Hero and Leander.
Note: this Renascence
Editions text was transcribed by Risa S.
Bear, January 2001, from the
1598 edition (STC number 17413). Any errors that have crept into the
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H E R O
A N D
By Christopher Marloe.
L O N D O N,
Printed by Adam Islip,
for Edward Blunt.
1 5 9 8.
To the Right
Worshipfull, Sir Tho-
mas Walsingham, Knight.
Ir, wee thinke not
discharged of the dutie wee owe to our friend, when wee haue brought
breathlesse bodie to the earth: for albeit the eye there taketh his
farwell of that beloued obiect, yet the impression of the man, that
beene deare vnto vs, liuing an after fife in our memory, there putteth
in mind of farther obsequies due vnto the deceased. And namely of the
performance of what soeuer we may iudge shal make to his liuing credit,
and to the effecting of his determinations preuented by the stroke of
death. By these meditations (as by an intellectuall will) I suppose of
selfe executor to the vnhappily deceased author of this Poem, vpon whom
knowing that in his life time you bestowed many kind fauors,
the parts of reckoning and woorth which you found in him, with good
countenance and liberall affection: I cannot but see so far into the
of him dead, that whatsoeuer issue of his brain should chance to come
abroad, that the first breath it should take might be the gentle aire
your liking: for since his selfe had ben accustomed thervnto, it would
prooue more agreeable and thriuing to his right children, than any
foster countenance whatsoeuer. At this time seeing that this vnfinished
Tragedy happens vnder my hands to be imprinted, of a double duty, the
to your selfe, the other to the deceased, I present the same to your
fauourable allowance, offring my vtmost selfe now and euer to be
At your Worships disposing:
guiltie of True-loues blood,
In view and opposit two citties stood,
Seaborders, disioin'd by Neptunes might:
The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
At Sestos, Hero dwelt; Hero the faire,
VVhom young Apollo courted for her haire,
And offred as a dovver his burning throne,
VVhere she should sit for men to gaze vpon.
The outside of her garments vvere of lavvne,
The lining, purple silke, vvith guilt starres dravvne,
Her vvide sleeues greene, and bordered vvith a groue,
Where Venus in her naked glory stroue,
To please the carelesse and disdainfull eies,
Of proud Adonis that before her lies.
Her kirtle blevv, vvhereon vvas many a staine,
Made vvith the blood of vvretched Louers slaine.
Vpon her head she ware a myrtle vvreath,
From vvhence her vaile reacht to the ground beneath.
Her vaile vvas artificiall flovvers and leaues,
VVhose vvorkmanship both man and beast deceaues.
Many vvould praise the svveet smell as she past,
VVhen t'vvas the odour vvhich her breath foorth cast.
And there for honie, bees haue sought in vaine,
And beat from thence, haue lighted there againe.
About her necke hung chaines of peble stone,
VVhich lightned by her necke, like Diamonds shone.
She vvare no gloues, for neither sunne nor wind
VVould burne or parch her hands, but to her mind,
Or vvarme or coole them, for they tooke delite
To play vpon those hands, they were so vvhite.
Buskins of shels all siluered, vsed she,
And brancht vvith blushing corall to the knee;
VVhere sparrovves pearcht, of hollovv pearle and gold,
Such as the vvorld vvould vvoonder to behold:
Those vvith svveet vvater oft her handmaid fils,
VVhich as shee vvent vvould cherupe through the bils.
Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pyn'd,
And looking in her face, vvas strooken blind.
But this is true, so like vvas one the other,
As he imagyn'd Hero vvas his mother.
And oftentimes into her bosome flevv,
About her naked necke his bare armes threvv.
And laid his childish head vpon her brest,
And vvith still panting rockt, there tooke his rest.
So louely faire was Hero, Venus Nun;
As nature vvept, thinking she vvas vndone;
Because she tooke more from her than she left,
And of such vvondrous beautie her bereft:
Therefore in signe her treasure suffred vvracke,
Since Heroes time, hath halfe the vvorld beene blacke.
Amorous Leander, beautifull and yoong,
(Whose tragedie diuine Musæus soong)
Dvvelt at Abidus, since him, dvvelt there none,
For whom succeeding times make greater mone.
His dangling tresses that were neuer shorne,
Had they beene cut, and vnto Colchos borne,
Would haue allu'rd the vent'rous youth of Greece,
To hazard more, than for the golden Fleece.
Faire Cinthia vvisht, his armes might be her spheare,
Greefe makes her pale, because she mooues not there.
His bodie vvas as straight as Circes vvand,
Ioue might haue sipt out Nectar from his hand.
Euen as delicious meat is to the tast,
So vvas his necke in touching, and surpast
The vvhite of Pelops shoulder, I could tell ye,
Hovv smooth his brest vvas, & hovv vvhite his bellie,
And whose immortall fingars did imprint,
That heauenly path, vvith many a curious dint,
That runs along his backe, but my rude pen,
Can hardly blazon foorth the loues of men.
Much lesse of powerfull gods, let it suffise,
That my slacke muse, sings of Leanders eies.
Those orient cheekes and lippes, exceeding his
That leapt into the water for a kis
Of his owne shadow, and despising many,
Died ere he could enioy the loue of any.
Had wilde Hippolitus, Leander seene,
Enamoured of his beautie had he beene,
His presence made the rudest paisant melt,
That in the vast vplandish countrie dwelt,
The barbarous Thratian soldier moou'd with nought,
Was moou'd with him, and for his fauour sought.
Some swore he was a maid in mans attire,
For in his lookes were all that men desire,
A pleasant smiling cheeke, a speaking eye,
A brow for loue to banquet roiallye,
And such as knew he was a man would say,
Leander, thou art made for amorous play:
Why art thou not in loue, and lou'd of all?
Though thou be faire, yet be not thine owne thrall.
The men of wealthie Sestos, euerie yeare,
(For his sake vvhom their goddesse held so deare,
Rose-cheekt Adonis) kept a solemne feast,
Thither resorted many a wandring guest,
To meet their loues; such as had none at all,
Came louers home, from this great festiuall.
For euerie street like to a Firmament
Glistered vvith breathing stars, who vvhere they went,
Frighted the melancholie earth, vvhich deem'd,
Eternall heauen to burne, for so it seem'd,
As if another Phaeton had got
The guidance of the sunnes rich chariot.
But far aboue, the loueliest Hero shin'd,
And stole avvay th'inchaunted gazers mind,
For like Sea-nimphs inueigling harmony,
So vvas her beautie to the standers by.
Not that night-vvandring pale and vvatrie starre,
(When yavvning dragons dravv her thirling carre,
From Latmus mount vp to the glomie skie,
Where crovvn'd vvith blazing light and maiestie,
She proudly sits) more ouer-rules the flood,
Than she the hearts of those that neere her stood.
Euen as, vvhen gavvdie Nymphs pursue the chace,
Wretched Ixions shaggie footed race,
Incenst vvith sauage heat, gallop amaine,
From steepe Pine-bearing mountains to the plaine:
So ran the people foorth to gaze vpon her,
And all that viev'd her vvere enamour'd on her.
And as in furie of a dreadfull fight,
Their fellovves being slaine or put to flight,
Poore soldiers sta[n]d vvith fear of death dead strooken,
So at her presence all surpris'd and tooken,
Await the sentence of her scornefull eies:
He whom she fauours liues, the other dies.
There might you see one sigh, another rage,
And some (their violent passions to asswage)
Compile sharpe satyrs, but alas too late,
For faithfull loue will neuer turne to hate.
And many seeing great princes were denied,
Pyn'd as they went, and thinking on her died.
On this feast day, O cursed day and hower,
Went Hero thorow Sestos, from her tower
To Venus temple, w[h]ere vnhappilye,
As after chaunc'd, they did each other spye,
So faire a church as this, had Venus none,
The wals were of discoloured Iasper stone,
Wherein was Proteus carued, and o'rehead,
A liuelie vine of greene sea agget spread;
Where by one hand, light headed Bacchus hoong,
And with the other, wine from grapes out wroong.
Of Christall shining faire, the pauement was,
The towne of Sestos, cal'd it Venus glasse,
There might you see the gods in sundrie shapes,
Committing headdie ryots, incest, rapes:
For know, that vnderneath this radiant floure,
Was Danaes statue in a brazen tower,
Ioue, slylie stealing from his sisters bed,
To dallie with Idalian Ganimed:
And for his loue Europa, bellowing loud,
And tumbling with the Rainbow in a cloud,
Blood-quaffing Mars, heauing the yron net,
Which limping Vulcan and his Cyclops set:
Loue kindling fire, to burne such townes as Troy,
Syluanus weeping for the louely boy
That now is turn'd into a Cypress tree,
Vnder whose shade the Wood-gods loue to bee.
And in the midst a siluer altar stood,
There Hero sacrificing turtles blood,
Vaild to the ground, vailing her eie-lids close,
And modestly they opened as she rose:
Thence flew loues arrow with the golden head,
And thus Leander was enamoured.
Stone still he stood, and euermore he gazed,
Till with the fire that from his count'nance blazed,
Relenting Heroes gentle heart was strooke,
Such force and vertue hath an amorous looke.
It lies not in our power to loue, or hate,
For will in vs is ouer-rul'd by fate.
When two are stript long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should loose, the other win.
And one especially doe vve affect,
Of two gold Ingots like in each respect,
The reason no man knowes, let it suffise,
What vve behold is censur'd by our eies.
Where both deliberat, the loue is slight,
Who euer lou'd that lou'd not at first sight?
He kneel'd, but vnto her devoutly praid;
Chast Hero to her selfe thus softly said:
VVere I the saint he vvorships, I would heare him,
And as shee spake those words, came somevvhat nere him.
He started vp, she blusht as one asham'd;
VVherewith Leander much more vvas inflam'd.
He toucht her hand, in touching it she trembled,
Loue deepely grounded, hardly is dissembled,
These louers parled by the touch of hands,
True loue is mute, and oft amazed stands,
Thus while dum signs their yeelding harts entangled,
The aire vvith sparkes of liuing fire vvas spangled,
And night deepe drencht in mystie Acheron,
Heau'd vp her head, and halfe the vvorld vpon,
Breath'd darkenesse forth (darke night is Cupids day)
And novv begins Leander to display
Loues holy fire, vvith vvords, vvith sighs and teares,
VVhich like sweet musicke entred Heroes eares,
And yet at euerie vvord shee turn'd aside,
And alwaies cut him off as he replide,
At last, like to a bold sharpe Sophister,
VVith chearefull hope thus he accosted her.
Faire creature, let me speake vvithout offence,
I vvould my rude vvords had the influence,
To lead thy thoughts, as thy faire lookes doe mine,
Then shouldst thou bee his prisoner vvho is thine.
Be not vnkind and faire, mishapen stuffe
Are of behauior boisterous and ruffe.
O shun me not, but heare me ere you goe,
God knowes I cannot force loue, as you doe.
My words shall be as spotlesse as my youth,
Full of simplicitie and naked truth.
This sacrifice (whose sweet perfume descending,
From Venus altar to your footsteps bending)
Doth testifie that you exceed her farre,
To whom you offer, and whose Nunne you are,
Why should you worship her, her you surpasse,
As much as sparkling Diamonds flaring glasse.
A Diamond set in lead his vvorth retaines,
A heauenly Nimph, belov'd of humane swaines,
Receiues no blemish, but oft-times more grace,
Which makes me hope, although I am but base,
Base in respect of thee, diuine and pure,
Dutifull seruice may thy loue procure,
And I in dutie will excell all other,
As thou in beautie doest exceed loues mother.
Nor heauen, nor thou, were made to gaze vpon,
As heauen preserues all things, so saue thou one.
A stately builded ship, well rig'd and tall,
The Ocean maketh more maiesticall:
Why vowest thou then to liue in Sestos here,
Who on Loues seas more glorious wouldst appeare?
Like vntun'd golden strings all women are,
Which long time lie vntoucht, will harshly iarre.
Vessels of Brasse oft handled, brightly shine,
What difference betwixt the richest mine
And basest mold, but vse? for both not vs'de,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abus'de,
VVhen misers keepe it, being put to lone,
In time it will returne vs two for one.
Rich robes, themselues and others do adorne,
Neither themselues nor others, if not worne.
VVho builds a pallace and rams vp the gate,
Shall see it ruinous and desolate.
Ah simple Hero, learne thy selfe to cherish,
Lone women like to emptie houses perish.
Lesse sinnes the poore rich man that starues himselfe,
In heaping vp a masse of drossie pelfe,
Than such as you: his golden earth remains,
VVhich after his disceasse, some other gains.
But this faire iem, sweet, in the losse alone,
VVhen you fleet hence, can be bequeath'd to none.
Or if it could, downe from th'enameld skie,
All heauen would come to claime this legacie,
And with intestine broiles the world destroy,
And quite confound natures sweet harmony.
Well therefore by the gods decreed it is,
We humane creatures should enioy that blisse.
One is no numbers, mayds are nothing then,
Without the sweet societie of men.
VVilt thou liue single still? one shalt thou bee,
Though neuer-singling Hymen couple thee.
Wild sauages, that drinke of running springs,
Thinke water farre excels all earthly things:
But they that dayly tast neat wine, despise it.
Virginitie, albeit some highly prise it,
Compar'd with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much, as wine and water doth.
Base boullion for the stampes sake we allow,
Euen so for mens impression do we you.
By which alone, our reuerend fathers say,
Women receaue perfection euerie way.
This idoll which you terme Virginitie,
Is neither essence subiect to the eie,
No, nor to any one exterior sence,
Nor hath it any place of residence,
Nor is't of earth or mold selestiall,
Or capable of any forme at all.
Of that which hath no being, doe not boast,
Things that are not at all, are neuer lost.
Men foolishly doe call it vertuous;
What vertue is it, that is borne vvith vs?
Much lesse can honour bee ascrib'd thereto,
Honour is purchac'd by the deedes vvee do.
Beleeue me, Hero, honour is not vvone,
Vntill some honourable deed be done.
Seeke you for chastitie, immortall fame,
And knovv that some haue vvrong'd Dianas name?
Whose name is it, if she be false or not,
So she be faire, but some vile toongs will blot?
But you are faire (aye me) so vvondrous faire,
So yoong, so gentle, and so debonaire,
As Greece vvill thinke, if thus you liue alone,
Some one or other keepes you as his owne.
Then Hero hate me not, nor from me flie,
To follow swiftly blasting infamie.
Perhaps thy sacred Priesthood makes thee loath,
Tell me, to whom mad'st thou that heedlesse oath?
To Venus, answered shee, and as shee spake,
Foorth from those two translucent cesternes breake,
A streame of liquid pearle, which downe her face
Made milk-white paths, wheron the gods might trace
To Ioues high court. Hee thus replide: The rites
In which Loues beauteous Empresse most delites,
Are banquets, Dorick musicke, midnight reuell,
Plaies, maskes, and all that stern age counteth euill.
Thee as a holy Idiot doth she scorne,
For thou in vowing chastitie, hath sworne
To rob her name and honour, and thereby
Commit'st a sinne far worse than periurie.
Euen sacrilege against her Dietie,
Through regular and formall puritie.
To expiat which sinne, kisse and shake hands,
Such sacrifice as this, Venus demands.
Thereat she smild, and did denie him so,
As put thereby, yet might he hope for mo.
Which makes him quickly re-enforce his speech,
And her in humble manner thus beseech.
Though neither gods nor men may thee deserue,
Yet for her sake whom you haue vow'd to serue,
Abandon fruitlesse cold Virginitie,
The gentle queen of Loues sole enimie.
Then shall you most resemble Venus Nun,
When Venus sweet rites are perform'd and done,
Flint brested Pallas ioies in single life,
But Pallas and your mistresse are at strife.
Loue Hero, then, and be not tirannous,
But heale the heart, that thou hast wounded thus,
Nor staine thy youthfull years with auarice,
Faire fooles delight, to be accounted nice.
The richest corne dies, if it be not reapt,
Beautie alone is lost, too warily kept.
These argum[e]nts he vs'de, and many more,
Wherewith she yeelded, that vvas vvoon before,
Heroes lookes yeelded, but her words made warre,
Women are woon when they begin to iarre.
Thus hauing swallow'd Cupids golden hooke,
The more she striv'd, the deeper was she strooke.
Yet euilly faining anger, stroue she still,
And would be thought to graunt against her will.
So hauing paus'd a while, at last she said:
Who taught thee Rhethoricke to deceiue a maid?
Aye me, such words as these should I abhor,
And yet I like them for the Orator.
With that Leander stoopt, to haue imbrac'd her,
But from his spreading armes away she cast her,
And thus bespake him, Gentle youth forbeare
To touch the sacred garments which I weare.
Vpon a rocke, and vnderneath a hill,
Far from the towne (where all is whist and still,
Saue that the sea, playing on yellow sand,
Sends foorth a ratling murmure to the land,
Whose sound allures the golden Morpheus,
In silence of the night to visite vs.)
My turret stande, and there God knowes I play
With Venus swannes and sparrowes all the day,
A dwarfish beldame beares me companie,
That hops about the chamber where I lie,
And spends the night (that might be better spent)
In vaine discourse, and apish merriment.
Come thither; As she spake this, her toong tript,
For vnawares (Come thither) from her slips,
And sodainly her former colour chang'd,
And here and there her eies through anger rang'd.
And like a planet, moouing severall waies,
At one selfe instant, the poore soule assaies,
Louing, not to loue at all, and euerie part,
Stroue to resist the motions of her hart.
And hands so pure, so innocent, nay such,
As might haue made heauen stoope to haue a touch,
Did she vphold to Venus, and againe
Vow'd spotlesse chastitie, but all in vaine,
Cupid bears downe her praiers with his wings,
Her vowes aboue the emptie aire he flings:
All deepe enrag'd, his sinowie bow he bent,
And shot a shaft that burning from him went,
Wherewith she strooken, look'd dolefully,
As made Loue sigh, to see his tirannie.
And as she wept, her teares to pearle he turn'd,
And wound them on his arme, and for her mourn'd.
Then towards the pallace of the destinies,
Laden with languishment and griefe he flies.
And to those sterne nymphs humblie made request,
Both might enioy ech other, and be blest.
But with a ghastly dreadfull countenaunce,
Threatning a thousand deaths at euerie glaunce,
They answered Loue, nor would vouchsafe so much
As one poore word, their hate to him was such.
Harken a while, and I will tell you why:
Heauens winged herrald, Ioue-borne Mercury,
The selfe-same day that he a sleepe had layd
Inchaunted Argus, spied a countrie mayd,
Whose carelesse haire, in stead of pearle t'adorne it,
Glist'red with deaw, as one that seem'd to skorne it:
Her breath as fragrant as the morning rose,
Her mind pure, and her toong vntaught to glose.
Yet proud she vvas, (for loftie pride that dwels
In tovv'red courts, is oft in sheapheards cels.)
And too too vvell the faire vermilion knevv,
And siluer tincture of her cheekes, that drevv
The loue of euerie swaine: On her, this god
Enamoured vvas, and vvith his snakie rod
Did charme her nimble feet, and made her stay,
The vvhile vpon a hillocke dovvne he lay,
And svveetly on his pipe began to play,
And vvith smooth speech, her fancie to assay,
Till in his tvvining armes he lockt her fast,
And then he vvoo'd vvith kisses, and at last,
As sheap-heards do, her on the ground hee layd,
And tumbling in the grasse, he often strayd
Beyond the bounds of shame, in being bold
To eie those parts, vvhich no eie should behold.
And like an insolent commaunding louer,
Boasting his parentage, vvould needs discouer
The vvay to nevv Elisium: but she,
Whose only dower vvas her chastitie,
Hauing striu'ne in vaine, vvas novv about to crie,
And craue the helpe of sheap-heards that vvere nie,
Herevvith he stayd his furie, and began
To giue her leaue to rise, avvay she ran,
After vvent Mercurie, vvho vs'd such cunning,
As she to heare his tale, left off her running.
Maids are not vvoon by brutish force and might,
But speeches full of pleasure and delight.
And knowing Hermes courted her, vvas glad
That she such louelinesse and beautie had
As could prouoke his liking, yet vvas mute,
And neither vvould denie, nor graunt his sute.
Still vovvd he loue, she vvanting no excuse
To feed him vvith delaies, as vvomen vse:
Or thirsting after immortalitie,
All vvomen are ambitious naturallie,
Impos'd vpon her louer such a taske,
As he ought not performe, nor yet she aske.
A draught of flowing Nectar, she requested,
Wherewith the king of Gods and men is feasted.
He readie to accomplish what she wil'd,
Stole some from Hebe (Hebe, Ioues cup fil'd,)
And gaue it to his simple rustike loue,
Which being knowne (as what is hid from Ioue)
He inly storm'd, and vvaxt more furious,
Than for the fire filcht by Prometheus;
And thrusts him down fro[m] heauen, he vvandring here,
In mournfull tearmes, vvith sad and heauie cheare
Complaind to Cupid, Cupid for his sake,
To be reueng'd on Ioue, did vndertake,
And those on vvhom heauen, earth, and hell relies,
I mean the Adamantine Destinies,
He vvounds vvith loue, and forst them equallie,
To dote vpon deceitfull Mercurie.
They offred him the deadly fatall knife,
That sheares the slender threads of humane life,
At his faire feathered feet, the engins layd,
Which th'earth from ougly Chaos den vp-vvayd:
These he regarded not, but did intreat,
That Ioue, vsurper of his fathers seat,
Might presently be banisht into hell,
And aged Saturne in Olympus dvvell.
They granted vvat he crau'd, and once againe,
Saturne and Ops, began their golden raigne.
Murder, rape, warre, lust and treacherie,
Were with Ioue clos'd in Stigian Empire.
But long this blessed time continued not,
As soone as he his wished purpose got;
He recklesse of his promise did despise
The loue of th'euerlasting Destinies.
They seeing it, both Loue and him abhor'd,
And Iupiter vnto his place restor'd.
And but that Learning, in despight of Fate,
Will mount aloft, and enter heauen gate,
And to the seat of Ioue it selfe, aduance,
Hermes had slept in hell with ignoraunce.
Yet as a punishment they added this,
That he and Pouertie should alwaies kis.
And to this day is euerie scholler poore,
Grosse gold, from them runs headlong to the boore.
Likewise the angrie sisters thus deluded,
To venge themselues on Hermes, haue concluded
That Midas brood shall sit in Honors chaire,
To which the Muses sonnes are only heire:
And fruitfull wits that in aspiring are,
Shall discontent, run into regions farre;
And few great lords in vertuous deeds shall ioy,
But be surpris'd with euery garish toy.
And still inrich the loftie seruile clowne,
Who with incroching guile keepes learning downe.
Then muse not, Cupids sute no better sped,
Seeing in their loues, the Fates were iniured.
By this, sad Hero, with loue vnacquainted,
Viewing Leanders face, fell downe and fainted.
He kist her, and breath'd life into her lips,
Wherewith as one displeas'd, away she trips.
Yet as she went, full often look'd behind,
And many poore excuses did she find,
To linger by the way, and once she stayd,
And would haue turn'd againe, but was afrayd,
In offring parlie, to be counted light.
So on she goes, and in her idle flight,
Her painted fanne of curled plumes let fall,
Thinking to traine Leander therewithall.
He being a nouice, knew not what she meant,
But stayd, and after her a letter sent.
Which ioyfull Hero answerd in such sort,
As he had hope to scale the beauteous fort,
Wherein the liberall graces lock'd their wealth,
And therefore to her tower he got by stealth.
Wide open stood the doore, hee need not clime,
And she her selfe before the pointed time,
Had spread the boord, with roses strowed the roome,
And oft look't out, and mus'd he did not come.
At last he came, O who can tell the greeting,
These greedie louers had, at their first meeting.
He askt, she gaue, and nothing was denied,
Both to each other quickly were affied.
Looke how their hands, so were their hearts vnited,
And what he did, she willingly requited.
(Sweet are the kisses, the imbracements sweet,
When like desires and affections meet,
For from the earth to heauen, is Cupid rais'd,
Where fancie is in equall ballance pais'd)
Yet she this rashnesse sodainly repented,
And turn'd aside, and to her selfe lamented.
As if her name and honour had been wrong'd,
By being possest of him for whom she lon'd:
I, and shee wisht, albeit not from her hart,
That he would leaue her turret and depart.
The mirthfull God of amorous pleasure smil'd,
To see how he this captiue Nymph beguil'd.
For hitherto hee did but fan the fire,
And kept it downe that it might mount the hier.
Now waxt she iealous, least his loue abated,
Fearing, her owne thoughts made her to be hated.
Therefore vnto him hastily she goes,
And like light Salmacis, her body throes
Vpon his bosome, vvhere vvith yeelding eyes,
She offers vp her selfe a sacrifice,
To slake his anger, if he vvere displeas'd,
O vvhat god vvould not therevvith be appeas'd?
Like Æsops cocke, this iewell he enioyed,
And as a brother with his sister toyed,
Supposing nothing else was to be done,
Now he her fauour and good will had wone.
But know you not that creatures wanting sence,
By nature haue a mutuall appetence,
And wanting organs to aduaunce a step,
Mou'd by Loues force, vnto ech other lep?
Much more in subiects hauing intellect,
Some hidden influence breeds like effect.
Albeit Leander rude in loue, and raw,
Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
That might delight him more, yet he suspected
Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
Therefore vnto his bodie, hirs he clung,
She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
Striu'd with redoubled strength, the more she strued,
The more a gentle pleasing heat reuiued,
Which taught him all that elder louers know,
And now the same gan so to scorch and glow,
As in plaine termes (yet cunningly) he crau'd it,
Loue alwaies makes those eloquent that haue it.
Shee, with a kind of graunting, put him by it,
And euer as he thought himselfe most nigh it,
Like to the tree of Tantalus she fled,
And seeming lauish, sau'de her maydenhead.
Ne're king more sought to keepe his diademe,
Than Hero this inestimable gemme.
Aboue our life we loue a stedfast friend,
Yet when a token of great worth we send,
We often kisse it, often looke thereon,
And stay the messenger that would be gon:
No maruell then, though Hero would not yeeld
So soone to part from that she deerely held.
Iewels being lost are found againe, this neuer,
T'is lost but once, and once lost, lost for euer.
Now had the morne espy'de her louers steeds,
Whereat she starts, puts on her purple weeds,
And red for anger that he stayd so long,
All headlong throwes her selfe the clouds among,
And now Leander fearing to be mist,
Imbrast her sodainly, tooke leaue, and kist,
Long was he taking leaue, and loath to go,
And kist againe, as louers vse to do,
Sad Hero wroong him by the hand, and wept,
Saying, let your vowes and promises be kept.
Then standing at the doore, she turnd about,
As loath to see Leander going out.
And now the sunne that through th'orizon peepes,
As pittying these louers, downeward creepes.
So that in silence of the cloudie night,
Though it was morning, did he take his flight.
But vvhat the secret trustie night conceal'd,
Leanders amorous habit soone reueal'd,
With Cupids myrtle vvas his bonet crovvnd,
About his armes the purple riband vvound,
Wherevvith she vvreath'd her largely spreading heare,
Nor could the youth abstaine, but he must vveare
The sacred ring vvherevvith she vvas endovv'd,
When first religious chastitie she vovv'd:
Which made his loue through Sestos to bee knovvne,
And thence vnto Abydus sooner blovvne,
Than he could saile, for incorporeal Fame,
Whose vvaight consists in nothing but her name,
Is svvifter than the vvind, vvhose tardie plumes,
Are reeking vvater, and dull earthlie fumes.
Home vvhen he came, he seem'd not to be there,
But like exiled aire thrust from his sphere,
Set in a forren place, and straight from thence,
Alcides like, by mightie violence,
He vvould haue chac'd avvay the svvelling maine,
That him from her vniustly did detaine.
Like as the sunne in a Dyameter,
Fires and inflames obiects remooued farre,
And heateth kindly, shining lat'rally;
So beautie, svveetly quickens vvhen t'is ny,
But being separated and remooued,
Burnes vvhere it cherisht, murders vvhere it loued.
Therefore euen as an Index to a booke,
So to his mind was yoong Leanders looke.
O none but gods haue povver their loue to hide,
Affection by the count'nance is descride.
The light of hidden fire it selfe discouers,
And loue that is conceal'd, betraies poore louers.
His secret flame apparently vvas seene,
Leanders Father knevv vvhere hee had beene,
And for the same mildly rebuk't his sonne,
Thinking to quench the sparckles nevv begonne.
But loue resisted once, grovves passionate,
And nothing more than counsaile, louers hate.
Fot as a hote provvd horse highly disdaines,
To haue his head control'd, but breakes the raines,
Spits foorth the ringled bit, and vvith his houes,
Checkes the submissiue ground: so hee that loues,
The more he is restrain'd, the worse he fares,
What is it novv, but mad Leander dares?
O Hero, Hero, thus he cry'de full oft,
And then he got him to a rocke aloft
Where hauing spy'de her tovver, long star'd he on't,
And pray'd the narrovv royling Hellespont,
To part in tvvaine, that hee might come and go,
But still the rising billovves ansvvered no.
With that hee stript him to the yu'rie skin,
And crying, Loue I come, leapt liuely in.
Whereat the saphir visag'd god grew prowd,
And made his capring Triton sond alowd,
Imagining, that Ganmed displeas'd,
Had left the heauens, therefore on him hee seaz'd.
Leander striu'd, the waues about him wound,
And puld him to the bottome, where the ground
Was strewd with pearle, and in low corrall groues,
Sweet singing Meremaids, sported with their loues
On heapes of heauie gold, and tooke great pleasure,
To spurne in carelesse sort, the shipwracke treasure.
For here the stately azure pallace stood,
Where kingly Neptune and his traine abode,
The lustie god imbract him, cald him loue,
And swore he neuer should return to Ioue.
But vvhen he knevv it vvas not Ganimed,
For vndervvater he vvas almost dead,
He heau'd him vp, and looking on his face,
Beat dovvne the bold vvaues vvith his triple mace,
Which mounted vp, intending to haue kist him,
And fell in drops like teares, because they mist him.
Leander being vp, began to svvim,
And looking backe, savv Neptune follovv him.
Whereat agast, the poore soule gan to crie,
O let mee visite Hero ere I die.
The god put Helles bracelet on his arme,
And svvore the sea should neuer doe him harme.
He clapt his plumpe cheekes, with his tresses playd,
And smiling wantonly, his loue bewrayd.
He watcht his armes, and as they opend wide,
At euery stroke, betwixt them would he slide,
And steale a kisse, and then run out and daunce,
And as he turn, cast many a lustfull glaunce,
And threw him gawdie tois to please his eie,
And diue into the water, and there prie
Vpon his brest, his thighs, and euerie lim,
And vp againe, and close beside him swim.
And talke of loue: Leander made replie,
You are deceau'd, I am no woman I,
Thereat smilde Neptune, and then told a tale,
How that a shepheard sitting in a vale,
Playd with a boy so faire and kind,
As for his loue, both earth and heauen pyn'd,
That of the cooling riuer durst not drinke,
Least water-nymphs should pull him from the brinke.
And when hee sported in the fragrant lawnes,
Gote-footed Satyrs, and vp-staring Fawnes,
Would steale him thence. Ere halfe this tale was done,
Aye me, Leander cryde, th'enamoured sunne,
Descends vpon my radiant Heroes tower.
O that these tardie armes of mine were wings,
And as he spake, vpon the waues he springs.
Neptune was angrie that hee gaue no eare,
And in his heart reuenging malice bare:
He flung at him his mace, but as it went,
He cald it in, for loue made him repent.
The mace returning backe, his owne hand hit,
As meaning to be veng'd for darting it.
When this fresh bleeding wound Leander viewd,
His colour went and came, as if he rewd
The greefe which Neptune felt. In gentle brests,
Relenting thoughts, remorse and pittie rests.
And who haue hard harts, and obdurat minds,
But vicious, harebraind, and illit'rat hinds?
The god seeing him with pittie to be moued,
Thereon concluded that he was beloued.
(Loue is too full of faith, too credulous,
With follie and false hope deluding vs)
Wherefore Leanders fancie to surprize,
To the rich Ocean for gifts he flies.
'Tis wisedome to giue much, a gift preuailes,
When deepe perswading Oratorie failes.
By this Leander being nere the land,
Cast downe his wearie feet, and felt the sand.
Breathlesse albeit he were, he rested not,
Till to the solitarie tower he got.
And knockt and cald, at which celestiall noise,
The longing heart of Hero much more ioies
Then nymphs & sheapheards, vvhen the timbrell rings,
Or crooked Dolphin vvhen the sailer sings;
She stayd not for her robes, but straight arose,
And drunke vvith gladnesse, to the dore she goes.
Where seeing a naked man, she scriecht for feare,
Such sights as this, to tender maids are rare.
And ran into the darke her selfe to hide,
Rich ievvels in the darke are soonest spide.
Vnto her vvas he led, or rather dravvne,
By those vvhite limmes, vvhich sparckled through the lavvne.
The neerer that he came, the more she fled,
And seeking refuge, slipt into her bed.
Whereon Leander sitting, thus began,
Through numming cold, all feeble, faint and vvan:
If not for loue, yet loue for pittie sake,
Me in thy bed and maiden bosom take,
At least vouchsafe these aremes some little roome,
Who hoping to imbrace thee, cherely svvome.
This head was beat vvith manie a churlish billovv,
And therefore let it rest vpon thy pillovv.
Herevvith afrighted Hero shrunke avvay,
And in her luke-vvarme place Leander lay.
Whose liuely heat like fire from heauen fet,
VVould animate grosse clay, and higher set
The drooping thoughts of base declining soules,
Then drerie Mars, carowsing Nectar bowles.
His hands he cast vpon her like a snare,
She ouercome with shame and sallow feare,
Like chast Diana, when Acteon spyde her,
Being sodainly betraide, dyu'd downe to hide her.
And as her siluer body downeward went,
With both her hands she made the bed a tent,
And in her owne mind thought her selfe secure,
O'recast with dim and darksome couerture.
And how she lets him whisper in her eare,
Flatter, intreat, promise, protest and sweare,
Yet euer as he greedily assayd
To touch those dainties, she the Harpey playd,
And euery lim did as a soldier stout,
Defend the fort, and keep the foe-man out.
For though the rising yu'rie mount he scal'd,
Which is with azure cicling lines empal'd,
Much like a globe, (a globe may I tearme this,
By which loue sailes to regions full of blis,)
Yet there with Sysiphus he toyld in vaine,
Till gentle parlie did the truce obtaine.
She trembling stroue, this strife of hers (like that
Which made the world) another world begat,
Of vnknowne ioy. Treason was in her thought,
And cunningly to yeeld her selfe she sought.
Seeming not woon, yet woon she was at length,
In such warres women vse but halfe their strength.
Leander now like Theban Hercules,
Entred the orchard of Th'esperides,
Whose fruit none rightly can describe, but hee
That puls or shakes it from the golden tree:
Wherein Leander on her quiuering brest,
Breathlesse spoke some thing, and sigh'd out the rest;
Which so preuail'd, as he with small ado,
Inclos'd her in his armes and kist her to.
And euerie kisse to her was as a charme,
And to Leander as a fresh alarme.
So that the truce was broke, and she alas,
(Poore sillie maiden) at his mercie was.
Loue is not full of pittie (as men say)
But deaffe and cruell, where he meanes to pray.
Euen as a bird, which in our hands we wring,
Foorth plungeth, and oft flutters with her vving.
And novv she vvisht this night vvere niuer done,
And sigh'd to thinke vpon th'approching sunne,
For much it greeu'd her that the bright day light,
Should knovv the pleasure of this blessed night.
And then like Mars and Ericine displayd,
Both in each others armes chaind as they layd.
Againe she knew not hovv to frame her looke,
Or speake to him vvho in a moment tooke,
That which so long charily she kept,
And faine by stealth away she would haue crept,
And to some corner secretly haue gone,
Leauing Leander in the bed alone.
But as her naked feet were whipping out,
He on the suddaine cling'd her so about,
That meremaid-like vnto the floore she slid,
One halfe appear'd the other halfe vvas hid.
Thus neere the bed she blushing stood vpright,
And from her countenance behold ye might,
A kind of tvvilight breake, vvhich through the heare,
As from an orient cloud, glymse her and there.
And round about the chamber this false morne,
Brought foorth the day before the day vvas borne.
So Heroes ruddie cheeke, Hero betrayd,
And her all naked to his sight diplayd.
Whence his admiring eyes more pleasure tooke,
Than Dis, on heapes of gold fixing his looke.
By this Apollos golden harpe began,
To sound foorth musicke to the Ocean,
Which vvatchfull Hesperus no sooner heard,
But he the day bright-bearing Car prepar'd.
And ran before, as Harbenger of light,
And vvith his staring beames mockt ougly night,
Till she o'recome vvith anguish, shame, and rage,
Dang'd dovvne to hell her loathsome carriage.