Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HISTORY OF ARCADIUS AND SEPHA: BOOK 2, by WILLIAM BOSWORTH

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE HISTORY OF ARCADIUS AND SEPHA: BOOK 2, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: So far my childish muse the wanton play'd
Last Line: From heaven he came, to heaven he needs must go.
Alternate Author Name(s): William Boxworth

So far my childish Muse the wanton play'd,
To crop those sweets the flow'ry meadows bore,
Pleasing herself in valleys as she stray'd,
Unable yet those lofty hills to soar;
But now her wings by stronger winds aspire,
In deeper songs to tune her warbling lyre.

For what before her infant brain declar'd,
Was but a key to tune her quav'ring strings,
Always to have her instruments prepar'd
To sing more sweet, when she of Sepha sings,
Who from above, even for her virtues sake,
Will shrill my sound, and better music make.

Now let me tell how EPIMENIDES,
With weeping voice and penetrating eyes,
Reviv'd the ladies, who themselves did please
By purling streams to wail his miseries,
Who, while the meads with his complainings rang,
Wiping his eyes, these sad encomions sang.

I TOLD you (ladies) if your tender hearts
Admit attention, while my tongue imparts
Such heavy news, how young Eramio came
With yearly incense, to the hallow'd fame
Of the Alphaean worship, and how fate
Abridg'd his life with night's eternal date.
I told you also (leaving her asleep)
How Sepha's eyes o'ercharg'd with tears did weep,
And, as she swounded, how her curious hands
Did give the earth a print, which print still stands
To keep her fame alive, but what it was,
Through too much grief my tongue did overpass,
As fit'st, it seems, to be inserted here,
That as my heavy story doth draw near
Towards her end, so her immortal praise,
Rapt in her sweet encomions may raise
Conjugal tears from each distilling eye,
Whose praise and fame shall them accompany
With her harmonious voice, I mean the love
Her soul will pour upon them from above.
And that her eyes may make all sighs the fairer,
Her soul will smile to see the love they bare her.
The spices which Eramio had strew'd
About the altar, her wet eyes bedew'd
With sorrowing tears, which daily they did cast
Upon the same, and made thereof a paste;
Like those congealed clouds which some have given
A glorious title, call'd the walls of Heaven.
So Sepha falling, fell upon the same,
From whose fair hand that fair impression came,
By some swift Savo call'd, for many say
From thence Campanian Savo took her way,
And there it is where each Campanian maid
For yearly offerings her vow hath paid
With the Medean draughts, t' revive the fame
Of Sepha dead; Savo from Sepha came:
But that's not all, the print whereof I spake,
Though some affirm 'tis, yet 'tis not a lake.
For if the spices which Eramio cast,
Dry'd up her tears, and thereof made a paste,
How can a lake ensue? but this is sure,
There was a corner of the altar pure
From any blot; on this Eramio laid
His aromatic spices as he pray'd.
This being turn'd into a paste by those
Distilling eyes (which dying seldom close,)

The palm of her fair hand did gently press
The yielding paste, and as she up it rear'd,
Like a triangled heart the print appear'd.
The fingers standing just upon the heart,
Presented Cupid's shafts, which he doth dart
On simple souls, from whence ensues the blood,
The blood being gone, came that Campanian flood;
Thus palm and fingers having shown the love
By Cupid's net entangled, straight did move
T' another form; no figure there was seen;
While yet they gaze upon't, the place grows green;
At this they stare, at this a flower up-starts,
Which still presents the form of wounded hearts.
This being seen by nymphs that haunt the springs,
Each took a slip, it to their mansion brings,
Where being set, it's now in every grove,
A pretty flower, and call'd the Lady-glove.
Now let me tell of Sepha, and her hap
That did ensue, while she in Fortune's lap
Lies lull'd asleep, (sleep had her sense bereav'd)
(And chiefly for the love she had conceiv'd
Of her Arcadius) bethinking hard,
Either he is of charity debarr'd,
Or linkt t' another's virtue, and surmising
He's not to be embrac'd, waking and rising,
She found herself by him to be embrac't,
Who, being present at her fall, did haste
To hale her breath again; those eyes that wrought
Confusion first, now more confusion brought;
Having Arcadius kist, she thinks some dream
Deludes her wandering sense, in which extreme,
Rapt with conceit of this her present good,
Her greedy eyes with ardent wishes woo'd
That Heaven, in which her present hopes remain'd
A world's continuance, and she had obtain'd
What she desir'd, had not the winged boy
Unbent his bow, with period of their joy.
Yet something to her hopes he did admit,
To whet the heavy sacrificer's wit;
While young Arcadius with trembling hand,
Felt how the pulse, as if at Death's command,
Sounded a loud alarm; 'Fair Heav'n, said he,
'In whom all grace and virtues planted be,
Why will you suffer that infernal hound
To dare to come, to give this heart this wound?
Use that celestial power the powerful Gods
Have giv'n, that grief and you may live at odds.
I know those eyes, one wink from those fair eyes
Have power to banish hence all miseries
Are incident to man; so rare a gift
Did Nature find, when only but this shift
T' amaze spectators she for you had left;
For know when Nature fram'd you she bereft
The world of all perfections, to make
You of divine and heav'nly good partake,
As well as human, that there might agree
In you, of every grace a sympathy.'
So said, the blushing damsel with delight
Of this new friend, did with her eyes requite
His too soon ended speech. 'O Heav'ns,' she said,
'That have respect to me, unworthy maid,
And deign this good to me so oft desir'd,
Direct me so, that ere I have expir'd
This perfect bliss, and am depriv'd the same,
I may enjoy the knowledge of his name.
Grant this (ye Gods) to me, impatient, till
I know his name, his country, and his will.'
Then did she pull her scarf from off her face,
And putting by her hair with that sweet grace
That Venus us'd, when to Adonis' eyes
She did expose her love, Sepha did rise
With such sweet looks as cannot be exprest,
And said, 'These favours, Sir,' -- and sigh'd the rest.
'Well,' thought Arcadius, 'something there remains,
And 'tis some weighty cause that it detains,
(Grant Heav'n) that as I hope, so it may prove,
By her unpolisht sentence, to be love.'
For he in dreams and visions oft had seen
A lady, who for him alone had been
Tortur'd a thousand ways; with blubb'red cheeks,
She oft had said, 'Receive her love, who seeks
No other life, than for thy own deserts
T' enjoy thy presence, and admire thy parts.'
She being now recover'd sat her down
To view Arcadius, whom the priest did crown
With wreaths of laurel, which he always wore
For the upright affection that he bore.
Then to the altar went he, where he pray'd,
While Sepha, overcome with passion, said,
So loud that he might hear, 'Were I the saint
To whom he prays, sure I would hear his plaint.'
At this Arcadius look't upon her lips,
And blest them that they let that message slip;
Then with his pure devotion onward goes, and on the altar throws
A winged heart, which lately he had got
For sacrifice; about the heart was wrote
These next ensuing lines.

The purest piece of man's delight,
In whom his life, and Love consists,
Whose softness keeps from gloomy night,
Which nought can pierce but amethysts,
Is here presented on thy throne,
Bedew'd with tears of faithful vows,
Presenting thee what is thy own,
The best to please thy virgin brows,
To fan thy face with her cool wings,
And fly the faster as she sings.

Which I by chance,
The better his sad story to advance,
Have copied forth; about the wings there was
Some other lines, which I will not let pass,
That (gentle ladies) ye may not have cause,
Of his devotion to detract th' applause.

Fly swift my thoughts, and through this sacred fire,
That by those sweet distilling drops above,
So may I live, and scape the dart,
And flourish like those flowers it fills,
First let Voluptas weep,
Castalian liquors free,
Ere I forsake
Or yet deny
Mount up to her, let her to me retire,
She may infuse to me religious love,
While her sweet breath salve up my heart,
With nectar sweet, which one frown kills,
And Gloria fall asleep,
Medea bitter be,
Thy praise to make
Thy piety.

These and the like Arcadius presents,
Mingled with deep and choice perfuming scents
Of many bitter sighs; he turn'd him round,
Salutes the priest, the altar, and the ground
Whereon it stood, then to fair Sepha turns,
Who while her heart with strange affection burns,
Meets him with nimble eyes; he gently bends
A trembling cringe to Sepha, who attends
With her impatient ears that happy hour,
When the wish't Sun shall show that gracious flower
She loves unknown, till a sigh doth bewray,
As if the prologue for a following play,
These next ensuing words, and such they were,
They did requite the time she stay'd to hear.
'Harpocrates may claim a vow I made,
(Fair lady) under his beloved shade;
When my incipient years too too [to] blame,
With rash attempts to laurelize the fame
Of Cupid's power, invested that disgrace,
Which still should be a shadow to my face.'
Then, 'cause one way did lead to both their towers,
He took her magic hand, and with whole showers
Of tears first washt them, then with a faint kiss
Dried them, and walking homeward told her this.

The Story of Phaon and Sappho

'IN Lesbos famous for the comic lays,
That us'd to spring from her o'erflowing praise,
Twice famous Sappho dwelt, the fairest maid
Mitelin had, of whom it once was said
Amongst the Gods a sudden question was,
If Sappho or Thalia did surpass
In lyribliring tunes: it long remain'd,
Till Mnemosyne the mother was constrain'd
To say they both from her begetting sprang,
And each of th' other's warbling Lyra sang.
There was a town in Lesbos, now defac'd,
Antissa nam'd, by Neptune's arms embrac'd;
There Sappho had a tower, in it a grove
Bedeck'd with pearls, and strew'd about with love;
Leucothean branches overspread the same,
And from the shadows perfect odours came.
To dress it most there was a purple bed,
All wrought in works, with azure mantles spread;
The tables did unspotted carpets hold
Of Tyrian dyes, the edges fring'd with gold.
Along this grove there stealing ran a spring,
Where Sappho tun'd her Muse, for she could sing
In golden verse, and teach the best a vein
Beyond the music of their sweetest strain.
Here while she sang, a ruddy youth appear'd,
Drawn by the sweetness of the voice he heard;
"Sing on," said he, "fair lady, let not me,
Too bold, give period to your melody.
Nor blame me for my over-bold attempt,
(Although I yield of modesty exempt
In doing this) and yet not over-bold,
For whoso hears the voice, and doth behold
The lips from whence it comes, would be as sad
As I, and trust me, lady, if I had
But skill to tempt you with so sweet a touch,
Assure you, you yourself would do as much."
She answers not, for why the little God
Had touch'd her heart before, and made a rod
For one contempt was past; she view'd him hard,
Whose serious looks made Phaon half afear'd
She was displeas'd; about to go she cries,
"Stay, gentle knight, and take with thee the prize,
To thee alone assur'd." The boy look'd pale,
But straight a ruddy blush did make a veil
T' obscure the same; while thus he panting stood,
A thousand times he wisht him in the wood
From whence he came, and speaking not a word,
Let fall his hat, his javelin, and his sword.
She being young, and glad of an occasion,
Stoopt down to take them up; he with persuasion
Of an half showing love, detains her hand
From it, and with his fingers made the band
To chain them fast, (now Love had laid his scene
And draw'd the tragic plot, whereon must lean
The ground of all his acts). Great Deity!
When thy foreseeing love-sight can descry
Things which will hap, why dost thou train their loves
With pleasant music to deceitful groves?
See how the love of some with equal weight,
By virtue pois'd, lives free from all deceit,
To whom thou help'st with thy beloved darts,
And link'st their true inviolable hearts.
Why deal'st not so with all? are some too hard?
Or hath enchanted spells their hearts debarr'd
From thy keen shafts? you Powers should be upright,
Not harmful Gods: yet thou still tak'st delight
In bloody ends: why didst not wink at these,
And send thy shafts a thousand other ways
That more deserv'd thy anger? or if needs
Thou would'st be doing, while thy power proceeds,
In lofty flames one flame requires another.
Why didst thou wound the one, and not the other?
For (lady) so it past between the lovers,
That after little pause Sappho discovers
Those kindled flames which never can expire,
But his contempt adds fuel to her fire.
"Immodest girl," he said, "why art so rude
To woo? when virtuous women should be woo'd,
And scarce obtain'd by wooing." "O forbear,"
Sweet Sappho cried, "if I do not prepare
A just excuse by none to be denied,
Never let me----" so sat her down and cried.
He, mov'd for pity more to see her tears,
Than toucht with any loyal love he bears,
Sat down by her, while she despairing, laid
Her eyes on his, her hands on his, and said,
"Ay me, that herbs for love no cure afford,
Whose too too jealous actions will accord
To nought but semblable desire; that lost,
What pain more vile than lovers that are crost
With hopeless hopes? they say 't 's a God that works
The same, but sure some devil 'tis that lurks
His opportunity how to destroy,
And tear the soul from her aspiring joy.
Now to prevent occasions that may fall,
Is serious love, which will all harms appal,
Neglect whereof by many is deplor'd;
Ay me! that herbs for love no cure afford!
Now for the fault whereof I am accus'd,
O blame me not, for 'tis no fault I us'd;
For if affection spurs a man to love,
'Tis that affection needs must make him move
His suit to us, and we, when we affect,
And see the like from them, seem to neglect
Their scorned suit, but so our frowns appear,
Mixt with a faint desire, and careful fear
It should displease them, that we may unite
A careless love with an entire delight.
Again, when men do see a curious stone,
The only hopes of their foundation,
How often do they slight with scornful eye,
Neglect, disgrace, dispraise, and spurn it by,
The more to move and stir up an excess
Of disrespect, and make the value less.
Even so we handle men, who still endure
A thousand deaths, to train us to their lure;
And were we sure they could not us forsake,
We'd dally more, even more delight to make.
Even so as men are caught, even so are we,
When we affect those that our service flee;
What kind salutes, embraces and constraints
Ought we to use? lest our untun'd complaints
Unpitied die, and we with sorrow's scope,
As free from pleasure die, as free from hope.
Thou art a stranger, Phaon, to this place,
But I have known thy name, and know thy race;
Eumenion stories do thy honour tell,
Istria, Eumenion, knew thy parents well,
Whose fathers' head upheld the weighty crown
Of Illyris, which none could trample down;
Though many envied, free from harm he laid
His bones to rest, with whom the crown decay'd.
Now Fate, to show a model of her power,
On thy Illyricum began to lower;
Thy household gods, acquainted with the cries
Of thy decaying subjects, cast their eyes
This way and that; 'twas yours, O Gods, to bid
Denial to sedition that was hid
In Catalinian breasts, and to surcease
The period of your domestic ease.
In this uproar (what fruits seditions bring
May well be guesst, for every one was King)
The better sort prepar'd for thee and thine
A waftage over the belov'd Rhyne,
To Lesbos this; thou hadst not long been here,
But private envy did thy walls uprear,
And did beguile to all posterity
Thee of thy glory, and the crown of thee.
These things thy household gods (to Lesbos brought)
Foreseeing good, have for thy own good wrought,
That thou may'st gain a greater crown than that
Illyrius had, and be more honour'd at
Those festivals, when yearly thou partak'st
Of triumphs, which to chimney gods thou mak'st.
This was a work divine, and happy too,
(If any happiness from grief ensue)
That thou wast here conceal'd, for many vow'd,
And thund'red forth the fame thereof aloud,
Of thy ensuing death, while thou wast still
In pupillage, and knew'st, nor didst no ill,
But 'twas the Providence of you that dwell
In lofty Heav'ns (ye Powers), and to expel
All harm from him who must your laws maintain,
That when his perfect strength he doth obtain,
He may reward their deeds that envy bred,
And maugre those that to rebellion led.
Here wast thou brought, here hast thou daily stay'd,
And (while thy better subjects sought thee) play'd,
Beguiling time away; perhaps you'd know
What mov'd the powers to permit thee so
Untimely ruin: know they did anoint
Thee King of famous Lesbos, and appoint
This means alone to make their power approv'd,
And bring thee here of me to be belov'd."
To this faint speech he intermission made
With heavy sighs, and then, "Fair lady" said,
"The Heav'ns have robb'd me of succeeding bliss,
And hid me from those means to grant you this
I most desire; behold, my love, I die,
My trou[b]led soul methinks doth seem to fly
Through silent caves and fields; two pleasant gates
Ope wide to take me in, wherein there waits
A crown of gold, neither by arm or hand
Supported, but of its free power doth stand,
Not sits upon my head: these things I see,
And yet I live; can this a vision be?"
About to stir, "O stir me not," he cries,
"My feet stick fast; Sappho, farewell," and dies.
While yet he speaks, my parents' wayward fate
Must be accompanied with the date
Of my despised life, a fearful rind
Of citron trembling red doth creeping bind
His not half-closed speech; his curled hair,
Which gallants of his time did use to wear
Of an indifferent length, now upward heaves
Towards the skies their gold refulgent leaves.
Sappho at this exclaims, laments, invokes
No power nor God, but seeks by hasty strokes,
As a fit sacrifice unto her friend,
From her beloved breast her soul to send.
Awhile she silent stood, belike to think,
Which was the safest way for her to drink
Of the same cup her Phaon did; at last
(As evil thoughts will quickly to one haste)
She saw the spring that ran along the grove,
"'Tis you, fair streams, must send me to my Love.
Behold, dear Love, with what impatient heat
My soul aspires to mount to that blest seat,
Where thou blest sit'st; stretch out thy sacred hand,
And with safe conduct draw me to that land,
That we may taste the joys the valley yields;
And hand in hand may walk th' Elysian fields."
This said, she turns her face unto the tree,
And kissing it, said, "If thou still canst see,
Behold how irksome I enjoy that breath,
Which still detains my meeting thee in death":
With that she saw his sword, which she did take,
And having kiss'd it for the owner's sake,
Salutes her breast with many weeping wounds,
Then casts herself into the spring, and drownds.
There is a hill in Paphlagonia, nam'd
Cytorus, whither this mischance was fam'd;
Myself was present there when many rude
And base untutor'd peasants did intrude
Into our games; they were, as since I heard,
Those base insulting traitors that debarr'd
Wendenland's crown from righteous Phaon's brows;
These ('cause the Gods had quit them of the vows
They made to work his death) with open cries
Proclaim'd their thanks, and sent them to the skies.
But Venus, who in constant love delights,
And ev'ry perfect amity requites,
Exil'd their joy; each one perceives their arms
To branches grow, each one partakes the harms
Of their deserts. A tree there is which bears
His summer hue, and it in winter wears:
To this she turns them, that continual green
Might manifest their never pard'ned sin.
This done, I saw a knight of courage bold,
Cloth'd all in argent armour, strip'd with gold,
Who vow'd the death of one of us should pay
For her mishap, to crown the heavy day
With anadems from his victorious hand.
I too too over-forward, did demand
What was the cause. "Discourteous knight," he said,
"Dost not repent thee that thou hast betray'd
That honour'd lady?" while I, ignorant
Of what he meant, he said, "'Tis not the want
Of lance shall keep thee safe, till I have shown
Thy just revenge"; so threw away his own.
But with his sword he taught me what to do,
And I myself had sword and armour too
Ready to answer him; the fight was long,
And had been longer too, till I too strong,
With an unlucky blow, O wer't ungiven!
Betray'd his life, and sent his soul to Heaven:
'Twas Alphitheon, who of long had lov'd
Sappho, now dead, whose suit I oft had mov'd
In his behalf; now hearing of her fate,
Either increast in him suspicious hate
T'wards me, or furious else did frantic strike,
Amaz'd, unkind to every one alike;
Dying he knew me, and bewail'd his loss.
"My friend Arcadius," said he, "the cross
Of this my present state ought not to be
A blot to stain our former amity.
I die, let my remembrance have a place
In thy just heart; it shall be no disgrace.
Though envy stole my sense, O 'tis no blot,
No fault at all was mine; I knew thee not
When here I met thee first. My dearest friend,
I die; love the remembrance of my end."
So said, he went away, while I distraught
For grief of this inhuman wicked fault,
Vow'd never more to move a lady's heart,
Nor for myself, nor for another's part.'

Arcadius ceast, and Sepha's turn was now,
Who said, 'Belov'd and worthy knight, that vow
You eas'ly may infringe, and yet be blest;
A rash conceit was never held the best.'
'You say it may be, and it shall be so,'
Arcadius said, 'chiefly for that I know
When virtue, beauty, and entire delight,
Our ne'er dissolv'd affection do unite,
The fault appears the less; the glorious eyes
Of the All-seeing I ower do despise
Continual grief, and Jove himself erstwhile
Carousing bowls of wine is seen to smile.
Fair lady, know, as yet to me unknown,
Your beauty and your virtues have o'erflown
My willing yielding sense; a secret fire,
Continually increasing through desire
To honour your admired parts, doth move,
By nought to be extinguisht but your love.
Love is a thing full of suspicious care,
By every churlish wind blown to despair.
Silent Canius died for love, not known
To her, who did his pure affection own.
I therefore ope my heart before your eyes,
Not doubting but you're kind as well as wise;
Not doubting but you're wise as well as kind.'
Fair Sepha said, 'Your worth I know may find
Far better ladies, that may more content
Your love than I, and then you will repent
You of your deed, which still will you molest;
A rash conceit was never held the best.'
'Though all the beauties in the world were one,'
Said he, 'and I by right might seize upon
The same, yet would I for thy virtue's sake
Aspire no better fortune, than to make
Thee my beloved wife; where'er thou art,
Whate'er thou dost, the Graces grace impart
To thy sweet self; this hair, this lovely hair,
If loose, as thou dost often use to wear,
Ostends thy freer beauty, or if knit,
It shows rare wisdom is enclos'd in it.
In fine they are the chains that link desire
In ev'ry breast, and kindle Cupid's fire,
For whichsoever way thou dost them wear,
They fetch thee honour, and thy honour bear.'
'To me,' she said, 'you please to speak the best;
O, thought you of me so, I should be blest:
Nor that my fond conceit desires to be
Linkt with each pleasing object that I see,
But of a long retain'd affection, I
Desire the bonds of perfect amity;
And since you please to honour me so well
With common friendship, that in all should dwell,
Tell me the name of that thrice blessed place
Enjoys your presence, and from what blest race
You draw your line?' 'Me Arathea claims,'
Said he: 'my much unhappy parents' names
Were Capaneus and Evadne, they
Of good report and noble progeny.
My father, led by just revenge, was chief
Of those that wrought distressed Thebes' grief,
Who having wed my mother, then but young
And of a pleasant face, whose parents sprung
From Juno's breasts, unto those wars was call'd;
Where after many skirmishes befall'd
To him this sad mishap: when various fights
Had clos'd up many with eternal nights,
He furious, and impatient of delay,
Resolv'd a quick dispatch, and with that day
To end the wars, a ladder he devises,
Of cords compos'd, by which he enterprises
Apparent means to scale the walls; but lo,
About to climb, some wicked hand doth throw
A stone upon him; "Yet I'll climb," he said;
But while his soldiers come unto his aid,
For all their hopes upon his worth relied,
He gave directions for the wars and died.
My mother too too heavy for his harm,
Did help his wounded body to unarm,
When all his friends, to honour him the more,
Were present, and his ruin did deplore.
But while the fire consumes with greedy flame
His flesh, my mother runs into the same;
To show when virtue shrines an upright heart
Death never can united honour part.
In this Campania, where my castle stands,
I was instructed by the careful hands
Of Callias, till understanding bade
Revenge be done for wrongs my parents had.
I mov'd the wars afresh; what means I made,
With all-persuading reasons, to persuade
The soldiers' aid, is this.

"O you," said I, "belov'd for upright ways,
And fear'd of all for valour that obeys
Your conqu'ring arms! I purpose not to add
Words to your virtues, nor my speech to clad
With flatt'ring robes; my just revenge shall cause
A triumph for that never scorn'd applause
Of your victorious fame, which daily mov'd
Towards your names, O you so well belov'd!
Your noble friend my father, to whose shrine
You pay your yearly tears, is now divine.
He, sorry for that harm which would betide
Your never conquered arms in that he died,
Died loath to leave you: now there is a time
To heap revenge against them for that crime
Those coward traitors acted, when they slew
Your noble friend my father; let us view
The cause that moves us to display our war:
O is 't not meritorious, and far
Beyond the price of their despised blood?
Your wisdom knows your loss, our cause is good;
Too good, alas, for them; I know your love
Still, still, remains alive, which makes me move
Those valiant hearts which always you enjoy'd,
To seek revenge 'gainst those that have destroy'd
Your noble friend my father: this, O this,
Makes me require your help, nor greater bliss
Can to your dying tombs more honour gather,
Than to revenge your noble friend my father.
O you so well belov'd, I need not show
The slothful Thebans' fearfulness; you know
The manner and the matter of their war,
How through disorder and discord they jar
Amongst themselves; your swords their towers shake,
At the remembrance of your names they quake.
When in the skirmage you your valour send,
To court their necks, and show their lives their end,
Bethink you for whose sake you fight, and let
His wonted valour and remembrance whet
Your all-commanding swords; what greater gain
Than their subjection can you obtain?
Honour from thence will spring, their wealth and glories
By you enjoy'd will fill your famous stories
With never-dying fame, and for your merit
Your sons shall everlasting praise inherit.
We for revenge, renown, and amity,
Our wars display, they but for liberty;
When we have girt their city with the choice
Of martial men, then shall we hear their voice
Come creeping to us, but our ears are stopt
From traitors' mouths, till we have overtopt
(For justice' sake, on which we have relied)
Their weighty sins, and high aspiring pride.
O you belov'd of all, 'tis not a cause
Of little worth, not only for applause
I move you to this war; survey your hearts,
There see his tomb, his wounds, and his deserts
Ever to be admir'd, your noble friend
My father, whose too too unhappy end
Requires their blood, desires no greater bliss
Than to present his joyful soul with this."
These and such words I us'd; with me they swore
To fetch the glory which the Thebans wore,
And plac't upon my father's tomb, to crown
Him with heroic conquests and renown.
With me they went, with me they overcame
The Thebans' pride, and brought with them their fame.
Detain'd at wars, I saw you not, till late
Returning home, my ever happy fate
Blest me to hear your voice; my nimble steed
To gratulate my labour with the deed,
So well belov'd (as if he knew my mind)
Lost me that you, fair lady, might me find.'
At this she smiles, while his lov'd tale goes on;
'Now since it is your chance to light upon
What was ordain'd your own, debar me not
That service from, which is my own by lot,
While I enfolded in your love declare
Those sweet contents in Venus' pleasures are.
For who with more delight can live? What are
Those joys that may with these delights compare?'
She blusht and said, for ere she spake she blusht,
Then from her sweet but angry lips there rusht
This angry speech, 'Beloved sir, I owe
More inward zeal than yet I will bestow
On your lascivious love'; and being near
Her Talmos, flung away, and would not hear
His quick-prepar'd excuse, who overweigh'd
With death-tormenting grief, look'd up and said,
'Shall these contempts o'errule thy virtuous will?
O Sepha, knowest thou whom thy scorns do kill?'
Well she goes on, nor looks behind to see
The fruits of her disdain, his amity,
But hasted home, by fond suspicion led;
(So Arethusa from Alphaeus fled)
Till to her chamber come, she unawares,
(Beginning now to be perplext with cares)
Look'd from a window, from a window spied
Her fair Arcadius dead; even then she cried.
Her nimble feet had not such power to bear
Her half so fast away, as now her fear
Returns her to him, ready to complain
Upon her fate; her tender eyes do strain
Balm to bedew his cheeks, till a sweet kiss,
(It seems beloved better than that bliss
The Heav'ns bestow'd) recall'd his sleepy eyes.
Who opening first, straight shut again and lies
Clos'd in her arms, as if nought more could grace him,
With greater joys, than when her arms embrace him:
At length remembrance (usher'd by a groan)
Proclaim'd his life; 'And am I left alone?'
He said, then op't his eyes, whose fixed sight,
Not yet from death's embracings free, did light
Upon her face, about his voice to raise,
Soft kisses stop his speech; those past, he says:
'Ye Gods, whose too too hasty shafts have strook
Beguiling joys into my eyes, and took
My heavy soul from that thrice blessed place
Where Sepha dwells, who must Elysium grace,
What yields this Heav'n? O would I still might live,
Her presence yields more joys than Heav'n can give;
Invest me with all pleasures that you please
In Heav'n to have, with canticles of ease
That follow pious souls, they nought will yield
To me but grief; while o'er th' Elysian field,
And gloomy shades, continual steps I take
For her safe waftage o'er the Stygian lake.'
These words he spake, taking her face for Heaven,
(In whom the powers all powerful grace had given)
Where still he thought he was, while Sepha griev'd,
With cordial water from her eyes reviv'd
His not yet living sense; with greedy eyes
He views her face, who with this speech replies:
'To me 'tis strange, that you (within whose breast
Such rare undaunted strength and wit doth rest)
Through foolish grief should yield your sacred soul
To Charon's boat; who shall your death condole,
So slightly caus'd? shall I? believe me, no;
I'll rather seek some noble means to show
How much you strive with faint tormenting mind
To raise that heart wherein you lie enshrin'd.
Should men despair for once or twice refusal,
Few men would speed, for to our sex 'tis usual;
And often, words outstep the careless lip,
Which past, repent that e'er they let them slip.
Now let this message in thy bosom light:
Arcadius, thou art the sole delight
Of this my wretched life, for thee I live;
To live with thee, to thee my love I give.
Preserve it then so worthy to be lov'd,
That of thee always I may be belov'd:
Let no lascivious thought pollute the same,
Which may increase a scandal to my name,
But with unstain'd desires let me be led
By Hymen's rites unspotted to thy bed.'
Have you not heard young lambs with wailing cries
Lament their dam's departure, who still lies
Under the shearer's hands? with discontent
Thinking them dead, their sudden death lament?
While they to hinder the bemoaning notes
Get up, and pay their ransom with their coats.
Even so Arcadius with attentive care
Observ'd each word her heav'nly lips did spare,
Still fearing lest some various conclusion
Should draw his life to sable night's confusion.
But when he heard the full, ladies, I know
You can conceive what streams of joy did flow
In his still honour'd breast; he nimbly rose,
Conjur'd the air to keep her message close
From babbling echoes, to herself he vows
An am'rous kiss, and she his kiss allows.
He crav'd remission for his faulty words,
Now askt, and straight remission she affords,
And binds him to the limits of unstain'd
Desire, and with her golden tresses chain'd
His heart from all deceit, with such pure grace,
As ought in ev'ry lover to have place;
To Talmos she (proud of her prize) him led,
(For know fair Sepha's parents both were dead),
Where entertain'd with many royal sips
He drunk full bowls of nectar from her lips.
Time, hasty to produce the marriage day
Of these impatient lovers, hied his way;
And Sepha after many sweet embraces,
Fraught with conceit, and stuft with interlaces
Of their ensuing pleasure, did permit
Arcadius' departure, who unfit
For any service but the winged God,
To Arathea went, and as he rode
Oft blam'd o'er-hasty Time their joy t' undo,
But prais'd him for the sports that should ensue.

Now was it when the fraction of the day
From sable night had made Aurora way,
When I, ambiguous of succeeding fate,
Forsook my native country for the hate
'Gainst me conceiv'd, me Minos country bred,
Whose hundred cities with amazement led
Each eye to view their pride; my father old,
And I a pretty stripling, did uphold
The staff of his declining age; with care
I cherisht him, and did the burthen bear
Of his domestic 'ployments. Now it was,
(When all his business through my hands did pass)
That once he sent me to attend the sheep,
Where woods' sweet chanters summon'd me to sleep:
Within a cave of Parian stone compos'd,
I laid me down; I laid me down, and clos'd
My duskish eyes; sure some enchantments kept
The same with magic spells, for there I slept
Whole seventeen years away; awak'd at last,
I got me up, and to my home did haste:
Not knowing so much time away was fled,
I call'd my friends, but lo, my friends were dead.
This known I left Minoia, and spent
My days in Rome, not caring where I went,
Nor what I did; nor there I long remain'd,
'Cause more mishap was to my life ordain'd:
Mugiona stands pointing to a way
Call'd Appia, through which my journey lay;
Nor many days were spent before I came
Unto that town which Sora hath to name;
And there awhile I stayed, awhile I strove
To kill those griefs, which never ceas'd to move
A desp'rate end, for that unwisht mischance
Still gnawing on my soul; about t' advance
My sword towards my end, 'O stay awhile,'
A voice bespake, 'let not thy wrath beguile
Thee of succeeding joys': amaz'd I stood,
Not knowing why to save, or spill my blood.
My eyes could show me nothing, but my ears
Granted a convoy for the sob'd-forth tears
Of a distressed lady. 'What mishap
Hath Fortune more,' said she, 'than to entrap
Our joys, and cut them off?' The voice did guide
Me to a little grove, wherein I spied
A wretched lady with torn hair discover
(O'er the dead corpse of her beloved lover)
Th' irreparable loss, and hateful breath,
She did sustain through his untimely death.
Aghast she trembled, and with liquid eyes,
Sent with her lover's soul into the skies,
Prays that her end may with his end appear,
Or here to have him, or to have him there.
Awhile I stood, either with fear o'ergone,
Or else with grief not able to go on,
Till she with sword tugg'd from his wounded breast,
Made passage for her soul's eternal rest.
I hied me to her, but my steps were lost,
The wound was given; saith she, 'Since we are crost
Of terrene pleasures, and those joys do miss,
Our souls shall wed in Heav'n's eternal bliss.'
I striv'd to stop her blood, but she denied
That any favour should to her betide,
Since she was cross'd in all designs, and said,
'If the entreaties of a dying maid,
Sir knight, may move you, grant this last request,
With your own sword give period to the rest
Of him who did my Delithason slay;
O'er yon ambitious hill he took his way.'
I vow'd their deaths' revenge, withal desir'd,
Since she would die, before her life expir'd
Its glorious date, t' acquaint my pitying ears
With her sad story, while whole show'rs of tears
Embalm the body dead. 'Alas,' said she,
'You cause me to renew the grief must be
My passport to his soul,' then faintly rais'd
Her weary head: 'For ever be ye prais'd
(Ye Pow'rs) that grant me liberty t' unfold
Our tragic ends,' and then his story told.

The Story of Delithason and Verista

'NOT far remote there are four little lands,
Rul'd by that God, who girts them with his hands;
Statinae call'd, in these my father dwelt,
Whose always scraping but ne'er fill'd-hand felt
A mean of Fortune's good, (whether by Fate,
Or foreordained to expire the date
Of my distressed life, to me 't's unknown,)
But wealth (with which those isles have ever flown)
Heap'd to his hands a still increasing crowd
Of gilded pills; those riches made him proud.
Amongst the other fortunes that he had,
(O whether shall I term it good or bad)
The Heav'ns assign'd him me, Verista nam'd,
Who yet but young, a false report had fam'd
Rare beauty of me; this, O this declar'd,
Draw'd many princes that the same had heard,
To try the judgement of their eyes, which fame
By some confirm'd, this Delithason came,
Not like a prince, (as like a prince he might,
Because he was a prince) but like a knight
With sword and lance. But first I'd have you know
My father amongst many had a foe
Of giants' race, whose heart inur'd to wrong,
To rapes, and base oppressions, had long
Applied his strength, and now to torture more
My father's breast that life might give him o'er,
This quarrel pick'd. He came and did demand
Me for his wife, and 'cause we did withstand
His wish, with kindled rage from Pluto's cell
He shakes his dangling locks, and down to Hell
A journey takes; Erinnys he implor'd,
And all the Furies which he there ador'd,
T' assist his new-found plot; nor yet in vain
They add their help, with fire they rent in twain
A town my father own'd; the dwellers there,
Afraid of death, t' abolish quite their fear,
Plast'red the walls with brains, their limbs bestrew'd,
The blushing streets with streams of blood bedew'd.
To this he adds a mischief worse, and throws
Blasphemous oaths on which he did repose,
Up to Saturnus' son; the sacred stones,
On which the people laid oblations,
He hurls about the temple; from the posts
The gold he tears, and in his mischief boasts.
By this my brother, guided by the cries
Of conquer'd sounds, came staring in, and spies
The honours of celestial Gods defac't.
A sling he had, and from that sling did cast
The over-hasty stone, and though he well
Could use his sling, yet did his art excel
In managing his sword, now heav'd aloft,
Threat'ning the giant's death; said he, "How oft
Shall I be vext with too too partial eye
Of thy outrage? perish with this and die."
His speech scarce clos'd, Marsilos, smear'd with blood,
A coalbrand snatcht which by the altar stood,
And sends it to my brother; 'twas espied
By Delithason this, about to slide
Along the air; with lance he stopt his hand,
And sent his soul to that infernal land
Where ghosts with hideous cries endure the right
Of their deserts, cloth'd in eternal night.
Thus Delithason by the clamours call'd,
And by the giant's death the same appall'd;
Restor'd to every man his own, the rather
To get (the seldom got) love of my father;
Who nothing thankful for so great a favour,
Gave thanks indeed; but with so rude behaviour
That nought was heard but sighs and piteous moan,
How to regain the harm to him was done.
"I must," said he, "omit the charge I us'd
In keeping house, by which I have abus'd
My quite-consumed stock; I must omit
The courteous entertainment that is fit
For worthy gues[t]s, and so to end the strife
Of sleeping age, with a retired life."
To this the Prince, (whose ever piety
Still lent discourteous acts a noble eye)
Says, "Aged father, your declining head
Should scorn to be to base rebellion led
Against the laws of hospitality;
Decrepit age should on the good rely
Which she hath done, not on her present wealth,
The soul's decay, opposer to her health.
O whither shall I turn? assist me now,
Ye ever-helping Powers, let not a vow
So firmly made before your holy fires
So eas'ly be infring'd; but who aspires
To mount the chariot where the glorious Sun
The orb surveys, with pride shall be undone.
And shall I silent die? Shall this exile
From hopes the pure bond of my love defile?
Shall my desir'd desires with horrid sound
Of a faint heart increase m' increasing wound?
No, Love must fear no harm; he is not fit
T' enjoy Love's fruits that hath not firmly knit
A resolution to his hopes, and tied
Himself, though oft, yet ne'er to be denied.
Father, the wings of ever-warbling fame
Exempt alone, chatter'd the glorious name
Of your Verista's beauty; 'twas my chance,
When ev'ry Echo did the same advance
In lofty tunes, to hap into your fight,
And being greedy of so great a sight,
Gave period to all hopes of other beauty,
And did besiege her heart; 'tis now her duty
My pleasure to obey, for Hymen's lights
Have linkt our hearts, with honour of those rites
To lovers due. Be willing then to it,
Since Fate hath stop'd all means the bond t' unknit.
But if you will not, if you will persever
In hatred to those princes, that endeavour
To bless their happy lives in blessing her;
I say again, if still you will prefer
Your will before all reason without reason,
As hitherto you have done, there's a season
Call'd quiv'ring winter, with his milky bride,
Will freeze your honour, and abate your pride.
Imperial I, in fair Zephire sit,
Whom wealthy Caria bounds, and brags of it;
There flows that paltry gold so much I hate,
I think the more t' impair my quiet state."
"Luxurious brat, and enemy to wealth,"
My father said, "th' hast got the crown by stealth,
With it Verista's love; and dost thou think
My daughter shall of that stol'n honour drink?
First let my hands embrue their wrinkled skin
In her false breast; first let the spoil begin
Upon my offspring, can thy boasts assure her?
Or the bare title of a crown procure her
Contented wealth? Say, can so great a name
As Queen of Caria wipe away the blame
Of disobedience? or release the oath
Of duty? or of zealous care? or both?
Which she (when subject to my tender rods,)
Made in the presence of the better Gods?"
Here Delithason stay'd his speech. "Too late,"
He said, "you vent your ne'er-consumed hate.
The Gods observe your deeds, and though awhile
They slack their vengeance, 'tis but to beguile
The offenders with false hopes." So said, he turn'd
His head about, and on the altar burn'd
Prepared incense; straight the altar brake
In twain, and after a fierce thunderclap
Sweet music breath'd, in which a chanter cried,
"Thy time's expir'd and thou art deified."
Amaz'd the people stand, nor yet to whom
They can conceive this prophecy should come;
Not I, alas, no, nor my feeble heart,
Forethought of this, of this untimely dart,
For so it hapt, Marsilos had a son,
(From a corrupted spring ill waters run)
Who, wicked, at his father's death repining,
Just as the Sun was to his bed declining,
Observ'd when I and Delithason hied
T'wards his Zephire, (for being denied
My father's blessing, privily we got
Away, when careless he observed not)
And passing through this wood -- this bloody wood --
(A closet for those that delight in blood)
The giant's son a twinded javelin cast,
And made this wound you see; that done, in haste,
Knowing his dart this spotless heart had sped,
Unto his home, his father's den, he fled.'
About to tell the rest she stopt, and died,
When I by virtue of my promise tied,
After I had repos'd them in one urn,
Towards Statinae did my voyage turn,
And (lest too long I should delay the joy
Hasty Arcadius wishes to enjoy)
Stuft up with ire, I did not long pursue
His steps, before at him I had a view.
'Ho! villain, stay,' I cried, 'receive the meed
The Gods allot thee for thy wicked deed;
Stay, murderer, thy haste shall not prefer
Injustice before right; stay, murderer.'
While yet I spake, my lance his shoulders caught,
My sword beguil'd him of his head, and taught
This lesson to the world, th' All-seeing eye
Lets not apparent wrongs unpunish'd die.
My vow dissolv'd, I bent my course again
Towards Cybella, whose high walls disdain
A rival in their pride; there is a way
That leads thereto, by which a meadow lay;
In it I saw a knight of silver hue,
With sword, hold a stout combat against two
Of fiery looks; I hied me to the fight,
Either by force or treaty to unite
Their various minds: but what can words prevail
Where bloody resolutions do assail
A spotless mind? no time they would admit,
Through hasty fight, t' inquire the cause of it.
Awhile I view'd the combat, till the knight
In silver armour on the neck did light
Of one of th' adverse side, who unacquainted
With such rough compliments, fell down and fainted.
So done, he said, 'By all the Powers that dwell
In lofty thrones, thy valour doth excel
Thy neighb'ring Princes, but thy unjust cause
Repugns against the splendour and the laws
Of martial discipline; content thee then
With this: thou art the happiest of men
In that th' hast 'scap'd revenge to traitors due.
Do other matters cause thee to pursue
This spite, besides thy false suspect? or can
Thy ever-stain'd affection (which began
And ends with lust, not love) enchant thy sense
So far with stupid blindness to commence
Hatred for this? withdraw thyself, and yield
To me thy life, thy weapon, and the field.
So shall my arms with amity embrace
Thy neck; where else 'twill show thee thy disgrace.'
No sooner said, but we might hear the sound
Of trampling horses beat the tender ground,
For swifter speed now to us seen, and now
Dismount their steeds, and to the adverse bow.
'Pardon,' said they, 'great Prince, that our neglect
Infring'd the laws of our endear'd respect.'
But when they saw his armour stain'd, and view'd
His dead companion with blood imbru'd,
They re-amount the nimble steeds they rid,
(For marble look'd not paler than they did)
And to the silver knight their anger bent,
Who with excess of bleeding almost spent,
Held up his hand to me, to me he said,
(For they were three) 'See how I am betray'd
With these unequal odds.' 'No more you need
To move me up,' I said, 'fear not, proceed
With your own hands to lacerate in twain
Their conscious hearts, to me your prayers are vain.
I am too weak to shelter you from harms;
Though arm'd, yet I'm unskill'd to use my arms,
But what I am I'm yours.' With that our swords
We drew, and blows supply'd the want of words.
While he (most noble and most valiant knight)
Each blow he took, each blow he did requite
With treble use; awhile they hold us play,
Till overcome, their lives did end our fray.
This done, and all things hist, I thought it good
To stop the conduits of his flowing blood;
When mounted on our steeds, with gentle gait
Riding towards his home, he did relate
The tragic story thus: 'I am,' said he,
'Arcadius, and yonder tow'r you see
Is mine; this Prince whom now we slew,
Hearing what pure unstain'd affection grew
'Tween me and one nam'd Sepha in her heart,
He came and did prescribe a double part:
On this our quarrel grew, and what success
In it he had, your valour will express.'
'Not I,' said I, ''twas you, your conquering hand,
Your cause, your sword, your strength that did withstand
Their greedy hopes; the Gods do close their eyes
From impious vassals, and exclude their cries.
And since you please t' entitle me your friend,
O let my willing service you attend,
And what you think will magnify your name,
Withal conceive me ready for the same.'
'Twas Summer then, and having cur'd his wounds,
Call'd out by th' noise of his pursuing hounds
We gallop'd o'er the plains: now by a wood
Our way we took, where purple statues stood;
'O bless me here,' he cried, and softly said,
'Enshrin'd in these four pleasant nymphs are laid.'
Then by a tower, 'In this,' said he, 'remains
The fairest flower, the pride of all the plains;
'Tis Sepha's house, the Goddess of my heart,
In whose fair cheeks Love with his golden dart
Sits sporting, dasht with a vermilion dye;
Th' are like the blush came from Endymion's eye
When twin-born Cynthia, to suffice her will,
Had courted him on sleepy Latmos' hill.'
No sooner said, but Sepha said, ''Tis true,
If lik'd of you, for Sepha lives by you,'
And spying me she blush'd. Lovers do so,
For conscious minds appear by th' outward show;
All salutations past, she led us in,
Where first our root of ruin did begin:
For such firm bonds of constant amity
Had link'd Arcadius' loyal heart to me,
(Which by our outward actions was not hid,
For never two lov'd better than we did)
That she perceiving how he stood inclin'd,
The more to please and gratulate his mind,
Us'd me with courteous terms; he discontent,
(Suspicion is a trial eminent
Of true affection) thought some new-born love
T'wards me increast, her tender heart did move.
As Helen did to Paris, took occasion,
T' assist her loyal love with this persuasion;
For sitting in a pleasant bower which hung
With various flowers he took a lute and sung:

See'st not, my love, with what a grace
The Spring resembles thy sweet face?
Here let us sit, and in these bowers
Receive the odours of the flowers,
For Flora, by thy beauty woo'd, conspires thy good.

See how she sends her fragrant sweet,
And doth this homage to thy feet,
Bending so low her stooping head
To kiss the ground where thou dost tread,
And all her flowers proudly meet, to kiss thy feet.

Then let us walk, my dearest love,
And on this carpet strictly prove
Each other's vow; from thy request
No other love invades my breast.
For how can I contemn that fire which Gods admire?

To crop that rose why dost thou seek,
When there's a purer in thy cheek?
Like coral held in thy fair hands,
Or blood and milk that mingled stands;
To whom the Powers all grace have given, a type of Heaven.

Yon lily stooping t'wards this place,
Is a pale shadow for thy face,
Under which veil doth seem to rush
Modest Endymion's ruddy blush.
A blush, indeed, more pure and fair than lilies are.

Glance on those flowers thy radiant eyes,
Through which clear beams they'll sympathize
Reflective love, to make them far
More glorious than th' Hesperian star,
For every swain amazed lies, and gazing dies.

See how these silly flowers twine,
With sweet embracings, and combine,
Striving with curious looms to set
Their pale and red into a net,
To show how pure desire doth rest for ever blest.

Why wilt thou then unconstant be?
T' infringe the laws of amity,
And so much disrespect my heart
To derogate from what thou art?
When in harmonious love there is Elysian bliss.

Sepha at this was pleas'd; displeased was he
To see her smile. 'Leave off thy jealousy,
Arcadius,' she said, 'I am possest
With that firm love, which ne'er shall leave my breast.
First shall the Sun forget his course to fly,
And Pindus' hills shall soar about the sky;
First shall the Roman Eagles lose their wings,
And music murmur music without strings;
First shall the sea-born Goddess leave the fan
Of ardent love, and turn precisian:
And fearful hares pursue the thund'ring cry
Of Cretan hounds, and Ovid's mem'ry die,
Ere I, who to thee do my soul betroth,
Forsake my word, or falsify my oath.'
So said, she hangs her lip, and lowers her head,
(Lovers are oft asham'd of what they said)
While he with hymns of joy the debt did pay
Of upright love, and nam'd the wedding day.
Which come, and all things ready, Sepha drest
Her hair; her coats were blue; upon her breast
She wore a stone of curious art compos'd,
Wherein two naked lovers were enclos'd;
Both striving, till the maid who did resist,
Grew weak, and then he us'd her as he list.
Now ladies, know; a Prince there was whom fame
Had taken captive with fair Sepha's name,
Who hearing of the wedding day, wherein
Their hands should be linkt, as their hearts had bin;
And hearing of the weakness of the guard,
That should conduct them to the Church, prepar'd
To rob us of her. As you pass the plain,
There is a pretty hillock that would fain
Be call'd a hill; behind this hill they hide
Themselves, their weapons, and do there reside.
Now we in whom no thought of treachery
Had told us of mishap, with jollity
Hied to the temple; there, O there, the chance
Of base conspiring mischief did advance
Itself, dejected us; a horrid voice
Of threat'ning people sent a hideous noise
Unto our ears; now to our eyes their arms
With glittering shields foretell our following harms.
Unweapon'd we, for battles are refus'd
On wedding days, and other weapons us'd,
So that the easier they our necks did bend
Unto their yoke; now had they took my friend
The young Arcadius and his lovely bride,
The only prize they waited for, and hied
Them on their way, borne by the heat of love
T'wards th' one, t'wards th' other hate their speed did move,
When I (O ne'er till then unfortunate)
Saw tyranny and malice at debate,
Who first should steal away the spotless life
Of my Arcadius; at last a knife
His unstain'd bosom pierc'd, who dying cried,
'Let Sepha live, and I am satisfied.'
'You ravishers,' said I, 'of others' blood,
By this discern if traitors' ends are good,'
And with a sword snatch'd from another's arm,
Cleft one, and said, 'Be sharer in his harm';
With that a second, and a third I slew,
And so a fourth, till such a tumult grew,
That after divers blows away they fled,
And left me, as they well might think, for dead.
Meanwhile Campanian Sepha took her flight
Into a wood, borne there by horrid fright.
Where long she could not stay, by careful heed
Drawn forth, to know how her known love did speed;
And now she finds, what ne'er she wisht to find,
With his dear blood the blushing flowers lin'd;
She says not much, lest helpless words should stay
Her soul too long, but kneeling down doth pray,
Then took the knife by his own blood made foul,
And falling down upon't advanc't her soul.
Awak'd from out my sound, I saw how Fate
Had play'd the wanton, and expir'd their date:
I took their bodies and them both did burn,
I put them both together in one urn;
Straight both their ashes, male and female grew,
And from the same admired Phoenix flew;
From whence I prophesy it shall revive
By death, for 'tis their fame shall keep 't alive,
Which growing old towards the Sun shall fly,
And till the Heavens dissolve shall never die.

Here Epimenides his story ceast,
And bending down his panting bosom dies:
Whose death the ladies' former griefs increast,
They sent his soul to Elizium with their cries,
Upon whose shrine they wrote his death, to show
From Heaven he came, to Heaven he needs must go.

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net