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Night (chiefest Nurce of thoughts to such as are with care opprest)
Approched while she spake these words, and darknesse did encrease
Hir boldnesse. At such time as folke are wont to finde release
Of cares that all the day before were working in their heds,
By sleepe which falleth first of all upon them in their beds,
Hir fathers chamber secretly she entered: where (alasse
That ever Maiden should so farre the bounds of Nature passe)
She robde hir Father of the haire upon the which the fate
Depended both of life and death and of his royall state.
And joying in hir wicked prey, she beares it with hir so
As if it were some lawfull spoyle acquired of the fo.
And passing through a posterne gate she marched through the mid
Of all hir enmies (such a trust she had in that she did)
Untill she came before the King, whom troubled with the sight
She thus bespake: Enforst, O King, by love against all right
I Scylla, Nisus daughter, doe present unto thee heere
My native soyle, my household Gods, and all that else is deere
For this my gift none other thing in recompence I crave
Than of thy person which I love, fruition for to have.
And in assurance of my love receyve thou here of mee
My fathers Purple haire: and thinke I give not unto thee
A haire but even my fathers head. And as these words she spake,
The cursed gift with wicked hand she profered him to take.
But Minos did abhorre hir gift: and troubled in his minde
With straungenesse of the heynous act so sore against hir kinde,
He aunswerde: O thou slaunder of our age, the Gods expell
Thee out of all this world of theirs and let thee no where dwell.
Let rest on neither Sea nor Land be graunted unto thee.
Assure thy selfe that as for me I never will agree
That Candie, Joves owne foster place (as long as I there raigne),
Shall unto such a monstruous Wight a Harbrow place remaine.
This said, he like a righteous Judge among his vanquisht foes
Set order under paine of death. Which done he willed those
That served him to go aboorde and Anchors up to wey.
When Scylla saw the Candian fleete aflote to go away,
And that the Captaine yeelded not so good reward as shee
Had for hir lewdnesse looked for: and when in fine she see
That no entreatance could prevaile, then bursting out in ire
With stretched hands and scattred haire, as furious as the fire
She shraming cryed out aloud: And whither doste thou flie
Rejecting me, the only meanes that thou hast conquerde by?
O cankerde Churle preferde before my native soyle, preferd
Before my father, whither flyste, O Carle of heart most hard?
Whose conquest as it is my sinne, so doth it well deserve
Reward of thee, for that my fault so well thy turne did serve.
Doth neither thee the gift I gave, nor yet my faithfull love,
Nor yet that all my hope on thee alonly rested, move?
For whither shall I now resort forsaken thus of thee?
To Megara the wretched soyle of my nativitie?
Behold it lieth vanquished and troden under foote.
But put the case it flourisht still: yet could it nothing boote.
I have foreclosde it to my selfe through treason when I gave
My fathers head to thee. Whereby my countriefolke I drave
To hate me justly for my crime. And all the Realmes about
My lewde example doe abhorre. Thus have I shet me out
Of all the world that only Crete might take me in, which if
Thou like a Churle denie, and cast me up without relief,
The Ladie Europ surely was not mother unto thee:
But one of Affricke Sirts where none but Serpents fostred bee,
But even some cruell Tiger bred in Armen or in Inde,
Or else the Gulfe Charybdis raisde with rage of Southerne winde.
Thou wert not got by Jove: ne yet thy mother was beguilde
In shape of Bull: of this thy birth the tale is false compilde.
But rather some unwieldie Bull even altogither wilde
That never lowed after Cow was out of doubt thy Sire.
O father Nisus, put thou me to penance for my hire.
Rejoyce thou in my punishment, thou towne by me betrayd.
I have deserved (I confesse) most justly to be payd
With death. But let some one of them that through my lewdnesse smart
Destroy me, why doste thou that by my crime a gainer art,
Commit like crime thy selfe? Admit this wicked act of me
As to my land and Fatherward in deede most hainous be.
Yet oughtest thou to take it as a friendship unto thee.
But she was meete to be thy wife, that in a Cow of tree
Could play the Harlot with a Bull, and in hir wombe could beare
A Barne, in whome the shapes of man and beasts confounded were.
How sayst thou, Carle? compell not these my words thine eares to glow?
Or doe the windes that drive thy shyps, in vaine my sayings blow?
In faith it is no wonder though thy wife Pasiphae
Preferrde a Bull to thee, for thou more cruell wert than he.
Now wo is me. To make more hast it standeth me in hand.
The water sounds with Ores, and hales from me and from my land.
In vaine thou striveth, O thou Churle, forgetfull quight of my
Desertes: for even in spight of thee pursue thee still will I.
Upon thy courbed Keele will I take holde: and hanging so
Be drawen along the Sea with thee where ever thou do go.
She scarce had said these words, but that she leaped on the wave
And getting to the ships by force of strength that Love hir gave
Upon the King of Candies Keele in spight of him she clave.
Whome when hir father spide (for now he hovered in the aire,
And being made a Hobby Hauke did soare between a paire
Of nimble wings of yron Mayle) he soused downe amaine
To seaze upon hir as she hung, and would have tome hir faine
With bowing Beake. But she for feare did let the Caricke go:
And as she was about to fall, the lightsome Aire did so
Uphold hir that she could not touch the Sea as seemed tho.
Anon all fethers she became, and forth away did flie
Transformed to a pretie Bird that stieth to the Skie.
And for bicause like clipped haire hir head doth beare a marke,
The Greekes it Cyris call, and we doe name the same a Larke.
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