Those purple flowres which Aiax name display, |
His blood produce. Inraged Hecuba
Becomes a Bitch. From Memnons cinders rise
Selfe slaughtring Fowle: a yeerely sacrifice.
What euer Anius daughters handle, proues
Corne, wine, or oyle: themselues transform'd to Doues:
From honour'd virgins ashes Sonnes ascends.
Th' Ambracian Iudge a Stone. Light wings defend
Molossus royall issue. Scylla growes
A horrid Monster. Murderd Acis flowes
With speedy streames. The kinde Nereides
For Glaucus sue: inthron'd in sacred Seas.
The Princes sat; the Souldier crownes the field:
Vp rose the Master1 of the seuen-fold Shield.
With wrath impatient, his sterne eyes suruay
Sigaeum,2 and the Nauy which there lay.
Then throwing vp his hands, ô Ioue, he said;
Before the Fleet must wee our title plead?
And am I riuald by Vlysses clame?
Who made no doubt to fly from Hectors flame.3
This, I, sustaind; from this that Nauie freed.
'Tis safer to contend in word then deed.
I cannot talke, nor can he fight: as farre
His tongue excells, as I exceed in warre.
Nor need I to rehearse what you haue seene
In act, renowned Greekes: what his hath beene
Let Ithacus4 declare; perform'd by slight,
Without a witnesse, only knowne to Night.
Great is th' affected prize, I must confesse:
But such a Riuall makes the value lesse.
For me 'tis no ambition to obtaine,
(Though great) what euer he could hope to gaine.
Who now in this is honour'd, that can boast
He stroue with me, when he the palme hath lost.
But were my valour question'd, I might on
My birth insist; begot by Telamon,
Who vnder Hercules Troy's bulwarks scal'd:5
In Pagasaean keele to Colchis sail'd.6
His father, Aeacus; the iudge of Soules,7
Where Sisyphus8 his restlesse torment roules.9
High Iupiter vpon a mortall Loue10
Got Aeacus: I Aiax third from Ioue.
Nor let this pedegree assist my clame,
If great Achilles ioyn'd not in the same.11
He was my brother, his I aske. Why thus
Shouldst thou, thou sonne of damned Sisyphus,
Alike in theft and fraud, a stranger to
Achilles race, the right of his pursue?
Because I first assumed armes, descryde
By no detector,12 are these armes denyde?
Or rather for the last in field design'd;
Who with faind lunacie the warre declin'd:
Till Palamed more politicke, though more
Vnhappy, did his coward-guile explore,
And drew him to auoided armes? Must he
Now weare the best, who all eschewd? and we
Vnhonour'd, robbed of a kinsmans right
Because we at the first appear'd in fight?
And would to Ioue he had beene truly mad;
Or still so thought: nor this companion had,
This tempter to foule actions, euer seene
The Phrygian towres. Then shouldst not thou haue beene
O Paeans sonne,13 exposed by our crime
To Lemnian rocks: where thou consum'st thy time
In lonely caues obscur'd with woods, the stones
Prouok't to pitty with thy daily grones,
And wishest him, what he deserues, thy paine,
If Gods there be, thou wishest not in vaine.
Now our Confederate (A Prince of braue
Command) to whom his shafts Alcides gaue;
Broken with paine and famine, doth imploy
Those arrowes, that import the fate of Troy,
For food and clothing: yet he liues the while,
In that remoued from Vlysses guile.
And Palamed might wish t' haue beene so left.
Then had he liu'd, or beene of life bereft
Not by our crime.14 He, hellishly inclin'd,
Beares his conuicted madnesse in his mind;
And falsely him accus'd to haue betraid
Th' Achaian hoast; confirming what he said
By shewing summes of gold, which in his tent
Himselfe had hid. Thus he by banishment
Or death,15 our strength impaires; for this preferd:
So fights, so is Vlysses to be feard.
Though faithfull Nestor he in eloquence,
Surpasse; his leauing Nestor,16 no defence
Of words can salue: who slow, through his hurt horse,
And clog'd with age, implor'd Vlysses force
To fetch him off; who left to oddes of foes
His old acquaintance. This Tydides17 knowes
For no forg'd crime; who vainely cald, to stay
His trembling friend, reuiling his dismay.
The Gods with iustice view our humane deeds.
Who would not late assist, assistance needs:18
And now to be forsaken by the law
Himselfe prescrib'd. He cry'd; I came, and saw
The coward quaking, pale, about to yeeld
His ghost for feare. I interpos'd my shield;
Bestrid him as he lay; and from that strife
Redeem'd (my least of praise) his coward life.
But if thou wilt contend, reioyne we there;
Reuoke the foe, thy wounds, and vsuall feare;
Behind my target sculk: then plead. This man,
Who reeld with wounds; freed as vnwounded, ran.
Now Hector came,19 and brought the Gods along;
Rusht on all parts: not thou alone, the strong
And best resolued shrink: so great a dred
He drew on all. Him, as he Conquest led
Through blood and slaughter, with a mighty stone
I struck to earth:20 Him I sustain'd alone,
When he to all so bold a challenge made;21
When for my lot you all deuoutly prayd,
Nor pray'd in vaine: if you enquire the summe
Of this our fight, I was not ouercome.
With bloody weapons, flames, and Ioue, the men
Of Troy inuade our nauie:22 where was then
Your eloquent Vlysses? I, euen I
A thousand ships preseru'd; whereon relie
The hope of your returne. These armes for all
Your Fleet afford. The meed more honour shall
Receiue then giue: our glories iustly pease;
These armes doe Aiax seek, not Aiax these,
Rhesus 23 surprise, with ours let him compare;
That poore Spie Dolon's,24 Hellenus25 despaire;
The rapt Palladium:26 nothing done by day;
He of no worth, take Diomed away.
If to such meane deserts these armes accrue;
Diuide them: to Tydides27 most is due.
Why would he these? who still vnarmed goes,
Conceal'd; and cunningly intraps his foes?
This radiant Cask that shines with burnisht gold;
Will his deceit, and lurking steps vnfold.
His neck can scarce Achilles helmet beare;
Nor can his feeble arme imploy this speare:
His shield, whose orbe the figured world adornes;28
A cowards arme, inur'd to theeuing, scornes.
O foole, that thus thy owne vndoing seekes!
If giuen thee by th' error of the Greekes.
It will not make thee dreadfull to thy foe;
But giue occasion of thy ouerthrow.
And flight, wherein thou only dost exceed,
Clog'd with so huge a waight, will faile thy need.
Besides, thy shield in battle rarely borne,
Is yet entire: but mine, all hackt and torne
With stormes of blowes, a new successor needs.
What boots so many words? behold our deeds.
These armes deliuer to the foes defence:
And let him keepe, that takes the prize from thence.
Here Aiax ends. The Souldier in the close
A murmure rais'd; till Ithacus29 arose:
Who hauing fixed on the earth a space
His eyes, vnto the Princes rais'd his face;
And now expected, spake vnto this sense;
With all the grace of winning eloquence.
Graecians; if heauen, with yours, had heard my praire;
What now we seeke had found no doubtfull Heire:
Th' hadst kept thy armes, Achilles, and we thee.
But since sterne Fate, auerse to you and mee,
So coueted a happinesse denies;
(With that appeares to weepe, and wipes his eyes)
Who great Achilles with more right succeeds,
Then he, who gaue you great Achilles deeds?30
Fauour not him because he seemes to be,
And is a sot: nor blame this wit in me,
So blest in your affaires: or take offence
That for my selfe I arme my eloquence;
(If I haue any) oft for you imploid.
Let none the glorie of his owne auoid.
For Ancestors, diuine originall,
And deeds by vs not done, we ours mis-call.
Yet in that Aiax vants himselfe to be
Great-Grandchild vnto Ioue; no lesse are we.
Laërtes was my Sire, Arcesius his;
His, Iupiter: in this descent none is
Condemn'd, nor banisht.31 By the mother I
From Hermes spring:32 in both a Deitie.
Not that more noble by the mothers side,
Nor that my father had his hands vndide
In brothers blood,33 doe I inforce this clame:
Weigh but our worths; and censure by the same.
That Telamon and Peleus brethren were,
In Aiax is no merit. Not the Neere
In birth, but Great in act, deserue this grace.
Or if proximitie in blood haue place,
Peleus his father, Pyrrhus is his sonne:
What right remaines for Aiax Telamon?
To Phthia34 then, or Scyros35 carry these.
Teucer36 is cozen to Aeacides
As well as he; yet stirres not he herein:
Or if he should, should he the honour win?
Then since our actions must our sute aduance;
Although my deeds surmount my vtterance,
Their abstract yet in order to relate:
Thetis, fore-knowing great Achilles fate,
Disguis'd her sonne: so like a virgin drest,37
That all mistooke, and Aiax with the rest.
When, Armes, with womens trifles, that might blinde
Suspect, I brought to tempt a manly mind.
Yet was the Heroe virgin-like arraid;
Who taking vp the speare and shield, I said:
O Goddesse-borne,38 for thee the fate of Troy
Her fall reserues: why doubts thou to destroy
Great Pergamus?39 then made him leaue those weeds:
And sent the Mighty vnto mighty deeds.
His acts are therefore ours. We Telephus
Foild with our lance; the suppliant cur'd by vs.40
Strong Thebes41 we sackt: sackt Lesbos vs renownes.
Chrysa and Tenedos (Apollo's42 townes)
Cilla, and Sea-girt Syros, in their falls
Our fame aduance: we raz'd Lyrnessu's walls.
To passe the rest; I gaue, who could subdue
The braue Priamides:43 I Hector slue.
For th' armes that found Achilles, these I craue:
He dead, I aske but what, aliue, I gaue.44
The griefe of one,45 with all the Greekes preuailes:
Euboean Aulis held a thousand sailes.46
The long-expected winds opposed stand,
Or sleepe in calmes. When cruell Fates command
Afflicted Agamemnon47 to asswage
With Iphigenia's death, Diana's rage.
But he dissents; the Gods themselues reproues:
And in a King a fathers passion moues.
His noble disposition nere the lesse
I to the publike wonne: and must confesse
(Atrides,48 pardon;) we did prosecute
Before a partiall iudge a hatefull sute.
Yet him his brother, scepter, publike good
Perswade to purchace endlesse praise with blood.
Then went I to the mother49 for her child:
Now not to be exhorted, but beguild.
Had Aiax thither gone, our flagging sailes
Not yet had sweld with still-expected gales.
Then on a bold embassage I was sent
To haughtie Troy:50 to th' Ilian Court I went,
Yet full of men: and fearelesse, vrg'd at large
The common cause committed to my charge.
False Paris I accuse: rapt Helena
I re-demand, with all they bore away.
Old Priam and Antenor iust appeare.
But Paris, with his brethren, and who were
His followers in that stealth, from wicked blowes
Could scarce refraine. This Menelaus51 knowes.
The first of dangers wherein you and I
Together ioyn'd.52 But what my policie
And force perform'd, behoofefull to this State,
In that long war, too long is to relate.
The first great battle fought, our warie foes
Long liue immur'd: nor durst their powers expose.
Nine yeares expir'd, warres all the fields affright.
Meane-while what didst thou, onely fit to fight?
What vse of thee? inquire my actions; I
The foe intrap, our trenches fortifie,
Incouraging the wearie Souldiar
To brooke the tediousnesse of lingring warre
With faire expectance: teach them waies to feed,
The vse of armes. Imploide at euery need.
The King deluded in his sleepe by Ioue,53
Bids vs the care of future warre remoue.
The author was his strong apologie.
Aiax should haue with-stood: the sack of Troy
He should haue vrg'd; done what he could, haue fought.
Why was the nobler seige by him vnsought?
Why arm'd he not? a speech he might haue made,
That would the wauering multitude haue staid:
To him not difficult, who lookes so high,
And speakes so bigge. What, if himselfe did fly?
I saw, and sham'd to see thee turne thy back
To hoyse thy sailes vnto thy honours wrack.
What doe you? ô what madnesse, mates, said I
Prouokes you to abandon yeelding Troy?
Ten yeares nigh spent, what will you beare away
But infamie? I this, and more did say;
Wherein my sorrow made me eloquent:
They thus perswaded, alterd their intent.
The King a Councell calls; distrusts afford
No sound aduice: durst Aiax speake a word?
When base Thersites54 durst the King prouoke
With bitter words: who felt my scepters stroke.
Their doubts with hope of conquest I inspire:
And set their fainting courages on fire.
Since when, what he55 hath nobly done, by right
To me belongs, that thus restrain'd his flight.
Besides, what one of all the wiser Greekes
Makes choice of thee; or thy assistance seekes?
Tydides56 vs approues, builds on our will;
Is confident in his Vlysses still.
Among so many, 'tis a grace for me
To be his consort; and the choice so free.
The danger of the foe, and night despisd;
I Dolon, then a counter-scout, surprisd:
Nor him, till I had searcht his bosome, slew;
Informed what perfidious Troy would doe.57
All knowne, and nothing left to be inquir'd;
I now with praise enough might haue retir'd.
Yet not so satisfide, I forward went;
And Rhesus slew, with his, in his owne tent.
When like a Victor, on his charriot I
Return'd in triumph.58 Can you then deny
Achilles armes, whose horses were assign'd
For one nights hazard?59 Aiax is more kinde.
What should I of Sarpedons forces tell,
O'r-throwne by vs?60 by vs Caeranos fell,
Iphitides, Alastor, Chromius,
Alcander, Prytanis, Noëmonus,
Halius, stout Thoön, bold Pheridamas,
With Charopes: Eunomus fatall Passe
Sign'd by my lance: and many more in view
Of hostile Troy, of meaner ranke, I slew.
And I, ô Countrymen, haue honourd wounds.
Faire in their scarres: nor trust to emptie sounds;
Behold (said he, with that his bosome bares)
This brest, still exercis'd in your affaires.
No blood for Greece in all these lengthfull warres
Hath Aiax61 shed: let him produce his scarres.
What boots it, though his deeds his brags approue;
That for our fleete he fought with Troy and Ioue?
I grant, he did so: nor will we detract
With hated enuie from a noble act.
So he ingrosse not to himselfe alone
A common praise, but render vs our owne.
Actorides62 (for great Achilles held)
Troy's flames and Fautor63 from our ships repeld.
He vainely glories that himselfe alone
Could answer Hectors opposition:
The King,64 his brother,65 and my selfe forgot;
Of nine66 the last, and but prefer'd by lot.
But what euent, ô great in valour, crown'd
Your famous combat? Hector had no wound.
Woe's me! with what a tide of griefe I call
That time to mind; wherein the Graecian Wall,
Achilles, fell! teares, feares, nor sorrow staid
My forward zeale; his raised corps I laid
Vpon these shoulders:67 these, euen these did beare
Him and his armes; which now I hope to weare.
Our strength can such a waight with ease sustaine:
Our knowledge can your honou'rd guift explaine.
Was Thetis so ambitious for her Son;
That such a brainelesse Souldier should put on
This heauenly gift, of so diuine a frame?68
Whose figured shield his ignorance would shame.
Wherein,69 the Ocean; Earth with citties crown'd,
Skies deckt with starres; cold Arctos neuer drown'd,70
Sword-girt Orion, sad Pleiades;
The rainie Kids.71 He seeks, yet knowes not, these.
Vpbraids he me, that I this warre did shun,
And time defer'd till others had begun?
Nor can consider how he wounds in me
Achilles72 honour. If a crime it be
To counterfeit; we ioyne in that defame:
If, in that tardy; I before him came.
Me, my kinde wife;73 his mother74 him with-drew;
Our flowre to them we gaue; the fruit to you.
Nor feare I, should I quit my owne defence,
To suffer with so cleare an Excellence.
Nor was it Aiax found out me: and yet
Achilles was discouer'd by my wit.
Least I should wonder, why his foolish tongue
Should slander me, he you vpbraids with wrong.
If Palimedes was accus'd by me
Without iust cause; must not his iudgement be
To you reprochfull? neither Nauplius Seed75
Could iustifie so euident a deed:
Nor heard you only of his treacheries;
The hire76 of treason laid before your eyes.
Paeantius77 in Lemnos left, was none
Of my offence; doe you defend your owne:
You to his stay consented. Yet againe
I must confesse I aduiz'd him to abstaine
From trauell, toyles of warre: and to appease
The anguish of his bitter wound with ease.
He did: he liues. Th' aduice was good: successe
As fortunate approues it for no lesse.
Since Fate designes him for the fall of Troy:78
Spare me, and Aiax industrie imploy.
His tongue the mad with wrath and anguish will
Appease: hee'l fetch him with some reach of skill.
First Simois79 shall retire, Ide80 want a shade,
Achaia81 promise to the Troians ayd;
E're my endeauours in your seruice faile,
And sottish Aiax, with his wit, preuaile.
And, Philoctetes, though obdure, thou be
Incenst against the King, these Lords, and me;
Though curses lighten from thy lips, though still
Thou couet my accesse, my blood to spill;
Yet I'le attempt thee; and will bring thee back;
That neither may, what we so wisht for,82 lacke.
Thy shafts I must possesse (so Fauour Fate)
As I possest the Dardan Prophet83 late;
As I vnknit the Troian destiny,84
And doubtfull answer of the Gods; as I,
Amid a world of foes, the fatall Signe
Of Phrygian Pallas rauish from her shrine.85
Compare with me will Aiax? this vntane,
Troy's hopt-for expugnation had beene vaine.
Where was strong Aiax? where the glorious boast
Of that great Souidier? why in terror lost?
How durst Vlisses trust himselfe to night,
Passe through the watch, their threatning weapons slight?
The walls not only, but the highest towre
Of Ilium scale: and from her Fane the Powre86
That beares their fate inforce: and with this prey,
Repasse the dangers of that horrid way?
Which had not I atchieued, Yet in Field
Had Aiax vainly borne his seuen-fold Shield.
That night Troy fell before Laërtes son:87
Won, when I made it that it might be won.
Why do'st thou fleere on my Tidides88 so:
And nod'st at me: our praises ioyntly grow.
Nor for our Nauie didst thou fight alone:
Thou by an host assisted, I by one.89
Who knew that wisdome valour should command;
That these90 belong'd not to a strenuous hand:
Else he himselfe had ioyn'd in this debate;
Or th' other Aiax,91 far more moderate;
Braue Thoas, fierce Eurypylus; with these
Idomeneus and Meriones
Of Creet; or Menelaus. For they are,
As strong, nor second vnto thee in warre:
Yet yeeld to our aduise. Thou, fit for fight,
Dost need my reason to direct thy might.
Thy valour wants fore-cast; my care is set
Vpon the future: thou can'st fight; and yet
The time and place must be by vs assign'd:
Thou only strong in bodie; I in mind.
As skilfull Pilots those surpasse, who row;
As wise Commanders, common souldiers; so
I thee excell. Our vigor is lesse great
In bones and sinews, yet my soule compleat.
Then ô remunerate my vigilance:
And, Princes, for so many yeeres expence
In anxious cares, this dignitie extend
To my deserts. Our worke is at an end:
With-standing fates remou'd: I, in that I
Haue made it fesable, haue taken Troy.
Now by our mutuall hopes, Troy's ouerthrow,
Those Gods92 which late I rauisht from the foe;
If ought remaine to be discreetly done,
That courage craues, through danger to be won;
If in the Ilian destinie there bee
A knot yet to vnknit; remember mee,
Or if you can forget; these Armes resigne
To this: and shewes Minerva's fatall Signe.93
The Chiefes were mou'd. Here words approu'd their charmes:
And Eloquence from Valour wins those armes.
Hee who alone, Ioue, Hector, sword and fire
So oft sustaind; yeelds to one stroke of ire.
Th' vnconquered, sorrow conquers. Then his blade
In hast vnsheathed: Sure thou art mine, he said;
Or seekes Vlysses this? this shall conclude
All sense of wrong. And thee, so oft imbrude
In Phrygian blood, thy Lord's must now imbrue:
That none but Aiax Aiax may subdue.
This said; his brest, till then with wounds vngor'd,
The deadly sword, where it could enter,94 bor'd.
Nor could draw back the steele with all his strength;
Expeld by gushing gore. The blood at length,
A purple flowre ingendred on the ground:
Created first by Hyacinthus wound.95
The tender leaues indifferent letters paint;
Both of His name,96 and of the Gods complaint.97
The Conqueror,98 now hoysing sailes, doth stand
For mild Hysiphile's and Thoas land;99
(Defam'd by womens cursed violence) 100
To fetch the shafts of Hercules101 from thence.
These, with their owner to the camp conuaid,
On that so long a warre an end they made.
Now Troy and Priamus together fall.
Th' vnhappie wife102 of Priam after all,
Her humane figure lost: whose rauing Sprite
And vncouth howlings forrein fields affright.
The flames of Ilium stretch their hungrie fire
To narrow Hellespont; nor there expire.
That little blood which Priams age could shed,103
Ioues altar drinkes. By her annointed head
Apollos Priest104 they drag, her hands in vaine
To heauen vpheld. The Victor Greekes constraine
The Dardan Dames;105 a deadly-hating prey:
Who imbrace their countrie Gods; and while they may,
Behold their burning Fanes. Dire violence
Astyanax106 threw from that towre; from whence
He had seene his father, by his mother107 showne,
Fight for his Kingdomes safetie, and his owne.
North-winds to seas inuite, and prosperous gales
Sing in their shrowds: they hast to trim their sailes.
The Troian Ladies cry, Deare soyle farewell!
Wee are hal'd to loth'd captiuitie! then fell
On earth now kist: and leaue, with much delay,
Their countries smoking ruines. Hecuba
Her sad departure to the last deferres:
Now found among her childrens sepulchers,
(A sight of ruth!) spread on their tombs: bewailes;
Their cold bones kissing: whom Vlysses108 hales
From that sad comfort. Some of Hectors dust,
Vp-snatcht, deliuers to her bosoms trust.
Vpon his tomb she left her hoarie haires
(A poore oblation!) mingled with her teares.
Oppos'd to Ilium's ruines lyes a land,109
Till'd by the Bistones;110 in the Command
Of Polymnestor. Danger to preuent,
To him his father111 Polydorus sent.
And wisely; had he not withall consign'd
A masse of gold, to tempt his greedie mind.
His foster-child, when lingring Ilium drew
To her last date, the Thracian Tyrant slew.
Whom, as if he his murder with the slaine
Could cast away, he casts into the Maine.
Now rod Atrides112 at the Thracian shore;
Till winds forbore to storme, and seas to rore.
When from the yawning earth Achilles rose;
Like mighty as in life: whose lookes disclose
As sterne a wrath, as when his lawlesse blade
Was on Atrides drawne;113 and frowning, said:
Achaians, ô ingratefull! can you thus
Depart? are our deserts intomb'd with vs?
Now honour me with what I couet most:
Let slaine Polixena 114 apease my Ghost.
Then vanisht. They th' vngentle Ghost obaid;
And from her Mothers bosom drew the Maid,
(High-sould, vnhappie, more then feminine,)
To his resembled tomb;115 life to resigne
With Rites infernall. Of her birth she thought:
And now vnto the bloodie altar brought;
Seeing herself the sacrifice prepar'd,
And that Neoptolemus116 vpon her star'd
With sword aduanc't; she said; vntoucht with dred:
Our generous blood to your intentions shed:
Dispatch; in throte or brest (I am prepar'd)
Your weapon sheath. (With that her bosom bar'd)
Polyxena doth seruitude despise:
And yet no God affects such sacrifice.
I onely wish my death might be vnknowne
To my afflicted mother.117 She alone
Disturbs the ioyes of death: though Priams wife
My death should lesse bewaile, then her owne life.
Nor let the touch of man pollute a maid:
That my free soule may to the Stygian shade
Vntainted passe. If this be iust, remoue
Your hand: I shall more acceptable proue
Vnto that God or Ghost, what ere he bee
To whom I am offered, if my blood be free.
And if a dying tongue preuaile at all;
I, late great Priams daughter, now a thrall,
Sollicit that my corps may not be sold;
But giuen my mother: nor exchange for gold
Sad rites of sepulture. In former yeares
Sh' had gold to giue, now poore, accept her teares.
This hauing said; for her, that would not weepe,
The people wept: the Priest118 could hardly keepe
His eyes from teares; yet did what he abhord;
And in her proffered bosom thrust his sword.
On doubling knees shee sinks, with silent breath;
And chearefully imbraceth smild-on Death.
Then when shee fell, shee had a care to hide
What should be hid; and chastly-decent dide.
Her corps was carried by the Troian dames:
Who in a funerall song repeat the names
Of Priams mourn'd-for Seed; what streams of gore
One House had spent. Thee, Virgin,119 they deplore:
And thee, ô royall Wife,120 entitled late
The mother Queen, and Glorie of that State:
A Captiue now, cast by a scorned lot
On conquering Ithacus;121 refus'd, if not
For bearing Hector. Hector, so renound,
A master hardly for his mother found.
She hug's the corps122 that such a spirit kept.
Who for her countrie, children, husband, wept
So oft; now weepes for her: her lips she prest,
Her wounds fils with her teares. Then beats her brest:
Her hoarie haire besmeard with clotted gore,
And bosom torne, this spake she; and much more.
Poore daughter, our last sorrow: (what is left
For Fortunes spight!) by bloody death bereft.
On thee I see my wounds. That of my seede
None may vnwounded dy, euen thou must bleede.
In that a woman, thee I held secur'd:
But thou, a woman, suffer'st by the sword.
This Bane of Troy, our vtter ruine, who
So many of thy princely brothers slue;
Hath slaine thee also. When he a corse was made
By Paris and Apollo's shafts,123 I said,
Now is Achilles to be fear'd no more.
Now dead, to vs as dreadfull as before.
Against my race his ashes rise: his tomb
Presents a foe. O my vnhappie womb!
T' his furie fruitfull! Ruind Troy descends;
And sad success the publick sorrow ends:
Yet they are ended.Ilium124 alone
To vs remaines: our sorrowes freshly grone.
I, late so potent and so fortunate
In husband, sons, and height of humane State;
To exile now am hal'd: despis'd and torne
From my owne sepulchers, from Phrygia borne
To serue Penelope;125 that while I sew
Or spin at her commandment, she may shew
Her slaue to Ithacensian126 dames, and say,
Loe, Hectors mother, Priam's Hecuba.
My sorrowes sole reliefe, so many lost,
Is offerd to appease an hostile Ghost.
Infernall sacrifices to the dead,
Euen to my foe, my cursed womb hath bred.
Hard heart, why breakst thou not? What hopes ingage
Thy expectation? Mischieuous Old-age,
For what reseru'st thou me? You cruell Powres,
Why lengthen you a poore old womans houres
To see new funeralls? O Priam, I
May call thee happie, after ruin'd Troy.
Happie in death. Thou seest not this sad fate:
Thou lost thy life together with thy state.
Rich funeralls attend thee, royall Maid:127
And by thy Ancestors thou shalt be laid.
O no! thy mothers teares, a heap of sand,
Must now content thee in a forrein land.128
All, all is lost! Yet liues a little Boy129
My last, and youngest ioy, when I could ioy;
For whom I condescend to liue a space;
Here foster'd by the courteous King of Thrace.130
Meane while why stay we with the cleansing flood
To wash these wounds, and looks besmeard with blood?
Then with an aged pace, her horie haires
All torne and scattred, to the sea repaires.
And while the wretched said; You Troades,131
A pitcher bring to draw the brinish Seas:
She saw the cast-up corps of Polydor
Stuck full of wounds vpon the beachie shore.
The Ladies shreek; she dumb with sorrow stood:
Whilst inward griefe her voice, her teares, her blood,
At once deuourd. And now, as if intranc't,
Stares on the earth; sometimes to heauen aduanc't
Her scouling browes: oft on his visage gaz'd;
But oftner on his wounds. By anger rais'd,
Arm'd, and instructed, all on vengeance bent,
Still Queene like, destinates his punishment.
And as a Lyonesse, rob'd of her young,
Persues the vnseene-hunters steps: so, stung
With furie, when her sorrow with her rage
Had ioyn'd their powres; vnmindfull of her age,
But not of former greatnesse, ran with speed
To Polymnestor, author of this deed.
And crauing conference, the Tyrant told
How she would shew him summes of hidden gold
To giue her Polydor. This held for true;
He thirsty of his prey, with her with-drew.
And flattering her thus craftily begun:
Delay not, Hecuba, t' inrich thy sonne:
By all the Gods we iustly will restore
What thou shalt giue, and what thou gau'st before.
She with a truculent aspect beheld
The falsely swearing King: with anger swel'd.
Then calls the captiue dames, vpon him flyes;
Who hides her fingers in his periur'd eyes,
Extracts his eye-balls: more then vsuall strong
With thirstie vengeance, and the sense of wrong,
Her hand drownes in his skull; the roots vp-tore
Of his lost sight, imbrude with guiltie gore.
The men of Thrace incensed for their King,
Weapons and stones at Hecuba, now fling.
She, gnarling, bites the follow'd flints, her chaps,
For speech extended, barke. Of whose mis-haps,
That place is nam'd.132 She, mindfull of her old
Mis-fortunes, in Sithonian133 deserts howld.
Tho Troians, Graecians, those who loue or hate;
Yea, all the Gods commiserate her fate.
Euen spitefull Iuno134 did to this descend;
That Hecuba deseru'd not such an end.
Aurora had no leasure to lament
(Although those armes she fauourd)135 the euent
Of Troy or Hecuba. Domesticall
And neerer griefe, afflicts her for the fall
Of Memnon; whose life blood the lance imbrude
Of sterne Achilles. This when first she viewd,
The rosie die, that decks the Mornes vp-rise
Grew forth-with pale, and clouds immur'd the skies.
Nor could indure to see his body laid
On funerall flames: but with her haire displaid,
As in that season, to high Ioue repaires;
And kneeling, thus, with teares, vnfolds her cares.
To all inferior, whom the skie sustaines
(For mortals rarely honour me with Fanes)
A Goddesse yet, I comme: not to desire
Shrines Festiuals, nor Altars bright with fire;
Yet should you weigh what I, a woman, doe,
The night confine, and sacred Day renue,
I merite such: such sute not now our state;
Nor such desires affect the desolate.
Of Memnon rob'd, who glorious armes in vaine
Bare for his vnkle,136 by Achilles slaine
In flowre of youth (so would you Gods) come I.
O chiefe of Powres, a mothers sorrow, by
Some honour giuen him, lessen: death with fame
Recomfort! Ioue assents. When greedy flame
Deuour'd the funerall Pile; and curling fumes
Day ouer-cast: as when bright Sol137 assumes
From streames thick vapors, nor is seene below.
The flying sparkles dying ioyntly grow
Into one body. Colour, forme, life, spring
To it from fire, which lightnesse now doth wing.
First like a fowle, forth-with a fowle indeed:
Innumerable sisters of that breed
Together whiske their feathers. Thrice they round
The funerall Pile; thrise raise a mournfull sound.
In two battalions then diuide their flight;
And like two strenuous nations fiercely fight:
Their opposites with beake and tallons rend;
Cuffe with their wings; in sacrifice descend,
Now dying, on the ashes of the dead:
Remembring they were of the Valiant bred.
These new sprung fowle, men of their author call
Memnonides. No sooner Sol138 through all
The Signes returnes; but reinforst againe
In ciuill warre they dye vpon the slaine.
While others therefore doe commiserate
Poore barking Hecuba in her chang'd fate:
Aurora her owne griefe intends; renewes
Her pious teares which fall on earth in dewes.
Yet fates resist that all the hopes of Troy
Should perrish with her towres. The Sonne139 and Ioy
Of Cytherea,140 with his houshold Gods,141
And aged Sire,142 his pious shoulders lodes.
Of so great wealth he onely chose that prize,
And his Ascanius:143 from Antandros144 flies
By seas, and shuns the wicked Thracian shore,
Defil'd with blood of murdred Polydore:
With prosperous winds arriuing with his traine
At Phaebus towne,145 where Anius then did raigne,
Apello's holy Priest; who, with the rest,
Into the Temple leads his honour'd Guest:
The city, with the sacred places, showes;
And trees146 held by Latona in her throwes.
Incense on flames, and wine on incense powr'd;
Entrailes of slaughtred beeues by fire deuour'd;
His Guests conducts to Court: on carpet spred.
With Ceres and Lyaeus bountie147 fed.
When thus Anchises: ô to Phoebus deare!
I am deceiu'd; or, when I first was here,
Foure daughters and a sonne thy solace crown'd:
He shooke his head, with sacred fillets bound;
And sighing said: ô most renound of men,
I was the father of fiue children then:
Whom now (such is the change of things!) you see
Halfe childlesse: for my absent sonne to mee
Is of small comfort; who, my Vice-roy, raignes
In sea-girt Andros,148 which his name retaines.
Him, Delius149 with prophetick skill inspir'd.
A gift past credit, still to be admir'd,
My daughters Bacchus gaue; aboue their sute:
That all they touch should presently transmute
To wine, to corne, and to Minerva's oyle.150
Rich in the vse. To purchase such a spoile,
Great Troy's Depopulator, Atreus Heire,151
(Least you should thinke wee haue not borne a share
In your mis-haps) with armed violence
Inforc't them from me: charged to dispense
That heauenly gift vnto th' Argolian Host.152
They scape by flight: two to Euboea crost;
Two fled to Andros: these the Souldier
Persude, and threaten (if vnrender'd) warre.
Feare nature now subdude: his sisters were
By him resign'd; forgiue a brothers feare.
Not Hector not Aeneas then were by
To guard his towne, who so long guarded Troy.
About to bind their captiue arms in bands;
Rearing to heauen their yet vnchained hands,
O father Bacchus helpe! While thus they praid,
The Author of that gift presents his aid.
(If such a losse may be accounted so)
Yet how they lost their shapes I could not know;
Nor yet can tell. It selfe the sequell proues;
Conuerted to thy Wiues153 white-feather'd Doues.
With such discourse they entertaine the feast:
That ta'ne away, dispose them selues to rest.
With day they rose; the Oracle exquire:
Who bids them to their ancient Nurse154 retire,
And kindred shores. Now ready to depart
The King presents rich guifts, wrought with rare art
A scepter to Anchices giues: a braue
Robe, and a quiuer, to Ascanius gaue:
A cup to Aeneas, which surpast the rest;
By Theban Therses sent him once his Guest.
Mylean Alcon made what Therses sent;
And caru'd thereon this ample argument.
A Cittie with seuen gates of equall grace;
These serue for names to character the place.155
Before it, exequies, tombs, piles, bright fires.
Dames with spred haire, bare brests, and torne attires,
Decipher mourning: Nymphs appeare to weep
For their drie Springs: sap-searing cankers creep
On naked trees: Goats lick the foodlesse ground.156
In midst of Thebes, Orion's daughters157 crownd
With fillets stand: This proffers to the sword
Her manly brest; Her hands her death afford,
For common safetie. All the people mourne;
And with due funerals their bodies burne.
Yet least the world should such a linage lose,
Two youths out of their virgin ashes rose.
These Orphans wandring Fame Coronae calls:
Who celebrate their mothers funeralls.
The antick brasse with burnisht figures shin'd:
Whose brim neat wreaths of guilt Acanthus158 bind.
Nor were the Troian gifts of lesse expence:
Who gaue a Censor for sweet frankincense,
An ample Chalice of a curious mold;
With these a crowne, that shone with gemmes and gold.
In that the Teucrans sprung from Teucers159 blood,
They saile to Creet: but Ioue their stay with-stood.160
Leauing those hundred Cities,161 now they stand
For wisht Ausonia's162 destinated strand.
Tost by rough Winter and the wrath of seas,
They anchor at the faithlesse Strophades.
Thence frighted by Aëllo;163 saile away
By steepe Dulichium, stonie Ithaca,
Samus, high Neritus clasp'd by the Maine;
All subiect to the slye Vlysses raigne.
Then at Ambracia164 touch, the strife and grudge
Of angrie Gods; the image of the Iudge165
Behold, by them converted into stone:
Now by Actiacan Apollo166 knowne.
Then the Dodonean speaking Oke167 they view;
Chaonia, where Molossus children flew168
With aiding feathers from the impious flame;
Next to Phaeacia, rich in Orchards came;
Then to Epirus: at Buthrotos staid,
Whose scepter now the Phrygian Prophet169 swaid;
And see resembled Troy. Fore-told of all
By Priam's Helenus, that would befall,
They reach Sicania.170 This three tongues extends
Into circumfluent Seas.171 Pachynus bends
To showrie Auster; flowrie Zephyr blowes
On Lilybaeus browes; Pelorus showes
His Cliffes to Boreas, and the frozen Beare
That shuns the Ocean.172 Vnder this they steare
And stretch their oares; who fauourd by the tide;
That night in Zancle's crooked harbor173 ride.
The right-side dangerous Scylla,174 turbulent
Charybdis175 keepes the left; on ruine bent.
Shee belches swallowed ships from her profound:176
Her sable womb, dogs, euer rau'ning, round;177
Yet beares a virgins face: if all be true
That Poets sing, she was a virgin too.
By many sought, as many she despis'd:
To Nymphs of Seas, of Sea-nymphs highly priz'd,
She beares her visetts; and to them discouers
The historie of her deluded louers.
To whom thus Galatea,178 sighing, said;
While Scylla comb'd her haire. You, louely Maid,
Are lou'd of generous-minded men, whom you
With safetie may refuse, as now you doe.
But I, great Nereus and blue Doris Seede,
Great in so many sisters179 of that breede;
By shunning of the Cyclops loue180 prouok't
A sad reuenge. Here teares her vtterance chok't.
These cleansed by the marble-finger'd maid;181
Who, hauing comforted the Goddesse, said:
Relate, ô most ador'd, nor from me keepe
The wretched cause that makes a Goddesse weepe;
For I am faithfull. Nereis182 consents,
And thus her griefe to Cratis183 daughter vents.
The Nymph Simethis 184 bore a louely Boy
To Faunus, Acis cald; to them a ioy;
To vs a greater. For the sweetly-Faire
To me an innocent affection bare.
His blooming youth twice-told eight birth-dayes crowne,
And clothe his cheekes with scarce-appearing downe.
As I the gentle boy, so Polypheme
My loue persude; our loues a like extreame.
Whether my loue to Acis, or my hate
To him were more, I hardly can relate.
Both infinite! ô Venus, what a powre
Hath thy command! He, still austere and sowre,
A terror to the woods, from whom no guest
With life escapes, accustomed to feast
On humane flesh; who all the Gods aboue,
With them Olympus185 scorn'd; now stoops to loue.
Forgetfull of his flocks and caues, a fire
Feedes in his breast, inflamed with desire.
His feature now intends, now bends his care
To please: with rakes he combs his stubborne haire;
His bristles barbes with scithes: and by the brook's
Vnsolid mirror calmes his dreadfull lookes:
His thirst of blood, and loue of slaughter cease;
Lesse cruell now: ships come and goe in peace.
When Telemus came from Sicilian seas,
The Augur Telemus Eurymides,186
And said to Polypheme, thy browes large sight
Shall by Vlysses be depriu'd of light.187
O foole, he laughing said, thou tell'st a lye;
A female188 hath alreadie stolne that eye.
Thus flouts the Prophets true prediction:
And with extended paces stalks vpon
The burdned shore; or wearie, from the waue-
Beat beach retireth to his gloomie caue,
A promontory thrusts into the maine;
Whose cliffie sides the breaking Seas restraine:
The Cyclop this ascends: whose fleecie flock
Vnforced follow. Seated on a rock;
His staffe, a well-growne Pine, before him cast,
Sufficient for a yard-supporting mast;
He blowes his hundred reeds: whose squeaking fils
The far-resounding Seas, and ecchoing hils.
Hid in a hollow rock, and laid along
By Acis side, I heard him sing this song.
O Galatea, more then lilly-white,
More fresh then flowrie meads, then glasse more bright,
Higher then Alder trees, then kids more blithe,
Smoother then shels whereon the surges driue,
More wisht then winters Sun, or Summers aire,
More sweet then grapes, then apples farre more rare,
Clearer then Ice, more seemely then tall Planes189
Softer then tender curds, or downe of Swans,
More faire, if fixt, then gardens by the fall
Of springs inchac't. Though thus, thou art withall
More fierce then saluage bulls, who knowe no yoke,
Then waues more giddy, harder then the oke,
Then vines or willow twigs more eas-lie bent,
More stiffe then rocks, then streames more violent,
Prowder then peacocks prais'd, more rash then fire,
Then Beares more cruell, sharper then the brier,
Deafer then Seas, more fell then trod-on snake;
And, if I could, what I would from thee take,
More speedie then the hound-pursued Hind,
Or chaced clouds, or then the flying wind.
If knowne to thee, thou wouldst thy flight repent;
Curse thy delay, and labour my content.
For I haue caues within the liuing stone;
To Summers heat, and Winters cold vnknowne:
Trees charg'd with apples; spreading vines that hold
A purple grape, and grapes resembling gold.
For thee I these preserue, affected Maid.
Thou strawberries shalt gather in the shade,
Autumnal cornels,190 plummes with azure rind,
And wax-like yellow of a generous kind;
Nor shalt thou ches-nuts want, if mine thou be,
Nor scalded wildings: seru'd by euery tree.
These flocks are ours: in vallies many stray,
Woods many shade, at home as many stay.
Nor can I, should you aske, their number tell:
Who number theirs, are poore. How these excell,
Belieue not me, but credit your owne eyes:
See how their vdders part their stradling thighes.
I in my sheepe-coats haue new-weaned lambs;
And frisking kids late taken from their dams.
New milke, fresh curds and creame, with cheese well prest,
Are neuer wanting for thy pallats feast.
Nor will we gifts for thy delight prepare
Of easie purchase, or what are not rare:
Deere, red and fallow, Roes, light-footed Hares,
Nests scal'd from cliffes, and Doues produc't by paires.
A rugged Beares rough twins I found vpon
The mountaine late, scarce from each other knowne,
For thee to play with: finding these, I said,
My Mistris you shall serue. Come louely Maid,
Come Galatea, from the surges rise,
Bright as the Morning; nor our gifts despise.
I knowe my selfe; my image in the brooke
I lately saw, and therein pleasure tooke.
Behold, how great! not Iupiter aboue
(For much you talke I knowe not of what Ioue)
Is larger siz'd: curles, on my browes displaid,
Affright; and like a groue my shoulders shade.
Nor let it your esteeme of me impaire,
That all my bodie bristles with thick haire.
Trees without leaues, and horses without maines,
Are sights vnseemely: grasse adornes the plaines,
Wooll sheepe, and feathers fowle. A manly face
A beard becomes: the skin rough bristles grace.
Amid my fore-head shines one onely light;191
Round, like a mighty shield, and cleere of sight.
The Sunne all obiects sees beneath the skie:
And yet behold, the Sunne hath but one eye.
Besides, your Seas obey my fathers192 throne:
I giue you him for yours. Doe you alone
Vouchsafe me pitty, and your suppliant heare:
To you I onely bow; you onely feare.
Heauen, Iupiter, his lightning I despise:
More dread the lightning of thy angry eyes.
And yet your scorne my patience lesse would moue,
Were all contemn'd. Why should you Acis loue,
And slight the Cyclop? why to him more free?
Although himselfe he please; and pleaseth thee,
(Which frets me most) could I your darling get,
He then should finde my strength and me like great.
His guts I would extract, squeaze out his braines,
Throw his disseuered lims about the plaines:
And if with thee he mingle, mixe thy waue
With his hot blood; and make thy deepe his graue.
For ô, I frye! despisd affection burnes
With greater rage: my bulke to Aetna193 turnes,
And all her flames are in my bosome pent:
Yet Galatea, wilt not thou relent.
This said, he rose; (for I beheld him well.)
Nor could stand still; but terrible and fell,
Hurries about the woods and well knowne coast;
Much like a bull that hath his heifer lost.
Who me and Acis, too secure, espy'd:
And with a voice that sutes a Cyclop, cry'd,
This houre shall be the last of all your ioyes.
Affrighted Aetna rored with the noise.
I vnder water diu'd: he flying said;
Helpe Galatea! you, ô parents, aid
The vtterly vndone; and entertaine
Your issue in the Empire where you raigne.194
A torne-off rock the following Cyclop threw:
Whose corner ouer-whelmed Acis slew.
We did, what could be licensed by Fate:
Resuming Acis to his Grand-sires195 state.
The purple blood from his crusht body fled;
Which presently forsooke the natiue red:
First like a raine-discoloured streame appeares;
Then christalline. The rock in sunder teares:
Whose crannies with vp-starting reeds abound;
And in the breach insulting waues resound:
From whence a youth arose aboue the wast;
His horned browes196 with quiuering reeds imbrac't.
'Twas wonderous strange: but that his lookes appeare
More blew, and he more great, it Acis were.
And so it was: although he now became
A liuing streame, which still preserues his name.
Here Galatea ends; th' assembly brake:
To smiling Seas the Nymphs themselues betake.
Scylla returning, dares not trust the Deepes:
But naked, nigh the thirstie grauell keepes;
Or wearie, in the more-sequestred waues
Her comely limmes in cooling water bathes.
Loe, Glaucus in the Sea but lately knowne.
Transformed neere Euboean Anthedon,197
Through yeelding waues arriues: rapt with her sight;
By gentle words attempts to stay her flight.
She faster fled: who swift with feare ascends
A lofty hill, which neere the shore extends:
Whose round congested summit, crowed with wood,
Did ouer-peere the vnder-swelling flood.
There stayes, secured by the place; nor knewe
If God, or Monster: much admires his hiew,
His spreading locks, which all his shoulders veile;
And hinder parts, that beare a fishes taile.
Perceiued; leaning on a rock, he said:
I am no beast, nor prodigie, faire Maid:
Not Proteus, Triton, Athamanti'des,198
Are greater Gods, or more command in Seas.
Yet once a mortall; and did then frequent
Th' affected Seas. On those my labour spent.
Sometimes with nets I fishes hale to land:
Sometimes the line directed with my wand.
The shore a meddow bounds; whereof one side
Is fring'd with weeds, the other with the tyde.
On this nor horned cattle euer fed,
Nor harmlesse sheepe, nor goats on mountaines bred.
No bees from hence their thighes with hony lade;
Those flowres no marriage garlands euer made:
That grasse ne'r cut with sithes. Of mortals I
First thither came; my nets hung vp to drie.
While I exposd the fishes which I tooke;
By their credulity hung on my hooke,
Or masht in nets; (what would a lye behoue?
Yet such it seemes) my prey began to moue,
Display their finnes, and swim as on the flood.
While I neglect their stay, and wondering stood;
They all by flight auoiding my command,
Together left their owner and the land.
Amaz'd, and doubting long; the cause I sought,
If either God, or Hearb, this wonder wrought.
What hearb, said I, hath such a powre? in hast
An hearb I puld, and gaue it to my tast.
No sooner swallowed, but my entrailes shooke:
When forth-with I another nature tooke.
Nor could refraine; but said, ô Earth, my last
Farewell receiue! in seas my selfe I cast.
The Sea-Gods now vouchsafing my receit
Into their sacred fellowship, intreat
Both Tethys and Oceanus, that they
Would take, what euer mortall was, away.
Whom now they hallow, and with charmes nine times
Repeated, purge me from my humane crimes:
And bade me diue beneath a hundred streames.
Forth-with the riuers rusht from sundrie Realmes;
And sea-rais'd surges roule aboue my crowne.
As soone as streames retire, and seas were downe,
An other body, and an other minde;
Vnlike the former, they to me assign'd.
Thus much of Wonder I remember well:
Thenceforth insensible of what befell.
Then first of all this sea-greene beard I saw,
These dangling locks, which through the deepe I draw;
Broad shoulder-blades, blew armes of greater might;
And thighes which in a fishes taile vnite.
What bootes this forme? my grace with Gods of seas?
Or that a God? If thou affect not these?
While this he spake, and would haue vttred more,
Coy Scylla flies. He with impatience bore
His loues repulse: whom strong desires transport
To great Titanian Circes199 horrid Court.