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HERO AND LEANDER.
THE FIRST SESTIAD.
The Argument of the Pirst Sestiad.*
On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
To please the careless and disdainful eyes
beneath : Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves, Whose workmanship both man and beast de
ceives : Many would praise the sweet smell as she past, When 'twas the odour which her breath forth
cast; And there for honey bees have sought in vain, And, beat from thence, have lighted there again. About her neck hung chains of pebble-stone, Which, lighten'd by her neck, like diamonds
shone. She ware no gloves; for neither sun nor wind Would burn or parch her hands, but, to her
mind, Or warm or cool them, for they took delight To play upon those hands, they were so white. Buskins of shells, all silver'd, usèd she, And branch'd with blushing coral to the knee; Where sparrows perch'd, of hollow pearl and
* The Argument of the First Sestiad, &c.) The Arguments of all the Sestiads are by Chapman; who, when he continued Hero and Leander, divided into the First and Second Sestiad that portion of the poem which was written by Marlowe. See Account of Marlore and his writings.
The present text of this poem is formed from a collation of seven editions (see p. 276), of which the earliest are by far the most correct. In noting the various readings at the foot of the page, I originally intended to specify the particular editions which exhibited them: but I found that such minuteness of reference (perhaps, after all, wholly uninteresting to the reader) would occupy a much larger portion of the page than was desirable ; and I have therefore been content to give the varia lectiones without indicating their sources.
| Sea-borderers) V. R. “Seaborders.” I highl) i. e. called.
$ The outside of her garments were of laron] The modern editors print " was of lawn". But see note $,
• ware) V. R. "wore."
And oftentimes into her bosom flew,
The barbarous Thracian soldier, mov'd with About her naked neck his bare arins threw,
nought, And laid his childish head upon her breast, Was mov'd with him, and for his favour sought. And, with still panting rock,* there took his Some swore he was a maid in man's attire, rest.
For in his looks were all that men desire, So lovely-fair was Hero, Venus' nun,
A pleasant-smiling cheek, a speaking eye, As Nature wept, thinking she was undone, A brow for love to banquet royally; Because she took more from her than she left, Aud such as knew he was a man, would say, And of such wondrous beauty her bereft : “Leander, thou art made for amorous play: Therefore, in sign her treasure suffer'd wrack, Why art thou not in love, and lov'd of all! Since Hero's time hath half the world been Though thou be fair, yet be not thine own black.
thrall." Amorous Leander, beautiful and young,
The men of wealthy Sestos every year, (Whose tragedy divine Musæus sung,)
For his sake whom their goddess held so dear, Dwelt at Abydos; since him dwelt there none Rose-cheek'd Adonis, kept a solemn feast : For whom succeeding times make t greater Thither resorted many a wandering* guest
To meet their loves : such as had none at all, His dangling I tresses, that were never shorn, Came lovers home from this great festival ; Had they been cut, and unto Colchos borne, For every street, like to a firmament, Would have allur'd the venturous youth of Glister'd with breathing stars, who, where they Greece
went, To hazard more than for the golden fleece. Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem'd Fair Cynthia wish'd his armis might be her Eternal heaven to burn, for so it seem'd, sphere;
As if another Phaëton had got Grief makes her pale, because she moves The guidance of the sun's rich chariot. there.
But, far above the loveliest, Hero shin'd, His body was as straight as Circe's wand; And stole away th' enchanted gazer's mind; Jove might have sipt out nectar from his hand. For like sea-nymphs' inveigling harmony, Even as delicious meat is to the tast, s
So was her beautr to the standers by; So was his neck in touching, and surpast
Nor that night-wandering, pale, and watery star The white of Pelops' shoulder : I could tell ye, (When yawning dragons drawt her thirling # car How smooth his breast was, and how white his From Latmus' mount up to the gloomy sky, belly;
Where, crown'd with blazing light and majesty, And whose immortal fingers did imprint
She proudly sits) more over-rules the flood That heavenly path with many a curious dint Than she the hearts of those that near her That runs along his back; but my rude pen
stood. Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men, Even as when gaudy nymphs pursue the chase, Much less of powerful gods : let it suffice Wretched Ixion's shaggy-footed race, That my slack Muse sings || of Leander's eyes; Incens'd with savage heat, gallop amain Those orient cheeks and lips, exceeding his From steep pine-bearing mountains to the plain, That leapt into the water for a kiss
So ran the people forth to gaze upon her, Of his own shadow, and, despising many,
And all that view'd her were enamour'd on her: Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
And as in fury of a dreadful fight, Had wild Hippolytus Leander seen,
Their fellows being slain or put to light, Enamour'd of his beauty had he been:
Poor soldiers stand with fear of death dead. His presence made the rudest peasant melt,
strooken, That in the vast uplandish country dwelt; So at her presence all surpris'd and tooken,
* rock] V. R. "rockt."
& tast] i.e. taste,-for the sake of the rhymo.-V. R.
Those) V. R. "Thesc."
wandering] V. R. “wandered."
thirling] i. e. thrilling,-tromulously moving.-The modern editors print "whirling"; which does not suit the context.
$ And as in fury of a dreadful Maki) V. R. " And as is a furie oj dreadfull right."
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes;
Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head;
It lies not in our power to love or hate, For will in us is over-rul'd by fate. When two are stript long ere the course begin, We wish that one should lose, the other win; And one especially do we affect Of two gold ingots, like in each respect : The reason no man knows; let it suffice, What we behold is censur'd * by our eyes. Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight? +
He kneel'd; but unto her devoutly pray'd : * Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said, “Were I the saint he worships, I would hear
And, as she spake those words, came somewhat &
near him. He started up; she blush'd as one asham'd; Wherewith Leander much more was inflam'd. He touch'd her hand; in touching it she trembled: Love deeply grounded,ll hardly is dissembled. These lovers parled by the touch of hands : True love is mute, and oft amazed stands. Thus while dumb signs their yielding hearts
entangled, The air with sparks of living fire was spangled; And Night, I deep-drench'd in misty Acheron, Heav'd up her head, and half the world upon Breath'd darkness forth (dark night is Cupid's
day) : And now begins Leander to display Love's holy fire, with words, with sighs, and
tears; Which, like sweet music, enter'd Hero's ears ;
* discolour'd] i. e. variegated.
t flour) i. e. floor,-for the sake of the rhyme (spelt in several 4tos "flowre" and "flower"). Compare. — "And over this was rais'd with curious sleight
A pyramid, a huge and stately towre.
Sir J. Harington's Orlando Furioso, B. xxix, st. 35.
And for his love Europa bellowing loud) i. e. And bollowing loud for his love, Europa.
$ Vaild to the ground, veiling her eyelids close] Vaild, le Lowerod herself, stooped. - V. R. “Taild (and “ Tayld") to the ground." &c.-The modern editors print
Kneeld to the ground," &c.-Compare Fletcher's Wife for a month, act iii. sc. 3;
" His jollity is down, vaild to the ground, sir." As to the occurrence of “ Vail'd” and “veiling" in the
same line,-compare (among many passages which might be cited); “For Hell and Darkness pitch their pitchy tents," &c.
Sec. Part of Tamburlaine, p. 71, first col. “So fard fair Hero in th' expugned fort," &c.
P. 292, first col., of the present poem. * censur'd] i. e. judged of.
+ Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at Arst sight ?] Shakespeare has honoured this line by quoting it in As you like it :
“Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight!" Act iii. sc. 5.
those) V. R. “these." s somewhat] V. R. “something." ll grounded) V. R. "ground."
And Night, &c.] “ A periphrasis of night." Marginal note in ito 15:8.
And yet at every word she turn'd aside,
Ah, simple Hero, learn thyself to cherish! And always cut him off, as he replied.
Lone women, like to empty houses, perish. At last, like to a bold sharp sophister,
Less sins the poor rich man, that atarves himself With cheerful hope thus he accosted her. In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf, “Fair creature, * let me speak without offence : Than such as you: his golden earth remains, I would my rude words had the influence Which, after his decease, some other gains; To lead thy thoughts as thy fair looks do mine! But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone, Then shouldst thou be his prisoner, who is thine. When you fleet hence, can be bequeath'd to Be not unkind and fair; mis-shapen stuff
none; Are of behaviour boisterous and rough.
Or, if it could, down from th' enamelld sky O, shun me not, but hear me ere you go!
All heaven would come to claim this legacy, God knows, I cannot force love as you do: And with intestine broils the world destroy, My words shall be as spotless as my youth, And quite confound Nature's sweet harmony. Full of simplicity and naked truth.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is, This sacrifice, whose sweet perfume descending We human creatures should enjoy that bliss. From Venus' altar, to your footsteps bending, One is no number; maids are nothing, then, Doth testify that you exceed her far,
Without the sweet society of men. To whom you offer, and whose nun you are. Wilt thou live single still ? one shalt thou be, Why should you worship her ? her you surpass Though never-singling Hymen couple thee. As much as sparkling diamonds flaring glass. Wild savages, that drink of running springs, A diamond set in lead his worth retains ; Think water far excels all earthly things ; A heavenly nymph, belov'd of human swains, But they, that daily taste neat * wine, despise it: Receives no blemish, but oftimes more grace; Virginity, albeit some highly prize it, Which makes me hope, although I am but base, Compar'd with marriage, had you tried them Base in respect of thee divine and pure,
both, Dutiful service may thy love procure;
Differs as much as wine and water doth. And I in duty will excel all other,
Base bullion for the stamp's sake we allow : As thou in beauty dost exceed Love's mother. Even so for men's impression t do we you; Nor heaven nor thou were made to gaze upon : By which alone, our reverend fathers say, As heaven preserves all things, so save thou ope. Women receive perfection every way. A stately-builded ship, well-rigg'd and tall, This idol, which you term virginity, The ocean maketh more majestical :
Is neither essence subject to the eye, Why vow'st thou, then, to live in Sestos here, No, nor to any one exterior sense, Who on Love's seas more glorious wouldst y Nor hath it any place of residence, appear?
Nor is't of earth or mould celestial, Like untun'd golden strings all women are, Or capable of any form at all, Which long time lie untouch'd, will harshly jar. Of that wbich hath no being, do not boast : Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine: Things that are not at all, are never lost. What difference betwixt + the richest mine Men foolishly do call it virtuous : And basest mould, but use? for both, not us'd, What virtue is it, that is born with us? Are of like worth. Then treasure is abus'd, Much less can honour be ascrib'd thereto: When misers keep it: being put to loan, Honour is purchas'd by the deeds we do; In time it will return us two for one.
Believe me, Hero, honour is not won,
So she be fair, but some vile tongues will blot! * Fair creature, &c.) This and the five next lines, as also a subsequent couplet in the present col., "And I in duty,"
But you are fair, ay me! so wondrous fair, &c., are borrowed, for the nonce, by Master Matthew in So young, so gentle, and so dehrnnir. Jonson's Bvery Man in his Humour, act iv. sc. 1 (where they differ from the original text, Jonson having probably written them down memoriter).
neat) V. R. "sweet." betwixt] V. R. “betweene."
† impression) V.R. "impressions."