Scarce had the Ploughman yoak'd his horned Team,
And lock'd their Traces to the crooked Beam,
When fair Thealma with a Maiden scorn,
That day before her rise, out blusht the morn
Scarce had the Sun gilded the Mountain tops,
When forth she leads her tender Ewes, and hopes
The day would recompence the sad affrights
Her Love-sick heart did struggle with a-nights.
Down to the Plains the poor Thealma wends,
Full of sad thoughts, and many a sigh she sends
Before her, which the Air stores up in vain
She sucks them back, to breath them out again.
The Airy Choire salute the welcom day,
And with new Carols sing their cares away;
Yet move not her; she minds not what she hears
Their sweeter Accents grate her tender ears,
That rellish nought but sadness Joy and she
Were not so well acquainted; one might see
E'ne in her very looks, a stock of Sorrow
So much improv'd, 'twould prove Despair to morrow.
Down in a Valley 'twixt two rising Hills,
From whence the Dew in silver drops distills
T'enrich the lowly Plain, a River ran
Hight Cygnus; (as some think from Læda's Swan
That there frequented) gently on it glides
And makes indentures in her crooked sides,
And with her silent murmurs, rocks asleep
Her watry Inmates 'twas not very deep,
But clear as that Narcissus look in, when
His Self-love made him cease to live with men.
Close by the River, was a thick-leav'd Grove,
Where Swains of old sang stories of their Love;
But unfrequented now since Collin di'd,
Collin that King of Shepherds; and the pride
Of all Arcadia Here Thealma us'd
To feed her Milkie Droves, and as they brous'd,
Under the friendly shadow of a Beech
She sate her down; grief had tongue-ti'd her speech,
Her words were sighs and tears; dumb Eloquence
Heard only by the sobs, and not the sense.
With folded Arms she sate, as if she meant
To hug those woes which in her Breast were pent
Her looks were nail'd unto the Earth, that drank
Her tears with greediness, and seem'd to thank
Her for those briny showres, and in lieu
Returns her flowry sweetness for her Dew.
At length her sorrows waxt so big within her,
They strove for greater vent Oh! had you seen her,
How fain she would have hid her grief, and stay'd
The swelling current of her woes, and made
Her grief, though with unwillingness, to set
Open the Flood-gates of her speech, and let
Out that which else had drown'd her; you'd have deem'd
Her rather Niobe than what she seem'd.
So like a weeping Rock washt with a Sea
Of briny Waters, she appear'd to be
So have I seen a head-long torrent run
Scouring along the Valley, till anon
It meeting with some dam that checks his course,
Swells high with rage, and doubling of its force
Lays siege to his opposer first he tries
To undermine it, still his Waters rise,
And with its weight steals through some narrow Pores,
And weeps it self a vent at those small doors;
But finding that too little for its weight,
It breaks through all. Such was Thealma's state,
When tears would give her heart no ease, her grief
Broke into speech to give her some relief
O my Clearchus, said she, and with tears
Embalms his name “O! if the Ghosts have ears,
“Or Souls departed condescend so low,
“To sympathize with Mortals in their woe;
“Vouchsafe to lend a gentle Ear to me,
“Whose life is worse than death, since not with thee.
“What priviledg have they that are born great
“More than the meanest Swain? The proud Waves beat
“With more impetuousness upon high Lands,
“Than on the flat and less resisting Strands
“The lofty Cedar, and the knotty Oak,
“Are subject more unto the thunder-stroak,
“Than the low shrubs, that no such shocks endure,
“Ev'n their contempt doth make them live secure.
“Had I been born the Child of some poor Swain,
“Whose thoughts aspire no higher than the Plain,
“I had been happy then; t'have kept these Sheep,
“Had been a Princely pleasure; quiet sleep
“Had drown'd my cares, or sweetned them with Dreams
“Love and content had been my Musicks theams;
“Or had Clearchus liv'd the life I lead,
“I had been blest. And then a tear she shed,
That was fore-runner to so great a shower,
It drown'd her speech such a commanding Power
That lov'd Name had, when beating of her breast,
In a sad silence she sigh'd out the rest.
By this time it was Noon, and Sol had got
Half to his Journeys ending 'twas so hot,
The Sheep drew near the shade, and by their Dam
Lay chewing of their Cuds at the length came
Caretta with her Dinner, where she found
Her Love-sick Mistriss courting of the Ground,
Moist with the tears she shed; she lifts her up,
And pouring cut some Beverage in a Cup,
She gave it her to drink hardly she sips,
When a deep sigh agen lockt up her lips.
Caretta wooes and prays, (poor Country Girl,)
And every sigh she spent, cost her a Pearl.
Pray come to Dinner, said she, see here's Bread,
Here's Curds and Cream, and Cheescake, sweet now, feed;
Do you not love me? once you said you did.
Do you not care for me? if you had bid
Me do a thing, though I with Death had met
I would have done it Honey Mistress eat.
I would your grief were mine, so you were well;
What is't that troubles you? would I could tell.
Dare you not trust me? I was ne're no blab,
If I do tell't to any call me Drab.
But you are angry with me, chide me then,
Beat me, forgive, I'le ne're offend agen.
With that she kiss'd her, and with luke-warm tears,
Call'd back her Colour worn away with cares.
O my poor Girl, said she, Sweet innocence,
What a controuling winning Eloquence
Hath loving honesty; wer't not to give
Thy love a thanks, Thealma would not live.
I cannot eat; nay, weep not, I am well,
Only I have no stomach thou canst tell
How long it is since good Menippus found
Me Shipwrackt in the Sea, e'ne well-nigh drown'd;
And happy had it been, if my stern fate
Had prov'd to me so cruel fortunate
To have unliv'd me then. Ah wish not so,
Answer'd Caretta, little do you know,
What end the fates have in preserving you.
I hope a good one, and to tell you true,
You do not well to question those blest powers,
That long agon have numbred out our hours.
And as some say, spin out our threads of life;
Some short, some longer, they command the knife
That cuts them off; and till that time be come
We seek in vain to shrowd us in a Tomb.
But I have done, and fear I've done amiss,
I ask forgiveness As I guess it is
Some three years since my Master sav'd your life,
'Twas much about the time he lost his Wife,
And that's three years come Autumn, my good Dame
Then lost her life, yet lives in her good name.
I cannot chuse but weep to think on her.
'Mongst Women kind, was not a lovinger.
She bred me up e'ne from my Infancy,
And lov'd me as her own, her Piety
And love to Vertue made me love it too;
But she is dead, and I have found in you
What I have lost in her my good old Master
Follow'd her soon, he could not long out-last her.
They lov'd so well together, Heav'n did lend
Him longer life, only to prove your friend;
To save your life, and he was therein blest,
That happy action crowned all the rest
Of his good deeds since Heav'n hath such a care
To preserve good ones, why should you despair?
The man you grieve for so, there's none can tell,
But if Heav'n be so pleas'd, may speed as well.
Some lucky hand Fate may for ought you know,
Send to save him from death as well as you.
And so I hope it hath, take comfort then,
You may, I trust, see happy days agen.
Thealma all this while with serious eye,
Ey'd the poor Wench, unwilling to reply;
For in her looks she read some true presage,
That gave her comfort, and somewhat asswage
The fury of her passions; with desire
Her ears suck'd in her speech, to quench her fire
She could have heard her speak an Age, sweet soul,
So pretty loud she chud her, and condole
With her in her misfortunes. O, said she,
What wisdom dwells in plain simplicity!
Prithee (my dear Caretta) why do'st cry?
I am not angry, good Girl, dry thine eye,
Or I shall turn Child too my tide's not spent,
'Twill flow agen, if thou art discontent.
For I will eat if thou'lt be merry; say,
Wilt thou Caretta? shall thy Mistress pray,
And thou deny her? Still Caretta wept,
Sorrow and gladness such a strugling kept
Within her for the Mastery; at the length
Joy overcame, and speech recover'd strength.
Sweet Mistress, said she, pardon your Hand-maid,
Unworthy of the Wages your love paid
Me; for my over-boldness think't not strange,
I was struck dumb at this so sweet a change.
I could not chuse but weep, if you'd have kill'd me,
With such an over-plus of joy it fill'd me
I will be merry, if you can forgive;
Wanting your love, it is a Hell to live
I was to blame; but I'le do so no more.
Scarce had she spoke the word; but a fell Boar
Rush'd from the Wood, enrag'd by a deep wound
Some Huntsman gave him up he ploughs the ground,
And whetting of his Tusks, about gan roam,
Champing his venoms moisture into foam.
Thealma and her Maid, half dead with fear,
Cry'd out for help; their cry soon reacht his ear,
And he came snuffling tow'rd them still they cry,
And fear gave wings unto them as they fly.
The Sheep ran bleating o're the pleasant Plain,
And Airy Eccho answers them again;
Redoubling of their cries to fetch in aid,
Whilst to the Wood the fearful Virgins made,
Where a new fear assay'd them 'twas their hap
To meet the Boars pursuer in the gap
With his Sword drawn, and all besmear'd with gore,
Which made their case more desp'rate than before,
As they imagin'd; yet so well as fear
And doubt would let them, as the man drew near
They 'mplor'd his help he minds them not, but spying
The chafed Boar in a thick puddle lying,
Tow'rds him he makes; the Boar was soon aware,
And with an hideous noise sucks in the Air.
Upon his guard he stands, his Tusks new whets,
And up on end his grisly Bristles sets.
His wary foe, went traversing his ground,
Spying out where was best to give a wound.
And now Thealma's fears afresh began
To seize on her; her care's now for the man,
Lest the adventurous Youth should get some hurt,
Or die untimely up th'Boar flings the dirt,
Dy'd crimson with his Blood his foe at length
Watching his time and doubling of his strength,
Gave him a wound so deep, it let out life,
And set a bloody period to their strife
But he bled too, a little gash he got
As he clos'd with him, which he minded not.
Only Thealma's fears made it appear
More dangerous than it was, longing to hear
Her life's preserver speak then down she falls,
And on the Gods in thanks for blessings calls,
To recompense his Valour. He drew near,
And smiling lifts her up, when as a tear
Dropping into his wound, he gave a start,
Love in that Pearl stole down into his heart.
He was but young, scarce did the Hair begin
In shadows to write man upon his Chin
Tall and well-set, his Hair a Chesnut brown,
His looks Majestick, 'twixt a smile and frown;
Yet smear'd with blood, and all bedew'd with sweat
One could not know him by this time the heat
Was well-nigh slak'd, and Sol's unwearied Team
Hies to refresh them in the briny Stream.
The stranger ey'd her earnestly, and she
As earnestly desir'd that she might see
His perfect Visage. To the River side
She toles him on; still he Thealma ey'd,
But not a word he spake, which she desir'd
The more he look'd, the more his heart was fir'd.
Down both together sate, and while he wash'd,
She drest his wound which the Boar lately gash'd.
And having wip'd, he kist her for her care,
When as a blush begot 'twixt joy and fear,
Made her seem what he took her for, his Love;
And this invention he had to prove,
Whether she was Clarinda, ay or no
For so his Mistress hight. Did not you know
The Prince Anaxus? now Thealma knew
Not whether it were best speak false or true.
She knew he was Anaxus, and her Brother,
And from a Child she took him for no other;
Yet knew she not what danger might ensue,
If she disclos'd her self her telling true
Perhaps might work her ruine, and a lie
Might rend her from his heart, worse than to die.
But she, being unwilling to be known,
Answer'd his Quere with this Question
Did not you know Thealma? at the name
Amaz'd he started; What then, lovely Dame?
Suppose I did? would I could say I do;
With that he wept, she fell a melting too
And with a flood of tears she thanks her Brother.
No danger can a true affection smother.
He wipes her eyes, she weeps again afresh,
And sheds more tears t'enrich her thankfulness.
Sorrow had ty'd up both their tongues so fast,
Love found no vent, but through their eyes; at last,
Anaxus blushing at his childish tears,
Rous'd up himself, and the sad Virgin chears.
And knew you that Thealma (sweet?) said he;
I did, reply'd Thealma, I am she
Look well upon me; sorrow's not so 'nkind
So to transform me, but your eye may find
A Sisters stamp upon me Lovely Maid,
How fain I would believe thee, the Youth said,
But she was long since drown'd in the proud Deep,
She and her bold Clearchus sweetly sleep,
In those soft Beds of darkness; and in Dreams
Embrace each other, spight of churlish streams,
The very name Clearchus chill'd her Veins,
And like an unmov'd Statue she remains,
Pale as Death's self, till with a warm love kiss,
He thaw'd her icy coldness; such power is
In the sweet touch of love Sweet soul, said he,
Be comforted, the sorrow 'longs to me.
Why should the sad relation of a woe
You have no interest in, make you grieve so?
No interest, said she; Yes, Anaxus, know
I am a greater sharer in't than you.
Have you forgot your Sister, I am she
The hapless poor Thealma, and to me
Belongs the sorrow; you but grieve in vain
If't be for her, since she is found again.
Are you not then Clarinda? said the Youth,
'Twere cruelty to mock me with untruth
Your Speech is hers, and in your Looks I read
Her lovely Character sweet Virgin lead
Me from this Labyrinth of Doubts, what e're
You are, there is in you so much of her
That I both love and honor you. Fair Sir,
Answered Thealma smiling, why of her
Make you so strict enquiry, is your eye
So dazel'd with her beauty, that poor I
Must lose the name of Sister? Say you love her,
Can your love make you cease to be a Brother?
Whereat from forth her Bosom, next the Heart,
She pluckt a little Tablet, whereon Art
Had wrought her skill; and opening it, said she,
Do you not know this Picture? let that be
The witness of the truth which I have told.
With that Anaxus could no longer hold,
But falling on her neck, with joy he kist her,
Saying, Thanks Heaven, liv'st thou then my dear Sister!
My lov'd Thealma! were not thou cast away?
What happy hand hath sav'd thee? But the day
Was then far spent; 'twas time to think on home,
And her Caretta all amaz'd was come
And waited her commands the fiery Sun
Went blushing down at the short race he run;
The Marigold shuts up her golden Flowers,
And the sweet Song-birds hy'd unto their Bowers.
Night-swaying Morpheus clothes the East in black,
And Cynthia following her Brothers track
With new and brighter Rayes, her self adorns,
Lighting the starry Tapers at her Horns.
Homeward Anaxus and Thealma wend,
Where we must leave them for a while to end
The story of their Sorrows. Night being come,
A time when all repair unto some home,
Save the poor Fisherman, that still abides
Out-watching care in tending on the Tides.
Rhotus was yet at Sea, and as his Ketch
Tackt to and fro, the scanty wind to snatch;
He spyed a Frigat, and as night gave leave
Through Cynthia's brightness he might well perceive
It was of Lemnos; and as it drew near,
From the becalmed Bark he well might hear
A Voice that hail'd him; asking whence he was?
He answer'd, from Arcadia. In that place
Were many little Islands, call'd of old
Rupillas, from the many Rocks they hold,
A most frequented place for Fish; in vain
They trimm'd their flagging Sails to stem the Main.
But scarce a breath of Wind was stirring, when
The Master hail'd the Fisherman agen
And letting fall an Anchor, beckon'd him
To come aboard. Rhotus delay'd no time,
But makes unto the Ship; he soon got thither,
Using his Oars to out-do the Weather.
His Ketch he hooks unto the Frigats Stern,
And up the Ship he climbs; he might discern
At his first entry such a sad aspect
In all the Passengers, he might collect
Out of their looks, that some misfortune had
Lately befaln them, they were all so sad.
One 'mongst the rest there was, a grave old man,
(To whom they all stood bare) that thus began.
Welcome, kind friend, nay sit, what Bark? with Fish?
Canst thou afford for Lemnian Coin a Dish?
Yes Master, that I can, a good Dish too;
And as they like you, pay me; I will go
And fetch them straight; He did so, and was paid
To his content the Fish were ready made,
And down they sate, the better sort and worse
Far'd all alike, it was their constant course;
Four to a Mess; and to augment their Fare,
Their second Courses, good Discourses were.
Amongst the various talk, the grave old Lord,
(For so he was) that hal'd the Ketch aboard,
Thus question'd Rhotus, Honest Fisher, tell
What news affords Arcadia; thou knowest well
Who rules that Free-born State, under what Laws,
Or Civil Government remain they? what's the cause
Of their late falling out? Rhotus replies,
And as he spake the tears stood in his eyes
As well as grief will let me, worthy Sir,
Though I shall prove but a bad Chronicler
Of State Affairs, yet with your gentle leave
I'l tell you all I know; nor will I weave
Any untruths in my discourse, or raise,
By flattering mine own Countrymen, a praise
Their worth were merited; what I shall tell
Is nothing but the truth; then mark me well.
Then quiet silence shut up their discourse,
Scarce was a whisper heard, “Such a strange force
“Hath novelty; it makes us swift to hear,
“And to the speaker chains the greedy ear.
Arcadia was of old (said he) a State
Subject to none but their own Laws and Fate
Superior there was none, but what old age
And hoary hairs had rais'd; the wise and sage,
Whose gravity, when they were rich in years,
Begat a civil reverence more than fears
In the well manner'd people; at that day
All was in common, every man bare sway
O're his own Family; the jars that rose
Were soon appeas'd by such grave men as those
This mine and thine, that we so cavil for,
Was then not heard of he that was most poor
Was rich in his content, and liv'd as free
As they whose flocks were greatest, nor did he
Envy his great abundance, nor the other
Disdain the low condition of his Brother,
But lent him from his store to mend his state,
And with his love he quits him, thanks his fate;
And taught by his example, seeks out such
As want his help, that he may do as much.
Their Laws e'en from their childhood, rich and poor,
Had written in their hearts by conning o're
The Legacies of good old men, whose memories
Out-live their Monuments the grave advice
They left behind in writing; this was that
That made Arcadia then so blest a State,
Their wholesome Laws had linkt them so in one,
They liv'd in peace and sweet communion.
Peace brought forth plenty, plenty bred content,
And that crown'd all their pains with merriment.
They had no foe, secure they liv'd in Tents,
All was their own they had, they paid no rents;
Their Sheep found cloathing, Earth provided food,
And Labour drest them as their wills thought good.
On unbought Delicates their Hunger fed,
And for their Drink the swelling Clusters bled
The Vallies rang with their delicious strains,
And pleasure revel'd on those happy Plains,
Content and Labor gave them length of days,
And Peace serv'd in delight a thousand ways.
The golden Age before Deucalion's Flood
Was not more happy, nor the folk more good.
But time that eats the Children he begets,
And is less satisfied the more he eats,
Led on by Fate that terminates all things,
Ruin'd our State, by sending of us Kings
Ambition (Sins first-born) the bane of State,
Stole into men, puffing them up with hate
And emulous desires; Love waxen cold,
And into Iron freeze the age of Gold.
The Laws contempt made cruelty step in,
And stead of curbing animated Sin,
The Rich man tramples on the Poor man's back,
Raising his Fortunes by his Brothers wrack.
The wronged Poor necessity 'gan teach,
To live by Rapine, stealing from the Rich.
The Temples, which Devotion had erected
In honor of the Gods, were now neglected.
No Altar-smoaks with sacrificed Beasts,
No Incense offer'd, no Love-strength'ning Feasts.
Mens greedy Avarice made Gods of Clay,
Their Gold and Silver Field to Field they lay,
And House to House; no matter how 'twas got,
The hand of Justice they regarded not.
Like a distemper'd Body Fever-shaken,
When with combustion every Limb is taken
The Head wants ease, the heavy Eyes want sleep,
The beating Pulse no just proportion keep;
The Tongue talks idly, reason cannot rule it,
And the Heart fires the Air drawn in to cool it.
The Palat relisheth no meat, the Ears
But ill affected with the sweets it hears.
The Hands deny their aid to help him up,
And fall, as to his lips they lift the cup.
The Legs and Feet disjoynted, and useless,
Shrinking beneath the burden of the Flesh.
Such was Arcadia then, till Clitus reign'd,
The first and best of Kings that e're obtain'd
Th' Arcadian Scepter he piec'd up the State,
And made it somewhat like to fortunate.
He dying without Issue on the suddain,
Heav'n nipt their growing glory in the budding
They choose Philemon, one of Clitus Race
To sway the Scepter; a brave Youth he was,
As Wise as Valiant, had he been as Chast,
Arcadia had been happy; but his Lust
Level'd Arcadia's Glory with the Dust.
There was a noble Shepherd Stremon height,
As good as great, whose Virtues had of right
Better deserv'd a Crown, had severe Fate
But pleas'd to smile so then upon our State.
He had one only Daughter young and fair,
Most richly qualified, and which was rare
In that same looser age divinely chast;
Though su'd to by no mean ones, yet at last
Her Father match'd her to a Shepherds Son,
Equal in Birth and Fortune; such a one
As merited the double Dower she brought,
Both of her Wealth and Virtue Heav'n had wrought
Their minds so both alike His noble Sire
Was Clitus named, to whose Thracian Lire
The Shepherds wont to tune their Pipes, and frame
Their curious Madrigals. The Virgins name
Was Castabella, Clitus his brave Son,
Lysander hight. The Nuptials being done,
To which the King came willingly a Guess;
Each one repair'd unto their business,
The charge of their own Flocks; the nobler sort
Accompanied the King unto the Court.
The meaner rout of Shepherds and their Swains,
With Hook and Scrip went jogging to the Plains,
Scarce had the Sun (that then at Cancer in'd)
Twice measured the Earth, when Love strook blind
The lustful King, whose amorous desires
Grew into lawless passions, and strange fires,
That none but Castabella would serve turn
To quench his Flames, though she had made them burn,
He had the choice of many fair ones too,
And well descended Kings need not to wooe;
The very name will bring a Nun to bed,
Ambition values not a Maiden-head
But he likes none, none but the new-wed Wife
Must be the Umpire to decide the strife.
He casts about to get what he desir'd,
The more he plots, the more his heart is fir'd.
He knew her chast and virtuous, no weak bars
T'oppose the strongest Soldier in Loves Wars.
He knew her Father powerful, well-beloved,
Both for his Wisdom and good Deeds approved,
Among the giddy rout; as for his Son,
His own demerit spake him such a one
As durst revenge; nor could he want for friends
To second his attempts in noble ends.
Still the King burns, and still his working brain
Plots and displots, thinks and unthinks again.
At length his will resolv'd him in this sort,
Stremon and Clitus both were yet at Court,
Busi'd in State-Affairs; Lysander he
Was where a Husband lately wed should be,
At home a weaning of his Wives desires,
From her old Sire, to warm her at his fires.
As hapless hap would have it, it fell out
That at that time a rude uncivil rout
Of out-law'd Mutineers, had gather'd head
Upon the Frontiers, as their fury led;
Burning and spoiling all; the Council sit
Advising to suppress them; 'twas thought fit
Some strength should go against them, all this made
For the Kings purpose? then a care was had
Who should conduct those Forces, some were nam'd,
The Choice one likes, is by another blam'd.
Philemon gives them line enough, for he
Had fore-projected who the man should be
Yet held his peace, 'twas not his cue as yet
To speak his mind; at length they do intreat
That he would name the man the King did so,
Lysander was the man, he nam'd to go
His judgment was agreed on; th'two old men,
Stremon and Clitus thought them honor'd, when
They heard him name Lysander, and with glad ears
Welcome his killing favour without fears.
He makes him Captain of his strongest Fort,
Thus Wolf-like he did welcome him to Court.
The days were set for his dispatch; mean space
He takes his leave of his Wives chast embrace
It little boots her love to weep him back,
Nor stood it with his honor to be flack
In such a noble enterprize; he went
Arm'd with strong hopes, and the Kings blandishment.
No sooner was he gone, but the sly King
Rid of his chiefest fears, began to sing
A requiem to his thoughts th'Affairs of State
He left unto his Nobles to debate;
And minds his sport, the Hunting of the Hare,
The Fox and Wolf; this took up all his care.
Upon a day, as in a tedious chase
He lost his Train that did out-ride his Race;
Or rather of set purpose, slackt his coarse,
Intending to excuse it on his Horse,
He stole to Stremons lodg, the day was spent,
The fittest time to act his foul intent.
He knocks at Stremons Lodg, but no man hears,
All were abed, and sleep had charm'd their ears,
He knocks agen; with that he heard a groan,
Pow'rful enough t'have turn'd a cruel one
From his bad purpose? Who's within, said he,
If you be good folks, rise and pity me.
But none reply'd another groan he hears,
And cruel fortune drew him by the ears
To what he wisht for. Castabella yet
Was not in bed, sorrow deny'd to let
Her moist eyes sleep, for her increasing fears
Conspir'd to keep them open with her tears.
A little from the Lodg, on the descent
Of the small Hill it stood on, a way bent
Unto an Orchard thick with Trees beset;
Through which there ran a Crystal Rivelet,
Whose purling streams that wrangled with the stones,
In trembling accents, eccho'd back her groans,
Here in an arbor Castabella sate,
Full of sad thoughts, and most disconsolate.
The door was ope, and in Philemon steals,
But in a Bush a while himself conceals,
Till he the voice might more distinctly hear,
And better be resolv'd that she was there;
And so he did fortune his Bawd became,
And led him on to Lust. The fearless Dame
After a deep fetcht sigh, thus faintly spake,
O my Lysander, why would'st thou not take
Me along with thee; then a flood of tears
Clos'd up her lips, When this had reacht his ears,
Like a fell Wolf he rusht upon his prey,
Stopping her cries with kisses weep she may
And lift her hands to Heaven, but in vain,
It was too late for help t'undo again
What he had done. Her honor more to her
Was than her life, the cruel Murtherer
Had rob'd her of, and glories in his prize.
It is no news for lust to tyrannize.
He thankt his Fortune that did so prevent
His first design by short'ning his intent.
The Black deed done, the Ravisher hies thence,
Leaving his shame to murther innocence
He had his wish, and that which gilt his Sin,
He knew suspicion could not suspect him.
Report, the blab-tongue of those tell-tale times,
That rather magnifies than lessens Crimes,
Slept when this act was done, such thoughts as these,
Sear'd up his Conscience with a carelessness.
Poor Castabella having now lost all,
That she thought worth the losing, would not call
For help to be a witness of her shame
It was too late, nor did she know his name
That had undone her cruel thoughts arise,
And wanting other vent, break through her eyes.
Shame prompts her to despair, and let out life,
Revenge advis'd her to conceal her grief
Fear checks Revenge, and Honor chides her Fear,
Within her Breast such mutinous thoughts there were
She could resolve on nothing day then breaks,
And Shame in blushes rose upon her cheeks.
With that she spies a Ring lie at her feet,
She took it up, and glad she was to see't.
By this she thought, if Fate so pitied her,
In time she might find out the Ravisher.
Revenge then whispers in her ear afresh,
Be bold, she lookt upon't, but could not guess
Whose it might be; yet she remember'd well
Sh'ad seen't before, but where she could not tell
With that she threw it from her in disdain,
Yet thought wrought so she took it up again;
And looking better on't, within the Ring,
She spied the Name and Motto of the King
Whereat she starts O ye blest powers! said she,
Thanks for this happy strange discovery.
She wrapt it up, and to the Lodg she went
To study some revenge; 'twas her intent
By some devise to 'tise Philemon thither,
And there to end his Life and hers together
But that was crost, Lysander back returns,
Crown'd with a noble Victory and Horns
That he ne'r dreamt of to his Wife he goes,
And finds her weeping, no content she shows
At his safe coming back; but speaks in Tears.
He lov'd too well to harbour jealous Fears.
He wip'd her Eyes, and kist her to invite
A gentle welcome from her if he might
But 'twould not be; He askt her why she wept,
And who had wrong'd her; still she silence kept,
And turns away then he began to doubt
All was not well; to find the matter out,
He tries all means; and first with mild intreats
He woes her to disclose it then with threats
He seeks to wring it from her. Much ado
She told him the sad story of her woe.
The Ring confirm'd the truth of her report.
And he believ'd her straight He hies to Court
T'acquaint his Fathers with it. All three vow
To be reveng'd, but first they study how.
Well, to be brief, they muster up their Friends,
And now Philemon 'gan to guess their ends,
And counterworks t'oppose them, gathers strength
And boldly goes to meet them; at the length
They Battel joyn Philemon put to flight,
And many thousands butcher'd in the Fight;
'Mongst whom old Stremon fell, whose noble spirit
Out-did his Age, and by his brave merit,
Did rein himself so glorious a name,
Arcadia to this day adores the same.
Lysander's wrongs spurr'd on his swift pursuit
After Philemon, when a sudden shout
Amongst his Soldiers caus'd him sound retreat,
Fearing some mutiny, all in a sweat
A Messenger ran tow'rd him, crying out,
Return my Lord, the cunning Wolf's found out.
Philemon's slain, and you proclaimed King
With that agen the ecchoing Vallies ring.
The Foe it seems had wheel'd about a Meer,
In policy to set upon the Reer
Of bold Lysander's Troops; they fac'd about
And meet his Charge; when a brave Youth stept out
And singles forth the King they us'd no words,
The Cause was to be pleaded by their Swords,
Which anger whet no blow was giv'n in vain,
Now they retire, and then come on again;
Like two Wild Boars for mastery they strive,
And many wounds on either side they give
Then grappling both together, both fell down,
Fainting for want of Blood; when with a frown,
As killing as his Sword, the brave Youth gave
His Foe a Wound that sent him to his Grave.
Take that thou murtherer of my Honors name,
Said the brave Youth, or rather the brave Dame;
For so it prov'd yet her Disguise was such,
The sharpest eye could not discern so much,
Until Lysander came, his piercing eye
Soon found who 'twas, he knew her presently;
'Twas Castabella his unhappy Wife,
Who losing Honor, would not keep her Life;
But thrusts her self into the midst of danger,
To seek out Death, and would have dy'd a Stranger
Unto Lysander's knowledg; had not he
Inform'd the world it could be none but she
That durst win Honor so. The Noble Dame
Was not quite dead when as Lysander came,
Who stooping down to kiss her, with his Tears
T'embalm her for a Grave, her self she rears,
And meeting his Embrace; welcome, said she,
Welcome Lysander; since I have seen thee
I dare Deaths worst then sinking down she dy'd,
The honor of her Sex all means were try'd
To call back Life, but Medicines came late,
Her Blood was spent, and she subscribes to Fate.
Lysander was about to sacrifice
Himself t'appease th'incensed Destinies;
And had not one stept in and held his hand,
He'ad done the deed, and so undone the Land.
Peace was proclaim'd to all that would submit
On the Foes side the Soldiers dig a pit
And tumble in Philemon, none there were,
Or Friend or Foe, that seem'd to shed a Tear
To deck his Hearse withal. Thus his base Lust
Untimely laid his Glory in the Dust.
But Castabella she out-liv'd her shame,
And Shepherds Swains still Carol out her Fame,
She needs no Poets Pen to mount it high,
Lysander wept her out an Elegy.
Her Obsequies once o're, the King was Crown'd,
And Wars loud noise with Peals of Joy was drown'd
Janus his Temple was shut up, and peace
Usher'd in Plenty by their Flocks increase;
But long it lasted not, Philemon's Friends
Soon gather'd head agen. Lysander sends
Some Force against them, but with bad success,
The Foe prevails and seales their hardiness.
Lysander goes in person and is slain,
Philemon's Friends then make a King again;
A hot-spurr'd Youth height Hylas, such a one
As pride had fitted for Commotion,
About that time in a tempestuous night,
A Ship that by misfortune chanc'd to light
Upon the Rocks that are upon our Coast,
Was split to pieces, all the lading lost,
And all the Passengers, save a Young man
That Fortune rescu'd from the Ocean.
When day was broke, and I put out to Sea,
To fish out a poor living; by the Lea
As I was coasting, I might well espy
The Carkase of a Ship my Man and I
Made straight-way tow'rd it, and with Wind and Oar,
We quickly reacht it 'twas not far from Shoar,
About some half a League; we view'd the Wrack,
But found no people in't; when looking back
Upon a shelving Rock, a man we 'spi'd,
As we thought, dead, and cast up by the Tide
But by good hap he was not, yet well-nigh
Starv'd with the Cold, and the Seas cruelty.
We thaw'd him into life agen, but he
As if he relisht not our Charity,
Seem'd to be angry and had we not been,
The Youth had leapt into the Sea agen.
Perforce we brought him home, where with warm Potions,
We thaw'd his nummed Joynts into their motions.
And chiding his despair, with good advice
I warm'd his hopes that else had froze to Ice.
A braver Youth mine eye ne'er lookt upon,
Nor of a sweeter disposition.
Old Cleon could no longer silence keep,
But askt his name, and as he askt did weep.
Was he your friend, quoth Rhotus. he's alive,
Knew you as much as I, you would not grieve,
He calls himself Alexis, now our King,
And long may we enjoy his governing
But he forgets who sav'd his life; great men
Seldom remember to look down agen.
There was a time when I'd have scorn'd to crave
A thanks from any, till a churlish wave
Washt off my friends, and thrust me from the Court,
To dwell with labor; but I thank them for't.
Content dwells not at Court; but I have done,
And if you please, my Lord, I will go on
Where I left off a while Hylas being King,
Puft up with Pride, by often Conquering.
He fell to riot, King and People both
Laid Arms aside to fall in love with Sloth.
The Downs were unfrequented, Shepherd Swains
Were very rarely seen to haunt the Plains.
The Plough lay still, the Earth Manuring needs,
And stead of Corn brought forth a Crop of Weeds.
No Courts of Justice kept, no law observ'd,
No hand to punish such as ill deserv'd.
Their Will was then their Law, who durst resist,
Hylas connives, and all did what they list.
Lysander's Friends were scatter'd here and there,
And liv'd obscurely circled in with fear.
Some Till'd the Ground, whilst others fed their Flocks,
Under the covert of some hanging Rocks.
Others fell'd Wood, and some dye weavy Yarn,
The Women Spun; thus all were forc'd to earn
Their Bread by sweaty Labor 'mongst the many,
I and some others fisht to get a penny.
And had I but my Daughter which I lost
In the Foes hot pursuit; (for without boast,
She was a good one) I should think me blest,
Nor would I change my Calling with the best.
She was my only comfort; but she's dead,
Or, which is worse, I fear me ravished.
But I digress too much upon a day
When cares triumphs gave us leave to play,
We all assembled on a spacious Green,
To tell old Tales, and choose our Summers Queen.
Thither Alexis, my late Shipwrackt Guest,
At my intreaty came, and 'mongst the rest,
In their Disports made one; no exercise
Did come amiss to him; for all he tries,
And won the prize in all the graver sort
That minded more their Safety than their Sport,
'Gan to bethink them on their former State,
And on their Countries Fractions ruminate.
They had intelligence how matters went
In Hylas Court, whose peoples minds were bent
To nought but idleness; that fruitful Sin
That never bears a Child that's not a Twin.
They heard they had unmann'd themselves by ease,
And how security like a Disease
Spread o're their Dwellings, how their profus'd hand
Squander'd away the plenty of the Land
How civil Discords sprang up ev'ry hour,
And quench'd themselves in Blood; how the Laws power
Was wholly slighted, Justice made a jeer,
And Sins unheard of practis'd without fear.
The State was sick at heart, and now or never
Was time to cure it all consult together,
How to recover what they lost of late,
Their Liberty and Means; long they debate
About the matter all resolve to fight,
And by the Law of Arms to plead their Right.
But now they want a Head, and whom to trust
They could not well resolve on, choose they must
One of necessity the Civil Wars
Had scarce left any that durst trade for Scars.
The flower of Youth was gone, save four or five
Were left to keep Arcadia's Fame alive;
Yet all too young to govern, all about
They view the Youth to single some one out.
By this time they had crown'd Alexis brow
With Wreathes of Bayes, and all the Youth allow
Of him a Victor; many Oades they sing
In praise of him; then to the Bower they bring
Their noble Champion, where, as they were wont,
They lead him to a little Turfie Mount
Erected for that purpose, where all might
Both hear and see the Victor with delight.
He had a man-like Look, and sparkling Eye,
A Front whereon sate such a Majesty,
As aw'd all his Beholders; his long Hair,
After the Grecian fashion, without care
Hung down loosely on his Shoulders, black as Jet,
And shining with his oyly honor'd Sweat,
His body streight, and well proportion'd, Tall,
Well Limm'd, well Set, long Arm'd; one hardly shall
Among a thousand find one in all points,
So well compact, and Sinew'd in his Joynts.
But that which crown'd the rest, he had a Tongue
Whose sweetness Toal'd unwillingness along,
And drew attention from the dullest ear,
His words so oyly smooth, and winning were.
Rhotus was going on when day appear'd,
And with its light the cloudy welkin clear'd.
They heard the Milk-maids hollow home their Kine,
And to thtir Troughs knock in their stragling Swine.
The Birds 'gan sing, the Calves and Lambkins bleat,
Wanting the milky Breakfast of a Teat,
With that he brake off his Discourse, intending
Some fitter time to give his Story ending.
Some houshold bus'ness call'd his care ashore,
And Cleon thought on what concern'd him more.
His men weigh Anchor, and with Rhotus sail
Toward the Land, they had so strong a gale;
They quickly reach'd the Port where Rhotus dwelt,
Who with old Cleon with fair words so dealt,
He won him to his Cell; where as his Guest
We'l leave him, earnest to hear out the rest.
By this time had Anaxus ta'en his leave
Of his kind Sister, that afresh can grieve
For his departure, she intreats in vain,
And spends her tears to wash him back again,
But 'twould not be; he leaves her to her woes,
And in the search of his Clarinda goes.
He scarce had travel'd two days journey thence,
When hying to a shade, for his defence
'Gainst the Suns scorching heat, who then began
T'approach the point of the Meridian
Within a little silent Grove hard by
Upon a small ascent, he might espy
A stately Chappel, richly gilt without,
Beset with shady Sycamores about
And ever and anon he might well hear
A sound of Musick steal in at his ear
As the wind gave it being so sweet an Air
Would strike a Syren mute and ravish her.
He sees no creature that might cause the same,
But he was sure that from the Grove it came.
And to the Grove he goes to satisfie
The curiosity of Ear and Eye.
Through the thick leav'd Boughs he makes a way,
Nor could the scratching Brambles make him stay;
But on he rushes, and climbs up the Hill,
Thorow a glade he saw, and heard his fill.
A hundred Virgins there he might espy
Prostrate before a Marble Deity
Which by its Portraicture appear'd to be
The image of Diana on their knee
They tender'd their Devotions with sweet Airs,
Off'ring the Incense of their Praise and Prayers.
Their Garments all alike; beneath their Paps
Buckl'd together with a silver Claps,
And cross their snowy Silken Robes, they wore
An Azure Scarf, with Stars Embroider'd o're.
Their Hair in curious Tresses was knit up,
Crown'd with a Silver Crescent on the top.
A Silver Bow their left hand held, their right
For their defence, held a sharp headed flight
Drawn from their broidred Quiver, neatly ti'd
In Silken Cords, and fastned to their side.
Under their Vestments something short before
White Buskins lac'd with ribbanding they wore.
It was a catching sight for a young eye,
That Love had fir'd before, he might espy
One, whom the rest had sphere-like circled round,
Whose head was with a golden Chaplet crown'd.
He could not see her Face, only his ear
Was blest with the sweet words that came from her.
He was about removing; when a crew
Of lawless Thieves their horny Trumpets blew,
And from behind the Temple unawares
Rush'd in upon them, busie at their Prayers.
The Virgins to their weak resistance flie,
And made a show as if they meant to try
The mastery by opposing; but poor souls
They soon gave back, and ran away in shoals.
Yet some were taken, such as scorn of fear
Had left behind to fortifie the rear.
'Mongst whom their Queen was one, a braver Maid
Anaxus ne're beheld; she su'd and pray'd
For life, to those that had no pity left,
Unless in murthering those they had bereft
Of honor. This incens'd Anaxus rage,
And in he rusht, unlookt for on that stage
Then out his Sword he draws, and dealt such blows
That strook amazement in his numerous foes.
Twenty to one there were, too great an odds,
Had not his cause drawn succor from the gods.
The first he coapt with was their Captain, whom
His Sword sent headless to seek out a Tomb.
This cowarded the valour of the rest,
A second drops to make the Worms a Feast.
A third and fourth soon follow'd, six he slew,
And so dismaid the fearful residue,
That down the Hill they fled he after hies
And fell another Villain, as he flies.
To the thick Wood he chac'd them, 'twas in vain
To follow further; up the Hill again
Weary Anaxus climbs, in hope to find
The rescu'd Virgins he had left behind.
But all were gone; fear lent them wings, and they
Fled to their home affrighted any way.
They durst not stay to hazard the event
Of such a doubtful combat; yet they lent
Him many a Pray'r to bring on good success,
And thankt him for his noble hardiness,
That freed them from the danger they were in,
And met the shock himself; the Virgin-Queen
Full little dreamt, what Champion Love had brought
To rescue her bright honor; had she thought
It had Anaxus been, she would have shar'd
In the Adventure how so e're she far'd.
But fate was not so pleas'd, the Youth was sad
To see all gone the many Wounds he had
Griev'd him not so, as that he did not know
Her for whose sake he had adventur'd so.
Yet was he glad who e're she was, that he
Had come so luckily to set them free
From such a certain thraldom; night drew on
And his Wounds smarted no Chirurgeon
Was near at hand to bind them up, and pour
His balmy Medicines into his Sore
And surely he had dy'd, but that his heart
Was yet too stout to yield for want of Art.
Looking about upon a small ascent
He spy'd an old Thatcht-House, all to be rent
And eaten out by time, and the foul weather,
Or rather seem'd a piece of ruine; thither
Anaxus faintly hies, and in the way
He meets with old Sylvanus, who they say
Had skill in Augury, and could foretel
Th'event of things he came then from his Cell
To gather a few Herbs and Roots; the Cates
He fed upon Anaxus him entreats
To bind his Wounds up, and with care t'apply
Unto his Sores some wholsome remedy.
A trim old man he was, though, Age had plow'd
Up many Wrinkles in his Brow, and bow'd
His Body somewhat tow'rd the Earth; his Hairs
Like the Snows woolly flakes made white with cares,
The Thorns that now and then pluckt off the Doun,
And wore away for Baldness to a Crown
His broad kemb'd Beard hung down near to his Wast,
The only comely ornament that grac'd
His reverend old age, his feet were bare,
But for his leathern Sandals, which he ware
To keep them clean from galling, which compell'd
Him use a staff to help him to the Field.
He durst not trust his legs, they fail'd him then,
And he was almost grown a child agen
Yet sound in judgment, not impair'd in mind,
For Age had rather the Souls parts refin'd,
Than any way infirm'd; his Wit no less
Than 'twas in Youth, his Memory as fresh;
He fail'd in nothing but his earthly part,
That tended to its center; yet his heart
Was still the same, and beat as lustily
For, as it first took life, it would last die.
Upon the Youth with greedy eye he gaz'd,
And on his Staff himself a little rais'd;
When with a tear or two with pity prest,
From his dry Springs, he welcomes his request.
He needs not much intreaty to do good,
But having washt his Wounds and stancht the Blood,
He pours in oyly Balsam; fits his clothes,
And with soft Tents he stops their gaping mouths;
Then binds them up, and with a chearful look
Welcomes his thankful Patient, whom he took
Home with him to his Cell; whose poor out-side
Promis'd as mean a Lodging; Pomp and Pride
(Those Peacocks of the time) ne're roosted there,
Content and lowliness the inmates were.
It was not so contemptible within,
There was some show of beauty that had been
Made much of in old time; but now well-nigh
Worn out with envious time; a curious eye
Might see some reliques of a piece of Art,
That Psyche made, when Love first fir'd her heart.
It was the story of her thoughts, which she
Curiously wrought in lively imagry.
Among the rest, the thought of Jealousie
Time left untoucht, to grace Antiquity.
It was decifer'd by a timorous Dame,
Wrapt in a yellow Mantle lin'd with flame
Her looks were pale, contracted with a frown,
Her eyes suspicious, wand'ring up and down;
Behind her, fear attended big with child,
Able to fright presumption, if she smil'd.
After her flew a sigh, between two springs
Of briny water; on her Dove-like wings
She bore a Letter seal'd with a Half-Moon,
And superscrib'd, This from suspicion.
More than this, churlish time had left no thing
To shew the piece was Psyches broidering.
Hither Sylvanus brings him, and with Cates,
Such as our wants may buy at easie rates
He feasts his Guest; hunger and sweet content
Sucks from course Fare, a courtly nourishment.
When they had supt, they talk an hour or two,
And each the other questions how things go.
Sylvanus askt him how he came so hurt,
Anaxus tells him; and, this sad report
Spins out a long discourse the Youth enquir'd
What Maids they were he rescu'd, why so tir'd
What Saint it was they worshipt, whence the Thieves,
And who that Virgin was, that he conceives
Was Queen and Sovereign Lady of the rest.
Sylvanus willing to content his Guest,
After a little pause, in a grave tone,
Thus courteously reply'd; quoth he, My Son,
To tell a sad relation will, I fear,
Prove but unseasonable; a young ear
Will relish it but harshly; yet since you
Desire so much to hear it, I shall do
My best to answer your desires in all
That Truth hath warranted authentical.
You are not such a stranger to the State,
But you have heard of Hylas, who of late
Backt by some Fugitives, with a strong hand,
Wrested the Crown and Scepter of this Land
From the true Owner; this same Hylas when
He had what his Ambition aim'd at; then
When he grew wearied with conquering
His native Countrymen, and as a King
Sate himself down to tast what fate had drest
And serv'd up to him at a plenteous Feast.
When the lowd clangers of these civil broils
Were laid aside, and each man view'd the spoils
He had unjustly gotten, and in peace
Securely dwelt with idleness and ease;
Those Moths that fret, and eat into a State
Until they render it the scorn of fate.
Hylas puft up with pride, and self-conceit
Of his own Valour that had made him great,
In Riot and Lasciviousness he spends
His precious hours, and through the Kingdom sends
His pand'ring Parasites to seek out gain,
To quench th'unmaster'd fury of his flame.
His Agents were so cunning, many a Maid
Were to their honors loss subtilly betray'd
With gifts, and golden promises of that
Which womanish ambition level'd at,
Greatness and Honor; but they mistt their aim,
Their hopeful harvest prov'd a crop of shame.
Amongst the many Beauties that his Spies
Markt out, to offer up a sacrifice
Unto his lust, the beauteous Florimel
Was one, whose vertue had no paralel
She is old Memnon's Daughter, who of late
Was banisht from his Country, and by fate
Driven upon our Coast, and as I guess
He was of Lemnos fam'd for healthfulness,
Under this borrow'd name; for so it was
(Or else my Art doth fail me) he did pass
Unknown to eny, in a Shepherds Weed
He shrowds his Honor, now content to feed
A flock of Sheep, that had fed men before.
“It is no wonder to see goodness poor.
It was his Daughter that the lustful King
Beast-like neigh'd after; still his flatt'rers sing
Oads of her praise to heighten his desires,
To swim to Pleasure through a Hell of Fires.
The tempting baits were laid, the Nets were spread,
And gilded o're to catch a Maiden-head;
But all in vain, Eugenia would not bite,
Nor sell her honor for a base delight.
He speaks in Letters a dumb eloquence
That takes the heart before it reach the sence.
But they were slighted, Letters that speak sin
Virtue sends back in scorn he writes agen,
And is again repulst, he comes himself
And desp'rately casts Anchor on the shelf
Of his own power and greatnes, toles her on
To come abord to her destruction
But she was deaf unto his Syren Charms,
Made wisely wary by anothers harms.
Her strong repulses were like Oyl to fires,
Strength'ning th'increasing heat of his desires.
With mild intreats he woes her, and doth swear
How that his Loves intendments noble were;
And if she'd love him, he protests and vows
To make her Queen of all the State he owes.
But she was fix'd, and her resolves so strong,
She vow'd to meet with death, rather than wrong
Him unto whom her Maiden Faith was plight;
And he's no mean one, if my aim hits right.
When Hylas saw no cunning would prevail
To make her his, his angry looks waxt pale,
His heart call'd home the blood to feed revenge,
That there sate plotting to work out his ends.
At length it hatcht this mischief; Memnon's bid
To chide his Daughters coyness; so he did,
And she became the bolder, chid his checks,
And answer'd his injunctions with neglects.
Whereat the King enrag'd, laid hands upon her,
And was a dragging her to her dishonour.
When Memnon's Servants at their Mistris cry
Rusht in and rescu'd her, 'twas time to flie,
Hylas had else met with a just reward
For his foul lust he had a slender guard,
And durst not stand the hazard Memnon's men
Would have pursu'd, but they came off agen
At Memnon's call the woful Florimel,
(For so her name was) on the pavement fell,
Waiting the stroke of Death, life was about
To leave her had not Memnon found her out.
Anaxus all this while gave heedful ear
To what he spake, and lent him many a tear
To point out the full stops of his discourse;
But that he calls her Florimel, the force
Of his strong passions had persuaded him
It had been his Clarinda, (as in time
The story makes her spare thy tears my Son
Said old Sylvanus; so his tale went on.
These are but sad beginnings of events
Spun out to sorrows height; the foul intents
Of Hylas being frustrate, and his fires
Wanting no fuel to increase desires;
He lays a snare to catch his Maiden prize
By murthering her old Father; and his spies
Were sent to find his haunt out Memnon, he
Of old experienc'd in Court policy,
Wisely forecasts th'event, and studies how
He might prevent his mischiefs e're they grow
Too ripe, and near at hand to be put by
By all the art and strength he had; to dye
For him that now was old, he nothing car'd,
Death at no time finds goodness unprepar'd.
But how he might secure his Florimel,
That thought most troubled him; he knew full well
She was the white was aimed at; were she sure,
He made but slight of what he might endure.
He was but yet a stranger to those friends
That his true worth had gain'd him, yet h'intends
To try some one of them; anon his fears
And jealous doubts call back those former cares.
He thinks on many ways for her defence;
But except Heav'n finds, none save innocence.
Memnon at last resolves next day to send her
To Vestas Cloyster, and there to commend her
Unto the Virgin Goddesses protection,
And to that purpose gave her such direction,
As fitted her to be a Vestal Nun,
And time seem'd tedious till the deed was done.
The fatal night before that wisht for day,
When Florimel was to be packt away,
Hylas besets the House with armed men,
Loth that his Lust should be deceiv'd agen.
At midnight they brake in, Memnon arose,
And e're he call'd his Servants, in he goes
Into his Daughters Chamber, and besmears
Her Breast and Hands with Blood; the rest her fears
Counsel her to; each hand took up a knife
T'oppose her foe, or let out her own life,
If need should be, to save her honor'd name
From Lusts black sullies, and ne're dying shame.
Memnon then calls his Servants, they arise,
And wanting light, they make their hands their eyes.
Like Sea-men in a Storm about they go,
At their wits end, not knowing what to do.
Down a Back Stairs they hurried to the Hall,
Where the most noise was; in they venter all,
And all were suddenly surpriz'd, in vain
Poor men they struggle to get loose again.
A very word was punish'd with a Wound,
Here they might see their aged Master bound,
And though too weak to make resistance found,
Wounded almost to death; his hoary hairs
Now near half worn away with age and cares,
Torn from his Head and Beard; he scorn'd to cry
Or beg for mercy from their cruelty.
He far'd the worse because he would not tell,
What was become of his fair Florimel.
She heard not this, though she set ope her ears
To listen to the whispers of her fears.
Sure had she heard how her good Father far'd,
Her very cries would have the doors unbar'd,
To let her out to plead his innocence;
But he had lockt her up in a close Room,
Free from suspicion, and 't had been her Tomb,
Had not the Fates prevented; search was made
In every corner, and great care was had,
Lest she should scape; but yet they mist the Lass
They sought her every where but where she was.
Under the Bed there was a Trap-door made,
That open'd to a Room where Memnon laid
The Treasure and the Jewels which he brought
From Lemnos with him Round about they sought,
Under and o're the Bed; in Chests they pry,
And in each hole where scarce a Cat might lie;
But could not find the cunning contriv'd door
That open'd Bed and all then down they tore
The painted Hangings, and survey the Walls,
Yet found no by-way out Then Hylas calls
To know if they had found her; they reply,
She was not there Then with a wrathful eye,
Looking on Memnon; Doating fool (said he)
Wilt not thou tell me where she is if she
Be in this house conceal'd, I have a way
Shall find her out; if thou hast mind to pray
Be speedy, thou hast not an hour to live.
I'le teach thee what it is for to deceive
Him that would honor thee Would shame me rather,
Answered old Memnon, and undo a Father,
By shaming of his Daughter; Lustful King,
Call you this honor? death's not such a thing,
As can fright Memnon; he and I have met
Up to the knees in Blood, and honor'd Sweat,
Where his Sythe mow'd down Legions, he and I
Are well acquainted; 'tis no news to die.
Do'st thou so brave it (Hylas said) I'le try
What temper you are made on by and by.
Set fire upon the House, since you love death
I'le teach you a new way to let out breath.
This word strook Memnon mute, not that he fear'd
Death in what shape soever he appear'd;
But that his Daughter, whom as yet his care
Had kept from ravishing, should with him share
In such a bitter potion; this was that
Which more than Death afflicted him, that Fate
Should now exact a double Sacrifice,
And prove more cruel than his Enemies.
This strook him to the heart, the House was fir'd,
And his sad busie thoughts were welnigh tir'd
With studying what to do when as a Post
That had out-rid report, brought news the Coast
Shin'd full of fired Beacons, how his Lords
Instead of Sleep betook themselves to Swords.
How that the Foe was near, and meant e're day
To make his Court and Treasury their prey.
How that the Soldiers were at their wits end
For th'absence of their King, and did intend,
Unless he did prevent them suddenly,
To choose a new one. Hylas fearfully
Did entertain this news, calls back his men,
And through by-paths he steals to Court agen,
Leaving the House on fire; the Thatch was wet,
And burnt but slowly Memnon's Servants get
Their Master loose, and with their Teeth unties
The bloody Cords that binds the Sacrifice,
That Fate was pleas'd to spare; they quench the fire,
Whilst he runs to his Daughter; both admire
Their little hop'd for wond'rous preservation,
Praising their Gods with fervent adoration.
Next day he shifts his Florimel away
Unto the Vestal Cloyster, there to stay
Till he heard how things went, and what success
Befel the Wars; his men themselves address,
At his command to wait upon the Wars,
To purchase freedom, or by Death, or Scars.
Memnon himself keeps home, attended on
But by a stubbed Boy; his Daughter gone,
His fears 'gan lessen Hylas was o'rethrown,
And bold Alexis Conquest gain'd a Crown
And worthily he wears it; with his Reign
Desired Peace stept on the Stage again.
The Laws were executed, Justice done,
And civil Order staid Confusion.
Sloth and her sister Ease were banished,
And all must labor now to get their bread
Yet Peace is not so setled, but we find
Some work for Swords; the Foe hath left behind
Some gleanings of his greater strength, that still
Commit great out-rages, that rob and kill
All that they meet with, ravishing chast Maids
Both of their Life and Honor; some such Lads
Were they that set upon that Virgin crew,
That were redeem'd so worthily by you.
A hundred Virgins monthly do frequent
Diana's Temple, where with pure intent
They tender their Devotions one is chose
By lot to be their Queen, to whom each owes
Her best respect, and for this month I guess
Their Queen was Florimel, now Votaress.
Sylvanus here brake off; 'twas late, and sleep
Like Lead hung on their eye lids; heav'n them keep.
We'l leave them to their rest a while, and tell
What to Thealma in this space befel.
Anaxus had no sooner ta'en his leave
Of his glad Sister, making her believe
That he would shortly visit her, when she
Led forth her Flock to Field more joyfully
Than she was wont to do; those rosie stains
That nature wont to lend her from her veins,
Began t'appear upon her cheeks, and raise
Her sickly beauty to contend for praise.
She trickt her self in all her best attire,
As if she meant this day t'invite desire
To fall in love with her her looser hair
Hung on her shoulders, sporting with the air
Her brow a Coronet of Rose buds crown'd
With loving Woodbines sweet embraces bound.
Two Globe-like Pearls were pendent to her ears,
And on her Breast a costly Gem she wears,
An Adamant in fashion like a heart,
Whereon Love sate a plucking out a Dart,
With this same Motto graven round about
On a gold Border; Sooner in than out.
This Gem Clearchus gave her, when unknown,
At Tilt his Valour won her for his own.
Instead of Bracelets on her Wrists, she wore
A pair of golden Shackles, chain'd before
Unto a silver Ring enamel'd Blue,
Whereon in golden Letters to the view
This Motto was presented, Bound yet free.
And in a true Loves Knot a T. and C,
Buckled it fast together; her silk Gown
Of grassie green, in equal pleits hung down
Unto the Earth and as she went the Flowers
Which she had broider'd on it at spare hours,
Were wrought so to the life, they seem'd to grow
In a green Field, and as the Wind did blow,
Sometimes a Lilly, then a Rose takes place,
And blushing seems to hide it in the Grass
And here and there gold Oaes 'mong Pearls she strew,
That seem'd like shining Gloworms in the dew.
Her sleeves were Tinsel wrought with leaves of green,
In equal distance spangeled between,
And shadowed over with a thin Lawn cloud,
Through which her workmanship more graceful show'd.
A silken Scrip and Shepherds Crook she had,
The badg of her profession; and thus clad,
Thealma leads her milky Drove to Field,
Proud of so brave a guide had you beheld
With what a majesty she trod the ground,
How sweet she smil'd, and angerly she frown'd
You would have thought, it had Minerva beem,
Come from high Jove to dwell on earth agen.
The reason why she made her self thus fine
Was a sweet Dream she had; some poor Divine
Had whisper'd to her soul Clearchus liv'd,
And that he was a King for whom she griev'd
She thought she saw old Hymen in Loves bands,
Tie with devotion both their hearts and hands.
She was a dreaming farther, when her Maid
Told her the Sun was up she well appaid
With what her greedy thoughts had tasted on,
Quickly gat up; and hurried with her Dream,
Thus tricks her self, having a mind to seem
What she would be, but was not; strong conceit
So wrought upon her; those that are born great
Have higher thoughts than the low-minded Clown,
He seldom dreams himself into a Crown.
Caretta, modest girl, she thought it strange,
And wonder'd greatly at so sudden change;
But durst not be so bold to ask the cause,
Obedience had prescrib'd her knowledg Laws
And she would not transgress them; yet it made
Her call to mind what garments once she had,
And when her Father liv'd, how brave she went,
But humble-minded wench she was content.
She knew the vanity of Pomp and Pride,
Which if not pluckt off must be laid aside
One day; and to speak truth, she had a mind
So deckt with rich endowments, that it shin'd
In all her actions; how so e're she goes,
Few Maids have such an inside to their cloaths.
Yet her Dames Love had trickt her up so brave,
As she thought fit to make her Maid, and gave
Her such habiliments to set her forth,
As rather grac'd than stain'd her Mistriss worth.
They made her ne're the prouder, she was still
As ready and obedient to her will.
Thus to the Field Thealma and her Maid
Chearfully went; and, in a friendly shade
They sate them down to work; the wench had brought,
As her Dame bid, her Lute; and as she wrought,
Thealma plaid and sang this chearful Air,
As if she then would bid adieu to care.
Fly hence Despair, and Hearts-benumming fears,
Presume no more to fright
Me from my quiet rest
My budding hopes have wip'd away my tears,
And fill'd me with delight,
To cure my wounded breast.
Mount up sad thoughts, that whilom humbly straid
Upon the lowly plain,
And fed on nought but grief.
My angry fate with me is well appaid,
And smiles on me again,
To give my heart relief.
Rejoice, poor heart, forget those wounding woes
That rob'd thee of thy peace,
And drown'd thee in despair,
Still thy strong passions with a sweet repose,
To give my soul some ease,
And rid me of my care.
My thoughts presage by Fortunes frown,
I shall climb up unto a Crown.
She had not ended her delicious lay,
When Cleon and old Rhotus, who that day
Were journeying to Court, by chance drew near,
As she was singing, and t'enrich their ear
They made a stand behind the hedg to hear
Her sweet soul-melting accents, that so won
Their best attention, that when she had done,
The Voice had ravish'd so the good old men,
They wisht in vain she would begin agen;
And now they long to see what Goddess 'twas,
That own'd so sweet a voice, and with such grace
Chid her sad Woes away The cause that drew
Rhotus to Court was this; after a view
Made by the victor King of all his Peers
And well deserving men that force or fears
Had banish'd from their own, and Peace begun
To smile upon Arcadia; to shun
The future cavils that his Subjects might
Make to recover their usurped right
He made enquiry what each man possest
During Lysander's Reign, to re-invest
Them in their honor'd places, and such Lands
As Tyranny had wrung out of his hands.
And minding now to gratifie his Friends,
Like a good Prince he for old Rhotus sends;
As he to whom he ow'd his Life, and all
The Honor he had rose to; at his call
Old Rhotus quickly comes, leaving his trade
To an old Servant whom long custom had
Wedded to that vocation; so that he
Aim'd at no higher honor than to be
A Master-fisher Cleon, who of late
As you have heard, came from the Lemnian State
In search of one whose name he yet kept close,
With Rhotus his kind Host to Court he goes,
And with him his Son Dorus in the way,
As you have heard, Thealma made them stay,
And not contented to content their ear
With her sweet Musick, tow'rd her they drew near;
And wond'ring at her bravery and her beauty,
They thought to greet her with a common duty,
Would ill become them humbly on their knee
They tender'd their respect, and Prince-like, she
Thank'd them with nodds her high thoughts still aspire,
And their low lootings lift them a step higher.
Old Cleon ey'd her with such curious heed,
He thought she might be what she prov'd indeed,
Thealma her rich Gems confirm'd the same,
For some he knew, yet durst not ask her name.
Caretta viewing Rhotus (loving wench)
As if instinct had taught her confidence,
Runs from her Mistris, contradicts all fears,
And asks him Blessing, speaking in her tears.
Lives then Caretta? said he, Yes, quoth she,
I am Caretta, if you'l Father me.
Then Heaven hath heard my Prayers, or thine rather,
It is thy goodness makes me still a Father,
A thousand times he kiss'd the Girl, whilst she
Receives them as his Blessings on her knee.
At length he took her up, and to her Dame
With thanks return'd her saying, If a blame
Be due unto your Hand-maids fond neglect
To do you service, let your Frown reflect
On her poor Father. She as Children use,
Is over-joy'd to find the thing they lose.
There needs no such apology, kind Sir,
Answer'd Thealma, duty bindeth her
More strictly to th'obedience of a Father,
Than of a Mistris; I commend her rather
For tend'ring what she ow'd so willingly;
Believ't I love her for it, she and I
Have drank sufficiently of sorrows cup,
And were content sometimes to Dine and Sup
With the sad story of our woes; poor cates
To feed on; yet we bought them at dear rates
Many a tear they cost us you are blest
In finding of a Daughter, and the best
(Though you may think I flatter) that e're liv'd
To glad a Father; as with her I griev'd
For his supposed loss so being found
I cannot but rejoyce with her; the wound
Which you have cur'd in her, gives ease to mine,
And I find comfort in her Medicine.
I had a Father, but I lost him too,
And wilfully; my Girl, so didst not thou;
Nor can I hope to find him, but in wrath
I lost his love in keeping of my Faith.
She would have spoken more, but sighs and tears
Brake from their prison to revive her fears.
Cleon, altho he knew her by her speech,
And by some Jewels which she wore, too rich
For any Shepherdess to wear, forbare
To interrupt her; he so lov'd to hear
Her speak, whom he so oft had heard was drown'd,
And still, good man, he kneel'd upon the ground,
And wept for joy. Why do you kneel, said she,
Am I a Saint, what do you see in me
To merit such respects? pray rise, 'tis I
That owe a reverence to such gravity,
That kneeling better would become, I know
No worth in me to worl you down so low.
Yes, gracious Madam, what I pay is due
To none, for ought I know, so much as you.
Is not your name Thealma? hath your eye
Ne're seen this face at Lemnos, I can spy
Ev'n through those clouds of grief, the stamp of him
That once I call'd my Sovereign; age and time
Hath brought him to his Grave, that bed of dust,
Where when our night is come, sleep we all must.
Yet in despight of Death his honor'd name
Lives, and will ever in the vote of Fame.
Death works but on corruption, things Divine,
Cleans'd from the dross about them, brighter shine
So doth his Virtues. What was earth is gone,
His heavenly part is left to crown his Son,
If I could find him. You may well conceive
At his sad tale what cause she had to grieve;
Reply she could not, but in sighs and tears,
Yet to his killing language lent her ears
And had not grief enforc'd him make a pause
She had been silent still; she had most cause
To wail her Fathers loss Oh unkind Fate,
Reply'd Thealma; it is now too late
To wish I'd not offended; cruel love
To force me to offend, and not to prove
So kind to let him live to punish her,
Whose fault, I fear me, was his murtherer.
O my Clearchus, 'twas through thee I fell
From a Childs duty; yet I do not well
To blame thee for it, sweetly may'st thou sleep,
Thou and thy faults lie buried in the deep,
And I'll not rake them up ye partial powers,
To number out to me so many hours,
And punish him so soon; why do I live?
Can there be hope that Spirits can forgive?
Yes gracious Madam, his departing Soul
Seal'd up your Pardon with a Prayer t'enroul
Amongst his honor'd Acts, left you his Blessing,
And call'd it love, which you do stile transgressing,
Left you a Dowry worthy a lov'd Child,
With whom he willingly was reconcil'd.
Take comfort then; Kings are but men, and they
As well as poor men must return to Clay.
With that she op't the flood-gates of her eyes,
And offer'd up a wealthy sacrifice
Of thankful tears, to expiate her crimes,
And drown their memory, left after times
Might blab them to the world. Rhotus gave ear
To all that past, and lent her many a tear
The Alms that sweet compassion bestows
On a poor heart that wants to cure its woes.
Caretta melted too, though she had found
What her poor Mistris griev'd at, all drank round
Of the same briny cup. Rhotus at last
'Gan thus to comfort her Madam, tho hast
To obey my Sovereigns command would fit
The Duty of a Subject better; yet
I will incur the hazard of his frown
To do you service; Glory and Renown
The mark the noble Spirits still aim at
To crown their Virtues, did so animate.
Alexis our new Sovereign, once my guest
(And glad he was to be so) that his Breast
Full of high thoughts, could relish no content
In a poor Cottage. One day as he went
With me unto our Annual Games, where he
Puts in for one to try the mastery,
And from them all came off a Victor, so
That all admir'd him; on him they bestow
The Wreath of Conquest; at that time this State
Was govern'd by a Tyrant, one that Fate
Thrust in to scourge the peoples wickedness,
That had abus'd the blessing of their peace,
As he abus'd his honor, which he gain'd
By cruel usurpation; for he reign'd
More like a Beast than Man; Fortune at length
Grew weary of him too; weak'ning his strength
By wantoning his people, without Law
Or Exercise to keep their minds in awe.
Which the exil'd Nobility perceiving,
Took heart again, some new strong hope conceiving
Through th'enemies neglect, to regain that
Which formerly they lost; so it pleas'd Fate
To change the scene most of the noble Youth
The former War consum'd, and to speak truth,
Unless some few old men, there was left none
Worthy to be a Leader; all was gone
Wherefore when they had seen what he could do,
And by that guess'd, what he durst undergo
(If they were put to't) they Alexis chose
To lead their War-like Troops against their Foes.
His Valour spake him noble, and's behaviour
Was such as won upon the Peoples Favour;
His speech so powerful, that the hearer thought
All his Intreats Commands so much it wrought
Upon their awful minds; this new come Stranger
They chose to be their Shield 'twixt them and danger;
And he deceived not th'expectation
They fixt upon him Hylas was o'rethrown,
And he return'd in triumph Joy was now
Arcadias Theme; and all Oblations vow
To their Protector Mars to quite him then,
They choose him King, the wonderment of men.
'Twas much, yet what they gave was not their own,
They ow'd him for it; what they gave he won,
And won it bravely. When this Youth I found
Hanging upon the craggy Rock half drown'd,
I little dreamt that he should mount so high
As to a Crown; yet such a Majesty
Shin'd on his look sometimes, as shew'd a mind
Too great to be, to a low state confin'd
Tho while he liv'd with me, such sullen clouds
Of grief hung on his brow, and such sad floods
Rather than briny tears, stream'd from his eyes,
As made him seem a man of miseries.
And often as he was alone, I heard him
Sigh out Thealma; I as often chear'd him.
May not this be the man you grieve for so,
Your name's Thealma, and for ought I know,
He may not be Alexis; perhaps fear
Borrow'd that nick-name, to conceal him here.
Take comfort, Madam, on my life 'tis he,
If my conjecture fail me not, then be
Not so dejected till the truth be tri'd
And that shall be my charge, Cleon reply'd;
Thanks noble Rhotus, this discovery
Binds me to thee for ever thou and I
Will to the Court; could I Anaxus find
My work were ended; if Fate prove so kind,
I hope a comical event shall crown
These tragical beginnings; do not drown
Your hopes (sweet Madam) that I so would fain
Live to your comfort, when we meet again,
Which will be speedily; the news we bring
I trust shall be Clearchus is a King.
Most noble Cleon, thanks; may it prove so
Answer'd Thealma; yet before you go,
Take this same Jewel, this Clearchus gave me
When first I did consent that he should have me
And if he still do love, as is a doubt,
For he ne'r hath a power to work Love out.
By this you shall discover who he is,
If Fortune have assign'd me such a bliss
As once more to be his, she makes amends
For all my sorrow; but if she intends
Still to afflict me, I can suffer still,
And tire her cruelty, though't be to kill
I have a patience that she cannot wrong
With all her flatteries; a heart too strong
To shake at such a weak artillery,
As is her frowns no Cleon, I dare die,
And could I meet Death nobly I would so,
Rather than be her scorn, and take up woe
At interest to enrich her power, that grows
Greater by grieving at our overthrows.
No Cleon, I can be as well content
With my poor Cot, this woolly regiment,
As with a Palace; or to govern men;
And I can Queen it when time serves agen.
Go, and my hopes go with you; if stern Fate
Bid you return with news to mend my state,
I'll welcome it with thanks; if not, I know
The worst on't, Cleon, I am now as low
As she can throw me. Thus resolv'd, they leave her,
And to the Court the two Lords wend together,
Leaving young Dorus, Cleons Son behind
To wait upon Thealma; Love was kind
In that to fair Caretta, that till now
Ne're felt what passion meant, yet knew not how
To vent it but with blushes; modest shame
Forbad it yet to grow into a flame.
Love works by time, and time will make her bolder,
Talk warms desire, when absence makes it colder.
Home now Thealma wends 'twixt hope and fear,
Sometimes she smiles, anon she drops a tear
That stole along her cheeks, and falling down
Into a pearl, it freezeth with her frown.
The Sun was set before she reacht the Fold,
And sparkling Vesper nights approach has told.
She left the Lovers to enfold her Sheep,
And in she went, resolv'd to sup with sleep
If thought would give her leave, unto her rest
We leave her for a while, Sylvanus guest
You know we lately left under his cure,
And now it is high time my Muse to lewre
From her too tedious weary flight, and tell
What to Anaxus that brave Youth befel.
Let's pause a while, she'l make the better flight,
The following lines shall feed your appetite.
Bright Cynthia twice her silver horns had chang'd,
And through the Zodiacks twelve signs had rang'd,
Before Anaxus wounds were throughly well,
In the mean while Sylvanus 'gan to tell
Him of his future fortune; for he knew
From what sad cause his minds distempers grew.
He had ylearnt you have heard while e're,
The art of wise Soothsaying, and could clear
The doubts that puzzle the strong working brain,
And make the intricat'st anigmas plain
His younger years in Ægypt Schools he spent,
From whence he suckt this knowledg; not content
With what the common Sciences could teach,
Those were too shallow springs for his deep reach,
That aim'd at Learnings utmost that hid skill
That out-doth nature, hence he suckt his fill
Of Divine knowledg 'twas not all inspir'd,
It cost some pains that made him so admir'd.
He told him what he was, what Country Air
He first drew in, what his intendments were;
How 'twas for love, he left his native Soil
To tread upon Arcadia, and with toil
Sought what he must not have, a lovely Dame
But art went not so far to tell her name.
Heav'n that doth controul Art, would not reveal it,
Or if it did he wisely did conceal it.
He told him of his Fathers death, and that
The State had lately sent for him, whereat
Anaxus starting; Stay old man (quoth he)
I'll hear no more; thy cruel Augury
Wounds me at heart, can thy Art cure that wound?
Sylvanus? No, no Medicine is found
In humane skill to cure that tender part,
When the Soul's pain'd, it finds no help of Art
Yet Sir (said he) Art may have power to ease,
Though not to cure the sick Souls maladies.
And though my sadder news distast your ear,
'Tis such as I must tell, and you must hear.
I know y'are sent for, strict enquiry's made
Through all Arcadia for you; plots are laid
(By some that wish not well unto the State)
How to deprive you of a Crown; but Fate
Is pleas'd not so to have it, and by me
Chalks out a way for you to Sovereignty.
I say agen, she whom you love, tho true
And spotless constant, must not marry you.
One you call Sister, to divide the strife,
Fate hath decreed, must be your Queen and Wife.
Hie to th' Arcadian Court, what there you hear
Perhaps may trouble you; but do not fear,
All shall be well at length, the bless'd event
Shall crown your wishes with a sweet content.
Enquire no farther, I must tell no more,
Here Fate sets limits to my Art before
You have gone half a League, under a Beech
You'l find your man enquiring of a Witch
What is become of you? the Beldame's slie,
And will allure by her strange subtilty
The strongest Faith to error; have a care
She tempt you not to fall in love with Air.
She'l show you Wonders; you shall see and hear
That which shall rarely please both eye and ear.
But be not won to wantonness, but shun
All her enticements credit not, my Son,
That what you see is real; Son be wise,
And set a watch before thy ears and eyes.
She loves thee not, and will work all she can
To give thy Crown unto another man.
But fear not, there's a pow'r above her skill
Will have it otherwise, do what she will.
But Fate thinks fit to try thy constancy,
Then arm thy self against her Sorcery.
Take this same Herb, and if thy strength begin
To fail at any time, and lean to sin,
Smell to't, and wipe thine eyes therewith, that shall
Quicken thy duller sight to dislike all,
And re-inforce thy reason to oppose
All her temptations, and fantastick shows.
Farewel Anaxus, hie to Court, my Son,
Or I'll be there before thee! 'Twas high noon,
When after many thanks to his kind Host,
Anaxus took his leave, and quickly lost
The way he was directed; on he went
As his Fate led him, full of hardement.
Down in a gloomy valley thick with shade,
Which too aspiring hanging Rocks had made,
That shut out day and barr'd the glorious Sun
From prying into th'actions there done;
Set full of Box, and Cypress, Poplar, Yew,
And hateful Elder that in Thickets grew,
Amongst whose Boughs the Scritch-owl and Night-crow,
Sadly recount their Prophecies of woe,
Where leather-winged Batts, that hate the light
Fan the thick Air, more sooty than the night.
The ground o're-grown with Weeds, and bushy Shrubs,
Where milky Hedg-hogs nurse their prickly Cubs
And here and there a Mandrake grows, that strikes
The hearers dead with their loud fatal shrieks;
Under whose spreading leaves the ugly Toad,
The Adder, and the Snake make their abode.
Here dwelt Orandra, so the Witch was hight,
And thither had she toal'd him by a slight
She knew Anaxus was to go to Court,
And envying Virtue, she made it her sport,
To hinder him, sending her airy Spies
Forth with Delusions to entrap his Eyes,
And captivate his Ear with various Tones,
Sometimes of Joy, and otherwhiles of Mones
Sometimes he hears delicious sweet lays
Wrought with such curious descant as would raise
Attention in a Stone anon a groan
Reacheth his Ear, as if it came from one
That crav'd his help; and by and by he spies
A beauteous Virgin with such catching Eyes,
As would have fir'd a Hermits chill desires
Into a flame; his greedy eye admires
The more than human beauty of her Face,
And much ado he had to shun the grace
Conceit had shap'd her out so like his Love,
That he was once about in vain to prove,
Whether 'twas his Clarinda, yea, or no,
But he bethought him of his Herb, and so
The Shadow vanish'd, many a weary step
It led the Prince that pace with it still kept,
Until it brought him by a hellish power
Unto the entrance of Orandras Bower,
Where underneath an Elder Tree he spied
His man Pandevius pale and hollow-eyed;
Enquiring of the cunning Witch what fate
Betid his Master; they were newly sate
When his approach disturb'd them; up she rose,
And tow'rd Anaxus (envious Hag) she goes;
Pandevius she had charm'd into a maze,
And strook him mute, all he could do was gaze.
He call'd him by his name, but all in vain,
Eccho returns Pandevius back again;
Which made him wonder, when a sudden fear
Shook all his joynts she cunning Hag drew near,
And smelling to his Herb, he recollects
His wandring Spirits, and with anger checks
His coward Fears; resolv'd now to out-dare
The worst of Dangers, whatsoe're they were,
He ey'd her o're and o're, and still his eye
Found some addition to deformity.
An old decrepid Hag, she was grown white
With frosty Age, and withered with Despight
And self-consuming Hate; in Furrs yclad,
And on her Head a thrummy Cap she had.
Her knotty Locks like to Alecto's Snakes
Hang down about her shoulders, which she shakes
Into disorder; on her furrow'd Brow
One might perceive time had been long at plough.
Her Eyes like Candle-snuffs by age sunk quite
Into their Sockets, yet like Cats-eyes, bright
And in the darkest night like fire they shin'd,
The ever-open windows of her mind.
Her swarthy cheeks Time, that all things consumes,
Had hollowed flat unto her Toothless Gums.
Her hairy Brows did meet above her Nose,
That like an Eagles Beak so crooked grows,
It well nigh kiss'd her Chin; thick bristled Hair
Grew on her upper Lip, and here and there
A rugged Wart with grisly Hairs behung,
Her Breasts shrunk up, her Nails and Fingers long,
Her left lent on a staff, in her right hand
She always carried her enchanting Wand.
Splay-footed, beyond Nature, every part
So patternless deform'd, 'twould puzzle Art
To make her counterfeit; only her Tongue
Nature had that most exquisitely strung.
Her oyly Language came so smoothly from her,
And her quaint action did so well become her,
Her winning Rhetorick met with no trips,
But chain'd the dull'st attention to her lips.
With greediness he heard, and tho he strove
To shake her off, the more her words did move,
She woo'd him to her Cell, call'd him her Son,
And with fair promises she quickly won
Him to her beck; or rather he to try
What she could do, did willingly comply
With her request; into her Cell he goes,
And with his Herb he rubs his Eyes and Nose.
His man stood like an image still, and star'd
As if some fearful prodigy had scar'd
Life from its earthy mansion; but she soon
Unloos'd the Charms, and after them he run.
Her Cell was hewn out in the Marble Rock,
By more than human Art; she need not knock,
The door stood always open, large and wide,
Grown o're with woolly Moss on either side,
And interwove with Ivies flatt'ring twines,
Thro which the Carbuncle and Di'mond shines;
Not set by Art, but there by Nature sown
At the Worlds Birth, so Star-like bright they shone.
They serv'd instead of Tapers to give light
To the dark entry, where perpetual Night,
Friend to black Deeds, and Sire of Ignorance
Shuts out all knowledg; lest her Eye by chance
Might bring to light her Follies in they went,
The ground was strow'd with Flowers, whose sweet scent
Mixt with the choice Perfumes from India brought,
Intoxicates his brain, and quickly caught
His credulous sense; the Walls were gilt and set
With Precious Stones, and all the Roof was fret
With a gold Vine, whose stragling branches spread
All o're the Arch; the swelling Grapes were red;
This Art had made of Rubies cluster'd so,
To the quick'st eye they more than seem'd to grow.
About the Walls lascivious Pictures hung,
Such as whereof loose Ovid sometimes sung.
On either side a crew of dwarfish Elves,
Held waxen Tapers taller than themselves
Yet so well shap'd unto their little stature,
So Angel-like in face, so sweet in feature.
Their rich attire so diff'ring; yet so well
Becoming her that wore it, none could tell
Which was the fairest, which the handsomest deckt.
Or which of them Desire would soon'st affect.
After a low salute they all 'gan sing,
And circle in the Stranger in a Ring.
Orandra to her Charms was stept aside,
Leaving her guest half won, and wanton ey'd.
He had forgot his Herb cunning delight
Had so be witch'd his ears, and blear'd his sight,
And captivated all his senses so,
That he was not himself; nor did he know
What place he was in, or how he came there,
But greedily he feeds his Eye and Ear
With what would ruine him; but that kind Fate
That contradicts all power subordinate,
Prevented Arts intents; a silly flie
(As there were many) light into his eye,
And forc'd a tear to drown her self, when he
Impatient that he could not so well see,
Lifts up his hand wherein the Herb he held,
To wipe away the moisture that distill'd
From his still smarting eye; he smelt the scent
Of the strong Herb, and so incontinent
Recovered his stray'd Wit his Eyes were clear'd,
And now he lik'd not what he saw or heard.
This knew Orandra well; and plots anew
How to entrap him next unto his view
She represents a Banquet usher'd in
By such a shape, as she was sure would win
His appetite to taste; so like she was,
To his Clarinda both in shape and face.
So voic'd, so habited, of the same gate
And comely gesture; on her Brow in state
Sate such a Princely Majesty, as he
Had noted in Clarinda; save that she
Had a more wanton eye, that here and there
Rowl'd up and down, not setling any where.
Down on the ground she falls his hand to kiss,
And with her tears bedews it; cold as Ice
He felt her Lips, that yet, inflam'd him so,
That he was all on fire the truth to know,
Whether she was the same she did appear,
Or whether some fantastick form it were,
Fashioned in his imagination
By his still working thoughts; so fix'd upon
His lov'd Clarinda, that his fancy strove
Even with her shadow to express his love.
He took her up, and was about to 'quite
Her Tears with Kisses, when to clear his sight
He wipes his Eyes, and with his Herb of Grace
Smooths his rough Lip to kiss with greater grace
So the Herbs virtue stole into his Brain,
And kept him off; hardly did he refrain
From sucking in Destruction from her Lip.
(Sins Cup will poison at the smallest sip,)
She weeps, and wooes again with subtleness,
And with a Frown she chides his backwardness.
Have you so soon (sweet Prince said she) forgot
Your own belov'd Clarinda? are you not
The same you were, that you so slightly set
By her that once you made the Cabinet
Of your choice Counsel? hath my constant heart
(As Innocence unspotted) no desert,
To keep me yours? or hath some worthier Love
Stole your Affections? what is it should move
You to dislike so soon? must I still tast
No other Dish but Sorrow? when we last
Emptied our Souls into each others Breast
It was not so, Anaxus, or at least
I thought you meant what then you promis'd me.
With that she wept afresh; Are you then she,
Answer'd Anaxus, doth Clarinda live?
Just thus she spake, how fain I would believe!
With that she seem'd to fall into a swound,
And stooping down to raise her from the ground,
That he might use both hands to make more haste,
He puts his Herb into his Mouth, whose taste
Soon chang'd his mind He lifts her, but in vain
His hands fell of, and she fell down again.
With that she lent him such a frown as would
Have kill'd a common Lover, and made cold
Ev'n lust it self Orandra fumes and frets,
And stamping bites the lip to see her Nets
So long a catching Souls once more she looks
Into the secrets of her hellish Books.
She bares her Breast, and gives her Spirit suck,
And drinks a Cup in hope of better luck.
Anaxus still the Airy Shadow ey'd,
Which he thought dead, conceit the truth bely'd.
This cunning failing, out she drew a knife,
And as if she had meant to let out life,
In passion aim'd it at her Breast, and said
Farewel Anaxus; but her hand he staid,
And from her wrung her knife Art thou, said he,
Clarinda then? and kiss'd her can it be,
That Fate so loves Anaxus? still with Tears
She answered him, and more divine appears.
His Herb was now forgot, lust had stoln in
With a loose kiss, and tempted him to sin.
A Bed was near, and she seem'd sick and faint
(Women to Cupid's sport, need no constraint.)
Down on the Bed she threw herself, and turn'd
Her blushing Beauty from him; still he burn'd,
And with intreaties her seeming coyness woo'd
To meet with his Embraces, and bestow'd
Vollies of Kisses on her icy Cheek,
That wrangled with their fire she would not speak,
But sigh'd and sob'd, that bellows of desire
Into a flame had quickly blown his fire.
Now did Orandra laugh within her sleeve,
Thinking all was cocksure, one might perceive
Ev'n in that wither'd Hag, an amorous look,
'Twas for her self she train'd him to her hook.
Softly she steals unto the Bed, and peeps
Betwixt the Curtains, nearer then she creeps,
And to her Spirit whispers her command
With that the Spirit seem'd to kiss his hand,
Which stew'd him into sweat; a cloth she wants
To wipe his face, and his enflam'd heart pants
Beyond its usual temper for some air,
To cool the passions that lay boiling there.
Out of his Bosom where his Nosegay was,
He draws a Napkin, so it came to pass
In plucking of it out, the Nosegay fell
Upon her face; when with a countenance fell,
She started from him, curst him, and with threats
Leap'd from the Bed, Orandra stamps and frets,
And bit her lip; she knew the cause full well
Why her Charms fail'd her, but yet could not tell
With all her art, how she might get from him
That Sovereign Herb for touch it she durst not,
And at this time Anaxus had forgot
The virtue of it, as in a maze he lay
At her soon starting from him; Cast away,
Said she, that stinking Nosegay with that he
Bethinks of it; but it was well that she
Put him in mind on't; it had else been lost,
He little knew how much that Nosegay cost.
He seeks for't, finds it, smells to't, and by it
Turns out his lust, and reassumes his wit.
No Hag, said he, if this do vex thee so,
I'l make thee glad to smell to't e're I go.
With that he leaps unto her cursing ripe,
And with his Herb the Witches face did wipe.
Whereat she fell to th'earth, the lights went out,
And darkness hung the Chamber round about.
A hellish yelling noise was each where heard,
Sounds that would make ev'n Valors self afeard
A stifling scent of Brimstone he might smell,
Such as the damned Souls suck in in Hell.
He kept his powerful Herb still at his Nose,
And tow'rd the entry of the Room he goes.
For tho 'twas more than midnight dark, yet he
Found the way out again. Orrandra she
Threw curses after him, and he might hear
Her often say, I'll fit you for this gear.
At the Caves mouth he found his careless man,
Wrapt in the Witches charms; do what he can
He could not wake him, such sweet lullabies
Pleasure sang to him, till he rub'd his eyes
With his rare Herb; then starting up he leaps
For joy to see his Master, that accepts
His love with thanks; from thence they make no haste,
Yet where they were they knew not; at the last
They came into a Plain, where a small Brook
Did Snake-like creep with many a winding nook,
And by it here and there a Shepherds Cot
Was lowly built, to one of them they got
T'enquire the way to Court now night drew on,
It was a good old man they lighted on,
Height Eubolus, of no mean Parentage,
But courtly educated, wise and sage,
Able to teach, yet willing to enrich
His knowledg with discourses, smooth in speech,
Yet not of many words; he entertains
Them with desire, nor spares for any pains
To amplifie a welcome with their Host
A while we leave them, now my muse must post
Unto Alexis Court; lend me I pray
Yonr gentle aid to guide her on the way.
Alexis after many civil broils
Against his Rebel Subjects, rich in spoils,
Being setled in his Throne in restful peace,
The Laws establish'd (and his peoples ease
Proclaim'd) he 'gan to call into his mind
The fore-past times, and soon his thoughts did find
Matter to work on First, Thealma now
Came to remembrance, where, and when, and how
He won, and lost her; this sad thought did so
Afflict his mind, that he was soon brought low
Into so deep a melancholy, that
He minded nothing else nor car'd he what
Became of State Affairs, and tho a King,
With pleasure he enjoy'd not any thing.
His Sleep goes from him, Meats and Drinks he loaths,
And to his sadder Thoughts he suits his Cloaths.
Mirth seem'd a Disease, good counsel Folly,
Unless it serv'd to humor Melancholy.
All his delight, if one may may call't delight,
Was to find Turtles that both day and night
Mourn'd up and down his Chamber, and with groans
His Heart consented to their hollow moans,
Then with his Tears the briny Drink they drank,
He would bedew them while his love to thank,
They nestle in his Bosom, where, poor Birds,
With piteous mournful tones, instead of words
They seem'd to moan their Master thus did he
Spend his sad hours; and what the cause might be,
His Nobles could not guess, nor would he tell;
For Turtle-like he lov'd his griefs too well,
To let them leave his Breast, he kept them in,
And inwardly they spake to none but him.
Thus was it with him more than half a year,
Till a new bus'ness had set ope his ear
To entertain advice the first that brake
The matter to him, or that durst to speak
Unto the King, was bold Anaxocles,
One that bent all his study for the peace
And safety of his Country; the right hand
Of the Arcadian State, to whose command
Was given the Cities Citadel a place
Of chiefest trust, and this the bus'ness was.
The Rebels, as you heard, being driven hence,
Despairing e're to expiate their offence
By a too late submission, fled to Sea
In such poor Barks as they could get, where they
Rom'd up and down which way the winds did please,
Without, or Chard, or Compass the rough Seas
Enrag'd with such a load of wickedness,
Grew big with Billows, great was their distress;
Yet was their courage greater; desperate men
Grow valianter by suff'ring in their ken
Was a small Island; thitherward they steer
Their weather-beaten Barks, each plies his geer;
Some Row, some Pump, some trim the ragged Sails,
All were employ'd, and industry prevails.
They reach the Land at length, their Food grew scant,
And now they purvey to supply their want.
The Island was but small, yet full of Fruits,
That sprang by Nature, as Potato-Roots,
Rice, Figs, and Almonds, with a many more,
Till now unpeopled on this happy Shore.
With joy they bring their Barks, of which the best
They Rig anew, with Tackling from the rest.
Some six or seven they serviceable made,
They stand not long to study where to Trade;
Revenge prompts that unto them; Piracy
Was the first thing they thought on, and their Eye
Was chiefly on the Arcadian Shore, that lay
But three Leagues off their Theft is not by day
So much as night, unless some stragling Ship
Lights in their trap by chance closely they keep
Themselves in Rocky Creeks, till Sun be down
And all abed, then steal they to some Town
Or scatt'ring Village; which they fire, and take
What Spoils they find, then to their Ship they make,
And none knew who did harm them; many a night
Had they us'd this free-booting many a fright
And great hearts-grieving loss the unarm'd poor
Were night'ly put to; and to cure this sore
The old man rous'd the King Alexis, chid
His needless sorrow told him that he did
Not like a man, much less like one whose health
Strengthens the Sinews of a Common-wealth.
He lays his Peoples Grievances before him,
And told him how with tears they did implore him
To right their wrongs at first Alexis frown'd,
And in an angry cloud his looks were drown'd.
A sign of Rain or Thunder; 'twas but Rain,
Some few drops fell, and the Sun shone again.
Alexis rising, thanks his prudent care,
And, as his Father lov'd him; all prepare
T'unnest these Pyrates Ships were ready made,
And some Land-Forces; as well to invade,
As for Defence the Pyrates now were strong.
By Discontents that to their Party throng.
Not so much friend to the late Tyrant King,
As thirsting after Novelty, the thing
That tickles the rude Vulgar one strong Hold
The cunning Foe had gain'd, and grew so bold
To dare all opposition; night and day
They spoil the Country, make weak Towns their prey;
And those that will not joyn with them they kill,
Not sparing Sex, nor Age, proud of their ill
By their rich Booties Against these the King
Makes both by Sea and Land; 'twas now Spring.
And Flora had embroidered all the Meads
With sweet variety, forth the King leads
A chosen Troop of Horse, with some few Foot,
But those experienc'd men, that would stand to't
If any need were; to the Sea he sends
Anaxocles, and to his care commends
His Marine Forces, he was bold and wise,
And had been custom'd to the Sea-mans guise.
He gave it out that he was bound for Thrace
To fetch a Princely Lady thence, that was
To be th' Arcadian Queen, which made the Foe
The more secure and careless forth they go
Assur'd of Victory, and prosperous Gales,
As fate would have't, had quickly fill'd their Sails
The Pyrates Rendevous was soon discover'd
By scouting Pinnaces, that closely hover'd
Under the lee of a high Promontory,
That stretcht into the Sea; and now, days glory,
Nights Sable Curtains had eclips'd, the time
When Robbers use to perpetrate a Crime.
The Pyrates steal abroad, and by good hap,
Without suspect they fell into the Trap
Anaxocles had laid; for wisely, he
Divides his Fleet in Squadrons, which might be
Ready on all sides every Squadron had
Four Ships well man'd, that where e're the Foe made,
He might be met with, one kept near the shore,
Two kept at Sea, the other Squadron bore
Up tow'rd the Isle, yet with a weeling course,
Not so far distant, but the whole Fleets force
Might quickly be united if need were.
Between these come the Pyrates without fear,
Making tow'rds th'Arcadian shore, where soon
Th'Arcadians met them; now the Fight begun,
And it was hot, the Foe was three to one
And some big Ships Anaxocles alone
Gave the first on-set, Cynthia then shone bright,
And now the Foe perceives with whom they fight.
And they fought stoutly, scorning that so few
Should hold them tack so long; then nearer drew
The two side Squadrons, and were within shot
Before they spi'd them now the Fight grew hot
Despair put Valor to the angry Foe,
And bravely they stand to't, give many a blow.
Three Ships of theirs were sunk at last, and then
They seek to flie unto their Isle agen;
When the fourth Squadron met them, and afresh
Set on them, half o'recome with weariness;
Yet yield they would not, but still fought it out;
By this the other Ships were come about,
And hemm'd them in; where seeing no hope left,
Whom what the Sword did not ex'cute for Theft,
Leap'd in the Sea and drown'd them; that small force
They'd left within the Isle far'd rather worse
Than better; all were put to th'Sword,
And their Nest fir'd; much Booty brought aboard,
With store of Corn, and much Munition
For War; thus glad of what was done,
The Fleet with joy returns, the like success
Alexis had by Land, at unawares
Surprising their chief Fort some lucky Stars
Lending their helpful influence that night;
Yet for the time it was a bloody Fight.
At length the fainting Foe gave back, and fled
Out of a Postern-gate with fear half dead,
And thinking in the Port to meet their Fleet,
They met with Death; an ambush did them greet
With such a furious shock, that all were slain,
Only some stragling cowards did remain,
That hid themselves in Bushes which next day
The Soldiers found, and made their lives a prey
Unto their killing anger home the King
Returns in triumph, whilst Pans Priests do sing
Harmonious Odes in honor of that day,
And dainty Nymphs with Flowers strew'd the way
Among the which he spy'd a beauteous Maid,
Of a majestick count'nance, and aray'd
After so new a manner, that his eye
Impt with delight upon her, and to try
Whether her Mind did answer to her Face,
He call'd her to him, when with modest grace
She fearless came, and humbly on her knee
Wish'd a long life unto his Majesty.
He ask'd her name; she answer'd Florimel,
And blushing made her Beauty so excel,
That all the thoughts of his Thealma now
Were hush'd and smothered; upon her Brow
Sate such an awful Majesty, that he
Was conquer'd e're oppos'd; 'twas strange to see
How strangely he was altered still she kneels,
And still his heart burns with the fire it feels.
At last the victor pris'ner caught with Love,
Lights from his Chariot, and begins to prove
The sweetness of the bait that took his heart,
And with a Kiss uprears her yet Loves Dart
Fir'd not her Breast to welcom his Affection,
Only hot Sunny Beams with their reflection
A little warm'd her; then he questions who
Her Parents were, and why apparel'd so.
Where was her dwelling, in what Country born?
And would have kiss'd her, when 'twixt fear and scorn
She put him from her; My dread Lord, said she,
My Birth is not ignoble, nor was he
That I call Father, though in some disgrace
Worthy his unjust Exile what he was,
And where I first breath'd air, pardon dread King;
I dare not, must not tell you none shall wring
That secret from me; what I am, you see,
Or by my Habit you may guess to be
Diana's Votaress the cause, great Sir,
That prompts me to this boldness to appear
Before your Majesty, was what I owe,
And ever shall unto your Valour, know,
(For you may have forgot it) I am she,
Who with my good old Father you set free,
Some two years since, from bloody minded men,
That would have kill'd my honor; had not then
Your timely aid stept in to rescue me,
And snatcht my bleeding Father, dear to me
As was mine honor, even from the jaw of Death,
And given us both a longer stock of breath.
'Twas this, great King, that drew me with this tram,
From our Devotion to review again
My honors best preserver, and to pay
The debt of thanks I owe you many a day
I've wish'd for such a time, and Heav'n at last
Hath made me happy in it day was now
Well nigh spent, and Cattel 'gan to low
Homewards t'unlade their milky bags, when she
Her Speech had ended; every one might see
Love sit in triumph on Alexis brow,
Firing the captive Conqueror, and now
He 'gins to court her, and love tipt his Tongue
With winning Rhetorick; her hand he wrung,
And would agen have kiss'd her; but the Maid
With a coy blush 'twixt angry and afraid
Flung from the King, and with her Virgin train,
Fled swift as Roes unto their Bower again.
Alexis would have follow'd, but he knew
What eyes were on him, and himself withdrew
Into his Chariot, and to Courtward went
With all his Nobles, hiding his intent
Under the veil of pleasant light discourse,
Which some markt well enough; that night perforce
They all were glad within the open Plain
To pitch their Tents, where many a Shepherd Swain
Upon their Pipes troul'd out their Evening Lays
In various accents emulous of praise.
It was a dainty pleasure for to hear,
How the sweet Nightingales their throats did tear,
Envying their skill, or taken with delight,
As I think rather, that the still-born night
Afforded such co-partners of their woes.
And at a close from the pure streams that flows
Out of the rocky Caverns not far off,
Eccho replied aloud, and seem'd to scoff
At their sweet sounding airs, this did so take
Love-sick Alexis willingly awake,
That he did wish't had been a week to day
T'have heard them still; but time for none will stay,
The wearied Shepherds at their usual hour
Put up their Pipes, and in their Straw-thatcht Bow'r
Slept out the rest of night, the King likewise
Tir'd with a weary March shut in his eyes.
Within their leaden fold all hush'd and still;
Thus for a while we leave him, till my Quill
Weary and blunted with so long a story,
Rest to be sharpen'd, and then she is for ye.
No sooner welcome day with glimmering light
Began to chase away the shades of night,
But eccho wakens, rouz'd by the Shepherd Swains,
And back reverberates their louder strains.
The airy Choire had tun'd their slender throats,
And fill'd the bushy groves with their sweet Notes
The Flocks were soon unfolded, and the Lambs
Kneel for a Breakfast to their milky Dams.
And now Aurora blushing greets the world,
And o're her Face a curled Mantle hurl'd
Foretelling a fair day, the Soldiers now
Began to bustle; some their Trumpets blow,
Some beat their Drums, that all the Camp throughout
With sounds of War they drill the Soldiers out.
The Nobles soon were hors'd, expecting still
Their King's approach, but he had slept but ill,
But was but then arising, heavy ey'd,
And cloudy look'd, and something ill beside.
But he did cunningly dissemble it
Before his Nobles, all that they could get
From him was that, a Dream he had that night
Did much disturb him; yet seem'd he make slight
Of what so troubled him; but up he chears
His Soldiers with his presence, and appears
As hearty as his troubled thoughts gave leave
So that except his groans, none could perceive
Much alteration in him toward Court
The Army marches, and swift wing'd report
Had soon divulg'd their coming; by the way
He meets old Memnon, who, as you heard say,
Was Sire to Florimel, good man, he then
Was going to his Daughter when his men
Then in the Army in his passing by
Tend'red their duty to him lovingly.
He bids them welcome home; the King drew near,
And question'd who that poor man was, and where
His dwelling was; and why those Soldiers show'd
Such reverence to him; 'twas but what they ow'd
Answer'd a stander by; he is their Lord,
And one that merits more than they afford.
If worth were rightly valued (gracious Sir)
His name is Memnon, if one may believe
His own report; yet sure, as I conceive,
He's more than what he seems the Army then
Had made a stand when Memnon and his men
Were call'd before the King the good old man
With Tears, that joy brought forth, this wise began.
To welcome home Alexis ever be
Those sacred powers bless'd, that lets me see
My Sovereigns safe return still may that power
Strengthen your arm to Conquer Heav'n still shower
Its choicest blessings on my Sovereign,
My lifes preserver welcome home again.
I would my Girl were here, with that he wept,
When from his Chariot Alexis stept,
And lovingly embrac'd him he knew well
That this was Memnon, Sire to Florimel;
And to mind how he had set them free
From more than cruel Rebels; glad was he
So luckily to meet him, from his wrist
He took a Jewel, 'twas an Amythist
Made like a Heart with wings the Motto this,
Love gives me wings, and with a—kiss.
He gave it to old Memnon bear, said he,
This Jewel to your Child, and let me see
Both you and her at Court, fail not with speed
To let me see you there old man, I need
Thy grave advise; all wondred at the deed,
But chiefly Memnon Father, said the King,
I'll think upon your men fail not to bring
Your Daughter with you; so his leave he takes,
And ravish'd Memnon tow'rd his Daughter makes.
The Army could not reach the Court that night,
But lay in open Field, yet within sight
Of Pallimando where the Court then lay.
For greater state Alexis the next day
Purpos'd to enter it; the Townsmen they
In the mean time prepare what cost they may,
With Shows and Presents to bid welcom home
Their victor King; and amongst them were some
Studied Orations, and compos'd new lays
In honour of their King the Oak and Bays
Were woven into Garlands for to crown
Such as by Valor had gain'd most renown.
Scarce could the joyful people sleep that night,
In expectation of the morrows sight.
The morrow came, and in triumphant wise
The King and Soldiers enter all mens eyes
Were fix'd upon the King with such desire,
As if they'd seen a God, while Musicks Choire
Fill'd every corner with resounding lays,
That spake the conquering Alexis praise.
Drown'd in the vulgars lowder acclamations,
'Twould ask an age to tell what preparations
Were made to entertain him, and my muse
Grows somewhat weary these triumphant shews
Continu'd long, yet seem'd to end too soon,
The people wish'd 'thad been a week to noon.
By noon the King was hous'd, and order given
To pay the Soldiers, now it grew tow'rd even,
And all repair to rest; so I to mine,
And leave them buried in sound sleep and Wine.
I'll tell you more hereafter, friendships laws
Will not deny a friendly rest and pause.
You heard some few leaves past Alexis had
A Dream that troubled him, and made him sad.
Now being come home it 'gan revive a fresh
Within his memory, and much oppress
The pensive King Sylvanus, who you heard
Was good at Divinations, had steer'd
His course, as fate would have him, then to Court,
Belov'd and reverenc'd of the nobler sort,
And Sainted by the vulgar that that brought
The old man thither, was, for that he thought
To meet Anaxus there; but he you heard
Was otherways employ'd the Nobles chear'd
Their love-sick King with the welcome report
Of old Sylvanus coming to the Court;
For he had heard great talk of him before,
And now thought long to see him, and the more
Because he hop'd to learn from his try'd arr,
What his Dream meant, that so disturb'd his heart.
Sylvanus soon was sent for, and soon came,
At his first greeting he began to blame
Th'amorous King for giving way to grief
Upon so slight occasion, but relief
Was rather needful now than admonition
That came too late, his mind lack'd a Physician,
And healing comforts were to be apply'd
Unto his Wounds before they mortifi'd.
Sylvanus therefore wish'd him to disclose
The troublous Dream he had, and to repose
His trust in that strong pow'r that only could
Discover hidden secrets, and unfold
The riddle of a Dream, and that his skill
Was but inspir'd by that great power, whose will
By weakest means is oftentimes made known.
Methought (Alexis said) I was alone
By the Sea side noting the prouder Waves,
How Mountain-like they swell, and with loud braves
Threaten the bounden Shore; when from the Main
I see a Turtle rise, the Wings and Train
Well-nigh deplum'd, and making piteous moan,
And by a mark I guess'd it was mine own;
And flying tow'rd me, suddenly a Kite
Swoopt at the Bird, and in her feeble flight
Soon seiz'd upon her, crying, as I thought,
To me for help no sooner was she caught,
When as an Eagle seeking after prey,
Flew tow'rd the main Land from the Isles this way,
Aud spying of the Kite, the kingly Fowl
Seiz'd on her strait; the Turtle pretty soul
Was by this means set free, and faintly gate
Upon the Eagles back, ordain'd by fate
To be preserv'd full glad was I to see
Her so escape; but the Eagle suddenly
Soaring aloft to Seaward, took her flight,
And in a moment both were out of sight,
And left me betwixt joy and sorrow; sad
For the Birds flight, yet for her freedom glad.
Then, to my thinking, I espy'd a Swain,
Running affrighted tow'rd me ore the Plain.
Upon his wrist methought a Turtle sate,
Not much unlike th'other mourning for's Mate
Only this difference was; upon her head
She had a tuft of Feathers blue and red,
In fashion of a Crown; it did me good
To see how proudly the poor Turtle stood
Pruning her self, as if she scorn'd her thrall.
If harmless Doves can scorn that have no Gall.
I was so much in love with the poor Bird,
I wish'd it mine, methought the Swain I heard
Cry out for help to me with that I spy'd
A Lion running after him glare-ey'd,
And full of rage; fear made the Swain let go
The lovely Turtle to escape his foe.
The Bird no sooner loose, made to the Beast,
And in his curled Locks plats out a Nest.
The Beast not minding any other prey
Save what he had, ran bellowing away,
As over-joy'd; and as methought I strove
To follow him I wak'd, and all did prove
But a deluding Dream; yet such a one
As nightly troubles me to think upon.
The pow'rs above direct thee to unfold
The myst'ry of it; 'twas no sooner told,
When old Sylvanus with a chearful smile,
Answer'd the King in a familiar stile.
You are in love, dread Souereign, and with two,
One will not serve your turn, look what you do,
You will go near to lose them both; but fate
At length will give you one to be your mate.
She that loves you, you must not love as Wife,
And she that loves another as her life
Shall be th' Arcadian Queen; take comfort then,
The two lost Turtles you will find agen.
Thus much my Art doth tell me, more than this
I dare not let you know my counsel is
You would with patience note the working fates,
That Joy proves best that's bought at dearest rates.
He would not name Anaxus, tho he knew
He should make one in what was to ensue;
And would not hasten sorrow sooner on him,
Than he himself would after pull upon him.
The King was somewhat satisfied with what
Sylvanus told him; and subscrib'd to fate.
He puts on chearful looks, and to his Lords
No little comfort by his health affords.
He sits in Council, and recals those Peers
That liv'd conceal'd in Exile many years.
'Mongst whom was Rhotus, Memnon, and some others;
And tho with cunning his desire he smothers,
Yet did he not forget fair Florimel,
Of whom my stragling Muse is now to tell.
Memnon, you heard, was going to his Child,
When the King left him with a heart e're fill'd
With Joy and Hopes some marks he had espy'd
About Alexis, which so fortified
His strong conjecture, that he was the man
He ever took him for, thar he began
With youthful chearfulness to chide his Age,
That stole so soon upon him with presage,
Sweetning his saucy sorrows that had sowr'd
Lifes blessing to him; many tears he showr'd
With thought of what had pass'd, and tho not sure
Alexis was his Son, those thoughts did cure,
Or at the least wise eas'd his troubled mind.
The good old man no sooner saw his Child,
And bless'd her for her Duty, when he smil'd
At what he was to say, and glad she was
To see her Sire so chearful; to let pass
The long discourse between them 'twas his will
She should prepare for Court, chiding her still
For mentioning Anaxus; nor did he
Give her long time to think on, what might be
The cause that mov'd her Father to such haste.
But by the way he had given her a taste
Of what might follow three days were assign'd
Her for to get things ready; 'twas his mind
It should be so, and Duty must obey
When Fathers bid, 'tis sin to say them nay.
Well then he meant to send for her, till when
He leaves her to her thoughts, and home agen
The joyful old man wends; that very night
Before the day prefix'd, the fates to spight
Secure Alexis, sent Anaxus thither,
And brought his long-sought Love and him together.
You know we left him with old Eubolus,
A wisely discreet man and studious.
In Liberal Arts well seen, and State Affairs,
Yet liv'd retir'd to shun the weight of cares.
That greatness fondly sues for All that night
Was spent in good discourse too long to write,
He told the Prince the story of the War,
And Pourtray'd out Alexis character
So to the life, that he was fir'd to see
The man he spake of, and disguised he
Intended in his thoughts next day to prove
The truth of what he heard but cruel Jove
That loves to tyrannize for pleasure, stay'd
His purposed Journey, and unawares betray'd
Anaxus to an ambush of sad woes
That set on him, when he least dream'd of Foes.
Amongst the various discourse that pass'd
Between these two, it fortuned at last
Eubolus fell in talk of Florimel,
And of her Father Memnon, who full well
He knew to be a Lemnian, howsoe're
He gave it out for otherwise for fear
Of double-ey'd suspicion to the Prince.
He set his Virtues forth, and how long since
He left his native Soil; the Prince conceiv'd
Good hope of what he aim'd at, and believ'd
By all conjectures that this Memnon might
Be banish'd Codrus, whom he meant to right,
If ever he was King. Eubolus went on
In praises of him and of Florimel.
Friend (quoth the Prince Anaxus) canst thou tell
Where this fair Virgin is? yes, he reply'd,
I can and will, 'tis by yon River side,
Where yonder tuft of Trees stands, day then brake,
And he might well discern it; for loves sake,
Answer'd Anaxus, may one see this Maid,
That merits all these praises; yes, he said,
But thro a grate, no man must enter in
Within the Cloyster, that they hold a sin
Yet, she hath liberty some time to go
To see her Father, none but she hath so.
What e're the matter is, unless when all
Arm'd with their Bows go to some Festival
Upon a noted Holiday, and then
These Female Army, out and home agen
In comely order marcheth th'other day
It was my luck to see her, when this way
The King came from the Wars, she with her Train,
(For she seem'd Captain) met him on this Plain.
Her coming thither, as I heard her say,
Was for her lifes preserving to repay
A debt of thanks she ow'd him many words
Did pass between them, and before the Lords
Most graciously he kiss'd her, and did woe
Her for a longer stay; but she in scorn,
Or finding him too am'rous, blew her Horn,
To call her Troop together; all like Roes
Ran swiftly tow'rd their Cloyster, she is fair,
And you know Beauty is a tempting snare.
Hers is no common one, her very eye
That sparkled with a kind of Majesty,
Might without wonder captivate a King;
But this is too too high a strain to sing.
It was enough that Eubolus had said,
If not too much, to him that throughly weigh'd
Each circumstance a kind of jealous fire
Stole to his heart, and spurr'd on his desire
To see and prove her; taking Pen and Ink
He writ his mind, foreseeing (as I think)
She might not come alone unto the Grate,
And so could not so privately relate
(If she should prove Clarinda) his intent.
So for an hour in vain to sleep he went,
But restless thoughts did keep him still awake,
Still musing on the words the old man spake.
Well, Sun being up, with thanks he takes his leave
Of his kind Host, that did not once perceive
Him to be troubled with such cunning he
Dissembled what had mov'd him, jealousie.
His man and he toward the Cloyster go,
Casting in's mind what he were best to do
To win a sight of her his nimble Brain
Soon hatch'd a polity, that prov'd not vain.
The Cloyster outward Gate was newly ope,
When he came there; and now 'twixt fear and hope
He boldly enters the base Court, and knocks
At th'inner Gate fast shut with divers Locks
At length one came, the Portress, as I guess,
For she had many Keys, her stranger dress
Much took Anaxus, who ne're saw till then
Women attir'd so prettily like men.
In courteous wise she ask'd him what he would?
Fair Dame, said he, I have been often told
(By one I make no question) whom you know,
Old Memnon, (to whose tender care I owe
For my good breeding) that within this place
I have a Kinswoman, that lately was
Admitted for a Holy Sister here,
My Uncle Memnon's Daughter; once a year
As Duty binds me, I do visit him,
And in my Journey homeward at this time
A Kinsmans love prompted me to bestow
A visit on my Cousin; who I know
Will not disdain to own me Gentle Sir,
Answer'd the man-like Maid, is it to her
Youl'd pay your loving tender? Yes, said he,
To Florimel if in this place she be?
And so my Uncle told me. Yes replied
The grave Virago, she is here Yet, Sir,
You must content your self to speak with her
Thorough this Grate; her Father comes not in,
And by our Laws it is esteem'd a sin
To interchange ought else, save words with men.
I ask no more, the Prince reply'd agen.
That cannot be deny'd, said she, stay here
With patience a while, and do not fear
But you shall see her; so away she went,
Leaving the glad Anaxus to invent
Excuses for his boldness, if by hap
She might not prove Clarinda, and intrap
Him in a lye Clarinda came at last
With all her Train, who as along she pass'd
Thorough the inward Court, did make a lane,
Op'ning their ranks, and closing them again.
As she went forward with obsequious gesture,
Doing their reverence; her upward Vesture
Was of blue Silk, glistering with Stars of Gold
Girt to her Waste, by Serpents that enfold,
And wrap themselves together, so well wrought,
And fashion'd to the life, one would have thought
They had been real. Underneath she wore
A Coat of Silver Tinsel, short before,
And fring'd about with Gold white Buskins hide
The naked of her Leg, they were loose ty'd
With Azure Ribbands, on whose knots were seen
Most costly Gemms, fit only for a Queen.
Her Hair bound up like to a Coronet,
With Diamonds, Rubies, and rich Saphyrs set;
And on the top a Silver Crescent plac'd,
And all the Lustre by such Beauty grac'd,
As her reflection made them seem more fair,
One would have thought Diana's self were there,
For in her hand a Silver Bow she held,
And at her back there hung a Quiver fill'd
With Turtle-feather'd Arrows thus attir'd,
She makes towards Anaxus, who was fir'd
To hear this Goddess speak; when they came near,
Both star'd upon each other, as if fear
Or wonder had surpriz'd them; for a while
Neither could speak, at length with a sweet smile
Grac'd with a comely blush, she thus began.
Good morrow Cousin, are not you the man
That I should speak with? I may be deceiv'd;
Are not you kin to Memnon? I believ'd
My Maid that told me so; he is my Father.
If you have ought to say to me, fair Soul,
Answer'd Anaxus; many doubts controul
My willingness to answer; pardon me,
Divinest Creature, if my answer be
Somewhat impertinent; read here my mind,
I am Anaxus, and I fain would find
A chast Clarinda here she was about
To call the Port'ress to have let her out.
But wisely she call'd back her thought for fear
Her Virgin Troop might see, or over-hear
What pass'd between them, doubts did rise
Within her, whether she might trust her eyes.
It was Anaxus voice, she knew that well,
But by his disguis'd look she could not tell
Whether 'twere he or no; all that she said
Was, I may prove Clarinda too; and pray'd
Him stay a little, till her short return
Gave him a better welcom; all her Train
Thought she had fetch'd some Jewel for the Swain.
And as they were commanded, kept their station
Till her return. The Prince with expectation
Feeds his faint hopes; she was not long from thence,
And in a Letter pleads her innocence,
Which he mistrusted; now she could not speak
But wept her thoughts, for fear her heart should break.
And casting o're a Vail to hide her tears,
She bid farewel, and leaves him to his fears.
With that the Gate was shut Anaxus reads,
And with judicious care each sentence heeds;
And now he knew't was she whom he so long
Had sought for; now he thinks upon the wrong
His rash mistruct had done her, 'twas her will,
What e're he thought of her, to love him still
Nor could th' Arcadian Crown tempt her to break
Her promise with Anaxus Now to seek
For an excuse to gild o're this offence;
Yet this did somewhat chear him, two hours thence
He was enjoyn'd to come unto a Bower
That over-look'd the Wall; and at his hour
Anaxus came; there she had often spent
One hour or two each day alone, to vent
Her private griefs she came the sooner then
To meet Anaxus, and to talk agen
With him, whom yet her fears mis-gave her, might
Be some disguised Cheat at the first sight
She frown'd upon him, and with angry look,
A Title that but ill became the Book
Wherein her milder thoughts were writ Are you
(Said she) Anaxus? these loose lines do show
Rather you are some counterfeit; set on
By some to tempt my honor, here are none
That love the world so well to sell her Fame,
Or violate her yet unspotted Name,
To meet a Kings Embraces, tho a Crown,
And that the richest Fortune can stake down
Should be the hire; I tell thee sawcy Swain,
Whoever sent thee; I so much disdain
To yield to what these looser lines import,
That rather than I will be drawn to Court
To be Alexis Whore; nay, or his Wife,
I have a thousand ways to let out life.
But why do'st thou abuse Anaxus so?
To make him Pander to my overthrow
Know'st thou the man thou wrong'st; uncivil Swain?
Thou hast my Answer, carry back disdain.
With that she was about to fling away,
When he recall'd her; loth to go away,
What e're she seem'd before sh'had turn'd about
He pull'd off his false Hair, and cur'd her doubt.
My dearest Florimel, said he, and wept
My sweet Clarinda; and hath Heaven kept
Thee yet alive to recompence my love;
My yet unchang'd affection, that can move
But in one Sphere in thee and thee alone,
Forgive me, my Clarinda, what is done
Was but to try thee, and when thou shalt know
The reason why I did so; and what woe
My love to thee hath made me willingly
To undergo thou wilt confess that I
Deserve Clarinda's love poor Florimel
Would fain have sooner answer'd; but tears fell
In such abundance that her words were drown'd
Ev'n in their birth; at length her passions found
Some little vent to breath out this reply
O my Anaxus, if it be no sin
To call you mine, methinks I now begin
To breath new life, for I am but your creature,
Sorrow had kill'd what I receiv'd from nature
Before I see you; tho this piece of Clay
My body seem'd to move, until this day
It did not truly live my Heart you had,
And, that you pleas'd to have it, I was glad
Yet, till you brought it home, the life I led,
If it were any, was but nourished
By th'warmth I had from yours, which I still cherish'd
With some faint hopes, or else I quite had perish'd.
But time steals on, and I have much to say,
Take it in brief, for I'd be loth my stay
Above my usual hour should breed suspect
In my chaste Sisterhood bless'd pow'rs direct
Me what to do; my soul's in such a strait
And labyrinth of doubts and fears that wait
Upon my weakness, that I know no way
How to wade out to morrow is the day,
Th'unwelcom day when I must to the Court,
For what intent I know not; to be short,
I would not go, nor dare I here to stay,
The King so wills it yet should I obey
It might perhaps undo me; besides this,
My Father so commands it, and it is
A well becoming duty in a child
To stoop unto his will yet to be stil'd,
For doing what he bids me, a loose Dame,
And cause report to question my chaste Fame;
'Twere better disobey; a Father's will
Binds like a law, in goodness, not in ill.
I hope I sin not, that so ill conceive
Of th'end I'm sent for; and, can I believe
That honor's aim'd at in't? Court-Favors shine
Seldom on mean ones, but for some design.
Are not these fears to startle weak-built Women,
A Virgin Child of Virtue should she summon
Her best and stout'st resolves; with that, in tears
And sighs, she speaks the remnant of her fears,
And sinks beneath their weight; Anaxus soon
Caught hold of her, so that she fell not down,
And shaking of her, pluck'd her to the Grate
And with a Kiss reviv'd her; 'twas now late,
The Cloyster Bell had summon'd all to bed,
And she was missing, little more she said,
Save help me my Anaxus, keep the Jewel,
My love once gave thee swift time was so cruel
He could not answer; for her Virgin Train
Flock'd to the Lodg, and she must back again.
She had enjoyn'd him silence, and to speak
Anaxus durst not, tho his heart should break
As it was more than full of care and grief
For his Clarinda, thirsting for relief.
And in his looks one might have read his mind,
How apt it was t'afford it, still sh'enjoyn'd
Him not to speak; such was her wary fears
To be discovered; kisses mix'd with tears
Was their best Oratory then they part,
Yet turn agen t'exchange each others heart.
Something was still forgot; it is loves use
In what chaste thoughts forbid to find excuse.
Her Virgins knock, in vain she wipes her eyes
To hide her passions, that still higher rise.
She whispers in his ear; think on tomorrow,
They faintly bid farewel, both full of sorrow.
The window shuts, and with a fained cheer
Clarinda wends unto her Cloyster, where
A while we'l leave her to discourse with fear.
Pensive Anaxus to the next Town hies
To seek a lodging rather to advise
And counsel with himself, what way he might
Plot Florimel's escape 'twas late at night,
And all were drown'd in sleep; save restless lovers,
At length as chance would have it, he discovers
A glim'ring light, tow'rd it he makes and knocks
And with fair language, open, picks the Locks.
He enters, and is welcom by his Host
Where we will leave him and return again
Unto th' Arcadian Court to sing a strain
Of short-liv'd Joy, soon sowr'd, by such a sorrow
As will drink all our tears and I would borrow
Some time to think on't, 'twill come at the last,
“Sorrows we dream not on, have sowrest taste.
Cleon and Rhotus, as you heard of late,
Were travelling to Court, when (led by Fate)
They met Thealma, who by them had sent
A Jewel to the King six days were spent
Before they reach'd the Court; for Rhotus sake
Cleon was nobly welcom'd, means they make
To do their message to the love-sick King,
And with Sylvanus found him communing.
Sometimes he smil'd, another while he frown'd,
Anon his paler cheeks with tears be'en drown'd;
And ever and anon he calls a Groom,
And frowning ask'd if Memnon were not come.
One might perceive such changes in the King,
As hath th'inconstant wellkin in the Spring.
Now a fair day, anon a Dropsie cloud
Puts out the Sun, and, in a Sable Shrowd
The day seems buried; when the Clouds are o're,
The glorious Sun shines brighter than before
But long it lasts not; so Alexis far'd
His Sun-like Majesty was not impair'd
So much by sorrow, but that now and then
It would break forth into a smile agen.
At last Sylvanus leaves him for a space,
And, he was going to seek out a place
To vent his griefs in private; e're he went,
He ask'd if one for Memnon was yet sent?
With that he spies old Rhotus, him he meets,
And Cleon with him; both, he kindly greets.
They kneeling, kiss his hand; he bids them rise,
And still Alexis noble Cleon eyes.
Whence are you, Father (said he) what's your name?
Cleon reply'd, from Lemnos, Sir, I came,
My name is Cleon; and full well the King
Knew he was so, yet he kept close the thing.
He list not let his Nobles know so much,
What e're the matter was his grace was such
To the old men, as rich in worth as years.
He leads them in, and welcomes them with tears
The thoughts of what had pass'd, wrung from his eyes.
And, with the King in Tears, they sympathize.
O Rhotus, said he, 'twas thy charity
That rais'd me to this greatness, else had I
Fal'n lower than the Grave, and in the Womb
Of the salt Ocean wept me out a Tomb.
Thy timely help preserv'd me, so it pleas'd
The all-disposing Fates. There the King ceas'd
His sad discourse; he sighs and weeps afresh,
And rings old Rhotus hand in thankfulness
Sorrow had tongue-ty'd all, and now they speak
Their minds in sighs and tears, nor could they check
These embrio's of passion reason knows
No way to counsel passion that o'reflows.
Yet like to one that falls into a swoon,
In whom we can discern no motion,
No life, nor feeling, not a gasp of breath,
(So like the bodies faintings are to death)
By little and by little Life steals in,
At last he comes unto himself agen.
Life was but fled unto the heart for fear,
And thronging in it, well-nigh stifles there,
Till by its strugling Fear that chill'd the heart,
Meeting with warmth, is forc'd for to depart,
And's Life is loose agen so sorrow wrought
Upon these three, that any would have thought
Them weeping Statues; Reason at the length
Strugling with passions recover'd strength,
And forc'd a way for speech. Rhotus was first
That brake this silence, there's none better durst;
He knew his cause of sorrow, and was sure
The gladsom news he brought had power to cure
A Death-strook Heart; yet in his wisdom he
Thought it not best, what e're his strength might be,
To let in joy too soon; too sudden joy,
Instead of comforting, doth oft destroy
Experience had taught him so't might be;
Nor would old Rhotus venture't, wherefore he
By some ambigual discourses thought
It best to let him know the news he brought.
So lowly bowing Rhotus thus begins.
Dread Sovereign, how ill it suits with Kings
(Whose Office 'tis to govern men) that they
Should be their passions laws; self-Reason may,
Or should instruct you Pardon, gracious Sir,
My boldness, Virtue brooks no flatterer;
Nor dare I be so; you have conquer'd men,
And rul'd a Kingdom; shall your passions then
Unking Alexis be your self agen,
And curb those home-bred rebel thoughts, that have
No pow'r of themselves, but what you gave
In suff'ring them so long had you not nurs'd
Those Serpents in your bosom, but had crush'd
Them in the egg, you then had had your health.
“He rules the best that best can rule himself.
And here he paus'd. Alexis willing ear
Was chain'd to his discourse; when with a tear,
He sigh'd out this reply I know it well,
I would I could do so; but tears 'gan swell,
Rais'd by a storm of sighs he soon had done.
Which Rhotus noting, boldly thus went on.
Most Royal Sir, be comforted, I fear
My rude Reproofs affect not your soft Ear,
Which if they have I'm sorry, gracious Sir,
I ask your pardon, if my Judgment err.
I came to cure your sorrows, not to add
Unto their heavy weight that makes you sad.
To cure me, Rhotus? (said Alexis) no,
Good man, thou canst not do't, didst thou but know
The sad cause whence they spring. Perhaps I do,
Reply'd old Rhotus, and can name it too.
If you'l with patience hear me chear up then,
After these show'rs it may be fair agen.
As I remember, when the Heavens were pleas'd
To make me your Preserver, you my Guest,
(And happy was I that it fell out so)
Amongst the many fierce assaults of woe,
That then oppress'd your spirit, this was one
When you were private, as to be alone
You most affected, I have often heard
You sigh out one Thealma; nor have spar'd
To curse the Fates for her what might she be,
And what's become of her? if I may be
So bold to question it, tell us your grief,
“The hearts unlading hastens on relief
“When sorrows pent up closely in the breast,
“Destroy unseen, and render such unrest
“To the Souls wearied faculties, that Art
“Despairs to cure them pluck up a good heart
And cast out those corroding thoughts that will
In time undo you, and untimely lay
Your honor in the dust. The speechless King
Wept out an Answer to his counselling;
For, speak he could not, sighs and sobs so throng'd
From his sad heart, they had him quite untongu'd.
Will it not be, said Rhotus? then I see
Alexis is unthankful; not, that He
That once I took him for but, I have done.
When first I found you on the Rock, as one
Left by stern Fate to ruine, well-nigh drown'd,
And starv'd with cold, yet Heaven found
E'en in that hopeless exigent, a way
To raise you to a Crown; and will you pay
Heav'ns providence with frowns; for ought you know,
She that you sorrow for so much, may owe
As much to Heav'n as you do, and may live
To make the Joy complete, which you conceive
In your despairing thoughts impossible
I say, who knows but she may be as well
As you; nay better, more in health and free
From head-strong passion? Can I hope to be
So happy, Rhotus? answer'd the said King
No, she is drown'd; these eyes beheld her sink
Beneath the Mountain Waves, and shall I think
Their cruelty so merciful, to save
Her, their ambition strove for to ingrave?
Why not, reply'd old Cleon, who till then
Had held his peace “The Gods work not like men;
“When Reason's self despairs, and help there's none,
“Finding no ground for hope to anchor on;
“Then is their time to work. This you have known,
And Heaven was pleas'd to mark you out for one
It meant thus to preserve 'tis for some end,
(A good one too, I hope) and Heav'n may send
This happy seed-time such a joyful crop
As will weigh down your sorrows, kill not hope
Before its time, and let it raise your spirit
To bear your sorrows nobly never fear it,