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AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN. -

Nor could I longer owe myself this treasure,
But through the ocean I must search my pleasure.
The Phrygian hatchets to the roots are put
Of the Idean pines; asunder cut,
The woodland mountain yielded me large fees,
Being despoil'd of all her tallest trees.
From whence we have squar'd out unnumber'd beams,
That must be wash'd within the marine streams.
The grounded oaks are bow'd, tho stiff as steel,
And to the tough ribs in the bending keel
Woven by shipwrights craft; then the main mast,
Across whose middle is the sail-yard plac'd,
Tackles and sails; and next you may discern
Our painted gods upon the hooked stern:
The god that bears me on my happy way,'
And is my guide, is Cupid. Now the day
In which the last stroke of the hammer's heard
Within our navy, in the east appearid:
And I must now launch forth (so the fates please)
To seek adventures in the Ægean seas.
My father and my mother move delay,
And by intreaties would inforce my stay :
They hang about my neck, and with their tears
Woo me, defer my journey; but their fears
Can have no power to keep me from thy sight:
And now CASSANDRA, full of sad affright,
With loose disheveld trammels, madly skips,
Just in the way betwixt me and my ships :

AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.

0! whither wilt thou headlong run ? she cries :
Thou bearest fire with thee, whose smoke up-flies
Unto the heavens (O JOVE !) thou little fearest
What quenchless flames thou thro' the water bearest.
CASSANDRA was too true a prophetess;
Her quenchless flame she spake of (I confess)
My hot desires burn in my breast so fast,
That no red furnace hotter flames can cast.

I pass the city-gates, my bark I board, The favourable winds calm gales afford, And fill my sails: unto your land I steer, For whither else his course should Paris bear? Your husband entertains me as his guest, And all this happ'neth by the gods' behest. He shews me all his pastures, parks, and fields, And every rare thing Lacedæmon yields. He holds himself much pleased with my being, And nothing hides that he esteems worth seeing. I am on fire, till I behold your face, Of all Achaia's kingdom the sole grace. All other curious objects I defy, Nothing but Helen can content mine eye: Whom when I saw, I stood transform’d with wonder, Senseless, as one struck dead by Jove's sharp thunder : As I revive, my eyes I roll and turn, Whilst my flam'd thoughts with hotter fancies burn i

AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.

Even so, as I remember, look'd love's queen,
When she was last in Phrygian Ida seen;
Unto which place by fortune I was train'd,
Where, by my censure, she the conquest gain'd.
But had you made a fourth in that contention,
Of Venus' beauty there had been no mention:
Helen assuredly had borne from all
The prize of beauty, the bright golden ball.

Only of you may this your kingdom boast.
By you it is renown'd in every coast :
Rumour hath every where your beauty blaz'd:
In whať remote clime is not HELEN prais'd ?
From the bright eastern sun's up-rise, inquire,
· Even to his downfal, where he slakes his fire ;

There lives not any of your sex that dare
Contend with you that are proclaim'd so fair.
Trust me ; for truth I speak : nay, what's most true,
Too sparingly the world hath spoke of you.
Fame that hath undertook your name to blaze,
Play'd but the envious housewife in your praise,
More than report could promise, or fame blazon,
Are these divine perfections that I gaze on:
These were the same that made duke Theseus lavish,
Who in thy prime and nonage did thee ravish :
And worthy rape for such a worthy man !
Thrice happy ravisher ! to seize thee then,

AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.

When thou wer't stript stark naked to the skin,
A sight of force to make the gods to sin.
Such is your country's guise, at seasons when
With naked ladies they mix'd naked men.
That he did steal thee from thy friends, I praise him ;
And for that deed, I to the heavens will raise him.
That he return'd thee back, by Jove I wonder;
Had I been THESEUS, he that should asunder
Have parted thus, or snatch'd thee from my bed,
First from my shoulders should have par’d my head:
So rich a purchase, such a glorious prey,
Should constantly have been detain'd for aye.
Could these my strong arms possibly unclasp,
Whilst in their amorous folds they Helen grasp ?
Neither by forc'd constraint, nor by free giving,
Could you depart that compass, and I living.
But if by rough inforce I must restore you,
Some fruits of love (which I so long have bore you)
I first wou'd reap, and some sweet favour gain,
That all my suit were not bestow'd in vain.
Either with me you shall abide and stay,
Or for your pass your maidenhead should pay :
Or say, I spar'd you that, yet would I try
What other favor I could else come by;
All that belongs to love I would not miss,
You should not let me both to clip and kiss.

Give me your heart, fair queen, my heart you owo, And what my resolution is, you know.

AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.

Till the last fire my breathless body take, The fire within my breast can never slake. Before large kingdoms I prefer'd your face, And Juno's love, and potent gifts disgrace; To fold you in my amorous arms I chus'd, And Pallas' virtues scornfully refus’d: When they, with Venus on the hill of Ide, Made me the judge their beauties to decide. Nor do I yet repent me, having took Beauty; and strength, and scepter'd rule forsook : Methinks I chus'd the best, (nor think it strange) I still persist, and never mean to change. Only that my employment be not vain, (Oh! you more worth than any empire's gain!) Let me intreat: lest you my birth should scorn, Or parentage, know, I am royal born: By marrying me, you shall not wrong your state, Nor be a wife to one degenerate. Search the records where we did first begin, And you shall find the Pleiads of our kin; Nay, Jove himself, all others to forbear That in our stock renowned princes were. My father of all Asia reigns sole king, Whose boundless coast scarce any feather'd wing Can give a girdle to; a happier land, A neighbour to the ocean cannot stand. There in a narrow compass you may see Cities and towers more than may number'd be;

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