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



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URANIA; THE WOMAN IN THE MOON: THE SECOND CANTO, OR FIRST QUARTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Men of the world how simply wonder wee
Last Line: When her quills settle, thine againe shall rise.
Subject(s): Goddesses & Gods; Love; Mythology; Sex Role


ARGUMENT.

One womans lookes surprise
Both hearts of Iupins Spies
With loue: Themselues her teach
Themselues to over-reach.

1.
MEN of the world how simply wonder wee
At th'alterations our small age hath seene,
When as the selfe-same jnstabilitie
Of state and chance, that is, hath ever beene;
Or thinke our times most singuler for change,
When elder worlds saw prodigies more strange.

2.
For ere Apollo's sonne his fathers chayre,
To leade the Light, on day did vndertake,
The Æthiopians then were white & fayre,
Though by the worlds combustion since made black
When wanton Phaeton overthrew the Sun,
Which dreadfull mischeife had not yet been done.

3.
When Fortune, who (jt seemes) in the designes
Of highest states & hartes will haue a hand,
Vnto a house conducts these fayre divines,
Where dwelt a woman, fayr'st of all the land;
And all the world (by good report of men)
None fayrer had then Ethiopia then.

4.
Where they within no sooner set their feete,
But she as soone to entertaine them came,
For she an hostesse seem'd for guests so sweete,
And they seem'd strangers for so sweete a dame.
Only her humane forme was jnly frayle,
Their humane habits heauenly hearts did vayle.

5.
But to what rare and matchles jmage wrought
Ioue's children were, jt bootes not me t'ensist;
But leauing that to all or more then thought,
Since Gods may be how beautyfull they list,
Her only, at all rights of life, to paint
More art then great Apelles had I want.

6.
But I haue heard how Nature did prepare
Three Essences to make three women of,
An amorous, a subtill, and a fayre;
Which Fortune seeing came & mix'd her stuffe
All into one, that should haue seru'd for three;
And of that composition fram'd was shee.

7.
For she had beauty to engrosse the eyes
Of all admirers in her sole possession,
And all the arts of loue Loue can devise
In womans heart or head to take jmpression,
But skill to teach her beauty to win many
And learne her Loue not to be won by any.

8.
A table now she neatly furnish'd had,
Like a delicious vintage of varietyes
Of wine & fruits; wherto her welcomes adde
A sweetnes dareing appetite: But Dietyes,
Being mindes more apt to contemplate then eate,
Fed more vpon her lookes then on her meate.

9.
Yet while they drinke a litle too and fro,
False Loue, that in some other jmage lurkes,
Nere this new Venus bends his jvory bowe,
And through his fruitfull freinds his purpose workes
So cunningly, that he conveys his darts
From both her eyes in both her strangers hearts.

10.
Which suddaine fire when in their breasts they felt,
They then to coole themselues with kisses sought,
For she had lips that pres'd would seeme to melt
Some precious balme to cure the wounds of thought,
Which they (by turnes) had free & vndenyed,
But a wrong Medicine vaynly is applyed.

11.
Perceiuing lips more apt t'encrease the flame
By how much they doe more resemble fire,
They thence to Cheekes, to breasts & bosome came,
That whiter seem'd, more like to quench desire.
But, after thirsty wounds of Loue, to kis,
Like drinking after poyson, mortall is.

12.
When eyes, th'Astronomers of Loue, were set,
And Lips, his Coniurers, were charm'd; Embraces,
As Loues Geographers, began to mete
Her Wastes fayre architect, and other places.
But (O) embraces are but double walls
To keepe the loue-sick hearts in closer thralls.

13.
And in these dalliances and sweete delights
They not alone the life of this day spend,
But many dayes succeeding, many nights.
The buis'nes of great Ioue was at an end.
And now they tremble to forethinke that fate
Shall venge this fault, & now they thus debate.

14.
Tush! we haue visited white Europe, queene
Of all the world, and Brittayne, lou'd of Seas.
Wee haue the Asiatique quarter seene,
Alle Affrica, and somwhat more then these
And of our time and obseruation there
Exact accompt and testimony beare.

15.
Wee only want some base Americans
That know not Ioue, and Ioue cares not to know,
Some barb'rous Gotes or salvage Indians,
No matter whether euer seene or no.
(And so rests vndiscover'd to this day
The greater part of wilde America).

16.
And while their owne affections thus they soothe
With jdle fancyes of their loues suggesting,
She (for her part) as craftily doth smoothe
Them vp with powerfull arguments of resting:
For as her lookes made them their charge forget,
Their loues made her her charge at nothing set.

17.
The youths were both so briske & louely fayre
I dare well say that which she fancyed most
She did not know: she euer tooke such care
That not a sparke of eithers loue she lost.
As their affections equally agree
Vpon her loue, she loues them equallie.

18.
But to herselfe she kept that only knowne,
And held them still vncertaine which might be
Dear'st in her favour. When one came alone
'Twas he she lik'd, when th'other came 'twas he.
If this her right hand, that her left hand tooke,
She bore a stedfast and jndifferent looke.

19.
When she one's eyes had hidden in her lap,
She ore his shoulder lent the other smiles,
And so the one she catches in a trap,
And with a bayte the other she beguiles,
Ensnareing him that comes within her hands,
And angleing him that furthest off her stands.

20.
To such advantage all her guifts she dealt,
And on both sides herselfe so well applyes,
If this the softnesse of her hands had felt,
The other had the glances of her eyes;
If th'one had in her tender bosome slept,
His fellow in his armes her wakeing kept.

21.
Her suff'rance was but as a pleasing way
To fruitles ends, resistance more enflameing:
Her promises were like a slight aray
Worne by a Masquer for an houres gameing:
Her word a ballance was that weigh'd denyalls
That bred no greifes w@5th grants that dur'd no tryalls.

22.
And thus she (to delight vaine-glory) stirres
Most innocent spleenes to mutuall emulations,
But makeing her divine Competitours
Frustrate each others hopes and expectations:
Enough to set fraternall bloud at ods,
And into partyes moue the factious Gods.

23.
But (like wise men, that rather chuse to shew
Their evidence then try their rights at lawe)
They in free freindship let each other know
Their titles to her loue, wherby they saw
Her double dealing, and agreed to court
Her both together, joyntly, for their sport.

24.
But by this meanes they doe but help to catch
Themselues anew, in a new kinde of snare;
One's motion do's but mar anothers match,
Diversitie of buyers rayse the fayre.
Loues priuie Counsell are (in all) but two;
A third, or more, his false designes vndoe.

25.
Findeing all humane pollicies to fayle,
Hot Loue now loathes the garments of disguise;
And since, as Men, they can no more prevayle,
Resolueing to jngage their dietyes,
They now to her vnworthy eares declare
(For their loues latest refuge) what they are,

26.
Imagining that Maiesty would ad
More penetrating flames vnto perswasion,
Or hope of golden showers to be had,
Or feare (at least) would check dissimulation,
As well they might, if they with one had dealt
That hopes had lik'd, Gods fear'd, or feare had felt.

27.
But she, that had occasion in a string
Of vses bridl'd, strait proiects what boone,
What divine guift, or admirable thing,
She should demand: haueing conceited soone
Beauty's petition's a com¯and to Louers
That begs in shew, but in effect recouers.

28.
Which when she was resolu'd on, (though 'twas long
Before she could resolue on one request),
Her longing heart fitting it to her tongue,
She to the next encounter it addrest
In Rhetorique that of Beauty is a most
Invisible and sence seduceing ghost.

29.
"My Lords (she sayth) you haue a suite in hand
"To me, vnworthy to be sue'd by you,
"And I (for my part) haue a small demand
"To you, too worthy Gods for me to sue,
"Yet, jf for mine you please t'exchange yo@5r grant,
"Aske & be ask'd, giue mine, and take your want.

30.
If you from Clouds are come to earth belowe
For sweete fruition of mine honour here,
Teach me that pray'r wherby you thither goe,
And not alone possesse me here, but there:
What I grant you, is yours; what you grant me,
You grant your selues; both boones your vantage be.

31.
Thus winged was her speech, as was her heart,
That in a hell of tedious longing burnes
To see fayre heau'n: and such is woman's art,
And thrift in the disposeing of good turnes,
She seldom sells a momentary pleasure
But for a bargaine of some speciall treasure.

32.
This impudent request with many feares
The trembling hearts of the young Gods did seize:
T'vnrip heau'ns misteryes to mortall eares
Would Ioue and all th'Olimpique state displease,
And shew themselues vnworthy heau'n to be
That could not keepe jmmortall secresie.

33.
But first, they wond'red much how she could tell
That they in vse had any such divine
And secret Charme; but they remembred well
That when Apollo kept Admetus kine
Light Mercury came by while Phœbus slept
And stole a Cow out of the heard he kept.

34.
The Sun, (to be reveng'd), when Hermes lay
Asleepe in Herse's lap another while,
Came downe & stole his hat & spurres away,
Who (when he rose, and vnderstood the guile)
Was forc'd to mount Olympus by a Spell,
Wherof this quick-ear'd creature had heard tell.

35.
Much modest passion, yet retayn'd, to calme
The billowes of vntame affection striues;
And gentle care applyes discretion's balme
To stanch the heate of Cupid's corrosiues;
But remedyes too milde too late devis'd
Where lust Love's fester'd wounds had cauteriz'd.

36.
Looke how a Cittie, that beseig'd about
With hostile powers, and hath jntestine foes
Within her walles (to boote), long stands not out
Before she some conditions doth propose,
So in this like beleaguer'd state of theirs
With these loue-thirsty Dietyes it fares.

37.
To Beautye's seige, and flatt'ryes vndermineing
(That quite subvert the strength of every Louer)
Their owne jntestine Love his treason ioyning,
They to her greedy eare at last discouer
This sacred Theame: O hot & dangerous Lust
To traffique heau'n for earth, & heart for thirst!

38.
O simple Gods! (if gods may so be sayd
By men that woman scarse would so haue trusted):
But when you act like men, Men will vpbraid
Your actions: And now see on what you lusted,
Now see the fruits of all your fayre perswasions,
Your times, your labours, loues, & revelations.

39.
When she her lecture cordially had gayn'd
And had as perfect meanes, as will, t'aspire,
She place and oppertunitye retayn'd,
Agents of loue and handmaydes of desire,
Wherto she quickly joynes her discipline,
And doth to that as soone her practice joine.

40.
And jnstantly, a payre of ayre-like wings
Poyzeing her downey sides, her feete forget
Their earthly office: here & there she flings
To win the winde, as one jmperfect yet;
But quickly skill'd, The ayrie stades of skyes,
Like Loues postillion Mercury, she flyes.

41.
Her sprawling heeles, in stead of wonted molde
Kick Cedars tops, her armes blue Clouds embrace:
While royall Eagles tremble to beholde
A greater then themselues vsurpe their place,
And welkin towering Larkes (with no lesse feare)
Wonder to see a Woman soreing there.

42.
Which when the doubtfull youthes look'd vp & saw,
They stood at first as in a maze, till shee
(Like some old beaten hare) had gotten law
Enough for once her jealous life to free:
And ere they could their tender wings put on,
This haggard her self-less'ning pitch was gon.

43.
They haueing better skill on wing & winde
Thought certainly to overtake her soone,
But tir'd in their pursuite, they fell behinde,
Like trotting starres after the whirling Moone.
For in this Charme did such a vertue lye,
Those that could fastest speake, could fastest flye.

44.
Wherein when they had call'd into conceit
The matchles vertue of a womans tongue,
Like men that in a chace had borne dead weight,
Their heads & hopeles hearts so heavy houng
Betwixt their wings, their wings began to flag;
The more they spur the ayre, the more they lag.

45.
But she with plumes of ouer-ioy'd desires
Her outward Sayles of pow'r so well assists,
That with redoubled swiftnesse she aspires
The stately pitch of the Cœlestiall lists:
For light and hopefull mindes make bodyes light,
But pondèrous thoughts hang plummets upon flight.

46.
That (I suppose) they turn'd their course for shame
To Paphos, Latmos, or some vnknowne way.
But we will still pursue the nimble dame,
And let the sad deceiued Louers stray.
But (Muse) thou first shalt rest thee while she flies:
When her quills settle, thine againe shall rise.





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