« PreviousContinue »
This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
“ Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such Through which it enters to surprise her heart,
weeping? Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
What may a heavy groan advantage thee? With cold pale weakness numbs each feeling part: Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield, Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see? They basely Ay, and dare not stay the field. Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour,
Since her best work is ruind with thy rigour." Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy ;
Till, cheering up her senses sore-dismay'd, Here overcome, as one full of despair, She tells them, 't is a causeless fantasy,
She veil'd her eye-lids, who, like sluices, stopp'd And childish errour that they are afraid ; The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair Bids them leave quaking, wills them fear no more;- In the sweet channel of her bosom dropp'd; And with that word she spy'd the hunted boar ; But through the flood-gates breaks the silver rain,
And with his strong course opens them again. Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red,
Like milk and blood being mingled both together, O how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow! A second fear through all her sinews spread, Her eyes seen in her tears, tears in her eye;
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither; Both crystals where they view'd each other's sorrow, This way she runs, and now she will no further, Sorrow, that friendly sigbs sought still to dry; But back retires, to rate the boar for murder. But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain,
Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again. A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways;
She treads the paths that she untreads again; Variable passions throng her constant woe, Her inore than haste is mated with delays,
As striving which should best become her grief; Like the proceedings of a drunken brain; All entertain'd, each passion labours so, Full of respect, yet nought at all respecting, That every present sorrow seemeth chief, lo band with all things, nought at all effecting. But none is best; then join they all together,
Like many clouds cousulting for foul weather. Here kennel'd in a brake she finds a hound,
And asks the weary caitiff for his master; By this, far off she bears some huntsman bolla ; And there another licking of his wound,
A nurse's song ne'er pleas'd her babe so well: 'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster; The dire imagination she did follow And here she meets another, sadly scowling, This sound of hope doth labour to expell; To wbom she speaks; and he replies with howling. For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
And flatters her, it is Adonis' voice. When he had ceas'd his ill-resounding noise,
Another flap-mouth'd moumer, black and grim, Whereat ber tears began to turn their tide, Against the welkin vollies out his voice;
Being prison'd in her eye, like pearls in glass ; Apother and another answer him,
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside, Clapping their proud tails to the ground below, Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass, Shaking their scratch'd ears bleeding as they go. To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground,
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd. Look, how the world's poor people are amazed, At apparitions, signs, and prodigies,
O hard-believing love, how strange it seems Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gazed, Not to believe, and yet too credulous !
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies; Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes, So she at these sad signs draws up her breath, Despair and hope make thee ridiculous : And, sighing it again, exclaims oo Death.
The one doth flatter thee in thougbts unlikely,
With likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly. " Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love,” thus chides she Death; Now she unweaves the web that she had wrought; “ Grim-grinning ghost, Earth's worm, what dost Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame; thou mean
It was not she that call'd him all to nanght; To stife beauty, and to steal his breath,
Now she adds honour to his hateful name; Who wben be liv'd, his breath and beauty set She clepes him king of graves, and grave for kings, Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?
Imperial supreme of all mortal things. " If he be dead-O no, it cannot be,
“No, no," quoth she, “sweet Death, I did but jest; Seeing bis beauty, thou should'st strike at it- Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear, O yes, it may; thou hast no eyes to see,
When as I met the boar, that bloody beast, Bat hatefully at random dost thou hit.
Which knows no pity, but is still severe; Thy mark is feeble.age; but thy false dart Then, gentle shadow, (truth I must confess) Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart. I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease,
" Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
And bearing bim, thy power had lost his power.
They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower.
“ Tis not my fault: the boar provok'd my tongue;
Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander; 'T is he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong ;
I did but act, he 's author of thy slander; Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet Could rule them both, without ten women's wit."
Tbus hoping that Adonis is alive,
“My tongue cannot express my grief for one, Her rash suspect she doth extenuate;
- And yet," quoth she, “behold two Adons dead ! And that his beauty may the better thrive, My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone, With Death she bumbly doth insinuate;
Mine eyes are turn’d to fire, my heart to lead :
What face remains alive that's worth the viewing?
Of things long since, or any thing ensuing ?
As one with treasure laden, hemm'd with thieves; Nor Sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you :
Having no fair to lose, you need not fear;
“ And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
The wind would blow it off, and, being gone,
Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit, “ To see his face, the lion walk'd along
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain, Behind some hedge, because he would not fear And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit,
him ; Long after fearing to creep forth again; To recreate himself, when he bath sung, So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled
The tiger would be tame, and gently bear him: Into the deep dark cabins of her head,
If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey,
And never fright the silly lamb that day.
" When he beheld his shadow in the brook, Who bids them still consort with ugly night,
The fishes spread on it their golden gills ; And never wound the heart with looks again; When he was by, the birds such pleasure took, Who, like a king perplexed in his throne,
That some would sing, some other in their bills By their suggestion gives a deadly groan. Would bring him mulberries, and ripe red cherries;
He fed them with his sight, they him with berries. Whereat each tributary subject quakes ;
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground, “ But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar, Struggling for passage, Earth's foundation shakes, Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave,
Which with cold terrours doth men's mind con- Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore; This mutiny each part doth so surprise, [found : Witness the entertainment that he gave; That from their dark beds, once more, leap hereyes; If he did see his face, why then I know,
He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so. And, being open'd, threw unwilling sight
Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd “ 'T is true, 't is true; thus was Adonis slain ; In his soft flank; whose wonted lily white
He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear, With purple tears, that his wound wept, was Who would not whet his teeth at him again, drench'd :
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there ;
This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth ; “ Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head; With kissing him I should have kill'd him first;
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead. My youth with his; the more I am accurs'd."
That her sight dazzling makes the wound scem She takes him by the hand, and that is cold ;
That makes more gashes where no breach should As if he heard the woeful words she told :
Two glasses, where herself herself beheld Thus, weary of the world, away she hies,
A thousand times, and now no more reflect; And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd, Their mistress mounted, through the empty skies And every beauty robb'd of his effect:
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd, “ Wonder of time," quoth she, “this is my spite, Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen That, you being dead, the day should yet be light. Means to immure herself, and not be seen. " Since thou art dead, lo! here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend ; It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end; Ne'er settled equally, too high or low;
RAPE OF LUCRECE. That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. " It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud,
And shall be blasted in a breathing-while ; The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd
With sweets, that shall the sharpest sight beguile: RIGHT HON. HENRY WRIOTHESLY,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with trea is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have
of your honourable disposition, not the worth of Make the young old, the old become a child.
my untutored lines, makes it assured of accept" It shall suspect, where is no cause of fear;
ance. What I bave done is yours, what I have It shall not fear, where it should most mistrust; to do is yours; being part in all I have devoted It sball be merciful, and too severe,
yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would And most deceiving, when it seems most just; Perverse it shall be, when it seems most toward,
show greater: mean time, as it is, it is bound to Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.
your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still
lengthened with all happiness. " It shall be cause of war, and dire events, And set dissention 'twixt the son and fire ;
Your lordship's in all duty,
As dry combustious matter is to fire ;
Lucius Tarquinius (for his excessive pride surAnd in his blood that on the ground lay spill’d, named Superbus) after he had caused his own
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with wbite; father-in-law, Servius Tullius, to be cruelly murResembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood dered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood. customs, not requiring, or staying for the peo
ple's suffrages, had possessed himself of the She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell, kingdom ; went, accompanied with his sons and Comparing it to her Adonis' breath;
other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,
During which siege, the principal men of the Since he himself is reft from her by death : army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears. after supper every one commended the virtues
of his own wife ; among whom, Collatinus ex“Poor flower," quoth she, “ this was thy father's tolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Luguise,
cretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted (Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire) to Rome; and intending, by their secret and For every little grief to wet his eyes :
sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every To grow unto binself was his desire,
one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds And so it is thine; but know, it is as good
his wife (though it were late in the night) spinTo wither in my breast, as in his blooil.
ping amongst her maids: the other ladies were
all found dancing and revelling, or in several “ Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast; disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded
Thou art the next of blood, and 't is thy right: Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. Lo! in this bollow cradle take thy rest,
At that time Sextus Tarquinius being inflamed My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night: with Lucrece's beauty, yet smothering his pasThere shall not be one minute of an hour,
sions for the present, departed with the rest back Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower." to the camp; from whence he shortly after pri
vily withdrew himself, and was (according to Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty
But beauty, in that white intituled,
Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their shield;
Teaching them thus to use it in the fight,
When shame assail'd, the red should fence the white. From the besieged Ardea all in post, Borne by the trustless wings of false desire, This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen, Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host, Argued by beauty's red, and virtue's white. And to Collatium bears the lightless fire
Of either's colour was the other queen,
That oft they interchange each other's seat.
This silent war of lilies and of roses
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field, To praise the clear unmatched red and white In their pure ranks his traitor eye encloses ; Which triumph'd in that sky of his delight,
Where, lest between them both it should be kill'd, Where mortal stars, as bright as Heaven's beauties, The coward captive vanquished doth yield With pure aspects did bim peculiar duties. To those two armies that would let him go,
Rather than triumph in so false a foe. For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent,
Now thinks he that her husband's shallow tongue Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state; What priceless wealth the Heaveus had him lent
(The niggard prodigal that prais'd her so)
In that high task hath done her beauty wrong, In the possession of his beauteous mate;
Which far exceeds his barren skill to show: Reckoning his fortune at such bigb-proud rate,
Therefore that praise which Collatine doth owe, That kings might be espoused to more fame,
Enchanted Tarquin answers with surmise, But king nor peer to such a peerless dame.
In silent wonder of still-gazing eyes. O happiness enjoy'd but of a few !
This earthly saint, adored by this devil, And, if possess'd, as soon decay'd and done
Little suspecteth the false worshipper; As is the morning's silver-melting dew
For thoughts unstain'd do seldom dream on evil ; Against the golden splendour of the Sun!
Birds never limb'd no secret bushes fear: An expir'd date, cancel'd ere well begun :
So guiltless she securely gives good cheer Honour and beauty, in the owner's arms,
And reverend welcome to her princely guest, Are weakly fortress'd from a world of harms. Whose inward ill no outward harm express'd : Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
For that he colour'd with his high estate, The eyes of men without an orator;
Hiding base sin in plaits of majesty ; What needeth then apology be made
That nothing in him seem'd inordinate, To set forth that which is so singular?
Save sometime too much wonder of his eye, Or why is Collatine the publisher
Which, having all, all could not satisfy; Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown But, poorly rich, so wanteth in his store, From thievish ears, because it is his own?
That, cloy'd with much, he pineth still for more.
But she that never cop'a with stranger eyes, Now stole upon the time the dead of night,
No comfortable star did lend his light,
The silly lambs; pure thoughts are dead and still,
Throwing his mantle rudely o'er his arm;
The one sweetly flatters, the other feareth harm;
That from the cold stone sparks of fire do fly,
Which must be lode-star to his lustful eye;
So Lucrece must I force to my desire.”
The dangers of his loathsome enterprise,
And in his inward mind he doth debate
And die, unballow'd thoughts, before you blot
True valour still a true respect should have;
Then my digression is so vile, so base,
“ Yea, though I die, the scandal will survive,
To cipher me, how fondly I did dote;
That my posterity, sham'd with the note,
Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sin
To wish that I their father had not been.
So that in vent'ring ill, we leave to be
“What win I, if I gain the thing I seek ? The things we are, for that which we expect; A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy : And this ambitious foul infirmity,
Who buys a minute's mirth, to wail a week? la baving much, torments us with defect
Or sells eternity, to get a toy?
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy ?
Will he not wake, and in a desperate rage