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And in his fort of loue that he thought won,
But otherwise, he skornes comparison.
O sweet Leander, thy large worth I hide
In a short graue; ill fauourd stormes must chide
Thy sacred fauour; I, in floods of inck
Must drowne thy graces, which white papers drink,
Euen as thy beauties did the foule black Seas:
I must describe the hell of thy disease,
That heauen did merit: yet I needes must see
Our painted fooles and cockhorse Pessantrie
Still still vsurp, with long liues, loues, and lust,
The seates of vertue, cutting short as dust
Her deare bought issue; ill to worse conuerts,
And tramples in the blood of all deserts.
Night close and silent now goes fast before
The Captaines and their souldiers to the shore,
On whom attended the appointed Fleete
At Sestus Bay, that should Leander meete,
Who fainde he in another ship would passe
Which must not be, for no one meane there was
To get his loue home, but the course he tooke.
Forth did his beautie for his beautie looke,
And saw her through her Torch, as you beholde
Sometimes within the Sunne a face of golde,
Form'd in strong thoughts, by that traditions force,
That saies a God sits there and guides his course.
His sister was with him, to whom he shewd
His guide by Sea: and sayd: Oft haue you viewd
In one heauen many starres, but neuer yet
In one starre many heauens till now were met.
See louely sister, see, now Hero shines
No heauen but her appeares: each star repines,
And all are clad in clowdes, as if they mournd,
To be by influence of Earth out-burnd.
Yet doth she shine, and teacheth vertues traine,
Still to be constant in Hels blackest raigne,
Though euen the gods themselues do so entreat them
As they did hate, and Earth as she would eate them.
Off went his silken robe, and in he leapt ;
Whom the kinde waues so licorously cleapt,
Thickning for haste one in another so,
To kisse his skin, that he might almost go
To Heros Towre, had that kind minuit lasted.
But now the cruell fates with Ate hasted
To all the windes, and made them battaile fight
Vpon the Hellespont, for eithers right
Pretended to the windie monarchie.
And forth they brake, the Seas mixt with the skie,
And tost distrest Leander, being in hell,
As high as heauen; Blisse not in height doth dwell.
The Destinies sate dancing on the waues,
To see the glorious windes with mutuall braues
Consume each other: O true glasse to see,
How ruinous ambitious Statists bee
To their owne glories! Poore Leander cried
For help to Sea-borne Venus; she denied:
To Boreas, that for his Atthaas sake,
He would some pittie on his Hero take,
And for his owne loues sake, on his desires :
But Glorie neuer blowes cold Pitties fires.
Then calde he Neptune, who through all the noise
Knew with affright his wrackt Leanders voice :
And vp he rose, for haste his forehead hit
Gainst heauens hard Christall; his proud waues he smit
With his forkt scepter, that could not obay,
Much greater powers then Neptunes gaue them sway,
They lou'd Leander So, in groanes they brake
When they came neere him; and such space
Twixt one another, loth to issue on,
That in their shallow furrowes earth was shone,
And the poore louer tooke a little breath :
But the curst Fates sate spinning of his death
On euery waue, and with the seruile windes
Tumbled them on him: And now Hero findes
By that she felt her deare Leanders State,
She wept and prayed for him to euery fate,
And euery winde that whipt her with her haire
About the face she kist and spake it faire,
Kneeld to it, it drinke out of her eyes
To quench his thirst: but still their cruelties
poore Torch enuied, and rudely beate
The bating flame from that deare foode it eate :
Deare, for it nourisht her Leanders life,
Which with her robe she rescude from their strife:
But silke too soft was, such hard hearts to breake,
And she deare soule, euen as her silke, faint, weake,
Could not preserue it : out, O out it went.
Leander still cald Neptune, that now rent
His brackish curles, and tore his wrinckled face
Where teares in billowes did each other chace,
And (burst with ruth) he hurld his marble Mace
At the sterne Fates: it wounded Lachesis
That drew Leanders thread, and could not misse
The thread it selfe, as it her hand did hit,
But smote it full and quite did sunder it.
The more kinde Neptune rag'd, the more he raste
His loues liues fort, and kild as he embraste.
Anger doth still his owne mishap encrease;
If any comfort liue, it is in peace.
O theeuish Fates, to let Blood, Flesh, and Sence,
Build two fayre Temples for their Excellence,
To rob it with a poysoned influence.
Though soules gifts starue, the bodies are held deare
In vgliest things; Sence-sport preserues a Beare.
But here nought serues our turnes; O heauen & earth,
How most most wretched is our humane birth?
And now did all the tyrannous crew depart,
Knowing there was a storme in Heros hart,
Greater then they could make, & skornd their smart.
She bowd her selfe so low out of her Towre,
That wonder twas she fell not ere her howre,
With searching the lamenting waues for him;
Like a poore Snayle, her gentle supple lim
Hung on her Turrets top so most downe right,
As she would diue beneath the darknes quite,
To finde her lewell; Iewell, her Leander,
A name of all earths Iewels pleasde not her,
Like his deare name; Leander, still my choice,
Come nought but my Leander; O my voice
Turne to Leander: hence-forth be all sounds
Accents, and phrases that shew all griefes wounds,
Analisde in Leander. O black change!
with thunder of your clange, Driue out this changes horror, my voyce faints : Where all ioy was, now shrieke out all complaints.
Thus cryed she, for her mixed soule could tell
Her loue was dead: And when the morning fell
Prostrate vpon the weeping earth for woe,
Blushes that bled out of her cheekes did show
Leander brought by Neptune, brusde and torne,
With Citties ruines he to Rocks had worne,
To filthie vsering Rocks that would haue blood,
Though they could get of him no other good.
She saw him, and the sight was much much more,
Then might haue seru'd to kill her; should her store