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First, gold-lock'd Hymen did to Church repair
Like a quick offering burn'd in flames of hair;
And after, with a virgin firmament

The Godhead-proving bride attended went
Before them all: she look'd in her command,
As if form-giving Cypria's silver hand

Gripp'd all their beauties, and crushed out one flame;
She blush'd to see how beauty overcame

The thoughts of all men. Next, before her went

Five lovely children, deck'd with ornament

Of her sweet colours, bearing Torches by;
For light was held a happy Augury
Of generation, whose efficient right
Is nothing else but to produce to light.
The odd disparent number they did choose,
To show the union married loves should use,
Since in two equal parts it will not sever,
But the midst holds one to rejoin it ever,
As common to both parts: men therefore deem
That equal number Gods do not esteem,
Being authors of sweet peace and unity,
But pleasing to th' infernal Empery,
Under whose ensigns Wars and Discords fight,
Since an even number you may disunite
In two parts equal, naught in middle left
To reunite each part from other reft;
And five they hold in most especial prize,
Since 'tis the first odd number that doth rise
From the two foremost numbers' unity,

That odd and even are; which are two and three;
For one no number is; but thence doth flow
The powerful race of number. Next, did go
A noble Matron, that did spinning bear
A huswife's rock and spindle, and did wear
A wether's skin, with all the snowy fleece,

To intimate that even the daintiest piece
And noblest-born dame should industrious be:
That which does good disgraceth no degree.

And now to Juno's temple they are come,
Where her grave Priest stood in the marriage-room:
On his right arm did hang a scarlet veil,

And from his shoulders to the ground did trail,
On either side, ribands of white and blue:
With the red veil he hid the bashful hue
Of the chaste Bride, to show the modest shame,
In coupling with a man, should grace a dame.
Then took he the disparent silks, and tied
The lovers by the waists, and side to side,
In token that hereafter they must bind
In one self sacred knot each other's mind.
Before them on an altar he presented
Both fire and water, which was first invented,
Since to ingenerate every human creature,
And every other birth produc'd by Nature,
Moisture and heat must mix; so man and wife
For human race must join in nuptial life.
Then one of Juno's birds, the painted jay,
He sacrific'd, and took the gall away;
All which he did behind the Altar throw,
In sign no bitterness of hate should grow
'Twixt married loves, nor any least disdain.
Nothing they spake, for 'twas esteem'd too plain
For the most silken mildness of a maid,
To let a public audience hear it said
She boldly took the man; and so respected
Was bashfulness in Athens, it erected

To chaste Agneia, which is Shamefacedness,
A sacred temple, holding her a goddess.

And now to Feasts, Masks, and triumphant shows,
The shining troops return'd, even till earth-throes

Brought forth with joy the thickest part of night,
When the sweet nuptial song, that us'd to cite
All to their rest, was by Phemon sung,
First Delphian prophetess, whose graces sprung
Out of the Muses' well: she sung before
The bride into her chamber; at which door
A Matron and a Torch-bearer did stand;
A painted box of confits in her hand
The Matron held, and so did other some
That compass'd round the honour'd nuptial room.
The custom was that every maid did wear,
During her maidenhead, a silken Sphere
About her waist, above her inmost weed,
Knit with Minerva's knot, and that was freed
By the fair Bridegroom on the marriage-night,
With many ceremonies of delight:

And yet eternis'd Hymen's tender bride,
To suffer it dissolv'd so, sweetly cried.

The maids that heard, so lov'd and did adore her,
They wish'd with all their hearts to suffer for her.
So had the matrons, that with confits stood
About the chamber, such affectionate blood,
And so true feeling of her harmless pains,
That every one a shower of confits rains;

For which the bride-youths scrambling on the ground,
In noise of that sweet hail her cries were drown'd.
And thus blest Hymen joy'd his gracious bride,
And for his joy was after deified.

The saffron mirror by which Phoebus' love,
Green Tellus, decks her, now he held above
The cloudy mountains: and the noble maid,
Sharp-visag'd Adolesche, that was stray'd
Out of her way, in hasting with her news,
Not till this hour th' Athenian turrets views;
And now brought home by guides, she heard by all,

That her long kept occurrents would be stale,
And how fair Hymen's honours did excel
For those rare news which she came short to tell.
To hear her dear tongue robb'd of such a joy,
Made the well-spoken Nymph take such a toy,
That down she sunk: when lightning from above
Shrunk her lean body, and, for mere free love,
Turn'd her into the pied-plum'd Psittacus,
That now the Parrot is surnam'd by us,
Who still with counterfeit confusion prates
Naught but news common to the common'st mates.-
This told, strange Teras touch'd her lute, and sung
This ditty, that the Torchy evening sprung.

Epithalamion Teratos.

Come, come, dear Night! Love's Mart of kisses,
Sweet close of his ambitious line,
The fruitful summer of his blisses!
Love's glory doth in darkness shine.
O, come, soft rest of cares! come, Night!
Come, naked virtue's only tire,
The reaped harvest of the light,
Bound up in sheaves of sacred fire!
Love calls to war;
Sighs his alarms,
Lips his swords are,

The field his arms.

Come, Night, and lay thy velvet hand
On glorious Day's outfacing face;
And all thy crowned flames command
For torches to our nuptial grace!
Love calls to war;
Sighs his alarms,
Lips his swords are,
The fields his arms.

No need have we of factious Day,
To cast in envy of thy peace
Her balls of Discord in thy way:
Here Beauty's day doth never cease;
Day is abstracted here,

And varied in a triple sphere.

Hero, Alcmane, Mya, so outshine thee,

Ere thou come here, let Thetis thrice refine thee.
Love calls to war;

Sighs his alarms,

Lips his swords are,

The field his arms.

The Evening Star I see:

Rise, youths! the Evening Star

Helps Love to summon war;

Both now embracing be.

Rise, youths! Love's rite claims more than banquets, rise!

Now the bright Marigolds, that deck the skies,
Phoebus' celestial flowers, that (contrary
To his flowers here) ope when he shuts his eye,
And shut when he doth open, crown your sports:
Now Love in Night, and Night in Love exhorts
Courtship and dances: all your parts employ,
And suit Night's rich expansure with your joy.
Love paints his longings in sweet virgin's eyes:
Rise, youths! Love's rite claims more than banquets,


Rise, virgins! let fair nuptial loves enfold
Your fruitless breasts: the maidenheads
Are not your own alone, but parted are;
Part in disposing them your Parents share,
And that a third part is; so must ye save


Your loves a third, and you your thirds must have. Love paints his longings in sweet virgins' eyes:

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