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Sir Thomas and your selfe) hath reioynd you with him, my honoured best friend, whose continuance of ancient kindnes to my still-obscured estate, though it cannot encrease my loue to him, which hath euer been entirely circulare; yet shall it encourage my deserts to their vtmost requitall, and make my hartie gratitude speake; to which the unhappines of my life hath hetherto been uncomfortable and painfull dumbnes.
By your Ladiships vowd in
most wished seruice :
Leander to the enuious light
Resignes his night-sports with the night,
And swims the Hellespont againe ;
Thesme the Deitie soueraigne
Of Customes and religious rites
Appeares, reprouing his delites
Since Nuptiall honors he neglected;
Which straight he vowes shall be effected.
Faire Hero left Deuirginate
Waies, and with furie wailes her state:
But with her loue and womans wit
She argues, and approueth it.
New light giues new directions, Fortunes new
To fashion our indeuours that ensue,
More harsh (at lest more hard) more graue and hie
Our subiect runs, and our sterne Muse must flie.
Loues edge is taken off, and that light flame,
Those thoughts, ioyes, longings, that before became
High vnexperienst blood, and maids sharpe plights
Must now grow staid, and censure the delights,
That being enioyd aske iudgement; now we praise,
As hauing parted: Euenings crowne the daies.
And now ye wanton loues, and yong desires,
Pied vanitie, the mint of strange Attires;
Ye lisping Flatteries, and obsequious Glances,
Relentfull Musicks, and attractiue Dances,
And you detested Charmes constraining loue,
Shun loues stolne sports by that these Louers proue.
By this the Soueraigne of Heauens golden fires,
And yong Leander, Lord of his desires,
Together from their louers armes arose :
Leander into Hellespontus throwes
His Hero-handled bodie, whose delight
Made him disdaine each other Epethite.
And as amidst the enamourd waues he swims,
The God of gold of purpose guilt his lims,
That this word guilt, including double sence,
The double guilt of his Incontinence,
Argument. 6 reproving Dyce etc.: improuing Qq
since the Might be exprest, that had no stay t'employ
vertue of The treasure which the Loue-god let him ioy
his beams In his deare Hero, with such sacred thrift,
As had beseemd so sanctified a gift:
But like a greedie vulgar Prodigall
Would on the stock dispend, and rudely fall
Before his time, to that vnblessed blessing,
Which for lusts plague doth perish with possessing.
Joy grauen in sence, like snow in water wasts;
Without preserue of vertue nothing lasts.
What man is he that with a welthie eie
Enioyes a beautie richer than the skie,
Through whose white skin, softer then soundest sleep,
With damaske eyes, the rubie blood doth peep,
And runs in branches through her azure vaines,
Whose mixture and first fire, his loue attaines ;
Whose both hands limit both Loues deities,
And sweeten humane thoughts like Paradise ;
Whose disposition silken is and kinde,
Directed with an earth-exempted minde;
Who thinks not heauen with such a loue is giuen?
And who like earth would spend that dower of heauen,
With ranke desire to ioy it all at first?
What simply kils our hunger, quencheth thirst,
Clothes but our nakednes, and makes vs liue,
Praise doth not any of her fauours giue:
Beautious apparell and delicious cheere,
But what doth plentifully minister
So orderd that it still excites desire,
And still giues pleasure freenes to aspire
The palme of Bountie, euer moyst preseruing:
To loues sweet life this is the courtly caruing.
Thus Time, and all-states-ordering Ceremonie
Had banisht all offence: Times golden Thie
Vpholds the flowrie bodie of the earth
In sacred harmonie, and euery birth
Of men, and actions makes legitimate,
Being vsde aright; The vse of time is Fate.
Yet did the gentle flood transfer once more
This prize of Loue home to his fathers shore:
Where he vnlades himselfe of that false welth
That makes few rich, treasures composde by stelth:
And to his sister kinde Hermione,
(Who on the shore kneeld, praying to the sea
For his returne) he all Loues goods did show
In Hero seasde for him, in him for Hero.
His most kinde sister all his secrets knew,
And to her singing like a shower he flew,
Sprinkling the earth, that to their tombs tooke in
Streames dead for loue to leaue his iuorie skin,
Which yet a snowie fome did leaue aboue,
As soule to the dead water that did loue;
And from thence did the first white Roses spring,
(For loue is sweet and faire in euery thing)
And all the sweetned shore as he did goe,
Was crownd with odrous roses white as snow.
Loue-blest Leander was with loue so filled,
That loue to all that toucht him he instilled.
And as the colours of all things we sec,
To our sights powers communicated bee:
So to all obiects that in compasse came
Of any sence he had, his sences flame
Flowd from his parts with force so virtuall,
It fir'd with sence things weere insensuall.
Now (with warme baths and odours comforted)
When he lay downe he kindly kist his bed,
As consecrating it to Heros right,
And vowd thereafter that what euer sight
Put him in minde of Hero, or her blisse,
Should be her Altar to prefer a kisse.
Then laid he forth his late inriched armes,
In whose white circle Loue writ all his charmes,
And made his characters sweet Heros lims,
When on his breasts warme sea she sideling swims.
And as those armes (held vp in circle) met,
He said: See sister Heros Carquenet,
Which she had rather weare about her neck,
Then all the iewels that doth Iuno deck.
But as he shooke with passionate desire,
To put in flame his other secret fire,
A musick so diuine did pierce his eare,
As neuer yet his rauisht sence did heare:
When suddenly a light of twentie hews
Brake through the roofe, and like the Rainbow views
Amazd Leander; in whose beames came downe
The Goddesse Ceremonie, with a Crowne
Of all the stars, and heauen with her descended.
Her flaming haire to her bright feete extended,
By which hung all the bench of Deities;
And in a chaine, compact of eares and eies,
She led Religion; all her bodie was
Cleere and transparent as the purest glasse :
For she was all presented to the sence;
Deuotion, Order, State, and Reuerence
Her shadowes were; Societie, Memorie ;
All which her sight made liue, her absence die.
A rich disparent Pentackle she weares,
Drawne full of circles and strange characters:
Her face was changeable to euerie eie;
One way lookt ill, another graciouslie;
Which while men viewd, they cheerfull were & holy :
But looking off, vicious and melancholy:
The snakie paths to each obserued law
Did Policie in her broad bosome draw:
One hand a Mathematique Christall swayes,
Which gathering in one line a thousand rayes
From her bright eyes, Confusion burnes to death,
And all estates of men distinguisheth.
By it Morallitie and Comelinesse
Themselues in all their sightly figures dresse.
Her other hand a lawrell rod applies,
To beate back Barbarisme, and Auarice,
That followd eating earth, and excrement
And humane lims; and would make proud ascent
To seates of Gods, were Ceremonie slaine;
The Howrs and Graces bore her glorious traine,
And all the sweetes of our societie
Were Spherde, and treasurde in her bountious eie.
Thus she appeard, and sharply did reproue
Leanders bluntnes in his violent loue;
Tolde him how poore was substance without rites,
Like bils vnsignd, desires without delites;
Like meates vnseasond; like ranke corne that growes
On Cottages, that none or reapes or sowes :
Not being with ciuill forms confirm'd and bounded,
For humane dignities and comforts founded:
But loose and secret all their glories hide,
Feare fils the chamber, darknes decks the Bride.
She vanisht, leauing pierst Leanders hart
With sence of his vnceremonious part,
In which with plaine neglect of Nuptiall rites,
He close and flatly fell to his delites:
And instantly he vowd to celebrate
All rites pertaining to his maried state.
So vp he gets and to his father goes,
To whose glad eares he doth his vowes disclose :
The Nuptials are resolu'd with vtmost powre,
And he at night would swim to Heros towrc.
From whence he ment to Sestus forked Bay
To bring her couertly, where ships must stay,
Sent by her father throughly rigd and mand,
To waft her safely to Abydus Strand.
There leaue we him, and with fresh wing pursue
Astonisht Hero, whose most wished view
I thus long haue forborne, because I left her
So out of countnance, and her spirits bereft her.
To looke of one abasht is impudence,
When of sleight faults he hath too deepe a sence.