Canto Four presents an allegory of the senses modelled on Alma's Castle in the second book of the Faerie Queene and Fletcher's Purple Island. Frederick M. Padelford compares Beaumont's pageant of the seasons to Spenser's Mutability Cantos, Faerie Queene 7.7.28-31; Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 221.
Opsis is sight; Osphresis smell; Geusis, taste; Acoe, hearing, and Haphe, touch. When describing the pleasures of sound, Joseph Beaumont presents a catalogue of ancient and modern poets, including Herbert, Spenser, and his friend Richard Crashaw as mentors in religious poetry. Somewhat oddly, given his own performance in this canto, he slights Spenser's "peevish Rhyme" and allegory that "Mask[s] too much" his "welfeatur'd Queen." His censure of "vocal honey" recalls Henry More's similar remarks about erotic verse in Cupid's Conflict (1646).
Herbert E. Cory: "Beaumont now describes a rebellion which is in the manner of Spenser's episode of the House of Alma and Phineas Fletcher's Purple Island. Psyche's friends murmur against her and meet in an upper chamber of the house whose master is Common-Sense. The maidens Opsis (Sight), Ophresis (Smell). Geusis (Taste), Acoe (Rearing), and Haphe (Touching), all dispute for the supremacy. Opsis begins by describing Ike wonders of her house in terms of physiological allegory precisely similar to the manner of Phineas Fletcher. She then shows exterior glories, a pageant of the seasons. Here Beaumont derives hints from an analogous scene in the fragmentary seventh book of The Faerie Queen.... Each Sense puts forth her claim, first by physiological allegory, then by presenting a spectacle of the external wonders which she enjoys. The vision which Acoe displays is of special interest because of its elaborate account of Beaumont's most cherished poets. A grove suddenly springs up. Here Pindar and Flaccus play rival notes. Homer sits on a mountain and Maro echoes his princely voice with tones of equal quality. In slightly lower state admirable Tasso rests.... Common-Sense quiets the brawling Senses and advises them to send his sister Fancy to the discontented troop scattered about the heart. Fancy flies to the Passions and exhorts them to insurrection. They march in array. Psyche, terrified, flees to her inmost fort and sends Logos (Reason), to urge peace. But her advice is spurned and he is imprisoned" "Spenser, the Fletchers, and Milton" UCPMP 2 (1912) 336-37.
Gall'd by severe Devotion's constant Reins,
The Senses and, the Passions rebels prove:
Pride's voted General, who a while disdains
The Office his Ambition most did love.
Reason's surpris'd, and into Prison thrown:
The Will revolts, and Psyche's left alone.
Prosperity, how false art thou unto
Thy blessed Name, who with a comfy Cheat
Unwary Hearts so potently dost woo,
That thine unstable Bottom they forget;
And think thy foot sure on a Rock doth stand,
Whilst thy foundation is the faithless Sand.
The Day which smil'd so briskly in the Morn,
And left no frown in all the face of Heav'n,
E'r Ev'ning hath been made the Prey and Scorn
Of sullen Clouds, so furiously driven;
That Phoebus' stoutest help was all in vain,
When he the gaudy sky strove to maintain.
The Sea in winning looks demurely dress'd,
Hath often bid the Mariner been bold;
When strait an unsuspected storm hath press'd
Through the lamenting air, and having roll'd
Into a foaming mount the vexed Deep,
In brine intombed the presumptuous ship.
When all the glorious Realm of pure Delight,
Illustrious Paradise, waited on the feet
Of jolly Eve, she little thought that Spight
And envious Treason lurked in those sweet
Love-breathing Beds: yet there she met the fell
Serpent, and found in Heav'n the worst of Hell.
Eternal Change wheels all the Stars about:
What Patent then can seal Stability
To things below? How doth proud Fortune flout
The gayest Confidence which foolish We
Are not afraid to build; but vainly trust
Our Hopes are firm, whilst we our selves are dust!
Weak Dust, on which the least Wind domineers
Which through this mortal Life's faint climate blows;
A Life, which if not fenc'd by prudent Fears
And Jelaousies, its own self overthrows:
A Life so treacherous in its friendliest hue,
That Saints themselves have found its falseness true.
So true, that did not Heav'n's authentic Law;
And, what more sweetly binds, that Copy which
Heav'n's humble Son on his high self did draw,
The matchless worth of glorious Patience teach;
Not all the Joys the World and Life can give
Could charm their souls to be content to live.
For whilst all-ravish'd Psyche, feasts her heart
With amorous sighs and pains, and day by day
Riots and surfeits in delicious smart,
Which relish sweeter to her Soul than they
Who their too-tender studies fondly spent
To cherish Her with natural Content.
A knot of friends with Her together born,
And brought up under one soft roof of skin,
Began to stomach that imagin'd Scorn,
She heap'd on them; who thought their only Sin
Was too much Love to Her; a Crime which might
More Pardon challenge than Revenge invite.
'Tis true, said they, We now her Servants be
And yet as truly are her Sisters too:
Nay were our native Seniority
Due privilege allow'd, we all should go
Before, and she, the youngling, come behind .
Sure she should not have found Us so unkind.
But now Sh' has chanc'd the upper hand to gain
She makes Us feel it in her tyrannous Law.
So upstart Princes in their furious reign
Their weakness by their too much power show:
So paltry Currents, when swoll'n highest, pour
More rage than sober streams about the shore.
Our natural freedom We must not enjoy
But when she lists; and O how seldom's that!
Great business she pretends both night and day,
Imploy'd about nor We nor she knows what.
It tickles Her, but hard on Us doth grate:
She calls it Love, but all we find it Hate.
Yet be it what it will, what's that to Us,
Who are not bound Her humors to fulfil
With our own Ruin? since her carriage thus
Is wild and rampant, why should we sit still
With desp'rate Patience, till we be undone?
What need we fear her? We are Five to One.
The worst that can befall us, is Destruction;
And that already gapes upon us heer:
But should kind Fortune's wings display Protection
Over our just Adventure, we shall stere
To Safetie's Port; which way soe'r we Sail,
We can but Perish, and we may Prevail.
As when th' imprison'd wind in Earth below,
Vex'd with those straits, begins to rage and swell;
Its dungeon first it shakes, then forth doth blow
Its full-mouth'd indignation, and fill
The world with tumult, tearing down the trees,
Dismounting mountains, plowing up the seas:
So did their sullen murmur gather strength,
Unhappy strength, by mutinous degrees,
Boiling to such impatience, that at length
By flat rebellion they resolve to ease
Their overcharged stomachs; being met
At council to contrive the venturous feat.
'Twas in an upper chamber dark and close.
Arch'd with thin Ivory: for their common seat
A white and soft and living couch they choose
And then with fawning earnestness intreat
The Master of the house, that he would please
In Equitie's fair scales to weigh their case.
Grave He, whom vast experience had made
A Judge most competent in their esteem,
Smiling and nodding his assenting head,
Added this needless spur to headlong them:
Content, he cry'd, come let me hear your Plea
'Tis just I to my friends should friendly be.
The pomp of my late Plenty I did ow
To your unwearied pains, which joy'd to bring
Crowds of all choice varieties which grow
In heav'n, or earth, or Sea: the wealthiest King
Could not outvy that furniture which you
To crown my Table daily did allow.
But now alas, I see my tribute's thin:
Some lazy sullen melancholic Things
Guilty of their vile selves, come sneaking in:
But all your brisk and chearly Offerings
Are intercepted; and 'tis well that you
Begin, else I had been the Plaintiff now.
Glad were they all their reverend Censor spake
In their own discontented Dialect:
But strait their fond ambitions did awake
A strife who first should plead: In high neglect
Of all her Sisters, Opsis knit her brows
And shot Scorn's arrows from those full-bent bows.
Who is your Queen, but I, who sit, said she
High in the glories of my double throne
Whilst all your motions regulated be
By my imperial direction:
Blind fools, what could you do, were's not for Me
In setting on our brave Conspiracy?
That proud Word from her mouth no sooner flew,
But Osphresis in high scorn snuff'd it up.
Coy Geusis bit her lips, which tumid grew
With boiling wrath, and scarce had pow'r to stop
Her tongue from railing vengeance: Acoe
Prick'd up her ears, and look'd as big as she.
But ireful Haphe least could rule her pride:
Imperious Dame, cry'd she, how durst poor thou
Who in two little tender Cells are ty'd,
Such saucy scorn on all thy Sisters throw?
See not those eyes of thine my Empire spread
Through all the Body, ev'n from foot to head?
Who domineers but I, in and about
Thy total self? would not this single Nail
Be Arms enough to tear your Queen-ship out
From both your vain thrones? Nay should I assail
Thee with two wretched Motes, they would suffice
To damp that day in which thou prid'st thine eyes.
Thus mad Rebellion's always quarrelsom
Ev'n with itself. Had not their Judge made haste
To stifle their Contention in the womb,
Flat War had been brought forth: But in He cast
His peremptory Sentence: Hold, said He,
Your duty in my house, is to Agree.
This is the Main, how small soe'r it seems,
Whither all your several winding Courses tend:
Here do you pour in your concurrent streams,
And in this Sea of Sense your Rivers blend.
A Sea where never Tempest yet wag'd war
Far be it then that Friends its Calm should tear.
The wrath of your impatient Spirits I
Applaud, as useful for bold Discontent:
But should the Nerves of your brave fury by
The frency of intestine War be rent;
More with your selves than with your Foe you'l fight,
And make her keep you slaves by your own might.
Highly I love you all, and could it be,
Would wish that every One might be Supreme,
'Tis true, what noble Haphe says, and she,
Most like my self, doth Universal seem:
Yet is she of a courser mixture, and
As well as highest, do's the lowest stand.
But gallant Opsis sprightful is and bright,
The glass of Heav'n above, an Heav'n below:
Her seat's completely highest; and the right
Of her Precedency her Beams do show.
She's all your Candle, and the way must lead;
Ev'n your own Interest for her doth plead.
Condemned Haphe, to this sentence paid
Scornful obedience; vowing not to speak
At all, or speak the last. But strait array'd
In joyous aspect, Opsis strove to wake
Her richest sweets, and let her sisters see
What cause she had to slight their poverty.
Yet what means joy to smile in these mine Eyes,
Said she, whilst cruel Psyche domineers,
And makes them worse than Blind? Could it suffice
Her now and then to set abroach my Tears,
I ne'r would for my Weeping mourn; but I,
Alas, in Grief's sink always steeping lie.
The Ocean with less constancy doth throw
Its tide of Salt upon th' afflicted shore,
Than from my springs the stream are forc'd to flow
And down my scalded cheeks their billows pour.
O why must here be everlasting brine,
Whilst all Tides else do know an Ebb but mine!
Yet were these Torrents needful to make clean
Mine Eyes and Me I would not count them dear:
But what crime stains us? Is't that We drink in
All Beauties round about the Hemisphere?
What were we made for else? Alas that We
For our Creation's end must guilty be.
More justly Psyche might that God impeach,
Whom false and fauning she doth magnify.
Is not His sacred Law our Pass, by which
We travel through all Visibility?
Bold Hypocrite, who her own faults doth thus
Revenge upon her God by tort'ring Us.
Are not the Eyes those universal Glasses
In which the world doth fairliest copied lie?
Man for a Microcosme by favor passes,
But in a blind and dusky mystery:
Mine are the only faithful Mirrors, where
All things in their true colors painted are.
Heaven's not so high, nor glares the Sun so wide,
But I can force Him in these Orbs of mine
From morn to ev'n to roll his vastest pride:
The bashful jealous Stars which coyliest shine,
Can by their busy twinckling no way spy
From these of mine to snatch their wariest Eye.
Nay Psyche too, though her brisk mixture be
Pure and spiritual, knows not how to hide
Her subtile self from my discovery:
She by these Windows eas'ly is descry'd,
Whether she hopes or fears, or rests or moves,
Whether she sighs or smiles, or hates or loves.
Would sullen she but deign to mark how I
Am fram'd and seated, she could not despise
The manifest and secret Majesty,
Which doth both compass and compose mine Eyes.
But she is angry, and doth plainly prove
That Hate is also Blind, as well as Love.
Hence 'tis she pays no wonder to this Brow,
The princely Arch which roofs my habitation
In which as resolute Disdain doth grow
As she can dart at it: This fabric's fashion
Makes fair the World above, whose radiant Eye
The upper Orbs have arch'd with Majesty.
These double Doors, whose hinges are my will,
From all their sprightful motions banish Noise
Else could they not catch tender Sleep, which still
Is shy and fearful, and flies every Voice,
These make my East and West; my Day by these
Doth rise and set as often as I please.
Nor do they vainly wantonize when they
Suddenly twinkle; but with needful speed
Sweep all th' incroachments of bold Dust away.
Which on my Glasses' face had flown, and spread
Their unctuous kindness gently to supply
What thirsty Air steals from my open Eye.
Two files of Pikes at either avenue
With prest attendance stand both night and day,
Which free admission to all friends allow
But to injurious Guests shut up the way.
Right trusty Hairs, whose faithful fear to me
Breeds no dishonor, but security.
Full is my house of nimble servants, who
Their ready selves in all my bus'ness stretch;
Whither my wish, yea or my Thought doth go,
With sweet activity they thither reach.
No Prince's Steeds can with such speed or ease
Devour their way, as I am roll'd by these.
Six courtly Curtains close embrace my Bed
Where I inshrined lie in dainty rest.
The Adnate Tunicle is outmost spread,
Which with protection doth the five invest,
And in her bosom shroud both them and Me
From hasty motion's importunity.
The next a Corneous Veil, both firm and bright:
My natural Lanthorn, whose diaphanous side
Can both transmit, and safely keep the right
By which the Body and myself I guide.
No time can spend this Lamp, no boistrous storm
Can puff it out, or breath it any harm.
The third, of Grapes' soft polish'd coat is made
Yet lin'd with roughness delicately fine;
Through which all kinds and tribes of Colors trade,
And traffic with the inner Crystalline:
The doubtful skin of Polypus did ne'r
Slide through such various Looks as sport it here.
This opes a casement to the Pupil, which
My gaudy Iris clotheth in a dress
Of perfect beauties, shaming all those rich
Streaks of that heav'n above, which can express
Only the semi-glories of a Bow;
For mine a fair and total Circle show.
The fourth's that tender Membrane which doth kiss
And hug the tender Pupil: when the Light
Looks on the Eye with fultide court'sy this
Opes wide to meet and drink it in: when Nigh
Her sable curtains draweth over heav'n
This shrinks the Pupil too into its ev'n.
The fifth of Crystal is, soft, warm, and thin.
Found no where but in my rich Treasury
This the pure Region is of Life, wherein
Things living live again; and things which lie
Dead every where beside, enlivened be
And trip about with brisk activity.
The sixth's a Texture of so fine a thread
That neat Arachne might the Spinster seem,
Whose matchless art is so distinctly read
In every line, that thence it takes its name
We call's Aranea, a Net whereby
I catch the purest winged Beams that fly.
Besides, such precious Humors I contain
As furnish me with richer Purity,
Than do's the boundless jewel-paved Main
Its Empress Thetis: She in all her Sea
Is but of one salt-royled Liquor, Queen
But I of three, all limpid and serene.
That which do's outmost smile, is Watery,
The spotless cover of a purer thing
For under it doth liquid Crystal lie
Couch'd fairly on a Bed as ravishing
As its illustrious self, a molten Bed
Of gentle Glass, upon the bottom spred.
And in the Mirror of this triple Spring
All sprightful forms have ample room to play:
The mystic shapes of every kind of thing
Close-moulded in a soft and unseen ray
On Instant's posting wings do hither fly
And dive into these Deeps of Purity.
Not in their glittering Crowns and Sceptres but
In Prince's Eye their Majesty doth reign:
Eyes, Eyes those Champions are, whose conflict yet
No Soldier's hand or heart could e'r sustain:
Ev'n manly Troy prov'd a burnt sacrifice
To the more flaming Might of female Eyes.
Love's conquering Monarch borrows from the Eye
His ammunition, — quiver, bow, and darts;
And wins by that soft fierce Artillery,
His mighty Principality of Hearts.
Eyes of his own had He, what might He not
Atchieve, who has such power by others got!
And this is my Domestic beauties' Store:
Lo now my outward equal Magazine
She beckned here; when at an unseen door
With splendid haste a silver Globe roll'd in,
Whose sparkling Eyes shew'd it the way to turn
And wheel from Ev'n through all the Night to Morn.
This done: a dusky Veil she threw aside,
And through a roseal East let ope the Day:
Up Titan sprung, and, as the Globe did glide,
Speeded into the West his golden way;
Where, red and hot with his long journy, He
Plummed the cool bath of th' Atlantic Sea.
Then bluster'd in the Winds, on whose broad back
Rode laboring Clouds; of which some crumbled Snow,
Some spit forth Lightnings through a thundering Crack,
Some with more peaceful show'rs of Rain did flow,
Some pour'd down monstrous vermin, some a flood
Of not desired Corn, some squeez'd out Blood.
That Storm blown o'r; the Spring march'd forth array'd
With fragrant Green, whose sweet Embroidery
In blooms and buds of virgin smiles display'd
A scene of living Joys, all echoed by
Ten thousand Birds, which, perch'd on every Tree,
Tun'd their soft pipes to Nature's harmony.
Yet underneath, in higher gallantry
The Peacock strutted, whose enamel'd train
Of the celestial Model's bravery
Brandish'd her stout and gorgeous disdain;
For that Boul's winking eyes could not express
So full a proof of heav'n as flam'd in these.
Summer came next, with her own riches crown'd,
A wreath of flow'rs upon her goodly head;
Large sheaves of ripened gold did her surround,
And all her way with wholesom Plenty spread;
Where as she went, no Tree but reach'd his Arm
(For it was hot) to shade her head from harm.
Then follow'd Autumn, with her bosom full
Of every fruit which either tempts the Eye
Or charms the Taste; here Wantoness might cult
And weary grow: here wide-mouth'd Luxury
Might her own boulimy devour with more
Facility, than spend this teeming store.
At last came drooping Winter slowly on,
For frost hung heavy on his heels; the year
Languish'd in Him, and looked old and wan:
He quak'd and shiver'd through his triple fur:
Which way soe'r he works, and strives to creep,
He's to the knees in Snow at every step.
For Snow was all things now; and in this While
The wanton World, which made such jolly sport
In Autumn's, Summer's, and in Spring's Delight,
Must (girded up by Ice,) do penance for't:
This cold, chaste, strait-lac'd garb will best repel
The faults those loose hot Seasons taught to swell.
This graceful Pageant past: up leap'd upon
The stage, a City, whose ambitious head
Threatned the clouds with interruption:
What Art was here to Riches married!
How thick the marble Spires and Towers stood,
Shading the houses with a stony Wood!
But like an awful Crown to all the rest
The Prince's Palace mounted fair and high,
Proclaimed by its double-gilded crest
Its own and its great Owner's majesty.
Yet was this outward Pomp a coarse poor skin
To those bright Rarities which stain'd within.
Here was the Jewel-house, where naked lay
Such throngs of Gems as might enrich the Sea:
There in the Wardrobe, in well-wrought array
Their sparkling Brethren trained were to be:
The clothing of those Clothes Embroyderers had
To pride, the back of scornfull Courtship made.
Here stood the Checquer, that great Temple where
The World's dear Idol lay in Sacred heaps:
The Optic Storehouse there, hung round with rare
Productions fish'd from Art's profoundest Deeps;
The School of Admiration, and the Shop
Of Miracles in Glasses treasur'd up.
Here Men, and Beasts, and Birds were all of kin,
Being extracted from one common womb,
The noble Proconnesian Marble Mine:
And where the Statuary wanted room,
The Painter's livelier Lines entic'd the sight
To sport in his less cumbersom delight.
But in the Presence-chamber's ocean met
All pompous Vanities' best Confluence:
A golden Throne on silver floor was set
Which took new Lustre from the gorgeous Prince
Who in his glittering Court insphered was
As Phoebus in the rays of his own face.
The Queen both of his Kingdom and his heart
Beautie's best triumph, show'd at his right hand
And Deign'd her sweet exuberance to impart
Upon that Maiden Circle which did stand
To wait and gaze on Her, whose goodly Look
Was Wonder's fairer heav'n, and Pleasure's book.
When Opsis by these spectacles had drew
Admiring smiles from her Spectators: I
With millions more, said she, could feast your view
Should I rip up my total Treasury,
Which reacheth from the Loftiest pinnacle
Of heav'n, down to the deepest sink of hell.
And these are those Oblations mine Eyes
In loyal piety did day by day
On Psyche's only Altar sacrifice:
Yet proudly-cruel She throws them away
In fierce disdain, and needs will force me to
Learn a Religion which must me undo.
To some sad blurred Prayerbook she ties
My cheerly Spotless sight; or forceth me
To stare so long on th' unregarding skies
That with dull seeing I forget to see.
She some presence or other still will find
In mere devotion to make me blind.
The other Sun, when he has look'd his day
Can go to bed and rest himself in night:
But I at Ev'n must still persist to pray.
And watch her candle till the morning light.
Some comfort 'twere if I might but obtain
By all those Pray'rs relief for my own pain.
But since nor She, nor Heav'n, will pity take;
What could oppressed dying Opsis do,
But let her gasping sighs have leave to break
Into these just Complaints, great Sir to you?
To which may you be deaf, if Equity
Pleads not as loud for me as mine own Cry.
She ending thus; impatient Acoe,
Who thought her Sister's Speech by all too long,
Step'd back into their common Treasury
Kept by Anamnesis, (where lay the throng
Of their ideal wealth,) and bad her make
Ready her Train, whilst she its Prologue spake.
Hear me, said she; and be this my reward
For hearing all things else: though many a sound
Upon mine Ears hath most unkindly jarr'd
Yet courteous entertainment still it found:
The like I crave; nor must my Sisters grudge
That next to Opsis' place, mine own I judge.
My House is secret; cautious winding ways
And privy galleries into it lead:
By which abstruse state I my glory raise
Higher than if my Palace star'd abroad.
Thus Jewels dwell close in the Cavity
Of Mother-Pearl, and thus dwells Acoe.
The outward room's oblique, that violent Sounds
May manners learn, and not rush in too fast
And narrow, to protect my private bounds,
Which by no stealing Vermin must be past.
Yet if they venture, I have lime-twiggs there
To check their rashness, trusty Wax and Hair.
And at this Chamber's end is plac'd my Drum
Made of a Parchment soft and thin and dry
And ready-corded. But the second Room
Is of my active Tools the treasury:
My Hammer's and my Anvil's dwelling's there
By which I forge all Sounds I please to hear.
By them three small but wondrous busy Bones
Whene'r my Drum is beat, articulate
Th imperfect features of all breeding Tones
Just as the Teeth at pratling Lingua's gate.
Indeed she only would be thought to make
The shapes of Words; but Acoe too can speak.
For could I not, Dame Lingua's trade were vain
And all her Dialects too weak to make
One Language, did not I produce again
All her Productions: I to purpose speak
And I alone; Words are dead wind, till I
Enliven them with perfect energy.
Behind these two, a third is built, whose frame
So Tortuous is and dubious, and full
Of Labyrinths, that thence it takes its Name.
Six semi-circles there hook in and pull
The sound to every corner, that it may
Grow well acquainted e'r it pass away.
Next unto that, my most reserved Cell
Wreaths up its pliant self in privacy;
Just as the wary Periwinkle Shell
Hugging his own involved sides doth lie,
From which dark closet, by a private slit
To thee, grave Censor, I my News transmit.
Should Psyche's pride observe no more than this,
Sure she might deign me some respect: yet I
Want not an ample Troop of Witnesses
To prove my Worth. With that she turn'd her eye,
When strait her Train in decent equipage
Answer'd her Look, and enter'd on the Stage.
Up sprung a suddain Grove, where every Tree
Impeopled was with Birds of softest throats:
With Boughs' Quires multiply'd, and Melody
As various was, as were the Singers' Notes;
Till Philomel's diviner Anthems sound
Them, in a deeper Sea of Music drown'd.
Beneath a silver River stole, and by
Its gentle murmur did all ears invite:
In whose fair streams a Swan, content to dy,
And at that dear price buy them fresh delight,
Tun'd her long Pipe to such an height that she
Sung out her soul in her own Elegy.
Then came two golden Orators, the one
From Greece, from Rome the other, to lament
Her dainty death: Demosthenes began,
And rap'd the Hearers with such full content,
That from the throat of the delicious Swan
His, which her praises tun'd, the honor wan.
Yet Cicero disdaining that the Fame
Of Roman Eloquence should buried be
In that Bird's grave: pour'd out so vast a stream
Of all encomiastic suavity,
That their deceased Swan in every strain
Of his Oration more than liv'd again.
But Jubal then rush'd in; and room, said he.
For my prerogative, who first could teach
Scholars both deaf and dumb such harmony,
As overtopp'd short-winded Nature's reach.
Rude things, the Hammer and the Anvil, I
Tutor'd to forge soul-charming Melody.
Behind him flowed in all pleasant throngs
Of Music's Utensils; the Harp, the Lute,
The Organ (moderator of all Songs)
The Viol, Cymbal, Sackbut, Cornet, Flute,
The Harpsichord, Theorbo and Bandore,
The gallant Trumpet, and a thousand more.
Yet this great show was dumb, till in there prest
A goodly Man, fram'd with Symmetrious grace;
His Robe and Crown his royalty profess,
And his sweet Art betray'd what Prince he was;
For snatching up the Harp, he made it wake,
And all its silent Brethern's language speak.
As to the strings he whisper'd with his finger,
They all told tales, and by their matchless Noise
Acknowleg'd freely, This is Israel's singer.
Discover'd thus, He join'd with them his voice;
And as he sung, again the heav'nly Boul
Which Opsis thither brought, began to roll.
But He leap'd into it, and in the spheres
Withdrew himself: For lo a surley Sea
Comes foaming in, and proudly overbears
That dainty Magazine of Harmony:
The Senses griev'd to see the Tempest's Roar
Devour those gentle Airs they heard before.
Yet worying among the waves they spy'd
A wracked Mortal, who with greedy hand
Caught up the Harp which floated by his side,
And hop'd by that weak Bark to get to land;
As knowing well that Music's Powers might charm
Asleep the loudest wrath of any storm.
No sooner borrow'd He the string's soft Cry,
But at the gentle Call a Dolphin came,
Lending his willing back to bear him high
Above the pride of that deluded stream.
Arion strait with all his fingers strove
To pay his fare, and quit the Fishes' love.
The waves grew calm and smiled in his face;
The chearly Nymphs look'd up and joy'd to hear
Such courteous Accents in that churlish place,
Where only Tempests us'd to beat their ear.
The Winds came stealing close about him, and
Catch'd every Note that dropped from his hand.
The pious Fish, who all this merry while
Did deeper swim in Joy than in the Sea,
And by the charming Harp's discourse beguile
His journey's tedious length, was sad to see
The period of his Voyage now at hand,
And wish'd that he might with Arion land.
But on the shore a Singing Troop appear'd
Where Pindar and his Lute their parts did play:
All ears were ravish'd which his Numbers heard
And had not Flaccus thrown his fear away
And fir'd by envious bravery, stretch'd his skill
Lyric's sole Soveraign Pindar had been still.
(Yet neither of their Empires was so vast
But they left Herbert too, full room to reign
Who Lyric's pure and precious Metal cast
In holier moulds, and nobly durst maintain
Devotion in Verse, whilst by the spheres
He tunes his Lute, and plays to heav'nly ears.)
High on's deserved Mountain Homer sate
And sham'd a Trumpet by his stouter Laies
Which Fame, who thither flutter'd, having got,
Spread through the wondering World their only Praise:
Till princely Maro with an equal Strain
Embrac'd his voice, and echoed them again.
(These at the second bound reflected be
By Tasso's Muse, but in a purer tune:
The Muse which taught her sober Tuscany
The Greek and Roman Poetry to prune
And rescu'd Godfrey from Oblivion's bands,
As He had Salem freed from Pagan hands.
Not far from whom, though in lower clime
Yet with a goodly Train doth Colin sweep:
Though manacled in thick and peevish Rhyme
A decent pace his painful Verse doth keep:
Right fairly dress'd were his welfeatur'd Queen
Did not her Mask too much her beauties screen.
But O how low all these bow down before
Naziansum's and the World's immortal Glory;
Him, whose heav'n-fired Soul did sweetly soar
Up to the top of every stage and story
Of Poetry, transforming in his way
Each Muse into a true Urania.
And by this heart-attracting Pattern Thou
My only worthy self, thy Songs didst frame:
Witness those polish'd Temple Steps, which now
Stand as the Ladder to thy mounting fame
And, spight of all thy Travels, make 't appear
Th' art more in England than when Thou wert here.
More unto others, but not so to me
Privy of old to all thy secret Worth:
What half-lost I endure for want of Thee
The World will read in this mishapen Birth.
Fair had my Psyche been, had she at first
By thy judicious hand been drest and nurst.)
Some distance thence, in flow'ry wanton groves
Luxurious Amorosos sate, who by
The thrilling Key of Sports and Smiles and Loves
Effeminated their quaint Melody.
Nimble Theocritus and Naso were
The leading Lords of all that revel'd there.
Whose Consort to complete, aforehand came
Marino's Genius, with a voice so high
That all the World rang with Adonis' Name.
Unhappy Man, and Choise! O what would thy
Brave Muse have done in such a Theme as Mine,
Which makes Profanness almost seem Divine!
But though Thou stoutly scorn'dst to be in debt
To any Subject, and would'st only ow
Thy Works' magnificence to thy vast Wit
Mean I, was glad my beauties' lines to draw
From well-stor'd Psyche's graceful Symmetry:
Thy subject Thou commend'st, my subject Me.
The close of all was an affected Throng
Which chirp'd, pip'd, crackled, squeak'd, and buzz'd about;
Mushrooms of Verse: who yet as boldly sung
As Homer's self, and desperately thought
Their Sonnet's crack a noise as gallant made
As did the Thunder of an lliad.
These vain Byblows of Poetry, begot
Of Confidence and Sack, whose rhyming Itch
Was their sole Jury, Acoe had not
Presumed here to venture to the touch.
Had she not been aware the Censure was
Not now by Reason but by Sense to pass.
Those various Apparitions marching by
This vocal Honey, and much more than this
She cry'd, to court and solace Psyche, I
Would gladly drop: but she so sullen is
That what makes all Rocks move and Tempests rest
In foul disdain she in my face doth cast.
She talks indeed of glorious Melody,
Seraphic and Cherubic Anthems: yet
What faith can flame with so much Charity
As to believe the holy Hypocrite;
Or dream that she for heav'nly Music cares
Who grates on me with none but hellish Jars?
In hideous sighs she smothers up my Ears,
And diets me with big but hollow Groans:
Liv'd I a Subject in the Realm of fears
And Shrieks and raving Desperations;
I would not murmur that the Monsters there
Did tender me with yelling Torments tear.
But must proud Psyche here a Fury be
In spight of all the sweetest sweets I spread
Thick in her way? must her fell Tyranny
Choose on no footstool but Desert to tread?
Forbid it, righteous Sir, and lend some aid,
Before to ruin we be all betray'd.
Here Osphresis the next place claim'd as due
To her right fairly eminent situation:
Yet stepping up into more open view,
She prefac'd by her Looks to her Oration;
Seeking for both, no other ornament
But wrinkles of disdainful Discontent.
My Wrongs, said she, although I third must speak,
Too well deserv'd to have been told the first.
My Court you fully know; which, though it make
No gaudy show indeed, yet at the worst,
Dame Acoe, its structure is as fair
As your however young yet wrinkled Ear.
For like an Alabaster Prop it hears
The forhead's load, yet ows that firmness to
No Basis but it self: Within appears
A double Gallery, on whose walls there grow
Quick watchful Hairs, which inrush the entering Air
To send it to my Presence clean and fair.
In these an useful Backdoor lurks, whereby
I breath cool gales to fan and chear the Heart:
But by the Mammillar Processions, I
Embrace those pleasures which my Sweets impart,
And then through them the Soul of Odours strain,
And with pure vigorous Spirits befriend the Brain.
What kind of tribute I was wont to yield
Coy Psyche, let Anamnesis confess:
No sooner had she spoken, but a field
Sprung on the smiling stage, whose youthful Dress
Did all that Summer represent, and more,
Which Opsis had displayed there before.
Thick beds of Marjoram, of Thyme, of Myrrh,
Of Violets, Primroses, Rosemary,
Of Saffron, Marigolds, and Lavender,
Of July-flowers, flower-gentle, Piony,
Of Hysop, Balm, Sage, Roses, Pinks, and Lilies,
Of Honysuckles and of Daffodillies.
These shelter'd were with many a spicy Tree
Sweetly embraced by the Eglantine,
Who joying in their fragrant company
Among their odors did his own entwine.
And here the ravish'd Senses ask'd their eyes
Whether this were Araby or Paradise.
Their eyes in wonder looking up, espied
Upon a Cedar what more wondrous shew'd,
A Phoenix's Tomb and Cradle, dignify'd
With richer Odors than beneath were strew'd:
The flames rose up to kill and to revive
The Bird, which sweetly teacheth Death to live.
Straight th' aromatic Cloud which rolled there
Breath'd them such sprightful powers of quickning joy;
That now they marvel not a Bird should dare
To die a death which could such life display.
And if the smoke alone, say they, can stream
With such Refreshment, O what may the flame!
No wonder that wise Deifies desire
Their highest, holiest Altars should be fed
With life-begetting spice; or that such fire
Should cool the wrath with maketh Vengance red:
No wonder Incense should have power to move
To gentle Pity most incensed Jove.
This ecstasy of theirs pleas'd Osphresis
More than the Sweets did them: And why, cry'd she,
Must I who pay such dainty Rent as this
By most ingrateful Psyche tortur'd be?
If she would slay me quite, there were an end;
But she delights my Murder to extend.
For on the rack she holds me nights and days;
Tying me pris'ner to a dead Man's skull!
On which whilst she her hands at prayers lays
Vilest Corruption's fumes my Nostrils fill.
Worse is my state than theirs who buried lie
In death, and smell not their grave's Misery.
If die we must, 'tis reason we by some
Sturdy Adventure first deserve our death.
Impartial Sir, what better can become
Your injur'd Senses, than by generous Wrath
To shew that they are Sensible no less
Of their deep Wrongs, than of their Happiness.
Geusis, whose hasty mouth stood ready ope,
Rejoyc'd to hear her sister end her speech.
And now said she, my Tongue enjoy thy scope
And in thy own defence thy powers stretch.
Psyche regards not what I say: but you
Grave Judge will just Apoligies allow.
Then since 'tis prov'd the fashion to display
The native beauties of our habitation
My words shall travel in this beaten way:
Although my House's ample commendation
By all th' admiring World asserted is,
In their ambition its door to kiss.
For never with more reverential fear
And strong devotion did the panting hearts
Of zealous Saints aspire unto the dear
Gate of Heavn's Bliss; than those who by the darts
Of Beauty on are prick'd and fir'd to win
Love's Paradise, approach to this of mine.
And this is of two leaves, two Roses' leaves,
Whose tenderness the inward Guard supplies
A strong and double Guard, which there receives
With sharp examination, and tries
The burliest Guests; whom if it finds them rude
It sends into my Mill to be subdu'd.
There are they press'd and ground and gentle made.
And so upon my ruby table set;
Where, with a Canopy of Purple spread
Over my head, Prince-like alone I eat;
And dining with the Cream of all the feast,
To my Attendants freely leave the rest.
They in the Kitchen meeting at the fire
Sit down and pick what pieces like them best
Where each one stuffing full his own desire,
Grows fat and merry; then the scrape they cast
Into the sink, which by a private spout
Behind the House is duly emptied out.
To me all Sapors willing homage pay,
Knowing their credit on my Tongue depends:
What I distaste the whole World spits away,
And what I justify, as much commends.
Admired Honey ne'r was known to be
Her sweet self, till she pleas'd and flatter'd me
Nor has Anamnesis a thinner show
Of Rarities, which to my realm belong,
Than those my sister's pride display'd to you:
Consult your eyes on that delicious Throng
She ushers in: if any thing there want.
Say then the world's supplies, not mine are scant.
Straitway a golden Table glided in
Pale as its burden, a far richer Feast;
A Feast whose Powers might Vitellius win
To loath his Empire's board, and here be guest.
A Feast whose strange variety and store
Dar'd call great Solomon's Provision poor.
The vanguard ranked by a skilful hand
Was fruitful Summer fairly dish'd and drest
For Plumbs, Pears, Apples, Figgs, Dates, Quinces, and
Choise Apricots advanc'd before the rest.
And then Grapes, Citrons, Oranges, and Cherries,
Pomgranats, Almonds, Straw, Rasp, Mirtle-berries.
Besides, smart Flowers, and daring Herbs, to trim
The wanton Board with Sallad's pageantry
And send a challenge to the stomach from
Those stouter Troops which now were marching nigh:
This was the second ranged Squadron, whither
All Nations of the Air seem'd flock'd together.
Fine Pheasant, Patridge, Plover, Bustard, Quail
The Woodcock, Capon, Cygnet, Chicken, Dove,
The Snipe, Lark, Godwit, Turky, Peacock, Teal
With thousand winged Dainties, which might move
The best-skill'd Luxury, the Deities
Now plain and course Ambrosia to despise.
Next these, a large Brigade was marshalled
Or whose forlorn, first march'd the hardy Boar
And then the Bull, the Veal, the Goat, the Kid
The Sheep, Lamb, Cony, Hart, with reeking store
Of every fair and wholsome thing that feeds
Upon the hills, the vallies, or the meads.
But from the Sea and Rivers in the rear
Another stately Ocean flowing came;
The Smelt, the Perch, the Ruff, the Roch, the Dare
The Carp, Pike, Tench, Lump, Guernet Herring,
The Mullet, Trout, Dorce, Cod, Eel, Whiting, Mole,
Plaise, Salmon, Lamprey, Sturgeon, Pilchard, Sole.
The Turbet, Cuttle, Flounder, Mackerel,
Yea Lobsters, Oysters, and all kind of Fishes
Which Lust's soft fuel treasure in their shell;
Had left their troubled Deeps to swim in dishes:
Of which no Land knew such variety
But when the Deluge made the Earth a Sea.
But all this while the sparkling Bouls were crown'd
With living Nectar round about the Table:
Amazement ne'r such precious Liquor found
Dropping from Poet's brain; a Liquor able
To make th' Egyptian Queen disdain her Cup,
Though courting with a liquid Gem her lip.
Then for Reserves, ten Ladies' dainty hands,
Th' ambitious Caters of their own delight,
Had curiously raised antic Bands
Of banquet Powers; in which the wanton might
Of Confectory Art endeavor'd how
To charm all Tasts to their sweet overthrow.
Thus having feasted her Spectator's eyes,
Geusis but nods, and all was ta'n away.
And is this homage to be scorn'd, she cries,
Which copious I alone to Psyche pay?
Must her dry Supper of the simple Lamb,
Of which she prates so much, these Dainties shame?
These Dainties, whose soft but victorious Bait
Hath many a sturdy Stoic captive led:
And with whose precious-relishing Deceit
The liquorish World aspireth to be fed;
Tho' crude Distempers, Surfeits, Sickness, Pain,
And immature Death make its dreadful Train.
These Dainties, which are fairer far, I trow,
Than that poor green raw Apple, which could win
A wiser She than Psyche is, to throw
All other Bliss away: yet cursed Sin
Attended on that fatal Bit; but here
On all my Board is no Forbidden Chear.
No, bounteous Heav'n's free Patent seals to Me
Complete authority o'er all these Pleasures.
And must our holy Tyrant's Piety
Cancel her own God's Act; and square the measures
Of my Enjoyments by what her fond Sense
Is pleas'd to judge Religious Abstinence?
Must I be fed with Hope? or, what is more
Jejune than that, vile Roots and coarse dry Bread?
Must I be ravish'd from my sparkling store
Of virgin Wines, and forc'd to drink the dead
Deflowr'd cold water, or that Brine which she
Boils in her eyes to scald my Mouth and Me?
Must I neglect my woful Bellie's Cry,
And basely to self-murder yield; whilst She
Delights her peevish self to mortify
Without the least remorse of killing Me?
Still must I sit till my lank skin become
A mere white sheet to shroud me for my tomb?
Though Justice, righteous Sir, might you persuade
To aid our necessary mutiny;
Yet Pity too on Geusis's part doth plead
For present succour's alms before I dy.
O had these Teeth on Psyche's heart their will
Their wrongs how deeply would they make her feel?
She closing here, and champing her fell lips,
Ev'n in her silence still spake spight and rage:
Which Haphe echoing, forth right coily trips
And shews her sullen face upon the Stage.
With mute Disdain she her stern preface makes,
And having look'd Contempt, Contempt she speaks:
'Tis well you'll deign me leave to be the last;
Yet goodly Sisters, when, I pray, would you
Have felt those Wrongs of yours, had I not past
Through all your Lodgings, and inform'd you how?
'Tis by my Touch alone that you resent
What object yields Delight, what Discontent.
You to your proper Cells confined are,
Which also stand in my Dominions,
Whose limits are extended far and near
Through flesh and blood and skin: indeed some
Bones Are obstinate; but to thy teeth I tell
Thee Geusis, they sometimes my power feel.
What haste, Anamnesis? yet I'm contented,
Come bless their eyes: At this proud-yielding word
She on the scene her Tactile sweets presented:
With curious Ermin's stately mantles furr'd,
Illustrious robes of Satin and of silk,
And wanton Lawns, more soft and white than milk.
Delicious Beds of cygnet's purest Down,
Cushions of Roses, Lilies, Violets;
Bathes of perfumed oiles, footpaths thick strown
With budding Summer's undeflowred sweets;
Stoves which could Autumn of cold Winter make.
Fountains in Autumn to bring Winter back.
Soft Ticklings, Courtings, Kisses, Dalliance
Embraces which no modest Muse must tell;
For all the Company at their first glance
Started and turn'd from that bold spectacle.
Which Haphe marking, insolently cries
Out, out on these demure Hypocrisies.
What mean you your vain heads to turn aside
When still your itching hearts are hankering here!
Fools! what your eyes pretend not to abide
Your hungry Thoughts esteem their choicest cheer:
Talk not of shame; I to your selves appeal
Is't shame to see what all desire to feel?
Yet though this solemn and substantial joy
I offer Psyche, most ingrateful She
Starts more than you, and barbarously coy
Makes war upon my solid Courtesy:
Just as the clownish Rocks in pieces dash
The streams, which gently come their sides to wash.
Faint on the ground's cold bed she makes me lie,
There to corrupt my flesh and suck diseases,
And measure out my grave before I die:
Some cloth of hemp, or hair, or what she pleases,
Must those furrs' place usurp; poor Haphe, who
Ne'r peeps abroad, must like a Pilgrim go.
With churlish stroaks on this soft tender breast,
As of some Anvil, 'tis her trade to beat
With an unnat'ral Hammer, mine own fist.
She scorns, grave Sir, the service of my feet,
And dwelling always on my weary Knee
Relentless Tyrant lames her self and me.
Although my livid soreness be now spread
About me round, she still regardless goes,
And will go on, till force her spight forbid.
This has confederated me with those
My injur'd sisters, all resolv'd to try
The strength of Right against her Tyranny.
The Plaintiffs thus their several Cases spread
Open before their common Censor: He
Shaking with serious Look his thoughtful head
Some pause allowed to his Gravity;
At length he cry'd, The matter's foul, I see
And doth include with yours, my Injury.
Your Resolution's just and noble too:
But still I must advise you to Agree,
Least you by factious jealousy undo
The joints which knit up your Conspiracy.
A mutinous Army only hastes to lose
The field, before it to the battle goes.
But more Confederates were not amiss
The easier to dispatch your great Design:
That discontented Troop which scatter'd is
About the Heart, will in your Plot combine:
And lo my faithful Sister Fancy there
Whom you may trust your embassy to bear.
She all this while behind them sate, and as
Their several Pageants and Complaints came out,
Straight caught them pris'ners in her crystal glass
And then their figures in her Sampler wrought.
She needed no Instructions what to say,
But being ask'd to go she flies away.
For launching on the nimble wings of Thought
Forthwith to her designed port she sails
Where, in the Lodgings scatter'd round about
The Court of Psyche, she her face unveils.
The Passions flock'd to kiss her, and to know
What welcome News she from abroad could show.
The News is this, said she; and instantly
Taught her, fine airy figures, to present
All that was spoke, or shew'd, or plotted by
The angry Senses; adding what intent
Had spurr'd her thither. They a while amaz'd,
Upon the guileful Apparition gaz'd.
Then taking fire, and being too stout their own
Wraths' flames to bridle, thus they belch'd them out:
Surely, said they our Queen flat foe is grown,
To her most trusty friends. 'Twas not for nought
That we our selves complain'd; 'tis certain she
Means now to rage and open Tyrant be.
If their great distance cannot Them remove
From her injustice, then no wonder we
Who live more in her reach, so often prove
The prey whereon she feasts her Cruelty.
We in their Plot against our common foe
Think it most just to join; and tell them so.
Though theirs the honor be to have begun
This righteous insurrection; yet they
Shall find that we will lead our forces on
With such resolved might, that our Delay
Shall more than he excused, when our Rage
Shall once appear upon the Battel's stage.
Let them be sure to watch their Ports without,
And leave the bus'ness here within for us;
Who are not now to learn how to be stout
And stomachful and rude and mutinous.
That Word rais'd Fancy's smile, right glad to see
Success so quickly crown her Embassy.
Whose Issue when she to the Senses told,
They all would in devotion needs blaspheme;
Thrusting loud thanks on God, as if their bold
Sedition had been patroniz'd by Him;
And now with traiterous expectation swell'd,
They wait to see the Passions take the field.
But Hope, Love, Hatred, Anger, and the rest
Of that impatient crew had forthwith been
In open arms, had cautious Fear not prest
For some demur, and to his party won
Deep-thinking jealousy: 'Tis best, said he,
We of some valiant Leader first agree.
Psyche is strong and sober: if we fight
Without due Discipline, that Rashness will
But hurry our own Pow'rs to speedier flight:
But if we make some expert General's skill
Our own by following it, the Victory
Will grow ambitious on our side to be.
That Word a new Confusion broach'd, for all
Reach'd at the General's lofty Place, but Fear
And Jealousy; yet these abhorr'd to fall
Under the absolute power of any there,
And equally in doubt and dread did stand,
Both of subjection, and of Command.
Long their Ambitions justled one another,
(For who is best where all alike are bad
By common Treason?) and yet loth to smother
Their traiterous Wrath in their own Strife, they made
A Vote at last, to step abroad and see
Who skilled best feats of Activity.
When lo (so well Hell's plots were lay'd) they met
A goodly Person, to whose cedar head
All theirs like shrubs appear'd: Disdain did sit
High on his brows, his awful limbs were spread
To such extent of gallantry, that there
Seem'd ample room for every thing but fear.
At his first glimpse their wishes all concenter
On portly Him: Love forthwith is design'd
To break to this brave Knight their bold Adventure,
And with her wiley sweetness sift his mind.
She hastens to her Task; and bowing low,
From her mouth's fount lets this inchantment flow.
Might's goodly Mirror, whosoe'r you be
Whom blessed fortune shews us here alone:
Surely such fair commanding Majesty
Deserves by thousands to be waited on:
And, if such honor you this Troop will deign,
We shall have found a Lord, and you a Train.
An high Design hath fir'd us now, which may
Your Might and Soverain Command become:
Upon a War with Psyche we to day
Resolved have: but kind fate kept us from
Choosing our General; and we hope our stay
Was but for you, whom Heav'n puts in our way.
This League was knit by strong Necessity,
To break that Yoke which else our necks would break:
Would Psyche suffer us ourselves to be,
No mutiny of ours her throne should shake;
But we, though Passions, calm and tame must lie
Whilst she proves passionate ev'n to Tyranny.
We must not Hope, nor Fear, nor Love, nor Hate,
Nor do the things for which we all were born:
If fouler slavery e'r did violate
Free-Subjects' birthright; our sad sufferings scorn:
If not, O may the just Relief be ours,
Great Sir, by your stout hand; the Glory yours.
Agenor glad such punctual ready Bliss
Did on his own Design itself obtrude;
Swell'd his vast Looks to bigger stateliness:
Three turns he stalk'd, three times he proudly view'd
The Company, three times he snuff'd, and then
Opening his mouth at leisure thus began:
Now by my glorious Power, all you I know,
But silly Brats I see you know not me,
Whom to so vile a piece of Work you woo
As bridling wretched Psyche's Tyranny.
Must I, whom Lyons, Tigres, Dragons fear,
Debase my Strength, and stoop to conquer Her?
If of the great Kind she a Monster were,
Or e'r had made distressed Countries fly
To Shrines and Oracles on wings of fear,
To summon to their help a Deity;
If she could prove a Thirteenth Task for Him
Who Twelve atchiev'd, the Work would me beseem.
But to unsheath my Valour at a fly,
And pitch the field against a simple Worm
To mount my Sinews' great Artillery
A female despicable Fort to storm;
More honor on the Captive's head would heap
Than on my Hand which did that Conquest reap.
Yet since so deep I your Oppression see
I'l win thus much on my high-practis'd Might
To make it bow to your delivery.
But never say Agenor came to fight:
I scorn the match; this finger will he strong
Enough to prove my Pity of your Wrong.
This said, He march'd in more than warlike state
Up to the House where thoughtful Psyche lay:
And thund'ring imperiously at the gate
Unto the Rebel's rage burst ope the way.
Loud rung the Ruin, and with boistrous fear
Strait revel'd in the Queen's amazed ear.
As when the Winds let loose upon the Sea
Tear up the Deeps and fling them at the Stars
Chasing away unarm'd Serenity
With bold alarms of unsuspected wars;
The startled Nymphs their fearful heads shrink in,
And down into the world's dark bottom run:
So Psyche, trembling at the furious Cry,
Retreated to her inmost Fort; a place
Profound and strong, from whence her jealous Eye
Might safely view the Rebels: Time it was
To call her Counsellor; whom to the Rout
With these Instructions she dispatcheth out:
Run Logos, run, and learn what mad mistake
Hurls those my Subjects into tumult: Try,
(For well thou skill'st that gentle Might) to break
Their furie's torrent by the lenity
Of wise Persuasion; Pardon, of all charms
The best, proclaim to all who lay down arms.
He at this odd News shakes his head, but yet
Right sagely-pleasant to the Traitors goes.
And Friends, said he, If you be in a fit
Of fighting, then in God's name seek your foes.
This is your peaceful Home; O be it far
From you to ruin your own Rest by War.
Did any Reason prompt you to rebel;
How could it 'scape from being known to Me?
Your Queen what would it boot you to expel,
Who needs must in her ruins buried be?
What gains the mad-man, who through jealous fears
Pulls his own house, and death, about his ears?
What means sweet Love to rob herself of all
Herself, in playing peevish Discord's part?
Must th' universal Glue, which hinds the Ball
Of this fair world so close, in pieces start?
Shall thy dear Bands serve only now to ty
Destruction fast to your Conspiracy?
Stern Hatred, could the copious world afford
No other Prey whereon to feast thy spight
But thou against thyself must draw thy sword
In venturing against thy Queen to fight?
O hate what hateful is, but hate not her
Whose love gives thee thy life and dwelling here.
What strange Enchantments lured Thee, fond Hope,
To this design of self-destruction? Who
Abus'd thy credulous soul, and puff'd thee up
With mad supposal that the Ladder to
Exhalt thee, must be Ruin? Thus art Thou
Of Hope become plain Desperation now.
Unhappy Fear, and what makes thee afraid
To dwell in thine own Happinesse's Port?
What monstrous Witchery hath now betray'd
To this bold Mutiny thy trembling Heart?
What hardneth thee, who quak'st at every frown
Of other Princes, to despise thine own?
Brave Anger, shall the scoffing world at last
Have cause to mock thy Valour, whilst it makes
Such earnest haste unto so wild a Jest
As waging war against its own mistakes?
What pity 'tis to see thou art so fair
And well appointed when no Danger's near?
And you my Fellow-subjects all, whom I
Have often heard our gracious Sovereign praise
For humble Duty and fidelity;
O why must groundless Rashness now erase
That noble Character, and in its stead
Print foul Rebellion's blot on your fair head?
By your Allegiance and ingenerate worth,
By your own Lives, and dearer Loyalty,
By Psyche's royal Head, by Heav'n and Earth,
By every thing, I you conjure to be
True to yourselves: The Queen desires but this,
Who by your Peace and weal counts her own bliss.
Suspect not that this Paroxysm, which hath
Your honesty abused; or the Art
Of that bold Stranger who applies your wrath
To his own Envy's end, can spur her heart
To such revenge, that she cannot forgive
Those in whose Happiness her life doth live.
No; she is readier to forget, than you
Can be your hasty Error to lay down:
She on your necks by me her arms doth throw,
And by my Tongue she calls you still her own:
Behold the Pledge of her Embraces here,
A General Pardon all your Doubts to clear.
As when soft Oil on raging fire you throw,
Forthwith the fretful flames incensed by
Its gentleness, more fierce and rampant grow:
So here the unrelenting mutinous fry
Storm'd at persuasive Logos, and to new
Impatience at his sweet Oration grew.
He's an Enchanter, Anger cry'd, and by
These blandishments hath oft bewitched Us:
But our mature and just Conspiracy
Scorns to be fooled and confuted thus.
'Tis time to act our Resolutions now,
That Reason's may no longer us undo.
Then clapping her right paw full on his throat,
And stopping with her left his mouth, she drew
Him to Agenor, crying, Now w' have got
Our subtlest Foe, Sir, let him have his due,
We never shall our warlike bus'ness do,
If to the Tyrant back in peace he go.
The other Passions strait rebounded that
Rebellious word; whose General glad to see
Their madness compass what his pride could not,
Gave order Logos should close Pris'ner be.
They hollowing all for joy, made desperate haste
Two chains upon his neck and mouth to cast.
And here I challenge any heart to read
This storie's riddles, and forbear to sigh;
Seeing senile feet tread down the noble Head,
And common Slaves with tyrannous Licence fly
Upon their Lord: O who secure can be,
When Reason must be bound, and Passion free!
What woful Consequents must make the train
Of those false-named Subjects Insolence,
Who blush not with contempt to entertain
The Messages of their most yeilding Prince:
Who have no power because they strong are grown
Or Loyalty or Modesty to own.
Psyche, whom all this while suspicion had
Held watching at the window of her Tower,
When she descry'd from thence how fiercely mad
And confident of their outrageous Power
The Rebels were, and that in foul disdain
Her Messenger they did in Bonds detain:
She fetch'd a mighty sigh; and though with Him
Herself and all her Honor, Pris'ners were;
Between Despairs and Hopes she long did swim,
Yet could her course into no harbor steer.
For her own fancies to such tumults rose,
As copied out her loud tempestuous foes.
Thus by that Noise without, and this within,
She Summon'd was unto the top of fear.
Her trusty Phylax now would not be seen,
Nor can she any News of Charis hear.
No friend was left but Thelema; and she
Was thought but wavering in fidelity.
But as the shipwrack'd Man toss'd up and down
Between high deaths and low, amongst the Waves;
Claps fast on any glimpse of help, and grown
Bold by despair, nor hold nor comfort leaves
As long's his poor plank floats: So Psyche now
On Thelema her sinking arms did throw.
And O, she cry'd, my only Refuge, I
Conjure thee well to mark thy Hap and mine.
The Tempest of my Woes is swoll'n so high,
That now all bridles it disdains but thine:
And 'tis thy Privilege, that I to thee
Must ow my life, for thy sake dear to me.
At any price would'st Thou some way have bought
Which might so deep engage thy Queen to thee:
Yet monstrous hadst thou been, if thou hadst sought
This sad unnatural opportunity.
But now their Disobedience ope's the way
For thy Desert if thou wilt me obey.
Logos had prov'd himself both wise and strong
Had obstinate Spight not dammed up their ears:
But all his Powers fighting from his tongue,
Their deaf Rebellion his Assaults outdares.
His Arguments confuted are with Chains
And I fear, in prison He remains.
But thy brave Valour reigneth in thy Hands,
O most incomparable Amazon;
Whose noble stroke no Adamant withstands,
No Subtilty eludes: Thy Nod alone
Points out thy Victories; fresh laurel groves
Court thy subduing foot where'r it moves.
By softness fain I would have conquer'd Them,
No blast of whose Rebellion could blow out
My royal Love, which towards them did flame:
But now their Madness challengeth a stout
And corsive Cure; thy Hand must do the Deed
And through their Wounds not fear my blood to shed.
O how my Soul at that sad Word recoils
And at the thought of Blood aforehand bleeds!
What gains a Prince but loss, by winning Spoils
From his fond Subjects! Yet since fate will needs
Thus cruel make my Safety, be it so:
Though tender I start back, Thou on shalt go.
Go then my faithful Champion, and may
Blessed Success march in thy company
I'l from this window wait upon thy way
By my observing and well-wishing Eye;
Which shall the witness of thy valor be,
And what Reward it shall deserve from me.
But fail not to revenge the proud intrusion
Of yon ignoble Stranger, who may be
Perhaps the firebrand of this wild Confusion
Which threatens to burn up both Thee and Me:
And if his blood will serve to quench this fire,
Spare ail the rest; they will no more Conspire.
Stout Thelema with this Commission went,
And by imperious Looks built up her brow.
The Passions struck by that commanding Dint
Down all their eyes and arms and courage threw:
Only Agenor's stomach rose to see
Himself opt-look'd in high-swol'n Majesty.
But knowing his own Weakness, and her Might,
And seeing all the Passions turn'd to fear;
He judg'd it safest now to change the fight
Of Arms to that of Wit: for in Love's ear
He whisper'd his device; arid straitway she
At Thelema let fly this Fallacy.
Illustrious Lady, you to-day might spare
Those ireful Looks, with which Mistake hath plow'd
Your awful face: How can you think we dare
So far forget our nothing, as with proud
Madness to whet our Sword and bend our Bow
To make war with Omnipotence, and you?
But as your strength is great, so is your love,
Whom we our noble Friend have always found:
How often has your courteous Goodness strove
To ease that Yoke whose weight our Patience ground?
O had our Sovereign been as mild as you,
Despair had not been all our Comfort now.
But though our loyal service day by day
Strain'd all its strength Her favor to obtain;
Still her remorseless Cruelty doth lay
Upon our bruised necks a heavier chain
And hating Love's and Pity's thoughts, she still
With lingering Death delighteth us to kill.
Arms, Arms, are our sole (forced) Refuge; for
Though your ail-brawny Might knows how to bear
What wrongs soe'r her spight on you can pour,
Our shoulders of a feebler temper are:
Nor can you judge it guilt in us, if we
Shrink more than you from her broad Tyranny.
Hearing what constant slavery she heap'd
On our poor backs, who yet were all free-born,
This noble Stranger mercifully weep'd
And thought it Honor's duty not to scorn
Our sad estate: Then far far be it yon
Our ancient friend should more than Stranger grow.
Yet perish if we must, our Miseries
Beg but this woful Courtesy of you:
Return us not to Psyche, who denies
Us Brevity of torments: Lo we throw
Ourselves before your gentle feet, and pray
Our lives and griefs may see no other day.
Nay doubt not, Die we dare; but dare not think
Of living in our former Death again.
If from the fatal blow our necks but shrink,
Then say, We truly wish'd not to be slain.
Here take our willing swords; which in your hand
Though not in ours, our servitude may end.
As when the cunning Reeds relent and bow
In low submission to the boistrous Wind;
And with their whining pipe their sorrows blow
To every Blast, compassion's alms to find:
Way to their charm the generous Tempest gives,
And passing forward, them their Pardon leaves.
So portly Thelema allayed by
Their fauning homage, bid them all arise.
They, strait unveiling ready Memory,
In fraudulent thanks presented to her eyes
The stately Pageant Fancy thither brought,
With their own Treasures amplier furnish'd out.
She look'd, and wonder'd, and let through her eye
The soft Deceit get stealing to her heart.
She never yet did at one view descry
So huge an Army of Delight, such Art
Of sweetness, such Magnificence of Pleasure,
Such equipage of Smiles and Joys and Leisure.
Election, who stood musing at her hand,
Was ne'r at such a dainty loss as here:
Her thoughts ten thousand sweets examin'd, and
Hover'd in gazing doubt which to prefer.
So in the flowry Mead fond Children loose
Their eyes, before they can resolve to choose.
The Rebels seeing now their crafty Bait
Went down without suspicion of the Hook;
Bid Love drive home the plot: She melting strait
Down on her bended knee, with flattering Look
And pliant words, endeavor'd thus to teach
Sturdy Rebellion meek Submission's speech:
Since this our full apparent Magazine,
Which thy just Eyes are pleas'd not to disdain.
No more respect can from fell Psyche's win,
Than froward glances of contempt; again
We beg, that we may never live to see
Such sweets betray'd to further slavery.
The bounteous heav'n, and Earth, and Air, and Sea
Have made our Treasury their own by this
Their royal Contribution: Yet must we
Our own possessions no more possess,
Nor reap the fruit of what the World's consent
In this rich Mass heaps up for our content.
O no! it is in vain that we are by
The generous universe thus favored,
Whilst Psyche's envious Barbarity,
And not our Mouths are by its bounty fed.
What patrons for this fierceness can she find,
When all the world besides to us are kind?
To us, and to our fellow-sufferers, who
Her faithful factors are in Senses trade.
A most unhappy faithfulness, which no
Acceptance finds! they all together plead
With woful us, desirous all our last
Anchor of hope on righteous Thee to cast.
Now by thy mighty Goodness we implore
Relief for our loud-crying Injuries.
So to thy service this exuberant store
We sacrifice; no despicable Price
Of thy Compassion, if the total gains
Of Nature's wealth be worth thy smallest pains.
So thy sole Beck shall be the Law whereby
Obliged we our lives will regulate:
So great Agenor will unite in thy
Acquaintance, and this morning consecrate
To peaceful smiles, whose ominous Dawn was red
With flashes of fierce War and streaks of Blood.
As when the shepherd loitering by the side
Of some soft-murmuring Current, lets his ears
Drink that complaining story of the Tide;
The purling Dialect soon domineers
O'r his inchanted spirits, and down he lies
Both to the noise and sleep, an easy prize:
So Thelema, who linger'd all this while
In idle audience of Love's blandishments,
Was now subdued by her glozing guile,
And to the Rebel's fair-tongu'd Plot consents.
Her hankering arms she with their treasures fills,
Her foolish heart with joy, her face with smiles.
And well I see, she cries, how righteous is
Your Cause and Quarrel: Heav'n forbid that I
To such deep undeserved miseries
The justice of Compassion should deny.
Yet Pity is not all that I can show:
You know this Hand hath greater might than so.
Alas not Psyche's self, although she be
My granted Sovereign, can make me bend:
Oft do I rush and range abroad, when she
Would lock me up; and oft when she would send
Me forth, except my pleasure be to stir,
I stay in spight of all her strength and Her.
And, well aware of this, prudential she
Wav'd all her state, and su'd to me for aid
In meek pathetic flattery, when ye
Had bravely learn'd her how to be afraid.
I heard her fauning prayers: and I could
Have stayed; but I came, Because I would.
'Twas I first taught your Pris'ner Logos how
To bear a chain; else you had strove in vain.
Long, long have I accustom'd Him to bow
To my least finger his strong-reaching Brain:
And though sometimes I let him wrangle, yet
Reason has no more power than I permit.
The universal strength of all you see
Throughout the wide-spread world look big and high,
Ne'r yet made combination which could be
Valid enough to bind my Potency.
Hence 'tis that stoutest Champions from their knee
Fight by Petitions, when they deal with me.
They talk of Samson, — one, I must confess
Fame hath not quite bely'd; and yet we see
A Wenche's sheers clips off his Mightiness,
And trimm'd him fit for his captivity.
Alas, poor Giant, all his strength hung loose
About his ears; mine in my heart lies close.
Nay Heav'n (without a brag I speak't) does know
My might so thoroughly, that it ne'r would try
By rightdown force of Arms my neck to bow,
But by allurements strives to mollify
My hardy Heart. And well it is that ye
Have took that gentle only course with me.
As for your choice of this illustrious Knight
To head your Party, I dispute it not.
His worth forestall exception: though in right
My vote should first have been expected, but
You by my pardon of that haste may know
What serious Pity I your Case allow.
This said, Agenor by the hand she takes,
And bids him welcome with a courtly Kiss.
He, soldier-like, right proud repaiment makes
In arrogant high-languag'd Promises;
And swears, by all his Conquests, she shall find
That with a Man indeed sh' had now combin'd.
Then to his fair Pavilion ushering Her,
His Soldiers he to Council summons: They
As proud's their haughty General, thither tear
With rampant Acclamations their way
And there contrive by joint deliberation
The rest of their Adventure how to fashion.
[1702; Grosart (1880) 1:61-78]