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READER! (I know not yet whether gentle or no) some, I know, have been angry (I dare not assume the honour of their envy) at my poetical bolc!ness, and blamed in mine, what commends other fruits, earliness: others, who are either of a weak faith, or strong malice, have thought me like a pipe, which never sounds but when it is blowed in, and read ine, not as Abraham Cowley, but Authorem Anonymum. To the first I answer, that it is an envious frust which nips the blossoms, because they appear quickly: to the latter, that he is the worst homicide who ives to murder another's faine: to both, that it is a ridiculous folly to condemn or laugh at the stars, because the Moon and Sun shine brighter. The small fire I have is rather blown than extinguished by this wind. For the itch of poesy, by being angered, increaseth; by rubbing, spreads farther; which appears in that I have ventured upon this third edition. What though it be neglected ? It is not, I am sure, the first book which hath lighted tobacco, or been employed by cooks and grocers. If in all men's judgments it suffer shipwreck, it shall something content me, that it hath pleased myself and the bookseller. In it you shall find one argument (and I hope I shall need no more) to confute unbelievers : which is, that as mine age, and consequently experience (which is yet but little) hath increased, so they have not left my poesy flagging behind them. I should not be angry to see any one burn my Piramus and Thisbe, nay, I would do it myself, but that I hope a pardon may easily be gotten for the errours of ten years age. My Constantius and Philetus confesses me two years older when I writ it. The rest were made since, upon several occasions, and perhaps do not belie the time of their birth. Such as they are, they were created by me: but their fate lies in your hands; it is only you can effect, that neither the bookseller repent himself of his charge in printing them, nor 1 of my labour in composing them. Farewell,
TO THE READER.
I called the buskind muse, Melpomene,
If thou dislike these sorrowful lines, then knuw,
And, as she my unabler quill did guide,
But think her tears defac'd it, and blame then
CONSTANTIA AND PHILETUS. I SING two constant lovers' various fate,
The hopes and fears that equally attend Their loves; their rivals' envy, parents' hate: Ising their woeful life and tragic end.
Aid me, ye.gods, this story to rehearse,
This mournful tale, and favour every verse!
Her, lavish Natare did at first adorn
With Pallas' soul in Cytherea's form:
Expect not beauty then, since she did part;
For in her Nature wasted all her art. Her hair was brighter than the beams which are A crown to Phoebus; and her breath so sweet, It did transcend Arabian odours far, Or smelling flowers, wherewith the Spring doth greet
Approaching Summer; teeth, like falling snow
For white, were placed in a double row.
The maiden lilies at her sight
Wax'd pale with envy,and from thence grew white. She was in birth and parentage as high As in her fortune great or beauty rare; And to her virtuous mind's nobility The gifts of Fate and Nature doubled were ;
That in her spotless soul and lovely face
You might have seen each deity and grace.
The glorious beams of her fair eyes did more,
And light beholders on their way to love.
With that blest object, or her rareness see;
For Beauty's guard is watchful Jealousy.
But his poor master, though to see her move
His joy, dares show no look betraying love. Soon as the Morning left her rosy bed, And all Heaven's smaller lights were driven away, She, by her friends and near acquaintance led, Like other maids, would walk at break of day:
Aurora blush'd to see a sight unknown,
To behold cheeks more beauteous than her own. Th' obsequious lover follows still her train, And where they go, that way his journey feigns: Should they turn back, he would turn back again; For with his love, his business does remain.
Nor is it strange he should be loth to part
From her, whose eyes had stole away his heart, Philetus he was call'd, sprung from a race Of noble ancestors; but greedy 'Time And envious Fate had laboured to deface The glory which in his great stock did shine:
Small his estate, unfitting her degree;
But blinded Love could no such difference see.
But yet he fears, because he blinded is,
Where having wept, recovering breath again, No morning-banishid darkness, nor black night Thus to immortal Love he did complain :
By her alternate course expellid the day, Oh, mighty Cupid! whose unbounded sway
In which Philetus by a constant rite Hath often rul'd thi Olympian thunderer ;
At Cupid's aliars did not weep and
pray; Wnom all cælestial deities obey ;
And yet he nothing reap'd for all his pain, Whom men and gods both reverence and fear!
But care and sorrow was his only gain. Oh force Constantia's heart to yield to love! Put now at last the pitying god, o'ercome
Of all thy works the master-piece 'twill prove. By constant votes and tears, fix'd in her heart “ And let me not affection vainly spend,
A golden shaft, and she is now become But kindle taines in her like those in me;
A suppliant to Love, that with like dart Yet if that gift my forture doth transcend,
He'd wound Philetus; does with tears implore Grant that her charming beauty 1 may see!
Aid from that power, she so much scorn'd be
fore. For ever view those eyes, whose charming light, More than the world besides, does please iny Little she thinks she kept Philchus' heart sight.
In her scorch'd breast, because her own she gave “Those who contemn thy sacred deity,
To him. Since either suffers equal smart,
And a like measure in their torments have : Laugh at thy power, make them thine anger know :
His soul, his griefs, his fires, now her's are grown: I faultless am; what honour can it be,
Her heart, her in her love, is his alone. Only to wound your slave and spare your foe ?" Whilst thoughts 'gainst thoughts rise up in muHere tears and sighs speak his imperfect inoan,
tiny, In language far more moving than his own. She took a lute (being far from any ears)
And tun'd this song, posing that harmony Home he retir'd, his soul he brought not home;
Which poets att, ibute to heavenly spheres. Just like a ship, while every inounting wave,
Thus had she sung when her dear loye was slain, Toss'd by enraged Borcas up and down, Threatens the mariner with a gaping grave;
She'd surely call’d him back from Styx agaiu. Such did his case, such did his state appear,
To whom shall I my sorrows show?
And my Philetus doth not know Oilis unhappy fate, but all in vain;
The inward torment of my mind. Aid thus fond Echo answers him again :
And all these senseless walls, which are It mov'd Aurora, and she wept to hear,
Now round about me, cannot hear;
And with any griefs relent:
Unless their willing tears they keep,
Till I from Earth am sent. " On! what hath caus’d my killing miseries ?"
Then I believe they 'll all deplore “ Eyes,” Echo said. “ What hath detained my
My fate, since I taught them before. “ ease?"
I willingly would weep my store, “EASE,"straight the reasonable nymph replies.
If th'flood wou!! land thy love, “ That nothing can my troubled mind appease?” My dear Philetus, on the shore
“ Prace," Echo answers. “What, is any nigh?” Of my heart; but, should'st thou prove Philetus said. She quickly utters, “1."
Afraid of flames, know the fires are “ Is't Echo answers ? tell me then thy will:
But bonfires for thy coming there. “ I will,” she said. “What shall i get,” says he, THEN tears in envy of her speech did flow “By loving still ?” To which she answers,
Ill.” From her fair eyes, as if it seem'd that there “ DÍ! Shall I void of wish'd-for pleasures dje?” Her burning fame had melted hills of snow,
“].” “Shall not I, who toil in ceaseless pain, And so dissolv'd them into many a tear;
And quickly caus'd new serpent griefs to grow. “ False and inconstant nymph, thou lyest !” said Here stay, my Muse; for if I should recite
Her mournful language, I should make you weep “THOU LYEST,” she said ; “And I deserv'd her hate, Like her, a food, and so not see to write If I should thee believe.” “ BELIEVE," saith she. Such lines as 1, and th' age requires, to keep “ For why? thy idle words are of no weight.” Me from stern Death, or with victorious rhyme
“WEIGHT," she answers. “Therefore I'll depart.” Revenge their master's death, and conquer To which resounding Echo answers, PART."
He weeps to quench the fires that burn in him, And, as time serv'd, show her his misery :
Thus to bimself, sooth'd by his Aattering state, " Long have I staid, but yet have no relief;
Because she knows not of my killing grief,
What husbandman would any pains refuse, For why? alas! if she should once but dart
To reap at last wich fruit, his labour's use ?” Disdainful looks, 'twould break my captiv'd heart,
But Cupid, when his heart was set on fire, Why, he who hath all sorrows borne before,
Had burnt his wings, who could not then retire. Needeth not fear to be opprest with more.” The wounded youth and kind Philocrates
Philocrates no longer can forbear, (So was her brother call'd) grew soon so dear, Runs to his friend, and sighing, “ Oh !” said he, So true and constant in their ainities,
· My dear Philetus! be thyself, and swear Ant in that league so strictly joined were,
To rule that passion which now masters thee, That death itself could not their friendship sever, And all thy reason; but, if it can't be,
But, as they liv'd in love, they died together. Give to thy love but eyes, that it may see.” If one be melancholy, th’ other's sad;
Amazement strikes him dumb; what shall he do? If one be sick, the other's surely ill ;
Should he reveal his love, he fears 'twould prove And if Philctus any sorrow had,
A hindrance; and, should he deny to shew, Philocrates was partner in it still :
It might perhaps his dear friend's anger move: Pyla:les' soul, and mad Orestes', was
These doubts, like Scylla and Charybdis, stand, In these, if we believe Pythagoras.
Whilst Cupid, a blind pilot, doth command.
At last resolv'd : “ How shall I seek,” said he,
That I from thee have hid this secrecy ?
My case with words : my grief you should have
But, like the rare Arabian bird, there rose, Hraring Philet-s tell his woeful state,
From my heart's ashes, never quenched Love, In show of grief run murmuring at his fate. Which now this torment in my soul doth move. Philomel answers him again, and shows,
“Oh! let not then my passion cause your hate In her best language, her sad history,
Nor let my choice offend you, or detain
To call my firm affection back again :
No physic can re-cure my weaken'd state, With him both grief, and grief's expression, vies. The wound is grown too great, too desperate.” Philocrates must neerls his sadness know,
" But counsel,” said his friend, “a remedy Willing in ills, as well as joys, to share,
Which never fails the patient, may at least,
Who leaves to guide the ship when storms arise, But there is no physician can apply
A med'cine ere he know the malady.”
I will not toil thee with my history;
For to remember sorrows past away,
Is to renew an old calamity.
Adds to his friend's grief, but not cures his own."
'To have a faithful partner of their care; Th'obsequious friend straight follows him, and there That burthen may be undergone by two, Doth hide himself from sad Philetus' sight; Which is perhaps too great for one to bear.
Who thus exclaims (for a swoln heart would break, I should 'mistrust your love, to hide from me
Your thoughts, and tax you of inconstancy.”
Excuse? He must resolve not to deny,
He sigh'd, as if they'd cool his torments' ire,
When they, alas! did blow the raging fire.