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Her shriek, made with another shriek ascend
The frighted matron that on her did tend:
And as with her own cry her sense was slain,
So with the other it was call'd again.
She rose and to her bed made forced way,
And laid her down e'en where Leander lay:
And all this while the red sea of her blood
Ebb'd with Leander: but now turn'd the flood,
And all her fleet of spirits came swelling in,
With crowd" of sail, and did hot fight begin
With those severe conceits, she too much mark'd,
And here Leander's beauties were embark'd.
He came in swimming, painted all with joys,
Such as might sweeten hell: his thought destroys
All her destroying thoughts: she thought she felt
His heart in hers: with her contentions melt,
And chide her soul that it could so much err,
To check the true joys he deserv'd in her.
Her fresh heat blood cast figures in her eyes,
And she suppos'd she saw in Neptune's skies
How her star wander'd, wash'd in smarting brine
For her love's sake, that with immortal wine
Should be embath'd, and swim in more heart's-ease,
Than there was water in the Sestian seas.
Then said her Cupid-prompted spirit, “Shall I
Sing moans to such delightsome harmony?
Shall slick-tongued Fame patch'd up with voices rude,
The drunken bastard of the multitude,
Begot when father Judgment is away,
And gossip-like, says, because others say,
Takes news as if it were too hot to eat,
And spits it slavering forth for dog-fees meat
Make me for forging a fantastic vow,
Presume to bear what makes grave matrons bow 2
Good vows are never broken with good deeds,
For then good deeds were bad: vows are but seeds,
Andgood deeds fruits; even those good deeds that grow
From other stocks than from th’ observed vow.
That is a good deed that prevents a bad:
Had I not yielded, slain myself I had.
Hero Leander is, Leander Hero:
Such virtue love hath to make one of two.
If then Leander did my maidenhead get,
Leander being myself, I still retain it:
We break chaste vows when we live loosely ever,
But bound as we are, we live loosely never.
Two constant lovers being join'd in one,
Yielding to one another, yield to none. -
We know not how to vow, till love unblind us,
And vows made ignorantly never bind us;–
Too true it is, that when 'tis gone men hate
The joys as vain they took in love's estate:
But that's since they have lost the heavenly light,
Should show them way to judge of all things right.
When life is gone, death must implant his terror,
As death is foe to life, so love to error.
Before we love, how range we through this sphere,
Searching the sundry fancies hunted here!
Now with desire of wealth transported quite
Beyond our free humanity's delight:
Now with ambition climbing falling towers,
Whose hope to scale, our fear to fall devours:
Now rapt with pastimes, pomp, all joys impure;
In things without us, no delight is sure.
But love, with all joys crown'd, within doth sit;
O goddess, pity love, and pardon it!”
Thus spake she weeping : but her goddess' ear
Burn'd with too stern a heat, and would not hear.
Ayeme! hath heaven's straight fingers no more graces,
For such a Hero, than for homeliest faces 2
Yet she hop'd well, and in her sweet conceit
Weighing her arguments, she thought them weight:
And that the logic of Leander's beauty,
And them together, would bring proofs of duty.
And if her soul, that was a skilful glance
Of Heaven's great essence, found such imperance
In her love's beauties, she had confidence
Jove lov'd him too, and pardon'd her offence,
Beauty in heaven and earth this grace doth win,
It supples rigour, and it lessens sin.
Thus, her sharp wit, her love, her secrecy,
Trooping together, made her wonder why
She should not leave her bed, and to the temple;
Her health, said she must live; her sex, dissemble.
She view'd Leander's place, and wished he were
Turn'd to his place, so his place were Leander.
“Aye me!” said she, “that love's sweetlife and sense
Should do it harm my Love had not gone hence,
WOL. II. 24
Had he been like his place. O blessed place!
Image of constancy! Thus my love's grace
Parts no where, but it leaves something behind
Worth observation: he renowns his kind.
His motion is like Heaven's, orbicular:
For where he once is, he is ever there.
This place was mine; Leander, now 'tis thine,
Thou being myself-then it is double mine:
Mine, and Leander's mine, Leander's mine.
O, see what wealth it yields me, nay, yields him:
For I am in it, he for me doth swim.
Rich, fruitful love, that doubling self estates
Elixir-like contracts, though separates.
Dear place I kiss thee, and do welcome thee,
As from Leander ever sent to me.”