Pallas an old-wife. Haughtie thoughts o're-throw |
Haemus and Rhodope; who Mountaines grow.
The Pigmy, a Crane. Antigone becomes
A Storke. A statue Cyneras intombs:
His impious daughters, stones. In various shapes
The Gods commit adulteries and rapes.
Arachne, a Spider. Niobe yet drownes
Her marble cheeks in teares. Vnciuill Clownes
Are curst to Frogs. From teares cleere Marsyas flowes.
His iuory shoulder new-made Pelops showes.
Progne, a Swallow; sign'd with murders staines.
Sad Philomel to secret night complaines.
Rage to a Lapwing turnes th' Odrysian king.
Calais and Zetes natiue feathers wing.
Tritonia1 to the Muse attention lends:
Who both her Verse, and iust revenge commends.
Then said t' her selfe: To praise is of no worth:
Let our revengefull Powre our praise set forth.
Intends Arachnes ruine. She, she heard,
Before her curious webs, her owne preferr'd.
Nor dwelling, nor her nation fame impart
Vnto the Damsell, but excelling Art.
Deriu'd from Colophonian Idmons2 side;
Who thirstie Wooll in Phocian purple dide.
Her mother(who had paid her debt to fate)
Was also meane, and equall to her mate.
Yet through the Lydian townes her praise was spred;
Though poore her birth, in poore Hypaepa3 bred.
The Nymphs of Tmolus oft their Vines forsooke;
The sleeke Pactolian Nymphs their streames; to looke
On her rare workes: nor more delight in viewing
The done (done with such grace) then when adoing.
Whether she orbe-like roule the ruder wooll;
Or, finely finger'd, the selected cull;
Or draw it into clowd-resembling flakes;
Or equall twine with swift-turn'd spindle makes;
Or with her liuely-painting needle wrought:
You might perceiue she was by Pallas taught.
Yet such a Mistress her proud thoughts disclame:
Let her with me contend; if foyld, no shame
(Said she) nor punishment will I refuse.
Pallas, forth-with, an old-wiues shape indues:
Her haire all white; her limbs, appearing weake,
A staffe supports: who thus began to speake.
Old Age hath something which we need not shun:
Experience by long tract of time is won.
Scorne not aduice: with dames of humane race
Contend for fame, but giue a Goddesse place.
Craue pardon, and she will thy crime remit.
With eyes confessing rage, and eye-brows knit,
(Her labour-leauing hands scarce held from strokes)
She, masked Pallas with these words prouokes.
Old foole, that dot'st with age; to whom long-life
Is now a curse: thy daughter, or sonnes wife,
(If thou hast either) taught be they by this:
My wisdome, for my selfe, sufficient is.
And least thy counsell should an intrest clame
In my diversion, I abide the same.
Why comes she not? why tryall thus delayes?
She comes, said Pallas, and her selfe displayes.
Nymphs, and Mygdonian4 dames the Powre adore:
Onely the maid her selfe vndaunted bore:
And yet she blusht; against her will the red
Flusht in her cheeks, and thence as swiftly fled.
Euen so the purple Morning paints the skyes:
And so they whiten at the Suns vprise.
Who now, as desperately obstinate,
Praise ill affecting, runs on her owne fate.
No more Ioues daughter labours to disswade;
No more refuseth; nor the strife delayde.
Both settle to their taskes apart: both spread
At once their warps, consisting of fine thread,
Ty'd to their beames: a reed the thred diuides,
Through which the quick-returning shuttle glides,
Shot by swift hands. The combs inserted tooth
Betweene the warp supprest the rising woofe:
Strife les'ning toyle. With skirts tuckt to their waste,
Both moue their cunning armes with nimble haste.
Here crimson, dyde in Tyrian brasse,5 they weaue:
The scarce distinguisht shadowes sight deceaue.
So watry clowds, guilt by Apollo, showe;
The vast sky painted with a mighty Bowe:6
Where though a thousand seuerall colours shine,
No eye their close transition can define:
The next, the same so neerely represents;
As by degrees, scarce sensible, dissents.
Through-out imbellished with ductil gold:
And both reuiu'd antiquities vnfold.
Pallas, in Athens, Marse's Rock7 doth frame:
And that old strife about the Citties name.
Twice six Coelestialls sit inthron'd on hie,
Repleat with awe-infusing grauitie:
Ioue in the midst. The suted figures tooke
Their liuely formes: Ioue had a royall looke.
The Sea-god stood, and with his Trident strake
The cleauing rock, from whence a fountaine8 brake:
Whereon he grounds his claime. With speare and shield
Her selfe she armes: her head a murrion steild:9
Her brest her Aegis10 guards. Her lance the ground
Appeares to strike; and from that pregnant wound
The hoary oliue, charg'd with fruit, ascends.
The Gods admire: with victory she ends.
Yet she, to show the Riuall of her prayse
What hopes to cherish for such bold assayes,
Add's foure contentions in the vtmost bounds
Of euery angle, wrought in little Rounds.
One, Thracian Rhodope and Haemus showes,
Now mountaines, tops with neuer melting snowes,
Once humane bodies: who durst emulate
The blest Coelestialls both in stile and state.
The next contained the miserable doome
Of that Pygmaean matron, ouer-come
By Iuno; made a Crane, and forc't to jar
With her owne nation in perpetuall war.
A third presents Antigone, who stroue
For vnmatcht beautie with the wife of Ioue.
Not Ilium, nor Laomedon11 her sire,
Preuail'd with violent Saturnia's12 ire.
Turn'd to a Storke; who, with white pinions rais'd,
Is euer by her creaking bill selfe-prais'd.
In the last circle Cynaras13 was plac't;
Who, charg'd with griefe, the temples staires imbrac't;
(Of late his daughters by their pride o're-throwne)
Appeares to weepe, and grouel on the stone.
The web a wreathe of peacefull Oliue14 bounds:
And her owne tree her worke both ends and crownes.
Arachne weaues15 Europa's rape by Ioue:
The Bull appeares to liue, the Sea to moue.
Back to the shore she casts a heauy eye;
To her distracted damsels seemes to cry:
And from the sprinkling waues, that skip to meet
With such a burden, shrinks her trembling feet.
Asteria there a strugling Eagle prest:
A Swan here spreds his wings o're Leda's brest.
Ioue, Satyr-like, Antiope compels;
Whose fruitfull womb with double issue swels:
Amphytrio for Alcmena's loue became:
A showre for Danae; for Aegina flame:
For beautifull Mnemosyne he takes
A shepheards forme; for Deois16 a snakes.
Thee also, Neptune, like a lustfull Stere,
She makes the faire Aeolian Virgin17 beare:
And get th' Aloides18 in Enipe's shape:
Now turn'd t' a Ram in sad Bisaltis19 rape.
The gold-haird mother of life-strengthning Seed,20
The snake-hair'd mother of the winged Steed,21
Found thee a Stallion: thee Melanthe findes
A Delphin. She to euery forme assignes
Life-equall lookes; to euery place the same
Aspect. A Heards-man Phoebus here became;
A Lyon now; now falcons wings displayes:
Macarean Issa 22 shepheard-like betrayes.
Liber,23 a grape, Erigone comprest:
And Saturne, horse-like, Chiron gets, halfe-beast.
About her web a curious traile designes:
Flowres intermixt with clasping iuy twines.24
Not Pallas this, not Enuy this reproues
Her faire successe the vext Virago moues;
Who teares the web, with crimes coelestiall fraught:
With shuttle from Cytorian mountaines25 brought,
Arachne thrice vpon the fore-head smote.
Her great heart brookes it not. About her throte
A halter knits. Remorsefull Pallas stayd
Her falling waight; Liue wretch, yet hang, she said.
This curse (least of succeeding times secure)
Still to thy issue, and their race, indure.
Sprinkled with Hecat's26 banefull weeds, her haire
She forthwith sheds: her nose and eares impaire;
Her head grooues little; her whole body so;
Her thighs and legs to spiny fingers grow
The rest all belly. Whence a thred she sends:
And now, a Spider,27 her old webs extends.
All Lydia stormes; the fame through Phrygia rung:
And gaue an argument to euery tongue.
Her, Niobe had knowne; when she, a maid,
In Sipylus, and in Moeonia28 staid.
Yet slights that home example: still rebells
Against the Gods; and with proud language swels.
Much made her haughty. Yet Amphion's towne,29
Their high descents; nor glory of a crowne,
So pleas'd her (though she pleas'd her selfe in all)
As her faire race. We Niobe might call
The happiest mother that yet euer brought
Life vnto light; had not her selfe so thought.
Tiresian Manto,30 in presages skild,
The streets, inspir'd by holy fury, fild
With these exhorts: Ismenides,31 prepare:
To great Latona, and her Twins,32 with prayer
Mix sweet perfumes; your browes with Laurell bind:
By me Latona bids. The Thebans wind
About their temples the commanded Bay:
And sacred fires, with incense feeding, pray.
Behold, the Queene in height of state appeares:
A Phrygian mantle, weau'd with gold, she weares:
Her face, as much as rage would suffer, faire.
She stops; and shaking her disheueled haire,
The godly troope with haughty eyes suruaies.
What madnesse is it Vnseene Gods (she sayes)
Before the seene Coelestialls to prefer?
Or while I Altars want, to worship her?
Me Tantalus (alone allowd to feast
In heauen) begot; my mother not the least
Pleïas;33 greatest Atlas sire to those,
On whose high shoulders all the stars repose.
Ioue is my other Grandfather; and he
My father in law: a double grace to me.34
Me Phrygia, Cadmus kingdomes35 me obay:
My husbands harp-rais'd walls36 we ioyntly sway.
Through out my Court behold in euery place
Infinite riches! adde to this, a face
Worthy a Goddesse. Then, to crowne my ioyes,
Seuen beauteous daughters, and as many boyes:
All these by marriage to be multiply'd.
Behold, haue we not reason for our pride?
Dare you Latona then, by Coeus37 got,
Before me place? to whom a little spot
The ample Earth deny'd t' vnlade her wombe?
Heauen, Earth, nor Seas, afford your Goddesse roome:
A Vagabond, till Delos38 harbour gaue.
Thou wandrest on the land, I on the waue,
It said; and graunted an vnstable place.
She brought forth two; the seauenth part of my race,
I happy am: who doubts? So will abide:
Or who doubts that? with plentie fortifi'd.
My state too great for fortune to bereaue:
Though much she rauish, she much more must leaue.
My blessings are aboue low feare. Suppose
Some of my hopefull sonnes this people lose,
They cannot be reduced to so few.
Off with your bayes; these idle Rites eschew.
They put them off; the sacrifice forbore:
And yet Latona silently adore.
As much as free from barrennesse, so much
Disdaine and griefe th' inraged Goddesse touch.
Who on the top of Cynthus39 thus beginnes
To vent her passion to her sacred Twins.
Lo I, your mother, proud in you alone;
(Excepting Iuno, second vnto none)
Am question'd if a Goddesse: and must loose,
If you assist not, all religious dews.
Nor is this all: that curst Tantalian Seede40
Adds foule reproaches to her impious deed.
She dares her children before you prefer;
And calls me childlesse: may it light on her!
Whose wicked words her fathers41 tongue declare.
About to second her report with prayer;
Peace, Phoebus said, complaint too long delayes
Conceau'd reuenge: the same vext Phoebe sayes.
Then swiftly through the yeelding ayre they glide
To Cadmus towres;42 in clouds their glories hide.
A spacious plaine before the city lyes,
Made dusty with the daily exercise
Of trampling hooues; by strifefull Chariots trackt.
Part of Amphions actiue sons here backt
High-bounding steeds; whose rich caparison
With scarlet blusht, with gold their bridles shone.
Ismenus, from her womb who first did spring,
As with his ready horse he beats a ring,
And checks his fomy iawes; ay me! out cryes;
While through his groaning brest an arrow flyes:
His bridle slackning with his dying force,
He leasurely sinks side-long from his horse.
Next, Siphilus from clashing quiuer flies
With slackned raignes: as when a Pilot spies
A growing storme; and, least the gentle gaile
Should scape besides him, claps on all his saile.
His haste th' vneuitable bowe o're-took,
And through his throat the deadly arrow strook.
Who, by the horses mane and speedy thighes
Drops headlong, and the earth in purple dies.
Now Phoedimus; and Tantalus, the heire
T'his Grand-sires name; that labour done, prepare
To wrastle. Whilst with oyled limbs they prest
Each others power, close grasping brest to brest;
A shaft, which from th' impulsiue bow-string flew,
Them, in that sad Conjunction ioyntly slew.
Both grone at once, at once their bodies bend
With bitter pangs, at once to earth descend:
Their rowling eyes together set in death;
Together they expire their parting breath.
In rusht Alphenor (bleeding in their harmes)
And rais'd their heatlesse corses in his armes
But in that pious dutie fell. The threds
Of life, his heart-strings wrathfull Delius43 shreds.
Part of his lungs claue to th' extracted head:
And with his blood his troubled spirit fled.
But vnshorne Damasichthon slaughtred lies
Not by a single wound: shot where the thighes
Knit with the ham-strings in the knotty ioint.
Striuing from thence to tug the fatall point,
Another at his neck the bow directs.
Thick-gushing blood the piercing shaft eiects;
Which spinning vpward cleft the passiue ayre.
Last Ilioneus, with succeslesse prayer,
His hands vp-heaues: You Gods in generall
Said he (and ignorantly pray'd to all)
O pitty me! The Archer44 had remorce;
But now irreuocable was that force:
And yet his life a little wound dispatcht,
His heart but onely with the arrow scratcht.
Ill newes, the peoples griefe, her housholds teares
Present their ruine to their mothers eares:
Who wonders how the Gods their liues durst touch;
And swels with anger that their powre was such.
For sad Amphion, wounding his owne brest,
Had now his sorrow, with his soule releast.
How different is this Niobe from that!
Who great Latona's Rites supprest of late,
And proudly pac't the streets; enui'd by those
That were her friends; now pittied by her foes!
Frantick she doth on their cold corses fall,
And her last kisses distributes to all.
From whom, to heauen erecting her bruz'd armes:
Cruell Latona, feast thee with our harmes:
Feast, feast, she said, thy saluage stomack cloy;
Cloy thy wild rage, and in our sorrow ioy:
Seauen times, vpon seauen Herses borne, I dy.
Triumph, triumph, victorious foe. But why
Victorious? haplesse I haue not so few:
Who, after all these funeralls, subdew.
This said, the bow-string twangs. Pale terror chils
All hearts saue Niobes; obdur'd by ills.
The sisters, in long mourning robes array'd,
About their herses stood, with haire display'd.
One drawes an arrow from her brothers side;
And ioyning her pale lips to his, so dide.
Another striuing to asswage the woes
That rackt her mother, forth-with speechlesse growes;
And bowing with the wound, which inly bled,
Shuts her fixt teeth; the soule already fled.
This, flying falls: that, her dead sister makes
Her bed of death: this, hides her selfe: that quakes.
Six slaine by sundry wounds; to shield the last,
Her mother, ouer her, her body cast,
This one, she cryes, and that the least, ô saue!
The least of many, and but one, I craue!
Whilst thus she sues, the su'd-for Delia45 hits.
Shee, by her husband, sons, and daughters, sits
A childlesse widdow; waxing stiffe with woes.
The winds wags not one haire; the ruddy rose
Forsakes her cheeke: in her declining head
Her eye-balls fix: through-out appearing dead.
Her tongue, and pallat rob'd of inward heat
At once congeale: her pulse forbeares to beat:
Her neck wants power to turne, her feet to goe,
Her armes to moue: her very bowels grow
Into a stone. She yet retaines her teares.
Whom straight a whirle-winde to her country beares;
And fixes on the summit of a hill.46
Now from that mourning marble teares distill.
Th' exemplary reuenge struck all with feare:
Who offerings to Latona's altars beare
With doubled zeale. When, one47 as oft befalls,
By present accidents the past recalls.
In fruitfull Lycia once, said he, there dwelt
A sort of Pesants, who her vengeance felt.
'Twas of no note, in that the men were base:
Yet wonderfull. I saw the poole, and place,
Fam'd by the prodigie. My father, spent
Almost with age, ill brooking trauell, sent
Me thither for choice Steeres: and for my Guide
A natiue48 gaue. Those pastures searcht, we spy'd
An ancient Altar, black with cinders, plac't
Amidst a Lake, with shiuering reeds imbrac't.
O fauour me! he, softly murmuring, said:
O fauour me! I, softly murmuring, praid:
Then askt, if Nymph, or Faune therein reside,
Or rurall God. The Lycian thus reply'd.
O youth, no mountaine Powres this altar hold:
She49 calls it hers, to whom Ioues wife, of old,
Earth interdicted: scarce that floting Ile,
Waue-wandring Delos, finisht her exile.
Where, coucht on Palmes and Oliues, she in spight
Of fretfull Iuno, brought her Twins50 to light.
Thence also, frighted from her painfull bed,
With her two infant Deities she fled.
Now in Chimaera-breeding51 Lycia (fir'd
By burning beames) and with long trauell tyr'd,
Heat raising thirst the Goddesse sore opprest:
By their exhausting of her milke increast.
By fortune, in a dale, with longing eyes
A Lake of shallow water she descries
Where Clownes were then a gathering picked weeds,
With shrubby Osiers, and plash-louing reeds.
Approacht; Titania52 kneeles vpon the brinke:
And of the cooling liquor stoops to drinke.
The Clownes with-stood. Why hinder you, said she,
The vse of water, that to all is free?
The Sun, aire, water, Nature did not frame
Peculiar; a publick gift I clame.
Yet humbly I intreat it: not to drench
My weary lims, but killing thirst to quench.
My tongue wants moisture, and my iawes are drie:
Scarce is there way for speech. For drink I die.
Water to me were Nectar. If I liue,
'Tis by your fauour: life with water giue.
Pitty these babes: for pitty they aduance
Their little armes ! their armes they stretcht by chance.
With whom would not such gentle words preuaile?
But they, persisting to prohibit, raile;
The place with threats command her to forsake.
Then with their hands and feet disturbe the lake:
And leaping with malicious motion, moue
The troubled mud; which rising, flotes aboue.
Rage quencht her thirst: no more Latona sues
To such base slaues: but Goddesse-like doth vse
Her dreadfull tongue; which thus their fates imply'd:
May you for euer in this lake reside!
Her wish succeeds. In loued lakes they striue;
Now sprawle aboue, now vnder water diue;
Oft hop vpon the banke, as oft againe
Back to the water: nor can yet restraine
Their brawling tongues; but setting shame aside,
Though hid in water, vnder water chide.
Their voyces still are hoarce: the breath they fetch
Swels their wide throtes; their iawes with railing stretch:
Their heads their shoulders touch; no neck betweene,
As intercepted. All the back is greene:
Their bellies (euery part o're-sizing) white.
Who now, new Frogs, in slimy pooles delight.
Thus much, I know not by what Theban, said:
An other mention of a Satyre made,
By Phoebus, with Tritonia's reede,53 o're-come:
Who for presuming felt a heauy doome.
Me from my selfe, ah why doe you distract?
(Oh!) I repent, he cry'd: Alas! this fact
Deserues not such a vengeance!54 Whilst he cry'd;
Apollo from his body stript his hide.
His body was one wound, blood euery way
Streames from all parts: his sinewes naked lay.
His bare veines pant: his heart you might behold;
And all the fiuers in his brest haue told.
For him the Faunes, that in the forrests keepe;
For him the Nymphs, and brother Satyres weepe:
His end, Olympus55 (famous then) bewailes;
With all the shepherds of those hills and dales.
The pregnant Earth conceiueth with their teares;
Which in her penetrated womb she beares,
Till big with waters: then discharg'd her fraught.
This purest Phrygian Streame a way out sought
By down-falls, till to toyling seas he came:
Now called Marsyas of the Satyres name.
The Vulgar, these examples told, returne
Unto the present: for Amphion mourne,
And his lost issue. All the mother hate.
Pelops56 alone laments his sisters fate.
While with torne garments he presents his woes,
The iuory peece on his left shoulder showes.
This once was flesh, and coloured like the right.
Slaine by his Sire, the Gods his lims vnite:
His scattered parts all found; saue that alone
Which interpos'd the neck and shoulder bone.
They then with iuory supply'd th' vnfound:
And thus restored Pelops was made sound.
The neighbouring princes met: the Cities neare
Intreat their kings the desolate to cheare.57
Renown'd Mycenae, Sparta, th' Argiue State;
And Calydon, not yet in Dian's hate;58
Fertill Orchomenos; Corinthus, fam'd
For high-priz'd brasse; Messene, neuer tam'd;
Cleonae; Patrae; Pylos, Nelius crowne;
And Troezen, not as then Pittheus59 towne;
With all that two-sea'd Isthmos60 Streights include:
And all without, by two-sea'd Isthmos view'd.
Athens alone (who would beleeu't?) with-held:
Thee, from that ciuill office, war compeld.
Th' inhabitants about the Pontick coast
Had then besieg'd thee with a barbarous hoast:
Whom Thracian Tereus, with his Aids, o'rethrew;
And by that victorie renowned grew.
Powerfull in wealth, and people; from the loynes
Of Mars deriu'd: Pandion61 Progne ioynes
To him in marriage. This, nor Iuno blest;
Nor Hymen, nor the Graces grac't that feast.62
The snake-haird furies held the sputtering light
From funeralls snatcht, and made the bed that Night.
Th' ill boading Owle vpon the roofe was set.
Progne and Tereus with these omens met:
Thus parents grew. The Thracians yet reioyce;
And thanke the Gods with one vnited voyce.
The marriage day, and that of Itys birth,
They consecrate to vniuersall mirth.
So lyes the good vnseene. By this the Sun,
Conducting Time, had through fiue Autums run:
When flattering Progne thus allures her Lord.
If I haue any grace with thee, afford
This fauour, that I may my sister see:
Send me to her, or bring thou her to me.
Promise my father that with swiftest speede
She shall returne. If this attempt succeede,
The summe of all my wishes I obtaine.
He bids them lanch his ships into the maine:
Then makes th' Athenian port with sailes and ores;
And lands vpon the wisht Piraean63 shores.
Brought to Pandion's presence, they salute.
The King with bad presage begins his sute.
For loe, as he his wifes command recites,
And for her quick returne his promise plights,
Bright Philomela came in rich array;
More rich in beauty. So they vse to say
The stately Naiades,64 and Dryad's64 goe
In Syluan shades; were they apparel'd so.
This sight in Tereus such a burning breeds,
As when we fire, a heap of hoary reeds;
Or catching flames to Sun-dry'd stubble thrust.
Her face was excellent: but in-bred lust
Inrag'd his blood; to which those Climes are prone:65
Stung by his countries fury, and his owne.
He streight intends her women to intice,
And bribe her Nurse to prosecute his vice;
Her selfe to tempt with gifts; his crowne to spend:
Or rauish, and by warre his rape defend.
What dares he not, thrust on by wilde desire?
Nor can his brest containe so great a fire.
Rackt with delay, he Progne's sute renewes:
And for himselfe, that but pretended sues.
Loue made him eloquent. As oft as he
Exceeded, he would say. Thus charged she.
And mouing teares (as she had sent them) sheds.
You Gods! how dark a blindnesse ouer-spreds
The soules of men! whilst to his sin he climes,
They thinke him good; and praise him for his crimes.
Euen Philomela wisht the same! now she
Hangs on her fathers neck: and what would be
Her vtter ruine, as her safety prest
While Tereus by beholding pre-possest.
Her kisses and imbraces heat his blood:
And all afford his fire and fury food.
And wisht, as oft as she her Sire imbrac't,
Him-selfe her Sire: nor would haue beene more chast.
He, by their importunities is wrought.
She, ouer-ioy'd, her father thankes: and thought
Her selfe and sister in that fortunate,
Which drew on both a lamentable fate.
The labour of the Day now neere an end,
From steepe Olympus66 Phoebus steeds descend.
The boards are princely seru'd: Lyaeus67 flowes
In burnisht gold. Then take their soft repose.
And yet th' Odrysian King,68 though parted, fries:
Her face and graces euer in his eyes.
Who parts vnseene vnto his fancy faines;
And feeds his fires: Sleep flies his troubled braines.
Day rose: Pandion his departing son
Wrings by the hand; and weeping, thus begun.
Deare Son, since Piety this due requires;
With her, receaue both your and their desires.
By faith, aliance, by the Gods aboue,
I charge you guard her with a fathers loue:
And suddenly send back (for all delay
To me is death) my ages onely stay.
And Daughter ('tis enough thy sister's gone)
For pitty leaue me not too long alone.
As he impos'd this charge, he kist with-all:
And drops of teares at euery accent fall.
The pledges then of promis'd faith demands
(Which mutually they giue) their plighted hands.
To Progne, and her little boy, said he,
My loue remember, and salute from me.
Scarce could he bid farewell: sobs so ingage
His troubled speech; who dreads his soules presage.
As soone as shipt; as soone as actiue ores
Had mou'd the surges, and remou'd the shores;
She's ours! with me my wish I beare! he cryes.
Exults; and barbarous, scarce defers his ioyes:
His eyes fast fixt. As when Ioues eagle beares
A Hare t' her Ayery, truss't in rapefull seares:
And to the trembling prisoner leaues no way
For hoped flight; but still beholds her pray.
The voyage made; on his owne land he treads:
And to a Lodge Pandions daughter69 leads;
Obscur'd with woods: pale, trembling full of feares;
And for her sister asking now with teares.
There mues her vp; his foule intent makes knowne:
Inforc't her; a weake virgin, and but one.
Helpe father! sister helpe! in her distresse
She cries; and on the Gods, with like successe.
She trembles like a lambe, snatcht from the phangs
Of some fell wolfe; that dreads her former pangs:
Or as a doue, who on her feathers beares
Her bloods fresh staines, and late-felt talants feares.
Restor'd vnto her mind, her rufled haire,
As at a wofull funerall she tare;
Her armes with her owne fury bloody made:
Who, wringing her vp-heaued hands, thus said.
O monster! barbarous in thy horrid lust!
Trecherous Tyrant! whom my fathers trust,
Impos'd with holy teares; my sisters loue;
My virgin state; nor nuptiall ties, could moue!
O what a wild confusion hast thou bred!
I, an adultresse to my sisters bed;
Thou, husband to vs both; my only hate;
And to expect a miserable fate.
Why mak'st thou not thy villanies compleat;
By forcing life from her abhorred seat?
O would thou hadst, e're I my honour lost!
Then had I parted with a spotlesse ghost.
Yet, if the Gods haue eyes; if their Powers be
Not meerely names; nor all decay with me;
Thou shalt not scape due vengeance. Sense of shame
I will abandon; and thy crime proclaime:
To men, if free; if not, my voice shall breake
Through these thick walls; and teach the woods to speake:
Hard rockes resolue to ruth. Let heauen this heare;
And Heauen-thron'd Gods: if there be any there!
These words the saluage Tyrant moues to wroth:
Nor lesse his feare: a like prouok't by both.
Who drawes his sword: his cruell hands he winds
In her loose haire: her arms behind her binds.
Her throte glad Philomela ready made:
Conceiuing hope of death from his drawne blade.
Whilst she reuiles, inuokes her father; sought
To vent her spleene; her tongue in pincers caught,
His sword deuideth from the panting root:
Which, trembling, murmurs curses at his foot.
And as a serpents taile, disseuer'd, Leaps:
Euen so her tongue: and dying sought her steps.
After this fact (if we may rumor trust)
He oft abus'd her body with his lust.
Yet to his wife, euen after this, retires:
Who for her sister hastily inquires.
He funeralls belyes, with fained griefe:
And by instructed teares begets beliefe.
Progne her royall ornaments reiects;
And puts on black: an empty tombe erects;70
To her imagin'd Ghost oblations burnes:
Her sisters fate, not as she should,7l she mournes.
Now through twelue Signes the sun had borne his light.
What should sad Philomela doe? her flight
A barbarous guard restrain'd; the walls were strong;
Her mouth had lost the Index of her wrong.
The wit that misery begets is great:
Great sorrow addes a quicknesse to conceit.
A woofe vpon a Thracian loome she spreds;
And inter-weaues the white with crimson threds;
That character her wrong. The closely wrought,
Gaue to a seruant, by her looks72 besought
To beare it to her Mistresse:73 who presents
The Queene therewith; not knowing the contents.
The wife to that dire Tyrant this vnfolds:
And in a wofull verse her state beholds.
She held her peace: 'twas strange! griefe struck her mute.
No language could with such a passion sute.
Nor had she time to weepe. Right, wrong, were mixt
In her fell thoughts; her soule on vengeance fixt.
It was that time; when, in a wild disguise,
Sithonian74 matrons vse to solemnise
Lyoeus three-yeares Feast.75 Night spreds her wings:
By night high Rhodope76 with timbrels rings.
By night th' impatient Queene a iauelin takes,
And now a Bacchanal, the Court forsakes.
Vines shade her browes: the rough hide of a Deare
Shogs at her side: her shoulder bare a speare.
Hurried through woods, with her attendant froes,
Terrible Progne, frantick with her woes,
Thy farre more sober fury, Bacchus striues
To counterfeit. Now at the lodge arriues:
Howles; Euohe,77 cries: breakes ope the doores, and tooke
Her sister thence: with iuy hides her looke:
In habit of a Bacchanal arrayd:
And to her Citty the amaz'd conuayd.
That hated roofe when Philomela knew;
The poore soule shooke; her visage bloodlesse grew.
Progne with-drawes; the sacred weeds vnlos'd;
Her wofull sisters bashfull face disclos'd:
Falls on her neck. The other durst not raise
Her downe-cast eyes: her sisters wrong suruayes
In her dishonour. As she stroue t' haue sworne
With vp-raisd lookes; and call the Gods t' haue borne
Her pure thoughts witnesse, how she was compeld
To that loth'd fact; she hands, for speech, vpheld.
Sterne Progne broiles; her bosome hardly beares
So vast a rage: who chides her sisters teares.
No teares, said she, our lost condition needs
But steele; or if thou hast what steele exceeds.
I, for all horrid practises, am fit:
To wrap this roofe in flame, and him in it:
His eyes, his tongue, or what did thee inforce,
T'extirp; or with a thousand wounds, diuorce
His guilty soule. The deede I intend, is great:
But what, as yet, I know not. In this heat
Came Itys in, and taught her what to doe.
Beheld with cruell eyes; Ah, how I view;
In thee, said shee, thy father! then intends
Her tragick Scene: Rage in her lookes ascends.
But when her sonne saluted her, and clung
Vnto her neck; mixt kisses, as he hung,
With childish blandishments; her, high-wrought blood
Began to calme, and rage distracted stood.
Teares trickl'd from her eyes by strong constraint.
But when she found her resolution faint
With too much pittie; her sad sister viewes,
And said, while both, her eyes by turnes peruse.
Why flatters he? why tonguelesse weepes the other?
Why sister calls not she, whom he calls mother?
Degenerate! thinke whose daughter; to whom wed:
All piety is sinne to Tereus bed.
Then Itys trailes: as when by Ganges floods
A Tigresse drags a Fawne through silent woods.
Retiring to the most sequestred roome:
While he, with hands vp-heau'd, fore-sees his doome,
Clings to her bosome; mother! mother! cry'd;
She stabs him: nor once turn'd her face aside.
His throte was cut by Philomela's knife:
Although one wound suffic'd to vanquish life.
His yet quick lims, ere all his soule could passe,
She peece-meale teares. Some boyle in hollow brasse,
Some hisse on spits. The pauements blusht with blood.
Progne inuites her husband to this food:
And faines her Countries Rite; which would afford
No seruant, nor companion, but her Lord.
Now Tereus, mounted on his Grand-sires throne,
With his sonnes carued entrailes stuffes his owne:
And bids her (so Soule-blinded!) call his boy.
Progne could not disguise her cruell ioy:
In full fruition of her horrid ire,
Thou hast, said she, within thee thy desire.
He lookes about: asks where. And while againe
He asks, and calls: all bloody with the slaine,
Forth like a Fury, Philomela flew;
And at his face the head of Itys threw.
Nor euer more then now desir'd a tongue;
T' expresse the ioy of her reuenged wrong.
He, with lowd out-cryes, doth the boord repell;
And calls the Furies from the depth of hell.
Now teares his brest, and striues from thence in vaine
To pull th' abhorred food: now weepes amaine.
And calls himselfe his sonnes vnhappy tombe.
Then drawes his sword; and through the guilty roome
Pursues the Sisters; who appeare with wings
To cut the ayre: and so they did. One78 sings
In woods; the other79 neare the house remaines:
And on her brest yet beares her murders staines.
He, swift with griefe and fury, in that space
His person chang'd. Long tufts of feathers grace
His shining crowne; his sword a bill became;
His face all arm'd: whom we a Lapwing name.
This killing newes, ere halfe his age was spent,
Pandion to th' infernall Shadowes sent.
Erichtheus his throne and scepter held:
Who, both in iustice, and bold armes exceld.
To him his wife foure sonnes, all hopefull, bare
As many daughters: two, surpassing faire.80
Thee, Cephalus, thy Procris happy made:
But Thrace and Tereus, Boreas nuptiall stayd.81
The God belou'd Orithya wanted long;
While he put off his powre, to vse his tongue.
His sute reiected; horridly inclin'd
To anger (too familiar with that Wind.)
I iustly suffer this indignity:
For why said he, haue I my armes laid by?
Strength, violence, high rage and awfull threats.
'Tis my dishonour to haue vs'd intreats.
Force me befits. With this, thick clouds I driue;
Tosse the blew billowes, knotty Okes vp-riue;
Congeale soft snow, and beat the earth with haile.
When I my brethren82 in the ayre assaile,
(For that's our field) we meete with such a shock,
That thundring skyes with our incounters rock,
And clowd-struck lightning flashes from on high.
When through the crannies of the earth I fly,
And force her in her hollow caues, I make
The Ghosts to tremble and the ground to quake.
Thus should I haue woo'd; with these my match haue made:
Erichtheus should haue beene compeld, not pray'd.
Thus Boreas chafes; or no lesse storming, shooke
His horrid wings; whose ayery motion strooke
The earth with blasts, and made the Ocean rore.
Trailing his dusky mantle on the flore,
He hid himselfe in clouds of dust, and caught
Belou'd Orythia, with her feare distraught.
Flying, his agitated fires increast:
Nor of his ayery race the raignes supprest
Till to the walled Cicones83 he came.
Two goodly Twins th' espous'd Athenian Dame
Gaue to the Icie author of her rape:84
Who had their fathers wings and mothers shape.
Yet not so borne. Before their faces bare
The manly ensignes of their yellow haire,
Calais and Zetes both vnplumed were.
But as the downe did on their chins appeare;
So, foule-like, from their sides soft feathers bud.
When youth to action had inflam'd their blood;
In the first vessell, with the flowre of Greece,
Through vnknowne seas, they sought the Golden Fleece.