Table of Contents:
Men say that Numa furnisshed with such philosophye
As this and like, returned to his native soyle, and by
Entreatance was content of Rome to take the sovereintye.
Ryght happy in his wyfe which was a nymph, ryght happy in
His guydes which were the Muses nyne, this Numa did begin
To teach Religion, by the meanes whereof hee shortly drew
That people unto peace whoo erst of nought but battell knew.
And when through age he ended had his reigne and eeke his lyfe,
Through Latium he was moorned for of man and chyld and wyfe
As well of hygh as low degree. His wyfe forsaking quyght
The Citie, in vale Aricine did hyde her out of syght,
Among the thickest groves, and there with syghes and playnts did let
The sacrifyse of Diane whom Orestes erst had fet
From Taurica in Chersonese, and in that place had set.
How oft ah did the woodnymphes and the waternymphes perswade
Egeria for to cease her mone. What meanes of comfort made
They. Ah how often Theseus sonne her weeping thus bespake.
O Nymph, thy moorning moderate: thy sorrow sumwhat slake: '
Not only thou hast cause to heart thy fortune for to take.
Behold like happes of other folkes, and this mischaunce of thyne
Shall greeve thee lesse. Would God examples (so they were not myne)
Myght comfort thee. But myne perchaunce may comfort thee. If thou
In talk by hap hast heard of one Hippolytus ere now,
That through his fathers lyght beleefe, and stepdames craft was slayne,
It will a woonder seeme to thee, and I shall have much payne
To make thee to beleeve the thing. But I am very hee.
The daughter of Pasyphae in vayne oft tempting mee
My fathers chamber to defyle, surmysde mee to have sought
The thing that shee with al her hart would fayne I should have wrought.
And whither it were for feare I should her wickednesse bewray,
Or else for spyght bycause I had so often sayd her nay,
Shee chardgd mee with hir owne offence. My father by and by
Condemning mee, did banish mee his Realme without cause whye.
And at my going like a fo did ban me bitterly.
To Pitthey Troyzen outlawelike my chariot streight tooke I.
My way lay hard uppon the shore of Corinth. Soodeinly
The sea did ryse, and like a mount the wave did swell on hye,
And seemed huger for to growe in drawing ever nye,
And roring clyved in the toppe. Up starts immediatly
A horned bullocke from amid the broken wave, and by
The brest did rayse him in the ayre, and at his nostrills and
His platter mouth did puffe out part of sea uppon the land.
My servants harts were sore afrayd. But my hart musing ay
Uppon my wrongfull banishment, did nought at all dismay.
My horses setting up theyr eares and snorting wexed shye,
And beeing greatly flayghted with the monster in theyr eye,
Turnd downe to sea: and on the rockes my wagon drew. In vayne
I stryving for to hold them backe, layd hand uppon the reyne
All whyght with fome, and haling backe lay almost bolt upryght.
And sure the feercenesse of the steedes had yeelded to my might,
But that the wheele that ronneth ay about the Extree round,
Did breake by dashing on a stub, and overthrew to ground.
Then from the Charyot I was snatcht the brydles beeing cast
About my limbes. Yee myght have seene my sinewes sticking fast
Uppon the stub: my gutts drawen out alyve: my members, part
Still left uppon the stump, and part foorth harryed with the cart:
The crasshing of my broken bones: and with what passing peyne
I breathed out my weery ghoste. There did not whole remayne
One peece of all my corce by which yee myght discerne as tho
What lump or part it was. For all was wound from toppe to toe.
Now canst thou, nymph, or darest thou compare thy harmes with myne?
Moreover I the lightlesse Realme behild with theis same eyne,
And bathde my tattred bodye in the river Phlegeton,
And had not bright Apollos sonne his cunning shewde uppon
My bodye by his surgery, my lyfe had quyght bee gone.
Which after I by force of herbes and leechecraft had ageine
Receyvd by Aesculapius meanes, though Pluto did disdeine,
Then Cynthia (lest this gift of hers myght woorke mee greater spyght)
Thicke clowds did round about mee cast. And to th'entent I myght
Bee saufe myself, and harmelessely appeere to others syght:
Shee made mee old. And for my face, shee left it in such plyght,
That none can knowe mee by my looke. And long shee dowted whither
To give mee Dele or Crete. At length refusing bothe togither,
Shee plaast mee heere. And therwithall shee bade me give up quyght
The name that of my horses in remembrance put mee myght.
For whereas erst Hippolytus hath beene thy name (quoth shee)
I will that Virbie afterward thy name for ever bee.
From that tyme foorth within this wood I keepe my residence,
As of the meaner Goddes, a God of small magnificence,
And heere I hyde mee underneathe my sovereine Ladyes wing
Obeying humbly to her hest in every kynd of thing.
But yit the harmes of other folk could nothing help nor boote
Aegerias sorrowes to asswage. Downe at a mountaines foote
Shee lying melted into teares, till Phebus sister sheene
For pitie of her greate distresse in which shee had her seene,
Did turne her to a fountaine cleere, and melted quyght away
Her members into water thinne that never should decay.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.