’d her in his thought,
And in his hart had honor’d her aboue
the world; to whō all else saue her seem’d nought.
Nay, vnto him, whose person, wit, and faire,
Might surely with the best make iust compare.
[Pg 81]
But (blinded as shee was) shee steemes him not,
hate and disdaine doe neuer brooke respect,
Shee did not knowe that beauties foulest blot
consisted in true-louing harts neglect.
No, she (more stubborne thē the North-east wind)
VVould not admit such knowledge in her mind.

Let those who guiltleslie haue felt disdaine,
whose faithfull loue hath beene repaid with hate,
Giue rightfull iudgement of Diegoes paine
who bought his fauours at the highest rate.
This newes such pleasure in his soule had bred,
As hath the thiefe that heares his iudgement read.

After some time, hee writes againe vnto her,
hee could not thinke shee would perseuer so,
But when hee sawe her aunswere like the other
hee then surceas’d to send her any moe.
But did resolue to seeke some vncouth place,
VVhere he might (vnfound out) bewaile his case.

Thinking indeede shee by his absence might
at length intenerate her flintfull hart,
And metamorphize her conceaued spight
into true loue regardaunt of his smart;
Hee seekes all meanes (poore Louer) how to gaine
His rigorous Lady from such fell disdaine.
[Pg 82]
At last, hee calls to mind the Pyren Mountaines,
those far-fam’d, woody hills of wealthy Spaine,
Which for wild Beasts, & siluer visag’d Fountaines,
hath got the praise of all that there remaine;
Hether postes Dom Diego fraught with griefe,
Hoping those woods would yield him some reliefe.

VVhere, being come, all Pilgrim-like attir’d,
hee pryes about to see if hee could finde,
Some house-like Caue, for rest hee much desir’d,
his body now was wearie, as his minde.
O Gods (quoth hee) if youth finde such distresse,
VVhat hope haue I, of future happines.

VVith that hee sees a Rocke made like a Cabin
all tapistred with Natures mossie greene,
VVrought in a frizled guise, as it had been
made for Napæa, Mountaines chiefest Queene,
At mouth of which grew Cedars, Pines, & Firs,
And at the top grew Maple, Yough, and Poplers.

So, heere (quoth hee) ile rest my wearied bodie
in thee (delightfull place of Natures building)
VVill I erect a griefe-fram’d Monasterie,
where night & day my prayers ile ne’re cease yielding,
To thee my deere; (no other Saint I haue)
Oh lend thine eares, to him that his hart gaue.
[Pg 83]
Two dayes were spent in this so pleasant seate,
(this stone-built Pallace of the King content)
Before Diego tasted any meate,
or once did drinke, more then his eyes had lent.
O irresisted force of purest Loue,
Whom paines, thirst, hunger, can no whit remoue.

Sometimes, when as he scans her crueltie,
& feeles his paines (like Hydreas head) increasing,
Hee wisht the Scithian Anthropophagie
did haunt these woods that liue by mans flesh eating;
Or else the Thracian Bessi, so renound,
For cruell murdring, whom in woods they found.

That so the Gordyon knot of his paine
indissoluble e’rewhiles he did lyue,
Might be vntide when as his hart were slaine,
when he (ô restfull time) shold cease to grieue;
But yet the Sisters kept his vitall breath,
They would not let him dye so base a death.

Some other times when as he waies her beautie,
her Venus-stayning face so wondrous faire,
Hee then doth thinke to waile tis but his dutie
sith caus’d by her that is without compaire,
And in this moode vnto high Ioue hee prayes,
And praying so, hee thus vnto him sayes.
[Pg 84]
Great Gouernour of (wheele-resembling) Heauen,
commaund thy vnder Princes to mayntaine,
Those heauēly parts which to my loue th’aue giuen,
ô let her ne’re feele death, or deaths fell paine.
And first vpon thy Sister lay thy mace,
Bid her maintayne my Loues maiestick grace.

Inioyne the strange-borne mother-lesse Mynerua,
and her to whom the fomie Sea was Mother,
Still to vphold their giftes in my Gyneura:
let wit and beautie lyue vnited with her;
With sweete mouth’d Pytho I may not suspence,
Great Goddesse; still increase her eloquence.

Thou musicall Apollo gau’st her hand,
and thou her feete (great Sun-Gods deerest loue)
To such your rare-knowne gyfts all gracious stand;
and now at last this doe I craue great Ioue,
That when they dye (perhaps they dye aboue)
Thou wilt bequeath these gyfts vnto my Loue.

On euery neighbour Tree, on euery stone
(hee durst not far range from his secure Caue)
VVould he cut out the cause of all his moane,
and curiouslie with greatest skill ingraue:
There needed no Leontius, his Art,
Griefe carueth deepest, if it come from th’hart.
[Pg 85]
VVhen some stone would not impression take
hee straight compares it to his Mistris hart,
But stay, (quoth he) my working teares shall make
thee penetrable with the least skil’d art.
Oh had my teares such force to pierce her mind,
These sorrowes I should loose, and new ioyes find.

Thou euer-memorable stone (quoth hee)
tell those whom fate or fortune heere shall lead,
How deerely I haue lou’d the cruel’st shee
that euer Nature or the world hath bred.
Tell them her hate, and her disdaine was causelesse,
Oh, leaue not out to tell how I was guiltlesse.

Whereat, the very stone would seeme to weepe,
whose wrinkled face wold be besmeard with tears
O man what ere thou be, thy sorrowes keepe
vnto thy selfe, quoth hee; ile heare no cares.
Tell them that care not, tell Gyneura of thee,
We stones are ruthfull, & thy plaints haue pierc’d mee.

VVith this, hee seekes a russet-coated Tree,
& straight disclothes him of his long-worne weed
And whilest hee thus disroabes him busilie,
hee felt his halfe-dead hart a fresh to bleed.
Greeuing that hee should vse such crueltie,
To turne him naked to his foe, windes furie.
[Pg 86]
But now vncas’ed, hee gins to carue his cares,
his passions, his constant-lyuing Loue,
When (loe) there gushes out cleere sap like teares
which to get forth from pryson mainly stroue,
Since pitty dwells (quoth hee) in trees and stone,
Them will I loue; Gyneura, thou hast none.

Yet needs I must confesse thou once didst loue mee,
thy loue was hotter then Nimphæum hill,
But now whē time affords me, means to proue thee,
thy loue then Caucase is more cold and chill,
And in thy cold, like Aethiopyan hue,
Thou art not to be chang’d from false to true.

O looke (faire Loue) as in the springing Plant
one branch intwines and growes within another,
So growe my griefes; which makes my hart to pant
when thicke-fetcht sighes my vitall breath doth smother,
I spoild my cruelty am adiudg’d to death,
Thus all alone to yield my lyuing breath.

Thou hast the fayrest face that e’re was seene,
but in thy breast (that Alablaster Rocke)
Thou hast a fouler hart; disdaine hath beene
accounted blacker then the Chimnies stocke.
O purifie thy soule my dearest Loue,
Dislodge thy hate, and thy disdaine remoue.
[Pg 87]
But all in vaine I speake vnto the wind,
then should they carry these my plaints vnto her,
Mee thinks thou still shouldst beare a gentle mind,
(deere-louing Zephire) pray, intreate, & woo her;
Tell her twere pittie I should dye alone,
Here in these woods wher non can heare me mone.

But tis no matter, shee is pittylesse
like the Scycilian stone that more tis beate
Doth waxe the harder; stones are not so ruthlesse,
which smallest drops doe pierce though nere so great:
If Seas of teares would weare into her hart,
I had ere this beene eased of my smart.

Thus in these speeches would Diego sit
bathing his siluer cheekes with trickling teares,
VVhich (often running downe) at last found fit
channells to send them to their standing meares,
VVho at his feete (before his feete there stood
A poole of teares) receau’d the smaller flood.

Ne’re had the world a truer louing hart,
Abydos cease to speake of constant loue,
Por sure (thou Sygnior Dom Diego) art
the onely man that e’re hates force did proue;
Thy changelesse loue hath close inrol’d thy name,
In steele-leau’d booke of euer-lyuing fame.
[Pg 88]
That wide-mouth’d time wc swallows good desarts
shall shut his iawes, & ne’re deuoure thy name,
Thou shalt be crown’d with bayes by louing harts,
and dwell in Temple of eternall Fame;
There, is a sacred place reseru’d for thee,
There, thou shalt liue with perpetuitie.

So long liu’d poore Diego in this case
that at the length hee waxed somwhat bold,
To search the woods where hee might safely chase,
(necessitie, thy force cannot be told)
The fearefull Hare, the Connie, and the Kid,
Time made him knowe the places where they bid.

This young-year’d Hermit, one day mong the rest
as hee was busilie prouiding meate,
VVhich was with Natures cunning almost drest,
dri’d with the Sunne new readie to be eate,
Inrag’d vpon a suddaine throwes away
His hard-got foode; and thus began to say.

O cruell starres, Step-mothers of my good,
& you, you ruthlesse Fates what meane you thus,
So greedely to thirst for my harts blood,
why ioy you so in vnuniting vs?
Great powres infuse some pitty in her hart
That thus hath causelesse caus’d in me this smart.
[Pg 89]
I ne’re was wont to vse such Cookerie,
to drudge & toile whē pesants take their pleasure,
My noble birth scornes base-borne slauerie,
this easelesse lyfe hath neither end nor measure;
Thou great Sosipolis looke vpon my state,
Be of these nere-hard griefes compassionate.

I feele my long-thought life begin to melt
as doth the snowe gainst midday heate of Sunne,
(Faire loue) thy rigour I haue too much felt,
oh, at the last with crueltie haue done,
If teares thy stonie hart could mollifie,
My brinish springs should floe eternallie.

Sweet loue, behold those pale cheekes washt in woe
that so my teares may as a mirror be,
Thine owne faire shaddowe liuely for to shoe,
and portraite forth thy Angel-hued beautie.
Narcissus-lyke then shouldst thou my face kisse,
More honny sweete, then Venus gaue Adonis.

Feare not Gyneura, faire Narcissus hap;
thy necke, thy breast, thy hand is Lilly-white,
They all are Lillies tane from Floraes lap;
ne’re be thou chang’d vnlesse to loue from spite,
Oh that thou wer’t but then transformed so,
My Sommers blisse, would change my winters woe.
[Pg 90]
If thou did’st knowe in what a loathsome place,
I spend my dayes sad and disconsolate,
VVhat foggie Stigian mists hang o re my face,
thou would’st exile this thy conceaued hate;
This Hemisphere is darke, for Sol him shroudes,
My sighes doe so conglomerate the cloudes.

I tolde thee, I, (thou cruell too seuere)
when hate first gan to rise how I was guiltlesse,
Thine eares were deaffe, ye wouldst not harken ere
thy hart was hardned, rockie, pittilesse.
Oh had mine eyes been blind whē first they view’d thee,
Would God I had been tonglesse whē I sew’d thee.

But thou wast then as readie to receaue
as I to craue; ô great inconstancie,
O twas that fatall houre did so bereaue
my blisfull soule of all tranquillitie:
Thou then didst burne in loue, now froz’d in hate,
Yet pittie mee, sweete mercy ne’re comes late.

Looke as the crazen tops of armelesse Trees
or latest down-fall of some aged building,
Doe tell thee of the North-windes boistrous furies,
and how that Eolus lately hath beene stirring;
So in my thin-cheekt face thou well maist see,
The furious storme of thy black crueltie.
[Pg 91]
But thou inexorable art, ne’re to be wone,
though Lyons, Bears, & Tigers haue been tam’d,
Thy wood borne rigour neuer will be done,
which thinks for this thou euer shalt be fam’d;
True, so thou shalt, but fam’d in infamie,
Is worse then lyuing in obscuritie.

If thou didst knowe howe greeuous tis to me
to lyue in this vnhabited aboade,
Where none (but sorrowe) keepes me companie,
I know thou wouldst thy harts hate then vnload,
Oh, I did ne’re deserue this miserie,
For to denie the truth were heresie.

I tell thee (Loue) when secret-tongued night
puts on her mistie sable-coloured vayle,
My wrangling woes, within them selues do fight,
they murder hope, which makes their Captaine wayle,
And wailing so, can neuer take his rest,
That keepes such vnrul’d Souldiers in his brest.

So when the cleere nights-faults-disclosing day
peepes forth her purple head, from out the East,
These woes (my Souldiers) crie out for their pay,
(and if deni’d) they stab mee, with vnrest;
My teares are pay, but all my teares are dride
Therefore I must their fatall blowes abide.
[Pg 92]
In these laments did Dom Diego liue
long time; till at the last by pourefull fate,
A wandring Huntsman ignorance did driue
vnto the place whence hee return’d but late;
Who viewing well the print of humaine steps
Directly followed them, and for ioy leaps.

At last hee came vnto Diegoes Caue
in which he sawe a sauadge man (hee thought)
Who much did looke like the Danubyan slaue,
such deep-worn furrows in his face were wrought,
Diego much abashed at this sight
Came running forth, him in his armes to plight.

For glad hee was (God knowes) to see a man,
who (wretch) in two yeres space did ne’re see any
Such gladnes, ioy, such mirth, such triumph can
not be set downe, suppose them to be many.
But see, long had they not confer’d together,
When (happie time) each one did know the other.

VVith that Diego shewes him all his loue,
his pennance, her first loue, & now her hate,
But hee requested him hence to remoue,
and at his house the rest hee should dilate,
Which hee deni’d, onely hee now doth write
By this his friend, vnto his harts delight.
[Pg 93]
Deere Loue (quoth he) when shall I home returne,
whē will the coales of hate be quencht with loue,
VVhich now in raging flames my hart do burne,
oh, when wilt thou this thy disdaine remoue;
Aske of this bearer, be inquisitiue,
And hee will tell thee in what case I liue.

Inquire of her, whose Hawke hath caus’d this woe,
if for that fauour euer I did loue her,
And shee will curse mee that did vse her so,
and shee will tell thee how I lou’d another;
Twas thee Gyneura, twas thy fairest selfe,
I hel’d thee as a Pearle, her drossie pelfe.

Then, when thou hast found out the naked truth,
thinke of thy Diego, and his hard hap,
Let it procure in thee some mouing ruth,
that thus hast causelesse cast him from thy lap:
Fare-well my deere, I hope this shall suffize,
To ad a period to thy cruelties.

The Messenger to spurre forth her desires,
and hasten her vnto his well-lou’d friend,
Tells her, how hee lyes languishing in fires
of burning griefes, which neuer will haue end:
Bids her to flye to him with wings of zeale,
And thus Diegoes paines hee doth reueale.
[Pg 94]
Oh Adamantick-minded Mayde (quoth hee)
why linger you in this ambiguous thought,
Open thine eyes, no longer blinded bee,
those wounding lookes, thy Louer, deere hath bought.
Vnbolt thy harts strong gate of hardest steele,
O let him nowe the warmth of pittie feele.

Oh let him now the warmth of pittie feele,
that long hath knockt cold-staruen at thy dore;
Wanting loues foode hee here & there doth reele
lyke to a storme-tost Ship that’s far from shore.
Feede him with loue that long hath fed on cares,
Be Anchor to his soule that swims in teares.

Gyneura, let him harbour in thy hart
rig and amend his trouble-beaten face,
O calme thy hate, whose winds haue rais’d his smart
see him not perrish in this wofull case.
And for in Sea-salt teares hee long hath liu’d,
Let him by thy fresh water be relieu’d.

Oh, shall I tell thee how I found him there,
his house wherein hee liu’d (if lyue hee did,
Or rather spend his time in dying feare)
was built within the ground, all darksom hid.
From Phœbus light, so vgly, hell-lyke Caue,
In all the world againe you cannot haue.
[Pg 95]
All made of rug’d hard-fauour’d stones,
whose churlish lookes afford the eye no pleasure,
In whose concauity winds breath’d horce grones,
to which sad musicke Sorrow daunc’d a measure.
O’regrowne it was with mighty shadefull Trees,
VVhere poore Diego Sun nor Moone nere sees.

To this black place repaired euery morne,
The fayre Oreades pitty-moued gerles,
Bringing the poore Diego so forlorne,
Mosse to dry vp his teares, those liquid pearles:
Full loath they were to loose such christall springs,
Therfore this Spunge-like Mosse each of thē brings.

Here dry (say they) thou loue-forsaken man,
those glassy Conduits, which do neuer cease
On this soft-feeling weede; and if you can,
we all intreate, your griefes you would appease,
Else wilt thou make vs pine in griefe-full woe,
That nere knewe care, or loue, or friend, or foe.

Straight (like a shooting Commet in the ayre)
away depart these sorrow-peirced maydes,
Leauing Diego in a deepe dispaire,
who now, his fortune, now his fate vp-braides.
O heauens (quoth he) how happy are these trees,
That know not loue, nor feele his miseries.
[Pg 96]
Melts not thy hart (Gyneura) at his cares?
are not thy bright transparent eyes yet blinde
VVith monstrous diluge of o’reflowing teares?
remaines there yet disdaines within thy mind?
Disgorge thy hate, O hate him not that loues thee,
Maids are more milde thē men, yet pitty moues me.

Breake, breake in peeces that delicious chest,
whiter then snow on Hyperboreall hyll,
Chase out disdaine, depriue him of his rest,
murder and mangle him that rules thy will.
Be it nere sayd that faire Gyneuraes beauty,
Was ouer-peiz’d by causelesse cruelty.

Cruell to him that merrits curtesie,
loathed of thee that doth deserue all loue,
Basely reiected, scorn’d most churlishly,
that honors thee aboue the Saints aboue.
True loue is pricelesse, rare, and therefore deere,
VVe feast not royall Kings with homely cheere.

Too long it were to tell thee all his merits,
for in delay consists his long-lookt death,
Post-hast of thine must now reuiue his spirits,
or shortly he will gaspe his latest breath;
Speake faire Gyneura, speake as I desire,
Or let thy vaine-breath’d speeches back retyre.
[Pg 97]
Looke, as a man late taken from a trance,
standes gazing heere and there in sencelesse wise,
Not able of himselfe his head t’aduance,
but standeth like a stone in death-like guise,
So lookt Gyneura, hanging downe her head,
Shaming that folly her so much had led.

Repentant sorrow would not let her speake,
the burning flames of griefe did dry her teares,
Yet at the last, words out of prison breake,
that long’d to vtter her harts inward cares:
And stealingly there glides with heauy pace
A Riuolet of Pearle along her face.

O cease (quoth she) to wound me any more,
with oft repeating of my cruelties,
Thou of thy teares (kind man) hast shed great store,
when I (vnkinder mayde) scarce wet mine eyes.
O let me now bewaile him once for all,
Twas none but I that causd his causelesse thrall.

Eternall Ioue, rayne showers of vengeance on me,
plague me for this blacke deed of wrongful hate,
Be blind mine eyes, they shall not looke vpon thee
Diego, till thou be compassionate:
And when thou doost forgiue what I haue done,
Then shall they shine like shortest-shaded sunne.
[Pg 98]
O slacke thy swift-pac’d gallop winged Tyme,
turne backe, and register this my disdaine;
Bid Poets sing my hate in ruthfull ryme,
and pen sad Iliads of Diegoes paine:
Let them be writ in plain-seene lines of glasse,
To shew how louing he, I, cruell was.

Hereat shee pausd, tell me sweet sir quoth shee,
how I might see my deere-embosom’d friend,
That now (if what is past may pardned be)
vnto his griefes I may impose an end;
Where-with they both agreed, that the next day,
They would eniourney them without more stay.

Long were they not, Desire still goes on Ice,
and nere can stay tell that he hath his wish,
Mens willing mindes each thing doth soone intice,
to hast to yt which they would faine accomplish.
But that they came (as hauing a good guide)
Vnto the place where they Diego spide.

Sacred Pymplæides endip my quill
within the holy waters of your spring,
Infuze into my braine some of your skill,
that ioyfully of these I now may sing:
These Louers now twixt whom late dwelt annoy,
Swymming in seas of ouer-whelming ioy.
[Pg 99]
But, pardon mee you Dames of Helycon,
for thus inuoking your diuinest ayde,
Which was by me (vnworthy) call’d vpon,
at your rare knowledge I am much dismaide;
My barren-witted braines are all too base,
To be your sacred learnings resting place.

Thus, of themselues, in pleasures extasie,
these Louers now embrace them in theyr armes,
Speechlesse they are, eye counterfixt on eye,
like two that are coniur’d by magique charmes.
So close their armes were twin’d, so neer they came
As if both man and woman were one frame.

In th’end, (as doth a Current lately stayd,
rush mainly forth his long-imprisoned flood)
So brake out words; and thus Dyego sayd,
what my Gyneura? O my harts chiefe good,
Ist possible that thou thy selfe should’st daigne
In seeing me to take so wondrous paine.

Oh, speake not of my paine (my deerest loue)
all paine is pleasure that I take for thee,
Thou that so loyall and so true doost proue,
might scorne mee now, so credulous to be:
Then sweet Diego, let vs now returne,
And banish all things that might make vs mourne.
[Pg 100]
Twere infinite to tell of their great gladnes,
theyr amorous greetings, & their soules delight,
Diego now had exil’d griefe and sadnes,
rauisht with ioy whilst he enioyde her sight.
Let it suffise, they homeward now retire,
Which suddaine chance both men & maids admire.

Gyneura now delights but in his presence,
shee cannot once endure him from her sight,
His loue-ful face is now her soules sole essence,
and on his face shee dotes both day and night.
She nere did once disdaine him halfe so much,
As now she honors him, loues force is such.

Diego now wrapt in a world of pleasure,
imparadiz’d in hauing his desire,
Floting in Seas of ioy aboue all measure,
sought means to mittigate loues burning fire,
VVho walking with his loue alone one day,
Discharg’d his minde, and thus began to say.

O faire Gyneura, how long wil’t be
ere safron-robed Hymen doe vnite vs?
My soule doth long that happy howre to see.
O let the angry Fates no longer spight vs,
Lingring delays will teare my greeued hart,
Let me no longer feele so painefull smart.
[Pg 101]
Gyneura, which desir’d it as her life,
tells him that paine shall shortly haue a cure,
Shortly quoth she, Ile be thy married wife,
ty’de in those chaynes which euer wil endure,
Be patient then, and thou shalt plainly see,
In working it, how forward I will be.

And so she was; no time dyd she mispend,
wherein shee gets not things in readines,
That might to Hymens rites full fitly tend,
or once conduce to such theyr happines,
All things prepar’d, these Louers now are chayned
In marriage bands, in which they long remained.

These, whilst they liu’d, did liue in all content,
contending who should loue each other most,
To wc pure loue, proude Fame her eares down lent,
and through the world, of it doth highly boast.
O happy he to whom loue comes at last,
That will restore what hate before did wast.
{ Then (deerest loue) Gyneuryze at the last, }
{ And I shall soone forget what ere is past. }

And now farewel, when I shal fare but ill,
flourish & ioy, whē I shal droope and languish,
All plentious good awaite vpon thy will,
whē extreame want shal bring my soule deaths anguish.
[Pg 102]Forced by thee (thou mercy-wanting mayd)
must I abandon this my natiue soyle,
Hoping my sorrowes heate will be allayd
by absence, tyme, necessity or toyle.
So, nowe adiew; the winds call my depart.
Thy beauties excellence, my rudest quill
Shall neuer-more vnto the world impart,
so that it know thy hate, I haue my will;
And when thou hear’st that I for thee shall perrish,
Be sorrowfull. And henceforth true loue cherrish.
Poco senno basta a chi Fortuna suona.
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[Pg 103]

Text of Title Page

[Pg 104]



[Pg 105]


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To his belooued; the
Praise where so er’t be found, if it be due,
Shall no vaine cullour neede to set it foorth:
Why should I idely then extoll the worth,
Which heere (dere friend) I finde belong to you.
And if I er’d, full well the learned knewe,
How wide, amisse my mark I taken had,
Since they distinguish can the good from bad.
And through the varnish well discerne the hewe
Be glad therefore, this makes for you, and knowe,
When wiser Readers, heere shall fixe their sight,
For vertues sake, they will doe vertue right.
So shalt thou not (Friend) vnrewarded goe,
Then boldly on, good fortune to thy Muse,
Should all condemne, thou canst as well excuse.



[Pg 106]


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To his Louing friend and
Thamis nere heard a Song equall to this,
Although the Swan that ow’d this present quill
Sung to that Eccho, her owne Epitaph
As proude to die, and render up her wing
To Venus Swan, who doth more pleasing sing,
Produce thy worke & tell the powerfull tale.
Of naked Cupid, and his mothers will
My selfe I doe confine from Helicon,
As loath to see the other Muses nine,
So imodestlie eye shoot, and gaze uppon
Their new borne enuie: this tenth Muse of thine,
Which in my selfe I doe in thee admire,
As Aesops Satire the refulgent fire,
Which may me burn, (I mean with amorous flame
In reading, as the kissing that did him.
[Pg 107]And happie Mirrha that he rips thy shame,
Since he so queintly doth expresse thy sin,
Many would write, but see mens workes so rare,
That of their owne they instantly dispaire.

Robert Glouer.



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[Pg 108]


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To his esteemed friend.
Not for our friendship, or for hope of gaine
Doth my pen run so swiftly in thy praise:
Court-seruile flatterie I doe disdaine,
“Enuie like Treason, stil it selfe betraies.
This worke Detractions sting, doth disinherit:
He that giues thee all praise, giues but thy merrit.

Lewes Machin.


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[Pg 109]



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To his respected friend.
Poet, nor art thou without due desert, stil’d by that name:
Though folly smile, and enuy frowne, to heare the same.
Yet those who read thy worke with due respect,
Will place thee with the worthiest of that sect.
Then let not ignorance, nor enuie mooue thee
Thou hast done well, they do not that reproue thee:
Yet some (true worth nere wants an opposite) will Carpers be:
Grieue not at this, not vertues selfe can scape their obloquie,
But giue the raynes vnto these baser spirits,
Whose Iudgements cannot paralell thy merrits,
Such fooles (to seeme iudicious) take in hand,
To censure what they doe not vnderstand.
[Pg 110]Yet cannot they detract, or wrong thy worth, maugre their spight:
For thou doost chaunt incestuous Myrrha forth, with such delight,
And with such gouldē phrase gild’st ore her crime
That what’s moste diabolicall, seemes deuine.
and who so but begins the same to reade
Each powerfull line, attracts him to proceede.
Then since he best deserues the Palme to weare, Who wins the same:
Doe thou alone injoy those sweets, which beare thy Mirrhas name.
And euer weare in memorie of her,
an anademe of odoriferous Mirrhe,
and let Apollo, thinke it no dispraise,
To weare thy Mirrhe, & ioyne it with his bayes.

William Bagnall.


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[Pg 111]


I Sing the ruine of a beautious Maide,
White as my paper, or loues fairest Doue,
shine bright Apollo, Muse be not affraide,
Although thou chauntest of vnnaturall loue.
Great is my quill, to bring foorth such a birth,
as shall abash the Virgins of our earth.
smoake Goulden censors vpon Paphos shrine,
drinke deep Leneus to this worke of mine.
[Pg 112]
Cupid to Thracia went to heare a Song
of Orpheus, to whome euen Tygers came,
And left their sauage Nature, if there long
they did with his sweet Melodie remaine.
Wolues lost their preyes, and by signes praid him sing
Beasts left the Lyon, and chose him their King.
Cecropian Apes did on his musicke waite,
Yet of them all, not one could immitate.

Tis saide when Orpheus dyed, he did descend
To the infernall, so the Furies boast:
Where now they giue him leaue his eies to bend
without all feare, on her whome he once lost,
By a regardant looke, but tis not so:
Ioue not reseru’d such musicke for belowe,
But placed him amongst celestiall stars,
To keep the Scorpion, Lyon, Beare from Iars.
[Pg 113]
For euer since the fall of Phaeton,
that then displaced, them they were at strife
For their degrees, till his alluring Tone.
who though in death hath the office of his life.
Though more diuinely: and where he attracts,
More glorious bodies to admire his actes.
Faire stranger shape of creature, and of beast,
With his concordant tunes, plac’d them in rest.

The Dittie was (and Cupid lent an eare)
Vpon the death of his Euridice:
Which still he sung, as if his former feare,
Of loosing her was now, or else would be.
The Eccho beate the noyse vp to the Spheares,
And to his passionate song, Gods bent their eares.
It was a signe, he was new come from hell,
Their tunes so sad, he immitates so well.
[Pg 114]
Such passion it did strike vpon the earth,
that Daphnes roote groan’d for Apollo’s wrong:
Hermophrodite wept shewers and wisht his birth
had neuer bin, or that he more had clung
To Salmacis, and Clitie grieued in vaine:
Leueothoes wrong, the occasion of her baine,
my wilful eie (this should the burthen be)
Hath rob’d me of, twice slaine Euridice.

Cicnus stil proud though he confuted be,
for Phaetons losse, would needs afresh complaine
Thinking therewith to singe as sweet as he,
but pittiles he sung and dyed in vaine.
Eccho was pleas’d with voice resounding brim
as proud to loose her shape to answer him.
Hether resorted more then wel could heare,
but on my Muse, & speake what chansed there.
[Pg 115]
Amongst the rest of Vesta-vowed Girles,
came Mirrha (whose thoughts no guile then knew)
Like a bright diamond circled with pearls,
whose radiant eye delt lustre to the hew
Of all the dames; whose face so farre aboue
though the rest (beautious all) vnwounded made loue, loue
for neuer since Spiches was made a star
did he see nature excel art so far.

He chāg’d his shape, his wings he oft hath torne,
and like a hunter to this nimph he came:
With gold tipt Iauelin and a bugle Horne,
such as they beare to make the Lyon tame:
First did he kisse hir hand, which then did melt
with loue’s impression, Cupid the like felt:
Stroke dumbe, he stood in an vnwonted guise,
such magicke beawtie carries in her eies.
[Pg 116]
At length (quoth he) should I not say I loue,
I should both Cupid and his Mother wrong:
By thee faire Maid a power farre aboue,
My heart is the true index of my tongue.
And by my naked wordes you may discouer,
I am not traded like a common Louer.
Rare obiects, rare amazements bred, tis true:
And their effects are tryed in me by you.

My barren braine, can bless me with no store
Of able Epithits, so what praise I giue
Makes not you ritcher though it makes me poore
therefore in vaine against the streame I striue,
Th’ore curious painter, meaning to excell,
Oft marres the worke, the which before was well,
And he shall dazeled be, and tyred soone,
That leuelleth his shafts to hit the Moone.
[Pg 117]
With this, she turnd her blushing head aside,
& vail’d her face with lawne, not halfe so white
That euen the blending roses were espyed
despight the cloudes, that hid them in despight
She threw her thin breath through the lawne, and said
Leaue gentle youth, do not thus snare a maid
I came to Orpheus Song, good then forbeare,
It is his tune, nor yours can charme mine eare.

Let Orpheus learne (quoth he) of thee to sing,
Bid him charme men Mirrha as thou canst doe:
Let him tame Man, that is the Lyons King,
And lay him prostrate at his feete belowe,
As thou canst doe: nor Orpheus nor the spheares
Haue Tones like thee, to rauish mortall eares,
Yea, were this Thracian Harper Iudge to tell,
(As thee) hee’d sweare he sung not halfe so wel.
[Pg 118]
Nor dying Swans, nor Phebus when he loue’s,
equals thy voice (though he in musicke courts)
and as the God whose voice the firm earth moues
making the terrors of the great, his sports,
Whose first word strooke into the Chaos light;
so if that contrary thou take delight,
at thy word, darknes would or’e-cloude the ayre
and the fayrest day giue place to thee more faire.

Fame hath resing’d her lasting Trump to thee,
as to the worthyer, then thy fame display:
Tell Venus thou art fairer farre then she,
For thine own worth becomes thee best to say,
Time will stand still, the sunne in motion stay,
Sirens be mute to heare thee speake of Mirrha,
Thy voice, if heard in the low shades should be
Would a third time fetch back Euridice.
[Pg 119]
Giue eare eternall wonder to a swaine,
Twas writ in starres that I should see that face;
And seeing loue, and in that loue be slaine,
if beautie pittie not my wretched case.
Fortune and loue, the starres and powers diuine,
Haue all betraide me to those eyes of thine.
O proue not then more crueller thē they,
Loues shaftes & fates wheeles, who hath power to stay.

Stay there (quoth she) giue backe those powers their owne
or not impose their powerful force on me:
Haue I the least word or the least glance thrown
To make you attribute what’s destinie
Vnto my beautie: if loue and fate you wound,
Throw vowes to thē, their altars are soone found.
Wouldst thou haue me pittie before they doe?
Loue’s blinde, and fortun’s deafe, so am I too.
[Pg 120]
I know not loue, sure tis a subtle thing,
I, by these blushes that thy charmes haue raisd,
T’allay more quiet’ tell loues little king,
I serue a Mistres he himselfe hath praisd
Though he enuy, a rare and sacred floure,
Whom he had will to wrong, but never power.
Now Cupid hangs the head, and melts in shame,
for she did vtter Vestas holy name.

And as you see a woman teeming young,
bearing the growing burthen of her wounb:
Missing the dainty she hath lookt for long,
falls straight in pastionate sicknes pale & dumb
(for seeing she hath lost it) will not tell,
for what she in this forced pastion fell.
So when his hopes were lost, he would not say,
what was the cause, but this to her did laye.
[Pg 121]
Virgin beware that fire within thy brest,
to Vesta dedicate do not expire:
as she must warie be that is the best
to keepe it, it is knowne no lasting fier.
The fuell cold fruitelesse Virginitie,
which if zeale blow not violent, wil so one die:
This stricts a virgins life, and who but knowes,
that loue and chastitie, were euer foes.

And if ere loue assaile those virgins forts,
those Iuory bulwarkes that defend your heart:
Though he be king of sportes he neuer sports,
when as he wounds, but playes the Tirants part
And so much more he wil triūph oure thee,
by how much thou contents his deitie:
I know you to be chaste, but yet faire Mayd,
if ere you loue youle finde what I haue sayd.
[Pg 122]
Sir (quoth she) when I loue you shall be mine:
but know the time, when you shall claime me your’s
When as the fire extinct as Vestaes shrine:
and Venus leaues to haunt the Papheon bowres,
When men are perfect friendes Tigers at peace,
Discord in heauen, and powers diuine doe cease,
when Fortune sleeps & the north star doth moue
whē Turtles leaue to mourne their mates, ile loue.

Ere this was ended, Orpheus song was done,
And all the Virgins fell into their rankes,
Each tooke their leaue of him, so did the sunne,
who now was poasting to the westerne banckes
and the wild beasts, whô he had made more tame,
seem’d to depart with reuerence at his name.
Each one gaue place to Mirrha as their duetie,
She being preferr’d in state, first as in beautie.
[Pg 123]
Now Cupid of her his last leaue doth take,
so haue I seene a soule and body part:
He begs a chaste kisse for her mothers sake,
and vowes she shall be soueraigne of his heart.
But whether he disembling did it, or twa’s fate,
(As extream’st loue, turnes to the direst hate)
Being repulst, but this kisse did inspire,
her brest with an infernall and vnnam’d desire.

Night like a masque was entred heauens greate hall
with thousand torches vshering the way:
The complements of parting were done all,
& homewards Orpheus chaunteth many a lay;
Venus had sent her coach, drawn by a Doue,
For little Cupid the great God of loue.
& this hath sprung (as men haue sayen of yore)
For Mirrhas sake he vow’d to loue no more.
[Pg 124]
Blacke as my inck now must my verse commence
You blushing girles, and parents siluer-gray:
As farre as Trace from vs, so farre from hence
goe, that you may not heare me say,
A daughter did with an adulterous head,
And heauie lust, presse downe her fathers bed,
such Songs as these more fit the Tartars cares,
had Orpheus sung it, beasts had pour’d out teares.

Vnhallowed lust, for loues lies drownd in poison
in what blacke ornament shall I attire thee?
Since I must write of thy so sad confusion,
shall I say Cupid with his brand did fire thee?
Accuse the Fates, or thee shall I accuse?
Mirrha weepes yet, onely say this my Muse:
wise destinie, true loue and mortall thought,
would nere confirme this, the furies brought this.
[Pg 125]
She loues her Father, Daughter nere lou’d so,
for as her mother lou’d so lou’d she him:
Thirsting in fire those softer sweetes to know,
Amidst whose waues, Uenus in pride doth swim
So young she was, yet that her father kist her.
Which she so duely lookes for he nere mist her,
Yet could he haue conceiu’d as he did after
those kisses rellish much vnlike a daughter.

Giue to her golde of Ophire Indian shels,
Cloath her with Tirian purple skin of beast:
Perfurme her waies with choice Arabian smells,
Present her with the Phœnix in her nest,
Delight her eare with song of poets rare,
All these with Cyneas might naught compare,
“The comfort of the minde being tane away,
“Nectar not pleaseth, nor Ambrosia.
[Pg 126]
The feast of Bacchus at this present time,
Was by the giddie Menades intended
There Mirrha daunc’d, and Orpheus sung in rime
crownd with green thirses, now yet yūhes ended
with praise to Bacchus all depart with spright,
vnto their feastes, feasts that deuoure the night,
for loe, the stars, in trauaile in the skie,
brought forth their brightnes to each waking eye.

High midnight came, and she to bedward hies,
pretending rest, to beguile natures rest:
Anon the gloomy gallerie she spies,
toward her chamber, and she first that blest,
Her care-fild eyes, her fathers picture was
Arm’d but the face, although it dumbe, alasse,
she ask’d and if he call’d, seeing no reply,
she answer’d for her father, and said I.
[Pg 127]
Daughter (quoth she) why art thou thus alone?
Let Doues so mourn girle, yt hath lost their mates
Thine is to come, then prethee cease thy mone,
Care shold not dwel with great & high estates.
Let her that needs and is not faire at all,
Repine at fortune, loue shall be thy thrall,
wing’d as he is, and armed thou shalt see,
(I haue the power to giue) & giue him thee.

Father (quoth she) and spoke with smaller voice,
Nature hath made me yours, yours I must be:
You choose my choice, for in you lies my choice,
Hereat shee starts as what not feares the guiltie:
Thinking the shadowe knew her double sence,
and blushing, in strange feare departeth thence
blaming her selfe, for vttering her blacke fault
to him who armed stood gainst her assault.
[Pg 128]
Anon she spies many a youthfull Lord,
In seuerall Tables, each in seuerall guise;
Whose pictures they had sent with one accord,
To shew their manly features to her eyes,
Whose dumb’d perswasiue images were plac’d,
To see if any in her lookes were grac’d:
But heere in vaine, their faire assayes doe proue
for had they spake they could not win her loue.

Ouer her Mothers shape a vaile she drew,
and weeping, saide: may I nere see thee more:
Poore abus’d image, doost not turne thy hew,
to see so foule an obiect thee before?
Didst thou but know, what’s sprung from out thy wombe,
thy shap cold speak, whilst yt thy self stodst dūbe.
Art would claime Nature in thy heauie woes,
thy shape haue limbs, thy limbs be stiff as those.
[Pg 129]
Anon she leapt on it with ardent heate,
and full of teares, yet falles vppon her backe:
Wishing euen in that griefe the lustfull feate,
Were now perform’d (woemen oft longings lack
down sunck the down, and with so deep impresse
that had Hermaphroditus bin there he might ges
Salmacis were aganie his prostitute,
or one more farte, then to denie her suite.

A strange conceite, had now possest hir braine,
nie equall to her lust, thought innocent:
She gaue vp to desire and leapes amaine,
From the bruisd bed, with bloodie fram’d intēt
To hang her selfe O, me moste wofull theame.
She now espide an hie and sturdie beame:
Many staue liu’d to an vnpittied death,
who might haue dyed sometimes with famed breath.
[Pg 130]
Yet doth she thinke what terror death would be
and on her heart, imprints his Character:
Faine would she die, yet first would pleased be
with damned lust, which death could not deter
O sinne (saies she) thou must be Natures slaue,
In spight of Fate, goe to a pleasing graue.
When I haue sin’d, send Ioue a thunder stroake
and spare thy chosen tree, the harmlesse Oake.

She thinkes againe, and sees nor time nor place,
to quench the thirstines of her parched blood:
Time still ranne on, with an auerted face,
and nothing but her passions did her good.
This thought confoundes her, and she is resoul’d
In deathes bleake azure armes to be inuoul’d.
Fates, you are women, saue your modesties:
sheele kill her selfe, you neede but close her eies.
[Pg 131]
And like as when some suddaine extasie,
seisth the nature of a sicklie man,
When hee’s discernd to swoune, straite by and by
folke by his helpe confusedly haue ran,
And seeking with their art to fetch him backe:
so many throng, that he the ayre doth lacke,
so Mirrha’s thoughts confusedly did stound her.
some adding cōfort, whilst the rest confound her.

Like to a fountaines head, so shew’d her head,
from whence since passion first tooke hold of hir
Two springs did run thorow each flowr-fil’d mead
& at her lips staid, where shee wisht Cynir
Would so haue done: her face with teares run ore,
Like Hebæs Nectar shew’d, spilt on heauens flore.
or as the blomes in May the dewe drops beares,
so Mirrha’s cheeks look’d sprinkl’d with her tears.
[Pg 132]
Her haire, that with such diligence was vsde
To be kemb’d vp & did like clowdes appeare;
Where many spangles, star-like were infus’d,
To attend the lustre of so bright a haire,
Whose beames like bright Arachnes web cōposed
Taught Pallas a new enuie, now vnlosed,
hiding her face, yet making it seeme rarer,
as blazing Commets traine makes the star fairer.

Dispaire that teacheth holy ones to die,
when as affliction ministers her part:
Had breathing now in Mirrha, and well nie,
Like Venus, made her graspe a flaming heart.
Cupid was borne at Etna, a hot sprite,
Whose violence takes edge off from delight.
For men deepe louing, oft themselues so waste,
that proffer’d dainties, they want power to taste.
[Pg 133]
Digresse no farther least thou proue obsceane,
but tell by this how Nurse had broke the dore,
And trembling both through age and feare,
Forgot the naturall sence she had before
Yet with her out-cries from the shades of death,
cald Mirrhas spright, who with vnwilling breath
re-enters flesh, scorning to giue it grace,
with wonted beautie that adorn’d her face.

She tooke the haltar, and held vp her chin,
chafing her temples with a violent heate:
Making her soule returne with torments in,
as it went out, being come vnto retrait,
Nurse heau’d her trembling body on the bed,
Where sinking as in graue, she seemed dead:
Chast had my verse bin, blessed Mirrhas hap,
if here my pen could write thy Epitaph.
[Pg 134]
When hauing gotten ope her heauie eyes,
life-mocking death, with a fresh crimson hew,
she thus bespake: if there be sorceries,
Philters, inchauntments, any furie new
That can inspire with irrelegious fire,
The brest of mortall, that vntam’d desire
Possesseth me, and all my bodies merrit,
Shewes like a faire house, haunted with a spirit.

The foure and twentie windes are not so fierce,
as what doth blow the fewel in my breast:
Not the soft oyle, Apollo did disperse,
on Phaitons brow, to keep his sun-beam’d crest
From face of heauenly fires, could ought preuaile
Gainst raging brāds which my poore heart assaile
scorch’d with materiall flames, wee soone do die
and to purge sins, we imbrace purgatorie.
[Pg 135]
But this a heate that nor in life or death,
can render any humor but dispaire:
Nor can it with the short cut of my breath,
Take hence my shame, that shall suruiue mine heire
Nor can the act (after tis done) content
But brings with it eternall punishment,
lesseneth the pleasure of the world to come,
giues the iudge leaue, & strikes the guiltie dumb.

The iealious nurse, did apprehend her straite,
yet would extract the quintessence of all:
And therefore childe (quoth she) vse no deceipt,
but tel me freely whence these teares doe fall
I am thy nurse, and from my aged brest
Thou hadst thy second being, tell the rest.
I doe coniure thee, by these siluer haires,
which are grown white, the sooner in their cares.
[Pg 136]
If any orped witch of Thessalie,
haue powre vpon thee, gentle-girle relate:
Or if thou haue prophan’d some dietie,
wee shall some misticke fires propogate.
To attone with them or if with barbarous hand
devoy’d of thy first chastitie thou stand;
Vnfold to me; griefes vttered finde redresse:
fires vndescern’d burn the more pittilesse.

Or if the sunne of bewtie shoote at thee
his fiery shafts, O tell me and the rather,
Because thy confidence shal answer’d be,
With this my childe Ile hide it from thy father
As doth a dying man hold fast what so he grasps
so she her feruent armes bout her Nurse claspes
and nuzzels once more twixt those dugs her face
whilst ore those Ilands flow salt teares apace.
[Pg 137]
That word of father was like Persey’s shield,
to make the poore maid stone, now nurse doth threat
Vnlesse she will in gentle manner yeeld,
she would to morrow shew how in a heat
She would haue made away her desperate life,
and she must tell the man that forc’d that strife
within her brest through feare she thus did frame
and made her toung the trumpet of her shame.

Her voyce halfe stopt with sighes (O fatal voice)
pronounc’d these words, yet did the accēts faile:
How blessed is my mother in her choise,
How fully she with nature did preuaile.
This said, her blushing face sinkes in her shroud
like Cinthia muffel’d in an enuious cloud.
When loe, the dying taper in his toombe,
gaue darknes to it selfe and to the roome.
[Pg 138]
Now had she time to waile, and well she might,
Guiltie of sorrow, there might you haue seene:
As glow wormes adde a tincture to the night,
Glimmering in pallid fire, vppon some greene,
mixt with the dew, so did her eyes appeare,
Each goulden glance ioyn’d with a dewy teare,
oft shut her eyes, like starres that portend ill,
with bloody deluge, they their orbes did fill.

The Nurse amated with the latter wordes,
whose aged haires stood vp like siluer wire:
Knew speech was vaine, where will the scope affords
& whispering softly, saies childe thy desire
Ile put into thy armes, sleepe, seize thy head,
Tis now nights no one, all but the stars seem dead,
Our vanities like fire-works will ascend,
Vntil they breake, vncertaine where to end.
[Pg 139]
Neuer did mortall with a vicious thought,
wish to bring vices Embrion to aforme:
But still the prince of darknesse to them brought
occasions fore-locke, which they off have torne.
Sin like a Cedar shadowes all our good:
Whilst vertues bounded like a narrow flood.
As see now, how the occasion of misfortune;
Mirrha’s much abus’d-mother did importune.

Now came the time, of Ceres sacred rite,
and Misteries, when all wives young and olde
Cloathed in vailes, all of transparent white,
Kneele to her, and to the Attick priest vnfolde,
The firstlings of the fiel’d wreath’d gilded corne,
Chaplets of dill, pluckt in a blushing morne,
And many such, nor may they husbands see,
In nine daies, till they end their misterie.
[Pg 140]
Now nurse was double diligent, watching her time
and told old Cynitas a louely maide
Sigh’d for him: and still with cupps of wine
betwixt each word his pallat she assaide.
Heated with wines, he bad the Nurse repaide,
and bring to him the Maide that was so faire,
Bacchus & Venus, Wine and frolicke lust,
are sworne to blood, and keepe togither must.

Mirrha no sooner heard this glad reply,
but as a poore bird long time in a snare,
Ready for fammine and her woe to die,
whom an vnskilful fouler vnaware
hath guiuen freedome, to her foode doth hast,
so Mirrha thought each houre an age was past:
In her strict torments but being scapt away,
her woes forgot, she thinkes vppon her prey.
[Pg 141]
And as she did ascend those staires to lust,
in the midway, she heard her father speake:
And nere lay partridge closer to the dust,
at sound o’ the Faulccons bell, then she too weak
To encounter or resist: and feares are such,
in loue by loue, that they enccrease loue much.
Loue like to Monarkes, hath his state hie reared
who euer wil be lou’d, where they are feared.

To a hundred seueral passions she doth yeeld,
and as we see in Autumne of the yere
Some gallant oake stand ready to be feld,
vppon whose ribs a hundred wounds appeare
Forc’d by the brawnie armes of Hynds vnlithe,
who workes a passage to the weeping pith:
Vncertaine (though wind shaken) where to fall:
so stood her mynd doutful of rest at al.
[Pg 142]
Nurse opes the doore, and brings her to the bed
the darkenesse of the night abated shame:
And leaues her that must leaue her maiden head
to the begetter of his owne defame,
With faultring hams hauing got twixt the sheetes,
In fearefull lust this Prodegiæ meetes,
He begs a kisse, then blusht she as he spake it,
yet he must giue it, shee wants power to take it.

Now trembling lay she by her fathers side,
like filly doue within the Eagles gripe:
Nor doth she vse soft shrikes as doth a bride,
(I meane a maide) when as the fruite so ripe
Of maiden-head, forced from their wombe,
Her fathers armes to her was as a tombe.
She dead in pleasure, durst not shew her voice,
least Cyniras should know this faire foule choice.
[Pg 143]
But when that Cupid once had whetted her,
she twines her lilly stalks about his necke:
So clings young Ivie bout the aged oake there,
Venus smile, but frowning Iuno checks.
Their stolne delight, no nuptiall tapers shone,
No Virgin belt vntyed, but all vndone,
the Athenian God, kindled no hallowed fires,
darke was the night, suiting to their desires.

The morrow came, toyled with wakes and lust,
she leaues her father, when as the rising Sun
Couering the easterne Pines and mountaine dust,
spyed Mirrha from her couch of sin to runne.
Then blusht he first, and backward would ha fled
And euer since in’s rising hee’s still red,
Nere Turkas was at sicke blood more estrang’d,
then Mirrha when her chastitie was chang’d.
[Pg 144]
Oft would she leane against her fathers knees,
& tie his garter in a true loue’s knot:
And then vndoo’t againe, as to shew she
were vndone, yet he conceiu’d it not.
And woman like that, keep not secrets long,
she shewd her loue in dūb shewes with out tung,
her lust she knew (yet hardly it concealde)
like Fayries Treasur’s vanish’d if reueal’d.

A third night came, darker then shores belowe,
when Cyniras (father of feareful lust)
Willing to see the foule that did bestowe
So many pleasures on him (Ioue is iust)
Did reach a taper, whose confusiue light,
Strucke like a blasting at that horrid sight.
The light fell from him loathing his defame,
things senceles oft are mou’d, whē men not shame.
[Pg 145]
At length with bloodie eye fixed on her,
out of an Iuorie scabberd hanging by:
He drew a monumental Semiter,
thinking with death that both their shames shold dye
But night that oft befriended her with sinne,
In her blacke wombe too, did her freedome win,
For through the darke she slipt, and left her fire,
to mourne his Fate, not execute his ire.

Sped with her lust, and flying thence apace,
in feares and trembling, feare doth giue vs eies:
For saftie to the Gods, she lifts her face,
& her claspt hands to what she now not see’s,
loues browe was darke, Boetes had amaine
Driuen his Oxen to the lower plaine.
Phebæ fled heauen, her face no tincture beares,
Because shee saw a deed, worthie her teares.
[Pg 146]
The morning came, where yet the fatall print
of Mirrha lay vpon the pillow: Cynix he
Clog’d with distresse, a fathers cursse did hint,
vpon that place of foule inchastitie,
the sight of what we loath, breedes loathing more
and vertue once renounc’d ingenders store,
Leaue we him touz’d in care, for worldly wee,
loue to leaue great men in their miserie.

Seauen winters nights, she fled before the Moone
(who knew the vnchaste act she had inforc’d)
Through Arabie, in feare she posteth soone,
To odorous Panchaia, whose confines diuorc’d
Her fathers land: here grew all choicest fumes:
That to Ioues temples often men presumes:
and on his altars them accumulate,
and how they first sprung, here thereof the Fate.
[Pg 147]
Hebæ now banish’d from th’ Aetherian boule
vppon a feast day mongst the Gods aboue,
Where twas made lawfull, all without controule,
might freely drink it chanc’d the Queen of loue
Whether she long’d, or enuied Hebes starre,
(Women are enuious, where they long for nectar)
forc’d her to skinke so much, the iuice ran ore,
so that Ioues drinke washt the defiled flore.

With this he storm’d, that’s Priests from altars flie
streight banish’d Hebæ, & the world did thinke
To a second Chaos they should turned be,
the clouds for feare wept out th’ immortal drinke
and on Panchaia there this Nectar fell,
Made rich th’ adiacent lands with odorous smell,
and such rare spices to the shoares are giuen,
as Ioue would thinke no Nectar were in heauen.
[Pg 148]
There was a Satire rough and barbarous,
pleasing his pallat at a trembling spring:
Vnder a Beech with bowes frondiferous,
though he had seene a nimph or rarer thing
Then flesh and blood, for in the calmed streame,
He saw her eyes like stars, whose raies did gleame
Boue Phoebus farre, and so amazed stood,
as if she had bin Goddesse of that flood.

And as you see a man that hath bin long
Possessed with a furie of the shades:
after some prayers and many a sacred song,
with blessed signes, the euill spirit vades,
so fell his rudenesse from him, and her shine,
Made all his earthie parts pure and diuine.
O potent loue, great is thy power be falne,
That makes the wife mad, & the mad man calme.
[Pg 149]
Thus he begins, fairer then Venus farre,
If Venus be, or if she be tis thee:
Louelie as Lillies, brighter then the starre
that is to earth the mornings Mercurie:
Softer then Roses, sweeter breath’d then they,
blush’t boue Aurora, better cloath’d then May.
lipt like a cherrie, but of rarer taste,
Deuine as Dian, and as fully chaste.

Pardon my rude tongue, if I chance to erre,
as Hermes selfe might erre being the God
of Eloquence: for your bright eye doth beare
all earthly blessings in a faire abode,
Excuse me if I trip, I meane your weale,
Error’s no error, where tis done with zeale.
Loue like materiall fires is made to flame:
When tis supprest with fanning Fires first came.
[Pg 150]
With this, the Maid (so took) hung down her head
wondring that such a shape had such a tongue:
able to steale her loue, had she not fled,
and from his ardent gripes, her body wrung.
Flying like Phebæ after strucken deere:
and as he follow’d she fled more for feare.
Zephire came foorth, to dally with her haire,
while the poore Satire cried stay maide so faire.

But he on sudden like a subtill Snake,
rould in a heape, shootes foorth himself at lēgth;
and to his vigorous armes greedie doth take,
his yeilding prey, won with his words not strēgth
To be a woman, is by nature giuen,
But to be constant, is a star, which heauen
Hath seald on their sex forehead as a signe,
That constancie in women is diuine.
[Pg 151]
Thou didst deceiue me Mirrha, when I saide,
thou flew’st for feare, thou gau’st me cause to fear
and I might iustlie haue this gainst thee laide,
thou wentst t’ auide by pathes that were so nere
Who begin, ill most often end in ill,
and she that doth her first pure youth so spill
In lawles lust, though made a wife to one,
Remaines like wax for each impression.

But see the goodnesse of the Deities,
who still with grace preuents our ill presage,
This groue was hallow’d to no Hiadres,
but chast Diana, who with violent rage
Discending from her towre of Christalline,
To keepe the place still sacred and diuine:
against her rites, brought with her thereupon
white Poplar from the banckes of Acheron:
[Pg 152]
Then with a charme, that did her face eclips,
And made her crescent quak, the iuice she powers
Vpon the Satirs face, and prophane lipps,
which quickly ouer all his body showers,
Her borrow’d power of art being finished:
(Deriued from Phœbus as her light) she saide,
Nine-times the holy rime, which spok will clere,
all prophane matter, and this spake she there.

Sleepe Poplar sleepe, that was the Satirs name,
who had bin long a king within these woods,
Since thou my sacred Groue, gan to prophane:
a sleepe seize on thee, still as stigian floods,
by Stix I vow the partiall destenies,
Did they conspire, shold nere vnclaspe thin eies,
hauing thus said, the Satire vanisht so,
as mens prospect that from a mirrour goe.
[Pg 153]
I thinke (quoth she) accursed is this place,
for heere the man, for whome I sorrow now,
Heedelesse Acteon with immodest face,
saw all our naked and did ouer-vewe:
As men rich iuells doe, thinking there lies
yet some rare vertue hidden from their eyes:
And euen there quoth shee, & then did point,
reuen’gd, I saw his hounds teare ioint from ioint.

But since saies she, thou as a King didst reigne,
and art a Trophey too of Dians power:
Thus much the Goddesse of the floods doth deign
to change thy shape, into a vertick flower.
Then thrice three words, thrice striking charmed wood
The ground did crannie, and there out of hand,
appeared greene Poplar, younger then before,
which bow’d the head & dyan did adore.
[Pg 154]
The palefac’d Mirrha sat like guiltie spright,
fore the infernall iudge, yet did not see
Diana great, for dull are mortalls sight,
(and all inuisible is chastitie)
But heard a voice as she was vanishing,
saying defild maide, doost wonder at this thing?
O Mirrha ere my crescents beautie change,
thou shalt be turn’d into a shape as strange.

With this the verdant new sprung Poplar plant
(moou’d with the winde) seemd to bow down the head
as cheering Mirrha, who did comfort want
being amaz’d at what Diana saide,
Hauing recouer’d sence, she flies the place,
For feare of Phebæs comming to the chace:
to Saba land she hies, where all affraide,
my muse shall sing the downfall of the Maide.
[Pg 155]
Then first hung downe Poplar his heauie braine,
for Mirrha’s losse, whose loue brought him that
and for he once in woods a King did raigne,
a crowne hee still wear’s, richly wrought with blew
and yellow eke, as figures both of loue,
Which Venus dropt downe him from aboue.
Bacchus doth loue him, for in feasts of wine,
he weares a poplar Garland mixt with vine.

The leaden God of sleepe, on his iuice feede,
the vertues of him, sundry doe declare:
His suddain taste a heauinesse doth breede,
and drownes in rest, sences opprest with care,
In places farre remote, he loues to growe,
and eke by rivers that runne thicke and slowe,
where drowsilie this woodish demie God,
with euerie gale of winde his head doth nod.
[Pg 156]
Now to proceede after a small repose,
that the accursed seede gan swell her wombe,
whē her drie brain, no more teares could expose
she weayting for a sad and heauie dombe.
For often men offending, still doe feare,
Though Ioue be farre off, yet his iudgements nere
downe would she sit, and so vnfolde her moane
that Eccho sight hirs and forgot her owne.

Distressed twixt the teadiousnesse of life,
and trembling feare of death, she thus began:
For when we cease to be the crimes are rife,
which youth committed, and before vs then.
For aged memorie doth clasp’t containe,
Those shapes of sin, which hot blood held as vain.
O cursed Fates quoth she, that brought to passe
this prodegie twixt me and Cyniras.
[Pg 157]
O leaue to leape for ioy, thou prettie childe,
to Heare of Cyniras, or ile leaue rather:
To speake of him, whose bed I haue defilde,
& made him proue thy Grandsire & thy Father
Was I predestin’d to select no other,
But fated for the sister and the Mother,
of thee my babe, heauen here hath beene sinister
the childe shall call his grandsire, son his mother sister.

Oft doe two Roses grow out from one stem,
and one of them is full blowne fore the other,
So fares it now with thee my virgin iem,
whome nature would call sonne but shame saies brother
Shall I not blush when thou art ripe, to gather
The circumstances of who was thy Father,
yes sure I shall, yet shame forgets all shame,
Ile charge thy father of a heauenly name.
[Pg 158]
But oh, I feare me least some Prodegie,
the heauens agree, that I to light should bring;
to fright ee’n the yron age, that chastitie
might take example by my suffering.
That I a monster-mother should be made,
If soe, O ouer equall Gods, let Mirrha fade
into some shape, worthy your high deuice,
Pitty to me, would make Ioue seeme vnwise.

Alter O Gods, death that is due to birth,
nor let the dead repine, that I should see
Eliziums blest shades, nor the men of earth
annoided be with my impuritie,
Let them enioy the fieldes, and learned Songes,
Of hye brow’d Orpheus, let the vnflesht thronges
that haue deseru’d this, and much more be glad,
my starres, my double life, and fate, are sad.
[Pg 159]
You wearyed race of Danans vnblest girles,
In vaine leaue off your vnwomb’d tubs to fill,
& with your teares that staynd ye Indyan pearles,
Weepe out for Mirrha, and ere night you will
at my sad story orebrim with your teares,
Your whirle-poole vessells, which so many yeres
return’d no interest, if you well deplore,
you’le drowne in teares, or labour so no more.

Cōclude my fate, quicke you eternall counsell,
or else I feare the nere-erturned dead
Clad in the fearefull shapes of night and hell,
will rife before the general day be spred;
and hurrie me in flesh to Acheron,
To taste hels torture both in soule and bone:
Then blast me thunderer in righteous ire,
and I like Semele wil meete thy fire.
[Pg 160]
The Gods to her last wish was tractable.
her tongue percullist twice was as she spake:
aire was her voice, and Mirrha now not able,
to thanke the Gods, her ioynts in sunder brake.
Leaues were her locks, of golden haire bereau’d,
her armes long boughes, deem & be not deceiu’d
tree gan she be, yet twixt her thing so staid,
you could not say she was or tree or maide.

First grew her hayre vp like the Summer Corne,
or as a blazing starre whose streames rise vpward
& being changd, fell leaues, that vp were borne,
by the rude windes, yet had you but haue heard
You’d sware, a sigh for Mirrha’s transmigration
Had beene decreed by all the windie nation.
and euerie Autume, since a thing moste rare,
The falling leaues, resemble Mirrha’s haire.
[Pg 161]
To barke her yuorie skin polisht congeald,
each blew rig’d current into melting sap,
Her nailes to bolssome faire, & what reueal’d
with accents sad, the babe yet in her lap.
Her fingers twigs, her bright eyes turn’d to gum,
Buried on earth, and her owne selfe the toombe,
her sences gone, yet this sence did she win,
to aye relent, the horror of her sinne.

For euen as from a guilty man, that’s pleading for remorse,
teares follow teares, as hoping to preuaile,
So from this tree, (though now a senceleffe course)
flowe pretious teares, as seemes she doth bewaile
In death, with euer liuing teares, the act fore-done
These Pius drops, made densiue by the sunne,
are kept for holy vses, and the Mir,
That so distilles, doth beare the name of her.
[Pg 162]
The misbegotten babie, swels the tree,
and loathing the defiled wombe sought vent:
Those panges that mothers haue felt shee,
and solemne sighes had issue, as they’d rent,
and spoile the shape, she newly had assum’d,
But wordes within the close bark were inhumbd
Yet wept it out, as it to water would,
Or seem’d it mockt Pactolus waues of golde.

Till chast Lucina, whome the Poets giue,
The mid-wiues power in producing creatures,
by whose change we last die, and first doe liue,
(be they not violent each) she that giues features
Forme or takes away, makes foule or faire,
Discending from her Spheare next to our ayre:
with armes yspred, vppon the melting mir,
brought diuine comfort downe from heauē with her
[Pg 163]
Few wordes she spake, but euery sillable,
of power to comfort the afflicted Ghostes;
Or any other sencelesse thing make able,
doe better deedes then those Alcides boastes,
the tree streight craynes, & springs forth the child
who the first minut, though his countenance smild
cryed out a maine, our first propheticke breath,
showes our first houre, is mother to our death.

The water Nymphes then caught him tenderly,
who laid him streight on the enameled bankes,
and bath’d him with his mothers teares, whereby
they made him fairer, and in merry prankes
The Ladies call a conuocation there,
Some praise his nose, his lips, his eye, his eare.
Some his streight fingers, whilst a fist doth sweare
his verry breath yet smelleth of the mirre.
[Pg 164]
Another wishes, oh for such a face!
Nor can I blame her though she did wish so:
For sure, were I a wench, t’had bin my case,
for nature heere, made both her ioy and woe,
And spight that (but herself) commendeth none,
Of force must say, this was a rarer one
Then either nature did, or ere shall make,
whose life holdes vp her age, whose deathe’s her wrack.

Eyes like two stars falne from their proper sphears
as if they scorn’d the beaten pathes of heauen:
Or enuying of beautie of the beares,
showne firmer heere, and brighter then the seauē
Such was he as was Cupid wont to be
In pictures lim’d, and that they may agree,
furnish the babe with winges and quiuer light,
or from loues God, take wings, and quier quite.
[Pg 165]
Nought may compare with Time in his swift race
the babe ere while feeles now youths hot alarms
And as in yeares, so beautious grew his face,
that he is fit againe for Ladies armes:
Nor Cupid now could wound more dames thē he
That Venus who Captiues all, is not free
From her own power, she loue’s Adonis milde,
That Mars doth storm, & wish he were no childe.

Nor Paphos, Amathus nor fishie Gnide,
delights she now to haunt, nor Etna now
Burnes more then her, she roans the wood so wide
after her game, that to his game doth bow.
And will not heare or see, for eies and eares,
If they her heare or see, their vse forbeares
Yet she persues, and leaues her power vn euen
on heauen & earth, she loues him more thē heauē.
[Pg 166]
Oft would she say, and bathe those words in tears
oh thou fair boy, wold God thou loudst like me
but sure thou art not flesh, it well appeares,
thou wert the stubborne issue of a tree,
So hard thou art, then she a sigh would fet,
and wish that Vulcan had not made his net,
For boysterous Mars, shee’d fayner ha’ bin sped
with this choice floure, claspt in her yron bed.

Shee’d nere haue blusht, thē she does make a vow
though al the Gods of both worlds had thē seen
She raveth that she euer lou’d til now,
that she might worthily ha bin loues Queene.
wel, wel (quoth she) thou hast reueng’d the spight
which from my accurst Sons bow did fowly light
On thy faire Mother, O immortall boy,
Though thou be faire, tis I that should be coy.
[Pg 167]
But stay my Muse in thine owne confines keepe,
& wage not warre with so deere lou’d a neighbor,
But hauing sung thy day song, rest & sleepe
preserue thy small fame and his greater fauor:
His song was worthie merrit (Shakspeare hee)
sung the faire blossome, thou the withered tree
Laurell is due to him, his art and wit
hath purchast it, Cypres thy brow will fit.



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[Pg 168]


[Pg 169]



Text of Title Page

[Pg 170]



[Pg 171]


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ros, Henry Earle of Oxenford,
Vicount Bulbeck, &c.
Sir, if my unpolish’t pen, that dedicates new
The bashfull utterance of a maiden Muse,
May gracefully arrive onely to you,
Which for her virgin sake, do not refuse,
Time, and more studious howers shall we vow,
To sing your vertues, which are now profuse.
Kings haue drunke water from a louing hand,
And truth’s accepted, though we paint her poore.
The Poets say, the Gods that can command,
Haue feasted gladly on a poore mans store,
Whereby great Sir, we haue to understand,
That humble Riuers adde to the seashore.
Liue long and happy, and with gray haires crown’d,
Reade thy youths acts, which fame shall euer sound.

Your honors obseruant

Wil. Barksted.


[Pg 172]



[Pg 173]

The faire Greeke.

Of Amuraths yong spleenfull sonne I sing,
His sonne, who to the Strand of Hellespont
And to the great Sea-cost his bounds did bring,
Whose Empire so the Grecians did confront,
That euen from Pindus, and Thomao Mont.
From darke Morea to Corinthian streights,
From Burgon to Hungaria’s broken wing,
His Nauy fetch’d contributary freights.


Yong Mahomet, the wanton of her eie,
Which teacheth wars, & caught his nonage daies
That gaue such hansell of his tyranny,
In those first battails, and apprentize sayes,
Which did so hotly dart their early rayes,
On Sigismond, or that wherein was tane,
Philip the noble Duke of Burgondy,
With him kept prisoner, ô farre better slaine!


Yong Mahomet to Greece the fatall scourge,
Which thither death, and desolation brought,
Euen to the faire Constantinoples veirdge,
The Grecian Empires chaire, the which he sought
For which a huge digested army fought.
And at the last, distressed Constantine,
And of all Christians did the Citty purge,
O shame to Europes Peeres, and Kings diuine.

[Pg 174]

Let Italy take heed, the New-moone threats,
To reare his hornes on Romes great Capitall,
And doth not Rome deserue such rough defeats,
That should be mother of compassion all?
And coünite the states, and principall
In league, and loue, which now for trifles iarre,
The Persian Sophy shames our Christian feats,
Who with the Souldan ioynes gainst Turkish war.


Had Constantine, that three times sacred Prince,
Beene rescu’d then by power of Christendome,
Mathias neuer should haue cran’d defence,
Of Germans, English, Spanish, France, and Rome,
Taxes of warre, to these climes had not come:
Nor yet the Turke with all his barbarous hoast,
Durst with the Catholikes such war commence,
Where now they haue heard their drums, & feard their hoast.


Who reads or heares the losse of that great town
Constantinople but doth wet his eyes?
Where litle babes frō windows were pusht down
Yong Ladies blotted with adulteries,
Old fathers scourg’d with all base villanies?
O mourne her ruine, and bewish the Turke,
eternall depriuation of his Crowne,
That durst for paganisme such outrage worke.

[Pg 175]

When Mahomet had man’d the wals, the towne surpriz’d
Great grew the slaughter, bloudy waxt the fight,
Like Troy, where all was fir’d, and all despis’d,
But what stood gracious in the victors sight.
Such was the wo of this great citty right:
Here lay a Saint throwne downe, & here a Nun,
Rude Sarazens which no high God agnis’d,
Made all alike our wofull course to run.


And in this deadly dealing of sterne death,
And busie dole of euery Souldiers hand,
Where swords were dul’d with robbing men of breath
Whil’st rape with murder, stalk’t about the land,
And vengeance did performe her own command,
and where ’twas counted sin to thinke amisse:
There no man thought it ill to do all scath,
O what doth warre respect of bale or blisse?


There stood an ancient Chappell next the Court,
Where sacred Bishops said their morrow Masse.
And sung sweet Anthems with a loud report,
To that eternall God-head, whose sonne was,
Sequestred from the Trinity to passe,
Vnder the burthen of the holy Crosse,
For our redemption, whose death did retort,
The sting of Sathan, and restor’d our losse.

[Pg 176]

Hither was got of silly maides some few,
Whom happily no Souldier yet had seas’d,
Tendring their spotlesse vows, in child-cold dew,
Of virgin teares, to haue the heauens appeas’d
But teares too late, must be too soone displeas’d,
And hither, like a Tyger from the chase,
Recking in bloudy thoughts, and bloudy shew,
Came Amurath himselfe to sacke the place.


In Armour clad, of watchet steele, full grim,
Fring’d round about the sides, with twisted gold,
Spotted with shining stars vnto the brim,
Which seem’d to burn the spheare which did thē hold:
His bright sword drawn, of temper good and old,
A full moone in a fable night he bore,
On painted shield, which much adorned him,
With this short Motto: Neuer glorious more.


And as a Diamond in the dark-dead night,
Cannot but point at beames on euery side,
Or as the shine of Cassiopæa bright,
Which make the zodiacke, where it doth abide,
Farre more then other planets to be ey’d:
So did faire Hirens eyes encounter his,
And so her beames did terror strike his sight,
As at the first it made e’m vale amisse.

[Pg 177]

O that faire beauty in distresse should fall,
For so did she, the wonder of the east,
At least, if it be wondrous faire at all,
That staines the morning, in her purple nest,
With guilt-downe curled Tresses, rosy drest,
Reflecting in a cornet wise, admire,
To euery eye whom vertue might appall.
And Syren loue, inchant with amorous fire.


A thousand Bashawes, and a thousand more,
Of Ianizaries, crying to the spoile,
Come rushing in with him at euery dore,
That had not Loue giuen Barbarisme the foile,
The faire had beene dishonored in this while.
But ô when beauty strikes vpon the heart:
What musicke then to euery sence is bore,
All thought resigning them, to beare apart.


For as amongst the rest, she kneel’d sad weeping,
In tender passion by an altars side,
And to a blessed Saint begins her creeping,
He stood loue-wounded, what should her betide,
Whilst she saw him turnd round, & well nie died.
Let darknes shroud quoth she, my soule in night,
Before my honor be in Mahounds keeping,
Prisoner to enuy, lust, and all vnright.

[Pg 178]

O, if thou beest a Souldier, lend thy sword,
To ope the bosomes, where yet neuer lay,
Ignoble Souldier, nor imperious Lord,
Of all whom war hath grip’d into her sway,
Onely remaine we few, let not this day,
Begin with vs, who neuer did offend,
Or else do all of vs one death afford,
If not, kill me, who ne’r was Pagans friend.


But now (said Mahomet) thou shall be mine,
Thine eies haue power to such a great mans hart,
If then they worke on me to make me thine,
Say thou art wrong’d? dishonor doth impart
No loue, where he may force: but mine thou art,
And shalt be only in thine own free choice,
What makes me speake, makes me speak thus diuine
Else could I threat thee with a conquerors voyce.


What you may do (said she) I do not know,
But know you this, there is a thousand waies,
To finde out night before my shamelesse brow,
Shall meet that day in guilt of such misrayes.
Oh how vniust art thou? the pagan sayes,
To him which sues for a respecting eye,
And no ignoble action doth allow,
But honor, and thy faires to gratifie.

[Pg 179]

The effect of both is one (said she) both spils,
And layes my shame o’re mastred at thy feet,
But greatnesse (said he) doth outface all ills,
And maiesty (make sowre apparance sweete,
Where other powers thē greatnes doth cut meet?
It doth indeed, said she, but we adore,
More thē a great Earth-monarch whō death kils,
Mortall soules, thinke on th’immortall more.


Alas faire Christian Saint (said Mahomet)
So yong, and full of gray hair’d purity,
These are but shifts of Friers, tales farre fet.
Dearest, I’le teach thee my diuinity,
Our Mecha’s is not hung with Imagery,
To tell vs of a virgin-bearing-sonne,
Our adoration to the Moone is set,
That pardons all that in the darke is done.


O blinde religion, when I learne, said she)
To hallow it, my body tombe my soule,
And when I leaue the mid-day-sunne for thee,
Blush Moone, the regent of the nether roule.
What I hold deerest, that my life controule,
And what I prize more precious then imagery,
Heauens, grant the same my bane and ruine be,
And where I liue, wish all my Tragedy.

[Pg 180]

A dreadfull curse replide the Saracen,
But I will teach thee how to cousen it,
An oath in loue may be vnsworne againe,
Ioue markes not louers oathes euery whit,
Thou wilt repent beside, when riper wit
Shall make thee know the magicke of thine eies,
How faire thou art, and how esteem’d of men,
Tis no religion that is too precise.


Nor is this all, though this might woo a Greeke,
To wantonize with princely Mahomet,
Much more by loues inuention could I speake,
By which the coldest temper might be heate:
But I must hence, a fitter time I’le set,
To conquer thee, Bashawes these spare or spill,
Saue Mustapha this maid, since her we like,
Conduct vnto our Tent, now warre he will.


She like Cassandra thral’d and innocent,
Wrang her white hands, & tore her golden haire,
Hal’d by the Eunuchs to the Pagans Tent,
Speechlesse, and spotlesse, vnpittied, not vnfaire,
Whiles he to make all sure, did repaire,
To euery Souldier throughout the field,
And gaue in charge matters of consequence,
As a good generall, and a Souldier should.

[Pg 181]

Then sent he forth Polidamus to bid,
The Drums & Trumpets sound that daies retreit,
For in his soule their ratling noyse he chid:
For startling Cupid, whose soft bosome streight,
Had lodg’d him, & grew proud of such a freight.
Beside the sword and fire had swept the streetes,
And all did in the victors hands abide,
Night likewise came, fit time for Loues stolne-sweets.


Thus tumbling in conceits, he stumbled home,
In the darke couerture of shady night,
Cal’d for a torch, the which his chamber groome,
With more then speedy haste did present light:
To bed he went, as heauy in his spright,
As loue, that’s full of anguish makes the minde:
Faine would he sleepe away this martirdome,
But loues eyes open, when all else are blinde.


What do you talke of sleepe? talke of the Greeke,
For being laid, he now grew almost mad,
What is she not as faire (quoth he) to like,
As Phedria, whom in Corinth once I had?
With that he knock’t his Eunuchs vp, and bad,
One aske the Grecian maide, what was her name,
What she made there, & whom she came to see,
And to what end into his Tent she came?

[Pg 182]

When he was gone, somewhat the fury staid,
And beat more temperate in his liuer-vaine,
Onely he could not choose but praise the maid,
Whose eies frō his such womanish drops did strain
Did not thy face (sigh’d he) such faires containe,
It could not be, my heart thou couldst distract,
But all abstracts of rarities are laid,
In thy faire cheekes so feelingly compact.


Thus made, what maiest thou not command,
In mighty Amuraths wide Empery?
My tributary loue, and not my land,
Shall pay it homage to thy proud bent eye,
And they who most abhorre idolatry,
Shall tender Catholicke conceites to thee,
O arme not honor still for to withstand,
And make a foyle of loue, which dwels in me.


By this time was the Carpet-page returned,
And told the prince the Greeke was Hiren hight,
But so she wept, & sigh’d, & grieu’d, & mourn’d,
As I could get no more (said he to night,
And weeps (said Amurath) my loue so bright,
Hence villaine, borrow wings, flie like the winde,
Her beauteous cheeks with hot tears wil be burnd
Fetch her to me: ô loue too deafe, too blinde!

[Pg 183]

Then crossing both his armes athwart his breast,
And sinking downe, he set a soule taught grone,
And sigh’d, and beat his heart, since loue possest,
And dwelt in it which was before his owne.
How bitter is sweet loue, that loues alone,
And is not sympathis’d, like to a man?
Rich & full cram’d, with euery thing that’s best,
Yet lyes bed-sicke, whom nothing pleasure can.


Sometimes he would inuoke sweet Poets dead,
In their own shapes, to court the maid with words
But then he fear’d least they her maidenhead
Shold win frō him: thē somtimes arms & swords,
His old heroike thoughts, new roome affoords,
And to the field he would: but then loue speakes,
And tels him Hiren comes vnto his bed,
Which dasheth all, and all intendments breakes.


And lo indeed, the purple hangings drawne,
In came faire Hiren in her night attire,
In a silke mantle, and a smocke of lawne,
Her haire at length, the beams of sweete desire)
Her breasts all naked, ô inchanting fire!
And siluer buskins on her feet she wore,
Though all the floore with Carpet-worke was strawn
Yet were such feet too good to tread that floore.

[Pg 184]

Now Mahomet bethinke thee what is best,
Said she, compell me I will speake thy shame,
And tell thy hatefull fact, at euery feast,
Singers in balads shall berime thy name,
And for dishonoring me spot thy faire fame:
But if—: No more chast maid said Mahomet:
Though in thy grant consists all ioy and rest,
I will not force thee, till thou giue me it.


But say I languish, faint, and grow forlorne,
Fall sicke, and mourne: nay, pine away for thee,
Wouldst then for euer hold me yet in scorne?
Forbid my hopes, the comfort that should be
In hopes in doating hopes which tire on me:
O be not as some women be, for fashion,
Like sun-shine daies in clouds of raine stil borne,
The more you’l loue, the more shall grow my passion.


And then he clasp’d her frosty hand in his,
An orient pearle betwixt two mother shels,
And seal’d thereon a hearty burning kisse,
Kisses in loue, force more then charmes or spels,
And in sweet language; hopes-desires foretels,
Ah louely Greeke, what heart hast thou (quoth he)
What art thou made of? fire dissolueth yee,
Tygers relent, yet thoul’t not pitty me.

[Pg 185]

Dwel’st thou on forme? I can confirme thee than,
Sibilla liues to tell she did repent.
Let Latmus speake what it of Delia can,
And it will eccho her loue-languishment.
Chaste eyes somtimes reflect kind blandishment:
Beside, thy foueraigne will thy subiect be,
Once a great king, now a despised man,
A vassall, and a slaue to Loue and thee.


Why dost thou weep? tis I shold drown mine eies
And burst my heart with languor, and dispaire,
I whom thy vnrelenting thoughts despise,
I who can woo thee by no sute, nor prayer,
Yet doating mad for thee, ô cruell faire,
I sweare by this diuine white daizy-hand,
The loue I beare thee, in my heart it lies,
Whose searching fire, no reason can withstand.


Wilt thou be mine? here shalt thou liue with me,
Free’d from oppression, and the Souldiers lust,
Who if thou passe my Tent, will seize on thee,
And they are rude, and what they will thou must.
O do not to the common Kestrels trust,
They are not as the Eagles noble kinde,
But rough, and daring in all villany:
Honor with me, with them scarce safety finde.

[Pg 186]

Honor and safety, both in true loue is,
And Mahomet is zealous, ô loue him:
With him ioy euery thing that tasts of blisse,
Pompe, honor, pleasure, shews, and pastimes trim,
Care dwels not where he dwels, nor sorrow grim
Onely till now, that he for Hiren mournes:
A Greeke whom he would bring to paradice,
He ner’e took thought, but now he sighs & burns.


Wilt thou be his, on thee shall waite and tend,
A traine of Nymphs, and Pages by thy side,
With faunes, horse, coach, & musicke which shall lend
The spheares new notes in their harmonies pride.
When thou wilt walke, and publikly be ey’d,
To bring thee in thy hie way, cloath’d with flowers
Shall sent like Tempe when the graces send,
To meet each other in those fragrant bowers.


At home shall comick Masques, & night disports
Conduct thee to thy pillow, and thy sheetes,
And all those reuels which soft loue consorts,
Shall entertaine thee with their sweetest sweets.
And as the warlike God with Venus meetes,
And dallies with her in the Paphian groue,
Shall Mahomet in bed shew thee such sports,
As none shall haue, but she which is his loue.

[Pg 187]

Againe: No more againe (saies she) great king,
I know you can do much, and all this to,
But tell me when we loose so deere a thing,
Shame can we take pride in, in publike shew:
Think you the adulterate owle, then wold not so?
No, no, nor state, nor honor can repure,
Dishonor’d sheet’s, nor lend the owle daies wing
Ignoble shame a King cannot recure.


Now say mine eies & cheeks are faire, what then?
Why so are yours, yet do I dote on you?
Beauty is blacke, defam’d by wicked men,
And yet must euery beauty make men sue?
Too good is worse then bad, you seeme too true
Too easie, passionate, loue-sicke, and kinde,
Then blame not me, that cannot so soone ren
Your course: the fault is in your forward minde.


But say great prince, I had a wanton eye,
Would you adde Syrius to the sommer sunne?
And whurle hote flaming fire where tow doth lie
By which combustion all might be vndone?
For loke how mightier greater Kings do run
Amisse, the fault is more pernicious,
And opens more to shame and obloquy,
Then what we erre in, or is done by vs.

[Pg 188]

A Monarch, and a mighty Conquerour
To doate, proues euery woman is his better,
But I’le be true to thee (said he:) One houre
(Said she;) but what for truth, when it is fitter
We keepe our own, then haue a doubtful debter.
But I will sweare, said he: So Iason did,
Replide faire Hiren, yet who faithlesse more,
or more inconstant to his sworne loues bed?


Too many mirrors haue we to behold,
Of mens inconstancy, and womens shame.
How many margent notes can we vnfold,
Mourning for virgins that haue bene too blame?
And shall I then run headlong to the flame?
I blush, but it is you should be ashamed,
For know, if that you neuer haue beene told,
“Vertue may be inforc’d, but not defamed.


Faire louely Prince, let warre your triumphs be,
Go forward in the glittering course you run,
The kingly Eagle strikes through Atomie,
Those little moates that barre him from the Sun,
Then let not both of vs be here vndone,
You of your Conquest, I of Chastitie.
And pardon my rude specch, for lo you see,
I plead for life, and who’s not loath to dye?

[Pg 189]

Death of my fame, which oft proues mortal death
Witnesse the Prince-forc’d chaste Lucretia,
Ere I like her be rap’d, ô reaue my breath,
And gainst thy nature, take a yeelding pray,
That will embrace death, before thee this day.
If thou loue me, shew it in killing me,
Thy sword had neuer yet a chaster sheath,
Nor thou, nor Mahound a worse enemy.


He heard nor this, nor ought of what she said,
For all his senses now were turn’d to eyes,
And with such fired gaze he view’d this maid,
That sure I thinke not Hermes mysteries,
Nor all his Caducean nouelties,
That flow from him like a slye winding streame,
(To which the Gods gladly their eares haue laid)
Could once haue mou’d him from this waking dreame.


But sighes he sends out on this embassie,
Liegers that dye ere they returne againe,
Poore substitutes to coape with chastity.
She knew the pleading of their Liege was vaine,
And all his teares like to a Mel-dew raine,
That falles vpon the floures, to defloure.
Yet, for twas tedious, she did aske him why,
Each sigh was o’re him such a conquerour.

[Pg 190]

By heauen he swore, and made his Eunuch start,
I sigh to coole Loues fire, then kist her hand:
For know, thou wonder of the Easterne part,
He need not counterfeite that can command:
But by thy middle, Cupids coniuring wand,
I am all loue, and faire beleeue my vow,
Sprung from a Souldier, now a louers heart,
He sweares to loue, that neuer lou’d till now.


Not halfe so faire was Hellen, thy pre’cessor,
On whom the firy brand of Troy did dote,
For whom so many riuall kings to succour,
Made many a mountaine pine on Symois floate,
Whilst fame to this day, tels it with wide throat.
Hector fell wounded in that warlike stir,
Peleus did faint, Aiax that lusty warriour,
Then blame not me, that loue one far ‘boue her.


Nature deuis’d her owne despaire in thee,
Thine eye not to be match’d, but by the other,
Doth beare the influence of my destiny.
And where they stray, my soule must wander thither
Beauty of beauty, mother of Loues mother.
All parts he praises, coming to her lip,
Currall beneath the waues, vermilion dye,
And being so neere, he wold not ouerslip.

[Pg 191]

Now tyres the famish’d Eagle on his pray,
Incorporating his rude lips in hers,
Sucking her balmey breath soft as he may:
Which did more vigor, through his brest disperse,
Such kisses louers vse at first conuerse.
All parts were to that center drawne I wis,
Close as the dew-wormes at the breake of day,
That his soule shew’d, as t’were a melting kisse.


Till breathles now, he breath’d into her loue,
Who scorn’d to take possession by degrees,
No law with her strange passion, will he proue,
But hauing interest, scorn’d one inch to leese,
Cupid, sheele set thee free withouten fees.
But though his wings she well nie set on fire,
And burn’d the shaft, that first her brest did moue,
Yet Cupid would be Lord of her desire.


Tis sayd, Aurora blushes euery morne,
For feare that Titan should her fault espy,
And blushes so did Hirens cheekes adorne,
Fearing least Mahomet perceiu’d her eye.
Louers are blind, and what could he espy.
No, twas the hidden vertue of that kisse,
That her chast lips were nere vs’d to beforne,
That did vnframe her, and confirme her his.

[Pg 192]

Louers beleeue, lips are inchanted baites,
After fifteene, who kisses a faire maide,
Had need to haue friends trusty of the fates,
For by my muse (I sweare) I am a afraid,
Hee’s Iourney-man already in Loues trade.
A kiffe is porter to the caue of loue,
Well see, and you may enter all the gates:
“Women were made to take what they reproue.


A kisse is the first Tutor and instinct,
The guider to the Paphian shrine and bowers.
They who before ne’re entred loues precinct,
Kissing shall finde it, and his sundry powers.
O how it moues this continent of aires,
And makes our pulse more strong & hye to beat,
Making vs know when lips are sweetly linck’t,
That to those Kickshawes ‘longs more dainty meate.


And so indeed bewitched Hiren knowes,
The pressure of his lips was not in vaine,
Seldome proue women friends vnto their foes,
But when with ouer kindnesse they are tane,
So weake professors do swalow their owne bane:
Shew them the axe they’l suffer martyrdome,
But if promotion to them you propose,
And flattery, then to the lure they come.

[Pg 193]

Thus Mahomet blinds her with Cupids vaile,
And this new conuertite building on hope,
Loue makes folks hardy, alas the flesh is fraile,
Dispences now a little with the Pope:
And frō restrictions giues her heart more scope.
O Liberty, Author of heresie.
Why with such violent wing dost thou assaile,
To hurry vertue to impiety.


No pardon will she now implore of Rome,
Her selfe she pardons twenty times an houre,
Nor yet an heretike her selfe doth doome,
Since she hath Mahomet within her power.
O loue too sweet, in the digestion sower!
Yet was he made, as nature had agreed,
To match them both together from her wombe,
And be a ioyfull grandam in their seed.


A face Nature intended for a maister peece,
And louely as the maide (though a blacke pearle)
Painters and women say, an Eben fleece,
Doth well beseeme the shoulders of an Earle:
Blacke snares they were, that did entrap this girle
Each haire like to a subtile serpent taught her,
Of the forbidden fruit to taste a peece,
Whil’st Eue is stain’d againe here in her daughter.

[Pg 194]

His eyes were stuck like Comets in his head,
As if they came to treate of nouelties,
And bring the world and beautie into dread:
That he must conquer chastest chastities.
O who such tempting graces could despise,
All voluntarie sinnes soules may refraine,
But Natures selfe that of the flesh is bred,
Such power she hath, that vice she will retaine.


Let me, faire Greeke, a little plead for thee,
Like a vaine Orator, more for applause,
And swolne commends, of those are standers by,
Then profits sake, or goodnesse of the cause.
If men that vpon holy vowes do pawse,
Haue broke, alas, what shall I say of these,
The last thing thought on by the Deitie,
Natures step-children, rather her disease.


Maide, why commit you wilfull periurie?
To you I speake that vowe a single life,
I must confesse y’are mistresse of beauty:
Which beautie with your oaths is still at strife.
Then know of me, thou, widow, maide or wife,
She that is faire and vowes still chast to stand,
Shall find an opposite to constancie,
Fooles Oracles last not, are writ in sand.
The end of the first Tome.


[Pg 195]


decorative border
Perfection, and wisedome of Woman-
hood, the intelligent, and worthily admi-
red, Elizabeth Countesse of Dar-
by, wife to the thrice-noble
William Earle
of Darby.
VVhen as the skilfull Statuaries make,
The image of some great & worthy one,
They still, as they intend his forme to take,
Forecast the Basis he shall rest vpon,
Whose firme infixe thunders nor winds can shake,
Nor Time, that Nature deeds to liue alone.
So (worthiest Lady) may I proudly vaunt,
(Being neuer guilty of that crime before)
That to this Laye, which I so rudely chaunt,
Your diuine selfe, which Dian doth adore,
As her maids her, I haue select to daunt
Enuy: as violent as these nam’d before.
[Pg 196]Uertue and beauty both with you enioy,
Gorgon and Hydra (all but death) destroy.

Your honors from
youth oblig’d,

Wil. Barksted.


decorative emblem




[Pg 197]


The second Tome.

Long did this beautious martyr keep her faith,
Thinking that Mahomet was full of error:
Treading that high cœlestiall milkie path,
Virginity, that did produce hels terror,
Yet knowing loue in Princes turnes to wrath,
She meanes to catch his fancies with her cunning:
But so resistlesse is this Princes feruor,
Though he imprison loue, still feares his cunning.


For like a Castle seated on a rocke,
Besieg’d by thousands danger each way spread,
That had withstood the battery of warres shock:
The liuing making bulwarkes of the dead.
So did this Virgins thoughts to her hart flock,
Wiuing her danger, when her powers were lost:
Hyrena will yeeld vp her maiden head,
A gift to make Ioue proud, or silence bost.


He gently woes her with the misers God,
The Indians ignorance, and vertues slaue,
Bright flaming gold, for where that ha’s abode,
All doores flies open to the wish we craue.
Gold is mans mercy, and his makers rod,
She loues the King for honor and for riches,
He makes her eyes his heauen, her lap his graue,
A womans face oft Maiesties bewitches.

[Pg 198]

When news is brought him that his foes are come,
He catches straite this maiden in his armes,
Calling for musicke that is now his drumme:
Ile keepe thee safe (quoth he) for other harmes,
Tho spoke in thunder they to me are dumbe.
To counsell now they call him with low duty,
But her Idea so his sences charmes,
He drownes all speech in praising of her beauty.


One tels him that the Christians are in field.
You do not marke her beauty, he replies.
Two mightie Cities to their power doth yeeld:
Note but the lustre sparkling from her eyes.
Your subiects hearts, against your life are steeld:
Her tongue is musick, that strikes wonder dumbe.
Your people struck with warre by millions dyes:
If she but frowne then I shall ouercome.


Shall I feare this worlds losse enioying heauen,
Or thinke of danger when an Angel guards me?
Can greater glory to my life be giuen,
Then her maiesticke beauty that rewards me?
Nay is not he of happinesse bereau’d,
That neuer saw her face nor heard her voyce,
And those that win our loue, most regards me,
Confesse that we are godlike in our choice.

[Pg 199]

He left his Ianisaries in a trance,
And to her priuate chamber straite enioyes,
His bloud within his azure veines doth dance:
“In loue th’ effects are seene before the cause:
For nectar’d kisses and a smile by chance,
Are but loue branches, though they grow vp first,
And Cupid thus confines vs in his lawes,
To tast the fountaine ere we quench our thirst.


Night like a Princes pallace full of light,
Illumin’d all the earth with golden starres,
Here Art crost Nature, making day of night:
And Mahomet prepares him for loues warres.
A banquet is ordain’d to feed delight,
Of his Imperiall bountie with expences:
A heauen on earth he presently prepares,
To rauish in one hower all her sences.


Her eyes could glance no way but saw a iewell,
As rich as Cleopatra gaue her loue.
Pictures haue power to warme ice with loues fewell.
The gentle treading of the Turtle-doue,
The Camels lust that in his heate is cruell:
And Iupiter transformed from a man,
When with his breast the siluer streame did moue,
And rauish Læda like a snowy Swan.

[Pg 200]

The table furnisht, to delight the taste,
With food aboue Ambrosia diuine,
Such as would helpe consumptions that did wast:
The life bloud, or the marrow, Greekish wine,
So high one draught would make Dian vnchast.
Nectar is water to this banquets drinke,
Here Æsculapius did his art resigne,
And pleasure drown’d with standing on the brink.


To please her hearing Eunuches sang as shrill,
As if that nature had dismembred them,
All birds that ecchoes musicke through the bill,
Sang ioy to her in an vndittied antheme:
An artificiall heauen stands open still,
Filling the roofe with a sweet vnknowne noyse,
Downe fals a clowd like a rich diadem,
And showes a hundred naked singing boyes.


The sence of smelling with all rare deuises,
That rich Arabia or the world can yeeld,
The dew of Roses and choise Indian spices,
The purest of the garden and the field.
The earth to part with these rare gifts now rises,
And vowes no more her nature so profuse,
Shall let her sweets be from her breast distild,
To feed their vanitie with her abuse.

[Pg 201]

Then in a rich imbroidred bed of downe,
Pluck’t from the cōstant Turtles fethered breast,
Vpon her head he set imperiall crowne,
And to her goes: Now is his soule at rest.
This night he counts the end of his renowne,
The sence of feeling, she feeles by his power,
And like a subiect yeelds to his request,
Whilest Mahomet a virgin doth deflower.


Now feares this flower deflowr’d his loue will waine,
Wishing the lustfull act had bin vndoon,
The pleasure cannot counteruaile the paine,
For still she thinkes with torment ioy is woon,
His loue growes full, she gets it now with gaine:
He like a ring of gold insets his iewell,
But fearing of his force she should disdaine,
Till sighes and kisses did inflame Loues fewell.


Then like the God of Warre, caught in a net,
He twin’d his Venus, danger was not nigh,
And as a Diamond compar’d with Iet,
So show’d her sparkling eye against his eye.
The sunne-gaz’d Eagle now this done doth get,
And gently gripes her, hurting not his pray,
She sounds with pleasure, second sweets are high
And wishes Phœbus blinde all night, no day.

[Pg 202]

The red-cheek’t morning opens now her gate,
And busie day breathes life into the world,
The heauens great coachman mounted is in state,
And darknesse from the aire to hell is hurld.
Now pleasures king by day light sees his mate,
Whil’st she lay blushing like the damaske rose,
His ietty haire she with her fingers curld,
He hug’d her fast, least he his ioyes should lose.


Her sight begot in him a new desire,
For that is restlesse alwaies in extreames,
Nought but saciety can quench loues fire.
Now throgh the christal casemēt Phœbus beames
Dazled those twinckling starres that did aspire,
To gaze vpon his brightnesse being a louer.
Tasting her petulans in waking dreames,
To hide her from the sunne, he doth her couer.


Then sweet breath’d musicke, like the chime of spheares,
Did rauish pleasure, till this paire did rise:
More wonder then that sound was to men eares
Was her rare beauty to the gazers eyes.
Ioy was so violent, the rockes it teares,
The noise and triumphs beates vpon the aire,
And like ambition pierceth through the skies,
That Ioue loo’kt downe on her that was so rare.

[Pg 203]

Thus Mahomet both day and night doth spend,
In obseruation of her eyes and pleasure,
Growing so iealous, least he should offend,
His soules perfection, natures vnspent treasure.
If she but speake to him, he low doth bend,
And such a seruitude he doth discouer.
Neglecting of himselfe in that grosse measure,
That Hiren clips her slaue, no Emperour.


Her chamber is her prison (O most willing)
And there like house-doues they each other woo
At first shee’l shun him, after fall a billing,
And with imagination make him doo.
Thy eies quoth Mahomet, saues thousands killing
For all my force vpon thee shall be spent,
Thy warres directions I do best allow,
Thy Armes my Armour, and thy bed my Tent.


Who doth offend this paramour, straight dyes,
As certainly, as if pronounc’d by fate,
Who doth with duty please her, needs must rise,
Her face directeth both his loue and hate.
The grosest flatterer is held most wise.
Now reignes swolne gluttony, red lust, and pride:
For when the heart’s corrupted in a state,
Needs must the other parts be putrifide.

[Pg 204]

The cōmons like wolues, bark againft the moone
And sweare they wil depose him from his throne:
The Nobles whisper, and intend, that soone.
Some one shal let their griefe to him be knowne.
To scape that office now is each mans boone,
Who speakes against her whets a fatall knife,
For he replyes, I loose but what’s mine owne,
As sure as we haue life, you loose that life.


They stand amaz’d, by hearing their own feares
Each viewing other with a face extracted:
Some praying, cursing, other shedding teares,
To see a Louer by a Souldier acted.
Patience doth foole vs that so long forbeares,
To tell our Emperour hee’s turn’d a monster,
And to such ease and vices so contracted.
The world, his birth, and titles doth mis-conster.


Then Mustapha, beloued of the Turke,
Stood vp, and said, I hazard will my head,
Know Countrymen, Ile vndertake this worke,
And if I fall, lament me being dead.
No flattery within this breast shall lurke:
For that to Princes eares is now grown common
Whilest Mahomet to haue his pleasure fed,
Doth loose the worlds sway for a fickle woman.

[Pg 205]

Vnto her priuate chamber straight he goes,
And findes his foueraigne sleeping on her lap,
On suddaine wakes him: Sir, here are your foes,
The sound amaz’d him like a thunder-clap:
Although you sleep, awak’t are all our woes.
The franticke Emperour vpon him stares,
Relate in briefe the worst of our mishap,
Man cannot wrong vs, when a God not dares.


This danger Mehomet, attends thy reigne,
The Gods are angry with thy lustfull ease,
Thy priuate pleasure is the Empires paine,
To please your selfe you all the world displease:
The Sophy, German, and the King of Spaine,
Begirt thy safety with the ribbes of death.
Then worthy Prince, your wonted valour cease,
And take my counsel, though it cost my breath.


You are but the shadow of an Emperour,
Not really effecting what you are,
A slothfull Epicure, a puling louer,
That now en’e trembles at the name of warre,
Obliuion all thy former acts do couer,
Most willing to remoue you I will dye,
The sunne of honour now is scarce a starre,
Vertue at first was sire to Maiesty.

[Pg 206]

The Emperour vpon his subiect stares,
As if a Gorgons head he there had seene,
How comes it vassall, that thy proud tōgue dares,
Speake to remoue mee frō this heauenly queene?
The gods wold liue on earth, to haue their shares
In my Hirena: Sirra, you want nurture:
Thy life I will not touch now in my spleene,
But in cold bloud it shall depart with torture.


I feare not death, repli’d bold Mustapha,
At your command I’le clime a steepy rocke,
Then headlong tumble downe into the sea,
Or willingly submit me to the blocke,
Disrobe my nature, and my body flea:
Yet in that tyranny I’le speake my minde,
And boldly like a Souldier stand deaths shocke,
Concluding, lust can strike the Eagle blinde.


His haughty words amaz’d this king of loue,
Thou wert not wont to speake thus without duty.
Can her embraces so my soule remoue?
And must he be a coward dotes on beauty?
Such rarity of pleasure I do proue,
In her enioying, that my soule is fed,
With that variety, to speake her truly,
Each night she giues me a new maiden-head.

[Pg 207]

Yet shall my subiects know my power in this,
That I can rule mine own affection:
I pardon freely what thou speak’st amisse,
Knowing it sprung from loue, and thy subiection:
Your eies shall see me rob the earth of blisse,
A sight too sad, all heauen strike men with terror,
And in that act cast such reflexion.
That kings shall see thēselues in me their mirror.


Go, tell my Bashaes, and the noble bloud,
I do inuite them to a royall dinner,
And there I’le shew them loue can be withstood:
Yet he that wrongs my Greeke is such a sinner,
He cannot cleanse himselfe, washt in Ioues flood.
Fortune this fate vpon my loue hath hurld,
The Monarkes of the earth in hope to win her,
Against her beauty would stake all the world.


Leaue vs: and be thou comforted my faire,
I will aduance thee bou’e the stile of woman:
Let not my words bring thee vnto dispaire,
Thou shalt imbrace the Gods, for her’s no man
Worthy to taste thy sweetes, they are so rare.
Drawn by the Phœnix thou through heauen shalt ride
And Saturn woūded by loues litle bowman
Shall get his sonne to haue thee stellifide.

[Pg 208]

Go decke thy beauty with heauens ornament,
Shine Cinthia like with iewels in the night,
As she with starres stucke in heauens firmament;
But thine, the greater will deface her light,
Making her yeeld to thee her gouernment.
On Saturnes top thy face shall gaine opinion,
Beyond cold Phœbe shining out so bright,
Thou shalt be courted by her loue Endimion.


Let ioy possesse thy heart, and be thou proud,
In sight of all the Turkish Emperours Peares,
Let not thy sunne of beauty in a cloud,
Be hid from those, whose eies with deawy teares,
For want of thy pure heate in shades do shroud,
Their drooping forheads, but thy beames exhales
All misty vapours, and the welkin cleares,
Like putrifying lightning, or Ioues balles.


Then hand in hand they passe out of the roome,
Her beauty like a blazing starre admired,
Well may I tearme it so, it shew’d the doome,
Of her liues date that instant was expired.
Now to the presence chamber they are come,
Where all in reuerence kisse the humble earth,
Here nature tooke her own, and death hath hir’d;
To giue that backe againe, which she gaue birth.

[Pg 209]

Now stands in the midst, and thus begins,
(Taking the faire Hirena by the hand:)
Which of you here, that such a creature wins,
Would part with her, for honor, loue, or land?
The gods were enuious whē they made those sins
Which are th crowns of this fraile worlds cōtent,
Nor can it with their humane reason stand,
To thinke our ioyes begets our punishiment.


View but her hand, her lip, her brow, her eyes,
The smalnesse of her waste, and comely stature,
And let your iudgement bou’e your hatred rise,
Thē you must needs cōfesse, she excels in feature.
That you are onely fooles, I truly wise,
Doe not her presence admiration strike,
And broken is her frame by angry nature,
For feare she wrongs herselfe, and make the like.


What man that hauing toild in hidden Art,
Spent all his youth, and substance to the bone,
All bookes and knowledge in the deepest part,
To finde that Phœnix, that gold-getting stone,
And hauing it, to comfort his weake heart,
Shall he his seruants, wife, or friends to please,
With his owne eies go see that iewell throwne,
Into the bottomelesse and gaping seas.

[Pg 210]

Or which of you can haue the fortitude,
To lop a limbe off, or pull out an eye,
Or being in a heauenly seruitude,
To free your selues would with the damned lye?
Of force with me you now must all conclude,
That mortall men are subiect to loues rod,
But heere you shall perceiue that onely I,
Am natures conquerour, and a perfect God.


Then with a smiling looke, he came vnto her,
And kist her, bad her pray, and then he smil’d,
I must not in my constancy now erre,
Since by mine owne tongue I a God am sti’ld.
He drawes a fatall Turkish Simiter,
With it he parts her body from her head.
And though his tyranny did proue so vile,
She seem’d to mocke him smiling being dead.


Vntill he tooke it in his bloudy power,
And then a crimson floud gusht out a pace,
The fauor chang’d frō smiling and look’t sower.
And senceles teares ran trickling downe her face,
As who should say, I thought within this hower,
For me thou wouldst haue oppos’d heauen with strife,
That earthly being is like falling glasse,
To thee I lost virginity and life.

[Pg 211]

Long stood he mute, and gaz’d vpon her forme,
Till Mustapha came in to play his part,
His eies shot lightning like a horrid storme,
Thē with his fauchion runs him through the hart,
O could this diuell my soule so tranforme,
That I must eate that snake in him did lurke,
But this is hels instruction, the blacke Art.
To giue our sins the means by which they work.


O my Hirena, Mahomet then cries,
Looke through the orbes, & see an Emperour sad
Detaine her not you rulers in the skies,
But send her once more, to make Monarkes glad.
My soule to thine like Tartars shaft now flies,
They held his arme, or else he had done the deed
This mighty Mahomet with loue growne mad,
Can nothing ease you, but your heart must bleed.


Where is that God-head due vnto your birth,
Descended from the Prophet Mahomet,
Recall your spirits to their former mirth,
And keep your colour constant like the Iet.
Now shew your fortitude, be God on earth,
Marshall your men, giue eare vnto your Drum,
And let your valour with the sunne being set,
With the resplendancy burne Christendome.

[Pg 212]

Awake dull mate, and leaue this trance,
Be perfect man, as thou hast here thy being,
Not subiect vnto passion or chance;
But like thy selfe, with Kingly thoughts agree,
Our siluer moone to heauen we will aduance,
And Christendome shall mourne for Hirens fall,
That heathen Princes our braue acts seeing,
Shall yeeld the world to vs, we king of all.


And for my loues vnkindly Tragedy,
A thousand Citties for her death shall mourne,
And as a relicke to posterity,
Our priests shall keep her ashes in their vrne,
And fame to future times with memory,
Shall sound her glory, and my loues effects,
For, till this vniuersall Masse doth burne,
Her beauty rests the wonder of her sex.


Now order my affaires for bloudy warre,
For heere I vow this loue shall be my last,
No more shall downy pleasure, like a barre,
Stop my designes that now at honour gast,
Shoote prophet on my forhead a blessed starre,
A Tygers fiercenesse, and my heart shall moue,
Because with Hiren all affections past,
I’le pitty none, for pitty begets loue.
F I N I S.



[Pg 213]


The Love of Amos and Laura
Text of Title Page


[Pg 214]


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To thee thou more then thrice beloued friend,
I too vnworthie of so great a blisse:
These harsh tun’d lines I here to thee commend,
Thou being cause it is now as it is:
For hadst thou held thy tongue by silence might,
These had bene buried in obliuions night.

If they were pleasing, I would call them thine,
And disavow my title to the verse:
But being bad, I needs must call them mine,
No ill thing can be clothed in thy verse.
Accept them then, and where I haue offended,
Rase thou it out, and let it be amended.

S. P.

Go little booke into the largest world,
And blase the chastnes of thy maiden Muse:
Regardles of all enuie on thee hurld,
By the vnkindnes that the readers vse:
And those that enuie thee by scruples letter,
Bid them take pen in hand and make a better.
[Pg 215]



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In the large confines of renowned France
There liu’d a Lord, whom Fortune did aduance,
VVho had a Daughter, Laura call’d the faire;
So sweet, so proper, and so debonaire,
That strangers tooke her for to be none other,
Then Venus selfe, the God of Loues owne Mother.
Not farre from thence was scituate a Towne,
The Lord thereof a man of great renowne;
VVhom likewise Fortune blessed with a Sonne,
Amos by name, so modest, ciuill, yong,
And yet in sight so wondrous and so bold,
As that therein he passed vncontroul’d:
So kinde to strangers, and so meeke to all;
Of comely grace, and stature somewhat tall.
As the wide world not two such Impes affords,
As were the off-springs of these happy Lords.
[Pg 216]Hunting he lou’d, and therefore in a morne
He shakes off sleepe (for ease he laughes to scorne)
Before the sable Curtaines of the East
Proclaim’d the Sunnes approach vnto the west;
Or Tytan, Lordly Ruler of the morne,
Had in his Chariot, left the night forlorne;
Or sounded sleepe to them, with whom (men say)
It’s darksome night when we enioy the day:
He brac’d his Hounds, and striding o’er his Steed,
Hope with a conquest did the youngster feed:
VVhich done, he hyes him to a mighty wood,
That ioyn’d where Laura’s Fathers Pallace stood.
Thither being come, a Bore he rais’d, whose pace
Did make our hunts-man loose his Hounds in chase:
Ranging the woods, he light into a Groue,
More pleasant farre then that where Venus stroue
To win Adonis to her hearts desire,
Moued by the burning zeale of sweet Loues fire.
In this sweet Groue God Pan did keepe his Court,
And summon’d all the petty Gods resort,
As Satyres, Nymphes, and others, to the same,
VVhere all sing prayses vnto Laura’s name.
Into this Groue (neare to her chamber side)
(To take the Ayre) she comes forth; soone espide
[Pg 217]Of the yong Hunts-man, who made haste vnto her,
And thus the Nouice there beginnes to wooe her:
Parragon of beauty, diuine, though earthly creature,
And yet Celestiall in thy heauenly feature.
This sodaine courting, and vnwelcome sight,
Made her adde wings to feare, and to that, flight:
He following after, caught her by the traine,
That in a rage the Maide turn’d backe againe,
And did demaund why he without remorse,
Durst cause her stay, against her will, by force.
Mou’d by the rosiate colour of thy face,
(VVherein consists (quoth he) all heauenly grace)
I was too bold, I must confesse indeede,
To touch the seluage of thy sacred weede:
For which my selfe Ile punish as thou wilt,
VVith any paine, for my deserued guilt.
Doe but pronounce the sentence of my death,
These hands shall be the butchers of my breath:
But since the merit of my fault’s no deeper,
Oh let me be thy Prisoner, thou my Keeper;
So shall thine eyes be witnesse of the woe,
VVhich for my bold offence Ile vndergoe.
Pronounce thy sentence then. VVherwith she spake,
You are your Crafts-man Sir: and there she brake.
[Pg 218]Yet turning backe, quoth she, ô would ’twere true,
Your loue were firme to me, as mine to you!
And here she ceased: for when he came neare her,
She was afraid that he would ouer-heare her.
And art thou so vnwilling then, quoth hee,
To doome the sentence which I aske of thee?
Perswade thy selfe it is thy purer minde
That will not let thy heart proue so vnkinde:
O would that minde were mine, to ioyne thy hart
Eyther to end my life, or ease my smart.
Loue is my sute. Nor hate is my reply,
Quoth she. Quoth hee, I cannot court it I;
They which but view the error in my lookes,
May finde I neuer learn’d in Cupids bookes:
But like a stone rough hewen from the rockes,
And after polish’d by the Masons knockes,
The former shewes but base then in compare,
So to my loue my speech disgraces are:
For were my speech true patterne of my minde,
Not as it doth, should’t come, but farre more kinde,
Like as the Marchant hearing of a losse,
Is vvondrous sory for so great a crosse;
And after heareth by a true report,
His goods are safely landed in the Fort,
[Pg 219]Cannot expresse the joy he doth conceiue:
For why? it doth his senses quite bereaue;
And yet with signe of sorrow blames th’euent,
Although it seeme most plaine and euident.
Or like a Ship toss’d by tempestuous weather,
Now here, then there; now back againe, then thither
That whirle-windes meeting (roaring out aloud)
Make watry mountaines shew the ship each cloud:
Then with such fury they descend the deepe,
From top of triple-Cedar-mountaines steepe,
As of the Seas rich orientall shew,
Against their wils they take a counterview.
So fares his minde, which tossed to and fro,
Sometimes doth ioy, and other times is woe:
Sometimes from depth ascends into the ayre,
And though he hope, he hides it with despayre.
So long with feruent zeale he mou’d his sute,
Onely for want of words his tongue was mute.
“VVhere true affection rules in hottest fires,
“Dumbe signes and tokens then shew mens desires:
For what he thought he shew’d, he could not vtter,
Which made him oft when he shold speak to mutter.
She that was wounded with the selfe-same dart,
Reueal’d with tongue that which she wisht with hart
[Pg 220]And fram’d her answere, so much’t could not grieue him,
For ’twas a salue to wound and to relieue him.
Say I could loue, quoth she, my milder minde,
(Vnlesse you further moue) cannot vnkinde,
Frame you an answere: for wee are by nature
So much addicted to mans heauenly feature,
That though your faults are great by your abuse,
To blinde the same it is our womans vse.
Then as thou found’st me, leaue me, if thou wilt;
That shall be all I render for thy guilt.
Further I will not credit thy report:
Farewell; be gone, for I am mist in Court.
With that shee flyes, and in her flight she leaues
A well wrought Scarfe, which straight the winde vp heaues;
And proud of such a prise, they doe infer
With their embassage vnto Jupiter,
And there presented it: who, as ’twas right,
Did make the windes returne’t with swiftest flight,
Vnto the place where Amos stood amazed
At that which hapt, who like a mad-man gazed,
Wondring what she by this illusion meant,
When to allure him was her whole intent:
But led in admiration most of all,
At the rich Scarfe which from the Maide did fall.
[Pg 221]He viewes the worke, where finding of Apollo
Chasing a Nymph, who swifter then a Swallow
Flyeth his armes, for feare did lend her wings
To flye from him which after her soone flings.
Himselfe a foole he cals, that wanting skill,
Being allur’d, he had not knowne her will.
Doubtfull, he feares offence committed to her,
That he so rashly, gain’st her will, durst wooe her.
To cleare himselfe of which offence he flyes,
Resolu’d to winne the Maide, or lose the prize,
With prosperous hast. Oh may thy hast well speed,
Whose wondrous loue did vertuously proceed:
Not from the flames of filthy lusts desire,
As was that Rome-borne Tarquins lustfull fire:
But as vnspotlesse from that filthy thought,
From that most hell-deseruing thing of nought,
As euer heart lodg’d in a loyall brest,
Or tongue, vntaught to lye, euer exprest.
But why doe I digresse the path I tread,
Cloying your eares with that your eyes doe read?
Pardon my boldnesse, and giue eare a while
To that, of him, which my inferiour stile
Shall now expresse: though’t not with honor stands,
He thinkes one paire of legs worth twice two hands.
[Pg 222]The arrow swift sent from the sturdy bow,
May be accounted (to his flight) but slow:
At last he gain’d the Court, to vvhich being come,
It shew’d like to the Pallace of the Sunne
Describ’d in Ouid: for in length and fairenesse,
None might surpasse the workmanship and rarenes.
Through which his way lies, & he needs must passe,
The pauement Marble vvas, the vvals of Glasse:
VVhereunder vvas so liuely caru’d the Story
Of great Joues loue, his vvondrous vvorks, & glory,
VVith many others loue: vvhich to rehearse
VVould adde a mighty volume to my Verse,
Besides mine owne weake vvit: for I doe know it,
He vvas a better workeman, then I Poet.
Yet could not this abate the Louers pace:
For he still holds the louely Maide in chase.
Passing the Court, he comes into a greene,
VVhich vvas in middest of the Pallace seene:
Thorough the midst there ranne a pleasant Spring,
On each side with a vvall of Bricke hemm’d in,
Onely in midst, a Stile; beyond, a Plancke,
VVhich for a Bridge did serue to eyther bancke.
Ouer this Stile as Laura lightly skips,
In her rent garment happily it slips,
[Pg 223]And held her there a while till hee came to her,
VVhere once againe the Nouice gins to vvoe her.
Flye not thy friend, our Maker vvilleth so,
Things reasonlesse approue and vvish it so,
If vvithout sense and reason all things then
Obserue a better course then humane men,
How sauage were we then offending so,
Committing that vvhich vve offence doe know?
O were my tongue a second Orpheus Harpe,
That to my loue I might allure thy heart!
Or vvere thy loue but equall vnto mine,
Then vvould thou seeke his fauor vvho seeks thine!
Me thinkes vnkindnesse cannot come from thence,
VVhere beauty raignes vvith such magnificence,
I meane from thee, vvhom nature hath endow’d
VVith more then Art would vvillingly allow’d:
And though by nature you are borne most faire,
Yet Art would adde a beautie to your share:
But it being spotlesse doth disdaine receipt
Of all vnpolish’d painting counterfeit.
Your beautie is a snare vnto our wayes,
VVherein once caught, wee cannot brooke delayes;
VVhich makes vs oft through griefe of minde grow sad,
Griefe follows grief, then malecontent & mad.
[Pg 224]Thus by deniall doe you cause our woe,
And then doe triumph in our ouer-throw.
What is it to be fayre? onely a vanitie,
A fading blossome of no perpetuitie.
Consider this: for beautie is a flower,
Subiect to ill occasions euery hower;
It is a tenure holden as wee see
Durante Dei placito, not in fee.
Measure my Loue then, proue it by a tryall:
Let me not languish still by your deniall.
If in my suite I erre, as by mischance,
Blame not my Loue but count it ignorance.
The tongue is but an instrument of nought,
And cannot speake the largenesse of the thought:
For when the minde abounds, and almost breaketh,
Then through abundance of the heart it speaketh:
No man can speake but what he hath in minde,
Then what I speake I thinke; be not vnkinde
Vnto your seruant, who obedience proffers,
And makes firme loue the obiect of his offers.
I will not boast of Parentage, or Lyne,
For all are base, respecting thee diuine:
Nor will I boast of wealth, or riches store,
For in thy face consists all wealth, and more.
[Pg 225]Pure are my thoughts as skin betweene thy browes,
And eke as chaste my speech, my oathes, & vowes.
Speake sweetest fayre, but one kinde word to me,
How can alas that be offence in thee?
There was a Dame a moderne Poet sung,
Hero by name, like thee, both faire and young:
And both so faire, that you did others passe
As farre as rarest Dyamonds common glasse.
VVhom young Leander courted on a greene,
A Maide so faire (but thee) was neuer seene.
She granted loue, which he (alas) to gaine,
To reape those ioyes, did crosse the brinish Maine.
My loue to thee, I now compare to his;
Accounting danger, so requited, blisse.
There are no Seas to separate our ioy,
No future danger can our Loue annoy:
Then grant to me what she denide not him;
If good in her, in thee it is no sinne.
The Sunne hath shin’d thus long, ô let not now
The Sunne be darkened by thine angry brow.
But rather let each looke a Comet be
That may presage my happy destinie.
I could to you a short discourse impart,
That would relent the direst stony hart,
[Pg 226]VVer’t not offence. It’s no offence quoth she.
Then thus the same Ile briefely tell, quoth he:
A poore old man by chance did breake his leg,
And he was told where he was wont to beg,
That such a Surgion (telling of his name,)
If that he pleas’d, could quickly cure the same.
VVhich when he heard, to him for helpe he goes,
And craues for Gods sake he would ease his woes.
The Surgion greedy to haue coyne therefore,
But finding none, he would not heale the sore:
VVhich caus’d the poore old man to keepe his bed,
That he for want of helpe in time was dead.
Alas poore soule; (quoth shee) and did he dye?
VVould I were Iudge, or hee were such as I,
I so would vse the Surgion, as that hee
Should feele the griefe which he before did see.
Thus you confesse your wrong to me sweet Maid,
If you performe (quoth he) the vvords you said.
I am the man, who wounded, seeke reliefe:
And you, the causer of my endlesse griefe;
You are the Surgion, whom I vrge the more
To cure the wound because you made the sore.
Be not obdurate then, sith my disease
Is quickly cured, if the Surgion please.
[Pg 227]And this I vow, water shall turne to fire,
Huge massie mountaines to the clouds aspire;
The Sun shall leaue his course, the Moon her brightnes,
Night turne to day, and day shall lose his lightnes;
Fishes shall flye, birds swimme; and Hare shall hunt
The Hound, which to pursue the Hare vvas wont:
Ayre, Earth, Fire, VVater, all things which you view
Shall change their natures, ere I turne from you:
And longer then I breathe a loyall friend,
Let me (ô heauens) endure a wicked end.
Silence (quoth she) and here let cease thy sute,
Cause of distrust in loue did make me mute:
Aske why I yeelded in so short a season,
Because I loue, that is a womans reason.
Yet Maides are fearefull; for by mens abuse,
Courting is turned to a common vse,
How is he held, that cannot in these dayes
Fash’on his words to each fantasticke phrase?
VVhich makes vs oft with one word to debase
Him from our bosomes, whom our hearts imbrace:
And, as you men doe for a Prouerbe make it,
That which we loue we oft say nay and take it.
Delayes breede danger, wherefore what I said,
And what agrees with Honour, and a Maid,
[Pg 228]I yeeld to thee, but yet on this condition,
Thou shalt not dare t’attempt the least fruition
Of my chaste thoughts, by drawing them aside,
Before in wedlocke I am made thy Bride.
This said; shee to the Court, hee to his Hounds,
Where they had slaine a Bore, whose bloud abounds:
Glad of his prey, he hastneth home amaine,
VVith short returne he comes to her againe,
And hauing ioyn’d themselues in Hymens bands,
The sacred Priest vniteth heart and hands:
They reape those ioyes which elder louers know,
And thus my Tale doth end, thus ends their woe.

F I N I S.



[Pg 229]

The Scourge of Venus
Text of Title Page

[Pg 230]



[Pg 231]



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To the Reader.
Gentlemen, if your fancy will permit you to fauour this booke, I shall be thankfull, if not, I can but repent at the charge of the Impression, I meane but little gaine to my selfe, yet much pleasure to you, if it were my owne wit, and you condemne it, I should be ashamed of my publicke intrusion, but since it was the labour of a man wel-deseruing, forbeare open reprehending, for, as I haue heard, ’twas done for his pleasure, without any intent of an Impreßion; thus much I excuse him that I know not, and commend that which deserueth well, if I be partiall, I pray patience.


[Pg 232]

[Pg 233]

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The Scourge of Venus.

Whilst that the Sunne was climing vp in haste,
To view the world with his ambitious eye.
Faire Myrha; yet alas, more faire then chaste.
Did set her thoughts to descant wantonly;
Nay most inhumane, more then bad, or ill,
As in the sequell you may reade at will.

You that haue parents, or that parents be,
Depart a space, and giue not eare at all
To the foule tale that here shall vttered be:
Some filthy shame let on all other fall,
If possibly there can be any such,
From nature to degenerate so much.

O then with Ouid, I am wonderous glad
That this small world of ours is put so farre
From those that such incestious people had:
So rest thou still in glory as a starre.
That scorning thrusts from other nations quite,
And in thy vertues doth thy selfe delight.
[Pg 234]
And now faire Myrha in her youthly blood
Doth on her father dote with fond desire.
Each foule occasion is accounted good,
That may increase her filthy lustfull fire.
And as this shamefull matter wanted grace,
So doubtfully she thus doth plead her case.

Why should not Gods this loue of mine permit?
Or be offended with me for the same?
It doth infringe their sacred lawes no whit,
Adding dishonour, or deseruing blame.
I will proceed, good reasons for to proue,
‘Tis not vnlawfull to obtaine my loue.

In many countries I do certaine know,
The parents with their children married be,
Which they do most, their godlinesse to show,
Because their loues increast thereby they see.
Then shal this lucklesse plot of ground remaine,
Th’occasion that my loue I not obtaine?

Each night hath Nature set at liberty:
All things be cōmon, for she naught restrains:
Then let the Daughter with the Father lye,
Like president with all things else remaines.
The Kid, the Heifer, and the birds we see,
Affect the same of whom they gotten be.
[Pg 235]
In happy case then such her creatures are,
That may do so, and yet do no offence,
They be more happy then is mankinde farre:
For they by some malicious base pretence
Haue made a curbe to hold that still in thrall
Which Nature would haue common vnto all.

But yet packe hence thou foule incestious loue,
What, wilt vpon thy only father dote?
I ought to loue him; yet as doth behoue,
Not that the world therby my shame may note.
O do resolue! the neerenesse of our kin,
Cuts off all hope thy wished suit to win.

Did Cupid then ere shoot so yet before?
Can Vulcan forge so foule an arrow now?
Or further: will dame Venus euermore
Such cruelty vnto her seruants show?
No, no, I am deceiu’d; for now I see,
With poisoned snakes some fury woūded thee.

How great (said she) ô Venus mayst thou be,
How was I rauished this present night,
In feeling of your pleasant sports in me?
I clipt a man in prime of his delight,
What liuely pleasures did I there conceiue?
No fault (alasse) but they too soone did leaue.
[Pg 236]
Would Cynarus thou hadst some other name,
How fitly mightst thou haue a loue of me?
How nobly mightst thereby increase thy fame,
How quickly shouldst a son gaine vnto thee?
I would inforce dull earthly thoughts, to craue,
To kisse and clip, and other pastimes haue.

What meane my dreams? haue they effect at all?
May dreames a future chance to vs portend?
Let then to me such dreames more oft befall,
In dreames no present witnesse can offend.
In dreames we may as great a pleasure take,
As in some sort is found we being awake.

But yet avaunt, packe hence foule filthy fire,
Wring out some teares to quench this cursed flame
No otherwise the daughter-like require
Thy fathers loue, that blazons on thy shame.
Yet put the case he first did seeke to me;
No doubt I should to his request agree.

Why should it not then stand right so with him,
Since of one nature we participate?
What if with speech thou chance his loue to win
Then maist thou write, No time is yet too late.
What thou dost blush to speake, loue bids thee write
Belieue me they read more thē we indite.
[Pg 237]
Resolu’d on this, with trembling hand she takes
The pen and paper, framing for to write,
Left hād holds way, whilst right the leter makes
Composing what she did in minde indite.
She writes, she doubts, she chageth this for that,
She likes, dislikes, & notes she knows not what.

She casts away, and doth begin anew,
Yet findes a want in that she framed last
She blots, & then againe that thing doth view,
And now the first more fits then all that’s past.
Father she writes, yet shame did blot it out,
Then thus she writes, and casts away all doubt.

I know not what, sends to I know not whom
Such health that thou maist only giue to me,
Which if I want, my life cannot be long,
Euen that same health thy louer sends to thee.
I dare not tell thee who I am for shame,
Nor (out alasse) once let thee heare my name.

And if thou aske of me what I desire,
Or why so doubtfull I do write to thee,
Would namelesse I might tell what I require,
Till that my sweet were granted vnto me:
Which if to know, thou wouldst make further triall
A maiden asketh but a maids deniall.
[Pg 238]
In token of my wounded heart, I would
Within these blotted lines there might apeare
My colour pale, my body leane and cold,
My watery eyes, my sighes and heauy cheere,
Then mightst perceiue I were in loue with thee,
And how the flames of loue tormenteth me.

I call the Gods as witnesse to the same
Poore wretched wench, I stroue to flie the dart
And did my best that out-rage for to tame
Which Cupid had alotted for my smart,
No wench bare more then did to me betide,
Which forc’d me shew the cause that I would hide.

Then mercy at thy gentle hands I craue,
In fearefull wise to thee I make my mone,
Thou onely maist thy louer spill or saue,
No enemy doth sue, but such a one
That is aly’d most sweetly vnto thee,
Yet in a neerer band would linked be.

My life is thine, and thou didst giue it me,
Then loue thy selfe and thou wilt me affect,
My beauty’s much, and is deriu’d from thee,
Then all thy owne be carefull to respect.
O stop thy eares, and heare not Myrha’s name,
And shut thy eies whē thou dost read the same.
[Pg 239]
My youthfull yeares rash folly doth beseeme,
The skill of law to aged folkes belong,
And all is lawfull that we list, I deeme,
We take no notice of the right or wrong,
If it offend to take thy owne in’t bed,
Let that offence be layd vpon my head.

Then set apart the dread of worldly shame,
And take the Gods, as presidents herein,
My pregnant wit shall shun all future blame,
Our pleasure scapes wel, hid with name of kin,
And you may clip and kisse, and play with me,
A daughters name me thinkes a cloke wil bee.

Haue mercy now, I haue my case exprest,
Which loue inforst my fearefull hand to write:
O grant thy daughter this her first request,
That is the occasion of her chiefe delight,
This Epitaph deserue thou not; I haue,
The cruel father tooke the life he gaue.

And though my lines are blotted euery where,
‘Twas with my teares that fell ere it was dry,
And if my letters scribled do appeare,
Whereby you thinke some other wrot to try
Your mind: because my curious hand is mist,
A fearefull minde, doth bring a shaking fist.
[Pg 240]
And so these scrambled lines I do commend
Vnto your loue, be-blurred all with teares,
With feruent hope they shall no whit offend,
The minde is base, that stil continuall feares.
And note you which is the greater blot,
To get no childe or kill that you haue got.

Thus much this lustfull Lady writ in vaine,
And seald it closely with a precious stone,
A precious stone clos’d vp a filthy staine,
Her trusty seruant forth she cals anone,
And blushing bad him with a merry cheare,
He should this letter to her father beare.

This scarcely said, old Cynaras did come,
And then she cast her letter quite aside.
Daughter (said he) you see the daily throng
Of suters that do seeke thee for their bride:
Here be their names my wench, thē come & show
On which of them thou wilt thy selfe bestow.

Now for a space she silent did remaine,
And onely gazed wishly in his face:
She could her teares no longer then restraine,
But they ran trickling down her cheeks apace
Her father kisses her, and bids her peace,
And thought it tender-hearted shamefastnes.
[Pg 241]
He dry’d her cheekes, and said, my wench be stil,
Thy yeares of right, a husband now doth claime
Thou shalt not liue a maid by my good will,
Nor longer shalt a wanton bed refraine,
Then what, or who wilt haue? come tell me now.
At length she did reply; one like to you.

He did allow the choyce, and praisd the same,
And kist and clipt her for her louing speech,
Not deeming that it tended to their shame,
It pleasd her well, & wisht that he would seech
A further suit; and then made this request,
Let me live still with you, let wooers rest.

Your company I most of all affect,
Continue but your loue, it shall suffice,
These wrangling husbands why should I respect?
Her father thus againe to her replies,
Thy godlinesse (at which she blushed red)
I like, but thou must tast a Bride-groomes bed.

Thou dost not know the pleasure it affords,
Nor wanton motions that therein abound.
It not consisteth all of pleasant words,
More gamesome tricks are there stil to be foūd
A minde so chaste as thine cannot conceiue
What pleasing sports one shall therby receiue.
[Pg 242]
It is no dreame, nor passion of the minde,
But a substantiall pleasure there doth dwell,
The practike part of dreames therein we finde,
Which who so doth omit, leades Apes in hell.
Why dost thou blush? I know your case, belieue,
Maids must say nay, yet take when men do giue.

And now the sable horses of the night,
Haue drawne a mantle ore the siluer sky,
And all the stars doe shew their borrowed light,
Each breathing thing oprest with sleep doth ly
Saue Philomell, that sings of Terreus rape,
And Myrha plotting some incestious scape.

No rest at all she tooke within her bed,
The flames of Cupid burnt so in her brest,
And many a fansie comes into her head,
Which ouer-much her troubled soule opprest,
She doubts, she hopes thē feare doth make repaire,
Sh’l now attēpt, then shame doth bring despaire.

Looke how you see a pleasant field of Corne
Moue here & there by gentle-breathing wind,
Now vp and downe, as waues in sea are borne:
So doubtfull thoughts had motion in her mind:
Now shee’l surcease, and now to him repaire
Instable, like a feather in the aire.
[Pg 243]
O fye vpon this fowle incestious lust,
That very Nature greatly doth abhorre,
Some plague will fall vpon all such I trust,
If in this world there can be any more.
I hope this little world well free-ed is
Of Giants, and such monstrous beasts as this.

So God preserue it, if it be his will,
And let the Gospell euer flourish here,
Yet I do feare we haue some yet as ill,
The pleasing fooles do with their folly beare:
In Paradice I see wee cannot live,
But we shall finde some foule seducing Eue.

My tongue doth stagger to repeate her name,
So foule a blot a Christian cannot brooke,
Go seeke a glasse to see this filthy shame,
Upon Gods holy Bible daily looke:
And there thou maist, as in a mirror see,
No Alkeron can yeeld the like to thee.

There sucke the Nectar of his Holy Word,
And begge thou pardon for thy foule abuse,
For euery Sore it can a Salue afford.
O Atheist! learne to make of it good use.
Thou Christians blot, to leaue off further talke,
Whilst thou hast light, endeuor there to walke.
[Pg 244]
And thou Pænchaia, rich in manys a thing,
In Custus, Cynamon and Incense sweete,
That out of trees aboundantly doth spring,
Of Ammonie, and things for vses meete.
Yet whilst thou yeeldest Myrrh, I wey thee not:
For thereunto hath Myrha giuen a blot.

No measure in her filthy loue she found:
No ease, no rest, but death doth like her now.
Resolu’d on this she gets vp from the ground,
And mindes to hang her selfe, her loue to shew,
And then the noose about her necke she drawes,
And said, ô Cynaras! thou art the onely cause.

Farewell therfor, a thousand times farewell,
Deere Cynaras thou mightst haue sau’d my life,
And thinke then, this to me alone befell,
Because I durst not loue thee as a wife.
Farewell againe. Oh welcome gentle death!
And then she went about to stop her breath.

A recompence fit for so foule a mind,
But yet by chance her aged Nurse did lye
Within a chamber that to hers adioyn’d,
Who ouer-hearing this, to her did hye;
And seeing her halfe murdered, so began
To shrieke & screeme, & straight vnto her ran.
[Pg 245]
Who first did snatch her girdle from her necke,
And powring teares vpon her plentuously,
Did hold her in her aged armes, though weake,
And kissing her did vrge the reason why
She went about away herselfe to make,
Or to her shame so base a course to take?

Quoth she, I pray thee tell the cause to me,
Behold these empty dugs, and head all gray,
These hands that pain haue took in rocking thee
Let some, or all these, cause thee to bewray
What cruel means haue broght thee in this case.
At which the Lady turnd away her face.

O be not coy sweet! hide thou nought from me,
I am thy Nurse, she said, and haue good skill
In charms, & hearbs, & dreams, that powerful be,
Of what thou wantst, Ile helpe thee to thy fill.
Art thou in loue, or witcht by any wight?
Il’e finde thee ease, or else will free the quite.

I haue bene wanton once as well as you,
Now yet by age, am altogether dull,
I haue beene loue-sicke, as you may be now,
Of toyes and loue-trickes I was wondrous full,
How strange so ere thy case do therefore stand,
I can and will redresse it out of hand.
[Pg 246]
Thou art in Loue (my sweet) I well espy,
If so, no lacke shalt finde in me, I sweare,
The Lady in her armes sob’d bitterly,
The Nurse replyd, and sayd; Why do not feare,
Thy father shall not know of this at all:
At which she starts, and on her bed doth fall.

And frantickly she tumbles on her face,
And said, get hence (good Nurse) I pre’thee go,
Constraine me not to shew my wicked case.
That case (quoth she) I pray thee let me know.
Get hence, she answer’d, or enquire lesse,
‘Tis wickednesse thou wouldst haue me cōfesse.

‘Tis such a thing, that if I want, I die,
And being got, is nothing else but shame.
The Nurse hereat did sigh most heauily,
And on her knees besought to know the same,
And holding vp her hands as she did kneele,
Said; Madame, tell the priuie griefe you feele.

If you will not discouer this to me
I will acquaint your father out of hand,
How you had hang’d your selfe, wer’t not for me;
But if you tell, your trusty friend Il’e stand,
And let your griefe of any nature be,
It shall go hard, but Il’e finde remedy.
[Pg 247]
And if your case be ill, you need not feare
The heauie load the wickednesse doth bring,
I’le teach thee how most easily to beare,
My age hath got experience in each thing.
Tell me what ’tis that doth so neerely touch,
One woman may perswade another much.

And now the Lady raisd her heauy head,
Hanging vpon her Nurses bosome fast,
As she did rise vp from her slothfull bed,
Being prodigall, her christall teares to waste,
Now she wold speak, & now her speech doth stay
Thē shame doth cause her turne her face away.

A franticke fury doth possesse her now,
And then she drawes her garment ore her face,
And wrings her hands, & to her Nurse doth vow
For to acquaint her with her wretched case.
And shedding brinish teares into her breast,
Thus much her griefe to her at last exprest.

Oh happy is my mothers happy state!
That hath a husband Debonaire and faire,
Vnhappy am I, most infortunate,
At which he stopt, as one falne in dispaire.
The Nurse soone found Senecdoche in this,
And what the whole meant by a perfect gesse.
[Pg 248]
Her aged bones did shake and tremble fast,
Her hoary haire stood staring vp on end,
From forth her eyes a heauy looke she cast,
And many a sigh her heart distrest did send;
And pausing long, not knowing what to say,
At last her tongue her minde did thus bewray.

In this I hope, good Lady, you but iest,
To try your Nurses now-decaying wit;
So foule a fault is not within your breast,
Then tell me true the occasion of this fit.
The Lady frown’d, & stopt her speaking farther,
And said get hēce, is’t shame to loue our father?

I she reply’d, in such a filthy sort,
It is not loue, but lust that you professe,
Necessity with true loue cannot sort;
Your loue contaminates, you must confesse.
A daughters loue then to your father show,
Some loue good things but with bad loue, I know.

Or if your wanton flesh you cannot tame,
Nor coole the burning of your hot desire,
Then take some one that not augmets the shame
And set apart to dote vpon your fire.
It is most vile to stand in such a need,
To make the actor baser then the deed.
[Pg 249]
Besides, his yeares can yeeld no such content,
That blithsome wanton dames expect to haue,
Herein your bargaine you will soone repent,
Whē you shal find great want of that you craue:
Are you so mad, o will you once beleeue
Old men content to frolicke Dames can giue?

Take this example of me, from the Sky,
Behold a shooting star from heauen fall
Whose glimmering light you scarcely do espye
But it is gone as nothing were at all;
And so their sports being scarse begun doth leaue
As in the aire concressions we perceiue.

Or as the bloomes vpon the Almond-tree,
That vanish sooner the the mush-rums done:
Or as the flies Hæmere we do see,
To leaue their breath their life being scarce begunne,
Who thinks that tree whose roots decai’d by time
Can yeeld like fruit to yong ones in their prime.

A rotten sticke more fit to burne then vse,
I maruell what from age you do expect,
Let my experience their defect accuse,
And teach thee how thy equals to affect;
When they should toy, iocund & sport with thee,
Their gouts, coughs & cramps, wil hindrance be.
[Pg 250]
‘Tis nor their fault, but incident to age,
Which far more imperfections with it brings,
As iealousie, suspicion, fury, rage,
Dislike, disdaine, and other such like things,
For can the fire, hot in nature, dwell
With water cold, but they at length rebell.

Euen as in Summer one may aptly note,
The fire and water in one cloud contain’d;
And neither, yet, the mastery hauing got,
Being opposits, their furie’s not restrain’d,
But do contend in strife and deadly warre,
Til scolding Thunder do pronounce the iarre.

Choose from thy woers some peculiar one,
Whose loue may fill the measure of thy hopes,
And balonize thy wanton sports alone,
Whose appetite with thy desire copes,
Youth will be frolicke in a Maidens bed,
Age is vnapt and heauy as the lead.

Youth hath his daliance and his kind embrace,
Euen as the Elmes incircled with the Vine;
Age loueth rest and quiet in this case,
Saying, Oakes at such like Iuy gripes repine,
Yuths pleasing weltun’d years sweet musick maks
When for cōsort loue strings it strains or slakes.
[Pg 251]
Yet chuse thou one whose tongue’s not set on wheeles
Who eats his words before he brings thē forth
That no decorum in his talking feeles,
Such are but buzards, blabs of little worth:
And for complexion, heerein mee beleeue,
The perfect sanguine sweet content doth giue.

The Phlegmaticke is like the water cold,
The Cholericke wants sap, like fire dry,
And Melancholy, as age, is dull and old,
But in the Sanguin moist warme iuice doth lie,
Whose beauty feeds the eye with sweete delight,
The rest do rather feare then please the sight.

What pleasure can a sterne grim face affoord,
A swarfie colour or rough shagged haire,
Or Rauen blacke? beleeue me at a word,
They are too blame that do despise the faire:
They please the eye, prouoke dull appetite,
Resemble Gods, and do the minde delight.

Cease chatting gentle nurse, the Lady said,
Or frame thy Tale to sute more with the time,
My choice is made, therein I neede no aide
Which may be compast by some help of thine,
It is too late of abstinence too preach,
Whē one is drunk, & notes not what you teach.
[Pg 252]
I seeke him not for lust, as you do deeme,
For if my mind were onely bent thereto,
I could find other men I might esteeme,
You know the store of Suters come to woe:
But ’tis some kind of naturall instinct,
Or deuine flame that cannot be extinct.

What I do seeke I know is wondrous vile,
And haue a will for to withstand the same,
Yet can those motions by no meanes exile,
So seeketh lust to bring me vnto shame,
Be it worse thē nought to haue it flesh doth striue
Helpe Nurse, else long I cannot liue.

And wish not to disswade me in this case,
Nor giue me counsell to withdraw my minde
It likes me well, I weigh not the disgrace,
O teach me then to win him to be kind!
Helpe me good Nurse in this my cruell state,
All other meanes of comfort comes too late.

And since thou needs woldst vnderstand my sham
Which I did grieue and blush to ope to thee,
And had lear di’d then told thee of the same,
Now be not slacke to lend thy helpe to me,
Thou forst me for to open my disgrace,
Then lend thy help to salue my wretched case.
[Pg 253]
You do not know good Nurse or haue forgot,
What ’tis to loue, and cannot it obtaine,
Of youths kind daliance age doth take no note,
Forgetting it, and thinke all may abstaine:
But tis not so, I to those thoughts reply,
Then helpe me gentle Nurse, or else I die.

Liue still my sweete, quoth she, and do possesse,
Yet name of (father) shame forc’t her conceale
And with a staggring speech the word represt,
And all her helpe more amply to reueale,
She made a vow, whereby herselfe she bound,
To do the best that might in her be found.

The feasts of gentle Ceres now began,
Which yearely they obseru’d, and held it ill,
For thrice three nights to lye with any man,
The wiues in white, apparrelled were still,
And vnto Ceres, first fruit of the field,
(As garlands made of eares of corne) did yeeld.

The Queen amongst these women did frequent
These Rites, and would be absent at that time.
The Nurse then to accomplish her intent,
And finding Cynaras made blith with wine,
The Syren most inchantingly did sing,
And thus at last broke silence to the King.
[Pg 254]
Renowned King, but that your constant loue
Restraines my tongue & holds my speeches in,
A wanton question I would to thee moue?
Speak on, quoth he, good Nurse thy speech begin,
With Bacchus feasts do wanton sports agree,
I know thou wouldst no ill thing vnto me.

Then thus, quoth shee, there is a gallant Maide
Of Princely birth and Noble high degree,
Who at this time would be right well apaide
To kisse thy hand, shee is so in loue with thee,
Such diuine beauty in her face doth lurke,
That Gods enuy at Nature for the worke.

Without offence vnto your Queene and Wife,
Vnto this Lady, she is a homely cate,
I loue your Queene, and honour her as life,
And but admire the others happy state,
That’s made so faire that none can like her bee,
Your Queene is kind, abuse her not for mee.

But if you saw her face, as I haue done,
And view’d the rest of her proportion’d limbs,
You would contemne my Mistres face too soone,
Yet loue thē both: it nought your honor dims,
One as your wife, the next for beauties sake,
So of them both a beauteous wife but make.
[Pg 255]
The glory of her haire is wonderous bright,
Vpon her brows doth ebbe and flow content
Her eies in motion do beget delight,
Her cheekes a tincture to Aurora lent
Her teeths no pearle, her eyes no rubies are,
But flesh and bone, more red and white by far.

No lisping tongue that fondrels count a grace,
But doth to well tun’d harmony incline,
A necke inferior nought vnto the face,
And breath most apt for to be prest by thine,
Now if the vtter view so glorious proue,
Iudge how the hidden parts procure loue.

The King who all this while lent listening eare,
Being wrapt in admiration of her speech,
Now did begin more liuely to appeare
And for to know one thing of her did seech,
Saying, of what yeeres may this Lady be?
Iust of sweete Myrahs age, replied shee.

He said then, bring her to conferre with mee,
That I may try if all be true you say.
It is most true, as after you shall see,
But said the Nurse, you now must let her stay,
Perhaps shee’le blush, and be to coy by light,
When she will yeeld more kindly in the night.
[Pg 256]
Such pretty Dames will hardly yeeld consent,
For in their mouthes they alwaies carry nay,
Yet if you giue, to take, they are content,
And nere refuse, whatere their tongue doth say:
For so they nature simple men abuse,
When what they loue they most of all refuse.

If I do fable, put me vnto shame,
In saying she resembles Myrha much,
For ’tis so much, as if it were the same;
And when you seeke to gaine the loue of such
Let my experience thus much you assure
They Fawlcon-like stoop to a ganey lure.

And now you may, voide of suspected crime,
Dally with her in your lasciuious bed,
The sacred Ceres feasts are at this time,
And there your Queen is stil: this scarcely sed,
Quoth Cyneras, bring her this night to mee,
Whereto the Nurse replide, I do agree.

With hopefull newes the Nurse return’d againe,
And cheer’d her chicke, & bad her not be sad,
Her wished sute, she certaine should obtaine,
The news wherof made Myrha wondrous glad.
Yet as she ioy’d, she was opprest with feare,
Such discords of affections in her were.
[Pg 257]
Away slips time and hasteneth on the night,
And now the Beare’s seene run about the Pole
Conducted forward by Boætes bright,
The other stars about the axe-tree role:
The Southerne images do shine as gold,
Fit monuments for Hunters to behold.

At what time Myrha wickedly proceedes
And takes in hand to act her base desire,
The shamefull lust with cursed hopes she feeds
Which quickly sets her heart vpon a fire,
And thereupon resolueth on her shame,
And not one thought to contradict it came.

At which the Sunne his glorious face did hide,
Each Planet pulleth in his golden head,
The other stars out of the heauens glide
And Cynthia from her siluer Palace fled,
The night is robbed of her wonted light,
Each thing turn’d dark that formerly was bright.

Three times, by stumbling, Myrha was fore-told
Of bad successe, if she did not retire;
Three times the Owles like lessons did vnfold,
Whose dolefull note do foule mishap require;
Yet she crept on, regarding not the same,
The want of light alayed much the shame.
[Pg 258]
The Nurse doth lead her by her owne left hand,
The right doth grope the dark and desart way,
As silent as the night they now do stand
To heare the night-crows scrik, & goblins play
The lich-foule beats, and at the window cries,
For to come in, to stay the enterprise.

O gentle Nurse, said Myrha tell to me,
What may these scremes & doleful scriks portend,
The nurse reply’d, my child, no hurt to thee,
They are but servants that on night attend,
These goblins, lich-fouls, Owls, & night-crows to
At murthers raile, with loue haue naught to do.

And then the Beldam leads the Lady on
Through many roomes & other turning waies
As in a laborinth they two had gone;
And as they go, she to the Lady saies;
Now cheere you vp, and get a iocund minde
In thinking of the pleasures you shall finde.

At last shee brings her to the chamber dore
Which softly she did ope, and led her in,
The Lady fals to trembling more and more,
Her very heart did to relent begin,
The neerer to the wickednesse she went,
The more to quake and shiuer shee was bent.
[Pg 259]
Looke how you see a blind man on the way
Led by another through some desart place,
Stagger and grope and at each trifle stay
For feare least he should fall: euen in like case,
The wretched nurse the fearefull Lady leads,
Who shakes and starts at euery step she treads.

And now she doth her enterprise repent,
And wish she might vnknowne returne againe,
Vnto his bed the pawsing Nurse then went;
And cal’d the King & told him thus much plaine
Dread King awake, of pleasures take thy fill,
This Ladie’s thine, then vse her as you will.

The cursed father then his bowels takes
Into his bed, ô filthy blob and staine,
His daughter shiuers in his armes, and quakes,
This being done, the nurse returnes againe
And said, make much of her, to weepe forbeare
None wold weepe for that which you now feare.

The King then cheeres his daughter, in his arme,
Why dost thou weep? be still my sweete, be stil,
Come clip thy loue I meane to do no harme,
My Kingly bed with pleasures shall thee fill,
And to hide all that idle heads may moue,
Hence-forth I call thee daughter and not loue.
[Pg 260]
Come kisse thy father, gentle daughter then,
And learne to sport thee in a wanton bed;
Is this the tricks (she softly said) of men?
And counterfeiting speech vnknowne, she said,
A daughters name, me thinkes, doth not agree,
Ist well with your owne child in loue to be?

The King, not deeming who lay by his side,
Replies, what hurt deere Lady can it be?
No ill I know by that meanes can betide,
The loue more firme thereby we common see:
It is not ill though men the same not craue,
For we want daughters till a wife we haue.

She did reply, and said, why put the case
That I were Myrha for as men do say,
My countenance resembleth much her face;
Were’t not offence, think you, with me to play?
Misdeeming nought, againe, he doth reply;
No more thē ’tis with thee, sweet wench, to lie.

O would, quoth Myrha, you could likewise proue
Whereby I might but know some reafon why,
It were not ill to grant to you my loue,
That loue should then alone to you apply;
Were I your daughter I might well consent,
Say halfe so much for me I am content.
[Pg 261]
The King replies, my sweete, my will is law,
And may command my subiects when I will,
Besides all this, you furthermore do know
You must obey, I call you daughter still;
Then talke no more, she said, I do agree
Thy daughter and thy subiect yeelds to thee.

Oh! now the father his owne child doth take,
And of his owne he doth his owne beget,
Of his owne loines another child doth make,
Repugnant to the Law that nature set;
May ones owne seed to procreation moue?
No sure, unlesse it doth a monster proue.

Their musicke is the scriking of the Ow’es,
As if the fiends came for to sunder them,
The rauing dogs affright them with their howles,
As all the fiends came forth to iniure them;
The stars behind the clouds, a great way hence,
Like spies lie peeping to disclose the offence.

Their bed doth shake and quauer as they lie,
As if it groan’d to beare the weight of sinne,
The fatall night-crowes at their windowes flie,
And cries out at the shame they do liue in:
And that they may perceiue they heauens frown,
The Poukes & Goblins pul the couerings down.
[Pg 262]
The pillow that her cursed head doth beare,
Which is a castle of accursed ill,
The weighty burthen of the same doth feare,
And therefore shrinketh inwards from her stil:
Whilst both the ends high swelling with disdaine
Like angry foe-men raise themselues amaine.

The bed, more kind then they religious are,
Doth seeke to shroud their foule defiled act,
And therefore lets them fall into it farre
As in some vale for to conceale the fact:
Like bulwarkes rising to defend their names,
Or swelling mountains to obscure their shames.

O there they lie and glut themselues with sin,
A iocund sin that doth the flesh delight,
A filthy flesh that can reioyce herein,
A silly ioy that gainst the soule doth fight,
A fasting sport, a pleasure soone forgot,
That bringeth shame with an eternall blot.

Thrice happy now, had wicked Myrha bene,
If some foule swelling Eban cloud would fall,
For her to hide her selfe eternall in,
Or had the bed bene burnt with wilde fire all,
And thereby moult the heauens golden frame
That al things might haue ended with her shame.
[Pg 263]
And now reuenge, a souldier vnto lust,
Comes scouring in, as it had bene beguil’d
Accompanied with fame and foule distrust,
And with disgrace, blacke luxures basest child,
These threaten them and blaze abroad the fact,
And like to Trumpets thunder out the act.

Not many nights they spending in this sort,
But Cyneras at length desir’d to know
Who ’twas affoorded him this pleasant sport,
And freely did the curtesy bestow:
And hauing done this taske vs’d euery night.
Forth he doth steale and goes to seek the light.

O hide thee Myrha, ’tis not time to sleepe,
A thunderbolt is leuel’d at thy head,
Vnlesse thy eies prepare them for to weepe,
With fire and sword thou art betrai’d in bed,
Awaken wench, the day of doome bewray,
And see the father his owne child betray.

And whither steales thou furious Cynaras?
Why seekes a light to open thy owne shame?
Who hop’st to finde in this accursed place?
Make not such hast to spy thy ignoble game,
Stay, stay thy feete, thou wilt repent to late,
Mischiefe itselfe comes in with speedy gate.
[Pg 264]
What, sleepst thou Myrha? why thē sleep thou long
Or else awake and welcome in thy woes,
Another happy day will neuer come,
Pale misery thy pleasure ouer-goes;
Dreame sleeping, thou didst with thy father lie,
Or wake, and see him reuenge the villany.

Confound thy head, and all thy parts with feare,
And thinke the fiends incompasse thee about,
Striuing with burning tongs thy flesh to teare,
Pulling thy tongue and eies with tortures out;
O thinke with raizors they do flea thy skin,
Adding new tortures vnto euery sin.

Now comes the father, being fully bent
For to disclose his loue with his faire light,
Sleepe Myrha, thou hast time for to repent,
Arise in care, passe many a weary night;
Looke Cyneras, and spy disgrace too soone,
Myrha awake, see what thy lust hath done.

Blush lustfull King, and see the end of lust,
Behold thy owne dishonour and disgrace,
Learne what it is to vse thy wife vniust,
And lay a Strumpet in her Princely place,
Sham follows thē reuēge hangs o’re their heads
That basely do defile their marriage bed.
[Pg 265]
It’s like a tender flower nipt with frost,
It euer after hangs his drooping head,
And hath her wonted prime of glory lost,
Or like the cup that hath his Nectar shed:
Cracke you the richest pointed Diamond,
And all his prise and glory’s lost and gone.

Old Cynaras his daughter knowing well,
For very anger could not speake a word,
But into most outragious fury fell,
And would have kil’d the Lady with a sword,
But nimbly she, by helpe of cloudy night,
Conueyes her selfe out of her fathers sight.

Most like a Lyon, ranging for a pray,
Each corner of the house he madly lookes,
No barre, or stop, doth hinder him, or stay,
He rifles chambers, beds, and secret nookes.
This Lyon seekes for her, the dart did throw,
And quietly lets all the other go.

By this the Lady’s in the Arabian fields,
And fearefully doth range about the same,
Which plenteously the bearing Date-tree yeelds,
At length she also through Pænchaia came,
Her fathers rage being something over-past,
At Saba land she doth arriue at last.
[Pg 266]
The King not finding her, begins to fret,
And vex himselfe with anguish, care & griefe,
He scoulds with fortune, that this trap did set,
And chides the Fates for yeelding no reliefe:
Small sorrowes grew till they to greater came,
Like little sparkes increasing into flame.

Euen as a river swelling ore her bounds,
By daily falling of small drops of raine,
Likewise his care continually abounds,
By howerly thinking of his his fault againe,
Content were found soone in calamity,
The thought thereof raz’d out of memory.

Daughter, quoth he, with eyes full fraught with teares,
What hast thou done? ô foule accursed child!
Why hast deceiu’d my aged blosom’d haires?
Why didst thy Princely Father so beguile?
Alasse! I erre, thou art no childe to me,
Nor longer Il’e thy louing father be.

Go seeke some hole eternall to lye in,
And neuermore behold the heauens light,
Thou hast disgraced all thy name and kin,
Then hide thee euerlasting from my sight,
Thou hast not onely brought vs both to shame,
But made thy father actor of the same.
[Pg 267]
How will thy mother thinke her selfe abus’d,
That hast made her a quot-queane shamefully,
Of filthy incest I do thee accuse,
That Lemmon-like didst with thy father lye,
Then hye to hell, haste to the Furies there,
When raging parets witnesse gainst thee beare.

Oh but the fault thy owne was most of all,
Poore Myrha thou didst meane no hurt to me,
It wot: thou said’st (my selfe I witnesse call)
Twas ill with your owne childe in loue to be.
And vrg’d againe, what if she Myrha were,
I basely said, there was no fault in her.

Then rent thy braines with terror of the deed,
Confused thoughts burst thine accursed breast,
As if thou did’st on deadly poyson feed,
And in Elisium let thy soule nere rest,
Rore seas, quake earth, till you deuoure him
That hath defil’d his daughter with foule sin.

Yet she did know I was her father deere,
What meant she then to seeke me in such sort?
I did not know my daughter to be there,
And therefore wished her no kind of hurt.
She sin’d, and knew her father she abused,
I sin’d, uncertaine who it was I vsed.
[Pg 268]
By this the Sunne neere past the Zodiaque ore,
And thrice three signes had fully ouer-run,
Returning tow’rd the point he was before,
Ninty degrees wanting thereto to come,
He had the Cliptike and one quadre gone,
And in that space the child ripes in the womb.

When Myrha weeping much her barne to beare,
Tired with wandring in the wood so long,
Weary of life beginneth for to feare
What shall hereafter on herselfe become.
Now she perceiues the folly lust did bring,
And may take time of penitence to sing.

Things done in haste, haue leasure to repent,
A hasty braine is neuer wanting woe,
Youth with Decorum seldome is content,
Yong yeares and lust associat-like do goe,
Youth hath no wit till it be deerely bought,
And often times then it is good for nought.

Alasse! quoth Myrha, bursting out with cryes,
What shall I do that haue so vilely erred?
Let bellowing grones pierce vp into the skyes,
That all the Gods to pitty may be stirred,
O let some Trumpets voice from thee be driuen
To waken mighty Iupiter in heauen.
[Pg 269]
You gentle Gods, that wonted were to heare
The suppliant praiers of distressed soules,
Now open wide your gracious listning eare,
That I may win some pitty with my houles.
O let it stand with your omnipotence,
For to remit the sorrowfuls offence.

I do confesse my wickednesse is much,
And there’s no hope that I should fauour win.
Yet your still-pardoning clemency is such,
That vndeserued you forgiue our sin,
We run in errors every day most ill,
Yet you are apt to grant vs pardon still.

What haue I gain’d? my fathers foule disgrace,
My owne dishonor, and my friends disdaine;
What have I won? an imputation base,
My mothers curse, and a perpetuall staine,
I seldome see one mischiefe to arise,
But it brings others at her heeles likewise.

And since my fault into such height is driuen
That I deserue not in the earth to rest,
Nor haue a place amongst the starres in heauen,
You nightly powers grant me this request:
That neither with the dead nor liue I do remain,
And so no place in earth or heauen gaine.
[Pg 270]
To this her last request the Gods consent,
And so the ground her feet did couer ore,
Out from her toes the scrawling roots were sent
Which by her travell she had bruised sore.
These twining roots most plentuously abound,
Till they had fixt her body to the ground.

Where be the walks that thou wast wont to haue
The shady groues paued with Camomile?
The rosie bowers that heate of Sunne did saue,
And yeelded to thy sence a pleasant smile?
Where be the pleasant roomes thou solast’s in.
Thou art dispoil’d thereof by thine owne sin.

Thou shalt no more within thy Chariot ride,
Gazing vpon the people kneeling downe.
No more will come to woe thee for a Bride,
Lust hath defil’d the tipe of thy renowne,
Those feet of thine, that to offence did lead,
Imprisoned are, and not allow’d to tread.

By this the growing tree so far had past,
That her faire bones to timber turned were:
Her marow did conuert to pyth at last,
And all her bloud the name of Sap doth beare,
Her armes to bowes, her fingers branches be,
Her skin to bark, and so she made a tree.
[Pg 271]
Where is the face that did all faces staine,
But shrunke within a hard consolid barke?
No one will sue to kisse it once againe,
But must be hid perpetually in darke.
That snow-white-neck, that men desir’d to tuch,
Now they refuse to handle it as much.

Where are those eyes, those glassy eyes of thine,
That lent the glorious Sun his chiefest light?
Where is that Angels voyce, that voyce deuine,
Whose wel-tun’d tōgue did al the gods delight?
What, are they gone? doth time thy glory rust?
No, they be spoiled with incestious lust.

Farewell thy armes, made kindly to embrace,
But now a bough for birds to pearch upon,
Farewell thy pretty fingers in like case,
The curious Lute ordain’d to quauer on.
Your wonted glory you shall see no more,
Your filthy lust hath thrust you out of dore.

Now with her shape she lost her sences quite.
For that and for her fault she weepeth still;
Which teares are held in honor, price, & might,
And daily do out of the tree distill,
And from the gummy barke doth issue Myrrh,
Which evermore shall beare the name of her.
[Pg 272]
At last the swelling wombe diuides the tree,
The infant seeking for some passage out,
No Nurse nor Mid-wife could the baby see,
The vse of speech his mother is without,
And could not therefore begge Lucina’s aid,
She might done well could she one prayer said.

And therefore sighes and grones most heauily,
Bending most humbly to the ground below.
Shedding from euery bow teares plenteously.
At length the Gods some fauour did bestow.
And so Lucina laid her hand thereon,
And speaking words, receiu’d the words anon.

The watry Nymphs this pretty child take,
And on soft smelling flowers laid him downe,
Of which a curious cradle they did make,
The hearbs perfumed were for more renowne.
The Nymphs this boy affected more and more,
And with his mothers teares stil washt him ore.

As yeares increase, so beauty doth likewise,
And is more faire tomorrow then to day,
His beauty more & more continuall doth arise,
That enuy did delight, in him bewray,
As Venus fell in loue with him at last,
Who did reuenge his mothers lusting past.

F I N I S.