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Seventeenth Century

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<--Samuel Daniel

Ludovico Carracci. Alexander and Thais, 1611.

A decorative border from Grosart

The Tragedy of Philotas title from Grosart

    Farewell Antigona.
Now have I that, which I desirèd long,
Laid in my lap by this fond woman here,
And means t'avenge me of a secret wrong
That doth concern my reputation near.
This gallant man, whom this fool in this wise
Wants to be hers, I must confess t'have loved,
And vied all th'engines of these conquering eyes,
Affections in his hie-built heart t'have moved,
Yet never could: for what my labour seeks
I see is lost upon vain ignorance,
Whilst he that is the glory of the Greeks,
Virtue's upholder, honour's countenance,
Out of this garnish of his worthy parts
Is fallen upon this foolish Persian,
To whom his secrets gravely he imparts;
Which she as wisely keeps and govern can.
'Tis strange to see the humour of these men,
These great aspiring spirits, that should be wise
We women shall know all: for now and then,
Out of the humour of their jollities,
The smoke of their ambition must have vent,
And out it comes what racks should not reveal:
For this her humour hath so much of wind,
That it will burst itself if too close pent ;
And none more fit than us their wisdoms find,
Who will for love or want of wit conceal.
For being the nature of great spirits, to love
To be where they may be most eminent;
And rating of themselves so far above
Us in conceit, with whom they do frequent,
Imagine how we wonder and esteem
All that they do or say; which makes them strive
To make our admiration more extreme:
Which they suppose they cannot, 'less they give
Notice of their extreme and highest thoughts
And then the opinion, that we love them too,
Begets a confidence of secrecy;
Whereby what ever they intend to do,
We shall be sure to know it presently.
    But faith, I scorn that such a one as she,
A silly-witted wench, should have this grace
To be preferred and honor'd before me,
Having but only beauty, and a face.
I that was ever courted by the great
And gallantest Peers and Princes of the East,
Whom Alexander in the greatest state
The earth did ever see him, made his guest.
There where this tongue obtainèd for her merit
Eternity of Fame: there where these hands
Did write in fire the glory of my spirit,
And set a trophy that forever stands:
Thais action with the Grecian acts shall be
Inregistered alike. Thais, she that fired
The stateliest palace th'earth did ever see
Darius house, that to the clouds aspired:
She is put back behind Antigona.
    But soon Philotas shall his error see,
Who thinks that beauty best, men's passions fits
For that they use our bodies, not our wits
And unto Craterus will I presently,
And him acquaint with all this whole discourse,
Who, I am sure, will take it well of us:
For these great Minions, who with envious eye
Look on each other's greatness, will be glad,
In such a case of this importancy,
To have th'advantage that may here be had.








Transcribed and modernized by Anniina Jokinen from
Daniel, Samuel. The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Samuel Daniel. vol 3.
A. B. Grosart, ed. New York: Rusell & Russell, Inc., 1885, Reissued in 1963. 118-120.

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Site copyright ©1996-2023 Anniina Jokinen.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on June 5, 1997. Last updated on May 16, 2023.


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