Page images
PDF
EPUB

Or fwooning palenefs; and he takes and leaves
In either's aptnefs, as it beft deceives :

;

To blufh at speeches rank, to weep at woes,
Or to turn white, and fwoon at tragic shows:
That not a heart, which in his level came
Could 'fcape the hail of his all-hurting aim,
Shewing fair nature is both wild and tame :
And veil'd in them, did win whom he would maim;
Against the thing he fought, he wou'd exclaim
When he moft burnt in heart-wifh'd luxury,
He preach'd pure maid, and prais'd cold chastity.
Thus merely with the garment of a grace,
The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd;
That th' unexperienc'd gave the tempter place,
Which like a cherubim above them hover'd:
Who, young and fimple, would not be fo lover'd?
Ah me! I fell and yet do queftion make,
What I should do again for fuch a fake.
Oh! that infected moisture of his eye!

Oh! that falfe fire which in his cheek fo glow'd!
Oh! that forc'd thunder from his heart did fly!
Oh! that fad breath his fpongy lungs beftow'd!
Oh! all that borrow'd motion, feeming ow'd!
Would yet again betray the fore-betray'd,
And new pervert a reconciled maid.

The Amorous Epistle of Paris to Helen.

Health unto Leda's daughter, Priam's fon
Sends in these lines, whofe health cannot be won
But by your gift, in whofe power it may lie
Mo make me whole or fick; to live or die.
Shall I then speak? or doth my flame appear
Plain without index? Oh! 'tis that I fear!

My love without discovering fmile takes place,
And more than I could with, fhines in my face;
When I could rather in my thoughts defire
To hide the smoke, till time difplay the fire:
Time, that can make the fire of love fhine clear,
Untroubled with the mifty fmoke of fear.
But I diffemble it; for who, I pray,

Can fire conceal? that will itfelf betray,
Yet if you look, I fhould affirm that plain
In words, which in my countenance Ì maintain.
I burn, I burn, my faults I have confefs'd,
My words bear witnefs how my looks tranfgrefs'd.
Oh! pardon me, that have confefs'd my error,
Caft not upon my lines a look of terror;
But as your beauty is beyond compare,
Suit unto that your looks (oh! you most fair!)
That you my letter have receiv'd by this,
The fuppofition glads me, and I wish,

By hope encourag'd, hope that makes me strong,
You will receive me in fome fort ere long.
I ask no more, than what the queen of beauty
Hath promis'd me, for you are mine by duty.
By her I claim you, you for me were made,
And the it was my journey did perfuade.
Nor, lady, think your beauty vainly fought;
I by divine inftinct was hither brought :
And to this enterprize the heavenly powers
Have given confent, the gods proclaim me yours.
I aim at wonders, for I covet you;
Yet pardon me, I afk but what's my due,
Venus herself my journey hither led,
And gives you freely to my promis'd bed.
Under her conduct fafe the feas I paft,
Till I arriv'd upon these coafts at last :

Shipping myself from the Sygean fhore,
Whence unto these confines my course I bore.
She made the furges gentle, the winds fair;
Nor marvel whence thefe calms proceeded are:
Need muft fhe power upon the salt seas have,
That was fea-born, created from a wave.
Still may she stand in her ability,

And as the made the feas with much facility,
To be thro'-fail'd; fo may fhe calm my heat,
And bear my thoughts to their defired feat,
My flames I found not here; no, I proteft,
I brought them with me closed in my breaft;
Myfelf transported them without attorney,
Love was the motive to my tedious journey.
Not bluft'ring winter, when he triumph'd moft,
Nor any error drove me to this coaft:

Not led by fortune where the rough winds please,
Nor merchant-like, for gain crofs'd I the feas.
Fulness of wealth in all my fleet I fee,
I'm rich in all things, fave in wanting thee.
No fpoil of petty nations my ship seeks,
Nor land I as a fpy among the Greeks.

What need we? See, of all things we have ftore!
Compar'd with Troy, alas! your Greece is poor.
For thee I come, thy fame hath thus far driven me,
Whom golden Venus hath by promise given me.
I wifh'd thee ere I knew thee, long ago,
Before these eyes dwelt on this glorious fhow.
I saw thee in my thoughts; know, beauteous dame,
I first beheld you with the eyes of fame.

Nor marvel, lady, I was ftroke so far.

Thus darts or arrows fent from bows of war,
Wound a great distance off: so was I hit
With a deep smarting wound, that rankles yet.

For fo it pleas'd the fates, whom left
I'll tell a true tale to confirm the fame.

you blame,

When in my mother's womb full ripe I lay,
Ready the first hour to behold the day,
And the at point to be deliver'd ftrait,
And to unlade her of her royal freight,
My birth-hour was delay'd, and that fad night
A fearful vifion did the queen affright.
In a fon's ftead, to please the aged fire,
She dreamt fhe had brought forth a brand of fire.
Frighted, fhe rifes, and to Priam goes;

To the old king this ominous dream fhe fhows;
He to the priest; the priest doth this return,
That the child born fhall stately Ilium burn.
Better than he was 'ware, the prophet guess'd,
For lo a kindled brand flames in my breaft.
To prevent fate, a peafant I was held,
Till my fair fhape all other fwains excell'd;
And gave the doubtful world affurance good,
Your Paris was deriv'd from royal blood.

Amid the Idean fields, there is a place Remote, full of high trees, which hide the face Of the green mantled earth, where in thick rows, The oak, the elm, the pine, the pitch-tree grows, Here never yet did browze the wanton ewe, Nor from his plot the flow ox lick the dew. The favage goat, that feeds among the rocks, Hath not graz'd here, nor any of their flocks. Hence the Dardanian walls I might efpy, The lofty towers of Ilium reared high. Hence I the feas might from the firm land fee, Which to behold, I lean'd me on a tree.

Believe me, for I fpeak but what is true,
Down from the fky, with feather'd pinions, flew
The nephew to great Atlas, and doth stand,
With golden Caduceus in his hand.

This, as the gods to me thought good to fhow,
I hold it good, that you the fame fhould know.
Three goddeffes behind young Hermes move;
Great Juno, Pallas, and the Queen of Love;
Who as in pomp and pride of gait they pafs,
Scarce with their weight they bend the tops of grafs."
Amaz'd I start, and endlong ftands my hair,
When Maia's fon thus fays; Abandon fear,
Thou courteous fwain, that to thefe groves repaireft,
And freely judge, which of thefe three is fairest.
And left I fhould this curious fentence fhun,
He tells me by fove's fentence all is done.
And to be judge, I no way can efchew..
This having faid, up thro' the air he flew.
I ftrait took heart-a-grace, and grew more bold;
And there their beauties one by one behold.
Why am I made the judge to give this doom?
Methinks all three are worthy to o'ercome.
To injure two fuch beauties what tongue dare?
Or prefer one, where they be all fo fair?
Now this feems faireft, now again that other;
Now would I speak, and now my thoughts I fmother:
And yet at length the praife of one moft founded,
And from that one my prefent love is grounded.
The goddeffes out of their earnest care,

And pride of beauty to be held most fair,
Seek, with large alms, and gifts of wond'rous price,
To their own thoughts my cenfure to entice.
Juno the wife of Jove doth firft inchant me;
To judge her faireft, fhe a crown will grant me,

« PreviousContinue »