Ouids Metamorphosis: Thirteenth Book - Poem by Arthur Golding
The Lordes and Capteynes being set toogither with the King,
And all the souldiers standing round about them in a ring,
The owner of the seuenfold sheeld, too theis did Aiax ryse.
And (as he could not brydle wrath) he cast his frowning eyes
Uppon the shore and on the fleete that there at Anchor lyes
And throwing vp his handes, O God and must wee plead (quoth hee)
Our case before our shippes? and must Vlysses stand with mee?
But like a wretch he ran his way when Hector came with fyre,
Which I defending from theis shippes did force him too retyre.
It easyer is therefore with woordes in print too maynteine stryfe,
Than for too fyght it out with fists. But neyther I am ryfe
In woordes, nor hee in deedes. For looke how farre I him excell
In battell and in feates of armes: so farre beares hee the bell
From mee in talking. Neyther think I requisite too tell
My actes among you. You your selues haue seene them verry well.
But let Vlysses tell you his doone all in hudther mudther,
And whervntoo the only nyght is priuy and none other.
The pryse is great (I doo confesse.) For which wee stryue. But yit
It is dishonour vntoo mee, for that in clayming it
So bace a persone standeth in contention for the same.
Too think it myne already, ought too counted bee no shame
Nor pryde in mee: although the thing of ryght great valew bee
Of which Vlysses standes in hope. For now alreadye hee
Hath wonne the honour of this pryse, in that when he shall sit
Besydes the quisshon, he may brag he straue with mee for it.
And though I wanted valiantnesse, yit should nobilitee
Make with mee. I of Telamon am knowne the sonne too bee
Who vnder valeant Hercules the walles of Troy did scale,
And in the shippe of Pagasa too Colchos land did sayle.
His father was that Aeäcus whoo executeth ryght
Among the ghostes where Sisyphus heaues vp with all his myght
The massye stone ay tumbling downe. The hyghest Ioue of all
Acknowledgeth this Aeäcus, and dooth his sonne him call.
Thus am I Aiax the third from Ioue. Yit let this Pedegree
O Achyues in this case of myne avaylable not bee,
Onlesse I prooue it fully with Achylles too agree
He was my brother, and I clayme that was my brothers. Why
Shouldst thou that art of Sisyphs blood, and for too filch and lye
Expressest him in euery poynt, by foorged pedegree
Aly thee too the Aeacyds, as though we did not see
Thee too the house of Aeäcus, a straunger for too bee?
And is it reason that you should this armour mee denye
Bycause I former was in armes, and needed not a spye
Too fetch mee foorth? Or think you him more woorthye it too haue,
That came too warrefare hindermost, and feynd himself too raue,
Bycause he would haue shund the warre? vntill a suttler head
And more vnprofitable for himself, sir Palamed
Escryde the crafty fetches of his fearefull hart, and drew
Him foorth a warfare which he sought so cowardly too eschew?
Must he now needes enioy the best and richest armour? whoo
Would none at all haue worne onlesse he forced were thertoo?
And I with shame bee put besyde my cousin germanes gifts
Bycause too shun the formest brunt of warres I sought no shifts?
Would God this mischeef mayster had in verrye deede beene mad,
Or else beleeued so too bee: and that wee neuer had
Brought such a panion vntoo Troy. Then should not Pæans sonne
In Lemnos like an outlawe too the shame of all vs wonne.
Who lurking now (as men report) in woodes and caues, dooth moue
The verry flints with syghes and grones, and prayers too God aboue
Too send Vlysses his desert. Which prayer (if there bee
A God) must one day take effect. And now beehold how hee
By othe a Souldier of our Camp, yea and as well as wee
A Capteine too, alas, (who was by Hercules assignde
Too haue the keeping of his shafts,) with payne and hungar pynde,
Is clad and fed with fowles, and dribs his arrowes vp and downe
At birds, which were by destinye preparde too stroy Troy towne.
Yit liueth hee bycause hee is not still in companie
With sly Vlysses. Palamed that wretched knyght perdie,
Would eeke he had abandond beene. For then should still the same
Haue beene alyue: or at the least haue dyde without our shame.
But this companion bearing (ah) too well in wicked mynd
His madnesse which sir Palamed by wisdome out did fynd,
Appeached him of treason that he practysde too betray
The Greekish hoste. And for too vouch the fact, he shewd streyght way
A masse of goold that he himself had hidden in his tent,
And forged Letters which he feynd from Priam too bee sent.
Thus eyther by his murthring men or else by banishment
Abateth hee the Greekish strength. This is Vlysses fyght.
This is the feare he puttes men in. But though he had more might
Than Nestor hath, in eloquence he shal not compasse mee
Too think his leawd abandoning of Nestor for too bee
No fault: who beeing cast behynd by wounding of his horse,
And slowe with age, with calling on Vlysses waxing hoarce,
Was nerethelesse betrayd by him. Sir Diomed knowes this cryme
Is vnsurmysde. For he himselfe did at that present tyme
Rebuke him oftentymes by name, and feercely him vpbrayd
With flying from his fellowe so who stood in neede of ayd.
With ryghtfull eyes dooth God behold the deedes of mortall men.
Lo, he that helped not his freend wants help himself agen.
And as he did forsake his freend in tyme of neede: so hee
Did in the selfsame perrill fall forsaken for too bee.
He made a rod too beat himself. He calld and cryed out
Uppon his fellowes. Streight I came: and there I saw the lout
Bothe quake and shake for feare of death, and looke as pale as clout.
I set my sheeld betweene him and his foes, and him bestrid:
And savde the dastards lyfe. small prayse redoundes of that I did.
But if thou wilt contend with mee, lets to the selfe same place
Agein: bee wounded as thou wart: and in the foresayd case
Of feare, beset about with foes: cowch vnderneath my sheeld:
And then contend thou with mee there amid the open feeld.
Howbeet, I had no sooner rid this champion of his foes,
But where for woundes he scarce before could totter on his toes,
He ran away apace, as though he nought at all did ayle.
Anon commes Hector too the feeld and bringeth at his tayle
The Goddes. Not only thy hart there (Vlysses) did the fayle,
But euen the stowtest courages and stomacks gan too quayle.
So great a terrour brought he in. Yit in the midds of all
His bloody ruffe, I coapt with him, and with a foyling fall
Did ouerthrowe him too the ground. Another tyme, when hee
Did make a chalendge, you my Lordes by lot did choose out mee,
And I did match him hand too hand. Your wisshes were not vayne.
For if you aske mee what suceesse our combate did obteine,
I came away vnvanquished. Behold the men of Troy
Brought fyre and swoord, and all the feendes our nauye too destroy.
And where was slye Vlysses then with all his talk so smooth?
This brest of myne was fayne too fence your thousand shippes forsooth
The hope of your returning home. For sauing that same day
So many shippes, this armour giue. But (if that I shall say
The truth) the greater honour now this armour beares away.
And our renownes toogither link. For (as of reason ought)
An Aiax for this armour, not an armour now is sought
For Aiax. Let Dulychius match with theis, the horses whyght
Of Rhesus, dastard Dolon, and the coward carpet knyght
King Priams Helen, and the stelth of Palladye by nyght.
Of all theis things was nothing doone by day nor nothing wrought
Without the helpe of Diomed. And therefore if yee thought
Too giue them too so small deserts, deuyde the same, and let
Sir Diomed haue the greater part. But what should Ithacus get
And if he had them? Who dooth all his matters in the dark,
Who neuer weareth armour, who shootes ay at his owne mark
Too trappe his fo by stelth vnwares? The very headpeece may
With brightnesse of the glistring gold his priuie feates bewray
And shew him lurking. Neyther well of force Dulychius were
The weyght of great Achilles helme vppon his pate too weare
It cannot but a burthen bee (and that ryght great) too beare
(With whose same shrimpish armes of his) Achilles myghty speare.
Agen his target grauen with the whole howge world theron
Agrees not with a fearefull hand, and cheefly such a one
As taketh filching euen by kynd. Thou Lozell thou doost seeke
A gift that will but weaken thee. which if the folk of Greeke
Shall giue thee through theyr ouersyght, it will bee vntoo thee
Occasion, of thyne emnyes spoyld not feared for too bee
And flyght (wherin thou coward, thou all others mayst outbrag)
Will hindred bee when after thee such masses thou shalt drag.
Moreouer this thy sheeld that feeles so seeld the force of fyght
Is sound. But myne is gasht and hakt and stricken thurrough quyght
A thousand tymes, with bearing blowes. And therfore myne must walk
And put another in his stead. But what needes all this talk?
Lets now bee seene anotherwhyle what eche of vs can doo.
The thickest of our armed foes this armour throwe intoo,
And bid vs fetch the same fro thence. And which of vs dooth fetch
The same away, reward yee him therewith. Thus farre did stretch
The woordes of Aiax. At the ende whereof there did ensew
A muttring of the souldiers, till Laertis sonne the prew
Stood vp, and raysed soberly his eyliddes from the ground
(On which he had a little whyle them pitched in a stound)
And looking on the noblemen who longd his woordes too heere
He thus began with comly grace and sober pleasant cheere.
My Lordes, if my desyre and yours myght erst haue taken place,
It should not at this present tyme haue beene a dowtfull cace,
What person hath most ryght too this great pryse for which wee stryue.
Achilles should his armour haue, and wee still him alyue.
Whom sith that cruell destinie too both of vs denyes,
(With that same woord as though he wept, he wypte his watry eyes)
What wyght of reason rather ought too bee Achilles heyre,
Than he through whom too this your camp Achilles did repayre?
Alonly let it not auayle sir Aiax heere, that hee
Is such a dolt and grossehead, as he shewes himself too bee
Ne let my wit (which ay hath done you good O Greekes) hurt mee.
But suffer this mine eloquence (such as it is) which now
Dooth for his mayster speake, and oft ere this hath spoke for yow,
Bee vndisdeynd. Let none refuse his owne good gifts he brings.
For as for stocke and auncetors, and other such like things
Wherof our selues no fownders are, I scarcely dare them graunt
Too bee our owne. But forasmuch as Aiax makes his vaunt
Too bee the fowrth from Ioue: euen Ioue the founder is also
Of my house: and than fowre descents I am from him no mo.
Laërtes is my father, and Arcesius his, and hee
Begotten was of Iupiter. And in this pedegree
Is neyther any damned soule, nor outlaw as yee see.
Moreouer by my moothers syde I come of Mercuree,
Another honor too my house. Thus both by fathers syde
And moothers (as you may perceyue) I am too Goddes alyde.
But neyther for bycause I am a better gentleman
Than Aiax by the moothers syde, nor that my father can
Auouch himself vngiltye of his brothers blood, doo I
This armour clayme. wey you the case by merits vprightly.
Prouyded no prerogatyue of birthryght Aiax beare,
For that his father Telamon, and Peleus brothers were.
Let only prowesse in this pryse the honour beare away.
Or if the case on kinrid or on birthryght seeme too stay,
His father Peleus is aliue, and Pyrrhus eeke his sonne.
What tytle then can Aiax make. This geere of ryght should woone
Too Phthya, or too Scyros Ile. And Tevvcer is as well
Achilles vncle as is hee. Yit dooth not Tevvcer mell.
And if he did, should hee obteyne? well sith the cace dooth rest
On tryall which of vs can proue his dooings too bee best,
I needes must say my deedes are mo than well I can expresse:
Yit will I shew them orderly as neere as I can gesse.
Foreknowing that her sonne should dye, The Lady Thetis hid
Achilles in a maydes attyre. By which fyne slyght shee did
All men deceyue, and Aiax too. This armour in a packe
With other womens tryflyng toyes I caryed on my backe,
A bayte too treyne a manly hart. Appareld like a mayd
Achilles tooke the speare and sheeld in hand, and with them playd.
Then sayd I: O thou Goddesse sonne, why shouldst thou bee afrayd
Too raze great Troy, whoose ouerthrowe for thee is onely stayd?
And laying hand vppon him I did send him (as you see)
Too valeant dooings meete for such a valeant man as hee.
And therfore all the deedes of him are my deedes. I did wound
King Teleph with his speare, and when he lay vppon the ground,
I was intreated with the speare too heale him safe and sound.
That Thebe lyeth ouerthrowne, is my deede you must think
I made the folk of Tenedos and Lesbos for too shrink.
Both Chryse and Cillas Phebus townes and Scyros I did take.
And my ryght hand Lyrnessus walles too ground did leuell make.
I gaue you him that should confound (besydes a number mo)
The valeant Hector. Hector that our most renowmed fo
Is slayne by mee. This armour heere I sew agein too haue
This armour by the which I found Achilles. I it gaue
Achilles whyle he was aliue: and now that he is gone
I clayme it as myne owne agein. What tyme the greefe of one
Had perst the harts of all the Greekes, and that our thousand sayle
At Avvlis by Evvboya stayd, bycause the wyndes did fayle,
Continewing eyther none at all or cleene ageinst vs long,
And that our Agamemnon was by destnyes ouerstrong
Commaunded for too sacrifyse his giltlesse daughter too
Diana, which her father then refusing for too doo
Was angry with the Godds themselues, and though he were a king
Continued also fatherlyke: by reason, I did bring
His gentle nature too relent for publike profits sake.
I must confesse (whereat his grace shall no displeasure take)
Before a parciall iudge I vndertooke a ryght hard cace.
Howbeeit for his brothers sake, and for the royall mace
Committed, and his peoples weale, at length he was content
Too purchace prayse wyth blood. Then was I too the moother sent,
Who not perswaded was too bee, but compast with sum guyle.
Had Aiax on this errand gone, our shippes had all this whyle
Lyne still there yit for want of wynd. Moreouer I was sent
Too Ilion as ambassadour. I boldly thither went,
And entred and behilld the Court, wherin there was as then
Great store of princes, Dukes, Lords, knyghts, and other valeant men.
And yit I boldly nerethelesse my message did at large
The which the whole estate of Greece had giuen mee erst in charge.
I made complaint of Paris, and accuste him too his head.
Demaunding restitution of Queene Helen that same sted
And of the bootye with her tane. Both Priamus the king
And eeke Antenor his alye the woordes of mee did sting.
And Paris and his brothers, and the resdew of his trayne
That vnder him had made the spoyle, could hard and scarce refrayne
There wicked hands. You Menelay doo know I doo not feyne.
And that day was the first in which wee ioyntly gan susteyne
A tast of perrills, store whereof did then behind remayne.
It would bee ouerlong too tell eche profitable thing
That during this long lasting warre I well too passe did bring,
By force as well as pollycie. For after that the furst
Encounter once was ouerpast, our emnyes neuer durst
Giue battell in the open feeld, but hild themselues within
Theyr walles and bulwarks till the tyme the tenth yeere did begin,
Now what didst thou of all that whyle, that canst doo nought but streeke?
Or too what purpose seruedst thou? For if thou my deedes seeke,
I practysd sundry pollycies too trappe our foes vnware:
I fortifyde our Camp with trench which heretoofore lay bare:
I hartned our companions with a quiet mynd too beare
The longnesse of the weery warre: I taught vs how wee were
Bothe too bee fed and furnished: and too and fro I went
Too places where the Counsell thought most meete I should bee sent.
Behold the king deceyued in his dreame by false pretence
Of Ioues commaundement, bade vs rayse our seedge and get vs hence.
The author of his dooing so may well bee his defence.
Now Aiax should haue letted this, and calld them backe ageine
Too sacke the towne of Troy. he should haue fought with myght & maine.
Why did he not restreyne them when they ready were too go?
Why tooke he not his swoord in hand? why gaue he not as tho
Sum counsell for the fleeting folk too follow at the brunt?
In fayth it had a tryfle beene too him that ay is woont.
Such vaunting in his mouth too haue. But he himself did fly
As well as others. I did see, and was ashamed I
Too see thee when thou fledst, and didst prepare so cowardly
Too sayle away. And thervppon I thus aloud did cry.
What meene yee sirs? what madnesse dooth you moue too go too shippe?
And suffer Troy as good as tane, thus out of hand too slippe?
What else this tenth yeere beare yee home than shame? wt such like woord
And other, (which the eloquence of sorrowe did avoord,)
I brought them from theyr flying shippes. Then Agamemnon calld
Toogither all the capteines who with feare were yit appalld.
But Aiax durst not then once creake. Yit durst Thersites bee
So bold as rayle vppon the kings, and he was payd by mee
For playing so the sawcye Iacke. Then stood I on my toes
And too my fearefull countrymen gaue hart ageinst theyr foes.
And shed new courage in theyr mynds through talk that fro mee goes.
From that tyme foorth what euer thing hath valeantly atcheeued
By this good fellow beene, is myne, whoo him from flyght repreeued.
And now too touche thee: which of all the Greekes commendeth thee?
Or seeketh thee? But Diomed communicates with mee
His dooings, and alloweth mee, and thinkes him well apayd
Too haue Vlysses euer as companion at the brayd.
And sumwhat woorth you will it graunt (I trow) alone for mee
Out of so many thousand Greekes by Diomed pikt too bee.
No lot compelled mee too go, and yit I setting lyght,
As well the perrill of my foes as daunger of the nyght,
Killd Dolon who about the self same feate that nyght did stray,
That wee went out for. But I first compelld him too bewray
All things concerning faythlesse Troy, and what it went about.
When all was learnd, and nothing left behynd too harken out,
I myght haue then come home with prayse. I was not so content.
Proceeding fruther too the Camp of Rhesus streyght I went,
And killed bothe himself and all his men about his tent.
And taking bothe his chariot and his horses which were whyght,
Returned home in tryumph like a conquerour from fyght.
Denye you mee the armour of the man whoose steedes the fo
Requyred for his playing of the spye a nyght, and so
May Aiax bee more kynd too mee than you are. what should I
Declare vntoo you how my sword did waste ryght valeantly
Sarpedons hoste of Lycia? I by force did ouerthrowe
Alastor, Crome and Ceranos, and Haly on a rowe.
Alcander, and Noëmon too, and Prytanis besyde,
And Thoön and Theridamas, and Charops also dyde
By mee, and so did Evvnomos enforst by cruell fate.
And many mo in syght of Troy I slew of bacer state.
There also are (O countrymen) about mee woundings, which
The place of them make beawtyfull. See heere (his hand did twich
His shirt asyde) and credit not vayne woordes. Lo heere the brist
That alwayes too bee one in your affayres hath neuer mist.
And yit of all this whyle no droppe of blood hath Aiax spent
Uppon his fellowes. Woundlesse is his body and vnrent.
But what skills that, as long as he is able for to vaunt
He fought against bothe Troy and Ioue too saue our fleete? I graunt
He did so. For I am not of such nature as of spyght
Well dooings too deface: so that he chalendge not the ryght
Of all men too himself alone, and that he yeeld too mee
Sum share, whoo of the honour looke a partener for too bee.
Patroclus also hauing on Achilles armour, sent
The Troians and theyr leader hence, too burne our nauye bent.
And yit thinks hee that none durst meete with Hector sauing hee.
Forgetting bothe the king, and eeke his brother, yea and mee.
Where hee himself was but the nyneth, appoynted by the king,
And by the fortune of his lot preferd too doo the thing.
But now for all your valeantnesse, what Issue had I pray
Your combate? shall I tell? forsoothe, that Hector went his way
And had no harme. Now wo is mee how greeueth it my hart
Too think vppon that season when the bulwark of our part
Achilles dyde? When neyther teares, nor greef, nor feare could make
Mee for too stay, but that vppon theis shoulders I did take,
I say vppon theis shoulders I Achilles body tooke,
And this same armour claspt theron, which now too weare I looke.
Sufficient strength I haue too beare as great a weyght as this,
And eeke a hart wherein regard of honour rooted is.
Think you that Thetis for her sonne so instantly besought
Sir Vulcane this same heauenly gift too giue her, which is wrought
With such exceeding cunning, too thentent a souldier that
Hath neyther wit nor knowledge should it weare? He knowes not what
The things ingrauen on the sheeld doo meene. Of Ocean se,
Of land, of heauen, and of the starres no skill at all hath he.
The Beare that neuer dyues in sea he dooth not vnderstand,
The Pleyads, nor the Hyads, nor the Cities that doo stand
Uppon the earth, nor yit the swoord that Orion holdes in hand.
He seekes too haue an armour of the which he hath no skill.
And yit in fynding fault with mee bycause I had no will
Too follow this same paynfull warre and sought too shonne the same,
And made it sumwhat longer tyme before I thither came,
He sees not how hee speakes reproch too stout Achilles name.
For if too haue dissembled in this case, yee count a cryme,
Wee both offenders bee. Or if protracting of the tyme
Yee count blame woorthye, yit was I the tymelyer of vs twayne.
Achilles louing moother him, my wyfe did mee deteyne.
The former tyme was giuen too them, the rest was giuen too yow.
And therefore doo I little passe although I could not now
Defend my fault, sith such a man of prowesse, birth and fame
As was Achilles, was with mee offender in the same.
But yit was he espyëd by Vlysses wit, but nat
Vlysses by sir Aiax wit. And least yee woonder at
The rayling of this foolish dolt at mee, hee dooth obiect
Reproche too you. For if that I offended too detect
Sir Palamed of forged fault, could you without your shame
Arreyne him, and condemne him eeke too suffer for the same?
But neyther could sir Palamed excuse him of the cryme
So heynous and so manifest: and you your selues that tyme
Not onely his indytement hard, but also did behold
His deed auowched too his face by bringing in the gold.
And as for Philoctetes, that he is in Lemnos, I
Deserue not too bee toucht therwith. Defend your cryme: for why
You all consented thervntoo. Yit doo I not denye,
But that I gaue the counsell too conuey him out of way
From toyle of warre and trauell that by rest he myght assay
Too ease the greatnesse of his peynes. He did theretoo obey
And by so dooing is alyue. Not only faythfull was
This counsell that I gaue the man, but also happye, as
The good successe hath shewed since. Whom sith the destnyes doo
Requyre in ouerthrowing Troy, Appoynt not mee thertoo:
But let sir Aiax rather go. For he with eloquence
Or by some suttle pollycie, shall bring the man fro thence
And pacyfie him raging through disease, and wrathfull ire.
Nay. first the riuer Simois shall too his spring retyre,
And mountaine Ida shall theron haue stonding neuer a tree,
Yea and the faythlesse towne of Troy by Greekes shall reskewd bee,
Before that Aiax blockish wit shall aught at all auayle,
When my attempts and practyses in your affayres doo fayle.
For though thou Philoctetes with the king offended bee,
And with thy fellowes euerychone, and most of all with mee,
Although thou cursse and ban mee too the hellish pit for ay,
And wisshest in thy payne that I by chaunce myght crosse thy way,
Of purpose for too draw my blood: yit will I giue assay
Too fetch thee hither once ageine. And (if that fortune say
Amen,) I will as well haue thee and eeke thyne arrowes, as
I haue the Troiane prophet whoo by mee surprysed was,
Or as I did the Oracles and Troiane fates disclose,
Or as I from her chappell through the thickest of her foes
The Phrygian Pallads image fetcht: And yit dooth Aiax still
Compare himself with mee. Yee knowe it was the destnyes will
That Troy should neuer taken bee by any force, vntill
This Image first were got. and where was then our valeant knight
Sir Aiax? where the stately woordes of such a hardy wyght?
Why feareth hee? why dares Vlysses ventring through the watch
Commit his persone too the nyght his buysnesse too dispatch?
And through the pykes not only for too passe the garded wall?
But also for too enter too the strongest towre of all?
And for too take the Idoll from her Chappell and her shryne?
And beare her thence amid his foes? For had this deede of myne
Beene left vndoone, in vayne his sheeld of Oxen hydes seuen fold
Should yit the Sonne of Telamon haue in his left hand hold.
That nyght subdewed I Troy towne. that nyght did I it win.
And opened it for you likewyse with ease too enter in.
Cease too vpbrayd mee by theis lookes and mumbling woordes of thyne
With Diomed: his prayse is in this fact as well as myne.
And thou thy selfe when for our shippes thou diddest in reskew stand,
Wart not alone: the multitude were helping thee at hand.
I had but only one with mee. Whoo (if he had not thought
A wyseman better than a strong, and that preferment ought
Not alway followe force of hand) would now himself haue sought
This Armour. So would toother Aiax better stayëd doo,
And feerce Evvrypyle, and the sonne of hault Andremon too.
No lesse myght eeke Idominey, and eeke Meriones
His countryman, and Menelay. For euery one of these
Are valeant men of hand, and not inferior vntoo thee
In martiall feates. And yit they are contented rulde too bee
By myne aduyce. Thou hast a hand that serueth well in fyght.
Thou hast a wit that stands in neede of my direction ryght.
Thy force is witlesse. I haue care of that that may ensew.
Thou well canst fyght: the king dooth choose the tymes for fyghting dew
By myne aduyce. Thou only with thy body canst auayle.
But I with bodye and with mynd too profite doo not fayle,
And looke how much the mayster dooth excell the gally slaue,
Or looke how much preheminence the Capteine ought too haue
Aboue his souldyer: euen so much excell I also thee.
A wit farre passing strength of hand inclosed is in mee.
In wit rests cheefly all my force. My Lordes I pray bestowe
This gift on him who ay hath beene your watchman as yee knowe.
And for my tenne yeeres cark and care endured for your sake
Full recompence for my deserts with this same honour make.
Our labour draweth too an end, all lets are now by mee
Dispatched. And by bringing Troy in cace too taken bee
I haue already taken it. Now by the hope that yee
Conceyue, within a whyle of Troy the ruine for too see,
And by the Goddes of whom a late our emnyes I bereft,
And as by wisedome too bee doone yit any thing is left,
If any bold auentrous deede, or any perlous thing,
That asketh hazard both of lyfe and limb too passe too bring,
Or if yee think of Troiane fates there yit dooth ought remayne,
Remember mee. or if from mee this armour you restrayne,
Bestowe it on this same. With that he shewed with his hand
Mineruas fatall image, which hard by in syght did stand.
The Lords were moued with his woordes, & then appeered playne
The force that is in eloquence. The lerned man did gayne
The armour of the valeant. He that did so oft susteine
Alone both fyre, and swoord, and Ioue, and Hector could not byde
One brunt of wrath. And whom no force could vanquish ere that tyde,
Now only anguish ouercommes. He drawes his swoord and sayes:
Well: this is myne yit. Untoo this no clayme Vlysses layes.
This must I vse ageinst myself: this blade that heretoofore
Hath bathed beene in Troiane blood, must now his mayster gore
That none may Aiax ouercome saue Aiax. With that woord.
Intoo his brest (not wounded erst) he thrust his deathfull swoord.
His hand too pull it out ageine vnable was. The blood
Did spout it out. Anon the ground bestayned where he stood,
Did breede the pretye purple flowre vppon a clowre of greene,
Which of the wound of Hyacinth had erst engendred beene.
The selfsame letters eeke that for the chyld were written than,
Were now againe amid the flowre new written for the man.
The former tyme complaynt, the last a name did represent.
Vlysses hauing wonne the pryse, within a whyle was sent
Too Thoants and Hypsiphiles realme the land defamde of old
For murthering all the men therin by women ouer bold.
At length attayning land and lucke according too his mynd,
Too carry Hercles arrowes backe he set his sayles too wynd.
Which when he with the lord of them among the Greekes had brought,
And of the cruell warre at length the vtmost feate had wrought,
At once both Troy and Priam fell. And Priams wretched wife
Lost (after all) her womans shape, and barked all her lyfe
In forreine countrye. In the place that bringeth too a streight
The long spred sea of Hellespont, did Ilion burne in height.
The kindled fyre with blazing flame continewed vnalayd,
And Priam with his aged blood Ioues Altar had berayd.
And Phebus preestesse casting vp her handes too heauen on hye,
Was dragd and haled by the heare. The Grayes most spyghtfully
(As eche of them had prisoners tane in meede of victorye)
Did drawe the Troiane wyues away, whoo lingring whyle they mought
Among the burning temples of theyr Goddes, did hang about
Theyr sacred shrynes and images. Astyanax downe was cast
From that same turret from the which his moother in tyme past
Had shewed him his father stand oft fyghting too defend
Himself and that same famous realme of Troy that did descend
From many noble auncetors. And now the northerne wynd
With prosperous blasts, too get them thence did put ye Greekes in mynd.
The shipmen went aboord, and hoyst vp sayles, and made fro thence.
A deew deere Troy (the women cryde) wee haled are from hence.
And therwithall they kist the ground, and left yit smoking still
Theyr natiue houses. Last of all tooke shippe ageinst her will
Queene Hecub: who (a piteous cace too see) was found amid
The tumbes in which her sonnes were layd. And there as Hecub did
Embrace theyr chists and kisse theyr bones, Vlysses voyd of care
Did pull her thence. Yit raught shee vp, and in her boosom bare
Away a crum of Hectors dust, and left on Hectors graue
Her hory heares and teares, which for poore offrings shee him gaue.
Ageinst the place where Ilion was, there is another land
Manured by the Biston men. In this same Realme did stand
King Polemnestors palace riche, too whom king Priam sent
His little infant Polydore too foster, too thentent
He might bee out of daunger from the warres: wherin he ment
Ryght wysely, had he not with him great riches sent, a bayt
Too stirre a wicked couetous mynd too treason and deceyt.
For when the state of Troy decayd, the wicked king of Thrace
Did cut his nurcechylds weazant, and (as though the sinfull cace
Toogither with the body could haue quyght beene put away)
He threw him also in the sea. It happened by the way,
That Agamemnon was compeld with all his fleete too stay
Uppon the coast of Thrace, vntill the sea were wexen calme,
And till the hideous stormes did cease, and furious wynds were falne.
Heere rysing gastly from the ground which farre about him brake,
Achilles with a threatning looke did like resemblance make,
As when at Agamemnon he his wrongfull swoord did shake,
And sayd: Unmyndfull part yee hence of mee O Greekes? and must
My merits thanklesse thus with mee be buryed in the dust?
Nay, doo not so. But too thentent my death dew honour haue,
Let Polyxene in sacrifyse bee slayne vppon my graue.
Thus much he sayd: and shortly his companions dooing as
By vision of his cruell ghost commaundment giuen them was,
Did fetch her from her mothers lappe, whom at that tyme, well neere,
In that most great aduersitie alonly shee did cheere.
The haultye and vnhappye mayd, and rather too bee thought
A man than woman, too the tumb with cruell hands was brought,
Too make a cursed sacrifyse. Whoo mynding constantly
Her honour, when shee standing at the Altar prest too dye,
Perceyvd the sauage ceremonies in making ready, and
The cruell Neöptolemus with naked swoord in hand,
Stand staring with vngentle eyes vppon her gentle face,
Shee sayd. Now vse thou when thou wilt my gentle blood. The cace
Requyres no more delay. bestow thy weapon in my chest,
Or in my throte: (in saying so shee profered bare her brest,
And eeke her throte.) Assure your selues it neuer shalbee seene,
That any wyght shall (by my will) haue slaue of Polyxeene.
Howbeet with such a sacrifyse no God yee can delyght.
I would desyre no more but that my wretched moother myght
Bee ignorant of this my death. My moother hindreth mee,
And makes the pleasure of my death much lesser for too bee.
Howbeeit not the death of mee should iustly greeue her hart:
But her owne lyfe. Now too thentent I freely may depart
Too Limbo, stand yee men aloof: and sith I aske but ryght
Forbeare too touch mee. So my blood vnsteyned in his syght
Shall farre more acceptable bee what euer wyght he bee
Whom you prepare too pacifye by sacrifysing mee.
Yit (if that these last woordes of myne may purchace any grace,)
I daughter of king Priam erst, and now in prisoners cace,
Beeseeche you all vnraunsomed too render too my moother
My bodye: and for buriall of the same too take none other
Reward than teares: for whyle shee could shee did redeeme with gold.
This sayd: the teares that shee forbare the people could not hold.
And euen the verry preest himself full sore ageinst his will
And weeping, thrust her through the brest which shee hild stoutly still.
Shee sinking softly too the ground with faynting legges, did beare
Euen too the verry latter gasp a countnance voyd of feare.
And when shee fell, shee had a care such parts of her too hyde,
As womanhod and chastitie forbiddeth too bee spyde.
The Troiane women tooke her vp, and moorning reckened
King Priams children, and what blood that house alone had shed.
They syght for fayer Polyxeene: they syghed eeke for thee
Whoo late wart Priams wyfe, whoo late wart counted for too bee
The flowre of Asia in his flowre, and Queene of moothers all:
But now the bootye of the fo as euill lot did fall,
And such a bootye as the sly Vlysses did not passe
Uppon her, sauing that erewhyle shee Hectors moother was.
So hardly for his moother could a mayster Hector fynd.
Embracing in her aged armes the bodye of the mynd
That was so stout, shee powrd theron with sobbing syghes vnsoft
The teares that for her husband and her children had so oft
And for her countrye sheaded beene. Shee weeped in her wound
And kist her pretye mouth, and made her brist with strokes too sound,
According too her woonted guyse, and in the iellyed blood
Beerayëd all her grisild heare, and in a sorrowfull mood
Sayd theis and many other woordes with brest bescratcht and rent.
O daughter myne, the last for whom thy moother may lament,
(For what remaynes?) O daughter thou art dead and gone. I see
Thy wound which at the verry hart strikes mee as well as thee.
And least that any one of myne vnwounded should depart,
Thou also gotten hast a wound. Howbeet bycause thou wart
A woman, I beleeued thee from weapon too bee free.
But notwithstanding that thou art a woman, I doo see
Thee slayne by swoord. Euen he that kild thy brothers killeth thee,
Achilles the decay of Troy and maker bare of mee.
What tyme that he of Paris shaft by Phebus meanes was slayne,
I sayd of feerce Achilles now no feare dooth more remayne.
But then, euen then he most of all was feared for too bee.
The asshes of him rageth still ageinst our race I see.
Wee feele an emny of him dead and buryed in his graue
Too feede Achilles furie, I a frutefull issue gaue.
Great Troy lyes vnder foote, and with a ryght great greeuous fall
The mischeeues of the common weale are fully ended all.
But though too others Troy be gone, yit stands it still too mee:
My sorrowes ronne as fresh a race as euer and as free.
I late a go a souereine state, aduaunced with such store
Of daughters, sonnes, and sonneinlawes, and husband ouer more
And daughtrinlawes, am caryed like an outlawe bare and poore,
By force and violence haled from my childrens tumbes, too bee
Presented too Penelope a gift, whoo shewing mee
In spinning my appoynted taske, shall say: this same is shee
That was sumtyme king Priams wyfe, this was the famous moother
Of Hector. And now after losse of such a sort of other,
Thou (whoo alonly in my greefe my comfort didst remayne,)
Too pacifye our emnyes wrath vppon his tumb art slayne.
Thus bare I deathgyfts for my foes. Too what intent am I
Most wretched wyght remayning still? why doo I linger? why
Dooth hurtfull age preserue mee still aliue? too what intent
Yee cruell Goddes reserue yee mee that hath already spent
Too manye yeeres? onlesse it bee new buryalls for too see?
And whoo would think that Priamus myght happy counted bee
Sith Troy is razed? Happy man is hee in being dead.
His lyfe and kingdoome he forwent toogither: and this stead
He sees not thee his daughter slaine. But peraduenture thou
Shall like the daughter of a king haue sumptuous buryall now,
And with thy noble auncetors thy bodye layd shall bee.
Our linage hath not so good lucke. the most that shall too thee
Bee yeelded are thy moothers teares, and in this forreine land
Too hyde thy murthered corce withall a little heape of sand.
For all is lost. Nay yit remaynes (for whome I well can fynd
In hart too liue a little whyle) an imp vntoo my mynd
Most deere, now only left alone, sumtyme of many mo
The yoongest, little Polydore, deliuered late ago
Too Polemnestor king of Thrace whoo dwelles within theis bounds
But wherfore doo I stay so long in wasshing of her wounds,
And face berayd with gory blood? in saying thus, shee went
Too seaward with an aged pace and hory heare beerent.
And (wretched woman) as shee calld for pitchers for too drawe
Up water, shee of Polydore on shore the carkesse sawe,
And eeke ye myghty wounds at which the Tyrants swoord went thurrow.
The Troiane Ladyes shreeked out. But shee was dumb for sorrow.
The anguish of her hart forclosde as well her speech as eeke
Her teares deuowring them within. Shee stood astonyed leeke
As if shee had beene stone. One whyle the ground shee staard vppon.
Another whyle a gastly looke shee kest too heauen. Anon
Shee looked on the face of him that lay before her killd.
Sumtymes his woundes, (his woundes I say) shee specially behilld.
And therwithall shee armd her selfe and furnisht her with ire:
Wherethrough as soone as that her hart was fully set on fyre,
As though shee still had beene a Queene, too vengeance shee her bent
Enforcing all her witts too fynd some kynd of ponnishment.
And as a Lyon robbed of her whelpes becommeth wood,
And taking on the footing of her emnye where hee stood,
Purseweth him though out of syght: euen so Queene Hecubee
(Now hauing meynt her teares with wrath) forgetting quyght that see
Was old, but not her princely hard, too Polemnestor went
The cursed murtherer, and desyrde his presence too thentent
Too shew too him a masse of gold (so made shee her pretence)
Which for her lyttle Polydore was hid not farre from thence.
The Thracian king beleeuing her, as eager of the pray,
Went with her too a secret place. And as they there did stay,
With flattring and deceytfull toong he thus too her did say.
Make speede I prey thee Hecuba, and giue thy sonne this gold.
I sweare by God it shall bee his, as well that I doo hold
Already, as that thou shalt giue. Uppon him speaking so,
And swearing and forswearing too, shee looked sternely tho,
And beeing sore inflaamd with wrath, caught hold vppon him, and
Streyght calling out for succor too the wyues of Troy at hand
Did in the traytors face bestowe her nayles, and scratched out
His eyes, her anger gaue her hart and made her strong and stout.
Shee thrust her fingars in as farre as could bee, and did bore
Not now his eyes (for why his eyes were pulled out before)
But bothe the places of the eyes berayd with wicked blood.
The Thracians at theyr Tyrannes harme for anger wexing wood,
Began too scare the Troiane wyues with darts and stones. Anon
Queene Hecub ronning at a stone, with gnarring seazd theron,
And wirryed it beetweene her teeth. And as shee opte her chappe
Too speake, in stead of speeche shee barkt. the place of this missehappe
Remayneth still, and of the thing there done beares yit the name.
Long myndfull of her former illes, shee sadly for the same
Went howling in the feeldes of Thrace. Her fortune moued not
Her Troians only, but the Greekes her foes too ruthe: Her lot
Did moue euen all the Goddes to ruthe: and so effectually,
That Hecub too deserue such end euen Iuno did denye.
Although the morning of the selfsame warres had fauorer beene:
Shee had no leysure too lament the fortune of the Queene,
Nor on the slaughters and the fall of Ilion for too think.
A household care more neerer home did in her stomacke sink,
For Memnon her beloued sonne, whom dying shee behild
Uppon the feerce Achilles speare amid the Phrygian feeld.
Shee saw it, and her ruddy hew with which shee woonted was
Too dye the breaking of the day, did intoo palenesse passe:
And all the skye was hid with clowdes. But when his corce was gone
Too burning ward, shee could not fynd in hart too looke theron:
But with her heare about her eares shee kneeled downe before
The myghtye Ioue, and thus gan speake vnto him weeping sore.
Of al that haue theyr dwelling place vppon the golden skye
The lowest (for through all the world the feawest shrynes haue I)
But yit a Goddesse, I doo come, not that thou shouldst decree
That Altars, shrynes, and holydayes bee made too honour mee.
Yit if thou marke how much that I a woman doo for thee,
In keeping nyght within her boundes, by bringing in thee light,
Thou well mayst thinke mee worthy sum reward too clayme of ryght.
But neyther now is that the thing the morning cares too haue,
Ne yit her state is such as now dew honour for too craue.
Bereft of my deere Memnon who in fyghting valeantly
Too help his vncle, (so it was your will O Goddes) did dye
Of stout Achilles sturdye speare euen in his flowring pryme,
I sew too thee O king of Goddes too doo him at this tyme
Sum honour as a comfort of his death, and ease this hart
Of myne which greatly greeued is with wound of percing smart.
No sooner Ioue had graunted dame Aurora her desyre
But that the flame of Memnons corce that burned in the fyre
Did fall: and flaky rolles of smoke did dark the day, as when
A foggy mist steames vpward from a Riuer or a fen,
And suffreth not the Sonne too shyne within it. Blacke as cole
The cinder rose: and intoo one round lump assembling whole
Grew grosse, and tooke bothe shape and hew. The fyre did lyfe it send,
The lyghtnesse of the substance self did wings vntoo it lend.
And at the first it flittred like a bird: and by and by
It flew a fethered bird in deede. And with that one gan fly
Innumerable mo of selfsame brood: whoo once or twyce
Did sore about the fyre, and made a piteous shreeking thryce.
The fowrthtyme in theyr flying round, themselues they all withdrew
In battells twayne, and feercely foorth of eyther syde one flew
Too fyght a combate. With theyr billes and hooked talants keene
And with theyr wings couragiously they wreakt theyr wrathfull teene.
And myndfull of the valeant man of whom they issued beene,
They neuer ceased iobbing eche vppon the others brest,
Untill they falling both downe dead with fyghting ouerprest,
Had offred vp theyr bodyes as a woorthy sacrifyse
Untoo theyr cousin Memnon who too Asshes burned lyes.
Theis soodeine birds were named of the founder of theyr stocke:
For men doo call them Memnons birds. And euery yeere a flocke
Repayre too Memnons tumb, where twoo doo in the foresayd wyse
In manner of a yeeremynd slea themselues in sacrifyse.
Thus where as others did lament that Dymants daughter barkt,
Auroras owne greef busyed her, that smally shee it markt
Which thing shee too this present tyme with piteous teares dooth shewe:
For through the vniuersall world shee sheadeth moysting deawe.
Yit suffred not the destinyes all hope too perrish quyght
Toogither with the towne of Troy. That good and godly knyght
The sonne of Venus bare away by nyght vppon his backe
His aged father and his Goddes an honorable packe.
Of all the riches of the towne that only pray he chose,
So godly was his mynd: and like a bannisht man he goes
By water with his owne yoong sonne Ascanius from the Ile
Antandros, and he shonnes the shore of Thracia which ere whyle
The wicked Tyrants treason did with Polydores blood defyle.
And hauing wynd and tyde at will, he saufly wyth his trayne
Arryued at Apollos towne where Anius then did reigne.
Whoo being both Apollos preest and of that place the king,
Did enterteyne him in his house and vntoo church him bring,
And shewd him bothe the Citie and the temples knowen of old,
And eeke the sacred trees by which Latona once tooke hold
When shee of chyldbirth trauelled Assoone as sacrifyse
Was doone with Oxens inwards burnt according too the guyse,
And casting incence in the fyre, and sheading wyne thereon,
They ioyfull too the court returnd, and there they tooke anon
Repaste of meate and drink. Then sayd the good Anchyses this
O Phebus souereine preest, onlesse I take my markes amisse,
(As I remember) when I first of all this towne did see,
Fowre daughters and a sonne of thyne thou haddest heere with thee.
King Anius shooke his head wheron he ware a myter whyght,
And answerd thus. O noble prince, in fayth thou gessest ryght.
Of children fyue a father then, thou diddest mee behold,
Whoo now (with such vnconstancie are mortall matters rolld)
Am in a manner chyldlesse quyght. For what auayles my sonne
Whoo in the Ile of Anderland a great way hence dooth wonne?
Which country takes his name of him, and in the selfsayd place,
In stead of father, like a king he holdes the royall mace.
Apollo gaue his lot too him: And Bacchus for too showe
His loue, a greater gift vppon his susters did bestowe,
Than could bee wisht or credited. For whatsoeuer they
Did towche, was turned intoo corne, and wyne and oyle streyghtway.
And so theyr was riche vse in them. Assoone as that the fame
Hereof too Agamemnons eares the squorge of Troians came,
Least you myght tast your stormes alone and wee not feele the same
In part, an hoste he hither sent, and whither I would or no
Did take them from mee, forcing them among the Greekes too go
Too feede the Greekish army with theyr heauenly gift. But they
Escaped whither they could by flyght. A couple tooke theyr way
Too Ile Evvboya: toother twoo too Anderland did fly
Theyr brothers Realme. An host of men pursewd them by and by,
And threatened warre onlesse they were deliuered. Force of feare
Subdewing nature, did constreyne the brother (men must beare
With fearfulnesse) too render vp his susters too theyr fo.
For neyther was Aenæas there, nor valeant Hector (who
Did make your warre last ten yeeres long) the countrye too defend.
Now when they should like prisoners haue beene fettred, in the end
They casting vp theyr handes (which yit were free) too heauen, did cry
Too Bacchus for too succour them, who helpt them by and by.
At leastwyse if it may bee termd a help, in woondrous wyse
Too alter folke. For neuer could I lerne ne can surmyse
The manner how they lost theyr shape. The thing it selfe is knowen.
With fethered wings as whyght as snow they quyght away are flowen
Transformed intoo doouehouse dooues thy wyfe dame Venus burdes.
When that the time of meate was spent wt theis & such like woordes,
The table was remoued streyght, and then they went too sleepe.
Next morrow rysing vp assoone as day began too peepe,
They went too Phebus Oracle, which willed them too go
Untoo theyr moother countrey and the coastes theyr stocke came fro.
King Anius bare them companie. And when away they shoold,
He gaue them gifts. Anchises had a scepter all of goold.
Ascanius had a quiuer and a Cloke right braue and trim.
Aenæas had a standing Cup presented vntoo him.
The Thebane Therses whoo had beene king Anius guest erewhyle
Did send it out of Thessaly: but Alcon one of Myle
Did make the cuppe. And hee theron a story portrayd out
It was a Citie with seuen gates in circuit round about,
Which men myght easly all discerne. The gates did represent
The Cities name, and shewed playne what towne thereby was ment.
Without the towne were funeralls a dooing for the dead,
With herces, tapers, fyres, and tumbes. The wyues with ruffled head
And stomacks bare preteded greef. The nymphes seemd teares too shead,
And wayle the drying of theyr welles. The leauelesse trees did seare.
And licking on the parched stones Goats romed heere and there.
Behold amid this Thebane towne was lyuely portrayd out
Echions daughters twayne, of which the one with courage stout
Did profer bothe her naked throte and stomacke too the knyfe:
And toother with a manly hart did also spend her lyfe,
For saufgard of her countryfolk: And how that thervppon
They both were caryed solemly on herces, and anon
Were burned in the cheefest place of all the Thebane towne.
Then (least theyr linage should decay whoo dyde with such renowne,)
Out of the Asshes of the maydes there issued twoo yong men,
And they vntoo theyr moothers dust did obsequies agen.
Thus much was graued curiously in auncient precious brasse,
And on the brim a trayle of flowres of bearbrich gilded was.
The Troians also gaue too him as costly giftes agen.
Bycause he was Apollos preest they gaue too him as then
A Chist too keepe in frankincence. They gaue him furthermore
A Crowne of gold wherin were set of precious stones great store.
Then calling too remembrance that the Troians issued were
Of Tevvcers blood, they sayld too Crete. But long they could not there
Abyde th' infection of the aire: and so they did forsake
The hundred Cities, and with speede to Itayle ward did make.
The winter wexed hard and rough, and tost them verry sore.
And when theyr shippes arriued were vppon the perlous shore
Among the Strophad Iles, the bird Aello did them feare.
The costes of Dulich, Ithaca, and Same they passed were,
And eeke the Court of Neritus where wyse Vlysses reignd,
And came too Ambrace for the which the Gods strong stryfe maynteind.
There sawe they turned into stone the iudge whoose image yit
At Actium in Appollos Church in signe therof dooth sit.
They vewed also Dodon groue where Okes spake: and the coast
Of Chaön where the sonnes of king Molossus scapt a most
Ungracious fyre by taking wings. From thence they coasted by
The countrye of the Pheäks fraught with frute abundantly.
Then tooke they land in Epyre, and too Buthrotos they went
Wheras the Troiane prophet dwelt, whoose reigne did represent
an image of theyr auncient Troy. There being certifyde
Of things too come by Helen (whoo whyle there they did abyde
Informed them ryght faythfully of all that should betyde)
They passed into Sicilie. With corners three this land
Shootes out intoo the Sea: of which Pachinnus front dooth stand.
Ageinst the southcoast: Lilibye dooth face the gentle west,
And Pelore vntoo Charlsis wayne dooth northward beare his brest.
The Troianes vnder Pelore gate with ores and prosprous tydes
And in the euen by Zanclye shore theyr fleete at anchor rydes.
Uppon the leftsyde restlessely Charybdis ay dooth beate them.
And swalloweth shippes & spewes them vp as fast as it dooth eate them.
And Scylla beateth on theyr ryght: which from the nauell downe
Is patched vp with cruell curres: and vpward too the crowne
Dooth keepe the countnance of a mayd, And (if that all bee trew
That Poëts fayne) shee was sumtyme a mayd ryght fayre of hew.
Too her made many wooers sute: all which shee did eschew.
And going too the salt Sea nymphes (too whom shee was ryght deere)
Shee vaunted, too how many men shee gaue the slippe that yeere.
Too whom the Lady Galate in kembing of her heare
Sayd thus with syghes. But they that sought too thee (O Lady) were
None other than of humane kynd, too whom without all feare
Of harme, thou myghtest (as thou doost) giue nay. But as for mee
Although that I of Nereus and gray Doris daughter bee,
And of my susters haue with mee continually a gard,
I could not scape the Cyclops loue, but too my greef full hard.
(With that her teares did stoppe her speeche.) Assoone as that the mayd
Had dryde them with her marble thomb, & moande the nymph, she sayd.
Deere Goddesse tell mee all your greef, and hyde it not from mee:
For trust mee I will vntoo you bothe true and secret bee.
Then vntoo Cratyes daughter thus the nymph her playnt did frame.
Of Fawne and nymph Simethis borne was Acis, whoo became
A ioy too bothe his parents, but too mee the greater ioy.
For being but a sixteene yeeres of age, this fayre sweete boy
Did take mee too his loue, what tyme about his chyldish chin
The tender heare like mossy downe too sprowt did first begin.
I loued him beyond all Goddes forbod, and likewyse mee
The Giant Cyclops. neyther (if demaunded it should bee)
I well were able for too tell you whither that the loue
Of Acis, or the Cyclops hate did more my stomacke moue.
There was no oddes betweene them. Oh deere Goddesse Venus, what
A powre haste thou? Behold how euen this owgly Giant that
No sparke of meekenesse in him hath, whoo is a terrour too
The verrye woodes, whom neuer guest nor straunger came vntoo
Without displeasure, whoo the heauens and all the Goddes despyseth,
Dooth feele what thing is loue. The loue of mee him so surpryseth,
That Polypheme regarding not his sheepe and hollowe Caue,
And hauing care too please dooth go about too make him braue.
His sturre stiffe heare he kembeth nowe with strong and sturdy rakes,
And with a sythe dooth marcussotte his bristled berd: and takes
Delyght too looke vppon himself in waters, and too frame
His countnance. Of his murtherous hart the wyldnesse wexeth tame.
His vnastaunched thyrst of blood is quenched: shippes may passe
And repasse saufly. In the whyle that he in loue thus was,
One Telemus Evvrymeds sonne a man of passing skill
In birdflyght, taking land that tyme in Sicill, went vntill
The orped Gyant Polypheme, and sayd: This one round eye
That now amid thy forehead stands shall one day ere thou dye
By sly Vlysses blinded bee. The Gyant laught therat,
And sayd O foolish soothsayre thou deceyued art in that.
For why another (euen a wench) already hathe it blynded.
Thus skorning him that told him truthe bycause he was hygh mynded,
He eyther made the ground too shake in walking on the shore,
Or rowzd him in his shadye Caue. With wedged poynt before
There shoots a hill intoo the Sea: whereof the sea dooth beate
On eyther syde. The one eyd feend came vp and made his seate
Theron, and after came his sheepe vndriuen. Assoone as hee
Had at his foote layd downe his staffe which was a whole Pyne tree
Well able for too bee a maast too any shippe, he takes
His pype compact of fyuescore reedes, and therwithall he makes
So loud a noyse that all the hilles and waters therabout
Myght easly heere the shirlnesse of the shepeherds whistling out.
I lying vnderneathe the rocke, and leaning in the lappe
Of Acis markt theis woordes of his which farre I heard by happe.
More whyght thou art then Primrose leaf my Lady Galatee.
More fresh than meade, more tall and streyght than lofty Aldertree.
More bright than glasse, more wanton than the tender kid forsooth.
Than Cockleshelles continually with water worne, more smoothe.
More cheerefull than the winters Sun, or Sommers shadowe cold,
More seemely and more comly than the Planetree too behold.
Of valew more than Apples bee although they were of gold.
More cleere than frozen yce, more sweete than Grape through rype ywis,
More soft than butter newly made, or downe of Cygnet is.
And much more fayre and beawtyfull than gardein too myne eye,
But that thou from my companye continually doost flye.
And thou the selfsame Galate art more tettish for too frame
Than Oxen of the wildernesse whom neuer wyght did tame.
More fleeting than the waues, more hard than warryed Oke too twyne,
More tough tha willow twiggs, more lyth tha is the wyld whyght vyne.
More than this rocke vnmouable, more violent than a streame.
More prowd than Peacocke praysd, more feerce tha fyre & more extreeme.
More rough than Breers, more cruell than the new deliuered Beare,
More mercilesse than troden snake, than sea more deafe of eare.
And which (and if it lay in mee I cheefly would restrayne)
Not only swifter paced than the stag in chace on playne,
But also swifter than the wynd and flyghtfull ayre. But if
Thou knew me well, it would thee irke too flye and bee a greef
Too tarrye from mee. Yea thou wouldst endeuour all thy powre
Too keepe mee wholly too thy self. The Quarry is my bowre
Heawen out of whole mayne stone. No Sun in sommer there can swelt.
No nipping cold in wintertyme within the same is felt.
Gay Apples weying downe the boughes haue I, and Grapes like gold,
And purple Grapes on spreaded Uynes as many as can hold.
Bothe which I doo reserue for thee. Thyself shalt with thy hand
The soft sweete strawbryes gather, which in wooddy shadowe stand.
The Cornell berryes also from the tree thy self shalt pull:
And pleasant plommes, sum yellow lyke new wax, sum blew, sum full
Of ruddy iewce. Of Chestnutts eeke (if my wyfe thou wilt bee)
Thou shalt haue store: and frutes all sortes: All trees shall serue for thee.
This Cattell heere is all myne owne. And many mo besyde
Doo eyther in the bottoms feede, or in the woodes them hyde,
And many standing at theyr stalles doo in my Caue abyde.
The number of them (if a man should ask) I cannot showe.
Tush beggars of theyr Cattell vse the number for too knowe.
And for the goodnesse of the same, no whit beleeue thou mee.
But come thyself (and if thou wilt) the truth therof too see.
See how theyr vdders full doo make them straddle. Lesser ware
Shet vp at home in cloce warme peends, are Lambes. There also are
In other pinfolds Kidds of selfsame yeaning tyme. Thus haue
I alwayes mylke as whyte as snow. wherof I sum doo saue
Too drink, and of the rest is made good cheese. And furthermore
Not only stale and common gifts and pleasures wherof store
Is too bee had at eche mannes hand, (as Leuerets, Kidds, and Does,
A payre of pigeons, or a nest of birds new found, or Roes,)
Shall vntoo thee presented bee. I found this toother day
A payre of Bearewhelpes, eche so lyke the other as they lay
Uppon a hill, that scarce yee eche discerne from other may.
And when that I did fynd them I did take them vp, and say
Theis will I for my Lady keepe for her therwith too play.
Now put thou vp thy fayre bryght head good Galat I thee pray
Aboue the greenish waues: now come my Galat, come away.
And of my present take no scorne. I know my selfe too bee
A iollye fellow. For euen now I did behold and see
Myne image in the water sheere, and sure mee thought I tooke
Delyght too see my goodly shape, and fauor in the brooke.
Behold how big I am not Ioue in heauen (for so you men
Report one Ioue too reigne, of whom I passe not for too ken)
Is howger than this doughty corce of myne. A bush of heare
Dooth ouerdroope my visage grim, and shadowes as it were
A groue vppon my shoulders twayne. And think it not too bee
A shame for that with bristled heare my body rough yee see.
A fowle ilfauored syght it is too see a leauelesse tree
A lothely thing it is, a horse without a mane too keepe.
As fethers doo become the birdes, and wooll becommeth sheepe,
Euen so a beard and bristled skin becommeth also men.
I haue but one eye, which dooth stand amid my frunt. what then?
This one round eye of myne is lyke a myghty target. Why?
Uewes not the Sun all things from heauen? Yit but one only eye
Hath hee. moreouer in your Seas my father beares the sway.
Him will I make thy fathrinlaw. Haue mercy I the pray,
And harken too myne humble sute. For only vntoo thee
Yeeld I. Euen I of whom bothe heauen and Ioue despysed bee
And eeke the percing thunderbolt, doo stand in awe and feare
Of thee O Nerye. Thyne ill will is greeuouser too beare
Than is the deadly Thunderclappe. Yit could I better fynd
In hart too suffer this contempt of thyne with pacient mynd
If thou didst shonne all other folk as well as mee. But why
Reiecting Cyclops doost thou loue dwarf Acis? why say I
Preferst thou Acis vntoo mee? well let him liked bee
Both of himself, and also (which I would be lothe) of thee.
And if I catch him he shall feele that in my body is
The force that should bee. I shall paunch him quicke. Those limbes of his
I will in peeces teare, and strew them in the feeldes, and in
Thy waters, if he doo thee haunt. For I doo swelt within.
And being chaafte the flame dooth burne more feerce too my vnrest.
Mee thinks mount Aetna with his force is closed in my brest.
And yit it nothing moueth thee. Assoone as he had talkt
Thus much in vayne, (I sawe well all) he rose: and fuming stalkt
Among his woodes and woonted Lawndes, as dooth a Bulchin, when
The Cow is from him tane. He could him no where rest as then.
Anon the feend espyed mee and Acis where wee lay,
Before wee wist or feared it: and crying out gan say
I see yee. and confounded myght I bee with endlesse shame,
But if I make this day the last agreement of your game.
Theis woordes were spoke with such a reere as verry well became
An angry Giant. Aetna shooke with lowdnesse of the same.
I scaard therwith dopt vnderneathe the water, and the knyght
Simethus turning streyght his backe, did giue himself too flyght,
And cryëd help mee Galate, help parents I you pray,
And in your kingdome mee receyue whoo perrish must streyghtway.
The roundeyd deuill made pursewt: and rending vp a fleece
Of Aetna Rocke, threw after him: of which a little peece
Did Acis ouertake. and yit as little as is was,
It ouerwhelmed Acis whole. I wretched wyght (alas)
Did that which destnyes would permit. Foorthwith I brought too passe
That Acis should receyue the force his father had before.
His scarlet blood did issue from the lump, and more and more
Within a whyle the rednesse gan too vannish: and the hew
Resembled at the first a brooke with rayne distroubled new,
Which wexeth cleere by length of tyme. Anon the lump did clyue,
And from the hollow cliffe therof hygh reedes sprang vp alyue.
And at the hollow issue of the stone the bubling water
Came trickling out. And by and by (which is a woondrous matter)
The stripling with a wreath of reede about his horned head
Auaunst his body too the waste. Whoo (saue he was that stead
Much biggar than he erst had beene, and altoogither gray)
Was Acis still. and being turnd too water, at this day
In shape of riuer still he beares his former name away.
The Lady Galat ceast her talk and streyght the companye brake.
And Neryes daughters parting thence, swam in the gentle lake.
Dame Scylla home ageine returnd. (Shee durst not her betake
Too open sea) and eyther roamd vppon the sandy shore
Stark naakt, or when for weerinesse shee could not walk no more,
Shee then withdrew her out of syght and gate her too a poole,
And in the water of the same, her heated limbes did coole.
Behold the fortune. Glaucus (whoo then being late before
Transformed in Evvboya Ile vppon Anthedon shore,
Was new becomne a dweller in the sea) as he did swim
Along the coast was tane in loue at syght of Scylla trim,
And spake such woordes as he did think myght make her tarry still.
Yit fled shee still, and swift for feare shee gate her too a hill
That butted on the Sea. ryght steepe and vpward sharp did shoote
A loftye toppe with trees, beneathe was hollowe at the foote.
Heere Scylla stayd and being sauf by strongnesse of the place,
(Not knowing if he monster were, or God, that did her chace,)
Shee looked backe. And woondring at his colour and his heare
With which his shoulders and his backe all wholly couered were,
Shee saw his neather parts were like a fish with tayle wrythde round
Who leaning too the neerest Rocke, sayd thus with lowd creere sound.
Fayre mayd, I neyther monster am nor cruell sauage beast:
But of the sea a God, whoose powre and fauour is not least.
For neyther Protevv in the sea nor Triton haue more myght
Nor yit the sonne of Athamas that now Palæmon hyght.
Yit once I was a mortall man. But you must know that I
Was giuen too seawoorkes, and in them mee only did apply.
For sumtyme I did draw the drag in which the fishes were,
And sumtyme sitting on the cliffes I angled heere and there.
There butteth on a fayre greene mede a bank wherof tone half
Is cloasd with sea, the rest is clad with herbes which neuer calf,
Nor horned Ox, nor seely sheepe, nor shakheard Goate did feede.
The busye Bee did neuer there of flowres sweete smelling speede.
No gladsum garlonds euer there were gathered for the head.
No hand those flowers euer yit with hooked sythe did shred.
I was the first that euer set my foote vppon that plot.
Now as I dryde my dropping netts, and layd abrode my lotte,
Too tell how many fishes had bychaunce too net beene sent,
Or through theyr owne too lyght beeleefe on bayted hooke beene hent:
(The matter seemeth like a lye, but what auayles too lye?)
Assoone as that my pray had towcht the grasse, it by and by
Began too moue, and flask theyr finnes, and swim vppon the drye,
As in the Sea. And as I pawsd and woondred at the syght,
My draught of fishes euerychone too seaward tooke theyr flyght,
And leaping from the shore, forsooke theyr newfound mayster quyght.
I was amazed at the thing: and standing long in dowt,
I sought the cause if any God had brought this same abowt,
Or else sum iewce of herb. And as I so did musing stand,
What herb (quoth I) hath such a powre? and gathering with my hand
The grasse, I bote it with my toothe. My throte had scarcely yit,
Well swallowed downe the vncouth iewce, when like an agew fit
I felt myne inwards soodeinly too shake, and with the same,
A loue of other nature in my brest with violence came.
And long I could it not resist: but sayd deere land adeew.
For neuer shall I haunt thee more. And with that woord I threw
My bodye in the sea. The Goddes thereof receyuing mee,
Uouchsaued in theyr order mee installed for too bee.
Desyring old Oceänus and Thetis for theyr sake,
The rest of my mortalitie away from mee too take.
They hallowed mee, and hauing sayd nyne tymes the holy ryme
That purgeth all prophanednesse, they charged mee that tyme
Too put my brestbulk vnderneathe a hundred streames. Anon
The brookes from sundry coastes and all the Seas did ryde vppon
My head. From whence as soone as I returned, by and by
I felt my self farre otherwyse through all my limbes, than I
Had beene before. and in my mynd I was another man.
Thus farre of all that mee befell make iust report I can.
Thus farre I beare in mynd. The rest my mynd perceyued not.
Then first of all this hory greene gray grisild beard I got,
And this same bush of heare which all along the seas I sweepe,
And theis same myghty shoulders, and theis grayish armes, and feete
Coonfounded intoo finned fish. But what auayleth mee
This goodly shape, and of the Goddes of sea too loued bee?
Or for too be a God my self? if they delyght not thee?
As he was speaking this, and still about too vtter more,
Dame Scylla him forsooke: wherat he wexing angry sore.
And beeing quickened with repulse, in rage he tooke his way
Too Circes Titans daughters Court which full of monsters lay.
Finis Libri decimi tertij
Comments about Ouids Metamorphosis: Thirteenth Book by Arthur Golding
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.