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Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
That might delight him more, yet he suspected
Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
Therefore unto his body hers he clung:
She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
Striv'd with redoubled strength; the more she striv'd,
The more a gentle pleasing heat reviv'd,
Which taught him all that elder lovers know ;
And now the same gan go to scorch and glow,
As in plain terms, yet cunningly, he crave it:
Love always makes those eloquent that have it.
She, with a kind of granting, put him by it,
And ever, as he thought himself most nigh it,
Like to the tree of Tantalus, she fled,
And, seeming lavish, sav'd her maidenhead.
Ne'er king more sought to keep his diadem,
Than Hero this inestimable gem :
Above our life we love a steadfast friend;
Yet when a token of great worth we send,
We often kiss it, often look thereon,
And stay the messenger that would be gone ;
No marvel, then, though Hero would not yield
So soon to part from that she dearly held :
Jewels being lost are found again ; this never ;
"Tis lost but once, and once lost, lost for ever.

Now had the Morn espied her lover's steeds ;
Whereat she starts, puts on her purple weeds,
And, red for anger that he stay'd so long,
All headlong throws herself the clouds among.

And now Leander, fearing to be miss'd,
Embrac'd her suddenly, took leave, and kiss'd :
Long was he taking leave, and loath to go,
And kiss'd again, as lovers use to do.
Sad Hero wrung him by the hand, and wept,
Saying, “Let your vows and promises be kept :
Then standing at the door, she turned about,
As loath to see Leander going out.
And now the sun that through th' horizon peeps,
As pitying these lovers, downward creeps ;
So that in silence of the cloudy night,
Though it was morning, did he take his flight.
But what the secret trusty night conceal'd,
Leander's amorous habit soon reveal'd :
With Cupid's myrtle was his bonnet crown'd,
About his arms the purple riband wound,
Wherewith she wreath'd her largely-spreading hair ;
Nor could the youth abstain, but he must wear
The sacred ring wherewith she was endow'd,
When first religious chastity she vow'd ;
Which made his love through Sestos to be known,
And thence unto Abydos sooner blown
Than he could sail ; for incorporeal Fame,
Whose weight consists in nothing but her name,
Is swifter than the wind, whose tardy plumes
Are reeking water and dull earthly fumes.

Home when he came, he seem'd not to be there,
But, like exiled air, thrust from his sphere,
Set in a foreign place; and straight from thence,

Alcides-like, by mighty violence,
He would have chas'd away the swelling main,
That him from her unjustly did detain.
Like as the sun in a diameter
Fires and inflames objects removed far,
And heateth kindly, shining laterally ;
So beauty sweetly quickens when 'tis nigh,
But being separated and remov'd,
Burns where it cherish'd, murders where it lov'd.
Therefore even as an index to a book,
So to his mind was young Leander's look.
Oh, none but gods have power their love to hide !
Affection by the countenance is descried ;
The light of hidden fire itself discovers,
And love that is conceal'd betrays poor lovers.
His secret flame apparently was seen :
Leander's father knew where he had been,
And for the same mildly rebuk'd his son,
Thinking to quench the sparkles new-begun,
But love resisted once, grows passionate,
And nothing more than counsel lovers hate;
For as a hot proud horse highly disdains
To have his head controll’d, but breaks the reins,
Spits forth the ringled bit, and with his hoves
Checks the submissive ground ; so he that loves,
The more he is restrained, the worse he fares :
What is it now but mad Leander dares ?
“O Hero, Hero !” thus he cried full oft ;
And then he got him to a rock aloft,

Where having spied her tower, long star'd he on't,
And pray'd the narrow toiling Hellespont
To part in twain, that he might come and go ;
But still the rising billows answer'd, "No."
With that, he stripp'd him to the ivory skin,
And, crying “Love, I come,” leap'd lively in :
Whereat the sapphire-visag'd god grew proud,
And made his capering Triton sound aloud,
Imagining that Ganymede, displeas'd,
Had left the heavens ; therefore on him he seized.
Leander striv'd; the waves about him wound,
And pull’d him to the bottom, where the ground
Was strew'd with pearl, and in low coral groves
Sweet-singing mermaids sported with their loves
On heaps of heavy gold, and took great pleasure
To spurn in careless sort the shipwreck treasure ;
For here the stately azure palace stood,
Where kingly Neptune and his train abode.
The lusty god embrac'd him, call’d him “ love,”
And swore he never should return to Jove :
But when he knew it was not Ganymed,
For under water he was almost dead,
He heav'd him up, and, looking on his face,
Beat down the bold waves with his triple mace,
Which mounted up, intending to have kiss'd him,
And fell in drops like tears because they miss'd him.
Leander, being up, began to swim,
And, looking back, saw Neptune follow him :
Whereat, aghast, the poor soul gan to cry,

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"O, let me visit Hero ere I die!”
The god put Helle's bracelet on his arm,
And swore the sea should never do him harm.
He clapp'd his plump cheeks, with his tresses play'd,
And, smiling wantonly, his love bewray'd ;
He watched his arms, and, as they open'd wide
At every stroke, betwixt them would he slide,
And steal a kiss, and then run out and dance,
And, as he turn'd, cast many a lustful glance,
And throw him gaudy toys to please his eye,
And dive into the water, and there pry
Upon his breast, his thighs, and every limb,
And up again, and close beside him swim,
And talk of love. Leander made reply,
“ You are deceiv'd ; I am no woman, I.”
Thereat smil'd Neptune, and then told a tale,
How that a shepherd, sitting in a vale,
Play'd with a boy so lovely-fair and kind,
As for his love both earth and heaven pin'd;
That of the cooling river durst not drink,
Lest water nymphs should pull him from the brink ;
And when he sported in the fragrant lawns,
Goat-footed Satyrs and up-staring Fauns
Would steal him thence. Ere half this tale was done,

'Ay me,” Leander cried, “th' enamour'd sun,
That now should shine on Thetis' glassy bower,
Descends upon my radiant Hero's tower :
O, that these tardy arms of mine were wings !"
And, as he spake, upon the waves he springs.

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