Metamorphoses (tr. Golding)/Book 9
¶ THE NINTH BOOKE
of Ouids Metamorphosis
hat ayleth thee (quoth Theseus) to sygh so sore? and how
Befell it thee to get this mayme that is uppon thy brow?
The noble streame of Calydon made answer, who did weare
A Garland made of reedes and flags upon his sedgie heare:
A greeveus pennance you enjoyne. For who would gladly show
The combats in the which himself did take the overthrow?
Yit will I make a just report in order of the same.
For why? to have the woorser hand was not so great a shame,
As was the honor such a match to undertake. And much
It comforts mee that he who did mee overcome, was such
A valiant champion. If perchaunce you erst have heard the name
Of Deyanyre, the fayrest Mayd that ever God did frame
Shee was in myne opinion. And the hope to win her love
Did mickle envy and debate among hir wooers move.
With whome I entring to the house of him that should have bee
My fathrilaw: Parthaons sonne (I sayd) accept thou mee
Thy Sonnylaw. And Hercules in selfsame sort did woo.
And all the other suters streight gave place unto us two.
He vaunted of his father Ioue, and of his famous deedes,
And how ageinst his stepdames spyght his prowesse still proceedes.
And I ageine a toother syde sayd thus: It is a shame
That God should yeeld to man. (This stryfe was long ere he became
A God). Thou seeist mee a Lord of waters in thy Realme
Where I in wyde and wynding banks doo beare my flowing streame.
No straunger shalt thou have of mee sent farre from forreine land:
But one of household, or at least a neyghbour heere at hand.
Alonly let it bee to mee no hindrance that the wyfe
Of Jove abhorres mee not, ne that upon the paine of lyfe
Shee sets mee not to talk. For where thou bostest thee to bee
Alcmenas sonne, Ioue eyther is not father unto thee:
Or if he bee it is by sin. In making Ioue thy father,
Thou maakst thy mother but a whore. Now choose thee whither rather
Thou had to graunt this tale of Ioue surmised for to bee,
Or else thy selfe begot in shame and borne in bastardee.
At that he grimly bendes his browes, and much adoo he hath
To hold his hands, so sore his hart inflamed is with wrath.
He said no more but thus: My hand dooth serve mee better than
My toong. Content I am (so I in feighting vanquish can)
That thou shalt overcome in wordes. And therewithall he gan
Mee feercely to assaile. Mee thought it was a shame for mee
That had even now so stoutly talkt, in dooings faint to bee.
I casting off my greenish cloke thrust stifly out at length
Mine armes and streynd my pawing armes to hold him out by strength,
And framed every limme to cope. With both his hollow hands
He caught up dust and sprincked mee: and I likewise with sands
Made him all yelow too. One whyle hee at my necke dooth snatch
Another whyle my cleere crisp legges he striveth for to catch,
Or trippes at mee: and everywhere the vauntage he dooth watch.
My weightinesse defended mee, and cleerly did disfeate
His stoute assaults as when a wave with hideous noyse dooth beate
Against a Rocke, the Rocke dooth still both sauf and sound abyde
By reason of his massinesse. Wee drew a whyle asyde.
And then incountring fresh ageine, wee kept our places stowt
Full minded not to yeeld an inch, but for to hold it owt.
Now were wee stonding foote to foote. And I with all my brest
Was leaning forward, and with head ageinst his head did rest,
And with my gryping fingars I ageinst his fingars thrust.
So have I seene two myghtie Bulles togither feercely just
In seeking as their pryse to have the fayrest Cow in all
The feeld to bee their make, and all the herd bothe greate and small
Stand gazing on them fearfully not knowing unto which
The conquest of so greate a gayne shall fall. Three tymes a twich
Gave Hercules and could not wrinch my leaning brest him fro
But at the fourth he shooke mee off and made mee to let go
My hold: and with a push (I will tell truthe) he had a knacke
To turne me off, and heavily he hung upon my backe.
And if I may beleeved bee (as sure I meene not I
To vaunt my selfe vayngloriusly by telling of a lye,)
Mee thought a mountaine whelmed me. But yit with much adoo
I wrested in my sweating armes, and hardly did undoo
His griping hands. He following still his vauntage, suffred not
Mee once to breath or gather strength, but by and by he got
Mee by the necke. Then was I fayne to sinke with knee to ground,
And kisse the dust. Now when in strength too weake myself I found,
I tooke mee to my slights, and slipt in shape of Snake away
Of wondrous length. And when that I of purpose him to fray
Did bend myself in swelling rolles, and made a hideous noyse
Of hissing with my forked toong, he smyling at my toyes,
And laughing them to scorne sayd thus: It is my Cradle game
To vanquish Snakes, O Acheloy. Admit thou overcame
All other Snakes, yet what art thou compared to the Snake
Of Lerna, who by cutting off did still encreasement take?
For of a hundred heades not one so soone was paarde away,
But that uppon the stump therof there budded other tway.
This sprouting Snake whose braunching heads by slaughter did revive
And grow by cropping, I subdewd, and made it could not thryve.
And thinkest thou (who being none wouldst seeme a Snake) to scape?
Who doost with foorged weapons feyght and under borowed shape?
This sayd, his fingars of my necke he fastned in the nape.
Mee thought he graand my throte as though he did with pinsons nip.
I struggled from his churlish thumbes my pinched chappes to slip
But doo the best and worst I could he overcame mee so.
Then thirdly did remayne the shape of Bull, and quickly tho
I turning to the shape of Bull rebelld ageinst my fo.
He stepping to my left syde cloce, did fold his armes about
My wattled necke, and following mee then running maynely out
Did drag mee backe, and made mee pitch my hornes against the ground,
And in the deepest of the sand he overthrew mee round.
And yit not so content, such hold his cruell hand did take
Uppon my welked horne, that he asunder quight it brake,
And pulld it from my maymed brew. The waterfayries came
And filling it with frute and flowres did consecrate the same,
And so my horne the Tresory of plenteousnesse became.
As soone as Acheloy had told this tale a wayting Mayd
With flaring heare that lay on both hir shoulders and arrayd
Like one of Dame Dianas Nymphes with solemne grace forth came
And brought that rich and precious horne, and heaped in the same
All kynd of frutes that Harvest sendes, and specially such frute
As serves for latter course at meales of every sort and sute.
As soone as daylight came ageine, and that the Sunny rayes
Did shyne upon the tops of things, the Princes went their wayes.
They would not tarry till the floud were altogither falne
And that the River in his banks ran low ageine and calme.
Then Acheloy amid his waves his Crabtree face did hyde
And head disarmed of a home.
And though he did abyde
In all parts else bothe sauf and sound, yit this deformitye
Did cut his comb: and for to hyde this blemish from the eye
He hydes his hurt with Sallow leaves, or else with sedge and reede.
But of the selfsame Mayd the love killd thee, feerce Nesse, in deede,
When percing swiftly through thy back an arrow made thee bleede.
For as Joves issue with his wyfe was onward on his way
In going to his countryward, enforst he was to stay
At swift Euenus bank, bycause the streame was risen sore
Above his bounds through rage of rayne that fell but late before.
Agein so full of whoorlpooles and of gulles the channell was,
That scarce a man could any where fynd place of passage. As
Not caring for himself but for his wyfe he there did stand,
This Nessus came unto him (who was strong of body and
Knew well the foordes), and sayd: Use thou thy strength, O Hercules,
In swimming. I will fynd the meanes this Ladie shall with ease
Bee set uppon the further bank. So Hercules betooke
His wyfe to Nessus. Shee for feare of him and of the brooke
Lookte pale. Her husband as he had his quiver by his syde
Of arrowes full, and on his backe his heavy Lyons hyde,
(For to the further bank he erst his club and bow had cast)
Said: Sith I have begonne, this brooke bothe must and shalbee past.
He never casteth further doubts, nor seekes the calmest place,
But through the roughest of the streame he cuts his way apace.
Now as he on the furthersyde was taking up his bow,
His heard his wedlocke shreeking out, and did hir calling know:
And cryde to Nesse (who went about to deale unfaythfully
In running with his charge away): Whoa, whither doost thou fly,
Thou Royster thou, uppon vaine hope by swiftnesse to escape
My hands? I say give eare thou Nesse for all thy double shape,
And meddle not with that thats myne. Though no regard of mee
Might move thee to refrayne from rape, thy father yit might bee
A warning, who for offring shame to Juno now dooth feele
Continuall torment in his limbes by turning on a wheele.
For all that thou hast horses feete which doo so bolde thee make,
Yit shalt thou not escape my hands. I will thee overtake
With wound and not with feete. He did according as he spake.
For with an arrow as he fled he strake him through the backe,
And out before his brist ageine the hooked iron stacke.
And when the same was pulled out, the blood amayne ensewd
At both the holes with poyson foule of Lerna Snake embrewd:
This blood did Nessus take, and said within himselfe: Well: sith
I needes must dye, yet will I not dye unrevendgd. And with
The same he staynd a shirt, and gave it unto Dyanyre,
Assuring hir it had the powre to kindle Cupids fyre.
A greate whyle after when the deedes of worthy Hercules
Were such as filled all the world, and also did appease
The hatred of his stepmother, as he uppon a day
With conquest from Oechalia came, and was abowt to pay
His vowes to Jove uppon the Mount of Cenye, tatling fame
(Who in reporting things of truth delyghts to sauce the same
With tales, and of a thing of nowght dooth ever greater grow
Through false and newly forged lyes that shee hirself dooth sow)
Told Dyanyre that Hercules did cast a liking to
A Ladie called Iolee. And Dyanyra (whoo
Was jealous over Hercules,) gave credit to the same.
And when that of a Leman first the tidings to hir came,
She being striken to the hart, did fall to teares alone,
And in a lamentable wise did make most wofull mone.
Anon she said: what meene theis teares thus gushing from myne eyen?
My husbands Leman will rejoyce at theis same teares of myne.
Nay, sith she is to come, the best it were to shonne delay,
And for to woork sum new devyce and practyse whyle I may,
Before that in my bed her limbes the filthy strumpet lay.
And shall I then complayne? or shall I hold my toong with skill?
Shall I returne to Calydon? or shall I tarry still?
Or shall I get me out of doores, and let them have their will?
What if that I (Meleager) remembring mee to bee
Thy suster, to attempt sum act notorious did agree?
And in a harlots death did shew (that all the world myght see)
What greef can cause the womankynd to enterpryse among?
And specially when thereunto they forced are by wrong.
With wavering thoughts ryght violently her mynd was tossed long.
At last shee did preferre before all others, for to send
The shirt bestayned with the blood of Nessus to the end
To quicken up the quayling love. And so not knowing what
She gave, she gave her owne remorse and greef to Lychas that
Did know as little as herself: and wretched woman, shee
Desyrd him gently to her Lord presented it to see.
The noble Prince receyving it without mistrust therein,
Did weare the poyson of the Snake of Lerna next his skin.
To offer incense and to pray to Jove he did begin,
And on the Marble Altar he full boawles of wyne did shed,
When as the poyson with the heate resolving, largely spred
Through all the limbes of Hercules. As long as ere he could,
The stoutnesse of his hart was such, that sygh no whit he would.
But when the mischeef grew so great all pacience to surmount,
He thrust the altar from him streight, and filled all the mount
Of Oeta with his roring out. He went about to teare
The deathfull garment from his backe, but where he pulled, there
He pulld away the skin: and (which is lothsum to report)
It eyther cleaved to his limbes and members in such sort
As that he could not pull it off, or else it tare away
The flesh, that bare his myghty bones and grisly sinewes lay.
The scalding venim boyling in his blood, did make it hisse,
As when a gad of steel red hot in water quenched is.
There was no measure of his paine. The frying venim hent
His inwards, and a purple swet from all his body went.
His sindged sinewes shrinking crakt, and with a secret strength
The povson even within his bones the Maree melts at length.
And holding up his hands to heaven, he sayd, with hideous reere:
O Saturnes daughter, feede thy selfe on my distresses heere.
Yea feede, and, cruell wyght, this plage behold thou from above
And glut thy savage hart therewith. Or if thy fo may move
Thee unto pitie, (for to thee I am an utter fo)
Bereeve mee of my hatefull soule distrest with helplesse wo,
And borne to endlesse toyle. For death shall unto mee bee sweete,
And for a cruell stepmother is death a gift most meetc.
And is it I that did destroy Busiris, who did foyle
His temple floores with straungers blood? Ist I that did dispoyle
Antaeus of his mothers help? Ist I that could not bee
Abashed at the Spanyard who in one had bodies three?
Nor at the trypleheaded shape, O Cerberus, of thee?
Are you the hands that by the homes the Bull of Candie drew?
Did you king Augies stable clenze whom afterward yee slew?
Are you the same by whom the fowles were scaard from Stymphaly?
Caught you the Stag in Maydenwood which did not runne but fly?
Are you the hands whose puissance receyved for your pay
The golden belt of Thermodon? Did you convey away
The Apples from the Dragon fell that waked nyght and day?
Ageinst the force of mee, defence the Centaures could not make,
Nor yit the Boare of Arcadie: nor yit the ougly Snake
Of Lerna, who by losse did grow and dooble force still take.
What? is it I that did behold the pampyred Jades of Thrace
With Maungers full of flesh of men on which they fed apace?
Ist I that downe at syght thereof theyr greazy Maungers threw,
And bothe the fatted Jades themselves and eke their mayster slew?
The Nemean Lyon by theis armes lyes dead uppon the ground.
Theis armes the monstruous Giant Cake by Tyber did confound.
Uppon theis shoulders have I borne the weyght of all the skie.
Joves cruell wyfe is weerye of commaunding mee. Yit I
Unweerie am of dooing still. But now on mee is lyght
An uncoth plage, which neyther force of hand, nor vertues myght,
Nor Arte is able to resist. Like wasting fyre it spreedes
Among myne inwards, and through out on all my body feedes.
But all this whyle Eurysthye lives in health. And sum men may
Beeleve there bee sum Goddes in deede. Thus much did Hercule say.
And wounded over Oeta hygh, he stalking gan to stray,
As when a Bull in maymed bulk a deadly dart dooth beare,
And that the dooer of the deede is shrunke asyde for feare.
Oft syghing myght you him have seene, oft trembling, oft about
To teare the garment with his hands from top to toe throughout,
And throwing downe the myghtye trees, and chaufing with the hilles,
Or casting up his handes to heaven where Jove his father dwelles.
Behold as Lychas trembling in a hollow rock did lurk,
He spyed him. And as his greef did all in furie woork,
He sayd: Art thou, syr Lychas, he that broughtest unto mee
This plagye present? of my death must thou the woorker bee?
Hee quaakt and shaakt, and looked pale, and fearfully gan make
Excuse. But as with humbled hands hee kneeling to him spake,
The furious Hercule caught him up, and swindging him about
His head a halfe a doozen tymes or more, he floong him out
Into th'Euboyan sea with force surmounting any sling.
He hardened into peble stone as in the ayre he hing.
And even as rayne conjeald by wynd is sayd to turne to snowe,
And of the snow round rolled up a thicker masse to growe,
Which falleth downe in hayle: so men in auncient tyme report,
That Lychas beeing swindgd about by violence in that sort,
(His blood then beeing drayned out, and having left at all
No moysture,) into peble stone was turned in his fall.
Now also in th'Euboyan sea appeeres a hygh short rocke
In shape of man ageinst the which the shipmen shun to knocke,
As though it could them feele, and they doo call it by the name
Of Lychas still. But thou Joves imp of great renowme and fame,
Didst fell the trees of Oeta high, and making of the same
A pyle, didst give to Poeans sonne thy quiver and thy bow,
And arrowes which should help agein Troy towne to overthrow.
He put to fyre, and as the same was kindling in the pyle,
Thy selfe didst spred thy Lyons skin upon the wood the whyle,
And leaning with thy head ageinst thy Club, thou laydst thee downe
As cheerfully, as if with flowres and garlonds on thy crowne
Thou hadst beene set a banquetting among full cups of wyne.
Anon on every syde about those carelesse limbes of thyne
The fyre began to gather strength, and crackling noyse did make,
Assayling him whose noble hart for daliance did it take.
The Goddes for this defender of the earth were sore afrayd
To whom with cheerefull countnance Jove perceyving it thus sayd:
This feare of yours is my delyght, and gladly even with all
My hart I doo rejoyce, O Gods, that mortall folk mee call
Their king and father, thinking mee ay myndfull of their weale,
And that myne offspring should doo well your selves doo show such zeale.
For though that you doo attribute your favor to desert,
Considring his most woondrous acts: yit I too for my part
Am bound unto you. Nerethelesse, for that I would not have
Your faythfull harts without just cause in fearfull passions wave,
I would not have you of the flames in Oeta make account.
For as he hath all other things, so shall he them surmount.
Save only on that part that he hath taken of his mother,
The fyre shall have no power at all. Eternall is the tother,
The which he takes of mee, and cannot dye, ne yeeld to fyre.
When this is rid of earthly drosse, then will I lift it hygher,
And take it unto heaven: and I beleeve this deede of myne
Will gladsome bee to all the Gods. If any doo repyne,
If any doo repyne, I say, that Hercule should become
A God, repyne he still for mee, and looke he sowre and glum.
But let him know that Hercules deserveth this reward,
And that he shall ageinst his will alow it afterward.
The Gods assented everychone. And Juno seemd to make
No evill countnance to the rest, untill hir husband spake
The last. For then her looke was such as well they might perceyve,
Shee did her husbands noting her in evil part conceyve.
Whyle Jove was talking with the Gods, as much as fyre could waste
So much had fyre consumde. And now, O Hercules, thou haste
No carkesse for to know thee by. That part is quyght bereft
Which of thy mother thou didst take. Alonly now is left
The likenesse that thou tookst of Jove. And as the Serpent slye
In casting of his withered slough, renewes his yeeres thereby,
And wexeth lustyer than before, and looketh crisp and bryght
With scoured scales: so Hercules as soone as that his spryght
Had left his mortall limbes, gan in his better part to thryve,
And for to seeme a greater thing than when he was alyve,
And with a stately majestie ryght reverend to appeere.
His myghty father tooke him up above the cloudy spheere,
And in a charyot placed him among the streaming starres.
Huge Atlas felt the weyght thereof. But nothing this disbarres
Eurysthyes malice. Cruelly he prosecutes the hate
Uppon the offspring, which he bare ageinst the father late.
But yit to make her mone unto and wayle her miserie
And tell her sonnes great woorkes, which all the world could testifie,
Old Alcmen had Dame Iolee. By Hercules last will
In wedlocke and in hartie love shee joyned was to Hill,
By whome shee then was big with chyld: when thus Alcmena sayd:
The Gods at least bee mercifull and send thee then theyr ayd,
And short thy labor, when the fruite the which thou goste withall
Now beeing rype enforceth thee wyth fearfull voyce to call
Uppon Ilithya, president of chyldbirthes, whom the ire
Of Juno at my travailing made deaf to my desire.
For when the Sun through twyce fyve signes his course had fully run,
And that the paynfull day of birth approched of my sonne,
My burthen strayned out my wombe, and that that I did beare
Became so greate, that of so huge a masse yee well myght sweare
That Jove was father. Neyther was I able to endure
The travail any lenger tyme. Even now I you assure
In telling it a shuddring cold through all my limbes dooth strike,
And partly it renewes my peynes to thinke uppon the like.
I beeing in most cruell throwes nyghts seven and dayes eke seven,
And tyred with continuall pangs, did lift my hands to heaven,
And crying out aloud did call Lucina to myne ayd,
To loose the burthen from my wombe. Shee came as I had prayd:
But so corrupted long before by Juno my most fo,
That for to martir mee to death with peyne she purposde tho.
For when shee heard my piteous plaints and gronings, downe shee sate
On yon same altar which you see there standing at my gate.
Upon her left knee shee had pitcht her right ham, and besyde
Shee stayd the birth with fingars one within another tyde
In lattiswyse. And secretly she whisperde witching spells
Which hindred my deliverance more than all her dooings ells.
I labord still: and forst by payne and torments of my Fitts,
I rayld on Jove (although in vayne) as one besyde her witts.
And av I wished for to dye. The woords that I did speake,
Were such as even the hardest stones of very flint myght breake.
The wyves of Thebee beeing there, for sauf deliverance prayd
And giving cheerfull woords, did bid I should not bee dismayd.
Among the other women there that to my labor came,
There was an honest yeomans wyfe, Galantis was her name.
Her heare was yellow as the gold, she was a jolly Dame.
And stoutly served mee, and I did love her for the same.
This wyfe (I know not how) did smell some packing gone about
On Junos part. And as she oft was passing in and out,
Shee spyde Lucina set uppon the altar holding fast
Her armes togither on her knees, and with her fingars cast
Within ech other on a knot, and sayd unto her thus:
I pray you who so ere you bee, rejoyce you now with us,
My Lady Alcmen hath her wish, and sauf is brought abed.
Lucina leaped up amazde at that that shee had sed,
And let her hands asunder slip. And I immediatly
With loosening of the knot, had sauf deliverance by and by.
They say that in deceyving Dame Lucina Galant laught.
And therfore by the yellow locks the Goddesse wroth hir caught,
And dragged her. And as she would have risen from the ground,
She kept her downe, and into legges her armes shee did confound.
Her former stoutnesse still remaynes: her backe dooth keepe the hew
That erst was in her heare: her shape is only altered new.
And for with lying mouth shee helpt a woman laboring, shee
Dooth kindle also at her mouth. And now she haunteth free
Our houses as shee did before, a Weasle as wee see.
With that shee syghes to think uppon her servants hap, and then
Her daughtrinlaw immediatly replied thus agen:
But mother, shee whose altred shape dooth move your hart so sore,
Was neyther kith nor kin to you. What will you say therefore,
If of myne owne deere suster I the woondrous fortune show,
Although my sorrow and the teares that from myne eyes doo flow,
Doo hinder mee, and stop my speeche? Her mother (you must know
My father by another wyfe had mee) bare never mo
But this same Ladie Dryopee, the fayrest Ladye tho
In all the land of Oechalye. Whom beeing then no mayd
(For why the God of Delos and of Delphos had her frayd)
Andraemon taketh to hys wyfe, and thinkes him well apayd.
There is a certaine leaning Lake whose bowing banks doo show
A likenesse of the salt sea shore. Uppon the brim doo grow
All round about it Mirtletrees. My suster thither goes
Unwares what was her destinie, and (which you may suppose
Was more to bee disdeyned at) the cause of comming there
Was to the fayries of the Lake fresh garlonds for to beare.
And in her armes a babye her sweete burthen shee did hold.
Who sucking on her brest was yit not full a twelvemoonth old.
Not farre from this same pond did grow a Lote tree florisht gay
With purple flowres and beries sweete, and leaves as greene as Bay.
Of theis same flowres to please her boy my suster gathered sum,
And I had thought to doo so too, for I was thither cum.
I saw how from the slivered flowres red drops of blood did fall,
And how that shuddring horribly the braunches quaakt withall.
You must perceyve that (as too late the Countryfolk declare)
A Nymph cald Lotos flying from fowle Pryaps filthy ware,
Was turned into this same tree reserving still her name.
My suster did not know so much, who when shee backward came
Afrayd at that that shee had seene, and having sadly prayd
The Nymphes of pardon, to have gone her way agen assayd:
Her feete were fastned downe with rootes. Shee stryved all she myght
To plucke them up, but they so sure within the earth were pyght,
That nothing save her upper partes shee could that present move.
A tender barke growes from beneath up leysurly above,
And softly overspreddes her loynes, which when shee saw, shee went
About to teare her heare, and full of leaves her hand shee hent.
Her head was overgrowen with leaves. And little Amphise (so
Had Eurytus his Graundsyre naamd her sonne not long ago)
Did feele his mothers dugges wex hard. And as he still them drew
In sucking, not a whit of milke nor moysture did ensew.
I standing by thee did behold thy cruell chaunce: but nought
I could releeve thee, suster myne. Yit to my powre I wrought
To stay the growing of thy trunk and of thy braunches by
Embracing thee. Yea I protest I would ryght willingly
Have in the selfesame barke with thee bene closed up. Behold,
Her husband, good Andraemon, and her wretched father, old
Sir Eurytus came thither and enquyrd for Dryopee.
And as they askt for Dryopee, I shewd them Lote the tree.
They kist the wood which yit was warme, and falling downe bylow,
Did hug the rootes of that their tree. My suster now could show
No part which was not wood except her face. A deawe of teares
Did stand uppon the wretched leaves late formed of her heares.
And whyle she might, and whyle her mouth did give her way to speake,
With such complaynt as this, her mynd shee last or all did breake:
If credit may bee given to such as are in wretchednesse,
I sweare by God I never yit deserved this distresse.
I suffer peyne without desert. My lyfe hath guiltlesse beene.
And if I lye, I would theis boughes of mine which now are greene,
Myght withered bee, and I heawen downe and burned in the fyre.
This infant from his mothers wombe remove you I desyre:
And put him forth to nurce, and cause him underneath my tree
Oft tymes to sucke, and oftentymes to play. And when that hee
Is able for to speake I pray you let him greete mee heere,
And sadly say: in this same trunk is hid my mother deere.
But lerne him for to shun all ponds and pulling flowres from trees,
And let him in his heart beleeve that all the shrubs he sees,
Are bodyes of the Goddesses. Adew deere husband now,
Adew deere father, and adew deere suster. And in yow
If any love of mee remayne, defend my boughes I pray
From wound of cutting hooke and ax, and bite of beast for ay.
And for I cannot stoope to you, rayse you yourselves to mee,
And come and kisse mee whyle I may yit toucht and kissed bee.
And lift mee up my little boy. I can no lenger talke, ^
For now about my lillye necke as if it were a stalke
The tender rynd beginnes to creepe, and overgrowes my top.
Remove your fingars from my face. The spreading barke dooth stop
My dying eyes without your help. Shee had no sooner left
Her talking, but her lyfe therewith togither was bereft.
But yit a goodwhyle after that her native shape did fade,
Her newmade boughes continewed warme. Now whyle that Iole made
Report of this same woondrous tale, and whyle Alcmena (who
Did weepe) was drying up the teares of Iole weeping too,
By putting to her thomb: there hapt a sodeine thing so straunge,
That unto mirth from heavinesse theyr harts it streight did chaunge.
For at the doore in manner even a very boy as then
With short soft Downe about his chin, revoked backe agen
To youthfull yeares, stood Iolay with countnance smooth and trim.
Dame Hebee, Junos daughter, had bestowde this gift on him,
Entreated at his earnest sute. Whom mynding fully there
The giving of like gift ageine to any to forsweare,
Dame Themis would not suffer. For (quoth shee) this present howre
Is cruell warre in Thebee towne, and none but Jove hath powre
To vanquish stately Canapey. The brothers shall alike
Wound eyther other. And alyve a Prophet shall go seeke
His owne quicke ghoste among the dead, the earth him swallowing in.
The sonne by taking vengeance for his fathers death shall win
The name of kynd and wicked man, in one and selfsame cace.
And flayght with mischeefes, from his wits and from his native place
The furies and his mothers ghoste shall restlessely him chace,
Untill his wyfe demaund of him the fatall gold for meede,
And that his cousin Phegies swoord doo make his sydes to bleede.
Then shall the fayre Callirrhoee, Achelous daughter, pray
The myghty Jove in humble wyse to graunt her children may
Retyre ageine to youthfull yeeres, and that he will not see
The death of him that did revenge unvenged for to bee.
Jove moved at her sute shall cause his daughtrinlaw to give
Like gift, and backe from age to youth Callirrhoes children drive.
When Themis through foresyght had spoke theis woords of prophesie,
The Gods began among themselves vayne talke to multiplie,
They mooyld why others myght not give like gift as well as shee.
First Pallants daughter grudged that her husband old should bee.
The gentle Ceres murmurde that her Iasions heare was hore.
And Vulcane would have calld ageine the yeeres long spent before
By Ericthonius. And the nyce Dame Venus having care
Of tyme to come, the making yong of old Anchises sware.
So every God had one to whom he speciall favor bare.
And through this partiall love of theyrs seditiously increast
A hurlyburly, till the time that Jove among them preast,
And sayd: So smally doo you stand in awe of mee this howre,
As thus too rage? Thinkes any of you himself to have such powre,
As for to alter destinye? I tell you Iolay
Recovered hath by destinye his yeeres erst past away,
Callirrhoes children must returne to youth by destiny,
And not by force of armes, or sute susteynd ambitiously.
And to th'entent with meelder myndes yee may this matter beare,
Even I myself by destinyes am rulde. Which if I were
Of power to alter, thinke you that our Aeacus should stoope
By reason of his feeble age? or Radamanth should droope?
Or Minos, who by reason of his age is now disdeynd,
And lives not in so sure a state as heretofore he reygnd?
The woords of Jove so movd the Gods that none of them complaynd,
Sith Radamanth and Aeacus were both with age constreynd:
And Minos also: who (as long as lusty youth did last,)
Did even with terror of his name make myghty Realmes agast.
But then was Minos weakened sore, and greatly stood in feare
Of Milet, one of Deyons race: who proudly did him beare
Uppon his father Phoebus and the stoutnesse of his youth.
And though he feard he would rebell: yit durst he not his mouth
Once open for to banish him his Realme: untill at last
Departing of his owne accord, Miletus swiftly past
The Gotesea and did build a towne uppon the Asian ground,
Which still reteynes the name of him that first the same did found.
And there the daughter of the brooke Maeander which dooth go
So often backward, Cyane, a Nymph of body so
Exceeding comly as the lyke was seldome heard of, as
Shee by her fathers wynding bankes for pleasure walking was,
Was knowen by Milet: unto whom a payre of twinnes shee brought,
And of the twinnes the names were Caune and Byblis. Byblis ought
To bee a mirror unto Maydes in lawfull wyse to love.
This Byblis cast a mynd to Caune, but not as did behove
A suster to her brotherward. When first of all the fyre
Did kindle, shee perceyvd it not. Shee thought in her desyre
Of kissing him so oftentymes no sin, ne yit no harme
In cleeping him about the necke so often with her arme.
The glittering glosse of godlynesse beguyld her long. Her love
Began from evill unto woorse by little too remove.
Shee commes to see her brother deckt in brave and trim attyre,
And for to seeme exceeding fayre it was her whole desyre.
And if that any fayrer were in all the flocke than shee,
It spyghts her. In what case she was as yit shee did not see.
Her heate exceeded not so farre as for to vow: and yit
Shee suffred in her troubled brist full many a burning fit.
Now calleth shee him mayster, now shee utter hateth all
The names of kin. Shee rather had he should her Byblis call
Than suster. Yit no filthy hope shee durst permit to creepe
Within her mynd awake. But as shee lay in quiet sleepe,
Shee oft behild her love: and oft she thought her brother came
And lay with her, and (though asleepe) shee blushed at the same.
When sleepe was gone, she long lay dumb still musing on the syght,
And said with wavering mynd: Now wo is mee, most wretched wyght.
What meenes the image of this dreame that I have seene this nyght?
I would not wish it should bee trew. Why dreamed I then so?
Sure hee is fayre although hee should bee judged by his fo.
He likes mee well, and were he not my brother, I myght set
My love on him, and he were mee ryght woorthy for to get,
But unto this same match the name of kinred is a let.
Well, so that I awake doo still mee undefylde keepe,
Let come as often as they will such dreamings in my sleepe.
In sleepe there is no witnesse by. In sleepe yit may I take
As greate a pleasure (in a sort) as if I were awake.
Oh Venus and thy tender sonne, Sir Cupid, what delyght,
How present feeling of your sport hath touched mee this nyght.
How lay I as it were resolvd both maree, flesh, and bone.
How gladdes it mee to thinke thereon. Alas too soone was gone
That pleasure, and too hastye and despyghtfull was the nyght
In breaking of my joyes. O Lord, if name of kinred myght
Betweene us two removed bee, how well it would agree,
O Caune, that of thy father I the daughtrinlaw should bee.
How fitly myght my father have a sonneinlaw of thee.
Would God that all save auncesters were common to us twayne.
I would thou were of nobler stocke than I. I cannot sayne,
O perle of beautie, what shee is whom thou shalt make a mother.
Alas how ill befalles it mee that I could have none other
Than those same parents which are thyne. So only still my brother
And not my husband mayst thou bee. The thing that hurts us bothe
Is one, and that betweene us ay inseparably gothe.
What meene my dreames then? what effect have dreames? and may there bee
Effect in dreames? The Gods are farre in better case than wee.
For why? the Gods have matched with theyr susters as wee see.
So Saturne did alie with Ops, the neerest of his blood.
So Tethys with Oceanus: So Jove did think it good
To take his suster Juno to his wyfe. What then? the Goddes
Have lawes and charters by themselves. And sith there is such oddes
Betweene the state of us and them, why should I sample take,
Our worldly matters equall with the heavenly things to make?
This wicked love shall eyther from my hart be driven away,
Or if it can not bee expulst, God graunt I perish may,
And that my brother kisse me, layd on Herce to go to grave.
But my desyre the full consent of both of us dooth crave.
Admit the matter liketh me. He will for sin it take.
But yit the sonnes of Aeolus no scrupulousnesse did make
In going to theyr susters beds. And how come I to know
The feates of them? To what intent theis samples doo I show?
Ah whither am I headlong driven? avaunt foule filthy fyre:
And let mee not in otherwyse than susterlyke desyre
My brothers love. Yit if that he were first in love with mee,
His fondnesse to inclyne unto perchaunce I could agree.
Shall I therefore who would not have rejected him if hee
Had sude to mee, go sue to him? and canst thou speake in deede?
And canst thou utter forth thy mynd? and tell him of thy neede?
My love will make mee speake. I can. Or if that shame doo stay
My toong, a sealed letter shall my secret love bewray.
This likes her best. Uppon this poynt now restes her doubtful mynd.
So raysing up herself uppon her leftsyde shee enclynd,
And leaning on her elbow sayd: Let him advyse him what
To doo, for I my franticke love will utter playne and flat.
Alas to what ungraciousnesse intend I for to fall?
What furie raging in my hart my senses dooth appall?
In thinking so, with trembling hand shee framed her to wryght
The matter that her troubled mynd in musing did indyght.
Her ryght hand holdes the pen, her left dooth hold the empty wax.
She ginnes. Shee doutes, shee wryghtes: shee in the tables findeth lacks.
She notes, she blurres, dislikes, and likes: and chaungeth this for that.
Shee layes away the booke, and takes it up. Shee wotes not what
She would herself. What ever thing shee myndeth for to doo
Misliketh her. A shamefastnesse with boldenesse mixt thereto
Was in her countnance. Shee had once writ Suster: Out agen
The name of Suster for to raze shee thought it best. And then
She snatcht the tables up, and did theis following woords ingrave:
The health which if thou give her not shee is not like to have
Thy lover wisheth unto thee. I dare not ah for shame
I dare not tell thee who I am, nor let thee heare my name.
And if thou doo demaund of mee what thing I doo desyre,
Would God that namelesse I myght pleade the matter I requyre,
And that I were unknowen to thee by name of Byblis, till
Assurance of my sute were wrought according to my will.
As tokens of my wounded hart myght theis to thee appeere:
My colour pale, my body leane, my heavy mirthlesse cheere,
My watry eyes, my sighes without apparent causes why,
My oft embracing of thee: and such kisses (if perdye
Thou marked them) as very well thou might have felt and found
Not for to have beene Susterlike. But though with greevous wound
I then were striken to the hart, although the raging flame
Did burne within: yit take I God to witnesse of the same,
I did as much as lay in mee this outrage for to tame.
And long I stryved (wretched wench) to scape the violent Dart
Of Cupid. More I have endurde of hardnesse and of smart,
Than any wench (a man would think) were able to abyde.
Force forceth mee to shew my case which faine I still would hyde,
And mercy at thy gentle hand in fearfull wyse to crave.
Thou only mayst the lyfe of mee thy lover spill or save.
Choose which thou wilt. No enmy craves this thing: but such a one
As though shee bee alyde so sure as surer can bee none,
Yit covets shee more surely yit alyed for to bee,
And with a neerer kynd of band to link her selfe to thee.
Let aged folkes have skill in law: to age it dooth belong
To keepe the rigor of the lawes and search out ryght from wrong.
Such youthfull yeeres as ours are yit rash folly dooth beseeme.
Wee know not what is lawfull yit. And therefore wee may deeme
That all is lawfull that wee list: ensewing in the same
The dooings of the myghtye Goddes. Not dread of worldly shame
Nor yit our fathers roughnesse, no nor fearfulnesse should let
Our purpose. Only let all feare asyde be wholy set.
~Wee underneath the name of kin our pleasant scapes may hyde.
Thou knowest I have libertie to talke with thee asyde,
And openly wee kysse and cull. And what is all the rest
That wants? Have mercy on mee now, who playnly have exprest
My case: which thing I had not done, but that the utter rage
Of love constreynes mee thereunto the which I cannot swage.
Deserve not on my tumb thy name subscribed for to have,
That thou art he whose cruelnesse did bring mee to my grave.
Thus much shee wrate in vayne, and wax did want her to indyght,
And in the margent she was fayne the latter verse to wryght.
Immediatly to seale her shame shee takes a precious stone,
The which shee moystes with teares: from tung the moysture quight was gone.
She calld a servant shamefastly, and after certaine fayre
And gentle woords: My trusty man, I pray thee beare this payre
Of tables (quoth shee) to my (and a great whyle afterward
Shee added) brother. Now through chaunce or want of good regard
The table slipped downe to ground in reaching to him ward.
The handsell troubled sore her mynd. But yit shee sent them. And
Her servant spying tyme did put them into Caunyes hand.
Maeanders nephew sodeinly in anger floong away
The tables ere he half had red, (scarce able for to stay
His fistocke from the servants face who quaakt) and thus did say:
Avaunt, thou baudye ribawd, whyle thou mayst. For were it not
For shame I should have killed thee. Away afrayd he got,
And told his mistresse of the feerce and cruell answer made
By Caunye. By and by the hew of Byblis gan to fade,
And all her body was benumd with Icie colde for feare
To heere of this repulse. Assoone as that her senses were
Returnd ageine, her furious flames returned with her witts.
And thus shee sayd so soft that scarce hir toong the ayer hitts:
And woorthely. For why was I so rash as to discover
By hasty wryghting this my wound which most I ought to cover?
I should with dowtfull glauncing woords have felt his humor furst,
And made a trayne to trye him if pursue or no he durst.
I should have vewed first the coast, to see the weather cleere,
And then I myght have launched sauf and boldly from the peere.
But now I hoyst up all my sayles before I tryde the wynd:
And therfore am I driven uppon the rockes against my mynd,
And all the sea dooth overwhelme mee. Neyther may I fynd
The meanes to get to harbrough, or from daunger to retyre.
Why did not open tokens warne to bridle my desyre,
Then when the tables falling in delivering them declaard
My hope was vaine? And ought not I then eyther to have spaard
From sending them as that day? or have chaunged whole my mynd?
Nay rather shifted of the day? For had I not beene blynd
Even God himself by soothfast signes the sequele seemd to hit.
Yea rather than to wryghting thus my secrets to commit,
I should have gone and spoke myself, and presently have showde
My fervent love. He should have seene how teares had from mee flowde.
Hee should have seene my piteous looke ryght loverlike. I could
Have spoken more than into those my tables enter would.
About his necke against his will, myne armes I myght have wound
And had he shaakt me off, I myght have seemed for to swound.
I humbly myght have kist his feete, and kneeling on the ground
Besought him for to save my lyfe. All theis I myght have proved,
Wherof although no one alone his stomacke could have moved,
Yit all togither myght have made his hardened hart relent.
Perchaunce there was some fault in him that was of message sent.
He stept unto him bluntly (I beleeve) and did not watch
Convenient tyme, in merrie kew at leysure him to catch.
Theis are the things that hindred mee. For certeinly I knowe
No sturdy stone nor massy steele dooth in his stomacke grow.
He is not made of Adamant. He is no Tygers whelp.
He never sucked Lyonesse. He myght with little help
Bee vanquisht. Let us give fresh charge uppon him. Whyle I live
Without obteyning victorie I will not over give.
For firstly (if it lay in mee my dooings to revoke)
I should not have begonne at all. But seeing that the stroke
Is given, the second poynt is now to give the push to win.
For neyther he (although that I myne enterpryse should blin)
Can ever whyle he lives forget my deede. And sith I shrink,
My love was lyght, or else I meant to trap him, he shall think.
Or at the least he may suppose that this my rage of love
Which broyleth so within my brest, proceedes not from above
By Cupids stroke, but of some foule and filthy lust. In fyne
I cannot but to wickednesse now more and more inclyne.
By wryghting is my sute commenst: my meening dooth appeere:
And though I cease: yit can I not accounted bee for cleere.
Now that that dooth remayne behynd is much as in respect
My fond desyre to satisfy: and little in effect
To aggravate my fault withall.
Thus much shee sayd. And so
Unconstant was her wavering mynd still floting to and fro,
That though it irkt her for to have attempted, yit proceedes
Shee in the selfsame purpose of attempting, and exceedes
All measure, and, unhappy wench, shee takes from day to day
Repulse upon repulse, and yit shee hath not grace to stay.
Soone after when her brother saw there was with her no end,
He fled his countrie forbycause he would not so offend,
And in a forreine land did buyld a Citie. Then men say
That Byblis through despayre and thought all wholy did dismay.
Shee tare her garments from her brest, and furiously shee wroong
Her hands, and beete her armes, and like a bedlem with her toong
Confessed her unlawfull love. But beeing of the same
Dispoynted, shee forsooke her land and hatefull house for shame,
And followed after flying Caune. And as the Froes of Thrace
In dooing of the three yeere rites of Bacchus: in lyke cace
The maryed wyves of Bubasie saw Byblis howling out
Through all theyr champion feeldes, the which shee leaving, ran about
In Caria to the Lelegs who are men in battell stout,
And so to Lycia. Shee had past Crag, Limyre, and the brooke
Of Xanthus, and the countrie where Chymaera that same pooke
Hath Goatish body, Lions head and brist, and Dragons tayle,
When woods did want: and Byblis now beginning for to quayle
Through weerynesse in following Caune, sank down and layd her hed
Ageinst the ground, and kist the leaves that wynd from trees had shed.
The Nymphes of Caria went about in tender armes to take
Her often up. They oftentymes perswaded her to slake
Her love. And woords of comfort to her deafe eard mynd they spake.
Shee still lay dumbe: and with her nayles the greenish herbes shee hild,
And moysted with a streame of teares the grasse upon the feeld.
The waternymphes (so folk report) put under her a spring,
Whych never myght be dryde: and could they give a greater thing?
Immediatly even like as when yee wound a pitchtree rynd,
The gum dooth issue out in droppes: or as the westerne wynd
With gentle blast toogither with the warmth of Sunne, unbynd
The yee: or as the clammy kynd of cement which they call
Bitumen issueth from the ground full fraughted therewithall:
So Phoebus neece, Dame Byblis, then consuming with her teares,
Was turned to a fountaine, which in those same vallyes beares
The tytle of the founder still, and gusheth freshly out
From underneath a Sugarchest as if it were a spowt.
The fame of this same wondrous thing perhappes had filled all
The hundred Townes of Candye had a greater not befall
More neerer home by Iphys meanes transformed late before.
For in the shyre of Phestos hard by Gnossus dwelt of yore
A yeoman of the meaner sort that Lyctus had to name.
His stocke was simple, and his welth according to the same.
Howbee't his lyfe so upryght was, as no man could it blame.
He came unto his wyfe then big and ready downe to lye,
And sayd: Two things I wish thee. T'one, that when thou out shalt crye,
Thou mayst dispatch with little payne: the other that thou have
A Boay. For Gyrles to bring them up a greater cost doo crave.
And I have no abilitie. And therefore if thou bring
A wench (it goes ageinst my heart to thinke uppon the thing)
Although ageinst my will, I charge it streyght destroyed bee.
The bond of nature needes must beare in this behalf with mee
This sed, both wept exceedingly, as well the husband who
Did give commaundement, as the wyfe that was commaunded too.
Yit Telethusa earnestly at Lyct her husband lay,
(Although in vayne) to have good hope, and of himselfe more stay.
But he was full determined. Within a whyle, the day
Approched that the frute was rype, and shee did looke to lay
Her belly every mynute: when at midnyght in her rest
Stood by her (or did seeme to stand) the Goddesse Isis, drest
And trayned with the solemne pomp of all her rytes. Two homes
Uppon her forehead lyke the moone, with eares of rypened comes
Stood glistring as the burnisht gold. Moreover shee did weare
A rich and stately diademe. Attendant on her were
The barking bug Anubis, and the saint of Bubast, and
The pydecote Apis, and the God that gives to understand
By fingar holden to his lippes that men should silence keepe,
And Lybian wormes whose strnging dooth enforce continuall sleepe,
And thou, Osyris, whom the folk of Aegypt ever seeke,
And never can have sought inough, and Rittlerattles eke.
Then even as though that Telethuse had fully beene awake,
And seene theis things with open eyes, thus Isis to her spake:
My servant Telethusa, cease this care, and breake the charge
Of Lyct. And when Lucina shall have let thy frute at large,
Bring up the same what ere it bee. I am a Goddesse who
Delyghts in helping folke at neede. I hither come to doo
Thee good. Thou shalt not have a cause hereafter to complayne
Of serving of a Goddesse that is thanklesse for thy payne.
When Isis had this comfort given, shee went her way agayne.
A joyfull wyght rose Telethuse, and lifting to the sky
Her hardened hands, did pray hir dreame myght woorke effectually.
Her throwes increast, and forth alone anon the burthen came,
A wench was borne to Lyctus who knew nothing of the same.
The mother making him beleeve it was a boay, did bring
It up, and none but shee and nurce were privie to the thing.
The father thanking God did give the chyld the Graundsyres name,
The which was Iphys. Joyfull was the moother of the same,
Bycause the name did serve alike to man and woman bothe,
And so the lye through godly guile forth unperceyved gothe.
The garments of it were a boayes. The face of it was such
As eyther in a boay or gyrle of beawtie uttered much.
When Iphys was of thirteene yeeres, her father did insure
The browne Ianthee unto her, a wench of looke demure,
Commended for her favor and her person more than all
The Maydes of Phestos: Telest, men her fathers name did call.
He dwelt in Dyctis. They were bothe of age and favor leeke,
And under both one schoolemayster they did for nurture seeke.
And hereupon the hartes of both, the dart of Love did streeke,
And wounded both of them aleeke. But unlike was theyr hope.
Both longed for the wedding day togither for to cope.
For whom Ianthee thinkes to bee a man, shee hopes to see
Her husband. Iphys loves whereof shee thinkes shee may not bee
Partaker, and the selfesame thing augmenteth still her flame.
Herself a Mayden with a Mayd (ryght straunge) in love became.
Shee scarce could stay her teares. What end remaynes for mee (quoth shee)
How straunge a love? how uncoth? how prodigious reygnes in mee?
If that the Gods did favor mee, they should destroy mee quyght.
Of if they would not mee destroy, at least wyse yit they myght
Have given mee such a maladie as myght with nature stond,
Or nature were acquainted with. A Cow is never fond
Uppon a Cow, nor Mare on Mare. The Ram delyghts the Eawe,
The Stag the Hynde, the Cocke the Hen. But never men could shew,
That female yit was tane in love with female kynd. O would
To God I never had beene borne. Yit least that Candy should
Not bring foorth all that monstruous were, the daughter of the Sonne
Did love a Bull. Howbee't there was a Male to dote uppon.
My love is furiouser than hers, if truthe confessed bee.
For shee was fond of such a lust as myght bee compast. Shee
Was served by a Bull beguyld by Art in Cow of tree.
And one there was for her with whom advowtrie to commit.
If all the conning in the worlde and slyghts of suttle wit
Were heere, or if that Daedalus himselfe with uncowth wing
Of Wax should hither fly againe, what comfort should he bring?
Could he with all his conning crafts now make a boay of mee?
Or could he, O Ianthee, chaunge the native shape of thee?
Nay rather, Iphys, settle thou thy mynd and call thy witts
Abowt thee: shake thou off theis flames that foolishly by fitts
Without all reason reigne. Thou seest what Nature hathe thee made
(Onlesse thow wilt deceyve thy selfe.) So farre foorth wysely wade,
As ryght and reason may support, and love as women ought.
Hope is the thing that breedes desyre, hope feedes the amorous thought.
This hope thy sex denieth thee. Not watching doth restreyne
Thee from embracing of the thing wherof thou art so fayne.
Nor yit the Husbands jealowsie, nor rowghnesse of her Syre,
Nor yit the coynesse of the Wench dooth hinder thy desyre.
And yit thou canst not her enjoy. No, though that God and man
Should labor to their uttermost and doo the best they can
In thy behalfe, they could not make a happy wyght of thee.
I cannot wish the thing but that I have it. Frank and free
The Goddes have given mee what they could. As I will, so will bee
That must become my fathrinlaw. So willes my father, too.
But nature stronger than them all consenteth not thereto.
This hindreth mee, and nothing else. Behold the blisfull tyme,
The day of Mariage is at hand. Ianthee shalbee myne,
And yit I shall not her enjoy. Amid the water wee
Shall thirst. O Juno, president of mariage, why with thee
Comes Hymen to this wedding where no brydegroome you shall see,
But bothe are Brydes that must that day togither coupled bee?
This spoken, shee did hold hir peace. And now the tother mayd
Did burne as hote in love as shee. And earnestly shee prayd
The brydale day myght come with speede. The thing for which shee longd
Dame Telethusa fearing sore, from day to day prolongd
The tyme, oft feyning siknesse, oft pretending shee had seene
Ill tokens of successe. At length all shifts consumed beene.
The wedding day so oft delayd was now at hand. The day
Before it, taking from her head the kercheef quyght away,
And from her daughters head likewyse, with scattred heare she layd
Her handes upon the Altar, and with humble voyce thus prayd:
O Isis, who doost haunt the towne of Paretonie, and
The feeldes by Maraeotis lake, and Pharos which dooth stand
By Alexandria, and the Nyle divided into seven
Great channels, comfort thou my feare, and send mee help from heaven,
Thyself, O Goddesse, even thyself, and theis thy relikes I
Did once behold and knew them all: as well thy company
As eke thy sounding rattles, and thy cressets burning by,
And myndfully I marked what commaundement thou didst give.
That I escape unpunished, that this same wench dooth live,
Thy counsell and thy hest it is. Have mercy now on twayne,
And help us. With that word the teares ran downe her cheekes amayne.
The Goddesse seemed for to move her Altar: and in deede
She moved it. The temple doores did tremble like a reede.
And homes in likenesse to the Moone about the Church did shyne.
And Rattles made a raughtish noyse. At this same luckie signe,
Although not wholy carelesse, yit ryght glad shee went away.
And Iphys followed after her with larger pace than ay
Shee was accustomd. And her face continued not so whyght.
Her strength encreased, and her looke more sharper was to syght.
Her heare grew shorter, and shee had a much more lively spryght,
Than when shee was a wench. For thou, O Iphys, who ryght now
A modther wert, art now a boay. With offrings both of yow
To Church retyre, and there rejoyce with fayth unfearfull. They
With offrings went to Church ageine, and there theyr vowes did pay.
They also set a table up, which this breef meeter had:
The vowes that Iphys vowd a wench he hath performd a Lad.
Next morrow over all the world did shine with lightsome flame,
When Iuno, and Dame Venus, and Sir Hymen joyntly came
To Iphys mariage, who as then transformed to a boay
Did take Ianthee to his wyfe, and so her love enjoy.
Finis noni Libri.