Table of Contents:
Anon upon the same
The furious Fiende Tisiphone doth cloth hir out of hand
In garment streaming gorie bloud, and taketh in hir hand
A burning Cresset steepte in bloud, and girdeth hir about
With wreathed Snakes and so goes forth. And at hir going out,
Feare, terror, grief and pensivenesse for companie she tooke,
And also madnesse with his flaight, and gastly staring looke.
Within the house of Athamas no sooner foote she set,
But that the postes began to quake and doores looke blacke as Jet.
The sonne withdrew him, Athamas and eke his wife were cast
With ougly sightes in such a feare, that out of doores agast
They would have fled. There stoode the Fiend, and stopt their passage out,
And splaying forth hir filthie armes beknit with Snakes about,
Did tosse and wave hir hatefull head. The swarme of scaled snakes
Did make an irksome noyse to heare as she hir tresses shakes.
About hir shoulders some did craule: some trayling downe hir brest
Did hisse and spit out poyson greene, and spirt with tongues infest.
Then from amyd hir haire two snakes with venymd hand she drew
Of which shee one at Athamas and one at Ino threw.
The snakes did craule about their breasts, inspiring in their heart
Most grievous motions of the minde: the bodie had no smart
Of any wound: it was the minde that felt the cruell stings.
A poyson made in Syrup wise, shee also with hir brings.
The filthie fome of Cerberus, the casting of the Snake
Echidna, bred among the Fennes about the Stygian Lake:
Desire of gadding foorth abroad: forgetfulnesse of minde:
Delight in mischiefe: woodnesse: teares: and purpose whole inclinde
To cruell murther: all the which shee did together grinde:
And mingling them with new shed bloud had boyled them in brasse,
And stird them with a Hemblock stalke. Now whyle that Athamas
And Ino stood and quakte for feare, this poyson ranke and fell
Shee tourned into both their breastes and made their heartes to swell.
Then whisking often round about hir head hir balefull brand,
She made it soone by gathering winde to kindle in hir hand.
Thus as it were in triumph wise accomplishing hir hest,
To Duskie Plutos emptie Realme shee gettes hir home to rest,
And putteth off the snarled Snakes that girded in hir brest.
Immediatly King Aeolus sonne starke madde comes crying out
Through all the court: What meane yee Sirs? why go yee not about
To pitch our toyles within this chace? I saw even nowe here ran
A Lyon with hir two yong whelpes. And there withall he gan
To chase his wyfe as if in deede shee had a Lyon beene
And lyke a Bedlem boystouslie he snatcheth from betweene
The mothers armes h's little babe Loearchus smyling on him
And reaching foorth his preatie armes, and floong him fiercely from him
A twice or thrice as from a slyng: and dasht his tender head
Against a hard and rugged stone until he sawe him dead.
The wretched mother (whither griefe did move hir thereunto
Or that the poyson spred within did force hir so to doe)
Howld out and frantikly with scattered haire about hir eares
And with hir little Melicert whome hastely shee beares
In naked armes she cryeth out, Hoe Bacchus. At the name
Of Bacchus Juno gan to laugh and scorning sayde in game:
This guerden loe thy foster child requiteth for the same.
There hangs a rocke about the Sea the foote whereof is eate
So hollow with the saltish waves which on the same doe beate,
That like a house it keepeth off the moysting showers of rayne.
The toppe is rough and shootes his front amiddes the open mayne.
Dame Ino (madnesse made hir strong) did climb this cliffe anon
And headlong downe (without regarde of hurt that hoong thereon)
Did throwe hir burden and hir selfe, the water where shee dasht
In sprincling upwarde glisterd red. But Venus sore abasht
At this hir Neeces great mischaunce without offence or fault,
Hir Uncle gently thus bespake: O ruler of the hault
And swelling Seas, O noble Neptune whose dominion large
Extendeth to the Heaven, whereof the mightie Jove hath charge,
The thing is great for which I sue. But shewe thou for my sake
Some mercie on my wretched friends whome in thine endlesse lake
Thou seest tossed to and fro. Admit thou them among
The Goddes. Of right even here to mee some favour doth belong
At least wise if amid the Sea engendred erst I were
Of Froth, as of the which yet still my pleasaunt name I beare.
Neptunus graunted hir request, and by and by bereft them
Of all that ever mortall was. Insted wherof he left them
A hault and stately majestie: and altring them in hew
With shape and names most meete for Goddes he did them both endew.
Leucothoe was the mothers name, Palemon was the sonne.
The Thebane Ladies following hir as fast as they could runne,
Did of hir feete perceive the print upon the utter stone.
And taking it for certaine signe that both were dead and gone,
In making mone for Cadmus house, they wrang their hands and tare
Their haire, and rent their clothes, and railde on Juno out of square,
As nothing just, but more outragious farre than did behove
In so revenging of hir selfe upon hir husbands love.
The Goddesse Juno could not beare their railing. And in faith:
You also will I make to be as witnesses (she sayth)
Of my outragious crueltie. And so shee did in deede.
For shee that loved Ino best was following hir with speede
Into the Sea. But as shee would hir selfe have downeward cast,
She could not stirre, but to the rock as nailed sticked fast.
The second as shee knockt hir breast, did feele hir armes wax stiffe.
Another as shee stretched out hir hands upon the cliffe,
Was made a stone, and there stoode still ay stretching forth hir hands
Into the water as before. And as an other standes
A tearing of hir ruffled lockes, hir fingers hardened were
And fastned to hir frisled toppe still tearing of hir heare,
And looke what gesture eche of them was taken in that tide,
Even in the same transformde to stones, they fastned did abide.
And some were altered into birds which Cadmies called bee
And in that goolfe with flittering wings still to and fro doe flee.
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