THE ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD SESTYADLeander to the envious light
Resignes his night-sports with the night,
And swims the Hellespont againe;
Thesme the Deitie soveraigne
Of Customes and religious rites
Appeares, improving his delites
Since Nuptiall honors he neglected;
Which straight he vowes shall be effected.
Faire Hero left Devirginate
Waies, and with furie wailes her state:
But with her love and womans wit
She argues, and approveth it.
New light gives new directions, Fortunes new
To fashion our indevours that ensue,
More harsh (at lest more hard) more grave and hie
Our subject runs, and our sterne Muse must flie.
Loves edge is taken off, and that light flame,
Those thoughts, joyes, longings, that before became
High unexperienst blood, and maids sharpe plights,
Must now grow staid, and censure the delights,
That being enjoyd aske judgement; now we praise,
As having parted: Evenings crowne the daies.
And now ye wanton loves, and yong desires,
Pied vanitie, the mint of strange Attires;
Ye lisping Flatteries, and obsequious Glances,
Relentfull Musicks, and attractive Dances,
And you detested Charmes constraining love,
Shun loves stolne sports by that these Lovers prove.
By this the Soveraigne of Heavens golden fires,
And yong Leander, Lord of his desires,
Together from their lovers armes arose:
Leander into Hellespontus throwes
His Hero-handled bodie, whose delight
Made him disdaine each other Epethite.
And as amidst the enamourd waves he swims,
The God of gold of purpose guilt his lims,
That this word guilt, including double sence,
The double guilt of his Incontinence,
Might be exprest, that had no stay t'employ
The treasure which the Love-god let him joy
In his deare Hero, with such sacred thrift,
As had beseemd so sanctified a gift:
But like a greedie vulgar Prodigall
Would on the stock dispend, and rudely fall
Before his time, to that unblessed blessing,
Which for lusts plague doth perish with possessing.
“Joy graven in sence, like snow in water wasts;”
“Without preserve of vertue, nothing lasts.”
What man is he that with a welthie eie,
Enjoyes a beautie richer than the skie,
Through whose white skin, softer then soundest sleep,
With damaske eyes, the rubie blood doth peep,
And runs in branches through her azure vaines,
Whose mixture and first fire, his love attaines;
Whose both hands limit both Loves deities,
And sweeten humane thoughts like Paradise;
Whose disposition silken is and kinde,
Directed with an earth-exempted minde;
Who thinks not heaven with such a love is given?
And who like earth would spend that dower of heaven,
With ranke desire to joy it all at first?
What simply kils our hunger, quencheth thirst,
Clothes but our nakednes, and makes us live,
Praise doth not any of her favours give:
But what doth plentifully minister
Beautious apparell and delicious cheere,
So orderd that it still excites desire,
And still gives pleasure freenes to aspire,
The palme of Bountie, ever moyst preserving:
To loves sweet life this is the courtly carving.
Thus Time, and all-states-ordering Ceremonie
Had banisht all offence: Times golden Thie
Upholds the flowne bodie of the earth
In sacred harmonie, and every birth
Of men, and actions makes legitimate,
Being usde aright; “The use of time is Fate.”
Yet did the gentle flood transfer once more,
This prize of Love home to his fathers shore;
Where he unlades himselfe of that false welth
That makes few rich; treasures composde by stelth;
And to his sister kinde Hermione,
(Who on the shore kneeld, praying to the sea
For his returne) he all Loves goods did show
In Hero seasde for him, in him for Hero.
His most kinde sister all his secrets knew,
And to her singing like a shower he flew,
Sprinkling the earth, that to their tombs tooke in
Streames dead for love to leave his ivorie skin,
Which yet a snowie fome did leave above,
As soule to the dead water that did love;
And from thence did the first white Roses spring,
(For love is sweet and faire in every thing)
And all the sweetned shore as he did goe,
Was crownd with odrous roses white as snow.
Love-blest Leander was with love so filled,
That love to all that toucht him he instilled.
And as the colours of all things we see,
To our sights powers communicated bee:
So to all objects that in compasse came
of any sence he had, his sences flame
Flowd from his parts, with force so virtuall,
It fir'd with sence things meere insensuall.
Now (with warme baths and odours comforted)
When he lay downe he kindly kist his bed,
As consecrating it to Heros right,
And vowd thereafter that what ever sight
Put him in minde of Hero, or her blisse,
Should be her Altar to prefer a kisse.
Then laid he forth his late inriched armes,
In whose white circle Love writ all his charmes,
And made his characters sweet Heros lims,
When on his breasts warme sea she sideling swims.
And as those armes (held up in circle) met,
He said; see sister, Heros Carquenet,
Which she had rather weare about her neck,
Then all the jewels that dot Juno deck.
But as he shooke with passionate desire,
To put in flame his other secret fire,
A musick so divine did pierce his eare,
As never yet his ravisht sence did heare:
When suddenly a light of twentie hews
Brake through the roofe, and like the Rainbow views
Amazd Leander; in whose beames came downe
The Goddesse Ceremonie, with a Crowne
Of all the stars, and heaven with her descended.
Her flaming haire to her bright feete extended,
By which hung all the bench of Deities;
And in a chaine, compact of eares and eies,
She led Religion; all her bodie was
Cleere and transparent as the purest glasse:
For she was all presented to the sence;
Devotion, Order, State, and Reverence,
Her shadowes were; Societie, Memorie;
All which her sight made live, her absence die.
A rich disparent Pentackle she weares,
Drawne full of circles and strange characters:
Her face was changeable to everie eie;
One way lookt ill, another graciouslie;
Which while men viewd, they cheerfull were and holy:
But looking off, vicious, and melancholy:
The snakie paths to each observed law,
Did Policie in her broad bosome draw:
One hand a Mathematique Christall swayes,
Which gathering in one line a thousand rayes
From her bright eyes, Confusion burnes to death,
And all estates of men distinguisheth.
By it Morallitie and Comelinesse,
Themselves in all their sightly figures dresse.
Her other hand a lawrell rod applies,
To beate back Barbarisme, and Avarice,
That followd eating earth, and excrement
And humane lims; and would make proud ascent
To seates of Gods, were Ceremonie slaine;
The Howrs and Graces bore her glorious traine,
And all the sweetes of our societie
Were Spherde, and treasurde in her bountious eie.
Thus she appeard, and sharply did reprove
Leanders bluntnes in his violent love;
Tolde him how poore was substance without rites,
Like bils unsignd; desires without delites;
Like meates unseasond; like ranke corne that growes
On Cottages, that none or reapes or sowes:
Not being with civill forms confirm'd and bounded,
For humane dignities and comforts founded:
But loose and secret all their glories hide,
Feare fils the chamber, darknes decks the Bride.
She vanisht, leaving pierst Leanders hart
With sence of his unceremonious part,
In which with plaine neglect of Nuptiall rites,
He close and flatly fell to his delites:
And instantly he vowd to celebrate
All rites pertaining to his maried state.
So up he gets and to his father goes,
To whose glad eares he doth his vowes disclose:
The Nuptials are resolv'd with utmost powre,
And he at night would swim to Heros towre.
From whence he ment to Sestus forked Bay
To bring her covertly, where ships must stay,
Sent by his father throughly rigd and mand,
To waft her safely to Abydus Strand.
There leave we him, and with fresh wing pursue
Astonisht Hero, whose most wished view
I thus long have forborne, because I left her
So out of countuance, and her spirits bereft her.
“To looke of one abasht is impudence,”
“When of sleight faults he hath too deepe a sence.”
Her blushing het her chamber: she lookt out,
And all the ayre she purpled round about,
And after it a foule black day befell,
Which ever since a red morne doth foretell,
And still renewes our woes for Heros wo:
And foule it prov'd, because it figur'd so
The next nights horror, which prepare to heare;
I faile if it prophane your daintiest eare.
Then thou most strangely-intellectuall fire,
That proper to my soule hast power t'inspire
Her burning faculties, and with the wings
Of thy unspheared flame visitst the springs
Of spirits immortall; Now (as swift as Time
Doth follow Motion) finde th'eternall Clime
Of his free soule, whose living subject stood
Up to the chin in the Pyerean flood,
And drunke to me halfe this Musean stone,
Inscribing it to deathles Memorie:
Confer with it, and make my pledge as deepe,
That neithers draught be consecrate to sleepe.
Tell it how much his late desires I tender,
(If yet it know not) and to light surrender
My soules darke ofspring, willing it should die
To loves, to passions, and societie.
Sweet Hero left upon her bed alone,
Her maidenhead, her vowes, Leander gone,
And nothing with her but a violent crew
Of new come thoughts that yet she never knew,
Even to her selfe a stranger; was much like
Th'Iberian citie that wars hand did strike
By English force in princely Essex guide,
When peace assur'd her towres had fortifide;
And golden-fingred India had bestowd
Such wealth on her, that strength and Empire flowd
Into her Turrets; and her virgin waste
The wealthie girdle of the Sea embraste:
Till our Leander that made Mars his Cupid,
For soft love-sutes, with iron thunders chid:
Swum to her Towers, dissolv'd her virgin zone;
Lead in his power, and made Confusion
Run through her streets amazd, that she supposde
She had not been in her owne walls inclosde:
But rapt by wonder to some forraine state,
Seeing all her issue so disconsolate:
And all her peacefull mansions possest
With wars just spoyle, and many a forraine guest
From every corner driving an enjoyer,
Supplying it with power of a destroyer.
So far'd fayre Hero in th'expugned fort
Of her chast bosome, and of every sort
Strange thoughts possest her, ransacking her brest
For that that was not there, her wonted rest.
She was a mother straight and bore with paine,
Thoughts that spake straight and wisht their mother slaine;
She hates their lives, and they their own and hers:
Such strife still growes where sin the race prefers.
“Love is a golden bubble full of dreames,”
“That waking breakes, and fils us with extreames.”
She mus'd how she could looke upon her Sire,
And not shew that without, that was intire.
For as a glasse is an inanimate eie,
And outward formes imbraceth inwardlie:
So is the eye an animate glasse that showes
In-formes without us. And as Phoebus throwes
His beames abroad, though he in clowdes be closde,
Still glancing by them till he finde opposde,
A loose and rorid vapour that is fit
T'event his searching beames, and useth it
To forme a tender twentie-coloured eie,
Cast in a circle round about the skie.
So when our fine soule, Our bodies starre,
(That ever is in motion circulare)
Conceives a forme; in seeking to display it,
Through all Our clowdie parts, it doth convey it
Forth at the eye, as the most pregnant place,
And that reflects it round about the face.
And this event uncourtly Hero thought,
Her inward guilt would in her lookes have wrought:
For yet the worlds stale cunning she resisted
To beare foule thoughts, yet forge what lookes she listed,
And held it for a very sillie sleight,
To make a perfect mettall counterfeit:
Glad to disclaime her selfe; proud of an Art,
That makes the face a Pandar to the hart.
Those be the painted Moones, whose lights prophane
Beauties true Heaven, at full still in their wane.
Those be the Lapwing faces that still crie,
Here tis, when that they vow is nothing nie.
Base fooles, when every moorish fowle can teach
That which men thinke the height of humane reach.
But custome that the Apoplexie is
Of beddred nature and lives led amis,
And takes away all feeling of offence,
Yet brazde not Heros brow with impudence;
And this she thought most hard to bring to pas,
To seeme in counmance other then she was.
As if she had two soules; one for the face,
One for the hart; and that they shifted place
As either list to utter, or conceale
What they conceiv'd: or as one soule did deale
With both affayres at once, keeps and ejects
Both at an instant contrarie effects:
Retention and ejection in her powrs
Being acts alike: for this one vice of ours,
That forms the thought, and swaies the countenance,
Rules both our motion and our utterance.
These and more grave conceits toyld Heros spirits:
For though the light of her discoursive wits
Perhaps might finde some little hole to pas
Through all these worldly cinctures; yet (alas)
There was a heavenly flame incompast her;
Her Goddesse, in whose Phane she did prefer
Her virgin vowes; from whose impulsive sight
She knew the black shield of the darkest night
Could not defend her, nor wits subtilst art:
This was the point pierst Hero to the hart.
Who heavie to the death, with a deep sigh
And hand that languisht, tooke a robe was nigh,
Exceeding large, and of black Cypres made,
In which she sate, hid from the day in shade,
Even over head and face downe to her feete;
Her left hand made it at her bosome meete;
Her right hand leand on her hart-bowing knee,
Wrapt in unshapefull foulds twas death to see:
Her knee stayd that, and that her falling face,
Each limme helpt other to put on disgrace.
No forme was seene, where forme held all her sight:
But like an Embrion that saw never light:
Or like a scorched statue made a cole
With three-wingd lightning: or a wretched soule
Muffled with endles darknes, she did sit:
The night had never such a heavie spirit.
Yet might an imitating eye well see,
How fast her deere teares melted on her knee
Through her black vaile, and turnd as black as it,
Mourning to be her teares: then wrought her wit
With her broke vow, her Goddesse wrath, her fame,
All tooles that enginous despayre could frame:
Which made her strow the floore with her torne haire,
And spread her mantle peece-meale in the aire.
Like Joves sons club, strong passion strooke her downe,
And with a piteous shrieke inforst her swoune:
Her shrieke, made with another shrieke ascend
The frighted Matron that on her did tend:
And as with her owne crie her sence was slaine,
So with the other it was calde againe.
She rose and to her bed made forced way,
And layd her downe even where Leander lay:
And all this while the red sea of her blood
Ebd with Leander: but now turnd the flood,
And all her fleete of sprites came swelling in
With childe of saile, and did hot fight begin
With those severe conceits, she too much markt,
And here Leanders beauties were imbarkt.
He came in swimming painted all with joyes,
Such as might sweeten hell: his thought destroyes
All her destroying thoughts: she thought she felt
His heart in hers, with her contentions melt:
And chid her soule that it could so much erre,
To check the true joyes he deserv'd in her.
Her fresh heat blood cast figures in her eyes,
And she supposde she saw in Neptunes skyes
How her star wandred, washt in smarting brine
For her loves sake, that with immortall wine
Should be embat'd, and swim in more hearts ease,
Than there was water in the Sestian seas.
Then said her Cupid prompted spirit; shall I
Sing mones to such delightsome harmony?
Shall slick-tongde fame patcht up with voyces rude,
The drunken bastard of the multitude,
(Begot when father Judgement is away,
And gossip-like, sayes because others say,
Takes newes as if it were too hot to eate,
And spits it slavering forth for dog-fees meate)
Make me for forging a phantastique vow,
Presume to beare what makes grave matrons bow?
Good vowes are never broken with good deedes,
For then good deedes were bad: vowes are but seedes,
And good deeds fruits; even those good deedes that grow
From other stocks than from th'observed vow.
That is a good deede that prevents a bad:
Had I not yeelded, slaine my selfe I had.
Hero Leander is, Leander Hero:
Such vertue love hath to make one of two.
If then Leander did my maydenhead git,
Leander being my selfe I still retaine it.
We breake chast vowes when we live loosely ever:
But bound as we are, we live loosely never.
Two constant lovers being joynd in one,
Yeelding to one another, yeeld to none.
We know not how to vow, till love unblinde us,
And vowes made ignorantly never binde us.
Too true it is that when t'is gone men hate
The joyes as vaine they tooke in loves estate:
But that's, since they have lost the heavenly light
Should shew them way to judge of all things right.
When life is gone death must implant his terror,
As death is foe to life, so love to error.
Before we love how range we through this sphere,
Searching the sundrie fancies hunted here:
Now with desire of wealth transported quite
Beyond our free humanities delight:
Now with ambition climing falling towrs,
Whose hope to scale our feare to fall devours:
Now rapt with pastimes, pomp, all joyes impure;
“In things without us no delight is sure.”
But love with all joyes crownd, within doth sit;
O Goddesse pitie love and pardon it.
This spake she weeping: but her Goddesse eare
Burnd with too sterne a heat, and would not heare.
Aie me, hath heavens straight fingers no more graces
For such as Hero, then for homeliest faces?
Yet she hopte well, and in her sweet conceit
Waying her arguments, she thought them weight:
And that the logick of Leanders beautie,
And them together would bring proofes of dutie.
And if her soule, that was a skilfull glance
Of Heavens great essence, found such imperance
In her loves beauties; she had confidence
Jove lov'd him too, and pardond her offence.
“Beautie in heaven and earth this grace doth win,”
“It supples rigor, and it lessens sin.”
Thus, her sharpe wit, her love, her secrecie,
Trouping together, made her wonder why
She should not leave her bed, and to the Temple?
Her health sayd she must live; her sex, dissemble.
She viewd Leanders place, and wisht he were
Turnd to his place, so his place were Leander.
Aye me (sayd she) that loves sweet life and sence
Should doe it harme! my love had not gone hence,
Had he been like his place. O blessed place,
Image of Constancie. Thus my loves grace
Parts no where but it leaves some thing behinde
Worth observation: he renowmes his kinde.
His motion is like heavens Orbiculer:
For where he once is, he is ever there.
This place was mine: Leander now t'is thine;
Thou being my selfe, then it is double mine:
Mine, and Leanders mine, Leanders mine.
O see what wealth it yeelds me, nay yeelds him:
For I am in it, he for me doth swim.
Rich, fruitfull love, that doubling selfe estates
Elixer- likecontracts, though separates.
Deare place I kisse thee, and doe welcome thee,
As from Leander ever sent to mee.
The end of the third Sestyad.