Christopher Marlowe.

The works of Christoher Marlowe; (Volume 3) online

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Thus in his fright did each man strengthen fame,

And, without ground, fear'd what themselves had feign'd.

Nor were the commons only struck to heart

With this vain terror ; but the court, the senate,

The fathers selves leap'd from their seats, and, flying,

Left hateful war decreed to both the consuls.

Then, with their fear and danger all-distract,

Their sway of flight carries the heady rout,^

That in chain'd * troops break forth at every port :

You would have thought their houses had been fir'd, 490

Or, dropping-ripe, ready to fall with ruin.

So rush'd the inconsiderate multitude

Thorough the city, hurried headlong on,

As if the only hope that did remain

To their afflictions were t' abandon Rome.

Look how, when stormy Auster from the breach

Of Libyan Syrtes rolls a monstrous wave.

1 The original has —

" Hunc inter Rhenum populos Alpesque jacentes, / Finibus Arctois
patriaque asederevulsos, / Ponesequi."/ (" Populos " is the subject and
" Hunc " the object of "sequi." For " Hunc" the best editions give
" Tunc")

2 " Parts" must be pronounced as a dissyllable.

3 " Praecipitern populum."

■» " Sericque haerentia longa / Agmina prorumpunt. "

First Book of L tic an . 273

Which makes the main-sail fall with hideous sound,

The pilot from the helm leaps in the sea,

And mariners, albeit the keel be sound, 500

Shipwreck themselves ; even so, the city left.

All rise in arms ; nor could the bed-rid parents

Keep back their sons, or women's tears their husbands :

They stayed not either to pray or sacrifice ;

Their household-gods restrain them not ; none lingered.

As loath to leave Rome whom they held so dear :

Th' irrevocable people fly in troops.

O gods, that easy grant men great estates.

But hardly grace to keep them ! Rome, that flows

With citizens and captives,^ and would hold 510

The world, were it together, is by cowards

Left as a prey, now Cssar doth approach.

When Romans are besieged by foreign foes.

With slender trench they escape night-stratagems,

And sudden rampire rais'd of turf snatched up.

Would make them sleep securely in their tents.

Thou, Rome, at name of war runn'st from thyself,

And wilt not trust thy city-walls one night :

Well might these fear, when Pompey feared and fled.

Now evermore, lest some one hope might ease 520

The commons' jangling minds, apparent signs arose.

Strange sights appeared ; the angry threatening gods

Filled both the earth and seas with prodigies.

Great store of strange and unknown stars were seen

1 " Urbem populis, victisq-ue frequentem
Gentibus." — Old ed. "captaines."

2 74 First Book of Ltican.

Wandering about the north, and rings of fire

Fly in the air, and dreadful bearded stars,

And comets that presage the fall of kingdoms ;

The flattering ^ sky glittered in often flames,

And sundry fiery meteors blazed in heaven,

Now spear-like long, now like a spreading torch ; 530

Lightning in silence stole forth without clouds,

And, from the northern climate snatching fire.

Blasted the Capitol ; the lesser stars.

Which wont to run their course through empty night.

At noon-day mustered ; Phoebe, having filled

Her meeting horns to match her brother's light,

Struck with th' earth's sudden shadow, waxed pale ;

Titan himself, throned in the midst of heaven,

His burning chariot plunged in sable clouds,

And whelmed the world in darkness, making men 540

Despair of day ; as did Thyestes' town,

Mycenae, Phoebus flying through the east.

Fierce Mulciber unbarred Etna's gate.

Which flamed not on high, but headlong pitched

Her burning head on bending Hespery.

Coal-black Charybdis whirled a sea of blood.

Fierce mastives howled. The vestal fires went out ;

The flame in Alba, consecrate to Jove,

Parted in twain, and with a double point

Rose, like the Theban brothers' funeral fire. 550

The earth went off her hinges ; and the Alps

Shook the old snow from off their trembling laps."

1 " Fulg^ra/a//acz micuerunt crebra sereno. "

2 The original has, " jugh nutantibus." Dyce reads "tops," — an

Fh'st Book of L iican. 275

The ocean swelled as high as Spanish Calpe

Or Atlas' head. Their saints and household-gods

Sweat tears, to show the travails of their city :

Crowns fell from holy statues. Ominous birds

Defiled the day; and wild beasts were seen,^

Leaving the woods, lodge in the streets of Rome,

Cattle were seen that muttered human speech ;

Prodigious births with more and ugly joints 560

Than nature gives, whose sight appals the mother \

And dismal prophecies were spread abroad :

And they, whom fierce Bellona's fury moves

To wound their arms, sing vengeance ; Cybel's ^ priests.

Curling their bloody locks, howl dreadful things.

Souls quiet and appeas'd sighed from their graves ;

Clashing of arms was heard ; in untrod woods

Shrill voices Sebright ;^ and ghosts encounter men.

Those that inhabited the suburb-fields

Fled : foul Erinnys stalked about the walls, 570

Shaking her snaky hair and crooked pine

With flaming top ; much like that hellish fiend

Which made the stern Lycurgus wound his thigh,

Or fierce Agave mad ; or like Megaera

That scar'd Alcides, when by Juno's task

He had before look'd Pluto in the face.

emendation against whicli Cunningham loudly protests. "Laps'' is
certainly more emphatic.

1 The line is imperfect. We should have expected " at night wild
beasts were seen " (" silvisque feras sub node relictis "].

2 Olded. "Sibils."

3 Shrieked.

276 First Book of Lucan.

Trumpets were heard to sound ; and with what noise

An armed battle joins, such and more strange

Black night brought forth in secret. Sylla's ghost

Was seen to walk, singing sad oracles ; 580

And Marius' head above cold Tav'ron ^ peering.

His grave broke open, did affright the boors.

To these ostents, as their old custom was.

They called th' Etrurian augurs : amongst whom

The gravest, Arruns, dwelt in forsaken Leuca ^

Well-skill'd in pyromancy ; one that knew

The hearts of beasts, and flight of wandering fowls.

First he commands such monsters Nature hatch'd

Against her kind, the barren mule's loath'd issue,

To be cut forth ^ and cast in dismal fires ; 590

Then, that the trembling citizens should walk

About the city ; then, the sacred priests

That with divine lustration purg'd the walls,

And went the round, in and without the town ;

Next, an inferior troop, in tuck'd-up vestures,

After the Gabine manner ; then, the nuns

And their veil'd matron, who alone might view

Minerva's statue ; then, they that kept and read

Sibylla's secret works, and wash * their saint

In Almo's flood ; next learned augurs follow ; 600

Apollo's soothsayers, and Jove's feasting priests ;

1 " Gelidas Anienis ad undas."

2 '"Or Lunse''— marginal note in old ed.
' The original has " rapi."

< Olded. "wash'd."

First Book of Luc an. 277

The skipping Salii with shields hke wedges ;

And Flamens last, with net-work woollen veils.

While these thus in and out had circled Rome,

Look, what the lightning blasted, Arruns takes,

And it inters with murmurs dolorous.

And calls the place Bidental. On the altar

He lays a ne'er-yok'd bull, and pours down wine,

Then crams salt leaven on his crooked knife :

The beast long struggled, as being like to prove 610

An awkward sacrifice ; but by the horns

The quick priest pulled him on his knees, and slew

No vein sprung out, but from the yawning gash.
Instead of red blood, wallow'd venomous gore.
These direful signs made Arruns stand amazed.
And searching farther for the gods' displeasure,
The very colour scared him ; 3. dead blackness
Ran through the blood, that turned it all to jelly,
And stained the bowels with dark loathsome spots ;
The liver swelled with filth ; and every vein 620

Did threaten horror from the host of Caesar ;
A small thin skin contained the vital parts ;
The heart stirred not ; and from the gaping liver
Squeezed matter through the caul ; the entrails peered ;
And which (ay me !) ever pretendeth ^ ill.
At that bunch where the liver is, appear'd
A knob of flesh, whereof one half did look

i Portendeth.

278 First Book of Ltican.

Dead and discolour'd, th' other lean and thin,*

By these he seeing what mischiefs must ensue,

Cried out, *' O gods, I tremble to unfold 630

What you intend ! great Jove is now displeas'd ;

And in the breast of this slain bull are crept

Th' infernal powers. My fear transcends my words ;

Yet more will happen than I can unfold :

Turn all to good, be augury vain, and Tages,

Th' art's master, false ! " Thus, in ambiguous terms

Involving all, did Arruns darkly sing.

But Figulus, more seen in heavenly mysteries,

Whose like Egyptian Memphis never had

For skill in stars and tuneful planeting,^ 640

In this sort spake : " The world's swift course is

And casual ; all the stars at random range ; ^
Or if fate rule them, Rome, thy citizens
Are near some plague. What mischief shall ensue ?
Shall towns be swallow'd ? shall the thicken'd air
Become intemperate ? shall the earth be barren ?
Shall water be congeal'd and turn'd to ice ? ^
O gods, what death prepare ye ? with what plague

1 Here Marlowe quite deserts the original —

" pars £Bgra et marcida pendet,
Pars micat, et celeri venas movet improha pulsu."

2 " Numerisque moventibus astra." — The word "planeting" was, I
suppose, coined by Marlowe. I have never met it elsewhere.

* So Dyce.— Old ed. "radge." (The original has " et incerto dis-
curriint sidera motu.")

4 " Omnis an effusis miscebitur unda v«?^«;j." — Dyce suggests that
Marlowe's copy read " pruinis."

First Book of Lucan. 279

Mean ye to rage ? the death of many men

Meets in one period. If cold noisome Saturn 650

Were now exalted, and with blue beams shin'd,

Then Ganymede ^ would renew Deucalion's flood,

And in the fleeting sea the earth be drench'd.

O Phoebus, shouldst thou with thy rays now singe

The fell Nemaean beast, th' earth would be fir'd,

And heaven tormented with thy chafing heat :

But thy fires hurt not. Mars, 'tis thou inflam'st

The threatening Scorpion with the burning tail,

And fir'st his cleys : ^ why art thou thus enrag'd ?

Kind Jupiter hath low declin'd himself; 660

Venus is faint ; swift Hermes retrograde ;

Mars only rules the heaven. Why do the planets

Alter their course, and vainly dim their virtue ?

Sword-girt Orion's side glisters too bright :

War's rage draws near ; and to the sword's strong hand

Let all laws yield, sin bears the name of virtue :

Many a year these furious broils let last :

Why should we wish the gods should ever end them ?

War only gives us peace. O Rome, continue

The course of mischief, and stretch out the date 670

Of slaughter ! only civil broils make peace."

These sad presages were enough to scare

The quivering Romans ; but worse things affright them.

As Msenas ^ full of wine on Pindus raves,

1 The original has "Aquarius." — Ganymede was changed into the
sign Aquarius : see Hyginus' Poeticon Astjon. II. 29.

2 Claws. 3 A Maenad. — Old ed. " Maenus."

28o First Book of Lucan.

So runs a matron through th' amazbd streets,

Disclosing Phoebus' fury in this sort ;

" Psan, whither am I haled ? where shall I fall,

Thus borne aloft ? I see Pangseus' hill

With hoary top, and, under Haemus' mount,

Philippi plains. Phoebus, what rage is this ? 680

Why grapples Rome, and makes war, having no foes ?

Whither turn I now ? thou lead'st me toward th' east.

Where Nile augmenteth the Pelusian sea :

This headless trunk that lies on Nilus' sand

I know. Now th[o]roughout the air I fly

To doubtful Syrtes and dry Afric, where

A Fury leads the Emathian bands. From thence

To the pine-bearing ^ hills ; thence ^ to the mounts

Pyrene ; and so back to Rome again.

See, impious war defiles the senate-house ! 690

New factions rise. Now through the world again

I go. O Phoebus, show me Neptune's shore.

And other regions ! I have seen Philippi."

This said, being tir'd with fury, she sunk down.

1 The original has " Nubiferae."

2 Old ed. "hence."



Come 2 live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and vallies, dales and fields,^
Woods or steepy mountain yields.'*

And we will ^ sit upon the rocks,
Seeing*^ the shepherds feed their ^ flocks
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing^ madrigals.

1 This delightful pastoral song was first published, without the fourth
and sixth stanzas, in The Passionate Pilgrim, 1599. It appeared com-
plete in England's Helicon, 1600, with Marlowe's name subscribed. By
quoting it in the Co7npletc Angler, 1653, Izaak Walton has made it
known to a world of readers.

2 Omitted in P. P.

3 So P. P. — E. H. " That vallies, groves, hills and fieldes."— Walton
"That vallies, groves, or hils or fields."

4 So E. H. — P. P. " And the craggy mountain yields.'' — Walton " Or,
woods and steeple mountains yeelds."

5 So E. H. — P. P. "There will we." — Walton " Where we will."

6 So E. H.— P. P. and Walton "And see."
' So E. H. and P. P. — W^alton " our."

* So P. P. and Walton.— E. H. "sings."

284 The Passionate Shepherd

And I will make thee beds of roses ^
And 2 a thousand fragrant posies,
A cup of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle,

A gown ^ made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull ;
Fair-lined * slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs ;
An if these pleasures may thee move,
Come ^ live with me, and be my love.

The shepherd-swains^ shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning ;
If these delights thy mind may move.
Then live with me, and be my love.

1 So E. H. and Walton. — P. P. "There will I make thee a bed of

2 SoE. H.— P. P. "With."— Walton "And then."

* This stanza is omitted in P. P.

* So E. H. — Walton "Slippers lin'd choicely."

5 So E. H. and Walton.— P. P. " Then."— After this stanza there
follows in the second edition of the Complete Angler, 1655, an addi-
tional stanza : —

" Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepar'd each day for thee and me."
« This stanza is omitted in P. P.— E. H. and Walton "The sheep-
beards swaines.*'

To his Love. 285

[In England's Helicon Marlowe's song is followed by the
" Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd " and " Another of the same
Nature made since." Both are signed Ignoto, but the first of
these pieces has been usually ascribed to Sir Walter Raleigh ' —
on no very substantial grounds.]


If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every Shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.

But Time drives flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields ;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall.
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

1 Oldys in his annotated copy (preserved in the British Museum) of
Langbaine's Engl. Dram. Poets, under the article ^l/

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 17 18

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