Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BRITANNIA'S PASTORALS: BOOK 1. THE FIRST SONG, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)



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BRITANNIA'S PASTORALS: BOOK 1. THE FIRST SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Marina's love, yclep'd the fair
Last Line: Till from the wat'ring we again return.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Great Britain


THE ARGUMENT.

Marina's love, yclep'd the fair,
Celand's disdain, and her despair,
Are the first wings my Muse puts on
To reach the sacred Helicon.

I THAT whilere near Tavy's straggling spring
Unto my seely sheep did use to sing,
And play'd to please myself on rustic reed,
Nor sought for bay (the learned shepherd's meed),
But as a swain unkent fed on the plains,
And made the Echo umpire of my strains:
Am drawn by time (although the weak'st of many)
To sing those lays as yet unsung of any.
What need I tune the swains of Thessaly?
Or, bootless, add to them of Arcadie?
No, fair Arcadia cannot be completer;
My praise may lessen, but not make thee greater.
My Muse for lofty pitches shall not roam,
But homely pipen of her native home;
And to the swains, love rural minstrelsy;
Thus, dear Britannia, will I sing of thee.
High on the plains of that renowned isle,
Which all men Beauty's garden-plot enstyle,
A shepherd dwelt, whom Fortune had made rich
With all the gifts that silly men bewitch.
Near him a shepherdess for beauty's store
Unparallel'd of any age before.
Within those breasts her face a flame did move,
Which never knew before what 'twas to love,
Dazzling each shepherd's sight that view'd her eyes:
And as the Persians did idolatrize
Unto the sun: they thought that Cynthia's light
Might well be spar'd where she appear'd in night.
And as when many to the goal do run,
The prize is given never but to one:
So first, and only Celandine was led,
Of Destiny's and Heaven much favoured,
To gain this beauty, which I here do offer
To memory: his pains (who would not proffer
Pains for such pleasures?) were not great nor much,
But that his labour's recompense was such
As countervailed all: for she, whose passion,
(And passion oft is love,) whose inclination
Bent all her course to him-wards, let him know
He was the elm whereby her vine did grow:
Yea, told him, when his tongue began this task,
She knew not to deny when he would ask.
Finding his suit as quickly got as mov'd,
Celandine, in his thoughts not well approv'd
What none could disallow, his love grew feign'd,
And what he once affected now disdain'd.
But fair Marina (for so was she call'd)
Having in Celandine her love install'd,
Affected so this faithless shepherd's boy,
That she was rapt beyond degree of joy.
Briefly, she could not live one hour without him,
And thought no joy like theirs that liv'd about him.
This variable shepherd for a while
Did Nature's jewel by his craft beguile:
And still the perfecter her love did grow,
His did appear more counterfeit in show.
Which she perceiving that his flame did slake,
And lov'd her only for his trophy's sake:
"For he that's stuffed with a faithless tumour,
Loves only for his lust and for his humour:"
And that he often in his merry fit
Would say, his good came ere he hop'd for it:
His thoughts for other subjects being press'd,
Esteeming that as nought which he possess'd:
"For what is gotten but with little pain,
As little grief we take to lose again."
Well-minded Marine grieving, thought it strange
That her ingrateful swain did seek for change.
Still by degrees her cares grew to the full,
Joys to the wane, heartrending grief did pull
Her from herself, and she abandon'd all
To cries and tears, fruits of a funeral;
Running the mountains, fields, by wat'ry springs,
Filling each cave with woful echoings;
Making in thousand places her complaint,
And uttering to the trees what her tears meant.
"For griefs conceal'd (proceeding from desire)
Consume the more, as doth a close-pent fire."
Whilst that the day's sole eye doth gild the seas
In his day's journey to th' Antipodes,
And all the time the jetty-charioteer
Hurls her black mantle through our hemisphere,
Under the covert of a sprouting pine
She sits and grieves for faithless Celandine.
Beginning thus: Alas! and must it be
That Love which thus torments and troubles me
In settling it, so small advice hath lent
To make me captive, where enfranchisement
Cannot be gotten? nor where, like a slave,
The office due to faithful prisoners, have?
Oh cruel Celandine, why shouldst thou hate
Her, who to love thee, was ordain'd by Fate!
Should I not follow thee, and sacrifice
My wretched life to thy betraying eyes?
Aye me! of all my most unhappy lot;
What others would, thou may'st, and yet wilt not.
Have I rejected those that me ador'd,
To be of him, whom I adore, abhorr'd?
And pass'd by others' tears, to make election
Of one, that should so pass-by my affection?
I have: and see the heav'nly powers intend
"To punish sinners in what they offend."
Maybe he takes delight to see in me
The burning rage of hellish jealousy;
Tries if in fury any love appears;
And bathes his joy within my flood of tears.
But if he lov'd to soil my spotless soul,
And me amongst deceived maids enrol,
To publish to the world my open shame:
Then, heart, take freedom; hence, accursed flame;
And, as queen-regent, in my heart shall move
"Disdain, that only over-ruleth Love:"
By this infranchis'd sure my thoughts shall be,
And in the same sort love, as thou lov'st me.
But what? or can I cancel or unbind
That which my heart hath seal'd and love hath sign'd?
No, no, grief doth deceive me more each hour;
"For, who so truly loves, hath not that power."
I wrong to say so since of all 'tis known,
"Who yields to love doth leave to be her own."
But what avails my living thus apart?
Can I forget him? or out of my heart
Can tears expulse his image? surely no.
"We well may fly the place, but not the woe:
Love's fire is of a nature which by turns
Consumes in presence, and in absence burns."
And knowing this: aye me! unhappy wight!
What means is left to help me in this plight?
And from that peevish shooting, hood-wink'd elf,
To repossess my love, my heart, myself?
Only this help I find, which I elect:
Since what my life nor can nor will effect,
My ruin shall: and by it, I shall find,
"Death cures (when all helps fail) the grieved mind."
And welcome here (than Love a better guest),
That of all labours art the only rest:
Whilst thus I live, all things discomfort give,
The life is sure a death wherein I live:
Save life and death do differ in this one,
That life hath ever cares, and death hath none.
But if that he (disdainful swain) should know
That for his love I wrought my overthrow;
Will he not glory in't? and from my death
Draw more delights, and give new joys their breath?
Admit he do, yet better 'tis that I
Render myself to Death than misery.
I cannot live, thus barred from his sight,
Nor yet endure, in presence, any wight
Should love him but myself. O Reason's eye,
How art thou blinded with vild jealousy!
And is it thus? Then which shall have my blood,
Or certain ruin, or uncertain good?
Why do I doubt? Are we not still advis'd
"That certainty in all things best is priz'd?"
Then, if a certain end can help my moan,
"Know Death hath certainty, but Life hath none."
Here is a mount, whose top seems to despise
The far inferior vale that under lies:
Who like a great man rais'd aloft by fate,
Measures his height by others' mean estate:
Near to whose foot there glides a silver flood.
Falling from hence, I'll climb unto my good,
And by it finish Love and Reason's strife,
And end my misery as well as life.
But as a coward's heartener in war,
The stirring drum, keeps lesser noise from far:
So seem the murmuring waves tell in mine ear
That guiltless blood was never spilled there.
Then stay a while; the beasts that haunt those springs,
Of whom I hear the fearful bellowings,
May do that deed (as moved by my cry),
Whereby my soul, as spotless ivory,
May turn from whence it came, and, freed from hence,
Be unpolluted of that foul offence.
But why protract I time? death is no stranger:
"And generous spirits never fear for danger:
Death is a thing most natural to us,
And fear doth only make it odious."
As when to seek her food abroad doth rove
The Nuncius of peace, the seely dove,
Two sharp-set hawks do her on each side hem,
And she knows not which way to fly from them:
Or like a ship, that tossed to and fro
With wind and tide; the wind doth sternly blow,
And drives her to the main, the tide comes sore
And hurls her back again towards the shore;
And since her ballast and her sails do lack,
One brings her out, the other beats her back;
Till one of them increasing more his shocks,
Hurls her to shore, and rends her on the rocks:
So stood she long, 'twixt love and reason toss'd,
Until despair (who where it comes rules most)
Won her to throw herself, to meet with death,
From off the rock into the flood beneath.
The waves that were above when as she fell,
For fear flew back again into their well,
Doubting ensuing times on them would frown,
That they so rare a beauty help'd to drown.
Her fall, in grief, did make the stream so roar,
That sullen murmurings fill'd all the shore.
A shepherd (near this flood that fed his sheep,
Who at this chance left grazing and did weep)
Having so sad an object for his eyes,
Left pipe and flock, and in the water flies,
To save a jewel, which was never sent
To be possess'd by one sole element:
But such a work Nature dispos'd and gave,
Where all the elements concordance have.
He took her in his arms, for pity cried,
And brought her to the river's further side:
Yea, and he sought by all his art and pain,
To bring her likewise to herself again:
While she that by her fall was senseless left,
And almost in the waves had life bereft,
Lay long, as if her sweet immortal spirit
Was fled some other palace to inherit.
But as clear Phœbus, when some foggy cloud
His brightness from the world a while doth shroud,
Doth by degrees begin to show his light
Unto the view: or, as the queen of night,
In her increasing horns, doth rounder grow,
Till full and perfect she appear in show:
Such order in this maid the shepherd spies,
When she began to show the world her eyes.
Who (thinking now that she had pass'd death's dream,
Occasion'd by her fall into the stream,
And that hell's ferryman did then deliver
Her to the other side th' infernal river)
Said to the swain: O Charon, I am bound
More to thy kindness than all else that round
Come thronging to thy boat: thou hast pass'd over
The woful'st maid that e'er these shades did cover.
But, prithee, ferryman, direct my spright
Where that black river runs that Lethe hight,
That I of it (as other ghosts) may drink,
And never of the world, or love, more think.
The swain perceiving by her words ill sorted,
That she was wholly from herself transported,
And fearing lest those often idle fits
Might clean expel her uncollected wits:
Fair nymph (said he), the powers above deny
So fair a beauty should so quickly die.
The heavens unto the world have made a loan,
And must for you have interest, three for one.
Call back your thoughts o'ercast with dolour's night;
Do you not see the day, the heavens, the light?
Do you not know in Pluto's darksome place
The light of heaven did never show his face?
Do not your pulses beat? y'are warm, have breath,
Your sense is rapt with fear, but not with death.
I am not Charon, nor of Pluto's host;
Nor is there flesh and blood found in a ghost;
But as you see, a seely shepherd's swain,
Who though my mere revenues be the train
Of milk-white sheep, yet am I joy'd as much
In saving you (O, who would not save such?),
As ever was the wand'ring youth of Greece,
That brought from Colchos home the golden fleece.
The never-too-much-praised fair Marine,
Hearing those words, believ'd her ears and eyne:
And knew how she escaped had the flood
By means of this young swain that near her stood.
Whereat for grief she 'gan again to faint,
Redoubling thus her cries and sad complaint:
Alas! and is that likewise barr'd from me,
Which for all persons else lies ever free?
Will life, nor death, nor ought abridge my pain?
But live still dying, die to live again?
Then most unhappy I! which find most sure,
The wound of love neglected is past cure.
Most cruel god of love (if such there be),
That still to my desires art contrary!
Why should I not in reason this obtain,
That as I love, I may be lov'd again?
Alas! with thee too, Nature plays her parts,
That fram'd so great a discord 'tween two hearts:
One flies, and always doth in hate persever;
The other follows, and in love grows ever.
Why dost thou not extinguish clean this flame,
And place't on him that best deserves the same?
Why had not I affected some kind youth,
Whose every word had been the word of truth?
Who might have had to love, and lov'd to have,
So true a heart as I to Celand gave.
For Psyche's love! if beauty gave thee birth,
Or if thou hast attractive power on earth,
Dame Venus' sweetest child, requite this love.
Or fate yield means my soul may hence remove!
Once seeing in a spring her drowned eyes,
O cruel beauty, cause of this (she cries),
Mother of Love (my joy's most fatal knife),
That work'st her death, by whom thyself hast life!
The youthful swain that heard this loving saint
So oftentimes to pour forth such complaint,
Within his heart such true affection prais'd,
And did perceive kind love and pity rais'd
His mind to sighs; yea, beauty forced this,
That all her grief he thought was likewise his.
And having brought her what his lodge affords,
Sometime he wept with her, sometime with words
Would seek to comfort; when, alas! poor elf,
He needed then a comforter himself.
Daily whole troops of grief unto him came
For her who languish'd of another flame.
If that she sigh'd, he thought him lov'd of her,
When 'twas another sail her wind did stir:
But had her sighs and tears been for this boy,
Her sorrow had been less, and more her joy.
Long time in grief he hid his love-made pains,
And did attend her walks in woods and plains:
Bearing a fuel, which her sun-like eyes
Enflam'd, and made his heart the sacrifice:
Yet he, sad swain, to show it did not dare;
And she, lest he should love, nigh died for fear.
She, ever-wailing, blam'd the powers above,
That night nor day give any rest to love.
He prais'd the heavens in silence, oft was mute,
And thought with tears and sighs to win his suit.
Once in the shade, when she by sleep repos'd,
And her clear eyes 'twixt her fair lids enclos'd,
The shepherd swain began to hate and curse
That day unfortunate, which was the nurse
Of all his sorrows. He had given breath
And life to her which was his cause of death.
O Æsop's snake, that thirstest for his blood,
From whom thyself receiv'd'st a certain good.
Thus oftentimes unto himself alone
Would he recount his grief, utter his moan;
And after much debating, did resolve
Rather his grandame Earth should clean involve
His pining body, ere he would make known
To her, what tares love in his breast had sown.
Yea, he would say when grief for speech hath cried,
"'Tis better never ask than be denied."
But as the queen of rivers, fairest Thames,
That for her buildings other floods enflames
With greatest envy; or the Nymph of Kent,
That stateliest ships to sea hath ever sent;
Some baser groom, for lucre's hellish course,
Her channel having stopp'd, kept back her source,
(Fill'd with disdain) doth swell above her mounds,
And overfloweth all the neighb'ring grounds,
Angry she tears up all that stops her way,
And with more violence runs to the sea:
So the kind shepherd's grief (which long up-pent
Grew more in power, and longer in extent)
Forth of his heart more violently thrust,
And all his vow'd intentions quickly burst.
Marina, hearing sighs, to him drew near,
And did entreat his cause of grief to hear;
But had she known her beauty was the sting
That caused all that instant sorrowing,
Silence in bands her tongue had stronger kept,
And sh'ad not ask'd for what the shepherd wept.
The swain first, of all times, this best did think
To show his love, whilst on the river's brink
They sat alone, then thought, he next would move her
With sighs and tears (true tokens of a lover);
And since she knew what help from him she found
When in the river she had else been drown'd,
He thinketh sure she cannot but grant this,
To give relief to him by whom she is;
By this incited, said: Whom I adore,
Sole mistress of my heart, I thee implore,
Do not in bondage hold my freedom long.
And since I life or death hold from your tongue,
Suffer my heart to love; yea, dare to hope
To get that good of love's intended scope.
Grant I may praise that light in you I see,
And dying to myself, may live in thee.
Fair nymph, surcease this death-alluring languish,
So rare a beauty was not born for anguish.
Why shouldst thou care for him that cares not for thee?
Yea, most unworthy wight, seems to abhor thee.
And if he be as you do here paint forth him,
He thinks you, best of beauties, are not worth him;
That all the joys of love will not quite cost
For all lov'd freedom which by it is lost.
Within his heart such self-opinion dwells,
That his conceit in this he thinks excels;
Accounting women's beauties sugar'd baits,
That never catch but fools with their deceits.
"Who of himself harbours so vain a thought,
Truly to love could never yet be brought."
Then love that heart where lies no faithless seed,
That never wore dissimulation's weed:
Who doth account all beauties of the spring,
That jocund summer days are ushering,
As foils to yours. But if this cannot move
Your mind to pity, nor your heart to love,
Yet, sweetest, grant me love to quench that flame,
Which burns you now. Expel his worthless name,
Clean root him out by me, and in his place
Let him inhabit that will run a race
More true in love. It may be for your rest.
And when he sees her, who did love him best,
Possessed by another, he will rate
The much of good he lost, when 'tis too late:
"For what is in our powers we little deem,
And things possess'd by others best esteem."
If all this gain you not a shepherd's wife,
Yet give not death to him which gave you life.
Marine the fair, hearing his wooing tale,
Perceived well what wall his thoughts did scale;
And answer'd thus: I pray, Sir Swain, what boot
Is it to me to pluck up by the root
My former love, and in his place to sow
As ill a seed, for anything I know?
Rather 'gainst thee I mortal hate retain,
That seek'st to plant in me new cares, new pain.
Alas! th'hast kept my soul from death's sweet bands
To give me over to a tyrant's hands,
Who on his racks will torture by his power
This weaken'd, harmless body, every hour.
Be you the judge, and see if reason's laws
Give recompense of favour for this cause.
You from the streams of death brought life on shore;
Releas'd one pain to give me ten times more.
For love's sake, let my thoughts in this be free;
Object no more your hapless saving me:
That obligation which you think should bind,
Doth still increase more hatred in my mind.
Yea, I do think more thanks to him were due
That would bereave my life than unto you.
The thunder-stricken swain lean'd to a tree,
As void of sense as weeping Niobe;
Making his tears the instruments to woo her,
The sea wherein his love should swim unto her:
And, could there flow from his two-headed font,
As great a flood as is the Hellespont,
Within that deep he would as willing wander
To meet his Hero, as did e'er Leander.
Meanwhile the nymph withdrew herself aside,
And to a grove at hand her steps applied.
With that sad sigh (O! had he never seen,
His heart in better case had ever been)
Against his heart, against the stream he went,
With this resolve, and with a full intent,
When of that stream he had discovered
The fount, the well-spring, or the bubbling head,
He there would sit, and with the well-drop vie,
That it before his eyes would first run dry.
But then he thought the god that haunts that lake,
The spoiling of his spring would not well take;
And therefore leaving soon the crystal flood,
Did take his way unto the nearest wood:
Seating himself within a darksome cave,
(Such places heavy Saturnists do crave,)
Where yet the gladsome day was never seen,
Nor Phœbus' piercing beams had ever been,
Fit for the synod house of those fell legions,
That walk the mountains and Silvanus' regions;
Where Tragedy might have her full scope given,
From men['s] aspects, and from the view of heaven.
Within the same some crannies did deliver
Into the midst thereof a pretty river;
The nymph whereof came by out of the veins
Of our first mother, having late ta'en pains
In scouring of her channel all the way,
From where it first began to leave the sea:
And in her labour thus far now had gone,
When coming through the cave, she heard that one
Spake thus: If I do in my death persever,
Pity may that effect which love could never.
By this she can conjecture 'twas some swain,
Who overladen by a maid's disdain,
Had here (as fittest) chosen out a place
Where he might give a period to the race
Of his loath'd life: which she (for pity's sake)
Minding to hinder, div'd into her lake,
And hasten'd where the ever-teeming Earth
Unto her current gives a wished birth;
And by her new-deliver'd river's side,
Upon a bank of flow'rs, had soon espied
Remond, young Remond, that full well could sing,
And tune his pipe at Pan's birth carolling;
Who for his nimble leaping, sweetest lays,
A laurel garland wore on holy-days;
In framing of whose hand Dame Nature swore
There never was his like, nor should be more;
Whose locks (ensnaring nets) were like the rays
Wherewith the sun doth diaper the seas,
Which, if they had been cut and hung upon
The snow-white cliffs of fertile Albion,
Would have allured more to be their winner,
Than all the diamonds that are hidden in her.
Him she accosted thus: Swain of the Wreath,
Thou are not placed only here to breathe;
But Nature in thy framing shows to me
Thou shouldst to others as she did to thee,
Do good; and surely I myself persuade,
Thou never wert for evil action made.
In heaven's consistory 'twas decreed
That choicest fruit should come from choicest seed;
In baser vessels we do ever put
Basest materials, do never shut
Those jewels most in estimation set,
But in some curious costly cabinet.
If I may judge by th' outward shape alone,
Within, all virtues have convention:
"For 't gives most lustre unto Virtue's feature,
When she appears cloth'd in a goodly creature."
Half way the hill, near to those aged trees,
Whose insides are as hives for lab'ring bees,
(As who should say, before their roots were dead,
For good work's sake and alms they harboured
Those whom nought else did cover but the skies:)
A path, untrodden but of beasts, there lies,
Directing to a cave in yonder glade,
Where all this forest's citizens for shade
At noon-time come, and are the first, I think,
That (running through that cave) my waters drink:
Within this rock there sits a woful wight,
As void of comfort as that cave of light;
And as I wot, occasion'd by the frowns
Of some coy shepherdess that haunts these downs.
This I do know (whos'ever wrought his care)
He is a man nigh treading to despair.
Then hie thee thither, since 'tis charity
To save a man; leave here thy flock with me:
For whilst thou sav'st him from the Stygian bay,
I'll keep thy lambkins from all beasts of prey.
The nearness of the danger (in his thought)
As it doth ever, more compassion wrought:
So that, with reverence to the nymph, he went
With wingèd speed, and hasten'd to prevent
Th' untimely seizure of the greedy grave.
Breathless, at last, he came into the cave,
Where, by a sigh directed to the man,
To comfort him he in this sort began:
Shepherd, all hail! what mean these plaints? this cave
(Th' image of death, true portrait of the grave)
Why dost frequent? and wail thee underground
From whence there never yet was pity found?
Come forth, and show thyself unto the light,
Thy grief to me. If there be ought that might
Give any ease unto thy troubled mind,
We joy as much to give, as thou to find.
The love-sick swain replied: Remond, thou art
The man alone to whom I would impart
My woes more willing than to any swain,
That lives and feeds his sheep upon the plain.
But vain it is, and 'twould increase my woes
By their relation, or to thee or those
That cannot remedy. Let it suffice,
No fond distrust of thee makes me precise
To show my grief. Leave me then, and forego
This cave more sad since I have made it so.
Here tears broke forth, and Remond 'gan anew
With such entreaties, earnest to pursue
His former suit, that he (though hardly) wan
The shepherd to disclose, and thus began:
Know briefly, Remond, then, a heavenly face,
Nature's idea, and perfection's grace,
Within my breast hath kindled such a fire,
That doth consume all things, except desire;
Which daily doth increase, though always burning,
And I want tears, but lack no cause of mourning.
"For he whom love under his colours draws,
May often want th' effect, but ne'er the cause."
Quoth th' other, have thy stars malign been such,
That their predominations sway so much
Over the rest, that with a mild aspect
The lives and loves of shepherds do affect?
Then do I think there is some greater hand,
Which thy endeavours still doth countermand:
Wherefore I wish thee quench the flame, thus mov'd,
"And never love except thou be belov'd.
For such an humour every woman seizeth,
She loves not him that plaineth, but that pleaseth.
When much thou lovest, most disdain comes on thee;
And when thou think'st to hold her, she flies from thee:
She follow'd, files; she fled from follows post,
And loveth best where she is hated most.
'Tis ever noted both in maids and wives,
Their hearts and tongues are never relatives.
Hearts full of holes (so elder shepherds sain)
Are apter to receive than to retain."
Whose crafts and wiles did I intend to show,
This day would not permit me time, I know:
The day's swift horses would their course have run,
And div'd themselves within the ocean,
Ere I should have performed half my task,
Striving their crafty subtleties t'unmask.
And, gentle swain, some counsel take of me;
Love not still where thou may'st; love, who loves thee;
Draw to the courteous, fly thy love's abhorrer,
"And if she be not for thee, be not for her."
If that she still be wavering, will away,
Why shouldst thou strive to hold that will not stay?
This maxim reason never can confute,
"Better to live by loss than die by suit."
If to some other love she is inclin'd,
Time will at length clean root that from her mind.
Time will extinct love's flames, his hell - like flashes,
And like a burning brand consume't to ashes.
Yet may'st thou still attend, but not importune:
"Who seeks oft misseth, sleepers light on fortune,"
Yea, and on women too. "Thus doltish sots
Have Fate and fairest women for their lots.
Favour and pity wait on patience:"
And hatred oft attendeth violence.
If thou wilt get desire whence love hath pawn'd it,
Believe me, take thy time, but ne'er demand it.
Women, as well as men, retain desire;
But can dissemble, more than men, their fire.
Be never caught with looks, nor self-wrought rumour;
Nor by a quaint disguise, nor singing humour.
Those outside shows are toys which outwards snare,
But virtue lodg'd within is only fair.
If thou hast seen the beauty of our nation,
And find'st her have no love, have thou no passion:
But seek thou further; other places sure
May yield a face as fair, a love more pure:
Leave, O then leave, fond swain, this idle course,
For Love's a god no mortal wight can force.
Thus Remond said, and saw the fair Marine
Plac'd near a spring, whose waters crystalline
Did in their murmurings bear a part, and plain'd
That one so true, so fair, should be disdain'd:
Whilst in her cries, that fill'd the vale along,
Still Celand was the burthen of her song.
The stranger shepherd left the other swain,
To give attendance to his fleecy train;
Who, in departing from him, let him know,
That yonder was his freedom's overthrow,
Who sat bewailing (as he late had done)
That love by true affection was not won.
This fully known, Remond came to the maid,
And after some few words, (her tears allay'd,)
Began to blame her rigour, call'd her cruel,
To follow hate, and fly love's chiefest jewel.
Fair, do not blame him that be thus is mov'd;
For women sure were made to be belov'd.
If beauty wanting lovers long should stay,
It like an house undwelt in would decay:
When in the heart if it have taken place
Time cannot blot, nor crooked age deface.
The adamant and beauty we discover
To be alike; for beauty draws a lover,
The adamant his iron. Do not blame
His loving then, but that which caus'd the same.
Whoso is lov'd, doth glory so to be:
The more your lovers, more your victory.
Know, if you stand on faith, most women's loathing,
'Tis but a word, a character of nothing.
Admit it somewhat, if what we call constance
Within a heart hath long time residence,
And in a woman, she becomes alone
Fair to herself, but foul to every one.
If in a man it once have taken place,
He is a fool, or dotes, or wants a face
To win a woman, and I think it be
No virtue, but a mere necessity.
Heaven's powers deny it! Swain (quoth she) have done,
Strive not to bring that in derision,
Which whosoe'er detracts in setting forth,
Doth truly derogate from his own worth.
It is a thing which heaven to all hath lent
To be their virtue's chiefest ornament:
Which whoso wants is well compar'd to these
False tables wrought by Alcibiades,
Which noted well of all were found t'have been
Most fair without but most deform'd within.
Then, shepherd, know, that I intend to be
As true to one as he is false to me.
To one? (quoth he) why so? Maids pleasure take
To see a thousand languish for their sake:
Women desire for lovers of each sort,
And why not you? Th' amorous swain for sport;
The lad that drives the greatest flock to field
Will buskins, gloves, and other fancies yield;
The gallant swain will save you from the jaws
Of ravenous bears, and from the lions' paws.
Believe what I propound; do many choose;
"The least herb in the field serves for some use."
Nothing persuaded, nor assuag'd by this,
Was fairest Marine, or her heaviness:
But pray'd the shepherd, as he e'er did hope
His silly sheep should fearless have the scope
Of all the shadows that the trees do lend,
From reynard's stealth, when Titan doth ascend,
And run his midway course, to leave her there,
And to his bleating charge again repair.
He condescended; left her by the brook,
And to the swain and's sheep himself betook.
He gone, she with herself thus'gan to sain:
Alas! poor Marine, think'st thou to attain
His love by sitting here? or can the fire
Be quench'd with wood? can we allay desire
By wanting what's desired? O that breath,
The cause of life, should be the cause of death!
That who is shipwreck'd on love's hidden shelf,
Doth live to others, dies unto herself.
Why might not I attempt by death as yet
To gain that freedom which I could not get,
Being hinder'd heretofore? A time as free,
A place as fit offers itself to me,
Whose seed of ill is grown to such a height,
That makes the earth groan to support his weight.
Whoso is lull'd asleep with Midas' treasures,
And only fears by death to lose life's pleasures;
Let them fear death: but since my fault is such,
And only fault, that I have lov'd too much,
On joys of life why should I stand? For those
Which I ne'er had I surely cannot lose.
Admit a while I to these thoughts consented,
"Death can be but deferred, not prevented."
Then raging with delay, her tears that fell
Usher'd her way, and she into a well
Straightways leapt after. "O! how desperation
Attends upon the mind enthrall'd to passion!"
The fall of her did make the god below,
Starting, to wonder whence that noise should grow;
Whether some ruder clown in spite did fling
A lamb, untimely fall'n, into his spring:
And if it were, he solemnly then swore
His spring should flow some other way: no more
Should it in wanton manner e'er be seen
To writhe in knots, or give a gown of green
Unto their meadows, nor be seen to play,
Nor drive the rushy mills that in his way
The shepherds made; but rather for their lot,
Send them red waters that their sheep should rot;
And with such moorish springs embrace their field,
That it should nought but moss and rushes yield.
Upon each hillock, where the merry boy
Sits piping in the shades his notes of joy,
He'd show his anger by some flood at hand,
And turn the same into a running sand.
Upon the oak,; the plum-tree, and the holm,
The stock-dove and the blackbird should not come,
Whose muting on those trees do make to grow
Rots-curing hyphear, and the mistletoe.
Nor shall this help their sheep, whose stomach fails,
By tying knots of wool near to their tails:
But as the place next to the knot doth die,
So shall it all the body mortify.
Thus spake the god: but when as in the water
The corps came sinking down, he spied the matter,
And catching softly in his arms the maid,
He brought her up, and having gently laid
Her on his bank, did presently command
Those waters in her to come forth: at hand
They straight came gushing out, and did contest
Which chiefly should obey their god's behest.
This done, her then pale lips he straight held ope,
And from his silver hair let fall a drop
Into her mouth of such an excellence,
That call'd back life which griev'd to part from thence,
Being for troth assur'd that than this one,
She ne'er possess'd a fairer mansion.
Then did the god her body forwards steep,
And cast her for a while into a sleep;
Sitting still by her did his full view take
Of Nature's masterpiece. Here for her sake,
My pipe in silence as of right shall mourn,
Till from the wat'ring we again return.





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