se brewes sumtyme did beare
A payre of welked homes: whereof they Cerastes named are.
Before theyr doore an Altar stood of Jove that takes the care
Of alyents and of travellers, which lothsome was to see,
For lewdnesse wrought theron. If one that had a straunger bee
Had lookt thereon, he would have thought there had on it beene killd
Sum sucking calves or lambes. The blood of straungers there was spilld.
Dame Venus sore offended at this wicked sacrifyse,
To leave her Cities and the land of Cyprus did devyse.
But then bethinking her, shee sayd: What hath my pleasant ground,
What have my Cities trespassed? what fault in them is found?
Nay rather let this wicked race by exyle punnisht beene,
Or death, or by sum other thing that is a meane betweene
Both death and exyle. What is that? save only for to chaunge
Theyr shape. In musing with herself what figure were most straunge,
Shee cast her eye uppon a home. And therewithall shee thought
The same to bee a shape ryght meete uppon them to
m the tree distilled new.
And on her fingars put me rings, and cheynes about her necke.
Riche perles were hanging at her eares, and tablets at her brest.
All kynd of things became her well. And when she was undrest,
She seemed not lesse beawtifull. He layd her in a bed
The which with scarlet dyde in Tyre was richly overspred,
And terming her his bedfellow, he couched downe hir head
Uppon a pillow soft, as though shee could have felt the same.
The feast of Venus hallowed through the Ile of Cyprus, came
And Bullocks whyght with gilden homes were slayne for sacrifyse,
And up to heaven of frankincence the smoky fume did ryse.
When as Pygmalion having doone his dutye that same day,
Before the altar standing, thus with fearefull hart did say:
If that you Goddes can all things give, then let my wife (I pray)
(He durst not say bee yoon same wench of Ivory, but) bee leeke
My wench of Ivory. Venus (who was nought at all to seeke
What such a wish as that did meene) then present at her feas
orne. And that this lucklesse plot
Should hinder mee. Why thinke I thus? Avaunt, unlawfull love.
I ought to love him, I confesse: but so as dooth behove
His daughter: were not Cinyras my father than, Iwis
I myght obtaine to lye with him. But now bycause he is
Myne owne, he cannot bee myne owne. The neerenesse of our kin
Dooth hurt me. Were I further off perchaunce I more myght win.
And if I wist that I therby this wickednesse myght shunne,
I would forsake my native soyle and farre from Cyprus runne.
This evill heate dooth hold mee backe, that beeing present still
I may but talke with Cinyras and looke on him my fill,
And touch, and kisse him, if no more may further graunted bee.
Why wicked wench, and canst thou hope for further? doost not see
How by thy fault thou doost confound the ryghts of name and kin?
And wilt thou make thy mother bee a Cucqueane by thy sin?
Wilt thou thy fathers leman bee? wilt thou bee both the moother
And suster of thy chyld? shall he bee both thy
And rowsed him. And as the swyne was comming from the wood,
Adonis hit him with a dart askew, and drew the blood.
The Boare streyght with his hooked groyne the hunting staffe out drew
Bestayned with his blood, and on Adonis did pursew.
Who trembling and retyring back, to place of refuge drew.
And hyding in his codds his tuskes as farre as he could thrust
He layd him all along for dead uppon the yellow dust.
Dame Venus in her chariot drawen with swannes was scarce arrived
At Cyprus, when shee knew afarre the sygh of him depryved
Of lyfe. Shee turnd her Cygnets backe and when shee from the skye
Beehilld him dead, and in his blood beweltred for to lye:
Shee leaped downe, and tare at once hir garments from her brist,
And rent her heare, and beate upon her stomack with her fist,
And blaming sore the destnyes, sayd: Yit shall they not obteine
Their will in all things. Of my greefe remembrance shall remayne
(Adonis) whyle the world doth last. From yeere to yeere shall gro
But that he fitly and with ease will streyght becomme the same.
Besydes all this, in all one thing bothe twayne of you delyght,
And of the frutes that you love best the firstlings are his ryght:
And gladly he receyves thy gifts. But neyther covets hee
Thy Apples, Plommes, nor other frutes new gathered from the tree,
Nor yit the herbes of pleasant sent that in thy gardynes bee:
Nor any other kynd of thing in all the world, but thee.
Have mercy on his fervent love, and think himself to crave
Heere present by the mouth of mee, the thing that he would have.
And feare the God that may revenge: as Venus whoo dooth hate
Hard harted folkes, and Rhamnuse whoo dooth eyther soone or late
Expresse her wrath with myndfull wreake. And to th'entent thou may
The more beware, of many things which tyme by long delay
Hathe taught mee, I will shewe thee one which over all the land
Of Cyprus blazed is abrode, which being ryghtly skand
May easly bow thy hardned hart and make it for to yild.