The time, at the first murm'ring of her doves.
I stript myself naked all o're, as he:
For so I was best arm'd, when bare.
His first pass did my liver rase: yet I
Made home a falsify too neer:
For when my arm to its true distance came,
I nothing touch'd but a fantastick flame.
This, this is love we daily quarrel so,
An idle Don-Quichoterie:
We whip our selves with our own twisted wo,
And wound the ayre for a fly.
The only way t' undo this enemy
Is to laugh at the boy, and he will cry.
"To falsify a thrust," says Phillips (WORLD OF WORDS,
ed. 1706, art. FALSIFY), "is to make a feigned pass." Lovelace
here employs the word as a substantive rather awkwardly; but
the meaning is, no doubt, the same.
CUPID FAR GONE.
What, so beyond all madnesse is the elf,
Now he hath got out of himself!
His fatal enemy the Bee,
Nor his deceiv'd artillerie,
His shackles, nor the roses bough
Ne'r half so netled him, as he is now.
See! at's own mother he is offering;
His finger now fits any ring;
Old Cybele he would enjoy,
And now the girl, and now the boy.
He proffers Jove a back caresse,
And all his love in the antipodes.
Jealous of his chast Psyche, raging he
Quarrels with student Mercurie,
And with a proud submissive breath
Offers to change his darts with Death.
He strikes at the bright eye of day,
And Juno tumbles in her milky way.
The dear sweet secrets of the gods he tells,
And with loath'd hate lov'd heaven he swells;
Now, like a fury, he belies
Myriads of pure virginities,
And swears, with this false frenzy hurl'd,
There's not a vertuous she in all the world.
Olympus he renownces, then descends,
And makes a friendship with the fiends;
Bids Charon be no more a slave,
He Argos rigg'd with stars shall have,
And triple Cerberus from below
Must leash'd t' himself with him a hunting go.
This stanza was suppressed by Mr. Singer.
Original reads THE.
A MOCK SONG.
Now Whitehall's in the grave,
And our head is our slave,
The bright pearl in his close shell of oyster;
Now the miter is lost,
The proud Praelates, too, crost,
And all Rome's confin'd to a cloister.
He, that Tarquin was styl'd,
Our white land's exil'd,
Not a court ape's left to confute us;
Then let your voyces rise high,
As your colours did flye,
And flour'shing cry:
Long live the brave Oliver-Brutus.
Now the sun is unarm'd,
And the moon by us charm'd,
All the stars dissolv'd to a jelly;
Now the thighs of the Crown
And the arms are lopp'd down,
And the body is all but a belly.
Let the Commons go on,
The town is our own,
We'l rule alone:
For the Knights have yielded their spent-gorge;
And an order is tane
With HONY SOIT profane,
Shout forth amain:
For our Dragon hath vanquish'd the St. George.
A FLY CAUGHT IN A COBWEB.
Small type of great ones, that do hum
Within this whole world's narrow room,
That with a busie hollow noise
Catch at the people's vainer voice,
And with spread sails play with their breath,
Whose very hails new christen death.
Poor Fly, caught in an airy net,
Thy wings have fetter'd now thy feet;
Where, like a Lyon in a toyl,
Howere thou keep'st a noble coyl,
And beat'st thy gen'rous breast, that o're
The plains thy fatal buzzes rore,
Till thy all-bellyd foe (round elf)
Hath quarter'd thee within himself.
Was it not better once to play
I' th' light of a majestick ray,
Where, though too neer and bold, the fire
Might sindge thy upper down attire,
And thou i' th' storm to loose an eye.
A wing, or a self-trapping thigh:
Yet hadst thou fal'n like him, whose coil
Made fishes in the sea to broyl,
When now th'ast scap'd the noble flame;
Trapp'd basely in a slimy frame,
And free of air, thou art become
Slave to the spawn of mud and lome?
Nor is't enough thy self do's dresse
To thy swoln lord a num'rous messe,
And by degrees thy thin veins bleed,
And piecemeal dost his poyson feed;
But now devour'd, art like to be
A net spun for thy familie,
And, straight expanded in the air,
Hang'st for thy issue too a snare.
Strange witty death and cruel ill
That, killing thee, thou thine dost kill!
Like pies, in whose entombed ark
All fowl crowd downward to a lark,
Thou art thine en'mies' sepulcher,
And in thee buriest, too, thine heir.
Yet Fates a glory have reserv'd
For one so highly hath deserv'd.
As the rhinoceros doth dy
Under his castle-enemy,
As through the cranes trunk throat doth speed,
The aspe doth on his feeder feed;
Fall yet triumphant in thy woe,
Bound with the entrails of thy foe.
A FLY ABOUT A GLASSE OF BURNT CLARET.
Forbear this liquid fire, Fly,
It is more fatal then the dry,
That singly, but embracing, wounds;
And this at once both burns and drowns.
The salamander, that in heat
And flames doth cool his monstrous sweat,
Whose fan a glowing cake is said,
Of this red furnace is afraid.
Viewing the ruby-christal shine,
Thou tak'st it for heaven-christalline;
Anon thou wilt be taught to groan:
'Tis an ascended Acheron.
A snow-ball heart in it let fall,
And take it out a fire-ball;
Ali icy breast in it betray'd
Breaks a destructive wild granade.
'Tis this makes Venus altars shine,
This kindles frosty Hymen's pine;
When the boy grows old in his desires,
This flambeau doth new light his fires.
Though the cold hermit over wail,
Whose sighs do freeze, and tears drop hail,
Once having pass'd this, will ne'r
Another flaming purging fear.
The vestal drinking this doth burn
Now more than in her fun'ral urn;
Her fires, that with the sun kept race,
Are now extinguish'd by her face.
The chymist, that himself doth still,
Let him but tast this limbecks bill,
And prove this sublimated bowl,
He'll swear it will calcine a soul.
Noble, and brave! now thou dost know
The false prepared decks below,
Dost thou the fatal liquor sup,
One drop, alas! thy barque blowes up.
What airy country hast to save,
Whose plagues thou'lt bury in thy grave?
For even now thou seem'st to us
On this gulphs brink a Curtius.
And now th' art faln (magnanimous Fly)
In, where thine Ocean doth fry,
Like the Sun's son, who blush'd the flood
To a complexion of blood.
Yet, see! my glad auricular
Redeems thee (though dissolv'd) a star,
Flaggy thy wings, and scorch'd thy thighs,
Thou ly'st a double sacrifice.
And now my warming, cooling breath
Shall a new life afford in death;
See! in the hospital of my hand
Already cur'd, thou fierce do'st stand.
Burnt insect! dost thou reaspire
The moist-hot-glasse and liquid fire?
I see 'tis such a pleasing pain,
Thou would'st be scorch'd and drown'd again.
Lovelace was by no means peculiar in the fondness which
he has shown in this poem and elsewhere for figures drawn from
the language of alchemy.
"Retire into thy grove of eglantine,
Where I will all those ravished sweets distill
Through Love's alembic, and with chemic skill
From the mix'd mass one sovereign balm derive."
Carew's POEMS (1640), ed. 1772, p. 77.
" - - I will try
From the warm limbeck of my eye,
In such a method to distil
Tears on thy marble nature - - "
Shirley's POEMS (Works by Dyce, vi. 407).
"Nature's Confectioner, the BEE,
Whose suckers are moist ALCHYMIE,
The still of his refining Mould,
Minting the garden into gold."
Cleveland's POEMS, ed. 1669, p. 4.
"Fisher is here with purple wing,
Who brings me to the Spring-head, where
Crystall is Lymbeckt all the year."
Lord Westmoreland's OTIA SACRA, 1648, p. 137,
WEAK. The word was once not very uncommon in writings.
Bacon, Spenser, &c. use it; but it is now, I believe, confined
to Somersetshire and the bordering counties.
"LUKE. A south wind
Shall sooner soften marble, and the rain,
That slides down gently from his flaggy wings,
O'erflow the Alps."
Massinger's CITY MADAM, 1658.
Mongst the worlds wonders, there doth yet remain
One greater than the rest, that's all those o're again,
And her own self beside: A Lady, whose soft breast
Is with vast honours soul and virtues life possest.
Fair as original light first from the chaos shot,
When day in virgin-beams triumph'd, and night was not,
And as that breath infus'd in the new-breather good,
When ill unknown was dumb, and bad not understood;
Chearful, as that aspect at this world's finishing,
When cherubims clapp'd wings, and th' sons of Heaven did sing;
Chast as th' Arabian bird, who all the ayr denyes,
And ev'n in flames expires, when with her selfe she lyes.
Oh! she's as kind as drops of new faln April showers,
That on each gentle breast spring fresh perfuming flowers;
She's constant, gen'rous, fixt; she's calm, she is the all
We can of vertue, honour, faith, or glory call,
And she is (whom I thus transmit to endless fame)
Mistresse oth' world and me, and LAURA is her name.
LUTE AND VOICE.
L. Sing, Laura, sing, whilst silent are the sphears,
And all the eyes of Heaven are turn'd to ears.
V. Touch thy dead wood, and make each living tree
Unchain its feet, take arms, and follow thee.
L. Sing. V. Touch. 0 Touch. L. 0 Sing.
BOTH. It is the souls, souls sole offering.
V. Touch the divinity of thy chords, and make
Each heart string tremble, and each sinew shake.
L. Whilst with your voyce you rarifie the air,
None but an host of angels hover here.
CHORUS. SING, TOUCH, &c.
V. Touch thy soft lute, and in each gentle thread
The lyon and the panther captive lead.
L. Sing, and in heav'n inthrone deposed love,
Whilst angels dance, and fiends in order move.
What sacred charm may this then be
That thus can make the angels wild,
The devils mild,
And teach low hell to heav'n to swell,
And the high heav'n to stoop to hell?
Original and Singer read REACH.
A MOCK CHARON.
W. Charon! thou slave! thou fooll! thou cavaleer!
CHA. A slave! a fool! what traitor's voice I hear?
W. Come bring thy boat. CH. No, sir. W. No! sirrah, why?
CHA. The blest will disagree, and fiends will mutiny
At thy, at thy [un]numbred treachery.
W. Villain, I have a pass which who disdains,
I will sequester the Elizian plains.
CHA. Woes me, ye gentle shades! where shall I dwell?
He's come! It is not safe to be in hell.
Thus man, his honor lost, falls on these shelves;
Furies and fiends are still true to themselves.
CHA. You must, lost fool, come in. W. Oh, let me in!
But now I fear thy boat will sink with my ore-weighty sin.
Where, courteous Charon, am I now? CHA. Vile rant!
At the gates of thy supreme Judge Rhadamant.
DOUBLE CHORUS OF DIVELS.
Welcome to rape, to theft, to perjurie,
To all the ills thou wert, we canot hope to be;
Oh, pitty us condemned! Oh, cease to wooe,
And softly, softly breath, least you infect us too.
This word is used here merely to denote a GALLANT,
a FELLOW. From being in its primitive sense a most honourable
appellation, it became, during and after the civil war between
Charles and the Parliament, a term of equivocal import.
Here equivalent to RANTER, and used for the sake of the
THE TOAD AND SPYDER.
Upon a day, when the Dog-star
Unto the world proclaim'd a war,
And poyson bark'd from black throat,
And from his jaws infection shot,
Under a deadly hen-bane shade
With slime infernal mists are made,
Met the two dreaded enemies,
Having their weapons in their eyes.
First from his den rolls forth that load
Of spite and hate, the speckl'd toad,
And from his chaps a foam doth spawn,
Such as the loathed three heads yawn;
Defies his foe with a fell spit,
To wade through death to meet with it;
Then in his self the lymbeck turns,
And his elixir'd poyson urns.
Arachne, once the fear oth' maid
Coelestial, thus unto her pray'd:
Heaven's blew-ey'd daughter, thine own mother!
The Python-killing Sun's thy brother.
Oh! thou, from gods that didst descend,
With a poor virgin to contend,
Shall seed of earth and hell ere be
A rival in thy victorie?
Pallas assents: for now long time
And pity had clean rins'd her crime;
When straight she doth with active fire
Her many legged foe inspire.
Have you not seen a charact lie
A great cathedral in the sea,
Under whose Babylonian walls
A small thin frigot almshouse stalls?
So in his slime the toad doth float
And th' spyder by, but seems his boat.
And now the naumachie begins;
Close to the surface her self spins:
Arachne, when her foe lets flye
A broad-side of his breath too high,
That's over-shot, the wisely-stout,
Advised maid doth tack about;
And now her pitchy barque doth sweat,
Chaf'd in her own black fury wet;
Lasie and cold before, she brings
New fires to her contracted stings,
And with discolour'd spumes doth blast
The herbs that to their center hast.
Now to the neighb'ring henbane top
Arachne hath her self wound up,
And thence, from its dilated leaves,
By her own cordage downwards weaves,
And doth her town of foe attack,
And storms the rampiers of his back;
Which taken in her colours spread,
March to th' citadel of's head.
Now as in witty torturing Spain,
The brain is vext to vex the brain,
Where hereticks bare heads are arm'd
In a close helm, and in it charm'd
An overgrown and meagre rat,
That peece-meal nibbles himself fat;
So on the toads blew-checquer'd scull
The spider gluttons her self full.
And vomiting her Stygian seeds,
Her poyson on his poyson feeds.
Thus the invenom'd toad, now grown
Big with more poyson than his own,
Doth gather all his pow'rs, and shakes
His stormer in's disgorged lakes;
And wounded now, apace crawls on
To his next plantane surgeon,
With whose rich balm no sooner drest,
But purged is his sick swoln breast;
And as a glorious combatant,
That only rests awhile to pant,
Then with repeated strength and scars,
That smarting fire him new to wars,
Deals blows that thick themselves prevent,
As they would gain the time he spent.
So the disdaining angry toad,
That calls but a thin useless load,
His fatal feared self comes back
With unknown venome fill'd to crack.
Th' amased spider, now untwin'd,
Hath crept up, and her self new lin'd
With fresh salt foams and mists, that blast
The ambient air as they past.
And now me thinks a Sphynx's wing
I pluck, and do not write, but sting;
With their black blood my pale inks blent,
Gall's but a faint ingredient.
The pol'tick toad doth now withdraw,
Warn'd, higher in CAMPANIA.
There wisely doth, intrenched deep,
His body in a body keep,
And leaves a wide and open pass
T' invite the foe up to his jaws,
Which there within a foggy blind
With fourscore fire-arms were lin'd.
The gen'rous active spider doubts
More ambuscadoes than redoubts;
So within shot she doth pickear,
Now gall's the flank, and now the rear;
As that the toad in's own dispite
Must change the manner of his fight,
Who, like a glorious general,
With one home-charge lets fly at all.
Chaf'd with a fourfold ven'mous foam
Of scorn, revenge, his foes and 's own,
He seats him in his loathed chair,
New-made him by each mornings air,
With glowing eyes he doth survey
Th' undaunted hoast he calls his prey;
Then his dark spume he gred'ly laps,
And shows the foe his grave, his chaps.
Whilst the quick wary Amazon
Of 'vantage takes occasion,
And with her troop of leggs carreers
In a full speed with all her speers.
Down (as some mountain on a mouse)
On her small cot he flings his house;
Without the poyson of the elf,
The toad had like t' have burst himself:
For sage Arachne with good heed
Had stopt herself upon full speed,
And, 's body now disorder'd, on
She falls to execution.
The passive toad now only can
Contemn and suffer. Here began
The wronged maids ingenious rage,
Which his heart venome must asswage.
One eye she hath spet out, strange smother,
When one flame doth put out another,
And one eye wittily spar'd, that he
Might but behold his miserie.
She on each spot a wound doth print,
And each speck hath a sting within't;
Till he but one new blister is,
And swells his own periphrasis.
Then fainting, sick, and yellow-pale,
She baths him with her sulph'rous stale;
Thus slacked is her Stygian fire,
And she vouchsafes now to retire.
Anon the toad begins to pant,
Bethinks him of th' almighty plant,
And lest he peece-meal should be sped,
Wisely doth finish himself dead.
Whilst the gay girl, as was her fate,
Doth wanton and luxuriate,
And crowns her conqu'ring head all or
With fatal leaves of hellebore.
Not guessing at the pretious aid
Was lent her by the heavenly maid.
The neer expiring toad now rowls
Himself in lazy bloody scrowls,
To th' sov'raign salve of all his ills,
That only life and health distills.
But loe! a terror above all,
That ever yet did him befall!
Pallas, still mindful of her foe,
(Whilst they did with each fires glow)
Had to the place the spiders lar
Dispath'd before the ev'nings star.
He learned was in Natures laws,
Of all her foliage knew the cause,
And 'mongst the rest in his choice want
Unplanted had this plantane plant.
The all-confounded toad doth see
His life fled with his remedie,
And in a glorious despair
First burst himself, and next the air;
Then with a dismal horred yell
Beats down his loathsome breath to hell.
But what inestimable bliss
This to the sated virgin is,
Who, as before of her fiend foe,
Now full is of her goddess too!
She from her fertile womb hath spun
Her stateliest pavillion,
Whilst all her silken flags display,
And her triumphant banners play;
Where Pallas she ith' midst doth praise,
And counterfeits her brothers rayes,
Nor will she her dear lar forget,
Victorious by his benefit,
Whose roof inchanted she doth free
From haunting gnat and goblin bee,
Who, trapp'd in her prepared toyle,
To their destruction keep a coyle.
Then she unlocks the toad's dire head,
Within whose cell is treasured
That pretious stone, which she doth call
A noble recompence for all,
And to her lar doth it present,
Of his fair aid a monument.
It will be seen that this poem partly turns on the
mythological tale of Arachne and Minerva, and the metamorphosis
of the former by the angry goddess into a spider ().
i.e. CARAK, or CARRICK, as the word is variously spelled.
This large kind of ship was much used by the Greeks and Venetians
during the middle ages, and also by other nations.
The poet rather awkwardly sustains his simile, and
employs, in expressing a contest between the toad and the
spider, a term signifying a naval battle, or, at least,
a fight between two ships.
Lovelace's fondness for military similitudes is constantly
standing in the way, and marring his attempts at poetical imagery.
A form of RAMPART, sanctioned by Dryden.
Medicinal herb or plant.
CAMPANIA may signify, in the present passage, either
a field or the country generally, or a plain. It is a clumsy
In the sense in which it is here used this word seems
to be peculiar to Lovelace. TO PICKEAR, or PICKEER, means
Wise emblem of our politick world,
Sage Snayl, within thine own self curl'd,
Instruct me softly to make hast,
Whilst these my feet go slowly fast.
Compendious Snayl! thou seem'st to me
Large Euclid's strict epitome;
And in each diagram dost fling
Thee from the point unto the ring.
A figure now trianglare,
An oval now, and now a square,
And then a serpentine, dost crawl,
Now a straight line, now crook'd, now all.
Preventing rival of the day,
Th' art up and openest thy ray;
And ere the morn cradles the moon,
Th' art broke into a beauteous noon.
Then, when the Sun sups in the deep,
Thy silver horns e're Cinthia's peep;
And thou, from thine own liquid bed,
New Phoebus, heav'st thy pleasant head.
Who shall a name for thee create,
Deep riddle of mysterious state?
Bold Nature, that gives common birth
To all products of seas and earth,
Of thee, as earth-quakes, is afraid,
Nor will thy dire deliv'ry aid.
Thou, thine own daughter, then, and sire,
That son and mother art intire,
That big still with thy self dost go,
And liv'st an aged embrio;
That like the cubbs of India,
Thou from thy self a while dost play;
But frighted with a dog or gun,
In thine own belly thou dost run,
And as thy house was thine own womb,
So thine own womb concludes thy tomb.
But now I must (analys'd king)
Thy oeconomick virtues sing;
Thou great stay'd husband still within,
Thou thee that's thine dost discipline;
And when thou art to progress bent,
Thou mov'st thy self and tenement,
As warlike Scythians travayl'd, you
Remove your men and city too;
Then, after a sad dearth and rain,
Thou scatterest thy silver train;
And when the trees grow nak'd and old,
Thou cloathest them with cloth of gold,
Which from thy bowels thou dost spin,
And draw from the rich mines within.
Now hast thou chang'd thee, saint, and made
Thy self a fane that's cupula'd;
And in thy wreathed cloister thou
Walkest thine own gray fryer too;
Strickt and lock'd up, th'art hood all ore,
And ne'r eliminat'st thy dore.
On sallads thou dost feed severe,
And 'stead of beads thou drop'st a tear,
And when to rest each calls the bell,
Thou sleep'st within thy marble cell,
Where, in dark contemplation plac'd,
The sweets of Nature thou dost tast,
Who now with time thy days resolve,
And in a jelly thee dissolve,
Like a shot star, which doth repair
Upward, and rarifie the air.
It can scarcely be requisite to mention that Lovelace
refers to the gradual evanescence of the moon before the growing
daylight. It is well known that the lunar orb is, at certain
times, visible sometime even after sunrise.
The Centaur, Syren, I foregoe;
Those have been sung, and lowdly too:
Nor of the mixed Sphynx Ile write,
Nor the renown'd Hermaphrodite.
Behold! this huddle doth appear
Of horses, coach and charioteer,
That moveth him by traverse law,
And doth himself both drive and draw;
Then, when the Sunn the south doth winne,
He baits him hot in his own inne.
I heard a grave and austere clark
Resolv'd him pilot both and barque;
That, like the fam'd ship of TREVERE,
Did on the shore himself lavere:
Yet the authentick do beleeve,
Who keep their judgement in their sleeve,
That he is his own double man,
And sick still carries his sedan:
Or that like dames i'th land of Luyck,
He wears his everlasting huyck.
But banisht, I admire his fate,
Since neither ostracisme of state,
Nor a perpetual exile,
Can force this virtue, change his soyl:
For, wheresoever he doth go,
He wanders with his country too.
i.q. HUKE. "Huke," says Minshen, "is a mantle such as
women use in Spaine, Germanie, and the Low Countries, when they
goe abroad." Lovelace clearly adopts the word for the sake of
the metre; otherwise he might have chosen a better one.
THE TRIUMPHS OF PHILAMORE AND AMORET.