previous next

He called Tryton to him straight, his trumpetter, who stoode
In purple robe on shoulder cast, aloft upon the floode,
And bade him take his sounding Trumpe and out of hand to blow
Retreat, that all the streames might heare, and cease from thence to flow.
He tooke his Trumpet in his hand, hys Trumpet was a shell
Of some great Whelke or other fishe, in facion like a Bell
That gathered narrow to the mouth, and as it did descende
Did waxe more wide and writhen still, downe to the nether ende:
When that this Trumpe amid the Sea was set to Trytons mouth,
He blew so loude that all the streames both East, West, North and South,
Might easly heare him blow retreate, and all that heard the sounde
Immediatly began to ebbe and draw within their bounde.
Then gan the Sea to have a shore, and brookes to finde a banke,
And swelling streames of flowing flouds within hir chanels sanke.
Then hils did rise above the waves that had them overflow,
And as the waters did decrease the ground did seeme to grow.
And after long and tedious time the trees did shew their tops
All bare, save that upon the boughes the mud did hang in knops.
The worlde restored was againe, which though Deucalion joyde
Then to beholde: yet forbicause he saw the earth was voyde
And silent like a wildernesse, with sad and weeping eyes
And ruthfull voyce he then did speake to Pyrrha in this wise:
O sister, O my loving spouse, O sielie woman left,
As onely remnant of thy sexe that water hath bereft,
Whome Nature first by right of birth hath linked to me fast
In that we brothers children bene: and secondly the chast
And stedfast bond of lawfull bed: and lastly now of all,
The present perils of the time that latelye did befall.
On all the Earth from East to West where Phebus shewes his face
There is no moe but thou and I of all the mortall race.
The Sea hath swallowed all the rest: and scarsly are we sure,
That our two lives from dreadfull death in safetie shall endure.
For even as yet the duskie cloudes doe make my heart adrad.
Alas poore wretched sielie soule, what heart wouldst thou have had
To beare these heavie happes, if chaunce had let thee scape alone?
Who should have bene thy consort then: who should have rewd thy mone?
Now trust me truly, loving wife, had thou as now bene drownde,
I would have followde after thee and in the sea bene fownde.
Would God I could my fathers Arte, of claye to facion men
And give them life that people might frequent the world agen.
Mankinde (alas) doth onely now wythin us two consist,
As mouldes whereby to facion men. For so the Gods doe lyst.
And with these words the bitter teares did trickle down their cheeke,
Untill at length betweene themselves they did agree to seeke
To God by prayer for his grace, and to demaund his ayde
By aunswere of his Oracle. Wherein they nothing stayde,
But to Cephisus sadly went, whose streame as at that time
Began to run within his bankes though thicke with muddie slime,
Whose sacred liquor straight they tooke and sprinkled with the same
Their heads and clothes: and afterward to Themis chappell came,
The roofe whereof with cindrie mosse was almost overgrowne.
For since the time the raging floud the worlde had overflowne,
No creature came within the Churche: so that the Altars stood
Without one sparke of holie fyre or any sticke of wood.
As soon as that this couple came within the chappell doore,
They fell downe flat upon the ground, and trembling kist the floore.
And sayde: If prayer that proceedes from humble heart and minde
May in the presence of the Gods, such grace and favor finde
As to appease their worthie wrath, then vouch thou safe to tell
(O gentle Themis) how the losse that on our kinde befell,
May now eftsoones recovered be, and helpe us to repaire
The world, which drowned under waves doth lie in great dispaire.
The Goddesse moved with their sute, this answere did them make:
Depart you hence: Go hille your heads, and let your garmentes slake,
And both of you your Graundames bones behind your shoulders cast.
They stoode amazed at these wordes, tyll Pyrrha at the last,
Refusing to obey the hest the which the Goddesse gave,
Brake silence, and with trembling cheere did meekely pardon crave.
For sure she saide she was afraide hir Graundames ghost to hurt
By taking up hir buried bones to throw them in the durt.
And with the aunswere here upon eftsoones in hand they go,
The doubtfull wordes wherof they scan and canvas to and fro.
Which done, Prometheus sonne began by counsell wise and sage
His cousin germanes fearfulnesse thus gently to asswage:
Well, eyther in these doubtfull words is hid some misterie,
Whereof the Gods permit us not the meaning to espie,
Or questionlesse and if the sence of inward sentence deeme
Like as the tenour of the words apparantly doe seeme,
It is no breach of godlynesse to doe as God doth bid.
I take our Graundame for the earth, the stones within hir hid
I take for bones, these are the bones the which are meaned here.
Though Titans daughter at this wise conjecture of hir fere
Were somewhat movde, yet none of both did stedfast credit geve,
So hardly could they in their heartes the heavenly hestes beleve.
But what and if they made a proufe? what harme could come thereby?
They went their wayes and heild their heades, and did their cotes untie.
And at their backes did throw the stones by name of bones foretolde.
The stones (who would beleve the thing, but that the time of olde
Reportes it for a stedfast truth?) of nature tough and harde,
Began to warre both soft and smothe: and shortly afterwarde
To winne therwith a better shape: and as they did encrease,
A mylder nature in them grew, and rudenesse gan to cease.
For at the first their shape was such, as in a certaine sort
Resembled man, but of the right and perfect shape came short.
Even like to Marble ymages new drawne and roughly wrought,
Before the Carver by his Arte to purpose hath them brought.
Such partes of them where any juice or moysture did abound,
Or else were earthie, turned to flesh: and such as were so sound,
And harde as would not bow nor bende did turne to bones: againe
The part that was a veyne before, doth still his name retaine.
Thus by the mightie powre of God ere lenger time was past,
The mankinde was restorde by stones, the which a man did cast.
And likewise also by the stones the which a woman threw,
The womankinde repayred was and made againe of new.
Of these are we the crooked ympes, and stonie race in deede,
Bewraying by our toyling life, from whence we doe proceede.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Pyrrha (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: