ELEGIA 14In amicam, quod abortivum ipsa fecerit
What helpes it Woman to be free from warre?
Nor being arrn'd fierce troupes to follow farre?
If without battell selfe-wrought wounds annoy them,
And their owne privie weapon'd hands destroy them.
Who unborne infants first to slay invented,
Deserv'd thereby with death to be tormented.
Because thy belly should rough wrinckles lacke,
Wilt thou thy wombe-inclosed off-spring wracke?
Had ancient Mothers this vile custome cherisht,
All humaine kinde by their default had perisht.
Or stones, our stockes originall, should be hurld,
Againe by some in this unpeopled world.
Who should have Priams wealthy substance wonne,
If watry Thetis had her childe fordone?
In swelling wombe her twinnes had Ilia kilde?
He had not beene that conquering Rome did build.
Had Venus spoilde her bellies Troyane fruite,
The earth of Caesars had beene destitute.
Thou also, that wert borne faire, hadst decayed,
If such a worke thy mother had assayed.
My selfe that better dye with loving may
Had seene, my mother killing me, no day.
Why takest increasing grapes from Vine-trees full?
With cruell hand why doest greene Apples pull?
Fruites ripe will fall, let springing things increase,
Life is no light price of a small surcease.
Why with hid irons are your bowels tome?
And why dire poison give you babes unborne?
At Cholcis stain'd with childrens bloud men raile,
And mother-murtherd Itis they bewaile,
Both unkinde parents, but for causes sad,
Their wedlocks pledges veng'd their husbands bad.
What Tereus, what Jason you provokes,
To plague your bodies with such harmeflill strokes?
ArmenianTygers never did so ill,
Nor dares the Lyonesse her young whelpes kill.
But tender Damsels do it, though with paine,
Oft dyes she that her paunch-wrapt child hath slaine.
Shee dyes, and with loose haires to grave is sent,
And who ere see her, worthily lament.
But in the ayre let these words come to nought,
And my presages of no weight be thought.
Forgive her gratious Gods this one delict,
And on the next fault punishment inflict.