THE LAMENTABLE TRA­gedie of OEDIPVS the Sonne of LAIVS Kyng of THEBES out of Seneca. By ALEXANDER Neuyle.

¶ Imprynted at London in saint Brydes Churchyarde: ouer a­gaynst the North doore of the Churche: by Thomas ColWell. 1563. 28. Aprilis.

To the ryght Honorable Maister Doctor Wotton: One of the Quenes Ma [...]esties p [...]iuye Counsayle. Alexander Neuyle wysheth Health: with encrease of Honor.

WHen first right honorable Syr, I trauayled in the translation of this present Tragedie, Written by the moste graue, vertu­tuous & Christian Ethenicke (For so doubteth not Erasmus to terme him) Lucius A [...]neus Seneca: I minded nothynge lesse, than that at any tyme thus rudely transformed he shoulde come into the Prynters hands. For I to no other ende re­moued hym from his naturall and loftye Style to our corrupt & base, [Page] or as al men affyrme it: most barba­rous Language: but onely to satis­fye the instant requestes of a fewe my familiar frendes, who thought to haue put it to the very same vse, that Seneca hymself in his Inuen­tion pretended: Whiche was by the tragicall and pompous showe vpon Stage, to admonish all men of theyr fickle Estates, To declare the vnconstant Head of wauering Fortune, her sodaine interchaūged and soone altered face, And ly [...]ely to expresse the iust reuenge, & fear­ful punishmēts of horrible Crimes, wherwith the wretched worlde in these our myserable daies pyteous­ly swarmeth. This caused me not to be to precise in folowynge the Author worde [...]or worde: but som­tymes by Addition, somtymes by Subtraction, to vse the aptest Phrases in giuing ye Sense that I [Page] coulde inu [...]nt. Wherat a great nombre I knowe wyll be more offended than Reason or Wisdom wold they shoul [...] be. Thus as I framed it to one purpose: so haue my fren [...]es (to whom I can not well d [...]ny any thyng ye Frend­shyps ryght may seeme iustly to re­quyre) wrested it to another effect: and by this m [...]anes blowen it a­broade, by ouer rasshe & vnaduised pryntyng. By whiche fonde dede I know vndoubtedly I shal receiue ye poisoned Infamies, of a nombre of venemous tonges. Wherfore (ryght honorable Syr:) as I giue these the first Fruictes of my tra­uayle vnto you: declarynge therin the great good wyll & dutie that I owe vnto your Honor, for the vertuous Liberalitie of your noble mynde: so am I driuen humbly to re [...]qyre your strong ayde, & assured Defence against the sclaunderous [Page] assaults of such malicious mouths, whiche obtaynd: I shalbe the bet­ter encouraged agaynst an other time, to bestow my trauaile in matters of farre greater weyght and importaunce. In the meane sea­son (desyryng your Honour to take these symple Attemptes of myne in good parte:) I leaue you to the tuicion of the ryght hyghe & migh­tye GOD: Who kepe you longe in health, & graunt you NESTORS yeares: With encrease of Honor.

Your Honours to cōmaund. Alexander N [...]uyle.

¶The Preface to the Reader.

BEholde here be­fore thy face (good Reader) the ryght lamentable Trage­die of that most In­fortunate Prynce OEDIPVS, for thy profit rudely translated. Wondre not at the grosenes of the Style: neither yet accownt the Inuentours dylygence disgraced by the Translators negligence: Who thoughe that he hath som­tymes boldly presumed to erre frō his Author, rouynge at Randon where he lyst: adding and subtrac­ting at pl [...]asure: Yet let not that engendre disdainful suspicion with in thy learned brest. Marke thou rather what is ment by the whole course of the Historie: and frame [Page] thy lyfe free from suche mischiefs, wherwith the worlde at this pre­sent is vniuersally ouerwhelmed, The wrathfull vengeaunce of God prouoked, The Bodye plaged, the mynde and Conscience in midst of deepe deuourynge daungers most terrybly assaulted, In suche sort that I abhorre to write: And euen at the thought therof I t [...]emble and quake for very inward griefe and feare of minde, assure [...]y per­swadinge my selfe that t [...]e ryght hyghe and immortall God, wyll neuer leaue suche horrible and de­testable Crimes vnpunyshed. As in this present Tragedie, and so forth vniuersally in the generall Proces of the whole Historie, thou mayste ryght well perceyue. Wherin thou shalt se, a very expres and lyuely Image of the incōstant chaunge of fickle Fortune in the [Page] person of a Prince of passyng fame and Renowne, midst whole studs of earthly blysse: by meare misfor­tune, nay rather by the deepe hid­den secret Iudgements of God py­teouslye plunged in most extreame myseries. The whole Realme for his sake in straungest guyse gre­uouslye plaged: besydes the appa­raunt destruction of the Nobilitie, The generall death and spoyle of the Cominaltie, The myserable transformed face of the Citie, with an infynyte Legion of mischiefes moore, whiche I passe ouer vnre­hersed. Onely wysh I all men by this Tragicall Historie (for to that entent was it written) to beware of Synne: the ende wherof is shamefull and myserable. As in the most Infortunate fall of this vnhappy Prince right playnely appeareth. Who by inwarde Gripe of fearefull consuming Con­cience [Page] wretchedly tormented: be­holdynge the lamentable state of his vyle infected Realmes, wasted by the burnyng rage of priuy spoy­lynge Pestilence, fyndes hym selfe in tract of Time, to be the onelye Plage and myserye of the almost quight destroyed Citie. Wherupon callynge togither his Preests and Prophettes, and askyng counsayle of the Gods by them, for present Remedy in those Euils, wherwith the Realme was than vniuersally ouerflowen, Aunswere was made that the Plague shuld neuer ceas, tyll Kynge LAIVS Death were throughly reuenged: and the blud­dy Murtherer driuen into perpe­tuall exyle. Whiche Aunswere re­ceyued OEDIPVS farre more cu­rious in bowlting out the trueth, than carefull of his own Estate: so­daynly slides into an innumerable [Page] cōpany of ryght dredfull myseries For as soone as he had once the perfect vewe of his own detestable dedes and wicked misdemeanour cast before his eies, togither wt the vnnaturall kyllynge of his Father LAIVS, the incestuous Mariage of his Mother IOCASTA. The preposterous ordre of his yll mys­guyded lyfe, with a hūdred mo [...]ike mischiefs, which chast & vndefyled eares abhorre to heare, frettyng Fury cōmon enmy & tormentor to corrupted conscience prickyng him forward, all inflamed wt Phrensie and boylyng in inwarde heate of vyle infected mynde, he rooteth out his wretched eies vnnaturally, spoyleth his Mother of her lyfe (though earnestly requested ther­to) beastly, and in the ende in most basest kynde of slauerye, banisht: dieth myserably. Leauing behynd [Page] hym vnto all posterities A dredful Example of Gods horryble venge­aunce for Sin. Such like Terrors as these requyreth this our present Age, wherin Uice hath c [...]yefest place, and Uertue put to [...]yght: lyes as an abiect languishynge in great extremytie. For the whiche cause, so muche the rather haue I suffred this my base trāslated Tra­gedie to be publyshed: from his Au­thor in worde and Uerse far trans­formed, though in Sense lytell al­tred: and yet oftentymes rudely en­creased with myne owne symple Inuētion more rashly I cōfes than wysely, wyshynge to please all: to offende none: But wheras no mā ly [...]es so vpryghtly, whom slaun­dring toonges l [...]aue vndyffamed: I referre my self to the Iudgement o [...] ye wysest, lytle esteaming the pre­iudiciall mouthes of suche carping [Page] Marchauntes, whiche suffre no mennes doynges almoste to scape vndefyled. In fyne I beseche all togyther (yf so it myght be) to beare with my rudenes, and con­sydre the grosenes of oure owne Coūtrey language, whiche can by no means aspire to the hyghe lofty Latinists Stile. Myne onely en­tent was to exhorte men to em­brace Uertue and shun Uice, Ac­cordynge to that of the ryght fa­mous and excellent Poet Virgyl.

Discite iusticiam moniti & non temnere diuos.

This obtayned: I holde my selfe throughlye contented: In the meane season I ende: wyshyng all men to flie Sin: the present Path waye to perfect Infelycitie.


¶The names of the Speakers of this Tragedie.

  • Oedipus.
  • Chorus.
  • Tiresias.
  • Senex.
  • Iocasta.
  • Creon.
  • Manto
  • P [...]orbas.
  • Nuntius.

¶The fyrste Acte.

Oedipus. Iocasta.
THe night is gon. & dredful day
begins at length to appeare
And Lucifer beset wt Clowds,
hymself aloft doth reare.
And gliding forth with heauy hewe,
A dolful blase doth beare (in Skyes.)
Now shal the houses voide be sene,
with Plagues deuoured quight:
And slaughter yt the night hath made,
shall daye brynge forth to lyght.
Doth any man in Princely thro [...]e
reioyce? O bryttle Ioye
How many ills? how faire a face?
and yet how muche annoye
In the doth lurke, and hidden lies?
what heapes of endles stryfe?
They iudge amys, yt deame ye Prince
to haue the happy lyfe.
For as the mountayns houge and hie,
the blustryng windes withstand,
And craggy Rocks, the b [...]l [...]hing fluds
do dash and beate fro land.
[Page]Though that the seas in qui [...]t are
and nought at all do fome:
So kingdoms great submytted lye,
to Fortunes doulfull Dome.
How well shund I my father deare
P [...]lybus scepters late?
Exilde [...] bereft of carfull feare,
in Pilgrims happy state.
I call the Gods to witnes heare
and [...]ars that glyde in skies.
A kingdom is befauln to me,
I feare lest hereof rise
A mischiefe, (mighty Ioue,) to great
I feare alas I feare
Lest these my handes haue spoyld the lyfe,
of the my father deare.
Appollo byds me this beware,
and yet a mischiefe more,
Foretelles. Can eny greater be
then this I told before?
Of father slayn by sonnes owne hand?
My shyuering lyms do shake
And all amased quaking stand
at this vnhappie Fate.
I am asshamed my des [...]nies fowle,
at large to thunder out,
And openly to blase my feare.
my dredfull minde doth doubt.
[Page]Yet out it goes. Phebu [...] me bids
my mothers beds to fly.
As though that I hyr sonne wt hyr,
incestuouslie shuld ly,
This feare and only this my dryues
from fathers kingdoms great.
Not lyke a wanderyng Uacabounde
the wayes vnknowen I beate,
But all mystrust [...]ull of my selfe
thy lawes (O Nature) for to keape
I sought the meanes. Yet feare I stil
and fear into my mynde doth creape
Though cause of Dread not one I s [...]
yet feare and dread I all.
And scante in credit with my self,
I seke my fatal fall
(By Dome of doulful Destinies.)
For what shuld I suppose the cause?
A Plage that is so generall
And Cadmus countrie wholy spoiles
and spreds it self thorough all?
Shuld vs amongest so houge a heap
of plaged Bodyes spare?
And we alone amongst the rest
reserued to myschiefes are?
O heuy hap. And byde we still
alone the spoyle to see?
Of Cites great, of men, of beasts,
by plage that wasted be?
[Page]And thou amongst so many yls,
a happy lyfe to lead,
Couldste once per [...]wade thy selfe (O wretch
without al fear or dread.
Of Phebus secret Iudgements to,
and that in kynges estate,
Thou, thou, infected hast the ayre,
in suche a fylthye rate.
Thou art the onely cause of woe:
by the these euils ryse,
By the to graue on suche a sorte,
this wretched people plies.
The fyry flaming frieng heate,
afflicted harts that wastes,
Is not relyued as wont it was
by cold and pleasaunt blastes.
The gentle westerne windes haue left
with helthful puffes to blow,
And now the fyery Dog with blase
of boylynge heate doth glow.
The Sonne in Leo burns so hote,
and so the earth doth broyle,
That fluds and herbes are dried vp,
and nought remaynes but soyle,
So throughly schorcht and stued with heate,
that moisture all is gon,
And now amongst so may fluds,
remaynes alas not one.
[Page]The places drye are only sene
the streames are dronken vp.
And water that doth yet abyde,
the sokyng Earth doth sup.
The Moone with clowds quight ouer cast,
all sadly forth she glides,
And dolfull darksom shades of night,
the whole worlde ouerhides.
No Star on hygh at all doth shyne
but all the Skies are couered,
With blacke and hellyke hewe & mis­tie
stenche, quight ouershadowed.
The corne that wonted was to growe
and frutefully to spring:
Nowe to the voided Barnes nought els
but emptie stalkes doth bring.
No part of all our kingdome is,
fre from Destruction:
But all together ronne and rush,
to vtter confusion.
The olde men with the yong (alas:)
the father with the childe
The plage consumes. both man & wife
all beastes both [...]ame and wylde
Are spoyled by the Pestylence.
No pompe at all remaynes,
That wonted was in Funeralles,
to ease the mourners paynes.
[Page]Alas this spoile of people made,
by Plage hath dryed myn eyes.
And secretly within my brest,
the gri [...]fit boyling fryes.
And that that wonted is to hap,
in most ex [...]rem [...]st ylls.
My teares are dry and glutting grief
my wretched brest it fills.
The crased father bears the sonns,
vnto theyr dampish graues.
And after him with burden lyke,
the mother comes and raues.
And euen lamentyng as they stand
starcke ded downe both they fall,
And mourners new in like estate,
for them and theirs they call.
Who likwyse in the mydst of all,
their toyle and paynfull payne
Do drop into the graue they digd,
and so the place do gayn
(That was prepared for others erst.)
A tombe is made for Noble men
fast on the people hyes
And in their burdēs [...]ling. Nobility
all vnregarded lyes.
[Page]For lacke of graues theyr bodyes all
to ashes they do wast.
And so half burnt they leue thē ther.
and home away for hast
They run [...] & more they fetche [...] & thē
fier, wood, graue, and all
Doth want. And down for very griefe
the wretched mis [...]rs fall.
No prayers auail [...] No Arte can help
this raging Pl [...]ge tappease:
For none almost is left alyue
eche others grief to ease.
Before thine aulters here O God
my feble hands I hould,
Requiring all my destinies,
at once with corage bold.
And that by death I may preuent,
my Country prest to fall.
For this: and only this (O God)
Upon thy name I call.
Let me not be the last that dies.
The last that goes to Graue.
Graūt this. & then (O mighty loue)
My full request I [...]aue.
O cruell Gods vnkynd. O more
than thrise vnhappy [...]ates.
That only me denied is,
that lightes on all estates.
[Page]I meane a spedy death alas,
these euyls to preuent:
Leaue of thy blubberyng teares
& flye these kingdoms foyld O foole
With rotten plages and botches vyle
and graues eche where dyspoilde.
All whiche diseases thou vnhap­pie
ge [...]te didste bringe with the.
Dispatche. away. Go hence. at least,
vnto thy parents stie.
What boots it Sir these mischiefes (greate)
with piteous plaints to aggreuate.
Stowtlie to beare aduersitie,
is fitste for kynges estate.
The more thy Reygne is douted of,
and when that cares do crush
Thy princelie brest. thē ought ye most
to beare and bide the push.
It is no point of courage stout,
to fortune for to yeld.
Nay from this brest reprocheful feare
hath euer been exilde.
Our manhode is not subiecte now,
to vaine and peuish feares,
But euermore in eche assaulte,
it princelie courage beares.
[Page]No not a thousand glistering swordes
nor all the force of war,
Can once appale my countenaunce
nor yet my mynde detarre,
The verie giauntes fyer [...] and houge
in fight withstand I dare.
Not Sphinx his crafty compast words
coulde make me once to yeld.
I saw him belching gubbes of blud
I vewde full well the fielde
That all to spatterd laye. With blud
and bones quight ouerhelde,
And when yt he on moūtaynes top
with mouth full houge to se.
Stode gapinge all with gredie [...]awes
to feede and praye on me,
Ofte fluttering wt his fearful wynges
and shakyng oft his tayle,
Began full like a Lion fierce
with threates me to assaile.
Of whom straight way the Riddell I.
it rusht into myne eares
With roring sownde. his wynges he claps
the Rock for hast he teares.
Desiring with my bowelles still
to glutte his gredy Iawes.
But this myne old practised hed
his subtile question drawes,
[Page]In peces at the length dissolued.
And it asundre sawes.
What maks you wish for deth to late?
you myght haue died than.
As for rewarde of Sphinx destroyed
this kingdom to you came.
( [...]ou nede no more therof to talk)
The ashes of that Monster vile,
agaynst vs doth rebell.
That vyle mishapen lothsom Beast,
that ragyng Feend of Hell.
Is cause of all the plage that now,
on Thebane Citie lights.
N [...]w only this remaynes alone,
if Phebùs heauenly might,
Can eny meanes inuent for vs,
or way of mercye make:
Wherby these burnyng Plagues at length
may haply chaūce to slake,
(that thus our people wasts.)


O More then thrise renowmed stock
of aunciēt Cadmus race.
O mighty Thebes Citie great,
(O heuy ruthfull Case.)
Loe now you lye all desolate,
with Plagues deuoured quight.
Both you and all your Husbandmen.
(Oh miserable syght.)
O fowle and fearfull fates (alas)
what causeth all this wo?
O God whence springs this Pesty­lence?
that vs tormenteth so?
No age, no shape, no forme is sparde [...]
but all confounded lye.
Thus happiest now yt man I cownte,
whose chaunce was first to dye [...]
For he hath shund a thousand yls,
whiche wretched eyes haue seen:
And mischiefes great that vs do prese
from him are taken clean.
O God withhold thy furye great,
thy Plages from vs remoue.
Ceas of afflicted Soules to scourge,
who the both serue and loue.
[Page]Powre downe on thē diseases fowle,
that them deserued haue.
A Guerdon iust for synne (Oh god)
thys this of the we craue,
And only this. we aske no more
the cause and all is thyne,
A thing not vsed of gods it is
from pitie to declyne.
My hart doth pant and trembling cold
through all my lims doth run
As oft as I remembring cownt
the noble stockes vndun,
By death and dolfull destenies
that ouerwhelmed lye,
And yet alas the people still
to graue do faster hye.
In longe Araye all in a rancke
by thousandes on a Rowe,
On euerye side in euery streate
to buriall fast they goe.
An hundred brode wide open gates,
are not enoughe for waye,
But throngd the people pestred stand
stil in a fearfull staye,
And in the mydst of al their toyle
with corses on their backes,
The number that before doth po [...]st
the hinder number slackes.
[Page]The corses in the streates do lye
and graue on graue is made,
But all in vayne. for nought it boots
the plage cannot be stayed.
The sacrefices donne to Godes
haue to to yll succes,
And suche strainge sights & signes do rise
that nought els I can ges [...]
But that at hande wt gastlye pawes,
is vtter destruction,
With thowsande ylls accompayned
and extreme confusion.
The shepe of rot by heaps as thicke
as dogges do fall and dye,
And belching owt their wasted lungs
on grounde do sprawlyng lye.
And I my selfe of late did see:
(a sight vnseen before,)
As our highe preste stode sacreficinge
at the Temple dore,
And strake wt greuous bludy wound
the golden horned Bull
When down wt liueles lump he drops
and members made full dull.
And all ye wounde wide bleding gapes
and blacke goord blud out spu [...]s.
And yet the blade vnsprinckled was.
The bloud it boylinge stues
[Page]And bubbles on the ground. Alas
Wha [...] do these thyngs portend?
Oh mghty Io [...]e at length I pray,
some good and happy ende.
At length withhold thy hand (O God)
and health vnto vs sende.
Nothyng alas remaynes at all,
in wonted old estate,
But all are turned topsey downe,
quight voide aud desolate.
The tyred Horse with labour long [...]
from back his burthen tats,
And after on his Maysters brest,
his lyueles lyms he squats.
And all his partes in peces crush.
The Beasts in field that byde
Unkept. Unknowen wayes & paths
do raunge and ouerstrid [...].
The Bull for lacke of foode and meat
in field all faintyng lyes,
And all his flock dispersed quight,
the sely Shephard dyes.
And there amongst the Heifers fierce
his fatall breath expyers,
The Harts wtout all feare of Wolues
do lyue in wretched peace,
The very wrathfull roryng sownds,
of rampyng Lyons cease.
[Page]The vengeaunce wylde outrageous Beares
are now as tame as shepe
The vgly Serpent that was wont,
the Rocky Dennes to kepe.
Oft quassyng poisoned Uenom soups
in inwarde heate she boyles.
And all inflamd and schorcht: in vaine
for lenger lyfe she toyles.
The woods are not adourned nowe,
with fresh and lyuely hue,
The wonted shades are gon. Al things
are quight out of theyr Que.
No grasse on grounde doth growe.
The earth no moisture soupes,
The Uine withou [...]en eny sap,
his drowsy head down drowpes.
Wha [...] shal I say? all things (alas)
are writhen out of course,
And as they seme to me, are lyke,
to fare styll worse and worse.
O mighty God aboue? when ende
these euerduryng yls?
When ceasthes [...] Plages? that gyltles blud
thus fierce and raging spyls?
I thynke but we almost alyue,
there do no men remayne:
Whom dolfull Darts of Destenies,
on earth haue l [...]ft vnslayne.
[Page]I thinke the darcksom shades of hell
where filthy fluds do flowe,
Where plages and vile diseases to
where dreadfull horrors growe,
And all the furies brasten loose
do mischiefes on vs throwe,
With botche & blane of sundry kindes
whiche sothern blasts do blowe,
And wrekfull vexed hagges of hell
do breathe and on vs bringe
The angrie fendes of hell I thinke
their vengeaūce on vs slinge
And out their mortall poyson spue
which they againste vs beare.
Lo see how gredy death on vs
with scowling eyes doth leare.
See see. Oh Ioue how fast he throwes
his Darts. Not one he spares
But al cōfownds. His thretning force,
with stand no Creature dares.
No doubt the lothesom Feryman
the synful soules that traines
Through stincking fluds. his labour loths
that he for vs sustaynes.
Such presse by plumps to him is made
which still renews his paynes.
But harke yet mōsters more thē these
the fame abroade dothe flie
[Page]That hellishe dogges wt Bawling sound
were herd to howle & cry,
And yt the ground wt trēbling shooke,
and vnder fete dyd moue.
And dredfull blasing Comets bright
were seen in Skies aboue.
And gastly shapes of men besydes,
to wander on the grounde.
And wood and trees on euery syde,
Dyd fearfully resounde.
Besids all this straūge ghosts were seen
in places wher they stode.
And ryuers more then one or two,
that ran all blacke goord blud.
O cruell plage. O vile disease,
far worse then spedy death.
O we vnhappye thrise and more,
who do prolonge our breath.
In thease accursed dayes and tymes.
But harke to me a while.
When first this lothsom plage begins
these mysers to defyle,
It takes them thus. A fearfull Cold
through al their bones doth run,
And Cold and Heate together mixt,
their sences all benome.
Than litel lothesom markes appeare,
and all their bodies spotte.
[Page]And al the members flaming glows,
and burning fast do rot.
The Lights, the Lungs, the hart, the Gutts,
and all that in ward li [...]s.
And all the secret partes Iscorcht,
with dedly fier fries.
The bloud al clotterd in their cheks,
in cluster lies by lumps.
And it and heat together makes,
great straunge and ruddy bumps.
And blud and flesh congeled stands,
in face as stiffe as stake.
And [...]yes in hed fast fixed set,
and often tricklyng make.
And down apace whole fluds they steame,
and clots & drops do tril
And al the skin from of their face,
by flakes and scales doth pill.
A thousand fearful sounds at once,
into their eares do rush.
And lothsom blud out of their nose,
by stilling streames doth gush.
The very anguish of their hart,
doth cause them for to shake.
And what wt Payn & Heat & Feare,
their weried lyms do quake.
Then som the rōning Riuers haunt,
and some on ground do wallow.
[Page]And some agayn their thirst to s [...]ake,
cold water gulping swallow.
Thus all our country tost wt Plage
in Grief it waltering lies.
And stil desiring for to dy,
A thousand deathes i [...] dyes.
But God them then to hear is prest,
And death to none denies.
Besides all this, the churche som do
frequent: but not to pray.
But only for to glut the Gods,
with that that they do saye.
But who is this yt comes from Court
in hast with posting pace?
What is it Creon that Noble bloud?
comended for his grace
(Of all that lyue.)
Or doth, my crased minde opprest.
thinges false for true conceyue,
Tis Creon long desired for.
His sight doth me releyue.

¶The second Acte.

The first Sceane.

Oedipus. Creon.
FOr feare my body chilles alas
and tremblinge all I stande
Inquaking dred. I seke & toile
these mischiefes to with stande.
But all in vayn I labour I
it wil not bee I see.
As longe as meare repugnaunts thus
together m [...]xed bee.
My mynd desirous still (Oh god,)
the truth for so vnfold.
With doutfull Dred is daunted so,
that it can scante vp hold.
(It self.)
O brother deare if eny meanes.
or waye of health thou knowe.
Declare it out and sticke not nowe.
the truth to me to showe,
Syr if it pleas your noble grace,
the aunswers hidden lies.
Who doutful helth to sick mē brings
all health to them denies.
Appolloes vse it is the trueth
with darksom shades to duske.
And Oedipus of gods it hath,
things doutfull to discus.
Speke out and spare not man.
The mightie God comaundes.
To purge the Princes seat forth [...]ith
and that strayght out of hande
That villayn vile requited be,
with plages and vengeance due.
Who firce with blody handes of late,
my brother Laíus slue.
Before that this performed be,
no hope of mylder ayer.
Wherfore do this O king. or els,
of hope and healthe dispaier.
Durst eny man on yearth attempt,
that noble prince to slaye?
Shewe me ye slaue that I may him,
dispatche out of the way.
God graunte the sight be good (Alas [...])
the heringe is to terrible.
My sences all amased stand,
it is a thinge so horrible.
That I abhore to speke my mynde,
Oh god for feare I quake.
[Page]And euen at the very thought
my lyms begin to shake.
Assoone as I Appollos Churche,
had entred in afrayde.
Upon my face flat down I faul.
And thus to him I prayd.
Oh God if euer thou didest rue,
on wretched misers state.
Yf euer men opprest thou easd,
or didst theyr cares abate.
If euer thou in present Nede:
didst present Helpe declare.
If euer thou afflicted Harts,
with Cares consumd didst spare.
Now shew thy dredful force (O God)
shew now thy mighty pore.
Scant had I sayd: Resownding all
the mountayns thundring rore.
And filthy Feends spoute out their flames
out of their darksom caues.
And woods do quake. & Hils do moue
and vp the surging waues
Do mount vnto the skies aloft.
And I amased stand.
Stil lokyng for an awnswere at
Appollos sacred hand.
When out with ruffled hear disguisd
the Prophet coms at last.
And when that she had felt the heat,
of mighty Phebus blast.
[Page]All puffyng out she swels in rage,
and pattring still she raues,
And scante she entred had into,
Appollos shinyng caues,
Whē out a thūd [...]ing voice doth brust
Thats far aboue mans reache.
So dredful semed then to me,
the mighty Ph [...]bu [...] speach.
Than thus he spake & thus at length,
into myne ears he rusht.
While sprawling still ye Prophet lay
before the doores in dust.
The Thebane Citi [...] neuer shall,
The Oracle.
be free from Plagues, (quoth he,)
Except from thence the Kyng queller
forthwith expulsed be.
Vnto Apollo knowen he was,
or euer he was borne,
Do this: or els no hope of h [...]alth,
to this, the G [...]ds haue sworne.
Aud as for hym, he shall not long,
in qui [...]t [...]at [...] endure:
But with hymselfe, wage Warre he shall.
and Warre he shall procure
Vnto his Children deare. And cre [...]pe
agayne he shall,
into his Mothers womb [...].
O [...]d [...]pus.
Loke what ye gods comaūded hau [...]
accomplished shalbe.
Nor neuer shal these eyes of mine
abide the daye to see.
A kinge of kingdom spoild by force:
by guile and craft supprest.
A kinge to kinges the prop ought be,
and chiefest cause of rest.
No man regardes his death at all
whom lyuinge he doth feare,
Gret cause maks me my princes death
concele and closely beare.
O [...]pipus
(In mynde.)
Ought enye cause of feare or griefe,
thy dutie for to let.
The thretening of the Prophesies,
do still my brest beset.
Oed [...]pus
As gods haue wild vs for this mis­chiefe
mends now let vs make.
If eny waye or meanes there be,
their suries for to slake.
Thou God yt sits in Seate on high,
and all the world dost guide
And thou by whose comaundement,
the starres in skies do glide.
Thou thou that only ruler arte,
of seas and fluds and all.
On the and on thy Godhed great,
for these requests we call.
[Page]Who so hath slayn kinge Laius
Oh I [...]ue I do the praye.
Let thousande ils vpon him fall,
before hys dienge daye.
Let him no health, no comfort haue,
bu [...] al to crusht with cares,
Consume his wretched yeres in grief
and though yt Death him spares
A while. Yet mischiefes all at once,
at lengthe vpon him light.
With all the euils vnder sonne,
that vglye Monster smight.
In exile let him lyue a slaue,
the rated course of life.
In Shame, in Care, in penurye,
in Daunger and in strife.
Let no man on him pitie take,
let all men him reuile.
Let him his mothers sacred Beds
incestuouslye defyle.
Let him his father kill. And yet
let him do mischifes more.
(what thing more heinous 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 maye be,)
oh God vpon him cast.
[Page]Let hym no hope of pardon haue:
but sue and all in vayn.
All hellish Furies on him light,
for to encrease his payn.
Oh loue powre downe thy fury great.
thy thundryng thumps out throw.
Let Boreas boysterous blasts & stor­mie
Plages vpon him blow.
Consume hym quight. Fret out his guts
with Pockes & botches vile.
Let all Diseases on hym lyght,
that wretched bodies fyle.
Let these and more (if more may be,)
vpon that Monster fall.
Let Harpies Pawes & gredy paunche:
deuoure his members all.
Let no man hym regarde: or seeke
his lyms in graue to laye.
But let hym dye ten thousand deaths
before his dieng daye.
By this my kyngdome I do sweare,
and kyngdom that I left,
By al my Countrey Gods that ben
in Tempels close I kept [...]
I sweare, I vow, I do protest,
and therto wytnes take:
The Stars, the Seas, the Earth, & all
that ere thy hand dyd make.
[Page]Excepte that I my selfe forthwith
this bludy Monster finde
To wreke the wrath of God some way
with solemne Oth I bynde.
And so my Father Polibu [...],
his happy dayes outlyue.
And so my Mother M [...]p [...],
no Mariage new contriue:
As he shall dye that did this dede.
And none shall hym excuse.
What soeuer that he be I sweare:
for that he shortly rues.
But where this wicked dede was don
Creon now tell me playne?
Bo [...]h by what meanes? & where? and how?
King Laius was slayne.
Passing through Castalia woods,
and Mowntayns heapd with Snow
Where G [...]oues of scrubs & Busshes thick
& Brambels sharp do grow.
A thre pathde crooked waye there is,
that diuersly doth go.
O [...]e vnto Bac [...]hus Citie bends,
that Phocia doth hyght:
The other to the Lande of Sis [...]phus
forth stretcheth out a ryght.
The thyrde at thende wherof,
a lothsom Serpent lyes,
Tends down vnto the Banck wherby
Eleia water plyes.
[Page]The are mynding nought but peas,
a soden bande o [...] th [...]ues.
By open force of Armes owtright,
this mischief [...] greate contriues.
But lo aswell as can be coms,
Tiresi [...] with trembling pace.
I thinke Appollos heauenly might,
hath brought him to this place.
Se where he comes and Man [...]o t [...].
his wayes directinge goes.

¶The seconde Acte.
The seconde Sceane.

Oedypus. Tyresias, Manto,
COme holye priest to Phebus next
these doutfull aunswers lose.
And whom ye destnies wil to dy.
Straight wayes to me disclose,
Renowmed Prince though stil I stand
in silence dom dismayd.
And though by inward feare of mynd
my lingringe tonge is staied.
[Page] [...]et pardon me (O [...]oble Prince,)
and giue me leue a while.
From [...]a [...]k of sight [...]prings Ignorance
whiche power hath to exyle,
Unspot [...]d Tru [...]h frō doutfull br [...]sts.
This thing full wel you knoe,
But whither god & Countrie calles,
with willing mynde I goe.
Let dedlie fatall destenies,
be boulted out at lengthe.
O kinge if I of greener yeres,
had now my wonted strength
This matter soone discust should be,
and I wold take in hande.
My selfe in presence of the Gods,
in temple for to stande.
A mighty Oxe all coulourd white,
vp on the Aultars reare.
Which neuer yet on weried necke,
the Croked yoke dyd beare.
And Manto thou O daughter myne,
myne onely prop and staye.
The secret hidden misteries,
and sacred signes out saye.
The beste before the Aultare standes.
To Gods a solemne praier make.
And on the holye Aultars to,
some pleasaunte odoures shake.
Tis don. And all the fiers fierce,
with incence bright do flame.
O Manto now what signes seest thou?
how do thy matters frame?
What doth the fyre, the Sacrifice,
encompas rounde about?
Not so. But first it mownts aloft,
and streight it flasheth out.
Well. Yet, how doth the sacred flame
all shining bright and cleare
Hyt self on highe vnto the skies,
with sparkeling flakes vpr [...]are?
Or doth it oft r [...]bounding backe,
hit self, from skies vnfould?
Or all with rumbling roring noise,
about the place ist rould?
Or mi [...]t with smoke ist tost frō place.
to place now here now theare?
Not all one but mingled colours,
the flame doth with it beare.
Much lyke vnto the Raynbow,
which hauing soundry hues,
Doth shew vnto the husbandmen,
the wether that ensues.
What colour it wants: or what it hath
to me is like vncertayn.
Now is it black, now blue, now red,
and euen now agayn
[Page]Quight out it is. Yet once again,
all fierce it flashing flames.
But lo yet mi [...]chiefs more then this,
vnluckely it frames.
The fier quight asounder parts,
and flame with flame doth fight.
O father I abhorre to see,
this vglye lothes [...]m sight.
The wine to blud is turned quight,
and all the Prynces hed.
With thicke black clouds encōpast is,
with smoke all ouer spred.
O father tel what this portends?
What shuld I tell alas?
My mynde for feare astonied stands,
and trembling cold doth pas
Through all my lims. What shall I say?
or wher shal I begin?
O cruel Plages O wrekfull Gods,
O vengeaunce due for synne.
Som horrible mischief great, alas,
these fearfull signes declare.
(O Iupiter)
whats that y Gods wold haue reueld
and yet do bid beware.
(To vtter it,)
They are ashamed: I know not what.
Come hether quickely bring.
Som salte with the. Goe it vpon
the wounded he [...]fer fling.
[Page]Howe now? Dost once resistaunce make,
or do [...]th it gentlye bide
The touchyng of thy sacred handes.
His hed on highe he liftes.
And torning t [...] the East, by course
from thence he often shiftes
Still lothinge as he semes to me,
Of heauen to see the light,
Oft scouling with his blearing eyes
with gastely ruthefull sight.
What? Doth one blowe them driue to groūd
or more then one they haue.
The heifer as it seemd enflamd,
with cou [...]age stoute and braue
Upon the mortall Blade dyd rush,
and there himself destroyes.
When out the blud it foming spoutes,
and mounts vnto the Skies.
The bull twise stroke or thrise,
with groueling groning tyres.
And toyling vp and down he moyles.
and still to lyue desires.
And yet at length with muche ado,
his brutishe breth expiers.
What? doth ye wounde wide opē gape,
or is it closed vp?
Or doth the depnes of the hole.
the blod in soking supp.
Out of the wounded Heyfers brest,
blacke bluysh waters rush.
And from his nose and eyes, & mouth,
whole streams, of [...]lud do gush.
By this vnhappy Sacrefyce,
great feares within me rise.
But tell me now: In the inner parts.
what secrets hydden lyes?
O father what means this? the in­wardes,
moore than w [...]ntyd guyse.
Do moue & styr, and shake my handes,
and heauing oft do rise.
The blud by streams out of the vayns,
full strayngely skyppes aloft.
The hart all schorcht & hydden lyes,
and strykes are seene full oft,
Of Colour very wan and pale.
The cheyfest parts do want.
The lyuer blackysh gaull out spurts,
and somwhat rysyng pants.
And that that myscheyfs great,
to kyngdoms doth forshow:
A litell lothsom pece of Skyn,
the hart doth ouergrowe.
And ouerwhelms it quight. Wher­through,
a man may easly see,
How both the hart the lights, & lūgs,
And all dysturbed bee,
[Page]No parte his proper place obserues,
or keeps his ordre due:
But altogether quight disguisd,
with an vnwonted hue.
Misshapen out of frame, trans [...]ormd,
displaced quight. Alas.
I feare, I feare, some yll succes
in this vnhappy cas.
Declare from whence and why,
these fearefull Signes do ryse,
With courage stout I wyll it heare,
it shall not once aggryse
My valiaunt mynd. Extremest yls
haue power to banysh feare:
You wyll wysh yt vnhard whiche you
so muche desyre to heare.
Tell me I say, synce that the Gods
wyl haue it to be knowen.
Tell me, what is his name that hath
kyng Laius ouerthrowen?
No sacrifyce wyll serue (O kyng)
newe meanes must we inuent:
From dredful darke infernall damps:
some Furye must be sent
These mischiefes great for to vnfold.
Or els kyng Ditis he,
That Empier keeps on Ghosts,
entreated needs must be
[Page]These things forthwt for to disclose.
Tell who shall haue the charge,
A kyng thou art, than mayst not thou
go throughe those kyngdoms large [...]
Than noble Creon thou shalt goe,
this payne is fytst for the:
Who must this auncient kyngdom great
enioy after me.

¶The thyrde Acte.

The first Sceane.

Oedipus. Creon.
THough that thy face wt sadnes clad,
in heauy mournyng guyse:
Nought els portend: but dedli griefs
and mischiefs styll to ryse.
Yet tell som meanes wherby at lēgth
the Gods we may appease,
And purchase to our kyngdoms wast,
som hope of health and ease.
Alas yow byd me that dysclose,
which [...]eare doth byd me hyde.
Yf that the [...]hebane Cit [...]es great,
by doulfull Plags destroyd.
Do the not moue. Yet oughtest thou,
these kyngdoms for to ru [...],
Which were vnto thy brothers house,
of auncient title due.
You wish yt thing to know: which you,
will wish vnknown at length.
To banish ils: in Ignorance,
ther rests no power nor strength.
Wilt thou in al thes mischeyfs seeke,
the truth for to suppres?
Where Cure of Care is to be lothd,
I seake not to redres.
Speake out wt speade, or els I sweare,
thou shalt by practyse proue,
How great a thyng of weight it is,
a Princes mynd to moue.
Kyngs often vse to wish vntold.
Which they bad tell before.
Go to dispatch. Ceas of I say,
to vere me any moore,
Except that thou furthwith thou wretch,
this matter do discloes,
The Gods I do protest for all,
to death thou only goes.
Pardon me O noble kyng.
gyue leue to hould my peas,
Of all the pardons Princes graunt.
what pardon may be leas?
As though ye Silence hurts not more,
oftymes than words ill spent.
Dispatch at once: Styr me no more.
thou knowst my wonted Guyse,
Whan Silence is denyed: what than
remayns that lawfull is?
A traytour he is, that sylence kepes
whan he is byd to speak.
Constraynd I am. Receiue my words
with gentell mynd I pray.
Was euer man rebukt for that.
that he was byd to say?
Well than since neds I must: I am,
contented to obay.
A wood ther is from Citie far,
encompast thick with trees,
Where Ryuers rore: & wynds do whyrle
that styr the Stormy sees,
Wher grows an aūcient Cipres tree
with crookyd bendyd lyms,
With Stretching down his braūches old,
vnto the water bryms.
[Page]His euerduryng bushes greene,
whiche tyme dyd neuer breede,
With [...]auours sweet and comly mos,
doth largely ouerspreed.
Amydst them all, a tree there is,
with longe outstretched Armes:
Whose roring sownd, & craking nois [...]
the lesser woods Icharmes,
And ouershades them all. A tree
of monstrous houge estate,
Beset with fearfull woods: here is
that dyre, and dredfull gate,
That leads to lothsom Lymbo Lake beneath,
And pyts that euer flowe.
Wher choked myry mud doth stream
with slymy course full slowe.
Here when the Priest was entred in,
with comly aged pace,
He stayed not: No nede there was,
for nyght was styll in place.
Than all ye ground wyde open gape [...]
and smoutheryng vapours r [...]se,
And fyre and smoke, & styflyng stynk,
mownts vp into the Skies.
The Priest with waylyng weede, I clad
his fa [...]all rod out tooke:
And entryng in, in blacke Aray,
full often tymes it shooke.
[Page]With heauy chere and dolfull pace.
His hoary heare was twynde
With Bowes of mortall Ewe. A tree
wherwith the mourners wynde,
Theyr mourning heads. & Garlands make.
In this guyse all arayde,
The sacred Priest doth entre in,
with quakyng lyms afrayd.
Than in the sheepe and Oxen black,
by backwarde course are drawn.
And odoures swete, & Frankencence,
on flaming fyres are thrown.
The Beasts on burnyng Altars cast,
do quake with schorched li [...]is:
And bluddy streames with fyre mixt,
aboute the Aultars swims.
Than on the darke infernall Gods,
and hym that rules them all:
With deadly shrykyng voyce aloude,
the Prophet gyns to call.
And rouls the Magick verse in m [...]uth
and hydden Artes doth proue:
Which eyther power haue to appease
or els the Gods to moue.
Than bludy streaming lycours black
with broylyng heate do boyle:
And al the Beasts consumes & burns.
The Prophet than to toyle
[Page]Begins. And mingled wine and milk
vpon the Aultars throwes.
And all the Dongeon darke, and wide
with streaming blood it flowes.
Than out with thūdring voyce agayn
the Prophet calles and cries.
And straight as muche wt mumbling mouth
he champs in secret wyse.
The trees do turne. The Riuers stād
The ground with roryng shakes.
And all the world as seems to me,
with fearefull tremblyng quakes.
I am heard, I am heard, than out a­loude,
the Priest began to crye:
Whan all the dāpned soules by heaps
abrode outrushyng flye.
Then woods with rumblyng noyse,
do oft resounding make.
And Heauen, & Earth together goes.
And bowes & trees do crake.
And Thūders roore. And Lightnings flash.
And waues aloft do flye.
And ground retyres: And Dogs do bawl
And Ghosts are herd to cry.
And whyther long of Acheron,
that lothsom Flud that flowes.
All stynkyng streames: or of y earth,
that out her Bowels throwes,
[Page]Dead Corpses to receyue. Or of
that fyerce infernall Hownd
That at suche tymes doth bustlyng make
wt chayns, & ratlyng sownd.
The Earth all wide it open gapes.
And I did se on grownd,
The Gods with colour pale and wan,
that those darke kingdoms keepe.
And very night I saw in dede.
And thousand shapes to creepe,
From out those fylthy stynkyng lakes
and lothsom pits of Hell.
Where all the e [...]yls vnder Son,
in darksom shades do dwell.
So quaking all for feare I stoode,
with mynd ryght sore apalde,
Whilst on those Gods wt tremblyng mouth
the Priest full often calde.
Who all at once, out of theyr dennes
did skip with griesly face.
And Mōsters grim, & stinging snakes
seemd wander in that place.
And all the fowlest Feends of Hell,
and Furies all were there.
And al trāsformed Ghosts & sprights,
that euer Hell did beare.
[Page]With Cares, and all Diseases vyle,
that mortall mynds do crush,
All those, and more I sawe out of
those Dongeons deepe to rush.
And Age I sawe, with ryfled face,
and Nede, and Feare, and Death,
And Fyre, and flames, & thousand yls
out fro those Pyts to breath.
Then I was gon: and quight amazd.
The wenche in worser cas.
And yet of old, acquaynted with
her Fathers Artes she was.
The Priest hymself vnmoued stood,
and boldly cited owt:
Whole Armies of kyng Ditis men,
who clustryng in a Rowt:
Al flittring thin like Clowds, disperst
abrode in Ayre do flye.
And breathing oft wt dyuers formes,
do scud aboue in Skie.
A thousand woods I thinke haue not,
so many leaues on trees.
Ten thousād medowes fresh haue not
so many swarmyng Bees.
Ten hundred thousand Hils haue not
so many flakes of Snow.
Nor all the drops & streames, & gulffs
that in the Seas do flow.
[Page]Yf that they myght be wayd, can once
so great a number make,
As could those shapes & forms yt flew
from out of Limbo lake.
Both Tan [...]alus and Zetus to,
and pale Amphions Ghost:
And A [...]u [...], and after her,
ten thousand Sprights do post.
Than Penti [...]eus and more and more,
in lyke estate ensue:
Tyll out at length coms La [...]us:
with fowle and griesly hue.
All perst wt wounds, I loth to speake
with blud quight ouergrown:
Uncomly drest, in wretched plight,
with head styll hangyng down.
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 cruell Cytie vile,
that styll deligh [...]st in blood,
O Cadmus thou, which kinsmens deth,
acowntst as chiefest good.
Teare out the bluddy Bowels of
your Chyldren. Learne of me,
Do that, & rath [...]r more: than you
wold byde the daye to se.
[Page]Like yls as late on me are lyght.
Loe Mothers loue, (Alas)
Is now, the ryfest fault outryght
that ere in Theba was.
The Coūtrye with the wrath of gods
at this tyme is not tost.
Nor Earth nor Ayre infect is not
the cause that all ben lost.
No. No. A bluddy kyng is cause
of all these mischifes greate.
A bluddy wretche. A wretched Child
that sits in Fathers Seate.
And Mothers bed defyles (O wretch)
and entreth in agayn,
In places whence he came frō once
and doubleth so her payne.
And that, that very Beasts almost,
do all abhorre to do:
Euen of his Mothers body he,
hath brothers gotten too.
(O myschief great,) (O dredful dede)
than Sphinx, O Monster more.
Example vnto Ages all,
of Gods foretolde before.
But I thee, thee ye Scepter holdst,
thy Father wyll pursue:
And wreke my selfe on the and thyne,
with fearefull vengeaunce due.
[Page]All raging Plagues, all Botches vile
I wyll vpon the blowe.
And all the fowlest Feends of Hell,
vpon the I wyll throwe.
I wyll subuert thy Houses cleane,
for this thy lothsom lust.
I wyll do this, thou wretche. And the
and thyne, consume to dust.
Wherfore dispatche at once (I saye)
into exyle dryue your Kyng.
That groūd that fyrst of all he leaues
with fresh greene grasse shal spryng
And swe [...]e and pleasaunt Ayre,
and healthfull blasts shall blow.
And all the euyls vnder the Son,
that beastly slaue shall folow.
The Poks, ye Piles, ye Botch, ye blane
and Death with hym shall flye.
And with hym mischiefs all shall pas,
and Monsters vnder Skye.
And as for hym I know he wold
depart with wyllyng mynd:
But I wyll clog his feete and hands,
his way he shall not fynd.
But groping with his aged staffe,
shall passe from place to place.
This shall he do. And none shall rue
vpon his wretched case.
[Page]Ryd you hym from the yearth in tim [...]
for Heauen let me alone:
No sooner sayd, bu [...] strayght away,
his dreadfull Ghost was gone.
And fast by thousands after hym,
thother Sprights in hyde:
Than Cold & tremblyng feare began
through all my bones to glyde.
That, that I alwayes feard, alas
vpon me now is layde:
But slender props thei are (God wot)
wherby your Treason is stayde.
Mer [...]pa my Mother deare,
shall me from this defende.
And Polibus shall purge me quight,
from Actions all that tend
To muder, or to incest vile,
they both shall me excuse.
In suche a case no meanes at all
of tryall I refuse.
Laye what you can vnto my charge.
No fault in me remayns.
The Thebanes long or I cam here,
of La [...]us death complayns.
My mother yet alyue, my Fa­ther
styll in lyke estate.
No, no, this is som do [...]ysh dryf [...],
of you false Prophets pate.
[Page]Or els som mighty God aboue,
doth beare vs no good wyll,
And sekes by Plages on vs to wreke,
his wrathfull vengeaunce styll.
A syr I am glad, at length I smell
your dryfts and fetches fyne:
I know the whole confedrats well
your sleyghts I can vntwyne.
That beastly Priest. That blearcyed wretch
be lyes the Gods and me:
And thee thou Traytour in my place
hath promyst kyng to be.
Cr [...]on
Alas wold I my syster of,
her lawfull kyngdom spoyle?
Thinke you suche Treason may haue place
in brothers brest to boyle?
Yf that myne Oth could me not kepe
content with my degree:
But that contemnyng meane estate,
I wold clime aloft to be.
Yet should yll Fortune me deterre,
from suche attempts I trowe:
Whose guyse it is on Princes heads,
houge heapes of Cares to throwe.
I wold aduyse you syr betymes [...]
this charge from you to threst:
Least lyngryng long wt it at length,
vnwares ye be opprest.
[Page]Assure your selfe, in baser state,
more safer you may lyue:
And shun a thousand Cares & Griefs:
whiche Princes Harts do ry [...]e.
O [...]d.
And dost thou me exhorte thou slaue
my kyngdoms for to leaue?
Darst tho [...] attempt thou vyllayn vile
this thyng to me to breake?
And fearst thou not in suche a case
so boldly for to speake.
Thynk you I wold them so perswade
whiche freely myght posses
Theyr Realmes? Or those yt nede not fear
least cares should thē oppres.
But as for you, of force you must,
your Fortunes chaunge abyde:
The surest way for them that gape,
for kyngdoms large and wyde:
Is fyrst thyngs meane, and rest
and base estate to prayse:
And yet with tooth & Nayle to toyle,
to mownt aloft alwayes.
So oftentymes most restles Beasts,
do chyefly rest cōmende.
Shall not my Seruyce long suffice,
my trueth for to defende?
Tyme is the onely meanes for such,
as thou to worke, theyr wil.
It is so syr. But as for me,
of goods, I haue my fyll.
A great resort. A pleasaunt lyfe:
from Pryncely Cares, exempt.
Al these might m [...] diswade (O king)
from suche a fowle attempt.
Not one daye there is almost,
the whole yeare throughout:
Wherin some Royall Gyfts are not,
vnto my Howses brought.
Both precious Pearles, and princely Roobs
and things of gr [...]ater cost:
Whiche I let p [...]sse, lest I shuld seeme
but vaynely for to bost.
In suche a blessed hap [...]y state,
what thing nede I require?
The more yu hast, I know right well,
the more thou dost desyre:
Good fortune can no mean obserue,
but styll she prea [...]eth hyer.
Shall I than gyltles dye Alas,
my cause and all vntryd [...]?
Were vnto you at any tyme
my lyfe, my dedes discryde?
[Page]Did eny man defende me y [...]t?
or els my causes pl [...]ade?
And yet I am condemd. To this
you do me leade.
And me expres example giue
whiche I entend to folow:
What yf that Innocent I be:
The guyse of kyngs you know
Is doubtfull things for true to feare
yf thence may mischief grow.
The often fearful tremblyng mynd,
true cause of feare doth show.
He that in mydst of perylles deepe,
and daungers hath ben cast,
Doth seeke all meanes to shun lyke yls
as he hath ouerpast.
So hatreds ryse.
O [...].
He that to much
doth vse yll wyll to feare,
Unskylfull is: and knowes not how,
he ought hym selfe to beare
In kyngs estate. For feare alone
doth Kyngdoms chiefly keepe.
Than he that thus doth arme hymself
from feare all free may sleepe.
Who so the Tyrant playes and gylt­les
men with force doth smight:
He dredeth them that hym do dred
thus feare doth chiefly light.
[Page]On Causers chief A iust reuenge,
for murdrynge mynds outryght.
Awaye with this Traytour. Awaye.
In Dongeon deepe hym cast:
There let his vyle deceytfull mynd
due paynes and vengeaunce tast
For his deserued yls. Let there
dyre bondage him constrayne:
Bondage the chiefest scourge of mind
that Traytours can sustayne.


SEE, see, the myserable estate,
of Prynces carefull lyfe.
What raging storms? what bludy broils
what toil? what endles strife
Do thei endure? (O God) what plags?
what grief do they sustayne?
A Princely lyfe: No. No. (No doubt)
An euer durynge payne.
A state ene fyt for men on whom
Fortune wolde wreeke her wyll.
A place for Cares to couche them in.
A doore wyde open styll
For gryefs and daungers all that ben
to entre when they lyst.
A kyng these Mates must euer haue,
it boots not to resyst.
[Page]Whole fluds of priuy pinching feare.
great a [...]guysh of the mynd:
Apparaunt Plages, & deyly gryfs.
These playsayres Princes fynd.
And other none, wt whom they spende
and passe theyr wretched dayes.
Thus he that Princes li [...]es, and base
estate togither wayes:
(Shall fynde the one,)
A Dongeon deepe. A very Hell.
A perfect infelycitie.
(The other,)
A Heauen ryght: A blessed lyfe,
exempted quight from myserye.
Let O [...]dipus Example be
of this vnto you all,
A Mirrour meete. A Patern playne,
of Princes carefull thrall.
Who late in perfect Ioy as seemd,
and euerlastyng blys,
Tryumphantly his lyfe out ledde,
a Miser now outright he is,
And most of wretched Misers all,
euen at this present tyme,
With doutfull waues of feare I to [...],
Subiect to suche a Cryme.
[Page]Wherat my tong [...]mased stay [...]s,
God graunt that at the last,
It fall not out as [...] told [...].
Not yet the worst is past,
(I feare.)

¶The fourth Acte.

The seconde Sceane.

Oedipus. Iocasta.
MY mynd wt doubtfull waues of feare,
is tossed to and fro
I wot not what to say. Alas
I am tormented so.
For all the Gods on me do crye,
for paynes and vengeaunce dew,
They saye yt these my gyltles handes,
kyng Laius ouerthrew.
But this my valiaunt Courage stout,
and minde from mischief free,
To Gods vntried, to me well known
denies it so to bee.
Full well I do remember once,
by chaunce I dyd dispatche,
A man: who sought by force with me,
presumptuously to matche.
[Page]And sought by force me to displace,
as moche as in hym laye.
This I remembre well enough,
the stryfe was for the waye.
And he a man of aged yeares,
and I a lusty blood.
And yet of me are disdayn and pryde,
in vayne he me withstood.
But this from Thebes farre was don.
A crooked thre pathd way:
That was ye place for which we stroue
this I remember well,
Deare wyfe resolue my dout at once
and me expressely tell [...]
How olde was La [...]us when he died,
of fresh and lusty yeares?
(Or was he stryken well in age?)
Betwyxt an olde man and a yong:
but nearer to an olde.
Were there great Bandes of men wt hym
his Person to vphold?
Some by the way deceyued were.
And some deterd by payne.
A fewe by toyle and labour long,
did with theyr Prynce remayne.
Oe [...]ipus
Were [...]ny slayne in his defence?
But one of whom I here:
Who valiant in his Prynces cause,
full stowtly dyd expier.
It is enough I know hym now,
that hath this mischiefe done.
The nombre and the place agrees.
The tyme vntryed alone
Remayns. Than tell what tyme he died
and when that he was slayn.
Tis ten yeare synce: You now renue
the cause of all my payne.

¶The fourth Acte.
The secone Sceane.

Senex. Oedipus.
THe Corinth people all (O kyng)
do call for you to raygne,
In your own kingdoms.
eternall rest obtayne.
O God what Fortune vyle doth me doth
oppres on euery syde?
How do my sorowes styll encreas?
Tell how my father dide.
No one disease but onely Age,
did of his lyfe hym reaue.
And is he deade in dede? Not slayn?
What ioye may I conceyue?
[Page]How may I now triumph? The Gods
to wy [...]nes I do call,
To whō are known my hidden thou­ghts
& secret workyngs all.
Now may I lyft to Skies my hands,
my hands from mischief free.
But yet the chiefest cause of feare,
remayneth styll to me.
Your Fathers Kyngdoms ought all dred
out of your mynde to weare.
Tha [...] I confes. But wretched beast,
my Mother I do feare.
Do you your Mother feare? on your
returne that onely stayes.
I feare not her: but from her syght
my godly Zeale me frayes.
What will you her a Wydow leaue?
Now, now, thou woundst my hart.
This, this, and onely this alas,
is cause of all my smart.
Tell me (O kyng) what [...]ou [...]ful fear!
doth pre [...]e thy Pryncely brest:
Kyngs Cowncels I can well concele
that ben with Cares opprest.
Least as Apollo hath foretolde,
I shulde a Mariage make
With myne owne Mother: [...]nly this
fowle feare doth mak [...] me quake.
Suche vayn & pe [...]ysh feares, at lēgth
from out your brest e [...]yle.
Me [...]opa your Mother is not in dede,
you do your selfe beguyle.
What vauntage shuld it be to her
adopted Sonnes to haue?
A kyngdom she shall gayne therby.
Her Husbande layde in graue.
The chiefest prop to stay her Realms
from present Confusion,
Is Children for to haue: and hope
of lawfull succession.
Tell me ye meanes wherby thou dost,
these Secrets vnderstand?
It was I that you an Infant gaue
into your fathers hand.
Didst thou me to my Father gyue?
Who than gaue me to thee?
Se [...].
A Shepharde sir, that wonted on
C [...]thero [...] Hyls to bee.
What made thee in those woods to raunge
what hadst yu there to do?
Upon those Hils my Beasts I kept,
somtyme a Shepharde to.
What notes, what priuy markes hast [...]hou
wherby thou dost me know?
Oe [...].
The hols yt thrugh your feet ar bored
frō whence your name did grow.
Declare what was his name yt gaue
my body vnto thee?
The Kings chief Shephard thā yt was
delyuered you to mee.
What was his name?
Old mens
remembraunce soone doth fayle:
Oblyuion for the chiefest part,
doth hory heads assayle
And drowns theyr former memory
of thyngs long out of mynd.
What? canst yu know the man by sight?
Perhaps I should hym fynd,
and know by face. Thīgs ouerwhelmd
by tyme, and quight opprest.
A small marke oft to mynde reuokes,
and fresh renues in brest.
Sirs byd ye Herdmen furthwith driue
theyr Beastes to Aultars all.
Away with speed, make hast the Mas­ter
Shepherds to me call.
Whyther thy Destenies this do hyde
or Fortune it detain,
And closely kepe: Let it be s [...],
from openyng that refrayne.
That long conceald hath hydden lien
that seake not to disclose:
Suche thyngs outsercht & foūd of­tymes
agaynst the sercher goes.
Can any myschyefe greater be?
than this that now I feare.
Aduyse you well remembre fyrst
what weight this thyng doth beare:
That thus you go about to serche,
and sift with tooth and nayle,
Obserue the golden meane: Beware
beare styll an equall sayle.
Your Coūtreies wealth, O king your lyfe,
and all vpon this lyes.
Though you styr not, be sure at lēgth
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
i [...] you repent to late.
No, no, I warrant that? Repent?
not I, I trowe:
I seeke it not to that entent.
I haue decreed to know,
The matter at the full. Wherfore
I wyll it now pursue.
Lo Phorhas wher he tremblyng coms,
with comly aged hue.
[Page]To whom of all the kyngs flock than,
the [...]are and charge was due.
Dost y his name, his sp [...]ache, his face,
or y [...]t his person know?
Se [...]ex
Me thynks I shuld haue seen his face
and yet I can not show
(The places where:)
This looke is nether thrughly known
nor yet vnknown to me
I can not tell. I doubt it muche.
And yet it may be he.
In L [...]u [...] tyme long synce when he,
these Kyngdom [...] great dyd keepe:
Wast yu not on Citheron Hils?
chyefe Shepharde to his sheepe.

¶The fourth Acte.
The thyrde Scaene.

Phorba [...]. Se [...]ex. O [...]dipus [...]
Phorb [...]
SOmtim a charge of shep I had
vnworthy though I weare
And on those Hils long since chief rule
on [...]ther Shephards bare.
S [...].
Knowst yu not me.
I can not tell.
Didst yu once giue this man
A Child [...] Speake out, why dost thou staye?
yf so, declare it than.
Why dost yu blush & doubtyng stand
Trueth seeketh no delay?
Pho [...].
Thyngs out of mynd you byd reuoke
almost quight worne away.
Confes thou slaue, or els I [...]weare,
thou shalt constrayned be.
In dede I do remembre once,
an Infant yong by me,
Delyuered was vnto this Man:
But well I wot in vayn,
I know he could not long endure,
nor yet alyue remayne.
Long since he is dead, & rakte in dust,
he lyues not at this daye.
No? God forbyd, he lyues no dowt,
and long may lyue I pray.
Why dost thou say the Child yu gauest
is dead and rakte in dust?
Because that through his tender feet.
an Iron sharpe was thrust:
Wherof a gr [...]uous swellyng rose,
I saw the blood to gush
Frō out of both the woundes: & down
by powryng streams to rush.
[...]e [...].
Now staye (O kyng) no farther now,
you know almost the trothe.
Whose child was it? tell me forthwt.
I dare not for myne Othe.
Thyne Othe y slaue. Some fyre here.
Ile charme thyne Othe & the,
With fyre and flames: except forthwt
thou tell this thyng to me.
O pardon me, thoughe rude I seeme,
I seeke not to withstande
Your Graces mynd: and wyll not I.
My lyfe is in your hande.
Tel me the troth, what child, & whose
what was his Mothers name?
Borne of your wyfe and brough.
O Earth burst out and gape for me,
deuoure my body quight,
Or els thou God, that Ruler art
of Houses voyde of lyght.
To Hell my Soule wt Thunder bolts
to Hell my soule down dryue.
Where furyous Ghosts in darkenes deepe
and endles payne do lyue.
For the alone, these Plages do rage [...]
For the these mischiefs ryse.
For thee, the Earth lyes desolate.
For the thou wretche the Skies
[Page]Infected are. For the, for the,
and for thy fylthy lust,
A hundred thousand gyltles men,
consumed are to dust.
O people throw: cast heaps of stones
vpon this hatefull Hed:
Bathe all your Blades wtin my Guts
Shewe pytie none. Procede.
Agaynst me vyle transform [...]d Beast
with paynes and vengeaunce due.
Let Father, Son, and wyfe, and all,
with Weapons me pursue.
Let those that for my sake alone,
with Plages tormented be
Throw Darts. Cast Speares: Flyng stones
& flamyng Bronds on me.
O Slaue. O fylthy vacabound.
O hatefull head of thyne.
Confownder O of Nature thou,
to godly Lawes deuyne.
Euen from thy byrth an open foe.
Go to, dispatche, and dye.
Thou hast deserued Death. Go, go,
vnto the Court the hye.
Therwith thy mother slaue triumphe
Reioyce as thou mayst do:
Whiche hast thy House encreased wt vnhappy Chyldren so.
[Page]Make haste wt spede, away, som thyng
thy mischyefs worthy fynde.
And on thy self wreke all the spyght
of thy reuengyng mynd.


FOrtune ye Dame of presēt lyefe
doth all thyngs chaūge at wil
& styrryng styl, procureth grief
suche mysers minds to fyll.
Which careful ar theyr states to kepe
when boystrous stormes do ryse,
And blustring winds & daūgers depe
setts Death before theyr [...]yes.
Who saith he doth her fawning feele!
and chaungeth not his mynde,
Whē fickle flight of Fortunes wheele
doth turne by course of kynde.
Thes greu [...]us Plags frō priuat hous
to Princely Thrones do flow.
And oft theyr minds wt [...]ares thei fous
and thick vpon them strow.
Whole heapes of grief & dyre debate.
A wofull thyng to see:
A Princely lyfe to mysers state,
conuerted for to bee.
[Page]O Oedipus thy fatall fall,
thy dredfull mischiefs ryght.
Thy dolfull state, thy mysery,
thy thrise vnhappy plyght:
These thyngs shal blase through all ye world:
what hart may thē reioyce
At thy dystresse? I can no more:
my teares do stop my voyce.
But what is he that yonder stamps?
and ragyng puffs and blowes,
And often shakes his vexed head,
some mischief great he knowes.
(What newes good syr with you?)

¶The fyft Acte.

The fyrst Sceane.

WHen Oedipus accursed wretche,
his fatall fals had spied,
(And mischiefs great.)
To Hell he damnd his wretched soule
and on the Gods he cried
For vengeaunce due. And posting fast
with frantik moode & griesly hue,
Unto his dolfull Court he went,
his thoughts for to pursue.
[Page]Muche lyke a Lion rampyng wyld,
his furious head that shakes.
And roors wt thundring mouth alowd
And often gnashing makes,
None otherwise this miser fared.
A lothsom syght to see.
Besydes hymself for very rage,
he styll desyres to die.
And rouling round his wretched eies
with visage pale and wan:
Ten thousand Curses out he powres.
Hymself the vnhappiest man
Of all that lyue, he doth accownt:
As iustly he may doe.
A wretche. A slaue. A Caytyfe vyle.
The cause of all his woe.
And in this case enflamd with spite
he cries, he stamps, he raues.
And boylyng in his secret thoughts
he styll desyres to haue.
All torments vnder Son that may
his Cares conceyued encreas.
O wretched wyght, what shuld he do?
What man may hym releas?
Thus foming all for rage at mouth,
with syghs, and sobs, and grones,
His damned hed ten thousand tymes.
as oft his weryed bones
[Page]He beats. And often puffing makes,
and roors, and swels, and sweats.
And on the Gods for death he calles,
for Death he styll entreats.
Three tymes he dyd begyn to speake:
and thryse his tong dyd stay.
At length he cried out alowd:
O wretche Away, away.
Away thou monstrous Beast he sayd:
Wilt thou prolong thy lyf [...]?
Nay rather som man stryke this brest
with stroke of bludy knyfe.
Or all you Gods aboue on me
your flamyng fyers outcast:
And dints of Thunderbolts down [...]hrow
This is my Prayer last.
What gredy vile deuouring G [...]pe,
vpon my guts wyll gnaw?
What Tigre fierce my hatefull lim [...]
wyll quight asundre draw?
Loe, here I am you Gods: Loe, here,
wreke now on me your wyll [...]
Now, now you fyry feends of Hell,
of vengeaunce take your fyll.
Send out som wild outrageous beast
send Dogs me to deuoure.
Or els all yls you can deuyse,
at once vpon me powre.
[Page]O wofull soule. O synfull wretche.
Why dost thou feare to dye?
Death only rids frō woes yu knowst.
Than stoutly Death defye.
With that his bluddy fatall Blade,
from out his sheath he drawes,
And lowd he cryes. What now?
thou beast? Why dost thou pawes?
Thy father yu hast slayn. Thou, thou.
Thou Cayteyf vyle.
Thou wretch, yu Slaue, yu Beast, yu dost
thy Mothers Bed defyle.
And Brothers yu hast got. Nay Sons
Sons: Thou liest: thy brothers all
Thei ar. Thus for thy monstrou [...] lust
thy Countrey downe doth fall.
And thynkst thou than for al these yls
enough so short a payne?
Thynkst yu the Gods wyll be apeasde,
yf thou forthwith be slayne?
So many mischiefs don: And ist
enough one stroke to byde?
Accownst [...]hou it sufficient payne,
that once thy Blade shulde glyde
Quight thrugh thy gilty guts for all?
Why then dispatche and dye.
So maist thou recōpence thy Fa­thers
death sufficiently.
[Page]Let it be so. What mends vnto
thy Mother wylt thou mak [...]?
Unto thy children what? These plags
how wylt thou slak [...]?
That al for the [...] thy Cou [...]trey wasts?
One push shall ende them all.
A propre fetche. A fyne deuyse.
For thee a worthy fall
Inuent thou Monstrous Beast.
A fall ene worthy for
The selfe inuent: whom al m [...]n hate
and loth, and do abhor.
And as Dame Natures lawful cours
is brooke thou wretche by thee,
So let to suche a mischiefe great,
thy Death agr [...]yng bee.
O that I might a thousand tymes,
my wretched lyfe renewe.
O that I myght reuyue and dye
by Course in ordre dewe.
Ten hundred thousand tymes & more
Than shuld I vengeaunce take
Upon this wretched pate. Than I
perhaps in part shuld make
A meete amends outright, for this
my fowle and lothsom Syn.
Than shuld ye proofe of payn reproue
the lyfe that I lyue in.
[Page]The choyse is in thy hand yu wretche,
than vse thyne owne discretion.
And fynde a means, wherby yu mayst
com to extreme confusion.
And that, yt oft thou mayst not doo
let it prolonged bee.
Thus, thus, maist yu procure at length
an endles Death to thee.
Serche out a death wherby yu mayst
perpetuall shame obtayne:
And yet not dye. But styll to lyue
in euerlastyng payne.
Why stayst thou man? Go to I say:
What meane these blubbring tears
Why weepst thou thus? Alas to late.
Leaue of thy foolysh feares.
And ist enough to weepe thinkst thou?
shall teares and waylyng serue?
No wretche it shall not be. Thou dost
ten thousand deaths deserue.
Myne eyes do dally with me I see,
and teares do styll out powre.
Shall gushyng teares suffice? Not so,
I shall them better scowre.
Out wt thyne eyes, he sayd: And than
with Fury fierce inflamd:
Lyke to a bludy ragyng Feend,
and Monstrous Beast vntamd.
[Page]With fyery flamyng spotted cheekes
his brest he often beats.
And scratch, and teare his face he doth
and Skyn asundre freats.
That scarse his eies in hed could stand
so sore he them besets.
With furyous fierce outrageous mynd
he stamps & cries alowd:
And roors & rayls, wt rampyng rage.
Thus in this case he stood,
Perplext, and vexed sore in mynd,
with deadly sighs and teares.
When sodenly all franticklyke
hymself from ground he rears.
And rooteth out his wretched eyes.
And syght asundre tears.
Than gnasheth he his bludy teeth,
and bites, and gnawes, & champs,
His ei [...]s all bathd and brued in blood,
for fury fierce he stamps.
And ragyng more than nedes alas,
his eyes quight rooted out:
The very holes in vayn he scrapes
so sore the wretche doth d [...]ut:
Least syght shuld chaunce for to re­mayn
he rents & mangls quight
His face, his eyes, his nose, his mouth
And all wheron his hands do lyght
[Page]He rygs & ryues. Thus fowly rayd
alas in pyteous plyght:
At length his head aloft he lyfts,
and therwith gyues a shright.
And whan he sees that all is gone,
both lyght, and syght, and all.
Than schriching owt: he thus begyns
vpon the Gods to call.
Now spare you Gods, spare now,
my Countrey prest to fall.
I haue done that you dyd cōmaund:
Your wraths reuenged bee.
This wretched looke, this mangled face,
is fittest now for thee.
Thus speakyng down ye blakish blud
by streames doth gushyng flow
Into his mouth. And clottred lumps
of flesh the place doth strow
(Wherin he stands.)
Beware betymes, by hym beware,
I speake vnto you all.
Learn Iustice, trueth, & fear of Gods
By this vnhappy fall.


OUr lyf wt tōblyng fatal cours
of Fortunes whele is rold.
To it giue place, for it doth run
al swiftly vncontrold
And Cares & teares ar spent in vayn
for it can not be stayed:
But nedes must run the rated race,
of Destenies all decreed.
What mākynd hydes or does on erth
it cōmmeth from aboue.
Then wayling grones powrd out in griefs
do nought at all behoue.
Our lyf must haue her pointed cours
Alas what shall I saye.
As fates, decrees, 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 himself
may fatall fates resist.
But fastned all in fixed cours,
vnchaunged they persist.
Suche ende them styll ensues as they
appoincted were to haue,
Than flye all fear of Fortunes chaūge
seeke not to lyue a slaue
[Page]Enthrald in bondage vyle to feare.
For feare doth often bryng
Destnies that dreded ben and mis­cheyfs
feard vpon vs slyng.
Yea many a man hath com vnto
his fatall ende by feare.
Wherfore set peuysh feare asyde,
and worthy courage beare.
And thou that Subiect art to Death.
Regarde thy latter daye.
Thinke no man blest before his ende
Aduyse the well and staye.
Be sure his lyfe, and death, and all,
be quight exempt from mysery:
Ere thou do once presume to saye:
this man is blest and happy.
But owt alas, see where he coms:
A wretche withouten Guyde,
Bereft of syght. Half spoyld of lyfe:
Without all pomp and Pryde
(That vnto kyngs Estate belongs.)

¶The fyfth Acte.
The second Sceane.

Oedipus. Chorus. Iocasta.
VUell, well: Its don. More yet?
No no no more remayns
My Fathers rites performed ar.
What God? on Misers payns
That rues. Within this Clowd hath rold
& wrapt my wretched pate.
Ah syr: this is a lyfe alone.
This is a happye state.
This is a case ene fyt for thee,
for thee thou wretche, for thee.
From whose accursed syght the Son,
the Stars and all do flee.
Yet mischiefs more who gyues to do?
The dredfull daye I haue
Escapte. Thou fylthy Paracide:
Thou vyle mischeiuous Sla [...].
Unto thy ryght hād nought thou owst
all thyngs performed bee.
Unhappy man that euer I lyued
this wretched daye to see.
[Page]Where am I nowe alas:
The lyght and all doth vs
Abhorre. This looke is first for the,
th [...]u myserable Oedipus.
Se se, where Iocasta coms,
with fyerce and furyous moode,
Quight past her selfe. For very rage
she frets and waxeth woode.
Lyke to syr Cadmus Mother mad,
who late her Son dyd kyll:
Fayne wold she speake her mynd: For feare
alas she dares not: Styll
She stayes. And yet all shamefastnes
these yls haue quight exild
(From out her wretched brest.)
Fayne wold I speake, I am afrayd
for what shuld I the call
My Son? dowt not. Thou art my Son
My Son thou art for all
These mischiefs great. Alas, alas,
my Son is ashamd of mee.
O cruell Son. Where dost thou turn
thy face? Why dost thou flee
From me? From me thy Mother deare
Why dost thou shun my syght?
And leaue me thus in myserye
with Cares consumed quight.
Who troubles me? Let me alone.
I thought not to be fownd:
Who now restores myne eyes to me
my Mother, or my Mothers sownd?
Our labour all is spent in vayne,
now may we meete no more.
The Seas deuide those meetings vile
that we haue had before.
The gaping year [...]h deuyde vs both,
thone from thother quight.
Styll let our feete repugnant bee.
So shall I shun the lyght
(That most of all me greues.)
The Destenies ar in faut. Blame thē.
Alas, alas, not wee.
Spare now. Leaue of to speak in vain
Spare now O Mother me,
By these Relyques of my dismem­bred
body I thee praye.
By myne vnhappy Chyldren pled­ges
left. What shall I saye?
By all the Gods I thee beseche,
By all that in my name,
(Is eyther good or bad)
Let me alone. To trouble me,
Alas you are to blame.
O woofull Soul O wretched hart
Why dost thou faint alas?
Why doest thou seek and toile in vain
these ills to ouerpas.
What meane these sighs and boiling teares?
Why dost yu pains refuse?
Thou mate of all his mischiefs thou,
by whose means only rues
The law of nature all: by whom
Ah, Ah, counfonnded lies,
Both god and man and beest and all
that either liues or dies.
Die yu. dispatch at once. thrust through
thy vile incestruous brest.
Not thou if god him self, if he
his flaming fiers should throw
On thee, or mischeifs all by heaps
vpon thy body strow
Couldst once repay dew payns
for thy deserued yls.
(Thou filthy wretche: Thou wicked Mother thou.)
Death death now best cōtenteth me
than seeke a way to dye.
So mayst thou yet at length find ende
for this thy myserye.
[Page]O Son lend me thy hand, yf that
thou art a Paracide?
This labour last of all remayns:
this labour thee doth byde.
Dispatche rid me thy Mother deare
from all my wretched woe.
It wyll not be. No praiers moue.
Thy selfe this deed must doe.
Take vp this sword. Go to. With this
thy husband once was slayn.
Thy Husband? Thou termst him fals.
Thy father he was. O dedly payn.
Shall I quight through my brest
or through my throte it thrust?
Canst yu not choose thy wound? Away
dye dye, alas thou must.
This brest. This wombe. Than woūd
this, this, with thyne own hand.
Strike, perce, and spare it not:
whiche both a Husband: and
(The same a Son dyd beare.
Alas alas, she is slayne, she is slayne,
dispatched with a push:
Who euer sawe the lyke to this:
Se how the blud doth gush
From out her wounded brest.
(O heuy dolfull Case.)
Thou God. Thou teller out of fates.
On thee, on thee, I call,
My Father onely I dyd owe,
vnto the Destenies all.
Now twyse a Paracide and more
than I dyd feare mischeuous
My Mother I haue slayne. Alas
I am the cause. Its thus.
O Oedipus accursed wretche,
lament thyne owne Calamitie,
Lament thy state, thy gryefe lament,
thou Caytyfe borne to myserye.
Where wylt thou become alas?
Thy face where wylt thou hyde:
O myserable Slaue, canst thou
suche shamefull torments byde?
Canst yu which hast thy Parents slain
Canst thou prolong thy lyfe?
Wilt thou not dye? deseruyng Death
Thou cause of all the gryefe
And Plages, & dredfull mischiefs all
that Th [...]bane Cytie preas.
Why dost thou seeke by longer lyfe.
thy sorowes to encreas?
Why dost thou toyle and labour thus
in vayne? It wyll not bee.
Both God a [...]d man: and beast, and all
abhorre thy face to see.
[Page]O E [...]rth why gapst thou not for me?
Why do you not vnfold
Your selfs you gates of Hel me to re­ [...]eyue?
Why do you hence wthold
The fyerce infernall Feends frō me,
from me so wretched wyght?
Why breake not all the Furyes lose?
this hatefull hed to smyght
With Plages: whiche them deserued hath
Alas I am left alone
Both lyght, and syght, and comfort all
from me (O wretche) is gone.
O cursed hed: O wicked wyght,
whom al [...] men deadly hate.
O Beast what meanst yu styll to lyue
in this vnhappy state.
The Skies do blush and are ashamd,
at these thy mischiefs great:
The earth laments, the heauēs weepe
the Seas for rage do freat.
And blustring ryse, & stormes do styr,
and all thou wretche for the:
By whose incestuous lothsom lust
all thyngs dysturbed be.
Quight out of course displaced quight
O cursed fatall daye.
O mischiefs great. O dredfull tymes
O wretche, away awaye.
[Page]Exyle thy selfe from all mens syght
thy lyfe halfe spent in myserye.
Go ende: consume it now outright:
in thri [...]e as great Calamitie.
O lyeng Phebe I haue done more
than my Destnie was to do.
With trēblyng fearfull pa [...]e go forth [...]
thou wretche [...] Monster go.
Grope out thy waies on knees in darke
thou myserable slaue.
So maist thou yet in tract of tyme,
due paynes and vengeaunce haue
For thy mischeuous lyfe: Thus thus,
the Gods themselues decree:
Thus thus thi fates: thus thus ye skies
appoynt it for to bee.
Than headlong hence: with a mischief hence
O Caytife vile away:
Away, away, thou monstrous Beast
Go. Ron. Stand. Stay.
Lest on thy Mother thou do fall.)
All you that weryed bodyes haue,
with syckenes ouerprest:
Loe nowe I flye: I flye awaye.
The cause of your vnrest,
(I flye.)
[Page]Lyft vp your heads: A better state
of Ayer shall straight ensewe,
Whan I am gone for whom alone
these dredfull mischiefs grewe.
And you that now, halfe dead yet liue
in wretched mysers case,
Help those whō present tormēts pres
forth, hye you on apace.
For loe, with me I carry hence
all mischiefs vnder Skies.
All cruell fates, Diseases all
that for my sake dyd ryse,
With me they go: with me, both grief
Plage, Pocks, Botch, and all
The yls that eyther now you pres
or euer after shall.
With me they go. With me, wt me.
These Mates ben meetst of all
(For me.)

¶Perused and allovved accordyng to the Quenes Maiesties Iniunctions.

¶Faults escaped in the Pryntinge.

In C. the .5. Page the .5. line reade in the margent Creon. the same page the 6. line reade in the margent Oedipus. E. the .8. Pag [...] the last vers for this rede his E. the last Page the .7. vers for where wilt thou become alas rede where wilt thou now become alas.

¶ Imprynted at London in Sainct Brydes Churchyarde: oueragaynste the North Doore of the CHURCHE, by Thomas Colwell.☞

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