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When as the ecstasy had end did tenderly embrace, And for their wedding, and their wish got fitting time and place. Not England (for of Hengest then was named so this land) Than Curan had an hardier knight, his force could none withstand; Whose sheep-hook laid apart, he then had higher things in hand, First, making known his lawful claim in Argentile her right, He warr'd in Diria, and he won Brentia too in fight; And so from treacherous Edel took at once his life and crown, And of Northumberland was king, long reigning in renown.

GEORGE CHAPMAN (15592–1634)


This said, he went to see The virtuous princess, his true wife, white-arm'd Andromache. She, with her infant son and maid, was climb'd the tower, about The sight of him that sought for her, weeping and crying out. Hector, not finding her at home, was going forth; retired; 4Io Stood in the gate; her woman call’d, and curiously inquired Where she was gone; bade tell him true, if she were gone to see His sisters, or his brothers' wives; or whether she should be At temple with the other dames, t' implore Minerva's ruth. Her woman answer'd; since he ask'd, urged so much the truth, The truth was she was neither gone, to see his brothers' wives, His sisters, nor t' implore the ruth of Pallas on their lives; But she (advertised of the bane Troy suffer'd, and how vast Conquest had made herself for Greece) like one distraught, made haste To ample Ilion with her son, and nurse, and all the way 420 Mourn'd, and dissolved in tears for him. Then Hector made no stay, But trod her path, and through the streets, magnificently built,



All the great city pass'd, and came where, seeing how blood was spilt, Andromache might see him come; who made as he would pass The ports without saluting her, not knowing where she was. She, with his sight, made breathless haste, to meet him; she, whose grace Brought him withal so great a dower; she that of all the race Of king Aëtion only lived; Aëtion whose house stood Beneath the mountain Placius, environ'd with the wood Of Theban Hypoplace, being court to the Cilician land. 43o She ran to Hector, and with her, tender of heart and hand, Her son, borne in his nurse's arms; when, like a heavenly sign, Compact of many golden stars, the princely child did shine, Whom Hector call’d Scamandrius; but whom the town did name Astyanax, because his sire did only prop the sanne. Hector, though grief bereft his speech, yet smiled upon his joy. Andromache cried out, mix'd hands, and to the strength of Troy Thus wept forth her affection: “O noblest in desire, Thy mind, inflamed with others' good, will set thyself on fire: Nor pitiest thou thy son, nor wife, who must thy widow be, 440 If now thou issue; all the field will only run on thee. Better my shoulders underwent the earth, than thy decease; For then would earth bear joys no more; then comes the black increase Of griefs (like Greeks on Ilion). survives To be my refuge?" one black day bereft seven brothers' lives, By stern Achilles; by his hand my father breathed his last, His high-wall'd rich Cilician Thebes sack'd by him, and laid waste; The royal body yet he left unspoil'd; Religion charm'd That act of spoil; and all in fire he burn’d him complete arm'd; Built over him a royal tomb; and to the monument 45o

Alas, what one He left of him, th’ Oreades (that are the high descent Of AEgis-bearing Jupiter) another of their own Did add to it, and set it round with elms; by which is shown, In theirs, the barrenness of death; yet might it serve beside To shelter the sad monument from all the ruffinous pride Of storms and tempests, used to hurt things of that noble kind. The short life yet my mother lived he saved, and served his mind With all the riches of the realm; which not enough esteem’d, He kept her prisoner; whom small time, but much more wealth, redeem'd; And she, in sylvan Hypoplace, Cilicia ruled again, But soon was overruled by death; Diana's chaste disdain 461 Gave her a lance, and took her life. Yet, all these gone from me, Thou amply render'st all; thy life makes still my father be, My mother, brothers; and besides thou art my husband too, Most loved, most worthy. Pity then, dear love, and do not go, For thou gone, all these go again; pity our common joy, Lest, of a father's patronage, the bulwark of all Troy, Thou leav'st him a poor widow's charge: stay, stay then, in this tower, And call up to the wild fig-tree all thy retired power; For there the wall is easiest scal’d, and fittest for surprise, 47o And there, th’Ajaces, Idomen, th’ Atrides, Diomed, thrice Have both survey'd and made attempt; I know not if induced By some wise augur, or the fact was naturally infused Into their wits, or courages.” Hector said: “Be well assur'd, wife, all these things in my kind cares are weigh'd, But what a shame and fear it is to think how Troy would scorn (Both in her husbands, and her wives, whom longtrain’d gowns adorn) That I should cowardly fly off! first did breathe Did never teach me that; much less, since the contempt of death His fearful helm, that on the earth cast round about it light; Then took and kiss'd his loving son, and (balancing his weight In dancing him) these loving vows to living Jove he used, 51o And all the other bench of Gods: “O you that have infused Soul to this infant, now set down this blessing on his star: Let his renown be clear as mine; equal his strength in war; And make his reign so strong in Troy, that years to come may yield His facts this fame, when, rich in spoils, he leaves the conquer'd field Sown with his slaughters: ‘These high deeds exceed his father's worth.” And let this echo'd praise supply the comforts to come forth Of his kind mother with my life.” heroic sire Gave him his mother; whose fair eyes fresh streams of love's salt fire Billow'd on her soft cheeks, to hear the last of Hec

To this great

The spirit I

Was settled in me, and my mind knew what a worthy was, 48o Whose office is to lead in fight, and give no danger pass Without improvement. In this fire must Hector's

trial shine; Here must his country, father, friends, be, in him, made divine. And such a stormy day shall come (in mind and soul I know) When sacred Troy shall shed her towers, for tears of overthrow; When Priam, all his birth and power, shall in those tears be drown'd. But neither Troy's posterity so much my soul doth

wound, Priam, nor Hecuba herself, nor all my brothers' woes (Who, though so many, and so good, must all be food for foes,)

As thy sad state; when some rude Greek shall lead thee weeping hence, 495 These free days clouded, and a night of captive violence Loading thy temples, out of which thine eyes must never see, But spin the Greek wives' webs of task, and their fetch-water be To Argos, from Messeides, or clear Hyperia's spring; Which howsoever thou abhorr'st, Fate's such a shrewish thing She will be mistress; whose cursed hands, when they shall crush out cries From thy oppressions (being beheld by other enemies) Thus they will nourish thy extremes: dame was Hector's wife, A man that, at the wars of Troy, did breathe the worthiest life Of all their army.” This again will rub thy fruitful wounds, Soo To miss the man that to thy bands could give such narrow bounds. But that day shall not wound mine eyes; the solid heap of night Shall interpose, and stop mine ears against thy plaints, and plight.” This said, he reach'd to take his son; who, of his arms afraid, And then the horse-hair plume, with which he was so overlaid, Nodded so horribly, he cling'd back to his nurse, and cried. Laughter affected his great sire, who doff'd, and laid aside

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tor's speech, 520 In which his vows comprised the sum of all he did beseech

In her wish'd comfort. So she took into her odorous breast Her husband's gift; who moved to see her heart so much oppress'd, He dried her tears and thus desired: “Afflict me not, dear wife, With these vain griefs. disjoin my life And this firm bosom, but my fate; and Fate whose wings can fly? Noble, ignoble, Fate controls. Once born, the best must die. Go home, and set thy housewifery on these extremes of thought; And drive war from them with thy maids; keep them from doing nought. These will be nothing; leave the cares of war to men, and me, 53o In whom, of all the Ilion race, they take their highest degree.”

He doth not live, that can


“First to the Sirens ye shall come, that taint The minds of all men whom they can acquaint With their attractions. Whosoever shall,

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For want of knowledge moved, but hear the call
Of any Siren, he will so despise 6o
Both wife and children, for their sorceries,
That never home turns his affection's stream,
Nor they take joy in him, nor he in them.
The Sirens will so soften with their song
(Shrill, and in sensual appetite so strong)
His loose affections, that he gives them head.
And then observe: They sit amidst a mead,
And round about it runs a hedge or wall
Of dead men's bones, their wither'd skins and all
Hung all along upon it; and these men 7o
Were such as they had fawn'd into their fen,
And then their skins hung on their hedge of bones.
Sail by them therefore, thy companions
Beforehand causing to stop every ear
With sweet soft wax so close, that none may hear
A note of all their charmings. Yet may you,
If you affect it, open ear allow
To try their motion; but presume not so
To trust your judgment, when your senses go
So loose about you, but give strait command 8o
To all your men, to bind you foot and hand
Sure to the mast, that you may safe approve
How strong in instigation to their love
Their rapting tunes are. If so much they move,
That, spite of all your reason, your will stands
To be enfranchised both of feet and hands,
Charge all your men before to slight your charge,
And rest so far from fearing to enlarge

That much more sure they bind you. When your friends

Have outsail'd these, the danger that transcends

Rests not in any counsel to prevent, 91

Unless your own mind finds the tract and bent
Of that way that avoids it. I can say
That in your course there lies a twofold way,
The right of which your own taught present wit,
And grace divine, must prompt. In general yet
Let this inform you: Near these Sirens' shore
Move two steep rocks, at whose feet lie and roar
The black sea's cruel billows; the bless'd Gods
Call them the Rovers. Their abhorr'd abodes
No bird can pass; no not the doves, whose fear
Sire Jove so loves that they are said to bear 102
Ambrosia to him, can their ravine scape,
But one of them falls ever to the rape
Of those sly rocks; yet Jove another still
Adds to the rest, that so may ever fill
The sacred number. Never ship could shun
The nimble peril wing'd there, but did run
With all her bulk, and bodies of her men,
To utter ruin. For the seas retain 1 Io
Not only their outrageous aesture there,
But fierce assistants of particular fear
And supernatural mischief they expire,

And those are whirlwinds of devouring fire
Whisking about still. Th' Argive ship alone,
(Which bore the care of all men) got her gone,
Come from Areta. Yet perhaps even she
Had wrack'd at those rocks, if the Deity,
That lies by Jove's side, had not lent her hand
To their transmission; since the man, that mann'd
In chief that voyage, she in chief did love. I2 I
Of these two spiteful rocks, the one doth shove
Against the height of heaven her pointed brow.
A black cloud binds it round, and never show
Lends to the sharp point; not the clear blue sky
Lets ever view it, not the summer's eye,
Not fervent autumn's. None that death could end
Could ever scale it, or, if up, descend,
Though twenty hands and feet he had for hold.
A polish'd ice-like glibness doth enfold 13o
The rock so round, whose midst a gloomy cell
Shrouds so far westward that it sees to hell.
From this keep you as far as from his bow
An able young man can his shaft bestow.
For here the whuling Scylla shrouds her face,
That breathes a voice at all parts no more base
Than are newly-kitten’d kitling's cries, ,
Herself a monster yet of boundless size,
Whose sight would nothing please a mortal's eyes;

No, nor the eyes of any God, if he I40 (Whom nought should fright) fell foul on her, and she

Her full shape show'd. Twelve foul feet bear
Her ugly bulk. Six huge long necks look'd out
Of her rank shoulders; every neck doth let
A ghastly head out; every head three set,
Thick thrust together, of abhorred teeth;
And every tooth stuck with a sable death;
“She lurks in midst of all her den, and streaks
From out a ghastly whirlpool all her necks;
Where (gloating round her rock) to fish she falls;
And up rush dolphins, dogfish; some-whiles
whales, 151
If got within her when her rapine feeds;
For ever-groaning Amphitrite breeds
About her whirlpool an unmeasured store.”
No sea-man ever boasted touch of shore
That there touch'd with his ship, but still she fed
Of him and his; a man for every head
Spoiling his ship of. You shall then descry
The other humbler rock, that moves so nigh
Your dart may mete the distance. It receives
A huge wild fig-tree, curl’d with ample leaves,
Beneath whose shades divine Charybdis sits, 162
Supping the black deeps. Thrice a day her pits
She drinks all dry, and thrice a day again
All up she belches, baneful to sustain.
When she is drinking, dare not near her draught,

For not the force of Neptune (if once caught)
Can force your freedom. Therefore, in your

strife To scape Charybdis, labour all, for life, To row near Scylla, for she will but have 17o

For her six heads six men; and better save
The rest, than all make offerings to the wave.”
This need she told me of my loss, when I
Desired to know, if that Necessity,
When I had scaped Charybdis' outrages,
My powers might not revenge, though not redress.
She answers: “O unhappy! art thou yet
Enflamed with war, and thirst to drink thy sweat?
Not to the Gods give up both arms and will?
She deathless is, and that immortal ill 18o
Grave, harsh, outrageous, not to be subdued,
That men must suffer till they be renew’d.
Nor lives there any virtue that can fly
The vicious outrage of their cruelty.
Shouldst thou put arms on, and approach the rock,
I fear six more must expiate the shock.
Six heads six men ask still. Hoise sail, and fly,
And, in thy flight, aloud on Cratis cry
(Great Scylla's mother, who exposed to light
That bane of men) and she will do such right 190
To thy observance, that she down will tread
Her daughter's rage, nor let her show a head.
“From henceforth then, for ever past her care,
Thou shalt ascend the isle triangular,
Where many oxen of the Sun are fed,
And fatted flocks. Of oxen fifty head
In every herd feed, and their herds are seven;
And of his fat flocks is their number even.
Increase they yield not, for they never die.
There every shepherdess a Deity. 2cc
Fair Phaëthusa, and Lampetie,
The lovely Nymphs are that their guardians be,
Who to the daylight's lofty-going flame
Had gracious birthright from the heavenly dame,
Still young Neaera; who (brought forth and bred)
Far off dismiss'd them, to see duly fed
Their father's herds and flocks in Sicily.
These herds and flocks if to the Deity
Ye leave, as sacred things, untouch'd, and on
Go with all fit care of your home, alone, 2 to
(Though through some sufferance) you yet safe
shall land
In wished Ithaca. But if impious hand
You lay on those herds to their hurts, I then
Presage sure ruin to thy ship and men.
If thou escapest thyself, extending home
Thy long'd-for landing, thou shalt loaded come
With store of losses, most exceeding late,
And not consorted with a saved mate.”
This said, the golden-throned Aurora rose,
She her way went, and I did mine dispose 2-o


Up to my ship, weigh’d anchor, and away.
When reverend Circe help'd us to convey
Our vessel safe, by making well inclined
A seaman's true companion, a forewind,
With which she fill'd our sails; when, fitting all
Our arms close by us, I did sadly fall
To grave relation what concern'd in fate
My friends to know, and told them that the state
Of our affairs' success, which Circe had
Presaged to me alone, must yet be made
To one nor only two known, but to all;
That, since their lives and deaths were left to fall
In their elections, they might life elect,
And give what would preserve it fit effect.
I first inform'd them, that we were to fly
The heavenly-singing Sirens' harmony,
And flower-adorned meadow; and that I
Had charge to hear their song, but fetter'd fast
In bands, unfavour'd, to th' erected mast;
From whence, if I should pray, or use command,
To be enlarged, they should with much more
Contain my strugglings. This I simply told
To each particular, nor would withhold
What most enjoin'd mine own affection's stay,
That theirs the rather might be taught t' obey.
In meantime flew our ships, and straight we
The Sirens' isle; a spleenless wind so stretch'd
Her wings to waft us, and so urged our keel.
But having reach'd this isle, we could not feel
The least gasp of it, it was stricken dead,
And all the sea in prostrate slumber spread:
The Sirens' devil charm'd all. Up then flew
My friends to work, strook sail, together drew,
And under hatches stow'd them, sat, and plied
Their polish'd oars, and did in curls divide
The white-head waters. My part then came on:
A mighty waxen cake I set upon,
Chopp'd it in fragments with my sword, and
With strong hand every piece, till all were soft.
The great power of the sun, in such a beam 26o
As then flew burning from his diadem,
To liquefaction help'd us. Orderly
I stopp'd their ears: and they as fair did ply
My feet and hands with cords, and to the mast
With other halsers made me soundly fast.
Then took they seat, and forth our passage
The foamy sea beneath their labour shook.
Row'd on, in reach of an erected voice,
The Sirens soon took note, without our noise;
Tuned those sweet accents that made charms so
strong, 27o
And these learn'd numbers made the Sirens' song:

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“Come here, thou worthy of a world of praise, That dost so high the Grecian glory raise; Ulysses! stay thy ship, and that song hear That none pass'd ever but it bent his ear, But left him ravish'd and instructed more By us, than any ever heard before. For we know all things whatsoever were In wide Troy labour'd; whatsoever there The Grecians and the Trojans both sustain'd By those high issues that the Gods ordain'd. And whatsoever all the earth can show To inform a knowledge of desert, we know.”

This they gave accent in the sweetest strain That ever open'd an enamour'd vein. When my constrain'd heart needs would have mine


Yet more delighted, force way forth, and hear.
To which end I commanded with all sign
Stern looks could make (for not a joint of mine
Had power to stir) my friends to rise, and give
My limbs free way. They freely strived to drive
Their ship still on. When, far from will to loose,
Eurylochus and Perimedes rose 293
To wrap me surer, and oppress'd me more
With many a halser than had use before.
When, rowing on without the reach of sound,
My friends unstopp'd their ears, and me unbound,
And that isle quite we quitted.

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