previous next

Whom forbycause Pygmalion saw to leade theyr lyfe in sin
Offended with the vice whereof greate store is packt within
The nature of the womankynd, he led a single lyfe.
And long it was ere he could fynd in hart to take a wyfe.
Now in the whyle by wondrous Art an image he did grave
Of such proportion, shape, and grace as nature never gave
Nor can to any woman give. In this his worke he tooke
A certaine love. The looke of it was ryght a Maydens looke,
And such a one as that yee would beleeve had lyfe, and that
Would moved bee, if womanhod and reverence letted not:
So artificiall was the work. He woondreth at his Art
And of his counterfetted corse conceyveth love in hart.
He often toucht it, feeling if the woork that he had made
Were verie flesh or Ivorye still. Yit could he not perswade
Himself to think it Ivory, for he oftentymes it kist
And thought it kissed him ageine. He hild it by the fist,
And talked to it. He beleeved his fingars made a dint
Uppon her flesh, and feared lest sum blacke or broosed print
Should come by touching over hard. Sumtyme with pleasant boords
And wanton toyes he dalyingly dooth cast foorth amorous woords.
Sumtime (the giftes wherein yong Maydes are wonted to delyght)
He brought her owches, fyne round stones, and Lillyes fayre and whyght,
And pretie singing birds, and flowres of thousand sorts and hew,
In gorgeous garments furthermore he did her also decke,
And peynted balles, and Amber from 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 feast,
For handsell of her freendly helpe did cause three tymes at least
The fyre to kindle and to spyre thryse upward in the ayre.
As soone as he came home, streyghtway Pygmalion did repayre
Unto the Image of his wench, and leaning on the bed,
Did kisse hir. In her body streyght a warmenesse seemd to spred.
He put his mouth againe to hers, and on her brest did lay
His hand. The Ivory wexed soft: and putting quyght away
All hardnesse, yeelded underneathe his fingars, as wee see
A peece of wax made soft ageinst the Sunne, or drawen to bee
In divers shapes by chaufing it betweene ones handes, and so
To serve to uses. He amazde stood wavering to and fro
Tweene joy, and feare to be beeguyld, ageine he burnt in love,
Ageine with feeling he began his wished hope to prove.
He felt it verrye flesh in deede. By laying on his thumb,
He felt her pulses beating. Then he stood no longer dumb
But thanked Venus with his hart, and at the length he layd
His mouth to hers who was as then become a perfect mayd.
Shee felt the kisse, and blusht therat: and lifting fearefully
Hir eyelidds up, hir Lover and the light at once did spye.
The mariage that her selfe had made the Goddesse blessed so,
That when the Moone with fulsum lyght nyne tymes her course had go,
This Ladye was delivered of a Sun that Paphus hyght,
Of whom the Iland takes that name.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tyre (Lebanon) (1)
Sunne (Sweden) (1)
Paphos (Cyprus) (1)
Cyprus (Cyprus) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: