1747
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Psyche: or, the Great Metamorphosis. A Poem, written in imitation of Spencer.

The Museum: or the Literary and Historical Register 3 (25 April 1747) 18-48.

Rev. Glocester Ridley


50, later 51 allegorical Spenserians conflating the tale of Psyche from Apulieus with the last four books of Milton's Paradise Lost. Glocester Ridley's Psyche, originally published anonymously, was reprinted throughout the eighteenth century in Dodsley's Collection of Poems. Ridley later described it as "a kind of Heathen Paradise Lost," a notion that led to a posthumously published continuation, the little-known Melampus, or the Religious Grove (1781), a more serious attempt to synthesize pagan and Christian mythology and a much more original and successful poem. On the composition of the poem, see the letter of Ridley to Joseph Spence, dated 26 March 1747 and published by Joseph Weller Singer in Spence's Anecdotes (1820).

Psyche is a fairy, whose rather strange physiognomy is that of a caterpillar. She is enjoined by her lover Cupid, to sup upon any other of the plants or shrubs in the garden of Adonis, but, "Love, the Rose forbear; | For Prickles sharp do arm the dang'rous Rosiere." A period of trial passed, "Together, Psyche, will we climb and play; | Together wander through the Fields of Air." Terrestrial Venus, jealous of their love, appeals to Eros and Anteros to make trouble, and Anteros undertakes the adventure. The fiend disguises himself as a snake, and there follows a burlesque of the ninth book of Paradise Lost. The snake, wound around the rose bush, demands, "How innocent the Thorn to touch, he knows: | Where are my Wounds? or where th' avenging Levin? | How softly blush these Colours of the Rose?" Psyche duly falls upon thorns, upon which Cupid undertakes her punishment in a dialogue with Celestial Venus. Psyche's transformation into a caterpillar appears in a snaky alexandrine: "She creeping crawls, and drags a loathsome length about."

Gentleman's Magazine: "The origin of this was as follows: his friend, Mr. Spence, having lent him the Works of Spenser, which he had never read, on returning them, our Author sent Mr. Spence, as a fragment, the fifteen first stanzas of Psyche, without farther plan or design, as an exercise to imitate that Writer. Mr. Spence pressed him to finish it: he did so, and completed the canto. This was his excuse for adopting obsolete words. After this, Mr. Dodsley, and other friends, prevailed upon him to think of a second part to the Metamorphosis; but, 'sensible (as he modestly said) how every moderate his talent was for poetry, he was desirous to supply that defect, as far as he could, by conveying some new and useful knowledge, through the vehicle of verse.' As the first part of the Metamorphosis, in one canto, was a kind of Paradise Lost, this was to be a Paradise Regained" 44 (November 1774) 505.

John Duncombe: "Psyche, or the Great Metamorphosis, was by the Rev. Mr. Glocester Ridley, (afterwards D.D. and Canon-Residentiary of Sarum), of whose life, and, in particular, of the origin of this poem, an account may be seen in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1774, pp. 550, and 554, and 1775, p. 432. This first Canto was a kind of Paradise Lost. It appears that he had also finished three more, as a Paradise Regained, and entitled the whole, Melampus, or the Religious Groves, a valuable desideratum to the public. He died Nov. 3, 1774" "Dodsley's Collection" Gentleman's Magazine 50 (March 1780) 123.

Critical Review: "Such an allegory as this appears to us very objectionable, and is carried much farther than we choose to follow it. To represent Venus and Cupid as emblems of the Almighty and our Saviour, to shadow forth the divine wrath against the offences of our primitive parents, and the intercession and death of our Redeemer in allusion to the transactions of fictitious deities; and such deities! approaches too nearly, however well intentioned, to the ludicrous and profane. The poem concludes with Psyche's being turned into a worm, or in the author's words, 'Doom'd in a caterpillar's shade to lout'" Review of Melampus, 54 (September 1782) 183.

William Lyon Phelps: "It is interesting to notice what a jumble the whole plan was; imitative of Spenser in its stanza and allegory, imitative of Milton in its general plan, and yet full of the didactic style of the Augustan age. The canto called Psyche, the only portion published in his life-time, has little poetic merit. It is imitative of Spenser only externally — in the stanza and language" Beginnings of the English Romantic Movement (1893) 71-72.

A. A. Jack: "As an imitation of Spenser's metre, though in places not unlike, it is not as good as West's. The poem is a curious mingling of the Cupid and Psyche legend and borrowings from the 'Garden of Adonis' and 'The Romance of the Rose,' with additions from elsewhere. Spenser's feeling is not in it, but it is serious, not burlesque" Commentary on the Poetry of Chaucer and Spenser (1920) 293n.



Where early Phoebus sheds his milder Beams,
The happy Gardens of Adonis lay:
There Time, well pleas'd to wonne, a Youth beseems.
Ne yet his Wings were fledg'd, ne Locks were grey;
Round him in sweet Accord the Seasons play
With Fruites and Blossoms meint, in goodly Gree;
And dancing hand in hand rejoice the Lea.
Sick Garden's now no mortal Wight can see,
Ne mote they in my simple Verse descriven be.

The temper'd Clime full many a Tree affords;
Those many Trees blush forth with ripen'd Fruite;
The blushing Fruite to feast invites the Birds;
The Birds with plenteous Feasts their Strength recruite;
And warble Songs more sweet than Shepherd's Flute.
The gentle Stream that roll'd the Stones among,
Charm'd with the Place, almost forgot its Suite;
But list'ning, and responding to the Song,
Loit'ring, and winding often, murmured elong.

Here Panacea, here Nepenthe grew,
Here Polygon, and each ambrosial Weed;
Whose Vertues could decayed Health renew,
And, answering exhausted Nature's Need,
Mote eath a Mortal to immortal Feed.
Here lives Adonis in unfading Youth;
Coelestial Venus grants him that rich Meed,
And him successive evermore renew'th,
In Recompence for all his faithful Love and Truth.

Not she, I ween, the wanton Queen of Love,
All buxom as the Waves from whence she rose,
With her Twin Sons, who idly round her rove,
One Eros hight, the other Anteros;
Albeit Brothers, different as Foes:
This sated, sullen, apt for Bickerment;
That hungry, eager, fit for Derring-does.
That flies before, with scorching Flames ybrent;
This foll'wing douts those Flames with peevish Discontent.

Celestial Venus does such Ribaulds shun,
Ne dare they in her Purlues to be seen;
But Cupid's Torch, fair Mother's fairest son,
Shines with a steady unconsuming Sheen;
Not fierce, yet bright, Coldness and Rage between.
The Backs of Lyons fellonest he strod;
And Lyons tamely did themselves amene;
On Nature's wild full sov'reignly he rod;
Wild Natures, chang'd, confess'd the mild puissant God.

A beauteous Fay, or Heav'n descended Spright,
Sprung from her Sire, withouten Female's Aid,
(As erst Minerva did) and Psyche hight,
In that Enclosure happy Sojourn made.
No Art some heel'd Uncomelyness betray'd,
But Nature wrought her many-colour'd Stole;
Ne tarnish'd like an Aethiopian Maid,
Scorch'd with the Suns that ore her Beauties roll;
Ne faded like the Dames who bleach beneath the Pole.

On either Side, and all adown her Back,
With many a Ring at equal Distance plac'd,
Contrary to the rest, was Heben Black,
With Shades of Green, quick changing as she pass'd;
All were on Ground-work of bright Gold orecast.
The Black gave Livelood to the greenish Hue,
The Green still deep'd the Heben ore it lac'd;
The Gold, that peep'd atween and then withdrew,
Gave Lustre to them both, and charm'd the wond'ring View.

It seem'd like Arras, wrought with cunning Skill,
Where kindly meddle Colours, Light, and Shade:
Here flows the Flood; there rising Wood or Hill
Breaks off its Course; gay Verdure dites the Mead.
The Stream, depeinten by the glitt'rand Braid,
Emong the Hills now winding seems to hide;
Now shines unlook'd for thro' the op'ning Glade,
Now in full Torrent pours its golden Tyde;
Hills, Woods, and Meads refresh'd, rejoicing by its Side.

Her Cupid lov'd, whom Psyche lov'd again.
He, like her Parent and her Belamour,
Sought how she mote in Sickerness remain,
From all Malengine safe, and evil Stour.
"Go tender Cosset," said he, "forray ore
These Walks and Lawnds; Thine all these Buskets are;
Thine ev'ry Shrub, Thine ev'ry Fruite and Flower:
But Oh! I charge thee, Love, the Rose forbear;
For Prickles sharp do arm the dang'rous Rosiere.

"Prickles will Pain, and Pain will banish Love:
I charge thee, Psyche, then the Rose forbear.
When faint and sick, thy Languors to remove,
To yon ambrosial Shrubs and Plants repair;
Thou weetest not what Med'cines in them are:
What Wonders follow their repeated Use
N'ote thy weak Sense conceive, should I declare;
Their labour'd Balm, and well-concocty'd Juice,
New Life, new Forms, new Thews, new Joys, new Worlds produce.

"Thy Term of Tryal past with Constancy,
That wimpling Slough shall fall like Filth away;
On Pinions broad, uplifted to the Skie,
Thou shalt, astert, thy stranger self survey.
Together, Psyche, will we climb and play;
Together wander through the Fields of Air,
Beyond where Suns and Moons mete Night and Day.
I charge thee, O my Love, the Rose forbear,
If thou wouldst Scathe avoid. Psyche, forewarn'd, beware!"

"How sweet thy Words to my enchanted Ear!"
(With grateful, modest Confidence she said;)
"If Cupid speak, I could for ever hear:
Trust me, my Love, thou shalt be well obey'd.
What rich Purveyance for me hast thou made,
The prickly Rose alone denied! the rest
In full Indulgence giv'n! 'Twere to upbraid
To doubt Compliance with this One Request:
How small, and yet how kind, Cupid, is thy Beheast!

"And is that Kindness made an Argument
To raise me still to higher Scenes of Bliss?
Is the Acceptance of thy Goodness meant
Merit in me for farther Happiness?
No Merit and no Argument, I wiss,
Is there besides in me unworthy Maid:
Thy Gift the very Love I bear thee is.
Trust me, my Dove, thou shalt be well obey'd;
To doubt Compliance here, Cupid, were to upbraid."

Withouten Counterfesance thus she spoke;
Unweeting of her Frailty. Light uprose
Cupid on easy Wing: yet tender Look,
And oft reverted Eye on her bestows;
Fearful, but not distrustful of her Vows.
And mild Regards she back reflects on him:
With aching Eye pursues him as he goes;
With aching Heart marks each diminish'd Limb;
Till indistinct, diffus'd, and lost in Air he seem.

He went to set the Watches of the East,
That none mote rush in with the Tyde of Wind:
He went to Venus to make fond Request
From fleshly Ferm to loosen Psyche's Mind,
And her eftsoons transmew. She forelore pin'd;
And mov'd for Solace to the glassy Lake,
To view the Charms that had his Heart entwin'd.
She saw, and blush'd and smil'd; then inly spake:
"These Charms I cannot chuse but love, for Cupid's Sake."

Then Sea-born Venus 'gan with Envy stir
At bruite of their great Happiness; and sought
How she might wreak her Spight: then call'd to her
Her Sons, and op'd what rankled in her Thought;
Asking who'd venture ore the Mounds to vau't
To breed them scathe unwares; to damp the Joy
Of blissful Venus, or to bring to nought
The liefest Purpose of her darling Boy,
Or urge them both their minion Psyche to destroy.

Eros recul'd, and noul'd the Work atchieve.
"Bold is th' Attempt," said he, "averse from Love;
If Love inspires I could derreign to reave
His Spear from Mars, his Levin-brond from Jove."
Him Anteros, sneb'd surly. "Galless Dove!
Than Love's, Spight's mightier Prowess understond:
If Spight inspires, I dare all Dangers prove;
And if successful, stand the Levin-brond,
When hurlen angry forth from Jove's avenging Hond."

He said, and deffly t'wards the Gardens flew;
Horribly smiling at his foul Emprise.
When, nearer still and nearer as he drew,
Unsufferable Brightness wounds his Eyes
Forth beaming from the crystal Walls; he tries
Arrear to move, averted from the Blaze.
But now no longer the pure Aether buoys
His grosser Bodies disproportion'd peaze;
Down drops, plumb from his tow'ring Path, the Treachor base.

So ore Avernus, or the Lucrine Lake,
The wistless bird pursues his purpos'd Flight:
Whether by Vapours noy'd that thenceforth break,
Or else deserted by an Air too light,
Down tumbles the Fowl headlong from his Height.
So Anteros astonied fell to Ground,
Provok'd, but not accoid at his straunge Plight.
He rose, and wending coasts it round and round
To find unguarded pass, hopeless to leap the Mound.

As on the Margin of a Stream he stood,
Slow rolling from that Paradise within,
A Snake's Out-case untenanted he view'd:
Seizing the Spoil, albe it worthless been,
He darts himself into the vacant Skin.
In borrow'd Gear, th' exulting Losel glides,
Whose faded Hues with Joy flush bright again:
Triumphant ore the buoyant Flood he rides;
And shoots th' important Gulph, borne on the gentle Tydes.

So shone the brazen Gates of Babylon;
Armies in vain her Muniments assail:
So strong, no Engines could them batter down;
So high, no Ladders could the Ramparts scale;
So flank'd with Tow'rs, Besiegers n'ote avail;
So wide, sufficient Harvests they enclose:
But where Might yields, there Stratagems prevail.
Faithless Euphrates thro' the City flows,
And through his Channel pours the unexpected Foes.

He sails along in many a wanton Spire;
Now floats at length, now proudly rears his Crest:
His sparkling Eyes and Scales, instinct with Fire,
With Splendor, as he moves, the Waves ore kest:
And the Waves gleam beneath his flaming Breast.
As through the Battle, set in full Array,
When the Sun walks in radiant Brightness drest;
His Beams, that on the burnish'd Helmets play,
The burnish'd Helms reflect, and spread unusual Day.

So on he fares, and stately wreaths about,
In Semblaunce like a Seraph glowing bright;
But without Terror flash'd his Lightnings out,
More to be wonder'd at, than to affright.
The backward Stream soon led the Masker right
To the broad Lake, where hanging ore the Flood
(Narcissus like, enamour'd with the Sight
Of his own Beauties) the fond Pysche stood,
To mitigate the Pains of lonely Widowhood.

Unkenn'd of her, he raught th' embroider'd Bank;
And through the tangled Flouretts weft aside
To where a Rosiere by the River dank,
Luxuriant grew in all its blowing Pride,
Not far from Psyche; arm'd with scaly Hide
He clamb the Thorns, which no Impression make;
His glitt'ring Length, with all its Folds untied,
Plays floating ore the Bush: then Silence brake,
And thus the Nymph, astonied at his Speech, bespake.

"O Fairest, and most Excellent, compleat
In all Perfections, sov'reign Queen of Nature!
The whole Creation bowing at thy Feet
Submissive pays thee Homage! Wond'rous Creature,
If aught created Thou! for every Feature
Speaks thee a Goddess issued from the Skie;
Oh! let not me offend, unbidden Waiter,
At awefull distance gazing thus! — But why
Should gazing thus offend? or how unbidden I?

"The Sun that wakes those Flourets from their Beds,
Or opes these Buds by his soft Influence,
Is not offended that they peep their Heads,
And shew they feel his Pow'r by their quick Sense,
Off'ring at his Command, their sweet Incense.
Thus I, drawn here, by thy enliv'ning Rays,
(Call not Intrusion my Obedience!)
Perforce, yet willing Thrall, am come to gaze,
To pay my Homage meet, and bask in Beauties blaze."

Amaz'd she stood, nor could recover soon:
From Contemplation suddenly abraid;
Starting at Speech unusual: yet the Tune
Struck sootly on her Ear, and Concert made
With her own Thoughts. Nor with less pleasure stray'd
Her Eye delighted o'er his glossy Skin;
Yet frighted at the Thorn on which he play'd:
Pleasure with Horror mixt! she hung between
Suspended; yields, recoils, uncertain where to lin.

At length she spoke: "Reptile, no Charms I know
Such as you mention: yet whate'er they are,
(And nill I lessen what the Gods bestow)
Their is the Gift, and be the Tribute their!
For them these Beauties I improve with Care,
Intent to them alone from Eve to Morn.
But reed me, Reptile, whence this Wonder rare,
That thou hast Speech, as if to Reason born?
And how, unhurt you sport on that forbidden Thorn?"

"Say, why forbidden Thorn?" the Foe replied:
To every Reptile, every Insect free,
Has Malice harsh to thee alone denied
The Fragrance of the Rose enjoy'd by me?"
"— 'Twas Love, not Malice, form'd the kind decree,"
(Half-wroth, she cried:) "Thine all these Buskets are,
"Thine Fruit and Flow'r, were Cupid's Words to me:
But oh! I charge thee, Love, the Rose forbear;
For Prickles sharp do arm the dang'rous Rosiere.

"Prickles will Pain, and Pain will banish Love:
I charge thee, Psyche, then the Rose forbear.
When faint and sick, thy Languors to remove,
To yon ambrosial Shrubs, and Plants repair;
Thou weetest not what Med'cines in them are.
What Wonders follow their repeated use
N'ote thy weak Sense conceive, should I declare:
Their labour'd Balm, and well-concocted Juice,
New Life, new Forms, new Thews, new joys, new Worlds produce.

"Thy Term of Tryal past with Constancy,
Thy wimpling Slough shall fall like Filth away;
On Pinions broad up-lifted to the Skie,
Thou shalt, astert, thy Stranger self survey.
Together Psyche, will we climb and play;
Together wander through the Fields of Air,
Beyond where Suns and Moons mete Night and Day.
I charge thee, O my Love, the Rose forbear,
If thou wouldst scathe avoid. Psyche, forewarn'd, beware!"

Out burst the Frannion into open Laugh:
She blush'd, and frown'd at his uncivil Mirth.
Then, soften'd to a Smile, as hiding half
What mote offend if boldly utter'd forth,
He seem'd t' assay to give his Answer birth:
But stop'd; and chang'd his Smiles to Looks of Ruth.
"Is this, (quoth he) fit Guerdon for thy Worth?
Does Cupid thus impose upon thy Youth?
Dwells then in Heav'n such Envy, void of Love and Truth?

Is this the Instance of his Tenderness,
To envy Psyche what to Worms is given?
To cut her off from present Happiness
With feign'd Reversion of a promis'd Heav'n?
By Threat'nings false from true Enjoyments driven!
How innocent the Thorn to touch, he knows:
Where are my Wounds? or where th' avenging Levin?
How softly blush these Colours of the Rose?
How sweet — (and div'd into the Flow'r) — its Fragrance flows?

"Disadvantageous are thy Terms of Tryal:
No longer, Psyche then the Rose forbear.
What is to recompence the harsh Denyal,
But Dreams of wand'ring thro' the Fields of Air,
And Joys, I know not what, I know not where!
As eath, on leafy Pinions borne, the Tree
Mote rush into the Skyes, and flutter there,
As thou soar yon, and quit thy due Degree:
Thou for this World wert made; this World was made for Thee.

"In vain you'd fly to yonder Shrubs and Plants;
Bitter their Taste, and worthless their Effect:
Here is the Polychrest for all thy Wants;
No Panacea, like the Rose, expect.
Mute as my Fellow-brutes, as them abject
And reasonless was I, till haply woke
By tasting of the Rose, (O weak neglect
In thee the while!) the Dawn of Sapience broke
On my admiring Soul; I reason'd, and I spoke.

"Nor this the only Change; for soon I found
The brisker Spirits flow in fuller Tyde;
And more than usual Lustre spread around:
Such Vertue has the Rose, in me well tried.
But wise, I ween, thy Lover has denied
Its Use to Thee; I join him too; Beware
The dang'rous Rose. — For such thy Beauty's Pride
'Twere Death to gaze on, if improv'd! — Forbear
To sharp that Wit, too keen! — Touch not the Rosiere."

Uncheckt, indulg'd, her growing Passions rise:
Wonder, to see him safe, and hear his telling;
Ambition vain, to be more fair and wise;
And Rage, at Cupid's misconceiv'd false Dealing:
Various the Gusts, but, all one Way impelling,
She plung'd into the Bosom of the Tree,
And snatch'd the Rose, no dreaded Pain or quelling.
Off drops the Snake, nor farther staid to see;
But rush'd into the Flood, and vanish'd presently.

Full many a Thorn her tender Body rent;
Full many a Thorn within the Wounds remain,
And throbbing cause continual Dreriment:
While gory Drops her dainty Form distain.
She wishes her lost Innocence again,
And her lost Peace, lost Charms, lost Love to find;
But Shame upbraids her with a Wish so vain:
Despair succeeded, and Aversion blind;
Pain fills her tortur'd Sense, and Horror clouds her Mind.

Her bleeding, faint, disorder'd, Woe-begon,
Stretcht on the Bank beside the fatal Thorn,
Venus who came to seek her with her Son,
Beheld. She stop'd: And albe Heav'nly born,
Ruthful of others Woe, began to mourn.
The loss of Venus' Smiles sick Nature found;
As Frost-nipt drops the Bloom, the Birds forelorn
Sit hush'd, the faded Sun spreads Dimness round;
The clatt'ring Thunders crash, and Earthquakes rock the Ground.

Then arming with a killing Frown her Brow
"Die, poor unhappy" — Cupid suppliant broke
Th' unfinish'd Sentence; and with dueful Bow
Beg'd her to doff the Keenness of her Look,
Which Nature feeling to her Center shook.
"Then how should Psyche bear it? Spare the Maid;
'Tis plain that Anteros his Spight has wroke:
Shall Vengeance, due to him, on her be laid?
Oh! let me run, and reach th' ambrosial Balms," he said.

"Ah what would Cupid ask?" the Queen replies;
"Can all those Balms restore her Peace again?
Wouldst thou a wretched Life immortalize;
Wouldst thou protract, by potent Herbs, her Pain?
Love bids her die; thy cruel Wish restrain."—
"Why then (quoth he) in Looms of Fate were wove
The Lives of those, in long successive Train;
From her to spring, through yon bright Tracts to rove,
Due to the Skyes, and meant to shine in Fields above!

"Say, would thy Goodness envy them the Light
Appointed for them, or the Good prevent
Foreseen from them to flow? eracing quite
The whole Creation through Avengement?
One only Species from its order rent,
The whole creation shrivels to a Shade."—
"— Better all vanish'd," said she, "than be meint
In wild Confusion, through Free Will misled,
And tempted to go wrong from Punishment delay'd."

"Let me that exemplary Vengeance bear,
(Benign return'd her amiable Son.)
Justice on her would lose its Aim; severe
In vain, productive of no Good; for none
Could by that desolating Blow be won.
So falls each generous Purpose of the Will
Correct, extinguish'd by Abortion:
Whence Justice would its own Intendments spill,
And cut off Vertue, by the Stroke meant Vice to kill.

"Yet lest Impunity should Forehead give
To Vice, In me let Guilt adopted find
A Victim; here awhile vouchsafe me live
Thy proof of Justice mixt with Mercy kind!"—
"— Oh! strange Request (quoth she) of Pity blind!
How shouldst thou suffer, who didst ne'er offend?
How canst thou bear to be from me disloin'd?
To wander here, where Nature 'gins to wend
To Waste and Wilderness, and Pleasures have an End?"

"You, Venus, suffer, (said he) when you strike;
Not for your own, but others foul Offence:
Why not permitted I to do the like,
When greater Good, I see, will coul from thence?
That greater Good orepays all Punishments;
And makes my Suff'rings, Pleasure: if they prove
A means to conquer Anteros dispense
Healings to Psyche's Wounds, regain her Love,
And lead her, with her happy Sons, to Realms above."

"To thy intreaties Psyche's Life I give,"
Replied th' indulgent Mother to her Son.
"But yet deform'd, and minish'd let her live;
'Till thou shalt grant a better Change, foredone:
Nor shall that Change, but thro' Death Gates be won.
This Meed be Thine, ore Her and Hers to reign!
Already Nature puts her Horrors on:
Away! — I to my Bow'r of Bliss again!
Thou to thy Task of Love, and voluntary Pain."

She went; and like a shifted Stage, the Scene
Vanish'd at once; th' ambrosial Plants were lost;
The jarring Seasons brought on various Teen;
Each sought, each seeking, each by other crost.
Young Spring to Summer flies from Winter's frost;
While sweltry Summer thirsts for Autumn's Bowl,
Which Autumn holds to Winter; Winter tost
With Scorn away, young Spring inflames his Soul:
Still craving, never pleas'd, thus round and round they roll.

Th' inclement Airs bind up the sluggish Soil;
The sluggish Soil the toilsome Hand requires,
Yet thankless pays with sour harsh Fruites the Toil,
Ne willing yields, but ragged Thorns and Briers.
Birds, Birds pursue, as Hunger's Rage inspires;
Their sweetest Songs are now but Songs of Woe.
Here from th' encroaching Shore the Wave retires;
There hoarse Floods roar, impetuous Torrents flow,
Invade the Land, and the scarce Harvests overthrow.

Stretcht on the Bank eftsoons th' inviting Form
Of Psyche faded; brac'd up lank and slim,
Her dwindled Body shrunk into a Worm;
Her Make new moulded, chang'd in ev'ry Limb,
Her Colours only left, all pale and dim:
Doom'd in a Caterpillar's Shape to lout,
Her Passions ill such worthless Thing beseem;
Pride, Rage, and Vanity to banish out,
She creeping crawls, and drags a loathsome length about.

How Cupid wash'd her noisome Filth away;
What Arts he tried to win her Love again;
By what Wiles guileful Ant'ros did assay,
By Leasing, still her Recreant to maintain,
And render Cupid's kindly Labours vain:
Their Combat, Cupid's Conquest, Psyche's Crown,
(My Day's set Task here ended) must remain
Unsung; Far nobler Verse mot they renown:
Unyoke the toiled Steers, the weary Sun goes down.

[pp. 80-97]