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His brackish curls, and tore his wrinkled face,
Where tears in billows did each other chase,
And burst with ruth;—he hurl'd his marble mace
At the stern Fates; it wounded Lachesis
That drew Leander's thread, and could not miss
The thread itself, as it her hand did hit,
But smote it full, and quite did sunder it.
The more kind Neptune rag'd, the more he rased
His love's life's fort, and kill'd as he embraced.
Anger doth still his own mishap increase ;
If any comfort live, it is in peace.
O thievish Fates, to let blood, flesh, and sense,
Build two fair temples for their excellence,
To rob it with a poison'd influence.
Though souls' gifts starve, the bodies are held dear
In ugliest things; sence-sport preserves a bear,
But here nought serves our turns: O Heaven and earth,
How most most wretched is our human birth!—
And now did all the tyrannous crew depart,
Knowing there was a storm in Hero's heart,
Greater than they could make, and scorn'd their
She bow'd herself so low out of her tower,
That wonder 'twas she fell not ere her hour,
With searching the lamenting waves for him;
Like a poor snail, her gentle supple limb
Hung on her turret's top, so most downright,
As she would dive beneath the darkness quite,
To find her jewel:-jewel!-her Leander,
A name of all earth's jewels pleas'd not her
Like his dear name; “Leander, still my choice,
Come nought but my Leander: O, my voice,
Turn to Leander! Henceforth be all sounds,
Accents, and phrases, that show all griefs' wounds,
Analiz'd in Leander. O black change!
Trumpets, do you with thunder of your clange,
Drive out this change's horror-my voice faints:
Where all joy was, now shriek out all complaints."
Thus cried she; for her mix'd soul could tell
Her love was dead: and when the morning fell
Prostrate upon the weeping earth for woe,
Blushes, that bled out of her cheeks, did show,
Leander brought by Neptune, bruis'd and torn,
With cities' ruins he to rocks had worn;
To filthy usuring rocks, that would have blood,
Though they could get of him no other good.
She saw him, and the sight was much, much more
Than might have serv'd to kill her; should her store
Of giant sorrows speak?-Burst,—die,—bleed,
And leave poor plaints to us that shall succeed.
She fell on her Love's bosom, hugg'd it fast,
And with Leander's name she breath'd her last!
Neptune for pity in his arms did take them,
Flung them into the air, and did awake them
Like two sweet birds, surnam'd th' Acanthides *,
Which we call Thistle-warps, that near no seas
Dare ever come, but still in couples fly,
And feed on thistle tops, to testify
The hardness of their first life in their last;
The first, in thorns of love, that sorrows past:
And so most beautiful their colours show,
As none (so little) like them; her sad brow
A sable velvet feather covers quite,
E'en like the forehead cloth† that in the night,
Or when they sorrow, ladies us'd to wear:
Their wings, blue, red, and yellow, mix'd appear;
Colours, that as we construe colours, paint
Their states to life;—the yellow shows their saint,
The dainty Venus, left them; blue, their truth;
The red and black, ensigns of death and ruth.
resonant et acanthida, dumi." Virg. G. iii. v. 338. The Gold-finch was formerly, as in the present instance, supposed to be the acanthis of the ancients, but Pennant gives that appellation to the Linnet; and Dryden translates the line quoted, "When linnets fill the woods with tuneful sound."
+ The forehead cloth was a bandage used to prevent wrinkles.
And this true honour from their love-death sprung, THEY WERE THE FIRST THAT EVER POET SUNG *.
* Chapman alludes to the "Hero and Leander" of Musæus the grammarian, which he here, as well as in the title to his rare translation of that poem (12mo. 1616), ascribes to the traditionary Musæus, the son of Linus. The mistake however is not to be regretted, since it produced the above most poetical close to this sweet song.
THE Editor cannot take leave of the kind, noveltycontemning reader, who has, in spite of rough and wild ways, accompanied his honoured charges and himself thus far, without a remark on the extreme and reprehensible carelessness of Mr. Malone and others, in describing this original poem as a mere translation of Musæust!
Had these accurate gentlemen ventured a step out of the bibliographer's strong hold, (the title page and colophon) and cast a glance on any one argument of the various "Sestyads," they might have felt some compunction in their papery hearts for the slight put on the illustrious manes of
C. MARLOWE AND G. CHAPMAN.
+ See divers "illustrations and obscurities" in that agglomeration of small wit, and overgrown pedantry, Reed's Shakspeare, twenty-one volumes, 8vo.!
C. Whittingham, College House, Chiswick.