Now while that Danaes noble sonne was telling of these things
Amid a throng of Cepheys Lordes, through al the Pallace rings
A noyse of people nothing like the sound of such as sing
At wedding feastes, but like the rore of such as tidings bring
Of cruell warre. This sodaine chaunge from feasting unto fray
Might well be likened to the Sea: whych standing at a stay
The woodnesse of the windes makes rough by raising of the wave.
King Cepheys brother Phyney was the man that rashly gave
The first occasion of this fray. Who shaking in hys hand
A Dart of Ash with head of steele, sayd: Loe: loe here I stand
To chalenge thee that wrongfully my ravisht spouse doste holde.
Thy wings nor yet thy forged Dad in shape of feyned golde
Shall now not save thee from my handes. As with that word he bent
His arme aloft, the foresaid Dart at Persey to have sent,
What doste thou brother (Cephey cride) what madnesse moves thy minde
To doe so foule a deede? is this the friendship he shall finde
Among us for his good deserts? And wilt thou needes requite
The saving of thy Neeces life with such a foule despight?
Whome Persey hath not from thee tane: but (if thou be advisde)
But Neptunes heavie wrath bicause his Sea nymphes were despisde:
But horned Hammon: but the beast which from the Sea arrived
On my deare bowels for to feede. That time wert thou deprived
Of thy betroothed, when hir life upon the losing stoode:
Onlesse perchaunce to see hir lost it woulde have done thee good,
And easde thy heart to see me sad. And may it not suffice
That thou didst see hir to the rocke fast bound before thine eyes
And didst not helpe hir beyng both hir husband and hir Eame?
Onlesse thou grudge that any man should come within my Realme
To save hir life, and seeke to rob him of his just rewarde?
Which if thou thinke to be so great, thou shouldst have had regarde
Before, to fetch it from the rocke to which thou sawste it bound.
I pray thee, brother, seeing that by him the meanes is found
That in mine age without my childe I go not to the grounde,
Permit him to enjoy the price for which we did compounde,
And which he hath by due desert of purchace deerely bought.
For brother, let it never sinke nor enter in thy thought
That I set more by him than thee: but this may well be sed
I rather had to give hir him than see my daughter dead.
He gave him not a worde againe: but looked eft on him,
And eft on Persey irefully with countnance stoure and grim,
Not knowing which were best to hit: and after little stay
He shooke his Dart, and flung it forth with all the powre and sway
That Anger gave at Perseys head. But harme it did him none,
It sticked in the Bedsteddes head that Persey sate upon.
Then Persey sternely starting up and pulling out the Dart
Did throw it at his foe agayne, and therewithall his hart
Had cliven asunder, had he not behinde an Altar start.
The Altar (more the pitie was) did save the wicked wight.
Yet threw he not the Dart in vaine: it hit one Rhetus right
Amid the foreheade: who therewith sanke downe, and when the steele
Was plucked out, he sprawlde about and spurned with his heele,
And all berayd the boorde with bloud. Then all the other rout
As fierce as fire flang Dartes: and some there were that cried out
That Cephey with his sonne in lawe was worthy for to die.
But he had wound him out of doores protesting solemly
As he was just and faithfull Prince, and swearing eke by all
The Gods of Hospitalitie, that that same broyle did fall
Full sore against his will. At hand was warlie Pallas streight
And shadowed Persey with hir shielde, and gave him heart in feight.
There was one Atys borne in Inde, (of faire Lymniace
The River Ganges daughter thought the issue for to be),
Of passing beautie which with rich aray he did augment.
He ware that day a scarlet Cloke, about the which there went
A garde of golde: a cheyne of golde he ware about his necke:
And eke his haire perfumde with Myrrhe a costly crowne did decke.
Full sixtene yeares he was of age: such cunning skill he coulde
In darting, as to hit his marke farre distant when he would.
Yet how to handle Bow and shaftes much better did he know.
Now as he was about that time to bende his horned Bowe,
A firebrand Persey raught that did upon the Aultar smoke,
And dasht him overtwhart the face with such a violent stroke,
That all bebattred was his head, the bones asunder broke.
When Lycabas of Assur lande, his moste assured friend
And deare companion, being no dissembler of his miend,
Which most entierly did him love, behelde him on the ground
Lie weltring with disfigurde face, and through that grievous wound
Now gasping out his parting ghost, his death he did lament,
And taking hastly up the Bow that Atys erst had bent:
Encounter thou with me (he saide) thou shalt not long enjoy
Thy triumphing in braverie thus, for killing of this boy,
By which thou getst more spight than praise. All this was scarsly sed,
But that the arrow from the string went streyned to the head.
Howbeit Persey (as it hapt) so warely did it shunne,
As that it in his coteplights hung. Then to him did he runne
With Harpe in his hand bestaind with grim Medusas blood,
And thrust him through the brest therwith. He quothing as he stood
Did looke about where Atys lay with dim and dazeling eyes,
Now waving under endlesse night: and downe by him he lies,
And for to comfort him withall togither with him dies.
This text is part of:
Search the Perseus Catalog for:
Table of Contents:
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.