Page images

On his bow-back he hath a battle set
Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes;
His eyes, like glow-worms shine when he doth fret;
His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes ;

Being mov'd, he strikes what e'er is in his way,

And whom he strikes, his crooked tuslies slay.
His brawny sides, with hairy bristles armed,
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter;
His short thick neck cannot be easily harmed ;
Being ireful, on the lion he will venture:

The thorny brambles and embracing bushes,

As fearful of him, part; through whom he rushes. Alas, be nought esteems that face of thine, To which Love's eye pays tributary gazes ; Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne, Whose full perfection all the world amazes;

But baving thee at vantage (wond'rous dread !)

Would root these beauties as he roots the mead.
0, let him keep his loathsome cabin still;
Beauty bath nought to do with such foul fiends.
Come not within bis danger by thy will;
They that thrive well, take counsel of their friends.

When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble,

I fear’d thy fortune, and my joints did tremble. Didst thou not mark my face? Was it not wbite? Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine ege? Grew I not faint ? And fell I not downright? Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,

My boding beart pants, beats, and takes no rest,

But, like an earthquake, sbakes thee on my breast. For where love reigns, disturbing jealousy Doth call himself affection's centinel ; Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny, And in a peaceful hour doth cry, kill, kill ;

Distemp'ring gentle love with his desire,

As air and water dotb abate the fire.
This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy,
This canker that eats up love's tender spring,
This carry-tale, dissensions jealousy,
That sometimes true news, sometimes false doth bring,

Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear,
That if I love thee, I thy death should fear:

Apd more than so, presenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry-cbafing boar,
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie
An image like thyself, all stain'd with gore ;

Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed,

Doth make them droop with grief, and bang the head. What should I do, seeing thee so indeed, That trembling at the imagination, The thougbt of it doth make my faint heart bleed? And fear doth teach it divination:

I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow,

It'thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.
But if thou needs will bunt, be rul'd by me;
Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,
Or at the fox, which lives by subtilty,
Or at the roe, which no encounter dare:

Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs,

And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy bounds. And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare, Mark the poor wretch to overshut bis troubles, How he out-runs the wind, and with what care He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles :

The many musits through the which he goes,

Are like a labyrinth to amaze bis foes.
Sometime he runs among the flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell ;

And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer;

Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:
For there his smell with others being mingled,
The bot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;

Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies,

As if another chase were in the skies.
By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To bearken if his foes pursue him still;
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;

And now bis grief may be compared well
To one soro-sick, that hears the passing belk

Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:

For misery is trodden on by many,

And being low, never reliev'd by any.
Lie quietly, and hear a little more;
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise:
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike thyself, thou hear'st me moralize,

Applying this to that, and so to so;

For love can comment upon every woe. Where did I leave ?-No matter where, quoth he; Leave me, and then the story aptly ends : The night is spent. Why, what of that, quoth she, I am, quoth he, expected of my friends;

And now 'tis dark, and going I shall fall.

In night, quoth she, desire sees best of all. But if thou fall, O then imagine this, The earth in love with thee thy footing trips, And all is but to rob thee of a kiss. Rich preys make rich men thieves; so do thy lips

Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,

Lest she should steal a kiss, and die forsworn. Now, of this dark night I perceive the reason : Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine, Till forging nature be condemn'd of treason, For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine,

Wherein she fram'd thee in high heaven's despite,

To shame the sun by day, and her by night.
And therefore hath she brib'd the Destinies,
To cross the curious workmanship of nature,
To mingle beauty with infirmities,
And pure perfection with impure defeature;

Making it subject to the tyranny

Of sad mischances and such misery:
As burning fevers, agues pale and faint,
Life-poising pestilence, and frenzies wood,
The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood :

Surfeits, impostumes, grief, and damn'd despair,
Swear nature's death for framing thee so fair.

And not the least of all these maladies,
But in one minute's sight brings beauty under:
Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities,
Whereat th’imperial gazer late did wonder,

Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd and done,

As mountain-show melts with the mid-day sun. Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity, Love-lacking vestals, and self-loving nuns, That on the earth would breed a scarcity, And barren dearth of daughters and of sons,

Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night,

Dries up his oil, to lend the world his light. What is thy body but a swallowing grave, Seeming to bury that posterity Which by the rights of time thou needs must have, If thou destroy them not in their obscurity ?

If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,

Sith in thy pride so fair a bope is slain, So in thyself thyself art made away ; A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife, Or their's, whose desperate hands themselves do slay, Or butcher-sire, that reaves his son of life.

Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,

But gold that's put to use, more gold begets.
Nay then, quoth Adon, you will fall again
Into your idle over-handled theme;
The kiss I gave you is bestow'd in vain,
And all in vain you strive against the stream;

For by this black-fac'd night, desire's foul nurse,

Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse. If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues, And every tongue more moving than your own, Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs, Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown;

For know, my heart stands armed in my ear,

And will not let a false sound enter there;
Lest the deceiving barmony should run
Into the quiet closure of my breast;
And then my little heart were quite undone,
In bis bed-chamber to be barr’d of rest.

No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan,
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone.

What have you urg'd that I cannot reprove ?
The path is smooth that leadeth unto danger;
I hate not love, but your device in love,
That lends embracements unto every stranger.

You do it for increase; O strange excuse!

When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse. Call it not love, for love to heaven is fled, Since sweating last on earth usurps his name; Under whose simple semblance be bath fed Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame;

Which the hot tyrant stains, and soon bereaves,

As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
Love comforteth, like sun-shine after rain,
But lust's effect is tempest after sun,
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lost's winter comes ere summer half be done.

Love surfeits not; lust like a glutton dies :

Love is all truth; lust full of forged lies.
More I could tell, but more I dare not say;
The text is old, the orator too green.
Therefore, in sadness, now I will away;
My face is full of shame, my heart of teen;

Mide ears that to your wanton talk attended,

Do burn themselves for having so offended.
With this, he breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms wbich bound him to her breast,
And homeward through the dark lawns runs apace;
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd.

Look how a bright star shootetb from the sky,

So glides be in the night from Venus' eye;
Which after him she darts, as one on shore
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend,
Till the wild waves will bave him seen no more,
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend;

So did the merciless and pitchy nigbt

Fold in the object that did feed her sight.
Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware
Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood,
Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are,
Their light blown out in some mistrustfal wood;

Even so confounded in the dark she lay,
Having lost the fair discovery of her way.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »