Black Stones convert to White. Pythagoras |
In Ilium's lingring warre Euphorbus was.
Of transmigrations, of the change of things,
And strange effects, the learned Samian sings.
Recur'd Hippolytus is deifide;
Whom safer Age, and name of Virbius hide.
Aegeria thawes into a Spring. From Earth
Prophetick Tages takes his wondrous birth.
A Speare a Tree. Graue Cippus vertues shun
The Crowne, his Hornes present. Apollo's Son
Assumes a Serpents shape. The Soule of Warre,
Great Caesar, slaine, becomes a Blazing Starre.
Meanewhile, a man is sought that might sustaine
So great a burthen, and succeed the raigne
Of such a King:1 when true-foreshewing Fame
To God-like Numa destinates the same.
He, with his Sabine rites vnsatisfi'd,
To greater things his able mind appli'd
In Natures search. Incited with these cares,
He leaues his countries2 Cures, and repaires
To Croto's Citie:3 asks, what Graecian hand
Those walls erected on Italian land?
A Natiue then, in time and knowledg old,
Who much had heard and seene, this storie told.
Ioues sonne,4 inricht with his Iberian prey,5
Came from the Ocean6 to Lacinia7
With happie steps: who, while his cattle fed
Vpon the tender clouer, entered
Heroick Croto's roofe; a welcome Guest:
And his long trauell recreates with rest.
Who said, departing; In the following age
A citie here shall stand. A true presage.
There was one Mycilus, Argolian
Alemons issue: in those times, no man
More by the Gods affected. He, who beares
The dreadfull Club,8 to him in sleepe appeares;
And said: Be gon, thy countries bounds forsake;
To stonie Aesarus9 thy iourney take.
And threatens vengeance if he dis-obay.
The God and Sleepe together flew away.
He, rising, on the Vision meditates:
Which in his doubtfull soule he long debates.
The God commands; the Law forbids to goe:
Death due to such as left their Countrie so.
Cleare Sol10 in seas his radiant fore-head vaild,
Swart Night her browes exalts, with starres impal'd;
The selfe same God the same command repeates:
And greater plagues to disobedience threats.
Afraid, he now prepares to change his owne
For forrein seats. This through the Citie blowne;
Accus'd for breach of lawes, arraign'd, and try'd;
They proue the fact, not by himselfe deny'd.
His hands and eyes then lifting to the skie:
O thou, whom twice Six Labours deifie;11
Assist, that art the author of my crime!
White stones and black they vs'd in former time;
The white acquit, the black the pris'nor cast:
And in such sort this heauie sentence past.
Black stones all threw into the fatall Vrne:
But all to white, turnd out to number, turne.
Thus by Alcides12 powre the sad Decree
Was strangely chang'd, and Mycilus set free.
Who, thanking Amnphitryoniades,13
With a full fore-wind crost th' Iônian Seas.
Lacedemonian Tarentum14 past,
Faire Sybaris, Neaethus15 running fast
By Salentinum, Thurin's crooked Bay,
High Temesis, and strong Iapygia:
Scarce searching all that shores sea-beaten bound,
The fatall mouth of Aesarus out-found.
A Tomb, hard by, the sacred bones inclos'd
Of famous Croto: here, as erst impos'd,
Alemons sonne16 erects his citie walls:
Which of th' intombed he Crotona calls.
Of this Originall, this Citie boasts:
Built by a Graecian on Italian coasts.
Here dwelt a Samian,17 who at once did flie
From Samos, Lords, and hated Tyrannie:18
Preferring voluntarie banishment
Though farre from heauen, his mind's diuine ascent
Drew neere the Gods: what natures selfe denies
To humane Sight, he saw with his Soules eyes.
All apprehended in his ample brest,
And studious cares; his knowledge he profest
To silent and admiring men: and taught
The Worlds originall, past humane thought:
What Nature was, what God: the cause of things;
From whence the Snow, from whence the lightning
Whether Ioue thunder, or the winds, that rake
The breaking Clouds: what caus'd the Earth to quake;
What course the Starres obseru'd; what e'r lay hid
From vulgar sense: and first of all forbid
With slaughtred creatures to defile our boords,
In such, though vnbeleeu'd; yet learned Words.
Forbeare your selues, ô Mortalls, to pollute
With wicked food: fields smile with corne, ripe fruit
Weighs downe their boughs; plump grapes their
There are sweet hearbs, and sauorie roots, which fire
May mollifie; milke, honie redolent
With flowers of thime, Thy pallat to content
The prodigall Earth abounds with gentle food;
Affording banquets without death or blood.
Brute beasts with flesh their rau'nous hunger cloy:
And yet not all; in pastures horses ioy:
So flocks, and heards. But those whom Nature hath
Indu'd with crueltie, and saluage wrath
(Wolues, Beares, Armenian Tigres, Lions) in
Hot blood delight. How horrible a Sin,
That entrailes bleeding entrailes should intomb!
That greedie flesh, by flesh should fat become!
While by one creatures death another liues!
Of all, which Earth, our wealthie mother, giues;
Can nothing please, vnlesse thy teeth thou imbrue
In wounds, and dire Cyclopean19 fare renue?
Nor satiate the greedy luxury
Of thy rude panch, except an other die?
But that old Age, that innocent estate,
Which wee the Golden20 call; was fortunate
In hearbs, and fruits, her lips with blood vndy'd.
Then Fowle through aire their wings in safetie ply'd:
The Hare, then fearelesse, wandred o'r the plaine;
Nor Fish by their credulitie were ta'ne.
Not treacherous, nor fearing treacherie,
All liu'd secure. When hee, who did enuie
(What God so e'r it was) those harmelesse cates,
And cramb'd his guts with flesh; set ope the gates
To cruell Crimes. First, Slaughter without harme
(I must confesse) to Pietie, did warme
(Which might suffice) the reeking steele in blood
Of saluage beasts, which made our liues their food:
Though kild; not to be eaten. Sinne now more
Audacious; the first sacrifice, the Bore
Was thought to merit death; who, bladed corne
Vp-rooting, left the husband-men forlorne.
Vine-brouzing Goates at Bacchus altar slaine,
Fed his reuenge: in both, their guilt their bane.
You Sheepe, what ill did you? a gentle beast,
Whose vdders swell with Nectar, borne t' inuest
Exposed man with your soft wooll; and are
Aliue, then dead, more profitable farre.
Or what the Oxe? a creature without guile,
So innocent, so simple; borne for toyle.
Hee most vngratefull is, deseruing ill
The gift of corne; that can vn-yoke, then kill
His painefull Hinde: that neck with axe to wound
In seruice gall'd, that had the stubborne ground
So often tild; so many crops brought in.
Yet not content therewith, t' ascribe the sinne
To guiltlesse Gods: as if the Powres on high
In death of labour-bearing oxen ioy.
A spotlesse sacrifice, faire to behold,
('Tis death to please) with ribbands trickt, and gold,
Stands at the altar, hearing prayers vnknowne:
And sees the meale vpon his fore-head throwne,21
Got by his toyle: the knife smeard in his gore,
By fortune in the lauer22 seene before.
The entrailes,23 from the panting bodie rent,
Forth-with they search; to know the Gods intent.
Whence springs so dire an appetite in man
To interdicted food? ô Mortals, can,
Or dare you feed on flesh? henceforth forbeare
I you intreat, and to my words giue eare:
When limmes of slaughtred Beeues become your
Then think, and know, that you your Seruants eat.
Phoebus inspires; his Spirit wee obay:
My Delphos'24 heauen it selfe, I will display;
The Oracle of that great Powre vnfold:
And sing what long lay hid; what none of old
Could apprehend. I long to walke among
The loftie starres: dull earth despis'd, I long
To back the clouds; to sit on Atlas25 crowne:
And from that hight on erring men looke downe
That reason want: those thus to animate
That feare to dye; t' vnfold the booke of Fate.
O You, whom horrors of cold death affright;
Why feare you Styx, vaine names, and endlesse Night;
The dreames of Poets, and faind miseries
Of forged Hell? Whether last-flames26 surprise,
Or Age deuoure your bodies; they nor grieue,
Nor suffer paines. Our Soules for euer liue:
Yet euermore their ancient houses leaue
To liue in new; which them, as Guests, receiue.
In Troian warres, I (I remember well)
Euphorbus was, Panthöus sonne; and fell
By Menelaus27 lance: my shield againe
At Argos late I saw, in Iuno's Fane.
All alter, nothing finally decayes:
Hether and thether still the Spirit strayes;
Guest to all Bodies: out of beasts it flyes
To men, from men to beasts; and neuer dyes.
As pliant wax each new impression takes;
Fixt to no forme, but still the old forsakes;
Yet it the same: so Soules the same abide,
Though various figures theire reception hide.
Then least thy greedie belly should destroy
(I prophesie) depressed Pietie,
Forbeare t' expulse thy kindreds Ghosts with food
By death procur'd; nor nourish blood with blood.
Since on so vast a sea, my saile's vnfurld,
And stretcht to rising winds; in all the World
There's nothing permanent; all ebbe and flow:
Each image form'd to wander too and fro.
Euen time, with restlesse motion, slides away
Like liuing streames: nor can swift Riuers stay,
Nor light-heel'd Howers. As billow billow driues,
Driuen by the following; as the next arriues
To chace the former: times so flye, persue
At once each other; and are euer new.
What was before, is not, what was not, is:
All in a moment change from that to this.
See, how the Night on Light extends her shades:
See, how the Light the gloomie Night inuades.
Nor such Heauens hew, when Mid-night crown's
As when bright Lucifer28 his taper showes:
Yet changing, when the Harbinger of Day
Th' inlightned World resignes to Phoebus29 sway.
His raised Shield, earths shaddowes scarcely fled,
Lookes ruddie; and low-sinking, lookes as red:
Yet bright at Noone; because that purer skie
Doth farre from Earth, and her contagion flie.
Nor can Night-wandring Dian's30 wauering light
Be euer eqvall, or the same: this night
Lesse then the following, if her hornes shee fill;
If shee contract her Circle, greater still.
Doth not the image of our age appeare
In the successiue quarters of the Yeare?
The Spring-tide, tender; sucking Infancie
Resembling: then the iuycefull blade sprouts high;
Though tender, weake; yet hope to Plough-men
All things then flourish: flowers the gaudie fields
With colours paint: no vertue yet in leaues.
Then following Summer greater strength receiues:
A lustie Youth: no age more strength acquires,
More fruitfull, or more burning in desires.
Maturer Autumne, heat of Youth alaid,
The sober meane twixt youth and age, more staid
And temperate, in Summers waine repaires:
His reuerent temples sprinkled with gray haires.
Then comes old Winter, void of all delight,
With trembling steps: his head or bal'd, or white.
So change our bodies without rest or stay:
What wee were yester-day, nor what to day,
Shall bee to morrow. Once alone of men
The seeds and hope; the womb our mansion: when
Kind Nature shewd her cunning; not content
That our vext bodies should be longer pent
In mothers stretched entrailes, forth-with bare
Them from that prison, to the open aire.
Wee strenghtlesse lye, when first of light possest;
Straight creepe vpon all foure, much like a beast;
Then, staggering with weak nerues, stand by degrees,
And by some stay support our feeble knees:
Now, lustie, swiftly run. Our Youth then past,
And those our middle times, wee post in hast
To ineuitable Age: this last deuoures
The former, and demolisheth their powres.
Old Milo31 wept, when he his armes beheld,
Which late the strongest beast in strength exceld.
Big, as Alcides32 brawnes, in flaggie hide
Now hanging by slack sinewes: Helen cry'd
When shee beheld her wrinkles in her Glasse;
And asks her selfe, why she twice33 rauisht was.
Still-eating Time, and thou ô enuious Age,
All ruinate: diminisht by the rage
Of your deuouring teeth, All that haue breath
Consume, and languish by a lingring death.
Nor can these Elements stand at a stay:
But by exchanging alter euery day.
Th' eternall world foure bodies comprehends,
Ingendring all. The heauie Earth descends,
So Water, clog'd with weight: two light, aspire,
Deprest by none; pure Aire, and purer Fire.
And though they haue their seuerall seates; yet all
Of these are made, to these againe they fall.
Resolued Earth to Water rarifies;
To Aire extenuated Waters rise;
The Aire, when it it selfe againe refines,
To elementall Fire extracted, shines.
They in like order back againe repaire:
The grosser Fire condenseth into Aire;
Aire, into Water: Water thickning, then
Growes solid, and converts to Earth againe.
None holds his owne: for Nature euer joyes
In change, and with new former the old supplies.
In all the world not any perish quite:
But onely are in various habits dight.
For; to begin to be, what we before
Were not, is to be borne; to dye, no more
Then ceasing to be such: all though the frame
Be changeable, the substance is the same.
For nothing long continues in one mold.
You Ages, you to Siluer grew from Gold;
To Brasse from Siluer; and to Ir'ne from Brasse.
Euen places oft such change of fortunes passe:
Where once was solid land, Seas haue I seene;
And solid land, where once deepe Seas haue beene.
Shels,34 far from Seas, like quarries in the ground;
And anchors haue on mountaine tops been found.
Torrents haue made a valley of a plaine;
High hills by deluges borne to the Maine.
Deepe standing lakes suckt drie by thirstie sand;
And on late thirstie earth now lakes doe stand.
Here Nature, in her changes manifold,
Sends forth new fountaines; there, shuts vp the old.
Streames, with impetuous earth-quakes, heretofore
Haue broken forth; or sunk, and run no more.
So Lycus, swallowed by the yawning Earth,
Takes in an other world his second birth.
So Erasinus, now is hid, now yeelds
His rising waters to Argolian fields.
And Mysus, his first head and bancks disclam'd,
Else-where ascends and is Caïcus nam'd.
Coole Amasenus, watering Sicily,
Now fills his bancks; now leaues his channell dry.
Men formerly drunk of Anigrus streames:
Not to be drunk (if any thing but dreames
The Poets tell) since Centaures therein washt
Their wounds, by great Alcides arrowes gasht.
So Hypanis, deriu'd from Scythian Hills,
Long sweet, with bitter streames his channell fills.
Antissa, Tyrus, and Aegyuptian Phare,
The floods imbrac't: yet now no Ilands are.
Th' old Planter knew Leucadia Continent:
Which now the Sea hath from Epirus rent.
So Zancle35 once on Italie confind;
Till interposing waues their bounds dis-ioynd.
If Bura and Helice (Graecian townes)
You seeke; behold, the Sea their glorie drownes:
Whose buildings, and declined walls, below
Th' ambitious flood as yet the Sailers show.
A Hill by Pitthean Troezen36 mounts, vncrownd
With syluan shades, which once was leuel ground.
For furious winds (a storie to admire)
Pent in blind cauernes, strugling to expire;
And vainely seeking to inioy th' extent
Of freer aire, the prison wanting vent;
Puffs-up the hollow earth extended so,
As when with swelling breath we bladders blow.
The tumor of the place remained still,
In time growne solid, like a loftie hill.
To speake a little more of many things
Both heard and knowne: New habits sundrie Springs
Now giue, now take. Hornd Hammons at high Noone
Is cold; hot at Sun-rise, and setting Sun.
Wood, put in bubling Athamas is fir'd
The Moone then farthest from the Sun retir'd
Ciconian streames congeale his guts to stone
That thereof drinks: and what therein is throwne.
Crathis, and Sybaris (from your mountaines rold)
Colour the haire like amber, or pure gold.
Some Fountaines, of a more prodigious kind,
Not onely change the bodie, but the mind.
Who hath not heard of obscene Salmacis?
Of th' Aethiopian lake? for who of this,
But onely tast, their wits no longer keep,
Or forthwith fall into a deadly sleep.
Who at Clitorius Fountaine thirst remoue;
Loath wine, and abstinent, meere water loue.
Whether it by antipathie expell
Desire of wine; or (as the Natiues tell)
Melampus37 hauing with his hearbs and charmes
Snatcht Proetus frantick daughters from the harmes
Of entred Furies, their wit's physick cast
Into this spring; infusing such distast.
With streames, to these oppos'd, Lyncestus flowes:
They reele, as drunk, who drink too much of those.
A Lake in faire Arcadia stands, of old
Call'd Pheneus; suspected, as two-fold:
Feare, and forbeare, to drink thereof by night:
By night vnwholsome, wholsome by day-light.
So other lakes and streames haue other powre.
Ortygia floted once; fixt at this houre:
Once Argo38 feard the Iustling Cyanes;
Which rooted now, resist both winds and seas.
Nor Aetna, burning with imboweld fire,
Shall euer, or did alwayes, flames expire.
For whether Tellus39 be an Animall,
Haue lungs, and mouthes that smoking flames
Her organs alter, when her motions close
These yawning passages, and open those.
Or whether winds, in caues impris'ned, raue;
Iustling the stones, and minerals which haue
The seede of fire, inkindled with their rage:
Their furious flames the falling winds asswage.
Or if Bitumen doe the fire prouoke;
Or sulpher burning with more subtill smoke:
When Earth that food and oylie nourishment
With-drawes, the matter by long feeding spent;
The hungrie fire of sustenance bereft,
Ill-brooking famine, leaues by being left.
In Hyperborean Pallene liue
A People, if to fame wee credit giue,
Who, diuing three time thrice in Tritons lake,
Of Fowle the feathers and the figure take.
The like, they say, the Scythian Witches doe
With magick oyles: incredible though true.
If wee may trust to triall, see you not
Small creatures of corrupted flesh begot?
Burie your slaughtred Steere (a thing in vse)
And his corrupted bowels will produce
Flowre-sucking Bees; who, like their parent slaine,
Loue labour, fields, and toyle in hope of gaine.
Hornets from buried horses take their birth.
Break off the Crabs bent clawes, and in the earth
Burie the rest; a Scorpion without faile
From thence will creep, and menace with his taile.
The Catterpillers, who their cop-webs weaue
On tender leaues (as Hindes from proofe receiue)
Conuert to poysnous Butterflies in time.
Greene Frogs, ingendred by the seede of slime,
First without feete, then leggs assume; now strong
And apt to swimme, their hinder parts more long
Then are their former, fram'd to skip and iump.
The Beares deformed birth is but a lump
Of liuing flesh: when licked by the Old,
It takes a forme agreeing with the mold.
Who sees the Young of honie-bearing Bees
In their sexangular inclosure, sees
Their bodies limme-lesse: these vnformed things
In time put forth their feet, and after, wings.
The starre-imbellisht Fowle,40 which Iuno loues,
Ioues Armour-bearer,41 Cytherea's Doues,42
And birds of euery kinde; did we not know
Them hatcht of eggs, who would coniecture so?
Some thinke the pith of dead-men, Snakes becomes;
When their back-bones corrupt in hollow tombs.
Yet these from others doe deriue their birth.
One only Fowle there is in all the Earth,
Call'd by th' Assyrians Phoenix, who the waine
Of age repaires and sowes her selfe againe.
Nor feeds on graine nor hearbs, but on the gumme
Of Frankincense, and iuycie Amomum.
Now, when her life fiue ages43 hath fulfild;
A neast her horned beake and talons build
Vpon the crownet of a trembling Palme:
This strew'd with Cassia, Spiknard, precious Balme,
Bruz'd Cinamon, and Myrrh; thereon she bends
Her bodie, and her age in odors ends.
This breeding Corps a little Phoenix beares:
Which is it selfe to liue as many yeares.
Growne strong; that load now able to transferre;
Her cradle, and her parents sepulcher,
Deuoutly carries to Hyperions towne:44
And on his flamie Altar layes it downe.
If these be wonderfull, admire like strange
Hyaena's, who their sexe so often change:
Those foodlesse creatures, fed by ayre alone;
Who euery colour, which they touch, put on.
The Lynx, first brought from conquered India
By vine-bound Bacchus, his hot pisse, they say,
Congeales to stone. So Corall, which below
The water is a limber weed, doth grow
Stone-hard, when toucht by aire. But Day will end,
And Phaebus panting Steeds to Seas descend,
Before my scant oration could persue
All sorts of shapes, that change their old for new.
For this wee see in all is generall.
Some Nations gather strength, and others fall.
Troy, rich and powrefull, which so proudly stood;
That could for ten yeares spend such streames of
For buildings, onely her old ruines showes;
For riches, tombs; which slaughtred Sires inclose.
Sparta, Mycenae, were of Greece the flowres;
So Cecrop's Citie,45 and Amphion's towres:46
Now glorious Sparta lyes vpon the ground;
Loftie Mycenae hardly to be found;
Of Oedipus his Thebes47 what now remaines,
Or of Pandion's Athens,48 but their names?
Now fame reports that Rome by Dardan Sons49
Begins to rise, where yellow Tyber runs
From fountfull Appennines;50 and there the great
Foundation of so huge a fabrick seat.
This therefore shall by changing propagate,
And giue the World a Head. Of such a fate
The Prophets haue diuin'd. And this of old,
As I remember, Priam's Helen51 told
To sad Aeneas, of all hope forlorne,
In sinking Troy's eclipse. O Goddesse-borne,52
If our Apollo can presage at all;
Troy, thou in safetie, shall not wholly fall.
Both fire and sword shall giue thy vertue way:
Flying, with thee, thou Ilium shalt conuay;
Vntill thou find a Land, as yet vnknowne,
To Troy, and thee, more friendly then thy owne.
A Citie53 built by Phrygians I fore-see;
So great none euer was, is, or shall bee.
Others shall make it great: but He, whose birth
Springs from Iülus,54 Soueraigne of the Earth.
He, hauing rul'd the World, shall then ascend
Aethereall thrones, and Heauen shall be his end.
This, I remember, with propheticke tongue,
Sage Helen to diuine Aeneas sung.
We ioy to see our kindreds Citty55 grow:
The Phrygians happy in their Ouer-throw.
But least our heedlesse Steeds too farre should range
From their proposed course; All suffer change:
The heauens themselues, what vnder them is found;
Earth, what thereon, or what is vnder ground.
Wee, of the World apart, since we as well
Haue Soules as Bodies, which in beasts may dwel:
To those, which may our parents Soules inuest,
Our brothers, dearest friends, or men at least;
Let vs both safetie, and respect afford:
Nor heape their bowels on Thyestes56 boord.
How ill inur'd! to shed the blood of man
How wickedly is he prepar'd, who can
Asunder cut the throats of calues; and heares
The bellowing breeder with relentlesse eares!
Or silly Kids, which like poore infants cry,
Stick with his knife! or his voracity
Feed with the fowle he fed! ô to what ill
Are they not prone, who are so bent to kill!
Let Oxen till the ground, and die with age:
Let Sheepe defend thee from the winters rage:
Goates bring their vdders to thy payle. Away
With nets, grins, snares, and arts that doe betray:
Deceaue not birds with lime; nor Deere inclose
With terrors;57 nor thy baits to fish expose.
The hurtfull kill: yet only kill: nor eate
Defiling flesh; but feede on fitter meate.
With other, and the like Philosophy
Instructed; Numa, now return'd, was by
Th' intreating Latines crownd. Taught by his Bride58
The Nymph Aegeria, by the Muses guide,
Religion institutes; a People rude
And prone to warre, with laws and peace indu'd.
His raigne and age resign'd to funerall,
Plebeians, Roman Dames, Patricians, all
For Numa mourne. His wife59 the Citty fled:
Hid in Aricia's Vale,60 the ground her bed,
The woods her shroud, disturbs with grones and cries
Orestean Diana's61 sacrifice.
How oft the Nymphs who haunt that Groue and Lake
Reprou'd her teares, and words of comfort spake!
How oft the Thesean Heroe,62 moderate
Thy sorrow, said! nor only is thy fate
To be deplor'd: on worse mis-fortunes looke;
And you will yours with greater patience brooke.
Would mine were no example to appease
So sad a griefe: yet mine your griefe may ease.
Perhaps y' haue heard of one Hippolytus;
By Step-dames fraud, and fathers credulous
Beliefe bequeath'd to death. Admire you may
That I am he, if credit, what I say.
Whom Phoedra formerly solicited,
But vainely, to defile my fathers bed.
Fearing detection, or in that refus'd;
She turnes the crime, and me of her's accus'd.
My father, banishing the innocent,
Along with me his winged curses sent.
Toward Pitthean Troezen63 me my charriot bore:
And driuing now by the Corinthian shore,
The smooth seas swell; a monstrous billow rose,
Which, rouling like a mountaine, greater growes;
Then, bellowing, at the top asunder rends:
When from the breach, brest high, a Bull ascends;
Who at his dreadfull mouth and nosthrills spouts
Part of the sea. Feare all my followers routs:
But my afflicted mind was all this while
Vnterrifi'd; intending my exile.
When the hot horses start, erect their eares:
With horror rapt, and chaced by their feares,
O'r ragged rocks the totterd charriot drew:
In vaine I striue their fury to subdew,
The bits all frotht with fome: with all my strength
Pull the stretcht raiynes, I lying at full length,
Nor had their heady fright my strength o'r-gon;
Had not the feruent wheele, which roules vpon
The bearing Axel-tree, rusht on a stump:
Which brake, and fell asunder with that iump.
Throwne from my charriot, in the raignes fast-bound,
My guts drag'd out aliue, my sinewes wound
About the stump, my limbs in peeces hal'd;
Some stuck behind, some at the charriot traild;
My bones then breaking crackt, not any whole,
While I exhal'd my faint and weary soule.
No part of all my parts you could haue found
That might be knowne: for all was but one wound.
Now say, selfe-tortred Nymph,64 or can, or dare
You your calamities with ours compare?
I also saw those realmes, to Day vnknowne:
And bath'd my wounds in smoking Phlegeton.65
Had not Apollos Son66 imploid the aid
Of his great Art; I with the dead had staid.
But when by potent hearbs, and Paeons skill,67
I was restor'd, against sterne Plutos will:
Least I, if seene, might enuie haue procur'd:
Me, friendly Cynthia68 with a cloud immur'd:
And that, though seene, I might be hurt by none;
She added age, and left my face vnknowne.
Whether in Delos, doubting, or in Creet;
Reiecting Creet and Delos as vnmeet,
Shee plac't me here. Nor would I should retaine
The memory of One by horses slaine:
But said; hence forward Virbius69 be thy name
That wer't Hippolytus; though thou the same.
One of the Lesser Gods, here, in this Groue,
I Cynthia serue; preserued by her loue.
But others miseries could not abate
Aegeria's sorrowes, nor preuent her fate.
Who, couched at the bases of a hill,
Thawes into teares, that streame-like ran; vntill
Apollo's Sister, pittying her woes,
Turn'd her t' a Spring; whose current euer flowes.
The Nymphs and Amazonian70 this amaz'd;
No lesse then when the Tyrrhen Plough-man71 gaz'd
Vpon the fatall clod, that mou'd alone:
And, for a humane shape, exchang'd its owne.
With infant lips what was but earth of late
Reueal'd the Mysteries of future fate:
Whom Natiues Tages calld. He first of all
Th' Hetrurians72 taught to tell what would befall.
Or when astonisht Romulus of old
Did, on Mount Palatine, his lance behold
To flourish with greene leaues: the fixed foot
Stood not on steele, but on a liuing root.
Which, now no weapon, spreading armes displaid;
And gaue admirers vnexpected shade.
Or when as Cippus in the liquid glasse
Beheld his hornes, which his beliefe surpasse.
Who lifting oft his fingers to his brow,
Felt what before he saw: nor longer now
Condemnes his sight. Returnd with victorie;
His eyes and hornes erecting to the skie:
You Gods, what e'r these prodigies portend;
If prosperous, he said, let them descend
On Romans and on Rome: but if they be
Vnfortunate, ô let them fall on me!
An Altar then of liuing turf erects;
The fire feeds with perfumes, pure wine iniects:
And with the panting entrailes of a beast
New slaine, consults; to knowe the Gods behest.
This, when the Tyrrhen Augur had beheld,
And saw therein endeauours that exceld,
Although obscure; he from the sacrifice
To Cippus hornes converts his steady eyes:
Haile King, to thee, and to those hornes of thine,
This place, and Latian towres,73 their rule resigne.
Delay not; enter thou the yeelding gate:
Hast, Cippus, hast: such is the Will of Fate.
Thou shalt be cround a King vpon that day:
And safely an eternall scepter sway.
He, starting backe, from Rome diuerts his face:
And said; You Gods, far hence this Omen chace.
Better that I in banishment grow old;
Then me, a King, the Capitoll74 behold.
Hiding his hornes with leauie ornaments,
The people and graue Senate he conuents.
Then mounts a Mound late by the Souldier made,
And praying first (as was the custome) said
Vnlesse expeld your Citty, here is One
Will be your King: though not by name, yet knowne
By his strange hornes. I heard the Augur say,
If once in Rome, you all should him obay.
He might, vnstopt, haue entred without feare:
But I with-stood; though none to me more neare.
Be he, Quirites,75 into exile sent:
Or, if he merit such a punishment,
Bind him in heauy chaines, and keepe him sure:
Or with the Tyrants death your feares secure:
The troubled people such a murmuring make;
As when farre off the roring surges rake
On ratling shores; or when lowd Eurus76 breakes
Through tufted Pines: then one distinctly speakes
In this confusion; asking, Which is he?
All seeking for the hornes they could not see,
Cippus repli'd; T'is I for whom you looke.
Then from his head (with-held) his garland tooke;
And shew'd the hornes which on his fore-head grew.
Not one but sigh'd, and downe his count'nance threw:
And those cleare browes (a thing beyond beliefe)
Adornd with merit, they behold with griefe.
Nor suffer him his honour to debace:
But on his head a laurell garland place.
And since he his owne entrance did with-stand:
The nobles, in due fauour, so much land
To Cippus gaue, as well two oxen might
Round with a plough from morning vntill night.
The monumentall figure of his hornes,
So much admir'd, the golden Posts adornes.
Now Muses, Goddesses of Verse, relate
(You know, nor yeares your memory abate)
How Aesculapius in our Citty77 found
A Temple, by circumfluent Tyber bound.
A deadly plague the Latian ayre defil'd:
Soules from their seats the pale disease exil'd.
Wearied with funerals, when physick faild;
Nor any humane industrie preuaild;
They seeke coelestiall aid. To Delphos78 sent,
Built in the round Earths nauell, and present
Their prayers to Phoebus; that he would descend
To their reliefe, and giue their woes an end.
His Temple, Laurell, and his Quiuer, shake:
Who thus, they trembling, from his Tripod79 spake.
What here you seeke, you neerer should haue sought:
And seeke it neerer yet. Apollo ought
Not now to cure you, but Apollo's Seede.80
Goe with successe; and fetch my Sonne with speede.
The Senate hauing heard this Oracle,
The Citie search, where Phoebus sonne should dwell:
The shore of Epidaure the Legate81 seekes:
There anchoring, he intreats th' assembled Greekes
To send their God: who might th' Ausonian State
To health restore; and vrg'd the charge of Fate.82
They varie in opinion, some assent
To send this succour; many, not content
To loose their owne in giuing others aid,
Striue to retaine him, and the rest disswade.
While thus they doubt, the Day declin'd his Light:
And Earth-borne shadowes cloth'd the world in
Th' Health-giuing God,83 in sleepe, appeares to stand
As in his Fane; a staffe in his left hand:
And stroking with his right his reuerend beard;
From his hope-rendring brest these words were
Feare not, I come; my shape I will forsake:
View, and mark well this staffe-infolding Snake:
Such will I seeme, yet shew of greater size;
So great as may a Deitie comprize.
He with the Voice, with him and Voice away
Sleepe flew: fled Sleepe persude by chearefull Day.
The starres now vanquisht by the mornings flame;
The doubtfull Nobles84 to the temple came,
Intreat him by coelestiall signes to shew
Whether he were content to stay or goe.
This hardly said, the God in Serpents shroud,
His high crest gold-like glistring, hist aloud.
His statue, altar, gates, the marble flore,
And golden roofe, shooke at th' approching Powre.
He, in his Fane, brest-high his bodie rais'd:
Rouling about his eyes that flame-like blaz'd.
All tremble. The chast Priest, his tresses ty'd
With sacred fillet, knew the God, and cry'd
'Tis he! 'tis he! all you who present are
Pray with your hearts and tongues: ô heauenly-Faire,
Propitious proue to those who thee implore!
All that were there the present Powre adore;
Reiterating what the Priest had said:
With heart and tongue the Romans also prayd.
He, by the motion of his lofty crest,
And doubled hisses, signe's to their request.
Then sliding downe the polisht staires, his looke
Reuerts on his old altars; now forsooke:
Salutes his shrine, and Temple deckt with towres.
Then creeping on the ground, strewd with fresh
Intendeth through the Citie; stopping where
The Harbour is defended by a Peere.85
The following troopes, and those whose zeales assist
In honouring him, with gentle lookes dismist;
He climes th' Ausonian86 ship: which felt the waight,
And shrunk with bearing of so great a fraight.
The ioyfull Romans, offering on the strand
A Bull to Neptune; anchor weigh and land
Forsake with easie gales. Rais'd on his traine,
He, leaning, lookes vpon the blew-wau'd Maine.
Through Ionian Seas87 by friendly Zephyrus88 borne,
They fell with Italie on the sixth morne.
Lacinian Iunos Fane,89 Scyllaean90 shores,
Iapygia past; they shun with nimble ores
Amphrysian rocks; Ceraunian, weather cleft;
Romechium, Caulon, and Narycia left:
Sicilian Straights o'r-come, and wrackfull seas;
Saile by the mansion of Hyppotades:90
By Temesa, in mettals fruitfull;91 by
Leucosia, and the Paestan Rosary.92
Neere Capree, and Minerua's Fore-land93 row,
Surrentine hils, where wines so generous grow;
Heraclea, Stabiae, Naples borne to ease,
Cumaean Sibyl's Temple: next to these,
Hot Baths; Linternum, sweet with mastick flowres;
Vulturnus, who his sandie channell skoures;
Sinuessa, swarming with white Snakes; ill-air'd
Minturnae, and where piety prepar'd
His Nurse a tomb:94 forth-with the mansion make
Of fell Antiphates;95 and then the Lake-
Beseiged Trachas:96 thence directly bore
To Circe's Ile, and Antium's solid shore.
The Sea now swelling high, this harbor holds
The Saile-wing'd ship. The God97 his wreathes
And, with huge doublings, o'r the yellow sand
Slides to his fathers temple98 on that strand.
Rough waues asswag'd, the Epidaurian Guest99
His fathers altar leaues; to Sea-ward prest,
Slicing the sandie shore with rustling scales:
And, by her sterne the ship ascending, sailes
Till hee to Castrum, to Lauina's name-
Retaining Seat, and mouth of Tyber came.
All hither throng; sons, daughters, mothers, sires,
The Nunnes100 who keepe the Phrygian Vesta's fires,
With lowd salutes of ioy. On either side
The Riuer, as the Vessell stemmes the tide,
Altars, with incense fed, the aire perfume:
And kniues from Sacrifices heat assume.
Rome entring, the Worlds Head, He winds about
The loftie mast; and from on high thrusts out
His glittering head, to chuse a fitting place.
The armes of Tyber doe an Ile imbrace,
Which equall streame from either banke diuides;
Thither Apollo's101 sacred Serpent slides:
Who now coelestiall shape assuming, ends
Their miseries, and health to all extends.
He here, a forraigne Powre, makes his aboad.
In his owne Citty Caesar102 is a God.
Glorious in Peace and War: whom war's surcease
With triumphs cround, his gouernment in peace,
Nor race of wonder with such quicknesse runne;
More make a blazing Star, then his great Sonne.103
For of all Caesars acts, none may compare
With his adopting so diuine an Heire.
For, was it more t' o'r-come the British Ile?104
Fill the seauen mouthes of paper-bearing105 Nile
With conquering sailes? Numidians rebelling,
Cinyphian Iuba,106 Pontus proudly swelling
In Mithridates107 to subiect to Rome?
Meriting many, to triumph for some?
Then him beget,108 in whose dominion
The Gods so abundantly haue fauour'd man?
To th' other they a Deitie decreed;109
That this110 might not from mortall birth proceed.
Which, when faire Venus111 saw; and saw with all,
Conspiring weapons threat the High-Priests112 fall;
Her colour fled: to euery God she met,
She said, behold, what snares for me are set!
To murder me in him how Treason striues;
Who only of Iülus113 race suruiues!
Still must I vndeseru'd afflictions beare?
How lately wounded by Tydides speare!114
Now ill-defended Troy115 againe is lost:
My Sonne Aeneas, with long errors tost
On wrathfull Seas, I saw descend to Hell:116
Then warre with Turnus;116 or, the truth to tell,
With Iuno117 rather. How remember I
Old harmes sustaind in my posterity?
I, through this feare, all former feares forget.
Loe; they their wicked swords against me whet:
O helpe! restraine their furies! nor, for shame,
With the High-Priests blood extinguish Vesta's
Thus, through all heauen, her Sorrowes vainely
And melt the Gods: who, since they could not breake
The antient Sisters119 adamantine doome,
By sure Ostents demonstrate Woes to come.
Armes, clashing in the aire with clouds o'r-cast;
Terrible trumpets, and the cornet's blast,
Proclaime the murder: Sols120 afflicted looke
And pale eclipse, the World with terror strooke.
Oft, Meteors through the aire their flames extend:
Oft, drops of blood from purple clouds descend.
Black rust obscures dimme Lucifers121 aspect:
And Cynthia's122 charriot bloody staines infect.
The Stygian123 Owle each where disturbes their
With ominous screeches: Iuorie Statues weepe.
The sacred Groues resound with yelling cryes.
And fearefull menaces. No sacrifice124
The Gods appease: the headlesse inwards shew
Signes of succeeding Tumults, Death, and Woe.
Dogs nightly, in the Court, about the Gods,
And holy Temples howle. From sad abodes
The Dead arise, and wander here and there:
Rome trembling, both with Earth-quakes and with
These Warnings of the Gods no changes wrought
In Fate, or Treason. Murderous swords were brought
Into the Temple: for no place might sort
With such a slaughter, but the sacred Court.125
Then Venus smote her brest: who sought to shroud,
And snatch him thence in that Aethereall cloud,
Which Paris from Atrides rage conuaid:126
And freed Aeneas from Tydides blade.127
Daughter,128 said Ioue, canst thou resist the doome
Of conquering Fates? Into their mansion come.
There shalt thou see Decrees that needs must passe,
Writ in huge folds of solid steele and brasse.
Which safe, eternall, euer fixed there;
My thunder, lightnings rage, nor ruine feare.
In lasting Adamant there maist thou reed,
What shall to thy great Progenie129 succeed.
I read, remember well, and will relate
What may informe thee in succeeding fate.
He, whom thou striu'st to saue,130 his race hath runne
Of Time and Glory: whom, thou and his Sonne131
Shall make in heauen a God; on Earth, with praire
And Temples dignifi'd. His names great Heire132
Alone his Load shall beare: and strongly shall
By our conduct reuenge his fathers fall.
By his good fortune Mutina133 shall owe
To him her peace: Pharsalian fields shall flow
With blood; blood twice Philippi134 shall imbrue:
On red Sicilian Seas he shall subdue
A mighty name.135 Th' Aegyptian Spouse136 shall fall,
Ill trusting to her Roman Generall:
To make our stately Capitoll137 obay
Her proud Canopus,138 shall in vaine assay.
What need I of those barbarous people tell,
And Nations, which by either Ocean dwell?
He shall the habitable Earth command;
And stretch his Empire ouer sea and land.
Peace giuen to Earth; he shall convert his care
To ciuill Rule, iust Lawes; and by his faire
Example Vertue guide. Then looking to
The future times, and Nephewes to ensue;
A Sonne139 shall blesse him from a holy womb:
To him he shall resigne his name, and roome.
Nor shall, till full of age, ascend th' aboads
Of heauenly Dwellers, and his kindred Gods.140
Meane-while from this slaine corps his soule conuay
Vp to the starres, and giue it a cleare Ray:
That Iulius may with friendly influence
Shine on our Capitol and Court from thence.
This said: inuisible faire Venus stood
Amid the Senate; from his corps, with blood
Defil'd, her Caesars new-fled spirit bare
To heauen, not suffer'd to resolue to aire.
And, as in her soft bosome borne, she might
Perceiue it take a Powre, and gather light.
When once let loose, It forth-with vp-ward flew;
And after it long blazing tresses drew.
The radiant Starre his Sonnes great acts beheld.
Out-shining his: and ioy'd, to be exceld.
Though he would haue his Fathers deeds preferd
Befor his owne: yet free-tongu'd Fame deter'd
By no commandment, yeelds th' auoided Bayes
To his cleare browes; and but in this gaine-sayes.
So Atreus yeelds to Agamemnons fame;
Aegeus so to Theseus: Peleus name
Stoops to Achilles. That I may confer
Th' illustrious to their equals, Iupiter
So Saturne tops. Ioue rules the arched skie,
And triple world; the Earths vast Monarchie
T' Augustus bowes: both Fathers, and both sway.
You Gods, Aeneas guids,141 who made your way
Through fire and sword; you Gods of men become;142
Quirinus,143 Father of triumphant Rome;
Thou Mars, inuincible Quirinus Sire;
Chast Vesta, with thy euer-burning fire,
Among Great Caesars Houshold-Gods inshrin'd;144
Domestick Phoebus, with his Vesta ioyn'd;
Thou Ioue whom in Tarpeian towres we adore;145
And You, all You, whom Poets may implore:
Slow be that day, and after I am dead,
Wherein Augustus, of the world the Head,
Leauing the Earth, shall vnto heauen repaire;
And fauour those that seeke to him by prayer.146
And now the worke is ended, which, Ioue's rage,
Nor fire, nor Sword shall raze, nor eating Age.
Come when it will my deaths vncertaine howre;
Which of this body only hath a powre:
Yet shall my better part transcend the skie;
And my immortall name shall neuer die.
For, where-so-ere the Roman Eagles147 spread
Their conquering wings, I shall of all be read:
And, if we Poets true presages giue,
I, in my Fame eternally shall liue.