Metamorphoses (tr. Golding)/Book 6
¶ THE SIXT BOOKE
of Ovids Metamorphosis.
Ritonia unto all these wordes attentive hearing bendes,
And both the Muses learned song and rightfull wrath commendes.
And thereupon within hir selfe this fancie did arise.
It is no matter for to prayse: but let our selfe devise
Some thing to be commended for: and let us not permit
Our Majestie to be despisde without revenging it.
And therewithall she purposed to put the Lydian Maide
Arachne to hir neckeverse who (as had to hir bene saide)
Presumed to prefer hir selfe before hir noble grace
In making cloth. This Damsell was not famous for the place
In which she dwelt, nor for hir stocke, but for hir Arte. Hir Sier
Was Idmon, one of Colophon, a pelting Purple Dier.
Hir mother was deceast: but she was of the baser sort,
And egall to hir Make in birth, in living, and in port.
But though this Maide were meanly borne, and dwelt but in a shed
At little Hypep: yet hir trade hir fame abrode did spred
Even all the Lydian Cities through. To see hir wondrous worke
The Nymphes that underneath the Vines of shadie Tmolus lurke
Their Vineyards oftentimes forsooke. So did the Nymphes also
About Pactolus oftentimes their golden streames forgo.
And evermore it did them good not only for to see
Hir clothes already made, but while they eke a making bee
Such grace was in hir workmanship. For were it so that shee
The newshorne fleeces from the sheepe in bundels deftly makes,
Or afterward doth kemb the same, and drawes it out in flakes
Along like cloudes, or on the Rocke doth spinne the handwarpe woofe,
Or else embroydreth, certenly ye might perceive by proofe
She was of Pallas bringing up, which thing she nathelesse
Denyeth, and disdaining such a Mistresse to confesse,
Let hir contend with me, she saide: and if she me amend
I will refuse no punishment the which she shall extend.
Minerva tooke an olde wives shape and made hir haire seeme gray,
And with a staffe hir febled limmes pretended for to stay.
Which done, she thus began to speake: Not all that age doth bring
We ought to shonne. Experience doth of long continuance spring.
Despise not mine admonishment. Seeke fame and chiefe report
For making cloth, and Arras worke, among the mortall sort.
But humbly give the Goddesse place: and pardon of hir crave
For these thine unadvised wordes. I warrant thou shalt have
Forgivenesse, if thou aske it hir. Arachne bent hir brewes
And lowring on hir, left hir worke: and hardly she eschewes
From flying in the Ladies face. Hir countnance did bewray
Hir moodie minde: which bursting forth in words she thus did say:
Thou commest like a doting foole: thy wit is spent with yeares:
Thy life hath lasted over long as by thy talke appeares.
And if thou any daughter have, or any daughtrinlawe,
I would she heard these wordes of mine: I am not such a Daw,
But that without thy teaching I can well ynough advise
My selfe. And lest thou shouldest thinke thy words in any wise
Availe, the selfesame minde I keepe with which I first begonne.
Why commes she not hirselfe I say? this matche why doth she shonne?
Then said the Goddesse: Here she is. And therewithall she cast
Hir oldewives riveled shape away, and shewde hir selfe at last
Minerva like. The Nymphes did streight adore hir Majestie.
So did the yong newmaried wives that were of Migdonie.
The Maiden only unabasht woulde nought at all relent.
But yet she blusht and sodenly a ruddynesse besprent
Hir cheekes which wanzd away againe, even like as doth the Skie
Looke sanguine at the breake of day, and turneth by and by
To white at rising of the Sunne. As hote as any fire
She sticketh to hir tackling still. And through a fond desire
Of glorie, to hir owne decay all headlong forth she runnes.
For Pallas now no lenger warnes, ne now no lenger shunnes
Ne seekes the chalenge to delay. Immediatly they came
And tooke their places severally, and in a severall frame
Eche streynde a web, the warpe whereof was fine. The web was tide
Upon a Beame. Betweene the warpe a stay of reede did slide.
The woofe on sharpened pinnes was put betwixt the warp, and wrought
With fingars. And as oft as they had through the warpe it brought,
They strake it with a Boxen combe. Both twayne of them made hast:
And girding close for handsomnesse their garments to their wast
Bestirde their cunning handes apace. Their earnestnesse was such
As made them never thinke of paine. They weaved verie much
Fine Purple that was dide in Tyre, and colours set so trim
That eche in shadowing other seemde the very same with him.
Even like as after showres of raine when Phebus broken beames
Doe strike upon the Cloudes, appeares a compast bow of gleames
Which bendeth over all the Heaven: wherein although there shine
A thousand sundry colours, yet the shadowing is so fine,
That looke men nere so wistly, yet beguileth it their eyes:
So like and even the selfsame thing eche colour seemes to rise
Whereas they meete, which further off doe differ more and more.
Of glittring golde with silken threede was weaved there good store.
And stories put in portrayture of things done long afore.
Minerva painted Athens towne and Marsis rocke therein,
And all the strife betweene hirselfe and Neptune, who should win
The honor for to give the name to that same noble towne.
In loftie thrones on eyther side of Jove were settled downe
Six Peeres of Heaven with countnance grave and full of Majestie,
And every of them by his face discerned well might be.
The Image of the mightie Jove was Kinglike. She had made
Neptunus standing striking with his long thre tyned blade
Upon the ragged Rocke: and from the middle of the clift
She portrayd issuing out a horse, which was the noble gift
For which he chalengde to himselfe the naming of the towne.
She picturde out hirselfe with shielde and Morion on hir crowne
With Curet on hir brest, and Speare in hand with sharpened ende.
She makes the Earth (the which hir Speare doth seeme to strike) to sende
An Olyf tree with fruite thereon: and that the Gods thereat
Did wonder: and with victorie she finisht up that plat.
Yet to th'intent examples olde might make it to be knowne
To hir that for desire of praise so stoutly helde hir owne,
What guerdon she shoulde hope to have for hir attempt so madde,
Foure like contentions in the foure last corners she did adde.
The Thracians Heme and Rodope the formost corner hadde:
Who being sometime mortall folke usurpt to them the name
Of Jove and Juno, and were turnde to mountaines for the same.
A Pigmie womans piteous chaunce the second corner shewde,
Whome Juno turned to a Crane (bicause she was so lewde
As for to stand at strife with hir for beautie) charging hir
Against hir native countriefolke continuall war to stir.
The thirde had proude Antigone, who durst of pride contende
In beautie with the wife of Jove: by whome she in the ende
Was turned to a Storke. No whit availed hir the towne
Of Troy, or that Laomedon hir father ware a crowne,
But that she, clad in feathers white, hir lazie wings must flap.
And with a bobbed Bill bewayle the cause of hir missehap.
The last had chyldelesse Cinyras: who being turnde to stone,
Was picturde prostrate on the grounde, and weeping all alone,
And culling fast betweene his armes a Temples greeces fine
To which his daughters bodies were transformde by wrath divine.
The utmost borders had a wreath of Olyf round about,
And this is all the worke the which Minerva portrayd out.
For with the tree that she hirselfe had made but late afore
She bounded in hir Arras cloth, and then did worke no more.
The Lydian maiden in hir web did portray to the full
How Europe was by royall Jove beguilde in shape of Bull.
A swimming Bull, a swelling Sea, so lively had she wrought,
That Bull and Sea in very deede ye might them well have thought.
The Ladie seemed looking backe to landwarde and to crie
Upon hir women, and to feare the water sprinkling hie,
And shrinking up hir fearfull feete. She portrayd also there
Asteriee struggling with an Erne which did away hir beare.
And over Leda she had made a Swan his wings to splay.
She added also how by Jove in shape of Satyr gaye
The faire Antiope with a paire of children was besped:
And how he tooke Amphitrios shape when in Alcmenas bed
He gate the worthie Hercules: and how he also came
To Danae like a shoure of golde, to Aegine like a flame,
A sheepeherd to Mnemosyne, and like a Serpent sly
To Proserpine. She also made Neptunus leaping by
Upon a Maide of Aeolus race in likenesse of a Bull,
And in the streame Enipeus shape begetting on a trull
The Giants Othe and Ephialt, and in the shape of Ram
Begetting one Theophane Bisalties ympe with Lam,
And in a lustie Stalions shape she made him covering there
Dame Ceres with the yellow lockes, and hir whose golden heare
Was turnde to crawling Snakes: on whome he gate the winged horse.
She made him in a Dolphins shape Melantho to enforce.
Of all these things she missed not their proper shapes, nor yit
The full and just resemblance of their places for to hit.
In likenesse of a Countrie cloyne was Phebus picturde there,
And how he now ware Gossehaukes wings, and now a Lions heare.
And how he in a shepeherdes shape was practising a wile
The daughter of one Macarie, dame Issa, to beguile.
And how the faire Erygone by chaunce did suffer rape
By Bacchus who deceyved hir in likenesse of a grape.
And how that Saturne in the shape of Genet did beget
The double Chiron. Round about the utmost Verdge was set
A narrow Traile of pretie floures with leaves of Ivie fret.
Not Pallas, no, nor spight it selfe could any quarrell picke
To this hir worke: and that did touch Minerva to the quicke.
Who thereupon did rende the cloth in pieces every whit,
Bicause the lewdnesse of the Gods was biased so in it.
And with an Arras weavers combe of Box she fiercely smit
Arachne on the forehead full a dozen times and more.
The Maide impacient in hir heart, did stomacke this so sore,
That by and by she hung hirselfe. Howbeit as she hing,
Dame Pallas pitying hir estate, did stay hir in the string
From death, and said: Lewde Callet live: but hang thou still for mee.
And lest hereafter from this curse that time may set thee free,
I will that this same punishment enacted firmely bee,
As well on thy posteritie for ever as on thee.
And after when she should depart, with juice of Hecats flowre
She sprinkled hir: and by and by the poyson had such powre,
That with the touch thereof hir haire, hir eares, and nose did fade:
And verie small it both hir heade and all hir bodie made.
In steade of legs, to both hir sides sticke fingars long and fine:
The rest is bellie. From the which she nerethelesse doth twine
A slender threede, and practiseth in shape of Spider still
The Spinners and the Websters crafts of which she erst had skill.
All Lydia did repine hereat, and of this deede the fame
Through Phrygie ran, and through the world was talking of the same.
Before hir mariage Niobe had knowen hir verie well,
When yet a Maide in Meonie and Sipyle she did dwell.
And yet Arachnes punishment at home before hir eyes,
To use discreter kinde of talke it could hir not advise,
Nor (as behoveth) to the Gods to yeelde in humble wise.
For many things did make hir proud. But neyther did the towne
The which hir husband builded had, nor houses of renowne
Of which they both descended were, nor yet the puissance
Of that great Realme wherein they reignde so much hir minde enhaunce
(Although the liking of them all did greatly hir delight)
As did the offspring of hir selfe. And certenly she might
Have bene of mothers counted well most happie, had she not
So thought hir selfe. For she whome sage Tyresias had begot,
The Prophet Manto, through instinct of heavenly powre, did say
These kinde of wordes in open strete: Ye Thebanes go your way
Apace, and unto Laton and to Latons children pray,
And offer godly Frankinsence, and wreath your haire with Bay.
Latona by the mouth of me commaundes you so to do.
The Thebane women by and by obeying thereunto,
Deckt all their heades with Laurell leaves as Manto did require,
And praying with devout intent threw incense in the fire.
Beholde out commeth Niobe environde with a garde
Of servaunts and a solemne traine that followed afterward.
She was hirselfe in raiment made of costly cloth of golde
Of Phrygia facion verie brave and gorgeous to beholde.
And of hir selfe she was right faire and beautifull of face,
But that hir wrathfull stomake then did somewhat staine hir grace.
She moving with hir portly heade hir haire the which as then
Did hang on both hir shoulders loose, did pawse a while, and when
Wyth loftie looke hir stately eyes she rolled had about:
What madnesse is it (quoth she) to prefer the heavenly rout
Of whome ye doe but heare, to such as daily are in sight?
Or why should Laton honored be with Altars? Never wight
To my most sacred Majestie did offer incense. Yit
My Father was that Tantalus whome only as most fit
The Gods among them at their boordes admitted for to sit.
A sister of the Pleyades is my mother. Finally
My Graundsire on the mothers side is that same Atlas hie
That on his shoulders beareth up the heavenly Axeltree.
Againe my other Graundfather is Jove, and (as you see)
He also is my Fathrinlawe, wherein I glorie may.
The Realme of Phrygia here at hand doth unto me obay.
In Cadmus pallace I thereof the Ladie doe remaine
And joyntly with my husbande I as peerlesse Princesse reigne
Both over this same towne whose walles my husbands harpe did frame,
And also over all the folke and people in the same.
In what soever corner of my house I cast mine eye,
A worlde of riches and of goods I everywhere espie.
Moreover for the beautie, shape, and favor growen in me,
Right well I know I doe deserve a Goddesse for to be.
Besides all this, seven sonnes I have and daughters seven likewise,
By whome shall shortly sonneinlawes and daughtrinlawes arise.
Judge you now if that I have cause of statelynesse or no.
How dare ye then prefer to me Latona that same fro
The Titan Ceus ympe, to whome then readie downe to lie
The hugy Earth a little plot to childe on did denie?
From Heaven, from Earth, and from the Sea your Goddesse banisht was,
And as an outcast through the world from place to place did passe,
Untill that Delos pitying hir, sayde Thou doste fleete on land
And I on Sea, and thereupon did lende hir out of hand
A place unstable. Of two twinnes there brought abed was she:
And this is but the seventh part of the issue borne by me.
Right happie am I. Who can this denie? and shall so still I
Continue. Who doth doubt of that? Abundance hath and will
Preserve me. I am greater than that frowarde fortune may
Empeache me. For although she should pull many things away,
Yet should she leave me many more. My state is out of feare.
Of thys my huge and populous race surmise you that it were
Possible some of them should misse: yet can I never be
So spoyled that no mo than two shall tarie styll with me.
Leave quickly thys lewde sacrifice, and put me off this Bay
That on your heads is wreathed thus. They laide it streight away
And left their holie rites undone, and closely as they may
With secret whispring to themselves to Laton they dyd pray.
How much from utter barrennesse the Goddesse was: so much
Disdeind she more: and in the top of Cynthus framed such
Complaint as this to both hir twinnes. Lo I your mother deare,
Who in my bodie once you twaine with painefull travail beare,
Loe I whose courage is so stout as for to yeelde to none
Of all the other Goddesses except Joves wife alone,
Am lately doubted whether I a Goddesse be or no.
And if you helpe not, children mine, the case now standeth so
That I the honor must from hence of Altars quight forgo.
But this is not mine only griefe. Besides hir wicked fact
Most railing words hath Niobe to my defacing rackt.
She durst prefer hir Barnes to you. And as for me, she naamde
Me barren in respect of hir, and was no whit ashaamde
To shewe hir fathers wicked tongue which she by birth doth take.
This said: Latona was about entreatance for to make.
Cease off (quoth Phebus) long complaint is nothing but delay
Of punishment, and the selfesame wordes did Phebe also say.
And by and by they through the Ayre both gliding swiftly downe,
On Cadmus pallace hid in cloudes did light in Thebe towne.
A fielde was underneath the wall both levell, large and wide,
Betrampled every day with horse that men therin did ride,
Where store of Carres and Horses hoves the cloddes to dust had trode.
A couple of Amphions sonnes on lustie coursers rode
In this same place. Their horses faire Coperisons did weare
Of scarlet: and their bridles brave with golde bedecked were.
Of whome as Niobs eldest sonne Ismenos hapt to bring
His horse about, and reynde him in to make him keepe the ring,
He cride alas: and in his brest with that an arrow stacke
And by and by hys dying hand did let the bridle slacke.
And on the right side of the horse he slipped to the ground.
The second brother Sipylus did chaunce to heare the sound
Of Quivers clattring in the Ayre, and giving streight the reyne
And spur togither to his horse, began to flie amayne:
As doth the master of a ship: who when he sees a shoure
Approching, by some mistie cloud that ginnes to gloume and loure
Doth clap on all his sayles bicause no winde should scape him by
Though nere so small. Howbeit as he turned for to flie,
He was not able for to scape the Arrow which did stricke
Him through the necke. The nocke thereof did shaking upward sticke,
The head appeared at his throte. And as he forward gave
Himselfe in flying: so to ground he groveling also drave,
And toppled by the horses mane and feete amid his race,
And with his warme newshedded bloud berayed all the place.
But Phedimus, and Tantalus, the heir of the name
Of Tantalus, his Graundfather, who customably came
From other dailie exercise to wrestling, had begun
To close, and eache at other now with brest to brest to run,
When Phebus Arrow being sent with force from streyned string
Did strike through both of them as they did fast togither cling.
And so they sighed both at once, and both at once for paine
Fell downe to ground, and both of them at once their eyes did streine
To see their latest light, and both at once their ghostes did yeelde.
Alphenor this mischaunce of theirs with heavie heart behelde,
And scratcht and beate his wofull brest: and therewith flying out
To take them up betweene his armes, was as he went about
This worke of kindly pitie, killde. For Phebus with a Dart
Of deadly dint did rive him through the Bulke and brake his hart.
And when the steale was plucked out, a percell of his liver
Did hang upon the hooked heade: and so he did deliver
His life and bloud into the Ayre departing both togither.
But Damasicthon (on whose heade came never scissor) felt
Mo woundes than one. It was his chaunce to have a grievous pelt
Upon the verie place at which the leg is first begun
And where the hamstrings by the joynt with supple sinewes run
And while to draw this arrow out he with his hand assaide,
Another through his wezant went, and at the feathers staide.
The bloud did drive out this againe, and spinning high did spout
A great way off, and pierst the Ayre with sprinkling all about.
The last of all Ilionie with streched handes, and speche
Most humble (but in vaine) did say: O Gods I you beseche
Of mercie all in generall. He wist not what he saide
Ne how that unto all of them he ought not to have praide.
The God that helde the Bow in hande was moved: but as then
The Arrow was alredie gone so farre, that backe agen
He could not call it. Neerthelesse the wound was verie small
Of which he dide, for why his heart it did but lightly gall.
The rumor of the mischiefe selfe, and mone of people, and
The weeping of hir servants gave the mother t'understand
The sodaine stroke of this mischaunce. She wondred verie much
And stormed also that the Gods were able to doe such
A deede, or durst attempt it, yea she thought it more than right
That any of them over hir should have so mickle might.
Amphion had fordone himselfe alreadie with a knife,
And ended all his sorrowes quite togither with his life.
Alas, alas how greatly doth this Niobe differ here
From tother Niobe who alate disdaining any Pere
Did from Latonas Altars drive hir folke, and through the towne
With haultie looke and stately gate went pranking up and downe,
Then spighted at among hir owne, but piteous now to those:
That heretofore for hir deserts had bene hir greatest foes.
She falleth on the corses colde, and taking no regard,
Bestowde hir kysses on hir sonnes as whome she afterwarde
Did know she never more shoulde kisse. From whome she lifting thoe
Hir blew and broosed armes to heaven sayd: O thou cruell foe
Latona, feede, yea feede thy selfe I say upon my woe
And overgorge thy stomacke, yea and glut thy cruell hart
With these my present painefull pangs of bitter griping smart.
In corses seven I seven times deade am caried to my grave.
Rejoyce thou foe and triumph now in that thou seemste to have
The upper hande. What? upper hand? no no it is not so.
As wretched as my case doth seeme, yet have I left me mo
Than thou for all thy happinesse canst of thine owne account.
Even after all these corses yet I still doe thee surmount.
Upon the ende of these same wordes the twanging of the string
In letting of the Arrow flie was clearly heard: which thing
Made every one save Niobe afraide. Hir heart was so
With sorrowe hardned, that she grew more bolde. Hir daughters tho
Were standing all with mourning weede and hanging haire before
Their brothers coffins. One of them in pulling from the sore
An Arrow sticking in his heart, sanke downe upon hir brother
With mouth to mouth, and so did yeelde hir fleeting ghost. Another
In comforting the wretched case and sorrow of hir mother
Upon the sodaine helde hir peace. She stricken was within
With double wound: which caused hir hir talking for to blin
And shut hir mouth: but first hir ghost was gone. One all in vaine
Attempting for to scape by flight was in hir flying slaine.
Another on hir sisters corse doth tumble downe starke dead.
This quakes and trembles piteously, and she doth hide hir head.
And when that sixe with sundrye woundes dispatched were and gone,
At last as yet remained one: and for to save that one,
Hir mother with hir bodie whole did cling about hir fast,
And wrying hir did over hir hir garments wholy cast:
And cried out: O leave me one: this little one yet save:
Of many but this only one the least of all I crave.
But while she prayd, for whome she prayd was kild. Then down she sate
Bereft of all hir children quite, and drawing to hir fate,
Among hir daughters and hir sonnes and husband newly dead.
Hir cheekes waxt hard, the Ayre could stirre no haire upon hir head.
The colour of hir face was dim and clearly voide of blood,
And sadly under open lids hir eyes unmoved stood.
In all hir bodie was no life. For even hir verie tung
And palat of hir mouth was hard, and eche to other clung.
Hir Pulses ceased for to beate, hir necke did cease to bow,
Hir armes to stir, hir feete to go, all powre forwent as now.
And into stone hir verie wombe and bowels also bind.
But yet she wept: and being hoyst by force of whirling wind
Was caried into Phrygie. There upon a mountaines top
She weepeth still in stone. From stone the drerie teares do drop.
Then all both men and women fearde Latonas open ire I
And far with greater sumptuousnesse and earnester desire
Did worship the great majestie of this their Goddesse who
Did beare at once both Phebus and his sister Phebe too.
And through occasion of this chaunce, (as men are wont to do
In cases like) the people fell to telling things of old
Of whome a man among the rest this tale ensuing told.
The auncient folke that in the fieldes of fruitfull Lycia dwelt
Due penance also for their spight to this same Goddesse felt.
The basenesse of the parties makes the thing it selfe obscure.
Yet is the matter wonderfull. My selfe I you assure
Did presently beholde the Pond, and saw the very place
In which this wondrous thing was done. My father then in case,
Not able for to travell well by reason of his age,
To fetch home certaine Oxen thence made me to be his page,
Appointing me a countryman of Lycia to my guide.
With whome as I went plodding in the pasture groundes, I spide
Amids a certaine Pond an olde square Aultar colourd blacke
With cinder of the sacrifice that still upon it stacke.
About it round grew wavering Reedes. My guide anon did stay:
And softly, O be good to me, he in himselfe did say.
And I with like soft whispering did say, Be good to mee.
And then I askt him whether that the Altar wee did see
Belonged to the Waternymphes, or Faunes or other God
Peculiar to the place it selfe upon the which we yod.
He made me aunswere thus: My guest, no God of countrie race
Is in this Altar worshipped. That Goddesse claymes this place,
From whome the wife of mightie Jove did all the world forfend:
When wandring restlesse here and there full hardly in the end
Unsetled Delos did receyve then floting on the wave,
As tide and weather to and fro the swimming Iland drave.
There maugre Latona staying by a Date and Olyf tree that sted
In travail, of a paire of twinnes was safely brought abed.
And after hir delivrance folke report that she for feare
Of Junos wrath did flie from hence, and in hir armes did beare
Hir babes which afterwarde became two Gods. In which hir travell
In Sommer when the scorching Sunne is wont to burne the gravell
Of Lycie countrie where the fell Chymera hath his place,
The Goddesse wearie with the long continuance of hir race,
Waxt thirstie by the meanes of drought with going in the Sunne.
Hir babes had also suckt hir brestes as long as milke wold runne.
By chaunce she spide this little Pond of water here bylow.
And countrie Carles were gathering there these Osier twigs that grow
So thicke upon a shrubbie stalke: and of these rushes greene:
And flags that in these moorish plots so rife of growing beene.
She comming hither kneeled downe the water up to take
To coole hir thirst. The churlish cloynes forfended hir the Lake.
Then gently said the Goddesse: Sirs, why doe you me forfend
The water? Nature doth to all in common water send.
For neither Sunne, nor Ayre, nor yet the Water private bee,
I seeke but that which natures gift hath made to all things free.
And yet I humbly crave of you to graunt it unto mee.
I did not go about to wash my werie limmes and skin,
I would but only quench my thirst. My throte is scalt within
For want of moysture: and my chappes and lippes are parching drie:
And scarsly is there way for wordes to issue out thereby.
A draught of water will to me be heavenly Nectar now.
And sure I will confesse I have received life of you.
Yea in your giving of a drop of water unto mee,
The case so standeth as you shall preserve the lives of three.
Alas let these same sillie soules that in my bosome stretch
Their little armes (by chaunce hir babes their pretie dolles did retch)
To pitie move you. What is he so hard that would not yeeld
To this the gentle Goddesses entreatance meeke and meeld?
Yet they for all the humble wordes she could devise to say,
Continued in their willfull moode of churlish saying nay,
And threatned for to sende hir thence onlesse she went away,
Reviling hir most spightfully. And not contented so,
With handes and feete the standing Poole they troubled to and fro,
Until with trampling up and downe maliciously, the soft
And slimie mud that lay beneath was raised up aloft.
With that the Goddesse was so wroth that thirst was quight forgot.
And unto such unworthie Carles hirselfe she humbleth not:
Ne speaketh meaner wordes than might beseeme a Goddesse well.
But holding up hir handes to heaven: For ever mought you dwell
In this same Pond, she said: hir wish did take effect with speede.
For underneath the water they delight to be in deede.
Now dive they to the bottome downe, now up their heades they pop,
Another while with sprawling legs they swim upon the top.
And oftentimes upon the bankes they have a minde to stond,
And oftentimes from thence againe to leape into the Pond.
And there they now doe practise still their filthy tongues to scold
And shamelessely (though underneath the water) they doe hold
Their former wont of brawling still amid the water cold.
Their voices stil are hoarse and harsh, their throtes have puffed goles,
Their chappes with brawling widened are, their hammer headed Jowls
Are joyned to their shoulders just, the neckes of them doe seeme
Cut off, the ridgebone of their backe stickes up of colour greene.
Their paunch which is the greatest part of all their trunck is gray,
And so they up and downe the Pond made newly Frogges doe play.
When one of Lyce (I wote not who) had spoken in this sort,
Another of a Satyr streight began to make report,
Whome Phebus overcomming on a pipe (made late ago
By Pallas) put to punishment. Why flayest thou me so,
Alas, he cride, it irketh me. Alas a sorie pipe
Deserveth not so cruelly my skin from me to stripe.
For all his crying ore his eares quight pulled was his skin.
Nought else he was than one whole wounde. The griesly bloud did spin
From every part, the sinewes lay discovered to the eye,
The quivering veynes without a skin lay beating nakedly.
The panting bowels in his bulke ye might have numbred well,
And in his brest the shere small strings a man might easly tell.
The Countrie Faunes, the Gods of Woods, the Satyrs of his kin,
The Mount Olympus whose renowne did ere that time begin,
And all the Nymphes, and all that in those mountaines kept their sheepe,
Or grazed cattell thereabouts, did for this Satyr weepe.
The fruitfull earth waxt moyst therewith, and moysted did receyve
Their teares, and in hir bowels deepe did of the same conceyve.
And when that she had turned them to water, by and by
She sent them forth againe aloft to see the open Skie.
The River that doth rise thereof beginning there his race,
In verie deepe and shoring bankes to Seaward runnes apace
Through Phrygie, and according as the Satyr, so the streame
Is called Marsias, of the brookes the clearest in that Realme.
With such examples as these same the common folke returnde
To present things, and every man through all the Citie moornde
For that Amphion was destroyde with all his issue so.
But all the fault and blame was laide upon the mother tho.
For hir alonly Pelops mournde (as men report) and hee
In opening of his clothes did shewe that everie man might see
His shoulder on the left side bare of Ivorie for to bee.
This shoulder at his birth was like his tother both in hue
And flesh, untill his fathers handes most wickedly him slue,
And that the Gods when they his limmes againe togither drue,
To joyne them in their proper place and forme by nature due,
Did finde out all the other partes, save only that which grue
Betwene the throteboll and the arme, which when they could not get
This other made of Ivorie white in place therof they set
And by that meanes was Pelops made againe both whole and sound.
The neyghbor Princes thither came, and all the Cities round
About besought their Kings to go and comfort Thebe: as Arge
And Sparta, and Mycene which was under Pelops charge,
And Calydon unhated of the frowning Phebe yit,
The welthie towne Orchomenos, and Corinth which in it
Had famous men for workmanship in mettals: and the stout
Messene which full twentie yeares did hold besiegers out.
And Patre, and the lowly towne Cleona, Nelies Pyle,
And Troyzen not surnamed yet Pittheia for a while.
And all the other Borough townes and Cities which doe stand
Within the narrow balke at which two Seas doe meete at hand,
Or which do bound upon the balke without in maine firme land.
Alonly Athens (who would thinke?) did neither come nor send.
Warre barred them from courtesie the which they did entend.
The King of Pontus with an host of savage people lay
In siege before their famous waHes and curstly did them fray.
Untill that Tereus, King of Thrace, approching to their ayde,
Did vanquish him, and with renowne was for his labor payde.
And sith he was so puissant in men and ready coyne,
And came of mightie Marsis race, Pandion sought to joyne
Aliance with him by and by, and gave him to his Feere
His daughter Progne. At this match (as after will appeare)
Was neyther Juno, President of mariage wont to bee,
Nor Hymen, no nor any one of all the graces three.
The Furies snatching Tapers up that on some Herce did stande
Did light them, and before the Bride did beare them in their hande.
The Furies made the Bridegroomes bed. And on the house did rucke
A cursed Owle the messenger of yll successe and lucke.
And all the night time while that they were lying in their beds,
She sate upon the bedsteds top right over both their heds.
Such handsell Progne had the day that Tereus did hir wed.
Such handsell had they when that she was brought of childe abed.
All Thracia did rejoyce at them, and thankt their Gods, and willd
That both the day of Prognes match with Tereus should be hild
For feastfull, and the day likewise that Itys first was borne:
So little know we what behoves. The Sunne had now outworne
Five Harvests, and by course five times had run his yearly race,
When Progne flattring Tereus saide: If any love or grace
Betweene us be, send eyther me my sister for to see,
Or finde the meanes that hither she may come to visit mee.
You may assure your Fathrinlaw she shall againe returne
Within a while. Ye doe to me the highest great good turne
That can be, if you bring to passe I may my sister see.
Immediatly the King commaundes his shippes aflote to bee.
And shortly after, what with sayle and what with force of Ores,
In Athens haven he arrives and landes at Pyrey shores.
As soone as of his fathrinlaw the presence he obtainde,
And had of him bene courteously and friendly entertainde,
Unhappie handsell entred with their talking first togither.
The errandes of his wife, the cause of his then comming thither,
He had but new begon to tell, and promised that when
She had hir sister seene, she should with speede be sent agen:
When (see the chaunce) came Philomele in raiment very rich,
And yet in beautie farre more rich, even like the Fairies which
Reported are the pleasant woods and water springs to haunt,
So that the like apparell and attire to them you graunt.
King Tereus at the sight of hir did burne in his desire,
As if a man should chaunce to set a gulfe of come on fire,
Or burne a stacke of hay. Hir face in deede deserved love.
But as for him, to fleshly lust even nature did him move.
For of those countries commonly the people are above
All measure prone to lecherie. And therefore both by kinde
His flame encreast, and by his owne default of vicious minde.
He purposde fully to corrupt hir servants with reward:
Or for to bribe hir Nurce, that she should slenderly regarde
Hir dutie to hir mistresseward. And rather than to fayle,
The Ladie even hirselfe with gifts he minded to assayle,
And all his kingdome for to spend, or else by force of hand
To take hir, and in maintenance thereof by sword to stand.
There was not under heaven the thing but that he durst it prove,
So far unable was he now to stay his lawlesse love.
Delay was deadly. Backe againe with greedie minde he came
Of Prognes errands for to talke: and underneath the same
He workes his owne ungraciousnesse. Love gave him power to frame
His talke at will. As oft as he demaunded out of square,
Upon his wives importunate desire himselfe he bare.
He also wept: as though his wife had willed that likewise.
O God, what blindnesse doth the heartes of mortall men disguise?
By working mischiefe Tereus gets him credit for to seeme
A loving man, and winneth praise by wickednesse extreeme.
Yea and the foolish Philomele the selfesame thing desires.
Who hanging on hir fathers necke with flattring armes, requires
Against hir life and for hir life his licence for to go
To see hir sister. Tereus beholdes hir wistly tho,
And in beholding handles hir with heart. For when he saw
Hir kisse hir father, and about his necke hir armes to draw,
They all were spurres to pricke him forth, and wood to feede his fire,
And foode of forcing nourishment to further his desire.
As oft as she hir father did betweene hir armes embrace,
So often wished he himselfe hir father in that case.
For nought at all should that in him have wrought the greater grace.
Hir father could not say them nay, they lay at him so sore.
Right glad thereof was Philomele and thanked him therefore.
And wretched wench she thinkes she had obtained such a thing,
As both to Progne and hir selfe should joy and comfort bring,
When both of them in verie deede should afterward it rew.
To endward of his daily race and travell Phebus drew,
And on the shoring side of Heaven his horses downeward flew.
A princely supper was prepaarde, and wine in golde was set:
And after meate to take their rest the Princes did them get.
But though the King of Thrace that while were absent from hir sight,
Yet swelted he: and in his minde revolving all the night
Hir face, hir gesture, and hir hands, imaginde all the rest
(The which as yet he had not seene) as likte his fancie best.
He feedes his flames himselfe. No winke could come within his eyes,
For thinking ay on hir. As soone as day was in the skies,
Pandion holding in his hand the hand of Tereus prest
To go his way, and sheading teares betooke him thus his guest:
Deare sonneinlaw I give thee here (sith godly cause constraines)
This Damsell. By the faith that in thy Princely heart remaines,
And for our late aliance sake, and by the Gods above,
I humbly thee beseche that as a Father thou doe love
And maintaine hir, and that as soone as may be (all delay
Will unto me seeme over long) thou let hir come away,
The comfort of my carefull age on whome my life doth stay.
And thou my daughter Philomele (it is inough ywis
That from hir father set so farre thy sister Progne is)
If any sparke of nature doe within thy heart remayne,
With all the haaste and speede thou canst returne to me againe.
In giving charge he kissed hir: and downe his cheekes did raine
The tender teares, and as a pledge of faith he tooke the right
Handes of them both, and joyning them did eche to other plight,
Desiring them to beare in minde his commendations to
His daughter and hir little sonne. And then with much adoe
For sobbing, at the last he bad adew as one dismaid.
The foremisgiving of his minde did make him sore afraid.
As soone as Tereus and the Maide togither were aboord,
And that their ship from land with Ores was haled on the foord,
The fielde is ours, he cride aloude, I have the thing I sought
And up he skipt, so barbrous and so beastly was his thought,
That scarce even there he could forbeare his pleasure to have wrought.
His eye went never off of hir: as when the scarefull Erne
With hooked talants trussing up a Hare among the Ferne,
Hath laid hir in his nest, from whence the prisoner can not scape,
The ravening fowle with greedie eyes upon his pray doth gape.
Now was their journey come to ende: now were they gone aland
In Thracia, when that Tereus tooke the Ladie by the hand,
And led hir to a pelting graunge that peakishly did stand
In woods forgrowen. There waxing pale and trembling sore for feare,
And dreading all things, and with teares demaunding sadly where
Hir sister was, he shet hir up: and therewithall bewraide
His wicked lust, and so by force bicause she was a Maide
And all alone he vanquisht hir. It booted nought at all
That she on sister, or on Sire, or on the Gods did call.
She quaketh like the wounded Lambe which from the Wolves hore teeth
New shaken thinkes hir selfe not safe: or as the Dove that seeth
Hir fethers with hir owne bloud staynde, who shuddring still doth feare
The greedie Hauke that did hir late with griping talants teare.
Anon when that this mazednesse was somewhat overpast,
She rent hir haire, and beate hir brest, and up to heavenward cast
Hir hands in mourningwise, and said: O cankerd Carle, O fell
And cruell Tyrant, neyther could the godly teares that fell
Adowne my fathers cheekes when he did give thee charge of mee,
Ne of my sister that regarde that ought to be in thee,
Nor yet my chaaste virginitie, nor conscience of the lawe
Of wedlocke, from this villanie thy barbrous heart withdraw?
Is made a Cucqueane: and thy selfe through this offence of thee
Art made a husband to us both, and unto me a foe,
Behold thou hast confounded all. My sister thorough mee
A just deserved punishment for lewdly doing so.
But to th'intent, O perjurde wretch, no mischiefe may remaine
Unwrought by thee, why doest thou from murdring me refraine?
Would God thou had it done before this wicked rape. From hence
Then should my soule most blessedly have gone without offence.
But if the Gods doe see this deede, and if the Gods, I say,
Be ought, and in this wicked worlde beare any kinde of sway
And if with me all other things decay not, sure the day
Will come that for this wickednesse full dearly thou shalt pay.
Yea I my selfe rejecting shame thy doings will bewray.
And if I may have power to come abrode, them blase I will
In open face of all the world. Or if thou keepe me still
As prisoner in these woods, my voyce the verie woods shall fill,
And make the stones to understand. Let Heaven to this give care
And all the Gods and powers therein if any God be there.
The cruell tyrant being chaaft and also put in feare
With these and other such hir wordes, both causes so him stung,
That drawing out his naked sworde that at his girdle hung,
He tooke hir rudely by the haire, and wrung hir hands behind hir,
Compelling hir to holde them there while he himselfe did bind hir.
When Philomela sawe the sworde, she hoapt she should have dide,
And for the same hir naked throte she gladly did provide.
But as she yirnde and called ay upon hir fathers name,
And strived to have spoken still, the cruell tyrant came
And with a paire of pinsons fast did catch hir by the tung,
And with his sword did cut it off. The stumpe whereon it hung
Did patter still. The tip fell downe and quivering on the ground
As though that it had murmured it made a certaine sound.
And as an Adders tayle cut off doth skip a while: even so
The tip of Philomelaas tongue did wriggle to and fro,
And nearer to hir mistresseward in dying still did go.
And after this most cruell act, for certaine men report
That he (I scarcely dare beleve) did oftentimes resort
To maymed Philomela and abusde hir at his will:
Yet after all this wickednesse he keeping countnance still,
Durst unto Progne home repaire. And she immediatly
Demaunded where hir sister was. He sighing feynedly
Did tell hir falsly she was dead: and with his suttle teares
He maketh all his tale to seeme of credit in hir eares.
Hir garments glittring all with golde she from hir shoulders teares
And puts on blacke, and setteth up an emptie Herce, and keepes
A solemne obite for hir soule, and piteously she weepes
And waileth for hir sisters fate who was not in such wise
As that was, for to be bewailde. The Sunne had in the Skies
Past through the twelve celestiall signes, and finisht full a yeare.
But what should Philomela doe? She watched was so neare
That start she could not for hir life. The walles of that same graunge
Were made so high of maine hard stone, that out she could not raunge.
Againe hir tunglesse mouth did want the utterance of the fact.
Great is the wit of pensivenesse, and when the head is rakt
With hard misfortune, sharpe forecast of practise entereth in.
A warpe of white upon a frame of Thracia she did pin,
And weaved purple letters in betweene it, which bewraide
The wicked deede of Tereus. And having done, she praide
A certaine woman by hir signes to beare them to hir mistresse.
She bare them and deliverde them not knowing nerethelesse
What was in them. The Tyrants wife unfolded all the clout,
And of hir wretched fortune red the processe whole throughout.
She held hir peace (a wondrous thing it is she should so doe)
But sorrow tide hir tongue, and wordes agreeable unto
Hir great displeasure were not at commaundment at that stound.
And weepe she could not. Ryght and wrong she reckeneth to confound,
And on revengement of the deede hir heart doth wholy ground.
It was the time that wives of Thrace were wont to celebrate
The three yeare rites of Bacchus which were done a nighttimes late.
A nighttimes soundeth Rhodope of tincling pannes and pots:
A nighttimes giving up hir house abrode Queene Progne trots
Disguisde like Bacchus other froes and armed to the proofe
With all the frenticke furniture that serves for that behoofe.
Hir head was covered with a vine. About hir loose was tuckt
A Reddeeres skin, a lightsome Launce upon hir shoulder ruckt.
In post gaddes terrible Progne through the woods, and at hir heeles
A flocke of froes. And where the sting of sorrow which she feeles
Enforceth hir to furiousnesse, she feynes it to proceede
Of Bacchus motion. At the length she finding out in deede
The outset Graunge howlde out, and cride, Now well, and open brake
The gates, and streight hir sister thence by force of hand did take,
And veyling hir in like attire of Bacchus, hid hir head
With Ivie leaves, and home to Court hir sore amazed led.
As soone as Philomela wist she set hir foote within
That cursed house, the wretched soule to shudther did begin,
And all hir face waxt pale. Anon hir sister getting place
Did pull off Bacchus mad attire, and making bare hir face
Embraced hir betweene hir armes. But she considering that
Queene Progne was a Cucqueane made by meanes of hir, durst nat
Once raise hir eyes: but on the ground fast fixed helde the same.
And where she woulde have taken God to witnesse that the shame
And villanie was wrought to hir by violence, she was fayne
To use hir hand in stead of speache. Then Progne chaaft amaine,
And was not able in hir selfe hir choler to restraine.
But blaming Philomela for hir weeping, said these wordes:
Thou must not deale in this behalfe with weeping, but with swordes:
Or with some thing of greater force than swords. For my part, I
Am readie, yea and fully bent all mischiefe for to trie.
This pallace will I eyther set on fire, and in the same
Bestow the cursed Tereus the worker of our shame:
Or pull away his tongue: or put out both his eyes: or cut
Away those members which have thee to such dishonor put:
Or with a thousand woundes expulse that sinfull soule of his.
The thing that I doe purpose on is great, what ere it is.
I know not what it may be yet. While Progne hereunto
Did set hir minde, came Itys in, who taught hir what to doe.
She staring on him cruelly, said: Ah, how like thou art
Thy wicked father, and without moe wordes a sorowfull part
She purposed, such inward ire was boyling in hir heart.
But notwithstanding when hir sonne approched to hir neare,
And lovingly had greeted hir by name of mother deare,
And with his pretie armes about the necke had hugde hir fast,
And flattring wordes with childish toyes in kissing forth had cast,
The mothers heart of hirs was then constreyned to relent,
Asswaged wholy was the rage to which she erst was bent,
And from hir eyes against hir will the teares enforced went.
But when she saw how pitie did compell hir heart to yeelde,
She turned to hir sisters face from Itys, and behelde
Now t'one, now tother earnestly and said: Why tattles he
And she sittes dumbe bereft of tongue? as well why calles not she
Me sister, as this boy doth call me mother? Seest thou not,
Thou daughter of Pandion, what a husband thou hast got?
Thou growest wholy out of kinde. To such a husband as
Is Tereus, pitie is a sinne. No more delay there was.
She dragged Itys after hir, as when it happes in Inde
A Tyger gets a little Calfe that suckes upon a Hynde
And drags him through the shadie woods. And when that they had found
A place within the house far off and far above the ground,
Then Progne strake him with a sword now plainly seeing whother
He should, and holding up his handes, and crying mother, mother,
And flying to hir necke: even where the brest and side doe bounde,
And never turnde away hir face. Inough had bene that wound
Alone to bring him to his ende. The tother sister slit
His throte. And while some life and soule was in his members yit,
In gobbits they them rent: whereof were some in Pipkins boyld,
And other some on hissing spits against the fire were broyld,
And with the gellied bloud of him was all the chamber foyld.
To this same banquet Progne bade hir husband knowing nought
Nor nought mistrusting of the harme and lewdnesse she had wrought.
And feyning a solemnitie according to the guise
Of Athens, at the which there might be none in any wise
Besides hir husband and hir selfe, she banisht from the same
Hir householde folke and sojourners, and such as guestwise came.
King Tereus sitting in the throne of his forefathers, fed
And swallowed downe the selfesame flesh that of his bowels bred.
And he (so blinded was his heart) Fetch Itys hither, sed.
No lenger hir most cruell joy dissemble could the Queene.
But of hir murther coveting the messenger to beene,
She said: The thing thou askest for, thou hast within. About
He looked round, and asked where? To put him out of dout,
As he was yet demaunding where, and calling for him: out
Lept Philomele with scattred haire aflaight like one that fled
Had from some fray where slaughter was, and threw the bloudy head
Of Itys in his fathers face. And never more was shee
Desirous to have had hir speache, that able she might be
Hir inward joy with worthie wordes to witnesse franke and free.
The tyrant with a hideous noyse away the table shoves:
And reeres the fiends from Hell. One while with yawning mouth he proves
To perbrake up his meate againe, and cast his bowels out.
Another while with wringing handes he weeping goes about.
And of his sonne he termes himselfe the wretched grave. Anon
With naked sword and furious heart he followeth fierce upon
Pandions daughters. He that had bene present would have deemde
Their bodies to have hovered up with fethers. As they seemde,
So hovered they with wings in deede. Of whome the one away
To woodward flies, the other still about the house doth stay.
And of their murther from their brestes not yet the token goth,
For even still yet are stainde with bloud the fethers of them both.
And he through sorrow and desire of vengeance waxing wight,
Became a Bird upon whose top a tuft of feathers light
In likenesse of a Helmets crest doth trimly stand upright.
In stead of his long sword, his bill shootes out a passing space:
A Lapwing named is this Bird, all armed seemes his face.
The sorrow of this great mischaunce did stop Pandions breath
Before his time, and long ere age determinde had his death.
Erecthey reigning after him the government did take:
A Prince of such a worthinesse as no man well can make
Resolution, if he more in armes or justice did excell.
Foure sonnes, and daughters foure he had. Of which a couple well
Did eche in beautie other match. The one of these whose name
Was Procris unto Cephalus, King Aeolus sonne, became
A happie wife. The Thracians and King Tereus were a let
To Boreas: so that long it was before the God could gt
His dearbeloved Orithya, while trifling he did stand
With faire entreatance rather than did use the force of hand.
But when he saw he no reliefe by gentle meanes could finde,
Then turning unto boystous wrath (which unto that same winde
Is too familiar and too much accustomed by kinde)
He said: I served am but well: for whylaid I apart
My proper weapons, fiercenesse, force, and ire, and cruell hart?
And fell to fauning like a foole, which did me but disgrace?
For me is violence meete. Through this the pestred cloudes I chace.
Through this I tosse the Seas. Through this I turne up knottie Okes,
And harden Snow, and beate the ground in hayle with sturdie strokes,
When I my brothers chaunce to get in open Ayre and Skie.
(For that is my fielde in the which my maisteries I doe trie)
I charge upon them with such brunt, that of our meeting smart
The Heaven betweene us soundes, and from the hollow Cloudes doth start
Enforced fire. And when I come in holes of hollow ground,
And fiersly in those emptie caves doe rouse my backe up round,
I trouble even the ghostes, and make the verie world to quake.
This helpe in wooing of my wife (to speede) I should have take.
Erecthey should not have bene prayde my Fatherinlaw to bee:
He should have bene compelde thereto by stout extremitie.
In speaking these or other wordes as sturdie, Boreas gan
To flaske his wings. With waving of the which he raysed than
So great a gale, that all the earth was blasted therewithall,
And troubled was the maine brode Sea. And as he traylde his pall
Bedusted over highest tops of things, he swept the ground.
And having now in smokie cloudes himselfe enclosed round,
Betweene his duskie wings he caught Orithya straught for feare,
And like a lover, verie soft and easly did hir beare.
And as he flew, the flames of love enkindled more and more
By meanes of stirring. Neither did he stay his flight before
He came within the land and towne of Cicons with his pray.
And there soone after being made his wife she hapt to lay
Hir belly, and a paire of boyes she at a burthen brings,
Who else in all resembled full their mother, save in wings
The which they of their father tooke. Howbeit (by report)
They were not borne with wings upon their bodies in this sort.
While Calais and Zetes had no beard upon their chin,
They both were callow. But as soone as haire did once begin
In likenesse of a yellow Downe upon their cheekes to sprout,
Then (even as comes to passe in Birdes) the feathers budded out
Togither on their pinyons too, and spreaded round about
On both their sides. And finally when childhod once was spent
And youth come on, togither they with other Minyes went
To Colchos in the Galley that was first devisde in Greece,
Upon a sea as then unknowen, to fetch the golden fleece.
Finis sexti Libri.