Christopher Marlowe.

The works of Christoher Marlowe; (Volume 3) online

. (page 11 of 18)
Online LibraryChristopher MarloweThe works of Christoher Marlowe; (Volume 3) → online text (page 11 of 18)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

" That were as white as is the Scithian snow."

2 " Dominumque vocavit."

3 So Isham copy and ed. A. — Eds. B, C " When."
•* "FlavaChlide."

^ So Isham copy and ed. .A.. —Eds. B, C " we had."

192 Ovid's Elegies.

With virgin wax hath some imbast ^ my joints ?

And pierced my liver v^'ith sharp needle-points?- 30

Charms change corn to grass and make it die :

By charms are running springs and fountains dry.

By charms mast drops from oaks, from vines grapes

And fruit from trees v^^hen there's no wind at all.
Why might not then my sinews be enchanted ?
And I grow faint as with some spirit haunted ?
To this, add shame : shame to perform it quailed me,
And was the second cause why vigour failed me.
My idle thoughts delighted her no more,
Than did the robe or garment which she wore. 40

Yet might her touch make youthful Pylius fire.
And Tithon livelier than his years require.
Even her I had, and she had me in vain,
What might I crave more, if I ask again ?
I think the great gods grieved they had bestowed,
This 3 benefit : which lewdly ^ I foreslowed.^
I wished to be received in, in ^ I get me.
To kiss, I kiss ; " to lie with her, she let me.

' The verb "embase" or "imbase" is frequently found in the sense
of "abase." Here the meaning seems to be "weakened, enfeebled."'
(Ovid's words are "Sagave poenicea defixit nomina cera.'")

2 So Isham copy and ed. A (" needle points "). — Eds. B, C "needles'

3 So Isham copy and ed. A.— Eds. B, C "The."
■1 " Turpiier."

•" Neglected.

c So eds. B, C— Isham copy "received in, and in I got me."

7 So old eds.— Pyce reads " kiss'd."


Ovid 's Elegies. r 9 3

Why was I blest ? why made king to refuse ^ it ?

Chuff-like had I not gold and could not use it ? 50

So in a spring thrives he that told so much,-

And looks upon the fruits he cannot touch.

Hath any rose so from a fresh young maid,

As she might straight have gone to church and prayed ?

Well, I believe, she kissed not as she should,

Nor used the sleight and ^ cunning which she could.

Huge oaks, hard adamants might she have moved,

And with sweet words caus[ed] deaf rocks to have loved.

Worthy she was to move both gods and men.

But neither was I man nor lived then. 60

Can deaf ears * take delight when Phasmius sings ?

Or Thamyris in curious painted things }

What sweet thought is there but I had the same ?

And one gave place still as another came.

Yet notwithstanding, like one dead it lay,

Drooping more than a rose pulled yesterday.

Now, when he should not jet, he bolts upriglit,

And craves his task, and seeks to be at fight.

Lie down with shame, and see thou stir no more.

Seeing thou ^ would'st deceive me as before. 70

Thou cozenest me : by thee surprised am I,

And bide sore loss ^ with endless infamy.

J So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A "and refusde it."
2 "Sic aret mediis taciti vulgator in undis."
' So eds. B, C. — Isbatn copy and ed. A " nor."

* Isham copy " yeares ;" ed. A "yeres ;" eds. B, C "eare."

* So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A " Seeing now thou."

* So eds. B, C, — Isham copy and ed. A "great hurt."

194 Ovid's Elegies.

Nay more, the wench did not disdain a whit
To take it in her hand, and play with it.
But when she saw it would by no means stand,
But still drooped down, regarding not her hand,
" Why mock'st thou me," she cried, " or being ill,
Who bade thee lie down here against thy will?
Either thou art witched with blood of frogs ^ new dead.
Or jaded cam'st thou from some other's bed." 80

With that, her loose gown on, from me she cast her;
In skipping out her naked feet much graced her.
And lest her maid should know of this disgrace,
To cover it, spilt water in the place.

Elegia VIII.2

Quod ab arnica non recipiatur, dolet.

What man will now take liberal arts in hand,

Or think soft verse in any stead to stand ?

Wit was sometimes more precious than gold ;

Now poverty great barbarism we hold.

When our books did my mistress fair content,

I might not go whither my papers went.

She praised me, yet the gate shut fast upon her,

I here and there go, witty with dishonour.

See a rich chuff, whose wounds great wealth inferred,

For bloodshed knighted, before me preferred. 10

1 The original has " Aut te trajectis Aeaea venefica lanis," &c. (As
Dyce remarks, Marlowe read "ranis.")
- Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

Ovid's Elegies. 195

Fool, can'st thou him in thy white arms embrace ?
Fool, can'st thou lie in his enfolding space ?
Know'st not this head ^ a helm was wont to bear ?
This side that serves thee, a sharp sword did wear.
His left hand, whereon gold doth ill alight,
A target bore : blood-sprinkled was his right.
Can'st touch that hand wherewith some one lies

dead ?
Ah, whither is thy breast's soft nature fled ?
Behold the signs of ancient fight, his scars !
Whate'er he hath, his body gained in wars. 20

Perhaps he'll tell how oft he slew a man.
Confessing this, why dost thou touch him than ? "-^
I, the pure priest of Phoebus and the Muses,
At thy deaf doors in verse sing my abuses.
Not what we slothful know,^ let wise men learn.
But follow trembling camps and battles stern,
And for a good verse draw the first dart forth : ^
Homer without this shall be nothing worth.
Jove, being admonished gold had sovereign power,
To win the maid came in a golden shower. 30

Till then, rough was her father, she severe,
The posts of brass, the walls of iron were.
But when in gifts the wise adulterer came,
She held her lap ope to receive the same.

1 So ed. B. — Ed. C " his." ("Caput hoc galeam portare solebat.")
- Then.

' Old eds. " knew."

■* Marlowe has quite mistaken the meaning of the original " Pro que
bono versu primum deducite pilum."

196 Ovid's Elegies.

Yet when old Saturn heaven's rule possest,

All gain in darkness the deep earth supprest.

Gold, silver, iron's heavy weight, and brass,

In hell were harboured ; here was found no mass.

But better things it gave, corn without ploughs.

Apples, and honey in oaks' hollow boughs. 40

With strong ploughshares no man the earth did cleave.

The ditcher no marks on the ground did leave.

Nor hanging oars the troubled seas did sweep,

Men kept the shore and sailed not into deep.

Against thyself, man's nature, thou wert cunning,

And to thine own loss was thy wit swift running.

Why gird'st thy cities with a towered wall,

Why let'st discordant hands to armour fall ?

What dost with seas ? with th' earth thou wert content ;

Why seek'st not heaven, the third realm, to frequent? 50

Heaven thou affects : with Romulus, temples brave,

Bacchus, Alcides, and now C»sar have.

Gold from the earth instead of fruits we pluck ;

Soldiers by blood to be enriched have luck.

Courts shut the poor out ; wealth gives estimation.

Thence grows the judge, and knight of reputation,

All,^ they possess : they govern fields and laws,

They manage peace and raw war's bloody jaws.

Only our loves let not such rich churls gain :

'Tis well if some wench for the poor remain. 60

^ A very loose rendering of Ovid's couplet —

" Omnia possideant ; illis Campusque Forumque
Serviat ; hi pacem crudaque bella gerant. "

Ovid's Elegies. 197

Now, Sabine-like, though chaste she seems to live,
One her^ commands, who many things can give.
For me, she doth keeper 2 and husband fear.
If I should give, both would the house forbear.
If of scorned lovers God be venger just,
O let him change goods so ill-got to dust.

Elegia IX.3

Tibulli mortem deflet.

If Thetis and the Morn their sons did wail,

And envious Fates great goddesses assail ;

Sad Elegy,* thy woful hairs unbind :

Ah, now a name too true thou hast I find.

Tibullus, thy work's poet, and thy fame.

Burns his dead body in the funeral flame.

Lo, Cupid brings his quiver spoiled quite.

His broken bow, his firebrand without light !

How piteously with drooping wings he stands.

And knocks his bare breast with self-angry hands. 10

The locks spread on his neck receive his tears,

And shaking sobs his mouth for speeches bears.

So ^ at Eneas' burial, men report,

Fair-faced liilus, he went forth thy court.

1 So Dyce for "she" of the old eds. ("' Imperat ut captae qui dare
multa potest.")

- Tlie original has " Me prohibet custos : iti me timet ilia maritum."'
* Not in Isham copy or ed. A.
•• Ed. B " Eeliga " — Ed. C " Elegia."
'•> " Fratris in Aeneae sic ilium funere dicunt
Egressum tectis, pulcher lule, tuis."

1 9 8 Ovid 's Elegies.

And Venus grieves, TibuUus' life being spent,

As when the wild boar Aden's groin had rent.

The gods' care we are called, and men of piety.

And some there be that think we have a deity.

Outrageous death profanes all holy things.

And on all creatures obscure darkness brings. 20

To Thracian Orpheus what did parents good ?

Or songs amazing wild beasts of the wood ?

Where ^ Linus by his father Phoebus laid.

To sing with his unequalled harp is said.

See Homer from whose fountain ever filled

Pierian dew to poets is distilled :

Him the last day in black Avern hath drowned :

Verses alone are with continuance crowned.

The work of poets lasts : Troy's labour's fame,

And that slow web night's falsehood did unframe. 30

So Nemesis, so Delia famous are,

The one his first love, th' other his new care.

What profit to us hath our pure life bred ?

What to have lain alone in empty bed ?

When bad Fates take good men, I am forbod

By secret thoughts to think there is a God.

Live godly, thou shalt die ; though honour heaven,

Yet shall thy life be forcibly bereaven.

Trust in good verse, TibuUus feels death's pains,

Scarce rests of all what a small urn contains. 40

1 The original has —

" Aelinon in silvis idem pater, aelinon, altis
Dicitur invita concinuisse lyra."
In Marlowe's copy the couplet must have been very different.

Ovid 's Elegies. 1 99

Thee, sacred poet, could sad flames destroy ?

Nor feared they thy body to annoy ?

The holy god's gilt temples they might fire,

That durst to so great wickedness aspire.

Eryx' bright empress turned her looks aside,

And some, that she refrained tears, have denied.

Yet better is't, than if Corcyra's Isle,

Had thee unknown interred in ground most vile.

Thy dying eyes here did thy mother close.

Nor did thy ashes her last offerings lose, 50

Part of her sorrow here thy sister bearing.

Comes forth, her unkembed ^ locks asunder tearing.

Nemesis and thy first wench join their kisses

With thine, nor this last fire their presence misses.

Delia departing, " Happier loved," she saith,

"Was I : thou liv'dst, while thou esteem'dst my faith."

Nemesis answers, " What's my loss to thee ?

His fainting hand in death engrasped me."

If aught remains of us but name and spirit,

TibuUus doth Elysium's joy inherit. 60

Their youthful brows with ivy girt to meet him,

With Calvus learned Catullus comes, and greet him ;

And thou, if falsely charged to wrong thy friend,

Gallus, that car'dst ^ not blood and life to spend.

With these thy soul walks : souls if death release.

The godly ^ sweet Tibullus doth increase.

Thy bones, I pray, may in the urn safe rest.

And may th' earth's weight thy ashes naught molest.

1 Old eds. " vnkeembe " and " unkeem'd."

- Old eds. " carst." ^ •' Auxisti numeros, culte TibuUe, pios."

200 Ovid's Elegies.

Elegia X.'

Ad Cererem, conquerens quod ejus sacris cum arnica concuml')ere
non permittatur.

Come were the times of Ceres' sacrifice ;

In empty bed alone my mistress lies.

Golden-haired Ceres crowned with ears of corn,

Why are our pleasures by thy means forborne ?

Thee, goddess, bountiful all nations judge.

Nor less at man's prosperity any grudge.

Rude husbandmen baked not their corn before.

Nor on the earth was known the name of floor.'''

On mast of oaks, first oracles, men fed ;

This was their meat, the soft grass was their bed. ic

First Ceres taught the seed in fields to swell,

And ripe-eared corn with sharp-edged scythes to fell.

She first constrained bulls' necks to bear the yoke,

And untilled ground with crooked ploughshares broke.

Who thinks her to be glad at lovers' smart,

And worshipped by their pain and lying apart ?

Nor is she, though she loves the fertile fields,

A clown, nor no love from her warm breast yields :

Be witness Crete (nor Crete doth all things feign),

Crete proud that Jove her nursery maintain. zz

There he who rules the world's star-spangled towers,

A little boy, drunk teat-distilling showers.

Faith to the witness Jove's praise doth apply ;

Ceres, I think, no known fault will deny.

1 Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

2 Threshing-floor (" area ").

Ovid's Elegies. 201

The goddess saw lasion on Candian Ide,

With strong hand striking wild beasts' bristled hide.

Slie saw, and as her marrow took the flame,

Was divers ways distract with love and shame.

Love conquered shame, the furrows dry were burned,

And corn with least part of itself returned. 30

When well-tossed mattocks did the ground prepare,

Being fit-broken with the crooked share,

And seeds were equally in large fields cast.

The ploughman's hopes were frustrate at the last.

The grain-rich goddess in high woods did stray,

Her long hair's ear-wrought garland fell away.

Only was Crete fruitful that plenteous year ;

Where Ceres went, each place was harvest there.

Ida, the seat of groves, did sing ^ with corn,

Which by the wild boar in the woods was shorn. 40

Law-giving Mmos did such years desire,

And wished the goddess long might feel love's fire.

Ceres, what sports - to thee so grievous were,

As in thy sacrifice we them forbear ?

Why am I sad, when Proserpine is found.

And Juno-like with Dis reigns under ground ?

Festival days ask Venus, songs, and wine.

These gifts are meet to please the powers divine.

1 Marlowe has made the school-boy's mistake of confusing " caneo
and " cano."
- The original has

" Quod tibi secubitus tristes, dea flava, fuissent,
Hoc cogor sacris nunc ego ferre tuis."
Marlowe appears to have read " Qui tibi concubitus," &c.

202 Ovid' s B levies.

Elegia XI. 1

Ad amicam a cujus amoie discedere non potest.

Long have I borne much, mad thy faults me make ;

Dishonest love, my wearied breast forsake !

Now have I freed myself, and fled the chain,

And what I have borne, shame to bear again.

We vanquish, and tread tamed love under feet.

Victorious wreaths ^ at length my temples greet.

Suffer, and harden : good grows by this grief.

Oft bitter juice brings to the sick relief

I have sustained, so oft thrust from the door,

To lay my body on the hard moist floor.

I know not whom thou lewdly didst embrace,

When I to watch supplied a servant's place.

I saw when forth a tired lover went,

His side past service, and his courage spent.

Yet this is less than if he had seen me ;

May that shame fall mine enemies' chance to be.

When have not I, fixed to thy side, close laid ?

I have thy husband, guard, and fellow played.

The people by my company she pleased ;

My love was cause that more men's love she seized.

What, should I tell her vain tongue's filthy lies.

And, to my loss, god-wronging perjuries ?

What secret becks in banquets with her youths.

With privy signs, and talk dissembling truths ?

1 Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

^ The original has " Venerunt capiti cornua sera meo."

Ovid's Elegies. 203

Hearing her to be sick, I thither ran,

But with my rival sick she was not than.

These hardened me, with what I keep obscure : ^

Some other seek, who will these things endure.

Now my ship in the wished haven crowned,

With joy hears Neptune's swelling waters sound. 30

Leave thy once-powerful words, and flatteries,

I am not as I was before, unwise.

Now love and hate my light breast each way move.

But victory, I think, will hap to love.

I'll hate, if I can ; if not, love 'gainst my will,

Bulls hate the yoke, yet what they hate have still.

I fly her lust, but follow beauty's creature,

I loathe her manners, love her body's feature.

Nor with thee, nor without thee can I live.

And doubt to which desire the palm to give. 40

Or less fair, or less lewd would thou might'st be :

Beauty with lewdness doth right ill agree.

Her deeds gain hate, her face entreateth love ;

Ah, she doth more worih than her vices prove !

Spare me, oh, by our fellow bed, by all

The gods, who by thee, to be perjured fall.-

And by thy face to me a power divine,

And by thine eyes, whose radiance burns out mine !

Whate'er thou art, mine art thou : choose this course, —

Wilt have me willing, or to love by lorce ? 50

Rather I'll hoist up sail, and use the wind.

That I may love yet, though against my mind.

^ " Kt quae taceo." " " Qui dan: fallendos se tibi saepe, decs,"

204 Ovid's Elegies.

Elegia XII.i

Dolet amicam suam ita suis carminibus innotuisse ut rivales multos
sibi pararit.

What day was that, which all sad haps to bring,

White birds to lovers did not ^ always sing?

Or is I think my wish against the stars?

Or shall I plain some god against me wars ?

Who mine was called, whom I loved more than any,

I fear with me is common now to many.

Err I ? or by my books ^ is she so known ?

'Tis so : by my wit her abuse is grown.

And justly : for her praise why did I tell ?

The wench by my fault is set forth to sell. lo

The bawd I play, lovers to her I guide :

Her gate by my hands is set open wide.

'Tis doubtful whether verse avail or harm,

Against my good they were an envious charm.

When Thebes, when Troy, when Caesar should be writ,

Alone Corinna moves my wanton wit.

With Muse opposed, would I my lines had done,

And Phoebus had forsook my work began !

Nor, as use will not poets' record hear.

Would I my words would any credit bear. 20

1 Not in Isbam copy or ed. A.

- Marlowe has put his negative in the wrong place and made nonsense
of the couplet : —

" Quis fuit ille dies quo tristia semper amanti
Omina non albae concinuistis aves?"
^ Old eds. "'lookes."

Ovid^s Elegies. 205

Scylla by us her father's rich hair steals,

And Scylla's womb mad raging dogs conceals.

We cause feet fly, we mingle hares with snakes,

Victorious Perseus a winged steed's back takes.

Our verse great Tityus a huge space outspreads,

And gives the viper-curled dog three heads.

We make Enceladus use a thousand arms,

And men enthralled by mermaid's ^ singing charms.

The east winds in Ulysses' bags we shut.

And blabbing Tantalus in mid-waters put, 3°

Niobe flint, Callist we make a bear.

Bird-changed Progne doth her Itys tear.-

Jove turns himself into a swan, or gold.

Or his bull's horns Europa's hand doth hold.

Proteus what should I name ? teeth, Thebes' first seed ?

Oxen in whose mouths burning flames did breed ?

Heaven-star, Electra,^ that bewailed her sisters ?

The ships, whose godhead in the sea now glisters ?

The sun turned back from Atreus' cursbd table ? 39

And sweet-touched harp that to move stones was able ?

Poets' large power is boundless and immense,

Nor have their words true history's pretence.

And my wench ought to have seemed falsely praised,

Now your credulity harm to me hath raised.

J " Ambiguae captos virginis ore viros." (" Ambigua virgo" is the
2 The original has " Concinit Odrysium Cecropis ales Ityn."
2 Marlowe's copy must have been very corrupt here. 1 he true read-
ing is

" Flere genis electra tuas, auriga, sorores?"

2o6 Ovid's Elegies.

Elegia Xlll.i

De Junonis festo.

When fruit-filled Tuscia should a wife give me,

We touched the walls, Camillus, won by thee.

The priests to Juno did prepare chaste feasts,

With famous pageants, and their home-bred beasts.

To know their rites well recompensed my stay,

Though thither leads a rough steep hilly way.

There stands an old wood with thick trees dark-clouded :

Who sees it grants some deity there is shrouded.

An altar takes men's incense and oblation,

An altar made after the ancient fashion. lo

Here, when the pipe with solemn tunes doth sound,

The annual pomp goes on the covered - ground.

White heifers by glad people forth are led,

Which with the grass of Tuscan fields are fed,

And calves from whose feared front no threatening flies.

And little pigs, base hogsties' sacrifice,

And rams with horns their hard heads wreathed back ;

Only the goddess-hated goat did lack,

By whom disclosed, she in the high woods took,

Is said to have attempted flight forsook. 20

Now 3 is the goat brought through the boys with darts,

And give[n] to him that the first wound imparts.

1 Not in Isham copy or ed. A.

2 " It per velatas annua pompa vias."

3 " Nunc quoque per pueros jaculis incessitur index,

Et pretium auctori vulneris ipsa datur. "

Ovid's Elegies 207

Where Juno comes, each youth and pretty maid,

Show* large ways, with their garments there displayed.

Jewels and gold their virgin tresses crown,

And stately robes to their gilt feet hang down.

As is the use, the nuns in white veils clad,

Upon their heads the holy mysteries had.

When the chief pomp comes, loud - the people hollow :

And she her vestal virgin priests doth follow. 30

Such was the Greek pomp, Agamemnon dead ;

Which fact 3 and country wealth Halesus fled ;

And having wandered now through sea and land.

Built walls high towered with a prosperous hand.

He to th' Hetrurians Juno's feast commended :

Let me and them by it be aye befriended.

Elegia XIV.

Ad amicam, si peccatura est, ut occulte peccet.

Seeing thou art fair, I bar not thy false playing.
But let not me, poor soul, know"* of thy straying.
Nor do I give thee counsel to live chaste.
But that thou would'st dissemble, when 'tis past.

1 " Praeverrunt latasveste jacente vias." — Dyce remarks that Marlowe
read '' Praebuerant.'"

2 ''Ore favent populi." (In Henry's monumental edition of V'irgil's
^^Sneid, vol. iii. pp. 25-27, there is a very interesting note on the meaning
of the formula " ore favete." He denies the correctness of the ordinary
interpretation " be silent.")

* •' Et scelus et patrias fugit Halaesus opes.''

* So Isham copy and eds. B, C. — Ed. A " wit."

2o8 Ovid' s Elegies.

She hath not trod awry, that doth deny it.

Such as confess have lost their good names by it.

What madness is't to tell night-pranks ^ by day ?

And 2 hidden secrets openly to bewray ?

The strumpet with the stranger will not do,

Before the room be clear and door put-to. lo

Will you make shipwreck of your honest name,

And let the world be witness of the same ?

Be more advised, walk as a puritan,

And I shall think you chaste, do what you can.

Slip still, only deny it when 'tis done,

And, before folk,^ immodest speeches shun.

The bed is for lascivious toyings meet.

There use all tricks,* and tread shame under feet.

When you are up and dressed, be sage and grave,

And in the bed hide all the faults you have. 20

Be not ashamed to strip you, being there,

And mingle thighs, yours ever mine to bear.^

There in your rosy lips my tongue entomb,

Practise a thousand sports when there you come.

Forbear no wanton words you there would speak,

And with your pastime let the bedstead creak ;

But with your robes put on an honest face.

And blush, and seem as you were full of grace.

Deceive all ; let me err ; and think I'm right,

And like a wittol think thee void of slight. 30

1 So Isham copy.— Ed. A " night-sports."

2 So eds. B, C. — Isham copy and ed. A " Or."

3 So Isham copy. — Ed. A "people."
* So Isham copy. — Ed. A " toyes."

5 So eds. B, C, — Isham copy and ed. A "mine ever yours.

Ovid's Elegies. 209

Why see I lines so oft received and given ?

This bed and that by tumbhng nnade uneven ?

Like one start up your hair tost and displaced,

And with a wanton's tooth your neck new-rased.

Grant this, that what you do I may not see ;

If you weigh not ill speeches, yet weigh me.

My soul fleets ^ when I think what you have done,

And thorough ^ every vein doth cold blood run.

Then thee whom I must love, I hate in vain,

And would be dead, but dead ^ with thee remain. 40

I'll not sift much, but hold thee soon excused..

Say but thou wert injuriously accused.

Though while the deed be doing you be took,

And I see when you ope the two-leaved book,^

Swear I was blind ; deny ^ if you be wise.

And I will trust your words more than mine eyes.

From him that yields, the palm ^ is quickly got,

Teach but your tongue to say, " I did it not,"

And being justified by two words, think

The cause acquits you not, but I " that wink. 50

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryChristopher MarloweThe works of Christoher Marlowe; (Volume 3) → online text (page 11 of 18)