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

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The Eighth Booke.

Harmonious walls. Lewd Scylla now despaires;
With Nisus, chang'd: the Lark the Hobby dares.
Ariadnes Crowne a Constellation made.
Th' inventiue youth a Partridge; still afraid
Of mounting. Meleagers Sisters mourne
His Tragedie: to Fowle, so named, turne.
Fiue water Nymphs the fiue Echinades
Demonstrate. Perimele, neere to these,
Becomes an Iland. Ioue and Hermes take
The formes of men. A Citie turnd t' a Lake:
A Cottage to a Temple. That good pare,

Old Baucis and Philemon, changed are,
At once to sacred Trees. In various shapes

Blew Proteus sports. Oft. selfe-chang'd Metra scapes
Scornd seruitude. The Streame of Calydon
Forsakes his owne, and other shapes puts on.

Now Lucifer1 exalts the Day: to hell
Old Night descends. The Easterne winds now fell;
Moyst clouds arose: when gentle Southerne gales
Befriend returning Cephalus. Full sailes
Wing his successefull course: who, long before
All expectation, toucht the wished shore.
Meane-while iust Minos wastes Lelegia's coast,2
And girts Alcothoës Citie3 with his Hoast.
This Nisus held; whose head a Purple haire,
'Mong those of honourable siluer, bare:
His Kingdomes strength. Six aged Moones grew young:   NISVS AND SCYLLA  
Yet warres successe in equall ballance hung.
Slow Victory, in choice yet what to doe,
With doubtfull wings 'twixt either armie flew.
A royall Tower, with sounding walls, there stands;
Erected by Apollo's sacred hands:
Whereon, they say, he lai'd his golden Lyre;
Whose strings the stones with harmonie inspire.
This, Nisus daughter4 oft ascends alone;
And drops small pebbles on the warbling stone;
In time of peace. When warre had peace expeld,
From thence the conflicts of sterne Mars beheld.
By this delay, the Princes names she knowes;
Their armes, horse, habits, and Cydonian5 bowes:
Europa's Sonne6 the Generall, yet knew,
More then the rest; more then 'twas fit to doe.
For when he wore his fairely plumed cask;
She thought him louely in that warlike mask:
Or when his brasse- refulgent shield he rais'd;
His gracefull gesture infinitely praisd.
Nor could his practis'd arme let flye a dart;
But straight sh' extolls his strength, informd by art.
If he an arrow drew; sh' would sweare that so
Apollo stood, when he dischargd his bow.
But when, his helmet off, he shewd' his face;
When clad in purple, with a gallant grace,
He on his hot-high bounding Courser sits:
O then she scarce was mistris of her wits!
Happy she cals the lance his hand sustaines:
Happy she cals his hand-sustained raignes.
And had she powre, she would haue madly past
Through all the hostile ranks; her selfe haue cast
Amid the Cretan tents, euen from that towre;
Or ope the brasse-rib'd gates to Minos powre:
Or what he else could wish. Shee then suruay'd
The Gnossian Kings7 white Tent; and softly said:
    Whether I should for this so sad a warre
Or joy, or grieue; within my selfe I jarre.
Alas, that he I loue should be my foe!
I had not knowne him had it not beene so.
Yet me in hostage might he take: of peace
A pledge; his spouse; and bloody broyles surcease.
No maruell though a God her beauty tooke:
If shee that bare thee had so sweet a looke.
Thrice happy I, could I with wings preuent
This dull delay; and fly to Minos tent.
My selfe I would disclose, confesse my flame;
And buy him, with what dowry he should name
But to betray these towers: dye, dye desire,
E're I by treason to your ends aspire.
Yet, through the Victors clemency, it some,
Nay many, hath avail'd, t'haue beene o're-come.
Iust warre he wageth for his Sonnes8 sad end:
His cause is strong: strong armes his cause defend.
Sure we must fall. If such our Cities fate;
Why should his powre inthrone him in this State,
And not my loue? better, without delay,
His souldiers blood, his owne, he conquer may.
For il-presaging feares my rest confound,
Least some, not knowing him, should Minos wound:
For no heart is so hard, that did but knowe,
And would a lance against his bosome throw.
Then thus: with me, my country I intend
To render vp; and giue these warres an end.
What is't to intend? Each passage hath a guard;
My father keepes the keyes, and sees them bard.
'Tis he deferres my joyes; 'tis he I dread:
Would I were not, or he were with the dead!
Tush, we are our owne Gods. They thriue, that dare:
And Fortune is a foe to slothfull pray'r.
Long since, another, scorcht with such a fire,
By death had forc't a way to her desire.
And why should any more aduenturous proue?
I dare through sword and fire make way to Loue.
And yet here is no vse of fire nor sword;
But of my fathers haire. This must afford
What I so much affect, and make me blest:
Richer then all the treasure of the East.
    This said; Night, nurse of cares, her curtaines drew:
When in the darke she more audacious grew.
In prime of rest, when tyr'd with day-bred cares
Sleepe all infolds; she silently repaires
Into her fathers bed-chamber; and there
Picks out (ô horrid act!) his fatall haire.
Seaz'd of her wicked prey; with her she bore
The guilty spoyle; vnlocks a Posterne doore:
Then past the foe (bold by her merit made)
Vnto the King not vn-astonisht, said.
Inforc't by Loue, I Scylla, Nisus Seede,
Yeeld vp my Country, and my Gods: no meede,
But thee, I craue. This purple haire receaue,
My loues rich pledge: nor thinke a haire I giue,
But my old fathers head. And therewith she
Presents the gift with wicked hand. But he
Rejects her proffer: and much terrifi'd
With horror of so foule a deed, reply'd;
The Gods exile thee (ô thou most abhord!)
Their world; to thee nor Land nor Sea afford.9)
How-ere, Ioues Creete,10 the world wherein I raigne,
Shall such a Monster neuer entertaine.
This said: the most just Victor doth impose
Lawes, no lesse just, vpon his vanquisht foes.
Then orders, that they forthwith ores conuay
Abord the brasse-beakt ships, and anchors waye.
    When Scylla saw the Gnossian11 nauy swim;
And that her treason was abhorr'd by him.
To violent anger she converts her prayers.
And Furie-like, with stretcht armes and spred haires;
Cry'd; Whither fly'st thou? leauing me, whose loue
With conquest crown'd thee? ô prefer'd aboue
My Country! Father! 'twas not thou didst win;
But I that gaue: my merit, and my sinne.
Not this; not such affection, could perswade:
Nor that on thee I all my hopes had laid.
For whither should I goe, thus left alone?
What? to my Country? that's by me o're-throwne.
Wer't not? my treason doomes me to exile.
Or to my father; giuen vnto thy spoyle?
Me worthily the Citizens will hate:
And neighbours feare th' example in their State.
I, out of all the world my selfe haue throwne,
To purchase an accesse to Creet alone.
Which if deny'd; and left to such despaire;
Europa neuer one so thanklesse bare:
But swallowing Syrt's,12 Charybdis13 chaft with wind;
Or some fell Tygres, of th' Armenian kind.
Ioue's not thy father; nor with forged shape
Of Bull beguild, thy mother suffer'd rape.14
That story of thy glorious race is fain'd:
For shee a wild and louelesse Bull sustain'd.
O father Nisus, thy reuenge behold!
Rejoyce, ô Citie, by my treason sold!
Death, I confesse, I merit. Yet would I
Might, by their hands whom I haue injur'd, dye.
For why shouldst thou, who onely didst subdue
By my offending, my offence pursue?
My Country and my father felt this sinne:
Which vnto thee hath meritorious beene.
Thou worthy art of such a wife,15 as stood
A Bulls hot lust within a Cow of wood;
Whose shamelesse womb a monstrous burthen16 bare.
Ah! doe my sorrowes to thy eares repaire?
Or are my fruitlesse words borne by that wind
That beares thee hence, and leaues a wretch behind?
No maruel though Pasiphae prefer'd
A Bull, thou farre more saluage then the Herd.
Woe's me! make haste I must: the waues with ores
Resound; his ship forsakes, with vs, our shores.
In vaine! I'le follow thee vngratefull King:
And while I to thy crooked vessell cling
Be drag'd through drenching seas. This hauing said,
Attempts the waues, by Cupids strengthning aid,
And cleaues t'his ship. Her father, now high-flowne
Strikes ayrie rings (a red-maild Hobby growne)
And stoopes to cuffe her with his golden seares.
Shee slips her hold, infeebled by her feares.
While yet a falling, that she might eschue
The threatning sea, light wings t'her shoulders grew.
Now changed to a bird in sight of all:
This, of that rauisht haire, we Ciris17 call.
    No sooner Minos toucht the Cretan ground,
But by an hundred Bulls, with garlands crown'd,
His vowes to conquest-giuing, Ioue he payd:
And all his pallace with the spoyle arrayd
And now his families reproach increast.  THE MINOTAVRE  
That vncouth prodigie, halfe man, halfe beast;
The mothers18 foule adultery descry'd.
Minos resolues his marriage shame to hide
In multitude of roomes, perplext, and blind.
The work t'excelling Daedalus assign'd.
Who sence distracts, and error leads a maze
Through subtill ambages of sundry wayes.
As Phrygian Maeander sports about
The flowrie vales; now winding in, now out;
Himselfe incounters, sees what followes, guides
His streames vnto their springs; and, doubling, slides
To long mockt seas: so Daedalus compil'd
Innumerable by-waies, which beguild
The troubled sense; that he who made the same,
Could scarce retire: so intricate the frame.
When in this fabrick Minos had inclos'd
This double forme,19 of man and beast compos'd;
The Monster, with Athenian blood twice fed,
His owne, the third Lot,20 in the ninth yeare, shed.
Then by a Clew reguided to the doore  ARIADNE  
(A virgins counsell) neuer found before;
Aegides21 with rapt Ariadne, makes
For Dia: on the naked shore forsakes
His confident and sleepe-oppressed Mate.
Now, pining in complaints, the desolate
Bacchus, with marriage, comforts: and that she
Might glorious by a Constellation be;
Her head vnburthens of her crowne, and threw
It vp to Heauen: through thinner ayre it flew.
Flying, the jewels that the verge inchace
Conuert to fires; fast-fixed in one place;
Th' old forme retaining. They their station take,
Twixt Him that Kneeles, and Him who holds the Snake.22
    The Sea-impris'ned Daedalus, meane-while,  DAEDALVS AND ICARVS  
Weary of Creet, and of his long exile;23
Toucht with his countries loue, and place of birth;
Thus said: Though Minos bar both sea and earth;
Yet heauen is free. That course attempt I dare:
Held he the world, he could not hold the ayre.
This said; to arts vnknowne he bends his wits,
And alters nature. Quils in order knits,
Beginning with the least: the longer still
The short succeeds; much like a rising hill.
Their rurall pipes, the shepheards, long agoe,
(Fram'd of vnequall reeds) contriued so.
With threds the midst, with wax he joynes the ends
And these, as naturall wings, a little bends.
Young Icarus stood by, who little thought
That with his death he playd; and smiling, caught
The feathers tossed by the wand'ring ayre:
Now chafes the yellow waxe with busie care,
And interrupts his Sire. When his last hand
Had made all perfect: with new wings he fand
The ayre that bare him. Then instructs his sonne
Be sure that in the middle course thou run.
Dank seas will clog the wings that lowly fly:
The Sun will burne them if thou soar'st too high.
'Twixt either keepe. Nor on Bootes gaze,
Nor Helice, nor sterne Orions rayes:24
But follow me. At once, he doth aduise;
And vnknowne feathers to his shoulders tyes.
Amid his worke and words the salt teares brake
From his dim eyes; with feare his fingers shake.
Then kist him, neuer to be kissed more:
And rais'd on lightsome feathers flies before;
His feare behind: as birds through boundlesse sky
From ayrie nests produce their young to fly;
Exhorts to follow: taught his banefull skill;
Waues his owne wings, his sonnes obseruing still.
These, while some Angler, fishing with a Cane;
Or Shepheard, leaning on his staffe; or Swaine;
With wonder viewes: he thinkes them Gods that glide
Through ayrie regions. Now on his left side
Leaues Iuno's Samos,25 Delos, Paros white,26
Lebynthos, and Calydna on the right,
Flowing with hony. When the boy, much tooke
With pleasure of his wings, his Guide forsooke:
And rauisht with desire of heauen, aloft
Ascends. The odor-yeelding wax more soft
By the swift Sunnes vicinitie then grew:
Which late his feathers did together glew.
That thaw'd; he shakes his armes, which now were bare,
And wanted where withall to gather ayre.
Then falling, Helpe ô father, cries: the blew
Seas stopt his breath; from whom their name27 they drew.
His father, now no father, left alone,
Cry'd Icarus! where art thou? which way flowne?
What region, Icarus, doth thee containe.
Then spies the feathers floating on the Maine.
He curst his arts; interres the corpse, that gaue
The land a name,28 which gaue his sonne a graue.
    The Partridge from a thicket him suruay'd;  PERDIX  
As in a tombe his wretched sonne he laid;
Who clapt his fanning wings, and lowdly churd
T' expresse his joy: as then an only bird.
So made of late (vnknowne in former time)
O Daedalus, by thy eternall crime.
To thee thy Sister gaue him to be taught;
Who little of his destinie fore-thought:
The boy then twelue yeares aged; of a minde
Apt for instruction, and to Arts inclind.
He Sawes invented, by the bones that grow
In fishes backs; the steele indenting so.
And two shankt Compasses with riuet bound;
Th' one to stand still, the other turning round
In equall distance. Daedalus this stung
Who from Minerva's sacred turret29 flung
The enui'd head-long; and his falling faines.
Him Pallas, fautor of good wits, sustaines:
Who straight the figure of a foule assumes;
Clad in the midst of ayre with freckled plumes.
The vigor of his late swift wit now came
Into his feet, and wings: he keepes his name.
They neuer mount aloft, nor trust their birth
To tops of trees; but fleck as lowe as earth,
And lay their egges in tufts. In minde they beare
Their ancient fall, and lofty places feare.
    Tyr'd Daedalus now in Sicilia lights:
In whose defence hospitious Coc'lus30 fights.
Now Athens by Aegaeus glorious Seed31
Was from her lamentable tribute32 freed.
They crowne their Temples: warlike Pallas, Ioue,
Inuoke; with all the Deities aboue.
Whom now they honour with the large expence
Of blood, free gifts, and heapes of frankincense.
Vast Fame through all th' Argolian cities33 spred
His praise: and all that rich Achaia fed
His aid in their extremities entreat,
And Calydon (though Meleagers seat)
His aid implores. A Bore by Dian sent,  THE CALYDONIAN BORE  
As her reuenge, and horrid instrument.
For Oeneus,34 with a plenteous haruest blest,
To Ceres his first fruits of corne addrest,
To Pallas oyle, and to Lyaeus35 wine.
Ambitious honours all the Powres diuine
Reape from the rurals; who neglect to pay
Diana dues; her Altars empty lay.
Anger affects the Gods. This will not we
Vnpunisht beare: nor vnreueng'd, said she,
Though vn-adored, shall they vant we be.
Whith that she sent into Oeneian fields36
A vengefull Bore. Rank-grast Epirus yeelds
No big-bon'd bullock of a larger breed:
But those are lesse which in Sicilia feed.
His eyes blaze blood and fire: his stiffe neck beares
Horrible bristles, like a groue of speares.
A boyling fome vpon his shoulders flowes
From grinding jawes: his tushes equall those
Of Indian Elephants: his fell mouth casts
Swift lightning; and his breath the pastures blasts.
Now tramples downe the corne, when in the blade;
The husbandmans ripe vowes now frustrat made,
And reaps the waighty eares. Their vsuall graine
The Barnes and threshing floores expect in vaine.
Broad-spreding vines he with their burden, sheares:
And boughs from euer-leauy oliues teares.
Then falls on beasts: the Herdsmen, now vnfeard;
Nor Dogs, nor raging Bulls, defend their Heard.
The people fly; security scarce finde
In walled townes: till Meleager, joyn'd
With youths of choycest worth, inflam'd with praise,
Attempts his death. The twin'd Tyndarides;37
One for his horsemanship, the other fam'd
For Whorl-bats;38 Iason, who the first ship39 fram'd;
Theseus with his Pirithous, a paire
Of happy friends; and Lynceus, Aphar's heire;
The two Thestiadae,40 Leucippus crown'd
For strength; Acastus, for his dart renown'd;
Swift Idas, Caeneus, not a woman then;41
Hippothous, Dryas; Phoenix (best of men,)
Amyntors son; th' alike Actorides,42
And Phyleas sent from Elis, came with these:
Pheretes hope;43 aduenturous Telamon;
And he who call'd the great Achilles sonne;44
Hyantian Iölaus, the well-grac't
Eurytius; and Echion, who surpast
In running; Lelex the Narycian,
With Panopaeus, Hyleus, Hippasan,
Now youthfull Nestor: sonnes to that intent
Hippocoon from old Amyclis sent:45
Penelopes father in law,46 Parrasia-bred
Ancaeus, wise Ampycides47 well read
In fates; Oiclides48 not as yet betray'd
B' his wife; Tegeaean Atalant', a maid
Of passing beauty, sprung from Schoenus race:49
Of high Lycaean woods the onely grace.
A polisht Zone her vpper garment bound;
And in one knot her artlesse haire was wound:
Her arrowes iuory guardian clattering hung
On her left shoulder; and a bow well strung
Her left hand held. Her lookes a wench display'd
In a boyes face, a boyes face in a maid.
The Calydonian Heros50 her beheld
And wisht at once: his wishes fate repeld.
Who lurking flames attracts; and said, O blest
Is he, whom thou shalt with thy joyes inuest!
But time, and modesty his courtship stay
By a more pressing action call'd away
    A wood o're-growne with trees, yet neuer feld,
Mounts from a plaine, that all beneath beheld.
The glory-thirsting Gallants this ascend.
Forth-with a part their corded toyles extend;
Some hounds vncouple; some the tract of feet
Together trace: and danger long to meet.
A Dale there was, through which the raine-rais'd flood
Oft tumbled downe, and in the bottom stood:
Repleat with plyant willowes, marish weeds,
Sharpe rushes, osiers, and long slender reeds.
The Bore from thence dislodg'd, like lightning crusht
Through iustling clouds, among the hunters rusht:
Beares downe the obuious trees; the crashing woods
Report their fall. The youths each others bloods
With high-rais'd shoots inflame: who keepe their stands:
And shake their broad-tipt speares with threatning hands.
The dogs he scatters; those that durst oppose
His horrid furie, wounds with ganching blowes.
Echion first his jauelin vainely cast,
Which struck a beech. The next his sides had past,
But that with too much strength it ouer-flew:
The weapon Pagasaean Iason threw.
O Phaebus, said Ampycides,51 if I
Haue honour'd, and doe honour thee, apply
Thy succour in successe of my intents.
The God, as much as lay in him, assents:
But from the dart the head Diana took;
Which gaue no wound, although the Bore it strooke:
The beast like lightning burns, thus chaft with ire:
His grim eyes shine, his breast breathes flames of fire.
And as a stone which some huge engines throwes
Against a wall, or bulwarke man'd with foes:
The deadly Bore with such sure violence
Assaults their forces. The right wings defence;
Eupalamon, and Pelagonus, cast
On sounding earth: drawne off with timely hast.
Enaesimus, great Hippocoons son,
Could not so well his slaughtring tushes shun:
Which cut the shrinking sinewes in his thigh,
Euen as he trembled, and prepar'd to flye.
And Nestor long had perished, perchance,
Before Troyes warre; but, vauting on a lance,
He tooke a tree, which there his branches spred:
And safely saw the foe from whom he had fled.
Who, full of rage, his vengefull tushes whets
Vpon an Oke and dire destruction threats:
When, trusting to his new edg'd armes, the Bore
The manly thigh of great Orithyus tore.
The Brother Twins,52 not yet coelestiall starres;
Conspicuous both, both terrible in warres;
Both mounted on white steeds, a loft both bare
Their glittering speares, which trembled in the aire:
And both had sped; but that the swine with-drew
Where neither horse nor jauelin could pursue.
In followes Telamon, hot of the chace;
And stumbling at a roote, fell on his face.
While Peleus lifts him vp, a winged flight
Tegaea53 drew,which flew as swift as sight:
Below his eare the fixed arrow stood,
And stain'd his bristles with a little blood.
The Virgin lesse rejoyced in the blow
Than Meleager: who first saw it flow,
First show'd his mates the blood: O most renoun'd
Said he, thy honour hath thy vertue crown'd.
The men, they blush for shame; each other cheare;
And high-rais'd soules, with clamors higher reare:
Their speares in clusters fling; which make no breach
Through idle store: and throwes their throwes impeach.
Behold, Ancaeus with a polax, sterne
To his owne fate; who said, By me ô learne
You youths, how much a mans sharpe steele exceeds
A womans weapons, and applaud my deeds.
Though Dian should take armes, and in this strife
Protect her beast, she should not saue his life.
Thus gloriously he boasts; in both his hands
Aduanc't his polax, and on tip-toes stands.
Whom, ere his armes descend, the furious Swine
Preuents; and sheathes his tushes in his groyne.
Downe fell Ancaeus, out his bowels gusht,
All gore; with blood the earth, as guilty, blusht.
Ixions son Pirithous forward prest:
And with an able arme his lance addrest.
To whom Aegides;54 O to me more deare
Then my owne life! my better halfe; forbeare.
The wise in valour should aloft contend:
Foole-hardy courage was Ancaeus end.
This said, his heauy cornell,55 with a head
Of brasse, he hurles: which sure had struck him dead
(It was deliuered with so true an aime)
But that a tall Beech interpos'd the same.
Aesonides56 then threw his thrilling lance;
Which hit (diuerted from the mark by chance)
A dog betweene his baying jawes: the wound
Rusht through his guts, and naild him to the ground.
Oenides57 varying hand discharg'd two speares:
The earth the one, the beast the other beares.
While now he raues, grunts, turnes his body round,
Casts blood and fome; the author of his wound
Rusht in; prouokes his greater wrath; and where
His shields disseuer, thrusts his deadly speare.
    They all with chearfull shouts their joyes vnfold;
Shake his victorious hands; the Beast behold
With wonder, whose huge bulke possest so much:
And hardly thinke it safe the slaine to touch:
Yet dye their jauelins in his blood. He lay'd
His foot vpon his horrid head; and said:
My right receiue beloued Nonacrine,58
And let my glory euer share with thine.
Then gaue the bristled spoyle, and gastly head
With monstrous tushes arm'd, which terror bred.
She in the Gift and giuer pleasure tooke.
All murmur, with preposterous enuy strooke.
On whom the violent Thestiadae59 frowne;
And cry aloud with stretcht-out armes; Lay downe:
Nor, Woman, of our titles vs bereaue,
Least thee thy beauties confidence deceiue;
He no fit judge, whom loue hath reft of sight:
And snatcht from her, her gift; from him, his right.
Oenides60 swels; his lookes with anger sterne:
You rauishers of others honours, learne
(Said he) the distance betweene words and deeds:
With impious steele secure Plexippus bleeds.
While Toxeus, whether to reuenge his blood,
Or shun his brothers fortune, wauering stood;
He cleares the doubt: the weapon, hot before
By th' others wound, new heats in his hearts gore.   MELEAGER  
    Gifts to the holy Gods Althaea brings
For her sons victorie; and Paeans61 sings.
When back she saw her slaughtered brothers brought:
At that sad object screecht; and griefe-distraught,
The Citie fils with out-cryes: off she teares
Her royall robes, and funerall garments weares.
But told by whom they fell; no longer mournes:
Rage dries her eyes; her teares to vengeance turnes.
The triple Sisters62 earst a brand conuai'd
Into the fire; her belly newly laid;
Thus chanting, while they spun the fatall twine:
O lately borne, one period we assigne
To thee, and to this brand. The charme they weaue
Into his fate; and then the chamber leaue.
His mother snatcht it with an hastie hand
Out of the fire; and quencht the flagrant brand.
This in an inward closset closely layes:
And by preseruing it, preserues his dayes.
Which now produc't; a pyle of wood she rais'd,
That by the hostile fire inuaded, blaz'd.
Foure times she proffers to the greedy flame
The fatall brand: as oft with-drew the same.
A Mother, and a sister, now contend:
And two-contending names, one bosom rend.
Oft feare of future crimes a palenesse bred:
Oft burning Furie gaue her eyes his red.
Now seemes to threaten with a cruell looke:
And now appeares like one that pittie tooke.
Her teares the feruor of her anger dryes:
Yet found she teares againe to drowne her eyes.
Euen as a ship, when wind and tyde contends,
Feeles both their furies, and with either bends:
So Thestias,63 whom vnsteddie passion driues;
By changes, calmes her rage, and rage reuiues.
A sisters loue at length subdues a mothers:
That blood may calme the ghosts of bleeding brothers,
Impiously pious. Flames, to ashes turne
This brand, said she, and my loth'd bowels burne.
Then, holding in her hand the fatall wood;
As she before the funerall altar stood:
    You triple Powers,64 who guiltie Soules pursue;
Eumenides; these Rites of vengeance view.
I act the crime I punish. Death must be
By death atton'd. On murder, murder we
Accumulate; redoubling funeralls.
This cursed house by throngs of mischiefe falls.
Shall Oeneus joy in his victorious son?
Sad Thestius rob'd of his? One fortune run.
Looke vp, ô you my brothers ghosts; you late
Dislodged soules; see how I right your fate.
Accept of this infernall sacrifize,
Which cost me deare: my wombs accursed prize.
Ay me! ô whether am I rapt! excuse
A mother, brothers. Trembling hands refuse
Their fainting aide. He merits death: yet by
A mothers rage me thinkes he should not dye.
Then shall he scape? Aliue, a victor, feast
In proud successe; of Calydon possest?
You, little ashes, and chill shades, forlorne?
I'le not indure it. Perish Villaine, borne
To our immortall ruine. Ruinate
With thee, thy fathers hopes, his crowne and state.
Where is a mothers heart? a parents pray'r!
Th' vnthought-of burthen which I ten months65 bare?
O would, while yet an infant, the first flame
Had thee deuour'd; nor I oppos'd the same!
Thy life, I gaue; by thine owne merit dye:
A just reward for thy impiety.
Thy twice-giuen life resigne; first by my womb,
Last by this rauisht brand; or me intomb
With my poore brothers. Faine I would pursue
Reuenge, yet would not. O, what shall I doe!
Before my eyes my brothers wounds now bleed:
And the sad image of so foule a deed.
Now pitty, and a mothers name controule
My sterne intention. O distracted soule !
You haue won, my brothers; but, alas, ill won:
So that, while thus I comfort you, I run
Your fate. With eyes turn'd back, her quaking hand
To trembling flames expos'd the funerall brand.
The brand appeares to sigh, or sighes expires:
Wrapt in th' imbracements of vnwilling fires.
    Vnknowing Meleager, absent broyles
Euen in those flames: his blood, thick-panting, boyles
In vnseene fire. Who such tormenting paines
With more then manly fortitude sustaines.
Yet grieues that by a slothfull death he falls
Without a wound: Ancaeus66 happy calls.
His aged father, brothers, sisters, wife,
Now groning names, with his last words of life:
Perhaps his mother. Flames and paines increase:
Againe they languish; and together cease.
To liquid aire his vanisht spirits turne:
The sable coales in shrouds of ashes mourne.
    Low lyes high Calydon: the young, the old,
Ignoble, noble, all, their griefes vnfold.
The Calydonian matrons cut their haire;
Deflowre their beauties: cry, woe and despaire!67
His hoarie head with dust his father hides;
Lyes groueling on the ground; and old age chides.
For now his mother, by her guilt pursu'd,
Reuenging steele in her owne brest imbru'd:
Though Phoebus would an hundred tongues bestow,   MELEAGERS SISTERS  
A wit that should with full invention flow,
All Helicon68 infuse into my brest;
His sisters sorrowes could not be exprest.
Themselues forgetting decency, deface:
While he retaines a body, that imbrace;
Kisse his pale lips: when turn'd to ashes, they
The ashes in their bruised bosoms lay:
Fall on his tomb; his name, that there appeares
Imbrace and fill the characters with teares.
But when Diana's wrath was satisfide
With Oenius misery: they all (beside
Faire Gorge and the louely Deianire)
On plumy pinions, by her powre aspire;
With long extended wings, and beakes of horne:
Who through the aire in varied shapes are borne.
    Meane while to Pallas towres69 Aegides70 hyes
(His part perform'd in that joynt enterprise)
Whose hast raine-raised Achelöus staid.
Renoun'd Cecropian71 Prince, the Riuer said,
Vouchsafe my roofe; nor to th' impetuous flood
Commit thy person. Oft huge logs of wood,
And broken rocks, downe-tumbled, lowdly rore.
Herds with their staules not seldome heretofore
Hurried away: nor was the Oxe of force
To keepe his stand; nor swiftnesse sau'd the Horse.
And when dissolued snow from mountaines pour'd,
Their violent whirlepits many haue deuour'd.
More safe to stay vntill the current run
Within his bounds. To whom Aegaeus son:72
'Twere folly, if not madnesse to refuse
Thy house and counsell: both I meane to vse.
Then enters his large caue, where Nature playd
The Artisan; of hollow Pumice made,
And rugged Tofus floor'd with humid mosse:
The roofe pure white and purple shels imbosse.
Now had Hyperion73 past two parts of day
When Theseus, with the partners of his way,
Pirithous, and Lelex74 the renowne
Of Traezen, now appearing gray; sat downe:
And whom the Riuer, glad of such a guest,
Preferd vnto the honour of his feast.
Forth-with, barefooted Nymphs bring in the meat:
That ta'ne away, vpon the table set
Crown'd cups of wine. When Theseus turnd his face
To vnder seas; and poynting, said; What place
Is yon', and of what name, that stands alone?
And yet me thinks it should be more then one.  ECHINADES  
    It is not one, the courteous Flood replyes;
But fiue; their neighbourhood deceiues your eyes.
The lesse t' admire Diana,75 late despis'd,
Fiue Nymphs they were: who hauing sacrifis'd
Ten beeues, inuited to their festiuall
The rurall Gods; my selfe forgot by all.
At this I swell: and neuer greater, roule
With streames as much inraged as my soule.
The woods from woods, and fields from fields I teare
With them, the Nymphs (now mindfull of me) beare
In exile to the deepe: whose waues, with mine,
That Then-vnited masse of earth dis-ioyne
Into as many peeces, as in seas
Are of the flood-imbrac't Echinades.76
    Yet see one Ile, far, ô far off remou'd!  PERIMELE  
Call'd Perimele; once by me belou'd.
I, from this Nymph, her virgin honour tooke.
Hippodamas his daughter could not brooke:
But cast her from a rock into the deepe.
Whom, while my louing streames from sinking keepe;
I said: O Neptune, thou that do'st command
The wandring waues that beat vpon the land;
To whom wee Riuers run, in whom we end;
Incline a gentle eare. I did offend
Whom I support: ô kind and equall proue!
Had but Hippodomas a fathers loue,
Or had he not beene so inhumane; he
Would both haue pittied her, and pardon'd me.
Her whom his furie hath from earth exil'd,
When in the troubled waues he cast his child;
A place afford: or let her be a place
Which I may euer with my streames imbrace.
His head the King of Surges forward shooke:
And, in assenting, all the Ocean strooke.
The Nymph yet swims; although with feare opprest.
I layd my hand vpon her panting brest:
While thus I handled her, I might perceiue
The earth about her stifning Body cleaue.
Now, with a masse infolded, as she swims,
An Iland rose from her transformed lims.
    He held his peace. This admiration won
In all: derided by Ixions son:77
By nature rough, and one who did despise
All-able Gods: who said; Thou tel'st vs lyes,
And think'st the Gods too potent: as if they
Could giue new shapes, or take our old away.
His saying all amaz'd, and none approu'd:
Most Lelex, ripe in age and wisdome, mou'd.
    Heauens powre, immense and endlesse, none can shun;  PHILEMON AND BAVCIS  
Said he; and what the Gods would doe is done,
To check your doubt; on Phrygian hills there growes
An Oke by a Line-tree, which old walls inclose.
My selfe this saw, while I in Phrygia staid;
By Pittheus78 sent: where erst his father79 swaid.
Hard by, a lake, once habitable ground;
Where Cootes and fishing Cormorants abound.
Ioue, in a humane shape; with Mercurie;
(His heeles vnwing'd) that way their steps apply.
Who guest-rites at a thousand houses craue;
A thousand shut their doores: One only gaue.
A small thatch't Cottage: where, a pious wife
Old Baucis, and Philemon, led their life.
Both equall-ag'd. In this, their youth they spent;
In this, grew old: rich only in content.
Who pouertie, by bearing it, declind:
And made it easie with a chearfull mind.
None Master, nor none seruant, could you call:
They who command, obay; for two were all.
Ioue hither came, with his Cyllenian mate;80
And stooping, enters at the humble gate.
Sit downe, and take your ease, Philemon said.
While busie Baucis straw-stuft cushions layd:
Who stird abroad the glowing coles, that lay
In smothering ashes; rak't vp yester-day.
Dry bark, and withered leaues, thereon she throwes:
Whose feeble breath to flame the cinders blowes.
Then slender clefts, and broken branches gets:
And ouer all a little kettle sets.
Her husband with the cole-flowrs, cutts their leaues;
Which from his gratefull garden he receiues:
Tooke downe a flitch of bacon with a prung,
That long had in the smokie chimney hung:
Whereof a little quantity he cuts:
And it into the boyling liquor puts.
This seething; they the time beguile with speech:
Vnsensible of stay. A bowle of beech,
There, by the handle hung vpon a pin:
This fills he with warme water; and therein
Washes their feete. A mosse-stuft bed and pillow
Lay on a homely bed-steede made of willow:
A couerlet, vs'd but at feasts, they spred:
Though course, and old; yet fit for such a bed.
Downe lye the Gods. The palsie shaken Dame
Sets forth a table with three legs; one lame,
And shorter then the rest, a pot-share reares:
This, now made leuell, with greene mint she cleares,
Whereon they party-colour'd oliues set,
Autumnall Cornels,81 in tart pickle wet;
Coole endiffe, radish, new egs rosted reare,
And late-prest cheese; which earthen dishes beare.
A goblet, of the selfe same siluer wrought;
And bowles of beech, with waxe well varnisht, brought.
Hot victualls from the fire were forthwith sent
Then wine, not yet of perfect age, present.
This ta'ne away; the second course now comes:
Philberts, dry figs, with rugged dates, ripe plummes,
Sweet-smelling apples, disht in osier twines;
And purple grapes new gather'd from their vines
I' th' midst, a hony combe. Aboue all these;
A chearfull looke, and ready will to please.
Meane-while, the maple cup it selfe doth fill:
And oft exhausted, is replenisht still.
Astonisht at the miracle; with feare
Philemon, and the aged Baucis, reare
Their trembling hands in pray'r: and pardon craue,
For that poore entertainement which they gaue.
One Goose they had, their cottages chiefe guard;82
Which they to hospitable Gods award:
Who long their slowe pursuit deluding, flies
To Iupiter, so sau'd from sacrifice.
W' are Gods, said they; Reuenge shall all destroy:
You in this ruine shall your liues injoy.
Together leaue your house; and to yon' hill
Follow our steps. They both obey their will;
The Gods conducting: feebly both ascend;
Their staues, with theirs; they, with times burden bend.
A flight-shot from the top, reuiew they take;
And see all swallowed by a mighty lake:
Their house excepted. While they this admire,
Lament their neighbours ruine, and desire
To see their cottage, which doth onely keepe
Its place; while for the places fate they weepe;
That humble shed, too little euen for two,
Became a Fane. To colums crotches grew;
The thatch and roofe shine with bright gold; the doores
Diuinely caru'd; the pauement marble floores.
While fearefull Baucis and Philemon pray'd,
Saturnius83 with a chearefull count'nance said:
Thou just old man; and thou good woman, who
Deseru'st so just a husband: what doe you
In chiefe desire? They talke a while alone;
Then thus to Ioue their common wish make knowne.
We craue to be your Priests, this Fane to guard.
And since in all our liues we neuer jarr'd;
Let one houre both dissolue: nor let me be
Intomb'd by her, nor she intomb'd by me.
Their sute is sign'd. The Temple they possest,
As long as life. With time and age opprest;
As now they stood before the sacred gate,
And call to memory that places fate;
Philemon saw old Baucis freshly sprout:
And Baucis saw Philemon leaues thrust out.
Now on their heads aspiring branches grew.
While they could speake, they spake: at once, adieu
They jointly said: at once the creeping rine
Their trunks inclos'd; at once their shapes resigne.
They of Tyana84 to this present show
These neighbour trees, that from two bodies grow.
Old men, nor like to lye, nor vaine of tongue,
This told. I saw their boughs with garlands hung:
And hanging fresher, said; Who Gods before
Receiu'd, be such: adorers, we adore.
    The tale, and teller; wonder, and beliefe,
Prouok't in all: but Theseus moues in chiefe.
Who couetous to heare such deeds as these:
The Calydonian Riuer,85 prest to please,
In this sort, leaning on his elbow, spake.
There be, who euer keep the forme they take:   PROTEVS  
Others haue powre themselues, at will, to change;
As thou blew Protëus, that in seas do'st range.
Who now a Man, a Lyon now appeares;
Now, a fell Bore: a Serpents shape now beares.
A Bull, with threatning hornes, now seem'st to be:
Now, like a Stone; now, like a spreading Tree.
And sometimes like a gentle Riuer flowes:
Sometimes like Fire, auerse to Water, showes.
    Autolicus his wife,86 the daughter to  ERISICHTHON  
Leud Erisichthon, things as strange could doe.
He was her father, who the Gods despis'd:
Nor euer on their Altars sacrifis'd.
Who Ceres groues with steele profan'd: where stood
An old huge Oke; euen of it selfe a wood.
Wreathes, ribands, gratefull tables,87 deckt with boughs
And sacred stem; the Dues of powerfull Vowes.
Full oft the Dryades,88 with Chaplets crownd,
Danc't in his shade; full oft they tript a Round
About his bole. Fiue cubits three times told
His ample circuit hardly could infold.
Whose stature other trees as farre exceeds;
As other trees surmount the humble weeds.
Yet this his fury rather did prouoke:
Who bids his seruants fell the sacred Oke.
And snatches, while they paus'd, an axe from one:
Thus storming: Not the Goddesse-lou'd alone;
But though this were the Goddesse,89 she should downe:
And sweepe the earth with her aspiring crowne.
As he aduanc't his armes to strike; the Oke
Both sigh'd and trembled at the threatning stroke.
His leaues and acornes, pale together grew:
And colour-changing branches sweat cold deaw.
Then wounded by his impious hand, the blood
Gusht from th' incision in a purple flood.
Much like a mighty Oxe, that falls before
The sacred altar; spouting streames of gore.
On all amazement seaz'd: when One of all
The crime deterres; nor would his axe let fall.
Contracting his sterne browes; Receaue, said he,
Thy pieties reward; and from the tree
The stroke converting, lops his head; then strake
The Oke againe: from whence a voice thus spake;
A Nymph am I, within this tree inshrin'd,90
Belou'd of Ceres. O prophane of mind,
Vengeance is neere thee. With my parting breath
I prophesie: a comfort to my death.
He still his guilt pursues: who ouerthrowes
With cabels, and innumerable blowes,
The sturdy Oke: which, nodding long, downe rusht;
And in his lofty fall his fellowes crusht.
    Their sister, and their groue, the Nymphs lament;
Who, hid in sable vales, to Ceres went;
On Erisichthon just reuenge require:
Who readily consents to their desire.
The faire-brow'd Goddesse shakes her shining haires:
With that, the fields shooke all their golden eares.
Who to a mercilesse reuenge proceeds
(Had he deserued mercy by his deeds)
By staruing. But, since not by fatall doome,
Ceres and Famine might together come
A Nymph, one of the light Oreades,91
Dispatcheth thither, with such words as these.
In frosty Scythia lies a land, forlorne
And barren; bearing neither fruit nor corne.
Numb Cold, pale Hew, chill Ague, there abide;
And meager Famine. Bid that Fury glide
Into his cursed entrailes, and deuoure
All plenty: let her rage subdue my powre.
But least long waies thy journey tedious make:
My charriot and my yoked dragons take.
Taking her charriot; through the empty skies
To Scythia and rough Caucasus she flies.
There, in a stony field, sad Famine found;
Tearing with teeth and nailes the foodlesse ground:
With snarled haire, sunk eyes, lookes pale and dead,
Lips white with slime, thin teeth with rust ore-spred;
Through her hard skin the writhel'd guts appeare;
Her huckle-bones stuck vp, a valley where
Her belly should ascend; her dry breasts hung
So lanke as if they to her back had clung:
By falling flesh the rising joints augment;
Round knees and ankles leanely eminent.
Espi'd far off (she durst not be so bold
To come too neere) the Nymph her message told.
After a little stay, although she were
Farre off, although but now arriued there;
She famine felt. Who wheeles about her Snakes;
And her high passage to Aemonia92 takes.
    Famine obayes the Goddesses command;
Though their endeauours still opposed stand.
Who, by a tempest hurried through the skyes,
Enters the wretches roofe: besides him lyes,
Then fast a sleepe: (for now Nights heauy charmes
All eyes had clos'd) imbrac't him in her armes;
Her selfe infus'd; breathes on his face and breast:
And emptie veines with hungers rage possest.
This thus perform'd, forsakes the fruitfull earth:
And back returnes to her abodes of dearth.
    Sound Sleepe as yet with pleasurable wings
On Erisichthon gentle slumber flings.
Who dreames of feasts, extends his idle jawes;
With labouring teeth fantastically chawes.
Deludes his throat by swallowing emptie fare:
And for affected food deuoures the ayre.
Awak't; hot famine raues through all his veines:
And in his guts, and greedy pallat raignes.
Forth-with; what Sea, what Earth, what Ayre affords,
Acquires: complaines of staruing at full bords.
In banquets, banquets seekes. What might alone
Haue Townes and Nations fed; suffice not one.
Hunger increaseth with increast repast.
And as all riuers to the Ocean hast;
Who thirsty still, drinks vp the stranger floods:
As rauenous fires refuse no profferd foods;
Huge pyles receiue; the more they haue, the more
By much desire; made hungry with their store.
So Erisichthon, of a mind prophane,
Full dishes empties, and demands againe.
Meat breeds in him an appetite to meat;
Who euer emptie, still prepares to eat.
His bellies gulfe his patrimonie wasts:
Consuming famine yet vnlesned lasts;
And his insatiable throtes extent.  METRA  
Now all his wealth, into his bowels sent:
A daughter left, vnworthy such a Sire,
The beggar sold to feed his hungers fire.
Her noble thoughts base seruitude disdaine:
Who now her hands extending to the Maine;
O thou that hadst my mayden-head, said she,
Thy rauisht spoyle from hated bondage free!
Neptune had this: who to her prayer consents.
And, though then by her master seene, preuents
His following search: transforming of his Rape
Into a man; maskt in a fishers shape.
Angler, her master said, that with thy bait
Conceal'st thy hooke; so prosper thy deceit,
So rest the sea compos'd; so may the fish
Be credulous, and taken at thy wish;
As thou reueal'st her, who in garments poore,
And rufled haire, late stood vpon this shore.
For here, but very now, I saw her stand:
Nor farther trace her foot-steps in the sand.
She, Neptunes bountie finding; well apaid
To be inquir'd for of her selfe; thus said.
Pardon me Sir, who e're you are; my eyes
Haue beene attentiue on this exercise.
To win beliefe; so may the God of Seas
Assist my cunning in such arts as these:
As late nor man nor maid I saw before
Your selfe, my selfe excepted, on this shore.
He credits, and beguil'd, the shore forsook:
When she againe her former figure took.
Her father, seeing she could change her shape,
Oft sold her; who as often made escape.
Now hart-like, now a cow, a bird, a mare:
And fed his hunger with ill-purchast fare.
But when his maladie all meanes had spent;
And he had giuen it the last nourishment;
Now to deuoure his proper flesh proceeds,
And by diminishing, his body feeds.
    What need I dwell on forraine facts? euen we
Can vary shapes, though limited they be.
Now seeme I as I am; oft like a Snake:
And many times a Bulls horn'd figure take.
But while I hornes assum'd, one thus was broke,
As you behold. This, with a sigh, he spoke.

On to Book IX