|Rash Phaeton fires the World. His sisters mourne |
His Tragedie; who into Poplars turne;
Their teares to Amber; Cygnus, to a Swan.
Ioue, Phoebe-like, Calisto found a Man:
Her, Iuno made a Beare: Shee, and her son,
Aduanced starres, that still the Ocean shun.
Coronis, now a Crow, flyes Neptunes fright.
Nictimine is made the Bird of Night.
The too-officious Rauen, late so faire,
Is plum'd with blacke. Ocyroë growes a Mare.
Phoebus, a Heardsman: Mercury, twice such;
Who turnes betraying Battus into Tuch.
Enuious Aglauros, to a Statue, full
Of her minde's spots. Loue Ioue converts t'a Bull.
Sol's loftie Palace on high Pillars rais'd,
Shone all with gold, and stones1 that flamelike blaz'd.
The roofe of Ivory, diuinely deckt:
The two-leau'd siluer-doores bright raies project.
The workmanship more admiration crau'd:
For, curious Mulciber2 had there ingrau'd
The Land-imbracing Sea, the orbed Ground,
The arched Heauens. Blew3 Gods the billowes crown'd;
Shape-changing Proteus,4 Triton5 shrill; the tall
Big-brawn'd Aegaeon6 mounted on a Whale.
Gray Doris,7 and her daughters, heauenly-faire:
Some sit on Rocks, and drie their Sea-greene haire;
Some seeme vpon the dancing Waues to glide;
Others on backs of crooked fishes ride:
Amongst them all, no two appeare the same;
Nor differ more then sisters well became.
The Earth had saluage Beasts, Men, Citties, Woods,
Nymphs, Satyrs; rurall Gods, and chrystall Floods:
Aboue all these, Heauen's radiant Image shines,
On both sides deckt with sixe refulgent Signes.8
To this, bold Phaëton made his ascent;
And to his doubted Father's presence bent;
Yet forc't to stand aloofe: for, mortall sight
Could not indure t'approach so pure a light.
Sol cloth'd in purple, sits vpon a Throne,
Which cleerely with tralucent Emralds shone.
With equall-raigning Houres, on either hand,
The dayes, the Months, the Yeares, the Ages stand:
The fragrant Spring with flowrie chaplet crown'd:
Wheat-eares, the browes of naked Summer bound:
Rich Autumne smear'd with crusht Lyaeus blood;9
Next, hoary-headed Winter quiuering stood.
Much daunted at these sacred nouelties,
The fearefull Youth all-seeing Phoebus spies;
Who said, What hether drew thee Phaëton,
Who art, and worthily my dearest Sonne?
He thus reply'd. O thou refulgent Light,
Who all the World reioycest with thy sight!
O Father! if allow'd to vse that name,
Nor Clymene by thee disguise her shame;
Produce some signe, that may my birth approue,
And from my thoughts these wretched doubts remoue.
He, from his Browes, his shining rayes displac't;
And, bidding him draw-neere, his neck imbrac't.
By merit, as by birth, to thee is due
That name, said he; and Clymene was true.
To cleere all doubts; aske what thou wilt, and take
Thy granted wish. Beare witnesse thou dark Lake,10
The oath of Gods, vnto our eyes vnknowne.
These words no sooner from his lips were flowne,
But he demands his Chariot, and the sway
Of his hot Steeds, to guide the winged Day.
The God repents him of the oath he made;
And, shaking his illustrious Tresses, said:
Thy tongue hath made mine erre, thy birth vnblest.
O, would I could break promise! this request,
I must confesse, I onely would denie:
And yet, disswade I may. Thy death doth lie
Within thy wish. What's so desir'd by thee,
Can neither with thy strength nor youth agree.
Too great intentions set thy thoughts on fire.
Thou, mortall, do'st no mortall thing desire;
Through ignorance, affecting more then they
Dare vndertake, who in Olympus11 sway.
Though each himselfe approue; except me, none
Is able to supply my burning Throne.
Not that dread Thunderer, who rules aboue,
Can driue these wheeles: and who more great then Ioue?
Steep is the first ascent; which in the prime
Of springing Day, fresh Horses hardly clime.
At Noone, through highest skies their course they beare:
Whence Sea and Land euen We behold with feare.
Then downe the Hill of Heauen they scoure amaine
With desperate speed, and need a steady reigne;
That Tethys.12 in whose wauy bowres I lie,
Each euening dreads my down-fall from the skie.
Besides; the Heauens are daily hurried round,
That turn the Starres, to other motions bound.13
Against this violence, my way I force,
And counter-run their all-o're-bearing course.
My Charriot had: can thy fraile strength ascend
The obuious Poles,14 and with their force contend?
No Groues, no Citties, fraught with Gods, expect;
No marble Fanes, with wealthy offerings deckt.
Through saluage shapes,15 and dangers lyes thy way:
Which could'st thou keep, and by no error stray,
Betweene the Buls sharp horns yet must thou goe;
By him16 that drawes the strong Aemonian bowe;
The deathfull Scorpion's far-out-bending clawes;
The shorter Crab's; the roaring Lyon's jawes.
Nor easie is't those fiery Steeds to tame:
Who from their mouthes and nostrils vomit flame.
They, heated, hardly of my rule admit;
But, head-strong, struggle with the hated bit.
Then, lest my bountie, which would saue, should kill;
Beware: and whil'st thou maist, reforme thy will.
A signe thou crau'st, that might confirme thee mine:
I, by dehorting, giue a certayne signe;
Approu'd a Father, by Paternall feare:
Look on my looks, and reade my sorrows, there.
O, would thou could'st descend into my brest;
And apprehend my vexed Soules vnrest!
And lastly, all the wealthy World behold,
Of all that Heauen enrich, rich Seas infold,
Or on the pregnant-bosom'd Earth remayne,
Aske what thou wilt; and no repulse sustayne.
To this alone, I giue a forc't consent:
No honour, but a true-nam'd punishment.
Thou, for a blessing, beg'st the worst of harms.
Why hang'st thou on my neck with fawning arms?
Distrust not; We haue sworn: but aske, and take
What thou canst wish: yet, wiser wishes make.
In vaine dehorted; he, his promise claym'd;
With glorie of so great a charge inflam'd.
The wilfull Youth then lingring Phoebus brought
To his bright Chariot, by Vulcan17 wrought.
The Beam and Axeltree of massie gold;
On siluer Spokes the golden Fellies rol'd:
Rich Gems and Chrysolites the Harnesse deckt;
Which, Phoebus beams, with equall light, reflect.
Whil'st this, admiring Phaëton suruayes,
The wakefull Morning from the East displayes
Her purple doores, and odoriferous bed,
With plentie of deaw-dropping Roses spred.
Cleare Lucifer18 the flying Starres doth chace;
And, after all the rest, resignes his place.
When Titan19 saw the Dawning ruddy grew,
And how the Moone her siluer hornes with-drew:
He bade the light-foote Houres, without delay
To ioyn his Steeds. The Goddesses obay:
Who, from their loftie Mangers, forth-with led
His fierie Horses, with Ambrosia20 fed.
With sacred Oyle anoynted by his Syre,
Of vertue to repulse the rage of fire,
He crownes him with his Rayes; Then, thus began
With doubled sighs, which following woes fore-ran.
Let not thy Father still aduise in vaine.
Sonne, spare the whip, and strongly vse the reigne.
They, of their owne accord, will run too fast.
Tis hard, to moderate a flying haste.
Nor driue along the fiue directer Lines.21
A broad and beaten path22 obliquely windes,
Contented with three Zones: which doth auoid
The distant Poles: the track thy wheeles will guide.
Descend thou not too lowe, nor mount too high;
That temperate warmth may Heauen and Earth supply.
A loftie course will Heauen with fire infest;
A lowely, earth: the safer Meane is best.
Nor to the folded Snake23 thy Chariot guide:
Nor to the Altar24 on the other side:
Betweene these driue. The rest I leaue to Fate;
Who better proue, then thou, to thy owne state:
But, while I speak, behold, the humid Night
Beyond th' Hesperian Vales25 hath ta'ne her flight.
Aurora's26 splendor re-inthrone's the Day:
We are expected, nor can longer stay.
Take vp the reignes, or, while thou maist, refuse;
And not my Chariot, but my counsell vse;
While on a firme foundation thou dost stand,
Not yet possest of thy ill-wisht Command.
Let me the World with vsuall influence cheare:
And view that light which is vnsafe to beare.
The generous and gallant Phaëton,
All courage, vaut's into the blazing Throne:
Glad of the reignes, nor doubtfull of his skill;
And giues his Father thanks against his will.
Mean while, the Sunnes swift Horses,27 hot Pyröus,
Light Aethon, fiery Phlegon, bright Eöus,
Neighing alowd, inflame the Ayre with heat;
And, with their thundring hooues, the barriers beat.
Which when hospitious Tethys once with-drew,
(Who nothing of her Nephew's28 danger knew)
And gaue them scope; they mount the ample skie,
And cut the obuious Clouds with feet that flie.
Who, rays'd with plumed pinions, leaue behinde
The glowing East, and slower Easterne-winde.
But, Phoebus Horses could not feele that fraight:
The Chariot wanted the accustom'd waight.
And as vnballac't ships are rockt and tost
With tumbling Waues, and in their steerage lost:
So, through the Ayre the lighter Chariot reeles;
And joults, as emptie, vpon iumping Wheeles.
Which when they found, the beaten path they shun;
And, straggling, out of all subjection run.
He knowes not how to turn, nor knowes the way;
Or had he knowne, yet would not they obay.
The cold, now hot, Triones29 sought in Wane
To quench their heat in the forbidden Maine.
The Serpent30 next vnto the frozen Pole,
Benum'd, and hurtlesse, now began to rowle
With actuall heat; and long forgotten ire
Resumes, together with aethereall fire.
'Tis said, that thou Bootes31 ranst away,
Though slow, though thee thy heauy Waine did stay.
But, when from top of all the arched skye,
Vnhappy Phaëton the Earth did eye:
Pale sudden fears vn-nerues his quaking thighs;
And, in so great a light, be-nights his eyes.
He wisht those Steeds vnknown; vnknown his birth;
His sute vngranted: now he couets earth;
Now scornes not to be held of Merops32 blood,
Rapt as a ship vpon the high-wrought flood;
By saluage tempests chac't; which in despaire
The Pilot leaueth to the Gods, and Pray'r.
What should he doe? much of the heauen behinde;
Much more before: both measur'd in his minde.
The neuer-to-be entred West suruay's;
And then the East. Lost in his owne amaze,
And ignorance, he can nor hold the reignes,
Nor let them goe; nor knowes his Horses names:
But stares on terror-striking skies (possest
By Beasts and Monsters)33 with a panting brest.
There is a place, in which the Scorpion bends
His compast clawes; who through two Signes34 extends.
Whom when the Youth beheld, stew'd in black sweat
Of poyson, and with turn'd-vp taile to threat
A mortall wound; pale feare his senses strooke,
And slackned reignes let's fall, from hands that shooke.
They, when they felt them on their backs to lie,
With vn-controwled error scoure the skie
Through vnknowne ayrie Regions; and tread
The way which their disordred fury led.
Vp to the fixed Starres their course they take;
And stranger Spheares with smoking Chariot rake:
Now clime: now, by steep Praecipies descend:
And neerer Earth their wandring race extend.
To see her brother's35 Steeds beneath her owne
The Moon admires! the Clouds like Comets shone.
Inuading fire the vpper earth assayl'd;
All chapt and con'd; her pregnant juyce exhal'd.
Trees feed their ruin: Grass, gray-headed turns
And Corne, by that which did produce it, burns.
But this was nothing. Cities with their Towres,
Realmes with their People, funerall fire deuoures.
The Mountaines blaze: High Athos, but too high;
Fount-fruitfull Ida, neuer till then drie;
Oete, old Tmolus, and Cilician Taurus,
Muse-haunted Helicon, Oeägrian Aemus.36
Loud Aetna37 roreth with her doubled fires:
Pernassus38 grones beneath two flaming spires,
Steepe Othrys, Cynthus, Eryx, Mimas, glowe;
And Rhodope, no longer cloath'd with snowe.
The Phrygian Dindyma, in cinders mourns:
Cold Caucasus in frosty Scythia burns.
High Mycale, diuine Cithaeron,39 wast;
Pindus,40 and Ossa40 once on Pelion40 cast,
More Great Olympus (which before did shine)41
The ayrie Alpes, and cloudie Appenine.
Then Phaëton beheld on euery side
The World on fire, nor could such heat abide;
And, at his deadly-drie and gasping iawes,
The scalding Ayre, as from a furnace, drawes;
His Chariot, redder then the fire it bore;
And, being mortall could indure no more
Such clowds of ashes, and eiected coles.
Muffled in smoake which round about him rowles,
He knowes not where he is, nor what succeeds;
Dragg'd at the pleasure of his frantick Steeds;
Men say, the Aethiopians then grew swart;
Their blood exhaled to the outward part.
A sandie Desert Lybia then became,
Her full veins emptied by the thirsty flame.
With hair vnbound and torn, the Nymphs, distraught,
Bewaile their Springs. Boeotia Dirce sought;
Argos, Amymone, Ephyre42 the faire
Pirene mist: Nor streames securer are.
Great Tanais in boyling channell fumes;
Teuthranian Caïcus43 heat consumes;
Ismenus, old Penëus, Erymanthus,
Yellow Lycormas; to be twice-burnt, Zanthus.44
Maeander, running in a turning maze,
Mygdonian Melas, and Eurotas blaze;
Euphrates, late inuesting Babylon;
Orontes, Phasis, Ister, Thermodon,
Ganges, Alphëus, Sperchius flames infould:
And Tagus floweth with dissolued gold,
The Swans, that rauisht with their melodie
Maeonian banks, now in Cayster frie.
To farthest Earth affrighted Nilus fled;
And there conceal'd his yet vnfound-out head,45
Whil'st his seuen dustie channels streamlesse lie.
Ismarian Hebrus, Strymon now are drie.
Hesperian streames, Rhene, Rhodanus, the Po46
And Scepter-destinated47 Tyber glowe.
Earth cracks: to Hell the hated light descends;
And frighted Pluto, with his Queene, offends.
The Ocean shrinks, and leaues a field of Sand;
Where new discouer'd Rocks, and Mountayns stand,
That multiply the scatter'd Cyclades,48
Late couer'd with the deepe and awfull Seas,
The Fishes to the bottome diue: nor dare
The sportlesse Dolphins tempt the sultrie Ayre.
Long boyl'd aliue, the monstrous Phocae49 die,
And on the brine with turn'd-up bellies lie.
With Doris and her daughters,50 Nereus raues;
Who hide themselues beneath the scalding waues.
Thrice wrathfull Neptune his bold arme vp-held
Aboue the Floods: whom thrice the fire repel'd.
Yet foodfull Tellus51 with the Ocean bound,
Amidst the Seas, and Fountaines now vnfound
(Selfe-hid within the wombe where they were bred)
Neck-high aduanceth her all-bearing head
(Her parched fore head shaddow'd with her hand)
And, shaking, shooke what-euer on her stand:
Where-with, a little shrunke into her brest,
Her sacred tongue her sorrowes thus exprest:
If such thy will, and I deserue the same,
Thou chiefe of Gods, why sleeps thy vengefull flame?
Be't by Thy fire, if I in fire must frie?
The Author lessens the calamitie.
But, whilst I striue to vtter this, I choke.
View my sing'd hair, mine eyes halfe-out with smoke!
The sparkling cinders on my visage throwne!
Is this my recompence? the fauour showne
For all my seruice? for the fruit I haue borne?
That thus I am with Plough and harrowes torne?
Wrought-out through-out the yeare? that man and beast
Sustayne with food? and you with incense feast?
But, say I merit ruine, and thy hate
What hath thy brother52 done (by equall Fate
Elected to the wauy Monarchie),
That Seas should sinke, and from thy presence flie?
If neither he, nor I thy pitty moue,
Pitty thy Heauen. Behold! the Poles aboue
At either end doe fume: and should they burne,
Thy habitation would to ruine turne.
Distressed Atlas53 shoulders shrinke with payne,
And scarce the glowing Axeltree sustayne.
If Sea, if Earth, if Heau'n shall fall by fire,
Then all of vs to Chaos54 must retire.
O! quench these flames: the miserable state
Of things releeue, before it be too-late,
This said, her voyce her parched tongue forsooke,
Nor longer could the smothering vapours brooke;
But, downe into her-selfe with-drew her head,
Neere to th' infernall Cauerns of the Dead.
Ioue calls the Gods to witness, and who lent
The straying Chariot; should not he preuent,
That All would perish by one destinie;
Then mounts the highest Turret of the skie,
From thence inur'd to cloud the spacefull Earth,
And giue the flame fore-running thunder birth.
But, there, for wasted clouds he sought in vaine,
To shade or coole the scorched Earth with raine.
He thunders; and, with hands that cannot erre,
Hurls lightning at the audacious Charioter.
Him strooke he from his seat, breath from his brest,
Both at one blow, and flames with flames supprest.
The frighted horses, plunging seuerall wayes,
Breake all their tire: to whom the bit obayes:
The reignes, torne beams, crackt spokes, disperst abroad,
Scorcht Heauen was with the Chariots ruines strow'd.
But, soule-less Phaëton, with blazing haire,
Shot head-long through a long descent of Aire;
As when a falling starre glides through the skie,55
Or seemes to fall to the deceiued eye.
Whom great Eridanus56 (fame from his place
Of birth) receiu'd, and quencht his flagrant face:
Whose Nymphs interr'd him in his Mothers57 wombe;
And fixt his Epitaph vpon his Tombe:
Here Phaëton lyes: who though he could not guide
His Fathers Steeds, in high attempts he dy'd.
Phoebus with griefe with-drew. One day did runne
About the World, they say, without the Sunne,
Which flamie funeralls illuminate;
That good, deriued from a wretched Fate.
When Clymene had said what could be said
In such a griefe; halfe-soul'd, in black array'd,
She fils the Earth she wanders through, with grones,
First seeking his dead corps, and then his bones.
Interr'd in forren Lands shee found the last:
Her feeble lims vpon the place shee cast.
And bath'd his name in teares, and strictly prest
The carued Marble with her bared brest.
Nor lesse th' Heliades58 lament; who shead
From drowned eyes vaine offerings to the dead:
Who with remorselesse hands their bosomes teare;
And wayling, call on him that cannot heare.
With ioyned hornes foure Moones their orbs had fil'd,
Since they their customary plaints vpheld:
When Phaethusa, thinking to haue cast
Her selfe on Earth, cry'd, ah! my feet stick fast!
Lampetie, pressing to her sisters ayd,
As suddenly with fixed roots was stayd.
A third, about t'haue torne her scattered haire,
Tore-off the leaues which on her crowne she bare.
This, grieueth at her stiffe and senselesse thighes
Shee, that her stretcht-out armes in branches rise.
And whil'st with wonder they themselues behold,
The creeping barke their tender parts infold;
Then, by degrees, their bellies, brests, and all
Except their mouths; which on their mother call.
What should shee doe? but runne to that, to this,
As fury draue; and snatcht a parting kisse?
But yet, not so suffic'd, she stroue to take
Them, from themselues, and downe the branches brake:
From whence, as from a wound, pure blood did glide.
O pitty, Mother! (still the wounded cry'd)
Nor teare vs in our Trees! O! now adieu!
With that, the barke their lips together drew.
From these cleere dropping trees, teares yearely flow:
They, hardned by the Sunne, to Amber grow;
Which, on the moisture-giuing Riuer spent,
To Roman Ladies, as his gift, is sent.
Sthenelian Cygnus59 at that time was there,
A-kin to Phaëton; in loue, more neere.
He, leauing State (who in Liguria60 raign'd,
Which Cities great and populous contain'd)
Fil'd with complaints the Riuer-chiding floods,
The sedgie banks, and late augmented Woods.
At length, his voice grew small: white plume contends
In whitenesse with his haire: his neck ascends.
Red filmes vnite his toes: armes turne to wings:
His mouth, a flat blunt bill, that sadly sings.
Becomne a Swan, remembring how vnjust
Ioue's lightning was, nor Heauen, nor him will trust.
Whom Lakes and Ponds (detesting fire) delight;
And Floods, to Flames in nature opposite.
The wofull Father to dead Phaëton,
Him-selfe neglecting (all his lustre gon,
As when eclipst) day, light, his owne life hates;
And loued griefe, with anger, aggrauates.
Refusing to illuminate the Earth.
Enough, too much my toyle! borne with the birth
Of Time; (as restlesse;) without end, regard,
Or honour: recompenc't with this reward!
Some other now may on my Chariot sit.
If all of you confesse your selues vnfit;
Let Ioue ascend: that he (when he shall trie)
At length may lay his murd'ring thunder by.
Then will he finde, that he, who could not guide
Those fire-hoof'd Steeds, deseru'd not to haue dy'd.
The Gods stand round about him, and request
That endlesse Night might not the World inuest.
Euen Ioue excus'd his lightning, and intreats:
Which, like a King, he intermixt with threats.
Displeased Phoebus, hardly reconcil'd,
Takes-vp his Steeds, as yet with horror wild.
On whom he vents his spleen: and, though they run,
He lashes, and vpbraids them with his Son.
The Thunderer61 then walks the ample Round
Of Heauens high walls, to search if all were sound.
When finding nothing there by fire decay'd;
He Earth, and humane industries suruay'd.
Arcadia chiefely exerciz'd his cares;
There, Springs and streames, that durst not run, repair's;
The Fields with Grasse, the Trees with leaues indue's,
And withered Woods with vanisht Shades renew's.
Oft passing too and fro, a Nonacrine62
The God inflam'd; her beautie, more diuine!
'Twas not her Art to spin, nor with much care
And fine varietie to trick her haire;
But, with a zone, her looser garments bound,
And her rude tresses in a Fillet wound:
Now armed with a Dart, now with a Bowe:
A Squire of Phoebe's.63 Maenalus64 did knowe
None more in grace, of all her Virgin throng:
But, Fauorites in fauour last not long.
The parted Day in equall ballance held,
A Wood she entred, as yet neuer feld.
There from her shoulders shee her Quiuer takes,
Vnbends her Bowe; and, tyr'd with hunting, makes
The flowry-mantled Earth her happy bed;
And on her painted Quiuer layes her head.
When Ioue the Nymph without a guard did see
In such a positure; This stealth, said he,
My Wife shall neuer knowe: or, say shee did;
Who, ah, who would not for her sake be chid!
Diana's shape and habit them indew'd,
He said; My Huntresse, where hast thou pursew'd
This morning's chace? She, rising, made reply;
Haile Pow'r, more great then Ioue (though Ioue stood by)
In my esteeme ----. He smil'd: and gladly-heard
Him-selfe, by her, before Him-selfe preferr'd;
And kist. His kisses too intemperate grow;
Not such as Maids on Maidens doe bestow.
His strict imbracements her narration stay'd;
And, by his crime, his owne deceit betray'd.
Shee did what Woman could to force her Fate;
(Would Iuno saw! it would her spleene abate)
Although, as much as Woman could, she stroue;
What Woman, or, who can contend with Ioue!
The Victor hies him to th'aethereall States.
The Woods, as guiltie of her wrongs, shee hates;
Almost forgetting, as from thence she flung,
Her Quiuer, and the Bowe which by it hung.
High Maenalus Dictynna65 with her traine
Now entring, pleased with the quarry slaine,
Beheld, and call'd her: called vpon, shee fled;
And in her semblance Iupiter doth dread.
But, when shee saw th' attending Nymphs appeare;
Shee troops amongst them, and diuerts her feare.
Ah, how our faults are in our faces read!
With eyes scarce euer rais'd, shee hangs the head:
Nor perks shee now, as shee was wont to doe,
By Cynthia's66 side, nor leads the starry crew.
Though mute shee be, her violated shame
Selfe-guilty blushes silently proclaims.
But that a Maid, Diana the ill hid
Had soone espy'd: they say, her slie Nymphs did.
Nine Crescents67 now had made their Orbs compleat;
When, faint with labour, and her brothers68 heat,
Shee takes the shades; close by the murmuring
And siluer current of a fruitfull Spring.
The place much prays'd, the streame as coole as cleere
Her faire feet glads. No Spyes, said she, be here:
Here will we our disrobed bodies dip.
Calisto blusht: the rest their faire lims strip.
And her perforce vncloth'd, that sought delayes;
Who, with her body, her offence displayes.
They, all abasht, yet loath to haue it spy'd,
Striuing her belly with their hands to hide;
Avant, said Cynthia; get thee from our trayne;
Nor, with thy lims, this sacred Fountaine staine.
This knew the Matron69 of the Thunderer;
Whose thoughts, to fitter times, reuenge defer:
Nor long delaie's; for, Arcas (which more scorne
And griefe prouok't) was of the Lady borne.
Beheld with ire, which turn'd her eyes to flame;
Must thou be fruitfull too, to blaze my shame,
And propagate the wrong? And must he be
A liuing infamie to Ioue and me?
I'le not indur't: That so selfe-pleasing shape,
Which drew my husband to thy willing rape,
I sure shall spoile. This said, her haire she wound
About her hand, and dragg'd her on the ground.
Her hands, for pitty heau'd (so smooth, so faire!)
Grew forthwith rough, and horrid with blacke haire.
Her dainty hands (which, swift deformity
Conuerts to pawes) the place of feet supply.
The mouth, so prays'd by Ioue (that late to sin
Entic't a God) how horribly doth grin.
And, lest shee might too powerfully beseech,
Shee instantly bereft her of her speech:
In stead whereof, a noyse ascends her hoarse.
And rumbling throate, which terror doth inforce;
Although a Beare, her minde shee still possest,
And with continuall grones her griefe exprest;
With pawes stretcht vp to heauen, accus'd her fate:
And whom shee could not call, she thought ingrate.
How oft, afraid to keep the Wood's alone,
Sought she the house and fields that were her owne!
How often, chaced by the following crie,
Th' affrighted Huntresse from her hounds did flie!
Oft she (the Wood's wild foragers espy'd)
Forgetting what she was, her selfe would hide:
A Beare; yet trembles at the sight of Beares;
And Wolues (her Father70 then amongst them) feares.
When (lo!) Lycaon's Grand-child71 thither drew,
Thrice fiue yeares old, nor of his Mother knew;
While he pursues the chace and saluage spoyles
(The Erymanthian Woods begirt with toyles)
Her he encounters. Arcas seene, shee stay'd,
And would haue ta'ne acquaintance. He, afraid,
Stared vpon her with a constant eye;
And backward stept, as shee approached nye.
About to wound her vndefended brest:
The King of Gods, who did the fact detest,
With them, the crime with-drew, and both conuai'd
To heauen; now neighb'ring Constellations72 made.
Saturnia73 sweld to see her Riuall shine
Amongst the Starres. Shee stoops to Neptune's brine;
Gray Tethys and the old Oceanus74
(Grac't by the Deities) accoasting thus
Aske you why I, the Queene of Gods, am come
From blest aboads? Another holds my roome.
When Nights blacke mantle shall the World infold;
My wounds (those honour'd Starres) you may behold;
There, where the shortest Circle,75 at the end
Of all the turning Axeltree, doth bend.
Who would not injurie the wife of Ioue,
When our worst punishments preferments proue?
How great our act! how is our powre display'd!
Vnform'd a Woman, and a Goddesse made.
Thus we the guiltie scourge! Thus, thus we our
Reuenge aduance! such, and so great our powre!
Let him vnbeast the beast (as heretofore
Phoronis)76 and her wanton shape restore.
Why doth he not Lycaon's daughter wed,
Rejecting me, and place her in his bed?
But, you who once my carefull Nurses77 were,
If my indignities doe touch you neere,
Command you that the seuen Triones78 keepe
Their lazie Waine out of your sacred Deepe.
From thence, those starres, the price of whoredome, driue;
Nor let th' impure in your pure Surges diue.
They both assent.79 Her Peacocks to the skyes
Their Goddesse draw; late stuck with Argus eyes.
Thou too, thou prating Raven, turn'd as late
From white to blacke, by well-deserued Fate.
(The spotlesse siluer Doue was not more white,
Nor Swans which in the running Brookes delight
Nor yet that vigilant Fowle,80 whose gaggling shall
Hereafter free th' attempted Capitoll.)
Thy tongue, thy tell-tale tongue did thee vndoe:
And what was white, is now of sable hew.
The Palme, Coronis, of Larissa, bare
From all th' Aemonian Dames for matchlesse faire.
Who dearly, Delphian,81 was belou'd by thee;
As long as chaste, or from detection free.
But, Phoebus Bird82 her scapes did soone descrie:
Nor could they charme th' inexorable Spie
Whom, flying to his Lord, the Crowe pursewes
(As talkatiue as he) to knowe the newes;
And, knowing, said: Thy selfe thou dost ingage
By thanklesse seruice: slight not my presage.
Knowe what I was, and am: through all my time
My actions sift: thou'lt find my faith my crime.
For Pallas,83 on a day, in chest compos'd
Of Attick Osiars, priuately inclos'd
Her Erichthonius (whom no Woman bare)84
Committed to the custody and care
Of three faire Virgin Nymphs, that daughters were
To Prudent Cecrops,85 who two shapes did beare:
Nor told what it contayn'd; but, charg'd that they
Her secrets should not to themselues betray.
These from an Elme I (unespy'd) espy.
Faire Herse and Pandrosa faithfully
Performe their charge. Aglauros then did call
Her fearefull sisters, and vnties with-all
The wicker Cabinet; whose twigs containe
An infant, raysed on a Dragon's trayne.
This, I my Goddesse told; and for reward,
Am now cashiered from Minerva's Guard,
The Bird of Night86 preferd. Beware by mee:
Nor too officiously tell all you see.
Truth is, I neuer to that place aspir'd;
She gaue it me, vnsought-too, vndesir'd:
Were Pallas askt, though angry, yet knowe I
That angry Pallas would not this deny.
Me had King Coronëus, great in fame.
Through happy Phocis, by a royall Dame.
Rich suiters I (despise me not) had store
My beautie wrackt me. Walking on the shore,
As leasurely as now I vse to goe,
Cold Neptune saw me, and with lust did glowe.
The time, his prayr's, and prayses spent in vaine;
What would not yeeld, he offers to constraine;
And followes me that fled. The harder strand
Behind me left, and tyr'd with yeelding sand,
To Gods and Men I crie. No humane aid
Was then at hand: a Maid87 releeues a Maid.
For, as to heauen my trembling armes I threw;
My armes cole-black with houering feathers grew.
My Robe I from my shoulders thought to throwe:
But, that was plume, and to my skin did growe.
With hands to beat my naked brest, I trie:
But, neither brest to beat, nor hands, had I.
Running, in sand I sunke not as before;
But, me the scarce-toucht Earth, vnburden'd bore.
Forth-with, I lightly through the Ayre ascend;
And on Minerva, without blame, attend.
But, what was this; when she, whose wicked deeds
Vnwoman'd her, in our lost grace succeeds?
For, know (no more then through all Lesbos spred)
Nyctimene88 defil'd her Fathers bed.
Though now a Bird; yet, full of guilt, the sight,
The Day, she shuns, and masks her shame in Night.
About her, all our winged troops repayre;
And, with inuectiues, chace her through the Ayre.
To her, the Rauen: Mischiefe thee surprise
For staying me. Vaine Omen's I despise;
Then, forward flew; and told the hurtfull truth
Of lost Coronis, and th' Aemonian Youth.89
The harp drops from his hand: and from his head
The Laurell fell: his chearfull colour fled.
Transported with his rage, his bow he tooke,
Arid with ineuitable arrow strooke
That brest, which he so oft to his had ioyn'd:
Shee shreeks; and from the deadly wound doth wind
The biting steele, pursu'd with streames of blood,
That bath'd her pure white in a crimson Flood:
And said; Though this be due, yet, Phoebus, I
Might first haue teem'd: now, two in one must die.
Shee faints: forc't life in her blood's torrent swims:
And stifning cold benums her senselesse lims.
His crueltie, to her he lou'd, too late,
He now repenteth, and him-selfe doth hate,
Who lent an eare, whom rage could so incense:
He hates his Bird, by whom he knew th' offence;
He hates his Art, his quiuer, and his Bowe;
Then, takes her vp, and all his skill doth showe.
But (ah!) too late to vanquish Fate he tries;
And surgerie, without successe, applies.
Which when he saw, and saw the funerall pyle
Prepared to deuoure so deare a spoyle;
He deeply grones (for no coelestiall eye
May shead a teare) as when a Cow stands by
And lowes alowd to see th' aduanced mall
Vpon the fore-head of her suckling fall.
And now vncar'd-for odours powr'd vpon her;
And vndue death with all due rites doth honour.
But, Phoebus, not induring that his seed90
(And that by her) the greedie Fire should feed,
Snatcht it both from her womb, and from the flame;
And to the two-shap't Chiron91 brought the same.
The white-plum'd Rauen, who reward expects,
He turnes to black; and for his truth rejects.
It pleas'd the Halfe-horse92 to be so imploy'd;
Who in his honourable trouble ioy'd.
Behold: the Centaur's daughter with red haire,
Whom formerly the Nymph Caricle bare
By the swift Riuer, and Ocyroë nam'd;
Who had her Father's healthfull Art disclaym'd,
To sing the depth of Fates: Now, when her brest
Was by the prophecying rage possest,
And that th' included God93 inflam'd her minde;
Beholding of the Babe, she thus diuin'd:
Health-giuer to the World, grow Infant, grow;
To whom mortalitie so much shall owe.
Fled Soules thou shalt restore to their aboads
And once against the pleasure of the Gods.94
To doe the like, thy Grand-sires95 flames denie
And thou, begotten by a God, must die.
Thou, of a bloodlesse corps, a God shalt be:96
Nature twice shall be renew'd in thee.
And you, deare Father, not a Mortall now;
To whom the Fates eternitie allow;
Shall wish to die, then when your wound shall smart
With Serpents blood,97 and slight your helplesse Art.
Relenting Fates will pittie you with death,
Against their Law, and stop your groning breath.
Not all yet said, her sighs in stormes arise;
And ill-aboding teares burst from her eyes.
Then, thus: My Fates preuent me: lo, they tie
My falt'ring tongue, and farther speech deny.
Alas! these Arts not of that value be,
That they should draw the wrath of Heauen on me!
O, rather would I nothing had fore-knowne!
My lookes seeme now not humane, nor my owne.
I long to feed on grasse: I long to run
About the spacious fields. Woe's me, vndone!
Into a Mare (my kindred's shape) I grow:
Yet, why throughout? my Father98 but halfe so.
The end of her complaint you scarce could heare
To vnderstand: her words confused were.
Forth-with, nor words, nor neighings, she exprest;
Her voice yet more inclining to the beast:
Then, neigh'd out-right. Within a little space,
Her down-thrust armes vpon the Meddow pace.
Her fingers joyne: one hoofe fiue nayles vnite:
Her head and neck enlarge, not now vpright:
Her trayling garment to a trayne extends:
Her dangling haire vpon her crest descends:
Her voice and shape at once transform'd became:
And to it selfe the Monster giues a name.99
Old Chiron weeps; and Phoebus, vainly cryes
On thee to change the changelesse Destinies.
Admit thou could'st: thee, from thy selfe expeld,
Then Elis, and Messenian pastures held.
It was the time when, cloth'd in Neat-herds weeds,
Thou play'dst vpon vnequall seuen-fold Reeds:
Whil'st thee thy Pipe delights, whil'st cares of loue
Thy soule possesse, and other cares remoue;
Thy Oxen in the fields of Pylos stray:
Obserued by the crafty sonne100 of May,
Forthwith he secretly conueyes them thence,
In vntract Woods concealing his offence.
None saw but Battus, in that Country bred;
Who wealthy Neleus famous horses101 fed.
Him only he misdoubts: then, (t'ane a-part)
Stranger, said Mercury, what ere thou art;
If any for this Herd by chance enquire,
Conceale thy knowledge: and receiue, for hire,
This white-hair'd Cow. He tooke her, and reply'd,
Be safe; thy theft shall sooner be descry'd
By yonder stone, then me; and shew'd a stone.
Ioue's sonne departs, and straight returnes vnknowne
(A seeming Clowne in forme and voice) who said
Saw'st thou no Cattle through these fields conuay'd?
Detect the theft; in their recouerie joyne:
And, lo, this Heifer, with her Bull, is thine,
He (the reward redoubl'd) answer'd: There
Beneath those hills, beneath those hills102 they were.
Then, Hermes,103 laughing lowd; What, knaue, I say,
Me to my selfe; me to my selfe betray?
Then, to a Touch-stone104 turn'd his perjur'd brest;
Whose nature now is in that name exprest.
Hence, he, who beares the Caduceus,105 springs
Through boundlesse ayre; & views, from stretcht-out wings,
Munychian106fields, Minerva's loued soyle,107
Lycaeum,108 exercis'd with learned toyle.
By chance, vpon that day it did befall,
When to her Fane, prepar'd for festiuall,
In crowned baskets on their shining haire,
The Virgin-trayne her sacrifices bare:
Returning; these the winged God doth view;
Who not forth-right, but in a circuit flew.
As when a greedie Kite fresh entrailes spies,
Fearing to stoop for those that sacrifice,
Strikes circles through the ayre, nor farre remoues;
But, with fixt eyes reuerts to what he loues:
So, swift Cyllenius109 o're the Attick towers,
In ayrie windings circularly scowers.
As Lucifer110 out-shines each other Starre;
As siluer Phoebe, Lucifer; so farre
Did Herse all the other Virgins stayne;
The glory of that pomp, and of her trayne.
Loue-strucke, he burnes as in the Ayre he hung.
A bullet by Balarian111 Slinger flung,
Increaseth so in feruor as it flyes;
And finds the fire it had not, in the skyes.
From Heauen, he stoops to more affected Earth:
Not now disguis'd like one of humane birth;
Such confidence his beauteous parts impart;
Which, though diuine, he striues to grace by Art.
He curles his haire; his mantle, wrought with gold,
He in the most becomming garb doth fold;
And his fine feet adornes: then, in his hand
Takes his sleep-causing and expelling wand.112
Three roomes there were within the faire contect
Of Cecrop's house, with Iuory arches deckt.
Pandrosa and Aglauros on each side
Of Herse lay; Aglauros first espy'd
The sly-approaching Mercury: his name
Shee boldly asks, and why he thither came.
To whom, Pleïones nephew113 He am I
Who on Ioue's errands (Ioue, my Father) flie.
And to be plaine; to Herse faithfull proue:
And be an Aunt vnto our fruitfull loue.
Thy sister's beauties this repaire inforce:
I pray thee of a Louer take remorse.
So star'd she on him, and as much amaz'd;
As when she on Minerva's secrets gaz'd:114
Who askes a masse of treasure for her hire;
And, till 'twere payd, constrain'd him to retire.
Warres angry Goddesse115 cast on her a looke
That darted fire; and fetcht a sigh which shooke
Her bosome, with the Aegis116 which shee wore:
Who calls to minde, how shee, not long afore,
Profanely did, against her faith, discouer
The Lemnian issue,117 borne without a Mother:
Now to her sister, to the God ingrate;
And by so base a meanes t' inrich her state.
Forth-with to Enuie's caue her course she bent,
Furr'd with black filth, within a deepe descent
Betweene two hills; where Phoebus neuer showes
His chearfull face; where no winde euer blowes:
Repleat with sadnesse, and vnactiue cold;
Deuoid of fire, yet still in smoak enrol'd.
Whether when as the fear'd in battell118 came,
Shee staid before the house (that hatefull frame
Shee might not enter) and the darke doore stroke
With her bright lance; which straight in sunder broke.
There saw she Enuie lapping Vipers blood;
And feeding on their flesh, her vices food:
And, hauing scene her, turn'd-away her eyes.
The Caitiffe slowly from the ground doth rise
(Her halfe-deuoured Serpents laid-aside)
And forward creepeth with a lazie stride.
Viewing her forme so faire; her armes, so bright;
Shee groan'd, and sigh't at such a chearfull sight.
Her body more than meager; pale her hew;
Her teeth all rustie; still shee looks askew;
Her breast with gall, her tongue with poyson sweld:
Shee only laught, when she sad sights beheld.
Her euer-waking cares exil'd soft sleepe:
Who lookes on good successe, with eyes that weepe;
Repining, pines: who, wounding others, bleeds:
And on her selfe reuengeth her misdeeds.
Although Tritonia119 did the Hag detest;
Yet briefely thus her pleasure she exprest:
Aglauros, one of the Cecropides120
Doe thou infest with thy accurst disease.
This said; the hastie Goddesse doth aduance
Her body, with her earth-repelling lance.
Enuie cast after her a wicked eye,
Mutters, and could for very sorrow die
That such her power: a snaggy staffe then tooke
Wreathed with thornes; and her darke Caue forsooke.
Wrapt in black clouds, which way so ere shee turnes,
The Corne she lodges, flowrie pastures burnes,
Crops what growes high; Townes, Nations, with her breath
Pollutes; and Vertue persecutes to death.
When shee the faire Athenian towres beheld,
Which so in wealth, in learned Arts exceld,
And feastfull Peace; to crie she scarce forbeares,
In that she saw no argument for teares.
When shee Aglauros lodging entred had,
Shee gladly executes what Pallas bade
Her cankred hand vpon her brest she lai'd,
And crooked thornes into her heart conuay'd,
And breath'd in bainefull poyson; which she sheads
Into her bones, and through her spirits spreads.
And that her enuy might not want a cause;
The God in his diuinest forme shee drawes:
And with it, sets before her wounded eyes
Her happy sister, and their nuptiall joyes:
Augmenting all. These secret woes excite,
And gnaw her soule. Shee sighs all day, all night;
And with a slow infection melts away,
Like Ice before the Sunnes vncertaine ray.
Faire Herse's happy state such heart-burne breeds
In her black bosome, as when spiny weeds
Are set on fire: which without flame consume,
And seeme (so small their heat) to burne with fume.
Oft shee resolues to die, such sights to shun:
Oft, by disclosing, to haue both vndone.
Now sits she on the threshold, to preuent
The Gods accesse; who with lost blandishment,
And his best Art, perswades. Quoth shee; forbeare,
I cannot be remou'd, if you stay here.
I to this bargaine, he reply'd, will stand;
The figured doore then forces with his wand.121
Striuing to rise, to second her debate,
Her hips could not remoue, prest with dull waight.
Againe shee struggl'd to haue stood on end:
But, those vnsupple sinewes would not bend.
Incroaching cold now enters at her nayles:
And lack of blood her veines blew branches pale's.
And as a Canker, slighting helplesse Arts,
Creeps from th' infected to the sounder parts:
So by degrees the winter of wan Death
Congeales the path of life, and stops her breath:
Nor stroue she: had she stroue to make her mone,
Voice had no way; her neck and face now stone.
There shee a bloodlesse Statue sate, all freckt:
Her spotted minde the Marble did infect.
When Atlantiades122 on her, prophane
Of tongue and heart, this sharp reuenge had ta'ne;
He from the Cittie,123 nam'd by Pallas, flew
On mounting wings, and vnto heauen with-drew.
With whom, Ioue thus (his loue concealing) joynes:
Thou, faithfull Minister to my designes,
Shoot swiftly through the Ayre vnto that Land,124
Whose borders North-ward of thy Mother stand,
Which those Inhabitants Sidonia name:
Behold, yon'd royall Heard: conduct the same,
From not farre distant Mountaines, to the shore.
This he dispatcht, with speed that went before
A humane thought. There, oft the princely Maid,125
Accompany'd with Tyrian Virgins, play'd.
Loue and high Majestie agree not well;
Nor will together in one bosome dwell.
That Powre, from whom, what-ere hath being, springs;
That King of Gods, who three-fork't lightning flings;
Whose nod the World's vnfixt foundation shakes,
The figure of a sensuall Bull now takes:
And, lowing, walkes vpon the tender grasse
Amongst the Heard; though he in forme surpasse.
His colour whiter then vntroden snow,
Before still-moist and thawing Auster126 blow.
The flesh, in swelling rowles, adornes his neck:
His broad-spread brest, long dangling dew-laps deck.
His hornes, through small, yet such as Art inuite
To imitate, then shining gemmes more bright:
His eyes no wrath, his browes no terror threat;
His whole aspect with smiling peace repleat.
The beast, Agenor's daughter127 doth admire,
So wondrous beautifull, so void of ire.
Though such, at first shee his approach did dread,
Yet forthwith toucht; and then with flowres him fed.
The Louer joyes: till he his hopes might feast,
He kist her hands; ah, scarce deferres the rest!
Now, on the springing grasse, he frisks and playes:
His sides now on the golden sands he layes.
Her feare subdu'd, shee strokes his proffered brest:
Her Virgin-hands his hornes with garlands drest.
The royall Maid, who now no courage lackt,
Ascends the Bull, not knowing whom shee backt.
He, to the Sea approaching, by degrees
First dips therein his hoofes, anon his knees;
Then, rushing forward, beares away the prize.
Shee shreeks, and to the shore reuerts her eyes:
One hand his horne, the other held behind;
Her lighter garments swelling with the wind.