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One foot behind another, with fweet grace,
To counterfeit his lame uneven pace.
Their meetings first the lovers hide with fear
From every jealous eye, and captious ear.
The god of war, and love's lafcivious dame,
In publick view were full of bashful shame.
But the Sun fpies how this sweet pair agree,
(O what, bright Phoebus, can be hid from thee?)
The Sun both fees and blabs the fight forthwith,
And in all poft he speeds to tell the fmith.
O Sun! what bad examples doft thou show?
What thou in secret seest, muft all men know?
For filence, afk a bribe from her fair treasure ;
She'll grant thee that shall make thee fwell with
The god, whose face is smoog'd with smoke and fire,
Placeth about their bed a net of wire;
So quaintly made, that it deceives the eye.
Strait (as he feigns) to Lemnos he must hie.
The lovers meet, where he the train hath set,
And both lie faft catch'd in a wiry net:
He calls the gods, the lovers naked fprall,
And cannot rise; the queen of love fhews all.
Mars chafes, and Venus weeps, neither can flinch;
Grappled they lie, in vain they kick and wince.
Their legs are one within another ty❜d,
Their hands fo faft, that they can nothing hide.
Amongst these high spectators, one by chance,
That faw them naked in this pitfall dance,
Thus to himself faid; if it tedious be,
Good god of war, beftow thy place on me.
The Hiftory how the Minotaur was begot.
Ida of cedars, and tall trees stands full,
Where fed the glory of the herd, a bull
Snow-white, fave 'twixt his horns one fpot there
Save that one ftain, he was of milky hue.
This fair fteer did the heifers of the groves
Defire to bear, as prince of all the droves.
But moft Pafiphae, with adulterous breath,
Envies the wanton heifers to the death.
'Tis faid, that for this bull the doating lafs
Did ufe to crop young boughs, and mow fresh grafs;
Nor was the amorous Cretan queen afeard,
To grow a kind companion to the herd.
Thus thro' the champian fhe is madly borne,
And a wild bull to Minos gives the horn.
'Tis not for bravery he can love or loath thee,
Then why Pafiphae doft thou richly clothe thee?
Why fhould'ft thou thus thy face and looks prepare?
What mak'ft thou with thy glass ordering thy hair?
Unless thy glass could make thee feem a cow;
But how can horns grow on that tender brow?
If Minos please thee, no adulterer feek thee;
Or if thy husband Minos do not like thee,
But thy lafcivious thoughts are ftill increas'd,
Deceive him with a man, not with a beast.
Thus by the queen the wild woods are frequented,
And leaving the king's bed, fhe is contented
To use the groves, borne by the rage of mind,
Even as a fhip with a full eaftern wind.
Some of thefe ftrumpet heifers the queen flew,
Her smoking altars their warm bloods imbrue;
Whilft by the facrificing prieft fhe ftands,
And gripes their trembling entrails in her hands:
At length, the captain of the herd beguil'd
With a cow's-fkin, by curious art compil'd,
The longing queen obtains her full defire,
And in her infant's form bewrays the fire.
This Minotaur, when he came to Growth, was inclos'd in the Labyrinth, which was made by the curious Arts-mafter Dedalus, whofe Tale likewise we thus pursue.
When Dedalus the labyrinth had built,
In which t' include the queen Pafiphae's guilt,
And that the time was now expired full,
T'inclofe the Minotaur, half inan, half bull:
Kneeling, he fays, Juft Minos end my moans,
And let my native foil intomb my bones:
Or if, dread fovereign, I deferve no grace,
Look with a piteous eye on my fon's face;
And grant me leave, from whence we are exil'd,
Or pity me, if you deny my child.
This, and much more, he speaks, but all in vain,
The king both fon and father will detain :
Which he perceiving, fays; Now, now, 'tis fit,
To give the world caufe to admire my wit:
Both land and fea are watch'd by day and night;
Nor land nor fea lies open to our flight,
Only the air remains; then let us try
To cut a paffage thro' the air and fly.
Jove be aufpicious in my enterprize,
I covet not to mount above the skies:
But make this refuge, fince I can prepare
No means to fly my lord but thro' the air.
Make me immortal, bring me to the brim
Of the black Stygian water Styx, I'll fwim.
Oh! human wit, thou canst invent much ill, Thou fearcheft ftrange arts; who would think, by fkill,
A heavy man, like a light bird, fhould ftray,
And thro' the empty heavens find a way?
He placeth in juft order all his quills,
Whose bottoms with refolved wax he fills
Then binds them with a line, and b'ing faft ty'd,
He placeth them like oars on either fide.
The tender lad the downy feathers blew,
And what his father meant, he nothing knew.
The wax he faften'd, with the ftrings he play'd,
Not thinking for his fhoulders they were made;
To whom his father fpake (and then look'd pale)
With these swift fhips, we to our land must fail.
All paffages doth cruel Minos ftop,
Only the empty air he ftill leaves ope.
That way muft we; the land and the rough deep
Doth Minos bar, the air he cannot keep.
But in thy way, beware thou fet no eye
On the fign Virgo, nor Bootes high:
Look not the black Orion in the face,
That shakes his fword, but juft with me keep pace.
Thy wings are now in faft'ning, follow me,
I will before thee fly; as thou fhalt fee
Thy father mount, or stoop, so I aread thee;
Make me thy guard, and safely I will lead thee.
If we fhould foar too near great Phœbus' seat,
The melting wax will not endure the heat:
Or if we fly too near the humid seas,
Our moiften'd wings we cannot shake with ease.
Fly between both, and with the gufts that rife,
Let thy light body fail amidst the fkies.
And ever as his little fon he charms,
He fits the feathers to his tender arms:
And fhews him how to move his body light,
As birds firft teach their little young
By this he calls to counsel all his wits,
And his own wings unto his fhoulders fits:
Being about to rife, he fearful quakes,
And in this new way his faint body shakes.
First, ere he took his flight, he kiss'd his fon,
Whilft by his cheeks the brinifh waters run.
There was a hillock not fo tow'ring tall,
As lofty mountains be, nor yet fo fmall
To be with valleys even, and yet a hill;
From this, thus both attempt their uncouth skill.
The father moves his wings, and with refpect
His eyes upon his wandering fon reflect.
They bear a spacious courfe, and the apt boy,
Fearless of harm, in his new track doth joy,
And flies more boldly. Now upon them looks
The fishermen, that angle in the brooks;
And with their eyes caft upward, frighted ftand.
By this, is Samos ifle on their left hand;
Upon the right, Lebinthos they forfake,
Aftipale and the fifhy lake;
Shady Pachine full of woods and groves.
When the rafh youth, too bold in vent'ring, roves;
Lofeth his guide, and takes his flight fo high,
That the foft wax against the fun doth fry,
And the cords flip that kept the feathers faft,
So that his arms have power upon no blast.
He fearfully from the high clouds looks down
Upon the lower heavens, whofe curl'd waves frown
At his ambitious height, and from the skies
He fees black night and death before his eyes.
Still melts the wax, his naked arms he shakes,
And thinking to catch hold, no hold he takes.