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AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN.
By millions, who your state having commended,
Will (wond'ring) swear, some goddess is descended.
Where'er you walk the priests shall incense burn,
No way you shall your eye or body turn,
But sacrificed beasts the ground shall beat,
And bright religious fires the welkin heat.
My father, mother, brother, sisters, all
Illium and Troy in pomp majestical,
Shall with rich gifts present you (but alas !)
Not the least part (so far they do surpass)
Can my epistle speak; you may behold
More than my words or writings can unfold.
Nor fear the bruit of war, or threatening steel,
When we are fed, to dog us at the heel;
Or that all Græcia will their powers unite:
Of many ravish'd, can you one recite
Whom war repurchas'd? These be idle fears,
Rough blust'ring Boreas fair Orithea bears
Uuto the land of Thrace, yet Thrace still free,
And Athens rais'd no rude hostility.
In winged Pegasus did Jason sail;
And from great Colchos he MEDEA steal;
Yet THESSALY you see can shew no scar
Of former wounds in the Thessalian war.
He that first ravished you, in such a fleet
As ours is, ARIADNE brought from Crete.
AMOROUS EPISTLE OF PARIS TO HELEN,
Yet Minos and duke Theseus were agreed, About that quarrel not a breast did bleed. Less is the danger (trust me) than the fear, That in these vain and idle doubts appear. But say, rude war should be proclaim'd at length, Know I am valiant, and have sinewy strength. The weapons that I use are apt to kill. Asia besides more spacious fields can fill With armed men, than Greece. Amongst us are More perfect soldiers, more beasts apt for war. Nor can thy husband MENELAUS be Of any high spirit and magnanimity; . Or so well prov'd in arms : for, HELEN, I, Being but a lad, have made my enemies Ay; Regain’d the prey from out the hands of thieves, Who had despoild our herds, and stol'n our beeves. By such adventures I my name obtain'd, (Being but a lad) the conquest I have gain'd Of young men in their prime, who much could do; DEIPHOBUS, ILIONEUS too I have o'ercome in many sharp contentions; Nor think these are my vain and forg'd inventions ; Or that I only hand to hand can fight, My arrows when I please shall touch the white; I am expert i'th' quarry and the bow, You cannot boast your heartless husband so. Had you the power in all things to supply me, And should you nothing in the world deny me;
To give me such a Hector to my brother,
You could not, the earth bears not such another.
By him alone all Asia is well mann'd;
He like an enemy 'gainst Greece shall stand ;
Oppos'd to your best fortunes, wherefore strive you?
You do not know his valour that must wive you,
Or what hid worth is in me; but at length
You will confess when you have prov'd my strength,
Thus either war shall still our steps pursue,
Or Greece shall fall in Troy's all conquering view.
Nor would I fear for such a royal wife,
To set the universal world at strife.
To gain rich prizes men will venture far,
The hope of purchase makes us bold in war.
If all the world about you should contend,
Your name should be eterniz'd without end ;
Only be bold; and fearless may we sail
Into my country, with a prosperous gale!
If the gods grant me my expected day,
It to the full shall all these covenants pay.
NO sooner came mine eye unto the sight
Of thy rude lines, but I must needs re-write.
Dar'st thou (O shameless) in such heinous wise,
The laws of hospitality despise ?
And being a stranger from thy country's reach, Solicit a chaste wife to wedlock's breach? Was it for this our free Tænarian port Receiv'd thee and thy train, in friendly sort; And when great NEPTUNE nothing could appease, Gave thee fair harbour fron the stormy seas; Was it for this our kingdom's arms spread wide To entertain thee from the water side? Yet thou of foreign soil remote from hence, A stranger, coming we scarce know from whence, Is perjur'd, wrong the recompence of right; Is all our friendship guerdon’d with despight? I doubt me then, whether in our court doth tarry A friendly guest, or a fierce adversary, Nor blame me, for if justly you consider, And these presumptions well compare together, So simple my complaint will not appear, But you yourself must needs excuse my fear. Well, hold me simple, much it matters not, Whilst I preserve my chaste name far from spot? For when I seem touch'd with a bashful shame, It shews how highly I regard my fame. When I seem sad, my countenance is not feign'd; And when I low'r, my look is unconstrain'd. But say my brow be cloudy, my name's clear, And reverently you shall of Helen hear. No man from me adulterate spoils can win; For to this hour I've sported without sin :
Which makes me in my heart the more to wonder,
What hope you have in time to bring me under :
Or from mine eye what comfort thou canst gather,
To pity thee, and not despise thee rather.
Because once Theseus hurry'd me from hence,
And did to me a kind of violence;
Follows it therefore, I am of such price,
That ravish'd once I should be ravish'd twice?
Was it my fault, because I striv'd in vain,
And wanted strength his fury to restrain ?
He flatter'd, and spake fair, I struggled still ;
And what he got, was much against my will.
Of all bis toil, he reap'd no wished fruit,
For with my wrangling I withstood his suit.
At length I was restor’d, untouch'd, and clear;
In all my rape, I suffer'd nought but fear:
A few untoward kisses he (Got wot)
Dry, without relish, by much striving got,
And them with much ado, and to his cost;
Of further favours he could never boast.
I doubt your purpose aims at greater blisses.
And hardly would alone be pleas'd with kisses.
Thou hast some further aim, and seek'st to do,
What, Jove defend, I should consent unto.
He bore not thy bad mind, but did restore me
Unblemish'd to the place from whence he bore me.
The youth was bashful, and thy boldness lack’d,
And, 'tis well known, repented his bold fact,