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The Argument of the Second Sestyad.
Hero of love takes deeper sense,
And doth her love more recompense :
Their first night's meeting, where sweet kisses
Are th’ only crowns of both their blisses.
He swims to' Abydos and returns :
Cold Neptune with his beauty burns ;
Whose suit he shuns, and doth aspire
Hero's fair tower, and his desire.
By this, sad Hero, with love anacquainted, Viewing Leander's face fell down and fainted. He kiss'd her, and breath'd life into her lips, Wherewith, as one displeas’d, away she trips; Yet as she went, foll often look'd behind, And many poor excuses did she find To linger by the way, and once she stay'l, And would have tam'd again, but was a rand, In offering parley, to be counted light: So on she goes, and, in her idle flight, Her painted fan of curled plames let fail, Thinking to train Leander therewithal. He, being a novice, knew not what she meant, Bat stay'd, and after her a letter sent;
Which joyful Hero answer'd in such sort,
As he had hope to scale the beauteous fort
Wherein the liberal Graces lock'd their wealth,
And therefore to her tower he got by stealth.
Wide open stood the door; he need not climb;
And she herself, before th' appointed time,
Had spread the board, with roses strew'd the room,
And oft look'd out, and mus'd he did not come.-
At last he came; O who can tell the greeting
These greedy lovers had at their first mceting!
He ask'd—she gave—and nothing was denied;
Both to each other quickly were affied:
Look how their hands, so were their hearts united,
And what he did, she willingly requited.
(Sweet are the kisses, the embracements sweet,
When like desires and like affections meet;
For from the earth to heaven is Cupid rais’d,
Where fancy is in equal balance pais’d. *)
Yet she this rashness suddenly repented,
And turn'd aside, and to herself lamented :
As if her name and honour had been wrong’d,
By being possess'd of him for whom she long'd;
Aye, and she wish’d, albeit not from her heart,
That he would leave her turret and depart.
* From the French verb peser.
The mirthful god of amorons pleasure smild
To see how he this captive nymph beguild:
For hitherto he did but fan the fire,
And kept it down that it might mount the higher.-
Now wax'd she jealous, lest his love abated,
Fearing her own thoughts made her to be hated.
Therefore unto him hastily she goes,
And, like light Salmacis, her body throws
Upon his bosom, where with yielding eyes
She offers up berself a sacrifice,
To slake his anger, if he were displeas’d:
O what god would not therewith be appeas’d?
Like Æsop's cock, this jewel he enjoy’d,
And as a brother with his sister toy'd,
Supposing nothing else was to be done,
Now he her favour and goodwill bad won.
But know you not that creatures wanting sense,
By nature have a mutual appetence;
And wanting organs to advance a step,
Mov'd by Love's force, unto each other leap?
Much more in subjects having intellect,
Some hidden influence breeds like effect.
Albeit Leander, rude in love and raw,
Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
That might delight him more, yet he suspected
Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
Therefore unto his body bers he clung,
She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
Striv'd with redoubled strength; the more she striv'd,
The more a gentle pleasing heat reviv'd,
Which taught him all that elder lovers know,
And now the same 'gan so to scorch and glow,
As in plain terms, yet cunningly, he'd crave it,
(Love always makes those eloquent that have it.)
She with a kind of granting, put him by it,
And ever, as he thought himself most nigh it,
Like to the tree of Tantalus she fled,
And seeming lavish, sav'd her maidenhead.
Ne'er king more sought to keep his diadem,
Than Hero this inestimable gem.
Above our life we love a steadfast friend,
Yet when a token of great worth we send,
We often kiss it, often look thereon,
And stay the messenger that would be gone;
No marvel then, though Hero would not yield
So soon to part from what she dearly held.
Jewels being lost are found again, this never,
'Tis lost but once, and once lost, lost for ever.