Mercurij nutrices, horae.

IMPRINTED AT LONDON IN Fleetstreete neere vnto Saincte Dunstans church by Tho­mas Marsh. 1581

TO THE RIGHT VVOR­SHIPEVL, SIR THOMAS HEN­NEAGE KNIGHT, TREASVRER OF HER MAIESTIES CHAMBER: Thomas Newton wisheth all abundaunce of Felicitie, and Spirituall bene­dictions in Christe. *⁎*

YOV may think Sir, some want of discretion in mee, for thus bold­ly presuminge to thrust into your handes these Tragedies of SE­NECA. From whych boldnesse, the very Conscience of myne own vnworthynes, might easely haue dissuaded mee, had not certayne learned Gentlemen of good credite and worship thereun­to persuaded & animated mee. Assuring mee (where of I thought my selfe afore assured) that your VVorship (such is your loue to learning, & the generosity of your Heroi­call mynde) would daygne not onely to dispence with my temerity, but also take in worth my affectionate simpli­city. And yet (all this notwithstandinge) well durst I not haue geuen the aduēture to approch your presence, vp­on trust of any singularity, that in this Booke hath vn­ski [...]fully dropped out of myne owne penne, but that I hoped the perfection of others artificiall workmāship, that haue trauayled herein aswell as my selfe should somewhat couer my nakednèsse [...] pùrchase my pardon. And hard were [Page] the dealing, if in payment of a good round gubbe of Gold of full wayght and poyse, one poore peece somewhat clypped and lighter then his fellowes may not be foysted in amōg the rest, and passe in pay for currant coigne. Theirs I know to be deliuered with singuler dexterity: myne, I confesse to be an vnflidge nestling, vnhable to flye: an vnnatural abortion, and an vnperfect Embryon: neyther throughlye laboured at Aristophanes and Cleanthes candle, neither yet exactly waighed in Critolaus his precise ballaūce. Yet this dare I saye, I haue deliuered myne Authors meaning with as much perspicuity, as so meane a Scholler, out of so meane a stoare, in so smal a time, and vpon so short a war­ning was well able to performe. And whereas it is by some squeymish Areopagites surmyzed, that the readinge of these Tragedies, being enterlarded with many Phrases and sentēces, literally tending (at the first sight) some time to the prayse of Ambition, sometyme to the mayntenaūce of cruelty, now and then to the approbation of inconti­nencie, and here and there to the ratification of tyranny, can not be digested without great daūger of infection: to omit all other reasons, if it might please thē with no fore­stalled iudgmēt, to mark and consider the circumstaunces, why, where, & by what maner of persons such sentences are pronoūced, they cānot in any equity otherwise choose, but find good cause ynough to leade thē to a more fauourable and milde resolutiō. For it may not at any hād be thought and deemed the direct meaning of SÈNECA himselfe, whose whole wrytinges (penned with a peerelesse sublimi­ty and loftinesse of Style, are so farre from còuntenaun­cing Vice, that I doubt whether there bee any amonge all the Catalogue of Heathen wryters, that with more gra­uity [Page] of Philosophicall sentences, more waightynes of sappy words, or greater authority of soūd matter beateth down sinne, loose lyfe, dissolute dealinge, and vnbrydled sensu­ality: or that more sensibly, pithily, and bytingly layeth downe the guerdon of filthy lust, cloaked dissimulation & odious treachery: which is the dryft, wherunto he leueleth the whole yssue of ech one of his Tragedies. Howsoeuer & whatsoeuer it be, your VVorships curteous acceptaūce shal easily counterpoyse any of our imperfections. Vnto whose learned Censure, wee humbly submit these the exercises of our blusshing Muses. The Lord God in mercy long pre­serue you in health and dignity with daily encrease of ma­ny his gracious gyfts, already rychly abounding in you: to the propagation, and aduauncement of his truth (where­of yee are a zealous Professor, to the honoure of her Ma­iestye, to whom you are a most loyall seruitour, and to the generall benefite of your Countrey, whereof you are a rare and most worthy Ornament.

Your Worshippes most humble, Thomas Newton.

THE NAMES OF THE TRAGEDIES OF SENECA, AND by whom each of them was tran­slated.

  • 1 Hercules Furens,
  • 2 Thyestes,
  • 6 Troas,
    • By Iasper Heywood.
    • 1560.
  • 5 Oedipus,
    • By Alex. Neuile.
  • 4 Hippolytus,
  • 7 Medea,
  • 8 Agamemnon,
  • 10 Hercules Octaeus
    • By Iohn Studley.
  • 9 Octauia,
    • By T. Nuce.
  • 3 Thebais.
    • By Thomas Newton.
The Argument of this Tragedy.

IVno the Wyfe and sister of Iupiter, hating his bastard bro [...]de, cometh dovvne from heauen, complayning of all his iniuries done to her, deui­sing also by vvhat despight she may vexe his base Sonne Hercules. And hauing by experience proued, no toyles to be to hard for him, findeth the meanes to make his ovvne hand his ovvne vengeance. Hercules therefore returning novv from Hell (from vvhence he vvas enioyned to fet Cerbe­rus) and finding that the Tyrant Lycus had inuaded his coūtrey, destroi­eth the tyrant. For the vvhich victory as hee sacrificeth to his Goddesse, vvrathfull Iuno strikes him into a sodayne frensy: Wherevvith he beinge sore vexed, thynking to slea the Children and Wyfe of Lycus, in steede of them, killeth his ovvne Wyfe and Children in his madnes. This done hee sleapeth. Iuno restoreth to him agayne his Wits. He being vvakt, seing his Wyfe and Children slayne by his ovvne hand, at last also vvould kill him­selfe.

  • Iuno.
  • Chorus.
  • Megara.
  • Amphitrion.
  • Lycus.
  • Hercules.
  • Theseus.


Iuno alone.
I Syster of the Thunderer,
(for now that name alone
Remaynes to me) Ioue euermore
as though deuorst and gone,
And temples of the highest ayre
as wydowe shunned haue,
And beaten out of skyes aboue
the place to Harlots gaue.
I must go dwell beneath on ground, for Whoores do hold the sky.
From hence the Beare in parte aboue of ycy peale full hy,
A haughty starre the greekish shyps by Seas doth gurde about:
From this way, whence at spring time warme the day is loased out,
Euro [...]aes bearer through the waues of Tyria shyues full bright.
From thence, their stormy fearefull flocke to Ships, and seas affright,
[Page] The wandring daughters here and there of Atlas vpward sway.
With staring bush of hayre from hens Orion Gods doth fray:
And Perseus eke his glitteryng starres of golden glosse hath here.
From hence the twynnes of Tyndars stocke do shine, a signe full clere:
And at whose byrth first stode the grounde that erst went to and fro.
Nor onely Bacchus now himselfe, or Bacchus mother lo,
Haue clymd to Gods: least any parte should from rebuke be free,
The skies the Gnossian strumpets crownes do beare in spight of mee.
But I of old cōtemptes complayne: me, one dire, fierce, and shrewde
Thebana land with wicked broode of Ioues base daughters strewde,
How oft hath it a stepdame made? though vp to heauen should ryse,
The conqueryng drabbe Alcmena now, and hold my place in skyes,
And eke her sonne to promisd starres obtayne the worthy way,
At byrth of whom the staying worlde so long deferd the day,
And Phoebus slow frome morning sea began to glister bright,
Commaunded long in th' Ocean waues to hyde his drowned lyght.
Yet shall my hates not leaue them so, a wrathful kindled rage
His mynd in madnes shall stirre vp, and yre that may not swage
Shall euermore (all peace layd downe) wage warres eternally.
What warres? what euer hideous thinge the earth his ennemy
Begets, or what soeuer sea or ayre hath brought to syght
Both dredfull, dire, and pestilent, of cruel fiercest might,
T'is tierd and tam'd: he passeth all, and name by ills doth rayse,
And all my wrath he doth inioy, and to his greater prayse
He turnes my hates: whyle tedious toyles to much I him behest,
He proues what father him begot: both thence where light opprest
Hath sea, and where it showde agayne, where Titan day doth trayne,
And with his brand approaching nere doth dye those Aethiops twaine,
His strengh vntamde is honoured: and God eche where is hee
Now calde in worlde, and now more [...]ore of monsters want to mee,
And laboure lesse to Hercles is t'acomplish all my will,
Then me to bydde: at ease he doth myne imperies fulfyl.
What cruel hestes of tyrante now so fyerce a yong man may
Preuayle to hurt? for lo he beares for weapons now awaye
What once he fearde, and put to flight: he armed comes at syde
With Lyon fyerce and Hydra both: nor land suffiseth wyde,
But broake he hath the threshold loe of that infernall Ioue.
And spoyls with him of conquerd king he drawes to Gods aboue.
But thats but light, broke is the league of sprites that there do dwell.
I saw my selfe, I saw him lo (the night now gone, of hell
[Page 2] And Ditis tamde) throw out abroade before his fathers sight
His broth [...]s spoyles. Why drawes he not opprest and bound by might
Hymselfe in chaynes that equall thynges to Ioue by lot doth hold?
And beare the rule of captiue hel, and way to Styxe vnfolde?
Vp opened is from lowest ghostes the backward way to skye,
And sacred secrets of dire death in open sight do lye.
But he (the dredful den of sprites brake vp ful fierce and stout
Euen ouer mee doth tryumph lo, and with proude hand about
The foule blacke dogge by Grekish townes he leades frō hel away.
When seene was vgly Cerberus I saw the fading day,
And fearefull sunne: euen me lykewyse a trembling dread opprest,
And looking on the fylthy neckes of conquerd monstruous beast,
I feared much myne owne behestes: but light things I complayne,
For heauen I may be frayde, lest he may get the highest rayne,
That lowest wonne, the sceptors from his father wil he take,
Nor hee to starres (as Bacchus dyd) his way wil gently make:
The way with ruine will he seeke, and hee in empty skyes
Wil reygne alone with force displayd hys haughty hart doth ryse,
And he that heauen it selfe by force of his might gotted bee,
It bearyng learnd: quite vnderneth the world his head set hee.
Nor once his shoulders bowde the prayse of suth a mighty [...]as:
And midst of heauen on Hercles necke alone (loe) setled was.
His necke vnwryde the starres aboue and skyes did only stay:
And me likewyse oppressyng him, to Gods he seekes the way.
Goe ire, goe on, and beate hym downe that great things doth inuent
Match thou with him, and with thy handes now thou thy selfe him rent.
Such hates why dost thou meditate? let all wyld beastes now go:
And weary Euristheus now be free from geeuing charges mo.
The Tytans daryng once of Ioue to breake the impery
Send out: let loase the denne abroade of mount of Sicilye.
The Doricke land that with the turne of gyant quakes afrayd,
Let it bring forth the dredful neckes of monster vnder layd.
Let yet the haughty moone about some other beastes beget,
But these he ouercame. Seekes thou a match t'Alcides yet?
Thers none, except hymselfe: let him agaynst himselfe rebell.
Let present be from bottome deepe vpraysd of lowest hell
Th'Eumenides, let flaming lockes of theyrs the fires out flinge,
And furious hands bestowe aboute the stroakes of vipers sting.
Go now ful prowde, and scale the skyes to s [...]ates of gods make waye.
Now must thy battels wages be ful cleere loe shynes the daye.
[Page] Despyse mans workes thinkst thou fierce wight y hell and soules alow
Thou hast escapt? nay here I wil another hel thee show.
In deepe miste hid I wil call vp from bottome low of hell
Beyond the wayes of gylty ghostes debateful goddesse fell.
Wheras the roaring dreadful den resoundes with cryes about.
From depest bond of Ditis raygne beneath I wil fet out,
What so is left. Let hateful hurt now come in anger wood,
And fierce impyety imbrew himselfe with his owne bloud.
And errour eke, and fury arm'd agaynst it selfe to fight.
This meane, this meane, let wrath of myne now vse to shewe my might.
Beginne ye seruantes now of hell: the feruent burning tree
Of Pyne shake vp: and set with snakes her dreadful flocke to see.
Let now Megaera bring to sight, and with her mournful brand.
For burning rage bring out of hell a huge and direful brand.
Do this, require you vengeance due, and paynes of hel his spoyle,
Strike through his breast, let fyercer flame, within his bosome boyle.
Then which in Aetna fornace beates, so suriously to see.
That mad of mind and witles may Alcides driuen bee
With fury great through pearced quight, my selfe must first of all
Be mad. Wherfore doth Iuuo yet not into raging fall?
Mee, me, ye Furyes, systers three throwne quite out of my wit
Tosse fyrst, if any thing to do, I do endeuour yet
For stepdame meete: let now my hates be turnd another way,
Let him (returnd) his babes behold in safety I you pray.
And strong of hand come home, I haue now found the day at length.
In which may greatly mee auayle the hated Hercles strength.
Both mee and eke hym selfe let him subdue and wish to die
Returnd from hel, yea let it here be my commodity,
That he of Ioue begotten is: here present wil I stand,
And that his shaftes goe streyght from how, I wil direct his hand,
The mad mans weapons will I guide, euen Hercles fyghtyng, lo,
At length Ile ayde. This gylt once done then leefull is that so
His father may admit to saies those gylty haades of his
THe fading starres now shyne but seelde in sighte
In stipye skye, night ouercome with day
Plucks in her. fyres, while spronge agayne is light.
The day starre drawes the cleresome beames theire waye.
They cye signe of haughtye poale agayne,
VVith seuen starres markt, the Beares of Arcadye,
Do call the light with ouerturned wayne.
VVith marble horse now drawne, hys waye to hye
Doth Titan toppe of Oetha ouer spred
The bushes bright that nowe with berryes bee
Of Thebes strewde, by daye do blushe full redde.
And to returne doth Phabus syster flee.
Now labor harde beginnes, and euerye kynde
Of cares it styrres, the Shepehearde doth vnfolde:
His flockes vnpende, do grase their foode to fynde,
And nippes the grasse with hoary frost full colde.
At will doth play in open medow faire
The Calfe whose brow did damme yet neuer teare,
The empty Kyne their vdders doe repayre.
And lyght with course vncertayne here and there,
In grasse full soft the wanton kidde hee flynges.
In toppe of boughe doth sitte with chaunting songe,
And to the Sunne newe rose to spreade her wynges,
Bestirres her selfe her mourneful nestes amonge
The Nightingall. and doth with byrdes aboute
Confuse resound mith murmure mixedryfe
To witnes day; his sayles to wynde set out
The shypman doth committe in doubt of lyfe.
[Page] VVhyle gale oswynde the slacke sayles filles full strayte,
He leaning ouer hollow rocke doth lye,
And either his begiled hookes doth bayte,
Or els beholdes and feeles the pray from hye with paised hand.
The trembling fish he feeles with line extent.
This hope to them to whom of hurtles lyfe.
Is quiet rest, and with his owne content,
And lytle, house, such hope in fieldes is ryfe
The troblous hopes with rolling whirlewynd great,
And dredful feares their wayes in cityes keepe.
He proude repayre to prince in regall seate,
And hard court gates without the rest of sleepe
Esteemes, and endles happynes to hold
Doth gather goods, for treasure gaping more,
And is ful pore amid his heaped gold.
The peoples fauour him (astonied sore)
And commons more vnconstant then the sea,
VVith blast of vayne renoume liftes vp full proude.
He selling at the brawling barre his plea,
Full wicked, sets his yres and scoulding loud
And woordes to sale, a fewe hath knowne of all
The careles rest, who mindfull how doth flitte
Swift age away, the tyme that neuer shall
Returne agayne do holde: while fares permitte,
At quiet liue: the lyfe full quickly glydes
VVith hastned course, and with the winged day
The wheele is turnde of yere that hedlong slides,
The sisters hard perfourme their taskes alway,
Nor may agayne vntwist the threede once sponne.
Yet mankind loe vnsure what way to take
[Page 4] To meete the greedy destenyes dothronne
And willingly wee seke the Stigian lake.
To much Alcides thou with stomacke stoute
The sory sprites of hell dost hast to see.
VVith course prefixt the fares are brought aboute
To none once warnd to come may respite bee
To none to passe their once appointed day,
The tombe all people calde by death doth hyde
Let glory him by many landes awaye
Display, and fame throughout all cityes wyde
Full babling praise, and euen with skye to stande
Auaunce and starres: let him in chariot bright
Ful haughty goe: let me my natiue land
In safe and secrete house keepe close from sight.
To restful men hoare age by course doth fall,
And low in place, yet safe and sure doth lye,
The poore and base estate of cottage small:
The prowder pompe of minde doth fall from hye.
But sad here comes with losed lockes of heare
Loe Megara with litle company,
And stowe by age drawes Hercles father neare


OGuider great of heauen, & of the world O Iudge full hie,
Yet now at length apoinct a meane of carefull miserie.
And ende of our calamitie. To mee yet neuer day
Hath careles shin' de: the ende of one affliction past away
Beginning of an other is: an other ennemy
Is forthwith founde, before that hee his ioyfull family
Retourne vnto an other fyght hee taketh by behest:
Nor any respite giuen is to him nor quiet rest:
But whyle that he commaunded is: straight him pursueth shee
The hatefull Iuno. Was yet once from toyle and labour free
His infants age? the monsters (lo) he venquisht hath and slayne,
Before he knew what monsters ment. The skaled serpents twayne
Their double neckes drew on toward him, agaynst the which to ryse,
The infant crept to meete with them, the serpents glittring eyes
Lyke fyre, with quiet carelesse brest he looking last vpon,
With coūtnance cleere, hard wrested knots of them he caught anon:
And strangling then the swelling throates of them with tender hand,
To Hydra prelude made. the beast so swyfte of Maenale land.
That with much Golde bare vp full bright his beautifled head,
Is caught in course. of Nemey wood likewise the greatest dread
The Lyon prest with Hercles armes hath roarde with dreadfull crie.
What should I speake of stables dyre, of steedes of Bystonye?
Or King cast out himselfe for foode his horses fierce to fill?
And bristled beast in thicke tops woont of Erymanthus hill?
The boare of Maenalye, the woods of Arcady to shake?
And Bull that did no litle dread to hundred peoples make?
Among the flocks of Hesper lande that hence farre distant bee,
The sheepherde of Cartesian coast of triple shape to see
Is slayne, and driuen is the pray from farthest parte of weast,
Citheton quak't when by him past to sea the well knowne beast.
He being bid to make by coastes of sommer sunne his way,
And parched landes which sore with heate doth boyle the middell day,
The mountaynes brake on either side and rampiers all vndoon,
Euen vnto swyft and raging sea hath made a way to roon.
[Page 5] Then entring in of plenteaus wood, the pleasant gardeins gay,
The waking dragons golden spoyles with him he brought away.
The Lerna monsters numerous ill what neede to tell haue I?
Hath he not him with fyre at length subdewde, and taught to dye?
And which were woont with wings abrode to hyde the day from sight,
Euen from the cloudes he sought & braue the Stimphale birdes to flight.
Not him subdewde who euer lyes in bed vnmacht at night
The wyddowe queene of them that tooke to Thermodont their flight.
Nor handes that well durst euterprise his noble trauayles all
The filthy labour mad [...] to shrynke of foule Augias hall.
What vayle all these? he wants the world which oft defended he.
And th earth well knowes the worker of his quietnes to be
Away from earthe: the prosperous gilt that beareth happy swey.
Is vertue callde, and now the good to wicked doe obay.
The right doth stand in might of armes, feare treadeth downe the lawe.
Before my face with cruell hand, euen presently I sawe
Reuengers of theyr fathers reygne, the sonnes with sworde downe cast,
And of the noble Cadmus eke himselfe the ofspring last
Then slayne: I lawe his regall crowne at once from him away
With head bereft. Who Thebes alas enough bewayle nowe may?
The fertile land of Gods, what lorde now quakes it for to knowe?
Out of the fieldes of which somtime, and fruictfull bosome lowe,
The youth vpsprong with swarde in band preparde to battell stoode:
And walls of which Amphion one of mighty Ioue his broode,
Hath built with sounding melody in drawing to the stones:
To towne of whom the parent chiefe of Gods not onely ones
Heauen being left hath come. this land that Gods aboue alway
Receiu'de, and which hath made them Gods, and (leefull beete to say)
Perhaps shall make, with lothsome yoake of bondage is prest downe.
O Cadmus stocke, and citezens of olde Amphions towne,
Whereto are yee nowe fall'ne? dread yee a cowardly exull thus,
His coastes to dwell in, lacking, and to ours iniurious?
W [...]o through the worlde pursues the gilts and wrong by sea and land,
And cruell sceptors broken hath with iust and ryghtfull hand,
Nowe absent serues, and what he eal'de in other doth sustayne:
And now doth bannysht Lycus holde of Hercles Thebes the rayne.
Yet shall he not: he shall come home, and him with vengeaunce quight,
And sodaine rise to starres: he will soone flude the way to light,
Or make it ells. returne thou safe, repayre to thine in haste:
And conquerour to conquer'de house yet come agayne at laste.
[Page] Ryse vp my spouse, and darknes vecye repell'de of helly shade
Breake vp with hand, if no way may for thee kept backe bee made,
And passage be shut vp, returne with world vprent by might.
And whatsoeuer is the possest byneath in darkest night,
Send dut with thee, as when the tops of haughty hylles vndoon
A headlong passage making through for hasty floude to roon
Thou somtime stoodst, whā with great might of thyne a sunder broake
The Tempye woods wyde open lay: and beaten with thy stroake
The mount, now here, now there fell downe: and rampier tente of stay,
The raging brooke of Thessaly did roon a newe found way.
Thy parentes so, thy sonnes, thy land repayring home to see,
Breake out, and lowest bonde of things out bringing thence with thee,
And what soeuer greedy age in all these long yeares race
Hath hid, shew forth, & ghosts that haue forgot theyr former case,
And people vp before thee driue that fearefull are of light.
Vnworthy spoyles for thee they are, if thou but bring to sight
What bidden is. great thinges, but farre to much I speake for mee,
Vnwotting of myne owne estate. when shall I hap to see,
The day when thee, and thy right hand, I may embrace agayne,
And slowe returnes, nor yet of me once myndefull, may complayne?
To thee for this O guide of Gods, vntamed Bulls shall bring
Their hundred necks: to thee O Queene of fruits on earth that spring
I'le geue thee secret sacrifice: to thee with much fayth loe
Long fyre brands at Eleusis towne full silent wyll I throe.
Then to my brethren shall I thinke to bee restort de agayne
Theyr soules, and eke himselfe aliue and guiding of his reyne
My father for to flouryshe yet. If any greater might
Dor keepe thee shet, we followe thee: with thy returne to fight
Defend vs all, or els to hell drawe downe vs all to thee.
Thou shalt vs drawe, no God shall rayse, vs vp that broken bee.
O Faythfull fellowe of our bloud, with chaste true faythfullnes
The Bridebed keeping, and the sonne of haughty Hercules,
Conceiue in mynde some better thinges, and take good heart to thee:
He will come home, as after all his labours wounteth hee,
Of more renowne
What wretches doe most chiefly wishe of all.
They soone beleue.
Nay what they feare to much lest it may fall,
They thinke it neuer may bee shoon'de, nor rid by remedy.
Beleefe is ready still to dreade the woorser mysery.
Deepe drown▪de, & whellm'de, & farthermore with all ye world full lowe
Oppressed downe, what way hath he to light agayne to goe?
What way I pray you had he then whē through the burning coste,
And tumbling after maner of the troubled Sea vp toste
He went by sands: and freate that twyse with ebbe away doth slip,
And twyse vpflowe: and when alone with his forsaken ship,
Fast caught he stucke in shallowe foordes of shelfye Syrtes sande,
And (nowe his ship on grounde) did passe throught seas a foote to land?
Iniurious fortune vertue most of men most stout and strong
Do [...]h seldome spa [...]e: no man alyue himselfe in safety long,
To perills great and daungers may so often times out cast,
Whom chaunce doth often ouerslip, the same it findes at last.
But cruell loe, and greeuous threats euen bearing in his face,
And such as he of stomacke is, doth come euen such of pace,
Proude Lycus who the sceptors shakes in hande of other king,
The plentuous places of the towne of Thebes gouerning,
And euery thinge about the whych with fertile soyle doth goe
Sloape Phocis, and what euer doth Ismenus ouerfloe,
What euer thing Cithaeron seeth with haughty top and hye,
And slender Isthmos Ile, the which betweene two seas doth lye.
Lycus. Megara. Amphitrion.
NOt I of natiue countrey howres possesse the auncient right
Vnworthy heir, nor yet to me are noble men of might
The grandfathers, nor stocke renownd with titles hie of name,
But noble vertue: who so boafles of kinred whence he come,
Of others vertue makes his vaunt, but got with fearful hand
My sceptors are obtaynd: in sword doth all my safety stand.
What thee thou worst agaynst the will of cytesyns to get,
The bright drawne sword must it defend▪ in forrayne countrey set
No stable kingdome is. But one my pompe and princely might
May ratify once ioynd to me with regall forche ful bright,
And chambers Megara: of stocke of such nobility
Let vpstart state of myne take shape. I do not thinke that shee
Refuse it will, or in the bed with mee despyse to lye.
But if with proude vnbridled mynde shee stubburn do denye,
Then quite I purpose to destroy the house of Hercules
The hate of men will then my pryde, and peoples speach oppres.
Chiefe knacke of kingdome is to beare thy subiectes hates eche one.
Lets proue her then, chaunce geuen hath to vs a place alone.
For shee her head in fold of vayle ful sad and wofully
Enwrapt the Gods that are her guides for succour standes fast by,
And at the syde of her doth leane Alcides father trewe.
What thing doth this destroyer of our stocke agayne anewo
Prepare? what proueth he?
O Queene that name renowmed hye
And tytle takste of regall stocke ful gentle and easily
A litle whyle receiue and heare my wordes with pacient eare,
If alwayes men eternal hates should one to th' other beare,
And rage be gone out of the hart should neuer fall away,
But th'happy still should armour holde, th'vnhappy stil obay,
Then shall the battayles nothing leaue: with wide fieldes then the lande
Shall lie vntild, with vnderlayd to housen fiery brand
Then ashes deepe shal ouerwhelme the buried people all.
Expedient is to conquerour to wish that peace befall:
To conquerd nedefull partner of the kingdome come to me:
Let's toyne our myndes, take here this pledge of sayth and truth to thee.
[Page 7] My right hand touch. Why whishtest thou with cruell face and moode?
Should I abyde, that I the hand sprinkt with my fathers bloud,
Should [...]ouch, and double death imbrewd of both my brethren? nay
First shall sunne ryse extinguish quitte, and West shal bring the day:
First faythful peace betweene the snowes and fiers there shalbe tryde,
And Scilla shall t' Ausonius fyrst ioyne his Sicilian syde:
And fyrst, the fleetyng floud that with swift turnes of course doth flowe
Euripus with Euboik waue shall stand ful stil and slow.
My father, th'empire, bretherne, house, thou. hast me cleare bereft,
My countrey to: what may be more? one thing to me is left,
Then brother, father, kingdome, house, that dearer is to mee
The hate of thee, the which to me with people for to be
In commune woe I am: how great is myne alonly part?
Rule on ful proude, beare vp ful hye thy sprites and haughty hart:
Yet God the proude behynd theyr backes doth follow them to wreake.
I know the Thebane kingdomes: what should I the mothers speake,
Both suffring, and aduentring gyltes? what double mischiefe done?
And mixed name of spouse at once, of father and of sonne?
What brether as double tentes? or what as many roages also?
The mother proude of Tantals brood congeald in mourning I [...]e,
And sory stone yet flowes with teares in Phrygian Sipylye.
Himselfe like wyse erected vp his sealed heade awrye.
Euen Cadmus measuring throughout th'Illyrian landes in flight,
Behynd him left of body drawne long slymy markes in sight.
All these examples wayte for thee: rule thou as likes thy will,
Whyle thee our kingdomes wonted fates do call and oft hap yll.
God to, these fierce and furious wordes thou woman mad refraine,
And imperyes of princes learne of Hercles to sustayne.
Though I the scepters gotten by the force of war do beare,
In conquering hand & all do rule without the law his feare.
Which armes subdue, a few wordes yet to thee now speake I shall
For this my cause thy father did in bloudy battel fall:
Thy brethren fell, the weapons kepe no measurable stay.
For neither easily tempred be, nor yet repressed may
The drawne swordes yre, the battels doth the bloud delite out shedde.
But he yet for his kingdome fought, wee altogether led
With wicked lust: yet th'end of war is now complayned, loe,
And not the cause, but now let all remembraunce therof goe:
When conquerour hath weapons left, the conquerds part should be
To leaue his hates. Not I that thou with lowly bended knee
[Page] Mee raygning worship should'st, require: euen this doth mee delight.
That thou thy myseries do'st beare with mynde so stout vpright.
Thou for a king a spouse art meete, let's ioyne our beds anone.
A trembling colde doth run throughout my bloudles lims ech one.
What hainous thinge comes to myne eares? I fear'de not then at all,
When (all peace broake) the noyse of warre did by the city wall
Resounde about, I bare all that vnfearefully to see,
I feare the wedding chambers: nowe I captiue seeme to mee.
Let heauy chaynes my body greeue, and eke with hunger long
Let lingring death be slowly brought, yet shall no force full strong
My truthe subdue: for euen thine owne Alcides will I dye.
Doth then thy husband droun'de in hell geue thee this stomack hic?
The hells alowe he toucht, that he the height againe might get.
The heauy paise oppresseth him of all the earth full great.
Hee with no burdein shall be prest, that heauen it selfe sustayn'de.
Thou shalt be forst.
He wots not how to die, that is cōstrain'd.
Speake, what may rather I prepare then wedding newe for thee.
More royall gyft?
Thine owne death els, or els the death of mee.
Thou shalt mad woman die.
I shall then to my husbande go.
More then my Sceptors is to thee a seruaunt loued so?
How many hath this seruant slayne of kings with hendy stroake?
Why doth he yet a king then serue, and still sustayne his yoake?
Take once away the hard behests, what's vertue then at last?
Do'st thou it vertue counte, to bee to beasts, and monsters cast?
T'is vertues part, to tame the things, that all men quake to know.
Him great things braggīg, darknes deepe of tartare presse ful low.
There neuer may from ground to stars an easy passage be.
Of whom begot, the housen then of Gods through pearceth he?
O wretched wife of Hercles great, thy words a whyle now spare.
My parte it is, the father of Alcides to declare.
And his true stocke, yet after all of man so stoute as this
So famous deebes, and after all appeas'de with hand of his
What euer Titan rysen vp, doth see, or els at fall,
And after all these monsters tam'de, and Phlegrey sprinkled all
With wicked bloud, and after Gods defended all on hye,
Is not his father yet well knowne? or Ioue doe we beelye?
Beleeue it yet by Iunoes hate.
Why do'ste thou sclaunder Ioue?
No mortall kinred euer may be mixt with heauen aboue.
To many of the Gods in skyes is this a common trade.
But were they euer seruauntes yet, before they Gods were made?
[Page 8]
Of Delos Ile the sheepherde loe the flocks of Pherey fed.
But through all coasts he wandred not abroade as banished.
Whō straying mother first brought forth wādring loud to sight.
Yet Phoebus did no monsters feare, or beasts of cruell might.
First Dragon with his bloud embrew'd the shalts of Phoebus lo.
Howe greeuous ills euen yet full yong he bare, doe you not knoe?
From mothers wombe ye babe out thrown with lightning flame frō hie,
Euen next his lightning Father stoode forthwith aboue in skye.
What? he him selfe that guides the starres, & shakes the clouds at will,
Did not that Infant lurke in Den of hollowe caued hill?
The byrthes so great full troublous pryce to haue loe alwayes ought:
And euer to be borne a God, with coste full great is bought.
Whom thou a miser see'st, thou mai'st know him a man to bee.
A miser him deny yee may, whom stout of heart yee see.
Call we him stout, from shoulders hye of whom the Lyon throwne
A gift for mayden made, and eke his Club from hand fell downe,
And paynted side with purple weede did shyne that he did weare?
Or may we him call stout of heart, whose staring lockes of heare
With ointmēt slowde? who hands renownde & knowne by prayses hye
To sound vnmeete for any man of timber did applye,
With barbarous mytar cloasting in his forhead rounde about?
The tender Bacchus did not blushe abroade to haue layde out
His brayded heares, nor yet with hand full soft the Thyrsus light
For to haue shooke, what time that he with pace vnstout in sight
His long train'de batbarous garment drew with golde full fayre to see.
Still vertue after many workes is woont releast to bee.
Of this the house of Euritus destroyde doth witnesse beare,
And virgins flockes that brutishly by him oppressed weare.
No Iuno did commaunde him this, nor none Eurystheus loe.
But these in deede his owne workes are.
Yet all yee doe not knoe,
His worke it is, with weapons of his owne hand vanquished
Both Eryx, and to Eryx ioyn'de Antaeus Lybian ded:
And aulters which with slaughter of the straungers flowing fast,
Busyris well deserued bloud likewise haue drunke at last.
His deede it is, that he that met the wounde, and sworde is slayne
Constrain'de to suffre death before those other Geryons twayne.
Nor ene all onely Geryon doth with one hand conquer'de lye.
Thou shalt among these be which yet with none adulterye
Haue wedlocke hurt.
What is to Ioue, to king is leefull thyng:
To Ioue thou gau'ste a wyfe, thou shalt nowe geue oue to a kyng.
[Page] And euen of thee shee shall it learne to bee a thing not newe,
Her husband euen approuing it the better man t'ensewe.
But if shee stubberne to be matcht with me deny it still,
Then euen by force a noble childe of her beget I will.
O Creons ghosts and all yee Gods of th house of Labdacus,
And wedding forches blasing bryght, of wicked Oedipus.
To this my wedding geue yee nowe our wonted destenyes.
Now, now yee bloudy daughters all of Aegypts king likewyse,
Bee here whose hands defyled are with so much bloud out spilt:
One daughter lacks of Da [...]aus, I wyll fyll vp the gylt.
Because that stubburnely thou do'st refuse my wedding so,
And fear'ste a king, thoushatt know what the Scepters now may do.
Embrace thyne aulters, yet no God shall euer take away
Thee from my hands: no not although with world vpturned, may
Alcides victor yet agayne to Gods aboue returne.
The woods on heapes together cast, let all their temples burne
Euen throwne vpon theyr heads: his wyfe, and all his flocke at laste
With vnderlayed fyre, let one wood pyle consume and waste.
This only bowne I father of Alcides aske of thee,
Which well may me beseeme to craue, that I fryst slayne may hes.
Who all appoyncts with present death to haue their punishment,
He tyrunt wats not how to be: more sundry greeues inuent.
Restrayne the wretched man from death, commaunde that th'happy dye.
I, while with beames prepar'de to burne the pyle encreaseth hye,
Will him with vowing sacrifyce that rules the seas entreate.
Oh chiefest powre of Gods, and oh of heauenly things so great
The guyde, and parent eke, with whose throwne thunderbolts do shake
All things humane throughout the world of king so cruell slake
The wicked hande: but why do I to Gods in vayne thus cry?
Where euer thou be, heare me soone. why start so sodaynely
The temples thus with moouing shakte? Why roareth out the graūd?
The noyse of Hell from bottome deepe byueathe hath made a sound:
Wee herde are, loe it is the sound of Hercules his pace.
[Page 9]
O Fortune hating men of stoutest brest,
How ill rewards dost thou to good deuyde?
Eurystheus raynes at home in easy rest,
Alcmendes sonne in euery battayle tryde,
To Monsters turnes hys hande that Skyes dyd stay:
And cruell Neckes cuts of, of hydous Snake,
And Apples brynges from Systers mokt away,
When once to sleepe hys watchefull Eyes beetake,
Dyd Dragon set ryche fruicte to ouersee.
Hee past the Scythian bowres that straye abroade,
And those that in their countreys straung ers bee
And hardned top of frosen freate hee troade,
And sylent Sea with bankes full dumme about.
The Waters hard want there their floudes to sloe.
And there before the Shyps full Sayles spred out
Is worne a pathe for Sarmates wylde to goe.
The Sea doth stande to mooue in course agayne.
Nowe apt to beare the Ship, nowe horsemen bolde
The Queene that there doth ouer Wydowes rayne,
That gyrds her Wombe wyth gyrth of glittring gold,
Her noble spoyle from body drawne hath shee
And shyelde, and bandes of breast as whyte as snowe,
Acknowledging the Conquerour with Knee.
Wyth what hope drawne to headlong Hell alowe,
So bolde to passe the vnreturned wayes
Saw'ste thon Proserpines rayne of Sicylye?
Wyth Southern wynde, or Western there no seas
Aryse wyth waue and swellinge Surges hye.
Not there of Tyndars stocke the double broode
Two starres the fearefull Shyps doe ayde and guide.
Wyth gulph full blacke doth stande the slouthfull floode
And when pale death with greedy teeth so wyde.
[Page] Vnnumbred Nations hath sent downe to sprightes
Wyth one Boateman all ouer feryed bee.
God grauut thou maist of Hell subdue the rightes
And vnreuoked webs of Systers three.
There kyng of many people raygneth hee.
Who when thou did'st wyth Nestors Pylos fight,
Pestiferous handes applide to matche with thee
And weapon bare with triple mace of might:
And prickt with litle wounde he fled away,
And lorde of death hymselfe did feare to dye.
Breake Fate by force: and let the sight of day
To sorry sprightes of Hell apparant lye
And porche vnpast shew way to Gods aboue.
The cruell lordes of sprightes wyth pleasaunt song
And humble bowne full well could Orpheus moue,
Whyle he Eurydicen them craues among.
The Arte that drew Woods, Byrds, and stones at will:
Which made delay to Floudes of flitting flight
At sound whereof the sauage Beastes stoode still
With tunes vnwont doth Ghosts of hell delight
And clearer doth resounde in darker place:
And weepe wyth teares did Gods of cruell brest:
And they which faultes with to seuere a face
Doe seeke, and former gylt of Ghosts out wrest:
The Thracian Daughters wayls Eurydicen.
For her the Iudges weeping sit also.
Wee conquer'de are, chy efe kyng of death sayd then
To Gods (but vnder this condition) goe,
Behynde thy husbandes backe keepe thou thy way,
Looke thou not backe thy Wyfe before to see.
Than thee to sight of Gods hath brought the day
And gate of Spartane Taenare present bee.
Loue hates delay, nor coulde abyde so long.
His gyft, hee lost, while hee desires the syght.
The place that coulde be thus subdew'de with song
That place may soone bee ouercome by myght.


O Comfortable guyde of light, and honour of the skye,
That cōpasting both Hemyspheres with flaming chariot hye
Thy radiāt head to ioyful lāds about y world dost bring,
Thou Phoebus pardon geue to me, if any vnlawful thing
Thyne eyes haue seene: (cōmaūded) I haue here to light out set
The secretes of the worlde: and thou of heauen to guider gret,
And parent eke, in flashe out throwne of lightning hide thy fyght.
And thou that gouernest the seas with seconde sceptors syght.
To bottome synke of deepest waues: who so from hye doth see,
And dreading yet with countnaunce newe the earth desil'de to bee,
Let him from hence turne backe his sight, and face to heauen vpholde,
These monstrous sights to shun: let twayn this mischiefe great behold,
Hee who it brought, and shee that bad. for paynefull toyles to mee,
And laboures long, not all the earth thought wide inough may bee
For Iunoes hate: things vncome to all men I did see,
Vnknowne to soone, and spaces wyde that darke and shadefull bee
Which woorser poale geues dyrer Ioue to raygne and rule therein.
And yet if thyrde place pleased more for mee to enter in,
I there coulde raygne. the Chaos of eternall nyght of hell,
And woorse then night, the dolefull Gods I haue that there doe dwell,
And Fates subdu'de, the death contemn'de I am return'de to light.
What yet remaynes? I sawe and show'de the spryghts of hell to sight:
Appoynt, if ought be moe, do'ste thou my hands so long permit
Iuno to ceasse? what thing byd'st thou to be subdued yet?
But why doe cruell souldiars holde the holy temples wyde?
And dread of armour sacred porche beset on euery syde?
Amphitryon, Hercules, Theseus.
DOo eyther els my great desyres delude and mocke myne eyes?
Or hath the tamer of the world and Greekes renowme likewyse,
Forsooke the silent howse, besette with cloude full sadde to see?
Is this my sonne? my members loe for ioy amased bee.
Oh sonne, the sure and sauegard late of Thebes in misery,
See I thy body true indeede? or els deceiu'de am I
Mockt with thy sprite? art thou y same? these brawnes of armes I know
And shoulders, and thy noble handes from body hie that grow.
Whens (father) happes this vglines, and why in mourning clad
Is thus my wyfe? how happes it that with filth so foule bestad
My children are? what misery doth thus my house appresse?
The father in law is slayne: the kingdome Licus doth possesse.
Thy sonnes, thy parent and thy wyfe to death pursueth hee.
Vngrateful laud, doth no man come that will an ayder bee.
Of Hercles house? and this behelde so great and haynous wronge
Hath th'ayded world? but why were, I the day in playnt so long?
Let then my dye and this renoume let strength obtayne in haste,
And of Alcider enmies all let Lycus be the last.
I driuen am to goe to shedde the bloud of enmye out.
Watch Theseu that no sodayne strength beset vs here aboute:
Me wa [...]res require, embracing yet deferre O father deare,
And wyfe deferre them: Lycus shall to hell this message beare
That I am now returnd. The, Shake of O Queene ont of thyne eyes
This weping face, and thou synce that thy sonne is safe likewyse
Thy drupping teares refrayne: yf yet I Hercles euer knew
Then Lycus shall for Creon paye the paynes to him ful due.
T'is lyght, he shal, he doth and that's to light he hath it done.
Now God that can them bring to passe, spede wel our wishes soone,
And come to helpe our weary woes. O noble harted mate
Of my stout sonne, of his renowne declare vs all the rate:
How long away doth leade to place where sory sprites doth dwell,
And how the hard and heauy bondes the dog hath borne of hell.
The deedes thou dost constrayne to tell, that euen to mynde secure
Are dredful yet and horrible, scant yet the trust is sure
[Page 11] Of vitall ayre, sore blunted is the sharpnesse of my sight,
And dulled eyes do scant sustayne to see th'vnwoonted light.
Yet Theseus throughly ouercome what euer feare remaynes
In bosome deepe, nor do thou not of best fruict of thy paynes
Beguilde thy selfe. What thing hath once to suffre beene a care,
To haue remembred it is sweete. those dredfull haps declare.
All ryght of worlde, and thee lykewyse I praye y bearst the rayns
In kingdome wyde, and thee, for whom all round about in vayne
Thy mother throughout Aetna sought, that secret things alowe
And hid in ground, it freely may bee lawfull for to showe.
The Spartane land a noble toppe of hyll aduaunceth hye,
Where Taenarus with woods full thick the Sea doth ouerly.
The house of hatefull Ditis here his mouth doth open set,
And rocke of hyll aboue doth gape, and with a denne full gret
A huge and gaping cleft of ground with Iawes full wyde doth lye,
And way full broade to people all doth spred to passe thereby.
Not straight with darkenes doth begin the way that blindes the sight.
A litle lingring brightnes loe behinde of late left light,
And doubtfull glittring yet of sonne afllicted falles alowe,
And mocks the sight: such light is wont vndoubtedly to showe
The dawne of day, or twylight els at edge of euening tyde.
From hence to hollowe places voyde are loaste the spaces wyde,
To which needes peryshe must all kinde of men that once are throwne.
Nor it a labour is goe, the way it selfe leades downe.
As oft the ships agaynst theyr willes doth tosse the swelling surge,
So downward doth that headlong way, and greedy Chao [...] vrge:
And backe agayne to drawe thy pace thee neuer doe permit
The sprits who what they catch hold fast. alowe within doth flit
In chanell wyde with silent foorde the quiet lake of lethe.
And cares doth rid: and that there may to scape agayne from death
No meane be made, with many turnes and windings euery way
Foldes in his floude. in such sorte as with waue vnsure doth play
Maeander wandring vp and downe, and yeldes himselfe vnto,
And doubtfull stands, if he toward banke, or backe to spryng may goe.
The foule and filthy poole to see of slowe Cocytus lyes.
On th'one the Grype, on th'other side the mournefull Howlet cries,
And sad lucke of th'unhappy Strix likewi [...] [...]loundeth there.
Full vglily in shady bowes blacke Locks of lothsome heare,
Where Taxus tree doth ouer leane, which holdeth slouthfull sleepe,
And hunger sad with famisht Iawe that lyes his place to keepe,
[Page] And shame to late doth hide his face that knowes what crimes it hath,
Both feare, and quaking, funerall, and fretting raging wrath,
And mourning dyre doth follow on, and trembling pale disease,
And boystrous battayles set with sworde: and hid beyond all thease
Doth slouthfull age his lingring pace help forth with staffe in hand.
Of corne and wyne in hell alowe is any fertile land?
No ioyfull Meades do there bring forth with face so greene & fayre,
Nor yet with gentill Zephyrus wagges ripened corne in th'ayre.
Nor any tree hath there such bowes as doe bryng apples out.
The barrayne compasse of deepe soyle full filthy lyes about,
And withred with eternall drought the lothsome land doth waste
And bond full sad of thinges, and of the worlde the places laste:
The ayre vnmoued stands, and night sits there full darke to see
In slouthfull world, all thinges by dread full horrible there bee.
And euen farre worse then death it selfe, is place where death doth bide.
What? he that doth those places darke with regall sceptor guide,
In what seate set, doth he dispose and rule those peoples light?
A place there is in turne obscure of Tartarus from sight?
Which mist full thick with fearefull shade doth holde and ouergoe.
From hence a double parted streame from one wellspring doth floe:
The tone, much like a standing poole (by this the gods doe sweare)
The which the sacred Stygian lake with silent floude doth beare:
The t'other fierce with tumult great is drawen his course to goe,
And Acheron with raging floud the stones dryues to and froe
Vnsaylable. with double foorde is rounde about beset
Agaynst it Ditis pallace dyre, and manston house full gret
In shadefull woode is couered: from wide den here the posts
And thresholds of the tyrant hang, this is the walke of ghosts:
This of his kingdome is the gate: a fielde about it goes,
Where sitting with a countnaunce proude abroade he doth dispose
Newe soules, a cruell maiesty is in the God to knowe:
A frowning forehead, which yet of his brethren beares the showe,
And so great stocke: there is in him of Ioue the very face,
But when he lightens: and great part of cruell kingdomes place,
Is he himselfe the lorde thereof: the sight of whom doth feare,
What euer thing is fear'de▪
Is fame in this poynet true, ye there
Such rygours are, and gilty [...]hosts of men that there remayne
Forgetfull of theyr former faulte, haue their deserued payne?
Who is the rector there of ryght, and iudge of equity?
Not onely one extorter out of faultes in seate set hye
[Page 12] The iudgements late to trembling soules doth there by lot awarde:
In one appoyncted iudgement place is Gnossian Minos harde,
And in an other Radamanthe: this crime doth Aeac heare.
What eche man once hath done, he feeles: and guilt to th'author the are
Returnes, and th'hurtfull with their owne example punisht bee.
The bloudy cruell captaynes I in pryson shee did see,
And backe of tyrant impotent euen with his peoples hande
All torne and cut. what man of might with fauour leades his lande,
And of his owne lyfe lorde reserues his hurtlesse handes to good,
And gently doth his empyre guide without the thyrst of blood,
And spares his soule, he hauing long led forth the lingring dayes
Of happy age, at length to heauen doth eyther finde the wayes,
Or ioyfull happy places ells of fayre Elysius woode.
Thou then that here must be a iudge abstayne from man his bloode,
Who so thou be that raygnest kyng: our gyltes are there acquit
In greater wyse.
Doth any place preseript of lymite shit
The gylty Ghosts, and as the fame reportes, doth cruell payne
The wicked men make tame that in'eternall bondes remayne?
Ixion roll'de on whyrling wheele is tost and turned hye:
Vpon the necke of Sisyphus the mighty stone doth lye.
Amyd the lake with thyrsty Iawes olde Tantalus therein
Pursues the waues, the water streame doth wet and washe his chin,
And when to him nowe ofte deceyu'de it doth yet promise make,
Straight flits the floud: the fruicte at mouth his famyne doth forsake.
Eternall foode to fleeing foule doth Tytius hart geue still:
And Danaus daughters doe in vayne theyr water vessells fill.
The wicked Cadmus daughters all goe raging euery way:
And there doth greedy rauening byrde the Phiney tables fray.
Nowe of my sonne declare to me the noble worthy fight.
Brings he his willing vnckles gyft, or Plutocs spoyles to sight?
A dyre and dredfull stone there is the slouthfull foordes fast bye,
Where sluggish freat with waue aston'd full dull and slowe doth lye:
This lake a dredfull fellow keepes both of attire and sight,
And quaking Ghosts doth ouer beare and aged vgly wyght:
His Bearde vnkempt, his bosome foule deform'de in filthy wyse
A knot byndes in, full lothesome stand in head his hollowe eyes:
He Feary man doth steare about his Boate with his long Ore.
He driuing nowe his lightned Ship of burden towarde the Shore,
Repayres to waues: and then his way [...] doth requyre,
The flocke of Ghosts all geuing place: alowde cryes Charon dyre,
[Page] What way attemptest thou so bolde? thy hastening pace here stay.
But Nathales Alcmenaes sonne abyding no delay,
Euen with his owne poale bet he dothe full tame the shipman make,
And clymes the ship: the barke that coulde full many peoples take,
Did yelde to one: he sat, the boate more heauy like to breake
Whi [...]h shyuering ioyntes on eyther syde the lethey floud doth leake.
Then tremble all the monsters huge, the Centaures fierce of myght,
And Lapithes, kindled with much wyne to warres and bloudy fight.
The lowest Chanelles seeking out of Stygian poole a downe,
His Lerney labour sore affright his fertile heads doth drowne.
Of greedy Ditis after this doth then the house appere.
The fierce and cruell Stygian dogge doth fray the spirites there,
The which with great and roaring sounde his heads vpshaking three,
The kingdome keepes his vgly head with filth full foule to see
The serpentes licke: his hayres be fowle with vypers set among,
And at his crooked wrested tayle doth hysse a Dragon longe:
Lyke yre to shape, when him he wyst his pace that way to take,
His bristle hayres he lifteth vp with fierce vp bended snake:
And sounde sent out he soone perceyues in his applyed eare,
Who euen the sprits is wont to sent as soone as stoode more neare
The sonne of loue, the doubtfull dogge strait couched downe in denne,
And eche of them did feare. beholde with dolefull barking then
The places dumme he makes a dred, the threatning serpent stout
Through all the fieldes about doth hysse: the bawling noyse sent out
Of dredfull voyce from triple mouth, euen sprits that happy bee
Doth make afrayde. from left side then strayte way vndoeth hee
The cruell Iawes, and Lyons head once slayne in Cleon fielde
Agaynst him sets, and couer doth himselfe with mighty shielde.
And bearing in his conquering hande a sturdy club of Oke,
Nowe here, now there he rolleth him about with often stroke:
His stripes he doubles: he subdew'de his threates asswaged all,
And all his heads the weary dogge at once full lowe let fall,
And quite out ot the denn he fled, full greatly feared (set
In regall throne) both king and queene, and bad him to bee fet.
And me likewyse they gaue for gyft to Hercles crauing m [...]e.
The monsters heauy neckes with hand then stroaking downe all three,
In lynked chayne he byndeth faste forgetting then his strength
The dogge the watchefull keeper of the kingdome darke at length
Layth downe his eares [...]ull [...]ore affray'de: and suffring to be led,
And eke acknowledging his lorde, following wyth lowly hed,
[Page 13] With tayle that snakes theron doth beare he both his sides doth smight.
But after that to Taenare mouth we came, and clearenes bright
Had strooke his eyes of light vnoknwne, good stomacke yet agayne
He takes although once ouercome, and now the happy chayne
He raging shakes: he had almost his leader pluckt from place,
And headlong backward drawne to hell, and moued from his pace.
And euen to my handes Hercles then his eyes did backward cast,
Wee both with double ioyned strength the dogge out drawne at last
For anger woode, and battells yet attempting all in vayne,
Brought vp to world, as soone as he the cleere ayre sawe agayne,
And spaces pure of bryght fayre poale had once behelde with eye,
The nyght arose: his sight to ground he turned by and by,
Cast downe his eyes, and hatefull day forthwith he put to flight,
And backward turnd away his looke, and streight with all his might
To th' earthe he falles: and vnderneath the shade of Hercles then
He hyd his head. therewith there came a great resorte of men
With clamour glad, that did the bay about theyr forheads bryng:
And of the noble Hercules deserued prayses sing.
EVrystheus borne with swiftned birth in hast,
Did bid to bottome of the Worlde to go:
This onely lackt of labours all at last,
To spoyle the Kyng of thyrde estate also.
The dongeons darke to enter ventred hee,
Where as the way to sprits farre of doth bring
Full sadde, and woode so blacke and fear'de to bee:
But full with flocke full great him following.
As great a preasse as flocke in cyties streetes,
To see the Playes of Theatre newe wrought:
As great as at Eléus thundrer meetcs,
When Sommer fift the sacred game hath brought:
As great as when comes houre of longer night,
And willing quiet sleepes to bee extent,
Holdes equall Libra Phoebus Char [...] light,
A sorte the secrete Ceres doe frequent,
[Page] And from theyr howsen left doe hast to comme,
The Atticke priestes the nyghte to celebrate:
Such heape is chaste beneath by fieldes so dumme.
With age full slowe some taking forth their gate
Full sad, and fillde with life so long now led:
Some yet doe runne the race of better yeares,
The virgins yet vnioynde to Spowses bed,
And yonglings eke on whom grow yet no heares
And Infant lately taught his mothers name.
To these alone, (that they the lesse might feare)
Is graunted night to ease with foreborne flame.
The rest full sad by darke doe wander theare:
As is our mynde, when once away is fled
The lyght, when eche man sorry feeles to bee
Deepe ouer whelmde with all the earth his hed.
Thick Chaos standes, and darknesse fowle to see,
And colour ill of night, and slouthfull state
Of silent World, and diuers Cloudes about.
Let hoary age vs thyther bring full late.
No man comes late to that, whence neuer out,
When once hee is come, turne agayne he may.
To hast the hard and heauy Fate what vayles?
This wandring heape in wyde landes farre away,
Shall goe to Ghosts: and all shall geue their sayles
To slowe Cocytus all is to thee enclinde,
Both what the fall, and rise of sonne doth see:
Spare vs that comme, to thee wee death are signde:
Though thou be slow, our selues yet haste doe wee.
Fyrst houre, that gaue the lyfe, it loast agayne.
[Page 14] TO Thebes is come the ioyfull day,
Your Aulters touch yee humbylly,
The fat fayre Sacrifices slay.
Maydes myxte with men in cumpany
Let them in solempne Flockes goe royle:
And nowe wyth yoake layde downe let c [...]ase
The Iillers of the fertile Soyle.
Made is wyth hande of Hercles peace
Betweene the morne and Hespers Glade,
And where Sonne holding myddle seate,
Doth make the Bodyes caste no Shade.
What euer grounde is ouerweate
Wyth compasse longe of Seas abought,
Alcydes laboure taemde full well.
Hee ouer foordes of Tartare brought
Returnde appeased beeinge Hell.
There is remayning nowe no feare,
Nought lyes beyonde the Hell to see.
O Priest thy staring Lockes of heare
Wrappe in wyth loued Poplar tree.


Hercules, Theseus, Amphi­tryon, Megara.
WIth my reuēging right hād slayne now Lycus loe the groūd
With groueling face hath smit: thē who soeuer fellow foūd
Of Tyraunt was, partaker of his paynes did also lye.
Nowe to my father sacrifice and Gods victor will I,
And aulters that deserue it, with slayne offrings reuerence.
Thee, thee O mate of all my toyles I pray and my defence
O warrefull Pallas, in whose left hand thy cleare shielde Aegis shakes
Fierce threats, whead that eche thing stone that looke vpon it makes.
Let tamer of Lycurgus nowe, and of red Sea be heare,
That poynct of speare with Iuye greene in hand doth couer'de beare:
And two Gods powre, doth Phoebus, and his Syster to I pray
The sister meeter for her shaftes, but hee on th'harpe to play:
And what so [...]uer brother ells of myne doth dwell in sky,
Not of my stepdame brother, bring yee hyther by and by
Your plentuous flocks, what euer haue all th' Indians fruicts brought out,
And what sweete odours th' Arabickes doe get in trees about,
To th' aulters bring: let vapour fat and fume smoke vp full hye,
Let rounde about the Poplar tree my hayres now beautifye
Let th'oliue bowe thee hyde with braunche accustom'de in our lande
Theseu: for foorthwith reuerence the thundrer, shall my hande,
O Gods the builders of the towne, and which of Dragon fell,
The wilde woods vens, and noble waues likewise of Dirces well,
And Tyrian house enhabite eke of straunger wandring king.
Cast into fyres ye frankencense.
Sonne fyrst thy hands flowing
With bloudy slaughter, and the death of enmy purify.
Would God the bloud of hatefull head euen vnto Gods on hye
I might out shed, for lycour loe more acceptable none
Myght th' aulters stayne: nor sacrifice more ample any one
Nor yet more plentyfull may bee to Ioue aboue downe cast,
Then king vniust.
Desyre that now thy father ende at last
Thy labours all: let quietnes at length yet gieuen bee,
And rest to weary folke.
I will thee prayers make, for mee
[Page 15] And Ioue ful meete in this due place let stand the haughty skye,
And land, and ayre, and let the starres dryue forth eternally
Their course vnstayde: let restful peace kepe nations quietly,
Let labour of the hurtles land all yron now occupye,
And swordes lye hyd: let tempest none ful vyolent and dyre
Disturbe the sea: let from the skyes no flash of lightning fyre
Fall downe whyle Ioue ful angry is: nor yet with winter snowe
Encreased flood the ground vpturnde, and field quyte ouerthrowe,
Let poysons cease: and from hensforth let vp from ground aryse
No greeuous hearbe with hurtful sappe: nor fierce and fell lykewyse
Let tyrantes raygne but if to sight some other mischiefe bringe
The ground yet shall, let it make hast: and any monstruous thinge
It it prepare let it be myne, but what meanes this? myd day
The darkenes haue incloas'd aboute lo Phoebus goeth his way
With face obscure without a clowde who dryues the day to flight,
And turnes to east? from whence doth now his dusky hed the night
Vnknowne bring forth? whence fil the poale so many rownde about
Of daytyme starres? lo here behold my laboure first ful stout
Not in the lowest parte of heauen the Lyon shyneth bryght,
And feruently doth rage with yre, and byttes prepares to fyght.
Euen now loe he some star wil take, with mouth full wyde to see
He threatning standes, and fires out blowes and mane vp rustleth he
Shaking with necke the haruest sad of shape, what euer thinge,
And what soeuer winter colde in frosen tyme dothbring,
He with one rage wil ouerpasse, or spring tyme bull he will
Both seeke and breake the neckes at once.
what is this sodayne ylle?
Thy cruel count'naunce whether sonne dost thou cast here and there?
And seest with troubled daseld syght false shape of heauen appere
The land is tam'de the swelling feas their surges did asswage,
The kingdomes lowe of hell lykewyse haue felt and knowne my rage,
Yet heauen is free, a labour meete for Hercules to proue.
To spaces high I wil be borne of haughty skies aboue
Let th' ayre be skaeld, my father doth me promise starres t'obtayne.
What if he it denyde? all th' earth can Hercles not contayne,
And geeues at length to gods, me calles of one accorde beholde
The whole assembly of the gods, and doth their gates vnfolde,
Whyle one forbyddes, receyu'st thou mee, and openest thou the skye,
Or els the gate of stubburne heauen draw after me do I?
Do I yet doubt? I euen the bondes from Saturne wyll vndoe,
And euen agaynst the kingdome prowde of wicked father loe
[Page] My graundsyre loase. let Titans now prepare agayne their fight
With me theyr captaine raging: stones with woods I will down smight
And hye hilles tops with Centaures full in right hande will I take.
With dauble mountayne now I will a stayre to Gods vp make.
Let Chyron vnder Ossa see his Pelion mountayne gret:
Olympus vp to heauen aboue in thyrd degree then set
Shall come it selfe, or ells be cast.
Put farre away frour thee
The thoughts that ought not to be spoake: of mynde vnsounde to see,
But yet full great, the furious rage asswage and lay away.
What meaneth this? the Gyauntes doe pestiferous armes assay,
And Tityus from the sprights is fled, and bearing torne to see
And empty bosome, loe howe neere to heauen it selfe stoode hee?
Cythaeron falles, the mountayne hie Pallene shakes for feare,
And torne are Tempe. he the tops of Pindus caught hath here,
And Octhen he, some dredfull thing threatning doth rage about
Eryn [...]is bringing flames: with stripes she soundes nowe sharken out,
And burned brandes in funeralles, loe yet more neare and neare
Throwes in my face: fearce Tisyphone with head and vgly heare
With serpentes set, nowe after dogge fet out with Hercles hand,
That empty gate shee hath shut vp, with bolte of fyry brande,
But loe the stocke of enmious king doth hidden yet remayne,
The wicked Lycus seede: but to your hatefull father slayne
Euen now this right hande shall you sende let nowe his arrowes light
My bowe out shoote: it seemes the shaftes to goe with such a flight
Of Hercles.
Whether doth the rage and fury blinde yet goe?
His mighty Bowe he drewe with hornes together driuen loe,
And quiuer loaste: great noyese makes with violence sent out
The shaft, and quight the weapon flewe his middle necke throughout,
The wound yet left.
His other broode I ouerthrow will quight,
And corners all. What stay I yet? to me a greater fyght
Remaynes then all Mycenes loe, that rockye stones should all
Of Cyclops being ouerturn'de with hande of myne, downe fall.
Let shake both here, and there the house, with all stayes ouerthrowne,
Let breake the poasts: and quight let shrinke the shaken piller downe:
Let all the Pallace fall at once. I here yet hidden see
The sonne of wycked father.
Loe his flattring handes to thee
Applying to thy knees dooth craue his lyfe with piteous mone.
O wicked gylt, full sad, and eke abhorde to looke vpone,
His humble right hand caught he hath, and raging rounde about
Him rolled twyse, or thryse hath cast. his head resoundeth out,
[Page 16] The sprinkled houses with the brayne of him throwne out are wet.
But shee poore wretch her little sonne in vosome hyding yet
Loe Megara, like one in rage doth from the corners flee.
Though runagate in bosome of the thundrer hid thou bee,
This right hand shall from euery where thee seeke, and bring to sight.
Wher goest thou wretch? what lurking dens, seekst thou to take, or flight?
No place of sauegarde is if once bee Hercles styrde with yre:
But doe thou rather him embrace, and with thy meeke desyre
Assay t'asswage him.
Husband spare vs I beseech thee nowe,
And knowe thy Megara, this sonne thy countenaunce doth showe,
And bodyes pytche: behould'st thou howe his hands vp lyfteth hee?
I holde my stepdame: followe on due penaunce paye to mee,
And bounden Ioue from fylthy bonde deliuer free away:
But I before the mother will this litle monster slay.
Thou mad man whither goest thou? wylt thou thine owne bloude sheade?
Th'infant with fathers fyry face astonnted all for bread,
Died euen before the wounde: his feare hath tooke away his lyfe.
And now likewise his heauy club is shaken towarde his wyfe:
He broaken hath the bones, her head from blocklyke body gone
Is quight, nor any where it stayes, dar'ste thou this looke vpone
To long lyu'de age? If mouruing doe the greeue, thou hast then loe
The death preparde. Doe thou thy breast vppon his weapons throe,
Or ells this club with slaughter stayn'de of monsters slayne that bee,
Nowe hyther turne. thy parent false, vnfit for name of thee
Ryd hence away, least he should be to thy reuowne a let.
Which way the father toward thy death dost thou thy selfe cast yet?
Or whyther goest thou mad man? flee and lye thou cloasely hid,
And yet from handes of Hercules this onely myschiefe rid.
T'is well, the house of shameful king is now quight ouerthrowne.
To thee O spouse of greattest Ioue I haue loe beaten downe
This offred flocke: I gladly haue fulfill'de my wyshes all
Full meete for thee, and Argos now geue other offrings shall.
Thou hast not sonne yet all perform'de, fill vp the sacrifise.
Loe th'offring doth at th'aultars stande, it waytes thy hand likewyse
With necke full prone: I geue my selfe, I roon, I follow loe.
Mee sacrifice. what meaneth this? his eyes rolle to and froe,
And heauines doth dull his sight. see I of Hercules
The trembling hands? downe falles his face to sleepe and quietnes,
And weary necke with bowed head full fast doth downeward shrynke,
With bended knee: nowe all at once he downe to ground doth sinke,
[Page] As in the woods wylde Ashe cut downe, or Bulwarke for to make
A Hauen in Seas. Liu'ste thou? or els to death doth thee betake
The selfe same rage, that hath sent all thy famyly to death?
It is but sleepe, for to and fro doth goe and come his breath.
Let tyme bee had of quietnesse, that thus by sleepe and rest
Great force of his disease subdew'de, may ease his greeued brest.
Remoue his weapons seruants, least he mad get them agayne.
LEt th'ayre complayne, and eke the parent great
Of haughty Sky, and fertile land throughout,
And wandring waue of euer mouing freat.
And thou before them all, which lands about
And trayn of Sea thy beames abroade dost throe
With glittring face, and mak'st the night to flee,
O feruent Titan: bothe thy lettinges loe
And rysing, hath Alcides seene wyth thee:
And knowne lykewise hee hath thy howsen twayne.
From so great ills release yee nowe hys brest,
O Gods release: to better turne agayne
His ryghter mynde, and thou O tamer best
O sleepe of toyles, the quietnesse of mynde,
Of all the lyfe of man the better parte,
O of thy mother Astrey wynged kynde,
Of hard and pyning death that brother arte,
With truth mingling the false, of after state
The sure, but eke the worste foreteller yet:
O Father of all thynges, of Lyfe the gate,
Of lyght the rest, of nyght and fellowe fyt,
That com'st to Kyng, and seruaunt equally,
And gently cherysshest who weary bee,
All mankynde loe that dreadfull is to dye,
Thou doost constrayne long death to learne by thee.
Keepe him fast bounde wyth heauy sleepe opprest,
Let slomber deepe his Limmes vntamed bynde,
[Page 17] Nor soner leaue his vnright raginge breaste
Then former mynd his course agayne may fynd.
Loe layd on ground with full fieree hart yet still
His cruel sleepes he turnes: and not yet is
The plague subdude of so great raging yll
And on great club the weary head of his
He wont to laye, doth secke the staffe to fynde
VVith empty handes his armes out casting yet
VVith mouing vayne: nor yet all rage of minde
He hath layd downe, but as with Sowthwind greate
The waue once v [...]xt yet after kepeth still
His raging long, and though the wind now bee
Asswaged swelles, shake of theis madde and yll
Tossinges of mynde, returne let piety,
And vertue to the man, els let be so
His mynde with mouing mad toste euery waye:
Let errour blynd, where it begun hath, go,
For naught elsnow but only madnes maye
Thee gyltles make: in next estate it standes
To hurtles handes thy mischiefe not to know.
Now stroken let with Hercules his handes
Thy bosome sounde: thyne armes the worlde allow
VVere wonte to beare, let greuous strypes now smyte
VVith conquering hande, and lowde complaying cryes,
Let th'ayre now heare, let of darke pole and nighte
The Queene them hear, and who fulfyercely lyes
That beares his neckes in mighty chaynes fast bounde,
Low lurking Cerberus in deepest caue.
Let Chaos all with clamour sad resound,
And of broad sea wide open wafting waue.
And th'ayre that felt thy weapons beter yet,
but felt them though.
The breastes with so great yls as these beset,
VVith litle stroake they mnst not beaten bee.
Let kingdomes three sound with one playnt and crye,
[Page] And thou neckes honour and defence to see,
His arrowe strong longe hanged vp on hye,
And quiuers light the cruell stripes now l'myte
On his fierce backe his shouldars strong and stout
Let oken club now strike and poast of might
VVith knots ful hard his bre [...]ee load all aboute.
Let euen his weapons so great woes complayne
Not you pore babes mates of your fathers praise,
VVith cruell wound reuenging kinges agayne:
Not you your lims in Argos barriars playes,
Are taught to turne with weapons strong to smie
And strong of hand yet euen now daring loe
The weapons of the Scithian quiuer light
VVith stedy hand to paise set out from bow.
And stags to perce that saue them selues by flight
And backes not yet ful maend of cruel beast.
To Stigian hauens goeye of shade and night
Goe hurtles soules, whom mischiefe hath opprest
Euen in fyrst porch of lyfe but lately had,
And fathers fury goe vnhappy kind
O litle children, by the way ful sad
Of iourney knowen.
Goe see the angry kynges.


Hercules, Amphitry on, Theseus.
WHat place is this? what region? or of the world what coast?
Where am I? vnder ryse of sunne or bond els vttermost.
Of th' [...]cy beare or els doth here of sea of He [...]pery
The fardest ground appoynt a bond for th'ocean sea to lye?
What ayre draw we? to weary wight what ground is vnderset?
Of truth we are returnd from hell whence in my house downe bet
See I these bloudy bodyes? hath not yet my mynd of cast
Th'infernall shapes? but after yet returnd from hel at last
Yet wander doth that belly heape before myne eys to see?
I am asham'de to graunt, I quake, I know not what to me,
I cannot tell what greeuou yll my mynde before doth know.
Where is my parent? where is shee with goodly childrens show
My noble harly stomackt spouse why doth my left fyde lacke
The lyons spoyle? which way is gone the couer of my backe?
And selfe same bedde ful soft for slepe of Hercules also?
Where are my sha [...]tes? where is my bow? then from my liuing who
Could plucke away? who taken hath the spoyles so great as these
And who was he that feared not euen sleepe of Hercules?
To see my conquerour me lykes, yt lykes me hym to know
Ryse victor vp, what new sonne hath my father gotten now
Heauen beynge left? at byrth of whom myght euer stayd bee
A longer night then, was in myne? what mischiefe do I see?
My children loe do lye on ground with bloudy slaughter slayne?
My wyfe is kild: what Lycus doth the kingdome yet obtayne?
Who durst so haynous giltes as these at Thebes take in hand
When Hercles is returnd? who so Ismenus waters land,
Who so Acteons fieldes or who with double seas beset
The shaken Pelops kingdomes dost of Dardan dwell on yet
Helpe me: of cruel slaughter show who may the author bee.
Let rage my yre and all: my foe he is who so to me
Shewes not my foe dost thou yet hyde Alcides victorly?
Come forth, euen whether thou reuenge the cruel charyots hye
Of Bloudy Thracian king or yf thou Gerions catell quight
[Page] Or lordes of Lybia, no delay there is with thee to fight.
Beholde I naked stande, although euen with my weapons loe
Thou me vnarmed sette vppon. Wherfore fleeth Theseus soe,
And eke my father from my [...]ght? theyr faces why hyde they?
Deferre your weepings, and who did my wyfe and children sley
Thus all at once, me tell. Wherfore O father dost thou whush [...]?
But tell thou Theseu, but Theseu with thy accustom'd truste.
Ech of them sylent hydes away their bashefull count [...]naunces,
And priuily they shed their teares in so great ils as these,
Of what ought wee asham'de to be? doth ruler yet of might
Of Argos towne, or hateful band of sowldiars apt to fight
Of Lycus dying, vs oppresse with such calamity?
By prayse of all my noble actes I do desyre of thee
O father, and of thy great name approu'de to me alway
The prosperous powre declare to mee, who did my houshold flay?
Whose pray lay I?
Let thus thyne ylles in sylens ouerpas.
That I should vnreuenged bee? Am, Reuenge oft hurtful was.
Did euer man so greeuous yls without reuenge sustayne?
Whos euer greater fearde.
Then these O father yet agayne
May any greater thing, or els more greuous feared be?
How great apart is it thou wo [...]st of thy calamity?
Take mercy father, lo I lift to thee my humble hands.
What meaneth this? my hand fleeth backe, some priuy gy [...]t their standes
Whence comes this bloud? or what doth mean flowing wt death of child
The shaft imbrewd with slaughter once of Lerney monster kilde?
I see my weapons now, the hand I seeke no more to witte.
Whose hand could bend this bow but myne? or what right at me but it▪
Could string the bow that vnto mee euen scantly doth obay?
To you I turne: O father deare, is this my gylt I pray?
They held their peace: it is myne own.
Thy greuous woe is ther [...],
The cryme thy stepdames: this mischaunce no falt of thyne hath here.
From euery part now father throw in wrath thy thunders mighte,
And of thy sonne forgetful now with cruel hand requighte
At least thy nephewes, let the world that beares the starrs sounde out.
And let both th'one and th'other poale, flyng downe thy flames aboute:
And let the bankes of Caspyan sea my bounden body teare,
And gredy foule. Wherfore do of Prometheus lacke heare
The rockes? with huge and haughty top let now prepared be,
Both feeding beastes and foules, the syde of Caucas turne to see,
And bare of woods, the yle that bridge of Scithe that therby standes
[Page 19] Simplegas ioynes, both here and there let it my bounden handes
Stretch out abroade: and when with course return'de accustomd'ly
They shall togeather dryue, and shall the rockes tosse vp to skye
With bankes togeather beyng thrust, and eke the middle seay,
Let me bet weene the mountaynes lye vnquiet restlesse stay
But building vp with wood throwne on a heaped plie on h [...]e
My body thus with wicked bloud [...]esprinct, why but [...]e not I?
So, so yt mus be done: to hell I Hercles will restore.
Not yet his hart astonted lackes his ragyng [...] sore,
But wrath [...]hath turnd: and which of rage is prop [...]rty and yre
Agaynst himselfe he rageth now
The furies places dire
And dungeon depe of sprites in hell and place of tormentry
To gylty ghostes and banishment yf any yet do lye
Beyond Erebus, yet vnknowen to Cerberus and mee,
There hyde me ground to farthest bond of Tartarus to see.
To tary there Ile goe. O brest of myne to fierce and stoute:
Who you my children thus disperst through all my house about,
May worthely enough bewayle? in all my euils yet
This countnaunce hard can neuer weepe, a sword now hether set:
My shaftes reach hether, hyther reach my mighty club also:
To thee my weapons breake I wi [...], to thee my sonne a two
Ile knappe my bowes, and eke my clubbe, this blocke of heauy wayghte
Shal to thy sprites be burned loe: this selfe same quiuer frayght
With Lerney shaftes to funerall of thyne shall like wyse goe.
Let all my weapons penance pay and you vnhappy to
Euen with my weapons burne I wil, O stepdames handes of myne.
Who euer yet to ignoraunce hath geuen name of cryme?
Ful oftentymes did errour greate the place of gylt obtayne.
T'is neede to be a Hercles now, this heape of yll sustayne.
Not so, hath shame yet geuen place with fury drowned quight:
But peoples all I rather should dryue from my wicked sight.
My weapons, weapons
I quickly craue to mee
Withdraw to be restoard agayne: if sound my mynd now bee,
Restore to me my weapons: if yet last my rage of mynd,
Then father flee: for I the waye to death my selfe shalfynde.
By sacred holy [...]ynreds rightes, by force and duty all
Of both my names; if eyther me thy brynger vp thou call.
Or parent els, and (which of good men reuerenced are)
By these hoare [...]yres, I the besech my desert age yet spare,
And wery yeares of house salne downe the one alonly stay,
[Page] One onely light to mee, with yls afflicted euery way
Reserue thy selfe: yet neuer hath there happ [...]ned once of thee
Fruite of thy toyles: still eyther I the doubtful sea to see
Or monsters feard: who euer yet hath bene a cruell king
In all the world to ghostes allow, and aulters both hurtinge,
Of me is feard: the father of thee absent stil to haue
The feuite, the touching, and the sight of thee at length I craue.
Wherfore I longer should sustayn my life yet in this light,
And linger here no cause there is, all good lost haue I quighte,
My mynd, my weapons, my renoume, my wife, my sonnes, my handes,
And fury to no man may heale and lose from gylty handes
My mynd defyeld: needes must with death he heald so haynous yll.
Wilt thou thy father IIay?
Least I shoulde do it die I will.
Before thy fathers face?
I taught him mischief for to see.
Thy deedes marking rather that should of al remembred bee,
Of this one only cryme I do a pardon of thee craue.
Sall he geue pardon to himselfe, that to none els it gaue?
I beeing bidden prayse deseru'd, this deede mine owne doth proue.
Helpe father now, if eyther els thy piety thee moue,
Or els my heauy fate, or els the honour and renowne.
Of stained strength, my weapons bringe, let fortune be throwen downe.
with my right hand.
The prayers which thy father makes to thee
Are stronge enough, but yet likewyse with weeping loe of me
By moued yet: aryse thou vp, and with thy wonted myght
Subdue thyne yls: now such a mynde [...]meete to beare vpright
No euill hap, receyus againe loe now with manhode gret
Thou must preuayle. euen Hercules forbyd with yre to fret.
Alyue, I hurt: but if I dye I take the gylt also.
I hast to ridde the world of cryme euen now before me lo
A wicked monster cruel, and vntamed fierce and flout
Doth wander: now with thy ryght hand begime to goe aboute
A greate affayre, yea more then all thy twyse sixe labours long.
Yet stayst thou wretch, that late agaynst the children wast so stronge,
And fearful mother now except restoard my weapons [...]ee,
Of Thracian Pindus eyther I wil feare downe euery tree,
And Bacchus holly woods and tops of mount Cythaeron hye
Burne with myselfe, and al 'at once with all their housen I
And with the Lordes therof the roofes with goddes of Thebes all
The Thebane temples euen vppon my body will let fall:
And wyl be hyd in to wne vpturnd: if to my shoulders might
[Page 20] The wall [...]s themselues all cast ther [...] shall fall a burden light,
And couerd with seuen gates I shall not be enough opprest,
Then all the wayght wheron the worlde in middle part doth rest,
And partes the Goddes vppon my head Ile turne and ouerthrow
My weapons geue.
This word is meete for Hercles father lo
With this same arrow slaine behold thy sonne is tombled downe,
This weapōs cruell Iuno lo from handes of thyne hath throwne,
This same wil I now vse, loe see how leaps with feare afright
My wretched harte, and how it doth my careful body smight.
The shaft is set therto thou shalt a mischiefe lo do now
Both willing it and wotting: tel, what thing commaundest thou?
I nothing craue my doloure let in saf'ty standeth now.
To kepe my sonne alyue to mee that onely do canst thou
O Theseu, yet I haue not scapte great'st feare that happen can
Thou canst mee not a miser make, thou mayst a happy man
So order euery thyng thou dost, as all thy cause in hand,
And fame thou mayst wel know in strayght and doubtful ca [...]e to stande
Thou liu'st, or diest: this slender soule that light is hence to flee,
Weried with age and no lesse bet with greuous ils to see,
In mouth I holde so slowly to a father with such slaye
Doth any man geue lyfe? I wilno longer bid delay,
The deadly sword throughout my breast to strike I wil apply,
Here, here the gylt of Hercules euen sound of mynd shall lye.
Forbeare O father now forbeare, with draw thy hand againe.
My manhood yeld thy fathers will, and impery sustaine.
To Hercles labours now like wyse, let this one labour goe,
Let me yet liue, lift vp from ground th'afflicted lims with woe
O The [...]eu of my parent: for from Godly touch doth flee
My wicked hand.
I gladly do this hand embrace to mee.
By this I beyng slayed will goe, this meuing to my brest
Ile slake my woes,
what place shall I seeke ronnagate for rest?
Where shall I hyde my selfe? or in what land my selfe engraue?
What Tanais, or what Nilus els, or with his Persyan waue
What Tygris violent of streame, or what fierce Rhenus flood,
Or Tagus troublesome that flowes with Ibers treasures good
May my ryght hand now wash from gylt? although Maeotis cold
The waues of all the Northen sea on me shed out now wolde,
And al the water ther of shoulde now pas by my two handes,
Yet wil the mischiefe deepe remayne▪ alas into whet landes
Wilt thou O wicked man resort? to East or westerne coste?
[Page] Ech where wel knowen, all place I haue of banishment quight loste
From me the warlde doth flee a back, the starres that sydelyng roue
Do back warde dryue their turned course, euen Cerberus the soue
With better count'naunce did behold O faythfull friend I saye,
O Theseu seeke same lurking place, farre hence out of the way
O thou a warder of mens gyltes what euer Iudge thou hee
That hurtful men dost loue, repay a worthy thanke to me:
And my desertes. I thee beseech, to ghostes of hell againe
Send me that once escaped them: & subiect to thy raine
Restore me yet to those thy bandes, that place shal me wel hyde:
And yet euen that place knowes me wel
Our land for thee doth bide
There Mars his hande ac [...]ui [...]e agayne and made from slaughter free
Restoard to armoure, l [...]e that land (Alcides) [...] for thee,
Which wontes to quite the gods, and proue them Innocent to be.
HERE ENDETH THE FIRST Tragedye of Seneca, called Her­cules furens,

THE SECOND TRAGEDIE OF SENECA ENTITV­tuled Thyestes, faythfully Englished by Iasper Heywood Felow of Alsolne Colledge in Oxenforde.

The Argument of this Tragedie.

MEGAERA ONE OF THE Hellish furies raising vp Tantalus frō Hell, incited him to set mortall hatred betwene his two nephewes Thiestes, & Atreus being brothers, and raining as Kinges ouer Mycenae by enterchangeable turnes, that is to witte Thiestes to raine the one yere, and Atreus the other. Now Atreus enraged with furie against his brother partly for defiling and deflouring his wife Aerope by pollicie, and partly for taking from him a Ram with a golden fleese, practised with his seruāt how to be re­uēged of his brother. This Atreus therfore dissēblīg a reconciliation & inuiting Thyestes to Mycenae se­cretly & vnknowē to him, set before hī at a banquet the flesh of his own childrē to eate. Afterward Atreus hauīg also geuē to his said brother ye bloud of his chil­drē in a goblet to drinke, did lastly cōmaūd the heads also to be brought in, at the doleful sight wherof Thi­estes greatly lamēting knowīg ye he had eatē his owne childrē, was wonderfully anguished. But Atreus for that he had thus reuenged himselfe, toke therin great pleasure and delectation.


The names of the Speakers
  • Tantalus.
  • Megaera.
  • Atrcus.
  • Seruant.
  • Thiestes.
  • Philistencs.
  • Messenger,
  • Chorus.
Tantalus Megaera,
WHAT furye fell enforceth mee
to fle, th'unhappy seat,
That gaye and gaspe with greedye lawe,
the fleeyng food to eate
What GOD to Tantalus the bowres
wher breathing bodyes dwel
Doth shew agayue? is ought found worse, then burning thyrst of hel
In lakes alow? or [...]et worse plague then hunger is there one,
In vayne that euer gapes for foode? shal Sisyphus his stone,
That slipper restles rollyng payse vppon my backe be borne.
Or shall my lymmes with swifter swinge of whirling whele be torne?
Or shal my paynes be Tytius panges th'encreasyng liuer still,
Whose growing guttes the gnawing gripes and tylthy foules do fyll?
That styl by nyght repayres the panch that was deuourd by day,
And wondrous wombe vnwasted lieth a new prepared pray
What ill am I appoynted for? O cruell iudge of sprites,
Who so thou be that tormentes new among the sowles delytes
Stil to dispose, ad what thou canst to all my deadly woe,
That keeper euen of dungeon darke would fore abhorre to knowe.
Or hel it selfe it quake to se: for dread wherof likewyse
I tremble wold, that plague seke out: lo now there doth aryse
My broode that shal in mischiefe farre the grandsyers gilt out goe,
And gyltles make: that first shall dare vnuentred ils to do.
What euer place remayneth yet of all this wicked land,
I wil fill vp: and neuer once while Pelops house doth stand
Shall Minos idle be.
Go forth thou detestable sprite
And vexe the Goddes of wicked house with rage of furyes might.
Let them contend with all offence, by turnes and one by one
Let swordes be drawne: and meane of ire procure there may be none,
Nor shame: let fury blynd enflame theyr myndes and wrathful will,
Let yet the parentes rage endure and longer lasting yll
[Page 22] Through childrens children spreade: nor yet let any leysure be
The former faw [...]s to hate, but still more mischiefe newe to see,
Nor one in one: but ere the gylt with vengeance be acquit,
Encrease the cryme: from brethren proud let rule of kingdom flyt
To runnagates: and swaruing state of all vnstable thinges,
Let it by doubtfull dome be toste, betwene thuncertaine kyngs.
Let mighty fall to misery, and myser clime to might,
Let chaunce turne thempyre vpsydowne both geue and take the right.
The banyshed for gylt, whan god restore theyr country shall.
Let them to mischiefe fall a fresh as hatefull then to all,
As to themselues: let Ire thinke nought vnlawfull to be doon,
Let brother dread the brothers wrath, and father feare the soon,
And eke the soon his parents powre: let babes be murdered yll,
But worse begot? her spouse betrapt t [...] treasons trayne to kyll,
Let hatefull wyfe a wayte, and let them beare through seas their warre,
Let bloodshed lye the lands about and euery field a farr [...]:
And ouer conqueryng captaynes greate, of countreys far to see,
Let lust tryumphe: in wicked house let whoredome counted he
The light'st offene: let trust that in the breasts of brethren breedes,
And truth be gone: let not from sight of your so heynous deedes
The heauens be hyd, about the poale when shyne the starres on hye,
And flames with woonted beames of light doe decke the paynted skyls.
Let darkest night bee made, and let the day the heauens forsake.
Dysturbe the godds of wicked house, hate, slaughter, murder make.
Fyll vp the house of Tantalus with mischieues and debates,
Adorned be the pillers hygh with bay, and let the gates
Be garnysht greene: and worthy there for thy returne to sight.
Be kyndled fyre: let mischyefe done in Thracia once, theyr lyght
More many folde, wherefore doth yet the vncles hand delaye?
Doth yet Thyestes not bewayle his childrens fatall day?
Shall he not finde them where with heat of fyres that vnder glowe
The cawderne boyles? their limmes eche one a peeces let them go
Disperste: let fathers fires, with blood of chyldren fyled bee:
Let deynties such be drest: it is no mischiefe newe to thee,
To banquet so: behold this day we haue to thee releast,
And hunger starued wombe of thyne we send to such a feast.
With fowlest foode thy famyne fyll, let bloud in wyne be drownd,
And dronke in sight of thee: loe now such dishes haue I found,
As thou wouldst shonne, stay whither doste thou hedlong way now take
To pooles and floods of hell agayne and styll declining lake,
[Page] And flight of tree ful frayght with fruite that from the lippes doth flee,
To dungeon darke of hateful hell let leeful be for me
To goe: or if to light be thought the paynes that there I haue,
Remoue me from those lakes agayne: in midst of worser waue
Of Phlegethon, to stand in seas of fyre beset to bee.
Who so beneath thy poynted paynes by destenyes decree
Dost stil endure who soo thou bee that vnderliest alow
The hollow denne, or ruyne who that feares and ouerthrow
Of fallyng hyl, or cruel cryes that sound in caues of hell
Of greedy r [...]aryng Lyons throats or flocke of furyes fell
Who quakes to know or who the brandes of fyre in dyrest payne
Halfe burnt throwes of harke to the voyce of Tantalus: agayne
That hastes to hel, and whom the truth hath taught beleeue wel mee
Loue wel your paynes, they are but small when shall my hap so bee
To flee the light?
Disturbe thou fyrst thys house with dire discord
Debates and battels bring with thee, and of th'unhappy sworde
Ill loue to kinges: the cruel brest str [...]ke through and hateful hart,
With tumult mad.
To suffer paynes it seemeth wel my part,
Not woes to worke: I am sent forth lyke vepoure dyre to ryse,
That breakes the ground or poyson like the plague in wondrouse wyse
That slaughter makes, shall I to such detested crymes, applye
My nephewes hartes? [...] parentes great of Gods aboue the skie
And myne (though sham'de I be to graunt) although with greater pain
My tounge be vext, yet this to speake I may no whit refrayne
Nor hold my peace: I war [...]e you this least sacred hand with bloud
Of slaughter dyre, or frans [...]e fell of fran [...]ke fury wood
The aulters stayne, I wll resist: And garde such gylt away.
With strpes why dost thou me affryght? why threatst thou me to fraye
Those crallyn g snakes? or famine fyxt in empty wombe, wherfore
Dost thou reuyue? now fries within with thyrst enkmdled sore
My harte: and in the bowels burnt the boyling fl [...]me [...] do glow.
I follow thee: through all this house now rage and fury throwe
Let them be driuen so, and so let eyther thirst to see
Each others blood ful well hath felt the comming in of thee
This house, and all with wicked touch of the degune to quake.
Enough it is, repayre agayne to dens [...]nd loathsome lake,
Of floud well knowen, the sadder soyle with heauy fote of thyne
Agreeued is, seest thou from syringes how waters do declyne
And inward sinke? or how the bankes lye voyde by drughty heate?
And hoatter blast of fyery wynde the fewer cloudes doth beate?
[Page 23] The treese be spoyld, and naked stand to sight in withred woddes,
The barayne bowes whose fruites are fled: the land betwene the floods
With surge of seas on eyther syde that wonted to resound,
And [...]earer foordes to seperat sometyme with lesser ground,
Now broader spred, it heareth how aloofe the waters ryse.
Now Lerna turnes agaynst the streame Phoronides likewyse
His poares be stopt, with custom'd course Alphéus dryues not still,
His hollie waues, the trembling tops of high Cithaeron hill,
They stand not sure: from height adowne they shake their syluer snowe,
And noble fieldes of Argos feare, theyr former drought to know.
Yea Tytan doubtes himselfe to rolie the worlde his wonted way,
And driue by force to former course the backward drawing daye.
THis Argos towne if any God be founde,
And Pisey boures that famous yet remayn,
Or kingdomes els to loue of Corinthes ground,
The double hauens, or sundred seas in twayne
If any loue of Taygetus his snowes,
(By VVinter which when they on hils be cast:
By Boreas blastes that from Sarmatia blowes,
VVith yerely breath the sommer meltes as fast)
VVhere clere Alphéus runnes with floude so cold,
By playes wel knowen that there Olimpiks hight:
Let pleasaunt powre of his from hense withholde
Such tunes of stryfe that here they may not light:
Not nephew worse then grandsier spring from vs,
Or direr deedes delyght the yonger age.
Let wicked stocke of thirsty Tantalus
At length leaue of, and wery be of rage.
Enoughe is done, and naught preuaild the iust,
Or wrong: betrayed is Mirtilus and drownde,
That did betray his dame, and with like trust
Borne as he bare, himselfe hath made renound
[Page] VVith chaunged name the sea: and better knowne
To mariners therof no fable is.
On wicked sword the litle infant throwne
As ran the chide to take his fathers kisse.
Vnrype for thaulters offring fell downe deade:
And with thy hand (O Tantalus) was rent,
VVith such a meate for Gods thy boordes to spread.
Eternall famine for such foode is sent,
And thyrst: nor for those daynty meats vnmilde,
Might meeter payne appoynted euer bee
Vith empty throate standes Tantalus begylde,
Aboue thy wicked head their leanes to thee,
Then Phineys fowles in flight a swifter pray.
VVith burned bowes declynd on euery syde,
And of his fruites all bent to beare the sway,
The tree deludes the gapes of hunger wyde
Though hee full greedy feede theron would fayne.
So oft deceyu'de neglectes to touch them yet:
He turnes his eyes, his iawes he doth refrayne,
And famine fixt in closed gummes doth shet.
But then each braunch his plenteous ritches all,
Lets lower downe, and apples from an hie
VVith lither leaues they flatter like to fall
And famine styrre: in vayne that bids to trye
His handes: which when he hath rought forth anone
To be beguyld, in higher ayre againe
The haruest hanges and fickle fruite is gone,
Then thirst him greeues no lesse then hungers payne:
Wherwith when kindled is his boyling bloud
Lyke fyre, the wretch the waues to him doth call,
That meete his mouth: which straight the fleeyng floud
VVithdrawes, and from the dryed foorde doth fall:
And him forsakes that followes them. He drinkes
The dust so deepe of gulfe that from him shrinkes.


Atreus. Seruaunt
O Dastard, cowrde, O wretche, and (which
the greatest yet of all
To Tyrantes checke I compte that maye
in waighty thinges befall)
O vnreuenged: after guyltes
so great and brothers guyle.
And trewth trode downe dost thou prouoke
with vayne complaynts the whyle
Thy wrath? already now to rage all Argos towne throughout
In armoure ought of thyne, and all the double seas about
Thy fleete to ryde: now all the fieldes with feruent flames of thyne,
And townes to flash it wel beseemde: and euery where to shyne,
The bright drawne sword: all vuder foote of horse let euery syde
Of Argos lande resound: and let the woundes not serue to hyde
Our [...]oes, nor yet in haughty top of hilles and mountaynes hye,
The builded towers. The people all let them to battel crye
And clere for sake Mycenas towne who so his hateful head
Hides and defendes, with slaughter dire let bloud of him be shed.
This princely Pelops palace proude, and bowres of high renowne,
On mee so on my brother to let them be beaten downe,
Go to, do that which neuer shall no after age allow,
Nor none it whisht: some wischese greate ther must be ventred now,
Both fierce and bloudy: such as woulde my brother rather long
To haue bene his. Thou neuer dost enough reuenge the wronge.
Exept thou passe. And feercer fact what may be done so dyre,
That his exceedes? doth euer he lay downe his hateful yre?
Doth euer he the modest meane in tyme of wealth regard
Or quiet in aduerslty? I know his nature harde
Vntractable, that broke may be, but neuer wilit b [...]nd.
For which are he prepare himselfe, or force to fight entend,
Set fyrst on him, least while I rest he should on me aryse.
He wil destroy or be destroyd in midst the mischiefe lyes,
[Page] Prepard to him that takes it first,
Doth fame of people naught
Aduerse thee feare?
The greatest good of kingdom may be thought
That still the people are constraynd their princes deedes as well
To prayse, as them to suffer all.
Whom feare doth so compell
To prayse, the same his foes to bee, doth feare enforce agoyne:
But who indeede the glory seckes of fauour trew t'obtayne
He rather would with hates of each be praysd, then tounges of all
The trewer prayse ful oft hath hapt to meaner men to fall:
The false but vnto myghty man what nill they let them will.
Let first the king will honest thinges and none the fame dare nill.
Where leeful are to him that rules but honest thinges alone,
There raynes the kyng by others leaue.
And wher y shame is none,
Nor care of ryght, fayth, piety, nor holines none stayeth,
That kingdome swarues.
Such holines, such piety and fayth.
Are priuate goods: let kinges runne one in that that likes their will.
The brothers hurt a mischiefe count though he be nere so ill.
It is but right to do to hym, that wrong to brother were▪
What heynous hurt hath his offence let passe to pr [...]ue? or where
Refraynd the gylt, thy spouse he sta [...]e away for lechery,
And raygne by stelth: the auncient note and sygne of ampery,
By frawde he got: my house by fraud to vexe he neuer ceast:
In Pelops house there fostred is a noble worthy beast
The close kept Ramme: the goodly guyde of rych and fayrest flockes.
By whom throughout on euery syde depend a downe the lockes
Of glittering gold, with fleece of which the new kinges wonted were
Of Tantals stocke their sceptors gylt, and mace of might to beate.
Of this the owner raygneth he, with him of house so great
The fortune fleeth, this sacred Ramme aloofe in safety shet
In secret mead is wont to grase, which stone on euery syde
With rocky wall inclosethe rounde the fatall beast to hyde.
This beast (aduentryng mischiefe greate) adioyning yet for pray
My spoused mate, the traytour false hath hence conuayde away
From hence the wrongs of mutuall hate, and mischiefe all vpsyreng:
In exile wandred he throughout my kingdomes all along:
No part of myne remayneth safe to mee, from traynes of hys.
My feere deflourde, and loyalty of empyre broken is:
My house all vext, my bloud in doubt, and naught that trust is in,
But brother foe What stayst thou yet? at length lo now beginne.
Take hart of Tantalus to thee, to Pelops cast thyne eye:
To such examples well beseemes, I should my hand applye.
[Page 25] Tell thou which way were best to bring that cruell head to death.
Through perst wt sword let him be slayne & yelde his hatefull breath.
Thou speak'st of th'end: but I him would opres wt greter payne.
Let tyrants vexe with torment more: should euer in my rayne
Be gentle death?
Doth piety in thee preuayle no whit?
Depart thou hence all piety, if in this house as yet
Thou euer wert: and now let all the flocke of furies dyre,
And full of strife Erinnis come, and double brands of fyre
Megaera shaking: for not yet enough with fury great
And rage doth burne my boyling brest: it ought to bee repleate,
With monster more.
What mischiefe new do'ste thou in rage pro-uide?
Not such a one as may the meane of woonted griefe abide.
No guilt will I forbeare, nor none may be enough despight.
What sword?
To litle that.
what fire?
And y is yet to
What weapon then shall sorrow such finde fit to worke thy will?
Thy estes selfe.
Then yre it selfe yet that's a greater ill.
I graunt: a tombling tumult quakes, within my bosomes loe,
And rounde it rolles: I moued am and wote not wherevnto.
But drawen I am: from bottome deepe the roryng soyle doth cry
The day so fayre with thunder soundes, and house as all from hy
Were rent, from roofe, and rafters crakes: and lares turnde abought
Haue wryde theyr sight: so bee'te, so bee'te, let mischiefe such be sought,
As yee O Gods would feare.
What thing seek'st thou to bring to pas
I note what greater thing my mynde, and more then woont it was
Aboue the reache that men are woont to worke, begins to swell:
And stayth with slouthfull handes. What thinge it is I cannot tell:
But great it is. Bee'te so, my mynde now in this feate proceede,
For Atreus and Thyestes bothe, it were a worthy deede.
Let eche of vs the crime commit. The Thracian house did see
Such wicked tables once: I graunt the mischiefe great to bee,
But done ere this: some greater guilt and mischiefe more, let yre
Fynde out. The stomacke of thy sonne O father thou enspyre,
And syster eke, like is the cause: assist me with your powre,
And dryue my hand: let greedy parents all his babes deuowre,
And glad to rent his children bee: and on their lyms to feede.
Enough, and well it is deuis'de: this pleaseth me in deede.
In meane time where is he? so long and innocent wherefore
Doth Atreus walke? before myne eyes already more and more
The shade of such a slaughter walkes: the want of children cast,
In fathers Iawes. But why my mynde, yet dreadst thou so at last,
[Page] And faiut'st before thou enterprise? it must bee done, let bee,
That which in all this mischiefe is the greatest guilt to see,
Let him commit.
but what disceit may wee for him prepare,
Whereby betrapt he may be drawne, to fall into the snare?
He wotes full well we are his foes.
He could not taken bee,
Except himselfe would take: but now my kingdomes hopeth hee.
For hope of this he woulde not feare to meete the mighty Ioue,
Though him he threatned to deistroy, with lightning from aboue.
For hope of this to passe the threats of waues he will not fayle,
Nor dread no whit by doubtfull shelues, of Lybike seas to sayle,
For hope of this (which thing he doth the woorst of all beleeue,)
He will his brother see.
Who shall of peace the promise geeue?
Whom will he trust?
His euill hope will soone beleue it well.
Yet to my sonnes the charge which they shall to theyr vuckle tell,
We will commit: that whom he would from exile come agayne,
And myseries for kingdome chaunge, and ouer Argos raygne
A king of halfe: and though to hard of heart our prayers all
Him selfe despise, his children yet nought woting what may fall,
With trauels tier'de, and apte to be entys, de from misery,
Requests will moue: on th'one side his desyre of Imperie,
On th'other syde his pouerty, and labour hard to see,
Will him subd [...]e and make to yeelde, although full stoute he bee.
His trauayles now the time hath made to seeme to him but small.
Not so: for day by day the griefe of ill encreaseth all.
T'is light to suffer miseries, but heauy them t'endure.
Yet other messengers to send, in such affayres procure,
The younger sorte the wrose precepts do easely harken to.
What thing agaynst their vnckle now, you them enstruckt to do,
Perhaps with you to worke the like, they will not be a dread.
Such mischiefe wrought hath oft return'de vpon the workers head.
Though neuer man to thē the wayes of guile & guilt haue taught,
Yet kingdome will. Fear'st thou they should be made by coūsel naught?
They are so borne. That whith thou car, ste a cruell enterpryse,
And dyrely deemest doone to be, and wickedly likewise,
Perhaps is wrought agaynst me there.
And shall your sons of this
Disceipt beware that worke you will? no secretnes there is
In theyr so greene and tender yeares: they will your traynes disclose,
A priuy counsell cloase to keepe, is learnde with many woes.
And will yee them, by whom yee woulde he should beguiled bee,
Them selnes begull'de?
May let thē both from fault & blame be free.
[Page 26] For what shall neede in mischiefes such as I to woorke entende,
To mingle them? let all my hate by mee alone take ende.
Thou leau'ste thy purpose ill my mynde: if thou thine owne sorbeare,
Thou sparest him. Wherefore of this let Agamemnon heare
Be mynister: and Client eke of myne for such a deede,
Let Menelâus present bee: truth of th'uncertayne seede,
By such a pracktise may be tri'de: if it refuse they shall,
Nor of debate will bearers be, if they him vnckle call,
He is their father: let them goe. But much the fearefull face
Bewrayes it selfe: euen him that faynes the secret wayghty case,
Doth oft betray: let them therefore not know, how great a guyle
They goe about. And thou these things in secret keepe the whyle.
I neede not warned bee, for these within my bosome deepe,
Both fayth, and feare, but chiefely fayth, doth shet and closely kepe.
THe noble house at length of high renowne,
The famous stocke of auncient Inachus,
Apeasd & layd the threats of brethrē down
But nowe what fury styrs & driues you thus
Eche one to thyrst the others bloud agayne,
Or get by guylt the golden Mace in hande?
Yee litle wote that so desyre to raygne,
In what estate or place doth kyngdome stande.
Not ritches makes a kyng or high renowne,
Not garnisht weede wyth purple Tyrian die,
Not lofty lookes, or head encloasde with cr [...]wne,
Not glyttring beames with golde and turrets hie.
[Page] A Kyng he is that feare hath layde aside,
And all affects that in the breast are bread:
VVhom impotent ambition doth not guide,
Nor fickle fauour hath of people led.
Nor all that west in mettalls mynes hath founde,
Or chanell cleere of golden Tagus showes,
Nor all the grayne that thresshed is on grounde,
That with the heate of libyk haruest glowes.
Nor whom the flasshe of lightning flame shall be ate,
Nor eastern wynde that smightes vpon the seas,
Nor swelling surge with rage of vvynde repleate,
Or greedy Gulphe of Adria displease.
VVhom not the pricke of Souldiers sharpest speare,
Or poyncted pyke in hand hath made to rue,
Nor whom the glympse of swoorde myght cause to feare,
Or bright drawen blade of glyttring steele sub due.
VVho in the seate of safty sets his feete,
Beholdes all haps how vnder him they lye,
And gladly runnes his fat all day to meete,
Nor ought complaynes or grudgeth for to dye.
Though present vvere the Prynces euerychone,
The scattered Dakes to chase that vvonted bee,
That shyning seas beset with precious stone,
And red sea coastes doe holde, lyke bloud to see:
Or they vvhich els the Caspian mountaynes hye,
From Sarmats strong with all theyr power vvithholde:
Or hee that on the floude of Danubye,
In frost a foote to trauayle dare bee bolde:
Or Seres in vvhat euer place they lye,
Renownde with fleece that there of sylke doth spring,
[Page 27] They neuer might the truth here of denye,
It is the mynde that onely makes a king.
There is no neede of sturdie steedes in warre,
No neede with armes or arrowes ells to fight,
That Parthus woonts with bowe to fling from farre,
VVhyle from the fielde hee falsely fayneth flight.
Nor yet to siege no neede it is to bringe
Great Guns in Carts to ouerthrowe the wall,
That from farre of theyr battring Pellets slyng.
A kyng hee is that feareth nought at all.
Eche man him selfe this kyng dome geeues at hand.
Let who so lyst with mighty mace to raygne,
In tyckle toppe of court delight to stand
Let mee the sweete and quiet rest obtayne.
So set in place obscure and lowe degree,
Of pleasaunt rest I shall the sweetnesse knoe.
My lyfe vnknowne to them that noble bee,
Shall in the steppe of secret sylence goe.
Thus when my dayes at length are ouer past,
And tyme without all troublous tumult spent,
An aged man I shall depart at last,
In meane estate, to dye full well content.
But greeuous is to him the death, that when
So farre abroade the bruite of him is blowne,
That knowne hee is to much to other men:
Departeth yet vnto him selfe vnknowne.


Thyestes, Phylisthenes
MY countrey bowres s [...] long wisht for, and Argos rytches all,
Cytese good that vnto banisht then, and Mysers may befall,
The touch of suyle where born I was, a gods of natiue lād,
(If gods they be,) a sacred towres I see of Cycolps hād:
That represeat then all mans woorke, a greater maiesty.
Renowned stad [...]s to my youth, where noble sometime I
Haue not so seelde as once, the palme in fathers chariot woon.
All Argos now to meete with me, and people fast will roon:
But Atreus to. yet rather leade in woods agayne thy flight,
And bushes thicke, and hid among the brutyshe beastes from sight,
Lyke lyfe to theyrs: where splendent pompe of court a princely pryde,
May not with flattring fulgent face, allure thine eyes aside,
With whom the kingdome geuen is, behold, and well regarde,
Beset but late with such mishaps, as all men couate full harde,
I stoute and ioyfull was: but now agayne thus int feare
I am returne. my mynde misdoubtes, and backeward seekes to beare
My body hence: and forthe I draw my pace agaynst my will.
With slouthfull step (what meaneth this?) my father stādeth still,
And turnes his face and holdes him selfe, in doubt what thing to do.
What thing (my minde) con [...]drest thou? or els so long whereto
Do'st thou so easte counsayle wrest? wilt thou to thinges vnsure
Thy brother and the kingdome trust? fearst thou those ills t'endure
Now ouercome, and mielder made? and trauayls do'st thou flee
That well were plaste? it thee auayls, a myser now to bee.
Turne hence thy pace while leefull is, and keepe thee from his hande.
What cause thee driues (O father deere) thus rō thy natiue lande,
Now seene to shrynk? what makes thee thus frō things so good at last
Withdrawe thy selfe? thy brother comes whose tres be ouerpast,
And halfe the kyngdome geues, and of the house Dy [...]acerate,
Repayres the partes: and thee restores agayne to former state.
The cause of feare that I know not, thou do'st require to heare.
I see nothing that makes mee dread, and yet I greatly feare.
[Page 28] I would goe on, hut yet my limmes with weary legges doe slacke:
And other way then I would passe, I am withholden backe.
So oft the ship that driuen is with wynde and eke with Ore,
The swelling surge resisting both beates backe vpon the shore.
Yet ouercome what euer stayes, and thus doth let your mynde,
And see what are at your returne, prepar'de for you to finde.
You may O father raygne.
I may but then when die I mought.
Chiefe thing is powre.
nought worth at al, if thou desyre it nought.
You shall it to your children leaue.
the kingdome takes not twayne,
Who may be happy, rather would he myfer yet remayne?
Beleue me well, with titles false the great thinges vs delight:
And heauy haps in vayne are fearde. while high I stoode in sight,
I neuer stinted then to quake, and selfe same sworde to feare,
That hanged by myne owne side was. Oh how great good it were,
With none to striue, but careles foode to cate and rest to knowe?
The greater gyltes they enter not in cotage set alowe.
And safer foode is fed vpon, at narrowe boorde alway,
While drunke in golde the poyson is by proofe well taught I say,
That euill haps before the good to loue it likes my will.
Of haughty house that siandes aloft in tickle top of hyll,
And swayes asyde, the cyty lowe neede neuer be affright:
Nor in the top of roofe aboue, there shynes no Iuery bright,
Nor watchman noue defendes my sleepes by night, or gardes my rest:
With fleete I fishe not, nor the sees I haue not backwarde prest,
Nor turn'de to flight with builded wall: nor wicked belly I
With taxes of the people fed: nor parcell none doth lie,
Of ground of myne beyonde the Getes: and Parthians farre about:
Nor worshiped with frankinsence I am, nor (Ioue shet out)
My Aulters decked are: nor none in top of house doth stande
In garden treese, nor kindled yet with helpe of eche mans hande,
The bathes doe smoake: nor yet are dayes in slouthfull siumbers led,
Nor nightes past forth in watche and wyne, without the rest of bed.
Wee nothing feare, the house is safe without the hidden knyfe,
And poore estate the sweetenes feeles, of test and quiet lyfe.
Greate kindome is to be content, without the same to lyue.
Yet should it not refused be, if God the kingdome giue.
Not yet desierd it ought to be.
your brother byds you rayne.
Bids he? the more is to be fearde: there lurketh there some trayne.
From whence it fell, yet piety is woont to turne at length:
And loue vnfaynde, repayres agayne his erst omitted strength.
Doth Atreus then his brother loue? eche Vrsa fyrst on hys.
The Seas shall washe and swelling surge of Seas of Sicylye
Shall rest and all asswaged be: and corne to rypenes growe
In bottawe of Ionian seas, and barkest night shall showe
And spreade the light about the soyle: the waters with the fyre,
The lyfe with death, the wynde with seas, shall friendship first requyre,
And be at league.
of what deceipte are you so dreadfull here?
Of euerychone: what ende at length might I prouide of feare?
In all he can he hateth me.
to you what hurt can he?
As for my selfe I nothing dread you litle Babes make mee
Afrayde of him.
dread, yee to be deguilde when caught yee are:
To late it is to shoon the traytie in middle of the snare.
But goe we on this (father) is to you my last request.
I follow you. I leade you not.
God turne it to the best
That well deuised is for good: passe farth with cherefull pace.


Atreus, Thyestes.
ENtrapt in trayne the beast is caught
and in the snare doth fall:
Both him, and eke of hated stocke
with him the ofspryng all,
About the fathers syde I see:
and nowe in saufety stands
And surest ground my wrathfull hate:
nowe comes into my hands
At length Thyestes: yea hee comes
and all at once to mee.
I scant refrayne my selfe, and scant may anger brydled bee.
So when the Bloudhound feekes the beast, by step and quick of sent
Drawes in the leame, and pace by pace to wynde the wayes hee went,
With nose to soyle doth hunt, while he the Boare aloofe hath founde
Farre of by sent, he yet refraynes and wanders through the grounde
With silent mouth: but when at hand he once perceiues the pray,
With all the strength he hath he striues, with voyce and calls away
His lingring maister, and from him by force out breaketh hee.
When Ire doth hope the present bloud, it may not hydden bee.
Yet let it hydden be. beholde with vgly hayre to sight
How yrkesomely deform'de with filthe his fowlest tace is dight,
How lothsome lyes his Brarde vnkempt: but let vs friendship fayne.
To see my brother me delights: geue now to me agayne
Embracing long desyred for: what euer stryfe there was
Before this time betwene vs twayne, forget and let it pas:
Fro this day forth let brothers loue, let bloud, and lawe of kinde
Regarded be, let all debate be slakte in eythers mynde.
I coulde excuse my selfe, except thou wert as now thou art.
But (Atreus) now I graunt, the faulte was myne in euery part:
And I offended haue in all, my cause the worse to bee,
Your this dayes kindnes makes: in deede a guilty wight is hee,
[Page] That would so good a brother hurt as you, in any whit.
But now with teares I must entreate, and first I me submit.
These handes that at thy feete doe lye, doe thee beseeche and pray,
That yre and hate be layde aside, and from thy bosome may
Be scraped out: and cleere forgot. for pledges take thou these
O brother deere, these guiltles babes.
thy hands yet from my kneese
Remoue, and rather me to take in armes, vpon me fall
And yee O aydes of elders age, yee litle infants all,
Mee clyp and coll about the necke: this fowle attyre forsake,
And spare myne eyes that pity it, and fresher vesture take
Lyke myne to see. and you with ioy, the halfe of emperie
Deere brother take: the greater prayse shall come to mee thereby,
Our fathers seate to yelde to you, and brother to rel [...]eue.
To haue a kingdome is but chaunce, but vertue it to geeue.
A iust reward for such deserts, the Gods (O brother deare)
Repay to thee: but on my head a regall crowne to weare,
My lothsome lyfe denyes: and farre doth from the sceptor flee
My hand vnhappy: in the mydst let leefull be for mee
Of men to lurke.
this kingdome can with twayne full well agree.
What euer is (O brother) yours, I count it myne to bee.
Who would dame fortunes gifts refuse, if shee him [...]eyse to raigne?
The gyfts of hir eche man it wotes, how soone they passe againe.
Yee me depryue of glory great, except yee th'empyre take.
You haue your prayse in offring it, and I it to forsake.
And full perswaded to refuse the kingdome, am I still.
Except your part yee will susteine myne owne forsake I will.
I take it then. and beare I will the name thereof alone:
The ryghts and armes, as well as myne they shall be yours eche one.
The regall crowne as you beseemes vpon your head then take:
And I th'appoyncted sacrifice for Gods, will now goe make.
[Page 30]
WOulde any man it weene? that cruell wight
Atreus, of mynde so impotent to see
VVas soone astonied with his brothers sight,
Mo greater force then pietye may bee:
VVhere kynred is not, lasteth euery threat,
VVhom true loue holdes, it holdes eternally.
The vvrath but late vvith causes kyndled great
All fauour brake, and did to battayle cry,
VVhan horsemen did resouude one euery syde,
The swoordes eche vvhere, then glystred more & more:
VVhich raging Mars vvith often stroke did guide
The fresher bloud to shed yet thyrsting sore.
But loue the sworde agaynst theyr vvills doth swage,
And them to peace perswads vvith hand in hand.
So sodeyne rest, amid so great a rage
VVhat God hath made? throughout Mycenas land
The harnesse clynkt, but late of cyuill strife:
And for their babes did fearefull mother quake,
Her armed spouse to leese much fearde the vvyfe,
VVhen sworde vvas made the scabberde to forsake,
That now by rest vvith rust vvas ouergrowne.
Some to repayre the vvalles that did decay,
And some to strength the towres halfe ouerthrowne,
And some the gates vvith gyns of Yrne to stay
Full busie vvere, and dredfull vvatch by nyght
From turret high did ouerlooke the towne.
[Page] VVocrse is then warre it selfe the feare of fight.
(Nowe are the threats of cruell sworde layde downe,
And nowe the rumour whists of battayles sowne,
The noyse of crooked trumpet silent lyes,
And quiet peace returnes to ioyfull towne.
So when the waxes of swelling surge aryse,
VVhyle Corus wynde the Brutian seas doth smight,
And Scylla soundes from hollowe Caues within,
And Shipmen are with wafting waues affright,
Charybdis casts that erst it had drunke in:
And Cyclpos fierce his father yet doth dred,
In AEtna banke that feruent is with heates,
Least quenched be with waues that ouershed
The fire that from eternall Fornace beates:
And poore Laërtes thinkes his kyngdomes all
May drowned be, and Ithaca doth quake:
If once the force of wyndes begin to fall,
The sea lyth downe more mylde then standing lake.
The deepe, where Ships so vvyde full dredfull vvere
To passe, vvith sayles on eyther syde out spred
Now fallne adowne, the lesser Boate doth beare:
And leysure is to vewe the fyshes ded
Euen there, vvhere late vvith tempest bet vpon
The shaken Cyclades vvere vvith Seas agast.
No state endures the payne and pleasure, one
To other yeldes, and ioyes be soonest past.
One howre sets vp the thinges that lowest bee.
Hee that the crownes to prynces doth deuyde,
VVhom people please with bending of the knee.
And at whose becke theyr battayles lay aside
[Page 31] The Meades, and Indians eke to Phebus nye,
And Dakes that Parthyans doe with horsemen threat,
Him selfe yet holdes his Sceptors doubtfully.
And men of might he feares and chaunces great
(That eche estate may turne) and doubtfull howre.
Oyee, vvhom lorde of lande and vvaters wyde,
Of Lyfe and death grauntes here to haue the powre,
Lay yee your proude and lofty lookes aside:
VVhat your inferiour feares of you amis.
That your superiour threats to you agayne.
To greater kyng, eche kyng a subiect is.
VVhom dawne of day hath seene in pryde to raygne,
Hym ouerthrowne hath seene the euening late.
Let none reioyce to much that good hath got,
Let none dispayre of best in vvorst estate.
For Clotho myngles all, and suffreth not
Fortune to stande: but Fates about doth driue.
Such friendship finde wyth Gods yet no man myght,
That he the morowe might be sure to lyue.
The God our things all tost and turned quight
Rolles with a whyrle wynde.


Messenger. Chorus.
WHat whirlwynde may me headlong dryue
and vp in ayre mee fling,
And wrap in darkest cloude, whereby
it might so heynous thing,
Take from myne eyes? O wicked house
that euen of Pelops ought
And Tantalus abhorred bee.
what new thing hast thou brought?
What lande is this? lythe Sparta here
and Argos, that hath bred
So wicked brethern? and the ground of Corinth lying spred
Betweene the seas? or Ister else where woont to take their flight,
Are people wylde? or that which woonts with snowe to shyne so bright
Hircana lande? or els doe here the wandring Seythians dwell?
What monstrous mischiefe is this place then guilty of? that tell,
And this declare to vs at large what euer be the ill.
If once my mynde may stay it selfe, and quaking limmes I will.
But yet of such a cruell deede before myne eyes the feare.
And Image walkes: yee raging stormes now far from hence me beare
And to that place me drtue, to which now driuen is the day
Thus drawen from hence.
Our myndes yee holde yet still in doubt: full stay.
Tell what it is yee so abhorre. The author thereof showe.
I aske not who, but which of them that quickly let vs know.
In Pelops Turret high, a part there is of Pallece wyde
That towarde the south erected leanes, of which the vtter syde
With equall top to mountayne stantes, and on the City lies,
And people proude agaynst theyr prynce if once the traytors rise
Hath vnderneath his batiring stroke: there shynes the place in sight
Where woont the people to frequent, whose golden beames so bright
The noble spotted pillers gray, of marble doe supporte,
Within this place well knowen to men, where they so ost resorte,
[Page 32] To many other roomes about the noble court doth goe.
The priuie Palaice vnderlieth in secret place alos,
With ditch ful deepe that doth enclose the wood of priuiter,
And hidden parts of kyngdome olde: where neuer grew no tree
That chereful bowes is woont to beare, with knife or lopped be,
But Taxe, and Cypresse, and with tree of Ho [...]me ful blacke to see
Doth becke and bende the wood so darke: alofte aboue all theese
The higher oke doth ouer looke, surmounting all the treese.
From hens with lucke the raigne to take, accustom'd are the kyngs,
From hens in daunger ayd to aske, and doome in doubtfull things.
To this affixed are the gifts, the sounding Trumpets bright,
The Chariots broke, and spoyles of sea that now Mirtôon hight,
There hang the wheeles once won by crafte of falser axel tree,
And euery other conquests note, here leefullis to see
The Phrygian tyre of Pelops head: the spoyle of enmies heere,
And of Barbarian triumphe left, the paynted gorgeous geere.
A lothsome springe stands vnder shade, and slouthfull course doth take,
With water blacke: euen such as is: of yrkesome Stygian lake
The vgly waue whereby art wont, to sweare the gods on hye.
Here all the night the grisly ghosts and gods of death to erie
The fame reportes: with clinkyng chaynes resoūds the wood ech where
The sprights cry out and euery thinge that dredfull is to heare,
May there bee seene: of vgly shapes from olde Sepulchres sent
A frarefull slocke doth wander there, and in that place frequent
Worse things then euer yet were knowwne: ye all the wood full afce
With flame is woont to flash, and all the higher trees alofte
Without a fyre do burne: and ofte the wood beside all this
With triple barkyng roares at once: ful oft the palaice is
Affright with shapes, nor lighte of day may on the terrour quell.
Eternall night doth hold the place, and darknes there of hell
In mid day raignes: from hens to them that pray out of the ground
The certayne answers geuen are, what tyme with dredful sound
From secret place the fates be tolde, and dungeon roares within
While of the God breakes out the voyce: whereto when entred in
Fierce Atreus was, that did wyth him his brothers children trayle,
Dekt are the aulters: wh [...] (alas) may it enough bewayle?
Behynde the infants backs anone he knyt theyr noble hands,
And eke theyr heauy heads about he bound with purple bands:
There wanted there no Frankenfence, nor yet the holy wine,
Nor knyfe to cut the sacrifice, besprinkt with leuens fine,
[Page] Kept is in all the order due, Icast such a mischiefe gret
Should not be ordred well.
who doth his hand on sword then set?
He is him selfe the priest, and he himselfe the deadly verse
With prayer dyre from feruent mouth doth syng and oft reherse.
And he at th'aulters stands himselfe, he them assygn'de to dye
Doth handle, and in order set, and to the knyfe applye,
He lights the fyres, no rights were left of sacrifice vndone.
The woode then quakt, and all at once from trembling grounde anone
The Pallace beckt, in doubt which way the payse thereof woulde fall,
And shaking as in waues it stoode: from th'ayre and therewithall
A blasing starre that foulest trayne drew after him doth goe:
The wynes that in the fyres were cast, with chaunged licour floe,
And turne to bloud: and twyse or thryse th'attyre sell from his hed,
The Iuerye bright in Temples seem'de to weepe and teares to shed.
The sights amas'de all other men, but stedfast yet alway
Of mynde, vnmoued. Atreus stands, and euen the Gods doth fray
That threaten him and all delay forsaken by and by
To th' aulters turnes, and there withwall a syde he lookes awry.
As hungry Tygre wonts that doth in gangey woods remayne
With doubtfull pace to range & roame betweene the bullocks twayne,
Of eyther pray full-couetous and yet vncertayne where
She fyrst may byte, and roaring throate now turnes the tone to teare
And then to th'other strayght returnes, and doubtfull famyne holdes:
So Atreus dyre, betwene the babes doth stand and them beholdes
On whom he poynctes to slake his yre: first staughter where to make,
Hee doubts: or whom he shoulde agayne for second offring take,
Yet skills it nought, but yet he doubtes and such a cruelty
It him delightes to order well.
Whom take he syrst to dy?
First place, least in him thinke yee might no piere to remayne
To graundsier dedicated is, fyrst Tantalus is slayne.
With what a minde & count'nace, could ye boy his death sustayne?
All careles of him selfe he stoode, nor once he would in vayne
His prayers leese. But Atreus fierce the sword in him at last
In deepe and deadly wound doth hide to hilts, and gryping fast
His throate in hād, he thrust him through. The sword thē drawne away
When long the body had vphelde it selfe in doubtfull stay.
Which way to fall, at length vpon the vnckle downe it falles.
And then to th'aulters cruelly Philisthenes he tralles,
And on his brother throwes: and strayght his necke of cutteth hee.
The Carcase keadlong falles to ground: a piteous thing to see.
[Page] The mourning head with murmure yet vucertayne doth complayne.
What after double death doth he and slaughter then of twayne?
Spares he the Child? or gilt on gilt agayne yet heayeth he?
As long maynd Lyon scerce amid the wood of Armenie,
The droue pursues and conquest makes of slaughter many one,
Though now defyled be his tawes with bloud and hunger gone
Yet slaketh not his yreful rage with bloud of Bulles so great,
But slouthful now with weary tooth the lesser Calues doth threat:
None other wyse doth Atreus rage, and swelles with anger straynd,
And holding now the sword in hand, with double slaughter stayud,
Regarding not where fell his rage, with cursed hand vnmild
He strake it through his body quite, at bosome of the Child
The blade goeth in, and at the backe agayne out went the same,
He falles and quenching with his bloud the aulters sacred flame,
Of eyther wound at length he dieth.
O'heynous hateful act.
Abho [...]re ye this? ye heare not yet the end of all the fact,
There followes more.
A fiercer thing, or worse then this to see
Could Nature beare?
why thinke ye this of gylt the end to be?
It is but part.
what could he wore? to cruel beastes he cast
Perhappes their bodyes to be torne, and kept from fyres at last.
Would God he had: that neuer tombe the dead might ouer hyde,
Nor flames dissolue, though them for food to foules in pastures wyde
He had out throwen, or them for pray to cruell beastes would flinge.
That which the worst was wont to be, were here a wished thing,
That them their father saw vntowbd: but oh more cursed crime
Uncredible, the which denye will men ef after tyme:
From bosomes yet aliue out drawne the trembling bowels shake,
The vaynes yet breath, the scareful hart doth yet both pant and quakes
But he the stringes doth turne in hand, and destenies beholde,
And of the guttes the sygnes each one doth vewe not fully cold.
When him the sacrifyce had pleaso, his diligence [...]ē puttes
To dresse his brothers banquet now: and streight a fonder cuttes
The bodyes into quarters all, and by the stoompes anone
The shoulders wyde, and brawnes of armes be strikes of euerythune.
He layes abroad their naked limes, and cuts away the bones:
The onely heads he kepes and handes to him committed once.
Some of the guttes are broacht. and in the fyres that burne full [...]oe
They drop, the boyling Itcour some doth tomble to end froe
In moorning cawderne: from the flesh that ouerstandes alorft
The fyre doth flye, and skatter out and into chimney ofte
[Page] Up heat agayne, and there constraynd by force to tary yet
Unwilling burnes: the liuer makes great nopse vpon the spit,
Nor easely wot I, if the flesh, or fla [...]ies they be that bry,
But crye they do: the fyre like pitch it fumeth by an by:
Nor yet the smake it selfe so sad, like flithy miste in sight
Ascendeth vp as wont it is, nor takes his way vpright,
But euen the Gods and house it doth with fylithy turne defise.
O pacient Phoebus though from hence thou backeward flee the whyle,
And in the midst of heauen aboue dost drowne the broken day,
Thou fleest to late: the father eats his children, well away,
And limmes to which he once gaue life, with cursed iaw doth teare.
He shynes with oyntment shed ful sweete all round about his heare,
Replete with wyne; and aftentymes so cursed kynd of food
His mouth hath held, that would not downe. but yet this one thing good
In all thy yls (Thyestes) is that them thou dost not knoe,
And yet shal that not long andure, though Titan backward goe
And chariots turne agaynst himselfe, to meete the wayes be went,
And heauy night so heynous deede to keepe from sight be sent,
And out of tyme from East aryse, so foule a fact to hyde,
Yet shall the whole at length be seene: thy ylles shall all be spide.
[Page 34]
WHich way O Prince of landes and Gods on hie,
At whose vprise eftsones of shadowd night
All beawty fleeth, which way turnst thou awrye?
And drawest the day in midst of heauen to flight?
Why dost thou (Phoebus) hide from vs thy sight?
Not yet the watch that later howre bringes in,
Doth Vesper warne the Starres to kindle light.
Not yet doth turne of Hespers whele begin
To loase thy chare his well deserued way.
The trumpet third not yet hath blowen his blast
Whyle toward the night beginnes to yeld the day:
Great wonder hath of sodayne suppers hast
The Plowman yet whose Oxen are vntierd.
From woonted course of Heauen what drawes thee backs?
What causes haue from certayne race conspierd
To turne thy horse? do yet from dongeon black
Of hollow hell, the conquerd Gyantes proue
A fresh assaut? doth. Tityus yet assay
VVith trenched hart, and wounded wombe to moue
The former yres? or from the hil away
Hath now Typhoeus wound his syde by might?
Is vp to heauen the way erected hie
Of phlegrey foes by mountaynes set vpright?
And now doth Ossa Pelion ouerlye?
The wonted turnes are gone of day and night,
The ryse of Sunne, nor fall shal be no more,
Au [...]ora dowish mother of the light
That wontes to send the horses out before,
Doth wonder much agayne returne to see.
Her dawning light: she wots not how to case
[Page] The weary wheeles, nor manes that smoaking be
Of horse with sweate to bathe amid the seas.
Himselfe vnwonted there to lodge likewise,
Doth setting sonne agayne the morning see,
And now commaundes the darkenes vp to ryse.
Before the night to come prepared bee.
About the Poale yet glowth no fyre in sight.
Nor light Moone the shades doth comfort yet
What so it be, God graunt it be the night.
Our hartes do quake with feare oppressed gret.
And dreadfull are least heauen and earth and all
With fatall ruine shaken shall decay:
And least on Gods agayne, and men shall fall
Disfigurde Chaos: and the land away
The Seas, and Fyres, and of the glorious Skise
The wandring lampes, least nature yet shal hide.
Now shall no more with blase of his vprise,
The Lord of starres that leades the world so wyde,
Of Sommer both and Winter geue the markes.
Nor yet the Moone with Phoebus flames that burnes,
Shall take from vs by night the dreadful carkes,
With swifter course or passe her brothers turnes,
While compasse lesse she fets in croked race:
The Gods on heaps shal out of order fall,
And each with other mingled be in place.
The wryed vvay of holy planets all,
With path a slope that doth deuide the Zones.
That beares the sygnes, and yeares in course doth brynge,
Shall see the starres with him fall downe at ones.
And he that first not yet vvith gentle spring,
The temperate Gale doth geue to sayles, the Ramme
Shall headlong fall a dovvne to Seas agayne,
Through vvhich he once vvith fearefull Hellen svvam.
Next him the Bull that doth vvith horne sustayne
[Page 35] The systers seuen with him shall ouerturne
The twins and armes of croked Cancer all,
The Lyon hoat that wontes the soyle to burne
Of Hercules agayne from heauen shall fall.
To landes once left the Virgin shall be throwne,
And leueld payse of balance sway alow,
And draw with them the stinging Scorpion downe.
So likewyse he that holdes in Thessale bowe
His swift wel fethred arrowes Chiron old,
Shal breake the same and eke shal lese his shotte
And Capricorne that bringes the winter cold
Shall ouerturne and breake the water pot
VVho so thou be: and downe with thee to grounde,
The last of all the sygnes shal Pisces fall
And monsters eke in seas yet neuer drounde,
The water gulph shal ouerwhelme them all.
And he which doth betwene each vrsa glyde,
Lyke croked flood the slipper serpent twynde:
And lesser Beare by greater Dragons syde,
Full cold with frost congealed hard by kinde,
And carter dull that slowly guides his waine
Vnstable shall Boòtes fall from hye.
VVe are thought meete of all men whom agayn
Should hugy heape of Chaos ouerly.
And world oppresse with ouerturned masse
The latest age now falleth vs vppon.
VVith euil hap we are begot alas
If wretches we haue lost the sight of sonne,
Or him by fraught enforced haue to flye
Let our complayntes yet goe and feare be pasts
He greedy is of life, that wil not die
VVhen all the world shall end with him at last.


Atreus alone.
NOwe equall with the Starres I goe.
beyond each other wight,
With haughty heade the heauens aboue,
and highest Poale I smite,
The kingdome nowe, and seate I holde,
where once my father raynd:
I nowe lette goe the gods: for all
my wil I haue obsaynde
[...]aoughe and well, ye euen enough for me I am acquit
But why enough? I wil procede and fyl the father yet
With bloud of his least any shame should me restrayne at all,
The day is gone, go to therfore whyle thee the heauen doth call
Would God I could agaynst their wils yet hold the Goddes that flee
And of reuenging dish constrayne them witnesses to bee:
But yet (which wel enough is wrought) let it the father see.
In spighte of al the drowned day I will remoue from thee
The darknesse all, in shade wherof do lurke thy miseryes.
And guest at such a banquet now to long he careles lyes,
With mery face: now eate and drunke enough he hath at last
T'ys best him selfe should know his ylls ye seruauntes, all in hast
Vndoe the temple dores: and let the house bee open all:
Fayne would I see, when loke vppon his childrens heads he shal
What countenaunce he then would make, or in what woordes break out
Would first his griefe, or how would quake his body round about
With spright amased sore: of all my worke the fruite were this
I would him not a miser see, but while so made he is,
Behold the temple opened now doth shyne with many a light:
In glitteryng gold and purple seate he sitees hymselfe vpright,
And staying vp his heauy head with wyne vppon his hand.
He belcheth out, now chiefe of goddes in highest place I stand,
And king of kinges: I haue my wish, and more then I could thinke.
He filled is, he now the wyne in siluer volle doth drinke
And spare it not: there yet remaynes a worser draught for thee
[Page 36] That sprong out of the bodyes late of sacrifyces three,
Which wine shall hyde let the [...] withall the hoordes be taken vp.
The father (mingled with the wyne,) his childrens bloud shall sup.
That would haue bronke of myne. Behold he now beginnes to strayne
His voyce, and synges, nor yet for ioy his mynde be may refrayne,


Thiestes alone
OBeaten bosomes dullde so longe with woe,
Laie down your cares, at length your greues relē [...]
Let sorowe passe, and all your dread let goe,
And fellow eke of fearefull banishment,
Sad pouertye and ill in misery
The shame of cares, more whense thy fall thou haste,
Then whether skylles, great hap to him, from hye
That falles, it is in ferety to be plast
Beneath, and great it is to him agayne
That prest with storme, or euylls feeles the smart,
Of kyngedome loste the payses to sustaine
VVith necke vnbowde: nor yet detect of heart
Nor ouercome, his heauy haps alwayes
To beare vpright but now of carefull carkes
Shake of the showres, and of thy wretched dayes
Away with all the myserable markes.
To ioyfull state returne thy chearefull face.
Put fro thy mynde the olde Thyestes hence.
It is the woont of wight in wofull case,
In state of ioy to haue no confidence.
Though better haps to them returned be,
Thafflicted yet to ioy it yrketh sore.
VVhy calst thou me abacke, and hyndrest me
This happy day to celebrate? wherefore
[Page] Bidst thou me (sorrow) wepe without a cause.
VVho doth me let with flowers so fresh and gay,
To deeke my hayres? it lets and me withdrawes.
Downe from my head the roses fall away:
My moysted haire with oyntment ouer all,
VVith sodayne mase standes vp in wondrous wyse,
From face that would not weepe the streames do fall.
And howling cryes amid my wordes aryse.
My sorrowe yet thaccustomd teares doth loue
And wretches stil delyght to weepe and crye.
Vnpleasant playntes it pleaseth them to moue:
And florisht fayre it likes with Tyrian die
Their robes to rent, to waile it likes them still
For sorrow sendes (in signe that woes draw nic)
The mind that wots before of after yll.
The sturdy stormes the shipmen ouer lye.
VVhen voyd of wynd thasswaged seas do rest.
VVhat tumult yet or countenaunce to see
Makste thou mad man? at length a trustful breast
To brother gene, what euer now it be,
Causeles, or els to late thou art a dred.
I wretch would not so feare, but yet me drawes
A trembling terrour: downe myne eyes do shed
Their sodayne teares and yet I know no cause,
Is it a greefe, or feare? or els hath teares
[...] great ioy it selfe.


Atreus. Thyestes.
LEtte vs this daye with one consente
(O brother celebrate)
This daye my sceptors my confyrme,
and stablish my estate.
And faythfull bonde of peace and loue
betwene vs ratifye.
Enough with meate and eke with wyne,
now satisfyed am I.
But yet of all my ioyes it were a great encrease to mee,
If now about my syde I might my litle children see.
Beleeue that here euen in thyne armes thy children present be.
For here they are; and shalbe here, no part of them fro thee
Sal be withheld: their loued lookes now geue to thee I wil,
And with the heape of all his babes, the father fully fyll.
Thou shalt be glutted feare thou not: they with my boyes as yet
The ioyful sacrifyces make at borde where children sit.
They shalbe cald, the frendly cup now take of curtesy
With wyne vpfylde.
of brothers feast I take ful willingly
The fynal gyft, shed some to gods of this our fathers lande,
Then let the rest be dronke, what's this? in no wyse wil my hand
Obeye: the payse increaseth sore, and downe myne arme doth sway.
And from my lippes the wafting wyne it selfe doth flye away,
And in deceiued mouth, about my iawes it rūneth rounde.
The table to, it selfe doth shake and leape from trembling ground.
Scant burnes the fyre: the ayre it selfe with heauy chere to slght
Forsooke of sonne amased is betweene the day and night.
What meaneth this? yet more and more of backward beaten skye
The compas falles, and thicker myst the world doth ouerly
Then blackest darkenes, and the night in night it selfe doth hyde.
All starres be fled, what so it bee my brother God prouyde
And soones to spare: the Gods so graunt that a [...]l this testmpest fall
On this vyle head: but now restore to me my childreu all,
I wil, and neuer day agayne shal them from thee withdraw,
What tumult tumbleth so my guttes, and doth my bowels gnaw?
[Page] What quakes within, with heauy payse I feele my selfe opprest,
And with an other voyce then myne bewayses my doleful brest:
Come nere my sonnes, for you now doth thun happy father call:
Come nere, for you once seene, this griefe would soone asswage & fall
Whence murmure they? [...] fathers at [...] embrace them quickly now
For here they are loe come to thee: dost thou thy children know?
I know my brother: such a gylt yet canst thou suffet well
O earth to beare? nor yet from hence to Stygian lake of hell
Dost thou both drowne thy selle and vs? nor yet with broaken ground
Dost thou these kingdomes and their king with Chaos rude confounde?
Nor yet vprenting from the soyle the bowres of wicked land.
Dost thou Micenas ouerturne with Tantalus to stand,
And aunciters of ours, if there in hel be any one,
Now ought we both: now from the frames on eyther syde anone
Of ground, all here and there rent vp out of thy bosome depe:
Thy dens and dungons set abrode, and vs enclosed keepe,
In bottome low of Acheront aboue our heds aloft
Let wander all the gylty ghostes, with burning frete ful oft
Let fyry Phlegethon that driues his sands both to and fro
To our confusion ouer roon und vyolently flow
O slothful soyle vnshaken payse vn [...] yet art thou?
The Gods are sled:
but take to thee with ioy thy children now,
And rather them enbrace: at length thy children all of thee
So long wisht for (for no delay there standeth now in mee)
Enioy and kisse embracing armes deuyde thou vnto three.
Is this thy league? may this thy loue and fayth of brother bee?
And doost thou so repose thy hate? the father doth not craue
His sonnes aliue (which might haue bene without thy gylt) to haue
And eke without thy hate, but this doth brother brother pray:
That them he may entoom be restore, whom see thou shalt strayght waye,
Be burnt: the father naught requires of thee that haue he shall,
But soone forgoe
what euer part r [...]t of thy children all
Remaynes, here shalt thou haue: and what remayneth not thou host.
Lye they in fieldes, a food out fleng for fleerug sowles to wast [...]
Or are they kept a pray, for wyld and brutish beasten to eate?
Thou hast deaourd thy sonnes and fyld thy selfe with wicked meat.
Oh this is it that sham'de the Gods and day from hence did dryue
Turn'd back to east, alas I wretch what waylinges may I geue?
Or what complayntes? what woeful woordes may be enough for mee?
Their heads cut of, and handes of torne, I from their bodres see,
[Page 38] And wrenched seete from broken thighes I here behold agayn
Tys this that greedy father could not suffer to sustayne.
In belly roll my bowels round, and cloased cryme so great
Without a passage stryues within and seekes away to get.
Thy sword (O brother) leud to me much of my bloud alas
It hath: let vs therwith make way for all my sonnes to passe.
Is yet the sword from me withheld? thy selfe thy bosomes teare,
And let thy brestes resound with stroakes: yet wretch thy hand forbeare
And spare the deade: who euer saw such mischiefe put in proofe?
What rude Heniochus that dwels by ragged coast aloofe,
Of Caucasus vnapt for men? or feare to Athens,, who
Procustes wyld? the father I oppresse my children do
And am opprest, is any meane of gylt or mischiefe yet?
A meane in mischiefe ought to be when gylt thou dost commit,
Not when thou quytst: for yet euen this to litle seemes to me.
The blood yet warme euen from the wound I should in sight of thes
Euen in thy lawes haue shed, that thou the bloud of them mightst drinke
That lyued yet: but whyle to much to hast my hate I thinke
My wrath beguyled is my selfe with sword the woundes them gaue
I strake them downe, the sacred fyres with slaughter vowde I haue
Wel pleaso, the carcase cutting then, and liueles lymmes on grounde.
I haue in litle parcels chopt, and some of them I brounde
In boyling cauderns, some to fyres that burnte ful slow I put,
And made to droppe: their synewes all, and limmes a two I cut
Euen yet alyue and on the spitte, that thrust was through the same
I harde the liuer wayle and crye, and with my hand the flame:
I otf kept in: but euery whit the father might of this
Haue better done, but now my wrath to lightly ended is.
He rent his sonnes with wicked gumme, himselfe yet wotting naught.
Nor they therof
O ye encloas'd with bending bankes abought
All seas me heare, and to this gylt ye Gods now harken well
What euer place ye fled are to here all ye sprites of hel,
And here ye landes, and night so darke that them dost ouerly
With clowde so blacke to my complayntes do than thy selfe apply.
To thee now left I am, thou dost alone me miser see,
And thou art left without thy starres: I wil not make for me
Peticions yet, nor ought for me require may ought yet bee
That me should vayle? for you shal all my wishes now foresee.
Thou guyder great of skyes aboue, & prince of highest might,
Of heauenly place now all with cloudes ful horrible to sight,
[Page] Enwrap the worlde, and let the wyndes on euery syde breake out:
And send the dredfull thunder clap through al the world about
Nor with what hand thou gyltes house and vndeserued wall
With lesser bolt are wonte to beate, but with the which did fall
The three vnheaped mountaynes once and which to hils in height
Stoode equall vp, the gyantes huge: throuw out such weapons streight,
And flyng thy fires: and therwithall reuenge the drowned day.
Let flee they flames, the light thus lost and hid from heauen away,
With flashes fyll: the cause (lest long thou shouldst doubte whom to hit)
Of ech of vs is ill: if not at least let myne be it.
Me strike with tryple edged toole thy brande of flaminge fyre.
Beate through this breast: if father I my children to desyre
To lay in tombe or corpses cast to fyre as doth behoue,
I must be burnt if nothing now the gods to wrath may moue,
Nor powre from skies with thunder bolt none strikes the wicked men
Let yet eternall night remayne, and hyde with darknes then
The world about: I, Titan naught complayne as now it standes
If stil thou hyde thee thus away.
now prayse I well my handes.
Now got I haue the palme. I had bene ouercome of thee,
Except thou sorrow'dst so but now euen children borne to mee
I compt and now of bridebed chast the sayth I do repayre,
In what offended haue my sous:
In that, that thyne they were
Setst thou the sonnes for fathers foode?
I do & (which is best)
The certayne sonnes,
The gods that guyde all infantes I protest.
What wedlock gods?
who would the gilt wt gylt so quite again?
I know thy greefe preuented now with wrong thou dost complayne:
Nor this thee yrkes, that sed thou art with food of cursed kind,
But that thou hadst not it prepared for so it was thy mynd,
Such meates as these to set before thy brother wotting naught,
And by the mothers helpe to haue, likewyse my children caught:
And them with such like to slay: this one thing letted thee,
Thou thought'st them thine.
the gods shall al of this reuengers be
And vnto them for vengeance due my vowes thee render shall
But vext to be I thee the whyte, geeue to thy children all.

THE FOVRTH SCENE, Added to the Tragedy by the Translatour.

Thyestes alone.
O Kyng of Dytis dungeou darke,
and g [...]ysty Ghosts of hell,
That in the deepe and dre adfull Denne,
of blackest Tarrace dwell.
Where leane and pale dyseases lye
where feare and samyne are,
Where discord stands with bleeding browes,
where euery kynde of care,
Where furies fight in beds of steele, and heares of crauling snakes,
Where Gorgon grimme, where Harpyes are, & lothsome Lymbo lakes,
Where most prodigious vgly thinges, the hollowe hell doth byde.
If yet a mouster more myshapt then all that there doe hyde,
That makes his broode his cursed foode, yee all abhorre to see,
Nor yet the deepe Auerne it selfe, may byde to couer mee,
Nor grisly gates of Putoes place, yet dare them selues to spred,
Nor gaying grounde to swallowe him, whom Gods and day haue sled:
Yet breake yee out from cursed seates, and heere remayne with mee,
Yee neede not now to be affrayde, the Ayre and Heauen to see.
Nor triple headed Cerberus, thou needst not bee affryght,
The day vnknowne to thee to see or els the lothsome lyght.
They both be sled: and now doth dwell none other count'naunce heere,
Then doth beneath the fowlest face, of hatefull hell appeete.
Come see a meetest match for thee, a more then monstrous wombe,
That is of his vnhappy broode, become a cursed tombe.
Flocke here yee fowlest flendes of hell, and thou O graundsyre greate,
Come see the glutted guts of myne, with such a kinde of meate,
As thou didst once for Gods prepare. Let torments all of hel
Now fall vppon this hatefull head, that hath deserude them well.
Yee all be plagued wrongfully, your guiltes be small, in sight
Of myne, and meete it were your pange on me alone should light.
Now thou O graundster guiltlesse arte, and meeter were for mee,
With fleeing floud to be beguilde, and fruite of fickle tree.
[Page] Thou slewst thy sonne, but I my sonnes, alas, haue made my meate.
I coulde thy famyne better beare, my paūch is now repleate
With foode: and with my children three, my belly is extent.
O filthy fowles and gnawyng gripes, that Tytius be some rent
Beholde a fitter pray for you, to fill your selues vppone
Then are the growing guts of him: foure wombes enwrapt in one.
This paūche at once shall stll you all: if yee abhorre the foode,
Nor may your selues abide to bathe, in such a cursed bloode:
Yet lend to me your clinching clawes, your pray a while forbeare,
And with your tallons suffer mee, this monstrous mawe to teare.
Or whirling wheeles, with swinge of which Ixion still is rolde,
Your bookes vpon this glutten gorge, would catche a surer holde.
Thou filthy floud of Lym bo lake, and S [...]ygian poole so dyre,
From chocked chanell belche abrode. Thou fearefull freate of fyre,
Spue out thy flames O Phlegethon: and ouershed the grounde.
With vomit of thy fyry streame, let me and earth be drownde,
Breake vp thou soyle from bottome deepe, and geue thou roome to hell,
That night, where day, y ghosts, where Gods were woōt to raigne, may dwel.
Why gapst thou not? Why do you not O gates of hell vnfolde?
Why do yee thus thinfernall stendes, so long from hence withholde?
Are you likewyse affrayde to see, and knowe so wretched wight,
From whom the Gods haue wryde theyr lookes, & turned are to flight?
O hatefull head, whom heauen and hell, haue shoonde and left alone,
The Sunne, the starres, the light, the day, the Gods, the ghosts be goue.
Yet turne agayne yee Skyes a while, ere quight yee goe fro mee,
Take vengeance fyrst on him, whose faulte enforceth you to flee.
If needes yee must your flight prepare, and may no longer bide,
But rolle yee must with you forthwt, the Gods and Sunne a syde,
Yet slowly flee: that I at length, may you yet ouertake,
While wandring wayes I after you, and speedy iorney make.
By seas, by lands, by woods, by rocks, in darke I wander shall:
And on your wrath, for right rewarde to due des [...]rts, will call.
Yee scape not fro me, so yee Gods, still after you I goe,
And vengeaunce aske on wicked wight, your thunder bolte to throe.

THE THYRD TRA­GEDY OF L. ANN AEVS Seneca: entituled Thebais, trans­lated out of Latin into En­glishe, by Thomas Newton. 1581.

The Argument.

LAIVS King of Thebes, hadde by his Wyfe and Queene IOCASTA, a Sonne named OEDI­PVS: Who being yet in his Mothers Wombe, APOLLO his Oracle pronounced, that by the handes of that childe, King LAIVS the father should bee murthered. The feare whereof caused the King to commaūd him to be put to death. The Kinges heardman, who had the charge to see this done, on thone side mooued with compassi­on ouer a tender weakeling: and on the otherside, afraid to in­curre the King his maisters displeasure, contented himselfe onely to boare two hoales through the Infants two feete, and with certayne plyable Twigges beinge thrust through the same, hong him vp on a tree by the Heeles: supposing that heereby hee should cōmit a lesse crime in suffring the childe to perishe by famine, then in playing the Butcher himsefe. It fortuned, that one PHORBAS heardman to POLYBI­VS King of Corynth, passing by that way & hearing a yong Childe cyre, went and cut him downe, and caryinge him to Corynth, it so fell out that at length hee was giuen for a pre­sent [Page] or gyft to MEROPE, Wyfe to the said King POLY­BVS. This OEDIPVS afterward going to Thebes, in a certayne sedicious hurly burly in the countrey there, vna­wares and vnwitting slewe King LAIVS his Father. About which tyme the City of Thebes, and Countrey there about was meruelously infested with a monster called Sphinx: who propounding a certaine Riddle, or obscure question to such as passed that vvay, and deuouringe as many, as coulde not assoyle the same. To him that coulde assoile it and so rid the Countrey from that so vgly and daūgerous a monster, the mariage of Queene IOCASTA, and the kingdome of The­bes was promysed as a recompence: OEDIPVS after ma­ny others, taking the matter in hand, assoyled the Ryddle, & slew the mōster. Whereupō marying the Queene, not know­ing her to bee his owne Mother, had by her foure Chyldren: ETHEOCLES, POLYNICES, ANTIGONE, & ISMENE. In the end, hauing knowledg, how first hee had kylled his Father, and then incestuously maryed his Mother, hee forsooke his kingdome being continually infested wyth the plague, & (as one ashamed to loke any man in theface) pul­led out his own Eyes, and hid himselfe in corners and solitary places. His Sonnes ETHEOCLES & POLYNICES agreed to raigne enterchaungeably, that is to wit, ETHE­OCLES, one yeare, and POLYNICES the other. E­THEOCLES hauing raigned his yeare, refused according to the articles of agrement, to resigne the Crowne to his bro­ther for the next yeare. Whereupō they fel to mortal warres, and in the end meaning by combat to ende the matter, they mutually slew one the other. And note that this Tra­gedy, was left by the Authour vnperfect, because it ney­ther hath in it, Chorus, ne yet the fifth Acte.

The names of the speakers.
  • OEdipus.
  • Nuntius.
  • Antigone.
  • Iocasta.


OEdipus. Antigone.
DEare Daughter, vnto Father blynde
a Staffe of steady stay,
To weary Syre, a comfort greate,
and Guide in all his way:
And whom to haue begotten, I
may glad and ioyfull bee:
Yet leaue me now, thy haplesse Syre,
thus plungde in misery.
Why seekst thou meanes, still to direct
my stalking steppes aright?
Let mee I pray thee headlong slyde
in breaknecke tumbling plight.
I better shall and sooner fynde a way my selfe alone
To rid mee out of all the thrall wherein I now am throwne.
Whereby both heauen shall eased bee, and earth shall want the sight
Of mee vile wretch, whom, guilt hath made a most abhorred wight.
Alas, what litle triffling tricke hath hitherto bene wrought
By these my hands? what feate of worth or maistry haue I sought?
In deede, they haue me helpt to pull myne eyes out of my head:
So that ne Sunne, ne Moone I see, but life in darknesse lead.
And though that I can nothing see, yet is my guilt and cryme
Both seene and knowne, & poyneted at, (woe worth the cursed tyme.)
Leaue of thy hold, let lose thy hand, good daughter, let mee goe:
Let foultring foote light where it will, let it (this once) be so.
Ile trudge, and runne, Ile skudde, and raunge, Ile hasten to the hill
Of craggy stiepe Cytheron, there I hope to worke my will.
Where earst Actaeon lost his lyfe by straunge, and vncouth death,
Whom vawling Dogges, and hunting Hounds bereft of vitall breath:
Where once Agaue (bedlemlike) raungd vp and downe the woode
With Systers hers, enspired all with Bacchus raging moode.
And pleasing well her selfe in that her fact and mischiefe donne,
Pitcht on a Poale the grisly head of him that was her Sonne.
[Page] Where Zethus with his ruffling Crew of Gallantes young and stoute
Dragd, hald, and puld, the hateful corps of Dirce, all aboute.
Where bushie bloudied brambles show which way the Bull her drew:
Nere where dame Ino from a Rocke her selfe in Sea downe threw.
So that poore mother though she ment t'auoyde one fault by flight:
Yet she therby a worse procu [...]'d, while like a s [...]rly wight
She bother selfe and eke her sonne from Scyron hurled downe
Entending both her selfe and him in foaming Sea to drowne.
Oh happy, yea thryse happy they, that had so good an bap:
And whom such mothers pitiful carst daudled in theyr lap.
Yea yet there is in these same woods an other place to mee
Thats due by right, and rightly may me challenge as his fee.
Where I am Infant out was layed, al Fortunes to abide:
I thyther wil direct my course of try what may betyde.
Ile neither stop ne stay til that I be arryued there,
For guyde I recke not, neyther force for Stumbling any where.
Why stay I thus like dastard drudge to hasten vnto it?
Sith wel I know it lotted is to be my graue and Pit?
Let me myne owne Cytheron mount enioy in quiet state,
It is myne old and auncient bower, appoynted me by fate.
I pray thee be not discontent that I should (aged) die,
Euen there, where life I should haue lost in pueling infancy.
I yeild me heere with willing hart vnto those tortures all
That earst to me were due, and which to others haue befall:
To thee I speake O bloudy mount, fierce, cruel, styepe and fell,
As well in that thou sparest some, as that thou some dost quell.
This c [...]rton corps, this sinful soule, this carcasse here of myne
Long tyme agone by right good Law and propertye is thine.
Now yet at length perfourme the hest that earst enioyned was
To thee by those my parentes both, now bring their doome to passe.
My hart euen longeth till I may s [...] fully sati [...]y
By this my death that their decree, that glad I am to die.
Ah Daughter, Daughter, why wouldst thou thus keepe mee gaynst my mynd?
In this so vile incestuous loue? thou art but now to kind.
Oh stay me not I thee desire, behold, behold, I heare
My Fathers ghost to bidde me come apace, and not to feare.
O Father myne I come, I come, now father ceasse thy rage:
I know (alas) how I abus'd my Fathers hoary age:
Who had to name King Laius: how hee doth fret and frye
To see such lewd disparagement: a [...]d none to blame but I.
[Page 42] Wherby the Crowne vsurped is, and he by murther slayne.
And Bastardly incestuous broode in Kingly throne remayne.
And lo [...], dost thou not playnly see, how he my panting Ghost
With raking pawes doth hale and pull, which grieues my conscience most?
Dost thou not see how he my face bescratcheth tyrant wyse?
Tel mee (my Daughter) hast thou seene Ghostes in such griefly guyse?
Antig I see & marke each thing ful well. Good father leaue this mind.
And take a better if you can: from this your selfe vnwynd.
O what a beastly cowardise is in this breast of myne?
Was I so stout and venturous in pulling out myne Eyen?
And shall all courage be employd agaynst one onely part
Of Body, and from other partes shall valour wholly start?
Let none of all these puling trickes nor any faint excuse
Thus daunt thy sprites, let no delay to basenes thee enduce:
Dispatch at once, why lingre I, as one thats loth to dye?
Why liue I? ist because I can no longer mischieues trye?
Yes that I can, wretch though I be: and therfore tel I thee,
Deare Daughter, that the sooner thou mightst hence depart from mee.
Depart a mayd and Virgin hence, for feare of after claps:
Since villany to Mother shewde, its good to doubt mishaps.
No force, no power, no violence, shall make me to withdraw
My duty vnto thee my Syre, to whom I vow myne awe.
I will not be disseuered, ne pulled from thy syde.
I will assist thee, whyle that breath shal in this Breast abyde.
My Brothers twayne let them contend, and fight for Princelye swaye
Of wealthy Thebes: where whilom raignd King Labdacke many a day.
The greatest share and portion that I do loke to haue
Out of my Fathers Kingdome, is my Fathers lyfe to saue.
Him neither shall Etheocles my elder brother take
Away from mee, who now by force the Thebane realme doth rake.
Ne Polynices, who as now is Mustring men apace.
From Argos Land: with ful entent his brother to displace.
No, though y world went all on wheeles: though Ioue should frō aboue
Hurle flashing flakes vpon the Earth, all shall not quayle my loue.
No, though his thumping thunderbolt (when wee togeather stand)
Should light betweene vs, where as we are plighted hand in hand)
Yet wil I neuer thee forsake, but held my handfast still:
Therefore its boateles father deare, to counter [...]aund my will
In this my full resolued mynd. Forbid me if you please.
But surely I will be your guide in weale, woe, dole, & case.
[Page] And maugre al your sharpe reprofes (though much against your mind)
I wil direct your steppes and gate, that you your way may fynd:
Through thick & thinne, through rough and smoth I wil be at an ynch
In hill and dale, in wood & groue, Ile serue at eu'ry pinch.
If that you goe where daunger lies, and seeke your owne annoy,
You shall wel proue, that I to leade the daunce wil not be coy.
Aduyse your selfe therfore, of twayne to which I guyde shall be:
My count is cast, I am ful bent with you to liue and die.
Without me perish can you not: but with me, wel you may,
It booteth not, in other sort to moue me ought to saye.
Here is an huyge Promontory that elboes into Sea
Let vs from thence throw downe our selues, and worke our last decay,
If that ye wil. Here also is a flinty Rocke besyde,
Which if you please shal serue our turnes: Heere beaten with the tyde
Bee craggy Cliffes, let's goe to them: Here runnes a gulphy streame
With force afore it dryuing stones as bigge as mountaine beame.
What say you? shall wee drench our selues within this fomy Flood?
Goe where you wil, take which you list, do as you deeme it good.
Conditionally that I may first receyue the wound of death:
I recke no whit, I ready stand to yeld vp vitall breath.
I neyther draw you to nor froe: but euen as best you thinke
So doe, so deale. Would you so fayne Deathes bitter cup to drinke?
My lord and Father, take you death so greate a boone to bee?
If that you dye (this I assure) die first you shall me see.
If life in shew more pleasaunt seme, if so you rather chuse,
I am to wayte vpon you still and neuer will refuse.
But chaunge this mynde wherein you rest, take hart a grace, and show
The noble magnanimity that earst in you did flow:
Resist these panges, subdue these dumpes by valour of the mynd,
Let manly courage qualify these your affections blynd.
Tis great dishonor thus to yeeld your selfe to dolor thrall,
No storme of aduerse hap thus ought a Princes hart t'appall.
This geare surmounteth far the reach of my capacity:
I am astonn'd, I feele my selfe rapt with an extasie,
Is this not wonder of so lewd, and of so curst a tree
Such fruite to grow? of graceles Syre so good a child to see?
Is it not straunge that in a house distaynd in villany
Such noble shew of towardnes and vertuous gyftes should lye?
Let me some speach to thee direct, dame Fortune: how haps this
That here my daughter so vnlike to wretched father is?
[Page 43] Degenerating from his steps, and with such vertue fraught,
As in her Fathers cursed house she neuer yet was taught?
Is it (I pray thee) credible, that out of [...]ie should s [...]ring
Such yssue, as should geuen be to any honest thinge?
No truely, no: it cannot bee (my fates ful well I know)
None such, (vnlesse to doe me scart and mischiefe) would be so.
T'encrease the heape of myne annoy no straunge effect shall want.
Dame Nature in her Creatures wil new affectes emplant.
The Ryuer shall returne his course to Fountayne backe agayne,
Dan Phoebus Lamp shall bring the Night, and Night shal day remain,
So that my grieuous miseryes with surplusage may grow.
But be as tis: I for a whyle wil play my part also,
And shew some sparke of piety, my fault to counteruayle:
With murtdroue knife, my woeful dayes to end I wil not fayle.
The onely helpe for Oedipus, the onely safe [...]y is
To ridde himselfe, and so redeeme that Hellish fact of his.
Let mee take vengeance on my selfe for wronges to father donne,
Whose Death is yet vnexp [...]ate, by mee his cursed sonne.
Why dost thou shake and tremble thus thou hand, not good for ought?
Why flaggrest thou to stabbe him in, who Syre to spoyle hath brought?
That punishment which hether [...]o by pulling out myne eyes
Thou hast inflicted on me, is but as a sacrifyce,
Or guerdon due for villany which I committed haue
With mother myne. Now Daughter sloute, leaue of pretences braue,
Alledge no g [...]oses: but with speede let goe thy Fathers hand:
Thou mak'st me die a lingring death within this loathed land.
Thou thinkst I am aliue, but I am dead long while agoe:
To this my hateful Corps at length the rytes of Buriall show.
Thou meanest well, (I know) but yet therin thou dost offend:
Though colour for thy piety I see thou dost pretend.
But piety it canot be, to dragge thus vp and downe
Thy Fathrs Corpes vnburied through City, Field, and Towne.
For bee that doth enforce a man agaynst his will to dye:
And he that stayeth him that would fayne dye, most willingly,
Are both alike in equall fault, and stand in egall plight.
To hinder one that would be dead is m [...]h bring h [...]n [...]ou [...]right.
Yet not so great as thother is. I would be more content
To haue my death commaunded me, then from me to be [...]ent.
Desist from this thy purpose (Mayd) my lyfe and death both are
To dispose at my liberty, with choyse to spill or spare,
[Page] I willingly res [...]gnd the Crowne of Thebane soyle: yet I
Do still retaine vpon my selfe the entyre Soueraygntye▪
If I may make accompt of thee as of a trusty feare,
And true compagnion at assayes: deliuer euen heere
Into thy Fathers hand a Sweard: but tell me, dost thou reach
The Sword embrewd in fathers bloud, wherewith my sonnes empeach
The course of Law, possessing it and kingdome all by force?
Where so it is doubt is there none, but cleane without remorse
There bee the F [...]dgates opned wyde, to al licencious lust.
And thriftlesse trades: I al my clayme therein do rake in dust,
And cleane forsake. Let both my Sonnes by Legacy enioy
The same, wherewith they surely shall contriue non smal annoy.
For mee pyle rather vp a stacke of wood set all on fyre,
That I therein may thrust my selfe: that is my chiefe desyre:
And make an end at once of all this carrion Tarkasse vyle.
Where is the surging wau [...]s Sea? why stay I all this whyle?
Bring mee to some stiepe breaknecke fall: bring me where Ismene flood
With swift and horned course doth run [...], bring me wheras my blood.
With goaryng push of sauage beastes may out be let at once.
To some Gulfe bring me, where the fall and tide may crush my Bones.
If needes thou wilt my guyde remayne, as oft thou dost me tell)
Bring me that am dispos'd to dye, where Sphiox that Monster fell
With double shape apposed them that passed by the way,
Propounding Riddles intricate, and after did them slay.
There would I bee, that place I seeke: thy Father thyther bring
Into that Monsters Cabin dire thy Monstrous Father fling.
That though that Monster be dispatcht, the place may bee supplyde
With one as badde or worse then bee: there wil I farre and wyde
In tearmes obscure report and tell my heauy lucklesse lot.
The misteries whereof the bearers, v [...]derstandeth not.
Geue eare to that which I shal speake, marke thou Assyrian borne,
Consider this thou Thebane, where Duke Cadmus men were torne
And slayne in wood by Serpentes rage: where Dirce seely trull
In humble sort at Aulter lies: aduert my tale at full
Thou, that in Lacedaemon dwelles, and honorst Castors grace,
And Pollux eake, two brethren twynnes. Fynd out this doubtful case.
Or thou that dwelst in Elis towne or by Parnassus hill,
Or thou that till'st Baeotia ground, there reaping gayne at wil.
Hearke, listen well, and flatly say, if euer heretofore
That murdrous monster Sphinx of Thebes that men in peeces tore,
[Page 44] In all his riddles askt the like, or of so straunge a sort?
Or whether so insolubly his termes he cold report?
The Sonne in Lavv to Graundfather, the Riual of his Syre:
The Brother of his litle Babes: to Brethren, father dire:
The Graundmother at euery byrth to Husband (graceles Elfe)
Brought forth a Sonne or Daughter, vvhich vvas Nephevv to her selfe.
How say you Syrs, in Ryddle darke, who hath so good insight,
That able is the sense hereof t'vnfold and tell aryght?
As for my selfe, although the Sphinx I whylome put to foyle:
Yet myne owne heauy destenie I scarcely can assoyle.
Why dost thou (Daughter) labour loose in vsyng further speech?
To alter this my stony hart why dost thou mee beseech?
I tel thee playne. I fully meane this bloud of mynt to spill.
That long with Death hath struggling kept: and thereupon I will
Descend to darke infernall Lake: for this same darknes blynd
Of both myne eyes is nothing such, as fact of myne should fynd.
It were my Blisse to bee in Hell in deepest dungeon fast:
Now that which should long since haue bene, I wil perfourme at last.
I cannot be debard from Death: wilt thou deny me glaue
Or Sword, or knife? wilt thou no toole for mischiefe let me haue?
Wilt thou both watch and ward each way, where daūger lies in wayte?
Shall such a sinful Caytife wretch as I, be kepe so straite?
Wilt thou not suffer me with Coard to breake my hatefull Necke?
Canst thou kepe mee from poysonous herbes? hast thou them al at beck?
What shall it thee preuayle to take for mee such earnest care?
Death ech where is: and wayes to death in thousand corners are.
Herein hath God good order tane, that euery felie Foe,
May take away an others life, but Death hee cannot so.
I seeke not anye toole to haue: this desprate mynd of myne
Can vse the seruice of my hand, my threede of lyfe t'vntwine.
Now hand, thy maister at a pinch assist to worke his feate,
Helpe him with all thy power and strength, t'exployt his purpose great.
I poynt thee not in this my Corps vnto one place alone:
Alas, each part of me with guilt is plaunch and ouergrowne.
In which soeuer part thou wilt, thy Massacre beginne,
And seeke to bring me to my death which way thou mayst it winne.
In pieces crush this body all, this hart that harbors sinne
Pluck out, out all my entrailes pull, proceede, and neuer linne
To gash and cut my wezand pype. My vaynes asender scratch,
And make the Bloud come spowting out, or vse that other match,
[Page] Which heretofore thou vsed haste: digge where myne eyes earst stood:
And let these woundes gush out apace much mattry filth and blood.
Hale o [...]t of mee this loathed soule that is so hard and stout:
And thou deare father Laius stand vp and looke about:
Behold where euer that thou standst: I Vmpyre doe the make,
And eyed Iudge of all my plagues that iustly heere I take.
My Fact so lewde, so horrible, so loathsome to bee tolde
I neuer thought with any pryce or tormentes manifolde
Could haue full expiation: ne thought I it inough
To die this death: or in one part to be beslasshed through.
By piecemeale I am well content to suffer tormentes all
And euen by piecemeale for to die: for plagues to plague mee call.
Exact the punishment that's due: I heere most ready stand
To satis [...]e with any death that law and righte hath scand.
My former smartes, when as mine eyes I raked out with pawes,
Were but as tastes of sacrifice, somewhat to helpe my cause.
Come therefore (Father) neare to mee, and thrust this hand of myne
More nearer into euery wound. It sw [...]ru'de and did decline
For feare, when first it tooke th'assay mine eyes to ransacke out.
I beare it still in memory, my eyes then star'de about
And seemed to disswade the hand from doing of the charge
Whereto it was enioyned tho, and had Commission large.
Thou shalt well thinke that OEdipus dissembleth not a whit [...]
But what his word hath warranted, his deede hath firmely quit.
Thy stoutnes then, was not so great when eyes thou pulledst out
As was thy man a [...]oden, when thou threwst them from thee round about.
Now, by those Gyeholes thrust thy hand into the very braine:
That part where death attempted was, let death be sought againe.
Vndaunted Prynce, must noble Syre, with humble mynde. I sue
That I your Daughter may be bolde to vse some s [...]eech to you:
And that you would with patience digest my poore [...]duise:
My suite is not to draw your minde to thinges, that earst in price
You highly [...], me to the view of glittring Pallace olde▪
Ne brauery of your noble Realme, scarce able to [...]ee tolde:
But that you would these yrefull fittes, by trace of time now quaild,
W [...]th patient minde sustayne and beare: this vertue neuer faylde
I [...] any Prynce of such a spright as in your noble Grace
Appeareth bryght: it s [...]th not that such should once abase
Themselues as thralles to Sorrowes checke [...] the conquest yeelde
To a [...]uerse [...] lyke [...]
[Page 45] It is no prayse, syr, though perhappes you so your reckening cast
To make of lyfe so small accoumpt, and thus to bee agast
At euery wagging of a leafe, and combersome myschaunce:
No, no, tis vertue in such case high courage to aduaunce.
And when thinges are at worst, to shew true magnani [...]itie:
Not lyke a Meycocke, cowardly at eche alarme to flee.
Hee that hath tride all fortunes spight and worldly wealth despisde,
And constantly hath borne all bruntes that are to be deuisde,
Mee thinks no cause hath, why he needes to ende his b [...]eething [...]ayes
O [...] wish himselfe in graue: for why, starcke crauens vse such wayes.
But as for him, thats drencht in dole and wrapt in carking care,
Whose pensius plight can be no worse, nor tast of sowrer fare,
That man hath cause well pleas [...] to be: sith hee in safety standes,
And pykes hath past, and now is free from feare of further bandes.
Put case the Gods would wra [...]e the webbe of further woe to thee,
What more can any of them doe thy grieues to amplifie?
Nay, thou thy selfe, (although thou wouldst) canst adde thereto no more,
Vnlesse thou thinke thy selfe, to haue deserued death therefore.
And yet, thou arte not worthy death: my reason is, because
Through ignoraunce thou didst a fact contrary to the lawes.
And therefore Father thinke your selfe most guiltlesse in the case,
And (maugre Gods) stand on your guarde, my counsell sound embrace:
For doubtlesse you an innocent are deem'de and thought to bee,
And are in deede: what makes you thus in dumpes and dolefull glee?
What cause so great should so enchaunt your conscience, and your wits,
To seeke your owne decay and spoyle? what meane faint hearted fits?
That thus in hast you would so faine abandon this your lyfe
And goe to hell, where torment dwelles and grisly ghostes be ryfe.
You would not see Sun, Moone, ne Starre: no more you can: your eyes
Are blynd: you faine would leaue your Court, and Countries miseries.
Why so you may, and so you doe. These all are put to sacke,
That now alyue, aswell as dead you feele of these the lacke.
You flee from Mother, Wyfe, and C [...]ylde, you see no man [...]lyue:
What more can death dispatch away but life doth now depriue?
your lords, your knights, your courtly traine, your kingly state & crowne
Your graund Affaires, your waighty charge is gone & brought abowne.
From whom, frō what, do you thus flee.
Frō none but frō my selfe
Who haue a breast full fraught with guilte: who, wretched caitiffe Elte
Haue all embrude my hands with bloud. From these apace I flee
And from the heauens and Gods therein: and from that villanie
[Page] Which I most wicked wretch haue wrought. Shall I treade on thys ground?
Or am I worthy so to doe, in whom such trickes abound?
Am I to haue the benefite of any Element?
Of Ayre for breath, of water moyst, or Earth for nourishment?
O Slaue forlorne, O beastly wretch, O Incestmonger vyle,
O Varlet most detestable, O Peysaunte full of guile.
Why doe I with polluted Fyst, and bloudy pawes presume
To touch thy chast and comely hand? I foame, I fret, I fume
In hearing any speake to mee. Ought I heare any tell
Or once of Sonne or Father speake, syth I did Father quell?
Would God it were within my power my Senses all to stop,
Would God I could these Eares of myne, euen by the stumps to crop.
If that might bee, then (daughter) I should not haue heard thy voyce.
I, I thy Syre, that thee be got by most incestuous choise.
Beegetting of thee, makes my crymes moe then they were before:
Remorse thereof both gnaw and grype my conscience more and more.
Ofttymes that which myne Eyes not see, with Eares that doe I heare,
And of my Facts afore time done the inward wound I beare.
Why is there stay made of my doome? Why am I spard so long?
Why is not this blind head of myne throwne damned ghosts among?
Why rest I on the Earth, and not among infernall Sprightes?
Why pester I the company of any mortall Wightes?
What myschiefe is there more behind? to aggrauate my care?
My Kingdome, Parents, Children, Wit and Vertue quayled are
By sturdy stormes of froward Fate: nothing remaynde but teares,
And they bee dryde, and Eyes be gon: my hardned heart forbeares
Such signes of grace: leaue of therefore, and make no more adde:
A minde so mated with dispayre no suytes will slowpe vnto.
I practize some straunge punishments agreeing to my deede:
But what proportion can bee found of plagues vnto my meede?
Whose Fortune euer was so bad? I was in sooner borne,
But seely Infant Iudgde I was in peeces to be torne.
My mother in whose wombe I lay, forth had not mee yet brought
And yet euen then I feared was: and straight my death was sought.
Some Babes soone after they bee borne, by stroke of death depart:
But I poore soule, before my byrth adiudged was to dart
Of death: some yet in Mothers wombe, ere any light they see
Doe taste the dint of hasty Fate, while Innocents they bee.
Apollo by his Oracle pronounced sentence dyre
Vpon mee being yet vnborne, that I vnto my Syre
[Page 46] Should breastly parricide commit: and therevpon was I
Condemned straight by Fathers doome. My Feete were by and by
Launcde through, & through with yrō Pins: hangde was I by ye Heeles
Vpon a Tree: my swelling plants the printe thereof yet feeles:
As pray to Beastes, cast out also, to cramme theyr greedy Iawes
In Mount Cythaeron, and to fill the griping Vulturs Mawes.
Such Sauce to tast full lyke was I, was others heeretofore
Descended of the royall Sangue, with smart (perforce) haue bore.
But see the chaunce: I thus condemn'de by Dan Apollos hest
And cast to beasts by Fathers doome, and euery way distrest,
Could finde no death: no death on mee durst seyze his lordly Pawe,
But fled from mee, as though I had not beene within his Lawe.
I verified the Oracle, with wicked hand I kilde
Myne owne deere Father, and vnwares his guiltlesse bloud I spilde.
Shall any satisfaction redeeme so vile an Acte?
May any kinde of Piety purge such a shamefull fact?
I rested not contented thus. For Father beeing slayne,
I fell in linkes of lawlesse Loue with Mother: Oh what payne
And grudge of minde sustaynde I there? in thinking on the same,
To tell our wicked wedlocke Yoake, I loath, I blush, I shame.
I may not well this geare conceale, Ile tell it: out it shall:
Though to my shame it much redound, it may augment my thrall.
I will display straunge villanies, and them in number many,
Most beastlike parts, most lewde attempts, to bee abhorr'de of any.
So filthy, and so monstruous, that (sure I thinke) no Age
Will them belieue to haue bene done: so cruell was my rage,
That euen ech cutthroate Partrcide thereat may be ashamde
To heare it nam'de: and with disdaine straight wayes will be enflamde.
My handes in Fathers blud emb [...]rude to Fathers Bed I brought.
And haue with Mother myne, his Wife, incestuous practyse sought.
To myschiefe adding mischiefe more: I wis my fault to Sire,
Is slender in comparison: my gracelesse fond desire
Could not bee staide, till solemnely the mariage Knot was knit
Twixt mee and Mother myne, alas for want of grace and wit.
How plungde am I in myschiefe still? how is the measure full
Of horrours vile, which doe my minde and heart asunder pull?
And least the heape of these my woes might seeme to bee too skant,
My Mother (she my Wyfe that is) yong issue doth not want.
Can any crime in all the World more haynous be surmisde?
If any may: by wicked Impes the same I haue deuisde.
[Page] My Realme and Crowne I haue resignde, which I receiued as hyre
For murdring most vunaturally the king, my Lord, and Syre,
Which Crowne now since, twixt both my sonnes hath kindled mortall war.
And all the countrey by the ears remains at deadly iarre.
I know ful wel what destenies to this same Crowne belonges.
None without Bloud the same shall weare, and most accursed wrongs.
This mynd of myne (who Father am) presageth many ills:
And gloomy dayes of slaughter dyre: the plot that murther willes.
Already is co [...]u's and cast: all truth of word and deede
Is quight exild, al promise broke of pactes afore decreed.
Etheocles, thone of my sonnes who now in princely throne
Beates all the sway, meanes stil to keepe the Diademe alone.
Poore Polynices th'o other sonne, thus beyng dispessest,
And kept by force from Kingly rule his humble sute addrest
Vnto the Gods this wrong to wreake, this breach of league and ot­h
T'auenge and plague: he Argos soyle end Greekish Cttyes both
Perswades t'assist him in this warie, this quarel to mayntayne:
That he in Thebes (as promise was) might haue his turne to raygne.
The ruyne that to wearied Thebes shall greeuously befall
And bring the pompous state therof adowne, shal not be small.
Fire, sword, glaue, woūds, & thwackīg thūps, shal light vnto their share,
And that ere long: and mischieues worse (it any worse there are)
And this shall hap, that all the worlde may know it is the rac [...]
And yssue of a curied Syre that darraygnes such a case.
Though other causes none there were to moue you (sic) to liue,
Yet is this one sufficient, that you by awe may dryue
Your sonnes my Brethren tarring thus to vnity and peace:
For you their Father only may theyr furies cause to tease.
You and none els may turne away thoccassons of this warre:
These bransicke youthes from further rage you onely may dibarre.
By this your meanes the countrey shall their quiet peace enioy
And Brethren ioyntly reconcild shal worke no more ennoy.
If you therefore this mortall life thus to your selfe [...]eny:
You many thousandes shal vndge, whose states on you relye.
What? canst thou make me to beleue, that any sparke of grece
Or loue to Syre, or honesty in them hath any place,
Which thirst for one on others bloud, which after kingdomes gape,
Whose whole delight is villany, werre, wurther, guile and rape?
Such hateful ympes on mischiefe set, such wicked Termagosites,
As to be sonnes of such a Syre with shame may wake their vauntes.
[Page 47] At one bare woord to tel thee all: thy brethren two are bent
Vppon all mischiefe, wayghing not what loosenes they frequent.
When flingbrayne rage ensots their heades, they care not they a rush
Vpon what Deuelish vile attemptes they geue the desprat push.
And as they are conceau'd and borne in most abhorred sort,
So still deuoyde of Grace they thincke all villany but sport.
Theyr Fathers shame and wretched state moues them no whit at all,
To Countrey they no reckning make what massacre befall.
Their myndes are rauisht with desyre ambitiously to raygne.
I know their driftes, and what they hope at length by shiftes to gayne.
And therfore sith the case so standes I leyser had to die
With poasting speede whyle in my house there is none worse then I.
Ahlas, deare Daughter what adoe dost thou about me make?
Why liest thou prostrate at my knees? why dost thou trauaile take,
To conquere my resolued mynd with this thy spiced phraze
Of fayre entreatie? these thy wordes my flynty hart amaze.
Dame Fortune hath none other bayte to bryng me to her lure
Then this alone: til now I still vnbanquisht did endure.
No Creatures words but thyne alone could pearce this hart of myne,
Ne from a purpose resolute my setled mynd butwyne.
Thou conquere canst thaffections fond that in my breast do boyle,
Thou teachest grace to fathers house, and zeale to natiue soyle.
Each thing to me delightful is which iumpeth with thy wil:
Commaund me (Daughter) I thy hestes am ready to fufill.
Old Oedipus if thou enioyne, wil passe th' Aegaean Sea:
And flashing flakes of Aetna Mount, with mouth he dare assay.
He boldly dare obiect himselfe to raumping Dragons claw
Which rag'd, & sweld and venime spit apace, when as he saw
Dan Hercules away to steale his golden Aples all
In Gardens of Hesperides. At thy commaund, he shall
His Entrails offer vnto iobbe of greedy Vulturs Byll:
At thy commaund, content he is in life to linger still.


Nuntius. OEdipus. Antigone. Iocasta.
REnowmed Prynce, of royall Race
and Noble lygne yspronge:
The Thebans dreading much the drife
of this your childrens thronge,
And warlicke garboyle now in hand,
most humbly pray your Grace
For Countreys safety, downe to set some order in the case.
They bee not threates and menacies that thus their mindes affright:
The mischiefe is more neere then so: the Enmy is in sight.
For Polynices he that is your younger sonne of twayne,
Doth clayme the crowne, and in his turne in Thebes requires to raigne
According vnto couenaunts made: which quarrell to decite
Hee purposeth the dene of sword, and mar [...]tall force t'abide.
With him he brings a mighty Troupe from eu'ry part of Greece,
Sir, seuen Du [...]ce, hesieging Thebes are minded it to fleese.
Helpe noble King, els are wee lyke to perishe man and chylde,
These bloudy broyles of ciuill warre from vs protect and shyelde.
O Edi.
Am I one like to stop the rage of any wicked act?
Am I one like to cause these Youthes to leaue their bloudy fact?
Am I a maister like to teach what lawes of loue do meane?
Should I not then from former quise digresse in nature eleane?
They treade their Fathers steps aright, they play my lawlesse prankes:
Like Syre, like Sonnes, like Tree, like fruite: I con thē harty thanks:
By this I know them for my Sonnes, and praise their towardnesse:
I would they should by peeuish partes, whose Sonnes they be, expresse.
Shew forth you noble Gallante ympes, what metled minds you beare,
Shew forth by deedes your valor great, let lofty sprights appeare.
Surmount and dimme my prayses all, Eclypse my glory quight:
Attempt some enterprise in which your Syre may haue delight
To haue till now remaynd in life: hereof I haue no doubt:
For well I know your practise is straunge feates to bring about.
Your byrth and ligne from whence you spronge, assures me of no lesse
Such noble Bloudes must needes atchiue some doughty worthinesse.
[Page 48] Your Weapons and Artillery for warre bring out with speede,
Consume with flame your natiue Soyle, and desolation breede
In eu'ry house wirhin the Land: a hurly burly make
Confusedly of eu'ry thinge. Make all the Realme to quake,
And in exile theyr dayes let end make leuell with the ground
Eche fenced Fort and walled Towne: The Gods and all confound,
And throw their Temples on their heads: Their Images deface,
And melt them all: turne vps [...] downe eche house in eu'ry place.
Burne, spoyle, make hauocke, leaue no iote of City free from fyre,
And let the flame begin his rage within my Chamber dyre.
Syr, banish these vnpatient panges, let plagues of Cōmon wealth
Entreate your Grace, sith vpon you stayth all their hope and health.
Procure your sonnes to reconcile themselues, as brothers ought,
Establishe peace betwene them both, let meanes of loue be sought.
Oh daughter, see and well beholde howe I to peace am bent?
And how to end these garboyles all I seeme full well content?
My minde (I tell thee) swelles with yre: within my entralles boyles
Abundaunt stoare of Choller fell: such restlesse rage turmoyles
My inward Soule, that I must yet some greater matter brew:
Which may the Realme enwrap in bale, and cause them all to rue.
That which my rashe and heady sonnes haue hitherto begon
Is nothing in respect of that wich must by me be don.
This ciuill warre is nothing like to that which I deuise:
These trifling broyles for such a Sea of harmes cannot suffice.
Let brother cut the brothers throate with murthrous knife in hand:
Yet is not this ynough to purge the mischieues of this lend.
Some haynous Fact, vnheard of yet, some detestable deede
Must practisde hee: as is to mee. and myne by Fates decreed.
Such custome haunts our cursed race: such guise our house hath caught:
My vise incestuous Bed requires, such pageaunts to be wraught.
To me your Father Weapons reach, my selfe heere [...]et me shrowde
In couert of these queachy wooddes: and let me be allowde
To lurke behinde this Craggy Rocke, or els my selfe to hyde
On backside of some thickset hedge: where lying vnespide,
I hearken may what marketfolkes in passing to and froe
Do talke: and what the countrey Clownes speake, as by way they goe.
There (syth with eyes, I cannot see) with ear [...] yet may I beare
How cruelly my Sonnes by warre do one the other teare.
A fortunate and happy Dame Agaue may be thought,
Who (though with bloudy hands) her sonne to fatell death she brought,
And from the shoulders chopt his head, and bore the same about
In b [...]oudy hand, at Bacchus feast withau th'inspired rout
[Page] Of sacrificers, quartering poore Pentheus mangled lymmes:
Though this her cruell facte, somewhat her commendation dymmes:
Yet euen in these her phrantick fits shee stayde her selfe in time
From further harme, not adding more to aggrauate her crime.
My guilt were light, if I had not some others guilty made:
And yet is this but matter light: I tooke a biler trade.
For, Mother I am vnto those that in all vice excell,
And who in most abhorred sinnes condignely beare the bell.
To all my woes and myseries there wanted onely this,
That I should loue my Countreyes foe, who Polynices is.
Three snowy Wynters passed are, and Sommers three be gone,
Synce be an exilde wretch abroade hath lead his lyfe in moane:
And sought his bread among the fremmd: till now compell'de perforce.
Hee craues reliefe of Greekish Kings, on him to haue remorse.
Hee maried hath the Daughter of Adrastus, who at becke
Rules Argiue people, swaying them with awe of Princely checke:
And he t' aduaunce his sonne in law to his most lawfull right
Hath with him brought from seuen Realmes a warlike Crue to fight.
What doome I should in this case geue, which syde I wish to winne,
I cannot tell: my minde amazde, yet doubtfull rests therein.
Th'one of my Sonnes (as right it is) requyres the Crowne as due:
I knowe it so accorded was: his cause is good and true.
But in such sort, by force of Armes to relie maunde the same,
Is ill and most vnnaturall, herein he is to blame.
What shall I doe, what may I say? I mother am to both:
And thus my Sonnes at deadly fewde to see I am full loth.
Without the breach of mother zeale I can no way deuise:
For what good had I wishe to th'one, thence th'others harme doth rise.
But though I loue them both alyke, yet sure my heart enclynes
To him that hath the better cause: though wronged thus, he pynes:
As one by frowning fortune thrilde from piller vnto post:
His Credite, Countrey, friendes, and wealth, and treasure being lost.
The weaker side I will support, and further al I can,
Most mercy alwayes should vt shewde vnto th'oppressed man.
While (Madame) you waymēting here your heauy plaints declare
And waste the time, my Lords your Sonnes in taunged battayle are:
Eche Captains bright in Armour standes, the Trumpet sounds amain,
And Standard is aduanc'de, amid the thronge of eyther traine.
In marshall ray full prest to fight stand seuen worthy Kynges:
And eche of them a warlicke troupe of valiaunt Souldiers bringes.
[Page 49] With courage not behynd the best, the Thebanes marche apace:
And like right ympes of Cadmus brood, do slash at Enmies face.
The Souldiers force and willingnes on eyther side to fyght,
Appeares: in that they nothing lesse pretend them shameful flight.
See how their trampling to and froe, the dust to Skies doth reare,
And what a Cloud of Smoke in Campe the horses make t'appeare.
And if my feare dismay me not: It all be true I see:
Me thinkes I view their glittering glaues begoard with bloud to bee.
Me thinkes I see the Voward thrill and shake their Pikes in hand:
Me thinkes I see the Gydons gay, and Streamers where they stand:
Wherein is wrought by curtous skill, in Letters all of Gold
The Scotchion, Poeste, Name and Armes of euery captayne bold.
Make hast, be gone, dispatch. (Madame) Cause Brethren to agree:
Betwyxt them stay this quarell, least a slaughter great ye see.
So shall you to your Children loue, to each syde peace restoare:
The mothers mediation may heale vp all the Soare.


Antigone. Iocasta. Nuntius.
POast, poast, be gone, and trudge for life:
Queene mother make no stay:
That twixt my Brothers, perfect league
and truce continue may.
You that be Mother to them both,
vse your auctority:
Out of their handes their weapons wrest,
and make them warres defye.
Your bared Breastes which once they suckt,
hold out amid their Swordes:
Beare of the brunt of all their blowes, or end this warre with wordes.
Thy talke I like, I wil be gone: Ile goe with might and mayne:
This head of myne I ieoperd wil, betwene them to be slayne.
In thickest thronge of all the Troupes I purposd am to stand,
And try what grace, or curtesy rimaynes in eyther Bonde.
If Brothers beare malicious myndes each other to subdue,
Let them first onset geue on wee, and me to death pursue.
[Page] If eyther of them be endude with any sparke of grace,
Or Natures lawes or Filiall awe doth any whit embrace,
Let him at mothers suite lay downe his Pikes and glaues of warre,
And weapons of hastility let him abandon farre.
And he that cancard stomacke beares his Brother there to quell,
Forgetting Nature, let him first with me his Mother mell.
These headdy youthes from further rage I seely Trot wil staye:
I wittingly will not behold such mischiefe cary sway.
Or if I liue to see the same, it shal not bee alone.
The Standardes are displayd in field, the Ennemyes are prone
To fall to fight: the clashing noyse of weapons heare you may.
Much murther, death, and dreadfull dule, cannot be far away.
Their stony hartes goe mollify, with sugred termes perswade
Their wilful myndes O Oueene, before they f [...]riously inuade
The one the other: yonder see how they in armour bright
Bestirre themselues from place to place: (O dire and dismall sight.)
My trickling teares, my blubbring Eyes, may put you out of doubt
That all is true which I haue sayd: looke, looke, how al the route
O [...] eyther part doth slowly march as loth (belike) to trye
By dent of Swerd so straunge a case: But both my brothers hie
Apace, to grapple force to force, and ioyne with handy blowes:
This day wil breeede the bitter smart of euer during woes.
What whirlewynd swift might I procure to beare me through the ayre?
What monstruous flying Sph [...] wil helpe, that I were quickly there?
Of all the Byrdes Stimphalides (with winges so huge and large
That Phoe bur rayes they shadowed quight) wil any take the charge
To cary mee to yonder place? what rauenous Harpye Burd
With vgly talantes all with flith, and dirty dung befurde,
(Which hungrestarud King Phineus, that had put out the Eyes
Of children his) wil at this pinch a meane for me deuyse,
That I aloft may hoysed bee, and with al spede be set,
Where yonder cruel armies two in open field be met?
Shee runnes apace, like one of wit and senses all distract:
No Arrow swifter out of Bow: no Ship with Sayle ful thwackt
With wynd at will more way can make with motion such sh [...]e flyes
As glyding Star whose leames do drawe a Furrow longe in Skyes.
As much agast she trottes apace: and now in Campe she standes:
Her presence and arriuall there hath parted both the Bandes.
At mothers great entreaty made, the bloudy broyle is husht:
And where before with goring Glaue the one at thother pusht,
With ful entent to kill and slay, appeas'd is now their yre
[Page 50] And they well pleasd to bend to peace, as she doth them require.
The Sword agayne in sheath is put, that lately out was drawne
To pash out Braynes of Brothers Scull: she ceasseth not to fawne
Vpon them both, their strife to stint: her gray and hoary haires,
Her Snow whyte lockes with tears besprent in ruthful sort she [...]eates.
She Motherlike seekes how to linke their hartes in one assent,
With brynish teares she wettes the cheekes of him thats malcontent.
That Child that staggryng longe doth stand, with mother to dispute,
May seeme vnwilling mynd to beare to yeeld to Mothers sute.


Iocasta. Polynices.
AGaynste mee onely turne the force
of wreckful Sword and Fyre:
Let all the Youthes with one accord
repay to me that hyre,
That earnde I haue by due deserte:
let both the gallant Band
Of them that come from Argos soyle,
and them of Thebane Land
Come runne vpon me all at once: let neither freend ne foe
Refrayne a whit his bloudy blade at this my wombe to throw.
This wombe, this wombe, wherein I bare these wilful Brethren here
Beget by hym that was my sonne, and eke my wedded fere.
Dismembre this my Body vyle: cast all my lymmes abrode:
I am their mother: child wyfe throwes for them I once abode.
You two, my sonnes, neede I to speake, to wil you leaue your yre?
Ist not your partes, in such a case t'accomplish my desyre?
Wil you not plight the faythful league of true and perfect loue?
Wil you not royntly quarrels all at Mothers sute remoue?
That this shalbe as I request, come, geue me both, your handes
Whyle yet they vndystayned be, and cleane from murther standes.
What cryme you heretofore haue done, agaynst your wil it was.
And al that spot which staynes your same, by Fortune came to passe.
[Page] This haynons Act, this franticke coyle you can no wise excuse▪
But wittingly and willingly sound counsell yee refuse.
It resteth free within your choyse: of these take which yee list:
If peace delight for mothers sake this brabling broyle vntwist.
If such a lewde outrage as this more pleasaunt seeme to bee:
Behold, the same and greater too yee may commit on mee.
Who beeing mother, heere oppose my selfe betwene you twayne:
Ere you do one an other kill, I needes must first be slayne.
Take either therefore quight away this straunge vngodly iarre.
Or if you will not: mee dispatch, who stay your wished warre?
Ahlas in this my pensiue plight to whom should I dyrect
My piteous plaint, and earnest suyte? to whom might I detect
Myne inward griefe and throubed heart? which of them were I best
T'encounter first and fast embrace, to breede my surest rest?
I loue them both euen equally, affection like I beare
To either party: mother fond and parciall els I weare.
The one of them these three yeares space bath liu'de in banishment.
But it all couenaunts may be kept, as at the first was ment,
The other now as turne doth fall, must trudge an otherwhile,
And learne to know what tis to liue so long in like exile.
Wae worth this hapiesse heauy hap: shall I not liue the day,
To see my sonnes together once in one selfe place to stay?
Shall neuer I behold them both to better concord bent?
Is all affection naturall within them both so spent?
Then, Polynices, come thou fyrst, embrace thy Mother deare?
Thou that hast trauaild many amyle, and languisht many a yeare.
That many a storme abidden haste, and many a brunt sustainde,
And wearied long with sharpe exile, from Mothers sight bene wai [...]de:
Come vnto mee, and neerer stand, put vp thy Sword againe
Into thy shrath: thy shyuering Speare (that out of hand so faine
Would be dischargd at Brothers throate) within this groūd sticke fast.
This Shielde of thine lay also downe. It makes mee sore agast.
It is so bigge, it will not let this louing breast of myne.
To ioyne and debonairely meete with that sweete heart of thine:
Take of thy he [...]met from thine head, the Thonge thereof vuty.
That I thy Vifuge may behold, and all thy face descry.
Why dost thou backward turne thy head? and glauncest still thine Eye,
And takèst keepe of brothers hand for feare of villany?
Thy body all with these myne Armes I will defend and hyde?
If hee attempt thy [...] to spill, his murthrdus blade shall glyde
[Page 51] First through these tender sydes of myne: why standst thou so amazd?
Dost thou distrust thy Mothers loue? thinkst thou her kindnes razd?
Poly. I feare in deede, distrusting sore, Syre, Damme & all my kinne:
And thinke that truthles treachery in hartes of all hath bin.
Dame Natures lewes are flung at heele, and naught esteemed be:
No fayth in kinred planted is, ne true syncerity.
Synce I by proofe haue seene and felt what hurly burly growes
Betwixt vs Brethren: and from thence what Sea of mischiefe flowes:
I may suspect no faster fayth in Mother to remayne:
Its not vnlike, but shee likewyse wil prankes as bad mayntaine.
Thy sword in hand fast clasped keepe: On heade thy Basnet tye:
On Left Atme holde thy Targat sure, and on thy Gard relye.
At all poyntes armd prepared stand: all future doubtes preuent:
Be sure to see thy Brother first t'vnarme himselfe content.
And now to thee Etheocles some speech I am to vse:
Thou first wast cause of all this warre, doe not therfore refuse
Downe first to lay thy brawling Blade, and yeld to Reasons lore:
If name of peace so hateful be, if that thou any more
Entendst this warre to prosecute, in this so sauage sort,
Let mother yet this curtesy from thee (her sonne) extort
That some small tyme of trusty truce thou wilt with willing mynd
Consent vnto: til I my Sonne thy Brother most vnkind
May after flight goe kisse end oel, now first or last of all.
Whyle I for peace entreaty make, you men vnarmd I call
To listen vnto that I say: thy Brother feareth thee:
And thou fearst him: and I feare both. But this my feare you see
Is nothing for my selfe at all, but for th'auayle of both.
Why seemest thou thy naked sword to put in sheath so loth?
Be glad to take the benefyte of any litle stay:
In matters lewde tis wysedome good to stand vpon delay.
You enter into such a warre, wherein he speedeth best
That vanquisht is: both of you feare to be by fraud distrest
Through practisd meanes and subtil plois of Brothers spitefull drift,
Or ouerteacht by pollicy of some deuysed shift.
But if deceiue or be deceyu'd by him that is our Frend
Wee needes must be: in such a case wee shall the lesse offend
In suffring wrong then doyng harme: But feare thou not a whit,
You both from ambusht treacheryes your Mother wil acquit.
What say you Sonnes: shall this request of myne with you preuayl [...].
Or shall I curse my luckelesse faie, and on my Fortune rayle▪
[Page] And iudge your Sire an happy man, in that he liueth blinde
And cannot see the thing which I beholde with pensiue minde?
In comming vnto you, did I bring with mee this intent,
To ende these broyles? or did I come to see some dyre euent?
Etheocles, some what appeasde, hath pitcht his Speare in ground,
And not a weapon bloud to sheed, in hand of his is found.
Now Polynices, vnto thee my former suite I bring,
Regard thy Mothers mournefull plight, and yeelde vnto the thing
That shee with teares entreates to haue. O Sonne, at length I see,
I hold with hands, I kisse with mouth, I touch with ioyfull glee
This Face of thyne, the sight whereof I wanted haue so longe:
And haue more often wished for, then can bee tolde with tonge.
Thou hast from natiue Soyle bene ch [...]sde to Coaste of forraigne king,
And crossed bene with trouncing force of frowning Fortunes sting.
Thou many a Storme, and many a brunt in many a foming Sea,
In Wandring sort and banisht guise, didst oftentimes assay.
Thy Mother at thy Spousal [...] feast was absent farre away,
And could not doe such nuptiall Rytes as tell for such a day.
Into thy wedding Chamber shee brought thee, ne yet thy Bryde,
Ne yet in solemne sorte the house with herbes and odours plide:
Ne yet did with a Ryband white the wedding Torches tye,
As vse and custome willes to bee at such solemynitie.
Adrastus, Father to thy Wife, and father in lawe to thee,
With Daughter his, hath not defraide much store of golde or Fee.
No Dower hath he bestowde on her, her wealth was very small,
Of Citties, Landes, and Reuenewes hee gaue her none at all.
Warre, Warre: is it thou onely hadst, by taking her to Wyfe:
In lew of other gyfts, hee helpes to kindle all this Stryfe.
Thou Sonne in lawe arte vnto him, that is our Countreyes Foe:
Thy Natiue soyle thou leauest, and to forraigne Courts dost goe.
Thou feedest now at Straungers boarde, and makest more accoumpt
Of new acquaintaunce got abroade; as though it did surmount
The friendship of thy countrey heere: thou art a banisht wight,
And liu'st in exile, for no fault, but through thy brothers spight.
In thee appeares resemblaunce playne of all thy Fathers Fate,
In which there [...]acketh not so much as thoyse of wedded Mate.
Whom with as ill mischaunce and hap as euer Fathers was,
Thou haste in lucklesse houre and time of mariage brought to passe.
O Sonne, thy mothers onely hope, for whom such care I take:
Whose sight, now after many yeares, doth mee most [...]oyfull make.
[Page 52] For whom I haue full many a time to Gods deuoutly praide:
Whereas in deede, thy new retourne to mee, may well bee saide
To take away as great a ioye, and bring as great a griefe,
As it to these myne aged yeares is comfort and reliefe.
I prostrate at the Oracle, besought Apollos Grace
To tell mee, when I should not neede to further feare thy case.
Who flowting this my fond demaund, anone did flatly tell,
And spake these words, which yet (I trow) I doe remember well.
Thou fearst thy son, least harme he take, as is a mothers guise:
But thou I say more cause shalt haue, to feare him otherwise.
For if this warre vnraisde had bene I should thy presence lacke:
And if thou wert not, Thebane Land might free remayne from Sacke.
The sight of the doth cost vs all a hard and nipping price,
Yet doth it like thy mother well: so that her sound aduice
In this one thing thou follow will. Dispatch these Armies hence:
Euen presently, whyle yet of bloud there hath not bene expence.
So foule a Fact to bee so neere, is haynous out of doubt:
I shake, I quake to thinke thereon, in euery Ioynt throughout.
My hayre stands vpright euen for feare, two brethren thus to see
Aloofe, and ready one to chop at th'other, cruelly.
Howneere was I (poore Mother theirs, a bloudier act t'haue seene.)
Then father blind yet euer saw, or euer yet would weene?
And though my feare be ouerpast and th'act vnbrought to passe:
My selfe yet doe I wretched thincke, that done so neere it was.
By all the throwes for tenne months space, in wombe whē I thee bare,
And for thy Sisters sake both twaine, which shine in veri [...]e rare:
And by those Eyehoales of thy Syre▪ for which with wrekefull Pawe
Hee pulld his Eyes, because (vnwares) hee stained Natures lawe,
I thee beseech from Thebane Walles sent backe these armed Bandes,
Which threatning all our throates to cut, against our Countrey stands:
Yea though you presently depart: yet are you much to blame,
And there is due vnto you both, a lot of during shame:
Because this Countrey round about hath pestred bene with powre,
And troupes of Souldiours stout and braue, it ready to deuowre.
With pensiue hearts a mourning minds, these Eyes of ours haue seene
Your praūcing couriers wt their Feete, spoile Theban Medowes greene.
Wee oft haue seene your houlty Peeres in warlike Chariot ride:
And oft our houses to haue brunt with wildfier haue bene spide.
And last of all▪ An act wee sawe (which euen to Thebes is straung.)
Two Brethren warring mortally, all Natures bondes to chaung.
[Page] Ech one in th'Army sawe this sight, the people witnesse bee.
Your Systers two, and Mother I this all did plainly see.
Your Father, hee may thanke himselfe: that he did not behold
This lamentable spectacle and hauockes manifold.
Call now to thy remembraunce heere, thy Father OEdipus,
Whose doome, did Facts (by errour done) euen plague, & punishe thus.
With Fyre, & sword subuert not cleane (good Sonne) thy coūtrey deare,
And Thebes whereof thou wouldst be king) surcease with force to teare.
What Bedlem pang enchaunts thy mind? what might thy meaning bee?
Thou claymst a Realme, which to subuert thou geeuest lycence free.
In seeking thus a countryes rule: a countrey thou destroyest:
Which thou thine own would make, thou marr'st, & (as twere none) an­noyesto.
Heereby thou hindrest much thy selfe, in yt thou makest spoyle,
And burnest vp doth Corne and Grasse, and keep'st a shamefull coyle,
In cha [...]ing men out of their homes: (O desprate witlesse parte)
What man aliue, to waste his owne, can thus find in his harte?
These thinges that thou cōmaundest thus by rage of sword & flame
To bee consum'de: an other man thou thinkst doth owe the same.
If thus for princely Chayre you twayne by th'Eares your title try:
The state of Realme and Commonwealth will totter soone awry.
Seeke it, while ye [...] your Countrey standes vnblemisht by decay:
It so t'enioy, and so to raigne, I coumpt the better way.
Ah, canst thou f [...]de in heart to burne, and spoyle these houses braue?
The lyke whereof in all the worlde besides, thou canst not haue:
Canst thou destroy and ruinate the noble Thebane wall,
To whose first building stones apace at Dan Amphions call
Came dauncing of their owne accord, through tunes of warbling harpe:
And [...]oucht themselues in order right vpon the Turrets sharpe,
Without all helpe of worckmans hand, or Pully vp to draw
Such pieces as most waighty were? Wilt thou by lawlesse law
Throw downe these worthy Monuments? wilt thou from hence conuay
And cary with thee all these spoyles? wilt thou such pageaunts play?
Thy Fathers old acquainted mates, wilt thou by force surpryze
And leade as captiue where thou goest in proude triumphing wise?
Shall these thy cutthroate Souldiers dragge and [...]le [...] mothers old?
Shal they, graūd Matrons ried in chaines, frō [...] vnfold?
Shall Thebane Maydes, & Damselles chaste of freshe and lusty Age,
Bee mingled with the raskal rout, and hamperd bee in Cage?
Shall they as presents, forced bee in dabbling dirt to toyle
Vnto the mynsing Mistresses, and Trulles of Argoa Soyle?
[Page 53] Shall I thy seely Mother trudge with Pinyond hands behinde?
Shall I this triumph of my Chiled to furnish bee assignde?
Canst thou with grudgelesse minde, behold thy Countreyfolkes arow,
Slayne, mangled, spoylde, in peeces hewen, thus to their deathes to got?
Canst thou bring in a deadly Foe, thy Countrey to subdue?
Shall streates of Thebes runne all with bloud? shall all ye Coūtrey rue
Thy comming home with flame and fyre? hast thou an heart so hard?
A breast so tipt with flint? a mynde to rage so well preparde?
If thus thou fare, and swell with yre whiles yet thou art no King:
What wilt thou bee in Princely throne, if thou shouldst win the Ring?
Surceasse therefore and qualifie this outrage of thy mynde:
In thee let all thy Countrey, grace and Princely myldnes finde.
Would you me haue, my selfe so much to loyall duties yeeld,
As that I should a Pylgrims life like wandring Beast in field
Skud vp and downe from place to place, without both house & home,
And fleeing natiue soyle, bee forst in forraigne Landes to roame?
What other plagues, could you award in iustice vnto mee,
If I my fayth or sacred Oath had broken caytifly?
Shall I beare all the punishment for that vile villains guile?
And shall hee false deceiptfull wretch at my misfortunes smyle?
Shall hee in wealth still flaunt it out, and keepe this iolly coyle?
Shall hee for sinnes rewarded bee? and I still put to foyle?
Well, well, goe to, bee as bee may: you bid mee wander hence:
I am content: your hard decree t'obay is my pretence.
But tell mee whyther shall I goe? Assigne mee to some place:
Bylike, you would that brother myne should still with shamelesse face
Possesse my stately Pallaces, and reuell in his ruffe,
And I thereat to holde my peace, and not a whit to snuffe,
But like a Countrey Mome to dwell in some poore thatched Cot:
Allow mee poore Exyle such one: I rest content, God wot.
You know, such Noddyes as I am, are woont to make exchaung
Of Kingdomes, for poore thatched Cots, bee like this is not straung.
Yea more: I, matcht now to a Wyfe of noble ligne and race
Shall like a seely Dottipoll liue there in seruile case,
At becke and checke of queenely Wyfe, and like a kitchin drudge
Shall at Adrastus lordly heeles, (my Wyues owne Father) trudge.
From Princely Port to tumble downe into poore seruile state,
Is greatest griefe that may betyde by doome of frouncing fate.
If that thou gape so greedely a Kingly Crowne to weare:
And that thou canst not rest content, till thou a Scepter beare:
[Page] Behold ech quarter of the world affoordeth Kingdomes store.
No doubt thou mayst winne some of them, if that thou seke therfore.
On one syde here, lies Tmolus mount, a soyle bethwact with Vines:
There runnes Pactol [...]s noble streame with golden Send and mynes.
On that syde crookt Maeander glydes through midst of Phrygia fieldes:
On this syde Hebrus swift of course much fruict to Thracia yeldes.
Nere thereunto lies Gargarus, renoumd each where for Corne,
And Troian Xanthus swelling floud, that pricke and price hath borne.
There Sestos and Abidus stand in mouth of Ionian Sea,
Which now is called Hellespont: and here an other waye
Are countreys, which more Eastward lye. There Lycia full of Creekes
And Hauens strong is situate: these kingdomes, he that seekes,
Is like to winne: these would I haue thee conquere with thy Sword:
These, these to winne let King Adrast to thee his ayd affoorde.
In some of these, let him thee make a King: in Thebes as yit,
Suppose thy father Oedipus in seat of King to sit.
Thy banishment much better is to thee, then this returne,
Sith all thy drift is cruelly to wast, to spoyle, and burne.
Thy banishment reputed is to grow through others crime:
This thy retourne, in such a sort to Kingly state to clyme,
Is ill and faulty euery way: with this thy warlicke crue
Thou shalt do better Realms to seeke, where bloudy guilt ne grue.
Yea, this thy Brother, whom thou dost pursue with deadly hate
Whose life, whose health, whose house thou dost with curses dire rahate
Wil ayde thee with all p [...]wre he canne: himselfe will also goe
And serue in field for thyne auayle, gaynst him that is thy foe.
Aduaunce thy powre, march boldly forth to take this warre in hand.
Wherein thy parentes wish thee good, and wil thy helpers stand.
A Kingdome got mischieuously, and snatcht with grudge of mynd,
More greeuous is then exiles al, of what soeuer kind.
Of warre, the doubtful hazardes all set downe before thy syght,
And throughly waigh thuncertayne chaūce, that longes to martial [...]ight.
Though al the power of Grece thou bring thy quarel to mayntayne,
And though great armed multitudes of Souldiours thou re [...]ayne:
Yet chaunce of warre stil doubtful hanges, and hard it is to know,
Who cary shal the victory, thou or thy vowed foe.
Mars to no party tyed in: what he decrees, shal be,
As chaunce allots, so falles it out: this dome abydeth free.
Sword, hope and feare makes equall those, betw ene whom otherwyse
Great oddes there is: blynd Fortunes lot the case betweene them tryes.
[Page 54] Thy rash attempt with cryme begonne, gropes after doubtful gayne:
And fond deuyses enterprisd oft reape deserued payne.
Admit that all the God s in heauen did further thy request,
And to promote thy hoat desyre both willing were, and prest:
Yet al thy frendes are fled away, and al recoyled backe,
And Souldiours here and there in Fieldes are come to deadly wracke.
Although thou ioy hereat receyue, although the spoyles thou take
Of vanquisht Brother, yet the palme of victory must slake,
And not to thee be geuen whole. What kind of warre (alas)
Is this, thinkst thou? ist not more straunge then euer any was?
Wherin if he that victor is, ioy therein any whyt,
Most execrable wickednes he (doubtles) doth commit.
This Brother thyne, whō now so faine thou wouldst bereaue of breath,
I wis, if he were once dispatcht, thou wouldst bewale his death.
And therfore make no more adoe, but ceasse from wicked bral,
Ridde countrey out of trembling feare, and parentes dole forestal.
What, shal my Brother for this vyle and shamefull breach of pacie
Goe skotfree thus? shal he receyue no guerdon for his fact?
Feare not my Sonne, he shall be payd, and payd agayne, I trow:
He shalbe King and raygne in Thebes, his payne shal euen be so.
A payne in grayne I warrant him. And if thou doubtful be,
Let Graundsyre Laius and thy Syre examples be to thee.
Sir Cadmus wil the same display, and Cadmus ofspring all
Can witnes be that none in Thebes yet raygnd without a fall.
None yet the Theban Scepter swayd, that hath not felt the whippe.
And promise breach made most of them from regall Crowne to skippe.
Now if thou wilte, thou mayst insert within this bedroll heere
Thy Brother.
Mary, that I wil, in shame hath he no peere.
And vnto mee it seemes a world of blisse to bee a king
And dye with Kings.
Thy case doth thee in rank of exiles bring.
Raygne Kinge, but yet a loathed wight vnto thy Subiectes all.
For that I neyther recke ne care what shall to me befall.
That Prince that feares disdaynful hate, vnwilling seemes to raynge.
The God that swayes the Golden Globe, together hath these twayne
Conioynd and coupled Hate and Rule: and him do I suppose
To be a noble King indeede, that can supplant his foes,
And Subiectes cancred hate suppresse. A King is often stayed
From doyng many thinges he would, when Subiectes loue is wayed.
But vnto them that do repyne to se him sit aloft,
He may more rigour boldly shew, and pare their p [...]tes more oft.
[Page] He that will loue of Subiectes winne, with Elemency must raygne:
A King that's hated, cannot long in Kingly seate remayne.
For Kingdomes Kinges can best describe, what preceptes needfull are.
Mell thou in cases of Exile: for Kingdomes take no care.
To be a King, I would engage to force of flaming Fire,
Both Countrey, house, land, Wyfe, and Chyld, to compasse my desyre.
No Fee, to purchase Princely seate, ne labour coumpt I lost:
A Kingly Crowne is neuer deare, what euer price it cost.
Thomas Newtonus, Cestreshyrius.

THE FOVRTH, AND MOST RVTHFVL TRAGEDY OF L. AN­NAEVS SENECA, EN­tituled HIPPOLYTVS; tran­slated into Englishe, by Ihon Studley.

The Argument.

HIPPOLYTVS, the Sonne of THE­SEVS & ANTIOPA Quene of the Amazons, renouncing al Worldly plea­sures, and carnall delightes, lyued a Bat­cheler, forbearing all Womens company, and amorous allurements: and only vow­ed himselfe to the seruice of chaste DIA­NA, pursuing the Gentlemanly pastime of hunting. In the absence of THESEVS his Father, it chaunced that his Stepmother PHAEDRA ardently ena­mored with his beawty and lusty age, enueigled him by all meanes shee coulde, to commit wyth her filthy, and mon­struous adultry. Whych her beastly, vnchaste, and vndu­tifull practise, hee dutifully loathinge, shee turned hir for­mer loue into extreame hatred, and told her husband THE­SEVS at his returne home, that his Sonne HIPPOLY­TVS woulde haue vnlawfully layne with her. THESE­VS belieuing his Wyues most vntrue accusation, meant to [Page] haue put his sonne to death. HIPPOLYTVS vnderstā ­ding thereof, got vp into his Chariot and fled. THESEVS being therewith tickeled, and after some pursuite, not ouer­taking him, went to his Father AEGAEVS beeing a God of the Sea, desiring him to graunt him three Wishes: the last whereof was, the destruction and Death of HIPPOLY­TVS: wherevpon AEGAEVS sent out certaine great Sea-monsters, or Whirlepooles, which affrighting the Horses in HIPPOLYTVS Charyot, made them to ouerturne the Charyot, and to runne through thick and thinne till they had dismēbred true HIPPOLYTVS in pieces. The remorse of which villany so strake PHAEDRA in Conscience, that with a Sword shee stabbed herselfe into the Entrailes, & died vpon the body of HIPPOLYTVS.

The Speakers names.
  • Hippolytus.
  • Phaedra.
  • Nuntius.
  • Chorus,
  • Theseus.
  • Nutrix.


GOe raunge about the shady Woods,
beset on euery side
With Nets, with Hounds, & toyles, & rū ­ning
out at randon ride
About, about, the craggy crests
of high Cecropes hill,
With speedy foote about the Rockes,
with coursing wander still.
That vnder Carpanetus Soyle,
in Dale below doth lurke,
Whereas the Riuers running swift, their flapping waues doe worke,
And dashe against the beaten Banks of Thrias valley low,
And clamber vp the slimy cliues, besmeard with hor [...] Snow,
(That falleth, when y Westerne winde frō Riphes Moūts doth blow.)
Heere, heere away, let other wend, whereas with lofty head,
The Elme displayes his braunched armes, the wood to ouerspread.
Whereas the Meadowes greene doe lye, where Zephyrus most milde
Out brayes his baumy breath so sweete, to gernish vp the field
With lusty springtide flowers fresh whereas Elysus slow
Doth fleete vpon the Yste flakes, and on the Pastures low.
Maeander sheds his stragling streame, and sheares the fruitlesse sand
With wrackfull waue: yee whom the path on Marathons left hand,
Doth lead vnto the leauened launds, whereas the heirde of beast
For Euening forrage goe to graze, and stalke vnto their rest.
The rascall Deare trip after fast, you thither take your way,
Where clottered hard Acarnan forst warme Southerne windes t'obay
Doth slake the chilling colde, vnto Hymetus Ysie cliue
To Alphids litle Villages, now let some other d [...]ue:
That plot where Sunion surges high doe beate the sandy bankes,
Whereas the marble Sea doth fleete with crooked compast crankes,
Vnhaunted lies too long, withoutten race of any wight.
Who set agog with hunting braue, in woods doth take delyght,
Philippis him allures: her hauntes a fomy bristled Bore
That doth annoy with gastly dread the husbandmen full sore:
[Page] We know him wel: for he it is foyld with so many woundes,
But ere they do begin to ope, let slip▪ let slip your Houndes.
But in your leashes Syrs keepe vp your eiger Mastifs yet,
Keepe on their Collers still; that doe their galled neekes yfret:
The Spartayne Dogges eiget of pray and of couragious kynd,
That sone can single out their game, wherto they be assygnd,
Tye shorter vp within your leash: to passe tyme shall it bring,
That with the youlping noyse of houndes the hollow rockes shal ring.
Now let the Houndes goe fynd of it with Nosthrell good of sent,
And trace vnto the vglye de [...]ere dawning [...]ay be spent.
Whyle in the dewish stabby ground the pricke of cleaze doth s [...]icke.
One bear the toyle on cumbred necke, and some with nettes ful thicke
Make speede: some with the arming coard by pensell paynted red
By sleight, and subtill guyleful [...]eare shall make the Beastes adred:
Loke thou to pitch thi thirling [...] and [...]hou to trye thy might,
Shalt cope him with broad [...] with hand both lefte & right.
Thou standing at receipt shalt chase the [...] awayne.
With hallowing: thou with limere sharpe vndee him beyng slayne.
Graunt good successe vnto thy mate, Virago, thou Diuyne,
That secret desartes chosen hast for noble Empire thyne:
Whose thirled Dartes with leauel right do gore the Beast with Bloud
That lappes the lukewarme licour of roxis fleeting Floud.
And eke the Beast that sportes it selfe on frosen Ist [...]s straud.
The ramping Lyons eake of Geate are chased by thy hand.
And eke the wyndy heeled Hart in Ca [...]die thou dost chase.
Now with more gentle launce thou strikst the Do [...] that trippes apace.
To thee the Tygar fierce his diuers spotted breast doth yield,
The rough shaghairy Bugle turnes on thee his backe in field.
Eke saluage Buffes with braunche & hornes: all thinges thy quarelles feare,
That to the needy Garamas in Affricke doth appeare.
Or eis the wyld Arabian enriched by his wood,
Or what the Brutish roches of Pyrene vnderstood,
Or else what other Beastes do lurcke in wyld Hyrcanus groue,
Or else among Sarmatians in desert fieldes that roue:
It that the Ploughman come to field, that standeth in thy grace,
Into his [...] the [...]oused beast full sure he is to chase.
No feete in sunder breake the [...] and home he bringes the Bore
In i [...]tting wayne, when as the houndes with gubs of clottered gore,
Besmeared haue their g [...]ymed [...] and then the Countrey rout
To Cottages repayre in rankes, with triumph all about.
[Page 57] Lo, Goddesse graunt vs grace: the hounds already opened haue,
I follow must the Chase: this gainer way my paynes to saue,
I take into the woods.


O Countrey Crete that beares the sway,
vpon the Seas so vast.
Whose Ships so thicke in euery Shore,
the Seas doe ouercast,
What euer coast as farre as is
Assyria lande doth lye,
Where Nereus doth the piked Stemme
to cut his course deny,
Why force ye mee that yeelded am, a pledge to those I hate?
And gieuen in Bridall bed to bee my enmies Spousall mate,
To languish out my time in teares, in woe to leade my lyfe?
My husband lo, & runnagate is gon from mee his Wyfea,
Yet Theseus still performes his O the alike vnto his Spouse.
As earst to Ariadne, when hee falsifide his Vowes:
Hee champion stoute dare enterprise the darkenesse deepe to passe
Of lothsome Lake, whence yet found out, no way returning was.
A souldier of the Wooer bolde Pros [...]rpin home to bring,
Out pullde perforce from grisly throne of Dire infernall King.
Accompanide with fury fierce hee marcheth forward still,
Whō neither dread nor shame could force forbeare his wicked will.
With lawlesse wedlocks rauishments Hippolytus his Sire
Doth in the boyling bottom deepe of Acheron require,
But yet another greater griefe swayes on my pensiue brest,
No silent night, nor slumber deepe can set my heart at rest.
[Page] My sorrow still is nourished, and still entreaseth it,
And ranklesse in my boyling breast, as out of Aetnaes pit.
The stifling vapour vpward sties and Pallas Web, it standes
At rest, my dropping distaffe downe doth drop betweene my handes.
My luskish minde it hath no lust my vowed gifts to pay
Vnto the Temples of the Gods that liue my Theseus may:
Nor rigging with Th'athenian Dames among the aulters proude
To tosse the fiery brands, vnto the sacrifice aloude,
Nor yet deuoutly praying at the Aares with godly guise
To Pallas president in earth to offer sacrifice:
It doth delight me to pursue the chased beasts in flight,
And tosse my flashing Faucon fierce with nimble hand full light.
What ayles thou minde this mad to take conceypte in freight and fell?
My wretched mothers fatall vice a breeding now I smell:
To cloake our crime, our lust doth knowe, woods are the fittest place,
Alas good Mother, I lament the heauy lucklesse case:
Thou rashe attaint with lothsome lust enamored is thy breast.
Euen with the cruell head of al the herd of saluage beast,
That churlish angry roaring Bull no yoake can bee sustayne.
And hee among the wilde, and eke vntamed Neat doth raygne.
Yet was enclinde to loue: what God can graunt mee my desire?
Or Dedalus with curious craft can ease my flaming fire?
Not if hee might returne, whom Ariadne hath iustruct
From crooked compast Laberinth by thred that out hee pluckt
Among the lurcking corners close, and wily winding way,
To grope his footing backe agayne, and did depriue of day
Our monstrous Minotaur enclosde in Maze and Dungeon blinde:
Although hee promise to our sore, no salue yet can hee finde:
Through mee Apollos Progeny doth Venus quite agayne▪
The filthy shame that shee and Mars together did sustayne.
Whom Phoebus taking at their taske all naked in the Skie,
Hung vp in Nets, a laughing stocke to euery gasing Eye:
For this all Phoebus stocke, with vile and foule reproche she staynes,
In some of Minos family still lothsome lusting raygnes:
One mischiefe brings another in.
O Theseus wyfe, and Chylde
Of Ioue, let vyce be soone out of thine honest breast exilde:
And quench the raging heat: to dire dispayre doe not vp yeeld,
Who at the first repulseth loue, is safe and winnes the field,
Who doth by flattring fancy fonde feede on his vitious vayne,
To late doth grudge agaynst the yoake which earst hee did sustayne:
[Page 58] Nor yet doe I forget how hard, and voyde of reason cleane:
A Princes stately stomacke yeeldes vnto the golden meane:
That ende I will accept, whereto by Fortune I can leade
The neighbors weale great comfort brings vnto the horie heade.
The first redresse is to withstand, not willingly to slide,
The second is to haue the fault by meane and measure tride:
O wicked wretch what wilt thou doe? why dost thou burden more
The stayned stocke and dost excell thy mothers fault afore?
More haynous is thy guilt than yet thy mothers Monster was:
For monsters mayst thou thinke are brought by destiny to passe:
But let the cause of sinne, to blame of maners lewde redounde:
And if bicause thy husband doth, not breath aboue the grounde.
Thou thinkst thou mayst defend thy fault, and make thy matter good
And free from feare? thou arte beguilde, yet thinke the Stygian flood
In griesly gaping gulfe for aye hath drenched Theseus deepe,
But yet thy Syre, whose kingdomes large the Seas at will do keepe:
Whose dredfull doome pronounceth panges, and due deserued payne,
Two hundreth wayling soules at once. Will he thinkst thou maintayne
So haynous crime to couche? the care of tender Parents breast
Full wise, and wary is to bring their children to the best.
Yet shall we thinke by subtill meane by craft and diuelish guile,
In hugger mugger close to keepe our trechery so vile.
What shall thy mothers father Phoebe, whose beames so blasing bright,
With fiery gleede o [...] euery thing, doth shed his golden light?
Or Ioue the Grandsire great of Gods that all the world doth shake,
And brandisheth with flaming Fist, his fiery lightnings flake:
That Vulcane doth in Fornace hoate, of dusky Aetna make
Thinkst thou thys may be brought to passe, so haynous crime to hide?
Among thy Grandsire all that haue eche priuy thing espide?
But though the fauor of the Gods conceale the second time
Thy lothsome lust (vnworthy name) and to thy baudy crime,
Sure faythfulnesse annexed be, that euer barred was.
Ech great offence, what will this worke? a present plague, alas
Suspicionlest the guilty night bewray thy deede vniust:
And conscience burdned sore with sinne that doth it selfe mistrust.
Some haue commit offence full safe from any bitter blame,
But none without the stinging pricks of conscience did the same:
Asswage the boyling flames of this thy lewde vngratious loue,
Such monstrous mischiefe horrible from modest minde remoue.
[Page] Which neuer did Barbarian commit vnto this day.
No not the Gadding Gothes that vp and downe the fyel [...]es do stray:
Nor craggy crested Taurus mount whose hoary and frosty face
With [...] cold abandons all inhabitors the place.
Nor yet the scattered Scithian, thy mother haue in mynd,
And feare this forrayne venery, so straunge agaynst thy kind:
The Fathers wedlocke with the sonnes thou seckst to be defylde,
And to conceiue in wicked womb a Bastard Mungrell Child:
Go too, and turne thy Nature to the flame of burning breast.
Why yet do Monsters cease? why is thy Brothers caue in reast.
That Mynotaurus hideous hole and vgly couching den
Without an other greedy fyend to mounch vp flesh of men?
Mishapen, lothly monsters borne so oft the world shall beare,
So oft rebels agaynst her selfe confused Nature deare,
As loue entangles Nimphes of Crere.
I know the truth ye teach
O Nurce, but fury forceth mee at worser thinges to reach:
My mynd euen wittingly to vyce falles forward prone and bent
To bolesome counsell backe agayne in vayne it doth relente:
As when the Norman tugges and toyles to bring the freighted Barke
Agaynst the striuing streame, in vayne he loseth al his carke
And downe the shallow streame perforce the Shyp doth hedlong yeeld,
Where reason preaseth forth, there fighting fury winnes the field,
And beares the swinging sway, and cranke Cupidoes puissant might
Tryumpheth ouer all my breast this flighty win [...]ed wight
And puissant potestate throughout the world doth heare the stroke,
And with vnquenched flames doth force Io [...]es kindled breast to smoake,
The Battelbeaten Mars hath felt these bitter burning brandes,
And eke the God hath tasted these whose feruent fierye handes,
The thumping thunder bouncing boltes three forked wyse doth frame,
And he that euer busted is about the furious flame,
In smoltring Fornace raging hoat on dusky top so [...]
Of foggye A [...]tna mount: and with such slender heat doth frie,
And Phoebe himselfe that weldes his dart vpon his twanging string,
With aymed shaft directlie driuen the wimpled Ladde doth sting.
With powre he scoures along the Earth and Marble Skye awayne.
Lust fauoring folly filthtly did falsely forge and [...]
L [...]ue for a God: and that he might hys freedome [...]
Ascribes the name of fayned God to shittel bed lame rage.
Erycina about the world doth send her rouing page,
[Page 59] Who glyding through the Azure skies with slender ioynted arme
His perlous weapons weildes at will, and working griec uous harme.
Of bones and stature beyng least great might he doth display
Vpon the Gods, compelling them to crouch and him obay.
Some Brainsicke head did attribute these thinges vnto himselfe,
And Venus Godhead with the bow of Cupid litle elfe.
Who cockred is, tryumphing much in fau [...]ing fortunes lap.
And flotes in welth, or seekes and sues for thinges that seldome hap,
Lust (mighty fortunes mischeous mate) assaulteth straight his breast,
His tooth contempneth wonted fare and victuals homly drest.
Nor hansome houses pleaseth him, why doth this plague refuse.
The simple sort, and to annoy doth stately bowers chuse?
How haps it matrimony pure to byde in Cottage base?
And honest loue in middle sort of men doth purchase place?
And thinges that be of meane estate themselues restraine ful well,
But they that wallow in their luste whose stately stomackes swell,
Puft vp and boistred bigge with trust of Kingly scepter proude
Do greater matters enterprise then may be well alowde.
Hee that is able much to do, of powre wil also bee
To do these thinges he cannot doe. Now Lady dost thou see
What thinges do thee beseeme thus sta [...]d on stately throne on hie?
Mistrust the scepter of thy spouse returning by and by.
In me I beare a violent and mighty payse of loue,
And no mans comming home againe to terrour may me moue.
He neuer stepped backe agayne, the welkin skie to touch,
That swallowed once and sunke in gulfe and glummy caue did couch
Shut vp in shimering shade for ay.
Yet do not thou suppose,
Though dreadful Ditis lock with barres, and bolt his dongeon close:
And though the hideous hellicke hounde do watch the griesly gates.
Not Theseus alone shal haue his passages stopt by fates,
Perhaps he pardon wil the cryme of loues procuring heate
Nay churlishly hee would of old his honest wyfe entreate.
Antiope his bobbing bu [...]ets felt and heauy cuffe:
Suppose, yet thou can qualifye thy husbandes raging ruffe:
Yet who can mo [...]e Hippoly [...]us most s [...]ony stubborne mynd?
He wil abhorre the very name detesting woman kind,
And faring frantickly, wil gyue himselfe to single life,
And shunne the hated spousall bedde of euery marride wife,
Then shal ye playnly vnderstand his brutish Scithian blood
To follow him euen through the hilles, the Forrest thycke & wood,
[Page] That keepes among the clottred cliues besmeard with siluer Snow,
Whose nimble heeles on craggy rockes are frisking to and froe:
I wysh.
He wil resist and not be dalyed with nor coyd,
Nor chaunge his chast estate, for lyfe of chastity deuoyd,
And turne perhaps his cankred hate to light on thee alone,
That now he beares to all.
wil not he moued be with mone?
Stark wilde he is,
and I haue learnd wilde thinges by loue to tame
Hee'le runne away.
if by the Seas hef [...]ie, I on the same
Will follow him.
Remember then thy father may thee take.
I may remember myne offence, my mother eake wil slake.
Detesting womankinde, he driues and courseth them away.
No strūpets bashful feare agaynst my breast doth hold at bay:
Thy husband wil be here.
I wis he comes I warrant him
Pyrothous companion in hellicke dungeon dimme.
Thy Father also he wil come,
A gentle hearted Syre
Forgeuing Ariadnes fault, when she did him require.
For these my siluer shining lockes of horie drouping age,
And breast be [...]ld with cloying cares restrayne thy furious rage.
I humbly thee beseech euen by these tender tears of myne,
Succor thy selfe, much health it is, if will to health encline.
Not euery iote at honesty exiled is my breast,
I yeeld me Nurse, loue that denies thus vnder rule to rest
In quietnes, let him, let him perforce be battered downe.
I wil not let my fleeting fame and glorious bright renoume
With stayne to be dishonoured, this onely is the gap,
To shunne the perlous path that leades to vices trayning trap.
My spouse let mee ensue with death this striue I shall subuert.
Deare daughter slake the ramping rage of thy unruly heart.
Plucke downe thy stomacke stout, for this I iudge thee worthy breath,
In that thou dost confesse thy selfe to haue deserued death.
Condemde I am to die, what kind of death now would I know,
As eyther strangled with a rope shal I my life forgoe?
Or runne vppon a bloudy blade, with gory wound to dye?
Or tops [...]e turuy headlong hurld downe Pallas turret hie,
In quarrel iust of Chastity.
Now strengthen we our hand,
Alas shal not my feble age thy despret death withstand,
Forbeare the sway of furye fierce.
No reason can restrayne
Him that destreth death▪ when death he hath determind playne
And ought to die,
Nu [...].
Sweete Lady myne (thou comfort of my age
And feeble yeares) if in thy breast preuayles such mighty rage
[Page 60] Haue not regard what sounding blast in trompe of fame be blowne
Whereby thy name in stayned stock of blacke reproch be sowne,
Or graft in spotlesse honesty: for fame doth fauour small
The most vpright, to better worse, to worse shee's best of al,
Let vs assay the froward mynd of yonder stubborne Child
It is my part to set vppon the clubbish youngman wilde
And to compell the sturdy lad with stony hart to yeeld.
O Goddesse great that art the wondrous seede
Of frothie surge in stormy raging seas
Whō flamy Cupid armd with scorching gleed,
And Shaftes, to call his Mother it doth please:
This wanton Elfe forth putting sappy might
From stedfast Bowe how surely doth he throwe
His venimd shaftes, through all thy marrow right
The foystring fyre doth rankle in and glovve
The secret flame that boyleth in each vayne
The strype layd on shevves not in open mark [...]:
But invvard marrovv he sucketh out amayne,
This boy to sound of peace doth neuer harke.
His scattered shaftes ful nimble euery vvhere
He dartes aboute, the East that doth behold
The davvning sunne himselfe aloft to reare,
From purple bed, and vvhether late he rold.
With ruddy lamp, in Westerne wade doth glyde:
If any coastlye vnder scorching clavves
Of burning Crab, or people do abyde,
Beneath the clyme of Isy frosen pavves,
[Page] Of ougly gargle faced bigger Beare,
That vvandring still from place to place doth goe
The feruent Fumes, and stouing heate eche vvhere
That issues out from CVPIDS burning bow,
The flashing flames of Yongmens burning brest,
Hee stirreth vp, enkindling new the heate
Of quenched coales, that vvonted vvas to rest
In drouping age: and virgins hearts doe beate
Wyth straunge vntasted brandes: and doth compell
The Gods descending downe from starry Sky,
Wyth counterfeited Vysages, todwell▪
Vpon the Earth to blinde the Louers Eye.
Sir PHOEBVS vvhilome forst in Thessail Land
To Sheepeherds state ADMETVS Heirdes did driue,
His mourning Harp depriude of heauenly Hand
With ordred Pipe his Bullockes did reuiue.
Euen hee that trayles the dusky riding rack,
And wieldes the swaying Poles with swinging swift
How oft did hee faynde fourmes put on his back
And heauenly Face with baser countenaunce shift.
Sometime a Byrde with siluer shining wings,
He fluttering flusht, and languishing the death
With sweete melodious tuned voyce hee sings,
When silly Cygnus gaue vp gasping breath.
Sometime also wyth curled for head grim
A dallying Bull, he bent his stouping backe
To maydens sport, through deepest Seas to swim
Whyle horny houe made shift like Ore slacke
Through waters wyld his brothers perlous cost
Wyth forward glauncing breast the stream he brake,
And least he should his tender pray haue lost,
Her troublus thought did cause his heart to quake
DIANA bright that swayes in circle murke,
Of darkened Sky, with frying fits did burne,
And leauing of the Euening watch her worke
[Page 61] Her fulgent Chariot bright, eke did shee turne.
To PHOEBVS charge, to weelde it otherwise
Her Euening Wayne APOLLO learnde to guide,
And take his turne in lesser compast sise:
The da [...]pish nights vvatcht not their vvonted tyde
And late it vvas ere that AVRORA fayre
Set forth the morning Sunne vvith golde aray,
Whyle that the Marble axell tree in th'ayre
The shogging Carte made crake vvith swagging sway,
ALCMENAS boystrous Impe did lay aside
His clattering shafts, and also did refuse
To vveare the ramping Lyons hairy Hyde
And Emraudes for his fingers did hee chuse,
And brayded kept his rufled staring Locks,
Ware Garters vvrought on knee vvith seames of Golde
And on his feete his durty dabled Socks,
And vvith the hand vvhere vvhilome hee did holde
His Clubbish bat, a thred hee nimbly spun:
Both Persia and fertile Lidia knew
(Where golden sanded Pactolus doth run)
ALCYDES bid the Lyons case adew
And thunder propping brawny shoulderd sier
That heaued and bolstred vp the Welkin throne,
In slender Kirtell vvrought by Web of Tyre
Did iet about to please his Loue alone.
This flame (beleue the heart that feeles the vvound)
Enspirde vvith holines excels in might,
Whereas the Land by Seas embraced round,
Where twinkling Starres doe start in Welkin bright
This peeuish Elfe the Conntreyes all doth keepe,
Whose quarrels sting the Marble faced rout
Of vvater Nimphes, that vvith the Waters deepe
The brand that burnes in breast cannot quench out,
The flying fowle doth feele the foystring flames.
What cruell Skirmish doe the Heyffers make?
[Page] rickt vp by lust that nice Dame VENVS frames.
In furious sorte for all the Cattels sake?
If fearefull Hearts their Hindes doe once mistrust,
In loue disloyall then gladly dare they fight,
And bellowings out, they bray to vvitnesse iust
Their angry moode, conceyu'de in irefull spright.
The paynted coast of India then doth hate
The spotty Hyded Tygar, then the Bore
Doth vvhet his Tuskes to combat for his mate,
And fomes at mouth: the ramping Lyons rore
And shake their Manes, when CVPIDS corsies moue
Wyth grunts and grones the howling frythes doe murn
The Dolphin of the raging Sea doth loue:
The Elephants by CVPIDS blaze doe burn:
Dame nature all doth challeng as her owne,
And nothing is that can escape her lawes:
The rage of wrath is quencht and ouerthrowne,
When as it pleaseth Loue to bid them pawes:
Blacke hate that rusting frets in cankred breast,
And all olde grudge is dasht by burning loue.
What shall I make discourse more of the rest
Stout Stepdames doth this gripe to mercy moue.


DEclare what tidings bringst thou Nurce,
where is Hippolitus?
To cure this puissant breach of illes
no hope there is in vs:
Nor yet to quench his flashing flame:
his furies fretting ire,
Doth fry in secret boyling breast,
and though the smothrering fire
Be couerte close, yet bursting forth in welked face it fryes:
The sparkling flakes doe glowing flash from bloudred rowling eyes
She hanging downe her pouched groyne, abhors the lothsome light,
Her skittish wits and wayward minde can fancy nothing right:
Her faltring legs doe fayle her now, downe squatting on the ground
With sprauling lims her shittell griefe doth cast her in aswound:
Now scant shee on her lithy necke holdes vp her giddy hed,
Nor can commit her selfe to couche in rest vpon her bed.
Nor harbring quietnes in heart wyth drery dewle and plaint
She languisheth through out the night, and now her body faynt
She biddes them vp to lift: and now her downe agayne to lay,
And now hir crispen locks vndone abroade shee biddes display:
And strayt to wrap them vp agayne. Thus fickle fanse still
Doth fleete, nor is contented with his wayward wandring will.
No care she casteth on her health nor eates one crum of breade,
With feeble fumbling foote vpon the floore eke doth she treade,
Her strength alas is quight consumde, her fauor sweete doth faynt:
Nor ruddy sanguine purple deye her cherry checkes doth paynt:
Wyth greedy gripes of gnawing griefe her pinched limmes doe pyne:
Her foltring legs doe stagger now: the glosse of beauty [...]yne
In body Alabaster bright is shronke away and wast
Those Cristall Eyes that wonted were resemblance cleare to cast
[Page] Of radiant Phoebus gold arayes, now nothing gentry shyne:
Nor beare a sparke of Phoebus bright her fathers beams deuyne:
The trickling teares tril down her chekes, dew dampish dropping still,
Doth wet her warrye plantes, as on the toppe of Taurus hill
The warry snowes with lukewarme shoures to moisture turnd do drop
But lo the Princes pallace is set open in the top:
She lying downe vpon her golden bed of high estate
Hurles of hir wonted royal robes which wounded hart doth hate:
Maydes, haue our purple garmentes hence, & vestures wrought wt gold▪
These crimsō robes of scarlet red let not myne eyes behold.
And damaske weedes, wheron the Seres embraudet braunches braue,
Whose Silken substaunce gatherd of their trees aloofe they haue,
My bosome shalbe swadled in with cuttied gaberdine,
No golden coller on my necke nor Indian iewels fyne▪
The precious pearles so whyte shal hang no more now at myne eares,
Nor sweete perfumes of Siria shal poulder more my heares.
My flaryng ruffled lockes shal dagling hang my necke aboute
And shoulder poyntes: then then apace t [...]attring in and out.
Let wyndes euen blow it where it list, in left hand wil I take
A quiuer of shaftes, and in my right a Boorespere wil I shake,
To cruell child Hippolitus such one his mother was,
As fleeting from the frosen Seas those countrey costes did passe,
And draue her hierdes that bet with trampling feete Th' Athenian soyle
Or like the trull of Tauais, Or like her wil I toyle,
Of Meotis that on a knot wounde vp her crispen lockes▪
Thus wil I trot with moone like targe among the wodes and rockes.
Leaue of thy bitter languishing vnto the sil [...] sort
(That walter thus in waues of woe) griefe giues not testing port
Is any measure to be found in thy tormenting fire.
Some grace at wyld Dianae▪ hand with sacrifyce require.
O Goddesse greate of Woods, in hilles that onely setst thy throne,
And Goddes that of the craggy clyues at worshipped alone,
Thy wrathful threatninges on vs all now turne to better plight
O Goddesse that in forrestes wyld and groues obtaynest might,
O shyning lampe of heauen, and thou the Diamon of the Night,
O threefold shapen Heccate that on the world his face
Dost render light with torch by turnes, vouchsafe to graūt thy grace
To further this our enterprise and helpe our piteous case,
O mollify Hippolytus his stubborne hardued hart,
And let him learne the pangues of loue and tast like bitter smart:
[Page 63] And yeeld his light allured eares: entreate his bru [...]sh breast,
And chaunge his mynd, in Venus boundes compel him once to rest.
So froward and vntoward now so crabbed curst and mad:
So shalt thou be with blandishing and smyling countnaunce clad.
Thy shimering clowde cleane fading hence then brightly shalt thou bear
And glisteryng hornes, then whyle by night vpon the whirling sphere,
Thy cloudy heeled steedes thou guydes, the raging witches charme
Of Thessal, shal not draw thee from the heauens nor do thy harme
No Shepherd purchase shal renoume. Thou comst at our request:
Now fauour dost thou graunt vnto the prayers of our Breast:
I do espye him worshipping the solemne Sacrifyce,
Both place and tyme conuenient by Fortune doth arise:
We must go craftely to worke for feare we quaking stand,
Ful hard it is the buysy charge of guylt to take in hand:
But who of Princes standes in awe, let him defye all right,
Cast of the care of honesty from mind exiled quight,
A man vnfit is for the hest of King a bashful wight.
O Nurse, how chaūce thy limping limmes do crepe into this place?
With blubbred Cheekes, & leaden lookes with sad and mourning face?
Doth yet my Father Theseus with health enioy his life?
Doth Phaedra yet enioy her health my stepdam and his wyfe.
Forgoe these feares, and gently come thy blessed hap to take,
For care constrayneth me to mourne with sorrow for thy sake,
That hurtfully thou looudes thy selfe with pangues of plūging payne:
Let him rubbe on in misery whom destny doth constrayne:
But if that any yeld himselfe to waues of wilful woe,
And doth torment himselfe, deserues his we [...]le for to forgoe
The which he knowes not how to vse: tush, be not so demure,
Consideryng how thy yeares do runne, take part of sport and play,
Let mirry Bacchus cause thee cast these clogging cares away,
And reape the frutte of sweete delyght belonging to thy yeares,
For lusty youth with speedy foote ful fast away it weares.
Earst tender loue, earst Venus feedes the young mannes appetite,
Be blyth my Boy, why Widow like liest thou alone by night?
Shake of thy sollem sadnesse man that h [...]rty youth doth spill:
Huff, royst it out couragiously, take bridle at thy will
Let not the flowre of plooming yeares all fru [...]tles fade away.
God poynteth euery tyme his taske, and leades in dus aray
Each age by order lust, as mirth the sappy youthfull yeares,
A forehed frayte with grauity becommeth hoary hayres.
[Page] Why dust thou bridle thus thy selfe, and dulles thy pregnant wit?
The corne that did but lately sproute aboue the ground, if it
Be rancke of roote, yet in the luske, with enterest at large
Vnto the hoping husbandman shall trauel all discharge.
With braunched bough aboue the Wood the tree shall raise his top,
Whom rusty hand of canckred hate, did neuer spill nor lop.
The pregnant Wittes are euermore more prone to purchase prayse,
If noble heartes by freedome franckt be nourisht from decayes.
Thou churlish countrey Clowne Hodgelike not knowing Courtly life,
Delight in drousy doting youth without a louing wyfe.
Dost thou suppose that to this end Dame Nature [...]id vs frame,
To suffer hardnes in this world and to abyde the same?
With courses and kerereyes fet the prauncing Steedes to tame?
Or bicker els with battails fierce, and broyls of bloudy warre?
That soueraygne Syre of heauen and earth, when fates do vs detarre,
With signes and plagues prognosticate prouided hath with heede,
For to repayre the damage done with new begotten seede.
Go to, let bedding in the world be vsed once no more
(That stil mankind from age to age vpholdes and doth restore)
The filthy world deformd would lie in yrksome vgly stay,
No flo [...]ing ships on wambling Seas should hoysted Sayles display.
No Foule should skoare in azur Skie, ne Beast to woods repayre,
And onely whisking windes should whirle amid the empty ayre.
What diuers dreery deathes driue one mankind to dumpish graue?
The Seas, the sword and trayterous traynes whole countries wasted have:
Yet for to limit forth our league there is no destny thincke,
So downe to blackefast Stigian dampes we of our selues do sincke.
Let youth that neuer felt the ioyes, in Venus lap which lie,
Alow the solitary life, what euer thou espye,
An hut liburly shall become for tearme of one mans life.
And worke it one destruction by mutuall hate and strife.
Now therfore follow natures course, of life the soueraygne guyde,
Resort vnto the towne: with men delight thee to abyde.
No life is more deuoyd of sinne, and free from grieuous thralles,
And keeping fashions old, then that which leauing Townish walles,
Doth take delight in pleasant Woods, he is not set on fyre,
Enraged sore with burning Byle of couetous desyre.
Who hath addict himselfe among the mountaynes wilde to liue,
Not prickt with pratling peoples bruite, no credit doth he geue.
[Page 64] Toth Vulgar sort disloyall still, vnto the better part
Nor cankred rancour pale doth gnaw his blacke and fretting hart.
Nor fickle fauour forceth he, he bound doth not obay
The payse of Scepter proude: but weildes the massy scepter sway,
At [...]bbing honours gapes he not, nor moyles for fleeting mucke,
Remoued farre from houering hope and dread of backward lucke,
Not bitter gnawing Enuy rancke teares him with tooth vnkind,
Not quaynted with the mischiefe that in Cittyes and in mynd
Of people presseth thicke: nor quakes at euery blast that flies
With guilty conscience to himselfe, nor frames himselfe to lies.
Nor couets rich with thousand pillers close his head to shroude,
Nor guildes his beams with glisteryng gold for fancy fond and proude
Nor gushing streames of bloud vpon his innocent Alters flow.
Nor Bullockets bright their hundred heads as whyte as flakie Snow,
Do yeeld to Axe, whyle scattered is on thaulter sacred grayne,
But al the quiet countrey round at wil he doth obtayne.
And harmles walketh too and froe amid the open ayre,
And onely for the brutish Beast contriues a trapping snare.
Another whyle vppon the swift Alpheus banckes he walkes
Now vp and downe the breary Brakes of bushy woods he stalkes
Where luke warme Lernas christall floud with water cleare doth shine,
And chaunging course his Channell out another way doth twyne:
And heare the piteous plaining Birds with chirping charmes do chide.
And Braunches trembling shake whereon soft windye puffes do glyde,
And spreading Beches old do stand, to fast and shake my shankes:
To stampe and daunce it doth me good on running Riuers bankes:
Or els vpon a withred clod to steale a nap of sleepe,
Whereas the fountayne flowes amayne with gushing waters deepe.
Or els among the baulmy flowres out braying sauours sweete,
Wheras with pleasant humming noise the bubbling brooke doth fleete.
The Apples beaten of the tree do rauening hunger staunch,
And Strawberyes gathered of the bush soone fill with hungry paunch.
He shoons assaultes, that doth himselfe from regall royall hold.
Estates do quaffe theyr dreadful drinke in Bolles of massye Golde:
How trimme it is water to lap in palme of naked hand:
The sooner drowsye Morpheus byndes thy Browes with sleepy bande:
The carelesse corpes doth rest at ease vpon the hardest Couch:
The Cabin base hauntes not by Nookes, to prig and filch a pouch:
In house of many corners blynd his head he doth not hyde,
He loues to come abroade and in the light to be espyde:
[Page] The Heauens beare witnesse of his life, they liued in this wise.
I thinke, that scattred did of Gods in [...] arise.
No doting couetous blinde destre of Golde in them was found:
No stones nor s [...]akes set vp in field did stint the parted ground:
The sayling Ship with brazen St [...] cut not the waltring waue,
But euery man doth know his coast and how much he should haue.
No hugy [...] ta [...]sed w [...]re, nor Ditches delued deepe,
Nor countermured Cast [...]e strong the walled Townes to keepe.
The Souldier was not busied his blun [...]ed Tooles to whet,
Nor rapping Pellets▪ Cannon shot the barred Gates downe bet,
Nor soyle with yoaked Oxe was strainde to bea [...]e the eueting share,
The field euen [...] of it selfe did feede the World with fare,
The plentifull aboundant Woods great wealth by nature gaue:
A house of nature take they had a dimme and darksome Caue:
The couetous minde to scrape vp wealth, and despret furious ire,
And greedy Lust (that [...]ggeth on the minde all set on fire.)
First brake the bands, and eger thirst of bearing sway stept in,
To be the strongers rauening pray the weaker did begin,
And might went for oppressed right: the naked Fist found out
To scratch and cuffe, to box and bum, with dealing blowes about.
The knarrie Logs, and snaggie [...] were framed weapons strong,
The ga [...]en Tree vngrayned was with Pikes of Yron long.
No nor the rusty Fawcho [...] then did hang along the side,
Nor Helmet crest vpon the head stood pe [...]ing vp for pri [...]e,
Pale spightfull griefe [...] Tooles, and [...] Mars his braine
Contriu'de new sleights a thousand kinde of [...]eathes he did ordaine:
By meanes hereof eche Land is fild with clot [...]red gore yshed,
With streames of bloud the Seas are dyde to hue of sanguine red,
Then Mischiefe [...] measure gan through euery house to passe,
No kinde of vitious villany that pra [...]se wanted was.
By Brother, Brother reft of Breath, and [...]ake the Fathers Life
By hand of Childe, [...]ake murthred was the husband of his Wyfe.
And Mother lewde on mischiefe set destroyde their bodies seede,
I ouerpasse the Stepdame with her guilt and haynous deede,
And no where pitty planted is, as in the brutish beast:
But womankinde in mischiefe is ringleader of the reast,
The insrument of wickednesse enkindling first desire,
Whose vile vncesteous whoredome see so many Townes on fire.
So many Nations fall to warre, take Kingdomes ouerthrowne,
And raysed from the ground, to crushe so many people downe.
[Page 65] Let other passe: by Iasons Wyfe Medea may wee finde
By her alone, that Women are a plaguy crabbed kinde.
Why, for one womans fault of blame shall euery one haue part?
I hate, detest, abhore, I loth, I curse them from my heart.
Bee't reason, right, or Natures law, or vengeance fury fell,
It likes me to abhorre them still: the burning fire shall dwell,
And bide with quenching water first, the daungerous quick Sand
Shall promisse Ships with safetinesse vpon the shold to land,
And Western Thetis soonke aloofe and brencht in deepest nooke,
Shall force the ruddy Morning Sunne from scarlet Skies to looke,
The Woolfe shall yeelde his fleering Chaps to suck the Tet of Do
Ere woon by womans loue, to her I crouch and stoupe alow.
Loue bridles oft with snaffling bits the stubborne wayward heart,
Beholde thy Mothers natiue land in Scythia euery part,
The saluage women feele the force of Venus yoaking band.
Thou onely Childe thy Mother had dost this welt vnderstand.
This onely comfort of my Mother must I keepe behinde,
That leefull vnto me it is to hate all Womankinde.
Euen as the stiffe and sturdy Rocks haue waltring waues wyth­stoode,
And dasheth backe from shore aloofe the fomy flapping floode:
So lightly be contemnes my talke: but Phaedra runneth mad
Because of this my long delay with crushing cares y [...]lad:
What will she doe? Aye me alas how shall she now be spead?
Her breathlesse body to the ground drops sodenly downe dead.
A sallow hue like gastly death ouerstrikes her frenzy Face,
Looke vp and speake beholde thy deare sweete heart doth thee embrace.
ALas to flote in Waues of woe
who mee reuines agayne?
To pinch my minde with pining pangues
and bitter drunts of nayne.
What ease to mee it was, when as
I lay in traunce at rest?
Why dost thou thus the pleasure of
renued lyfe detest:
O heart be bolde, assay and seeke thy purpose to attayne,
Be not abasht, nor faced out with churlish wordes agayne.
Who faintly craueth any boo [...]e, giues courage to deny:
The greatest portion of my crime dispacht ere now haue I:
Shame seekes to late to purchase place within our bashfull brow,
Sith that in foule and lothsome loue wee haue delight ere now,
If I obtayne my will, then shall our wedlocke cloake the crime:
Successe corrupteth honesty with wickednesse sometime:
Behold this secret place is voyde from any witnesse bye.
My faltring tong doth in my mouth my tale begun denye.
Great force constrayneth mee to speake, but greater holde my peace,
O heauenly Ghostes I you protest, tis this that doth me please.
Cannot the minde that couers talke in wordes at will out brast?
Light cares haue words at will. but great doe make vs sore agast.
Mother the griefe y galles your heart come whisper in mine eare.
The name of Mother is to proude a name for me to beare,
Importing puissant power too much: the fancy of my minde
It doth [...], a baser name of lesse renowne to finde.
Mee (if thou please) Hippolytus thy Louing Sister call.
Or wayting Maide, and rather so: no drudgry spare I shall,
If thou through thicke and thin in snowes to trauaile me desire,
Or else commaunde mee for to runne through Coales of flaming fire,
Or set my foote on Pi [...]dus frosen Rocks, it yrkes mee not.
Or if thou will me rashly runne thorow scorching fire hot,
Or rauening routes of saluage beastes I will not slowly rest,
With gory Launce of naked blade my bowels to vnbrest.
[Page 64] These Ringdomes left to mee in charge weild thou of them the sway,
And take mee as thy humble Mate, it fits mee to [...]ay,
And thee to giue commaundement, it is no womans seate,
To claime her Title to the Crowne, to raigne in Parents seate.
Thou flourishing amid the pryde of lusty youthfull race
Supply a valiant Prynees roome with Fathers golden Mace,
Protect thy humble suppliant, defend thy lowly Maide
Embrast in mercies bosome, at thy Feete so meekelylayde.
Take pitty on a stely Widdowes wo, and wretched plight.
The God that raignes aloft, forbid such lucklesse lot to light.
My Father Theseus safe in health will straight returne againe.
The lowring Lord that deepe in strōg infernall Gaile doe raigne,
And damned vp alwayes to passe from Stygian Puddle glum,
Whereby to breathing bodies left alone the ground to cum,
Shall he let scape the Cloyner of his ioyes from spousall bed,
Vnlesse that Plutos fancy fond by doting loue be led:
The righteous Gods will make for him a right retourning way.
But while through feare our wauering wils in houering Baliāce sway,
Vpon my brethren will I cast a due and earnest care,
And thee defend: beleue not that in Widdowes plight yee are:
And I my selfe will vnto the supply my Fathers place,
O Loue (alas) of credit light, O Loue of flickring Face,
Is this inough that hee hath sayd? entreatance will I try,
Deare chylde [...]ue on my wretched woe, doe not my suite deny,
That lurcking close doth couch in secret mourning breast of mee,
Faine would I speake: yet loth I am.
What mischiefe may this bee?
Such mischief as ye would not think, could light in Mothers minde.
With mūbling voyce perplext yee waste your words against y winde.
A vapor hoate, and Loue doe glow within my bedlem brest:
It raging ranke no inwarde iuyce vndried leaues in rest:
The ser sonk in skalded guts through euery vayne doth frie,
And smothering close in seething bloud as flashing flame doth flie,
With egar sweeping sway along vp burning beames on hie.
Enamorde thus with Loue entiere of Theseus dost thou rage?
Euen so it is: the louely lookes of Theseus former age
Which hee a sweete welfauorde Boy did beare with comly grace,
When prety dapper cutted Beard on cleare complexio [...]de Face
Gan sproute, on naked Chin, when hee the kennels clottred bloode
Beheld of mongrell Minotaur, and crooking Maze withstoode
[Page] By groping long vntwined thredes the beames of beawty bright
That shone th [...] [...] his Face, his [...]rispen lockes with labels bight,
Smooth stroked lay, his scarlet Cheekes by nature paincted bright
Pouldred with spots of golden glosse, and sharpe assaults of Loue
Preuayled in his fleshly armes: what grace doth shine aboue
In the Dianaes Face, or fiery crested Phoebus myne,
Or else in comely count'naunce of this louely face of thine,
Such Theseus had when Ariadnaes Eye he did delight:
Thus portly pacing did he biare his noble head vpright.
It is no counterfeyted glosse that shineth in thy Face,
In thee appeares thy manly Fathers sterue and lowring Grace.
Thy Mothers crabbed count'naunce cake resembled in some part
Puts in full well a seemelynesse, to please the Lookers hart.
The Scythian awfull Maiesty with Greekish fauour sweete
Appeares: if thou had with thy Syre attempt the Seas of Creete,
(One of those seauen from Athens sent elect by lucklesse lot
To pay such bloudy tribute, which King Minos of them got.
The rauening and bloudthirsty Minotaurus fowle to feede)
My Sister Ariadne would, for thee haue spunne the threede.
Therewith in crafty compast Maze to leade thee to and fro,
In vgly Laberynthus long returning from thy Fo.
Thee, thee O Sister deare whereso in all the Heauen thou are,
And shinest bright with blasing beames transform'de into a Starre,
I thee beseech come succour mee with like distresse now cloyde:
Alas vs stely Sisters twaine one kinred hath desroyde.
The Sire thy smart, the sonne hath brewd the bane that me doth lees.
Beholde an Impe of royall race layde humbly at thy Knees,
Yet neuer staynde, and vndefilde, an harmelesse innocent,
To thee alone of all the Worlde my crowching Knees are bent,
And for the nones my hawty heart, and Princely courage stout
I did abate, that humbly thee with teares entreate I mought.
O soueraygne Sire of Gods, dost thou abide so long to heare
This vile abhomination? so long dost thou forbeare
To see this haynous villany? if now the Skies be cleare,
Wilt thou henceforth at any time with furious raging hand
Dart out thy cracking thunder dint, and dreadfull lightnings brand?
Now battred downe wt bouncing bolts the rumbling Skies let fall
That foggy Cloudes with dusky drouping day [...] couer all,
And force the backward starring startes to slide a slope wythall
[Page 65] Thou starry crested crowne, and Titan prankt with beamy blase
Come out, with staring bush vpon thy kindreds guilt to gase.
Dash out and drowne thy leaming lampe eclisde in glummy Skyes,
To shrink in shimmering shape: why doth thy right hand not aryse
O guide of Gods and men? how haps the worlde yet doth not burne,
Enkindled with three forked brand? on me thy thunder turne,
Dash out on mee thy bobbing bolt, and let thy fiery flake
Whirlde out with force, burnt Cinders of my wasted Carcasse make:
For guilty (Ioue) I guilty am, deserued death I haue,
My Stepdames Fancy I haue fed: shall I most sinfull slaue,
Be worthy thought to blot my Fathers honorable Bed?
Canst thou for mischiefe such through mee alone be lightly sped?
O Caitiue thou of womankinde for guilt that heares the bell,
Whose enterprised hainous euill doth passingly excell,
Thy Monster breeding Mothers fault with whoredome shee alone
Def [...]de her selfe, when storming sighes with sorrow gan shee grone,
Through beastly lust of Bull: till it the Minotaurus ster
In act of generation, had quencht her [...]oule desier:
And yet the time concealed long, the grim twishaped seede
At length bewrayd with Bullike browes, thy Mothers naughty deede,
The doubted Infant did disclose: that wicked wombe shee bare.
With thrise, yea, foure times blessed Fate of lyfe depriu'de yee are,
Whom swolne of waltring Seas haue sonck, me cankred hate of breath
Dispoyled ha [...]h, and traytrous traynes haue quelde by daunting death.
With Stepdames banes and sorcery O Father, Father myne,
I rue thy lot, not to be slayne of milder Stepdame thyne.
This mischiefe greater, greater faire the wickednesse doth passe
That by Medea despret Dame of Colchis practisde was.
And I doe know, what vncouth luck vpon our stock hath light,
The thing that we should shun, we seeke, it is not in my might
To rule my selfe: through burning fire eunne after the [...] I shall,
Through raging Seas, & craggy Rocks, through fleeting Ryuers all,
Which boyling waters ruffling rayse, what way so goe thou will,
I bedlem Wight with frantick fits will follow, follow still.
O stately Lorde before thy feete yet fall I once agayne.
Doe not with shamelesse fawning Pawes my spotlesse body staine.
What meaneth this? with hawsing mee t'imbrace she doth begin:
Draw, draw my sword, with stripes deseru'de Ile pay her on the skin:
Her hayre about my left hand wound, her head I backward wri [...]e,
No bloud Diana better spent thine Aulter yet hath dyde.
Hippolytus, now dost thou graunt to mee mine owne desire,
Thou cooles my ramping rage, this is much more than I require,
That sauing thus mine honesty I may be geuen to death,
By bloudy stroake receiued of thy band to loose my breath.
Auaunt, auaunt, preserue thy lyfe, at my hand nothing craue,
This field Sword that thou hast toucht no longer will I haue.
What bathing lukewarme Tanais may I defilde obtaine,
Whose clensing watry Channell pure may washe mee cleane againe?
Or what Meotis muddy m [...]are, with rough Barbarian waue
That boardes on Pontus roring Sea? not Neptune graundsire graue
With all his Ocean foulding floud can purge and wash away
This dunghill foule of sinne: O woode, O saluage beast I say:
Thy crime detected is: O soule, why droupes thou all agast?
Let vs appeach Hippolytus with fault vpon him cast:
And let vs lay vnto his charge, how he by might vniust
Deflowre would his Fathers Wyfe with mischiefe, mischiefe must
Concealed bee: the best it is, thy foe first to inuade,
Sith that the crime is yet vnknowne who can be witnesse made,
That either first wee enterprisde, or suffred of him then?
Come, come, in hast Athenians, O troupes of trusty men
Help, help, Hippolytus doth come, hee comes, that Villaine vile,
That Rauisher, and Lecher foule, perforce woulde vs defile.
Hee threatens vs denouncing death, and glittering Blade doth shake,
At her who chastly doth withstand, and doth for terrour quake:
Lo headlong hence for life and death hee tooke him to his flight,
And leaues his Sword in running rash, with gastly feare afright:
A token of his enterprise detestable wee keepe,
Sirs chearish her, that storming sighes with pensiue breast doth weepe.
Her ruffled hayre, and shattred Locks still let them daggle downe,
This witnesse of his villany so beare into the Towne.
(O Lady mine be of good cheare. Plucke vp your sprights againe,)
Why dost thou tearing thus thy selfe abhorre all peoples sight?
Not blinde Mischaunce but fancy wont to make ashamelesse Wight.
[Page 66]
HIPPOLYTVS euen as the rage­ing
storme away doth fly,
More swift than whirling Western wynde
vptumbling cloudes in Sky,
More swift then flashing flames, that catch
their course with sweeping sway,
When Stars ytost with whisking windes
long fiery Drakes display.
Fame (wondring at of aldertime our Auncestours renowne)
Fare well with thee, and beare away olde worship from our Towne.
So much thy beauty brighter shines, as much more cleare and fayre,
The golden Moone with glorio [...]s Globe full furnisht in the Ayre
Doth shine, when as her fiery tips of wayning hornes doe close,
When lifting vp her fulgent face in ambling Waine she goes,
Vpon her nightwatch to attend, the Starres of lesser light
Their darckned Faces hide, as hee the Messenger of night
That watchword geues of th'euening tide and Hesperus hee hight,
That glading earst was bath'de in Seas, and hee the same agayne
When shedes be shrunck. doth then the name of Lucifer obtayne.
Thou Bacchus blessed barne of Ioue in warlicke India borne,
Thou Lad that euermore dost weare thy hayry bush vnshorne,
Whose Iaueling tuft with Iuy bunch, the Tygres makes adred,
And dost with labelde Myter vse to pranck thy horny hed,
Hippolytus his staring Locks thou Bacchus shalt not stayne,
To woonder at thy louing lookes too much doe thou refrayne,
Whom (as the people doe report) the Ariadne bright,
For beauties name preferde before Bacchus that Bromius hight.
A brittle Iewell beauty is on mortall men employde,
Thou gift that for a season short of Mankinde arte enioyde,
How soone alas with feathered foote hence dost thou fading slide?
The partching Sommers vapour hoate in Vers most pleasaūte pride
So withers not the Meadowes greene, (when as the scorching Sūne)
In Tropick ligue of burning Crab full hoate at Noone doth runne,
[Page] And on her shorter clowdy Wheeles vnhorseth soone the night.
With wanny Leaues downe hang the heads of withred Lillies whight
The balmy bloomes and sprouting flo [...]re do leaue the naked [...]ed
As beauty bright whose radiant beams in corauld Cheekes is spred,
Is dashed in the twincke of Eye: no day as yet did passe,
In which not of his beauty reft some pearles person was.
For Fauour is a fleetyng thing: what wight of any wit
Wil vnto frayle and fickle ioy his confidence commit?
Take pleasure of it whyle thou mayst, for Tyme with stealing steps
Wil vnder mint, on howre past strayght in a worser leps:
Why flyest thou to the wildernes, to seeke thy succour there?
Thy beauty bydes not safer in the waylesse woods then here.
If Tytan hoyst his totteryng Cart on poynt of ful midday,
Thee shrowded close among the brakes the Naids wil assay,
A gadding troupe that beautys B [...]yes do locke in fountaynes fayre.
To frame their seate then vnto thee in senseles s [...]eepe repayre,
Shal wanton Fayries, Nymphes of Frithes, y on the Hilles do walke,
Which Dryade mountayne Goblins haunt, that vse on hilles to stalke:
Or when from high Starbearing poale Diana downe did looke
On thee that next old Arcades in heauen thy seate hast tooke,
Shee could not weilde her weltring wayne, and yet no foggy cloude.
Eclipst her gleaming Globe, but we with [...]incking Pans aloude,
Gan make a noyse, agrised at her dead and glowing light
We deemd hir char [...]id with Magicke verse of Thessant witches spright
But thou didst cause hir busines, and madest her in a maze,
Whyle at thy pleasant louely lookes the Goddesse stoode in gaze,
That rules the rayne of cloudy night she stopt her ru [...]ning race,
God graunt that seldome byting frost may pinch this comely face.
Let seldome scorching Sunny beams thy Cheekes with freckles die:
The Marble blue in quarry pittes of Parius that doth lie,
Beares not so braue a glimsyng glosse as pleasant se [...]ues thy face
Whose browes with manly maiesty support an awful grace.
And forehead fraught with grauity of Fathers countnaunce old:
His Iuory colourd necke although compare to Phoebe ye would,
His lockes (that neuer lacking knew) it selfe displaying wyde
On shoulder poyntes doth set them out, and also doth them hyde.
Thy curled forhead seemes thee well, and eake thy not [...]ed hayre,
That crumpled lies vndight in thee a manly grace doth beare.
Thou Gods (though fierce and valiant) perforce dost chase, and farre
Dost ouermatch in length of limmes, though yet but young thou arre.
[Page 67] Thou heares as big & boystrous brawnes as Hercules: thy breast,
Then Champion Mars more bourly bolstred out with broader chest:
On back of horn [...]toofed Steedes if vawting thou do ryde,
With Bridle in thyne arriue hand more handsome canst thou guyde.
The trampling Cyllar horse of Spart, then Princely Castor could,
Thy Letherne loope amid thy dart with former fingers hould,
And driue thy launce with all thy pith, the actiue men of Creete,
That with their pitched dartes afarre do learne the marke to bit.
They shall not hurle a slender Reede, but after Parthian guyse
To shoote an arrow if they list into the open Skies,
Vnsped without some Bird attaynt it shal not light on ground,
Vnbath'd with lukewarme bloud of guttes in gory smoking wound,
And from amid the lofty Cloudes downe shalt thou fetch thy pray:
Few men (marke wel the tyme) haue borne beauty vnplagude away.
God send thee better lucke, and graunt thy noble personage
May passe vnto the happy steps and stretch to dumpish age.
What mischiefe vnattempt escapes a Womans witlesse rage?
Most haynous crymes shee meanes to lay to guiltles youngmās charge
And thinkes to make her matter good with hayre thus rent at large,
She towseth eake the pranking of her head with watred plantes,
Her slye deuyse no crafty kind of womans fetches wantes.
But who is this that in his face such princely port doth beare?
Whose lofty lookes with stately pace hie vauntst his head doth reare?
Lyke lusty young Pyrithous, he looketh in the face,
But that a faynting fallow pale his bleakish Cheekes disgrace,
And filthy baggage hangeth on his hash hayre raysde vpright,
Lo Theseus, it is agayne restoard to earthly light:


Theseus, Nutrix,
AT length I scapt the glowinge glades
of grim eternall Night,
And eake the vnderpropping poale,
that each infernall Spright
Doth muffie in, shut vp in shades
loe how my dazelled eyes
Can scant abyde the long dess­red
light of Marble Skies.
Eleusis now fowre offringes of Triptolemus deuydes,
And counterpaysed Day with Night now foure tymes Libra hydes.
I earnest in my Parlous toyle in doubt what lucke to haue
Twixt dread of gastly Death, and hope my feeble life to saue,
Some sparke of life stil in my breahles limmes abyding was,
When as embarkt on erkesome Stix Alcides downe did passe,
To succour me in dire distresse, who when the hellicke hound
From Tartares griesly gates in Chaynes he dragd aboue the ground,
And also me he caryed vp into the World agayne
My tyred limmes doth fappy pith of former strength restrayne,
My feble faltring legges do quake, what lugging toyle it was
From bottom deepe of Phlegethon to world aloofe to passe?
What dreary dole & mourning noyse is this that beates myne eares?
Let some declare it vnto mee: who blubbred so with teares
Lamenting loud and languishing within our gates appeares?
This entertaynment sit is for a guest that comes from Hell.
A stubburne heart and obstinate in Phaedras breast doth dwell,
With despret mind to slay her selfe our teares she doth despyse,
And giuing vp the gasping Ghoast, alas my Lady dyes.
Why should she kill herselfe? why die, hir spouse being come againe
For this (my Lord) with hasty death she would her selfe haue slame.
These troblous wordes some perlous thing I wot not what to tell
Speake plain: what lumpe of glutting griefe her laded heart doth quei
[Page 68] She doth complayne her case to none, but pensluely and sad
She keepes it secrete to hir selfe, determind thus shee had,
To beare aboute with her the bane, wherewith she meanes to die.
Hie, hie thee fast, I pray thee now, now haue wee neede to hye.
Our Pallace lockt with stately stoulpes set open by and by.
Theseus, Phaedra.
O Madame Mate of Spousall bedde
thus dost thou entertayne
The comming of thy louing Spouse?
and welcom home agayne
Thy long desyred Hosbandes face?
why takes thou not away
My Sword out of my hand, and dost not cheare my Sprites (I saye)
Nor shewest me what doth the breath out of the body chase?
Alas my valiant Theseus euen for thy royall mace,
Wherwith thy Kingdome thou dost weild, and by the noble raygne
Of thy belo'ud posterity, and comming home agayne,
And for the worship that is due vnto my fatall graue,
O let me die and suffer me, deserued death to haue.
What cause compelleth thee to die?
If I the cause of death
Disclose, then shall I not obtayne the loosyng of my breath:
No worldly wight (saue I my selfe alone) the same shall heare,
Art thou affrayd to tel it in thy husbandes bashful eare?
Speake out, thy secretes shrowd I shall within my faythful brest.
What thou would other to conceale, kepe thou it first in rest.
Thou shalt not suffred be to die:
From him that wisheth Death,
Death neuer can be seperate.
The crime that losse of breath
Ought to reuenge, shew it to me.
Forsooth because I liue.
Alas do not my trilling teares thy stony stomacke grieue?
It is the sweetest death, when one doth lothsome life forsake,
Bereft of such as should for him most woful weeping make.
Stil standes she mum? ye croked, old, ilfauord, hoblinge Trotte,
Hir Nurse for stripes and clogging bandes shall vtter euery iotte,
That shee forbid her hath to tell: in yron chaynes her bynd,
Let tawing whips wring out perforce the secrets of her mynd:
Now I my selfe wil speak: stay yet.
Why dost thou [...]ne as [...]i [...]s
From me thy weeping Countenance? thy teares why dost thou hide
That gushing sodaine frō thine eyes streame downe thy cheekes apace &
Why hidest thou thy flowing floudes with Coate before thy Face?
Thee, thee, Creator of the Neauens to witnesse I doe call,
And thee O glittering fiery glede of Christall Sky with all,
And Phoebus thou from whom at first our royall Race hath roon.
With fawning face & flattring words in suite I was not woon.
For naked sword, & thundring thre [...]s, appauled was I not:
My brused bones abode the blowe, and stripes when sore he smote:
This blemish black of foule defame my bloud shall purge agayne.
Declare what villaine is he y our honour so doth slayne?
Whom least yee would mistrust.
To know who tis, ful sore I long▪
This Sword wil tel, which sore afright when people thick in thrōg
Resorted fast, the Leacher vile for hast did leaue behinde,
Because the people preasing fast he dreeded in his minde:
Ah out alas, O woe is mee, what villany see I?
Alas what vncouth Monster fowle of mischiefe I espy?
Beholde the royall Iuory engrau'de and purired fine,
Emboast with golden studdes, vpon th'enameld Hast doth shine,
(The Iewell of Actea lande) but whyther fled is hee?
With light Heele running sore dismaide these sruants did him see?
O sacred holinesse, O Ioue betweene whose mighty hands
The Marble Poale with weltring sway in course directed stands,
And thou that second Scep [...]er weilds in fomy fighting waue,
Why doth this cursed broode with such this wicked vengeance raue?
Hath he bene fostred vp in Greece? or craggy Taurus wilde
Among hard rugged Rocks, and Caues, some sauage Scythian Childe?
Or else in brutish Colchis Ile by Desart Phasis flood?
Cat after kinde hee is, and will th'unkindly Bastard blood
Returne vnto his kinreds course, whence first his ligne hee clames.
This frantick fury vp and downe comes of the warlicke Dames,
To hate the loyall leagues of loue, and shunning long the vse
Of Cupids campe, with tag, and rag, her body to abuse,
Become as good as euer twangd: O detestable kinde,
No better Soyle by any meanes can chaunge thy filthy minde.
The brutish beasts themselues doe Ioath th'abuse which Venus drawes,
And simple shamefastnesse it selfe obserueth Natures lawes:
Where is the brag of Maiesty, and fayned portly grace
Of manly minde, that hateth new, and olde things doth embrace?
[Page 69] O double dealing life, thou clokes deceiptful thoughtes in brest,
And settestout a forhead fayre where frounced mynd doth rest:
The saucie Iacke with bashful brow doth malipiertnes hide:
The rashnes of the despret Dicke by stilnesse is vnspide.
With show of right religion knaues villany mayntayne,
And guileful mealemouthd Gentlemen do hold with speaking playne:
The daynty wanton Carpet Knights of hardnes boast and prate,
That Woodraunger, that brainsicke beast who liu'd in chast estate
An vndefyled Bachiler thou rude and homely clowne,
Thus dost thou watch thy tyme, to breede this blot in my renowne?
To make me Cuckold first of all did it delyght thy mynd,
First falling to thy spousall sport with mischiefe most vnkind,
Now, now, to thee supernal Ioue most hearty thankes I yeeld,
That with my first Antiope to dreary death I quelde,
That gone to dampish Stygian Dennes I left thee not behynd
Thy Mother: go, go Vagabond rawnge, rawnge, about to finde
Straunge forraine soyles, and outcast landes aloofe at world his end,
And Iles enclosd with th'Ocean floud to hell thy soule shall send:
Beneath among th'Antipodes thy selfe of harbring sped,
Though in the vtmost lurking nooke, thou shroude thy miching heade,
Aboue the grisly Pallaces thou climbe of lofty Poale,
Or maist aboue the clottring Snow aduaunce thy cursed Soule,
Beyond the brunt of Winter flawes and threatning rigour passe
And stormy wrath with rumbling rough of ysse Boreas,
With pengeance, vengeance violent fast hurling after thee,
With daunting plagues and pestilence thy sinnes shal scourged bee.
For life and death, about the world in euery lurking hoale.
O fugitiue I shal not cease stil to pursue thy soule.
But seeke and search for thee I shall in landes that lye a farre,
Al corners blynd and caues shut vp, Dennes lockt with bolt and barre▪
A thousand wayes vnpassable no place shal me withstand.
My cursinges blacke shal light on thee there where reuenging hande
With weapon cā not worke y harme: thou knowest that Neptuue great
My Syre who flotes on floudes, & waues, with forked Mace doth beat
Geue licence freely vnto me three boones to chuse and craue,
Which willingly the God hath graunt, and sworne I shal it haue
Protesting vgsome Stygian Lake, and hallowed hath his vow:
O breaker of the wrastling waues, auouch thy promise now.
Let neuer more Hippolitus behold th'eclipsed light,
And for the Fathers wrathful rage the cursed child downe smight,
[Page] To wa [...]le among the gastly s [...]rites o Father bend thy might,
To giue (alas) this lothsome ayde vnto thy needy Sonne,
I of thy Maiesty deuyne exact not to be donne.
This chiefest bone, til puissant payse of ylles do vs oppresse:
In bottom deepe of boylyng Tartar pit, and sore distress [...],
In grisly Lymbo Iawes nigh garglefaced Ditis dimme,
Amid the crumpled threatning browes of Hellick Pluto grim,
To claime thy promise made to mee, as then I didde refrayne,
Now Syre thy fayth by promise due perfourme to me agayne.
Yet dost thou stay [...] why rumble not the waltring waues yet busht,
Through foggy cloude in dusky skits with stormy blastes [...]utrusht.
Vnfold the mantel blacke of Night, and roll away the Skies,
Enforce the fighting floods brast out with mounting waues to ryse▪
And coniure vp the water hagges that in the Rockes do keepe,
The Ocean surges swellyng hi [...] cast vp from bottom deepe.
O Nature Grandame greate of Heauenly Sprites,
Eake Ioue that guides Olimpus mighty sway,
That rakes the race of twinckling heauēly lightes
On spinning Spheare and order dost for aye
The stragling course of roaming planets hie,
And weildes about the whirling Axeltree
The weltring Poales, th'eternal course of Skie
To keepe in frame, what workes such care in thee
That earst the cold which hoary winter makes
Vnclothes the naked wood, and now agayne
Thesh ades returne vnto the breary brakes
Now doth the starre of Sommer Lion raygne,
VVhose scalded necke with boyling heate doth frie,
Perbraking flames from fiery [...]oming iawes:
VVith scorching heate the parched corne do drie:
Ech season so his kindly course in drawes.
But thou that weildes these thinges of massy might,
[Page 70] By whom the hugy world with egal payse
Euen Ballanced doth keepe in compasse right,
Each Spheare by measurd weight that iustly swaise,
Alas why dost thou beare a retc les breast
Toward mankind? not casting any care
That wicked men with mischiefe be opprest,
And eake to see that goodmen wel do fare
Dame Fortune topsieturuy turnes at wil
The world, and deales her dole with blinded hand,
And fosters vice mayntayning mischiefe ill.
Fowle lust triumphes on good men brought in band
Deceipt in stately Court the sway doth weild,
In Lordinges levvde the vulgar sort delight,
With glee to such the Mace of might they yeeld.
Some magistrates they do both loue and spight,
And pen [...]iue vertue brought to bitter bale,
Receyues revvard that doth of right aryse,
The continent to Prison neede doth hale,
The Leacher raygnes enhaunced by his vice.
O fruitles shame, O counterfayted port.
But vvhat nevves may this messenger novv bring,
Who vvith maine pace comes poasting in this sort,
And stayes vvith mourning countnance at the Kinge.


Nuntius, Theseus,
O Heauy happe and cruell chaunce
of Seruantes slauish state,
Why am I Poast to bring the newes
of this il fa [...]ord fate?
Be not abasht the ruthful wracke
with courage to declare:
My breast agaynst the brunt of broyles
stil armed I prepare,
My foltring tongue doth speach vnt [...]
my glutting griefe denye.
Our stocke with sorrow shuken sore what cares do crush escrie.
Hippolytus (ay woe is me) is slayne by doleful death.
Now Father do I know my Sonne bereaued of his breath,
For why the Leacher life is lost: shew in what sort he dide.
In all poast hast as fugitiue to shunne the Towne he hyde
Once hauing caught his cutting course apace he scuddes away,
His prauncing Pelfrayes straite he doth with Collers close araye:
With curbed bittes their s [...]affled heads at wil he brydles in,
Then talking much vnto himselfe to curse he doth beginne▪
His natiue soyle: alas deare Father, Father stil he cryes:
And angry lasheth with his whip, whyle loose his Bridle lies:
Then sodenly a hugy swolue gan swel amid the deepe,
And starteth vp into the starres no pipling wind doth sweepe
Along the Seas in Heauen so lith no noyse at all there was:
The Seas ful calme euen as their kindly Tyde doth driue them, passe.
Nor yet no boysterous Southerne wynd the Sycill sand turmoyles.
Nor yet with fomie ramping surge the raging gulph vp boyles,
Heaude vp by Westerne puffes: when as the rockes with flappyng flash
Do shake and drownd Lucates cliue the hoary fome doth dash.
The tombling waues togeather tost on hils are heaped hie,
The swelling swolue with Monster much to land alofe doth flye,
Nor only shaken ships in Seas do su [...]er wracke hereby:
[Page 71] The land in hazard lyes of stormes a waltring waue is [...]old
In [...]ot [...]ring wise a wallowing gulph with winding compas fold,
Driues downe I know not what withall: a flat vprisyng new
An head aboue the water brim doth rayse the Starres to vew.
In foggie cloud eclipsed is Apollos dusky gleede,
And Scyros Rocks whom Trumpe of Fame aduaunst by dreary deede
Corynthus eake whom double Sea on eyther side assayle:
While greatly we agriesh▪ these thinges do languishing bewayle,
The belking Seas yell out the grunting Rockes with all do rore▪
The slabby Cliue doth [...]eke, fro whence the water ebde before,
It frothes, and keping course by course it sp [...]wes the waters out,
As doth Physeter fish (that flittes the Ocean Coast about)
And gulping doth from yawning throat his flouds of water spo [...]te.
The shaken surge did tottre strayte and brake it selfe in twayne:
With wracke (more violent then wee did feare) it rusht awayne
Agaynst the shore, beyond the bankes it breakes into the land:
And hideous Monster followes: these for feare did quaking stand
What shape that vncouth Monster had and body vast declare.
A boasting Bull, his marble necke aduaunced hye that bare,
Vpraysd his lofty bristled Mayn on curled forhead greene
With shaggy eares prickt vp his diuers speckled hornes were seene.
(Whom Bacchus earst possessed had, who tames the Cattel wyld,
And eake the God that horne in flouds was bred a water Chyld)
Now puffing he perbraketh flames, and now as leaming light
With sparckling beams his goggle eyes do glare and glister bright.
His greasy larded necke (a marke for to be noted well)
With rough and knobby curnels hie out bumping big do swell.
His snorting Nostrilles wyde do grunt and yawning gulphes they sosse,
His breast and throtebag greenishly are daw [...]d with clammy mosse
His side along begrymed is with Lactuse red of hue,
On snarling knots his wrinkled rumps toward his face he drue,
His scaly haunch, and lagging tayle most vgly dragges hee vp,
As Pristis in the deepe of Seas the swallowed Keele doth sup,
Or else perbraketh out agayne the vndigested pup.
The earth did quake, the Cattel feard about the field do rampe,
The hunter starke with chilling feare beginnes to stare and stampe,
The he [...]dman had no mynd his scattrynge Heyfers to pursue,
The Deere amazed brake the pale and bad the Laundes adue.
But onely yet Hippolytus. deuoyde of faynting feare
His neyng horses with the raynes of Bridles hard doth beare,
[Page] With w [...]nted woordes he cheareth vp his nymble Nagges afraide:
A st [...]epe hie way at Argos lies with stony cliues decaide,
That nodding ouerhangs the Sea, which vnderfleetes that wayes:
That vgly Royle heere heates him selfe, and rag [...]ng wrath doth rayse,
And kindling courage hoate, him force with burning breast assayes,
And chauflag eft himselfe before gan fret with angry hart.
Lo then into a scouring course on sodayne doth hee start,
With whirl [...]g pace he girding forth doth scarcely touch the ground,
Lighting a front the trimbling Ea [...]t with glaring Eyes hee glow [...]d.
Then also doth thy threatning Son with lowring browes vpstart,
Nor chaungeth Counte [...]aunce, but speakes with stout couragious hart.
This foolish feare doth not appaule my bold and hardned brest,
It comes to mee by kinde, that B [...]lls by mee should [...]ee opprest.
His Steedes defying strait the R [...]ynes plonge forward with the Cart,
As rage did prick them, sore afright bestoe the way they start.
This bias way among the Rocks they raunge, and wander wyde,
But as the Pylot (least the Barke should totter to one syde)
Doth beare it euen in wrastling waues: so while his horses skip,
He ruleth them, now raines them hard, and now with winding whip
Free lashes on their buttocks layes: his Foe doth him pursue,
Now step by step, now meeting full agaynst his face hee flue.
Prouoking terror euery where. No further fly they might:
The horned beast with butting Brow [...]s gan run vpon them right.
The trampling Gennets straught of wits doe straight way breake their ray,
The struggle striuing hard to slip the Collar it they may.
And prauncing on their hinder Feete, the burden hurle on ground:
Thy Son flat falling on his Face, his body fast was bound,
Entangled in the winding ropes, the more he striues to loose
The slipping knots, he faster [...]ticks within the s [...]ding noose.
The Horses doe perceyue the broyle: and with the Waggon light.
While none there is to rule the Raynes, with ski [...]tish feare afright
At randon out they ramping runne, (euen as the Welkin hye
The Cart that mist his woonted waight, disdayning in the Skye
The dreery day that falsely was commit vnto the Sun,
From off the fiery Marble Poale that downe a skew doth run,
Flang Phaeton tops [...]e toruey tost) his bloud begdres the ground:
And dingd agaynst the r [...]gged Rocks his head doth oft rebound:
The brambles rent his haled hayre▪ the edged flinty stones,
The beauty batter of his Face, and breake his crashing bones:
[Page 72] At Mouth his blaring tongue hangs out with squeased eyne out dasht,
His Iawes & Skull doe crack, abrode his spurting Braynes are pasht,
His cursed beauty thus defoylde with many wounds is spent:
The iotting Wheeles do grinde his guts, and drenched sims they rent.
At length a Stake wt Trūchion burnt his ripped Paūch hath caught,
From riued Grine toth [...] Nauell stead within his wombe it raught:
The Cart vpon his Maister pawsde agaynst the ground ycrusht,
The Fellies stuck within the wounds, and out at length they rush [...]:
So both delay and Maisters limbs are broke bystresse of Wheeles:
His dragling guts then trayle about the wincing horses heeles.
They thumping with their horny Hooues agaynst his Belly kick,
From bursten Paunch on hea [...]es his blouddy bowells tumble thick:
The scratting Bryers on the Brakes with needle poynted pricks
His gory Carkas all to race with spelles of thorny sticks
And of his flesh ech ragged shrub a gub doth snatch and rent,
His men (a mourning troupe God knowes) with brackish teares [...]esprēt
Doe stray about the fielde, whereas Hippolytus was tore:
A piteous signe is to bee seene by tracing long of gore:
His howling Dogges their Maisters limmes with licking follow still:
The earnest toyle of woful Wights can not the coars vp fill,
By gathering vp the gobbets sparst and broken lumps of flesh.
Is this the fla [...]nting brauery that comes of beauty fresh?
Who in his Fathers Empyre earst, did raigne as pryncely Peare
The Heyre apparant to the Crowne, and shone in honour cleare,
Lyke to the glorious Stars of Heauen, his Limmes in piec [...]s small
Are gathred to his fatall Graue, and swept to funerall.
O Nature that preuaylste too much, (alas) how dost thou binde
Whyth bonds of bloud the Parents breast? how loue wethe [...] by kinte?
Maugre our Teeth whom gullty ecke we would haue rest of breath?
And yet lamenting with my teares I doe bewayle thy death.
None can lament with honesty that which he wisht destroyde.
The hugi [...]st heape of woes by this I thinke to be enioyde,
When flickering Fortunes cursed wheele doc cause vs cry alas,
To rue the wrack of things which carst wee wished brought to passe.
If stil thou keepe thy grudge, why is the Face wt seates bespre [...]
Because I slue him, not because I lost him, I repent.
WHat heape of happes do tumble vpsyde downe
Th'estate of man? lesse raging Fortune flies
On little things: lesse leaming lightes are throwne
By hand of Ioue, on that which lower lies.
The homely couch safe merry hartes do keepe:
The Cotage base doth giue the Golden sleepe.
The lofty Turrets top that cleaues the cloude
VVithstandes the sturdy stormes of Southren wynde,
And Boreas boysterous blastes with threatning loud
Of blusteryng Corus shedding showres by kinde.
The r [...]ing Dales do seldome noiance take,
Byding the brunt of Lightninges slashing flake.
Th'aduaunced crest of Caucasus the great
Did quake with bolt of lofty thundring Ioue:
VVhen he from cloudes his thunder dintes did beat,
Dame Cybels Phrygian fryth did trembling moue:
King loue in hawty heauen ful sore affright
The nighest thinges with weapons doth he smyght.
The ridges low of Vulgar peoples house
Striken with stormes do neuer greatly shake:
His Kingdomes coast Ioues thundring thumpes do souse:
VVith wauering winges that houre his fligth doth take
Nor flitting Fortune with her tickle wheele
Lets any wight assured ioy to feele.
VVho in the VVorld beholds the Statr [...]s ful bright,
And chereful day forsaking gastly Death,
His sorrowfull returne with groning spright
He rewes, sith it depriude his Sonne of breath
He seeth his lodging in his court agayne,
More doleful is then sharpe Auernus payne.
O. PALLAS vnto whom all Athens land
Due homage oweth, because that THESEVS thine
Among vs worldly Wights againe doth stand,
And seeth the Heauens vpon himselfe to shine.
And passed hath the parlous myrie Mud
Of stinking Stygian Fen, and filthy Flud.
Vnto thy rauening Vncles dreery Gaile
O Lady chaste not one Ghost dost thou owe,
The Hellick Tyrant knovves his perfect tale.
Who from the Court this shriking shrill doth throwe?
What mischiefe comes in frantick PHAEDRAS brayne
With naked Svvord thus running out amayne.


THrough pierst with pangues of penstuenesse
what fury prickes thy brayne?
What meanes this bloudy blade? what meanes
this shriking out amayne?
And langishing vpon the Corps
which was thy mallice made?
O tamer of the wrastling waues
mee, mee, doe thou inuade.
The Monstrous hags of Marble Seas to rampe on mee send out,
What euer Thetis low doth keepe with folding armes about,
Or what the Ocean Seas alo [...]fe embrace with winding waue:
O Theseus that to thine alies dost still thy selfe behaue
So Currishly, O thou that for thy louing Friends auayle
Dost neuer yet returne: thy Sonne and Father doe bewayle
[Page] Thy pasport brought by death, and bloud, thy s [...]ooke thou dost destroy,
By loue or hatred of thy wife thou workest still annoy:
O sweete Hippolytus thus I behold thy battred face,
And I it is, I wretch (alas) that brought thee to this case.
What Scinis forst thy lims so torne his snatching boughes to feele?
Or what Procrustes rackt and rent thee streacht on bed of Steele?
Or else what Minotaur of Crete that grim twishaped Bull
With horny head (that Dedalls [...]ues with lo [...]ing s [...]leth [...]
Hath thee in fitters torne? (aie me) where is thy beauty fled?
Where are our twinckling stars thine eyes? alas, and art thou ded?
Appeare a while, receiue my words, for speake I shall none yll.
This hand shal strike the stroake, wherwith thy bengeance quite I wil.
And sith that I, I Ca [...]ife, I, abridged haue thy life,
Lo here I aut content, [...] thee mine with bloudy knife.
If ghost may here be giuen for ghost, and breath may serue for breath,
Hippolytus take thou my soule, and come againe from death.
Behold my bowels yet are safe my lims in lusty plight.
Would God that as they serue for me, thy body serue they might,
Mine eies to render kindly light vnto thy Carkasse ded,
Lo for thy vse this hand of mine shall pluck them from my hed,
And set them in these empty cells and vacant holes of thine.
Thy weale of me a wicked Wight to win, do not repine.
And if a womans wofull heart in place of thine may rest,
My bosom straight breake vp I shall, and teare it from my brest.
But courage stout of thine doth loth [...]aint womans heart to haue
Thy Noble minde would rather go with manly heart to graue.
Alas be not so manly now, this manlinesse forheare,
And rather choose to liue a man with womans sprite and feare,
Then as no man with manly heart in darcknesse deepe to sit:
Haue thou thy life, giue me thy death that more deserueth it.
Can not my profer purchase place? yet vengeance, shal thou haue,
Hell shall not hold me from thy syde nor death of dompish graue.
Sith fates wil not permit thee life, though I behest thee mine,
My selfe I shall in spite of fate my fatall twist vntwine.
This blade shall riue my bloudy breast, my selfe I will dispoile
Of soule, and sinne at once: through floods and▪ Tactor gulphes y boyle,
Through S [...]yx and through the burning Lakes I wil come after thee:
Thus may we please the lowring shades, receiue thou heere of m [...]e
The parings of my Poll, and Locks cut off from forehead torne,
Our hearts we could not ioyne in one, yet wretches now farlorne.
[Page 74] We shal togeather in one day our fatall hower close:
If thou be loyall to thy spouse, for him thy life then lose:
But if thou be vncestuous, dye for thy louers sake.
Shall I vnto my husbandes bed agayne my corps betake,
Polluted with so haynous crime? O death the chiefest ioy
Of wounding shame: Death onely ease of stinging Loues annoy:
We runne to thee: embrace our sowles within thy gladsome breast:
Harke Athens, harke vnto my talke, and thou aboue the reste,
Thou Father worse vnto thy Child than bloudy stepdame I.
False forged tales I told with shame, I fayning that did lye,
Which I of spite imagined, when raging breast did swarue.
Thou father falsly punisht hast him that did not deserue.
The youngman chast is cast away for myne vncestuous vice,
Both bashful he and guiltles was, now play thy wonted guyse.
My guilty breast with bloudy Launce of Sword deseru'd is riuen,
The Dirge toth [...] dead to purge my spouse shal with my bloud be geuen.
Thou father of the stepdame learne, what things thy Sōne should haue
Of life depriued, as to lay his carkasse in a graue.
O wanny Iawes of blacke Auerne, [...]ake Tartar dungeon grim,
O Lethes Lake of woful Soules the ioy that therein swimme,
And eake ye glummy Gulphes destroy, destroy me wicked wight
And stil in pit of pangues let me be plunged day and night.
Now, now, come vp ye Gobline grim from water creekes alow,
What euer Proteus hugie swolue aloofe doth ouerflow,
Come dowse me drownd in swallowes depe, that triumphe in my sinne:
And father thou that euermore ful ready prest hath binne
To wreake myne yre, aduentring Ia deede deseruing death
With new found slaughter haue bereft myne onely Sonne of breath.
His tattred lims I scatred haue the bloudy field about,
Whyle th'innocent I punish doe, by chaunce I haue found out▪
The truth of al this wickednes: heauen, starres, and sprites of hell
I p [...]ster with my treachery that me doth ouerquell.
No mischiefes hap remayneth more: iii. kingdomes know mee well:
We are returned to this World. For this did Hell vnfold
His gates that burials twayne I might and double death beholde?
Wherby I both a wyueles Wight andeak [...] a Sonles Sire,
May with one brand to wyse and Sonne enflame the funeral fire.
O [...]amer of blackefaced light Alcides, now restore
Thy booty brought from Hel, redeeme to mee, to mee therfore
[Page] These Ghostes that now be gone, ah sinful wretch to death in vayne
I sue, most vndiscrete by whom these wretched Wightes were slayne.
Imagining destruction sore aboute it wil I goe,
Now with thyne owne handes on thy selfe due vengeance do bestow:
A Pine tree bough downe straind perforce vnto the ground alow,
Let slip into the open ayre shal cut my corpes in twayne.
From top of Scyrons Rockes I wil be tumbled downe amayne.
More grieuous vengeance yet I haue in Phlegethon Riuer found,
Tormenting guilty Ghostes enclosd with fiery Channel round.
What pit and pangues shal plunge my soule already haue I known,
That tyring toyle of Sisyphus that retchles rolling stone,
Let yeeld vnto my guilty Ghost, and beyng layed on
These shoulders, these, these lifting handes of myne downe let it sway:
And let the fleeting floud aboute my lips deluded play.
Yea let the rauening grype come heare and Tytius paunch forsake,
Forglutting foode with grasping Cleaze my liuer let him take,
Encreasyng stil to feede the Foule, and for my tormentes sake.
And pause thou my Pyrothous Syre, and eke the snackle Wheele
That whirleth stil enforce my limmes thy swinging swift to feele.
Gape, gape, thou ground and swallow me thou cruell Chaos blynd,
This passage to thinfernall Sprightes is fit for me to find:
My Sonne I wil ensue, thou Prince of gastly ghostes in hell,
Dread not for chast wee come to thee: geue thou me leaue to dwell
Among thy dreadful dennes for aye, and not to passe agayne.
Alas, my prayer at the Gods no fauour can obtayne,
But if that mischiefe craue I should how ready would they bee?
O Theseus to thy plaint eternall tyme is graunted thee:
Prouyde thy Sonne his O [...]it rytes, and shroude in dompish graue
His broken lims, which Monsters foule disperst and scattered haue.
The shreadings of this deare beloued carkasse bring to mee,
His mangled members hether bring on heapes that tombled be:
This is Hyppolytus, I do acknowledge myne offence,
For I it is, that haue depriued thee of life and sense.
Least that but once, or onely I should be a guilty Wight,
I Sire attempting mischiefe haue besought my Fathers might.
Lo I enioy my fathers gift, O solitarinesse,
A grieuous plague when feeble yeares haue brought vs to distresse,
Embrace these lims, and that which yet doth of thy sonne remayne,
O woeful wight in baleful breast preserue and entertayne.
These scattred scraps of body torne O Syre in order fet,
[Page 75] The straying gobbetts bring agayne, here was his right hand set:
His left hand here instructed will to rule the raynes must be.
His left syde rybbs (ful wel I know to be [...]ewayld of mee
With bittter teares) as yet alas are lost and wanting still,
O trembling handes behold this woful busines to fulfil,
And withered Cheekes forbid your streams of flowing tears to runne
Whyle that the father do accompt the members of his Sonne.
And eke patch vp his body rent, that hath his fashion lost,
Disfigured foule with gorye woundes, and all about betost:
I doubt, if this of thee be peece, and peece it is of thee:
Here, lay it here, in th'empty place, here let it layed be,
Although perhap it lye not right: (aye me) is this thy face?
Whose beauty twinckled as a starre, and eake did purchase grace,
In sight of F [...]procurd to ruth. Is this thy beauty lost?
O cruell will of Gods, O rage in sinne preuayling most.
Doth thus the Syre that great good turne perfourme vnto his sonne?
Lo let thy fathers last fare wel within thyne eares to runne,
Mychild whom oft I bid farewell: the whilst the fire shall burne
These bones, set ope his buriall bower, and let vs fall to mourne
With loude lamenting Mopsus wise for both the coarses sake:
With Princely Pompe his funerall fire see that ye ready make.
And seeke ye vp the broken parts in field dispersed round,
Stop hir vp hurlde into a Pit, let heauy clodds of ground
lie hard vpon hir cursed hed.


TO THE RIGHT HONORA­BLE, MAISTER DOCTOR WOTTON: ONE OF THE Queenes Maiesties priuy Coun­sayle: Alexander Neuyle wish­eth Helth, vvith encrease of Honor.

THis sixtenth yeare of myne age (righte honorable) reneweth a gratefull memo­ry of your great goodnes towardes mee: (for at Baptisme your honor vouchsafed to aunsweare for mee): and causeth mee thus boldly to present these greene and vnmelowed fruicts of my first truailes vnto you: as signes and testimonies of a well disposed minde vnto your honor. Albeit when first I vndertoke the translation of this pre­sent Tragoedy, I minded nothing lesse, than that at any tyme thus rudely transformed it shoulde come into the [Page 76] Printers hands. For I to none other ende remoued him, from his naturall and lofty style, to our corrupt and base, or as some men (but vntruly) affyrme it, most barbarous Language: but onely to satisfy the instant requests of a few my familiar frends, who thought to haue put it to the very same vse, that SENECA himselfe in his Inuen­tion pretended: VVhich was by the tragicall and Pom­pous showe vpon Stage, to admonish all men of their fic­kle Estates, to declare the vnconstant head of wauering Fortune, her sodayne interchaunged and soone altered Face: and lyuely to expresse the iust reuenge, and feare­full punishmēts of horrible Crimes, wherewith the wret­ched worlde in these our myserable dayes pyteously swar­meth. This caused me not to be precise in following the Au­thor, word for word: but sometymes by addition, somtimes by subtraction, to vse the aptest Phrases in geuing the Sēse that I could inuent. VVhereat a great numbre (I know) will be more offended than Reason or VVysedome woulde they should bee. Thus as I framed it to one purpose: so haue my frends (to whom I can not well deny any thyng that Frendshyps ryght may seeme iustly to requyre) wre­sted it to another effect: and by this meanes blowen it a­broade, by ouerrash and vnaduised printing. By whych fond deede I know vndoubtedly I shall receyue the poyso­ned infamies, of a number of venemous tonges, VVhere­fore (ryght honorable) as I geue these the first Fruicts of my trauayle vnto you: declaring therein the great good­wyll and duety that I owe vnto your Honor, for the no­ble disposition of your vertuous mynde: so am I driuen humbly to require your strong ayde, and assured defence a­gaynst [Page] the sclaunderous assaults of such malicious mouths, which obtayned: I shalbe the better encouraged agaynst an other time, to bestow my trauaile in matters of farre greater weighte and importaunce. In the meane season (desiring your Honour to take these simple Attemptes of myne in good part:) I leaue you to the tuitiō of the right high and mighty God: VVho keepe you long in health, & graunt you many happy yeares: with encrease of Honor.

All your Honours to commaund. Alexander Neuile.

❀THE PREFACE TO the Reader.

BEHOLD HERE BEFORE THY Face (good Reader) the most lamentable Tra­gedy of that most Infortunate Prince O Edipus, for thy profit rudely translated. Wonder not at the grosenesse of the Style: neyther yet accounte the Inuentours Dylygence dys­graced by the Translators Neglygence: VVho thoughe that he hath somtimes boldly presumed to erre from his Au­thor, rouing at randon vvhere he list: adding and subtracting at pleasure: yet let not that engender disdaynefull suspition vvith in thy learned breast. Marke thou rather vvhat is ment by the vvhole course of the History: and frame thy lyfe free from such mischiefes, vvherevvith the World at this present is vniuersally ouervvhelmed, The vvrathfull vengeaunce of God prouoked, the Body plagued, the mynde and Conscience in midst of deepe deuouring daūgers most terribly assaulted. [Page 77] In such sort that I abhorre to write: and euen at the thought thereof I tremble and quake for very inward griefe and feare of minde: assuredly perswading my selfe that the right high and immortall God, will neuer leaue such horrible and de­testable crimes vnpunished. As in this present Tragoedy, and so forth in the processe of the whole hystory, thou maist right well perceyue. Wherein thou shalt see, a very expresse and liuely Image of the incōstant chaunge of fickle Fortune in the person of a Prince of passing Fame and Renown, midst whole fluds of earthly blisse: by meare misfortune (nay rather by the deepe hidden secret Iudgemēts of God) piteously plunged in most extreame miseries. The whole Realme for his sake in straungest guise greuously plagued: besides the apparaunt de­struction of the Nobility: the generall death and spoyle of the Cōminalty: the miserable transformed Face of the City, with an infinite number of mischiefes more, which I passe ouer vn­rehersed. Onely wish I all men by this Tragicall hystory (for to that entent was it written) to beware of Synne: the ende whereof is shamefull and miserable. As in the most infortu­nate fall of this vnhappy Prince right playnely appeareth. Who by inward gripe of fearefull cōsuming Cōscience wret­chedly tormented: beholding the lamētable state of his vile infected Realmes, wasted by the burning rage of priuy spoy­ling Pestilence, finds himselfe in tract of time, to be th'onely plague & misery of the almost quight destroied City. Where­vpon calling together his Priests and Prophets, & asking coū ­saile of the Gods by them, for present remedy in those euils, wherewith the Realme was than vniuersally ouerflowen: aū ­swere was made that the Plague should neuer ceasse, till king LAIVS death were throughly reuenged: and the bloudy Murtherer driuen into perpetuall exile. Which aunswere re­ceiued, OEDIPVS, farre more curious in bowlting out the truth, than carefull of his own Estate: sodainly slides into an innumerable company of dredfull miseries. For as soone as he had once the perfect vewe of his own detestable deedes, and wicked misdemeanour cast before his eyes, together with the [Page] vnnaturall killing of his Father LAIVS, the incestuous Ma­riage of his Mother IOCASTA, the preposterous order of his ill misguyded lyfe, vvith a hundred moe like mischiefes, vvhich chaste & vndefiled eares abhorre to heare: fretting Fu­ry cōmon enemy & tormētor to corrupted cōsciēces pricking him forvvard, all inflamed vvith Phrensie and boyling in in­vvard heate of vile infected minde, hee rooteth out his wret­ched eyes vnnaturally, bereaueth his Mother her life (though earnestly requested thereto) beastly, & in the ende in most ba­sest kind of slauery, banisht, dieth miserably. Leauing behind him vnto all posterities, a dredfull Example of Gods horrible vengeaunce for sinne. Such like terrors as these requireth this our present Age, wherein Vice hath chiefest place, & Vertue put to flight, lies as an abiect, languishing in great extremity. For the vvhich cause, so much the rather haue I suffred this my base trāslated Tragoedy to be published: frō his Author in word & verse somewhat trāsformed, though in Sense litle al­tered: and yet oftentimes rudely encreased vvith mine owne simple inuention: more rashly (I cōfesse) than wisely, vvishing to please all: to offend none. But vvhereas no man liues so vprightly, vvhom slaundring tonges leaue vndiffamed, I re­ferre my selfe to the Iudgement of the vvisest, litle esteeming the preiudiciall mouthes of such carping Marchaūts, vvhych suffer no mens doings almost to scape vndefiled. In fine, I be­seech all to gether (if so it might be) to beare vvith my rude­nes, & consider the grosenes of our owne Countrey language, which cā by no meanes aspire to the high lofty Latinists stile. Myne onely entent vvas to exhorte men to embrace Vertue and shun Vyce, according to that of the right famous & ex­cellent Poet Virgil

Discite insticiam moniti, & non temnere diuos.

This obtayned: I hold my selfe throughly cōtented: In the meane season I ende: wishing all men to shun Sin, the plaine (but most perilous) pathway to perfect infelicity.

The Speakers names.
  • [Page 78]OEdipus.
  • Choru [...].
  • Tiresias.
  • Sanex.
  • Iocasta.
  • Creon.
  • Manto.
  • Phorbas.
  • [Nuntius]


OEDIPVS the King. IOCASTA the Queene.
THe Night is gon: and dredfull day
begins at length t'appeere:
And Phoebus all bedim' [...]e with Clowdes,
himselfe aloft doth reere.
And glyding forth with deadly hue,
a dolefull blase in Skies
Doth beare: Great terror & dismay
to the beholders Eyes.
Now shall the houses voyde bee seene, with Plague deuoured quight?
And slaughter that the night hath made, shall day bring forth to light.
Doth any man in Princely throne reioyce? O brittle Ioy,
How many ills? how fayre a Face? and yet how much annoy
In thee doth lurke, and hidden lies? what heapes of endles strife?
They iudge amisse, that deeme the Prince to haue the happy life.
For as the Mountaynes huge and bie, the blustring wiudes withstand.
And craggy Rocks, the belching fluds do dash, and driue fro land:
Though that the Seas in quiet are, and calme on euery side:
So kingdoms great all Windes and Waues of Fortune must abide.
How well shund I my Father deare Polybius Scepters late?
Exil'de, bereft of carefull feare, in Pilgrims happy state:
I call the Gods to witnes this, and Stars that glyde in Skyes.
A Kingdome is befauln to mee. I frare least thereof ryse
A mischiefe, (mighty Ioue,) to great I feare, alas I feare
Least these my handes haue re [...]t the life, or thee my Father deare.
Apollo byds mee this beware, and yet a mischiefe more Foretels.
Can any greater bee than that you tolde before?
[Page] Of Father slayne by sonnes own hand?
(O thrice vnhappy state.)
With horror all dismaide I stand in dred of threatned fate.
I am ashamed my destinies fowle (O Queene) to thunder out,
And openly to blase my feare my trembling minde doth dout:
Yet out it goes. Phoebus me bids my Mothers Bed to fly.
As though that I her Sonne, with her incestuously should ly.
This feare, and onely this me causde my fathers kingdome great
For to forsake. I fled not thence when feare the minde doth beat.
The restlesse thought still dreds the thing, it knows can neuer chaunce.
Such fansies now torment my heart, my safety to aduaunce,
And eke thyne euer sacred lawes (O Nature) for to keepe
A stately Scepter I forsooke, yet secret feare doth creepe
Within my breast: and frets it still with doubt and discontent,
And inward pangues which secretly my thoughts a sunder rent.
So though no cause of dred I see, yet feare and dred I all,
And scant in credit with my selfe, my thoughts my minde appall
That I cannot perswaded be though reason tell mee no,
But that the Web is weauing still of my decreed wo.
For what should I suppose the cause? a Plague that is so generall,
And Cadmus country wholy spoyles, and spreds it selfe through all?
Should mee, amongest so huge a heape of plagued Bodies spare?
And we alone amongst the rest reserude to mischiefes are?
O heauy hap. And bide I stil alone the spoyle to see?
Of Cities great, of men, of beasts, by plague that wasted bee?
And thou amongst so many ils, a happy lyfe to lead,
Couldst once perswade thy selfe (O wretch) without all feare or dread.
Of Phoebus secret Iudgements to, and that in Kinges estate?
Thou, thou, infected hast the ayre, in such a filthy rate.
Thou art the onely cause of woe: by thee these euils rise,
By thee to graue on such a sorte, this wretched people plies.
The firy flaming frying heate, afflicted hearts that wasts,
Is not relieude as wont it was by cold and pleasaunt blasts.
The gentle western windes haue left with healthfull puffes to blow,
And now the fiery Dog with blase of boyling heate doth glow.
The Sunne in Leo burns so hoate, and so the earth doth broyle,
That fluds and hearbes are dryed vp, and nought remaynes but soyle,
So throughly schorcht and stued with heate, that moisture all is gone,
And now amongst so many fluds, remaynes alas not one.
The places dry are onely seene the streames are drunken vp.
And water that doth yet remayne: the soaking Earth doth sup.
[Page 79] The Moone with clowds quight over cast, all sadly [...] she glides,
And dolefull darksom shades of night the who [...] worlde ouer hides.
No Star on high at all doth shine, but black and [...] hue
Hath ouershaded all the Skyes, whence deadly mists ensue.
The corne that wonted was to growe and fruitfully to spring,
Now to the voyded Barnes nought els, but empty stalkes doth bring.
No part of all our kingdome is free from destruction:
But all together run and rush, to vtter confusion.
The old men with the yong (alas:) the [...] with the chylde
The plague consumes. Both man & wife, all beasts both tame & wylde
Are spoyled by the Pestilence. No pompe at all remaynes,
That wonted was in Funeralles, to ease the mourners paynes.
Alas this spoile of people made, by plague hath dryde myne eyes:
And secretly within my breast, the griefe it boyling fryes.
And that, that wonted is to hap, in most extremest ills:
My tearees are dry and glutting griefe my wretched breast it fills.
The crased father beares the son, vnto theyr dampish graues:
And after him with burden like, the Mother comes and raues:
And euen lamenting as they stand, [...] both they fall,
And mourners new in like estate, for them [...] they call.
Who likewise in the midst of all their [...]oyle and paynfull payne
Do drop into the graue they digd, and so the place doe gayne
That was prepar' de for others erst. A hell it were to heere
The horror, and the miseries that euery where appe [...]re.
A Tombe is made for noble men, fast on the people die,
And in, their burdens fling. Great Pieres all vnregarded lye.
For lack of Graues, to Ashes cleane their bodyes some doe wast▪
And some halfe burnt doe leaue them there, and home away for hast
They run, & more they fetch, and then wood, fier, graue, and all
Doth want. And downe for very griefe the wretched mysers fall.
No prayers auaile. No Arte can help this raging Plague t'appease:
For none almost is left aliue each others woe to ease.
Before thine aulters heere O God my feeble hands I hold,
Requiring all my destinies, at once with courage bold.
And that by death I may preuent, my Countrey prest to fall.
For this, and only this (O God) vpon thy name I call.
Let mee not be the last that dies: The last that goes to Graue.
Graunt this, and then (O mighty Ioue) my full request I haue.
O cruell Gods vnkinde: O more than thrise vnhappy Fates:
That onely mee denied is, that lyghtes on all Estates.
[Page] I meane a speedy death (alas) these euils to preuent
And deadly woe [...] rage itorment.
Leaue of thy blubb [...]ring [...] kingdomes foylde
With rotten plagues & [...] bile, and graves ech where dispoylde.
All which diseases thou vnhappy guest didst bring with thee
Dispatch. Away. Gpe hence. At least, vnto thy parents flee.
What bootes it [...], great wt piteous plaints to ag­gre [...]ate.
Stoutly to beare aduers [...], [...] estate.
When dred and daunger most assay [...] ▪ when cruell Cares doe crush
Thy princely breast, [...]spant thou most to beare and bide the push.
It is no poin [...] of courage slout to yeelde to fortunes frown.
Nay, Fear [...] could n [...]u [...] cause mee sloupe nor Fortune cast mee down.
My manly winds was neuer thraule to vaine and peau [...]h feares,
But euermore in each [...] courage beares.
No not a thousand glister [...]g swords, nor Mars himselfe in fielde.
Can once dismay my Countenuance, or cause my heart to yeelde.
The very Giaunts fierce and huge in fight withstand I dare.
That Monster Sohinx whose riddels through the world renowmed are▪
Could not dismay my deedles heart, nor cause my courage slide
For all the terrors I behold. I did that Fury byde.
I saw him belching G [...]bs of bloud, I v [...]wde full well the fielde
That all to [...] lay with bloud, and bones quight ouerheelde.
And when y he on Mountaynes top with mouth full huge to see.
Stoode gaping all with greedy Iawes to feede and pray on mee,
Oft fluttering with his fearefull wynges and shaking oft his rayse,
Began full like a Lyon [...] with threates mee to assayle.
Of whom straight way the Riddell I, it rush [...] into myne [...]ares
With roring sound His winges he claps, the Rock for hast hee teares.
Destring with my Bowels still his greedy Iawes to glu [...]:
But I full soone assoyled had the question that he put.
And all the subtile poincts ther of, and twisted kno [...]s vntwinde.
What makes you wish for death to late, and waue your wordes in wind.
You might haue died than (you know) for Sphinx so nobly slain.
This kingdom vnto you, and yours for euer shall remain.
The ashes of that Monster vile, agaynst vs doth rebell.
That vile mishapen lothsome Beast, that raging Feend of Hell.
Is cause of all the plague that doth this mournfull City smight.
Now only this remaynes alone, if Phoebus heauenly might,
Can any meanes inuent for vs, or way of mercy make:
Whereby these burning Plagues at length may haply chasice to slake.
[Page 80]
O More then thrise renow [...]ied Stock
of auncient Cadmus Race.
O mighty Thebes City grear,
O heauy ruthfull Case.
Loe now you lye all desolate,
with Plague deuoured quight.
Both you and all your Husbandmen.
(Oh miserable sight.)
O fowle and feareful Fate (alas) what causeth all this aid?
O God whence springs this Pestylence that vs [...] so?
No age, no shape, no forme is sparde, but all confounded lye.
Thus happiest now y man I count, whose chaunce was first to dye.
For hee hath shund a thousand [...]ils, which wretched Eyes haue seene:
And mischiefes great that vs doe pr [...]sse from him are taken cleane.
O God withhold thy fury great, thy Plagues from vs re [...]du [...].
Ceasse of afflicted Soules to scourge, who thee, [...] [...]nd [...]oue.
Powre downe on them diseases fowle, that them deserued haue.
A Guerdon iust for sinne (Oh God) this this of thee wee [...]aue,
And onely this. We aske no more, the cause and all is thyne,
A thing not vsde of Gods it is, from pity to declyne.
My heart doth vant, and trembling cold through all my lims doth run,
As oft as I remembring, count the noble Stockes v [...]un,
By death and dolfull destenies that ouerwhelmed lye,
And yet alas the people stil to Graue doe faster hye.
In long Aray all in a rancke by thousandes on a [...]o [...],
On euery side, in euery streate to buriall fast, they goe.
The seuen broade wyde open Gates, are not [...] forway,
But throngd the people pestred stand still in a fearefull stay,
And in the mydst of all theyr toyle with corses on their backes,
The number that before doth poast the hinder number slackes▪
The corses in the streates doe lye and Graue on Graue is made.
But all in vayne. For nought it boots the plague [...] bestayde.
The sacrifices don to Gods ha [...]e to to ill successe.
And such straunge sights & signes doe rise that nought els I can gesse,
But that at hand with gastly pawes, is vtter destruction,
With thousand ills accompayned and extreme confusion.
The sheepe of rot by heapes as thick, as dogges doe fall and d [...]e▪
And belching out their wasted lunges, on grounde doe sprawling lye.
And I my selfe of late did see: (a sight vnseene before,)
[Page] As our high priest stoode sacrifising at the Temple dore,
And strake with grieuous bloudy wound the golden horned Bull
When downe with liueles lump he drop [...] and members made full dull.
And all the woude wide bleeding gapes & black goars bloud out spues.
And yet the blade vnsprinckled was. The bloud it buying [...]
And bubbles on the ground. Alas what do these things por [...]end?
Oh mighty Ioue at length vouchsafe some good and ha [...]y end.
At length withhold thy h [...]d (O God) and health vnto vs send.
Nothing (alas) remaynes at all, in wo [...]ed old estate,
But all are tu [...]ed to p [...]t downe, quight voyd and desolate
The famting horse for [...] banck his burden tats.
Aud after on [...]:
Who cries for help [...] that bide
Unkept: vnknowen wayes and pathe do raunge and ouerstride.
The Bull [...] and me a [...]e in field all faintyng lyes.
And, all his flocke [...], fely Shephard dyes.
The [...] his zatal breath expiers
And to the [...] hisfast [...]esters.
The [...] do lyue in aretched peace.
The rage, and wrathful [...] founds of ramping Lions cease.
The vengeaunce [...] Beares are now as [...]ame as sheepe
The vgly Serpent that was wont▪ the Rocky Den [...]es to keepe.
Oft quaffing poisoned [...] in inward hea [...]. shee boyles,
[...] for lenger ly [...]e she toyles.
The woods are [...] withfresh and lyuely hue▪
The wonted shades are gon. All things are quight out of their Que:
No greenish grasse on ground doth grow, the earth no moisture soupes.
The Vine withoute [...] [...] [...]ap, his drowsy head down drowpes.
What shal I say? all [...] but of course,
And as they [...] wors and worse.
O mighty [...] yls?
When cease [...] [...]loud thus fierce and raging spils?
I thinck but we almost alyue, there do no men remayne:
Whom [...] Darrs [...] on earth haue left vnslayne.
I thinke [...] shades of hell where filthy fluds do flow,
Where plages and vile diseases too, where dredfull horrors grow,
And [...] mischiefes on vs throw,
With Botch & bla [...]e of sundry kindes which sother [...] blasts do blow,
And wrekful vexed hagges of hell do dreath and on vs bringe:
The angry feddes of hell I thinke their vengea [...]ce, on vs flinge
[Page 81] And out their mortall poyson spue which they agaynst vs beare.
Lo see how greedy death on vs with scowling eyes doth leare.
See, see. Oh Ioue how fast hee throwes his Dartes. Not one he spares
But all confounds. His thretning force, withstand no Creature dares.
No doubt the lothsom Feryman the sinfull soules that traynes
Through stincking fluds, his labour loths that he for vs sustaynes.
Such presse by plūps to him is made which still renews his paynes.
But harke yet mōsters more thē these, the Fame abroade doth fly
That hellishe Dogges wt bawling sound were heard to howle and cry,
And y the ground with trembling shooke, and vnder feele did moue.
And dreadfull blasing Comets bright were seene in Skies aboue.
And gastly shapes of men besides, to wander on the ground.
And wood, and trees on euery syde, did fearefully resound.
Besides all this straūg Ghosts were seene in places where they stoode.
And Ryuers more then one or two, that ran all blacke goorb bloode.
O cruell plague, O vile discase, farre worse then speedy death.
O wee vnhappy thrise and more, who doe prolonge our breath.
In these accursed dayes and tymes. But harke to mee a while.
When first this Iothsome plague begins these Mysers to defile,
It takes them thus. A feareful Cold through al their bones doth r [...]n,]
And Cold and Heate togeather mixt, their se [...]es all benome.
Than litle lothsome markes appeare, and all their bodies spot.
And all their members slaming glow, and burning fast doe rot.
The Lights, the Lungs, the heart, the Guts, and all that inwarde lies.
And all the secret partes iscorcht, with deadly, I fier fries.
The bloud all clotterd in their Cheekes, in cluster lies by lumps.
And it and heate together makes, great, straung, and ruddy bumps.
And bloud and flesh congeled stands, in Face as stiffe as stake.
And Eyes in head fast fixed set, and often trickling make.
And downe apace whole fluds they steame, and clots & drops doe trill,
And all the skin from of their Face, by flakes and scales doth pill.
A thousand fearefull sounds at once, into their eares doe rush.
And lothsome bloud out of their Nose, by stilling streames doth gush.
The very anguish of their heart doth cause them for to shake.
And what with payne & heale, and feare, their weried lims doe quake.
Then some the rūning Ryuers haunt, and some on gro [...]nd [...]ce [...].
And some agayne their thirst to slake, cold water gulping [...].
Thus all our country [...]ost with plague in Griefy it waltering [...].
And still desiring for to dye, a thousand deathes it dyes.
But God to heare them then is prest: and death to none [...].
[Page] Besydes al this, the church some do frequent: but not to pray,
But onely for to glut the Gods, with that that they do say.
But who is this that comes to Court in hast with poasting pace?
What? ist Creon that noble Prince (for deedes and stately race?)
Or doth my mynd opprest with care thinges false for true contriue?
Creon it is long looked for, his sight doth me reuyue.


The first Scene.

FOr feare my body chilles, alas,
and trembling all I stand
In quakinge dread. I seke and toyle,
these mischiefes to withstand.
But al in vayne I spend my thoughtes
it wil not be, I see,
As long as all my sences thus
by cares distracted bee.
My mynd desyrous stil (Oh God,) the truth for to vnfold,
With doubtful Dread is daunted so, that it can scant vpholde
It selfe. O Brother beare, if way or meane of health thou know,
Declare it out and sticke not all the truth to me to show.
The Oracle (most noble king) ys darke, and hidden lies.
Who doubtful health to sicke men brings, all health to thē denies.
Apolloes vse yt is the troth in darkesome dens to hold.
And Oedipus of Gods it hath thinges hidden to vnfold:
Speake out, tell all, and spare not man: all doubtes I can discus.
Apollo then (most noble King) himselfe commaundeth thus.
By exile purge the Princes seat, and plague vvith vengeance due
That haples vvretch, vvhose bloudy handes of late King Laius slue:
Before that this perfourmed bee, no hope of milder ayer:
Wherfore do this (O King) or else All hope of helpe dispayre.
[Page 82]
Durst any man on earth attem pte, that noble Prince to slay?
Shew me the man that I may him dispatch out of the way.
God graunt I may it safely tel: the hearyng was to terrible,
My senses all amased are: it is a thing so horrible,
That I abhorre to vtter it (oh God) for feare I quake
And euen at the very thought my lims beginne to shake.
Assoone as I Appollos Church, had entred in affrayd,
Vppon my face flat downe I fell, and thus to him I prayd.
Oh God if euer thou didst rue, on wretched misers state,
If euer men opprest thou easd, or didst their cares abate,
If euer thou in present neede didst present helpe declare,
If euer thou afflicted Hartes with cares consumd didst spare:
Shew now thy wonted elemency and pitty knowne of yore.
Scant had I sayd: Refounding all the mountaynes thondring rore:
And filthy feendes spout out their flames out of their darksome caues.
And woods do quake, and hilles do moue, and vp the surging waues
Do mount vnto the skies aloft, and I amased stand.
Still looking for an aunsweare at Apollos sacred hand.
When out with ruffled hayre disguisd [...]th: Prophet comes at last:
And when that shee had felt the heate of mighty Phoebus blast.
All puffyng out she swelles in rage, and pattring still she raues,
And scant she entred had into Apollos shyning caues,
When out a thundring voyce doth brust that's farre aboue mans reach.
So dreadful seemed then to me the mighty Phoebus speach.
Than thus he spake aud thus at length into myne cares he rusht
Whyle sprawling stil the Prophet lay before the doores in dust.
The Thebane City neuer shal be free frō plagues (quoth he,)
Except from thense the Kingkiller forthwith expulsed bee:
Vnto Apollo knowen he was, or euer he was borne.
Do this: or else no hope of health, to this, the gods haue sworn.
And as for thee, thou shalt not long in quiet state indure,
But with thy self wage war thou shalt & war thou shalt pro­cure
Vnto thy children deare: & crepe agayn thou shalt into thy mothers wombe.
Loke what the Gods commaunded haue accomplished shalbe.
Nor neuer shal these eyes of myne abyde the day to see,
A King of kingdome spoyld by force, by guyle or crast supprest.
A kinge to kinges the prop ought be, and chiefest cause of rest:
No man regardes his death at all whom liuing he doth feare,
Great cause makes mee my Princes death conceale and closiy beare
Ought any cause of feare or griefe, the duty for to let?
The threatning of the prophesyes, do stil my breast beset.
Let vs (sith God cōmaunds) forthwith some good attonement make
If any way, or meanes there be their wrathful rage to slake.
Thou God that sits on seate on high, and al the world dost guide,
And thou by whose commaundement the Starres in Skies do glide:
Thou, thou that onely ruler art of Seas, of Floods, and all.
On thee and on thy Godhead great, for these requestes I call.
Who so hath slayne king Laius, oh Ioue I do thee pray.
Let thousand ils vpon him fall, before his dying day.
Let him no health ne comfort haue, but al to crusht with cares,
Consume his wretched yeares in griefe, & though that death him spares
Awhyle. Yet mischiefes all, at length vppon him light.
With all the euils vnder Sun, that vgly monster smight.
In exile let him liue a Slaue, the rated course of life.
In shame, in care, in peuury in daunger and in strife.
Let no man on him pity take, let all men him reuyle.
Let him his Mothers sacred Bed incestuously defyle.
Lim him his father kill. And yet let him do mischiefes more.
What thing more haynous can I wish then that I wisht before?
Let him do all those illes I say, that I haue shund and past.
All those and more (if more may be) oh God vpon him cast.
Let him no hope of pardon haue: but sue and all in vayne.
All hellish Furies on him light, for to encrease his payne.
O Ioue powre downe thy fury greate, thy thūdring thumpes out throw
Let Boreas boysterous blastes and stormy plagues vpon him blow
Consume him quight. Fre [...] out his guttes wt pockes and botches vile
Let all diseases on him light that wretched bodyes fyle.
Let these and more (if more may be) vppon that Monster fall.
Let Harpies pawes and greedy paunche deu [...]ure his members all.
Let no man him regard: or seeke his limmes in grade to lay:
But let him dye ten thousand deathes before his dying day.
By this my Kingdome I do sweare, and Kingdome that I left
By al my Countrey Gods that bene in Temples closely kept,
I sweare, I vow, I do protest, and thereto witnes take:
The Starres, the Seas, the Earth and all that ere thy hand did make.
Except that I my selfe forthwith this bloudy monster find,
To wreake the wrath of God some way with solemyne oth I bynde.
[Page 83] And so my father, Polybius his happy dayes out lyue.
And so my mother Merope, no mariage new contriue:
As he shall dye that did this deede, and none shal him excuse.
Whoso he be here I protest for that he shortly rues:
But where this wicked deede was don Creon now tell me playne:
Both by what meanes? & where: and how Ring Laius was slayne.
Creon. Passing through Castalia woods & mountayns heapt with suoe
Where groues and scrubs, and bushes thicke & brambles sharp do groe.
A threepathd crooked way there is that diuersly doth goe.
One vnto Bacchus citty bends that Phoce doth hight,
The other to Olenius, forth stretcheth out aright:
The third that reacheth through the vales and by the riuers lyes
Tends downe vnto the Bancks wherby Ele [...]a, water plyes
There vnawares (O piteous chaunce) a troup of theues entraps
The noble prince, and murders him hence spring these great mishaps
which heape you realms with hideous woes and plagues on euery side,
By iust decree of heauenly powers which can no murder bide.
But see Tiresias where he coms with old and trembling pace.
I thincke Apolloes heauenly might haue brought him to this place.
See where he comes▪ and Manto too, his steps directing stayes
Tis he who for your grace (O king) and for your countrie prayes


COme holy priest (to Phoebus next)
these doubtfull aunswers Iose:
And whom that destnies will to dye,
Straightwayes to me disclose.
Renowmed Prince, though still I stand
in silence dūme dismayde:
And though by inwarde feare of mynde
my lingring tonge is stayde:
Yet pardon me (O noble Prince,) and geue me leaue a while.
From lack of sight springs Ignoraunce which powre hath to exile
Vnspotted Truth frō doubtfull breasts. This thing ful well you knoes,
But whither God and Countrey calles, with willing minde I goe.
Let deadly fatall destentes, be boulted out at length.
O King if I of greener yeares had now my wonted strength:
This matter soone discust should be, and I would take in hande,
My selfe in presence of the Gods, in temple for to stande.
A mighty Oxe all coulourd white, vp on the Aulters reare,
Which neuer yet on weried necke, the croked yoake did beare.
And Manto thou, O daughter mine, mine onely prop and stay:
The secret hidden misteries, and sacred signes out say.
M A. The beast before the Aulter stands.
T Y.
To Gods a prayer make,
And on the holy Aulters cke, some pleasaunt odors shake.
M A.
Tis done. And all the fiers fieice, with incence bright doe flame.
T Y.
O Manto now what signes seest thou? how doe thy matters frame?
What? doth the fire, the Sacrifice encompas rounde about?
Not so. But first it mounts alost, and streight it flasheth out.
Well Yet, how doth the sacred flame all shining bright and cleare
It selfe on high vnto the Sktes, with sparkelting flakes v [...]reare?
Or doeh it oft rebounding backe, it selfe, from Skyes vnfould?
Or all with rumbling roring noyse, about the place ist rould?
[Page 84] Or dim'd with smoke, ist tost from place, to place, now heere, now theare?
Not one. But diuerse, colours mixt the flame doth with it beare.
Much like vnto the Rainbow, which with sundry paynted hues
Foreshewes vnto the husbandmen the weather that ensues.
What colour it wants, or what it hath, to me is like vncertayne.
Now is it black, now blue, now red, and euen now agayne
Quight out it is. Yet once agayn, all fierce it flashing flames:
But lo, yet mischiefs more then this, vnluckely it frames.
The fier quight a sunder parts, and flame with flame doth fight.
O father I abhorre to see, this vgly lothsome sight.
The Wyne to blud is turned quight, and all the Prynces hed,
With thicke black clouds encōpast is, with smoke all ouerspred.
O father tell what this portends?
What should I tell alas?
My mynde for feare astonied stands, and trembling cold doth pas
Through all my lims. What shall I say? or where shall I begin?
O cruell Plagues, O wrekfull Gods, O vengeaūce due for sin.
Some dyre and blouddy deed (Alas) these hydeous signes declare.
Whats that the Gods would haue reuealde, and yet doe bid beware
To vtter it? By certaine signes their wrath is oft descride:
Such signes appeere, and yet they seeme their fury great to hide.
They are ashamde: I wot nere what. Come hither, quickly bring
Some salt with thee, and it vpon the sacrifice goe fling.
What? are their lookes pleasant and milde, and doe they gently bide
The touching of thy sacred hands?
What may this thing betide?
The Bull (a wonder great to see) his head on hie he lifts
And turned still vnto the East, from thence it alway shifts,
Still lothing as hee seemes to me, of heauen to see the light,
Oft scouling with his blearing eyes with gastely ruthfull sight.
But doth one blow thē driue to groūd, or more the one they haue?
The Heifer as it seemde, enflamd with courage stoute and braue
Vpon the mortall Blade did rush, and there hirselfe destries:
When out the bloud it foming spoutes, and mounts vnto the Skies.
The brawny Bull twise stroke or thrise, with groueling groning tyres,
And toyling vp and down he moyles. And still to liue desires.
And yet at length with much ado, his brutish breath expiers.
What? doth the wounde wide open gape, or is it closed vp?
Or doth the deepnes of the hole, the bloud in soking sup?
Out of the wounded Heifers breast Black bluish waters rush.
As for the Bull, but little bloud, out of his wounds doth gush.
[Page] [...]t back rebounds, and from his Mouth & Eyes by streames [...]oth flow.
But what these dreadfull signes portend the Gods aloane doc know.
By this vnhappy Sacrifice, great feares within mee rise.
But tell mee now: In the inner parts, what secret hidden lies?
O Father what meanes this (alas) that more then wonted guise
The Inwards stir? and shake my hands, and heauing oft arise,
The bloud by streames out of the vaynes, full straungly skips aloft.
The heart all schorcht and hidden lies, and strykes are seene full oft,
Of Colour very wan and pale: The chiefest parts doe want.
The Lyuer bla [...]kish gall out spurts, and somwhat rysing pants.
And that, that myschiefes great, to kingdoms doth foreshow:
Tw [...] heads are seene, and yet both heads one skin doth ouerg [...]ow
And ouerheales them quight, But yet the skin, it is so thin
That easely one may discerne what lieth hid therein.
And that which horror doth encrease, a man may plainly see
How both the heart, the Lights, and Lungs, and all disturbed bee.
The fearefull noyse and sound you heere is not of beasts, but fier
That roaring on the Alters makes, presaging wrekefull yre
Of angry Gods who doe foretell some purpose that they haue,
For to reuenge some foule misdeede that vengeance iust doth craue.
No part his proper place obserues, nor keepes his order due:
But altogether quight disguisde, with an vnwonted hue.
Mishapen, out of frame, transformde, displaced quight (alas)
What thing is that the Gods entend ere long to br [...]ng to pas?
Why than declare from whēce, and why these deadly signes arise,
With courage stout I will it heare, it shall not once aggrise
By valiaunt mynd. Extremest ils haue power to banish feare.
You will wishe that vnhard which you so much desyre to heare.
Yet sence the Gods wil haue him known tell me (I say) his name
That siue your King.
Nor wing, nor womb of Bird or beast ye same
Can tell (O king) new sacrifice, new meanes we must inuent.
From dredfull darke infernall damps some Fury must be sent
These mischifes great for to vnfolde. Or els King Ditis hee,
That Empyre keepes on gri [...]sly Ghosts, entreated needes must bee
These things forthwith for to disclose. Tell who shall haue the charge,
A King thou art, than maist not thou go through those kingdoms large.
Than noble Creon thou shalt goe, this payne is first for thee:
Who must this crown and kingdome great enioy after mee.



Oedipus. Creon.
THough that thy Face where sadnes sits
in heauy mourning guise,
Nought els portend, but dedly griefes,
and mischiefes stil to ryse:
Yet tel some meanes wherby at length
the Gods we may appease,
And purchasē to our Kingdomes wast,
some hope of health and ease.
Alas you byd me that disclose which feare doth byd me hyde.
It that the Thebane Citties great, by doleful plagues destryde.
Perce not thy hart a: et oughtest thou▪ these Kingdomes for to rue,
Which were vnto thy brothers house, of auncient title due.
You wish y thing to know, which you wil wish vnknown at length.
Why so? a simple remedy of litle force and strength
Is ignoraunce of our estate when daungers vs betyde.
But what? wi [...]t thou so great a good for common safety hide?
Irkesome Medcines and perilous in s [...]cknes I abhorre▪
And I likewyse at Subiects hands disdayne to take a dorre,
Speake out with speed, or else by proofe of torment thou shalt find
How daungerous a case it is to gawle a Princes mynd.
Kinges often vse to wish vntolde, which they bad tel before.
Go to, dispatch and cease in time to vexe me any more.
Except that thou forthwith to me this [...]einous deede [...]isclose:
The gods I do protest, to death for al thou onely goes.
O pardon me most noble king. O let me hold my pes,
Of al the gracis Princes graunt, what fauour may be lesse?
As though y silence hurts not more both king and countries weale:
Then spech oft tymes: which subiects thoughts to Prices both reueale?
[Page] Dispatch at once, stir me no more thou knowst my guise of olde.
Silence denied, what priuileage may s [...]lly Subiect holde?
A iraytor he is, who stlēce keepes, whē king cōmaunds to speake.
Then pardon my constrayned speach, slth silence for to breake
You me compell. A dolefull tale (O king) my tongue must tell,
And which I feare your maiesty will not interpret well.
Was euer man rebukt for that, that he was bid to say?
Well than since needes I must: I am contented to obay.
A wood there is from City farre, enhaunst with stately trees:
Where many a plant, and her be doth grow, which Phoebus neuer sees:
With euer during bushes greene, the Typresse there doth ryse,
And puts his alde aud leffty had withing the cloude Skyes.
The auncient Time eaten Oke with crooked be [...]ded lims.
The Te [...]l tree flue: The Alder which in Neptunes kingdoms swims,
The Bayes with bitter beries eke the Elmes deere f [...]iends to Vyn [...]
And many a noble tree besides, as M [...]rtels, [...]
Amidst them all, one tree there is with large out [...]
Whose roring sound, & craking noyse the lesser woods [...]
And ouershades them all: a Tree of monstrous huge [...],
Beset with fearefull woods: there is that dyre, and dreadfull gate,
That leades to lothsome Lymbo Lake, and pyts that euer flowe.
Where choked miry mud doth streame with slimy course full flowe.
Here when the priest was entred in with comely [...] pace,
He stayed not: No neede there was, for night was still in place.
Than all the ground wyde open gapes, & smouthe ring [...]apours ryse,
And fyre and smoke, & styfling stink, mounts vp vnto the Shyes.
The Priest with wayling werde [...]clad, his fatall red out [...]ooke:
And entring in, in blacke Aray, full often times it shooke.
With heauy cheere and dolful pace: his hoary ha [...]re was twynde
With bowes of mortall Ewe. A tree wherewith the mourners winde,
Theyr mourning heads, & Garlands make. In this guise all arayde,
The sacred Priest doth enter in, with trembling lims dismayde:
Than in the Sheepe and Oxen blacke, by backwarde course are drawn▪
And odoures sweete, & Frankencence, on flaming fyres are thrown.
The beasts on burning, Altars cast, do quake with schorched lims:
And bloudy streames with fyre mixt, about the Aultars [...].
Than on the darke internall Gods, and him that rules them all:
With deadly shriking voyce aloude, the Prophet gins to call.
And rouls the Magick verse in mouth, and hidden Artes doth proue:
Which eyther power haue to appease or els the Gods to moue,
Thair bloudy streaming Lycours black, with broyling heate doe boyle:
[Page 86] And all the Beasts consume and burn. The Prophet than to toyle
Begins▪ And mixed wyne and Mylke vpon the Aultars throwes.
And all the Dongeon darke, and wyde with streamin [...] bl [...]od it flowes.
Than out with thundring voyce agayne the Prophet calles and cryes.
And straight as much wt mumbling mouth he champs in secret wyse
The trees do turne▪ The Riuers s [...] [...]. The ground with roring shakes.
And all the world as seemes to mee, with fearefull trembling quakes.
I am heard, I am heard, than out aloude the Priest began to cry:
Whan all the damp [...]ed fo [...]les by heapes abrode outrushing fly.
Then woods with rumbling noyse, doe oft resounding make.
And Heauen, and Earth together goe. And bowes and trees do crake.
And Thūders roore. And Lightnings flash. And waues aloft doe fly.
And ground retyres: and Dogs doe bawl: and Beastes are heard to cry.
And whyther long of Acheron, that lothsom Flud that [...]lowes
All stinking streames: or of the earth, that out her Bowels throwes,
Free place to Sprights to geue: or of that fierce infernall Hound,
That at such times doth bustling make wt chayns, & railing sound.
The Earth al wide it open ga [...]es. And I did see on ground,
The Gods with colour pale and wan, that those dark kingdoms keepe.
And very night I saw in deede, and thousand shapes to creepe,
From out those filthy stinking Lakes, and lothsom pits of Hell.
Where all the euils vnder Son, in darksom shades doe dwell.
So quaking all for feare I stoode with minde right sore apalde,
Whilst on those Gods wt trembling mouth the Priest full often calde.
Who all at once, out of theyr dens did skip with grie [...]ly Face.
And Monsters grim, and stinging Snakes seemd wander in that place.
And all the fowlest Feendes of Hell, and Furies all were theare.
And all trāsformed Ghosts & sprights, that euer Hell did beare.
With Cares, ahd all Diseases vyle, that mortall mynds doe crush,
All those, and more I sawe out of those Dangeons deepe to rush,
And Age I sawe, with riueled Fa [...]e, and Neede, & Feare, and Death.
And Fyre, and flames, & thousand ills out fro those Pits to breath.
Then I was gon: and quight amazd. The wenche in worser case.
And yet of olde, acquaynted with her Fathers Artes she was.
The Priest himselfe vnmooued stoode, and boldly cited owt:
Whole Armies of king Ditis men, who clustring in a Rowt:
All flittring thin like Cloudes, disperst abrode in Ayre doe fly.
And bearing sundry shapes and formes doe sc [...]d abou [...] in Sky,
A thousand woods I thinke haue not so many leaues on trees.
Ten thousand medowes fresh haue not so many flowers for bees.
[Page] Ten hundred thousand riuers not so many Foule can show:
Nor all the drops and streams, and gulphes that in the Seas do flow▪
If that they might be wayed, can sure so great a number make
As could those shapes and formes that flew from out of Limbo lake.
Both Tantalus and Zetus too, and pale Amphions Ghost:
And A gaue, and after her ten thousand Sprightes do post.
Than Pentheus, and more and more, in like estate ensue:
Til out at length comes Laius with foule and grisly hue:
Vncomly brest in wretched plight with fylth all ouergrowne:
All perst with wounds, (I loth to speake) with bloud quight ouerflown
A Miser ryght as seemd to me, and most of Misers all:
Thus in this case, at length he spake, and thus began to call.
O Cadmus cruel Citty v [...]le, that stil delightste in bloud,
O Cadmus thou, which kinsmens death, accountst as chiefest good▪
Teare out the bloudy Bowels of your Children, learne of me,
Do that, and rather more, then you would byde the day to see
Like ills as late on mee are light. Loe mothers loue (alas)
Hath causd the greatest misery that ere in Theba was.
The Countrey with the wrath of Gods at this tyme is not tost.
Nor yearth nor ayre infect is not the cause that all bene lost.
No No. A bloudy King is cause of all these mischiefes great:
A bloudy wretch: A wretched child that sits in Fathers Seate:
And Mothers bed defyles (O wretch) and entreth in agayne,
In places whence he came from once and doubleth so her payne,
Whilst that hee [...]ils the haples wombe wher in himselfe did lie
With graceles seede and causeth her twise childbirthes pangues to try:
Vnhappy Sonne, but Father worse and most vnhappy hee,
By whom the lawes of sacred shame so sore confounded bee.
For that that very bestes (almost) do all abh [...]rre to do,
Euen of his mothers body he hath brothers gotten two.
O mischiefe great: O dredful deede, then Sphinx, O mōster more:
Example vnto ages all of Gods foretold before.
But I thee, thee, that Scepter boldst, thy Father wil pursue,
And wreacke my selfe on thee and thyne with plagues & vengeance due.
All restles rage of spite and paiue I will vppon thee blow,
And all the furies foule of hell vppon thee I will throw.
I wil subuert thy Houses cleane, for this thy lothsome lust:
I wil do this thou wretch: And thee, and thyne consume to dust.
Wherfore dispatch at once (I say) into exile driue your King.
That ground y first of all he leaues, with fresh grene grasse shall spring.
[Page 87] And sweete, and pleasaunt Ayre, and healthfull blasts shall ryse,
And all the euills vnder Sun, that mortall men surprise:
The Pocks, the Piles, the Botch, the blaine, & death with him shall fly.
And with him mischiefs all shall passe, and Monsters vnder Sky.
And as for him I know hee would depart with willing mynde:
But I will clog his Fec [...], and hands, hss way he shall not finde.
But groping with his aged staffe, shall passe from place to place.
This shall he doe. And none shall rue vpon his ruthfull case.
Rid you the Monster from the Earth, for Heauen let mee alone.
No sooner sayd, but straight away, his dreadfull Ghost was gone.
And fast by thousands after him, th'other Sprights in hyde:
Than Cold & trembling feare began through all my bones to glyde.
The thing I alwayes fearde, I see vpon mee now is layde:
But slender props they are (God wot) whereby your Treason is stayde.
Meropa my Mother deare, shall mee from this defend:
Polybius eke shall purge mee quight, from Actions all, that tend
To murder, or to incest vile, they both shall mee excuse.
In such a case no meanes at all of tryall I refuse.
Lay what you can vnto my charge. No fault in mee remayns.
The Thebanes long or I came heere, of Laius death complayns.
My Mother yet alyue, my Father still in like estate.
No, no, this is some dol [...]ishe drift, of yo [...] false Prophets pate.
Or else some mighty God aboue, doth beare me no good will,
And seekes by Plagues on mee to wreke, his wrathfull vengeaunce stil.
Ah Sir I am glad at length I smell your drifts and fetches fyne.
I know the whole confederacy your sleights I can vntwyne.
That beastly Priest, that blearayed wretch beelyes the Gods and mee:
And thee thou Traytour in my place hath promist king to bee.
Alas would I my Sister of, her lawfull kingdome spoyle?
Thinke you such treason may haue place in brothers breast to boyle?
Yf that myne Oth could me not keepe content with my degree:
But that contemning meane estate, I would cl [...]me aloft to bee.
Yet should ill Fortune mee deter, from such attempts I trowe:
Whose guise it is on Princes heads, huge heapes of Ca [...]es to throwe.
I would aduise your grace betimes this charge from you to cast:
Least lingring long all vnawares, you be opprest at last.
Assure your selfe, in baser state, more safer you may liue:
And shun a thousand Cares, & G [...]ess: which Princes hearts doe riue.
And dost thou me exhort thou [...]laue my kingdome for to leaue?
O saythlesse head. O shamelesse heart, y could such treasons weaue?
[Page] Darst thou attempt thou villayae vile this thing, to me to breake?
And fearst thou not in such a cause so boldly for to speake.
I would perswade them so (O King) who freely might possesse
Their Realmes such piteous cares I see, do Prynces hearts oppresse:
But as for you of force you must your Fortunes chainge abyde.
The surest way for them that gape for kingdoms large, & wyde,
Is first things meane, and rest, and peace, and base estate to prayse:
And yet with Tooth and Nayle, to toyle to mount aloft alwayes.
So often times, most restlesse beastes doe chiefly rest commend.
Shall not my seruice long suffice my truth for to defend?
Time is the onely meanes for such, as thou to worke theyr will.
It is so syr, but as for mee, of goods I haue my fill.
A great resort. A pleasaunt life: from Princely cares exempt.
All these might (surely) mee disswade from such a foule attempt.
There is no day almost (O King) the whale yeare thorow out,
Where in some royall gyfts are not from countreys round about
Vnto mee sent, both Golde, and pearles, and things of greater cost,
Which I let passe, least I should seeme but vainly for to bost.
Besides the life of many a man hath bin preserude by mee.
In such a blis [...]ull state (O King) what can there wanting bee?
(Good Fortune can no meane obserue, but stil she preaseth higher.)
Shall I than guiltlesse die (alas,) my cause and all vntryde?
Were vnto you at any time my life, my deedes discride?
Did any man defend mee yet? or els my causes pleade?
And guiltlesse yet I am condemn'de to this you doe mee leade,
And mee expresse example giue, which I entend to take.
What measure you doe meat to mee, lyke measure must I make.
The minde which causelesse dred appawls, true cause of feare be­wraies
That cōsciēce is not guiltles sure, which euery blast dismates.
Hee that in midst of perilles deepe, and daūgers hath bene cast,
Doth seeke all meanes to shun like ills as hee hath ouerpast.
So hatreds ryse.
Hee that to much doth vse ill will to feare,
Unskilfull is: and knowes not how, hee ought him selfe to beare
In kings estate. For feare alone doth Kingdomes chiefly keepe.
Than hee that thus doth arme himselfe from feare all free may sleepe.
Who so the cruell tyrant playes, and guiltlesse men doth smight,
Hee dreadeth them that him doe dread, so feare doth chiefly light
On causers chiefe. A iust reuenge for bloudy mindes at last.
Come take this traytor vile away, In dongeon deepe him fast
Enclose. There for his due deserts, let him abide such payne
And scourge of minde (as meete it is) false traytors to sustayne.
[Page 88]
SEt, see, the myserable State,
of Prynces carefull lyfe.
What raging storms? what bloudy broyles?
what toyle? what endlesse stryfe
Doe they endure? (O God) what plagues?
what griefe do they sustayne?
A Princely lyfe: No. No. (No doubt)
an euer duringe payne.
A state ene fit for men on whom Fortune woulde wreke her will.
A place for Cares to couch them in. A doore wyde open still
For griefes and daungers all that ben to enter when they list.
A king these Mates must euer haue, it bootes not to resist.
Whole fluds of priuy pinching feare, great anguishe of the minde:
Apparant plagues, & dayly griefes. These playfayres Princes finde.
And other none, with whom they spend, and passe theyr wretched dayes.
Thus hee that Princes liues, and base Estate together wayes:
Shall finde the one a very hell, a perfect infelicity:
The other eke a heauen right, exempted quight from mysery.
Let OEdipus example bee of this vnto you all,
A Mirrour meete. A Patern playne, of Princes carefull thrall.
Who late in perfect Ioy as seem'de, and euerlasting blis,
Triumphantly his life out led, a Myser now hee is,
And most of wretched Misers all, euen at this present tyme,
With doubtfull waues of feare Itost, subiect to such a Cryme
Whereat my tongue amased stayes, God graunt that at the last,
It fall not out as Creon tolde. Not yet the worst is past,



OEdipus. Iocasta.
MY mynde with doubtfull waues of dread,
is tossed to and fro,
I wot not what to say (Alas)
I am tormented so.
For all the Gods on me doe cry,
for paynes and vengeaunce due.
They say that these my guiltlesse hands.
king Laius lately slue.
But this my conscience voyde of crime
and mynde from mischiefe free:
To Gods vntried, to mee well known denies it so to bee:
Full well I doe remember [...]ce▪ by chaunce I did dispatch,
A man who sought by force with mee presumptuously to match.
His purpose was (a fond attempt) my Chariot for to stay,
This I remember well enough, the strife was in the way.
And he a man well steept in yeares, and I a lusty bloud,
And yet of meere disdayne and pride in vayne hee mee withstood.
But this from, Thebes farre was done, a croked three pathd way,
That was the place in which we fought: it hard by Phocis lay.
Deare Wyfe resolue my doubts at once, and mee expresly tell.
How old was Laius the King whan this mischaunce befell?
Was he of fresh and lusty yeares? or stricken well in age
When he was kilde? O ease my thoughts of this tormenting rage.
Betwixt an old man an a yong: but nearer to an olde.
Were there great Bands of men wt him his Person to vpholde?
Some by the way deceiued were, and some deterd by payne.
A fewe by toyle and labour long, did with their Prince remayne.
Were any slayne in his defence?
Of one report is rife,
Who co [...]stant in his princes cause full stoutly lost his lyfe.
It is enough, I knowe the man that hath this mischiefe done.
The number and the place agrees. The time vntried alone
Remaynes: Than tell what time hee died, and when that he was slaine.
Tis ten yeares since: you now reuiue my chifest cares againe.


Senex. OEdipus.
THe Corinth people all (O King)
in Fathers place to rayn
Doe call your Grace: Polybius doth
eternall rest obtayn.
O God what Fortune vyle doth mee
oppresse on euery side?
How doe my sorrowes still encrease?
Tell how my Father dide.
No sicknesse (sir) but very age did of his life him reaue.
And is hee dead: in deede? not slayne? what ioy may I tonceaue?
How may I now triumph? the Gods to witnesse I doe call,
To whom are known my hidden thoughts and secret workings al:
Now may I li [...] to skyes my hands, my hands from mischiefe free.
But yet the chiefest [...]a [...]se of feare remayneth still to mee.
Your Fathers kingdom ought al dred out of your mind to driue.
That I cōfesse. But secret thoughts my trembling heart do riue
With inward doubt of deepe distresse, my Mother I do feare.
This grudge is that continually my heart doth rent and teare.
Do you your Mother feare? on your return that onely slayes.
I feare not her: but from her sight, a godly zeale mee frayes.
What will you her a Wydow leaue?
Now, now, thou w [...]fi [...]st [...] heart.
This, this, and onely this (alas,) is cause of all my smart.
Tell me (O king) what doubtfull feare? doth presse thy princely brest:
Kings coūcels I can well cōceale that [...]en with Cares opprest.
Least as Apollo hath forefolde, I should a Mariage make
With myne owne Mother: only this fowle feare doth make me quake.
Such vayne & peuysh feares, at length from out your breast exyle.
Meropa your Mother is not in deede, you do your selfe beguil [...].
What vauntage should it be to her adopted Sonnes to haue?
A kingdom she shall gayne thereby. Her Husband layde in graue.
The chiefest prop to s [...]ay her Realmes from present confusion,
In children for to haue: and hope of lawfull succession.
What are the meanes whereby thou dost these secrets vnderstād.
My selfe (your grace) an Infant gaue into your fathers hand.
Didst thou me to my Father geue? Who than gaue me to thee?
A Sheparde str; that w [...]nted on Cytheron Hills to bee.
What made thee in those woods to raūge? what hadst thou there to do?
Vpon those Hils my Beasts I kept, somtime a Sheepeherde to.
What nots, what priuy marks hast thou, wherby thou dost me kno?
The holes y through your feete are borde frō whēce your name did gro.
Declare forthwith what was his name y gaue me vnto thee.
The kings chief Shephard than that was, deliuered you to mee.
What was his name?
O king old mens remēbrance soone doth fayle:
Obliuton for the chietest part, doth boary heads assayle.
And drowns their former memory of things long out of mynde.
What? canst thou know y man by sight?
Perhaps I should him finde,
And know by Face. Things ouer whelmd by time, and quight opprest.
A small marke oft to mynde reuokes, and fresh renues in brest.
Sirs bid the Herdmen forth wt driue theyr Beasts to Aulters all.
Away with speede, make hast, the Master Sheepherds to mee call.
Sith that your des [...]ny this doth hyde, and Fortune it detayue
And closely keepe▪ let it be so, from opening that refrayne.
That long canceald hath hidden lyen, that seeke not to disclose▪
Such things outsercht and foūd oftimes agaynst the sercher goes.
Can any mischiefe greater be? than this that now I feare.
Aduise you wel remembre fyrst what weight this thing doth beare:
That thus you goe about to scarch, and slit with Tooth and Nayle,
Obserue the golden meane: beware beare still and equall sayle.
Your Coūtreys wealth (O King) your lyfe, and all vpon this lyes.
Though you stir not, bee sure at length your Fortune you escryes.
A happy state for to disturbe doth nought at all behoue.
When things be at the worst, of them a man may safely moue.
Can you haue ought more excellent? than is a Prynces state?
Beware least of your Parents found it you repent to late.
No (father) no I warrant that: repent not I (I trow.)
I seeke it not to that entent. I haue decreed to know,
The matter at the full. Wherefore I will it now pursus.
Lo Phorbas: where hee trembling coms, with comely aged h [...].
To whom of all the kinges flack than, the care and charge was due.
Dost thou his name, his speach his Face, or yet his person know?
Me thinks I should haue seene his Face, and yet I cannot show
The places where I haue him seene, small time brings such a chainge,
[Page 90] As well acquaynted Faces ost, to vs appeare still strainge.
This looke is neyther throughly known, nor yet vnknown to mee,
I cannot tell: I doubt it much, and yet it may bee hee.
In Laius tyme long since when hee these Kindomes great did keepe?
Wast thou not on Citheron hils chiefe Shepard to his sheepe?


Phorbas. Senex. OEdipus.
SOmetime a charge of sheepe I had,
vnworthy though I weer.
And did vpon those hills chiefe rule
on other Shepards beare.
Knowst thou not me.
I cannot tell.
Didst thou once geue this man
A Childe. Speake out, why dost thou stay?
if so, declare it than.
Why dost thou blush and doubting stand,
troth seeketh no delay?
Things out of minde you call agayne, almost quight worne away.
Confesse thou slaue, orels I sweare, thou that constrayned bee
In deede I doe remembre once, an Infant yong by mee,
Delyuered was vnto this Man: but well I wot in vayne,
I know he could not long endure, nor yet alyue remayne.
Long since he is dead (I know it well) hee liues not at this day.
Eo? God sorbid, he liues no doubt, and long may liue I pray.
Why dost thou say the child is dead, that thou this man didst giue?
With Irons sharp his feete were board, I know he could not liue,
For of the sore a swelling rose, I saw the bloud to gush
From out of both the wounds: and down by powring streames to flush.
Now stay (O king) [...]p farther now, you know almost the troth.
Whose child was [...]tell [...]e forthw.
I dare not for mine Othe.
Thine Oth thou slaue? Some fyre here. Ile charme thine Othe and thee,
With fyre & flames: except forthwith thou tell the troth to mee.
O pardon me, though rade I seeme, I seeke nor to withstand name?
Your graces minde: (most noble king.) My life is in your hand.
Tell me y troth, what child, & whose, What was his Mothers
Born of your wyfe.
O gaping earth deuour my body quight:
Or else thou God that [...] art of houses voyde of light,
To Hell my Saule with thunder boltes to Hell my Soule down dryue.
Where griesly Ghosts in darke nesse deepe, and endlesse payne do lyue.
For thee alone, these Plagues doe rage. For thee these mischiefes ryse.
For thee, the Earth lyes desolate. For thee thou wretch the Skies
Infected are. For thee, for thee, and for the slithy lust,
A hundred thousand guiltlesse men, consumed are to dust.
O people throw: cast heapes of stones vpon this hatefull Hed:
Bath all your swords within my brest: you furies ouershed
My restlesse thoughts, with raging woes and plungde in seas of pain.
Let mee those hōrrors still endure, which damned soules sustain.
You citizens of Stately Thebes vex me with torments dile.
Let Father, Son, and Wyfe, and all with vengeance me [...]rsue.
Let those that for my sake alone with plagues [...] bee
Throw dar [...]s, cast stones, fling f [...]er▪ and slames, and tortures all on mee.
O shame: O slaunder of the World: O hate of Gods aboue.
Confounder O of Nature thou to lawes of sacred loue,
Euen from thy birth an open Foe. Thou didst deserue to dye
As soone as thou wast born. Go, go, vnt [...] the Court thee hye,
There with thy Mother (slaue) triumph reioyce as thou maist do.
Who hast thy house encreased with vnhappy children so.
Make haste with speede, away, some thing thy mischiefs worthy finde.
And on thy selfe wrecke all the spight of thy reuenging minde.
[Page 91]
FOrtune the guide of humaine lyfe doth al things chaūge at will.
And stirrīg stil, wt restles thoughts our wretched mīdes doth fill.
In vayn men striue their stats to kepe whē hidrous tēpests rise:
And blustring windes of daungers deepe sets death before their eyis.
Who saith he doth her fauning feele? & chaūgeth not his minde,
When fickle fight of Fortunes wheele doth turne by course of kinde.
These greuous plagues frō priuat house to princely Thrones do flow,
And oft thier minds with cares they souse and thick vpon thē strow.
Whole heapes of griefe and dyre debate, a wofull thing to see:
A Princely lyfe to mysers state, conuerted for to bee.
O OEdipus thy fatall fall, thy dreadfull mischiefs ryght.
Thy dolfull state, thy mysery, thy thrise vnhappy plight:
These things shall blase through all y world: what heart may thē reioyce
At thy distresse? I can no more: my teares doe stop my voyce.
But what is he that yonder stamps? and raging puffs and blowes.
And often shakes his vexed head, some mischiefe great hee knowes.
Good sir your countnaunce doth import some great and fearefull thing,
Tell vs therefore (if that you may) what newes from Court you bring.


VVhen OEdipus accursed wretch,
his fatall fals had spied,
To hell be damnd his wretched soule
and on the Gods he cryed
For vengeaunce due. And posting fast
with franticke moode griesly hue,
Vnto his dole full Court hee went,
his thoughts for to pursue.
Much like a Lion ramping wylde, his furtous head that shakes.
And roares with thundring mouth asowd, and often gnashing makes,
None otherwise this miser farde. A lothsome sight to see.
Besides himselfe for very rage, he still desires to dye.
[Page] And rowling round his wretched Eyes with vysage pale and wan:
Ten thousand Cursers out he powres. Himselfe the vnhappiest man
Of all that liue, he doth account: as iustly he may doe.
A wretch, a slaue, a cait [...]se vyle. The cause of all our woe.
And in this case enflamd with spight he crtes, he stamps, he raues.
And boyling in his secret thoughts, he still desyres to haue
All torments vnder sun that may his Cares conceiude encrease.
O wretched wyght, what should hee doe? What man may him release?
Thus foming all for rage at mouth, with sighes, and sobs, & grones,
His damned head ten thousand times, as oft his weryed bones
He beats. And often puffing makes, and roares, and swels, & sweats.
And on the Gods for death hee calles, for Death hee still entreats,
Three times he did begin to speake: and thryse his tong did stay.
At length he cried out alowd: O wretch. Away, away.
Away thou monstrous Beast (he sayd:) wilt thou prolong thy lyfe?
Nay rather some man strike this breast with strooke of bloudy knyfe.
Or all you Gods aboue on mee your flaming fiers outcast:
And dints of Thunderbolts down throw. This is my prayer last.
What greedy vile deuouring Gripe, vpon my guts will gnaw?
That Tigre fierce my hatefull limmes will quight a lunder draw?
Loe, here I am you Gods: Lee, heere, wreke now on me your will.
Now, now you fyry Feendes of Hell, of vengeaunce take your fill.
Send out some wilde outragious beast send Dogs mee to deuoure.
Or els all ils you can deuise, at once vpon me powre.
O wofull soule. O sinfull wretch. Why dost thou feare to dye?
Death only rids frō woes thou knowst. Than stoutly Death defle.
With that his bloudy fatall Blade, from out his sheath he drawes.
And lowd he rores, wt thūdring voice. Thou beast why dost thou pawse?
Thy Father cursed caitife thou, thy Father thou hast slayne
And in thy Mothers bed hast left an euerduring slayne.
And Brothers thou hast got: nay Sons thou liest: thy Brothers all
They are. Thus for thy monstrous lust thy Countrey down doth fall.
And thinkst thou than for all these ils enough so short a payne?
Thynkst thou the Gods will be apeasde, if thou forth with be slayne?
So many mischiefes don: and ist enough one stroke to bydt?
Account'ste thou it sufficient paynes, that once thy sword should glide
Quight through thy guilty breast for all? why than dispatch and dye.
So maist thou recompence thy Fathers death sufficiently.
Let it be so: what mends vnto thy Mother will thou make [...]
Vnto thy children what? these plagues (O wretch) how wilt thou slake?
[Page 92] That thus for thee thy countrey mastes? Ohe push shall ende them all.
A proper fetch. A fi [...]e deuise. For thee a worthy fall.
Inuent thou monstrous beast forthwith: a fall euen worthy for
Thy selfe inuent: whom all men hate and loth, and doe abhor.
And as dame Natures lawfull course is broke (O wretch) by thee.
So let to such a mischiefe great, thy Death agreeing bee.
O that I might a thousand times, my wretched lyfe renewe.
O that I might reuyue and dye by course in order dewe.
Ten hundred thousand times & more: than should I vengeance take
Vpon this wretched head. Than I perhaps in part should make
A meete amends in deede, for this my fowle and lothsom Sin.
Than should the proofe of payne reproue the life that I liue in.
The choyse is in thy hand thou wretch, than vse thine owne discretion.
And finde a meanes, whereby thou maist come to extreame confusion.
And that, that oft thou maist not doe, let it prolonged bee.
Thus, thus, maist thou procure at length an endlesse death to thee.
Serch out a death whereby thou mayst perpetuall shame obtayne:
And yet not dye. But still to liue in euerlasting payne.
Why stayst thou man? Go to I say: what meane these blubbring teares?
Why weepst thou thus? Alas to late. Leaue of thy foolysh feares.
And ist enough to weepe thinkst thou? shall teares and wayling serue?
No wretch it shall not be. Thou dost ten thousand deaths deserue.
Myne ey [...]es doe dally with mee I see, and teares doe still out powre.
Shall teares suffice? No, no, not so I shall them better scowre,
Out with thine Eyes (he sayd:) and than with fury fierce enflam'de.
Like to a bloudy raging Feend and monstrous beast vntam, de.
With fiery flaming spotted Cheekes his breast he often beats.
And scratch, and teare his Face hee doth and Skin a sunder freats.
That scarse his eyes in head could stand so sore he them besets.
With furious fierce outrageous minde hee stamps and cries alowd:
And roares & rayles, with ramping rage. Thus in this case he stood,
Perplext, and vexed sore in minde, with deadly sighs and teares.
When sodenly all franticklike himselfe from ground hee reares.
And rooteth out his wretched Eyes, and sight a sunder teares.
Than gnasheth bee his bloudy Teeth, and bites, and gnawes, & champs,
His Eyes all bathd and brude in bloud, for fury fierce he stamps.
And raging more than needes (alas,) his Eyes quight rooted out:
The very holes in vayne hee scrapes so sore the wretch doth dout:
Least sight should chaunce for to remayne he rents and mangels quight
His Face, his Nose, his Mouth, and all whereon his hands do light
[Page] Hee rygs and ryues. Thus fowly rayd (alas) in piteous plight:
At length his head aloft he lifts, and therewith geues a shright.
And whan he sees that all is gone, both light, and sight, and all.
Than schriching out: he thus begins vpon the Gods to call.
Now spare you Gods, now spare at length my countrey prest to fall.
I haue done that you did cōma [...]nd: Your wraths reuenged bee.
This wretched looke, this mangled face, is fittest now for mee.
Thus speaking, down the blackish bloud by streams doth gushing flow
Into his mouth. And clottred lumps of flesh the place doth strow
Wherein hee standes.
Beware betimes, by him beware, I speake vnto you all.
Learne Iustice, truth, and feare of God by his vnhappy fall.
MAns lyfe wt tumbling fatal course of fortunes wheele is rowld,
To it giue place for it doth run all swifily vncontrowld.
And Cares & teares are spent in vayn, for it cannot be slayed:
Syth hi [...] decree of heauenly powers perforce must be obayed.
What mankind byded or does on earth it cōmeth from aboue,
Then wayling grones powrd out in griefe do nought at all behoue.
Our life must haue her pointed course, (alas) what shall I say.
As fates decree, so things do run, no man can make them stay.
For at our byrth to Gods is known our latter dying day.
No Prayer, no Arte, not God himselfe may fatall fates resist.
But fastned all in fixed courte, vnchaunged they persist.
Such ende them still ensues as they appointed were to haue,
Than fly all feare of Fortunes c [...]ng, leeke hot to lyue a slaue
Enthrald in bondage vyle to feare. For feare doth often bring
Destnies that dreaded ben and mischiefs feard vpon vs fling.
Yea many a man hath come vnto his fatall ende by feare.
Wherefore set peuish feare aside, and worthy courage beare.
And thou that subiect art to death. Regard thy latter day.
Thinke no man blest before his ende. Aduise thee well and stay.
Be sure his lyfe, and death, and all, be quight exempt from mysery:
Ere thou do once presume to say: this man is blest and happy.
But out alas, see where he coms: a wretch withouten Guide,
Bereft of sight. Halfe spoyld of lyfe: without all Pomp, and Pride
(That vnto Kings Estate belonge.)


OEdipus. Chorus, Iocasta.
WEll, well, tis done: more yet? No, no,
no mischiefs more remaynee.
My Fathers Rytes performed are.
What God on Mysers paynes
That rues within this Cloud hath rolde,
and wrapt my wretched Pate.
Ah sir: this is a life alone.
This is a happy State.
This is a case ene fit for thee,
for thee thou wretch, for thee.
From whose accursed sight the Sun, the Stars and all doe flee.
Yet mischiefs more, who giues to doe? The dreadfull day I haue
Escapt. Thou filthy Paracide: thou vile mischieuous Slaue.
Vnto thy right hand nought thou owst, all things performed bee.
O woe is mee that euer I liu'de this lucklesse day to see.
Where am I now? Alas, alas, the light and all doth mee
Abhor: O wretched OEdipus this looke is first for thee.
See, see, where Iocasta coms, with fierce and furious moode,
Quight past her selfe. For very rage shee frets and waxeth woode.
Much like to Cadmus daughter mad, who late hir Sonne did kill.
Fayne would she speake her mynde: for seare (alas) she dares not: still
Shee stayes, and yet from out her breast these ills haue quight exilde
All shame fastnes. See how shee lookes, with coū [...]'naunce fierce & wilde.
Fayne would I speake, I am afraide. For what should I thee call
My Son? doubt not. Thou art my Son. My Son thou art for all
These mischiefs great: alas, alas I shame my Son to see.
O cruell Son. Where dost thou turn thy Face? Why dost thou slee
From me. From me thy Mother deare? Why dost thou shun my sight?
And leaue me thus in misery, with Cares consumed quight.
Who troubles me? Let me alone. I thought not to be founde:
Who now restores myne Eyes to mee, Mother? or Mothers sounde?
[Page] Our labour all is spent in vayne, now may wee meete no more.
The Seas deuide those meetings vile that wee haue had before.
The gaping earth deuide vs both, th'one from th'other quight.
Still let our feete repugnant bee. So shall I shun the light
That most of all me grieues. So shall I space obtaine to wayle
These bleeding woes on euery side, that doe my thoughtes assayle.
The Destentes are in fault. Blame them, Alas, alas, not wee.
Spare now. Leaue of to speake in vayne, spare now O Mother mee,
By these Reliques of my dismembred body I thee pray.
By myne vnhappy Children pledges left. What shall I say?
By all the Gods I thee beseech. By all that in my name
Is good or bad, let mee alone. Alas you are to blame
To trouble mee. You see what hell my haplesse heart doth payne.
You see that in my Conscience ten thousand horrors raine.
O dying heart: O sindrownd soule. Why dost thou faint alas?
Why dost thou seeke and toyle in vayne these ills to ouerpas?
What meane these sighes, & scalding teares? why dost thou death refuse?
Thou mate of all his mischiefs thou, by whose meanes onely rues
The law of nature all: by whom, Ah, Ah, confounded lies,
Both God, and man, and beast, and all that eyther liues or dies.
Die thou, dispatch at once thrust through thy vile incestuous brest:
Thou hast none other meanes (alas) to set thine heart at rest.
Not thou, if God him selfe, if he his flaming fiers should throw
On thee, or mischiefs all by heapes vpon thy body strow
Couldst once for thy deserued ills due paines or vengeaunce pay:
Some meanes therefore to wreak Gods wrath vpon thy selfe assay.
Death, death now best contenteth mee, then seeke a way to dye.
So maist thou yet at length finde end for all thy misery.
O Son lend mee thy hand: sith that thou art a Paracyde.
This labour last of all remaynes, this labour thee doth byde.
Dispatch rid mee thy mother deare from all my deadly woe
It will not be: no prayers auaile. Thy selfe this deede must doe.
Take vp this sword. Goe to, with this thy husbande late was slayne.
Husband? thou term'st him false: hee was thy syer: O deadly payne.
Shal I quight through my brest it driue? or through my throte it thrust?
Canst thou not choose thy wound? away: die, die, (alas) thou must.
This hateful womb then woūd (O wretch) this, this wt thine own hand
Strike, strike it hard: (O spare it not) sith both a husband, and
(The same a Son it bare.)
Alas, alas, shee is slaine, she is slayne, dispatched with a push:
Who euer sawe the like to this: see how the bloud doth gush.
[Page 94] O heauy doulfull case: who can this dyrefull sight enduer
Which for the hideousnesse thereof might teares of stones procuer.
Thou God, thou teller out of Fates. On thee, on thee, I call,
My Father onely I did owe, vnto the Destnies all.
Now twise a Paracide, and worse than I did feare to bee:
My Mother I haue slayne. (Alas) the fault is all in mee.
O OEdipus accursed wretch, lament thine owne Calamity,
Lament thy state, thy griefe lament, thou Caitife borne to misery.
Where wilt thou now become (alas?) thy Face where wilt thou hyde:
O myserable Slaue, canst thou such shamefull tormentes byde?
Canst thou which hast thy Parents slain? Canst thou prolong thy life?
Wilt thou not dye? deseruing Death: thou cause of all the griefe,
And Plagues, and dreadfull mischiefs all that Thebane City prease.
Why dost thou seeke by longer life, thy sorrowes to encrease?
Why dost thou toyle and labour thus in vayne? It will not bee.
Both God, and man: and beast, and all abhorre thy Face to see
O Earth why gapst thou not for me [...] why doe you not vnfolde
You gates of hell mee to receaue? why doe you hence withholde?
The fierce Infernall Feends from me, from me so wretched wight?
Why breake not all the Furyes lose this hatefull head to smight
With Plagues? which them deserued hath (alas) I am left alone,
Both light, and sight, and comfort all from mee (O wretch) is gone.
O cursed head: O wicked wight, whom all men deadly hate.
O Beast, what meanst thou still to liue in this vnhappy state?
The Skies doe blush and are ashamd, at these thy mischiefes great
The Earth laments, y Heauens weepe, the Seas for rage doe freat.
And blustring rise, and stormes doe stir, and all thou wretch for thee.
By whose incest, and bloudy deedes all things disturbed bee.
Quight out of course, displaced quight, O cursed fatall day.
O mischiefes great, O dreadfull times, O wretch, away, away.
Exile thy selfe from all mens sight, thy life halfe spent in misery,
Goe end consume it now outright in thrise as great calamity.
O lying Phoebe thine Oracles my sin, and sheme surmount:
My Mothers death amongst my deedes; thou neuer didst recount.
A meete Exploict for me that a [...] to Nature deadly Foe.
With trembling fearefull pace goe forth, thou wretched monster goe,
Grope out thy wayes on knees in darke thou miserable Slaue.
So maist thou yet in tract of time due paynes, and vengeaunce haue,
For thy mischeuous lyfe. Thus, thus, the Gods themselues decree.
Thus, thus, thy Fates: thus, thus, the skyes appoint it for to bee.
[Page] Then headlong hence, with a mischiefe hence, thou caitife vyle away.
Away, away, thou monstrous Beast. Goe, Run. Stand, stay,
Least on thy Mother thou doe fall.
All you that wearyed bodies haue, with stickenesse ouerprest.
Loe, now I fly: I fly away, the cause of your vnrest.
Lift vp your heads: a better state of Ayre shall strayght ensewe
Whan I am gone: for whom alone, these dreadfull myschiefs grewe.
And you that now, halfe dead yet liue in wretched misers case.
Help those whō present torments presse forth, hye you on apace.
For loe, with me I cary hence, all mischiefes vnder Skyes.
All cruell Fates, Diseases all that for my sake did ryse,
With mee they goe: with me both griefe, Plague, Pocks, Botch, & all
The ills that eyther now you presse, or euer after shall.
With me they goe, with me: these Mates bin meetst of all for mee.
Who am the most vnhappiest wretch that euer Sun did see.

THE SIXTE TRAGEDIE OF THE MOST GRAVE & prudēt Author LVCIVS ANNAEVS SENECA, entituled TROAS, vvith diuers and sundrye Additions to the same, by IASPER HEY­VVOOD.

To the Reader.

ALTHOVGH (GENTLE Reader) thou mayst perhaps thinke mee arrogant, for that I onely a­mong so many fine wittes and to­wardly youth (with which Englād this day florisheth) haue enterprised to set forth in english this present piece of the flowre of all writers, Seneca, as who say, not fearing what grauer heads might iudge of me, in attempting so hard a thing, yet vpon well pondering what next ensueth, I trust both thy selfe shalt cleare thine owne suspicion, and thy chaunged opinion shal iudge of me more rightfull sentence. For neither haue I taken this worke first in hand, as once entending it should come to light (of well doynge wherof I vtterly dispayred) and beynge done but for myne owne priuate exercise, I am in myne opinion herein blameles, thoughe I haue (to proue my selfe) priuately taken the part which pleased me best of so excellent an author, for better is tyme spent in the best then other, and at first to attempt the hardest writers, shall make a mā more prompt to translate the ea­sier with more facility. But now since by request, & frēd­ship of those, to whom I could denye nothinge, this worke agaynst my will extorted is out of my hands, I needes must [Page] [...]raue thy pacience in reading, and facility of iudgement: when thou shalt apparantly se my witles lacke of learning, prayng thee to consider how hard a thing it is for mee to touch at ful in all poynts the authors mynd, (beyng in ma­ny places verye harde and doubtfull, and the worke much corrupt by the default of euil printed Bookes) and also how farre aboue my power to keepe that Grace and maiestye of stile, that Seneca doth, when both so excellent a writer hath past the reach of all imitation, and also this our En­glish toung (as many thinke, and I here fynd) is farre vn­able to compare with the Latten: but thou (good Reader) if I in any place haue swerued from the true sence, or not kept the roialty of speach, meete for a Tragedie, impute the one to my youth and lacke of iudgement: the other to my lacke of Eloquence. Now as concerninge sondrye places augmented and some altered in this my translation. First for asmuch as this worke seemed vnto mee in some places vnperfite, whether left so of the Author, or parte of it loste, as tyme deuoureth all thinges, I wot not, I haue (where I thought good) with addition of myne owne Penne supplied the wante of some thynges, as the firste Chorus, after the first acte begynninge thus. O ye to whom &c. Also in the seconde Acte I haue added the speache of Achilles Spright, rysyng from Hell to require the Sa­crifyce of Polyxena begynning in this wyse. Forsakinge now. &c. Agayne the three laste staues of the Chorus after the same Acte: and as for the thyrde Chorus which in Seneca beginneth thus, QVE VOCAT SE­DES? For asmuch as nothing is therein but a heaped number of farre and straunge Countries, considerynge with my selfe, that the names of so manye vnknowen [Page 96] Countreyes, Mountaynes, Desertes, and VVoodes, shoulde haue no grace in the Englishe tounge, but bee a straunge and vnpleasant thinge to the Readers (excepte I should expound the Historyes of each one, which would be farre to tedious,) I haue in the place therof made ano­ther beginninge, in this manner. O Ioue that leadst. &c. VVhich alteration may be borne withall, seynge that Cho­rus is no part of the substaunce of the matter. In the rest I haue for my slender learninge endeuored to keepe touch with the Latten, not worde for woorde or verse for verse, as to expounde it, but neglectynge the placinge of the wordes, obserued their sence. Take Gentle Reader this in good woorth with all his faultes, fauour my first be­ginninges, and amende rather with good will such things as herein are amisse, then to depraue or discommende my labour and paynes, for the faultes, seyng that I haue herein, but onelye made waye to other that canne farre better doe this or like, desi­ryng them that as they can, so they would. Farewel gen­tle Reader and ac­cept my good will.

The Argument.

THe ten yeares siege of Troy, who list to heare,
And of thaffayres that there befell in fight:
Reade ye the workes that long since written were,
Of all Thassaultes, and of that latest night,
When Turrets toppes in Troy they blased bright
Good Clerkes they were that haue it written well
As for this worke, no word therof doth tell.
But Dares Phrygian, well can all report,
With Dictis eke of Crete in Greekish toung
And Homer telles, to Troye the Greekes resort
In scanned verse, and Maro hath it song
Ech one in writ hath pend a stoary long,
Who doubtes of ought, and casteth care to knowe
These antique Authors, shal the story showe,
The ruines twayne of Troy, the cause of each,
The glittering helmes, in fieldes the Banners spread,
Achilles yres, and Hectors fightes they teach.
There may the iestes of many a Knight be read:
Patroclus, Pyrrhus, Aiax, Diomed,
With Troylus, Parys, many other more,
That day by day, there fought infield full sore.
And how the Grekes at end an engine made:
A hugie horse where many a warlike Knight
Enclosed was: the Troians to inuade
With Sinons craft, when Greekes had fayned flight,
While close they lay at Tenedos from sight,
Or hovv Eneas els as other say,
And false Antenor did the tovvne betray.
But as for me I naught therof endight,
Myne Author hath not all that story pend:
[Page 97] My pen his wordes in English must resight,
Of latest woes that fell on Troy at end,
What finall fates the cruell God could send.
And how the Greekes when Troy was burnt gan wreake
Their ire on Troians, therof shall I speake,
Not I with spere who pearced was in fielde,
Whose throate there cutte, or head ycorued was
Ne bloudshed blowes, that rent both targe and shield
Shal I resight, all that I ouerpasse.
The worke I wryght more woeful is alas,
For I the mothers teares must here complayne,
And bloud of babes, that giltles haue bene slayne.
And such as yet could neuer weapon wreast,
But on the lap are wont to dandled bee,
Ne yet forgotten had the mothers breast,
How Greekes them slew (alas) here shal ye see
To make report therof ay woe is mee,
My song is mischife, murder, misery,
And hereof speakes this doleful tragedy.
Thou fury fel that from the deepest den
Couldst cause this wrath of hell on Troy to light,
That worckest woe guyde thou my hand and pen,
In weeping verse of sobbes and sighes to wryght,
As doth myne author them bewayle aright:
Helpe woefull muse for mee besemeth wel
Of others teares, with weeping eye to tell.
When battered were to ground the towres of Troy
In writ as auncient authors do resight,
And Greekes agayne repayrde to Seas with ioy,
Vp riseth here from hel Achilles Spright,
Vengeance he craues vvith bloud his death to quight.
Whom Paris had in Phoebus temple slayne,
With guile be trapt for loue of Polyxeine.
And wrath of hel there is none other pryce
That may asswage: but bloud of her alone
Polyxena he craues for sacrifyce,
With threatninges on the Grecians many one
Except they shed her bloud before they gone.
The Sprightes the hell, and depest pittes beneath,
O Virgin dere, (alas) do thrust thy death.
And Hectors sonne, Astyanax (alas)
Pore seely foole his Mothers onely ioy,
Is iudgd to die by sentence of Calchas
Alas the whyle, to death is led the boy,
And tumbled downe from Turrets tops in Troy.
What ruthful teares may serue to wayle the woe
Of Hectors wyfe that doth her child forgoe.
Her pinching pange of hart who may expresse,
But such as of like woes, haue borne a part?
Or who bewayle her ruthful heauines
That neuer yet hath felt therof the smart?
Ful well they wot the woes of heauy hart.
What is to leese a babe from mothers breast,
They know that are in such a case distrest.
First how the Queene lamentes the fall of Troy,
As hath mine author done, I shall it wryght
Next how from Hectors wyfe they led the boy
To die, and her complayntes I shall resight,
The maydens death then I must last endight.
Now who that liste the Queenes complaint to here.
In following verse it shall forthwith appeare.
The Speakers names.
  • [Page 98]HECVBA Queene of Troy.
  • A company of women.
  • TALTHYBIVS a Grecian.
  • of Greeks.
  • An old man TROIAN.
  • The Sprihgt of Achilles.


WHo so in pompe of prowde estate,
or Kingdome sets delight:
Or who that ioyes in Princes courte
to beare the sway of might.
Ne dreads the fates which from aboue
the wauering Gods downe flinges:
But fast affiance fixed hath,
in frayle and fickle thinges:
Let him in me both se the Face,
of Fortunes ftattering ioy:
And eke respect the ruthful end of thee (Oruinous Troy)
For neuer gaue shee playner proofe, then this ye present see:
How frayle and britle is the state of pride and high degree,
The flowre of flowring Asia, loe whose fame the heauens refound,
The Worthy worke of Gods aboue, is ba [...]ered downe to ground.
And whose assaultes they sought afar, from West wt Banners spred
Where Tanais cold her braunches seuen, abroad the world doth shed.
With hugie host and from the East, where springes the newest dea,
Where Luke warme Tygris channell runnes, and meetes the ruddy sea.
[Page] And which frō wandring land of S [...]ythe, the band of widowes sought:
With fire and sworde thus battered be her Turrets downe to nought.
The walles but late of high renowne lo here their ruinous fall:
The buildinges burne, and flashingflame, swepes through the pallas al.
Thus euery house ful hie it smoakes, of old Assarackes lande:
Ne yet the flames withholdes from spoyle, the greedy Victors hand.
The surging smoake, the asure saye, and light hath hid away:
And (as with cloude beset) Troyes Ashes staynes the dusky day.
Through pearst with ire and greedy of hart, the victor from a farre.
Doth vtew the long assaulted Troy, the gaine of ten yeares warre,
And eke the miseryes therof abhorres to looke vppon,
And though he se it yet scant himselfe, belieues might be wonne,
The spoyles thereof with greedy hand, they snatch and beare awaye:
A thousand shippes would not receiue aboorde so huge a pray
The yreful might I do protest of Gods aduerse to mee,
My countryes dust, and Troyan King I call to witnes thee,
Whom Troy nowhydes, and vnderneath the stones art ouertrode:
With al the Gods that guides the Ghost, and Troy that lately, stoode.
And you also you flocking Ghostes of al my children dere:
Ye lesser Sprightes what euer ill, hath hapned to vs here.
What euer Phoebus watrish face, in fury hath foresayde:
At raging rise from seas when earst, the monsters had him frayde.
In childbed bandes I saw it yore, and wist it should be so:
And I in vayne before Cassandra told it long agoe.
Not false Vlysses kindled hath these fires, nor none of his:
Nor yet deceyptful Sinons craft, that hath bene cause of this.
My fyre it is wherwith ye burne, and Parys is the brand
That smoaketh in thy towres (O Troy) the flowre of Phrygian sand.
But ay (alas) vnhappy age, why dost thou yet so sore,
Bewayle thy Countries fatall fall thou knewest it long before:
Behold thy last calamityes, and them bewayle with wares:
Account as old Troys ouerturne, and past by many yeares,
I saw the slaughter of the King, and how he lost his life:
By Th' aulter s [...]e (more mischiefe was) with stroake of Pyrrhus knife.
When in his hand he wound his lockes, and drew the King to ground,
And hid to hiltes his wicked sword, in deepe and deadly wound.
Which when the [...]ored King had tooke, as willing to bee slaynt,
Out of the old mans throate he drew his bloudy blade agayne.
Not pitty of his yeares (alas) in mans extreamest age:
From slaughter might his hand withhold, ne yet his yre asswage:
[Page 99] The Gods are witnes of the same, and eake the sacrifyes,
That in his kingdome holden was, that flat on ground now lies.
The father of so many Kings Pryam of aunient name,
Vntombed lieth and wants in blase of Troy: his funerall flame.
Ne yet the Gods are wreakt, but loe his Sonnes and daughters all,
Such Lordes they serue as doth by chance of lot to them befall.
Whom shall I follow now for pray? or where shall I be led
There is perhaps amonge the Greekes that Hectors wyfe wil wed.
Some man desyres Helenus spouse some would Antenors haue,
And in the Greekes their wantes not some, that would Cassandra craue
But I (alas) most woeful wight whom no man seekes to chuse,
I am the only refuge left, and me they cleane refuse
Ye careful captiue company, why stints your woful crye?
Beate on your breastes and piteously complayne with voyce so hye,
As meete may be for Troyes estate, let your complayntes rebound
In toppes of Trees: and cause the hills to ring with terible sounde.


The VVoman, Hecuba.
NOt folke vnapt, nor nevv to vveepe (O Queene)
Thou vvilst to vvayle by practise are vvee taught,
For all these yeares in such case haue vve bene,
Since first the Troyan guest, Amiclas soughte
And saild the Seas, that led him on his vvay
With sacred ship, to Cibell dedicate
From vvhence he brought his vnrepyning pray,
The cause (alas) of all this dire debate,
Ten tymes novv hydde the hilles of Idey bee,
With snovve of Syluer hevv all ouer layd.
And bared is, for Troyan rages each tree,
Ten tymes in field, the haruest man afrayde,
[Page] The spikes of Corne hath reapt, since neuer day
His waylyng wantes new cause renewes our woe
Lift vp thy hand, (O Queene) crie well away:
We follow thee, we are wel taught thereto.
¶Ye faythful fellowes of your casualty,
Vntie thattyre, that on your heads ye weare,
And as behoueth state of misery.
Let fall aboute your woeful neckes your hayre.
In dust of Troy rub all your armes about,
In slacker weede and let your breastes be tyed
Downe to your bellies let your limmes lye out,
For what wedlocke should you your bosomes hyde?
Your garmentes loose, and haue in readines
Your furious handes vppon your breast to knocke
This habite well beseemeth our distresse,
It pleaseth me, I know the Troyan flocke
Renew agayne your longe accustomde cryes,
And more then earst lament your miseryes.
We bewayle Hector.
¶Our hayre we haue vntide, now euerychone,
All rent for sorrow of our cursed cace,
Our lockes out spreads, the knottes we haue vndone
And in these ashes stayned is our face.
¶Fill vp your handes and make therof no spare,
For this yet lawful is from Troy to take
Let dovvne your garmentes from your shoulders bare.
And suffer not your clamour so to slake.
Your naked breastes wayte for your handes to smight
Now dolor deepe now sorrow shevv thy might:
Make all the coastes that compas Troy about
Witnes the souude of all your careful crye
Cause from the Caues the eccho to cast out:
Rebounding voyce of all your misery:
Not as she wontes, the latter word to sound
[Page 100] But all your woe from farre let it rebound
Let al the Seas it heare, and eke the land
Spare not your breastes vvith heauy stroake to strike
Beate ye your selues, ech one vvith cruell hand
For yet your vvonted crie doth me not like
VVe bevvayle Hector.
Our naked armes, thus here vve rent for thee,
And bloudy shoulders, (Hector) thus vve teare:
Thus vvith our fistes, our heades lo beaten bee
And all for thee, behold vve hale our heare.
Our dugges alas, vvith mothers hands be torne
And vvhere the flesh is vvounded round about
VVhich for thy sake, vve rent thy death to morne
The flovving streames of bloud, they spring thereout.
Thy countres shore, and destinies delay.
And thou to vvearied Troians vvast an ayde,
A vvall thou vvast, and on thy shoulders Troy
Ten yeres it stode, on thee alone it staide,
VVith thee it fell: and fatall day alas
Of Hector both, and Troy but one there vvas.
Enough hath Hector: turne yonr plaint and mone
And shed your teares for Pryame euery chone.
Receiue our plaintes, O lord of Phrigian land
And old tvvise captiue king, receiue our feare,
VVhile thou vvert king. Troy hurtles then could stand
Though shaken tvvise, with Grecian sword it weare,
And twise did shot of Hercles quiuer beare,
At latter losse of Hecubes sonnes all
And roges for kings, that hgih on piles we reare:
Thou father shut stour latest funerall.
And beaten downe, to Ioue for sacrifies.
Like liueles blocke, in Troy thy carkas lies.
Yet turne ye once your teares, another way,
My pryams death, should not lamented be.
[Page] O Troyans all, ful happy is Pryame say.
For free from bondage, downe descended hee,
To the lowest Ghoste: and neuer shall sustayne
His Captiue necke with Greekes to yoked bee.
Hee neuer shal behold the Atrids twayne
Nor false Vlisses euer shal he see▪
Not hee a pray for Greekes to triumph at
His necke shall subiect to their conquestes beare
Ne geue his handes to tye behynde his backe,
That to the rule of Scepters wonted weare,
Nor following Agamemnons chare, in bande
Shall he bee pompe, to proude Mycenas land.
¶Ful happy Pryame is, each one wee say
That toke vvith him his Kingdome then that stoode
Now safe in shade, he seekes the wandring way,
And treads the pathes of all Elizius wood,
And in the blessed Sprightes, ful happy hee,
Agayne there seekes to meete with Hectors Ghost.
Happy Pryam, happy whoso may see,
His Kingdome all, at once with him be lost.
Chorus added to the Tragedy by the Translator.
O Ye to whom the Lord of Lande and Seas,
Of Life and Death hath graunted here the powre
Lay dovvne your lofty lookes, your pride appeas
The crovvned King fleeth not his fatall howre.
Who so thou be that leadst thy land alone,
Thy life vvas limite from thy mothers vvombe,
Not purple robe, not Glorious glittering throne,
Ne crovvne of Gold redeemes thee from the tombe:
[Page 101] A King he was that wayting for the vayle,
Of him that slew the Minotaure in fight:
Begilde with blacknes of the wonted saile
In seas him sonke, and of his name they hight.
So he that wild, to vvin the golden spoyle
And first vvith ship, by seas to seeke renovvne,
In lesser vvaue, at length to death gan boyle,
And thus the daughters, brought their father dovvne:
Whose s [...]nges, the vvoodes hath dravven, and riuers held,
And birdes to heare his notes, did theirs forsake,
In peece meale throvvne, amid the Thracian field,
Without returne hath sought the Stigian lake.
They sit aboue that holde our life in line▪
And vvhat vve suffer dovvne they fling from hie,
No carke, no care, that euer may vntwine
The thrids, that vvoued are aboue the skie,
As vvitnes he that sometyme King of Greece,
Had Iason thought, in drenching seas to drovvne
Who scapt both death and gaind the Golden fleece,
Whom fates aduaunce, there may no povvre plucke dovvne
The highest God somety me that Saturne hight
His fall him taught to credite their decrees
The rule of heauens: he lost it by their might,
And Ioue his sonne novv turnes the rolling Skies.
Who vveneth here to vvin eternall vvelth,
Let him behold this present perfite proofe.
And learne. the secrete stoppe of chaunces stelth,
Most nere alas, vvhen most it seemes aloofe.
In slipper ioy let no man put his trust:
Let none dispayre that heauy haps hath past
The svvete vvith sovvre she mingleth as she lust
Whose doubtful web pretendeth nought to last.
Frailtie is the thride, that Clothoes rocke hath sponne,
Novv from the Distaffe dravvne novv knapt in tvvaine
[Page] With all the world at length his end he wonne,
Whose works haue wrought, his name should great remaine
And he whose trauels twelue, his name display,
That feared nought the force of worldly hurt,
In fine (alas) hath found his fatall daye,
And died with smart of Dianyraes shurt,
If prowes might eternity procure,
Then Priam yet should liue in lyking lust,
Ay portly pompe of pryde thou art vnsure,
Lo learne by him. O Kinges yee are but dust.
And Hecuba that wayleth now in care,
That was so late of high estate a Queene,
A mirrour is to teach you what you are
Your wauering wealth, O Princes here is seene.
Whom dawne of day hath seene in high estate
Before Sunnes set; (alas) hath had his fall
The Cradels rocke, appoyntes the life his date
From setled ioy, to sodayne funerall.


The Spright of Achilles added to the tra­gedy by the Translator.

The first Scene.

FOrsaking now the places tenebrouse,
And deepe dennes of thinfernall region
From all the shadowes of illusious
That wāder there the pathes ful many one
Lo, here am I returned al alone,
The same Achil whose fierce and heauy hande
Of al the world no wight might yet withstand.
What man so stout of al the Grecians host,
That hath not sometyme crau'd Achilles aide,
[Page 102] And in the Troyans, who of prowes most
That hath not feard to see my Banner splaide
Achilles lo, hath made them all affrayde.
And in the Greekes hath bene a piller post,
That stvrdy stode agaynst their Troyan host.
Where I haue lackt the Grecians went to wracke,
Troy proued hath what Achills sword could doe
Where I haue come the Troyans fled a backe,
Retyring fast from field their walles vnto,
No man that might Achilles stroke fordoe
I dealt such stripes amid the Troian route,
That with their bloud I staynd the fieldes aboute.
Mighty Memnon that with his Persian band,
Would Pryams part with all might mayntayne,
Lo now he lyeth and knoweth Achilles hand
Amid the field is Troylus also slayne.
Ye Hector great, whom Troy accompted playne
The flowre of chiualry that might be found,
All of Achilles had theyr mortall wound.
But Paris lo, such was his false deceipt,
Pretending maryage of Polixeine,
Behynd the aulter lay for me in wayte
Where I vnwares haue falne into the trayne
And in Appolloes church he hath me slayne
Wherof the Hel will now iust vengeance haue,
And here agayne, I come my right to craue.
The deepe Auerne my rage may not sustayne,
Nor beare the angers of Achilles spright
From Acheront I rent the spoyle in twayne,
And though the ground I grate agayne to sight:
Hell could not hide Achilles from the light,
[Page] Vengeance and bloud doth Orcus pit require,
To quench the furies of Achilles yre.
The hatefull land, that worse then Tartare is
And burning thrust excedes of Tantalus,
I here beholde againe, and Troy is this
O, trauell worse, then stone of Sisyphus
And paines that passe the panges of Tityus
To light more lothsome furie hath me sent
Then hooked wheele, that Ixions flesh doth rent.
Remembred is alowe where sprites do dwell
The wicked slaughter'wrought by wyly way▪
Not yet reuenged hath the deepest hell,
Achilles bloud on them that did him slay
But now of vengeance come the yrefull day
And darkest dennes of Tartare from beneath
Conspire the fautes, of them that wrought my death.
Now mischiefe, murder, wrath of hell draweth nere
Aud dyre Phlegethon floud doth bloud require
Achilles death shall he reuenged here
VVith slaughter such as Stygian lakes desyre
Her daughters bloud shal slake the spirites yre,
VVhose sonue we slew, whereof doth yet remayne,
The wrath beneath, and hell shalbe their payne.
From burning lakes the furies wrath I threate,
And fire that nought but streames of bloud may slake
The rage of winde and seas their shippes shall beate,
And Ditis deepe on you shall vengeance take,
The spirites crie out, the earth and seas do quake
The poole of Styx, vngratefull Greekes it seath,
VVith slaughtred bloud reuenge Achilles death.
The soyle doth shake to beare my heauy foote
And fearth agayne the sceptors of my hand,
The pooles with stroake of thunderclap ring out,
The doubtful starres amid their course do stand,
And fearfull Phoebus hides his blasing brande
The trembling lakes agaynst their course do flite,
For dread and terrour of Achilles spright.
Great is the raunsome ought of due to mee,
Wherwith ye must the sprightes and hell appease,
Polyxena shal sacrifysed be,
Vpon my tombe, their yreful wrath to please,
And with her bloud ye shall asswage the seas
Your ships may not returne to Greece agayne
Til on my tombe Polyxena be slayne.
And for that she should then haue bene my wyfe,
I wil that Pyrrhus render her to mee,
And in such solemne sort bereaue her life,
As ye are wont the weddinges for to see,
So shal the wrath of Hel appeased bee,
Nought els but this may satisfy our yre,
Her wil I haue and her I you require.


Talthibius▪ Chorus.
ALas how long the lingring Gre [...]kes in hauen do make delay,
When eyther warre by seas they seeke or home to passe theyr way.
Why, shew what cause doth hold your ships? and Grecian nauy stayes,
Declare if any of the Gods haue stopt your homeward wayes.
My mynd is mai'd, my trembling sin­ne wes quake and are affeard,
For straunger newes of truth then these
I thinke were neuer heard.
Lo I my selfe haue playnly seene in dawning of the day,
When Phoebus first gan to approch and driue the starres away.
The earth all shaken sodaynly and from the hollow grownde:
My thought I hard with roaryng crye a deepe and dreadful sound:
That shoke the woods, and al the trees [...]ong out with thunder stroke,
From Ida hils downe fel the st [...]kes, the mountayne [...]oppes were broke.
And not the earth hath onely quakt, but all the Sea likewyse▪
Achilles presence felt and knew, and high the surges ryse.
The clouen ground Erebus pittes then shewd and deepest dennes,
That downe to Gods that guyde beneath, the way appeard from hence.
Then shoke the tombe from whence anone in flame of fiery light,
Appeareth from the hollow ca [...]es Achilles noble spright.
As wonted he his Thracian armes and bannars to disploy
And weild his weighty weapons wel agaynst thassaultes of Troy,
The same Achilles seemde he than that he was wont to bee
Amid the hostes and eas [...]y could I know that this was hee.
With carkasse slayne in furious fight, that stopt and fild each floude.
And who with slaughter of his hand made Xanthus r [...]ne with bloud,
As when in Chariot high he sate with lofty stomacke stoute.
Whyle Hector both and Troy at once he drew the walles aboute.
Alowd he cride, and euery coast rang with Achilles sound,
And thus with hollow voyce he spake, from bottom of the ground.
[Page 104] The Greekes shal not with litle pryce redeeme Achilles yre,
A princely raunsome must they geue, for so the fates require
Vnto my ashes Polyxene spoused shal here be slayne
By Pyrrhus hand, and al my tombe her bloud shal ouerstayne.
This sayd, he strayght sanke downe agayne to Plutoes deepe region,
The earth then cloasd, the hollow caues were vanished and gon
Therwith the wether waxed clere, the raging wyndes did slake,
The tombling seas began to rest and al the tempest brake.


Pyrrhus, Agamemnon, Calchas.
WHat tyme our sayles we should haue spread,
vppon Sygeon Seas,
With swift returne from long delay,
to seeke our homeward wayes.
Achilles rose whose onely hand,
hath geuen Greekes the spoyle.
Of Troia sore annoyde by him,
and leueld with the soyle,
With speede requiting his abode
and former long delay▪
At Scyros yle, and Lesbos both amid the Aegaeon sea.
Til he came here in doubt it stoode of fall or sure estate,
Then though ye hast to graunt his wil ye shall it geue to late.
Now haue the other captaynes all the pryce of their manhood,
What els reward for his prewesse then her al onely blood?
A [...]e his desertes thinke you but light, that when he might haue fled,
And passing Pelyus yeares in peace, a quiet life haue led,
Detected yet his mothers craftes, forsooke his womans weede,
And with his weapons prou'd himselfe a manly man indeede:
The King of Mysya, Telephus that woulde the Greekes withstand,
Comming to Troy, forbidding vs the passage of his land:
[Page] To late repenting to haue felt. Achilles heauy stroke
Was glad to craue his health agayne where he his hurt had tooke
For when his sore might not be salud as told Appollo playne.
Except the speare that gaue the hurte, restoared help agayne.
Achilles plasters cur'd his cuttes, and sau'd the King aliue:
His hand both might and mercy knew te slay and then reuyne.
When Thebes fel. Eetion saw it and might it not withstand,
The captiue King could nought redresse the ruin of his land.
Lyrnesus litle likewyse felt his hand and downe it fill,
With ruine ouerturned like from top of haughty hil.
And taken Bryseps land it is and prisoner is she caught
The cause of strife betwene the Kinges is Chryses come to naught.
Tenedos yle wel knowne by fame and fertile soyle he tooke
That fostreth fat the Thracian flockes and sacred Cilla shooke
What bootes to blase the brute of him whom trumpe of fame doth show,
Through all the coastes where Caicus floud with swelling stream doth flow?
The ruthful ruine of these realmes so many townes bet downe,
Another man would glory count and worthy great renowne.
But thus my father made his way and these his iourneyes are,
And battayles many one he fought whylewarre he doth prepare.
As wisht I may his merits more shall yet not this remayne.
Wel knowne and counted prayse enough that he hath Hector slayne
Duryng whose life the Grecians al might neuer take the towne,
My father onely vanquist Troy, and you haue pluct it downe.
Reioyce I may your parentes prayse and brute abroade his actes,
It seemeth the sonne to follow well his noble fathers factts,
In sight of Priam Hector slayne, and. Memnon both they lay.
With heauy theere his parentes wayld to moutne his dying day.
Himselfe abhord his handy worke in fight that had them slayne,
The Sonnes of Goddes Achilles knew were borne to die agayne
The woman queene of Amazons that greu'd the Greekes ful sore.
Is turnd to flight then ceast our feare wee dread their bowes no more.
It ye wel waigh his worthynes Achilles ought to haue
Though he from Argos or Mycenas would a Virgin craue,
Doubt ye herein? allow ye not that straight his wil be done.
And count ye cruel Pryams bloud to geue to Peleus sonne?
For Helen sake your owne childes bloud appeasd Dianas yre
A wonted thing and done ere this it is that I require.
The onely fault of youth it is not to refraine his rage
The Fathers bloud already sturres in Pryams wanton age:
[Page 105] Somtime Achilles grieuous checkes I bare with pacient hart,
The more thou mayst the more thou oughtst to suffer in good part
Wherto would yee with slaughtred bloud a noble spirit stayne?
Thinke what is meete the Greekes to do, and Troyans to sustayne.
The proude estate of tyranny may neuer long endure.
The King that rules with modest meane of safety may be sure.
The higher step of princely state that fortune hath vs signd
The more behou'th a happy man humility of mynd
And bread the chaunge that chaūce may bring, whose gifts so sone be lost
And chiefly then to feare the Gods, whyle they the fauour most.
In beating downe that warre hath wonne, by proofe I haue ben taught,
What pompe and pride in twinke of eye, may fall and come to naught.
Troy made me fierce & proude of mynde, Troy makes me frayd withal.
The Grekes now stand wher Troy late fel, ech thing may haue his fal.
Sometyme I graunt I did my selfe, and Sceptors proudly beare,
The thing that might aduaunce my hart makes me the more to feare
Thou Priam perfit proofe presentst thou art to mee eftsones:
A cause of pride, a glasse of feare a mirrour for the nones,
Should I accoumpt the sceptors ought, but glorious vanity
Much like the borowed brayded hayre, the face to beautify.
One sodayne chaunce may turne to naught, and mayme the might of men
With fewer then a thousand shippes, and yeares in lesse then ten.
Not she that guydes the slipper wheele of fate, doth so delay:
That she to al possession grauntes, of ten yeares setled stay.
With leaue of Greece I wil confesse, I would haue wonne the towne
But not with ruine thus extreme to see it beaten downe.
But loe the battel made by night and rage of feruent mynd,
Could not abyde the brydling bitte that reason had assignd.
The happy sword once slaind with blood vnsatiable is,
And in the darke the seruent rage doth strike thee more amis.
Now are we wreakt on Troy so much let all that may remayne.
A Virgin borne of Princes bloud for offring to be slayne
And geuen be to slayne the tombe and ashes of the ded,
And vnder name of wedlocke see the guiltles bloud be shed,
I wil not graunt for myne should bee thereof both fault and blame.
Who when he may, forbiddeth not offence: doth wil the same.
And shall his sprights haue no reward their angers to appeyse?
Yes very great, for all the world shall celebrate his prayse,
And landes vnknowen that neuer saw, the man so praysd by fame,
Shall heate and kepe for many yeares the glory of his name.
[Page] If bloudshed vayle his ashes ought strike of an Oxes hed,
And let no bloud that may be cause of mothers teares, be shed.
What furious fransy may this be that doth your will so leade,
This earnest carefull sutte to make in trauayle for the dead?
Let not such enuy towarde your father in your heart remayne,
That for his sacrifice yee would procure an others payne,
Proude tirant, while prosperity thy stomacke doth aduaunce,
And cowardly wretch that shrinks for feare in case of fearefull chaunce.
Is yet agayne thy breast enflamde, with brand of Venus might?
Wilt thou alone so oft depriue Achilles of his right?
This hand shall giue the sacrifice, the which if thou withstand.
A greater slaughter shall I make, and worthy Pyrrhus hand.
And now to long from Princes slaughter doth my hand abide,
And meete it were that Polyxene were layde by Priams side.
I not deny, but Pyrrhus chiefe renowne, in warre is this,
That Pryam slaine with cruell sworde, to your father humbled is.
My fathers foes we haue them known, submit themselues humbly,
And Pryam presently yee wot, was glad to craue mercy.
But thou for feare not stout to rule, liest close from foes vp shit:
Whil thou to Aiax, and Vlysses, dost thy will commit.
But needes I must, and will confesse, your father did not feare:
When burnt our fleete with Hectors brands, & Greeks they slaughtred weare.
While loytring then a loofe he lay, vnmindfull of the fight.
In steede of armes with scratch of quill, his sounding harp to smight.
Great Hector then despising thee, Achilles songes did feare:
And Thessale ships in greatest dread, in quiet peace yet weare.
For why aloofe the Thessale fleete, they lay from Troyans handes,
And well your father might haue rest, he felt not Hectors brandes.
Well seemes a noble king to giue an other king reliefe.
Why hast thou then a worthy king berieued of his life?
A poinct of mercy sometime is, what liues in care to kill.
But now your mercy mooueth you a virgins death to will.
Account yee cruell now her death whose sacrifice I craue.
Your own deere daughter once yee knowe, your selfe to th'aulters gaue.
Naught els could saue the Greekes frō seas, but th'only bloud of her:
A king before his children ought, his countrey to prefer.
The law doth spare no captiues bloud nor wil'th their death to stay
That which the law doth not forbid, yet shame doth oft say nay.
The conquerour what thing he list, may lawfully fulfill.
So much the lesse he ought to list, that may do what he will.
[Page 106]
Thus boast ye these as though in all ye onely bare the stroke
When Pyrrhus loosed hath the greekes, from bond of ten yeres yoke.
Hath Scyros yle such stomaks bred?
No bretherns wrath it knoes.
Beset about it is with waue.
The seas it do enclose.
Thyestes noble stocke I know and A [...]reus eke full well,
And of the bretherns dire debate, perpetuall fame doth tell.
And thou a bestard of a may de, defloured priuely.
Whom (then a boy) Achilles gat, in filthy lecherr.
The same A chill that doth possesse, the raigne of Gods aboue,
With Therys seas: with Aeacus sprights, the starred heauen with Ioue
The same Achilles that was slaine, by stroke of Par [...]s hande.
The same Achilles, whom no god, durst euer yet withstand.
The stoutest man I rather would his checkes he should refraine
I could them tame but all your bragges, I can full well sustaine.
For euen the captiues spares my sword: let Calchas called be.
If destyntes require her bloud, I will thereto agree
Calchas whose counsel rulde our ships, and nauy hither brought,
Vnlookst the poale and hast by arte the secretes thereof sought,
To whome the bowelles of the beast, to whom the thunder clap,
And blasyng starre with flaming traine, betokeneth what shall hap.
Whose words with dearest price I bought, now tell vs by what meane
The will of Gods agreeth that we returne to Greece againe.
The fates apoint the Grekes to buy their waies with wonted price.
And with what cost ye came to Troy, ye shal repayre to Greece
With bloud ye came, with bloud ye must from hence returne againe,
And where Achilles ashes lieth, the virgin shal be slaine,
In seemely sort of habite, such as maydens wont ye see,
Of Thessalie, or Mycenas els, what time they wedded be.
With Pyrrhus hand she shal be slaine, of right it shalbe so
And meete it is that he the sonne, his fathers right should do.
But not this onely stayeth our shippes, our sayles may not be spred,
Before a worthier bloud then thine, (Polixena) be shed,
Which thirst thirst the fates, for Praimes nephew. Hectors litle boy:
The Erekes shal tumble hedlonge down, from highest towre in Troy.
Let him there die, this onely way ye shal the gods appeas,
Then spread your thousand sayles with ioy ye neede not feare the seas.
MAy this be true, or doth the Fable fayne,
When corps is deade the Sprite to liue as yet?
When Death our eies with heauy hand doth strain,
And fatall day our leames of light hath shet,
And in the Tombe our ashes once be set,
Hath not the soule likewyse his funerall,
But stil (alas) do wretches liue in thrall?
Or els doth all at once togeather die?
And may no part his fatal howre delay.
But with the breath the soule from hence doth flie?
And eke the Cloudes to vanish quite awaye,
As danky shade fleeth from the poale by day?
And may no iote escape from desteny,
When once the brand hath burned the body?
What euer then the ryse of Sunne may see,
And what the West that sets the Sunne doth know.
In all Neptunus raygne what euer bee,
That restles Seas do wash and ouerflow,
With purple waues stil tombling to and fro.
Age shal consume: each thing that liuth shal die,
With swifter race then Pegasus doth flie.
And with what whirle, the twyse sixe signes do flie,
With course as svvift as rector of the Spheares,
Doth guide those glistering Globes eternally.
And Hecate her chaunged hornes repeares,
So drauth on death, and life of each thing vveares,
And neuer may the man, returne to sight,
That once hath felt the stroke of Parcas might.
For as the fume that from the fyre doth passe,
With tourne of hand doth vanish out of sight
And swifter then the Northren Boreas
With whirling blaste and storme of raging might,
Driuth farre away and puttes the cloudes to flight,
So fleeth the sprighte that rules our life away,
And nothing taryeth after dying day.
Swift is the race we ronne, at hand the marke
Lay downe your hope, that wayte here ought to win,
And who dreads ought, cast of thy carefull carke:
Wilt thou it wot what state thou shalt be in,
When dead thou art as thou hadst neuer bin.
For greedy tyme it doth deuoure vs all,
The world it swayes to Chaos heape to fall.
Death hurtes the Corpes and spareth not the spright,
And as for all the dennes of Taenare deeepe.
With Cerberus kingdome darke that knowes no light,
And streightest gates, that he there sittes to keepe,
They Fancies are that follow folke by sleepe
Such rumors vayne, but fayned lies they are,
And fables like the dreames in heauy care.
These three staues following are added by the translatour.
O dreadful day, alas, the sory time▪
Is come of al the mothers ruthful woe,
Astianax (alas) thy fatal line
Of life is worne, to death strayght shalt thou goe,
The sisters haue decreed it should be so,
[Page] There may no force (alas) escape there hand,
There mighty loue their will may not withstand,
To se the mother, her tender child forsake,
What gentle hart that may from teares refrayne
Or whoso fierce that would no pity take,
To see (alas) this guiltles infant slayne,
For sory hart the teares myne eyes do stayne
To thinke what sorrow shall her hart oppresse,
Her litle child to leese remedilesse,
The double cares of Hectors wife to wayle,
Good Ladies haue your teares in readines.
And you with whom should pity most preuayle.
Rue on her griefe: bewayle her heauines.
With sobbing hart, lament her deepe distresse,
When she with teares shall take leaue of her son,
And now (good Ladies) heare what shall be done.


Andromacha. Senex. Vlisses.
ALas ye careful company
why hale ye thus your hayres?
Why beate you so your boyling breasts
and stayne your eyes with teare?
The fall of Troy is new to you
but vnto me not so,
I haue foreseene this careful case
ere this tyme long agoe
When fierce Achilles Hector slew and drew the Corpes aboute
Then then me thought I wist it well, that Troy should come to naught
In sorrowes sonke I senceles am and wrapt (alas) in woe,
But sone except this babe me held, to Hector would I goe
This seely foole my stomacke tames amid my misery,
And in the howre of heauiest happes permittes me not to die,
[Page 108] This onely cause constraynes me yet the gods for him to pray
With tract of tyme prolonges my payne, delayes my dying day:
He takes from me the lacke of feare the onely fruit of ill.
For while he liues yet haue I left wherof to feare me still.
No place is left for better chaunce with worst wee are opprest
To feare (alas) and see no hope is worst of all the rest.
What sodayne feare thus moues your mynd, & vexeth you so sore?
Stil stil (alas) of one mishap there ryseth more and more,
Nor yet the doleful destenies of Troy be come to end.
And what more grieuous chaunces yet prepare the Gods to send?
The caues and dennes of hel be rent for Troyans greater feare
And from the bottoms of their tombes the hidden sprightes appeare.
May none but Greekes alone from hel returne to life agayne?
Would God the fates would finish soone the sorrowes I sustayne.
Death thankful were, a common care the Troyans all oppresse,
But me (alas) amaseth most the feareful heauines.
That all astonied am for dreade, and horrour of the sight:
That in my sleepe appeard to mee by dreame this latter night.
Declare what sightes your dream hath shewd, & tell what doth you feare
Two parts of al the silent night almost then passed were.
And then the cleare seuen clustered beams of starres: were falle to rest
And first the sleepe so long vnknowne my wearyed eyes opprest.
If this be sleepe the astonied ma [...]e of mynd in heauy moode,
When sodaynly before myne eyes the spright of Hector stoode.
Not like as he the Greekes was wont to battail to require:
Or when amid the Grecians shippes, he threw the brandes of fyre.
Nor such as raging on the Grees, with slaughtring stroake had slayne
And bare indeede the spoyles of him that did Achilles fayne.
His countenaunce not now so bright, nor of so liuely cheere,
But sad and heauy like to owres and clad with vgly hayre
It did me good to see him though when shaking then his head:
Shake of thy sleepe in hast he sayd, and quickly leaue thy bed:
Conuay into some secrete place our sonne (O faythful wife)
This onely hope there is to helpe find meane to saue his life.
Leaue of thy piteous tears he sayd, dost thou yet wayle for Troy?
Would God it lay on Ground ful flat so ye might saue the boy.
Vp stirre he sayd thy selfe in hast conuay him priuily.
Saue if ye may the tender bloud of Hectors progeny
Then strayght in trembling feare I wakt and rold myne eyes aboute
Forgettyng long my child pore wretch, and after Hector sought.
[Page] But strayght (alas) I wist not how the Spright away did passe,
And mee forsooke before I could my husband once embrasse.
O childe, O noble fathers broode and Troians only ioy,
O worthy seede of thauncient bloud, and beaten house of Troy.
O ymage of thy father loe, thou liuely bearst his face,
This countnaunce lo my Hector had, and euen such was his pace.
The pitch of all his body such, his handes thus would he beare.
His shoulders high his threatning browes▪ euen such as thine they were
O sonne: begot to late for Troy, but borne to soone for mee,
Shal euer tyme yet come agayne, and happy daye may be,
That thou mayst once reuenge and build agayne the towres of Troy,
And to the towne and Troyans both restore their name with ioy?
But why do I (forgettyng state of present destenye),
So great thinges wish? enough for captiues is to liue only:
Alas what priuy place is left my litle childe to hide?
What seate so secret may be found where thou maist safely bide?
The towre that with the walles of go [...]s so valiaunt was of might,
Through all the world so notable, so flourishing to sight,
Is turnde to dust: and fire hath al consumd'e that was in Troy,
Of all the towne not so much now is left to hide the boy.
What place were best to choose for guile, the holy tombe is heere,
That then mies sword will spare to spoile wher sythe my husband deere.
Which costly worke his father builte, king Pryame liberall:
And it vp raisde with charges great, fo Hectors funerall.
Herein the bones and ashes both of Hector (loe) they lie,
Best is that I commit the sonne to his fathers custodie.
A colde and fearefull sweat doth runne, through o [...]t my members all,
Alas I carefull wretch do feare, what chaunce may thee befall,
Hide him away: this onely way hath saued many more,
To make the enmies to beleue, that they were dead before.
He wil be sought: scant any hope remaineth of safenes,
The paise of his nobility doth him so sore oppres:
What way wer best to worke: that none our doings might bewray
Let none beare witnes what ye do remoue them all away.
What if the enmies aske me: where Astianax both remaine?
Then shall y [...] boldelie answere make that he in Troy was slaine.
What shal it helpe to haue him hid? at length they will him finde.
At first the enmies rage is fierce, delay doth slake his minde.
But what preuailes, since free from feare we may him neuer hide?
Let yet the wretch take his defence, me carelesse there to bide.
[Page 109]
What land vnknowne out of the way what vnfrequented place
May keepe thee safe? who ayds our feare? who shall defend our case?
Hector, Hector that euermore thy friendes didst wel defend
Now chiefly ayde thy wyfe and child and vs some succour send.
Take charge to keepe and couer close the treasures of thy wyfe,
And in thy Ashes hyde thy sonne preserue in tombe his life.
Draw neare my Childe vnto the Tombe, why fliest thou backward so?
Thou takst great scorne to lurke in dens thy noble hart I know.
I see thou art asham'd to feare shake of thy princely mynd,
And beare thy breast as thee behoues as chaunce hath thee assynd.
Behold our case: and se what flocke remayneth now of Troy
The tombe: I woeful captiue wretch and thou a seely boy,
But yeeld we must to sory fates thy chaunce must breake thy breast,
Go to, creepe vnderneath thy fathers holy seats to rest.
If ought the fates may wretches helpe thou hast thy sauegard there,
If not: already then pore foole thou hast thy sepulchere.
The tombe him closely hides: but least your feare should him betray
Let him here lie and farre from hence goe ye some other way.
The lesse he feares that feares at hand, and yet if neede be so,
If ye thinke meete a litle hence for safety let vs goe.
A litle whyle keepe silence now refrayne your plaint and crie,
His cursed foote now hether moues the Lord of Cephalie.
Now open earth, and thou my spouse frō Stix rend vp y ground,
Deepe in thy bosome hyde thy sonne that he may not be found.
Vlysses comes with doubtful pace and chaunged countenaunce
He knittes in hart decetptful craft for some more grieuous chaunce.
Though I be made the messenger of heauy newes to you,
This one thing first I shal desyre that ye take this for true.
That though the wordes come from my mouth, and I my messuage tell
Of truth yet are they none of myne ye may beleue me wel.
It is the word of al the Greekes, and they the authors be,
Whome Hectors bloud doth yet forbid their countries for to see.
Our careful trust of peace vnsure doth stil the Greekes detayne,
And euermore our doubtful feare yet drawth vs backe agayne.
And suffreth not our wearyed handes, our weapons to forsake,
In child yet of Andromacha, while Troyans comfort take.
And sayth your Augure Calchas so?
Though Calchas nothing sayde
Yet Hector telles it vs himselfe, of whose seede are we frayde.
The worthy bloud of noble men oft tymes we se it playne,
Doth after in their heires succede and quickly springes agayne.
[Page] For so the hornles youngling yet, of high and sturdy b [...]ste,
With lofty necke and braunched brow, doth shortly rule the rest.
The tender twig that of the lopped stocke doth yet remayne,
To match the tree that bare the bough, in time startes vp again
With equall top to former wood the roume it doth supply,
And spreads on soyle alow the shade, to heauen his braunches hye.
Thus of one sparke by chaunce yet left it hapneth so ful oft.
The fyre hath quickly caught his force and flamth agayn aloft.
So scare we yet least Hectors bloud might rise er it be long,
Feare castes in all thextremity and oft interprets wrong.
If ye respect our case ye may not blame these old soldiars
Though after years and monthes twice flue, they feare again the wars.
And other trauails dreadyng Troy, not yet to be wel wonne,
A great thing doth the Grecyans moue, the feare of Hectors son.
Rid vs of feare, this stayeth our fleete, and pluckes vs backe agayne,
And in the hauen our nauy stickes, til Hectors bloud be slayne.
Count me not feerce for that by fates I Hectors sonne require,
For I as wel if chaunce it would Orestes should desyre.
But since that needes it must be so, beare it with pacient hart:
And Suffer that which Agamemnon suffred in good part.
Alas my child would God thou wert yet in thy mothers hand.
And that I knew what destentes thee held or in what land.
For neuer should the mothers fayth her tender child forsake:
Though through my breast the enmies al, their cruell weapons strake.
Nor though the Greekes with pinching bandes of yron my handes had bound,
Or els in feruent flame of fyre beset my body rounde.
But now my litle Child (pore wretch alas) where might he bee?
Alas, what cruel desteny what chaunce hath hapt to thee?
Art thou yet ranging in the fieldes and wandrest ther abroad?
Or smothred else in dusty smoake of Troy: or ouertroad?
Or haue the Greekes thee slayne (alas) and laught to see thy bloud?
Or torne art thou with iawes of beastes? or cast to foules for foode?
Dissemble not, hard is for thee Vlisses to deceaue,
I can ful wel the mothers craftes and subtilty perceaue.
The pollecy of Goddesses Vlisses hath vndone.
Set al these fayned wordes assyde, tel mee where is thy sonne?
Wher is Hector? where al the rest that had with Troy their fall
Where Priamus? you aske for one but I require of all.
Thou shalt constrayned be to tell the thing thou dost deny.
A happy chaunce were Death to her that doth desyre to dye.
[Page 110]
Who most destres to die, would faynest liue when death drawth on,
These noble wordes with present feare of death woulde soone be gone.
Vlisses if ye wil constrayne Andromacha with feare,
Threaten my life for now to dye my cheefe desyre it were.
With stripes with fyre tormenting death we wil the truth out wrest
And dolour shal thee force to tel the secrets of thy brest.
And what thy hart hath depest hid for payne thou shalt expresse,
Oft tymes thextremity preuayles much more then gentlenesse,
Set me in midst of burning flame with woundes my body rent,
Vse al the meanes of cruelty that ye may al inuent.
Proue me with thirst and hunger both, and euery torment trye,
Pearce through my sides with burning yrons in prison let me lie.
Spare not the worst ye can deuyse (if ought be worse then this)
Yet neuer get ye more of me. I wot not where he is.
It is but vayne to hyde the thinge that strayght ye wil deteckt
No feares may moue the mothers hart, she doth them al neglect.
This tender loue ye beare your child, wherin ye stand so stoute,
So much more circumspectly warnth, the Greekes to looke about.
Least after ten yeares tract of tyme and battell borne so farre,
Some one should liue that on our children might renew the warre,
As for my selfe, what Calchas sayth, I would not feare at all
But on Telemachus I dread, the smart of warres would fall
Now will I make Vlisses glad and all the Greekes also,
Needes must thou woeful wretch confesse declare thy hidden woe.
Reioyce ye sonnes of Atreus there is no cause of dread.
Be glad Vlisses tell the Greekes that Hectors sonne is dead.
By what assurance proues thou that? how shal we credite thee:
An [...].
What euer thing the enmies hand may th [...]ea [...]en hap to me
Let speedy fates me slay forthwith, and earth me hyde at ones
And after death from tombe agayne, remoue ye: Hectors bones,
Except my sonne already now, do rest among the dead.
And that except Astianax into his tomb be led.
Then fully are the fates fulfild with Hectors childes disceace.
Now shal I beare the Grecians word, of sure and certayne peace.
Vlisses why what dost thou now [...] the Greekes wil euery chone,
Beleeue thy wordes, whom creditst thou? the mothers tale alone.
Thinkst thou for sauegard of her child the mother wil not lye?
And dread the more the worse mischaunce to geue her sonne to die?
Her fayth she byndes with bond of oth, the truth to verify,
What thing is more of weight to feare, then so to sweare and lye?
[Page] Now call thy craftes togeather al, bestirre thy wittes and mynd,
And shew thy selfe Vlisses now, the truth herein to find.
Search wel thy mothers mynd: behold shee weepes and wayleth out,
And here and ther with doubtful pace, she raungeth al aboute,
Her careful ears she doth apply to harken what I say,
More frayd shee seemes then sorrowful. Now worke some wily way.
For now most neede of wit there is and crafty pollecy,
Yet on [...]e agayne by other meanes I wil the mother trye.
Thou wretched woman maist reioyce, that dead he is: (alas)
More doleful death by destenie for him decreed ther was.
From Turrets top to haue bene cast and cruelly bene slayne.
Which onely towre of all the rest doth yet in Troy remayne.
My spright failth me, my limmes do quake, fear doth my wits cō ­founde
And as the Ise congeals with frost, my bloud with could is bound.
She trēbleth loe: this way, this way I wil the truth out wreaste,
The mothers fear detecteth all the secrets of her breast:
I wil renew her feare goe sirs bestir ye spedely
To seeke this enmye of the Greekes where euer that he lie.
Wel done he wil be found at length, goe to stil seke him out,
Now shal he dye. what dost thou feare why dost thou looke about?
Would God that any cause there were yet left that might me fray,
My hart at last now all is lost hath layd all feare away.
Sins that your child now hath ye say already suffred death,
And with his bloud we may not purge the hostes as Caschas sayth.
Our fleete passe not (as wel inspired doth Calchas prophecy)
Till Hectors ashes cast abroad the waues may pacify.
And tombe be rent now sins the boy hath skapt his desteny.
Needes must we breake this holy tombe wher Hectors ashes lie.
What shal I do [...]y mynd distracted is with double feare.
On thone my sonne, on thother syde my husbandes ashes deare,
Alas which part should moue me most, the cruel Goddes I call
To witnes with me in the truth, and Ghostes that guide thee all
Hector that nothing in my sonne is else that pleaseth me.
But thou alone God graunt him life he might resemble thee:
Shal Hectors ashes drowned bee [...]hide I such cruelty,
To see his bones cast in the Seas? yet let Astyanax die,
And canst thou wretched mother bide, thyne owne childes death to see?
And suffer from the hie towres top that headlong throwne he be?
I can and wil take in goad part, his death and cruel payne,
So that my Hector after death be not remou'd agayne.
[Page 111] The boy that life and sences hath may feele his payne and dye,
But Hector lo his death hath plast at rest in tombe to lie
What dost thou stay? determine which thou w [...]lt preserue of twayne.
Art thou in doubt? saue this: [...]oe here thy Hector doth remayne,
Both Hectors be, thone quicke of spright & drawing toward his strēgth
And one that may perhaps reuenge his fathers death at length.
Alas I cannot saue them both: I thinke that best it were,
That of the twayne I saued him that doth the Grecians feare.
It shalbe done that Calchas words to vs doth prophecye,
And now shal all the sumptuous worke be throwne downe vtterly
That once ye sold?
I wil it all from toppe to bottome rend.
The fayth of Goddes I call vppon Achilles vs defend,
And Pyrrhus ayd thy fathers right.
This tombe abroad shall lye:
O mischiefe, neuer durst the Greekes show yet such cruelty.
Ye straine the temples and the Gods that most haue fauourd you,
The dead ye spare not, on their tombes your fury rageth now.
I wil their weapons all resist my selfe with naked hand,
The yre of hart shal geue me strength their armour to withstand.
As fierce as did the Amazones beate down the Greekes in fight,
And Menas once enspierd with God, in sacrifyce doth smyght,
With speare in hand, and while with furyous pace she treads the groūd
And wood as one in rage she strykes, and feeleth not the wound:
So wil I runne on midst of them and on theyr weapons dye,
And in defence of Hectors tombe among his ashes lie.
Cease ye: doth rage and fury vayne of women moue ye ought?
Dispatch with speede what I commaund, & plucke downe al to naught.
O slay me rather here with sword rid me out the way,
Breake vp the deepe Auern, and rid my destenies delay.
Rise Hector and beset thy foes, breake thou Vlisses yre,
A spright art good enough for him, behold he casteth fire.
And weapon shakes with mighty hand do ye not Greekes him see?
Or els doth Hectors spright appear but onely vnto me
Downe quight withal.
What wilt thou suffer both thy sonnes be slayne,
And after death thy husbandes bones to be remou'd agayne?
Perhaps thou mayst with prayer yet aprease the Grecians all.
Els downe to ground the holy tombe of Hector, streight shall fal.
Let rather die the childe pore wretch and let the Greekes him kil,
Then father and the sonne should cause the tone the others yll.
Vllisses, at thy knees I fal, and hm [...]bly aske mercie,
These handes that no mans feete els knew, first at thy feete they lye.
[Page] Take pitty on the mothers case and sorrowes of my breast,
Vochsafe my prayers to receiue and graunt me my request.
And by how much the more the Goddes haue thee aduaunced hie,
More easely stryke the pore estate of wretched misery.
God graunt the chast bed of thy godly wyfe Penelope,
May thee receiue and so agayne Laerta may thee see,
And that thy sonne Telemachus may meete thee ioyfully.
His graundstres y [...]ares, a [...]d fathers witte, to passe ful happely.
Take ptty on the mothers teares, her litle child to saue,
He is my onely comfort left, and th'onely to [...] I haue.
¶Bryng forth thy sonne and aske.


COme hither child out of the dennes to mee,
Thy wretched mothers lamentable store,
This Babe Vlisses (loe) this Babe is hee.
That stayeth your ships and feareth you so sore.
Submit thy selfe my sonne with humble hand,
And worship flat on ground thy maysters feete,
Thinke it no shame as now the case doth stand:
The thing that Fortune wilth a wretche is meete,
Forget thy worthy stocke of Kingly kynd,
Thinke not on Priams great nobility,
And put thy father Hector from thy mynde,
Such as thy Fortune let thy stomacke bee,
Behaue thy selfe as captiue bend thy Knee,
And though thy griefe pearce not thy tender yeares,
Yet learne to wa [...]le thy wretched state by mee,
And take ensample at thy mothers teares.
[Page 112] Once Troy hath seene the weeping of a child,
When litle Priam turnde Alcides threats,
And he to whom all beastes in strength did yelde,
That made his way from hel, and brake their gates
His litle enmies teares yet ouercame,
Priam he sayd receiue thy liberty,
In seat of honor kepe thy Kingly name,
But yet thy Sceptors rule more faythfully.
Lo such the conquest was of Hercules.
Of him yet learne your hartes to mollify,
Do onely Hercles cruel weapons please,
And may no end be of your cruelty?
No lesse then Pryam, kneeles to thee this boy,
That lieth and asketh onely life of thee.
As for the rule and gouernaunce of Troy
Where euer [...]ortune wil ther let i [...] bee.
Take mercy on the mothers ruthful teares
That with their streames my cheekes do ouerflow,
And spare this guiltles insantes tender yeares
That humbly falleth at thy feete so lowe.


Vlisses, Andromacha, Astianax,
OF truth the mothers greate sorow,
doth moue my hart full sore.
But yet the mothers of the Greekes,
of neede must moue me more,
To whom t [...]ts boy may cause in time
a great calamtie.
May euer he the burnt ruines
of Troy reedifie?
And shall these handes in time to come, ereckt the towne againe?
If this be th onely helpe we haue, there doth no hope remain
For Troy, we stand not now in case to cause your feare of mynde,
Doth ought auayle his fathers force, or stocke of noble kinde?
His fathers heart abated was, he drawen the walles abought.
Thus euil haps, the haughttest heart at lengh they bring to nought,
If ye wil needes oppresse a wretch what thing more grieuous were
Then on his noble neck he should the yoke of bondage bere?
To serue in life doth any man this to a King denye?
Not Vlisses with his death, but Calchas prophecy.
O false inuentor of deceipt and hainous cruelty,
By manhode of whose hand in warre no man did euer dye.
But by disceipt and crafty trayne of mynd that mischiefe seekes,
Before this tyme ful many one dead is, yea of the Greekes,
The Prophets wordes and guilties Gods saist thou my sonne require,
Nay: mischiefe of thy breast it is, thou dost his death desyre.
Thou night souldier, and stout of hart a litle child to stay.
This enterprise thou takste alone and that by open day.
Vlisses manhood wel to Greekes to much to you is knowne,
I may not spend the tyme in wordes, our Nauy wil be gone
[Page 113]
A little stay, while I my last farewel geue to my child,
And haue with oft embracing him my greedy sorrowes fild.
Thy grieuous sorrowes to redresse, would God it lay in mee,
But at thy wil to take delay of tyme I graunt it thee.
Now take thy last leaue of thy Sonne, and fil thy selfe with teares.
Oft tymes the weeping of the eyes, the inward griefe out weakes.
O deere, O sweete, thy mothers pledge, farewel my onely ioy,
Farewel the flowre of honor left of beaten howse of Troy.
O Troyans last calamity and feare to Grecians part
Farewel thy mothers onely hope, and vayne comfort of hart.
Oft wish I thee thy fathers strength and halfe thy graundstres yeares
But all for naught the Gods haue all dispoynted our desires.
Thou neuer shalt in regal court thy sceptors take in hand,
Nor to thy people geue decrees nor leade with law thy land.
Nor yet thine enmies ouercome by might of handy stroke.
Nor sende the conquerde nations all vnder thy seruile yoke.
Thou neuer shalt beat downe in fight, and Greekes with sword pursew,
Nor at thy Charyot Pyrrhus plucke, as Achill Hector drew
And neuer shal these tender handes thy weapons weild and wrest,
Thou neuer shalt in woods pursue the wyld and mighty beast.
Nor as accustom'd is by guyse and sacrifice in Troy,
With measure swift: betweene the aulters shalt thou daunce with ioy.
O grieuous kind of cruel death that doth remayne for thee,
More woeful thinges then Hectors death the walles of Troy shall see.
Now breake of al thy mothers tears I may no more tyme spende.
The grieuous sorrowes of thy hart will neuer make an end.
Vlisses spare as yet my teares and graunt awhyle delay,
To close his eyes yet with my handes er he depart away.
Thou diest but young: yet feard thou art thy Troy doth wayte for thee,
Goe noble hart thou shalt agayne the noble Troyans see.
Helpe me mother?
Alas my child why tak'st thou holde by me?
In vayne thou calst where helpe none is I can not succour thee.
As when the little tender beast that heares the Lyon crye,
Straight for defence he seekes his damme, & crouching downe doth lye,
The cruel beast when once remoued is the damme away,
In greedy [...]aw with rauening bit doth snatch the tender pray
So strayght the enmies wil thee take, and from my side thee beare.
Receiue my kisse and teares pore childe, receiue my rented hayre.
Depart thou hence now ful of mee, and to thy father goe,
Salute my Hector in my name and tel him of my woe
[Page] Complayne thy mothers griefe to him if former [...] may moue,
The sprightes: and that in funerall flame they leese not all their loue.
O cruel Hector suffrest thou thy wyfe to be opprest?
With bond of Grecians heauy yoke and liest thou still at rest?
Achilles rose: take here agayne my teares and rented heare,
And (al that I haue left to send) this kisse thy father beare.
Thy coat yet for my comfort leaue, the tomb hath touched it
If of his ashes aught here lye Ile seeke it euery whit.
There is no measure of thy teares I may no lenger stay,
Deferre no further our returne breake of our shippes delay.
Chorus altered by the translatour.
O Ioue that leadst the lampes of fire,
and deckst vvith flaming starres the skye.
VVhy is it euer thy desyre
ro care their course so orderly?
That novve the frost the leaues hath vvorn [...]
& novv the sprīg doth close the tree.
Novv fiery Leo rypes the corne,
and stil the soyle should chaunged be?
But vvhy art thou that all dost guide,
betvvene vvhose hands the poale doth svvay,
And at vvhose vvil the Orbs do slyde, careles of mans estate alvvay?
Regarding not the goodmans case, nor caryng hovv to hurt the yll.
Chaunce beareth rule in euery place and turneth mans estate at vvill.
She geues the vvronge the vpper hand the better part she doth oppresse,
She makes the highest lovv to stand, her Kingdome all is orderlesse.
O parfite profe of her frailty, the princely tovvres of Troybeat dovvne,
The flovvre of Asia here ye see vvith turne of hand quight ouerthrovvne.
The ruthful ende of Hectors son, vvhō to his death the Greekes haue led,
His fatall hovvre is come and gone, and by this tyme the Child is ded:
Yet stil (alas) more cares encrease, O Troyans doleful destenie,
Fast doth approach the maydes decease, and novv Polixena shall die.


Helena, Andromacha, Hecuba
WHat euer woeful wedding yet,
were cause of funerall,
Of wayling, teares, bloud, slaughter els
or other mischiefes all,
A worthy watch for Helena,
and meete for me it ware,
My wedding torch hath bene the cause
of al The Troyans care.
I am constraynd to hurt them yet,
after their ouerthrow,
The false and fayned mariages of Pyrrhus must I showe.
And geue the mayde the Greekes attyre and by my pollecy:
Shal Paris sister be betrayd and by disceypt shal die.
But let her be beguiled thus, the lesse should be her payne
If that vnware without the feare of death: she might be slayne.
What ceasest thou the wil of Greekes, and messuage to fulfill?
Of hurt constraynd the fault returnth to th'auter of the ill.
O noble Virgin of the famous house and stocke of Troy,
To thee the Grecians haue me sent I bring thee newes of ioy,
The Gods rue on thy afflicted state more merciful they bee,
A greate and happy maryage loe, they haue prepard for thee.
Thou neuer should if Troy had stoode, so nobly wedded be,
Nor Priam neuer could prefer thee to so hie degree.
Whom flowre of all the Grecians name the prince of honour hie,
That beares the Scepters ouer all, the lande of Thessaly
Doth in the law of wedlocke chose, and for his wyse require.
[Page] To sacred rightes of lawfu bed, doth Pyrrhus thee desyre:
Loe Thetis great with al the rest, of Gods that guide by sea.
Each one shall thee accompt as theirs and toy by wedding day.
And Peleus shall thee daughter call when thou art Pirrhus wyfe,
And Nereus shall accompt thee his the space of all thy life.
Put of thy monrning garment now, this regall vesture weare
Fogret henceforth thy captiue state and seemly broyd thy hayre.
The fall hath lift thee higher vp, and doth thee more aduaunce
Oft to be taken in the warre doth bring the better chaunce
This ill the Troyans neuer knew in all their griefs and payne
Before this tyme ye neuer made vs to reioyce in vayne.
Troy towres geue light, O seemely tyme for mariage to be made,
Who would refuse the wedding day that Helayne doth perswade?
The Plague and ruine of each parte behold dost thou not see,
These tombes of noble men, and how their bones here scattered bee?
Thy brydebed hath bene cause of this for thee all these be ded
For thee the bloud of Asia both and Europe hath bene shed.
When thou in ioy and pleasure both the fighting folke from farre,
Hast viewde: in doubt to whom to wish the glory of the warre.
Goe to, prepare the martages, what neede the Torches light?
Behold the Towres of Troy do shine with brands that blase ful bright.
O Troyans all set to your handes, this wedlocke celebrate:
Lament this day with woeful cry and teares in seemly rate.
Though care do cause the want of wit, and reasons rule denye,
And heauy hap doth ofttymes hate his mates in misery
Yet I before most hateful iudge dare wel defend my part,
That I of all your greuous cares sustayne the greatest smart.
Andromacha for Hector weepes, for Priam Hecuba,
For onely Paris priuily bewayleth Helena.
A hard and grieuous thing it is captiuity to beare,
In Troy that yoke I suffred long a prisoner whole ten yeare.
Turnd are the fates, Troy beaten downe, to Greece I must repeare,
The natiue countrey to haue lost is ill, but worse to feare.
For dread therof you neede not care your euilles all be past,
On me both partes wil vengeance take al lightes to me at last.
Whom each man prisoner takes God wot shee standes in slipper stay,
And me not captiue made by lot yet Paris led away.
I haue bene cause of all these wars, and then your woes were wrought,
When first your shippes the Spartayn Seas & land of Grecia sought.
[Page 115] But if the Goddesse wild it so that I their pray should be,
And for reward to her beautyes iudge shee had appoynted me,
Then pardon Paris: thinke this thing in wrathful iudge doth lie,
The sentence Menelaus geues, and he this case shall trye.
Now turne thy playntes Andromacha, and weepe for Polyxeyne
Mine eyes for sorrowes of my hart theyr teares may not refrayne.
Alas, what care makes Heleyn weepe? what griefe doth she lament?
Declare what craftes Vlisses castes, what mischiefe hath he sent?
Shall shee from height of Idey hil be hedlong tombled downe?
Or else out of the turrets toppe in Troy shal she be throwne?
Or wil they cast her from the clieues into Sygeon seas?
In bottom of the surging waues to end her ruthful days?
Show what thy countnaunce hides and tell the secrets of thy breast.
Some woes in Pyrhus wedding are farre worse then all the rest.
Go to, geue sentence on the mayd, pronounce her desteny:
Delude no longer our mishappes, we are prepard to die.
Would God the'xpoūder of the Gods would geue his dome so right
That I also on poynt of sword might leese the lothsome light,
Or at Achilles tombe with [...]ake of Pyrrhus hand be [...]apne:
And beare a part of al thy fates O wretched Polixeyne.
Whom yet Achilles woeth to wed, and where his ashes lie,
Requireth that thy bloud be shed, and at his tombe to die.
Behold loe how her noble mynd of Death doth gladly heare,
She deckes her selfe? her regal weede in seemely wyse to weare,
And to her head she settes her hand the broyded hayre to lay,
To wed she thought it Death, to die she thinkes a wedding day
But helpe (alas) my mother sounds to heare her daughters death,
Aryse plucke vp your heart and take agayne the panting breath.
Alacke good mother how slender stay, that doth thy life sustayne?
A little thinge shall happy thee thou art almost past payne.
Her breath returnes: she doth reuyue, her lims their life do take.
So see when wretches fayne would die, how death doth them forsake.
Doth yet Achilles liue (alas) to work the Troyans spight?
Doth he rebell agaynst vs yet? O hand of Paris light.
The very tombe and ashes loe▪ yet thirsteth for our bloud,
A happy heape of children late on euery syde mee stoode.
It wearied me to deale the mothers kisse among them al.
The rest are lost, and this alone now doth me mother call.
Thou onely child of Hecuba, a comfort left to me.
[Page] A stayer of my sory state and shall I now leese thee?
Depart O wretched soule, and from this carefull carcas flie,
And ease me of such ruthfull fates, to see my daughter die.
By weepyng wets (alas) my eyes, and staines them ouer al,
And downe my cheekes the sodeine streames and showres af teares do fal.
But thou deare daughter maist be glad, Cassandra would reioyse,
Or Hectors wife thus wed to be if they might haue their choyse.
We are the wretches Hecuba in cursed case we stande.
Whom straight the shippe shal tosse by seas into a forraine land.
But as for Heleyns grieues be gone and turned to the best,
She shall againe her natyue countrey se and liue at rest.
Ye would the more enuy my state if ye might know your owne,
And grouth there yet more griefe to me that erst I haue not known?
Such masters must ye serue as doth by chaunce of lots befal.
Whose seruaunt am I then become whom shall I maister call?
By lot ye fall to Pyrhus hands you are his prisoner.
Cassandra is happy, fury saues perhaps and Phoebus her.
Chiefe kinge of Greekes Cassandra keepes and his captiue is shee.
Is any one amonge them all that prysoner would haue me?
You chaunsed to Vlysses are his pray ye are become.
Alas what cruell▪ dyre and yrefull dealer of the dome.
What god vniust doth so deuide, the captiues to their lordes?
What grieuous arbiter is he? that to such choyce accordes,
What cruel hand to wretched folke, so euil fa [...]es hath caste?
Who hath amonge Achilles armour, Hectors mothers plaste?
Now am I captiue, and beset with all calamitie.
My bondage grieues me not, but him to serue it shameth mee.
He that Achilles spoyles hath won, shall Hectors also haue:
Shall barraine lande enclosde with seas receiue my boanes in graue?
Leade me Vlysses where thou wylt, leade me. I make no stay,
My master I, and me my fates, shall follow euery way.
Let neuer calme come to the seas, but let them rage with winde,
Come fire and sword, mine owne mischaunce and Priams let me finde.
In meane time haps this deepe distres my cares can know no calme:
I ran the race with Priamus, but he hath won the Palme,
But Pyrrhus comes with swiftned pace & thretning browes doth wrest.
What stayste thou Pyrrhus? strike thy sword now through this woful brest.
And both at ones the parents of thy fathers wife now slay,
Murderer of age, likes thee her bloud? he draw my daughter away
Defile the gods and staine the sprights, of hel with slaughtred bloud,
[Page 116] To aske your mercy what auayles? our prayers do no good.
The vengeance aske I on your ships, that it the gods may pleas,
According to this sacrifice, to guide you on the seas.
This wishe I to your thousand sayles, Gods wrath light on them all,
Euen to the ship that beareth me, what euer may befall.
A Comfort is to mans calamity
A dolefull flocke of felowes in distres.
And sweete to him that mournes in miserie
To here them wayle whom sorowes like oppre [...]
In deepest care his griefe him bites the les,
That his estate bewayles not all alone,
But seeth with him the teares of many one.
For still it is the chiefe delight in woe,
And ioy of them that sonke in sorrowes are,
To see like fates by fall to many moe,
That may take part of all their wofull fare,
And not alone to be opprest with care.
There is no wight of woe that doth complayne,
When all the rest do like mischaunce sustayne.
In all this world if happy man were none,
None (though he were) would thinke himselfe awretch.
Let once the ritch with heapes of Gold be gone,
Whose hundred head his pastours ouerretch,
Then would the poore mans hart begin to stretch.
There is no wretch whose life him doth displease,
But in respect of those that liue at ease.
Sweete is to him that standes in deepe distresse,
To see no man in ioyful plight to bee,
Whose onely vessel wind and waue oppresse,
Ful sore his chaunce bewayles and weepeth hee,
That with his owne none others wracke doth see
When he alone makes shipwracke one the sand,
And naked falles to long desyred land.
A thousande sayle who seeth to drench in Seas,
With better will the storme hath ouerpast
His heauy hap doth him the lesse displease
When broaken boardes abroade be many cast,
And shipwrackt shippes to shore they flit ful fast,
With doubled waues when stopped is the floud,
With heaps of them that there haue lost theyr good.
Ful sore did Pirrhus Helens losse complayne,
What time the leader of his flocke of shepe,
Vppon his backe alone he bare them twayne,
And wet his Golden lockes amid the deepe,
In piteons playnt (alas) he gan to weepe.
The death of her it did him deepe displease,
That shipwracke made amid the drenching seas.
And piteous was the playnt and heauy moode
Of woful Pyrrha and eke Deucalion
That nought beheld aboute them but the flould,
When they of all mankynd were left alone
Amid the seas ful sore they made their mone
To see themselues thus left aliue in woe
When neyther land they saw, nor fellowes moe.
Anone these playnts and Tro [...]ans teares shall quaile,
And here and there the ship them tosse by seas:
When trompets sound shal warne to hoyse vp sayle,
And through the waues with wind to seeke their waies
[Page 117] Then shall these captiues goe to ende their dayes
In land vnknowne: when once with hasty ore
The drenching deepe they take and shunne the shore.
What state of mynd shal then in wretches bee?
When shore shall sinke from sight and seas aryse?
When Idey hill to lurke aloofe they see?
Then poynt with hand from farre wher Troia lies,
Shall child and mother: talking in this wyse:
Loe yonder Troy, where smoke it fumeth hie,
By this the Troyans shal their countrey spie.


Nuncius, Andromacha. Hecuba.
ODyre, fierce, wretched, horrible,
O cruell fates accurste,
Of Mars his ten yeares bloudshed blows
the wofulst and the worst.
Alas which should I first bewayle?
thy cares Andromacha?
Or els lament the wretched age
of woful Hecuba?
What euer mans calamityes
ye wayle for myne it is.
I beare the smart of al their woes each other feeles but his
Who euer he, I am the wretch all happes to me at last.
Slayne is the mayd, and from the walles of Troy the child is cast.
But voth (as them became) they toke their death with stomacke stout.
Declare the double slaughters then, & tell the whole throughout.
One towre of all the rest ye know doth yet in Troy remayne,
Where Pryan wonted was to sit, and view the armies twayne.
His litle Nephew eke with him to lead▪ and from a farre,
His fathers fightes with fire and sword to show on feats of war.
This towre, sometyme wel knowne by fame, and Troyans honor most.
[Page] Is now with captaynes of the Greeckes, beset on euery coast.
With swift recourse and from the shippes, in clustred heaps anone.
Both tagge and ragge they runne to gase what thing should ther be done
Some clime the hilles to seeke a place where they might see it best,
Some one the rockes a tiptoe stande to ouerloke the rest.
Some on their rēples weare the pine, some beech, some crownes of bay,
For garlandes torne is euery tree, that standeth in they way,
Some from the highest mountaynes top aloofe beholdeth all.
Some scale the buildinges halfe thurne, and some the ruinous wall.
Yea some there were (O [...]tichtee loe) that for the more despyghte.
The tombe of Hector sits vppon beholders of the sight.
With princely pace Vlisses then past through the preased band
Of Greekes, King Priams litle nephew leading by the hand.
The Child with vnrepyning gate past through his enmies handes,
Vp toward the walles, and as anone in turrets top he standes,
From thence adowne his lofty lookes he cast on euery part,
The neerer death more free from care he seemd▪ and feare of hart.
Amid his foes his stomacke swelles. and fierce he was to sight.
Like Tygere whel [...]e, that th [...]rats in vayne wt tue les chap to bight.
Alas, for pi [...]y then each one, rew on his tender yeares,
And al the route that present were, for him they fhed their teares,
Yea not Vlisses them restraynd, but trickling downe they sal,
And onely he, wept not (poore foole) whom they bewayled al.
But whyle on Gods Vlisses cald, and Calchas▪ wordes expound,
In midst of Pryams land (alas) the child leapt downe to ground.
What cruel Calchas could or scith such slaughter rake in hande
Or by the shore of Caspyan Sea, what barbarous lawles land.
Busyridis to th'aulters yet no infantes bloud hath shed
Nor neuer yet were children slayne for feast of Diomed.
Who shal alas in tombe thee lay, or hyde thy limmes agayne?
What limmes from such a headlong fall could in a child remayne,
His bodies payse throwne downe to ground, hath batred al his bones.
His face, his noble fathers markes are spoyld agaynst the stones.
His necke vnioynted is: his head so dasht with flint stoane stroake▪
That scattered is the brayne about, the scul is al to broake.
Thus lieth he now dismembred corpes, deformd and all to rent.
Loe herein doth he yet likewyse, his father represent.
What time the Child hath headlong faine thus from the walls of Troy,
And at the Greekes the selues bewaild y slaughter of the Boy,
Yet strayght returne they backe, and at Achilles tombe agayne
[Page 118] The second mischiefe goe to worke the death of Polixeine.
This tombe the waues of surging seas, beset the vtter side,
The other part the fields encloase aboute, and pastors wyde.
In vale enuyroned with hils, that round aboute do ryse,
A sloape on height erected are the bankes in Theatre wyse.
By al the shore then swarme the Greekes, & thicke on heaps they prease
Some hope that by her death they shall theyr shippes delay release.
Some other [...]oy their enmies stocke thus beaten downe to bee:
A greate part of the people, both the slaughter hate, and see.
The Troyans eke no [...]esse frequent their owne calamityes
And all affrayd, beheld the last of all their miseryes.
When fi [...]st proceeded torches bright as guise of wedlocke is.
And author therof led the way the Lady Tindaris.
Such wedlocke [...]ray the Troyans then, God send Hermiona
And would God to her husband so▪ restoard were Helena.
Feare mas [...] each part, but Polixe [...]ne her bashful looke downe cast:
And more then earst her glittring eyes and beauty shyn'd at last.
As sweetest seems then Phoebus light, when downe his beams do sway,
When starres agayne with night at hand opprest the doubtful day.
Astonnted much the people were, and all they her commende,
And now much more then euer earst, they prays'd her at her end.
Some with her beauty moued were, some with her tender yeares:
Some to behold the turnes of chaunce, and how each thing thus wears
But most them moues her valiant minde, and lofty stomacke hie,
So strong, so stout, so ready of hart and wel prepard to dye.
Thus passe they forth an [...] bold before King Pirrhus goeth the mayde,
They pitty her, they maruel her, their hartes were all affrayde.
As sone as then the hard hil top (where die she should) they trode,
And hie vppon his fathers tombe the youthful Pyrrhus stoode.
The manly mayd she neuer shronke one foote, nor backward drew,
But boldely turnes to meete the stroke, with sloute vnchanged hew,
Her corage moues eche one, and loe a strange thing monstrous like.
That Pyrbus euen himselfe stood still, or dread, and dur [...]st not strike.
But as he had, his glittring sword in her to hills vp doon,
The purple bloud, at mortall wound, then gushing ou [...] [...] spoon.
Ne yet her corage her forsooke, when dieng in that [...]ounde,
She fell as the'rth should her reuenge with lieful rage to groūd.
Each people wept the Troyans first with priuy fearful crye,
The Grectans eake, each one bewayld her death apparantly.
[Page] This order had the sacrifyce, her bloud the tombe vp dronke,
No drop remaynth aboue the ground, but downe forthwith it sonke.
Now go, now goe ye Greekes, and now repayre ye safely home.
With careles shippes and hoised sailes now cut the salt sea fome.
The Child and Virgin both be slaine, your battels finisht are.
Alas where shal I end my age? or whether beare my care?
Shal I my daughter, or my nephew, or my husband mone?
My countrey els, or all at once? or else my selfe alone?
My wish is death that children both and virgins fiercely takes
Where euer cruel death doth hast to strike, it me forsakes,
Amid the enmies weapons all, amid both sword and fyre,
All night sought for, thou fleest from me, that do thee most desyre.
Not flame of fyre, not fall of towre, not cruel enmies hand
Hath rid my life, how neere (alas) could death to Priam stand?
Now captiues all with swift recourse repayre ye to the saies,
Now spread the ships their sayls abroad, & forth they seeke theyr waies.

THE SEVENTH TRAGEDYE OF L. ANNAEVS SENECA, Entituled MEDEA: Translated out of Latin into Engiishe, by IOHN STVDLEY.

The Argument. To the Tragedy, by the Translator.
CAre sore did grype Medeas heart to see
Her Iason, whom shee tendred as her lyfe,
And rescued had from plunge of perills free,
Renouncing her, to take another wyfe.
Loue spent in vayne breedes hate & malice rife
Enkindling coales, whose heate and greedy flame
(Saue streames of bloud,) nought els can quench the same.
Medea mad in troubled mynde doth muse,
On vengeaunce fell, to quit her grieuous wrong.
Rough plagues at length entendeth shee to vse:
Yll venemous thinges shee charmes, with charming song
Seekes out a Bane made of their poyson strong,
In Trayterous gifts a Robe, and chayne of Golde,
Nycely shee doth the hidden poyson folde.
Sent are the Gyfts to Creuse and her Syre,
They taking them that brought their dole to passe,
Vnware are burnt by meanes of charmed fyre,
Due vengeaunce yet for Iason greater was,
Lyfe first on chylde by Mothers hande (alas)
Expired hath, which though it him aggryse,
Yet his other chylde shee slayes before his eyes.
The Speakers names.
  • [Page]MEDEA.
  • CREON.
  • IASON.


O Gods whose grace doth guide their ghostes
that ioy in wedlocke pure,
O Iuno thou Lucina hight,
on whom the chary cure
Alotted is of those, that grone
in paynfull chyldhed bandes,
O Pallas by whose heauenly arte,
Sir Typhis cunning handes
Haue learnde to bridle with his helme his newly framed boate,
Wherewith the force of fighting fluds hee breaking rides a floate.
O God whose forked Mace doth stormes in rigour rough appeas,
And cause the ruffling surges couch amid the rampinge Seas:
O Titan who vpon the swift and werling Hemisphaer
Deuides the chearefull day and night by egall turnes t'appere,
O threefolde shapen Hecate that sendest forth thy light,
Vnto thy silent Sacrifice that offered is by night,
By whom my Iason sware to mee O heauenly powers all,
And yee on whom Medea may with safer conscience call,
O Dungeon darke, most dreadfull den of euerlasting night,
O dampned Ghosts: O kingdome set against the Gods aright:
O Lord of sad and lowring lakes, O Lady dyre of Hell,
(Whom though that Pluto stale by force yet did his troth excell
The ficle fayth of Iasons loue, that hee to mee doth beave,)
With cursed throate I coniure you, O grisly Ghostes appeare.
[Page 120] Come out, come out, yee hellish hagges, feuenge this deede so dyre,
Bring in your scrauing pawrs a burning brand of deadly fyre.
Rise vp yee hiddeous diuelish Feendes, as dreadfull as yee weare,
When vnto me in wedlocke state yee did sometime appeare.
Worke yee, worke yee, the dolefull death of this new wedded Wyfe.
And martir yee this Father in lawe: depryue of breath and lyfe
King Creons ruthfull family: in plunge of passing payne
Torment yee mee, that on my spoule doe wishe this woe to raygne:
Preserue my Iasons life, but yet let him be bayted out
A myching, roging, rūnagate, in forren townes about.
To passe from dore to dore, with care to begge his needy bread,
Not knowing in what harbring place to couch his curssed head:
A banisht wretch, disdaynde of all, and still in feare of lyfe,
Then let him wish ten thousand times for me agayne his Wyfe:
This famous gest whom euery man will entertayne and haue,
Let him be driuē at straungers gates the table ctūmes to craue.
And that my bytter bannings may with mischiefe most abounde,
God graunt in gulph of like distresse his chyldren may be drounde,
To synke in sorrowes stormes, that doe their mother ouerflowe:
Now, now, I haue, I haue the full reueng of all my woe,
I haue dispatcht: my pyteous playnt and wordes in vayne I lose:
What shall not I with vyolence get vp agaynst my foes?
And wring out of theyr wrested hands the wedding torch so bryght?
Shall I not force the firmament to lose his shrinking lyght?
What doth my Graundsirs Phoebus face this heauy hap beholde?
And standyng gasyng at this geare yet westwarde is he rolde,
On glystring chariot hoysted hyghe, and keepes his beaten Race,
Amid the christall colourde skye, why turnes hee not his Face,
Retyring fast into the East backe vp the day to twyne?
O Father Phoebe to me, to me, thy Chariot reynes resigne,
That I aduaunced vp, about the marble skyes may ryde,
Bequearh thy brydle vnto mee, and giue me grace to guide
Thy yoked prauncing teame, with yerking lasshe of burning whip,
That with thy feruent fyry beames on purple poale doe skip.
Let Corynth countrey burnt to dust by force of flame and fyre
Gyue place, that both the iumbled seas may ioyne: whom to retyre
It doth compell, and dassheth of from banke on eyther syde,
Least meete in one their chanels might, whose streames hee doth deuide,
No way to worke theyr deadly woe I haue but this at hande,
That to the wedding I should beare a ruthsull brydall brande,
[Page] Anoying Creons carelesse Court: when finished I haue
Such solemne seruice, as that ryght of sacrafice doth craue,
Then at the Aulters of the Gods my chyldren shalbe slayne,
With crimsen colourde bloud of Babes their Aulters will I stayne.
Through Lyners, Lungs, the Lights & Heart, through euery gut, & gal,
For vengeaunce breake away perforce, and spare no bloude at all:
If any lusty lyfe as yet within thy soule doe rest,
It ought of auncient corage still doe dwell within my brest,
Exite all foolysh Female feare, and pity from thy mynde,
And as th'untamed Tygers vse to rage and raue vnkynde,
That haunt the croking combrous Caues, and clumpred frosen cliues,
And craggy Rockes of Caucasus, whose bitter colde depryues
The soyle of all Inhabitours, permit to lodge and rest,
Such saluage brutish tyranny within thy brasen brest.
What euer hurly burly wrought doth Phasis vnderstand,
What mighty monstrous bloudy feate I wrought by Sea or Land:
The like in Corynth shalbe seene in most outragious guife,
Most hyddious, hatefull, horrible, to heare, or see wyth eyes,
Most diuelish, desperate, dreadfull deede, yet neuer knowne before,
Whose rage shall force heauen, earth, and hell to quake and tremble sore,
My burning breast that rowles in wrath, and doth in rancour boyle,
Sore thrysteth after bloud, and wounds with slaughter, death, & spoyle,
By renting racked lyms from lyms to driue them downe to graue:
Tush, these be but as Fleabytings, that mentioned I haue:
As weyghty things as these I did in greener girlishe age,
Now sorrowes smart doth rub the gall and frets with sharper rage.
But sith my wombe hath yeelded fruict, it doth mee well behoue,
The strength and parlous puissaunce of weightier illes to prous.
Be ready wrath, with all thy might that fury kindle may,
Thy foes to their destruction bee ready to assay:
Of thy deuorsement let the Pryce to match, and counterpayse
The proude & precious pryncely pomp of these new wedding dayes.
How wilt thou from thy spouse depart? as him thou followed hast
In bloud to bath thy bloudy handes and traytrous lyues to wast.
Breake of in time these long delayes, abanden now agayne,
This lewd alliaunce, got by guilt, with greater guilt refrayne,
[Page 121]❀ Chorus altered by the Translatour.
WHo hath not wist that windy words be vayne,
And that in talke of trust is not the grounde,
Heere in a mirrour may hee see it playne,
Medea so by proofe the same hath founde.
Who being blind by blinded Venus Boy,
Her bleared Eyes could not beholde her blisse:
Nor spy the present poyson of her Ioy,
While in the grasse the Serpent lurked is,
The shaft that flew from Cupids golden bowe,
With feathers so hath dimd her daseld Eyes,
That cannot see to shun the way of woe:
The ranckling head in dented heart that lyes,
So dulles the same, that can not vnderstand
The cause that brought false Iason out of Greece,
To come vnto her fathers fertile Land,
Is not her loue, but loue of golden Fleece.
Yet was his speache so pleasaunt and so milde,
His tongue so filde, his promises so fayre,
Sweete was the fowlers Song that hath beguilde
The seely byrd, brought to the limed snare.
Faith, in his Face, trust shined in his Eyes,
The blushing brow playne meaning seemde to showe.
In double hearte blacke treason hydden lies,
Dissembling thoughts that weaue the webbe of woe.
The honyed Lyppes, the tongue in suger dept
Doe sweete the poyson rancke within the breast,
In subtle shew of paynted sheath is kept,
The rusty knife of treason deemed least:
Lyfe seemes the bayte to sight that lyeth brim,
Death is the hooke that vnderlies the same,
The Candell blase delights with burning trim,
The Fly, till shee bee burned in the flame.
[Page] Who in such showes least deemed any ills.
The hungry fyshe feares not the bayte to Brooke,
Till vp the lyne doe pluck him by the gylls,
And fast in throate hee feeles the deadly hooke.
Woe Iason, woe to thee most wretched man,
Or rather wretch Medea woe to thee,
Woe to the one that thus dissemble can,
Woe to the other that trayned so might bee.
Thoughtst thou Medea his eyes to bee the glasse,
Wherein thou might the Face of thoughts beholde?
That in his breast with wordes so couered was,
As cancred brasse with glosse of yealow golde?
Did thou suppose that nature (more then kinde)
Had placde his heart his lying lyppes betweene,
His lookes to be the mirrour of his minde?
Fayth in fayre Face hath sildome yet ben seene.
Who listneth to the flatering Maremaides note,
Must needes commit his tyred eyes to sleepe,
Yeelding to her the taking of his boate,
That meanes vnware to drowne him in the deepe.
What booteth thee Medea to betray
The golden Fleece, to fawning Isasons hande,
From Dragons teeth him safely to conuay,
And fyry Bulles the warders of the lande?
Why for his sake from father hast thou fled,
And thrust thy selfe out from thy natiue soyle?
Thy brothers bloud what ayled thee to shed,
With Iason thus to trauell and to toyle?
Beholde the meede of this thy good desarte,
The recompence that hee to thee doth gyue.
For pleasure, payne, for ioy, most eger smarte,
With clogging cares in banishment to liue.
Thou, and thy Babes, are like to begge and starue.
In Nation straunge, (O myserable lyfe)
Whyle Iason from his promyses doe swarue,
[Page 122] And takes delight in his new wedded Wyfe,
O Ground vngrate; that when the husband man
Hath tilled it, to recompence his toyle
No Corne, but Weedes, and Thystles render can,
To stinge his handes, that Fruict seekes of his Soyle.
Such venome growes of pleasaunt coloured flower:
Loe, Prynces loe, what deadly poyson sup
Of Bane, erst sweete, now turned into sower,
Medea dranke out of a goulden Cup,


Medea. Nutrix,
AYe mee, (alas) I am vndone,
For at the Brydall cheare,
The warble note of wedding songe
resounded in mine eare.
Yet for all this scant I my selfe,
yet scant beleue I can,
That Iason would play such a prancke,
as most vnthāckfull man,
Both of my Countrey, and my Syre, and kingdome me to spoyle,
And yet forsake mee wretch forlorne, to stray in forrein soyle.
O hath he such a stony heart, that doth no more esteeme,
The great good turnes, and benefits that I imployde on him?
Who knowes, that I haue lewdly vsed enchauntments for his sake,
The rigour rough, and stormy rage, of swelling Seas to slake.
The grunting firy foming Bulles, whose smoking guts were stuft,
With smoltring fumes, that frō theyr Iawes, & nosthrils out they puft.
I stopt their gnashīg moūching mouths, I quēcht their burning breath,
And vapors hot of stewing paunch, that els had wrought his death,
Or feedes hee thus his sansy, fond, to thinke my skill of charme,
Abated is, and that I haue no power to doe him harme?
[Page] Brstract of wits, with wauering minde perplext on euery part,
I tossed, and turmoyled am, wyth wayward crasy hart.
Now this, now that, and neyther now, but now another way,
By diuers meanes I toyle, that so my wrong reueng I may,
I would the wretch a brother had: but what? he hath a Wyfe.
Goe cut her throate, with gastly wounds bereue her of her lyfe.
On her ile worke my deadly spight: her, her alone I craue,
To quit such bitter sowsing stormes, as I sustayned haue.
If any graund no [...]orious guilt in all Pelasga Land
Be put in practise, yet vnknowne vnto thy harming hand,
Thereof to get experience the time doth now begin:
Thy former feates doe byd thee take good hope, to thryue herein:
Let all thy guilts with thronging thick assemble thee to ayde,
The golden Fleece (the chiefe Nouell) of Colchis Ile betrayde.
My tender Brother eke, that with my Syer did mee pursue,
Whom with his secret partes cut of, I wicked Virgin slewe,
Whose shreaded and dismembred corps, with sword in gobbits hewd,
(A wofull Coarse toth' Fathers heart) on Pontus ground I strewd.
How hory headded Pelias his wythred age to shyft
To greener yeares, for longer lyfe: his daughters by my dryft
His members all and mangled flesh with licour scalding hot
Ysodden, and perboyled haue, in seething brasen pot.
How oft in haynous bloud haue these my cruell handes bene dyed?
And neuer any guilt as yet by wrath inflamde I tryed.
But now the parlous poysning wound of Cupids percing dart,
Doth boyle and rage within my breast, it ranckles at my hart.
But how could Iason it redresse, whom fortunes froward wyll
Hath yeelde vnto anothers hande, at lust to saue or spill?
O rage of rusty cancred minde, this sclaundrous talke amende,
If Fortunes grace will graunt it thus, let him vnto his ende
Lyue still my Iason as he was: but if not Iason myne,
Yet caytife suffer Iason liue, though Iason none of thyne:
Who being mindefull still of vs some fauour let him showe,
For these good turnes that our good will could earst on him bestowe:
King Creon is in all the fault, and onely worthy blame,
Who puffed vp with Scepter proude, vnable for to frame
His tickle minde to modesty, made breach twixt vs agayne,
Whom Hymens bands, and link of loue had made but one of twayne,
By whom eke from her tender brats the mother (wretch) is drawne,
Hee breakes the vowe, that gaged is with such a precious pawne.
[Page 124] Seeke after such a villaynes bloud, in daunting pangs of smart
Let him alone bee surely dowst, such is his due desart,
A dungell hept of Cinders burnt his Pallayce make I shall,
That Malea where in winding strights, the lingring ships due crall,
Shall gase on smolthring turrets tops turmoylde in crackling flame.
For godsake (Madame) I you pray your tongue to silence frame.
Eke hyde your priuy languishing and greefe in secret vayne:
Who with a modest minde abides the Spurs of pricking payne,
And suffereth sorrowes paciently, may it repay agayne.
Who beares a priuy grudge in breast, and keepes his malyce close,
When least suspection is thereof, may most annoy his Foes.
He leeseth oportunity who vengeaunce doth requyre,
That shewes by open sparkes the flame the heate of kindled fyre.
Small is the grype of griefe that can to reasons lore obay,
And sneking downe with stealing steps can slyly slip away.
But they that throughly sowsed are with showers of greater payne,
Can not digest such corsyes sharpe, but cast it vp agaye:
Fayne would I giue them trouncing girds.
Good daughter deare asswage
Th'unbrydled sway, and boyling heate of this thy gyddy rage:
Scant maist thou purchase quietnesse, although thou hold thy tongue.
The valiaunt heart dame Fortune yet durst neuer harme wt wrōg,
But dreading dastards downe she driues.
It any corage dure,
And harbred be in noble breast, now put the same in vre.
The show of sturdy valiaut heart, at any time doth shyne.
No hope doth in aduersity thy way to scape assygne.
Hee that hath none affiaunce left, nor any hope at all.
Yet let him not mystrust the luck of ought that may befall.
Thy Countrey cleane hath cast thee of, to let thee sinke or swim,
As for thy husband Iason bee, there is no trust in him:
Of all the wealth, and worldly mucke wherewith thou didst abounde:
No porcion remaynes at all, whereby some helpe is founde.
Medea yet is left, (to much) and here thou mayst espy
The Seas to succour vs in flyght, and landes aloofe that ly:
Yea pron tooles, with burning brands we haue to worke them woe,
And Gods that with the thunder dint shall ouerquell our foe:
Who weares y goldēcrested crowne him dred with awe yee should.
My Father was a King, yet I betrayed his Fleece of gould.
Can not the deadly vyolence of weapons make thee feare?
No, though such grisly Lads they were, as whilom did appeare,
[Page] That bred of gargell Dragous teeth in holow gaping grounde,
When mutually in bloudy fight eche other did confounde.
Thē wilt thou cast thy self to death.
Would God ye I were dead.
Fly, fly to saue thy life.
Woe worth the time that once I fled.
What O Medea.
Why shall I fly?
A mother deere art thou,
Fly therefore for thy childrens sake.
Yee see by whom, and how,
A wretched Mother I am made.
Thy lyfe by flight to saue
Dost thou mistrust?
Nay, fly I will, but vengeaunce first ile haue.
Then some shall thee at heeles pursue, to wrecke the same agayne.
Perhap ile make his cōming short.
Be still, and now refrayne
O despret dame thy thundring threates, and slake your raging ire.
Apply, and frame thy froward will as time and tides requyre.
Full well may fortunes welting wheele to begging bring my state,
As for my worthy corage, that shee, neuer shall abate.
Who bowncing at the Gates, doth cause the creaking dores to Iar?
It is the wretch (Creon his selfe,) whom princely power far
Hath lift aloft, with lordly looke, puft vp with pouncing pryde,
That hee may Corinth countrey, with the sway of Scepter guide.
Creon. Medea.
NEdea that vngracious Imp, king Aetas wicked chylde,
Yet hath not frō our careful realme her lingring foote exilde.
Som naughty drift she goes about, her knacks of old we kno
Her iugling arts, her harming hāds are known wel long ago.
From whō will shee withhold her harme? whom will this cruell beast
Permit to liue, from perrill free, in quietnesse and rest?
Cleane to cut of this parlous plague it was our purpose bent,
But Iason by entreting hard, did cause vs to relent.
At his request we graunted haue, her life she shall enioy,
Let her acquit our countrey free from feare of all annoy:
Yea saufely let her pack her hence, in eger giddy fit,
With lumpish lowring looke shee comes in talke with me to knit:
Sirs keepe her of and set her hence, least vs she touch perhap,
And driue her backe from cōming nigh commaunde her keepe her clap.
And let her learne at length, how that her selfe submit she may,
[Page 124] The puissaunt payse and maiesty of Princes to obay.
Run, hie thee quickly, trudge apace, haue hence out of my sight
This horrible, most odious quean, this monstrous wicked wight.
My soueraygne liege, what greater crime haue I or lesse offence
Commit against thy maiesty, to be ex [...]led hence?
Alas, the guiltlesse woman doth demaunde a reason why:
If thou be Iudge indifferent, ordaynde my cause to try,
Consider then my doubtfull case, and wey the ground of it:
If thou be king, cōmaund a Iudge for such a matter fit.
The princes powre thou shalt obey, b'it eyther right or wrong.
The prosperous pryde of wronging crownes cannot endeuer long.
Auaunt, & yell out thy complaynts at Colchis, get thee hence.
Full gladly will I get mee home, if he that brought me thence,
Vouchsafe to beare me back agayne.
Alas, to late aryse
Entreating wordes, when as decree is taken otherwise.
He that not hearing eyther part, pronounceth his decree,
Vnrighteous man accoumpted is, though ryght his sentence bee.
Whyle Pclias trusted to thy talke, from lyfe to death hee fell.
Go to, begyn, we gyue you leaue your goodly tale to tell.
That type of Regall maiesty, that erst by Fortunes hand,
Aduaunced to I dyd attayne, hath taught mee vnderstand,
How hard a thing it is of wrath the rygour to asswage,
When burning heate of boyling breast in flames begins to rage.
Eke for th'aduan̄cement of their power more to display in sight
Theyr kingly corage bolstred out with maiesty of might.
They deeme it doth import asway, and hath a greater grace,
Whome stately scepter causde to climbs aloft to prouder place.
To perseuer with fansye fonde, in that to reasons spyght,
Whose greedy choyce attaynted fyrst his minde with vayne delight.
For though in pireous plyght I lye, throwne downe to great decay,
With heauy hap, and ruthfull chaunce, to myserable stay,
Thus hunted out from place to place, forsoke and left alone,
A wyddow while my husband liue, with cause to wayle and mone,
Perplext in maze of misery, wyth cloying cares so ryfe,
Yet whylom I in golden trone haue led in happy lyfe.
By high and noble parentage my bryght renowne doth shyne.
From Phoebus take my Graundsire great deryued is my ligue.
Whear syluer streamed Phasis flood his wasshing waues doth shed,
Or with contrary croking wayes his bathing channell spred,
[Page] What euer wandring coast stretcht out is [...]eft aloofe behynde,
From whence the roaming Scithyan Sea his channell forth doth fynde,
Where as Maeotis fenny plashe with pure fresh water sprynges,
Doth season sweete the briny Sea, that tyde in thyther brynges.
Eke all the coastes enuyroued and kept within the bankes
Of Thermodon, where warlike troupes, & armed wyddowes ranckes,
With paynted bucklers on their armes holde all the land in feare,
With rigour rough of threatning sword, with force of denting speare.
So farre to all these wandring coastes and countreyes round about,
My Fathers ample regiment at large is stretched out.
I being thus of noble Race, and in an happy plight,
With glorious glosse of pryncely pomp in honour shining bright,
Then pearelesse Peares my Spousall bed did seeke and sue to haue,
But those to be theyr louing Feeres, now other Ladyes craue:
Rashe, ticle, peuish, vndiscreete, and wauering Fortunes wheele,
Hath cast me out, the crusshing cares of banishment to feele.
In Scepter proude and hauty Crowne fix thine affyaunce fast.
Sith vpsidowne with welkin wheele, whole mounts of wealth is cast.
This Prynces doe possesse, that should theyr royalty display,
Whose fame shall neuer razed be, with storme of lowring day,
To succour those whom misery in pit of paynes doth souse,
To shield and harber suppliaunts in roof of loyall house.
This onely brought I from my Realme, the precious golden Fleece,
That Iewell chiefe, and eke the flower of Chyualry in Greece,
The sturdy prop, the Rampter strong the bulwarke of your wealth,
And Hercules the boystrous Imp of Ioue I kept in health.
It was by meanes of my good will that Orpheus did escape,
Whose harmony the liuelesse Rocks with such delight did rape,
That forced euen the clottred lumpes with hobling prickt to praunce,
And eke the iocond nodding woods with footing fine to daunce.
And that these heauenly twins Castor, and Pollux did not by,
My dew desart is doubled twise, sith them preserued I.
Of Boreas blustring out with puffed Cheekes, his blasting Breath,
His wynged Sons I kept aliue both Calais, and Zeath.
And Linceus that with pearcing beames, and sharper sight of Eye,
Could Nauies on the farther banke of Sicill shore espy.
And all the Mynians that did come the golden Fleece to win.
As for the Prince of Princes all, I will not bring him in.
With silence Iason will I passe, for whom though him I saue,
Yet is not Greece in debt to mee, no recompence I craue.
[Page 125] To no man him I doe impute, the rest I brought agayne
For your [...]ayle, that you thereby some profit might attayne.
But onely on my Iason deare, him for my owne loues sake
I kept in store, that hee of mee his wedded Wyfe should make.
None other fault (God wot) yee haue to charge mee with but this,
That Argo Ship by meanes of mee returned saufely is.
If I a shamefast mayde had not with Cupids bayte bene caught,
If more my Fathers health to haue then Iasons I had sought,
Pelasga land had bene v [...]done, and faine to great decay,
Th [...] lusty valiaunt Capitaynes, had cleane bene cast away:
And ioly Iason fyrst of all this now thy sonne in lawe,
The Buls had rent his swalowed lims in fiery chomping iawe.
Let Fortune fight agaynst my case as list her eluish will,
Yet neuer shall it grieue my heart, repent my deede I nill,
That I should for so many kings their reling honour saue,
The guerden due that I for this my crime commit must haue,
It lyeth Crecon in thy hande, if thus it lyketh thee,
Condemne my guilty ghost lo death, but render fyrst to mee,
My fault that forced me offend, then Creon graunt I this,
Receauing Iason (cause of cryme) I guilty did amisse.
Thou knowst that I was such an one when couring low I lay,
Before thy feete in humble wise and did entreating pray,
Thy gracious goodnes mee to graunt some succour at thy hande.
For me a wreatch and wreatched Babes I aske within this lande
Some cotage base, in outcast hole, some couching corner vile,
If from the towne thou driue vs out to wander in exile,
The some by place aloofe within this realme let vs obtar [...]e.
How I am none that tyrant like with churlish Scepter raygne,
Nor proudly or disdaynfully, with hawty corage hie,
With vaūting foote doe stamp them downe that vndertroden lye,
And daunted are in carefull bale, thys playnly doth disclose,
In that to mee of late I such a sonne in lawe haue chose,
Who was a wandring pilgrim poore, with sore afflictions fraight,
Dismayde with terrour of his foe, that lay for him in wayght.
Because Acastus hauing got the crowne of Thessail lande,
Requyreth in thy guilty bloude to bath his wreackfull hande.
He doth bewayle that good olde man his feeble father slayne,
Whom waight of yeres with bowing back to stoupe alow constrayne
The godly mynded systers, all yblinde with misty vale
And cloking colour of thy craft durst ventrusly assayle.
[Page] That mount of myschiefe marueylous, to mangle heaw, and cut▪
Theyr Fathers dere vnioynted limmes in boyling Caldron put.
But for thy open guiltinesse if thou can purge the same,
Strayght Iason can discharge him selfe from blot of guilty blame.
His gentle handes were neuer staynde with goare of any bloude.
Aloofe from your conspyracie refrayning farre hee stoode.
His harmelesse handes put not in vre with goary tooles to mell.
But thou that setst on fyre fyrst these mighty mischiefes fell,
Whom shamelesse womans wily braine and manly stomack stout
Doe set a God, for to attempt to bring all ils about.
And no regarde at all thou hast, how sounding trumpe of fame
With ringing blast of good or ill doe blowe abrode thy name:
Get out and clense my fyled realme, away together beare
Thyne hearbes vn [...]ilde of sorcery, my Lyeges ryd fro feare.
Transporte thee to some other lande, whereas thou may at ease
With odious noyse of diuelish charme, the troubled Gods disease.
If needes thou wylt haue me auoyde my shyp to mee testore,
Or els my mate with whom I fyrst aryued on this shore:
Why dost thou bid that by my sel [...]e I onely should be gone?
I came not heather at fyrst wythout my company alone.
If this do thee aggryese, that brunt of warres thou shalt sustayne,
Commaund vs both the cause thereof to shun thy realme agayne:
Sith both are guilty of one art, why dost thou part vs twayne?
For Iasons sake not for myne owne, poore Pelias was slayne.
Annex vnto my traytrous flight the conquerde booty braue,
My hoary headded naturall sier, whom I forsaken haue,
With brothers bloudy flesh that mangled was with caruing knife,
Or ought of Iasons forged lies he gabbes vnto his wyfe.
These dreary deedes are none of myne, so oft as I offend,
Not for myne owne cōmodity, to come thereby in thende.
Time is expierd, by which thou ought to haue bene gone away,
Wyth keeping such a chat, why dost thou make so long delay?
Yet of thy bounty ere I goe, this one boone will I craue.
Although the mother banished, so sore offended haue,
Let not the vengeaunce of my fault through wrathfull deadly hate,
Myne innocent and guiltlesse Babes torment in wreached state.
Away: with louing friendly grype thy children I embrace,
And as a father naturall take pity on theyr case.
Euen for the prosperous good encreace of fertill spousall bed,
Of Glauce bright thy Daughter deare, whom Iason late hath wed.
[Page 126] And by the hope of fruictfull seede, whose flowre in time shall bloome.
By th'onour of thy glystring crowne, ythralde to fortunes doome,
Whych shee so full of chop and chaunge, with ticle turning wheele
Whirls vp and downe, in staggring state makes to and fro to reele.
I thee beseech, sith to exile I am departing now
O Creon but a litle pawse for mercy mee alow,
Whyle of my mourning br [...]ts with kysse, my last farewell I take.
Whyle gaspe of fayling breath perhap my shyuering lyms forsake.
With craft entending some deceipt thou crauest this delay.
What falshode for so litle time be cause of terrour may?
No tot of time is short ynough displeasure to preuent.
Can not one io [...] to weeping Eyes, and trylling teares be lent?
Although agaynst thy ernest suite vnlucky dread do stryue,
One day to settle thee away, content I am to gyue.
This is to much, and of the same somwhat abrydge yee may.
Make speede apace if from our land thou get thee not away,
Ere Phoebus horse with golden gleede theyr streaming beames doe shed,
Of dawning lampe, thou art condemde to leese thy wretched hed.
The holy day, and brydall both doe call me hence away:
And wils mee at the sacred aare of Hymeneus to pray.
LAuish of life and dreadlesse was the wyght,
Attempting fyrst in slender tottring Barge
Wyth sliuing Ore theslyced waue to smyte,
And durst commit the dainty tender charge
Of hazered life to inconstant course of wynde,
That turnes with chaunge of chaunces euermore,
To vew the land forsooke aloofe behynde,
And shoouing forthe the Ship fro safer shore,
And glauncing through the fomy Channell deepe
On sunder cut with slender Stemme the waue,
[Page] Twixt hope of lyfe, and dread of death to sweepe,
In narrow gut him selfe to spill or saue:
Experience yet of Planets no man had,
They needed not the wandring course to knowe
Of Starres, (wherewith the paynted sky is clad,)
Not Pleiads, (which returne of sayling show)
Nor Hyads (that with showrs the Seas doe beate)
No nor the sterne Amaltheas horned head
(Who gaue the lyppes of sucking Ioue the Teate)
Were wont to put the blundering ships in dread.
They feared not the northerne Isy wayne,
Whych lazy olde bootes wieldes behinde,
And twynes about, no name yet could they fayne
For Boreas rough, nor smother western wynde.
Yet Typhys bould on open seas durst show
His hoysted sayles, and for the wyndes decree
New lawes: as now full gale aloofe to blow,
Now tackle turride to take syde wynde alee,
Now vp to farle the crossayle on the mast,
There safe to hang, the topsayle now to spred,
Now missel sayle, and drabler out to cast,
VVhen dagling hanges his shottring tackle red
VVhyle stearsman stur, and busye neuer blin,
VVith pyth to pull all sayles eke to display,
VVith tooth and nayle all foree of winde to wyn,
To sheare the seas, and quick to scud awaye.
The golden worlde our fathers haue possest,
VVhere banysht fraude durst neuer come in place,
All were content to liue at home in rest,
VVith horye head, gray beard, and surrowed face.
VVhych tract of time within his countrey brought.
Riche hauing lytle, for more they did not toyle,
No vente for wares, nor Traficque far they sought,
No wealth that sprange beyond theyr natiue soyle,
The Thessail shyp together now hath set,
[Page 127] The Thessail ship together now hath set,
The Worlde that well with Seas disseuered lay,
It biddes the fl [...]uds with Oares to be bet,
And streames vnknowen with shipwrack vs to fray
That wicked Keele was lost by ruthfull wrack
Ytossed through such perylles passing great,
Where Cyane [...] Rocks gan rore as thunder crack,
Whose bouncing boult the shaken soyle doth beat.
The sowsing Surges dasshed euery starre,
The pesterd seas the cloudes aloft berayde,
This scuffling did bould TYPHIS minde detarre,
Hys helme did slip from trembling hande dismayde.
The ORPHEVS with his drowping Harp was mum
Dead in her dumpes the flaunting ARGOS glee,
All husht in rest with silence wexed dum,
What hardy heart astound heere would not bee?
To see at once eche yawning mouth to gape,
Of Syllas gulph compact in wallowing paunch,
Of dogges, who doth not loth her mongrell shape,
Her visage, breast, and hyddeous vgly haunch:
Whom erketh not the scoulde with barking still?
To here the Mermaydes dyre who doth not quayle,
That lure the Eares with pleasaunt singing shrill
Of such as on Ausonius Sea doe sayle:
When ORPHEVS on his t [...]anckling Harpe did play,
That earst the Muse Callio [...] gaue to him
Almost those Nymphes that wonted was to stay
The shyps, he causd fast following him to swim.
How deerely was that wicked iourney bought?
MEDEA accurst, and eke the golden F [...]eece,
That greater harme then storme of seas hath wrought
Rewarded well that voyage first of Greece.
Now seas controulde doe suffer passage free,
The Argo proude erected by the hand
Of PALLA [...] first, doth not complayne that shee,
Conueyde hath back, the kynges vnto theyr land
[Page] Eche whirry boate now scuddes aboute the deepe,
All stynts and warres are taken cleane away,
The Cities frame new walles themselues to keepe,
The open worlde lettes nought rest where it lay:
The Hoyes of Ind Arexis lukewarme leake,
The Perseans stout in Rhene and Albis streame
Doth bath their Barkes, time shall in fine out breake
When Ocean waue shall open euery Realme.
The wandring World at will shall open lye.
And TYPHIS vvill some nevve founde Land suruay
Some trauelers shall the Countreys farre escrye,
Beyonde small Thule, knovven furthest at this day.


Nutrix. Medea.
WHy trotst thou fisking in and out
so rash from place to place?
Stand styll, and of thyne eger wrath
suppresse the ruthfull race,
The rigour rough of ramping rage
from burning breast out cast,
As Bacchus bedlem priestes that of
his spryte haue felt the blast,
Run franticke, hoyting vp and downe
with scitish wayward wits,
Not knowing any place of rest, so prickt with frowarde fits,
On cloudy top of Pindus Mounte all hyd with Snow so chyll:
Or els vpon the lofty riddge of braunched Nisa hyll:
Thus starting still with frounced mynde she walters to and froe,
The signes pronouncing proofe of pangues her frensy Face doth show
With glowing cheekes, and bloud red Face with short & gasping breath,
Shee fetcheth deepe ascending sighes from sobbing heart beneath,
Now blyth she smiles, ech rūbled thought in pondring braine she beats,
Now standes she in a mammering, now myschiefe sore she threats.
[Page 128] With chafing fume she burnes in wrath, and nowe she doth cōplayne,
With blubbering teares a fresh byliue shee weepes & wayles agayne.
Where will this lumpish loade of cares with headlong sway allight?
On whom entendeth shee to worke the threates of her despight?
Where will this huge tempestious surge slake downe it selfe agayne?
Enkindled fury new in breast begins to boyle a mayne.
Shee secretly entendes no mischiefe small nor meane of s [...]se
To passe her selfe in wickednes her busy braynes deuise.
The token olde of pinching ire full well ere this know I:
Some haynous, huge, outragious great, and dredfull storme is nye:
Her firy, scowling, steaming Eyes, her hanging Groyne I see,
Her powling, puffed, frowning Face, that signes of freatting bee.
O myghty Ioue be guile my feare.
O wretch if thou desire,
What measure ought to payse thy wrath then learne by Cupids fire,
To hate as sore as thou didst loue, shall I not them anoy
That doe vnite in spousall bed, theyr wanton lust t'enioy?
Shall Phoebus fiery footed horse goe lodge in western waue
The drowping day, that late I did with humble crowching craue,
And with such ernest busie suite so hardly graunted was?
Shall it depart ere I can bring my deuylish dryst to passe?
Whyle houering heauen doth counterpaysed hang with egall space,
Amid the marble Hemispheares, whyle rounde with stinted race,
The gorgeous Sky aboue the Earth doth spinning roll about,
Whyles that the number of the sandes, lyes hid vnserched out,
While dawning day doth keepe his course with Phoebus blase so bright,
While twinkling starres in golden traynes doe garde the slūbry nyght,
While Isle vnder propping poale with whyrling swyng so swift,
The shyning Beares vnbathde about the frosen Sky doe lift,
While flushing floudes the frothy streames to rustling Seas doe send,
To gird them gript with plonging pangues my rage shall neuer end.
With greater heate it shall reboyle, lyke as the brutishe beast,
Whose tyranny most horrible, exceedeth all the rest,
What greedy gaping whyrle poole wide what parlous gulph vnmilde,
What Sylla coucht in roring Rockes, or what Charybdes wylde,
(That Sicill, and Ionium Sea by frothy waues doth sup)
What Aetna bolking st [...]fling flames, and dusky vapours vp,
(Whose heauy payse wt stewing heate doth smoldring crush beneath
Encelades, that fiery flakes from choked throte doth breath)
Can with such dreadfull menaces in sweeting fury fry?
No ryuer swift no troubled surge of stormy Sea so hye,
[Page] Nor sturdy seas (whom ruffling winds with raging force to rore)
Nor puissaunt flash of fyre, whose might by boystrous blast is more,
May byde my angers violence: my fury shall it foyle:
His court Ile ouer hourle, and lay it leauell with the soyle.
My Iasons heart did quake for feare of Creon cruell king.
And least the king of Thessaly would warre vpon him bring.
But loyall loue that hardens hearts makes no man be afright.
But beete, that he conuict hath yeelde himselfe to Creons might.
Yet once hee might haue visited, and come to me his wyfe,
To talke, and take his last farewell, if daunger of his life
In doing this (hard harted wretch most cruell) he should feare,
He being Creons sonne in law, for him it [...]efull were,
To haue proroged somwhat yet my heauy banishment,
To take my leaue of chyldren twayne one onely day is lent:
Yet doe I not complayne, as though the time to short I thought,
As proofe shall playne pronounce, to day, to day, it shall bee wrought,
The memory whereof no tract of time shall wype away.
With malice bent agaynst the Gods my wrath shall them assay:
And rifling euery thing, both good, and bad, I will turmoyle.
Madame thy minde that troubled is, and tost with such abroyle
Of swarming ills▪ thy vexed breast now set at rest agayne,
The penish fond affections all of troubled mynde refrayne.
Then onely can I be at rest, when euery thing I see
Throwne headlong topste turuey downe to ruthfull ende with mee.
With mee let all things cleane decay: thy selfe if thou doe spill,
Thou m [...]ist driue to destruction what els with thee thou will:
It in this folly stiffe thou stand, beholde what after clappes
Are to bee fearde, none dare contriue for Prynces trayning trappes.
Iason. Medea.
O Lucklesse lot of frowarde Fates, O cruell Fortunes hap,
Both whē she list to smite, or spare, in woe she doth vs wrap
A like, the salue y God hath geuen so oft, to cure our griefe,
More noyeth then the sore it selfe, and sendeth lesse reliefe:
If for her good deserts: o me, amendment I should make,
I hazard should my ventrous lyfe to leese it for her sake.
If I will shun my dismall day, and will not for her dy,
Then want the loue of loyalty, O wretched man must I.
[Page 129] No dastards dread my stomacke stout can cause to droupe & shrynke,
But meere remorse appaulleth me, when on my babes I thynke.
For why? when carefull parents are once reft of lyfe and breath,
Some after them their wretched seede are drawne to dolefull death.
O Sacred righteousnesse (if thou enioye thy worthy place
In perfect blisse of happy heauen) I call vpon thy grace,
And thee for witnesse here alledge, how for my childrens part
With pity prickt I haue commit these things agaynst my hart.
And so I thinke Medea her selfe the Mother rather had,
(Though frantickly as now she [...]ares with rage of heart so mad
And doth abhor with paynfull yoke of combrous cares to toyle)
Her spousall bed, then that her seede should take the plunging foyle.
I did determine in my minde, to goe her to entreate
With gentle wordes, & pray her cease, in feruent wrath to freate.
And loe, on me when once she caste the beames of glauncing Eye,
Full blythe she leapes, she tumpes for ioy, in fi [...]s she ginnes to fry.
Deepe deadly blackish hate she seemes in outwarde brow to beare,
And wholly in her frowning face doth glutting griefe appeare.
I packing, packing, Iason am: this still to chop, and chaunge
The fleeting soyle of my abode, to mee it is not straunge.
The cause of my departure yet (to me is straung) and new.
I wonted was in followinge thee all places to eschew:
I will depart, and get me hence, to whom for helping hande
Entendest thou to sende vs forth, whom hence to fly the land
Thou dost compell with thine alies? shall I repayre agayne▪
To Phasis flood, to Colchis Isle, or to my fathers raygne?
Or goary sweeting fieldes, that with my brothers blood do reeke?
What harbring lands aloofe dost thou commaund vs out to seeke?
What seas appoint yee me to passe? shall I my iourney dryue,
Vppon the parlous hatefull iawes of Pontus to arriue,
By which I did saufe conduct home kings valiaunt armies great,
Where roaring rocks with thundring noise the flapping waues do beate
Or on the narrow wrackfull shore, of Simplegades twayne?
Or els to small Hiolcos towne can I retourne agayne?
Or toyle, the gladsome pleasaunt lands of Tempe to attayne?
All places that I opened haue vnto thy passage free,
I shut them vp agaynst my selfe, now whether sendste thou mee?
A banisht wretch to banishment thou wouldest haue encline,
Yet to the place of her exyle, thou canst not her assygne.
[Page] Yet for all that without delay I must depart and go:
And why? forsoth the king his sonne in law commaundeth so.
Well: nothing will I stand against, with grypes of passing payne
Let me be scourgde, of my desarts such is the gotten gayne.
Let Creon in his pryncely ruffe lay to his heauy handes,
To whyp an whore in torments sharp, with iron giues, and bandes
Let her be chaynd, in hydeous hole of night for aye her locke:
Let her be cloyed with pestring payse of restlesse rowling rocke.
Yet lesse than I deserued haue, in all this shall I finde:
O thou vncurteous Gentleman, consider in thy mynde
The flamy puffes, and firy gaspes of gastly gaping bull,
And Aetas catell rych with Fleece of gorgeous golden wooll,
That went to graze amid so great and mighty feares in fielde,
Of vncontrouled Nation, whose soyle doth armies yeelde.
Reuoke to minde the deadly dartes of sodayne starting foe,
When gastly warriour (Tellus broode) to ground agayne did goe,
Through slaughter red of mutuall launce, to this yet further passe,
The lurched Fleece of Phrixes Ramme, that all thine errand was.
And vgsome Argos slumberlesse, whom fast I causde to keepe
His wery watching winking eyes with vnaquaynted sleepe.
My brother eke, whose fatall twist of feeble lyfe I shred,
And guilt that wrought so many guiltes when as with thee I fled.
The daughters whom I set on worke entrapt in wily trayne,
To slay theyr sire, that shall not ryse to quickned lyfe agayne.
And how to trauell other realmes, I set myne owne at nought.
By that good hope which of thy seede conceaued is in thought,
Eake by thy stable Mansion place, and mighty monsters, that
Downe beaten for thy health, I causde before thy feete to squat,
And by these drudging hands of myne vnspared for thy sake,
For dread of daungers ouer past that caused thee to quake,
By heauens aboue, and seas belowe, that witnesse bearers bee,
To knitting of our maryage vp, thy mercy vayle to mee.
Of all the heapes of treasure great so farre of being fet,
Which Aetas sauage Scythians dyd trauell for to get,
From Ind, where Phoebus scorching blase doth dye the people blacke.
Of all this golde which in our dowers wee coulde not well compacke.
But tricke and trym wee garnished our groues with golde so gay,
I banisht wretch of all this stuffe gat nought with mee away,
Except my brothers slaughtred flesh, yet I employed the same
On thee: the cares of countreyes health, my honesty and shame.
[Page 130] My Father, and my brother both hath yeelded place to thee,
This is the dowry that thou had my wedded spouse to bee.
To her whom thou dost abrogate restore her goods agayne▪
When Creon in malicious moode had thought thee to haue slayne,
Entreated with my teares, exyle and life he gaue to thee.
I tooke it for a punishment, but surely as I see
This banishment is now become a friendly good rewarde.
While thou hast time to goe, be gone, for most seueare, and harde
The kings displeasure euer is.
thus wouldst thou dodge mee out?
Thy hated trull cast of thou dost, that please Creuse thou mought.
Dost thou Medea vpbrayde mee with the breach vnkynde of loue?
And slaughter vyle, with trechery, whereto thou didst mee moue.
When all is done what canst thou say my guiltines to stayne?
Euen whatsoeuer I haue done.
Yet more this doth remayne:
That thy vngracious wickednes of harme should mee accuse.
Thine, thine, they are, they are all thine what euer I did vse,
Who that of lewdnesse reapes the fruict, is grafter of the same.
Let euery one with infamy thy wretched Spouse defame,
Yet doe thou onely take her part, her onely doe thou call
A iust and vndefiled wight, without offence at all.
If any man shall for thy sake polute his hand with ill,
To thee let him an innocent yet be accompted still,
The life is lothsome that doth worke his shame who hath it chose.
The life whose choyse doth worke thy shame thou ought againe to lose.
Let reason rule thy eger mynde so vext with crabbed ire,
And for thy tender childrens ease to bee at rest requyre.
I doe defy it, wholy I detest it, I forsweare,
That bretheren bred vnto my barnes Creusas wombe shall beare.
It will be trim, when as a Queene of maiesty and myght
Hath issue, kinne vnto the seede of thee a banishe wight.
So cursed day shall neuer on my wretched children shine,
To mingle base borne basterdes with the bloud of noble Lygue.
Shall Phoebus stocke (that beares the lamp of heauen in starry throne)
Be macht with drudging Sisiphus that roules in hell the stone?
What meanest thou wretch, both thee & mee in banishment to yoke?
I pray then hence.
When humbly I my mynde to Creon broke,
Hee gaue an eare vnto my suite.
What lyeth in my myght
To doe for thee?
If no good turne, then doe thy worst dispyght.
On this side with his swerd in hand king Creon doth mee [...]carre:
On other part with armed hoast Acast doth mee detarre.
Medea eke to coape with these, that more apaull vs may:
Go to, to skyrmishe let vs fall, let Iason be the pray:
I yeelde whom sore aduersities haue tyerd with heauy sway.
Learne thou to dred thy luclesse lot that ofte doth thee assay.
I euermore haue rulde the swinge of fortunes wauering will.
Achastus is at hand, and nygh is Creon thee to spyll:
Take thou thy heeles to scape them both, I doe not thee aduise,
That thou agaynst thy father in lawe in traytrous armes should ryse.
Nor in Achast thy cosens bloud thy wounding handes to gore,
The vowes vnto Medea made, doe trouble thee so sore.
Whyle yet thou hast not spilt there bloud, yet fly with mee away.
When armies twayne their banners of defiance shall display,
And marching forth in fielde to fyght seeke battayle at my hande,
Who then for vs encounter shall their puissaunce to withstand?
If Creon and Achastus king encampe together shall.
Admit that these in one with them should ioyne their powers all
My Countreymen of Colchis Ile, and AEtas lusty kyng,
Suppose the Scythians ioyne with Greekes, to ground I wil thē bring,
Cleane put to foile.
The puissaunt power of hawty mace I feare.
Take heede, least more thou do affect the same, then for to cleare,
Thy selfe of Creons seruile yoke.
Least some suspicion grow,
Of this our tatling long here let vs make an ende and goe.
Now Ioue hurle out thy flames & force thy thundring bolts to fly,
With fiery drakes bright brandishing disparst in burning sky:
Strayne forth thy dreadfull threatning arme, dispose in due aray
The rossing dint of lightning flashe, that wrecke our quarrell may.
With rumbling cracke of renting cloud cause all the world to quake,
And Ieuell not thy houering hand to stryke with firy flake
Uppon my pasht and crushed corpes, or Iasons Carcasse slayne:
For whether of vs thou smight to death his due rewarde shall gayne,
Thy thumps of thwacking boltes on vs amisse they cannot light.
Fy, let thy mynde on matters runne that seeme a modest wight.
And vse to haue more cheerefull talke, if any thing thou craue,
Within my fathers house to ease thy flyght, thou shalt it haue.
Thou knowst my minde bath can, & eke is wont, to doe no lesse,
Then to contemne the brittell wealth that Prynces doe possesse.
This, this shalbe the onely boone that at thy hande I craue,
As mates with me in banishment, my children let mee haue,
That resting on theyr sighing breastes my carefull mourning hed,
I may my chrystall teary streames into theyr bosomes shed.
[Page 131] But as for thee, new gotten sonnes of wife new wed doe stay.
I graunt that vnto thy request I wishe I might obey:
But nature mee with pity pryckes, that needes I must deny.
For though both Creon and Achast, in torments force mee lye,
I could not yeelde vnto theyr willes: on this my lyfe doth rest:
In times of teares, this is the ioy of dull afflicted brest
For better farre I can abyde the wante of vitall breath,
And succour of my lymmes, or loose, the light of worlde by death.
What Ioue vnto his seely Babes is deeply graft in him?
This worketh well I haue him tript, loe now there lyeth brim.
An open place whereby receaue a venny soone hee may.
Let mee or I departe, vnto my seely children say.
These lessons of my last adewe, and graunt to mee the space,
With tender grype of colling last theyr louing limmes t'embrace:
This wilbe comforte to my heart: yet at the latter woorde
I aske no more but onely that you shoulde mee this afoorde.
If eger anguish cause my tongue to cast out woords vnkinde,
Let all thing fly, let nothing be engraued in your minde
But let remembraunce otherwhyle of mee to touch your thought,
Let other thinges be wypte away that byle of wrath hath wrought.
I haue forgotten euery whit God graunt thou may of shake,
These surging qualmes of frounced minde & milder mayste it make:
For quietnesse doth worke theyr ease that dented are with woe:
What is he slily slypt and gon? falles out the matter so?
O Iason dost thou sneake away, not hauing minde of mee,
Nor of those former great good turnes that I haue done for thee?
With thee now am I cleane forgot: but I will bryng about
That from thy carefull sighing minde shall not bee banisht out:
Apply to bring this to effect, call home thy wits agayne,
And all thy wyly fetches farre, eache artificiall trayne.
This is the perfect fruict that may to thee of mischiefe spryng,
To presuppose that mischiefe is not graft in any thing.
Scant haue I oportunity for my pretensed guile,
Because wee are mistrusted sore: but try I will the whyle
To set vpon them in such sort, as none can deeme my sleyght:
March forth, now venture on, fall to, both what lyeth in thy myght.
And also what doth passe thy power. O faythfull nourse and mate
Of all my heauy heart breaking, and dyuers cursed fate.
Come help our simple meane deuice. Remayning yet I haue
A robe of Pall the present that our heauenly Graundsire gaue,
[Page] Chiefe monument of Cholchis Ile, which Phoebus did beslow
On Aetas for a pledge, that him his father he might know.
A precious fulgent gorget eake, that brauely glytters bryght,
And with a seemely shyning seame of golden thryds is dight,
Through wrought betwene the row of pirles doe stand in borders roūd,
Wherewith my golden crispen Locks is wonted to be croūd.
My lytle children they shall beare these presents to the Bryde,
That first with slibber slabbar sosse of chauntments shalbe tryde.
Request the ayde of Hecate in redinesse prepare
The lamentable sacrifice, vpon the bloudy Aare.
Enforce the fiers catching holde vpon the rafters hye
With crackling noyse of flamy sparkes rebound in azur sky.
NOffers force, nor rūbling rage of boistrus blustring winde,
No dart shot whirling in the skies, such terrour to y minde
Can driue, as when y ireful wife doth boile in burning hate
D [...]priued of her spousall bed, and comfort of her mate,
Nor where the stormy southerne winde with dankish dabby face,
Of hoary winter sendeth out the gusshing showres apace.
Where veighment Isters waumbling streame comes waltring downe a­mayne,
Forbidding both the banks to meete, & cannot oft contayne
Him selfe within his channels scoupe, but further breakes his way,
Nor Rodanus whose russhing streame doth launch into the sea,
Or when amid the floured spring with hotter burning sunne,
The winters snowes disolude with heate downe to the ryuers runne:
The clottred top of Haemus hill to water thin doth turne,
Such desperate gogin flame is wrath that inwardly doth burne,
And modest rule regardeth not, nor brydeis can abyde,
Nor dreading death, doth wish on dinte of naked blade to slyde.
O Gods be gratious vnto vs, for pardon we do craue,
That him who tamde the scuffling waues, vauchsafe yee would to saue.
But Neptune yet the Lord of Seas with frowning face will lower,
That ouer his second Scepter men to tryumph haue the power.
The boy that rashly durst attempt that great vnweldy charge
Of Phoebus euerlasting Carte, and rouing out at large,
Not bearing in his recklesse breast his fathers warnings wyse,
Was burned with the flames which hee did scatter in the Skyes.
[Page 132] None knew the costly glimsing glades, where straggling Phaëton rode,
Passe not the path, where people safe in former tyme haue trode.
O fondling, wilfull, wanton boy, doe not dissolue the frame
Of heauen, sith Ioue with sacred hand hath halowed the same.
Who rowde with valiaunt Oares tough, that were for Argo made,
Hath powled naked Pelion mounte of thycke compacted shade.
Who entred hath the fleeting rockes and serched out the toyle
And tyring trauels of the seas, and hath on saluage soyle
Knit fast his stretched Cable rope, and going forth to land.
To cloyne away the forren golde with greedy snatching hand.
Vnto the seas (because that hee transgrest theyr lawes deuine)
By this vnlucky ende of his, he payes his forfeyte fine.
The troubled seas of theyr vnrest for vengeaunce howle and weepe.
Syr Typhis who did conquer fyrst the daunger of the deepe,
Hath yeelded vp the cunning rule of his vnweldy sterne,
To such a guide, as for that vse hath neede as yet to learne.
Who giuing vp his Ghost aloofe from of his natiue lande,
In forreyn more lyes buryed vile with durty soddes in sande.
He sits among the flitiring soules that straungers to him weare.
And Aulis Isle that in her minde her masters losse doth beare,
Held in the Ships, to stand and wayle in croking narrow nocke:
That Orpheus Calliops sonne who stayde the running Brooke,
Whyle he recordes on heauenly Harpe with twanckling finger sine,
The wynde layde downe his pipling blastes: his harmony diuine
Procurde the woods to styr them selues, and trees in traynes along
Came forth with byrds that held their layes and listned to his song.
With lims on sunder rent in fielde of Thrace he lyeth dead.
Vp to the top of Heber floude, eke haled was his head.
Gone downe he is to Stygian dampes, which seene hee had before,
And Tartar boyling pits, from whence returne hee shall no more.
Alcydes banging hat did bringe the Northern laddes to grounde.
To Achelo of sundry shapes he gaue his mortall wounde.
Yet after he could purchase peace both vnto sea and land,
And after Ditis dungeon blacke rent open by his hand,
He lyuing spred himselfe along on burning Oetas hill:
His members in his proper flame the wretch did thrust to spill:
His bloud he brewd with Nestors bloud, and lost his lothsome lyfe
By traytrous gyft that poysoned shyrt receaued of his wyfe.
With tuske of bristled groyning Bore Anceus lyms were torne.
O Meleagar (wicked wight) to graue by thee were borne
[Page] Thy mothers brethren twayne, and shee, for it with ruthfull hand,
Hath wrought thy dolefull desteny, to burne thy fatall brand.
The rash attempting Argonantes deserued all the death
That Hylas whom Alcides lost bereft of fading breath.
That springall which in sowsing waues of waters drowned was:
Goe now yee lusty bloudes, the Seas: with doubtfull lot to passe.
Though Idmon had the calking skyll of destentes before,
The serpent made him leaue his lyfe in tombe of Liby shore.
And Mopsus that to other men could well theyr fates escry,
Yet onely did deceyue him selfe vncertayne where to dy,
And he that could the secret hap of things to come vnfoulde,
Yet dyde not in his counrey Thebes. Dame, Theris husband oulde
Did wander like an outlawde man Our Palimedes syre
Did headlong whelm him selfe in seas. Who at the Greekes retyre
From Troy, to rushe on rockes did them alure with wily light,
Stout Aiax Oleus did sustayne the dint of thunder bright,
And cruell storme of surging seas, to quite the haynous guilt,
That by his countrey was commit, in seas he lyeth spilt.
Alceste to redeeme her husbands Phereus lyfe from death,
The godly Wyfe vpon her spouse bestowed her panting breath.
Proude Pelias that wretch him selfe who bad them first assay
The golden Fleece that booty braue by ship to fetch away,
Perboylde in glowing cauldron hoate with feruent heate hee fryes,
And fleering peece meale vp and downe in water thin he lyes.
Inough, inough, reuenged are O Gods the wronges of seas,
Be good to Iason, doing that hee did, his Eame to please.


MY shiuering minde amazed is, agast, and sore dismayde:
My chillish lims with quaking colde do tremble all afrayde,
Such plagu [...]s & vengeāce is at hand, in what exceding wis [...]
Do sharp assaults of greedy griefe still more & more arise,
And of it selfe in smothering breast enkindlesse greater heate?
Oft haue I seene how ramping rage hath forced her to freate.
[Page 133] With franticke fits, mad, bedlem wise, against the Gods to rayle,
And eke bewitched ghosts of heauen in plunging plagues to trayle:
But now Medea beates her busie brayne to bring to passe
A myschiefe greater, greater farre, then euer any was.
Erewhile when hence she tript away astonished so sore,
And of her poyson closset close shee entred had the dore:
Shee powreth out her Iewels all, abrode to light shee brings
That which she dreading [...]athed long▪ most irksome vgly things:
She mumbling coniures vp by names of ills the rable rout,
In hugger mugger cowched long, kept close, vnserched out:
All pestlent plagues she calles vpon, what euer Libie lande,
In frothy boyling stream doth worke, or muddy belching sande:
What tearing torments Taurus breedes, with snowes vnthawed still
Where winter flawes, and hory frost knit hard the craggy hill,
She layes her crossing hands vpon each monstrous coniurde thing,
And ouer it her magicke verse with chat ming doth she sing:
A mowste, rowste, rusty route with cancred Scales Iclad
From musty, fusty, dusty dens where lurked long they had,
Doe craull: a wallowing serpent huge, his cōbrous Corps out drags,
In fiery foming blaring mouth his forked tongue hee wags.
He stares about with sparkling eyes, if some he might espy,
Whom snapping at with stinging spit he might constrayne to dy:
But hearing once the magycke verse he husht as all a gast,
His body boalne big, wrapt in lumps on twining knots hee cast.
And wambling to and fro his tayle in linkes he rowles it round.
Not sharp enough (quoth she) the plagues & tooles that hollow groūd
Engenders for my purpose are, to heauen vp will I call,
To reach me stronger poyson down, to frame my feate with all.
Now is it at the very poynt, Medea thou assay,
To bring about some farther fetch, then common Witches may.
Let downe, let downe, that sprawling Snake that doth his body spred,
As doth a running brooke abroade his myghty channell s [...]ed.
Whose swelling knobs of wondrous [...]se & buystrous bobbing bumpes
Doth thumpe the great & lesser beare that feete his heauy lumpes.
The bygger beare with golden gleede the greekish fleete doth guyde:
But by the lesse the Sidon ships their passage haue espide.
He that with pinch of griping fist doth bruse the adders twayne,
His strening hard & clasping hande, let him vnknit agayne.
And crushe their squeased venome out, come further thou our charme
O flymy serpent Python, whom Dame Iuno sent to harme
[Page] Diana, and Apollo both, (those heauenly spyrites twayne)
With whom Latona traueling did grone with pynching payne.
O Hydra whom in Lerna poole Alcides gaue the foyle,
And all the noysome vermen vyle that Hercules did spoyle.
Which when on sunder they were cut with slysing deadly knyfe,
Can knit agayne their sodred partes, and so recouer lyfe.
Help wakefull Dragon Argos, whom first magicke wordes of myne
Made Morpheus locke thy sleepy liddes, and shut thy slugring eyne.
Then hauing brought aboue the ground of Serpents all the rout,
Of filthy weedes the ranckest bane shee pyckes, and gathers out,
That spryng on knotty Eryx hill where passage none is founde,
Among the ragged Rockes, or what on Caucasus his grounde
Doth grow that still is clad in Coate of hoary moary frost.
That euermore vnmelt abydes, whose spattred fylde is soste
With gubbs of bloud, y spowteth from Prometheus gaping maw,
Whose guts with twitching talent out the gastly gripe doth draw.
Or any other venemous herbe amonge the Medes that growes,
That with their sheafe of arowes sharp in field do scare their foes.
Or what the light held Parthian to serue her turne can sende,
Or els the rych Arabians, that dyp theyr arrowes ende
In poyson strong: the iuyce of all Medea out doth wrynge,
That vnderneath the frosen poale in Svveuia land doth sprynge.
Whose noble state Hircinus woode doth high enhaunce and reare▪
Or what the pleasaunte soyle doth yeelde in pryme of smiling veare,
When nature byddes the byrd begin her shrowding nest to builde,
Or when the churlyshe Boreas blast sharpe winter hath exilde,
The trym aray of braunche and bough to cloth the naked tree,
And euery thinge with bitter coulde of Snowe congealed bee.
In any pestilent flower on stalke of any hearbe doth growe,
Or noysome iuyce doth lye in rotten wrythen rootes alowe,
Hath any force in breading bane, those takes shee in her hande.
Some plaugy hearbes did Athos yeelde that mount of. Thessayle lande.
And other Pindus roches hye and some vppon the top
Of Pingeus, but tender twigges the cruell Sythe did lop:
These Tigris ryuer norisht vp, that choakes his whyrlpoale deepe
With stronger streame. Danubius those in fostring waue did keepe.
Those did Hidaspus mynister, who by the parching zone
With lukewarme siluer channell runnes, so ryth with precious stone.
And Bethis sonne, who gaue the name vnto his countrey great,
And with his shallowe [...]oarde agaynst the Spanyshe seas doth beat
[Page 134] This hearbe aboade the edge of knyfe in dawning of the day
Ere Phoebus Face gan peepe, bedect with glittring goulden spray
His slender stalke was suepped of in deepe of silent nyght,
His corne was cropt, whyle she wt charme her poysned nayles did dight.
Shee chops the deadly hearbes, & wrings the squesed clottered bloud
Of Serpentes out: and filthy byrdes of irkesome miry mud:
She tempers with the same and eake: she brayes the heart of Owle
Foreshewing death with glaring Eyes, and moaping Vysage foule,
Of shryke Owle hoarce alyue she takes the durty stinking guts,
All these the framer of this feate in dyuers percels puts.
This hath in it deuouring force of greedy spoyling flame,
The frosen ysle dulling coulde engenders by the same.
Shee chauntes on those the magicke verse, that workes no lesser harme,
With bustling frantickely shee stampes, and ceaseth not to charme.
O Flittring Flockes of grisly. ghostes
that sit in silent seat
O ougsome Bugges, O Gobblins grym
of Hell I you intreat:
O lowryng Chaos dungeon blynde,
and dreadfull darkned pit,
Where Ditis muffled vp in Clowdes
of blackest shades doth sit,
O wretched wofull wawling soules your ayde I doe implore,
That linked lye with gingling Chaynes on wayling Limbo shore,
O mossy Den where death doth couche his gastly carrayne Face:
Relesse your pangues, O spryghts, and to this wedding hye apace.
Cause yee the snaggy wheele to pawse that rentes the Carkas bound,
Permit Ixions racked Lymmes to rest vpon the ground:
Let hungry bytten Tantalus wyth gawnt and pyned panche
Soupe vp Pirenes gulped streame his swelling thyrst to staunche.
Let burning Creon [...]yde the brunt aud gyrdes of greater payne,
Let payse of slyppery slyding stone type ouer backe agayne
His moylyng Father Sisyphus, amonges the craggy Rockes.
Yee daughters dyre of Danaus whom perced Pychers morckes
[Page] So oft with labour lost in vayne this day doth long for you
That in your lyfe with bloudy blade at once your husband slewe.
And thou whose aares I honored haue, O torch and lampe of night,
Approche O Lady myne with most deformed vysage dight:
O three folde shapē Dame that knitst more threatning browes then one,
According to the countrey guise with dagling locks vndone
And naked foote, the secrete groue about I halowed haue,
From dusky dry vnmoysty cloudes the showers of rayne I craue.
Through me the chinked gaping ground the soked seas hath drunk.
And mayner streame of th'ocian floud beneath the earth is sunk,
That swelteth out through hollow gulph with stronger gushing rage.
Then were his suddy wambling waues whose power it doth asswage
The heauens with wrong disturbed course and out of order quight,
The darkned sonne, & glimmering stars at once hath shewed theyr light,
And drēched Charles his stragling wayne hath ducie in dasshing waue,
The framed course of roaming time racte out of frame I haue.
So my enchauntments haue it wrought, that when the flaming sunne
In sommer bakes the parched soyle then hath the twigges begunne,
With sprowting blossom fresh to blome, and hasty winter corne
Hath out of haruest seene the fruite to barnes on sudde [...] borne.
Into a shallowe foorde his sture distreame hath Phasi [...] wast,
And Isters channell being in so many braunches cast,
Aba [...]ed hath his wrackfull waues, on euery silent shore
He lyeth calme: The tumbled flouds with thundring noyse did rore,
When couched clo [...] the winde [...] were not mouing pippling soft,
With working waue the prauncing seas haue swolne & leapt aloft,
Whereas the wood in alder time with thicke and braunched bowe
Di [...] spread his shade on gladsome soyle no shade remayneth now.
I rolling vp the magicke verse at noone time Phoebus stay,
Amyd the darkned Sky, when fled was light of drowsy day.
Eke at my charme the watry flockes of Heyaeds went to glade.
Time is it Phoeba to respect the seruice to thee made:
To the [...] with cruell bloudy hands these garlands greene were twynde
Which with his folding circles nyne the serpent rough did bynde.
Haue here Tiphoias fleshe, that doth in Aetnas Foruace grone,
That shoke with baitery violent king Ioues assaulted trone.
This is the Centaures poysoned bloud which Nessus villayne vyle
Who made a rape of Dianire entending her to fyle,
Bequethed her when newly wounde he gasping lay for breath,
[Page 135] While Hercles shaft stack in his Ribs, whose laūce did worke his death:
Beholde the Funerall cinders heere which vp the poyson dryed
Of Hercules who in his fyre on Oeta mountayne dyed:
Loe heere the fatall brand, which late the fatall sisters three
Conspyred at Meleagers byrth, such should his des [...]ny bee,
To saue alyue his brethyng corpes, while that might whole remayne,
Which saufe his mother Althe kept, till he his vncles tw [...]yne,
(That from Atlanta would haue had the head of co [...]quered Bore,)
Had reft of ly [...]e whose spightfull death Althea tooke so sore,
That both she shewed her feruentnesse in systers godly loue,
When to reuenge her brothers death meere nature did her moue,
But yet as mother most vnkynde, of nature most vnmylde,
To hasten the vntymely graue of her beloued chylde,
Whyle Meleagers fatall brande she wasted in the flame,
Whose swelting guts and bowels moult consumed as the same,
These plumes the Harpyes rauening fowles for hast did leaue behinde,
In hidden hole whose cloase accesse no mortall wight can fynd.
When fast from Zethes chasing them with speedy flight they fled.
Put vn [...]o these the fethers which the S [...]ymphal byrde did shed,
Whom duskyng Phoebus dymned lyght syr Hercules did stynge,
And galied with the shafte, that he in Hydraes hyde did flynge.
You Aares haue yeelde a clattring noyse I knowe, I knowe of olde,
How vnto mee my Oracles are wonted to bee toulde,
That when ye trem [...]l [...]ng flowre doth shake then hath my Goddes great,
Vouchsafe to graunt mee my request as I did her intreate,
I see Dianas waggon swife, not that whereon shee glydes,
When all the night in darkned Sky with Face full ope shee rydes:
With countnaunce bright and blandishing but when with heauy cheare,
With dusky shimmering wanny globe, her lampe doth pale appeare.
Or when shee trots [...]bout the heauens wyth horsecheade rayned strayte,
When Thessayle Witches with [...] threats of charming her doe bayte.
So with thy dumpish dulled blase, thy cloudy faynting l [...]ght,
Sende out, amid the lowring sky, the heart of people smyght
Wyth agonies of suddeyne dread, in straung and fearfull wyse,
Compell the pretious brasen pannes with iarri [...]g noyse to ryse
Through Corinth countrey [...]uery where, to shielde the [...] frō t [...]ie harme,
Least headlong [...]rawne thou be from heauen to earth by force of charme.
An holy solempne sacryfice to worship thee wee make,
Imbrewed with a bloudy turphe the kindled Torche doth take
[Page] Thy sacred burning night fyre at the dampishe mory graue.
Sore charged with thy troubled ghost my head I shaken haue,
And ducking downe my Necke alowe wt shryking lowde haue shrigh
And groueling flat on floore in traunce haue lyen in deadmans plight.
My ruffled Lockes about myne eares downe dagling haue ben bownd.
Tuckt vp about my temples twayne with gladsome garland crownde▪
A drery braunche is offred thee from filthy Stigis flood.
As is the guise of Bacchus priestes the Coribanthes wood,
With naked breast and dugges layde out Ile pricke with sacred blad [...]
Myne arme, that for the bubling bloude an issue may bee made,
With trilling streames my purple bloude let drop on Th'aulter stones.
My tender Childrens crusshed fleshe, and broken broosed bones
Lerne how to brooke with hardned heart: in practise put the trade
To florishe fearce, and keepe a coyle, with naked glittring blade:
I sprinkled holy water haue, the launce once being made,
If tyred thou complaynest that my cryes thee ouerlade,
Giue pardon to my ernest suite, O Perseus sister deare,
Still Iason is the onely cause that vrgeth mee to reare
With squeking voyce thy noysome beames, that sting like shot of bo
So season thou those sawced robes to worke Creusas woe,
Whert with when shee shall pranke her selfe the poyson by and by
To rot her inward mary out, within her bones may fry,
The secret fyer bleares their eyes with glosse of yeallow golde,
The which Prometheus gaue to mee that fyer fylcher bolde.
On whom for robbery that he did in heauens aboue commit,
With massy payse great Caucasus th'unweldy hill doth sit.
Where vnder with vnwasted wombe he lyes, and payes his payne,
To feede the crāming foule with gubs of guts that growes agayne.
He taught mee with a prety sleyght of conning, how to hyde
The strength of fyer close kept in, [...] may not be espyde,
This lyuely tinder Mulciber hath forged for my sake,
That tempred is with brymstone quick at fyrst touch and take.
Eke of my Cosen Phaëton a wyldefyer flake I haue
His flames the monstrous staghard rough Chimera to mee gaue,
In head and breast a Lyon grim, and from the Rump behynde
He sweepes the flower with lagging Tayl [...] of Serpent fearce by kynde
In Rybbes, and Loynes along his paunche yshaped lyke a Goate.
These Fumes that out the Bull perbrakte from fyry spewinge throat [...]
I gotten haue and brayde it with Medusas bitter gall
[Page 136] Commaunding it in secret sorte to duske and co [...]er all:
Breath on these venoms Heca [...]e with deadly myght inspyre,
Preserue the touching poulder of my secret couert fyre,
O graunt that these my cloked craftes so may bewitch theyr Eyes,
That lykelyhoode of treason none they may heerein surmyse:
So worke that they in handling it may feele no kynde of heate:
Her stewing breast, her seathing vaynes, let seruent fyer freate
And force her rosted pyning lymmes, to drop and melt away,
Let smoke her rotten broyling bones: enflame this bryde to day
To cast a lyght with gr [...]ater gleede on fryseled blasing heare
Then is the shyning flame that doth the wedding torches beare.
My suite is harde, thryse Hecare a dreadfull barking gaue
From dolefull cloude a sacred flash of flamy sparkes shee draue.
Eche poysons pryde fulfilled is: call forth my chyldren deare,
By whom vnto the cursed Bryde these presentes you may beare:
Goe forth, goe forth my lytle Babes, your mothers cursed fruite,
Goe, goe, employ your paynes with brybe and earnest humble suite
To purchase grace, and eke to earne you fauour in her sight.
That both a mother is to you, and rules with Ladies might.
Goe on, apply your charge apace, and hye you home agayne,
That with embracing you I may my last farewell attayne.
WHat sharpe assaultes of cruell CVPIDS flame
Wyth gyddie heade thus tosseth to and froe,
This bedlem Wyght, and diuelysh despret dame
What rouing rage her pricks to worke this woe?
Rough rancours vile congeales her frosen face,
Her hawty breast bumbasted is vvyth pryde,
Shee shakes her heade, shee stalkes vvyth stately pace.
Shee threates our king more then doth her betyde.
[Page] Who would her deeme to bee a banisht wyght,
Whose skarlet Cheekes doe glowe with rosy red?
In faynting Face, with pale and wanny whyght
The sangayne hewe exyled thence is fled
Her chaunging lookes no colour longe can holde.
Her shifting feete still trauasse to and froe.
Euen as the fearce and rauening Tyger olde
That doth vnware his sucking whelpes forgoe,
Doth rampe, and rage, most eger ferce and wood,
Among the shrubs and busshes that doe growe
On Ganges stronde that golden sanded flood,
Whose siluer streame through India doth flowe.
Euen so MEDEA sometime vvantes her wits
To rule the rage of her vnbrydeled ire,
Nowe VENVS Sonne, wyth busie froward fits,
Nowe Wrath, and Loue enkyndle both the fire.
What shall shee doe? when will this heynous wyght
With forwarde foote bee packing hence away,
From Greece? to ease our Realme of terrour quight,
And prynces twayne whom she so sore doth fray:
Nowe Phoebus lodge thy Charyot in the West,
Let neyther Raynes, nor Brydle stay thy Race,
Let groueling light with Dulceat nyght opprest
In cloking Cloudes wrapt vp his muffled Face,
Let Hesperus the loadesman of the nyght,
In Western floode drench deepe the day so bryght.


Nuntius. Chorus. Nutrix. Medea. Iason.
ALl things are topsy turuy turnde,
and wasted cleane to nought.
To passing great calamity
our Kingdome State is brought.
The Syre, and Daughter burnt to dust
in blendred Cynders lye.
What trayne hath them entrapt?
Such as
are made for Kinges to dye,
False traitrous gifts.
What priuy guile could wrapped be in those?
And I doe meruayle at this thing and skant I can suppose
That such a mischiefe might be wrought by any such deuice
Report how this destruction and ruine should aryse
The fyzzing flame most egerly doth scoure with sweeping sway
Eache corner of the Prynces court, as though it should obay.
Commaunded therevnto so flat on flowre the Pallace falles:
Wee are in dread least further it will take the townishe walles.
Cast quenching water on it then to slake the greedy flame.
And this that seemeth very straunge doe happen in the same,
The water feedes the fier fast, the more that wee doe toyle
It to suppresse, with hotter rage the heate begins to boyle:
Those thinges that wee haue gotten for our help it doth enioy.
Medea thou that doest so sore king Pelops lande anoy,
Twine hence in hast thy forwarde foote, at all assayes depart
To any other kinde of coaste.
Can I finde in my hart
To shun this lande? if hence I had first falne away by flight,
I would haue traueled backe agayne, to gase at such a sight.
To stande and see this weddiug new, why stayst thou doting mynde?
Apply, apply, thy sore attempt, that good successe doth finde.
What great exployt is this, that thou of vengeaunce dost enioy?
Still art thou blynded witlesse wench with vale of Venus boy?
[Page] Is this suffisaunce for the griefe? is roote of rancour ded,
If Iason leade a single lyfe in solitary bed?
Some netling, thorny, stinging plagues vnpractised deuise:
Prepare thy selfe in redines and fall to on this wyse:
Let all bee fishe that commes to Net, haue no respect of ryghte,
From mynde on mischiefe fixed fast let shame be vanisht quyte:
The vengeaunce they receaued at my lytle chyldrens hand,
Is nothing worth: in earnest ire ententiue must thou stand.
When heate of wrath begins to coole, cheere vp thy selfe agayne:
Rayse vp those touches olde that wonted were in thee to raygne,
That buried deepe in breast doe lye: and as for all the same
That yet is wrought: Of godlinesse let it vsurpe the name:
Doe this, and I shall teach them learne, what tryfling cast it was,
And common practisde flimflam trick that erst I brought to passe.
By this my raging malady a preamble hath made,
To shew what howgier heapes of harmes shall shortly them inuade
What durst my rude vnskilfull hand assay that was of wayght?
Wha [...] could the mallice of a Gyrle inuent her foes to bayte?
Still conuersaunt with wicked feates Medea am I made.
My blunt and dulled braynes hath so ben beate about this trade.
O so I ioy, I ioy, that I smote of my brothers head,
And slasht his members of: eake that from parents had I fled:
And filched haue the priuy fleece, loe Mars that sacred was.
It glads my heart that I to bring olde Pelias death to passe:
Haue set his daughters all on worke: O griefe picke out a way
Not any guilt thou shalt with vnacquainted hand assay
Against whom wrath entendest thou to bend thyne Irefull might?
Or with what weapon dost thou meane thy trayterous foes to smight?
I know not what my wrathfull minde consulted hath within,
And to be wray it to himselfe, I dare not yet begin.
O rash and vnaduised foole, I make to hasty speede:
O that my Foe had gotten of his Harlots body Seede:
But what so euer thou by him enioyest, suppose the same
To bee Creusas Babes, of them let her enioy the name.
This vengeaunce, this doth like mee well good reason is there, why,
The last attempt of i [...]s, thou must with stomacke stout apply.
A [...]as yee litle seely fooles that erst my children were,
The plaguing price of Fathers fault submit your selues to beare.
O, horrour huge with sodayne stroke my heart doth ouercom:
With ycie dulling colde congealde my Members all benun [...].
[Page 138] My shiuering lims appauled sore for gastly feare doe quake,
And banisht rage of malice hoate begins it selfe to slake:
The hatefull heart of wife agaynst her Spouse hath yeelded place,
And pitious mothers mercy milde restoreth natures face.
O shall I shed their guiltlesse bloude? shall I the frame vnfoulde
Of that, which louing natures hande hath wrought in me her moulde?
O doting fury chaunge thy minde, conceiue a better thought,
Let not this haynous sauage deede by meanes of mee be wrought.
What cryme haue they (poore fooles) cōmit, for which they should abye?
Vpon theyr Father Iason right all blot of blame should lye.
Medea yet theyr Mother I am worser farre then hee.
Tush let them frankly goe to wracke no kith nor kin to mee
They are: dispatch them out of hand: holde, holde, my babes they be
God wot, most harmelesse lambes they are, no crime nor fault haue they
Alas they bee mere innocents, I doe not this denay:
So was my brother whom I slew: O false reuolting mynde,
Why dost thou staggring to and fro such chaunge of fancies fynde?
Why is my Face be sprent with teares, what makes mee falter so,
That wrath & loue with striuing thoughts doe leade mee to and fro?
Such fighting fancies bickringe stormes my swaruing minde detarre,
As when betwene the wrestling windes is raysed wrangling warre,
Eche where the tumbling wallowing waues, are hoyst and reared hye
Amid the iustling swolues of seas, that hot in fury frye:
Euē so my hart with strugling thoughts now sinks, now swells amaine,
Wrath sometyme chaseth vertue out, and vertue wrath agayne.
O yeelde thee, yeelde, a grising griefe, to vertue yeelde thy place:
Thou onely comforte of our stocke in this afflicted case,
Come heather, come deere loued Impe, with colling mee imbrace,
Whyle that by me your mother deere sweete Boyes yee are enioyed,
So long God graunt your Father may you kepe from harme vncloyed.
Exile and flight approach on mee, and they shall by and by
Be pulde perforce out of myne armes, with vapourde weeping Eye,
Sore languishing with mourning heart, yet let them goe to graue
Before their fathers Face, as they before their mothers haue:
Now rancorus griefe, with firy fits begins to boyle agayne,
The quenched coales of deadly hate do fressher force attayne.
The rusty rancour harbred long within my cancred brest
Starts vp, and stirres my hand anew in mischiefe to bee prest.
O that the rablement of brats which swarmde aboute the syde
Of Niobe that scornefull Dame, who perisht by her pryde
[Page] Had taken lyfe out of his lymmes, O that the fates of heauen
A fruictfull mother had me made of chyldren seuen and seuen.
My barreyne wombe for my reuenge hath yeelded litle store:
Yet for my s [...]re and brother, twayne I haue, there needes no more:
Whom seeke this rufflyng rowt of Feendes with gargell Visage dight [...]
Where will they deale theyr stripes, or whō with whips of fier smight?
Or whom with cruell scorching brande and Stygian faggot fell,
With mischief great to cloy, entendes this army black of hell?
A chopping Adder gan to hisse with wrethings wrapped rounde,
As soone as did the lasshing whyp flerte out with yerking sounde.
Whom bumping with thy rapping post Megaera wilt thou crush?
Whose ghost doth heare mishapt from hell with scatered members rush?
My slaughtred brothers ghost it is that vengeaunce coms to craue:
According to his dyre request due vengeaunce shall hee haue.
But flap thou fearce the fierbrandes full dassahed in myne Eyes,
Dig, rent, scrape, burne, and squeas them out, loe ope my breast it lyes,
To fighting furies bobbing strokes, O brother, brother bid
These royles, that preasse to worrey mee, them selues away to rid.
Dawne to the s [...]lent soules alowe not taking any care:
Let mee be left heare by my selfe alone, and doe not spare,
To bast, and capperclaw these armes that drewe the bloudy blade:
To quench the furies of thy sprite, that thus doe mee inuade,
With this right hand the sacrifice on thaulter shalbe made.
What meanes this sudden trampling noyse? a band of men in Armes
Come bustling towarde vs, that mee will cloy with deadly harmes.
To ende this slaughter set vpon I will my selfe conuay
Vp to the garrets of our house, come Nurce with me away,
Bestow thy body hence with mee from daunger of our foes.
Now thus my mynde on mischiefe set thou must thy selfe dispose,
Let not the flickering fame and prayse in darkenesse bee exilde
Of stomack stout, that you did vse in murthering of thy childe.
Proclaime in peoples eares the prayse of cruell bloudy hand.
If any faythfull man here bee, whom ruine of his land,
And slaughter of his Prynce doe cause in pens [...]ue heart to bleede,
Step forth that yee may take the wretch that wrought this deadly deede.
Heere, heere, yee ioly champions lay loade with weapons heere,
Haue now, hoyst vp this house, from low Foundacion vp it reare.
Now, now my Scepter guilt I haue recouered once agayne:
My Fathers wronges reuenged are, and eke my brother slayne:
[Page 139] The gouldens cattels Fleece returnde is to my natiue land,
Possession of my realme I haue reclaymed to my hand:
Come home is my virginity, that whilom went astray.
O Gods as good as I coulde wisshe, O ioyfull wedding day,
Goe shrowde thy selfe in darknesse him, dispacht I haue this feate:
Yet vengeaunce is not done inough, to coole our thristy heate.
O soule why dost thou make delay? Why dost thou doubting sta [...]de?
Goe foreward with it yet thou mayst, whyle doing is thy hande:
The wrath that might should mynister doth qualefy his flame:
The pryckes of sorrow twitch my heart attaynt with blusshing shame:
Through rygour of thy heynous gore, O wretch, what hast thou done?
Though I repent a caityfe vile I am, to sle a my sonne:
Alas I haue committed it, importunate delight,
Still egged on my frowarde mynde that did against it fight:
And loe the vayne coniect of this delight increaseth still,
This onely is the thing, that wants vnto my wicked will,
That Iasons eyes shoulde see this sight as yet I doe suppose,
Nothing it is that I haue done, my trauell all I lose,
That I employde in dyry deedes, vnlesse hee see the same.
Loe heere shee looketh out, and leanes vpon the houses frame,
That pitchlong hanges with falling sway: heere heape your fiers fast,
Whereby the flames that shee her selfe enkindled, may her wast.
Goe Iason, goe the obit rights the windinge sheete and graue
Make ready for thy sonne, as last behoueth him to haue,
Thy spouse and eke thy father in lawe that are entomde by mee
Receiued haue the dutyes that to deade mens ghostes agree.
This childe hath felt the deadly stroke and launce of fatall knife,
And this with wailesome murther like shall lose her tender life.
By all the sacred ghostes of heauen, and by thy oft exile,
And spousall bed, which breach of loue in mee did not defile,
Now spare, and saue the life of him my childe and also thyne:
What euer cryme committed is, I graunt it to be myne:
Make mee a bloudy sacrifice to dew deserued death,
Take from my sinfull guilty head the vse of vitall breath.
Nay sith thou wilt not haue it so as greeues thy pynched minde,
Heere way to wreck my vengeaunce fell, my burning blade shall finde.
Auaunt, now hence thou pesaunt prowd employ thy busy payne,
To reape the fruites of virgins bed, and cast them of agayne
When mothers they are made.
Let one for dew reuenge suffice.
If greedy thyrst of hungry handes that stil for vengeaunce cries.
[Page] Myght quenched bee with bloude of one, then aske I none at all,
And yet to staunche my hungry griefe the number is to small,
If onely twayne I slea, if pleadge of loue lye secrete made,
My bowels Ile vnbreast, and search my wombe with poking Blade.
Now finish out thy deadly deede, that enterprised is,
No more entreataunce will I vse, yet onely graunt mee this,
Delay awhyle his dolefull death, that I may take my flyght.
Least that myne eyes wt bleeding hearte should vew that heauy sight.
Yet linger eger anguishe yet to slea this chylde of thyne.
Ronne not to rashe with hasty speede, this dolefull day is myne:
The time that wee obtayned haue of
wee enioy.
O vile malitious mynded wretch my lothsome life destroy.
In crauing this thou speakst, that I should shew thee some releefe,
Well goodinough, all this is done: O ruthfull giddy greefe,
This is the onely sacrifice that I can thee prouide,
Vnthankfull Iason hether cast thy coyesh lookes asyde.
Loe heare dost thou beholde thy wyfe? thus euery wonted I,
When murther I had made, to scape, my way doth open lye
That I may spring into the skyes: the flying serpents twayne
Subm [...]ted haue theyr scaly Neckes to yoake of ratling wayne,
Thon Father haue thy sonnes agayne, I in the wandring Skye
In nymble wheeled Waggon swyfte, will ryde aduaunced hye,
Goe through the ample spaces wyde, infect the poysoned Ayre,
Beare witnesse, grace of God is none in place of thy repayre.

THE EYGHTH TRAGEDYE OF L. ANNAEVS SENECA, Entituled AGAMEMNON: Transla­ted out of Latin into Englishe, by IOHN STVDLEY.

The Argument.

AGAMEMNON, Generall of that Noble Army of the Greekes, which after tenne yeares siege wāne Troy, cōmitted the entyer Gouern­ment of his Countrey & Kingdome (duringe his absence) to his Wyfe CLYTEMNESTRA. Who forgetting all Wyuely loyalty, and Womanly chastity, fell in lawelesse loue & vsed adulterus cōpany with AEGYSTHVS, sonne to THYESTES, whom afore­time ATREVS being his owne naturall Brother, and Fa­ther to this AGAMEMNON, in reueng of a former adultry had, caused to eate hys owne two Children.

At length, vnderstandinge by EVRYBATES, that Troy was wonnë, & that her husbād AGAMEMNON was comming homewarde with a yonge Lady named CAS­SANDRA, daughter to king PRIAMVS: partly enra­ged with iealousy, & disdaine thereof, & partly loath to loose the company of AEGYSTHVS her Coadulterer, practy­zed with him how to murther her husbande. Which accor­dingly [Page] they brought to passe: & not resting so cōtented, they also put CASSANDRA to deth, imprisoned ELECTRA Daughter to AGAMEMNON, and soughte to haue slayne his Sonne ORESTES. Which ORESTES flee­ing for sauegard of his lyfe to on STROPHILVS, hys dead Fathers deare friend: was by him secretly kept a longe time, till at lenght, comming priuely into Mycene, and by his Systers meanes cōducted where his Mother CLYTEM­NESTRA and AEGYSTHVS were, in reuenge of his Fathers death, killed them both.

The Speakers names.
  • A company of Greekes.


DEpartinge from the darkned dens
which Dicis low doth keepe,
Loe heere I am sent out agayne,
from Tartar Dungeon deepe,
Thyestes I, that wheather coast
to shun doe stande in doubt,
Th'internall fie [...]des I fly, the foalke
of earth I chase about.
My conscience lo abhors, that I should heather passage make,
Appauled sore with feare▪ and dread my trembling sinewes shake:
My fathers house, or rather yet my brothers I espy,
This is the olde and antique porche of Pelops progeny.
Here first the Greekes on prynces heads doe place the royall crowne,
And heere in throne aloft they lye, that ietteth vp and downe,
With stately Scepter in theyr hand, eake heere theyr courts doe ly,
This is theyr place of banquetting, returne therefore will I.
Nay: better were it not to haunt the lothsome Limbo lakes,
Where as the Stygion porter doth aduaunce with lusty crakes
His tryple gorge be hong with Mane shag hatry, rusty blacke:
Where [...]xions Carkasse linked fast, the whirling wheele doth racke,
And rowleth still vpon him selfe: where as full oft in vayne
Much toyle is lost, (the tottring stone down tumbling backe agayne)
Where growing guts the greedy gripe do gnaw with rauening bits.
Where parched vp with burning thirst amid the waues he st [...]s,
And gapes to catch the flecting flood with hungry chaps beguilde,
That payes his parnefull punishment, whose feast the Gods defilde:
Yet that olde man so stept in yeares at length by trace of time,
How great a part belonges to mee and portion of his crime?
Account wee all the grisly ghostes, whom guilty founde of ill,
The Gnosian Iudge in Plutoes pyts doth rosse in torments still:
Thyestes I in driery deedes will farre surmount the rest,
Yet to my Brother yelde I, (though I gorgde my bloudy brest)
[Page] And stuffed haue my pampred paunche euen with my chyldren three,
That crammed lye within my Rybs and haue theyr Toumbe in mee,
The bowels of my swallowed Babes, deuowred vp I haue,
Nor fickle Fortune mee alone the Father doth depraue,
But enterprysing greater guilte then that is put in bre,
To file my Daughters bawdy Bed, my lust shee doth alure.
To speake these words I doe not spare, I wrought the haynous deede,
That therefore I through all my stocke, might parent still proceede.
My Daughter driuen by force of Fates and destenyes deuyne,
Doth breede younge bones, & lades her wombe wt sinfull seede of myne.
Loe, nature chaunged vpside downe, and out of order tornde
This myngle mangle hath shee made, (O fact to be forlornde)
A Father and a Grandsyre loe, confusedly I am,
My daughters husband both become, and Father to the same.
Those babes yt should my Nephewes bee, when nature rightly runnes▪
She being tumbled doth confounde, and mingle with my sonnes.
The chrystall clearenesse of the day, and Phoebus beames so bryght,
Are myxed with the foggy cloudes, and darkenesse dim of nyght.
When wickednes had wearied vs, to late truce taken was,
Euen when our detestable deedes were done and brought to passe.
But valiaunt Agamemnon hee graund captayne of the Hoste,
Who bare the sway among the Kinges, and ruled all the roste,
Whose flaunting Flag, and Banner braue, displayde in royall sorte,
A thousand sayle of sowsing ships did garde to Phrygian parte,
And with their swelling shatling sayles the surging seas did hide▪
That beateth on the bankes of Troy, and floweth by her side:
When Phoebus Carte the Zodiack ten times had auer runne,
And waste the battred Walles doe lye of Troy destroyde and woonne,
Returnde he is to yeelde his throate vnto his traytresse Wyfe.
That shall with force of bloudy blade bereue him of his lyfe.
The glytering Swerd, the hewing Axe, and wounding weapons moe,
With bloud for bloud new set abroche shall make the floore to flow.
With sturdy stroke, and boystrous blow, of pithy Pollaxe geuen
His beaten braynes are pash [...] abroade, his cracked Skull is reuen.
Now myschiefe marcheth on a pace, now falshoode doth appeare,
Now Butchers slaughter doth approche, and muriher draweth neare.
In honour of thy natyue day Aegisthus they prepare
The sollemne feast with [...]uncketing▪ and daynty tothsome fare.
Fy, what doth shame abashe thee so, and cause thy courage quayle?
Why doubts thy righthand what to doe? to smite why doth it fayle?
[Page 142] What he forecasting might suspect, why shouldst thou take aduyse?
Why freteest thou, demaunding if thou may it enterpryse?
Nay: if a mother it beseeme, thou rather mayst surmyse.
What now? how hapneth it that thus the sm [...]ing sommers night,
When Phoebus from Th'antipodes shoulde render sonne the lyght,
On sudden chaung their turnes with nights that last and lynger longe,
When wynters Boreas bitter blastes, doth puffe the trees amonge?
Or what doth cause the glyding starres to stay still in the sky?
Wee wayght for Phoebus: to the Worlde bryng day now by and by.
O Fortune, that dost fayle the great estate of kinges,
On slippery sliding seat thou placest lofty thinges
And setst on tottring sort, where perils do abound
Yet neuer kīgdome calme, nor quiet could be foūd:
No day to Scepters sure doth shine, that they might say,
To morow shall wee rule, as wee haue done to day.
One clod of croked care another bryngeth in,
One hurly burly done, another doth begin:
Not so the raging Sea doth boyle vpon the Sande,
Where as the southern winde that blowes in Afryck Lande,
One Waue vpon another doth heape wyth sturdy blast:
Not so doth Euxine Sea, his swelling waues vp cast:
Nor so his belching streame from shallow bottom roll,
That borders hard vpon the ysyfrosen poall:
Where as Bootes bryght doth twyne his Wayne about,
And of the marble seas doth nothing stande in doubt.
O how doth Fortune tosse and tomble in her wheele
The staggring states of Kynges, that readdy bee to reele?
Fayne woulde they dreaded bee, and yet not setled [...]
When as they feared are, they feare, and lyue [...] woe.
[Page] The silent Lady nyght so sweete to man and beast,
Can not bestow on them her safe and quiet rest:
Sleepe that doth ouercome and breake the bonds of griefe,
It cannot ease theyr heartes, nor mynister reliefe:
What castell strongly buylt, what bulwarke, tower, or towne,
Is not by mischyefes meanes, brought topsy turuye downe?
What ramperd walles are not made weake by wicked warre?
From stately courtes of Kings doth iustice fly afarre:
In pryncely Pallaces, of honesty the lore,
And wedlocke vowe deuout, is set by lytle store.
The bloudy Bellon those doth haunt with gory hand,
Whose light and vaine conceipt in paynted pomp doth stand.
And those Erinnys wood turmoyles with frensyes fits,
That euer more in proud and hauty houses sits,
Which ficle Fortunes hand in twinkling of an eye,
From high and proude degre driues downe in dust to lye.
Although that skyrmishe cease, no banners be displayed
And though no wyles be wroughe, and pollecy be stayed,
Downe paysed with theyr waight the massy things do sinke,
And from her burden doth vn [...]able Fortune shrynke▪
The swelling Sayles puft vp with gale of westren wynde,
Doe yet mystrust thereof a rempest in theyr mynde:
The threatning tops (that touch the cloudes) of lofty towres
Bee sonest payde, and bet with south wynde rainy showres:
The darkesome woode doth see his tough and sturdy Oke,
Well waynde in yeares to be cleane ouer thrown and broke:
The lyhhtnings flashing flame out breaking in the Sky,
First lyghteth on the mounts, and hilles that are most hy.
The bodies corpulent and of the largest syse
Are ryfest styll to catch diseases when they ryse.
When as the flocke to grase, in pasture fat is put,
Whose Necke is larded best▪ his throate shall first be cut:
What Fortune doth aduaunce and hoysteth vp on hye,
Shee lets it vp to [...]all agayne more greeuously.
[Page 143] The thinges of midle sort, and of a meane degree,
Endure aboue the rest and longest dayes do see:
The man of meane estate most happy is of all,
Who pleased with the lot that doth to him befall,
Doth sayle on silent shore with calme and quiet tide,
And dreads with bruised barge on swelling Seas to ryde:
Nor launcing to the depe where bottom none is found,
May with his rudder search, and reach the shallow ground.


Clytemnestra, Nutrix
O Drowsie oreaming doting soule,
what commeth in thy brayne
To seeke about for thy defence
what way thou mayst attayne?
What ayels thy skittish waiward wits,
to wauer vp and downe?
The fittest shift preuented is,
the best path ouergrowne
Thou mightest once mayntayned haue
thy wedlocke chamber chast,
And eake haue ruld with maiesty, by fayth conioyned fast:
Now nurtures lore neglected is, all ryght doth clean decay
Religion and dignity with faith are worne away:
And ruddy shame with blushing cheekes so farre god wot is past,
That when it would it cannot now come home againe at last.
O let me now at randon runne with bridle at my will:
The safest path to mischiefe is by mischiefe open still
Now put in practise, seeke aboute, search out and learne to find
[Page] The wylie traynes, and crafty guyles of wicked womankind:
What any diuelish trayterous dame durst do in working woe,
Or any wounded in her wits by shot of Cupids bowe.
What euer rigorous stepdame could commit with desperat hand,
Or as the wench who flaming fast by Venus poysoning brand,
Was driuen by leud incestuous loue in ship of Thessail land,
To f [...]t away from Colchos yle, where Phasis channel deepe.
With stiuer streame downe from the hylles of Armenie doth sweepe.
Get weapons good, get bylbowblades or temper poyson strong,
Or with some yonker trudge from Grece by theft the seas along:
Why dost thou faynt to talke of theft, exile or pr [...]ute flight?
These came by hap, thou therfore must on grea [...]ter mischiefe light.
O worthy Oueene amonge the Greekes that beares the swinging sway.
And borne of Ledas royall bloud, what muttring dost thou say?
What fury fel inforceth thee, bereaued of thy wits.
To rage and raue with bedlam braynes, to fret withfranticke fittes?
Though madam thou do counsayle keepe, and not complayne thy case,
Thyne anguish playn appeareth in thy pale and wanny face.
Reueale therfore what is thy griefe, take leasure good and stay,
What reason could not remedy, oft cured hath delay.
So grieuous is my careful case which plungeth me so sore,
That deale I cannot with delay, nor linger any more.
The flashing flames▪ and furious force of fiery feruent heate,
Outraging in my boyling brest, my burning bones doth beate:
It suckes the sappy marow out the iuice it doth conuay,
It frets, it teares, it reuts, it gnaws, my guttes and gall away.
Now feble feare stil egges mee on (with dolor beyng prest)
And cankred hate with thwacking thumpes doth bounce vpon my brest
The blynded boy that louers hartes doth reaue with deadly stroake,
Entangled hath my linked mynd with leawd and wanton yoke:
Refusing stil to take a foyle, or cleane to be confound:
Among these broyles, aud agonies my mynd beseging round,
Loe feble, weary, batred downe, and vnder trode [...] shame,
That wrestleth, striueth, strugleth hard, and fighteth with the same.
Thus am I driuen to diuers shores and beat frow banke to banke,
And tossed in the fomy floods that striues with corage cranke.
As when here wynd, and their the streame when both their force wil try,
From sandes alow doth hoyst and reare the seas with surges hye.
The wal [...]ring waue doth staggeryng stand not weting what to do,
But (houeryng) doubtes, whose furious force he best may yeld him to▪
[Page 144] My kingdome therfore I cast of, my sceptor I forsake
As anger, sorrow, hope, me leade, that way I meane to take.
At all aduenture to the seas I yeld my beaten Barge,
At randon careles wil I runne, now wil I roue at large
Whereas my mynde to fancy fond dath gad and runne astray,
It is the best to chuse that chaunce, and follow on that way.
This desprat dotage doth declare, and rashnes rude and blynde,
To chuse out chaunce to be the guyde and ruler of thy mynd.
He that is driuen to vtter pinch and furthest shift of all,
What neede he doubt his doubtful lot or how his lucke befall?
In silent shore thou saylest yet thy trespas we may hyde,
If thou thy selfe detect it not, nor cause it be descryde.
Alas it is more blasd abroade, and further it is blowen,
Then any cryme that euer in this princely court was sowen.
Thy former fait with pensiue hart and sorrow thou dest rew.
And fondly yet thou goest about, to set abroch a newe,
It is a very folishnes to kepe a meane therein.
The thing he feares he doth augment who heapeth sinne to sinne.
But fire and swoard to cure the same the place of salue supply.
There is no man who at the first extremity wil trye.
In working mischiefe men do take the rediest way they fynde.
The sacred name of wedlocke once reuoke and haue in mynd.
Ten yeares haue I bene desolate, and led a widowes life.
Yet shall I entertayne a new my husband as his wyfe?
Consider yet thy sonne and heire whom he of thee begot.
And eake my daughters wedding blase as yet forget I not.
Achilles eke my sonne in law to mynd I do not spare,
How wel he kept his vow that he to me his mother sware.
When as our nauy might not passe by wynd nor yet by streame,
Thy daughters bloud in sacrifyce their passage did redeme:
Shee sturd and brake the sluggish seas, whose water stil did stand,
Whose feble force might not hoyse vp, the vessels from the land.
I am ashamed here withal, it maketh me repyne.
That Tyndaris (who from the Gods doth fecch her noble ligne
Should geue the ghost t'asswage the wrath of Gods and them appease,
Wherby the Grekish nauy might haue passage free by seas.
My grudging mynd stil harpes vppon my daughters wedding day,
Whom he hath made for Pelops stock the bloudy raunsome pay.
When as with cruel countenaunce embrewd with gory bloud,
As at a wedding alter syde th'unpitiful parent stoodt,
[Page] It erked Calchas woful hart, who did abhorre the same.
His Oracle he rewd, and eke the backe reflicting flame
O wicked aud vngracious stocke that winnest il with yll,
Tryumphing in thy filthy featse ncreasyng leaudnes still.
By bloud we win the waueryng windes, by death wee purchase warre
But by this meanes a thousand ships at once released are:
With lucky fate attempt the seas did not the losed rout?
For Aulis Ile, th'ungracious fleete from port did tumble out:
As with a lewde vnlucky hand the warre he did beginne,
So Fortune fauored his successe to thriue no more therin.
Her loue as captiue holdeth him whom captiue he did take
Not moued with the earnest suite that could Achilles make,
Of Phoebus prelat Sminthicall he did retayne the spoyle:
When for the sacred virgins loue his furious dreast doth boyle:
Achilles rough and thundring threats could not him qualify.
Nor he that doth direct the fates aboue the starry skye.
To vs he is an Augur iuste, and keepes his promise due,
But while he threats his captiue truls of word he is not true.
The sauage people fierce in wrath once might not moue his spright,
Who did purloyne the kindled tentes with fyer blasing bryght:
When slaughter great on Greekes was made in most extreamest fyght
Without a foe he conquered, with leanes pines awaye,
In lewd and wantōn chamber trickes he spends the idle day,
And freshly still he fedes his lust, least that some other while
His chamber chast should want a stewes, that might the same defile.
On Lady Brises loue ag aine his fancy fonde doth stand,
Whom he hath got, that wrested was out of Achilles hand.
And carnal copulation to haue he doth. not shame,
Though from her husbands bosome he hath snacht the wicked dame,
Tushe, he that doth at Paris grudge, with wound but newly stroke
Eflamd with Phrygian Prophets loue, his boyling brest doth smoke.
Now after Troyan boties braue, and Troy orewhelm'd he saw,
Retourned he is a prysoners spouse, and Pryams sonne in law.
Now heart be bold, take corage good, of stomacke now be stowt,
A field that easely is not fought, to pitch thou goest about.
In practise mischiefe thou must put, why hopst thou for a day,
While Priams daughter come from Troy in Grece do beare the sway.
But as for the poore sely wreth, a wayteth at thy place
Thy wyddow, virgyns, and Orest his fatherlyke in face,
Consyder theyr calamityes, to come, and cake their cares,
[Page 145] Whom all the peril of the broyle doth threat in thy affayres.
O cursed captiue, woful wretch why dost thou loyter so?
Thy little brats a stepdame haue whose wrath wil worke their wo [...].
With gashing sword (and if thou can none other way prouide),
Nor thrust it through anothers ribbes then launch thy gory syde,
So murther twayne with brewed bloud, let bloud immixed be,
And by destroying of thy selfe destroy thy spouse with thee.
Death is not sawst with soppes of Sorrow if some man els I haue,
Whose breathlesse corse I wish to passe with me to deadly graue.
Queene, brydle thyne affections, and wysely rule thy rage,
Thy swelling moode now mittigate, thy choller [...]ake asswage.
Way wel the wayghty enterpryse that thou dost take in hand,
Tryumphant victor he retur [...]es of mighty Asia land
Auenging Europes iniury with him he bringes away.
The spoyles of sacked Pargamy a huge and mighty pray.
In bondage eake he leades the foalke of long assaulted Troy,
Yet darest thou by pollecie attempt him to annoy?
Whom with the dynt of glittring sword Achilles durst not harme,
Although his rash and desperat dickes the froward Knight did arme:
Nor Aiax yet more hardy man vp yelding vitall breath,
Whom frantike fury fell enforst to wound himselfe to death:
Nor Hector he whose onely life procurde the Greekes delay,
And long in warre for victory enforced them to stay:
Nor Paris shaft, whose conning hand with shot so sure did ayme:
Nor mighty Memnon swart and blacke, had power to hurt the same:
Nor Xanthus flood, where to and fro deade carkasses did swimme,
With armour hewd and therewith all some maymed broken limme:
Nor Symois, that purple wawmes with slaughter died-doth steare.
Nor Cygnus lilly whyte, the Sonne of fenny God so deare:
Nor yet the musteryng Thrasian host: nor warlike Rhesus kinge:
Nor Amazons, who to the warres did paynted Quiuers bring,
And bare theyr hatches in their handes with Target and with shield,
Yet had no powre with ghastly wound to foyle him in the field.
Syth he such scouringes hath escapt and plungde of perilles past
Entendest thou to murther him returning home at last?
And sacred alters to prophane with slaughters so vnpure?
Shal Greec thaduenger let this wronge long vnreuengde endure
The grym and fearce coragious horse, the battayles, shoutes, & cryes,
The swelling seas which bruised barkes do dread when stormes aryse,
[Page] Behold the fieldes with streames of bloud oreflòwne & depely dround,
And al the cheualry of Troy in seruile bondage bounde,
Which Greekes haue writ in registers. Thy stubborne stomacke byud,
Suddue thy fond affections, and pacify thy mynde.


AEgysthus, Clytemnestra.
THe cursed tyme that euermore
my mynd did most detest,
The dayes that I abhorred haue
and hated in my breast,
Are come, are come, that myne estate
wil bring to vtter wracke:
Alas my hart why dost thou fayle.
and faynting flyest backe?
What dost thou meane at first assalte
from armour thus to flye,
Trust this, the cruel Gods entend my doleful destenie,
To wrap thee in with perils round and catch thee in a band?
Endeuer drudge with all thy power their plagues for to withstand:
With stomacke stoute rebellious to fyre and sword appeale
It is no plague, if such a death thy natiue destnies deale.
(O partners of my perils all begot of Leda thou)
Direct thy doynges after myne, and vnto thee I vow.
This drosel sluggish ringleader, this stout strong harted fire,
S [...]l pay thee so much bldud agayne as she [...] he bath in fyre
How haps it that his trembling cheekes to be so pale and whight,
[Page 146] Lying agast as in a traunce with faynting face vpright.
His conscience wedlocke vow doth pricke & bringes him home again
Let vs returne the selfe same trade a new for to retayne,
To which at first we should haue stucke and ought not to forsake,
To co [...]enaunt continent a new let vs our selues betake:
To take the trade of honesty at no tyme is to late:
He purged is from punishment whose hart the cryme doth hate.
Why whither wilt thou gad (o rash and vnaduysed dame?)
What dost thou earnestly beleeue, and firmly trust the same,
That Agamemnons spousall bed wil loyall be to thee?
That nought doth vnderprop thy mynd which might thy terrour bee?
His proud successe puft vp to high with lucky blast of wynde,
Might make so cranke, and set aloft his hawty swelling mynd:
Among his peares he stately was ere Troyan turrets torne,
How thinke ye then his stomacke stoute by nature geuen to scorne,
In haughtines augmented is more in himselfe to ioy,
Throughe this triumphant victory and conquest got of Troy?
Before his voyage Miceane King most mildly did he raygne,
But now a Tyrant truculent returnd he is agayne.
Good lucke and proude prosperity do make his hart so ryse.
With what great preparation prepared solemne wys [...],
A rabblement of strumpets come that clong about him al?
B [...]t yet the Prophetesse of Thebe (whom God of truth we call)
Appeares aboue the rest: she keepes the King, shee doth him guyde:
Wilt thou in wedlocke haue a mate and not for it prouyde?
So would not shee, the greattest greefe this is vnto a wyfe,
Her husbandes mimon in her house to leade an open life.
A Queenes estate cannot abyde her peete with her to raygne,
Ind ielous wedlocke wil not her companion sustayne.
Aegist in desprat moode agayn why seest thou mee a flote?
Why kindlest thou the sparkes of yre in imbers couered hot
If that the victors owne free will [...]elease his captiues care,
Why may not. I his Lady spouse haue hope as wel to fare?
One law doth rule in royal throne, and po [...] pous princclye Towres,
Among the vulgar sorte, another in priuate simple bowers.
What though my grudging fancy force that at my husbandes hand,
Sharpe execution of the law I stubbernly withstand?
Recording this that haynously offended him I haue:
He gently wil me pardon graunt who neede the same to craue?
Euen so on this condition thou mayst with him compound.
To pardon him if he agayne to pardon th [...] be bounde.
The subtil science of the law, the statutes of our land,
(That long agoe decreed were) thou dost not vnderstand.
The Iudges be malicious men, they spyght and enuye vs,
But he shal haue them partiall his causes to discus.
This is the chiefest priuiledge that doth to Kinges belong.
What lawes forbidd [...]th other men, they doe, and doe no wronge.
He pardned Helen, she is wed to Menela agayne
Which Europe all with Asia did plunge alike in payne.
No Ladies Lust hath rauisht yet Atrides in his life,
Nor priuily purloynd his hart betrothed to his wyfe.
To picke a quarrel he beginnes and matter thee to blame,
Suppose thou nothing hast commit that worthy is of shame?
What boteth him whom Princes hate an honest life to frame?
He neuer doth complayne his wrong, but euer beares the blame.
Wilt thou repayre to Spart and to thy countrey trudge aryght?
Wilt thou become a ronnagate from such a worthy wight?
Deuorcement made from Kinges wil not so let the matter scape.
Thou easest feare by fickle hope, that falsly thou dost shape:
My trespas is disclosd to none, but to a trusty wight:
At princes gates fidelity yet neuer enter might.
I wil corrupt and feede him so with siluer and with gold.
That I by bribing bynd him shall no secrets to vnfold:
The trust that hyred is and bought by brybes and moneis fee,
Thy counsell to bewray agayne with brybes entyste wil be
The remnaunt left of shamefastnes of those vngracious trickes,
Wherin of late I did delyght, my conscience freshly prickes.
Why kep'st thou such a busie sturre and with thy flatring speach,
Enstructing me with lewd aduyse dost wicked counsell preach
Shall I forsooth of royal bloud with al the speede I can
Refuse the King of Kinges, and wed an outcast banisht man [...]
Why should you thinke in that Thiest was father vnto mee.
And Agamemnon Atreus sonne he should my better be?
If that be but a tryfle small, and nephew to the same.
I am of Phoebus linage borne, wherof I do not shame.
Why makste thou Phoebus author of thy wicked pedagrew,
Whom out of heauen ye forst to flye when bridle backe he drew,
When Lady Night with mantel blacke did spread her soden shade,
[Page 147] Why makest thou the Gods in such reproachfulnes to wade?
Whose father hath thee conning made by sleight and subtil guyle
To make thy kinsman Cockold whyle his wyfe thou do defyle.
What man is he whom we do know to be thy fathers mate,
Abusing lust of Lechery in such vnlawful rate?
Auaunt, go packe thee hence in hast, dispatch out of my sight
This infamy, whose blemish staynes this bloud of worthy wyght.
This is no new exile to me that wickednes do hannt,
But if that thou (O worthy Queene) commaund me to auaunt,
I wil not only strayght auoyde the house the towne and field
My life on sword at thy request I ready am to yeeld
This heynous dede permit shall I (most churlish cruell drab)
Agaynst my wil though I offend, the fault I should not blabbe:
Nay, rather come apart with mee, and let vs ioyne our wittes
To wrap our selues out of this woe and parlous threatning fits.
NOw chaunt it lusty laddes,
Apollos prayse subborne,
To thee the frolicke flocke
their crowned heads adorne.
To thee King Inachs stocke
of wedlocke chamber voyde,
Brayd out their virgins lockes
and theron haue employd
Theyr sauory garlandes greene Itwist of laurell bow.
Draw neare with vs O Thebes our dauncing follow thou.
Come also ye that drinck of Ismen bubling flood,
VVheras the Laurell treeful thicke on bankes doth bood.
Eake ye whom Mando mild, the Prophetesse diuine,
(Foreseyng fate) and borne of high Tiresias lygne,
Hath stird to celebrate with sacred vse and right.
Appollo and Dian borne of Latona bright.
[Page] O Victor Phaebe vnbend thy noked bow agayne.
Syth quie tnes and peace anew we do retayne.
And let thy twanckling harpe make melody so shril,
Whyle that thy nimble hand stryke quauers with thy quill.
No curious descant I nor lusty musick craue,
No iolly rumbling note, nor trouling tune to haue.
But on thy treble Lute (according to thy vse)
Stryke vp a playnsong note as when thy learned muse
Thy lessons do record, though yet on baser string
It lyketh thee to play the song that thon did singe:
As when from fyery heauen the dint of lightning flue,
Sent downe by wrath of Gods the Titans ouerthrew
Or else when mountaynes were on mountaynes heaped hie
That rayse for Giauntes fell theyr steppes into the skye,
The mountayne Ossa stoode on top of Pelion layd,
Olymp (wheron the Pynes theyr budding braunches braide)
Downe paised both: drawe nere O Iuno noble dame,
Both spouse of mighty Ioue and sister to the same.
Thou that dost rule with him made ioynter of his mace,
Thy people we of Grece geue honor to thy grate.
Thou onely dost protect from per illes Aigos land,
That euer careful was to haue thyne honour stand,
Most supplient thereunto thou also with thy might
Dost order ioyful peace and battails fearce of fyght
Accept O conquering Queene these braunches of the bayes
That Agamemnon here doth yeld vnto thy prayse:
The hollow boxen pype (that doth with holes abound)
In synging vnto the doth geue a solemne sound:
To thee the Damsels eake that play vppon the stringes,
With conning harmony melodious musicke singes.
The matrons eke of Greece by ryper years more graue,
To thee the Taper pay that vowed oft they haue,
The Heyferd young and whyte companion of the Bull.
Vnskilful yet by proofe the paynful plow to pull.
[Page 148] VVhose neck was neuer worne nor gald with print of yoke,
Is in thy temple slame receiuing deadly stroke.
O Lady Pallas thou of most renoumed hap
Bred of the brayne of Ioue that smites with thunder clap.
Thou lofty Troian towres of craggy knotty flint
Hast bet with battring blade, and stroke with iaueling dint:
The elder matrones with the dames that yonger be
Together in myngled heapes do honour due to thee,
VVhen thou approching nighe thy comming is espyde,
The priest vnbarres the gate, and opes the Temple wide:
By clustring thronges the flocks thine altars haunt apace,
Bedeckte with twisted crownes so trim with comely grace.
The olde and auncient men well stept and grown in yeares,
VVhose feeble trembling age procureth hory hayres
Obtayning their request crau de of thy grace deuine,
Do offer vp to thee their sacrify sed wyne,
O bright Dian whose blase sheds light three sondry waies
VVemyndful are of thee, and render thankefull prayse,
Delon thy natiue soyle thou diddest fyrmely bynde,
That to and fro was wont to wander with the wynde:
VVhich with foūdation sure mayn ground forbyds to passe
For Nauies (after which to swim it wonted was)
It is become a road defying force of wynd,
The mothers funeralles of Tantalus his kinde.
The daughters seuen by death thou victresse dost accompt.
VVhose mother Niobe abydes on Sipil mount
A lamentable rocke and yet vnto this howre
Her teares new gushing, out the marble old doth powre.
The Godhead of the Twins in sumpteous solemne wyse,
Both man and wyfe adore with sauory sacrifyce,
But thee aboue the rest O father great and guide,
VVhose mighty force is by the burninglightning tryde:
Who when thou gauest a becke and d [...]dst thy head but shake
At once thextremest poales of heauen and earth did quake,
[Page] O Iupiter the roote that of our lynage arte.
Accept these offered gifts and take them in good parte:
And thou O graundsire great to thy posteritie.
Haue some remorse, that do not swarue in chyualrie.
But yonder lo with stiuing steps the souldier comes amayne
In all post hast, with token that good newes declareth plaine
A Lawrell braunch, that hangeth on his speare head he doth bringe
Eurybates is come, who hath ben trusty to the kynge.


Euribates. Clytemnestra
SOre tyred after many yeares
with trauayle and wyth toyle
Scant credityng my selfe, the Gods
of thys my natyue soyle,
The temple, and the alters of
the saincts that rule the skye,
In kumble sort wyth reuerence
deuoutly worship I.
Now pay your vowes vnto the Gods▪
returned is agayne
Vnto his countrey court, where wont he was to rule, and reigne,
Prynce Agamemnon, victor he, of Grece the great renoume.
The tydings of a message good vnto mine eares is blowne.
Where stayes my spouse whō longing for ten yeres I haue out scand?
What doth he yet sayle on the seas, or he is come a land?
Yet hath he fyxt and set his foote bauck stepping home agayne.
Vppon the sandy shore, that longe he wished to attayne [...]
And doth he styll enioy his health enhauncte in glory great,
And painted out in pompe of prayes whose fame the sky doth beate?
[Page 149]
Blesse we with burning sacrifice at length this lucky day
And eke the Gods though gracious, yet dealing long delay:
Declare if that my brothers wyfe enioy the vytall ayre
And tel me to what kind of Coast my sister doth repayre.
God graunt, & geue vs better newes then this that thou dost craue
The heauy hap of fyghting flouds forbiddes the truth to haue,
Our scattred fleete the swelling seas attemptes in such a plight,
That ship from ship was taken cleane out of each others sight.
Atrides in the waters wyde torwoyld and straying farre
More vyolence by seas sustaynd then by the bloudy warre
And as it were a conquerd man escaping home al weete
Now bringeth in his company of such a mighty fleete,
A sort of brused broken barkes, beshaken, torne, and rent.
Shew what vnlucky chaunce it is that hath our nauy spent.
What storme of seas dispersed hath our Captaynes hear and there
Thou willest me to make report of heauy woful geare.
Thou biddest me most greeuous newes with tydinges good to part:
For vttring of this woeful hap my feeble mynd doth start.
And horribly appauled is with this so monstruous ill.
Speake out and vtter it: himselfe with terrour he doth fill,
Whose hart his owne calamity and carke doth loath to know:
The hart whom doubted domage dulles with greater griefe doth glow
When Troyan buildings blasing bright did burne away and broyle,
Enkindled first by Grekish brand, they fall to part the spoyle:
Repayring fast vnto the seas agayne we come aboord,
And now the souldiers weary loynes were eased of his sword,
Their bucklers cast aside, vppon the hatches lie aboue.
Their warlike handes in practise put, and Oers learne to moue:
Ech litle hindraunce seemes to much to them in hasty plight,
When of recourse the Admirall gaue watchword by his light,
And trumpet blast beganne to cal our army from delay,
The paynted Pup with gilded snowt did first guyde on the way:
And cut the course, which following on a thousand shippes did ryue,
Then first a wynd with pipling puffes our launcing ships did dryue,
Which glyded downe vpon our sayles the water beyng calme
With breath of westerne wynd so myld scant moued any walme.
The shyning seas bespred about with shippes doth glister bright,
And also couerd with the same lay hid from Phoebus lyght:
It doth vs good to gase vppon the naked shore of Troy:
The desart Phrygian plots so bare to vew w [...]e hop for ioye:
[Page] The yeuth each one besturres themselues, and striking altogeather,
They tough their oers & with their toyle they helpe the wynd & weather
They [...]ug and chearely row by course, the spir [...]ing seas vp dash,
Agaynst the [...]atling [...]ibs of ships the flapping floods do flash
The hory froth of wrestling waues which ores aloft doth rayse,
Do draw and trace a furrow through the marblefaced seas.
When stronger blast with belly swolne our h [...]ysted sayles did fil,
They row no more, but let the Pup to goe with wynd at wil,
Their sheryng oers layd assyde our Pilot doth espye,
How farre from any land aloofe our sayles reculing flye,
Or bloudy battels doth display the threats of Hector stout,
Or of his ratling waggings tels, wherein he rode about.
Or how his gashed carkas slayne and traynd about the field
To funeral flan es and obit rightes for coyne agayne was yeld.
How Iupiter embathed was al in his royall bloud.
The frolicke fish disposed was to mirth in Tyrren floud,
And fetching friskes both in and out playes on the waters brim,
And on his broade and fynny backe about the seas doth swim,
With gambals quicke in ringes around and s [...]de to side enclynd,
Erwhyle he sportes afront the pup, and whips agayne behynd,
Now fidling on the snout before the dalying wanton route
With iocundary ioly tryckes doth skip the fleete about.
Sometyme he standeth gasing on and eyes the vessels bright,
Now euery shore is couered cleane, and land is out of sight,
The parlous poynt of Ida rocke in sight doth open lye,
And that alone espie we could with fyrmly fixed eye,
A duskye clowde of stifling smoake from Troy did smolter blacke,
When Titan from the weary neckes the heauy yokes did slacke.
The fading light did groueling bend, and downe the day did shrowd,
Agaynst the Starres amounting vp a litle misty clowde
Came belching out in yrksome Iompe, and Phoebus galland beams
He spewd vppon, bestayning them duct downe in Westerne streams.
The Sunne set swaruing in such sort with diuers chaunge of face,
Did geue vs cause to haue mistrust of Neptunes doubted grace.
The euening first did burnish bright, and paynt with starres the sky.
[Page 150] The wyndes were layed, and cleane forsooke our sayles that quiet lie.
When cracking, ratling, rumbling noyse, tusht down wt thundring sway
From top of hills, which greatter sturre doth threaten and bewraye.
With bellowinges, and yellinges lowde, the shores do grunt & grone,
The craggy clyues and roaring rocks do howle in hollow stone.
The bubling waters swelles vpreard before the wrastling wynd,
When sodaynly the lowring light of Mone is hid and blynd.
The glymsing starres do goe to glade, the surging seas are tost
Euen to the skyes among the clowdes the light of heauen is lost.
More nightes in one compacted are with shadow dim and blacke,
One shadow vpon another doth more darknes heape and packe,
And euery sparke of light consum'd the waues and skyes do meete,
The ruffling windes range on the seas, through euery coast they fi [...]t.
They heaue it vp with violence, oreturnde from bottom low,
The westerne wynd flat in the face of Easterne wynd doth blow.
With hurley burley Boreas set ope his blasting mouth,
And girdeth out his boysteous breth agaynst the stormy south,
Each wynd with al his might doth blow, and worketh daungers deepe,
They shake the floods, a sturdy blast along the seas do sweepe.
That rolles and rumbles waue on waue, a northren tempest stronge,
Aboundance great of flacky snow doth hurle our shippes amonge.
The southwynd out of Libia, doth rage vppon a shold,
And with the puissant force therof the quicksandes vp be rold,
Nor bydeth in the south which doth with tempest lumpe and lower,
And force the flowing floods to rise by powring out a shower.
The stubberne Eurus, Earthquakes made, and shoke the coūtries East,
And Eos cost where Phoebus first aryseth from his rest.
How violent Corus stretcht and tare his yawning breast ful wyde?
A man would sure haue thought the world did from his center slyde,
And that the frames of Heauen broke vp the Gods adowne would fall
And Chaos darke confused heape would shade and couer all.
The streame straue with the wynd, the wynd dyd beate it downe againe.
The springing sea within his bankes can not it selfe contayne,
The raging showre his trilling droppes doth mingle with the seas,
And yet in all this misery the fynd not so much ease,
[Page] To see and know what ill it is, that worketh theyr decay.
The darknes dim oppresseth still and keepes the light away:
The blackfa [...]st night with Hellicke hue was clad of Stygian lake
And yet ful oft with glimsing beames the sparkling fyre out brake,
The clowde doth cracke, and beyng rent the lightning leapeth out,
The wretches like the same so well it shyning them about,
That stil they wish such light to haue (although God wot but yll)
The nauy swaying downe it selfe doth cast away, and spill.
One side with other side is crackt, and helme is rent with helme,
The ship it selfe the gulping seas do headlong ouerwhelme.
Erwhyle a greedy gaping gulph doth sup it vp amayne,
Then by and by [...]ost vp aloft it spewes it out againe,
She with her swagging full of sea to bottome lowe doth sinke
And drencheth deepe asyde in floods her totring broken brinke.
That vnderneath a dosen waues lay drowned out of sight,
Her broken plankes swim vp and downe, spoyld is her tackle quight,
Both sayle and Oers cleane are lost, the mayne mast eke is gone.
That wonted was to beare vpright the sayle yard thereuppon,
The timber and the broken bordes lye on the waters brim,
When cold and shiuering feare in vs doth strike through euery lim,
The wysest wits entocksicate dare nothing enterprise,
And cunning practise naught auayles when feareful stormes aryse,
The mareners letting duty slip stand staring all agast,
Their scoping ores sodaynly out of their handes are wrast.
To prayer then apace we fall, when other hope is none,
The Greekes and Troyans to the Gods alyke do make their mone.
Alacke what succour of the fates may wee poore wretches fynd?
Agaynst his father Pyr [...]hus beares a spyteful cankred mynd,
At Ayax grudge Vlisses doth, king Menela doth hate
Great Hector: Agamemnon is with Priam at debate.
O happy man is he that doth lye slayne in Troyan ground,
And hath deserude by handy stroake to take his fatall wound,
Whom same preserueth, taking vp his tombe in conquerd land
Those momes whose melting cowardes hart durst neuer take in hand
Or enterprise no noble acte, those force of f [...]oods shall drowne
But fate forbearing long, wil take stoute Brutes of high renoume,
Ful wel we may ashamed be, in such a sort to dye,
If any man his spyteful mynd yet can not satisfye,
With these outragious plunging plagues that downe frō Gods are sēt,
Appease at length thy wrathful God agayne and take relent.
[Page 151] Euen Troy for pity would haue wept, to see our woefull case,
But if that in thy boyling breast black rancour still haue place,
And that the Greekes to ruin run, it bee thy purpose bent,
Why doe these Troyans goe to wrack? for whom thus are wee spent?
Asswage the rygaur of the sea that threarning hilles vp reares:
This drenched Fleete the Troyan folke and Greekes together beares.
Then from theyr prayers are they put, theyr foultring tonges doe stay,
The roring seas doth drowne their voyce and caryes their cries away.
Then mighty Pallas armed with the lepping lightning syre,
That teasty Ioue doth vse to hurle prouokt to swelling yre,
With threatning Iaueling in her hand, her prowesse meanes to try.
And eke her force whose boyling breast with Gorgon fits doth fry,
Or what with Target she can doe, and with her Fathers fyre.
Then from the Skyes another storme begins abroade to spyre,
But Aiax nothing yet dismaide all force withstandeth stout,
Whom when hee spred his swelling sayles with Cable stretched out,
She lighting downe did wryng him hard, and wrapt him in her flame,
And slang another flasshing dint of lightning on the same,
With all her force and violence her hand brought back agayne,
She tost him out, as late that feate her father tought her playne.
Both ouer Aiax and his Pup she flyeth ouerthwart,
And renting man and shyp, of both shee beares away a part,
His corage nought abated yet hee all to singde doth seeme,
Euen like a slubberne ragged Rocke amid the striuing streame,
Hee traynes along the roaring seas and eke the waltering waue
By shouing on his bourly breast in sunder quite he draue,
The Barke with hand he caught, and on it selfe did rype it ouer,
Yet Aiax fhyneth in the floud which darknesse blinde doth couer.
At length attayning to a rocke his thundring crakes were these,
I conquered haue the force of fyre and rage of fighting seas,
It doth mee good, to mayster thus the anger of the skye,
With Pallas wrath, the lightning flames and floods tumultyng hye.
The terrour of the warlyck god once could not make me flye,
The force of Mars and Hector both at once sustaynd haue I.
Nor Phoebus dartes could me constrayne, from him one foote to shoon,
All these beside the Phrygians subdued we haue, and woon.
When other Mecocks flinges his darts shall I not them withhis stand?
Yea, what if Phoebus came himselfe, to pytch them with his hande?
When in hys melancholy moode he boasted without meane.
Then father Neptune lyft his heat about the waters cleane.
[Page] The beaten rocke with for led m [...]ce he vndermyning pluckte
From bottom loose, and suncke it downe, when downe himselfe he ducke.
There Aiax lay, by land, by fyre, and storme of seas destroid
But we by suffering shypwrack; are with greater plagues a [...]oyd.
A subtyle shallow floud there is flowne on a stony shold,
Where crafty Caphar out of syght the lurking rocks doth hold,
Vppon whose sharpe and ragged tops the swelling side doth flow,
The boyling waues do beat thereon still sweaing to and fro:
A turrret nodding ouer it doth hange with fallyng sway,
From whence on either side from height prospect espy wee may
Two seas: and on this hand the coast where Pelops once did raygne,
And Isthmus floud in narrow creeke, reculing back agayne,
Doth stop Ionian sea, least into Hellespont it run,
On th'other part is Lemnon floud that fame by bloudshed woon.
On th'other side Calcedon to one doth stand agaynst this forte,
And Aulis Ile that stayde out ships that thyther did resorte.
This Castell heere inhabyte doth our Palimedes sier,
Whose cursed hand helde in the top a brand of flaming fier.
That did alure our fleete, to turne on lurking rockes a ryght,
Entysing them with with blaze to come vnto the lyght.
All into fitters shaken are the vessels on the sholde,
But other some doe swym, and some vpon the rockes are roulde.
And other [...]lipping backe agayne so to eschew the Rocks,
His brused Ryb [...], and ratling sides agaynst eche other knocks,
Whereby the other hee doth breake, and broken is himselfe,
Then woulde they launee into the deepe, for now they dread the shelfe,
This perk of troubles thau [...]ct to hap in dawning of the day.
But when the Gods (be [...]ought of vs) began the rage to stay,
And Phoebus golden beames began a freshe to render lyght,
The dolefull day discried all the domage done by nyght.
O whether may I now lament, and weepe with wayling sad?
Or shall I els in that my Spouse returned is bee glad?
I doe reioyce, and yet I am compelled to bewayle
My countreyes great calamity that doth the same assayle.
O Father great whose maiesty doth thundring Scepters shake,
The sowring Gods vnto the Greekes now fauourable make,
With garlands greene let euery head reioysing now be crounde.
To thee the pype in sacryfice melodiously doth sounde,
And on thyne aulter lyeth slayne an Heyferd lilly whight,
Before the same doe present stand with hanging lockes vndight,
[Page 152] A carefull Troyan company in heauy wofull plight,
On whom frō high the Lawrell tree with spredding braunch doth shyne,
Whose vertue hath inspyred them with Phoebus grace diuine,
ALas the cruell sting of loue
how sweetely doth it taste,
A misery is mortall man
annext whyle lyfe doth last?
The pathe of mischiefe for to flye,
now sith there is a gap,
And wretched soules be franckly calde
From euery wofull hap,
By death, a pleasaunt port, for aye in rest them selues to shroude,
Where dreadfull tumultes neuer dwell nor stormes of Fortune proude:
Nor yet the burning firy flakes of Ioue the same doth doubt,
When wrongfully with thwacking thumpes be raps his thunder out:
Heere Lady Peace th'inhabitours doth neuer put in flight,
Nor yet the victors threatning wrath approching right to fight,
No whyrling westernwynde doth vrge the ramping seas to praunce,
No dusty cloude that raysed is by sauage Dimilaunce,
On horseback riding rancke, by rancke no fearce and cruell host,
No people slaughtred, with their townes cleane ropsie turuey tost:
Whyle that the foe with flaming fyre doth spoyle and waste the wall,
Vntamed and vnbridled Mars destroyes and batters all:
That man alone who forceth not the fickle fates a strawe,
The vysage grim of Acheront whose eyes yet neuer sawe,
Who neuer vewd with heauy cheare the vgsome Limbo lake,
And putting lyfe in hasarde, dare to death him selfe betake.
That person is a Prynces peare, and lyke the Gods in myght,
Who knoweth not what death doth meane is in a pitious plight
The ruthfull ruin of our natyue countrey wee behelde:
That wofull nyght, in which the roofes of houses ouerquelde,
In Dardans City blasing bryght with flasshing fiery flames.
When as the Greekes with burning brandes enkindle did the frames,
That: Troy whom war & beedes of armes might not subdue and take.
As once did mighty Hercules, whose Ouyuer causde it quake,
[Page] Which neither he that [...] sonne, and sonne to Thetis was,
Nor whom Achilles loued to wel, could euer brynge to passe,
When glytesing bright in field he ware [...]al [...]e armour on his back,
And counterfayting fearse Achill the Troyans draue to wrack.
Nor when Achilles he hym selfe his minde from sorow wrast,
And Troyan women to the walles did scuddyng leape in hast.
In myserte she lost her proud estate, and fast renoume,
By being stoutly ouercome, and hardly pulled downe.
Yeares fyue & fyue did Troy resis [...]e, that yet [...] must,
In one nyghts space by destenie he layed in the dust.
Theyr fained giftes well haue we tried that huge and fatall gin,
We lyght of credit, with our owne ryght hand haue haled in,
That fatall gyft of Greeckes: what [...]yme at entry of the gap
The hugye hors did shyueryng stand, where in the in selues did wrap
The captaynes close, in holow vautes with bloudy war y [...]reight.
When lawfully we might haue tryde, and serched their deceit:
So by theyr owne contryued snares the grekes had bin confound:
The brasen bucklers being shooke did gyue a clattring sound.
A priuy whyspering often tymes came tyckling in our ear.
And Pyrrhus (in a murreynes name so ready for to heare.
The crafty councell picked out of falsa Vlifsses brayne,)
Did [...]angle in the halow Vaut [...] that range thereof agayne.
But fearing and suspecting nought the hea [...]dy youth of Troy
Layde handes vpon the sacred ropes, to hale and pull with ioy,
On this syde younge Astyanax came garded with his trayne,
On th'other part Pollixena disponsed to bee slayne
Vpon Achilles tombe, she coms with maydes, and hee with men,
A ioly flocke with equall yeares as younge as they were then.
Theyr vowd oblations to the gods in holy day attyre,
The matrons bryng and so to church repayreth euecry syre.
And all the city did alyke, yea Hecuba our queene
(That synce the woful Hectors death or now was neuer fene)
She mery is: O griefe accurst, of all thy sorowes depe
For whych that first, or last befell entendest thou to wepe?
Our battred walles which heauenly hands [...]cected haue and framde?
Or els the burning temples which vpon their Idols flamde?
Lamenting these calamyties wee haue not time and space,
O mighty parent Pryam we poore Troyans wayle thy case.
The olde mans thratling throate I sawe, (alas) I saw yborde
With cruell Pyrrhus blade, that scante with any bloud was gorde:
[Page 153]
Refraine your teares yt down your cheekes should tricle euermore
With woefull waylings piteously your pryuate friendes deplore
My myseries refuse a mate, so much accurst as I:
To rewe my carefull case, refrayne your lamentable cry.
As for myne owne distresse to moorne, I shall suffice alone.
To mingle teares with other teares it doth vs good to mone:
In those the burning teary streames more ardently doe boyle,
Whom secret thoughts of lurking cares in priuy breast turmoyle:
Though that thou were a Gossop stout, that brooke much sorrow may
I warraunt thee, thou myghtest well, lament this sore decay,
Not sad and solemne Aedon that in the woodes doth singe
Her sugred Ditties finely tunde on sweete and pleasaunt stringe:
Recording Irys woefull hap in diuers kynde of note,
Whom Progne though he were her chylde and of her wombe begot,
For to reueng his fathers fault, she did not spare to kill:
And gaue his flesh and bloude for foode the fathers Maw to fill.
Nor Progne who in Swallowes shape: vpon the rydges hye,
Of houses sits in Biston towne bewayling piteously,
With chattering throate, of Tereus her spouse the cruell act,
(Who did by strength and force of armes a shamefull brutishe fact.
Defile the syster of his wyfe, fayre Philomel by name,
And eke cut out her tonge, least shee should blab it to his shame)
Though Progne this her husbandes rape lamenting very sore
Doe wayle, and weepe with piteous plaint, yet can shee not deplore
Sufficiently, though that shee woulde, our countreyes piteous plight:
Though he himselfe among the Swans syr Cygnus lilly whight.
Who dwelles in streame of Ister floud, and Tanais channell coulde,
His weeping voyce most ernestly though vtter out her woulde:
Although the morning Halcyons with dolefull sighes doe wayle,
At such time as the fighting floudes their Cyex did assayle,
Or rashly wexing boulde attempt the Seas now layde at rest,
Or being very fearefull feede their broode in tottring nest,
Although as squemishe hearted men those priestes in bedlem rage,
Whom mother Cyble being borne on high in lofty stage,
Doth mooue, to play on shalmes, Atys the Phrygian to lament,
Yet can not they this lot bewayle, though brawn frō armes they rent.
Cassandra, in our teares there is no measure to refrayne,
Those miseryes all measure passe, that plunged vs in payne.
The sacred fillets from thy heads, why dost thou hale and pull?
They chiefly ought to worship God, whose hearts with griefe be dull.
My feare by this affliction is cleane abaled all,
Nor praying to the heauenly Ghostes for mercy will I call.
Although they were disposde to cha [...]e and fret in fus [...]ten fumes,
They nothing haue me to displease, Fortune her force consumes.
Her spyte is worne vnto the stumpes, what countrey haue I left?
Where is my Syre? am I of all my systers quite bereft.
The sacred tombes and alter stones our bloud haue drunke & swylde,
Where are my brethren blessed knor? destroyed in the fylde.
All widdow Wyues of Priams sonnes may easly now beholde,
The Pallace voyde and cast of court of silly Priam olde.
And by so many marriages so many Wyddowes are,
But onely Hellen comming from the coast of Lacon farre.
That Hecuba the mother of so many a pryncely wyght,
Whose fruitfull Wombe did breede the brand, of fyer blasing bryght:
Who also bare the swinge in Troy, by practise now doth learne,
New lawes and guise of desteny in bondage to discerne.
On her shee takath heart of grace with lookes so sterne and wylde,
And barketh as a bedlem bitch about her strangled chylde
Deare Polidor, the remnaunt left, and onely hope of Troy,
Hector, and Priam to reuenge, and to restore her ioy.
The sacred Phoebus Prophet is with sodayne silence husht:
A quaking trembling shiuering feare throughout her Isms hath rusht:
Her Face as pale as Ashes is, her Fillits stande vpryght,
The soft and gentle goldilockes starte vp of her affright.
Her panting breathing breast stuft vp within doth grunt and grone.
Her glaring bryghe and steaming Eyes are hether and thyther throwne.
Now glauncing vp and downe they roll: now standing stiffe they stare.
She stretcheth vp her head more streyght then commonly she bare,
Boult vp she goes, her wrastling Iawes that fast together clinge,
She doth attempt by diuers meanes, on sunder how to wringe.
Her mumbling words in gabling mouth shut vp she doth asswage,
As Menas mad that Bacchus aares doth serue in furious rage.
How doth it hap (O sacred tops of high Parnassus hill)
That me berapt of sence, with prickes of fury fresh yee fiill?
Why doe you me with ghost inspyre, that am besyde my wits?
O Phoebus none of thyne I am, releasse me from the sits:
Infixed in my burning breastes the flames extinguish out,
Who forceth me with fury fell to gad and trot about?
Or for whose sake inspyrde with spryte mad mumbling make must I?
Why play I now the Prophet colde, sith Troy in dust doth ly?
[Page 154] The day doth shrynke for dread of warre, the night doth dim mine eyes.
With mantell blacke of darknesse deepe cleane couerd is the skyes:
But loe two shining Sunnes at once in heauen appeareth bryght,
Two Grecian houses muster doe their armies twayne to fight.
Amonge the mighty Goddesis in Ida woodes I see,
The fatall sheepherd in his throne as vmpier plast to bee:
I doe aduise you to beware, beware (I say) of kynges,
(A kindred in whose cancred heartes olde priuy grudges springes)
That countrey clowne Aegisthus he this stocke shall overthrowe,
What doth this foolish despret dame her naked weapons showe?
Whose crowne entendeth shee to cracke in weede of Lacon lande,
With Hatchet (by the Amazons inuented first) in hand?
What face of mighty maiesty be witched hath myne eyes?
The conquerour of saluage beastes Marmarick Lyon lyes,
Whose noble necke is wurried with currish fange and tooth
The curlish snaps of eger Lyonesle abyde hee dooth.
Alacke yee ghostes of all my friendes why should yee say that I,
Among the rest am onely safe, from perils farre to ly?
Fayne father follow thee I would, Troy being layde in dust.
O brother terrour of the Greekes, O Troyans ayde and trust.
Our auncient pomp I doe not see, nor yet thy warmed handes,
(That fearce on Greekish flaming fleete did fling the fyry brandes)
But mangled members, schorched corps, and sake thy valiaunt armes,
Hard pimond and bounde in bands sustayning greeuous harmes:
O Troyolus, a match vnfit encountering with Achill
(That myghty man of armes) to soone come vnto thee I will.
I doe delight, to sayle with them on stinking Siygian flood.
To vew the churlishe mastife cur of hell, it doth mee good.
And gaping mouthed Kingdome darke of greedy Ditis raygne.
The Barge of filthy Phlegethon this day shall entertayne,
Mee conquering, and conquered, and Prynces soules with all.
You flitering shades I you beseeche, and cake on thee I call,
O Stygian poole (whereon the Gods theyr solemne othes doe take
Vnbolt a whyle the Brasne bars of darksome Lymoo lake.
Whereby the Phrygian folke in hell may Mic [...]an state beholde.
Looke vp yee silly wretched soules, the fates are backward roulde.
The sqally sisters doe approch, and deale their bloudy strokes,
Their smultring taggots in their handes halfe bru [...]ie to ashes smokes.
Their vysages so pale doe burne, with fyry flaming eyes:
A garment blacke theyr g [...]awed guts doth gyrde in mourning g [...]yse.
[Page] Dire dread of night begins to howle, the bones of body bast
With lying long doe rot corrupt in miry pudle cast.
Beholde, the wery aged man his burning thyrst forgot▪
The waters dalying at his lippes to catch endeuors not:
But mourneth for the funerall, that shall ensue anen.
The Troyan Prynce his royall robes tryumphant putteth on.
The furious rage cleane ouerpast begins it selfe to slake.
And slyps away, euen as a Bull that deadly wounde doth take
On gasshed neck afront the aares: come let vs ease at last
Her lymbes, that of the spryte of God hath felt the mighty blast.
Returning home agayne at length and crounde with Lawrell bow
(A signe of worthy victory) is Agamemnon now.
The Wyfe to meete her Husband, doth her speedy passage ply,
Returning hand in hand, and foote by foote most louingly.


AT length I doe arryue agayne
vppon my natiue soyle:
God saue thee O deare loued Lande,
to thee so huge a spoyle
So many barbarous people yeelde:
the flowre of Asia. Troy:
To beare thy yoake submits her selfe,
that longe did liue in ioy.
Why doth this Prophet (on the grounde her sprawling body layde)
Thus reele and stagger on her necke, all trembling and dismayde?
Sirs, take her vp, with Lycour warme let her bee chearished.
Now peepes she vp agayne, with drouping eyes sonke in her head:
Plucke vp thy spryte, heere is the porte wisht for in misery:
This day is festiuall.
At Troy so was it wont to bee.
Let vs to Th'alters worship gyue.
At Th'alters died my sire:
A, Pray wee to Ioue.
To loue whose grace diuine doth me inspire?
[Page 155]
Dost thou suppose that Troy thou seest?
And Priam eke I see.
Troy is not heere.
where Helen is there take I Troy to bee,
Feare not as maide to serue thy dame.
Nay fredome draweth ny.
Take thou no thought how thou shalt I [...]ue.
All cares for to defy,
Death giues a courage vnto mee.
Yet say I once agayne
There is no daunger left, whereby thou mightest hurt sustayne.
But yet much troublous daūger both hang ouer thy head I wot.
What mischiefe may a victor dread?
Euen y hee dreadeth not.
Yee trusty meny of my men come cary her away,
Till of the spryte shee ryd her selfe, least fury force her say
That may be preiudiciall, her tongue she cannot frame.
To thee O Father flinging forth the lightnings flasshing flame,
That dost disperse the cloudes, and rule the course of euery starre,
And guyde the Globe of Earth, to whom the boottes woon by warre
With triumphe victors dedicate: to thee O Iuno hight
The syster deare of doughty Ioue, (thy husband full of might)
Both I and Greece with flesh and bloude, and eke our vowed beast,
And gorgious gyftes of Arabie, giue worship to thy hest.
O GREECE by noble Gentlemen
in honour shyning cleare,
O GREECE to wrathfull IVNO thou
that art the darling deare,
Some iolly worthy lusty bloude
thou fosters euermore,
Thou hast made euen the Gods, that were
a number odde before.
That puissaunt mighty Hercules a noble Impe of thyne
Defer [...]ed by his trauels twelue, rapt vp in heauen to shyne.
For whom the heauens did alter course, and Iupiter with all
Did iterate the howres of nyght, when dampishe dewe doth fall.
And charged Phoebus chariot swyfte to trot with slower pace,
And leasurely bright lady Moone thy homwarde Wayne to trace,
Bryght Luci [...]er that yeare by yeare his name a newe doth chaunge,
Came backe agayne, to whom the name of Hesper seemed straunge.
[Page] Aurora to her common course her reared head addrest,
And couching backward downe agayne the same shee did ares [...],
Vpon the shoulder of her spouse, whose yeares with age are worne
The east did feele, so felt the west, that Hercules was borne.
Dame nature coulde not clea [...]e dispatch, to vtter in one night,
That boystous lad: the whyrling worlde did wayght for such a wight.
O babe whose shoulders vnderprop, the ample spactous sky,
In clasped armes thy prewesse did the crusshed Lyon try.
Who from his fyry yawning throate sp [...]wes out his broyling brande,
The nimble hynde in Menall mount hath knowne thy heauy hande▪
The Bore hath felt thy fyst, which did Arcadia destroy.
The monstrous conquerde Bull hath rorde that Creta did anoy.
The Dragon dyre that breeding beast in Lerna poole he slewe,
And chopping of one head forbad thereof to ryse anewe.
With clubbed brusing battring batte he crankly did subdew.
(The brethren twins y tewde vn Teate) whereof three monsters grew.
Of tryple formed Gerion the spoyle into the east,
A droue of ECttell Hercules did fetch out of the weast.
Away from tyraunt Diomede the Thracian horse he led,
Which neyther with the grasse that grew by Styrmon floud he fed,
Nor yet on Heber bankes, but them the v [...]layne did refresh
His greedy mounching cramming tades with aliaunts bloud and flesh.
Their rawfed Iawes imbrewde were with the carmans bloud at last,
The spoyles and shaftes Hipolyte saw from her bosome wrast
As sone as he with clattring shaft the dusky cloude did smite,
The Stymphall byrde that shadowed the sunne, did take her flight.
The fertill tree that apples beares of golde, did feare him sore,
Which neuer yet acquayntaunce had with Tasters [...]ooth before.
But whipping vp with liuely twigges into the ayre she fly [...]s,
And whyle the chinking plate doth found then Argos full of eyes,
The watchman shrinking close for colde that sleepe yet neuer knew,
Doth heare the noyse whyle Hercules with mettall of yellow hew
Well loden packs away, and left the groue befliched clea [...]e.
The hound of hell did holde his tongue drawne by in tryple cheane,
Nor barke with any boughinge throate, nor coulde abyde the heme,
Or colour of the heauenly lyght, whose beames hee neuer knewe.
When thou wert captayne Generall, and didst conduct our Hoste,
(They that) of Dardans Lygne, to come theyr Stocke doe falsly boste,
Were vanquished by force of armes and since they felt agayne
Thy Gray goose winge, whose bitternesse to feare might thē constrayne.


WIthin a reuell rexe is kept,
as sore as euer was,
Euen at the ten yeares siege of Troy:
What thing is this? (alas)
Get vp my soule, and of the rage
auengmeent worthy craue:
Though Phrygians wee bee vanquished,
the victory we haue.
The matter well is brought aboute:
vp Troy thou rysest now,
Thou flat on floore hast pulde down Greece, to ly as low as thou.
Thy Conquerour doth turne his Face: my prophesying spright
Did neuer yet disclose to mee so notable a sight:
I see the same, and am thereat, and busied in the broyle,
No vision fond fantasticall my senses doth beguile:
Such fare as Prygians feastes with on last vnhappy night
At Agamemnons royall courte full daintily they dight:
With purple hangings all adornde the brodred Beds doe shyne,
In olde Assaracks goblets gylt they swincke and swill the wyne.
The King in gorgyous royall robes on chayre of State doth sit,
And pranckt with pryde of Pryams pomp of whom he conquerd it.
Put of this hostile weede, to him, (the Queene, his Wyfe gan say,)
And of thy louing Lady wrought weare rather thys aray.
This garment knit. It makes mee loth, that shiuering heere I stande.
O shall a King be murthered, by a banisht wretches hande?
Out, shall Th'adulterer destroy the husbande of the Wyfe?
The dreadfull destinies approcht, the foode that last in lyfe
He tasted of before his death, theyr maysters bloud shall see,
The gubs of bloude downe dropping on the wynde shall powred bee.
By traytrous tricke of trapping weede his death is brought about,
Which being put vpon his heade his handes coulde not get out▪
[Page] The stopped poake with mouth set ope his muffled head doth hyde,
The mankinde dame with trembling hand the swe [...]d drew from her side,
Nor to the vtmost of her might it in his flesh shee thrast,
But in the gieuing of the stroke shee stayed all agast,
Hee as it were a bristled Bore entangled in the net
Among the bryars in busshy woodes yet tryeth out to get.
With strugling much the shrinking bands more streightly he doth bind.
He stryues in vayne, and would sl [...]y of the snare that doth him blind.
Which catcheth holde on euery syde. But yet th'entangled wreatch
Doth grope about, his subtle foes with griping hand to catch.
But furious Tyndaris preparde the Pollaxe in her hande,
And as the priest to sacrifice at Th'alter side doth stande,
And vewes with eye the Bullockes necke, eare that with Axe he smite,
So to and fro shee heaues her hand to stryke and leauell right.
He hath the stroke: dispatcht it is: not quite fhopt of the head
It hangeth by a litle crop: heere from the Carkasse dead
The spouting bloude came gusshing out: and there the head doth lye,
With wallowing, bobling, mumbling tongue: nor they do by and bye
Forsake him so: the breathlesse coarse Aegist doth all to coyle:
And mangled hath the gasshed corpes: whyle thus hee doth him spoyle,
She putteth to her helping hand: by detestable deede
They both accorde vnto the kynde, whereof they doe proceede.
Dame Helens syster right shee is, and hee Thyestes sonne:
Loe doubtfull Titan standeth still the day now being donne,
Not knowing whether best to keepe still on his wonted way,
Or turne his wheeles vnto the path of dyre Thyestes day.


O Thou whom of our Fathers death
the onely helpe wee haue,
Fly, fly, from force of furious foes,
make hast thy selfe to saue:
Our house is [...]opsey turuey tost,
our Stocke is cast away,
Our ruthfull realmes to ruin ronne, our kingdomes doe decay.
Who cometh heere in Chariot swift thus galloping a mayne?
Brother, disguised in thy weede let mee thy person fayne.
O Bussard blynde, what dost thou meane from forrayne folke to fly?
Whom dost thou shun? it doth behoue to feare this family.
Orestes now bee boulde, and set all shiuering feare a side,
The certayne succour of a trusty friende I haue espide.


Strophilus. Electra.
WIth solemne Pompe I Strophilus
forsaking Phocis lande,
Bearing a braunch of Paulme, that growes
at Eli [...], in my hand,
Returned backe I am, the cause
that wild mee heather wend,
Is with these gyftes to gratefie
and welcome home my frend,
Whose valiaunt army shal [...]e, and shooke
the tattred Troyan walles,
Who wearied with the ten yeares warre, now flat on floore shee falles.
What wofull wight is this that staynes her mourning face with teares,
And drowned deepe in drousp dumpes oppressed is with [...]eares?
I know full well this damsell is of Prynces lynage borne.
What cause Electra hath this ioyfull family to morne?
By treason that my mother wrought, my Father lieth slayne,
And drincking of their fathers cup the chyldren doe complayne.
Aegist engroceth Caste [...]s got by fornication.
A lack that of so longe a tyme, filicity is none.
I thee request euen for the Ioue my father thou doest owe,
And for the honour of the crowne, whose brute abrode both growe
In euery coast: and by the Gods that diuersly doe deale,
Take into thy tuicion, conuey away, and steale,
[Page 158] This poore Orest: such kinde of theft is piety in deede.
Although that Agamemnoas death doth teach mee to take heede,
Yet will I vndertake the same, and with all diligence
Orestes shall I goe about with strength to haue thee hence.
Prosperity requireth faith, but trouble exacts the same,
Haue heere a pryce for those that doe contende and wage in game.
An Ornament with comely grace ordaynde to deck the brow,
And let thy heade be couerde with this greene and pleasaunt bow.
And cary this victorious triumphant braunche in hand.
God graunt this Paulme that planted was in fertill Pisa land,
(Where solemne games were celebrate Ioues honour to expresse)
May both a sauegarde bee to thee, and bring thee good successe.
Thou that bestryds thy fathers steedes, as he before hath done,
Goe stryke a league of amity with Pylades my sonne.
Now nimble Nagges let Greece heereof recording testify,
With headlong scouring course amayne this traytrous country fly.
Hee is escapte a [...]d gone, and with vnmeasurable might
The Chariot horse with rayne at will doe scud out of my sight.
Now free from perill on my foes attendaunce will I make.
And offer willingly my head the deadly wounde to take.
The cruell conqueresse of her spouse is come, whose spotted weede
With sprinkels (signe of slaughter) doe beare recorde of her deede.
Her goary handes new bathde in bloude as yet they bee not dry,
Her rough and churlishe rigorous lookes the fact doe notify.
Unto the Temple will I trudge. Cassandra suffer mee,
Opprest with egall griefe, take parte of sacrifice with thee.


Clytemnestra. Electra. AEgisthus. Cassandra.
O Thou thy Mothers Enemy,
vngracious saucy face.
After what sorre dost thou a mayde
appeare in publyque plate?
I haue wyth my virginity
the bowres of Baudes forsooke.
What man is het, that euer thee to bee a vyrgin tooke?
What your own daughter?
With thy mother more modest should,
Doe you at length begin to preach, such godlines to me. thou be.
A marily stomacke stout thou bast with swelling hawty hart.
Subdued with sorrow learne thou shall to play a womans part.
A swerd and buckler very well a woman doth beseeme,
(Except I dote.)
Thy selfe dost thou haylefellowe wt vs esteeme?
What Agamemnoon new is this, whom thou hast got of late?
Hereafter shall I tame, and teach thy gyrlish tongue to prate.
And make thee know, how to a Queene thy taunting to forbeare.
The whilst (thou Wyddow) aūsware me directly to this geare.
Thy husband is bereued quight of breath, his lyfe is donne.
Enquter where thy brother is, so seeke about my sonne.
Hee is departed out of Greece.
Goe fetch him out of hande.
Fetch thou my father vnto mee.
Giue me to vnderstande,
Where doth he lurking hyde his head? where is he shrunke away?
All plunge of perills past hee is, and at a quiet stay,
And in another Kyngdome where no harme hee doth mistrust,
This aunswere were sufficient, to please a Parent tust.
[Page 159] But one whose breast doth boyle in wrath, it cannot satisefy.
To day by death thou shalt receyue thy fatall destiny.
On this condition am I pleasde, the Aulter to forsake,
If that this hanc shall doe the deede, my death when I shall take.
Or els if in my throate to bath thy blade, thou doe delight,
Most willingly I yeelde my throate, and giue thee leaue to smite.
Or if thou will chop of my heade in brutishe beastly guise,
My necke a wayting for the wounde out stretched ready lies.
Thou hast committed sinfully a great and grieuous guilt.
Goe purge thy hardned hands, the which thy husbands bloud haue spilt.
O thou that of my perills all dost suffer part with mee,
And in my realme dost also rule with egall dignity,
Aegisthus, art thou glad at this? (as doth her not behoue,)
With checks and taunts y daughter doth her mothers mallice moue.
Shee keepes her brothers counsell close conueyde out of the way.
Thou mal [...]pert and w [...]tlesse wenche, thyne cluishe prating stay,
Refrayne those wordes vnfit thy Mothers glowing cares to vex.
What shall the breeder of this broyle controll me with his checks,
Whose fathers gutit hath caused him to haue a doubtfull name,
Who both is to his sister, sonne, and Nephew to the same?
To snap her head of with thy swerd Aegist dost thou refrayne?
Let her giue vp the ghost: or bryng her brother straight agayne:
Let her be lockt in dungeon darck, and let her spend her dayes,
In Caues & Rocks, with painefull pangues, torment her euery wayes.
I hope him whom she hidden hath shee will agayne discry,
Through being clapt in pryson strong and suffring pouerty
With yrksome and vnsauory smells on euery syde annoyde,
Enforst to weare a wyddowes weede, er wedding day enioyde:
Put in exile and banishment when eche man doth her hate:
So shall she bee by misery compeld to yeelde to late,
Prohibyted of holsome ayre fruition to haue.
Graunt me my dome by meanes of death to passe vnto my graue.
I would haue graunted it to thee, if thou should it deny.
Unskilfull is the tyraunt, who by suffring wretches dy
Doth ende theyr paynes.
what after death doth any thing remayne?
And if thou doe desyre to dye, the same see you refrayne.
Lay hands s [...]is on this wondrous wretch, whom being caryed on,
Euen to the furthest corner of my iurisdiction.
Farre out beyond Mycoenas land in bonds let her be bound,
With darknesse diui in hiddeous holde let her be closed round.
[Page] This captiue Spouse and wicked Queane, the Trull of Prynces bed
Shall pay her paynes, and suffer death by so [...]ng of her head.
Come, hale her on, that she may followe, that way my spouse is gon,
Whose loue from mee entised was.
Doe not thus hale mee on.
I will before you take the way, these tydings first to tell
Vnto my countrey men of Troy beneath in lowest hell.
How ouerquelmed ships ech where are spread the seas vppon:
And M [...]coene countrey conquerde, is brought in subiection.
He that of thousand captaynes was graunde captayne generall,
Come to as great calamity as Troy it selfe did fall,
Entrapped was by traytrous trayne, and whoredome of his Wyfe,
And by a gyft receaued of her, depriued of his Lyfe.
Let vs not linger: on with mee, and thankes I doe you giue.
I [...]oy, that it might be my hap, thus after Troy to liue.
Go to, prepare thy selfe to dye thou frantique raging wight.
The fransy fits of fury fell on you shall also light.
EVRIBATES. Added to the Tragedy, by the Translator.
ALas yee hatefull hellish Hagges,
yee furies foule and fell,
Why cause yee rusty rancours rage
in noble heartes to dwell?
And cancred hate in boyling breastes
to grow from age to age?
Coulde not the graundstres paynefull pangues
the childrens wrath asswage?
Nor famyne faynt of pyning paunche, with burning thyrst of hell,
Amid the blackest streame of Sticks where poysning breathes do dwel.
Where vapors bile parbraking out from dampishe myry mud,
Encrease the paynes of Tantalus deserude by guiltles bloud,
Could not thine owne offence suffice Thyestes in thy Lyfe,
To file thy brothers spousall Bed, and to abuse his Wyfe?
But after breath from body fled, and Lyfe thy Lymmes hath left,
Can not remembraunce of reuenge out of thy breast be reft?
[Page 160] What, yet hast thou not layde thy lips, taiaste of Lethes floude?
Now afte death why dost thou come to moue thy sonne to bloude?
Coulde cruell Ditis graunt to thee thy pasporte backe agayne?
To worke this woe vpon the world, and make such rigour raygne,
That Clytemnestra is become the fifty sister dyre
Of Danaus daughters, that did once theyr husbands death conspyre.
Loe here how fickle fortune giues but brytle fading ioy.
Lot, hee who late a Conquerour tryumphed ouer Troy,
Enduring many srtudy stormes with mighty toyle and payne
To sowe the seede of fame, hath reapt small fruite thereof agayne.
When as his honour budding forth with flowre began to bloome,
(Alas) the stocke was hewed downe and sent to deadly doome.
And they that of his victory and comming home were glad,
To sodayne mourning chaunge their myrth with heauinesse bestad.
The lusty pompe of royall courte is deade: (O dolefull day)
The people mone theyr prynces death with woe and weale away:
With howling crying, wringing hands, with sobs, wt sighes, & teares,
And wt their fists they beate their breasts, they pull & hale their heares.
And as the sheepe amased run, and rampe aboute the fielde,
When as theyr shepherd to the Wolfe his goary throate doth yeelde
Euen so as mad they rage and raue throughout Micoenas land,
Depriued of theyr Prynce, they feare the bloudy Tyrauntes hand.
While thus were woefull waylings hard in euery place about,
The good Cassandra (come from Troy) to death is haled out.
Like as the Swan, who when the time of death approcheth nye,
By nature warned is thereof, and pleased well to dye,
Doth celebrate her funerall with dirge and solemne songe:
Euen so the noble vyrgin who in woe hath liued longe,
Most ioyfull goes she to her death with milde and pleasaunt face,
Stout bouistring out her burly breast with pryncely porte and grace.
Nothing dismayde with courage bolde, and chearefull countenaunce,
On stage ordeyned for her death shee gan her selfe aduaunce:
As though she had not thyther come, to leaue her lothsome lyfe,
As though she had not come, to taste the stroke of fatall knyfe.
But euen as it in brydale bed her iourney were to meete
Corebus deare, not hauing mynde of death, nor winding sheete,
When looking rounde on euery side she tooke her leaue of all,
From vapourde eyes of younge and olde the trickling teares doe fall.
The Greekes them selues to griefe are moude to see this heauy sight,
So pity pearst the headmans heart, that thrise aboute to smite
[Page] He stayde the smot: with shiuering hand yet once agayne he tryed.
And from her shoulders stroke her heade. And thus the vyrgin dyed.
But now the Greekes another cause of mourning haue in hand:
Oresters, Agamemnon [...] some, is forst to fly the land.
Amonge olde rotten ragged Rockes there lies an vgly place.
A Dungeon deepe, as darke as hell, vnknowne to Phoebus face.
An holow huge wyde gaping hole, with way still bending downe,
Whose mouth with venonous wythred weedes is hid and ouergrowne,
Where stinking smels come belching out from filthy durty dyke.
Where Verment vyle doe creepe and craule, in hell is not the lyke.
Ilfauourde, foule misshapen bugges, doe lucke about this caue,
With dreadfull sounds, and roaring noyse withing the pit they raue.
Euen heather is Electra sent, in darckenesse deepe to lye,
In pouerty, and comfortlesse without the lyght of skye,
Fast clogde with Yron boults and Chaynes, thus by her mother layde
In torments, till by her to death Orestes be betrayde:
Who (as Cassandra telleth) shall reuenge his fathers death,
Depryue with swerd th'adulterour, and Mother both of breath.
So after all these bloudy broyle, Greece neuer shall bee free:
But bloud for bloud, and death by turnes, the after age shall see.

THE NINTHE Tragedy of Lucius An­naeus Seneca, called Octauia. Translated out of Latine in­to Englishe by T.N.

The Argument.
OCtauia daughter to prince Claudius grace,
To Nero espousd, whom Claudius did adopt
(Although Syllanus first in husbandes place
Shee had receiu'd, whom she for Nero chopt)
Her parente both, her Make that should haue bene,
Her husbandes present. Tiranny much more,
Her owne estate, her case that she was in,
Her brothers death (pore wretch) lamenteth sore.
Him Seneca doth persuade his latter loue,
Dame Poppie, Crispynes wife that some time was,
And eake Octauias maide for to remoue.
For Senecks counsel he doth lightly passe▪
But Poppie ioynes to him in marriage rites,
The people wood into his pallace runne,
Hir golden fourmed shapes which them sore spytes,
They pul to ground: this vprore now begunne,
To quench, he some to griesly death doth send▪
But her close cased vp in dreadful barge,
With her vnto Campania coast to wend,
A band of armed men, he gane in charge.


The Speakers names.
  • Octauia,
  • Nutrix,
  • Chorus Ro­manorum,
  • Seneca,
  • Nuntius,
  • Agrippina,
  • Poppea,
  • Nero.
  • Praefectus.
NOw that Aurore with glitteryng streames,
The glading starres from skye doth chase,
Syr Phoebus pert, with spouting beames,
From dewy neast doth mount apace:
And with his cheerefull lookes doth yeeld,
Vnto the world a gladsome day.
Go to, O wretch, with ample Fielde
Of heauy cares oppressed aye,
Thy grieuous wonted playntes recount:
Do not alone with sighes and howles,
The Seaysh Aloyones surmounte,
But also passe the Pandyon foules:
More yrksome is thy state then theirs▪
O Mother deare whose death by fits,
I nyll lament but still shed teares,
My ground of griefe in thee it sits.
If that in shade of darksome denne,
Perceiuing sence at al remayne,
Heare out at large, O mother then,
My great complayntes, and grieuous payne
O that immortall Clothos wrist,
Had torne in twayne my vitall thred:
Ere I vnto my griefe had wist
[Page 162] Thy woundes, and face of sanguine red.
O day which aye doth me annoy:
Since that tyme did I more desyre,
The feareful darknes to enioy,
Than Phoebus fresh with fayre attyre.
I haue abode the bitter hest
Of stepdame dire, in mothers place,
I haue abode her cruell breast,
Hir stomake stout, and fighting face.
She, Shee, for spyte vnto my case,
A doleful, and a graue Eryn,
To Bridegromes chamber spousall space,
The Stygian flashing flames brought in.
And thee, (alas) most piteous Syre,
With traytrous traynes hath shee bereft
Of breathing soule with poysoned myre:
To whom ere whyle, the world all left
Vnvanquisht from the Ocean Seas
By martiall feats did freely yeeld:
And didst subdue with wondrous ease,
The Brittayne brutes that fledde the fielde:
Whom liuing at their propre swaye:
No Romayne power did earst inuade.
Now lo (ful wel lament I may)
Thy Spouse deceypte thy prowes hath lade [...]
And now thy court and child of yore,
With homage serue a Tyrantes lore.


WHom so the glistering pompe of royal place,
With soden sight ynumd doth quite disgrace,
Who so at courtly fleeting ebbing blase,
Astonied sore, himselfe doth much amase:
Lo see of late the great and mighty stocke,
By lurking Fortunes sodayne forced knocke,
Of Claudius quite subuert and cleane extinct:
Tofore, who held the world in his precinct:
The Brittayne Ocean coast that long was free,
He ruld at wil, and made it to agree,
Their Romaine Gallies great for to embrace.
Lo, he that Tanais people first did chase,
And Seas vnknowen to any Romayne wight
With lusty sheering shippes did ouerdight,
And safe amid the sauage freakes did fight,
And ruffling surging seas hath nothing dread,
By cruel spouses gilt doth lye all dead.
Her sonne likewyse more fiend then Tigre fierce,
Of naturall mother makes a funerall her se,
Whose brother drenched deepe with poysoned cup.
Pore Britannick, his senseles soule gaue vp
Octauia sister and vnhappy make,
Doth sore lament her case for Britans sake,
Ne can her ruthful piteous sorrow slake,
Though Neros wrath do sore constrayne her grace
She nil esteemes the secrete closet place:
But boyling stil with equal peysd disdayne.
With mutuall hate gaynst him doth burne agayne.
My true and trusty loue that I do beare,
[Page 163] In vayne I see doth striue to comfort her,
Reuenging greedy griefe doth streight repriue,
T'appease her smarte the counsel that I giue,
Nor flame of worthy breast doth once relent
But heaps of greefe, her courage do augment.
Alas, what griesely deedes for to ensue
My feare foreseeth: God graunt it be not true.


Octauia, Nutrix.
O Staggering state, O peerelesse yll:
With ease Electra I repeate,
And call to mynd thy mourning will.
With watred eies like smartīg sweat
Thou mightst lament thy father slain,
Stil hoping that thy brother myght,
That deadly deede reuenge agayne.
Whom thou O tender louing wight
Didst safely shield from bloudy foe,
And naturall loue did closely kepe:
But Neroes dreaded visage loe,
Doth feare me that I dare not weepe,
Nor wayle my parentes ruchful case,
By cruell lot this slaughter cought:
Ne suffers mee this geniall face,
To dash with teares to dearely bought
With brothers bloud: who onely was
Myne onely hope in all my griefe,
And of so many mischieues, as
[Page] My comfort greate, and sole reliefe.
Now loe reserud for greater care,
And to abyde more lingring payne,
Of noble famous lineage bare,
A drouping shade I do remayne.
My Ladyes heauye voyce mee thought
Within my listning eares can sounde,
And snaylish age in going soft,
Vnto her thews in not ybounde.
O Nurse our dolours witnes sure
By curroll cheekes distilling rayne,
And heauy heartes complaynt endure.
Alas, what day shall ridde of payne,
With care your welnye wasted heart?
That sends this guiltles ghost to graue
This talke (good madame) set apart.
In rule my state theire destenies haue,
And not thy prayers, (O matrone) iust.
The doune soft easy God shall geue,
Your troubled mynd a tyme I trust,
More sweete then euer you did liue.
With feuell fayre as one content,
And glosed face, but onely please
Your man, and make, he will relent.
The Lyon fierce I shall appeale,
And sooner tame the Tygre stoute,
Then mankynd Tyrantes brutish breast,
He spytes the noble raced [...]out,
Contemmes hygh powers, disdaynes the least:
Ne can wel vse that princely weede,
Which venemous parent wrapt him in
By huge vnspeakeable griesly deede.
Although that wight vnthankful, grynne,
In Kingly throne that hee doth raygne,
Throughe cruel cursed mothers ayde:
[Page 164] Although hee pay with Death agayne
So greate a gift, it shal be sayde
And after fates in long spent age,
That woman wight shal haue alwaye,
This eloge yet and saying sage,
That he by her doth beare the sway,
Let not your ragious mynde so walke,
But doe compresse your moody talke.


Octauia, Nutrix.
THough much I beare that boyling brest do beate
And tollerably take diuor cements threate,
Deathes only deadly darte, I see an end,
Of al my broyle and pinching payne can send,
What pleasant light to me (O wretch) is left,
My natural Mother slayne, and Syre be reft,
Of breathing life, by treason, and by gilt:
Of Brother eake depriude: with miseryes spilt:
And wayling ouercome: kept downe with care,
Enuyed of Make, which I dare not declare.
To mayden subiect now, and now defied:
What pleasant light can me (O wretch) abyde,
With feareful hart suspecting always ought:
Because I would no wicked deede were wroughte:
Not that I feare Deathes griesly gyrning face,
God graunt I do not so reuenge my case,
[Page] A better deede to dye: for to behold
The Tyrantes visage gri [...]e, with browes vprolde
And with soft tender lippes my foe to kisse,
And stand in awe of beckes and noddes of his,
Whose will to please my griefe with cares yfirde
Since brothers death by wicked wyle conspirde,
Could neuer once vouchsafe for to sustayne,
Lesse griefe to die, then thus to liue in payne.
His Empyre Nero rules and ioyes in blood:
The cause and ground of death that Tirant wood.
How oft (alas) doth Fansie fondly fayne.
Whē slumber swete in pensiue parts doth raigne,
And sleepe in eyes, all tyrd with teares doth rest,
I apprehend deare Brittans liuely brest:
Ere whyle me thinkes his feble shiuering hands
He fenseth sure with deadly blasing brandes,
And fiercely on his brother Neros face,
With sturdy stinging stroakes he flies apace.
Ere whyle thilke wretch recoyleth backe▪ agayne,
And to my thewes for aide retyres amayne:
Him foming foe pursues with hast to haue:
And whyle my brother I desire to saue,
And in my clasped armes to shield him free,
His goary bloudied falchion keene I see.
The boysterous raumping fiend to [...]ugge, & hale
Through out my [...]hiuering limmes, as ashes pale.
Forthwith a mighty trembling chattering quake
From weary lims all souple sleepe doth shake,
And makes me woeful wretch for to recount,
My wayling sobbing sorrowes that surmount.
Hereto, put to that gorgeous stately [...] ouse,
All glistring bright, with spoyles of Claudius house
His parent deare in bubling boate did douse,
That wicked sonne, this fisking dame to please.
Whom yet escaping daungers great of Seas.
[Page 165] He fiercer freake than waues that scantly rest,
VVith bloudy blade hir bowels did vnbrest.
VVhat hope of health, can me, O wretch, abyde,
That after them thilke way I should not ryde?
My speciall foe, triumphant wise doth weight,
VVith naked nates to presse by louers sleight,
Our spousall, pure, and cleane vnspotied bed:
Gainst whom, she burns, with deadly foode bloud red.
And, for a meede of filthy strumpets sport,
She causeth Make from spouse for to diuort.
O auncient Syre, step forth from Limbo lake,
Thy daughters heauy troublous cares to slake:
Or your twygated hellysh porche vnfolde,
That downe through gaping ground I may bee rolde.
O piteous wretch, in vaine, (alas) in vaine
Thou calst vpon thy fathers senselesse sprite:
In whome, God wot, there doth no care remaine
Of mortall broode, that here doth take delight.
Shall he, thinke you, asswage your sory cheere,
Or shape you forth some sleight, t [...] appall your paine,
That could preferre, before his Brittan deere,
Th'imperiall throne, a straunge begotten swaine?
And with incestiall loue benummed quyte
His brother Germanicks daughter that could pl