Omnia Vincit Amor Ovid Illustrated: The Renaissance Reception
of Ovid in Image and Text

George Sandys, Ovid's Metamorphosis (1632)

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Daniel Kinney, Director
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The Twelfth Booke.

A Snake; a snake-like Stone. Cycnus, a Swan:
Caenis the maid, now Caeneus and a man,
Becomes a Fowle. Neleius varies shapes:
At last an Eagle; nor Alcides scapes.

Old Priam mournes for Aesacus; nor knew
That he suruiu'd, and with light feathers flew.
While Hector and his brethren dues, with teares,
Pay to the tombe which his inscription beares.1
But Paris, absent from that obsequy,
Straight with his Rape,2 brought ten yeares warre to Troy.
A thousand ships, in one confederate,
Pursue his stealth, with all the Achaian State.3
Nor vow'd reuenge so long had beene delaid;
If wrathfull seas had not their passage staid:
At fishie Aulis, in Boeotia,
Their wind-bound Nauie in expectance lay.
Here (as of old) to Ioue they sacrifice.
While from the antique altar flames arise;
A blew-scal' d Dragon, in the Armies view,  THE SERPENT AT AVLIS  
Ascends a tree, which neere the altar grew.
A nest there was vpon an vpper bough,
With twice foure birds: these, and their dam (which now
Flutter'd about her young) the greedy snake
At length deuour'd. This all with wonder strake.
When Chalchas cry'd (who could the truth diuine)
Reioyce, Pelasgans,4 'tis a happy signe!
Proud Troy shall fall; though with long toyle and care:
These thrice three birds, thrice three yeares warre declare.
She wound about a bough, gorg'd with her rape;
Became a Stone, that held the serpents shape.
Still Nereus5 in Aönian6 surges raues:
Nor warre transferres. Some thinke the God of Waues7
Would Troy preserue; and saue the walles he made.
Thestorides8 dissents: who knew, and said,
A Virgins blood must Dian' reconcile.9
Now did the publike cause the priuate foyle;  IPHIGENIA  
A King a father: Iphigenia10 stood
Before the altar to resigne her blood.
The Priest then wept; so pitty did subdue
The Goddesse, who a cloud about her threw;
And while they prosecute her Rites, and praid;
Produc't a Hinde to represent the Maid.
When fitter sacrifice had dull'd her rage;
Her furie, and the Seas, at once asswage.
A fore-winds then their thousand Vessels bore:
Who, suffering much, attaine the Phrygian shore.
    Amid the world, betweene Aire, Earth, and Seas,  FAME  
A place there is; the confines to all these.
Where all that's done, though far remou'd, appears:
And euery whisper penetrates the ears.
The House of Fame: who in the highest towre
Her lodging takes. To this capacious bowre
Innumerable waies conduct; no way
Barr'd vp; the doores stand open night and day.
All built of ringing brass; through-out resounds:
Things heard, reports; and euery word rebounds,
No rest within, no silence: yet the noyse
Not loud, but like the murmuring of a voice.
Such as from farre by rowling billowes sent;
Or as Ioues fainting Thunder almost spent.
Hither the idle vulgar come and goe:
Millions of Rumors wander too and fro;
Lyes mixt with truths, in words that vary still.
Of these, with newes vnknowing eares Some fill;
Some carry tales: all in the telling growes;
And euery Author addes to what he knowes.
Here dwels rash Error, light Credulity,
Deiected Feare, and vainly grounded Ioy;
New rais'd Sedition, secret Whisperings
Of vnknowne Authors, and of doubtfull things.
All done in Heauen, Earth, Ocean, Fame suruiews:
And through the ample world inquires of newes.
    She notice gaue, how with a dreadfull hoast
The Grecian Nauie steered for their coast.
Nor vnexpected came: the Troians bend
Their powers t' incounter, and their shores defend.
First thou thy life, Protesilaus,11 lost
By Hectors fatall lance; the battle cost
The Greekes much noble blood: so clearely shone
Their fortitudes; great Hector yet vnknowne.
Nor no small streames of blood their valours drew
From Phrygian wounds, who felt what Greece could doe.
And now their mingled gores Sigaeum12 staine:
Now Neptunes Cycnus13 had a thousand slaine.
Now on the Foe the fierce Achilles flew;
And with his lance whole squadrons ouerthrew:
Seeking for Cycnus, or for Hector, round  CYCNVS  
About the field; at length braue Cycnus found:
(For Ioue nine yeares great Hectors life sustaines.14)
Cheering his horses with the flaxen manes,
His thundring charriot driues against his foe,
And shakes his trembling lance: about to throw;
O youth, he said, what e'r thou art, reioyce:
Achilles honours thee with death. His voice
His speare pursues: the steele no wound imprest
Though strongly throwne. When, bounding from his brest
He said, Thou Goddesse-borne,15 Fame brutes thee such;
Why wondrest thou? (Achilles wondred much)
This helme with horse-haire dect,16 this shield I beare,
Defend not me: for fashion these I weare.
So Mars17 his person armes. Should I display
My naked brest, thy force could finde no way.
The grace to be Nereïs18 sonne is small:
I his, who Nereus, who his Nymphs, who all
The Ocean guides:19 Then at Achilles threw
His lance, that pierc't his plated shield, and through
Nine Oxe-hides rusht: the tenth did it restraine.
The Heroe caught it, and retorts againe
The singing steele; againe it gaue no wound.
The third assay no better entrance found,
Though Cycnus bar'd his bosome to the blow.
He rages like a Bull in Circian shew;20
Whose dreadfull hornes the skarlet,21 which prouokes
His furie, tosse with still deluded strokes.
Then searches if the head were off: that on;
What, is my hand, said he, so feeble growne?
On one is all my vigour spent? my powre
Was more, when first I raz'd Lyrnessus towre:22
When Tenedos,23 Eëtian Thebes,24 were fild
With blood of theirs, by my encounters spild.
The red Caycus25 slaughtred natiues dyde:
Twice Telephus26 my iaulin powrefull tryde.
Behold these heapes of bodies! these I slew:
Much could my hand haue done; as much can doe.
This said, his former deeds almost suspects,
And at Menetes brest his aime directs,
(A Lycian of meane ranke) the thrilling dart
Quite through his faithlesse curasse pierc't his heart:
Whose dying body struck the groning ground.
Snatching the weapon from his reeking wound;
This hand, he said, this now victorious lance
Shall vrge thy fate: assist me equall chance!
With that, th' vnerring dart at Cycnus flung.
Th' vneuitated on his shoulder rung;
Which like a rock the lance repeld againe:
Yet where it hit it left a purple staine;
By vainely glad Aeacides27 descry'd:
He woundlesse: this Menetes blood had dy'd.
Then roring, from his charriot leaps; and made
A horrid on-set with his flaming blade:
Who breaches in his helme and shield beheld;
Yet he secure: his skin the steele repeld.
Now all impatient, with the hilt his Foe's
Hard front inuades with thick redoubled blowes:
Prest on as he gaue back, pursues, insists;
Nor lets the astonisht breath. He faints; blew mists
Swim ouer his dim eyes: whose backward steps
A stone with-stood. On whom Achilles leapes
With all his strength, and Cycnus vp-ward cast
On sounding earth: there held the Heroe fast.
Then sets his shield and knees vpon his brest;
And, drawing hard his helmet strings, opprest
His gasping iawes: the breathing-path and way
Of life shuts vp. About t' vnarme his prey,
The body mist. To a Fowls as white as snow
By Neptune chang'd; whom by that name28 we knowe.
    This toyle, this fight gaue many daies of rest:
And either part from deeds of armes surceast.
While on their walls the watchfull Phrygians ward,
And while the watchfull Greekes their trenches guard,
A feast was kept: wherein Aeacides29
For Cycnus death with heifers blood did please
Propitious Pallas. When the entralls laid
On burning altars, to the Gods conuaid
An acceptable smell: a part addrest
To sacred vse; the boord receau'd the rest.
Downe lay the Heroes, fed on rosted flesh,
And generous wines their cares and thirst refresh.
Nor musick now, nor songs their Bares delight;
But in discourse consume the shortned night.
The subiect, Valour: of the valour showne
By their couragious foes, and of their owne.
Promiscuously of passed dangers tell,
And former enterprizes. What so well
Could great Achilles speaks of? or what were
A fitter theame for great Achilles eare?
Then spake he of his conquest, in the fall
Of noble Cycnus: wondred at by all,
That weapons had no powre to penetrate
His woundlesse body, which could steels rebate.
This the Pelasgans,30 this Aeacides31
Himselfe admires. When Nestor said to these:
Cycnus is he, who in your age alone
Contemned steele, and could be hurt by none.
I saw Perrhaebian32 Caeneus once indure  CAENIS  
A thousand strokes; yet he from wounds secure.
Perrhaebian Caeneus, excellent in deeds,
On Othrys.33 dwelt: and what beleefe exceeds,
A woman borne. This prodigie begets
Their greater wonder. Euery one intreats;
Achilles thus: Diuinely eloquent;
O thou the wisdome of our age; consent
To our desires; for all desire the same:
Of Caeneus tell; how he a man became;
In what contention, or what battle knowne;
By whom, if so by any, ouerthrowne.
Then He: Though age impaire my memory,
And much beheld in youth my knowledge fly,
I much remember: yet, of all that are
Among so many acts of peace and warre,
None deeper is imprinted in my braine.
And if the length of time, not spent in vaine,
Can many accidents to knowledge giue;
Two Ages34 finisht, in the third I liue.
    Not all the Virgins that Thessalia bare
With Elateian35 Caenis could compare
For beauty. From the citties bordering,
And those, Aeacides,36 which call thee King
(For she her birth to your Aemonia37 ought)
A world of louers her affection sought.
And Peleus too perhaps had woo'd her bed;
But that already to thy mother38 wed,
Or else assured. Caenis still forbore
All nuptiall ties. As on the secret shore
She walkt alone, the Sea-god39 her dissent
Inforc't to Rape: for so the rumor went.
Rapt with the ioy of loues first tasted fruit;
All shall, said Neptune, to thy wishes sute;
Wish what thou wilt. So Fame the story told.
My wrong, said Caenis, makes my wishes bold:
That neuer like inforcement may befall,
Be I no woman; and thou giu'st me all.
Her latter words a deeper voice expresse,
Much like a mans: for now it prou'd no lesse.
The Sea-god had assented to her will:
And further addes, that steele should neither kill
Nor wound his person. Yong Atracides40
Departs; reioycing in such gifts as these:
Who great in euery manly vertue growes;
And haunts the fields through which Penaeus41 flowes.
    The sonne42 of bold Ixion now had wed
Hippodame: the saluage Centaures, bred
Of clasped Clouds,43 his inuitation grac't;
In shady bowres at sundry tables plac't.
There were th' Aemonian Princes; there was I:
The pallace rung with our confused ioy.
They Hymen44 sing; the altars fume with flames:
Forth came th' admired Bride with troopes of dames.
We call Pirithous happy in his choice:
But scarce maintaine the Omen of that voice.  THE BATTAILE BETWEENE THE CENTAVRES AND THE LAPTHITES  
For Eurytus, more heady then the rest,
Foule rapine harbours in his saluage brest;
Incenst by beauty, and the heat of wine:
Lust and Ebriety in out-rage ioyne.
Straight, turn'd-up boords the feast prophane: the faire
And tender spouse how haled by the haire.
Fierce Eurytus Hippodame; all tooke
Their choice, or whom they could: sackt citties looke
With such a face. The women shreeke: we rise.
When Theseus first; ô Euritus, vnwise!
Dar'st thou offend Perithous as long
As Theseus liues? in one two suffer wrong.
The great-sould Heroe, not to boast in vaine,
Breakes through the throng, and from his fierce disdaine
The Rape repris'd. He no reply affords;
Such facts could not be iustifi'd by words:
But with his fists the braue redeemer prest;
Assailes his face, and strikes his generous brest.
Not farre off stood an antique goblet, wrought
With high rais'd figures: this Aegides45 caught;
Hurl'd at the face of Eurytus: a flood
Of reeking wine, of braines, and clotted blood
At once he vomits from his mouth and wound;
And falling backward, kicks the stained ground.
The Centaures, franticke for their brothers death,
Arme, arme, resound, with one exalted breath.
Wine courage giues. At first an vncouth flight
Of flagons, pots, and boles, began the fight:
Late fit for banquets, now for blood and broyles.
First Amycus, Ophions issue, spoyles
The sacred places of their gifts; who ramps,
Teares downe a brasen Cresset stuck with lamps:
This swings aloft, as when a white-hair'd Bull
The Sacrificer strikes; which crusht the skull
Of Celadon the Lapithite,46 and left
His face vnknowne: confusion forme bereft.
Out start his eyes; his batterd nose betwixt
His shiuer'd bones flat to his pallat fixt.
Pellaean47 Pelades a tressell tore
That propt the boord, and feld him48 to the flore.
He knocks his chin against his brest, and spude
Blood mixt with teeth. A second blowe pursude
The first; and sent his vexed souls to hell.
Next, Gryneus49 stood; his lookes with vengeance swell:
Serues this, said he, for nothing? therewith rais'd
Aloft a mighty altar: as it blaz'd,
Among the Lapithites his burden threw;
Which Broteas, and the bold Orion slew.
Orions mother Mycale, with feare
Could pale the Moone, and hale her from her spheare.
Exadius50 cry'd, Nor shalt thou so depart
Had I a weapon. Of a voted Hart51
The Antlers from a pine he puls; they fixe
Their forkes in Gryneus darkned eyes: one sticks
Vpon the horne, the other in thick gore
Hung on his beard. A fire-brand Rhoetus52 bore,
Snatcht from the altar; and Charaxus head
Crackt through the skull, with yellow tresses spred.
The rapid flame his blazing curles surround,
Like corne on fire; blood broyling in his wound
Horribly hisses: as red steele that gloes
With feruent blasts, which pliant tongs dispose
To quenching coole-troughs, sputters, striues, consumes;
And hissing vnder heated water, fumes.
The Wounded from his singed tresses shakes
The greedy flame; and on his shoulders takes
A stone torne from the threshold, which alone
Would load a waine, at distant Rhoetus throwne.
This, falling short, Cometes life inuades:
And sent his friend to euerlasting shades.
When Rhoetus, laughing; May you all abound
In strength so try'd; and aggrauates his wound
By blowes redoubled with his burning brand.
Crusht bones now sinke in braines. Then turnes his hand;
On Coritus,53 Euagrus,53 Dryas53 flew:
Who Coritus, a youth, too timely slew.
What glory can the slaughter of a boy
Afford, Euagrus said? nor more could say:
For Rhoetus, e'r his jawes together came,
Hid in his throte and brest the choking flame.
Then whisks the brand about his browes; assailes
The valiant Dryas; but no more preuailes:
For through his shoulder, who had triumpht long
In daily slaughter, Dryas fixt his prong.
Who groning, tugs it out with all his might:
And soild with blood, now saues himselfe by flight.
So Lycidas, Arnaeus, Medon (red
With his owne blood) Pisenor, Caumas,54 fled:
Wound-tardie Mermerus, late swift of pace;
Meneleus, Pholus; Abas, vs'd to chace
The Bore; and Astylos,54 who fates fore-knew:
Who vainely bad his friends that war eschue;
And said to frighted Nessus, Fly not so;
Thou art reseru'd for great Alcides bow.55
But yet Eurynomus, nor Lycidas,
, nor Imbreus, vnslaughtred passe:
All slaine by Dryas hand. Thee Caneus too,
Though turn'd about to fly,56 a fore-wound slue:
For looking back; the point betweene his sights,
There where the nose ioynes with the fore-head, lights.
Vnwakened with the tumult of this fray,
Dissolu'd in death-like sleepe, Aphidus57 lay
Vpon a Beares rough hide on Ossa kild:
Whose lazie hand a mixed goblet58 held.
Phorbas59 farre off the vainely hurtlesse spy'd:
And to the thong his fingers fitting, cry'd,
Thy wine hence-forth with Stygian water brew.
This said, at slumber-bound Aphidas threw
His trembling dart: the steeled ash made way
Through's naked neck, as he supinely lay.
Death was vnfelt: his full throte voids a flood:
The hide and goblet, drown'd and fild with blood.
I saw Petraeus tearing from the ground
A well growne Oke: while he imbrac't it round
With his strong armes, now, this, now that way hal'd;
Perithous to the bole his bosome nail'd.
Stout Lycus60 by Perithous valour fell:
Perithous valour Chromis60 sunke to hell.
These lesse the glory of his acts elate
Then Helops60 death, and Dictys60 stranger fate.
His eager iaulin Helops temples cleft:
Which at the right eare rushed through the left.
But Dictys from a broken mountaine slides,
As he Ixions furious sonne61 auoids,
And head-long fell: his waight asunder brake
A mighty Ash; the stumps his entrailes stake.
In rusht reuengefull Phereus62 with a stone
Torne from a rock: his mighty elbow-bone
(About to hurle) in shiuers Theseus crackt:
Nor leasure had, or further care, t' exact
His vselesse life. Then nimbly vaults vpon
Byanor's63 back, before bestrid by none,
His knees claps to his sides; his shaggie haire
His left hand hales: his eyes, that grimly stare
And threaten, crushes with his knotty Oke.
Dart-fam'd Lycespes,64 and Medimnus stroke
To humble earth: so Hippasus, whose beard
Reacht to his brest; and Ripheus, who appear'd
More tall then trees; with Thereus, who caught
Wild beares on Othris heretofore, and brought
Th' inraged purchase to his home aliue.
Demoleon frets to see Aegides65 thriue
With such successe; and from the center striues
To teare a Pine: which when he could not, riues
The yeelding bole, and darts it at his foe.
Theseus farre off espi'd the deadly throw;
Who by Minerva's counsell (for so he
Would haue vs thinke) with-drew: and yet the tree
Not idly fell; but Crantors shoulder, brest,
And throte diuides; which tortur'd life releast.
He was (Aeacides66) thy fathers67 Squire;
Giuen by subdude Amyntor to thy sire
(Amyntor the well-train'd Dolopians Guide)68
In hostage for their peace, and faith affide.
When Peleus saw that spectacle of ruth;
Receiue, ô Crantor, ô beloued youth,
This sacrifice, he said: and sent a dart
With all the rigor of his hand and heart
At proud Demoleon; which the bones that ioyne
His ribs transfixt; and quauer'd in the chine.
His hands from thence the headlesse Iaulin pluck
And hardly that: the head behind it stuck.
Anguish it selfe the heat of wrath improues:
He reares afore, and pawes him with his hooues.
Who with his shield and burganet defends
The sounding strokes: yet still his sword extends,
And twixt his shoulders at one thrust doth gore
His double brests.69 Yet had he slaine before
Phlegraeus,70 Hyles, with his lances flight;
Hiphinous and Danis, in close fight.
Addes Dorylas to these; who wore a skull
Of Wolfe-skin tan'd; the sharpe hornes of a Bull,
Insteed of other weapon, fixt before,71
And dyde in crimson with Lapithian gore.
To whom, with courage fir'd, I72 said in scorne;
Behold how much our steele excels thy horne.
And threw my lance: not to be shund, he now
Claps his right hand vpon his threatned brow;
Which both together naild. They73 rore: and while
Th' ingaged with his bitter wound doth toyle;
Thy father,74 who was neerest, neerer prest:
And thrust his sword deepe in, below his brest.
He bounds aloft, on th' earth his bowels trailes;
The trailed kicks, the kickt in peeces hales;
Which winding, fetter both his legges and thighes:
So falls; and with a gutlesse bellie dies.
Nor thee thy beauty, Cyllarus, could saue:
If such a two-form'd figure beautie haue.
His chin began to bud with downe of gold;
And golden curles his iuory back infold:
His lookes a pleasing vigor grac't; his brest,
Hands, shoulders, neck, and all that man exprest,
Surpassing arts admired images.
Nor were his bestiall parts a shame to these:
Adde but a horses head and crest, he were
For Castors75 vse; his back so strong to beare,
So largely chested; blacker than the crow:
His taile and feet-locks, white as falling snow.
A number of that nation sought his loue;
Whom none but faire Hylonome could moue
None for attracting fauour so excell,
Of all the halfe-mares that on Othrys76 dwell.
Shee, by sweet words, by louing, by confest
Affection, onely Cyllarus possest.
With combs she smoothes her haire; her person trimmes
With all that could be gracefull to such limmes.
Of roses, rosemarie, and violets,
And oft of lillies curious dressings pleats.
Twice daily washt her face in springs that fall
From Pagasaean hils;77 twice daily all
Her body bathes in cleansing streames: and ware
The skinnes of beasts, such as were choice and rare;
Which flowing from her shoulder crosse her brest,
Vaile her left side. Both equall loue possest:
Together on the shadie mountaines stray,
In woods and hollow caues together lay:
Then to the pallace of the Lapithite78
Together came; and now together fight.
A iauelin from the left hand flung, thy brest
O Cyllarus, beneath thy neck imprest.
His heart though slightly hurt (the dart out-hal'd)
Grew forth-with cold; and all his body pal'd.
Hylonome his dying limmes receiues;
Foments his wound: close to his lips she cleaues,
To stay his flying soule. But when she found
Lifes fire extinct; with words in clamour drown'd,
Euen on that steele, which through his bosome past,
She threw her owne: and him in death imbrac't.
Me thinkes I see grim Phaeocomes yet:
Who with two Lyons skinnes, together knit,
Protect's his double forme.79 A log he tooke,
Which scarce two teeme could draw; this darted, strooke
The crowne of Phonolenides;80 his braines
It through his battered skull deepe crannies straines;
Which from his mouth, eyes, eares, and nosthrils gusht,
Like curds through wickar squeas'd; or iuyces crusht
Through draining colendars. As he the dead
Prepares t' vnarme, my sword his bowels shred.
Your father81 saw his downefall. Chthonius too,
And stout Teleboas our fawchion slew.
The first a forked branch, the other bore
A lance; the lance this wound had giuen before;
Whereof you see the ancient scarre. Then I,
Then should I haue beene sent t' haue ruin'd Troy.
Then might I haue restrain'd, if not o'r-throwne
Great Hector. But, he either then was none,82
Or else a child. Now spent with age, I waine.
What speake I of two-shapt Pyretus, slaine
By Periphas? Thy dart, without a head,
Braue Ampycus,83 foure-hoou'd Oïcles sped.
Macareus, borne by Pelethronian rocks,84
Huge Erigdupas85 with a leauer knocks
To ecchoing earth. His dart Cymelus86 sheath'd
Deepe in Nessaeus87 groyne, and life bereau'd.
Nor would you thinke Ampycides88 alone
Could fate fore-tell; a lance by Mopsus throwne
Odites slew: this, as the Centaure rail'd,
His tongue t' his chin, his chin t' his bosome nail'd.  CAENEVS  
Fiue Caeneus89 slew; Bromus, Antimachus,
Axe-Arm'd Pyracmus, Helius, Stiphelus.
Although forgetfull by what wounds they fell;
Their names, and number, I remember well.
Giant-like Latreus90 lightneth to these broyles;
Arm'd with Emathian91 Alesus spoyles:
His yeares, twixt youth and age; nor age impaires
The strength of youth, though sprinkled with gray haires.
A Macedonian speare, a sword, and shield,92
Confirme his pride: o'r-uiewes the well-fought field,
Clashes his armes; and trotting in a round,
Inforc'd the ayre with this disdainefull sound.
    Shall I indure thee Caenis?93 still to me
Thou art a woman, and shalt Caenis be.
Thou hast forgot thy births originall,
And for what fact rewarded,94 by what fall
Aduanc't to this man-counterfeiting shape.
Thinke of thy birth; thinke of thy easie rape.
Goe, take a spindle and a distaffe; twine
The carded wooll; and armes to men resigne.
    While thus he scoffes; and circularly ran;
Caeneus his sides gores with his lance, where man
And horse vnite. He, mad with anguish, flings
His speare at the Phyllean youth,95 which rings
On his vnwounded face; and back recoyles,
As pebbles dropt on drummes, or haile on tyles.
Then rushing on, with thrusts assayes to wound
His hardned sides; the sword no entrance found.
Nor shalt thou scape; the edge shall lanch thy throate,
Although the point be dull. This said, and smote
At once. The blow, as if on marble, sounds:
And from his neck the broken blade rebounds.
When he his charmed limmes had open laid
Enough to wounds and wonder, Caeneus said:
Now will we try, if thou our sword canst feele.
Then 'twixt his shoulders thrusts the fatall steele
Vp to the hilts; which too and fro he waues
Deepe in his guts, and wounds on wounds ingraues;
The frighted Centaures with a horrid cry,
On him alone, with all their weapons, fly.
Their darts rebated fall, but draw no blood:
For Caeneus still in-uulnerable stood.
This more amaz'd. Ah, Monychus exclaymes,
One foyles vs all, to all our endlesse shames!
He scarce a man! nay he the man, and we
Are what he was:96 so poore our actions be.
What bootes our mighty limbs? our double force?
The strongest of all creatures, man and horse,
In vs by nature ioyn'd? sure we are not
A Goddesse birth;97 nor by Ixion got,
Who durst the Queene of Deities imbrace:
This Halfe-man98 conquers his degenerate race.
Stones, massie logs, whole mountaines on him roule;
And with a pyle of trees crush out his soule.
Let woods oppresse his jawes: ore-whelme with waight,
Insteed of idle wounds. Thus he: and straight
An Oke, vp-rooted by the furious blasts
Of franticke winds, on valiant Caeneus casts.
Th' example quickly Othrys99 disaraide
Of all his trees; and Pelion99 wanted shade.
Prest with so huge a burthen, Caeneus sweats:
And to th' o'r-whelming Okes his shoulders sets.
But now the load aboue his stature climes,
And choakes the passage of his breath. Sometimes
He faints; then struggles to aduance his crowne
Aboue the Pile, and throw the timber downe:
Sometimes the burthen with his motion quakes;
As when an earth-quake high-brow'd Ida100 shakes.
His end was doubtfull: some there be, who tell
How with that weight his body sunke to hell.
Mopsus101 dissents; who saw a fowle arise
From thence with yellow wings, and mount the skies;
(The first I euer saw) which flying round
About our tents, sent forth a mournefull sound.
This he pursuing with his soule and sight,
Cry'd, Haile thou glory of the Lapithite!
O Caeneus, late a man at armes; but now
An vnmatcht fowle! His witnesse all allow.
Griefe whets our furie; brooking ill, that one
By such a multitude should be ore-throwne:
And sorrow so long executes the fight,
Till halfe were slaine: halfe sau'd by speed, and night.
    Tlepolemus102 could not his tongue debarre:
Since in the repetition of that warre,
Of Hercules he had no mention made.
Old man, how can you so forget (he said)
Alcides103 praise? my father oft would tell,
How by his hand the Cloud-borne Centaures104 fell.  PERICLYMENES  
    To this sad Nestor answer'd: Why should you
Compell me to remember, and renue
My sorrow lost in time? or iterate
Your fathers guilt; together with my hate?
His acts transcend beleefe; his high repute
Fils all the world: which would I could refute,
But not Polydamas,105 Deiphobus,105
Nor valiant Hector, are extold by vs.
For who commends his foe? Messene's106 walls
He raz'd: faire Elis,106 Pylus,106 in their falls
Detest his fury; Citties which his hate
Had not deseru'd: with them, did ruinate
Our House with sword and fire. Not now to tell
Of others, who by his sterne out-rage fell;
Twice six faire-fam'd Neleidae107 were wee;
Twice six Alcides108 slew, excepting me.
Others haue beene subdew'd: but more then strange
Was Periclymen's slaughter! who could change
And rechange to all figures. Such a grace
Great Neptune gaue; the root of Neleus race.109
He, forc't to varie formes, at length appeares
Like Ioues lou'd Fowle,110 who in her tallons beares
Impetuous thunder; and in his descent
His face with his strong beake and pounces rent.
At him his bow, too sure, Alcides111 drew,
As towring in the lofty clouds he flew,
And struck his side ioyn'd wing. The wound was slight;
But sunder'd nerues could not sustaine his flight.
When tumbling downe, his weight the arrow smote
In at his side, and thrust it through his throate.
Now braue Commander of the Rhodian Fleete;112
Thinkst thou Alcides praise a subiect meet
For my discourse? Alone with silence wee
Reuenge our slaughtred brothers; and loue thee.
    When Nestor with mellifluous eloquence
Had thus much vter'd; they with speech dispense,
And liberall Bacchus113 quaffe: then all arose;
And giue the rest of night to soft repose.
    The God, whose Trident calmes the Ocean,114
For strangled Cycnus, turn'd into a Swan,
Grieues with paternall griefe. Achilles fate  ACHILLES  
He prosecutes with more then ciuill hate.
Ten yeares now well-nigh laps'd in horrid fights,
Thus vnshorne Smintheus115 his sterne rage excites.
    Of all our brothers116 sonnes to vs most deare;
Whose hands, with ours, Troys walls in vaine did reare:
O sigh'st thou not to see the Asian towres
So neere their fall? their owne, and aiding powres
By millions slaine? the last of all their ioy
Dead Hector drag'd about his fathers Troy?
Yet dire Achilles, who our labour giues
To vtter spoyle, then Warre more cruell, liues.
Came he within my reach, he then should try,
The vengeance of my Trident: but since I
Cannot approch t' incounter with my foe;117
Let him thy close and mortall arrowes knowe.
Delius assents:118 his vnkles119 wrath intends;
With it, his owne; and in a cloud descends
To th' Ilian hoast: amid the battle seekes
For Paris, shooting at vn-noted Greekes.
Then shew'd a God, and said: Why dost thou loose
Thy shafts so basely? nobler obiects choose;
If thou of thine at least hast any care:
Thy brethrens deaths reuenge on Peleus heire.120
Then shew'd him sterne Achilles, as he slew
The Troian troopes: and, while his bow he drew,
Directs the deadly shaft. This onely might
Old Priam, after Hectors death, delight.
Him, who with conquest cloyd the iawes of death,
A faint adulterer depriues of breath.
If by th' effeminate to be o'r-throwne,
Then should the Pollax of the Amazon121
Haue forc't thy fate. The Phrygian feare; the fame,
And strong protection of the Graecian Name,
Inuincible Aeacides122 now burnes:
The God, who arm'd, his bones to ashes turnes.123
And of that great Achilles scarce remaines
So much as now a little Vrne124 containes.
Yet still he liues; his glory lightens forth,
And fils the world: this answers his full worth.
This, ô diuine Pelides,125 soares as high
As thy great spirit; and shall neuer dye.
And euen his armes, to instance whose they were;
Procure a warre, Armes for his armes they beare.
Aiax Oïleus, Diomedes, nor
The lesse Atrides;126 not in age and war
The Greater:127 no nor any; but the Son
Of old Laërtes,128 and bold Telamon,129
Durst hope for such a prize. Tantalides,130
To shun the burden, and the hate of these,
The Princes bids to sit before his tent:
And puts the strife on their arbitrement.

On to Book XIII