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"HE parrot, from East India to me sent,
Go, godly birds, striking your breasts, bewail,
And with rough claws your tender cheeks assail.
For woful hairs let piece-torn plumes abound ;
For long shrild trumpets let your notes resound.
Why, Philomel, dost Tereus' lewdness mourn ?
All-wasting years have that complaint now worn :
Thy tunes let this rare bird's sad funeral borrow,
Itys a great, but ancient cause of sorrow.
All you whose pinions in the clear air soar,
But most, thou friendly turtle-dove, deplore :
Full concord all your lives was you betwixt,
And to the end your constant faith stood fixt;
What Pylades did to Orestes prove,
Such to the arrot was the turtle-dove.
But what avail'd this faith ? her rarest hue ?
Or voice that how to change the wild notes knew?
What helps it thou wert given to please my wench ?
Birds' hapless glory, death thy life doth quench.
Thou with thy quills mightst make green emeralds dark,
And pass our scarlet of red saffron's mark.
No such voice-feigning bird was on the ground ;
Thou spok'st thy words so well with stammering sound.
Enry hath rapt thee: no fierce wars thou mov'd'st;
Vain-babbling speech and pleasant peace thou lov'd'st.
Behold, how quails among their battles live!
Which do perchance old age unto them give.
A little fill'd thee ; and, for love of talk,
Thy mouth to taste of many meats did balk.
Nuts were thy food, and poppy caus'd thee sleep;
Pure water's moisture thirst away did keep.
The ravenous vulture lives; the puttock hovers
Around the air; the cadess rain discovers ;
And crow survives arms-bearing Pallas' hate,
Whose life nine ages scarce bring out of date.
Dead is that speaking image of man's voice,
The parrot given me, the far world's best choice.
The greedy spirits take the best things first,
Supplying their void places with the worst.
Thersites did Protesilaus survive ;
And Hector died, his brothers yet alive.
My wench's vows for thee what should I show,
Which stormy south winds into sea did blow ?
The severth day came ; none following mightst thou
And the Fate's distaff empty stood to thee.
And, drunk with gladness, to the door she goes ;
Where seeing a naked man, she screech'd for fear
(Such sights as this to tender maids are rare),
And ran into the dark herself to hide
(Rich jewels in the dark are soonest spied).
Unto her was he led, or rather drawn,
By those white limbs which sparkled through the
And nearer that he came, the more she fled,
And, seeking refuge, slipt into her bed ;
Whereon Leander sitting, thus began,
Through numbing cold, all feeble, faint, and wan:
“If not for love, yet, love, for pity-sake,
Me in thy bed and maiden bosom take ;
At least vouchsafe these arms some little room,
Who, hoping to embrace thee, cheerly swoon :
This head was beat with many a churlish billow,
And therefore let it rest upon thy pillow."
Herewith affrighted, Hero shrunk away,
And in her lukewarm place Leander lay ;
Whose lively heat, like fire from heaven fet,
Would animate gross clay, and higher set
The drooping thoughts of base-declining souls,
Than dreary-Mars-carousing nectar bowls.
His hands he cast upon her like a snare :
She, overcome with shame and sallow fear,
Like chaste Diana when Acton spied her,
Being suddenly betray'd, div'd down to hide her;
And, as her silver body downward wept,
With both her hands she made the bed a tent,
And in her own mind thought herself secure,
O'ercast with dim and darksome overture.
And now she lets him whisper in her ear,
Flatter, entreat, promise, protest, and swear ;
Yet ever, as he greedily assay'd
To touch those dainties, she the harpy play'd,
And every limb did, as a soldier stout,
Defend the fort, and keep the foeman out ;
For though the rising ivory mount he scaled,
Which is with azure circling lines empal'd,
Much like a globe (a globe may I terın this,
By which Love sails to regions full of bliss),
Yet there with Sisyphus he toil'd in vain,
The gentle parley did the truce obtain.
Even as a bird, which in our hands we wring,
Forth plungeth, and oft flutters with her wing,
She trembling strove : this strife of hers, like that
Which made the world, another world begat
Of unknown joy. Treason was in her thought,
And cunningly to yield herself she sought.
Seeming not won, yet won she was at length :
In such wars women use but half their strength.
Leander now, like Theban Hercules,
Enter'd the orchard of the Hesperides ;
Whose fruit none rightly can describe, but he
That pulls or shakes it from the golden tree.
Wherein Leander, on her quivering breast,
Breathless spoke something, and sigh'd out tho rest;
Which so prevailed, as he, with small ado,
Enclos'd her in his arms, and kiss'd her too:
And every kiss to her was as a charm,
And to Leander as a fresh alarm :
So that the truce was broke, and she, alas,
Poor silly maiden, at his mercy was.
Love is not full of pity, as men say,
But deaf and cruel where he means to prey.
And now she wish'd this night were never done,
And sighed to think upon th' approaching sun ;
For much it griev'd her that the bright daylight
Should know the pleasure of this blessed niglit,
And them, like Mars and Erycine, display
Both in each other's arms chain'd as they lay.
Again, she knew not how to frame her look,
Or speak to him, who in a moment took
That which so long, so charily she kept ;
And fain by stealth away she would have crept,
And to some corner secretly have gone,
Leaving Leander in the bed alone.
But as her naked feet were whipping out,
He on the sudden cling'd her so about,
That mermaid-like, unto the floor she slid ;
One half appear'd, the other half was hid.
Thus near the bed she blushing stood upright,
And from her countenance behold ye might
A kind of twilight break, which through the air,
As from an orient cloud, glimps'd here and there ;
And round about the chamber this false morn