Omnia Vincit Amor Ovid Illustrated: The Renaissance Reception
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George Sandys, Ovid's Metamorphosis (1632)

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The Fifth Booke.

The Gorgon seene, Cepheni Statues growe:
Phineus, Praetus, Polydect, the foe
Perseus prayse. The fountaine Hippocrene
By Horse-hoofe rays'd. The Muses into Nine
Rape-flying Birds: Pierides, to Pyes.
The Gods, by Typhon chas't, themselues disguise,
Cyane into a Fountaine flowes.
Th' ill-nurtur'd Boy a spotted Stellion growes.
Lou'd Arethusa thawes into a Spring.
Ascalaphus an Owle. Light feathers wing
The sweet-tongu'd Syrens, who on Waters mourne.
Sterne Lyncus Ceres to a Lynx doth turne.

WHIL'ST the Danaean Heroe1 this relates,  PHINEVS  
Amidst th' assembly of the Cephen States;
Exalted voyces through the Palace ring:
Not like to theirs who at a mariage sing;
But such as menace warre. The Nuptiall Feast,
Thus turn'd to tumult, to the life exprest
A peacefull Sea, whose brow no frowne deformes,
Streight ruffled into billowes by rude stormes.
First Phineus,2 the rash Author of this warre,
Shaking a Launce, began the deadly iarre.
Lo, I the man, that will vpon thy life
Reuenge, said he, the rapture of my wife.
Nor shall thy wings, nor Ioue in forged gold,3
Worke thy escape. About to throwe: O hold
Perplexed Cepheus cries: What wilt thou do?
What furie, frantick brother, tempts thee to
So foule a fact? Is this the recompence
For such high merit? For her life's defence?
Not Perseus, but th' incens't Nereïdes,4
But horned Hammon,5 and the wrath of Seas
(That Orke that sought my bowels to deuoure).
Hath snatcht her from thee; rauisht in the houre
Of her exposure. But thy crueltie
Perhaps was well content that she should die,
To ease thy losse with ours. May't not suffice,
That she was bound in chaines before thine eyes;
That thou, her Vncle, and her Husband, brought
Her perill no preuention, nor none sought;
But that anothers aid thou must enuy,
And claime the Trophys of his victory?
Which, if of such esteeme, thou shouldst haue strain'd
T' haue forc't them from those Rocks, where lately chained.
Let him, who did, enioy them: nor exact
What is his dew by merit and compact.
Nor thinke, we Perseus before thee prefer;
But him, before so abhorr'd a sepulcher.
    He, without answere, rowling to and fro
His eyes on either, doubts at which to throwe:
And pausing, his ill-aymed lance at length
At Perseus hurles, with rage-redoubled strength.
Fixt in the bed-stock; vp fierce Perseus starts,
And his retorted Speare at Phineus darts:
Who suddenly behinde an Altar stept;
An Altar vengeance from the wicked kept:
And yet in Rhoetus brow the weapon stuck.
He fell: the steele out of his scull they pluck
Who spurnes the earth, and staines the board with blood.
With that, the multitude, with fury wood,
Their Lances fling: and some there be who crie,
That Cepheus, and his sonne in law, should die.
But Cepheus wisely quits the clamorous Hall:
Who Faith and Iustice doth to record call,
With all the hospitable Gods; that hee
Was from this execrable vp-rore free.
The warlike Pallas, present, with her shield
Protects her Brother,6 and his courage steel'd.
Young Indian Atys by ill hap was there;
Whom Ganges-got Limniace7 did beare
In her cleare Waues: his beautie excellent,
Which care and costly ornaments augment:
Who scarce had fully sixteene Summers told:
Clad in a Tyrian mantle, fring'd with gold.
About his neck he wore a carquenet
His haire with Riband bound, and odors wet.
Although he cunningly a Dart could throwe:
Yet with more cunning could he vse his bowe.
Which now a-drawing with a tardy hand;
Quick Perseus from the Altar snatcht a Brand,
And dasht it on his face: out-start his eyes;
And through his flesh the shiuered bones arise.
When Syrian Lycabas his Atys view'd,
Shaking his formelesse looks, with blood imbrew'd:
To him in strictest bonds of friendship ty'd,
And one who could not his affection hide:
After he had his tragedie bewail'd;
Who through the bitter wound his soule exhal'd:
He tooke the Bowe, which erst the Youth did bend;
And said; With me, thou Murderer contend;
Nor longer glorie in a Boye's sad fate,
Which staines thy actions with deserued hate.
Yet speaking, from the string the arrow flew:
Which tooke his plighted robe, as he with-drew.
Acrisioniades8 vpon him prest;
And sheath'd his Harpy9 in his groning brest.
Now dying, he for Atys looks, with eyes
That swim in night; and on his bosome lyes:
Then chearfully expires his parting breath:
Reioycing to be ioyn'd to him in death.
Phorbas the Syënit,10 Methion's son,
With him the Lybian Amphimedon;
Eager of combate, slipping in the blood
That drencht the pauement, fell: his sword withstood
Their re-ascent, which through the short-ribs smote
Amphimedon, and cut the others throte.
Yet Perseus would not venture to inuade
The Halbertere Eritheus with his blade;
But in both hands a Goblet high imbost
And massie, tooke; which at his head he tost:
Who vomits clotted blood; and, tumbling downe,
Knocks the hard pauement with his dying crowne.
Then Polydaemon (sprung from Goddesse-borne
Semiramis)11 Phlegyas, the vnshorne
Elyce, Clytus, Scythian, Abaris,
And braue Lycetus (old Sperchesius blisse)
Fell by his hand: whose feet in triumph tread
Vpon the slaughtered bodies of the dead.
But Phineus, fearing to confront his Foe
In close assault, far-off a dart doth throwe:
Which led by error, did on Ida light;
A Neuter, who in vaine forbare to fight.
He, sternly frowning, thus to Phineus spake:
Since you, me an vnwilling partie make,
Receiue the enemy whom you haue made;
That, by a wound, a wound may be repay'd.
About to hurle the Dart, drawne from his side;
With losse of blood he faints, and falling dy'd.
Then, great Odytes fell by Clymens sword;
Next to the King, the greatest Cephen Lord:
Hypsaeus slew Protenor; Lyncedes
Hypsaeus. Old Emathion fell with these;
Who fear'd the Gods, and fauoured the right.
He, whom old age exempted from the fight,
Fights with his tongue; himselfe doth interpose,
And deepely execrates their wicked blowes.
Cromis, as he imbrac't the Altar; lopt
His shaking head; which on the Altar dropt:
Whose halfe-dead tongue yet curses; and expires
His righteous soule amidst the sacred Fires.
Then Broteas and Ammon, Phineus slew;
Who from one womb at once their being drew
Inuincible with hurle-bats,12 could they quell
The dints of swords. Neere these Alphytus fell,
The Priest of Ceres, with a Miter crown'd;
Which to his temples a white fillet bound.
And thou Lampetides, whose pleasant wit
Detesting discord, in soft peace more fit
To sing vnto thy tunefull Lire; now prest
With Songs to celebrate the nuptiall Feast:
When Pettalus, at him who stood far off
With this defenselesse Harp; strikes with this scoff;
Goe sing the rest vnto the Ghosts belowe:
And pearc't his Temples with a deadly blowe.
His dying fingers warble in his fall:
And then, by chance, the Song was tragicall.
This, vnreueng'd, Lycormas could not brooke;
But from the door's right side a Leauer tooke,
And him betweene the head and shoulders knocks:
Downe falls he, like a sacrificed Oxe.
Ciniphean Palates then sought to seaze
Vpon the left: when fierce Marmorides13
His hand nail'd to the doore-post with a Speare
Whose side sterne Abas pearc't as he stuck there.
Nor could he fall; but, giuing vp the ghost,
Hung by the hand against the smeared post.
Melaneus then, of Perseus partie fell;
And Dorilas, whose riches did excell:
In Nasaemonia none then he more great
For large possessions, and huge hoards of Wheat.
The steele stuck in his groine, which death persew'd
Whom Halcyoneus of Bactria view'd
(The Author of the wound) as he did roule
His turn'd-vp eyes, and sighed out his soule:
For all thy land, said he, by this diuorce
Receiue thy length; and left his bloodlesse corse.
The Speare, reuengefull Abanti'des14 drew
From his warme wound; and at the Thrower threw:
Which doth his nostrills in the midst diuide;
And, passing through, appear'd on either side.
Whilst Fortune crownd him, Clytius he confounds
And Danus, of one womb, with different wounds:
Through Clytius thighes a ready dart he cast;
An other 'twixt the iawes of Danus past.
Mindesian Celadon and Aster slew,
His father doubtfull, gotten on a Iew:
Echion, late well seene in things to come,
Now ouer-taken by an vnknowne doome:
Thoactes, Phineus Squire, his fauchion try'd:
And fell Agyrtes, that foule paracide.
Yet more remain'd then were already spent:
For, all of them, to murder one, consent.
The bold Conspirators on all sides fight;
Impugning promise, merit, and his right.
The vainely-pious Father15 sides with th' other;
With him, the frighted Bride, and pensiue Mother;16
Who fill the court with out-cryes; by the sound
Of clashing Armes, and dying screeches drown'd.
Bellona17 the polluted floore imbrew's
With streams of blood, and horrid warre renewes.
False Phineus, with a thousand, in a ring
Begirt the Heroe: who their Lances fling
As thick as Winters haile; that blind his sight,
Sing in his eares, and round about him light.
His guarded back he to a pillar sets;
And with vndaunted force confronts their threats.
Chaonian Molpeus prest to his left side:
The right, Nabathean Ethemon ply'd.
As when a Tiger, pincht with famine, heares
Two bellowing Herds within one vale; forbeares,
Nor knowes on which to rush, as being loth
To leaue the other, and would fall on both
So Perseus, which to strike vncertaine proues;
Who daunted Molpeus with a wound remoues;
Contented with his flight, in that the rage
Of fierce Ethemon did his force ingage:
Who at his neck vncircumspectly stroke,
And his keene sword against the pillar broke.
The Blade from vnrelenting stone rebounds;
And in his throte th' vnhappy owner wounds.
Yet was not that enough to work his end;
Who fearfully doth now his armes extend
For pitty vnto Perseus, all in vaine;
Who thrust him through with his Cyllenian skeine.18
    But, when he saw his valour ouersway'd
By multitude: I must said he, seeke ayd
(Since you your selues compell me) from my foe;
Friends turne your backs: then Gorgons19 head doth showe.
Some others seeke, said Thessalus, to fright
With this thy Monster; and with all his might
A deadly dart indeauour'd to haue throwne:
But in that positure became a stone.
Next, Amphix, full of spirit, forward prest;
And thrust his sword at bold Lyncides brest:
When in the passe, his fingers stupid growe;
Nor had the power of mouing to or fro.
But Nileus (he who with a forged stile
Vaunted to be the sonne of seuen-fold Nile,20
And bare seuen siluer Riuers in his shield,
Distinctly wauing through a golden field)
To Perseus said: Behold, from whence we sprung!
To euer-silent shadowes beare a-long
This comfort of thy death, that thou didst die
By such a braue and high-borne enemie.
His vtterance faultred in the latter clause:
The yet-vnfinisht sound stuck in his iawes;
Who gaping stood as he would something say:
And so had done, if words had found a way.
These Eryx blames; 'Tis your faint soules that dead
Your powers, said he, and not the Gorgon's head.
Rush on with me, and prostrate with deepe wounds
This Youth, who thus with Magick armes confounds.
Then rushing on, the ground his foot-steps stay'd;
Now mutely fixt: an armed Statue made.
    These suffer'd worthily. One, who did fight
For Perseus, bold Aconteus, at the sight
Of Gorgon's Snakes abortiue marble grew.
On whom Astyages in fury flew,
As if aliue, with his two-handed blade;
Which shrilly twang'd; but no incision made:
Who, whil'st he wonders, the same nature tooke;
And now his Statue hath a wondring looke.
It were too tedious for me to report
Their names, who perisht of the vulgar sort.
Two hundred scap't the furie of the fight:
Two hundred turne to stone at Gorgon's sight:
Now Phineus his vniust commotion rewes:
What should he doe? the senselesse shapes he viewes
Of his knowne friends, which differing figures bore;
And doth by name their seuerall ayd implore.
And yet not trusting to his eyes alone,
The next he toucht; and found it to be stone.
Then turnes aside: and now, a Penitent,
With suppliant hands, and armes obliquely bent;
O Perseus, thine, said he, thine is the day!
Remoue this Monster. Hence, ô hence conuay
Medusa's vgly looks, or what more strange,
Which humane bodies into marble change!
Not hate, nor thirst of rule begot this strife
I onely fought to re-obtaine my wife.
Thine is the plea of Merit; mine, of Time;
Yet, in contending I confesse my crime.
For life (ô chiefe of men) I onely sue:
Afford me that: the rest I yeeld to you.
Thus he; not daring to reuert his eyes
On him whom he intreates: who thus replyes.
    Faint-hearted Phineus, what I can afford,
(A gift of worth to such a fearfull Lord)
Take courage, and perswade thy selfe I will:
No wounding sword thy blood should euer spill.
Moreouer, that I may thy wish preuent,
Here will I fix thy lasting monument:
That thou by her thou lou'st mayst still be seene;
And with her Spouse's image cheare our Queene.
Then, on that side Phorcynis21 head doth place,
To which the Prince had turn'd his trembling face.
And as from thence his eyes he would haue throwne,
His neck grew stiffe: his teares congeale to stone.
With fearfull suppliant looks, submissiue hands,
And guiltie countenance the Statue stands.
    Victorious Abantiades22 now hyes  PRAETVS  
T' his natiue Citie, with the rescu'd prize:
There, vengeance takes on Praetus, and restor'd
His Grand-father; whose wrongs redresse implor'd.
For Praetus had by force of Armes expeld
His brother;23 and vsurped Argos held.
But him, nor Armes, nor Bulwarks, could protect
Against the snaky Monsters grim aspect.
    Yet not the vertue of the Youth, which shone  POLYDECTES  
Through so great toyle, nor sorrowes vnder-gone;
With thee, ô Polydectes,24 King of small
Sea-girt Seriphus, could preuaile at all.
Endlesse thy wrath, thy hate inexorable
Detracting; and condemning for a fable
Medusa's death. The moued Youth replies
The truth your selfe shall see; Friends, shut your eyes.
Then, represents Medusa to his view:
Who presently a bloodlesse Statue grew.
    Thus long Tritonia25 to her brother cleaues:
Then in a hollow cloud Seriphus leaues
(Scyros and Gyaros on the right-hand side)
And o're the toyling Seas her course apply'd
To Thebes, and Virgin Helicon26 there stay'd:
And thus vnto the learned Sisters27 said.
    The fame of your new Fountaine,28 rays'd by force  HIPPOCRENE  
Of that swift-winged Medusaean horse,29
Me hither drew, to see the wondrous Flood
Who saw him issue from his Mothers blood.
    Goddesse, Vrania30 answered, what cause
So-euer you to this our Mansion drawes,
You are most wel-come. What you heard is true:
And from that Pegasus this Fountaine grew.
Then Pallas to the sacred Spring conuay'd,
Shee admires the waters by the horse-hoofe made;
Suruay's their high-grown groues, coole caues, fresh bowrs,
And meadowes painted with all sorts of flowers:
Then happy stiles shee the Maeonides,31
Both for their Arts, and such aboads as these.
    O heauenly Virgin, one of them reply'd,  PYRENEVS  
Most worthy our society to guide,
If so your actiue vertue did not moue
To greater deeds: deseru'dly you approue
Our studies, pleasant seat, and happy state,
Were we secure from what we chiefly hate.
But nothing is vnlawfull to the lewd:
And Maids by Nature are with feare indu'd.
The dire Pyreneus32 still inuades my sight:
Nor haue I yet recouer'd that affright.
He, Daulis with all Phocis, had obtain'd
By Thracian Armes; and there vniustly raign'd:
Bound for Parnassus Temple, vs he spies;
And with false zeale adores our Deities.
Maeonides,33 saith he, (he knew vs well)
While sad starres gouerne, and showrs fall (then fell
By chance a mighty shower) vouchsafe I pray
Beneath the shelter of my roofe to stay:
The Gods haue entred humble Cottages.
Vrg'd by the weather, and such words as these;
We to his importunitie assent;
And yet no farther then the Lobby went.
It now held vp: the vanquisht South-winds flie
Before the North; which purge the duskie skie.
Prest to depart: he shuts the doores; prepares
To offer force: with wings we scape his snares.
He presently the highest tower ascends;
And, as he would haue flowne, his body bends:
The way you goe, said he, will I pursew;
And from the battlements himselfe he threw:
Who falling, strikes the earth with dasht out-braines;
Which with his wicked blood, he dying, staines.
The Muse yet spake: when, wings were heard to clatter;
And from high trees saluting voices chatter.
Ioue's daughter wonders, & enquires from whence
Those voices came, including humane sense.
Not men, but nine all-imitating Pies;
Bewailing their deserued destinies.
The Goddesse to th' admiring Goddesse said:
They, foyl'd by vs, by vs were thus repai'd.
Pierus, who rich Pella held by lot,
These on Poeonian Euippe got.
Nine times shee on Lucina34 call'd alowd
The foolish sisters, of their number prowd,
Through al Aemonia and Achaia came;
And thus vnciuilly their strife proclaime.
    Thespiades35 th' vnlearned multitude
No more with your vaine harmonie delude:
But cope with vs (if hope excite your will)
As many; yet vnmatcht, for voice or skill.
Surrender you to vs, if we excell,
Hyantian Aganip,36 and Gorgon's Well:37
Th' Emathian Woods to snowy Paeone
Shall pay our losse. The Nymphs our iudges be.
    A shame it was to striue: more shame it were
To yeeld. The Nymphs by their owne riuers sweare:
And sit on benches made of liuing stone.
Then, vn-elected, rudely stept forth one;
Who sung the Giants warre: their fayned acts  TYPHON  
Shee magnifies; and from the Gods detracts.
How Typhon,38 from earth's gloomy entrailes rais'd,
Struck all their powr's with feare: who fled amaz'd,
Till Aegupts scorched soyle the weary hides;
And wealthy Nile, who in seuen channels glides.
That thither Earth-borne Tyhon them pursu'd
When as the Gods concealing shapes indu'd.
Ioue turn'd himselfe, shee said, into a Ram:
From whence the hornes of Libyan Hammon came.
Bacchus a Goat, Apollo was a Crowe,
Phoebe a Cat, Ioue's wife a Cow of snowe:39
Venus a Fish, a Stork did Hermes40 hide
And still her voice vnto her Harp apply'd.
Then call they vs. But, ours perhaps to heare,
Nor leasure serues you, nor is't worth your eare.
Doubt not, said Pallas, orderly repeat
Your long'd for Verse; and takes a shady seat.
Then shee; On one we did the task impose:
Calliope,41 with iuy crown'd, vp-rose;
Who with her thumb first tun'd the quauering strings,
And then this Ditty to the musique sings.
    The gleab, with crooked plough, first Ceres42 rent;  CERES  
First gaue vs corne, a better nourishment;
First Lawes prescrib'd:43 all from her bounty sprung.
By me, the Goddesse Ceres shall be sung.
Would We could Verses, worthy her, reherse:
For she is more then worthy of our Verse.
Trinacria44 was on wicked Typhon throwne;
Who vnderneath the Ilands waight doth grone;
That durst affect the Empire of the skyes:
Oft he attempteth, but in vaine, to rise.
Ausonian Pelorus45 his right hand
Downe waighs; Pachyne46 on the left doth stand;
His legs are vnder Lilybaeus47 spred;
And Aetna's48 bases charge his horrid head:
Where, lying on his back, his iawes expire
Thick clouds of dust, and vomit flakes of fire.
Oft times he struggles with his load below:
And Townes, and Mountaines labours to ore-throwe.
Earth quakes therewith: the King of shadowes49 dreads,
For feare the ground should split aboue their heads,  PLVTO  
And let-in Day t' affright the trembling Ghosts.
For this, he from his silent Empire posts,
Drawne by black horses; tracing all the Round
Of rich Sicilia; but, no breaches found.
Him Erycina50 from her Mount suruay'd
(Now fearelesse) and, her sonne imbracing, said.
    My Armes, my strength, my glory; for my sake,
O Cupid, thy all-conquering weapons take;
And fix thy winged arrowes in his heart,
Who rules the triple world's inferior part.51
The Gods, euen Ioue himselfe; the God of waues;52
And who illustrates earth53 haue beene thy slaues.
Shall Hell be free? Thine, and thy mother's Sway
Inlarge, and make th' infernall Powr's obay.
Yet we (such is our patience!) are despis'd
In our owne heauen; and all our force vnpriz'd.
Seest thou not Pallas and the Queene of Night,
Far darting Dian; how my worth they slight?
And Ceres daughter54 will a Maid abide,
If we permit; for shee affects their pride.
But, if thou fauour our ioynt Monarchy,
Thy Vnkle55 to the Virgin-Goddesse tie.
    Thus Venus. He his Quiuer doth vnclose;
And one, out of a thousand arrowes, chose
At her arbitriment: a sharper head
None had; more ready, or that surer sped.
Then bends his Bowe: the string t'his eare arriues,
And through the heart of Dis56 the arrow driues.
    Not farre remou'd from Enna's high-built wall,  THE RAPE OF PROSERPINA  
A Lake there is, which men Pergusa call.
Cäyster's slowly-gliding waters beare
Far fewer singing Swans then are heard there.
Woods crown the Lake, and cloath it round about
With leauy veils, which Phoebus beames keep-out.
The trees creat fresh ayre, th' Earth various flowres:
Where heat nor cold th' eternall Spring deuoures.
Whil'st in this groue Proserpina disports,
Or Violets pulls, or Lillies of all sorts;
And while she stroue with childish care and speed
To fill her lap, and others to exceed;
Dis saw,57 affected, carried her away,
Almost at once. Loue could not brooke delay.
The sad-fac't Goddesse cryes (with feare appall'd)
To her Companions; oft her Mother call'd.
And as shee tore th' adornment of her haire,
Downe fell the flowr's which in her lap she bare.
And such was her sweet Youth's simplicity,
That their losse also made the Virgin crie.
The Rauisher flies on swift wheeles; his horses
Excites by name, and their full speed inforces:
Shaking for haste the rust-obscured raignes
Vpon their cole-black necks, and shaggy maines.
Through Lakes, through the Palici58 which expire
A sulphrous breath; through earth ingendring fire,
They passe to where Corinthian Bacchides
His Citty59 built betweene vnequall Seas.60
    The Land 'twixt Arethusa61 and Cyane  CYANE  
With stretcht-out hornes begirts th' included Sea.
Here Cyane, who gaue the Lake a name,
Amongst Sicilian Nymphs of speciall fame,
Her head aduanc't: who did the Goddesse knowe:
And boldly said, You shall not farther goe;
Nor can you be vnwilling Ceres son:
What you compell, perswasion should haue won.
If humble things I may compare with great;
Anapis62 lou'd me: yet did he intreat;
And me, not frighted thus, espous'd. This said,
With out-stretcht armes his farther passage staid.
His wrath no longer Pluto could restraine;
But giues his terror-striking Steeds the raigne;
And with his Regall mace, through the profound
And yeelding water, cleaues the solid ground:
The breach t' infernall Tartarus63 extends:
At whose darke iawes the Chariot descends.
But Cyane the Goddesse Rape laments;
And her owne iniur'd Spring; whose discontents
Admit no comfort: in her heart she beares
Her silent sorrow: now, resolues to teares;
And with that Fountaine doth incorporate,
Whereof th' immortall Deitie but late.
Her softned members thaw into a dewe
Her nailes lesse hard, her bones now limber grew.
The slendrest parts first melt away: her haire,
Fine fingers, legs, and feet; that soone impaire,
And drop to streames: then, armes, backe, shoulders, side,
And bosome, into little Currents glide.
Water, in stead of blood, fils her pale veines:
And nothing now, that may be graspt, remaines.
    Mean-while, through all the earth, and all the Maine
The fearefull Mother64 sought her childe in vaine.
Not dewy-hair'd Aurora, when she rose,
Nor Hesperus,65 could witnesse her repose.
Two pitchy Pines at flaming Aetna lights;
And restlesse, carries them through freesing Nights:
Againe, when Day the vanquisht Stones supprest,  ABAS  
Her vanisht comfort seekes from East to West.
Thirsty with trauell, and no Fountaine nye,
A cottage thatcht with straw, inuites her eye.
At th' humble gate she knocks: An old wife66 showes
Her selfe thereat; and seeing her, bestowes
The water so desir'd; which she before
Had boyl'd with barly. Drinking at the doore,
A rude hard-fauour'd Boy67 beside her stood,
Who laught, and cald her greedy-gut. Her blood
Inflam'd with anger, what remayn'd she threw
Full in his face; which forthwith speckled grew.
His armes convert to legs; a taile withall
Spines from his changed shape: of body small,
Lest he might proue too great a foe to life:
Though lesse, yet like a Lizard, th' aged wife
(That wonders, weeps, and feares to touch it) shunnes,
And presently into a creuise runnes.
Fit to his colour they a name68 elect;
With sundry little starres all-ouer speckt.
    What Lands, what Seas, the Goddesse wandred through
Were long to tell: Earth had not roome enough.
To Sicil she returnes: where ere she goes,
Inquires; and came where Cyane now flowes.
Shee, had shee not beene changed, all had told;
Now, wants a tongue her knowledge to vnfold:
Yet, to the mother, of her daughter gaue
A certaine signe: who bore vpon a waue
Persephone's69 rich zone; that from her fell,
When, through the sacred Spring, shee sunke to hell.
This seene, and knowne; as but then lost, she tare,
Without selfe-pitty, her dis-sheueled haire;
And with redoubled blowes her brest inuades:
Nor knowes what Land t' accuse, yet all vpbraids;
Ingrate, vnworthy with her gifts t' abound:
Trinacria70 chiefly; where the steps she found
Of her misfortunes. Therefore there shee brake
The furrowing plough; the Oxe and owner strake
Both with one death; then, bade the fields beguile
The trust impos'd, shrunk seed corrupts. That soile,
So celebrated for fertilitie,
Now barren grew: corne in the blade doth die.
Now, too much drouth annoy's; now, lodging showres:
Stars smitch, winds blast. The greedy fowle deuoures
The new-sowne graine: Kintare, and Darnell tire
The fetter'd Wheat; and Quitch that through it spire.
In Elean waues Alphaeus Loue71 appear'd;
And from her dropping haire her fore-head clear'd:
O Mother of that far-sought Maid, thou friend
To life, said she; here let thy labour end:
Nor be offended with thy faithfull Land;
That blamelesse is, nor could her Rape with-stand.
I, here a guest, not for my Country plead:
My Country Pisa72 is, in Elis bred;
And, as an Alien, in Sicania73 dwell:
But yet no Country pleaseth me so well.
I, Arethusa, now these Springs possesse:
This is my seat: which, courteous Goddesse, blesse.
Why I affect this place, t' Ortygia74 came
Through such vast Seas; I shall impart the same
To your desire; when you, more fit to heare,
Shall quit your care, and be of better cheare.
Earth giues me way: through whose darke cauernes roll'd,
I here ascend; and long-mist starres behold.
While vnder ground by Styx my waters glide,
Your sweet Proserpina I there espy'd.
Full sad she was: euen then you might haue seene
Feare in her face: and yet she is a Queene;
And yet shee in that gloomy Empire swayes;
And yet her will th' infernall King obayes.
    Stone-like stood Ceres at this heauy newes;
And, staring, long continued in a muse.
When griefe had quickned her stupidity,
Shee tooke her Chariot, and ascends the skie:
There, veiled all in clouds, with scattered haire,
Shee kneeles to Iupiter, and made this pray'r.
    Both for my blood and thine, ô Ioue, I sue:
If I be nothing gracious, yet doe you
A Father to your Daughter proue; nor be
Your care the lesse, because she sprung from me.
Lo, she at length is found, long sought through all
The spacious World; if you a Finding call
What more the losse assures: but if, to knowe
Her being, be to Finde, I haue found her so.
And yet I would the iniurie remit,
So he the stolne restore: 'Twere most vnfit
That holy Hymen75 should thy daughter ioyne
Vnto a Thiefe; although she were not mine.
    Then Ioue: the pledge is mutuall, and these cares
To either equall: Yet this deed declares
Much loue, mis-called Wrong: nor should we shame
Of such a sonne, could you but thinke the same.
All wants suppose, can he be lesse then great,
And be Ioue's brother? What, when all compleat?
I, but preferr'd by lot?76 Or if you burne
In endlesse spleene; Let Proserpine returne:
On this condition, That shee yet haue ta'ne
No sustenance: so Destinies ordaine.  ASCALAPHVS  
    To fetch her daughter, Ceres posts in haste:
But, Fates with-stood: the Maid had broke her fast.
For, wandring in the Ort-yard, simply shee
Pluckt a Pomegrannet from the stooping Tree;
Thence tooke seuen graines and eats them one by one:
Obserued by Ascalaphus77 alone;
Whom Acheron on Orphne78 erst begot
In pitchy Caues: a Dame of speciall note
Amongst th' Auernall79 Nymphs. This vtter'd, stayd
The sighing Queene of Erebus;80 who made
The Blab a Bird: with waues of Phlegeton81
His face besprinkles; plume appeares thereon,
Crookt beake, and broader eyes: the shape he had
He lost, forthwith in yellow feathers clad.
His head o're-sizd, his long nailes talons proue;
His winged armes for lazinesse scarce moue:
A filthy, euer ill-presaging Fowle,
To Mortals ominous: a screeching Owle.
    Yet was the punishment no more then due  SIRENS  
To his offence. But how offended you
Acheloides,82 that wings and clawes disgrace
Your goodly formes, yet keepe your Virgin-face?
Was it, you Sirens, that your deathlesse Powers
Were with the Goddesse when she gathered flowrs?
Whom when through all the Earth you sought in vaine,
You wisht for wings to fly vpon the Maine;
That pathlesse Seas might testifie your care:
The easie Gods consented to your pray'r.
Streight, golden feathers on your backs appeare:
But, lest that musick, fram'd to inchant the eare,
And so great gifts of speech should be profan'd;
Your Virgin-lookes, and humane voyce remayn'd.
    But Ioue, his sister's83 discontent to cheare,
Betweene her and his Brother84 parts the yeare.
The Goddesse now in either Empire swayes:
Six months with Ceres, six with Pluto stayes.
Proserpina then chang'd her minde, and looke
(Late such as sullen Dis85 could hardly brooke)
And clear'd her browes; as Sol,86 obscur'd in shrowds
Of exhalations, breaks through vanquisht clowds.
    Pleas'd Ceres now bade Arethusa tell
Her cause of flight: and why a sacred Well?87
Th' obsequious waters left their murmuring:
The Goddesse then aboue the Crystall Spring
Her head aduanc't; and, wringing her greene haires,
Shee thus Alphaeus ancient loue declares.
    I, of Achaia once a Nymph: none more  ALPHAEVS AND ARETHVSA  
The Chace affected, or t' intoyle the Bore.
By beautie though I neuer sought for fame;
Though masculine; of faire I bare the name.
Nor tooke I pleasure in my praysed face,
Which others valew as their only grace:
But, simple, was ashamed to excell;
And thought it infamy to please too-well.
As from Symphalian88 woods I made retreat
('Twas hot, and labour had increast the heat)
When well-nigh tyr'd; a silent streame I found,
All eddilesse, perspicuous to the ground:
Through which you euery pebble might haue seene;
And ran, as if it had no Riuer beene.
The Poplar, and the hoary Willow, fed
By bordring streames, their gratefull shadow spred.
In this coole Riuulet my foot I dipt;
Then knee-deepe wade: nor so content, vnstript
My selfe forth-with; vpon a Sallow stud
My robe I hung, and leapt into the flood.
Where, while I swim, and labour to and fro
A thousand waies, with armes that swiftly row,
I from the bottome heard an vnknowne tongue;
And frighted, to the hither margent sprung.
Whither so fast, ô Arethusa! twice
Out-cry'd Alphaeus, with a hollow voice.
Vnclothed as I was, I fled for feare
(For, on the other side my garments were)
The faster followed he, the more did burne;
Who naked, seeme the readier for his turne.
As trembling Doues the eager Hawkes eschew;
As eager Hawkes the trembling Doues pursew;
I fled, He followed. To Orchomenus,
Psophis, Cyllene, high-brow'd Maenalaus,
Cold Erymanthus, and to Elis, I
My flight maintayned; nor could he come ny:
But, far vnable to hold out so long;
He, patient of much labour, and more strong.
And yet o're Plaines, o're woody hills I fled,
And craggy Rocks, where foot did neuer tread.
The Sunne was at our backs: before my feet
I saw his shadow; or my feare did see't.
How-ere his sounding steps, and thick drawne breath
That fann'd my haire, affrighted me to death.
Starke tyr'd, I cry'd: Ah caught! help (ô forlorne!)
Diana helpe thy Squire, who oft haue borne
Thy Bowe and Quiuer! Mou'd at my request,
With muffling clowds shee couer'd the distrest.
The Riuer seekes me in that pitchy shrowd,
And searches round about the hollow clowd:
Twice came to where Diana me did hide;
And twice he 89 Arethusa cry'd.
Then what a heart had I! the Lamb so feares
When howling Wolues about the Fold she heares:
So Heartlesse Hare, when trayling Hounds draw nye
Her sented Forme; nor dares to moue an eye.
Nor went he on, in that he could not trace
My further steps; but guards the clowd and place.
Cold sweats my then-besieged limbs possest:
In thin thick-falling drops my strength decreast.
Where-ere I step, streames run; my haire now fell
In trickling deaw; and, sooner then I tell
My destinie, into a Flood I grew.
The Riuer his beloued waters knew;
And, putting off th' assumed shape of man,
Resumes his owne, and in my Current ran.
Chaste Delia90 cleft the ground. Then, through blind caues,
To lou'd Ortygia91 she conducts my waues;
Affected for her name: where first I take
Reuiew of day. This, Arethusa spake.
    The fertill Goddesse to her Chariot chaines  TRIPTOLEMVS  
Her yoked Dragons, checkt with stubborne raignes:
Her course, 'twixt heauen and earth, to Athens bends;
And to Triptolemus her Chariot sends.
Part of the seed shee gaue, she bade him throw
On vntill'd earth; part on the till'd to sow.
O're Europe, and the Asian soile conuay'd,  LYNCVS  
The Youth to Scythya turnes; where Lyncus sway'd.
His Court he enters. Askt what way he came,
His cause of comming, Countrie, and his Name:
Triptolemus men call me, he reply'd;
And in renowmed Athens I reside.
No ship through toyling Seas me hither bare;
Nor ouer-land came I; but through the ayre.
I bring you Ceres gift: which sowne in fields,
Corn-bearing crops (a better feeding) yeelds.
The barbarous King enuies it: and, that he
The Author of so great a good might be;
Giues entertainment: but, when sleep opprest
His heauy eyes, with steele attempts his brest.
Whom Ceres turn's t'a Lynx: and home-wards makes
The young Mopsopian92 driue her sacred Snakes.
    Our Chiefe93 concluded here her learned Layes.  PIERIDES  
The Nymphs, with one consent, giue vs the Bayes:
The vanquisht raile. To whom the Muse: Since you
Esteeme it nothing to deserue the due
To your contention, but must adde foule words
To your ill deeds; nor this your pride affords
Our patience roome: we'll wreak it on your heads,
And tread the path which Indignation leads.
The Paeons94 laugh, and our sharp threats despise.
About to scold, and with disgracefull noyse
To clap their hands; they saw the feathers sprout
Beneath their nailes, and clothe their armes throughout:
Hard nebs in one another's faces spie;
And now, new birds, into the Forrest flie.
These syluan Scoulds, as they their armes prepare
To beat their bosomes; mount, and hang in ayre.
Who yet retaine their ancient eloquence;
Full of harsh chat, and prating without sense.

On to Book VI