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And could his will be led another way,
Yet being forc'd, he could not disobey :
So that his soul, in this her capiive state,
Did only yield to her impulsive fate.
Not that (said he) he murmur'd at his chains,
But pleas'd, sat down and blest his rigorous pains,
Not but his yoke so willingly he bare,
That liberty a greater bondage were.
Not but in spite of his malicious fate,
(In crossing all his joys so obstinate)
He should unforc'd, ev'n to the grave, affect
That beauty, which his love did so neglect.
Yet those his reasons, so well urg'd, so fair,
With her that will hear none, no reasons are.
They more incense her: yet for fear she might
Be softened, she betook herself to flight.
Such were the winning graces of his tongue,
Proving his love did not her beauty wrong.
How oft, since that, by all fair means he try'd (Whilst he the gods with sacrifices ply'd) To bring the humorous nymph unto his bent, And make her too obdurate heart relent ! His passions, sighs, and tears, were ready still, As the officious agents of his will, To work her to a sense of his hard state ; But, 'las! his hopes grew still more desperate. Nay, ev’n his voice, of so divine a strain, So moving! mov'd in her nought but disdain.
Six years he liv'd perplex'd in this distress, Without the least appearance of success, When he by chance (as she a stag pursu’d) Encounter'd her: whoe'er the queen hath view'd Of wood-nymphs (Cynthia) a hunting go After the boar, arm’d with her shafts and bow.
May then imagine the diviner grace,
The looks, the habit, stature, and the pace
Of beauteous Sylvia, as she tripping came
Into the woods, pursuing of her game.
Soon as poor Lyrian, half dead with love,
Had spy'd her in that solitary grove,
For whom his wounded heart so long had bled,
He with these words pursues ber as she fled.
“ Art thou resolv’d then (Sylvia) 'gainst my cries
Thine ears to close, and’gainst my verse thine eyes?
That verse which fame unto thy life does give;
And must I die, 'cause I have made thee live
Eternally? Seven years expired be
Since I've been tortur'd by thy cruelty :
And dost thou think that little strength supplies
My heart, for everlasting torments will suffice?
Shall I for ever only see thee stray [they?
'Mongst these wild woods, more senseless yet than
“ Alas! how weak I'm grown with grief! I fee My feeble legs beneath their burden reel! O stay! I faint, nor longer can pursue, Stay, and since sense thou lack'st, want motion too. Stay, if for nothing else, to see me die ! At least vouchsafe, stern nymph, to tell me why Thou cam'st into this dark and gloomy place? Where heaven with all its eyes can never trace Or find thee out. Was't thy intent, the light Of thy fair stars thus to obscure in night? Or seek'st thou these cool shades, the ice and snow That's 'bout thy heart to keep unmelted so? In vain, coy nymph, thou light and heat doth shun: Who e'er knew cold or shade attend the Sun? Ah, cruel nymph! the rage dost thou not fear Of those wild beasts, that in these woods appear?
No, no, thou art secure; and mayst out-vie
Both them and all the world for cruelty !
“Oh, thou that gloriest in a heart of stone ! Wilt thou not stay ? yet seest (as if my moan They pitied) each rough bramble 'bout thy foot Does cling, and seems t'arrest thee at my suit ? Ye gods! what wonders do you here disclose ? The bramble hath more sweetness than the rose.
“But whither Ay these idle words? In vain, Poor, miserable wretch, thou dost complain, After so many ills, (of which I bear The sadder marks yet in my heart.) Now hear, Ye gods, at last! and by a welcome death A period put unto my wretched breath. Ah, me! I faint ! my spirits quite decay ! And yet I cannot move her heart to stay. Ye hellish deeps! black gulphs, where horror lies, Open, and place yourselves before her eyes. Had I Hippomenes' bright fruit, which stay'd The swifter speed of the Schenæian maid, They would not profit me; the world's round ball Could not my cruel fugitive recall. She is all rock, and I, who am all fire, Pursue her night and day with vain desire. O Nature ! is it not a prodigy To find a rock than fire more light to be? But I mistake : for if a rock she were, She'd answer me again as these do here."
Thus tir’d with running, and o’ercome with woe, To see his mistress should out-strip him so, Poor Lyrian yields himself as sorrow's prize, His constancy and amorous fervour dies, Bloody despair ent’ring his captiv'd soul, Does like a tyrant all his powers control. Vol. V.
Then, in the height of woe, to his relief
He calls the gods; yet, in the midst of grief,
All fair respect does still to Sylvia give,
To show that ev'n in death his love should live,
He who for Daphne like regret did prove, [love,
And the horn'd god (who, breathless, thought his
The fair-hair'd Syrinx in his arms he clasp'd,
And slender reeds for her lov'd body grasp’d)
So far (rememb’ring their like amorous fate)
His unjust sufferings commiserate,
That both strait swore in passion, and disdain,
To punish the proud author of his pain :
Their powerful threats a like effect pursues ;
See! that proud beauty a tree's shape endues!
Each of her bairs does sprout into a bough,
And she that was a nymph, an elm is now.
Whilst thus transform’d, her feet (to roots spread)
Fast in the ground, she was at last o'ertook [stuck
By panting Lyrian ; happy yet, to see
Her he so priz'd within his power to be:
“Ye gods!” then says he, “who by this sad test
Have 'fore mine eyes Nature's great power exprest,
Grant that to this fair trunk, which love ne'er knew,
My heart may yet a love eternal shew."
This having said, unto the yet warm bole
He clings, (whilst a new form invests his soul)
Winding in thousand twines about it, whence
He's call'd of love the perfect symbol since.
In brief, this faithful lover now is found
An ivy stock; which, creeping from the ground
About the loved stem, still climbing is,
As if he sought her mouth to steal a kiss :
Each leaf's a heart, whose colour does imply
His wish obtain'd, love's perpetuity;
Which still his strict embraces evidence.
For all of him is lost but only sense,
And that you'd swear remains; and say (to see
The elm in his embraces hugg'd) that he,
Willing to keep what he had gain’d at last,
For fear she should escape, holds her so fast.
OUT OF THE ITALIAN OF CAVALIER MARINO.
In thunder now the hollow cannon roar'd,
To call the far-fam'd warriors aboard,
Who that great feud (enkindled 'twixt the French
And German) with their blood attempt to quench.
Now in the open sea they proudly ride,
And the soft crystal with rude oars divide ;
Perfidious Armillus at once tore
His heart from Lydia, anchor from the shore.
'Twas night, and aged Proteus had driv'n home
His numerous herd, fleec'd with the sea's white
The winds were laid to rest, the fishes slept,
The wearied world a general silence kept,
No noise, save from the surges, hollow caves,
Or liquid silver of the justling waves, [light,
Whilst the bright lanthorns shot such trembling
As dazzled all the twinkling eyes of night.
The fair inamorata (who from far
Had spy'd the ship which her heart's treasure bare,
Put off from land; and now quite disembas’d,
Her cables coiled, and her anchors weigh’d,