THE ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND SESTYADHero of love takes deeper sence,
And doth her love more recompence.
Their first nights meeting, where sweet kisses
Are th'only crownes of both their blisses.
He swims t'Abydus, and returnes;
Cold Neptunewith his beautie burnes,
Whose suite he shuns, and doth aspire
Heros faire towre, and his desire.
By this, sad Hero, with love unacquainted,
Viewing Leanders face, fell downe and fainted.
He kist her, and breath'd life into her lips,
Wherewith as one displeas'd, away she trips.
Yet as she went, full often look'd behind,
And many poore excuses did she find,
To linger by the way, and once she stayd,
And would have turn'd againe, but was afrayd,
In offring parlie, to be counted light.
So on she goes, and in her idle flight,
Her painted fanne of curled plumes let fall,
Thinking to traine Leander therewithall.
He being a novice, knew not what she meant,
But stayd, and after her a letter sent.
Which joyfull Hero answerd in such sort,
As he had hope to scale the beauteous fort,
Wherein the liberall graces lock'd their wealth,
And therefore to her tower he got by stealth.
Wide open stood the doore, hee need not clime,
And she her selfe before the pointed time,
Had spread the boord, with roses strowed the roome,
And oft look't out, and mus'd he did not come.
At last he came, O who can tell the greeting,
These greedie lovers had, at their first meeting.
He askt, she gave, and nothing was denied,
Both to each other quickly were affied.
Looke how their hands, so were their hearts united,
And what he did, she willingly requited.
(Sweet are the kisses, the imbracements sweet,
When like desires and affections meet,
For from the earth to heaven, is Cupid rais'd,
Where fancie is in equall ballance pais'd.)
Yet she this rashnesse sodainly repented,
And turn'd aside, and to her selfe lamented.
As if her name and honour had beene wrong'd,
By being possest of him for whom she long'd:
I, and shee wisht, albeit not from her hart,
That he would leave her turret and depart.
The mirthfull God of amorous pleasure smil'd,
To see how he this captive Nymph beguil'd.
For hitherto hee did but fan the fire,
And kept it downe that it might mount the hier.
Now waxt she jealous, least his love abated,
Fearing her owne thoughts made her to be hated.
Therefore unto him hastily she goes,
And like light Salmacis, her body throes
Upon his bosome, where with yeelding eyes,
She offers up her selfe a sacrifice,
To slake his anger, if he were displeas'd,
O what god would not therewith be appeas'd?
Like Aesops cocke, this jewell he enjoyed,
And as a brother with his sister toyed,
Supposing nothing else was to be done,
Now he her favour and good will had wone.
But know you not that creatures wanting sence,
By nature have a mutuall appetence,
And wanting organs to advaunce a step,
Mov'd by Loves force, unto ech other lep?
Much more in subjects having intellect,
Some hidden influence breeds like effect.
Albeit Leander rude in love, and raw,
Long dallying with Hero, nothing saw
That might delight him more, yet he suspected
Some amorous rites or other were neglected.
Therefore unto his bodie, hirs he clung,
She, fearing on the rushes to be flung,
Striv'd with redoubled strength: the more she strived,
The more a gentle pleasing heat revived,
Which taught him all that elder lovers know,
And now the same gan so to scorch and glow,
As in plaine termes (yet cunningly) he crav'd it,
Love alwaies makes those eloquent that have it.
Shee, with a kind of graunting, put him by it,
And ever as he thought himselfe most nigh it,
Like to the tree of Tantalus she fled,
And seeming lavish, sav'de her maydenhead.
Ne're king more sought to keepe his diademe,
Than Hero this inestimable gemme.
Above our life we love a stedfast friend,
Yet when a token of great worth we send,
We often kisse it, often looke thereon,
And stay the messenger that would be gon:
No marvell then, though Hero would not yeeld
So soone to part from that she deerely held.
Jewels being lost are found againe, this never,
T'is lost but once, and once lost, lost for ever.
Now had the morne espy'de her lovers steeds,
Whereat she starts, puts on her purple weeds,
And red for anger that he stayd so long,
All headlong throwes her selfe the clouds among
And now Leander fearing to be mist,
Imbrast her sodainly, tooke leave, and kist,
Long was he taking leave, and loath to go,
And kist againe, as lovers use to do.
Sad Hero wroong him by the hand, and wept,
Saying, let your vowes and promises be kept.
Then standing at the doore, she turnd about,
As loath to see Leander going out.
And now the sunne that through th'orizon peepes,
As pittying these lovers, downeward creepes.
So that in silence of the cloudie night,
Though it was morning, did he take his flight.
But what the secret trustie night conceal'd,
Leanders amorous habit soone reveal'd.
With Cupids myrtle was his bonet crownd,
About his armes the purple riband wound,
Wherewith she wreath'd her largely spreading heare,
Nor could the youth abstaine, but he must weare
The sacred ring wherewith she was endow'd,
When first religious chastitie she vow'd:
Which made his love through Sestos to bee knowne,
And thence unto Abydus sooner blowne,
Than he could saile, for incorporeal Fame,
Whose waight consists in nothing but her name,
Is swifter than the wind, whose tardie plumes,
Are reeking water, and dull earthlie fumes.
Home when he came, he seem'd not to be there,
But like exiled aire thrust from his sphere,
Set in a forren place, and straight from thence,
Alcides like, by mightie violence,
He would have chac'd away the swelling maine,
That him from her unjustly did detaine.
Like as the sunne in a Dyameter,
Fires and inflames objects remooved farre,
And heateth kindly, shining lat'rally;
So beautie, sweetly quickens when t'is ny,
But being separated and remooved,
Burnes where it cherisht, murders where it loved.
Therefore even as an Index to a booke,
So to his mind was yoong Leanders looke.
O none but gods have power their love to hide,
Affection by the count'nance is descride.
The light of hidden fire it selfe discovers,
And love that is conceal'd, betraies poore lovers.
His secret flame apparantly was seene,
Leanders Father knew where hee had beene,
And for the same mildly rebuk't his sonne,
Thinking to quench the sparckles new begonne.
But love resisted once, growes passionate,
And nothing more than counsaile, lovers hate.
For as a hote prowd horse highly disdaines,
To have his head control'd, but breakes the raines,
Spits foorth the ringled bit, and with his hoves,
Checkes the submissive ground: so hee that loves,
The more he is restrain'd, the woorse he fares,
What is it now, but mad Leander dares?
O Hero, Hero, thus he cry'de full oft,
And then he got him to a rocke aloft.
Where having spy'de her tower, long star'd he on't,
And pray'd the narrow toyling Hellespont,
To part in twaine, that hee might come and go,
But still the rising billowes answered no.
With that hee stript him to the yv'rie skin,
And crying, Love I come, leapt lively in.
Whereat the saphir visag'd god grew prowd,
And made his capring Triton sound alowd,
Imagining, that Ganimed displeas'd,
Had left the heavens, therefore on him hee seaz'd.
Leander striv'd, the waves about him wound,
And puld him to the bottome, where the ground
Was strewd with pearle, and in low corrall groves,
Sweet singing Meremaids, sported with their loves
On heapes of heavie gold, and tooke great pleasure,
To spurne in carelesse sort, the shipwracke treasure.
For here the stately azure pallace stood,
Where kingly Neptune and his traine abode.
The lustie god imbrast him, cald him love,
And swore he never should returne to Jove.
But when he knew it was not Ganimed,
For under water he was almost dead,
He heav'd him up, and looking on his face,
Beat downe the bold waves with his triple mace,
Which mounted up, intending to have kist him,
And fell in drops like teares, because they mist him.
Leander being up, began to swim,
And looking backe, saw Neptune follow him.
Whereat agast, the poore soule gan to crie,
O let mee visite Hero ere I die.
The god put Helles bracelet on his arme,
And swore the sea should never doe him harme.
He clapt his plumpe cheekes, with his tresses playd,
And smiling wantonly, his love bewrayd.
He watcht his armes, and as they opend wide,
At every stroke, betwixt them would he slide,
And steale a kisse, and then run out and daunce,
And as he turnd, cast many a lustfull glaunce,
And throw him gawdie toies to please his eie,
And dive into the water, and there prie
Upon his brest, his thighs, and everie lim,
And up againe, and close beside him swim,
And talke of love: Leander made replie,
You are deceav'd, I am no woman I.
Thereat smilde Neptune, and then told a tale,
How that a sheapheard sitting in a vale,
Playd with a boy so faire and so kind,
As for his love, both earth and heaven pyn'd;
That of the cooling river durst not drinke,
Least water-nymphs should pull him from the brinke.
And when hee sported in the fragrant lawnes,
Gote-footed Satyrs, and up-staring Fawnes,
Would steale him thence. Ere halfe this tale was done,
Aye me, Leander cryde, th'enamoured sunne,
That now should shine on Thetis glassie bower,
Descends upon my radiant Heroes tower.
O that these tardie armes of mine were wings,
And as he spake, upon the waves he springs.
Neptune was angrie that hee gave no eare,
And in his heart revenging malice bare:
He flung at him his mace, but as it went,
He cald it in, for love made him repent.
The mace returning backe, his owne hand hit,
As meaning to be veng'd for darting it.
When this fresh bleeding wound Leander viewd,
His colour went and came, as if he rewd
The greefe which Neptune felt. In gentle brests,
Relenting thoughts, remorse and pittie rests.
And who have hard hearts, and obdurat minds,
But vicious, harebraind, and illit'rat hinds?
The god seeing him with pittie to be moved,
Thereon concluded that he was beloved.
(Love is too full of faith, too credulous,
With follie and false hope deluding us.)
Wherefore Leanders fancie to surprize,
To the rich Ocean for gifts he flies.
'Tis wisedome to give much, a gift prevailes,
When deepe perswading Oratorie failes.
By this Leander being nere the land,
Cast downe his wearie feet, and felt the sand.
Breathlesse albeit he were, he rested not,
Till to the solitarie tower he got.
And knockt and cald, at which celestiall noise,
The longing heart of Hero much more joies
Then nymphs and sheapheards, when the timbrell rings,
Or crooked Dolphin when the sailer sings;
She stayd not for her robes, but straight arose,
And drunke with gladnesse, to the dore she goes.
Where seeing a naked man, she scriecht for feare,
Such sights as this, to tender maids are rare.
And ran into the darke her selfe to hide,
Rich jewels in the darke are soonest spide.
Unto her was he led, or rather drawne,
By those white limmes, which sparckled through the lawne.
The neerer that he came, the more she fled,
And seeking refuge, slipt into her bed.
Whereon Leander sitting, thus began,
Through numming cold, all feeble, faint and wan:
If not for love, yet love for pittie sake,
Me in thy bed and maiden bosome take,
At least vouchsafe these armes some little roome,
Who hoping to imbrace thee, cherely swome.
This head was beat with manie a churlish billow,
And therefore let it rest upon thy pillow.
Herewith afrighted Hero shrunke away,
And in her luke-warme place Leander lay.
Whose lively heat like fire from heaven fet,
Would animate grosse clay, and higher set
The drooping thoughts of base declining soules,
Then drerie Mars, carowsing Nectar boules.
His hands he cast upon her like a snare,
She overcome with shame and sallow feare,
Like chast Diana, when Acteon spyde her,
Being sodainly betraide, dyv'd downe to hide her.
And as her silver body downeward went,
With both her hands she made the bed a tent,
And in her owne mind thought her selfe secure,
O'recast with dim and darksome coverture.
And now she lets him whisper in her eare,
Flatter, intreat, promise, protest and sweare,
Yet ever as he greedily assayd
To touch those dainties, she the Harpey playd,
And every lim did as a soldier stout,
Defend the fort, and keep the foe-man out.
For though the rising yv'rie mount he scal'd,
Which is with azure circling lines empal'd,
Much like a globe, (a globe may I tearme this,
By which love sailes to regions full of blis,)
Yet there with Sysiphus he toyld in vaine,
Till gentle parlie did the truce obtaine.
Wherein Leander on her quivering brest,
Breathlesse spoke some thing, and sigh'd out the rest;
Which so prevail'd, as he with small ado,
Inclos'd her in his armes and kist her to.
And everie kisse to her was as a charme,
And to Leander as a fresh alarme.
So that the truce was broke, and she alas,
(Poore sillie maiden) at his mercie was.
Love is not ful of pittie (as men say)
But deaffe and cruell, where he meanes to pray.
Even as a bird, which in our hands we wring,
Foorth plungeth, and oft flutters with her wing,
She trembling strove, this strife of hers (like that
Which made the world) another world begat,
Of unknowne joy. Treason was in her thought,
And cunningly to yeeld her selfe she sought.
Seeming not woon, yet woon she was at length,
In such warres women use but halfe their strength.
Leander now like Theban Hercules,
Entred the orchard of Th'esperides,
Whose fruit none rightly can describe, but hee
That puls or shakes it from the golden tree:
And now she wisht this night were never done,
And sigh'd to thinke upon th'approching sunne,
For much it greev'd her that the bright day-light,
Should know the pleasure of this blessed night,
And them like Mars and Ericine displayd,
Both in each others armes chaind as they layd.
Againe she knew not how to frame her looke,
Or speake to him who in a moment tooke,
That which so long so charily she kept,
And fame by stealth away she would have crept,
And to some corner secretly have gone,
Leaving Leander in the bed alone.
But as her naked feet were whipping out,
He on the suddaine cling'd her so about,
That Meremaid-like unto the floore she slid,
One halfe appear'd, the other halfe was hid.
Thus neere the bed she blushing stood upright,
And from her countenance behold ye might,
A kind of twilight breake, which through the heare,
As from an orient cloud, glymse here and there.
And round about the chamber this false morne,
Brought foorth the day before the day was borne.
So Heroes ruddie cheeke, Hero betrayd,
And her all naked to his sight displayd.
Whence his admiring eyes more pleasure tooke,
Than Dis, on heapes of gold fixing his looke.
By this Apollos golden harpe began,
To sound foorth musicke to the Ocean,
Which watchfull Hesperus no sooner heard,
But he the days bright-bearing Car prepar'd.
And ran before, as Harbenger of light,
And with his flaring beames mockt ougly night,
Till she o'recome with anguish, shame, and rage,
Dang'd downe to hell her loathsome carriage.