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And that this fear might so be overblown, -
This babe from Troy, withouten ruth is thrown. !
But tempted may the Gods, not mocked be ; . . .
It is thy fate, nor may thou, Troy, foresee |
What must befall, thou may'st it not foreknow :
Yet Paris lives, and men him called so;
He lives a shepherd's swain on Ida hills,
And breathes a man 'gainst Troy and Troyans' wills,
That threatens fire to Troy, a jolly swain.
And here me list leave Priam and his train: -
And tend we Paris yet another while ;
How he can Nymphs and shepherds' trulls beguile,
And pipen songs, and whet his wits on books,
And wrap poor maids with sweet alluring looks;
So couth he * sing his lays among them all,
And tune his pipe unto the water's fall,t
And wear his coat of gray and lusty green,
That had the fair OEnone never seen
His 'ticing curled hair, his front of ivory,
The careless nymph had ne'er been so unhappy.
Then was the time when Flora with her flowers,
Like Iris in her pride and party colours,
Sate in her summer arbours like a queen,
And, dight the earth in yellow, blue, and green,
Then Phoebe 'gan a solemn hunting make, . . . .
A feast for Pallas', Juno, Venus' sake;
And on that Ida, where king Priam's son,
Paris, this lovely shepherd's swain did won,
A wondrous strife and variance did befall,
Among the goddesses for a golden ball,
That some fell fury threw among them all.
And fatal was it to this shepherd's boy,
That in his bosom bare the bane of Troy,
To wander by that sacred place alone;
Belike his Nymph and walking mate was gone:
And there was chosen judge to end this strife,
That after lost full many a man his life.
And thus this doughty daysman", as I reed,
Did crankly + venture on this thankless deed :
Whom Juno first, the great and stately Goddess,
Entic'd with honour of much wealth and riches:
And certes gold hath store of eloquence.
Him Pallas eke the queen of sapience,
Tempted with wisdom and with chivalry,
To win the golden ball bequeath'd to beauty.
But neither wealth nor wisdom might him move,
When Venus 'gan t’ encounter him with love.
So led away with over-vain conceit,
And surfeiting belike on pleasure's bait,
As men are wont to let the better go
And choose the worse, this jolly shepherd, lo!
In hope to win the gallant flower of Greece,
Fair Helena, that brave and peerless piece;
Giveth the prize to lady Venus' grace,
And ends with endless war this doubtful case.
* daysman] See note vol. i. p. 54. t crankly] i.e. briskly.
Ah Paris I hadst thou had but equal eyes,
Indifferent in bestowing of the prize, o
Thy human wit might have discerned well, - * *
Wherein true beauty of the mind did dwell. . . . .
But men must err, because that men they be, -
And men with love yblinded cannot see.*
Throughout the world the rumour being blown
Of this event, the man was quickly known,
And homewards comes forsooth to luckless Troy,
Of yore a shepherd's swain, king Priam's boy:
And in his breast did bear an uncouth heat,
The strength whereof began to grow so great,
As needs Sir Paris must prepare to see
What might the substance of this shadow be,
That yet his fancy wrought upon so fast.
So furnished with men and ships at last
To Lacedemon doth this minion come;’
The winds made way, the sea affording room:
In fine, the cut and voyage being short,
This knight arrives at Menelaus' Court,
Where such his entertainment was I find,
As justly might content a princely mind;
For she was there to give him welcome tho,
Who more his inward sense, than eye did know; -
A lusty, brave, and lively dame was she,
A lass well worthy to be Paris fee;
The queen herself that hight fair Helena, Whom yet unseen his thoughts did all obey: And by the hand she takes her new-come guest, And gives him entertainment of the best. Yet stately Troy did flourish in his pride, And Priam whom no prince might mate beside, Till love and hate together did conspire, To waste this town and realm with wasteful fire. The Prince of Troy 'gan easily now to see, How well her person with her fame did 'gree; When calling on Dame Venus for his due,” The King of Sparta with a lordly crew, Must post from home and leave his wife forsooth, To give Sir Paris welcome for his tooth. Thus Venus first to help Love's policy, Advantag'd him with opportunity. And now as lovers wont their times espy, This lover can his task full well apply, ...And strives to court his mistress cunningly, Whose tender breast the conquering god of love, As will'd his dame, with arrows 'gan to prove, And found it fit for love's impression. No sooner was King Menelaus gone, But Helen's heart had ta'en so great a flame, As love increas'd with Paris' only name: And now she 'gan survey his lovely face, And curiously observe each courtly grace, And after large disputes of right and wrong, What did to love and woman-hood belong,
* When calling, &c.] i.e. when Paris calling on Venus, &c.
Ah, that this love will be no better rul’d,
Ah, that these lovers mill be better school'd 1–
After sweet lines, that from this stranger's pen
Came swiftly to her reading now and then,
Regard of honour thrown aside by this,
She arms her boldly to this great amiss;"
And, for her heart was from her body hent,f
To Troy this Helen with her lover went,
Thinking, perdy, a part contrary kind,
Her heart so raught,t herself to stay behind.
And thus hath Paris with his cunning caught
The dainty bird that all so far he sought.
No sooner were they started thus away,
But straight the king, yet all too late a day,”
Had news of this unworthy traitorous deed,
And after (says my story) 'gins to speed; * But conquering love, that hath no leaden heels,
Away flies Paris with his chased prey,
And lands in Troy the gallant Helena,
Whom aged Priam and Queen Hecuba,
With all their noble sons and daughters too,
Welcome with royal feasts and much ado;
Belike tied wings unto the Troyan's keels. n t