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For know, that underneath this radiant flour 1
Was Danäe's statue in a brazen tower :
Jove slily stealing from his sister's bed,
To dally with Idalian Ganymed,
And for his love Europa bellowing loud,
And tumbling with the Rainbow in a cloud;
Blood-quaffing Mars heaving the iron net
Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set;
Love kindling fire, to burn such towns as Troy ;
Silvanus weeping for the lovely boy
That now is turned into a cypress-tree,
Under whose shade the wood-gods love to be.
And in the midst a silver altar stood :
There Hero, sacrificing turtles' blood,
Vailed 2 to the ground, veiling her eyelids close ;
And modestly they opened as she rose:
Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head;
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gaz'd,
Till with the fire, that from his countenance blaz'd,
Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook :
Such force and virtue hath an amorous look.
It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is ver-rul'd by fate.
When two are stript long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
Dyce quotes a passage of Harington's Orlando Furioso where "flowre” (floor) rhymes with “ towre.”
Ed. 1600 and later 4tos. “Tail'd.” For the coupling of “Vailed” with "veiling," cf. 2. Tamb. v. iii. 6. "pitch their pitchy tents."
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect :
The reason no man knows, let it suffice,
What we behold is censur'd by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight? 1
He kneelid; but unto her devoutly prayed :
Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
“Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him ;”
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near
He started up; she blushed as one asham’d;
Wherewith Leander much more was inflam’d.
He touch'd her hand; in touching it she trembled :
Love deeply grounded hardly is dissembled.
These lovers parled by the touch of hands :
True love is mute, and oft amazed stands.
Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts entangled,
The air with sparks of living fire was spangled;
And night,2 deep-drenched in misty Acheron,
Heav'd up her head, and half the world upon 190
Breath'd darkness forth (dark night is Cupid's day) :
And now begins Leander to display
Love's holy fire, with words, with sighs, and tears;
Which, like sweet music, enter'd Hero's ears;
1 This line is quoted in As you like it, iii. 5:
“Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, –
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight." 3 “A periphrasis of Night,” Marginal note in ed. 1598.
And yet at every word she turn'd aside
And always cut him off, as he replied.
At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,
With cheerful hope thus he accosted her.
“Fair creature,1 let me speak without offence :
I would my rude words had the influence
To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine!
Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine.
Be not unkind and fair; mis-shapen stuff
Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.
O, shun me not, but hear me ere you go !
God knows, I cannot force love as you do:
My words shall be as spotless as my youth,
Full of simplicity and naked truth.
This sacrifice, whose sweet perfume descending
From Venus' altar, to your footsteps bending,
Doth testify that you exceed her far,
To whom you offer, and whose nun you are.
Why should you worship her? her you surpass
As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass.
A diamond set in lead his worth retains ;
A heavenly nymph, belov'd of human swains,
Receives no blemish, but ofttimes more grace ;
Which makes me hope, although I am but base,
Base in respect of thee divine and pure,
Dutiful service may thy love procure;
And I in duty will excel all other,
As thou in beauty dost exceed Love's mother.
Nor heaven nor thou were made to gaze upon :
As heaven preserves all things, so save thou one.
A stately-builded ship, well rigg'd and tall,
The ocean maketh more majestical ;
Why vow'st thou, then, to live in Sestos here,
Who on Love's seas more glorious wouldst appear ?
Like untun'd golden strings all women are,
Which long time lie untouch'd, will harshly jar.
Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine:
What difference betwixt 1 the richest mine
And basest mould, but use? for both, not us'd,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abus'd,
When misers keep it: being put to loan,
In time it will return us two for one.
Rich robes themselves and others do adorn;
Neither themselves nor others, if not worn.
Who builds a palace, and rams up the gate,
Shall see it ruinous and desolate :
Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish!
Lone women, like to empty houses, perish.
Less sins the
that starves himself
In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,
Than such as you: his golden earth remains,
Which, after his decease some other gains ;
But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,
When you fleet hence, can be bequeath'd to none;
Or, if it could, down from th' enameli'd sky
All heaven would come to claim this legacy,
i Some eds. give “between."
And with intestine broils the world destroy,
And quite confound Nature's sweet harmony.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is,
We human creatures should enjoy that bliss.
One is no number;? maids are nothing, then,
Without the sweet society of men.
Wilt thou live single still ? one shalt thou be,
Though never-singling Hymen couple thee.
Wild savages, that drink of running springs
Think water far excels all earthly things;
But they, that daily taste neat 2 wine, despise it :
Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
Compar'd with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much as wine and water doth.
Base bullion for the stamp's sake we allow :
Even so for men's impression do we you ;
By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
Women receive perfection every way.
This idol, which you term virginity,
Is neither essence subject to the eye,
No, nor to any one exterior sense,
Nor hath it any place of residence,
Nor is't of earth or mould celestial,
Or capable of any form at all.
Of that which hath no being, do not boast;
Things that are not at all, are never lost.