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AND IN ANOTHER PLACE SOMEWHAT
ORESTES liked, but not loved dearly
Hermione, till he had lost her clearly.
Sad Menelaus! why dost thou lament
Thy late mishap? I prithee be content.
Thou know'st the amorous Helen, fair and sweet;
And yet without her didst thou sail to Crete.
And thou wast blithe, and merry all the way;
But when thou saw'st she was the Trojan's prey,
Then wast thou mad for her, and for thy life,
Thou canst not now one minute want thy wife.
So stout ACHILLES, when his lovely bride,
BRISEIS, was dispos'd to great ATRIDE,
Nor was he vainly mov'd, Atrides too
Offer'd no more, than he of force must do.
I should have done as much, to set her free;
Yet I (Heaven knows) am not so wise as he.
VULCAN WAS JUPITER's SMITH,
AN EXCELLENT WORKMAN, ON WHOM THE POETS
FATHER MANY RARE WORKS, AMONG WHICH
I FIND THIS ONE,
MARS AND VENUS.
THIS tale is blaz'd thro' Heaven, how once un'ware,
Venus and MARS were took in Vulcan's snare.
The god of war doth in his brow discover
The perfect and true pattern of a lover.
Nor could the goddess Venus be so cruel
To deny MARS (soft kindness is a jewel
In any woman, and becomes her well)
In this the queen of love doth most excel.
(0 Heaven !) how often have they mock'd and flouted
The smith's polt-foot (whilst nothing he misdoubted ;)
Made jests of him, and his begrimed trade;
And his smoog'd visage, black with coal-dust made.
Mars, tickled with loud laughter, when he saw
Venus like Vulcan limp, to halt and draw
One foot behind another, with sweet grace,
To counterfeit his lame uneven pace.
Their meetings first the lovers hide with fear
From every jealous eye, and captious ear.
The god of war, and love's lascivious dame,
In public views were full of bashful shame.
But the Sun spies how this sweet pair agree,
(O what, bright PHeBus, can be hid from thee?)
The Sun both sees and blabs the sight forthwith, And in all post he speeds to tell the smith. . O Sun! what bad examples dost thou show? What thou in secret seest, must all njen know? For silence, ask a bribe from her fair treasure ; She'll grant thee that shall make thee swell with pleasure. The god, whose face is smoog'd with smoke and fire, Placeth about their bed a net of wire; ' So quaintly made, that it deceives the eye. Strait (as he feigns) to Lemnos he must hie. The lovers meet, where he the train hath set, And both lie fast catch'd in a wiry net : He calls the gods, the lovers naked sprall, And cannot rise; the queen of love shews all. Mars chafes, and Venus weeps, neither can finch; Grappled they lie, in vain they kick and wince. Their legs are one within another ty'd, Their hands so fast, that they can nothing hide. Amongst these high spectators, one by chance, That saw them naked in this pitfall dance, Thus to himself said ; If it tedious be, Good god of war, bestow thy place on me.
THE HISTORY HOW THE MINOTAUR
IDA of cedars and tall trees stands full,
Where fed the glory of the herd, a bull
Snow-white, save 'twixt his horns one spot there grew;
Save that one stain he was of milky hue.
This fair steer did the heifers of the groves
Desire to bear, as prince of all the droves.
But most PASIPHAE, with adulterous breath,
Envies the wanton heifers to the death.
Tis said, that for this bull the doating lass
Did use to crop young boughs, and mow fresh grass;
Nor was the amorous Cretan queen afеard,
To grow a kind companion to the herd.
Thus thro’ the champaign she is madly borne,
And a wild bull to Minos gives the horn.
'Tis not for bravery he can love or loath thee,
Then why, PASIPHAE, dost thou richly clothe thee?
Why should'st thou thus thy face and looks prepare !
What mak'st thou with thy glass ord'ring thy hair?
Unless thy glass could make thee seem a cow;
But how can horns grow on that tender brow?
If Minos please thee, no adulterer seek thee,
Or if thy husband Minos do not like thee;
But thy lascivious thoughts are still encreas'd,
Deceive him with a man, not with a beast,
Thus by the queen the wide woods are frequented,
And leaving the king's bed, she is contented
To use the groves, borne by the rage of mind,
Even as a ship with a full eastern wind.
Some of these strumpet heifers the queen slew,
Her smoaking altars their warm bloods imbrue;
Whilst by the sacrificing priest she stands,
And gripes their trembling entrails in her hands :
At length, the captain of the herd beguil'd
With a cow's-skin, by curious art compil'd,
The longing queen obtains her full desire,
And in her infant's form bewrays the sire.
This Minotaur, when he came to Growth, was inclosed in
the Labyrinth, which was made by the curious Artsmaster Dedalus, whose Tale likewise we thus pursue.
WHEN DEDALUS the labyrinth had built,
In which t include the queen PASIPHAE's guilt,
And that the time was now expir'd full,
T'inclose the MINOTAUR, half man, half bull:
Kneeling, he says, Just Minos, end my moans,
And let my native soil intomb my bones :
Or if, dread sovereign, I deserve no grace,
Look with a piteous eye on my son's face;
And grant me leave, from whence we are exild,
Or pity me, if you deny my child.
This, and much more, he speaks, but all in vain, The king both son and father will detain :