Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, URANIA; THE WOMAN IN THE MOON: THE FOURTH CANTO, OR LAST QUARTER, by WILLIAM BASSE



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URANIA; THE WOMAN IN THE MOON: THE FOURTH CANTO, OR LAST QUARTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The moone's bright throne by mulciber was built
Last Line: Declare her best effects to be in you.
Subject(s): Astrology & Astrologers; Goddesses & Gods; Mythology; Planets; Women; Zodiac


ARGUMENT.

Woman the Moone ascended,
Wherewith the Moone offended
All women (for her sake)
To her doth servile make.

1.
THE Moone's bright Throne by Mulciber was built
Of shineing Siluer out of Lemnos brought;
Wheron Apollo's glorious face was guilt,
And Neptune's Realme jn his owne colours wrought,
Within set round with seats & lights engrau'd
In Christall, and with Sky-like Marble pau'd.

2.
On ax'e-trees rays'd resembling that of heauen
Vpon foure wheeles, whose Spokes of argent hue
Betwixt round Naves of Mother-pearle were driuen,
And Ivory circles shod with Saphirs blew;
Drawne by two nimble steeds, the one Milke white,
The other black, in starry harneis dight.

3.
The Minion Day was newly stole to bed
In Cimeris with Somnus god of Sleepe,
Whose Mother Night the sable curtains spread
And set officious Starres the watch to keepe,
When all the Gods went forth but he alone
That vnto Thetis lap was newly gone.

4.
Till in the Zodiaque they the watchfull Moone
Gearing hir two fleet horses over-caught.
When the bright Queene of Night, perceiuing soone
By their discourse the In-mate they had brought,
Changeing her lookes, and casting downe the yoke,
Stood still: vntill the mighty Sire thus spoke.

5.
"Lucina, pale not on thy greatest freinds,
"That dearely tender thee; Thou liu'st alone,
"And round about the Worlds far distant ends
"Dost helplesse manage this thy whirling Throne;
"Which seemes to me (how ere it thee doth please)
"Life without comfort, labour without ease.

6.
"Therfore (my girle) Thou now shalt haue a Mate,
"And one that best may fit thy chastitie.
"Since thou the company of man dost hate
"This Woman here shall beare thee companye.
"To finde thee talke, to help those raignes to carry,
"And solace thee, that art too solitary."

7.
"King of the Gods (answers the Delian Queene)
"I liue, I ride, I rule these raynes alone,
"Which not my greife, but happynes hath beene,
"As my content-full silence well hath shewne:
"Let this Assembly speake, when ere did I
"Assistance craue, or wish for companie?

8.
"But I perceiue that, vnder this pretence
"Of fatherly and freindly councell giuing,
"You please t'obtrude an jnconvenience
"Vppon me, worse then solitary liuing.
"You can (alas) not punish private woman
"So harshly, as to yoke her with a common.

9.
"And though by you it cannot be denyed
"But that I am of Chastitie the Queene,
"Yet some lewd tongues mine honor haue belyed
"As if a Man had once been with me seene;
"That a false slaunder, this vexation true,
"(Me thinks) th'vnhappyer fortune of the two.

10.
"Which had I fear'd, I peradventure might
"Like other Ladyes lou'd and been a wife,
"And by preventing this, preseru'd my right
"Of freedome, though with losse of mayden life.
"Sore is the wrong that makes an honest heart
"Almost repent the goodnesse of desert.

11.
"And, as for thee (good woman) Thou mayst guesse
"It glorious fortune here to liue with me:
"But thou wilt finde no lesse vnhappynesse
"In mine, then I in thy societie.
"Woman to woman yeilds contentment small:
"And paynted prisons doe not lessen thrall.

12.
"But since it is your will (Sir) which my breast
"Has neither will nor power to disobey,
"Advance your woman where (I hope) her rest
"Will make her (shortly) wish her selfe away."
This sayd, her eyes her pale cheekes drown'd, & sent
Downe to the earth a shower of discontent.

13.
But with such maiestie she tow'rds her turn'd
Her stately bodyes whole Celestiall frame,
In all the choycest wealth of heau'n adorn'd
As, to the heart of the most ventrous dame
Strooke feare: and forc'd her in a masqueing guise
Of tiffanie to sheild her dazled eyes.

14.
And takeing this advantage of her eyes
Blur'd in her teares & frownes (that to approach
Her most maiestick presence otherwise
Neuer had had the hope) her bright Caroach
This proud audacious soiourner ascends,
And heaue'n in tryumph her fayre riddance ends.

15.
But poore pale Cynthia so enraged grew,
She whip's her steeds, and takes up a Cariere
That in some eight & twenty dayes she flew
A compasse, that in almost thirtye yeare
Old Tyme-like Saturne, that doth seeme to mowe
All hindrance downe before him, could not goe.

16.
Eleauen yeares circuit, & eleauen moneths more
She beate great Ioue in his owne twelue yeares race;
And lusty Mars could hardly gallop ore
Her three tymes ten dayes course in two yeares space:
Wing'd Mercury, light Venus, and the Sun
In twelue moneths chace she full eleuen out-run.

17.
Her Chariot thus outstripping all theyr thrones,
Some more, some lesse, (as speede they differ in)
Rattles her tedious guest, to make her bones
And well knit joynts to totter in her skin,
To turne her maw or shake th'ambitious dame
Downe from her seate to earth from whence she came.

18.
But she no whit dismayd, nor mov'd at all,
Sits in the christall windowes of the Moone,
Now in this wire, that tire, this Quoife, that Call,
Dressing her dainty browes from Morne to Noone;
From noone to night deviseing for next morning
New shapes, and, next day, that dayes habit scorning.

19.
Though she the jemms & bracelets of the Queene
On and off puts, as her affections varye,
As if the Moone's fayre house a shop had been
Of Goldsmiths workes, or jewells mercenarye;
To Natures better grace Arts ayde jnventing,
And to her selfe vayne joyes & sportes presenting.

20.
Whereat the horne-mad Moone w@5th rage sometimes
Doth swell her selfe as big as halfe the earth,
And by & by with extreame sorrow pines
Her selfe more leane, and smaller then her birth;
And in this strange distraction now & then
Her happy face hides from vnhappy men.

21.
That blinde Thessalians often thought she was
By some enchantment stollen from her Sphere,
And frighted Romans ring shrill pans of brasse
And trumpets sound to her absented eare,
And ceremonious Greekes with tapers light
Succour her beames, almost extinguish'd quite.

22.
And then looke how the vile vnworthy foes
Of good desert (jn th'absence of her face)
Their base jnsinuations jnterpose,
So grosse & paysant Earth steps in her place
And intercepts the favours of her freind,
Her brothers beames, that should her glory lend.

23.
Then (dragon-like) all smier'd in bloud she fights
Fierce Combats for ecclipsed Maiestie,
And from her bowe disperses vengefull flights
Of warres, of dearthes, and deathes presagacie;
And therwith not content her wrath to swage
She (in her ayd) moues curled Triton's rage.

24.
That he sometymes in his vnanchour'd jawes
Earthes ample borders jnundates, and drownes
Her sollid ramparts: and sometimes withdrawes
His neighbouring releiffes from her famish'd bounds:
And often o're his full-rig'd vessells casts
Cloud-threat'ning, and flowes aboue the masts.

25.
Sometymes with other jnstruments of fate
She joynes her sharpe and discontent aspects,
In Natures cradle to jnfatuate
Mens manners, sences, powers, and jntellects.
She practises her force on streames, on springs,
Beasts, trees, plants, fruits, & all terrestriall things.

26.
But aboue all her great and strange effects,
She hath this Woman still in such offence,
That (for her sake) she generally subiects
All women to her powerfull jnfluence;
And with what humours she doth her perplex,
She still the same jnflicts vppon her sex.

27.
With fancyes, frenzies, lunacyes, with strange
Feares, fashions, factions, furyes, & affections,
With fondnes, fayntnes, fugacy, and change
Of mindes, moodes, habits, houses, freinds, complections:
In breife she raignes o're Women as a Queene.
In her their state, In them her power, is seene.

28.
But yet she many gracious vertues hath,
Which (whether she therwith be pleas'd or no)
Amongst those jmperfections of her wrath
On Woman kind from her sweet nature flowe:
As patience, silence, modestie, sobrietie,
Chastitie, beauty, bounty, pittie, pietie.

29.
Which graces, since they most resplendent be
In those fayre dames these amorous Seas contayne,
Let those whose blameles hearts the Moone doth free
Of her distast, free me of their disdayne,
And favour this my Song, that honours them,
And none condemnes but those that it condemn.

30.
And not, like planets of the worst dispose,
Cause Cynthia's browes vnwillingly reflect
Their frownes vppon themselues: but shine like those
That by their happyer & more kinde aspect
Purchase all honour from her eyes, who still
With good good cout'nance holds, & jll with jll.

31.
If melancholy Saturne on her face
Cast scowleing lookes, she scowles on him againe;
Or cholerick Mars with vizage of disgrace
Affronts her, she returnes him like disdaine;
When Mercury a good indifferent eye
Vouchsafes her, she vouchsafes it Mercury.

32.
If puissant Phœbus danger her in fight
She hazards him: jf he looke freindly on her
Her anger's past: When Ioue his plesant light
Tenders her beames, she renders his like honour:
When fayre Cyprina smiles on bright Lucina
Well-pleasd Lucina striues t'outsmile Cyprina.

33.
For as it dos not stand with her nobilitie
Basely to flatter those that doe despise her,
So is she apt in her heroick civilitie
To honour those who freindly favourize her;
Wherein Vrania (of all the Muses
Her best belou'd) her best example uses.

34.
Let not your brightnes, & more bright renownes,
Be then (fayre Dames) with Moone or Muse offended;
Nor looke with martiall or Saturnian frownes
Where no dishonor is to you intended:
For such aspects would yo@5r owne beautyes wrong;
And bode jll fortune to this harmeles song.

35.
But joyne your smiles with Ioue or Mercurie,
Or shine as Sol, or Cytherea shines:
You then fortuniate this Muse and me,
Presageing endles honour to these lines:
And with your best aspects the Moone to view
Declare her best effects to be in you.





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