Table of Contents:
And now his lightning had he thought on all the earth to throw,
But that he feared lest the flames perhaps so hie should grow
As for to set the Heaven on fire, and burne up all the skie.
He did remember furthermore how that by destinie
A certaine time should one day come, wherein both Sea and Lond
And Heaven it selfe shoulde feele the force of Vulcans scorching brond,
So that the huge and goodly worke of all the worlde so wide
Should go to wrecke, for doubt whereof forthwith he laide aside
His weapons that the Cyclops made, intending to correct
Mans trespasse by a punishment contrary in effect.
And namely with incessant showres from heaven ypoured downe,
He did determine with himselfe the mortall kinde to drowne.
In Aeolus prison by and by he fettred Boreas fast,
With al such winds as chase the cloudes or breake them with their blast,
And set at large the Southerne winde: who straight with watry wings
And dreadfull face as blacke as pitch, forth out of prison flings.
His beard hung full of hideous stormes, all dankish was his head,
With water streaming downe his haire that on his shoulders shead.
His ugly forehead wrinkled was with foggie mistes full thicke,
And on his fethers and his breast a stilling dew did sticke.
As soone as he betweene his hands the hanging cloudes had crusht,
With ratling noyse adowne from heaven the raine full sadly gusht.
The Rainbow, Junos messenger, bedect in sundrie hue,
To maintaine moysture in the cloudes, great waters thither drue:
The corne was beaten to the grounde, the Tilmans hope of gaine,
For which he toyled all the yeare, lay drowned in the raine.
Joves indignation and his wrath began to grow so hot
That for to quench the rage thereof, his Heaven suffised not.
His brother Neptune with his waves was faine to doe him ease:
Who straight assembling all the streames that fall into the seas,
Said to them standing in his house: Sirs get you home apace,
(You must not looke to have me use long preaching in this case.)
Poure out your force (for so is neede) your heads ech one unpende,
And from your open springs, your streames with flowing waters sende.
He had no sooner said the word, but that returning backe,
Eche one of them unlosde his spring, and let his waters slacke.
And to the Sea with flowing streames yswolne above their bankes,
One rolling in anothers necke, they rushed forth by rankes.
Himselfe with his threetyned Mace, did lend the earth a blow,
That made it shake and open wayes for waters forth to flow.
The flouds at randon where they list, through all the fields did stray,
Men, beastes, trees, come, and with their gods were Churches washt away.
If any house were built so strong, against their force to stonde
Yet did the water hide the top: and turrets in that ponde
Were overwhelmde: no difference was betweene the sea and ground,
For all was sea: there was no shore nor landing to be found.
Some climbed up to tops of hils, and some rowde to and fro
In Botes, where they not long before, to plough and Cart did go,
One over come and tops of townes, whome waves did overwhelme,
Doth saile in ship, an other sittes a fishing in an Elme.
In meddowes greene were Anchors cast (so fortune did provide)
And crooked ships did shadow vynes, the which the floud did hide.
And where but tother day before did feede the hungry Gote,
The ugly Seales and Porkepisces now to and fro did flote.
The Sea nymphes wondred under waves the townes and groves to see,
And Dolphines playd among the tops and boughes of every tree.
The grim and greedy Wolfe did swim among the siely sheepe,
The Lion and the Tyger fierce were borne upon the deepe.
It booted not the foming Boare his crooked tuskes to whet,
The running Hart coulde in the streame by swiftnesse nothing get.
The fleeting fowles long having sought for land to rest upon,
Into the Sea with werie wings were driven to fall anon.
Th'outragious swelling of the Sea the lesser hillockes drownde,
Unwonted waves on highest tops of mountaines did rebownde.
The greatest part of men were drownde, and such as scapte the floode,
Forlorne with fasting overlong did die for want of foode.
Against the fieldes of Aonie and Atticke lies a lande
That Phocis hight, a fertile ground while that it was a lande:
But at that time a part of Sea, and even a champion fielde
Of sodaine waters which the floud by forced rage did yeelde,
Where as a hill with forked top the which Parnasus hight,
Doth pierce the cloudes and to the starres doth raise his head upright.
When at this hill (for yet the Sea had whelmed all beside)
Deucalion and his bedfellow, without all other guide,
Arrived in a little Barke immediatly they went,
And to the Nymphes of Corycus with full devout intent
Did honor due, and to the Gods to whome that famous hill
Was sacred, and to Themis eke in whose most holie will
Consisted then the Oracles. In all the world so rounde
A better nor more righteous man could never yet be founde
Than was Deucalion, nor againe a woman, mayde nor wife,
That feared God so much as shee, nor led so good a life.
When Jove behelde how all the worlde stoode lyke a plash of raine,
And of so many thousand men and women did remaine
But one of eche, howbeit those both just and both devout,
He brake the Cloudes, and did commaund that Boreas with his stout
And sturdie blasts should chase the floud, that Earth might see the skie
And Heaven the Earth: the Seas also began immediatly
Their raging furie for to cease. Their ruler laide awaye
His dreadfull Mace, and with his wordes their woodnesse did alaye.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.