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The Epistle Dedicatorie.
should chance to come abroad, that the first breath it should take might be the gentle aire of your liking: for since his selfe had been accustomed therunto, it would proue more agreeable and thriuing to his right children, than any other foster countenance whatsoeuer. At this time seeing that this unfinished Tragedy happens vnder my hands to be imprinted; of a double duty, the one to your selfe, the other to the deceased, J present the same to your most fauourable allowance, offering my utmost selfe now and euer to
be readie, at your VVorships
Hero and Leander
THE ARGVMENT OF THE
Heros description and her Loues,
The Phane of Venus; where he moues
His worthie Loue-suite, and attaines ;
VV bose blisse the wrath of Fates restraines,
For Cupids grace to Mercurie,
VV bich tale the Author doth implie.
N Hellespont guiltie of True loues blood,
In view and opposit two citties stood,
Seaborderers, disioin'd by Neptunes might:
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos, Hero dwelt; Hero the faire,
Whom young Apollo courted for her haire,
And offred as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit for men to gaze vpon.
The outside of her garments were of lawne,
The lining purple silke, with guilte starres drawne,
Her wide sleeues greene, and bordered with a groue,
Where Venus in her naked glory stroue,
To please the carelesse and disdainfull eies
Of proude Adonis that before her lies.
Her kirtle blew, whereon was many a staine,
Made with the blood of wretched Louers slaine.
Vpon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,
From whence her vaile reacht to the ground beneath.
Her vaile was artificiall flowers and leaues,
Whose workmanship both man and beast deceaues.
Many would praise the sweete smell as she past,
When t'was the odour which her breath forth cast;
And there for honie, Bees haue sought in vaine,
And beat from thence, haue lighted there againe.
About her necke hung chaines of peble stone,
Which lightned by her necke, like Diamonds shone.
She ware no gloues, for neither sunne nor winde
Would burne or parch her hands, but to her minde,
Or warme or coole them, for they tooke delite
To play vpon those hands, they were so white.
Buskins of shels all siluered, vsed she,
And brancht with blushing corall to the knee;
Where sparrowes pearcht, of hollow pearle and gold,
Such as the world would woonder to behold:
Those with sweete water oft her handmaid fils,
Which as she went would cherupe through the bils.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pyn'd,
And looking in her face, was strooken blind.
But this is true, so like was one the other,
As he imagyn'd Hero was his mother.
And oftentimes into her bosome flew,
About her naked necke his bare armes threw,
And laid his childish head vpon her brest,
And with still panting rockt, there tooke his rest.
So louely faire was Hero, Venus Nun,
As nature wept, thinking she was vndone;
Because she tooke more from her than she left,
And of such wondrous beautie her bereft :
Therefore in signe her treasure suffred wracke,
Since Heroes time, hath halfe the world been blacke.
Amorous Leander, beautifull and yoong,
(Whose tragedie diuine Musaus soong)
Dwelt at Abydus; since him, dwelt there none,
For whom succeeding times make greater mone.
His dangling tresses that were neuer shorne,
Had they beene cut, and vnto Colchos borne,
Would haue allur'd the vent'rous youth of Greece,
To hazard more, than for the golden Fleece.
Faire Cynthia wisht, his armes might be her spheare,
Greefe makes her pale, because she mooues not there.
His bodie was as straight as Circes wand,
Ioue might haue sipt out Nectar from his hand.
Euen as delicious meate is to the tast,
So was his necke in touching, and surpast
The white of Pelops shoulder, I could tell ye,
How smooth his brest was, & how white his bellie,
And whose immortall fingers did imprint,
That heauenly path, with many a curious dint,
That runs along his backe, but my rude pen,
Can hardly blazon forth the loues of men,
Much lesse of powerfull gods: let it suffise,
That my slacke muse, sings of Leanders eies,
Those orient cheekes and lippes, exceeding his
That leapt into the water for a kis
Of his owne shadow, and despising many,
Died ere he could enioy the loue of any.
Had wilde Hippolitus Leander seene,
Enamoured of his beautie had he beene,
presence made the rudest paisant melt, That in the vast vplandish countrie dwelt,
The barbarous Thracian souldier moou'd with nought, Was moou'd with him, and for his fauour sought.
Some swore he was a maide in mans attire,
For in his lookes were all that men desire,
A pleasant smiling cheeke, a speaking eie,
A brow for loue to banquet royallie,
And such as knew he was a man would say,
Leander, thou art made for amorous play:
Why art thou not in loue, and lou'd of all?
Though thou be faire, yet be not thine owne thrall.
The men of wealthie Sestos, euery yeare,
(For his sake whom their goddesse held so deare,