To the Right Worshipfull, Sir Thomas Walsingham, Knight
Sir, wee thinke not our selves discharged of the dutie wee owe to our
friend, when wee have brought the breathlesse bodie to the earth: for
albeit the eye there taketh his ever farwell of that beloved object, yet the
impression of the man, that hath beene deare unto us, living an after
life in our memory, there putteth us in mind of farther obsequies due
unto the deceased. And namely of the performance of whatsoever we
may judge shal make to his living credit, and to the effecting of his
determinations prevented by the stroke of death. By these meditations
(as by an intellectuall will) I suppose my selfe executor to the unhappily
deceased author of this Poem, upon who knowing that in his lift time
you bestowed many kind favours, entertaining the parts of reckoning
and woorth which you found in him, with good countenance and liberall
affection: I cannot but see so far into the will of him dead, but what –
soever issue of his brain should chance to come abroad, that the first
breath it should take might be the gentle aire of your liking: for since
his selfe had ben accustomed therunto, it would proove more agreeable
and thriving to his right children, than any other foster countenance
whatsoever. At this time seeing that this unfinished Tragedy happens
under my hands to be imprinted; of a double duty, the one to your selfe,
the other to the deceased, I present the same to your most
favourable allowance, offring my utmost selfe
now and ever to bee readie,
At your Worships disposing:
THE ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST SESTYAD
Heros description and her Loves,
The Phane of Venus; where he moves
His worthie Love-suite, and attaines;
Whose blisse the wrath of Fates restraines,
For Cupids grace to Mercurie,
Which tale the Author doth implie.
On Hellespont guiltie of True-loves blood,
In view and opposit two citties stood,
Seaborderers, disjoin’d by Neptune might:
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos, Hero dwelt; Hero the faire,
Whom young Apollo courted for her haire,
And offred as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawne,
The lining, purple silke, with guilt starres drawne,
Her wide sleeves greene, and bordered with a grove,
Where Venus in her naked glory strove,
To please the carelesse and disdainfull eies,
Of proud Adonis that before her lies.
Her kirtle blew, whereon was many a staine,
Made with the blood of wretched Lovers slaine.
Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her vaile reacht to the ground beneath.
Her vaile was artificiall flowers and leaves,
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceaves.
Many would praise the sweet smell as she past,
When t’was the odour which her breath foorth cast.
And there for honie, bees have sought in vaine,
And beat from thence, have lighted there againe.
About her necke hung chaines of peble stone,
Which lightned by her necke, like Diamonds shone.
She ware no gloves, for neither sunne nor wind
Would burne or parch her hands, but to her mind,
Or warme or coole them: for they tooke delite
To play upon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shels all silvered, used she,
And brancht with blushing corall to the knee;
Where sparrowes pearcht, of hollow pearle and gold,
Such as the world would woonder to behold:
Those with sweet water oft her handmaid fils,
Which as shee went would cherupe through the bils.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pyn’d,
And looking in her face, was strooken blind.
But this is true, so like was one the other,
As he imagyn’d Hero was his mother.
And oftentimes into her bosome flew,
About her naked necke his bare armes threw.
And laid his childish head upon her brest,
And with still panting rockt, there tooke his rest.
So lovely faire was Hero, Venus Nun,
As nature wept, thinking she was undone;
Because she tooke more from her than she left,
And of such wondrous beautie her bereft:
Therefore in signe her treasure suffred wracke,
Since Heroes time, hath halfe the world beene blacke.
Amorous Leander, beautifull and yoong,
(Whose tragedie divine Musaeus soong)
Dwelt at Abidus; since him, dwelt there none,
For whom succeeding times make greater mone.
His dangling tresses that were never shorne,
Had they beene cut, and unto Colchos borne,
Would have allur’d the vent’rous youth of Greece,
To hazard more, than for the golden Fleece.
Faire Cinthia wisht, his armes might be her spheare,
Greefe makes her pale, because she mooves not there.
His bodie was as straight as Circes wand,
Jove might have sipt out Nectar from his hand.
Even as delicious meat is to the tast,
So was his necke in touching, and surpast
The white of Pelops shoulder. I could tell ye,
How smooth his brest was, and how white his bellie,
And whose immortall fingars did imprint,
That heavenly path, with many a curious dint,
That runs along his backe, but my rude pen,
Can hardly blazon foorth the loves of men,
Much lesse of powerfull gods. Let it suffise,
That my slacke muse, sings of Leanders eies,
Those Orient cheekes and lippes, exceeding his
That leapt into the water for a kis
Of his owne shadow, and despising many,
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
Had wilde Hippolitus, Leander seene,
Enamoured of his beautie had he beene,
His presence made the rudest paisant melt,
That in the vast uplandish countrie dwelt,
The barbarous Thratian soldier moov’d with nought,
Was moov’d with him, and for his favour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in mans attire,
For in his lookes were all that men desire,
A pleasant smiling cheeke, a speaking eye,
A brow for Love to banquet roiallye,
And such as knew he was a man would say,
Leander, thou art made for amorous play:
Why art thou not in love and lov’d of all?
Though thou be faire, yet be not thine owne thrall.
The men of wealthie Sestos, everie yeare,
(For his sake whom their goddesse held so deare,
Rose-cheekt Adonis) kept a solemne feast.
Thither resorted many a wandring guest,
To meet their loves; such as had none at all,
Came lovers home, from this great festivall.
For everie street like to a Firmament
Glistered with breathing stars, who where they went,
Frighted the melancholie earth, which deem’d,
Eternall heaven to burne, for so it seem’d,
As if another Phaeton had got
The guidance of the sunnes rich chariot.
But far above the loveliest, Hero shin’d,
And stole away th’inchaunted gazers mind,
For like Sea-nimphs inveigling harmony,
So was her beautie to the standers by.
Nor that night-wandring pale and watrie starre,
(When yawning dragons draw her thirling carre,
From Latmus mount up to the glomie skie,
Where crown’d with blazing light and majestie,
She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood,
Than she the hearts of those that neere her stood.
Even as, when gawdie Nymphs pursue the chace,
Wretched Ixions shaggie footed race,
Incenst with savage heat, gallop amaine,
From steepe Pine-bearing mountains to the plaine:
So ran the people foorth to gaze upon her,
And all that view’d her, were enamour’d on her.
And as in furie of a dreadfull fight,
Their fellowes being slaine or put to flight,
Poore soldiers stand with fear of death dead strooken,
So at her presence all surpris’d and tooken,
Await the sentence of her scornefull eies:
He whom she favours lives, the other dies.
There might you see one sigh, another rage,
And some (their violent passions to asswage)
Compile sharpe satyrs, but alas too late,
For faithfull love will never turne to hate.
And many seeing great princes were denied,
Pyn’d as they went, and thinking on her died.
On this feast day, O cursed day and hower,
Went Hero thorow Sestos, from her tower
To Venus temple, where unhappilye,
As after chaunc’d, they did each other spye.
So faire a church as this, had Venus none,
The wals were of discoloured Jasper stone,
Wherein was Proteus carved, and o’rehead,
A livelie vine of greene sea agget spread;
Where by one hand, light headed Bacchus hoong,
And with the other, wine from grapes Out wroong.
Of Christall shining faire, the pavement was,
The towne of Sestos cal’d it Venus glasse.
There might you see the gods in sundrie shapes,
Committing headdie ryots, incest, rapes:
For know, that underneath this radiant floure,
Was Danaes statue in a brazen tower,
Jove, slylie stealing from his sisters bed,
To dallie with Idalian Ganimed:
And for his love Europa, bellowing loud,
And tumbling with the Rainbow in a cloud:
Blood-quaffing Mars, heaving the yron net,
Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set:
Love kindling fire, to burne such townes as Troy,
Sylvanus weeping for the lovely boy
That now is turn’d into a Cypres tree,
Under whose shade the Wood-gods love to bee.
And in the midst a silver altar stood,
There Hero sacrificing turtles blood,
Vaild to the ground, vailing her eie-lids close,
And modestly they opened as she rose:
Thence flew Loves arrow with the golden head,
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone still he stood, and evermore he gazed,
Till with the fire that from his count’nance blazed,
Relenting Heroes gentle heart was strooke,
Such force and vertue hath an amorous looke.
It lies not in our power to love, or hate,
For will in us is over-rul’d by fate.
When two are stript, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should loose, the other win.
And one especiallie doe we affect,
Of two gold Ingots like in each respect.
The reason no man knowes, let it suffise,
What we behold is censur’d by our eies.
Where both deliberat, the love is slight,
Who ever lov’d, that lov’d not at first sight?
He kneel’d, but unto her devoutly praid;
Chast Hero to her selfe thus softly said:
Were I the saint hee worships, I would heare him,
And as shee spake those words, came somewhat nere him.
He started up, she blusht as one asham’d;
Wherewith Leander much more was inflam’d.
He toucht her hand, in touching it she trembled,
Love deepely grounded, hardly is dissembled.
These lovers parled by the touch of hands,
True love is mute, and oft amazed stands.
Thus while dum signs their yeelding harts entangled,
The aire with sparkes of living fire was spangled,
And night deepe drencht in mystie Acheron,
Heav’d up her head, and halfe the world upon,
Breath’d darkenesse forth (darke night is Cupids day.)
And now begins Leander to display
Loves holy fire, with words, with sighs and teares,
Which like sweet musicke entred Heroes eares,
And yet at everie word shee turn’d aside,
And alwaies cut him off as he replide.
At last, like to a bold sharpe Sophister,
With chearefull hope thus he accosted her.
Faire creature, let me speake without offence,
I would my rude words had the influence,
To lead thy thoughts, as thy faire lookes doe mine,
Then shouldst thou bee his prisoner who is thine.
Be not unkind and faire, mishapen stuffe
Are of behaviour boisterous and ruffe.
O shun me not, but heare me ere you goe,
God knowes I cannot force love, as you doe.
My words shall be as spotlesse as my youth,
Full of simplicitie and naked truth.
This sacrifice (whose sweet perfume descending,
From Venus altar to your footsteps bending)
Doth testifie that you exceed her farre,
To whom you offer, and whose Nunne you are.
Why should you worship her? her you surpasse,
As much as sparkling Diamonds flaring glasse.
A Diamond set in lead his worth retaines,
A heavenly Nimph, belov’d of humane swaines,
Receives no blemish, but oft-times more grace,
Which makes me hope, although I am but base,
Base in respect of thee, divine and pure,
Dutifull service may thy love procure,
And I in dutie will excell all other,
As thou in beautie doest exceed Loves mother.
Nor heaven, nor thou, were made to gaze upon,
As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.
A stately builded ship, well rig’d and tall,
The Ocean maketh more majesticall:
Why vowest thou then to live in Sestos here,
Who on Loves seas more glorious wouldst appeare?
Like untun’d golden strings all women are,
Which long time lie untoucht, will harshly jarre.
Vessels of Brasse oft handled, brightly shine,
What difference betwixt the richest mine
And basest mold, but use? for both not us’de,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abus’de,
When misers keepe it; being put to lone,
In time it will returne us two for one.
Rich robes, themselves and others do adorne,
Neither themselves nor others, if not worne.
Who builds a pallace and rams up the gate,
Shall see it ruinous and desolate.
Ah simple Hero, learne thy selfe to cherish,
Lone women like to emptie houses perish.
Lesse sinnes the poore rich man that starves himselfe,
In heaping up a masse of drossie pelfe,
Than such as you: his golden earth remains,
Which after his disceasse, some other gains.
But this faire jem, sweet in the losse alone,
When you fleet hence, can be bequeath’d to none.
Or if it could, downe from th’enameld skie,
All heaven would come to claime this legacie,
And with intestine broiles the world destroy,
And quite confound natures sweet harmony.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is,
We humane creatures should enjoy that blisse.
One is no number, mayds are nothing then,
Without the sweet societie of men.
Wilt thou live single still? one shalt thou bee,
Though never-singling Hymen couple thee.
Wild savages, that drinke of running springs,
Thinke water farre excels all earthly things:
But they that dayly tast neat wine, despise it.
Virginitie, albeit some highly prise it,
Compar’d with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much, as wine and water doth.
Base boullion for the stampes sake we allow,
Even so for mens impression do we you.
By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
Women receave perfection everie way.
This idoll which you terme Virginitie,
Is neither essence subject to the eie,
No, nor to any one exterior sence,
Nor hath it any place of residence,
Nor is’t of earth or mold celestiall,
Or capable of any forme at all.
Of that which hath no being, doe not boast,
Things that are not at all, are never lost.
Men foolishly doe call it vertuous,
What vertue is it that is borne with us?
Much lesse can honour bee ascrib’d thereto,
Honour is purchac’d by the deedes wee do.
Beleeve me Hero, honour is not wone,
Untill some honourable deed be done.
Seeke you for chastitie, immortall fame,
And know that some have wrong’d Dianas name?
Whose name is it, if she be false or not,
So she be faire, but some vile toongs will blot?
But you are faire (aye me) so wondrous faire,
So yoong, so gentle, and so debonaire,
As Greece will thinke, if thus you live alone,
Some one or other keepes you as his owne.
Then Hero hate me not, nor from me flie,
To follow swiftly blasting infamie.
Perhaps, thy sacred Priesthood makes thee loath,
Tell me, to whom mad’st thou that heedlesse oath?
To Venus, answered shee, and as shee spake,
Foorth from those two tralucent cesternes brake,
A streame of liquid pearle, which downe her face
Made milk-white paths, wheron the gods might trace
To Joves high court. Hee thus replide: The rites
In which Loves beauteous Empresse most delites,
Are banquets, Dorick musicke, midnight-revell,
Plaies, maskes, and all that stern age counteth evill.
Thee as a holy Idiot doth she scorne,
For thou in vowing chastitie, hast sworne
To rob her name and honour, and thereby
Commit’st a sinne far worse than perjurie.
Even sacrilege against her Deitie,
Through regular and formall puritie.
To expiat which sinne, kisse and shake hands,
Such sacrifice as this, Venus demands.
Thereat she smild, and did denie him so,
As put thereby, yet might he hope for mo.
Which makes him quickly re-enforce his speech,
And her in humble manner thus beseech.
Though neither gods nor men may thee deserve,
Yet for her sake whom you have vow’d to serve,
Abandon fruitlesse cold Virginitie,
The gentle queene of Loves sole enemie.
Then shall you most resemble Venus Nun,
When Venus sweet rites are perform’d and done.
Flint-brested Pallas joies in single life,
But Pallas and your mistresse are at strife.
Love Hero then, and be not tirannous,
But heale the heart, that thou hast wounded thus,
Nor staine thy youthfull years with avarice,
Faire fooles delight to be accounted nice.
The richest corne dies, if it be not reapt,
Beautie alone is lost, too warily kept.
These arguments he us’de, and many more,
Wherewith she yeelded, that was woon before.
Heroes lookes yeelded, but her words made warre,
Women are woon when they begin to jarre.
Thus having swallow’d Cupids golden hooke,
The more she striv’d, the deeper was she strooke.
Yet evilly faining anger, strove she still,
And would be thought to graunt against her will.
So having paus’d a while, at last shee said:
Who taught thee Rhethoricke to deceive a maid?
Aye me, such words as these should I abhor,
And yet I like them for the Orator.
With that Leander stoopt, to have imbrac’d her,
But from his spreading armes away she cast her,
And thus bespake him: Gentle youth forbeare
To touch the sacred garments which I weare.
Upon a rocke, and underneath a hill,
Far from the towne (where all is whist and still,
Save that the sea playing on yellow sand,
Sends foorth a ratling murmure to the land,
Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus,
In silence of the night to visite us,)
My turret stands, and there God knowes I play
With Venus swannes and sparrowes all the day.
A dwarfish beldame beares me companie,
That hops about the chamber where I lie,
And spends the night (that might be better spent)
In vaine discourse, and apish merriment.
Come thither; As she spake this, her toong tript,
For unawares (Come thither) from her slipt,
And sodainly her former colour chang’d,
And here and there her eies through anger rang’d.
And like a planet, mooving severall wales,
At one selfe instant, she poore soule assaies,
Loving, not to love at all, and everie part
Strove to resist the motions of her hart.
And hands so pure, so innocent, nay such,
As might have made heaven stoope to have a touch,
Did she uphold to Venus, and againe,
Vow’d spotlesse chastitie, but all in vaine.
Cupid beats downe her praiers with his wings,
Her vowes above the emptie aire he flings:
All deepe enrag’d, his sinowie bow he bent,
And shot a shaft that burning from him went,
Wherewith she strooken, look’d so dolefully,
As made Love sigh, to see his tirannie.
And as she wept, her teares to pearle he turn’d,
And wound them on his arme, and for her mourn’d:
Then towards the pallace of the Destinies,
Laden with languishment and griefe he flies.
And to those sterne nymphs humblie made request,
Both might enjoy ech other, and be blest.
But with a ghastly dreadfull countenaunce,
Threatning a thousand deaths at everie glaunce,
They answered Love, nor would vouchsafe so much
As one poore word, their hate to him was such.
Harken a while, and I will tell you why:
Heavens winged herrald, Jove-borne Mercury,
The self-same day that he asleepe had layd
Inchaunted Argus, spied a countrie mayd,
Whose carelesse haire, in stead of pearle t’adorne it,
Glist’red with deaw, as one that seem’d to skorne it:
Her breath as fragrant as the morning rose,
Her mind pure, and her toong untaught to glose.
Yet prowd she was, (for loftie pride that dwels
In tow’red courts, is oft in sheapheards cels.)
And too too well the faire vermilion knew,
And silver tincture of her cheekes, that drew
The love of everie swaine: On her, this god
Enamoured was, and with his snakie rod,
Did charme her nimble feet, and made her stay,
The while upon a hillocke downe he lay,
And sweetly on his pipe began to play,
And with smooth speech, her fancie to assay,
Till in his twining armes he lockt her fast,
And then he woo’d with kisses, and at last,
As sheap-heards do, her on the ground hee layd,
And tumbling in the grasse, he often strayd
Beyond the bounds of shame, in being bold
To eie those parts, which no eie should behold.
And like an insolent commaunding lover,
Boasting his parentage, would needs discover
The way to new Elisium: but she,
Whose only dower was her chastitie,
Having striv’ne in vaine, was now about to crie,
And crave the helpe of sheap-heards that were nie.
Herewith he stayd his furie, and began
To give her leave to rise: away she ran,
After went Mercurie, who us’d such cunning,
As she to heare his tale, left off her running.
Maids are not woon by brutish force and might,
But speeches full of pleasure and delight.
And knowing Hermes courted her, was glad
That she such lovelinesse and beautie had
As could provoke his liking, yet was mute,
And neither would denie, nor graunt his sute.
Still vowd he love, she wanting no excuse
To feed him with delaies, as women use:
Or thirsting after immortalitie,
All women are ambitious naturallie:
Impos’d upon her lover such a taske,
As he ought not performe, nor yet she aske.
A draught of flowing Nectar, she requested,
Wherewith the king of Gods and men is feasted.
He readie to accomplish what she wil’d,
Stole some from Hebe (Hebe, Joves cup fil’d,)
And gave it to his simple rustike love,
Which being knowne (as what is hid from Jove?)
He inly storm’d, and waxt more furious,
Than for the fire filcht by Prometheus;
And thrusts him down from heaven: he wandring here,
In mournfull tearmes, with sad and heavie cheare
Complaind to Cupid; Cupid for his sake,
To be reveng’d on Jove, did undertake,
And those on whom heaven, earth, and hell relies,
I mean the Adamantine Destinies,
He wounds with love, and forst them equallie,
To dote upon deceitfull Mercurie.
They offred him the deadly fatall knife,
That sheares the slender threads of humane life,
At his faire feathered feet, the engins layd,
Which th’earth from ougly Chaos den up-wayd:
These he regarded not, but did intreat,
That Jove, usurper of his fathers seat,
Might presently be banisht into hell,
And aged Saturne in Olympus dwell.
They granted what he crav’d, and once againe,
Saturne and Ops, began their golden raigne.
Murder, rape, warre, lust and trecherie,
Were with Jove clos’d in Stigian Emperie.
But long this blessed time continued not;
As soone as he his wished purpose got,
He recklesse of his promise, did despise
The love of th’everlasting Destinies.
They seeing it, both Love and him abhor’d,
And Jupiter unto his place restor’d.
And but that Learning, in despight of Fate,
Will mount aloft, and enter heaven gate,
And to the seat of Jove it selfe advaunce,
Hermes had slept in hell with ignoraunce.
Yet as a punishment they added this,
That he and Povertie should alwaies kis.
And to this day is everie scholler poore,
Grosse gold, from them runs headlong to the boore.
Likewise the angrie sisters thus deluded,
To venge themselves on Hermes, have concluded
That Midas brood shall sit in Honors chaire,
To which the Muses sonnes are only heire:
And fruitfull wits that in aspiring are,
Shall discontent run into regions farre;
And few great lords in vertuous deeds shall joy,
But be surpris’d with every garish toy.
And still inrich the loftie servile clowne,
Who with incroching guile, keepes learning downe.
Then muse not, Cupids sute no better sped,
Seeing in their loves, the Fates were injured.
The end of the first Sestyad.
THE ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND SESTYAD
Hero of love takes deeper sence,
And doth her love more recompence.
Their first nights meeting, where sweet kisses
Are th’only crownes of both their blisses.
He swims t’Abydus, and returnes;
Cold Neptunewith his beautie burnes,
Whose suite he shuns, and doth aspire
Heros faire towre, and his desire.
By this, sad Hero, with love unacquainted,
Viewing Leanders face, fell downe and fainted.
He kist her, and breath’d life into her lips,
Wherewith as one displeas’d, away she trips.
Yet as she went, full often look’d behind,
And many poore excuses did she find,
To linger by the way, and once she stayd,
And would have turn’d againe, but was afrayd,
In offring parlie, to be counted light.
So on she goes, and in her idle flight,
Her painted fanne of curled plumes let fall,
Thinking to traine Leander therewithall.
He being a novice, knew not what she meant,
But stayd, and after her a letter sent.
Which joyfull Hero answerd in such sort,
As he had hope to scale the beauteous fort,
Wherein the liberall graces lock’d their wealth,
And therefore to her tower he got by stealth.
Wide open stood the doore, hee need not clime,
And she her selfe before the pointed time,
Had spread the boord, with roses strowed the roome,
And oft look’t out, and mus’d he did not come.
At last he came, O who can tell the greeting,
These greedie lovers had, at their first meeting.
He askt, she gave, and nothing was denied,
Both to each other quickly were affied.
Looke how their hands, so were their hearts united,
And what he did, she willingly requited.
(Sweet are the kisses, the imbracements sweet,
When like desires and affections meet,
For from the earth to heaven, is Cupid rais’d,
Where fancie is in equall ballance pais’d.)
Yet she this rashnesse sodainly repented,
And turn’d aside, and to her selfe lamented.
As if her name and honour had beene wrong’d,
By being possest of him for whom she long’d:
I, and shee wisht, albeit not from her hart,
That he would leave her turret and depart.
The mirthfull God of amorous pleasure smil’d,
To see how he this captive Nymph beguil’d.
For hitherto hee did but fan the fire,
And kept it downe that it might mount the hier.
Now waxt she jealous, least his love abated,
Fearing her owne thoughts made her to be hated.
Therefore unto him hastily she goes,
And like light Salmacis, her body throes
Upon his bosome, where with yeelding eyes,
She offers up her selfe a sacrifice,
To slake his anger, if he were displeas’d,
O what god would not therewith be appeas’d?
Like Aesops cocke, this jewell he enjoyed,
And as a brother with his sister toyed,
Supposing nothing else was to be done,
Now he her favour and good will had wone.
But know you not that creatures wanting sence,
By nature have a mutuall appetence,
And wanting organs to advaunce a step,
Mov’d by Loves force, unto ech other lep?
Much more in subjects having intellect,
Some hidden influence breeds like effect.
Albeit Leander rude in love, and raw,
Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
That might delight him more, yet he suspected
Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
Therefore unto his bodie, hirs he clung,
She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
Striv’d with redoubled strength: the more she strived,
The more a gentle pleasing heat revived,
Which taught him all that elder lovers know,
And now the same gan so to scorch and glow,
As in plaine termes (yet cunningly) he crav’d it,
Love alwaies makes those eloquent that have it.
Shee, with a kind of graunting, put him by it,
And ever as he thought himselfe most nigh it,
Like to the tree of Tantalus she fled,
And seeming lavish, sav’de her maydenhead.
Ne’re king more sought to keepe his diademe,
Than Hero this inestimable gemme.
Above our life we love a stedfast friend,
Yet when a token of great worth we send,
We often kisse it, often looke thereon,
And stay the messenger that would be gon:
No marvell then, though Hero would not yeeld
So soone to part from that she deerely held.
Jewels being lost are found againe, this never,
T’is lost but once, and once lost, lost for ever.
Now had the morne espy’de her lovers steeds,
Whereat she starts, puts on her purple weeds,
And red for anger that he stayd so long,
All headlong throwes her selfe the clouds among
And now Leander fearing to be mist,
Imbrast her sodainly, tooke leave, and kist,
Long was he taking leave, and loath to go,
And kist againe, as lovers use to do.
Sad Hero wroong him by the hand, and wept,
Saying, let your vowes and promises be kept.
Then standing at the doore, she turnd about,
As loath to see Leander going out.
And now the sunne that through th’orizon peepes,
As pittying these lovers, downeward creepes.
So that in silence of the cloudie night,
Though it was morning, did he take his flight.
But what the secret trustie night conceal’d,
Leanders amorous habit soone reveal’d.
With Cupids myrtle was his bonet crownd,
About his armes the purple riband wound,
Wherewith she wreath’d her largely spreading heare,
Nor could the youth abstaine, but he must weare
The sacred ring wherewith she was endow’d,
When first religious chastitie she vow’d:
Which made his love through Sestos to bee knowne,
And thence unto Abydus sooner blowne,
Than he could saile, for incorporeal Fame,
Whose waight consists in nothing but her name,
Is swifter than the wind, whose tardie plumes,
Are reeking water, and dull earthlie fumes.
Home when he came, he seem’d not to be there,
But like exiled aire thrust from his sphere,
Set in a forren place, and straight from thence,
Alcides like, by mightie violence,
He would have chac’d away the swelling maine,
That him from her unjustly did detaine.
Like as the sunne in a Dyameter,
Fires and inflames objects remooved farre,
And heateth kindly, shining lat’rally;
So beautie, sweetly quickens when t’is ny,
But being separated and remooved,
Burnes where it cherisht, murders where it loved.
Therefore even as an Index to a booke,
So to his mind was yoong Leanders looke.
O none but gods have power their love to hide,
Affection by the count’nance is descride.
The light of hidden fire it selfe discovers,
And love that is conceal’d, betraies poore lovers.
His secret flame apparantly was seene,
Leanders Father knew where hee had beene,
And for the same mildly rebuk’t his sonne,
Thinking to quench the sparckles new begonne.
But love resisted once, growes passionate,
And nothing more than counsaile, lovers hate.
For as a hote prowd horse highly disdaines,
To have his head control’d, but breakes the raines,
Spits foorth the ringled bit, and with his hoves,
Checkes the submissive ground: so hee that loves,
The more he is restrain’d, the woorse he fares,
What is it now, but mad Leander dares?
O Hero, Hero, thus he cry’de full oft,
And then he got him to a rocke aloft.
Where having spy’de her tower, long star’d he on’t,
And pray’d the narrow toyling Hellespont,
To part in twaine, that hee might come and go,
But still the rising billowes answered no.
With that hee stript him to the yv’rie skin,
And crying, Love I come, leapt lively in.
Whereat the saphir visag’d god grew prowd,
And made his capring Triton sound alowd,
Imagining, that Ganimed displeas’d,
Had left the heavens, therefore on him hee seaz’d.
Leander striv’d, the waves about him wound,
And puld him to the bottome, where the ground
Was strewd with pearle, and in low corrall groves,
Sweet singing Meremaids, sported with their loves
On heapes of heavie gold, and tooke great pleasure,
To spurne in carelesse sort, the shipwracke treasure.
For here the stately azure pallace stood,
Where kingly Neptune and his traine abode.
The lustie god imbrast him, cald him love,
And swore he never should returne to Jove.
But when he knew it was not Ganimed,
For under water he was almost dead,
He heav’d him up, and looking on his face,
Beat downe the bold waves with his triple mace,
Which mounted up, intending to have kist him,
And fell in drops like teares, because they mist him.
Leander being up, began to swim,
And looking backe, saw Neptune follow him.
Whereat agast, the poore soule gan to crie,
O let mee visite Hero ere I die.
The god put Helles bracelet on his arme,
And swore the sea should never doe him harme.
He clapt his plumpe cheekes, with his tresses playd,
And smiling wantonly, his love bewrayd.
He watcht his armes, and as they opend wide,
At every stroke, betwixt them would he slide,
And steale a kisse, and then run out and daunce,
And as he turnd, cast many a lustfull glaunce,
And throw him gawdie toies to please his eie,
And dive into the water, and there prie
Upon his brest, his thighs, and everie lim,
And up againe, and close beside him swim,
And talke of love: Leander made replie,
You are deceav’d, I am no woman I.
Thereat smilde Neptune, and then told a tale,
How that a sheapheard sitting in a vale,
Playd with a boy so faire and so kind,
As for his love, both earth and heaven pyn’d;
That of the cooling river durst not drinke,
Least water-nymphs should pull him from the brinke.
And when hee sported in the fragrant lawnes,
Gote-footed Satyrs, and up-staring Fawnes,
Would steale him thence. Ere halfe this tale was done,
Aye me, Leander cryde, th’enamoured sunne,
That now should shine on Thetis glassie bower,
Descends upon my radiant Heroes tower.
O that these tardie armes of mine were wings,
And as he spake, upon the waves he springs.
Neptune was angrie that hee gave no eare,
And in his heart revenging malice bare:
He flung at him his mace, but as it went,
He cald it in, for love made him repent.
The mace returning backe, his owne hand hit,
As meaning to be veng’d for darting it.
When this fresh bleeding wound Leander viewd,
His colour went and came, as if he rewd
The greefe which Neptune felt. In gentle brests,
Relenting thoughts, remorse and pittie rests.
And who have hard hearts, and obdurat minds,
But vicious, harebraind, and illit’rat hinds?
The god seeing him with pittie to be moved,
Thereon concluded that he was beloved.
(Love is too full of faith, too credulous,
With follie and false hope deluding us.)
Wherefore Leanders fancie to surprize,
To the rich Ocean for gifts he flies.
‘Tis wisedome to give much, a gift prevailes,
When deepe perswading Oratorie failes.
By this Leander being nere the land,
Cast downe his wearie feet, and felt the sand.
Breathlesse albeit he were, he rested not,
Till to the solitarie tower he got.
And knockt and cald, at which celestiall noise,
The longing heart of Hero much more joies
Then nymphs and sheapheards, when the timbrell rings,
Or crooked Dolphin when the sailer sings;
She stayd not for her robes, but straight arose,
And drunke with gladnesse, to the dore she goes.
Where seeing a naked man, she scriecht for feare,
Such sights as this, to tender maids are rare.
And ran into the darke her selfe to hide,
Rich jewels in the darke are soonest spide.
Unto her was he led, or rather drawne,
By those white limmes, which sparckled through the lawne.
The neerer that he came, the more she fled,
And seeking refuge, slipt into her bed.
Whereon Leander sitting, thus began,
Through numming cold, all feeble, faint and wan:
If not for love, yet love for pittie sake,
Me in thy bed and maiden bosome take,
At least vouchsafe these armes some little roome,
Who hoping to imbrace thee, cherely swome.
This head was beat with manie a churlish billow,
And therefore let it rest upon thy pillow.
Herewith afrighted Hero shrunke away,
And in her luke-warme place Leander lay.
Whose lively heat like fire from heaven fet,
Would animate grosse clay, and higher set
The drooping thoughts of base declining soules,
Then drerie Mars, carowsing Nectar boules.
His hands he cast upon her like a snare,
She overcome with shame and sallow feare,
Like chast Diana, when Acteon spyde her,
Being sodainly betraide, dyv’d downe to hide her.
And as her silver body downeward went,
With both her hands she made the bed a tent,
And in her owne mind thought her selfe secure,
O’recast with dim and darksome coverture.
And now she lets him whisper in her eare,
Flatter, intreat, promise, protest and sweare,
Yet ever as he greedily assayd
To touch those dainties, she the Harpey playd,
And every lim did as a soldier stout,
Defend the fort, and keep the foe-man out.
For though the rising yv’rie mount he scal’d,
Which is with azure circling lines empal’d,
Much like a globe, (a globe may I tearme this,
By which love sailes to regions full of blis,)
Yet there with Sysiphus he toyld in vaine,
Till gentle parlie did the truce obtaine.
Wherein Leander on her quivering brest,
Breathlesse spoke some thing, and sigh’d out the rest;
Which so prevail’d, as he with small ado,
Inclos’d her in his armes and kist her to.
And everie kisse to her was as a charme,
And to Leander as a fresh alarme.
So that the truce was broke, and she alas,
(Poore sillie maiden) at his mercie was.
Love is not ful of pittie (as men say)
But deaffe and cruell, where he meanes to pray.
Even as a bird, which in our hands we wring,
Foorth plungeth, and oft flutters with her wing,
She trembling strove, this strife of hers (like that
Which made the world) another world begat,
Of unknowne joy. Treason was in her thought,
And cunningly to yeeld her selfe she sought.
Seeming not woon, yet woon she was at length,
In such warres women use but halfe their strength.
Leander now like Theban Hercules,
Entred the orchard of Th’esperides,
Whose fruit none rightly can describe, but hee
That puls or shakes it from the golden tree:
And now she wisht this night were never done,
And sigh’d to thinke upon th’approching sunne,
For much it greev’d her that the bright day-light,
Should know the pleasure of this blessed night,
And them like Mars and Ericine displayd,
Both in each others armes chaind as they layd.
Againe she knew not how to frame her looke,
Or speake to him who in a moment tooke,
That which so long so charily she kept,
And fame by stealth away she would have crept,
And to some corner secretly have gone,
Leaving Leander in the bed alone.
But as her naked feet were whipping out,
He on the suddaine cling’d her so about,
That Meremaid-like unto the floore she slid,
One halfe appear’d, the other halfe was hid.
Thus neere the bed she blushing stood upright,
And from her countenance behold ye might,
A kind of twilight breake, which through the heare,
As from an orient cloud, glymse here and there.
And round about the chamber this false morne,
Brought foorth the day before the day was borne.
So Heroes ruddie cheeke, Hero betrayd,
And her all naked to his sight displayd.
Whence his admiring eyes more pleasure tooke,
Than Dis, on heapes of gold fixing his looke.
By this Apollos golden harpe began,
To sound foorth musicke to the Ocean,
Which watchfull Hesperus no sooner heard,
But he the days bright-bearing Car prepar’d.
And ran before, as Harbenger of light,
And with his flaring beames mockt ougly night,
Till she o’recome with anguish, shame, and rage,
Dang’d downe to hell her loathsome carriage.
TO MY BEST ESTEEMED AND WORTHELY HONORED LADY, THE LADY WALSINGHAM,
one of the Ladies of her Majesties Bed-chamber.
I present your Ladiship with the last affections of the first two
Lovers that ever Muse shrinde in the Temple of Memorie; being drawne
by strange instigation to employ some of my serious time inso trifeling
a subject, which yet made the first Author, divine Musaeus, eternall.
And were it not that wee must subject our accounts of these common
received conceits to servile custome; it goes much against my hand to
signe that for a trifling subject, on which more worthines of soule hath
been shewed, and weight of divine wit, than can vouchsafe residence in
the leaden gravitie of any Mony-Monger; in whose profession all
serious subjects are concluded. But he that shuns trifles must shun the
world; out of whose reverend heapes of substance and austeritie, I can,
and will, ere long, single, or tumble out as brainles and passionate
fooleries, as ever panted in the bosome of the most ridiculous Lover.
Accept it therfore (good Madam) though as a trifle, yet as a serious
argument of my affection: for to bee thought thankefull for all free and
honourable favours, is a great summe of that riches my whole thrift
Such uncourtly and sillie dispositions as mine, whose contentment
hath other objects than profit or glorie; are as glad, simply for the
naked merit of vertue, to honour such as advance her, as others that
are hired to commend with deepeliest politique bountie.
It hath therefore adjoynde much contentment to my desire of your
true honour to heare men of desert in Court, adde to mine owne know –
ledge of your noble disposition, how glady you doe your best to preferre
their desires; and have as absolute respect to their meere good parts,
as if they came perfumed and charmed with golden incitements. And
this most sweet inclination, that flowes from the truth and eternitie of
Nobles; assure your Ladiship doth more suite your other Ornaments,
and makes more to the advancement of your Name, and happines of
your proceedings, then if(like others) you displaied Ensignes of state
and sowrenes in your forehead; made smooth with nothing but sensualitie
This poore Dedication (in figure of the other unitie betwixt Sir
Thomasand your selfe) hath rejoynd you with him, my honoured best
friend, whose continuance of ancient kindnes to my still-obscured
estate, though it cannot encrease my love to him, which hath ever been
entirely circulare; yet shall it encourage my deserts to their utmost
requitall, and make my hartie gratitude speake; to which the
unhappines of my life hath hetherto been
uncomfortable and painfull dumbnes.
By your Ladiships vowd in
most wished service:
THE ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD SESTYAD
Leander to the envious light
Resignes his night-sports with the night,
And swims the Hellespont againe;
Thesme the Deitie soveraigne
Of Customes and religious rites
Appeares, improving his delites
Since Nuptiall honors he neglected;
Which straight he vowes shall be effected.
Faire Hero left Devirginate
Waies, and with furie wailes her state:
But with her love and womans wit
She argues, and approveth it.
New light gives new directions, Fortunes new
To fashion our indevours that ensue,
More harsh (at lest more hard) more grave and hie
Our subject runs, and our sterne Muse must flie.
Loves edge is taken off, and that light flame,
Those thoughts, joyes, longings, that before became
High unexperienst blood, and maids sharpe plights,
Must now grow staid, and censure the delights,
That being enjoyd aske judgement; now we praise,
As having parted: Evenings crowne the daies.
And now ye wanton loves, and yong desires,
Pied vanitie, the mint of strange Attires;
Ye lisping Flatteries, and obsequious Glances,
Relentfull Musicks, and attractive Dances,
And you detested Charmes constraining love,
Shun loves stolne sports by that these Lovers prove.
By this the Soveraigne of Heavens golden fires,
And yong Leander, Lord of his desires,
Together from their lovers armes arose:
Leander into Hellespontus throwes
His Hero-handled bodie, whose delight
Made him disdaine each other Epethite.
And as amidst the enamourd waves he swims,
The God of gold of purpose guilt his lims,
That this word guilt, including double sence,
The double guilt of his Incontinence,
Might be exprest, that had no stay t’employ
The treasure which the Love-god let him joy
In his deare Hero, with such sacred thrift,
As had beseemd so sanctified a gift:
But like a greedie vulgar Prodigall
Would on the stock dispend, and rudely fall
Before his time, to that unblessed blessing,
Which for lusts plague doth perish with possessing.
Joy graven in sence, like snow in water wasts;
Without preserve of vertue, nothing lasts.
What man is he that with a welthie eie,
Enjoyes a beautie richer than the skie,
Through whose white skin, softer then soundest sleep,
With damaske eyes, the rubie blood doth peep,
And runs in branches through her azure vaines,
Whose mixture and first fire, his love attaines;
Whose both hands limit both Loves deities,
And sweeten humane thoughts like Paradise;
Whose disposition silken is and kinde,
Directed with an earth-exempted minde;
Who thinks not heaven with such a love is given?
And who like earth would spend that dower of heaven,
With ranke desire to joy it all at first?
What simply kils our hunger, quencheth thirst,
Clothes but our nakednes, and makes us live,
Praise doth not any of her favours give:
But what doth plentifully minister
Beautious apparell and delicious cheere,
So orderd that it still excites desire,
And still gives pleasure freenes to aspire,
The palme of Bountie, ever moyst preserving:
To loves sweet life this is the courtly carving.
Thus Time, and all-states-ordering Ceremonie
Had banisht all offence: Times golden Thie
Upholds the flowne bodie of the earth
In sacred harmonie, and every birth
Of men, and actions makes legitimate,
Being usde aright; The use of time is Fate.
Yet did the gentle flood transfer once more,
This prize of Love home to his fathers shore;
Where he unlades himselfe of that false welth
That makes few rich; treasures composde by stelth;
And to his sister kinde Hermione,
(Who on the shore kneeld, praying to the sea
For his returne) he all Loves goods did show
In Hero seasde for him, in him for Hero.
His most kinde sister all his secrets knew,
And to her singing like a shower he flew,
Sprinkling the earth, that to their tombs tooke in
Streames dead for love to leave his ivorie skin,
Which yet a snowie fome did leave above,
As soule to the dead water that did love;
And from thence did the first white Roses spring,
(For love is sweet and faire in every thing)
And all the sweetned shore as he did goe,
Was crownd with odrous roses white as snow.
Love-blest Leander was with love so filled,
That love to all that toucht him he instilled.
And as the colours of all things we see,
To our sights powers communicated bee:
So to all objects that in compasse came
of any sence he had, his sences flame
Flowd from his parts, with force so virtuall,
It fir’d with sence things meere insensuall.
Now (with warme baths and odours comforted)
When he lay downe he kindly kist his bed,
As consecrating it to Heros right,
And vowd thereafter that what ever sight
Put him in minde of Hero, or her blisse,
Should be her Altar to prefer a kisse.
Then laid he forth his late inriched armes,
In whose white circle Love writ all his charmes,
And made his characters sweet Heros lims,
When on his breasts warme sea she sideling swims.
And as those armes (held up in circle) met,
He said; see sister, Heros Carquenet,
Which she had rather weare about her neck,
Then all the jewels that dot Juno deck.
But as he shooke with passionate desire,
To put in flame his other secret fire,
A musick so divine did pierce his eare,
As never yet his ravisht sence did heare:
When suddenly a light of twentie hews
Brake through the roofe, and like the Rainbow views
Amazd Leander; in whose beames came downe
The Goddesse Ceremonie, with a Crowne
Of all the stars, and heaven with her descended.
Her flaming haire to her bright feete extended,
By which hung all the bench of Deities;
And in a chaine, compact of eares and eies,
She led Religion; all her bodie was
Cleere and transparent as the purest glasse:
For she was all presented to the sence;
Devotion, Order, State, and Reverence,
Her shadowes were; Societie, Memorie;
All which her sight made live, her absence die.
A rich disparent Pentackle she weares,
Drawne full of circles and strange characters:
Her face was changeable to everie eie;
One way lookt ill, another graciouslie;
Which while men viewd, they cheerfull were and holy:
But looking off, vicious, and melancholy:
The snakie paths to each observed law,
Did Policie in her broad bosome draw:
One hand a Mathematique Christall swayes,
Which gathering in one line a thousand rayes
From her bright eyes, Confusion burnes to death,
And all estates of men distinguisheth.
By it Morallitie and Comelinesse,
Themselves in all their sightly figures dresse.
Her other hand a lawrell rod applies,
To beate back Barbarisme, and Avarice,
That followd eating earth, and excrement
And humane lims; and would make proud ascent
To seates of Gods, were Ceremonie slaine;
The Howrs and Graces bore her glorious traine,
And all the sweetes of our societie
Were Spherde, and treasurde in her bountious eie.
Thus she appeard, and sharply did reprove
Leanders bluntnes in his violent love;
Tolde him how poore was substance without rites,
Like bils unsignd; desires without delites;
Like meates unseasond; like ranke corne that growes
On Cottages, that none or reapes or sowes:
Not being with civill forms confirm’d and bounded,
For humane dignities and comforts founded:
But loose and secret all their glories hide,
Feare fils the chamber, darknes decks the Bride.
She vanisht, leaving pierst Leanders hart
With sence of his unceremonious part,
In which with plaine neglect of Nuptiall rites,
He close and flatly fell to his delites:
And instantly he vowd to celebrate
All rites pertaining to his maried state.
So up he gets and to his father goes,
To whose glad eares he doth his vowes disclose:
The Nuptials are resolv’d with utmost powre,
And he at night would swim to Heros towre.
From whence he ment to Sestus forked Bay
To bring her covertly, where ships must stay,
Sent by his father throughly rigd and mand,
To waft her safely to Abydus Strand.
There leave we him, and with fresh wing pursue
Astonisht Hero, whose most wished view
I thus long have forborne, because I left her
So out of countuance, and her spirits bereft her.
To looke of one abasht is impudence,
When of sleight faults he hath too deepe a sence.
Her blushing het her chamber: she lookt out,
And all the ayre she purpled round about,
And after it a foule black day befell,
Which ever since a red morne doth foretell,
And still renewes our woes for Heros wo:
And foule it prov’d, because it figur’d so
The next nights horror, which prepare to heare;
I faile if it prophane your daintiest eare.
Then thou most strangely-intellectuall fire,
That proper to my soule hast power t’inspire
Her burning faculties, and with the wings
Of thy unspheared flame visitst the springs
Of spirits immortall; Now (as swift as Time
Doth follow Motion) finde th’eternall Clime
Of his free soule, whose living subject stood
Up to the chin in the Pyerean flood,
And drunke to me halfe this Musean stone,
Inscribing it to deathles Memorie:
Confer with it, and make my pledge as deepe,
That neithers draught be consecrate to sleepe.
Tell it how much his late desires I tender,
(If yet it know not) and to light surrender
My soules darke ofspring, willing it should die
To loves, to passions, and societie.
Sweet Hero left upon her bed alone,
Her maidenhead, her vowes, Leander gone,
And nothing with her but a violent crew
Of new come thoughts that yet she never knew,
Even to her selfe a stranger; was much like
Th’Iberian citie that wars hand did strike
By English force in princely Essex guide,
When peace assur’d her towres had fortifide;
And golden-fingred India had bestowd
Such wealth on her, that strength and Empire flowd
Into her Turrets; and her virgin waste
The wealthie girdle of the Sea embraste:
Till our Leander that made Mars his Cupid,
For soft love-sutes, with iron thunders chid:
Swum to her Towers, dissolv’d her virgin zone;
Lead in his power, and made Confusion
Run through her streets amazd, that she supposde
She had not been in her owne walls inclosde:
But rapt by wonder to some forraine state,
Seeing all her issue so disconsolate:
And all her peacefull mansions possest
With wars just spoyle, and many a forraine guest
From every corner driving an enjoyer,
Supplying it with power of a destroyer.
So far’d fayre Hero in th’expugned fort
Of her chast bosome, and of every sort
Strange thoughts possest her, ransacking her brest
For that that was not there, her wonted rest.
She was a mother straight and bore with paine,
Thoughts that spake straight and wisht their mother slaine;
She hates their lives, and they their own and hers:
Such strife still growes where sin the race prefers.
Love is a golden bubble full of dreames,
That waking breakes, and fils us with extreames.
She mus’d how she could looke upon her Sire,
And not shew that without, that was intire.
For as a glasse is an inanimate eie,
And outward formes imbraceth inwardlie:
So is the eye an animate glasse that showes
In-formes without us. And as Phoebus throwes
His beames abroad, though he in clowdes be closde,
Still glancing by them till he finde opposde,
A loose and rorid vapour that is fit
T’event his searching beames, and useth it
To forme a tender twentie-coloured eie,
Cast in a circle round about the skie.
So when our fine soule, Our bodies starre,
(That ever is in motion circulare)
Conceives a forme; in seeking to display it,
Through all Our clowdie parts, it doth convey it
Forth at the eye, as the most pregnant place,
And that reflects it round about the face.
And this event uncourtly Hero thought,
Her inward guilt would in her lookes have wrought:
For yet the worlds stale cunning she resisted
To beare foule thoughts, yet forge what lookes she listed,
And held it for a very sillie sleight,
To make a perfect mettall counterfeit:
Glad to disclaime her selfe; proud of an Art,
That makes the face a Pandar to the hart.
Those be the painted Moones, whose lights prophane
Beauties true Heaven, at full still in their wane.
Those be the Lapwing faces that still crie,
Here tis, when that they vow is nothing nie.
Base fooles, when every moorish fowle can teach
That which men thinke the height of humane reach.
But custome that the Apoplexie is
Of beddred nature and lives led amis,
And takes away all feeling of offence,
Yet brazde not Heros brow with impudence;
And this she thought most hard to bring to pas,
To seeme in counmance other then she was.
As if she had two soules; one for the face,
One for the hart; and that they shifted place
As either list to utter, or conceale
What they conceiv’d: or as one soule did deale
With both affayres at once, keeps and ejects
Both at an instant contrarie effects:
Retention and ejection in her powrs
Being acts alike: for this one vice of ours,
That forms the thought, and swaies the countenance,
Rules both our motion and our utterance.
These and more grave conceits toyld Heros spirits:
For though the light of her discoursive wits
Perhaps might finde some little hole to pas
Through all these worldly cinctures; yet (alas)
There was a heavenly flame incompast her;
Her Goddesse, in whose Phane she did prefer
Her virgin vowes; from whose impulsive sight
She knew the black shield of the darkest night
Could not defend her, nor wits subtilst art:
This was the point pierst Hero to the hart.
Who heavie to the death, with a deep sigh
And hand that languisht, tooke a robe was nigh,
Exceeding large, and of black Cypres made,
In which she sate, hid from the day in shade,
Even over head and face downe to her feete;
Her left hand made it at her bosome meete;
Her right hand leand on her hart-bowing knee,
Wrapt in unshapefull foulds twas death to see:
Her knee stayd that, and that her falling face,
Each limme helpt other to put on disgrace.
No forme was seene, where forme held all her sight:
But like an Embrion that saw never light:
Or like a scorched statue made a cole
With three-wingd lightning: or a wretched soule
Muffled with endles darknes, she did sit:
The night had never such a heavie spirit.
Yet might an imitating eye well see,
How fast her deere teares melted on her knee
Through her black vaile, and turnd as black as it,
Mourning to be her teares: then wrought her wit
With her broke vow, her Goddesse wrath, her fame,
All tooles that enginous despayre could frame:
Which made her strow the floore with her torne haire,
And spread her mantle peece-meale in the aire.
Like Joves sons club, strong passion strooke her downe,
And with a piteous shrieke inforst her swoune:
Her shrieke, made with another shrieke ascend
The frighted Matron that on her did tend:
And as with her owne crie her sence was slaine,
So with the other it was calde againe.
She rose and to her bed made forced way,
And layd her downe even where Leander lay:
And all this while the red sea of her blood
Ebd with Leander: but now turnd the flood,
And all her fleete of sprites came swelling in
With childe of saile, and did hot fight begin
With those severe conceits, she too much markt,
And here Leanders beauties were imbarkt.
He came in swimming painted all with joyes,
Such as might sweeten hell: his thought destroyes
All her destroying thoughts: she thought she felt
His heart in hers, with her contentions melt:
And chid her soule that it could so much erre,
To check the true joyes he deserv’d in her.
Her fresh heat blood cast figures in her eyes,
And she supposde she saw in Neptunes skyes
How her star wandred, washt in smarting brine
For her loves sake, that with immortall wine
Should be embat’d, and swim in more hearts ease,
Than there was water in the Sestian seas.
Then said her Cupid prompted spirit; shall I
Sing mones to such delightsome harmony?
Shall slick-tongde fame patcht up with voyces rude,
The drunken bastard of the multitude,
(Begot when father Judgement is away,
And gossip-like, sayes because others say,
Takes newes as if it were too hot to eate,
And spits it slavering forth for dog-fees meate)
Make me for forging a phantastique vow,
Presume to beare what makes grave matrons bow?
Good vowes are never broken with good deedes,
For then good deedes were bad: vowes are but seedes,
And good deeds fruits; even those good deedes that grow
From other stocks than from th’observed vow.
That is a good deede that prevents a bad:
Had I not yeelded, slaine my selfe I had.
Hero Leander is, Leander Hero:
Such vertue love hath to make one of two.
If then Leander did my maydenhead git,
Leander being my selfe I still retaine it.
We breake chast vowes when we live loosely ever:
But bound as we are, we live loosely never.
Two constant lovers being joynd in one,
Yeelding to one another, yeeld to none.
We know not how to vow, till love unblinde us,
And vowes made ignorantly never binde us.
Too true it is that when t’is gone men hate
The joyes as vaine they tooke in loves estate:
But that’s, since they have lost the heavenly light
Should shew them way to judge of all things right.
When life is gone death must implant his terror,
As death is foe to life, so love to error.
Before we love how range we through this sphere,
Searching the sundrie fancies hunted here:
Now with desire of wealth transported quite
Beyond our free humanities delight:
Now with ambition climing falling towrs,
Whose hope to scale our feare to fall devours:
Now rapt with pastimes, pomp, all joyes impure;
In things without us no delight is sure.
But love with all joyes crownd, within doth sit;
O Goddesse pitie love and pardon it.
This spake she weeping: but her Goddesse eare
Burnd with too sterne a heat, and would not heare.
Aie me, hath heavens straight fingers no more graces
For such as Hero, then for homeliest faces?
Yet she hopte well, and in her sweet conceit
Waying her arguments, she thought them weight:
And that the logick of Leanders beautie,
And them together would bring proofes of dutie.
And if her soule, that was a skilfull glance
Of Heavens great essence, found such imperance
In her loves beauties; she had confidence
Jove lov’d him too, and pardond her offence.
Beautie in heaven and earth this grace doth win,
It supples rigor, and it lessens sin.
Thus, her sharpe wit, her love, her secrecie,
Trouping together, made her wonder why
She should not leave her bed, and to the Temple?
Her health sayd she must live; her sex, dissemble.
She viewd Leanders place, and wisht he were
Turnd to his place, so his place were Leander.
Aye me (sayd she) that loves sweet life and sence
Should doe it harme! my love had not gone hence,
Had he been like his place. O blessed place,
Image of Constancie. Thus my loves grace
Parts no where but it leaves some thing behinde
Worth observation: he renowmes his kinde.
His motion is like heavens Orbiculer:
For where he once is, he is ever there.
This place was mine: Leander now t’is thine;
Thou being my selfe, then it is double mine:
Mine, and Leanders mine, Leanders mine.
O see what wealth it yeelds me, nay yeelds him:
For I am in it, he for me doth swim.
Rich, fruitfull love, that doubling selfe estates
Elixer – likecontracts, though separates.
Deare place I kisse thee, and doe welcome thee,
As from Leander ever sent to mee.
The end of the third Sestyad.
THE ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTH SESTYAD
Hero, in sacred habit deckt,
Doth private sacrifice effect.
Her Skarfs description wrought byfate,
Ostents, that threaten her estate.
The strange, yet Phisicall events,
Leanders counterfeit presents.
In thunder, Ciprides descends,
Presaging both the lovers ends.
Ecte the Goddesse of remorce,
With vocall and articulate force
Inspires Leucote, Venus swan,
T’excuse the beautious Sestian.
Venus, to wreake her rites abuses,
Creates the monster Eronusis;
Enflaming Heros Sacrifice,
With lightning darted from her eyes:
And thereof springs the painted beast,
That ever since taints every breast.
Now from Leanders place she rose, and found
Her haire and rent robe scattred on the ground:
Which taking up, she every peece did lay
Upon an Altar; where in youth of day
She usde t’exhibite private Sacrifice:
Those would she offer to the Deities
Of her faire Goddesse, and her powerfull son,
As relicks of her late-felt passion:
And in that holy sort she vowd to end them,
In hope her violent fancies that did rend them,
Would as quite fade in her loves holy fire,
As they should in the flames she ment t’inspire.
Then put she on all her religious weedes,
That deckt her in her secret sacred deedes:
A crowne of Isickles, that sunne nor fire
Could ever melt, and figur’d chast desire.
A golden star shinde in her naked breast,
In honour of the Queene-light of the East.
In her right hand she held a silver wand,
On whose bright top Peristera did stand,
Who was a Nymph, but now transformd a Dove,
And in her life was deare in Venus love:
And for her sake she ever since that time,
Chusde Doves to draw her Coach through heavens blew clime.
Her plentious haire in curled billowes swims
On her bright shoulder: her harmonious lims
Sustainde no more but a most subtile vaile
That hung on them, as it durst not assaile
Their different concord: for the weakest ayre
Could raise it swelling from her bewties fayre:
Nor did it cover, but adumbrate onelie
Her most heart-piercing parts, that a blest eie
Might see (as it did shadow) fearfullie,
All that all-love-deserving Paradise:
It was as blew as the most freezing skies,
Neere the Seas hew, for thence her Goddesse came:
On it a skarfe she wore of wondrous frame;
In midst whereof she wrought a virgins face,
From whose each cheeke a fine blush did chace
Two crimson flames, that did two waies extend,
Spreading the ample skarfe to either end,
Which figur’d the division of her minde,
Whiles yet she rested bashfully inclinde,
And stood not resolute to wed Leander.
This serv’d her white neck for a purple sphere,
And cast it selfe at full breadth downe her back.
There (since the first breath that begun the wrack
of her free quiet from Leanders lips)
She wrought a Sea in one flame full of ships:
But that one ship where all her wealth did passe
(Like simple marchants goods) Leander was:
For in that Sea she naked figured him;
Her diving needle taught him how to swim,
And to each thred did such resemblance give,
For joy to be so like him, it did live.
Things senceles live by art, and rationall die,
By rude contempt of art and industrie.
Scarce could she work, but in her strength of thought
She feard she prickt Leander as she wrought:
And oft would shrieke so, that her Guardian frighted,
Would staring haste, as with some mischiefe cited.
They double life that dead things griefs sustayne:
They kill that feele not their friends living payne.
Sometimes she feard he sought her infamie,
And then as she was working of his eie,
She thought to pricke it out to quench her ill:
But as she prickt, it grew more perfect still.
Trifling attempts no serious acts advance;
The fire of love is blowne by dalliance.
In working his fayre neck she did so grace it,
She still was working her owne armes t’imbrace it:
That, and his shoulders, and his hands were seene