Leoline And Sydanis - Poem by Francis Kynaston
Fortunes of Kings, enamour'd Princes loves,
Who erst from Royal Ancestors did spring,
Is the high subject that incites and moves
My lowly voice in lofty Notes to sing
Of Leoline son to a mighty King;
And of a Princesse, Sydanis the faire,
Who were the worlds incomparable paire.
You learned Sisters of the Thespian well,
That sweetly sing to yong Apollo's lyre,
That on Parnassus forked top do dwell,
And Poets, with Prophetick rage inspire;
Accept my humble Muse into your Quire,
My labouring breast with noble raptures fill,
And on my Lines Castalian drops distill.
Your aide I need in this great enterprise,
Be you my guides, and give direction,
For all too weake are my abilities
To bring this Poeme to perfection;
Let each Muse of her part then make election,
And while of Love Clio sings lowd and cleare,
Melpomene the tragick Base must beare.
And be not absent thou all puissant love,
Thy favour I implore above the rest,
Thou wilt my best Enthousiasmes prove,
If with thy flames thou warme my trembling breast;
And though among thy servants I am least,
Yet thy high raptures may sublime my fame,
And blow my spark up to a glorious flame.
For without thee impossible it is,
Of Lovers joyes, or passions to endite:
He needs of feats of Armes must speak amisse,
That ne're saw battell, nor knew how to fight;
Then how may I of Lovers say aright,
Or feelingly discourse of them, unlesse
My selfe had knowne some joy, and some distresse.
Therefore since I for each true lovers sake,
And for the advancement of true loves affaires,
Am ready prest this task to undertake;
Assist me all Loves servants with your prayers,
That neither cold old age, with snowy haires
May coole or quench that pure ætheriall fire,
With which youths heat did once my soul inspire.
And since for every purpose under Sun,
There is a time and opportunity,
Pray that this work of mine may be begun
When as there be aspects of unity
'Twixt Mars and Venus, and a cleare immunity
From frosty Saturnes dismall dire aspect,
And every Planet in his course direct.
When Mercury, Lord of the houre and day,
Shall in his house diurnall potent be
Not slow, nor yet combust: Then also pray
He may be in a fortunate degree,
And in no dark void Azimen, that he,
Conjoyn'd with Sol, in the tenth house, may thence
Infuse invention, wit and eloquence.
That so each love-sick heart, and amorous minde,
That shall this Romance reade, remarking it,
May remedy, or some such passage finde
As him, or her in the right vaine may hit.
And now having thus pray'd, I think it fit,
That you no longer should the story misse,
Of Leoline and beauteous Sydanis.
Before proud Romes victorious Legions knew
The Brittains, by blew Neptunes arme divided
From the whole world, before they did subdue
The Island Albion, when as Consuls guided
Their Common-wealth, by whom it was decided
What tribute was impos'd on every State,
Tradition and old Annals thus relate.
On the Virgivian Oceans foaming shore,
Downe at the Mountain Snowdons rocky foot,
Whose Cloud-bound head with mists is ever hore,
So high, the sight can scarcely reach unto't,
Against whose brows the forked lightning shoot:
A stately Castle stood, whilome the seat
Of th' old Brittains King, Arvon the great.
This King upon Beumaris his faire Queen
Begot a Prince, whose name was Leoline,
In whom so many gracefull parts were seen,
As if the heavens and nature did combine,
To make a face and personage divine,
For Iove and Venus I imagine were
Conjoyned in his Horoscope Yfere.
By whose benigne and powerfull influence,
Which governes our affections here below,
And in Loves actions hath preheminence,
Prince Leoline incited was to goe
(His Fortune and the gods would have it so)
To a faire City, in those daies much fam'd,
Which from Duke Leon, Carleon was nam'd.
This City was not only celebrated
For Riches brought by Sea from all the West,
But for a Temple (as shall be related)
To Venus, unto whom a solemne feast
Was yearely made, to which the worthiest best
Of Knights and Ladies came, and who did come,
If not before, from it went Lovers home.
And so unto this Prince it did befall,
Who viewing of those Ladies did repaire
As Votaries to this great Festivall;
He was aware of Sydanis the faire,
Duke Leons only daughter, and his heire,
Who offring Sacrifice at Venus Shrine,
Did seem the goddesse to Prince Leoline.
More lovely faire she was than can be told,
So glorious and resplendent her array,
Her tresses flow'd like waves of liquid Gold,
Burnisht by rising Titans morning ray,
From her eies broke the early dawning day:
A corrall portall plac'd above her Chin,
Inclos'd a bed of orient pearle within.
A Carquenet her neck incircled round
Of ballast Rubies, cut in forme of hearts,
Which were with true-love knots together bound,
Of Gold enamel'd, pierc't with Cupids darts,
From which, small pendents by the workmans arts
Were made, which on her naked skin did show
Like drops of bloud new fallen upon the Snow.
More of her beauties will I not relate,
Of which the young Prince was enamored,
It was the gods decree, and will of Fate,
Prince Leoline faire Sydanis should wed,
And both be joyned in one nuptiall bed:
Nor speak I of their marriage royalties,
Which were as great as mans wit could devise.
The Tiltings, Justs, and Tournaments by day,
The Masques and Revels on the wedding night,
The songs to which prophetick Bards did play,
With many other objects of delight,
(All which this History embellish might,)
I will omit, since each where of that kinde,
You may in Books frequent descriptions finde.
For in this match the Fates seem'd to portend
Millions of joyes, Myriads of happy houres,
That on their heads and beds there might descend
All blessings that come downe from heavenly powers,
No Star malignant on their nuptialls lowers,
For Hymen all his Virgin Torches lighted,
When first these Princely lovers troths were plighted.
But O false world! O wretched state unstable
Of mortall men! O fraile condition!
O blisse more vain then any dream, or fable!
O brittle joy, even lost in the fruition!
O doubtfull truth! O certain true suspition!
O bitter sweetest love, that let'st us know,
That first or last thou never wantest woe!
For if there be no lets in the obtaining
Of a mans honor'd Mistresse, and her love,
Yet still there are crosses enough remaining,
Which neither force, nor foresight can remove,
That to his joyes a sad allay will prove,
And make him know it is a truth confest,
That no one thing on every side is blest.
But to the matter shortly now to goe,
That day the Prince did wed his beauteous Bride,
As then the custome was, he did bestow
Rich Scarfes, and Points, and many things beside,
Which in fine curious knots were knit and tyde;
And as his Royall Favours, worne by those,
Whom he to grace his Princely nuptials chose.
Favours are oft unhappily, by chance
Bestow'd: For 'mongst those Courtiers that did weare
The Princes Points, a Marquesse was of France,
Who for some beinous fact he had done there,
Hang'd in effigie, fled from France for feare,
And so for refuge to Carleon came,
Monsieur Marquis Iean Foutre was his name.
Who though he had a Farinee face,
Thereto a Bedstaffe Leg, and a splay Foot,
By angry nature made in mans disgrace,
Which no long slop, nor any ruffled boot
Could mend, or hide, for why, they could not do't,
Though his mouth were a wide world without end,
His shape so ugly, as no art could mend.
Although his weatherwise Autumnall joynts,
As if they wanted Natures Ligaments,
Did hang together, as if tyde by Points,
Though most deformed were his Lineaments;
Yet fowler was his minde, and base intents,
His matchlesse impudence, which appear'd in this,
That he made love to beauteous Sydanis.
So by the Canker-worme the fragrant Rose
Is tainted: So the serene wholsome aire
By black contagion, pestilentiall growes,
As she by this base wretch, who thought to impaire
The Chastity of one so matchlesse faire;
But his fowle base intents being once detected,
Were with all scorne, and just disdain rejected.
In dire revenge thereof, that day the bands
Were made between Prince Leoline and his Bride;
As the Arch-flamen joyned had their hands,
And made them one, which no man ought divide,
Upon the Princes Point this Cairiffe tyde
A Magick knot, and muttered a Spell,
Which had an energetick force from hell.
For by it was he maleficiated,
And quite depriv'd of all ability
To use a woman, as shall be related,
For Nature felt an imbecillity,
Extinguishing in him virillity:
The sad events whereof to set before yee,
Is as the dire Præludium to our Storie.
Now at that instant the Prince felt no change,
When as the charme was spoke, nor alteration
Within his minde or body; for so strange
Was the effect of the said Incantation,
As that it wrought in him no perturbation.
But woe is me: the damned hellish spite
Was first discern'd upon the wedding night.
For then this princely couple being layd
Together in their Hymenæall bed,
And prayers to all the nuptiall gods being sayd,
To Domiduca, that her home had led:
To Virginalis, that her maidenhead
Might without paine be lost, and suddenly,
To Subiga, that she might quiet lie.
And lastly, That Partunda by her power
The Princesse would endue with fruitfulnesse,
That she would still make fortunate the houre
Of her conception, and her labor blesse,
Preventing all abortion, barrennesse.
And now, all these Devotions being said,
The Bride no longer was to be a Maid.
But though the Prince enjoy'd all sweets of sence,
Her rosie lips, which with sweet dew did melt,
And suckt her breath, sweet as their quintessence,
Which like to Aromaticke Incense smelt,
Though he her dainty virgin beauties felt,
Embracing of soft Ivory and warme snow,
Arriv'd at her Hesperides below:
Though Venus in Loves wars hath domination,
Sworne enemy to every Maidenhead,
And Soveraigne of the acts of generation,
Whose skirmishes are fought in the field bed,
Although her sonne a troupe of Cupids led;
Yet thus much had the dismall charme effected,
As Venus standard might not be erected.
For when no dalliance nor provocation
That weake opiniator part could raise;
Which Fancy and a strong imagination,
Rather than a mans will or reason swayes,
Which Rebell-like it ever disobeyes;
The Princes heart with shame and rage was fill'd,
That willingly himselfe he could have kill'd.
For on a sudden he left off to embrace
And kisse his lovely, and yet maiden bride;
And with a sigh he turn'd away his face
From her, and lying on the other side,
Under the sheet his face did eftsoones hide.
At which the princely Lady much dismay'd,
After a while, with teares thus to him said:
Deare Lord if that a Maid, whose innocence
Is such and so great, as she doth not know
How to commit a fault, or give offence
Towards you, to whom her best love she doth owe;
Nor yet the cause why you are alter'd so,
That on the sudden thus you doe restraine
Your favors, turning love into disdaine.
You made me to believe, when you did wooe,
That I was faire, and had some lovelinesse:
But ah, my beauties were too meane for you,
Or your esteem of them, I must confesse;
Yet in a moment they could not grow lesse.
But woe is me, for now I plainly see,
That the world and my glasse have flatter'd me.
For with the pleasures that you have enjoy'd,
As the chaste pledges of my nuptiall bed,
Your appetite had not so soon been cloy'd,
Nor you on them so soon had surfeited,
Which have (it seemes) a loathing in you bred:
By which I finde, that humane fond desire
Is like the lightning, at once cloud and fire.
I cannot think, but that I doe molest
Your Highnesse, who are us'd to lie alone,
I must not be the cause of your unrest,
And therefore crave your leave I may be gone,
And leave the bed wholly to be your owne:
Only vouchsafe this ease unto my sorrow,
That I may sit by you, untill to morrow.
For I will watch, and to the gods will pray,
And to your Angel tutelar, to keep
Your person, and from you to drive away
All thoughts, and dreames of me, when as you sleep.
And with that word she bitterly did weep:
Who, as she was arising from his side,
Holding her downe, thus Leoline reply'de.
Most divine Princely Sweetnesse, do not wast
That pretious odoriferous breath of yours
In vaine, nor fruitlesly away it cast,
Whose sent excells all essences of floures:
For could you sinne against the heavenly powers,
Or could you doe a thing that might displease them,
The incense of your breath would soone appease them.
O be not of a breath then so profuse,
Can purifie the aire from all infection:
Nor yet prophane it so, as to accuse
Your selfe, of all rare beauties the perfection;
Of whom the gods themselves have made election,
To print their formes on, to let mortalls see,
What their Angell-like shapes and beauties bee.
Yet dearest Lady do not thinke it strange,
That though you are a Paradise of blisse,
You are the cause of this my sudden change;
For why, some god of you enamour'd is,
And makes of me a Metamorphosis:
For ventring to enjoy what is his owne,
I finde my selfe already turning stone.
Or you a goddesse are, whose Deity
'Till now I knew not; as Diana chast,
Whose sacred heavenly sweets, without impiety,
By no man can be wantonly embrac't;
And therefore a just punishment is cast
On my presumption, which was so much more,
To touch you, whom I rather should adore.
And therefore by your bed, as by a Shrine,
Ile kneele, as penitent for my offence,
In my affecting of a thing Divine,
Since you an object are, whose excellence
Is so exalted above humane sence,
As like the Sun, it rather doth destroy
Sensation, than permit me to enjoy.
Which though I doe not, yet you still shall finde,
There is no want of love in me, no more
Than want of beauty in your heavenly minde,
Which I religiously shall still adore:
And though I as a husband lov'd before,
I'le turn Platonick lover, and admire
Your vertues height, to which none can aspire.
With sighes, and such like words, these Princes spent
The wearisome and tedious night away;
Prince Leoline by this his complement,
T'excuse his want of Manhood did assay:
Thus sorrowing one by the other lay,
Till Lucifer the morning did disclose,
Which when they saw, they from their bed arose,
And drest themselves before that any one
Knew of it, or their rising was descry'de.
Away went Leoline, and left alone
The comfortlesse, and lovely maiden Bride:
Now towards the houre of eight it did betide,
An ancient Matron to their Chamber came,
The Ladies Nurse, Merioneth was her name.
Who for the Bridegroome had a Cullis brought,
And of sweet richest Candian wine a quart,
To cheere his spirits up: for why, she thought
Prince Leoline might over-act his part,
In too much using Cupids wanton dart;
But seeing the bleare eyes of Sydanis,
Her heart misgave her, something was amiss.
And by the Princesse, as she trembling stands,
Madam, quoth she, what causes your unrest,
That you sit weeping thus, wringing your hands?
Doth Hymen thus begin your marriage feast?
Is this the love your Bridegroome hath exprest?
To rise so early, leaving you alone,
With teares and sighes his absence to bemoane.
Hereat the Princesse raigning from her eyes,
A showre of orient Pearle, richer than Gold
Iove powr'd on Danaë, to her thus replies,
Deare Nurse (quoth she) my griefe cannot be told,
Words are too weak my sorrows to unfold;
Nor doe I know a reason that might move
My Lord to leave me, unlesse want of love.
Our feast of love (if any) was soon done;
So soon all worldly joyes away doe fleet,
Which oft are ended as soon as begun;
Each earthly pleasure being a bitter sweet.
Ah Nurse, my Lord and I must never meet:
Yet pray him that he would not her despise,
Who from his side did a pure Virgin rise.
Hearing these words, Merioneth straight fell down,
Opprest with griefe unspeakable, and woe,
For feare she well neere fell into a swoune:
For the experienc't Matron did well know,
Much mischiefe would ensue, if it were so,
Or were a truth that Sydanis had said;
That lying with the Prince, she rose a maid.
For that the ancient Brittons then did use,
When any Bridegroome did a maiden wed,
A custome they received from the Jews,
To bring some linnens of the Bridall bed,
To witnesse she had lost her maiden head,
Without which testimony there was none
Beleev'd to be a Virgin, although one.
The wedding smock, or linnens of the Bride,
The married couples Parents were to see;
Whereon, if any drops of blood they spy'd,
Rejoycing, they perswaded were, that she
Had not till then lost her Virginity.
If on the linnens nothing did appeare,
The Bride and Bridegroome straight divorced were:
And she with shame unto her Father sent,
As one, whose Chastity had been defil'd,
And of her body was incontinent,
Or else in secret had a Bastard child;
And so for ever was to be exil'd
From all pure Virgins company, whose name,
No tongue of slander justly could defame.
Now what to doe in this hard doubtfull case,
The poore perplexed Matron did not know;
To tell the truth, would Leoline disgrace:
And since of force the linnen she must show,
If it were best to counterfeit or no,
(To hinder the divorce) a mark or spot,
In signe the Prince her maiden-head had got.
Yet this imposture if it were disclos'd,
It might beget both danger and disdaine:
For why, Merioneth wisely presuppos'd,
Although to others she a thing might faine,
Yet to Prince Leoline it was but vaine;
Who knowing his owne frozen impotence,
Would soon suspect the Ladies innocence.
Nor was there hope the thing could be conceal'd,
Since to King Arvon and Duke Leons eyes
The truth of all things was to be reveal'd,
This being one of the solemnities.
Which shew'd how much our Ancestors did prise
A Virgins chastity; which approbation,
What maid declin'd, was lost in reputation.
Yet thus the Nurse resolv'd in this distresse,
Since Sydanis for three daies was t'abide
Within her Chambers close end retirednesse,
As was the custome then for every Bride,
Till they were past, nothing should be descry'd:
In the meane while it was her resolution,
To try some powerfull Magicall conclusion.
Which was, to give a philter or love potion,
That should not onely cure frigidity,
But to that secret part give strength and motion,
Imparting heat unto it, and humidity.
Both this, and many another quiddity
These credulous old women doe beleeve,
And to effect such purposes doe give.
Amongst high horrid rocks, whose rugged browes
Doe threaten surly Neptune with their frowne,
When he at them his foaming Trident throwes,
Beating his high growne surging Billowes downe;
An aged learned Druide liv'd, farre knowne
For Magicks skill, who in a lonely Cell
As Hermite, or an Anchorite did dwell.
Merioneth posting to this Druides Cave,
When of her comming she the cause had told,
The aged Sire unto the Matron gave
A liquor farre more precious than gold,
Of which the secret vertue to unfold,
It would not onely cause a strong erection,
But working on the minde, procure affection.
Beleeving this with joy, she backe returnes,
And privately to Sydanis she went,
Who in her Chamber like a Turtle mournes:
She fully told to her all her intent,
And that successefull would be the event,
That Leoline those pleasures should enjoy,
The want of which had caused her annoy.
Although affection, which Art doth create,
Is nothing worth, and of true love no part,
But lust, which satisfy'd, doth end in hate,
Yet Sydanis to palliate the smart,
Rather than cure the wound of her sad hart
Since of two evils she the least might chuse,
Her Nurses councell she will not refuse.
Heavens glorious Lampe of light, that all day burn'd,
Was now extinguisht in the Westerne Seas;
To dens the beasts, to nests the birds return'd,
And night arising from th' Antipodes,
Summon'd men from their labours to take ease,
And drowsie sleepe so soone as they repose
With her soft Velvet hands their eyes doth close.
When as the Prince the second night did lie
By lovely Sydanis as yet a maid,
Againe in Venus warres such force to try
But when that he with her in bed was lay'd,
And had (but all in vaine) all meanes essay'd,
Finding, that his virility was gone;
He grievously began to sigh and grone.
The Princesse hearing, mildly pray'd him tell
His cause of griefe, that she might beare her part.
Madam (quoth Leoline) I am not well,
I feel a deadly paine about my heart:
Oh might it please the gods, Deaths Ebon dart,
(Er'e the approach of the next rising morrow)
Might free me from this world, and you from sorrow.
For while I live you'l be unfortunate,
And in sad discontentment will grow old,
For (oh my starres) such is my wretched Fate,
I like a Miser keepe a heap of gold,
For no use els, but onely to behold;
Possessing an unvalu'd treasure, which
Being put to use, the whole world would enrich.
But now of Ladies, you most excellent,
Be pleas'd to heare and pardon what I say:
In warres to seeke a death is my intent,
For ere the beames of the next mornings ray,
I from your dearest selfe must part away,
And when that I am dead you shall see clearly,
That (though I leave you) yet I lov'd you dearly.
What tongue can tell the griefe of Sydanis,
When as Prince Leoline, without remorse,
Had given her his last sad parting kisse,
And death must them eternally devorce,
So that unlesse the Magicke potions force,
The Princes resolution did prevent,
She thought nought els could alter his intent.
Therefore with broken sighs and many a teare,
She as the Prince was ready for to rise,
To speak to him once more could not forbeare,
Though to her words, griefe utterance denyes,
She showring down a deluge from her eyes
Which downe her cheekes in silver rivers ran,
With no lesse modesty than griefe began:
My Lord (quoth she) your will is a command,
And shall by me most humbly be obay'd;
Which, though I could, I ought not to withstand.
But yet be pleas'd to thinke, that you have layd,
Upon the frailty of a silly maid,
So insupportable a weight of woe,
As our weake sex it cannot undergoe.
What er'e is writ of Grissels patience,
Or Roman Martia's, when she lost her sonne,
(Whose griefe was lessened by the eloquence
Of Seneca) by me would be out-done.
Nay all those Ladies that such fame have wone
For manly fortitude, I should out-vie,
Could I endure my sorrow and not dye.
But that's impossible, it cannot be;
Since you, who are my souls soul, who instead
Of longer animating it or me,
Will strait depart, leaving me doubly dead,
You from my soule, it from me being fled:
By which you shall a demonstration see,
Proving a humane souls mortallity.
Now when, like deare departing friends, the soule
And body from each other are to part,
The learn'd Physitian seeming to controule
Th' approach of death, some Cordiall gives by's Art,
That for a while revives the dying part:
Here is a drink, which if you please to tast
And drink to me, your pledge shall be my last.
Prince Leoline with sighs and sorrow dry,
Onely to quench his thirst with it did thinke:
But having drunke it, he immediatly,
(Such was the force of the enchanted drinke)
As one starke dead into his bed did sinke;
Where sencelesse without motion he did lye,
As one new fallen into an extasie.
Th' amased Princesse thinking he was dead,
Opprest with griefe, she suddenly fell downe,
The spectacle such horror in her bred,
That with a shreek she fell into a swoune:
Which her Nurse hearing, and the cause unknowne,
Unto the Princes bed side ran in hast,
Being ignorant as yet of what had past:
And finding how these Princes speechlesse lay,
It was no time nor boot for to complaine.
To bring them back to life she doth assay,
And first with Sydanis she taketh paine,
Who after much adoe reverts againe.
Which being done, they both together joyne
Their labours, to revive Prince Leoline.
But all in vaine; for after that they two,
For his recovery all means had try'de,
And finding at the last nothing would doe,
They thought it would be death there to abide,
And therefore some disguise they would provide,
That friended by the darknesse of the night,
They might the more securely take their flight.
A womans wit, which in extremities
Is present, and upon the sudden best:
For Sydanis, a proper neat disguise
To her old Nurses thoughts doth straight suggest,
Who forthwith went and opened a Chest,
In an out-roome neere where the Pages lay,
One of whose Suits shee eftsoones brought away.
In this neat, fit, and handsome Pages suite,
No sooner was faire Sydanis aray'd,
But as she more advisedly did view't,
Upon the sudden she was much dismaid,
And of her selfe began to be afraid,
When on the hose before a (fashion then)
She saw a thing was onely worne by men.
A shape undecent made by taylors Art,
Of Secresies, which Nature bids us hide,
Which as a case seem'd of that privie part,
Great Iulius Cæsar cover'd when he dy'd:
To looke upon it she could not abide,
It did so much her modesty perplexe,
As now she wish't to change both cloaths and Sexe.
And needs she would undresse her selfe againe,
Of that immodest habit to be rid;
But her old Nurse her purpose did restraine;
Besides, the present danger did forbid
That act, since no way else she could be hid:
The doing of it therefore she forbeares,
Which vex't her minde, more than secur'd her feares.
Accoutred thus, and ready to be gone,
The Princesse onely for her Nurse doth stay:
Who without scruple instantly put on
The cloathes Prince Leoline on's wedding day
Had worne, and drest her selfe without delay:
Nor were the Breech, or Codpiece to her view
Unpleasing, who so well the linings knew.
And now as they were ready for to goe,
The reverend Nurse by reason of her age,
Had councell'd, and had ordered things so,
She should be Lord, and Sydanis her Page.
Thus like two birds new got out of a Cage,
To flie away with all speed they intend,
And to the Druides Cave their course to bend.
Yet before that the wofull Sydanis
Could part away, she could it not forbeare,
On Leolines cold lips to print a kisse,
And wash his face with many a briny teare:
By all the gods she solemnely did sweare,
(For her excuse) she never once did thinke
That she had given to him a deadly drinke.
To cleare her selfe, the poore officious Nurse
Strong argument and many reasons brought,
But what was bad before, is now much worse,
She of the Magicke potion takes a drought,
Which on her vitall powers so strangely wrought,
That all the spirits from her heart were fled,
And she upon the floore fell downe as dead.
Th' affrighted Princesse, that before might thinke
Her Lord might on an Apoplexy die,
Or some Apostume; now is sure, the drinke
Was th' onely cause of this mortality:
Griev'd for her Nurses fond credulity,
Who drinking it, had made her griefes farre more,
Doubling the sorrowes that she had before.
No tongue of Rhethorican can expresse
Her patience, which such mischiefes could abide:
Her perturbations onely one may guesse
Who in perpetuall feare to be descry'd
Must without any company or guide,
Through solitude and darknesse of the night,
Unto a place uncertaine take her night.
But she must goe: for feare now bids her fly,
And to the Druides Cave to post in hast,
And so to put her life in jeopardy,
Rather than to be sure to die at last.
Through desart Rocks, and by-wayes having past,
Her Genius not permitting her to stray,
She there arrived er'e the breake of day.
Entring with trembling feet the horrid Cave,
Morrogh the Druide to her did appeare,
Like a Ghost sitting in a dead mans grave
Or darksome Vault: who did no sooner see her,
But beckning to the Princesse to come neere,
The awfull silence of his Cell he brake,
And in few words to Sydanis thus spake.
Thou lovely-seeming youth, who in disguise
Art come, and art not what thou seem'st in show,
As if thou couldst deceive my aged eyes,
Who both thee and thy cause of comming know;
O let no fond beleefe delude thee so,
As make thee thinke thou canst not be descryde,
Or that from me thy secrets thou canst hide.
Thou art a haplesse lady, lately wed
Unto Prince Leoline, whose wretched state
(Wanting the pleasures of thy marriage bed)
I could relieve, and would commiserate,
Wer't not for the inveterate just hate
I beare King Aracon, who me here confin'de
To live a wretch exil'd from all mankinde.
Therefore to be reveng'd upon his sonne,
For his unjust and cruell fathers sake,
Know Sydanis, that I the deed have done:
I did the deadly poysonous potion make
Which thou didst cause Prince Leoline to take;
For whose dire murther thou wilt be detected,
Since no one else but thee can be suspected.
Nor is thy nurse, that came unto my Nell
(Whose death as well as Leolines doth grieve thee)
As now alive, the truth of things to tell:
There is but one way left now to releive thee,
And therefore take the counsell that I give thee,
Fly straight beyond seas, for before Sun rise,
Men will be here thy person to surprise.
The Druides words, like the death-boding notes
Of the night raven, or the ominous owle,
Sent from their dismall hollow sounding throats;
Or like the noise of dogs by night, that howle
At the departing of a sick mans soule:
Such terrour into Sydanis did strike,
As never tender Lady felt the like.
What she should doe, or whether she should go
The poor distressed Sydanis not knew,
If undescry'd she could take ship or no;
And thereupon what dangers might ensue,
Therefore with visage deadly pale of hue.
Oh Druide let me dy at once, she sayes;
And not so often, and so many wayes.
And here I'le dye; thy Cell shall be my grave:
Before thee all my misery shall end.
So as if any come into thy cave
And finde me here, they may thee apprehend
And with wilde horses thee in pieces rend:
Inflicting severall deaths on thy each limme,
For murthering a Prince, and me in him.
As Sydanis these passionate words spake,
All ready was her nimble flickering ghost
Her bodyes beauteous Mansion to forsake,
And towards the blest Elisium fields to post
All sence of this worlds miseries were lost:
Yet this her sad departure seem'd most sweet,
That there againe she Leoline should meet.
But now the Druide, who unto the height
Had wrought her griefe, resolv'd to hold his hand,
And suddainly to aleviate that weight
Of woe opprest her, takes a frozen wand,
With which, and Magicke spels, he could command
The Furies, Fates, Nimphs, Faries, or what els
In the Seas deeps, or Earths darke bosome dwels.
Explicit pars prima.
Bright beauties goddesse, Aphrodite stil'd,
From whitest froth of the Sea Billowes sprung,
O Ioves most lovely best beloved child,
Who evermore continuest fresh and young,
Assistant be to that which here is sung,
And guide my Muse, which now the land forsakes,
And to the stormy Seas herselfe betakes.
Sweet-singing Syrens, you who so inchant,
The Pilot and the listning Mariner
As the ones head, the others hand doth want
Abilities the rudder for to steere,
Receive a beauty to you without peere,
That puts to Sea, whose orient teeth and lips,
Doth shed your corall, and your pearle eclipse.
For now the Druide tooke her in his armes,
Which never yet so sweet a burthen bore,
Waving his rod with strange and hideous charmes,
Whilest neere the water he stood on the shore,
A spectacle appear'd ne're seen before:
For Amphitrite the great Queen of Seas,
Appear'd with twelve Sea Nymphs Nereides.
Here I should tell you how this glorious Queen
Sate in a Chariot, no mans eye e're saw
So rare a one; her robes were of Sea green,
Her coach four Hippopotomi did draw,
Who fear'd no gust, nor tempests angry flaw.
But to describe things now I cannot stand,
I hast to finish what I have in hand.
Three steps into the Sea the Druide wading,
The sleeping Princesse to the coach he heaves,
Who proud to be enricht with such a lading,
Her Amphitrite joyfully receives,
With whom old Morrogh such directions leaves
As needfull were, whether, and in what sort
She should the beauteous Sydanis transport.
Leaving the firth whereas blacke Durdwyes streames,
Swifter than shafts shot from the Russes bow,
Doe enter and invade King Neptunes reames,
Justling the surly waves when as they flow,
Under Hilbrees high craggy cliffes doth row,
The Seas fayre Queene, whom Tritons doe attend,
While towards the maine Sea she her course doth bend.
The Sea-bred steeds so swiftly cut the maine,
As that the sight of every land was lost,
But a glasse being turn'd, they see againe
The Island Mona's solitary coast,
Who of her learned Bards may justly boast
In Musicke, and in prophesies deep skil'd,
Who with sweet Englens all the world had fill'd.
And as the Sun arose, they did descry
The lofty cliffes of the high head of Hoth,
A rocky promontory, which doth lye,
Neere Erinland, white with sea-billows froth,
Here Amphitrite (though exceeding loth)
Was by the Druide Morroghs strict command.
Her dearest lovely charge to set on land.
But yet before such time she would doe so,
She sends three Sea Nimphs downe into the deepe,
To bring her up such treasures from below,
As under rockes the wealthy Sea-gods keepe.
Now all this while was Sydanis asleepe,
And dream't that she was in some tempest tost,
And ship-wract, she and all her goods were lost.
But dreames fall out by contraries; for why?
The Sea Nimphs with more speed than can be told,
Returning, brought from Neptunes treasury
A large heape of a wrecked Merchants gold,
More than a pages pockets well could hold.
The second corall brought: The third, a piece
Of the Seas richest treasure, Amber Gris.
Last, the Seas Empresse, for to testifie
How much her love and bounty did abound,
A rope of orient pearle did straight untie,
Which thrice her Jvory neck incircled round,
Such as in deepest Southerne Seas are found,
These pearles she knit on Sydanis her wrist,
And having, done a thousand times her kist.
Then raining teares upon her curled head,
Which was on Amphitrites bosome layd,
She wept o're Sydanis as she were dead:
So much sleepe (deaths resemblance) her dismayd,
As that a man that saw them would have sayd,
That once more there was really againe,
Venus, and in her lap Adonis slaine.
The sad Nereides with mournefull cheere,
Taking their leaves, do kisse her whitest hand,
Grieving to leave her, whom they held so deere.
And now as they approached neere the strand,
Within some dozen steps of the dry land,
Downe div'd the Hipopotomi the Queene,
Her chariot, horses, Nymphs, no more were seen.
Faire Sydanis now left to swim or sinke,
A shore the surges of the billows threw;
Who therewith waking, verely did thinke,
That what she dream't had really bin true.
The manner of her comming she not knew,
But howsoever, although cold and wet,
She was right glad she was on dry-land set.
There not full halfe an houre she did abide,
Wondring how she such gold and pearle had got,
But by a fisher-man she was espyde,
Who saw her pages cloake and bonnet float
Upon the waves, and towards her with his boat
(Taking them up) all possible speed he makes,
And Sydanis into his Skiffe he takes.
Two leagues thence distant was a famous port
Of a great City, that Eplana hight,
Where Dermot King of Erin held his court,
Attended on by many a Lord and Knight,
To whom the fisher-man told in what plight
He on the shore a shipwreckt youth had found,
And how the rest o'th' passengers were drownd.
When as King Dermot Sydanis beheld,
It doubtfull was whether his admiration
Of her rare face, which others all excell'd,
Was greater, or his tender sad compassion
Of her mishap, which gave to him occasion,
His royall bounty tow'rds her to expresse,
And to relieve her wants in this distresse.
Desiring therefore first to have her name,
She told him that her name Amanthis was,
Page to a Brittish Prince, who as he came
For Erinland (such was his wofull case)
Was drown'd, as he those stormy Seas did passe;
And that except her pages onely suit,
She was of meanes and all things destitute.
The royall Dermot forthwith gave command,
She should have any thing that he could grant.
And now because the King did understand,
His onely Princely daughter Mellefant,
Of such a page at that time stood in want,
He to her chamber did Amanthis send,
The high borne lovely Princesse to attend.
The faire attendant by King Dermot sent,
The noble Princesse kindely doth receive,
Whose page-like and descreet deportement,
Was such as no one did her sex perceive.
Now as a page Amanthis we must leave,
With the faire Princesse Mellefant to dwell,
And you shall heare what Leoline befell.
Dionea early rising in the darke,
Sets open wide the Opall ports of day,
In nights blacke tinder putting out each sparke,
That twinkling shone with a faint flaring ray,
And now Nyctimene was flowne away,
To the dark covert of a hollow tree,
Unwilling Phœbus brightest beames to see.
The glorious rayes of the next mornings light,
Which from the Easterne ocean arose,
The dismall deeds of the preceding night,
To the worlds view were ready to disclose:
And night unable longer to oppose
Bright Phœbus, or such things in secret keepe,
Downe sinking div'd into the Westerne deepe.
The Suns swift coursers upwards making hast
From his first house in the East Horison,
Had now two more supernall mansions past,
And to the entrance of the third were gone,
E're any of these things in Court had knowne.
But when nor Prince, nor Princesse did appeare,
Each one admir'd why they not stirring were.
King Arnon and Duke Leon gave command,
A page should to the princes chamber goe,
And instantly should let them understand,
If that Prince Leoline were well or no:
And why his rising he deferred so.
The page he went, and finding the doore lockt,
Softly at first, then lowder call'd and knockt.
But when within, no answer he could heare,
Nor voice of any one that to him spake;
The page unto the King relates his feare,
Who straight commands that with a mighty stroke,
Of iron bars the doore should downe be broke.
Which having done, and broken downe the dore,
A dismall sight lay on the chamber flore.
For there the aged Nurse along was lay'd,
Cold and stretcht out, as one that were starke dead,
In all Prince Leolines best clothes aray'd.
Which sight not onely feare, but wonder bred.
The King and Duke straight went unto the bed,
And opening the curtaines, there alone
The Prince lay dead, but Princesse there was none.
Tearing their haires with lamentable groanes,
These two sad parents eyes with teares abound:
The King his sonne; Duke Leon he bemones
His daughters losse, who no where could be found.
Men search for her above and under ground,
But all in vaine: for she (you heard) was gone
The night before to Erinland, unknowne.
The ports are stop't they search each boat and barke,
Thinking that in some ship they might her finde:
But that unlikely was, when as they marke
How that contrary blew the Northwest winde,
Yet this her absence to King Arnons minde
Was evidence enough it could not be,
That any one had kill'd the Prince but she.
Now as before a storme, the clouded skie
Blackens and darkens, sullenly it loures,
E're that the dreadfull thunderer from on high
Rores in the clouds, and on the earth downe pores
Another dismall Cataclysme of shores,
Even so King Arnons countenance did betoken
A storme of words, which afterwards were spoken.
For in the word of an enraged King,
(Whose fatall anger is assured death)
He vow'd he would upon Duke Leon bring
Confusion; for his sword he would unsheath,
Which ne're should be put up whil'st he had breath,
Untill that he a just revenge should take,
For Sydanis his murderous daughters sake.
You must imagine more than shall be sayd,
Touching Duke Leons griefe and his reply,
Unto whose charge a Princes death was lay'd,
Against all lawes of hospitality:
He told King Arnon that he did defie
His threats, and being free from all offence,
He knew heaven would protect his innocence.
Leaving Carleon, back the King return'd
Unto Carnarvan castle, with intent,
That since that he and all his Court now mourn'd,
The Princes body thither should be sent,
To lay him by his Ancestors he meant,
Whose funerall should not be long deferr'd,
But he with all solemnitie interr'd.
Among these troubles and distractions,
That 'twixt King Arnon and Duke Leon fel,
The caitife Marquis Foutre, all whose actions
Were form'd by some infernall feind in hell,
Had learn'd, there was a Druide that could tel
Mens fortunes, and what e're they did demand,
Could give a resolution out of hand.
To Morrogh went this Foutre for to know
The place to which faire Sydanis was fled,
And whether that she living was or no:
If not, and that she certainly was dead,
He needs would know where she was buried.
To whom the Druide with a countenance grave,
Waving his wand, this sudden answer gave:
Know Frenchman, if to satisfie thy lust
Of that faire Lady, whom thou dost pursue,
Thou doe intend; to Erinland thou must:
There thou may'st finde her, and thy suit renue.
But seeing that the winde contrary blew,
Foutre demanded, Ha'st thou not a kinde
Of tricke in Magicke for to sell a winde.
Yea, quoth the Druide, e're thou hence depart,
That I am my Arts Master thou shalt know,
And am no ignorant in Magicke art;
For knots that on thy handkercher I'le throw,
Unty'd shall cause, that any winde shal blow,
Or strong or gently; and as thou dost please,
Shall waft thy shipe or barke along the Seas.
On Foutres handkercher three knots he knits,
Which when he was at Sea should be unty'd:
This done, forthwith the Druides Cell he quits,
And to the haven of Carleon hy'd,
Himselfe there of such shipping to provide,
As at that time the haven did aford,
Where having got a ship he went abord.
Untying the first knot, the winde, whose blast
Was contrary unto his going out,
And blew ahead, now blew abaft as fast,
And was upon the sudden come about:
Which caused all the Mariners to doubt
That they had got a passenger, whose art
Had no relation to the Sea-mans Chart.
The second knot unknit the merry gales,
The vessels linnen wings her sales did spread,
Which having past the dangerous coast of Wales,
Was sayling now athwart the Holy-head
The Skippers without sinking of their lead,
Upon a sudden now are come so nigh
To Erinland, that they it doe descry.
Here Foutre was the third knot to untye,
Who thought he had the windes at his dispose.
But having loos'd that knot, immediatly
So hydeous a storme at Sea arose,
As if each severall winde that fiercely blowes
From two and thirty points at Sea, had met,
Contending who the soveraignty should get.
The Mariners observing that the storme
From any naturall cause proceeded not,
Noting withall the superstitious form
And manner of untying of the knot,
Which now this raging tempest had begot;
Ready to sinke with every stormy blast,
Marquis Iean Foutre over boord they cast.
No sooner was the miscreant throwne in,
And in the bottom drown'd, but straight the Seas
Were calme againe, as if the wretch had bin
A sacrifice, their anger to appease,
So that it did the fatall Sisters please,
That he that tyde one knot, in the conclusion,
Should by another come unto confusion.
The Mariners now with a prosperous blast,
Their Sea-toss'd vessel towards Carleon guide,
Which there I leave, all dangers being past,
At anchor in the harbour safe to ride:
For I must tell what fortune did betide
Unto Prince Leoline, whose various fate
Makes the strange story that I shall relate.
Twice had pale Phœbe in her silver waine,
Drawn with fel dragons, rode her nightly round,
Since that the prince with his face bare had laine,
Within an open coffin yet unwound
In's winding sheet, his hands and feet not bound,
That when a prince was dead all men might see
And know for certainty, that it was hee.
Now the third night, which was the night before
The Princes body was to be convay'd
Unto Carnarvan, there were halfe a score
Of Knights and Squires in mourning blacke array'd,
That watching by the Princes body stay'd,
Who being fore-wak't, they could no longer keep
Their eye lids open, but fell all a sleepe.
Just at the hour of night the Prince did take
The potion which the Druide did compose,
Out of dead sleepe did Leoline awake,
And like a ghost out of the coffin rose,
Which er'st his Princely body did enclose:
For now the potion had no more a force
To make a living Prince a seeming corse.
For it was but a soporiferous potion,
Made of cold Night-shades, Gladials, Popies juice,
Which for a while supprest all sence and motion,
And of his members tooke away the use,
By an Narcoticke power it did infuse,
Which could no longer work on Leoline,
But till the Moone pass'd to another signe.
Nor ought this to seem strange, since as we reade,
Inhabitants of the cold frozen Zone,
Call'd Lewcomori, for six Months seem dead;
For as for sence, or motion they have none,
And so remaine till Phœbus having gone
Through the six Southerne Signes, salutes the Twins,
At which time yearely their new life begins.
But passe we this: The Prince in dead of night
Finding that those that should have watcht, him slept,
Tooke up the Morter by whose small dim light
He silently unto the chamber stept
Of an Esquire, who all his wardrobe kept,
Whom he in all important things imploy'd,
And most rely'd upon: His name was Ffloyd.
Comming now neere, and waking the Esquire,
Whose haire for feare began upright to stand,
Thinking he saw a ghost, but comming nigher,
The Prince upon him gently lay'd his hand,
And beckned as he silence would command;
Then putting on a Suit he lately wore,
They both at midnight went to the Sea shore.
Who being now informed by the way,
Of all the accidents that had fallen out,
He durst no longer in Carleon stay,
Duke Leons faithfulnesse he did misdoubt,
Who (as he did conceive) had gone about
To poyson him, and would some plot contrive,
That might of life him utterly deprive.
No sooner were they come, but there they found
(Even as they wisht) then ready to hoise sayle
A vessell that for Erinland was bound,
They so farre with the Mariners prevaile,
To take them in; of which they did not faile:
And now the winde so large was, that e're day,
The ship quite out of sight was flowne away.
Prince Leoline being loth it should be knowne,
What either he, or his associat were
Desir'd the Skippers, that they two alone,
On the next coast or creeke that did appeare,
Row'd in their Cock-boat, might be landed there.
The Mariners accordingly it did,
And the meane time the ship at anchor rid.
As they were ready for to set their feet
Upon dry land, and so to take their way,
Upon the shore a gastly sight they meet,
For there Iean Foutres drowned body lay,
In the same clothes, and in the same array,
He on the Princes wedding day had worne,
Whose face and hands fishes had eat and torne.
The Prince approching neerer for to view
The Sea-drownd carkas, which he had descry'd;
That it was Foutre, instantly he knew;
For on his brest his bridall point he spy'd,
Which Leoline forthwith tooke and unty'd,
Unwilling that the Mariners should have
A thing he as his wedding favour gave.
The Magicke knot undone by fortune strange,
And by this sad and yet glad accident,
In Leoline did worke a sudden change:
For though it was undone with no intent,
But such as hath bin sayd; yet the event
Was such, and did so happily succeed,
He from th' enchanted Ligature was freed.
The Jewels, Gold, and Silver that he found,
Among the Sea-men he distributed;
Who making of a poore hole in the ground,
Such as is made for felons being dead,
(Who by the high way side are buried)
Iean Foutres body they starke naked strip,
Which done they backe doe rowe unto their ship.
Prince Leoline and his Esquire Ffloyd
In Erinland being safely set on shore,
The better all suspition to avoid,
Would not unto Eblana come, before
They had conceal'd themselves a weeke or more:
In the meane time they purpose to devise
A way how they might passe in some disguise.
Which while they are contriving, you shall heare
King Arnon and Duke Leons sad estate,
Who equally in griefe engaged were,
And equally did one another hate:
With swords they meane the businesse to debate,
And thereupon make preparation,
One for defence, the other for invasion.
For when the servants that King Arnon sent,
Missing the body, all about had sought,
And could by no meanes finde which way it went,
Returning to the King they nothing brought
But onely this conjecture, that they thought
Duke Leon (on whom all the blame they lay)
Whil'st they did sleep, had stolne the corps away,
And buried it obscurely in some place,
Where never any one should finde his grave.
Th' enraged King resenting this disgrace,
And now perceiving that he might not have
His sonne alive, nor dead, he straight way gave
Commissions forth an army to assemble,
Should make Carlrons city walls to tremble.
'Tis hard to say, whether was greater growne,
King Arnons anger, or Duke Leons griefe;
On whom those blacke aspersions were throwne,
First of a murtherer, and then a theefe:
His patience yet (exceeding all beleefe)
And fortitude, were greater than his wrongs,
Or the fowle malice of all slanderous tongues.
So now it hap't as Leon went alone
To Venus Temple, and at midnight pray'd,
Downe in that very vault he heard one grone,
Wherein two nights before the Nurse was layd:
Then afterwards he heard a voice, which sayd,
Oh when will it be day? When will the light
Disperse the darkenesse of this endlesse night?
The Duke at first amazed, recollects
His feare-dispersed spirits, and before
That he would speake, he earnestly expects
To heare what the sad ghost would utter more:
Whom he perceived wept, and sighed sore:
Which made him on it such compassion take,
As that forthwith the vault he open brake.
And bowing downe into the grot, he say'd,
If thou a soule leaving th' Elysian rest,
Art backe return'd, whereas thy corps is layd,
To bring some comfort to a Prince distrest,
And with all manner injuries opprest;
Then in the dead more mercy doth abound,
Than here among the living can be found.
For thou wilt tell me whether bale or blisse
Be now the sad condition or glad state
Of my late deare deceased Sydanis,
And where and how she yeelded to her fate:
All which, I pray thee, gentle ghost, relate,
And ease my heavy heart, opprest with griefe,
Which among mortals can finde no reliefe.
Griefe hath few words. Th' amazed Nurse that heard
Duke Leons words, and knew it was his voice;
Of the vaults darkenesse being much afeard,
And the dead silence where there was no noise;
Not knowing if she wak't, or dream't, the choice
That she did make, was rather to conceale
Her selfe a while, than any thing reveale.
And therefore that opinion to mantaine,
And fancy in Duke Leon, of a ghost
From the Elysian shades return'd againe,
And had now twise the Stygian ferry crost,
To seeke that body it before had lost;
She in a piteous voice Duke Leon told,
As yet she might not any thing unfold.
For Minos, Eacus, and Rhadamant
The three grim Judges of th' infernall Court,
Would not unto the ghosts a licence grant,
The secrets of the darke world to report;
But to their Tombes they nightly must resort,
Till seven nights were past, and there must stay
Till the cockes crow before the breake of day.
But if that he on the eighth night would come
About the houre of twelve, when ghosts appeare,
And call upon her at the silent Tombe,
Of all things he the certainely should heare
Where Leoline and his faire daughter were,
And be inform'd of everything he crav'd,
And what the fates on leaves of steele had grav'd.
The Duke expecting at that time no more,
Up from the vault he silently arose,
Forgetting now to shut the Temple dore,
Unto his Palace backe againe he goes,
And now the Nurse ere that the first cocke crowes,
Stole from the vault, and in her winding sheet,
Went to a beldams house in a by-street.
Who being a lone woman, was most fit
To keepe her close, and what she had design'd;
Unto whose trust her selfe she doth commit,
And told to the old beldam all her minde;
Intending that as soone as she could finde
An opportunity, she would goe thence
To Morrogh, to get more intelligence.
Through darknesse of the third ensuing night,
To the learn'd Druide Morroghs Cell she went,
Clad like a souldier, in a buffe coat dight,
With hat, sword, gorget. This habiliment
Her hostesse the old Beldam to her lent,
Whose husband being a souldier long before,
Under Duke Leon, in his life time wore.
Attyred thus in habit of a man,
When she before the reverend Druide came,
To counterfit mens gesture she began:
And to appeare that she was not the same
She was, she altered her voice and name,
Thinking that Morrogh knew not who she was,
But that she for a souldier well might passe.
But he well knowing she did counterfet,
And to delude his cunning had a minde,
Resolved her finenesses should be met,
And quitted backe to her in their owne kinde:
(Souldier quoth he) I by my skill do finde,
Prince Leoline and Sydanis are fled,
And Merioneth her old Nurse is dead.
More of the Princes I cannot unfold;
But by my art I certainely do know;
That e're three dayes be past, thou shalt behold
Carleon city walls beleaguered so,
That out of it alive there none shall go;
By famine brought to that extremity,
As that the Duke himselfe thereof would dy.
But such a horrid death I must prevent,
And for thou seem'st one of Duke Leons guard,
Tell him that I to him by thee have sent
An Amulet by Chymicke art prepar'd,
Whose vertue told, will purchase thy reward,
For if that one but touch his lips with it,
'Twill satisfie the hungry appetite.
The skilfull Druide gave no more direction,
Nor of the secret properties more spake,
Of the Epiminedial confection.
The seeming-souldier doth the present take,
And towards Carleon all post hast doth make,
Intending that if possible she may,
She would be backe before the breake of day.
But e're twas day, King Arnons legions were
So farre advanc'd, as that he sent a Scout
To make discovery if the foe were neere,
Or that there were any ambushment without.
Now as the swift Vant-curriers rode about
As Sentinell perdue, the Nurse they caught,
And to King Arnon instantly her brought.
Who forthwith gave command she should be sent
Unto Carnarvan, and there should be cast
Into the deepest dungeon, to th' intent
That she in links of iron fettered fast,
Being hunger-starv'd to death, should breathe her last.
His angry doome is straight accomplished,
And to Carnarvan is Merioneth led;
Of all poore creatures most unfortunate:
For while that in the dungeon she did ly,
She with her selfe did often times debate,
Whether was better, hunger-starv'd to dy,
Or for to take the Druides remedy,
'Twould but prolong her misery to use it,
And it was present death for to refuse it.
But here I leave her and King Arnons host
Carleon city walls besieging round:
My tale must follow them, who having crost
The Brittish Seas, for Erinland were bound,
Where Leoline faire Sydanis hath found,
But so transform'd, as (though he did her see)
He little did suspect, that it was she.
Explicit pars secunda.
Latona's Twins, bright Cynthia, and her brother
Resplendent Phœbus, with his glorious rayes
Had seven times given place to one another,
And fully had accomplisht seven dayes
E're Leoline through devious woods and wayes,
Accompanied by Ffloyd as his consort,
Came to Eblana to King Dermots court.
On the eighth day, sacred to Venus name,
It fortuned at Court there was a feast
To welcome an Embassadour that came
From Albion which they two (among the rest)
Comming to see, like two French Monsieurs drest,
They, noted to be strangers, were so grac't,
As next to the Kings table to be plac't.
At mid'st whereof under a cloth of state,
To which one must by three degrees ascend,
In a rich chayre the royall Dermot sate,
Th' Embassadour and Princesse at each end,
On Mellefant, Amanthis doth attend,
As Cup-bearer, the while that she did dine,
And when she pleas'd to call, did bring her wine.
When as six severall courses serv'd had bin,
The royall dinner drawing towards an end,
A rich and sumptuous banquet was brought in,
Which did such kinds of sweet-meats comprehend,
As might with fruits of Paradise contend.
Of which the choycest and most excellent
The Princesse to the seeming French-men sent.
Giving her page Amanthis a command
To let them know, that if they did desire,
They should be brought to kisse King Dermots hand.
Prince Leoline and Ffloyd his faithfull Squire,
These unexpected curtesies admire:
Which taking, they a low obeysance make,
Admiring the pure French Amanthis spake.
To whom Prince Leoline in French reply'd,
And told her, such an unexpected grace,
Their duties and affections so ty'd,
As that they all occasions would embrace,
To testifie their service; and in case
They might receive such honour, that it would
Oblige them more than any favor could.
The Table taken from before the King,
And all the Royall Ceremonies ended,
Amanthis eftsoones did the strangers bring,
And told him that two French Lords there attended,
By Mellefant the Princesse recommended,
To have the honour for to kisse his hands,
And to receive his Majesties commands.
King Dermot full of royall curtesy,
Not onely gave his hand, but more to grace'em
Descended so belowe his Majesty,
As that he did in friendly wise embrace'em,
Commanding his Lord Chamberlaine to place'em
In his owne lodgings, that they might not want
Conveniency to wait on Mellefant.
Whose hands they kissing with all reverence
The Princesse doth them kindely entertaine:
Now while the King had private conference
With the Embassadour, the Prince did gaine
An opportunity for to detaine
The Princesse in discourse: 'twixt him and her
Amanthis was the sweet interpreter.
Prince Leolines discourses pleas'd so well
The Princesse, that she oftentimes did send
To have him come, fine Romances to tell,
To which she would so sweet attention lend,
As Dido-like she seemed to depend
Upon his lip, and such delights did take,
She wisht to speake French onely for his sake.
But whatsoever by the Prince was se'd
Of love, or of adventures of that kinde,
Must by Amanthis be interpreted,
Whose eyes the Princes language could not blinde,
For he was knowne, and how he stood inclin'd,
Nor was discreet Amanthis ignorant,
That Leoline made love to Mellefant.
But to what end she could not yet discover:
For if to marry her was his intent;
It seem'd most strange that he should be a lover,
Who in loves actions was so impotent;
And if he were not so, then that content
Should Mellefant enjoy, and that delight
In Hymens sports, which was Amanthis right.
But e're a Moneth was past, it fortun'd so,
The Princesse Mellefant, Amanthis sent
To the Prince Leoline, to let him know
And carry him this courtly complement,
That if he pleas'd to ride abrode, she ment
(Since that the wheather was so calme and faire)
To ride into the fields to take the aire.
Amanthis with this message being gone,
Prince Leoline was in his chamber found
Sitting upon his bed-side all alone:
His countenance sad, his eyes fixt on the ground,
As if he did with carefull thoughts abound:
But seeing of Amanthis, he acquir'd
A happinesse that he had long desir'd.
For he now got an opportunity,
His minde unto Amanthis to disclose:
Whose message being told, immediatly
The Prince began and say'd, Faire youth suppose
I told a secret, might I not repose
So much in thee as never to reveale it,
But in thy faithfull bosome to conceale it?
To whom Amanthis straight reply'd, You may
A privacy unto my trust commit,
Which if it touch the Princesse any way,
Or King, to hide it were nor safe nor fit;
For in my duty I must utter it:
But if so be that it touch none of these,
You may securely tell me what you please.
Quoth Leoline, that which I have to say
Concernes the Princesse, but in such a kinde,
As if that thou my counsell should'st bewray,
After that I have utter'd all my minde,
It may be I with thee no fault should finde:
For say I should desire thee to prove,
Whether the Princesse Mellefant could love.
My fortunes and my birth perchance may be
Greater than yet they seeme, 'tis often seene,
Meane cloathes doe hide high-borne Nobility.
And though she be a Princesse, nay a Queene,
Great Princesses have oft enamour'd beene
Of gentlemen; so fortune did advance
Medor above the Palladines of France.
And so Queen Clytemnestra, as we read,
Before King Agamemnon did preferre
And tooke into her royall nuptiall bed
Æghistus her sweet fac'd adulterer,
In birth and fortunes farre unworthy her,
And so faire Helen did young Paris make
Her choyce, and Menelaus did forsake.
But these thoul't say were presidents of lust,
And such as vertuous Ladies should detest:
But what I seeke is honorably just;
Which since I have committed to thy brest,
If thou, faire lovely youth, wilt do thy best
My suit to thy sweet Princesse to commend,
Be sure that thou hast gain'd a thankfull friend.
To which Amanthis answered, You are
(My Lord) a stranger and as yet unknowne,
You must upon your honor then declare
Whether you have a Lady of your owne
Living; and if that she from you be gone,
Or you from her, if either should be true,
None knowes the inconvenience would ensue.
These speeches startled Leoline, whose hart
Being conscious, made him answer, 'Tis a truth
I had a Lady once, to whom thou art
So like in feature, personage, beauty, youth,
And every lineament, as if she doth
Yet live, I should my state and life engage,
That thou wert she in habit of a page.
For woe is me, away from me she fled,
Being ignorant of what the cause might be,
And left me lying fast asleep in bed;
And now for ought I know thou mayst be she;
For her true image I behold in thee:
But to beleev't were fondnesse. Here he stopt,
And from his eyes some christall teares there dropt.
Amanthis weeping for to see him weep,
(My Lord,) quoth she, if you a Lady had
That parted from you when you were asleep,
(Though loth) I shall unto your sorrows ad
Such a relation shall make you more sad,
For if your Lady can no where be found,
It is too true I feare that she is drown'd.
For now it is some twenty dayes and more
Since Mariners ariv'd here, who do say
How that they found sayling along the shore
The body of a French-man cast away,
On whom were letters found that did bewray
That he had stolne a Lady, who together
Perisht with him, as they were comming hither.
And if one may beleeve the common fame
That 'mongst the people hath divulged this,
The Lady was of quality, her name
If I remember right, was Sydanis.
Now if that this were she that did amisse,
And so much wrong'd your love, I must confesse
Your sorrow for her ought to be the lesse.
Prince Leoline hearing this sad relation,
Like serpents to him were Amanthis words,
Stirring both jealousy and indignation,
And pierc't his heart like to so many swords,
His greife this onely utterance afords,
Ah, Sydanis was she, whom I deplore,
Who seem'd a Saint, but ah me dy'd a whore.
Well (quoth Amanthis) if I may amend
What is amisse, or may your woe relieve,
You may be sure I shall my furtherance lend,
And to your suit my best assistance give:
For Sydanis no longer shall you grieve,
For being free to marry whom you please,
I shall endeavour to procure your ease.
This say'd, Amanthis Leoline did leave,
And backe return'd to act that was design'd.
Now here a man may easily conceave
What perturbations vext the Princes minde,
Who knowing he Iean Foutre dead did finde,
And that part of the story he well knew,
He might well thinke, that all the rest was true.
Perplex't with doubts, whether his impotence
Was the sole cause made Sydanis to fly
Before that he could have intelligence
Of such unfayned markes as might descry
The truth, or losse of her virginity,
For though she as a virgin was reputed,
Yet by Iean Foutre he might be cornuted.
On th' other side one probably may guesse
The trouble that perplext Amanthis thought,
Since Leoline must Mellefant possesse,
Who might deny him nothing that he sought:
And all this by Amanthis must be wrought,
Who by a kinde unkinde, and curteous wooing
Must be the author of her owne undoing.
But since Amanthis had a promise made
To further his love-suit in all she might:
It must be done, therefore she did perswade
Prince Leoline, in the French tongue to write
To Mellefant; for what he did endite,
She said the Princesse would shew none but her,
Who was betwixt them both Interpreter.
And thereby she should find occasion
Fitly to speake of Leolines true love,
And by a glentle amorous perswasion
She might all lets (if any were) remove.
Prince Leoline her councell doth approve,
And writes, who by Amanthis was assur'd
An answer to his lines should be procur'd.
Now after courtship and kinde complement,
And many curteous visits of respect,
Amanthis came, as if she had bin sent
To Leoline, to tell him the effect
Of her proceedings (which he did expect)
And brought a letter with her, which she fain'd
She had from Princesse Mellefant obtain'd.
Th' effect whereof was this: she first desir'd
It might not seem a lightnesse in a maid,
To yeeld so soone to that which was requir'd
For Cupid, whose commands must be obaid,
Had by her eyes into her heart convaid
His lovely shape, his worth and every grace,
Where never man but he had yet a place.
But now her amorous bosom was a shrine,
Devoted wholly to the god of Love,
In which the Saint was lovely Leoline.
She writ, That in affection she would prove.
More constant than the truest Turtle-dove.
What more, for modesty might not be told,
She left it to Amanthis to unfold.
In fine, Amanthis did the Prince perswade
So powerfully, that if he pleas'd, he might
The mayden Fort of Mellefant invade,
And enter in that fortresse of delight:
For she Corinna-like, the following night
Would come unto prince Leoline his bed,
And offer there her Princely mayden-head.
Provided alwayes, when that she did come,
A promise must be made, might not be broken,
That they in their embraces should be dumbe,
And that between them no word should be spoken.
For on the morrow, by a private token,
He should be sure, so that he would not vaunt,
He had enjoy'd the Princesse Mellefant.
The Prince, that heard with Joy and admiration
Amanthis words, impatient of delay,
On the Suns horses layes an imputation,
That they were lame, or els had gone astray,
And Sol in malice had prolong'd the day,
That drove so slowly downe Olympus hill,
And winged Time he chid for standing still.
But at the last the long'd-for hour grew neere,
The evening sets, and the steeds of the Sun
Were posted to the other Hemispheere,
On this side having their last stage yrun,
Bright things beginning to wax dim and dun,
And night uprising from darke Acheron,
O're all the skie a pitchy vaile had throwne.
About the houre of twelve, when all was still,
And Morpheus sealed had all mortall eies,
Amanthis, who was ready to fullfill
Her promise, softly from her bed doth rise,
And in her smocke and a furr'd-mantle hies
To Leolines bed-chamber, where in sted
Of Mellefant, she goes to him to bed.
No sooner did they touch each others skin,
And she was in his fragrant bosom lay'd,
But that the prince loves on-set did begin,
And in his wars the valiant Champion play'd:
What faint resistance a young silly mayd
Could make, unto his force, did quickly yeeld;
Some bloud was lost, although he won the field.
For no hot French-man, nor high Tuscan bloud,
Whose panting veines do swell with lively heat,
In Venus breach more stoutly ever stood,
Or on her drum did more alarums beat,
But Cupid at the last sounds a retreat:
Amanthis at his mercy now doth ly,
Thinking what kinde of death she was to dy.
But she must now endure no other death,
For standing mute, but either must be prest,
Or smothering kisses so should stop her breath,
As that Loves flames enclos'd within her brest,
Should burne the more, the more they were supprest,
And so she as Loves Martyr should expire,
Or Phœnix-like, consume in her owne fire.
These pleasant kinde of deaths Amanthis oft
And willingly did suffer e're 'twas day,
Nine times the lusty Prince did come aloft:
But now Amanthis could no longer stay;
For while 'twas darke she needs must go away:
On her, Prince Leoline bestow'd a ring,
Mans eye did ne're behold so rare a thing.
For in it was an admirable stone,
Whose colour (like the Carbuncle) was red,
By day, it with its native lustre shone,
And like the Sun-bright beames abroad did spred.
But that which greatest admiration bred;
It had a quality ne're seene before,
First to keep light, then after to restore.
For if one to the Sun-beames did expose it,
And hold it in them but a little space,
And in a box, would afterwards enclose it,
Then after go into some darkesome place
Whereas one could not see ones hand, nor face,
Opening the box, a beame of light would come,
Pyramide-like, would lighten all the roome,
But she was gladder of the consequence,
Than of the pretious stone she did receive.
For now, without suspition or offence,
She knew how she might Leoline deceive,
Whom she at parting from his bed did leave,
Recounting with himselfe, how by that deed
He might as King of Erinland succeed.
Amanthis being come to her owne bed,
Lay downe, but sleep she could not: Iealousies
Concerning Leoline disturb'd her head;
For having now try'd his abilities,
She thought the Prince her sweetnesse did despise,
But that he no virillity did want,
To enjoy his Princely mistresse Mellefant.
Oh jealousie in love, who art a vice
More opposite in every quality,
Than is penurious sordid avarice,
To the extreame of prodigality.
Besides, thou sufferest no man to enjoy
What he possesses, without some annoy.
So many cares, so many doubts and feares
Upon thee do continually attend,
As the two portals of the soule, the eares,
Which to all rumors do attention lend,
Dire perturbations to the heart do send,
Procuring such unquiet and unrest,
As should not harbor in a lovers brest.
And to that passe Amanthis thou hast brought,
With feare of losing that delight and pleasure
Which she hath tasted, as her troubled thought,
And perturbations one may rightly measure
By a rich miser, who hath found a treasure,
Who is solicitous, and vext with care,
Lest any one of it should have a share.
Further she thought, if Mellefant but knew
Prince Leoline to be King Arnons sonne,
He needed not his love-suit to pursue,
For he already had the conquest wonne.
Such cogitations in her head did runne,
And with such thoughts she entertain'd the time,
Till Sol began Nights starry Arch to clime.
But when the feather'd Herauld of the light,
Stout Chantecleere the Cocke, with trumpet shrill
Had now proclaim'd darkenesse was put to flight,
And Phœbus driving up the Easterne hill,
With glorious golden beams the world did fill;
From 'twixt her sheets as 'twixt two Groneland snowes,
Amanthis like a new sprung Lilly rose.
And in her pages habit neatly fine,
Her beauteous selfe she curiously did dight,
As if she had not layne with Leoline,
Nor had not lost her mayden head that night:
Venus and Cupid pleas'd were with the sight;
And how she did Prince Leoline beguile,
Even made the old austere Saturnus smile.
For Iupiter in lovers witty slights,
Which they contrive and cunningly devise,
(Himselfe having bin one) so much delights,
As that he oftentimes with them complies,
And doth but laugh at lovers perjuries:
For now Amanthis was a part to act,
Which to perform, she no invention lackt.
For the next morne about the houre of ten,
To Princesse Mellefant she had accesse,
Who seeing her, demanded of her, When
That the French Lord such courtship would expresse,
As unto her a visit to addresse?
To whom Amanthis say'd, I am too blame,
That I no sooner to your highnesse came,
To tell you that it is the Lords intent,
(If so it please your Highnesse and the King)
This night a Masquerado to present,
Where you shall see him dance, and heare him sing.
Your answer I againe to him must bring,
Who hopes your highnesse graciously will take,
A service onely done for your deare sake.
He further hopes you'l honor him thus much,
As to receive this ring, and so to grace it,
As that it may your princely finger touch,
On which he humbly prayes that you would place it:
This faire occasion, if you please t'embrace it,
And cherish it, may the beginning prove
Of a most happy honorable love.
For Madam, his brave parts and excellence,
Which other mens perfections farre out-goes,
His valour, learning, wit, and eloquence,
Which like a floud of Nectar from him flowes,
That he is some great Prince most plainely showes:
And let one presuppose that he were none,
Yet your most honor'd service makes him one.
Faire Mellefant, whose breast th' Idalian fire
Had gently warm'd, unto her thus reply'd:
Amanthis (quoth she) I do much admire
How that a stranger can so soone have spy'd
An advocate, that cannot be deny'd,
Those in their Suits of eloquence have need,
That seeke unjust things, and so feare to speed.
But thou who art a young and lovely youth,
Might'st well have spared that which thou hast sayd,
For to converse with thee (such is thy truth)
A Vestall Virgin would not be afraid:
Thy looks are Rhetoricke to perswade a mayd:
And be assur'd, I willingly shall grant
What ever thou shalt aske of Mellefant.
Therefore to him (who as thou sayst) doth seem
A noble Prince, this message thou shalt beare:
Tell him his love we highly do esteeme,
And for his honor'd sake the ring I'le weare,
Which next himselfe shall be to me most deare.
Having thus sayd, straight to the King she went,
And for that time broke off her complement.
Now some will say, 'twas too much forwardnesse
In Mellefant, that with so small adoe,
She did her love unto the Prince expresse:
For bashfull mayds do let their Suitors wooe,
And that same thing they have most minde unto,
Least men their mayden coynesse should suspect,
They seem to shun, at leastwise to neglect.
But since great Virgil writes, That Dido lov'd
At the first sight the wandring Knight of Troy,
Whose story much more her affections mov'd,
Than could the torch of Venus wanton Boy:
Let Mellefant, in that she was not coy
Be blamlesse, since we by experience finde,
Those women are not faire, that are not kinde.
For heaven it selfe, that is a thing most faire,
While it is gently calme, serene and cleare,
While Zephyrus perfumes the curled Ayre,
With gladnesse it the heart of man doth cheere:
But if it gloomy, darke, and sad appeare,
It never on us mortalls showres a storme,
But blackenesse doth heavens beauteous face deforme.
Nor doe I say she lov'd but as a friend,
Giving the prince a curteous sweet regard,
Which had not yet so farre as love extend,
Though more for him than other men she car'd,
Her gracious lookes were onely his reward:
For why, as yet she onely did encline,
And not resolve, to love Prince Leoline.
But time and opportunity of place,
Which Clerks assigne for all things that are done,
Did consummate within a little space
That part of love was happily begun.
The evening now approach't, and that dayes Sun
Himselfe below the Horizon had set,
And had in Westerne waves his Chariot wet:
When as those high supernall Deities
That all mens actions do fore-see and know,
And do præside at all solemnities,
Assembled were to looke on things below,
A Masque before King Dermot, which doth show,
That 'tis a part of their cœstiall mirth,
To see how men do personate them on earth.
In heavens tenth house, bright Honors highest throne,
On starry studded Arches builded round,
Great Iupiter the thunderer bright shone,
His brows with beams of radient lightning crown'd:
Just opposite to him, low under ground
His melancholy Sire Saturnus old
Did sit, who never pastimes would behold.
Next Iove sate Mars the fiery god of warre,
In armes of burnisht steele compleatly dight:
By him Apollo, who had left his care,
And for a while layd by his robes of light,
Next him sate Venus goddesse of delight,
Whose golden hayre in curious knots was ty'de:
Then Mercury and Luna by his side.
With these assembled were those Heroes,
Whose fixed lights the eighth Sphære do adorne,
Stormy Orion, and great Hercules,
With skin from the Næmean Lion torne,
August's bright Virgin with her care of corne.
Neere Berinice combing of her hayre,
Sate Cassiopœa in her starry chayre.
As these spectators sitting in the skies
Made Ioves high Palace glorious; even so
As they cast on King Dermots court their eies,
Another heaven they beheld below:
Such art and cost did Leoline bestow
Upon the Masquing Scœnes, as no expence
Could ad more beauty or magnificence.
For to a high and spatious stately roome
Prepar'd for presentations of delight,
King Dermot in his royall robes being come,
Attended on by many a Lord and Knight,
With his faire daughter Mellefant the bright,
Where under a rich pearle embroydred State,
She like a glorious Constellation sate.
The Ladyes hid with jewels, who had seene
On Arras covered scaffolds sitting there,
He would have thought that he so high had beene,
As he at once saw either Hemisphere,
So like a starry firmament they were,
And all that space that was below betweene
The Hemisphere, lookt like the earth in greene.
For all the floore, whereon the Masquers feet
Their stately steps in figures were to tred,
And gracefully to sunder, and to meet,
A carpet of greene cloth did overspred;
Which seem'd an even floury vale, or mead,
On which the Hyacinth and Narcissus blew
So naturally were stayn'd, as if they grew:
The Violet, Cowslip, and the Daffodill,
The Tulipa, the Primrose, and with them
The dasie sprung from the greene Camomill,
The floury Orchis with it's tender stem,
The goddesse Fora's crowne, the meadowes gem,
Which seem'd the Masquers dancing did commend,
Who trod so light they did not make them bend.
More might be sed, but let thus much suffice,
For to say more of floures but needlesse were.
The King being set, and all spectators eies
Fixt on the Scœne, the first thing did appeare
Were clouds, some dusky blew, and some were cleere,
As if it seem'd a skie were overcast,
Which all did vanish, with Favonie's blast.
These clouds disperst, downe dropping the May dew,
Aurora rose, crown'd with the morning starre,
Foure snow white swans her purple chariot drew,
And gently mounted up her rosy Carre.
Next that in perspective was seene from farre
The rowling Ocean, and as there had bin
Waves of a flowing Spring tyde comming in.
Which as they rowled neerer on the Sand,
Upon the tumbling billows was descry'd
Arion with a golden Harpe in's hand,
Who a huge crooked Dolphine did bestride,
And on the dancing waves did bravely ride.
Before him Tritons, who in shels did blow,
And were as the loud Musicke to the show.
Sea Monsters, who up from the deep were come,
Presented a delightfull antique dance,
Who on the waters surface nimbly swome,
Making odd murgeons with their looks ascaunce,
Sometimes they dive, sometimes they did advance,
Sometimes they over one another lept,
And to the Musicke time exactly kept.
Betweene each dance Arion with his Lyre,
That with sweet silver sounding chords was strung,
Sitting in midst of a melodious Quire
Of sixteene Syrens, so divinely sung,
That all the roome with varied ecchoes rung.
Arions part was acted by the Squire,
Whose singing all that heard him did admire.
The Musicke ended, to delight the eie,
Another Scœne and spectacle begun,
For there aloft in a cleere azure skie
Was seene a bright and glorious shining Sun,
Who to his great Meridian had run,
O're whom the Asterisme was represented
Of Leo, whose hot breath his flames augmented.
Under his beams, as flying o're the Seas,
Did Dedalus, and Icarus appeare,
The Sire in the mid-way did soare at ease,
But Icarus his sonne mounting too neere,
His wax-composed wings unfeathered were:
So headlong to the Sea he tumbled downe,
Whose billows the foole-hardy youth did drowne.
Now the Sea going out, which erst had flow'd,
Did leave a bare and golden yellow sand,
Whereon rare shells, and orient pearls were strow'd,
Which gathered by twelve Sea Nymphs out of hand,
In Scallop shells, were brought unto the land
Unto the King, and Mellefant, as sent
From him that did Arion represent.
The first Scœne vanishing, and being past,
And all things gone, as if they had not beene;
The second Scœne, whereon their eies they cast,
Was the Hesperides, with trees all greene,
On which both gold and silver fruits were seene.
Apollo there amidst the Muses nine
Sate, personated by Prince Leoline.
Who playing on a rare Theorbo Lute,
The strings his fingers did not only touch,
But sung so sweet and deep a base unto't,
As never-mortall eare heard any such:
The Muses did alternately as much,
To sound of severall Instruments, in fine,
They in one Chorus all together joyne.
Besides them, there was sitting in a grove
The shepheards god Pan, with his pipe of reed,
Who far the mastry with Apollo strove,
Whether in Musicks practise did exceed.
Betweene them both, King Midas, who decreed
That Pan in skill Apollo did surpasse,
Had for his meed two long eares of an asse.
These with ten Satyrs danc'd an antique round
With Volta's, and a Saraband: which ended,
They suddenly all sunke into the ground,
And with Apollo they no more contended.
Thus done, he and his Muses downe descended
From their sweet rosie Arbours, which did twin
The Hony-suckle and sweet Iessemin.
The stately Grand-Ballet Apollo led,
Wherein most curious figures were exprest,
Upon the floury carpet as they tred,
The Muses in fine antique habit drest,
Unto their nimble feet do give no rest,
But in neat figures they the letters frame
Of Mellefants, and of King Dermots name.
This done, the Muses like nine Ladies clad
(For so they did appeare unto the eie)
Their antique habits chang'd, and as they had
Bin metamorphosed, they suddenly
Their neat disguise of women did put by,
And like to nine young gallants did appeare,
The comliest youths, that in Eblana were.
The Prince too putting off his masquing suite,
Apollo representing now no more,
His habit gave, his vizor, jvory Lute
To pages, that sweet Cedar torches bore,
Appearing now a Prince as heretofore,
Who with the nine young gallants went about
New dances, and to take the Ladies out.
Now as the Prince did gracefully present
Himselfe to Mellefant, it did betyde
As he did kisse her hand in complement,
Upon her finger he the ring espy'd
He gave in bed, which to her wrist was ty'de
With a blacke ribon, as if she did feare
To lose a jewell she did prise so deare.
Prince Leoline assur'd was by that ring,
That he with Princesse Mellefant had layne,
Whereas indeed there ne're was such a thing;
Such was his courage he could not refraine
To court the Princesse in an amorous straine:
For while he danc't with her, his eies exprest
Those flames of love that burnt within his brest.
But now it growing late, and night farre spent,
The Bransles being danc't, the revels ended,
The Princes Masque did give all eies content,
Who by King Dermot highly was commended,
On whom both he and Masquers all attended,
Who to a stately roome were forthwith guided,
Whereas a sumptuous banquet was provided.
Which being finisht, the late houre of night
Requir'd, that all the company should part,
Prince Leoline adjourne must his delight
Untill next day, for now his amorous hart
Was quite shot through with Cupids golden dart:
Nor could he pleasure or contentment want;
Who thought he enjoy'd the beautious Mellefant.
Explicit Pars Tertia.
Tthe Crescent-crowned Empresse of the floud
Had vayled thrice her face from mortals sight,
And having thrice in opposition stood
Unto her brother, borrow'd thrice his light
Since that auspitious happy pleasant night,
That beautifull Amanthis first had bin
A bed-fellow unto Prince Leoline.
But well away, for like a man that stands
With unsure footing on the slippery ice,
Or one that builds a house upon the sands,
Such is this worlds joy: Fortune in a trice
Can alter so the chances of the dice,
Our clearest day of mirth e're it be past,
With clouds of sorrow oft is overcast.
And now alas quite alter'd is the Scœne
From joy to sadnesse, and from weale to woe;
The purblinde goddesse Fortune knowes no meane,
For either she must raise or overthrowe:
Our joy no sooner to the height doth growe,
But either it is taken quite away,
Or like a whithering floure it doth decay.
Oh you sad daughters of darke night and hell,
You Furies three, that shunning of the light,
Among the buried worlds pale people dwell,
And guilty consciences with ghosts affright,
Assistants be to that I now must write
Alecto with thy dim blew burning brand,
Lend fatall light to guide my trembling hand:
For cheerefull day-light will not lend a beame,
My teare downe-dropping drery quill to guide,
By which that may be read, which now's my Theame
In dusky clouds the Sun his face will hide,
And to behold these lines will not abide,
For they will make the rosie blushing morrow
Looke deadly pale, to see Amanthis sorrow.
For why, it fortun'd so, that the next day
After the Masque and Revels all were done,
That Leoline as fresh as floures in may,
To prosecute that victory he had wonne,
And finish that was happily begun,
Unto the Princesse Mellefant he went,
His love and humble service to present.
Whom happily he found (his lucke was such
Through his kinde favouoring starres) sitting alone
Upon an imbrocated tissue couch,
Enricht with pearle and many a pretious stone:
As then attendants neer her there was none
Save onely faire Amanthis, who had bin
Discoursing to her of Prince Leoline.
Who seeing him, rose whence that she was set,
And he with low obeysance kist her hand:
My Lord, Quoth Mellefant, since we are met
If 'twere my happinesse to understand
The French, that I might know what you command,
And that we two together might conferre,
Without Amanthis our interpreter.
The Prince upon the couch set by her side,
Making his face more lovely with a smile,
In her owne language to her thus reply'd,
Madam (quoth he) 'twere pitty to beguile
You any longer, for though all this while
I seem'd a Frenchman; yet truth shall evince,
That I your faithfull servant am a Prince.
Faire Mellefant with sudden joy surpris'd,
A rosie blush her dainty cheeks did staine,
My Lord (quoth she) although you liv'd disguis'd,
How is it, that so soone you did obtaine
Our Brittish tongue? He answered her againe,
Madam (quoth he) causes must not be sought
Of miracles by your rare beauty wrought.
But wonder not, for though King Dermots throne
Is sever'd by greene Nereus briny maine
From the firme Brittish continent, yet one
Are both the laws and language those retaine,
O're whom the King of Erinland doth reigne,
And those, who great King Arnon do obay,
Who doth the old Symerian Scepter sway.
Whose Kingdome all those provinces containes
Betweene swift Deva's streames upon the East,
Who tumbling from the hils frets through the plaines,
And great Saint Georges Chanell on the West,
Where the fierce Ordovices, and the rest
Of the ne're conquer'd warlick Brittons bold,
In hils, and caves their habitations hold.
Nor hath his spatious kingdome there an end,
But from the stormy Northerne Oceans shore,
Unto the fall of Dovy doth extend,
Whose springs from highest mountaines falling o're
Steepe rocks, like Niles loud Catadups do rore,
Whose christall streames along the rivers brinke
The stout Dimetæ, and Silures drinke.
Whose Ancestors after Deucalions floud,
First peopled Erinland long time agone,
Whose off-Spring is deriv'd from Brittous bloud,
And is thereof but an extraction:
Now both these Nations may againe be one;
And since they are derived from one stem,
They may be joyned in one Diadem.
If you, most faire of Princesses, shall daigne
A kinde alliance with the Brittish Crowne,
And in your bed and bosome entertaine
A Lover that shall adde to your renowne:
For such a noble match will make it knowne
For an undoubted truth, that Princes hands
Doe not alone joyne hearts, but unite lands.
To this the beautious Mellefant reply'd,
And sed, Faire Prince, were the election mine,
Your noble motion should not be deny'd:
For little Rhethorick would suffice t'encline
A Lady to affect Prince Leoline.
Few words perswade a heart already bent
To amorous thoughts, to give a fit consent.
But my choyce is not totally my owne,
Wherein we Princes are unfortunate:
Fit Suitors to us there are few or none;
We must be rul'd by reasons of the state,
Which must our lives and actions regulate:
The country mayds are happier then we,
To whom the choyce of many swaines is free.
But we must wooe by picture, and beleive,
For all the inward beauties of the minde,
Such lineaments the painters colours give:
We ought be Phisiognomers, to finde
Whether the soul be well or ill enclin'd:
Besides, when kingdomes do ally as friends,
They know no love, nor kindred, but for ends.
Yet I have had the happinesse to see
And to converse with you, wherein I am
More fortunate than other Princes be,
Seeing your person er'e I knew your name:
And now your vertues, greater than your fame,
Needs not the treaties of Embassadours,
To make the heart of Mellefant all yours.
Onely my fathers leave must be obtain'd,
Er'e we our nuptiall rites do celebrate,
Whose liking and consent when you have gain'd,
(Wherein I wish you may be fortunate)
You are his kingdomes heire, and this whole state
Shall do you homage, and the race that springs
From us, shall reigne in Erinland as Kings,
And rule those antient Scepts, which heretofore
Had soveraigne power, and petit Princes were
The great O Neale, O Dannell and O More
O Rocke, O Hanlon, and the fierce Macquere,
Mac Mahon erst begotten of a Beare,
Among those woods not pierc't by Summers Sun,
Where the swift Shenan, and cleare Lessy run.
Under those shades the tall growne Kerne, content
With Shamrockes and such cates the woods afford,
Seekes neither after meat, nor condiment,
To store his smoakie Coshery, or bord,
But clad in trouses, mantle, with a sword
Hang'd in a weyth, his feltred glib sustaines
Without a hat, the weather, when it raines.
The Lordly Tanist with his Skene and Durke,
Who placeth all felicity in ease,
And hardly gets his lazy churles to worke,
Who rather chose to live as Saluages,
Than with their garoones to breake up the Lease
Of firtile fields, but do their plow-shares tye
To horses tailes, a barbarous husbandry.
But as it is foretold in prophesies,
Who writ on barkes of trees, a mayden Queene
Hereafter Erinland shall civilize,
And quite suppresse those Salvage rites have beene
Amongst us, as they never had beene seene:
This Queene must of the Brittish bloud descend,
Whose fame unto the worlds poles shall extend.
Who raigning long, her sexes brightest glory,
All after ages ever shall admire:
True vertues everlasting Type and story,
Who then her, when it can ascend no higher,
She like a virgin Phœnix shall expire.
And if old wizards antient sawes be true,
This royall Princesse must ascend from you.
Who hath observ'd the gentle Westerne winde,
And seene the fragrant budding Damaske rose,
How that it spreads and opens, he will finde
When Zephyrus calme breath upon it blowes,
Even so the Princes heart one may suppose
Dilated was with joy within his brest,
Hearing the speeches Mellefant exprest.
To whom with looks and countenance debonaire,
He onely made this short, but sweet reply:
Madam (quoth he) were not you the most faire
That ever hath bin fam'd in history,
Or shall be seene by late posterity,
There might remaine a hope, that there might be
An age hereafter happier than we.
But since that you are Natures paragon
Not by her selfe e're to be paralleld,
Since heaven's, the ring, and you the pretious stone,
Yet never equal'd, therefore not excell'd,
Those happy eies that have your forme beheld,
Must close themselves in darkenesse, and dispaire
Of ever seeing one so heavenly faire.
For when to liberall Nature she had spent
The quintessence of all her pretious store,
To make one glorious Phœnix, her intent
Perchance was to have form'd two, or more;
But wanting of materialls she forbore:
So is she now enforc'd not to make two
Such as your selfe, but by dissolving you.
Therefore that glorious Queene of all perfection,
That is foretold in after times to reigne,
Will be but of your selfe a recollection:
Who Æson-like, will be reviv'd againe;
For your divinest parts will still remaine
Unmixt, and the uniting of your frame
Will alter nothing of you, but your name.
For as a soveraigne Prince doth honor give
To's presence chamber, though he be not there;
So you, though for a while you do not live
On earth, but in some bright cœlestiall Sphære,
Yet is your presence chamber every where,
For that it is the whole world here belowe,
To which your servants do obeysance owe.
This interchange of courtship 'twixt these lovers
Continued till the day was well neere spent,
And Venus setting in the West, discovers
The path and tracke where Phœbus chariot went.
To get King Dermots fatherly consent,
Was now the onely businesse to be done,
To consummate those joyes that were begun.
But O you weird sterne fatall Sisters three,
O Lachesis, that mortalls threds dost twine!
O influence of starrs, that causes bee,
Though not compulsive, yet our wills encline:
You yet disclose not to Prince Leoline,
Of this his forward love the sad event,
Nor of his match the strong impediment.
For now Amanthis either must oppose
His marriage, for by her it must be crost,
And consequently must her selfe disclose,
Or she is utterly undone, and lost.
Thus like a ship 'twixt winde and tyde sore tost,
Not knowing how to take about or veere,
She wanted skill to weld the sterne or steere.
For first she thought such was the Princes truth,
As that he would rejoyce that he had found
Amanthis retransformed from a youth
To Sydanis, whom he believ'd was drown'd,
With double joyes their hearts should now be crown'd,
For all the bitternesse they both did taste,
Should with contentment sugred be at last.
And though we be no better for delight
That's done and gone, nor yet the worse for paine:
When it is past, no more than is the sight,
For glorious species, which it did retaine:
Or eare for hearing some harsh musicke straine,
The present being that, which we enjoy,
Whether it be of pleasure, or annoy.
Yet as in dreams the memory suggests
Unto the fantasie things that have beene,
But are no more, so a rememberance rests
In her, of all her anguish and her teene;
And of those sorrowfull dayes that she had seene,
Which like a fearefull dreame once passed o're
That 'twas not true makes her rejoyce the more.
For she not knowing of the fascination
Was practis'd on the Prince in's marriage bed,
Might thinke an over strong imagination,
Sending venereall spirits to the head,
Had left the part of generation dead,
Too much desire in love being oft a let
And makes that fall, which men upright would set.
But passing that, the Princesse having try'de
With Leoline, whom she so oft beguil'd,
Compleatly all the pleasures of a bride,
And by him being young conceiv'd with child,
She thought she should be fully reconcyl'd
Unto King Arnon, when it did appeare
That Leoline and she both living were:
And that the warre King Arnon had begun,
(Of which she had but lately heard) should cease,
She bringing to him a young Prince, a sonne,
And all should be concluded with a peace,
Before their two old parents did decease.
These pleasant thoughts, like shapes seene in a glasse
Set in a street, through her cleere soule did passe.
But as in March the Sun then shining faire,
Is often by the South winds stormy blast,
Chacing the clouds, and troubling the ayre,
With blacke and gloomy curtaines over-cast,
Which longer than serenity doth last,
So some sad thoughts orespread Amanthis soule,
Which all her thoughts of pleasure did controule.
For to declare herselfe she was a feard,
To be the consort of the Princes bed,
Since she should crosse herselfe, who had averr'd
To Leoline, that Sydanis was dead,
And so for lying should be censured,
Or should as an Imposter be accus'd,
Who with false showes had all the Court abus'd.
Besides, this circumstance augments her feare,
If she should say she from Carleon fled,
She must discover what had hapned there,
She knew no other but her Nurse was dead,
For whom her life might well be questioned,
And therefore in this case it her behov'd,
To say something that might not be disprov'd.
But she not knew nor ship, nor Princes name
Pretended to be shipwrect, nor could give
Account how she unto Eblana came,
So probably that men might her believe:
This exigent her very soule did grieve,
That she must say it with a serious brow,
That she was come, and yet could not tell how.
Besides, she did imagine if she sayd
She was Duke Leons daughter, none did know
Her to be such, and being now no mayd,
Though formerly the Prince had left her so,
When from her bridall bed he meant to go,
Though she assumed Sydanis her name,
The Prince might thinke her like, yet not the same.
Or presuppose Prince Leoline did know
That she was Sydanis, yet having set
His love on Mellefant, he might not show
That he did know her, and so she might get
The reputation of a Counterfet:
Besides, she comming closely to his bed,
She could not prove he got her maidenhead.
Moreover if all truths should be disclos'd,
And things knowne really; which she did faine,
That all this while Prince Leoline suppos'd
That he with Princesse Mellefant had laine:
For such a foule aspersion, and a staine
Cast on her honour, (although not intended)
Faire Mellefant might justly be offended.
And so on every side perplex't and griev'd,
She of all lyars should have the reward,
As when they speake truth not to be believ'd,
She could not easily mend what she had marr'd.
Thus with the wofull Sydanis it far'd,
Who trusting over-much to her disguise,
Falls by it into these calamities.
O aged father, Times faire daughter Truth,
Of all divine intelligences best,
What Sages erst have sed of thee is sooth,
Thou hast a window made in thy white brest,
And art most lovely when thou art undrest.
Thou seek'st no corners thy bright selfe to hide,
Nor blushest though thou naked art espyde.
Thou needest not a fucus or disguise,
To cover thee thou putt'st on no new fashion,
Nor with false semblance dost deludemens eyes,
Like thy base zany damn'd equivocation,
Thou want'st no comment, nor interpretation,
And for maintayning thee, though men be blam'd
And suffer for a while, yet ne're art sham'd.
Yet what thou art must not alwayes be told,
For 'tis convenient thou thy selfe should'st hide,
Till thy old Sire thy beauties do unfold:
Then as pure gold upon the touchstone try'd,
That finers hottest furnace doth abide,
Or like a palme tree thou dost flourish best,
When thou hast bin by ignorance supprest.
And so although necessity requir'd
That truth of things should now be brought to light,
That period of time was not expir'd,
Wherein this Lady Sydanis the bright
Should show her selfe, for which she often sight,
Who now with showres of teares her eies had made,
As if two Suns in watery clouds did wade.
But as the Lilly when as Bartholmew,
Summers last Saint, hath ushered in the frost,
Wet, with the long nights cold, and chilly dew,
Her luster and her verdure both are lost,
And seems to us as she were dead almost:
So griefe and sorrow quickly did impaire
The lovely face of Sydanis the faire.
Who weeps away her eies in pearly showres,
Rais'd by her sighs, as by a Southerne winde,
She prayes to Venus and the heavenly powers,
That they in their high providence would finde
Some means to ease her sad and troubled minde:
And though despaire unto the height was growne,
She might enjoy that yet, which was her owne.
Her prayers are heard, for the next dawning day
Prince Leoline, and Mellefant both went
(True love not brooking any long delay)
Unto King Dermot, with a full intent
To aske and get his fatherly consent.
These Princes loves on wings of hope did fly,
That the King neither could, or would deny.
But their designe they brought to no effect,
Being commenc't in an unlucky houre,
No planet being in his course direct,
And Saturne who his children doth devour
From his Northeast darke Adamantine tower
Beheld the waining Moone and retrograde,
A time unfit for such affaires had made.
They should have made election of a day
Was fortunate, and fit to speake with Kings,
When the Kings planet, Sol's propitious ray,
Who great affaires to a wisht period brings,
And is predominant in all such things;
When Iupiter aspecting with the Trine,
His daughter Venus did benignly shine.
This was the cause proceeding from above,
Which Clerks do call inevitable fate
That was the hindrance of these Princes love,
And made them in their Suit unfortunate:
But yet there was another cause of state,
Which was so maine an obstacle and let,
That they the Kings consent could never get.
For that Embassadour which lieger lay,
Sent to Eblana in King Albions name,
Who as you heard was feasted that same day
That to the Court Prince Leoline first came,
And Mellefant conceiv'd her amorous flame,
A treatie of a marriage had begun
For her, with Prince Androgios, Albions sonne;
And had so farre advanc't it, that the King
With all his privy counsels approbation,
Had condescended unto every thing
That might concerne the weale of either nation;
For this alliance would lay a foundation
Of a firme future peace, and would put downe
That enmity was erst 'twixt either crowne.
And now the time prefixt was come so neere
Th' Embassadour had got intelligence,
Within ten dayes Androgios would be there
In person, his owne love-suit to commence,
And consummate with all magnificence
His marriage, and performe those nuptiall rites
Wherein bright Cyntherea so delights.
This weigh'd, King Dermot could not condescend,
Nor give way to Prince Leolines affection,
Unlesse he should Andragios offend,
Who now of his alliance made election,
The breach whereof might cause an insurrection
Among his people, if that they should see
Him breake a Kings word, which should sacred bee.
And now although Prince Leoline repented,
He ever love to Mellefant profest,
Yet because no man should go discontented
From a great King, he as a Princely guest
Was us'd with all the noblest, fairest, best
Respects of curtesie, and entertain'd
While that he in King Dermots Court remain'd.
But like to one that's into prison cast,
Though he enjoy both of the eie and eare,
All choycest objects, and although he tast
Ambrosiall cates; yet while that he is there
Wanting his liberty, which is most deare,
He nothing relishes, for nothing cares,
Even so now with Prince Leoline it fares.
Who now disconsolate, and being barr'd,
All hopes of marrying Mellefant the faire,
Missing that ayme he nothing did regard,
And since he must not be King Dermots heire,
He thought that nought that damage could repaire,
Himselfe as one he captivated deem'd,
And Dermots Court to him a prison seem'd.
Now as a tempest from the Sea doth rise,
Within his minde arose this stormy thought,
How that the princesse justly might despise
His cowardise, who by all meanes had sought
To win her love, if he not having fought
A combate with Androgios, he should go
Or steale away from her that lov'd him so.
Although to fight, no valour he did want,
Nor wisht a nobler way his life to end,
If vanquisht he should lose both Mellefant
And he King Dermot highly should offend,
Who all this while had bin his royall friend,
Love well begun should have a bad conclusion,
And kindnesse find an unkinde retribution.
But more, if he should secretly attempt
By means to take King Dermots life away,
Nothing his guilty conscience would exempt
From terror that so fouly would betray,
Fowls of the ayre such treason would bewray:
For ravens by their croking would disclose
(Pecking the earth) such horrid acts as those.
If he with Mellefant away should steale,
And carry her where they might not be found,
Yet time at last such secrets would reveale:
For by that act he should her honor wound.
Who for her modesty had bin renown'd,
And he then Paris should no better speed,
Of whose sad end you may in Dares read.
One while in him these noble thoughts had place,
Which did reflect on honorable fame:
Another while he thought how that in case
He stole away, men could not him more blame,
Then erst Æneas, who had done the same
To Dido, and that very course had taken,
Leaving the lovely Carthage Queene forsaken.
Injurious story, which not onely serv'st
To keep the names of Heroes from rust,
But in thy brazen register preserv'st
The memories, and acts of men unjust,
Which otherwise had bin buried with their dust,
But for thy blacke darke soule there no man had
Examples to avoid for what is bad.
For had it not in Annals bin recorded,
That Theseus from the Minotaur was freed
By Ariadne, time had not affoorded
A president for such a horrid deed,
For when King Minos daughter had agreed
To steale away with him his beautious theft,
A sleep on Naxos desarts rocks he left.
An act deserving hels blacke imprecation
So cruell, that it cannot be exprest
To leave a Princely Lady in such fashion,
That had receav'd him to her bed and brest,
All after ages should this fact detest:
For this his treason rendred him all o're,
A greater monster then the Minotore.
Returning home to Greece he had not taught
Demophon, by faire Phædra his false sonne,
When he had King Lycurgus daughter brought
Unto his bowe, and her affection wonne,
Perfidiously away from her to runne,
Leaving faire Phillis, and so caus'd that she
Did hang her selfe upon an Almond tree.
Yet these examples scarce mov'd Leoline,
And scarce his resolution chang'd at all
For Mellefant, for he could not divine,
If she by tasting sorrows bitter'st gall,
Upon the sharpe point of a sword should fall:
Or Phillis like impatient of delay,
Would with a halter make her selfe away.
It may be she like Ariadne might
(Though she her Virgin bloom had Theseus given)
Marry god Bacchus, and her tresses bright
Be afterward exalted up to heaven,
There for to shine among the planets seaven:
For justice is not so severe and strict
As death on all offenders to inflict.
Besides he did remember, should he looke
On authors, he should many women finde,
That had their loves, and paramours forsooke,
And prov'd to them unconstant, and unkinde.
'Mongst other stories he did call to minde,
That of the fairy Creseid, who insteed
Of faithfull Troilus lov'd false Diomed.
And if there were as many women found
As men, in love unconstant, and untrue,
He thought, that he in conscience was not bound
To render love for love, but while 'twas due,
And so might leave an old love for a new,
Besides he thought Androgios might be
A braver, and a comelier man then he.
And being higher both in birth and place
Then he, and heire to a more antient crown,
He thought that Mellefant in such a case
Will do like women, all preferre their owne
Preheminence, precedence, and renowne,
And so she in a short time would forget,
All that affection she on him had set.
And as for Prince Androgios, though he could
Have wisht he had not Mellefant defil'd,
With whom he thought that he had bin too bold;
Yet if 'twere so, that she was not with child,
The Prince as other men might be beguil'd,
As surfling water, or such art might hide
Secrets by Midwives not to be descry'd.
And therefore he resolved not to fight,
Unlesse Androgios challeng'd him, for so
Such privacies he thought might come to light,
That were unfit for any man to know.
He therefore did determine he would goe
Unto Carnarvan, and there would abide,
Till fortune show'd what after should betide.
Our purposes, and things which we intend,
Have not subsistance of themselves alone,
For on the heavenly powers they do depend
As the earth gives birth to every seed is sowne,
Which after to maturity is growne:
For starres not onely forme all our intents,
But shape the means to further the events.
For now to further this his resolution,
Those starres, which at his birth benignly shone
In his first house, by annuall revolution,
Unto his mirth, the house of dreams was gone,
Of journeys, and peregrination
Significator, and the Moone now new,
To Phœbus bosome her darke-selfe withdrew.
All this conspir'd to further a designe
Which Sydanis resolv'd to put in act,
For understanding by Prince Leoline
That there had never bin any contract
'Twixt him and Mellefant, she nothing lackt
But some fine neat device, whereof the doing
Should be the cause of Leolines speedy going.
For he once being from Eblana gone,
It was her resolution and intent
(In claime of that which justly was her owne)
To follow him where ever that he went,
All thoughts of future marriage to prevent,
For rather then endure such stormes as those
She had abid, her-selfe she would disclose.
And thus it hap't when from the frozen North
Night and her consort dull dew dropping sleepe
Arose, and drouzy Morpheus had let forth
Fantasticke dreames which he in caves doth keepe,
When mortals all their cares in Lethe steepe,
And darkenesse with Cymerian foggy dampe,
Extinguisht for a while heavens glorious Lampe.
What time the silent houres their wheels had driven
Over the sable clouds of dusky night,
And were ariv'd as high as the mid heaven,
Dividing from the Hemisphere of light,
The other halfe in robes of darkenesse dight:
As Leoline lay sleeping in his bed,
A pleasant vision did possesse his head.
He dreamt he saw Duke Leons Palace, where
There was all pompe and bravery exprest,
All objects might delight the eie, or eare
With preparation for a sumptuous feast,
Which unto Cœlums honor was addrest.
For in a Temple, that was high and wide,
He thought he first Duke Leon had descry'd.
Kneeling he seem'd by the high Altars side
With eies uncast, and hands to heaven upspread,
All which the Duke devoutly having ey'd,
High in the clouds appeared over head
Ioves mighty Eagle carrying Ganymede,
Who gently downe descending from above,
Did seeme as sent unto the Duke from Iove.
Lighting upon the ground the Eagle set
Her lovely load, in presence of the Duke,
Which eftsoons did a wonder strange beget,
Forwhile he stedfastly did on it looke,
The person that for Ganymede he tooke,
Was Sydanis his daughter, and so seem'd
Unto the sleeping Prince, who of her dream'd.
From whom as now the Eagle was to part,
And touting to returne up to the skies,
She suddenly seiz'd on Sydanis her heart,
And having rent it out away she flies,
This sight with such a horror did surprise
The sleeping Prince, that every member quakes,
And in a cold sweat Leoline awakes.
Awak't with feare Prince Leoline beheld
A stranger and a farre more ominous sight,
Which all his dreame and fantasies expell'd,
For by his bed side in a glimmering light
Stood Sydanis in fairy habit dight,
To whom she did a low obeysance make,
And afterwards to this effect she spake.
Illustrious Prince (quoth she) whom various Fate,
Guiding the helme of thy affaires in love,
Did first make happy, then unfortunate,
Yet at the last to thee will constant prove,
And will eftsoones those errours all remove,
Which heretofore have been, or else may be,
Impediments to thy felicity.
Fate wils not that thou longer shouldst remaine
In false beliefe, thy Sydanis is dead,
Or that thou with faire Mellefant hast laine,
Or hast enjoy'd her virgin-Maidenhead.
'Twas I by night came to thee in her stead,
Who am a Fairy, an Inhabitant
Of another world, for 'twas not Mellefant.
For 'twixt the Center and circumference
Of this great Globe of earth (Prince) thou shalt know
There is another fairy world, from whence
We through the earth, as men through ayre, do go
Without resistance passing to and fro,
Having nor Sun, nor Moone, but a blew light,
Which makes no difference 'twixt our day and night.
In this our world there is not a thing here,
Upon this globe of earth, man, woman, tree,
Plant, herbe, or flower, but just the same is there,
So like it hardly can distinguisht bee,
Either in colour, or in shape, for wee
Are all ayeriall Phantoms, and are fram'd,
As Pictures of you, and are Fairyes nam'd.
And as you mortals we participate
Of all the like affections of the minde.
Wee joy, wee grieve, wee feare, wee love, wee hate,
And many times forsaken our owne kinde,
Wee are in league with mortals so combinde,
As that in dreams wee ly with them by night,
Begetting children, which do Changelings hight.
To those we love, and in whom we take pleasure
From Diamantine chests we use to bring
Gold, Jewels, and whole heaps of fairy treasure,
Summes that may be the ranson of a King,
On those wee hate, wee many times do fling
Blindenesse, and lamenesse, that unhallowed goe
To croppe of fairy branch the Misseltoe.
Amongst us is thy Sydanis, of whom
I am the Genius, for er'st so it chanc't,
As flying from Carleon, she did come,
And too neere to our Fary rounds advanc't,
Whereas at midnight wee the Faryes danc't;
King Oberon straight seiz'd her as his prey,
As Pluto erst took Proserpine away:
And carrying her downe to Fary land,
Hath on a downy Couch layd her to sleepe,
With Orenge blossoms strow'd, with a command,
Queene Mab, and all her Elves should safe her keepe,
Till thou repassing o're the briny deepe,
Shalt to King Arnon thy old Sire returne,
Whom causelesse thou so long hast made to mourne.
Which if thou do not instantly performe,
Blacke Elves shall pinch thee, Goblins shall affright
Thy restlesse soule; at Sea an hideous storme,
With deaths blacke darkenesse, shall thy dayes benight.
Having thus sayd, that borrow'd beame of light,
Which as you heard did from the stone arise,
Vanisht, and hid her from the Princes eies.
Who now beleeving he had seene an Elfe,
A messenger by Oberon imploy'd,
He forthwith rose, and eftsoones drest himselfe
(The better all suspition to avoyd,)
In a blacke habit of his Squire Ffloyd,
And e're the Sun toucht the East Horizon,
Putting to Sea, he out of kenne was gone.
Explicit pars quarta.
And now old Saturne, whom Clerks Chronos call,
Of nature cold and dry, of motion slow,
Author of all misfortunes, that befall
To men and their affaires, malignant so,
Was shortly from his Apoge to go,
To his exile, and Iove was to ascend,
And so these lovers troubles all should end.
Benigne bright King of stars, who hast forsooke
Iuno, the stately Consort of thy bed,
And downe-descending to the earth, hast tooke
Strange shapes, of mortals be'ng enamored,
Who were not onely metamorphosed
By thee, but taken up into the skies,
And shining, sit amongst the Deities;
Hasten thy rising to thy glorious Throne,
And sitting on thy Saphir'd Arch in state,
Looke on those Princes that have undergone
The dire effects of thy sterne Fathers hate,
Which, as thou art a King, commiserate,
And when that thou hast ended every thing,
My Muse unto this stories period bring.
For yet the storme is not quite overpast,
Nor suddenly will all these troubles end:
With Saturnes frowns the heaven is overcast,
And clouds of sorrow, shoures of teares portend:
For while that Leoline his course doth bend,
And is arrived at Carnarvans port,
The Scœne of woe lyes in King Dermots Court.
For now no sooner did the Rosie morne,
(Which summons drowsie Mortals from their rest)
Her dewy locks in Thetis glasse adorne,
And Phœbus steeds in flaming trappings drest,
From the low North, ascended up the East,
But it through all the Court was forthwith knowne,
How that Prince Leoline away was gone.
Of which a messenger did tydings bring
To Sydanis, and Princesse Mellefant:
Who forthwith did relate them to the King:
Who of his goings cause being ignorant,
Affirm'd, that he civility did want,
Who did so many curtesies receive,
And went away without taking his leave.
Wonder possest King Dermots royall heart
With much regret, the Prince should leave him so:
But Mellefant, she acts another part,
Of doubtfull sorrow in this Scœne of woe,
For after him she was resolv'd to go:
And under the black vaile of the next night
She did determine for to take her flight.
The very same faire Sydanis intends,
Who in Eblana would no longer stay:
Having on Leoline now had her ends,
Glad that her Princely Lord was gone away,
Too long and wearisome she thought the day:
And blam'd as slow the russins of the Sun,
That tow'rds the West they did no faster run.
But at the last, night with a sable robe,
Rising from Tenerus her darke abode,
Orespread this halfe of th' universall globe,
Making the wolfe, bat, scritch-owle, and the toad,
(The haters of the light) to come abroad,
When, wearied with his worke the day before,
The heavy plowman doth at midnight snore.
Now Mellefant and Sydanis, who had
To fly away that night the same intent;
That like a page, this like a ship-boy clad,
The better all suspition to prevent,
As they were wont unto their beds they went:
When as a gentle sleep did soon surprise
Faire Sydanis, and clos'd her Dove-like eies.
But Mellefant, whose eies and heart receiv'd
No dull impressions of the night, nor rest,
To Sydanis bed-side stole unperceiv'd,
And got away the pages Suit; so drest,
Therein she fled away, for that she guest,
That for the Princes page she should be taken,
That had of late King Dermots Court forsaken.
Passing the corps de gard the watch did keep,
And place where Master Constable still fate,
(For they were all most cordially asleep)
She forthwith came unto the city gate,
And by the porter, was let out thereat,
Passing unquestion'd, for when as she sayd
She was the Princes page, she was not stayd.
Come to the key, where ships at anchor ride,
An unexpected spectacle befalls,
For on the shrouds of a tall ship she spy'd
Two lights, that seem'd like two round fiery balls,
Aëreall twins, the which the Seaman calls
Castor and Pollux, who bee'ng seene together,
Portend a happy voyage, and faire weather.
But if that onely one of them appeares
Upon the hallyards of the ship, or mafts,
It is an ominous osse the Seaman feares,
If not of shipwreck, yet of gusts and blasts:
While she beheld, one of the balls downe-casts
It selfe from the maine yard upon the shore,
And as a walking fire went on before.
This apparition somwhat terrifide
The Princesse, who had now no power to go
Elsewhere, but follow her fantasticke guide,
And thus as they had wandred to and fro,
About the time that the first cocke did crow,
They came unto a woody hill, so high,
The top did seeme to gore the starry skie.
For like Olympus he did lift his head
Above the middle region of the ayre,
Where thunders, haile, and meteors are bred:
For there the weather evermore was faire:
Unto the top hereof this wandring paire
Beeing ariv'd, by many a passage steep,
The wearied Princesse was cast in a sleep,
On strowings layd, of never-fading flowers,
Which on this hills serenest top had growne,
She in sweet dreams did passe the silent houres,
Upon her a light coverlet was throwne,
Made of the Perches soft and gentle downe:
Whom there I leave in no lesse great a blisse
Than was the sorrow of faire Sydanis.
Who having over-slept her selfe, did wake
But halfe an houre before the breake of day;
To dresse her selfe she all the speed did make,
Her selfe in Skippers habit to array,
And tow'rds the port she forthwith takes her way:
But night and darkenesse her no longer hide,
For e're she got aboord she was descry'd.
Nights cloud upon the Easterne Horoscope,
Which like a sleeping eie-lid hid the skie,
Uplifted seem'd to wake, and set wide ope,
Disclos'd unto the world heavens glorious eie:
The watch her apprehends immediatly,
Conceiving her no Skippers boy to bee,
Whose face and habit did so disagree.
Whether it were the then neere dawning day,
Or els a native luster of her owne,
Which through her clothes her beauty did bewray,
Which like a Carbuncle in darkenesse shone,
It is uncertaine; but she yet unknowne,
About the houre King Dermot us'd to rise,
Was brought unto the Court in this disguise.
O envious light betrayer of each plot,
Lovers in darkenesse silently contrive.
Disturbe not their affaires, they need thee not,
Nor do not them of wished joyes deprive,
Who to avoid thy piercing eie do strive:
Converse with Gravers, who cut seals in bone,
Or threescore faces on a cherry-stone.
What hath this innocent beauty done to thee,
That thou her life to danger should'st expose?
But (light) we know it is thy propertie
To conceale nothing, but all things disclose:
For now about the time King Dermot rose,
First a suspition, after, a report
Was spread, that Mellefant was fled from Court.
What miseries can Fate together twist,
When she to ruine mortals doth intend!
For now no sooner Mellefant was mist,
Whose losse, King Dermot highly did offend,
Who messengers to seeke her straight doth send,
And while that they for the faire Princesse sought,
Poore Sydanis is to King Dermot brought.
Who seeing her in ship-boyes clothes disguis'd,
Was more enraged than he was before:
For now King Dermot instantly surmis'd,
By that concealing habit which she wore,
She was confederate, and therefore swore,
Unlesse she told where Mellefant was fled,
Upon a scaffold she should lose her head.
After dire threats, and strict examination,
Sweet Sydanis (as was the truth) denying,
She neither knew the time, nor the occasion,
Nor manner of Princesse Mellefant her flying,
Growne desperate, she cares not now for dying,
Nor any other kinde of torment, since
She may not go to her beloved Prince.
For Sydanis is into prison throwne,
In durance, and in fetters to remaine,
'Till where the Princesse were it should be knowne,
Or that she to the Count should come againe.
Her keeper doth her kindely entertaine
In his best lodgings, whereas her restraint
Gave birth and went to many a thousand plaint.
Which here should be related, but you may
Conjecture what a wight in such a case,
Hopelesse of comfort and reliefe, would say,
Confin'd unto a solitary place,
In her lives danger and the Kings disgrace:
Unlesse through griefe she speechlesse were become:
Small sorrows speake, the greatest still are dumbe.
But as a wood-man shooting with his bowe,
And afterwards pursuing with his hound
An innocent and silly harmelesse Doe,
Doth kill her not so soone, as if astound
He suffer her to grieve upon her wound,
And tapisht in a brake, to see the floud,
And sent the crimson torrent of her bloud.
So Sydanis, sad and disconsolate,
Hath now an opportunity to grieve
The dire affects of her malignant fate,
Which nought but death could possibly releeve:
Time onely seems to her a sad reprieve:
To speake of her we for a while shall cease,
Till some good hap procure her glad release.
For now from womens passions and slight woe,
After the Drums, and Clarions haughty sound,
To speak the rage of Kings marching we go,
Who roring like to Lions beeing bound
With horrid grumblings do our eares confound:
Blew eied Bellona, thou whom plumed art,
The souldiers warlike mistresse, act this part.
And thou sterne Mars, whose hands wet and imbru'd
With raw fresh bleeding slaughters thou hast made
Of foes, whom thou victorious hast subdu'd,
Whirling about thy Caske thy conquering blade,
Helpe me out of this Lake of bloud to wade,
And smooth the furrowes of thy frowning browe,
As when thou erst did'st lovely Venus woe.
King Dermot highly enraged for the losse
Of Princesse Mellefant his Kingdoms heire,
Resolv'd, that with an army he would crosse
The Brittish Seas, and straight his course would steere
Unto besieg'd Carleon city, where,
He would assist the Duke against his foe
King Arnon, and his sonne that wrong'd him so.
For now he thought he might be well assur'd,
His daughter with Prince Leoline combin'd,
Since his consent no wayes could be procurd
For marrying her, he did a season finde
To steale away, and with a favouring winde,
He to his royall Sires, King Arnons Court,
His prise like beauteous Helen would transport.
Therefore to be reveng'd was all his care,
And for that purpose he a fleet would man,
Greater then Menelaus did prepare,
When he the bloudy Trojan warre began,
And after ten years siege the city wan,
Putting to Sea from Aulis port in Greece,
Or Iasons fleet that fetcht the golden fleece.
Upon the beating of King Dermots drum,
From Ulsters shrubby hills and quagmires foule
Of slight arm'd Kerne, forthwith a troope doth come,
Who in the furthest North do heare the owle
And wolves about their cabins nightly howle,
Which to all hardnesse have inured bin,
Eating raw beefe, halfe boyl'd in the cowes skin.
E're these were civiliz'd, they had no corne,
Nor us'd no tillage that might get them food,
But to their childrens mouths were newly borne,
They put upon a spears point dipt in bloud
Raw flesh, that so it might be understood,
That children growne up men should never feed,
But when that they had done some bloudy deed.
These Salvages whilest they did erst possesse
Like Tartars, or the roving Scythian Nation
Coleranes, or Monaghans wide wildernesse,
Having no Townes or any habitation,
They and their cattel still tooke up their station
In grassy plains, and there a while abide,
Where the deep Eagh, and fishfull Dergh do slide.
More forces from the borders of Logh Erne
Do come, which in small Islands doth abound,
In whose cleere bottome men may yet discerne
Houses and towers under the water drownd,
Which divine justice sunke into the ground,
For Sodomy, and such abomination,
Men using beasts in carnall copulation.
From Conaghs pleasant and more civill parts,
Where Arbute trees do grow upon the coast,
Horsemen well arm'd with glaves and with their darts,
Unto the Army of King Dermot post,
Making compleat the number of his host:
Who like old Romans on their pads do ride,
And Hobbies without stirrops do bestride.
What counties, or what townes Mounster containes,
Through whose faire Champian the smooth Boyn doth passe,
Send forces from their well manured plaines,
Arm'd with the Halbert, and the Gally-glasse,
The county that great Desmonds country was,
With that of the most antient Peere Kildare,
Joyn'd with Mac Arte, for this warre prepare.
To them the province Leinster doth unite
Her trained bands and warlike regiment,
Who use the pike and partisan in fight,
And who are from those towns and counties sent,
Whose fields the Barrow, Nore, and Shore indent
Three sister Rivers, whose cleere source begins
In the high woody mountaines of the Glins.
Unto these forces rais'd in Erinland,
Are joyn'd the highland Redshank and fierce Scot,
Of whom there comes a stout and numerous band,
Which up steep hills, as on plaine ground do trot,
As for steele Armor they regard it not;
Their barbed arrowes clos'd in a Calves skin,
To their Eugh bowes the quivers still have bin.
The Army beeing shipt, the windes that blow
Over the vast Atlanticke Ocean,
Bred in high hills Westward of Mexico,
Who with their waving wings do coole and fanne
The Sun-burnt Moore and naked Floridan,
Sending forth constantly their favouring gales,
Waft Dermots ships unto the coast of Wales.
For now Mars Occidentall in the West,
Meridionall descending from the Line
Of the Moones mansion Cancer was possest,
And sliding downe into an ayery Signe,
Rais'd windes, that furrow'd up the Westerne brine.
Corus and Thracius blowing still abaft,
King Dermots ships do to Carleon waft.
But yet those blasts that were so prosperous,
And Dermot in Carleons harbour set,
Contrary were to Prince Androgios,
And did his much desired voyage let:
His ships out of the harbour could not get,
But in it for full six weekes space they stayd,
Waiting a winde, and never Anchor wayd.
To passe for Erinland was his intent,
With all the gallantry coyne could provide,
And there to consummate his high content,
In making beauteous Mellefant his Bride:
But Æolus his passage hath deny'd,
And unexpected, with Succors unsought,
King Dermot to Carleons walls hath brought.
Whose comming was no sooner told the Duke
And Prince Androgios, but both went to meet
King Dermot at the port, whereas they tooke
In armes each other, and do kindely greet:
Then through a long and well built spacious street,
They to a stately Castle do ascend,
Where for that night their complements they end.
Next morrow from the Castles lofty towers,
Whose mighty ruins are remayning yet,
The Princes did behold King Arnons powers,
Which had Carleon city round beset:
To whom Duke Leon full of just regret,
And sorrow for his daughter, doth relate
His wrongs and cause of his distressed state.
King Dermot, swolne with ire and indignation,
And beeing no lesse sensible of griefe,
Of his unheard of injuries makes relation,
Telling that he was come to the reliefe
Of Leon, to be wrecked on a theefe,
Who albeit that he were a Kings sonne,
A base and injurious fact had done.
The noble Prince Androgios now resenting
His suffrings in the losse of Mellefant,
Whose marriage (as he thought) was past preventing,
With high-borne courage, which no feare could daunt,
Besought the King and Duke, that they would grant
To him a boone, which was this, That he might
Challenge Prince Leoline to single fight.
For by this time fame all abroad had spred,
Prince Leoline was backe return'd againe,
Whom erst King Arnon did beleeve was dead,
And in Carnarvan Castle did remaine,
So now there nothing was that did restraine
The noble Prince Androgios, to demand
A single combat with him hand to hand.
And to that end an Herald straight was sent
To Leoline, who in his right hand wore
A bloud-red Banner, as the argument
Of the defiance message that he bore;
Behind upon his Taberd, and before,
A Lion rampant, and a Dragon red,
On Crimson Velvet were imbroidered.
The Herald, whose approach none might debarre,
Doth with a trumpet through the Army ride,
Who bravely sounded all the points of warre,
Untill he came to the Pavilion side,
Whereas Prince Leoline did then abide,
And then the trumpeter eftsoons doth fall
In lower warlike notes to sound a call.
The which no sooner Leoline had heard,
But bravely mounted on a barbed Steed,
He like a Princely gallant straight appear'd,
To whom the Herald doth the challenge read:
Which having done, he afterward with speed,
(As is the forme when challenges are past)
Androgios Gauntlet on the ground he cast.
Prince Leoline commanding of his Page
To take the Gauntlet up, briefely reply'd,
Herald I do accept Androgios gage:
Tell him the sword the quarrell shall decide,
Of him, whom he unjustly hath defy'd:
For three dayes hence in both our Armies sight,
Wee will a noble single combat fight.
The Herald backe return'd unto the King,
Related how his message he had done,
And to Androgios doth the answer bring
Of Leoline: King Albions Princely sonne
Hath for his forward valour honor wonne:
Of whose resolves, and warlike preparation
'Till the third day I respite the relation.
Meane time the Druide Morrogh, who hath bin
Thus long unmentioned, now chiefe Actor was;
Who though that he were absent, yet had seene
All that in Erinland had come to passe,
By meanes of a most wondrous Magicke glasse,
Which to his eie would represent and show
All that the Wizard did desire to know.
Which glasse was made according to the opinion
Of Chymists, of seven mettals purify'd,
Together melted under the dominion
Of those seven planets do their natures guide:
Then if it polisht be on either side,
And made in forme of circle, one shall see
Things that are past as well as those that bee.
In this sayd glasse he saw the sad estate
Of Sydanis, who was in prison kept,
Who weeping in her silent chamber sate,
And Mellefant, who on the mountaine slept,
Whose passe the wandring fire did intercept:
And now this story must not end, before
The Druide both these Ladyes do restore.
For they be those must put a happy end
To discords, and bring all to a conclusion,
And all that is amisse they must amend,
And put in order things are in confusion:
They of much bloud must hinder the effusion:
Such vertues Ladies have, who are the blisse,
Which here in this world among mortalls is.
Thrice ten degrees of the Eclipticke line,
Phœbus ascending up had overpast,
And now had entred in another Signe,
From Gemini, whereas he harbour'd last,
Since Mellefant into a trance was cast,
And thirty jornies through nights silent shade
O're her nocturnall Arch the Moone had made.
Who nightly riding o're the mountaines top,
Where Mellefant the sleeping Princesse lay,
Her silver Chariot there she still did stop,
And by the sleeping body us'd to stay,
Kissing, caressing, 'till neere breake of day,
Of her rare beauties now enamour'd more
Than of her lov'd Endymion heretofore.
No longer could the Queene of night refraine
From kissing of her sweet and rubie lips:
Her kisses ended, she begins againe,
With gentle armes her Jvory necke she clips:
Her hands sometimes tow'rds parts more privat slips,
Curious inquisitive for to know the truth,
If one so rarely faire could be a youth.
But as a theefe, that doth assurance lacke
At his first pilfring from a heap of gold,
Doth oft put forth his hand, oft pulls it backe,
Then puts it forth againe, then doth withold:
So at the first Cynthia was not so bold
To let her hand assure her by a tuch,
Of that which she to know desir'd so much.
Yet at the last fortune did things disclose,
And gave contentment to her longing minde,
For in the pocket of the pages hose
Putting her hand, she did a letter finde,
Which all the clew of error did unwinde,
Written by Mellefant to Leoline,
In case that she should faile of her designe.
The letter specify'd her sex and name,
And whole scope of her amorous intent,
Laying on Leoline a gentle blame,
That he unkindely from Eblana went:
It specify'd to follow him she meant,
And to Carnarvan castle she would goe,
To meet with Leoline her deere lov'd foe.
The Empresse of the watry wildernesse
Reading the lines, was straight with pitty mov'd,
Compassionating Mellefants distresse,
The rather for that she her-selfe had lov'd,
Now the third day since Mellefant behov'd
To be in Britaine, a way was prepar'd
For her transport, which then shall be declar'd.
For wee must speake of Sydanis her wrongs,
Of her sad prison, and her glad release,
Which to the Druide Moroghs part belongs,
Who to attend her fortunes ne're did cease,
But after troubles would procure her ease,
Of which the manner briefly to relate:
Much wonder in the hearers will create.
There's nothing truer than that sapience
Of wise and knowing men, prevailes o're fate,
Ruling the starres, and each intelligence,
O're which their wisdomes do predominate;
They can advance good fortune, ill abate:
And if that in the heavens they can do so,
They can do much more here on earth below.
As soone as Phœbus had behinde him shut
The rubie leaves of heavens great Westerne gate,
And to that day an evening period put,
And now began it to be darke and late,
As Morogh in his lonely cabin sate,
He put in act a course, that should be sure
Faire Sydanis enlargement to procure.
For by his learning understanding all
The languages that foules and ravens speake,
He to him did an antient Raven call,
Commanding her, that she her flight should take,
And to Carleons walls all speed should make,
Unto the limbs of one late quartered,
On which the day before the bird had fed.
Adding withall this strict injunction,
That instantly, e're any man it wist,
She should bring backe to him a dead mans bone,
The which that she should picke out of his wrist.
The raven of her message nothing mist,
But suddenly she fled, and unsuspected,
The great Magicians will she straight effected.
Theeves say, that he that shall about him beare
This bone, and meanes by night mens goods to take,
All that are sleeping (the while he is there
Stealing and breaking the house) shall not wake,
For any noise that ever he shall make:
But shall so soundly sleep, as that he may
Securely rob, and unknowne passe away.
Unto this bone the Druide he did adde
A shining grasse, that growes among the rockes,
Which a strange kinde of secret vertue had,
For it would straight undo all bolts and locks:
The blacksmiths skill in shooing it so mocks,
That if a horse but touch it with his shooes,
Though ne're so well set on, he doth them loose,
Strange tales there are which History affords,
Of bones, and Stones, of Herbs, and Mineralls,
The knowledge of whom hath bin found by Birds,
Beasts, Insects, and by other Aminals:
Witnesse the Stone Albertus magnus calls
Aldorius, the vertues of which stone,
But for the eggs of Crowes had not beene knowne.
For if one take Crowes eggs out of the nest,
And boyle them in hot water 'till they bee
Stone hard, the old Crow never will take rest,
Untill the stone Aldorius she see,
Which she brings backe with her unto the tree
Where her nest was, which a while having laine
Upon the eggs, it turnes them reare againe.
Rare secrets are in nature, which wee'll passe,
As to this matter little pertinent:
The dead-mans wrist bone, and the shining grasse,
From Morrogh to faire Sydanis were sent,
And of their natures an advertisement,
Which on a Beeches rinde, as on a note,
With a sharpe pointed steele the Druide wrote;
Advising her, that she without delay,
Through the darke shade of that approching night,
From her confinement straight would hye away,
And come to him before the morrowes light,
And that she should not feare for any sight
She should behold, nor should not be dismay'd,
For she to him should safely be convay'd.
Having inclos'd within the Beeches barke
The bone, and grasse, he in the ravens eare
Whisper'd some words, who flying through the dark,
With wings that blacker than nights darkenesse were,
E're threescore minutes past she was come there,
Where Sydanis (though it were very late)
Lamenting, in her chamber window sate.
Where suddenly the window being ope,
The Raven entred in without controle,
And into Sydanis her lap did drop
The things inclos'd within the Beechin Scrole:
Thus she, who still was held an ominous foule,
And fatall her presage in every thing,
Yet news of joy to Sydanis doth bring.
Who having read the writing, out she goes,
Intending to take shipping at the kay:
But fate of her did otherwise dispose,
For she must be convey'd another way:
For at the gate Nights sable coach did stay,
Which by the Druide had directed bin,
As she came out of doors to take her in.
This chario by foure blacke steeds was drawne,
First Nicteus burn'd with Pluto's pitchy marke;
Then blacke Alastor with his snaky mayne,
With Metheos, Phobos, who do love the darke:
Which foure at singing of the earely Larke,
Vanish away, and under ground are gone,
Drenching their sooty heads in Acheron.
Thus Sydanis in Nights blacke Coach being set,
Before Fortuna Major did arise,
Show'd like Loves Queene upon a throne of Jet,
Who suddenly was hurried through the skies,
And all the residue of that night lies
In Moroghs Cave, untill the dawning East
Disclosed faire Aurora's rosie brest.
Who risen from her Safron colour'd bed,
Perfum'd with Indian Spices where she lay,
And Phœbus lifting up his golden head,
Lights universall Banner did display;
In glorious Robes himselfe he doth array,
And every cloud he farre away doth chace
From the bright Front of heavens cleare shining face.
For now as he the mountaine tops did guild
With burnisht Ore of heavens cœlestiall Mine,
The Kings two Armies came into the field,
Led by Andrgios and by Leoline;
Who like the starres of Gemini did shine:
Brave twins of Honour, for who them beheld,
Could not affirme which of the two excell'd.
In mid'st of their maine Battels the two Kings,
As in their safest fortresses, were plac't:
Great Dukes and Colonells did leade the wings,
Who with their severall commands were grac't:
Now as the Princes did to combate hast,
A wondrous thing appear'd to all the host,
Which all their warlike resolution crost;
For high in skies there instantly appeares
A chariot, which eight white Swans as they flew,
Yoked in golden chaines and Silken geares,
Soaring an easie pace after them drew:
But who was in the chariot no man knew,
For that an ayery and bright shining cloud
The party carryed, from their sight did shroud.
By floury colours which the Swans did beare
About their necks, where Emonies were blended
With Myrtills, and with Pinks entwined were:
Some thought that Venus was againe descended,
As when her sonne Æneas she defended
From furious Turnus, and as then she did,
Androgios in a cloud should so be hid.
But it was otherwise, this clouded Coach
Was sent by the faire Princesse of the Night,
With a command, that when it did approach
The place where the two Princes were to fight,
The Swans upon the ground should downe alight,
The winged teeme accordingly did doo't,
And set the Coach at Prince Androgio's foot.
The cloud then vanishing away that kept
The faire and long'd-for object from the eie,
Bright Mellefant appear'd, who long had slept,
As in a trance now wak't immediatly,
Whose beauty when Androgios did descry,
He gave command, that 'till that he had fought,
She unto royall Dermot should be brought.
All this did brave prince Leoline behold,
And all the Army (Cit was done so nigh)
Who eftsoones to his Sire King Arnon told,
That there was come an Enchantres from the skie:
But all enchantments he did then defie,
As things ridiculous, which he did not feare,
And forthwith he prepar'd to couch his speare.
Now as these valiant Princes had begun
To couch their Launces, and put them in rest,
And each at other fiercely for to run,
Aiming the points at one anothers brest,
Prince Leolines couragious noble beast
Began to trapmble, and to snort, and prance,
But one foot forward he would not advance.
The Prince enrag'd with anger and disdaine,
Did strike into his sides his spurres of steele,
And still he urg'd him on, but all in vaine,
For that for all the strokes that he did feele
From the brave noble Princes spritely heele,
He went not on, but rather backward made,
As if that he had bin a restiffe Jade.
Which now did make Prince Leoline conceive,
He had indeed with some enchantment met:
Morogh the Druide he did not perceive,
Nor Sydanis, who both their hands had set
Upon the bridle, and the horse did let,
For Ferne seed got upon S. Iohn his night,
Made them invisible to all mens sight.
But when the Ferne seed they had cast away,
And Leoline his Sydanis did see,
He from his Steed alights without delay,
And with such joy as may not utter'd bee,
Embracing, kisses her soft lips, and she
That had no other Magicke, but loves charmes,
Circled his necke with her soft Ivory armes.
With Leoline she to King Arnon goes,
Whose almost infinite astonishment
May not be told; now Sydanis he knowes,
Farre greater is his joy, and his content.
The Druide is recall'd from banishment,
That he unto the King and Prince might tell
The History of all things that befell.
It beeing known how all things came about,
And how that both the Princesses were found,
Both armies rais'd a universall shout:
The Trumpets, Clarions flourishes do sound;
All hearts are now with high contentment crown'd,
The Heraulds with white flags of peace are seene,
And Civicke Garlands of Oakes leavy greene.
For by this time the brave Androgios knew
His Princely mistresse Mellefant the faire,
For joy whereof his armes away he threw,
And with deportement most debonair
Saluteth old King Dermots beauteous heir:
Intending at Carleon with all state,
His Hymeneall rites to celebrate.
Whereas two Kings, two Princes, and their Brides,
And old Duke Leon, had an enterview:
There now was full contentment on all sides,
Which fortune seemed dayly to renew,
And by the Druides telling greater grew:
Of all the great adventures that had past,
And Merioneth in the Dungeon cast.
Who albeit that she long dead was thought,
And in the Dungeon starv'd for want of food,
Yet to Duke Leon she againe was brought,
From whom he divers stories understood,
And now in fine all sorted unto good:
Whose wonderfull relations serve in Wales
To passe away long nights in winters Tales.
And lastly for to consummate all joy,
E're Phœbe nine times had renew'd her light,
Faire Sydanis brought forth a Prince, a boy
Heavens choycest darling, and mankinds delight:
Of whose exploits some happier pen may write,
And may relate strange things to be admir'd:
For here my fainting pen is well neere tir'd.
Comments about Leoline And Sydanis by Francis Kynaston
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