A meandering romance, posthumously published in 1651. William Bosworth's poem consists of a variety of intertwining stories written in a variety of poetic modes. The original editor, "R. C.," mentions Sidney and Spenser as objects of imitation in this 2500-line poem by a nineteen-year-old writer. The poet tries his hand at a number of styles, pastoral and mythological in the first book, heroic and tragic in the second. The frame narrative is little more than a contrivance used to support rhetorical descriptions and speeches.
Edward Phillips: "The bringer forth of a small Poem, which was printed somewhat above 20 years since, under the title of the Chaste and lost Lovers, or the History of Arcadius and Sepha; which from the very brink of oblivion, nor had the loss been very great, hath accidently met with the good fortune to be here remembered" Theatrum Poetarum (1675) 2:189-90.
George Saintsbury: "A couplet poem in less than 3000 lines varied by some other metres, much less enjambed than others of the period in form, and decidedly less 'metaphysical' in diction; but having a double portion of intricacy and unintelligibility of story. It was published, with some minor poems, a year after the author's death, in 1651; but he seems to have written it considerably earlier — in fact, when he was not twenty, in the first or second year of Charles" Cambridge History of English Literature (1911) 7:91.
Douglas Bush: "A labyrinthine maze of tales contrived by a youth intoxicated with Ovid, Marlowe, Sidney, and Spenser" Oxford History of English Literature (1945) 352.
In the first book Sepha observes Arcadius from her tower and falls in love with him, but when they chance to meet he is merely polite. She alternately directs her prayers to Diana, Venus, and Cupid; hastening to the fane of Hecate (Diana) she is surrounded by a group of satyrs, nymphs, and fauns who desire to make her their queen. Standing before a fountain, they offer to tell her its story in a tale of a contention between Bacchus and Diana. Into this is wound another, of Haemon and Antigone (here one of Diana's nymphs slain by Bacchus). Sepha then prays to Diana for revenge on Bacchus, and the sylvans are promptly metamorphosed to sprigs of ivy. Sepha proceeds to the temple; discovering that it has been profaned, she falls into a swoon. We hear next the story of the chaste Eramio, who had worshipped at Diana's shrine. He kills his lover Amissa, repents, rages against the goddess, and dies in his lover's arms. The first book concludes with an apology for the poet's "Childish Muse" and a promise of more belligerent things to come.
Amidst Campania Fields, near Sabine Bowers,
Plain to each view there stood two stately Towers,
Mounting aloft the skies their cloudy heads,
As proud as high, disdaining their first Beds;
So curious was their building, and their stone,
That both alike, they both were took for one,
Shewing by'th' type of their conjoyning arts,
The true conjunction of each others hearts.
Two stately Towers for their buildings fam'd,
One Arathea, th' other Talmos nam'd;
In Talmos, Sepha dwelt, whose heav'nly face,
Gave to each quill a line, each line a grace,
In whispring forth her praise, whose radiant eyes,
Like starry lamps that emulate the skies,
In height and beauty with their glittering light,
Shone like the clearest stars i' th' darkest night.
Upon her head she wore a Laurell Crown
Knit up with sundry flowers, on which Renown,
As chiefest Empress of her fate and beauty,
Did sympathize with a religious duty:
Hesperides, in whose calm heart did rest
No sullen strains, but Lyrick, and a nest
Of Heav'nly raptures, perfum'd odours sweet,
Which Nectar and Nepenthe breathings, meet
For Heav'ns great Queen, such was her vertue given,
That where she was, there was a second Heav'n.
Her face so sweet as Nature can devise,
Was drest with sparkling Diamonds of her eyes,
The sweet composure of whose beauty yeelds
A Medall of the true Elisian fields;
Her forehead, fittest place to go before,
(Since who so speaks of beauty treads it o're)
Was justly call'd a path, whereon did pass,
A way that leads you where all beauty was.
Close by that path, two radiant lamps did rise,
Which some abruptly did intitle eyes;
Too mean a name for two such Heav'nly lights,
As far beyond all eyes, as dayes from nights:
To whom was added that Coelestiall grace
Of perfect pureness to adorn the face,
That whensoe're these seeing lamps did move,
They'd light spectators on their way to love.
Between which eyes (if eyes they may be nam'd)
A pillar, (as of purest marble fram'd)
Then call'd her nose, did lead you to two plains,
Pure white and red, like milk which clarret stains.
Two flowry fields where Flora seem'd to dwell,
Where white and red were striving to excell,
Whose raptures seem'd like a Celestiall nest,
Whereon distressed lovers seem'd to rest,
Which Paradise if any lover seeks,
It was presented in fair Sepha's cheeks,
Two pearls of that inestimable price,
So far beyond th' perfection of her eyes,
Impall'd with that excessive form of bliss,
Smiling, you'd think th' invited you to kiss.
What name or title fits fair Sepha's lips?
Shall some Ambrosian cup, where great Jove sips
Nectar from Ganimed? too mean it is,
To bear their form, it is too mean by this,
Jove out of them Nepenthe us'd to sip,
But that Nepenthe grew on Sepha's lip.
Then gan her teeth in a most perfect line,
Plac't each by other through her lips to shine,
More white, more true, than Nature could prefer
To any other was it not to her.
Those that ne're saw, might judge what they had been,
Like picture pearl, through crimson shadows seen;
So was her chin like Christall over red,
So was her hair in decent manner spred;
Which she all careless down her back did wear,
As a fit object for the wanton Air,
Careless to sport with, next to them was prais'd
Her neck, as of a Marble pillar rais'd,
Proud to support the weight of such a face,
In whom three Graces seem'd to be one grace.
Then might you see her Amber brests, more white
Than Scithian snow, and yeelding more delight
Than silly quill is able to report,
They were the hills where Cupid us'd to sport.
Between which hills there lay a pleasant Alley,
Whose milky paths did lead into the Valley.
This was that Sepha who unhappy dy'd,
This was that Sepha for whose hap I cry'd;
This was that Sepha, whom the Valleys miss,
And this was her whose Tragick stories this.
Sepha, the glory of the scorned earth,
In Talmos dwelt, sometimes a place of mirth,
The ground whereon it stood was deck't with flowers,
Here lay a Meadow, there were Sabine bowers.
The house was with a Grove of trees inclos'd,
Proud of the beauty that therein repos'd:
Only a glead there lay, the trees between,
Where Arathea was of Talmos seen.
In Arathea young Arcadius dwelt,
A man where Nature had so freely dealt
Her chiefest art, and artificiall skill,
Pleasing each eye, but most to Sephas will.
Oft by her window did Arcadius ride,
Sometimes to hunt, and sometimes to divide
The Air with riding swift Italian horses,
Here making stops, there running at full courses,
When she (unknown to him) with watchfull eye,
Oft saw his going, and his coming by,
So that of fire which Lovers sometimes find,
A spark began to kindle in her mind.
Once did she blame unkindly Cupid much;
Darling said she, and is thy power such?
Unkindly thus pure streams to overcome,
And force a heart to love she knows not whom?
Is he too good that thus thou dost deny
Me to receive one courting from his eye?
Cupid, scorn'st thou my prayers? or dost thou shame?
Is he so mean to let me know his name?
Yet let me live, let me his feature see,
If hee's but vertuous, 'tis enough for me.
This said, her eyes drawn by a heavy sound,
Saw young Arcadius, groveling on the ground,
Whose too too nimble horse, in striving most
To please his master, his blest burthen lost.
Once did she speak, once did she move her tongue,
What sad mishap said she, did thee that wrong?
How didst thou of thy wonted favours miss?
Was the ground greedy thy fair limbs to kiss?
At whose Celestiall voice, like a sweet charm,
He started up, and said, I had no harm;
Thanks for your love, and with a decent grace,
Stoops down his hat, by which she saw his face.
Sepha (said she) be glad, for thou hast found,
And seen the Arrow that thy heart did wound.
Well, young Arcadius gets him to his steed,
Who guilty of the last unhappy deed,
With nimble strokes his master to delight,
Slips o're the plain from fairest Sepha's sight.
Go then, said she, the height of beauties pride,
And worlds chief mirror; if thy heart is ty'd
To any Lady whom thou call'st thy own,
As sure it is, or else thou wouldst have shown
Some more respects to me, but if thou art,
If to another thou hast linkt thy heart,
Twice happy thou, thrice she, that shall imbrace
Thy slender body, and enjoy thy face.
This said, she to a silent chamber goes,
Weary of love, but more of mind, and throws,
Sometimes her restless body on a bed,
Where love is with imaginations fed,
Then to the window would she take her way,
And view the place where young Arcadius lay,
Thence would she to her closet, where alone,
Alone she sate her sorrowes to bemone;
If such was Isis love to Lignus son,
Then ignorant why he her love had won,
And Iphis had in his Ianthe got,
Not yet a man, yet more than one mans lot?
If such was Philoclea's ardent love,
From her own sex, such free desires to move?
When Zelmaenes eyes such direfull vapors threw,
And to her own, prodigious accents drew?
If Isis was of Iphis change most glad?
And Philoclea her own wishes had?
Why may not Sepha be possest of hers,
Not half so far impossible as theirs?
But Heav'n conspird with an impatient eye,
And all the powers to act her Tragedy.
Not that Injustice with the Gods did dwell,
For how could they 'gainst that sweet face rebell,
Nor enmity against such beauty bred,
Whose double portion with amazement led
Each greedy eye into a feild of Roses
And Lillies which a Theatre incloses.
But Love whose passions with impartiall flames,
Now whisper'd 'mongst the Gods, aloud proclaims,
By Joves consent to dispossesse us here
Of our faire Heav'n, for they did want her there:
Conspicuous fate, her heart already feels
Cupids dire bolt, and at first Arrow yeelds;
No Warrier she, nor striv'd with strugling hand
The dart to break, nor would she it withstand,
But gently stepping t'wards his Bow did hie,
And Phoenix-like into the flames did flie;
So Pilomel doth willingly depose,
Her tender brest against the Thorne, so those
Who (Bleeding easly) meet death void of paine,
Phasiphae so in Ida woods did raigne.
Twice did the honour of Latona move
A scornd defiance to Arcadius Love,
But twice by Ericyna twas defac't,
And twice more Love into her heart was plac't,
Wherefore unwilling to omit the art,
The Salve she thought would mollifie her smart,
Half doubting Cupid who such change had wrought,
Gave speech the leave, to ease her of her thought.
Love, who the greatest Potentates can tame,
(Ruine of zeale) at whose majestick name,
(Blind wicked boy) disguiz'd with all untruth,
The Gods have yeelded honour to his youth,
Sprung first from Venus Goddess of his art,
If blind as some suppose how can he dart
Showrs of such wrongs on silly Womans heart?
Thou Goddess of the Vallies and the Plains,
See how the wagg thy sacred rites disdains,
Thou thou Latona's Daughter, whose delights
I vow to perfect, and maintain thy rites,
In spite of Cupid, see how he deposes
Thy Holy Lawes, see how he plucks thy Roses,
And crops the fairest Lillies of thy Closes.
Into my heart some heavy thought is straid,
But there it shall not, nor long hath it staid,
Some muddy cloud hath overwhelm'd my face,
And left behind it shaddowes of disgrace:
Thus when the Heav'ns thy mighty Father lowrs,
His anger is some bitter tasted showrs,
To perish quite the odours of thy flowers.
Thus hath he given power to the Boy,
Who strives thy Virgin odours to destroy,
Urg'd by the daughter of Oceanus
His Frothy Mother, enemy to us.
And she doth practice his deceitfull smiles,
The fittest motions with which he beguiles,
And with a touch thy Vestall lamps defiles.
Up (thou Alphea) shew thy pow'r and skill,
Reserve thy virgins wholly to thee still,
Lend us the swiftest Arethusa's feet,
To flie Alpheus, make our prayers fleet:
And that we may doe honor to thy name,
Do thou in Ephesus thy will proclame,
That we with nettles may defie his flame.
Thus did she feed her thoughts on weak dispair,
Sighing her sorrows to the empty air,
Repining only that her heavy fate
Prest down so hard to make her derogate.
Might I (said she) Idalia's garments wear,
I would be glad, would she but hear my prayer,
Or Dian thou to whom I am devoted,
Admit not my true zeal to be remoted
From service thine, if still thy power thou hast;
If Citherea hath it not defac't,
Say whether yet he any hath imbrac't.
Say whether yet he any hath embrac't,
If yet to thee his service be ally'd,
Let not his cheeks of any sorrows tast,
'Tis pity such pure streams with worse be dy'd;
But howsoe're if happy him be ty'd,
And Hymen link him to some other Bride,
Let not his name, nor kindred be deni'd.
And thus she discontinuing Dian's fires,
Vext with excess of heat and love, retires
Into the garden, where she takes free scope
To vent her plaints, but all deny her hope.
Each flow'r she sees gives a fresh appetite
To that sweet flowr she wants; there's no delight,
But dreams and visions haunt her in her sleep;
The birds that us'd to sing, now seem'd to weep,
And all with heavy voice did seem to move
Complaints, and wail for her unhappy love.
Nor could she say 'twas love did her oppress,
Since she was ignorant of what fair guess
She was enamored, she saw his face,
And knew he was a man, but of what race
And name she knew not, nor knew where he dwelt;
(Oft so for unknown cause, strange pains are felt)
Oft from the garden would she send her eyes,
Loves faint Embassadors, into the skies,
For help, and oft with shrill complaining sounds,
Would weep forth prayers, with which the air abounds:
Thence would she unto Venus Altar hast,
Where when the myrrhe and odors she had plac't,
And mixing plaints with the perfuming flame,
Grant me great Queen of Love to know his name.
Thence would she unto Dian's Altar hie,
And do the like, and thence to Cupid flie,
But still return'd inrag'd, amaz'd, unblest,
Till fairest Hecate heard her request.
Not far from Talmos there a City was,
Casperia nam'd Daelia's denoted place,
Where she a temple had sacred to her,
Where oft unmarried people did prefer
Their pray'rs, remoted only for the same,
No Hymineall servants thither came
Now was the time, when cloth'd in Scythian whites
Her Priests were ready to perform her rites;
Her Cups were with Castalion liquors fill'd,
Her Altar with pale Sacrifices hill'd,
That all her virgins came to wait upon her
Bearing their Vestall lamps Diana's honor.
When Sepha t'wards her temple did repair,
Cloth'd all in yellow, whose dishevell'd hair,
Stirr'd with the winde, gave a reflective shine,
As Jove had tow'd her in a golden shrine.
Down to Gargaphia, did she take her way,
Fear lending wings, since Love had caus'd her stay
Too long, and as she tript o're those fair Lawns,
Roughfooted Satyres, Satyres, Nymphs and Fawns,
With various colour'd flowers which they had set,
Made for her feet a pleasant Carquenett.
Her eyes when first they glanc't towards the place,
Whither she would, O more than human race,
Said she, be thou propitious to me still;
Impute not this delay, want of good will
Towards thy holy Laws, and as she prayd,
The more she run, the more she thought she staid;
Chiefly for this, when first her tender feet,
With gentle motions brought her to those sweet,
Those diapred, those rape enamor'd dales,
First mother to those cool perfumed gales,
Which Zephyrus from flowry Meadows sends,
To court Aurora, whose beauty extends
(Like blushing sighs with which women beguile)
Back to the same to grace them with a smile.
She heard shrill voices, shrill complaining cryes,
The hasty messengers of some dull eyes,
Call her to witness with lamenting verse,
Like those that use to houl over the herse
Of their dead friends, to which as women use,
She gives a skreek, women can seldome chuse;
Which skreek, whether it were for strangeness rather,
That all the Silvan dwellers 'bout her gather,
Or whether 'twas the rareness of her voice,
As sure it was, for that O Heav'nly noise,
Hath power to lead the wildest rudest ear,
Which once those Heav'nly raptures doth but hear,
From uncivility, to deep amaze;
But be it what it will, they all did gaze
And flock about her, silent, pale, and wan,
Till one (it seemes the chiefest of them all) began,
Hence ugly grief, to which they all agree,
Though our King's gon, wee'l make our Queen of thee;
Then gan they leap and dance, with such delight,
Which put fair Sepha into such a fright,
That from her eyes she let fall such a frown,
That seen of them, they all fell trembling down.
Yet such was Sepha's vertue and good nature,
That she would not permit the smallest creature,
Through her to perish, if from her there came
Ought did extinguish the desired flame
Of life, the same to her own heart return'd;
For with the like desire of Love she burn'd:
She would have gon and left them, but compassion
Of their then grief, caus'd a deliberation,
Half gon she turn'd again, and with her hand
Helping them up, faith let me understand,
The cause you weep, if it require my art,
With you to grieve, with you I'l bear a part.
When one awakened with excess of bliss,
Rose up, and gan to kiss her ears with this.
THE TALE OF BACCHUS AND DIANA.
Nisean Silenus born of Indian race,
Once kept yon hill, yon Gaurus was his place,
His palace was with palest marble rais'd,
Imbrac't with blushing grapes, and often prais'd
By those, which never yet the reason knew,
For those sweet smelling flowers about it grew.
The way that leads you to this more than blest
Elizium, was bordred with a nest
Of Hyacinths, which now begin to spred
Their Amiclean flowers into a bed;
Like that of Lillies, which our Poets say,
Leads now to him, instil'd the Milkie way;
There was no path went creeping through the same,
Which might delude the most opprobrious name,
With Fallicies, for so they might suppose,
The way that leads to honor doth inclose
A world of bliss, when each eye hath his charm,
The way to honor hath a world of harm.
I speak not this to disallow the rites
Honoria claims, the self-same way invites
As well to honor, as well not to honor,
For she hath equall ballance cast upon her;
But to uphold the blest Silenian way,
Whose smooth egressions will admit no stay,
To those who t'wards Brisean Altars hie,
Till they enjoy th' Nisean Canopy:
A vale there is, which from a low descent
Of a late Hill, did somewhat represent
Phlegrean plains, nurst by Meanders waves,
Which cut their bedds, and furrow their own graves.
This was Nemea call'd, a fertile plain,
Bedew'd with blood of Misian cattle, slain
For sacrifice, brought by th' Ismenides,
The wrath of just Silenus to appease.
Whose angry frowns fright you from that blest vale;
But till you to a far more pleasant dale,
Which mounted by two stepps doth yeeld a sight
More smooth than glass, more glorious than delight.
A heap of Pines there are, which equall range
On either side, a pleasant sight but strange,
To those ne're saw't, through which there lyes a glede,
Smooth bladed grass, which shews you the abode
Of Bacchus guide, then come you to a Court,
Where all the crew of Satyres doe resort;
And with shrill cryes do make his pallace-ring,
And Io, Io, Bacchanalia sing.
No wall there is that doth inclose the same,
Tis hem'd with lawrel trees of the bigst frame,
And under them there is a bushy hedge
Of Rosemary, which cut ev'n make a ledge,
For various colour'd flowers his Clients bring,
They are the curteous offrings of the spring.
In midst of which fair Court there is a Font,
Of Christall streams, where oft a Goddess wont,
With diverse Damsels, Goddesses I think,
Because their beauty hath such power to link
Men to their love, for sure such Heav'nly faces
Ne're sprung from mortall; ne're from humane races.
But be they as they are, in that same Well
They us'd to bath, the Statues there can tell,
Chlamidias shrines th' are call'd, and strong defence
That were erected at her going thence.
Which story if you'l please but to admit
And bless the ground so much, as here to sit
(Fair Lady) 'tis not tedious, wee'l relate
The Tragick ends, and tell the heavy fate
There lies intomb'd, we will in ev'ry thing
Present to you the figure of the spring.
Time slips too fast (said Sepha) and my way
Is long, I cannot well admit the stay
To hear it told, but since you say 'tis short,
I'l linger time to hear out your report.
Then thus: Our God hearing what Heav'nly shapes
Haunted those groves, and with what store of grapes
It did abound; said rise and lets go see,
Perhaps it is a dwelling fit for me.
Whither being come, and having took a view
Of each delight, what pleasure might accrew
By dwelling there, said lets begin to build;
The ground is fragrant, 'tis a pleasant field
With odours drest, Marble shall be our stone,
Cedar our Timber, the Foundation
On yonder hill, yon hill that will be proud,
To be instil'd the powrfull Bacchus shroud.
At this the Goddess laught, and in a scorn,
More sham'd and ruddy than the blushing Morn
Escap't from Tytans arms, doth nimbly rise,
While pale revenge sits trembling in her eyes,
Ready to ruine those that dare presume
To view, much less to touch her hallow'd room;
She girts her armor on, and to her side
Her quiver, full of bloody arrows ty'd,
In her left hand her bow, and with the other
Tearing the grapes from their beloved Mother;
Tramples them on the ground, and in a rage,
(For so it seems no treaties could asswage
Her furious wrath) Bacchus said she, thou Clown
So shall I trample thy Imperiall Crown.
How durst thou (vilain) dare to touch this Isle?
And with thy nasty carkass to defile
My holy place? (Egregious drunkard) how
Durst thou presume t' offend my Virgin brow?
What recompence art able to bestow?
Or how wilt thou my powrfull wrath o're-goe?
How wilt thou my destroying anger miss?
Or what requitall shall I have for this?
Thy death I will not work lest it be known,
I so much goodnesse to thee should have shown
In slaying thee, t'would be as bad disgrace,
Should it be known that thou hast seen my face.
Thou happy of this favour maist rejoice,
My damsels scorn that thou shouldst hear my voice,
What a vile stain, what laughing there would be,
Should the world know I daign to speak to thee.
How shall I Combate then? or thee expell
From the society of this blest Well?
See how these Roses at thy boldness blush,
Those flowers dye which thy proud feet do crush.
See how the trembling Lillies stoop a low,
Grow pale and droop, for fear thou wilt not goe.
The Birds no more will sing while thou art here,
These silver streams doe murmur plaints for fear
Thou wilt their drops defile, the very skyes
Since thou cam'st hither have withdrawn their eyes.
And since thou hast this flowry place defac't,
No more we shall of their sweet favour tast
To cherish us, here is a spacious way,
Be packing then or at thy perill stay.
Vile words against a God, who smiling said;
Here will I live, and thou shalt be my maid:
Thy maid said she, to do thee service then
With this weak arm, and these shall be thy men,
Sending him showrs of arrows, which invade
His Nurses hearts and there a Tavern made.
Bacchus at this grew wroth, his rudy face
Where the best beauty us'd to have a place,
Grew pale, and pale: Bellona now said he,
Be thou propitious to my Sov'raignty.
What spitefull God hath sent these mortall shapes?
Wicked devourers of my sacred grapes;
Nor enmity alone against the fruit,
Will them suffice, who seek to spoil the root.
Fair Girl he said; think'st thou I dread thy power,
Dare mickle Fortune on my pleasure lower?
My Father guides the motion of the year,
His dwelling is beyond the middle Sphere.
Heav'n is his palace, where his power's known;
Power waits on him, Elisium is his own:
My mother's of no base nor mean descent
With whom all Graces had their Complement.
And though shee's mortall, yet her pedigree,
Portrays in brazen lines her memory;
From worthy Cadmus, whose descent doth spring
From old Agenor the Phoenician King.
How dar'st thou then revile my holy fire?
I am a God, and can withstand thine ire?
Can these thy threatnings then make me the worse?
Or dost thou think thy arrows can have force
To pierce my powrfull skin. Fond foe forbear,
Th' are fit'st for Cupids use, by Styx I swear
A secret influence hath my honor sav'd,
I have in Lethe lake my body lav'd.
This said, his leavy javelin up he takes,
At sight of which the fearfull Goddesse quakes,
He turns him back to his devoted train
In whose each hand a Thirsis did remain,
Whose fiery valour never was withstood,
Good was their courage, and their valour good.
Forbear said he, let not your anger light
On these, so far unworthy for your fight,
What stain shall we endure? when it be said,
So many Hecatompilions have made
War with a silly maid? what though she strive
Through haughty pride our honor to survive?
Urge not her fight who cannot manage it.
Fie, are these subjects for your valour fit?
Forbear I say, and let your wrath be kept,
For those who have our ancient honors swept
Into a dirty lake; let it suffice
This mountain shall our Orgies memorize.
With that another showr of darts she sends
From nimble arms, whose multitude extends
All o're the Army which our God had there,
Enough to move a valiant God with fear;
So thick they came, that like the Ev'ning cloud,
Or like an Arbor, or a Leavy shroud
Remaining long, they might have caus'd a dearth,
They kept the courteous Sun from the dark earth.
Go too said Bacchus, let all pity fade,
And fight on now, we now shall fight i' th' shade;
Then gan a desp'rate war, but being divine,
No harm was done, the greatest harm was mine,
Till fair Antigone, alas too rare,
Too young alas, alas too Heav'nly fair
To leave this haven, exchang'd her mortall hue
And leapt to Heav'n, I saw her as she flew.
A wound she had, nor was there any place
But that alone, but that which could deface
Her rudy cheeks, her lips that oft did shove
Life to the hearts of those that saw them move.
THE STORY HAEMON AND ANTIGONE.
And thus it chanc'd, Haemon the fairest boy
Of Thebes City, would go sport and toy
With Cupids darts, and Cupid being blind,
(And Love you know when vext is oft unkind)
Pull'd them away, Haemon would him withstand,
And as he held, he chanc't to race his hand.
This being slighted gan to fester in,
And having got a newly welcom'd skin,
Began to fester more; it being small,
And of small pain was pitti'd not at all,
By him I mean, who as it seems delighted
In this new pain; and that's the cause 'twas slighted:
Now was it grown unto a doubled height
His brest within, and with a nimble sleight
Began his heart to bore, when he o'recharg'd,
Could not suppress that fire which now inlarg'd
It self with larger flames; it kist his heart,
And he kist it, like one loth to impart
Some serious thought, from his o'reburthened brest,
And yet detaining it can find no rest.
Have you not seen the Heliconian spring,
Send her beloved streams a wandering
The vale below, who ready to fulfill
(Though murmuring for grief) their mothers will,
Glide on apace, yet oft with watry eyes,
Look t'wards the place where their blest mother lyes;
While she with crooked bublings doth complain,
Now calls them in, then thrusts them forth again.
So was't with Haemon loth to lose the bliss,
The pleasing joyes he hop't to reap from this
His new intended life, also unwilling
To dispossess himself of those distilling
And gratefull honours, from Diana came,
Due only to the lovers of her name.
In both perplext alike he sits amaz'd;
(Symptomes of Love) and o're the valleys gaz'd,
Starts up, sits down, admires with foolish joy
The fruits thereof, detests as much th' annoy
The same ingenders, having 'fore his eyes,
The sad examples of the miseries
It hath produc't; Leanders heavy fate,
Makes him eschew it now as much with hate,
As e're before he to it zealous was,
Whose Tragedyes are unto him a glass.
In this extreme, what will not Venus doe?
He studies how, and can already woe.
Admit said he, the winged boy would send
Into this place the picture of that friend,
I best could honor, should I be approv'd
Or no? for yet he knew not whom he lov'd;
Or should I chance of that fair chance to chance:
Could I in lovers phrase my love advance?
Say Cupid, or if yet thou think'st I cannot,
Make tryall, and if too much she disdain not,
Thy book Ile quickly learn, before the morn
Descry our blots, there's none a workman born;
And at our next encounter I'l so gain
Thy approbation, there shall not a stain,
Deface my quill to make my study faulter,
Whole showrs of Myrrh I'l pour upon thy Altar.
Thy Altar shall with saffron streams appear,
And I with yellow garments will be there;
There will I be to see thy service don,
The Oaths betroth'd by thy beloved son,
On high Hymerus hil, and ere the same
Had flown from Haemons sacred breth, there came
A Lady by, nor onely one there was,
Yet had there been no more, she did surpass
All beauties could have come, Antigone
Whose face from sable night did snatch the day,
And made it day, what need I shew the same?
I know'ts enough, if you but know her name.
Antigone came thither, thither came
Blind Cupids Love, and there the goodly frame
Of Natures pride, whose beauty can procure
Each wink to make, each love spectators sure.
Three sisters they, but one of all the rest
More fair and lovely was, and far more blest
With Natures gifts, and that was only she
Whom men alone did call Antigone.
Her cheeks bedeckt with lines of Christall veins,
Were like that rudy blush Aurora gains
From Tellus breath; whose odors doe incroach
O're flowry fields to welcome her approach.
She came with such a Majesty and Grace,
As if the Gods in her all-conquering face,
Had kept their Parlament, the Milky way,
Running Meander-like with crooked stray
From her white chin, lead to that hill which yields
A prospect o're the fair Elisian fields.
Her upper garments were of milky hue,
And under them a coat of azure blue;
Some stars of Gold there were, and those but small,
Were like the shour Phoebus let on her fall.
The blew seen through the white, with that fair showr
Seem'd like a cloud that did inshrine a power.
Her hair not loose as some do use to wear,
Ribonds of Gold were proud to tye her hair,
And so delighting held it up so hard,
Lovers from favours of it were debarr'd.
Each step she took, was like a vertuous way,
Or path where her distressed Lovers lay:
For as she went casting her eyes aside,
Many admiring at her beauty dy'd,
Of all the gestures that her body had,
With one especiall gesture she was clad;
And that was this, oft as thou us'd to walk
Into the groves to hear the small birds talk,
Antigone thy praise, thou oft was us'd,
(I think by some diviner power infus'd)
To ravish men, often was thou indu'd
With that sweet grace which each spectator ru'd,
A carelesse winding of thy body 'twas
Reeling, and nodding as thou by didst pass,
Like frisking Kidds upon the Mountains seen,
Or wanton Lambs that play upon the Green.
Then wouldst thou leap from bank to bank, and rise
Th' Jocastaean body into the skies.
While Zephyrus better to help the flee,
Would flie beneath, but 'twas thy Heav'n to see.
Then wouldst thou swing abroad thy tender hands,
At whose pure shine, each eye amazed stands,
And with thy finger beck, which gave excuse
To lovers, saying thou call'dst, but twas thy use,
This Haemon saw, ev'n as the smiling ground,
With various-colour'd flowers her temples crown'd;
She crops a rose, and why so did she seek,
There was a purer Rosie in her cheek;
But (Lord to see) putting it to her nose,
What purer beauty could there be then those?
Like Corall held in her most most pure hands,
Or blood and sickly milk that mingled stands.
The pale-fac'd Lillie from the stalk she tears,
Ev'n as the Lillie, so Narcissus fares,
Sweet Crocus from his weeping root she twinds
And him with his beloved Smilax binds.
Nor Hyacinthus must this favours flie,
Who with the Cyprian Anenomy.
After she had retir'd into a shade,
Of these discolour'd flowers a posie made,
Then lying down, (for sleep began to play
The wanton with her eye-lids as she lay)
She slept, not seeing Haemon who still kept
Out of her sight, or else she had not slept.
Then gan the Silvan warblers to renew
Their pleasant notes, with all the merry crew
Kind Spring affords, each striving best to keep,
Their untaught quaver, lulling her asleep.
Her Posie to her left hand she convey'd,
And on that hand her weary head she laid;
Her right hand had the office to employ
A safeguard to her brest, where Haemons eye
Stood ready fixt, softly he would have stole
The Posie thence, but each wink did controle
His bold attempt, at last with ravish'd joy,
That Fortune op't to him so fair a way
To so divine a mark, he gently laid
His trembling lips to hers, and softly said,
Ye Powrs be thank't, and if such power ye have,
As there's no power but what is yours, O save
Your servant, O permit not her disdain,
T' acquaint my heart with just cause to complain.
Still let her sleep, rob me not of this bliss,
Still let her sleep, e're I this favour miss,
Camelion-like I'l live upon her breath,
It Nectar is, and will preserve from death.
With that she wak'd, and seeing there so nie,
An unknown guest, she rose and gan to flie
Abash'd she would have spoke, but too much fear
Caus'd it so softly that one could not hear
Whether she chid or no, Great Queen said she,
Who art rewarder of Integrity,
Let me not be defil'd; this Haemon heard,
And would have answer'd, but he was debarr'd.
By her ensuing voice which might inflame
Cold Neptunes bosome, if but heard the same.
She views him well surveys with curious eye
His face, who with like language doth reply,
A face she saw, the face she sure had known
But that she did compar't with was her own,
Of beauty pure, too pure she thought it was,
To be the picture of a humane face,
Those speaking looks, that Grace and Majesty,
Far better would befit a Deity.
To whom she said, but what I must omit,
Since I am ignorant, nor is it fit,
To let my thoughts into those secrets pry,
which they deny,
For had she not been curious of her will,
She n'ere had whisper'd, n'ere had been so still.
But Haemon thus,
Lady your looks a Tragick tale unfold,
I fear the end before I hear it told,
Why should you tremble so? or be affraid
Of him in whom your power is display'd?
Remit this boldness that I did intrude
Into your sacred Grove, O fair exclude
Not my complaints from your still honor'd praise,
Lest sable night give period to my dayes.
Peace said Antigone, shall ev'ry grove,
Where babling Echoes dwell witness your love?
So much I heard, and saw her prettie look
Shew him her face in which there lay a book
By Cupids finger wrote, while he o're joy'd,
Kist as she spake, and with her ribonds toy'd:
He took her by the hand and softly crusht
Sweet balm from thence, at sight of which she blusht
He would have sav'd the same, but of it mist,
She would have spake, but as she spake he kist.
Then met his hands about her tender wast,
So Jupiter when Danae he imbrac't,
And such like toyes they us'd as lovers use
While a pure kiss (as if they would infuse
Into each others brest their souls) was given,
For Haemon vow'd by all the Powers of Heaven,
No impious thought that honour should molest,
Which was ingraven in his loyall brest.
And that he was from all deceit as free,
As he desir'd to finde Antigone.
Goe then said she, 'tis but one lingring night,
Our bodies part, but ah, they parted quite.
For she towards Diana took her way;
Where then in Camp Dianas virgins lay,
Ready to give our God their strong assault,
Where she was slain, Oh, 'twas her Haemons fault,
For he belike that Cupid had implor'd
Which some call God, that favour to afford,
Through his beloveds brest with his keen dart,
To make an easie passage to her heart.
Which Cupid to fulfill did open lay
A hole through which a Javelin took his way,
At this she starts, revenge my death she cry'd,
Haemon my love, Haemon farewell and dy'd.
At this disaster Dian did repine,
Hold, hold said she (Bacchus) the battle's thine.
The hill I'le leave, yet e're I take my way,
Permit that I by yonder spring do lay
My Virgin dead, which yeelded, there she laid
Her corps, and over them a Statue made;
It stood upright, and looking t'wards the East,
The blood ran trickling down her wounded brest,
And on each side her sisters statue stood,
With weeping clothes wiping away the blood.
This being done Diana left the place,
Fears making furrowes in her virgin face,
Her Sisters left to let her body lye,
But since their Statues did accompany
Her tomb, they took their way, having don this,
To yon Casperia where her Temple is.
Now Tytan weary of that sable bed
Night did him lend, towards Aurora fled,
When Haemon weary of slow-footed hours,
Oft wisht the morning, which come, each cloud lowrs.
The windes spake loud, and little birds were mute,
For Sol had cloth'd him in a mourning sute,
The morning wept, but what it might foreshow
Haemon suspected not, sweet Winds did blow
No more, the Powers themselves with heavy eyes
Gave a consent to weep her Tragedies.
Straight to the place appointed there to meet,
He hi'd, time lending wings unto his feet,
He calls his love, Antigone he cries,
Why art so slow to meet him who relies
Upon thy faith, more than upon his own?
Then speaks unto the Trees, have you not known
Which way she went? or hath she not bin here?
Is she too slow? she is too slow I fear,
Himself replies, and like a Tiger flees,
With raving eyes, enquires of all he sees.
The fairest Rosie that the garden bred,
Saith he, hath now forgot the Mother bed
Of its first birth I feare it hath been pulld
By some unluckie hand, whose drops have lulld
It in a bath of Mildew, or hath been,
Cause of mishap, cause of some deadly sin,
Else why should Phebus shame to show his face?
And creep behind a cloud, lest some disgrace
Should taint him of conspiracy; or why
Should Coelum's vesture yeeld a Sympathy
Of griefe? or why should shrill complaining cryes
Of Ecchoes strive to peirce the Azure Skies?
Wherefore do little Birds forbeare to sing
To Amphiluche, and her praises ring
Along the vallies? Why do Lillies fade?
Or why do Roses yield a ruddy shade
For their late sickly leaves? ther's some mishap,
Hath sure enforc't the Fatall Nymphes to crap
Their still still brittle threads, the virgin signe
No more I see's belov'd, but doth repine,
The custody thereof for thrice five years,
And that's the Infants time; the Cypresse fears
To bud, lest in pale hours it should be torn,
And cropt lamented Herses to adorn.
What this Eclipse, what this cloud might presage,
This blushing Earth presenting now a stage,
I cann't conjecture, unless it should be
A Theatre to act a tragedie.
With these, and such like words, he vents his Soul,
Of those o're burth'ning maladies, and foul
Conjectures, which such torments did inflict
Upon his heart, enough even to convict
Him of a sincere love, which like a wind,
Hurries him to the Spring, there there to find
His Mistris statue, O unhappy eyes
Of mine, said he, that view the obsequies
Of my dear love; what did not Haemon say?
He beats his brest, endeavours to allay
His scorned life, and from his head he tears
Whole handfulls of his hairs.
(Ye sullen Gods.) what mov'd you to divide
Her Soul from hence, distracted Haemon cryde?
Seek'd yea for some revenge? tis true alas,
Because her vertues did your vertues passe.
Ye Fatall Nymphs that hurry on the threads
Of our weak lives, and cut it in the midds
Of our best time, what moved you to be
So envious against Antigone?
But since your Powrs have made me so accurst
By her sad death, ye Powrs now do your worst;
Yet help me first to weep before I die,
For my Antigone an Elegie.
With that he took his pen, and having wrote
Her heavy dirge with a lamenting note,
He laid him down upon her Tomb, and praid,
Then with a Sphear a speedy passage made
Towards his love, ev'n to whose throne he cryd,
Make room for me my love, so sigh'd and dyd.
At this mischance the Fatalls did repine,
And turn'd his blood into a Columbine,
Which still retains his nature, in three days,
It gains its prime, and in its prime decays.
His body then reposing on her urne,
The Gods did to a Marble statue turne,
Whose head upon his weary hand doth rest,
And looking stedfast on her wounded brest,
Surveys the blood, that blood with watry eye
Which leavs her brest to turn t' a Tulippie.
So Haemon t'wards Elisium did flie.
But e're he went he left this Elegie
Under her feet ingraven, on which be
The lively praise of dead Antigone.
Ravisht with Nectar breathing from those dales,
Where Zephirus in all his worth remains,
I past th' Arabian desarts, and the vales,
And thence I jorney'd o're the Scythian plains,
I jorney'd thence, and in Diana's bowers,
My eyes bedew'd me with distilling showers.
I sate me down to think upon my loves,
The thought of which proceedings made me weep,
Untill the warbling chanters of the groves
Lull'd me into a sweet and pleasant sleep.
Me thought I sported on th' Arcadian mountains,
And then I sate me by Minerva's Fountains.
Sitting and musing by those silver streams,
Where babling Ecchoes whisper'd forth my mone,
As if awakened from some glorious dream,
The Muses shew'd me on a marble stone,
Character'd lines of gold, whose triple layes
I coppi'd out to prattle forth their praise.
Aspire to honour her whose glories such,
Nature hath given that artificiall face,
No Muse nor Goddess can delight so much,
Excepting her who is her chiefest grace;
Oft so the Dove a whiter Turtle brings,
And from the self same root, a fairer flower springs.
Some say the fairest Cupid being mov'd,
Mourn'd as he went, and thinking on her pin'd,
Intirely seeking, seeking her he lov'd,
Till too much gazing on her made him blind,
He call'd her Vesta, and to prove the same,
Erected up a Trophee to her name.
Durst I but tell the world how much I love her,
Omitting nothing that I could express,
Rapt in those Heav'nly joyes that seem'd to hover,
Only to crown her with their sacred bliss;
Too long I should upon her praises dwell,
Hymnes are unworthy of her worth to tell.
Symethis shows how far her voice exceeds
Musicall charms, whose sacred breath doth sink
Inchanted hearts, and where it stayes it breeds
The sweet Nepenthe which the Gods do drink.
Having their love, they make her what they can,
Equall to them, too Heav'nly for a man.
Many that view her sweet Elisian face
Admiring stand, as if some silver hook
Ran from her eyes to tye them to the place,
Tempting the Gods to read the am'rous book
Her cheeks inclose, while every wanton air,
As proud to kiss her, sporteth with her hair.
Sestos injoy'd so beautifull a Lass,
Me thought her equall could not eas'ly be,
If yet with Hero she compared was,
'Twas not fair Hero that's so fair as she,
Her face bedeckt with beauties sweet adorning,
Exceedeth far the blushing of the morning.
Yet see how Fate hath stole her Soul away,
And wrapt it in the fair Elisian rest,
Slow time, admit me here no longer stay,
Till blest with her, I never can be blest;
Receive dear Love into those Azure skyes,
This soule who whilome to thy bosome flyes.
So much for this now for the cause we weep,
(Fair Lady) know Bacchus is fall'n asleep.
The nature of the Spring we have declar'd,
So have you of Dianas battell heard;
At this she sigh'd, and as she gently praid
For some revenge, the Satyres grew affraid;
The winds spoke loud, Dian in choler burn'd,
And each of them cleaving to trees, she turn'd
To Ivie, whence it still is twinding found,
And Bacchus nurses are with Ivie crown'd.
Thus Fortune, (whose continuall wheely force,
Keeps constant course, still keeps unconstant course)
Bequeath'd her harme; and Sepha with amaze,
Tript o're the plains towards that sacred place,
Casperia nam'd, and as she thus did hie,
Trust me Arcadius came riding by,
He look't on Sepha, oh what good it wrought
To her, who with her earnest eyes besought,
One ravisht word to ope those lips, but they
Lurkt still in glories garden as they lay.
At this she sigh'd, O how she sigh'd at this,
Farwell said she, and if I needs must miss
Of these fair hopes, yet shall my tender mind
Accuse thee not, thy horse did prove unkind,
To carry thee so fast; thus with this thought,
And such like meditations, she was brought
Unto the Temple now with Roses strew'd,
Then to the altar with sweet balm bedew'd;
Where when the Rites and Ceremonies done,
She read this superscription was thereon.
Those that Idalia's wanton garments wear,
No Sacrifices for me must prepare;
To me no quav'ring string they move
Nor yet Alpaean musick love,
Theres no perfume
Delights the room,
From sacred hands,
My Altar stands
Void and defac't,
While I disgrac't,
With angry eyes
Revenge the cryes
Of you who to my Altar hast,
And in my lawes take your repast;
Pursue it still, the chief of my pretence
And happiness, shall be your innocence.
After sh' had read what vile reproach and stain
Her Queen indur'd, what just cause to complain
Hung on her brest, by an aspersion thrown
Upon her Damsells glories, and her own,
She sighes, and through enough and too much sorrow,
Disdaines to live, for true love hates to borrow
Art to bewail mishap, and as she fainted,
Alas too much unfit, and unacquainted
With grief, she sighing said with swelling eye,
The root depriv'd of heat, the branches dye.
Then gan her sense to play the Tragick part
Of Fate, and Atropos joy'd in her art.
Each thing she saw (as all were proud t' advance
Themselves to her fair eyes) now seem'd to dance,
And turning round, the Temple where she stood,
To her wet eyes presented a pale flood.
While she with scrambling hands seeking to take
Hold lest she fell, fell down into that Lake,
Where strugling still, with many pretty dint
Her curious hand did give the earth a print,
For Sepha's sake, which print the earth still keeps,
Of which wee'l speak a while, while Sepha sleeps.
THE STORY OF ERAMIO AND AMISSA.
A foolish Prince (not wise because he vow'd
Virginity to dwell within a cloud)
And so much honor to her did ascribe,
Many had thought he had receiv'd a Bribe
To vaunt her praise, and Laurellize her name,
His mouth and he were Trumpets to her fame.
I say a Maiden Prince was lately there,
Whose custome was twice five times ev'ry year,
Cloth'd all in white, and stain'd with spots of black,
A yellow ribond ty'd along his back,
To offer Turtle doves with silver plumes,
And strew the place with Aromatick fumes.
He was a Prince, born of a royall blood,
And being nobly born, was nobly good;
Nor onely good he was, but stout and wise,
(Save that this fond opinion vail'd his eyes,)
Else he in ev'ry action was upright,
And free from vice, as sorrow from delight.
Of Courage good, for valour oft had bound
His Temples up, and them with Laurell crown'd.
Beauty lay lurking in his Magick face,
Worthy of praise since it chose such a place;
Those ruddy lips, those cheeks so heav'nly fair,
Where Love did play the wanton with his hair,
Did witnesse it, and witnesse this his line,
I found ingraven ore his golden shrine,
By some beloved hand, whose pen doth speak,
(Though willingly his praise alas to weak.
Lo here he lies, inshrind with his own fame,
Whose virtue's gone abroad to tell his name.
This Prince returning home by those dim lights,
After he had perform'd the sacred rites
Of his pure zeal, for night came peeping on,
Whose sable face had thrust the weary Sun
Beyond the Northern Pole, whether it was
To hide her fault, and bring his end to passe;
Or whether twas to view his sacrifice,
She stealing came, or t' keep him from the eyes
Of those destroyers that about did gather
To steal his life, or hast distruction rather,
To me tis not reveal'd, but sure it is,
To sure alas, Conspicuous fate was his.
Could Heaven permit the deed? or give consent,
(Who should be just) to the accomplishment
Of this nefarious act? could Phoebus eye
Be dazled so, or yield a sympathy
To this rebellious inhumanity?
Better had he renounc't the vowes he made,
And spent his days under some gloomy shade;
Better had he in flowry fields abide,
And lead his flock by purling Rivers side;
Better had he bestrid the fomy waves,
Where Pactolus his weary body laves;
Yea better far he nere had been allide
To Dian's Laws far better had he dy'd.
And die he did, did death commit a sinne?
No, yet when first his arrows doe begin
Untimely death to force, tis often said,
His sulphur breath hath the sweet spring decaid.
He was but young, the girdle of the year,
By which our humane actions do appear,
And so we live and dye, had nere imbrac't
Thrice three times twice his young and tender wast,
Scarce could he stand upon the joyfull ground,
And crop those blushing cherries which he found
Upon their infant trees, yet envious eye,
Conspir'd to end his perpetuity.
And thus it was, as young Eramio came
From Dians temple (for so was his name)
Amissa, who had oft desir'd to free
Her brest of that hell-knawing jealousie
By her conceiv'd, for this Amissa had
Bin with the beauty of Eramio clad,
In a supreme desire towards his love,
Oft with her letters did she strive to move,
With Cupids lawes him to retain alliance,
Till he, who scorn'd obedience gave defiance.
This could not cool that heat which had inspir'd
A longing hopes to that which he desir'd,
She sighs, and weeps; she sighs and laughs, she cryes,
And in a rage doth heave towards the skyes
Her feeble hands, she studies how to tempt
Him to her lure, (lovers are oft exempt
Of modesty) and in a rage doth go
Towards her inke, (as lovers use to doe)
And frames this letter, which I chanc'd to meet,
Ah me, twas young Eramio's winding sheet.
AMISSA TO ERAMIO.
I heard how elder times enjoy'd the bliss
Of uncouth love, Fame the Historian is,
Men whose heroick spirits scorn to bend
Their gallant necks to any servile hand,
Whose beauty could command as noble eyes,
I, and as many as these Azure skies
E're shew'd thy face, to view with a desire
Their glorious parts, and viewing to admire;
Yet these in whom each God have plac'd an eye,
To make a shrill and pleasant harmony
Of all their glories in one sound alone,
Yet these so far have their affection shown,
With sword and lance to make their faith approv'd,
Though as thy self not half so well belov'd.
How canst thou then disdain this humble sute
Of a pure love? how can thy pen be mute?
Many detesting love, and scorn his name,
Yet with their pens will certifie the same
By answer, that they may that harm prevent
Of future hopes, for Silence gives Consent.
Shall still unkindness overflow the brim?
Leander did to fairest Hero swim,
But I must come my self, and void of good
To strengthen me, must make my tears the flood,
And when I come, thy Tower so fast is barr'd,
Thy suppliants weak complaint will not be heard;
What is the cause thou dost affection scorn?
Shall base contempt those lovely browes adorn?
Am I too mean? look what I want of it,
So much my loyall love shall make me fit.
Let not thy thoughts accuse me cause I sue,
For true love clad with vertue needs must wooe;
Nor let thy Answer show I am refus'd,
But use me now ev'n as thou would'st be us'd.
This mov'd Eramio much, who (worthy Knight,)
As ignorant as free from Loves delight,
Like purling Quails, who ev'n now are secure,
With pleasant tunes are train'd unto the lure
Of the deceitfull fowler, so was he
As this his Answer will a witness be.
ERAMIO TO AMISSA.
(Faire Queen) that favour which you pleas to give
To my unworthinesse, shall make me live
Renoun'd, when so much love you do bequeath,
Blown by the bellowes of your flowry breath,
Shall fold me in your armes, do not conceave
Twas scorn, or want of love that made me leave
My Answer untill now, Amissa no,
And 'mongst your other vertues please to know,
Twas that excessive humble love I had,
That would not linke your honour to so bad,
As your Eramio.
This faire Amissa saw, what sweet content
To her it brought, let those whose time is spent
On Cupids Study know, the same I leave
To them alone, let them alone conceave.
It was not long (though lovers think it long)
E're young Eramio went, (new love is strong)
To see Amissa, where ('tis open said)
There was a private contract 'twixt them made;
This being nois'd, (as Fame will quickly spred)
Amongst his friends, how fondly he was led
By loves Alarms, with letters they did strive
Dianas holy fiers to revive
Within his brest, and that to love alone,
From Venus free, whereof this letter's one.
FLUENTUS TO ERAMIO.
Be not so serious, striving to commend
The blaze of Beauty, sometimes let a friend
Partake of your well tuned notes of worth
Which solely to your self you warble forth,
In some retired shade, do not adore
A boy for God, let others harms before,
By his deceit, make you at last be wise,
It was for something Cupid lost his eyes.
Love is a thing deceitfull, and will charm,
The wounded heart unto a further harm,
Such are th' allurements of the boy, to stain
The vertuous mind and make destruction plain.
What desp'rate ends to many do ensue,
And in their blood their guilty hands imbrew,
To thee 'tis known, let them a warning move,
If thou desir'st continuance of our love.
Even this Eramio read, and being mov'd,
In that his friends despise him cause he lov'd,
In loves excuse whose arrowes he did kiss,
He sate a while, and then returned this,
ERAMIO TO FLUENTUS.
Rapt with Ambrosian favours of her love
I well may serious strive, when Tempe grove
Delights so much to whisper forth the prayse,
Of my sweet love, with Heliconian lays.
How can my Muse be dumb? or cease to sing
Of faire Amissa? when each silver spring
And cooling arbor to report her fame,
Dictates my Muse in ecchoing back her name;
If she but daigns to beautifie the aire
With her sweet breath, her golden knotted haire
Receives a thousand complements of love,
From wanton Zephirus, enough to move
Conceiv'd delights, so joys he when he finds
How much her Nectar-breath perfumes the winds.
If she but coverts in Pathimne bours,
To hide her from those sweet distilling showrs
That come to kiss her from their cloudy throne
Of vapour'd mists, those Pearls finding her gone
Lament and die, when they have lost the sweet
They mist, yet some will stay to kiss her feet.
Why will you then disswade me from that chase
I have begun, when ev'ry private place
Records her praise? nor think I am so stupid
In stead of higher powers to honour Cupid;
In all things ther's a mean, I will be warnd
By others harms, for since I have been scorn'd
By some, the next shall teach me to be wise,
And shame mishap; poor Cupid lost his eyes,
By gazing so much on the love I honour,
That all the eyes he had he spent upon her.
Glad is Amissa when my Muse repeats
Her friendly looks, and then again her threats,
Gainst those that bid me cease to tell her blisses,
Sweeter than life, and half so sweet as kisses.
If therefore serious friendship may advise you,
On still, for if you cease, your love denyes you;
And if another chance to see her face,
Take heed, twill draw him on to win the race.
Which when Fluentus read, and fully found
The depth of his affection, and his wound,
This he return'd,
FLUENTUS TO ERAMIO.
Receive with this my thanks, and prosp'rous fate
To your proceedings, love instead of hate,
Kindness for coyness, Venus sweet embrace,
And Juno's kiss, with all the pomp and grace
That Hymen can afford, then joyfull I,
Will come and sing your Epithalamy.
Thus far my wishes, but if counsell may
Be took as kindly, boldly then I say,
Trust not the winds, they are as false as fleet;
As fleet as am'rous, kissing all they meet,
Without exception: Be not credulous,
What Groves doe whisper is suspicious;
Ask but Narcissus, and he will declare,
Eccho's a wanton, onely empty air,
That doth but mock, the mists you say that meet
To court your love, do but bemire her feet,
And not adorn them, Temp, and the groves
Are now forsook of shady leaves, and loves;
Flora for shame resideth in the earth,
Untill the Spring doe give her a new birth.
In speculation of your Mistris eyes,
If Cupid lost his sight in any wise,
Beware of yours, for so it well befits,
Lest with your eyes you also lose your wits.
Cupid they say's a God, and dares commence
A sute with Jove, Apollo had no fence
Against his weapon; Thus conclude I then,
If Gods do fail, there are no hopes in men.
Reflect on this, you say you have bin scorn'd
By some, therefore take heed you be not horn'd
By others, for this Proverb is both known
And true, an evill seldome comes alone.
Run not too fast, although you see her face,
(Love will beguile, Jove did a cloud imbrace,)
Lest when with pain you traverst have the ground,
You win a prize is better lost than found.
Eramio stood amaz'd, so quick a change
Should hurl about occasions to so strange
An intercepted plot: O Heav'ns said he,
Can this delusion spring from Amity?
From enmity it comes, Fluentus knows
A true affected heart admits no shows
Of wav'ring thoughts, to cloak a reall sign
Of occult things, of harmonies divine:
The world I know, ev'n as the dwellers use it,
Is pregnant full of sinners that abuse it.
But let them live, while I in faith involv'd,
Fluentus, doe by this make thee resolv'd.
ERAMIO TO FLUENTUS.
Reports of Gratulations to retain
Me for your vowed servant are but vain,
For prosperous gales may drive me more your debtor
Through Neptunes fomie floods, to love you better
For this pretext, Epithalamium like,
The mirror of which influence doth strike,
That Epithesis to my humid sense,
That young Leander like, I banish hence
Foolish dispaire, when such an easy price,
Favour'd by love, may win a merchandise,
Richer than Cholchos pride, such power and force,
Have your Platonick lines, to make a course,
That once seem'd tedious, when it was begun,
Pleasant and short to those that needs must run.
Thus far my thanks, your counsell being had
Kindly, and seriously, of one as glad
As may be, when he finds a friend will say,
And botch his lines, to make an hower a day;
Trust me the winds are not so false as fleet,
Nor amorous, nor kiss they all they meet
Without exception, those be foolish winds,
Which Boreas like blusters on all it finds.
There is indeed a breath that takes delight
With his obdurate busses to affright
Chaldei met, come from Lavinium dales
In love's disgrace, but these are not the gales
My Muse reports of, tis a pleasing aire,
Which only sits, and nestles in the haire
Of my dear love, which like a feth'red rain,
Circuits the Globe and thither comes again,
Witness the heads of those Aeolin streams,
Whose bubling currents murmur forth the dreams
Of Nymphs, and Satyres, which acount the groves
The ardent Salopia for their loves.
Ardent Narcissus mist the love he sought,
Yet, foolish boy, what ere he wisht he caught,
He lov'd himself, and when himself he misses,
The eccho's mock him for his foolish wishes,
(Amidst such Hero and such Thisban choices)
Thrusting him farther with their wanton voices,
To deeper griefs, mounted on th' highest tops
Dispair could grant; those clear and silver drops,
Which only lingred time to kiss she sweet,
The innocent, the pure, and heavenly feet
Of my faire love, amaz'd him to behold,
For what they touch't they straitway turn'd to gold;
For shame Queen Flora daigns not to appeare,
Abash't to see a fairer Flora here;
Nor Cynthia did more chastity embrace
Than she, nor Venus a more lovely face,
Whose radient eyes that kindle Cupids fire,
Are Cos amoris, whetstones of desire.
Then strive not this intire knot to undoe,
For I can love thee and Amissa too.
This by the one wrot, by the other read,
Stopt Letters mouthes, and sudden Parly bred,
In which dispute Eramio did haste
To publish proofs, but in his proofs was cast.
O dear Fluentus, said Eramio,
In whom my soul revives, by this I know
Thou art upright; so will I be upright,
No more the wicked boy shall taint my sight
With his deluding parables, I hate
His idle lawes, and at as high a rate
Esteem Diana's worship, as before
I ever did, and her alone adore;
And will you then neglect that lovely chase,
(Fluentus said) you so much did imbrace?
I will said he, and if Eramio live,
No more I will my youth and honour give
To foolish love; Idalia's son I bid
Thy laws adue; and so indeed he did.
Which when his love, the faire Amissa knew,
How all her wished joys abortive grew,
She watch't a time, even as Eramio came
From sweet Casperia, Dian's sacred flame,
And there by force, love conquering did move her,
By force to make Eramio her lover.
Eramio starts, mistrusting even as reason
Her self would do some new intended treason.
What cause said he hath urg'd you to this plot,
Against my life, (ye men) I know ye not?
About to strike, the faire Amissa cryes,
O hold thy blow, for if thou strik'st she dies
Whose death thou seek'st. And came the cause from thee
Eramio said? let this thy glory be
Thou worst of Women, that thou hast receiv'd
Thy death from him, whose hand hath thee bereav'd
Of a polluted soul; when thou shalt come,
'Fore Rhadamanth there to receive thy doom
For this last act, lament thy self, and houl,
In that thou hast been tainted with so foul
An ignominious stain; could thy base heart
Permit fruition to this dev'lish art
Of base conspiracy? O hel-bred evill!
Hatch't by infernall potions of that Devill
Father to thee, and thine; had I suppos'd,
So faire a frame as thine could have inclo'd
Such hatefull guess within, or had I thought
Thy often flatt'ring messages had wrought
By that black art, from which this harm proceeds,
Or such faire beauty could have mask'd such deeds,
Long since thy soule to that black Cave had fled
Of envious night, and I snatch'd from thy head
Those glorious Anadems thou us'd to wear,
Chaplets of curious flowers I did prepare
For thy bewitching browes, O how I hate
My wicked star, my too too envious fate;
I hate the time that did induce desire
Of love, I hate the fewel caus'd the fire,
I hate my eyes too credulous and kind,
To thy false heart, that strikes thy beauty blind.
And which more honour from thy brest discovers,
To give example to young foolish lovers;
I vow by heaven, and all the powers there be
Therein, I hate my self for loving thee.
His words half spoke Cyandus daughter cryes,
Is this the meed of zealous love? and dyes.
For young Eramio in this plot deceav'd,
Up from the ground the massie stone had heav'd,
Borne by the fury of a Tyrannous spite,
And as his present anger did invite,
Hurl'd it amongst them, heard you not the sounds,
Of strugling vialls powring from their wounds
Consumed oyle? Amissa's feeble heart
Paying untimely death for his wish't dart
Its purest streams, but lo a sudden change,
Wrought by inspired miracles doth range
There deep amased eares, amidst the throngs
Of their shrill cryes were heard Elisian songs,
Like those when Jove his Ganimed had stole,
Granting a pleasant convoy to her soul.
Her soul and body gon those Heav'ns to grace,
As too too worthy for this sordid place;
Her heart to manifest the cleer complection
Of her upright, of her unstain'd affection,
Was metamorphos'd to a Diamont,
Which so th' afflicted lover did affront
With visions, dreams, and such like signs, to move
A good conceit of her unspotted love.
Hold, hold, said he, let my revenge alone,
The Gods have wayes enowe, if once but shown,
The time will come, when Venus will inspire
Into each scornfull brest tormenting fire,
By nought to be extinguisht, for I know,
If Poets can divine, it must be so;
It must be so, and those who now deride
Her holy laws, and have too much reli'd
Upon the foolish worships of the Queen
Of Chastity, whose power is still unseen,
Ev'n as I am, so will I alwayes pray,
Shall be perplext a thousand times a day;
This hand, (curst be this hand, and every hand
That rescu'd me, and helpt me to withstand
That glorious yoke my neck should daily move
Under Amissa's too respective love.)
This hand no more shall sprinkle the perfume
Of Frankinsence, in Dian's hallowed room,
But if it ever an oblation make,
To any Altar, or doe e're partake
In any solemn sacrificers vow,
More zeal and honor shall appear in mine,
Amissa, it shall be upon thy shrine.
These words were stopt, by Menothantes Father,
Who to revenge his Sisters death, but rather
To quit his stock of an abusive crime
Was laid upon the Worthies of the time,
Suppos'd, though false by him, (whereof you have
In this portraite a Copy, which I leave
To your chast eyes, in hope you will permit
A charitable censure over it,
For sweet Eramio's sake) old Paeans son,
Striving to perfect what he had begun,
(To which his bloody heart had bin inur'd)
With his invenom'd dart a death procur'd
To young Eramio, who sighing said,
See, see, unhappy fate hath me betraid.
But while speaks, he to Amissa goes,
Invokes the powers to pardon him, and throws
His body on the blood-besprinkled ground,
Where, when distilling tears had washt her wounds,
Ay me, said he, that this doth us betide,
So kist into her lips his soul, and dy'd.
So much the Cretan lad, with weeping voice
Had told, and was about to tell the rest;
But lest said he (Ladies) the heavy noise
Of her mishap, should your chast ears molest,
A while give respite to my tongue, that I
May gather strength to end her Tragedy.
FINIS LIBRI PRIMI.
So far my Childish Muse the wanton plaid,
To crop those sweets the flowry Meadows bore,
Pleasing her self in valleys as she straid,
Unable yet those lofty hills to soar;
But now her wings by stronger winds aspire,
In deeper songs to tune her warbling lyre.
For what before her infant brain declar'd,
Was but a key to tune her quav'ring strings,
Allwaies to have her Instruments prepar'd
To sing more sweet, when she of Sepha sings,
Who from above, even for her virtues sake,
Will shrill my sound, and better Musick make.
Now let me tell how EPIMENIDES,
With weeping voice, and penetrating eyes,
Reviv'd the Ladies, who themselvs did please!
By purling streams to wail his miseries,
Who, while the Meads with his complainings rang,
Wiping his eyes, these sad Encomions sang.