Table of Contents:
With this and other such like talke they brought the day to ende.
The Even in feasting, and the night in sleeping they did spende.
The Sunne next Morrow in the heaven with golden beames did burne,
And still the Easterne winde did blow and hold them from returne.
Sir Pallas sonnes to Cephal came (for he their elder was)
And he and they to Aeacus Court togither forth did passe.
The King as yet was fast asleepe. Duke Phocus at the gate
Did meete them, and receyved them according to their state.
For Telamon and Peleus alreadie forth were gone,
To muster Souldiers for the warres. So Phocus all alone
Did leade them to an inner roume, where goodly Parlours were,
And caused them to sit them downe. As he was also there
Now sitting with them, he beheld a Dart in Cephals hand
With golden head, the stele whereof he well might understand
Was of some straunge and unknowne tree. When certain talke had past
A while of other matters there, I am (quoth he) at last
A man that hath delight in woods and loves to follow game
And yet I am not able sure by any meanes to ame
What wood your Javeling stele is of. Of Ash it can not bee.
For then the colour should be browne. And if of Cornell tree,
It would be full of knubbed knots. I know not what it is:
But sure mine eies did never see a fairer Dart than this.
The one of those same brethren twaine replying to him said:
Nay then the speciall propertie will make you more dismaid,
Than doth the beautie of this Dart. It hitteth whatsoever
He throwes it at. The stroke thereof by Chaunce is ruled never.
For having done his feate, it flies all bloudie backe agen
Without the helpe of any hand. The Prince was earnest then
To know the truth of all: as whence so riche a present came,
Who gave it him, and whereupon the partie gave the same.
Duke Cephal answerde his demaund in all points (one except)
The which (as knowne apparantly) for shame he overlept:
His beautie namely, for the which he did receive the Dart.
And for the losse of his deare wife right pensive at the hart,
He thus began with weeping eies: This Dart, O Goddesse sonne,
(Ye ill would thinke it) makes me yirne, and long shall make me donne,
If long the Gods doe give me life. This weapon hath undonne
My deare beloved wife and me. O would to God this same
Had never unto me bene given. There was a noble Dame
That Procris hight (but you perchaunce have oftner heard the name
Of great Orythia whose renowne was bruited so by fame,
That blustring Boreas ravisht hir.) To this Orythia shee
Was sister. If a bodie should compare in ech degree
The face and natures of them both, he could none other deeme
But Procris worthier of the twaine of ravishment should seeme.
Hir father and our mutuall love did make us man and wife.
Men said I had (and so I had in deede) a happie life.
Howbeit Gods will was otherwise, for had it pleased him
Of all this while, and even still yet in pleasure should I swim.
The second Month that she and I by band of lawfull bed
Had joynde togither bene, as I my masking Toyles did spred,
To overthrow the horned Stags, the early Morning gray
Then newly having chased night and gun to breake the day,
From Mount Hymettus highest tops that freshly flourish ay,
Espide me, and against my will conveyde me quight away.
I trust the Goddesse will not be offended that I say
The troth of hir. Although it would delight one to beholde
Hir ruddie cheekes: although of day and night the bounds she holde:
Although on juice of Ambrosie continually she feede:
Yet Procris was the only Wight that I did love in deede.
On Procris only was my heart: none other word had I
But Procris only in my mouth: still Procris did I crie.
I upned what a holy thing was wedlocke: and how late
It was ago since she and I were coupled in that state.
Which band (and specially so soone) it were a shame to breake.
The Goddesse being moved at the words that I did speake,
Said: Cease thy plaint, thou Carle, and keepe thy Procris still for me.
But (if my minde deceyve me not) the time will shortly be
That wish thou wilt thou had hir not. And so in anger she
To Procris sent me backe againe. In going homeward as
Upon the Goddesse sayings with my selfe I musing was,
I gan to dreade bad measures lest my wife had made some scape.
Hir youthfull yeares begarnished with beautie, grace and shape,
In maner made me to beleve the deede already done.
Againe hir maners did forbid mistrusting over soone.
But I had bene away: but even the same from whom I came
A shrewde example gave how lightly wives doe run in blame:
But we poore Lovers are afraide of all things. Hereupon
I thought to practise feates: which thing repented me anon:
And shall repent me while I live. The purpose of my drifts
Was for t'assault hir honestie with great rewards and gifts.
The Morning fooding this my feare, to further my device,
My shape (which thing me thought I felt) had altered with a trice.
By meanes whereof anon unknowne to Pallas towne I came,
And entred so my house: the house was clearely voide of blame:
And shewed signes of chastitie in mourning ever sith
Their maister had bene rapt away. A thousand meanes wherewith
To come to Procris speach had I devisde: and scarce at last
Obteinde I it. As soone as I mine eie upon hir cast,
My wits were ravisht in such wise that nigh I had forgot
The purposde triall of hir troth. Right much adoe God wot
I had to holde mine owne that I the truth bewrayed not.
To keepe my selfe from kissing hir full much adoe I had
As reason was I should have done. She looked verie sad.
And yet as sadly as she lookte, no Wight alive can show
A better countenance than did she. Hir heart did inward glow
In longing for hir absent spouse. How beautifull a face
Thinke you, Sir Phocus, was in hir whome sorrow so did grace?
What should I make report how oft hir chast behaviour strave
And overcame most constantly the great assaults I gave?
Or tell how oft she shet me up with these same words? To one
(Where ere he is) I keepe my selfe, and none but he alone
Shall sure enjoy the use of me. What creature having his
Wits perfect would not be content with such a proofe as this
Of hir most stedfast chastitie? I could not be content:
But still to purchase to my selfe more wo I further went.
At last by profering endlesse welth, and heaping gifts on gifts,
In overlading hir with wordes I drave hir to hir shifts.
Then cride I out: Thine evill heart my selfe I tardie take.
Where of a straunge advouterer the countenance I did make,
I am in deede thy husband. O unfaithfull woman thou,
Even I my selfe can testifie thy lewde behavior now.
She made none answere to my words, but being stricken dum
And with the sorrow of hir heart alonly overcum,
Forsaketh hir entangling house, and naughtie husband quight:
And hating all the sort of men by reason of the spight
That I had wrought hir, straide abrode among the Mountaines hie,
And exercisde Dianas feates. Then kindled by and by
A fiercer fire within my bones than ever was before,
When she had thus forsaken me by whome I set such store.
I prayde hir she woulde pardon me, and did confesse my fault.
Affirming that my selfe likewise with such a great assault
Of richesse might right well have bene enforst to yeelde to blame,
The rather if performance had ensewed of the same.
When I had this submission made, and she sufficiently
Revengde hir wronged chastitie, she then immediatly
Was reconcilde: and afterward we lived many a yeare
In joy and never any jarre betweene us did appeare.
Besides all this (as though hir love had bene too small a gift)
She gave me eke a goodly Grewnd which was of foote so swift,
That when Diana gave him hir, she said he should outgo
All others, and with this same Grewnd she gave this Dart also
The which you see I hold in hand. Perchaunce ye faine would know
What fortune to the Grewnd befell. I will unto you show
A wondrous case. The straungenesse of the matter will you move.
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.