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And as for Philoctetes, that he is in Lemnos, I
Deserve not to bee toucht therwith. Defend your cryme: for why
You all consented therunto. Yit doo I not denye,
But that I gave the counsell to convey him out of way
From toyle of warre and travell that by rest he myght assay
To ease the greatnesse of his peynes. He did thereto obey
And by so dooing is alyve. Not only faythfull was
This counsell that I gave the man, but also happye, as
The good successe hath shewed since. Whom sith the destnyes doo
Requyre in overthrowing Troy, appoynt not mee thertoo:
But let sir Ajax rather go. For he with eloquence
Or by some suttle pollycie, shall bring the man fro thence
And pacyfie him raging through disease, and wrathfull ire.
Nay, first the river Simois shall to his spring retyre,
And mountaine Ida shall theron have stonding never a tree,
Yea and the faythlesse towne of Troy by Greekes shall reskewd bee,
Before that Ajax blockish wit shall aught at all avayle,
When my attempts and practyses in your affayres doo fayle.
For though thou, Philoctetes, with the king offended bee,
And with thy fellowes everychone, and most of all with mee,
Although thou cursse and ban mee to the hellish pit for ay,
And wisshest in thy payne that I by chaunce myght crosse thy way,
Of purpose for to draw my blood: yit will I give assay
To fetch thee hither once ageine. And (if that fortune say
Amen,) I will as well have thee and eeke thyne arrowes, as
I have the Trojane prophet whoo by mee surprysed was,
Or as I did the Oracles and Trojane fates disclose,
Or as I from her chappell through the thickest of her foes
The Phrygian Pallads image fetcht: and yit dooth Ajax still
Compare himself with mee. Yee knowe it was the destinyes will
That Troy should never taken bee by any force, untill
This Image first were got. And where was then our valeant knight
Sir Ajax? Where the stately woordes of such a hardy wyght?
Why feareth hee? Why dares Ulysses ventring through the watch
Commit his persone to the nyght his buysnesse to dispatch?
And through the pykes not only for to passe the garded wall
But also for to enter to the strongest towre of all
And for to take the Idoll from her Chappell and her shryne
And beare her thence amid his foes? For had this deede of myne
Beene left undoone, in vayne his sheeld of Oxen hydes seven fold
Should yit the Sonne of Telamon have in his left hand hold.
That nyght subdewed I Troy towne. That nyght did I it win,
And opened it for you likewyse with ease to enter in.
Cease to upbrayd mee by theis lookes and mumbling woordes of thyne
With Diomed: his prayse is in this fact as well as myne.
And thou thy selfe when for our shippes thou diddest in reskew stand,
Wart not alone: the multitude were helping thee at hand.
I had but only one with mee. Whoo (if he had not thought
A wyseman better than a strong, and that preferment ought
Not alway followe force of hand) would now himself have sought
This Armour. So would toother Ajax better stayed doo,
And feerce Ewrypyle, and the sonne of hault Andremon too.
No lesse myght eeke Idominey, and eeke Meriones,
His countryman, and Menelay. For every one of these
Are valeant men of hand, and not inferior unto thee
In martiall feates. And yit they are contented rulde to bee
By myne advyce. Thou hast a hand that serveth well in fyght.
Thou hast a wit that stands in neede of my direction ryght.
Thy force is witlesse. I have care of that that may ensew.
Thou well canst fyght: the king dooth choose the tymes for fyghting dew
By myne advyce. Thou only with thy body canst avayle.
But I with bodye and with mynd to profite doo not fayle,
And looke how much the mayster dooth excell the gally slave,
Or looke how much preheminence the Capteine ought to have
Above his souldyer: even so much excell I also thee.
A wit farre passing strength of hand inclosed is in mee.
In wit rests cheefly all my force. My Lordes, I pray bestowe
This gift on him who ay hath beene your watchman as yee knowe.
And for my tenne yeeres cark and care endured for your sake
Full recompence for my deserts with this same honour make.
Our labour draweth to an end, all lets are now by mee
Dispatched. And by bringing Troy in cace to taken bee
I have already taken it. Now by the hope that yee
Conceyve, within a whyle of Troy the mine for to see,
And by the Goddes of whom alate our emnyes I bereft,
And as by wisedome to bee doone yit any thing is left,
If any bold aventrous deede, or any perlous thing,
That asketh hazard both of lyfe and limb to passe to bring,
Or if yee think of Trojane fates there yit dooth ought remayne,
Remember mee. Or if from mee this armour you restrayne,
Bestowe it on this same. With that he shewed with his hand
Minervas fatall image, which hard by in syght did stand.
The Lords were moved with his woordes, and then appeared playne
The force that is in eloquence. The lerned man did gayne
The armour of the valeant. He that did so oft susteine
Alone both fyre, and swoord, and Jove, and Hector could not byde
One brunt of wrath. And whom no force could vanquish ere that tyde,
Now only anguish overcommes. He drawes his swoord and sayes:
Well: this is myne yit. Unto this no clayme Ulysses layes.
This must I use ageinst myself: this blade that heretofore
Hath bathed beene in Trojane blood, must now his mayster gore
That none may Ajax overcome save Ajax. With that woord
Into his brest (not wounded erst) he thrust his deathfull swoord.
His hand to pull it out ageine unable was. The blood
Did spout it out. Anon the ground bestayned where he stood,
Did breede the pretye purple flowre uppon a clowre of greene,
Which of the wound of Hyacinth had erst engendred beene.
The selfsame letters eeke that for the chyld were written than,
Were now againe amid the flowre new written for the man.
The former tyme complaynt, the last a name did represent.
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